A few days ago, I put up an entry about the (frankly) crazed prosecution of a marine biologist, a case begun, and now in its seventh year, because a member of her crew whistled at a whale. The point I was making was that the sprawl of criminal law, while justifiably viewed with growing concern by many conservatives and others ordinarily sympathetic to the prosecution point of view, masks an even more pernicious problem -- replacing law with ideology. The particular ideology now elbowing law out of the way is Political Correctness. I thought this was wonderfully illustrated by the unhinged version of environmentalism on display in the whale whistling case, and by the even more unhinged version of seething feminism and race-based bullying on display in the Duke lacrosse scandal of a few years ago.
No sooner was the ink dry on my post than Political Correctness took another step toward tyranny, this time in the Chick-fil-A controversy. It seems that the owner of Chick-fil-A opposes gay marriage (a position held by President Obama until quite recently). It's not that Chick-fil-A refuses service to gays, married or otherwise; it's simply that the owner believes, apparently for religious reasons, that same-sex marriage is wrong. This is very Politically Incorrect.
It did not take the PC storm troopers long to launch.
In Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and elsewhere, government officials declared that Chick-fil-A would not be welcome to do business in their cities. Any suggestion that a business owner could express an opinion on a public issue and, under the First Amendment, be free from government retaliation was trampled in the rush to Be Politically Correct About Gay Marriage.
And then something happened. There arose a spontaneous movement among those who still think the First Amendment means something: It seems they want to have their say (while we still can, that is). I am thus happy to report that my family had dinner tonight at the local Chick-fil-A, which was much more crowded than I have ever seen it. People were standing in line around the wall when the place closed at 10 pm. This is on a Wednesday night, not the biggest restaurant night of the week.
Evidently, we were not the only ones in the movement for Freedom through Chicken. Around the country, it seems, Chick-fil-A was doing a land office business. I am told that my friend Ted Cruz served Chick-fil-A at his victory party.
For the government to deny a business permit because of the business owner's unpopular (in some quarters) opinion is the first step down a road that is alien in America. It is, however, a road familiar in countries that have known fascism. Fascism does not become more attractive because it parades in the garb of Political Correctness; if anything, it becomes even uglier. And unless checked, it won't stop in the mere denial of business permits. Soon enough, it will take over the criminal code. You Will Believe As The Commissar Says Or Else.
It doesn't matter if you favor or oppose gay marriage. It only matters if you care about making sure that law remains an ally of freedom, or instead becomes its enemy.
The Chick-fil-A sandwich I had tonight was, incidentally, right good. I think I'll have another tomorrow.