Given that I’m neither very religious nor gay, I do not take an emotional stand for or against gay marriage. As an extreme libertarian, I don’t think marriage of any kind should be sanctioned or certified by the State, nor should any privileges accrue to encourage one social choice over another. As an anarcho-capitalist (the most extreme kind of libertarian), I don’t even recognize the legitimacy of the State much less wish the State to recognize the legitimacy of my marriage.
Nevertheless, I have been trying to get at what exactly is fueling the pro-Chick-fil-A demonstrations. I got a tweet during the last show saying it was homophobia plain and simple, but I don’t buy that. If Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy had said Chick-fil-A will no longer serve or hire gays, I doubt he would have experienced an upwelling of support. On the contrary, it is my experience that the vast majority of Americans are appalled at discrimination and would not have wanted to be associated with a purely bigoted policy. A minority might have supported him, but not for long–I suspect the company would have been out of business with a policy like that, legal or illegal.
Was Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day a wild success because people wanted to show their support for the First Amendment like many claim? I don’t think so. It’s true that Rahm Emanuel, the Mayor of Chicago, and Tom Menino, the Mayor of Boston, want to control Cathy’s speech by using the force of the State to punish him economically, but I did not get the sense that the crowds in Atlanta were focused on these northern mayors.
Are Chick-fil-A appreciators coming out in droves to show their disapproval of gay marriage in particular and homosexuality in general? I’m sad to conclude there is an element of that in all of this, but it’s not the driving force.
I believe that the overwhelming driving force behind the record-breaking success of Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day is people’s desire to show their disapproval of being railroaded by the political left into reshaping society. The power elite (at that level there is no left or right) has always wanted to reshape society until society itself is absorbed by the State and becomes indistinguishable from it. The family and powerful religions are both barriers to State dominance of society and always have been, albeit for opposite reasons (one offers resistance, the other competition).
Do I think the chicken-eaters know this is what is driving them? Some of them might. Do gay rights activists at the Chick-kiss-in know they are in service to the vision of elitist social engineers? A few of them might. Their organizers do, just as Mike Huckabee, father of Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, does.
The fact is though that the chicken-lovers are trying instinctively and desperately to stem the tide of social engineering from the left, but their efforts are futile, not only because the left is winning by hook or by crook, but because the right long ago defected.
For anyone who doubts the left is winning, reflect on the advent of Obamacare. Socialized medicine is a critical element for implementing the State-centered social vision. Just as government schooling places the State as the primary actor in the formation of the mind, State medicine places the State as the primary actor in the health of the body, in both cases replacing roles traditionally held by family, religious institutions and voluntary economic exchanges. Furthermore, it is clear that this is social engineering not social evolution because the majority of the people were against Obamacare and still are and we’re getting it anyway.
Passing Obamacare was such a monumental act of Statist coercion that even the normally covert Statist right had to show itself in the form of Republican-appointed Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts casting the deciding vote to uphold Obamacare. (Mitt Romney had already shown his eagerness to replace the free society with the State by pioneering Obamneycare in the first place.) That leads me to my second point….
The right defected. Conservatism used to have the high road, espousing fiscal responsibility, civil liberties and prudence in foreign affairs (see Barry Goldwater), but it has been hijacked by the neoconservative movement and now is led by social engineers from the right who sacrifice fiscal conservatism for the power to shape society both at home and abroad (see Irving Kristol). Because the right has now embraced the principle that the proper role of the State is to decide social and moral issues, the battle has been lost, the resistance infiltrated. The power of society has been yielded to the State and like all things controlled by the State, the battle between left and right in Washington is simply a battle between mob bosses of two different families. While we at home continue to believe there is an ideology at issue, it is nothing more than a war for the corners.
Ultimately, however, the gay marriage question, as with every other issue that pits factions of society against each other, is a distraction from the real issue. The battle is not between gay and straight, left and right, black and white, Christian and atheist; the battle is between US and THEM, between ruled and rulers, between social power and State power. But Statist diversions are nothing new–some even say it wasn’t only that Nero fiddled while Rome burned, but that Nero burned Rome so that he could fiddle.