Weighing in on the Chick-fil-A Fray

For me, personally, marriage means a covenant relationship between one man and one woman the way it is described in the Bible. The way it is described or defined by civil law and the judiciary and other people falls within their domain. Although I may have opinions about the way God views human relationships I don’t feel compelled to try and force them on anyone. But, neither do I believe I, or anyone else, should be intimidated, threatened, or demonized should we decide to express our views about such matters. Unfortunately, intolerance seems to be totally acceptable today if that intolerance is directed against persons holding or being “insensitive” enough to express  traditional Christian values. The mega-outrage against Chick-fil-A is a recent example of the type of name-calling and intolerance which seems so wrong. The following is a well-written article by a blogger buddy, Matt, who blogs at Well Spent Journey.  I believe Matt’s article expresses truth regarding  the situation and reflects my view on the entire Chick-fil-A fray.  

Matt has a degree in chemistry and is currently a medical student working toward his M.D. and PhD.   He describes himself:  “In terms of my core beliefs, I’m first and foremost a Christian: Protestant and non-denominational. I’m 23 years old, married, politically conservative, and something of an outdoors enthusiast.  Here is Matt’s article.  RMF

Chick-fil-A and the Ironic Allegation of Bigotry

Posted by Matt on July 26, 2012

A few days ago, one of my friends sent me this article, asking if I’d write a blog post on the controversy surrounding Chick-fil-A’s stance on marriage. For those who aren’t already aware, the fast-food chain is well-known for its emphasis on Christian values. Restaurants are closed on Sundays, and the company has made significant donations to organizations such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the WinShape Foundation, and the National Christian Foundation.

I’ve seen a large number of blogs, articles, and Facebook posts expressing outrage over Chick-fil-A’s endorsement of traditional marriage – many of them vowing to boycott the restaurant chain. Obviously everyone has the right to purchase – or refrain from purchasing – whatever they want (except for health insurance, I suppose). I don’t have any problem with people boycotting businesses that don’t represent their beliefs.

I do take issue, however, with some of the language being thrown around. Almost without exception, Chick-fil-A’s critics accuse the company of “hate” and/or “bigotry”. Actress Roseanne Barr even went so far as to suggest that anyone who eats at “S%#@ Fil-A” deserves to get cancer.

Roseanne Barr

Accusing a person (or company) of “hate” is a difficult and dangerous thing, since it presumes to know the motive behind someone’s stance. If someone opposes the legalization of marijuana, for example, it isn’t automatically assumed that they “hate” those who smoke pot.

Reading through the statements made by Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy, it seems far more likely that his support for traditional marriage is merely driven by a desire to promote the biblical definition of the family unit. The company has also issued a statement saying: “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…”

Even more perplexing, however, is the allegation of “bigotry”.

Bigotry is defined by Dictionary.com as: “stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own.”

Bigotry involves not only negative feelings, but also an unwillingness to discuss – or even listen to – the opposing viewpoint. It involves shutting oneself off from conflicting ideas – often with an attitude of superiority or self-righteousness. Is there any evidence that Chick-fil-A shows “complete intolerance” toward homosexuals? I certainly haven’t seen any.

Although not true of everyone criticizing Chick-fil-A, it’s worth pointing out that many are themselves “stubborn and completely intolerant” of any viewpoint that doesn’t call for the legalization and cultural acceptance of gay marriage. These are the people who seek to shut down debate by labeling those who disagree with them “bigots”. One friend even told me outright that “there shouldn’t be a debate”, and that those who hold more traditional views on marriage should simply “acknowledge that it’s OK to be gay”.

There seems to be a great deal of intolerance lurking behind this liberal facade of tolerance.

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About ronfurg

Former naval officer, federal investigator, forensic scientist, senior executive service member and pastor. In retirement serves as volunteer and life group leader at New Life Christian Church (www.newlife4me.com). Devoted to beautiful wife, kids and grandkids. Looking forward to the time when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord of all and that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
This entry was posted in Ethics and Morality, Faith and Politics, General Interest & Miscellaneous, Marriage, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Weighing in on the Chick-fil-A Fray

  1. I don’t think most people are outraged about the latest quote. The quote simply stoked the fire. Most people are upset at what the company has been doing, namely using its WinShape brand to help fund various organizations that proactively distribute information that is radically against homosexuality. The most glaring example is the Family Research Council. Here are three examples of their actions:

    1. They’ve repeatedly claimed that homosexuality is linked to pedophilia (see #3 as an example) and that “homosexuality poses a danger to children” – Tony Perkins said that).
    2. They’ve called from criminalizing homosexuality.
    3. They’ve written that “one of the primary goals of the homosexual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the ‘prophets’ of a new sexual order”
    4. Since #3 was kind of linked to #1, another example is them claiming that gays and lesbians in the military would be more likely to sexually attack other heterosexual military members (claimed without any valid data to back this up, of course).

    Now, since I’m a heterosexual, married, Christian male, let’s flip the tables – if I were working for a company that was led by a homosexual who thought that Christianity was wrong and that heterosexual marriage was wrong, I might be slightly offended, but I wouldn’t care too much if it just happens to be his opinion. However, if that person is taking his view and using the company as his own tool to attack my beliefs… Then I’d have to think – is my work directly helping the company succeed and subsequently funding these groups that attack my heterosexual marriage? If so, then I would undoubtedly boycott that company. I’d have to say that’s what’s happening here.

    If Dan Cathy simply said that he endorses traditional marriage and there was no funding / activist arm of the company, then I’m pretty sure there wouldn’t be such outrage.

    • ronfurg says:

      Jonathan — Thanks for your thoughtful and enlightening note re the Chick-fil-A blog item. Would you please send me references for the info you provided. There is obviously too much hate and animosity going on in this entire realm of social discourse and it would be nice to get the truth out regarding things. I don’t know much about the Family Research Council or Tony Perkins and certainly don’t know to what extent Chick-fil-A or WinShap support them financially or otherwise. I would personally be uncomfortable with the Family Research Council positions you cite assuming they are true, and I have no cause to doubt you. There are obviously extremeists out there and much hatred and distrust along with plenty of folks who love to stir up animosity. E.g, there are too many Roseanne Barrs ready to blurt out hate. Anyway, any info you can provide will be appreciated. And, again, great hearing from you. Ron < ~~~~~~~~~~

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