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Chick-fil-a Controversy Manufactured by Media?

I came across this link which suggested that the entire controversy over Chick-fil-a and gay marriage was ginned up by the media. It included a link to the original source of the conversely, and being partial to making judgements based on original source material, I decided to read it.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Dan Cathy is opposed to gay marriage. His religious values would practically guarantee that. But I do have to admit the context in which he was speaking sounds more like heterosexual marriage rather than gay marriage:

It began as a college scholarship and expanded to a foster care program, an international ministry, and a conference and retreat center modeled after the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove.

“That morphed into a marriage program in conjunction with national marriage ministries,” Cathy added.

Some have opposed the company’s support of the traditional family. “Well, guilty as charged,” said Cathy when asked about the company’s position.

“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.

He’s speaking here of the WinShape Foundation, which has a program that is described thusly:

Truett Cathy‘s middle son, Don “Bubba” Cathy, and his wife Cindy, also head up efforts to minister to couples in strengthening their marriages. The retreat center offers several special events for couples—ranging from couples who have healthy marriages to couples who are actively considering divorce. The program seeks to promote healthy marriages and families.

If the claim that in this context, Cathy is speaking of heterosexual marriage, I buy it. But I think it’s a stretch to suggest that “biblical definition of a family unit” would ever include a gay family in the minds of the Cathy family, and as the Wikipedia entry notes, WinShape has given substantial funding to Eagle Forum, Focus on the Family,Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Family Research Council, Exodus International and the Marriage & Family Legacy Fund. Since the controversy, it seems WinShape is agreeing to get out of the debate on gay marriage, and leave the political arena. For a business, this is wise.

So while the media may have ginned up a controversy from this one article which nowhere mentions gay rights or gay marriage, it’s a fact that the WinShape foundation has given money to causes that oppose gay marriage. As for the controversy, I think Popehat said it best in this “Eat Less Totalitarianism” post:

Menino could use his bully pulpit to call on Bostonians to reject Chick-Fil-A if they come to town. He could call for social opprobrium on Chick-Fil-A and its affiliates and even on its patrons. He could organize protests and marches and letter-writing campaigns. He could carry a sign in front of Chick-Fil-A saying “BE LES BIGOT” if it opens. But if he says he’ll use the coercive power of government to retaliate against Chick-Fil-A for views he doesn’t like, he’s totalitarian.

Read the whole thing.

12 Responses to “Chick-fil-a Controversy Manufactured by Media?”

  1. Jay says:

    What? I successful Christian who expresses his views is then criticized by the “enlightened” media? Say it ain’t so! How dare he have an opinion that might go against the official groupthink.

    I’m being hyperbolic, but it’s like he’s being treated as if he’s running for office, damning him with six degrees of separation on where his donations went.

    Chick Fil A is probably the best run fast food chain in the country. Their drive through runs like a German train station, and their product is wonderful. They don’t seem to discriminate in any way in their hiring practices. Their employees always seem cheerful.

    They obviously must be destroyed.

  2. Scott says:

    I thought the Popehat posting was spot on.

    Personally I am socially to left of the spectrum. I couldn’t care less about gay marriage,and it saddens me that my uncle felt it would be better to leave the country than deal with my family when he was outed, but it seems to me to be pretty awful to have government trying to stop a business such as Chik-Fil-A from coming into an area, they are not selling something that is going to go against the moral fiber of the locality. I would also love to know how many Dominos are in that jurisdiction as well? Isn’t the creator of Dominos an Opus Dei kinda guy?

  3. Arnie says:

    “But I think it’s a stretch to suggest that ‘biblical definition of a family unit’ would ever include a gay family in the minds of the Cathy family.”

    I suspect you are correct, Sebastian. If I may be permitted, in the words of Jesus Himself:

    “And He answered and said, ‘Have you not read, that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh”? …What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.’”

    If the Cathys read the same Bible I do, then they are speaking exclusively of heterosexual marriage.

    My understanding of their position is one of being positive toward biblical marriages (and helping avert divorces), not of casting aspersions on others who prefer a different “model.”

    Mike Huckaby is calling for pro-marriage sympathizers to eat at Chick-Fil-As nationwide to help counter the threatened boycott by those who oppose the Cathy’s values. If there were a store anywhere close, I would go. (Hey, I like chicken!)

    Respectfully, Arnie

    • Arnie says:

      Oops, I forgot to give the Bible reference: Matthew 19:4-6.

      Arnie

    • Damon says:

      Unless his ministry serves polygynous marriages, or marriages in which the father conceives a child by his wife’s servant, he’s obviously a liar or, at best, a hypocrite to claim the organization supports a “biblical definition” of marriage.

  4. Oranje Mike says:

    I think Cathy helped bankroll anti-gay marriage support in CA. Chick-fil-A has been on the gay rights crowd shit list for a while now.

    • Jay says:

      Is there evidence Cathy “bankrolled” the CA ballot initiative? And I don’t mean through six degrees, etc.

      • Andy B. says:

        In the short time I spent poking around, I could find no assertions, even by the harshest critics of Cathy and Chick-Fil-A, that they had significantly “bankrolled” the California initiative.

        But that said, if you are willing to discount things that get done through six degrees of separation, then you have no understanding of how much of the Religious Right works. Everyone seems to think the “stealth” of the Christian Coalition era is a thing of the past; actually it has only grown stealthier. It’s why you’ll see so many “activist” groups go apoplectic over any suggestion that 501 c(4) organizations be required to disclose the sources of their funding. You might be surprised at who funds your no-compromise gun rights group, and start asking why.

  5. Tony A says:

    I think the liberal left-wing media should leave Mr. Cathy alone. It is just unseemly to pick on the mentally handicapped.

    Here’s a summary of different Biblical forms of Marriage:

    1. Polygamous Marriage
    Probably the most common form of marriage in the bible, it is where a man has more than one wife.

    2. Levirate Marriage
    When a woman was widowed without a son, it became the responsibility of the brother-in-law or a close male relative to take her in and impregnate her. If the resulting child was a son, he would be considered the heir of her late husband. See Ruth, and the story of Onan (Gen. 38:6-10).

    3. A man, a woman and her property — a female slave
    The famous “handmaiden” sketch, as preformed by Abraham (Gen. 16:1-6) and Jacob (Gen. 30:4-5).

    4. A man, one or more wives, and some concubines
    The definition of a concubine varies from culture to culture, but they tended to be live-in mistresses. Concubines were tied to their “husband,” but had a lower status than a wife. Their children were not usually heirs, so they were safe outlets for sex without risking the line of succession. To see how badly a concubine could be treated, see the famous story of the Levite and his concubine (Judges 19:1-30).

    5. A male soldier and a female prisoner of war
    Women could be taken as booty from a successful campaign and forced to become wives or concubines. Deuteronomy 21:11-14 describes the process.

    6. A male rapist and his victim
    Deuteronomy 22:28-29 describes how an unmarried woman who had been raped must marry her attacker.

    7. A male and female slave
    A female slave could be married to a male slave without consent, presumably to produce more slaves.
    and of course …

    8. Monogamous, heterosexual marriage
    What you might think of as the standard form of marriage, provided you think of arranged marriages as the standard. Also remember that inter-faith or cross-ethnic marriage were forbidden for large chunks of biblical history.

    The important thing to realize here is that none of these models are described as better than any other. All appear to have been accepted.

    So there you go. The next time someone says that we need to stick with biblical marriage in this country, you can ask them which of the eight kinds they would prefer, and why.

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