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. site

    Thanks a lot for sharing this with all folks you actually recognise what you're talking about! Bookmarked. Please also consult with my web site =). We can have a hyperlink change contract among us

    August 4, 2012 at 11:34 am |

    Screw Henson

    August 2, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
  3. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    July 26, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
  4. California

    If liberals want to be intolerant I'm sure everyone else will not have a problem. So be it.

    July 26, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  5. California

    FACT: Tolerance is only a one way street if you're a liberal.

    July 26, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      I think you misunderstand the meaning of the words "FACT" and "tolerance"

      July 26, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • California

      myweightinwords – I understand it perfectly. It's liberals that think they have tolernace down pat which they don't even come close.

      July 26, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Tolerance does not mean that we will never disagree. Tolerance means that you believe as you do, I believe as I do and neither one of us interferes with that belief.

      I am a firm believer in freedom of speech and freedom of religion. I will stand and defend anyone to ensure those rights are not infringed upon. Even those I wholeheartedly disagree with. I will oppose any law that seeks to take those rights away from anyone, even those whose words and beliefs I find abhorrent.

      Even a politician is allowed personal beliefs. He/She is allowed to speak them publicly. He/She can not make laws to enshrine those beliefs.

      July 26, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Jeff--Tacoma

      We tolerate your ignorance all the time

      July 26, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Aristocles

      Agreed. If a liberal disapproves of any speech, it "must" be "hate speech", which they think can be banned.

      July 26, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
  6. Cindi

    LIKE YOU, I TAKE THE BIBLE SERIOUSLY! Many good people build their case against homosexuality almost entirely on the Bible. These folks value Scripture, and are serious about seeking its guidance in their lives. Unfortunately, many of them have never really studied what the Bible does and doesn’t say about homosexuality.

    We gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Christians take the Bible seriously, too. Personally, I’ve spent more than 50 years reading, studying, memorizing, preaching, and teaching from the sacred texts. I earned my master’s and doctoral degrees at a conservative biblical seminary to better equip myself to “rightly divide the word of truth.” I learned Hebrew and Greek to gain a better understanding of the original words of the biblical texts. I studied the lives and times of the biblical authors to help me know what they were saying in their day so I could better apply it to my own.

    We must be open to new truth from Scripture.

    Even heroes of the Christian faith have changed their minds about the meaning of various biblical texts.

    It took a blinding light and a voice from heaven to help the apostle Paul change his mind about certain Hebrew texts. A sheet lowered from the sky filled with all kinds of animals helped the apostle Peter gain new insights into Jewish law.

    Jerry Falwell believed the Bible supported segregation in the church until a black shoeshine man asked him, “When will someone like me be allowed to become a member of your congregation?” Through those simple words, the Holy Spirit spoke new truth about the ancient biblical texts to the Rev. Falwell, and in obedience he ended segregation at Thomas Road Baptist Church.

    Even when we believe the Scriptures are “infallible” or “without error,” it’s terribly dangerous to think that our understanding of every biblical text is also without error. We are human. We are fallible. And we can misunderstand and misinterpret these ancient words — with tragic results.

    What if someone asked you, “Is there a chance you could be wrong about the way you’ve interpreted the biblical texts sometimes used to condemn homosexual orientation?” How would you respond? What does it say about you if you answer, “No, I could NOT be wrong”? I am asking you to re-examine these texts — carefully and prayerfully. Lives hang in the balance.

    If heroes of the Christian faith could change their minds about the meaning of certain biblical texts, shouldn’t we be prepared to reconsider our own interpretations of these ancient words when the Holy Spirit opens our minds and hearts to new truth? That’s why we study the Bible prayerfully, seeking the Spirit of Truth, God’s loving Spirit, to help us understand and apply these words to our lives.

    On the night he was betrayed, Jesus told his disciples he was going away from them for a while, but that the Father would send them a “Comforter,” an “Advocate,” the “Holy Spirit” who would “teach them all things.”

    I believe with all my heart that the Holy Spirit is still teaching us. When we reconsider the texts that are used by some people to condemn God’s gay children, we must fervently seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance, or we risk being misled by our own prejudices.

    The Bible is a book about God — not a book about human sexuality.

    The Bible is the story of God’s love for the world and the people of the world. It tells the history of God’s love at work rescuing, renewing, and empowering humankind. It was never intended to be a book about human sexuality. Certainly, you will agree.

    In fact, the Bible accepts sexual practices that we condemn and condemns sexual practices that we accept. Lots of them! Here are a few examples.

    DEUTERONOMY 22:13-21
    If it is discovered that a bride is not a virgin, the Bible demands that she be executed by stoning immediately.

    If a married person has sex with someone else’s husband or wife, the Bible commands that both adulterers be stoned to death.

    MARK 10:1-12
    Divorce is strictly forbidden in both Testaments, as is remarriage of anyone who has been divorced.

    LEVITICUS 18:19
    The Bible forbids a married couple from having sexual intercourse during a woman’s period. If they disobey, both shall be executed.

    MARK 12:18-27
    If a man dies childless, his widow is ordered by biblical law to have intercourse with each of his brothers in turn until she bears her deceased husband a male heir.

    DEUTERONOMY 25:11-12
    If a man gets into a fight with another man and his wife seeks to rescue her husband by grabbing the enemy’s genitals, her hand shall be cut off and no pity shall be shown her.

    I’m certain you don’t agree with these teachings from the Bible about sex. And you shouldn’t. The list goes on: The Bible says clearly that sex with a prostitute is acceptable for the husband but not for the wife. Polygamy (more than one wife) is acceptable, as is a king’s having many concubines. (Solomon, the wisest king of all, had 1,000 concubines.) Slavery and sex with slaves, marriage of girls aged 11-13, and treatment of women as property are all accepted practices in the Scriptures. On the other hand, there are strict prohibitions against interracial marriage, birth control, discussing or even naming a sexual organ, and seeing one’s parents nude.

    Over the centuries the Holy Spirit has taught us that certain Bible verses should not be understood as God’s law for all time periods. Some verses are specific to the culture and time they were written, and are no longer viewed as appropriate, wise, or just.

    Often, the Holy Spirit uses science to teach us why those ancient words no longer apply to our modern times. During the last three decades, for example, organizations representing 1.5 million U.S. health professionals (doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and educators) have stated definitively that homosexual orientation is as natural as heterosexual orientation, that sexual orientation is determined by a combination of yet unknown pre- and post-natal influences, and that it is dangerous and inappropriate to tell a homosexual that he or she could or should attempt to change his or her sexual orientation.

    While there are some people now living in heterosexual marriages who once perceived themselves to be gay, there are millions of gay and lesbian persons who have accepted their sexual orientation as a gift from God and live productive and deeply spiritual lives. The evidence from science and from the personal experience of gay and lesbian Christians demands that we at least consider whether the passages cited to condemn homosexual behavior should be reconsidered, just as other Bible verses that speak of certain sexual practices are no longer understood as God’s law for us in this day.

    July 26, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      A very well thought out and eloquent post. Thank you.

      July 26, 2012 at 2:45 pm |


      July 26, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • arkansas


      August 3, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
  7. California

    t's fine that people speak their minds and protest if they see fit or even not go to places that they disagree with BUT when a politician (Mayor of Chicago Rahm) stands up and states they will stop permits ect... based on someones belief and or freedom of speech THEN it's gone WAY to far.

    This is a perfect example of a strawman argument coming to fruition. They talk about tolerance yet are anything but themselves.

    July 26, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      The mayor's letter said absolutely NOTHING about stopping permits. It said nothing about disallowing free speech. It said that bigotry wasn't welcome. It said that anti-discrimination laws would be upheld..

      Neither party in this case is infringing on the other's rights.

      July 26, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • California

      myweightinwords – No free standing chick-fil-a's would ever see the light of day in Chicago. That in itself is basing a political stance against someone's belief and free speech. If demcorats want to play this way so be it.

      July 26, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      And this is different from Pagan shops being denied permits or run out of town in what way?

      July 26, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      "No free standing chick-fil-a's would ever see the light of day in Chicago. That in itself is basing a political stance against someone's belief and free speech."

      No one's belief is being infringed. Get over yourself. No one is telling anyone else how to think. The only stance being made here is that laws will be enforced. You can't discriminate just because your ancient text tells you its ok. And if you think speech is completely free, try making death threats on a public figure sometime. All rights have reasonable limits.

      July 26, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Legally speaking, neither mayor (Chicago or Boston) can prevent Chick-fil-A from seeking to expand in their cities. The company can legally apply for permits, and following all requisite laws, open a store in either town.

      Likewise, legally speaking, the company can support whatever causes it's board sees fit to fund and it's executives can make any public statement regarding their beliefs as they desire to. Provided that it does not violate any non-discrimination laws in any of its locations, it is free to continue doing business.

      If the company is denied permits or feels their business is being harmed by an elected public officials own personal beliefs, they have recourse in the courts.

      If the public deems their public stance on an issue that has no bearing on the product/service they provide to be onerous they have recourse by not dining there and funding that issue.

      Seems pretty simple US citizenship to me.

      July 26, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • California

      *facepalm* – You can't descriminate based on a belief either. A politican taking this kind of a stance is crossing the line by far. Rahm is in fact discriminating beased on what the owner said and not the practices of the company. If liberals are going to tolerate intolerance when it suits their agenda then there's a problem. Rahm's words if put in to effect will in fact be starting a social war you liberals can not win.

      Have a nice day libby.

      July 26, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      You can't descriminate based on a belief either. A politican taking this kind of a stance is crossing the line by far.

      One can hold a company to the law, and if the law of the land does not allow discriminatory practices, then a company that practices discrimination will be prosecuted. If the company does not discriminate, there is no problem.

      Rahm is in fact discriminating beased on what the owner said and not the practices of the company.

      Admittedly, I have not seen Rahm's statement, I've only read the one from the mayor of Boston. However, if Rahm has personal opinions of the things Cathy said, he's allowed to voice them. If he states that a company, which has a publicly admitted discriminatory police (meaning that they contribute money to organizations that are actively seeking discriminatory laws) wants to expand into his city, they will have to abide by that cities laws, he is not out of line.

      If liberals are going to tolerate intolerance when it suits their agenda then there's a problem. Rahm's words if put in to effect will in fact be starting a social war you liberals can not win.

      Again, disagreement is not intolerance.

      Have a nice day libby.

      I have to ask how it serves your purpose to end your argument with name calling? In my experience it does nothing to expand the conversation, nor does it improve your argument.

      July 26, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  8. Evian Bidet

    This guy Cathy is damn idiot. He runs a chicken fast food empire and he just cost himself a ton of customers... including me.

    July 26, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • California

      And now I'm a customer of his. You people talk about tolerance yet are anything but tolerant yourselves.

      SHAME on people like you.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      How is disagreement intolerance?

      How is choosing not to spend my money at a store whose fundamental policies clash with my fundamental morality intolerant?

      July 26, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • California

      myweightinwords – It's not until politicains make it that way. When politicans inject themselves in this manner the door is fully open.

      July 26, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      The comment you were responding to here has nothing at all to do with politicians.

      It is an individual consumer making a statement that due to his disagreement with the policies of this company he/she will no longer spend their money there.

      You then implied with your response that to do so would make the individual intolerant.

      July 26, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  9. ppt

    Just because certain behavior exists in the bible, does not mean that God expects his children to emulate this behavior. The bible is full of polygamists, adulterers, murderers, etc. It only proves the point that we are sinners–all of us. Yet, there is One, mentioned in the bible, who never sinned.

    July 25, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  10. pm

    I am an agnostic and I don't have a problem whatsoever with the views that the CEO of this company or any company has regarding religion or faith, as long as they don't descriminate against the people who's views they disagree with. The beauty of being American is that you can believe whatever you want as long as you don't use those beliefs to descriminate against others. Consumers have a choice to eat there or not eat there.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • roy

      Thank you, I am a Christian and that is the most intelligent response I've heard from either side in a long time. It was our founding father's values to believe in equality among all, I think they would be proud of what you said. As an American I am proud of what you said.


      July 25, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Timmuh

      @Roy, the problem is the guy is against equality for all.

      July 26, 2012 at 12:17 am |
  11. RS

    Why does anyone care what a ceo thinks about a social issue? The gay agenda is one thing, pushing it into public school, teaching it is ok, the media, about every tv channel has multiple gay story lines and gay characters. If this guy feels the need to express his faith being opposed to the gay lifestyle, and stand by his faith.....why should anyone care? He didnt say gays are evil and doomed to hell...he just said he supports th ebilical marriage and lifestyle. I agree with him, but even if I didnt it wouldnt stop me from eating atnthis place.

    This is just another millionare expressing his thoughts when asked a question.....get iver it people

    July 25, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Timmuh

      For one, he's throwing cash at it.

      July 26, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • myweightinwords

      He's the one who made the public statement. He's the one who wanted the world to know where he stood on the subject.

      He had to expect people would react. He had to know that some people would be outraged/insulted. THAT was his point.

      And, it isn't just a matter of what he said. His company funds organizations that are actively seeking to deny basic civil rights to a group of people. THAT is the reason for the call to boycott.

      You can have your own opinion, and even voice that opinion loudly...just don't expect that people who disagree with you won't also do the same.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:39 am |
  12. Ahmed

    We Muslims will support this restaurant as we think h.o.m.o.se.xu.a.lity is most abominable sin. With Sharia we will put them to death.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Timmuh

      Yes, we know what you want to do due to your unsubstantiated supernatural beliefs.

      July 26, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • Ahmed

      But we thank you for the support of g^y people here in America. But once we are done using you, we will of course eliminate you. (Converting to islam won't save you as we do not tolerate g^ys.) We would like to thank cnn for promoting us as a religion of peace and tolerance and hiding the the REAL islam-they are most helpful. We of course pay good sums of money to Prothero and Gilgoff to do so.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:28 am |
  13. lance

    While traveling, gladly stopped for lunch at a packed-out chick-fil-a on monday

    July 25, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Jim

      So, you're glad to see somebody profit on their faith?

      July 25, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  14. howart Dao

    I will start spending at Chicks-A-Fill to support legalizing polygamy in US 😉

    July 25, 2012 at 9:03 am |
  15. joshuamu

    where is the world heading to.marriage is for a man and a woman. Did God create two man or two women? No! but Adam and Eve, a man and a woman. http://www.christiantruthcenter.com

    July 25, 2012 at 7:19 am |
    • Chris

      Adam and Eve (propagating the world through incest) not Adam and Steve (propagating the world through incest)

      July 25, 2012 at 8:12 am |
    • howart Dao

      If god meant for Adam to have ONLY Eve, why do almost ALL biblical ADAMs have MANY EVEs ??? And why does biblical Yeshua has NONE ? 🙂

      July 25, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Who invited me?

      Keep your mythology off the laws.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • myweightinwords

      The world is moving in the direction of true equality.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  16. Joey B

    The biblical definition if marriage? Sweet! Polygamy here I come!

    July 24, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • BamaDaniel


      July 25, 2012 at 6:37 am |
    • Jim

      We already have polygamy with people getting multiple divorces. That's what Jesus taught, that casual divorce was adultery.

      July 25, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • demac

      Where do you see the biblical definition of marriage as being polygamy. If you look from the beginning God made Adam and Eve, one man and one wife that was the ideal. The polygamy stuff only came after the fall. Please check your facts before making your comments.

      July 26, 2012 at 5:20 am |
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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.