Believe What We Do or Perish

Last week, in a panicked effort to get the voters minds off of their economic malaise, the shiny object media decided to ask a Christian business owner what his beliefs were on the most pressing (to the shiny object media) of the marriage.  In their efforts to out-respond one another, allies of the President were quick to step forward to denounce the Christian business owner - and the vast majority of Americans...who happen to share his beliefs.  “Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values,” Chicago Mayor and former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said.  “Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston. You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population. We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion,” Menino told the Boston Herald.  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."

As expected, the pundits on the right were quick to jump to the defense of Chik-fil-A from those who would bring the full force of government down on them for having beliefs that did not match what government felt you should believe.....

To modify Lord Acton, power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely, but aldermanic power corrupts all der more manically. Proco “Joe” Moreno is alderman of the First Ward of Chicago, and last week, in a city with an Aurora-sized body count every weekend, his priority was to take the municipal tire-iron to the owners of a chain of fast-food restaurants. “Because of this man’s ignorance,” said Alderman Moreno, “I will now be denying Chick-fil-A’s permit to open a restaurant in the First Ward.”

“This man’s ignorance”? You mean, of the City of Chicago permit process? Zoning regulations? Health and safety ordinances? No, Alderman Moreno means “this man’s ignorance” of the approved position on same-sex marriage. “This man” is Dan Cathy, president of Chick-fil-A, and a few days earlier he had remarked 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” — which last part suggests he is as antipathetic to no-fault divorce and other heterosexual assaults on matrimony as he is to more recent novelties such as gay marriage. But no matter. Alderman Moreno does not allege that Chick-fil-A discriminates in its hiring practices or in its customer service. Nor does he argue that business owners should not be entitled to hold opinions: The Muppets, for example, have reacted to Mr. Cathy’s observations by announcing that they’re severing all ties with Chick-fil-A. Did you know that the Muppet Corporation has a position on gay marriage? Well, they do. But Miss Piggy and the Swedish Chef would be permitted to open a business in the First Ward of Chicago because their opinion on gay marriage happens to coincide with Alderman Moreno’s. It’s his ward, you just live in it. When it comes to lunch options, he’s the chicken supremo and don’t you forget it.

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.

But, they were (thankfully) not the only one's.  New York City's Nanny-In-Chief took a break from dictating what mothers could feed their infants to weigh in on the controversy.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Friday that despite his own support of same-sex marriage, he disagrees with some of his fellow mayors who have said that the fast-food chain Chick-fil-A is not welcome in their cities because of its opposition to gay marriage.

Bloomberg said on his weekly radio show on WOR that it is inappropriate for a government entity "to look at somebody's political views and decide whether or not they can live in the city, or operate a business in the city, or work for somebody in the city."

An LGBT activist took to the pages of the Huffington Post to denounce defend Chik-fil-A rights.

If the company follows the law, they should be allowed to exist. I do have some questions about whether they indeed are operating within the law. For example, does their corporate policy discriminate against potential gay franchise owners? If it does, there should be a lawsuit (not that any gays would want to buy in now). Does the corporate culture result in discrimination in hiring or service? If so, then by all means sue....

...We absolutely can't have a religious or moral litmus test for getting a business license. Because in the past (or a potential future), that would mean some LGBT businesses might not qualify.

Finally, Mitch Berg reminds us of all the times that GOP Mayors have taken to the steps of City Hall to proclaim their opposition to a business based on their gay marriage stances.....

Do you remember when conservative Republican Dave Kleis, mayor of Saint Cloud, barred gay-friendly Starbucks from that city?


OK.  How about when Pat Anderson, the conservative Republican mayor of Eagan, spoke out against gay-friendly Target locating a store in her city?

Got nothing?

Well, of course not – because there really are no examples of conservative mayors using the power of their city government to squelch a legitimate business, not due to the business itself or the behavior of its customers, but because of the political beliefs of the business’ owners outside the business itself.

But the headlines are alive with the stories of the mayors of Boston and Chicago bringing the full weight of government down against “Chick-Fil-A” – using the city’s regulatory apparatus to try to keep the chain of (apparently) restaurants out of their cities, not because Chick-Fil-A discriminates against anyone in any part of its business life, but because its owners, in their private, non-business lives, oppose gay marriage.

It is only the agents of "tolerance" and the shiny object media who object to beliefs that aren't in lock step with theirs.  They love to tout their "oh-so-tolerant" beliefs, until someone expresses a counter belief and then all hell breaks loose.

So the next time someone tells you how "intolerant" Christians are in their beliefs, remember this lesson.  The gate-keepers of tolerance are simply not as tolerant as they would have you believe.

UPDATE:  My friend Ed Morrissey calls it what it is.....FASCISM.

The past two weeks have brought to light a truly disturbing political demonstration — and it has nothing to do with presidential elections or generic congressional ballots. At least three mayors in some of America's largest cities, as well as plenty of other city officials, have publicly demanded political orthodoxy as a condition of doing business in their metropolises. Political correctness has transformed into a strange American version of fascism — over a chicken filet sandwich and an opinion about marriage that even our Democratic president officially held as recently as two months ago....

...Based on CNN's spin, politicians in several large American cities attempted to disprove Cathy's notion of a free country in which people can operate their businesses regardless of their religion or political point of view....

...There is nothing wrong with boycotts by consumers, though they often tend to be ineffective. Still though, boycotts are perhaps the purest form of free-market political protests — entirely voluntary, with commensurate impact to the issue at hand on the business in question. But when governments demand political loyalty as a requirement to operate a business or live in a city, that has more in common with the 20th-century regimes that required business owners to have party cards and excluded anyone not considered loyal to the entrenched ruling class.

That is indeed what Mayors Emanuel, Menino and Lee are espousing.

Written by LL.