By Tom Quiner
Check out my piece in this morning’s Des Moines Register: “Chick-fil-A supporters have had their fill of liberal bullies.”
To their credit, the Register didn’t edit a word of my piece, except for the headline. Those of us supporting Chick-fil-A were involved, not because of Chick-fil-A, but as ardent supporters of free speech and religious liberty. So I’m not in love with their headline. Put I’m being picky.
As expected, many responders were not happy with my views:
“The Chick fil a customer appreciation day was a particularly bad idea from a business standpoint. It simply served to advertise the fact that the chain represents a political view that half of its customer base finds offensive. A one day turnout will not make up for the business this chain will lose in the future as a result. Alienating potential customers is never good for business. Once some of the fanchisees discover they’ve been hurt in the long run, they will likely sue Mr. Cathy.”
Another “fan” wrote to me directly:
“You don’t choose to be gay, but you do elect to be a bigot! Let us hate in the name of the Lord. It’s easier than loving in the name of humanity.”
A college professor from one of our state universities sent me a more favorable review:
“I enjoyed reading your op/ed this morning. The mainstream coverage of the response to Huckabee’s celebration of Chick- fil-A day was so condescending. Freedom of speech is really only free if one espouses views popular on the left side of the political spectrum. I have long felt that in academia, where one would expect the most exchange of ideas and viewpoints, there is ironically the least amount of free speech.
Courageous and hard-hitting columns such as yours help correct that deficiency in our media-controlled society. Good work!”
On the other hand, a liberal writer doesn’t think much of my logic:
“It’s the hypocrisy that gets me. Mr. Quiner claims there’s some “liberal Thought Police” trying to tell people what to think, while he ignores the fact that Chik-fil-A (the corporate entity, not just the president and Chief Operating Officer) donates significant amounts of money to political organizations with an anti-gay agenda.
Earlier this year when a Starbucks executive stated the corporation was in favor of same-sex marriage and the conservative National Organization for Marriage denounced the decision and advocated a boycott of the coffee shop, did Quiner complain about the ‘conservative Thought Police’? I suspect not. Did liberal pundits and political commentators call for a Starbucks Appreciation Day? No.
Conservatives like to assert they’re in the majority and yet they consistently claim to be victims, bullied by those weak liberals. Man, that’s pretty pathetic.”
I’m not sure this guy’s critical thinking skills are functioning properly. If a group, liberal or conservative, wants to boycott a company, well fine. Nothing wrong with that if a company’s value system is egregious. But there is something wrong when the power structure of a city says we will not let you do business in our town because you do not think or believe the way we do. That is what happened with Chick-fil-A when the Mayor of Chicago said you are not welcome here.
Another guy said:
“Mike Huckabee didn’t suggest it, he declared it and the sheeple followed. And the author says the liberals are thought police?”
Hmmm, Mr. Huckabee didn’t threaten us. Mayor Emanuel did. See the difference?
Finally, a prison chaplain,Chip Rohlke of ChristIsCreator.com ministry, stepped forward on the Register’s comment page to stand up for me. It takes some guts, because most responders don’t agree with me, and these detractors tend to be vicious. Here are Chaplain Rohlke’s comments:
“Why is it that those who engage in what is historically a perverse and destructive lifestyle have so little tolerance for those who think homosexuality (along with incest, pedophilia, beastiality, necrophilia and other ‘sexual preferences’) is unnatural and wrong behavior.
Why is it that immediately when someone raises an objection to homosexuality as ‘normal and natural’ they are immediately labelled ‘homophobic’ as if everyone is scared of them. Perhaps most people are in fact ‘homo-nauseated’ and sick and tired of ‘in your face’ homosexual activism. Maybe most people don’t want their children indoctrinated into the homosexual culture and tired of constant attempts to make it acceptable behavior.
It’s true that the Christian faith opposes homosexuality as it does all sin but never rejects the person…as a prison Chaplain I’ve learned to always accept and care for the individual but never the sinful behavior-whether murder, rape, lying, fornication or homosexuality. Of course to those who love this sin only God can touch their conscience. I imagine most people want to accept the individuals engaging in such choices but not condone their behavior.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly defines marriage:
Each of the two sexes is an image of the power and tenderness of God, with equal dignity though in a different way. The union of man and woman in marriage is a way of imitating in the flesh the Creator’s generosity and fecundity: “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.” All human generations proceed from this union.
Secular society can talk about “gay” marriage all day long, but same-sex unions can never be considered a marriage in the eyes of the Catholic Church and most of our Protestant brothers and sisters.
However, the Catholic Church calls for compassion and understanding for our friends and families with same-sex attractions:
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.
Ultimately, we the faithful should be animated by the knowledge that God is Love. We’re called to stand up for our faith in the public square, and to do it with love in our heart. It’s not always easy, I know.
But love is always stronger than hate.