Chick-fil-A: Thoughts from an… almost Christian


I should preface this post by saying I don’t know if I’m a Christian or not.  There was a time in my life when I wanted to be because I thought that’s what I was supposed to be, but over the years I’ve watched the power structure in the Christian faith turn condemnation of sins into the vilification of the sinners.  Judgment of others took precedent over forgiveness of others.  The claim that disaster after disaster was at the hands of an angry God drowned out the claims that God is love.  In short, people who count themselves as the authority on Christianity got in the way of me wanting to be a Christian or at the very least, proclaim that I am a Christian.  Put another way, I deny Jesus not because of Jesus, but because of the leaders in his church. I’m guessing Jesus wouldn’t be too happy with how he’s portrayed by most religious leaders today either, so I don’t think he’d really blame me.

I am not saying people that openly practice Christianity are bad people.  Far from it.   They are good and honest people that have a true desire to heal the ills of this world.  When they pray, they pray for peace and tranquility for everyone.  They want everyone to bask in the glory of God’s grace.  They may grow frustrated when people deny what they see as the true path, and they may lash out at those who have lost their way, but they do it out of love.  I get that, and I forgive them their transgressions as I hope they forgive me mine.

That’s why I don’t have any problem with Dan Cathy’s, the CEO of Chick-fil-A, recent public stance against same-sex marriage.  He’s allowed to run his company and follow his religious beliefs.  I don’t agree with those beliefs, but I also haven’t eaten in Chic-fil-A in years so he’s clearly not worried if we don’t see eye-to-eye on this issue.  I don’t believe Mr. Cathy was doing anything other than relaying how he feels about the issue of gay marriage.   He wasn’t trying to start a movement or champion a cause.  He just answered a question, and, as our constitution guarantees, he does have the right to free speech.

But, he is not allowed to voice his opinion without consequences.  Free speech doesn’t mean he can expect to speak his mind without angering those who disagree.  The boycott of Chick-fil-A is the right move for the passionate opposition. And, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I hope it helps shed more light on the unjust nature of the Defense of Marriage Act.  In fact, I hope it buries it in a tomb with the rest of this country’s discriminatory past.

I don’t want him to stop being a Christian.  I don’t want him to stop talking publicly about his beliefs.  But, I do want his side to lose on this issue.  I want a gay citizen’s civil rights to count more than Mr. Cathy’s religious beliefs when it comes to public policy.  That’s it.  I don’t want the man to accept homosexuality.  I don’t want him to hold same-sex wedding ceremonies in his backyard.  I just want his side to stop defining marriage for consenting adults.

The bottom line is that two men marrying does not infringe on Dan Cathy’s right to practice his religion, but enacting public policy based on his religious beliefs does deny gay men and women the right to marry.  I have to tell you, looking at it in those terms, one side in this debate sounds profoundly un-American, and it’s not the one where two dudes get married.

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4 thoughts on “Chick-fil-A: Thoughts from an… almost Christian

  1. Wow. Where to I start to respond to this. First, I must say I was saddened by reading that you deny Jesus because you deny the leaders of His church. The leaders of His church are human and make many mistakes. This is the reason we need Jesus…for redemption of our sins. Jesus preached love. Plain and simple. Jesus never mentioned homosexuality – ever. I realize that the Bible seems to contradict itself at times, but I recently learned that God knows we can’t handle the truth all at once, so He takes us there by steps.

    I believe, as far as homosexuality goes, in ancient times, sexual sins were terrible and sex was not done out of love, but out of pleasure. This is why the old testament has some scripture that appears to be anti-gay. I believe that Jesus came along and taught us that LOVE is our duty. To love each other is following the “new commandment” that Jesus brought with the new covenant. As long as a relationship is based on Love, it is a good relationship. Once it is based on pleasure, it becomes sinful. Therefore, even a heterosexual relationship can be sinful.

    I know that the Christian reputation is quite marred these days. It’s a shame. The thing to remember is that not all people who say they are Christians are. If you know the Bible, you may know the part where Jesus separates the goats from the sheep, telling people who THOUGHT they were “In” that He doesn’t know them and they should go away from Him, because they never belonged to Him.

    True Christians ask Jesus for forgiveness of their sins and then REPENT…meaning, trying their hardest to never do that again. It’s easy to fall back into sin again, but if the heart is there to stop…and the person confesses and repents each time – with a true sense of desire – their sins will be forgiven. It’s like quitting smoking. Sometimes it takes a few times to succeed. Once Jesus is in your heart, though, you need to learn to let Him take control and you actually will become a better person who sins less.

    Many people think they are entitled. This is a problem. A sense of entitlement is not being humble. As for me, I believe that a person who is in love with someone else should be allowed the same rights as the next person who is in love with someone. I believe the sanctity of marriage has been slapped around for centuries. My beliefs about marriage are complicated, but, as I said…it all comes down to love. I can only pray that you would see (and any other person denying Jesus because of human actions) that Jesus is sinless and He’s here to take away your sins. He is perfect and He is love. You don’t have to condone the actions of all “Christians” in order to ask Jesus to live inside of you and show you the right way to live. People learn at different levels…some are really slow. Please don’t judge Jesus by the actions of flawed people. Marriage is hard and should be taken seriously, as long as it is, we can bring back its sanctity – regardless of who loves who. (Hope I didn’t sound preachy)

    • Not preachy at all. Very well said. I’ve had a rocky relationship with religion my entire adult life. My mother was a staunch Christian (with a very open attitude), and my father is a man of science. I’m somewhere in the middle.

      I don’t deny that Jesus was a man of peace and acceptance. I just deny the way his image and message is twisted by the people that tend to shout the loudest.

      Jesus and I are cool. 🙂

      This should explain my views on religion – https://rwridley.wordpress.com/2011/04/30/lessons-from-my-mother/

  2. I added the following – “I’m guessing Jesus wouldn’t be too happy with how he’s portrayed by most religious leaders today either, so I don’t think he’d really blame me.”

  3. Good on you Sir, I for one support your views.

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