The disturbing attacks on Chick-fil-A

There’s one part of Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy’s recent remarks that the left seems especially intent on disproving: the part where he said,

… we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.

The rest of Cathy’s comments, if you haven’t already heard, concerned his opinion of the propriety of gay marriage from a biblical perspective. As retribution for his voicing this opinion, some liberals in Chicago and Boston want to deny Cathy and his company the right to operate in their cities.

This is disturbing on a number of levels, two in particular.

The first is the idea that local governments might deny a business license to a company because of the beliefs of its owners. In Chicago, Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno threatened to do just that in his ward. (The city’s mayor, former Obama aide Rahm Emanuel, was more oblique, voicing sympathy with Moreno’s perspective but saying only that a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Chicago “would be a bad investment, since it would be empty.”)

As Elizabeth Scalia notes, this is how fascism works. As the far-from-right-wing Boston Globe editorialized, in response to Boston Mayor Thomas Menino’s statement that “Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston” and that the company shouldn’t be allowed to open a store near famed Faneuil Hall along the city’s — first irony alert! — Freedom Trail:

… which part of the First Amendment does Menino not understand? A business owner’s political or religious beliefs should not be a test for the worthiness of his or her application for a business license. … If the mayor of a conservative town tried to keep out gay-friendly Starbucks or Apple, it would be an outrage.

Menino has since backtracked on his threat. Moreno appears to be digging in, although some of his fellow aldermen take a different view.

The second is the way Menino and Moreno are twisting the definition of the word “discrimination” to apply it to Cathy’s objection to — second irony alert! — the redefinition of the word “marriage” to apply to same-sex couples.

“You can’t have a business in the City of Boston that discriminates against a population,” Menino told the Boston Herald to explain his desire to keep Chick-fil-A out of his city.

“If you are discriminating against a segment of the community, I don’t want you in the 1st Ward,” Moreno told the Chicago Tribune.

But I have yet to see the first shred of evidence Chick-fil-A is actually discriminating against gay couples. Menino and Moreno cited no reports that same-sex couples in a Chick-fil-A restaurant have been denied service or asked to leave, nor any instances of gay employees or job applicants being dismissed due to their sexual orientation. This is hardly comparable to a Southern lunch counter turning away black customers half a century ago.

Nor could anyone accurately describe Cathy or Chick-fil-A as influential political agitators who are enabling some sort of “discrimination.” While much was made back in March of the company’s donations to groups that promote the traditional definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman, the company is practically silent in terms of donations to politicians and political organizations. According to the Sunlight Foundation, the sum total of all political donations by the company, its employees and its PAC, between 1989 and 2012, was just $177,410 — about $7,400 a year. And even this meager spending does not appear to have been tied to the issue of gay marriage.

If a mere difference of opinion with elected officials is enough to qualify as “discrimination,” then in some way or another virtually every employer would be, as Cathy put it in the interview that sparked this episode, guilty as charged. Civil society itself would be fractured irretrievably. As Scalia asked,

… where does the “punishment” spiral stop? The press declares Chick-fil-A “homophobic” (a dishonest word) and then the local governments start penalizing them for it; Jim Henson’s outfit stomps off. What next? Will people against gay marriage start boycotting Muppet stuff? Pyres of Elmo in support of Chick-fil-A’s right to be itself?

We’re already seeing a preliminary version of this: Activists are encouraging same-sex couples to visit Chick-fil-A stores next Friday for a “National Same-Sex Kiss Day”; former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is encouraging fellow social conservatives to “buycott” the company by patronizing its restaurants en masse next Wednesday.

Does anyone see this thing headed toward reconciliation?

The idea at the foundation of our freedom of speech is often said to have been summarized by the French philosopher Voltaire: “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” It’s a long way from Voltaire’s France to Menino’s Boston and Moreno’s Chicago, and the direction is a very disheartening one.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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474 comments Add your comment

jconservative

July 26th, 2012
4:41 pm

Cathy can say what he wants. People can buy where they want to buy for whatever reason. If Cathy runs off 1% of his customers, well that was his decision. It will not destroy his business, just cut into the profits. But it does put the hundreds of franchise holders in a tough situation not of their making.

The same sex marriage issue is headed for the Supreme Court. The cases are already at the appeals court level.

“No State shall…deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Someone will need to show the Court that the State has an overriding reason to deny equal protection to a portion of US citizens. The Prop 8 case out of California is not being appealed by the State, but a group of citizens. The DOMA case is not being appealed by the US Government but by a group of citizens.

Stay tuned.

Little Ricky

July 26th, 2012
4:41 pm

Hello Up Up – so a sexual behavior that cannot procreate is natural for our species, are you insane?

Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

July 26th, 2012
4:43 pm

There are conservative boycotts of Home Depot and Target on; lets see how it all shakes out.

Progressive Humanist

July 26th, 2012
4:44 pm

Of course, we’ll get the usual chorus from the far right evangelical stooges whining about how it’s intolerant of the left to refuse to tolerate their discrimination. They’ll say “But you’re not respecting our right to discriminate against people so that makes YOU the bigot!” No one falls for that fool’s argument. That’s like saying that LBJ was discriminating against white Southerners’ rights to be racist when he desegregated schools. Keep your religious bigotry to yourselves and don’t try to impose your mythologies on other people. And get an education while you’re at it.

Up Up and Away

July 26th, 2012
4:44 pm

Little Ricky

It occurs in nature. So what is your point?

When it occurs in nature do those acts result in procreation?

Dusty

July 26th, 2012
4:45 pm

Uh oh,……..4:28

Wilhelm Von Preussen stepped over the line.

Willie, your holocaust for politicians isn’t allowed. Go back to class ’cause you don’t have any class. I bet you don’t even like fried chicken, as usual for the lower forms of humankind! (All forms are equal but some are uglier than others!)

Up Up and Away

July 26th, 2012
4:45 pm

Ricky

I’m not gay, but will not spend my life worrying about what to consenting adults do in their bedroom.

You feel free to get caught up in it if that makes you happy on some level or another

@@

July 26th, 2012
4:46 pm

Lo and behold!

The Cook County Clerk’s office issued 1,856 civil union licenses in the first six months since the Illinois law that made them legal took effect in June. Most of those were for same-sex couples, but 138 heterosexual couples sought civil unions between June 1 and Nov. 30.

Civil unions aren’t just for gay couples anymore.

Michael H. Smith

July 26th, 2012
4:46 pm

Be careful with this freedom of speech business, the Constitutional protection applies to constraining government, not others opinions of you or the actions they may take against what you say.

Many things are legally fine but they can be very costly to you beyond the letter of the law. I understand this, as I hope all others who comment on these blogs do - which is the reason most do not use their real names “out of fear” – that others will retaliate in some damaging way simply because they disagree with your political, philosophical or religious beliefs.

SheeshLouise

July 26th, 2012
4:46 pm

Can we get the movement started for multiple wives ALREADY???!!! I don’t want to be too old when that agenda hits the table. Need some time to enjoy the whole thing. What’s good for others’ wishes is good for mine.

Dusty

July 26th, 2012
4:48 pm

Progressie Humanist @4:44

Are you Willie’s brother? Both of you hate somebody.

retired early

July 26th, 2012
4:48 pm

Is wrong

What are your plans on how to spend the trillion, billion, Gazillion years in heaven. Think you just might get a little tired of after the first trillion….does heaven have golf courses ??

Stop

July 26th, 2012
4:49 pm

People need to stop equating their DESIRE and CHOICE to SLEEP with the same sex as grounds for marraige. I personally have NO problem with gay people or any other people but I dont want to see it forced down my or anyone else’s throat! He has a right to his opnion to believe what he wants. He closes it on Sunday for God’s sake. Anyways, Marraige is a MAN and a WOMAN dammit!

LOVE MY CHICK-fil-a. By the way he didn’t say he supports discrimination.

Progressive Humanist

July 26th, 2012
4:49 pm

Hey, Dusty. I used to be One Voice, and I hate ignorance. Does that help?

Aquagirl

July 26th, 2012
4:49 pm

When people start gabbling about how they don’t get the non-procreative aspects of sex, I always feel sorry for their partners.

Slick Rick

July 26th, 2012
4:50 pm

@ @@ @ 3:55 – no, he wouldn’t be my BFF; but he would show me he has some humanity and fundamental decency, after all.

Schnirt, right back at ya.

How Inciteful Is That!

July 26th, 2012
4:50 pm

I just bought a Dixie Chicks album and listened to it while making a fresh salad at home. I chopped up a boiled egg and put it on the salad for my protein. In total, the salad and the album and the trip to the stores cost less than lunch at Chick-Fil-A. Now that’s a Real Deal.

Dusty

July 26th, 2012
4:50 pm

SheeshLouise, 4:46

You want multiple wives? I bet you can’t even get one.

How Inciteful Is That!

July 26th, 2012
4:51 pm

When people start gabbling about how they don’t get the non-procreative aspects of sex, I always feel sorry for their partners.

Don’t feel sorry for them unless they cannot manage to locate the Appalachian Trail.

How Inciteful Is That!

July 26th, 2012
4:54 pm

Common Cents

July 26th, 2012
4:54 pm

Replace this is with “black” and get the point.

Ok to repress a group of people called gay, not ok to suppress blacks but it WAS in <1964.

Grow up people. Evolve

I have to agree with Kyle. I don’t think that Dan Cathy is supporting discrimination against anyone. He is stating his personal beliefs. Chick-Fil-A has had (and I am sure will continue to have) gay employees. Gay people have eaten at Chick-Fil-A. No one is saying that they can’t continue to have those rights.

What amazes me is that the people who are seeking tolerance are so intolerant of another’s beliefs. The first amendment is a wonderful thing. It allows me to say whatever I want to say, but I have to be fully prepared for someone to stand right next to me and scream the exact opposite of what I believe. Law School 101…

There is nothing to see here people… please move along.

GIVE ME A BREAK

July 26th, 2012
4:55 pm

Christians should not and will not accept the abnormal behavior of homosexuals. I still love chicken.

Dusty

July 26th, 2012
4:55 pm

Progressive Humanist,

Well, hating ignorance is ok. but I think you still have a way to go . Why did you change your ID?

homosapien

July 26th, 2012
4:59 pm

how many gay chickens does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

captguitarman

July 26th, 2012
4:59 pm

Good write up, Kyle. It should come as no shock to any of us that lock step, politically correct thinking is the Dem/Lib way, and it is no stretch for them to mischaracterize anyone’s thoughts, ideas, or religious beliefs as the the actual practice of discrimination, disprespect, and in some cases racism or bigotry. All the old guy did was say that he believed in the definition of marriage (one man married to one woman) in the Bible. He wasn’t exactly out cruising the gay bars with this buddies and beating up gays in the parking lots or not allowing them into his restaurants. When did it become bigoted or discriminatory to have you own religious beliefs as long as you weren’t actively using them to cause harm to someone? Or why are you considered anti-gay, just because you don’t agree with every last point on the gay agenda. I personally have not one thing against gay men or women. But, I don’t believe that “marriage” as it has existed since it was first institued by God, covers same sex couples. So shoot me . . . no wait, just kidding.

How has this come about, you might ask? Well, for several decades now, American colleges and universities have been evolving into very vocal and strident left wing and even radical left institutions. The indoctrination starts early and God help the freshman or campus club or group that wanders outside the leftist box of pathological politically acceptable thought.

In order to ensure the politically correct environment (as defined by the left wing administrators, professors, and students) almost every college and university in Ameria has also enacted speech codes, which ostensibly identify, prohibit, and punish the purveyors of “hate” speech. But in reality, “hate speech” is actually expressing or writing conservative thoughts and ideas and taking conservative political positions. And why is that now “hate” — because they say it is.

The huge running joke amongst us “hateful” Pub/Cons is that you have all these professors and kids bowing down to the new Gods of Diversity and Political Correctness — and true enough, campuses are now “diverse” in the sense that they are populated by more different races, creeds, cultures, religions, sexual orientations, etc. than ever before — but the chuckle is that you can forget about any real intellectual diversty whatsoever– the reason that colleges and universities were founded in the first place. It seems that the God of Diversity doesn’t mind if everyone thinks exactly alike.

So here we are now taking it to the next step here in the real world. Believe as we do or you will be labeled as a hateful bigot, and once we get power over you, you can expect the worse. Tyranny always comes from the political left, not the right, where its proponents are too fond of personal freedom. First it speech codes, and then enacting laws that are “good for you” or for the “common good” or “fair for everyone” as they like to say. And then as the Nanny state grows, and becomes more powerful, it thinks up more and more things that are good for you. Such benevolence. And, before you know it, just like the college kids, you are not the one deciding what is good for you any more. Which direction is America heading in? Its is not hard to envision sitting in a jail cell one day because you believe marriage is only between a man and a woman.

Art Shifrin

July 26th, 2012
4:59 pm

IF the mayor of Boston believed in, and practiced constitutionally guaranteed free speech, then he would not object to Chick-Fil-A conducting business in Boston. If people disagree with the bigoted ‘philosophy’ of the Company’s President, then they should not patronize it. Banning a business based on its executives and other personnel’s values is anti-democractic. There’s NOTHING fundamentally different about doing so then what was done to Japanese citizens on the West Coast during WWII, nor what was done to Jewish proprietors in the Third Reich.
IF Chick-Fil-A discriminates against gay patrons and or employees, then it should be heavily penalized to the full extend of the law.

I’m curious: what is the great pundit doing about The Boy Scouts of America having packs in Boston?

Art Shifrin

@@

July 26th, 2012
5:00 pm

@ @@ @ 3:55 – no, he wouldn’t be my BFF; but he would show me he has some humanity and fundamental decency, after all.

If his charitable donations to needy children haven’t convinced you of his humanity and fundamental decency, nothing will.

Innocent children are one thing, fully aware adults are something else entirely.

Aquagirl

July 26th, 2012
5:03 pm

I still love chicken.

In the normal godly biblical manner, of course.

homosapien

July 26th, 2012
5:04 pm

gay is the new black.

How Inciteful Is That!

July 26th, 2012
5:04 pm

I thought that guy on Fox Blues was the bloviating king of calling for boycotting whatever he dislikes. What’s his name. I think his show tries in vain to compete with Rachel Maddow. She’s cool. He’s a tool.

Slick Rick

July 26th, 2012
5:04 pm

@ @@ @ 5pm – Like Jerry Sandusky, right? His philanthropy extended to innocent children too. Misanthrope that he was, it extended inside of ‘em as well. And…

SCHNIRT

Mercy

July 26th, 2012
5:05 pm

The United States engaged in economic boycotts all the time.

JamVet

July 26th, 2012
5:06 pm

Tyranny always comes from the political left, not the right…

Where do people come up with this made up insanity? (Musta been a Reaganista.)

It would get laughed out of a ninth grade history class. Maybe even a fifth grade class…

rf

July 26th, 2012
5:07 pm

We are not to be judged for freedom of speech and to be punished in this country. Absolutely ridiculous, I will be eating and patronizing Chick Fil A for a stand against socialism and for a company that upholds its founding moral values!

Slick Rick

July 26th, 2012
5:09 pm

@ rf – but we can be judged for freedom of being, yes? Conservatives do it all the time (no, not that doing it, the judging kind!). And…

SCHNIRT

Up Up and Away

July 26th, 2012
5:10 pm

“Tyranny always comes from the political left, not the right…”

Is the American Family Association who is in constant boycott of companies part of the “left”?

When did they take a turn?

@@

July 26th, 2012
5:11 pm

Slick Rick:

Aside from the fact that he opposes gay marriage, please let me know when allegations of child molestation are lodged against the Cathy family.

I would love to see Sandusky get the death penalty. I can, however, handle the disappointment.

Slick Rick

July 26th, 2012
5:12 pm

@ @@ @ 5:11 – Oh brother! Or is it sister? I forget.

@@

July 26th, 2012
5:14 pm

Howz’bout you forget me altogether, Slick. You’re nasty!

Michael H. Smith

July 26th, 2012
5:17 pm

It would get laughed out of a ninth grade history class. Maybe even a fifth grade class…

Yeah,:lol:… until they read how Fascist so many of the Socialist and Communist, regimes and nations always are begining with Germany unto this present day in North Korea.

How Inciteful Is That!

July 26th, 2012
5:17 pm

I saw that one of those Catholic priests that covered up child molestation for all those years is finally going to serve time for his crime. That’s one down. Did his punishment fit the sin.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

July 26th, 2012
5:18 pm

Notice how liberals insult Conservatives by calling them gay?

Tells you what they really think about such things, despite what talking points they regurgitate.

How Inciteful Is That!

July 26th, 2012
5:19 pm

Aren’t we boycotting Iran.

@@

July 26th, 2012
5:20 pm

Did his punishment fit the sin.

In my opinion, it didn’t. 2 1/2 to 5? 8 to 10 would’ve been better.

Liberal Pariah

July 26th, 2012
5:23 pm

It’s a shame that the traditional, correct moral Judeo-Christian view of marriage is controversial. How low we have sunk as a culture.

JamVet

July 26th, 2012
5:25 pm

Inciteful, I’ve advocated the “death penalty” for the Catholic Church, whose history of monsters and depraved animals DWARFS those at Penn State.

Shutting their program down for ten years seems appropriate, huh?

LOL…

Rafe Hollister, suffering through Oblamer's ineptocracy

July 26th, 2012
5:26 pm

Is it hypocrisy to welcome Louis Farrakhan to Chicago, a known anti-semite, while raging against Chick-fil-A building there?

Dan Cathy never said he opposed gay people, just opposed same sex marriage. He has that right, you know.

This is just more of the left wanting to outlaw, regulate, legislate, and eliminate any ideas that they do not think are fair or “progressive”. Never trust people to think for themselves, is what they are saying.

If I was a CFA manager and protesters showed up out front, I would immediately post a sign, “Free Sandwiches” and the crowd coming in would overwhelm the half dozen protesters.

Dusty

July 26th, 2012
5:30 pm

Well, it’s about that time again …the preamble to dinner time. Tonight is Beef La Boudreaux (ground beef if any peasants ask) ! I’m not having chicken tonight but it is not because I hate chicken. No sirree. I have no hate for our feathered friends. Imagine!

Chickens in revolt! Eighty thousand of them all living next door to Hillbilly D. Hillbilly wouldn’t have a chance.

By the way, where is he? I hope we find him before the baby sitter comes at seven. .Everything must be in order and no foolishness allowed.

@@

July 26th, 2012
5:30 pm

I wondered when this was gonna happen.

U.S. Olympic Committee wants Olympics footage out of campaign ads

The U.S. Olympic Committee has a message for the presidential candidates and their supporters: leave the Games out of your politics.

The committee today panned an ad released Wednesday by Priorities USA Action, the super PAC supporting President Obama, which made ample use of old Olympics footage of Mitt Romney at the 2002 Winter Olympics. The spot poked fun at Romney’s international investments and pointedly referred to foreign countries where Romney’s private equity firm, Bain Capital, helped create jobs.

That was not exactly in line with the Olympic spirit, at least according to the USOC.

[snip]

When we were assured Mitt Romney and his allies would be held to the same standard, we were more than happy to take ad down,” said Bill Burton, co-founder of the liberal super PAC.

Halftrack

July 26th, 2012
5:32 pm

I don’t see any where that Chick-fil-A said they wouldn’t serve any gay people. So no one is discriminated against. The local bootlegger doesn’t discriminate against church people or even the look down their nose elites that want to buy his wares. Where is the beef?