by Norm MillerPhotography: Carrie Ann Sienkiewicz Videography: Sean McCane
CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMCNews)--In an email to the students, staff and faculty of Truett-McConnell College, President Emir Caner encouraged all to visit Chick-fil-A restaurants in support of Chick-fil-A Day, Aug. 1.
"Truett-McConnell College is honored to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Chick-fil-A and its leadership as they honor God's Word in its definition of traditional family values," Dr. Caner told TMCNews.
Dr. Caner's remarks echo those of Dan Cathy, who has come under fire from the liberal media and other pro-homosexual entities for his support of traditional family values -- particularly, biblical marriage.
"We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that," said Cathy in a Baptist Press news story posted July 22.
"As a school that is distinctively Baptist, we cherish the right any private business has in holding religious convictions without any fear of reprisal from governmental intrusion," Caner added.
"Mr. Cathy's stance for biblical marriage is a breath of fresh air in a generation that is questioning its very foundations. It is our hope that graduates of Truett-McConnell will imitate the godly leadership of the Cathys' and that they, too, will hold firm their conviction of the Bible," Caner concluded. "The future of the nation depends on it."
Truett-McConnell students Garrett Erath, Wynn Raley and Brent Carr stood in line at the Cornelia, Ga., Chick-fil-A restaurant for about 30 minutes before ordering their food.
"This is a big deal," said Erath, TMC business management major. Erath said he visited the restaurant "because Chick-fil-A is a company that stands for Christian values and stands up for the Lord, and that's what we want to support."
Raley echoed Erath's remarks, adding, "I'm here for some good chicken."
Truett-McConnell Trustee John Yarbrough told TMCNews: "We're supporting free speech, and we're supporting a man and a family business that stands on biblical principles and that does nothing to hate anyone, but has expressed love in so many ways," said Yarbrough, pastor of Mount Yonah Baptist Church, Cleveland.
Chick-fil-A's charitable division, WinShape Foundation, sponsors such groups as the National Organization for Marriage, the Ruth Institute, the Pennsylvania Family Institute, Focus on the Family and Exodus International, and other entities that support, among other biblical values, traditional family marriage, and/or assist people desirous of leaving the homosexual lifestyle.
"God has blessed this business," Yarbrough continued, "and I think the crowd today shows that there are a lot of people who are willing to stand with the Cathys and Chick-fil-A," said Yarbrough, noting that about 30 members of the church visited the restaurant.
Numerous other persons associated with the Truett-McConnell visited the restaurant, as well as other church pastors and members.
"We're not against anyone, but we are on the side of family values. That's the most important thing," said Chris Anderson, pastor of Chattahoochee Baptist Church, Cleveland. "We love people because that's what Jesus Christ did." More than 25 members rode in the church's van to the Cornelia restaurant.
Ricky McFarlin, pastor of Eastonolle Baptist Church in Toccoa, Ga., brought more than 15 members with him. "We want to express our morals and let the world know where we stand as Christians," said McFarlin, who cited both Truett and Dan Cathy as godly men.
"Before we left the church today, we prayed that the restaurant would be full and that we'd have to stand in line," McFarlin said, noting the line extended out the door and down the sidewalk past the end of the building.
McFarlin said other members who visited Chick-fil-A restaurants in other cities had sent him text messages saying they "couldn't get in the door" due to the overwhelming response to Chick-fil-A Day.
"We here to show love, but we also want to show that we will stick to the Word of God and Christian values," McFarlin said. "In addition to all that, I like chicken."
Cathy told Baptist Press: "We intend to stay the course. We know that it might not be popular with everyone; but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles."
To read several articles germane to this topic, go to Baptist Press at this link: http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=38271.