By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor
The nation’s biggest evangelical group said Monday that religious freedom is threatened by American mayors who say Chick-fil-A is not welcome in their cities because of the restaurant leader’s opposition to gay marriage.
“Individuals have the right to decide whether or not to ‘eat mor chikin.’ But no government leader should restrict a business or organization from expanding to their district based on the personal or political views of the owners,” Leith Anderson, the president of the National Association of Evangelicals, said Monday.
“Such evident discrimination and attempts to marginalize those with religious values have no place in American democracy,” Anderson said.
The National Association of Evangelicals is the country’s largest evangelical umbrella group, representing 45,000 local churches from 40 denominations.
9 religious companies besides Chick-fil-A
Last week, a handful of mayors urged Chick-fil-A to stay out of their cities after the chain’s president, Dan Cathy, weighed in on same-sex marriage by saying his company backs the traditional family unit.
"Chick-fil-A's values are not Chicago values,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a Democrat, said last week. “They're not respectful of our residents, our neighbors and our family members."
San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee tweeted last week: "Closest #ChickFilA to San Francisco is 40 miles away & I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer."
Evangelist Billy Graham defends Chick-fil-A
Those comments and other criticisms have prompted conservative Christian groups to rally to the restaurant’s side.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has called for a "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day" on Wednesday, while former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin tweeted a picture of her and her husband holding Chik-fil-A takeout bags last weekend.
Opinion: Chick-fil-A and free speech
"I have been incensed at the vitriolic assaults on the Chick-fil-A company because the CEO, Dan Cathy, made comments recently in which he affirmed his view that the Biblical view of marriage should be upheld," Huckabee, a Republican and former pastor, wrote in a Facebook posting announcing the Wednesday event.
CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories
More than 300,000 people have accepted Huckabee's Facebook invitation to participate in the event.
Evangelical groups like Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council have also urged their followers to see campaigns against Chick-fil-A as threats to religious freedom.
Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter
“For the government to engage in viewpoint discrimination is not only bad politics - it's unconstitutional,” the Family Research Council said in an e-mail to supporters last week. “Chick-fil-A may be a private company, but that doesn't mean it has to surrender its beliefs at the dining room door.”
“Under the First Amendment, executives at Chick-Fil-A are just as entitled as any American to speak publicly about their views,” the statement continued.
– CNN's Sarah Aarthun contributed to this report.
Forget those "chicken places"
people like u give a bad name to christians this is one reason why most people don't believe in god. you are judging all these people even though if its a sin and then people like that church that protested at a funeral -____- telling people god hates you and your going to hell tell me where in the bible it says that and then it even says the only sin thats unforgiving is not believing god himself. you judging these people like they are not even people the only as if they are animals everyone has there sins and everyone's is different but its not up to people like you to tell who good hates or not . its sad because yesterday we were doing the a case in class about mostro church or something idc but then we saw how they went to the funeral and protested daddada guess what the class thought it made me so mad because that not how we christans are they were like see thats why i dont like christans they are always trying to prove something... christians are dumb and all other kind of names like what are yall doing promoting the word of god or just just running people away from him im not gay but i dont think people like you or that other church should repersent god till yall know exactly how to really promote his word. but your little peanut minds might not understand what im saying but anyways please excuse my spelling
They you bet your butt you can be barred from opening up your business in a city or state that doesn't allow illegal discrimination.
Take your bigotry and go back to the inbred south.
Why exactly is it that some people feel that changing the legal definition of marriage to include same sex couples is a civil /equal rights issue,
they dont feel that marriage is a "equal right" that should be extended to polygamists?
weird? How exactly is that rationalized??
It should be extended to polygamists. As long as no force is exerted, it is nobody's business but the parties involved. I know that's not the law, but the current law is simply unprovoked governmental force...as are all morality laws.
Hey...SUCK IT, CHAD!
so, you favor also extending it to include incest, as long as they are adults?
Chad, is there a god? Did you prove one kicked off the universe?
Why do you oppose gay marriage, Chard?
Regarding incest...as long as both parties are consenting adults, it's nobody else's business. Not my cup of tea, but that's me.
Once again, SUCK IT, CHAD!
Hmm...perhaps I should rethink my position on incest...if there was no incest, there would be far fewer evangelicals. Hmmm...
Hey Chad, how's your momma and your sister? Is she doing OK?
And, while Chad may be too obtuse to understand, it's simple...marriage is a civil right, by definition; therefore, denying the right to marriage is a civil rights issue.
...I'm, of course, talking about civil marriage (stupid term, it should simply be "civil union"). I couldn't care less what restrictions any religion puts on their own flavor of marriage.
What? Chad ran away? AGAIN???
I keep waiting for his answer, but it never comes.
Kinda like god...
Chad's had some rough times recently...he's been getting his ass kicked for the last four days here –
...short a "T"...that was for you Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son.
Thanks! I've been popping in now and again to check on Chard's progress.
Please continue to keep me posted. Should Chard actually post proof of a god and its relationship to the Big Bang or evolution, I hope you'll send up a flare.
You can count on it. Keep your eyes open for my new Chad-status-alert. It looks like this ...
SUCK IT, CHAD!
Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son
and as soon as the fossil record proves it and even biology can let me know.
TOMI once said that he's not gay but a happily married woman; not an atheist; and a good person.
Yes, he committed no sin but lying. LOL!
And you'd know this how, exactly?
Been in my bedroom?
As if, you dickless wonder.
I do wonder, TOOOOOLIE, what it is that has you all worked up over me. Did I hand you your azz on here concerning some issue dear to your little heart? What was it? Did I insult your mommy? Or your boyfriend? Did I question your manhood or virility?
Or are you just herbie by any other name, here because you have no life otherwise?
Let me know if you need help translating any of the big words, honey.
It doesn't take to be in a TOOL bag to know a TOOL. LOL!
I'm sure that post made sense in Polish, or Albanian, or Chinese.
Too bad it looks like gibberish in English, sweet cheeks.
There's no herbie.
No, there certainly isn't. Thank goodness.
Nice try, TOMI! But then again, not quite.
GADAKO LANG NAG ITLOG NIMU TOMASA KA! LOL!
To bad, google is unable to help you.
Why would I need help dealing with an imbecile?
You really need help, Tomi. If you'd only knew it.
"If you'd only knew it."
I don't need to add a thing. Your idiocy speaks for itself.
FYI, text of the First amendment of the constitution.. so many folks seem to be completely unfamiliar with it..
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances
Regarding religions, it is clearly interpreted as: the government shall not create any official state religion, and shall not restrict the right to worship.
want to repost in context, or did you mean to start this here?
Oh so then it would be okay to make a law that would legislate blasphemy against say islamic religions? It's not making it the state religion after all. Or how about a law that wouldn't allow women to show their faces? It's still not making Islam the official state religion.
Extracted from the The Virginia Act For Establishing Religious Freedom ... (TJ was really proud of this one):
Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, That no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in nowise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.
@hawaiiguest " how about a law that wouldn't allow women to show their faces? It's still not making Islam the official state religion."
=>you mean, like the law that we have which requires a women to wear clothing that covers her breasts in public?
It would be a stupid law, one that would never get passed in this country, but it is not unconstitutional to pass a law requiring a women to wear a burka.
I"m confused on where you think that says anything about (for example) not having the ten commandments displayed in a public place.
did you read it?
Maybe we could get Congress to pass a law forcing men to wear a codpiece. Chad's would have to be very, very, small, though.
FYI, text extracted from the Treaty of Tripoli (1797)
Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims],—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Muslim] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.
FYI, text from Washington's letter to the Newport Jewish Congregation (1790)
While I received with much satisfaction your address replete with expressions of esteem, I rejoice in the opportunity of assuring you that I shall always retain grateful remembrance of the cordial welcome I experienced on my visit to Newport from all classes of citizens.
The reflection on the days of difficulty and danger which are past is rendered the more sweet from a consciousness that they are succeeded by days of uncommon prosperity and security.
If we have wisdom to make the best use of the advantages with which we are now favored, we cannot fail, under the just administration of a good government, to become a great and happy people.
The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy–a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.
It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.
It would be inconsistent with the frankness of my character not to avow that I am pleased with your favorable opinion of my administration and fervent wishes for my felicity.
May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants–while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.
May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy.
you say: "I"m confused on where you think that says anything about (for example) not having the ten commandments displayed in a public place."
This contravenes the establishment clause – not the Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom.
But nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods could easily be construed to mean no taxes can be used to pay for said display (including the maintenance) on public property.
@ GOPer,"...FYI, text from Washington's letter to the Newport Jewish Congregation (1790)..."
FYI, text extracted from the Treaty of Tripoli (1797)
@chad "both fantastic examples of the tolerance that this country has towards religion and the commitment it's founding fathers had towards protecting the right of it's citizens to exercise it freely.
but.. ahh.. em.. I'm still confused on where you think either says anything about (for example) not having the ten commandments displayed in a public place.
did you read it them? please clarify..
I think you meant to say "mis-construed"..
as it can only be read that way out of context.. which was why you grabbed only a small portion ;-)
Gosh, Chard, you certainly seem to have a lot to say. Except for answering those sticky little questions I asked you. Why is that, dear? Scared?
you're crossing the disengenous line and deliberately baiting me here. I don't like being rude, but I'm really close to it.
What about my reference to the establishment clause don't you understand?
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion
Placing the ten suggestions in a public place is tacit endorsement of a Judeo-Christian tradition and in violation of the spirit of the establishment clause.
And why would they be in a public place, particularly a court house. What do they have to do with the laws in the US today?
I'll give you the short-form answer to my rhetorical last question here:
The 10 suggestions as law:
No other gods ........ nope (money perhaps is a required god)
No graven idols ...... nope
Name in vain ........... nope
Holy Sabbath .......... nope (a holy day of spending money)
Honor Mom & Dad ... nope (Thou shalt send thy mother a hallmark card and flowers on Mom's day? Err no!)
Adultery .................. nope
Coveting .................. nope (Isn't coveting, aka keeping up with the Joneses, good for the economy?)
So ... 3 out of 10? I think people could have come up with don't kill, steal or lie without stone tablets and a burning bush. (Actually, I think they did!)
@GOPer "Placing the ten suggestions in a public place is tacit endorsement of a Judeo-Christian tradition and in violation of the spirit of the establishment clause."
@Chad "A. "respecting" refers to prohibiting the government from restricting the establishment of a religion, as it clear from reading the entire amendment.
B. The founding fathers never for an instant considered it wise to prohibit acknowledging the God of Abraham in everything.
@GOPer "And why would they be in a public place, particularly a court house. What do they have to do with the laws in the US today?"
I'll let them speak to that:
“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We’ve staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity…to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” [1778 to the General Assembly of the State of Virginia]
"The Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount contain my religion..." November 4, 1816 in a letter to Thomas Jefferson. John Adams
"I now make it my earnest prayer the God would have you and the State over which you preside, in His holy protection, that he would incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the field; and, finally, that he would be most graciously pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind, which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation." June 8, 1783 in a letter to the governors of the states on disbanding the army.
“Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern which have come under my observation, none appears to me so pure as that of Jesus....I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus." Thomas Jefferson
All these words, Chard, and yet you haven't answered the REAL question.
Does god exist? Did you post proof? Did you show that your god was connected in any way to the beginning of the universe? To evolution?
Of course you didn't. It's not the topic that's upmost on your little rolodex, is it?
So you'll ignore any questions about it for a couple of weeks and then bring it up again. You're so regular you ought to be a spokesperson for Activia.
all very nice declarations of the personal faiths of Jefferson (Deist/whatever), Adams (Unitarian) and Washington (Anglican) but not the law.
We've had plenty of SCOTUS interpretation of the establishment clause to render the answer to your question as "no".
Hey Chad...are you aware of this quote for Stephen Hawking?
"The laws of physics can explain the universe without the need for a creator"
Watt, Nick. 'Stephen Hawking: "Science Makes God Unnecessary" ABC News Sept. 7, 2010'
DOH. "quote for Stephen Hawking", should be "quote from Stephen Hawking"
I think I've just realized that in this case you're not deliberately being obtuse for the sake of being obtuse.
I was assuming that you did but I think you really don't understand the first amendment. You said:
"respecting" refers to prohibiting the government from restricting the establishment of a religion, as it clear from reading the entire amendment.
Relative to religion, the first amendement says
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
Let's break the first half down:
1. In this case the word "respecting" doesn't mean "respect" it means "related to" or "about"
2. In context, "Church" means religion
3. In context, "Establishment" means the designation of an official state religion.
All of the colonies (excepting Rhode Island, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) had established churches.
In Massachusetts you had to be a member of the congregational church to vote or own property. In most of the colonies with established churches t'thing was not voluntary. It was indistinguishable from a tax but the recipent of the t'the/tax was the religious apparatus – ministers, church building and repairs etc.
The establishment clause categorically says (paraphased in more contemporary language) that there can be NO OFFICIAL RELIGIOUS BELIEF OF THE UNITED STATES.
I'm confident you understand the second half. It means I am at liberty not to believe too.
I hope we can finish this conversation today. I think this one is actually important.
Your comment really does illustrate a disturbing misunderstanding of the establishment clause. Your interpretation completely contradicts the spirit of the 1st amendment and demonstrates a misunderstanding of the concept of "established" or "state" religion.
"respecting" refers to prohibiting the government from restricting the establishment of a religion, as it clear from reading the entire amendment.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
Paraphrased, the "establishment" clause means:
Congress shall make no law regarding an offiicial state religion.
If you're going to quote the 1st amendment, you really do need to understand what it means.
You might find this interesting:
Particularly this section: Former state churches in British North America
You wanna play like that Chad? Very well. Where in the constitution does it say that America was founded on Christianity? Where does it define marriage as ONLY between a man and a woman? Where does it say that all churches are tax exempt?
It's not like you'll answer this however. You're too much of a dishonest asshat to actually answer something that doesn't help your rhetoric.
Tom, I am feeling alot of hate coming from you bro. Does it make you feel powerfull to hate?
I'm not your "bro", ya dolt. I'm female.
And I wouldn't be your "bro" regardless of my gender. You're dimmer than a two-watt bulb.
This is what happens when your reality is perceived rather than experienced.
Hey! Just a drive by. You have Percy and Chad on the ropes. Well done.
You are too kind. I think NotaGOPer and HG are the ones who are leading the charge.
Anyhow, it's good to see you. I'm off to bed.
Not a fan of the CEO's opinion on Gay marriage either but the man does own an opinion. So we've come to the point in our society where we can't express our beliefs in public without such attacks? It's just one mans opinion, who cares? Besides, Chick-Fil-A is damn yummy.
I agree with Rahm. Until Chick-Fil-A's in-restaurant customer gunshot mortality rate hits at least 5%, Chick-Fil-A's values will never be up to Chicago's standards.
Perhaps Chick-Fil-A CEO will have this quote posted in the lobby of its corporate HQ:
"I pledge that I never will tie myself to parties who want to destroy Christianity .. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit ... We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theater, and in the press – in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess during the past ... (few) years." – Adolf Hitler
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.