The Obama Administration and its allies have been whining about bullies for some time now -- but of course, they don’t mind if they are the ones doing the bullying. One of their agendas is bullying those who champion Judeo-Christian values (see Catholic Church vs. Sandra Fluke).
But now religious folks are fighting back. One of them is a Chicago neighborhood pastor, the Rev. Charles Lyons, who passionately argued in his sermon on Sunday that Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno and their allies should withdraw their opposition to a new franchise of Chick-Fil-A that was to open in Chicago.
The franchise in question was in Moreno’s ward, and he had threatened, “I’m not going to sit on the sidelines, and allow them to come in, when I know in my heart that they believe in discriminating against gay people.” Emanuel had chimed in after Moreno’s protest, lambasting Chick-Fil-A for attempting to open a franchise: “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 the Chicago values.”
Chick-Fil-A certainly does not engage in thuggery, vote-buying, or widespread killing, so Emanuel was certainly correct.
On Sunday, Lyons, of the Armitage Baptist Church, read a letter in church that he plans to send to Rahm Emanuel. Lyons read: “Their money, their business, their taxes are not wanted? Not needed? This could easily be seen as anti-religious, agenda-driven bullying.” He lauded Chick-Fil-A for being respectful of its employees as well as those who ate there, and warned of the day when “thought police” would come to his own church: “We will meet them at the door, respectfully, unflinchingly holding a copy of the sacred scriptures in one hand and a copy of the U.S. Constitution in the other.”
Last week, when the Christian website Baptist press asked Chick-Fil-A president Dan Cathy if he supported traditional marriage, Cathy responded, “Guilty as charged,” then continued, “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, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.” Last month, Cathy had said, “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,’ and I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”
Last month Moreno and the Civil Rights Organization started the bullying; they demanded that Chick-Fil-A change its corporate policies to ensure an LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination rule, which would include diversity and cultural competency training, benefits for people in domestic partnerships and civil unions, culturally-sensitive ads in the LGBT community, transgender health benefits, and a rejection of activities that would undermine equality.
Now, thanks to the Rev. Lyons and those like him fighting back, the proverbial lamb is fast becoming the lion.