July 24th, 2012
01:20 PM ET

Henson, Huckabee take sides in Chick-fil-A same-sex marriage controversy

[Updated at 6:41 p.m. ET] The comments about same-sex marriage made by Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy a week ago continue to generate controversy this week, with politicians and puppets, well at least their handlers, weighing in.

"Guilty as charged," Cathy was quoted as saying in the Baptist Press last week when asked about his company's support of the traditional family unit as opposed to same-sex marriage.

"We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business," Cathy was quoted as saying.

That stance didn't go over well with the Jim Henson Co., whose Jim Henson's Creature Shop toys have been served up in Chick-fil-A's meals for kids. Jim Henson Co. is named after the creator of the Muppets, though the company transferred the Muppets' rights and ownership to the Walt Disney Co. in 2003, according to Jim Henson Co.

Correction: Previous versions of this story identified toys given away with Chick-Fil-A meals as Muppets. They were not. The toys are characters from Jim Henson's Creature Shop.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Food • Money & Faith

soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. Chad

    former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a 2008 GOP presidential candidate, which calls for people to turn out to Chick-fil-A restaurants on August 1 to show their support for what Cathy had to say about marriage. "I have been incensed at the vitriolic assaults on the Chick fil-A company because the CEO, Dan Cathy, made comments recently in which he affirmed his view that the biblical view of marriage should be upheld

    GO MIKE!!!!

    love that guy.

    Aug 1, Chick-Fil-A for me!!

    July 24, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • midwest rail

      As soon as Dan Cathy ( and Huckabee ) champion a movement to make divorce illegal, then I'll take them seriously. Until them, just a load of hot air.

      July 25, 2012 at 6:11 am |
    • TrueBlueCatholic

      I think that's a great idea. Not to make it illegal. Just make it only for adultery and abuse. Bring back the social stigma on divorce. Kids and society deserve to see stable relationships all around.

      July 25, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
  2. jwham

    Limited will. ....... Sounds like another excuse to me. No matter what your upbringing or "genetic code" if you have been shown the truth and turn away from it-that is your own free will. 100%. "Oh but my parents didn't feed me healthy food when I was growing up. I love junk food. I know now that its bad for me , but I just can't break the habit. I can't change. Wah wah wah. Sounds like LACK of will to me. Free will comes with a price- its not always going to be a bed of roses. Especially if you choose the right way.

    July 24, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
  3. Sleepums

    Jim Henson's Creature Shop toys.. NOT MUPPET TOYS! ->The Muppets franchise has been owned by Disney since 2004 and neither Disney nor the Muppet brand were part of the Chick-fil-A partnership. <- All this Muppet stuff isn't real.. Just someone jerking you around! So, you know..

    July 24, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
  4. Chocolate covered bacon

    Chick-fil-A – that sounds like the motto of a serial killer.

    July 24, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • jwham

      is cohocolate covered bacon good?! Never had it

      July 24, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
  5. jwham

    The way it is:
    you can sure say a lot without saying anything

    July 24, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • The way it is

      Lovely irony there. Thanks for the laugh!

      July 24, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • The way it is

      Here. I will use small words for you.

      Christianity must have total free will.

      There is no free will, only limited will.

      Christianity cannot be real.

      July 24, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
  6. The Way It Is

    I responded in depth to this post on the "Muppets" thread, but I will add a bit here that says it all in a nutshell.

    You must choose or reject Jesus using your free will. You will be judged and sent to heaven or hell based on the outcome of your free will.

    A kind hearted, gentle, helpful, compassionate Incan living in Peru in 1450 is thrown in hell for not choosing Jesus, despite the fact that the first Westerner won't hit his continent for another 42 years. Homer, brilliant poet from 800 years before Jesus, hell for him too.

    Our examples had no free will from a theological perspective.

    July 24, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • The Way It Is

      Ooops. THat was supposed to go on the speed read. Oh well.

      July 24, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
  7. b4bigbang

    Anyone who says science has proven there's no free will is feeding you a load of baloney.
    Read the entire article on wikipedia and you'll see:


    July 24, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • The Way It Is

      It's a fascinating article, and thank you for posting it, but it does not say what you think it says.

      You see, they are looking at free will scientifically, which means they are seeing what are the limits of genetics, subconscious imprinting, and so forth on your ability to choose without limitation. And they obviously found quite a number of limitations.

      This is no surprise to athiests and other seculars, who pretty much intuitively understand that we have some ability to choose, but that is limited by upbringing and other received paradigms, level of intelligence, cognitive ability, education, physical limitations, and the availability of enough information. To us, it is pretty much self-evident that we have an ability to choose (free will), but it has limitations we can rarely if ever be totally free of. No problems for us.

      You on the other hand are interested in theological free will, and that is a whole other subject. You believe you have free will because there is a judgement coming, and the only way you can really be responsible and deserve such punishment or reward is to choose it without limitation (free will). If there is no free will, then it would be a monsterous atrocity for God to punish you for anything.

      But that is also true for partial free will. How can you be judged and eternally tortured when a significant part of the choice was not free will but genetic imprinting, or say a harsh upbringing, or mental illness?

      But that is the reality that is so obvious in the world – there is no pure free will. You only have a limited amount of choice.

      Sorry, but that is the truth. Humans have only a limited range of choice, which varies according to person and circumstance. For free will to be relevant theologically, people must have pure free will, not, say 40% free will.

      Good article, but I'm afraid that, as you would expect from rational inquiries, it only supports a secular outlook. Those findings throw even more doubt on the already dubious claims of Christianity.

      July 24, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
  8. The Benedictine Monkees

    What is the world coming to when Big Bird has more decency and humanity than the members of the dominant religion?

    July 24, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
  9. jwham

    Just because something is in the bible doesn't mean that God ordained it. As you can see in the bible, man takes what God gives him and makes into what he/she wants/desires. Just because Solomon had many concubines doesn't mean that is what God wanted. You can be in a relationship with God and God can bless you even though you are a sinner. If God didn't work with what he has and just gave up on us, we would still be dead in sin. Ultimately there is a right and a wrong, not everyone is right

    July 24, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
  10. fernace

    I'm afraid it's too late to hide behind the "staying out of politics"comment from Cathy! HE's the 1 who entered the ring w/his proclamation!? Do they refuse to hire gays? I also wonder how many other businesses feel this way! Huckabee & Cathy are free to express their views, as we all are, but neither are free to Discriminate! There is NO "definition of family" in the bible! I know, because I've read it, like a history book, looking for it! It's a purely manmade notion, based on "biblical interpretation"! Polygamy was the way for numerous cultures, in those days & God didn't interfere! I have read a lot about personal choice & responsibility! The bible presents blended families & divorce! A man could marry & have kids w/his brother's widow, a barren woman could order her slave girls to have kids w/her husband, in her name, people could divorce for reasons such as adultery & domestic violence! It's much more in line w/modern days than Christians care to aknowledge!!

    July 24, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  11. Reality

    Some 21st century nitty-gritty (only for the new members of this blog)

    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.

    July 24, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  12. annonymous

    Yay for chik-fil-a for taking a stand on what they believe. I personally don't care either way because I believe in freedom of choice. Who are we to agree with or deny people of what they want and feel. A man and man or woman and women being happy and in love doesn't effect my life. They have every right to believe in what they want and live how they want. Who are we to judge. I must be mistaken but I thought we lived in a free country of equality n freedom of choice n expression....

    July 24, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • LinCA


      You said, "I must be mistaken but I thought we lived in a free country of equality n freedom of choice n expression...."
      While these bigots have every right to express their opinion, their opinions are despicable. They are actively promoting discrimination against others.

      If, because of their mental illness, they feel same sex marriage is wrong, they are free to not enter into one. They have no business telling anyone else what they can or can't do, based on their delusion.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Tim

      LinCA: "no business telling anyone what they can and cannot do."

      Then don't tell me I can't say gay marriage isn't a marriage but a complete disgrace and perversion of all that is right!

      Try living up to the tolerance you so proudly proclaim!

      July 24, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • J.W

      I did not see Linca say that

      July 24, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • LinCA


      You said, "Then don't tell me I can't say gay marriage isn't a marriage but a complete disgrace and perversion of all that is right!"
      You are free to show the world you are a closed-minded bigot. You are also free to not enter into a same sex marriage.

      Trying to prevent others from entering into one is about as much of a disgrace and perversion as possible. It's immoral to discriminate, and anyone who advocates it, has lost any moral standing they may have had.

      You said, "Try living up to the tolerance you so proudly proclaim!"
      I'm not trying to discriminate against anyone based on some moronic fairy tale. It is a select group of despicable christians that are trying to restrict what others do based on their delusion. That is the pinnacle of intolerance.

      July 24, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  13. 0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

    Perhaps this should be in another thread, but since this article includes Huckabee...

    He is a first class asshole! He opened his show on Fox the other night by plainly saying that the Aurora shooting was because of secularism! Don' believe me – go to Fox News, but here's his closing bit:

    "Ultimately, we don't have a crime problem or a gun problem or even a violence problem. What we have is a sin problem. And since we've ordered God out of our schools, communities, the military, and public conversations, we really shouldn't act so surprised when all hell breaks loose.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/huckabee/transcript/huckabee-039we-have-sin-problem039#ixzz21Z6Bgu6Z"

    July 24, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      He's a moron...what do you expect?

      July 24, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I'll defend to the death his right to make retarded statements, but damn Huckabee is a fool.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • derp

      I would love to hear him explain why it is that some of these nut bags shoot up churches and church schools.

      Is it because we have taken god out of church too.

      And why is it that so few criminals are atheist?

      July 24, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  14. myweightinwords

    It's gotta give you pause if even the Muppets are telling you that you're wrong.

    I mean...the Muppets, people.

    How far away from tolerance and inclusion must you fall to have the Muppets call you out on it?

    July 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      Well they did invent the word "Frigging" which is when you use your hand to simulate the noises of a frog and a pig having s.ex...

      July 24, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Aristocles

      So, you get your morality from a bunch of glorified hand puppets? That's sad.

      July 26, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
      • myweightinwords

        Did I say that? I don't see where I said that.

        My implication was, we use the Muppets to help teach our children right from wrong. If even the basic messages about right and wrong that we teach our children show you in a bad light, maybe you're doing something wrong.

        Like most folks, my morality comes from a complex mix of understanding of the world, love for my fellow people and animals and the society in which I live, among other things.

        July 27, 2012 at 9:00 am |
  15. 0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

    Have to love that Jim H & Co are willing to forego and patyments *and* are sending any payments received to GLAAD! Double slap, with Chick-fil-A money funding those damned gays!!

    July 24, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  16. huh!

    Hmm.. I am curious to see if he has the gnads to do more than talk.. if he is such a follower of bible, why does he continue to take money from gays? why not tell them he would not serve them for their sins?

    something tells me he would not enforce such rules in his place.. proving that between money and bible, he chose money.. such an exemplary believer.. *sniff

    July 24, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      Well then he would have to be able to differentiate between the straights and the gays, and the cost of installing gaydar systems in all of his stores is just too costly.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      He may be a bigot but he's a shrewd bigot. He knows that discrimination of this kind can only bring on law suits and in turn bankruptcy.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      He could just put a long penis shaped chicken sandwhich on the menu and if anyone orders it they get kicked out...

      July 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      No need for electronic gaydar. All he has to do is identify a few of the 10% of his family that are gay and employ them to identify gay customers.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      He already designed his stores to be fashion nightmares on the hopes he'd turn away the visually savy...

      July 24, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • tomorrowisnotpromised

      He can't turn people away based on race, religion, gender etc....That would be against the law, however he can send money to the anti-gay groups. If he chooses to do that, fine for him..He is free to do whatever he wants with his money. The issue is if the gay community is so upset with him why would they even go to his establishment and make them try and decide if they were gay or not??? If you are so upset then don't go spend your money there..It is really simple!! Him giving money to anti-gay groups is no different than the gay community giving scholarships to gay students...That appauls me!!! But I don't go around hating people in the gay community. Please leave this man alone he is free to say and do whatever he wants with his restaurant and his money....Besides all he said was they believe in the true family values written in the BIble a man and a woman. Nothing wrong with stating the facts last time I checked!! He is standing for what he believes and believe me the gay community does it EVERYDAY!!!

      July 24, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • midwest rail

      When he establishes a fund and bankrolls it with the same amount of money to make divorce illegal, then 'll take him seriously.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      tomorrowis not promised
      It is NOT illegal for him to refuse service to anyone....it is illegal for him to discriminate in his HIRING practices, but he can serve or refuse service to anyone...private business...no law against refusing income.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      "Him giving money to anti-gay groups is no different than the gay community giving scholarships to gay students...That appauls me!!! But I don't go around hating people in the gay community." Um, yes you do. By stating that giving money to a group that is anti-gay meaning they work against others rights is the same as helping a gay student get an education, then yes, you are going around hating the gay community.

      If there is one thing that ignorant bigoted Christians need to know it's that there is a difference between support for something, like their supposed "support for traditional marriage" and tearing down and attacking something as the Christian right attempts to do so often. Giving money to support a man and women getting married is great and no one is forcing you to give to the same s.ex couple, but when you donate to the anti-gay groups who are attempting to reduce and limit gay rights, now you are attacking other innocent humans and you become the problem.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  17. llɐq ʎʞɔnq

    Ah yes. Mr. Cathy.
    I also think marriage should be restricted to biblical marriage.
    a. man + woman (Genesis)
    b. man + woman + concubines, (Solomon had 300)
    c. man + woman + woman's property, (her slaves), Genesis 16
    d. man + woman + woman + woman etc. (Soloman had 700 wives + the concubines, Esau had 2, Jacob had 2, Asher had 2, Gideon had many, Rahaboam had 3, ...you get the picture.
    e. man + brother's widow, ("Levirate" marriage)
    f. rapist and his victim, (Deuteronomy 22),
    g. male solders and their female prisoners, which can include virgin girls, who are still children,
    h. as "assigned", (female slave to the owners male slave).

    By all means Mr Cathy. Let's keep it to biblical marriage. 👿

    July 24, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Which God??

      Oh well done , bucky!

      July 24, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Alan

      Ignorance must really be bliss.
      You never see multiple wives approved of in the Bible. You do see many people ignoring Gods ways (like Solomon having so many concubines) and it ends up going very badly for them in the end. Much like our country soon enough.

      Read the Bible before you claim to know what it says.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Perhaps you should re-read your Bible.
      King David is called "a man after God's own heart" and he had multiple wives.
      1 Samuel 25:43 states:
      "David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel, and so both of them were his wives."
      2 Samuel 5:13:
      "And David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem, after he had come from Hebron. Also more sons and daughters were born to David."
      2 Samuel 12:8
      "Then Nathan said to David, "You are the man! Thus says the LORD God of Israel : 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. ' I gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more!"

      July 25, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      I know the bible better than you do. It's why I'm a raving atheist. Of course each piece of information I presented, was made up. Yes indeed. And thanks for refuting it. point by point. NOT.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Aristocles

      The only true marriage is between a man and a woman. Anything else, even in the rest of the Bible, is falling short of God's plan. Just because it happened in the Bible doesn't make it good, even to Jews or Christians. Remember, Satan, Judas, and Pontius Pilate are also in the Bible. Context is very important.

      July 26, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
  18. Doc Vestibule

    It would be hyocritical of Kermit to oppose same-se.x marriage since he is part of an inter-species couple.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      Not the same thing doc as the bible never says anything about a pig/ frog marriage. That's OK

      now about this rash.....

      July 24, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • sam

      Especially since the relationship is not kosher.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I got an STD at BSU.
      That would be a sacred theology doctorate at Baptist Scripture University.
      The medical portion of the curriculum basically consists of an Rx pad on which you specify the number of times the patient is to pray each day.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Careful there Doc, the bigots on here might start as.sociating Henson's support of gay marriage as the equivalent of supporting beas.tiality.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      @TruthPrevails – "bigots on here might start as.sociating Henson's support of gay marriage as the equivalent of supporting beas.tiality."

      Well what do you call grown men shoving their hands in the rectums of pig's and frogs and bears? My God Man!! The Muppets have been a front for anal loving animals for decades!!

      July 24, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • GodPot

      " The Muppets have been a front for anal loving animals for decades!!"

      Equating besti.ality and puppeteering is a stretch.../wink

      July 24, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • AGuest9

      But how many of those "god-fearin'" sheep and turkey farmers that are in church every Sunday morning have been caught "out back" with an animal or two? There have been many animal cruelty suits filed.

      July 24, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  19. derp

    "support of biblical marriage"

    I am so glad that Mike Huckleberry supports me.

    I was planning to marry my sister, them marry my other sister too, have relations with both of them, sell them, and then stone them to death.

    It's nice to see that someone is willing to stand up for marriage as set forth in the bible.

    Thanks Mike, and thanks chi fil a.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • sam


      July 24, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  20. J.W

    Everyone be sure to watch the muppets but dont eat chick fil a

    July 24, 2012 at 1:34 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.