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01/06/2011

The one where Michael Geer lies about this site

by Jeremy Hooper

Our initial post on Chick-Fil-A's supposed partnership with the Pennsylvania Family Institute for its upcoming "Art of Marriage" seminar did one thing and one thing only: It showed the flyer for the event, noted PFI's mention of Chick-Fil-A being a cosponsor, and told readers to plan their dining choices accordingly. See the post here.

But leave it to the group behind the flyer to attack the messenger:

Michael Geer, president of the Pennsylvania Family Institute, says the post provoking anger towards Pennsylvania Chick-fil-A Chicken restaurants for "endorsing" its efforts are misleading.

"All in all it's a trumped up story," Geer told The Christian Post.

"Good as You," a blog catering to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning community, posted a flier about PFI's February event, The Art of Marriage, with a message asserting that Chick-fil-A was supporting the Pennsylvania group and its efforts to take down the state's gay marriage plans.

The blog has gone so far as to create an online petition against the restaurant company.
Family Group: Gay Blog Gives Misleading Information About Chick-fil-A Co-Sponsorship [Christian Post]

Okay, let's stop there. Because that last line? It's an outright lie! We never created a petition or called for a boycott. Not even kinda. In fact, this site and its writer repeatedly stated that people should make their own determinations about how they personally proceed. Any site that did petition or boycott did so on their own volition -- not in concert with our effort.

But of course this Christian Post reporter never contacted us for comment on this or any other point.

But okay, moving on: Geer goes on to say:

Setting the record straight, Geer said Chick-fil-A is not sponsoring the event. "There are a couple restaurants that are giving us food," he shared. The food, mostly chicken sandwiches, is for a day-and-half-long workshop for couples who want to strengthen their marriages.

According to Geer, the local Chick-fil-A branches involved were simply trying to "be good neighbors" to the marriage retreat being held at two local churches. "We didn't even get any money," maintained Geer. The food was freely donated to the churches hosting the marriage retreat.

Geer also denounced mentions in the blog and later homosexual magazine On Top for wrongly suggesting that Chick-fil-A's corporate office, located in Georgia, is involved in the event. Despite restaurant creator Truett Cathy's profession of faith, Geer says it was a local decision to give the food.
Family Group: Gay Blog Gives Misleading Information About Chick-fil-A Co-Sponsorship [Christian Post]

Okay, again, let's stop at this, ANOTHER OUTRIGHT LIE! Because we never indicated to what level the claimed support reached, only that some level of support was being claimed. We tried making contact with Chick-Fil-A's press people for comment on that matter, but no one ever got back to us (instead choosing to put out a Tweet saying they would comment -- a comment that hasn't come in the two days that have followed).

Again, all we did was show this, a flyer created by PFI:

6A00D8341C503453Ef0148C747Bf4C970C

The folks at PFI are the ones who claimed the sponsorship, not us! A sponsorship that, tellingly, they tried to scrub once this caught fire. (*Here's the Google cache of the original flyer).

And then, now, let's wrap up with this from Geer:

"People should applaud institutions that want to strengthen marriage," he stated. Geer expressed "disappointment" at online publications that would try to taint the meaningful event.
Family Group: Gay Blog Gives Misleading Information About Chick-fil-A Co-Sponsorship [Christian Post]

Yea, you wanna go there, Michael? Well, okay: In addition to PFI's own work against legally married gay couples (like this writer and his husband), the national sponsor of this "Art of Marriage" concept, Family Life, features teachings like the following on its organizational website:

Help! My Child is a Homosexual - [FamilyLife.com]

and this...

Gay Marriages … What's the Big Deal? - [FamilyLife.com]

and this...

"These days our media bombard us with the idea that God created and blesses other kinds of sex, like that practiced by homosexuals. You will need to share with your child that there is a radical homosexual element in our culture saying, “We’re going to be in your face. You’re going to see us kissing on television and in movies. We want to become acceptable.”

Our children must know that just because some group wants to validate their behavior, that does not make it right in God’s eyes. Our children need to learn how to hate the sin (see Romans 1:26—27) while loving the sinner."

Teaching Your Teen About God's Views on Sex [FamilyLife.com]

So Michael, you can claim all you want that we gays are unfairly tainting you and PFI and Family Life and "The Art Of Marriage" and whoever else. For our part, we will remain deeply disappointed in groups like yours and Family Life, who are trying to taint meaningful existences.

***

**NOTE: Christian Post has now added a correction and changed some of the text to make it more accurate. That's a positive and appreciated step.

Also, I had a frank and productive conversation with reporter Stephanie Samuel. We all need more of this kind of talk, cutting through ideological differences so as to accurately rep our shared bodies of fact.

***

**UPDATE: Audio: What Michael Geer's "Art of Marriage" means for us

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