A memo to Christians and LGBTQ communities: Eat at Chick-fil-A together on August First

Public response to the flap over Chick-Fil-A COO Dan Cathy’s public disavowal of gay marriage (and keep in mind, this for Cathy is not just a matter of personal morality, but a hallmark of the restaurant’s corporate culture) demonstrates that gay marriage–and, indeed, the status of LGBTQ people in our nation and its body of laws–is still quite a polarizing force in America. In the wake of Cathy’s statements, gauntlets are being thrown down everywhere. The mayors of Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco issued statements saying they would not permit the chicken sandwich progenitors to expand into their cities. The Muppets, who had been cross-promoting with the restaurant, have also joined the boycott (probably much to the relief of Gonzo the Great, who had been concerned that the partnership was just a pretense to kidnap his lady love and fry her up). University of Maryland student Brian Real has sounded a call for marriage equality proponents to donate the cost of a chicken sandwich to gay-friendly organizations on August 1st, via Facebook. Real’s Facebook event was in response to one created by former Arkansas governor and Religious Right darling Mike Huckabee, a national day of appreciation for Chick-Fil-A, also to be held on August 1st. Huckabee states his rationale on the event page, in adjective-laden sentences: “I have been incensed at the vitriolic assaults on the Chick Fil-A company because the CEO, Dan Cathy, made comments recently in which he affirmed his view that the Biblical view of marriage should be upheld … It’s a great American story that is being smeared by vicious hate speech and intolerant bigotry from the left.”

It’s only natural that Christians would respond to the Chick-Fil-A flap by organizing to flood the chain with support and money. After all, for the Last Supper, Jesus took his disciples to the Jerusalem Chick-Fil-A. While they were there, he told them: “A new command I give you: Whenever a business upholds my view of marriage, as this Chick-Fil-A does, and becomes mired in public controversy for paying lobbyists to pressure the government to do so as well, you must patronize those businesses and make a big production of it. As I have loved Chick-Fil-A, so you must love Chick-Fil-A. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you eat at Chick-Fil-A.”

Oh, wait. Except for that never happened.

Frankly, as a Christian, I am bothered by this whole “Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day” bandwagon. As I write this post, over 370,000 people have already pledged to eat at Chick-Fil-A via Huckabee’s Facebook event. Tens of thousands more are pledging their support for rip-off versions that have permeated Facebook. It is turning, to my mind, into the latest unwritten test of faith for Christians, especially evangelicals: “Support Chick-Fil-A on August 1st or you don’t like Jesus as much as I do.” Chick-Fil-A is the next Tim Tebow.

Thing is, if you have five bucks and an empty stomach (or if it’s just lunch time, because let’s face it, who in evangelical funland ever has an empty stomach?), it’s easy to “share your faith” by walking into your local Chick-Fil-A and buying a box of chicken minis and some waffle fries. You can feel like you’ve done a good deed for Jesus. And you can say, “You’re welcome, Jesus.” (By the way, that’s really what Tim Tebow is doing when he engages in “Tebowing”–he’s saying, “You’re welcome, Jesus.” Kidding. Maybe.) But what if, instead of people attacking Chick-Fil-A, Mike Huckabee had been incensed by the infant mortality rate in Memphis? What if he had picked a day and said, “That day, I want every Christian in America to contribute to a fund that’s going to open up free prenatal and neonatal care for poor mothers and children in Memphis so that we don’t have a city in the United States that has a higher infant mortality rate than some third world countries”? Do you really believe you’d have 370,000 takers? Let’s face it, eating out at Chick-Fil-A is probably not what Jesus had in mind when he talked about the cost of discipleship. The cost of discipleship is not the cost of a chicken strip combo. Except for that time when he said, “Suppose one of you wants to take his family out to eat at Chick-Fil-A. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to feed them all? For if you get in the car and drive to Chick-Fil-A and order your food and are not able pay for it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person took his whole family out to eat at Chick-Fil-A and didn’t realize he was too poor to do so until the cashier said, ‘That will be 27.64.’” Oh wait–he never said that, either.

What’s worse, the Chick-Fil-A Appreciation day is really just another gimmick that cheapens the witness of the church. Paul once wrote,  “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Rom. 12.18). If we are honest with ourselves, we will admit that this Chick-Fil-A flap and the resulting Chick-Fil-A appreciation day is not an attempt to live at peace. It is, basically, a group of disgruntled evangelicals collectively sticking out their tongues, putting their hands to the sides of their heads and wiggling their fingers, and giving those who do not share their values a massive raspberry. Most of those who buy into this gimmick (and that’s what it is–another gimmick in a Christian world that has come to rely on gimmickry) and go to eat at Chick-Fil-A on August 1st because Mike Huckabee told them to are basically just doing it to say, “Nyah nyah boo boo” to gays and liberals. Paul also wrote somewhere: “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things” (1 Cor. 13.11). Picking a day when everyone in the “in” group is going to go do something cool, usually in defiance of others in an “out” group, is so seventh grade.

The most troubling aspect of national “Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day” for me is that it’s idolatry. No, Christians won’t be bowing before a chicken sandwich. That would only be the most obvious form of idolatry. Rather, what you are doing when you go to eat at Chick-Fil-A on August 1st is using your commitment to traditional marriage, with Chick-Fil-A for a totem, as a surrogate for your commitment to Jesus. The church has indeed fashioned for itself a golden calf in these latter days, and it is called “family values.”

I have spoken my piece to my fellow-Christians first, because as the scripture says, judgment begins with God’s household (1 Pet. 4.17). But I have some things to say to the LGBTQ community and their supporters as well, and I hope they will be kindly received.

Your response to this has been somewhat counterproductive, guys. You have received a modicum of goodwill in the public sphere. Use it to your advantage! The time is past for boycotts and placards. Those ways of getting your point across are, frankly, moldy. Corporate America, for its own part, is already joining in the public spanking of Chick-Fil-A  (the cynic in me knows it’s only to grow their market base, but we take what we can get, right?), though I highly doubt this will make Dan Cathy change his tune–those Southern Baptists are remarkably stubborn creatures. Boycotts and strong-arm governmental intervention tactics are only useful for those who have no other forms of leverage. You have earned other forms of leverage, because whether you recognize it or not, you are transitioning from marginalized group to part of the mainstream.

That being said, I don’t want you to boycott Chick-Fil-A. But if you choose to do so, I don’t want you make it a lock-step boycott, whereby those who participate sneer at those who don’t until it becomes a “who’s gayer than who” battle, and anyone from the LGBTQ community who goes on eating at Chick-Fil-A is viewed as a traitor to “the cause.” I told my Christian friends this, and I’m telling you this, too: that’s so seventh grade.

No, here’s what I suggest. You go and eat at Chick-Fil-A on August 1st. Be the best customers in the place. Clean up your tables, don’t make a mess, be courteous to those overworked, underpaid people behind the counter. Smile. I’m not suggesting you don’t do all these things already, I’m sure you’re lovely people and you do. I’m just saying make a special point to do it that day. And if you’re surrounded by a lot of snarky Christians, don’t feed in. Here, let me quote a scripture for you that’s not out of the book of Leviticus: “Live such good lives among the pagans [in this case, Christians] that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds” (1 Pet. 2.12). But don’t get smug on us. I’m not counseling you to do this in order to shame Christians (though there are some of us who ought to be ashamed of ourselves), but in order to show Chick-Fil-A that your money spends as good as anyone else’s and if they want to keep you as customers, in the future they should maybe refrain from paying lobbyists to make your life harder–or at least from bragging about doing it.

Returning to my fellow Christians, I didn’t just write all this because I’m particularly angry about Dan Cathy’s words on gay marriage. I am angry that Mike Huckabee has deceptively framed this as a battle over Dan Cathy expressing his views in public. That’s not the point. Cathy’s company gives millions of dollars a year to anti-gay lobbying groups. As an American, I am gravely concerned about how much money flows out of corporations into Washington, D.C. I am bothered, as an American, that corporate entities are invited to shape not only the public discourse around any given number of issues, but to decide what is on the table and what is not when it comes to legislation. I am bothered that these entities have been given many more rights and opportunities to shape legislation than you or I have as private citizens. As a Christian–and this is always first priority to me–I am gravely concerned that so many fellow Christians have bought into Huckabee’s narrative about what the issue is, and blithely plan to follow-through with such a juvenile tactic as, “Let’s go bloc-eating at Chick-Fil-A on August 1st to prove our point and rub gay people’s faces in it.” Perhaps I am being too critical–feel free to disagree with me. I am also troubled about what sorts of precedents we continue to set when we continue to rely on governments, whether they be federal, state, or local, to enforce our moral views. In 1 Corinthians 6, Paul chides the church for allowing civil authorities to decide their disputes for them. How much more would he chide us today for relying on civil authorities to enforce our standards on people who may not even be Christians? Remember: Jesus warned us not to give holy things to dogs or pearls to pigs, and that if we did, we would be trampled and eaten by them (Matt. 7.6-7). Whether you realize it or not, when you hand over your resources and your energy and your reputation to lobbyists to go play culture wars in Washington D.C.–when you feed into the system like that–you are giving what is holy to dogs and pigs. If you want to keep on feeding the beasts, go ahead–but be prepared to be eaten by them before it’s all said and done. Start pursuing the kingdom, stop engaging the system. You can’t do both at once.

So on August 1st, what I’d love to see is Christians eating at Chick-Fil-A, not because Mike Huckabee said so, but because they just happen to feel like a chicken sandwich that day. And I want to see gay people eating there, not to bother Christians, but because they want to eat chicken. Imagine that: people eating at a restaurant with no political or cultural agenda. How strange!

Maybe everyone that day could learn something about the Golden Rule, and why it’s good for us to go the second mile with those we don’t agree with.

34 thoughts on “A memo to Christians and LGBTQ communities: Eat at Chick-fil-A together on August First

  1. For what it’s worth, most gay people I know have been quietly choosing other places to eat for years already, because they knew this about the company before it exploded all over the news. If I want to prove something to bigots, I’ll find a way to do it that doesn’t put money in their pockets, as I’ve been doing for a long time.

    • Erin, I appreciate your thoughts. Thank you for sharing. You know, I addressed the LGBT community with much fear and trepidation, because I understood that I was asking much of them that really I had no right to ask. Let me frame it for you this way: unfortunately, when many evangelicals and fundamentalists think of gay people, they picture the most extreme images of pride parades. They have been told that gays are coming for their children. Okay–just really unfair, grossly misleading, caricatured images. I didn’t make the suggestions I did because I thought it would be good for gay people–though i think it might. I did it because I thought it would be good for Christians.

      • I understand that. I find it very unfortunate that so many Christians, especially in the States, seem to think they don’t know any gay people. I tend to feel that as long as the U.S. has laws that allow people to be fired for any reason, whether or not it’s related to the job, most Christians are never going to realize that they already know gay people. They work with them, they meet them at their children’s sports events, they’re everywhere – but many of them are hidden for their own self-protection because it’s legal in so many places for them to be discriminated against. In Canada, where gay marriage has been legal since 2005, the level of bigotry against gay people continues to drop to the point where it’s almost a non-issue for many in the LGB community (I have deliberately left off the T, because trans individuals still experience a huge amount of discrimination, unfortunately.)

        I am a married white professional woman. I have two university degrees, an income that supports my family, two beautiful daughters, and in other respects can pass for straight most of the time if I choose to do so. I’m pretty sure the people at the church I used to go to were shocked to their toes when my life changed so it became obvious I wasn’t straight. I hope it did them some good, to remember the person they knew and think that I’m really not so scary.

        However, I didn’t do it for them. I did it for me. It’s not up to the LGBTQ community to teach Christians that we’re not scary. We’re going to leave them alone; we just want the same in return. Don’t try to take our children away or prevent us from offering loving homes to children who need them. Don’t tell us that you’re going to prevent us from choosing our next-of-kin through marriage, thereby ensuring that our bigoted parents or siblings have more say in our end-of-life decisions than the person we’ve lived with for twenty, thirty, forty years. Don’t make it legal for us to be fired when the boss finds out we’re living with another person of our own sex. Live and let live, and trust that most people are just out to get by and will be decent to you if given half a chance. I have always seen this as a very Christian attitude; it baffles me why so many Christians throw it out the window when it comes to a type of love they don’t understand.

      • For a bit of background on myself: twenty years ago, I was a Bible-believing evangelical Christian, pro-life, anti-gay, flirting with creationism, conservative in my political views, and very uptight about it all. Now, I’m a pro-choice, bisexual, atheist activist member of a far-left political party. And you know what? My views haven’t changed all that much. The value system that inspired me at 17 is the same one that inspires me at 37. I still believe that caring for other people, and supporting them to care for themselves, is the single greatest task we have on this planet. I still believe that caring for each other includes caring for our planet. I still believe in the power of education to change lives, and in the responsibility of each of us to pass on what we know and then let others make their own decisions with it.

  2. The misinformation is staggering. This is my most ardent reason for supporting Chic-fil-a at all. This is a media created firestorm. They do it constantly. I’ve grown weary of being the town crier on story after story after story that has gone past ridiculous and twists words and motives. The infant mortality example you gave would be perfect except that it would be just another ‘ploy’ on the part of ‘Christians’ to attack women’s ‘reproductive rights’ by the back door. School starts for us soon, and July 31st is my deadline for my current events addiction. I’m giving it up and praying for the strength to not take the bait from the next urgent matter tossed in the street like a bone by media.

    • The infant mortality example you gave would be perfect except that it would be just another ‘ploy’ on the part of ‘Christians’ to attack women’s ‘reproductive rights’ by the back door.
      Well, if the birthing centers included misinformation about birth control and a complete lack of information about available abortion choices, they’d be absolutely right to be leery. That said, I know plenty of liberal-leaning midwives and doctors who would be thrilled to see better birthing options in under-serviced areas.

      • Thanks you for affirming my statement about the neonatal center example, by giving an example of your own of why pro-choice supporters would find fault with this effort. The other side of intense debate will see gaping holes in efforts to ‘be reasonable’ as offered here by the author. Trying to remain above the fray can mean that there are important details that don’t float to the top, and attempts to bring the sides together by telling the people on ‘your’ side they’re being juvenile marginalizes the reasons there is disagreement in the first place. There will not be a lack of disagreement or even conflict over the issues, but civility is absolutely possible as long as every concern on both sides is seriously addressed. Putting a face to issues is the most redeeming suggestion of this blog post, and it’s why the title drew me here in the first place. I had actually suggested to my daughter a few days ago that we go on August 3rd and buy sandwiches and fries to share with the kiss-in participants. I thought this post was offered in that same spirit. I guess I was disappointed.

      • Excuse me, ma’am. I am stridently and consistently pro-life. I am as opposed to abortion as I am capital punishment, war, and euthanasia. This consistent pro-life stance was articulated by many of the Church Fathers, and I stand with them. I do not understand how this turned into a discussion of abortion.

        Second, I stand by telling other Christians being juvenile about this and a whole host of other issues. Have you seen the comments littering the Facebook pages for these events? I know the heathens and the pagans have sometimes been less than stellar conversationalists on there, too, but it’s not my duty to clean their house for them. Fundamentally, my position remains that this is another identity politics gimmick, right alongside the commercialization of Jesus Christ himself (a-la-shirts that read “Jesus” on an imprint of the Reese’s cup logo). Voices like Mike Huckabee, and for that matter Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, are not voices that teach us the virtues of reconciliation, fidelity, information integrity, nonviolence and non-retaliation, enemy-love, and hospitality that Jesus taught. Sad to say, these are the shepherds to which many Christians now flock, rather than the voice of the Good Shepherd. That being said, Paul once wrote that “God will judge those outside.” The main thrust of my argument is that Christians need to be sure we are keeping our own side of the street clean. When every event that does not go how we would wish turns into a national emergency and an opportunity for vitriol, it frustrates the public discourse.

        Third, I am not responsible for what other people write in reply to what I post. Heck, Dave up there seems to have a death wish for me according to his post (note that he told me to pay very close attention to the tail end of Romans 1; of course, Dave does not seem to comprehend that when Paul begins, “And who are you, mister, to judge?” at the outset of Romans 2, he is responding to the voice speaking at the tail end of Romans 1, thus neutralizing it). I was hoping the discussion would be open and friendly, even if impassioned. It has not been.

        In short, I am truly sorry that you are disappointed. I’m disappointed, too.

      • Jmar, I have absolutely no death wish for you. It did seem to me that you were attacking Christians for rallying to support Cathy’s right to fee speech. I guess i got a bit confused on your original post, and reading it again, I’m still a bit confused… I left out the judgment part out as to not inflame anyone with the point i was trying to make but then you turned it around on me anyway… The point was the last line… If i did not love my fellow man i wouldn’t have bothered and it was not directed specifically at you. It is our calling as Christians to point out what is wrong and right and to bring the salvation message to the whole world. So what I am saying is if a Christian approves of sin then it’s the same as committing it. There is too much evil in the world today and it’s ever growing and all thought the NT it talks about sensuality and avoiding it. I’m sorry but the media has been shoving homosexuality down our throats with every TV program we watch and what do you think it is teaching our children? Not tolerance but more than that to join in on that lifestyle. Why do you think children are having sex at younger and younger ages? This is not about abortion, gay rights, divorce, or anything besides the on going war between good and evil since the beginning. Christianity itself has been and continues to be under massive attacks from all threes fringe groups encouraged by liberals and the result is a country and a world losing all moral values. That being said, what ever a G, L, B, T, or even straights do in three privy of there homes is their own business, as long as they don’t air their dirty laundry in public and that is the problem we Christians have, or at least I do…. And that’s when we use our freedom of speech to speak out against the evils of this world with the same rights as these movements have.
        May God bless you
        In God We Still Trust

    • I use a lot of words when I write, but I am not angry. The abortion issue was just an example. It was a response to something you said in your post. I am responding to you. I’m not suggesting you aren’t pro-life, but you already said that my suggestion that pro-choice advocates would take issue with neonatal donations or the opening of a clinic was cynical. erintheoptimist supported my theory by offering that exact objection and gave an example of why. What I’m stating is that my thoughts about this are not cynical, but rather a reflection of what is really happening. As for comments, I’ve seen the comments on FB pages and youtube videos. There is enough vile commentary to indict both sides. I think you can write a blog post now, after this one, about what comments we should respond to as disciples of Christ and how to do that. I know you are discouraged because you’re intent was to inspire a peaceful response. However, internet commentary is an unfair judge of the ‘real’ conservatives or liberals. There are a lot of trolls that spend their days poking a stick in the eye of both sides of a debate. I’ve had ridiculous comments placed under a post over some of the most benign subjects. My husband has been called disgusting names over his favorite football team. I agree that the excessive bible verse quoting isn’t going to prove Chic-fil-A is right any more than it’s going to prove they are wrong. I’ve seen videos and posts on both sides trying to hit this issue with extreme bible gymnastics. Anyway, I am not being hostile to you or uncivil. I took issue with your blog post as seeming to extend an olive branch to both sides of an issue, but I am pointing out that it didn’t come across the way you intended. There is an Indian saying that goes something like, “There is no point in cutting off your brother’s nose and then handing him a rose to smell.”

  3. Laura: I’m not sure I follow your comment. You’re suggesting that if someone were to raise money for pre- and neonatal healthcare facilities in Memphis to reduce the infant mortality rate, pro-choice voices would attack it on grounds that it restricted reproductive rights? Perhaps I’m being a bit Pollyanna-ish, but that sounds too cynical even for today’s political climate.

  4. Sorry but here is another scripture not from Leviticus, and what you write here is so hypocritical it’s sickening. The gay rights orgs are making a mountain out of a molehill because one person used his first amendment right to share his position and want everyone to boycott this persons business because of his beliefs. So you blame Mike Huckabe for backing Cathy’s right of free speech? Talk about being racist! Here’s the scripture you, might want to study it especially the last sentence;

    Romans 1:20-32 New International Version (NIV)

    20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

    21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

    24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

    26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

    28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

    • Closing on Sundays doesn’t support families. It supports the kind of family where everyone is home on Sundays and available to go to church and cook. Paying their employees a living wage so that they only need one job to get by would be supporting families much better. Tell me, does Chick-fil-A do that?

  5. Mmmm…then you don’t know very much about the pro-life/pro-choice news, especially this year. Any concern for a baby in the womb will garner the label of fetal idolatry or fetal worship and being anti-abortion rather than pro-life. You even use very similar rhetoric yourself when describing the organizations to which Chic-fil-a donates as being anti-gay rather than pro-family. Your blog post is very cynical toward the supporters of the August 1st date, calling it juvenile. I’m supporting a brother under fire and many friends that work there. Previously, I haven’t been a frequent visitor of the restaurant, but this mess is a crafty creation and distraction in an election year. There is no new news here, but it’s being sold as such. Businesses that come out as being pro-gay marriage are celebrated and any protest or disagreement is ridiculed in the press. I’m not one of the million moms who protested JCPenney, and I must say the OMM organization didn’t get much support, but I just ignored the ignorant blather from the JCPenney supporters about Christians and the bible and gay-marriage and free speech at the time. Now the shoe is on the other foot and is a Christian organization afforded the same rights to free speech? You wouldn’t think Dan Cathy had a right to even own a business let alone have friends who support his right to speak. The controversy is being framed disingenuously. When someone supports the biblical definition of marriage, they are supporting the notion that the legal definition of marriage not be changed. If that were to be done, we paint a target on every clergyman in the US to conform to this new definition by ‘marrying’ anyone regardless of their beliefs and conscience, because aren’t clergy services just another service like…oh….a wedding photographer’s services? You remember that story, right? How many businesses are under assault for conscience based abstainance? The Jewish-deli-serving-pork example has been out there quite a bit, but it’s still a good one and it applies here. What if someone demanded that we legally change the definition of ‘deli’ to require all to serve pork? What’s the point of that when you can get a ham sandwich around the corner at another deli? As a Christian and supporter of the legal definition of marriage staying as is, I don’t remotely view myself as making it harder for gays to have equal rights or get married. They have laws to already support their union and there are plenty of clergy already that will perform a religious marriage ceremony, but forcing those who cannot and will not perform these ceremonies to conform to a trendy new definition of marriage is persecution. Businesses have been sued, some have closed, some have been fined. Look around. This is not cynicism. It’s happening. On Wednesday, I’m more concerned with the start of the Healthcare mandate regulations that will cause Christian & Catholic businesses and charities to close or be sued or fined or worse. And now that I think about it, that may be why this silly Chic-Fil-A controversy was started….to distract from the coming storm.

    • Chick-Fil-A does donate money to “anti-gay” groups. For instance, the Family Research Council, who seems not to know the difference between gays and NAMBLA, and compares gay people to terrorists. Hence, the following:

      “One of the primary goals of the homosexual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the ‘prophets’ of a new sexual order.”
      -1999 FRC pamphlet, Homosexual Activists Work to Normalize Sex with Boys

      “While activists like to claim that pedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two. … It is a homosexual problem.”
      -FRC President Tony Perkins, FRC website, 2010

      “Now, back in the 80′s and early 90′s I worked with the state department in anti-terrorism and we trained about fifty different countries in defending against terrorism, and it’s, at its base, what terrorism is, it’s a strike against the general populace simply to spread fear and intimidation so that they can disrupt and destabilize the system of government. That’s what the homosexuals are doing here to the legal system.” -FRC President Tony Perkins, Washington Watch, April 2011

      Any homosexuality/pedophilia overlap has been thoroughly debunked. Most pedophiles self identify as heterosexual.

      So yes–this is hateful, scapegoating, untruthful rhetoric. Much more anti-gay than pro-family.

      • Ok, What you are doing is misguided. I’m trying to say, and I know I’m being very ardent in my efforts, is that you persist in rebuking those you call brothers and sisters for defending their stand for Christ and His word and living their lives as Christians. You may not like or disagree with every single thing they do. You may not like that they look foolish to the world or that by definition, their “Christianess” is offensive. Well, it is offensive, but not for the reasons that you state.

        So, are going to go here and research each place that money is being donated on both sides to see who’s charitable giving is the most “anti”? You didn’t cite anything for these general statements “Any homosexuality/pedophilia overlap has been thoroughly debunked. Most pedophiles self identify as heterosexual.” I looked up some things that I was able, but the only way I would legitimately answer you is to research everything you posted here. I already know about some of the research you are pooh-poohing, as my daughter is a Psychology major in college and has done research and papers about this subject. We have gay friends as I mentioned, she was in the play about Matthew Shepherd and again, we know quite a bit and I’m not being insensitive to another person’s humanity, but you are grossly generalizing. I don’t have scientific numbers, but I know actual people and situations. If you want to get into a citing discussion with research and such, I’ll have to pass that baton to someone else right now.

        The one thing I found easily was a breakdown of Chick-fil-a’s donations to “anti-gay” groups. Here’s the list:

        •Marriage & Family Legacy Fund: $994,199
        •Fellowship Of Christian Athletes: $480,000
        •National Christian Foundation: $240,000
        •Focus On The Family: $12,500
        •Eagle Forum: $5,000
        •Exodus International: $1,000
        •Family Research Council: $1,000

        So, you are being extremely critical and intolerant for $1000 to a group that has sustained accusations and complaints of intolerance and misinformation. The media and the politicians blabbing about this issue are glaringly guilty of both. This we know for sure. More research would need to be done on the FRC issues you mentioned. And I should point out that using the criteria that is being shouted from the mountain tops, ANYONE calling themselves a Christian and basing their beliefs on scripture and operating a non-profit is going to be “anti-gay”. If their mission statement says anything about being based on God’s word, than the trouble is just getting started. How would we define anti-Christian then? Seriously, how would you define it? Apparently there is no such thing. Have you read the list of SPLC hate groups? Hate AGAINST Christians doesn’t exist, according to this very long list.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_organizations_designated_by_the_Southern_Poverty_Law_Center_as_hate_groups

        I think it’s about time that we “unplugged” the overpaid experts and actually looked at our neighbor face to face. Groups confronting businesses and organizations and demanding that they drop their own beliefs in favor of benefits to the more politicaly correct and popular group of the day is not in any way considering the actual needs of individuals. As Christians, we are to love one another, help our brother, forgive our brother and pray for our brother. We share the gospel, make disciples and serve all of humanity side by side. We don’t serve special groups. God is no respecter of persons. Neither should we be.

        Have you ever looked at the net worth of the people that control our media?

        Check out this list:

        http://thecuriouscottage.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/net-worth/

      • No ma’am. I am not embarrassed by their “Christianness.” I am embarrassed by the willingness of so many to be herded into a questionable form of witness.

    • Always happens, no one is interested in considering the other’s opinion they just look for weak points in the other’s argument to attack. Don’t tell them that, however, or you’re a judgmental Conservative/Liberal bigot. Interesting article though J-Mar.

  6. Pingback: A Chick-Fil-A Roundup « LOVEboldly

  7. Pingback: My words to Christians and LGBTQ communities RE: Chick-Fil-A: Follow-up « neoprimitive

  8. I just read an article on CBS Chicago. I find it disturbing and feel that my hunch was right and the giant controversy is just the heat being turned up and the bullying tactics intensifying against this company. Am I overeacting? Who is the Civil Rights Agenda and why do they have a right to make these demands? Who gives money to them and what do they do? Does this matter and is it on par with the organizations to whom Chic-fil-A donates? There is no “peace” here and it’s not because the Christians are being juvenile. I have friends and family who are gay. I do not hate them and they don’t hate me. We disagree. We are not at war. But when my brother in Christ is under attack, I will come to his aid. Here is a quote:

    “It was not just the published comments that reportedly gave Moreno doubts about Chick-Fil-A. The Chicago Phoenix reports he been in talks with Chick-Fil-A for several months about the company’s policies, as had the gay rights group the Civil Rights Agenda.

    The group’s executive director, Anthony Martinez, said Moreno had “already known that (Chick-Fil-A was) discriminatory against LGBT folks,” and the alderman had asked the company to prove otherwise “and of course they said that they’re not discriminatory,” the Phoenix reported.

    Moreno and the Civil Rights Organization went on to demand that the company change its corporate policies to ensure an LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination rule, which would include diversity and cultural competency training, benefits for people in domestic partnerships and civil unions, culturally-sensitive ads in the LGBT community, transgender health benefits, and a rejection of activities that would undermine equality, the Phoenix reported.

    Chick-Fil-A told Moreno and the Civil Rights Agenda that they no longer planned to make political statements about gay rights or donate to anti-gay groups, the Phoenix reported. That came before Cathy’s comments.”

  9. The recent push to support “good” businesses or boycott “evil” businesses implies buying power = support. I personally do not equate the two – my intent when I make a purchase is not to support a business, but to support my family by supplying their needs.

    Boycotts/Rallies of companies tend to feed a mob mentality, and I feel the need to be extremely cautious before I jump on any bandwagon, because it can turn into idolatry so fast. If I look past a company as an entity and recognize the hard-working souls employed, ultimately all I’m really shunning/supporting is a mom or dad putting food on the table for their family, or a teenager saving for a car or college.

    I neither shun OR support Chick-fil-A, Oreo, Target, or any of the other businesses that christian publications put on their “good/evil” lists. Today, my desire to not eat Chick-fil-A has nothing to do with how I feel or don’t feel about its founder’s morals. Eating out today is simply not in our budget, and our family doesn’t need it – so we’re not going.

    • Amy, you bring up a valid point–the employees of Chick-Fil-A: people WORK there. Most of them for not enough money. I do think it’s a bummer for them to have their workplace turned into a game of political football. That’s why I was also afraid of groups promoting kiss-ins. That’s just creepy, I don’t care who’s doing it. I said in my follow-up to the original post, I think, that to me the concept of kiss-ins was also just one tribe giving another a massive raspberry.

      I wish that it could have stayed as simple as this: you have people in the LGBTQ community who are displeased that corporate money from Chick-Fil-A goes to causes odious to them. So they choose not to eat there. I wish the mayors and aldermen of major urban centers had never stepped in.

      At the same time, I vehemently oppose the response of those on the Christian right who stirred up this “Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day” fiasco. Now you have a powder keg. You have potential for violence, even. Even barring that, you have further entrenchment of American tribalism. In real time, let’s face it, the mayors and aldermen of those cities are only pandering to their constituency. We all know that. Were they really to try and ban a Chick-Fil-A from opening on the grounds that “their values aren’t ours,” they’d be putting themselves in a very actionable position. The company could simply have called their bluff, or they could say, “We don’t want to expand into territory where we’re not welcomed.” Either response would have been appropriate.

      My problem with Christians going gung ho about this, and being so passionate over eating chicken sandwiches for Jesus, is that they–WE–ought to know better.

      • “In real time, let’s face it, the mayors and aldermen of those cities are only pandering to their constituency. We all know that. Were they really to try and ban a Chick-Fil-A from opening on the grounds that “their values aren’t ours,” they’d be putting themselves in a very actionable position. The company could simply have called their bluff, or they could say, “We don’t want to expand into territory where we’re not welcomed.” Either response would have been appropriate.” Yes. This. I appreciate you saying this.

  10. Maybe you can explain this for me. In all this Chic-fil-A mess, I’ve seen comments on several different sites that allowing a sin to occur makes a Christian somehow responsible for that sin. (Even here, a commenter posted “if a Christian approves of sin then it’s the same as committing it.”) Is there a Biblical basis for this? Where is this coming from? I haven’t been to church for many years, but I was always of the mind that your sin is between you and God, you should worry about your misdeeds before anyone else’s, and that God shall be the one to pass judgement and dole out punishment. Whatever happened to “he who is without sin”?

    It seems to me that it is nothing more than a rallying cry for a crusade. I admit, I’m cynical because it seems like it’s one sin in particular more than anything… no one seems that worried about going to Hell for Red Lobster’s sins, or boycotting businesses that allow or require their employees to work on the Sabbath. They talk about Biblical marriage, but no one’s lobbying for laws that require a rapist to pay his victim’s father and then marry her.

    Sure, as a Christian you’re supposed to witness and try to bring others into the faith… but going out of your way to prevent others from doing things that may not even violate *their* faith? That seems to be stretching it. In fact, it almost seems like it would have the opposite effect, that some people only hear the loudmouths and the reactionaries and think “if that’s what Christianity is about, I don’t want anything to do with it.”

    • Cindy, I’ve been involved with a similar but very respectful discussion on Facebook. a man named Allen who has been in a loving gay relationship for 12 years, asked me something similar.
      Here is the transcript of that and I hope it helps:

      Allen: Dave – I do have a religious question for you on the issue. I was born and raised in a catholic family, went to a catholic school from K-8th grade. I unfortunately now consider myself a recovering catholic because of the church stance on my personal life. However, what I remember is that ALL sex is sinful. It is pleasure for the body and unless used for procreation, we should be praying for forgiveness of that sin. And where sin is concerned, aren’t we forgiven our sins when we ask forgiveness through Jesus? I mean, there are those who have murdered other people and then ministers go to prisons to convert them. They go through the rest of their natural life in prison with a bible in their hand and Jesus in their heart and we assume they go to heaven. Is there something in homosexual behavior that is worse than murdering someone? Isn’t the prayer for forgiveness through Jesus what saves the sinner? Why is it that I will spend eternity in hell because I love a man but a murderer can be sent to heaven? And who is it that make the call in the end? Is it all of the people here telling me I will suffer in hell? Or is it God our father?

      Dave: I will try but you may not like what I have to say…
      The murderer converted and as long as he didn’t murder again, yes he would go to heaven according to the Bible. It is those who continue to sin without any conscience or in my book believe they can sin all they want because they believe in eternal security that have to worry… Sex outside the marriage is Sin but in the marriage bed God encourages us to enjoy each other and that goes without saying since it keeps the marriage strong. When sex isn’t present in a marriage it can cause infidelity and divorce and it is denying a partner what God has ordained. Paul said it is better to be single, but if you have lustful thoughts you should marry. Now that statement begs the question of replenishing the earth. If it is better for a man to be single how would we procreate? But that’s another subject. Divorce is also sin and if you do get divorced you are to stay single. If you do remarry then you are living in sin and your marriage is not right in God’s eyes. There are a few stipulations to that however. If a man cheats on his wife or visa versa, divorce is allowable and I believe the innocent party would be able to be married again. But then denying one’s partner can cause one to sin which is sin itself. So Allen sin is unavoidable and we just can’t win… On our own that is. That is where the death of Jesus Christ comes in. There is no way to avoid sin but we can be saved from sin by believing in Him and the thing that the Bible makes clear to avoid sin is to make sure everything you do is to the glory of the Lord. In this day and age is that at all possible?
      I had a problem with pornography since I was 4 or 5 years old. My father had a construction company and the garage was filled with calenders and posters of naked women all over it and that was in the 50′s. Trying to beat it when I turned Christian was next to impossible since every where I turned pornography was all around me. On TV, in magazines,taking a walk through the mall with huge displays of Victoria Secret store ads, etc.. etc.. But, not saying it was right, being a Fashion/Glamour Photographer since 1979 I always appreciated the female form as art,but between that and growing up around it I realized I was desensitized by it. That is what the media has done to all of us and continues to get worse… Anyway the fact remains, how do you avoid sin? . The answer is to let go and let God. Study the Bible, keep in prayer, talk to God as if he was your Best friend ever, like it’s the only thing that matters and try to avoid sin at all cost and when you do sin your conscience will let you know. God gives us over to a reprobate mind and today because of the media and evil all around us He just doesn’t turn an individual over, He turns whole societies over. However we can be reconciled through His mercy and saving grace if we just seek Him out. Don’t worry what mankind thinks of you for mankind is not your final judge, neither is any religion, God is. My only recommendation is seek Him, don’t oppose Him, and don’t expose yourself to vain philosophies nor preach them. The new testament says it is the desires of the flesh, or sensuality, that is one of the greatest causes of sin.. And we, along with our children, are taught by the world today that “Its OK”… ie, Vain Philosophies. And please remember that no sin is any greater than another except blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. So believe me when I say, we are all in the same sinking ship struggling to find our way out and Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light, and no one comes to the Father except by Him.

      You are in my prayers brother and hopefully in everyone else’s on here.

      A Fellow Sinner

  11. Pingback: My top 5 posts of 2012: a rundown « neoprimitive

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