"The diversity crowd has two fundamental tenets: the first is that they have an absolute commitment to free speech and second tenet is 'shut up'" - Pastor Douglas Wilson.
If you've been keeping up with what's current in the American culture war arena, then you've undoubtedly heard something about the controversy surrounding America's tenth most popular fast food chain, Chick-fil-a.
You may ask what is the cause of all the uproar surrounding the chicken chain, an uproar that has resulted in personal and corporate boycotts of the chain, charges of "hate", "bigotry", and "homophobia", as well as potential Chick-fil-a restaurants potentially being barred from cities like Boston and Chicago.
Well, look no further than CFA president and professing Christian Dan Cathy.
In speaking to the "Baptist Press", Cathy had this to say:
"We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. We operate as a family business ... our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that"
Hardly controversial or surprising given CFA's history of espousing biblical values.
However, what really got people's blood boiling was Cathy's statements on the Ken Coleman radio show:
Then all hell broke loose.
The Jim Henson company (Jim Henson being the creator of the "Muppets") has now ended it's partnership with the chain citing its CEO's "strong [support]" for "gay marriage" as the reason.
The company had previously provided toys for CFA's kids meals.
In addition, the Democratic mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino, has made public statements akin to declaring an (un)holy war against the restaurant chain.
Mayor Menino told the following to the Boston Herald:
“Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston. You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population. We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion.
"That’s the Freedom Trail. That’s where it all started right here. And we’re not going to have a company, Chick-fil-A or whatever the hell the name is, on our Freedom Trail.
“If they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult — unless they open up their policies." (emphasis mine)
And in my state of Illinois, former White House Chief of Staff and current Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emmanuel opined to the "Chicago Tribune":
Grant Gustin, who who plays the openly homosexual "Sebastian Smythe" on the hit TV show Glee tweeted:
"I'm officially done with Chick-fil-A. Your food is not good enough to take from a bunch of ass holes".
Also, Roseanne Barr of the former "Roseanne Show" tweeted:
“Anyone who eats S**t fil A deserves to get the cancer that is sure to come from eating antibiotic filled tortured chickens 4 Christ,”
Other celebrity critics include, Jon Stewart and Ed Helms of the "The Office".
Remember that all of this is the result of CFA president Dan Cathy saying that he believes God should define marriage, not man, and because CFA supports oraganizations who believe the same.
It is for this reason and others I have composed this open letter:
Dear Celebrity, Politician, Lawmaker, Neighbor and Friend who thinks myself and people like me are "bigoted", "homophobic", and [insert pejorative adjective here], because we believe that marriage is between a man and a woman,
You should know that I am not a bigot or an "a**hole", nor are my Bible believing friends and family members.
We live in your political districts, watch you in your movies, babysit your kids, help you at the grocery store, and sit by you at work.
We love people and while we don't always show it like we should, we don't go out of our way to see people hurt.
We understand that nothing is more important than loving and serving God, even when our faith puts us at odds with the people we love.
We believe in marriage as the sacred union of a man and woman not because we hate those different than us, or wish to see people hurt or discriminated against, but because God has ordained marriage to be the sacred union of a man and woman.
We believe that while other types of relationships may carry certain benefits, marriage is inherently a man-woman union, and to treat different things differently is not discrimination, but common sense.
We care for our fellow citizens who disagree with us and who may be hurt by our beliefs, but out of love for God, the truth, and our fellow man, we cannot and will not compromise our commitment to the truth about sexual ethics and marriage.
We also support the rights of an organization to expand and thrive even if it's leaders have beliefs that contradict popular opinion.
We are committed to pray for you even though you may despise us and it is our hope that you may come to understand our point of view just as we try to understand yours.