ACLU lawyer wants Chick-fil-A supporters to gorge on transfats

Robert Knight Senior Fellow, American Civil Rights Union
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If you support Chick-fil-A in the face of left-wing nutcase attacks over the restaurant chain’s support of traditional marriage, ACLU of Massachusetts Executive Director Carol Rose has some advice:

“Did you see that politicians Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee are now trying to rally all homophobes to eat at Chick-fil-A? I’m thrilled. In fact, I encourage all bigots to load up on transfats and carbohydrates. Go ahead — eat your heart out on the “Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit” breakfast! Mmmm.”

Presumably, her idea is to trigger heart attacks.

In her July 27 ACLU blog post entitled “Menino v. Chick-fil-A,” Ms. Rose revealed Boston Mayor Thomas Menino’s peculiar understanding of the word “freedom” in his rant to Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy. “There is no place for discrimination on Boston’s Freedom Trial and no place for your company alongside it,” Menino declared.

So far, Mr. Cathy, who in an interview published July 16 in The Baptist Press defended marriage and the “biblical family,” has earned scathing threats from liberal officials in Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago, and the list grows. In San Francisco, Mayor Edwin M. Lee tweeted: “Closest #ChickFilA to San Francisco is 40 miles away & I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer.”

Down the coast in Orange County, protesters on Thursday mobbed the grand opening of a Chick-fil-A store in Laguna Hills, forcing the cancellation of a camp-out for free meal tickets. One marcher dressed as Jesus Christ held a sign saying “No H8.” Another sign said, “God Hates Hate.” One woman in a chicken suit had a placard proclaiming, “Corporate profits should not fund hate groups.”

Not to be outdone, on Friday in Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray joined the mob by sending a tweet calling Chick-fil-A “hatechicken.”

But, back to the ACLU and its supposed protection of our First Amendment rights. Ms. Rose, whose Chick-fil-A piece first ran on July 26 on The Boston Globe’s On Liberty blog, described the city’s imbroglio as merely “a war of words,” and noted that a Chicago alderman’s threat to deny a building permit to Chick-fil-A might give “Mr. Cathy a pretty strong claim under the First Amendment that he is a victim of viewpoint discrimination by a government official.” Well, bully for that!

Finally, her dietary advice is eerily reminiscent of USA Today columnist and Pacifica Radio talk show host Julianne Malveaux’s remark on PBS in 1994 that she wished newly confirmed conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas would fall victim to unhealthy food. Malveaux said:

“You know, I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease.”

This bizarre comment earned Ms. Malveaux the Media Research Center’s coveted “I’m a Compassionate Liberal But I Wish You Were All Dead Award.” Someone ought to nominate Ms. Rose for the honor.

August 1 is Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, when regular people who support marriage, dislike attacks on free speech, or just want to tweak bullies — while having a delicious and nutritious chicken sandwich — will be showing up en masse at one of the chain’s more than 1,600 restaurants.

This is a game of chicken with constitutional consequences.

Robert Knight is a senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a satisfied, frequent customer of Chick-fil-A.