Ken Connor

One of the hallmarks of contemporary Liberalism is an embrace of multiculturalism. A truly progressive society, so the thinking goes, is one in which people from all walks of life – all racial, ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds – can coexist harmoniously, even though they have radically different world views and conflicting notions about how to order themselves in society. Inculcating a spirit of multiculturalism in our children has become a top priority in America's schools. It is important, we've decided, for young people to learn tolerance at an early age: You may not look the same, or act the same, or believe the same as your neighbor, but you should nonetheless treat him with respect and dignity as a fellow human being. America's strength lies in her diversity, after all.

In recent years, however, the notion of what it means to be "tolerant" has changed radically. There was a time when tolerance meant just that: tolerance. I may not agree with my neighbor's religious beliefs, or lifestyle choices, or cultural mores, but as a law abiding, dignified citizen I tolerated these differences in a peaceable manner. My neighbor would extend me the same courtesy. If the occasion arose, say, come election season, we might engage in a lively discussion of our differences, debating the merits of each person's views. Today, however, a new understanding of tolerance reigns: I must not merely respect my neighbor's right to think and act differently from me, I must embrace, celebrate, and promote my neighbor's way of life, even if that means repudiating my own values in the process.

Turns out, Liberals aren't as keen on multiculturalism as they claim. Their views might be best described as "Our-culturalism." The tenets of our-culturalism are quite simple: Our worldview is right, good, and absolutely necessary for a just society. Those who disagree with us are not merely wrong, not merely different, they are a positive threat – hatemongers who must be isolated and ostracized for the greater good of society.

So it is with the issue of homosexuality, and the conflict between the homosexual lifestyle and those who espouse a traditional understanding of marriage and family. Homosexual activists have said for years that all they want is tolerance, but it has become increasingly clear that mere tolerance is not enough. They want their lifestyle to be endorsed by society and affirmed through civil law. Enter the fast food chain Chick-Fil-A. According to a recent article in the New York Times, the restaurant's Christian roots have many homosexuals torn between their love of southern fried comfort fare and their sexual identity:


Ken Connor

Ken Connor is Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC.