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My Take: Chick-fil-A controversy reveals religious liberty under threat
July 31st, 2012
10:36 AM ET

My Take: Chick-fil-A controversy reveals religious liberty under threat

Editor's Note: R. Albert Mohler Jr. is president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world.

By R. Albert Mohler Jr., Special to CNN

(CNN)–Cultural upheavals often occur in the most surprising contexts. Who expected that a clash between sexuality and religious liberty would be focused on a restaurant company mainly known for its chicken sandwiches?

And yet the controversy over Chick-fil-A is a clear sign that religious liberty is at risk and that this nation has reached the brink of tyrannical intolerance from at least some of our elected leaders.

The controversy ignited when Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy, son of the company’s legendary founder, Truett Cathy, told a Baptist newspaper that he and his company “operate on biblical principles” and “are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit.”

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Defining Chick-fil-A as “a family business,” Cathy went on to say that “We intend to stay the course. … We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”

Media attention to Cathy’s comments revealed a radio interview he had given a few weeks earlier in which he commented that “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at (God) and say, ‘We know better than You what constitutes a marriage.'

“I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think we would have the audacity to redefine what marriage is all about,” he said.

Within days, elected officials in Chicago, Boston and New York were pledging to deny the company access to their cities.

“Because of (Dan Cathy’s) ignorance, I will deny Chick-fil-A a permit to open a restaurant in my ward,” Chicago Alderman Proco Moreno said, in a threat echoed by
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino was just as blunt: “Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston,” he said. “We’re an open city. We’re a city at the forefront of inclusion.”

But the kind of inclusion he had in mind would evidently exclude Chick-fil-A.

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who just recently married her lesbian partner, called upon New York University to kick Chick-fil-A off its campus.

9 religious companies (besides Chick-fil-A)

Echoing the Boston mayor’s lack of irony, she also called for exclusion in the name of inclusion: “We are a city that believes our diversity is our greatest strength, and we will fight anything and anyone that runs counter to that.”

Within days, Moreno, Emanuel and Menino had qualified their statements somewhat, promising to operate within the law and constitutional limits. Those clarifications became necessary when legal authorities quickly recognized threatened violations of First Amendment rights.

To his credit, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an ardent supporter of same-sex marriage, warned, “You can’t have a test for what the owner’s personal views are before you decide to give a permit to do something in the city.”

Note carefully that Chick-fil-A was not charged with discrimination in hiring or service but simply with the fact that its president and chief operating officer supports traditional marriage.

Note something else: Dan Cathy’s statements were explicitly religious. He made his comments to the religious press, including a Baptist newspaper. His comments were infused with his Christian convictions, the same convictions that have led the company to close for business every Sunday.

The threats made against Chick-fil-A betray the principle of religious liberty that is enshrined within the U.S. Constitution. Civic officials in some of the nation’s largest and most powerful cities have openly threatened to oppose Chick-fil-A for the singular reason that its president openly spoke of his Christian convictions concerning marriage.

When Quinn, one of the most powerful officials in New York, announces, “I do not want establishments in my city that hold such discriminatory views,” is she also threatening the Roman Catholic Church, Orthodox Jewish synagogues and Islamic mosques?

They, along with evangelical Christian denominations, openly oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage. Cathy’s statements are completely consistent with his own denomination’s statement of faith and official declarations. He was speaking as a Christian and as a Southern Baptist, and he was speaking as a man who does his best to live and speak as he believes.

Christian groups allege threats to religious freedom in anti-Chick-fil-A campaigns

When Emanuel and Moreno tell Chick-fil-A to stay out of Chicago, are they audacious enough to deliver that same message to the churches, mosques and synagogues of their city that also oppose same-sex marriage? What do they do with the fact that their own state does not allow same-sex marriages?

This country is deeply divided over the issue of same-sex marriage, and the controversy over Chick-fil-A is an ominous sign that many of the proponents of same-sex marriage are quite willing to violate religious liberty and to use any and all means to silence and punish any individual or organization that holds the contrary view – a view sustained by the voters in 29 states by constitutional amendments.

Addressing the intersection of same-sex marriage and religious liberty, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley has warned that the government must not be “viewed as unfairly trying to pre-determine the debate or harass one side.”

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That is exactly what some elected officials have just shown themselves ready to do. It will not stop with Chick-fil-A. Who will be next to be told to get out of town?

Disclosures:

I know Dan and Truett Cathy and other members of the Cathy family. Truett has spoken on our campus. I have prayed at the opening of multiple Chick-fil-A locations. I serve on the board of directors of Focus on the Family, which has been supported by Chick-fil-A. My son, Christopher, is a part-time service employee of a local Chick-fil-A restaurant in Louisville. I have not communicated with Chick-fil-A about this column.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of R. Albert Mohler Jr.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church and state • Homosexuality • Opinion • Religious liberty

soundoff (3,216 Responses)
  1. Foggy

    Seperation of Church and State cuts both ways. A real beeyoch when the worm turns eh You Religious Lefties!?

    July 31, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      What? Care to take another stab at it?

      July 31, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Foggy is a good name for you because your head is in the clouds. This isn't about lefties or righties. This is about people having a right that others have, no more no less. equality fair and simple.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Foggy

      Um... what right is that?

      July 31, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Foggy

      Moby...what wasn't clear?

      July 31, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Let's try the simple stuff first, ok? 'mmmkay.

      How is this a church/state issue "cutting both ways." and
      What is the "worm turning?"

      July 31, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      The right to get married. We have gay marriage in NY. G-od hasn't destroyed NY in a fit of rage. NY is still here. If G-od was upset I think he would have done something by now.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Gloriana

      People have the right to not accept equality. Ken Margo is trying to impose his ideology to everyone else I see.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • Foggy

      wow Moby I gotta explain that to you? Well lets, as you say, start with the simple stuff. I presume you, like so many...um....willfully ignorant folks on the left on this issue, think the concept of Church and State separation is all about keeping religion out of government. You have to, or you would not have asked such a....question.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Gloriana

      Actually Ken Margo NY is a cesspool and everyone knows that.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Foggy

      Now see....Ken there starts of with the fundamentally incorrect statement, the intellectual dishonesty that underpins most of the Gay Marriage argument. Marriage is not a right. Period. Full Stop. So stop cranking on about wanting the same rights. If you want to debate whether Gay Marriage has a place in today's society, try and open with something other than a patent and blatant falsehood, or your just just engaging in Sophistry and Bad Sophistry at that.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Oh, ok, I get it, you were trying to be cute.

      This isn't a church/state issue. It's an issue of a private citizen's comments receiving incorrect attention from a city official who has since backpeddled in full knowledge that it would be wrong to follow through on his rash statements.

      And this is in no way a 'worm turn' issue, either, as you should know. Hence you were only "trying."

      July 31, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • Foggy

      AS an aside observation, classic ad-hominem quashing debate by demonizing the subject going on here. Don't agree with Gay Marriage = Religious Bigoted Zealot bent on destroying the world. Somewhere on a pointed burning pitchfork, Joseph Gobbels is clapping his hands and giggling with glee. I'd laugh if it weren't so bloody depressing. Ya, we really are a tolerant society these days.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • Craig

      Actually Foggy, the Supreme Court of the United States has stated on several occasions that marriage IS a right of citizens of the United States. That was how the struck down laws against mixed race marriages that were prevalent during the Civil Rights struggle of the 1960's.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • Foggy

      Oh Moby, take thine arrows out of mine eye. Thy criticism has wounded me verify and forsooth thou has shaken mine own confidence in my words....then again.. I had to explain it to you (and you dodged the point in the process), so I cant really say your evaluation has much merit...or courage.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • Foggy

      Craig: Can a sister and brother marry?

      July 31, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Marriage isn't a right? Then what is it a privilege? What is good for one group is good for another PERIOD. If you pass laws to take away someone else rights, then someone can pass a law to take away a right you may enjoy. We're in the 21st century grow up.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • manbearpig

      Foggy –
      Explain how marriage is not a right. Oh, and you must know we're talking about legal marriage, not whatever you do in your house of worship where you fellate your own brand of supernatural myth.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Foggy

      Oh and Moby....it is most certainly a Church/State issue. That you cant see that defines a neon glowing all bells ringing arrow to the blinders you have dogmatically welded to your eyes.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      I'm sure there are marriages out there involving close relatives. If no one knows they are related, they'll get married. To me marriage is just a business decision. You could marry your cat for all I care.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • Foggy

      Manbearpig...in reply to your oh so tolerant question I will say this. I do not belong to any religion, organized or otherwise. I do not believe in God, at least in the dogmatic manner as defined by most of the world theocratic religions. And I remain skeptical to his or her existence in any capacity. Try to cram this into your what, buy what is reflected in your text, is a tiny cranium. There are not two and only two boxes one has to think within, ultra left or ultra right. One does not need to subscribe chapter and verse to any of it and one can take issue with an opinion on the right or left without being a proselytizer of the opposing thought box. Its called independent critical thinking. Try it sometime if you dare!

      July 31, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • manbearpig

      Foggy –
      You seem to be putting a lot of effort into being cute, but not so much effort into providing any evidence to support your argument. That's usually an indicator that your argument has no substance.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Foggy

      Actually, I know of three different supreme court rulings that says marriage IS a fundamental right.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • Foggy

      Manbearpig...its called thinking, not just spewing some worn out bit of vitrol..really....try it sometime...

      July 31, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Foggy

      This clearly is NOT a church vs state issue, as it's due to the comments of one man, a business owner. But your biased thinking serves a purpose for your jesus and your hate of all who aren't so dogmatically "right wing" as yourself. The "worm turns" phrase has nothing to do with anything in this context, so you've proven yourself a hasty fool in the only first, (giggle) "points" you tried to score in your opening post. And the rest of it has all been just foaming-at-the-mouth spastic red state tongue talkin' too. I'm sorry I wasted my time.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • Foggy

      Haiwaii Guest...Post links...happy to be proven wrong..but make sure these rulings clearly make marriage a right, rather than denying the ability infringes on another right. That is not the same thing at all.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Foggy thinks that if a city official says something stupid about a business owner having unethical morals, it's a "church vs state" issue. LOL!!!!!!

      July 31, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • Foggy

      Ahh Moby, playing Liberal Parrot Tactic #3. When being shown to be rather wrong headed, revert to name calling, ad hominem, stereotyping, inference and slander. I could almost lay bets with vegas as to how many messages in a thread takes folks like you resort to such intellectual cowerdice. And Liberals wonder why they've lost the trust of so many.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Yet, you, foggy, cannot correct the errors I exposed in your "reasoning," and so you choose to focus on a descriptive portion of my analysis of your stupidity. Show me where I'm wrong, and you'll have the honor. Let's see it, Foggy Communication.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • manbearpig

      Foggy –
      If you are as smart as you want us to think you are, go ahead and answer any of the questions that anyone has put to you. Seriously, go for it. Since you're obviously intellectually superior, you must have enough to justify your beliefs, right? You are doing nothing but evading. Troll tactics.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Foggy

      Moby: I'd happy to reply to a rebuttal. Make one. Simply saying "not its not separation of chuch and state" is simply argumentative, and does not advance the discussion.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Foggy

      Look to Loving v Virginia, Griswold v Connecticut, and Zablocki v Dedhail.
      I don't have time to hunt the links unfortunately right now. I have to leave soon. If you're intent on me posting the links, I'll be back tomorrow.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Foggy

      Manbearpig....lets see name calling...i'm a homphobe etc etc....um...no..no real questions there. Ken did make a good point and I replied (tho for some reason its not showing up...i reposted and its says its a duplicate) No I do not think I am superior in anyway. Quite the opposite. I'm very open to being wrong..thats how we learn...see my post to haiwaii guest...no one I note has provided any answers yet to a pretty fundamental question at the center of this....everyone says its a right..so I ask you define a right..rather important that definition dont you think?

      July 31, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Foggy

      Also, I think I should point out, that I haven't seen a single proposition that states that churches would be required to host or preside over the gay weddings. As far as I know, it has merely been that it would allow the title of marriage to gay relationships, along with all the benefits currently being denied under the law. If you could point to one then I would gladly denounce that proposal as an egregous violation of the first amendment.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Foggy

      Hmm...sone of my posts must be getting canned...anyway..hawiiguest,...no thats cool I can look them up...very curious to see the wording...with three rulings Im surprised there are any laws at all that deny anyone any marraige type they want.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Would you idiots learn to spell "separation"? If you don't know how it's spelled, look it up, ya lazy sods.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Foggy, even you're not too stupid to realize that this is not a separation clause issue. You're posturing, but you do it so well, don't you think? It's not even an issue, but if it was, it would be one citizen and maybe a business vs the state. But it's not even that. Would you really prefer that I believe you think it is a church/state issue? How twisted are you?

      July 31, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • Foggy

      Hawaiiguest...one of the messages that got canned was a reply to ken that I felt he was making a moire lucid argument in his last point... the issue is not a right, but does the state have any business defining marriage, an inherently religious concept. The state needs to get out of the marriage busniess full stop. Time to seriously redraft the civil code on marriage and instead find a more modern structure. (a much abbreviated and less sensible version of my "lost" post :)

      July 31, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Foggy

      Moby, Go do some unbiased reading on the theory of Separation (hows that Tom) etc etc...when and if, you able to shed you one sided understanding of it, lets debate.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • Foggy

      Hawaiiguest: Food for thought...you state all the benefits should accrue..(well you imply by way of redressing the denial. Perhaps you do not subscribe to this notion). But if you do, I would ask you why. Or more specifically, why should any benefits accrue to any "marriage" simply because two independant adults choose to cohabitate?

      July 31, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Foggy

      Inherently religious? How so?

      July 31, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Foggy

      HawaiiGuest: Well in Loving vs Virgina, the court ruled not that marriage was a right, rather that the law violated the fourteenth amendment...it was no different than say, whites only bathrooms etc. (still hard to believe that was the norm at one time....)...lets have a look at the others....

      July 31, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Foggy

      HawaiiGuest: I think its fair to categorize marriage as a religious construct that was subsumed by civil codes. Secular government is a relatively new historical construct (i am sure there are the odd exceptions...athenian greece may be a close approximation)

      July 31, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • Foggy

      Griswold v Connecticut doesn't support marriage as a right also. This decision said that The Right to Privacy was inherent within Marriage this the State could not intrude and deny by writ of law to the married couples use of contraception (a private matter).

      July 31, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Foggy

      Well maybe I'm merely interpreting it incorrectly, but the 14th amendment guarantees an equal protection to all citizens of their rights. In the decision, the court wrote:

      "Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State."

      Now, I see no reason why "race" can be replaced by "sexual orientation" would make it ok to do all of a sudden.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      And now I must go. I'll be back on tomorrow.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • Foggy

      Hmm..Zablocki v Dedhail do seem to reaffirm marriage is a fundamental right, and point to previous ruling...gonna have to dig in on this, would like to read original text rather than someones filtered view of what ruling stated. To go from 14th amendment violation to marriage is a fundamental right seems a bit of a stretch, but heck. strangers things have happened in a courtroom! If marriage is a fundamental 14th amendment right, how can a mother and son be denied a marriage license for example? (And don't prattle on about values. morals and other nonsensical arguments...not that long ago, they were the bedrock of wholesale social denial of gay marriage.

      July 31, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • Foggy

      HawaiiGuest: Ya me too. Thanks for the points and the counterpoints. I'll have to noodle on the notion of marriage as fundamental right (as a legal construct anyway) ad what that means. Nice to see even here one can have a calm lucid intelligent discussion now and then,

      July 31, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Foggy

      Personally, I can't think of any kind of objective reason for denying interfamily marriages. Just that I find it morally icky lol, but that doesn't mean anything at all.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  2. Mopery

    Isn't it obvious?

    The only way to appease these Christian right-wingers is to replace our current democratic republic with a theocracy. Only then will they truly have religious liberty they want...the liberty to silence skeptics, the liberty to silence atheists, the liberty to silence any religious views contrary to their own, the liberty to remove all of your other liberties in the name of god, amen.

    July 31, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Foggy

      Wow...heckuva extrapolation there Mopery...now where have i heard that kind of hysterical hyperbole before...oh ya...gay plot, commie tide, jews controlling the world, on an on an on..the usual caterwauling of intolerance, fear and bigtory...need more tinfoil there Mopery...and a big ol' dose of tolerance....

      July 31, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
  3. TR6

    When most Christians don’t get their own way they cry that their religious freedom is being threatened. Like their religious freedom to prevent gay’s from marrying. Or their religious freedom to force every child in public school to pray to the Christian god. Or their religious freedom to prevent contraception.
    I’m surprised they are still not crying about being prevented from burning heretics and atheists to death

    July 31, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • Hugh Hefner

      Most people in religious leadership positions are atheists. Alwasy have been – they are not stupid!

      July 31, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Brian

      You are so painfully uninformed. You resort to absolutes and spew the same hate for Christians that they are so often accused of.

      "force every child in public school to pray to the Christian god" – I don't recall this being the issue. Rather communities fought for the opportunity for children to have a moment of silence, which can be used for personal prayer. Anything else was specific to a certain case, and not any mass Christian effort.

      "Or their religious freedom to prevent contraception." – Pretty sure they weren't trying to prevent contraception from existing. Instead, they didn't want the money of their religious organizations to pay for contraception. As in, employer-paid insurance premiums going toward insurance that provides free contraception. They never tried to restrict the sale or purchase of contraception. (BTW – tell me drug company campaign donors don't love that the administration is trying to provide "free" contraception to EVERYONE, while still paying the drug companies for their product, though insurance. But I'm sure this is a public health concern.)

      July 31, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
  4. Gloriana

    For now on I will eat at chik-a fil-a everyday! I HOPE THEIR PROFITS GO UP! A politician does not have the right to close down a business just because they want more votes. Citizens have the right to say whatever they want.

    July 31, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      I hope you don't have any gay relatives. (you're to bigoted to have gay friends) How are you going to look them in face when you tell them you support this restaurant.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • manbearpig

      Eating at Chick-Fil-A every day now because they are just as bigotted as you? Good luck with the diabetes. Fortunately, you'll deserve it.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Gloriana

      Ken Margo what if the situation was reverse?? What if the business owner supported gay marriage and a politician threatened him to close a business he worked hard for all his life? Do you think it is right for a politician to come in and take away something that is yours?? Anyways bigoted is a person who is intolerant which I see a lot in the liberals.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Gloriana

      Manbearpig is a good example of a bigot. Everyone has a fair say as long as you agree with them, right?

      July 31, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Molly Winston

      And people have a right to not eat there if they think the head of the company is a bigot. He opened his mouth, spat out a bunch of bs, and expected no repercussions. His comments were divisive, and that I believe was his aim in making them in the first place. I guess he didn't count on a sizable number of customers disagreeing with him. Hust like in the 60s with desegregation, the times are changing. He's on the wrong side of history.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • Gloriana

      Molly a costumer has the right to eat their if they want. No government official has the right to take that choice away from a citizen just so can get more votes.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Foggy

      Wow Molly Winston...where do I get one those gee whiz crystal balls that tells you exactly how history is going to judge the present,and that, surprise, surprise, it aligns with your personal religious beliefs?

      July 31, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      These politicians are a bunch of windbags. They said they don't want the store there. They aren't closing them. I agree what they said wasn't right. everyone has a right to express themselves. The best way to stop such bigotry is to stop supporting them financially.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • manbearpig

      Gloriana –
      First, I'll say I agree with you. Government officials talking big about banning Chick-Fil-A over this is BS. However, you are volunteering (exagerrated or not) to put more of your money towards funding a company that will then use your money to deny equal rights to a group of Americans. That means you are supporting the bigots at Chick-Fil-A.
      Oh, and I liked what you did with the "Nuh-Uh, YOU ARE!!!" comeback, but here's Websters:
      Bigot: a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially: one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Craig

      Fine! Just make sure you have your own health insurance so I don't get stuck paying for your medical bills when you have a heart attack or stroke from eating that crap! Damn the SCOTUS for striking down the health care mandate!

      July 31, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
  5. Your Religion Might Be Bullshіt If...

    Great video:
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-z4iaUFSkME&w=640&h=390]

    July 31, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • Brandon

      Ha, pretty funny. The key is "religion" ... any religion which says that you can find meaning and purpose in life by what you do to appease a deity ... has totally missed it. This goes from anything to Islam to apostate Christianity. Any religion which says that you can find meaning and purpose in yourself ... has totally missed it. This goes from anything from Scientology to atheism. Religion is the worst of man. And some of the most spiritual leaders ... Ghandi ... Jesus ... hated religion.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
  6. Hugh Hefner

    I enjoy when two stupids fight each other. I hope they will annihilate each other, too.

    July 31, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
  7. Bundy

    I thought this would be a piece that condemned the practice of denying the building of mosques around the US. Silly me, no way he'd equate denying the building of places of worship to religious bigotry. Those are Muslims, and I guess it's ok to persecute them and deny their religious freedom.

    July 31, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • Brian

      He makes that exact argument. Did you read it?

      "When Quinn, one of the most powerful officials in New York, announces, “I do not want establishments in my city that hold such discriminatory views,” is she also threatening the Roman Catholic Church, Orthodox Jewish synagogues and Islamic mosques?"

      July 31, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • Hugh Hefner

      I'm against any and all religious stupidity, as well as the gay one.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
  8. Sandra

    Tyrannical intolerance? Hogwash! The owner of Chick-Fil-A hasn't had any religious freedoms or liberties taken away. What has happened is Free Speech, which he exercised. But with Free Speech comes consequences. OTHERS of a different opinion are voicing their opinion, and exercising their rights to protest what they feel is wrong.

    July 31, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • Brandon

      True ... as long as it remains a personal expression either way. People can voice their opinion, protest, and vote with their pocket books. The minute government officials start using their power though as expressions of their freedom of speech, that is to me a completely different level and really does border on the unethical. So for a mayor to say, "I disagree and will no longer support them ... and I encourage everyone to do the same" is good. To say, "I will use my office and bar them from opening up here" is an abuse to power. I don't care if the shoes were reversed and an official tries to ban a gay business owner because they believe in a man-woman union. Same thing, same abuse.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Tony

      But government officials do not have the right to use their authority to make it difficult for a business to operate in their jurisdiction. That is abuse of power, a power invested in the official to conduct business within the law, not based on what they believe. Mohler is right: why are these mayors, et al, screaming about a chicken restaurant when there are thousands of churches preaching against gay marriage every week? Will the churches be run out of town, too? You bet they would if so many voters didn't actually attend those churches. Personally, I am sick of politicians falling all over themselves to out-"include" the next guy. Absolute slimy pandering.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
  9. Shoe on the other foot

    The LGBT community obviously thinks that "tolerance" is a one-way street.

    July 31, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Hugh Hefner

      Both religious people and GLBTs can kiss my azz!

      July 31, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Really? How do you get that impression?

      July 31, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • Magic Jew

      No no no no... LGBT want equal rights under federal law. Christians want to use their religion to rationalize their bigotry in denying them that right. Beliefs don't deserve tolerance or respect solely for being beliefs. Personhood does.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Craig

      I'm with you, Magic Jew!

      July 31, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
  10. Scotty

    Who cares? Really.....Chick-fil-A is just a restaurant! People need to chill and not get all worked up over stupid stuff! If you don't like Chick-Fil-A, stop eating there.... and move on in life! Simple!!!

    July 31, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • D

      And if you do like them, get used to the idea that some of your money may be used to fund political advocacy on issues you may disagree with.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • Brandon

      D, to worry about such things would mean you quit buying everything. If you got in an accident and were taken to a hospital, would you refuse treatment if this guy owned it? The last thing I care about is such things. Let people be free and voice their opinions either way. Vote with your pocket book if you like. But let freedom ring. I hope some Christians boycott Chick, and I hope some gays support it.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
  11. Imvotingforobama

    THE SKY IS FALLING! THE SKY IS FALLING!!! Oh please. Religious freedom is not under attack. Just another righty trying to scare his brain washed followers into thinking that somehow the "black foreign born socialist" is taking away their freedoms when in reality none of this is happening.

    July 31, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Hugh Hefner

      And even if it was under attack, it's about time!

      July 31, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
  12. well...

    Get rid of Christians so Muslin can take over, then will see when Sharia law comes....

    July 31, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Are you seriously that fvcking stupid?

      July 31, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • D

      who let Michelle Bachmann in??

      PS. time for a new tinfoil hat

      July 31, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • Craig

      LOL! Michelle Bachman..... LOL!!!

      July 31, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
  13. Hugh Hefner

    Gay bigotry and religious bigotry is still bigotry.

    July 31, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • Imvotingforobama

      Yup!

      July 31, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • BAM

      Didn't realize it was bigotry to have religous convictions, morron!

      July 31, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • manbearpig

      Calling someone a moron by misspelling moron=awesome.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • BAM

      Manbearpig=Genius

      July 31, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Craig

      Wait.... didn't you used to post as Huge Heifer? Or do I have you confused with Michelle Bachmann???? LOL... Michelle Bachmann..... LOL

      July 31, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
  14. Hugh Hefner

    Both the religious and gay nonsense has to go!

    July 31, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Craig

      Especially the religious gays.... they're the worst!! Like Marcus Bachmann!!! LOL... Michelle Bachmann's gay husband!! LOL....(allegedly gay anyway....... made the whole world's gaydar go PING!!!!)

      July 31, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
  15. senor

    Religiously-based bigotry is still bigotry.

    July 31, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Hugh Hefner

      Gay bigotry is just a s bad, if not worse.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
  16. rtwingal

    I didn't know Boston was such an open and tolerant city. Must have changed.
    The reactions of these politicians gives a new definition to what it means to be liberal. "You are free to hold any opinion or belief you want, so long as you agree with me."

    July 31, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      I agree. The politicians should have stayed out of it; private citizens should make their own decisions whether it be to take their business elsewhere, eat there more often, or use them as a target of "anti-bigot" flash mobs that glitter bomb their restaurants with pen is shaped cutouts and pro-gay posters and that sort of thing.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Moby Schtick

      LOL !!!! :D

      Peace...

      July 31, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Hey, a different Chick Fil-A every day!! Let's do this, girls!

      July 31, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
  17. D

    "simply with the fact that its president and chief operating officer supports traditional marriage."
    More FAIL. The author glosses nicely over the fact that they're spending MILLIONS of corporate dollars (money that comes from their customers) on advocating for denying certain people equal rights.

    July 31, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • J.J

      Why does it matter what they do with their corporate dollars? That is their choice, just like I have choice, you have choice, and Google can choose support Gay rights. Do not support them or eat there if you do not agree with their values.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Magic Jew

      Traditional marriage as in one white man and one white woman?

      July 31, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • Craig

      Exactly.... DON'T SUPPORT THEM!!! And tell EVERYONE YOU KNOW to NOT SUPPORT THEM either. And spread the story of their supporting anti-gay hate groups like the FOC to everyone you know and all across the internet and the world!!! Let them be seen for the evil that they really are.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
  18. Non-Believer

    Right, man. You figured it all out. Whoa is me, my religion is being persecuted. Bull. Get with the times. The dark ages are over.

    July 31, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • SpellingMan

      *Woe

      July 31, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • TR6

      Actually the dark ages were when Christianity ruled the western world and Christians burned people at the stake for disagreeing with them

      July 31, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Craig

      Yes, and the Inquisitioners poked people with the soft cushions or forced them to sit in the comfy chair.... Oh NO! NOT the "COMFY CHAIR"!!!!

      July 31, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
  19. Richard

    This self-righteous bigot wants a religious pass for discrimination and intolerance. Why not have a few slaves while you're at it? The bible's cool with that, too.

    July 31, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • Brian

      Speech is protected by law, no matter how bigoted or intolerant. It is only discriminatory action that is illegal. So yes, if bigotry is motivated by religion, it is just as protected as bigotry motivated by other means. You don't have to give him a pass. Government officials do when it comes to carrying out their public duties.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Craig

      A few slaves? He's got lots more than that – all those poor kids working at barely minimum wage slaving over hot chicken fryers & slopping up soft drinks!

      July 31, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
  20. D

    Tyrannical intolerance? Ok, pure, 100% unadulterated FAIL.

    July 31, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • Derp

      What an interestingly made and well-supported point!

      July 31, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
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About this blog

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.