Let’s quit pretending that Chick-fil-A president’s disdain of gay marriage is the Christian point of view

As almost everyone knows by now, Dan Cathy (above), president of the Chick-fil-A fast food chain, is not an advocate of same-sex marriage.

He says: “[W]e are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say ‘we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.'”

Cathy, of course, has every right to espouse such opinions. Nor should government officials who disagree with him unduly impede efforts by his restaurant chain to establish outlets wherever the company wants.

On the other hand, let’s not pretend that Cathy’s opinions on gay marriage represent “the Christian point of view.” There simply is no single Christian position on the issue of homosexuality.

There are hundreds of Christian denominations, and they don’t all agree among one another on political matters — or even on theological matters.

And yet, there are countless people who claim that they represent the “Christian viewpoint” on whatever is at issue. Some of them are so arrogant that they assume for themselves the authority to decide who’s really a Christian and who’s not.

Anyone who says “I am a Christian” is not declaring a clearly defined theological, moral or political point of view. He or she is merely staking out a rather amorphous religious identity.

There are countless presumably devout Christians whose views on homosexuality, abortion, capital punishment and numerous other issues vary widely. None of these people can rightly say that their views represent the inviolable orthodoxy of the Christian faith.



  1. ” There simply is no single Christian position on the issue of homosexuality” Really?? I bet you’ve never read the bible. In more than one book in the Bible homosexualit is condemned. It really is sad that reports today are so blinded by agenda’s that not only do they no longer accurately report but they even add stuff in to make it part of their agenda. So Sad!!

  2. ed: I’ve read the Bible countless times, and I’ve noticed that there’s nothing in the New Testament about Jesus saying anything — not even one word — about homosexuality.

    I’ve also noticed that the Book of Leviticus tells us that a man lying with a man “as with a woman” is an abomination. But Leviticus also tells us that children who curse their parents should be put to death and lots of other draconian stuff like that.

    I’ve also found justifications for slavery in the Bible.

    Indeed, there are all kinds of things in the Bible that are open to various interpretations. That’s why there are so many different Christian denominations, many of which strongly disagree among one another on what the Good Book really means.

    I stand my argument that there is no single Christian position on the issue of homosexuality. In fact, there are Christian denominations that approve of actively gay clergy.

    You’ve got your right to believe what you want, but there are millions of Christians who believe differently.

  3. Denny Johnson

    love God, love your neighbor…….. yet many try to marginalize “people of faith”, who feel strongly, as I do, that Billy Graham and Cathy have it right and their intent is to speak boldly about their concern that America is moving in the wrong direction morally.

  4. > I stand [by] my argument that there is no single Christian position on the issue of homosexuality.

    Then why do so many gays and lesbians hate Christians so much?

    Answer: Because so many Christians oppose same-sex marriage that it’s just easier for many gays and lesbians to hate all Christians.

    There. I just refuted your ludicrous statement about “no single Christian position” and proved that many gays and lesbians are bigots. Remember, the definition of a bigot is “one who regards or treats the members of a group with hatred and intolerance.” (Wikipedia)

    There are bigots on both sides of this argument. But saying “there is no single Christian position on the issue of homosexuality” is sort of like saying “there is no single Democratic position on the issue of Obama’s re-election.” Technically true… I know a few Democrats who won’t vote for Obama. But hardly accurate in an even mildly general sense. Confusing the exception with the rule seems to be one of your chronic fallacies.

    Can you name any secular humanist organizations in the U.S. that oppose gay rights? No, I didn’t think so.

  5. Marriage or Smarriage?

        In New York,  the debate over legalizing same sex marriage was resolved one year ago, by the courageous and conscience driven determination of the NYS Legislature to treat all of its citizens alike when it comes to marriage. The debate rages on in many other states, however, and other state legislatures are not necessarily following New York’s lead…at least not immediately.

      In the debate over critical issues of the day. Words matter. 

         And,  in the debate over marriage equality, words really, really matter.  I grew up Catholic. So, I am used to hearing the  phrase, “In the eyes of the church….”. 
        And truthfully, in the eyes of the church, same sex couples will never be sanctioned let alone sanctified. Marriage is a sacrament, in the eyes of the Church, and that’s ok! Some couples I know were first married by a Justice of the Peace, and later re-married “in the eyes of the church” by a clergyman.  So there are really two kinds of marriage already..religious marriage, and civil marriage.  We can have both, and they are not mutually exclusive.  Religious marriage  carries with it a civil status recognized by the state which alters the rights of the individuals who partake in it.  Civil marriage does not confer any sacramental benefits or status on the participants in the eyes of the church. But, while one may be a blessing, the other is not a curse.  Maybe it is all in how we describe it.

          Are words the problem? Because if the problem lies simply in the words we use to describe it…. maybe we just need to give it a different name.

         How about “Marriage”  (Heterosexual marriage) and “Smarriage “( same sex marriage) .  I use that example, tongue in cheek,  in discussing the issue with my college aged students.  If it is all about what we call it..why not just call it something different?  Same sex couples who are “smarried” could call their spouses “smusbands” or “swives”… If that is all we are arguing about, maybe that would solve the problem.

            You don’t have to celebrate someone else’s marital status.  You don’t have to throw confetti, or go to the reception.  You need only respect it,  just as you would respect the rights all other citizens have under law.  Gay people are not seeking sacramental solace, or  religious approbation.  They are simply seeking tolerance, respect for their rights, and respect for how they choose to conduct their civil relationships.  Nothing more..nothing less.  This is not an assault on traditional marriage, and anyone who characterizes it as that is truly either misinformed or attempting to mislead.  

          It would be foolish to argue that someone supporting the sport of Soccer is advocating an end to the game of Football. The fight is over civil marriage, not religious marriage. You can’t legislate a change in religious ideology. That would be wrong. Mandating contraceptive coverage by religious employers whose ideology rejects it is wrong.The critics of the Obama administration who said that regulation went too far were right.  As a result, Obama’s administration retreated, and reached a compromise.  So too is compromise possible on the issue of Marriage equality.  But unlike ardent ideologues, we must be wiling to compromise.

         Religiosity simply has no place in the legislative world, and legislative mandates have no place in the world of religion. You have the right in this country to be religiously intolerant. You do not have the right to be civilly intolerant of rights which are guaranteed all Americans by the United States Constitution. It’s as simple as that!  
           We just need to realize and respect the fact that in the eyes of the law, same sex couples should be treated no differently than interracial couples currently are when it comes to being accorded basic constitutional rights. ( Interracial couples were banned from marrying before 1967 – In Loving v. Virginia,  the USSC changed that) Current laws banning same sex marriage will no doubt eventually meet the same fate as laws banning interracial marriage.  It is an issue on which many Americans, like the President, are “evolving”.  History is not on the side of reversing the current sociological trend.  The more people get to know the human side of the issue, the less intolerant they become.  Former Vice-President Dick Cheney’s view on the subject is but a  example.  Because he has been affected personally, he sees it differently.  So will many more Americans as time progresses.

    And, as for the President’s fairly recent statement about the right of same sex individuals to marry…What did Obama really say? He said he supports equal rights. What’s wrong with that?  When is the last time a President of the United States was criticized for advocating equality….  other than Barack Obama?  Come to think of it… the answer would be Abraham Lincoln…and we all know how that turned out. 

        Here’s hoping for a less drastic resolution of this current controversy.  If using different words will do it…it is at least worth a try.


  6. shawnnews

    Pat is completely right. There are several Christian positions on gay marriage.
    You can make up the Christianity you want in this country and most people do. In fact, that’s why there are so many different denominations of Christianity.
    And of course, religious people are not marginalized in this country — they run the country. Virtually every legislator in the federal government claims a religious affiliation. Every Democrat and Republican, with the exception of Pete Stark, a California congressman. And to say Christians are speaking boldly for their concern for this country is missing the point of the gay marriage debate. Gays and lesbians don’t have the same status in they can’t enter into a marriage recognized by law in most states. It’s them who are marginalized. Really what the Christians speaking against gay marraige are doing is saying that gays and lesbians should not have the same legal rights because of the things they focus on in their books.
    In fact, this is more self-destructive because it shows there are Christians who will speak boldly against others having rights. This is why people would stop listening to religions for anything. Many of the followers want the world, our nation, our sciences, and the lives of non-believers to fit into their book — whether they select to or not. It’s really preposterous that in a free society consenting adults have to ask for the voters’ permission as to how to lead their personal lives.

  7. shawnnews: Well stated.

  8. Christian

    The thing about Christianity is that it is God’s job to judge… not ours. Christians are supposed to love others and lead through example to show others how Christians live AND THAT’S ALL. No one person has the right to judge others. There should be no room in any Christian’s heart for hatred, no matter what our differences are as humans. I sure don’t want someone else telling me how to live my life! When we each reach our Judgment Day, God will know what was in our hearts while we were here on this earth, and I certainly don’t want my legacy to be hate.

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