IT’S MORE FUN TO WIELD MOB JUSTICE THAN TO EXPERIENCE IT: After Berating Innocent Chick-Fil-A Worker, Many Say He’s Now Getting Exactly What He Deserves. “Former Vante CFO and treasurer, Adam Mark Smith, went from being relatively unknown to an unemployed, virally-hated man with a video he thought was taking a stand against discrimination of gays. In a YouTube video, Smith berated Chick-fil-A employee Rachel Elizabeth at the drive-thru window when she gave him, a protester, a free cup of water. . . . According to Boston News, Smith went from earning $200,000 a year, with cushy stock options valued at $1 million, to losing everything. His family even had to move into an RV.”
ADVICE ON how to protect against doxxing.
WELL, THEY’VE ALREADY GONE AFTER THE PICKUP ARTISTS, SO WHAT’S LEFT? Leftist, terrorism-inspiring Southern Poverty Law Center labels Common Core critics ‘far-right extremists.’
The SPLC is, of course, most famous because a man named Floyd Lee Corkins used an SPLC “Hate Map” to find the Family Research Council headquarters in Washington, DC. He entered the headquarters lobby in August 2012 in an attempt to “to kill as many people as possible” and “smother Chick-fil-A sandwiches in their faces” because he disagreed with the conservative organization about gay marriage. Corkins managed to shoot a security guard. The guard disarmed him. (RELATED: Family Research Council shooter pleads guilty)
In March, the Federal Bureau of Investigations removed links to the Southern Poverty Law Center from the civil rights division’s web page, breaking ties with the group that inspired the would-be mass shooter.
The SPLC is what it pretends to oppose, a hate group that bilks its donors by peddling conspiracy theories.
CATS AND DOGS LIVING TOGETHER: Gay New Yorkers Say ‘OK’ to Chick-fil-A.
A LOT OF PEOPLE LIKE THAT SHOW, AND WHEN YOU CAN’T EVEN HANG ON TO CAMILLE PAGLIA, ANDREW SULLIVAN, AND JON STEWART YOU’RE DOING BADLY: ‘Duck Dynasty’ Fallout: GLAAD Reeling From Biggest Backlash in Years, Says Rep.
UPDATE: Cracker Barrel vs. Duck Dynasty. “That decision appears to be backfiring for now. Chick-fil-A may get a whole lot more business from enlightened rednecks who are angry at Cracker Barrel.”
The Family Research Council shooting is one of the few inarguable examples of politically motivated violence in recent years, yet looking back a year later, the incident has garnered comparatively little attention. Corkins openly admits he selected the Family Research Council because the Christian organization is one of the leading opponents of gay marriage in the country. He had Chick-fil-A sandwiches in his backpack because the CEO of the fast-food chain was under fire for publicly supporting a biblical definition of marriage. Corkins said he planned to “smother Chick-fil-A sandwiches in [the] faces” of his victims as a political statement. And in case that didn’t make his motivations transparent, right before Corkins shot Leo Johnson, he told him, “I don’t like your politics.”
There are some illuminating contrasts between the media’s handling of the political dimensions of the Family Research Council shooting and the shooting of Representative Giffords. In the latter case, the media rushed to assume political motivations and were quick to blame, of all people, Sarah Palin. The former Alaska governor and vice-presidential candidate had put out a map with crosshairs over Giffords’s congressional district as part of a list of Democratic-held seats “targeted” for defeat. But Giffords’s shooter, Jared Loughner, appears to have serious mental problems. And there is no evidence whatsoever Loughner saw this map or that allegedly violent political rhetoric—even “campaign” is a term borrowed from war—was in any way a cause of the Giffords shooting. That didn’t stop serious news organizations from lending institutional credibility to the irresponsible allegations. The Washington Post ran a story headlined “Palin caught in crosshairs map controversy after Tucson shootings.” And though Giffords was shot in January 2011, as recently as this year in an article on gun violence the New York Times saw fit to remind readers that “many criticized Sarah Palin, the former vice-presidential nominee, for using cross hairs on her Web site to identify Democrats like Ms. Giffords.”
By contrast, the media handled awkwardly the revelation that Corkins admitted to plotting mass murder as a means of furthering a popular liberal cause. . . . The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) was once a laudable civil rights organization that sued racists and violent extremists. Now it regularly demonizes anyone who runs afoul of its knee-jerk liberal politics, and despite this it is still regularly cited by the media as a “nonpartisan” watchdog. Some of the SPLC’s newly targeted “hate groups,” such as pickup artists, are merely kooky or distasteful. Others singled out by the SPLC, including Catholics who go to Latin mass or Christian organizations similar to the Family Research Council, are well within the mainstream. Tellingly, the SPLC doesn’t just name the Family Research Council on its website—it posts the council’s address on a “hate map.” That map is still on SPLC’s website, and the organization refused calls to take it down after the Family Research Council shooting.
Why should they? It’s doing what they want, and it’s not costing them anything.
NEWS THAT WON’T MAKE THE NEWS: Leftwing Domestic Terrorist Pleads Guilty in Family Research Council Shooting. “Floyd Corkins would be a household name by now if he attacked a liberal group. But since he was going after the Family Research Council (and Chick-Fil-a at the same time) last summer his name quickly disappeared from the headlines.”
Meanwhile, U.S. Attorney Ron Machen uses this as an excuse to tout gun control. He should perhaps apologize for the hate aimed at these groups by his boss.
MICKEY KAUS: Is Starbucks A Cult?
Isn’t there something creepy about Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz having [in Politico's words] “asked his Washington-area employees to write ‘Come Together’ on each customer cup today, tomorrow and Friday, as a gesture to urge leaders to resolve the fiscal cliff”? Did Schultz take a poll of his employees–sorry, “partners,” he calls them–before ordering pressuring asking them to join in this lobbying effort? What if he were, say, the CEO of Chick-fil-A and he “asked” his “partners” to write “Preserve the Family” on the outside of cups and containers?
That would be evil and political.
CIVILIZATION 1, VIOLENT UNION THUGS 0: Mich. governor signs anti-union bills after protests.
UPDATE: Reader Jonathan Bailey writes:
In the USA Today piece you just linked they mention the destruction of the AFP tent but go on to say that nobody was injured. Did they not hear about Stephen Crowder being assaulted? Did they not hear there were people inside the tent or have they just chosen to ignore it and misstate the fact that he was assaulted and injured. Somebody needs to set them straight. This is typical MSM lies by omission at best.
Somehow, the mistakes all seem to run in the same direction.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Paul Lewis emails:
Pure Michigan is advertising like the dickens here in SW Ohio for us to come visit them. They are on Facebook under
Pure Michigan. I just wrote them “After the union beating today of Steven Crowder, there isn’t a chance in Michigan that we will visit you guys until that Union Thug is arrested.”
Maybe a Boycott is another avenue of fed up Conservatives. The left tried it with Chick-Fil-A and Papa John’s. Paybacks are, well, Michigan.
Well, to be fair, they passed the law despite the violence. But nothing wrong with leaving a note on Facebook.
21ST CENTURY PRUDERY: You Can’t Say That On The Internet:
A BASTION of openness and counterculture, Silicon Valley imagines itself as the un-Chick-fil-A. But its hyper-tolerant facade often masks deeply conservative, outdated norms that digital culture discreetly imposes on billions of technology users worldwide.
What is the vehicle for this new prudishness? Dour, one-dimensional algorithms, the mathematical constructs that automatically determine the limits of what is culturally acceptable.
Consider just a few recent kerfuffles. In early September, The New Yorker found its Facebook page blocked for violating the site’s nudity and sex standards. Its offense: a cartoon of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Eve’s bared nipples failed Facebook’s decency test.
That’s right — a venerable publication that still spells “re-elect” as “reëlect” is less puritan than a Californian start-up that wants to “make the world more open.”
Read the whole thing.
PAPA JOHN’S APPRECIATION DAY: Reader John Jenkins sends this report from right here in Knoxville: “I thought I’d let you know that on Friday night, we ordered Papa John’s for a family party. My wife had to send my niece into the Papa John’s on Clinton Highway, and circle the parking lot until she could come out with our order. There was no place to park and it was a complete madhouse. Not as dramatic as with Chick-fil-A, but an amazing show of support!”
JIM TREACHER: Lefties can’t learn what happens when they boycott businesses, fortunately for Papa John’s. Plus, “If this is anything like the Chick-fil-A Buycott, and you want Papa John’s for dinner, you’d better get your order in now.”
UNEXPECTEDLY: Chick-fil-A thrives despite gay rights issue. “There was a lot of talk that this would hurt Chick-fil-A, but it actually helped the brand. . . . They were saying to their core constituency: Here’s what we believe.”
CHICAGO VALUES: If “Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values,” as its mayor defiantly boasted in July, are these?
NEW VERB: TO BE “CHICK-FIL-Aed”: William McGurn astutely observes that the continuing saga of Chick-Fil-A’s skirmish with gay rights’ forces isn’t a political fight about a controversial topic, but instead part of a larger progressive agenda to silence all opposing views. There’s one small problem that I see with the attempt to vilify CFA: their sandwiches–oh, the essence of pickle!– are divine.
SO, GETTING A STRONG AND FAVORABLE REACTION TO SARAH HOYT’S PIECE ON RIGHT-LEANING PUNDITS SPREADING FEAR AND DESPONDENCY.
I got a very negative email from a pundit who shall remain unnamed yesterday. I quoted Patton: “Do not take counsel of your fears.”
Some of this is coming from people who didn’t like Romney in the primaries. But I have to say, the press would be the same no matter who the GOP had nominated. This election is about Barack Obama and his disastrous record. The press wants to save him. Don’t be suckered.
UPDATE: A followup email from Sarah:
You don’t have to like Romney. You just have to like him better than Obama. Remember Heinlein said there is often no one you want to vote for but there is always someone you want to vote against. And if you don’t like him better than Obama — why not? Even if he is all you think, a squishy, soft social-democrat (I don’t think so, but you can read it that way) he’s not a hard-core Marxist Leninist. And if you think there’s no difference, you need remedial reading. I suggest The Black Book Of Communism for a start.
Glenn is absolutely right that whoever the Republicans had nominated would get this treatment. Republicans are ALWAYS evil/stupid. The difference right now seems to be the media-Democrat complex is also trying to fracture the Republican base. Maybe I’m seeing trolls under every bridge but all of a sudden, after a period of unity, there’s a lot of moaning and belly-aching about how Romney is no better than Obama. And Republicans are falling for it, even though the comments are virtually identical, word per word across the sites.
Get over it. Romney is better than Obama. He’s not ideal — who is? — but we’re not (thank heavens) a monarchy looking for a perfect king. We’re a sovereign people looking for the best of two candidates. We can’t go back to sleep after he’s elected. We have to stay awake, watch over our employee and make him fear our wrath and our firing him if he goes astray. But first we get rid of the total dud we (well, not me, but…) hired in 08. Frankly, I’m looking forward to the Tea Parties to keep Romney in line. But first I donate and I campaign so we can hire him. THEN we keep him in line.
MORE: Reader George Milonas writes:
This air of inevitably for Obama benefits Romney not Obama. Republicans are depressed for no reason. If you create the image that Obama is going to win no matter what, it’s the Democratic voter who is going to stay home figuring Obama is going to win anyway. Republicans are incredibly motivated. They’re going to vote no matter what. The Democrats won’t. I think we should lie to pollers and increase the inevitability for Obama. We’re going to show up even if there is a plague of locusts coming at us. And the truth of the matter is the only thing that matters in this election is who shows up.
I have written on that point myself. And — as things like the Chick-Fil-A affair demonstrate — the grassroots have more grit than the punditocracy and the establishment.
#EMPTYSTADIUMDAY: A reader emails: “One poster at Free Republic (ken5050) suggested that the Tea Party rent out the Bank of America Stadium for tomorrow night and hold a rally. Do you have any thoughts about who could orchestrate this? Perhaps a post on Instapundit may bring this to reality.” That’s pretty short notice, and I bet the Dems kept the ability to block something like that. But I could be wrong!
UPDATE: Reader Walter Smith writes: “So, get Mike Huckabee, and have a Chick-Fil-a, Christian music festival at a nearby stadium… Doubt the Dems would release Bank of America to be embarrassed… Go to UNCC’s stadium?”
HMM: Box office shocker. 2016 Obama’s America at #3? “This film only cost $2.5M to make and it looks like it’s going to have taken in nearly four times that amount by the time the convention kicks off. It’s a fairly remarkable story.”
80% of life, and 100% of politics, is showing up. This is more evidence of who’s showing up this year.
UPDATE: Reader Michael Ubaldi writes: “I saw it with a friend this afternoon. The theater was easily three-quarters full. We were among a handful without gray hair, but for me, the D’Souza film matters in the same way the Chick-fil-A support day did: unanticipated conservative turnout.”
AMERICA’S WEIMAR MOMENT? Reader Kevin Hedges writes:
Many years ago in an undergrad World History course, the professor asserted that German democracy died not in 1933 with Hitler becoming Chancellor but years earlier. It died when roving bands of Brown Shirts beat up Jews in the streets, and the average respectable German citizen responded by looking the other way. I am reminded of that today with the FRC shooting and the MSM pretending it didn’t happen. Leftist shootings, vandalized Chick-fil-As, Black Panthers at voting stations, many, many churches burned and vandalized, media silence and the drumbeat of hate and demonization continues. I honestly wonder if democratic pluralism is dead. Some are openly saying it is. Your thoughts would be appreciated.
No one who has attended a Tea Party rally is likely to agree. However, it’s certainly true that there are people out there who would be happy if things came to such a pass. And someday, they might. But this is not that day.
PROF. JACOBSON: SPLC’s Hatewatch Gives Cover To Hate.
Now if he’d been a Tea Partier, it would be news. Or even if Brian Ross could have found a Tea Partier with the same name on the Internet . . . .
ANOTHER UPDATE: John Hinderaker: Thoughts on the Family Research Council Shooting. “Liberals should take a deep breath and re-think how they talk about public policy issues. If they are looking for haters, it would seem that the mirror is a good place to start.”
THE TWO-MINUTE-HATE OF LAST MONTH BORE VIOLENT FRUIT TODAY: Family Research Council shooter carried Chick-fil-A bag, posed as intern.
When will the Administration and its allies restrain their violent, eliminationist hate-speech attacks on those who believe differently?
Related: Jim Treacher: It’s only an “atmosphere of hate” if it’s useful to liberals. “An organization that’s been vilified by the left gets shot up by somebody yelling about their policies. Ho-hum. Politically motivated shootings are only news when they can be twisted around to make conservatives look bad. Not much chance of that here.”
JOURNALISM: Reporter Who Bashed Chick-Fil-A Patrons Resigns.
WILL WILKINSON ON Chick-Fil-A And Corporate Responsibility. “Matters of moral truth aside, what’s the difference between buying a little social justice with your coffee and buying a little Christian traditionalism with your chicken? There is no difference. Which speaks to my proposition that CSR, when married to norms of ethical consumption, will inevitably incite bouts of culture-war strife. CSR with honest moral content, as opposed to anodyne public-relations campaigns about “values”, is a recipe for the politicisation of production and sales. But if we also promote politicised consumption, we’re asking consumers to punish companies whose ideas about social responsibility clash with our own.”
Conclusion: “I’d suggest the best arena for moral disagreement is not the marketplace, but our intellectual and democratic institutions.” That would require intellectual and democratic engagement, instead of bullying.
TECHCRUNCH: Chick-Fil-A Is Actually Popular: How Social Media Distorts Your View of The World. “Despite an inescapable torrent of opposition from popular tech blogs, Twitter users, and city mayors against Chick-fil-A, the self-avowed anti-gay marriage restaurant enjoyed record-breaking sales. . .. Had I just gazed the world through my Twitter feed, I would think Chick-fil-A was on the verge of bankruptcy. . . and also that Ron Paul was president, gay marriage was legal, and President Obama didn’t have a decent chance of losing the election.”
It depends on how diverse your friends/followers are.
MICHAEL BARONE: Supporters of Ted Cruz and Chick-Fil-A Break News. “Americans keep behaving in ways that baffle the liberal mainstream media.”
MAYBE THEY COULD LEARN A LESSON FROM, SAY, CHICK-FIL-A: Amtrak Dining Cars Losing Money On $10 Hamburgers. “Only a government subsidized operation could sell hamburgers for $10 each and lose money. People who use Amtrak know that the food is overpriced and not very good. But, hey, it’s a captive dining audience, right? The dining car should be a way for Amtrak to recoup some of its losses from running its expensive trains. Instead, the food system is so badly managed that somehow it also loses a lot of money, apparently because of theft, bad management, high labor costs, and other problems.”
L.A. TIMES: Chick-fil-A ‘Kiss in’ protest small compared to appreciation day. But it got more media coverage, I think.
THE NEW FACE OF BIGOTRY: Fedoraphobia.
ACE OF SPADES: At a Hollywood Chick-fil-A, Police Called To Escort Disruptive Protestors From Premises. Did I Say Disruptive Protestors? I Meant Disruptive Media. “Law enforcement sources tell us … the Chick-fil-A staff wasn’t bothered by the pro-gay marriage event taking place inside the restaurant, but felt the media was being too aggressive in trying to get commentary from Chick-fil-A employees.”
PLANS FOR A GAY KISS-IN AT CHICK-FIL-A.
IowaHawk comments: “Lesbians making out *and* chicken sandwiches? Is this heaven?”
CHICK-FIL-A APPRECIATION DAY: A New Kind of Political Protest: The Triumph Of The Ordinary. Like the Tea Party movement, the Chicken Sandwich Insurrection is a bourgeois revolt, which is why some people find it so threatening.
BACKPEDALING: Reporter pulls rant about Chick-fil-A customers. I didn’t believe the original report, and neither did some others. Plus this: “I’ve twice asked Krzos to comment, but have yet to hear from him.”
TODAY’S UNBIASED JOURNALISM. Meanwhile, some firsthand reporting by nonjournalists here. And I should note that when I passed the Chick-Fil-A near my house, the line wound out onto Kingston Pike and took up a hundred yards or so of street, after 8 p.m.
I don’t think this can be interpreted as opposition to gay marriage, so much as a response to bullying. But I do think that the bullying has probably tainted the gay-marriage brand, which is too bad. The gay-marriage argument is already winning — there’s no need to engage in Rahm Emanuel-style attacks, and doing so merely invites pushback. And, frankly, I’m happy to live in a country where people’s response to bullying is to push back.
UPDATE: Speaking of bullying: Chick-fil-A in Martinsburg re-opens after bomb threat.
ANOTHER UPDATE: This Yahoo! News story quotes some trad-marriage supporters, but also captures the anti-bullying angle well:
For those like John Mohler, 50, of Thornton, Colo., eating at Chick-fil-A on Wednesday was about defending free speech. Mohler said he doesn’t share Cathy’s belief–only his rights to air them.
“I’m not sure I agree with his position on gay marriage,” said Mohler, who drove to Englewood from downtown Denver on his lunch break. “But I applaud the owner for speaking his mind, and that’s why I’m here.”
In Chicago, throngs of supporters flocked to the lone Chick-fil-A, where the line of customers snaked through the entrance and around the corner. . . .
Further up the line, Jessica Cather, 29, Dana Haskins, 42, and Sarah Touhy, 43, all stressed that though they support same-sex marriage, they also support the right to believe what anyone wants to believe.
“We support tolerance on both sides,” Haskins said.
“Just because they don’t support gay marriage, it doesn’t make them a bad company,” Touhy said.
Another patron solicited donations to buy lunch for Alderman Joe Moreno, who made headlines last month for opposing a Chick-fil-A in his ward.
Linda Smith, 54, didn’t have time for the line. Instead, she gave someone else in line her money to spend to show her support. Smith said, “It doesn’t matter what the president of the company’s views are, as long as they don’t discriminate in hiring,” Smith said.
I’m actually afraid that the mainstream media will push the marriage angle, and that so will the conservative media, and miss out on the anti-bullying angle, which I see as the most significant. But perhaps they’ll show more balance than I fear.
MORE: Prof. Stephen Clark writes: “I have noticed in some commentary on the Chick-Fil-A protest that some people seemed surprised by the number of people who apparently shared their desire to make a statement. Isn’t this how preference cascades begin?”
STILL MORE: Ann Althouse comments:
1. I don’t believe the stories of customers saying homophobic things.
2. I’m totally against govt officials getting involved in favoring or disfavoring businesses based on the politics of the owners or the management.
3. Anyone can decide which businesses they want to patronize, and it’s fine to pick businesses that stand for what you like and avoid the ones that don’t.
4. It’s fine to try to get other people to choose what businesses to support/avoid based on political reasons.
5. Don’t assume that efforts to promote/penalize businesses will have the effect you want. You may be stimulating other people to do the opposite.
6. Chick-fil-A has gotten a lot of attention, and it will probably end up with more business. It doesn’t need everyone to be a customer, and now it has a niche, and there are plenty of people who are going to want to keep rewarding them for their values or patronize them because they hate the persecution.
Good points. And, agreeing with Ann Althouse, Jon Ham (Mary Katharine’s dad) comments on Facebook:
Sorry, but I’d bet this guy is lying. He’s Mark Krzos, a reporter for the News Herald in Ft. Myers, Fla. Among a half million people in DC on 9/12/10 I never saw one person act in the manner he describes, and at the Chick-fil-A I went to tonight, it was like a party. Sorry, not buying it, Mark.
Yeah, it seems more like a lefty fantasy than reality. Video or it didn’t happen.
FLIPPING THE BIRD TO RAHM: Chicago Chick-Fil-A Mobbed.
More here. And John Lucas sends this picture of the Chick-Fil-A in Maryville, TN. I saw a similar traffic jam outside another Chick-Fil-A near my house.
And, in Massachusetts, Hundreds Wait For Lunch At Burlington Chick-Fil-A.
And Lucas adds: “As I watched this phenomenon, I was struck by two related thoughts. The first is that there is that the force that propelled Ted Cruz to a 13 point victory in Texas ultimately is the same one that is causing thousands of people to turn out to support Chick Fil-A in small towns and large cities across the country. The second is that the people who buck the traffic jams (you should have seen them) just to stand in line for 30 minutes to get a chicken sandwich are people who are going to vote in November. The Democrats will attack or ignore them; the Republicans ignore them at their peril.”
I agree — and as someone who supported gay marriage long before President Obama did (which is to say, long before a couple of months ago), I’m nonetheless gratified to see people standing up to the bullying that the left-political class has aimed at this honest business simply because its owners failed to change their views in synch with President Obama.
UPDATE: A report from Bryan Preston.
ANOTHER UPDATE: From deep in the heart of Blue America: Business Brisk at Hollywood Chick-Fil-A. Report and photos from Gay Patriot at the link.
Meanwhile Luke Pingel sends a photo and report from the Chick-Fil-A in Fairfax, Virginia at 7 p.m.:
Quote of the evening from standing in a 20 minute line: “We’re here to send a message to the President.”
It’s packed and everyone is enthusiastically sharing their stories about dealing with liberal fascists.
And punching back twice as hard, as a famous man once said. Here’s the pic:
And Prof. Jacobson has photos from all over the country, and an interactive map, which is very cool.
And a reader emails from Florida: “My wife manages a Chick-fil-A in the Tampa, FL, area. They were mobbed as soon as the store opened at 6 am and have had one-hour waits for meals all day. At the moment the line is out the door, around the building, and into a nearby Wal-Mart parking lot. She was supposed to be off 2 hours ago but will probably wind up working until they close at 10 pm, which means a 16-hour day for her.”
And from California: Photos: Huge Crowds, Long Lines at Irvine Chick-fil-A.
LIFE AMONG THE BARBARIANS: Illinois Governor Proposes State Assault Weapons Ban. “Illinois could ban assault weapons under a plan proposed Tuesday by Gov. Pat Quinn, but any gun control regulation would have to clear major hurdles even with a renewed nationwide debate. The Chicago Democrat used his amendatory veto power to gut a bill related to ammunition sales and add language prohibiting the manufacture, delivery, sale and possession of semi-automatic assault weapons and attachments. Illinois lawmakers could accept or override the changes, or not call a vote at all.”
Given that even with their Naziesque gun control, Chicago is the murder capital of the world, maybe they should try a different approach. Or ban Chick-Fil-A, whatever.
ED MORRISSEY: Rahm Emanuel, Chick-Fil-A, And The Easy Slide Into Fascism. “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.”
JASON PYE ON THE CHICK-FIL-A BROUHAHA: Seriously, this is the most absurd fake outrage I’ve ever seen in my life. “Don’t get me wrong, I support gay marriage. However, I also believe in free speech. Sure, free speech occasionally comes with consequences — you have the right to say what you want, but you’d better be willing to live with it, but many of the people who have gotten on a soap box about this don’t exactly have their hands clean. As Conor Friedersdorf notes, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel worked for President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama at times when they opposed gay marriage. . . . If you’re expressing outrage at Chick-fil-A, why the hell were you not protesting President Obama before his ‘evolution’ on the issue just a couple of months ago?”
It’s not just important to have the proper ideas. You must have them at the proper time. Otherwise, you’re a fascist or something.
It may seem strange that anyone could look around the pornography-saturated, fertility-challenged, family-breakdown-plagued West and see a society menaced by a repressive puritanism. But it’s clear that this perspective is widely and sincerely held.
It would be refreshing, though, if it were expressed honestly, without the “of course we respect religious freedom” facade.
If you want to fine Catholic hospitals for following Catholic teaching, or prevent Jewish parents from circumcising their sons, or ban Chick-fil-A in Boston, then don’t tell religious people that you respect our freedoms. Say what you really think: that the exercise of our religion threatens all that’s good and decent, and that you’re going to use the levers of power to bend us to your will.
There, didn’t that feel better? Now we can get on with the fight.
Interesting to see this in the New York Times.
SANDWICHED IN: “Among pretty much everyone with a civil libertarian, or just plain libertarian, background, the verdict on the Chick-Fil-A furor is the same: while private persons and groups are within their rights to boycott a business, it’s outrageous and dangerous for government officials to threaten to use regulation to keep the fast-food chain out of their cities because they disapprove of its president’s anti-gay-marriage views.” Yep. Putting me on the same page with Andrew Sullivan and Glenn Greenwald, among others.
WHAT THE CHICK-FIL-A BROUHAHA says about the future of religious freedom.
YOU KNOW IT’S BAD WHEN MIKE BLOOMBERG CALLS YOU HEAVY-HANDED: Michael Bloomberg fillets Tom Menino over Chick-Fil-A stance. “The billionaire businessman-turned-New York mayor said Menino, along with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee, are wrong ‘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.’”
TRUST: Peter Ingemi on Chick-fil-A and why people don’t trust the Democrats on guns.
HOW BAD HAS THE HATRED GOTTEN? Mother Jones is defending Chick-Fil-A’s free speech rights.
GAY-HATRED’S OKAY IF IT’S DIVERSE GAY-HATRED: Boston Mayor was at ribbon cutting for city-subsidized mosque that teaches “death to gays.”
EUGENE VOLOKH: Chicago Alderman: I Will Deny Business Permit Because ‘There Are Consequences for [Its Owner's] Statements and Beliefs,’ and They Should Include Denial. “This is just appalling.” Well, it’s Chicago.
The Alderman should be glad the owners of Chick-Fil-A are forgiving Christian types. If I owned Chick-Fil-A, I’d file a lawsuit that would ruin him. And hire private investigators to look into his finances, because there’s only one way that ends for a Chicago Alderman. . . .
But I guess that’s why people like to pick on those forgiving Christian types. It’s safer.
MICHAEL BARONE: Liberal Officials Penalizing Free Speech. “As a conservative on most issues and a supporter of same-sex marriage, I find it fascinating that liberal politicians are so ready to clamp down on others’ speech. It’s certainly permissible to refuse to patronize a restaurant because you dislike the owner’s beliefs and to encourage, by means short of violence or intimidation, others to do so. It’s also kind of foolish and in my view would be a waste of time to have to research owners’ or managers’ political views before going somewhere to eat. But for public officials to penalize people because of their expressed beliefs—well, I wouldn’t go as far as blogger Elizabeth Scalia does when she titles a blogpost “this is how fascism works,” but it’s pretty nasty stuff. Mayors Emanuel and Menino are treating opposition to same-sex marriage as something akin to Hitlerism or Stalinism. But it’s not.”
Well, it is now, since Obama’s changed his views. If you hold the view of gay marriage that Obama held until his “evolution” a few weeks ago, that’s a thoughtcrime of the first order and makes you a public enemy. We have always
been at war with EastAsia supported gay marriage!
Somebody should explore this phenomenon in depth. And it’s funny that Mayor Menino is posturing as some sort of defender of decency, but there’s nothing more indecent than a city in which your right to do business depends on whether the downtown hacks approve of your ideas.
Meanwhile, I wonder if his threats didn’t open him, and Boston, up to a federal civil rights suit. He’s threatening to use the apparatus of government against people for constitutionally protected speech and beliefs. The Chick-Fil-A people, as good Christians, will probably forgive him, but if it were me, I’d do my best to make an example of him. Some lawsuits, some depositions, some inquiry into his relationships with people in the restaurant business….
UPDATE: More thoughts over at Gay Patriot, plus a recognition that Republican politicians didn’t try to keep gay-friendly enterprises Disney and Home Depot out of their jurisdictions. No, but Republican politics isn’t based around always having someone to hate. For the left, it’s always Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, the Kochs. It doesn’t matter who the bogeyman is, but it’s essential that there be a bogeyman in order to ensure solidarity.
TWO-MINUTE HATE’S TWO MINUTES ARE UP, I GUESS: Boston Mayor Admits He Can’t Actually Keep Chick-Fil-A Out.
Meanwhile, the hatemongering is starting to alienate gay marriage supporters.
AT DRUDGE, another amusing juxtaposition: Rahm Rejects CHICK-FIL-A: ‘Not Chicago Values’… is paired with GODFATHER WELCOMES FARRAKHAN.
BOSTON GLOBE: Stop Picking On Chick-Fil-A. “If the mayor of a conservative town tried to keep out gay-friendly Starbucks or Apple, it would be an outrage.” Except that doesn’t seem to happen, does it? What I think is funny is that if you have the same view on gay marriage that Obama had when he was elected, now you’re an enemy of humanity or something. It’s some sort of, I don’t know, Liberal Fascism or something. . . .
IN CASE YOU’RE NOT SURE, this is how fascism works.
UPDATE: Reader John Hawkins emails: “I think Jake and Elwood had it right on this one. I hate Illinois Nazis.”
NICK GILLESPIE ON People’s Problems With Chik-Fil-A.
SO WE’RE ON THE WAY HOME and we stopped for dinner at Truett’s Grill in McDonough, Georgia. The Truett in question is Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-fil-A, and this is a diner-like Chik-fil-A incarnation that we had never encountered. There was table service, and enough retro atmosphere to make James Lileks swoon. We liked it.
But there’s a deep secret. Click “read more” to see it.