Chick-fil-A Icon

Gays and Chick-Fil-A

Chick-fil-A Logo

Where Did The Argument Start?

Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-Fil-A, made a statement about his support for traditional families and life-long marriage. This started an uproar in the LGBT community at large, labeling him as a hate-speaking bigot. The fact that I agree with Mr. Cathy aside, I don’t think he said anything hateful and he did nothing more than share his views and convictions. Isn’t that what free speech entitles us to? I guess it goes the other way too though, allowing for those who disagree to express their views.

Are Dan Cathy’s statements really where this all started? I think it started when the American people started redefining marriage and family values. Some of the TV shows I remember watching as a kid had started moving from the traditional view of families to broken versions. While this matched the trend that was happening in real families across the nation, it also made it less taboo and more accepted. It’s funny to me that one of the shows that I wasn’t supposed to watch as a kid, The Simpsons, actually displayed the traditional family better than any other show I watched. Even though Marge and Homer had their struggles, they stuck together no matter what.

One of the sitcoms that I like to watch, Modern Family, has a mix of family structures (traditional, divorced/remarried, and a gay couple with an adopted child). While I don’t agree with the non-traditional family structure, I can still enjoy the show because it relates to our culture as a whole rather than just a part of it. My family is not the perfect traditional family, but that doesn’t mean I agree with the way I got to where I am. I have my imperfections, but I wouldn’t trade what I have now for anything.

Just like the TV shows I watched as a kid made broken families more acceptable and seem more normal than traditional families, the shows that have come out over the past few years are pushing an agenda of tolerance and making homosexual relationships more acceptable. It may not be the goal of Hollywood to push an agenda of tolerance, but the result of the popular shows is an acceptance of redefined definitions.

Some say that redefining marriage and family would be good for the American Church, but I wholly disagree with that. What is the Christian faith without grace AND truth. Truth is not relative. It does not change with culture. Homosexuality was a sin when Paul wrote to the Corinthians and Timothy, and so it is just as much a sin today. I don’t care if you call me an intolerant bigot or discriminatory zealot. I believe the Bible is just as true today as it was when each part was originally written.

That being said, I think both sides of the argument need to back off and take a look at themselves.

Christians Are Acting Like Children

Tug-O-War

What does a child do when someone says something they don’t like? They say “I’ll show them,” and they escalate the situation to try to prove a point. When JCPenny announced Ellen DeGeneres as their spokesperson, Christian group One Million Moms called for a boycott. When the mayors of Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco banned Chick-Fil-A from opening in their cities and the LGBT community called for a boycott of Chick-Fil-A stores, Christians organized a Chick-Fil-A appreciation day.

  1. Boycotts rarely, if ever, work.
  2. Arguing with people who have different values than you rarely, if ever, changes their mind or even has an effect on their value system.
  3. Jesus loved the sinners who He interacted with. He told them to change, but he still loved them and did not argue with them.
  4. Does a hugely successful and profitable company really need you to be their big brother and stick up for them when someone calls them names?
    • Chick-Fil-A will be ok when the dust settles.
    • People are still going to go to Chick-Fil-A for great food and service.

You are more worried about a successful company’s PR than you are about real problems of the world. There are people starving in the world. There are people who are dying because they do not have access to clean water. There are people being sold as sex slaves, even in America. While your efforts to “save” Chick-Fil-A from their “doom” will not make much of a difference, you can make a difference in the lives of people who genuinely need help. I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I am starting a new blog with the goal of turning people on to making a difference and giving them easy on-ramps to get involved. The launch day for the new site is the same date as the Chick-Fil-A appreciation day, August 1, 2012. May I suggest that you take your receipt from Chick-Fil-A that day and donate the same amount to make a difference in the lives of real people? You can click here to make a donation to Living Water International where $1 can provide clean, safe water to one person for one year. You will be taken to a fund-raising page where I set up a goal of $1200, which would be enough to give water to twelve families for a generation.

The LGBT Double Standard

LGBT Flag

As I read the posts from both sides of the argument, I find that the anti-Chick-Fil-A side tends to be much more harsh with their words. Dan Cathy, Chick-Fil-A, and Christians as a whole are labeled as intolerant bigots, discriminating haters, and nazis. Neither side wants to have a discussion because the viewpoints are polar opposites, but do the comments around the issue have to be reduced to name calling?

For years, the LGBT culture has been lobbying for rights, specifically marriage rights. Why do they then attack anyone when they express a different viewpoint through their right to free speech? I understand that they are upset about their opposition trying to keep traditional views of marriage and the family intact, but that’s no reason to respond with name calling. It’s just as childish as the Christians who are always one-upping. If expressing your values can be labeled as hate speech, what does that make your name calling? If you want to continue to fight for rights, maybe you should take a look at your respect for other people’s rights, or lack there of.

I don’t have as much to say to the LGBT community because I am not a part of their culture. I don’t know what I can say that won’t be taken as hate speech or uneducated argument. If you want to boycott a company because of their values, that’s your right. If you want to continue to fight to change the definition of marriage and family, I can’t stop you. If you want to express your hatred for Christian values, just think about how that reflects on your own image.

As far as mayors getting involved to block Chick-Fil-A stores from opening in their cities, even New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a supporter of same-sex marriage, says that a company’s “opposition to gay marriage” is none of their business.cities should not ask about political beliefs before issuing a permit. A city “should not ask about political beliefs before issuing a permit.” Read more here.

An Invitation

I’d like to invite anyone in the LGBT community to come to church this weekend. Don’t come with an agenda to cause a scene or make people feel uncomfortable. Just come and experience the community that happens. Come expecting people to welcome you rather than judge you. If you walk in with an attitude that everyone is judging you, you will perceive that everyone is judging you whether they are or not. You’ll see that The Church is full of people who have problems just like everyone else. The Church is full of people finding their way. The Church is full of healing and love in spite of our brokenness. You might even find that a majority of our values match up with your own.

13 thoughts on “Gays and Chick-Fil-A

  1. Darrin Grove says:

    No good arguing? really? Arguing and public forum is the best thing in the world. When the dust settles the righteous will be revealed. There is such a thing as righteousness.

    Reply
    1. tlamarca says:

      Arguing and healthy debate are 2 different things. I think healthy, civil debate in the public forum is great. Debate causes people to think and defend their beliefs intelligently. Arguing only makes people get defensive and they usually look childish. I spent a long time in debate over a lot of things with a friend of mine over the past couple days. We weren’t arguing even though our views were very different. I had to think about his views and he had to think about mine. Arguing with him would have just been annoying.

      I agree that there righteousness exists and that that the righteous will be revealed. It is through the grace of God alone that righteousness can exist in any of us.

      Reply
      1. Darrin Grove says:

        Arguing is always healthy. You, and many others, I feel, are changing the meaning of the word argue. “Healthy debate” just sounds limp and unproductive and its is more words than necessary when we have a perfectly good one already.
        Yes absolutely arguments can get ugly, some people end up looking like fools, painfully uncomfortable situations occur. These things happen when one side is right and the other is wrong.
        You are taking the written word in hand. An audience has been given to you. Don’t you want to hit homeruns? Don’t you want glory? You don’t? Really? No, trust me you do. To get these you need to get your hands dirty. You need to say things that hurt other people. Wrong people. Not your own or my own definition of wrong people. If you can picture a righteous man, this is the journalist that I am calling for.
        Your arguement sounds alot like you go your way and I’ll go mine. That’s what happens when two sides back away from a point of difference/opposition.

      2. tlamarca says:

        Your perspective of arguing is very much like my perspective of debate. The reason I tend to move away from the arguing and define it differently is the image that comes to my mind and the minds of many others when they hear the word ‘arguing’.

        Arguing brings with it an image of parents fighting and yelling at each other about something that someone did or didn’t do. Arguing is often tied to bickering. I’d rather debate about something in the midst of civil conversation. Your definition of arguing fits quite nicely there.

        Ken Coleman puts it this way:

        I am highly skeptical that either side in the marriage debate, or any other social or political debate for that matter, will change the others position. However, I am quite certain that it is difficult to be angry with or accuse one of bigotry while conversing over coffee.

        From Huffington Post

        Yes, people can still get hurt and have to deal with the pain of losing an ‘argument’, I just don’t like the baggage that tends to come along with the word, so I choose to use other words.

      3. Darrin Grove says:

        Right there with you on anger. My hero, G.K. Chesterton, used humor through all his debates/arguments.

  2. Jessi says:

    You say, “Some of the TV shows I remember watching as a kid had started moving from the traditional view of families to broken versions. While this matched the trend that was happening in real families across the nation, it also made it less taboo and more accepted”

    So can I ask you, what is wrong with breaking “traditional” family values? Are Cam and Mitch from Modern Family portraying a destructive family?

    And didn’t the “traditional family” at one point consist of a married couple of the same race, with the man working and the woman staying at home? Are interracial couples and bread-winning woman also parts of what you call broken families?

    Reply
    1. tlamarca says:

      Do the makers of Modern Family have enough information to appropriately represent the relational/emotional/intellectual development of Cam and Mitch’s adopted daughter? Even if they do, chance are they would not show any possible destructive outcomes because they’d rather make it all seem ok so that people are more comfortable with it.

      In regards to your questions about historical tradition family definitions, interracial families and women working outside of the home are never specifically forbidden in the Bible. The references that are used to defend the views you stated are about marrying outside of your faith and the primary responsibility of women being their home and family. So no, they are not broken.

      I was never married to the mother of my first child. That is a broken family. I have friends who married with children from previous marriages. They would agree that they have a broken family. These examples are of families that do not fit God’s design of how family should be. I would say, and my friends would agree, that our broken families bring difficulties that we would not have in an unbroken family.

      Reply
      1. Jessi says:

        I’m sorry, I wan’t talking strictly about the traditional family as described in the Bible, what I mean is that at one point in time (not long ago at all) most people agreed that and interracial couple or a working woman were key ingredients to a destructive family. My point is that society moved beyond that mind-set, and I think the same thing can and already is happening with gay couples starting families.

        And I think your argument about gay parenting being destructive to the children of the family is an argument that was used by people (again not long ago- my grandma still says this) as a reason for interracial couples not to have children. Clearly as society became more comfortable with interracial families people became much more open to it, and as a result interracial children aren’t discriminated against. I think the same thing is already happening with the children of gay parents.

        This guy is a fantastic speaker, and has a really interesting take on this issue, as he is the child of two lesbians. Please watch it if you can.



      2. tlamarca says:

        Yes, society can move beyond stigmas that surround non-traditional families and they can become socially acceptable. Just because something is or becomes socially acceptable doesn’t automatically make it right. Pre-marital sex has become socially acceptable and even encouraged by some, but I would say that it is not the right thing to engage in.

        The video you included does a great job of showing that a person can develop just fine as a child of a homosexual couple. There are great people that have been the product of divorced parents as well. I hope and pray that my daughter grows to become an amazing woman. Just because a person can develop well out of broken situation does not mean the broken situations should be encouraged.

        You weren’t basing your discussion on the biblical definition of the family, and I understand that. I am. Should non Christians and the government consistently line up with the Bible? I would like them to, but I don’t expect it. I do however get frustrated when other Christians get into arguments with them about Biblical values. Sharing your values with someone is one thing. Beating people over the head with the Bible when they don’t want to listen is entirely different and I don’t agree with that.

        I also think that Christians should not have to sacrifice their beliefs and convictions just because society is headed further from their values.

  3. Jessi says:

    I don’t understand how you consider it a sacrifice that straight Christians have to make. Sure, if you are gay and a Christian, then getting married might be a huge moral dilemma for you. But if you are a straight Christian, then what are you sacrificing by accepting gay people (who may not be Christian) getting married?
    There is no sacrifice on your part whatsoever.

    And as far as my point about interracial children, society realized that it wasn’t horrible like everyone thought it would be. I think the same thing is already happening with the children of gay parents. I get that there are some things developing in modern society that might not be great, but meeting these new things without an open mind is a definite way to make sure that no positive societal progress is ever made.

    Also, I really don’t understand how you can call a gay marriage a “broken situation”. Love, respect, and commitment are essential to a marriage, right? I’m not married, but I would say those things are what marriage is all about.
    If those 3 things are upheld by both people, then how can any marriage be considered a broken situation?

    Reply
    1. tlamarca says:

      Dan Cathy was asked to apologize and retract his statements. This would basically be giving up his beliefs to appease culture. Christians should not have to sacrifice their beliefs because others disagree with them.

      You seem to be fixated in the discrimination of children raised by gay parents. I don’t think they would be discriminated against, nor do I think they are being discriminated against now. Within my belief system, I don’t think that a child raised by gay parents is right. Just because I don’t think it’s rit does not mean that it won’t happen. The situation that I have to raise my daughter through is not right either, but it’s the situation we are in. I think that our discussion on this point has reached full circle and will only begin to repeat itself.

      Yes, love, respect, and commitment are important aspects of marriage. I have no doubt that those things would exist in a gay marriage. It is within my beliefs that it is a broken version of marriage because it is not what marriage is intended to be.

      Reply
  4. Jessi says:

    I guess you are right about the full circle. I don’t think I’ll ever agree with you on some of these issues, but I respect that you are approaching the entire topic of gay marriage with a contemplative attitude rather than a hostile one. And although I would never invite a gay friend to go to North Way with me, I think it’s nice that you did at the end of your post.

    Reply

Share your thoughts. Leave a comment below.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: