I think Mayor Emanuel is on to something here. By all accounts, Chick-fil-A is a well run, honest business.
And Chicago? Well...let's just say no one has ever used to the word "honest" to describe city government -- or anyone who does business with the city.
"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 gonna be part of the Chicago community, you should reflect Chicago values," Emanuel said Wednesday.
"What the CEO has said as it relates to gay marriage and gay couples is not what I believe, but more importantly, it's not what the people of Chicago believe. We just passed legislation as it relates to civil union and my goal and my hope ... is that we now move on recognizing gay marriage. I do not believe that the CEO's comments ... reflects who we are as a city."
Ald. Joe Moreno (1st) is using the same argument to block Chick-fil-A from opening its first free-standing restaurant in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood.
Chick-fil-A already has one Chicago store - at 30 E. Chicago near Loyola University's downtown campus.
"Same sex marriage, same-sex couples - that's the civil rights fight of our time. To have those discriminatory policies from the top down is just not something that we're open to. ...We want responsible businesses," Moreno said.
Of course, marriage is not a "civil right" nor a "right" of any kind for anybody. If it were, it would be the first time in history that people possessed a civil right for a contract between two people. Marriage is a privilege -- but calling it a civil right is now part of the national narrative for gay marriage proponents because it sounds really cool and you can bash your political opponents for opposing it.
And while Rahmbo and the city fathers might like the idea of getting on their soap boxes to talk about "values," what does it say about Mr. Emanuel when he welcomes the assistance and praises the notorious racist and anti-Semite Louis Farrakahn:
Ignoring Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan's history of anti-Semitic remarks, Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday welcomed the army of men dispatched to the streets by Farrakhan to stop the violence in Chicago neighborhoods.
Ald. Debra Silverstein (50th), an Orthodox Jew, has said it's good that Farrakhan is "helping" in the fight against crime, "but it doesn't eradicate the comments that he's made about the Jewish community."
Emanuel offered no such caveat. Although Farrakhan has a history of making anti-Semitic statements, Chicago's first Jewish mayor has no interest in revisiting that controversy.
He's more concerned about reducing a 40 percent surge in Chicago homicides that's become a media obsession and threatens to undermine his efforts to market Chicago to international tourists.
"People of faith have a role to play and community leaders have a role to play in helping to protect our neighborhoods and our citizens. You cannot get there on just one piece of an anti-crime strategy," the mayor said.
"The police have a role to play. Tearing down abandoned buildings has a role to play. Shutting liquor stores that are a cancer in the community have a role to play. Community leaders have a role to play. Pastors have a role to play. Principals have a role to play. And most importantly, parents have roles to play. They have decided, the Nation of Islam, to help protect the community. And that's an important ingredient, like all the other aspects of protecting a neighborhood."
Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy holds fairly mainstream religious views on the subject of gay marriage so what he is being punished for is standing up for his faith. This means he has more integrity in his little finger than Rahm Emanuel and his allies in the City Council have put together.
For Emauel to talk about "values" is a sick joke. And if he shares the values of rabid racist Farrakahn, or cynically ignores them, he is an unprincipled lout compared to Mr. Cathy.