Liberals love to complain about “manufactured controversies” as they’re taking a break from manufacturing controversies. The latest one has to do with Chick-fil-A.
Here’s the short version: Dan Cathy, the president of the company, was interviewed last week by the Baptist Press. And he said this:
Some have opposed the company’s support of the traditional family. “Well, guilty as charged,” said Cathy when asked about the company’s position.
“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”
Pretty shocking stuff, eh? A devout Christian says he believes in the Bible and supports the institution of marriage as it’s been practiced for thousands of years. Back in the old days they called this quaint old concept “freedom of religion.”
But these days, freedom of religion only counts if you’re trying to build a mosque at Ground Zero. Somehow Cathy’s statement of religious belief has morphed into: “Chick-fil-A is against gay marriage and therefore hates gay people.” But as GetReligion.org asks:
This raises an interesting journalistic question: Is a defense of one doctrine automatically the same thing as an on-the-record attack on the opposite doctrine? In this case, is it accurate for CNN (and others) to say that Cathy made comments about gay marriage when, in fact, he did not speak words addressing that issue?
Hey, just because he didn’t say that doesn’t prove he didn’t mean that. Just like when Obama does say something, that doesn’t necessarily mean he actually said it. It all depends on whether you’re expressing opinions that are deemed worthy by liberals and the media (PTR).
Imagine if the guy had said, “I believe in the Bible and the Christian God,” and he was condemned by CAIR or some other Muslim group for attacking them. That would be equally valid, which is to say, not at all.
(By the way, has anybody asked any prominent Muslims what they think about the institution of marriage? Has anybody tried to turn their religious beliefs into a statement of bigotry? If not, why not? Are there no successful Muslim entrepreneurs?)
Now people are boycotting Chick-fil-A, the Henson Company has withdrawn their toys from the restaurants, and so on. There was much righteous indignation, and it was good.
All of which is fine. People boycott all sorts of things, for all sorts of silly, dimly understood reasons, all the time. That’s their right.
But here’s where it starts to get tricky. Chicago Tribune:
A Chicago alderman wants to kill Chick-fil-A’s plans to build a restaurant in his increasingly trendy Northwest Side ward because the fast-food chain’s top executive vocally opposes gay marriage.
Ald.Proco “Joe” Moreno announced this week that he will block Chick-fil-A’s effort to build its second Chicago store, which would be in the Logan Square neighborhood, following company President Dan Cathy’s remarks last week that he was “guilty as charged” for supporting the biblical definition of marriage as between a man and woman.
“If you are discriminating against a segment of the community, I don’t want you in the 1st Ward,” Moreno told the Tribune on Tuesday…
The alderman has the ideological support of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
“Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values,” the mayor said in a statement when asked about Moreno’s decision. “They disrespect our fellow neighbors and residents. This would be a bad investment, since it would be empty.”
Let’s just take a moment to laugh indulgently at the phrase “Chicago values.” How’s that murder rate since you took office, Mr. Mayor? Has Jesse Jackson Jr. turned up yet? How’s Blago? Hey, didn’t Obama get his start there?
Anyway. As has been pointed out elsewhere, what Moreno and Emanuel are trying to do is blatantly unconstitutional. An elected official can’t just decide to prevent a businessman from operating because he doesn’t like an opinion the businessman expresses. Especially when it comes to religion. Just as with the aforementioned Ground Zero Mosque: You have the right to build it. I might not think it’s a good idea, and I have the right to tell you so and why, but it doesn’t mean you can’t build it.
But then, this is Rahm Emanuel we’re talking about. It would be bigger news if this sawed-off fascist did respect the Constitution. It would be bigger news if he did value private enterprise, even when practiced by people who dare to disagree with him.
Not to dignify Rahm’s autocratic idiocy, but has anybody ever been refused service at Chick-fil-A for being gay? Is there a designated “Gays Only” section? You’d think we would’ve heard about that by now. So, how is Chick-fil-A “discriminating” against anybody? Please present your theories in the comments.
If you want to prevent someone from selling chicken sandwiches in your neighborhood because of his religious beliefs, #YouMightBeALiberal.
Update: Speaking of “Chicago values”: Rahm welcomes help from Farrakahn, ignores anti-Semitic remarks. Or as the mighty Iowahawk puts it: “Chicago Mayor outsources police duties to fundamentalist anti-gay marriage religious sect.”
Update: Meanwhile, in Boston, Mayor Silvertongue backs down. Boston Herald:
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino repeated today that he doesn’t want Chick-fil-A in Boston, but he backed away from a threat to actively block the fast-food chain from setting up shop in the city.
“I can’t do that. That would be interference to his rights to go there,” Menino said, referring to company president Dan Cathy, who drew the mayor’s wrath by going public with his views against same-sex marriage.
Menino couldn’t keep him out even if he had said that. Which he didn’t.
Update: Hide your kids. Hide your wife. Don’t hide your opinions.