Deroy Murdock - Chick-fil-A controversy reveals hypocrisy

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"I have been to this point unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage primarily because of my understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage."

If you dislike that comment, you will hate this one:

"I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian ... it is also a sacred union. God's in the mix."

Such divisive, bigoted words surely were spat like venom by Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy, right?

Wrong.

President Barack Obama uttered the first statement on Oct. 27, 2010. Candidate Obama made the second remark to Pastor Rick Warren on Aug. 17, 2008.

The Chick-fil-A flap illustrates how thoroughly unhinged the American left has become and exposes the totalitarian temptation that stirs just beneath the thin skins of too many Democrats.

Cathy's interview in the July 16 Baptist Press triggered this brouhaha.

"We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit," Cathy said. "We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that." He also told radio host Ken Coleman: "I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.'"

Cathy's words exploded as if he had told gays to stay the hell out of his restaurants. Cathy said no such thing.

As a gay-marriage supporter, I differ with Cathy. However, his views are neither extreme nor medieval. Indeed, on May 8, they mirrored Obama's definition of marriage. That was the day before Obama parroted Vice President Joe Biden and endorsed gay marriage. Obama instantly "evolved" and told ABC News on May 9: "... same-sex couples should be able to get married."

While Cathy is being excoriated as a homophobic Neanderthal, just four months ago, Obama's position on gay marriage was equally prehistoric.

Rather than combat this year's 39 percent spike in local homicides, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel pole-vaulted into this fracas.

"Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values," Emanuel declared. If true, Obama similarly lacked Chicago values while Emanuel was his chief of staff. Evidently, that didn't bother Emanuel back then.

Other Democrats have abused their power by threatening or applying government force to sandbag Chick-fil-A, the First Amendment be damned.

"If they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult," Democratic Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston roared last month.

Washington Mayor Vincent Gray called Chick-fil-A "hate chicken" and opposes its expansion in America's capital.

Democratic Chicago Alderman Proco Joe Moreno promised to bar the company from his constituency. He told The Chicago Tribune: "Because of this man's (Cathy's) ignorance, I will now be denying Chick-fil-A's permit to open a restaurant in the 1st Ward."

"We don't want you here," New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn snapped. Also, on official stationery, she wrote New York University President John Sexton and pressed him to expel Gotham's only Chick-fil-A outlet.

Such coercion should terrify every American.

Will there now be a pro-gay-marriage litmus test for anyone who works at Boston's City Hall or New York's Municipal Building? How many government workers and contractors in Boston, Chicago, New York and Washington now will not even discuss gay marriage for fear of saying something politically incorrect and then suffering public attack and economic ruin?

This easily could become a two-way street. Starbucks supports gay marriage. Could a pro-Chick-fil-A backlash prompt a Bible Belt mayor to block Starbucks from his city?

This fiasco confirms the intolerance of the supposedly "open-minded" American left. Rather than simply dispute or debate Cathy, they immediately pilloried him and vilified those who share his traditionalist outlook.

Far more chilling, major Democratic politicians reflexively grabbed the instruments of power to bludgeon Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-A.

The scariest lesson here is that small dictators lurk inside far too many Democrats.

(Deroy Murdock is a columnist with Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with Stanford University's Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace.)

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