San Antonio and the rise of anti-religious tyranny in the United States

San Antonio and the rise of anti-religious tyranny in the United States March 22, 2019

 

Newspeak, illustrated
The three principal government slogans of Oceania in George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984”
(Wikimedia Commons public domain image)

 

“With this decision, the City Council reaffirmed the work our city has done to become a champion of equality and inclusion.  San Antonio is a city full of compassion, and we do not have room in our public facilities for a business with a legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior. . . .  Everyone has a place here, and everyone should feel welcome when they walk through our airport.”

 

And, with that bit of Orwellian Newspeak, Councilman Roberto Treviño declared that San Antonio is neither a champion of equality and inclusion nor a city full of compassion, proclaiming that there is no room in the city’s public facilities for businesses owned by people who publicly express their belief in traditional Christian morality.  Jews, Christians, Muslims, and others who hold to the strong millennia-old consensus of their faiths on sexual behavior have no place in San Antonio, said Mr. Treviño, and they should feel unwelcome when walking through the San Antonio Airport.

 

“Chick-fil-A banned from San Antonio airport over alleged ‘legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior'”

 

What had Chick-fil-A done to call down upon its head the wrath of the bigots on the San Antonio city council?  Has it done anything illegal?  No.  The company hires its employees without reference to their sexual orientation.  The company serves customers without inquiring into their sexual preferences.

 

Ah, but the owners of the company believe that marriage should be between individuals of opposite sexes.  The horror!  And, in 2017, the Chick-fil-A Foundation and the related WinShape Foundation, although they had withdrawn from political and legal activism on the subject several years before, donated more than $1.8 million to organizations that have failed to bow with sufficient humility before currently fashionable dogma on homosexual behavior.

 

Somewhat more than $1.65 million of that $1.8M+ was given to a group called the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, whose online “Statement of Faith” notes their conviction that “marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman,” and their belief that “sexual intimacy” should only be expressed “within [that] context.”

 

So the owners of Chick-fil-A are being punished by government officials for holding Incorrect Religious Beliefs and for exercising their legal rights as citizens.

 

Do you remember those quaint days when the battle for gay marriage was about tolerance?

 

Do you remember the fierce intolerance that was directed against many people — Latter-day Saints prominently represented among them — who, by supporting California’s 2008 Proposition 8, had failed to demonstrate the required tolerance?  If you don’t, you might want to skim through this:

 

“Protests against Proposition 8 supporters”

 

And now Chick-fil-A has become a popular target of the armies of tolerance.  Consider a few examples from the past few years:

 

“SF Mayor Tells Chick-fil-A They’re Not Welcome”

 

San Francisco’s Mayor Edwin Lee tweeted “Closest #ChickFilA to San Francisco is 40 miles away & I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer.”

 

“Chick-fil-A Meets a First Amendment Buzzsaw in Chicago”

 

“Boston Mayor Blocks Chick-fil-A Franchise from City over Homophobic Attitude”

 

“Mayor Bill de Blasio Hopes New Yorkers Avoid Chick-fil-A: The mayor doesn’t want New Yorkers to support the chain because of the COO’s stance on LGBT rights”

 

“Conservatives aren’t welcome in New York, according to Governor Cuomo”

 

And consider this more recent news:

 

“Rider University rejects Chick-fil-A as students’ top pick for new eatery, citing ‘corporate values'”

 

“Rider University dean resigns position over school’s Chick-fil-A controversy: Business school dean Cynthia Newman said in letter she is ‘not willing to compromise faith and Christian values'”

 

And, now, San Antonio has signalled its deep commitment to inclusion by excluding Chick-fil-A for the opinions of its owners.

 

Imagine the indignation that would (justly) ensue were a government official in a conservative or strongly evangelical area to emit a comment along the lines of Mr. Treviño’s:

 

“With this decision to bar supporters of gay rights, we have reaffirmed the work that we have done to become a champion of sound morality.  Ours is a city full of compassion, and we do not have room in our public facilities for immoral behavior or those who fail to condemn it. . . .  Everyone has a place here, and everyone should feel welcome when they walk through our airport.”

 

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees not merely the freedom to have private religious views that one keeps to oneself, but the “free exercise” of religion.  It seems, though, that the city council of San Antonio doesn’t share that silly idea of the American Founders.

 

I can count on one hand the number of times that I’ve eaten anything from a Chick-fil-A, with fingers left over.  But I’m beginning to sense a craving for one of their products.  I think I’ll go at least two or three times over the remainder of this academic term.

 

Oddly, though, I feel less and less desire to go to San Antonio.  Will the thought police there, I wonder, soon begin rounding people up for crimethink?

 

This action by the San Antonio city council is, to put it in terms that Councilman Roberto Treviño might understand, doubleplusungood.

 

For a basic introduction to Newspeak, see

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspeak

 

For a list of basic words and phrases that might prove helpful should you ever attend a meeting of the San Antonio city council:

 

1984 Newspeak Dictionary

 

 

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