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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. Bryan

    I'm sorry but "religious liberty" came under threat when people started getting angry about the presence of American Muslims. What many people are sick of about the Chick-fila thing is people using Christianity to justify their fears, prejudices and attrocities. Freedom of speech only protects you from government persecution. Its doesn't protect you against public opinion. Having the right to say anything you want doesn't mean that what you say has to be accepted. People who strongly disagree with Cathy's remarks choose not take their business there. That's an American freedom also. Unfortunately, we care so much about the freedom of speech that we rarely exercise our freedom of thought. Its like we get so caught up with having these "freedoms" that we forget all about common sense.

    August 1, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  2. Wendy

    Jesus in Hs own said I came into the world not to condemn it but to save it. His harshest words were for the hypocrites who judged others and denied their own sins. This us our test, to live in peace with one another tryingas best we can to live a pure life while not condemning or judging others for their failures to see the truth or live by it. The paradigm is always shifting but the pathway to eternal life stays the same. My prayer is that all will see that God hasnt shut the door on anybody and we may each walk through it. The one caveat is that we choose to leave our sins behind and that us the painful part, we each having ro admit and be sorry for our wrongs. Im sorry that we Christians havent shown the love and kindness to gays that we were commanded to do by Christs very example if li e and kindness to each of us when we sin. I pray for true live to orevail in this nation and the world. I pray that each of us can see past our own hurts and rejection from our fellow man that it was sin working in us that caused it and that Christ living in us is the cure.

    August 1, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      There is no god and there is no christ.

      August 1, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Chris

      You make a wonderful point Wendy. It has become very obvious that us Christians have not done a good enough job communicating Christ's word. As I read through the comments to this article, often those that oppose the beliefs of Mr. Cathy state he spewed hate and accuse him of "treating others poorly". Even though I have not found a single statement or article to prove that, I realize that by merely believing in Biblical scripture and calling yourself a Christian opens one up to being listed as hating those that are not Christians. My hope is that someone who is not saved will read your words, wonder what they mean and ask someone who can help!

      August 1, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Wendy

      Jesus can help anybody who sincerely wants help. We all need to love the truth more than our agenda and even our own lives.

      August 1, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  3. Moe Ron

    It is not the government's job to decide what is moral and what is not. That is for each individual person to decide. This is not the case with marriage laws based on your narrow little religious world.

    You Christians realize.... there are hundreds and hundreds of sects, right? You realize how many versions of the bible there are? As a WHOLE, Christians outnumber every other religion, but remember, Mormons, Catholics, Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists, Anglican, Episcopalian and many more, including hundreds of sub-sects are NOT the same. You all have Jesus at their core, but you interpret it all differently.

    Now, that aside, You have Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Atheist...

    You feel as passionately about 2 gay guys not being able to marry as a Hindu does about not killing a bumble bee, for that could be his late uncle. From what i have studied about religion, it is all about controlling people. Brainwashing you. Mind control. They tell you to kill those that don't worship as you. They mix in messages of peace and love with stories of bigotry and war, sets of rules and big bad things in the sky you should be afraid of.

    The only religions I tend to have much faith in are Hinduism and Buddhism. Even those have rules, but they don't spend a whole lot of time talking about killing other people that disagree with you.

    August 1, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • justlivin

      I have not read a more ignorant post. You have no idea what you are talking about.

      August 1, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  4. Pat

    I agree, religious liberty is being stripped away, unless you are something other than Christian. This is only the beginning of Christian persecution. The definition of marriage CANNOT be changed. It is the union of two opposites, according to every civlization since the beginning of time .

    August 1, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      If religious liberty is being stripped-away it is for a good reason.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      How dare your "right" to treat others poorly is being stripped away.

      August 1, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Pat

      How is your right to your religion being stripped away? How is this preventing you from holding your beliefs? The christian double standard on persecution is getting really old.

      August 1, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • midwest rail

      So Pat, tell us all when you are leading the charge to codify str8 relationships by making divorce and adultery illegal. What's that, you say ? You aren't ? Hypocrite.

      August 1, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      Its going to change eventually whether you like it or not. The younger generations aren't sick as the older ones are.

      August 1, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • PNT

      @Pat: Marriage has NOT been defined as a union between one man and one woman exclusively in all cultures for all human history. You don't even have to look so far back into our history to find a very prominent example of a different definition of marriage...

      Mormonism (pre-denouncement of polygamy) clearly did not believe that marriage was between one man and only one woman. QED.

      August 1, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "The definition of marriage CANNOT be changed."

      Marriage was defined by the US Supreme Court as a civil right. Recognized federal civil rights law in the United States is grounded in the U.S. Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court. By this standard, marriage has long been established as a civil right.

      The operative constitutional text is section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which was ratified in 1868. The relevant passages read as follows:

      No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws

      A federal appeals court on May 31st ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional because it denies equal rights for legally married same-sex couples, making it likely that the Supreme Court will consider the politically divisive issue for the first time in its next term. This most likely will be decided in the courts and since most courts keep ruling in gays favor they should be able to over turn all the unconstitutional laws prejudice bigots have been trying to pass.

      August 1, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  5. John

    Some argue that since homosexual behavior is 'unnatural' it is contrary to the order of creation. Behind this pronouncement are stereotypical definitions of masculinity and femininity that reflect rigid gender categories of patriarchal society. There is nothing unnatural about any shared love, even between two of the same gender, if that experience calls both partners to a fuller state of being. Contemporary research is uncovering new facts that are producing a rising conviction that homosexuality, far from being a sickness, sin, perversion or unnatural act, is a healthy, natural and affirming form of human sexuality for some people. Findings indicate that homosexuality is a given fact in the nature of a significant portion of people, and that it is unchangeable.

    Our prejudice rejects people or things outside our understanding. But the God of creation speaks and declares, "I have looked out on everything I have made and `behold it (is) very good'." . The word (Genesis 1:31) of God in Christ says that we are loved, valued, redeemed, and counted as precious no matter how we might be valued by a prejudiced world.

    There are few biblical references to homosexuality. The first, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, is often quoted to prove that the Bible condemns homosexuality. But the real sin of Sodom was the unwillingness of the city's men to observe the laws of hospitality. The intention was to insult the stranger by forcing him to take the female role in the sex act. The biblical narrative approves Lot's offer of his virgin daughters to satisfy the sexual demands of the mob. How many would say, "This is the word of the Lord"? When the Bible is quoted literally, it might be well for the one quoting to read the text in its entirety.

    Leviticus, in the Hebrew Scriptures, condemns homosexual behaviour, at least for males. Yet, "abomination", the word Leviticus uses to describe homosexuality, is the same word used to describe a menstruating woman. Paul is the most quoted source in the battle to condemn homosexuality ( 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 and Romans 1: 26-27). But homosexual activity was regarded by Paul as a punishment visited upon idolaters by God because of their unfaithfulness. Homosexuality was not the sin but the punishment.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Paul gave a list of those who would not inherit the Kingdom of God. That list included the immoral, idolaters, adulterers, sexual perverts, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, and robbers. Sexual perverts is a translation of two words; it is possible that the juxtaposition of malakos, the soft, effeminate word, with arsenokoitus, or male prostitute, was meant to refer to the passive and active males in a homosexual liaison.

    Thus, it appears that Paul would not approve of homosexual behavior. But was Paul's opinion about homosexuality accurate, or was it limited by the lack of scientific knowledge in his day and infected by prejudice born of ignorance? An examination of some of Paul's other assumptions and conclusions will help answer this question. Who today would share Paul's anti-Semitic attitude, his belief that the authority of the state was not to be challenged, or that all women ought to be veiled? In these attitudes Paul's thinking has been challenged and transcended even by the church! Is Paul's commentary on homosexuality more absolute than some of his other antiquated, culturally conditioned ideas?

    Three other references in the New Testament (in Timothy, Jude and 2 Peter) appear to be limited to condemnation of male sex slaves in the first instance, and to showing examples (Sodom and Gomorrah) of God's destruction of unbelievers and heretics (in Jude and 2 Peter respectively).

    That is all that Scripture has to say about homosexuality. Even if one is a biblical literalist, these references do not build an ironclad case for condemnation. If one is not a biblical literalist there is no case at all, nothing but prejudice born of ignorance, that attacks people whose only crime is to be born with an unchangeable sexual predisposition toward those of their own sex

    August 1, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • loveman

      you have too much time on your hands. 'nuff said.

      August 1, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  6. indogwetrust

    When I was in high school we were discussing some murder rampage and the guy who did it. The killer had told the courts that god made him do it. All the students thought that that was crazy. Except one girl. She said "what if god did tell him to do it"? That was eye opening.

    August 1, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  7. Joseph MA

    I got two definitions about marriage from others so far:

    (1) Marriage is a loving partnership between two consenting adults, both of whom have the capacity to enter into a legal contract
    (2) Marriage is an ancient tradition of families choosing to continue their bloodlines together

    see how much they vary in meaning already?? And it is just two definitions. There are many more possible definitions based on who is answering.

    Obviously someone who thinks marriage is associated with procreation is not going to accept the definition that it is just a contract between two adults.

    And herein is the problem. Those who are already married based on their religious beliefs do not want the meaning of their marriage to be altered as something else. Any redefinition of marriage shouldn't ignore the meaning that it now has for people who are already married. Isn't that fair enough demand?

    August 1, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Derek

      Joseph,
      What Dan did say was that some people are "redefiing the definition of marraige". Since the creation of man it has always been defined as being inbetween one man and one women. Since the beginning of time we have followed what God set up in Geneis! So just now some people are trying to redefine this and that we know better?

      August 1, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      @Derek, if you actually bother to read the bible, you'll see that there a lot more definitions of marriage than just one man and one women.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Jen

      So you're saying that those people that believe it is for procreation have a right to tell all of the other couples (whether straight or gay), that they are not allowed to be married? Do you agree we should start nullifying all the marriages of older heteros-xual couples that marry or infertile couples? They don't fit the other definition so why don't we ban their marriages?

      I'm agnostic so don't have a biblical marriage. Should we null my marriage? I did procreate but that had nothing to do with why I married my husband so shouldn't my marriage be nullified immediately?

      August 1, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Moe Ron

      You realize all they want is to be recognized in the eyes of the law. They could care less what zealots like yourself think. they want stuff like joint income tax filing. The ability to get the family plan from their insurance provider. They want joint checking accounts. Just plain equality, that's all.

      So they are going to live together. They are going to hu-mp regardless what you think. They are going to wear matching sweaters and kiss at the mall food court. They are going to inspire your child (who you will no doubt raise a bigot) to ask you questions. They are not going to go away.

      ...BUT. Your group will stop them from getting a checking account together!!! YOU WIN!

      August 1, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Joseph MA

      Any redefinition should also fit in with what marriage already means to people who are already married. Plain and simple.

      As far are rights like joint account etc are concerned, redefining marriage is the only option to have those? Instead of talking about redefining marriage for married couples why don't we coin a new term for the union and talk about including the rights that gay people want?

      August 1, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Jen

      'choosing to continue bloodlines'. Any couple that chooses not to have children, knows they are infertile, wants to adopt instead of becoming biological parents, and older couples do not fit this definition. Should we ban all of these types of marriages? Should we null all existing marriages under your definition?

      August 1, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      Joseph – so you're advocating for something that's separate but equal? Last I checked, that didn't work out so well last time we tried it.

      August 1, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Joseph MA

      *facepalm* – how is it going to work out some thing which is not equal to be the same? Isn't it what you are attempting to do?

      August 1, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Joseph MA

      Jen, once again, do not make excpetions that norm. Isn't that a simple rule to follow?

      August 1, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Jen

      Who gets to decide the exceptions? Why don't we add the small gay population as exceptions?

      August 1, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Joseph MA

      Definitely... as long as it doesn't redefine what marriage is for majority

      August 1, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Jen

      Perfect. I live in Massachusetts and can personally testify that gay marriage becoming legal here did not change the meaning of my marriage one tiny bit. I also am originally from Canada and my fellow Canadians will attest to the same. Looks like we have the problem solved!

      August 1, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • J.W

      So would you agree that if the majority was in favor of gay marriage then it should be allowed?

      August 1, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Joseph MA

      Allowing exceptions repeatedly makes it the norm.

      Blood Relation is by far the strongest of all relations. That is the only way the next generation is born. You can point out 'exception' but that is the fundamental truth.

      And your suggested way promotes eliminating that relation to a new born. The fact that it exists now for straight couple doesn't justify it either (even for straight couple). That is my humble opinion.

      And for you JW, I don't see how it could be disallowed, if majority is truly for it

      August 1, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Jen

      Anyone in a successful marriage will tell you that their relationship with their spouse is the strongest relationship they have. That is not a blood relationship (well hopefully it is not). So nope, that is not the 'fundamental' truth. You have a very sad outlook on relationships if you believe being in love is not the main reason to get married. Under you belief we should just have arranged marriages.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  8. FederOnline

    Your religious zealotry..er...liberty...is not at risk; you choose to believe whatever fairy tale you choose. When your religious liberty preaches denying 1069 federal civil rights to a definable group of citizens, your religious liberty takes a back seat to their civil liberty. Quit being a bigot; quit masking the bigotry in "God made me do it".

    August 1, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  9. Wendy

    *facepalm* ever hear the saying that figures dont lie but liars figure? Any so called Christian that supported slavery had a financial stake in doing so and hid his agenda by subverting Biblical truth. One would have to agree that there is no financial, political or social capital to be gained in not supporting gay marriage. Therefore one can only conclude that those who dont support the gay agenda are at the least sincere in their beliefs that it goes against God. Laws can and do change but individuals should be allowed to adhere to their principles, othetwise we all lose. I posit to you and all, are we arguing rights here or the right to deny people personal belief. You want to change what has been universally true for as long as mankind has been on the earth and take great umbrage that your will isnt instantly adopted. Whether you win on the earth or not doesnt really matter for you or for me. What matters most is what will be won or lost regarding our own souls. This is the test and none of us are exempt. Truth stands forever and we will either be sustained by it or crushed by it. Its our choice.

    August 1, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Para-Brahman

      Oh, there was great financial gain in this. Would you be lining up at Chick-fil-Gay today if not for this statement? They have succeeded quite well at making "poor little old Christians" feel as if they were under attack from SATAN! Quick, GO BUY SOME CHICKEN NOW! SATAN IS TRYING TO STOP YOU FROM ENJOYING YOUR CHICKEN!!!!! No better way to stir up business than to make your product a martyr for Jesus.

      Just go baaaah baaaaah baaah like all the other sheep and go support God by eating some chicken. Your ignorance hath shone upon the thread in great amplitude.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • FederOnline

      Hilter, Stalin and Pol Pot all adhered to their principles. Nothing has been universally true since the beginning of man, unless you believe (contrary to any reasonable proof) that man has been around for just a couple thousand years. Two men getting married has zero affect on my marriage. If you believe in the Bible, it is God's place to judge (Matthew 7:1); so quit judging, making everyone live by the same bigoted rules, and let God sort them out.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      Wendy, the biblical truth is that your god condoned slavery. You make so many assumptions in your post that any argument you had is rendered entirely moot.

      Poor assumption #1 – only slave owners supported slavery. Um ... no. Patently, utterly false.

      Poor assumption #2 – there is nothing to gain by opposing gay marriage. Yup, politicians definitely don't pander to their base for votes. And I'm sure the xtian COO wasn't trying ot get xtian dollars to buy his fatty, greasy products.

      Poor assumption #3 "Laws can and do change but individuals should be allowed to adhere to their principles, othetwise we all lose." – Remind me again, who is trying to force straight people into gay marriages?

      Epic Logic Fail

      August 1, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Janet

      "Therefore one can only conclude that those who dont support the gay agenda are at the least sincere in their beliefs that it goes against God."

      The Biblical condemnation of homosexuality is based on human ignorance, suspicion of those who are different, and an overwhelming concern for ensuring the survival of the people. Since the Bible regards homosexuality as a capital crime, it clearly assumes that homosexuality is a matter of free choice, a deliberate rebellion against God. We have learned from modern science that people do not choose to be gay or straight; hence it is neither logical nor moral to condemn those whose nature it is to be gay or lesbian.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • open cinnamon shoe

      Janet, the Biblical view of marriage is based on the Bible. Period. Otherwise it wouldnt be the Biblical view would it? Nice attempt at sharing logic though.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  10. Pippa

    Another well written article by Mohler. Kudos Chick-fil-A! It takes courage to standby truth.Ignore the cowards, they will eventually fail.

    August 1, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Bigots Unite!

      Just like the cowards failed when they attempted to legalize interracial marriages!

      August 1, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      It takes courage to hate?

      August 1, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      Do you know how much god hate interracial marriage? God made separate continents for a reason.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "It takes courage to standby truth.Ignore the cowards, they will eventually fail."

      Truth? LMAO Christians are ignoring all the real truth of today about the gay community so they can hold onto their prejudice view points. Heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

      August 1, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • open cinnamon shoe

      Hey indog, hate Christians much? It shows. Supporting the Biblical view of marriage does not = hate. You are free to believe that it does and I'm aware that nothing I can say will change your mind. There are more positions on this issue besides "I love gay people" and "I hate gay people". Give it a rest with the Christian = hate thing already. Most of us (98% or so) would refuse to take up such polar positions.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  11. Para-Brahman

    @Jesus Christ

    In my culture, we trade cattle for women. Our families converse, and if the boy is wealthy enough for our standards, or his family owns enough land, we may consider offering our daughter to him. Of course, we will require at least 5 full grown cows and 1 bull.

    Also, we will attend the wedding, and have the bed prepared with clean sheets, so that we can guarantee the purity of our daughter. After the wedding, when they consummate the marriage, if the sheets are not tainted with blood, we will refund you 3 of the cow and offer our deepest condolences. In addition to the partial refund, we will cane our daughter for disgracing your family. After we are finished with the caning, we will return your son's new wife to him and they may begin their new life.

    I know this is not what your father intended Jesus, but it IS the way we do it here in India, and within the next decade or so, we will rule the world. We will be sending our menial jobs to you, for cheap labor after your economy collapses. Thanks for helping to build our infrastructure. We will repay you with plentiful $10/day jobs in the near future. Thank you to the Jesus-filled nation! God Bless Amerkuh!

    August 1, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • ME II

      "Thanks for helping to build our infrastructure"

      "Infrastructure" includes the electrical system, I think.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • shazzar

      Well, how is that infrastructure working for you lately? Are the lights back on? You can mock Jesus now but that will end when you bow the knee and see him face to face one day. By the way, man may populate the world but he will never rule it. Jesus is Lord of all.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Moe Ron

      Google B.R.I.C. then talk smack about India some more.

      US has been using fiat currency for 40 years now. The ponzi scheme is due to collapse very soon. The global market is losing faith in the Federal Reserve and when all the faith is gone, the house of cards collapses. When that happens, India & China will be doing just fine and they WILL be farming out cheap labor to the US, instead of the other way around.

      August 1, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  12. smy1950

    Don't ask a Christian their beliefs or opinions if you can't live with their answers. We all have a right to our beliefs. What would have happend if Mr. Cathy had said "No Comment" . The same darn thing. Looks to me like gays are looking for some reason to protest publicly. Why would you want to put your most intimate actions, such as kissing, on display. Do have have no dignity. Sure go ahead and exercise your freedom of speech, but for God's sake, don't show it to the children.

    August 1, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      The children don't care. Its the old twisted people of this country that are the problem. Time will fix this. So all you old bitter people full of hate should do the world a favor and go say hi to your Sky fairy aka god.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      And yes they are looking for a reason. Because they are sick and tired of being treated poorly. You would do the same.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Do have have no dignity. Sure go ahead and exercise your freedom of speech, but for God's sake, don't show it to the children."

      It's totally fine to do it in front of the children. Social science has shown that the concerns often raised about children of lesbian and gay parents—concerns that are generally grounded in prejudice against and stereotypes about gay people—are unfounded. Overall, the research indicates that the children of lesbian and gay parents do not differ from the children of heterosexual parents in their development, adjustment, or overall well-being.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • open cinnamon shoe

      Indog, hate Christians much? It shows.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  13. humanity

    @ all gay supporters
    Let's vote for human crossbred and marry to sheep. That's another human right. Please don't vote it down.

    August 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      Glad the concept of consent is entirely lost on you.

      Epic Fail.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      And then sodom and Gomorrah. Terrorists nazis blah blah. Stupid stuff blah blah

      August 1, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • ME II

      If by "sheep" you mean all those "shepherded" by Christ, then yes they can get married too.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  14. Joseph MA

    Jen – The difference is procreation by other means (IVF etc) by exception v/s by norm.

    As we all know, Procreation by other means is exception now and not the norm.

    However the redefinition you are looking for would mean that it becomes the norm, which opens the doors for stream lined baby creation mechanisms, which would only get cheaper with more research and money behind it.

    August 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Jen

      Yes I have noticed medical treatments (which includes fertility) keep becoming cheaper and cheaper in this country...oh wait.....

      Exception? More than half of my friends have had some sort of fertility treatment (including IVF). We all had careers in our twenties and I was one of the lucky few that had no problems getting pregnant in my thirties. This trend is only going to get stronger as women wait longer to have babies (and waiting is a good thing), so no, fertility treatments are quite common these days.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Jen

      And no, NONE of my friends have asked for blond haired blue eyed babies when they had their treatments. But I consider screening embryos for potentially fatal birth defects to be a positive thing.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Joseph MA

      Jen, Half the baby births happening after fertility treatments ?? Are you sure about that statistics?

      The rule of medical world as we all know is that any common treatment method gets comparatively cheaper over period of time. Cheaper after accomodating for an overall increase in medical cost of course.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Jen

      I said half of my friends, not half the population (learn to read...). The first IVF baby was born THIRTY FOUR years ago and it is still really expensive. The cost will probably go down around the same time doctors take massive pay cuts to provide their services.....

      You didn't answer the question. The number of straight couples using fertility will only continue to increase. Do you believe you have a right to tell them they are not allowed to have children? There's definitely more straight couples doing it than gay couples. Why is it okay for straight couples (the majority) to use fertility? Isn't your issue 'factory' kids (whatever that means)? Surely you are more concerned with straight couples using it since they are producing the most factory children.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Joseph MA

      "Surely you are more concerned with straight couples using it since they are producing the most factory children."

      Yes I am concerned with the natural means of procreation being replaced by factory means.

      I also believe that each newborn has the primary right to their bilogical parents. As it is that would be the primary reason to prefer straight couple over gay couple. The primary reasons given for denying a newborn's right like adoption etc are all exception still. However we in case of gay couple being parents by artifical means the right to biological parents by the newborn is denied.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Jen

      So answer the question!!! Do you believe you have the right to tell people (any people ) they are not allowed to use fertility treatments?? Dodge, dodge, dodge...ridiculous..

      Usually one of the people in the gay relationship is the biological parent. So kids are not denied a biological parent. Sometimes the other biological parent is involved too (like the sperm donor or gestational carrier). And you are unhappy with only one biological parent then what have you done personally to end single parent homes (surely homes with just one biological parent are always worse than ones with one biological parent and one adoptive )?

      August 1, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Joseph MA

      Since the start of this conversation, my whole point has been – not to make exceptions a norm.

      There are Single parent homes doesn't mean, we prefer kids to be created that way, where the love and care of one of the biological parents is denied. Isn't that something you would want as a new born?

      My point has been the same throughout – fetility treatment for straight couples is exception. It doesn't deny the new born right to have the biological parents- except in very few cases.

      Why should we promote taking the blood relation out of equation for the next generation?

      August 1, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Jen

      I would prefer two parents, but then would prefer a loving home of adoptive parents than being with abusive biological parents. Being with biological parents is certainly not the top priority as it is for you.

      If you consider fertility an exception for straight parents then it is DEFINITELY an exception for gay parents. What is the gay population? 3 percent? As I have said before, there are far more 'factory' babies born to straight parents than gay parents, so you have nothing to worry about!

      August 1, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Joseph MA

      Allowing exceptions repeatedly makes it the norm.

      Blood Relation is by far the strongest of all relations. That is the only way the next generation is born. You can point out 'exception' but that is the fundamental truth.

      And your suggested way promotes eliminating that relation to a new born. The fact that it exists now for straight couple doesn't justify it either (even for straight couple). That is my humble opinion.

      August 1, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  15. Mary

    Just because you do not like what others believe does not give you the right to punish them for not thinking like you.

    Punishing others for their opinions is EXACTLY what totalitarianism does. Voice your disagreement of others' opinions all you want, but the minute you disparage another for expressing his or her opinion, you have just proven your own intolerance.

    Also, dig deep inside of yourself and ask why another person's beliefs infuriate you so much. They only hold a different belief. Think long and hard about that, because if their opinions are truly ignorant, they should not hold any power over you, and you should be able to just roll your eyes and say "idiot" rather than taking action to destroy him/her. Seeing how rabid the response of some has been to this CEO's expressing his opinion is nothing short of hate. So much for tolerance, huh?

    Christians are not the only ones to be called hypocrites. I think that is the point of this article.

    August 1, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      Mary, you give a nice defense of the pro-gay marriage stance.

      No one is forcing straight people into gay marriages. But straight people want to prohibit gay people from marrying. Thus, no one is punishing those who do not support gay marriage. However, those that oppose gay marriage are punishing the gay community.

      Fantastic argument.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • open cinnamon shoe

      Facepalm, nobody is forcing gay couples into straight marriage either. Can you really not see the hypocricy in claiming Christians have no call for being defensive of marriage since no one is forcing them to marry gays and not see the exact same standard applys equally? This is whats so frustrating about these comment boards. Everyone is so freakin self assured they are blind to their own stupidity as they point out why the opposition must be stupid. Its maddening.....

      If Christians have no cause to complain since no one is forcing them to marry gays then gays have no cause to complain either. No one is forcing them to marry heteros. So either no one has a right to complain or your logic is flawed and has failed you yet again.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Tinkerghost

      @open cinimon shoe
      Quote: If Christians have no cause to complain since no one is forcing them to marry gays then gays have no cause to complain either. No one is forcing them to marry heteros. So either no one has a right to complain or your logic is flawed and has failed you yet again.
      Um, except that many Christians are actively working to prohibit gay people from marrying other gay people of the same gender. So yes, while nobody is forcing them to marry a hetero partner, they are being denied the right to marry the partner of their choice. If the distinction escapes you, then perhaps it is both your logic and common sense that have failed.

      I think that what bothers me most about the whole argument over gay marriage is the absolute certainty with which conservatives are wrong about the history of marriage. To say that marriage has always been between one man and one woman is absurd. The blunt truth is that polygamy has been the mainstay of the family unit in the vast majority of cultures throughout human history – including Old Testament Judaism. Worse, the main purpose of monogamous marriage in the Western world has been to secure political power, financial gain, or social status – hardly the makings of a sacred and holy union.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
  16. SlayFalseGod

    Christians need someone to hate on to prove they love their God.
    Time for the Lions to be fed again I think.

    August 1, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Really?

      Wow... are you seriously so hateful of Christian opinions that you would actually say that Christians should die because you disagree with their opinions? What hypocrisy. If people do not agree and align with your views, they should be killed? You cannot be serious.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  17. Smacky Smooth

    Well, at least He made you. No matter what is said, NOTHING will ever change that fact Bigots.

    August 1, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  18. Smacky Smooth

    okay where are my responses? Oh is CNN also censoring God

    August 1, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      I hope so. You wouldn't believe some of the crazy stuff that guy writes.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • CNN Moderator

      We don't like you. Get the hint and go away.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      Smacky Smooth,
      (let it never be said that I'm biased :))

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters or some html tricks to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ---
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
      co-on.....as in racc-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      cu-nt.....as in Scu-nthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
      ho-oters…as in sho-oters
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      hu-mp… as in th-ump, th-umper, th-umping
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      nip-ple
      o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      que-er
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sl-ut
      sm-ut…..as in transm-utation
      sn-atch
      sp-ank
      sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      sp-oon
      sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
      strip-per
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      wt-f....also!!!!!!!
      There's another phrase that someone found, "wo-nderful us" (have no idea what sets that one off).

      -
      There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  19. Agnes Bowl

    I think a lot of people, like myself, find the reasoning behind the religious peoples arguments to be ridiculous, therefore making the entire stance on gay marriage moot.

    For me, I think most of these religious nutbags are mindless drones, that take the word of some wealthy 15th century King of England and his 47 scholars he had to translate as the actual words out of God's mouth. Most of them are extremely pompous and think God actually said (verbatim) what is in the bible. They have no concept of how things lose meaning when translated, how some things CANT EVEN BE translated and how King James had a special interest in controlling his people at that point in history. But NONE of those factor into the King James Bible, right? BS.

    THIS is why I have a problem with these bible-thumpers. They install way too much faith in the words written by an aristocrat 500+ years ago. Not by the words of God.

    August 1, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Nature made male and female for a reason. Procreation can't happen between two men. Dont need the bible to defend my views. If you say you were born gay I can accept that because that is a birth defect that we don't fully understand yet.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      @Bama,

      So do you want to ban marriage between any infertile couples? Say, anyone over 60 can't get marriage? Maybe couples should have a fertility test before being able to obtain a license.

      Logic Fail.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Mark Bordeaux

      Dear Agnes,

      I appreciate your passion and understand your logic. However, I must respectfully disagree with your understanding of the veracity and historicity of Scripture contained in the Old and New Testaments. A great many scholars in a variety of fields such as history, literature, and archeology have confirmed that the texts of Scripture are the "most accurate ancient manuscripts in existence." That may seem to be a ridiculous statement – until you have examined the evidence.

      I am grateful to live with you and many others with diverse views in this great land of ours. With every best wish!

      August 1, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      @Mark, please provide any independently verifiable evidence of the following:

      1) A global flood that killed every living person on the planet

      2) the captivity of the hebrews by the egyptians

      3) any miracle described in the NT

      4) people living for several centuries

      August 1, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Mik

      You can argue two people born missing fingers shouldn't marry...or do things together as a result of their birth defect. It makes as much sense. Two gay people may have a birth defect affecting their romantic interests, but they still have romantic interests. They still have emotions and passions and feel love and affection for others. Just as a 4-fingered man learns to interact with life in a slightly different way then you out of necessity, so do gay people interact with life in ways different from you. This does not invalidate their personhood, their emotions, their feelings or their humanity. And all the above, personhood, emotion, humanity, are all that should be required to validate a legally acceptable coupling of two people in love. IE: Marriage.

      Doesn't change the fact that two gay people are not procreating no matter how much they try (not counting in-vitro). That is their physical limitation...their 'disability' as it were. Marriage Procreation. Just as Marriage Female Slavery, which is what it DID define and embody for most of human history, and still does in many parts of the world.

      The definition and paramaters of marriage can, and should, change because people and our understanding of one another changes. It's called social progress and is part of being human, we build better societies just as we build better mousetraps.

      Sorry you feel the need to keep putting barriers up in your mind and in front of total strangers to you. But many of us have moved on.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Mik

      *sigh* "Marriage *does not equal* Procreation. Marriage *does not equal* Slavery. CNN forum doesn't like the greater-than-less then symbols denoting "not equal to".

      August 1, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • di4word

      Nice try, Agnes, but why don't you look at biblos.com and do your own work; Hebrew and Greek along with expository dictionary and more are all provided. Like everything else in life, it's your for the taking; that way you can be authentic in your dismissal or acceptance of God's word.
      If ever there was any doubt about where the hatred is coming from, these CNN comments tell it all.
      Peace.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  20. (Fr.) James Dallen

    To penalize Chick-fil-A for the owners' views-other than not patronizing them-is clearly discriminatory. Even when we disagree with them we can respect their commitment to the biblical notion of the family: one man and a woman and a woman and a woman and a woman . . .

    August 1, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      Should we have respected people who used the bible to support slavery? Hiding bigotry behind an ancient and immoral text doesn't make it right.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Free country

      August 1, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
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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.