Freedom to Bully

And we wonder why bullying is such an issue for our children today. 


I don’t even recognize the country I live in anymore.

You ever feel that way?

Of course, then I remember that part of our nation’s history has always been about trashing others.

What is the matter with us?

Why do we derive so much wicked pleasure out of making meanness a habit?

All you Chick-fil-A haters, doesn’t it occur to you how hypocritical you look? You are upset because President and CEO Dan Cathy came out against same-sex marriage. So a slew of you got together and began bullying Chick-fil-A.

Some city officials made it known that Chick-fil-A isn’t welcome in their communities.

Some haters got together and decided they would stage protests at Chick-fil-A sites.

So intense was the backlash that Don Perry, PR honcho, suffered a fatal heart attack. And even then the haters didn’t let up. Instead they spewed their venom on blogs, Twitter & Facebook, calling Perry’s death Karma, and justice.

What exactly is the goal here?

This sort of bullying isn’t likely to endear Dan Cathy to the LGBT community. Instead, it will probably only reinforce every misconception he may already hold.

Bullying people into thinking your way never, ever works.

That is not transformation.

It’s a form of national domestic violence that threatens the welfare of us all.

Not to mention one of the most important principles of this country — Freedom of Speech.

Maybe we ought to just revise that to say Freedom to Bully.











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  • Thank you thank you thank you

  • AFRoger

    Can’t even remember anymore if it was for Advent or Lent. But my seminary’s communications office asked a bunch of us alumni to write short daily devotions for a one-week block. Reading the work of another contributor during one of the weeks left me with an odd feeling. The writer was pastor of a church in a major city, and every devotion played the same record over and over: his was a “radically inclusive community”. Maybe if he’d made the general case that the kingdom of God, the Good News of it (it is good news, right???), was by definition inclusive it would have been a positive thing. Instead, every devotional message trotted out more labels, more pigeonholes of people this his church was inclusive of. The unavoidable poke-in-the-eye was that they were inclusive.

    And the rest of us obviously weren’t. I tried to give grace to this but came away not feeling encouraged but kinda dirty, actually. The more labels we use, the more we identify with US, something about US, some acronym, label, category, pigeonhole, the more divided we become. Feels like that to me. Feels like putting some human trait in place of God. Feels like something to repent of. We haven’t run short of such things, have we?

    • KarenZach

      Someone noted that the Christian community is getting as good as they gave in regards to all the boycotts that were recommended by Christian groups in the past.


      Yes. We are becoming that people that we love to mock, extremists on all sides. Or so it appears.

  • kcb

    Karen, It’s not about Cathey’s antiquated and misguided alleged “religious” beliefs that I object to. He has plenty of company, and their day will pass as have most racists and sexists. For me, I don’t want to patronize a business which uses so much of it’s financial bounty to fund hate groups. It’s the underwriting of hate which I feel we should take a stand against. If we don’t buy it, they won’t have money to spend on their vile, hateful activities. But, agreed, unless mayors can make a direct connection between allowing a new CFA to open and funding of hate groups the government needs to stay out of it. But it’s not bullying to let your pocketbook speak up for reason here. Not one bit.

    • KarenZach


      What hate groups are you referring to?

      • Chick-Fil-A has given money to Family Research Council (FRC), Focus on the Family (FOF) as well as Exodus International. Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the civil rights organization, has classified both FRC and FOF as “hate” groups for their distortions and misrepresentations of LGBT people.

        But I agree with the sentiment of your post — and the rhetoric and “bullying” on both sides is saddening. “Christians”, at least, should know better than to respond in kind.

        • KarenZach

          I think that calling Exodus International or FRC or FOF hate groups is a stretch. I don’t agree with their positions, but I don’t see either group as inciting hate, say the way Westboro Baptist does. So I’d disagree with the very fine SPLC on this issue. Now that’s not to say that those who follow FRC/FOF/EI aren’t haters. We have become a nation of extremists. There are haters on both sides of this issue. But bullying others is a form of coercion. Why can’t we just accept that Dan Cathy is not a supporter of same sex marriage without feeling the need to demean and belittle him as a hater? My mom and I don’t agree on this subject but I’m not going to shake my finger in her face and tell her how ignorant or wrong-headed she is. I accept that we arrived at different positions but that we both love Jesus and others. And who knows? Maybe we are both wrong?

          • Basil

            The Southern Poverty Law Center has pretty detailed explanations online as to why it has designated FRC and FOF as hate groups. Jeremy Hooper, over at has an exhaustive archive on both FRC and FOF (he’s followed them for years). I don’t think it is moral (Christian or any other moral system) to incite hatred against people, to denigrate them, call for the government to re-criminalize people based on their sexual orientation, denigrate members of the armed forces because of their sexual orientation, oppose anti-bullying efforts to safeguard school kids, or to repeatedly assert that LGBT persons are pedophiles.

            Exodus International has done enormous damage by pushing “reparative therapy” that people can somehow change their sexual orientation. The American Psychiatric Association has made clear this cannot change, and that reparative therapy is at best ineffective, and often increases the risk of anxiety, depression and other psychological illness (which in turn increases the risk of suicide). Even the original author of the “gay cure”, Robert Spitzer, has since renounced his original article in 2003 claiming some gays are cured. To their credit, Exodus is beginning to change, and now claims that you can’t change your sexual orientation. Apparently, they now focus on gays being celibate for religious reasons. So God wants LGBT persons to be lonely, apparently…. Still completely ridiculous!

            There is nothing extreme about boycotting a business that funds questionable groups. In fact, there is nothing extreme about boycotting a business just because its CEO made some inflammatory, and rather denigrating statements about LGBT couples in particular — although that is his absolute right to make any statements he wants. He now has to address the consequences of his own actions (and has no one to blame but himself).

            Next time you are looking for fast food, the relevant question for everyone is this: Do you love your gay friends more than you love a Chik-Fil A chicken sandwich?

          • Sagrav

            Well said!

  • Cassie

    I keep hearing that Chick-fil-A is funding hate groups, but the only groups I see listed that they contribute to are Christian organizations. Why should this be a surprise since they are a Christian company? Is it such a terrible thing that they give to charities that line up with their own beliefs? Wouldn’t anyone do the same? I think many do, but nobody is talking about where the money goes that they spend everywhere else. I say, buy the goods and services that you need and want and stop freaking out. I don’t think anyone is looking into every company’s financial records to see what they are doing with all the money they spend at those places. Just targeting this one restaurant is indeed bullying.

  • indeed, the hypocritical bullying is astonishing.

    • KarenZach

      I suppose all bullying is hypocritical, don’t you think?

  • Jcrabe56

    Wow Karen, my thoughts exactly!!!

  • Rickkilgore72755

    Years ago I heard the meaning of the word sin. Over the course of my life I’ve forgotten alot of things this is not one of them. In the Greek it is a termed used in archery “hamartano” to miss the mark. The target the bullseye, and then not share in the prize. Yup thats me I’ve missed alot made alot of mistakes lived with alot of regret.” SIN”maybe its a anagram for Self Indulging Nature. All I know is words do not speak louder than actions,but sometimes we’re to far off the mark to notice.