By Teresa Tomeo - OSV Newsweekly, 8/19/2012
So why are so many feathers flying over comments regarding marriage made by the owner of the Atlanta-based restaurant chain Chick-fil-A? Did the company refuse to hire or serve someone because they had a same-sex attraction? Did they fire an employee for similar reasons? If the answers to those questions were “yes” then this would be a legitimate cause for concern and a legitimate story regarding possible discrimination. The Catholic Church is clear in its teaching on the dignity of the human person; all people are to be treated with respect, as it states in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
“The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition” (No. 2358).
Discrimination was not the case with Chick-fil-A. But that’s certainly not the impression one gets from the media frenzy and firestorm that’s been raging the past few weeks. The chain’s owner Dan Cathy, a Christian, has long maintained he built his company on biblical principles and traditional family values. His recent comments were made in an interview with the Baptist Press, where he reiterated his support of marriage between one man and one woman by saying “we are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit.” And the truth be known, not that reporting the truth is a regular occurrence these days, but Cathy never even used the term “gay marriage.” He simply, as many Catholic and other Christian media outlets pointed out, expressed his support for marriage between a man and a woman.
Well, like clockwork the so-called politically correct club went to town and started beating Cathy and the Chick-fil-A chain to a pulp. The attacks were among the worst I have seen as a cultural analyst in a country where we are all supposed to be protected by the First Amendment. Not only did they go after the owner and his company with an even more outrageous rant about what they view as “hate and intolerance,” but they even were able to pressure certain politicians into jumping on the latest Christian bashing band wagon. The mayor of Boston, Thomas M. Menino, although he later recanted, was one of the first to come out swinging, going so far as to say he would block Chick-fil-A from opening a franchise in Bean Town. And Chicago Alderman Joe Morena said he will stop Chick-fil-A from building a second store in the Windy City. Meanwhile the City of Brotherly Love was anything but brotherly or loving: A councilman there basically told Dan Cathy see you later and don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Oh, but wait there is more. And keep this in mind the next time your toddler wants to watch the Muppets: The Jim Henson Company will no longer provide the chain with toys.
A few politicians did speak out in favor of Cathy’s right to free speech. Cathy is getting a lot of support from concerned Christians around the country who see this as an attack on free speech and religious freedom. However, this is more proof that those who want to silence opposition to same-sex marriage will do whatever it takes. The promoters of “tolerance” are really the most intolerant of us all.
Teresa Tomeo is the host of “Catholic Connection,” produced by Ave Maria Radio and heard daily on EWTN Global Catholic Radio and Sirius Channel 160.
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