Recent comments by Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy sparked protests from liberals. Even the mayors of Boston, Chicago, and other places made statements to the effect that Chick-fil-A is not welcome in their respective cities. The vitriolic reaction has sparked Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day scheduled for today, August 1, when hundreds of thousands of people (including me) plan to show their support for the restaurant.
What did Cathy say that was so terrible? In an interview with Baptist Press, Cathy was asked about the company’s support of the traditional family. His response: “Well, guilty as charged.” He went on to add, “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.”
These comments have ignited angry rants against Cathy and Chick-fil-A. Boycotts and threats of bans have been common. Many of the online reports have completely twisted his words by saying that he was responding to a question about the company being anti-gay.
What was so shocking about his statement? Nothing. It has long been public knowledge that Cathy operates Chick-fil-A according to what he believes to be biblical values, such as the organization being closed on Sundays and donating money to national marriage ministries. This is often reported as donating to anti-gay or anti-marriage equality groups (notice the labels used to make the groups sound vicious and spiteful). In fact, just last year (February 2011) Chick-fil-A was in hot water for sponsoring a conference run by the Pennsylvania Family Institute. According to many on the left, this is a rabid anti-gay group (or perhaps they are just pro-traditional family). So there was absolutely nothing surprising about Cathy’s comments.
That’s what happened. Cathy didn’t say anything unexpected, and he didn’t say anything about banning homosexuals from going to or being hired by Chick-fil-A, or that he was in favor of stoning homosexuals, or anything like that. He simply reiterated that he was not in favor of gay marriage. And for that, Cathy has been called homophobic, hateful, bigoted, and more.
Let’s take a closer look at what is really going on, and we’ll see who has really been acting in a hateful, intolerant, and bigoted manner. Liberals love to claim that they are for “tolerance,” yet many of them are completely intolerant of anyone who dares to disagree with their views. Rather than being willing to calmly discuss the issue in an open exchange of ideas, the “tolerant” liberals will resort to name calling, shouting down the opposition, and in some cases, lawsuits and violence. Yeah, that seems tolerant.
I am a Christian, not a hatemonger
Think through this with me for a minute. I am not in favor of gay marriage. Why do I hold this position? Because I am a Christian who believes that the Bible is true from beginning to end, and that it is the authority in every area of life. I believe that God defined marriage at the beginning as being between one man and one woman for life. Jesus reiterated this in Matthew 19:4–5. Furthermore, the Bible consistently states in both the Old and New Testaments that homosexual behavior is sinful (Leviticus 20:13; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:9–10), so why would I condone behavior that God’s Word says is wrong?
Does that mean that I hate homosexuals? Absolutely not! Do I believe homosexual behavior is sinful? Yes I do, and so is adultery, lying, stealing, lust, greed, gluttony, etc., and I’ve certainly committed more than my fair share of sins. But I can be friends with a homosexual and treat them with respect and dignity. They are human beings made in the image of God, and I believe Jesus died on the Cross for all people (“For God so loved the world…”). The gospel needs to be shared with all people—not just heterosexuals—because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
“But you believe the Bible is true, so you must believe that we should execute homosexuals since that’s what Leviticus says.” No I don’t believe we should execute homosexuals or adulterers. This doesn’t mean I’m rejecting the Bible. That law in Leviticus 20:13 was given to the Israelites, along with a bunch of other laws, during the time of Moses, and not to the church. According to the New Testament, as a Christian, I am not under the law (Galatians 5:18).
[Added 8/3/12: With a large number of unbelievers reading this post, this point needs a little more explanation. From the time of Exodus on through the rest of the Old Testament, God was dealing with humanity primarily through the nation of Israel. He gave them the Law (made up of 613 laws, by some counts). These consisted of moral, civil, and ceremonial laws. The law in Leviticus 20:13, which prescribes the punishment for homosexual behavior is part of the civil law code. In the New Testament, Jesus came, fulfilled the Law, and He commanded His disciples to take His message (the gospel) to all people, both Jew and Gentile (non-Jew). God's standards and morality did not change, but the church is not a theocratic nation (as Israel was supposed to be), so I do not believe we are supposed to carry out the punishments that were part of the covenant made with the nation of Israel in Moses' day. As mentioned above, Christians are not under the Law.]
Hypocrisy on Parade
There are some who behave despicably in the name of Christ, and I believe are very hateful toward those who disagree with them (Westboro Baptist quickly comes to mind). But the Westboro folks do not represent the vast majority of Christians. They are a fringe group and do not demonstrate the love, mercy, and grace required of Christians.
Christians certainly have their share of problems. I’m not afraid to admit that. But the hypocrisy from so many of the liberals and pro-homosexual groups is overwhelming when it comes to this issue.
There is currently a petition from a student group at the University of South Dakota seeking to ban Chick-fil-A from opening a store there (for which they already have a contract in place). I don’t have a problem with someone voicing their opinions, but consider the absolute hypocrisy from the student who started the petition. He said, “Universities should be beacons of tolerance. The official policy is not to discriminate. We feel official actions to the contrary only give lip service to the stated policy.”
Did you catch that? Universities should be “beacons of tolerance” and “the official policy is not to discriminate.” But apparently it is just fine to be intolerant of and discriminate against Christians. So much for tolerance and anti-discrimination.
Where was this outcry of intolerance and discrimination against President Obama? Up until a few months ago, he was supposedly against gay marriage. I don’t remember the mayors of Boston and Chicago calling for a ban against him. I don’t remember student groups seeking to forbid him from visiting their campuses. Where was the outrage from the liberal media calling him anti-gay, homophobic, and bigoted? Of course, he was likely in favor of gay marriage all along, and most people fully expected him to embrace it, so it could be that these groups gave him a pass for that reason.
Often the “tolerant” liberals and anti-traditional marriage people (see how easy it is to play word games) are the ones who are pushing others around and bullying. At a recent student journalism conference in Washington, a homosexual anti-bullying speaker ridiculed Christians and God to the point that dozens of students walked out of the assembly—and were heckled and cursed at in the process by this speaker.
So these people only accept and “tolerate” those who agree with them. But that is not tolerance at all. True tolerance can only be displayed toward those whose opinions and practices differ from your own.
A picture recently circulated on facebook pointing out the hypocrisy of boycotting Chick-fil-A for their support of traditional marriage. Apparently it is okay to act outraged over the comments made by a Christian businessman, yet not a word is said about the Islamic nations that execute homosexuals. Why haven’t these people boycotted gas stations since so much of our oil/gasoline comes from OPEC nations who put homosexuals to death?
Politically Correct Nonsense
Disagreeing with someone on the subject of gay marriage does not make one homophobic anymore than being in favor of gay marriage makes one heterophobic or “Christian-phobic.” I am not afraid of homosexuals, nor am I anti-gay or bigoted. I am anti-sin, but pro-sinner. I am supposed to love people enough to share the truth with them, but that does not mean that I should condone their behavior.
Here’s one of the great things about being an American. I should be able to say these things, and you should have a right to disagree with me if you want to. But the goal of using politically correct language is to silence any opposition. Instead of having a lively, but civil debate about the issue, liberals resort to name-calling, saying that someone is anti-gay or anti-marriage equality.
Those who are against abortion (like me) because they believe it is murder (since a human life is being taken) are said to be waging a war against women. We are allegedly anti-choice and anti-women’s rights, but we really are in favor of choice and women’s rights. We think the baby should be given the choice whether he or she wants to live. Also, since roughly half of the children killed in abortion clinics in this country are girls, then I could argue that those in favor of abortion are truly the ones waging a war on women and who are anti-women’s rights.
Politically correct terminology is designed to silence opposition and distract from the real issues. But it is effective, because it wears down the opponent and deceives those who don’t take the time to think through an issue logically.
For the record, homosexuals already have equal rights when it comes to marriage in this country. Any homosexual man can marry any woman who will have him (as long as she’s not a close relative), and that is the exact same right that a straight man has. That’s equality.
“But a person should be able to marry whoever they want to, as long as it’s consensual.” Really? Should a brother be able to marry his sister if they both agree to it? Should a man be able to marry five women if he wants to and if they agree to it? How about a father marrying his daughter as long as they love each other or a mother marrying her son? If you redefine marriage on your own terms and justify it with this argument, then where does it stop? There’s no good answer to those questions because those in favor of redefining marriage do not have an absolute standard to which they can appeal.
While I pray it does not happen, based on the direction our nation has been heading, I expect gay marriage will be legal in just about every state within a decade or so. That doesn’t mean I have to agree with it or believe it is moral. Some would call me a hater for holding the biblical view on this subject. So does that make them haters since they disagree with me? Why is okay to discriminate against Christian beliefs?
I would prefer that we stop these silly word games and have civil, rational discussions about the issues. We are told to stop the hate, but from what I’ve seen, the hate is not coming from Christians. Instead, it has been directed toward Christians like Dan Cathy who stand up for what they believe.
[Update 8/5/12: I have received numerous comments that are too vulgar and vicious to approve for posting. So if you plan to comment on here, please keep it family friendly.]