There is a time and place for listening and for thoughtful consideration. But there is also a point at which one is obligated to assert, to stand up, and to deny what they, after careful examination, perceive as wrong.
It has been suggested by some that calls for the removal Emory’s Chick-Fil-A from campus are tantamount to censorship or intolerance. And those are certainly ways one could look at the matter.
But allow me to offer my perspective on this matter. Through the WinShape Foundation, Mr. Cathy of Chick-Fil-A has donated millions of dollars to organizations that have been called “anti-gay.” It’s a baffling accusation. After all, how could the organizations WinShape donates to, like the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (“The Bible is clear in teaching on sexual sin including sex outside of marriage and homosexual acts,” FCA Application), or the Marriage & Family Foundation (who list among their legislative victories an amendment in Virginia which defined marriage as between one man and one woman) be considered homophobic?
Enough with the snark, though. The arc of social justice movements is towards greater freedom for those who have been hurt by existing power structures.
There are people in this country, people who love each other and care for one another, who cannot enjoy the same benefits as others because they have the audacity to want to marry someone of the same sex. Dan Cathy, in donating money towards these explicitly homophobic organizations, is supporting organizations that harm homosexuals and bisexuals. Dan Cathy is harming people.
The call to see the Chick-Fil-A removed is not an act of intolerance or censorship. Mr. Cathy has already communicated, quite clearly, in fact, his position on gay marriage. What is there to be censored?
Similarly, it is not an act of intolerance, or at least not in the way that the word is commonly understood. Is a desire to see Chick-Fil-A removed from campus intolerant of Mr. Cathy’s views?
Yes, sure, fine. But it is a righteous intolerance. It is an intolerance of a man and of an organization that uses its profits to undo the work of the LGBTQ Movement. It is an intolerance that modern human decency demands.
So when people boycott an organization, it is to send a message. In the words of too many people to name: hit them where it hurts — the wallet.
Mr. Cathy wants to accomplish something that harms millions of people and is found ethically offensive to millions more? Then they will do all that they can to keep him from accomplishing this terrible thing.
You have a decision. You may defend the awful things said and done that hurt the oppressed. Or, you may help fight against the Oppressor. This is not a intellectual plaything for you to mull over on your walk to classes.
This is a matter of true liberty.
Rhett Henry is a College Junior from Lawrenceville, Georgia.