Christianity,  News

Intolerant Gay Activists Target Chick-fil-a

Tolerance for Christian teaching continues to wear really thin in some areas of our country. World magazine reports that activists have now set their sights on Chick-fil-a. Why? Because Chick-fil-a’s charitable foundation gives to groups like Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which these activists deem to be anti-gay. Here’s the report from World:

Last week, the student senate at Northeastern University, in Boston, voted to end negotiations to bring fast-food chain Chick-fil-A to campus after students protested over the company’s affiliation with several Christian organizations the students say have an “anti-gay” agenda.

The Atlanta-based company, dogged for months by accusations of homophobia, insists it is “not anti-anybody” but instead simply wants to “graciously serve great food and have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”

But students from at least 10 campuses aren’t buying it. Incensed over the company’s Christian values, they opposed new franchises and lobbied for the removal of existing restaurants on campuses across the country…

Chick-fil-A also has faced opposition at Duke University, Bowling Green University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Gainesville State College, Indiana University South Bend, Mississippi State University, Texas Tech University, the University of North Texas and New York University.

Chick-fil-a is not on an anti-gay crusade, but that doesn’t matter. They are being targeted simply because of indirect connections with groups that hold to Christianity’s 2,000-year old teaching on marriage.

As I said in my previous post about Kirk Cameron, this is likely only just the beginning. You can expect more and more open opposition to Christian teaching on human sexuality. As this story shows, some Christians are already taking it on the chin—even ones who weren’t spoiling for a fight on this issue.


  • BDW

    Activists by definition have their sights set on somebody or some group.

    People like myself who enjoy a good 12-count or Spicy Sandwich (which are 91 cents here in Waco on 3/14 in honor of Uncle Truett’s birthtday) aren’t going to stop dining at Chik-fil-a

    Boycotts rarely work. Y’all Southern Baptists know that well.

  • Bruce H.

    Homophobia can have more than one meaning. I get nervous when I know a person is homosexual and they are trying to have a conversation with me. Homosexuals have always wanted to befriend me and they have always had an ulterior motive. For that, I am homophobic. My conscience cannot tolerate me being around them.

    Just as they wanted to have relations with the angels in Sodom & Gomorrah, which was something new and exciting to their depraved mind, they want to do something similar by pushing their agenda upon the straight Christian public. Chick-fil-a is just their stepping stone and they will not stop until they have created another Sodom & Gomorrah. It’s the nature of the beast!

      • Bruce H.


        Maybe you simply didn’t read this statement from my comment above:

        “Homosexuals have always wanted to befriend me and they have always had an ulterior motive. For that, I am homophobic. My conscience cannot tolerate me being around them.”

        Please consider that statement true and the main reason why I am homophobic. Homophobia isn’t discrimination in every case. It is real and there are more sinners out there that I can present the gospel to without getting nervous. With that, there is more room for ministry for you now. BTW, I can believe homosexuality is a horrid sin and, at the same time, be homophobic.

        • JStanton

          I did read it but perhaps I minimized your bad experiences. For some reason I was picturing them as lepers of a sort to be avoided at all costs.

          There are women who feel that way about men due to their own experiences.

          • Bruce H.


            Thanks for your honest reply. I think you are correct about women feeling similar about men from previously bad experiences. Many things affect us from past experiences. Some may not make us stronger but, its affect on us may protect us from the unknown.

  • Rick Morgan

    It is a shame that Christians are not just as loud in support of Chick-fli-a
    Unfortunately there won’t be a slowdown in the protest, our society is drifting further away from the Bible, it’s the very thing that president Obama would enthusiastically encourage.

  • Paul

    I won’t stay away from Chik-fil-A because of who they choose to support. However, I will stay away from them for two VASTLY more important reasons…

    1) I’m allergic to mass produced poultry due to the feed that’s used, which is pumped full of antibiotics.

    2) They decided to do a cease and desist on a kale farmer in Maine for making t-shirts that say “Eat More Kale.” No, Mr. Chik-fil-A, they are not impinging on your business. Mr. Chik-fil-A is just a jerk.

  • Chuck

    It’s hilarious when conservatives deem people supporting equality for minority groups “intolerant.” Yes, we’re intolerant of intolerance. We don’t buy facile theologies and poor hermeneutics. We recognize the obvious cycle of oppression generated by the Church within human history. Let’s go back a few years and consider that argument with regard to various other groups whose oppression the Church attempted to justify:

    “You women who want the right to vote are so intolerant of our belief that you belong in the kitchen.”

    “You slaves who believe our treatment of you (due to the curse of Ham you obviously bear) is wrong is so intolerant of our Bible-based belief that slavery is justifiable.”

    “You Native Americans who have issues with our convert-or-die tactics are so intolerant. We Christians have a charge to win souls for the kingdom of God. And kill the heretics.”

    We’re seeing LGBT people win their rights just as we’ve seen in previous human rights movements. You call it society falling into disrepair (just as people who stood against, say, miscegenation did). I call it very real evidence that God’s liberating movement is still active in human history.

  • ThePhDScientist

    Exactly! How one-sided are the thoughts and writings of Denny Burk. He calls the students who don’t support Chic-Fil-A “intolerant”. Well Chic-Fil-A is also in the business of intolerance! It directly supports groups which actively promote castigating gay and lesbians. Making sure these folks know that they’re unnatural and that any loving/committed relationships they might have are certainly something to be feared by all and condemned by the heavens. Of course this bigotry is framed in religion so it’s decidedly acceptable?

    The students of Northeastern can’t fight intolerance with intolerance? How about if they frame their argument in some religious context? Oh wait, no religion counts unless it’s Christianity…

    • JohnnyM

      I just love this selective outrage. It is slacktivism at its finest. There are hundreds of organizations that support the FCA and Focus on the Family, but no outrage there. The President of the United States has consistently said that marriage is a man and a woman, yet not a peep from you guys.

      Also, do you support the marriage of a brother and sister who are in a loving committed relationship?

      • ThePhDScientist

        Nope no outrage there! Everyone is solely targeting Chick-Fil-A and no one else – give me a frickin break. Chick-Fil-A is just one of the latest major corporate sponsors of bigotry. People should feel free to speak out against them and “vote with their feet”.

        Oh and here we go with the inane argument of brother/sister marriage, man/cow marriage, and every other dumb-witted iteration you can conjure up.

        Well we’re entertaining slippery slope arguments. How about this one? Do you support fat marriage? I don’t. I’m currently trying to push through legislation that marriage is as god intended it, between one normal weight man and one normal weight woman. The bible decidedly tells us that gluttony is a sin. Furthermore, obesity has surpassed smoking as the leading cause of preventable deaths and has led to the waste of hundreds of billions of dollars in healthcare spending. And finally, we know obese couples tend to produce obese children further perpetuating this sinful cycle. Thus I’m proposing we return to traditional values of normal weight marriage and I certainly hope you are supporting me!

          • Paul

            JohnnyM tried this argument with me too. It was cute. In making it, you completely forget the fact that children of incest are more prone to any number of health problems, not to mention, the contract laws that protect a married couple would also protect an already agreed upon familial bond (brother and sister) in terms of power of attorney, property law, etc. In

            It’s one of those semi-clever arguments that doesn’t actually hold any water upon further examination.

            On the other hand, just for the property and power of attorney rights alone, I think it is absolutely criminal that some sort of protections are not granted to LGBT couples that want a long term relationship. If folks don’t want to call it marriage, I see that as shortsighted, but I get that. However, when these same folks are against civil unions and domestic partnerships (California’s answer to the marriage question), I find them to be cold-hearted and uncaring about anyone else’s needs besides their own.

          • JohnnyM


            Incest laws have existed long before anyone knew about genetic issues. Power of attorney and other legal avenues are already available to everyone today.

            The fact of the matter is that the laws we pass all have moral elements to them, so we are in fact forcing our collective morality on others. But you would rather your morality be based on might equals right; on the will and judgement of the mob rather than on the foundational truths found in the Bible. This makes morality fluid and brings sane people, like yourself, to actually be for incestuous marriage rather than opposed to it.

          • Paul

            overused, YGG, until someone’s in the hospital, and an overzealous nurse refuses to let someone make decisions for their significant other because of the lack of a marriage certificate. Or until some uber-right wing great uncle decides to contest a will because those gay folks don’t deserve (insert whatever you want here). If certain elements of the church want to own the word marriage, that’s fine, but marriage, as the state sees it, is a collection of property and power of attorney contracts which should be available to people that want to enter into them, no matter who they want to enter into them with.

          • Paul

            I’m floored by your argument, JohnnyM. Yes, there were laws against incest that were in force. Except that they were broken all the time, and the end result was a royal class of hemophiliacs and a host of other health issues. So, what did we learn? Incestuous relationships are bad for society. I am not for them. Nor is anyone else. The only one talking about incestuous relationships is you. And it’s kinda creepy.

            And, this…”power of attorney and other legal avenues are already available…” Okay, JohnnyM, esq, let’s look at what you’re hinting at…

            Cost of a marriage license: $20 – 50, depending on the state.

            Cost of a lawyer to put together those same rights of power of attorney, property contracts and other benefits of marriage…

            700 + rights (we’ll round down to 700)

            assuming the world’s fastest and most thorough lawyer, it takes them 15 minutes per contract, and we won’t count court costs…

            700 contracts x 15 minutes per contract @ $250/hr

            Total: $11,000.

            So, are you for simply keeping certain rights out of the hands of certain people, or for financially punishing them for what even Albert Mohler admits might be genetic?

            I’m not arguing from the standpoint of compassion for the LGBT community. I’m arguing from the pragmatic point of view that this is a nation of laws (and your side is the one that wants to put gay marriage up for a vote, not mine. Mine wants this decided in the courts and legislatures, like a nation of laws should).

            And, don’t talk to me about fluid morality while you’re supporting the rights of the folks who put undue burden on our widows, orphans and the least of these with financial policies designed to help those who put mammon before God while crushing the rest of us. It’s unbecoming.

          • JohnnyM


            you can do power of attorney and medical power of attorney in 5 minutes for free. I know, I have done them. Keep bringing up straw men. You also were for incestuous marriage on another thread as long as the couple could not have children. And I keep bringing it up because that is where your “reason” takes you. You would rather be ok with a father marrying his daughter than admit that you would force your morality on others. Thats what laws are, forcing morality on others.

          • Paul


            my pro-LGBT marriage stance has nothing to do with morality and everything to do with a pragmatic worldview within the confines of a secular culture. Marriage is romanticized (pun totally intended) by those who like wedge issues to mean more than it does as a state sanctioned contract.

            Frankly, I think the best possible option is to make all marriages civil unions and then let churches have full religious control over marriages. Who can get them, what hoops they have to jump through to get there, etc. But America will never in a million years be that logical.

            re: incestuous marriages – (1) speaking in terms of family law, there’s virtually no need, and (2) marriages are already legal between first cousins in most states, and between second cousins in I think most every state. So, what’s the point of the incest argument in the first place? Unless you want to insert creepiness into the discussion, and in that regard, well, ummm, congratulations. Job well done.

            • Denny Burk


              You speak of marriage as if it were a private institution with no relation to the larger culture and community. How we define marriage has implications for everyone, not just individual couples seeking to be married.

              Civil unions and gay “marriage” confer not only a legal status but also an air of moral legitimacy to unions that violate nature (which is knowable by reason) and God’s law (which is knowable through scripture).

              By legalizing gay marriage or civil unions, our society would be saying that having a mother and a father is not necessary, that procreation is not a positive value for our society, that children are a lifestyle choice, that unhealthy and unnatural sexual unions are to be privileged in law. The point is that marriage is not merely a private institution. It has very public implications.

              One concrete example: there is a college student in my church whose parents have been fostering an infant for the last several months. They wanted to adopt the infant and her sibling that was being fostered elsewhere. The adoption agency decided to give the infant and her sibling to the other foster family for adoption. In this case, that meant that she was taken away from a Christian family with a mother and a father willing to adopt her and her brother, and both children were given to a gay couple (two gay men). Why? Because same-sex couples are given equal access under that state’s law to adopt. Again, our laws establish norms that have public consequences. Defining marriage is not merely a private affair.

              I doubt that the American public has given sufficient consideration to these matters. Most people just think, “People ought to be able to do whatever they want as long as they are not hurting anybody.” What they fail to see is just how hurtful same sex unions would be to children and families.


  • ThePhDScientist

    Actually NO. I tried not to engage you in this debate because it’s so childish and foolish. Gay marriage is not the same as incestuous marriage.

    You didn’t answer my question! Will you join me in stopping this increasing and sinful trend of fat marriage? Are you afraid to take a stand against this sin? Do you pick and choose which sins are “worse” than the other?

    • JohnnyM

      So you are against incestuous marriage. This is good. But you do realize that your are imposing your morals on others and being a bigot.

      I will not join you in stopping fat marriage.

    • JohnnyM

      Also, marriage does not discriminate based on sexual orientation. Two dudes cannot get married not because they are gay but because they are not a man and a woman. A straight man cannot marry a straight man. Marriage has always been the union of a man and a woman. What gay marriage is doing is trying to redefine marriage to mean the joining of two individuals who love each other and are in a committed relationship, but this opens it up to anything you want, including incestuous pairings. But you are not willing to go that far and are perfectly fine imposing your morality on others, which at the end of the day is what law making is all about.

    • Bruce H.

      Your logic and reason are imbalanced in the world of Christianity. Most Christians would prefer to support what scripture says on this issue. You seem to want to be argumentative and that really exposes you.

  • ThePhDScientist

    No please don’t put words into my mouth. I said the two were not the same; however, I did not say i was necessarily against it. I can understand the reason for limiting incestuous marriage as this perpetuates genetic abnormalities and could very well lead to physically or mentally challenged offspring. Furthermore, a brother and sister could choose from billions of potential other mates. Can the same be said for a gay man or woman? Who should they marry because you’ve decided you don’t like their partner choice?

    You’ll cry against incestuous and gay marriage and yet you are too chicken to take a stand against fat marriage!?! Fat marriage is far more prevalent and places an enormous burden on society, but you choose not to persecute the sin of gluttony…I wonder why?

    • JohnnyM

      Your fat marriage argument is not analagous to the gay marriage issue, because the issue is not about sinners getting married. If we were against sinners getting married, then no one would ever get married since we are all sinners. It is about what marriage is, which is the union of a man and a woman.

      • ThePhDScientist

        Ahh but you’re wrong there. Religion doesn’t get to claim any right to “marriage”. Perhaps religion can claim right to a religious marriage ceremony, but that’s about it. In fact marriage has been around for much longer than the bible – of course if you incorrectly believe the genesis version of life and earth being ~6000 years old then in fact marriage has been around longer than the earth according to genesis – the earth actually being about 4.5 billions years old and evidence for “marriage” coming far earlier than 6000 years ago (or the time of the Abrahamic religions).

        Thus you don’t get to define marriage!

          • ThePhDScientist

            That’s what you choose to believe, but that doesn’t make it so. And, the science tells us otherwise.

            There is ample evidence for one man several women marriages. There’s even evidence for one woman, several men marriages. And indeed same sex marriages have occurred in the past.

          • JohnnyM

            In both polygamy and polyandry, they involve male and female couplings and they have been recognized in many societies throughout history although polyandry much less so. But they are still the union of a man and a woman just on a 1 to n pairing. Gay marriage has no such history. In fact, gay marriage has never been recognized legally anywhere in human history until the last few years. It is a completely new idea. There is no evidence to support it as a recognized, legal union.

    • Michael Lynch

      Are you serious about the fat marriage thing? You say the Bible condemns gluttony. So you pick and choose when to use the Bible? You want to impose your views of eating on others but never mind that homosexuality is called an abomination.

  • ThePhDScientist

    Not true actually. Classical europe gives us many examples of gay unions from rather informal to highly ritualized unions. Even the Roman Emperor Nero was believed to have married several times with women and men.

    How can you be against polygamy and polyandry? Because someone else’s holy book differs from yours?

      • ThePhDScientist

        Nope merely pointing out the numerous examples of homosexual unions in Classical Europe – the greeks and romans etc.

        So you’re against polygamy because your book is superior to that of the Mormon? Perhaps there’s more scientific evidence to support the proclamations of your favorite text?

        • Michael Lynch

          “Superior” is an understatement. Seriously, why do you bother with this site if you do not understand Christian doctrine, “Scientist.”

  • ThePhDScientist

    Why do I bother? Because education based in reality is the key to rooting out extreme fundamentalism that’s become so detrimental to society as we’ve seen around the world in Muslim and Christian nations.

  • ThePhDScientist

    JohnnyM. So much certainty in your God (one of many around the world). Who gave you the authority to speak for him? Since when in the US to we legislate based on your interpretation of the Christian bible? Until you can provide any “hard” scientific evidence for your position then your assertion is no lore valid than my assertion that Santa Claus issue suports equal protection for marriage.

    • Bruce H.


      The platform you speak from has leaks. We are faith-based in our discussions and you want us to offer hard evidence and proof. The proof we have lies in our individual relationship with God through his Son Jesus Christ. That individual relationship is similar with others, yet not identical. Scripture (Bible) also supports and confirms the relationship we have with God. For you to come into this discussion demanding we prove something to you is insane. It would be like you being blind and demanding us to describe the color red to you with proof. That is how different we are from you and why it doesn’t make sense to try to prove something to you. God can do that any time He so chooses. Be patient.

      • ThePhDScientist

        And the platform you speak from is “leak-proof?” I have no problem with YOUR relationship with God. In fact I encourage it. Religion has been a great means of
        controlling the uneducated masses.

        I have and will only require you to provide “hard” proof to me when you choose to use your BELIEFS to legislate how other people live their own lives.

        • Bruce H.

          Our terms don’t even work together. That is why I said your platform had leaks. It was not a put down like I see in your and all atheist statements toward believers.

          There is no hard proof because you didn’t know me before Christ changed my heart and life to see a comparable difference. No one can give you proof “enough” to change your mind because it isn’t proof that converts people to Christianity. Therefore, our discussion will always be fruitless.

    • JohnnyM

      Yes, I have certainty in my God. The One, True God. All laws are based on morality. The West has based its laws on a judeo-christian morality for quite some time, but there is a push of late to change that. The problem is science cannot determine right or wrong, cannot be used as a moral foundation. We can very easily justify all sorts of attrocities based on “hard” scientific evidence. We can look no further then communist Russia, which was an atheistic system dictated by hard science. Or what about eugenics? Hard science would say that removing the old and infirm from society would produce a better society. Where would altruism and charity be in a world of hard science?

      The very freedoms you cherish are not possible without a strong moral foundation. “Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.” “No free government can stand without virtue in the people…”. Dr. King used morality and faith, founded in the Bible to propel the Civil Rights movement. The idea that all men are created equal is not the result of “hard” science, but of a morality founded in Judeo-Christian thought.

      “Twenty times in the course of my late reading have I been on the point of breaking out, “This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it!!!” But in this exclamation I would have been as fanatical as Bryant or Cleverly. Without religion this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company, I mean hell.” – John Adams

      “[V]irtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government.” – George Washington

      “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim tribute to patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness — these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. . . . reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles.” – George Washington

      “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” – Benjamin Franklin

      “Laws without morals are in vain.” – Benjamin Franklin (Motto of the University of Pennsylvania)

      “To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea.” – James Madison

      “Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom. No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.” – Patrick Henry

      “The diminution of public virtue is usually attended with that of public happiness, and the public liberty will not long survive the total extinction of morals.” – Samuel Adams

      “Without virtue there can be no liberty.” – Benjamin Rush

    • JohnnyM

      Oh, and one more thing. This sentence must really make your blood boil since it is not based on “hard” science:

      “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

      • ThePhDScientist

        Certainly, it doesn’t! I don’t see anywhere in that statement the reference to the Abrahamic God for which you profess a belief in. Do you?

        Regarding religion and the laws, Thomas Jefferson also said,

        “Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.” and this…

        “In every country and every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own. It is easier to acquire wealth and power by this combination than by deserving them, and to effect this, they have perverted the purest religion ever preached to man into mystery and jargon, unintelligible to all mankind, and therefore the safer for their purposes.”

        Yeah I think that last one really sums up the current argument over marriage!

        • Patrick

          As long as we are tossing out sayings we like, how about this one from Lincoln:

          Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust in the best way all our present difficulties.

      • ThePhDScientist

        FYI: I was created by my parents after the union of 1 egg with 1 sperm. I can even recapitulate this even in the lab, outside of the body!

  • ThePhDScientist

    I’ll reiterate..You are free and encouraged to pursue blindly, free of any proof, 100% faith in any God or religion you choose. It’s the wonderful thing about America. Proof is only desired or required when you expect all Americans to subscribe to the teachings, as you understand them, of your FAITH.

    • Bruce H.

      The main proof that we have is a changed life. You would have had to known us before and after the change to have proof that God’s forgiveness and new life has validity. Proof also for the non-believer would be God’s grace because it is grace that brings the glimpse of the spiritual side in order to see what to trust and/or believe and/or have faith in, not intellect. The two are different and infinity separates them yet weaves them together.

      • ThePhDScientist

        That’s lovely! It really is. Fortunately nowhere in those statements do I see your faith being reason for oppression of unfavored minorities throughout history (women, black slaves, gays).

        • Bruce H.


          It took time for Christians to get through the first two you mentioned. Keep in mind, this was not only a Christian issue. Forgiveness puts that behind, not forgotten. We should always apply scriptural principles to continue to improve relationships. However, the conflict will remain as long as there is a secular and biblical view that exist.

          The aggressiveness of gays will always be an issue due to its nature. The view of same gender relationships that are based upon sexual attraction is going to be an issue. Gays are unique and if I were in that category I would think that a unique way of becoming unionized would be better than heterosexual marriage. Using our way of ceremony is just another means of trying to merge two opposing lifestyles and that doesn’t make sense to me.

          • ThePhDScientist

            No I think it’s the aggressiveness of the religious right, who attempt to legislate morality, that will always be the issues. Always has, always will. Countless examples of religion, the bible, and the men who erroneously attempt to yield those weapons as justification for slavery, justification for the subjugation of women, justification for not allowing interracial marriage, justification for prohibition of alcohol.

            Just like in the various volumes of the Bible, it seems the laws and morals of the day need to be adjusted every so often to keep pace with the times. Of course those who hate progress keep returning to their favorite religious weapons in their attempts to stop it.

        • Michael Lynch

          Really? You’re going to compare slavery in America to denying sodomites the right to marriage? I’m fairly certain that those arguing with you are wasting their time.

          Just consider your faith in the voting booths, brothers. There is a way to move this country in the right direction (not do dismiss the need to witness to those who need Christ like the “doctor” here) .

          • ThePhDScientist

            Yes I am! To show how fundamentalist Christians frequently use their power and the good lord’s name to advance their personal prejudices and bigotry. You know as well as I do, all the ways Christians quoted the bible to support bigotry and prejudice against minority groups throughout history. I’ll give you that, there is certainly a way to move this country in the right direction! (Not to dismiss the need to witness to those who need REALITY, like the “Lynch” here)

  • ThePhDScientist

    Dear Denny

    RE: Most people just think, “People ought to be able to do whatever they want as long as they are not hurting anybody.” What they fail to see is just how hurtful to children and families sanctioning same sex unions would really be.

    I have a big problem when your religion now gets cited as evidence for how we should appropriately legislate. You are allowed to believe, faithfully, without proof anything you want in your own life and in your own church. However, when you start to make these grand assumptions (which I’m sure you honestly and dearly believe) that flow over into a public policy arena then, because we live in a secular society, the burden of proof falls squarely upon you to back up these statements with more than a “hunch”.

    Maybe because of my career as a life (biological) scientist and spending my days looking at “hard” data, I’m extremely skeptical of any grand proclamations with little evidence backing them up. So let’s look at one of the best examples we have. The great state of Massachusetts. As you know Mass is home to some of the world’s most prestigious institutions including Harvard and MIT. It was also the first state in the union to legalize gay marriage, almost 10 years ago now. So what else do we know about Mass? Well, Denny, what do you know – MA has the lowest divorce rate in the nation! Clearly the people of Mass support loving committed relationships for all couples and those gay neighbors are in no way affecting the marriages of heterosexual couples. Even more interesting, states in the Southern Bible Belt, you know those ones reporting the highest attendance at religious services, show the highest divorce rate in the nation! The Northeast (least religious) shows the lowest divorce rate! Of course being an actual scientist, interested in actual data, and knowing that correlation does not equal causation I’m not going to automatically assume that more religious service causes more divorce. It is quite interesting, though, how the data actually shakes down, isn’t it?

    Like it or not, in a secular society, free of religious tyranny we can’t legislate based on FAITH.

    • Denny Burk

      I disagree with your censorious views about what voices should be allowed into the public square. You are arguing that secular arguments are the only arguments that count or that should be used as the basis of public policy. That is mistaken. Our nation has always had religious people who have participated in democracy. It’s unconstitutional to censor their participation in shaping public policy simply because you don’t like their religiously motivated views.

      You show too little respect to the rational claims of Christianity. It’s not based on a “hunch.” I would be happy to have a discussion with you about the rational basis of the Christian faith.

      You are correct. Correlation doesn’t equal causation, and that completely undermines the relevance of the statistics.

      • BDW


        Speaking of “sufficient consideration” on the part of the American public…

        Have you ever bothered to consider that gays and lesbians enjoy religious freedom too?

        This, of course, is not a common argument advanced in the public square because A) not all gays and lesbians are religious and B) other constitutional arguments are considered stronger for advancing gay rights from a legal perspective.

        To pit gay rights against religious liberty as folks such as yourself do on a regular basis is to hold a rather narrow definition of religious liberty.

        “Marriage equality” and all the benefits and privileges that come with marriage has been considered a religious freedom issue for hundreds of years. Ask the Separate Baptists in Virginia. Actually, Backus believed that the state should not be involved in the marriage business. BUT, he believed that if government was to be involved, that there should be equality among the different religious traditions.

        There are well-established traditions in America that affirm same-sex marriage. What about the religious freedom of gay couples that are part of those traditions?

        It’s fine if you want to oppose gay rights, specifically same-sex marriage. Perfectly fine. Just be intellectually honest and acknowledge that in these discussions of gay rights, you privilege the religious consciences of Catholics-Evangelicals over religious gays and lesbians.

        • Denny Burk

          There are religious liberty implications for legalizing same-sex marriage, but I didn’t bring those up in my post. Of course, both sides have religious liberty. As far as public policy is concerned, I’m arguing that all voices have to be allowed in the public discourse. The opinions of religious persons shouldn’t be excluded simply because they are religious.

          “Marriage equality” for gays and lesbians has not been considered a religious liberty issue for hundreds of years. In all previous debates, the assumption has always involved the pairing of individuals of the opposite sex. Calling same sex unions “marriage” is a very recent development.

          I don’t oppose civil rights for gay people. I support civil rights for all citizens, including gay people.

          • BDW

            So then, the “war on religious freedom” is really false? Unless you believe that there are competing wars on religious freedom coming from the left and right?

            The “for hundreds of years” argument isn’t a strong one with regard to religious liberty. Catholics were denied religious freedom well into the twentieth century. The accommodation of minority faiths like Christian Scientists, Jehovah’s Witnesses and practitioners of Santeria, etc. is a very recent development. Conscientious objectors did not receive full accommodation of their conscience claims until World War II.

            Religious liberty issues have evolved and our understanding of what religious freedom involves has expanded (along with actual protections) as well.

            Appealing to history for broad concepts put forth by Roger Williams and others is very useful. Appealing to history to support a specific understanding of what issues are religious liberty issues is not a good idea. On that point, I think liberals and conservatives can agree.

  • ThePhDScientist

    And yet, however undermined you think the correlation/causation argument might be, it’s still exponentially stronger than anything you’ve put forward to show “just how hurtful familIes sanctioning gay marrIage would be to children…” Becase what you’ve merely provided as evidence is your own prejudice against it, along with your best interpretation of what the bible says about it.. For me and tens of millions of other fair-minded Americans that doesn’t constitute a good enough reason to ban gay unions.

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