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Respect one another

By Thurman Hayes

In the early 1950s, Sen. Joseph McCarthy became so notorious for his behavior that he was censured by the U.S. Senate, and his antics gave our language a new term: “McCarthyism.”

McCarthy’s popularity began to wane when he took on the U.S. Army, alleging that communists had infiltrated our nation’s military. In the most famous moment of the nationally televised hearings, in June of 1954, McCarthy sought to smear a young attorney who worked in the same firm as the Army’s lead attorney, Joseph Welch. Defending his friend, Welch looked at McCarthy and famously said, “Until this moment, senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness … Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?” McCarthy was exposed, and never recovered from that moment.

It is time for the anti-Christian bigotry of certain segments of the American left to be exposed. They have become modern McCarthyites.

The recent attack on Chick-fil-A is just the latest example. The left wing political lobbying group ThinkProgress circulated a report that Chick-fil-A’s charitable foundation is guilty of “anti-equality” giving, because they donated to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes! And what was this group’s problem with FCA? According to ThinkProgress, FCA seeks “to spread an anti-LGBTQ message to college athletes.” FCA, you see, dares to maintain the biblical stance on sexuality and asks its leaders to maintain it as well. It asks them not to engage in homosexual acts at all or in heterosexual acts outside of marriage. As anyone who has studied the Bible knows, this is the biblical position. It is what orthodox Christians have believed for 2,000 years.

But because Chick-fil-A dared to give to a Christian group that maintains Christian beliefs, the extreme left has decided to go after them.

In the past month, the city councils of San Antonio and Buffalo have voted not to allow Chick-fil-A restaurants in their airports. Roberto Trevino, the city councilman who led the anti-Chick-fil-A movement in San Antonio, said, “Everyone has a place here, and everyone should feel welcome as they walk through our airport.”

Think about the irony of that statement! People of every lifestyle are indeed welcomed warmly at Chick-fil-As all across the country. It is what makes Chick-fil-A the fastest-growing restaurant in the United States.

You see, it is not Chick-fil-A or FCA that has engaged in bigotry and intolerance. Rather, it is the extreme left, which wants to marginalize Bible-believing Christians. They are the real bigots here. Their “tolerance” is actually quite “intolerant.”

When will this nonsense end in our country? We are a nation of 330 million very diverse people. We have traditionally cherished the value of religious freedom, which is enshrined in our Constitution. We all have our beliefs. Orthodox Christians believe what the Bible teaches about sexuality. That doesn’t mean that we don’t love people who disagree with us. In fact, we are called to love everyone.

Many Americans do not believe in the Bible or Christianity. That is their right. They should not be persecuted for not believing, and Christians should not be persecuted for believing.

I pray that our nation will embody what Lincoln called for in his Second Inaugural Address, “with malice toward none, with charity for all.” Let’s respect one another, folks.

Dr. Thurman R. Hayes Jr. is senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Suffolk. Follow him on Twitter at @ThurmanHayesJr.