In case you didn’t know, Chick-fil-a has been involved in a controversy. Something about Dan Cathy being vocally opposed to gay marriage and Chick-fil-a donating money to Christian family organizations that happen to be against gay marriage. I work for Chick-fil-a, and all of this makes me tired. I was partly happy about all the support for Chick-fil-a on Wednesday because they pay me.
To be honest, I think boycotts are silly. I know Christians who won’t eat at Ben and Jerry’s and now other people who will not eat at Chick-fil-a. I think this is silly because boycotters on both sides don’t think about the fact that Ben and Jerry’s employs conservative Christians and Chick-fil-a employs gays and liberals. Anytime I buy anything anywhere, my money is going to the employees, and I am sure they don’t all spend it in ways that I think are acceptable. People will profit off the poor by buying cheap foreign-made products but then abstain from a cup of ice cream or a sandwich because so-and-so donated money to this-or-that political organization. It’s all kind of silly. With that being said, I will continue to buy Ben and Jerry’s and Chick-fil-a and be thankful that I live in a country where the people (or most of them) fiercely care about protecting free speech.
With all of that being said, that isn’t the heart of what I want to write about. I really want to write about the issue of homosexuality. My fear is that most Christians went to Chick-fil-a on Wednesday, Aug 1 to simply show their stance on homosexuality. I completely support you if you went to Chick-fil-a to support freedom of speech (in light of mayors attempting to ban Chick-fil-a from their cities) and the employees. But I think Christians showing up in droves to Chick-fil-a simply to show their stances on homosexuality is a little too “us versus them”, and I don’t think that is the type of attitude Christians should foster.
Christians are relatively silent on the issue until something political happens. We had a marriage amendment passed here in NC not too long ago, and I wanted to write something like this, but I never got around to it. I simply didn’t vote. I wasn’t against the marriage amendment, but I didn’t have enough concern to go out and vote for it. Maybe I’m a bad Christian. But here is what I didn’t (and still don’t) like about all of this: the politics always seems to precede the love. The only interaction the majority of Christians have with the gay community is political followed by a “I have gay friends” or an exhortation to interact with and love the gay community. As much as I love my church and the pastor of my church, my church encouraged us to go out and vote for the amendment. It was after the amendment passed that my pastor put out a blog about loving our neighbors (gay or straight).
I’m not trying to be a grump. I loved and agreed with my pastor’s blog posts on this issue!
And before I get into this paragraph, you need to know that I know that we shouldn’t simply allow emotion to make all of our decisions, but I do think our hearts need to be engaged when people are involved. Let’s say you have a boy who is a young teenager, and he then realizes he is attracted to men. He spends years terrified and lonely trying to keep this huge secret wondering who he can talk to. He struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts because he feels there is no way out. His family and church are silent about it except for that time they voted against gay marriage. Finally, one day, after spending months gathering courage, he comes out to his family. All of his relationships are strained, and even though his family doesn’t ostracize him, there is a lot of added stress and pain because they don’t like his decision. He finds the friendships and support within the gay community that he’s been looking for all along, and he finally feels like he belongs somewhere. And how does the church respond? They vote in a way that bars him from marriage. Years of struggle, followed by gradual ostracism from the church, followed by loving acceptance by the gay community, followed by the church voting against the very community in which he has found love and acceptance. Then the church wonders why the gay community doesn’t feel the love.
Don’t get me wrong. I do not believe men having sex with men is morally right; so, obviously, I will not go out and march for gay marriage. I’m not sharing a sad story to get you to change your mind on the morality of the issue. What does concern me, however, is if your only interaction with the gay community is political. Christians feel they are doing their Christian duty by voting against gay marriage and then feel like they are sharing in the sufferings of Christ and being persecuted when they are accused of hate. While I do think the word “hate” is thrown around way to much (so I’m not going to accuse anyone of hatred), I do not think Christians are exactly “loving” toward the gay community. “Extreme neglect” or “nearly absolute carelessness” would probably be a better word or phrase than “hate”. Very little time is invested in relationships with the gay community, and there is very little concern for the stories and lives of gay people from Christians.
That’s my two cents.
Great point! I agree with you son. The church needs to genuinely follow and act like Jesus.
Well you have wisely shared your thoughts once again! You are soooo good at this. This point is well said and I agree. When I went to Chick-Fil-A, I was concerned about freedom of speech. As the support Chick-Fil-A day wore on I had thoughts like “what are people’s agendas for eating here today? Is is freedom of speech or to single out and oustracize?” I am not one to “ban” because I believe we are in this world to love and influence. Where does banning end? None of us is without sin. I had a friend make a statement that I thought was profound. She said, ” I find it odd that Christians most of whom have not done a good job with God’s instructions on marriage have so much to say on this topic”. Thanks Andrew for expressing this so well. We do need to love like Jesus.
Thanks! And I’m glad for all the support Chick-fil-a got. Dan Cathy should be able to speak his mind and support traditional marriage, and Chick-fil-a should be able to donate their money to Christian organizations without being banned from cities. And this is even a bigger deal for us because we are Christians. And plus, I work there! And it’s been a great company to work for so far, and they are great at offering great customer service consistently in every store I’ve been in.
I 100% agree. For NC at least, it seems like this whole corporation boycott thing is all spurred on by backlash over that absurd amendment that only made gay marriage extra illegal (because there already are laws in NC that deny marriage rights)…read: it didn’t even really do anything. I was pretty angry with the overall Christian response that suddenly they needed to go out and vote in a particular way because this was about “protecting marriage”…yet most people who went out and did this wouldn’t dream of campaigning to outlaw divorce because somehow that’s different (not saying divorce should be made illegal, but just using it as an example of how the church’s involvement in politics is totally arbitrary).
Too much haterade going around, and it is slamming doors shut and closing avenues of communication between the church and the gay community when exactly the opposite should be happening.
Finally on the flip side, there is almost comedic irony that suddenly anyone who genuinely likes chik-fil-a is given the judgmental stink eye by political groups seeking tolerance for different lifestyle preferences (especially since “liking to eat chik-fil-a fried chicken” is kind of…drum roll…a lifestyle preference albeit perhaps not a very healthy one). I felt the need to look around the parking lot and watch out when I swung through the drive through last night to get my occasional favorite chicken n’ strips salad with spicy dressing.
Just a little late but I loved “your 2 cents” on this. Couldn’t agree more on this issue, problem, or controversial topic (whatever you want to call it.) Thanks for sharing, Andrew!
Hey man, it’s never too late. It’s still a relevant topic in our culture. And thanks for the response!
Wow. This is the best I’ve seen anyone respond to this controversial topic. I’m highly impressed, And I cannot agree more. I enjoyed reading this very much. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
Thanks, man! And thanks for taking the time to read it!
(See you at Bruegger’s! haha)
Haha no problem! and Yeah duhh! I went today but I think I had just missed you D:
Haha, yeah, I was there that day. You must have missed me. I think I was there from about 10:30 to 11 something.
Ahh! I got there about 11:30ish or so. I’ll be there earlier this Tuesday. So if you’re there i’ll more than likely see you.