Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Chick-fil-A Day - How I feel

I keep much of the focus of Follow Eric on positive issues. I avoid controversy. I avoid politics. I avoid anything potentially divisive. But to be honest, I've probably avoided it too much.

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?

In addendum:

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.

1 comment:

Norm Birt said...

This is definitely a tough one. I can see and understand your point of view, and I can also see where all those others are coming from. Mr. Cathy made a public statement about a personal belief which he has every right to, and as a Christian should make a stand. Many people especially within the Gay and Lesbian community tout tolerance, yet they display intolerance of us because the Bible states in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 "9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,[a] nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God." Out of fear of public outcry or ridicule, many people who claim to be Christians are afraid to stand by this verse. I am guilty of this myself. I am not saying that we Christians should conduct another crusade against the gay and lesbian community in the name of God based on this verse. Far from it. I agree with you that Christians should display the most love and compassion because as Paul continues to state in 1 Corinthians 6 verse 11, "11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God." We were the same as all who have sinned, only we have been washed in his blood. Too often we forget where we came from and perceive ourselves to be better. We are not. Romans 3:23 says "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God". However, I believe that for the sake of my children and protecting their innocence, we as Christians cannot sit idly by while the agenda of the unrighteous is marched forward. Do not be fooled, there is an agenda, and that agenda is the brainchild of our enemy. 1 Peter 5:8
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Edmond Burke said "All that's necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing." Do not misunderstand me, I am not saying that homosexuals are "the forces of evil". However I am saying that they are deceived and have believed a lie and the Bible clearly calls Satan the Father of lies. Therefore, they are following after the father of lies, and he seeks to use them to further his agenda in the world. All that is needed for him to win is for Christians to do nothing. To sit on their laurels, to tolerate. We are called to speak the truth in love, to be a light to the darkness, and salt to the world. This will result in Christians being despised just as Jesus was despised, even to crucifixion. I hope you can see my heart Eric. I am sorry for the hurt that may have been caused by Mr. Cathy's statement, however I applaud him for standing up for what he believes in and not apologizing for it.