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By: Amy Lutz

I ate a Chick-Fil-A last night. Now, before you ask, yes I did survive the massive, oppressing atmosphere of homophobia in the restaurant and I’m here to tell my story. Considering the hyperbolic vitriol that leftists have been spewing recently about the chicken restaurant, I feared for my sanity as I opened the double doors to Chick-Fil-A. What would I find inside? I wanted to hug my friend whom I met for dinner, but what if the cashiers got the wrong idea? I didn’t want to be subject to the homophobia that apparently runs rampant Chick-Fil-A’s all around the country. Or so Roseanne Barr tells me.

Because I let myself get sucked in by the fear-tactics of Chick-Fil-A-hating liberals, I had a few, perhaps extreme, expectations when I walked in the restaurant. First, how could anyone want to eat at a restaurant so hateful that the owner has the audacity to claim he supports traditional marriage? I expected Chick-Fil-A to be a ghost town. Rather, the opposite was true. The restaurant was quite crowded even though the dinner rush had not yet started. I even had to wait in line! Oh the humanity. I couldn’t believe that so many people had yet to notice the homophobia that ran rampant throughout the room. I became even more fearful as I got closer and closer to the cashier. Considering that Chick-fil-A is apparently a restaurant run by bible-beating, intolerant extremists, I assumed that I might not fit in that well. What if my dress was too short? Or worse, would they make the wrong assumption about my sexual orientation because I was wearing rainbow nail polish? I quaked with fear as a prepared to put in my order.

Rather, I was pleasantly surprised with the cashiers at Chick-Fil-A. They were pleasant and my food came out in approximately 37 seconds. I took a second to breathe a sigh of relief before spiraling into my liberal rumor-induced panic once again. As I walked to my table, I tried to divert my eyes from the posters on the wall. I feared that the restaurant might be adorned with various protest signs from the Westboro Baptist Church and I didn’t want to risk having the intolerance rub off on me. As I looked up, I once again realized that I was wrong. In fact, there was a poster on the wall titled “Great Opportunities Served Here” which detailed the amount of money Chick-Fil-A has donated for scholarships. I shrugged my shoulders and prepared to dig into my chicken salad, but I paused. What if there was a secret ingredient in my chicken that would cause an epidemic of homophobia?? Perhaps I should have called the hospital beforehand and scheduled a round of chemotherapy, because as Roseanne Barr suggested, I’ll probably get cancer from dining at Chick-Fil-A. I soon realized that perhaps I had listened too much to the liberal media and I dove into my healthy meal (which was delicious by the way).

Alright, hold the phone.

Now, obviously that’s an exaggeration and not an accurate depiction of my thought process. However, I think it’s necessary to match the left’s hyperbolic vitriol for Chick-Fil-A with a few humorous exaggerations of my own. Seriously, with all the hatred the left has developed for the chicken restaurant in the last week, you’d think the Westboro Baptist Church had founded and operated Chick-Fil-A. It’s absurd. Dan Cathy, the owner of Chick-Fil-A, merely supports traditional marriage and the left acts like it’s the end of the world. You didn’t see conservatives getting is such a tizzy over Oreo’s rainbow-colored cookie campaign. Sure, a few people lashed out on Facebook, but that’s nothing compared to the hatred Chick-Fil-A is facing. Not only did Roseanne Barr say that I and others deserve to be stricken with a deadly disease for daring to eat chicken, but city-wide boycotts have popped up as well. The mayor of Boston has vowed that he will not allow the company for opening another franchise in his city and Chicago has taken similar steps. Thank goodness I live in St. Louis.

I keep asking myself how this is even a controversy. Since when did an opinion from a private business (based on the BIBLE, mind you) spark such disagreement and controversy? Sure, leftists have every right to boycott any restaurant they want. They have the ability to utilize the free market to the fullest extent; another institution they often vilify. However, the hypocrisy they display is downright sickening. Liberals claim to be the ideology of “tolerance” and “open-mindedness,” but they are often incapable of practicing what they preach. Standing by biblical principles in NOT intolerant. However, vilifying a restaurant because its owner is socially conservative IS intolerant. Get it through your brains: tolerance is not selective. If you’re tolerance of liberalism, you have to be tolerance of conservatism as well. If Chick-Fil-A had refused to serve homosexuals, that would be a different story. My guess is that they would be just as accommodating with gay customers as they are with straight customers.

Don’t forget that Chick-Fil-A has donated millions in scholarships. THAT is who is really losing if a massive boycott is successful (which it won’t be). All liberals seem to care about is the difference of opinion and their backbones apparently seem to be too weak to allow this difference to exist. Grow up. Unfortunately, no matter how much they preach it, “tolerance” is not something liberals understand. Liberals didn’t invent intolerance, they just perfected it.

 
 
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By: Amy Lutz

You know, sometimes I am just completely baffled by liberal logic. And by sometimes I mean all the time. Case in point: the contradictory “hands off” and “hands on” policies regarding abortion/contraception and diet nannyism, respectively. Leftists are often big supporters of bloated government programs and federal intervention. However, on the abortion issue many claim to be downright libertarian. “Out of my uterus” has long been a rallying cry for liberal women. When it comes to abortion and contraceptive services, these women try to keep government at an arm’s length. However, when this “hands off” policy is juxtaposed with other liberal policies, the logic is contradictory.

Here’s where the contradiction occurs. While pro-choice advocates criticize Republicans for “interfering with the reproductive rights,” they are more than happy to allow the government to regulate everything they eat and put in their bodies. Take New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s recent ban on fountain sodas exceeding 16 ounces. In regards to the ban, Bloomberg said that he is simply “forcing” people to understand what’s good for them. This comes from a pro-choice guy who has had a positive relationship with pro-abortion group Planned Parenthood. Bloomberg is fully in support of women having the right to choose to end the life of their child, but when it comes to soda consumption, he is far from “pro-choice.” This is an ideology that is not limited to just Michael Bloomberg. Just take a look at Michelle Obama’s “War on Obesity.” She is fully in support of the government regulating what we eat, but taking a life should be your “choice.”

Please Read More at The College Conservative

 
 
By: Amy Lutz
The Saint Louis University Oath of Inclusion reads, in part, "I will embrace people for the diversity of their identities, creating a community inclusive of race, ethnicity, sex, age, ability, faith, orientation, gender, class, and ideology." By definition, I agree with this statement. A college campus should be somewhere students are comfortable, regardless of their identity. Although we face our fair share of problems, SLU students are faculty are generally welcoming all the identities listed in the oath, except one. Many might assume that we are lacking in our treatment of race or ethnicity and although their might be work to be done there, SLU is much stronger in these areas. The identity that is most difficult for SLU students to accept is ideology, specifically political ideology. Actually, I take that back, liberal political ideologies are bred into SLU's foundation. Conservatives, however, are constantly shunned in classes, at on campus events, and throughout campus. That's not to say that I'm claiming to be "oppressed" or the victim in this situation. Actually, I believe that ascribing to a minority opinion has helped me to become more educated about the opposing ideology that most of my classmates cling to.

In another section of the Oath it states, "I will challenge my worldview through education inside and outside the classroom." My worldview is often challenged inside the classroom, but not always in a way that is beneficial for my education...or my grades. There is no denying that most members of the teaching profession, especially in higher education, ascribe to a liberal political ideology. Personally, I doesn't matter too much to me who my professors vote for, as long as our differences in opinion do not affect my learning. Unfortunately this is not always the case. Although I have had several more liberal professors help me achieve my educational pursuits regardless of my political opinion, others have not been so generous. In a theology class my freshman year, I was graded down 12% on an essay because I dared used the words "Ronald Reagan." In another course, my grade dropped significantly after I outed myself as a member of the College Republicans. Why should I and other conservatives be punished because we hold somewhat of a minority opinion at SLU? I'm not saying that SLU should fill the classrooms with conservatively biased professors to even the balance. This would be no more than a politicized version of affirmative action. I think it's simply important for my fellow SLU students to be aware of what it's like to go to class every day wondering if my disagreement with President Obama will affect my next test score. That might seem a bit dramatic, but I'm sure every other conservative at SLU can cite a time that they were unfairly targeted because of their political opinion, or at least felt excluded. On a campus that almost suffocates its students with pushes for inclusion and diversity, there is a dearth of understanding at how isolated conservatives often feel.

The overwhelming liberal bias is not simply part of our lives inside the classroom. Outside of the classroom on campus, at extracurricular events, and in university publications, conservative opinion is also stifled. The editorial and opinion pages of The University News are often filled with liberal commentary and lack conservative opinion. This makes it difficult to get all sides of any debate. Additionally, speakers on campus are notoriously liberal, which is a well known fact. Opponents of this opinion often like to cite Mike Huckabee's appearance as proof that SLU is balanced in their choice of speakers, but having one conservative presenter among dozens of liberal ones does not count as balanced. When the College Republicans tried to bring David Horowitz to speak last year, we were denied because he was thought to be too controversial. Yet commentator Tim Wise can imply that all Republicans are racists and get rave reviews from most people on campus.  

The liberal bias does not stop, however, with SLU groups and institutions. It’s a large part of the atmosphere on campus. Students at SLU are expected to believe in man-made global warming, support gay marriage, and favor affirmative action. As a conservative, I simply do not fit into that box. I feel far from included politically on this campus. In fact, many of my opinions have resulted in a fair amount of social ostracism and stereotyping. For example, I am proud to say that, in regard to global warming, I think Al Gore is crazy. To me, the idea that humans can affect the weather is preposterous. Unfortunately, every climate presentation I have attended is performed with the underlying assumption that global warming (I refuse to use the politically correct “climate change”) is real. Most meteorolgy classes operate the same assumption, and if SLU pushed the “green” movement even harder, I would think it’s time to change our colors from blue and white to green and white. The same principle applies with affirmative action, but perhaps more insidiously. I believe that rewards should be based upon merit, not skin color, but unfortunately this opinion has time and time again gotten me labeled a racist and “not inclusive.” Being stereotyped in such a way really helps me feel like a part of the SLU community. Although I feel sometimes feel uncomfortable with my opinions on affirmative action and global warming, the one issue I barely discuss is gay marriage. I was born and raised a Catholic and have gone to Catholic school most of my life. Therefore, I have grown up believing that marriage should be between a man and a woman. End of story. I should not get so much flack for an opinion as simple as this, but I do. People who do not support gay marriage are often accused of denying others “civil rights” or being prejudiced. Let me be clear, I do not support the mistreatment of others based on sexual orientation. I do not treat people differently based on their orientation and rebuke those who do so. Unfortunately, this does not stop me and others who share my opinions from being falsely labeled as “prejudiced.” If you’re against affirmative action, you’re a racist. If you don’t believe in global warming, you’re denying science. If you believe in traditional marriage, you’re homophobic. How in the world does this promote inclusion? Since when is having an alternative opinion something to be ashamed of? In the end, it’s not something to be ashamed of and I no longer plan on altering my opinions to fit the whims of those around me.

To conclude, I would like to add that I am not comparing my position in an ideological minority to that of someone in a racial or ethnic minority. It’s simply not an equal comparison. There are worse things to endure than unfair grading or disapproving glances from other students. However, I do believe that it’s important for other students to be aware of how different politcal ideologies are treated on campus. I'm sick of trying to grow in political knowledge when everyone around me is telling me that my information is false, or worse, prejudiced. SLU does so much to promote “inclusion” as long as it only includes people who are part of the majority opinion. Conservatives who support voter ID laws, a small government, capitalism are rebuked. And don’t even get me started on what happens when I reveal that I’m proud to be an American. If my identity as a proud conservative, Catholic American gets me labeled as a racist, sexist or whatever, so be it. It’s ridiculous that my opinions should make me feel excluded from the SLU community. If SLU students really want to live up to the “Oath of Inclusion,” I challenge everyone to take a second look at how their political ideology affects their status on campus and to remain open minded and “inclusive” of those they disagree with
 
 
By: Amy Lutz
   Following the grand tradition of only inviting left-leaning speakers, the GIC welcomed Tim Wise to speak on the evils of racism last week. Pegged as an “anti-racism” speaker, Wise ranted for an hour on why it is important to recognize racism for what it is and take the responsibility to stop it when it presents itself. In the words of Wise’s ideological companion, President Obama, “let me be clear,” I do not condone racism in any way and I support SLU’s efforts to solve such problems when they arise, but inviting Tim Wise to speak as an “anti-racism” speaker is not the solution. For an hour, Wise spun a narrative painting small government loving conservatives as racists and lovers of the 4th of July as ignorant. At a school that prides itself on promoting “inclusion,” I felt, as a conservative, nothing but excluded. Using Wise’s comments as a standard of reality, I am an ignorant, racist, white person who knows nothing about the country I love.
Throughout his speech, Tim Wise’s favorite target was the Tea Party. Actually, his real target was all conservatives, but he just grouped all right-thinking people together and slapped on the label “tea partier.” Wise insinuated that all people who believe it’s time to “take our country back” are 70 years old and believe that the President was born in Kenya. Unfortunately for Mr. Wise, the “birther” rumor was started by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the demographics of the Tea Party run parallel to the demographics of the entire country. During the 2008 campaign, Phil J. Berg, a lawyer acting on behalf of Clinton, filed Berg v. Obama, in which he claimed that the current president was not eligible to take office because he is not a “natural born citizen” (http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=2668306447838171173&hl=en&as_sdt=2&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr).  Although there are birthers in the Tea Party, the movement was started by a liberal politician as a campaign strategy and has since spread to influence minute portions of many diverse groups. Also, according to a recent Gallup poll, the Tea Party is fairly representative of America as a whole. Only 21% of the Tea Party is over 65, as compared to 20% of all U.S. adults.  Twenty-nine percent of Tea Partiers and 27% of U.S. adults are between 50 and 64. The rest of the demographical comparisons between the Tea Party and America as a whole are just as similar and can be viewed at: http://www.gallup.com/poll/127181/tea-partiers-fairly-mainstream-demographics.aspx. Tim Wise’s claim that the average Tea Partier is a 70-year-old white man is a stereotype, and one from which he based many of his arguments. If nothing else, Wise was certainly not the most logical speaker I have heard. In addition to stereotyping a large group of people (which, by the way, is not a good example to set from an “anti-racism” speaker), Wise also used extreme quotes from two conservative commentators, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, and applied those ideas to the entire conservative movement. For Mr. Wise’s information, the comments of two men cannot be taken as representative of an entire movement.
In another illogical move, Tim Wise attacked the conservative catch phrase “we want our country back.” Any rational thinker would know that this phrase is in reference to a desire to return to small-government principles. Apparently, Wise believes that conservatives want to take our country back to a specific time. This is perhaps one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. Even if conservatives wanted to “take the country back” to 1957, 1789, or any other year, it is again, in reference to the principles of the time, not the literal conditions. I got the impression that Wise assumes people who want to “take the country back” seek a complete restoration of society from a specific year in the past. Depending on the “year,” Wise assumes that conservatives want to see the return of slavery, racial segregation, or legal inequality. Again, this is absurd. I have heard many people who share my views speak of a desire to “return” to principles of small government, but never have I heard of a yen for the return of slavery. Although, returning to principles of small government seems like a pure pursuit, according to Tim Wise, it is really a desire to oppress minorities. According to Wise, it is impossible to detach small government rhetoric from racism because “people did not have a problem with big government until minorities were given benefits.” Excuse me? If I heard Wise correctly, because I claim to be a small-government conservative, I am a racist and seek to strip minorities of any sort of legal benefit. I am not sure I see the correlation between a political view on the size of government and racism. Statements like these did a great job at making me feel excluded at Tim Wise’s speech. It was not easy to agree with someone who calls your political ideology “racist,” especially when the same person is touted as being “anti-racist.”
Perhaps the greatest complaint I had against Tim Wise was his views on patriotism and the 4th of July. According to Wise, “we love to live in the past as long as the past feels good,” and this includes celebrating Independence Day. Yes, although, there is a grain of truth in his statement, the love Americans have for our country goes much deeper, especially on the 4th of July. Patriotic Americans love the country for her triumphs and for her faults. We love the principles of limited government, freedom, and hard work that constitute the American Dream, but we also remember the scars. In this country, nothing causes an American’s heart to swell more than overcoming adversity. Think the American Revolution or 1980 Miracle on Ice. We even look to our own failures as examples of overcoming the adversity of our own faults. Although slavery was a horrific time in our nation, we feel pride in the successes of the Abolitionist and, later, Civil Rights movements, and seek to overcome any inequality that still remains. This same principle is evident literally in our Constitution. It is generally agreed that Prohibition was not the greatest idea, and; therefore, it was eventually repealed. Although the 18th Amendment is not longer in use, it is still present in the Constitution. The 21st Amendment repealed Prohibition, but it did not erase it from our memory. According to Tim Wise, patriotic Americans only respect our history because it “feels good,” but I disagree. Real patriotic Americans love our country, flaws and all. Unfortunately, Wise does not seem to agree with this position. Honestly, I sometimes got the impression that he was disgusted with the nation in which we live. Wise could not resist making a comment on one of the darkest times in our nation, 9/11 when he said that “banks have done more harm than the 9/11 attacks.” Although Wise was using this example to attack the banks in this country, it still came across as insensitive to an event which resulted in the deaths of 3000 people.
        Personally, I have no preference if far-left speakers are invited to present on campus; I have the choice whether I want to attend or not. What I do have a problem with is while liberal speakers such as Tim Wise are allowed to speak; right leaning activists such as David Horowitz are specifically banned. A year ago, the administration barred conservative speaker David Horowitz from giving a speech entitled "An Evening with David Horowitz: Islamo-Fascism Awareness and Civil Rights" because they “expressed concern that the program in its current form could be viewed as attacking another faith and seeking to cause derision on campus” and requested a counter-speaker. The assertion that Horowitz would have “attacked another faith” and “caused derision” is absurd. His speech was not to be one of over-generalization like Tim Wise’s speech. Horowitz’s critiques are more focused on Islamic extremism as opposed to Muslims in general. Tim Wise, on the other hand, directed broad attacks at conservatives and tea partiers by citing very specific, extreme examples. Also, where was the Wise’s counter-speaker? Although his views are practically opposite those of Horowitz, Wise cannot certainly be described as less controversial, and thus, according to the restrictions set on his conservative counterpart, should have been given an opposing opinion to counter his statements. Not surprisingly, a conservative opinion was nowhere to be found. I am not asking for a ban on speaker with any opinions that differ from mine, nor am I asking SLU to fill a “quota” of conservative speakers. All I ask if for equal treatment for speakers of all political ideologies, and at a school that prides itself on a tough stance against prejudice and inequality, that should not be too much to ask.