Jay Richards and James Robison's "The Chicken Inquisition" (Houses of Worship, Aug. 3) on efforts to boycott Chick-fil-A—including efforts by elected officials to bar the company from opening stores, merely because its owner articulated his understanding of Bible-based views on marriage—brings us to the precipice of the long-simmering conflict between political correctness and unfettered expression. Our society long has wrestled with removing barriers unfairly imposed against certain sectors: African-Americans, women, immigrants, gays. Something great within the American soul has impelled us each time to confront wrongs we have abided and to correct them.
The new oppressed American minority are those who must suppress conscience for fear of repercussions. Americans who employ gays and associate warmly with gays, and perhaps even have gay family members whom they love, nonetheless should be free to believe, as a matter of conscience, that a "marriage" can exist only between a man and a woman. They should be free, without fear of government pressure or passive punishment for following their consciences, to support orphanages that place children only in homes where a married male and female couple comprise the heads of that household. As a matter of conscience, they should not face penalties, ostracism or boycott for refusing to dispense contraceptives or to have their insurers do it in their stead.
In an America where so many speak of "entitlements," it seems only right to believe that Americans should be entitled to believe.
Rabbi Dov Fischer