You hear it, in one form or another, every day. For all the fervent debates and spirited arguments and plain old yelling matches we are wont to get into on everything from politics to sports to religion, something deep in the soul of most Americans still holds to our quintessential conviction that “everyone’s entitled to his opinion.”
In our democratic republic, that’s about as democratic as it gets.
Which is why it’s so surprising, sometimes, to learn that not everyone believes this…and why it’s so dangerous when someone who doesn’t moves into a position of powerful government authority.
Consider, for instance, the case of Chai Feldblum, one of a number of President Obama’s recess appointments over the weekend. The President nominated her in September 2009 for a post on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which governs workplace issues across the country. Ms. Feldblum is on record as stating that “private beliefs” that do not affirm homosexual behavior should not be tolerated in American society.
Not public speech, mind you. Not overt, out-front demonstrations or protests or letters to the editor or call-ins to local radio shows. But “private beliefs” should not be tolerated.
In other words, people who don’t have “private beliefs” like Ms. Feldblum does about homosexual behavior should, under the right circumstances, be prosecuted to the limits of the law.
That would be a fairly breathtaking point of view, even if Ms. Feldblum were herself just an ordinary citizen. As an ordinary citizen, her fellow Americans, in their generosity, might arch a collective eyebrow, but we’d still say, however grudgingly, “She’s entitled to her opinion.”
But, as noted, the opinion of Ms. Feldblum isn’t being put forward as that of an ordinary citizen. Bypassing Senate confirmation, President Obama has installed her as one of the nation’s most influential government administrators—vested with deciding what’s fair and right and legal in offices and on worksites all over America. And to her mind, everyone in America has to not just acknowledge, or even tacitly embrace, homosexual behavior…but embrace that behavior wholeheartedly. Literally, wholeheartedly.
Alan Sears, a former federal prosecutor in the Reagan Administration, is president and CEO of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal alliance employing a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.