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.

9 Responses to Fighting ‘Bigotry’ with Bigotry

  • Right on. Basically its “What, you don’t agree with me? The you are not allowed to speak….”

  • I agree. Jeff you explained it very well!

  • It seems you have missed your own point Jeff.
    Rahm as a publicly elected Mayor he is well within his rights to protect what he views is a minority that is being assaulted and disrespected as a whole in our nation and in his own backyard.
    all Americans have the right to the pursuit of hapiness as stated in the Constitution. any person who wishes to reject those rights than me as a person who is being offend have the right to react
    at the end of the day no bigot wants civil war again. But if people like you and this website continue to restrict the freedoms of the American people for your own ill-will than we will continue to get angrier and soon as with all pots with a boiling substance, it will flow over.

    • How ironic that you would say that, Darius. What freedoms have I restricted on this site? Or elsewhere? The only person restricting any freedoms in my article are liberal politicians who are refusing to allow a business to open new venues because it suits their own political ambitions. Do you honestly think that a person should be refused to do business because he believes that marriage should be between a man and a woman? This nation would collapse overnight if every business owner who believes like Cathy were forced to close. On a completely different point, no American – mayor or otherwise – has the “right” to punish other Americans for voicing their opinions on an open political debate. Such is the very reason for the adoption of the First Amendment: to protect political speech. The irony to me is that the homosexual community – of all groups – does not get that.

  • Makeing an assumption here, but beliveing a corp.
    is a person doesn’t mean they are. at the end of the day if a company wishes to sell its products to the american people than maybe it shouldn’t offend those same people. when a company decide to come in and throw money at issues that a majority of Americans support and who are in such strains aren’t able to support their causes so fully is just wrong and i fully expect the person who is elected to power to stifle the financial/political spending of corp. Every employee of chick-fila is free to do what thay want with the profits from the sell of the products that the company makes.
    but for the supreme court to state that corp. are people and can spend freely when once more the american public did not support, i think its well within the rights of our publicly elected officials to act.Also i am a Homosexual and here i am on your website reading your article i fully understand that the 1st amendment protect all american citizens but it does not and should not extend to corps.

    • The “corporation” said nothing at all. Dan Cathy is an individual American citizen, protected by the First Amendment. Cathy spoke his personal opinion in a magazine article. He has every right to do so. He can say what he wishes in any interview and his customers can respond however they wish as well- including not funding his business. Cathy made the comment as an individual citizen — which is the same comment, by the way, that almost every republican contender for the presidential bid made this same year in nationally televised debates. The actions of Emanuel and Moreno are not about protecting a constituency from a harmful business practice or even a business having made (what they perceive to be) inflamatory statements. Chick Fil A is not a strip club. They are not a front organization for organized crime. They do not sell drugs to street gangs. They sell chicken! They pay taxes faithfully on their sales; which is something Chicago desperately needs for their 700 million dollar yearly deficit. Chick fil A has never hindered homosexuals from doing business with them and no accusation has been brought that they ever have. This issue is solely about liberal government officials using their platform as a bully pulpit to attempt to enforce their personal opinions on the masses. You are being intellectually dishonest with yourself to make any other claim.

  • Darius,

    It is illegal, unconstitutional, and ridiculous, for a politician to be able to deny a company permits because of differing political opinions. Lets go with that: I am going to encourage the mayors all across the country to deny Home Depot permits (your side receives MUCH more money on this issue from corporations than the other side…which is mostly grass roots..). While we are at it, lets keep out Mcdonalds (which gives millions of dollars in support of same sex marriage), Target, and Starbucks, and lets let the mayor ALSO prevent internet access to Amazon…since ALL of these corporations give WAY more money to political issues (in support of gay marriage). In fact, you would lose this battle, HORRIBLY, if it were not for the numerous liberal corporations that fund you guys money. SO, by ALL MEANS, lets shut this down! I agree.

  • i do agree companies on no terms should spend money for or against any political matter or else they stand the chance of as chick-fila is now , of being on the wrong side of history. and they also open themselves up to public criticism. The main issue when it comes to Dan Cathy, are his statements brought attention to the fact that his company out of there funds/profits were and still is giving to anti-gay marriage groups and funding the same types of legislation and the candidates that support there views. Once more as a private citizen Dan and everyone should have the right to spend as they please on such matters. But Companies should not have the right or be considered a person and able to spen there profits on such matters or they open themselves up to the criticism they are reciving today.

    • I think you are now maintaining a different argument from where you started. At the point you’re making: that companies that give monies to (any) groups open themselves up to criticism, I have no disagreement. Such is the price to pay for exercising a free voice. But, that is not the same as saying that our elected officials have the right to disallow them to conduct their businesses due to such free exercise – which is the point of this piece. Damon’s point was well established here. There are companies all over the nation providing funding for organizations on both sides of this issue. THAT is the way it is supposed to be in a free enterprise system and a representative republic government. As to your belief that companies should be prohibited from spending their money in any way they choose, we will continue to disagree. The only way to govern the behavior of individual (or corporate) spending is to have government takeover, which I am aggressively opposed to. For all of our weaknesses, the strength of the USA has always been the free exercise of one’s political, social and religious beliefs. To tell companies what they can do with their money is government intrusion, and a stop toward some other form of government. Capitalism – at its core – requires private ownership; be it a family-owned company, such as Chick Fil A, or a publicly traded complany whereby the shareholders are “owners” and have rights to govern such spending. Either way – neither you or I should ever hope to legislate how earned funds are spent by those who earn them.

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