“The dons, the bashaws, the grandees, the patricians, the sachems, the nabobs, call them by what names you please, sigh and groan and fret, and sometimes stamp and foam and curse, but all in vain. The decree is gone forth, and it cannot be recalled, that a more equal liberty than has prevailed in other parts of the earth must be established in America” — John Adams letter to Patrick Henry — 1776.
Liberty is the cornerstone of Constitution and its Bill of Rights – but liberty for whom. It appears as though the liberty insured by the First Amendment to the Constitution only applies to the Left. If Bill Maher calls Sarah Plain a “C” word or Ed Schultz of MSNBC calls conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham a “slut” their protectors on the left cry for freedom of speech. On he other hand if someone with a conservative or Christian point of view expresses their opinions about Obama, abortion, federal funding for contraception, or same sex marriage they are chastised by the left and MSM. Freedom speech does not apply to them.
One of the more blatant displays of left-wing thuggery is playing itself out in Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Chicago. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino threatened to keep fast food franchise Chick-fil-A from opening any restaurants in that city because he doesn't want any business operating there "that discriminates against a population." In Chicago, Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno announced that he will pursue the same course in his district for the same reason. "If you are discriminating against a segment of the community, I don't want you in the 1st Ward," Moreno told the Chicago Tribune. Such "tolerance" is based on an effort to deliberately mischaracterize as anti-homosexual what Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy said about traditional marriage. That mischaracterization has been aided and abetted by a media more than willing to amplify the distortion.
The latest big city to pile on Dan Cathy is The Philadelphia City Council Jim Kenney. Todd Starnes of Fox News Radio reported:
“The Philadelphia City Council will consider a resolution condemning Chick-fil-A for what one city leader called “anti-American” attitudes that promote “hatred, bigotry and discrimination.”
City Councilman Jim Kenney sent a letter to Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy telling him to “take a hike and take your intolerance with you.
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,” Kenney told Fox News.
He is introducing a resolution to “condemn this anti-American attitude of trying to deny civil liberties that every American enjoys.”
Kenney joined the mayors of Boston, Chicago and now San Francisco in blasting the Atlanta-based company for supporting a biblical definition of marriage – a union between one man and one woman.
Cathy told Baptist Press that he is “guilty as charged” when it comes to supporting traditional marriage.”
The true story — as opposed to what is currently being presented — involved an interview of Cathy by Biblical Recorder editor K. Allan Blume. Blume asked Cathy about his support for traditional marriage. "Guilty as charged," Cathy answered. Further on into the interview, he explained what he meant. "We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that," he said. Blume also revealed that Cathy does not impose his beliefs on others. "We're a business that serves the public, all people are welcomed into Chick-fil-A, and frankly we do not feel called to weigh in on a lot of social activism that's taking place as it relates to the definition of the family, but we do definitely want to encourage strong families."
"Homophobic" references regarding gay marriage? None. That "inconvenient" fact was corroborated by Blume. "He was not saying 'guilty as charged anti-gay,” noted Blume, who further revealed that Cathy "never even brought up that subject. Everything he stated was on the positive side. He never stated anything negative." The Biblical Recorder published the interview on July 7th. It was re-posted on July 16th by the Baptist Press, and subsequently picked up by the Huffington Post, the Associated Press, USAToday, the Los Angeles Times, and other news agencies.
The level of willful distortion media and public figures have engaged in, portraying Cathy's statement of a popular and religiously based position as a hateful rant, is chilling. Like the Huffington Post, which published the piece, "The Onion' Introduces Chick-Fil-A's 'New Homophobic Sandwich (note the foul language used by the left)," Chik-fil-A critics have vigorously made the case that Cathy's support of traditional marriage is little more than homophobic hatemongering. They further assumed that if Cathy is homophobic, that prejudice must be reflected in his company's policies regarding hiring and customer service. They did this despite Cathy's assertion that his company "does not feel compelled to weigh in on a lot of social activism that's taking place as it relates to the definition of the family." I was not aware of any special mind-reading capabilities granted to the left.
Hack politicians were more than comfortable to ride atop that wave of distortion. "Chick-fil-A doesn't belong in Boston," said Menino, who delivered a warning to the franchise. "If they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult — unless they open up their policies." Menino added an Orwellian outburst to his diatribe as well. "We're an open city. We're a city that's at the forefront of inclusion. That's the Freedom Trail. That's where it all started right here. And we're not going to have a company, Chick-fil-A or whatever the hell the name is, on our Freedom Trail." Thus, the "forefront of inclusion" is off-limits to those who don't align themselves with the reigning government's position.
Chicago alderman Moreno echoed Menino's faux self-righteousness, as well as his jackboot aspirations. In an op-ed piece presented to the Tribune by one of his aides, Moreno referred to Cathy's statements as "bigoted, homophobic comments." Then came the hammer. "Because of this man's ignorance, I will now be denying Chick-fil-A's permit to open a restaurant in the 1st Ward."
Leftist Mayor Rahm Emanuel supported Moreno's distortions and ambitions. "Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values," the mayor said in a statement. Emanuel's most recent discussion of Chicago values prior to this one was to tell the city's street thugs, who have driven Chicago's murder rate up 30 percent over last year, to "Take your stuff away to the alley." Since Mr. Emanuel is apparently resigned to a certain level of mayhem in his city, he has hectored those perpetrating it to move to another location away from children, but seemingly within the city limits — the same city limits that he and his alderman would prevent a Christian-run business from occupying.
Thus the bankruptcy of progressive, left-wing values, literally enforced by the heavy hand of government, is illuminated. One is left to wonder how many other would-be business owners in Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Chicago will be forced to reveal — and perhaps "revise" — their political ideology in order to set up shop in those cities. One might also wonder how many existing businesses will be checked to see if they also have the "proper" ideological credentials to remain in operation. With respect to Chick-fil-A, Moreno noted that's exactly what is expected. After contemptuously dismissing First Amendment concerns with, "zoning is not a right," he explained how the company could get back in his good graces. "They'd have to do a complete 180," the alderman said. "They'd have to work with LGBT groups in terms of hiring, and there would have to be a public apology from Cathy."
Such arrogance is remarkable, especially when one considers the virtual certainty that these same people and their fellow travelers would be screaming "fascism!" if some conservative-minded community sought to ban gay-friendly companies such a Starbucks, Ben and Jerry’s or Oreo Cookies from operating within their confines — based on nothing more than comments made by company executives. Thus, another aspect of progressive bankruptcy is revealed: the complete lack of intellectual consistency, and the massive amount of hypocrisy such inconsistency produces.
Americans should be outraged by this overt intolerance masquerading itself as open-mindedness, the attempt to use government power as an ideological billy club, and the media's calculating effort to take what Cathy said and twist it into something completely different. Yet for progressives and their media enablers, this is the price one is expected to pay for refusing to kowtow to the parameters of political correctness.
On the other hand, it is very likely both Chicago and Boston are violating Mr. Cathy's First Amendment rights. Three Supreme Court cases, Consolidated Edison Co. v. Public Service Commission, Rust v. Sullivan, and Board of County Commissioners v. Umbehr, make it clear that government may not deny a private business permits because of something said by its owner. Unless officials in either Boston or Chicago can produce evidence of discrimination by Chick-fil-A, preventing the company from operating within their respective cities is unconstitutional.
Michael Foust reports in the Baptist Press:
“David Cortman, an attorney with the legal group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), said a restaurant cannot be blocked from opening because of the restaurant's or the owner's beliefs.
"It absolutely is not constitutional," Cortman told Baptist Press. "And I think the irony here is that they are claiming this is an issue of freedom and civil rights, but they're actually the ones who would be violating the civil rights of Chick-fil-A not to allow them to open up their business simply because of their views."
But the issue concerns more than just Chick-fil-A, Cortman said, and impacts any business or organization in America whose owners hold views different from that of the government. Boston and Chicago would be practicing viewpoint discrimination — a violation of the Constitution's Free Speech clause, Cortman said.
"It does create both a dangerous and an illegal precedent," Cortman. "The government shouldn't be in the business of threatening or punishing people for their thoughts or ideas — whether they are individuals or businesses themselves. And, there's certainly a double standard. You did not hear a politician threatening to deny permits to companies like Home Depot or Starbucks or Target over those companies' aggressive promotion of the homosexual agenda."
Mat Staver, president of the legal group Liberty Counsel, said he, too, believes the attempts would be unconstitutional.
"No city can ban Chick-fil-A because the [company] president has his own view regarding marriage — a view that is held by much of the American public," Staver told Fox News. "To discriminate against Mr. Cathy because of his biblical view and then to extrapolate that to Chick-fil-A is illegal. It would be unconstitutional and certainly any city trying to do so would not win that battle."
Eugene Volokh, a law professor at UCLA, wrote on his blog, "Denying a private business permits because of such speech by its owner is a blatant First Amendment violation."
The Chicago alderman who initially spoke up against Chick-fil-A, Joe Moreno, told local media he might simply block a proposed new Chick-fil-A in his ward because of traffic concerns. Moreno, though, previously said he opposed a new Chick-fil-A because it was "intolerant" and because he disagreed with Cathy. On Thursday (July 26) Moreno told WBEZ radio he wants an explicit guarantee from the potential local owners of the restaurant that they won't donate to political causes. But that, too, apparently would be unconstitutional.
Cortman, the ADF attorney, said Moreno won't legally be able to use a legitimate reason -- traffic concerns -- as cover for his previous comments.
"His true motivations already have been made public, so I think any attempt to backtrack to create what normally would be a legitimate reason wouldn't work in this situation," Cortman said.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) — which supports gay marriage — also said the politicians' attempts would be unconstitutional.”
In essence these mayors and councilmen are saying you cannot sell your chicken in our city unless you subscribe to our values. Just imagine the outcry from the left if a conservative mayor said this to Ben and Jerry’s, a known left-wing advocate of abortion and other progressive causes, about their ice cream?
In other words, this controversy has been manufactured, plain and simple. It represents the epitome of the left-wing, progressive impulse to control individual thought, using the threat of government retaliation as persuasion. It has been egged on by a corrupt media that no longer bothers to get the story right, when the right story doesn't accrue to progressive interests.
Furthermore, the idea that opposition to gay marriage is tantamount to homophobia is nothing more than a progressive construct aimed at forcing people to accept the gay activist agenda in its totality. It is a ham-fisted attempt to label someone who might be open to homosexuals receiving the same government-mandated services and benefits that married people do, but uncomfortable with redefining "marriage" — a word commonly understood by every culture in the world for more than five thousand years — as a hopeless bigot. As far as the activists and their enablers are concerned, one is all in with the gay activist agenda, or unrepentant homophobe who can literally be run out of town. It is precisely this kind of thinking on which the attempt to deny Chick-fil-A the ability to operate in Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Chicago is based. In other words, for "progressives," tolerance and totalitarianism are two sides of the same coin.
Here are a few thoughts expressed by other writers on this subject.
Mark Steyn writes in National Review Online:
“The city’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, agrees with the alderman: Chick-fil-A does not represent “Chicago values” — which is true if by “Chicago values” you mean machine politics, AIDS-conspiracy-peddling pastors, and industrial-scale black youth homicide rates. But, before he was mayor, Rahm Emanuel was President Obama’s chief of staff. Until the president’s recent “evolution,” the Obama administration held the same position on gay marriage as Chick-fil-A. Would Alderman Moreno have denied Barack Obama the right to open a chicken restaurant in the First Ward? Did Rahm Emanuel quit the Obama administration on principle? Don’t be ridiculous. Mayor Emanuel is a former ballet dancer, and when it’s politically necessary he can twirl on a dime.
Meanwhile, fellow mayor Tom Menino announced that Chick-fil-A would not be opening in his burg anytime soon. “If they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult,” said His Honor. If you’ve just wandered in in the middle of the column, this guy Menino isn’t the mayor of Soviet Novosibirsk or Kampong Cham under the Khmer Rouge, but of Boston, Massachusetts. Nevertheless, he shares the commissars’ view that in order to operate even a modest and politically inconsequential business it is necessary to demonstrate that one is in full ideological compliance with party orthodoxy. “There is no place for discrimination on Boston’s Freedom Trail,” Mayor Menino thundered in his letter to Mr. Cathy, “and no place for your company alongside it.” No, sir. On Boston’s Freedom Trail, you’re free to march in ideological lockstep with the city authorities — or else. Hard as it is to believe, there was a time when Massachusetts was a beacon of liberty: the shot heard round the world, and all that. Now it fires Bureau of Compliance permit-rejection letters round the world.
Mayor Menino subsequently backed down and claimed the severed rooster’s head left in Mr. Cathy’s bed was all just a misunderstanding. Yet, when it comes to fighting homophobia on Boston’s Freedom Trail, His Honor is highly selective. As the Boston Herald’s Michael Graham pointed out, Menino is happy to hand out municipal licenses to groups whose most prominent figures call for gays to be put to death. The mayor couldn’t have been more accommodating (including giving them $1.8 million of municipal land) of the new mosque of the Islamic Society of Boston, whose IRS returns listed as one of their seven trustees Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Like President Obama, Imam Qaradawi’s position on gays is in a state of “evolution”: He can’t decide whether to burn them or toss ’em off a cliff. “Some say we should throw them from a high place,” he told Al Jazeera. “Some say we should burn them, and so on. There is disagreement. . . . The important thing is to treat this act as a crime.” Unlike the deplorable Mr. Cathy, Imam Qaradawi is admirably open-minded: There are so many ways to kill homosexuals, why restrict yourself to just one? In Mayor Menino’s Boston, if you take the same view of marriage as President Obama did from 2009 to 2012, he’ll run your homophobic ass out of town. But, if you want to toss those godless sodomites off the John Hancock Tower, he’ll officiate at your ribbon-cutting ceremony.”
From Hot Air’s Allahpundit:
“I love the idea of this cretinous princeling dangling building privileges in return for promises not to do anything politically that might upset him. It’s vintage Chicago sleaze, except that instead of handing him a fat envelope with money in it, you promise instead not to hand that envelope to a group he doesn’t like. By all means, the owners should agree to his terms — and then drop a nice big check on the NOM on the day the new site opens for business. I want to see him try to enforce their written guarantee not to offend him via donations to disfavored orgs in court.
Here’s his op-ed in yesterday’s Tribune. The best part? His imperiousness paired with his self-congratulation at being such a freedom-minded, forward-thinkin’ guy:
There are consequences for one’s actions, statements and beliefs. Because of this man’s ignorance, I will deny Chick-fil-A a permit to open a restaurant in my ward…
Obviously, Cathy has the right to believe, say and give money to whatever cause he wants. But my belief in equality is resolute, and if I were to take the easy way out and turn a blind eye to his remarks, I would be turning my back on the principles I stand for…
I represent a diverse, forward-thinking community, and I’m sure the majority of 1st Warders find Cathy’s comments and attitude repugnant. Even if I did give Chick-fil-A the go-ahead, I suspect many in my community wouldn’t spend their dollars there.”
Again from Hot Air’s Allahpundit:
“It grieves me to say it but I think we might owe Mike Bloomberg for this. When even America’s most meddlesome micro-managing mayor endorses the libertarian approach on this subject, the Overton window of acceptable state interference is closed. Best for Rahm to have a spokesman issue a quiet climbdown and then slink away in defeat.
Cutting one’s losses is a “Chicago value” too:
Emanuel press secretary Tarrah Cooper called Friday to clarify the mayor’s stance on whether a Logan Square Chick-fil-A location would be vetoed because of the company’s views on gay marriage.
“He never said he’d block the restaurant from coming,” Cooper said…
To clarify, Cooper said Emanuel still believes “their values are not Chicago values.” But that doesn’t mean he would block them.
“If they meet all the requirements, they’re welcome to open a restaurant here.”
Taken together with yesterday’s retreat by Mumbles, that makes two Chick-fil-A dragon slayers who have thrown in the towel. Are there no hardcore liberal mayors left who are willing to try to quash the company’s First Amendment rights for the glory of The Cause? Actually, maybe.”
Daniel Halper writes in The Weekly Standard regarding Rahm Emanuel’s turning to Louis Farrakhan, a professed opponent of homosexuality, to assist in stopping Chicago’s increasing youth crime:
“In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has told Chick-fil-A that the fast-food company is not welcome in his town because "Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago values." In other words, because Chick-fil-A ownership believes in traditional marriage, it shouldn't bother opening up shop in Chicago.
But Emanuel is welcoming Louis Farrakhan, who is against same-sex marriage and who blasted President Obama two months ago for endorsing the practice.
At a speech in California, Farrakhan, the well-known anti-Semite, had this to say about Obama and same-sex marriage:
Minister Louis Farrakhan recently responded to President Obama's endorsement of gay marriage calling him "the first president that sanctioned what the scriptures forbid," according to a video posted by the Nation of Islam's "official" news source, Finalcall.com.
During an address at the California Convention Center on Sunday, the Nation of Islam leader ridiculed the media for its portrayal of Obama after the announcement, and chastised politicians and clergy for hypocritically supporting gay marriage despite the fact that the Bible forbids it.
Throughout his speech, Farrakhan carefully points out that he does not condone homophobia, saying "I'm not your enemy. I'm your brother, and I do love you." However, he said "sin is sin according to the standard of God."
Males coming to males with lust in their hearts as they should to a female," he said. "Now don't you dare say Farrakhan was preaching hate; he's homophobic. I'm not afraid of my brothers and sisters or others who may be practicing what God condemned in the days of Lot. That's not our job to be hateful of our people. Our job is to call us to sanity."
Farrakhan goes on to call out clergy who support gay marriage, saying they are placing society's needs over God's.
"Is this the book that you believe in, but now you('re) backing down from an aspect of it because people will get offended?" he asked.
Nevertheless, Emanuel is welcoming Louis Farrakhan and rejecting Chick-fil-A.”
Brent Bozell had this to say on News Busters:
“The latest solid proof that Hollywood really can’t stand traditional Christianity has arrived in an unfolding boycott of Chick-fil-A, a Georgia-based fast-food chain that’s rapidly spreading franchises across America.
Chick-fil-A demonstrates a public faith by closing all its stores on Sundays and on Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s something the Left ridicules, but something anyone of any faith respects.
It’s the company’s donations through its WinShape Foundation have launched the intolerant gay Left into action. Chick-fil-A have dared to donate their profits to groups like the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (horrors!) and the Marriage and Family Foundation (no!).
Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy told the Baptist Press that “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.” This man just has to cut it out. Who does he think he is?
But what really infuriated the Left was Cathy’s comments on a radio show that “I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’”
One of Hollywood’s first moves came from The Jim Henson Company, the iconic family entertainment group that invented the Muppets. They issued a statement on Facebook proclaiming they were withdrawing any association through kid’s-meal toys with the chain. “The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years and we have notified Chick-fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors,” they declared. “Lisa Henson, our CEO is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-fil-A to GLAAD.”
In other words, they’re suggesting that they’ll be better corporate citizens by giving their Chick-Fil-A kiddie-meal money to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), a group that fervently seeks to censor all traditional Christians from being allowed to say anything “anti-gay” on television news or entertainment programs. Even the Muppet people are in thrall to speech-squashing political correctness.
Other critics emerged on Twitter. "Chick-fil-A doesn't like gay people? So lame," actor Ed Helms (of “The Hangover” movies) tweeted. "Hate to think what they do to the gay chickens! Lost a loyal fan." Several other bold-type Hollywood moralists – Miley Cyrus, Lindsay Lohan and Kim Kardashian – also backed a Chick-fil-A boycott.
But few can compare with the undiluted spite of Roseanne Barr, who grabbed all the attention with her death wishes on Twitter: "anyone who eats S--t Fil-A deserves to get the cancer that is sure to come from eating antibiotic filled tortured chickens 4Christ".
This came after she had called them “chick filet- nazi chicken f---ing pricks.” She also cracked she was “off to grab a s--it fil-A sandwich on my way to worshipping Christ, supporting AIPAC and war in Iran.” When people attacked her for saying people “deserved” cancer, she lectured “Giving [your kids] Cancer from processed fast food is child abuse”. To think that this genius just tried to run for president of the United States on the Green Party ticket is mind-boggling.
Chick-fil-A put out a corporate response making the obvious point (at least to their customers) that you will find no disrespect at their restaurants. “The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender.”
The statement added, “Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.” That’s exactly what Hollywood wants to hear. On the Internet, they photograph themselves with taped mouths and paint “No H8" on their cheeks, but they display more hate and more desire to shut people up than the wackiest of right-wing yahoos.
The Left will always go further. Steven Kurlander, a blogger on the Huffington Post “Gay Voices” site, is mastering Orwellian speech: “Chick-fil-A's continued support of anti-gay groups and Cathy's discriminatory comments cross the line of decency.” In the 21st century, we’re told it’s indecent to be a Bible-believing Christian. He added that Chick-fil-A should be banned from taxpayer-supported facilities and should not be allowed to “work with public school children.”
Dan Cathy is right. We really are shaking our fist at God. Giving him the finger, too. Do we deserve forgiveness?”
And finally from Cal Thomas writing in the Patriot Post:
“…The reaction tells you everything you need to know about certain liberals who believe every sort of speech, activity and expression should be protected, except the speech, activity and expression of evangelical Christians.
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said he would try to deny Chick-fil-A's application for permits to open restaurants in that city. Now that's discrimination. Menino wants to ban Chick-fil-A in Boston, not for discriminating against customers or employees, but because of its owner's beliefs, a threat he has since backed away from. Does Boston have "thought police" who might be ordered to investigate whether other business owners already operating in the city hold similar views? I'll bet there's someone at Durgin-Park who holds similar views. What about a player for the Boston Red Sox? Better follow them to see if any of them go to church.
Maybe Mayor Menino would like to force business owners in the city to testify before an official panel of grand inquisitors and then deny operating licenses to anyone who believes traditional marriage should be the norm?
In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has said, "Chick-fil-A's values are not Chicago values." Are Chicago values represented by the anti-Semitic firebrand Louis Farrakhan with whom Emanuel is going to partner in hopes of reducing the number of homicides in his city? Are Farrakhan's anti-Semitic and anti-gay sentiments somehow more palatable, more of value, than Dan Cathy's support of marriage and family?”
This is more than an economic battle. It is a First Amendment issue. Freedom of speech is guaranteed by the Constitution. Dan Cathy has a right to his opinion, so does Farrakhan, so do we all.
The real "war" in this country is not only against the supposed civil right of nontraditional marriage. It is a war against conservative Christians and a denial of the same rights the LGBT community claims for itself. Free speech is an American value. We shouldn't settle for anything less.”
Time and time again you see the intolerance from the left. Our values count, yours don’t and if you don’t march in lock-step with us we will punish you. So much for freedom of speech when left-wing progressives get into the fray.