Henson issues statement about Chick-Fila-A

Ruahnna

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I'm going to tread carefully here, but I feel this needs to be said.

People who, because of their religious beliefs, feel that homosexual behavior is in appropriate do not necessarily do so because they are close-minded, mean and hateful. If you are a Christian, you look to the Bible as your "guide book" for how to live a God-pleasing life. Although different denominations have different practices and forms, Christian religions consider the Bible to be God's word. (If you are already arguing with me in your head--stop. So far, I've said nothing that is not factually correct, and I am not advancing an opinion--I am explaining a position.) The Bible--for those who are Christians--is not a suggestion book, it is the reference that they look to for guidance, and it is the Bible, not individuals, which takes a stand on homosexual behavior.

While I believe that it is offensive to make un-asked for judgments about people's personal choices, I believe it is equally offensive to suggest that people who are simply reading--in clear, unambiguous terms--what their faith has to say about a topic and believing it are necessarily mean and vicious and hateful. "Hating" someone's religious practice is not more enlightened than "hating" someone's sexual practice--they are both wrong.

What many people fail to understand is that no one is supposed to take the guidebook--the Bible--and beat people about the head and shoulders with it. It is a personal user's manual, and people only get a personal user's manual that applies to them when they voluntarily decide to become a believer/follower of a particular religious practice. If you don't want to follow the rules of that particular religious (and religion is really, really NOT supposed to be all about the rules), then no one should compel you to sign up. But if you do sign up to follow a particular denomination, you are then bound by those expectations. To say that you adhere to a group of beliefs and then flout your defiance of one or all of them is the epitome of hypocrisy.

To say that you are a vegetarian but you eat beef, pork and poutry is ludicrous, and everyone who heard you say that would probably give you the "fish eye." (Pun intended--trying to lighten the mood, here.) But people do voluntarily affiliate themselves with religious groups and then try to pick and choose which rules they wish to follow all the time. And before you get all huffy, I'm not talking about "big" sins. Name me one Christian who does not gossip (which the Bible says is a sin) and I'll let them start throwing rocks at me.

What I always take comfort in (and I would like to point out that I have NOT stated my particular religious views, so if you are trying to pigeonhole me into some group you "hate" you can stop now) is that--whether you are part of a religious group or not, God does not call anyone to be the morals police on other people. God calls Christians to be accountable to each other in love and faithfulness, and God calls everybody else to come to God Godself, to have that personal relationship and get that personal user's manual. But you don't have to. If you do make that choice to have that personal relationship with God, then you and God work out what is expected of you through God's revelation. (Just for the record, however, I don't think God every said, "I know I said gossip is wrong, but you can gossip because you're special," but that's your business, not anyone else.)

While no one has the right to judge another person's relationship with God, people are going to make judgements about one another. It is human nature. We are prone to criticize others looks, ideas, fashion, partner choices, talent and abilities. Tell me you've never criticized anyone else's behavior, or judged that they were acting like an idiot over something. And guess what? Not everyone is going to think you're brilliant or clever or stunning or...gasp!...right all the time. And here's another bubble-burster: People don't need your permission to make judgment calls about you. Not everyone is going to like you or what you do. People are allowed to disagree with you and your position, and to decide what they think about what you do, and nothing--not laws or parades or anything else--can change that. And the fact that they disagree with you and think you shouldn't, for example, wear brown shoes with your seersucker suit, does not make them automatically hateful. It makes them opinionated--like everyone else. And it makes them human. In your quest to be self-righteous, do not trample on the rights of others.

I am always surprised by the logic that would accuse--in often vicious terms--a person or group of being hateful and rude by being hateful and rude about that person or group. Good manners are the hallmark of a civilized society, and I hope I have exercised mine here today.
 

Hubert

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I was going to just not say anything about this, but then I decided I really need to. I'm fine with JHC's decision. I'm fine with Chick-Fil-A's decision. The thing I'm not fine with is this:

It's not so much here, but I notice other places talking about this keep calling Chick-Fil-A's decision "evil" and in that order. I don't care if you choose to not agree or agree with it. The thing is, please don't call it evil. That's the equivalent of me saying that gay marriage is evil. People keep saying that we should be free and have rights, have our own opinions. Yet then the people who do have opinions, Chick-Fil-A in this instance, are suddenly tagged as evil.

People are going on and on with this about how this is America, and people should be able to have their own opinions and thoughts on topics. Which is good. But then the people who just stated that it's a good thing go around criticizing Chick-Fil-A because of their opinions. Did you not just say that we're all allowed to have our own opinions. In all honesty, Chick-Fil-A's decision and JHC's decision should both get the same amount of respect, as both are companies stating their views. Both are doing the exact same thing, just with a different view. Now if one of them was going around and killing people who disagree with that view, then that's a different story. It is natural and fine to support one view and disagree with the other. But the thing is, you can't put the other one in a bad light in the process.

The problem I see is that people are trying to stand up to people who they believe are being close-minded by being close-minded. They're saying that Chick-Fil-A's decision was a close-minded one, yet they're being close-minded to the people who support it.
 

D'Snowth

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Things would be a lot better if Christians (especially those right-wing conservatives) would just shut up about homosexuality altogether. Seriously. They spend more time bashing gays for being gay than they doing living the Christ-like lives they claim to be examples of: God loves all people, including gays, and as such, Christians are supposed to follow His example, and love all people as well, irregardless of who they are.
 

Sgt Floyd

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People boycotting CFA...honestly, its a christian run chain. Were people seriously not expecting something like this to come out? And then when Nabisco came out that they support gay rights people started boycotting them! I don't understand it. You are against it, you get boycotted, you support it, you get boycotted. You can't win either way. People need to keep their mouths shut on these kinds of things.
 

jvcarroll

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Setting this right before it goes off the deep end because I believe good people can disagree without resorting to rhetoric, change of beliefs or infringing upon the rights of another person.

The problem with Chick-Fil-A is not that they're a Mormon organization or that they hold some sort of personal beliefs about gay people.

The issue is they spend millions of dollars to prevent gay marriage and to eliminate many other civil rights we already do have.

At that point, it isn't just a personal belief anymore. It is hateful, spiteful behavior.

The Chick-Fil-A president and the organizations he funds aren't just Christians who disagree with gay rights. They spew heinous hate speech. The things they claim are so deplorable and disgusting that I can't repeat them here, but you probably know the kinds of things that I'm referring to and it's not Christian behavior to say such things about anybody. Like most bullies, these guys aren't that creative.

That's the hate I'm talking about. Not Christianity. Hate using Christianity as an excuse not unlike the rhetoric used by the KKK.

Boycott aside, we should all have the right to voice our beliefs and live them without infringing upon the rights of others. I am glad to hear that the Henson Company not only takes this seriously, they also support gay marriage and GLAAD! My heart is so warmed by that.

Few people put the shoe on the other foot. I don't have to believe in Christianity for you to have the right to openly worship. You don't have to agree with gay people in order for us to hold the same civil rights that you do.

It's that simple. There's no supremacy for either group. Only equality.
 

jvcarroll

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People boycotting CFA...honestly, its a christian run chain. Were people seriously not expecting something like this to come out? And then when Nabisco came out that they support gay rights people started boycotting them! I don't understand it. You are against it, you get boycotted, you support it, you get boycotted. You can't win either way. People need to keep their mouths shut on these kinds of things.
Oreo posting a gay-friendly rainbow cookie on Facebook and In-N-Out Burger printing Bible verses on their packaging are cute methods of advocacy that I completely support. It's silly to boycott companies for that.

It's an entirely different case when a company spends millions of dollars to prevent and remove the civil rights of one minority. It's wrong no matter what the minority. Sure, it's a legal use of their money, but so would lobbying to bring back separate water fountains. I don't think it's noble for anyone to stay silent.
 

Sgt Floyd

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I had no idea that they actually spend money to try to prevent civil rights.

But I still stand by what I said. If people are dumb enough to boycott a cookie because the company printed a gay rights ad on facebook, maybe it would be in the company's best interest to just not say anything. Companies shouldn't come under attack for supporting rights that everyone should have :/
 

D'Snowth

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I've said it before, but I'll say it again: I'm not boycotting anything, I don't go to Chick-fil-A to discuss religion, politics, or The Great Pumpkin, I go to eat, and that's it.
 

Slackbot

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To be honest, I haven't been following this in the news. I have enough stress in my life without seeking out news items that will only rile me. The impression I got from what I had seen was that the president of Chick-Fil-A had said that he didn't support gay marriage. Well, I knew it was a Christian-run chain. Heck, they're even closed on Sundays. I just shrugged, because he's a man with his own views, and he's entitled to them no matter how much I dislike them. I thought that it only got into the news because of his position; I didn't know that the company was supporting anti-gay efforts. That changes matters for me. I won't rant and rave about it, I'll simply do what I did about Cracker Barrel and not spend my money there.

(Side note: if he follows the Bible to the letter, I hope he doesn't eat shellfish or wear cotton-poly blend fabrics.)

I'm proud of the Henson company for making their stand the way they did and explaining why. Just as Chick-Fil-A spends its money on political issues, so does Henson. And I'm pleased with things like the Oreo ad and the Disney "It gets better" video, because it's evidence that gay rights are no longer a hush-hush subject. It's not the kiss of death to openly support the idea that non-straightness is "wrong". It's a sign of progress.
 

D'Snowth

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Okay, now what'd Cracker Barrel do? I'm curious.

And that shellfish thing applies to the Jewish faith, not Christian: most Jews don't eat shellfish because it isn't Kosher... Christians on the other hand, in the old days, Catholics didn't eat red meat on Friday, but in these days, that's kind of slack.
 
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