This whole Chick-Fil-A hullabaloo is so ridiculous. I really wanted nothing to do with it…. but then I went and drove by one today (the unofficial Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day)–in the middle of the afternoon–to see a person outside DIRECTING TRAFFIC so that the 60-70 cars waiting for chicken would know how to snake their cars around the building. And into the parking lot next door. Sigh….
When I heard all the hubbub over Dan Cathy’s comments about supporting “the Biblical definition of the family unit,” I didn’t really consider it that big of a deal. I was like, “Well, duh–A Southern Baptist billionaire believes gay marriage is wrong. Stop the presses.” Then, as seemingly everyone on Facebook took sides, I (somewhat uncharacteristically) stayed out of the fray (for the most part) and watched as people found yet another reason to be even more divided than they already were. I was really moved by THIS AWESOME LETTER to Dan Cathy that was written by Bert Montgomery (a contributor to Tony Campolo’s Red Letter Christians Blog) to remember to think of this in terms of loving our enemies. It’s inspiring to see someone love when you’d expect them to be angry or even hate–Almost as inspiring as it is frustrating when Christians just add to the dysfunctional noise that separates us while numbing our our senses. It is a noise that dissolves our idea of TRUTH into something as frivolous as opinion, and it wears down rational discourse until it just sounds like more noise.
So, like I said, I tried to stay out of it–I tried to keep from adding more noise–But seeing hundreds of people waiting for hours to “show their support” for Chick-Fil-A today…. It hurt something deep inside of me. I just imagined being a gay person driving by and seeing people lined up around the building to “show their support” for a person who owns a company who got some bad press because he came out of the closet (so to speak) as being against gay rights, and linked it directly to his faith in Jesus. And let’s be truthful–That is exactly what they were showing support for. This wasn’t about “supporting free speech.” It was about supporting speech that you agree with. None of the people waiting in line today would have been out there in Mr. Cathy had used his free speech to come out in support of marriage equality. It also wasn’t about “supporting religious freedom.” I guarantee you that none of the people shoving antibiotic-filled chicken into their mouths today were out in support of the local mosques people are trying to keep from being built (If someone can prove me wrong, let me know–I’ll buy you a chicken sandwich). This was a giant STAND UP IF YOU THINK THAT BEING GAY IS SINFUL, and the church turned out in droves.
And I understand thinking that way–It is what so many people have been taught since before they could speak. I was taught the same thing. It is understandable to be unsure about an issue like “What should Christians think about gay marriage?” But the issue over Chick-Fil-A is larger than that. They did more than just supply free food to a couple anti-gay marriage seminars, support provenly harmful “Pray the Gay Away” ministries, and donate money to Focus on the Family. They gave millions of dollars to lobbying groups that oppose legislation that would even give gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people equal workplace protections under the law–Groups like The Marriage & Family Foundation and even The Family Research Council (which the Southern Poverty Law Center has rightly designated as a hate group). It’s hard to say that you don’t discriminate against GLBT people when you give money to think tanks working to discriminate against GLBT people. This is something significant. If they were giving money to organizations attempting to limit the civil rights of people of color, that would be a big deal, right?
So, to act like there is nothing for people to be upset about is more than a little dismissive. It’s dishonest. It would be like a company saying that they got rid of Jim Henson toys because of safety concerns, when really they severed their relationship with you because they think you are run by bigots. But here I am, just making more noise again…. Dang it. It’s so easy to do.
Here is a serious question: What do people think they accomplished today by going to Chick-Fil-A? Same sex marriage is already illegal in our state. And it’s not like the gay folks in town didn’t already know you don’t approve. All that you did by going and “showing support for Chick-Fil-A” today was to drive an even bigger wedge between you and a people group that you genuinely believe are going to burn in hell unless they get saved. Is this your plan for “saving their souls?” Alienation? God, it makes me so, so sad. The lines were around the buildings…. And for what?!? Imagine if that many people took that kind of time and money and used it to try to love the people you think are heading to hell. Or taking those sandwiches to the homeless. Instead of putting some more money into the pocket of millionaires and billionaires. Imagine if the church was known for rational conversation and crazy love, instead of the opposite.
So I’m crying right now…. And I think it’s because I’m so sad for the Church. Sad that the world gets yet another example of equating Christians with bigotry and hypocrisy. Sad that it seems like most people can’t have something like a level-headed conversation with people who think differently than them. Sad that people would wait two hours for some chicken just so that everyone knows they think being gay is wrong. But mostly I’m sad that all this hate, as well as all of our dysfunctional noise, gets watched by a world full of people who are desperate for something true and good, and they put all of this garbage on Jesus. When really it’s all on us.
So I don’t know if I’ll go back to Chick-Fil-A or not. There a lot of reasons to go back. I have gone there with my wife and my kids literally hundreds of times for their “Family Night.” It is awesome! I really do think it’s wonderful that they are closed on Sundays. I have friends who work there who are terrific people. We have even become friends with people we’ve met at Family night. I also love the way MSG tastes…. I don’t know. I didn’t boycott BP after the Gulf oil spill–I figured if anyone needs the money right now, it’s BP. I’m not a big boycotter. If people start boycotting every place that sends money to shitty lobbyists or opposing political parties, we had all better start growing some big gardens. The whole world could swear off Chick-Fil-A forever, and Dan Cathy would still make more money off of the interest in his bank account than I will probably make in my life. I don’t think it really matters….
I’m just really sad.
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<<>>> for the being sad part.
<<>> for the words.
hmmm, so that was suposed to be “hugs” for the being sad part. and “fist bump” for the words.
I understood it. Thanks Byrd.
Beautifully stated. I respectfully would suggest that you could maybe invite your friends from family night to an alternate spot that day of the week. Maybe a local slow food restaurant where all sorts of families are welcome? As a celebration of alternatives and diversity? Just a thought.
Thank you. I had never heard of “slow food” as a term before, but I can be pretty clueless about that sort of stuff.
I’m sad too, Boeskool. Thanks for writing this, even though it made me sadder. We can boohoo over the internets together.
I appreciate that. : )
Thank you for writing this. Now can you please email this to every citizen of the US, and then laminate one and display it on the doors of every Chic-fil-a in America? Please. Please. Please. Thanks! (I know Lillian would love an excuse to buy a state-of-the-art laminator)
She’s got one. : )
I wouldn’t call it “state-of-the-art…”
Deep sigh. I’m sad, too, and also pretty angry.
I feel you’ve made a great deal of assumptions and judgements about people’s motives when you don’t know why we stood for hours to get a chicken sandwich. Perhaps we are standing FOR something rather than against it. I can’t speak for all Christian chickfila patrons as you have attempted to do, so I’ll narrow it down a bit (being narrow minded and all) and explain my own motivation.
Years ago a beauty contestant was asked a similar question and when she responded in an honest, respectful, but politically incorrect answer, the backlash and name calling against her was over the top. She was called hateful simply for saying what she herself was raised to believe.
A well known talk show host compares fundamental Christians to Islamic terrorists. Her free speech, just as the extremist Westboro sign holders, is protected by law, even though both examples are hateful and inflammatory.
Whether or not we personally agree with Cathy’s views, I feel it is wrong that his entire reputation and business is trashed after simply answering a question about his beliefs. To be called hatemonger and bigot because he believes in traditional marriage? I’m not quite sure where the anti-gay speech comes in. And as for the funding hate groups accusation, it is a serious charge, and one I’m willing to investigate further. BUT, are these accusations true? By whose standards are these groups called ” hate groups?” What have they done or what to they believe to make them worthy of such a title? Is there a reliable (and unbiased) source of information about these groups, or are people spreading ugly rumors? Also, it is assumed that investors like Cathy would be entirely aware of everything these groups have done and automatically share in the responsibility.
These words “hate-monger” and “bigot” and “anti-gay” are thrown around so easily these days, there is SO much guilt by association. So, many of us stood in those lines not to offend and oppress homosexuals and protest same sex marriage, but because we want to offer our support to someone who was viciously attacked for respectfully stating his beliefs.
Not to mention that chicken is awfully tasty!
Wow, Thank you Jeni! I could not have put this any better. I was going to try but then read your comment first. I was in that line yesterday along with my kids. As we stood and waited with the others my kids were asking me questions. Did I answer any of those questions telling them that we hate gay people? NO! I have friends and family who have chosen that lifestyle -people I both love and disagree with AND have good relationships with.
Why is it that free speech seems to protect only those who go against the Biblical standards of family? If people speak about their own convictions and beliefs as Dan Cathy and James Dobson do (since theboeskool brought him up) and these do not follow what the culture and this world has decided is acceptable, they are immediately fired upon.
So I agree, Jeni, I was there to show support for someone who has come under fire for expressing his free speech, even though it was not popular.
While you’re at it…and since these are the words that I think set it off for me from the beginning… Jennifer, what ARE exactly the “biblical standards (/definition) of family?”
Chapters and verses would help.
I have the same thoughts as Lillian’s comment, as well. The “traditional” biblical family involves one man with many wives, but that’s not what anyone is thinking of when they bring up the Bible in this context. There is a prohibition against homosexual acts, but with no more emphasis than the prohibition against ham or shellfish, or the exhortation to treat daughters and wives as chattel.
Jennifer said, “I have friends and family who have chosen that lifestyle -people I both love and disagree with AND have good relationships with.” Jennifer, do they know you stood in line for Chick-fil-A yesterday, these gay people you love and have good relationships with?
@ lillianb, this is the verse that I personally hold as the standard for marriage-Genesis 2;24, “for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh”. This is marriage as it was established by God at the beginning. People have managed to really distort that in so many ways, polygamy, gay marriage, etc. I even have a problem with state licensed marriage. To me that is little more than a legally binding contract allowing two people to coexist-and one that is easily dissolved.
Ok, I loved this article and even read a few of the rebuttals that I thought had some merit.. until i got to the phrase ” we have some friends who CHOOSE THAT LIFESTYLE”. When , oh when will people understand that GOD made these people and they do NOT choose that lifestyle. It’s the way GOD MADE THEM! If you TRULY knew a gay person, you would have to understand that!And you wonder why you are called bigots??? Me, shaking my head…
The arrogance of assuming that being gay is a lifestyle choice is what ticks me off. I am as I was made, physically, though spititully I (as we all) have a journey to make. 1Cor 7:17 “Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him.” My journey is MINE. Do not judge ME. Love GOD.
First of all, the point you made that people “choose” the gay lifestyle is utterly WRONG. Why on earth would someone choose a lifestyle that could lead that person to being openly harassed, denied employment–even being fired, beaten up, and some even killed? We choose that lifestyle? I assume you’re aware that homosexuals have been around for a lot longer than you or I have been on this earth. And, why is it OK for groups like Focus on the Family and others of that sort to call for boycotting pro-gay rights companies like Target, Nabisco, Starbucks, et al, but when gay and pro-gay groups and individuals call for boycotting companies like Chick-Fil-A, you accuse them of trying to deny freedom of speech? It works both ways.
Jennifer said”I have friends and family who have chosen that lifestyle -people I both love and disagree with AND have good relationships ”
What is incorrect .’Who have chosen to live that lifestyle.
Trust me I didn’t chose to live what you call (that lifestyle). If I had a choice I wouldn’t have chosen to live a life ,were my friends get beaten so bad they are not recognizable, have died, are called horrible names. People think it’s repulsive because same sex people have sex. Why are they even thinking about MY sex life. Don’t people their own sex life to think about. I am a Lesbian,I have a great job,3 great kids that my partner and I adopted. Yes can you just imagine a government allowing such an atrocity (I’m being sarcastic by the way) We do normal stuff any family .We have a lot of friends who aren’t gay. My partner and I are now married after being together 13 years. We had the best wedding party ever. More than one million people were invited….Well it was Gay Pride
Jeni I agree with you and yesterday at Chick-fil-a I saw that we are not alone.
@Sharon: I’m not sure what god you are referring to. The God of the Bible is very clear that homosexuality isn’t something he agrees with.
Jeni–It is tasty, and since finding out about all the antibiotics and MSG in it, I think you’re right saying that it is “awfully” so.
I was neither claiming nor attempting to speak for all of the people in the lines at Chick Fil A. Whether you were standing in line FOR something or AGAINST something, it still came across the same way. With their millions of dollars of support for groups that work toward preventing GLBT people from acquiring the same rights as the rest of us, I’d be willing to bet that the Cathy’s would say that they are standing “for Biblical principles” rather than “against civil rights for gays.”
Would you have also shown the same sort of support for Chick Fil A and waited in line for two hours if Dan Cathy had come out in support of gay marriage? You don’t have to answer, because we all already know the answer. And THAT is the reason why this IS about attempting to draw lines, with Christians on one side and the GLBT community on the other. I happen to think that is unnecessarily divisive, as well as a pretty stupid use of the church’s resources. It also leaves little room for people in the GLBT community who are passionately devoted to Jesus, nor does it leave room for people like me who are straight and realize and remember that the church was the biggest opponent of interracial marriage when that was an big issue. And they used the Bible to make their case there as well.
I believe that history will show that the Church is on the wrong side of this issue, but even if it doesn’t, waiting for 2 hours in line to buy a sandwich hardly seems like a reaction that Jesus would have…. Don’t you think?
Ah, MORE assumptions? True, I won’t bother to respond to the question since you “all know” me so well! (I write this with a grin)
No really, thanks for the response. I appreciate your writing style and point of view although I disagree with it. That’s really what I would hope most to come out of this controversy, for people to recognize name calling and bullying is wrong whether we are buycotting or boycotting. It’s not about political chicken, but showing courtesy and respect to each other.
I think there are two issues that are causing a lot of the problems regarding this topic.
1) Christians don’t know their Bible. It’s a shame and if more Christians did read their Bibles, it would probably fix a lot of problems in the church today on its own.
2) Politics and church policy/doctrine are being confused with one another. This leads to wild overreactions and crazy statements, complete with random, non-contextualized Bible verses being used to back up wild theories. (Gays cause natural disasters and Communism – Gen 19 says so!!!).
This second problem is causing great confusion among many Christians. This confusion is one of the main reasons why moral topics have become the most crucial voting issues of our day. “Who cares what his economic or foreign relation policies are – what’s the candidate’s view on abortion/gay marriage?”
The church was never meant to be a political powerhouse – this is the same misconception the Jews had with Jesus and their vision of the Messiah. Many Christians are falling into that same trap today, because they think that a representative form of government somehow changes God’s approach. Jesus didn’t criticize the Roman government or the Jewish political leaders – he saved His harshest criticisms for the religious leaders.
Certainly, Jesus changed the world by taking a stand, but it wasn’t a political one. His mission wasn’t to make the world a more moral place either. It was a spiritual mission about restoring our relationship to God and preparing us to be His dwelling place! And his greatest stand took place on a cross, not on the Roman equivalent of a talk show in some forum somewhere.
But it isn’t just the anti-gay movement that has missed the boat here. The same is true for the opposite side of the issue. Many of those who are open to the idea of legalized gay marriage also tend to think it’s ok for the church to have gay ministers (like the author of the letter you linked to). This is not a biblically sound viewpoint either and poses an equally dangerous threat to the church’s overall well-being. Though He was compassionate, Jesus didn’t tell the woman at the well it was “no problem” that she was living in sin. And in His sermon on the mount, He preached radical repentance, not feel-good acceptance and tolerance.
The tendancy to overreact and therefore distort the Biblical message is a problem for both groups.
Yes, you were trying to speak for all the people in line. You said “…as being against gay rights, and linked it directly to his faith in Jesus. And let’s be truthful–That is exactly what they were showing support for. This wasn’t about “supporting free speech.” It was about supporting speech that you agree with.”. So you simply decided, without speaking to any of the people in line, that you knew why they were there. I was in one of those lines. I am not anti-gay or anti-gay marriage. Mr. Cathy did not make a public announcement to stir up controversy. He was being interviewed by a Christian magazine, and was asked a specific question, which he answered with his personal opinion. Everyone has the right to have and state a personal opinion, no matter who likes it or doesn’t like it. Many of the people who called for boycotts said that he should not be allowed to say what he said. That is why I stood in line. Should gays be allowed to marry? Sure, as long as churches that are against it are not required to perform the ceremonies. That is what many people fear, that if laws are passed to allow gay marriages, churches won’t be allowed to refuse. As long as churches retain that right, I see no problem. There are plenty of churches that are willing to accommodate them.
So you’re saying that you would have been out there standing in line support CFA if he had come out in favor of gay marriage and the backlash he had received was from the church?
In answer to your question as to whether I would stand in line if CFA was pro-gay marriage, and the church attacked him, YES!!! There is one thing liberals and religious fanatics seem to have in common – they both think no one has a right to disagree with them. I usually disagree with both of them.
very well said… I as well patronized Chick-fil-A on Wednesday… only to offer support to Dan Cathy & his views. Reason is, he was viciously attacked !! Along with respectfully stating his christianity beliefs. ie: Freedom of speech. Something that is being taken away from the very far left liberals….& 3 mayors of large cities were protesting him and stating they were not going to allow any more Chick-fil-A establishments into their cities…. I have gay friends & if they chose to live that lifestyle, I have no problem with it!! However, when 3 mayors come on National television and ask everyone to protest & they will not allow Chick-fil-A to be built in their cities due to his christianity views, I do have a problem with that…. Again, people look @ the big picture, it wasn’t about you all being gay, it was taking a stand for what we all want, equality, freedom speech & religion!!
@Freedom of speech: What is with the redundancy? #1: This is NOT about free speech, why is that so difficult to understand?? You are completely missing the point of this article and basically ignoring the real issue. They support groups that are fighting for discrimination (including a HATE group) with millions of dollars. Poor millionaire, he was ‘viciously attacked,’ let’s put more millions more into his pockets (and anti-equality groups) while he cries it out in his mansion. #2: Being gay is not a choice (saw that in another post about too). Please please please stop saying that. It’s as much a choice as being born white, black, or purple. If it truly was a choice, it would not have been the direction I would have taken, because it has not been as easy road. Yes, I could have married a woman, had kids, all of that. But I would have been living a lie (and, honestly, as so many closeted married men do, probably cheated on her with other men). May be just that you did not intentionally pick the word ‘chose,’ but it’s like nails on a chalkboard for many, so try to avoid that. #3: You were taking a stand for equality? Seriously? I can’t even with that, because it just makes absolutely no sense. See #1 regarding the whole hate group thing that they, which in turn is your money too, support with millions.
Jeni, ignorance is not a valid excuse in our law or god’s. In the time it took you to respond to this, you could have easily googled I formation about bigotry, hate and all the anti-gay initiatives chickfila has supported. If you thought you were supporting something different, you were wrong.
…because if it’s on the internet it MUST be true.
I have read both liberal and conservative perspectives on what Chickfila supports. While it is difficult to find non-biased information on this controversy, but these articles stood out:
The CNN article in particular confirms my beliefs that the accusations made against Chickfila were misleading, and that the charities such as the foster homes, college scholarships, camping programs are worthy of our support. I disagree that any group that has different beliefs than the LGBT community should be labeled a “hate group.”
Thanks for your suggestion!
And D, great response!
Not all anti-LGBTQ groups are considered “hate groups.” But many make outrageous and hateful statements, like the claim that pedophilia is a “homosexual problem,” or falsifed scientific research that makes claims about the health and psychological effects of homosexuality, and the American Family Association (AFA) just yesterday put out a statement advocating that children of same-sex parents should be kidnapped from their homes to “rescue” them. While we each have our own standards for what does and does not constitute “hate,” the Southern Poverty Law Council has identified certain groups as Hate Groups because they have met or superseded the legal standard for this classification.
Two articles I would suggest, are the investigation into what money was spent where: http://equalitymatters.org/blog/201103220005#1 and the SPLC profiles of anti-gay organizations: http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2005/spring/a-mighty-army#9 including those that have reached the “hate group” classification.
I agree that WinShape does a lot of good for a lot of people. But quite a bit more than “a few thousand” dollars were sent to organizations that either directly work against LGBTQ families through legislation and false “studies” or give grants to groups that do. For example, the National Christian Foundation is a grant-giving organization that gives money to AFA. Profits from CFA go to a group that calls for its followers to “rescue” children from their safe, loving same-sex parented homes.
That is hate. Charitable giving is amazing, but it also comes with a responsibility to ensure the money given goes to something the giver is willing to stand behind. I’ll give Dan Cathy the benefit of the doubt and say he doesn’t realize his money has been funneled to hate groups. But he should pay better attention now that it’s out in the open and rescind his funding to those groups publicly. Until he does, I can’t spend a penny at his restaurants, not if even the smallest fraction of my money goes to fund more hate.
Thank God the Chik-fil-a fallout here was not nearly as ridiculous as it was there, (otherwise I may have blown a blood vessel or two) but I have gotten my fill of it on Facebook. I am so ready for the day when we Christians turn up in millions to rally around the local food bank or a charity that finds homes for orphans. I (like you) am grappling with all of this in light of what actually seemed to matter to Jesus. “Like visiting those in prison, clothing the poor…” Since when have we forgotten that “this is true religion?” I just don’t see standing in line at a restaurant, to prove that we are pro-family/anti-gay, pro-constitution/anti-you name it, as part of the things Jesus was passionate about. Thank you for saying what I don’t have words for, right now.
What you just wrote is so true, Ruthie. I hadn’t thought about it that way, but it seems that “voting with our pocketbook” has taken the place of LOVE the new Christian power to wield. It’s tragic.
Thank you for sharing that.
Such a waste of time, energy, money. Those 3 things could have been spent loving on people, and helping out people in need. You hit that right on the head man.
On the flip side of this coin, I am very intrigued to know what your thoughts are on the state’s or government involvement in not allowing a business permit to a restaurant or business from a city because of their personal beliefs or who they support or dont support?
“Someone get the seezors becuz eets time to make some cuts!….”
I guess I probably haven’t shared this openly with many people, but let’s just say that yesterday was a painful reminder to me of the person I used to be, but will never let myself become again. Very sad day for Christianity in America.
You know when you hold a coin upright with a finger and flick it with the other hand so it shoots spinning across the table? That’s the image to bear in mind for the following (as opposed to the traditional “flip the coin over”). For the purposes of this comment, I’ll be addressing parties as your post quasi-defined them.
The people in line at Chik Fil A need an encounter with Love as much as the population they seem to be judging. Unjust judges are just as worthy of love as those who are being unjustly judged. Is it possible to have compassion on the perpetrators of injustice? At the end of the day, none of us know what we’re doing, and the opportunity for compassion arises from our ignorance (i.e. compassion / mercy / pick your virtue may be defined by extending something good and unearned in the face of something less-worthy, so that there is an “in spite of” element). At some point, “bad” choices are made when there is a disconnect from love. Folks who know how much they’re loved can love others, etc.
There is a distinction between love itself and its expression, and there comes a point where it is out of your hands whether or not your actions are received in a way that accurately interprets your intended meaning. That being said, everyone’s reality is subjective to their perception, so the question becomes what meaning you assign to your actions and the actions of others. We do the best we can. We do what we know how to do. And we cover one another, giving one another the benefit of the doubt.
As big as this thing has gotten – and with zero first-hand data – all I see is an opportunity for all of us to open our eyes and expand our capacity to receive and give love. (How’s that for a comment saying almost nothing?) 😉
Good one, Boeskool. Thank you for being rational and so full of humanity. ❤
Whether I support gay marriage or not (Dont), I would still eat at the place. Because I support freedom of speech. City mayors saying that CFA can’t build a restaurand in their city because of their beliefs is an outright violation of freedom of speech and there is no way to say it is not. Conservatives can say that do not like oreo. That’s fine, freedom of speech. Liberals can say that they do not like CFA. That’s fine, freedom of speech. What is not fine, is restricting the business from expanding.
Our culture has accepted two huge lies: The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear them or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.” – Rick Warren
Great quote! Thanks for sharing it!
Rick warren should spend more time with his bible. Even god said if you’re not with me, you’re against me.
You are speaking about our relationship with God…Rick Warren is speaking about our relationship each other.
Do you think that the crowds that turned out for CFA were anti-gay? How about people, Christian Conservatives in particular, who are tired of being marginalized and censored by the far left for using our right to free speech or expressing our religious liberty. Or who think it is unconscionable that municipal authorities are using their power to ban a restaurant from their city because of the owner’s religious beliefs. The company follows the same non-descrimination laws as everyone else. That is why I now go out of my way to eat at CFA, even though I don’t even really like chicken.
1. The mayors can do and have done nothing but talk about how they don’t want a CFA in their towns. They can’t legally do anything and they all know it. It was just political bluster with no teeth. In fact, Mr. Marino (who was the only one to actually threaten to keep CFA from being licensed) has since retracted and admitted that he shouldn’t have used that as a threat. He called it a mistake to do so. This is only an issue on conservative talk shows who need drama to enrage the masses.
2. There’s no argument that so-called “Christians” have the right to say whatever they’d like. But to truly follow Christ, Christians should be more concerned with loving the marginalized of our society than with their own personal freedoms. That’s what Jesus did. He spent his time loving on the marginalized and railing against the religious leaders who were more concerned with their political positioning than with being the face of God to an oppressed people. (Um, sound familiar?)
3. No one in that line would have said, “I’m here because gay people make me uncomfortable, so I don’t think their relationships should be legitimized by our government.” They would all say they were there for FREE SPEECH and to stand up for TRADITION and to RESTORE THE VOICE OF CHRISTIANITY! But I think what this post was saying is that it’s really not about the people in line.
It’s about the people driving by.
Because Jesus didn’t concern himself with government rights and ingratiating himself to the religious leaders of the day. He didn’t make a stand to stop the oppression of the Jews by the Romans, and media/populace backlash for unpopular Christian opinions is NOTHING compared to what the Romans did to the Jews (and later the Christians) in Jesus’ day. The Jews expected the Savior to come and free them from their physical oppressors, but Jesus only cared about the hearts of those hiding in trees and crying by a well, by lepers and tax collectors and fishermen and prostitutes (most of which were probably gay…oh, Rome).
Jesus cared about those driving by–and all they felt was the hate. Regardless of your intentions, telling a gay man or woman that their loving, committed relationship somehow counts less than yours is hateful. Refusing their families the rights and protections of yours makes them feel lesser and steals a little of their dignity. Standing in that line made a statement that the right for a CEO millionaire to say something controversial without any backlash is more important than the dignity of a family. I’m convinced that’s not where Jesus would have been yesterday.
It makes me sad too.
Can you help me understand how Christian Conservatives are marginalized and censored?
Are you serious???
Yes, JK. I’m very serious. I look forward to someone’s response.
I can tell your question is sincere, a question to help you understand a different perspective rather than a ploy to entrap people, and I really admire that, Brandon!
Ideally, we should all be striving to listen and understand each other’s perspective rather than making assumptions and judgements about whether this demonstration was motivated by:
1. freedom of speech and expression of religion
2. supporting a Christian businessman/business we believe may have been unfairly accused/attacked
3. opportunity to oppress the homosexual community and deny their right to legalize marriage (we are told this is the REAL reason. So glad mind-readers can explain our own thoughts to us, whether or not we actually thought them)
Various examples of censorship/ marginization have been going through my mind since I first read your question, but I am still thinking about the best way to respond, for the fear of rambling down a million different rabbit trails. One example that comes to mind is beautifully expressed in the Ben Stein documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.
I love this comment, hh. Do you realize gay people are tired of being marginalized? Are tired of being denied businesses. Are tired of being denied jobs? Are tired of being denied housing? Are tired of being denied representation? Are tired of being denied rights. Are tired of being censored by holier than thou Christians who believe only their values are valid? If the devout want the civil right to place a business where they choose, those same people have to acknowledge the civil rights of those who don’t agree with their views.
I’m going to boycott every business that supports gossipers. Isn’t that a sin? I’m going to boycott every business where someone has used foul language or lusted. Aren’t those sins too? But more importantly I’m going to support the the businesses that point out the gossip and foul language. I think we will really create a spirit of love and trust by shoving planks in our eyes before we pluck the splinters out of our “neighbors.” As a matter a fact Church and State are perfect bedfellows. I’m glad we all figured this out. It’s good to see that we have all loved the Lord our God with all our hearts and have loved our neighbors as ourselves. As a matter of fact I’m going to go boycott myself right now just so I’m not a hypocrite. Good day.
Here’s why I disagree with you. In America today, the gay community has the overwhelming support of the media, Hollywood, and much of the government. Christians, on the other hand, are openly bashed and made the butt of jokes all day long. Homosexuals are now placed in every TV program and are the “cool” kids, while Christians are stupid and old-fashioned, if they are mentioned at all.
So for Christians who are tired of being the underdog, it’s kinda nice to support a company for being open about their beliefs. It’s a positive statement IN FAVOR OF one of our core beliefs, not a negative statement AGAINST gays.
The only hateful speech I’ve seen on the internet has been from those supporting gays. They shout intolerance at the oher side. The CFA supporters have only been positive and kind, and generous with their lunch money.
For you to assume that they DON’T help the homeless or love their enemies just becasuse of their support of CFA is pretty shallow.
If the Christians quit acting like ignorant fools, then they will cease to attract negative attention. I would really like to see in the bible (verse and chapter) where God condemns the gay people.
Well, I’m not 100% sure what you mean by condemn in this case, but the Bible is clear about homosexuality being sinful. There are plenty of verses on that subject (Lev. 18:22; 20:13, 1 Cor. 6:9-10, Rom. 1:26-27 to name a few).
Here’s a great resource to go through the verses some Christians use to justify their bigoted stance against LGBTQ, as well as actual context and study of the passages. I’m still working through the posts, but so far it’s fantastc.
Martha, herein lies the conundrum between you (& me, too, by the way) and John’s opinion that God is against homosexuality: John believes God wrote those verses. God wrote NOTHING (that I’ve ever heard of). PEOPLE (who lived in a time vastly different from ours) wrote those verses. Granted, they were godly people – but they were, none of them, God. This is a conundrum that will never be resolved. (By the way, Jesus himself had nothing to say about homosexuality – zip, nada, zero.)
Additionally, the Bible has been changed, reinterpreted, incorrectly copied by scribes and interpreters so many times over the last 2000 years that no one can be sure of what the original texts had to say in the first place. Most of them have been lost.
funny, until you mentioned “family night” at CFA it did not resonate with me what they really meant when they said “family night.”
Standing against gay marriage isn’t a core belief of Christianity. In fact, standing in judgment of someone else’s sin is what Romans 2 (among other passages) says we are not supposed to do.
Love, however, is very much a core belief–whether loving neighbors, enemies, those who have hurt/wronged you. Christianity is supposed to be about love, not policing the sins of others or legislating morality.
Thank you for saying this, Heather – and for being a reader of the bible and follower after Christ – the kind of love He showed, and the words He repeated over and over many different ways (in hopes that we’d get it somehow), was truly hard to ‘get’…yet if we walk with Him day by day, and listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, we’ll be lead to understand the deep love that Christ had for people. Meantime, I love my Christian brothers and sisters, I pray for their understanding, and I don’t judge them harshly on this particular stance, for they admit that they’re sinners, saved only by grace, and it takes a lifetime of learning to understand Christ. Some will get there; others may only be nominal Christians who are in just as unfortunate a position as non-Christians. I don’t feel that the support demonstrated an action Christ Himself would have shown; but I understand how people don’t have all the answers and are working with the knowledge they have for the moment. So I’m praying for all those that I love – gays, Christians, non-Christians.
It took me forever to get out of the parking lot today because of the line of Godly folk streaming into Chik-Fil-A across the road to make the point that their God encourages civic bigotry, don-cha-know.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I think Dan Cathy, who owns CFA, has every right in the world to express his religious opinion concerning gay marriage, as do my many good friends and family who whole-heartedly agree with him. And, I’m not a fan of the pickets and disruptions of his “restaurants” by gay rights supporters. I personally stopped giving CFA my hard earned money long ago, and wrote them to tell them why, even though I love me some processed, hormone filled, mass produced, deep fried chicken-like sandwiches with the pickles on top. I just individually choose to refrain from supporting right-wing bigoted CEOs and corporate owners.
I think it is more effective to organize a quiet campaign of consumers individually boycotting businesses and letting them know why, which is just what I have done with Chick-Fil-A, Ford, Bank of America, WCHS Radio, Lowes, Dominos Pizza, WalMart (even though I have no choice but to occasionally shop at Sams), and even the liberal CREDO Mobile, along with many other hateful, unjust, unfair, oligarchical, plutocratic, or downright murderous corporations. Large, vocal, belligerent protests only serve to draw out the opposition to support those businesses even more, as has happened with CFA.
I have to admire the organizational power of the Right. If Rush, Hannity or their preachers order their followers to do something, they joyfully fall in line en masse. I can’t help but feel, though, that this blind, unquestioning regimented compliance is indicative of a herd mentality – bordering on a mob mentality – that shows somewhat of a lack of objective, individual thought.
That is why we on the Left have such a hard time, for the most part, rallying such nationwide mass protests. We question, we self-reflect, we individuate issues. For example, I have many deeply held Orthodox Christian beliefs that may be in conflict with some of my fellow brothers and sisters on the left side of the political spectrum, but I recognize that we do not live in a theocracy where my religious beliefs should necessarily dictate the laws of the land that must apply to Protestants, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, agnostics, and anyone else anywhere else on the “belief” spectrum.
What really bothers me, though, is the inconsistency of my friends on the Right. During my all-too-frequent Facebook arguments with my conservative friends concerning, for example, requiring the obscenely wealthy to contribute more to the society that facilitated their wealth in order to enable us to feed the poor, heal the sick, clothe the naked, house the homeless, educate our children, etc., because that, in my opinion, is what my God would have us do, they tell me, almost with a singular voice, THAT giving must be voluntary and THAT morality cannot be legislated.
But, conversely, they feel no compunction about legislating morality when it comes to sexuality and human relations. It is fine with them to deny our homosexual brothers and sisters the civil rights us straight folk enjoy because gay marriage disturbs their religious sensibilities. Just don’t try to force Mitt Romney to feed a starving kid.
And, so, I sit in the parking lot, late for an appointment, because the convocation of the bigots wants to buy a “chikin” sandwich. To the one, I’m sure they would insist they are not bigots, they don’t hate homosexuals, and they’re just exercising their right of free speech to support Dan Cathy in his attempt, through huge political contributions and public statements, to deny equal civil rights to a good portion of our society because, for one reason or another, he does not approve of them.
That, my friends, is pretty much the definition of a bigot, and that has no place in the United States of America.
Oh, and the Family Research Council, of whom Cathy is a huge supporter, actually lobbied Congress to NOT pass a bill condemning the Uganda death penalty for homosexuals bill. If that’s not hate, i don’t know what is.
Seriously. Yikes…. But we have to remember that many of the people who support these sorts of things genuinely believe that they are doing it for the right reasons. I believe it is out of bad understanding/interpretation of scripture and even worse theology, and we have to work to correct that where it’s wrong. But we have to do it with crazy love and rational conversation, otherwise it will just lead to more division.
Once again, you hit the nail right on the head. I was so angry and so frustrated yesterday watching my newsfeed fill up with people “taking a stand” and I couldn’t come up with the words to really express just how SAD the whole thing made me feel.
One of my friends mentioned something though that really smacked me right in the face. Way back when my husband and I got married, we did not get married in a church because neither of us really considered ourselves Christians. So instead we opted for a ceremony in a wedding chapel with all of our friends and family. Are we really married since we didn’t get married by a priest or a pastor? I don’t think anyone would say that my marriage is any different than that of a couple married in the church. As my friend was saying, when the argument comes up that “oh well keep gay marriage out of the church, they can have a civil union”, that’s really a smack in the face to not only the gay couples, but the straight couples as well. Are our marriages the consolation prize of matrimony? Funny how that worldview shifts when it’s you and your marriage being talked about. After 13 years of marriage, we aren’t going to run to a church and get married because we’ve both become Christians, why would we? We’ve been married 13 years and another ceremony isn’t going to change a darn thing.
Thankfully we have zero Chick Fil A’s in good ole west Michigan, so I didn’t have to come face to face with the controversy. I know if i had seen those lines of cars and people laughing and celebrating their “protest”, I probably would have shed many tears as well.
Yes, thank GOD we do not have CFA.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jenny.
Really well written blog. It is sad that in this world people can’t just be accepting of one another. I might also add that if a few mayors out there hadn’t stood up and said they would hamper expansion due to a political and moral belief, those who were in the middle wouldn’t have had an excuse to go. Now they can hide behind free speech as an issue instead of their own homophobia. I might also add that I respect the right of the CEO to say what he said. I am a little relieved because now I know what their profits fund. I also exercise my right not to purchase their food.
Thanks for reading.
Being “raised to believe” something works until maybe your late teens. After that? Grow up and think for yourself. If you continue to believe something you were told as a child because *you* evaluated and decided it was true – fine. But own that.
It makes me sad as well. I didn’t get to actually witness the lines, as I was working that day, but I saw it all over the news. Big wake-up call for the Gay community, eh? I really don’t think many of the patrons realize(d) their money will be donated to anti-Gay groups, though. They seem to have selective hearing/reading when it comes to that fact. They honestly thought they were there solely to support Cathy’s right to free speech, which he absolutely should have, as I’ve got no quarrel with that. But just be careful with the difference between ‘free speech’ and the actions that come of it. Thoughts become words and words become actions.
As far as what someone said about Gays being all over TV, etc. Well, art immitates life, I guess. We are gaining more general acceptance, and so TV and movies reflect our presence in everyday situations with everyday Straight folk. Why wouldn’t we be included? We exist. To exclude us would be quite unrealistic, even for television/film. We’re your next-door-neighbor watering his lawn or walking her dog. We’re the cop who shows up to a domestic dispute and helps a battered woman or an abused child. We’re the surgeon fixing a bum knee or removing a tumor. We’re the school teacher staying up half the night grading papers and teaching five classes a day. We’re the janitor who sees that the waste basket in some executive’s office is emptied without fail every single night after he/she leaves and who replaces the paper towels in the bathrooms before they ever run out. We’re the writers of the music you love, the authors of the books you can’t put down, and the actors in the movies you watch a hundred times over. It is a bit arrogant to presume that Straight people are the only people making the world go round, no? And even though there are very powerful groups working very hard and spending a lot of money trying to prevent Gay marriage, we STILL have our relationships and our families. Some of us even have children of our own, and we have to take them to school and get them to sports practice and see that they eat their veggies and do their homework and feed the dog. Many of us are in very long-term commited relationships (and yes, in some states we’re married to those partners), and we have mortgages to pay and medical bills to pay and car repairs to see about and household fix-its to get done. We’ve got grocery shopping to do and birthdays to plan for and yardwork to put off. Those so opposed to Gay civil rights–sound familiar, any of this?? Kinda sounds just like your lives, huh? Well, I’ll be! The point I’m making with all this is that the community so many conservatives came out in droves to condemn is made up of PEOPLE. People with lives and families and stuff to do and jobs to hold down. People JUST LIKE YOU. Yet, there’s one small difference, and that is we do not enjoy all the same social benefits as you…yet…we’re paying the same taxes and expected to obey the same laws. Mr. Cathy and those who agree with him are free to say they oppose Gay marriage. We don’t need you to like it, we just need you not to go out of your way to support organizations whose actions make it impossible for us to be equal. One very important aspect of legalizing same-sex marriage is so that US citizens whose partners are foreign nationals can legally sponsor those partners for green cards to the US. That is my personal plight right now, as my partner of 6yrs is now stuck in Japan (her native country), forcing us into an indefinite separation. But as it stands now, my citizenship is worth less than a Straight person’s citizenship, as I cannot marry her and thus cannot sponsor her to come back home, where she belongs. She was a 4.0 student, studying to be a school teacher before money ran out and scholarships couldn’t cover the astronomical out-of-state tuition costs, forcing her to drop out and return to Japan as not to overstay her visa. She wanted to be GED instructor. We are just one of 36,000 couples in this situation, and that is just one aspect to how frustrating it is to be denied a simple thing like a marriage contract. Maybe if the folks in those long lines actually knew a Gay person and knew their story and saw them living their life, they might not have been quite so eager to support the ‘free speech’ that ultimately results in the ACTIONS that discriminate against an entire community of people in some of the most unimaginable ways.
I would have NEVER thought of the immigration side of it. Thanks for sharing, Carole.
Yes, Lillian. Since the Federal govt does not recognize same-sex marriage, due to DOMA (Defense Of Marriage Act), and immigration is at the federal level, those with foreign partners cannot sponsor them for green cards. We can get a state-issued marriage license, sure. But the non-citizen will still be deported if they try to stay here, and their green card application will be denied under federal law. Some have already tried it and failed. Huge headway has been made with this in the past year, but we’ve still got a long way to go. The US Supreme Court us set to hear the case and will rule on whether DOMA is unconstitutional by next summer, we’re told. It’s already been stricken down in four state Supreme Courts as a violation of section 1 of the 14th Ammendment, so it looks pretty good for the Federal Court ruling. Justice Kennedy will be the tie-breaking vote, and his record is lukewarm toward Gay Rights, yet not completely adverse. So, fingers crossed.
Beautifully written, Carole. Very thought provoking, and it does help me better understand the reasons why the homosexual community would feel condemned by the droves of buycotters, even if that was not our intended purpose. I sincerely wish you well.
Thank you so much, Carole. May we all have our hearts moved and changed and inspired to work to make this right. Is there anything you can think of that people can do to help? I wouldn’t even know where to begin. Calling our senators? Crap….
Theboeskool: Perhaps calling senators would help, yes. But I think what would help most is to speak out whenever necessary in our defense and on our behalf. Let other Straights know that just because you, too, are Straight, you don’t necessarily share their negative views. And encourage others like yourselves to do the same. Lead by example. We in the Gay community can shout and hollar all we want, but we’re seen as “perpetuating” the animosity and “complaining” about others opinions. When hateful Straights (Christian and non) start seeing/hearing other Straight people standing up for our equality, it seems to have a different effect, has a bit more impact. I think that’s the best you can do. And vote “no” on any discriminating law that comes up for the ballots, maybe.
As a result of yet another amazing blog, Chris, I have decided that I’m boycotting all forms of names short for “Jennifer”. Because I can. Sweet, sweet American freedom. In keeping with this line of idiotic reasoning, I will be purchasing an automatic weapon tomorrow. Because I can.
On a serious note, one of my favorite things to say is “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”.
Purchasing an “Automatic Weapon” doesn’t really fall in the same vain does it? You seem to think the very act of purchasing something LEGALLY and doing no harm should instill moral outrage. Oh and by the way, if you have between $10,000-$75,000 just sitting around you can get one. Really rare and hard to find in the states LEGALLY.
As much as everyone says that they stood in line not to support hate, but freedom of speech, I find it hard to believe the same number of people would have shown up if Dan Cathy would have made a racist comment. If Dan Cathy would have said ” Whites shouldn’t marry Blacks”, which is still freedom of speech, would hundreds still have lined up for some greasy chicken? People need to realize bigotry is bigotry, regardless of who you are targeting.
So for all of you who think for all those that showed up to support them is wrong. You don’t at all feel like its the same thing for everyone else to try to rally against them to try to get people to not spend money there, in hopes of putting them out of business. Putting a lot of innocent workers that had nothing to do with it out of a job. To me both sides are wrong and need to get their heads out of their behinds and realize that people are never going to agree. This is bad for children to watch our ignorance and I’m sad that they have to witness such stupidity when we have people starving, homeless, wars, molestation and we choose to argue over the ignorance of chick fl a. In my opinion “we all need to grow up and move on.”
I respect the right of the CEO of the company to say what he said. I just won’t purchase anymore food at Chick-Fil-A because of it. That is my right and I am excising my right. Just because I think he is wrong doesn’t mean I have my head “in my behind.”
1. There’s a difference between refusing to spend your money somewhere and actively trying to put them out of business. We all vote with our dollars every day. Some of us just do it with more conscience.
2. If a CEO doesn’t want to incur backlash, he should stay out of politics and stop making public controversial political statements. He knew what he was doing. Sadly, the ignorance of the masses means he also gets rewarded for it.
Just in case anyone was wondering what the mind numbing, dysfunctional noise to which I was referring sounds like….
I’m gonna say this one thing, which was posted by a good friend on her Facebook page (and I think is what you’re driving at, in this post): “When the value of an issue overshadows the value of a person in a conversation, that is where I believe we stop speaking on behalf of the values Jesus lived and died for.”
That’s good stuff.
I’m completely shocked no one actually read what I wrote and only took what they wanted from it. Real shocker. I don’t agree with what they have done and I may or may not eat at the chain again. But I feel to battle over it is a complete waste of time. Anyone that drove past and saw all the support for chick fil a, especially those that are gay should look at it and laugh and know they are ignorant to change and be thankful that it a small part of the population that still has that mentality . And by feeding into it you are no better then them.
James dobson, made a name for himself…. thats for sure.. i wonder how many gay, bi people work for him? i also wonder how many of those people in line were there for the free food.. a coupon has power… this is all sad… let people live and stop making a big deal out of stupid comments……
An excellent, very well-thought-out article. Thank you!
Thanks for reading!
I want to say thank you to theboeskool for writing this article…reading it made me cry. I also, didn’t participate or expressed my opinion on facebook to avoid conflicts with friends over an unhealthy chicken sandwich.
For those who think being gay is a “Lifestyle Choice”, do you understand that you are suggesting being straight is also a “Lifestyle Choice”?? Do you wake up in the morning on a Monday and say “Ohhh I feel like being straight today but maybe I will go gay on the weekend?” If being gay is a choice, then when did you choose to be straight? Did you have to come out to your friends and parents and tell them the “good news” about your “choice”? Did your parents disapprove or approve your “straight lifestyle choice”? Seriously people…Leave religion and politics aside and use your brain, if you have one!
My sister is gay (and what a coincidence, her girlfriend is too) and I am not shocked at all that she is. Her twin sister isn’t, why is that? I know she didn’t chose to be gay, she was born that way, in fact, she was fearfully and wonderfully made by God our Creator and he views her as his beautiful daughter. Did she willingly decide to be a lesbian, inviting people to spew hate at her, shun her, bully her, and live in fear of being attacked by some wacked out crazies who want to beat her straight? No, I think not.
Regardless of why people say they were standing in line, the fact is that they handed money over to someone who uses it to have gays persecuted in very real ways, including brainwashing, torture and murder. BTW, Dan Cathy also bragged about he and his buddies were all still with their first wives, so any family with a member who has ever been divorced is also not a family and is in sin. But it’s so much easier to whip up hate for gays so he focused on that – and only gives his money to people who want to hurt gays with it. Because enforcing the death penalty for a divorced person would be just crazy, right? Hypocrites, all.
I found this website helpful in researching this serious accusation:
(the final paragraph responds to the question, “Did Chickfila really spend millions lobbying Congress not to condemn Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ bill?”)
Wow! Great article, great feedback! I had stopped checking fb for couple of days because i was sick of seeing cfa post but i am glad that a friend posted this article. My husband and i have so many gay people on both sides of our family that on holidays it looks like we are holding our own gay pride parade! We are believers of the rights and freedoms that should be afforded to all mankind and what is suppose to make us a great nation. We are also believers in God and Jesus Christ. I would like to add that a lot of the LBGT community does not believe in GOD, mostly because all they hear is GOD says its wrong so trying to argue that point is hard. But whats not hard to argue is the seperation of church and state. There should be no arguement on either side, marriage as it pertains to the state is a legal document that affords couples certain rights that they wouldnt have if they werent married. Everyone should be able to have those rights. And what are we trying to prove not giving equal rights…will that force them to be straight and christians? The greatest thing about GOD is that its our choice to follow him! He wants us to love him just as freely as someone who chooses to love another human being. Religion has no place in goverment, period. Murders and molesters have more legal rights than a gay couple. If we continue to let our goverment make moral and religious choices for us we are not the country we claim to be.
That’s really good. Thanks.
You cry and I just shake my head. Really? What is so wrong with an opinion or putting money behind that opinion? Do we think that it is wrong for people of other faiths to take a stand on an issue? Seriously? We live in a republic…a free market economy…and that makes me happy.
In the United States of America, we also have the freedom of religion and of speech and thankfully…Christians get to have opinions too. Well, they get smeared and vilified if they have opinions, but I digress.
So Dan Cathy gets an opinion. You get an opinion. And so do I. And we can all disagree. And we aren’t even going to be imprisoned if our opinions aren’t the same as the government’s.. like my friends have been in Egypt. I’d say that is a good deal.
I am sorry that you cried today. I just shook my head when I read this.
Sorry to disappoint you. : )
Maybe just maybe some more people will truly ready and understand the Bible. If they get down to the nitty-gritty they will see that there is so much more about it than what they have been told over and over and over.
It helps me to read words like this, because somewhere deep in my soul, this whole fiasco has made me sad too. Helps to be reminded, I am not alone.
There is hope!
dan cathy is an idiot…the bible also says he who is without sin cast the first stone….ole cathy should be the last person on earth to cast a stone….he and his ole 1955 issshh ways go back to the 20th century and let the rest of us live our lives to the fullest…what a jerk
Oh please! I am a hard ass skeptical atheist. I couldn’t give a crap about gay or straight marriage. In my opinion the state should have no say in the matter and tax policy should be completely blind to marital status. That said I have a real problem with public officials threatening to deny business licences on the grounds that they don’t care for the personal opinions of someone and that is exactly what the creatures that started this did. Once you go down this road you might as well admit you are slave of the state because you sure as hell are no longer free. Nobody could operate a business without kissing endless political ass and paying off the inferior beings that tend to coagulate in city halls. Mobsters call this extortion. If eating a little antibiotic laden chicken suppresses this crap it’s a small sacrifice. What it boils down to is freedom is more important than the delicate feelings of queers or anyone else.
Why do we as humans not all feel the same as this man. Why do we assume that our way is right and that other peoples feelings do not matter!? I am not a religious person and I do not think that I will ever be a christian or catholic or anyother sector, but I know the difference between being a good person and hurting people that I do not even know. I am not perfect and no one is but I do agree with what this man has to say and if we as humans would take the time to help others with just 50% of the time that we take to ostracize people the world would be a much better and safer place. I know what it feels like to be picked out because I am fat…redheaded…american…french I am all of these things, but I could not imagine being made to feel so horrible for something that is so intimate in my life as sexuality. I have recently found out that someone very close to me may have been gay and may have made a horrible life altering choice because that person was not free to be there self. I can tell you will full honesty that I would rather have that person in my life today than a chicken sandwich and to stand among peers and think that it is a “choice” to be gay.
Thanks for that, Rachel.
I was brainwashed from a pretty young age and it’s not until I went, believe it or not, to a Christian university, that I realized that I was not right! haha….all of these other denominations thought they were right too! And somehow, we are still considered the body of Christ?! Wtf?!
Anyways, I say that because I had a “liberal” professor, who explained the parable of “the Good Samaratan” with us one day which totally blew my very close-minded brain. Those of you who are believers, will know this story, probably by heart because you’ve heard it since the days of the little felt board Jesus and disciples from Sunday School..those of you who have not, Luke 10:29-37
What the story really was about was quite mind-blowing to those listening of the day. So here’s the cliffnotes version with my commentary:
1) Pharissees test Jesus and ask him “what do I have to do to get to heaven?”
2) Jesus says ‘hey, you know the law, how do you read it?”
Many people interpret the story as “it’s good to help your fellow man” or “we should do good things for people who are beaten up” or whatever, yada, yada, yada…..
Whoops! I wasn’t done with that thought….oh well…. here’s what I started over..hope you can follow it all:
Jesus, knowing they knew the law, said, “well, what’s it say?” And the religious expert said “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and with all your strength and all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself.”
Jesus said “well, good job. Do this and you will live”….
And then the guy asked back, “Well who is my neighbor?”
Then Jesus tells this story…guy was traveling, from Jerusalem to Jericho and he was attacked by robbers. Beat him up, left him half dead. A priest was walking down the road and he passed by on the other side. The Levite, he passed by on the other side. And the good ol’ Samaritan felt bad for him, took him, fixed him up, took him to the inn and paid the innkeeper to take care of him, even to the point that if what he paid him wasn’t enough, he would reimburse more.
So Jesus asked the religious guy, “which of these guys do you think was his neighbor?” And the religious leader said “the one who had mercy on him”
Jesus finished: “Go and do likewise.”
Okay,our whole lives we’ve heard this story and we think it’s all about the guy who not only fixed the guys wounds, but he also paid to have him taken care of. But we are totally missing it. Here’s why: These religious rulers who were listening to the story knew that this priest was on his way to Jerusalem, meaning he was probably on his way to the temple, to do his religious duties…by law, he COULD NOT have touched the guy. He was bloody and beaten, thus unclean…so he legally COULD NOT have helped him out in any way…
Same thing with the Levite. The Levites worked in the temple as well and they would have been unclean, and anyone who knows about the stories in the temple, if anyone was unclean when they went in there, they DIED! So the Levite could not have helped, maybe he wanted to, but he didn’t.
So Jesus specifically used these two figures in this story to prove a point, which is what perplexed these guys and made them so mad! Jesus was saying “don’t let your religious duty get in the way of helping people who need it”. Those guys, by the Law, COULD NOT have helped the bloody beaten guy, but Jesus was saying THAT person, the unclean, the messed up, the half dead and naked person, THAT is your neighbor. The religious leaders who were listening to this would have understood what Jesus was saying….which is why Jesus was so controversial!
I just wonder where Christians have forgotten who their neighbor really is. How many Christians have let their religious duties, or their boycotts, or their whatever, have kept them from showing mercy to people who need it.
THIS. EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS.
This story has even been explained to me in this exact way, but it’s so easy to forget. Jesus’ words to the religious leaders of his day are so appropriate to all of us today. He spent most of his ministry focused on the poor and marginalized. We aren’t called to be giants in the church, we’re called to be on the streets and in homes and caring for those around us like he did. And it should be in action, not just in words.
Thank you for the reminder.
Remember that slogan a while back? WWJD? Think about it. What would He do in this situation? Well, He wouldn’t be on either side of this controversy arguing that there is only way to live life. He’d say the only way to live is to love all. Not love just those who agree with your set of prejudices, but love ALL, everything in creation. He said we must love everyone, friend and enemy alike. How is it that the central focus of his teaching is blithely and blatantly ignored? It just seems odd to me, that in these controversies, people seem not to be at all thoughtful or mindful of what Christianity should be about.
Christ said judging others was wrong. He said that the old laws and rules (like those in Leviticus) were not working well to establish a community and a world of loving human beings and that we needed to rethink and redefine our lives so that love radiates from everything we say, think, and do. He said it was time to move away from the Old Covenant, the Old Testament, and establish a New Covenant. Why are so many Christians stuck in the dysfunctional Old Covenant and its ways of thinking? Christ was quite clear that to be truly righteous (not self-righteous) we must follow his New Covenant, his teachings in the New Testament. What did he say about homosexuality? Nothing. I know there are verses in later books of the NT that MAY be making some judgment about homosexuality, but these are not the words of Jesus; they are the words of Paul. And Paul is not the Son of God and can’t be considered infallible. He is an interpreter. And interpreters can be wrong, and their words are certainly open to debate.
So why not cleave to the teachings of Christ? Isn’t He the heart and soul of Christianity? And what would he do? He would love and accept all, not just the people who agreed with him. He would love all, equally and unconditionally. Period. And it is incumbent on Christians to be Christ-like and to live in Christ-consciousness. And to whatever extent that they do not strive to live this way, to that extent they are not Christians.
The above link is to my blog, discussing the effects of DOMA (Defense Of Marriage Act) on Gay and Lesbian binational couples. It is the story of my partner and I and our 6-year struggle with immigration due to the current, discriminatory marriage laws. Please feel free to comment. All views welcome. Yes…ALL views (::fastening my seatbelt::). Sometimes I think if people heard stories like ours, they might not be quite so quick to denounce marriage equality when they learn of the devastating impact the current laws have on so many people. Thanks.
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A bit late reading this, but beautifully written. I felt the same way that day. So so sad. Thanks for this. I have been wanting to write something for Christians entitiled…”just shut up already.” to try to stop the alienation and hurt, but I don’t think it would be a best seller.:)
i had someone tell me one time we should boycott pepsi because they fund lgbt or something, lol! and people on fb talking about they won’t go to starbucks anymore, and so on, just like people wanted to boycott chick-fil-a. when are people going to realize, we have a right to disagree without turning it into a big mess? it is so unnecessary! it doesn’t accomplish anything. I mean, when i go to starbucks, or where ever, i am not going there for a sermon, i am going there to get a latte! so what does it matter if i agree with them? they are just selling me coffee, not trying to make me agree with them. same way, if i had a shop, i wouldn’t try to make people agree with my beliefs, i would sale them what is in my shop, and if i do minster to them, i will respect their rights to their own views. why do we make simple things so complex?
the best remedy is sincere prayer before the Lord for those we are concerned about. the time spent boycotting and going on fb posting i stand for this, i am against this, we could spend it before the lord, so he can guide us, and give us wisdom.
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I know it’s been a long time since you wrote this. I wound up here because after reading your brilliant piece about the BLM movement getting kicked out of the Nashville Public Library, I read your about page. I have to disagree with your analysis about what people’s motivation was when this whole thing happened. Folks didn’t show up simply because they agreed with Cathy. They showed up because when he expressed his views on marriage he became a target of political action from the marriage equality movement, including a boycott. People showed up as a backlash against that political action and as a counter to the boycott.
I have never eaten at and will never eat at a Chick-Fil-A for this reason. I also don’t shop at Hobby Lobby, but that’s a whole different story. What you said about boycotting really struck me. It’s supposed to be an avenue for the public to show corporations where we stand, or what we won’t stand for. Money talks. But it seems so hopeless. I am sure there are many other things I would want to boycott – like Starbucks for doing business in countries where women don’t have equal rights – but it is very difficult in the world we live in. How do we change it then? Can we grow these large gardens? Because it seems that is the only way to avoid turning our money into dirty money.
It seems pretty hopeless.
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