False narratives and fascism

As always, Elizabeth Scalia (aka The Anchoress) has thoughts worth reading on the Chick-Fil-A scandal: “If You’re Not Sure, This Is How Fascism Works.”

Her argument is multi-faceted, but mainly focuses on a subject I covered here a few days ago, which is that Chick-Fil-A president Don Cathy never mentioned “gays” or “gay marriage” during the recent newspaper interview that ignited the current controversy.  Of course that didn’t stop the press from misquoting, phantom-quoting, misattributing, and editorializing about the company’s “anti-gay” stance, and then attributing their own opinions Cathy and to the entire Chick-Fil-A franchise.

Outside of the printed interview The Anchress addresses, Don Cathy gave another interview to radio talk show host Ken Coleman, in which he described his own commitment (and the commitment of his company’s financial resources) to the preservation of traditional families.  In Cathy’s opinion, children are emotionally incomplete when they do not grow up in a household with both a mother and a father.  He further claimed that as an employer, he has witnessed problems with employees that he attributes to this kind of poor emotional development.

Then he said this: “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’.  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.”

What does this interview tell us?  Not much more than the print interview.  The audio excerpt included in the linked story is very short and does not include any mention of “gay marriage.”  It’s possible that Cathy was talking about same-sex couples, but he could have just as easily been talking about divorced families with only one parent.  It seems to me that if Cathy had specifically made derogatory remarks about “gays” or “same sex marriage” or some synonymous phrase, then those would have been the pull quotes from the interview.  Instead we are left with “God’s judgment.”

But how outrageous is such an opinion?  Isn’t that the basis of one diatribe after another by liberal Christians the fact that that God is going to judge America because we do not take care of our poor?  Isn’t God’s judgment against injustice a foundational belief of black liberation theology?  Isn’t that what Rev. Jeremiah Wright was saying when he infamously suggested that God had damned America?  Yet I don’t recall anyone on the left disassociating themselves from Rev. Wright or the social justice movement or Barack Obama based on rhetoric suggesting that God was judging our nation.  I guess it’s all about what criteria we expect God to use as the basis of his judgment.

Another tactic used to build the “support for traditional marriage = hate” narrative is the fallacy of the false dichotomy – “either you’re with us or against us.”  Remember how angry liberals were with President Bush when he declared, “You are either with us or against us in the fight against terror?”  Apparently they have no problem using the same faulty logic when it is to their own advantage – you either support the entire gay rights agenda, or you support “hate.”

The Anchoress explains:

The big deal is simply this: the press put aside context and decided to paint this company as some radically-religious-gay-hating-entity and then let the forces of anger, hate and spite have their way with it. The truth is, one can be a Christian and still be sympathetic to some parts of the so-called “gay agenda” without signing on in toto. One can disagree on the issue of gay marriage — based on scripture, or thousands of years of tradition, or on natural law — without actually hating anyone. But the right to principled opposition is being erased, quickly, and the press is doing all it can to help erase it. We are losing the right to say, “I don’t think the same way you do; my opinions are different.” That matters, a lot.

This is our mainstream press — the people charged with the public trust — and it has moved beyond advocacy and into “search and destroy” mode.

This is not about being “right” or “wrong” on an issue. This is about menacing and bullying people into conforming or paying the price. It’s about the bastardization of the word “tolerace” in our society, to the point where the word no longer means “live and let live” or “let people be who they are”; the word has become distorted in a very unhealthy way … If people are no longer entitled to their own opinions, or to think what they think, then we are not free people, at all. Period. Full stop. That’s a fundamental as it gets.

She concludes:

Hey, anyone has a right to boycott or protest anything, but is it right — is it just — to effect a boycott at the behest of a press so overt, so obvious in its intent to identify-and-harass the boogeymen of their passionate loathings?

Shall honest people consent to such manipulation? Further, can justice-minded people be comfortable with a government interfering with a business on the basis of its opinions?

This reeks of fascism. And frankly, these are acts born out of insecurity, not security, in one’s own position. It is bringing a sledgehammer to a fight, because you cannot trust your own argument.

Of course the objective of gay activists has never been honest debate or an open discussion.  It has always been about winning through any means necessary.  When it comes to “hate,” I think they’ve already got the market cornered.

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