February 21, 2020

Of Chickens, Eagles, and Other Winged Creatures

‎”We don’t first define a class of people who will be our neighbors and then select only them as the objects of our love — leaving the rest to lie where they fall. Jesus deftly rejects the question, ‘Who is my neighbor?’ and substitutes the only question really relevant here: ‘To whom will I be a neighbor?’ And he knows that we can only answer this question case by case as we go through our days. In the morning we cannot yet know who our neighbor will be that day. The condition of our hearts will determine who along our path turns out to be our neighbor, and our faith in God will largely determine whom we have strength enough to make our neighbor.”

– Dallas Willard

* * *

The power of the internet was evident this week.

I promised myself I would not say anything about the Chick-fil-A controversy, but I’m going to fudge a little bit. The cynical part of me would like to simply write it off as a stunt by a politician (Mike Huckabee) with little actual redeeming value. However in my opinion, like most things, the whole incident turned out to be a mixed bag of good and bad. Here’s my scorecard:

  • Chick-fil-A made record profits and people ate lots of chicken. (good for business, bad for chickens, good for the CFA cows)
  • American citizens supported another American citizen who exercised his right of free speech. (good)
  • The power of mass media and the internet to rally people to a cause was once again demonstrated. (good and bad)
  • People somehow came to believe that standing in long lines and buying fast food meant that they were making a coherent statement on behalf of righteousness. (bad)
  • People bought into the idea that bold, public actions which demonstrate “power” (people power, political power, power of moral persuasion) are the way to influence society and bring about change. (good in a democratic society, bad if you think that’s what Jesus is all about)
  • The people who participated either didn’t take into account (or didn’t care) how their GLBT neighbors might have felt about what happened that day. (bad)

I wonder what might have happened if Chick-fil-A executives had done this — instead of accepting a demonstration of support for the right to speak their mind on behalf of traditional marriage, CFA restaurants would show good will toward their neighbors by giving away free meals to members of the GLBT community. What if, simply as a gesture of recognition, kindness, and grace, they had said, “Yes, we have our political opinions, but we respect you and want to find ways of living together that are better than this culture war in which we’re fighting.”

And what if they had asked conservatives and Christians and others who support their beliefs about traditional marriage to bring a GLBT friend to their local restaurant and treat him or her to a free meal where they could engage in constructive conversation at the table together?

What kind of coverage would the cable news networks have given to that?

Would Facebook and Twitter have blown up the way they did?

In my idealism, I would hope it might have garnered the same kind of attention and show, in a different way, that our ability to communicate with each other and rally support and organize together for good has been greatly enhanced by the media at our disposal. But I wonder.

Meanwhile…

The power of the internet was evident this week.

In the suburbs of Washington DC, a person few of us know by name and fewer still know personally was admitted to the hospital. He was seriously ill with an infection in his leg.

He goes by the handle, “Eagle,” and he reports he’s been burned by religion, having bad experiences in churches and parachurch ministries in the past. He likes to comment in blogosphere discussions, where he often plays the part of devil’s advocate, challenging Christians with his questions, insights, and the sharing of his experiences.

Eagle has become a regular participant on a number of blogs, and when a lead writer on one of them found out about his condition (because he called her, worried), she made it known to her readers and to our Internet Monk community as well.

Comments began pouring in, and people starting sending emails of support, asking that they be forwarded to him. Some folks called. Others visited. They found out some things he likes and brought him gifts. They sat and talked with him and provided good company.

The blog writer (Dee from Wartburg Watch) then decided she herself should visit. She and her husband have medical expertise and Eagle needed counsel and assistance as he tried to deal with this situation by himself. So she took a couple days out of her life, traveled to see him, and was able to help a person she had come to know over the internet gain needed perspective and make some important decisions.

The story is not over. We await further developments and will continue to listen, act, and communicate as we are able to help Eagle. The whole affair has been remarkable to watch and experience. A “community” of strangers has come together to help another stranger, assisted by technology in its efforts to care for an actual human being in real, human ways.

Of the two stories about the power of the internet this week, which one do you think more fully reveals the love and way of Christ?

Ephesians 3:10 tells us that the church is making God’s wisdom known, in all its rich variety, to the rulers and authorities in heavenly places.

Which of these stories is making them smile today?

 

Comments

  1. Dang, where’s the “like” button?

    I haven’t commented in many moons, but just wanted to say I was/am moved to tears over Eagle. I pray he is well taken care of, and am just amazed at the outpouring of love!

    Is there an address for any handwritten well wishes?

  2. Richard McNeeley says

    One of my great struggles with evangelicalism is how quick we are to condemn and judge the world and by doing so we alienate them. I don’t see Jesus condemning the world, I see him joining the party and condemning the religious leaders of the time. To those in the world He says come and follow me or go and sin no more. We say you aren’t welcome in our circles, society or church until you clean your life up. When did we get it so wrong?

    • Patricia Siegel says

      Richard,

      How would you approach a person (and in this case we are talking about the homosexual community) with “go and sin no more” without them feeling judged or condemned?

      • Richard McNeeley says

        Jesus own words to the woman caught in adultery were “neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more”. It seems we are more concerned about the act rather than the person and their soul. With the woman at the well Jesus didn’t dwell on the woman’s 5 husbands and her living arrangements at the time, but on providing her with living water. You can engage in conversation without condemning. It just means being civil, something we may have forgotten. Maybe a question to ask would be “would your church treat an unmarried couple living together attending services on a Sunday morning better than a gay couple attending services?”

        • …and the 32 cent life principle to be hermeneutically derived from Jesus’s cryptic saying is:
          *drumroll*
          Personal affirmation of dignity first. You earn the right to speak into someone’s life when you show them love and concern for their well being.

          …and sorry, but “go and sin no more” isn’t always the most loving thing to say, especially if it’s the first thing you say.

          • Patricia Siegel says

            Miguel,
            You have some good comments. “Go & sin no more doesn’t sound loving but if it saves a person from hell, then I believe it may well be the most loving words we can say to them.

          • “Go and sin no more” will never save a person from hell. “Your sins are forgiven” does the trick. Every person who has every been forgiven has still continued to sin. It doesn’t hurt to try to stop, but it isn’t remotely connected to salvation.

          • “Go and sin no more” works only if the person knows that they have sinned. In MY experience most LGBT’s do not believe that they are sinning. Therefore the “Go…” saying will sound judgmental and intolerant. You can only say “Go…” if that person lets you into their life and heart. Very few Christians have LGBT friends or acquaintances to begin with…

        • > Maybe a question to ask would be “would your church treat an unmarried couple
          > living together attending services on a Sunday morning better than a gay couple
          > attending services?”

          Hopefully not. B-U-T this common hypothetical does pretend a truth doesn’t exist: the unmarried [heterosexual] couple have a ‘way out’, the gay couple does not. The heterosexual couple can get married and the problem vanishes. You have to tell the homosexual couple that the relationship must end, there is no future sanctioned satisfaction of the desire. That difference is huge. These hypotheticals try to pretend the situation is the same – it is not. One time you are saying that this expression of sexuality is not sanctioned in your context, in the other you are saying that the expression of sexuality is *not* sanctioned.

          • Patricia Siegel says

            Adam,
            Great comments!

          • Richard McNeeley says

            Respectfully, I disagree. Both couples have a way out and that is by the grace of God. For some reason we view homosexuality as the greatest sin of all almost bordering on unforgivable and yet give people a pass on others. Why?
            My question is only hypothetical because a gay couple wouldn’t go to an evangelical church. That begs the question Why were sinful people attracted to Jesus but not attracted to the church today?

        • Patricia Siegel says

          Richard,
          I agree that we can and should engage in a conversation w/out condemning but when you just mention the word “sin”, some people feel that you are condemning them. I have many homosexual people & people who are living together in my life, and I am always respectful and loving to them. I think perhaps that sometimes the ones who feel condemned don’t want to accept that they are sinning and perhaps no matter how we say it, they will feel condemned. As I write this Jude 22 & 23 come to mind. We are supposed to speak the truth in love….my concern is that as Christians we’ll be so fearful of using the word “sin” and people will die in their sin….there are no guarantees of tomorow for any of us….people need Jesus/God. On the other hand I also understand your concern with the Christian Community….thus my original question to you.

      • > How would you approach a person (and in this case we are talking about the
        > homosexual community) with “go and sin no more” without them feeling judged
        > or condemned?

        +1 +1 +1

        Around charged issues this simply isn’t possible.

        > > I don’t see Jesus condemning the world..

        Really? I think he did that quite a lot. We, having read it over and over (and having no one in our face saying the modern equivalent of the same thing) are just used to how he did it and thus don’t feel it. Obviously he make quite a few people very upset.

        As for joining the party, he certainly did that. But in an age when the notion of sin and sinfulness was commonly accepted and people started hearing his words from a different place. How many people did Jesus encounter who stood up for adultery? Or who just said there was no such thing as sin and dismissed him?

        These types of things just do not translate so easily.

        • Richard McNeeley says

          I agree Jesus did condemn, but His harshest comments were directed towards the religious leaders of the day.

          • Ok, so?

            Does that mean that today his toughest charges would be against religious authorities? I do not think that necessarily follows. Then was then, they were them, now is now, we are us.

            A modern day pastor / priest is fundamentally equivalent to a pharisee or sadducee? Why? How?

            The pharisees and sadducee were entangled in the state-craft of their time. Much more so than the great majority of modern clergy (even those who might have political aspirations). There social status and rank has almost no modern, at least western, equivalent.

            And did Jesus really condemn all of them? Or was he condemning the ones who confronted him?

            I find the jesus-condemned-religious-people meme to mostly be a veil for anti-institutionalism. And neither Jesus or Paul were card-carrying anti-institutionalists.

  3. GLBT people are not one homogeneous group, and it’s a lie of culture that speaks about people only with regard to some vague, arbitrarily defined category. Why would anybody think GLBT people are so fragile as to take offense at eating chicken sandwiches. Some GLBT folks went out to enjoy chicken sandwiches because they support religious freedom and oppose fascist mayors closing down businesses because of the viewpoints of their owners. Other GLBT folks see a Bible and take offense. Some GLBT folks think this whole thing was a giant non-event (probably most). Nobody speaks for all GLBT people, and nobody should avoid participating in politics or anything else because some people have a hard time dealing with contentious issues without taking offense (or are intentionally looking to be the weaker brother). Otherwise, politics would be impossible.

    So, I don’t see any basis for a pastor to accuse the consciences of those who went out to eat a chicken sandwich in support of religious freedom or traditional marriage, or whatever it is they thought they were supporting. Most people have enough real sins to worry about.

    Setting aside gay marriage (which I don’t oppose, by the way), religious freedom is becoming increasingly important of an issue. The fact that mayors would be brazen enough to threaten private individuals with retribution for their beliefs, only, is chilling. Just this week, the federal government went to court to close down a small plumbing shop because they refused to sell contraceptives and abortifacients to their employees on religious grounds. Next, they’ll be doing the same for church-affiliated hospitals and schools. A few weeks ago, a German court told Jews they would go to jail for circumcision, and in San Francisco, a similar ban was almost put on the ballot. Then there was the case of the muslims who wanted to build a mosque, and political groups tried to shut it down. I could go on.

    The point is that our ability as a society to get along and be charitable in accommodating each other is breaking down, and the culture war is real. We’ve separated ourselves into little groups that fight other little groups, and have less and less qualms about using government force to do it.

    • You make a good point, Boaz. GLBT are not a homogeneous group. My response is to the way this is being framed in the public debate. Furthermore, I think the protest was fine as an all-American expression of political advocacy, and said as much in the post. Where I want to differ is with folks who think the way of Jesus is the way of political power and public demonstration, rather than the simple work of loving our neighbors.

      • +1

        We don’t have this fast food chain in my neck of the woods. But from the articles I’ve read, including this one, it does seem easier for some people to build a wall than mend a fence (with both sides)-maybe that’s human nature. But, (imo) I don’t think Jesus would have been in the queue-that’s Jesus’ nature.

  4. The problem with your list is that bullet points 4, 5 and 6 all attribute opinions and motives to the participants that we cannot know. And, more importantly, these points impugn the motives and beliefs of these participants in an uncharitable manner.

    You can disagree with a Christian’s choice to participate in the Fox News Culture War without accusing them of making that war the center of their faith.

    • Right.

      That whole thing is more a story about freedom and people’s right to speak this mind without having others threatening them financial harm or otherwise.

      This was not a law/gospel issue. It was a law issue…period. Christ ought be kept out of it.

    • Prodigal Daughter says

      There were clearly folks who made the whole same sex marriage debate the center of their faith that day. I wish I could find the article now (I believe I read it on CNN.com) where a man quoted in GA said something along the lines of “If you take your relationship with Jesus seriously, you have to support traditional marriage/oppose same-sex marriage.” What a sham! That’s not the gospel. So many of my Xtian friends posted their support of Chick-Fil-A bc of its stance on traditional marriage on FB. I think it was less a “freedom of speech issue” for most of my friends than a “traditional marriage is the only way to go” issue. Sure, for some of them freedom of speech was important, but that was often coupled with the marriage debate.

    • Marcus Johnson says

      Actually, Jared D, most of the people who I saw either commenting on this issue and either a) going out to eat specifically in support of Chick-Fil-A, or b) joined the protest against Chick-Fil-A, made their motives very clear. That’s one of the good things about Facebook and Twitter; it gives people the ability to post whatever thought comes into their head before filtering it for the sake of civility. Now, if there were some subconscious things going on in their lives that they didn’t disclose, then of course, we don’t have the full story. But we don’t have to pretend like there was no evidence to suggest motive, especially if they used the Internet to make their opinions clear.

      And you’re right; it is possible to disagree with a Christian’s choice to reactively participate in a “culture war” instigated by a news network that pretends to be “fair and balanced,” while at the same time not accusing them of moving away from the gospel in defense of personal political or doctrinal beliefs. It is also possible to claim that two and two don’t equal four; but most people would call that willful ignorance.

  5. That Other Jean says

    I really like Chick-fil-A’s nuggets, sandwiches, and milkshakes, but I haven’t eaten them in years. For me, it’s simple: I will not support an organization that sends money to the Marriage and Family Foundation, Exodus International, or the Family Research Council, because these groups oppose and marginalize people different from themselves, who want to enjoy the same rights that they themselves hold dear. It’s not a matter of First Amendment rights–I do not care what Dan Cathy thinks marriage should look like, or even what he says about it; I care what he does—and what he does is support organizations that hurt and deny the rights of other people. Until those policies change, Chick-fil-A will not be getting my money.

    I will continue prayers and hopes for Eagle’s recovery, and I am incredibly impressed and grateful that so many others are able to demonstrate their support in person.

  6. The story of Eagle is wonderful and reflects the gospel, as well as the church and individual Christians acting in accord with their new, divine nature and calling.

    I wonder however what the point is of juxtaposing it with the Chick-Fil-A story.

    I am worried and sad that IM seems to be moving in the direction of labelling every public expression of disagreement with the way our society goes as “culture war”, even when it is extremely non-aggressive and measured, as the two interviews with Dan Cathy were.

    I am worried that IM seems to be buying into the idea that every time one calls sin sin one is showing disrespect to those engaged in that sin.

    I am worried that IM seems to be buying into the idea that expressing disagreement is hate, or that calling something sin is giving support and comfort to those who violently attack sinners instead of calling them to repentence.

    I am worried that IM seems to be losing the ability to distinguish between the GLBT political lobby and homosexuals at large.

    I am worried that IM seems to be unable to distinguish between the legitimate struggle for legal fair treatment of and equal rights fo of people regardless of their lifestyle on the one hand, and the obvious drive by the GLBT lobby for universal affirmation of the rightness of their lifestyle choices.

    Should we stop calling divorce contrary to God’s plan lest divorced people fees disrespected?

    I have a major problem with overweight, but I am not calling on the church to stop calling gluttony sin, lest I feel disrespected;

    I have a problem with pornography, but I am not calling on the church or society at large to call pornography good lest I feel hurt by their criticism.

    If gay people felt hurt and disrespected by the outpouring of support for Chick-Fil-A on August 1st , is that the fault of those who went to eat there that day? Is it not rather the fault of those in the media and GLBT lobby organizatons who took these two interviews, which contained nothing either new about the Cathy’s position, nor anything particularly inflammatory, and turned them into a battle in the culture wars in which the Cathy’s business was about to get burned by some extremist politicians?

    One may question Mike Huckabee’s motives in calling for this demonstration of support for Chick-Fil-A, but it is certainly very uncharitable to impugn the motives of those who followed his call. And with the strident attacks agains the Cathys and their business, it is at least very understandable if some of those out on Wednesday to support a brother were a bit pugnacious in their attitude (although from all I read that was a minority).

    And it seems at least a bit unfair to put the onus on the Cathys and Chick-Fil-A to go out of their way to show respect and recognition to the GLBT community when they did not ask for all this. And if they did not offer free food to those who came on Wednesday, why should they offer free food to the Kiss-In demonstrators two days later? Of course it would have been be a cool gesture on their part, but it’s nothing the gospel mandates, and thus it’s not really appropriate to criticise them for not having done so.

    Of course the story of Eagle reflects the gospel in a way the Chick-Fil-A story doesn’t, but let’s listen back to the classic Michael Spencer essay which you posted yesterday: not everything we do, say, or engage in has to be a direct expression of the gospel.

    IM seems to have changed quite a bit since Michael Spencer’s days. I guess that was unavoidable, but it is disconcerting that it happened so quickly, and in this particular direction.

    Richard McNeely in this comment seems to imply that the Chick-Fil-A story is about Evangelicals condemning the world, which I absolutely fail to see; but I am afraid IM is increasingly about its post-evangelical writers criticizing and condemning Evangelicals.

    • Wolf Paul, with all due respect, I said the CFA affair had both good and bad — this was not a wholesale condemnation. If anything the contrast is about the way of Jesus vs. the way of political power and public demonstration. Those on the left are often just as guilty of choosing the latter. Furthermore, many of the folks reaching out to Eagle are fine evangelicals. Methinks you missed the point.

      • With equal respect, Mike, I tried to make clear that I thought Eagle’s story was very laudable, as was the conduct of everyone involved. I didn’t say or imply that you ONLY have criticism for evangelicals.

        I am primarily reacting to the notion that Cathy expressing his (would you agree biblical) views on the family and his concerns over the attempt to redefine marriage in a very non-agressive way constitutes an act of “culture war” for which he somehow owes the GLBT community an apology or gesture of support; or that the thousands of ordinary Americans, no doubt Christians and non-Christians of many different stripes, who flocked to Chick-Fil-A restaurants to show their support for Mr Cathy were thereby involved in a “power play” that showed disrespect for gays or the other members of the GLBT community.

        Disagreement, even public disagreement, is not “war” or “hate” or “disrespect”.

        But I don’t think a combox argument about these things will get us very far, so this is the end of my participation in this particular discussion.

    • “I am worried and sad that IM seems to be moving in the direction of labelling every public expression of disagreement with the way our society goes as ‘culture war’, even when it is extremely non-aggressive and measured, as the two interviews with Dan Cathy were.”

      +1. Me too.

      • Did I say anything about the interviews with Dan Cathy? You are missing the point. This is not about left vs. right or taking sides in the debate.

        • You are right. You didn’t say anything about the Cathy interviews. I guess my reaction is to you making this about the culture war when, although the culture war is a peripheral issue, this was about business and politics. People bought chicken to support a business they felt was being bullied by certain government officials and you somehow what to find fault with Christians engaged in the culture war? Darn that Voltaire, he was such a culture warrior of the religious right.

    • +1. Sadly, +1.

      Long time reader, rare commenter. Though I must admit I’ve been reading much less these days for many of the reasons Wolf Paul lists.

      It’s telling that one of the most direct confrontations elicits one of the most childish responses in CM’s Sermon on the Mount parody.

      For the record, I supported Chick-fil-A on Wednesday (and Friday, by chance – unusual week), but the assumption in the post’s final bullet point does not apply to me as best as I can discern my motives. And I was there much more out of concern of government overstepping its bounds, in this and many other instances lately, than the CEO’s views.

      • The final bullet point was not based on assumption but on a multitude of very public remarks heard all over Facebook, Twitter, Fox News, and various sources.

        I commended American citizens for standing up for another American citizen’s right of free speech. As an act of political advocacy, I have no problem with it.

        But, remember that the demonstration was the idea of a Baptist preacher/politician who I think was making more than a mere political statement.

        And many of the Christians participating weren’t doing this as a mere political act — they were defending a fellow Christian from what they perceived as attacks from their enemies. That’s why I gave the Sermon on the Mount quote. I don’t think it was childish at all, but an accurate description of the mindset I have heard communicated (and have communicated myself, alas) when Christians feel their faith and values are under attack. If we don’t call it out when it actually happens, we deceive ourselves into thinking we’re above that.

        • +1

          Right there in the article: “…good in a democratic society, bad if you think that’s what Jesus is all about….”

          CM’s critique seemed fair-and-balanced to me. 🙂

          I think it was clear that the mainstream jumped all over this as politics+religion and the whole thing looked ugly. That a great many people take this as a righteousness crusade is evident.

          But I also feel that the “culture wars” are becoming a whipping post to which nearly any BLOG post or news story can be dragged to and ritualistically flogged. Then everyone. on both sides, can console themselves in their spiritual superiority over those simpletons who cannot not grasp the fullness of Christ’s love.

          The traditional-vs-LGBT just like the pro-life-vs-pro-choice are at this point nearly senseless partisans; I’ll certainly kick anyone off my FB or other feeds if they start pumping through tripe from either side. There are well meaning and sincere people caught up on both sides, I have no doubt, but they are being played by power-mongers.

      • Uh. Hmm. You know, the sarcasm in the sermon on the mount thing was a little surprising, but only that it came from Chap. From Michael, not so much.

    • “I am worried that IM seems to be buying into the idea that every time one calls sin sin one is showing disrespect to those engaged in that sin.”

      I don’t know. I think you might be inferring a little bit too much from this article. I also can’t think of any recent articles in which sin is shoved under the rug. I’ve noticed that whenever homosexuality is brought up here IM is accused of shifting towards liberalism regardless of how much of the article mentions it directly.

      On a side note I agree with you that public disagreements =/= hate & disrespect. I’m not sure thats being disputed here.

    • Marcus Johnson says

      Does anyone see the irony in Wolf Paul accusing CM of equating public disagreement with hate and disrespect, while at the same time inferring that CM’s public disagreement (which, by the way, seems to disagree with both sides on this debate) is equivalent to disrespect?

    • You know, I bet no matter if Michael was alive or not, this blog would have changed, or, dare I say, evolved. LOL. Actually, when he was alive, I believe there was quite the evolution in his own thinking going on.

      I’m just kind of tired of people dragging out the old ‘this ain’t your Michael’s oldsmobile’ stuff. No disrespect intended, its just kinda old.

  7. BTW, I don’t live in the US and thus could not have gone to Chick-Fil-A on Wednesday; but even if I were in the US I would not have gone because there is no way I am going to queue more than five minutes for a meal, my weight would make that much too painful.

  8. From comments in social media, I am noticing a trend. People over 40 see Chick-Fil-A as a free speech issue. Those under 40 (perhaps mostly under 30) see it as bullying, harassment, or 14th amendment equal protection issue.

  9. This may get me kicked off this site, but I will tell you that as a Gay person I saw the support of Chick-fill-A as “hate”.

    If there had a business/or business owner that advocated and supported with large sums of money in organization that advocated Killing Jews or Muslims because that’s what their faith teaches them to do, would we defend their free speech?

    Chick–Fil-A does exactly that, and all of those who supported them either didn’t care to know, or approved of that.

    Have we forgotten that Jim Crow (ad lynching of Blacks) was in some some of life-times was defended on religious grounds? (The Southern Baptists were formed around the issue of Whites having the right to own Black people, and they couldn’t being themselves to “apologize for their racism until 1995?”)

    The message from Chick-Fil_A and all those who lined up for a chicken meal was quite clear, and it had NOTHING to do with free speech, let alone love.

    “Jesus hate me this I know, for The Christians tell me so..”

    • I don’t think it will get you kicked off this site. It seems the site owners tend to agree with you.

      • I don’t necessarily agree with him. I do agree that that is how many, like him, interpreted the event.

        • Right. Ninure certainly is not lying about how he perceives things. And, giving people room to express those perceptions, even if you believe they are blatantly wrong, is not the same as endorsing that perspective.
          CM, you do a great job of keeping the conversation flowing. Non-sequiturs of the political fringes be damned!

    • Yikes! How can there be any dialog or discussion when one group of people equates disagreement with them as hating them and even killing them?

      • TPD–I can certainly understand how someone can feel “hated” by CFA’s actions. Some of the organizations that CFA donates to have compared gays to terrorists and pedophiles–not once, but multiple times. That’s a bit sharper than mere disagreement.

        • Exactly, I highly recommend people read on the SPLC site on why they designated the American Family Asociation a hate goup. You can disagee with the SPLC but I think it is pretty clear that the AFA has said some really nasty lies about gay people.

          • minor correction to my above post…

            I meant the Family Research Council, although both oganizations believe pretty much the same. FRC is hte goup that received money from CFA.

      • But Chick-Fill-A does support the belief that Gays should be arrested and executed. That’s not hate?

        http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/08/01/1115751/-What-really-makes-the-gays-mad-about-Chick-fil-A

        • Ninure – I read the article and the argument goes like this. Because A sent money to B and B at one time used money to support C and C didn’t oppose the terrible thing D did, A must agree with the terrible thing that D did. Sorry but it doesn’t necessarily follow that A agrees with the terrible thing that D did. In fact it is this EXACT sort of convoluted reasoning that leads folks like Glenn Beck to confidently proclaim that Obama is a Communist and a backer of radical Islam. Is that really the sort of reasoning you want to be associated with?

      • I don’t know if I can express it properly, but I know that lots of people who went out to CFA did not do so out of ‘hate’ of gay people. Yet, when these same people advocate for the fact that my friend and his partner of 12 years and their child should not receive the same benefits, or have to pay hundreds if not thousands of dollars in legal costs to get them, that other families receive automatically for 25 bucks and a whiteness signed paper it doesn’t matter if Christians hate gays or not. The damage and anxiety they cause to my friend’s family is the same.
        I guess that is how I see it. It doesn’t matter if the crowds at CFA were foaming-at-the-mouth haters or claimed to love gay people a ton, in the end both vote the same. Both advocate a system were my friend’s family is legally of lesser status.

    • Is it possible to disagree with someone without hating them?

      I think it is.

      But I’m not so sure of the left. If you disagree with them they call you evil and wish to shut you down.

      • Steve, you are right. It goes both ways.

      • Steve says, God bless my righteousness, and forgive those who are not like me.
        What a crock!
        You don’t even hear yourself, do you?

      • Nope, sorry Steve. All who partook of the feathered fowl on Wednesday are Nazis. Even those who happened to be unaware of the whole debate but just poped in for lunch.

        But Debra certainly proves your point. Whoever makes the most noise toppling a straw man wins!

      • Marcus Johnson says

        Steve, the tendency to condemn people who disagree with you is not a liberal or conservative concept; it is a human failing. It seems odd that you can stand at a distance, point at someone else, and say, “Thank God I’m not as spiteful and mean as they are.” Until we can all accept that there is a little bit of hatred and meanness in ourselves, we can’t really add a productive word to any conversation.

        • Agreed that no human is immune from this problem.

          That said, I am so frustrated with the distortion of the English language, insofar as “tolerate” no longer means to “put up with” something less than ideal or pleasant, but is now massaged to mean “adore and elevate and no longer even find burdensome”.

          I tolerate summer heat, but long for autumn.

          This does not mean I now find humidity, sunburn, and bugs something to celebrate.

    • Ninure, I’ve been commenting here for a while now as a gay person, and I have only left a few times. I keep coming back though, and that is because I am either a glutton for punishment or ever hopeful that the dialog will change sooner than later among this group. I get pissed off often, but Christ compels me to keep talking and not become silent. I can’t recall the scripture that showed me that at the moment, but I will look for it.

      • Debra, I hope you and Ninure comment here often. Your voices are desperately needed.

      • Debra, I also encourage you to be long-suffering and bear with us here. And just as you desire to be better understood by your “straight” brothers and sisters in Christ, I encourage you seek to understand and empathize with those of us who just can’t honestly and in good conscience condone homosexual practice or marriage — as well as with those of us who just aren’t sure what to think or believe at this point.
        Some of us feel crunched between not wanting to hurt, marginalize, disenfranchise, or persecute anyone and our own convictions regarding what we believe to be moral truth as expressed through scripture.
        Some of us are in major defensive mode in reaction to increasing cultural pressures to drop (or at least keep quiet about) politically incorrect beliefs and opinions.
        Some of us are just experiencing culture shock inside our own culture due to the unprecedented, break-neck speed at which our culture is changing — particularly in regards to sexual morality. We’re disoriented and confused, and it’s about all we can do to hang on to the faith that has been passed down to us through the generations.
        Please, have patience with us. We don’t mean to be unloving. We’re just wounded, fallen, sinful human beings who are feeling besieged and threatened from every side these days. It’s not that we’re incapable of changing our beliefs and points of view — we just need the space and freedom to sort things out at our own pace. Try and shove us somewhere we’re not ready to go yet, and we tend to get grumpy.
        And, please, try to forgive us for the things we might say or write or do out of fear or poorly applied loyalty to our own beliefs about God and His will regarding our practices and behavior.

      • Marcus Johnson says

        Debra, I agree with humanslug. In addition, I would also suggest that, for most of us, InternetMonk is the only environment in which we can wrestle with ideas like this and engage in dialogue with others in a safe environment (for me, personally, I’m not sure I can have the kind of discussions with people in my church that I have had in IM).

        Might I also toss in Esther 4:14? Dealing with the ideas of people who are antithetically opposed to your sexual orientation is definitely a challenge, but maybe you were Spirit-led to this forum because the experiences you’ve gone through as a result of your sexual orientation give you a voice that adds color to this conversation. Don’t feel intimidated by us; feel free to assert yourself. This is how we learn.

  10. I am praying for eagle. These bacterial resistant infections are downright scary.

    Concerning Chick-Fil-A; To say, what if “Chick-Fil-A would have…” is to miss the point. The point is Chick-Fil-A didn’t do anything regarding the Wed or Fri demonstrations except serve the people who came to their stores. They did exactly what they should have done and that is conduct business in their usual professional and courteous manner. When politicians attacked them, they didn’t respond. When another politician supported them and then the GLBT community organized a protest they simply served chicken to whoever came to their counter. And judging from the video of the bully-activist they were consummate professionals.

    • TPD makes a good point, and here is where there may be a difference between this and the sit-ins in Alabama in the Civil Rights era. In that case, store owners refused to serve blacks. But, that only deals with the legal/constitutional problem.

      The bigger problem is that when a person who owns/manages a corporation which serves the public, they must be careful what they say. It is not only his freedom of speech, but how managers/owners at lower levels interpret what he says. It can get out of hand quick.

      It may be an issue where he has the constitutional right to say something, but it is not wise/ethical in his capacity as a public figure.

  11. Eagle, we are praying for you! Asking God to reveal the divine Presence in tenderness, kindness, people visiting, and support in any way you need it! We are with you ‘virtually’ and spiritually, my friend. As for CFA, what would happen if we all just STOPPED going to fast food restaurants for a while? Especially since we are the most obese country in the world? What if we all instead went to local farmers markets, supporting local economies, local people, local farms, and got some whole food from the earth and simultaneously, told the media to stop starting fights, just so they can turn around and ‘cover’ them.

    • Amen!!

    • Amen indeed!! As one said above, they are too big to stand in line for more than 5 minutes. I would venture a guess that that person does not need to eat more chicken. Gluttony is a sin, or have we forgotten?
      Perhaps the person above was kidding about the weight issue, but we all know someone who fits that description.

  12. This was never *really* about free speech. This is actually a classic example of free speech. Mr. Cathy made a statement in the public sphere. Mr. Cathy runs a business, some people who didn’t like his statement said that they would not patronize his business. Others who agreed with Mr. Cathy’s statement decided to support his business. With the exception of those politicians who decided to announce that Mr. Cathy’s business would be banned from their municipalities, there has been no First Amendment issues.

    For those Christians who were involved…was the cause of Christ advanced? I know that the cause of Chick Fil A was advanced. I know that eating at Chick Fil A has become a symbol other than just a somewhat unhealthy source of food. I know that BOTH sides have overreacted. So, my question again is did this make the Church look good?

    • “…with the exception of those politicians who decided to announce that Mr. Cathy’s business would be banned from their municipalities, there has been no First Amendment issues.”

      !!!

      …other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

      • People publicly pushing back against a public statement is not a violation of free speech or the first amendment. It is, free speech at its best. Certainly, it would have been nice if everyone had toned down the rhetoric. However, threatening to boycott a business is hardly restricting another person’s right to free speech. If that were the case, the Southern Baptist Convention would be guilty of repressing free speech against Walt Disney World because of their “Gay Pride Days”. .

        The First Amendment covers *government* interference with speech. Not private interference.

        • Right. Which is why the whole issue of sanctions against CFA is so troubling. I have no problem with protesting. But the issue of the day was that there are people in positions of governmental authority that actually believe the right way to respond is by sanctioning those who disagree with them. It’s called Fascism.

          …my whole point was that you were so casually dismissing this as the only First Amendment issue. Oh yeah, nobody really cares for that Bill of Rights anymore. No big deal.

          • First, there are no sanctions per se.. There are politicians saber rattling, but at this point CFA has not been denied anything. Hence, no damage at least at this point.

            Miguel, the real question is not whether or not an amendment to the Constitution was broken. Rather, was Christ glorified in this situation. I think not. Whole lotta things said, however, the witness of the Church was damaged. We did everything that Christ told us not to do. We should be concerned with sinners, instead we seem to be more concerned with rights than we are with people’s souls.

      • Marcus Johnson says

        +1

        THANK YOU, STEVE D!!

        Why is the concept that the first amendment deals with government interference, not individual people’s protest, so hard for some people to grasp? Does the majority of America really have to go back and retake 9th grade government?

        • > Does the majority of America really have to go back and retake 9th grade government?

          How the comments read on anything *claiming* to touch on free-speech the answer is clearly and most emphatically – YES.

          Running any type of quasi-public/Open topical forum is a brutal experience because of this misunderstanding. I have, personally, been accused of violating someone’s right to free speech. Pointing out that I am completely incapable of doing so doesn’t help [this was in one instance for removing a political campaign message from a forum chartered for discussing implementations of certain solutions in a particular programming language…] This obsession with free-speech, I believe, actually *inhibits* free speech.

          Somehow the media or pop-culture or something has acclimated people to be hyper-sensitive about almost entirely imagined “legal rights”. You can just throw down the my-rights-card at any perceived slight.

          I’ve talked to a couple of pastors that maybe-you-could-mention-this, that would help the image of the church, give the congregation a little more idea what they are talking about, make them sound less like idiots when they do decide to protest, etc… Don’t know if that ever has happened, most seem to feel the idea of helping to educate their congregation is absurd, or that legal precedent is somehow politics (which might also help explain things…)

          And this isn’t a right-or-left issue. Both sides play the my-rights-card with equal absurdity.

          • Marcus Johnson says

            “Running any type of quasi-public/Open topical forum is a brutal experience because of this misunderstanding. I have, personally, been accused of violating someone’s right to free speech. Pointing out that I am completely incapable of doing so doesn’t help [this was in one instance for removing a political campaign message from a forum chartered for discussing implementations of certain solutions in a particular programming language…] This obsession with free-speech, I believe, actually *inhibits* free speech.”

            Adam, did you become a government agent, capable of initiating state action, and not tell anybody? For shame…

  13. Eagle get better, you are in my prayers, however weak they may be. My heart goes out to you my friend, you need to stick around, who better to keep us grounded in reality!

    CM, this to me is what Christianity should look like, forget the lights, the well thought out homily’s. It’s about being there for others through thick and thin, sharing not the message of your faith, but the love of humanity that your faith gives you.

    -Paul-

  14. “Of the two stories about the power of the internet this week, which one do you think more fully reveals the love and way of Christ?”

    Without a doubt, the story of selfless love and kindness shown to Eagle. (By the way, Eagle, if you are reading, may God show you kindness and mercy through your ordeal . . .) I thought it was an odd juxtaposition of ideas, but I think I see your point. In a day when public rioting and the power of the mob was a known and feared element in the politics of the Empire (Acts 19 – the riot at Ephesus; Acts 21-22 – the riot in Jerusalem) it is a well known fact that Jesus did not resort to such methods. Simple, anonymous acts of love and kindness accompanying the Word of the Kingdom were His signature methods. I am often astonished that some of His greatest deeds were performed in front of a few people (we,in contrast, seem to want everyone to see what we are doing these days. . .)

    Wolf Paul raised an interesting question in my mind: How do you preach the law without causing someone to feel hurt or disrespected? I wish, frankly, that many Christians would pay attention to their tone and examine their heart toward people before they preached the law. I have heard lots of ugly things in my life from Christian people. But the apostle said that the law has a ministry of condemnation and death – how can ANYONE feel respect after having that laid on them?! I guess what I am saying is that yes, when certain laws are preached, I am condemned and lose all self-respect. Sometimes I even get angry that the law I am breaking is being addressed. Thankfully, I am finally in a place that when the law is preached, Jesus and His gospel are not far behind . . . and the good news is all the better when it is juxtaposed to the bad news!

    In my religious fantasy world there exists an ironclad way to insure that every time the law is preached, the gospel is always quick to follow. Alas, it is just a fantasy . . .

  15. While Chick-fil-A did not say this: “Yes, we have our political opinions, but we respect you and want to find ways of living together that are better than this culture war in which we’re fighting,” what they did say was this: “The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”

    The business, the restaurant franchise, is not fighting this battle of the culture war. Dan Cathy’s comments in two separate interviews is what sensationalized media picked up on, and the Appreciation Day as you noted was organized by Mike Huckabee. Chick-fil-A’s official statement gracefully bows out of the fight, and vows to treat everyone in a manner that is non-controversial, non-confrontational, and basically Christ-like.

    • You are right, Clark, and I got off point there a little by bringing Chick-fil-A executives into the discussion in that way. In retrospect, my illustration would have been stronger had I just focused on Christians inviting their GLBT friends for a meal.

      • A meal…exactly!

        My concern is that when we should be moving towards grace, moral or spiritual pride gets in the way. The moment love becomes a political statement, it is no longer love. Instead of buying religious right doctrine along with a side order of chicken, I think it would please God more to introduce a gay or lesbian to the Word and dining on bread and wine at one’s own church. How much better it would be for Christ to be absorbing us together into his body through the Eucharist instead of individuals who ingest sandwiches in protest against them. Somehow, through this whole episode, one thing I did not hear was “I was a stranger and you invited me in”.

    • Marcus Johnson says

      Too bad Chick-Fil-A supporters couldn’t follow the company’s example of staying out of the Huckabee-organized freak show of people daring–DARING–to either eat at Chick-Fil-A, or not eat, depending on their personal political beliefs. Cathy’s comments may have been a PR fiasco, but in the end, the company seems to have taken the high road by letting the petty folk squabble over some foolishness.

      • Brianthedad says

        Agreed. If the usual suspects on both sides of the cultural divide had left this alone instead of exploiting an opportunity to ride their hobby horses to exhaustion, my trip up there on Wednesday for a cookies and cream milkshake in this heat wouldn’t have taken on the political, theological and cultural dimensions it did. To borrow from and with apologies to Freud: can a milkshake sometimes just be a milkshake?

  16. I don’t think we ought to make a spiritual issue out of this one. This is political opportunism at its worst. The church has been co-opted into it like a sucker, on both sides of the debate. It makes me sick to see the name of Christ attached to a political agenda like this. Mainliners push Jesus as a tree-hugging hippie, and Evangelicals want business tycoon family values Jesus. If the church just refused to play these stupid games, perhaps it could be the great facilitator of conversation that CM is dreaming of.

    The thing is, as one oriented politically to the right, I can’t help but see a crystal clear endorsement from God (in scripture) on certain issues of sexual morality and personal liberties. However, shouting down those who disagree in the name of Christ is taking the law of God (my own personal interpretation of it to boot, regardless of how correct it is) and calling it Gospel Truth. The cause of Christ is the forgiveness of sins, not the condemnation of sinners. If you don’t think you’re a sinner, obviously you can’t have Christ’s forgiveness, but the political apparatus seems to be trying to replace the role of the Holy Spirit in working conviction and repentance in human hearts. How’s it working? Really.

    Ok, so maybe it is a spiritual issue. But the issue is this: turning Jesus into a moral crusader. He came to give hope to the hopelessly immoral. But of course, that would be our enemies, right?

    • +1, Miguel

      hummm…and what was that He said about our enemies?

    • I’ll second that +1.

      I do wonder what Jesus would say if He came back and found us all lining up for chicken sandwiches in some petulant political gesture.

  17. “….what if they had asked conservatives and Christians and others who support their beliefs about traditional marriage to bring a GLBT friend to their local restaurant and treat him or her to a free meal where they could engage in constructive conversation at the table together?”

    I LOOOOVE This idea! I think this could have actually brought change to some people’s lives, instead of separating those who are already entrenched in their ideals.

    I absolutely supported the free speech, but I don’t think any of this promoted the love of Jesus.

  18. What do you do with Paul’s admonishment to the Corithian Church about having nothing to do with a man who was in a incestous relationship, until he repented of it? Was he just picking a sin that repulsed him? Was he wrong and it is no sin at all? Did Paul consider himself a non-sinner? Don’t think so. So why did he single out that sin. Would he have said to a homosexual couple or a couple living togther in an unmarried state that it was fine. Come on in worship with us? Paul, I think, understood very well the concept of grace. Why didn’t he just love them until they came around. Why do something so political, banning them from fellowship/worship? You tell me.

    • Marcus Johnson says

      Not quite sure how your post is on topic with what’s being discussed here. There have been other posts which have tackled the subject of homosexuality head-on; this forum deals more with the reactive response that Christians took to the Chick-Fil-A debate. Any chance you can come up with something a little more on-point with what’s being discussed here?

    • Patricia Siegel says

      Paul,
      I think you have some valid points and they are on topic…don’t know why Marcus thinks they aren’t….guess he hasn’t read the above posts about the topic of sin or he thinks he’s the “forum police”. I believe the man in I Cor. 5 claimed to be a brother..see vrs 9-11 instead of a “unbelieving visitor” which I believe we should treat differently than a siining brother.

    • Marcus Johnson says

      Paul, I’m not sure if you were intending to be sarcastic by calling me a “professor.” I’m not tenured yet, but I don’t necessarily see where the slight is in being referred to as an educator and scholar.

      That being said, my first response may not have been clear enough, so let me come at it in a different angle. I don’t think that the CFA fiasco did raise questions about homosexuality, sin, and the response of the Christian community to that sin. However, I also would argue that it raises these questions in a different context than the one in which 1 Corinthians 5 would be most appropriate. In that section of Scripture, Paul was addressing a person within the church who was engaged in willful sin. Because his sin was threatening the mission and cohesiveness of the body of Christ, Paul called for the church elders to dismiss him.

      The major difference I see here, is that the Chick-Fil-A debate, from start to “finish” (quotes here, because I’m never sure when we’re going to be over these types of issues), took place in the general community, not the church community. Our responsibility as Christ-followers to our respective church communities should be different than the way we engage the general community in which we live, because the context is different. That being mentioned, I would go back to my original premise: the discussion of 1 Corinthians 5, although it is an interesting discussion to have, is not as relevant to this particular discussion.

      Luke 9, on the other hand, has a more pertinent angle, because it directly deals with how Jesus wanted the disciples to engage the general community. Personally, I think there are concepts in there that support both sides of this debate but, at the very least, I would consider it a more on-point Biblical reference than 1 Corinthians 5.

  19. “?People somehow came to believe that standing in long lines and buying fast food meant that they were making a coherent statement on behalf of righteousness. (bad)”

    Seriously?. For most of the people I talked to who took part, it was a free speech issue. As much as people may not like it, CFA, as a private company, has a right to support or speak out on what they believe. Homosexual owned private companies have the same right and would have a fit to see people try to shut them down. Perhaps, It was more about free speech than people thinking they are righteous for eating a chicken sandwich and I find that statement a bit insulting to people who do love free speech.

    “First, there are no sanctions per se.. There are politicians saber rattling, but at this point CFA has not been denied anything. Hence, no damage at least at this point.”

    The fact that an elected official felt they had the right to say that about restricting a business over such things speaks volumes. To dismiss it as saber rattling is to totally misunderstand how our republic is to work….however, that does not surprise me anymore. Most don’t know how it is to work, In fact, the damage is already done by the mere fact elected officials said such things to begin with. We are not an oligarchy. Or are we?

    • Marcus Johnson says

      Politicians say stupid things all the time that conflict with the US Constitution, court rulings, laws of science, basic logic, etc. We could do a blooper reel from George Washington on down to 2012 for that.

      Just for clarification purposes, because your comment doesn’t seem 100% clear to me: The only part about this issue that deals with the First Amendment would arise when politicians attempted to block or oust Chick-Fil-A franchises from their district because of Cathy’s statement and affiliation with conservative special interest groups and institutions. The fact that a politician merely said something would be grossly irresponsible and stupid, but it’s not a free speech violation until they attempt to take negative governmental action (i.e., banning the restaurant from a district). “Saber rattling” is not the same as state action.

      1st Amendment issues revolve solely around governmental interference of individual rights, not the critique or protest of an individual’s statement from a non-government group of people. They teach that in high school (or, at least, I wish that they did) yet, for some reason, people tend to miss that basic principle. I’m sure this isn’t what you were implying, but I’ve heard people get so mixed up over this, that it deserves to be clarified before we start raging out about our 1st Amendment rights.

      • “’Saber rattling’ is not the same as state action.

        What I don’t understand is how you can treat so lightly the fact that elected officials from at least 3 different cities threaten unconstitutional sanctions against a privately held company based on the speech of the owner. Gee, it was only “saber rattling.” Well, if you ignore their threats and wait until they act on them, then you have a very expensive legal battle on your hands. It is much better to show the petty tyrants that you support the object of their bullying so that it never has to get to the point of an ugly and expensive legal battle. This was all about freedom of speech. Religious freedom of speech.

        • I would be more impressed about this if saber rattling was common for other religious groups or businesses that are considered sinful. I won’t fill iMonk with a great number of links about fights to build Mosques (for religion) or strip clubs, liquor stores and casinos (sinful businesses).

          Additionally, I know that in Boston at least, the mayor has no power to affect which businesses are allowed or not allowed. I cant’t speak to the other cities. Some student organizations are acting to prevent CFA from opening on their campus, but that is normal for student organizations, which at many universities tend to the stupidly liberal.

      • Marcus Johnson says

        What part of my statement did you consider as my treating these actions lightly, TPD? Was it when I referred to their statements as “grossly irresponsible and stupid”? I’m not sure how that translates to me treating them lightly.

        I am, however, stating that a politician merely stating (e.g., in a press conference), “We should sanction this business,” is not a violation of CFA’s 1st Amendment rights. Once the legislator tried to pass a bill, or a state agency or executive attempted a state action, which prohibited the operation of that business, then we are talking about a constitutional violation. I’m not saying that we should ignore their threats; I am saying that the threat does not, in and of itself, constitute a 1st Amendment violation. If CFA tried to sue these legislators just for threatening punitive state action, the courts would most likely dismiss the case, because the legislator had not carried out that threat yet.

        I also object to your use of the word “tyrant” to refer to the politicians who threatened this state action, primarily because it seems to be an insult to real tyrants, most of whom are infinitely more competent at initiating and fulfilling state action than any of the loudmouth political figures who decided to weigh in on this issue. I do, however, support your use of the word “petty.”

        • I use the word “tyrant” because the original meaning of that word was in reference to someone who seized authority that did not belong to them. When an elected US official tries to place themselves above the US Constitution that is exactly what they are attempting to do. It is a fitting word and I am using it in its proper context. But OK, since they have only threatened to do it and haven’t *technically* done it yet, how about if we call them wanabe tyrants.

          And as far as your argument that these officials didn’t *technically* violate Dan Cathy’s 1st Amendment rights yet… Well, I never said that they did. But the fact that they threatened to makes this a freedom of speech issue. The whole point is that we want to head off 1st Amendment violations before they happen. The CFA appreciation day did just that. Now the wanabe tyrants know that Cathy has support and they have to back off. Mission accomplished.

        • “I also object to your use of the word “tyrant” to refer to the politicians who threatened this state action, primarily because it seems to be an insult to real tyrants, most of whom are infinitely more competent at initiating and fulfilling state action than any of the loudmouth political figures who decided to weigh in on this issue. I do, however, support your use of the word “petty.””

          Where do you think real tyranny starts? Words and Ideas have consequences. A lot of people supported these petty words and thought they were great or dismissed them as “normal” rantings of elected officials. That is scary enough and should be a wake up call enough for you to go have a chicken sandwich to send a message.

          The elected officials proved they are not wise enough for office in America. Wish more people would catch on but with our education system that is probably not going to happen.

        • Marcus Johnson says

          TPD, I would still assert that these were very silly, invalid threats, and that the constitutional protections in place were more than enough to prevent these legislators from actually making good on their threats. The Bill of Rights exists specifically to protect people like Cathy from being the victim of governmental suppression, and there is a long, established precedent of Court rulings that have secured Cathy’s protection. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone heard Cathy’s comments and thought, “Hmm, I wonder if there’s a way that I can make the Christian community look just as petty and selfish as me.” It wouldn’t be the first time someone’s tried it; the Pharisees tried it with Jesus all the time. There are times when we need to march in protest, and other times when we need to cool off and follow Jesus’ command in Luke 9:5.

          I can respect that we want to head off 1st Amendment violations before they happen, but this whole Chick-Fil-A deal seemed reactive, not proactive. If the people who disagreed with CFA policy had used this opportunity to start a reasoned dialogue with faith-based communities about their concerns of the further marginalization of the LGBT community, and if the people who supported Cathy had done–well, basically, exactly what Chick-Fil-A had done, which was to make a simple assertion of their respect of the LGBT community before going right back to business–then we would have been talking about Lochte peeing in pools all last week, not about a single statement that was blown way out of proportion.

      • “1st Amendment issues revolve solely around governmental interference of individual rights, not the critique or protest of an individual’s statement from a non-government group of people. They teach that in high school (or, at least, I wish that they did) yet, for some reason, people tend to miss that basic principle.”

        This might be the real problem. What they teach in high school. WE are the government. The PEOPLE. We elect people to REPRESENT US. We are a representative republic. At least for now. I see that slipping away and more people vote for “government” to take care of them.

        When any group tries to interfere with a business because they did not like what that business supports and call for a boycott and then people respond by supporting that business enmasse….our system is working. It is a good thing. When elected officials put their 2 cents in saying they would ban such businesses from coming into their city, we have a HUGE problem in the elected official understanding how our system is to work. We have an oligarchy.

        Don’t forget that Canada has hate speech laws and they are coming here soon. Who gets to decide what is hate speech? Also a friend of mine has a ministry in Canada and was fined and closed down because her literature promotes Jesus Christ as the only way. That is considered intolerant. She has a ministry to Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons coming out of those cults. \

        This is where the leftist thinking takes us, folks.

        • Marcus Johnson says

          So, does this mean that when someone wants to build a mosque, or develop a high school curriculum that teaches evolution, and a group tries to interfere with those institutions because they did not like what they support, and they call for a boycott, yet people show up in droves to support freedom of religion or academic freedom, then our system is working, too? Just wondering, because the movements who opposed building mosques and the teaching of evolution were neither liberal or leftist.

          Perhaps the problem is that it’s basic human nature to feel threatened by ideas with which we disagree. That’s not a character flaw specific to conservatives or liberals; we all have that tendency to overreact to the slightest microaggression. Until we can recognize that this is a universal problem, then we can’t get past it.

          However, Martin, I do agree that most politicians have no idea how the government is supposed to run. One need only look at how many congressmen, both Republican and Democrat, had no idea what was in the Affordable Care Act, although that didn’t stop them from campaigning for or against it. Again, that’s not a problem specific to any one party; it’s just that success in politics is more dependent on how well funded you are, not on how smart or competent you are.

  20. oops, posted twice. Sorry

  21. Chaplain Mike – “What if, simply as a gesture of recognition, kindness, and grace, they had said, “Yes, we have our political opinions, but we respect you and want to find ways of living together that are better than this culture war in which we’re fighting.”

    And what if they had asked conservatives and Christians and others who support their beliefs about traditional marriage to bring a GLBT friend to their local restaurant and treat him or her to a free meal where they could engage in constructive conversation at the table together?”

    Mike, With all due respect, I think your above quotes are wildly naive. The GLBT crowd started this cultural war, and since they’re winning it, why on earth would they want it to stop now? I fully believe they have zero interest in honest dialogue / constructive conversation. They simply won’t rest until all fully embrace and affirm their views on the matter. The comments of Rahm Emmanuel and other politicians are proof of that. That’s why Christians made such a big deal out of last Wed.

    Look, I fully get that we aren’t going to argue or legislate anyone into the Kingdom. I’ve got that figured out. But there are groups in this country who seem to be dead set on silencing the voices of Christians to stand for what they believe, and that’s what I, and millions of others, are opposed to.

    Finally, I must point out two ironies (some would say hypocrisy). First, it was the left who protested and fought in the 60’s for freedom of speech and the freedom to hold and voice dissenting opinions. Now, they are the ones who are attemping to silence all dissenting opinions. Secondly, for years, the GLBT crowd said that they just wanted to be left alone to live their lives the way they wanted to. Most Christians (myself included) would actually be fine with that. But now, they’ve betrayed those statements (maybe they weren’t truthful to begin with) by attempting to force everyone else to adopt their beliefs.

    • Marcus Johnson says

      Best argument in defense of any insensitive comment, remark, or campaign: They started it.

  22. and I mispelled all those words on perpose

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