Chicken is cheap; talk is costly, part 3

This is the third and final installment on Joe Dallas’ blog post about his failure to engage in conversation with a man protesting outside Chick-fil-A.

And away we go:

So put yourself in our shoes. If the owner of a restaurant chain said he favored same sex marriage, and in response a city councilman and two mayors of major metropolitan cities committed themselves to shutting his business down, how would you feel? Wouldn’t you be inclined to say that, wherever a business owner stands on homosexuality, city and state officials have no right trying to shut him down? Wouldn’t you feel you’d just time- warped into some totalitarian regime where the wrong words or beliefs could bring you ruin?

Oh, dear lord, here we go.  “We white, Christian men are so put-upon because of you Big Bad Gay People who want to take away our freedom to hate the kind of sex you have behind closed doors.  *sob*”  Have a hankie, wipe your nose, and suck it up.  You wouldn’t be saying the same thing if this were a race issue.  (Or maybe you would, now that I think about it.)  This is a case where the people in the majority, the people benefiting from the power structure in place, are the ones who need to have consideration—not the other way around.  Oh, and by the way?  Those things Mr. Dallas listed?  Yeah, those are real things that do, in fact, happen to LGBT people.  Every day, LGBT people are threatened or attacked for who they are.  Every day, even out LGBT people in supposedly “welcoming” environments are told not to be “too gay.”  Every. Damn. Day.  You wanna talk about discrimination?  A guy protesting outside a restaurant with a sign ain’t it.

So would we. I don’t think we turned out by the thousands to support Chick-fil-A just because of its owner’s positions, but because elected officials tried to punish him for those positions. That’s more than disagreement; it smacks of government intrusion. And believe me, if government officials try to shut a business down because of its pro-gay position, I’ll be there for them, too.

I’ll believe that when I see it.

I drove away sad after seeing you, because I was reminded how divided we are. I wish we could have talked. I’d have been interested to know what brought you there, how you were being treated by the people you were protesting, and what your basic world view was. I’d have shared a bit if my own story, including the years I believed as you do, acting on and promoting those beliefs. I’d have probably looked for opportunity to encourage you to look into the claims Jesus made about Himself, and to consider whether anyone claiming not only to be God, but also God’s only sacrifice for sin, and thereby the only way to Him, shouldn’t be carefully investigated. I might have even gotten pushy and asked if I could pray with you, though any push back from you would have been respected.

Aw, Mr. Dallas went away sad.  I can think of another person who went away sad.  Remember the rich man in the Bible who left after Jesus told him to sell all his possessions and follow Him?  Yeah, me too.  I always held out hope for that guy.  I think his sadness was a good sign.  I used to imagine that the rich man one day learned, and that perhaps he became a follower of Jesus, too.  That one day, he really did sell everything and give it to the poor.  That the message got to him.  Maybe there’s hope for Mr. Dallas after all.

On another note, it burns my butter that Mr. Dallas assumes Sign Holder isn’t already a Christian.  Because, as we all know, there are absolutely no LGBT Christians.  Nope.  Not one.  And also that no real, true Christians would imply that *gasp* other Christians are hypocrites, or hold up a sign with a Bible verse in protest.

But, as the old proverb says, “wishes won’t wash dishes.” Maybe you will have the conversation I wish we had, but later, with someone else, under different circumstances. Meanwhile, let me honor your willingness to take a stand, even as I strongly oppose the stand you take. Let me tip my hat to the way you presented yourself. And let me re-commit to remembering that when I engage in a cause, as I did last night with my dinner purchase, there are genuine, likeable and valuable people on the other side of the aisle protesting what I applaud. They matter. You matter. And while I feel called to represent my Lord’s standards to a culture seemingly bent on rejecting them, I’m just as surely called to represent His attitude of love and care.

Well.  That was full of pretentious condescension, n’est pas?

More assumptions that this person isn’t a Christian, right along with a note about “representing His attitude of love and care”…all while failing to do so.  A piece of advice to Christians: Talking down to people, assuming you know something about who they are or how they feel, and saying they’re “rejecting” your Lord’s standards?  Not loving.

And I hope, whatever else you experienced while demonstrating against us, you felt some measure of that love. Because if you didn’t, then no matter how many thousands turned out for yesterdays’ event, it wasn’t the success it could have been.

God’s best to you, my friend unknown.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that this man wasn’t feeling any love from the people who showed up to eat chicken.  Just sayin’.

If anyone is really, truly serious about that whole “love your neighbor” thing, then it needs to start with real conversation.  Not fake, blog-posts-you’ll-never-read, clearly avoiding real dialogue conversations.  No, I mean face-to-face, listening.  Not claiming that you “know” who anyone else is because that person held a sign outside a restaurant.

Well done, Mr. Dallas.  You’ve just highlighted exactly why it’s important to stop and talk, instead of worrying that your chicken might be getting cold.

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3 thoughts on “Chicken is cheap; talk is costly, part 3

  1. For someone who gets on Mr. Dallas for presuming that a protestor isn’t Christian, you sure do presume an awful lot about Mr. Dallas. You presume that just because he does not agree with a person’s view on homosexuality or same sex marriage he”hates the kind of sex” they have. Since when does disagreement with a person’s belief on marriage equate to having any opinion whatsoever about the kind of sex they have.

    The biggest lie proponents of homosexual marriage have infused in our culture is disagreement somehow equates to hate. Dan Cathy does not hate homosexuals. His company complies with and promotes non-discrimination in terms of hiring, promoting, and serving all people regardless of race, religion, sex or sexual preference. If not, he would be sued out of business. His stance, my stance, and the stance of I would guess the vast majority of Christians on homosexual marriage has nothing to do with our feelings of what gay people do in the bedroom.

    Additionally, just because someone takes a stand against homosexual marriage, why do you therefore presume they are also a racist? The second biggest lie proponents of gay marriage have tried to shove down the throats of Americans is that homosexual marriage and the entire homosexual marriage debate is somehow equal to interracial marriage. It isn’t. Your comment that Mr. Dallas might be saying the same things if this were a race issue presumes that interracial marriage equals gay marriage and that Mr. Dallas believes homosexual marriage equals gay marriage and just because Mr. Dallas opposes gay marriage he must therefore oppose interracial marriage. Definitely a lot of presumptions about someone you never met nor spoke to.

    And while on the first article you defended yourself stating that what you were doing blogging about someone you never met is not as cowardly as what Mr. Dallas was doing (maybe it is, maybe it isn’t), what you are definitely doing is judging Mr. Dallas in the same manner as he is judging the person protesting outside chick-fil-a. He must hate this person because of the kind of sex they have and if he stands against homosexual marriage he must also stand against interracial marriage. You never met this person and you have never spoken to them. Why do you conclude that he is 1) a “homophobe” and 2) a racist? The blog that you have cited allow me to conclude neither.

    And when was the last time you saw a government official in his official capacity threaten harass or attack someone or some organization for “being too gay”? When was the last time you saw a corporation sent letters by governmental officials in their official capacity stating that they were not allowed in a specific city because of their stance on homosexual marriage? Has anyone ever told Ben or Jerry that they could not sell their ice cream in their city because of their stance on same sex marriage? There is a difference between private conduct and official government conduct. If private individuals had taken a stance against Chick-fil-a because of Cathy’s comments, nothing would have come of this. But when mayors of Boston and Chicago send official letters, that is something completely different.

    And you know who else suffers persecution because of their stance or beliefs? Christians. I personally know first hand what it means to be bullied because of my beliefs. Not only by other students in high school but the my school itself changed our year book submission from “Warriors for Christ” to “spiritual support group.” We went from studying the Bible to studying “religious texts.” They took the group that I started, the group I fought for, the group I organized and sat with the the Superintendent of Schools for hours on end arguing why we could meet, and listed it in my Senior Yearbook as a group I would not want to be part of. So don’t sit there and pretend that homosexuals are the only ones who are persecuted. I agree that private individuals should not be persecuting people for their beliefs or sexuality, but when government organizations start telling people that they cannot do business in a city because of their Christian beliefs that they cannot list themselves in a yearbook in a manner they want because of their Christian beliefs, it goes to an entirely new level.

    The United States Supreme Court recently ruled on a case involving the Christian Legal Society. A law school in California told them they could not be a student club because they required club leaders (not members) to believe certain things about a number of things, including homosexual marriage. One of the biggest supporters of the Christian Legal Society was a gay rights group called OWL. Their argument was that if the school could tell the CLS what requirements they needed for leadership in their club, what was to prevent another school from telling a gay pride group that they could not meet because they would not let people who oppose gay marriage be leaders in their group. And they were right. If Chicago or Boston can write letters to Chick-fil-a stating that they are not welcome there, why can’t Dallas or Nashville or any other city in the “Bible belt” tell organizations that support gay rights that they are not welcome? If my school can gut the Bible Club I started because we are “too Christian” what is to stop another school from gutting an LGBT support group because they are “too gay”?

    Maybe the issue with Chick-fil-a isn’t really about gay marriage. Maybe it really is about freedom of speech and freedom of belief.

  2. Wow! Don’t get a lawyer started.

    Frankly, the whole Chik-fil-a thing wearies me. Business owners have the right to their views and patrons have the right to choose to use a commodity, boycott, protest or use other protected speech.
    It seems so absurd how politicized a not very shocking statement has become. What, you thought a Conservative Christian who closes his stores on Sunday was going to support gay marriage? Please! We’ve all been played.

  3. Pingback: An Open Letter to No One « unchained faith

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