Freedom of Religion
The Denver City Council is stalling consideration of allowing Chick-fil-A, an openly Christian based company, to open a location at Denver International Airport due to comments made by company CEO-Dan Cathy about his opposition to the LGBT community and his beliefs as a Christian, as well as the companies donations made to charitable groups opposing LGBT causes.
This is an absolute violation of the First Amendment as it pertains not only to freedom of religion and belief, but freedom of speech; it is a direct prejudicial and discriminatory attack on a business because of their religious (Christian) stance.
The First Amendment does not expressly speak in terms of liberty to hold such beliefs as one chooses, but in both the religion and the expression clauses, it is clear, liberty of belief is the foundation of the liberty to practice what religion one chooses and to express oneself as one chooses. 169”If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.” 170 Speaking in the context of religious freedom, the Court at one point said that while the freedom to act on one’s beliefs could be limited, the freedom to believe what one will ”is absolute.”
Despite ardent assurances from the concessionaires — who have operated other DIA restaurants — that strict nondiscrimination policies will include protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Councilman Paul Lopez called opposition to the chain at DIA “really, truly a moral issue on the city.” Robin Kniech, the council’s first openly gay member, said she was most worried about a local franchise generating “corporate profits used to fund and fuel discrimination.” She was first to raise issue with Chick-fil-A leaders’ politics.
While the Denver City Council delays its decision over whether to allow Chick-Fil-A to operate a business in its airport because of its “Christian values”, the city has become a hotbed of debate across America due to the recent undercover footage shot at a Denver Planned Parenthood clinic. At the center of the debate are questions about Planned Parenthood’s abortion practices and the harvesting of human organs for profit. Congress is currently scheduled to vote as early as next week on whether to pull federal funding from the nonprofit, while several states have already taken it upon themselves to pull their state dollars from the corporate health giant. Colorado Democrats recently voted down a bill that would’ve defunded Planned Parenthood in their state.
Are the same concerns over corporate profits being used to fund or fuel racial hate groups, radical terrorist groups, or other such organizations, being raised by governmental officials when considering other such businesses? What about those companies and corporations that openly contribute to groups like Planned Parenthood, which has recently come under Congressional investigation after videos of PP corporate CEO’s and others were released showing a blatant disregard for not only the law as it pertains to abortion practices, but a vile apathy for the babies as well? Perhaps Colorado views the rights of the LGBT community to be more important than those of an unborn child?
Colorado isn’t alone when it comes to what appears to be an unwritten “anti-Christian” stance. City leaders in Chicago attempted to block a new Chick-fil-A location for similar reasons three years ago, ultimately backing down after reaching an agreement with the chain. Mayors in both Boston and San Francisco vowed to fend off any foray by Chick-fil-A into those cities as well. It appears that if a Christian business owner wants to setup shop in any of these locations, it is best to keep your Christian beliefs to yourself.
[Footnote 169] West Virginia State Bd. of Educ. v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943); Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U.S. 296, 303 -04 (1940); United States v. Ballard, 322 U.S. 78 (1944); Torcaso v. Watkins, 367 U.S. 488 (1961); American Communications Ass’n v. Douds, 339 U.S. 382, 408 (1950); Bond v. Floyd, 385 U.S. 116, 132 (1966); Speiser v. Randall, 357 U.S. 513 (1958); Baird v. State Bar of Arizona, 401 U.S. 1, 5 -6 (1971), and id. at 9-10 (Justice Stewart concurring). – See more at: http://constitution.findlaw.com/amendment1/annotation11.html/#f169
[Footnote 170] West Virginia State Bd. of Educ. v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624, 642 (1943) – See more at: http://constitution.findlaw.com/amendment1/annotation11.html/#f171