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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. H

    My son has worked at Chick fila for years..their phiolosophy when hired is to honor in glorify God in all they do and be good stewards to their patrons. This basic principle has been instilled in both my children working there for 9+ years now. Kindness, humility, servanthood, why does everyone lock in on one opinion and try to cloud the whole picture. Yes, I am a Christian, I believe in Christ. I believe marriage is between a man and woman, but that does not mean I hate people. I love all people. Does that mean that the mayors will now stop the building of all churches? You have a choice,,,,If you do not want to go to chick fila then do not go there...If I do not want to go somewhere because I am against what they stand for then I do not go there..That is called freedom. There was no hatred in Cathy's statement. As a matter of fact it has been discussed amoung my friends who have family who work at chick fila on the contrary..you continue to love people and treat everyone with respect. If you do not want the answer to the question do not ask it...They knew when they asked him that question that would be the answer...Again always has been a biblical based company. We all have the right to believe and state our beliefs, freedom of speech. I do however agree hatred and persecution has no place in this topic.

    July 31, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      H,

      I agree their views are their own as long as the company does not practise discrimination. A question for you is, would an open atheist, or gay person be allowed to work there comfortably? Some have said employees are forced to pray, is that true?

      July 31, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • WASP

      @H: there is a difference between a church or such buildings and a business that isn't covered under the laws governing religious freedom/ freedom from religion.
      good for them for the owner for making his thoughts known to the world; doesn't mean the rest of us have to pat him on the back and agree with him or endorse his establishment by eating there.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • scendonp

      My guess is, IF CFA had 'Forced" their employees to pray, that would have came to light before this whole story blew up. Obviously from the story they pray at the opening of each new Chick-fil-a location but I'm sure they don't Force anyone to join them. If praying to the God if the universe is against your religion then don't go to the opening of a new Chick-fil-a location.

      Again, I have no solid proof this is the case, simply making a statement, but I would think that would have been a huge deal before this story became one.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • The Truth!

      It's really funny how one group of people who voice their opinions and want respect, criticize another group of people for doing the same thing. Talk about your hypocrites!!!! Disagreeing with your "opinion" doesn't make us "intolerant". Respect from others is earned, not forced. Shoving your "lifestyle" onto other people will not justify your decision or convince us you are doing the "right" thing! You want us to support your decision, but when we refuse to, we are called "intolerant". Life your life the way you were brought into it!

      July 31, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
  2. scendonp

    Really wondering where this country is going. Starting to worry we are heading towards a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah.

    July 31, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Ting

      If you stop going to church, that worrying problem you have will fix itself. Oh, and if you cut back on watching Fox News, that will help too.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • kindless

      Right on Ting! Fox news constantly instilling fear and keeping people near the bathroom.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Romans

      @ ting: Wow! I thought libs were tolerant people. Maybe you should think before you type

      July 31, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Bobby

      I wouldn't worry until you see an asteroid/comet headed our way as that is what destoryed Sodom, and god had nothing to do with it.

      July 31, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • The Truth!

      If you read the good book and follow Revelation, we are headed for self destruction. We are our own worse enemies!

      July 31, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
  3. crush

    The bible was written by a few rich clergy and monarchy as a means to control the masses.

    July 31, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Romans

      Nice try, but not true. Early manuscripts would disagree with you.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Snow

      maybe it is not correct to say it was written by rich clergymen.. but to say that the bible in its current form is a compilation of books selected by rich clergymen and monarchs who wished to control masses based on their political agenda. "god's teaching" that did not fall in line with their ruling were thrown out as heresy..

      Try looking up how many books were banned from bible and you might get some inkling of what is being said.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Clara

      No, what crush said is true in the case of the KJV and many other versions and re-writes (and then you have to wonder why a god can't make the words and meaning stay the same.). These days, all that is left is a tool for control and profit, too, so whatever the origins, it is now that.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Clara

      My comment was for Romans.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Answer

      The King James version.. a splendid work done by a monarch for all to witness that religion is indeed a tool which suits a man of position.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Brian M.

      Clara,

      That's why the Bible is to be interpreted from the original languages–Hebrew & Greek to get to the original meaning. The message and the meaning has not changed just because it's translated into new languages. You always go back to the original language.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Snow

      say Brian, if the "message and meaning has not changed", why does it need to be "interpreted"? usually, unless you want to rewrite whats already written based on your personal goal, something written has just one meaning and does not need to be "interpreted in its context" to derive its true meaning.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • phoodphite

      Brian

      Doesn't matter how it is interpreted anyway for a good portion of it, since much is political trash from the self-proclaimed "apostle" Paul.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Clara

      No, Romans, that wasn't your "point".

      Good try at moving the goalposts though – quite typical of those of your ilk.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Clara

      Brian: what Snow said. Exactly.

      If your god is truly omnipotent, then why can't it produce a book that is readily, universally understood, without any need for translation. And why can't god produce its own modern website, or do some tweets?

      The answer, of course, is that your god does not exist, just like all the others that humans have invented in their mental laziness.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  4. No Truth, Just Claims

    is NOT an argument any respected historian would accept

    July 31, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  5. Chuck

    CFA offers a product/service, wants me to buy it, then decides to use some of that money to oppose my civil rights. Exactly how is opposing this a religious liberty issue? Sounds like a commerce issue and a misguided view of how to appeal to your customers – and nothing more.

    July 31, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • scendonp

      The same way that you disposing of a cup in the trash gives the police the ability to confiscate that same cup and use it test your DNA to obtain a match and charge you with a crime. you are freely giving your money to Chick-fil-a when you buy one of their products. You no longer have a say in how they choose to spend the money YOU GAVE them.

      That is like me telling you, how you can spend the money you earn from working your job. Think about it!

      July 31, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • ME II

      Corporations are only restricted in the spending of their money by the law, stockholders, and solvency.
      I don't think funding social activism organizations is illegal.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
  6. An Atheist's Perspective

    Why is this even a controversy? The guy basically runs a really big chicken joint. I get it, Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-A don't support gay-marriage. Last I checked, they're allowed to do that. I completely disagree with their opinions, but hey, I'm allowed to do that. But trying to ban Chick-fil-A from opening new establishments? That's... ridiculous. Mr. Cathy (like him or not) is not a politician. His main goal isn't to ban gays from marrying. It's to get you to "eet mor chickin". Likewise, companies that have stated support for gay marriage aren't pushing some "gay agenda". Their main goal is also simply to get you to buy their stuff. If these companies actively start practicing discrimination, then you can hold them accountable.

    July 31, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      This atheist agrees as well...

      July 31, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • netofunk

      While what you are saying is true, I want to bring up a point that may be missed. Because of the citizens united ruling, a company can contribute as much as it wants to political action committees (PACs). So, now you have a CEO, in theory, getting political, using proceeds from selling chicken sandwiches to back a certain political, and therefore religious, worldview.

      July 31, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • jrs220

      This Christian agrees as well.

      July 31, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
  7. Brother Maynard

    Just a thought ... I'm wondering if Mr. Mohler would right the same artical if the CEO of Chick-fil-A were contributing to the KKK and said things like " we are in favor of the white race ... the biblical difinition of the white race"

    July 31, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Where is there a Biblical definition of "white race"?

      July 31, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Should have added...my point above is that had he made such a ridiculous statement, Christians who stay true to Christ's teachings should admonish him.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Their signature sandwich is all white meat.
      Coincidence?

      July 31, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      – Where is there a Biblical definition of "white race"? -
      Not officially in the Bible but IS in the Book of Morman. Blacks are the desendents of Cain and are basically cursed by his sin

      July 31, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • VanHagar

      So basically your comparing apples and oranges.

      July 31, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      So basically your comparing apples and oranges.
      I don't think so ... Mormons are christians. Owner of ChickfilA is a mormon

      July 31, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  8. Chad

    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.

    EXACTLY

    at what point exactly did it become legal to discriminate against a company because of their support for keeping the definition of marriage as between man and women.

    really amazing..

    July 31, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • dave

      I think its always been legal to make a choice regarding whom to patronize and also to protest the public statements of people, companies and institutions.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Chad

      The discrimination part is when the government officials stop businesses from engaging in business due to their views on social issues.

      That's illegal.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Colin

      For proably the first and only time, I tend to agree with Chad.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      Was it discrimination when the government forced a School in Alabama to accept non-white students? Was it discrimination when the government denied permits to businesses that refused to serve or hire non-whites? Was it discrimination when the government required all states to recognize interacial marriage licenses? Yes, it was discriminating against the discriminators, as it should be. We need more discrimination just like that to force ignorant bigots out of the public sphere and into the shadows of Americas past along with the racism and slavery. There is no need to tolerate the intolerant.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      And by the way, no more hiding behind the word "support" when you don't really mean "support for traditional marriage" you mean "attack and destroy non-traditional marriage".

      July 31, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad
      "The discrimination part is when the government officials stop businesses from engaging in business due to their views on social issues.

      That's illegal."

      Agreed.
      However, the government officials have not done that and are apparently retracting their threats, as they should.

      @Colin,
      Feels odd, doesn't it.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Romans

      @ Mass Debater:

      So you're saying that being gay is something you're born to express??

      If that's so, then you're advocating that the govt should give special rights to a group of the population that has a genetic defect? If that's the case, then this isn't a civil rights issue, its a special rights issue. Do us a favor and don't use civil rights rhetoric then. K thanks.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Chad

      @Mass Debater "Was it discrimination when the government forced a School in Alabama to accept non-white students? Was it discrimination when the government denied permits to businesses that refused to serve or hire non-whites? Was it discrimination when the government required all states to recognize interacial marriage licenses?"
      Yes, it was discriminating against the discriminators, as it should be.

      @Chad "wow, are you ever wrong, and in 2 aspects

      1. Chick-Fil-A is not discriminating in it's employment practices, they arent for example refusing to hire a person that has been married to a person of the same se in one of the states where that practice is sanctioned.

      2. In the cases you cite above, the govt was legitimately enforcing laws & decisions by the supreme court. THERE IS NO LAW prohibiting voicing support for the traditional definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman.

      People like you.. that's where totalitarianism starts.. wow. the end justifies the means.. indeed.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by Chad is an instance of a Slippery Slope fallacy and contains ad hominem elements.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      July 31, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Answer

      @Romans

      "a group of the population that has a genetic defect? "

      The usual garbage from theist and apologists. Label things as a defect..label them evil.. label them in any light to cast them afar. LOL

      You bunch of pathetic morons are all the same. In any kind of forum you bring out the branding iron to condemn what your indoctrination has taught you to hate.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Answer

      How come the pathetic religious person will not brand a person who is born retarded as a defective human?
      –the answer: why bother with them when they can't fight back.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      Yes, I am saying that being gay is something you are born with, just as certain races are born with darker skin. There was a time when many whites believed the dark skin of the Africans to be a genetic and spiritual defect, much like they believe about gay's today. However, the only thing science tells us is that people are born with a predisposed gender preference which is not classified as a defect or abnormality, but rather is fairly common in nature and shouldn't be much of a surprise. The only surprise is how bigoted and violent certain religious ideologies can make a person. It takes a lot of hard work and training to build up such hate for other humans in a persons heart.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Romans

      @ Answer:

      Its called sound reasoning. If the scientific community wants to assume that being gay is from our genes, then it is ultimately a genetic defect or mutation. Since this mutation is contradictory to our natural se.xual pairing, it would conclude that the "mutation" is non-beneficial, and goes against an evolutionary analysis of natural se.xual propagation of the species.

      All I was pointing out was that if you choose to deem this a genetic issue, there are ramifications that end in calling hom.o.se.xuals a genetically defective person. The only other option would be to call it a choice. Either way, it shows that Hom.ose.xuality is not a natural se.xual persuasion.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Answer

      @Romans

      Your justification. Just justification to hate.

      You could be properly educated when you bear a child who turns out gay.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      Infertility – "then it is ultimately a genetic defect or mutation. Since this mutation is contradictory to our natural se.xual pairing, it would conclude that the "mutation" is non-beneficial, and goes against an evolutionary analysis of natural se.xual propagation of the species." Thus people who are infertile and unable to have children should be banned from getting married, right?

      July 31, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Romans

      The issue that you seem to be missing mass debater, is that the bible does not deem black people as sinful due to their skin color. The bible does however call hom.ose.xuality a sin and a se.xual perversion. Don't twist your rhetoric to mean that they are being treated the same way, just to advance your point using emotion. Its not the same debate at all.

      Secondly, there has never been a gene that has been identified as a "gay gene" and there never will be. To say that animals exhibit the same behavior is an incomplete argument, because what we are debating is gay MARRIAGE. What you don't see in nature is an exclusively hom.ose.xual dolphin, duck etc that only pairs with those of the same gender, thus refusing to propagate, especially at the same rate that we see in Humans.

      Thirdly, it has nothing to do with hate, but rather truth.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Clara

      Romans, your claims about "evolutionary analysis" are false, and in fact are very far wrong:

      Actually, not every member of a species needs to be active in reproduction, to be a contributor to the continuation of that species. There are many, many cases of cooperative behaviors by non- reproductively active members of a community what contribute to overall species health and continuance, across many species. Just to cite one example, wolf packs typically have many non-reproducing members who contribute greatly to the welfare of the whole pack, and their se.xual orientation in that case is irrelevant. Many other examples exist, across a vast range including insects and mammals. Furthermore, hom.o.se.x.ual behavior is common among significant fractions of many mammal populations. As usual, humans are not as distinct from other species as arrogant religious types wish to think they are.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Huebert

      Romans

      Just because something is genetically determined does not mean that a variant is a genetic defect. For example dark hair is predominate through out the world but no one would call red hair a genetic defect.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Romans

      @ mass debater:

      You seem to be leaving out that key phrase "natural se.xual pairing." You also seem to be missing the point completely. Also, you have to define what causes infertility. Infertility may not be solely genetically related. Environmental factors can also play a part. Scripture says nothing about infertile couples not being able to marry. Why do you keep leaving out certain parts to justify your own presuppositions? The infertility comparison completely misses the mark, sorry.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Answer

      @Romans

      "Thirdly, it has nothing to do with hate, but rather truth."

      Finally we're seeing the end of your rant. For your defeat is already sealed when you utter that nonsense.
      Your twisted version of truth – no more no less.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Answer

      I always look forward to asking the religious moron that question. Tell me all the truth that you hold you twit Romans.

      Spell out all the truth that you harbor by way of your indoctrination. Let the world see your hate.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Romans

      Clara:

      How many of those species mate hom.ose.xually for life?? My point was that if you justify hom.ose.xuality as natural by referencing a genetic predisposition, does that mean it is a beneficial mutation that ADVANCES THE GENE POOL? No, it isn't because it encourages individuals to forego mating and thus reduce the size of the genetic pool

      July 31, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Romans

      @ Answer: Nice caricature answer. It seems that the only person hating here is you. Your intolerance to simple logic is frighteningly telling of most militant atheist liberals I know. I have said nothing hateful here. You, on the other hand, show your colors proudly. How about you direct all that bitterness towards refuting my logical reasoning. My guess is you'd rather be an intolerant hypocrite.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Answer

      "you justify hom.ose.xuality as natural "

      When then in your argument is your justification that it is un-natural? Cite your bible please. I love to see your kind sputter endlessly at the bs in that book.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Answer

      Hypocricy – nice try. In the war of words to free the mind of the abusive indoctrinations from religion – it is a time honored tool. Hardened and useful. I love using it. XD

      July 31, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Romans

      Here's your problem. You keep talking about what's "natural". Most people define natural as something that exists in nature without artificial help or means. Keeping that in mind, since people can and are born gay, then it's natural.

      Furthermore, who are you to say what's best evolutionary wise? Maybe one day we'll all be gay and evolve a different way to reproduce. maybe not. Point is, you're trying to understand something that you are clearly way out of your league on and trying to put a religious spin on it.

      Also, we don't need to keep reproducing, we're reaching capacity on earth for humans and soon, very soon, there's going to be a catastrophe of epic proportions because the earth won't be able to sustain this many humans. Keep that in mind.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Romans

      chuckles:

      Opinion doesn't equal logical, sound reasoning. Please provide the scientific proof that hom.ose.xuality is genetically predisposed??? You can't because it doesn't exist.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Answer

      "You can't because it doesn't exist."

      You're asking for proof.. yes demand your proof! Yes.
      I love that you finally reasoned out why YOUR GOD DOESN'T EXIST. Can't you see your own words?

      LOGIC/ REASONING .. you are one of us! Hoorah. Where is your humble faith? lol

      July 31, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Romans

      @ Answer:

      Here I thought you were actually going to provide something logically coherent. I guess you're just a constant disappointment. Maybe you could find some scientific proof that validates hom.ose.xuality as genetically inherent? Go ahead, i'll let you finally bring something of worth to the debate.

      Here I am thinking that atheists were people who didn't believe anything without evidence.....well I guess this is an exception isn't it.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Answer

      What's that I hear eh idiot? You can't stand that pointing out your sentences as in the use of hypocricy has you undone?

      You want me to feel something? Like I'm not worthy? Try again in your fantasy. You tools aren't worth any more than laughter.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Romans

      @ answer:

      Oh boy, another quality post from Answer full of sound reasoning, logic and scientific proof. I gave you your chance. I'll give you an E for effort. Actually I take that back, F+. You didn't even give it a respectable effort. I guess that's what I get for relying on an atheist liberal to produce a solid fact about their position.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Clara

      Actually Romans, we are getting closer to isolating the genetic basis for hom.ose.xuality. Do try to keep up with modern science. A first year biology course might help you.

      http://phys.org/news84720662.html

      July 31, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Answer

      Oh hey trying the old grade school grading system .. cool. Your kind wants to demean and devalue – always.

      So do another routine that I haven't seen. I've seen a lot.. try them all.

      July 31, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'Romans' is an instance of the circu_mstantial ad hominem fallacy.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      July 31, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Answer

      @Fallacy

      Oh you do ruin the mood. For shame.

      July 31, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Romans

      @ Clara: "we are getting closer to isolating the genetic basis for hom.ose.xuality. Do try to keep up with modern science. A first year biology course might help you."

      Oh Clara, they've been saying that for years now, to no avail. Oh, and thank you for the suggestion. Although I fulfilled that requirement my freshman year of undergrad and I passed on my way to a masters. I'll remember to audit that class again next year when I start my doctorate. Thanks!!

      July 31, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Romans

      Proof like,

      http://esciencenews.com/articles/2008/06/28/hom.ose.xual.behavior.due.genetics.and.environmental.factors

      http://allpsych.com/journal/hom.ose.xuality.html – particularly this paragraph

      "Let us first look at the biological debate. Biological theorists have found substantial instances of an.atomical, genetic, and endo.crine evidence to support their argument. Experiments in biological research date back as far as the late 1930's, beginning with the pioneering research of Alfred Kinsey (for the University of Indiana) on human se.xuality. Kinsey had two goals for his tests: 1) to find out how many adult males engaged in ho.mose.xual behavior, and 2) to suggest theories about it came to be [9]. When asked if they had engaged in ho.mose.xual se.xual relations, a large percent of the population tested answered "no", however when asked if they had engaged in same-s.ex s.exual relations, the percentage answering "yes" nearly doubled. The experiment yielded that 30% of males had experienced at least orgasm in a ho.mose.xual act. The results of this research became the widely popularized Kinsey Scale of Se.xuality. This scale rates all individuals on a spectrum of se.xuality, ranging from 100% heteros.exual to 100% ho.mose.xual, and everything in between [7]. While establishing that as many as 10% of adult males reported having se.xual relations with a same-se.x partner, this research did little more than to put the word hom.os.exual into common language. "

      You can also look at the American Medical Associations website on the subject and a bunch of others.

      Does that count as evidence, logic, reason enough for you?

      July 31, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II, @Colin: "Chad's right, he's ALWAYS right!

      @Chad "It was only time before the incontrovertible logic started to work it's magic!! Welcome to the club boys!

      all in good fun :-)

      July 31, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Romans

      Thank you CNN mods for not allowing a simple post to go through.

      Anyway, You seriously need to read the article you posted. It seems as though the 'proof' you claim to have found in it is not what you thought it was. It also doesn't offer any genetic proof of your claim at all.

      Also, your paragraph about kinsey and a spectrum of s.e.xu.ality doesn't give you any genetic proof of h.om.o.se.xuality either!!! Do you really think that was a logical rebuttal??? A spectrum of se.x.uality even weakens your point, because it suggests that people can move from one end to the other as well as float somewhere in the middle and "enjoy both sides." Come on, you gotta want to be better than that...

      July 31, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Romans

      I did read it, did you?

      In any case, all you need to do is google it and you'll find the countless articles yourself. And why do you have to be so hostile?

      Furthermore, you never answered my question, do you think that you choose to be gay or that you're born that way?

      July 31, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad "It was only time before the incontrovertible logic started to work it's magic!! Welcome to the club boys!"

      Only one more time and you will be tied with the broken clock for the day. :)

      July 31, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II "Only one more time and you will be tied with the broken clock for the day. "

      =>not bad, not bad :-)
      tie score..

      July 31, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • NRA

      Mr. Cathy is free to enjoy his religion, speak freely about his religion and use his profits from his company in any manner he wants. Those are all his rights.

      The LGBT community and their supporters, including elected government officials, all have these same rights too.

      Mr. Cathy has a right to his opinion, and I have always asserted that; you have a right to your opinion; the LGBT Community has a right to their opinion; government officials – Mayor Thomas M. Menino of Boston, Mayor Edwin M. Lee of San Francisco, and, Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago – all have a right to their opinion… These Mayors, ostensibly, understand it is illegal to block a business because of its owners’ religious beliefs; moreover, they too have the right to free speech…

      Consequently, I do not see how these “government officials” who have a right to free speech also, are “attempting to punish the company for the 1st amendment protected views of the CEO or religious expression…”

      Have these government officials initiated any laws, ordinances or any legal barriers to Mr. Cathy or his company?

      NO, they have not! Case closed!

      IF and UNTIL these “government officials” take some form of ACTION – something not covered by the 1st Amendment – you have no case...

      August 6, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
  9. kindless

    This is my experience. Thank you.

    Atheism is good for children and all living things. Thank you.

    July 31, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  10. Snow

    religious fundies are whining that their intolerant behavior is being threatened? wow.. that makes soo much sense. we should drive in hoards to protect their basic rights to discriminate against other who do not fit into their twisted definition of morality now.

    In what sense are they justifying their argument that two people who love each other dearly should not be allowed to call themselves a family? How are they justifying that they should be kept separate and be stripped of all the state privileges that come from being a family member? Oh right, based on a 2000 yr old goat herders rant. That makes so much sense! really?

    July 31, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  11. Chuck

    My problem with Cathy's comments is a very specific point about what Christians can/cannot do according to their belief system. All evangelicals subscribe to the belief that one person cannot become the conscience of another (binding their conscience). So, when Cathy labeled all supporters of gay marriage as prideful and arrogant, he crossed a line that no Christian should ever cross when addressing other people. He could have said that he only supports traditional marriage and left it at that. Instead, he had to disparage others who disagree about a public policy issue. That villification is hateful and wrong and the reason I can't support his franchises. I do agree it's not a reason to not allow them to open a business, but, if their viewpoints do result in discrimination that violates local ordinances, then keep them away.

    July 31, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Tony

      U know what chuck u brought up a very valid point, although very wrong as an evangelist & overall as a human being that resides on this planet his fault in there was simply a sin. unfortunately those who follow their beliefs are never perfect nor free of sin.. although trying to live free of sin, ur never truly free of it. So, although not excusable nor justifiable that was the case in this point. People tend to forget that although one has certain beliefs it is expected of them to be perfect in every which way which it certainly isn't the case. People are people and everyone is gonna have their faults and make mistakes on a regular.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  12. Rainer Braendlein

    Dear gay friends, your gayness is a clear sign that you life not in God's presence, but in the presence of the powers of death. God still invites you to return into his confident community. By God's overwhelming Life and power of Resurrection you can get released from your gayness, and wait for a beautiful wife. God delivered his precious Son for your sins sake, dear gay, don't you think that he will also give you a wife?

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

    I guess we as Christians should not meddle in public affairs too much. If the temporal rulers want allow gay marriage, let them marry. The only thing what we can do is to tell the temporal rulers that God will not be very enthusiastic about gay marriage, and when God puts his food down in heaven it could cause an earthquake on earth.

    Gayness and gay marriage are a clear indicator for disbelief. Someone cannot be a gay and a Christian at the same time. That is impossible. Yet, one should be aware that there are many other sins which cause God's wrath: glutony, addiction for drugs and alcohol, greed for honor, power and riches, anger, hate, lie, envy, etc., etc.. If someone judges a gay, he should be aware that he himself may be judged by his own sins.

    At any rate we cannot allow gays to be Church members or to frequent church services, or to call themselves Christians. A man must decide, if he wants to be a sinner or a saint. Nobody can be a saint and a sinner at the same time. The Church is the "club" of the saints, but not the club of the sinners. Before a gay can become a church member, he has to repent.

    Concerning ordinary gays which we meet daily like neighbours, workmates, classmates, etc.:

    We as Christians have to treat them kindly. This is the clear will of God. Even if they are not willing to accept Jesus, we still shall treat them kindly. If we love the sinners, we tell them the gospel without words.

    Let us remember that Christ died for us, when we still were sinners, and some of us needed many decades to realize God's releasing Grace in Jesus Christ. As long as we live together on earth we must imply that everybody can still become a believer, even if he is about to die (that doesn't mean that you, dear reader, should not convert right now).

    Let us also keep in mind that our body is still sinful, and by any misfortune we can commit heavy sins too. Don't let us neglect the morning prayer where we invite Jesus to rule us, so that our sinful body may not prevail. Let us remember our King David who made some mistakes (notice: David's mistakes are no excuse for a perpetual sinning; David repented after a while, and his faith was restored; we will meet him in heaven).

    A Christian is only a sinner which is wrapped into God's releasing Grace or into Jesus. Only by God's Grace a Christian overcomes the sinfulness of his body. So, a Christian has no reason to become proud, because all glory belongs to God who releases us. Once, we will cast our crowns before him, if we have deserved a crown.

    July 31, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Chuck

      If it's so "clear" than why do so many Christian denominations allow gay members and some support gay marriage? Perhaps it's more accurate to say that "in your opinion..." rather than positioning your views as fact. There is no such thing as a monolithic interpretation of the Bible.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Romans

      There are such things as false teachers, false prophets and wolves. Jesus warned us of these. That's why there is division. If satan can get a pastor to say that gay marriage is ok, then he's achieved his goal.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • WASP

      @romans: Romans
      "There are such things as false teachers, false prophets and wolves. Jesus warned us of these. That's why there is division. If satan can get a pastor to say that gay marriage is ok, then he's achieved his goal.July 31, 2012 at 1:40 pm"

      for there to be a false anything there has to be a truth and the bible has no truth, just pretty little stories to frighten children. the bible should be rated "R" for just the content in the first book.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  13. Jake

    We need some good persecution around here. I am a Christian who lived overseas and people were being imprisoned and murdered. Belief actually grew except in Somalia where they basically killed every Christian. We need some oerspective

    July 31, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  14. Rainer Braendlein

    Why is the Bible trustworthy?

    The Bible was not made-up by a delusional fool like Muhammad in a hot Arabic cave, but developed in the course of the very long history of the people of Israel. The Bible, especially the Old Testament, is well connected with the history of Israel. Hence, the Old Testament is a historical docu-ment which is confirmed by many docu-ments of pagan or gentile historians and chroniclers. In contrary regard the Koran, that lousy cheap novelette, you can hardly find any informations about times, persons, locations in it. Why? It was made-up, and is pure fiction of an Arabic criminal. The Bible is full of times, persons, locations, events, which were and which are real, and which are part of real reality.

    What about the New Testament?

    It is trustworthy, because it is only a continuation of the Old Testament. In contrast the Koran is completely made-up, and doesn't fit together with the Old Testament and the history of Israel.

    Jesus, whose doctrine is the New Testament did not simply rush into history like Mahomet, but was predicted by many prophets of different ages of the Old Testament. Jesus teached nothing new, but only more deeply revealed the teaching about a Redeemer of the Old Testament. Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of a comming Redeemer.

    Last but not least, Jesus worked some million miracles, and that confirmed his divine sonship.

    If you deny Jesus, or his historicity, you are as foolish as someone who denies the Holocaust.

    July 31, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      'the Old Testament is a historical docu-ment"

      No it is not.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Do some study about historical sources outside the Bible, and you will notice that these sources confirm the events, which are depicted in the Bible. That is the clear proof that the Bible is historical.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • ME II

      I thought that there had never been any evidence found that the Jewish people were enslaved by Pharaohs in Egypt.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Snow

      if it was a historical document, the founding people of judeo christian religion are some of the most barbaric butchers with no sense of humanity. and you want to push their morality on to everyone else? what is wrong in your head

      July 31, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • WASP

      @rain: counter points:
      1)bible can't be proven to have anything historically correct, other than a few landmarks........and even harry potter has that much right.
      2) there are so many versions of the bible each of them can't be true.
      VERSIONS: There are 8 primary versions found in history:
      Septuagint – 250 A.D. Written in Greek
      Vulgate- 400 A.D. First version of the Bible which is canonized at the Council of Carthage in 400 A.D. Written in Latin
      Luther's German Bible- 1534 A.D.
      King James Version- 1611 A.D. This is the most widely used versions however it has large number of errors given that none of the writers had a decent understanding of Hebrew.
      Revised Standard Version- 1952 A.D. Literal translation into American English which used the earliest possible text
      New International Version- 1960's & 70's A.D. This is a very good contemporary English version. Another good contemporary English version is New King James Version (NKJV)
      The Youngs Literal Translation is as close to the originals as you can get, translated by Robert Young in 1898 A.D.
      -ENGLISH VERSIONS- Originally there were about 11 of them. In England, circa 1800 there was mainly one source of blblical information availabe to the general public. Whenever questions would arise regarding biblical prophecy the people needed to go to the church elders who in turn would refer to their ' Book of Scriptures ' for answers. These inquisitions became somewhat burdensome to the church. In an effort to alleviate the many inquries, King James wanted the people to have their own copy of the scriptures. He then commissioned scholars, scribes and elders to translate the scriptures in to different languages to accomodate the mas-ses from which the King James Version, ' The Holy Bible ' was derived. if you actually look at what the bible says the original one says "if anybody adds to this book though shou not reach the kingdom of heaven" and it says the same thing about people who take off the king James version has 8 books left then the original bible

      the bible has more violence, death and other vile actions it should be rated "R"

      July 31, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • circular logic

      well me II.. do some research.. read through the same book you are trying to verify authenticity of, to confirm its authenticity.. since the book is written by god, everything said in that is true. It even unequivocally mentions that the the book is written by god and is true.. hence it is verified that it is written by god and is a historical text. what more proof do you need.. :)

      July 31, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      "Do some study about historical sources outside the Bible, and you will notice that these sources confirm the events, which are depicted in the Bible."

      While there are accurate events, places and people described in the old testament, it does not follow that the supernatural events and information is therefore accurate. "Spiderman live in New York, New York is real, therefore Spiderman is real" is an argument any respected historian would accept. George Washington was real, it is accepted that the story of him cutting down the Cherry tree is false, any history book that claims that story to be true would be called into question and would need outside sources to ever think THAT story was true.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Rainer:
      " Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of a comming [sic] Redeemer."
      - Ah, don't you think that Jesus (if he existed) and Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul (and whoever wrote under those names) READ those old-timey "prophecies"? How easy to write stuff up to make them seem "fulfilled".

      "Jesus worked some million miracles, and that confirmed his divine sonship."
      - Really? What is your verified evidence for any of these?

      July 31, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      .is NOT an argument any respected historian would accept

      July 31, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Rainer
      The Bible if rife with historial errors.
      Here's just one – but a rather important one – about Christ.
      Luke tells us that Christ was born when Augustus ordered a global census, which was during the reign of King Herod.
      The only census conducted while Quirinius was legate in Syria affected only Judaea, not Galilee, and took place in A.D. 6-7.
      King Herod died in 4 B.C. – a decade before the purported census.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Yes Rainier, do some research and you will find that everything in the Bible is NOT historical in any way.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      No it didn't. Biblical scholars know when Deuteronomy just :happened" to be discovered. They know when Genesis was assembled from where, (Sumerian myths), and when the Judean priests write the Exodus. They know Isaiah was realy a combo of at least 3 prophets. Really Rainer, you can do better than that.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  15. WASP

    the owner is allowed his view and we are allowed to chose to not eat there. does beg the question however could he have " let this slip" just to drum up business? they say no such thing as "bad publicity"

    July 31, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  16. indogwetrust

    My take: Chick fil a controversy reveals religious bigotry and intolerance are under threat.

    July 31, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  17. indogwetrust

    I can say and think whatever i want to. And as long as i say its gods will then its all right.

    July 31, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      it's the christian bullet proof vest.

      "i'm a h.omophobe - but i'm christian, so it's okay."

      July 31, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  18. indogwetrust

    Oh wait. Its not hate its faith. So its OK.

    July 31, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Who's Your Dog?

      That's because you are looking in the mirror.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  19. Bootyfunk

    boo hoo hoo!

    we're a company with ignorant, prejudice views and we're being held accountable.

    boo hoo hoo!

    July 31, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      How dare people hate our hate.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Booty,

      It is not the gov'ts job to hold them accountable unless they actually practise discrimination in running their business. I personally don't like their views at all and will not do business with them.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Brian M.

      Held accountable? How? What law have they broken? Your free to complain about companies you disagree with but they aren't held accountable for anything. I know it makes you feel good to see it as being "held accountable" but they aren't guilty of anything other than giving his opinion. Last time I checked your opinion isn't against the law. Your free not to go to Chic Fil A but I'm free to go visit them every chance I get! I just went there this morning to buy coffee!

      July 31, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  20. No Truth, Just Claims

    As an atheist I am going to agree with the opinion writer that denying the opportunity for businesses to expand by gov't officials based on religious views is wrong. When the mayor of Boston came out and said he would try and deny Chic-a Fila I was immediately troubled by the implication. I do think our Const.itution will eventually let these politicians know they have overstepped their bounds.

    July 31, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Chad

      Agreed

      July 31, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Rainer
      The Bible if rife with historial errors.
      Here's just one – but a rather important one – about Christ.
      Luke tells us that Christ was born when Augustus ordered a global census, which was during the reign of King Herod.
      The only census conducted while Quirinius was legate in Syria affected only Judaea, not Galilee, and took place in A.D. 6-7.
      King Herod died in 4 B.C. – a decade before the purported census.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Whoops! That reply went in the wrong place!

      July 31, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      This company forces employees to pray, and it's franchisees to post biblical sh1t on the wall. No city wants this kind of trouble. If this were a Muslim company, which forces ALL it's employees to pray, you these people ALL be up in arms ?

      July 31, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      bucky,

      If Chic-a-Fila fires people for not praying (practises discriminationbased on religion), I would agree that the gov't should hold them responsible, but that should be done through the courts, not through elected officials.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:09 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.