Berenstain Bears address Chick-fil-A gay marriage controversy and their upcoming promotion together

The Berenstain Bears Golden Rule Do unto others

Last week the Jim Henson Company announced they were severing ties with fast food chain Chick-fil-A and would no longer be providing toys for their kids’ meals after the restaurant’s president Dan Cathy recently officially confirmed the company’s anti-gay marriage stance. Beloved childhood book characters The Berenstain Bears also have an upcoming promotion with Chick-fil-A, so will they be following in the furry footsteps of the muppets in opposition? Sort of, but not really.

On The Berenstain Bears’ official website a note was added addressing the upcoming promotion that will see BB book given away with kid’s meals at the fast-food chain next month. Here’s a screen cap of the note followed by a transcript of what it said:

Letter from the Berenstain Bears to Chick-fil-A on their website

Dear Friends,

Our publisher, HarperCollins, is marketing several of their Berenstain Bears titles through a kids’ meal promotion at Chick-Fil-A scheduled for August. This program was in development for over a year. We were unaware of any controversy involving Chick-Fil-A until July 25th.

The Berenstain family does not at this time have control over whether this program proceeds or not. We hope those concerned about this issue will direct their comments toward HarperCollins and Chick-Fil-A.

The Berenstain Family

The note was accompanied by a message from HarperCollins that read, “We have a long history of diversity and inclusiveness and are very disappointed to hear recent statements made by Chick-fil-A. After much consideration, we have decided to honor our previous arrangement, with the chain. We have no plans to work with them in the future.” The HarperCollins note has since been removed, and according to an NBC News report, it was “an unauthorized statement.”

The Jim Henson stance was a little more rigid, saying in their statement, “The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years and we have notified Chick-fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors. Lisa Henson, our CEO is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-Fil-A to GLAAD. (”

Sesame Street's Adam Lambert and Ernie
Adam Lambert and Ernie agree with The Jim Henson Company’s statement

So what is all the hubbub about? Here is what Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy told the Baptist Press: “We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit,” he said. “We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”

Cathy also spoke out in a recent radio interview, stating “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.’” He then continued with, “I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we would have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is all about.”

It should also be noted that the company has reportedly donated millions of dollars to anti-gay Christian groups – which is why the Baptist Press asked Cathy about it in the first place.

So where do you weigh in on the whole Chick-fil-A controversy?

While you ponder over that complex issue, let’s take a look at a page from The Berenstain Bears taken completely out of context!

Queenie from The Berenstain Bears is not impressed with Sister's bling
Queenie doesn’t seem too impressed with Sister’s bling.

  • Jamie

    I have nothing against the GLBT community, but I support Chick-fil-A for standing strong in what they believe in. After all, just because they don’t support gay marriage, that makes them horrible? Aren’t they entitled to an opinion like everyone else? And I agree with their beliefs.

    • Bailey

      “I have nothing against the LGBT community but I agree that they should not have the right to marry”

      NO, you do not support the LGBT community, you dunce.

  • Yeahh

    I love how Chick Fil A isn’t allowed to have an opinion & everyone else is.
    Chick Fil A lives by the word of God and they’re the bad guys for doing it? Fxck today’s society. I support Chick Fil A 100% and I’m also 1000% against at gay marriage.

  • Forrest

    Love the sinner not the sin.

  • Babyvamp

    I just feel like it wasn’t something they had to come outright and say. This backlash was avoidable. He’s the ceo of a fast food joint…who the hell cares about where he stands on gay marriage? Before he said anything…. Yes, they were donating the money to certain groups…..but were they doing it to specifically set out to support anti-gay rallies and efforts….or donating to support the religion/community? A lot of religions have a problem with gay marriage, so that’s just going to come with the territory. I guess we have our answer now. Its more than just religion for these people, in fact, they’re hiding behind it. If he took more of a nuetral stance, there’s a thing called tact and being a smart business person. I would have more respect for his beliefs and opinions if he dismissed the question…..this is a business, first and foremost….and coming out and making those statements is discrimination. Its not that no one is letting them have their opinion…. Its that they CHOSE to speak out about it and in doing so, they offended people. If business suffers, its deserved.

    • Jamie

      I think you missed their point. They are Christian and they are PROUD! That is why they haven’t taken a neutral stance. What they did is brave and amazing to stand for what you believe in. The nay-sayers have done the exact same thing. And I don’t believe business has suffered as many Chick-Fil-A’s all over have been packed wall-to-wall today. They’ll be fine.

    • rachel

      agreed 100%! finally someone with some sense in these comments.

  • Katybug

    I’m never eating at Chik-Fil-A again.

    • Jessica

      Are you ever going to use gas or oil from a Muslim country? They do way worse things to gays than just voice their opinion about them. So I’m assuming that anytime you pump gas you are going to research it’s origins beforehand. Good luck with that.

  • CS

    It’s easy to boycott Chik-Fil-A because not that many people eat there regardless of their stance on gay marriage now I would like to see how many people would boycott Wal-mart if their CEO said they were against gay marriage. I do applaud Chik-Fil-A’s commitment to being closed on Sundays for people who go to church, at least not everything is about money.

  • Brittany

    I’m an atheist and I’m proud. It’s not wrong to have an opinion but sometimes things need to be kept in the mind and not spatted out carelessly. I was raised Lutheran and I don’t understand how any god-loving person can throw judgment around in matters as serious as this. Hypocrites. Let them live their lives, don’t deny them anything because YOU are not god.
    I don’t go around telling religious people that I’m against them and think they are 100% wrong. It’s called RESPECT. I have respect for others beliefs even though they may differ from mine. Chik-Fil-A is stupid for allowing him to speak. Cathy is assuming his religion is the only right one. He’s the arrogant one.

  • Bri

    He should go on tour with Romney. HAHAHAAH!! That would really bring the “lulz.” Both idiots, get rid of them.

  • MagooEBJ

    Our very great and beautiful country was founded on certain principles, one of them being freedom of speech and another being freedom of religion. And in order to insure that all of us are considered equal in the eye of the law, religion is specifically removed from government. One (any one) religious belief does not get to choose how we all will be governed. Our United States of America supports and fights and bleeds for human rights around the world. Should we really deny the very human right to marry to some of our citizens? (and didn’t we do that to slaves not all that long ago?) If we want to take pride in our country, don’t we need to walk the walk of freedom for our own citizens–all of them–not just the ones who have a specific religous belief? Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and render unto God that which is God’s. Even Jesus understood.

  • howdisappointing

    This is sad. I was looking forward to sharing these books with my child when he is older, but I refuse to support institutions that provide support for limiting freedom to all.

    For people who don’t get it, Chick-fil-a can have an opinion like everyone else, but when they use the profits to support those opinions and they are opinions you do not support, you don’t want your money to be used in that way and you stop eating there. They can have their opinion, but they can also deal with not getting money from those who don’t agree and don’t want their money used in that manner.

  • cmacathome

    I for one am glad “He” said what he did, at least now we can make an informed decision as to whether or not we want to patronize this business. For that, and that alone, Freedom of Speech proves beneficial to consumers. I also don’t agree I need a mayor of any city to make that decision for me, I have the info, I am now an educated consumer. Thank you Mr. Mayor(s), I have a brain and the right to choose, as everyone else does; government does not need nor have the right to do that for us.

    As for the topic of “Marriage” I found some great articles that discuss the history of Western Marriage that would benefit a lot of people who are debating this issue. Not sure what people mean by supporting “traditional marriage”, because by today’s definition and arrangement of marriage, it is a relatively new one in terms of history and the Bible. And as far as this being a political statement, yes, “his” statement is political more than a religous one,(this is an election year and his timing is not by coincidence). It is important to note that married couples have different tax, inheritance and immigration laws than those who are not married (which is government, not religious). My friend and I agree, we go to church to worship, but both of us do not and will not tolerate being told how to vote as a U.S. Citizen by any theology; on the flip side, I can educate myself and I don’t want the government to block free enterprise either – I’m confident we can make educated and smart choices – which is the core the debate: we all should have equal rights.