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07/24/2012

Okay, Esther Fleece—let's talk about biased #chickfila reporting

by Jeremy Hooper

A week ago, I showed you how Focus on the Family's young people outreach person, Esther Fleece, was trying to frame those of us who have covered the Chick-fil-A controversy as being unbalanced, unfair, and generally skewed:

Screen Shot 2012-07-18 At 3.40.41 Pm

As I noted at the time, this is an unfortunately consistent trend with Ms. Fleece, who has expressed the same hollow indignation towards a number of other incidents where her "side" faced scrutiny for their own words or deeds. It's kind of her M.O.

But now get this. Check out how Ms. Fleece's employer is itself addressing the now major controversy:


Chick-fil-A Faces Discrimination [FoTF Citizenlink]

"Expressed his support for Biblical values on marriage"? Are you kidding me right now?! This is what Mr Cathy said to earn controversy:

DAN CATHY: (1:05)"…I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say 'we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage' and I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about"

AUDIO SOURCE: Dan Cathy [Ken Coleman Show]

Regardless of where you stand on civil marriage policy, the fact of the matter is that Dan Cathy went WAAAAY beyond just "traditional marriage." This man, quite literally, said that gay people, via nothing more than their love, are capable of invoking an almighty rebuke that threatens our nation. In the evangelical world, there is no higher indictment! Every potential or current same-sex couple in this world has been put on notice by this prominent American business man, who has chosen, by his own volition, to say that our loving unions are "prideful" and "arrogant" enough to draw a rebuke! He has pitted us against God, saying that merciful prayer is the only solution. I wish I were overstating that, but I'm absolutely not.

Oh, and that headline, "Chick-fil-A faces discrimination"? NO! The company faces scrutiny. Pushback. Consumer reaction. Repercussions of their own overplayed hands! This how the marketplace works!

Focus on the Family staffers, just like their allies at the Family Research and the National Organization For Marriage, don't want to mention what Dan Cathy actually said because they too know that Dan Cathy's actual words are obviously scorn-worthy, and that more attention will be deeply detrimental both to this cherished evangelical business and the larger marriage movement. But the truth is that the more they opine, the more we are simply going to present the facts right back to them. When it comes down to a debate between a knowingly anti-LGBT special interest group's own opinions and the verbatim audio from the company president and COO's own mouth? I'm pretty okay with how that matchup will play out with an increasingly clued-in public!

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