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.
In a similar example of unconscious doublespeak, New York City council speaker Christine Quinn, herself in a same-sex “marriage,” explained why she too wanted Chick-fil-A kicked off the NYU campus: “We are a city that believes our diversity is our greatest strength and we will fight anything and anyone that runs counter to that.”
That’s right, Chick-fil-A. We are so diverse that we will run you out of our city. And we are so open and inclusive that we have no room for a business like yours.
Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno also attributed his attack on Chick-fil-A to “diversity,” explaining to ABCNews.com that his district is “a very diverse ward--economically, racially, and diverse in sexual orientation” – but not so diverse that it can welcome a Christian-based company. (The comments of the magnanimous mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emmanuel, require little commentary: “Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values. They disrespect our fellow neighbors and residents.” Perhaps he should have added, “No disrespect intended to my fellow neighbors and residents who oppose same-sex ‘marriage,’ and certainly, no disrespect intended to Minister Farrakhan, whose business is always welcome in our city.”)
Not to be left out in this remarkable display of tolerance, equality, and diversity, the Philadelphia City Council was considering “a resolution condemning Chick-fil-A for what one city leader called ‘anti-American’ attitudes that promote ‘hatred, bigotry and discrimination.’ City Councilman Jim Kenney sent a letter to Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy telling him to ‘take a hike and take your intolerance with you.’” (I am not making this up.)
Does Councilman Kenney not realize that he should be directing his statement to the face looking at him in the mirror? (To repeat: “take a hike and take your intolerance with you.”) Does the Philadelphia City Council not recognize that 31 states have so far voted to uphold marriage as the union of one man and woman? Are all these states, most recently North Carolina, with an overwhelming vote of 61-39%, “anti-American”? And isn’t it the Philadelphia City Council resolution that is actually an example of “hatred, bigotry and discrimination”? Yes, Chick-fil-A, we will discriminate against you because we oppose discrimination.
Already in 1994, Camille Paglia wrote in her book Vamps and Tramps, “One reason I so dislike recent gay activism is that my self-identification as a lesbian preceded Stonewall: I was the only openly gay person at the Yale Graduate School (1968-72), a candor that was professionally costly. That anyone with my aggressive and scandalous history could be called ‘homophobic,’ as has repeatedly been done, shows just how insanely Stalinist gay activism has become.” And Orwellian too.
So be on guard: The intolerance brigade is coming for you.
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.