Who would have ever imagined that a fast-food restaurant with a playful spotted bovine mascot would turn out to be a harbinger for the fast-approaching collision between government and the faith culture at large? As reported recently, several mayors and local government officials have declared Chick-fil-A persona non grata in their respective cities in response to statements by Dan Cathy, the president and CEO of Chick-fil-A. Mr. Cathy, it seems, had the audacity to openly affirm his Christian faith and the company’s support of traditional marriage during an interview.
The heresy had barely been uttered before Boston Mayor Thomas Menino hammered out a scathing letter to Cathy, declaring it would be “an insult” to have Chick-fil-A in Boston, and in a subsequent interview declared Chick-fil-A “Doesn’t belong in Boston.”
Not to be outdone, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and city Aldermen Joe Moreno and William Banks have not only declared Chick-fil-A not welcome in the Windy City, but openly bragged about using the full force of the zoning laws to stop Chick-fil-A from opening a new location there. They’ve now been joined by officials in San Francisco and Washington D.C.
If these men were private citizens or political groups expressing their first amendment rights, that would be one thing. Boycotts and protests have a rich heritage in our country and are a sign of a truly free society. Apologists for gay marriage and the homosexual lifestyle have been cheerleading their cause in the public arena for many years now. But these recent events represent a more troubling trend and should serve as an omen of the larger, more serious conflict looming on the horizon. We’re talking about government officials using laws, regulations, and the coercive power of government against a business and a private citizen based solely on a religious viewpoint. So egregious was this overreach, even the ACLU—certainly no friend of anything conservative, traditional, or Christian—has condemned the actions as a clear case of viewpoint discrimination.
At the heart of the issue, Dan Cathy, like millions of Americans, doesn’t believe and will not submit to the idea of same sex marriage—the latest sacrament of the far Left orthodoxy. In the age of tolerance, this cannot be tolerated. It seems to matter little that the classic definition of marriage being between a man and a woman has been the only understanding of marriage for five thousand years of recorded history. In the few states gay marriage has been legalized, it was accomplished by judicial fiat, not the will of the people. No debate. No examination of history, culture, or science. No justifications. Obedience is demanded. Opposition must be crushed.
In spite of the court rulings, gay marriage is hardly a settled issue and is not the law of the land yet. If these officials can wield their power and attack a fellow citizen with such vitriol now, what can we expect when and if gay marriage becomes established U.S. law? Will our benevolent government respect the first amendment rights of its citizens to believe and teach the dictates of their faith as they see fit? What of that pesky right of free speech? The recent Obama administration HHS ruling forcing religious institutions to provide contraception to their employees in clear violation of their consciences and tenants serves as a good indicator. Once enshrined into law, gay rights will be used as a club to bludgeon people of faith and political opponents into silence. That’s not wild speculation. Europe and Canada have already provided the template, using hate crimes laws and human rights tribunals to prosecute pastors and politicians who dare voice opposition to same sex unions or preach against homosexual behavior.
The inescapable truth of this debate is that gay marriage laws offer nothing for homosexual couples legally that can’t be accomplished right now. Civil law remedies—such as Health Care Surrogates, Wills, and Power of Attorneys—already exist for inheritance, joint property, hospital visits, and all the other phony arguments put forward. The gay marriage push, at its core, is not about rights; it’s about altering the society in a way that has never been done before. The intent is to transform opinions and the cultural norms through the compelling power of legislation, all in an attempt to normalize and legitimize the sexual appetites of roughly two percent of the population. This can only be accomplished, though, if opposition is silenced. Thus, the frenzied attack on Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-A.
This latest skirmish illustrates that this issue is much more than just debate about marriage rights. It’s a clash of two diametrically opposed cultural philosophies: one of transcendent and fixed moral laws given by the Creator for civil and just societies, the other of shifting morals from the minds of men seeking pleasure, power, and preeminence. A vibrant people of faith rooted in the Judeo-Christian morals cannot co-exist with a government legislating laws and enforcing edicts designed to subjugate that faith. Only one worldview can reign.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer once wrote, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Dan Cathy took his stand by merely affirming his beliefs and faith. What say you?