I have been somewhat quietly watching all of the posts regarding the recent “Chick-Fil-A” controversy. I have pondered how to express myself, without offending any of my friends. As I am sure most of you do, I have a range of friends on Facebook. I have some from elementary, middle, and high school. I have some from my years at a Christian college. I have friends from work, church, parents of my children’s friends, and family. I think you get the idea that they are probably a diverse group – and they are. I have Christian friends and I have friends that don’t know what they believe about God. I have friends that are married, divorced, single, white, black, Asian, and yes, heterosexual and homosexual.
As I continue to read different media takes on the words of a business man, as well as people’s opinion on both sides of the fence, I feel I have to say something. These words from an article a friend shared swung me over the top. They come from a very articulate, intelligent person who happens to be gay. His name is Conor Gaughan. For the full article in the Huffington Post, click the following link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/conor-gaughan/chick-fil-a-homophobia_b_1711566.html .
“When we rant about the pastor who preaches that gays should be thrown into a concentration camp, we scream out of fear. And our fears are justified -- in the last seven days, a lesbian in Nebraska was carved with a knife, a gay man in Oklahoma was firebombed, and a girl in Kentucky was kicked and beaten -- her jaw broken and her teeth knocked out -- while her assailants allegedly hurled anti-gay slurs at her.”
I did not research the references he makes, but believe him knowing these things happen all too often, as I have read other similar stories over the years.
My purpose for sharing today is not to take sides, or to speak on anyone’s behalf other then my own. I do not need to explain God’s word, as it is right there in print for all to know his wishes. Just as it is in God’s hands to be the judge, not mine. The words Mr. Gaughan shared broke me to the core. These people’s actions, or re-actions, are not those of Jesus. Of this I feel confident. As I read these words, I was reminded of Jesus encounter with the Samaritan women at the well, John 4: 1-26. Jesus showed his love in his actions as he addressed a woman that no Jew would have spoken to, as well as in the kindness by the way he addressed her and, yes, even confronted her. Jesus is someone who loved all and wants us to as well. That should be all of our goals, not to be so caught up in our beliefs, feelings, or opinions that we forget how to treat each other.
I have worked hard to educate my family on acceptance as well as showing the love of Jesus because I believe that Jesus was sent to us because of love, and he showed us through example to love everyone. I John 4:7 reads, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God, and knows God.” These last examples are only two of many that show the prevailing theme throughout the New Testament of God’s word – LOVE. Mathew 22:37-40 makes God’s greatest commands clear, Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
I think in this era of political correctness, it has become all the harder to state our beliefs while keeping our head on our shoulders. All sides, whether we are discussing the family unit, or the President, must be respectful of each other. We must understand we have the God-given right to free will. We must respect the governments allowance for all to speak freely in our speech. The respect seems to be the real issue. I have seen many snide, sometimes disparaging remarks thrown towards each side, and not only this week. This makes me sad, as I believe it must surely make Jesus sad.
I would like to encourage all my friends to prayerfully consider my thoughts. Think before you speak. Think about how you wish “the other side” would not be hypocritical, by allowing you to express your feelings, thoughts, values, etc., even as they express theirs. And take the time to make sure you have read all of the facts before just taking a headline at face value. The following is the full news story by the Baptist Press on their interview with Mr. Cathy. http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=38271 . Many posts and articles I have read infer Mr. Cathy’s words as hate, but I find no hate in his words. I hear a love of God as he shares his beliefs. You may agree or disagree with my interpretation, and that is the beauty of God’s wish for us as well as our governments: that we have free will to choose our beliefs and the right to express our beliefs, each and every one of us.