The anti-gay political activity of the Chik-fil-A chain is ample reason for individuals and other businesses to boycott the chain.
But it’s not a reasonÂ for public officials in Boston or San Francisco or Chicago or Washington DC to threaten to deny it the permits it needs to expand. That’s called “freedom of speech.” It’s in the Constitution, right there in the First Amendment.
The refusal of a church in Mississippi to marry a black couple is ample reason to make fun of the church and its members.
But it’s not a reason to call for the IRS to revoke the church’s tax exemption. That’s called “the free exercise of religion,” and it’s also in the First Amendment.
C’mon, folks, is this stuff really that hard to figure out?
Footnote Note that the claim that churches could lose their tax-exempt status for refusing to marry same-sex couples was one of the obviously false, but politically potent, charges made by the Mormon Church and the Knights of Columbus to pass the anti-gay-marriage Proposition 8 in California.
Of course it wouldn’t violate anyone’s religious freedom if the Southern Baptist Convention (having long abandoned its tradition of congregational independence in order to purge non-fundamentalists) were to stepÂ in and force a change in the offending church. If the SBC doesn’t step in – in the face of, for example, the Parable of the Good Samaritan andÂ St. Paul’s proclamation that ethnicity and social status don’t matterÂ within ChristianityÂ – then it Â would be fair to question the SBC’s Christian orthodoxy: but not its tax exemption.