In recent days, the extreme intolerance, bigotry, and exclusivity of some gay activists and their straight allies has been on prominent display in their attacks against Chick-fil-A. What makes this all the more ironic, not to mention Orwellian, is that their campaign is being carried out in the name of tolerance, inclusion, and diversity. As expressed by jurist Marvin Frankel (in his book Faith and Freedom: Religious Liberty in America), “The powerless call out for tolerance. Achieving power, they may soon forget.”
Today, words like “diversity” and “inclusion,” which have been on the lips of gay activists for years, have taken on an ominous tone that would make Orwell proud.
Since March, students at New York University have been circulating a petition calling for Chick-fil-A to be removed from their campus for “human rights violations” (I kid you not). In classic doublespeak, the petition states that the fast food company doesn’t belong there because “NYU prides itself on being a diverse, open and inclusive campus community. . . . Unfortunately, maintaining a contract with an anti-gay vendor like Chick-fil-A undermines what makes this university so great.” So, Chick-fil-A should be banned because NYU “prides itself on being a diverse, open and inclusive campus community.”
In the same vein, Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, stated, “As the country moves toward inclusion, Chick-fil-A has staked out a decidedly stuck-in-the-past mentality.” He further stated, apparently with a straight face, that “fair-minded consumers” can now “make up their own minds whether they want to support an openly discriminatory company.” It appears, then, that Griffin’s version of an “inclusive” America means that it’s either the gay way or the highway.
But it gets worse. In the now infamous words of Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, “Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston. You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population.”
It appears, however, that you can have a mayor in the city of Boston who discriminates against a population (namely, the scores of millions of Americans who do not want to redefine marriage) and against a business (namely Chick-fil-A, an exemplary company that has broken no laws, including laws of discrimination).
Mayor Menino continued (and with Orwellian eloquence at that), “We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion,” a stunning example of unintended irony if ever there was one.
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.
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