“We will not tolerate intolerance!”
This is essentially the cry of the many lobbying for the removal of Chick-Fil-As across the country or the arrest of its expansion as a whole. The result of our widespread and growing tolerance is this ironic recurrence of intolerance. This issue has recently come to a very obvious head in the controversy surrounding Chick-Fil-A and its founding biblical principles. Dan Cathy has been accused of many things, among them anti-gay sentiments and policies. The truth, one will find, has been greatly misrepresented and distorted to unnecessary and rather shameful proportions.
It should be noted, first and foremost, that Cathy never even mentioned gays in his interview. Instead, he only expressed his views on same-sex marriage. He is merely of the opinion (based, it is true, on his interpretation of the bible) that same-sex marriage goes against the traditional views of marriage and does not foster the proper emotional nourishment essential for the well-being of a child.
People are entitled to their opinions, whether or not we agree with them. The essence of America is the fire with which we preserve the rights and beliefs of individuals, with the full knowledge that we may disagree sometimes.
We expect to be respected, hence we must respect. I don’t see protesters at every halal butcher shop protesting against the way Muslims want their meat. Just because Muslims believe pork to be unclean doesn’t entitle me to publically malign their belief. Although I don’t share their beliefs, we coexist in a state of mutual tolerance. I support their right to free speech and ideology just as they support mine, and the moment that ends is the moment America ceases to be.
It is perfectly reasonable, perhaps the moral responsibility of a conscious citizen, to decry a figure or organization for hate or prejudice. What you may be surprised to hear is that Chick-Fil-A is guilty of neither. The supposed “anti-gay” and “LGBT hate groups” that received donations from Chick-Fil-A are actually Christian organizations that provide spiritual ministry to those who wish to find an escape from homosexuality, because, believe it or not, some LGBT people want to be heterosexual.
Would you criticize an organization that tried to help heterosexuals sort out their desire to be homosexual? They don’t force their beliefs on everyone, and although this person in this or that organization may have made some polemic political statements, those views are in no way a reflection of Chick-Fil-A itself. Let us also not forget, as we have been quick to do, the $37 million in scholarships given out to college students or the various millions that fund marital counseling services and team-building.
What many have also overlooked is the actual involvement and participation of Chick-Fil-A employees and managers on a site to site basis. Brace yourselves: Chick-Fil-A both hires and serves LGBT people. Does that sound like gay hatred or prejudice? Anthony Piccola, Chick-Fil-A’s franchise operator, declares has declared Chick-fil-A’s mission to “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender.” Cathy himself says, “while my family and I believe in the Biblical definition of marriage, we love and respect anyone who disagrees.”
In this time of economic hardship, when jobs shouldn’t be taken for granted, it just doesn’t make sense to condemn and boycott a business and so hurt the economy and the very LGBT employees you are trying to defend, not to mention the various charities and scholarships supported by Chick-Fil-A enterprises. It also is not fair to the Chick-Fil-A employees who receive the hatred and very strong views of both sides of the issue. Need I even mention the delicious worth of waffle fries, spicy chicken sandwiches, and milkshakes?
Dan Cathy tolerates others’ advocacy for homosexuality but expects tolerance and respect for his own beliefs in return. It’s perfectly within your right to boycott Chick-Fil-A, but when it comes to tolerance, practice what you preach.
Jonathan Warkentine is a College Freshman from Almaty, Kazakhstan.
The Emory Wheel was founded in 1919 and is currently the only independent, student-run newspaper of Emory University. The Wheel publishes weekly on Wednesdays during the academic year, except during University holidays and scheduled publication intermissions.
The Wheel is financially and editorially independent from the University. All of its content is generated by the Wheel’s more than 100 student staff members and contributing writers, and its printing costs are covered by profits from self-generated advertising sales.
The problem is that Chick-Fil-A donates to organizations that fund the systematic and government approved capital punishment for LGBT people in African Nations. Exodus International has used electro-shock therapy to “turn” people. People who do conversion therapy usually end up in worse shape mentally than they previously were.
Your comparison doesn’t work with Halal either. The majority of Halal butcher shops do not contribute to systematic oppression of a people. Unfortunately, I wish it was simply easy to say “Their beliefs are just different! Get along with it.” However, Chick-Fil-A doesn’t simply believe what they believe and call it a day. They pay money to make sure that what they believe is implemented and maintained in the law. The Halal butcher shop doesn’t work either. Muslims in America do not demand that all meat in America be Halal. However, Dan Cathy’s company does donate money to organization that are fighting to have marriage fit their definition.
What scares me about your posts is your ignorance on how gay conversion therapies affect their patients. Have you spoken to someone who has gone through it? Have you seen the scientific articles crying out that it only damages an LGBT person further? Gay conversion therapy is akin to changing your eye color with surgery, or bleaching your skin. Sexual preference is really a misnomer. Your body is hardwired to be sexually attracted to a man, woman, or both. It’s not something you can change. People will tell you their conversion therapy worked, but most relapse or fall out of heterosexuality in years time.
And don’t you find it a little offensive that Dan Cathy will hire and let gay people work for him and then donate for a cause that’s against them? Or take the money of a gay person, and turn around and donate money that will fight against that person marrying the person they love? Your argument doesn’t hold up. Is it not racist for someone to serve and hire black people, but then donate money from their company’s coffers to the KKK? That’s racism no matter how you look at it.
Articles like this exemplify exactly why I’m proud to be an Emory Eagle. Jonathan Warkentine, like David Giffin and other fearless Emory Wheel op-ed journalists before him, has shown that, although only a freshman, Warkentine already bleeds blue and gold. Jonathan has stood up and spoken out for those ideals we hold most dear – the freedom of speech, the liberty of expression, the unrestricted ability to think whatever comes to our mind no matter how baseless, and we can’t forget, most importantly, that right the Founding Fathers’ held most dear… the inalienable right, nay, the supreme duty, to use our dollars as ultimate trump cards in any and all political contests in which people’s lives and well-beings are at stake. We must protect all speech so that those with the most money can say and do as they please, claim an equal-playing field, seek protection under law, and then use their (probably inherited, God bless America) fortunes to manipulate institutions (and even facts) in order to destroy any influence competing views may have hoped to attain. This is the only way true freedom-lovers can execute their social visions.
Thank you, Mr. Warkentine, for once again helping me to feel righteous in my choice to be an Emory Eagle, and even further, for making me reflect on what it truly means to live in the land of the free (to do whatever we want with our money to whoever we want to do it to) and the home of the brave. Since the genocides of the natives and Africans, the invasions of Latin American countries, Asian countries, the deposition of democratically elected leaders and so on, American bravery has always meant using our wealth of resources to marginalize, co-opt, impose, and when all else fails, destroy – and we can only hope political stalwarts like Cathy and Warkentine can project their dollars and voices ever louder in these most troubling times.
To freedom of speech! Thank you for protecting mine. I’m just hoping that new Emory Dean of Campus Life Ajay Nair can summon up his best dissembling double-talk so that this diversion can blow over without any meaningful change taking place (although, I wouldn’t oppose the construction of a ‘committee’ to keep shut up these hippies and rabble rousers), and Emory can keep making bank. Sweet Land O’ Liberty!
I’m sorry, but this simply isn’t a freedom of speech issue. Nobody’s saying that the government should shut down Chick-Fil-A for Mr. Cathy’s speech. What IS being argued is that Emory should exercise its discretion as a private entity to cease doing business with a company whose public positions are morally repugnant.
Mr. Cathy has the right to say whatever he likes, but Emory is under no obligation to subsidize his position, and his causes, through an ongoing business relationship.
Quite simply, I don’t believe that Chick-Fil-A’s values reflect the values of the Emory Community. Its presence on campus is tantamount to an endorsement of its values. Emory’s support for this company should end.
I’m pretty sure that post was satirical… btw
I laud you, sir. I laud you.
“because, believe it or not, some LGBT people want to be heterosexual.”
From a May 2012 article posted on the Pan American Health Organization’s website, which is itself a Regional Office of the World Health Organization:
“Since homosexuality is not a disorder or a disease, it does not require a cure. There is no medical indication for changing sexual orientation,” said PAHO Director Dr. Mirta Roses Periago. Practices known as “reparative therapy” or “conversion therapy” represent “a serious threat to the health and well-being–even the lives–of affected people.”
In the LGBT community, we are quick to recommend that a fully independent child do not wait around for the love of their parents; that if the home environment is threatening to their safety or well-beging, and they are constricted to it, that that child should seek help and worst case scenario: leave the home.
No man should have to beg for his God to love him.