Boycotting Chick-fil-A. Or not.

Update 8/1: An adapted version of this article has been posted at Out of Ur.

During a summer break while in college I interned at a Southern Baptist church in the suburbs of Washington DC.  This remains my closest association with the Southern Baptists (aside form a recent article critical – constructively, I hope – of one of their leaders) and it’s one I remember happily.  This despite the distinct culture within that denomination that reminded me that I was this church’s visitor.  This crystallized as I learned of the congregation’s discussion about whether or not to participate in their denomination’s boycott of the Walt Disney Company.  My denominationaly unaffiliated self had been unaware of the possibility of a boycott and the reasons behind it.

Photo by SteamFan (cc).

That 15 year old memory surfaced the other day while reading about another boycott.  This one requires the participants to abstain from Chick-fil-A, the fast food chicken place that is as well known for being closed on Sundays as for the chicken sandwiches beloved by their loyal customers.  The company’s president, well known for his Christian faith, recently discussed his views about marriage on a radio show.  Wading into the debate about same-sex marriage may not seem prudent from a business perspective, but that’s what Dan Cathy did and now some are suggesting that his restaurants be boycotted.

(I’ve been boycotting Chick-fil-A since 1997, though not for any philosophical or religious reason.  My college roommate at the time worked at the Chick-fil-A in Asheville, NC and brought back a bunch of sandwiches at the end of each shift, one of which is still associated with the worst case of food poisoning I’ve ever had.)

In these two instances there are two ideologically opposite groups calling for boycotts on companies that don’t share their values.  I’m sympathetic.  Abstaining from certain companies or national regimes for dehumanizing and exploitative practices seems a legitimate option.  It’s unclear to me whether any participant in a globalized world can rest easy in his or her ethically-pure purchases, but that doesn’t take away from the conscious decision to do less harm.

Photo by J. Reed (cc).

What’s more interesting to me is what these two boycotts – Disney and Chick-fil-A – might say about our identities as consumers.  Both brands inspire loyalty and evangelistic zeal among the faithful.  If you doubt this hang around the next time I half-jokingly explain my goal of never visiting Disney World to someone who has recently returned from the best week of their life at the Magic Kingdom.  Or observe the pity when I explain my revulsion to the world-famous chicken sandwich.

Disney is more than a vacation destination; it’s symbolic of our longings, so much so that we willfully entrust our very young children to the brand’s narrative and teachers.  And Chick-fil-A doesn’t just want customers but, as the CEO puts it, “raving fans.”  Those who have camped overnight in a franchise parking lot or dressed up as the restaurant’s mascot for the chance at a free meal might be who he has in mind.

Much of the time when we shop we’re probably not assuming the store owner shares our particular values and beliefs.  This is true of both small businesses and larger corporations: the thought of shared values didn’t cross my mind at the local hot dog joint on Thursday or while buying ice at Walgreens on Sunday morning.  There are, however, certain brands that ask for more than our dollars; they’re interested in our identities.  They hope we will align ourselves with what they’re selling.  This makes great sense for the company but much less so for us.  Discovering something about our favorite brands that obviously clashes with who we hope to be creates – to slightly overstate it – an identity crisis.

So we are left to boycott a company we love not because of gross exploitation – again, we don’t think this way about many of the companies we frequent – but because of how closely we’ve become identified with their products and experiences.

Christians are people who don’t construct our identities but, rather, have them secured for us in Jesus.  We are who we are because of who God is rather than anything so profane as a corporate marketing strategy.  Does this mean Christians of all political leanings shouldn’t boycott?  I don’t think so.  But living differentiated from the shallow identities of savvy corporations may allow us to think differently about what what we abstain from, and why.

Author: David Swanson

Pastor of New Community Covenant Church in Bronzeville. Collecting signs of life.

240 thoughts on “Boycotting Chick-fil-A. Or not.”

  1. As a vegetarian and a gay person, I don’t know anything about this particular corporation. I can say, that gay people are often ostracized and bullied by Christians, but there are faithful people, who do not promote anger and hate as compassion. I know many gay people who demonstrate Christian values; it is unfortunate then that so many Christians choose the opposite of what Jesus preached.

    1. What I appreciate about this comment is your acknowledgement of what Jesus preached, acceptance and celebration of differences. Most importantly, He preached love. There is an interesting article I read a few years ago in an Irish newspaper about Jesus as a person. The author was not religious but he wrote about how whether you believe Jesus is the Son of God or just a person it is pretty clear that what He did for people is something we should all emulate. It saddens me how many people misuse Christianity or other religious teachings for hate. My blog is about religion and how we can promote more effective religious dialogue. In writing this blog (it’s very new) I came across the World Faith Organization. It’s a pretty cool group you might want to check out!

      1. everyone is entitled to boycott or do not boycott chick-fil-a. I hate the homosexual lifestyle but not the person. I do know and have friends who are homosexuals they respect my views too.

    1. Because you are a pastor’s wife…you are boycotting? You seem to validate your decision with that. Sad. As Christians we are first and foremost married to God’s word. Why boycott something that so clearly and evidiently is not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ? They did not discriminate against the gay community but rather simply stated the truth of God’s plan for marriage. Her’e’s the problem… no matter how it is approached, being “for” the gospel of Jesus Christ, will always cause the finger to be pointed in our direction and an outcry of “anti”…whatever it is. You (and we all), as leaders have a great responsibility to live before the people with the integrity of God, regardless of our popularity. Where are you leading them with your decision? To or away from the Word?

      1. They did not discriminate against the gay community but rather simply stated the truth of God’s plan for marriage.

        When you look into the language with which they are honoring God’s plan for marriage you might want to rethink that opinion.

      2. I stand as a leader in the message of God’s love for all. And I can imagine no greater expression of that than a loving companion for the journey here on earth,

      3. John Liming,

        I’ve looked at his language and my opinion holds.

        These are his words…
        “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, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. We operate as a family business … our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that. We intend to stay the course. We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”

      1. Dearflash…you obviously don’t pay attention to your husband’s sermons or read The Bible, which clearly says that homosexuality is an abomination. Not surprising. The 21st century American church is all about worldliness & money. God has left the building.

      2. Y’know, Sammano, it’s funny you should say that. Because the Bible doesn’t say anything clearly, really…except two or three main things: First, that God is faithful. Second, that God is faithful even when we are not– even when we screw up (which we know is very frequent). And Third, that God loves us– and makes this love visible to us in Jesus Christ.

        Most of the other things the Bible says are really up for grabs– especially the passages you’re talking about. I’d refer you to a number of scholarly articles, if you’d like, that comment on the context, the original language, and the history of the passage you’re talking about. Please let me know if you’d like me to do that.

        I

      3. Homosexuality is an abomination, Sammano? Teaching an ideology as fact is an abomination. Basically it is brainwashing.

  2. I don’t like it when politics is injected into my chicken. I can take a lot of stuff injected into my chicken, but not politics. As far as boycotts go, if I boycotted every company with an owner that I disagreed with politically, I’d have a lot of money with nothing to spend it on.

    1. I understand where you’re coming from, in the sense that it’s hard to sort out just what is in your “food” (physical ingredients, exploitative labor, politics or whatever else) if you’re buying the likes of Chick-Fil-A. However, don’t you think Chick-Fil-A injected the politics when they declared their hatred of gay people (which they did a long time ago; this marriage thing is just the most recent example)? They have donated for years to organizations that advocate against gay rights — not talking about marriage here, talking about the right to have a job, to buy a house, etc. They have donated to organizations that promote so-called “ex-gay therapy”, a practice that has been reviled by every respectable mental health professional and recently renounced by the world’s largest so-called “ex-gay” group. When someone starts a fight and the person under attack fights back, an honest and ethical person doesn’t blame the target for acting in self-defense.

      But never mind the “they started it” argument (they did, ya know? but never mind). It sounds like you’re making the case that since you can’t do perfect good in all your buying decisions, there’s no point in ever making any buying decisions on an ethical basis. This, to be blunt, is nonsense. There is no Consistency Police scrutinizing your ethical behavior and penalizing you for not boycotting every company whose politics you disagree with. Clearly doing some good, any good, is better than doing no good at all. But this is a popular view nowadays whenever difficult issues are grappled with: the kneejerk “Ohhh, it’s all so complicated, you can’t fix everything” paean that serves more than anything as an excuse for inaction and for doing what’s convenient and self-serving rather than what’s right.

      Summary: don’t want to boycott Chick-Fil-A? Don’t do it. But be honest about why. The “I can’t possibly boycott EVERY company whose politics I MIGHT disagree with” argument is crap. Do it or don’t do it, and tell the truth about why — at least to yourself.

  3. I respect your opinion and that of the comment above. For another view of Christianity perhaps closer to your own, come visit us at “ourpoetrycorner.wordpress.com”, and look through our material. I would like to do a poem or two comparing God’s love with the overt amount of judgement seen in His people.

  4. I work for Chick-fil-a, and they are a great company to work for. They have treated me better than any other hourly work I’ve done. I think it’s silly to try and hurt the company because of something Dan Cathy said because all you’re going to be hurting is all the hourly employees who had no control over Dan Cathy’s comments or opinions. And like dysfunctional literacy said, “if I boycotted every company with an owner that I disagreed with politically, I’d have a lot of money with nothing to spend it on.” Boycotts are usually silly, and this is one of those.

      1. LOL, I didn’t realized my comment would cause so much anger from everyone else! alissajean, thank you for your kind comment! And yes, it is much more than the “Boss”.

    1. Like an employee is going to speak out publicly and be in any way critical of his employer? Far more likely, I posit, that one would speak out in support of his employer in order to curry favor with his bosses — or perhaps, as appears might have been the case in Facebook postings related to this incident, an employee might even be PAID to praise his employer. Boycotts are not silly — a boycott helped to end Apartheid in South Africa. They are a form of non-violent protest.

      1. LOL, I don’t know if your comment is for real or not… I don’t know if it’s a joke (because of the whole me being paid to comment on here part). I can tell when someone has too much time on their hands by the amount of paranoia they are entertaining in their minds over silly issues. Also, I said boycotts are “usually” silly. Learn to read more carefully! 🙂

    2. The problem isn’t that Dan Cathy simply stated his opinion and lots of folks disagree. The real problem is two-fold:

      A) He spoke not just for himself but on behalf of the entire company. He conflates his views and philosophy regarding gay marriage with Chick-Fil-A’s corporate philosophy. In doing so, he essentially pulls everyone with whom he works, from his fry cooks to his corporate partners, under his ideological banner. This is why Jim Henson Co. ended their partnership. They don’t want to wave that flag and continuing to do business with Chick-Fil-A would require at least a tacit acceptance of a political and social position they clearly find repugnant. Continuing to buy their sandwiches is much the same but on a smaller scale.

      B) It isn’t just his words people are complaining about. According to IRS 990 forms, in 2010, Chick-Fil-A (through its social advocacy/charity organization, the WinShape Foundation) donated nearly $1.2 million dollars to the Marriage & Family Foundation, a group who’s stated purpose is to directly oppose equal rights for LGBT citizens. Cathy isn’t just “stating an opinion.” He and his company are actively working to deny equal rights to a significant portion of the population for something over which they have absolutely no control (for those of you who want to crow about homosexuality being a choice, realize that such a position implies that you had to actively decide not to be gay, yourself).

      This boycott isn’t any sillier than the Montgomery bus boycott of the 50s and 60s.

      1. I would love to see a link to something showing that the Marriage & Family Foundation’s stated purpose is to oppose equal rights for LGBT’s. AS for the science of it…scientific study has shown that people can be born predisposed towards homosexuality, but they still have a choice whether or not to follow that predisposition. Science has shown that there is NO gay gene and that homosexuality is not hard-wired into anyone’s DNA.

      2. Suffice it to say that your knowledge of Science is evidently on a par with your knowledge of the history of AOL, and that there is no more scientific backing for your statements than there is credible evidence to support the mumbo-jumbo of Creationism or or the ludicrous assertion that the earth is only 6000 years old, or that Tyrannosaurus Rex shared a cabin in First Class on Noah’s Ark with members of Noah’s family. .

      3. That the Marriage & Family Foundation is actively working against LGBT rights–specifically but not limited to marriage and domestic partnership rights–by seeking to have those them repealed where they already exist and preventing their institution where they do not is right there on their home page. You can look it up yourself; I’m not going to google it for you.

        For the sake of argument, let’s assume for a moment you’re correct in saying that homosexuality is a choice. This begs a number of questions. First of all, if one must choose whether or not to be gay, then tell me: when did you decide not to be gay? Secondly, since you chose to be straight, how long did it take before you stopped having to remind yourself which gender to be attracted to? Finally, if people choose to be gay, then they are choosing to become part of a marginalized group that has historcally suffered extremely high rates of discrimination in employment, housing, medical care and other areas. They are opening themselves up to physical and verbal abuse from both strangers and loved ones. They put themselves at great risk of being ostracized by family, life-long friends, acquaintances and members of their local community. That being the case, what makes homosexuality so much more attractive than heterosexuality that so many people would risk losing everything else of value to them–even their lives–just to enjoy it?

        Or is it, rather, that who we’re attracted to isn’t a simple matter of choice? There are a lot of inborn traits that aren’t attached to a specific gene–skin color is a great example–so the fact that there isn’t a “gay gene” means very little, really. I would argue that human sexuality, just like any other aspect of human behavior, is far to complex to ascribe its manifestation to a single, isolatable cause (be that a gene or a choice).

        Simply put, I didn’t choose to be more attracted to the opposite sex and neither did you. Neither did any gay man or woman choose to be more attracted to their own. Likewise, I didn’t choose to have a preference for brunettes over blondes or salty foods over sweet. The facts that I really like the color green and can’t stand the sound of people eating raw carrots in a quiet room have no relationship whatsoever with any decision I’ve made in the past. These things are all a part of who I am (some of them moreso than others, of course) but none of them were a matter of choice. Denying someone the same rights as yourself because they are different from you in ways over which neither of you have any choice is bigotry, pure and simple.

      4. Study the results of the Human Genome Project…a multinational scientific endeavor to map the human DNA…….I have read All of the published results of this study……how many studies on human DNA have you read?…….as for my knowlege of AOL, please feel free to post links to material that tells a different history of AOL.

      5. How do you propose that I should post a link for you to my own personal experience? Do you believe that animals are exercising Free Will when they choose to manifest homosexuality in the wild? Assuming that you are yourself heterosexual, at what point in your life did you decide to choose a heterosexual lifestyle over a homosexual one?

  5. I support the CEO of Chic-fil-A and have eaten there 3 times since his statement. The Bible clearly teaches the importance of family values. God, not man, determines what sin is and what’s it’s not. He addresses these issues in His Word. If we believe in the God of the Bible, then we must believe and trust His Words and follow His precepts.
    Learn more about the God the Bible at my blog:
    http://http;://www.wearehispeople.wordpress.com

    1. Exactly. I mean, sure the CEO can have his own beliefs, but why are the beliefs of the CEO associated with that of the company? The company is not one person!

      Not that I eat Chick-fil-A , but it still annoys me.

    2. I agree. I personally have eaten there once and the food was awful. If I had one close by I’d boycott it with no qualms.

    3. Interesting, I have said the same thing about Home Depot…Why do they have to underwrite gay pride parades and send their “mascot” down the street? Why can’t they simply sell building supplies?

      I hope all of these CFA boycotters plan on boycotting ALL Islamic-owned businesses worldwide…

  6. Funny, people don’t cry out when celebrities take a political stance. Should they just stick to their business? People don’t cry out when anyone comes out in support of gay marriage, but when someone, who by the way was asked and is outspoken about his faith, stands for traditional marriage, suddenly everyone screams that he should just stick to making an arguably crappy or delicious (depending upon the connosuier) chicken sandwich. That is bigotted. Freedom of speech for all. Its all suddenly serious and dark when one speaks out for conservative values, but sunny and lighthearted when one proclaims liberal ideas. Even if a Believer is kind and gentle, yet speaks up for his or her beliefs, we are immediately label hate-mongering, angry people. http://orderinthequart.wordpress.com/2012/07/26/chick-fil-a/

    1. Absolutely! I’ve met some closed-minded conservatives–but the most closed-minded people I have ever met in my life were all liberals! “Open-mindedness” is not synonymous with “liberalism”. Open-mindedness is considering all points of view–conservative, liberal, and otherwise–before reaching a conclusion about what one believes.

    2. I really have more trouble with what they do with my money when they have it. They donate funds to such groups as Exodus International (AKA the Ex-Gay movement). I don’t want to give them my money if that’s what they do with it. I agree they are allowed to say whatever they want. I don’t have to label them at all. I just quietly decide not to buy their chicken.

      Freedom of speech: You get to say whatever you want.
      Freedom of thought: I get to react to it however I want.

      1. Thank you! I’ve been reading Chick fil a supporters comments, and it seems that they’ve forgotten the other half of the story!

        Yes, Chick fil a can say whatever they want, and can give money to whatever organizations they want, but i can make the choice NOT to give them my money, which would in turn go to organizations that i do not support.

    3. Uh, hello? Remember the Oreo LGBT campaign a few weeks ago that sparked some arguably frightening responses and another short-lived “boycott”? I guess that doesn’t really classify as someone coming out in support of gay marriage and getting backlash from it, and therefore isn’t “bigotted”. Right. Way to take things in perspective. For a blogger, you sure do pick and choose from the news.

      Face it – the media and the public are slowly but surely becoming more socially liberal, and whether you and whatever religion you follow approves of it or not, gay marriage (among other liberally-supportive issues) will happen in our lifetimes. It’s just a fact of life and nothing can stop it at this point. Conservatives campaign against it, and that’s why they get hated. Simple.

      1. Interesting, my faith and what I follow isn’t dictated by the blowing of the wind or the fact that the media is dominated by liberal politics. Your comparison of the LGBT Oreo to what is transpiring against Chick Fil A is laughable. Nice try. Having said that, I agree with you that the only reason conservatives are hated is simply for their beliefs. So much for diversity and tolerance.

  7. I think this is a really interesting post and I am now following your blog! I am new to blogging but much of my blog deals with what it means to be religious and how religion can affect our daily lives. I really liked how you described what we feel when something we associate ourselves with is suddenly not who we want to be. It is most certainly an “identity crisis.” Sometimes what concerns me more isn’t whether or not I should boycott something or otherwise take a stand but rather how far I take that kind of action. Like you said, we are not always conscious of what a corporation stands for. Is it up to us to research all corporations? If you take action over something easy, giving up one type of chicken sandwich, are you hypocritical for not taking action over something else, something harder to change or give up? These are questions I often struggle with when I think about this subject.

  8. It’s not so much that people have a problem with what Dan Cathy is saying (he does have the freedom), so much as what he is doing: funding anti-gay organizations through Chick-Fil-A’s earnings. Consumers are concerned about how they may be funding intolerance through supporting this particular company.

    1. While I would be interested in your labeling of “anti-gay” organizations, I do believe that they are also as you state “Chick-Fil-A’s” earnings. People aren’t in your pocket book asking about what you “fund”, I’m not sure that they should be in Dan Cathy’s either.

      1. If I found out my neighbor was donating 10% of his income to an organization or cause that I found offensive – say, the K.K.K., or any organization of cyclists who go the wrong way down two-way streets – I wouldn’t necessarily be less neighborly to him in certain ways. I might try to convince him not to spend his money that way. But if he offered to enter a business deal with him, I would consider his tithing practices and decline.

        Similarly, Dan Cathey can spend his money in a number of different ways without violating any laws (although certain anti-gay groups come closer to being hate groups than they should, I don’t think that a group’s opposition to gay marriage automatically makes them a hate group). But if I am providing him with some of that money, and I know that he will be using some of it to fund a group with which I disagree (say, 5 cents of every dollar of chicken I buy), then all I can do is stop providing him with my resources. Unless Chick-Fil-A changes its policies, I can’t write “Don’t fund anti-gay groups” on my debit receipt and expect them to respect my wishes.

        I agree with the David Swanson that consumer choices are always fraught. You can’t realistically avoid imposing suffering, and you can’t determine the ultimate destination of every penny you spend. But if you’re aware of a problem, and enough people agree with you that you can make a difference, well… You should try Popeye’s or Brown’s (a Chicagoland treat) instead.

      2. I would wager that people who call Exodus Ministries have absolutely NO idea what goes on. It is unfortunate that most people who hear of Exodus have been spoon-fed their opinions from the news. Have any of you been to a conference? Have you ever read any of their material? I would gather not. As I have been to extensive events and own several of their publications, I believe that I can comment on their stances. Until you have done the same, I would use caution in your labels.

      3. @ Order in the Quart!

        Exodus is just more unbalanced people hiding behind flimsy ideologies. You cannot influence sexuality. Can I make you date a vacuum cleaner? No. (Sorry, not much left of your argument…) Exodus is just the dark intolerance of human nature. And didn’t one of their top people get exposed in a gay scandal? Please. be more self aware before you post. Do some research.

        Did you actually ever talk to any gay folks?

      4. Do you talk to heterosexual folks? What a bigotted question! Isn’t it against a liberal code to refer to people based on their sexual preferences? I would ask you: have you ever listened, in full, to a speech from Exodus? Or read any material? I’ve done my research, and would wager you haven’t. Exodus looks at the person, not their sexuality. We are humans, we all struggle. To say that this is a dark intolerance is a be projective of your hatred.

      5. It is my understanding that the Exodus model of treating homosexuality as a pathology has been scientifically debunked as religion-based quackery, and that in fact such programs contribute to the incidence of bullying and high rates of suicide among at-risk teens. Hatred, whether directed at sins or at supposed sinners, is still hatred, and it is still corrosive and debilitating.

      6. Let me simply address your concern about Exodus with a direct quotation from their site at Exodus ministries http://www.exodusministries.org: “If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard the words, “Exodus International” and “religious group that claims to cure gays” in a sentence I’d be rich . . . and in Tahiti right now. Seriously, though, the Bible teaches that the only form of sexual expression God intended for His creation is between a man and woman married to one another. All else, heterosexual or homosexual, falls outside of His plan and constitutes as sin. That said, not many wake up one morning, down their coffee and decide to be gay. As complex human beings, sexual attractions develop for many known and unknown reasons and no one chooses those, but as sexual beings, we all make decisions about how to express ourselves. For those who consider the Bible to be life-giving truth, homosexual attractions and the desire to act on them are at odds with the desire to live a life that reflects the Christian faith and often results in moral tension. We know, though, that pursuing a relationship with God over these attractions, won’t always make the feelings go away. They may stay the same, lessen or possibly shift towards the opposite sex. That’s not the point. The point is to pursue a life beyond attractions, feelings and societal labels that is guided and defined by Jesus Christ and truth of Scripture. And for the record, living with conflicted desires is not the same as living a life dominated by them! So, to sum up, we don’t believe there is a “cure” for homosexuality, adultery, arrogance, gossip or any other sin. There is, however, Jesus who paid the price for it all when He died on the cross. Then there is the daily, sometimes moment-by-moment, decision to live a life congruent with His teaching.”

      7. In my own life, I have seen too many people beaten down and oppressed by Christian zealots, had their self-esteem shattered and been driven to the brink of despair and even suicide by Christians intent upon demonstrating their own moral superiority to possibly buy into your paradigm. When I think of Christians now, the image which comes to mind is Srebrenica, in July of 1995.

      8. @ Order in the Quart!

        What a ridiculous response! You’re talking to a gay person now. I refer proudly to gay people. Regularly! So how I can be ‘bigoted’ (it’s one T in bigoted) makes no sense at all! Sounds like you’re trying to wriggle out of your own argument there.

        By giving credence to Exodus you are supporting a group which contributes to the torment, bullying and suicide of gay people.

        If that makes you proud then that tells us more about you than we want to know.

        As I said before, you should take a good look at what you’re posting, and that involves doing some research.

      9. @Order in the Quart. Are you aware of the fact that BOTH the founders of Exodus International have come out and said the “ex-gay” program does not work? You may have listened to their speeches and preaching, but have you met anyone who was sent to or went to “ex-gay” ministries? Are you really aware how those places operate? Are you also aware that the suicide rates for individuals who are or have attended “ex-gay” ministries including Exodus International is well over double that of the general population? These organizations do way more harm than good.

        Having said that, what the owner of Chick-fil-A does or does not do with his money is his business. What the owners of any company, as long as it is legal, do with their money and the profits from said company is their business. How the public decides to react is up to each individual.

        Does it make someone homophobic because they do not “agree with” or like homosexuality? No, a belief or opinion alone does not make someone homophobic. It is the actions that belief or opinion inspire that may make someone homophobic (actually it is probably more accurate to say heterosexist). When any person attempts to use their beliefs to infringe on the rights of another person that is a problem.

        Don’t want same-sex marriages in your church, fine. Don’t want to attend same-sex marriages, fine. Don’t think that it is “right” for whatever reason, fine. I may not agree with you but you are certainly within your rights to do all those things. Want to prevent same-sex marriages in a courthouse or a house of worship that allows same-sex marriage…sorry that is where you lose my support.

      10. Gay editiorial, I firstly want to say I appreciate your civility. I would disagree with your assertion about the leaders of an Exodus in this fact – Exodus has come out time and time again against the label of “ex-gay”. “Ex” implies a switching over from. Rational people would not claim that one can easily “switch” from gay to not gay. Many people who struggle with unwanted (that being a strong emphasis) same sex attraction are deeply conflicted. That is not taken lightly or without deep compassion at Exodus. There are many people who believe the Bible at its word (which condemns the act of homosexuality), yet still struggle with attractions. These individuals choose to live a celibate lifestyle, which as a Believer I believe is admirable and deserves support. So it is possible that the leaders of Exodus might say “ex-gay” training (of which I would need to see what your direct reference of such teaching is) doesn’t work. I hope that makes sense. There is a strong distinction between a homosexual orientation and a homosexual lifestyle that I believe the church has failed to understand and thus failed at reaching out to the gay community, particularly in the 60′-80’s. Though I have attempted to negate the label ex-gay, I would address your statistics about ex-gay training and suicide(again with the assertion I have presented in that Exodus has been misconstrued as “ex-gay”) The statistics are astronomical, tragic, and in need of addressing. This topic MUSt be treated with compassion – I fully agree with you! My passion and my heart’s desire are not conventional on much of the church side. I follow the Word of God, not an institution. I also appreciate your correction of the term “homophobia.” You are absolutely correct to assert it is behavior towards one who maintains an open homosexual lifestyle. It is this specific labeling that is so frustrating to me as a person who deeply cares about homosexuals and heterosexuals and retains my adherence to Scripture, which is so often largely distorted by ALL sides. As far as your final point, let me say – I hear you. While we disagree on this, I can understand based upon your worldview where your frustration comes from. This is a complex topic for which this forum is not long enough to discuss. Finally to make a final official statement from Exodus, I leave with this quote from the websites FAQ section at http://www.exodusministries.org
        “If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard the words, “Exodus International” and “religious group that claims to cure gays” in a sentence I’d be rich . . . and in Tahiti right now. Seriously, though, the Bible teaches that the only form of sexual expression God intended for His creation is between a man and woman married to one another. All else, heterosexual or homosexual, falls outside of His plan and constitutes as sin. That said, not many wake up one morning, down their coffee and decide to be gay. As complex human beings, sexual attractions develop for many known and unknown reasons and no one chooses those, but as sexual beings, we all make decisions about how to express ourselves. For those who consider the Bible to be life-giving truth, homosexual attractions and the desire to act on them are at odds with the desire to live a life that reflects the Christian faith and often results in moral tension. We know, though, that pursuing a relationship with God over these attractions, won’t always make the feelings go away. They may stay the same, lessen or possibly shift towards the opposite sex. That’s not the point. The point is to pursue a life beyond attractions, feelings and societal labels that is guided and defined by Jesus Christ and truth of Scripture. And for the record, living with conflicted desires is not the same as living a life dominated by them! So, to sum up, we don’t believe there is a “cure” for homosexuality, adultery, arrogance, gossip or any other sin. There is, however, Jesus who paid the price for it all when He died on the cross. Then there is the daily, sometimes moment-by-moment, decision to live a life congruent with His teaching.”

      11. I will respond to the rest later, but for now…

        They also appear in a documentary “For the Bible Tells Me So.” Also, please note I am not just repeating what is on their website…I happen to know a few people that attended Exodus and one that attended Love in Action. Ex-gay is not my term, I personally do not like it. It is the term people that went to Exodus starting using (and then followed up with ex-ex-gay…ugh).

        Your distinction about homosexuality vs homosexual lifestyle is interesting. And, something I would like to discuss further, but at the moment the kids have soccer

      12. gayeditorial, I would be happy to discuss. If you go to my blog we can continue dialogue. I certainly understand commitment to kiddos 🙂

    2. Eden, thank you. I use to eat there, i won’t ever again as long as the company supports anti-gay organizations. To me it’s the same as them supporting the KKK, hate is hate.

  9. I understand your reason for boycotting Chick-Fil-A a lot more than those who are simply choosing to boycott them due to their Christian background. I’m pretty sure that most of their customers knew they were a Christian business. Hello, they’re closed on Sundays! However, I don’t see many people boycotting McDonald’s for the mistreatment of animals that occurs due to their huge franchise. Therefore, I really do not want to hear about anyone boycotting Chick-Fil-A simply because the owner does not support gay marriage. Is one that “political” or are they just that ignorant? Until there is a huge boycott on the McDonald’s company, there shouldn’t be one on Chick-Fil-A. Point blank period.

    1. I don’t know of an official boycott of McDonald’s, but lots of people don’t eat there at all, some for health reasons, others because they don’t want to support the way animals are treated to make fast food (not McDonald’s alone, obviously).

      1. Yes, I know. I just feel that if people aren’t worried about McDonald’s, they shouldn’t worry about Chick-Fil-A.

      2. Good idea. Let’s not worry about the effects of Citizen’s United on the integrity of out political process, or about the threat of Islamic Fundamentalism terrorism, or about climate change, either. If we don’t think or do anything about them, perhaps they will all go away.

      3. I do feel that way. I believe in opposing evil whenever and wherever I encounter it, whether in a state legislature, a fast-food franchise, or a church.

      4. I have no idea what you thought I believed. The CEO, President, whatever he is of Chick-Fil-A isn’t evil because he believes in the traditional family unit. I’m sorry if you feel that way.

      5. A big thank you to you Scott B, for engaging in an intelligent and muscular debate. The great paradox is that technically, we can’t really engage in a sound theological debate with christians because no two christians believe in the same thing!

        Divided they fall.

      6. Thank you for illustrating my point even further…you are 100% correct, no one person can engage in any sound debate theological or political because we are all wired differently and entitled to our own interpretation and opinion based on how it is perceived in the eye of the beholder. Why don’t you try to respect that concept, before you go off on your next tirade demeaning another human beings intelligence. Which further proves you are no different than anyone else who pushes their own interpretation, opinion and agenda. Peace ~

      7. Bravo! Way to generalize! I believe that it was you who first refused to participate in what you deemed “a mindless debate,” and now you are asserting that your intelligence has been demeaned because I took exception to that characterization? I do not think that the point which is being illustrated in this exchange is exactly what you think it to be.

      8. You are mistaken that comment was not made by me.. I don’t view anyone’s debates as “mindless.” Interesting that you choose to lump be in that category tho…. it does speak volumes….none the less…Peace~

      9. If that is in fact true, then I apologize. I have posted quite a few responses in this thread, and I am guilty of clicking on a button that says REPLY and not investigating where it subsequently appears.

      10. No worries ~ I understand being passionate and advocating for what you believe…if I think I am always right then that is when I know I have ceased being “open minded”…in this we shall become oppressive in our narrow conformity. Peace ~

      11. When you are constantly moving the goal posts to suit your license to bully and oppress, we have to put the spotlight on the urgent sanctimony of the people posting here. Sanctimony is just a countdown to scandal (see Catholicism) and the ones who shout the loudest at have the most to hide. Go figure.

  10. As a company that is closed on Sunday and is obviously run with some religious convictions, would one really expect anything else? So I was not surprised that Dan Cathy felt this way. I also feel that he has a right to his opinion and if you don’t like it then don’t eat there.

    I am however a bit surprised that a business would actively seek to alienate a segment of society. He is not really saying Dan Cathy feels this way…he is saying Chick-Fil-A feels this way. So Chik-Fil-A stands to lose a lot more business as compared to the amount of KFC and Popeye’s loyalists who will suddenly say…”Right on Chick Fil-A! I am going there today instead of eating fried chicken!”

    As a business, it was a bone-headed move.

    1. There would be no Chick-Fil-A without Dan Cathy. This thing is his baby… I could see saying that if someone else was behind it but not so. God put it in his heart and he followed through and brought it about.

      So, yes, indeed, Chick-Fil-A DOES feel this way…and does hold to this integrity and moral standard.

      1. Thanks for the reply Stacey!

        My point was kind off subject I must admit. I was making a point in a purely business sense and sometimes in a business, you have to do things for the sake of the business as opposed to your own feelings.

        Sure Dan Cathy made the company and he can say whatever he feels whether god told him to or not. By the way, I am a Christian. I am one of 10 billion management types in this world and although nowhere as successful as Dan (If you want to judge that being a CEO means that you are smarter and will make better choices than in the words of Dan Cathy – “guilty as charged”). However, even dumb old me knows that a statement like that would make your entire public relations office fall to their knees and cry.

        As far as Chik-Fil-A taking this stand, read the comment from Andrew T., the employee who dispenses the food to make Dan Cathy comfortable. He does not seem to be inline with Chik-Fil-A.

  11. I’ve thought about boycotts before, such as how effective they are. There are valid points on both sides. However, I think we can sometimes give the wrong message with boycotts, especially as a Christian. I wrote about this a while back: boycotting boycotts (concerning Disney, where we probably gave the wrong impression in a big way). The main point from it is whether our goal is to make the world more moral or if it’s to reconcile people to Christ. Obviously it’s the latter, which would result in making the world a better place (with true conversion). But if we’re just trying to clean up society without the Gospel, we’ve lost our focus.

  12. I drunkenly skimmed this entire article only to find a punch line at the end about whether or not boycotting is Christian?! Freshly pressed just keeps getting better…

  13. I think that you draw a false parallel between the boycott of Disney and the boycott of Chick-fil-A. The two are indeed related, though not in the way that you seek to assert. In the Disney matter, Christians were upset because Disney decided to extend equal rights and insurance benefits to gay employees — Disney was not trying to make a political point or to promote a particular worldview or narrow interpretation of morality, but merely to let all of its employees have access to the same benefits package. In the Chick-fil-A matter, the business decided to make a political statement and to espouse a particular sectarian worldview, and in the process to make a public judgement and moral determination having nothing whatsoever to do with selling sandwiches. In BOTH cases, the problem was and is aggressive, judgmental Christian moralism and a determination to deny to people who do not share certain Christian beliefs equal rights and privileges in our increasingly multi-ethnic, multi-cultural SECULAR nation. Chick-fil-A is entitled to whatever corporate culture it wishes to adopt, but it has no right to be outraged when ordinary Americans decide to express their disapproval and contempt for such bigotry and hypocrisy by refusing to patronize its business. Christianity is becoming increasingly reactionary and irrelevant, and I doubt seriously that Jesus Christ would even want his name associated with it.

    1. You make a good point about the different reasons people decided to boycott these two different companies. In the post I didn’t mean to perfectly equate the two perceived offenses but rather to identify why it was that these particular companies elicited such a strong reaction. My thesis is that both Disney and Chick-fil-A work hard to engender strong brand loyalty and identification in their customers such that individuals then struggle in their response upon learning that the company doesn’t appear to share all of their values.

      1. Religion belongs neither in politics nor in food service, and when religious people go out of their way to seek to impose their values on others, particularly within the context of a secular nation founded on the principle of separation of church and state, they cross an invisible line that is bound to result in bitterness and acrimony. Does not Matthew 7: 1-6 admonish against usurping the province of God in rendering judgments of others? The smug self-righteousness of many Christians makes their ostentatious practice of religion just as odious and oppressive as that of Islamic Fundamentalists to many people — and does not the Bible warn that the Great Deceiver will appear beautiful and clothed in light, and that evil achieves its greatest height when it assumes the appearances and the aspects of good? What greater irony is possible than that those who think themselves the followers of the Savior awaken one day to the realization that they have become the foot soldiers of the Anti-Christ, driving others away from salvation by their foolish pride in their own moral superiority?

        The supposedly coincidental announcement by Chick-fil-A that its Jim Henson/Muppet promotional toys had been determined to be dangerous to children in some mysterious and unspecified fashion, coupled with the revelation the Chick-fil-A was having its own employees post defensive remarks on Facebook while pretending to be loyal customers, only adds to the suspicion and the presumption that there is a darkness and a corruption behind this affair that has has more to do with politics than with religion. I am already refusing to purchase any product which contributes to the Susan Komen Foundation, and now I will extend that discrimination also to Chick-fil-A. It seems only appropriate that Chick-fil-A and other contemporary Christian Pharisees should reap what they have chosen to sow.

      2. Scott B. – it wouldn’t let me reply directly under yours. I find it ironic that you speak of being judgmental people and how we shouldn’t do that, but then appear to suggest that Chick-fil-a and it’s leaders are really just wolves in sheep’s clothing. Interesting.

      3. This isn’t about me, and your effort to make it so is a typical straw-man diversion — exactly the kind of hypocritical, malicious self-righteousness I have come to expect from so-called “Christians.” You never consider the possibility that criticism of your religion-tainted paradigm might be valid or justified, and instead you invariably seek to turn it around and to cast yourselves as victims.

      4. Not casting myself as a victim at all. I haven’t been hurt by anything either word or deed here. Just doing the same you have done – you read, had a thought and felt like sharing it. You make some pretty large assumptions about me as well, just in reading 100 words from me. Again, interesting. Is there problems in “this paradigm” as you call it. Sure. Just as there are problems in anything else you can come up with – fast food restaurants, politics, doctors, lawyers, teachers – there’s bad and messed up people in every walk of life. You can’t throw them all out because of a few whack-jobs. What I find interesting is that when someone leaves a comment or statement out in the public where anyone can read it and reply to it that one would get offended when someone holds a different opinion or calls them out on it. Really?

      5. Please spare me your supercilious reasonableness. As Gandhi once said, “I have no problem with your Christ — it is his followers who frighten me.”

      6. Brian and Scott, you seem to be taking past (or at) each other. Please take your comments elsewhere if you’re not interested in engaging the subject at hand with a bit more nuance and kindness. Thanks.

      7. David, upon reading all of this, I felt something deep inside give a long exhale. I didn’t realize I had been holding my breath when I first began to read this upon a toss from Freshly Pressed. The respect, perspective, and care with which you’ve both written on and moderated this topic have been a much needed and refreshing approach. I appreciate the community created around your blog and will henceforth follow. (Although this is off topic, thank you too for the nod toward Michael Washington’s site. I’ve read portions of “In the Dark” over and over again.) Thank you for being a light…

      8. Thanks very much Alissa. I’m always encouraged by fact that there are plenty of people interested in these nuanced conversations. I’m glad you found and enjoy Michael’s site; he consistently posts great stuff.

      9. If everyone would share all of the values of the other, what a wonderfully boring world it would be. I think the key words are tolerance and respect. Sometimes I wish we could all have stayed primitives and would be fighting to survive rather than live to fight.

  14. This company is funding hate and intolerance. I have never eaten there and certainly don’t intend to ever do so now. Boycotts? It is one of the few sources of power that I control – where to spend my money. I have not had a Coors beer in over 30 yrs and it is an extremely rare event that I step inside a Walmart

  15. Well said. I just blogged on this the other day and the irony that a company known for it’s Christian foundation, closed on Sundays, “My pleasure to serve you” and veggie tale kid’s toys is railed against because the Christian COO explains his agreement with his Christian view of marriage.

    I see no hate there, merely a person speaking in line with their beliefs. Hate the sin and not the sinner. I have homosexual friends who, though I don’t agree with their lifestyle, they are fabulous people who I love. They, on the other side, don’t agree with my lifestyle as a Catholic mother of 4 who is open to life. Yet we agree to disagree. The boycott is ridiculous, in my opinion, we are all entitled to our own opinions and if one disagrees with a company’s philosophy as a whole don’t eat there.

    It’s sad when we have to worry about being so politically correct that we can’t even express an opinion (Freedom of Speech and all) lest we offend. We are a diverse people and will never all agree on any given subject, but we can be respectful of one another’s opinions.

  16. Thanks for all the comments, and to WordPress for adding this post to the Freshly Pressed page. One note: on this blog I welcome a range of opinions but ask that they be expressed charitably. Some who have left comments have mistaken this post to be about homosexuality and have responded, to put it mildly, unkindly. These comments have been – and will be – removed. This particular post is about the decision to boycott and how that decision is often connected with how we’ve become identified with the offending company.

    1. Thanks. I appreciate this your willingness to open a touchy topic and to keep the discussion within reasonable bounds. The originally might not have been about homosexuality, but both of the examples you chose are, so it isn’t surprising that a lot of people respond to that.

      I don’t know how effective boycotting is as a tool overall, but I have a lot of personal “boycotts,” i.e., places I don’t buy from because I don’t agree with the public stances or policies the company has taken on various issues. There are also places I make a point of buying from because I want to support their public stances or policies. Personal support rather than political.

  17. This does not ,however, refrain us as Christians from loving gays. We as Believers hate the sin, not the sinner. If we are Christians, and hate gays,then that person should get back into the Word of God, and discover what is said about loving the sinner,and giving the reasons that God hates homosexsuality.,and show the Bible verse to the person to try to get thay person tp understand.

  18. I’m amazed that alot of the people that preach tolerance are often very intolerant of others. Tolerance should be extended to Chick-fil-A too.

    1. Contrary to popular opinion, corporations are not people and have no human rights nor any inherent entitlement to respect, and hence deserve no tolerance. Gay people, on the other hand, ARE people. The distinction is an important one.

      1. Who has the right to decide who should be tolerant and of what? So it’s okay to support a corporation who is tolerant of “gay rights” but it’s not okay to support a corporation who is tolerant of “heterosexual right’s”? or Is it okay to support a corporation who is tolerant of “heterosexual rights” and it’s not okay to support a corporation who is tolerant of “gay rights”? Sounds like we are out to punish corporations who don’t believe in our own personal belief system and poses the lingering question that we feel some need for validation because we just can not except the fact that someone else may not support or feel the same way we do.

      2. How does this issue involve “boycotting a corporation which supports heterosexual rights”? This is the same straw man argument that others have voiced in an attempt to justify ostentatious bigotry. Chick-fil-A is not supporting heterosexual rights, and to attempt to turn the discussion around like this only emphasizes the problem of having a wealthy and powerful corporation or religious sect exploit that wealth and power to advance an agenda and to promote political issues. Some people may consider Dan Cathy’s actions godly; I consider them stupid.

      3. Dani Marie,
        I decide. Why? It’s simple really. It goes like this.
        1- Chick Fil A is a business. I can choose to patronize them or not.
        2- Chick-Fil-A donates money to anti-gay organizations like Exodus International.
        3- I am gay.
        4- I choose to spend my money elsewhere.
        You can talk all you like about what you “believe” or how you “feel” or what you may or may not think the Bible says, but discrimination against a group of people because you have decided that they are somehow less deserving of basic human rights than the group you associate yourself with is just wrong.

  19. I have been having an ongoing discussion about this on Facebook with some friends who were upset about being branded as bigots and haters for supporting Chick Fil A. When the subject of the boycott came up,(homosexuality) and people began pulling out their bibles and quoting scripture, I had to point out that logically speaking, they were using a flawed argument called Divine Command theory, that ends up in hot water. Most of the people who participated in the discussion dismissed or passed by what I said but I thought I needed to say it. What is questionable to me, is that both in that discussion and in reading the comments here, homosexuality is treted as a lifestyle and not a biological fact. It allows those of us who aren’t gay to comfort ourselves about our good intentions and our lack of “hate” while ignoring the fact that real people are being discriminated against. I don’t support legislating for rights for the gay community only because they were born with rights that noone can take away and legislating for rights just seems wrongheaded. But that doesnt change the fact that they are being denied rights, like the right to marry and natural rights to be who they in fact really are. I myself just posted an article about this from the National Catholic Register about who is a hater that uses this topic to make its point, but now I wonder if I was right to do so.

    1. Your remarks go directly to the point. What God or the Bible says is not the issue here. The real issue is that a plutarch running a wealthy corporation is advocating and financially supporting efforts to limit the equality and the rights of other Americans. No matter how they dress up their justification in white robes, it is still discrimination.

  20. What no one seems to be noting however, is that the Mayor of Boston came out to say he would block Chik-fil-A from coming to that city. I think that is flat out wrong, because if a company said they fully supported Gay Marriage and then the Mayor blocked THAT company, he would no longer have a job. It’s not OK to discriminate on either side when it comes to businesses.

    1. So you presumably would also object if the mayor of your town spoke out in opposition to the opening of a Satanist gift shop in your neighborhood?

      1. Yes I would object to that, As long as it did not violate any city ordinances or laws, then free enterprise should be just that, I am also just for the record a supporter of personal freedoms, for everyone. I also do not believe that Government should have ANYTHING to do with the concept of marriage, for ANYONE. .

      2. If the nation had adhered to your philosophy of “no government involvement” in matters of equality and civil rights, at least 1 out of every 5 Americans would still be owned by other Americans, and the laws against miscegenation would still be on the books. There are some areas of common interest which ONLY government intervention can redress. The same arguments used today against gay marriage were once used to justify bans against inter-racial marriage. The original State court ruling that was overturned by the US Supreme Count in 1967 in Loving vrs. Virginia contains language about God’s supposed opposition to mixed-race marriages almost identical to those used against allowing gay marriage.

      1. I don’t agree. I think there will be a time when our children and their children look back at our age and wonder how we could have had it so wrong. It’s very simple, they wanted to open a store near City Hall I think, Boston considers itself a very liberal, open-minded state, to open their streets to such a corp is to condone their ideology. I mean to be honest, our gov’t does way more overboard stuff than this and we let it get away with it. I think the issue is so divisive because it deals with gay rights.

      2. I feel that when you say that “Boston considers itself a very liberal, open-minded state”, then to me, it would be very open minded if they let a business find customers even if they had a different opinion. Banning a business because they do not agree with your ideals would be the opposite.

        I think if there was a group such as “The American League for Gay Discrimination” and they opened a restaurant and stated that they would not serve gays, it would different and of course they would be open to legal issues as well. The fast food restaurant stated they did not believe in gay marriage which is a lot further down the scale. They still take the money of a gay couple. So banning them is not being very open-minded towards someone with a different opinion.

      3. Well it doesn’t really work that way. This following statement isn’t about you it’s just a statement but a lot of the times when bigots aren’t too happy with something someone says when they call them out on their own bigotry they talk about reverse-intolerance. I have the right to say you’re entitled to your opinion but I don’t want you anywhere where you could poison my people with that opinion, ya know?

      4. I have to take issue with the idea that local politicians ought to intervene or get involved in an issue like this. My point throughout this discussion has been that religion and constitutional issues are basically beyond reconciliation. The doctrine of separation of church and state actually serves to protect the church from manipulation by the state as much as it protects the state from manipulation by churches and Christians from persecution, including by other Christians and other religions. Let Chick-fil-A open a franchise wherever it is legal for any fast-food restaurant to do so, and let them succeed or fail on their own merits. If someone wants to invest in opening a restaurant likely to be picketed by demonstrators and boycotted, I certainly would have no objection….

  21. Oh sorry, forgot to mention I like your perspective in viewing this issue. Hearing something slightly more objective is a nice change of pace

  22. I will have to look into why some people boycott Disney. That might be interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  23. Meh. I’m gay. I don’t like fast food. I can buy good chicken at many places if I really want it.

    Here’s why I really started boycotting them though: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/01/chick-fil-a-donated-anti-gay-groups-2009_n_1069429.html

    Yes, they consistently give money to a bunch of anti-gay promoting organizations.

    Also to some of you, I respect Christians but they did not invent marriage. They shouldn’t have the market on it. Of course, churches should be allowed to decide whether or not they want to perform the ceremonies. But not whether or not I get basic human rights regarding my relationship to the person I love.

    1. Christians did not invent marriage! Well said. There are some very flimsy theological arguments that these people are hiding behind and causing a lot of grief in the process. Peace and love have left the building.

  24. Unsurprisingly, I suppose, it seems the decision to boycott Chick-fil-A breaks down along predictable lines. That’s fine, but let me ask a question to nudge us back to the original intent of my post: How do you decide who to boycott? To those of you who have decided to abstain from Chick-fil-A because of the CEO’s remarks and how the company spends it’s money: Do you apply the same standard to the other companies you make purchases from? To be clear, I’m not saying someone shouldn’t boycott this restaurant or any other company, I’m simply interested in why it is that certain companies seem more likely to draw our scrutiny than are others.

    1. For the most part, it all depends on publicity, I no longer purchase products that contribute to the Susan Komen Foundation because of the recent publicity over the attempted defunding of Planned Parenthood. I do not shop at Target Stores since finding out about Target’s contributions to anti-gay political candidates and organizations. Now I have added Chick-fil-A to my list of businesses which I choose not to patronize. In years gone by, I boycotted businesses and instructed my 401k administrator not to invest in any companies doing business with South Africa during the Apartheid Era. Businesses should be in business to make money, not to promote the personal or religious agendas of their owners or executives — if they choose to do so, then I choose not to give them any of my money. Hitting them in their pocketbook always gets their attention. Ask AOL.

      1. You’re behind on your news then, because I believe the Komen foundation still give to PP and Target is a big supporter of the LGBT community now. During gay pride month, they sold a line of shirts with 100% percents of sales going to the LGBT.

      2. I am in no wise “behind the times.” The Komen Foundation and Target backed off because concerned activists decided to push back, and because the heads of some agents provocateurs within those organizations rolled as a result. Apartheid ended in South Africa and AOL was gutted by consumer boycotts, which are an effective and non-violent way of confronting and defeating oppressive behavior by governments and corporations.

      3. I agree about Apartheid being ended in South Africa due in part to boycotts, but to say that about AOL is silly….AOL began going downhill and dying because of the advent of high-speed internet. AOL was/is a company dependent in large part on fees for dial-up internet services which are needed and wanted a lot less since the beginning of the high speed internet era. And as for business standing behind the religious BELIEFS (NOT AGENDAS) of their owners, if you knew anything about people with true faith and Christian beliefs, then you would know their faith is not something that is compartmentalized into only certain areas of their lives. It is part of who they are and permeates everything they do and everything they lead.

      4. AOL also outsourced its Customer Service functions to Mumbai as a cost-cutting measure, and as a result alienated millions of its customers by using people who spoke only nominal English to interface with its customers, as well as by adding charges for unwanted services to its subscriptions and by making it extraordinarily difficult for customers to cancel services. A great many people were so infuriated at the time that they took their business to other companies using the same technology. You obviously never dealt with AOL when it was the 800-pound gorilla of ISPs, or you would not be making such arrogantly ill-informed assertions. AOL went from being the largest ISP in the world to being merely a footnote, and deservedly so. My own experience with AOL was such that I swore never again to have anything to do with AOL, and for many years I went out of my way to advise my friends and business associates to do likewise. As for the rest of your post, I can only observe that what you choose to call “faith” permeating one’s being other people call bigotry, and that aggressively contributing to efforts to control the behavior of other people and to limit their rights and freedoms is fascism rather than faith.

  25. Personally, I am somewhat torn on the issue of whether or not to boycott Chik-Fil-A. On the one hand, I completely disagree with their stance on gay marriage and this raises two other points for me. #1 Do they also discriminate against gay employees? (if you say “of course they don’t because they have no gay employees” then I think that proves my point) and #2 They openly disparage homosexuality but I’m pretty sure they’ll still take a gay person’s money in exchange for a chicken sandwich.

    I had always respected Chik-Fil-A’s refusal to do business on Sundays. In my town there is a Carl’s Jr. right next door to Chik-Fil-A and the only day Carl’s can make any money is Sunday because Chik-Fil-A totally dominates for the other 6 days. Anyway, I’ve worked for a few companies that were owned by Mormons. (I’m not picking on anyone – but this is just the truth of what I experienced) As some of you may know Mormons don’t work on Sunday either. Seems to me like if the owners of a business share this belief then the business should be closed but in the businesses I worked at that’s not the way it was. What happened instead was that the owners plus all mormon employees were given Sundays off, no questions asked, and the few of us who were not Mormon were REQUIRED to work on Sundays with no exceptions. (this was never detailed as part of the job description or hiring process though) As if there was nothing I may need to do on a Sunday that could possibly be more important than them going to church. Anyway, just saying that I respect Chik-Fil-A’s decision to give everyone Sunday off as opposed to a select few. Another thing Chik-Fil-A has going for it is their near impeccable customer service. No other fast food restaurant even comes close when it comes to the treatment of customers.

    In my opinion, judging strictly on merit, Chik-Fil-A wins the best food / best service award, hands down. They are good at what they do. And now back to the issue of ethics.

    For those of you claiming it is unethical to eat there because of their stance on gay marriage, I ask you to dig deep for a moment and consider what you mean by “unethical”. Is there an ethical meal to be had from ANY drive up window? Fast food restaurants have been abusing animals, people, and the environment since the dawn of the golden arches. If you want to make a stand on ethics, try cooking dinner at home.

  26. In Chicago the elected elite are taking away the ability to boycott Chick-fil-A by not allowing a permit for a new location in Logan Square. If they can use a CEO’s statements on marriage to prohibit a new fast food restaurant whose to say that wouldn’t do the same if a church didn’t share thier views.

    1. Churches that engage in politics or fund lobbyists ought to forfeit their tax exempt status — a great many churches these days ARE businesses, corporate enterprises headed by a CEO instead of a cleric. However, the same First Amendment protections that precluded attempts to block the construction of a mosque in New York City would prevent local politicians from preventing the establishment of a legitimate church.

  27. While I don’t think the products we purchase from companies and businesses (which may or may not share our views) can make our identity, I do think they serve as elements of a larger scheme.
    We buy from certain sellers because of the reputation they have, because of their salesmanship. We identify ourselves with them as consumers and happy representatives of their name and authority in the business world. This is, as I see it, just the nature of the relationship between business and people.

    Now, as a person, I am so passionately committed to my identity in Christ–both forwarding it and sharing it. I want to identify myself with things and people that make my identity–and most importantly what (Who) it is grounded in–clear and even compelling to my neighbor, whoever they may be. Businesses that support an identity recognition that denies Christ do not compromise my own identity, but if they are in association with me there is danger in the differences between my identity-foundation and theirs to be blurred. I want my light to shine as effectively as possible.

    1. Thanks for engaging with the actual content of my post. Much appreciated!

      I think I see your point about the practical nature of the seller-consumer relationship. But I wonder whether, as Christians, we ought to “identify ourselves with them.” I appreciate your point that no business can compromise your identity, but on a practical level how do you decide which businesses positively or negatively affect your Christian witness? As I’ve said, I understand the impulse to boycott but wonder about the criteria we use.

      1. I think wearing clothing whose brand is a purely sexual image is one of the things that compromises my Christian witness–I do not want to support temptation in any way, but rather to stand for purity that exalts the Lord and not the cravings of the flesh that refuse to submit to the Spirit.

        As for entertainment venues like Disney, which you mentioned, I think they are pretty explicit about what they stand for and what they are working towards. They do not support truth that is in any way absolute, their characters model disrespect in relationships and a virtue that is circumstantial at best. Above all, they compel the viewer–most of which are children who are looking for direction–to “follow their heart.”

        My parents used many opportunities to contrast what the world had to say through popular venues and what God had to say. I think this was important because their instruction did not make me isolated from the world or afraid of it. I am not advocating a lifestyle of living outside of the world as much as possible. I just have a strong conviction that most of us do not guard our hearts as much as we could. We limit our growth in Christ–the cornerstone of our witness–because we do not earnestly bring checks upon the messages we hear and see.

        In what ways do you think we could identify ourselves with businesses and brands that need Jesus’ influence amidst them just as much as we do?

  28. Ha ha! The Muppets pulled out. This is the marketing equivalent of being taken to the Head Master’s (US = Principal) Office and being given a damn good old-fashioned thrashing over the desk. Complete humiliation, with the added by-product of throwing a global spotlight on the fact that public opinion is changing in the West. And money talks.

    I think we can all put money on someone clearing out their desk at Chick – A – Looney soon. And whoever it is will be going the same way as Pink Slime. Probably frothing at the mouth!

    Seriously, as I always say to these…overstimulated types: if they put the same hand-wringing energy into the preservation of our planet as they do into their obsession with what gay men do in bed…we might all have a brighter future.

  29. Being Canadian, I’ve never really had the opportunity to run into a “Chick-Fil-A” franchise. That being said, I can’t really comment on their business practises nor their food. However, this article sparked my curiousity and after reading some of Cathy’s comments on gay marriage, I can’t really see how he’s being overtly offensive. Firstly, it should be known that I am all for gay marriage; I will fight for their right to marry and I will, again and again, stand up for the rights of the LGBTQ community. However, if you read some of his comments online you’ll realize that he puts them in such a way that you can’t really pull out the “homophobic” card on him. Rather, he has a differing opinion on what is considered a “proper” union, based on his faith. Do I agree with him? Of course not. But I will admit that I’m slightly relieved that he isn’t as, for lack of a better word, “outspoken” as the Westboro Baptist Church. That being said, as one of the commenters pointed out, if we were to boycott all the companies that had a different policy of ethics than we did, we’d have a whole lot of money spent on nothing.

    1. Bless you, Mercedes, for agreeing to disagree and allowing others to also. I am also Canadian and a Christian. I may not agree with what my neighbor believes but I can still love them. It grieves me when any group is singled out in a hateful way… but we should be able to have freedom of belief and speech in a non-hateful way regardless of what we believe or which side we live on. Thanks for supporting that! In my particular circle of Christian friends I do not sense hate towards the gay community. Yes, we believe the entire Bible – but that is our own personal choice. How people live out their life is their own personal choice. I love freedom! ~ Wendy

      1. Yeah, I’ve met a lot of people who disagree with my point of view but as long as no one is being hurtful then I usually let things slide. (I’m not perfect though, so obviously I slip up) I think a lot of the reason we have such a view on these kinds of things is because we’re Canadian. Canada has a long history of promoting tolerance to others’ difference in which I am grateful. Thanks for the nice comment!

    1. As a fellow Christian- I believe Winston Churchill said, “Too often the strong, silent man is silent only because he does not know what to say, and is reputed strong only because he has remained silent.” And isn’t remaining silent taking a side?
      “Evil triumphs because good men do nothing”. Edmund Burke
      “To know to do good and not to do it is a sin” James 4:17
      “I wish that you were hot or cold…” Revelation 3:16

      1. I see your point and maybe I didn’t convey my sentiments properly. I totally agree that to remain apathetic or silent in situations of injustice is wrong. I do not want to be lukewarm and I do not think I am being so in this situation. However, when it comes to the Chik-fil-A stance on gay rights, I honestly think that it does not matter very much whether or not a fast food chain has an opinion on whether or not gay marriage should be legal.

  30. I have never eaten there, and while one opened up by my home this year, I never will. It has less to do with the comments made by Dan Cathy (although since he is the voice of the company, it does reinforce my existing stance) and more to do with how the company spends its money… its money which in fact would be MY money if I chose to spend it there. So, therefor I choose to spend it elsewhere…

    http://equalitymatters.org/factcheck/201207020001

  31. I do not associate myself with any particular religion. I was raised Catholic but tend to lean towards the Buddist side of beliefs. Here is my question for everyone:
    Why must we – as a collective of humans – judge and point fingers? Being different should be embraced and not feared. Sex is in your pants, Gender preference is in your brain, hard wired – unchangable just like your eye colour.. The world would be a nicer place if all people were just kind to eachother. I believe that is the fundamental teaching of every religion and the tao muppets.

  32. The government should be a buffer not a dictatorship. It is appauling to see that we have reached a point in government and society where we can no longer respectfully agree to disagree. As “American’s” we all should have the right to advocate respectfully and freely for what we believe in. We should always speak out against bullying especially when the motive is pushing one’s own personal view’s and agenda’s onto to others. If we become tolerant and complacent with this type of mentality then what made “America” great will surely become the demise of “America”. If someone chooses to support “Gays” if someone chooses to support Chik-fil-A that is their right…what are we in middle school where we need to feel some sort of validation and I’m not going to be your friend anymore because you support that. What I choose to support is a country where once again both can advocate for what they believe freely without the inference of governmental infrastructure which clearly is not happening here.

  33. The thrust of this article doesn’t quiet suggest whether or not the boycott is in relation to the Company owner’s stance on gay relationship. However, different people will comment based on their thinking, and not on the biblical basis of Chick-Fil-A’s position. I am a Christian and I believe the teachings of the Bible is the foundation for true christian living. I also believe the Bible is the final arbiter on matters that border sex relationships amongst human beings. And God, all through the Scriptures, condemns in unequivocal terms, sexual relationship between same-sex persons under any guise whatsoewver, in much the same way He condemned sex between humans and animals! I will not bore you with Scriptural references but suffice it to say those who insist on living as same-sex couple based on their “fundamental human rights”, but against the will of God, should bear in mind that someday, we will all stand before the Eternal Judge and answer for all our choices and actions.

    1. I’ve read up on his comments prior to commenting and agree with you entirely. What is the most shocking to me is that people are assuming he is “homophobic”. He was quoted to have said, “The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.” While yes, he did imply that he promotes the God-described idea of a union (man/woman) in his previous comments, he never actually *actively* insults gay marriage or gays in general. And even if he was not exactly *in* with the whole idea of gay marriage, I respect him for not stooping to the level of groups like the Westboro Baptist Church.

  34. I just wrote a blog about Chick-Fil-A too! Your’s was an interesting take on it- a different side of to boycotting or not. I’ve chosen to join the support of Chick-Fil-A for different reasons. I am more adamant about my support now because of government officials like the mayors from Boston, and Chicago using their office to prevent businesses. Regardless of Cathy’s view (president of Chick-Fil-A), it doesn’t give the right for officials to withhold permits, etc… to prevent business. This is constitutionally wrong! Boycotting is one thing, this is racketeering. If the strip clubs can get permits for businesses which are actually promoting a certain lifestyle, why should a permit be withheld from a business that serves chicken? The owners promote a certain lifestyle yes, but not at their place of business. Just as Cathy said, it’s not a “Christian” company. Anyone can be a consumer there, and will be treated with the same service as another. The owners of the company happen to be Christians, it shouldn’t matter.
    I’m promoting Chick-Fil-A because what is being done now is just plain wrong, and by supporting them I’m making a stand for the First Amendment and a stand against thugs.

    1. Well said, keep standing up for what is constitutionally right…it is the only way we can keep our freedom’s!

  35. The question of this boycott that frustrates me is the extreme manipulation that took place on the actual statements of the CEO. In reading the original transcript, the only statement he made was that he supports traditional marriage. No mention was ever made of same-sex unions, gay marriage, or anything of the sort. Unfortunately, the media got hold of it and promoted it as an ‘anti-gay’ statement. That would be the same as accusing someone who supports gay marriage as being anti-heterosexual marriage…

    1. Excellent point and just more proof that there is no such thing as responsible journalism anymore when it comes to the media. People need to be more aware of this and less dependent on believing everything the media reports as being true.

    2. During the radio interview, Dan Cathy said: “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.” How is that statement NOT anti-gay marriage? The ability of some Christians to blind themselves to the duplicity of their own credo never ceases to amaze me.

      According to an article in the Atlanta-Journal Constitution published in February of 2011: “For example, Chick-fil-A’s nondiscrimination policy covers sexual orientation where state laws require the company to do so, but not elsewhere, a company spokesman said. Likewise, Chick-fil-A offers domestic partner health benefits only in places that mandate such coverage. According to the gay rights organization Human Rights Campaign, 89 percent of the Fortune 500 mention sexual orientation in their non-discrimination policies, and 57 percent offer domestic partner health insurance on a nationwide basis.” It appears from this that Chick-fil-A’s tolerance only extends to places where the law requires it.

      1. The bible of the Christians hasn’t changed over the years, so what’s changing? If it’s not the bible, then it’s society’s immoral views and not wanting to be accountable for their views.

      2. In addition to being an expert in genetics and ethnicity, it appears now that you are also an expert in sociology, philosophy, and morality. No doubt the source of your knowledge and expertise in these areas is also the Bible?

      3. A doctor identifies sickness and diseases in other people and therefore, seek to heal. Christians are called to witness. They’re not perfect by any mean and should not suggest that they are.

        As for the question I posed, you didn’t answer.

        If people have the right to believe what they want, is it up to others to dictate whether by law or otherwise to stop them? You shouldn’t bully someone into accepting a lifestyle that he/she doesn’t agree with or believe in. If it goes for Christians trying to convert others then, it should go for everyone else.

        The Bible is there to be read and to be interpreted. What aids in that might be your views, the views of others, what you see on TV, listen to, have read, seen, etc.

        “The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.” Winston Churchill

        Have a lovely, sunflower day. 🙂

      4. Try removing the beam from your own eye. Efforts to do such things as to pass laws banning gay marriage are in fact efforts to create a strata of second-class citizens by denying them equal rights and protections under the law of the land, and in that respect resemble nothing so much as the Nuremberg Laws of Germany in the 1930s, the anti-miscegenation laws prior to the Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia in 1967, or the Jim Crow Laws passed in the American South between 1876 and 1965. A lot of people simply are not interested in what Dan Cathy, or Michelle Bachmann, or Rick Santorum, or any other right-wing religious ideologue says that God says. I don’t need to have people like them — or you — telling me that God will punish me for failing to defer to a position which I personally find morally and intellectually bankrupt. I am an American, and the US Constitution nowhere contains the words “Jesus Christ, Christianity, Bible, Creator, Divine, or God.” In fact, religion is never even mentioned other than in exclusionary terms, such as the specification in Article 3, Section 6, that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

      5. How does requiring other people to enjoy equals rights protections under the law takes away any your rights? Did the Supreme Court, in striking down Loving v. Virgina in 1967 and thereby allowing Blacks and Whites to marry, take away the rights of anyone. My cat is not opposed to gay marriage, and allowing it would effect her as little as it would you. Your remark is nothing more than a meaningless talking point, and it is based on no discernible logic.

      6. All of the signature ignorance and prejudice of Christians seems to be surfacing in this discussion. It has been fairly well established through scientific investigation that homosexuality is not a ” lifestyle choice,” and basing one’s condemnation of others on a 2000-year-old work of mostly fiction does small credit to the supposed rational ability which differentiates human beings from animals, which also display homosexuality in Nature and must therefore, one assumes, possess and be exercising Free Will in making such a lifestyle choice in defiance of God’s will.

      7. Had a wonderful time reading from this so-called 2000 year old fiction in church this morning; and this “ignorant one” prayed for you. 🙂 Bottom line, you believe what you want, and I’ll do the same. Hope you find the peace that you need. 🙂 The End.

        Have a lovely, sunflower day. 🙂

      8. It’s a miracle! Thank you, Jesus! I can smell the distinctive aroma of sanctimoniousness even over the Internet!

  36. Interesting thread. Following the thinking here as to what should or should not be boycotted, we would all have to throw out our iX products (as well of most of the other STUFF we buy) as they are manufactured in China, a nation that promotes a cruel family planning policy that includes forced abortions.

    Folks, it ultimately comes down to the sin issue. Jesus clearly loves the sinner but hates the sin. Jesus was often rebuked for entertaining people of “questionable” character. I would still patronize Chick-Fil-A even if the person serving me behind the counter was of a persuasion that I do not espouse to. Christians are good people.

      1. A real Christian doesn’t believe that any one is “good”- not knowing the difference is part of the problem.
        What does that have to do with boycotting or not? Eat or don’t eat there, but we shouldn’t force people out of business or deny their work permits for their beliefs.

      2. Actually, only real Calvinists believe as you do. John Calvin, one may recall, labeled people with whom he disagreed as heretics in 16th Century Zurich, Switzerland, and had them burnt alive at the stake. Real Christians, inspired by the Dominionist historical revisionism of David Barton, in Texas recently pressured the Texas Board of Education to substitute Calvin for Thomas Jefferson as an example of humanistic Enlightenment in school textbooks published in Texas.

      3. The Bible says that “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Christians are not good either – only Jesus was good.

        But according to the Bible: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 I am not good but I am saved.

        We are all free to believe or reject the Bible. I support freedom to believe or not to believe – it’s up to us and everyone’s freedom should be protected whatever they believe as long as they don’t force it on anyone else. ~ Wendy

      4. It seems to me that the Christ which many Christians worship is in fact a mental image which they have cast in their own likeness, and not the Christ of the Gospels, the Christ who was above all humble and non-judgmental. Through their ostentatious moralism and self-congratulatory sanctimoniousness they actually drive many people away from Christ, and end up in the process serving a quite different Master….

      5. I stand corrected, Wendy. There is none good but God. Absolutely. I did not articulate clearly my intent in choosing the word ‘good’ to describe Christians. Perhaps the better word choice would be ‘genuine’; humble, not hypocrites, not phoney, and not revengeful. It does not get any better than that.

        No, none of us are perfect. But, it is a good high watermark to strive for. (Mt 5:48)

    1. People would have separated chicken from politics, this guy chose to speak out against gay people, no one went to his house and forced him to voice his opinion so we could all boycott.

      1. There is lots of revisionism going on here. Cathy was never directly asked about gay marriage, nor did he say anything against gays. Someone, try to find a quote . Keep in mind that you need to use a primary resource, not a commentary on it, but actual transcripts or quotes.

  37. Chick Fil A can say that they are opposed to gay people existing and the LGBT community and our allies can choose to boycott them for that. I’m gay, I don’t go around telling christians they shouldn’t be able to get married or that they can’t believe in what they believe in.

    If Chick Fil A said that they didn’t believe in interracial marriage and gave money to companies that lobbied to ban that practice, my guess is that you would never have written this post.

    1. Commendable on your view of boycotting or not to but the problem is the government officials using their office to stop the First Amendment, but I disagree with your comparison of same sex attraction and ethnicity. It’s not the same.

      1. One wonders about the source of the scientific expertise which enables you to determine questions of genetic predisposition and ethnicity. Does it, by any chance, stem from that essential guidebook of the Scientific Method, the Bible?

    2. It’s an interesting question: If Chick-fil-A had a policy of some sort against interracial marriage would I have written the post. To be clear, I’m coming at this as a Christian who is wondering why it is that some Christians choose to boycott some things and not others. I was trying to suggest that often it’s not about the company’s perceived offense but rather our intimate identification with that company that provokes a boycott. I’m not suggesting that boycotting Chick-fil-A (or any other company one has issues with) is right or wrong; just wondering, as a Christian, what the criteria people use to make these decisions.

  38. I see a lot of talk in these comments (and I have heard it all my life growing up in church) about “hating the sin, not the sinner.” I’m sorry, but where in the Bible do you read that? Is it when Jesus spoke about LOVE? When Paul spoke of LOVE? Did you see that cute little disclaimer about hate there? No. I understand the fear and frustration. We live in this frankly screwed up world. But the point is…we are part of the problem. Each of us. We are all screwed up. Ok, so you aren’t part of that 10ish% that is gay or has experimented, but you have something. Many somethings most likely. Lust or greed or self-righteousness or lying or…hatred. So what good does it do to smile awkwardly, shrug, and offer the heartless conscious-cleaning bit of nonsense about the distinction between hating the sinner and hating the sin. Neither is our place. If you want to spread Jesus’ teachings you spread his LOVE. The sins of others are between them and their maker (unless you’re talking about a crime against another individual – felt like I had to add that for all the argumentative folk browsing the internet lol).

    1. The Nazis, at one point, considered rounding up all of the Jews in Europe and deporting them to Madagascar, where they could be isolated and prevented from tainting Aryan genetic stock through intermarriage. The Nazis were only interested in preserving Aryan racial purity. They did not hate the Jews; they only hated their Jewishness. It was only when this contemplated mass deportation was determined to be impractical and potentially too expensive that they settled on the less expensive option of merely exterminating them.

    2. To calebghall – read Ezekiel 18:20: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” And here: Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

      Did not intend to turn this into a Bible study, but how can anyone be deceived and think that God is going to accept just anyone into His kingdom. Sin will not be there. It happened once (Lucifer), and the Lord has put the plan together to ensure it will not happen again.

      Why did Jesus suffer and endure crucifixion? Because the penalty of sin was
      just that high and could only be neutralized by the shedding of sinless blood (anyone recall the animal sacrifices in the O.T?). The O.T. is God concealed and the N.T. is God revealed. Types and shadows if you will of what was to be a new and better way – Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God.

      Before you shut me down, know this: I have known several ‘gay’ people in my life. A family close to us and their child lived the gay lifestyle and died of AIDS. It was a tragedy to this family. I hold no prejudice against gay people: Why is it that this community is so vocal and seemingly revengeful towards ‘Christians’? It is alarming.

      1. @DAVID
        I am not sure what you are potentially implying by knowing one gay person who died from AIDS. I know plenty of gay people without AIDS . . . actually the only person I have ever met with HIV (to my knowledge) was heterosexual. Since I really hate reading into things, I will assume that you were not implying there is any correlation between HIV/AIDS and homosexuality.

        As for why the “community” is “seemingly revengeful towards ‘Christians’,” well I do not think that applies to the entire “community.” I do not think that the voices of some can be broadly applied to all. I think that holds true for Christians as well. There are some that preach, teach, and believe that homosexuals should be put to death because of the Bible. There are other Christians that believe in equality. And, there are even gay Christians. I do not think any of us should paint with broad strokes. Not all Christians are ready to stone homosexuals and not all homosexuals want to seek “revenge” on Christians.

        As for what the Bible does or does not say about homosexuality, this is a debate that always goes in circles. Some quote what you referred to as the Old Testament. Others say no, Christians do not have to follow the O.T. since Jesus. Some quote both. Others look at the historical, social, and language context in which the Bible was written in order to assign meaning to it.

        I think the bigger point in the entire debate is this . . . respect. Both “sides” need to realize that it is possible to live in harmony. No one has the right to dictate to any religion what they should or should not believe or what they should or should not practice. Simply being against something does not make you a bigot. Now, there are exceptions to that. Those exceptions occur when a religious practice is either dangerous or against the law (e.g. the former Mormon tradition of marrying several women). As I gay woman I have no objection to your church or any other religious organization or member of clergy refusing to marry same-sex couples. Why? I support the freedom of religion. Certain religions will not marry a couple that is interfaith because they do not believe in this practice. I also have no object to people voicing their opinions based on their faith or whatever other reasons, even if those opinions are not the same as mine.

        What I object to is using a religion, any religion and yes including my own, to dictate what should or should not be legal. Where do we draw the line? For purposes of this discussion I will stick with marriage. Exactly whose religious definition of marriage shall we use to mandate law? Jewish? Fundamentalist Christians? Born again Christians? Catholics? Episcopal? Unitarian? Muslim? Therein lays the problem. We are a diverse country with many religions. Within each of the aforementioned religions are different sects. Not all religions and not all sects define marriage the same way. And, that includes same-sex marriage. The Episcopal and Unitarian Churches recognize same-sex marriages, albeit in different ways. The Union for Reform Judaism recognizes same-sex marriages and has allowed Rabbis to decide for themselves if they will or will not perform said marriages.
        Again, I do not believe that I or any other person has the right to force a religion or clergy member to perform a same-sex marriage. What I do believe is that civil marriage is a civil right. A religious marriage is not a legal marriage. In order for a marriage to be legal, one needs to obtain a marriage license from their state and have someone approved by the state perform the ceremony. Then, additional paperwork needs to be signed and filed stating that the ceremony was performed and witnessed. Religious marriage and civil marriage is not the same thing. Civil marriage is what provides the legal protections and benefits afforded to marriage couples. I could care less how someone’s religion defines marriage.
        Even as we speak (er, type), civil nonreligious marriages are being performed. Agnostic, atheist, and interfaith couples and couples that are religious but opt out of a religious ceremony can go to the courthouse and get married. Most religions teach be fruitful and multiple, but couples that do not want children, cannot have them, or are too old to have children can get married even if their church refuses to marry them. Clergy often insist on meeting with couples prior to marrying them, and on occasion a clergy member may refuse to perform a wedding because they believe the couple is either not ready or not suitable to be married. Those couples can go to the courthouse and get married. Many religions do not believe in divorce and therefor do not perform second marriages. Those couples can also go to the courthouse and get married. That is exactly what I want. I want the right to a civil marriage (or a marriage in a religious institution that will perform same-sex marriages). I do not want, nor should I have, the right to dictate religion.
        While everyone has the freedom of religion what people seem to forget is that also means freedom to not have a religion. And before anyone responds with we are a nation built on Christian values, need I remind you that murder is not a Christian value and we go to war and have the death penalty. Abortion is not a Christian value for some sects of Christianity but we allow that too. Divorce is not a Christian value, but that is also legal. Birth control and premarital sex are not Christian values, both legal. Not believing in Jesus (e.g. being Jewish or Muslim) also not a Christian value, and also legal. We are a nation built on freedom, I just simply want the freedom to marry the consenting adult I am in love with.

      2. @gayeditorial thank you for your gracious and careful response. Though this thread is somewhat off topic from my original post I’m OK with it proceeding as long as people are gracious in their interaction. Anything less than assuming the best of the other is inappropriate for a conversation of this type.

      3. David, you misinterpreted my point. Those are excellent verses that do describe God’s stance on sin and his righteousness. And while he is gracious to those who accept his sacrifice and believe in him (jn3.16 acts13.39…oh and the rest of the bible) he obviously does have standards and a moral code. I was not saying anything about God’s view on homosexuality. I was speaking to fellow believers about the dangers of so harshly judging other people’s sins while we have so many ourselves. I was also trying to confront the “cop-out” of “hate the sin, love the sinner” because the focus of the bible is love. Not hate. So next time before you talk down to somebody and assume you know all about them please read what they said.

      4. Is it even possible to have a debate or a discussion like this without Christians dragging out their Bibles and quoting Scripture to buttress the suspect and often tenuous validity of their arguments? Quite apart from the fact that there are perhaps as many as 52 competing versions of the Bible, that the Catholic version contains more books than the Protestant version, that the Jewish version orders the books of the Old Testament differently than any of the Christian versions, and that the Mormon version was rewritten by Joseph Smith and is interpreted by living Prophets who claim to be speaking directly from Divine Revelation, the more important fact is that the United States of America is a secular nation, founded on the bedrock principle of the separation of Church and State, and that Christianity in America is entitled to no primacy of place or deference over any other religion or creed. For Dan Cathy or any other corporate plutarch to support measures designed to infringe upon the rights, freedoms, and privacy of other Americans on religious grounds is simply unacceptable. The common man may not be able to compete with the wealth and power of a Dan Cathy, but he can certainly make a stand by refusing to give his money to a bigot — even one exercising his First Amendment right to make a fool of himself.

      5. Caleb – my apologies if my reply offended you in any way. That was not my intention. You are correct in that the phrase you reference is not scripturally substantiated word-for-word. But one must consider that this thinking parallels, in essence, with Jesus’ response to the woman taken in adultery when he told her to “go and sin no more.”

        Again, I apologize if my word choices came off as condensending or belligerent.
        David

      6. Quoting Scripture to support an argument about secular constitutional law is inane. If you cannot make your argument without quoting from the Bible, then you have no argument.

      7. David, I get what you are getting at, but I think you may still be missing my point. Ok…say you are house shopping, and you find a house you are interested in. You say you love the house. But you hate the porch and the kitchen and the den and the bedrooms and all the carpet and the general architecture of the place and the deck and the basement and pretty much everything else. It doesn’t make sense to say you love the house when you say you hate all the things that it is. Now forgive me because that metaphor slightly breaks down if you think about it long enough because you could easily change some of the things about the house. People, however, you cannot change. God can, but only if the person wants it. Of course the ultimate goal is for people to leave their sin, but that comes with time and faith and a lot of work. Nobody will listen to anything you have to say though if you greet them by articulating the hate you have for their lifestyle. Especially if they define themselves by their lifestyle.

        And that line of Jesus you referenced was prefaced by “nor do I condemn you.” I feel like we are close to being on the same page. I just wanted to express some of my concerns about the oftentimes negative attitude held by Christians. As some one quoted Gandhi on this page, too often do Christians repel people from Christ. By no means does that mean we should weaken or try to compromise the Bible. As Jesus said in John 13.35, people should know Christians by their love. But unfortunately our reputation is smeared with words like “bigot.”

  39. Enjoying your site so I’m nominating you for my Illuminating Blogger Award for informative, illuminating blog content. I know not everyone participates in blog awards but I hope you’ll at least check it out because it’s a great way to discover new blogs and meet new web friends. If you’re interested in participating, you can check out the details at my site … foodstoriesblog dot com & then click on “Illuminating Blogger Award Site” in the upper right-hand corner … Either way, hope you’re having a great day 🙂

  40. The power brokers in Chicago seem to be suffering from this identity crisis. The comments about marriage made by the CEO of a private business have so rattled thier idea of what their image of Chicago is that they will use the power of the government to stomp on the first amendment rights of a business owner that doesn’t have views that meet their ideals. Never mind that Chicago is leading the nation in murders, that 50% of the students won’t graduate high school and there is a huge youth unemployment problem. Instead the leaders in Chicago are concerned about the impact that a Chick Fil A will have on the image of the city. We all boycott things nearly every day of our lives. We avoid TV shows we don’t like, drive by restaurants we don’t care for and avoid religious organizations that make us uncomfortable. In my opinion a line is crossed when politicians award business permits based on if the business conforms to their personal beliefs vs an objective standard that all business have to conform to. In the end you have to admit that most americans identify the Chicago Way with elected officials bullying those that dare challenge them so our current Mayor is just being true to Chicago image’

    1. We’ve also missed an important point, Illinois is one of the thirty-something states that voted to keep the definition of marriage between a man and a woman. Thus, he is not representing the majority of the people, only it’s courts.

      1. Thanks to such political contrivances as redistricting and gerrymandering, as well as to the injection of vast amounts of anonymous financial backing by individuals like the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson, and by religious organizations with a specific agenda like the LDS, it is by no means incontestable that the laws passed in so many states do indeed represent “the majority of the people,” or even that they are Constitutional. Prior to being struck down by the landmark Supreme Court decision in 1967 in the case styled “Loving v. Virgina,” at least 33 states had passed anti-miscegenation laws making interracial marriage illegal, or even subject to criminal prosecution. Sometimes even laws which the majority wish to impose on others are deemed oppressive and abusive in a constitutional republic, and the courts exist to redress such inequities. As Thomas Jefferson once observed: “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.”

  41. As an American, I agree that people have the right to believe, say and protest in accordance with their conscience and the laws of the land. I loathe hate mongers, but I will defend their right to speak. I am a proud, pro-gay, love focused Christian. No one is without sin. It is the human condition. People don’t know what lurks in the hearts and minds of Christians, Jews, Muslims or Hindus. I am not God and would never presume to know His mind. I have to work on my own heart and soul. I wish to be kind, accepting, loving and supportive of all people who need or want me in their lives. Religion doesn’t make you moral, anymore than walking through a garage makes you a mechanic.
    Please read my blog.

  42. To the original poster: I am curious after just happening across this on Freshly Pressed, if you are familiar with Eastern Orthodox Christianity? Seeing what you commented about “World Faith” (paraphrasing), I strongly suggest that you check out Orthodoxy.

    + Happy Friday to you.

    1. I’m only a slightly familiar with Eastern Orthodoxy – from a bit of history, a visit to a Orthodox church years ago, and friends who are Orthodox. I’m curious about the connection to this post as well as what you mean by “World Faith.”

  43. As I just stated over on my own site at http://scottfillmer.com/2012/07/27/moral-obligation-to-eat-chick-fil-a-mayor-rahm-emanuel/ there is a fundamental mis-understanding that those who support “gay rights” have when it comes to the convictions of those who defend the Truth. There is nothing more clearly stated as sin in the Bible than homosexuality and no mayor of Chicago or Boston is going to change that.

    I applaud the conversation on both sides because I think Freedom of Speech is far more important than one politicians ability to dictate to the rest of us, especially when he apparently doesn’t know anything about the constitution. No mayor in our day should threaten a family business from coming into their town, this isn’t the 1960’s, and he isn’t a mob boss.

    As far as boycotts go… not such a fan, even if i was on the other side. It’s a free country, if it wasn’t ok for one it wouldn’t be ok for Chick-Fil-A to say what they say. Congrats on being FP’d by the way, nice!

    1. Throw out your Bible and your claim to be representing Truth, and make your argument based solely on logic and the US Constitution. There is, in fact, an argument that can be made, on constitutional grounds, for the non-interference of government officials in such matters, but Christians typically want to infringe upon the rights and freedoms of others in the guise of exercising their own religious freedom, yet scream bloody murder whenever the tables are turned.

      1. I’m all for making logical arguments based on reason… I agree with you, Christians can make stupid claims without out any factual knowledge, I actually pointed out today that the ACLU and Chickfila both agree, and rightfully so. Don’t lump all Christians into one giant pile, many are completely useless when it comes to making valid arguments.

      2. Re: Christians making stupid comments: Let’s review.
        1) Protestants are by definition not Christian. They are Protestant. Romab Catholics are Roman Catholics. Orthodox Christians are Christians. Okay.
        2) Believe it or not, the whole premise of Christianity as far as reason/logic go is that there is something HIGHER than human logic. God is above logic and human reasoning. He is knowable in as much as He has revealed to man. Human logic and reason are so Aristotalian (sp?) – either-or. Think about Christianity like Quantum Mechanics. Schroedinger’s Cat. Not that this is particularly relevant to the Chik-Fil-A nonsense.
        3) Read post below.
        Sorry to sound blunt. I should shut my mouth.

      3. All of which has exactly NOTHING to do with the fact that the United States is a secular, constitutional republic founded up the principle of the separation of church and state, and that religious people of any confession or creed have no right to impose their moral standards on other Americans. More than half of the states in which Chick-fil-A has established franchises are “Right To Work” states where there are no consequences for discriminating against gay employees by, for instance, refusing to hire them or deciding to terminate them because they are gay, and in all of those states Chick-fil-A’s corporate policy pointedly fails to include any non-discriminatory provisions against such practices. That says something about the undercurrents surrounding this entire discussion, and suggests that Chick-fil-A’s efforts to expand its business outside of the Bible Belt may become increasingly problematic. My taking my lunch business elsewhere may only have a very small impact on Chick-fil-A’s bottom line, but if enough other people follow suit, maybe corporate management will the message that there is a difference between having religious convictions and actively promoting intolerance in the public area. As Barry M. Goldwater once famously said, “Religion has no place in public policy.”

      4. In God We Trust: The Motto
        One of the first found references of the motto “In God We Trust” is heard in the U.S. National Anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner. The song was written by Francis Scott Key in 1814 and later adopted as the national anthem. In the last stanza Key writes a variation of the phrase: “…And this be our motto: In God is our trust. And the Star Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.” The words were shortened to In God We Trust and first applied to U.S. coins in 1864.

        In God We Trust: The History
        The U. S. Department of Treasury states “the motto, IN GOD WE TRUST, was placed on United States coins largely because of the increased religious sentiment existing during the Civil War. Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase received many appeals from devout persons throughout the country, urging that the United States recognize the Deity on United States coins.

        From Treasury Department records, it appears that the first such appeal came in a letter dated November 13, 1861. It was written to Secretary Chase by Rev. M. R. Watkinson, Minister of the Gospel from Ridleyville, Pennsylvania. As a result, Secretary Chase instructed James Pollock, Director of the Mint at Philadelphia, to prepare a motto, in a letter dated November 20, 1861:

        Dear Sir: No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense. The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins. You will cause a device to be prepared without unnecessary delay with a motto expressing in the fewest and tersest words possible this national recognition. It was found that the Act of Congress dated January 18, 1837, prescribed the mottoes and devices that should be placed upon the coins of the United States.”

        Pollock suggested “Our Trust Is In God,” “Our God And Our Country,” “God And Our Country,” and “God Our Trust.” Chase picked “In God We Trust” to be used on some of the government’s coins. The first time “In God We Trust” appeared on our coins was in 1864 on the new two cent coin, and by 1909 it was included on most the other coins. During the height of the cold war, on July 11, 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed Public Law 140 making it mandatory that all coinage and paper currency display the motto.

        In God We Trust: The Foundation
        American history demonstrates repeatedly that the nation was founded on Christian principles and its founding fathers wished to acknowledge that fact all over Washington D.C. buildings, in official documents, and historical speeches. Less than a hundred years after its Declaration of Independence, In God We Trust was proclaimed on its coins. America is a free nation, and freedom of religion is still guaranteed in the Constitution’s First Amendment.

        President Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time” and asked ‘Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are of God?’”

  44. There was a great discussion on Ancient Faith Radio between Dr. David Dunn (a self proclaimed “lay-theologian”) and Priest John Whiteford on the subject of same-sex marriage. Fr. John’s stance is pretty clear and accurate, at least for Orthodox Christians. I reeccomend checking it out.

    Also, and article titled “Gay is Not the New Black”…

    The point I think a lot of un-believers and/or same sex marriage advocates are missing, as well as some against same-sex marriage, is that folks who request to be able to state their opinion based on religious affiliation are just as oppressed by same-sex marriage advocates as they are by fanatics who run around telling gay people they are going to hell. The Church does not believe in gay marriage, and sees homosexuality as a sin. HOWEVER, it is not the duty of the Church to go around telling people they are damned. The responsibility of the Church is to guide willing souls to salvation through repentance and teaching the True Faith. When folks fanatically cry out that homosexuality is a sin and they don’t want none of them queers in this neighbourhood!! they give the True Christians a bad name. The same goes for folks who fanatically claim all religious people are jerks who just want to oppress. Not everyone is an extremist, yet people seem to accept extremist behavior as the norm. The message here is Thank God we are Americans, meaning Thank God we have the Constitutional right to practice religion and voice our opinions.

    Besides, if Chik-Fil-A’s stance offends you, find different junk food to eat and stop being a fanatic yourself. No amount of whining is going to change what has been said, regardless of what context it was said in.

    + Evlogeite

    1. Excellent point’s….well said. Extremes to the right and to the left of any political dispute are always wrong. I do thank God for the founding fathers of this great country who made it possible for me to stand in a country where I have the Constitutional right to practice religion and I proudly profess that I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

  45. Laughable Christian historical revisionism. Neither the National Anthem nor the dollar bill govern the rights and freedoms of American citizens — the US Constitution does, and the Founding Fathers were Deists, not Christians, and were quite quite outspoken regarding their low opinion of Christianity and organized religion in general, as well as their commitment to a wall of separation between Church and State. Quoting Thomas Jefferson to support your ludicrous contention is the most egregious fabrication of all, since the Christian ministers of his day, in an effort to block his election to the Presidency, accused him of being an atheist. Jefferson responded, in a letter to James Monroe dated May 26, 1800: “As to the calumny of Atheism, I am so broken to calumnies of every kind, from every department of government, Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary, and from every minion of theirs holding office or seeking it, that I entirely disregard it, and from Chace it will have less effect than from any other man in the United States. It has been so impossible to contradict all their lies, that I have determined to contradict none; for while I should be engaged with one, they would publish twenty new ones.”

    In a letter to Horatio Spafford dated March 17, 1814, Jefferson wrote: “In every country and every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot … they have perverted the purest religion ever preached to man into mystery and jargon, unintelligible to all mankind, and therefore the safer engine for their purpose.”

    In “Notes On Virginia,” Jefferson said: “Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced an inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.”

    In a letter to Peter Carr dated August 10, 1787, Jefferson wrote: “Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.”

    In a letter to Baron v. Humboldt in 1813, Jefferson wrote: “History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose.”

    In a letter to Benjamin Waterhouse dated June 26, 1822, Jefferson wrote: “Creeds have been the bane of the Christian church … made of Christendom a slaughter-house.”

    You clearly know very little about the philosophy and character of Thomas Jefferson, or about his commitment to secular Humanism. There are numerous other statements by Jefferson which contradict your assertion that he had any sympathy for or commitment to orthodox Christianity:

    “They (preachers) dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of daylight and scowl on the fatal harbinger announcing the subversions of the duperies on which they live.”

    “I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition (Christianity) one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology.”

    “We discover in the gospels a groundwork of vulgar ignorance, of things impossible, of superstition, fanaticism and fabrication .”

    “No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever.” -Virginia Act for Religious Freedom

    “… I am not afraid of priests. They have tried upon me all their various batteries of pious whining, hypocritical canting, lying and slandering. I have contemplated their order from the Magi of the East to the Saints of the West and I have found no difference of character, but of more or less caution, in proportion to their information or ignorance on whom their interested duperies were to be played off. Their sway in New England is indeed formidable. No mind beyond mediocrity dares there to develop itself.” (letter to Horatio Spofford, 1816)

    “Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the Common Law.” (letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, 1814)

    “In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot…. they have perverted the purest religion ever preached to man into mystery and jargon, unintelligible to all mankind, and therefore the safer engine for their purpose.” (letter to to Horatio Spofford, March 17, 1814)

    “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and State.” (letter to Danbury Baptist Association, CT)

    Nor was Jefferson alone among the Founding Fathers in rejecting the percepts of Christianity:

    “I looked around for God’s judgments, but saw no signs of them.” (Benjamin Franklin)

    “Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst…. The study of theology, as it stands in the Christian churches, is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests on no principles; it proceeds by no authority; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing; and it admits of no conclusion.” (Thomas Paine)

    “What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not…. Experience witnesseth that ecclesiastical establishments, instead of maintaining the purity and efficacy of religion, have had a contrary operation. During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.” (James Madison, “A Memorial and Remonstrance, 1785)

    “As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?” (John Adams, letter to F.A. Van Der Kamp, December 27, 1816)

    John Adams also wrote: “This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it…. Have you considered that system of holy lies and pious frauds that has raged and triumphed for 1,500 years? …Thirteen governments (of the original states) thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.”

    “That Jesus did not mean to impose Himself on mankind as the Son of God, physically speaking, I have been convinced by the writings of men more learned than myself in the lore.” (Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Short, August 4, 1820)

    “When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself so that its professors are obliged to call for the help of the civil power, ’tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.” (Benjamin Franklin)

    I could go on, but the point should be clear that the claims of Christian historical revisionists that the Founders were Christians are distortions and outright lies, not supported by the words and writings of the Founders themselves. That there were Christians among the Founders is indisputable; but to assert that they intended the United States to be a “Christian Nation” is absolute rubbish. The First Amendment was enacted, in part, to PREVENT Christians from persecuting non-Christians and other Christians. In the words of James Madison: “The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries.” (letter dated 1813 objecting to the use of public land for churches)

    Your assertion that America’s alleged “Christianity” is demonstrated by buildings and inscriptions in Washington and elsewhere is equally ridiculous. Indeed, if we examine the symbology used on buildings and other formal icons, we might easily conclude, instead, that what they imply is that America was in fact founded as a Pagan nation. The Statue of Liberty is actually a replica of the Greek goddess Hera ( Babylonia Ishtar, Egyptian Isis, Roman Libertas). On the obverse of the Great Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia, created in 1776, Liberty holds the Liberty Cap atop a pole in Her right hand and is flanked on Her left side by the Roman Goddess of Eternity (Aerternitas) and on Her right by the Goddess of Fruitfulness (Ceres). In addition, the Goddess Liberty, also with a Liberty Pole and Cap, appears with Ceres on the front of the Great Seal of New Jersey, adopted in 1777.

    The Roman goddess Minerva is depicted on the US Army Medal of Honor and the on the US Navy/Marine Corps Medal of Honor; the Roman goddess Liberty appears on the US Air Force Medal of Honor. A statue of the Roman goddess Minerva sits atop the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC, above the inscription “E Pluribus Unum.” Inside the Great Hall is another statue of Minerva. The fresco inside the Capitol Dome depicts a composite of Jupiter and Mithras as George Washington, flanked on the right by a composite of the goddesses Liberty, Bellona, Minerva and Mithra, and on the left by a composite of the goddesses Victory, Fame, and Juno. Surrounding Washington, the goddesses and the maidens are six groups representing different aspects of the nation. All are represented with pagan gods and goddesses. WAR is an armed Goddess Freedom with her Eagle. SCIENCE is the goddess Minerva teaching invention to Benjamin Franklin, Robert Fulton, and Samuel Morse. MARINE is Neptune with Venus holding the Transatlantic Cable. COMMERCE is Mercury (Hermes) handing a bag of money to Robert Morris, a major financier of the American Revolution. MECHANICS is the firey god Vulcan, working at the anvil, making a cannon and a steam engine. AGRICULTURE is the goddess Ceres, who also represents Peace throughout Washington. With her is America in a red Liberty Cap, the Roman Pileus which freed slaves wore to mark them as free. Flora is picking flowers.

    Christians need to lose the delusion that they or Christianity itself is entitled to any primacy of place in the United States of America. It causes untold friction and unpleasantness, and it is offensive to the millions of America who do not and never will consider themselves Christians. They may not turn America into a Christian Theocracy, but they may well turn it into a battleground.

  46. How can expressing your beliefs be discrimination? I love my gay family members and friends..but I don’t like or hold to the lifestyle. They know I am first a Christian AND ALSO A PASTOR’S WIFE. I will be there in support of Chick Filet. I understand that othere compainies are supporting them too. We are all entitled to our beliefs and rights. Chick Filet is not saying WE WILL NOT SERVE GAYS…they are saying….I the owner have a moral code for myself and this is mine….get off the soap box !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. First of all, your position explicitly incorporates the inherently broken syllogism that being gay is a “lifestyle,” and then you proceed with the revealing, conditional self-justification about loving your gay acquaintances and family members, which is chillingly reminiscent of the classic post-Holocaust declaration by some Nazis that “some of my best friends were Jews.” The COO of Chick-fil-A is doing more than expressing his religious convictions — he is advertising his intention to use the money that he makes selling sandwiches not to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, or house the homeless, but to support an organization explicitly committed to limiting the rights and freedoms of a targeted class of people. You are expressing support for discrimination masquerading as righteousness.

  47. Using your logic, then, the international boycott against South Africa’s policy of Apartheid was “silly”? That actually says quite a lot about where your head is at….

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