I didn’t buy a chicken sandwich yesterday but I was absolutely blown away by the lines of people that were wrapped around the Chick-fil-a in my neighborhood. As I drove by I was impressed at how awesome it was that we live in a country where we can express our beliefs, support who or what we want to support, take a stand for what we value, and it be perfectly within our God-given rights.
But I’ve been amazed today at the backlash that has come from other Christians condemning those who ate at Chick-fil-a yesterday. Some are saying that the Church failed. Others are saying that supporting CFA was just another statement of hatred by Christians against the LGBT community. I am left to scratch my head wondering why showing up to a restaurant to show support for a belief system is a message of hate, propagating more hurt between two opposing camps. I am sure that there were Christians in those long lines yesterday that do hate gays. That saddens me. I am sure mean hurtful things were said yesterday by some of the very people who went to Wednesday night small groups and Bible Studies. But I don’t think the Church is filled with hate. I don’t think yesterday was about being anti-gay. I don’t think that the majority of people in those long lines yesterday are horrible, hate-filled people who claim to follow Jesus.
I think yesterday was about standing for what you believe in.
Here’s what else I think: I think most of us don’t like for people to disagree with us. If they do, then something within us wants to retaliate, to get back at them. For some reason that makes us feel better. We take it personal.
Here’s what else I think: Folks that were offended by yesterday’s support of Chick-fil-a, and the belief system that they espouse, will show up tomorrow to stand for what they believe in. In fact, I’ve heard that tomorrow, the LGBT community is expected to show up en masse at local Chick-fil-a’s and express their lack of affection for CFA by showing affection for one another right there in front of God and everybody.
Here’s what else I think: I think that the same group of folk that lined up outside of Chick-fil-a yesterday, in support of traditional marriage, need to be right back there again, only this time with a chicken sandwich, waffle fries, and a big ole Sweet Tea in hand ready to give away to the first “protester” they see. I think some of the protesters might just step on the sandwich, throw the fries in our face, and dump the tea on our head. But I think this is a prime opportunity to show one another that we can disagree with one another and not hate one another.
I don’t really think the Church failed yesterday. I think a lot of people stood for what they believed in. I think that’s one of the blessings of living in a free speech society. I think that blessing can sometimes make us all uncomfortable.
I think that since I didn’t buy a chicken sandwich yesterday that I may go buy one tomorrow and give it to somebody who may be pretty ticked off at Chick-fil-a and “the Church.” That is ministry in the market place