Chik-Fil-A: Hate the Hater, Love the Chicken, Eat More Beef?

Because this is quite possibly a post-Rapture world of driverless cars and whores of revelation, I was on the teevee last night with failed GOP presidential candidate and sharia-law-alarmist Rick Santorum.

The odd part of it all? We basically agreed on something: That government should not ban businesses based on the religiously informed beliefs of their owners.

On CNBC's Kudlow & Company, Santorum and I were discussing the current flap over Chik-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy's comments about gay marriage. The head of the successful and popular chicken chain says that his Christian beliefs dictate that marriage remain defined as between one man and one woman. A number of gay rights groups and others have called for boycotts of the chain and, as I noted earlier this year, a number of colleges blocked Chik-fil-A from opening up on their campuses. Chik-fil-A's nonprofit arm, the WinShape Foundation, has funded groups that sponsor pray-away-the-gay therapies to "heal" homosexuals.

Local politicians such as Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston have said they will block the chain from opening new stores and work to close the existing ones until the company's CEO changes his tune. That sort of threat of legal sanction is categorically different than any sort of customer-based boycott or peaceful demonstration since it uses the state's monopoly on force to impose its will. Santorum used the occasion to talk about the lack of tolerance for viewpoints that are contrary to liberal orthodoxy and, because this is what he does, ended up riffing on sharia law and boy if you think teh gays have it tough here get a load of Iran where they put 'em to death! Now that's intolerance for you!

As did host Larry Kudlow, I stressed that despite my disagreement with Dan Cathy's point of view, the best way to counter speech and positions you disagree with is through more speech and market actions. "As someone who believes absolutely in marriage equality," I said, "there is something absolutely, fundamentally wrong with politicians saying what businessess can set up shop in their cities and where." It's worth pointing out that Chik-fil-A doesn't refuse to serve gays or people who believe in gay marriage, nor do it refuse to hire them (a Chicago franchisee has held fundraisers for gay groups). Chik-fil-A can't be confused with segregated businesses in the Jim Crow South - many of which were forbidden by law to serve black and white customers on even terms. 

In a very real way, this is almost a purely symbolic debate. I sympathize with gays and lesbians who are systematically discriminated against by the state (well, most states, including the feds), but I'm also troubled by politicizing every aspect of every waking moment. Lord knows that if we had to agree with the cook (however loosely defined) on every issue before we could sit down to eat, there'd never be another family meal in America.

And America, as Rick Santorum can and will tell you, is under attack from enemies within and without.

Watch the clip:

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  • R C Dean||

    That government should not ban businesses based on the religiously informed beliefs of their owners.

    I could be wrong, but I thought Santorum opposed the ground-zero mosque.

    As someone who believes absolutely in marriage equality

    What happened to "gay marriage"? Did it go the way of "illegal alien"?

  • John||

    A mosque isn't a business. And no one said you couldn't build a mosque in New York City. There are lots of them. They just objected to a Saudi group building one six blocks from the WTC site as a big fuck you we won.

    So I don't see how the two situations are analogous.

  • T o n y||

    If anything, a house of worship is more protected under the constitution than a regular business.

  • Jeff||

    Nope.

  • T o n y||

    Well the constitution actually mentions free exercise of religion. It says nothing about the type of economy we're supposed to have.

  • Jeff||

    It says exactly as much about being able to build your house of worship wherever you please as it does about being able to build a place of business wherever you please.

  • T o n y||

    As far as I know both are subject to zoning laws and houses of worship can't be subject to unique requirements. You're right. My only goal here is to get John to simultaneously call me a fascist brownshirt while parroting the Hannity line on why the Muslims can't have a house of worship in the same place a church would be perfectly free to be. Oh, he's already done that.

  • Taggart||

    It is much harder, everywhere in the U.S., to get zoning for a house of worship (of any kind) than for a business.

  • John||

    New York City would have no problem preventing a regular business from opening up on a particular spot, even for no other reason than bad taste. There is no way they would have ever let a Wall Mart open in that spot. And that is just as much of a constitutional deprivation of rights as not opening a mosque.

    The right to do business is every bit as protected as the right to chose your religion. If you were anything but a fascist brown shirt, you would understand that.

  • T o n y||

    So you support the building of the NYC Islamic Center?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Only if they sell chicken.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Only if they sell chicken.

    +2 for 1 sandwiches.

  • John||

    Sure. I understand the objection. And I have no illusions about why the people who built it there built it where they did. But so what? Fuck them. There little inside joke doesn't mean shit to me. It is a free country. They are free to make asses of themselves all they want.

    Libertarians were as usual stupid and naive about this. But in the end, they were right. The City had no right to tell them they couldn't build that no matter how annoying and offensive they were being.

  • T o n y||

    The only people being annoying and offensive in that whole episode were rightwing nutjobs on the teevee and radio who didn't know what the hell they were talking about. You really need to access some reliable news sources on occasion.

  • John||

    Tony those people who go to that Mosque would kill you for being a homosexual and congratulate themselves for doing it. And you would gladly let them and happily go to the stoning.

  • T o n y||

    No they wouldn't. And it's not a mosque.

    The 100% crystal clear fact is that the rightwing bloggers who started this controversy are more radical than the people behind the Park51 project.

  • sarcasmic||

    Tony's cognitive dissonance shines brightly as he would support banning a Christian organization for the crime of believing in traditional marriage while condemning those who would ban a mosque that is staffed with people who would gladly see him dead.

    Political correctness is a strange thing.

  • T o n y||

    I don't support governments treating houses of worship of any religion differently from any other business, and I certainly don't support governments treating one religion's house of worship differently from how it would treat another. But thank you for your assumptions. Typically valuable contribution.

  • sarcasmic||

    Tony, you are a parody of yourself the way you contradict yourself and pretend not to see it.

    Does your mom know how much of a dishonest piece of worthless shit you are?

  • John||

    My wife works with a Palestinian gay man Tony. Very nice fellow. But he honestly admits that if he ever went home and told his family he was gay, he would be killed. His own father and brothers would do it for dishonoring the family.

    That is reality in the Muslim world Tony.

  • John||

    And Palestinians are generally about as moderate of Muslims as you can find. They are much more moderate than Saudis or any of the people form the Gulf States. And being gay in Palestine will still get you killed, even in the areas where Fatah rather than Hamas run things.

  • SIV||

    Roman Catholic Palestinians are downright cosmopolitan until you tell one his sister is pretty hot.Then they get all old world fast.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I'd say the two groups are equally radical, Tony.

  • T o n y||

    I don't think so. Moderate Muslims vs. far-right Christians.

  • John||

    Tony. Show me a single Muslim moderate or otherwise who publicly calls for equal rights for gays. Go find one and link to it. Or show me any Muslim country where homosexuality is not treated as a serious crime.

    Stop living in a fantasy world.

  • T o n y||

    Are you asking me to find Muslims who are more liberal on that issue than you are? Are you a radical Christian?

  • John||

    Go find a religious Muslim of any stripe who is publicly anything but hostile to homosexuals Tony.

  • T o n y||

    I will concede that Islam worldwide seems more anti-LGBT rights than Christianity, but only slightly--only a few churches are more liberal than mainstream Islam on this issue.

    So are you saying in order for a religious person to be considered moderate he must be for LGBT equality? Does that not make most practicing Christians radicals?

  • John||

    I will concede that Islam worldwide seems more anti-LGBT rights than Christianity, but only slightly-

    When is the last time a homosexual was publiclly executed or imprisoned for a long time in a Christian country Tony? That happens routinely in places like Iran or Palestine, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.

  • sarcasmic||

    But, but, but Christians are leading the charge to preserve traditional marriage!

    Surely that is no different than publicly stoning homosexuals!

    I mean, in spirit isn't opposing the redefining of marriage and killing homosexuals the same thing?

    How could they be different?

  • T o n y||

    All religions are backward, failed attempts to organize an understanding of the universe. You won't see me defending a single one of them for any of its beliefs.

  • sarcasmic||

    You won't see me defending a single one of them for any of its beliefs.

    Except for your worship of government.

  • Restoras||

    All religions are backward, failed attempts to organize an understanding of the universe. You won't see me defending a single one of them for any of its beliefs.

    Nice backpedaling. Is that an Olympic sport? You should enter - you and your strawmen.

  • Taggart||

    But we will see you equating snarling wolves with naughty puppies and saying the latter poses even more danger than the former.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    When is the last time a homosexual was publiclly executed or imprisoned for a long time in a Christian country Tony?

    There's lots of Christian countries in Africa that imprison homosexuals.

  • Mo||

    Uganda had the death penalty for homosexuals law that was written with the assistance of crazy American Evangelicals.

  • Metazoan||

    Really Tony? Only a few? I think a substantial number of American Methodist churches are quite friendly to LGBT rights. Granted, I was talking to an LGBT advocate within that church, but he expressed that were it not for some international components of the Methodist Church, there would be essentially official permission to perform same-sex marriages.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I was talking radical Muslims and far-right Christians, Tony.

    But you knew that.

  • Mike M.||

    Again, "Tony" isn't gay. Don't fall for this ridiculous, fake persona that the sockpuppet has created.

  • Mo||

    Is Murfreesboro, TN also too close to the WTC site? There were protests and government meddling there too.

  • John||

    And that protest had to do with the on in New York how? That is Tony level stupid Mo.

  • RBS||

    That is Tony level stupid Mo.

    John, I see you've met Mo.

  • Mo||

    The point is, people are protesting mosques because they are bigoted idiots, not because they care about what happens to some old Burlington Coat Factory that no one gave a shit about before, but somehow became hallowed ground once someone wanted to build an Islamic Center on the site.

    They just objected to a Saudi group building one six blocks from the WTC site as a big fuck you we won.

    This is Tony level stupid.

  • John||

    That is the truth. They could have built that thing anywhere. Why do you think they went out their way to buy that building in a very expensive neighborhood? They wanted to make a political point. And as I said above, that is their right. But spare me the whole "no one Islamic could ever have been happy about 9-11". If you want to live in a fucking bubble, have fun. But I would prefer reality.

  • Mo||

    Because people live in that neighborhood. People aren't going to take the subway to Brooklyn or Queens or Upper Manhattan to go to the Mosque. Lower Manhattan is currently undergoing a residential boom.

  • John||

    They didn't just build a Mosque. They built a giant community center 600 feet away from Ground Zero. It is what it is.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Just out of curiousity, how big is the muslimfrei zone around the WTC site?

  • Fluffy||

    They built a giant community center 600 feet away from Ground Zero. It is what it is.

    You keep arguing points that don't matter.

    If I wanted to open the "Fluffy Says Ha-Ha-Ha Fuck You 9/11 Victims You Suck Enjoy Death" Center six blocks from Ground Zero, I still don't see any justification for denying me a zoning permit.

  • T o n y||

    I assume you've been to Manhattan John. The Islamic Center site had nothing to do with the WTC site and is several blocks away. You're upset because talking heads told you to be upset.

  • John||

    It is 600 feet away Tony. I have been there dip shit.

  • Syd Henderson||

    600 f

  • T o n y||

    Even if it was across the street isn't it a much better signal to send that we allow free religious expression no matter what? That we don't let a terrorist event turn us into partisans in a religious war?

  • John||

    Again Tony. They have a right to be assholes. I never denied that.

  • T o n y||

    How are they being assholes again? Did Islam attack us on 9/11?

  • Stormy Dragon||

    I like how an abandoned industrial site next door to a strip club is being characterized as an expensive neighborhood.

  • Mo||

    They could have built further away to support people who live downtown, of course it would be in Tribeca or SoHo, which are even more expensive.

  • Seamus||

    You're right. They could have built it anyway. Say, in Murfreesboro. Oh, wait. . . .

  • SIV||

    Is MurfreesboroUnicorporated Rutherford County, TN also too close to the WTC site?

  • o3||

    except the on-going islamic community center is still renovating worship space in the old burlington coat factory.

    ive told em to name it the pam geller worship room.

    the islams got a funnies

  • Metazoan||

    hahahaha
    wtf

  • R C Dean||

    A mosque isn't a business.

    I don't think you can meaningfully distinguish a house of worship from a business, John. This became particularly clear to me when I realized how profoundly entrepeneurial evangelical Christian churches are, and how wealthy many pastors are.

    Churches (mosques, whatever) essentially sell memberships, and provide counselling services. They own property, have employees, bank accounts, etc. Hell, many of them are even incorporated.

  • John||

    Fair enough. But again, no one said you couldn't build any mosques in New York City. Just said not that one there. That is a lot different than if the Mayor had said, no mosques in NYC at all.

  • Peter L||

    You are free to do whatever you want, except when I decide you can't.

  • Fluffy||

    That is a lot different than if the Mayor had said, no mosques in NYC at all.

    Not to me.

  • DA||

    Just curious, John...what *is* the proper distance for you for these guys to build their mosqommunity center?

  • RBS||

    You can distinguish between them. Not all houses of worship are megachurches run by millionaires. Some, particularly rural, churches are very simple and consist of basically the church itself, the pastor and a handful of parishioners.

  • R C Dean||

    Some, particularly rural, churches are very simple and consist of basically the church itself, the pastor and a handful of parishioners.

    Small businesses are still businesses.

  • alex griggs||

    More generally, I would say both fall squarely under the right to associate. Doesn't matter if it is for business, religious or other purposes.

  • CE||

    The difference is that businesses have to pay taxes if they turn a profit, but churches don't.

  • Taggart||

    "essentially sell memberships"

    Nom synagogues do that. They have annual dues. That's not how churches do it. They have offerings, and you can come as often as you like whether or NOT you give. I'm not sure how Muslims do it. I'm guessing offerings as well rather than memberships but I'd have to verify.

  • Pi Guy||

    "A mosque isn't a business."

    Houses of worship are _absolutely_ businesses. If not, why is there a special rule exempting them from income taxes like, um, other businesses?

    And, when the money dries up, they'll "go out of business" as well, just like any other.

  • Taggart||

    When the church went to Europe, it became the state. When it went to America, it became a 401(c).

  • Joe R.||

    If I used a stethoscope, I wonder if I could actually hear the cognitive dissonance happening inside your head.

    They just objected to a Saudi group building one six blocks from the WTC site as a big fuck you we won.

    How do you know that's the reason, and why does the reason matter?

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Yeah, two wrongs doesn't make a right, but in Santorum's case, I'm pretty sure he opposed the Ground Zero mosque.

    "[President Obama] is ignoring the will of the American public….The [Muslim] community center would desecrate the ground of those who were murdered by people who practice the faith, or at least an element of the faith, that is being represented by that mosque….Islam is not just a religion, it is also a political doctrine."
    Sep. 14, 2010 Rick Santorum

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Yeah, and speaking of "politicizing everything", I like how Santorum (I think Gingrich was also in on this too) tried to make this a presidential thing by calling Obama out for not doing something.*

    *I think at the time, they were asking him to declare the arbitrarily defined 600 foot radius around Ground Zero as a national historic landmark, giving the federal government the ability to block construction on the site.

  • Scarcity||

    BOOM! The return of mosqueturbation! I did miss it so.

  • Pro Libertate||

    You know, whatever your position on religion is, it's hard not to respect a company that sticks to its guns like Chick-fil-A does. They could be making a shitload more money by being open on Sundays. But they feel that's not appropriate, so nope.

    On this particular matter, the fact that mayors and likely to follow other politicians are using their positions to oppose the viewpoints of the business owner, well, that's an easy one. It's unconstitutional and has no place in our society. The company doesn't discriminate in its hiring practices, so that should be the end of it.

  • DJK||

    "The company doesn't discriminate in its hiring practices, so that should be the end of it."

    I'd go further than that. How the company chooses to hire or not should have no bearing on anything.

  • Pro Libertate||

    That's a whole 'nother issue. I just meant that in the current legal system, there's no basis for the government doing anything to the company.

  • JW||

    Unclean! Unclean!

    It's zealots all the way down.

  • Pi Guy||

    More than just sticking to their guns, it's not easy to stay in business - especially restaurants - let alone growing like crazy on only 6/7 of the revenue (closed Sundays) of most other stores.

    Perhaps more should be saying something like "I don't support their beliefs but we could sure use some more businesses like that in our town. You know, the ones turning profits and propping up the tax base. What's your secret, guys?"

  • CE||

    Maybe they cut costs by being closed one day a week, and thereby requiring fewer employees. Their customers, meanwhile, defer their purchases to a day Chick-fil-A is open, but eat there about as often as they planned to anyway.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Yeah, but it's a weekend day. And with their open Christianity, you'd expect them to make a killing with the after-church crowd.

  • Taggart||

    Well, there was a time not that long ago when all businesses closed on Sundays and still managed to stay in business.

  • DA||

    If they cut costs and save money by being closed one day of the week, just think how much they could make by being closed every day!

  • Drake||

    Mumbles changed his tune after accidentally exposing the shakedown policies of the City of Boston.
    http://www.bostonherald.com/ne.....1061148849

  • Mike M.||

    It's pretty hard to believe that this peabrain has been their mayor for almost 20 years now. It's just pathetic how much liberals love these authoritarian, dictator-for-life types.

  • Drake||

    More like the Democratic machine likes a compliant meat puppet.

  • ||

    It's the economy stupid.

    Seriously. When crime is controlled and jobs keep coming in, Daffy Duck would be mayor for life.

    What's unfortunate is the correlation/causation issue that attributes the success to the Mayor, although admittedly he has had an impact in keeping spending reasonable.

  • Mainer2||

    Howie played a bunch of cuts of Menino last night on the drive home, and I almost drove off the road laughing so hard. With all due respect to the mentally challenged, Menino sounds retarded. Bostonians, spare me the superior attitude when your Mayor sounds like he has Downs syndrome.

  • Drake||

    He is retarded. He's a Dem puppet. They want people to laugh and point at him - and not pay attention to the corruption of the city and state.

  • R C Dean||

    Technically, he's not retarded. He's been lobotimized.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    It's hard to -ectomy a piece that was never there in the first place.

  • R C Dean||

    Where's Groovus when we need him?

    That's right: hitting on hot Slavic women.

  • Seamus||

    It's not his fault. Everybody with a Boston accent sounds retarded.

  • Mainer2||

    they sound "retahded"

  • Caleb Turberville||

    I'm not proud to say, but I remember constantly grabbing a regular chicken sandwich from my college's Chik-fil-A for lunch my freshman year. I can tell you that it's the simplest meal to get on campus, but it wasn't smart to jog up hill to get to my next class.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I'm also troubled by politicizing every aspect of every waking moment.

    What kind of monster are you?

    (also, I am reminded of the Loyalty Oath plague in Catch-22 for some strange reason)

  • The Late P Brooks||

    They just objected to a Saudi group building one six blocks from the WTC site as a big fuck you we won.

    Yeah okay whatever.

  • John||

    That is totally what it was. They didn't have to build there. There are Islamic centers all over New York. The people behind that center were totally making a political statement by doing it.

    I know in Reason land only evil Americans ever do anything wrong or support violent. But sometimes we have to step out of our comfort zone and confront uncomfortable truths.

  • Tim||

    I think American (gah) culture is going to destroy Islamic Shariah, not the other way round.

  • John||

    I think you are right. And that is why I don't care that they built their mosque. It is a sign of weakness not strength on their part.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Frankly, the West has been winning that battle for quite a while. That's part of the reason for all of the violence and radicalism.

  • Mo||

    NYC is a big ass city and the current downtown mosques are full (many rent out space in churches for holidays). To service the Lower Manhattan Muslim community, you need to have a mosque in Lower Manhattan.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I think it was a dick move, but I don't think the government has any business getting involved in viewpoint discrimination. Like with Illinois Nazis, even assholes have rights. In fact, that's where the battle matters the most, because if we start drawing lines, they'll just keep crossing them.

  • John||

    Exactly. I don't understand why Libertarians have such a hard time admitting it is a dick move. Isn't protecting the right to make dick moves part of being Libertarian? Why the fuck is it so hard to admit some people in the world are assholes?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I can't speak for others, but I'm all for protecting the assholes' right to say asshole things. Heck, from my perspective, it often seems like it's assholes all the way down.

  • cw||

    [I]t's assholes all the way down.

    I see what you did there.

  • Eric||

    The muslims in the lower downtown mosque were Sufis, not Sunni radicals. Further, the only way it's a "dick move" is if we accept the premise that muslim == terrorist. Perhhaps that's the disconnect here... Many, especially on the right, think just that.

  • Pro Libertate||

    If this were the other way around, say the U.S. being insensitive in funding a building of something near a site overseas associated with something people don't like us for, would your answer be the same?

    I'm not anti-Muslim, nor do I think the whole religion is to blame for the attacks. But it probably would've been wiser to quietly back off than insist on fighting the admittedly over-the-top outcry that followed.

  • Eric||

    The difference is that it was not al qaeda building the mosque, which most certainly would have been a dick move. But rather an unaffiliated, very moderate sect of muslims building a mosque/community center. Once again, you first have to implicate muslims in total as responsible for the 911 attack to take umbrage against their actions in the lower downtown mosque.
    A similar analogy would be to look at the UK vs. IRA. Would it be fair to implicate all catholics for the actions of the IRA/PIRA? Would it be wrong to open a catholic church near a bombed pub in London?

  • Joe R.||

    Would it be wrong to open a catholic church near a bombed pub in London?

    Only if they didn't rebuild the pub first.

  • Ted S.||

    A similar analogy would be to look at the UK vs. IRA. Would it be fair to implicate all catholics for the actions of the IRA/PIRA?

    Irish-American Catholics? Maybe.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    I don't understand why Libertarians have such a hard time admitting it is a dick move.

    Because by some accident of birth, I have not developed the telepathic powers that seem to allow so many Republicans to tap into the Muslim hive mind.

  • John||

    Yes you do. You just know they are incapable of ever doing a dick move. Thus you speak with complete authority when you say it wasn't a dick move.

  • agathis||

    Of course it was a dick move. They knew the community was disturbed by it. Whether you agree with the reasons for them being disturbed or not, it's the way it is. The builders of the Mosque knew that, and despite being a community of faith that suggested it was trying to mend fences, it pushed ahead anyway--knowing full well that it was damaging Christian-Muslim relations in the process. So yeah, it was a dick move. And completely legal. The builders of the mosque, if they'd been honest about their intentions, would have moved the mosque elsewhere. They clearly had a political motivation. And you know what? It doesn't matter what their motivation was. It's completely immaterial.

  • Tim||

    It may be a little early for some of the people here, but back in the eighties there was a media panic about Japanese Corporations buying up American landmarks like (IIRC) Pebble Beach Golf Course and Rockefeller Center. Similar to this Saudi business in many ways.

  • B.P.||

    Shit, I thought I was ahead of the curve with the Illinois nazis reference.

  • ||

    That is totally what it was.

    John don't be retarded.

  • Wild Bill||

    All of these problems (and a whole lot of others) would just disappear if we could get the state to stop being the arbiter of who is and isn't "married".

    Decide for yourselves. Get whatever private authority you want to solemnize it. Accept or reject other people's marriages as you see fit. Sign a formal contract with terms protecting you, if you are afraid your spouse won't live up to their responsibilities.

  • Ska||

    That's all well and good, but there are tax issues, insurance issues, DNR, will and estate issues all tied to the legal concept of marriage.

  • Jordan||

    All of that can be handled through contract law. Except for taxes of course, but taxes shouldn't have anything to do with marriage.

  • ||

    All of that can be handled through contract law.

    Which is, more or less, what "getting the state involved in marriage" means.

  • CE||

    Not if the contract stipulates private arbitration for disputes.

  • Jordan||

    By that definition, the state is involved in everything, since you can contract for just about everything.

  • R C Dean||

    Getting the state involved in enforcing a contract as written by private parties is very different than having the state write the contract.

  • Taggart||

    State benefits are also a factor. But for the libertarian, state benefits shouldn't exist, so...

  • Carston||

    Exactly, marriage is a contract between individuals. Government should have no role other than arbitrating the contract.

  • ||

    Not everyone in the LGBTG community hates Chick-Fil-A. I hear they're still big with the drag queens.

  • R C Dean||

    I'm also troubled by politicizing every aspect of every waking moment.

    You can thank the Left (and I believe in particular the feminists) for that. Remember, "The personal is political."

  • Eric||

    I know on this site it's popular to blame the left for everything from anal warts to paper cuts, but the moral majority took politicizing every waking moment beyond the pale. In fact now that I think of it, Libertarians are some of the worst. Look at the articles on this site. It's amazing to read the mental contortions made to link government to every societal ill. I'm not arguing against their conclusions, but it's hypocritical to ingnore the plank in your own eye. Just saying...

  • Mr. FIFY||

    The right has its share of blame, too, Eric. No need to whitewash either Team.

  • R C Dean||

    It's amazing to read the mental contortions made to link government to every societal ill.

    Well, when the government has inserted itself into every societal orifice, I don't think much in the way of mental contortion is called for.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Seriously. The state wants to control everything, the state can damned well take responsibility for things falling to pieces.

  • R C Dean||

    the state can damned well take responsibility

    I loled.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    What you said, ProL.

  • JW||

    It's amazing to read the mental contortions made to link government to every societal ill.

    It's always amazing to see the pretzel logic employed to deny what is clearly a problem that would have otherwise been absent, if not for the all-caring machinations of the state.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    if we could get the state to stop being the arbiter of who is and isn't "married".

    Speaking of monsters...

  • B.P.||

    The New Left came onto the scene with the free speech movement on college campuses in the '60s. Now the left spends a lot of time trying to shut down [removed]see Citizens United apoplexy). Back in the day, there was a decent ACLU-like streak among the left that respected the right to dissent, which has diminished. I hate Illinois nazis too, but they have a right to march in Skokie.

  • B.P.||

    Speaking of stifling expression, I see the squirrels are offended by my opening parenthesis.

  • John||

    I agree. But I also think the people in Skokie had a right to knock the shit out of them when they did.

  • B.P.||

    What happened to the right to make dick moves?

  • John||

    The people in the town are not the government.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Allowing them to commit a crime without punishing them is the government.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Yes, I have to agree with this. We not only have to let Illinois Nazis march, we also have to extend to them equal protection under the law, which includes protection from violence.

  • JW||

    I can appreciate the urge to pop a loud-mouthed asshole in the kisser, esp. an Illinois Nazi, but I can also appreciate that I would be committing battery if I did.

    Or should we just beat up all of the people with unpopular opinions, John?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Allowing them to commit a crime without punishing them is the government."

    You have just summarized the anti-outlawry provision of the Magna Carta. And the rationale of the prolife movement, too.

  • ||

    The rationale of the pro-life movement centers on a question of when one gains rights and at what point life begins.

    The problem with granting equal rights at conception is that it renders women vassals.

  • Mo||

    The whole abortion debate is what happens when discussions of the sorites paradox leaves college philosophy classes.

  • Taggart||

    So once a child is born, the mother is no longer a vassal? She doesn’t have to do ANYTHING she doesn’t want to do in service to that child, once it’s born? Hell, she can leave it in the car with the windows rolled up for three hours while she goes and picks up guys at the bar. To demand she actually care for it would make her a vassal. It would be like saying the state owns her time.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I don't think you can meaningfully distinguish a house of worship from a business, John. This became particularly clear to me when I realized how profoundly entrepeneurial evangelical Christian churches are, and how wealthy many pastors are.

    Excellent point, R C.

    When will they pay their fair share?

  • R C Dean||

    Personally, I think the blanket grant of tax exemptions to religious institutions is a bad idea, and arguably a violation of the Establishment Clause.

    Now, tax exemptions for charitable organizations, sure. But church =/= charity.

  • Metazoan||

    I have thought this for some time as well. The one issue I have is that many churches, synagogues, etc. actually do function as legitimate charities as well. My hometown is quite well served by the presence of an RC church that even helps people pay their utility bills.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Even that is problematic. Income tax means that when property changes owners, government gets a cut. Every loophole politicizes decisions further.

  • ant1sthenes||

    that = excluding charity.

  • Taggart||

    Have fun dividing out the charitable functions of the church from the noncharitable ones in that tax nightmare of a mess. Churches feed and clothe the homeless, maintain food pantries, provide art and music on a regular basis (you can be a nonprofit art or music charity organization, right?), offer free counseling, offer free education, etc. They are nonprofits. That's why they are exempt. If they can't be non-profits, neither can a whole hell of a lot of other organizations.

  • The Craig||

    If I was mayor, I would block them from opening new stores until they brought back spicy nuggets.

  • Pro Libertate||

    That's more legal.

  • benji||

    Really, this is what our municipalities should be focused on, maintaining delicious menu items.

  • benji||

    I mean, really, if that was the only socialism we had, would it not be worth it?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Nah, they'd screw that up. Ever had public school lunch?

  • benji||

    I don't mean the government running it. I mean once they put up a new menu item, they have to make it for you forever, no matter what the cost to you.

    They already have lots of "off menu" stuff they can still make and often will for you.

    But if I want an Arch Deluxe and have fished $2000 in gold coins out of my money pool, McDonalds should make it!

    If that's the only government regulation on the books, I can live with it.

    I can live with it.

    I CAN live with it.

  • The Craig||

    Are you suggesting I offer Chik Fila full control of school cafeterias in exchange for spicy nuggets?

  • benji||

    Of course, isn't that what privatization is for?

  • Drake||

    It's Boston - a bag of cash is the appropriate way to handle zoning and inspections.

  • Mo||

    What I don't get is that there is literally nothing new here. Everyone knew the views of the Chik-fil-a dudes before this. I find Menino's and Emmanuel's actions really disturbing. Who cares what the CEO's views are? Buy or don't buy from them if you don't want your money, but don't use the force of the state.

  • grrizzly||

    I'm done with liberal fascists. I'm heading to the closest Chick-fil-A tomorrow. I'm saying this as a gay man and atheist who strongly supports gay marriage (and finds (paleo-)libertarian talk of keeping the government away from marriage childish at best).

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Childish? Well, hell... let's entangle government and marriage even more. Would that make you happy?

  • grrizzly||

    Why don't we move the government just a little bit away from marriage by banning Mr. FIFY from marrying the person he loves? Isn't it a good first step. The government and marriage will be less entangled. Who could possibly object to it?

  • Jordan||

    Er, what? By definition, a ban requires more government involvement, not less.

  • grrizzly||

    I'm confused. A ban on gay marriage is more government involvement or less? What is the party line of doctrinaire libertarians?

  • sarcasmic||

    Gay marriage is not banned.

    No gays to my knowledge are rotting in prison for the crime of getting married.

    not legally recognized != banned

  • Carston||

    "(and finds (paleo-)libertarian talk of keeping the government away from marriage childish at best)."

    Getting the govt out of marriage means anyone can marry anyone they want.

    Marriage is a contract between individuals. Government should have no role other than arbitrating the contract.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Getting government out of the business of marriage would be "less government involvement", which - in theory - should make even *you* happy, grrizzly.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I'm not your enemy, grrizly. Despite what you believe to the contrary.

    BTW, I will never get married. I have zero interest in it. I think it's stupid to put so much stock in a government-issued permission slip - you'd call it a "marriage license".

    Get down off your high horse.

  • Metazoan||

    I think grizzly's point is that the probability of separating marriage and state in the near term is so infinitesimal that we may as well expand it to resolve the equity issue.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    I don't believe in God, but I do believe Chick-fil-A makes a kick ass chicken sandwich. Also, their employees are unfailingly polite and helpful and they keep the place spotless even with ADHD kids running all over the place.

    The fact that the peach shake is back is just icing on the cake.

  • R C Dean||

    The peach shake is back? My lunch plans just changed.

  • sarcasmic||

    Gonna run to the bathroom and take a Santorum.

  • T o n y||

    Santorum is a substance, not an activity. The correct usage would be to say you have to go to the bathroom and evacuate some santorum. How semen and lube got into your stool is your business.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm sorry, but I think you have me confused with the guy you see in the mirror.

  • Scarcity||

    While Emmanuel supports his move, the permit denial for Chic-fil-A in Chicago is the act of my alderman, Joe Moreno. Here he is "defending" his action:
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/.....3507.story

    Initially, I had some traffic concerns with their plan. But then I heard the bigoted, homophobic comments by Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy, who recently came out against same-sex marriage.

    There are consequences for one's actions, statements and beliefs. Because of this man's ignorance, I will deny Chick-fil-A a permit to open a restaurant in my ward.

    Fascist prick.

  • benji||

    I believe that he has also blocked a Wal-Mart in his Ward as well.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    It's almost like he doesn't want people in "his" ward to have jobs and choices.

  • benji||

    I'm sure there are plenty of volunteer jobs at the local Democratic Party office!

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Jobs and choices aren't worth it if you sell out to companies that espouse and agree with current government policy.

  • Scarcity||

    Yep:
    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/20.....an-square/

    As much as I hated Moreno, the city council and Daley for their Wal-Mart hate, at least they didn't tie it to political views. They bitch about living wages and being a bad neighbor, whatever the fuck that means, but they didn't tie it specifically to speech.

  • Scarcity||

    And of course there is a Target in the ward. Because Target is such a better place to work. See:
    http://blogs.payscale.com/cont.....lmart.html

    Oh wait. They're essentially identical. But Target is COOLER!!

  • Peter L||

    Wal-Mart employs the largest number of people who receive state assistance. Isn't that neighborly of them, to give people a job that still lets them collect food stamps while working full time? And they are great about keeping their employees out of the unions, we wouldn't want all those low income people filling up the union coffers.

  • Scarcity||

    Peter, Walmart is the largest employer in the US. They're going to lead the nation in # of employees who _________, for a whole lot of __________'s.

    But to summarize your point: Peter sez:
    Unemployed Employed + food stamps
    Unemployed Employed + nonunion

    Got it.

  • Scarcity||

    sigh. Insert the forbidden greater than symbols after each "Unemployed"

  • benji||

    But they'll have to work!

    If they can't get $50 an hour jobs they can never be fired from, better they stay on welfare!

  • Carston||

    Well, if the people working there had any skills or knowledge, they wouldn't be stacking boxes and working cash registers.

    Working in a Wal-Mart isn't a career, they are jobs for kids and people who just need a little money when between real jobs.

  • R C Dean||

    If I was running Chik-Fil-A, I would still buy the storefront, and hang a big sign in the window:

    "Alderman Joe Moreno doesn't want you to be able to get a meal here, because he thinks gay people should get married. I know; go figure."

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I would also say "the chicken to steamy it was Banned in Boston!"

  • ant1sthenes||

    "There are consequences for one's actions, statements and beliefs."

    First a-whut-ment?

  • Sevo||

    T o n y|7.27.12 @ 11:06AM|#
    "Well the constitution actually mentions free exercise of religion. It says nothing about the type of economy we're supposed to have."

    Shithead, this is not hard to grasp:
    The Constitution LIMITS government power. Hence, it says no more about what sort of business we're "supposed" to have than it does about me buying a hot dog at the ball park.
    Citizens are not "granted" anything in the Constitution, since citizens are free to exercise their freedoms limited only by damage to others.
    Do you understand that, shithead? Do you need it in monosyllables?

  • sarcasmic||

    In Tony's view power is unlimited and rights are enumerated.

    For example your right to self defense is given to you by government.

    So in absence of government, you no longer have a right to defend yourself.

    Your right to life and to own property also come from government.

    Government is god.

  • Sevo||

    sarcasmic|7.27.12 @ 11:58AM|#
    "In Tony's view power is unlimited and rights are enumerated."

    Ya know, I just checked my copy and there's not a single word in there about allowing shithead to breathe.
    I guess that should do it.

  • sarcasmic||

    What makes you qualified to read the Constitution?

    That requires a PHD in Constitutional law from a liberal university.

    Some layman like you might read "shall not" and think it means "shall not", when in fact it means "fuck you, that's why".

    But you can only see that if you have the right degree from the right school.

  • T o n y||

    It doesn't say capitalism is required over, say, socialism, either.

  • R C Dean||

    It does limit the federal government's enumerated powers to a point where socialism could not be enacted, though.

  • Peter L||

    There is nothing preventing people from joining a mutually agreed upon commune. If you think socialism is so great, go get some of your lefty friends to join you and show us how much more successful you are. There is no need to force people into socialism if it is so much better, when they see you success they will willingly join too.

  • Sevo||

    Peter L|7.27.12 @ 12:18PM|#
    "There is no need to force people into socialism if it is so much better, when they see you success they will willingly join too."

    I'm pretty sure the East Germans built a wall in Berlin to keep all the wanna-bes out.
    Or maybe it was the other 'way round.

  • ||

    Only if we're talking state socialism. Anarcho-socialism could easily be enacted under the Constitution, and the federal government would lack the power to stop it.

  • ||

    I should rephrase that to "...would lack the constitutional power...". The federal government would, of course, butcher the folks involved.

  • sarcasmic||

    Capitalism is the natural result of private property and contracts, whereas socialism is something that must be imposed through force.

    Not that you could comprehend such a distinction since you have said yourself that liberty, being free to act without taking orders or asking permission, is something that must be imposed by threat of violence.

  • ||

    Capitalism is not the natural result of private property and contracts, and there's nothing particularly natural about private property and contracts: they are legal inventions within the last 10,000 years or so.

  • sarcasmic||

    There's nothing natural about owning the products of your labor and enforcing voluntary agreements with people?

    Seems pretty natural to me.

  • ||

    There's nothing natural about owning the products of your labor and enforcing voluntary agreements with people?

    No. It might be just or right, but it's not natural.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    If it's not natural to own the products of your labor... then what IS the answer? Who or what *does* naturally own those products?

    If it's "other than the individual", then there's no reason to produce.

  • Taggart||

    No, it's not natural. It's civilized.

  • Sevo||

    T o n y|7.27.12 @ 12:04PM|#
    "It doesn't say capitalism is required over, say, socialism, either."

    Shithead, dealing with juveniles is a pain.
    Write on the blackboard, 100 times (you can mix capitals and those little letters, too):
    "THE CONSTITUTION LIMITS GOVERNMENT POWER"

  • T o n y||

    So all of you are against corporate capitalism and the state's creation of corporations, I gather?

  • Sevo||

    T o n y|7.27.12 @ 12:20PM|#
    "So all of you are against corporate capitalism and the state's creation of corporations, I gather?"

    OK shithead, next it's 100 times:
    "I WILL NOT USE FALSE EQUIVALENCE IN A DISCUSSION"

  • R C Dean||

    So all of you are against corporate capitalism

    Why would we be? Corporate capitalism is what we got when we messed around with private property and contracts (including contracts to form corporations).

    the state's creation of corporations

    I don't get too upset when the state creates a default mode for doing anything, which is pretty much what "free incorporation" statutes are.

    Go on, tell me how its contrary to principles of personal responsibility that corporate laws says that people who had no direct role in, knowledge of, or ability to affect something the corporation does shouldn't lose everything they own.

  • T o n y||

    The corporation is not a free-market entity. It is a government permission slip to limited liability. It is a requirement by government of an entity to do a certain thing, namely strive to make profits.

  • Fluffy||

    The 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 6th amendments presuppose a system of private property.

    And a Congress limited to its enumerated powers, and prevented from delegating them, would have one hell of a time achieving or managing nationalized industries.

  • Robert S||

    How adorable, Tony is pretending to care about what the constitution says.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    No, but the people who wrote that document would shit themselves if they came into the future and saw that we had 100% socialism.

  • Taggart||

    Socialism is government ownership of the means of production. We do not have 100% socialism. We have maybe 25% socialism.

  • Mo||

    Even Mike Bloomberg thinks this is too much meddling.

    http://gothamist.com/2012/07/2.....an_not.php

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Because of this man's ignorance, I will deny Chick-fil-A a permit to open a restaurant in my ward.

    A man this powerful should have no difficulty curing cancer and ending poverty forever. With any luck, he spare a few moments end the scourge of fat women in tight pants, as well.

    Let us praise Him!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I a word.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    "Coming Soon Never

    At this location- a new Chik-Fil-A

    No Justice, No Chicken!"

  • CE||

    The ACLU is siding with Chick-Fil-A. Using government power to deny a business license because a government official disagrees with an opinion expressed by a business owner (as opposed to a business policy that actually violates anyone's civil rights) is a violation of the business owner's civil rights.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politic.....perts-say/

    The ACLU “strongly supports” same-sex marriage, Schwartz said, but noted that if a government can exclude a business for being against same-sex marriage, it can also exclude a business for being in support of same-sex marriage.

  • CE||

    Okay, so where in the Bible does the "one man and one woman" marriage part come from? Seems like polygamy isn't exactly frowned upon throughout.

  • Mongo||

    It's right after the bears mauling the children after the little fuckers teased some prophet for being bald.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Someone should ask Cathy if he thinks that rape victims should be required to marry their attackers, on threat of execution if they refuse.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    What kind of twisted logic is that, Dragon?

  • R C Dean||

    Well, he has no problem with Muslims, and there are definitely widely practice strains of Islam that say exactly that.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Good call, Dean.

  • Taggart||

    It's in Genesis chapter 1 or 2, when there was one man and one woman created, and she was "bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh." Polygamy is traditionally seen as an aberation of that, and it was tolerated but frowned upon, and the Bible stories tend to show the ill effects of polygamy via narration. The Bible is a bunch of stories that does more "showing" than "telling." It doesn't say, "Look! Polygamy is bad! You really should be monogamous!" Rather, it shows what a fucking mess resulted from polygamy in the lives of the characters who practiced it. Monogamy became the norm and standard for Judaism before Christ, though monogamy was not an official law among Jews until the Middle ages. For Christians, monogamy was the standard since the beginning of the church, with a certain level of tolerance afforded to polygamous converts (they weren't going to make them put away their wives). There's no question that the weight of Christian tradition supports heterosexual monogamy as the model for Christian marraige. That says nothing whatsoever about secular law and politics, but, in Christian practice - that's the clear tradition.

  • Taggart||

    And although polygamist converts were tolerated and permitted to keep their wives, they were not permitted to become offical church leaders. Today, many churches take this same line toward homosexuals. You can be homosexual and be in the church, but don't expect us to make you a pastor or a bishop or whatever- that's not the tradition.

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