No Tolerance for Chick-fil-A; Tea Party Critic Morgan Freeman Gets a Pass

Chick-fil-A President and COO Dan Cathy faces a consumer protest for expressing his opposition to same-sex marriage. Fair enough. Offended, the Democratic mayors of Boston, Chicago and San Francisco threatened to prevent the Georgia-based fast-food company from operating in their cities!

Whether for or against same-sex marriage, what part of the First Amendment do these radical mayors not understand? The First Amendment is about preventing government from infringing on political speech. This is a clear-cut case of suppression and punishment of Cathy’s right of free speech.

In an interview picked up by the Baptist Press, Cathy told the Biblical Recorder that he operates his business on Christian principles, including closing on Sundays. About gay marriage, he said: “I think we’re inviting God’s judgment when we shake our fist at him, you know, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’ And I pray on God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we would have the audacity to try and redefine what marriage is all about.”

Even worse for critics, Chick-fil-A donates millions to WinShape, which regularly contributes to conservative pro-traditional marriage groups like Focus on the Family.

Polls show Cathy’s view of same-sex marriage is held by at least half the country. And voters, when given a chance to vote on the issue, have consistently voted against same-sex marriage, including those in liberal states like Oregon and California. Voters in 31 states have approved measures defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

As recently as 90 days ago, Cathy and President Barack Obama shared the same view. During the 2008 presidential debate hosted by Pastor Rick Warren, Obama explained: “I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian — for me — for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix. … I am not somebody who promotes same-sex marriage.”

But today, Obama’s three-months-ago position makes one a homophobe.

About Cathy, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former chief of staff, said: “Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago values. They’re not respectful of our residents, our neighbors and our family members. And if you’re gonna be part of the Chicago community, you should reflect Chicago values.”

Not consistent with “Chicago values”?

Anti-Semitic Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan recently offered to help police high-crime areas of Chicago in the wake of an uptick in murders. Mayor Emanuel accepted Farrakhan’s assistance. Has the mayor heard Farrakhan’s views on gay marriage? After criticizing Obama as “the first president that sanctioned what the scriptures forbid,” Farrakhan condemned homosexuality as a “sin, according to the standard of God.” To politicians, he said, “If the book is no good, what the hell are you using it for to take an oath of office to uphold, not the Bible, but the Constitution?”

So, zero tolerance for a white critic of gay marriage, but not for a black critic? One is almost tempted to accuse Mayor Emanuel of … racism! Even Chick-fil-A’s opponents admit they find no instance where the company denied service to a customer, refused to hire someone because of sexual orientation or fired someone for being gay.

Microsoft and Apple, to name a couple, donate to pro-gay-marriage groups. Should opponents of gay marriage find the companies’ stance on marriage so offensive that they, too, launch consumer boycotts?

Liberals sure expect tolerance from others, don’t they? Take the Olympics.

One of the co-hosts of the London Olympics is the smooth, relaxed veteran Bob Costas. But on his radio show in 2007, Costas went hard political. He said it was an “inescapable fact” that President George W. Bush had a “tragically failed administration”: “I think it is now overwhelmingly evident, if you’re honest about it, even if you’re a conservative Republican, if you’re honest about it, this is a failed administration. And no honest conservative would say that George W. Bush was among the 500 most qualified people to be President of the United States.” Nice.

Actor Morgan Freeman voices the Visa commercials running during the Olympics. But Freeman recently blasted the tea party as “racist”: “The tea partiers who are controlling the Republican Party … their stated policy, publicly stated, is to do whatever it takes to see to it that Obama only serves one term. What underlines that? Screw the country. … We’re going to do whatever we can to get this black man out of here. It is a racist thing.” Sweet.

Yet those offended by Costas and Freeman are expected to show tolerance and open-mindedness, despite the attacks on Bush and the GOP-embraced tea party. The same expectation of tolerance for the views of others, however, does not extend to Chick-fil-A and the issue of gay marriage.

There is good news for the company. Cathy’s comments, when the dust settles, might actually help business. A SurveyUSA poll conducted for KABC in Los Angeles finds the numbers of people who intend to buy Chick-fil-A — as a result of the controversy — outnumber those who refuse to buy.

It seems that America’s tolerance for intolerance goes only so far.

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an “Elderado,” visit www.LarryElder.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2012 LAURENCE A. ELDER

Larry Elder

By

Larry Elder is an American radio and television personality. His radio program The Larry Elder Show airs weekdays 3pm on talk radio 790 KABC in Los Angeles, California.

Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage

  • Fr Chris Fontanini

    Great article, Larry! There is an inconsistency among the more progressive minded folks. “We will be tolerant with you as long as you agree with us, but do not ask us to be tolerant with your viewpoint,” is the unstated motto. Who are the real intolerant folks now? Who are the folks that really hate as they like to call us for standing for traditional marriage? We are supposed to turn the other cheek and take it all! I have decided to pray for these folks! That I believe is what Jesus would do! Fr. Chris Fontanini

  • deek5

    I am from Boston. I wish Menino would stop speaking for everyone.  If half the country is against gay marriage, it stands to reason that there are at least a few in Boston who are against it.

  • deek5

    What I don’t understand is why gays get so crazy when someone doesn’t believe the way do. Nothing is accepted by everyone. I believe in God. Not everyone does. It’s ok. I am a smoker, some hate it and some don’t. It’s ok. I don’t drink, some do. It’s ok.

  • Proteios1

    Hard to argue with costs, as bush really crippled America and setup such contempt we elected an unqualified amateur to replace him. Between the two of them, I don’t expect my beloved USA to recover my children’s lifetime. But the freeman thing, where everything has to be interpreted through an inherent racial bias if a white person says it, smells old and musty. That may have been 1968 but get with the times. Correct, we have some pity complex that permits accepting radical Islam or your an is allophone. Accept gay marriage or your a homophobe. It’s getting so phony and becoming such background noise I don’t even respect it or give it thought anymore.

MENU