Supporting Traditional Marriage is Not a Crime, But Murder Is, by Charles Butler

butler_smAfghanistan seems safer than Chicago. As of August 6, 272 American and NATO troops had been killed in Afghanistan in 2012. In Chicago, 318 people had been murdered by that same date.

So why is the mayor of Chicago so concerned about the personal beliefs of Chick-fil-A executives?

As the temperature peaks and the murder rate climbs ever higher, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel chooses to strut in front of the national media about his outrage about Chick-fil-A executives and their opposition to gay marriage, saying, “Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago values.”

Oh, really? I support traditional values. I still support civil unions for gays, but not full marriage. Mayor Emanuel and I don’t share the same values — yet we are both Chicagoans.

And I dare say that most of the rest of the 33 percent of Chicagoans who are black probably also don’t support gay marriage. But we do seem to be the most conservative ethnic group, though we nonetheless throw our support behind liberal politicians such as Emanuel and the liberal social agenda.

It’s not that I have anything against gay people. It’s not important to me how one carries out their sexual affairs. I am offended when those affairs are made a public issue. I expect people to be professional and decent at all times — regardless of their sexual orientation. And I expect my elected officials to focus on the issues affecting our community, such as crime and Chicago’s escalating murder rate.

Yet Emanuel fans the flames of hatred against Chick-fil-A. He did not show leadership by trying to dissuade his fellow liberal lawmakers from extreme and unlawful acts when they claimed they would keep the fast-food chain from opening any new restaurants in Chicago by any means necessary.

Why does Emanuel seem — just like his predecessor, Richard Daley — to be more interested in gay marriage than in stopping the epidemic of black-on-black genocide in the city they’ve been entrusted to manage?

Why does the mayor of Chicago also seem more interested in implementing plans to make the city friendlier to illegal immigrants when there are black families who have lived in the Windy City for generations who feel discriminated against by a government-fueled culture that they say is depriving them of life, liberty and the ability to pursue happiness?

Black businessmen complain about how tough it is getting city contracts, our inner-city schools are crumbling and our neighborhoods are like war zones. The skyrocketing murder rate is drawing national attention.

Even the U.S. Supreme Court, in its ruling on the 2nd Amendment in the 2010 case of McDonald v. Chicago, pointed out that a lack of law enforcement in some areas presents a clear and present danger to citizens of Chicago.

Mayor Emanuel has his priorities way out of order. As chaos rules some neighborhoods, Emanuel appears focused on 30 East Chicago Avenue — the location of the only Chick-fil-A in city limits.

No matter what its executives, employees or customers believe about marriage or the chances of the Bears going to the Super Bowl this season, Chick-fil-A is a good corporate citizen. Chick-fil-A creates jobs. Chick-fil-A supports other local businesses. Chick-fil-A pays taxes into the city coffers.

Rahm Emanuel is making a rookie mistake that often befalls politicians. Government does not create prosperity. The health of the economy, in the big picture, relies a whole lot more on the performance of the average American than it does on the meddling of a bureaucrat or a lawmaker.

Hard-working, salt-of-the-earth citizens make America. And, if they like traditional marriage and Chick-fil-A, government should not stand in their way.

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Charles Butler, is a member of the Project 21 black leadership network, a talk radio host in Chicago and the managing partner of Aricent LLC. Comments may be sent to [email protected].

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