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I Did Not Go to Chick-Fil-A Today

The whole thing kind of angers me, really, because I think both sides are wrong. I support government recognizing homosexual couples having the same legal rights as heterosexual couples when it comes to marriage. But I also support the Cathy family, owners of Chick-Fil-A, having religious believes that compel them to support traditional marriage, and being able to hold fast to those beliefs without being victims of thuggery by the likes of Boston Mayor Tom “Mumbles” Menino and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel.

And as for Mumbles and his partner in tyranny Rahm, there is a special spot in hell, as far as I’m concerned. Because what they did by engaging in their thuggish behavior was expand the pro-Chick-Fil-A coalition enough that the message being sent to Dan Cathy is that he has nothing to lose and everything to gain by taking a strong and firm position on social issues.

Let me play a bit of Devil’s advocacy for those on the left for whom social issues like gay marriage are important. Rahm and Mumbles just screwed you guys by taking things a step too far. Whatever you may think, they are not your allies. They have energized the right coalition in ways you can’t imagine. First Amendment and small government advocates are rightly just as outraged as opponents of gay marriage in how Chick-Fil-A has been treated. If these people will wait in long lines to buy chicken, in large enough numbers that the chickens can’t be killed and deliciously deep fried fast enough, what do you think they are going to do in November?

Bill Clinton’s real political genius was in understanding and exploiting the divisions in the right coalition. After having his posterior handed to him in 1994, he did what he was best at doing; he triangulated. Clinton decided to concede on a large part of the right’s economic plan, and in some cases actively embraced it, and made it his own. He then proceeded to fight culture wars on social issues, and the GOP took the bait. Under the Clinton strategy, I watched the Philadelphia ring counties go from Republican (though never very socially conservative) strongholds to favoring center-left Democrats.

Today, having driven around to see how busy our Chick-Fil-As were, just half an hour before closing, I think I may be watching the death of the Clinton strategy. Not because this strategy doesn’t work, but because the hard-core urban leftists like Barack Obama just can’t help themselves. Like a lot of big city politicians, they don’t understand that the political landscape is really driven by suburbs, and those politicians are rapidly tearing the Clinton strategy to pieces in their ignorance.

58 Responses to “I Did Not Go to Chick-Fil-A Today”

  1. TS says:

    I have never been to Chic-Fil-A, but this whole thing has made me want to go to try it. Not to support traditional marriage, but to try what people are saying is a damn good chicken sandwich (for fast food). But I would specifically avoid it today- because I fully support gay marriage. I really don’t care what his stance is on gay marriage- I care about his stance on chicken sandwiches. I don’t have to agree with Cathy on everything. I am sure there are plenty of other things we do agree on, and there are plenty of issue I disagree with for places I regularly patronize (including being anti-gun). I am not totally against boycotting, but I’ll be one of the last to jump on the wagon. Why is there such a need to try politics to consumerism?

  2. Dannytheman says:

    So I’m still not sure why you didn’t go? I support gay rights, I do not support bullies. The first amendment respects free speech and religion and Dan Cathy is entitled to his opinion. But bullying should never be tolerated.
    I went and took my sons to stand up to bullies.

    But I now think we will crush the democrats in November! People are mad and they are protesting in safe and meaningful ways!

  3. Stacy says:

    I highly doubt that this episode has inspired a renaissance of gay-hating. It’s more that a lot of people, like me, who lean right but sometimes wonder if they’re being too hard on/paranoid about leftish politicians have just had their worst fears confirmed. Give these people enough rope and tomorrow you’ll wake up to find them hanging you with it just because you like to eat french fries.

    And it should be pointed out that nobody has even accused Chick-fil-a of any sort of employment discrimination. We’re strictly talking about Dan Cathy’s personal opinions.

    • gattsuru says:

      It’s a bit more than that : the corporation’s charitable arm, the WinShape Foundation, has donated to groups like the Marriage & Family Legacy Fund and Fellowship Of Christian Athletes. While lobbying against gay marriage or discriminatory policies aren’t the sole thing these groups do (nor donations to them the sole thing the WinShape Foundation does), the behavior does mean something.

      Of course, the WinShape Foundation’s activities have been very well-known in the GLBT areas since early 2011. A lot of the motivation for yesterday’s boycott came in response to the “guilty as charged” quote — as already shown by an early post by Sebastian, misleadingly reported — and more significantly by the folks defending Chick-A-Fil. Santorum, for many reasons both well-founded (see his entire political campaign) and not (see Dan Savage), could claim the sky was blue and get a good 90% of the GLBT community to start arguing with him against it because he’s such a detestable little creep. It’d be like Carolyn “shoulder thing that goes up” McCarthy trying to organize a buycott; you or I’d be coming to thing with the presumption that the company was anti-gun.

      There’s been no successful employee discrimination suits on the basis of sexual orientation, nor have I heard of any well-founded claims of such.

  4. McThag says:

    I have a radical thought. Eliminate government recognition of all marriages; let the churches decide.

    I know of two that are an easy drive from my house that will perform a marriage ceremony on a gay couple. No force of law behind that, but their version of Christianity has no problem.

    Why is government involved at all? Why can’t everything we’re talking about be a contract deal?

    • ern says:

      This has been my opinion for a while now. But the truth is that gay couples can go to a lawyer and get health care proxies, powers of attorney, etc. and replicate nearly all the rights that straight couples have. They just don’t get them automatically. Is that little convenience worth having government all up in our private business? I don’t think so.

      Marriages should be governed by private contracts, enforced by an impartial court. Government should not be involved at all. Not only is is a limitation of freedom, but it’s a bit creepy.

      • Bryan S. says:

        A government of any nation has a vested interest in growing its population, thus an interest in encouraging the raising of a family.

        I would also argue that a more stable family structure prevents so many of the things that we offer social programs for now. Wether that family structure is made up of two of the same sex and a child, I honestly dont care, as long as the child is taken care of and the family isnt mooching off the system.

      • Jake says:

        But the truth is that gay couples can go to a lawyer and get health care proxies, powers of attorney, etc. and replicate nearly all the rights that straight couples have. They just don’t get them automatically.

        Of course, having those arrangements actually recognized when they’re needed is an entirely different matter.

        They just don’t get them automatically.

        It’s worth noting that they also don’t automatically follow them between states like they do with heterosexual marriages.

        Marriages should be governed by private contracts, enforced by an impartial court. Government should not be involved at all.

        Agreed, 100%.

        • ern says:

          I’ve never heard of a state not recognizing a power of attorney or health care proxy that has been fully executed just because someone is gay. Have you? Somehow I doubt it. The whole point of those documents is to formally include people not normally part of a legal decision making process in the decision making process. It’s the kind of situation for which those documents were made.

          The documents are fairly boilerplate, and inexpensive to obtain. It’s no more of a hassle than any other paperwork one has to do when moving to another state.

          Of course, it doesn’t matter. Legally I don’t think gay couples should *have* to do any of it. But there’s no stopping them from doing it right now if they want to.

          • Jake says:

            It does happen, though not necessarily on the state level – but mainly because at that point it’s usually being handled at the local (city or county) level. The anti gay-marriage amendments of some states (like Virginia’s) can make it ridiculously simple for other family members to challenge such arrangements, though I don’t think it’s been tested yet.

            • ern says:

              First I’ve ever heard of it happening. Pretty horrible stuff. The attorney’s I’ve spoken to about it (most are in estate planning) have told me that it just doesn’t happen, but I guess they’re wrong. All the more reason to limit the reach of government into family decisions, though.

              • Harold says:

                But you still need the government to enforce arrangements; what happened here, if honestly portrayed, was at best government failing its duty and at worst theft, see below, and likely no one outside of the couple was set up or existed to hold the government’s feet to the fire in court.

                (Long side trip follows, but I hope I make a useful point at the end.)

                And bad stuff does happen when those in the government are sufficient corrupt and/or power mad. In my own home county of Jasper, Missouri (the location of most of Joplin) the county public administrator Rita Hunter was both power mad and we’ve now learned corrupt, and possibly would have gotten away with it if she hadn’t gone so far as to extradite a daughter from California who’s mother she’d illegitimately put under her control, making national news.

                Showing what a class act she is, before she turned over her office she destroyed the computer records, removed the paper records, and … transferred much/most/nearly all? of the surplus money she was holding in trust to various state and federal entities (fortunately that was easy to reverse after a lot of forensic accounting). She’ll go to trial in Federal court probably late this year.

                Oh, yeah, she co-mingled their money with her own, may have helped herself to some of it, and officially and it is alleged fraudulently in many ways charged them for her “services” at the same time she was taking a salary (in Missouri, these offices are supposed to be one or the other basis, to do both is double dipping).

                Really seriously vile, taking advantage of society’s most vulnerable, but some would appear to just view them as easy marks. And this sort of thing is not supposed to happen here (seriously, our local governments are generally fairly well run and not very corrupt).

                We can’t always proactively stop this sort of thing, its inevitably going to happen sometimes, whether the victims are gay or not. The best we can do is intervene after it becomes apparent and throw those responsible in jail for a long time, which I sincerely hope will be the outcome here in Missouri.

                Oh, yeah, when these are elected positions we can throw the bum out of office: the primary that allowed Ms. Hunter to spend more time with her family had some serious turnout and she lost by a large margin as I recall. Eternal vigilance and all that.

      • Harold says:

        And who’s going to operate and enforce the rulings of that “impartial” (hah!) court?

        What some seem to be forgetting is the viewpoint that marriage is primarily an institution to create a good environment for raising children, who by definition cannot be part of a contract. Therefore you’ve got to use concepts like covenants, and look beyond the wishes of just the couple getting married. Which our current system does (although it’s gotten impossibly biased against men, but that’s for another discussion).

        • ern says:

          As far as I can tell, there’s no reason why the care of the children can’t be addressed as part of the contract.

          • Harold says:

            Perhaps, but for that someone has got to enforce minimum standards in the contract, and who else but the government?

            I also think the covenant model is simply better, e.g. you can’t effectively enforce emotional support in a contract, can you?

            • ern says:

              Well, that is what I said: contracts should be enforced by the court. They already enforce business contracts, so there’s no reason to think that marriage contracts would be any different. That’s different from saying that the state should write the contract: which is what they do right now.

              If you’re looking for “enforcement” of emotional support … well, good luck with that. There are some things that even covenants can’t do. Which is why the divorce rate for Evangelicals is the same (or slightly higher) than the national average. Some things in a marriage will always be voluntary, which is why so many of them fail.

  5. Mikeb302000 says:

    Sebastian, I just saw more-or-less the same nonsense on Linoge’s blog. I wonder who’s copying whom.

    The problem with your equivocation is that it makes no sense. Either you think homophobia is wrong or you don’t. If you think it’s wrong, then you have to stick with that and not excuse it with that flimsy explanation about religious beliefs that you gave.

    Why don’t you just admit it, anything that Menino and Emmanuel support, you oppose. It doesn’t have to make sense.

    • ecurb says:

      It’s clear how seriously you take the first amendment when you say things like “either you think homophobia is wrong or you don’t”, and “flimsy explanation about religious beliefs”. You really, honestly think freedom of speech only applies to people with the “right” opinion, don’t you?
      In my book, homophobes rank up there with moon landing conspiracy theorists. Guess what? Neither deserve to be threatened by government officials for their beliefs (although I fully support them being mocked unmercifully and punched by Buzz Aldrin, respectively).

      I will be linking some anti-gun friends to your blog, as your increasingly vindictive ranting do more to discredit your position than we ever could.

    • ern says:

      It makes no sense? It makes perfect sense. Only someone who doesn’t believe in the true breadth of the first amendment could possibly not understand it. Denying people the right to do business because of something they believe in is pure fascism. But I’m beginning to think that for some on the left, that’s a feature, not a bug.

      Doesn’t it strike you as somewhat contradictory to be arguing that gays are denied access to public benefits because of how they live their lives, while simultaneously arguing that those with traditional religious beliefs should be denied access to public benefits because of what they believe?

      This isn’t complicated.

      • mikeb302000 says:

        Access to public benefits, like what, customers?

        If you guys are for anti-gay attitudes, just say so.

        • Bryan S. says:

          Is it anti-gay to think that male on male sex is icky, while still supporting the recognition of its practitioners to have the same rights as you and I, but not more, or less?

          Go bait for controversy somewhere else.

        • ern says:

          Being deliberately obtuse doesn’t help make your point. So, you think people should only be able to open a business if they agree with your political points of view? Alright.

          If you’re in favor of fascism, just say so. But then, I think you did.

    • Oh look, more proof that it’s really the Left that is incapable of making distinctions.

      I’ve always wondered why it is that the Left accuses us of being stupid.

    • jkp says:

      OMG – TTAG’s version of Alan Colmes visits other blogs, too?

      Alas, people have the right to be assholes on religious grounds as long as they are not depriving anyone else of their rights. That’s pretty much the point of the 1st amendment.

      Why don’t you just admit that you’re okay with trashing the entire bill of rights to get rid of things you find personally repugnant?

      • mikeb302000 says:

        Why don’t you admit that when Mayor Menino supports something, you oppose it, period.

        • Stacy says:

          Because it’s not true? I never had a problem with Menino until he said he wanted to abuse his office to punish a private citizen for his opinions. Actually, to punish other private citizens for the private opinions of their boss’ business partner.

          I read an article last night in which several openly gay Chick-fil-A employees said they were uncomfortable with comments made by some of the overflow customers yesterday. Buried lede: *Chick-fil-A has openly gay employees*. So again, we’re talking not about any current or proposed company policy or actions, just the statement of personal opinion by the CEO. For which two unhinged hard-left politicians have publicly stated they want to abuse their offices in blatant violation of the first amendment. Free speech for me, but not for thee, which of course is the basic MO of the neo-Stalinist left. Oh, you don’t like generalizations based on statements by individuals? Gosh I’m sorry…

    • RuffRidr says:

      Sebastian, I just saw more-or-less the same nonsense on Linoge’s blog. I wonder who’s copying whom.

      Are you really criticizing Sebastian of plagiarism? Wow, your hypocrisy knows no bounds. Your blog constantly rips off from more popular blogs, TTAG being one of your primary sources. When Dog Gone was writing copying-and-pasting for you, whole articles were grabbed from other sites. You got quite the pair to make that accusation of others.

  6. “I think I may be watching the death of the Clinton strategy. Not because this strategy doesn’t work, but because the hard-core urban leftists like Barack Obama just can’t help themselves.”

    Well, we are too stupid for our opinion to count anyway, right? The Left is built upon the idea that the common man is just not capable of governing himself. He needs a master to make the hard decisions for him.

    Hmm. How is it that the “Left” is basically a renewed version of the old monarchy. Though I am sure that they view themselves as enlightened despots. Everything old is new again.

    • Harold says:

      I’ve gathered that it’s the death (at least for now) of part of the “Clinton strategy” because Team Obama are overtly pro-big city and very anti-suburb. Stanley Kurtz, a scholar I’ve learned to respect and who’s studied Obama very closely even has a new book out on the subject.

      I think it’s also the case that Obama just has a very different approach to politics, and if Obamacare sticks an ultimately much more successful one. There’s also the issue of the Democratic party at large, in many areas (especially economic) they were to the left of Clinton and since then the party has overall moved a lot more to the left. In general, we’re seeing a stark polarization, e.g. with the Republican/Tea Party base getting entirely fed up with the party’s establishment and sending quite a few of them home to spend more time with their families. Can’t think of any of their targets as being seriously pro-gun, I would note.

  7. Patrick says:

    I don’t go there because the chicken is too salty, they are not open on Sundays (the day I typically get out and about in town) and because they use styrofoam cups for their drinks that won’t fit into my car cup holders. Could care less about their private views on marriage or religion.

    Give them credit for standing for their beliefs – they turn down a lot of business by being closed half of every weekend, even in shopping malls. That is turning down a large dump truck full of cash – every single week – for religious observance.

    I hear the ones in/near Annapolis has been slammed.

    • mikeb302000 says:

      Aren’t you guys the same ones who sometimes describe yourselves, being gun owners, as a discriminated-against group? Would you hesitate to support a boycott of a place of business that discriminated against gun owners?

      • Please point to the incidents where Chick-Fil-A has discriminated against gays. You know, all the times that gays were denied service or employment. Come on now, it can’t be hard. There must be hundreds of examples of this evil Christianist organization discriminating against gays. I mean, the CEO totally came out and said he supports the traditional definition of marriage! That’s almost like rounding up gay men in clubs and hanging them! Surely they’ve thrown some gays out of their restaurants for being totally gay, and maybe even told a few gays that they couldn’t work for Chick-Fil-A if they didn’t stop their gayness and start worshipping Jesus on their Sunday off, right?

        Does getting beaten up in comments turn you on or something? When I was in college there was a weird Christian group that would come to campus and basically spend the day getting yelled at. This was before I understood that there were people who liked getting beaten during sex, so I didn’t understand that there were people who LIKED being hurt. Do you have a leather suit so you can dress like Mr. Slave from South Park? If so, could you keep that between you and your significant other and leave us out of it?

  8. johannes paulsen says:

    Sebastian,

    I have to agree with your entire post.

    The only thing I’d add is that I have gone to Chick Fil-A in the past, and have no intention of returning.

    The food is just the standard processed crap you get at any fast food joint. I’m not going to pay someone for a substandard product.

  9. Bram says:

    Mumbles and Rahm exposed themselves – and I’m not talking about gay rights. Anyone who has paid attention in Boston knows about the corruption. To get a small business opened involves all kinds of bribes and payoffs. Without some cash in properly placed envelopes, you will never get your business zoned, inspected, permitted, etc…

    Mumbles sin was talking out loud about using his corrupt system for political purposes as well as gain.

  10. Oranje Mike says:

    Chatter on Facebook and in person has this victory going to Chick-Fil-A. Many people went out to support the Cathy’s only because of Menino and Rahm. Thuggery of their kind will never be tolerated outside of Boston and Chicago.

    Personally, I support gay rights but think this story was blow out of proportion. Cathy was asked a question and he answered. Somehow the leftie media turned it into a culture war. Another major fail in our media. Gays have long boycotted Chick-Fil-A. It’s been known where the Cathy’s stood.

  11. David says:

    Now wait just a second. About the ring counties. Having lived in one of those ring counties all my life, I can tell you that they way you’re drawing the picture of what happened is just not correct. Those ring counties were mostly rural until the late 80’s when the Philly exodus started. First is was the development of KOP and the businesses who left downtown in favor of the burbs lower construction costs and lack of a wage tax. The people followed. They figured out that they could raise a family in the burbs and work in the burbs. There were lots of old farmers willing to cash out and sell land to developers for office parks and cookie cutter houses. What we saw was an influx of big city dems moving out the burbs. They brought with them the big city attitude of bigger gov’t trying to be all things to all people. The rural attitude of do for yourself was being sold off with the land.

    • Harold says:

      I suspect you’re right; I closely examined southern to mid-New Hampshire around 1990 and it was clear to me the refugees from Massachusetts were going to tip the political balance of the state, and that indeed happened. Also seems to have ruined the predictive power of the state’s presidential primary.

      “Demographics is destiny.”

  12. Thirdpower says:

    I didn’t go for one reason. I don’t like their food.

  13. mikee says:

    That the mayors of Chicago and L.A. still held their offices at the end of the day they made their outrageous statements is a testament to the idiocy of the city governments in those locations.

    That the mayors would so exceed the authority granted to them by their citizens cannot be tolerated in a government operating under rule of law, rather than mob rule.

    • Harold says:

      More like oligarchy than mob rule, these guys are the representatives of certain concentrated interests; in the case of gay marriage, which has gone down in flames in every statewide referendum to date according to something I just read (30+ states, I think, and please note I’m only making a statement about people’s revealed preferences), they’re almost certainly not representing their putative constituents (well, except for San Francisco, but the closest Chi-fil-A is 40 miles from it and I doubt they plan to open any in the city).

      And getting back to the rule of law plus city governments, something I’ve brought up elsewhere in this topic is that these people, having unimaginably fouled their own nests by turning their big cities into hells on earth, propose to address this by capturing the suburbs and all the people who fled the big cities for just those reasons. I suspect that’s not going to work very well.

    • Oranje Mike says:

      Chicago always has, and always well, embrace corrupt machine politics that act more like tyrants than mayors.

  14. NotClauswitz says:

    Another rather astonishing display of Leftist bigotry and more evidence that they are simply and totally incapable of the exact same self-reflection that they demand from others, when they are the bullies.

  15. Prophet says:

    I actually went to Chick-fil-a yesterday not that I necessarily oppose gay marriage. Truth be told I oppose State recognized marriage completely. It should be between the couple and their god if they have one. What business is it of the governments?

    Anyways, I digress, I went yesterday to support freedom of Speech which is really what Rahm and mumbles want to crush. The same ole same ole when it comes to liberalism:

    You can believe and say whatever you want…as long as you believe as we do. And if you don’t we’ll try to crush you!

    Every time the song remains the same. Black republicans, women who are pro life, poor people who don’t want handouts. Its all “uncle Tom” this, “Subserviant woman” that, “You’re just not intelligent enough to know only the government can help you” nonsense to boot. Tolerance? HA…the left are the most anti tolerant rabid animals out there.

  16. Tam says:

    *scribbling furiously on my list of people I’m going to need to back-shoot after the revolution*

    • Zermoid says:

      Tam, don’t back shoot them, poison them, it’s saves on ammo that way and depending on the poision used is much slower and painful than shooting, thus much more satisfying to watch.

      >;-]

  17. Zermoid says:

    I did not go either, but not for lack of wanting to, the nearest one is almost an hour away and I just didn’t have time and ability to go.

    As far as “gay rights” go, first I hate that homosexuals stole the word ‘gay’, it used to mean happy, jubilant, now it means Homosexual, specifically male homosexual. Women are Lesbians, not “gays” from what I’ve seen.
    That aside I think “marriage” is a religious derived thing, sure you have Justice of the Peace “weddings” too, but the original institution of Marriage comes from the church, and should be defined by the church. If the church and it’s teaching do not accept homosexual marriage then that should be that.

    I can however agree with allowing a State ‘Marriage’ of Gays by a Justice of the Peace with all the same State and Federal ‘benefits’ a straight couple gets, just don’t force the church to accept it as a valid marriage. that’s the proper separation of Church and State.

  18. Patrick H says:

    Totally agree. I wanted to go, not because I’m against gay rights (I’m not- I believe the state shouldn’t have any involvement in marriage) but because I’m for free speech. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go because it was too full!

  19. Ian Argent says:

    There’s at least one benefit of marriage that can’t be replicated by contract, spousal privilege in refusing to testify…

    At any rate, government will be involved in marriage as long as contracts are enforced by government. Being “legally” married means entering into a number of legal relationships with the other person, without having to engage lawyers or spend a raft of money. To duplicate that without the assistance of a marriage certificate is expensive. All things considered, I’d rather let more people say “I do “than make everyone go to the lawyer’s office.

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