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?
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.
I would love to share this with you and your guest...It's a truth ministry that can help...
Please click on the link or go to You tube and type in "TGHC Conroe". New messages are posted every week!
...start at 26:23
...start at 22:15
LOL in Christ
It is already to late... Religous liberty, religion as a whole is already under siege in this country. People need some one to hate and now it is the christians turn in the barrel... The preach inclusive policies and spew hatred towards any one than dares to think ourside their box. Personal liberty will be next... and it is not far off if history is any kind of guide.
Mayflower Compact IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God,. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honor of our King, a Voyage to plant the first Col-.ony in the northern Parts of Vir- gi-.nia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politic, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid:
Really? This whole controversy is over beliefs? Where are the beliefs, and one of the Ten Commandments, in "Thou shalt not commit adultery"? This country is rampant with cheating spouses, yet there isn't any talk or controversy about that? Hippocrates...
Those commandments are outdated and obsolete... just ask anyatheist.. they are made up in the first place anyway.... Progressive inclusionis the new thingin this countery.. and if you are a Christian you are not included... Look at the new!
I love Christfa gs, they and their "uncomfortableness " with gays give new meaning to the word "fa ggot".
New York should spend more time cleaning the big nasty city... The mayor spends to much time in people personal lives instead of running the big nasty city...
I keep hearing about this gay agenda. Conservative Christians, what is this gay agenda?
just to waste time
The H0m0 Agenda, or ideology, consists of a set of beliefs and objectives designed to promote and even mandate acceptance and approval of h0m0, and the strategies used to implement such. This article notes that the goals and means of this movement include indoctrinating students in public school, restricting the free speech of opposition, obtaining special treatment for h0m0, distorting Biblical teaching and science, and interfering with freedom of association. Advocates of the h0m0 agenda seek special rights for h0m0 that other people don't have, such as immunity from criticism (see hate speech, hate crimes). Such special rights will necessarily come at the expense of the rights of broader society. With the ultimate goal of completely changing the very fabric of society to achieve complete s-ex -. ual freedom including peds and any other variant.
In NY the start was, the Stonewall bar after it was a burned-out wreck and four police were injured. Pro-sod leaders declared the violence a success. Interestingly, the anniversary of this event is known today as “Gay Pride Day” and features parades and other events most notable for their public felacio acts It is ironic that the very activists who emerged from this new environment developed the strategy of claiming victim status through the use of such symbols as the pink triangle.
Following the Stonewall acts the Mattachine Action group called for organized resistance but control of the movement was taken out of their hands by a still more radical group Enter, the “Gay Lib Front” At the heart of this new circle of power was Herbert Marcuse a long time Socialist who had learned this and perhaps sod in pre-Nazi Germany
In the wake of the Stonewall riots, “Gay Liberation Fronts” sprang up across the country, using methods of intimidation and coercion to achieve political gains. Immediately they targeted the medical community, whose increasing effectiveness in treating same-s attraction threatened the movement Gay Liberation Fronts, writes Adam, “stormed San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago conventions of psy med and behavior modification,” shouting down speakers and terrorizing audience members
Anytime a scientific organization endorses sod, remember Gittings words: They are running scared.Pro-sod activists have learned that intimidation and strategic alliances work, and they are never hesitant about using intimidation and psyc manipulation to reach the goals of their radical agenda.Adopting terrorism as a means, pro-sod activists set their vicious sights on D.r. David Reuben, one of the best-known psyc in the area of human sxu in 1974. Unbeknownst to Dr. Reuben, pro-sod activists were lying in wait outside one of his lectures and his physical safety was at risk. Pro-sod author Leigh Rutledge describes the attack in her book The Gay Decades, June 16, A fist fight broke out at a Philadelphia playhouse when ten gay activists interrupted a lecture by D.r. David Rueben and denounced him as a criminal for his views on male gay. One policeman and a protestor are injured in the melee.On that same page, the book tells us that, The Centers for Disease Control estimate that gay or bise men account for as much as one-third of the cases of syphilis. Gays have teamed up with the socialists to bring about these changes.
Bob, when you quote the words someone else wrote, it's good manners to credit the actual author. Not only is it the right thing to do, it allows the people who read your words and to scrutinize the source.
You get a lot of your answers from other people's work. Right now, it looks like you got your hands on some anti-gay propaganda. You seem to like quoting all sorts of disreputable sources.
I forgot to mention - the entire concept of the "Hom.os.exual Agenda" was a conservative christian construct - nothing more than a deliberate effort to spread misinformation and and stir up hate. Much like you are doing.
Equality is only bad to those who wish to maintain a position of favor at the expense of others. There is nothing moral about treating others as second-class citizens.
So whats not correct liar
Religion aside, I see nothing wrong here, the dude just expressed his opinion. Live goes on. this is USA Lando of the free. Anybody can practice any religion and say anything. What happens to fredom of speech ?
I totally agree with Chiken fil a CEO , what you going to do enforce you opinion on me ? Protest in front of my house ?
So if he takes money and gives it to organizations that lobby against the lifestyle and makes it hard for them, that's OK...
You can cut the hypocrisy with a knife...
Guys, guys. Stop hating. Seriously. We look like a bunch of as*holes you have no idea how to treat people, especially when you don't see these people face to face. Convenient.
Yelling via internet at people who disagree with you will not change their beliefs, whether they are atheist or Christian.
This article was well written, with logical thought explaining how his statement was not discriminatory. If you classify it as that type, then unless you accept every single belief under the sun, you and your disagreements are also discriminating.
My worst fears about America are realized – both sides of the table have forgotten the meaning of the word tolerance.
tolerance to a qu eer means bend over. qu eers the people that gave the world AIDS
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There's way too much "religious liberty", and I, for one am sick of it. It's merely a convenient excuse to impose and force personal opinions upon others.
I think we need to get more sharia law that would shut fools like you up in a heartbeat
bobby: you sure are a pompous c word. for the sake of argument, let's say it stands for "christian"
Equating hate mongering and exclusionary practices with "Liberty", is like associating fascism with tolerance. The owners of Chick-Fil-A have a right to their opinions, their religion, or their backwards and narrow minded beliefs. But they do not have a right to get away with using their business to fund and perpetuate divisiveness in society, the same society that pays for road construction for delivering their goods to sell, for creating infrastructure so they can build and maintain their businesses, etc. They may be privately owned, but they exist in EVERYONE's cities. If they owned their own property, maintained their own utilities, it would be different. Those of us who are vocal about their stand on marriage inequality, are just making sure that patrons who have eaten at their restaurants before know where Chick-Fil-A stands so they can make an informed decision about how their money is used once it leaves their hands. It's so easy for white men who have never felt the sting of prejudice and hate to act like a victim when their opinions are "challenged", but the truth is those of us who do, are not going to sit back and say nothing when we see a company use their influence to destroy the sense of community that those of us who live in fear know could be so much better.
Atheists destroy society moron the US is a Christian nation built on Christian values prize the fact that you are able to spew your garbage opinion and deluded logic and give thanks to Christians for that ability.There is no change needed in the marriage laws and all can speak their opinion.
Christian values, boy? Like slavery? Like women not being equal citizens?
I guess Bob learned his U.S. history in a church. Anyone with a real education knows that the government of the U.S. was founded on the principal of liberty, by men who were more influenced by reason than by religion.
Actually they do have the right to use their business to promote divisiveness in society. Everyone has the absolute right to free speech; not just people you agree with.
Watch Monumental. That proves this country was based off of Biblical principals. So many people hate Jesus Christ and what He stands for because they don't want God to be over them, they want to be their own gods. Grip reality my neighbors, God is real and he loves you too much to let you live a broken and sad life. You choose, die without purpose, or die with purpose. As for me, my house will serve the Lord.
Markus, instead of watching movie, why don't you study real history? Don't you think that the words of the founding fathers are more significant than biased propaganda from Kirk Cameron?
Take a minute and read the quotes from the men who actually created this nation. Isn't the truth worth your time?
A Part of George Washington's farewell address,,,Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?
"Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced an inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth." – Thomas Jefferson, "Notes on Virginia"
"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose." – Thomas Jefferson to Baron von Humboldt, 1813
"The question before the human race is, whether the God of Nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by ficti.tious miracles?"
"I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved– the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!"
– both from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson
"The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries." – James Madison in a 1803 letter objecting use of gov. land for churches
"If we look back into history for the character of the present sects of Christianity, we shall find few that have not in turns been persecutors and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in Pagans, but practiced it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England blamed persecution on the Roman church, but practiced it on the Puritans. They found it wrong in Bishops, but fell into the practice both here (England) and in New England"–Benjamin Franklin, _Poor_Richard_, 1758
For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. Citi-.zens, by birth or choice, that count has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you in your capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discrimination's. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint efforts of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.
All obstructions to the implementing of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.
This is also from George Washington's farewell address but the last paragraph is so important because it talks about groups of people like gays and atheists a splinter group.
"it talks about groups of people like gays and atheists a splinter group."
like evangelical christians, bobby?
This whole thing has been turned into what Dan Cathy SAID (which of course he has a right to do). What Cathy and Chick-fil-A DID, which was give money to groups that actively fight against basic civil rights. That's what the issue is.
And everyone has a right to use their freedom of speech and association (and avoidance of crappy chicken) to castigate the company's actions (not speech) by avoiding to patronize Chick-fil-A.
There is no basic right to be a pervert. Qu eers the folks who gave the world AIDS
Atheism is honesty, reason, reality, facts, science, honor. Theism is bronze age myths, outright lies, and religious division and mental and physical brutality.
wow. you sound like a religious person. very closed minded and steeped in absolutism.
If theism is so false, then why does everything in the Bible have perfectly logical explainations and reasoning, why has it survived for over 3400 years, why is it treasured as if gold by millions of people, why is there no plausible proof as to disprove its accuracy, and why does it heal people's hearts and give them peace?
Um, Markus? There is nothing to indicate that the bible is anything more than a collection of Middle Eastern myths. There is certainly no proof of the supernatural aspects. For that matter, there is no proof to support the existence of any god.
I suspect that the success of christianity can be directly linked to the success of Western culture. For instance, no one in the Americas (or in Australia) ever heard of your god until Europeans brought him, 1500 years after the alleged life of Christ. That's a long time and a lot of generations condemned to hell because god couldn't be bothered to cross an ocean without human help.
Nothing to indicate the accuracy of the Bible except, History,Geography, Archaeology, Science, Medicine,Theology, Doc umentary Evidences, Mathematics, Language and Personal Testimonies just to cite a few off the top of my head. There are probably thousands more proofs but I am not acquainted with all of them as they are exhaustive. But you take away those few thousand proofs and sure enough there wouldn't be anything.
Ooh! So ancient men knew local history and geography. By your standards, the Greek pantheon must be real as well. After all, Troy was discovered using geographical clues from the Iliad.
As I said before, there is no reason to believe that the bible is anything more than a collection of Middle Eastern myths. There is certainly no evidence of the supernatural events of the bible.
Don't pay attention to Tallulah, she's another Zionist Jew on this site that hate Jesus because he put their man made lies to shame.
Paul is off his meds again.
Well the Parthenon is real as is the pantheon of Saints
"liberty"? yeah, liberty to be bigots like slave owners and segregationists used the so called "bible" to be bigots. USA is a nation of Secular Laws, we are a secular nation...One nation under law, indivisible, with the goal of liberty and justice for all..TRUTH NEVER REQUIRES BELIEF
Lol @ jan who said the bible is historically accurate...I'm not really into fantasy stories....Harry potter lord of the rings bible etc...they are all equally as ridiculous....would you believe these other stories as historically accurate?
First amendment allows everyone to hate and talk about it. Its the action based on it that is limited by law.
The Near-Death Experiences of Hospitalized Intensive Care Patients: A Five Year Clinical Study. (2008)
The Edwin Mellen Press: Lewiston, Queenston, Lampeter.
Here's a good summary of many of such studies:
...or you could just learn to use Google, Bob.
Sorry, this was intended as a reply to an earlier post by Bob regarding near death experiences as proof of God. Here is what the study found:
Dr. Penny Sartori placed playing cards in obvious places on top of operating room cabinets at a hospital in Wales in 2001, while she was working as a nurse, as part of a supervised experiment. Although she's a believer in the afterlife, and doc.umented fifteen cases of reported out-of-body experiences by patients during her research, not one person ever reported seeing the playing cards or even knowing they were there. (Skeptoid)
Thanks for that I will look it up but one out of thousands doesn't say much. I would also like to know if the people recounted any other details while they were dead or there was nothing.
I have heard quite a few stories from the people and a few first hand and found that these kind of studies are filled with people that are looking to put down the findings and not allowing people to have the truth in the experiences that they have had. Its kind of like atheists knowing that there is no God when so many others have found Him including myself. I have seen studies of the Bible that there is no life and although to science it sounds great but its not faith and is dead. God never said come by scientific study He said come by faith which is why you and others never experience the fullness of God. I also asked you because of interest I doubt very seriously you would have the grace to do the same thing.
There are many people who are convinced that they have been abducted by aliens. However, the alien abduction experience is identical to a natural, physical phenomena called "Sleep Paralysis." Even knowing this, despite the lack of any proof, these "abductees" insist that aliens were responsible.
Events remarkably like NDEs have been experienced by fighter pilots and astronauts in high-G training. It is possible that they are caused by lack of oxygen or stress.
The brain is a tricky thing, and what people think they experience may not be what truly happened.
Thank you atheists I really see this is a atheist blog not a gay marriage blog keep using people like the gays to support your own personal agenda what a bunch of users.
You are most welcome.
Wow, I like you now.
Judge not, lest ye be judged, Bob. That kind of hate is going to get you kicked downstairs...
hey bobby: still on your knees, begging like a snivelling little slave for "salvation" ?
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.