Even at 5:30pm, the line at the Chick-Fil-A that I and my family went to was packed with people. The country took a stand yesterday, and it wasn't against gays. No matter how they try to spin it, the outpouring of support wasn't a statement against gays marrying. It wasn't a hate filled day of intolerance against gays. What it really was, was a statement by the American people out there that our...or anybody's...first amendment rights would not be attacked by those in power.
Take 'thug' number one.
Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago. He goes out and says that Chick-Fil-A's values are not Chicago values and that if they hold to their beliefs they aren't welcome in the city. This guy is the perfect poster boy for Chicago Political Thuggery that has existed since before Al Capone. Does anyone remember the 'naked' shower incident between Emanuel and Rep. Massa (who was going to vote against the health care bill)? This is Massa's own words:
“Rahm Emanuel is son of the devil’s spawn, Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) said. “He is an individual who would sell his mother to get a vote. He would strap his children to the front end of a steam locomotive…I am showering, naked as a jaybird, and here comes Rahm Emanuel, not even with a towel wrapped around his tush, poking his finger in my chest, yelling at me.”
Yes, those are the values of Chicago politics. And what about the time that Emanuel sent a dead fish to a pollster he was angry with? An old mob message that someone was, or either would be, sleeping with the fishes. Yes, those are the values of Chicago politics we ALL should ascribe to. However, the Catholic Cardinal in Chicago, Francis George, said it best about this thug.
"Recent comments by those who administer our city seem to assume that the city government can decide for everyone what are the 'values' that must be held by citizens of Chicago," George wrote on the Archdiocese of Chicago's blog Sunday. "I was born and raised here, and my understanding of being a Chicagoan never included submitting my value system to the government for approval. Must those whose personal values do not conform to those of the government of the day move from the city?"
Then, we have thug number 2.
This is Chicago Alderman, Proco 'Joe' Moreno. He announced he will block Chick-fil-A's effort to build its second Chicago store in Logan Square because the chain's top executive has made clear his opposition to gay marriage. OH. Okay. Let's stop free trade and commerce because you disagree with someone's personal views about traditional marriage. I think that is a Constitutional transgression, dude.
Then, we have thug number 3.
This is Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. He sent a letter to Chick-Fil-A. It says, in part:
"In recent days you said Chick-fil-A opposes same-sex marriage and said the generation that supports it has 'an arrogant attitude,'" Menino wrote in a letter dated July 20. "Now—incredibly—your company says you are backing out of the same-sex marriage debate. I urge you to back out of your plans to locate in Boston." Not in the letter, but in other comments, the mayor even suggested moves would be made to make sure the chain did not come there. The letter is a first amendment right. The threat to use government power to restrain commerce due to a differing opinion is a Constitutional no-no. And, he knows it. That's the scary part of all these guys.
Then, we have thug number 4.
I have labeled these men as thugs not because of their opinion. I believe as firmly in their right to voice their opinion as I do my own. What I take umbrage with is their tendency to utilize the power of their office to attack and punish someone who would have the audacity to disagree with them and some portion of their constituency. That is the definition of a thug. They are thugs.
The most frightening of all of these men is Emanuel. For him to stand up and say that he knows the value system of every person living in Chicago should send shivers down our spine. The Cardinal hit the nail on the proverbial head. This is nothing more than thought police, folks. There will come a time in this country where we all are going to have to make a stand or lay down like sheep. This was not about gays, gay hating, or gay bashing. It was about the right to express your opinion; for or against. And we saw how quickly those who would suppress that right came to the fore. Now, THAT's arrogance.