Fighting ‘Bigotry’ with Bigotry
The American system of public discourse and representative government is not hard to grasp. We are “the melting pot” where people from every race, creed and background are welcomed to bring their best to the table. Governing that table are representatives duly elected to uphold the will of the collective population from within the framework of an overshadowing constitutional standard. From within that standard these representatives are charged with the task of establishing the law of the people, by the people and for the people.
In such a system several things are inherently necessary. Among them is that the people have a voice and the freedom do express it fully. Without such a voice, representatives govern without direction and pursue their personalized visions for the country. Ability to express our collective voices has been assured in the First Amendment and in just about every state by written mandate. After all, every seat of local, state and federal governments in our nation is democratically elected and representative in nature. People simply must be allowed to express their political opinions for such a system to work.
At issue in the nation today is the variance between the mandate and the actions of our elected officials. Case in point is the rash of recent government sponsored blockades of free speech as it relates to the hot-button “redefinition of marriage” mayhem. In the past few weeks this has taken a very personal and utterly un-American turn as one of the nation’s largest family owned businesses is being targeted for extinction by government representatives-turned-operatives over the family’s constitutionally protected exercise of expressing their political opinions openly.
Dan Cathy, President and CEO of Chick-fil-A, apparently crossed an invisible line in the spirit of the First Amendment last week when he simply stated, “guilty as charged” to the assertion that he upholds a biblical definition of marriage (as being uniquely between man and woman). He followed with comments on the Ken Coleman Show with his suggestion that the nation could face God’s judgment over the redefinition of marriage. This, according to a growing list governing officials, is tantamount to gay bashing.
Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel claimed that “Chick-fil-A values…disrespect our fellow neighbors and residents.” He vowed to support the blocking of new Chick-fil-A construction announced by Proco Joe Moreno, in Chicago’s 1st Ward. Moreno claims that Cathy is “bigoted” and “homophobic” because he is against gay marriage. In addition to Chicago (the last place on earth that should be dis-allowing a successful business opportunity) Boston Mayor Thomas Menino informed the Boston Herald that he no longer wants Chick-fil-A in Boston. In Mountain View, California a gay couple as at least temporarily blocked the opening of another Chick-fil-A by launching a “zoning” challenge, noting that “because it was a bunch of bigots, it gave us an extra nudge” to attempt to prevent them from building a restaurant there.
The irony of each of these scenarios should be crystal clear to anyone; whether gay, straight, atheistic or a believer. Simply put, this is a full living color illustration of the new art of bullying via charges of ‘bigotry.’ Call someone a bigot and you will immediately find support for your cause.
Forget the fact the homosexual community is the first to scream “First Amendment” when they break decency laws on the streets of New York City; sodomizing one another in the streets for what is depicted as a “parade.” Forget the fact that every group that has the ability to decry “bigot” does so with the same constitutionally granted freedom that those they cry against are using in stating their own objections. Let’s focus on a much simpler fact: gay marriage is a moral and POLITICAL issue being argued in every federal, state and local election bid. Cathy did not say he hated homosexuals. He did not say they were not allowed to eat in his establishments. Quite the contrary, he noted the continued openness of his venues to serve people of all types, explicitly including “sexual orientation.” The issue against Cathy is not homophobia or gay bashing. Nothing of the sort has taken place. He said what nearly every republican presidential nominee this past year has said; that he is opposed to the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex genders.
Since when has power been granted to government heads to punish their people for not “thinking” according to a pre-set template? By what right does a mayor or a district alderman (for crying out loud) refuse successful businessmen from building their enterprise based on their being on the side of other government officials who argue the same principles? Have these people not watched a single presidential debate this year? Do they not read newspapers? Are they so out of touch as to not know that this is an ongoing national debate? This is America; a land built on the principle of public and open debate on the issues before the people.
Cathy is an American citizen. His family employs 61,000 Americans in the worst economy of most of our lifetimes. He has constitutionally-protected rights to express his opinion on any political issue of his choosing. Any politician who attempts to destroy his business because of his views on a very public and torn political argument is proving himself to be a bigger bigot than he claims Cathy is.
Merriam-Webster defines bigotry as “a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices…” How more intolerant can one be than to determine “if you do not agree with our side of an ongoing national debate we will deny you a right to do business in our city?” These men should be impeached for using their offices as playpens for their personal agendas. They are clearly outside of their governing roles in a representative system when they harass their opponents over the fundamental practice of their rights. They are doing precisely what they accuse others of doing by fighting (supposed) bigotry with bigotry.