Thursday, August 2, 2012

I mean, Real Tolerance

by Andrew Roman

By all accounts Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day was a rousing success across the land. In fact, it looks like it was a record setting outing.

And it had nothing to do with same-sex marriage.

There were some minor protests, sure….but rallies comprised mostly of ignorants and spoiled-brats who have no clue what real discrimination or oppression is only make me chuckle  – that is, until they start defecating on police cars and sleeping in public parks adorned by urine-soaked Che Guevara t-shirts.

Prior to yesterday's sensational free-market referendum on free speech and religious liberty, I listened intently to public officials condemn Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy’s support of traditional marriage. 

I assure you, the dazzling irony of all this was not lost on me.

It is the mantra of those who suddenly become Constitutional warriors and brand themselves "offended" whenever a Christmas Tree is lit in a public setting, a cross appears on a city seal or the ten commandments are within view of a courthouse: It is a "violation of the separation of church and state." It doesn’t matter what the “it” is; as long as the “G” word is in the mix, it is a gross violation of everything this country really stands for: freedom from God and religion in a public setting.

Then exactly how do Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Philadelphia City Council Member James F. Kenny, and New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (among others) justify their remarks as publicly elected officials against the beliefs of Mr. Cathy? Haven't they quite literally combined church and state by using the pulpit of their elected office to condemn a private citizen's religious convictions?

Councilman Kenney, for example, is actually sponsoring a bill that condemns the intolerance of Mr. Cathy, saying biblical beliefs of this sort (supporting the traditional definition of marriage) cannot be tolerated. Said Kenney: “My effort is to allow people to understand that in certain segments of corporate America there are folks who are using their dollars to promote hatred, bigotry and discrimination." (Note the obligatory dig at "corporate America). He also said that people who are opposed to same sex marriage need to understand that there are consequences to those beliefs.

Mr. Kenney is an elected official.

I’m confused.

Don’t these purveyors of universal tolerance and group hugs represent the governments of their respective cities? Aren’t they overstepping their boundaries as defined by their own twisted understanding of the first amendment? Aren’t church and state supposed to be separated at all times?

Seriously, if this constitutionally mandated “separation” applies to such things as barring the word “Christmas” in public schools, shouldn’t it also apply to a body of government and how it is allowed to conduct itself regarding a man’s personal opinion on the definition of marriage?

I emphasize that this is Mr. Cathy's personal opinion…

So, what happened to the separationists on this one?

It must be that “living, breathing constitution” thing we keep hearing about.

Are one's personal beliefs now to be as relevant – or perhaps more relevant – than one's actions in the public arena?

These enlightened lefty types seemingly want the Chick-Fil-A chain punished…not because of the way it conducts its business or treats its customers, but because of the religious beliefs of its big boss.

Let’s be clear … Mr. Cathy did not speak negatively about gays. In fact, his franchise (employing over 50,000 people) has an actual standing policy of welcoming and treating all customers equally and with respect in all of their establishments, regardless of the race, creed or sexual orientation.

Horrible, I know.

There is no – repeat no - policy against gays at Chick-Fil-A …or anyone for that matter. By all accounts, Chick-Fil-A conducts its business admirably, and their customer service is excellent. Everyone – from cross-wearing Sunday-schoolers to pentagram adorning goth chicks - is welcome in all of their stores.

That is Chick-Fil-A policy.

On the other hand, Mr. Cathy’s personal religious beliefs are not franchise policy….and he certainly should be entitled to them without having to worry about the heavy hand of government bullying him or affecting the future prosperity of his company with threats.

If Mr. Cathy, for instance, said that married gay people were not allowed in any of his stores or that homosexuals were required to pay higher prices if they wanted to patronize his menu, then yes….his religious beliefs could be reasonably construed to be belligerent, if not hateful. If he posted signs in his establishments quoting biblical verses condemning homosexuality, then yes….one could reasonably conclude that Chick-Fil-A was institutionally anti-gay.

But nothing of the sort has happened.

Not even close.

His store is as accessible to everyone as, say, JCPenney - a store which has used a same-sex couple in a Father's Day ad. (I'm still trying to calculate how many Republican politicians have vowed never to allow a JCPenney in their jurisdiction again).

Elected officials have no moral right or constitutional authority to make things more difficult for Chick-Fil-A to set up shop in their town based on the personal religious convictions of its owner. Politicians cannot, on one hand, blast the mingling of church and state while, on the other, use their position to pass resolutions condemning law-abiding privately owned companies whose owners express their religious beliefs.

Where does it stop?

Will all businesses in Boston now be surveyed so that their owners' positions on same-sex marriage can be ascertained?

What country is this?

This kind of intimidation from the powerful left defines modern liberalism.

Indeed, anyone can choose to patronize or boycott any establishment they choose. That is free market economics. But from what orifice do publicly elected officials pull out these “thought police” cards? Does it really matter what Mr. Cathy believes? What does his support of traditional marriage have to do with the way his company hires workers (many of which I presume are gay) or treats its customers? Cathy isn’t an elected official, is he? His personal convictions have no effect on whether or not same-sex marriage becomes legal in any given state. He hasn’t violated any discrimination law with respect to his business orhow it interacts with the public.

Remember, liberals believe all speech, expression and actions are fully protected by the first amendment … unless, of course, its coming from a Christian.

All of this begs more clarification. 

Why exactly are big-hearted, open-minded liberal mayors accepting of mosques run my Imams who denounce homosexuality then?  Or welcoming of blatant racist, anti-gay, anti-Semites (Louis Farrakhan, for example)?

Oh wait, Farrakahn is black … and not conservative.

Silly me.

Again I ask…which color of the all-encompassing rainbow flag of tolerance and unity represents Mr. Cathy?

And can liberals define the word “separation” for clarity’s sake?

It is worth noting that many of the people across the country who patronized Chick-Fil-A yesterday on what Dan Cathy himself is calling a record day said that they were actually in support of same-sex marriage...but equally in support of free speech.

Now, that is what I call genuine tolerance.


1 comment:

  1. Someone pointed out that the view Dan Cathy holds is approximately the same one Barack Obama reportedly held to in 2008 during his presidential campaign. Someone refresh my memory...where was all the gay outrage then? Which mayors offered to boycott having Obama speak in their cities? For the life of me, I just can't remember!