Chick-fil-A: if you’re not sure, this is how fascism works – UPDATED AGAIN

Over at Facebook, I noticed a picture of Kermit and Miss Piggy marrying, with a caption about Chick-fil-A*. I can’t seem to find it, now — perhaps the person who posted it deleted it.

I confess, haven’t been following this story at all. But after the Muppets picture, I saw someone ranting about Chick-fil-A being denied business licenses because they were “against gay marriage.”

At that point, I posted to Facebook,

“Whether these Chick-fil-A people support gay marriage or not, are people no longer entitled to their own opinions? I mean, denying them business licenses? Really? Is this what we’ve come to:”Either fall in line or you will pay; we will destroy you…” for having a different opinion?

Whatever happened to “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

If this is true, if this bullying is true, then this is not my father’s liberalism, that’s for sure. It’s something very, very different.

Well, a lively conversation ensued in which it was pretty much agreed upon that if a business willfully inserts itself into a political issue, that’s “one thing” but if a business is forced to declare its political beliefs — and if that declaration can mean the difference between getting a license or not, that’s “something else.”

It’s fascism, actually.

But this Chick-fil-A story is something beyond a demand to declare oneself and face consequences — it’s even worse than that. Apparently the mainstream media has taken it upon itself (perhaps because the owners are Christian?) to define Chick-fil-A’s positions for it.

Get Religion’s Terry Mattingly tells the miserable tale of media malfeasance:

So, did you hear about that wild quote that the president of Chick-fil-A didn’t say the other day?

Here’s a piece of a CNN report that is typical of the mainstream press coverage of this latest cyber-skirmish in America’s battles over homosexuality, commerce and free speech (sort of).

(CNN) — The fact that Chick-fil-A is a company that espouses Christian values is no secret. The fact that its 1,600 fast-food chicken restaurants across the country are closed on Sundays has long been testament to that. But the comments of company President Dan Cathy about gay marriage to Baptist Press on Monday have ignited a social media wildfire.

“Guilty as charged,”, Cathy said when asked about his company’s support of the traditional family unit as opposed to gay marriage.

Now, one would assume — after reading a reference to the “comments of company President Dan Cathy about gay marriage” — that this interview . . . actually included direct quotes from Cathy in which he talks about, well, gay marriage.

In this case, one cannot assume that.

While the story contains tons of material defending traditional Christian teachings on sexuality, the controversial entrepreneur never talks about gay rights or gay marriage. Why? Because he wasn’t asked about those issues in the interview.


Read Mattingly’s whole piece,
wherein he addresses the whole “well, they may not have said it but it’s what they meant, so what’s the big deal?” angle.

The big deal is simply this: the press put aside context and decided to paint this company as some radically-religious-gay-hating-entity and then let the forces of anger, hate and spite have their way with it. The truth is, one can be a Christian and still be sympathetic to some parts of the so-called “gay agenda” without signing on in toto. One can disagree on the issue of gay marriage — based on scripture, or thousands of years of tradition, or on natural law — without actually hating anyone. But the right to principled opposition is being erased, quickly, and the press is doing all it can to help erase it. We are losing the right to say, “I don’t think the same way you do; my opinions are different.” That matters, a lot.

This is our mainstream press — the people charged with the public trust — and it has moved beyond advocacy and into “search and destroy” mode.

This is not about being “right” or “wrong” on an issue. This is about menacing and bullying people into conforming or paying the price. It’s about the bastardization of the word “tolerace” in our society, to the point where the word no longer means “live and let live” or “let people be who they are”; the word has become distorted in a very unhealthy way. Someone’s a bigot? Let him be a bigot; like it or not, a man is entitled to his damn bigotry. Someone’s a curmudgeon? Let him be a curmudgeon. Someone’s a misogynist (or, conversely, a male-hater?) let them be! People are entitled to be who they are — just as a church is entitled to be what it is — free of government compulsion to be what they are not. We cannot “make” people be more loving. We cannot “legislate” kindness. A bigot, or a hater (of any sort) will eventually find himself standing alone, will have to figure things out for himself. Or, not.

If people are no longer entitled to their own opinions, or to think what they think, then we are not free people, at all. Period. Full stop. That’s a fundamental as it gets.

Moreover, 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?

Hey, anyone has a right to boycott or protest anything, but is it right — is it just — to effect a boycott at the behest of a press so overt, so obvious in its intent to identify-and-harass the boogeymen of their passionate loathings?

Shall honest people consent to such manipulation? Further, can justice-minded people be comfortable with a government interfering with a business on the basis of its opinions?

This reeks of fascism. And frankly, these are acts born out of insecurity, not security, in one’s own position. It is bringing a sledgehammer to a fight, because you cannot trust your own argument.

I came across Mattingly’s story right after reading this piece at The Catholic Thing

But distinctions do matter. We were once allowed to be what we held. Catholics were Catholics. Jews were Jews. It was all right. We now have an overarching “law” that tells us that we cannot be what we are. The university, once a place that respected distinctions and diversity of ways of life, is now an engine that allows nothing but its own definition of diversity. And diversity means that nothing can be diverse.

Quite right, and quite timely. Read the whole thing.

(*I don’t know when I have hated a business name more)

UPDATE I: Former CBS News writer Deacon Greg must be getting weary of writing “what were you thinking” to one MSM news group after another.

More from Volokh

And from Hot Air, (Twice)

UPDATE II: Okay, here is what I think: free enterprise “conservative” people who are tired of the hysteria surrounding this Chick-fil-A story should take pictures of themselves drinking a Starbucks or eating Ben and Jerrys (Indies should take a picture doing BOTH) and upload them on their sites or onto Facebook and Twitter. With the header…”Got Tolerance?

Instapundit links here. Thanks, Glenn!

UPDATE III: I’m giving Antoine Dodson the last word.

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About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://www.thereluctantroad.wordpress.com Anthony

    Bullying is a good word. Makes me uncomfortable.

  • Deacon Steve

    The same thing is happening to the Boy Scouts of America. They came out and reaffirmed their stance that openly gay/lesbian people cannot be scoutmasters den leaders etc. And the left has gone berserk attacking them. The pro-homosexuality crowd has become a rabid bunch of bullies. If you don’t support them you will be called all sorts of names, have groups boycotting etc. so much for Freedom of Speech. Those that don’t support same-sex marriage are accused of hate, but it is the pro crowd that I see throwing around the hate so publicly. And I am an Eagle Scout and I will not be returning my medal.

  • http://www.rosaryworkout.com Peggy Bowes

    Well said, Anchoress! I am posting this everywhere I can.

  • Timothy Vandemore

    I think it’s time for the business’s that do not support gay marriage to close all their stores in that state.
    Lack of compition will raise prices for other stores.
    Remember the citizens of that state as voters put these dummies in office.
    And the rest of us need to support these business’s and boycott the ones that caved in.

  • Elizabeth

    Thank you so much for this!

    A few weeks ago a post come through on my tumblr: “If you support gay marriage, reblog this. If you’re on the homophobic side, keep scrolling.” I called it bullying then, because that’s exactly what it is, and I’ve been seeing this sort of thing show up more and more. It’s very disheartening at times.

  • http://www.explainingchristianity.com Shane Kapler

    I’m following suit Peggy!

  • believer

    I’m with Chick Fil A and I agree with this article. BUT something keeps bugging me. Maybe someone can explain a distinction I’m not seeing. I have very conservative Catholic friends who constantly encourage each other to boycott businesses because of supporting the liberal agenda. I have one friend who says she even boycotts IKEA because they hire homosexuals! Of course, the difference between Chick Fil A and the other businesses is that Chick Fil A supports something that is objectively moral and good while the others are facing the other direction, but how is a Catholic’s boycotting not bullying as well, especially when so many of these boycotts of companies are based on rumors that are spread through email loops, message boards, Facebook posts, etc. How is this not a beginning of another “punishment” spiral?

    [I pesonally am not a boycotter, but if you read my piece you will have noticed that I asked where it stopped, and would we now see a boycott of Muppet stuff. -admin]

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    Right on. Bullying is the perfect characterization. I’m sick of the slander that goes on against all people who are opposed to the crazy, absurd notion of two people of the same gender getting married. I’ve never had a Chick-fil-A sandwhich or even been in one of their stores, but I’m going to search one out an support them.

  • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com JoAnna

    Sharing everywhere. You nailed it.

  • http://Janehartman.com Jane Hartman

    It happened first in the Episcopal church ( TEC). Folks were just worshipping, minding their own business, following traditional values and commandments. Suddenly we were considered bigots, hypocrites, awful sinners because we happened to disagree with the trajectory of having openly gay leaders. It’s actually a brilliant and diabolical way to force an agenda. And my question is “why must all of us have to know what you prefer sexually? Can’t we be discreet about something as intimate and sacred as our sexuality? Can’t someone stand and say “I am a person, first and foremost, made in the image of God and it’s no ones business what I do with my sex organs?”.

  • Victor

    (((We are losing the right to say, “I don’t think the same way you do; my opinions are different.” That matters, a lot.)))

    Raw! Raw! Raw! Free Speach should never be discourage and remember that many of our ancestors fought and died so that we could all be free.

    Please let’s learn to agree to disagree and not live backward by letting “Evil” who lived backward as a “Devil” cause U>S (usual sinners) to change our innocent Raw! Raw! Raw! to War! War! War! again!

    I hear ya sinner vic! Please don’t force me to chose between The Almighty Dollar and/or your so called imaginary GOD (Good Old Dad)? :)

    http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/secondhandsmoke/2012/07/23/fda-wrong-to-regulate-private-sperm-donation/

    Peace

  • Susan Miller

    “The big deal is simply this: the press put aside context and decided to paint this company as some radically-religious-gay-hating-entity and then let the forces of anger, hate and spite have their way with it”

    I’d be interested in having you point me to your earlier blog post in which you also decried the way in which the press set aside context and painted President Obama as a hater of business last week. The problem with your rants about the press is that you *only* rant about those issues when you feel a conservative position has been wrongly attacked by irresponsible media, while you turn a blind eye to irresponsible media (or worse yet, join in the fray as you did in this post: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theanchoress/2012/07/18/peek-a-boo-mr-president-we-see-you/ where you piled on with the gross distortion and gleefully made an out-of-context reference to one line from Obama’s speech) when a liberal position has been wrongly attacked. You should really stick to religion and discussion of Catholicism. The Catholic Church is affiliated with neither the Democrat nor Republican Party, and you cheapen the Church when you seek to inject your politics into it.

    Believe it or not, I actually do think about these things when I am writing and I asked myself how this jibed with the coverage of the president’s remarks, which, btw, the MSM has given his plenty of cover on. I don’t watch Fox (or MSNBC) and don’t consider either of them to be “MSM” — they’re simplly partisan entities, so I treat them as such and ignore them. I’m sure YOU do not consider Fox a “mainstream media” outlet, either. (also I don’t think I “piled on”. If you read my piece you see me linking to similar thoughts of min in 2009, so his remarks just seemed more honest than usual to me — I wonder if you took offense at the press twisting Romney’s meaning around as “Corporations are people…”?) and what I realized was this: politicians, for better or worse are “fair game”. they enter the political arena knowing full well that their every remark will be scrutinized and yes, twisted, in the press (another example: Bush never said, “Is our kids reading?” He said “the question is, are kids reading?”) it may not be right, or “fair” but its the game they sign up for. This is about a simple question: are people entitled to their views? A business — unless it is specifically and of its own volition stepping into a political issue — should have a reasonable expectation of being quoted in context and fairly. I don’t recall seeing the press do this to another business, so I have to wonder if this is simply an attack on them b/c they are Christian (and thus a very safe target to begin with) or b/c there is a real effort here to “search and destroy” companies whose ideas are outside of the MSM’s lines. How do you feel about a business being treated like that and possibly “punished” by a gov’t entity for daring to have different ideas on gay marriage? That’s really a much bigger question than how we feel about either Obama or Romney having trouble over their speechifying. That part you excerpted is actually a big deal. And you are quite right, the church is neither “Democrat” or “Republican” (and neither am I) I am so glad to hear a “progressive” acknowledge it. I don’t shame my church by thinking. I’m sure you don’t think any progressive Catholic “shames” the church by talking politics. Do you think people are entitled to their views? -admin]

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  • dry valleys

    Firstly, of course if this has happened then it is wrong. They should be allowed to compete against the Krafts of this world on equal terms. But I wouldn’t go to either of them, for quite similar reasons, and this is a very interesting point.

    Dan Cathy is a successful businessman, and also a Christian. He has chosen to take a stand for his religion by opposing gay marriage, even though gay marriage has in fact got nothing whatsoever to do with his dday-to-day business (which is why it’s wrong to deny him the right to transact said business based on his views). But what about the well-being of his staff, animal welfare, factory “farming” and what havve you? Does he insist on higher standards in those regards, or is it only gay marriage that he chooses to voice a position on? Funy choice of priorities for “values” if you ask me.

    (I have checked- the only way I can see any difference between Cathy and any other businessman is that he runs an evangelical summer camp).

    And what is it about selling dodgy fast food and being right-wing? First Herman Cain, now this?

    [Aw, DV, you DO know that Mrs. Ray Kroc left bajillions to NPR in her will, right? Mrs. McDonalds founder? :-) -admin]

  • SKay

    .” You should really stick to religion and discussion of Catholicism”

    Susan–this is not your blog.

  • JB

    I think the world has become to political in that if you say the “wrong thing” according to the media that you are automatically out of sorts with main stream thinking.
    I like that Chick-fil-A is standing up for what they believe in. It’s the right thing to do.
    Just like I still believe in saying “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays”.
    Go Christians!!!

  • Wolverines

    Freedom of speech does not protect you from the consequences of said speech.

    I refer you to the Dixie Chicks incident some years ago. And the attempted Oreos and JC Pennys boycotts a few weeks ago.

    Being in favor of gay marriage myself, I know I won’t be welcome here, but I will say this: Either we’re a free country or we’re not. We’re not free. People like me are trying to make this country freer. No one is trying to hurt you or your religions. But we do want the right to not live by your religious beliefs, and if gays want to marry, they should be able to. If you don’t like gay marriage, then don’t do it. It’s that simple. Why won’t you let people live their lives?

    [First of all, please don't project onto me. Don't assume you're "not welcome" here because you support gay marriage. Everyone is welcome here, as long as they keep it civil; you're not the only commenter here, who disagrees with a great deal that I say. I actually do believe people are entitled to their opinions.

    You say you make the country more free? Okay. You want to do that by seeing governments make people LESS free to run a business if they are not thinking "correctly?" Even if you think the Chick-fil-A people are "mistaken" does that mean they ought not be able to make a living? You cite the Dixie Chicks episode, but you forget that this was a free-market issue. The Chicks spoke their piece; others did the same by not buying their stuff. That's VASTLY different from someone not really speaking their piece, having the press force them into it and then having the government penalize them for their beliefs by taking away their ability to do business. Can you NOT see the difference there? You are, by all means, free to boycott Chick-fil-A; others are free to eat there if they want, but you don't think it's an abuse of power for the local gov'ts to deny licenses for "wrong thinking"? You want to make the country "freer" by telling people of faith that their churches must allow the gov't to decide who is a minister (the Hosanna-Tabor case) or what constitutes valid church work (the HHS Mandate)? How does it make us more free if some people are penalized for being believers? You ask "why won't you let people live their lives?" I'm all for people living their lives. Have the relationship you want; have it contractualized at city hall. Just don't insist that be called marriage and don't insist that churches assist with it...and don't tell me "no one intends that" -- it's precisely what is intended. This fight will not end until a same-sex couple is kissing at the altar of a Catholic church, or the church is destroyed. We both know that. This has nothing to do with being more free or "letting people live their lives." But I honestly think you don't see that, yet. -admin]

  • DJS

    While I agree with you, I do have to say one thing for the “boycotters.” After hearing organizations like National Organization for Marriage and One Million Moms yelling and screaming about JCPenny, General Mills and Oreo supporting the rights of gays and lesbians to marry, and wanting a national boycott for them and even seeing NOM brag and boast about how JCPenny’s stocks are down, it’s finally gotten to us! I’ve seriously thought about boycotting Chick-Fil-A for their views on gays and marriage, but I have already boycotted them because of their crappy food and the THREE times I’ve been sick from eating there!

  • http://www.thewhatevergirls.com Erin

    Excellent piece! Thank you!!

  • kayla

    I think the issue is not that people don’t have the right to disagree with homosexuality and all the issues that follow, but that the “rights” that all individuals should have, homosexuals included, are non existent. If we stopped voting for human rights and simply give them to people as we should, I believe alot of this hatred would dicipate. When that happens, I see people going back to “we just think differently” and agreeing to disagree… I think that for example, the homosexual community and supporters are constantly fighting a losing battle… we get a “right” approved in court and then the next day its void due to reappeal. I think people are getting exhausted and are looking for people to blaim.

    [Well, that happens with many things -- there was a ban passed on partial birth abortion and the minute Bush signed it, it was vacated due to lawsuits and appeals. The reality of living in a Democracy is exhausting, but it's all we have. "Just give people the rights they should have and all this goes away" sounds pretty thuggish to me. What if the next "right" is polyamorist-marriage? We "just give it to them?" Let's not have any restrictions on anything, then! ]

    [

  • YouGoAnchoress

    Here in Chicago, a local alderman has said he’s going to do everything in his power to prevent Chik-fil-A from opening a restaurant in his ward. (He reportedly has the support of the mayor.) Really? With all the problems plaguing our city today, this is the only thing we have to worry about? I say let the marketplace decide. If people choose to boycott, that’s fine, but keep the politicians out of it.

  • Ellen

    Believer:

    The difference is, individuals choosing to boycott a business is a matter of freedom. We’re not forced to eat or shop at any particular place. If same sex marriage supporters choose not to eat at CFA, that’s their right. What’s facism is for the press to go after a company, and then for local governments to start denying business licenses based on an opinion or religious belief.

  • http://www.tedburnett.com Ted Burnett

    “Every group, at its core, rallies around being against someone or something. Religions have many to keep the flock in its fold. Fear drives all of it. Having faith is just another myth.”

  • Sharon

    The issue will not be settled here; this is just an “airing” place. What’s wrong is that the people of America do not want to abide by Biblical standards any more. Many see no need for it. For those of us who do, we are squelched because of our belief and that seems to be ok. It’s not ok for us to try to live by Biblical values any more because the liberal side doesn’t like it. Too bad. Just remember, EVERYONE has to answer to God in the end and I don’t believe He will look too favorably on gay anything since He said in the first place that it is wrong.

  • Alan

    This is intelligent journalism. It is missing in the mainstream media today.

    [Well, I don't know if it's "intelligent journalism". It's basically a rant. I wasn't even aware of the story until yesterday! :-) But yes, "intelligent journalism" is missing in the mainstream. -admin]

  • ahem

    Susan Miller: “…gross distortion and gleefully made an out-of-context reference to one line from Obama’s speech…”

    You really should remove your head from whatever dark place it currently occupies—no pun intended—and bone up on the tenets of classical Marxism. Mr. Obama is very decidedly a committed Marxist. What he (and Fauxcahontas Elizabeth Warren) is blabbing about is a concept the Marxists called “surplus value”–a key illusion, among so very many others of Marx, about the fundamental nature of economic transactions.

    Since you like Marxism so much, you might want to point out to the rest of us one instance in which it has made humanity better where it has been imposed (and it is always imposed, since no one in their right mind wants to touch it with a 10-foot pole).

    Oops! You can’t.

  • http://TheCatholicBeat.com Gail Finke

    Was in a long FB discussion about this today, launched by a person who reposted a meme based on an ad with Chick-fil-A cows carrying signboards, the messages replaced by those from signs made famous by the Westboro Baptist Church. None of the people in this discussion would acknowledge any reason for being against “gay marriage” other than bigotry and hate, and I guess their nasty, hate-fillled, personal attacks are supposed to be examples of tolerance and love. This morning the guys at Creative Minority Report ran the story about a Newsweek reporter sending out an internet request for people to tell them things about how Chick-fil-A is anti-gay. They had to suspend anonymous comments because of people (or maybe one person) writing in with vile insults against them and their CHILDREN (I saw the comments before they were removed).
    http://www.creativeminorityreport.com/2012/07/newsweekdaily-beast-declares-war-on.html
    I am shocked at how people I know have this knee-jerk, “anyone who says anything against gay marriage is EVIL and must be stopped” attitude, whether they have long-standing sympathies with gay activists or haven’t given it much thought at all. It’s a strange demand that everyone THINK the same thing.

  • Vitamins

    If Chicago politicians were doing their jobs, they wouldn’t have time to diss Chik-fil-a to the mayor; they’d be more worried about free speech issues and crime in the city. Same for Congress. Don’t we have enough to worry about in our country? What about national crime issues!? What about the fact that our national debt is multiplying exponentially yearly with no end in sight? Why is this still ongoing, don’t we have a congress to address this?! What about our schools who keep laying off more teachers because there’s no money to pay them, and so the classrooms become more crowded, less of a learning environment? And on and on! Please, please please, I beg of you fellow Americans, quit the nitpicking, and fight for our very existence as we know it! It won’t last if you don’t acknowledge these problems and start to make some noise to your congressman, the president, influential businessmen, everyone. We have a common cause here that everyone should be worried about, and we could be working toward the resolution TOGETHER! Isn’t this what made America great in the first place? And please, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Don’t crucify them for thinking differently. Jesus saves ALL who believe…

  • Megan

    One commenter above said something that deeply troubles me. “You don’t like gay marriage, then don’t do it. It’s that simple.” That isn’t true. It isn’t simple at all for a Christian or a Catholic or a Muslim (interesting that liberals don’t go after Muslims for their anti-gay beliefs). I don’t like abortion because it involves the murder of an innocent, growing human being. I can’t stop the murder by saying “I’m just not going to get one.” I need to communicate to women that there are other options, that it really is killing, that there are compassionate people who will help them see the pregnancy through and help them raise their unwanted child. In other words, there are nuances to the argument that a simple “Don’t have one” doesn’t address. It’s a brush-off phrase. You are trying to belittle the person with the opposing opinion. “You don’t like it, don’t do it.” Brush-off. I am not one of them, but there are many God-fearing, kindhearted, loving people in this country who view gay marriage as an attack against their deeply held religious beliefs. They see marriage as a sacred act, a sacrament. Civil unions that grant the exact same rights as marriage would solve all this, but that suggestion has fallen on deaf ears. I see this action of the city of Boston as a bullying tactic and an invasion of freedom. I don’t see how anyone could view it any other way. There are plenty of companies that are not being run particularly morally. I’m thinking giant corporations like Monsanto or Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. If we are going to apply moral judgments to businesses, let’s boycott them, too. But revoking their licenses needs to involve a serious legal infraction — gun-running on the side or funding terrorism. Not the religious beliefs of the CEO.

  • http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/ Non Smoker

    I love Chik-fil-a and I think ill go there today. If I wanted to push an issue it would be the fact that almost 500,000 people a year in the US die of smoking cigarettes.

    http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/

  • http://TheCatholicBeat.com Gail Finke

    I agree with people above about Boycotting. Boycotting is a strategy that can work, but you don’t Boycott any old thing you don’t agree with! And NOM is completely wrong about JCPenney. The company has serious systemic problems, its stock market value has nothing to do with Ellen DeGeneres and pro-gay-parent ads (although one can argue choosing a large, public, pro-gay image wasn’t a good PR move, it certainly didn’t cause the company to tank). I have written to companies that take stances I don’t like, but I rarely stop buying products.

    In this case, though, there’s an interesting difference. Several places have called for Boycotting Starbucks because it has taken a corporate stance about “marriage equality,” one that it made a great deal of effort to make sure got public exposure. As a consequence, I will not buy anything from Starbucks — although I rarely did before, so they won’t care. I do not see that it’s the job of a coffee company to decide the future of the social fabric of the United States. But this is my personal decision, I don’t care whether anyone else buys their overpriced coffee and I don’t want them denied building permits or shut down, and I don’t write Facebook posts saying they are evil and calling anyone who supports them a bigot. This is very different from what is going on with Chick-fil-A and what, I fear, will go on at many other places soon.

  • megthered

    First, why is it a fundamental right to get married? No one has to be married. If you went to a lawyer and drew up a contract with your partner on legal and medical issues and then went home and had a commitment ceremony and a party, you would be just as married as anyone else. No one ever asked me if I was married when I bought and sold my house. I was asked what names I wanted on the mortgage. No one asked if I was gay or straight when I bought a car, applied for a job, or bought a sandwich at Chik-fil-A. If you want someone to know your sexual preference, wear a sign. Why cause trouble for people who want to live their lives and grow their business? Because you want to be noticed? I don’t have to believe the same thing other people believe and I am really tired of the bullying to get their way. I think a lot of other people are too.
    And Susan Miller, read Obama’s statement, just don’t take his word for it that it was out of context. I heard him say it live, so I know what he said and now he is trying to dance around his words. But I heard him. So you don’t believe your lyin’ ears?

  • kayla

    i’m all for polyamory. If that’s what people wanna do, why not? who the hell are we to restrict how people love???

    [So, marriage actually doesn't mean anything, actually? Then why fight for it? -admin]

  • Ck

    It amazes me that you people are still incapable of understanding the counter argument and the basic logic behind it. Chic-fil-a and those affiliated with the company are absolutely entitled to voice their opinions. However, Mr. Cathy has chose to actively participate (through momentary means) and support in organizations in which their sole purpose is to deny Americans basic civil rights. Given that, I feel the backlash against the company’s decisions is just and warranted. If he had merely went on the record voicing his support for “traditional marriage” (whatever that means), perhaps it would be a non-issue, or at most raise the brows of LGBT activists, not the general public.

    ["You people"? Nice. Backlash is backlash. If people don't want to eat there for a political reason, whatever. You're not addressing the larger issue. Is it okay for the government to inhibit a business b/c of its opinions? -admin]

  • Renee

    There was always a boycott of Chik-fil-a, due to the marriage issue.

    Boy/buycotts are getting silly, on both sides.

    The difference now is elected officials are stepping and wielding power to prevent them from opening up in their cities.

    What if a business owned by an individual, who was gay tried to open a store in the south and the mayor vowed to keep them out?

    This is getting weird, and I don’t like it.

  • Plasba

    It’s kind of obtuse to pretend he wasn’t talking about gay marriage, given that the terms “traditional marriage” and “traditional family” are never used by the religious right, except in the context of opposing it.

    I’m at work and can’t find anywhere that I can listen to the original full audio, but:

    “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.’

    “I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”

    “Dan Cathy told the Ken Coleman Show host that he is thankful that his father taught him about the value of having a ‘mother’ and ‘father’ in the home.”

    “To further drive his point home, Cathy said that children in homes of gay-marriage parents tend to be emotionally handicapped.”

    (source: http://www.examiner.com/article/chick-fil-a-anti-gay-president-says-i-pray-god-s-mercy-on-our-generation)

    [it's obtuse to pretend that the actual piece was not played with by the press to create exactly this situation you are seeing. it's obtuse to pretend that a difference of opinion is enough to shut a business down -admin]

  • pink lady

    Next up: Feeding Christians to the lions!

  • Ck

    By “you people” I soil ply meant the majority of those commenting on this article (since most seem to be on one side of the issue, it makes it easy to pump the group together). And as far as the Alderman issue, I do not feel that government has a right to deny a business the right to open a store based on personal opinions. Nevertheless, Chicago has in place this sort of local government so that the aldermans may determine how best to lead their local neighborhoods. If the people of this neighborhood elected Mr. Moreno to the position because he seemed to best represent the will of that community, then that is precisely what he is doing. There’s no fault in that, he’s simply doing his job: representing his constituents.

  • Ck

    *simply, my apologies. I’m on a phone and was blessed with chubby fingers.

  • http://mjkimpan.com michael j. kimpan

    really good conversation taking place here as well http://www.mjkimpan.com/muppet-madness/ , with a link back to this article.

    some good points, yet i think there are several things that come into play here ::

    • the media has distorted the intent and content of the interview with mr. carey. that’s what brought this firestorm into the blogosphere.

    • chick-fil-a has a right, particularly as a privately run company, to express it’s opinions on politics, religion, or pretty much anything else they’d like to speak on.

    • holding and expressing a traditional or conservative opinion on marriage equality is not, nor should it be, a crime.

    • …still, there may be financial ramifications for those opinions, as it is a for-profit company (and not a non-profit religious institution, such as a church)

    • the fact that chick-fil-a has financially supported groups that are proactively fighting against marriage equality and same sex rights ($2 million last year alone, according to the report from equality matters) is not inconsequential in this conversation, regardless of the content of the interview.

    • consumers from and in support of the LGBT community may understandably choose to buy chicken elsewhere, at an establishment that does not proactively use their money (profits) to fight against marriage equality.

    this brings us back to a conversation our readers have had multiple times in this forum and elsewhere… is it possible to be for heterosexual marriages without being against homosexual marriages? i think we have to be. what do you think?

  • Dwight Davis

    Fascism? I’m completely shocked.

    Fascism looks like concentration camps, gas chambers, and ovens made to cook humans. This is just an absurd reaction to something said by the president of a fast food corporation. I can’t believe you would belittle what Jews who suffered under Hitler, a true fascist, went through by comparing it to a mediocre chicken fast food joint experiencing a moment of absurdity.

    [Baloney. Fascism may END with concentration camps and ovens. It begins with sentimentalism turned into law and people who think "incorrectly" being marginalized and shut down. I know my history, thanks. -admin]

  • http://zombo.com Bob

    Chick-fil-a donated to non-profits that spend money on anti-gay material. As such I don’t think Chick-fil-a is so innocence. IMHO they should separate their ideals from business, but they are not.

    [But should governments be able to prevent them from doing business for their opinions? Again...that's the issue, here -admin]

  • Rachel E

    I don’t think Boycotting is a bully tactic. It’s a peaceful way to get your point across. Where it crosses the line is when I hear of people wanting to go into their stories to make out in front of the counter and kiss workers. Also saying they are haters of people it a bully tactic. Hating a lifestyle is different than hating a person. I could hate the lifestyle of a drug user, that doesn’t mean I hate them and I think that’s the big difference. that word is thrown around too much and not used in a proper fashion. Mr. Cathy never said he wouldn’t serve a gay couple he just said he didn’t support their lifestyle, he didn’t call them hateful names, he just called for them to live according to Godly principles. simple and adult conversation, something that lack highly from some in this country.

  • Ck

    And back to my first comment: earlier you say this in response to another post
    “A business — unless it is specifically and of its own volition stepping into a political issue — should have a reasonable expectation of being quoted in context and fairly”
    Chic-fil-a hasn’t actively stepped into the political issue of marriage equality (though I’d consider it more a human rights issue rather than that of a political one)? They have voluntarily donated millions of dollars to promote anti-gay legislation and their political supporters. Again, they asked for every bit of backlash and opposition they have received. It’s a shame too, they have the best chicken nuggets this side of the Mississippi.

    [Again, no where in my piece have I suggested that "backlash" in the form of boycotts, etc, are inappropriate. Do what you want. What do you think about the press actively fomenting this controversy? What do you think about government punishing a business for having an opinion it does not like? - admin]

  • doc

    Actually, Anchoress, you sell yourself short when you dismiss the notion that you practice intelligent journalism, although I can see one being reluctant to accept the journalist label, given the low public opinion professional journalists have earned for themselves. I remain puzzled why you and so many other smart people in the new media continue to consider ABCNNBCBS responsible, middle-of-the-road, unbiased journalism. Those 4 networks are not much different from MSNBC, apart from doing a better job of fooling the public into thinking that they are responsible and unbiased. You really ought not help them with that deception. And lumping Fox News into the a mirror-opposite catagory of MSNBC seems like a knee-jerk reaction based on all the other corporate media entities shreiking in unison that Fox is nothing more than a Republican stalking horse, when Fox News’ great crime is simply refusing to be a Democrat stalking horse like the rest of them are. Instapundit, Powerline, Hot Air, Daily Caller…what does one miss in rejecting TV news completely?

  • Karen Thompson

    If a business openly discriminates against people in a community, then it is the right of that community to refuse to allow that business to operate there. To force a community to accept that business would be fascism!

    [Does the business refuse to serve gay customers? That's discrimination, and that would be very, very wrong, indeed. You're getting advocacy and debate confused with discrimination. You're thinking "I disagree" means discrimination. But I do think it's interesting that you say "to force a community to accept that business would be fascism." Really? What if a church was being forced to go against its own conscience by the government, because the people in the neighborhood think they should? What's that called, then? -admin]

  • Mary

    Much like Obama, my view on gay marriage has evolved. Some of the posters and the author have suggested that civil unions are an appropriate compromise. I disagree. I have come to the conclusion that creating a legal contract such as a civil union does create a 2nd tier of rights and benefits and will be struck down for violating our standard of equal protection under the law. Instead I believe that marriage is, has been, and always will be a social contract between a man and a woman. Anyone is free to engage in this contract, thereby fullfilling the equal protection requirement, but the parties must be of opposite gender.

  • joanna

    STOP bullying people because of their Christian beliefs!
    I am so tired of the gay agenda telling me what I need to believe. YOU make the choice of who you want to have xex with. THAT is your choice don’t criticize Christ followers for choosing not to accept your lifestyle, As a follower of Christ, I believe with all my heart it is WRONG to have sex with a person of the same sex, that it is WRONG to marry said person. The Bible, Gods word to us about how we should live has been left behind by many for an alternative lifestyle tha pursues their passions. As followers of Christ we have learned to hate the sin and love the sinner. That is what we are taught! It comes down to making a choice. To sin or not to sin. Once again we have liberals telling us that they do not hate or judge us, but yet, in the same breath, they try to force feed their way of life (as they see it) down our throats. Being gay is a choice like being a Democrat or Republican. Being gay is a lifestyle not a ethnic race.

  • kayla

    marriage does mean something….simply because more than two people are in a marriage makes it not mean anything??? who said that?

    [You've invented a new meaning for "marriage", then? -admin]

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    No community is ever “forced” to accept a business.

    Those who don’t like a particular business—for whatever reason—are not forced to patronize it.


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