HICKS: Mayors chicken out of true family values

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ANALYSIS/OPINION:

A chicken, a big-city mayor and a duck walk into a bar. The bartender looks up and says, “What is this, a joke?”

Ba-da-bum.

Unfortunately, last week’s brouhaha over remarks made by Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy is not a joke, nor is the bullying his company is experiencing at the hands of Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

First, on the off chance you only skimmed the headlines and didn’t read the stories (thinking, as any reasonable person would, that chicken sandwiches and gay marriage cannot possibly be related), here is an annotated version:

Mr. Cathy, when interviewed by the Christian newspaper Baptist Press, affirmed that he and his family support the traditional, biblical definition of marriage.

“Guilty as charged,” Mr. Cathy was quoted as saying when asked about his company’s support of the traditional family unit as opposed to same-sex marriage. “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business.”

Nowhere in the interview did Mr. Cathy imply or indicate that his belief in a biblical definition of marriage — one man and one woman — informs his company’s policies or behavior toward their customers or employees. In fact, the Atlanta-based fast-food chain, known for delicious chicken sandwiches, waffle fries and being closed on Sundays to observe the Christian Sabbath, has not been accused of any discriminatory action whatsoever, against gays or anyone else.

But, as happens more and more frequently in our politically correct culture, outrage has ensued. How dare Dan Cathy — a devout Christian whose family happens to own a hugely successful business — express views and beliefs consistent with his devout Christianity?

Response to Mr. Cathy’s radical statements was swift.

Mr. Menino, noting that Chick-fil-A plans to open a store on the Freedom Trail in his city, quickly declared that the company would meet with regulatory red tape meant to block its expansion. This constitutes a threat to a private enterprise on the part of a public official, not to mention an assault on Mr. Cathy’s right to free speech.

The Freedom Trail obviously ain’t what it used to be.

In Chicago, Mr. Emanuel went even further, declaring that Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in his city because its owners don’t think like he does.

“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 going to be part of the Chicago community, you should reflect Chicago values,” Mr. Emanuel said.

“What the [chief operating officer] has said as it relates to gay marriage and gay couples is not what I believe, but more importantly, it’s not what the people of Chicago believe.”

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