OPINION: Expressing Opinion Hate Speech?
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During my two-year-plus tenure with The Murfreesboro Post, I have learned that two subjects are guaranteed to stir interest amongst the reading audience: The construction of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro and anything to do with gay rights.

I mention the latter because in Oct. 31, 2010, issue, I wrote a column about a father who was irate with gay pride and felt schools gone wild.

That article was about how high schools across the nation, fueled in large part by Facebook and Twitter, celebrated Gay Pride Day, unofficial, though it was.

This particular father was angry because he could demand that his teenage daughter not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, minus any disciplinary action from her high school. However, if he kept his daughter home from school on Gay Pride Day because she didn't want to attend that day, she would be counted as absent, minus a valid excuse.

Essentially, this father felt our legislators and secondary school administrators needed a crash course in American values, and therefore, needed to re-prioritize, accordingly.

That said, I'll attempt to be as careful as possible in dismantling this bomb of a column.

In late July, Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy publicly stated he does not support same-sex marriage. Rather, he supports the traditional marriage of male and female.

"We are very supportive of the family – the Biblical definition of the family unit," Cathy said in an interview with the Baptist Press, a Christian news organization.

Outcry raced across the nation faster than Usain Bolt ran the 100 meters in the Summer Olympics in London.

Boston Mayor Tom Menino publicly announced Chick-fil-A is not welcome in Beantown.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is the former chief of staff for President Barack Obama, denounced Cathy's statements, saying, "Chick-fil-A's values are not Chicago's values."

Still, it appears Emanuel is doing his best to block Chick-fil-A from expanding in Chicago.

However, at this juncture, it probably is a good idea to share with you the different sides of Emanuel's value system: While rejecting Chick-fil-A, Emanuel has invited Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and his army to Chicago to help stop the violence in the Windy City's black neighborhoods.

Farrakhan is the same man who accompanied Rev. Jeremiah Wright, a former spiritual adviser to Obama, in 1984 to Libya to meet with Muammar Gaddafi, who was killed in August 2011 during the country's civil war.

Wright is the same man who in a fiery sermon – in addition to alleging that a white-orchestrated government purposely infected minorities with HIV to thin down the population – declared, "No, no, no, not God bless America. God damn America – that's in the Bible – for killing innocent people."

In 1985, Gaddafi reaffirmed his alliance with Farrakhan by giving him a $5 million interest-free loan.

And it is widely accepted that the oil-rich Gaddafi financed major terrorist acts against Americans, including the 1986 bombing of a disco in West Germany, which killed three Americans. He is also believed to be behind the sabotage of Pan Am Flight 103, which exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, and killed all 270 passengers on board.

To say the least, Emanuel's choice of friends and value system could be called into serious question.

While providing some insight on the likes of Emanuel and Farrakhan, the main intent of this column is: Though  Cathy has been accused of hate speech regarding his comments on same-sex marriage, he is innocent.

He said nothing of the kind.

Cathy, merely, said he does not support same-sex marriage, his First Amendment right.

This has been reinforced by the thousands across the nation who have supported Cathy and Chick-fil-A.

Further, I am convinced a media gone wild is responsible for morphing Cathy's right to free expression into alleged hate speech.

I know there are people who disagree with his opinion, but his beliefs, as are the positions of those in the gay community, are protected by the First Amendment.

Do I support or denounce same-sex marriage?

Actually, I hover over the middle: If it doesn't encroach on my existence, then what do I care?

In support of Cathy, though, I will say, in the human race, as we know it, neither the sexual union of two males nor two females can reproduce.

You can take it from there.

Mike Vinson can be contacted at mike_vinson56@yahoo.com.

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