for days, i’ve been a quiet observer to the entire Chick-fil-a controversy. since i’m not currently in the States, it’s been easy for me to watch it all go down from a detached point of view. (fyi: “watch it all go down” = a facebook and twitter feed full–i mean, FULL–of waffle fry photos, lineups of cars at CFA drive-throughs, and heartfelt apologies to the LGBTQ community from Christians who are embarrassed, disappointed, or just plain over it already. [ps: my official stance has me in the third group.])
i’ve listened to both sides, and can honestly say that there are parts of each argument that i find myself nodding in agreement to. which has led me to feel urged to share a couple thoughts of my own.
Jesus doesn’t really care if you eat a chicken sandwich.
he’s not going to pat you on the back for your pious consumption of a slab of (delicious) white meat on a bun.
now before you go dismissing me as “unChristian” or too liberal, hear me out.
Jesus commanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves. and guess what? some of our neighbors are gay. some of our neighbors believe marriage is a civil right and not necessarily a religious one. and Jesus meant what he said:: we’re called to love them. do you really think the best way to do that is using a chicken sandwich to throw the first stone? no. it is not.
(still think that i’m unChristian or too liberal? let me say this:: i love God and His commandments, just like you. i’m all for freedom of speech and taking a stand for what you believe in. but i’m also all about grace. and forgiveness. and most especially humility.)
i’d also like to point out that Jesus doesn’t really care if you don’t eat a chicken sandwich.
he’s not applauding you for “standing strong” and “abstaining” (read: boycotting) a restaurant franchise.
assuming–and then stating–that all Christians are intolerant, prejudiced bigots is not fair. it is not kind. and it is not true. please don’t stereotype an entire group of people based on the words and/or actions of a few that have, unfortunately, not done a very good job representing the Jesus they believe in. i am honestly and deeply sorry if you have been insulted, hurt, or offended because this whole CFA debacle; truly, i am. but i also don’t believe the best way to handle it is fighting fire with fire. and realistically, the boycott isn’t going to do that great of a job of trying to prove your point. if anything, it’s only going to draw more attention to the divide and cause even more discord between the groups.
the issue at hand is much deeper, much greater, much more significant than a chicken sandwich. it’s about unity and giving grace to others and finding a way to bring peace to a situation in which there will never be total agreement. it’s about both sides being kind and fair to one another, both groups acting with dignity and respect.
[oh, and fyi: i head back to Pennsylvania in six weeks and yes, i will definitely make a stop at Chick-fil-a on the way home from the airport. but not because i’m interested in a political power-play move, and not because i’m giving the proverbial middle finger to those whose beliefs differ from mine.
i’ll eat there because–let’s face it–they make some damn good chicken.]