Monday, July 30, 2012

My First Amendment Rights

In light of the whole Chick-fil-a thing, I thought I would raise a point that I am kind of stunned about...

There are three issues at hand, that I want to address:

1) Supporting and upholding first amendment rights
2) What was actually said and whether you agree with it
3) The real stunner...(I'll get to it).

1) Supporting and upholding first amendment rights
I totally agree with supporting and upholding the first amendment and the rights it allows us all. However, let's be clear on the fact that supporting the first amendment has NOTHING to do with what is said, and EVEN LESS about what you think of what was said. What is said does not have to fit within your definition of acceptable or good to be protected under the first amendment. If you believe in the amendment and think it should be upheld, then the whole idea of that amendment has to be upheld - meaning that there is an equal right and goodness in using that right - Someone using that right to say bad or disagreeable things is just as right (in terms of the amendment only - which cares not for content, for the most part) as saying good and encouraging things.

2) What was actually said and whether you agree with it.
This is a whole other issue. If you like it, great - feel free to support what was said. This is not the same thing as their right to say it, by the way. Your liking it or not does not qualify the right of someone to say it. If you disagree with what they said, then great too. You have as much right to disagree and voice that as well. Good on you. Do I agree with what they said? Yes, I do, in fact agree. I'm a "Mormon" and if I didn't agree with it, then I probably wouldn't be a very good Mormon, now would I (I'm sure some of you might disagree - go ahead, it's your right...haha)?! I respect others' right to disagree with what was said. It doesn't change how I feel about the issue, nor does it lessen my love for anyone. The choices and beliefs of others should only determine how I manage/negotiate relationships, not their value as a human being or how I love someone.

3) The real stunner...
People are actually going out and buying chick-fil-a food and acting proud of it, as if it were somehow supporting their first amendment rights!?! Really?!? Is that the only way to do it?!? Ugh.

Let's put it this way...let's say that a man came to your neighborhood and walked around holding up a sign that said, "Let's end World Hunger!". Well, this is definitely a message I agree with. I mean, who doesn't want to end word hunger?! However, let's pretend at the same time, this same guy was also a drug dealer in the neighborhood. I don't have to buy drugs from him to show him I support his message about ending world hunger or his first amendment rights.

You think that is an extreme take on this?! I'm not so sure you're thinking clearly. Chick-fil-a, even if you agree with their message about families, etc, is simultaneously feeding you terrible food that acts like a drug in your body! They are in fact, one of the many fast food restaurants that are contributing to a terrible state of food addiction and health problems in America.even their most basic chicken sandwich and chips combo (forget even a drink) is more than 730 calories alone and is loaded with fat, sodium, and saturated fat, MSG, and cholesterol.

Want to see what that single basic chicken sandwich looks like with a list of its ingredients (from their website)???

Chicken (100% natural whole breast filet, seasoning [salt, monosodium glutamate, sugar, spices, paprika], seasoned coater [enriched bleached flour {bleached wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid}, sugar, salt, monosodium glutamate, nonfat milk, leavening {baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate}, spice, soybean oil, color {paprika}], milk wash [water, whole powdered egg and nonfat milk solids], peanut oil [fully refined peanut oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness and dimethylpolysiloxane an anti-foaming agent added]), bun (enriched flour [wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate {Vitamin B1}, riboflavin {Vitamin B2}, folic acid], water, high fructose corn syrup, yeast, contains 2% or less of each of the following: liquid yeast, soybean oil, nonfat milk, salt, wheat gluten, soy flour, dough conditioners [may contain one or more of the following: mono- and diglycerides, calcium and sodium stearoyl lactylates, calcium peroxide], soy flour, amylase, yeast nutrients [monocalcium phosphate, calcium sulfate, ammonium sulfate], calcium propionate added to retard spoilage, soy lecithin, cornstarch, butter oil [soybean oil, palm kernel oil, soy lecithin, natural and artificial flavor, TBHQ and citric acid added as preservatives, and artificial color]), pickle (cucumbers, water, vinegar, salt, lactic acid, calcium chloride, alum, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate [preservatives], natural flavors, polysorbate 80, yellow 5, blue 1).

How's that for a load of poison?! High fructose corn syrup, MSG, artificial colors, more MSG, etc...I think you get the picture.

HERE IS THE REAL STUNNER!!!....many people are going out and eating at Chick-fil-a because they want to support their "family values", all the while, they are letting Chick-fil-a feed their family terribly unhealthy food that will do horrible things to their family's health!!! I don't get it. THINK people, THINK!

You think I'm exaggerating the point and perhaps even missing the point? Well, I was one of those customers, buying poor food, and making poor choices. Now I am in a fight for my life, trying to lose 90 pounds (I was 300 pounds just a few months ago). I am a bit ashamed of that. I was miserable, tired, and going down a very dangerous path - and one that was already actively endangering my ability to be a good father for my kids and a good husband. And it would have only gotten worse. No more for me! I am 40 pounds down now and still working hard to get healthy. There is a long road ahead, but one that is worth every sacrifice and effort I put in.

I laugh a little at this whole issue because some of the people who are buying this food are also the same ones who I hear complaining about the health care situation in America - haha (sorry, had to plug that in).

Anyway, while everyone is whipping out their first amendment speech as a weapon against an opposing voice (ironic, isn't it?!), why not find different ways to support free speech? I mean, I get how buying their food shows the company support for saying what you believe, but how is it 1) either helping further that issue, or 2) helping you or your family, or 3) even protecting free speech? The business itself is not "moral", nor does it help my family. So if I come out and tell the world the same things, will you all promise to come buy my services and goods too? Cause that would be great!

Yeah,  I believe in the first amendment and supporting everyone's right to it - those who I agree with, as well as those with whom I do not agree with. However, I also believe in using my first amendment rights to do good first and foremost. So, you want to support first amendment rights in a better way? You want to show your support for families in a better way??? Then go spend some money in your local grocer's produce department or at your farmer's market where they sell fresh food, and let's use our first amendment right to say, "NO" to bad food!

PS - Now that I've use my first amendment rights to express my opinions and support family values, you can now all call me and buy my services too. I take credit cards, cash, checks, paypal, and even gifts of any kind...hahaha.

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