In July Chick-fil-a owner Dan Cathy told a reporter for the Baptist Press News that he supported the biblical definition of the family while respecting anyone who disagrees.
For exercising his right to free speech, Cathy and his company found themselves in a firestorm of protest from supporters of gay marriage, who accused him of bigotry and inciting hate toward the gay community-all this just for expressing a viewpoint.
If that wasn’t enough, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Ald. Joe Moreno said they were prepared to oppose Chick-fil-A’s opening a Chicago store and Boston‘s mayor Tom Menino sent a letter to the company urging it to stay out of Boston due to Cathy’s “prejudiced statements.”
This wasn’t any ordinary bullying. This wasn’t a boycott by customers or a simple expression of disapproval. This is the force of government being borne against a business because of an owner’s viewpoint. This is the power of the state used to punish not only free speech but a religiously-motivated viewpoint. Power used in this way can be used to decimate certain viewpoints altogether not embraced by those in power.
Note that these can even be viewpoints held by the majority of the people as support for traditional marriage is.
Anyone who cares about free speech and freedom of religion should find the swagger of these mayors not only arrogant, but alarming as they advocate one-view America. This is the behavior of a thug, of a tyranny and two days ago, it appears that might instead of right has triumphed in this game of chicken.
If you can be economically punished for stating your principles, then a chill settles over all free speech and expression of religious views.
Now, a civil rights group that advocates for gay rights has issued a press report claiming that Chick-fil-A has met with Ald. Moreno and made the following statement: “Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”
In other words, under pressure Chick-Fil-A has caved. Moreno said the company has promised that its nonprofit funding arm would reconsider future donations: “The WinShape Foundation is now taking a much closer look at the organizations it considers helping, and in that process will remain true to its stated philosophy of not supporting organizations with political agendas.”
The gay advocacy group applauded Chick-Fil-A’s so-called change of heart and Moreno told The Chicago Tribune that Chick-fil-A would be allowed in the Windy City after agreeing to “include a statement of respect for all sexual orientations in an internal document and promised that its not-for-profit arm would not contribute money to groups that oppose gay marriage.”
Since when did the government assume the responsibility of dictating your religious convictions or tell you what political ideals to foster with your financial contributions?
Everyone should holler about this kind of abuse.
Today it’s Chick-Fil-A, tomorrow it could be you.
Ironically, records show that Chick-Fil-A’s financial contributions to those supporting biblical marriage are slim. Add these together,and over a two-year period you have total donations of $3,708,079–of which only $24,000 (0.6%) went to groups supporting marriage.
Chicago may have set up a straw man in Chick-Fil-A as a warning to everyone whose necks they might wring.
Meanwhile, Chick-Fil-A will get its store in Chicago‘s Logan Square, and the question is did Dan Cathy get hurt by being muffled? He’s not saying.