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Every now and then, but seemingly more often these days, a genuine head-shaker comes along, a news story in which the culprits behave in stupid fashion due to utter obliviousness.

Thus the story coming out of San Antonio, where the city council banned the popular fast-food chain Chick-fil-A from its airport because the members disapproved of some of the charitable donations made by its owners. The alleged offense was that the Chick-fil-A Foundation gave money to supposedly anti-LGBT organizations like the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Salvation Army (the Salvation Army!!).

The real offense was being Christians who subscribe to traditional Christian teachings. About which, four rather obvious points.

First, that there exists a not particularly obscure legal provision called the First Amendment of the United States Constitution that clearly and thankfully prohibits government entities (like the San Antonio City Council) from punishing people for their religious beliefs or their political speech (or their charitable or political donations as expressions thereof).

Donald Trump might not like how Saturday Night Live routinely depicts him, but all he can ultimately do about it is huff and puff and send out silly tweets in response. The San Antonio City Council might not like the political preferences of the owners of Chick-fil-A, or their Christian beliefs, but it has no legal power to punish them for those preferences.

To the contrary, the First Amendment's primary purpose is to prevent government from prohibiting speech it disapproves of on the ground that unfettered political speech is the best means of checking the abuses of government, including the kind of abuse that the San Antonio City Council, in its cluelessness regarding such principles, has now so exquisitely demonstrated.

In the case of Chick-fil-A, the alleged crime is found not in any discriminatory labor practices or treatment of customers (no one is alleging such) but in precisely that which receives the highest degree of constitutional protection, the holding of religious or political beliefs which those in political authority dislike.

Second comes the always useful "if the shoe were on the other foot" test; more specifically contemplation of the likely reaction in leftist precincts if the city council of a conservative city tried to use its authority to punish businesses or citizens that had made donations to Planned Parenthood or Black Lives Matter.

How such efforts would differ in any meaningful way from what the San Antonio City Council has attempted to do to Chick-fil-A is left unclear.

Third, that in San Antonio bigotry (in this case anti-Christian bigotry) is being expressed under the guise of combating bigotry, thereby suggesting that certain forms of bigotry are more fashionable these days than others. Indeed, anti-Christian bigotry might be the most powerful and pervasive form of bigotry we now have, if only because it is one of the few that can not only be publicly expressed without fear of reprisal but actually elicits approval from our chattering classes.

Just as institutions of higher education increasingly exclude contrary views on the grounds of "inclusion" and assume that a commitment to "diversity" requires the suppression of diverse opinions, bigotry is now justified on the political left on the grounds of opposing bigotry.

Orwell would be well and truly proud.

We are left in all of this with some disturbing incongruities, including that Christians are now being increasingly attacked in a nation founded predominantly by Christians in search of religious freedom, for the simple fact of their being Christians.

Because traditional Christian beliefs are increasingly perceived as an obstacle to the radical social agenda of the social-justice warriors, those holding those beliefs must be ostracized and punished, even if it requires means that make a mockery of hallowed constitutional principles.

Finally, there is the question of what kind of people allow their lives to become so politicized that they take extreme offense, and seek to legally punish, a fast-food franchise for making charitable donations they don't approve of.

The hunch is that such people are profoundly miserable human beings, with a powerful interest in making the rest of us miserable as well if we let them. Beneath their phony, carefully choreographed outrage and self-serving "virtue signaling" is found only hate, a thirst for power, and a desire for revenge on those who lead happier, more well-adjusted lives than they do.

The church I usually attend on Sunday mornings features beer coolers rather than Bibles and has a couple of particularly difficult par fours on the front nine. I can't say I spend much time in fast-food joints, including Chick-fil-A outlets, either.

But I definitely plan to drop a ten-spot in the next Salvation Army bucket I come across, if only to see if the social-justice warriors pop out and try to haul me off to the hoosegow for my thought crime.

And I look forward to hearing of the hefty financial settlements flowing from the lawsuits that Chick-fil-A will almost certainly win against the city of San Antonio.

They will constitute a useful, instructive punishment of the cretins among the San Antonio electorate that elected the cretins on its city council.

------------v------------

Freelance columnist Bradley R. Gitz, who lives and teaches in Batesville, received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Illinois.

Editorial on 04/15/2019

Print Headline: BRADLEY R. GITZ: Those woke warriors

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Comments

  • mozarky2
    April 15, 2019 at 5:59 a.m.

    "Beneath their phony, carefully choreographed outrage and self-serving "virtue signaling" is found only hate, a thirst for power, and a desire for revenge on those who lead happier, more well-adjusted lives than they do".
    The most perfect description of Robert Bear I've ever read!

  • RBear
    April 15, 2019 at 6:58 a.m.

    LOL @ moz's stupid assertion. That same statement could be applied to the AR legislature when it overturned local ordinances supporting civil rights protections.
    ...
    But, since Gitz decided to write about the SA Council's decision on Chik-fil-a I feel I should weigh in with my thoughts. I have actually contacted a few of my friends who are council members as well as the mayor and told them it was a bad move. It didn't really accomplish anything other than draw the attention to the city. Quite frankly, it could be viewed as a business decision since Sunday is a busy travel day in an airport that has far more passengers than Little Rock could ever dream of.
    ...
    Still, based on average sales by Chik-fil-a I don't think the loss would be that much if any. So, they made the wrong move with it. I personally know the councilmember, even co-wrote a blog with him, who opposed the move by council and he's using it as an opportunity in his run to challenge Nirenberg.
    ...
    But let's get back to Gitz's idiotic rant against others. It's funny to read him defend Christians when he doesn't even attend church himself. Kind of like fake defending Christian beliefs and screwing up the Bible passages in his attempt to. Gitz teaches at a college my denomination actively supports. It's name comes from the family who actively supported it over the years and were faithful members of the church I attend.
    ...
    But his final comments are probably the dumbest of the column. "And I look forward to hearing of the hefty financial settlements flowing from the lawsuits that Chick-fil-A will almost certainly win against the city of San Antonio. They will constitute a useful, instructive punishment of the cretins among the San Antonio electorate that elected the cretins on its city council."
    ...
    To start with, there's no basis for a lawsuit as Gitz feverishly desires. San Antonio can simply point out that it was a financial decision, desiring to have a food establishment ready to serve passengers 7 days a week. With regards to his admonishment of "the cretins among the San Antonio electorate that elected the cretins on its city council," based on the slate of candidates up for election in May the progressive wing will add one more seat, the seat vacated by the conservative who opposed the ordinance and is running for mayor.
    ...
    Gitz's anger at San Antonio is actually pretty foolish as the city is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. I doubt not having Chik-fil-a in the airport even fazes them when looking at the strong growth in the city. I can assure Gitz it's not even going to be a blip on their radar when they vote in May.
    ...
    Finally, I won't hold my breath waiting for a lawsuit from the chicken joint against San Antonio. The statement is more an idiotic bluster from the racist faux Christian up in Batesville.

  • RBear
    April 15, 2019 at 7 a.m.

    Meant to say "business decision" instead of "financial decision" in the third para from the bottom.

  • DamonDio
    April 15, 2019 at 7:10 a.m.

    While it may be all well and good to point out that we should be able to separate our cheap (and mostly delicious) lunch from our political lives if only for a couple minutes I'd also like to point out that Mr. Gitz of the "don't call us deplorable" crowd just called and entire American city full of cretins for expressing their political opinion. Good for you Mr. Gitz for taking a narrow issue and applying it broadly to millions of our fellow citizens.

  • mozarky2
    April 15, 2019 at 7:53 a.m.

    My assertion was spot-on, rb, and also applies to a much lesser degree to the other "progs" on this forum.
    You desperately need help, rb.

  • LRCrookAtty
    April 15, 2019 at 7:54 a.m.

    Rbear..."But, since Gitz decided to write about the SA Council's decision on Chik-fil-a I feel I should weigh in with my thoughts."
    ***
    Why? No one really cares about your thoughts. They are far left and do not line up with the majority here in Arkansas. So, you, an outlier, have thoughts about something? Really, we would never have guessed.

  • mozarky2
    April 15, 2019 at 8:03 a.m.

    rb, the Reverend Isaac Long wouldn't recognize the Episcopal Church of today, with its false doctrine. You're being lied to, and you're too gullible a simpleton to realize it.

  • wowy
    April 15, 2019 at 8:06 a.m.

    Gay-love and Christian-hate, communist and dimwitted --- they seem to always go together.
    TRUMP IS the Truth AND the Answer.
    TRUMP IS our Political Savior.
    In TRUMP WE Trust.
    TRUMP
    2020
    MAGA

  • RBear
    April 15, 2019 at 8:13 a.m.

    Okay, LRCrook is getting petty again. I'm guessing it's a slow day in the estate planning sector today. Then again, he's all about suppressing the voice of the citizen by which his comment would be expected. Fact, ain't it.

  • hah406
    April 15, 2019 at 8:22 a.m.

    I don't give a damn about Chick-fil-a one way or the other. I do have a problem with Dan Cathy's personal politics and beliefs, and wish that he would not express them through his business. He is like so many others I have encountered my whole life, using his religion to express his superiority and to try to deny the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to others by leveraging laws and politics against the gay community.
    ...
    That is his choice however. I personally prefer "Love All, Serve All." I do have to say one of the funniest things I ever saw was a gay kiss-in at a Chick-fil-a in Atlanta. Also, the San Jose airport is about to open what they are referring to as the "gayest Chick-fil-a ever!" Guess these things come back around in many different ways.

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