Letters to the Editor

You don’t have to be Christian to be a patriot

Re Chick-fil-A debate

When I bought my home in North Myrtle Beach, I didn’t realize that I was giving up my right to be Jewish. Yes Jews tend to be “liberal” on social issues. A long history of persecution has helped many of us feel others pain though we might not be black, gay, autistic and members of so many other “minority” groups.

Mr. Cathy has every right to his opinions. He has every right to keep his restaurants closed on Sundays. But going to Chick-fil-A to show that you’re a “true Christian” and a “patriot” went beyond bounds.

Apparently a person must be Christian to be a patriot. I had no idea. I’m not sure that Irving Berlin, a Jew, would have approved of “God Bless America” being sung as a protest against people with different sexual orientations. For that’s what it was when people burst into “spontaneous” singing. It wasn’t showing love of country but disdain for people who differ than them.

Eating chicken doesn’t show your patriotism. If that were the case every Jewish family in America would be the most patriotic as chicken is the traditional Sabbath meal. Oh, it’s only chicken at Chick-fil-A that shows you’re a patriot. And what happens next? Do you fill out a card saying something like: “I promise as a good American citizen to do my part for the NRA. I will buy only where the Blue Eagle flies.” (An actual oath Boston children had to recite during World War II.) “God” wasn’t added to the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954. Now it feels like the most important part.

The whole Chick-fil-A debacle is indicative of the beginning of lessening of rights of non-Christians in America. A “true Christian” to me is somebody who understands and respects the rights of others. I am not a lesbian. A few years ago gay marriage was very unimportant to me personally. But having watched people’s rights begin to be trampled on I stand beside lesbians and gays in their fight. I stand beside every American who no longer feels he has a voice.

I like it here. It’s a nice place to live. I understand that recessions make people turn to religion to be centered and comforted. Be as Christian as you want to be.

I didn’t start or pick this fight. But I will die for my rights as an American to be upheld.

The writer lives in North Myrtle Beach.