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Chick-fil-A controversy shines light on company’s charitable giving
Chick-fil-A’s charitable giving has come under scrutiny in the controversy over its president's opposition to same-sex marriage.
August 3rd, 2012
08:41 AM ET

Chick-fil-A controversy shines light on company’s charitable giving

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) – The website for the WinShape Foundation, a group started by Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy that’s financed almost entirely by Chick-fil-A profits, doesn’t look like a battlefield in the culture war.

The site features warm and fuzzy snapshots of winding country roads and rustic cabins along with links to a cornucopia of social welfare programs the foundation funds from foster homes to kids’ camps to college scholarships that would seem to be the furthest thing from controversial.

The foundation's “simple but profound goal” is also hard to take issue with: “Help ‘shape winners.’ ”

But gay rights groups are incensed about the chain’s financial support for what they say are anti-gay groups. WinShape-backed groups deny that accusation, while WinShape stresses its activities are almost entirely aimed at youth and families, as opposed to conservative advocacy.

Yet WinShape finds itself in the center of a storm over gay rights and religious liberties as Americans take sides in the controversy over Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy’s recently reaffirmed opposition to same-sex marriage.

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"We are very much supportive of the family the biblical definition of the family unit," Dan Cathy, Truett’s son, said in an interview last month. "We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that."

The comments sparked a tsunami of criticism from gay rights advocates and their allies, with a same-sex kiss day at Chick-fil-A restaurants nationwide scheduled for Friday. (Supporters rallied around the chain Wednesday, with an event dubbed Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.)

But gay rights groups appear even more concerned about Chick-fil-A’s charitable giving, most of which is funneled through WinShape. The group received more than $8 million from Chick-fil-A in 2010, the most recent years for which tax records are available.

A fact sheet about Chick-fil-A recently issued by the Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest gay rights group, aims its ire mostly at WinShape.

The fact sheet, titled “Chick-fil-A anti-gay: Company funnels millions to anti-equality groups,” says that the “popular fast food chain has donated millions to groups that demonize (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) people on a daily basis.”

The document enumerates what it calls Chick-fil-A’s “shocking donations” to evangelical groups such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Focus on the Family.

Other gay rights groups have also zeroed in on WinShape’s donations.

A 2011 report from Equality Matters, an arm of the liberal group Media Matters Action Network, said the restaurant’s “charitable division has provided more than $1.1 million to organizations that deliver anti-LGBT messages and promote egregious practices like reparative therapy that seek to ‘free’ people of being gay.”

The WinShape-backed groups that gay rights advocates accuse of being anti-gay reject that label, insisting that they condemn homosexual acts, not gay people.

“Those Christian groups don’t see themselves as hateful organizations it’s a completely different perspective,” said Rusty Leonard, a financial adviser who counsels Christians on charitable giving and who knows the Cathy family. “But as conservative Christians we believe that homosexual activity is sinful.”

Most WinShape-backed groups, such as Focus on the Family and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, are mostly apolitical and are mainstream within the evangelical world.

At the same time, the left-leaning Southern Poverty Law Center has classified some WinShape-backed organizations, such as the Family Research Council, as anti-gay hate  groups.

WinShape spends the vast majority of its money on internal programs like its camps, which cost $5 million to run in 2010, and foster homes, which cost $3.2 million that year.

By comparison, the organization gave $1,000 to Family Research Council in 2010 and $1,000 to Exodus International, a group that for years promoted so-called conversion therapy for gays, though the group is now reassessing that stance.

“The WinShape Foundation and Chick-fil-A’s corporate giving is focused on supporting youth, family and educational programs,” said Steve Robinson, Chick-fil-A’s executive vice president for marketing, in a statement to CNN.com, responding to questions.

“WinShape provides camping programs for more than 13,000 girls and boys annually and 14 foster homes caring for more than 100 children,” the statement continued. "In addition, Chick-fil-A has awarded more than $30 million in Restaurant Team Member college scholarships to hourly employees.”

A public relations firm representing WinShape and Chick-fil-A declined interview requests Thursday.

WinShape’s own programs have a serious Christian tint. Its summer camp for kids “challenges campers to sharpen their character, deepen their Christian faith and relationships,” according to its website.

The foundation’s college scholarships, mostly for current and former Chick-fil-A employees, are to Berry College, a Christian liberal arts school in Georgia. The scholarships are bent on equipping “college students to impact the world for Jesus Christ by following him and living out his unique calling in their lives,” according to WinShape.

For evangelical Christians, such programs make Chick-fil-A a model corporate citizen.

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“On the conservative end of the Christian world, they are seen as being one of the most fabulous examples of Christianity lived out in appropriate ways,” Leonard said. “They support all kinds of wonderful things.”

But for now, the national focus is on outside groups that WinShape supports. The gay rights group GLAAD, for example, recently started a petition to get Dan Cathy to have dinner with a pair of gay parents and their children.

“If Cathy is going to spend millions trying to break apart loving families,” the petition says, “he should at least meet the people his money is hurting."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Food • Gay marriage • Gay rights

soundoff (2,697 Responses)
  1. Chick-a-dee

    @Huebert: The official definition of marriage is doctrine per the Catechism of the Catholic Church. 1601 "The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament."

    August 3, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • ChristardMingle.com

      The catholic church is not official, so who cares? Do you really think non-catholics care what the church says about anything?

      August 3, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      The Catholic church does not dictate law in the United States. You are confusing the modern world with the Dark Ages.

      August 3, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Help us all

      .and all Catholics don't use birth control (wink, wink)

      August 3, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Julian Melancthon

      I am not Catholic, but applaud the Catholic church for taking a moral stand for what is right.

      August 4, 2012 at 9:56 am |
  2. Skwisgaar Skwigelf

    Alls I knows is, I likes the chickens sandwhiches but I likes the alcohols betters. I knows what we needs! "C.o.c.k Tail" Let lol's

    August 3, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  3. Rufus T. Firefly

    This may have been addressed before, but would someone please tell me exactly where Jesus is reported to have said anything negative about ho.mose.xuality? Anything at all?

    August 3, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • pablo

      Jesus didn't have to, His father already said it: "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination" – Leviticus 18:22. Jesus fully believed in every word of the Old Testament, He quoted it often.:)

      August 3, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Which is why all the anti-gay Christians take just as seriously the commandments given by Jesus' father to slay a goat once a week and smear the blood all over yourselves and your homes? You do that too, right?

      My point is, Jesus never said a word about it and if anything his doctrine of not judging others should tell you all you need to know. Christians use religion as an excuse to persecute who they don't like, and in doing so take the Lord's name in vain in order to prop up their own pre-existing prejudices.

      August 3, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • ChristardMingle.com

      @pablo

      If you want gays and lesbians to stop having s.e.x, let them get married. Works every time.

      August 3, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • just passing by

      P.S. Jesus also never said to not judge anyone. He said not to judge in hipocrisy and to judge with love and compassion and mercy. And don't give the "judge not, lest ye be judged" quote. Matthew 7Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
      3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. 6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
      You are to first make just to remove the same sin from your life before you judge another. And how you to know the difference between dogs and pigs if you do not judge?

      August 6, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  4. S0MA

    Sir Isaac Newton: Physicist, Mathematician, Astronomer, Philosopher, Alchemist, Christian Theologist. Considered to be the greatest and most influential scientist to have ever lived. Ironic, is it not? His position was supported and debated by the likes of Liebniz, Laplace and Clarke. But im sure everyone who gets online today to rant about what they think is right and true definitely knew more about theology than these guys. I mean they were just guys who were good at math right? T'was such a long time ago, their views are not relevant, right? The Bible and its teachings are not relevant, its all antiquated...

    Same folks that say 'christards' are typically the ones who have to go look up who these guys were... to do so is to lump together some of the greatest minds that have ever lived. surely the irony is lost on you...

    oh america, you are indeed filled with the most diverse spectrum of peoples... mostly wanna-bes, retards and non-engineers, sadly.

    August 3, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • tendertype

      don't say retard, you are showing your ignorance.

      August 3, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • John Stone

      Hey give the retards some credit ! It's the hoodtards you gotta watch out for.

      August 3, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Help us all

      Retards used in this context implies an individual that appears to be mentally challenged but is not!

      August 3, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Cynthia

      You are correct in saying that Newton was one of the greatest scientific minds that ever lived. However, his perception was clouded by his deep religious beliefs. Case in point – why do people learn the 7 colors of the rainbow? Because Newton said there were 7 – red orange yellow green blue indigo violet. But he was wrong! He was looking for 7 because the importance of that number in the Bible. How many colors are there in the rainbow – an infinite number since it is a spectrum and the colors are not discrete.

      August 3, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  5. Hope

    Trying to push the issue on either side of the spectrum is going nowhere...True Christians are taught to love and respect all human beings but we do not have to like what you do. So someone is gay...that is his or her choice but do not expect the world to accept it. Chick-fil-A has done a great job trying to demonstrate Christain values, as it is their choice. The gay community has strived to get everyone to accept their lifestyle as it is their choice. I do not have to agree with you to respect you as a person. I will not come banging down your door because you do not think or feel the same way I do.

    August 3, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • heavenSnot

      Sadly Hope Christians are not taught all taught to love and respect all human beings. The Catholics, evangelicals, Southern Baptists, Mormons and other fundamentalist types are especially bad in this regard. This is the biggest moral dilemma of our current society. And not just in regard to gays. Values in general are perverted. And this is nothing new – the double-talk of Christianity goes back to its very roots. Yes Jesus was more about love and not having people judge one another (now watch someone quote something about God's judgment and claim that it has something to do with judgment between people). But most of the other characters in that dangerous book called the bible either missed Jesus' message or they chose, for political purposes, to choose a different path, often claiming to do so in his name. And even if they didn't, someone today, for their own political evil purposes, will put their own spin on them. The self-proclaimed "apostle" Paul's words (who is attributed with writing a huge chunk of the NT) are frequently used for someone to wage war with or put someone down. But really it happens with everything from the OT and NT.

      This stuff is pretty obvious.

      August 3, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      HS – Speaking as a Catholic, I disagree. I have never been taught to hate anyone by the Church. There have been more than a few postings of Catholic doctrine here even on this board today. I defy you to show one that encourages hatred of others, as opposed to what someone heard Catholics believe or says we believe. If, in fact, you have experienced hatred (as opposed to the perception of hatred) I submit that it is due to the individuals involved and not the teaching of the Church. The Catholic Church is and will be opposed to gay seex but that is not hate my friend it is a value that we hold. In closing let me apologize for the times whenever someone of the Catholic faith may have expressed hatred towards you as a person or creation, but I doubt if you can actually show an incident of it.

      August 3, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Fred

      Being gay is not a choice, you are born that way. Just as you were born straight, they are born gay. Deal with it.

      August 3, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Erik

      "So someone is gay...that is his or her choice but do not expect the world to accept it."

      All major medical professional organizations concur that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and Medical Associations all agree with this, as does the World Health Organization and the medical organizations of Japan, China, and most recently, Thailand. Furthermore, attempts to change one's sexual orientation can be psychologically damaging, and cause great inner turmoil and depression, especially for Christian gays and lesbians.

      The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.

      On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"

      The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.

      Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).

      There are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.

      August 3, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • shan

      Catholics are many things but in general they are not considered fundamentalists by the way the term is commonly used. I mean, fundamentalists are Protestant for one thing. The same case could be made for Mormonism, as fundamentalism is a literal reading of the Old Testament of the Christian bible...

      August 3, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
  6. mike

    Boo Hoo Hoo Gay rights activists. You can sure put up a fight against whomever is speaking if you don't agree with them. But where is YOUR tolerance for the opinions of others. So Chick doesn't like gays. Big freaking deal. Lots of folks don't care for gays. Unfortunately, they are afraid of the fall out if they speak up. So hey, just shut up and live your lives already.

    August 3, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Jesse

      Back of the bus!

      August 3, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • jb

      Sorry you think it's intolerant of me to not tolerate your intolerance!

      August 3, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Fred

      When the straight people stop bullying us in school, stop calling us "F@ggots", stop murdering us, stop dragging us behind pick up trucks, stop trying to legislate us out of existance, need I go on? Then we will stop OUR fight.

      August 3, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  7. Bob

    Topher, again, since you are so hard of thinking:

    "
    And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

    So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.
    "

    Seriously, really give reading a try. You might learn something.

    August 3, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today

      "hard of thinking" I love it! :):) And how true. Oh that made my afternoon.

      August 3, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • godless and happy

      love the 'hard of thinking.' world would be a much better place without religion....much better!

      August 3, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  8. ChristardMingle.com

    Top 10 Reasons Why Gays and Lesbians Should be Allowed to Get Married.

    1. It's simply the right thing to do.

    2. G.a.y parents have been proven to be just as good parents as straight parents. Also, there are countless children waiting to be adopted and G.a.y persons in wedlock are more likely to have children.

    3. Children that are raised by G.a.y parents have no more chance of being G.a.y children than any other child. This is a notorious lie that has been perpetuated by hate and the extreme conservative right-wing of American politics. Being G.a.y results from nature, not nurture.

    4. To support the troops. "Don't Ask Don't Tell" has been repealed but this doesn't alleviate stress caused by not allowing G.a.y partners to marry. It's not good policy to let G.a.y combatants fight for their country with the uncertainty they have for what might happen to their partner if they die while fighting.

    5. To give survivors rights to G.a.y couples. Currently G.a.y partners are not able to fully exercise their right to handle the legal matters of their dying partner and cannot fully be there for them in their final years. This is an insult to humanity to deny G.a.y persons of the dignity of having their most loved and trusted person in the world be there during their last days.

    6. For economy stability. Not just for the tax credits that straight married people enjoy, but also for the stability of the American economy. Allowing G.a.y people to get married would give a growing population increased spending power. The tax benefits and extension of credit with two incomes in a married relationship could increase spending in industries such as durable goods, home improvement, automobiles, childcare, services, event planning, the economic benefits are endless!

    7. G.a.y people deserve happiness just as much as straight people. Happiness derives from the love and devotion that comes from marriage. While it's true that many G.a.y people are happy with the arrangement they currently have. They have two incomes, successful careers, and if they don't have children they more have more disposable income, but they commonly still feel like something is missing.

    8. To reduce depression in adolescents. Giving G.a.y children the hope that they can get married some day and have children in a socially acceptable country will reduce depression among G.a.y young people. Straight children are allowed this freedom and should be no surprise that many G.a.y teenagers experience extreme depression.

    9. To reduce G.a.y bullying in schools. If we legalize G.a.y marriage, there will be one less reason for G.a.y children to get teased. They will be less reluctant to be ashamed of their personal preference and will have hope that they can be just as happy as their straight counterparts.

    10. To help end the hate and intolerance of h.o.m.o.s.e.xuality in America. Just because America has a long history of prejudice that's no reason to keep perpetuating it. The unwelcoming fringes of our society seems to become accustomed to moving from alienating one demographic to another and the resistance to G.a.y marriage is just another example of prejudice in America.

    August 3, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • ChristardMingle.com

      Honorable Mention:

      1. Gays and Lesbians have a right to be miserable too.

      2. If you don't like h.o.m.o.s.e.x.uals, tell straight people to stop having so many gay babies.

      3. Gay marriages should be legal everywhere because I would watch the s.h.i.t out of gay divorce court.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Reality

      o "Abrahamics" believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the g-ay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore ga-ys are ga-y because god made them that way.

      To wit:

      1. The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:

      “ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] "

      2. "Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8

      3. See also the Philadelphia Inquirer review “Gay Gene, Deconstructed”, 12/12/2011. Said review addresses the following “How do genes associated with ho-mose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?”

      Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions supposedly abide by the rules of no adu-ltery or for-nication allowed.

      And because of basic biology differences said monogamous ventures should always be called same-se-x unions not same-se-x marriages.
      To wit:

      From below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, ga-y s-exual activity is still mutual mas-turbation caused by one or more complex s-exual differences. Some differences are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O'Donnell.
      Yes, heteros-exuals practice many of the same "moves" but there is never a doubt who is the female and who is the male.

      As noted, there are basic biological differences in gay unions vs. heterose-xual marriage. Government benefits are the same in both but making the distinction is important for census data and for social responses with respect to potential issues with disease, divorce and family interactions.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      my fiance are straight against hate. we fully support the rights of our LGBT brothers and sisters to marry.

      christians, g.ay marriage is on the horizon federally. it's going to happen. go cry in a corner somewhere.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Eric

      Actually there is no evidence of being gay as genetic. Yes there was a study in 1991 where 52% of twin brothers were both ga.y Well 48% were not and the error factor was not published. The biggest thing about this is they lived in the same home so nature vs nuture can not be seperated. so there is no evidence for babies being ga.y...

      August 3, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Erik

      "Actually there is no evidence of being gay as genetic. "

      All major medical professional organizations concur that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and Medical Associations all agree with this, as does the World Health Organization and the medical organizations of Japan, China, and most recently, Thailand. Furthermore, attempts to change one's sexual orientation can be psychologically damaging, and cause great inner turmoil and depression, especially for Christian gays and lesbians.

      The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.

      On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"

      The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.

      Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).

      There are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.

      August 3, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Eric

      Funny just because you have not found GOD does not mean he does not exist

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

      Using evolutionary theory if it is genetic, logic would say will if i do not reproduce how can I pass along a gene.. In theory it should breed itself out.

      What has be found is that a, and I dont remember to statistic, high persentage of ga.ys had some sort of abuse in there early life, to help support that is a stat i do remember that 40% of child molestion was done at the hand of openly ga. y people. Wow see less then half...Not so since the Ga. y community is 2 to 3% of the population. That is hard facts. Does it mean all Ga.ys are pedofiles no just a higher percentage then non ga. ys I wonder why that is. Or can tha be explaine geneticly

      August 3, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "What has be found is that a, and I dont remember to statistic, high persentage of ga.ys had some sort of abuse in there early life, to help support that is a stat i do remember that 40% of child molestion was done at the hand of openly ga. y people."

      That is all lies. 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."

      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 3, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today

      Eric "just because you have not found GOD.."

      Strong minds don't need to run looking for make-up stuff to validate their fears. And by the way everyone knows Eric with a "c" is soooo old-school. (two snaps!)

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

      Eric – trying to read your attempts at reason (with no backing whatsoever) is almost as hard as trying to figure out your mangled typing. Please stop both.

      August 3, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Pete

      Eric you forget the fact that if it is genetic then the gene is passed from straight parents to their children.

      August 3, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • mike

      11. Gays don't reproduce.

      August 3, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  9. ChristardMingle.com

    Aids came from f.a.g.s having s.e.x with monkeys.

    God is watching us mas,turbate.

    God lives inside churches so go there to find Him.

    Athiests hate God even though they don't believe.

    Amen. (Saying Amen pleases God)

    August 3, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Anon

      Not sure if poe or really christarded. Hard to tell the difference these days.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Eric

      I smell a troll

      August 3, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Anon

      I smell a christard.

      August 3, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  10. FamilyFirst2

    Regardless....Americas needs to stop focusing on peoples belief (that will be an argument nobody wins) and start focusing about more important issues in the world such as our economy, creating more jobs in America, War overseas_bringing our Troops home, Terrorism in America, protecting our borders from ALL illegals, the Drug Cartel war in Mexico that affects people living in the South, and protecting children from abuse, pedophiles, self esteem issues and giving them the best education so they can have a future in this country! These things concern my family and what should be a bigger topic in this country!

    August 3, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • David

      "These things concern my family and what should be a bigger topic in this country!"

      This is about protecting my family by allowing me to marry my partner to obtain the same civil rights that you have when you get married.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • FamilyFirst2

      David, can you give me examples of what civil rights. I don't many gay friends so I don't understand of what is really needed from others. I wasn't be rude or anything, where we are from we worry more about violence in schools, streets and keeping our children safe and working to pay our home. I really don't concern myself with political views, so I really don't know.... do you mean wanting healthcare that is too expensive to pay for that you dont have enough to pay your mortgage.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      FamilyFirst2: What if your definition of a family unit? I'm asking you to think about that without the use of a bible. What David is saying is presently within the United States there is great controversy about whether or not same gender couples should be awarded the same rights as opposite sex couples...these rights include benefits; right to marry; right to have children and/or adopt...all basic rights that opposite sex couples have. They are not asking for special treatment...they are saying straight out that they have found that one person in this world who makes them happy and they want to spend their lives with that person...is it so wrong that they are happy?...think of it this way for one second, if these people are not causing harm to society in any way-and they really aren't; why should they be judged by you or I based solely on who they choose to love? There have been studies done on how children raised by same gender parents compare to children raised by opposite sex couples and the results are astoundingly close across the board.
      I'm as straight as they come but some of my best friends are same gender couples and amazing people. If you only have your belief to justify hate or bigotry, you need to re-examine your belief. I'd like to think people can be better than that...live and let live.

      August 3, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      FamilyFirst2: What is your definition of a family unit? I'm asking you to think about that without the use of a bible. What David is saying is presently within the United States there is great controversy about whether or not same gender couples should be awarded the same rights as opposite sex couples...these rights include benefits; right to marry; right to have children and/or adopt...all basic rights that opposite sex couples have. They are not asking for special treatment...they are saying straight out that they have found that one person in this world who makes them happy and they want to spend their lives with that person...is it so wrong that they are happy?...think of it this way for one second, if these people are not causing harm to society in any way-and they really aren't; why should they be judged by you or I based solely on who they choose to love? There have been studies done on how children raised by same gender parents compare to children raised by opposite sex couples and the results are astoundingly close across the board.
      I'm as straight as they come but some of my best friends are same gender couples and amazing people. If you only have your belief to justify hate or bigotry, you need to re-examine your belief. I'd like to think people can be better than that...live and let live.

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

      "David, can you give me examples of what civil rights."

      Tax Benefits
      -–Filing joint income tax returns with the I R S and state taxing authorities.
      -–Creating a "family partnership" under federal tax laws, which allows you to divide business income among family members.
      Estate Planning Benefits
      -–Inheriting a share of your spouse's estate.
      -–Receiving an exemption from both estate taxes and gift taxes for all property you give or leave to your spouse.
      -–Creating life estate trusts that are restricted to married couples, including QTIP trusts, QDOT trusts, and marital deduction trusts.
      -–Obtaining priority if a conservator needs to be appointed for your spouse – that is, someone to make financial and/or medical decisions on your spouse's behalf.
      Government Benefits
      -–Receiving Social Security, Medicare, and disability benefits for spouses.
      -–Receiving veterans' and military benefits for spouses, such as those for education, medical care, or special loans.
      -–Receiving public assistance benefits.
      -–Employment Benefits
      -–Obtaining insurance benefits through a spouse's employer.
      -–Taking family leave to care for your spouse during an illness.
      -–Receiving wages, workers' compensation, and retirement plan benefits for a deceased spouse.
      -–Taking bereavement leave if your spouse or one of your spouse's close relatives dies.
      Medical Benefits
      -–Visiting your spouse in a hospital intensive care unit or during restricted visiting hours in other parts of a medical facility.
      -–Making medical decisions for your spouse if he or she becomes incapacitated and unable to express wishes for treatment.
      Death Benefits
      -–Consenting to after-death examinations and procedures.
      -–Making burial or other final arrangements.
      Family Benefits
      -–Filing for stepparent or joint adoption.
      -–Applying for joint foster care rights.
      -–Receiving equitable division of property if you divorce.
      -–Receiving spousal or child support, child custody, and visitation if you divorce.
      Housing Benefits
      -–Living in neighborhoods zoned for "families only."
      -–Automatically renewing leases signed by your spouse.
      Consumer Benefits
      -–Receiving family rates for health, homeowners', auto, and other types of insurance.
      -–Receiving tuition discounts and permission to use school facilities.
      -–Other consumer discounts and incentives offered only to married couples or families.
      -–Other Legal Benefits and Protections
      -–Suing a third person for wrongful death of your spouse and loss of consortium (loss of intimacy).
      -–Suing a third person for offenses that interfere with the success of your marriage, such as alienation of affection and criminal conversation (these laws are available in only a few states).
      -–Claiming the marital communications privilege, which means a court can't force you to disclose the contents of confidential communications between you and your spouse during your marriage.
      -–Receiving crime victims' recovery benefits if your spouse is the victim of a crime.
      -–Obtaining immigration and residency benefits for noncitizen spouse.
      -–Visiting rights in jails and other places where visitors are restricted to immediate family.

      August 3, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • 2Cents

      "David, can you give me examples of what civil rights"

      The NAACP has passed a resolution endorsing same-sex marriage as a civil right, putting it stamp on an issue that has divided the black community.

      The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's board voted at a leadership retreat in Miami on Saturday to back a resolution supporting marriage equality, calling the position consistent with the equal protection provision of the US constitution.

      "The mission of the NAACP has always been to ensure political, social and economic equality of all people," board chairwoman Roslyn M Brock said in a statement. "We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law."

      Same-sex marriage is legal in six states and the District of Columbia, but 31 states have passed amendments to ban it.

      The NAACP vote came about two weeks after President Barack Obama announced his support for gay marriage, setting off a flurry of political activity in a number of states. Obama's announcement followed vice-president Joe Biden's declaration in a television interview that he was "absolutely comfortable" with gay couples marrying.

      "Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law. The NAACP's support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the fourteenth amendment of the United States constitution and equal protection of all people" said NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous, a strong backer of gay rights.

      Gay marriage has divided the black community, with many religious leaders opposing it. In California, exit polls showed about 70% of black people opposed same-sex marriage in 2008. In Maryland, black religious leaders helped derail a gay marriage bill last year. But state lawmakers passed a gay marriage bill this year.

      Pew Research Center polls have found that African Americans have become more supportive of same-sex marriage in recent years, but remain less supportive than other groups. A poll conducted in April showed 39% of African-Americans favor gay marriage, compared with 47% of white people. The poll showed 49% of black people and 43% of white people are opposed.

      The Human Rights Campaign, a leading gay rights advocacy group, applauded the NAACP's step.

      "We could not be more pleased with the NAACP's history-making vote – which is yet another example of the traction marriage equality continues to gain in every community," HRC president Joe Solmonese said in a statement.

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

      Just becuase you are simple minded and can't focus on more than one thing at a time doesn't mean the rest of us are not capable of it.

      August 3, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Hope

      AMEN!

      August 3, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today

      Well I feel for you FamilyFirst2. Those things you mention are huge problems affecting many people. But they will not be addressed properly until the moral character of our society changes. Greed and fear is the best way to describe our current overpopulated society. And the (fake) moral majority are the ones with the most skewed values that are preventing anything from being "fixed". These are the same people who want to judge gays. They try to justify their fear and judgment of others using the most untrustworthy parts of their religions. (Christianity is the worst because the main figure's teachings so conflicts with all other characters in that dangerous book.) So, even though it may seem unimportant now, any civil rights movement is paramount, not only for those that are the subject of the movement, but to improve the moral character of the society in general.

      August 3, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  11. Bob

    john, since you won't use reply, I'll return the favor:

    Way to utterly miss what I said in my post. First, note that I am quoting both NT and OT. Then, read the part about why some of the OT violence was ever in there. Seriously, read it again, more carefully this time:

    Numbers 31:17-18
    17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
    18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

    Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

    Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

    Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

    Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

    And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

    So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

    August 3, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Amy

      Bob, you will never understand God because of your pride. Due to your pride you will always hate God.

      Job 40:11-12

      11 Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one [that is] proud, and abase him.

      12 Look on every one [that is] proud, [and] bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place.

      Psalms 12:3 The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, [and] the tongue that speaketh proud things:

      August 3, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Anon

      The believers mostly use cognitive dissonance and mental gymnastics to ignore what you wrote.
      I call it global Stockholm syndrome since they defend that imaginary piece of $#it Yahweh/Jesus/Jehovah to the extreme.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Bob

      Amy, please try actually responding to the content in my post. But after you've read it, this time. And no personal attacks please; that would be too typically Christian of you.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Eric

      Anon for a GOD and savior you do not believe in there is a lot of hate there. How can you hate something you believe does not exist. Maybe you really do believe he exists down deep you are just upset and blame GOD misguidedly

      August 3, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Anon

      The way I despise Joffrey Baratheon from Game of Thrones is the same way I despise the Yahweh/Jesus/Jehovah from the bible. They're both fictional characters and sociopaths.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Huebert

      @Anon

      WOO Song of Ice and Fire. :D

      August 3, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today

      @Amy. "Bob, you will never understand God because of your pride. " Please. You will never understand not needed to believe in fairy tales because of your:

      pride (also)
      need to have time when you're not responsible for thinking and can try to let someone else do it for you
      tradition (the bad side of tradition – since, like pride, they are always double-edged swords)

      August 3, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  12. BoldGeorge

    "...the foundation funds – from foster homes to kids’ camps to college scholarships – that would seem to be the furthest thing from controversial."

    Oh yes! This is seriously a hate-group. Obviously I'm being sarcastic but to say you are a hater because you give an opinion about a personal belief, which by the way, was made on a religious radio station, and then be blasted as a hater really makes no type of sense whatsoever. And by the way, before this whole fiasco, I didn't realize this chain was so charitable. Yes...serious haters (not).

    August 3, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      To me this speaks to the core of the issue. It's not about just about gay rights, it's about tearing down Christian values. If they can demonize Christian thought, stop people's expression, disable their companies, ban their foundations and infiltrate every aspect of society, they can overturn Christian culture. Many of them openly espouse this agenda. Gays are cooperating and being used as foils by the hard core leftists who seek to overturn freedom in this country. The left knows that the Church is the last bulwark of freedom to overcome. Stand fast my friends and EAT MOR CHIKIN!

      August 3, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Conservative Atheist

      My son just started attending public school, and I found out that CFA has been a long time supporter.
      Among the other things they do, they raise money to support our kids education.

      That may just be here in Colorado.

      August 3, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  13. AverageJoe76

    So you (the majority) want gays (the minority) to basically act the way you want them to act so that it's 'acceptable' by your observations, right? They should not offend your eye?

    Land of the free.... (ahhhh)

    August 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • pervert alert

      Don't think qu eers need to act at all. It is a disgusting unnatural perversion of life and should be criminal. Qu eers the folks who gave the world AIDS

      August 3, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • .

      "Don't think qu eers need to act at all. It is a disgusting unnatural perversion of life and should be criminal. Qu eers the folks who gave the world AIDS"

      Until recently, the origins of the HIV-2 virus had remained relatively unexplored. HIV-2 is thought to come from the SIV in Sooty Mangabeys rather than chimpanzees, but the crossover to humans is believed to have happened in a similar way (i.e. through the butchering and consumption of monkey meat). It is far rarer, significantly less infectious and progresses more slowly to AIDS than HIV-1. As a result, it infects far fewer people, and is mainly confined to a few countries in West Africa.

      In May 2003, a group of Belgian researchers published a report in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. By analysing samples of the two different subtypes of HIV-2 (A and B) taken from infected individuals and SIV samples taken from sooty mangabeys, Dr Vandamme concluded that subtype A had passed into humans around 1940 and subtype B in 1945 (plus or minus 16 years or so). Her team of researchers also discovered that the virus had originated in Guinea-Bissau and that its spread was most likely precipitated by the independence war that took place in the country between 1963 and 1974 (Guinea-Bissau is a former Portuguese colony). Her theory was backed up by the fact that the first European cases of HIV-2 were discovered among Portuguese veterans of the war, many of whom had received blood transfusions or unsterile injections following injury, or had possibly had relationships with local women.

      Given the evidence we have already looked at, it seems highly likely that Africa was indeed the continent where the transfer of HIV to humans first occurred (monkeys from Asia and South America have never been found to have SIVs that could cause HIV in humans). In May 2006, the same group of researchers who first identified the Pan troglodytes troglodytes strain of SIVcpz, announced that they had narrowed down the location of this particular strain to wild chimpanzees found in the forests of Southern Cameroon . By analysing 599 samples of chimp droppings (P. T. troglodytes are a highly endangered and thus protected species that cannot be killed or captured for testing), the researchers were able to obtain 34 specimens that reacted to a standard HIV DNA test, 12 of which gave results that were virtually indistinguishable from the reactions created by human HIV. The researchers therefore concluded that the chimpanzees found in this area were highly likely the origin of both the pandemic Group M of HIV-1 and of the far rarer Group N. The exact origins of Group O however remain unknown.

      HIV Group N principally affects people living in South-central Cameroon, so it is not difficult to see how this outbreak started. Group M, the group that has caused the worldwide pandemic, was however first identified in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Repub lic of Con go. It is not entirely clear how it transferred from Cameroon to Kinshasa, but the most likely explanation is that an infected individual travelled south down the San gha river that runs through Southern Cam eroon to the River Con go and then on to Kin shasa, where the Group M epidemic probably began.

      Just as we do not know exactly who spread the virus from Cam eroon to Kin shasa, how the virus spread from Africa to America is also not entirely clear. However, recent evidence suggests that the virus may have arrived via the Cari bbean island of H aiti.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • pervert alert

      Qu eers = unrestrained San Francisco monkey humpers. Qu eers the folks who gave the world AIDS

      August 3, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • .

      "Qu eers = unrestrained San Francisco monkey humpers. Qu eers the folks who gave the world AIDS"

      TROLL ALERT

      August 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • pervert alert

      Attempting to restrain the free speech won't work dot. The whole world is wise to qu eer bull sh it. Qu eers the folks who gave AIDS to the world.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • .

      "Attempting to restrain the free speech won't work dot. The whole world is wise to qu eer bull sh it. Qu eers the folks who gave AIDS to the world."

      Emotional maturity is defined as: the ability to express one’s own feelings and convictions balanced with consideration for the thoughts and feelings of others.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Eric

      Dont let a couple comments lead you to that decision. People can choose to behave anyway they want. But when it comes to laws and policies this is a democracy lets put it to a vote. Oh wait it already was... Thats how a democrocy works.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      @Eric – I just need America to change the slogan from "Land of the Free, Home of the Brave" to "Land of the people the majority deem equal and Home of we-gotta-keep-doing-this-over-and-over-to-some-minority". That's all. Why can't anyone paint the same similarities to when blacks weren't allowed to marry whites...... by law?

      August 3, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "But when it comes to laws and policies this is a democracy lets put it to a vote. Oh wait it already was... Thats how a democrocy works."

      Actually no, we have the court system as a way to have check and balances. 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 3, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today

      Uggh. well pervert alert is like having an even more uneducated Michele Bachmann speak for you, so maybe it's better to just let him rant on without much response. lol But he sure seems frustrated – i guess his sister denied him again last night.

      August 3, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  14. JT

    Every day I go through life seeing STR8s kissing and pawing at each other.

    August 3, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • pervert alert

      You poor, hard done by little fairy ! Qu eers the folks who gave the world AIDS

      August 3, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • .

      "You poor, hard done by little fairy ! Qu eers the folks who gave the world AIDS"

      Until recently, the origins of the HIV-2 virus had remained relatively unexplored. HIV-2 is thought to come from the SIV in Sooty Mangabeys rather than chimpanzees, but the crossover to humans is believed to have happened in a similar way (i.e. through the butchering and consumption of monkey meat). It is far rarer, significantly less infectious and progresses more slowly to AIDS than HIV-1. As a result, it infects far fewer people, and is mainly confined to a few countries in West Africa.

      In May 2003, a group of Belgian researchers published a report in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. By analysing samples of the two different subtypes of HIV-2 (A and B) taken from infected individuals and SIV samples taken from sooty mangabeys, Dr Vandamme concluded that subtype A had passed into humans around 1940 and subtype B in 1945 (plus or minus 16 years or so). Her team of researchers also discovered that the virus had originated in Guinea-Bissau and that its spread was most likely precipitated by the independence war that took place in the country between 1963 and 1974 (Guinea-Bissau is a former Portuguese colony). Her theory was backed up by the fact that the first European cases of HIV-2 were discovered among Portuguese veterans of the war, many of whom had received blood transfusions or unsterile injections following injury, or had possibly had relationships with local women.

      Given the evidence we have already looked at, it seems highly likely that Africa was indeed the continent where the transfer of HIV to humans first occurred (monkeys from Asia and South America have never been found to have SIVs that could cause HIV in humans). In May 2006, the same group of researchers who first identified the Pan troglodytes troglodytes strain of SIVcpz, announced that they had narrowed down the location of this particular strain to wild chimpanzees found in the forests of Southern Cameroon . By analysing 599 samples of chimp droppings (P. T. troglodytes are a highly endangered and thus protected species that cannot be killed or captured for testing), the researchers were able to obtain 34 specimens that reacted to a standard HIV DNA test, 12 of which gave results that were virtually indistinguishable from the reactions created by human HIV. The researchers therefore concluded that the chimpanzees found in this area were highly likely the origin of both the pandemic Group M of HIV-1 and of the far rarer Group N. The exact origins of Group O however remain unknown.

      HIV Group N principally affects people living in South-central Cameroon, so it is not difficult to see how this outbreak started. Group M, the group that has caused the worldwide pandemic, was however first identified in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Repub lic of Con go. It is not entirely clear how it transferred from Cameroon to Kinshasa, but the most likely explanation is that an infected individual travelled south down the San gha river that runs through Southern Cam eroon to the River Con go and then on to Kin shasa, where the Group M epidemic probably began.

      Just as we do not know exactly who spread the virus from Cam eroon to Kin shasa, how the virus spread from Africa to America is also not entirely clear. However, recent evidence suggests that the virus may have arrived via the Cari bbean island of H aiti.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • pervert alert

      A lot of San Francisco qu eers eat tainted monkey meat do they. Qu eers the folks who unleashed AIDS on the world.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "A lot of San Francisco qu eers eat tainted monkey meat do they. Qu eers the folks who unleashed AIDS on the world."

      This poster is a coward and can't comprehend the real truth, even when it's been put right in front of their face. You really should seek professional help for your poor reading comprehension skills.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • pervert alert

      What ever one qu eer lies to another qu eer will swear to. Qu eers the folks who gave the world AIDS

      August 3, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • .

      "What ever one qu eer lies to another qu eer will swear to. Qu eers the folks who gave the world AIDS"

      TROLL ALERT

      August 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    August 3, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • God

      I have a plan. Stop screwing it up with your prayers.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!|

      August 3, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today

      If you pray long and hard – you'll have a stool of a different color!

      August 3, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • kindless

      Atheism, along with B vitamins and good exercise is wonderful for childrent and all kinds of people. We thought Chrisitanity would be good for the weaker-minded people of the world, but as it turns out – it was a bad idea since politics got into it pretty early on. I'm just saying.

      August 3, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  16. JT

    All these Bible quotes and references are pure nonsense. Believe the Bible all you want, but stop forcing others to follow it or make laws based on it. Can I start forcing YOU to live YOUR life according to Harry Potter or Twilight?

    August 3, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      You can if you get enough votes

      August 3, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      @ JT – "but stop forcing others to follow it or make laws based on it"

      Who is forcing others to do anything? If anything, these gay rights supporters are trying to heavily influence entire communities to boycott, ban, banish, etc. this eating chain. Mr. Cathy just gave his opinion. So, who is really forcing who?

      August 3, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
  17. Mr. Cathy

    Please everyone. Go back to biblical marriage. Women are property. Nuff said.

    August 3, 2012 at 11:54 am |
  18. Get Real

    I am going to have lunch at Chick Filet!

    August 3, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      I ate there last night. Good chicken and the fruit bowl was very fresh.

      August 3, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • sam

      No one gives a shit.

      August 3, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  19. Sylvia santavicca goson

    God bless chick filet and for standing in boldness for the truth...our prayers are with you and your families for standing in our Christian beliefs, put on the armor of god and the breastplate of rightousness,and who cares about our Muslim Chicago mayor...pray for our leaders in November. Sylvia and my entire women's bible study group

    August 3, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Huebert

      They are standing in the name of religion, not truth.

      Also Obama is not a Muslim he is a Christian. To say otherwise is to demonstrate profound ignorance or delusion.

      August 3, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      They are standing for freedom of speech. An American value.

      Rahm Emannuel is the mayor of Chicago. To say he is the President shows your ignorance

      August 3, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Huebert

      @Bill

      D@mn it I need to read better, I saw "Chicago Politician" and made an as.sumption.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      An assumption? Well what do you know? An assumption.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Huebert

      @Bill

      I made a mistake and I admitted it. Would you like to continue being a d!ck about it?

      August 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Get off your high horse Huebert

      August 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Huebert

      Stop being a giant ccok Bill.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • J.W

      Lol I actually thought the same thing at first until I looked more carefully.

      August 3, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      OOOH I got called a name. That must mean your argument is valid and I'm a hater

      August 3, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Huebert

      No, it means you are being a ccok and got called out on it, neither of us have made an argument.

      August 3, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  20. LilBitt

    Shame on CNN!!! Why don't you praise the owners of Chick-Fil-A for their Christain Marriage Retreat and other charitable contibutions?
    Christains would be more tolerant towards Gays if the Gays were not so 'In your Face' with their Tacky pride parades (where they dress like they were going to a Tacky-Party-for-Streewalkers), and now they have 'Kiss-a-Gay' at Chick-Fil-A's......They just don't get it....They would be more acceptable if they did normal things...acted normally in public...showed Christains respect......Maybe do charitable work for warranted causes (as sponcers)......
    TOO MUCH PDA!!! Look at me crap........it's just making us more anti-Gay.....

    August 3, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Huebert

      So gays don't get to demonstrate their culture, but Christians do? You can kiss your husband or wife in public but ho.mose.xuals can't? Pleas tell me how that is remotely just.

      August 3, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • pervert alert

      How just is it that millions have died and suffer because qu eers unleashed AIDS on the world. Qu eers the folks who gave the world AIDS.

      August 3, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • God

      Thank you for being concerned about all the gays who have suffered.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Huebert

      @Pervert

      That is simply a lie.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • .

      "How just is it that millions have died and suffer because qu eers unleashed AIDS on the world. Qu eers the folks who gave the world AIDS."

      Until recently, the origins of the HIV-2 virus had remained relatively unexplored. HIV-2 is thought to come from the SIV in Sooty Mangabeys rather than chimpanzees, but the crossover to humans is believed to have happened in a similar way (i.e. through the butchering and consumption of monkey meat). It is far rarer, significantly less infectious and progresses more slowly to AIDS than HIV-1. As a result, it infects far fewer people, and is mainly confined to a few countries in West Africa.

      In May 2003, a group of Belgian researchers published a report in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. By analysing samples of the two different subtypes of HIV-2 (A and B) taken from infected individuals and SIV samples taken from sooty mangabeys, Dr Vandamme concluded that subtype A had passed into humans around 1940 and subtype B in 1945 (plus or minus 16 years or so). Her team of researchers also discovered that the virus had originated in Guinea-Bissau and that its spread was most likely precipitated by the independence war that took place in the country between 1963 and 1974 (Guinea-Bissau is a former Portuguese colony). Her theory was backed up by the fact that the first European cases of HIV-2 were discovered among Portuguese veterans of the war, many of whom had received blood transfusions or unsterile injections following injury, or had possibly had relationships with local women.

      Given the evidence we have already looked at, it seems highly likely that Africa was indeed the continent where the transfer of HIV to humans first occurred (monkeys from Asia and South America have never been found to have SIVs that could cause HIV in humans). In May 2006, the same group of researchers who first identified the Pan troglodytes troglodytes strain of SIVcpz, announced that they had narrowed down the location of this particular strain to wild chimpanzees found in the forests of Southern Cameroon . By analysing 599 samples of chimp droppings (P. T. troglodytes are a highly endangered and thus protected species that cannot be killed or captured for testing), the researchers were able to obtain 34 specimens that reacted to a standard HIV DNA test, 12 of which gave results that were virtually indistinguishable from the reactions created by human HIV. The researchers therefore concluded that the chimpanzees found in this area were highly likely the origin of both the pandemic Group M of HIV-1 and of the far rarer Group N. The exact origins of Group O however remain unknown.

      HIV Group N principally affects people living in South-central Cameroon, so it is not difficult to see how this outbreak started. Group M, the group that has caused the worldwide pandemic, was however first identified in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Repub lic of Con go. It is not entirely clear how it transferred from Cameroon to Kinshasa, but the most likely explanation is that an infected individual travelled south down the San gha river that runs through Southern Cam eroon to the River Con go and then on to Kin shasa, where the Group M epidemic probably began.

      Just as we do not know exactly who spread the virus from Cam eroon to Kin shasa, how the virus spread from Africa to America is also not entirely clear. However, recent evidence suggests that the virus may have arrived via the Cari bbean island of H aiti.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • schubert

      CNN is just reporting lilBitt. they reported those praise chik-fila as well as those who condemn it.

      "On the conservative end of the Christian world, they are seen as being one of the most fabulous examples of Christianity lived out in appropriate ways,” Leonard said. “They support all kinds of wonderful things."

      i know plenty of gays who do plenty of charitable work and who decided that you can say what is and isn't normal.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • pervert alert

      Belgian researchers = qu eer apologists. Qu eers the folks who gave the world AIDS

      August 3, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • .

      "Belgian researchers = qu eer apologists. Qu eers the folks who gave the world AIDS"

      Troll Alert.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • pervert alert

      Go hump another monkey dot. qu eers the people who brought AIDS to the world.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • .

      "Go hump another monkey dot. qu eers the people who brought AIDS to the world."

      Emotional maturity is defined as: the ability to express one’s own feelings and convictions balanced with consideration for the thoughts and feelings of others.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Eric

      I will never support the alternative lifestyle agenda, however verbal attacks at them is aweful. Just because a person is committing sin and behaving in a way you dont agree about does not give you anyright to verbaly abuse them.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:42 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.