Saturday,  March 05, 2011 at 8:22 p.m. MARCH 2011 Edition

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 "Chick fil-A's Christian Roots Render People's Persecutions!"

 Ramesh C. Reddy

It is distressing to hear the criticism that Dan Cathy, the president of Chick fil-A has endured because of his faith in Jesus Christ which dictates his actions of supporting a local operator. The issues at hand are the outcries to ban Chick fil-A from college campuses or boycott Chick fil- A because a Chick fil-A franchise in Pennsylvania donated free sandwiches and brownies to all attendees at the “Art of Marriage: Getting To the Heart of God’s Design” sponsored by the Pennsylvania Family Institute.

Once the controversy broke, Cathy released a statement that said, "While my family and I believe in the Biblical definition of marriage, we love and respect anyone who disagrees." "At Chick-fil-A, we have a heart for helping marriages because we know marriage can be difficult at times," “Through the years, we have supported our Chick-fil-A staff and franchised operators in their marriage journey, and since the formation of our family foundation, the WinShape Foundation, we have helped others as well."

Now Cathy and Chick fil-A are being vilified by many proponents of gay marriage who are pushing for boycotts and banning of Chick fil-A across college campuses. If these institutions do not stop, then they are labeled as being non-supportive and non-friendly towards the LGBT community.

As the LGBT community, they are entitled to boycott whatever they want and whoever they want but it is unfair to manipulate institutions or individuals with defaming rhetoric because they continue to do business with Chick fil-A. This is what has happened across certain college campuses including the University of Pittsburgh. It is wonderful to know that there are institutions that have held their ground with integrity.

The irony in all this is the LGBT community talks about the importance of tolerance and acceptance towards all even if people don’t agree with their lifestyle. But, when it comes to religious organizations or religious people who support sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, they are in an uproar and throw tolerance out the door.

Should we not have tolerance for the president of Chick Fil-A who sees his allegiance to Jesus Christ dictating which organizations or people he or his franchises want to support?

No one of their own free volition is going to support an organization or person if they do not agree with their core values. The fact that Chick fil-A franchise supports the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman does not mean gay people are any less valued.

Cathy stated, "In recent weeks, we have been accused of being anti-gay. We have no agenda against anyone. At the heart and soul of our company, we are a family business that serves and values all people regardless of their beliefs or opinions,"

What else can you ask for when they want to value all people?

Valuing all people does not mean they throw their own biblical principles out the door.

Cathy also stated in a statement, ''Chick-fil-A's corporate purpose is 'To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us, and to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.' As a result, we will not champion any political agendas on marriage and family. This decision has been made, and we understand the importance of it. At the same time, we will continue to offer resources to strengthen marriages and families. To do anything different would be inconsistent with our purpose and belief in Biblical principles.''

He should be applauded for that and not vilified because even though society may look down upon him, he has held to his belief in the sanctity of marriage supported in Scriptures.

Jesus said, “But ‘God made them male and female’ from the beginning of creation. ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.” (Mark 10:6-9, NIV)

 If a brother or sister of yours was being defamed because they support the sanctity of marriage, would you be quiet or take a stand for him or her?

I hope you take a stand just like I have taken a stand for Dan Cathy, a brother in Christ.

A follower of Christ, who believes the Bible to be the divinely inspired Word of God, should not be expected to support gay marriage because expecting that will violate his 1st Amendment rights to freedom of religion and asking him to put the views of human beings over the view of God.

For the one who believes that God’s Word should prevail and choosing to abide by God’s Word in all areas of life, including in the realm of marriage, does not make someone homophobic or any less loving towards gay people. You can still love the individual and hate their lifestyle or actions. My prayer is that I do love, even those that are for gay marriage, as the Word of God wants me to but also stand up against what I know is wrong.

No one should have to face persecution because of their religious beliefs but it continues to happen even to this day. My hope is that no company decides to stop doing business with Christian owners because they choose to abide by God’s Word in their daily life. My hope also is that no individual would be fired because they speak out against an issue they believe to be wrong.  

However, it is not surprising that Christians face a lot of persecution because Jesus said, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” (John 15:18-19, NIV)

”It is better to obey God than man.” (Acts 4:19, TLB)

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.”  (Proverbs 29:25, NIV)

Source for Cathy's statements:

Reddy’s Rhetoric takes us into the world of companies and citizens facing criticisms because of their religious beliefs, asking the questions, “Is it right to vilify Chick Fil-A for its support of the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, by asking institutions to ban them or boycott them?”

Editors Note: Mr. Reddy works for an institution that contracts with Chick fil-A and is delighted with the institutions integrity in all levels of doing business and hopes to treat everyone with love, integrity, valor, and enthusiasm. In my duties, I try to  ensure no employee ever has to feel they are treated any differently at the workplace regardless of their race, religion, color, pregnancy, ancestry, citizenship, marital status, gender, gender identity, genetic information, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, age, veterans status, physical or mental disability or any other basis protected by law.

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