Barilla Pasta for Dinner, Anyone?

by Kathryn Jean Lopez

We seriously live in a world where this is considered intolerable: The Italian chairman of the  Barilla Group — the pasta people — was asked by a radio interviewer why the company does not feature gay families in their commercials. He explained that the traditional family means something to him and that the company chooses to refect those values.

I’m relying on the Hufffington Post’s translation here (of this), but is this seriously outside the realm of acceptable opinion now?

“We have a slightly different culture,” Barilla said, per a Huffington Post translation of the interview. “For us, the ’sacral family’ remains one of the company’s core values. Our family is a traditional family. If gays like our pasta and our advertisings, they will eat our pasta; if they don’t like that, they will eat someone else’s pasta. You can’t always please everyone not to displease anyone. I would not do a commercial with a homosexual family, not for lack of respect toward homosexuals — who have the right to do whatever they want without disturbing others — but because I don’t agree with them, and I think we want to talk to traditional families. The women are crucial in this.”

Barilla said he respects people’s right to do what they want without disturbing others, but that he does not agree with gay adoption.

“I respect same-sex marriage because that concerns people who want to contract marriage, but I absolutely don’t respect adoptions in gay families, because that concerns a person who is not the people who decide,” he added.

After his comments hit the press, he took to Twitter to apologize for the misstep, tweeting: “I apologize very much for having offended the sensibilities of many. I have the deepest respect for all the people without distinction.”

This is the problem, friends. Marriage redefinition is one thing. Telling me I have to affirm it is another. And that’s where we are today.

Earlier this week, at an event renewing the principles of the Manhattan Declaration, a prophetic statement in defense of religious liberty, Jennifer Marshall at the Heritage Foundation said:

At the end of June, the Supreme Court handed down decisions eroding the meaning of marriage. Over the summer, the challenge very quickly escalated so that we are not only fighting to protect the definition of marriage.

Now we’re having to defend even the freedom to speak and live in accord with the reality: that marriage is the union of a man and a woman . . . in our professional lives, in the public square, in public education; that there is a difference between a mom and a dad, and that children need both; that sex is a biological reality, that we are created male and female.

She walked through cases this summer of a New Mexico photographer, an Oregon baker, the Boy Scouts. People are being bullied at best and mandated into compliance, into a cultural reeducation.

Ed Mechmann, director of public policy at the Archdiocese of New York, who emceed the “Manhattan Declaration Returns Home“ event, called it “a microcosm of the work that people of faith are doing in the public square — bringing timeless principles of our faith to a society that has largely lost those values, and challenging them to recapture the truth and beauty that they are still yearning for in their hearts.”

If it were held tonight, the event might appropriately end with a serving of Barilla pasta.