CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 14 September 2019

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Religious group confuses issues

TAIPEI (UCAN): The Alliance of Taiwan Religious Groups for the Protection of Family is calling for a boycott of the fast food hamburger chain, McDonald’s, as a protest against a local commercial featuring a young, same-sex attracted man sharing his secret with his father for the first time.

The alliance claims that the advertisement is offensive and says that it “does not approve of the ideological stand behind the advertisement.”

In a statement issued on March 9, the alliance accused McDonald’s of openly promoting gay issues and went as far as to suggest that even using a toilet in one of its outlets could pollute people.

The commercial, entitled Acceptance, is the latest of a series of video clips in the More Warmth in Conversations campaign that McDonald’s has been running since January.

The video clip shows a father and son sitting at a table inside a McCafé area, a McDonald’s coffee-house-style outlet. The son gets his father a coffee cup and hands it to him with the words, “I like boys” written on the paper cup.

A visibly upset father leaves the table, but later returns and writes three characters on the coffee cup saying, “I accept that you like boys.”

The pair then exchange smiles before the tagline, “Let there be more warmth in conversations” appears on the screen.

Following its release on March 4, the clip has been viewed more than one million times on the official YouTube account of McDonald’s Taiwan.

The Catholic Church in Taiwan is a member of the alliance, but many Catholics have said that the statement from the alliance is inappropriate and offensive in itself. They are now questioning continued Church membership in the alliance.

Paul Chiu, from Taipei, said the statement from the alliance could well cause people to think that Christianity hates gay people. As such, he believes that the statement from the alliance is way out in left field.

He was critical of the alliance for taking up the issue, as he said that it has not involved itself in other family issues, like domestic violence. “If they don’t respond to other family issues, such as single parents, family and divorce, the Catholic Church may consider leaving it and doing it on its own,” he said.

Peter Liao said he was touched by the commercial. While he doesn’t support same-sex marriage, he thinks the Church should care for gay people.

“Caring for gay people and supporting same-sex marriage are two different things,” he said, adding that the alliance should think carefully before issuing such statements.

Marriage between same-sex couples is not legally recognised in Taiwan, but it is a hot topic on the political agenda.

Promoting communication between a father and son, especially in difficult situations, is a positive thing and should not be politicised by any religious alliance seeking to promote its own agenda.

 

The condemnation by the alliance is simply not on.

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