I feel like I should visit a priest and make a confession, “Father, it has been two months since my last blog post.” But I’m a good Baptist so I’ll choose to pretend that it never happened instead. (More on where I’ve been all these weeks later.)
I’m sure you’ve noticed in the hail of media coverage that Chick-Fil-A is getting a lot of free advertising. Based on many of the responses I’ve seen on ‘The Facebook,’ I’m realizing that the subject of speaking out on one’s personal beliefs is as hot as a freshly served chicken sandwich. If you have somehow avoided the news and know nothing about this, let me briefly update you…
Chick-Fil-A is well know to be managed by a Christian family who is unabashedly outspoken about their beliefs on homosexuality. Their connection to anti-homosexual organizations has put them in a hot spot recently. Now, gay right activists have created a campaign to tarnish the company based on their religious beliefs. That campaign has involved slander, gross exaggerations, and personal attacks in a very public forum.
What has happened in recent days has been both shameful and infuriating. As a libertarian, I don’t particularly want federal legislation banning gay rights, but the back lash has been so unconstitutional that I am sickened to the core.
A free society certainly allows for individuals to spend their money wherever they wish, and to even sign petitions to make their voice louder, but it is never appropriate to slander, distort, or manipulate in order to attack a company which shares values you disagree with. Neither is it appropriate to appeal to legislation to limit the free market when it goes against our sensibilities.
(A little political lesson, whenever you call for the limiting of someone else’s rights because they are offensive to your own, what you are effectively doing is creating a precedence where your rights could inevitably be taken away.)
So despite that fact that the mayors of Boston, Chicago, and San Fransisco were completely out of line for their actions, and without overlooking the unjust attacks from gay activists, there is an important lesson that we, as Christians, can learn from all of this.
Oh, How the Tables Have Turned
The first thing I noticed after getting past my initial disgust with the main stream media’s coverage of this story was that the whole situation looks very similar to what I’m used to seeing as attacks from the right. When I really think of it, I normally see this sort of behavior among Christians more than I see it in the world. We are so quick to attack an organization that supports liberal views, whether it be planned parenthood or gay rights, and we’re not very good at keeping our facts straight either. Christians are known for their slander, their grossly exaggerated mass emails, and their bigoted prejudices before looking at all of the facts. It seems that we’re getting a dose of our own medicine and it taste a lot like chicken.
Before we get all high and mighty and take up arms against the principalities and powers, and run before God and attack Ai, we ought to take a moment for reflection and think about how we ought to respond biblically.
If you’re thinking that your first response should be to take a stand on your beliefs by either posting something on Facebook or driving thirty miles out of your way to a Chick-Fil-A to support the cause against the moral degradation of society — you might want to give it a little more thought.
I’m not telling you that you shouldn’t support Chick-Fil-A’s position, but that shouldn’t be your first response. Christ taught us that we have a tendency to point out the sin in others without taking full account for our own actions. When we do this, we only add fuel to the fire of hate and perpetuate negative stereotypes.
Society has wrongly made a moral issue out of the cause for gay rights. This means that by simply speaking our mind and drawing the line in the sand, we are giving a false impression to the world that we are on the opposite side of morality. This makes us look arrogant and proud. Not to mention, it grievously cements a wrongly informed notion of morality.
Seeing the sins of the world should not foster pride in ourselves or personal satisfaction in the judgement of the wicked. It should prompt us to be reflective and repentant because the sins of the word are really only a mirror to our own heart. This is what Jesus was teaching when he told the Pharisees to take note of the plank in their own eye before helping another with the speck in theirs.
It can be hard to swallow that the sin of homosexuality would be a speck when the worst that most Christians struggle with is gossip, right? No. This was the sin of the pharisees. They started to measure the weight of sin in society and when all of their calculations were done, they naturally rose to the top, separating them from the very people they were supposed to be serving.
Christ taught us a different example. He didn’t get caught up in the defining of the Law, but the fulfilling of it. He showed love and graciousness to the tax collectors and the immoral. Unlike us, who detest liberal politicians who are stealing from us and despise the homosexuals who are shaping our society.
It might be wise to take a closer examination of the sins that are blocking our perception and confess our tendency to slander, perpetuate false information, and judge before knowing all of the facts.
With that said, I respect and support Chick-Fil-A’s decisions and how they have handled the media hail storm. But in the end, I’m still going to shop at Target, drink coffee at Starbucks, and use Google as my search engine.
In the end, Chick-Fil-A will be alright. They will probably get an increase in profits over the next few weeks with all of the free publicity they are receiving. Just another lesson that in today’s culture, the things you attack tend to get stronger with all of the rage.