Monday, July 23, 2012

Chick-fil-A and religious liberty

Although the headline says "Chick-fil-A exec takes stance against same-sex marriage," apparently gay marriage wasn't even mentioned in the interview. He merely indicated support for the traditional definition of family. But it isn't enough in today's America for a company to take no position on an issue, neither can its executives. Tolerance is insufficient - silence, or better yet, endorsement is mandatory. And in Boston Mayor Menino exemplifies the new bigotry:
Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston. You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population. We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion....

That’s the Freedom Trail. That’s where it all started right here. And we’re not going to have a company, Chick-fil-A or whatever the hell the name is, on our Freedom Trail. ....

If they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult — unless they open up their policies....
David French at NRO:
.... Mayor Menino is intent on making sure Chick-fil-A can’t do business in his town. Why? Because Chick-fil-A executives support the traditional family.

Let’s be clear about the mayor’s intent. No one has credibly accused Chick-fil-A of discrimination in employment or in its services. Every customer gets served, regardless of sex, race, creed, sexual orientation, or any other factor. Chick-fil-A stores comply with all applicable local, state, and federal nondiscrimination laws. Yet the mayor believes the business has no place in his town because of the constitutionally protected speech, ideas, and gifts of its executives and leaders. .... [more]
My own brief experience with "Mayor-for-life" Menino was when I served as parliamentarian for the National Conference of Mayors when it met here in Madison. He was the presiding officer. When I was introduced to him the first words out of his mouth, vehemently expressed, were "I don't need a parliamentarian!" It is, no doubt, unfair to judge someone by so brief a personal encounter, but everything I observed for the rest of that day and that I have read subsequently has reaffirmed my impression. His reaction here seems similarly unconsidered, intemperate, and intolerant. As has the reaction to Chick-fil-A of gay activists nationally .

Robert P. George believes attitudes like Menino's have become more and more common because it was always an illusion to believe that once gay marriage was achieved its advocates would be content. From his "Marriage, Religious Liberty, and the 'Grand Bargain'"
It was only yesterday, was it not, that we were being assured that the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex partnerships would have no impact on persons and institutions that hold to the traditional view of marriage as a conjugal union? Such persons and institutions would simply be untouched by the change. It won’t affect your marriage or your life, we were told, if the law recognizes Henry and Herman or Sally and Sheila as “married.” ....

The fundamental error made by some supporters of conjugal marriage was and is, I believe, to imagine that a grand bargain could be struck with their opponents: “We will accept the legal redefinition of marriage; you will respect our right to act on our consciences without penalty, discrimination, or civil disabilities of any type. Same-sex partners will get marriage licenses, but no one will be forced for any reason to recognize those marriages or suffer discrimination or disabilities for declining to recognize them.” There was never any hope of such a bargain being accepted. Perhaps parts of such a bargain would be accepted by liberal forces temporarily for strategic or tactical reasons, as part of the political project of getting marriage redefined; but guarantees of religious liberty and non-discrimination for people who cannot in conscience accept same-sex marriage could then be eroded and eventually removed. After all, “full equality” requires that no quarter be given to the “bigots” who want to engage in “discrimination” (people with a “separate but equal” mindset) in the name of their retrograde religious beliefs. .... [more]
First, tolerance is required. Then acceptance and silence. And finally full agreement with sanctions against those unwilling to acquiesce. Thank God for the First Amendment. But will it be enough?

More 7/24: The Media Completely Invented That Chick-Fil-A Story - Ricochet.com

The Sexual Revolution Gets (More) Totalitarian - By David French - The Corner - National Review Online, Marriage, Religious Liberty, and the “Grand Bargain” « Public Discourse