Saturday, July 28, 2012

Chik-fil-A: Liberal Hypocrisy Is Still Hypocrisy...

For as far back as I can remember, there has been a movement towards equal rights in the United States. I was born in 1960 in Pittsburgh, PA and grew up in the suburbs about 20 miles away. There were black kids on my street, in my school, in my class and in my church. There were pretty similar to me except for the obvious physical differences. Mostly, I never understood what the big deal regarding equal rights was about until I got older, learned some history and understood. 7 year old kids don't think on these things. Things are better now than they were then, and I suspect will continue to improve over time.

I see a similar curve for the LGBT community, although a much steeper one. Progress seems to be coming at a faster pace than it did for Blacks. Ten years no States permitted same-sex marriage. Currently, seven States have made it legal, with three more recognizing it. Twelve more recognize same sex civil unions. Public opinion, which was at just 25% approval for same sex marriage back in 1996, has basically doubled in less than twenty years. President Clinton's Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is currently not even being enforced by President Obama's Justice Department. We know where this winds up. In my children's lifetime, this Country will see widespread equal rights for the LGBT community when it comes to marriage benefits.

Both groups have been in pursuit of equal rights. Not special rights. Equal rights are guaranteed to each of us by the Constitution. White, Black, Asian, Straight, Gay, Bi, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Atheist, etc. Everybody in America has a birthright of equal rights.

This week the comments from Dan Cathy, President of the fast food chain "Chick-fil-A" regarding his traditional Christian views that marriage is between one man and one woman drew fire from many on the left. Here's exactly what Mr. Cathy said:

"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."

A growing list of Democratic politicians have gone public with condemnations of Cathy's remarks and some have pronounced his company "not welcome" in their cities. The mayors of Boston, Chicago and San Francisco have sent a message loud and clear to the company that new locations planned by Chik-fil-A should look elsewhere. 

I fully appreciate the irresistible temptation to pander whenever possible to constituents, but Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel are way wrong on their response to this issue. Totally wrong to threaten punishment to a business because of its Christian viewpoint. As it would be to a Muslim business or a Jewish business or an Atheist business.

I don't personally agree with Mr. Cathy's definition of a family. Not at all. However, when government starts to pick winners and losers in this area, its a bad, bad idea. Its hypocritical. How high and fast would the Left jump if some back woods mayor in America's southwest decided "we ain't having no gays running a business in our town." The left wing media would lose their minds and initiate a bloodbath. 

There are no charges or allegations that any discrimination has taken place in any of Chick-fil-A's store's. None whatsoever. If there were wrongdoings, then there are remedies via the legal system to punish them. That's not the case here, is it? These people are entitled to believe in whatever form of religion suits their fancy. 

For all the words over the years about "equal rights" its disappointing to see a few of our largest cities leaders   lose sight of this fundamental principle. Equal rights isn't just for things you believe in, its also for things you may not believe in as well. If you're truly an advocate of equal rights, then you should defend unconditionally Mr. Cathy's right to say what he said. If you don't-you've gotten caught up in the moment and the emotion and opted to score cheap political points with a group of voters who's vote you likely already had. So, you probably gained very little and looked foolish in the process. Nice job...

The public will express their opinion of Cathy's remarks with their wallets and pocketbooks. Frankly, I'd never heard of this gentleman before this story broke but now with the predictable pushback from Conservatives, the bluster & blunders from a few will likely result in a increase in revenues for the chain, at least in the short term. So, while there might be a case to make for the stimulative economic effects, its hardly what they had in mind. Both Menino and Emanuel have walked back their comments acknowledging that do deny Chick-fil-A business permits would be illegal and un-Constitutional

Mind you, I don't think the hypocrisy is limited to those who fowled this up on the left. With the outpouring of support from the conservative religious community, I have to wonder where was this support when it came to the 911 Mosque in New York City a few years ago? The very public concern for religion's "equal rights" seemed to be lost in the noise and pandering of that time as well, didn't it?

Sometimes its best just to leave a thing alone. Leave it be and it usually goes (mostly) unnoticed. Want it to flare up into something it otherwise would not have? Try and ban it. There's an old Billy Joel story about his song "Only the Good Die Young." The song had been floundering on the pop charts in the late 70's when one day the radio station at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, a catholic institution, banned it. Then the archdiocese of St. Louis banned it also. Then Boston banned it. The record became a big hit because somebody in authority tried to stop people from enjoying it. When preparing to release his next album, Joel wrote letters to these archbishops and Seton Hall asking them to please ban this one too...


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