A New Chick-Fil-A?

Maybe the chain will now use this sign for their ads.



I’ll bet there are lots of people unhappy about this, but looks like some bridgebuilding been going on…

The story is getting a little play with an analysis of CFA’s tax returns showing donations moving away from culture war groups.

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  • Ford

    As a Christian who is gay, I am heartened by Dan Cathy’s truly loving response to the controversy caused by his comments. There is a great piece in HuffPo about this by Shane Windmeyer. Kudos to Mr Cathy who truly has modeled a Christian response to the LGBT community. The greater evangelical community could learn a lot from his example (as well as from the example of Dr. Throckmorton).

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    Ford – Thanks. The Huffpo article is linked above.

  • Lynn David

    Not to get personal, but McDonalds? I hope you’re having their fruit & oatmeal or something similar – or just a coffee.

    So then, all the hoopla by those culture warrior groups to support CFA did them no good. And all CFA did was milk them for free publicity to make money. And any benefit the culture warrior groups received was was monetarily nil.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    Lynn David – Apples my friend. Not much heart healthy on the menu but the wireless and small town conversation is free.

  • David Cary Hart

    Nothing has changed: http://bit.ly/X5UOpg

  • David Roberts

    Et tu, Warren? We’ve seen this sort of thing before, and it isn’t bridgebuilding. It astounds me that everyone from Wendy Gritter to, well you, is mistaking this for some sort of grand meeting of the minds. Cathy very much needs revenue from the college demographic, and with very little actual change, he might just get it. After watching Shane Windmeyer on Huffpost Live, I’m convinced he is clueless about what he has involved himself in.

    Eyes open.

  • Ann

    Dr. Throckmorton,

    While there have been some interesting studies done, is there a conclusive agreement within the scientific or medical or psychological arena as to the causation of orientation? I am not sure, however, it seems to me that these studies interst only people who have a bias and are looking for support of that bias. Those who are merely interested in something conclusive, do not pay too much attention to them and are waiting for a definitive and conclusive finding.

  • Ann

    I’m sorry – I put this comment under the wrong post.

  • Byron Harvey

    To those who doubt the sincerity of Dan Cathy, I just have to tell you that no one–and I repeat, no one–who knows this man would ever accept the notion that he is somehow milking somebody or some group for publicity or self-aggrandizement. I found Shane Windmeyer’s piece to be excellent, to model the fact that when two people dare to reach out and cross lines that folks in either camp might criticize, they find a human being on the other side of that line. I mean, I can be as cynical as the next guy sometimes, but sheesh, maybe sometimes stuff like this does happen. I have utterly no doubt of the sincerity of either of these men. Bravo to both Shane and Dan.

  • David Roberts

    Actions speak louder than words, Byron.

    No one can know someone after 7 months of sporadic meetings. Shane is making pronouncements about Cathy’s sincerity and intentions which he simply cannot know. If he had kept this relationship going for two or three years, working BEHIND the scenes (i.e., no grandstanding or ego feeding articles), long enough to find out what Cathy really was all about, and possibly to see REAL changes to his actions, then I might possibly have a different take. As it is, I see more change in Shane than I do Cathy — and not for the better.

    Concerning your assurances as to Cathy’s character, perhaps that would be easier to believe had he not said what he said, and funded (and continued to fund) the kind of organizations he has. And what about that absurd “Appreciation Day?” I realize he didn’t organize it, but that was a perfect opportunity to stand up and dissuade the “us against them” attitude that was brewing. Instead he sat back and took in the money.

    For that matter, Byron, I don’t know you so forgive me for not simply taking your word on this. As I said in the beginning, actions speak louder than words. Cathy has had many months to change those, but he has not in more than a token way which we now learn was done already before he made his hateful comments. So what change has there been?

  • Boo

    I think the whole Chick Fil A episode worked out fine for all concerned. We got equal rights legislation, they got a chicken sandwhich. Fair trade.

  • Byron Harvey

    I agree, David, that actions speak louder than words. I prefer to trust Shane’s judgment, as only he and Dan know the intricacies of their relationship. No doubt he thought long and hard before he came “out” with regard to this friendship. It would seem that there’s every reason to believe that this relationship will continue for two to three years and beyond, and “ego-feeding articles” and “grandstanding”: did such come from Dan? It was Shane, not Dan, who did the writing, right?

    And frankly, “hateful” is certainly in the ear of the beholder. I found nothing in Dan’s comments that deserve that label. Does he hold a strong conviction on the subject of marriage? Absolutely–as Shane pointed out. Is the only possible motive for holding such “hatred”? Why is that the default position? Speaking personally, I have supported many “gay rights” items (I could list them, gladly), but like Dan, do not favor redefining marriage. Does my failure to support this make me a hater, a bigot–even with my previous support of other such rights? I’d really, honestly like to know: must one support every single gay rights initiative, or else be labeled in one of these ugly ways (I recognize that question goes beyond the bounds of the Cathy situation, but I’m just really curious). I daresay, for that matter, that my position on the subject is probably very similar to Warren’s, though he’d have to speak for himself.

    Frankly, I doubt there’s been any “change” in the sense of Dan changing what he believes about the subject–other than the things Shane points out about Dan’s willingness to listen and learn from Shane’s differing viewpoint–but I find it a real shame that we have to throw words like “hate” and “bigotry” (not your word, I realize) around so easily. I have little doubt that Dan loves Shane as a person–nor do I doubt that the opposite is true, frankly–and the mutual respect that they’ve found for each other, knowing that there’d be people on “their sides” who’d react adversely, speaks volumes for both their characters. It’s something we’d all do well to emulate, it seems to me.

  • Ann

    Dr. Throckmorton,

    Thank you for this post – it demonstrates how decency and civil dialogue, regardless of beliefs, can make all of us better.

  • David Roberts

    and “ego-feeding articles” and “grandstanding”: did such come from Dan? It was Shane, not Dan, who did the writing, right?

    Absolutely.  I see Shane’s actions as more problematic than Cathy’s in this latest development — we know Cathy’s views and I see nothing new in his wanting to curb the defections on college campuses.  But Shane should have known better.  Again, seven months is not long enough to know anything about Cathy’s motivations or sincerity, particularly given what we know of his history.  And Cathy letting him view some 990s which are available to the public on demand anyway seems to have made quite an impression on Shane, as though Cathy was trusting him with secret knowledge.

    People who are serious about this kind of work take years to build a private relationship, one built on something more than the emotion of the moment.  After this, I think Shane should think long and hard about stepping down from his position, as his judgment is compromised. I have called out ex-gay ministries on their shallow “apologies” and so it is only fair I do the same here.

    I grant that the average person reading about this in passing might come to see it as a heart-warming, meeting of mind and soul — and many have. But honestly, if we peak behind the curtain on this one there is little to redeem the exercise.  and if we heap praise on these self-congratulatory exercises, what does that do to the real bridge-building work in comparison?  Doesn’t it cheapen that?

    And frankly, “hateful” is certainly in the ear of the beholder. I found nothing in Dan’s comments that deserve that label.

    Hate?  You bet.  Cathy made it clear that he was not just “wrestling with his understanding of scripture.”  He funded groups which deceived people into believing they not only could but should “change their sexual orientation.”  He also contributed to groups which demean an entire demographic with the worst kind of lies, and try to limit the rights of gays and lesbians through rule of law, all in the name of God.  This is not a stupid man.  If he had listened to his humanity, he would never have sent a dime to those groups.  So yes, when Cathy says what he said on the radio, I call it hatred.  When he sends money to others to do the dirty work, I call that hatred. 

    And I also have no sympathy for those who impose their interpretation of scripture — any scripture — on the civil rights of the individual.  No one is or will be asking any church to “redefine” their definition of marriage, no more than the RCC is forced to marry divorced couples, or a Synagogue interfaith couples, or for that matter any pastor to marry any couple which he or she doesn’t feel is ready.  The truth is this has nothing to do with what any scripture says, that is just a pretense. 

    If Cathy or anyone else said, “look, my understanding of my faith tells me that our church cannot sanction a same-sex union, but this is the Untied States and if another faith wishes to do so, or if a same-sex couple wishes to be married under civil law, that is only fair and should not be denied, particularly in light of the empirical evidence concerning homosexuality,” well we would have no argument.

    But when people like Cathy pour money into massive efforts to deny my right to live with my spouse with some semblance of dignity and the same incentives to be a productive, monogamous couple and good citizens as any other married couple, that is hatred.  You may not like the sound of it, but that’s what it is.  And it does not come from a simple difference of opinion, it comes from the arrogance to think that my wanting those aforementioned rights is itself arrogant.

  • Byron Harvey

    Wish I had more time to engage you you in conversation, David, but Cancun beckons in the morning. Suffice to say that we disagree pretty significantly on a few points, but thank you for engaging in genial conversation. Best to you.

  • David Roberts

    Let’s move to envy, which is what I feel for anyone able to go to Cancun right now. Yes, I suspect we disagree on a number of things, and meeting a few times over coffee or going to a football game isn’t likely to change that.

  • Ford

    Bryon Harvey –

    You say: “Does my failure to support [including gay couples in marriage] make me a hater, a bigot–even with my previous support of other such [gay] rights?”

    First, I don’t think that opposition to gay marriage is always rooted in animus toward people who are gay. Not all opponents of marriage equality are haters. While I disagree with arguments about how the social institution is destroyed by the inclusion of same sex couples or that the sole societal interest in marriage is child-rearing, those are not necessarily hateful positions.

    Second, the word “bigot” is freighted; I don’t think its use contributes to the conversation. However, it’s important for people who bristle at it to know that it is being employed correctly here. You have a religiously-based morality that causes you to oppose legal recognition of same sex couples. You refuse to accept the viewpoint of those who disagree with you (including faith leaders from less conservative denominations). You actively support disadvantaging a group of people who the majority of Americans do not view as immoral in the same way that you do. Your position is heterosexist because you believe that the relationships of straight people hold more value than those of gay people and therefore should be treated differently.

    So to answer your question directly: yes, your opposition to gay marriage is intolerant and bigoted.

  • Byron Harvey

    Sorry about inducing envy, David. I actually have a better internet connection here than I anticipated (wasn’t sure I’d have one at all), so perhaps I will re-engage, though other Cancun pursuits do stifle that desire (there I go again!). Hope you can make it sometime, if you’ve never been; I highly recommend it.

    Ford, your explanation of why my stance is bigoted includes some planks that I contest on their face (“disadvantaging” people, refusing to accept a viewpoint, etc.), and therefore I can’t agree with your conclusion. Ditto above: if time permits, perhaps I’ll get into more detail.