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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. justin

    Who cares!? Gays can go to hell! im still eating at Chick fi- la, Gay people need to make their own country or something, nobody want you weirdos around!

    August 4, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      And why are gay people weird to you justin?

      August 4, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • edweird69

      Such a mature post. ARe you 10?

      August 4, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      Well you are probably close on the 10 year old attribute, edweird69; but I suppose it could be a retarded person, or someone with only a grade school education. If the person is a Christian, they are a little weak in the mind from the get-go.

      August 5, 2012 at 12:53 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      How do you know which person edweird was addressing? He could be a Christian attacking the anti-gay rant from Justin.

      August 5, 2012 at 1:00 am |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      Doesn't matter for me, Mark. A Christard is a Christard. They come in many flavors.

      August 5, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Kiss

      @save the world Wow You called christians stupid, called someone retarded. You sound very enlightened and open minded that is why gays are losing this cause.

      August 5, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      @kiss

      Yes, I am blunt. Maybe slow and weak would be nicer? They need to grasp reality and be responsible for themselves without make-believe stuff. Only in this way, will they work better with other people in the world including gays. Religion is the problem.

      August 5, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Justin, there's nothing more weird to me than people believing in imaginary beings with absolutely no proof for same. Given that hell is imaginary too, where should be send believers?

      August 5, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
  2. Loyal Northern Democrat

    If they change their policy will they have to serve fudge to gays and hire them to choke their chickens while they make stuffed chickens?

    August 4, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • edweird69

      Bahahhah... wow that is hillarious. I'm slapping my knee so hard, it hurts. Have you sent this precious gem to Leno? OMG, you are so brilliant. Did you come up with this all by yourself? Why you could be a writer. Your brilliance just has me stymied. To think they have all those writers out there for Ellen.. then.. there's this gem to be told.

      August 4, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
  3. Manda

    Based on the apparent inability to address either LIttleHero's or Rufus T. Firefly's straightforward questions below, the anti-gay crowd seems to have no idea why they feel the way they do. When what is on the table is the outright denial of one of the fundamental life experiences to an entire group of people, you would hope that there would be pretty clear and pretty solid reasons for it. Apparently not.

    August 4, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  4. LetsPlayNice

    ... and hating Christians is fair game? Listen to yourselves.

    August 4, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Denise

      After all the evil that Christianity has done and caused, seems like it should be fair game, but most non-Christians are more morally upstanding and less criminal overall than Christians, so we non-religious folk are pretty nice to you despite having pretty darn good cause to be otherwise.

      Burned any witches lately? Killed any virgin brides or stoned anyone to death or burned any animals lately for no reason? Christianity has caused all that in spades, so get used to some criticism. There's tons more coming as Christianity's demise accelerates.

      August 4, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Bunnie

      No one at ChickFilA has burned any witches, held an Inquisition or any of the other myriad things Christians living today are routinely blamed for so it's time to drop the lame excuses for not accepting us the way you claim you want us to accept you.

      August 4, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Hating Christians is fair game, as is hating gays, but there"s a difference between hatred and oppression.

      August 4, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      Hate is not a good thing. But this form of retardedness gets old and is so trying on rational people's nerves.

      August 4, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • Greg

      "...but most non-Christians are more morally upstanding and less criminal overall than Christians..."

      Please cite evidence to back up claims such as that.

      August 4, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • coreoveride

      @Greg
      ~"...but most non-Christians are more morally upstanding and less criminal overall than Christians..."

      Please cite evidence to back up claims such as that.~

      Easy just look that the crime statistics from religious nations compared with more secular nations, you will easily see the crime stats are far lower in the secular nations and far higher in the religious nations. Religions always use SUBJECTIVE morals which are subject to the holders personal views while non-religious people 95% of the time will use OBJECTIVE morals which do not change ever and are based on very common sense things like "am i causing harm? am I forcing something on someone against their will?" if either of these is yes then secular people consider it wrong while religious people just say "I am helping you even if it hurts you or goes against your will, now shut up and take it and thank god for me doing this to you while you are at it". The world will inarguably be a better place once ALL religions die out or at minimum we ban the organized portion of religion.

      August 4, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • Greg

      I am familiar with some of the studies but have yet to see any discussion on those countries economic disparity, race relations or population size. As we know in America that these factors play a more prominent role in crime than religion.

      August 6, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  5. Cerryl

    Just thought I'd share what Islam has to say.

    Verses From Qur'an:

    026.165-166 "Of all the creatures in the world, will ye approach males, And leave those whom Allah has created for you to be your mates? Nay, ye are a people transgressing (all limits)!"

    027.055 Would ye really approach men in your lusts rather than women? Nay, ye are a people (grossly) ignorant!

    029.028-29 And (remember) Lut: behold, he said to his people: "Ye do commit lewdness, such as no people in Creation (ever) committed before you. Do ye indeed approach men, and cut off the highway?- and practise wickedness (even) in your councils?" But his people gave no answer but this: they said: "Bring us the Wrath of God if thou tellest the truth."

    August 4, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Cerryl

      And... what does your posting have to do with the topic of the article, let alone anything...?

      Peace...

      August 4, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Cerryl, how did you arrive at your beliefs in God and the Koran?

      August 4, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      yeah – I tried singing the first part of it to "All Creatures of Our God and King", but I'm afraid it just doesn't work. It's just another form of retardation.

      August 4, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • Cerryl

      I'm glad to see that Christianity isn't the only target of intolerance, unless you were not aware that my original post was referring to the Muslim religion.

      August 4, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      No, I was just being silly since I am very musical and when I read some of the lines, it reminded me of that hymn from childhood. All gods are made-up stuff. Gladly, I have recovered some of those brain cells that were damaged in my childhood from Christardation.

      August 4, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
  6. BioJennifer

    Greg, what you said demonstrates perfectly how the mind disease known as Christianity propagates so effectively and is still hanging around. My hope, however, is that reason will eventually eliminate it.

    August 4, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • LetsPlayNice

      So it's okay to call Christianity a disease but when extremists on the right call being gay a disease that is hate? The hate I see in these posts is directed at Christians not at gays.

      August 4, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Denise

      Try looking in the mirror. And you Christians have earned the criticism, after your centuries of hate and murder.

      August 4, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      LetsPlayNice

      Gays are people and not diseased, so calling them that is hate. Christianity is make-believe stuff invented and followed by weak-minded people. Therefore, it is the duty of the strong-minded peoples of the earth to point out the retardedness of Christianity and every other religion, in hopes that some of the people who subscribe to them will regain use of their damaged brain cells. This is a gift to the weak-minded, not hate.

      August 4, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
  7. Sam Yaza

    I'm confused? Deconstructive therapy and Conversion therapy seem to be 2 different things according to the video am I wrong? Also, the young man's parent's put him in that therapy correct? I agree that it is not right to put your kid in a program like that especially the way they did it but everyone else who goes through it elects to do it and if they do then is it still considered torture?

    yes it is still torture, your culture says their is something wrong with these people so your influenced drives them to try this torture

    "Destructive" therapy is my name for it it means the same thing Conversion therapy and it is the same method use during the Spanish inquisition

    it is destructive

    ...and just because people in the teen Challenge program elects to be their does not make it any less of slavery..same thing applies here they are pushed by cultural pressure to be something their not, its just like woman who wear hijabs, do it or face ostracization,... people have a basic need to belong

    August 4, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      opps sorry that was Dee who asked that

      August 4, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  8. Rufus T. Firefly

    I know I have posed this question before, but it just doesn't get honestly answered. Where exactly in the bible is Jesus reported to have spoken out against homosexuality? Where did he even address it?

    He didn't, and the rationalization by some that Jesus upheld the OT laws does not explain why Christians don't adamantly enforce those other OT laws (like sacrificing goats or wearing clothing made of different threads). Jesus was very clear about a number of things that Christians don't bother with at all, so why does it seem to go without question that it is the moral obligation for every Christian to obsess over the "sinfulness" of homosexuality?

    Please clarify why being intolerant of homosexuality is a Christian – as in modeled after the teachings of Christ – perspective.

    August 4, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      I like the fact that nobody can successfully respond to your post.

      August 4, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • Name*mdav

      http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/firestorm-update-responding-to-readers-questions-on-gay-marriage-vs-biblical-marriage/

      August 4, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
  9. LittleHero

    I love a good metaphysical argument, but how about a legal argument. I would like to know exactly what the legal argument is in defense of gay marriage bans. Is this not exactly the same as the interracial marriage bans that were struck down. A legal contract (marriage in this case) must be recognized in every state of the union. Southern states were not allowed to nullify marriages performed where it was legal. And neither can the federal government ignore these contracts. In order to limit the legal rights granted in one state, there had to be a clear danger to society at large. They could not prove that for interracial marriages and they can't with gay marriage.

    No matter what the political leanings of the SCOTUS justices, they are first Americans and we do not limit the rights of citizens without proof of harm. This is legally (and logically) a no-brainer.

    I would like to hear an argument for banning gay marriage that is not a legal joke.

    August 4, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • LittleHero

      Very, very quiet.

      August 4, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      I noticed that, too. Interesting.

      August 4, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      It's all in the legal definition of marriage. Marriage in most places is defined as a union between a and and a woman. that's the fundamental challenge for gay marriage...not meeting the legal definition.

      August 4, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • LittleHero

      Six states and DC have made gay marriage legal – the commerce clause of the consti-tution requires that the federal gvt and all states must respect this legal contract. The "definitiion" of marriage is irrelevant.

      August 4, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
  10. Voice of Reason

    I need to post this again, sorry, but I think it is warranted to do since it has been one hour and thirty minutes since I posted it and not one, repeat, NOT ONE, believer offered anything of any substance, reason, logic or sensibility. I declare it a BIG FAIL to my challenge by the believers. Thank you so very much for proving you are all just a bunch of sore losers with no substance.
    Voice of Reason

    I find it laughable and absolutely disgusting at the same time that people who believe in god and religion have the ultimate burden to prove their claims of their so called supernatural thoughts and illusions. All they have is some stupid book filled with a bunch of little stories that man made-up. So here they are, when prompted to prove their assertions they only so called evidence they have lies in this book of nonsense. If you ask them to speak for themselves on the subject of a god they sound like foolish idiots that live 2000 years in the past. They haven't a clue about our existence and refuse to examine scientific evidence. For once I would love to have a conversation with a believer without them using an unfounded source for real evidence that a god exists.

    August 4, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      The sound of silence is louder than a thousand voices. It's been 22 minutes and not a peep. Silence, peace, happiness.

      August 4, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      You better watch out or he might start haunting you next.

      August 4, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Mr. Retard that is.

      August 4, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      Careful, you may be opening a door....

      August 4, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Rational Libertarian
      "You better watch out or he might start haunting you next."

      I don't believe in ghosts so I'm pretty much protected.

      August 4, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Someone should make a horror movie about a portal that opens to the religious zealots, now that would be one freakin' scary movie. Oh, wait a minute! We have found that portal, haven't we? It's true, it' like we open the portal and they come pouring out like scary monsters and demons and we fend them off with swords of reason, logic and science.

      August 4, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Dude. Its a Saturday during the Summer. Also, there are numerous threads, with multiple articles dealing with the same subject....Thanks CNN Belief Blog editors.

      What's the question you wish to put forth? I guess it is a original question I hope.

      August 4, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • AgapeLove

      I tried to reply but this is my first time, I don't think it works for me. Love to all. Everyone chill and be good to each other. Leave the politics to our currupt government.

      August 4, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • AgapeLove

      First of all I am a Christian. I realize many who just read that first sentence already have me “pegged” however I am someone who understands that MOST of us feel like the government is swayed by one of only two parties, a few donators, maybe a few ultra-rich people (whoever they are), and some corporations. It is sad because the people who have control in congress LET and ENABLE ALL of this to happen, be it democrat, republican, or otherwise. They WANT us split between sides, at least the very vast majority of them. I must say we are all God’s children but there are reasons we have the laws we do. Our country was founded on Christian and “Christian-like” foundations, otherwise that couple who murdered their daughter in the name of Allah would not ever be punished. Anyone who murders another in this country is to be put to trial and faced the maximum “justice” our system allows. Ok, I’m getting off the subject. I heard a lady who apparently worked for Amazon (heard it either on CNN or Fox News) saying that the support Amazon gives to the LBGT community is different than the “hate” donations made by Chick-Fil-A. She said her donations go to a group who includes everyone and the WinShape foundation is not inclusive. If that’s the case, then would her preferred charitable organization support NAMBLA??? Doubt it.... This is only a third of my post.

      August 4, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Alrighty then! Another hour and 7 minutes have passed. Not one, read it folks, NOT ONE, have addressed my original post for the second time. A HUGE FAIL FOR THE NON-NONSENSICAL BELIEVERS. BYE BYE FOR NOW!

      August 4, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      How about ... just re-posting the question. Not going to try to address a question swimming in the sea of posts, including ones from all of us.

      Thanks.

      August 4, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Frank

      When you say something compelling or relevant I am sure people will respond.

      August 4, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Well, more often than not, Voice of Reason is normally a Atheist that you can hold a decent back and forth conversation. When he is cornered he does not lose his mind like some of the Radical Atheist.

      August 4, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Marik

      By definition, a metaphysical argument cannot be proven with "scientific evidence." It can only meet an individual's personal criteria as proof. An argument about God is not an empirical argument.

      August 4, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Dave

      One question, I seem to be missing any basis by which you are demonstrating a fair, objective tolerance for others. Oh, I guess a second question comes to mind: What amount was donated, when, to whom, that is the basis for all this hysteria?

      August 4, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • my child is retarded

      And i stand proudly beside them and will continue to challenge the hypocritical bigots and their hate speech hiding behind their anonymous names like the hoods of so many klansmen. Equal rights for the mentally challenged.

      August 4, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • pervert alert

      When you see the callous disregard that these fairies spew on the least fortunate among us their whiole sick purpose becomes even more disgusting. Qu eers the people that gave the world AIDS
      Hey Hey qu eers
      whatta ya say
      how many folks
      did you kill today.

      August 4, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • midwest rail

      It's always a good day when we get to be entertained by the irrelevant, inane ramblings of pervert.

      August 4, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • LetsPlayNice

      I am not seeing the question in your post that you expect someone to answer.

      August 4, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      AAARRGH!!! Are people REALLY this clueless? AgapeLove, you made the statement that "Our country was founded on Christian and “Christian-like” foundations, otherwise that couple who murdered their daughter in the name of Allah would not ever be punished. Anyone who murders another in this country is to be put to trial and faced the maximum “justice” our system allows. " So...basically...common sense has overcome religion in the case of murder, because causing harm to another is even more basic than Islamic voodoo "Sharia Law". Agape, this has nothing to do with Christians, and has everything to do with the timeless concept of torts.

      August 4, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • .

      Voice of Reason, we don't care that you need proof of God. Get over yourself. If you don't want to believe, that's your destructive decision. You fools believe the RCC that we have to care about you. That's a lie. The only thing Christians have to care about is that Jesus' truth is preached.

      August 6, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • .

      If memory serves me right, I do believe that Pope that spoke those lies is Jewish.

      August 6, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • .

      Anybody non-Christian can go p! ss up a tree

      August 6, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • midwest rail

      You first, princess.

      August 6, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  11. damo12345

    The first article to touch on the real issues and it's quickly moved off the front page, while ridiculous nonsense articles can stay up for a full week.

    August 4, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
  12. Kayla

    Who cares?! So many people are anti gay but no one sees gays boycotting them. Get a life. Let chic-fil-a be.

    August 4, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      "Who cares?! "

      Kayla, a little short on the old neuron patch? I'm thinking the average brain has 86 billion neurons and your's must be short around 80 billion if you have to ask a question such as the one you pose.

      August 4, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Damocles

      I care because if I don't stand up to any person or organization that tries to trample on the equal rights of a group or individual, then it won't be long before they decide to trample on mine.

      August 4, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
  13. John

    Libertarianism = the rational justification of degeneracy.

    August 4, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Nope. Laissez faire economics, non interventionism and individual liberty.

      August 4, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • my child is retarded

      And rational? libertarian has openly denied basic human rights to the mentally challenged

      August 4, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Rational Libertarian

      Looks like you have some retarded child stalking you.

      August 4, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Reason

      This guy has about 50 different monikers and is very h.omophobic. As a libertarian, I believe people should be allowed voice their hatred, but I will also criticize them for it. After continuously challenging this guys h.omophobia, he decided that my use of the word retard is the single greatest crime in human history.

      August 4, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • my child is retarded

      is there to be no justice for the mentally challenged , do you then endorse hate speech?

      August 4, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • my child is retarded

      Right back at you rational? libertarian your hate is exposed and will continue to be.

      August 4, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @my child is retarded
      "is there to be no justice for the mentally challenged"

      You are speaking of people that believe in a god, right?

      August 4, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • my child is retarded

      I am speaking of those rational? libertarian hates , a whole segment of society unable to defend themselves from its bullying abuses. Mr Cathy states his personal opinion and has been vilified for days. rational?libertarian can demean the mentally challenged and no one gives a damn. That is hypocrisy in no small measure.

      August 4, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @my child is retarded

      I'm not getting it. A man that has a multi-billion dollar business feels as if he has to let the world know he is a bigot compared to an on line poster on an opinion blog? This article is about bigotry towards gays, what's your gripe?

      August 4, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • my child is retarded

      Hate speech is hate speech, when you use demeaning terms (which Mr Cathy did not do)you show yourself to be a hateful bigot. rational? libertarian has been railing in its self righteous bigotry for one group while denying basic human dignity to another entire segment of people,If Mr Cathys opinion can be regarded as hateful when he in essence did nothing then one who has verbally abused the mentally challenged should be measured on at least the same scale. Or is hate speech allowed when directed at those who can't defend themselves?

      August 4, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @my child is retarded

      I came in late and I don't have both sides of this. From what you state RL is not agreeing with you? Or? Please explain.

      August 4, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Don't even bother Reason. First off, Mr. Retard seems to think my criticizing his h.omophobia is akin to me suppressing his speech. I'm perfectly happy to allow him to vent his hate speech, but it's my right to vehemently criticize his beliefs. Secondly, Mr. Retard thinks my use of the word retard to describe religious zealots is hate speech against the mentally handicapped.

      August 4, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @RL

      Thanks RL for clearing it up. I thought the poster was a f cking retard.

      August 4, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • my child is retarded

      Hate speech spreads one bigot at a time. There was no ho mo phobia, just an honest outcry over the unrestrained bullying of those who are mentally challenged, we see now where hypocrisy lies.

      August 4, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    August 4, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Melissa

      HeavenSent, does your Jesus wear a thong?

      August 4, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • just sayin

      @melissa
      You are on the wrong thread dearie. God bless

      August 4, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  15. John

    Wow, so many bigoted Christophobes in one place!

    August 4, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Welcome to their hell!

      August 4, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Manda

      Make that Christian-ophobes and you may be right – afraid of the people, not their fantasies.

      August 4, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Well said Manda. Being afraid of Christ is like being afraid of a sofa, except the sofa exists.

      August 4, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      I do not think any one on the extremes on either side considers they lost any ground on their arguments. This is just a place for both sides to scream at each other, speak to their own choir.

      August 4, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • my child is retarded

      and rational? libertarian is its own hate group denying basic human rights to the mentally challenged. Expose the hate filled bigot for what it is.

      August 4, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Alas, Mark, you are correct.

      August 4, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • my child is retarded

      Hate speech from a proven bigot should not be tolerated protest rational? libertarian

      August 4, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  16. Greg

    Damocles,
    convict: to convince of error or sinfulness
    yes you are right, God The Father draws men to Jesus through the work of the Holy Spirit, which is accomplished by the hearing of the Word. It is a believers job to spread the Word of the Living God for this very purpose.

    August 4, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      And it is a skeptics job to point out severely retarded ideas and concepts.

      August 4, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Prove it.

      August 4, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • my child is retarded

      And rational? libertarian continues to demean and deny rights to the mentally challenged.

      August 4, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Damocles

      That's fine, I guess, although I don't understand why a deity would need little helpers. Now let me ask you this: if you preach to someone and they tell you to stop, or that they don't believe as you do, do you continue on?

      August 4, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Greg

      Damocles,
      Don't confuse need with desire. The Living God wants to have a relationship with all men/women. The problem is that man has turned from Him and burn in their own passions and desires, many have forsaken Him but that did not stop Him from giving the gift of life to all that believe.

      I don't see the need to continue to speak the Truth to someone who has heard and rejected, I am not the one who convicts anyway. My job is to deliver the message. I can't force someone to believe and only God can open a persons spiritual eyes.

      August 4, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • BioJennifer

      Greg, what you say demonstrates perfectly how the mind disease known as Christianity propagates so effectively and is still hanging around. My hope, however, is that reason will eventually eliminate it.

      August 4, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  17. Reformed Catholic

    If what the article says is true ... the WinShape Foundation gave $2,000 to two organizations that are claimed to be 'anit-gay'.

    The Family Research Council, which supports the Biblical definition of marriage, which is their right under the First Amendment under the Free Speech and Free Exercise of Religion clauses.

    And Exodus International, which is an organization that states it is possible to have a gay orientation, but live a life outside of the gay lifestyle.

    $2,000 dollars ...

    August 4, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      And your point is...?

      August 4, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  18. Kathy Hanson

    Does any one of you have the guts to replace god references with Allah, or the Buddah? Or is it just the "Christian God" followers who are objectionable?

    August 4, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      All Gods, but Chick-fil-A is a strictly Christian organization. What a stupid statement to make anyway.

      August 4, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Damocles

      I have absolutely no problems calling out a fanatic of any stripe. Since this is a discussion about a supposed christian company, then it is natural that the conversation would be centered around that particular belief.

      August 4, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Greg

      There is only one God. The God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob is the only living God! Yahweh (יהוה)

      August 4, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • BioJennifer

      Greg, so how come god, this super powerful being, can't get get his story straight. Those religions all present conflicting characteristics of this "one" god. That also suggests that they are all bunk/rubbish/nonsense. Same only in that regard.

      August 4, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Greg

      You are confusing the The Living God(Yahweh) with man's religion.
      Yahweh's chosen people the Israelites(Jews) and the followers of Jesus the Christ.
      We are in a spiritual war and the battlefield is your mind.

      August 5, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
  19. Voice of Reason

    I find it laughable and absolutely disgusting at the same time that people who believe in god and religion have the ultimate burden to prove their claims of their so called supernatural thoughts and illusions. All they have is some stupid book filled with a bunch of little stories that man made-up. So here they are, when prompted to prove their assertions they only so called evidence they have lies in this book of nonsense. If you ask them to speak for themselves on the subject of a god they sound like foolish idiots that live 2000 years in the past. They haven't a clue about our existence and refuse to examine scientific evidence. For once I would love to have a conversation with a believer without them using an unfounded source for real evidence that a god exists.

    August 4, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • edweird69

      Well, if I were a believer, it would be fun to engage you. But, since I totally agree with everything you say, all I can tell you is.. YOU ARE SPOT ON !!

      August 4, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      @edweird69

      It can be extremely frustrating to put a bowl of spinach in front of someone and tell them that it is spinach. They might say "that's not spinach and I don't like spinach anyway".

      We all know that it is spinach right? But you couldn't convince this person of the reality. The best part is when they state they don't like spinach and when you ask them if they have ever eaten spinach they tell you "no".

      And there's a whole zillion of these nut cases out there. Yikes!

      August 4, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Chad

      Evidence for the God of Abraham:
      1. The origin of the universe
      2. The fine tuning of the universe for the building blocks of life
      3. The origin of life on earth
      4. Punctuated Equilibrium: the fossil record showing species experiencing millions, 100's of millions of years of stasis (no change, random genetic mutations are weeded out of the gene pool resulting in a pool 'wobbling about the genetic mean'), followed by extremely rapid change resulting in new species appearing fully formed in the fossil record.
      5. The empty tomb, and the unshakable conviction among followers and enemies alike that they had witnesses a resurrected Jesus. A conviction they held so strongly that they went to their deaths proclaiming its truth.

      remembering that: "I dont know" for the first 4, and "Jesus never existed" for #5, is not a response that explains anything so it can hardly be viewed as "refuting" any of the above.

      please also remember that "well just because it's necessary that the force be external to our universe doesnt prove it's the God of Abraham" is true, God cant be "proved". But remember that your alternative is to believe that the entire universe came from nothing (as in the absence of everything), triggered by nothing, and that life spontaneously generated..

      August 4, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Chad

      What's your point, I'm not getting it. Please explain.

      August 4, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • .

      16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
      15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
      14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (New Testament, 1 Corinthians, Chapter 2)

      So, you want us to prove there is a God and then you refuse us the same argument that you should prove there is not one. That is the height of arrogancy! There is all the proof in the world that there is a God. You are just too lazy and arrogant to get of your behind and follow the steps the Lord has outlined. He has said that those who seek him will find them and millions have taken that step and found him. You, Sir, are not worthy of the Lords attention because you do not give him any of yours!

      August 4, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @.

      You have just proved my point, thanks!

      August 4, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Chad

      @Voice of Reason "It can be extremely frustrating to put a bowl of spinach in front of someone and tell them that it is spinach. They might say "that's not spinach and I don't like spinach anyway". We all know that it is spinach right? But you couldn't convince this person of the reality. The best part is when they state they don't like spinach and when you ask them if they have ever eaten spinach they tell you "no"."

      @Chad "I completely agree with you.. the vast majority of atheists, so confident and so vocal, have almost no familiarity with the bible, have no awareness of the extra biblical evidence, have no understanding of the origin of the universe, have no understanding of the origins of life, have never heard of punctuated equilibrium and have never investigated the evidence of the empty tomb and resurrection appearances.

      "irrational" doesnt even come close to describing it.. "I dont have to investigate it to know it's nonsense is the most common response.."

      August 4, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Chad

      So, Chad, are you assuming I know nothing of the bible and its contents?

      August 4, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Chad

      Any retard can come up with a creation myth, but it takes a special kind of retard to believe these creation myths. HAIL SATAN.

      August 4, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Chad

      @Voice of Reason "you are assuming I know nothing of the bible and its contents?"
      @Chad "the challenge for atheists that claim to be familiar with the bible, is to demonstrate that the contents arent accurate, that hey are just made up.
      Responses typically fall into two buckets:
      1. "I dont have to be familiar with it to know its nonsense"
      2. "the bible says the earth is 6000 years old, or something like that"

      Example of the ignorance associated with #1 is @Rational Libertarian..
      #2 is just a superficial understanding/marriage to a particular interpretation.

      August 4, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Chad

      What kind of response is that? I asked you a simple little question and you didn't answer. Are you assuming that I don't know anything about the bible and its contents? What the f*uck? Answer it for crying out loud!

      August 4, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      You're right Chad. I should know every single detail of every single creation myth before I can judge it.

      It's just like those people who said the emperor wasn't wearing any clothes They hadn't given a moment's consideration to Bellini's masterwork, On the Luminescence of the Emperor's Feathered Hat.

      August 4, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Chad

      you are #2 :-)

      you'll have some "contradiction", if you are a fairly sophisticated atheist it wont just be some nonsense from infidels.org, it will be something like "the bible says the earth is 6000 years old", or "a loving God and tragedy cant be reconciled"

      I'm guessing that you grew up in a church, have some passing familiarity with the bible.. atheism took hold due to either being a disaffected Christian due to some rejection/disillusionment with the people in Church, or a person that got locked on to a particular interpretation at a young age, then got older and found out that it couldnt be reconciled with science(and at that point just stopped and did no exegesis to see if the biblical text supported your particular interpretation..)..

      August 4, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Chad

      @Rational Libertarian "You're right Chad. I should know every single detail of every single creation myth before I can judge it.

      @chad: "I was wrong!! You are #1.. you had me fooled with your earlier responses...

      August 4, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Or, I assume like myself, Voice of Reason realized that the chances of the myth of Christ being true is zero.

      August 4, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Chad

      "I'm guessing that you grew up in a church, have some passing familiarity with the bible.."

      Chad, if you really give the first words of that statement you will see the foundation of all your assertions. You assume but never once seek the truth in reality. Your bible verses are nothing more than bible verses and I'm not guessing on that one.

      August 4, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      1. We don't understand the origin of the universe
      2. I can't comprehend that life is fine-tuned to the conditions of the universe, not the other way around
      3. I don't understand the origins of the earth (and I will pretend that no one else does either)
      4. I read that a famous biologist argued that evolution occurs at a variable rate (PE)
      5. One of the stories in my bible says that people talked to people who saw a tomb that had been opened

      And, the clincher,(6) you don't know the bible and I do!

      Therefore....wait for it.....JESUS IS LORD!!!! SEE I PROVED IT!!!! HA HA HA YOU ALL LOOK SO FOOLISH!!!

      August 4, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Chad

      @Rational Libertarian "Or, I assume like myself, Voice of Reason realized that the chances of the myth of Christ being true is zero."

      @Chad "you cant have "realized" that.. see definition below. To have realized it, you would have had to be familiar with the data associated with it..
      what you did was assume it was false, w/out doing any investigation..

      re·al·i·za·tion
      Noun:
      An act of becoming fully aware of something as a fact.
      The fulfillment or achievement of something desired or anticipated: "the realization of his dream".

      August 4, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Chad

      "The fulfillment or achievement of something desired or anticipated: "the realization of his dream"."

      What's your point? A fact now becomes real because you desired or anticipated it or dreamed it? WOW!

      August 4, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I investigated enough. Maybe not stringent enough for "Chad's law of dismissing retarded creation myths", but stringent enough for myself.

      You really are a colossal ass and the emperor's most devout courtier.

      August 4, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Chad

      @Rational Libertarian "I investigated enough. Maybe not stringent enough for "Chad's law of dismissing retarded creation myths", but stringent enough for myself. You really are a colossal ass and the emperor's most devout courtier."

      @Chad "being long on insults and short on data/reasoning is the defining characteristic of #1's...

      August 4, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • my child is retarded

      @Chad why do you continue to engage the bigot when it has clearly and without provocation demeaned and denied human rights to the mentally challenged, have you no shame?

      August 4, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      I can outlast anyone in tedious circular arguments and try to draw you back in with taunting you and misrepresenting your statements, therefore......JESUS IS LORD!!!! SEE I PROVED IT!!!! HA HA HA YOU ALL LOOK SO FOOLISH!!!

      August 4, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Chad

      @Really-O is definitively in bucket #1...

      August 4, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      Trying to draw someone back in.....anyone.......

      Please re-engage me, I haven't even started cutting and pasting the Wikipedia entries on Punctuated Equilibrium yet....I was just getting started....

      August 4, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • AgapeLove

      You found one, let's go...

      August 4, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • AgapeLove

      @Voice of Reson. You found one (someone who is logic and scientific), let's go...

      August 4, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  20. edweird69

    I learned something this week... hating blacks is "racist", hating Jews is "anti-semetic", hating gays is "an opinion".

    August 4, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      I know, right? Let's just pick and choose. Like being at a buffet for idiots.

      August 4, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      And pointing out this hatred (not even villifying it, just pointing it out) is a violation of these peoples' religious liberty.

      August 4, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Greg

      You are confusing hate with difference of belief. Just because we do not see eye to eye does not mean I hate you or you hate me. As a Christian we love even those whom we disagree with the most and have an obligation in that love to lay down our life for His purpose, to spread the TRUTH, whether that means being ridiculed or worse. I can only point you to the TRUTH, He will convict you of your need for a savior. Then and only then will you understand holiness.
      In Love

      August 4, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Denying someone their rights is hateful. HAIL SATAN

      August 4, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • .

      I do not hate you, ed. I don't even know you. I hate your revolting sin. I also hate adultery and fornication, and lieing and dishonesty, and violence against the innocent and murder and all of the acts that torment and afflict mankind and ruin families and harn children.

      August 4, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Damocles

      @Greg

      In your post you said 'he' will convict (did you mean convince?) a person of their need for a savior. If this is true then their is no real reason for followers of any faith to do the convincing on behalf of their deity. I would assume that an all powerful being could do that on its own.

      August 4, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @.

      Then you must hate your god because your book says your god did all these horrible things that you just described.

      August 4, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Telling a child they will go to hell for not following an archaic morality system is very harmful. Do you hate that?

      August 4, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • my child is retarded

      Expose the hate speech of rational? libertarian and defend the rights of the mentally challenged.

      August 4, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Greg: There is more proof that people are born gay than there is proof of the existence of any god. Therefore, the position to deny Americans their rights made on the basis of a unsubstantiated belief system is nothing more than bigotry pretending to be morality.

      August 4, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • BioJennifer

      Greg, what you said demonstrates clearly how the mind disease known as Christianity propagates so effectively and is still hanging around. My hope, however, is that reason will eventually eliminate it.

      August 4, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.