Friday, August 3, 2012

Christians and Chickens in a Flap


As a person living in the state of Washington all my life, I have never been to a Chick-Fil-A restaurant, but I hear that their sandwiches are pretty tasty. Like you, I am hearing a lot about this restaurant chain lately and I find the whole thing odd.

As you know, the president of Chick-Fil-A, Dan Cathy, made comments in an interview to the Biblical Recorder and reposted by the Baptist Press that ruffled the feathers from groups advocating equal rights for same-sex couples. When Cathy was asked about Chick-Fil-A’s support of the traditional family, Cathy said, "Well, guilty as charged. We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit," Cathy said. "We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that." This was on the heels of a report from Equality Matters which stated that the company had donated over $2 million to supposedly “hate groups.”

In the last week, 6,000 or so people have signed a pledge to boycott Chick-Fil-A because of the stance – including The Muppets! On Wednesday, August 1, many of the restaurant’s locations ran out of food as thousands of supporters for the company’s CEO came to show their support with their wallets. Today, August 3, gay couples are gathering outside the chain’s restaurants in a “kiss day” protest. The whole thing has become a circus.

The crazy events remind me when the Southern Baptist Convention and Focus on the Family decided to hold a ban on the Disneyland theme park in 1996 for what that they saw as Disney’s promotion of a gay agenda by allowing special (albeit “unofficial”) “Gay Days” events in the park. The group dropped the ban in 2005.

Fortunately, there are some who feel the matter can be handled in a better way. Marci Alt, a mom in Georgia, invited Chick-Fil-A Cathy to have dinner and a dialogue with her, her wife, and their two children. The invitation comes in the form of a Change.org petition, which Marci created this week.

“I hope Mr. Cathy will join my family for dinner, where we can share a respectful dialogue about our faith, work and families here in Georgia,” reads the petition. “It’s important that Mr. Cathy meet the people his company is donating millions to stand against. I'll even make chicken.”

Whether or not Cathy will take Alt on her offer remains to be seen, but her response to whole ordeal is refreshing. Another view came week from Relevant Magazine, where writer Michael J. Kimpan said that the whole ordeal “exposes our inability to dialogue.”

“This begs the question,” says Kimpan in his post, “If Jesus were leading us down the mountain today, where would he be leading humanity?  Probably not into the ring to fight each other over this issue. The seeming inability of many Christians to appropriately engage the LGBT community is merely symptomatic of a much deeper issue—how we view ‘the Other.’"

As a Christian, it is easy to judge gays and lesbians when one doesn’t have any contact with them. It is a much harder thing when dealing with friends and family. Many “straight” people believe that being gay is a choice. Most gay people believe that they had no choice in the matter. Regardless on your views of the matter, the subject is difficult. What would Jesus do – turn over tables in anger or tell those without sin to cast the first stone? (Originally posted on Examiner.com)

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