Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mainstream Media Invents Gay Marriage Chick-Fil-A Controversy

(By Patrick Hobin, NewsMax.com, 24 Jul 2012)

CNN and other left-friendly media outlets are running full speed with an erroneous story that brands the president of the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain a homophobe because he allegedly told a reporter he is “guilty as charged” when it comes to his company being opposed to gay marriage, The Weekly Standard reported.  But the Chick-fil-A president, Dan Cathy, did not condemn gay marriage. CNN and other liberal outlets made their own leap from Cathy expressing support of the traditional family and Christian growth and ministry to making Cathy appear to be condemning gay marriage.  A review of the original interview shows he wasn’t even asked a question about gay marriage nor did he say he condemns it.

The erroneous report caused such an uproar that even Boston's mayor threatened to deny the company business permits, and the Muppets announced the fast food chain wouldn't be able to license any new toys for their kids meals.  For example, CNN said in its story: “But the comments of company President Dan Cathy about gay marriage to Baptist Press on Monday have ignited a social media wildfire.  ‘Guilty as charged,’ Cathy said when asked about his company's support of the traditional family unit as opposed to gay marriage.  ‘We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that,’ Cathy is quoted as saying.”

In the actual interview, Cathy wasn’t specifically asked about gay marriage.  His remarks to the paper were as follows: “We don’t claim to be a Christian business,” Cathy told the Biblical Recorder in a recent visit to North Carolina. He attended a business leadership conference many years ago where he heard Christian businessman Fred Roach say, “There is no such thing as a Christian business.”  “That got my attention,” Cathy said. Roach went on to say, “Christ never died for a corporation. He died for you and me.”

“In that spirit . . . [Christianity] is about a personal relationship. Companies are not lost or saved, but certainly individuals are,” Cathy added. “But as an organization we can operate on biblical principles. So that is what we claim to be. [We are] based on biblical principles, asking God and pleading with God to give us wisdom on decisions we make about people and the programs and partnerships we have. And He has blessed us.”  And here's what Cathy says about marriage, the Weekly Standard reported: The company invests in Christian growth and ministry through its WinShape Foundation (WinShape.com). The name comes from the idea of shaping people to be winners. 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.  “We are very much committed to that,” Cathy emphasized. “We intend to stay the course,” he said. “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.”  CNN and other outlets reported that Cathy spoke words directly addressing gay-rights issues and implied that he delivered anti-gay remarks.  GetReligion.org said the reporting “raises an interesting journalistic question: Is a defense of one doctrine automatically the same thing as an on-the-record attack on the opposite doctrine? In this case, is it accurate for CNN (and others) to say that Cathy made comments about gay marriage when, in fact, he did not speak words addressing that issue?”
The reporter of the original Biblical Recorder story, K. Allan Blume said, according to GetReligion.org, that Cathy was "very positive” and the conversation was not being portrayed accurately.  Many of those reports “turned [the original story] into a negative,” Blume said, according to the website. Blume said the term “anti-gay” never came up in the interview.  “He was not saying ‘guilty as charged anti-gay,’” Blume said. “[Cathy] never even brought up that subject. Everything he stated was on the positive side . . . He never stated anything negative.”

 The Weekly Standard wrote, “To say that Cathy condemned gay marriage is stunningly dishonest. And yet, Cathy's had to endure headlines such as, "Boston Mayor Blocks Chick-fil-A Franchise from City over Homophobic Attitude" — and that headline comes from Time, which is allegedly one of the more responsible media outlets. CNN, Time, and many other news organizations owe Cathy and Chick-fil-A some serious corrections and/or clarifications.”

Chick-fil-A is not without its backers, however, as the backlash of the non-controversy has a backlash of its own, with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee asking supporters to eat at one of the fast food chain's more than 1,500 locations on Aug. 1 as part of an "appreciation day."  "The goal is simple: Let's affirm a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the Godly values we espouse by simply showing up and eating at Chick Fil-A on Wednesday, August 1," Huckabee wrote on his Facebook page.

Along with the original interview… http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=38271

In the follow-up to the original article ( http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=38301 ), I was particularly impressed with the following passage:

“It remains to be seen whether the controversy will harm Chick-fil-A, but the company likely will survive and might even pick up some new customers. That's partially because its base is passionate about its food and, for the most part, apparently appreciates its traditional stance…because its base remains in conservative states. Texas has the most Chick-fil-A restaurants at 262. Including Texas, five states have more than 100 restaurants, and they're all in the South. North Carolina, which has 143 Chick-fil-A restaurants, passed a constitutional marriage amendment in May defining marriage as between a man and a woman. By contrast, the entire state of New York has one Chick-fil-A restaurant. Washington state doesn't have any. Neither does Oregon. Or Vermont. This means that many of those calling for a boycott don't have a restaurant in their area to boycott -- and they've likely never been to a Chick-fil-A.

After watching the uproar, Focus on the Family's Glenn T. Stanton, who often debates the issue of gay marriage and takes the traditional side, told Baptist Press, "I'm gonna have to stop by there for spicy chicken sandwiches and a milkshake more often."  "We hear almost monthly of new major companies announcing their support for the gay community, regardless of what most of their customers want," Stanton said. "And here we have the CEO of a clearly on-the-record traditional values company simply saying he supports the traditional family and how tampering with it is contrary to God's will. And the split-second reaction from these activists is to slander him and his company in the press and blogosphere. It just takes one company taking an alternative position to make the gay activists and liberal press hit the ceiling. But that's where we are today."  Stanton said the message by some opponents of Chick-fil-A apparently is, "Speak up for the natural, traditional family and we will come after you."  "If you don't believe this," Stanton said, "just watch how Chick-fil-A will be treated in the coming months. They [Chick-fil-A's critics] are the new close-minded fundamentalists."

My take, in case you were wondering, is that I don’t have any issue with gay marriage rights.  I have several friends that are married to a same sex partner and I’m very happy for them.  In fact, I’m jealous that they found someone and I haven’t.  What I do have an issue with though, is when people get slammed for voicing their opinions.  Being “pro” something doesn’t automatically make me “anti” something else.  I donate to cancer research organizations but that doesn’t mean I’m “anti-polio cure” because I don’t donate to polio research organizations.  If your argument is that traditional family negates the concept of gay marriage, fine.  Then Chick-Fil-A is anti-gay marriage… and they have a right to be. 
If the anti-Chick-Fil-A group got their “genie lamp wish” granted, Chick-Fil-A would go out of business and a differing opinion would be eradicated.  How is that different from misguided people in the 1950’s whose genie lamp wish would be something along the lines of “to have all the queers disappear”?  If the culture of oppression from before needed to change to allow gay marriage to happen, why do the pro-gay marriage advocates want to institute their own culture of oppression?  America was founded on the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  People should be free to say and do what they what as long it doesn’t interfere with my right to do the same.  Being the most vocal doesn’t make you the majority, or even right.  Your voice needs to be heard but you also have to let others speak too, even if you disagree with them.  Being close-minded on either end of the political spectrum is wrong.  That’s why the “Coexist” bumper sticker had to be created. 

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