Thank You, Mayors Emanuel, Menino, Wright and the Rest, For The Chick-fil-A Ethics Train Wreck!

“…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.“—Instapundit blogger Glenn Reynolds

Good work, Rahm!

I’m with Professor Reynolds 100%, except that I know that many of the people mobbing Chick-fil-A franchises across the country yesterday, in backlash to Democratic politicians attempting to use the power of elected office to stifle free speech and impose mandatory thought conformity, were also doing so because they saw it as implicit support of the anti-gay marriage position.

And this, my friends, is why the ends do not justify the means.

I have read misguided blog post after misguided blog post and endured self-righteous commenters who are beyond idiotic who endorse the disgraceful comments of Menino, Emanuel, and the other anti-democratic bullying mayors, councilmen and aldermen because “they are standing up for what is right.” Maybe…but in doing so by mounting what amounts to an official attack on a private business and citizen, they are embracing what is undeniably wrong, according to this country’s values: government and its officials telling the public, not what they should do, which is a proper role of the government, but what they must say and believe, which is what the Constitution decrees that government  must never do.

What does this clear abuse of power accomplish? As with any time unethical methods are applied to seek “good” ends, it forces both advocates and opponents to either accept unacceptable conduct, or to ally themselves with those who oppose what they believe is right, in order to reject a wrongful means of accomplishing it.  And the results of this is inevitable corruption. Everybody is sullied. I don’t want to stand side-by-side with those who would deny my many gay friends and associates, who are among the finest people I know or will ever know, the rights that heterosexual Americans have, including the right to have their committed relationship recognized by law. I do, however, want to support the right of any business owner to hold whatever opinions he or she chooses, to contribute his or her earned profits from that business to any cause he chooses to, to express his opinions, controversial or not,  publicly, and allow the public to decide, without government threats, whether those opinions should factor into their patronage of the business. Similarly, anyone who wants to express support for gay marriage has been placed in the position of also having to support government thuggery and thought-control, unless these dictatorial city hall advocates for gay marriage are removed from the equation.

Put the blame squarely on the political correctness dictators for turning this into an ethics train wreck. But thank them for demonstrating, for those who need yet another demonstration after the thousands our  history already provides, why those who are willing to trample on our core freedoms in pursuit of  “right thinking” are not only untrustworthy, destructive and doomed to fail, but also fools.

(You can hear my comments on this topic on NPR’s “Tell Me More” here, and read the transcript here.)

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Spark: Instapundit

Sources:

Graphic: KRMG

 

 

84 thoughts on “Thank You, Mayors Emanuel, Menino, Wright and the Rest, For The Chick-fil-A Ethics Train Wreck!

  1. Teddy Roosevelt seemed pretty OK with using the White House as a “Bully pulpit.” Would the 1903 iteration of Ethics Alarm have taken the same umbrage then as now?
    I’m unaware of any part of Mayor Menino’s statement in which he proposes, advocates or expresses an intention to propose legislation to ban Chick-fil-A in Boston; he was stating his personal revulsion, as mayor of the capital of the first state to legalize gay marriage, at the prospect of a Chick-fil-A opening a stone’s throw away from the State House where the bill was signed, and the City Hall where the first couples were married. Is it unethical of him to state an opinion – albeit from a bully pulpit – having taken (to my knowledge) no action whatsoever against Chick-fil-A?
    Personally, I’m with him: it would be a shame for them to ply their trade on the Freedom Trail. But then of course if they did, Boston being Boston, the paint on the walls will have barely dried before they found themselves in violation of dozens of obscure safety, fire, and health codes, hiring practice laws, etc. Now there’s your ethical thicket.

    • John, an elected official speaking officially does not get to express “personal revulsion.” His government hat doesn’t come off. He was speaking as Mayor. He was threatening OFFICIAL action, saying that the company would encounter official obstruction. Teddy Roosevelt crossed many ethical lines in his time, but you will not find any instance when he said anything equivalent while he was a mayor or President. The Bully Pulpit is for advocating ideas, not threatening citizens and businesses by name because of what they say, as opposed to what they DO. Then it’s just plain Bullying.

      • John, an elected official speaking officially does not get to express “personal revulsion.”

        I don’t know if I agree with this. I think an official could express the revulsion ethically. The problem here is that Menino didn’t just say he didn’t like something; he suggested that he would abuse his power to stop something based on speech.

        • My point is that a statement from an elected official to the media is by definition a statement by a government official. If a President says “I hate broccoli,” the broccoli market is hurt. The power is there, so the statement is backed by implicit power to harm those who disagree, and also bolstered by the cognitive dissonance that comes with power. This is the aspect of leadership that I thing the President has never grasped. Attacking Fox News by name, for example, is unethical in my view.

          • I can’t agree with you. While I agree the power is there, generally, I don’t think that it shouldn’t be used. There are times when it is inappropriate, but that’s on a case by case basis.

            • Case by case meaning—depending on whether we happen to agree with the objective of the power abuse? I don’t think politicians can be trusted to find the right exceptions, and I can’t think of any. Can you?

              • What I’m saying is that speaking out is not an abuse of the position. It’s part of the position.

                If it’s an ethical statement, then I don’t see the problem. Any exceptions would have to be carved out the other way. Basically, I treat it similar to the way I treat role models.

                • Still looking for an example of when you think it would be an ethical act to level the power and influence of a high elected official against a member of the community, business or individual, for anything other than a proven criminal act, or an expression of an opinion or point of view.

                  • “I don’t like Ethics Alarms; they donate to groups who deny the rights of atheists.”

                    “I don’t like Ethics Alarms; they donate to groups who deny the rights of christians.”

                    Both work for me. I’m fine with a government official calling out unethical behavior. You’re not.

                    • Karla,

                      I’m sure such statements would immediately polarize, but I don’t see any reason to believe the long term affect would be negative.

                      By both sides, you are referring to “people who deny rights to a group they don’t like” and “people who aren’t evil,” right?

          • A CEO of a multi-billion dollar corporation takes the profits from his industry (as opposed to his own personal finances) to fund groups that actively advocate political action against the civil rights of millions of people. Is Dan Cathy not using his position of power to enforce his point of view on others? Is this not also a bully pulpit?
            As a gay man, I find Dan Cathy’s deeds infinitely more threatening than any of Menino’s words.

            • A CEO of a multi-billion dollar corporation takes the profits from his industry (as opposed to his own personal finances)…

              So, inherited money is okay to spend, but earned money isn’t? What?

              As a gay man, I find Dan Cathy’s deeds infinitely more threatening than any of Menino’s words.

              Menino’s mere “words” are suggesting that he will use the power of government to discriminate against people he doesn’t like. That doesn’t scare the hell out of you? If you back Menino, you’re backing any elected official who doesn’t protect gays from abuse. You’re backing the sherriff that arrests two men for kissing. You’re backing the judge who dismisses a murder case because the faggots had it coming.

              I can see feeling threatened by someone bankrolling groups that don’t like you, but what he is doing is speech. Individual speech can never be as threatening as government willing to ignore law.

              • Menino had an honest emotional reaction to Cathy’s statement, and over-reacted. I’ll grant you that. I’m willing to bet that ultimately this will result in no legislation whatsoever. Chick-fil-A might well be granted a license to open a restaurant in Boston anyway (admittedly irrelevant non-sequiter: this would bring the number of stores in Massachusetts to three). Being a Bostonian, I’ll wince whenever I see it, and I’ll be damned if I ever set foot in it, and perhaps it might not stay open long. But for all I know, if they want to do business in Boston strongly enough, they probably will.
                If there’s been any positive from this whole kerfuffle, it’s in how the backlash has aired the dirty laundry and brought the morons out into the open, leaving us no choice but to confront how deep the vein of hatred and stupidity runs in this country. Check out this example of constitutionally protected free speech, and God bless America. http://storify.com/homophobes/top-50-homophobic-chick-fil-a-tweets
                I made the distinction between an individual and a corporate donation to distinguish between the action of a private citizen versus the action of a major corporation. Which, I suppose, is comparable to the distinction between someone reacting as a human being and reacting as a representative of government.
                Where you and I differ, TGT, is that I find corporate power far more menacing than the government.

                • I made the distinction between an individual and a corporate donation to distinguish between the action of a private citizen versus the action of a major corporation. Which, I suppose, is comparable to the distinction between someone reacting as a human being and reacting as a representative of government.

                  Not at all. A corporation is more like a person than like a government.

                  Where you and I differ, TGT, is that I find corporate power far more menacing than the government.

                  The government has the power to detain us. To strip us of our rights. They’re responsible for making sure the corporations and other individuals don’t step out of bounds. Even if we ever get an Umbrella Corporation or Wayland Industries, they would only gain their power based on the failures of government. Government is clearly more dangerous than corporations.

                  • As long as it is more profitable for people to be unhealthy than well, in debt rather than financially sound, and in a state of war than in peace, corporations will have more control over us than Uncle Sam.
                    Meanwhile, I’ll just scratch my head and wonder why Dan Cathy couldn’t have donated to Habitat For Humanity (or any other of dozens of faith-based charities) instead of fucking with millions of people’s civil rights.

                    • As long as it is more profitable for people to be unhealthy than well, in debt rather than financially sound, and in a state of war than in peace, corporations will have more control over us than Uncle Sam.

                      Aren’t those all things that the government can exploit? I don’t see your logic.

                      Meanwhile, I’ll just scratch my head and wonder why Dan Cathy couldn’t have donated to Habitat For Humanity (or any other of dozens of faith-based charities) instead of fucking with millions of people’s civil rights.

                      Didn’t you know? He loves you and wants you to be saved!

                    • With all due respect, the first sentence is naive and silly, kind of like “Imagine.” People have needs, companies and people fill them. If nobody had needs, then nobody could make a living at anything. It’s profitable for me that people need ethics training. If every one was ethical, I’d have to do something else. Does that make me sinister? By your logic it does. You’re a smart guy, John—you have to know this is claptrap.

                  • Which is strange, because only one of the two can throw you in jail, take your money, or allow society to rot away and fall on your head.

                    The implication being that “government” is some removed, distinct organization. It isn’t. In America the “government is We the People, … When a law is unjust or an act we find abhorrent we can appeal to our elected representatives (see First Amendment, Cl. 5) to correct the action. If our wishes are ignored we may choose different representatives in the next election.

                    We can not make the same appeal to our next door neighbor or a private company.

                    • Elected officials, however, have the power, and they abuse it frequently. The Constitution limits the kinds of abuse that can be engaged in legally. What the mayors did was a violation of the purpose and spirit of the First Amendment.

            • There is every reason to feel threatened, in a loose sense. I’d say you should feel more threatened, however, by the possibility that we will stat tolerating government control over policy views, moral codes, faith-based beliefs, and statement of opinion. Words and opinions can be countered by reason and arguments, as well as political activity. The government has tangible and oppressive ways to enforce its will.

              Meanwhile, a CEO’s share of profits are his personal finances. I’m with tgt—I don’t understand your bias here. It’s earned money. I live on my profits from my company. What’s the matter with that?

              • Do the donation checks come from Dan Cathy, or from Chick-fil-A? When you write checks to support the causes and groups you believe in, do the checks come from Jack Marshall, or your company? Is there relevance in the distinction?

                • It makes no difference. The company has the same right as Cathy. Cathy isn’t the company; he made the statement about the company’s “family values.” . I’m sure he greatly influences the company’s philanthropy. So what? You don’t agree with him; neither do I. So what? If you really want to only patronize businesses with key figures you are in political and social synch with, 1) Good luck with that, and 2) Go to it. But the government must be neutral when it comes to free thought, opinion, and the expression thereof.

                  • So no politician should have expressed any emotion when BP polluted the Gulf of Mexico or Alaska Pipeline?

                    Our politicians can’t object when legally imported goods are made by prison labor or child labor?

                    Stop thinking the government is a unrelated organism. It is still composed of people we put there. They are our representatives that speak for us. Denying these people of their opinions is as wrong as denying Dan Cathy of his opinion.

                    • What terrible analogies! You’re talking about criticizing criminal conduct….the mayors were attacking speech and opinion. The latter is chilling First Amendment rights. The former is proper official disapproval of harmful conduct. If you can’t tell the difference, by all means, run for mayor.

                      By the way, commenting on BP before a trial has decided guilt or negligence is also wrong, an attempt to warp the justice system.

                      Welcome back, though.

        • Irrelevant. That is a legal and ethical activity. Those are legitimate non-profit advocacy organizations, and the Supreme Court has stated that contributions are the equivalent of speech, as well as the right to association. No American or company should be intimidated from lawful political advocacy by threats from government officials. Menino can’t “call them out,’ because he speaks for the city, and the company has to do business in the city. In addition, the position those contributions are supporting happens to be the law of the land, signed by a Democratic President. If Menino could paint a target on the back of a company for supporting the law, he could do the same to a company that opposes the law. The ethical principle being violated is the same either way.

          The fact that you like the target of an abuse of government power is a lousy and short-sighted excuse for endorsing it.

            • Despite your claims, thuggery, coercion, and thought control are not necessary to get gay marriage enacted. (Aside, you do realize it already is legal in some states, right?)

              Discrimination complaints are not thuggery, coercion, or thought control. Nice try though.

              • Dishonest, manufactured or otherwise bad faith complaints aren’t either, just a form of harassment. I admit to being suspicious about the complaints, which seem awfully conveniently timed.

                I don’t deny that the pro-gay marriage forces have gone too far in many cases, and approached intimidation tactic, as when they set out to punish Utah for its citizens’ role in the Prop 8 vote. The tactics of the pro-gay marriage side are irrelevant to the whether gay marriage is a legitimate civil right. John Brown was a terrorist, and I don’t condone his ethics or methods, but his objective was the right one.

                • The tactics of the pro-gay marriage side are irrelevant to the whether gay marriage is a legitimate civil right.

                  Correct, we must look at our country’s history to see if it is a civil right. See e.g. Joel Prentiss Bishop, Commentaries on the Law of Marriage
                  & Divorce § 225 (1st ed. 1852), cited in Defendant Sally Howe Smith’s Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment and Brief in Support With Consolidated Opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment, Bishop v. United States, 04-CV-848-TCK-TLW (N.D. Okla.), at 18

                  • Yay for dead letter law! This can’t even be construed as good faith anymore.

                    (Also, the civil right would be based on equality under the law, not that marriage itself is a civil right.)

                    • Actually, I didn’t bother this time. It’s really annoying to look up citations without links, and you didn’t bother to say what you were referring to, so I’d have to read the entire decision. It’s also a quote used in a courtcase. At best, it’s a reference for a reasoning, and, again, supreme court decisions from the 1800s about marriage are pretty much all dead letter.

    • So then I take it that the African American Churchs along the Freedom Trail that have opposed the marriage of gays should shut down and move?

    • It doesn’t matter whether Menino specifically expressed an “intention to propose legislation banning Chick-fil-A from Boston” — for all practical purposes, his statement carried the same implication.

      What Menino said was this: “Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston … And we’re not going to have a company, Chick-fil-A or whatever the hell the name is, on our Freedom Trail.”

      That’s considerably more than just personal opinion. Saying “we’re not going to have … Chick-fil-A … on our Freedom Trail” is a clear warning that Menino will do anything in his power, which in this case is quite a bit, to discourage this fast-food chain from locating in his city simply because company president Dan Cathy doesn’t think the way he does.

      Even if you agree with Menino’s stance on gay marriage, it’s never OK to require prospective merchants to pass a Thought Police litmus test. Because there’s always a flip side: What, for instance, would stop the next mayor from saying something equally ridiculous, such as, “I don’t want any gay-friendly businesses locating near the state capitol; it’s bad for tourism.”

      Moreover, where does it all end? Will the owner of every would-be Boston business now be required to fill out a form declaring his total agreement with every opinion the mayor holds?

  2. Incidentally, where do you draw the ethical line in the sand between what you deem “Government Thuggery” and the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and between “Political Correctness Dictators” and the Freedom Riders?

    • I think we have a misunderstanding of the conduct being talked about here.

      The Civil Rights Act was a duly passed law. The Proclamation was a Presidential action under the war powers. At no time did Lincoln say, “If Citizen X advocates slavery, run him out of town; he’s not a good American.” At no time did LBJ make a speech declaring citizens by name who had advocated segregation, and declared that he would see that they couldn’t earn a living. In other words, the distinction is obvious. And you do know that Lincoln’s edict only affected the Confederate States, because it would have been unconstitutional as applied to the North.

  3. A friend and myself were having this exact same argument, *ahem*, discussion yesterday when he said he was going by Chick-fi-La and asked if I wanted anything. Since he on more than one occasion voiced very conservative opinions I had to ask him why he was going. I thought I knew what his feelings on the matter were, but for a split second before he started off on the First Amendment, I had to wonder.

    I sure am going to miss waffle fries.

  4. Well, I’m a Christian misanthrope who just gets more misanthropic in crowds, so I drove by a local Chick-fil-A yesterday, curious (and without spare cash and hunger), but did not stop. I’m sure I didn’t miss much – fast food has its value, but I get enough out of eating and drinking “for a cause” when I take communion.

    Anyway, the greater fun-at-the-diner will be tomorrow, when the kiss-in protesters turn out. I wonder how many of them, if any, will buy anything there…and how many arrests (and of whom) for disturbing the peace will be made, and how many gold-digging, break-the-bank lawsuits for damages against the restaurant chain (and its customers) will be trumped-up. I’m sure the cell phone cameras will be clicking, even as the bigger, brainwasher media click theirs. “Vengeance is ours,” so shall saith the showboats – as shall the stalkers they are sure to attract. The humanity!

  5. Help me out… how do I go about finding out the political/social positions of the owners of businesses that I may or may not do business with? In the case of a corporation, what percentage of “ownership” by any stockholder becomes something I need to have this information about?. We can dela with franchise holders later.

    On the marriage front, if the churches, some churches, don’t like the gay people getting married, that is their call. However, marriage is not restricted to a religious event. Many people get married in the courthouse by a judge or otherwise authorized person, a truly civil event. And that event gives the couple standing in many events in their lives. A few would be related to inheritance, tax filing status, and Next-of-kin status for medical issues.

    I have some serious problems with those who would deny full rights of citizenship to any segment of our society. Cloaking it in a religious mantle changes it not a bit. That said, those who would do that have a right to state their position.

    .

    • OK, then how do you deal with the individual members of the churches who might run a photography shop, or a bakery, or even something like Chick-fil-A?

      How do will the government deal with the members of the Mormon church and other religions who view gay marriage as wrong?

  6. I have real issues with governmental officials abusing their power and persecuting people via inconsistent application of regulations in furtherance of an ideology. That’s Stalinism.

    My immediate reaction is to say “Vote the Bum out”. Upon mature consideration, I’d say “Vote the Bum out and prefer charges”. If this kind of thing isn’t actually illegal, change the laws so it is.

    As an aside:
    I doubt that they realise it, but this firm by a roundabout route subsidises a campaign to exterminate Intersex people in Uganda. Section 26 of the Bahati bill classifies Trans and Intersex as homosexuality, section 11b (from memory) mandates the same penalty as for “defilement of a child” (in another act) for repeat offenders, and the penalty there is execution. This firm donates millions to a group that subsidises the campaign to pass this bill. Lots of Smoke and MIrrors, but the trail is there for anyone to follow.

    I hope they don’t realise what they’re doing. The Bahati Bill no longer has an explicit death penalty for Intersex people, instead it’s implicit and easily missed.

    Most Intersex orphans have been quietly evacuated from Uganda, mainly by various liberal Christian groups oddly enough, as this bill is expected to pass. Publicity is not wanted, bad things happen if it’s put too much in the limelight. Too many get butchered to make “traditional medicine” as it is.

    The way to deal with this in the US is not to misuse government, but to let people – including the owners of this firm – what they’re doing. Maybe I’m naive, but I don’t think they realise.

    • “As an aside:
      I doubt that they realise it, but this firm by a roundabout route subsidises a campaign to exterminate Intersex people in Uganda. Section 26 of the Bahati bill classifies Trans and Intersex as homosexuality, section 11b (from memory) mandates the same penalty as for “defilement of a child” (in another act) for repeat offenders, and the penalty there is execution. This firm donates millions to a group that subsidises the campaign to pass this bill. Lots of Smoke and MIrrors, but the trail is there for anyone to follow.”

      This is just blatantly not true; the only thing they can possibly be tied to is the U.S House resolution H.R. 1064 condemning the Uganda Bill. The Family Research Council spent 25,000 dollars lobbying to have the language changed in H.R. 1064 that stated homosexuality was internationally recognized as a fundamental right, not to kill H.R.1064.

  7. Jack, since the aftermath of Prop 8, I have always wondered – is the thuggery/coercion and thought control a “bug” of the push for gay marriage, or is it a “feature” that is part and parcel of the enactment of gay marriage?

    I just want to review the conduct of pay-marriage supporters before I make my case:
    The harassment of proponents of Prop 8, including death threats received by my best friend’s wife, enters into my thinking on this front.
    (Source: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2009/10/the-price-of-prop-8)

    Then there was the treatment Carrie Prejean received at the hands of Perez Hilton and Shanna Moakler, among others.

    Then there is the attempts to expel Julea Ward and Jennifer Keeton from counseling programs – because their worldview was informed by the same sort of Christianity.

    Then there was the legal assault on Elane Photography – and other businesses run by Christians who aren’t saying they cannot have their wedding or commitment ceremony, but are asking they not be forced to take part in it – even if it is photographing or baking a cake.
    Source: http://www.volokh.com/tag/elane-photography-v-willock/

    Then there is the theft (or leaking) of the National Organization for Marriage’s tax return earlier this year.
    (Source: http://www.nomblog.com/21696/)

    Then there is what is going on with the Boy Scouts since the 2000 decision that upheld their right to decline to allow gays to join.

    Then, we have the mayors vs. Chick-fil-A, and the bomb threat called in during yesterday’s Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.
    (Source: http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/08/tolerant-left-strikes-again-bomb-threat-at-west-virginia-chick-fil-a/)

    Then there is the unethical (by your own admission) conduct of Vaughn Walker in filing to disclose he was in a long-term same-sex relationship, and the blind eye turned towards it by gay marriage proponents. It should be noted that Thomas Penfield Jackson was thrown off the U.S. v. Microsoft case for a similar failure to disclose his interviews with a journalist.
    (Source: https://ethicsalarms.com/2011/04/20/judge-walker-was-wrong/, href=”https://ethicsalarms.com/2011/04/28/6094/)

    And the judicial misconduct is important because in half of the states that have gay marriage, it was brought about by the courts (Massachusetts, Iowa, Connecticut – and California prior to Prop 8). One doesn’t go to court to persuade someone to change their mind, one goes to court to force someone to do something.

    So, is the thuggery/coercion and the thought control involved in gay marriage a bug, or a feature? The pattern of conduct I am seeing indicates that thuggery/coercion, and thought control are a feature of gay marriage, with religious freedom becoming a dead letter, by the admission of some proponents of gay marriage.
    (Source: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/07/5905)

    If this is how the advocates act when they have relatively little power over their opponents, then how will they act with even more power? As far as I can tell, they have no problem trampling over my core freedoms. Can they be trusted to avoid an “ends justify the means” approach on this issue? The initial actions of the mayors and the reactions to Vaughn Walker’s judicial misconduct clearly indicate the answer is no.

    As such, to my perspective, it comes down to a case of “my rights or theirs” – and in that sort of case, can anyone blame me for fighting to preserve my rights against those who would truncate them simply because of my refusal to compromise my beliefs as a Mormon?

  8. Jack, since the aftermath of Prop 8, I have always wondered – is the thuggery/coercion and thought control a “bug” of the push for gay marriage, or is it a “feature” that is part and parcel of the enactment of gay marriage?

    I just want to review the conduct of pay-marriage supporters before I make my case:
    The harassment of proponents of Prop 8, including death threats received by my best friend’s wife, enters into my thinking on this front.

    Then there was the treatment Carrie Prejean received at the hands of Perez Hilton and Shanna Moakler, among others.

    Then there is the attempts to expel Julea Ward and Jennifer Keeton from counseling programs – because their worldview was informed by the same sort of Christianity.

    Then there was the legal assault on Elane Photography – and other businesses run by Christians who aren’t saying they cannot have their wedding or commitment ceremony, but are asking they not be forced to take part in it – even if it is photographing or baking a cake.

    Then there is the theft (or leaking) of the National Organization for Marriage’s tax return earlier this year.

    Then there is what is going on with the Boy Scouts since the 2000 decision that upheld their right to decline to allow gays to join.

    Then, we have the mayors vs. Chick-fil-A, and the bomb threat called in during yesterday’s Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.

    Then there is the unethical (by your own admission) conduct of Vaughn Walker in filing to disclose he was in a long-term same-sex relationship, and the blind eye turned towards it by gay marriage proponents. It should be noted that Thomas Penfield Jackson was thrown off the U.S. v. Microsoft case for a failure to disclose his interviews with a journalist.

    Yhe judicial misconduct is important because in half of the states that have gay marriage, it was brought about by the courts (Massachusetts, Iowa, Connecticut, California prior to Prop 8 and Vaughn Walker’s ruling, and Vermont – where the State Supreme Court ordered what amounted to gay marriage in 2000). One doesn’t go to court to persuade someone to change their mind on an issue, one goes to court to force someone to do something.

    So, is the thuggery/coercion and the thought control involved in gay marriage a bug, or a feature? The pattern of conduct I am seeing indicates that thuggery/coercion, and thought control are a feature of gay marriage, with religious freedom becoming a dead letter, by the admission of some proponents of gay marriage.

    If this pattern of conduct is how the advocates of gay marriage act when they have relatively little power over their opponents, then how will they act with even more power?

    Can they be trusted to avoid an “ends justify the means” approach on this issue? The initial actions of the mayors and the reactions to Vaughn Walker’s judicial misconduct clearly indicate the answer is no.

    So, at this point, what should I, as a Mormon do, knowing that thuggery/coercion and though control are features of gay marriage and not a bug? The only rational alternative is to oppose it.

    • First, equivocation. Second, special pleading. Third, ignoring contradictory evidence (like the explosion of derision for the mayors behavior from gay marriage supporters).

        • Which part of it is nonsense? The part where I call you out for using thuggery to mean both both verbal attacks and threats? The part where I call you out for special pleading because you think that this behavior is only bad when it’s done by gay activists? The part where I call out your ignoring evidence directly contradictory to your point?

          Please tell me what I said that was not valid.

  9. Implicit in the arguments of these politicians opposing Chick-Fil-A is that it is immoral to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Not just inferior to defining marriage regardless of sex, but immoral.

    But as Jeff Jacoby pointed out

    Similarly, if barring men from marrying men is an affront to “our common humanity,” as the Vermont justices write — if it is an ugly “moral anomaly,” as The New Republic says — than it has always been so.

    But where in the long record of human moral instruction do we find anyone saying such a thing?

    All through the centuries of American slavery, there were men and women who cried out against it. There were always voices raised against suttee. Apartheid was condemned the world over.

    And likewise every other wrongful societal practice. Europeans abused Indians in the New World? Bartolome de Las Casas, who sailed with Columbus, spent his last 50 years denouncing “the robbery, evil, and injustice” done by European colonists. Women were denied political rights? In 1777, Abigail Adams begged, “Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of husbands.” From child sacrifice to anti-Semitism, from selling indulgences to selling women, there have always been moral teachers and people of conscience who refused to keep silent.

    But where are the humanitarians and the great souls who said that limiting marriage to a man and a woman is wrong? Did Francis of Assisi plead for same-sex unions? Did the Buddha? Did Sojourner Truth? Did the Prophet Micah, who yearned for justice and kindness, yearn also for male-male and female-female weddings? Did Martin Luther King, who devoted his life to “our common humanity?” Did Raoul Wallenberg, who risked all to thwart evil? Is there anyone — any foe of intolerance, any living saint — who decried even once the laws that kept homosexuals from marrying each other?

    By all means let us debate whether the timeless definition of marriage should be changed. But let us do so without the sham claim that morality demands the change. Our moral tradition, after all, speaks loudly and clearly about what marriage means.

      • It’s also wrong on the merits…unless Jacoby is intending to suggest that marriage is between any number of men and any number of women, so long as there is at least 1 of each.

    • “Similarly, if barring men from marrying men is an affront to “our common humanity,” as the Vermont justices write — if it is an ugly “moral anomaly,” as The New Republic says — than it has always been so. But where in the long record of human moral instruction do we find anyone saying such a thing? …”
      Compelling Michael.

  10. Maybe I missed it but what about the fact the most if not all the Chick-A-Fils are independently owned? In other words, some of them may have owners who freely support gay causes such as same-sex marriage. Me thinks some people may be cutting off their noses to spite their faces.

      • Why? The mayors don’t want Chick-A-Fils in their jurisdictions. They’re obviously oblivious to legitimate businesses while trying to prove an obnoxious reason for their ILLEGAL and UNAMERICAN positions.

        • When there are powerful bad actors, opposing them often hurts the weak. It’s just the way society is. Our choice is to either not oppose the bad actors, allowing the bad behavior to continue forever, or to oppose the bad actors, dealing with some of the pain that is caused along the way.

          The franchise owners are supporting the company, and they don’t have to.

  11. One reason why so many people want to keep the traditional definition of marriage is because they do not believe it to be anti-gay. Unlike laws against gay teachers and gay soldiers, the understanding of marriage as between one man and one woman can not be traced to a purpose of discrimination against gays. Compare John Locke, Second Treatise of Civil Government, Sec. 77-78 (1690) (The first society was between man and wife… Conjugal society is made by a voluntary compact between man and woman), with e.g., J. Katz, The Invention of Heterosexuality 10 (1995); J. D’Emilio & E. Freedman, Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America 121 (2d ed. 1997) (“ The modern terms homosexuality and heterosexuality do not apply to an era that had not yet articulated these distinctions”), cited in Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 at 568-569 (2003)

    Furthermore, in every wedding I attended, none of them constituted an occasion for gay bashing. The vows did not include, “Do you both swear to defend the society against faggots?” The couples’ wedding night did not involve going out cruising looking to knock gays upside the head.

    The male-female dynamic is not a core feature of education or the military; it is a core feature of marriage. It was recognized as a core feature of marriage since before the Enlightenment. This core feature was presumed by our secular moral traditions, as proven by my citations of Locke and Bishop.

    • First, “traditional definition of marriage” is a loaded and false term.

      Second, just because people were bigotted in the past, that doesn’t justify bigotry now.

      Third, even if their intents were pure as the driven snow, harm is still harm. People who burn children and women as witches can think that they are doing what’s best for the children and women, but they’re still horribly killing those people.

      Fourth, and again, just because X was previously believed to be true does not mean X is true. Secular moral traditions were traditionally still patriarchal. That doesn’t mean patriarchy should be fought for.

      —-

      The post is one big rationalization. It’s beneath you.

  12. “I’m sure such statements would immediately polarize, but I don’t see any reason to believe the long term affect would be negative.

    By both sides, you are referring to “people who deny rights to a group they don’t like” and “people who aren’t evil,” right?”
    tgt, I meant I think it’s a good thing to know where a public rep stands. So many are wishy washy and when voting I want to know what they believe.

  13. It goes on .

    On Aug. 29, [Emmett C.] Burns [, a Maryland state delegate who opposes same-sex marriage,] sent a letter to Steve Bisciotti, the Ravens’ owner, urging him to “inhibit such expressions from your employee and that he be ordered to cease and desist such injurious actions.”

    As a commenter pointed out.

    That second paragraph is actually rather concerning. The state legislator is 100 percent correct on the same-sex “marriage” issue, but I don’t think it is proper for a state legislator’s to tell a private company to ‘inhibit’ the free expression of its employees or to tell those employees to ‘cease and desist’ from making statements the legislator disagrees with. Just like it was not proper for the mayors of Boston and Chicago to tell Chik-fil-A to stop talking about biblical marriage.

    The fact that this legislator is on the right side of the underlying issue, while the mayors of Boston and Chicago were on the wrong side of the issue, is irrelevant. Government officials have no business telling any private individual or business to stop expressing their opinion, regardless of whether that opinion is right or wrong.

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