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
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.
- Boycotts rarely, if ever, work.
- Arguing with people who have different values than you rarely, if ever, changes their mind or even has an effect on their value system.
- Jesus loved the sinners who He interacted with. He told them to change, but he still loved them and did not argue with them.
- 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
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.
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.