Are public figures allowed to have an opinion anymore? Are private companies allowed to donate to the charitable causes of their own choosing, no matter how unfashionable they might be?
Shockingly, the ladies from “The View” say yes (with differing levels of enthusiasm) to both questions. On July 26, “The View” addressed the media-manufactured controversy arising from comments Chick-Fil-A President and COO Dan Cathy made more than a week ago. “We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit,” Cathy told the Baptist Press.
In the ensuing uproar, Mayors Thomas Menino of Boston and Rahm Emanuel of Chicago said that they would refuse to allow the fast food chain to expand in their respective cities without recanting and repenting.
Outspoken liberal Joy Behar said the most upsetting aspect of the story was that Chick-Fil-A has given almost $2 million to so-called “anti-gay groups”. These include Fellowship of Christian Athletes and The Marriage & Family Foundation.
Token conservative Elisabeth Hasselbeck criticized Menino and Emanuel. “I don’t believe public officials should be banning companies based on the owner’s personal opinions,” she said. “Why aren’t more intelligent questions being asked? Has Chick-Fil-A fired someone because they’re gay? Have they not hired someone because they’re gay?"
Sherri Shepherd echoed the sentiment when she said, “they don’t stop gay people from going there either.” When Whoopi Goldberg brought up the Civil Rights Movement in a roundabout way, Behar chimed back in, “What if they were donating money to the Ku Klux Klan, then what?” Shepherd replied with a plea for common sense. “We all knew Chick-Fil-A is a Christian organization. That's what they stand for,” she said. “They don't ban you from going there to eat. It's a freedom of religion. If you don't support it, for goodness sakes don't buy their chicken.”
Despite Behar’s minor protest, Goldberg got the final word on the matter. “If you don’t like what they’re doing, don’t go. But don’t step on their right – anybody’s right – to have an opinion. This is still America,” she said. “The bottom line is, they have every right in this country to do as they please with their company and you have the right to say, you know what, maybe it isn’t Chick-Fil-A tonight. Maybe it’s KFC.”