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Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Chicken Inquisition

By JAY RICHARDS and JAMES ROBISON

The campaign against Chick-fil-A is an attack on religious liberty.

The campaign against Chick-fil-A may be a more ominous attack on religious freedom than the Affordable Care Act's mandates. ObamaCare would force millions of Americans to fund actions they find morally reprehensible but leaves them free to denounce it. The chicken inquisition, by contrast, directly targets religious speech itself.

Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy recently dared to describe his views on marriage during a radio program. "I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,'" he said. "I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to redefine what marriage is about."

For this, activist organizations are trying to brand Chick-fil-A as "anti-gay" and intimidate other businesspeople into thinking twice before exercising their freedom of speech.

The agitators chose a most improbable villain. Dan Cathy is the son of the 91-year-old founder of the company, S. Truett Cathy. Truett is an entrepreneur and philanthropist who is also a committed Christian. His fast-food chain is famous not only for tasty chicken sandwiches but also for being closed on Sundays. The Cathys don't think of their company as a "Christian company," but they have sought to run their business on "biblical principles." This gives them a special interest in families.

"We are very much supportive of the family—the biblical definition of the family unit," Mr. Cathy explained recently in an interview with the Baptist Press. "We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that."

In virtually every culture, marriage is an institution involving a public commitment between a man and a woman. The complementary nature of men and women points to the unique purpose of marriage: to bear and raise children. One can recognize this fact and so conclude that "same-sex marriage" is an oxymoron—without being "anti-gay."

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