The Chick-Fil-A Controversy has brought an issue to the forefront for me…again.
For those who are not aware:
I am Christian.
I am heterosexual.
I have hetero and gay friends – in my friendships, what matters to me is what we have in common.
I am unhappy when Christians create controversial issues from a position of hate.
And then when they try to rationalize their hate-filled positions with the Bible or words from Jesus, of all people, I can no longer sit quietly.
Initially, when I heard about the Chick-Fil-A comment, I just thought it was a dumb business decision. Who would want to alienate ANY paying customer? That just didn’t seem smart. But I never considered telling Mr. Cathy that he couldn’t say that. At first glance, it looked like his freedom of speech allowed him to stick his foot in his mouth if he was so inclined.
I even disagreed with my daughters who saw this as hate speech against gays. I agreed that he was probably giving some not-so-secret handshake with the “Moral” Majority, but I defended his right to have whatever position he chose. Even if I disagreed. I had boycotted Cracker Barrel and Exxon for their positions/actions in the past. I would simply add Chick-Fil-A to my list.
Then came Wednesday’s “Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day.” I was shocked. Lines of cars snaked around the parking lot of the local Chick-Fil-A. Politicians made appearances to show support. They weren’t stepping up to say the CEO had a right to his opinion – they were showing support that he was anti-gay.
Reporters stuck microphones in the faces of people who defended their position as one of “family values,” “taking a moral stand,” and “Christian.”
My heart sank. I had given Mr. Cathy the benefit of the doubt, and I was wrong. His statements were rallying the troops in a show of hate. They were trying to demonstrate that they could bully this small segment of our population – American citizens who happened to be Gay.
Why is that a hard concept to understand? There’s nothing Christian about Bullying anyone.
Wayne Self wrote wrote a blogpost to his friends and here’s one part, I’d like to share.
How would you feel if KFC came out tomorrow and said they were spending money against equality for Asian Americans, or African Americans, or religious people? Really. Think about it. What would you do? How would you feel? How would you feel if, after their announcement, there was a big increase in KFC sales and I was all over Facebook supporting KFC.
As an American, I’m still a little surprised when I read articles about an entire segment of our citizenry not being given the same rights I have. This map to the side here is from Upworthy.com, and I’m alarmed that someone can think you’re gay and fire you – in 2012! It harkens back to the days of civil rights movements and I can’t believe these discussions are still necessary.
And when I turn on the T.V. and hear Christians leading the oppression of gay Americans, I know that’s not the Christianity I believe in.
Amanda Marcott’s article in Salon.com, Christianity’s Anti-Gay Stand Backfires
warns about the impact this may be having on our younger generations – and it certainly has affected my children.
In my mind, this has just been pushed too far. Perhaps Christians need reminders about other biblical quotes like…
“If anyone says, I love God, but hates the brothers or sisters, he is a liar…Whoever loves God must also love the brothers and sisters.”
“Judge not, lest ye be judged.”‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.
The other day I saw the local Episcopal Church had a sign out front that said,
To be honest, I had looked the other way at the onset of this Chick-Fil-A mess, and hoped that it was just the ranting of a homophobic bigot. I hoped that Love would prevail and words from Jesus himself would take precedence over fear and hatred. And, perhaps it will – but not if I sit quietly. I cannot just hope for the best in people to come through. Not when millions of dollars are being used to fuel hate movements.
We teach our children not to be bullies and not to stand by and let anyone BE bullied. I think I’ve stood on the sidelines long enough.
I’m happy to say my daughters learned that message loud and clear.
And this from my friend, Christine’s Facebook Page: