The above quote is from a blog post that Matthew Paul Turner wrote called "5 Reasons Why The Church Failed Yesterday". It is his response to yesterdays "Chick-Fil-Appreciation Day". His post is a view that very few have looked at (or at least I think so). It's the biblical side of it. And lets face it, that's why this all started, right?
Dan Cathy, President of Chick-Fil-A, said that he is very "supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit.". He goes on further to say that "...we’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.". Ok. He has every right to say that. No, really, he does. And truth be told, I really don't have a problem with him saying that. Now, let me preface that with a few things. I don't have a problem with him saying those things, so long as he is not doing it from a place of hate.
As someone who is gay (Yes, I'm gay in case you did not know that. Sorry, guess I should have said spoiler alert...), I have no problem with Cathy saying those things. In fact, I have always said that I don't care if you don't like me because I am gay, just don't hate me because I am gay. I think far too often when we start talking about gay "issues", we feel there must be only one side, our side. And far too often we forget that there is more then one side, more then one stance to any conversation. Even the gay ones.
Revolution Church in NYC, lead by Pastor Jay Bakker, posted the above image to their Facebook page and I think it speaks volumes. Who are we kidding (I hope no one), but no one has ever lined up at a food bank or a homeless shelter, TO HELP, like they did at Chick-Fil-A yesterday. By my crude swag (if you don't know what swag stands for, go Google it), more then 15 million people could have passed though Chick-Fil-A nationwide yesterday. That is a very staggering number. What if those 15 million people had taken the time to go help someone or some group yesterday instead of going to eat a chicken sandwich? I don't really know what that would look like, as I doubt it has been done before nor do I expect to see it in my lifetime (sadly).
But back to Matthew Paul Turner's blog post and more specifically that quote of "Do Christians put anywhere near the energy into 'loving the sinner' as they do 'hating the sin'?". As someone who is gay and also a "practicing" Christian, I can tell you that quite often, I actually don't feel conformable in a church or around "Christian" people. And the main reason for that is that I am gay. I am fully "out", but at the same time I don't go around banging a drum letting the whole world know that I am gay. Also, unlike the standard stereotype of gay people, I don't "act gay". So there is very much a chance that if you don't already know that I am gay, you would have no way to guess.
So with that, often times I find myself in a room with people who know that I am gay and also those who don't know. And inside I panic a little when somehow me being gay is brought up. I think the main reason why I "panic" is that I value the friendships that I have built up (both in the church and out) and I am scared that when someone finds out I am gay, they will literally disown me. Now, I've been very lucky and not had this happen yet (at least to my knowledge). But never-less, I still panic and thus, a lot of times, don't feel conformable in a church. Despite all of that, I do hope one day to be married in the church. Yep, I want to miserable, just like all ya straight people.
And so we end back, where we started, talking about gay marriage. Recently I was reading some comments on a friends post on Facebook and found myself reading the following in a comment:
"I support someone's right to be gay...just not to get married. I have a relative in my family that is gay, I love her, I don't want her to marry another woman. You'll never convince me otherwise."
I think to say I was shocked to read that is a major understatement. How can anyone say that they love a relative, but don't want them to marry, and thus I hope, be happy? It just blows my mind.
Here is what I shot back with (cus we all know I can't let anything be):
"I don't know you and you don't know me. But, as a gay man, I am sitting here stunned at the words in your comment. I am not asking you to change or even trying to convince to you to change.
I more just wonder how you can say " I have a relative in my family that is gay, I love her" and then go on to say "I don't want her to marry another woman." Those statements seem to be at odd with each other.
Please do not think that I am looking for a fight, because I am not. More just looking to see how you can justify those words? As a gay man, I hope one day to marry the love of my life (if I can ever find him). But, to say you love someone but you don't want them to be happy (marriage) just blows my mind.
I am no different then anyone else, gay or straight. I want to live the american dream: Get a good job (done), own a home (done), get married and have 2.3 kids (hope for one day)."
Sadly, all of us who called the guy out (I was not the only one to ask him about his comment) must have scared him away, as he never responded to any of us. And since he never responded, we could never have discussion. And frankly, above all else, that is what I would like to see us have, a discussion. A discussion where we are not afraid to be frank and truthful with people, but also one where we are not hurtful as well. But I feel as if our country and maybe even our world is too polarized to have a civil conversation about anything these days, whatever it may be. It seems like we get two words in to a conversation and boom it's either right this, left that, republicans this, democrats that, and so on. And sadly, I don't see that changing. And the whole thing going on with regard to Chick-Fil-A is the same way. You either support them or you don't...