Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A threat to religious freedom? For sure...

Leith Anderson of the National Association of Evangelicals is claiming that the hullabuloo surrounding the recent Chick-fil-A controversy illustrates a threat to religious freedom in America.

This is from a Chick-fil-A leadership presentation. 
I wonder if Dan Cathy  approved that last one?
I couldn't agree more.

Of course, we have slightly different takes on the situation. Here's what Anderson said:
“Individuals have the right to decide whether or not to ‘eat mor chikin.’ But no government leader should restrict a business or organization from expanding to their district based on the personal or political views of the owners.”

He's talking about the mayors who said that Chick-fil-A is not welcome in their cities. And, to be fair, he's right about at least that much. To restrict a business from opening due only to the religious beliefs of the owners... well, that would be like blocking the construction of a Mosque in Lower Manhattan.

So yes, although these mayors can (and I think should) stand in solidarity with those in their communities that are marginalized, they can't legally do anything about it. That's a good thing. It leaves it up to we, the people to do what's right.

But this isn't about Chick-fil-A, really. We need to take a giant step back here and take a look at the real issue, the real reason why religious freedom is at risk. So I ask anyone out there who stands with Mr. Cathy at Chick-fil-A or Mr. Anderson at NAE to please answer me this:

If it is a threat to religious freedom for a business to be made publicly unwelcome in a community solely based on one's religious views, then how is it not also a threat to religious freedom to be spending millions in an effort to make the government deny legal marriage to those who don't hold your religious views?

I'm not talking about the marriage rules within a church. That's a whole other can of worms, and a discussion for another time. I'm talking about the legal recognition of couplehood,  regardless of religious affiliation--or lack thereof. You know, what Mr. Cathy is spending money trying to get the whole country to prevent?