The Anchoress http://www.patheos.com/blogs/t... has a compelling post about the real meaning of Mayor Menino's attempt to deny Chick-Fil-A a permit to open a location in Boston. In a nutshell, Menino's policy is to use the powers of his office to penalize people for their beliefs. And when you start using the force of government to penalize people for their beliefs, you are well down the road to fascism.
The Anchoress writes:
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. Someone's a bigot? Let him be a bigot; like it or not, a man is entitled to his damn bigotry. Someone's a curmudgeon? Let him be a curmudgeon. Someone's a misogynist (or, conversely, a male-hater?) let them be! People are entitled to be who they are - just as a church is entitled to be what it is - free of government compulsion to be what they are not. We cannot "make" people be more loving. We cannot "legislate" kindness. A bigot, or a hater (of any sort) will eventually find himself standing alone, will have to figure things out for himself. Or, not.
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.