I have to admit that I have been following all of the hoopla over the controversy that has erupted concerning the recent statements made by the president of Chick-Fil-A, Dan Cathy, with amazement. Much of what I have read and heard have just been unbelievable. Coming from my background in philosophy (part of my major in my undergraduate studies), seeing so many logical fallacies in public debate is just abhorrent. Though I do believe that much of the reaction to Mr. Cathy's statements supporting the biblical definition (and thereby God's definition since Scripture is His Word) of marriage does reveal much of how the pro-homosexual agenda operates. This controversy has been telling in more ways than one.
What began as an innocent statement of the values of the president of a successful restaurant chain have escalated into an all out war with people siding in favor of Chick-Fil-A (those going to eat there today for "Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day") and those opposing by boycotting the company (either by refusing to eat there again or choosing to no longer provide toys for their kids meals). Much manipulation was used by the pro-homosexual agenda to get to this point. First of all, how surprising is it that Mr. Cathy, a professing Christian of one of the few restaurants that are closed on Sundays to articulate a Christian view that the Bible unambiguously teaches and in which the Christian church has held for 2000 years? What else would one expect? (But then again I am constantly amazed when couples planning for marriage meet with me in my office to ask me to conduct their wedding and appear surprised when I address the issue of them living together to be a sin according to Scripture.) That in itself technically is not controversial. I actually find it more controversial when a professing Christian who claims to take the Bible as God's Word supports so-called same-sex marriage despite God's clear definition of marriage given in Genesis 2:24 and affirmed all throughout the Bible, and by Jesus Himself (Matthew 19:4-6)!
Also, how did we go from a statement that Chick-Fil-A "are very much supportive of the family unit-the biblical definition of the family unit" and pointing out how a movement to redefine God's institution of marriage basically is man raising his fist to God in rebellion and claiming that he knows better than God (a claim I myself have made several times) to Mr. Cathy hates homosexuals and Chick-Fil-A discriminates against gays and lesbians? Mr. Cathy never said anything about homosexuals in any of the statements in which I have read. He actually spoke on what constitutes a marriage and a family. It appears to me that what we have here is deliberate manipulation to promote an agenda. Mr. Cathy's statements on marriage would not create such a firestorm but if the American public could be convinced that homosexuals are once again a victim of unfair treatment, more attention and sympathy may be gained to their cause. A similar tactic can be noticed by the pro-homosexual agenda in regards to their claim that they are the new "civil rights" movement of the 1960s; comparing themselves to the unjustifiable unfair treatment of African Americans. (Dr. Voddie Baucham reveals how erroneous and manipulative such a claim is here in his very well written article.) Such manipulation appears common by many in this group pushing for the acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle and a redefinition of marriage to suit their carnal desires. The facts of Mr. Cathy's statement probably would not have generated as much buzz nor aided their cause as well.
A New Definition of Tolerance and A Double Standard
Not only does this controversy show some of the manipulative strategies that many in the pro-homosexual lobbying groups are willing to use, it also reveals what they really mean by tolerance. This group over and over again preaches tolerance. "You must tolerate my lifestyle even if you don't agree with it." To promote their cause they have redefined the historic understanding of the term tolerance. Erwin Lutzer explains this well: "This word [tolerance], which at one time meant that people should be free to believe whatever they wished, now meant that they could do whatever they wished, and it was improper to judge their conduct. Tolerance now demands an affirmation of virtually all behavior, no matter how immoral, unnatural, and bizarre" (20; emphasis in original). However, the kind of tolerance that this group demands is not the same kind of tolerance we are witnessing them give. Many within the pro-homosexual lobby certainly are not tolerant of Mr. Cathy's perspective concerning the family (and for that matter much of America at this point, including almost all of the US presidents with Mr. Obama being the most notable exception). Two leaders in Chicago, Proco Moreno and Mayor Rahm Emmanuel do not seem to be espousing such a tolerance but threatening to deny Chick-Fil-A a permit to establish restaurants in the respective area they serve over. So much for acceptance of that in which one disagrees. It almost makes one wonder if much of the redefinition and talk of tolerance serves more as rhetoric to promote their agenda.
This is not the only example of a double standard that we see in this squabble. The Mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino, stated that "Chick-Fil-A doesn't belong in Boston" because "We're an open city. We're a city at the forefront of inclusion." Interestingly enough, by saying that "Chick-Fil-A" does not belong in an "open city . . . at the forefront of inclusion" actually shows that such a city is "closed" to this restaurant and desires to "exclude" it because of its views. As I have noticed in the denomination in which I serve, "openness" and "inclusion" serve as buzz wards to promote this pro-homosexual agenda. Those who use them seldom are "open" and "inclusive" to those who disagree with them. The current Chick-Fil-A incident stands as a case in point.
Now I won't be joining the many who decide to support Chick-Fil-A today by having my lunch or dinner there. I personally am not a huge fan of the food at the restaurant and prefer unhealthy burgers over the chickens (Sorry cows, I know you tell me to 'eat mor chikin'!) and McDonalds and Taco Bell are cheaper. However, I can't help but point out some of the common methodology used by the pro-homosexual agenda that we notice in an example like this. They do have an agenda and are working relentlessly to push it. I don't think that this is an agenda that we should try to stop by using similar tactics. But we must be aware of it. The question for us believers is: Are we just as dedicated in sharing the gospel, with both heterosexual sinners and homosexual sinners alike? The way to combat this sin, as with all sins, is with the faithful proclamation of the gospel. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek" (Romans 1:16).
Soli Deo Gloria!!!
Lutzer, Erwin w. The Truth About Same-Sex Marriage: 6 Things You Must Know About What's Really At Stake. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2010.