The majority of my efforts have been on the first half of the Follow Eric tagline: "Exploring the local." And it will continue to be my focus. I love getting out and finding those locally-owned restaurants, cafes and other businesses. I enjoy delving in to the local scene -- wherever that may be.
But it often comes at the neglect of the second part of what I try to bring to the blog: "Sharing the personal." This usually comes in the form of audio blogs, where I can freely speak my thoughts on any given subject. I have been reluctant to speak on a number of issues but I'm breaking that habit today, thanks to a little encouragement from this piece of fortune cookie wisdom:
So today I'm bypassing the audio recording and just typing straight from the heart. Here goes nothing.
Today's Chick-fil-A debacle makes me sad. Just plain sad. I just don't understand why the Christian community found it necessary to rally behind such a divisive message. At best, you're showing support of "traditional" marriage by eating chicken. I don't get it.
At worst, you're compounding the perception that Christians hate gays. I know that's blunt. Maybe a bit jarring. It may not be the truth and it may not be the message you want to send but it's the message that's going to be received regardless.
Is that worth a chicken sandwich?
Was the line you spent a half hour or more in worth alienating the gay community?
You can have your chicken any other dang day of the week. Your dollar will still end up in the same place, I promise. In the meantime, you've just sent a huge message to the gay community: You're not welcome in our churches.
I know you are already forming a response in your head. And I hope you share it in a positive, encouraging manner. I know it may not be your intention to send a message of hate but it's happening anyway.
You might think you're saying, "I support Chick-fil-A."
But what I hear is, "I hate gays."
You might think you're showing support for "Dan Cathy" or "free speech" or "traditional marriage" but I hope you realize that none of those things are what those in the LGBTQ community are going to see.
Instead, I fear they're going to feel unwelcome and unloved.
And is that worth a chicken sandwich?
I realize I recently participated in one of Chick-fil-A's First 100 event. I shared pictures and video on the blog. I even sported a Chick-fil-A t-shirt and hat in one particular photo. What can I say? I like their chicken and I had a fun time hanging out with some friends.
I even took home 52 coupons for free meals.
Just so you know, I have used exactly one of those coupons on myself. I've given away a good number and I intend to give away the rest. Why? Because generosity is a much greater message than anything I've seen happen at Chick-fil-A today.