PSA: What I think

 

 

I know…sounds scary.  But this past week has made me think.  A lot.  I’m struggling with this whole “Christians who hate gays” thing. How in the world did that come about?  Is this more of a struggle with God’s Word and how it might contradict with the gay lifestyle?  If we don’t “agree” with God’s Word, do we just throw out the verses that we don’t like?  Is it that simple?  And that applies to those of us who stand with the Bible on this gay issue.  Can we simply say it’s wrong?  Is that wrong?  Or do we just side-step the issue hoping for “peace and goodwill” and tolerance?

I was doing ok with all of this until yesterday when  a Christian friend made a comment about the Chick-fil-A events…something like “when was the last time you saw Christians lining up to donate food to the poor?”  She supported the backing of the fast food joint but, by implication, wondered if Christians do the same for those who need help.  I think they do.  Daily. Quietly.  There are no TV cameras rolling when they do “good things for others”.

Looking back to times of dire circumstances…who is the first to open their doors for counsel, their kitchens for food, their hands to physically help/repair/rebuild.  I know of many Christians who offer their time and money on a daily basis.  Even non-Christians do the same out of love for  humanity.  Do we do that because we feel it’s our duty? You, know..it’s the right thing to do. Maybe sacrificial giving is done out of love for our fellow human beings.  Or because we were taught to do so in our upbringing?  Or do we do it simply because we’re following Jesus’s example and His Biblical teachings? Ahhh, there’s the rub.

Back to the gay issue…everytime I or others have stated that the gay lifestyle is contrary to biblical teachings, we’re accused of hate and for the most part, are then reviled in a plethora of ways for having the nerve to say so, even when our opinion is asked for.  And when our opinion isn’t asked for, but we’re backed into a corner, things get serious fast.  How dare we say what we think!  Really?  Just because you drive a Chevy and my daddy has taught me since childhood that Fords are better, I don’t hate you for that.  Yes, I’m being snarky.

I’ve come to know a few gays and for pity’s sake, how can I hate them?  It’s been beyond all reasoning to think that.  No, I don’t understand them any more than I understand my Chevy friends.  But then the Bible doesn’t command us to love only Ford folks does it?  It does command us to love those as we love ourselves. That’s not a suggestion.  It’s a commandment.  As in God says DO IT!  No options.

The Bible also teaches us not to yoke ourselves with unbelievers…don’t marry a non-believer for the sake of a sound marriage and for the sake of you own Christian growth.  Do I hate those who have chosen to marry a non-Christian?  No.  There are those who think the Bible teaches us to eat only veggies.  I don’t happen to interpret the scriptures that way.  Do I hate vegans?  Nope.  I don’t get it but I don’t hate them.

Standing with a fellow Christian is what this is all about.  Saying we’re not going to keep quiet anymore.  Really a bitter pill to swallow when the opposition finally has had enough doesn’t it? 

Sometimes I wonder if this issue isn’t really about the need for approval.  The need to have others say that no matter what, your lifestyle is fine with us.  It’s not.  Anymore than drinking yourself to death is ok.  Or having 5 babies out-of-wedlock is OK.  I think it’s time for personal responsibility to grab us and shake us till eyeballs rattle.  There are some things that just don’t change.  God’s Word is one of them and the day that we chose to modify/clarify/EVOLVE from His Word will be a dire day.

OK, I feel better.  Now comment away.  I really do want to know what you think. 🙂

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59 Responses to PSA: What I think

  1. heartfelt says:

    Queenie, you’ve put your finger on such an important issue: believing God’s Word or ‘evolving’ and accepting the current norms of society. Society says we can kill our children, have multiple sex partners, promote sexual activity in children, raise children without a spouse to help us nurture them, and on and on…Look at the shape this ‘evolved’ society is in. It’s decaying before our very eyes. And God has been kicked out of the public forum. The further we move from His guidelines, the worse things get. I say love the gay person as you would love yourself, and that means kindness and loving friendship but not shying from speaking the truth in love. He has made us, and not we ourselves…so He knows what’s best for us no matter what we think we know.

    Thanks for sharing your heart, Queenie!
    xxx

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  2. bZirk says:

    Excellent post.

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  3. servetus says:

    I agree that I see ways that Christians love their neighbors every day. As do non-Christians. I also see people who identify themselves publicly as Christians and as non-Christians act in hateful ways, every day. As you know, I’m not a Christian any longer. I just wonder why this is the hill conservative Christianity seems to want to die on at the moment. We all sin, all of us, every second, every minute, every day. So why is this particular sin suddenly the justification for a campaign? Couldn’t Chick Fil A have organized a campaign against greed? Or supported organizations that seek to minimize hunger, poverty, thirst? … Maybe they do those things, too.

    If I *were* a Christian, I’d say, with a former student of mine, who said this on facebook: “Did God take on human flesh, give Himself over to suffering and death and rise again on the third day so that we could get… social control of sexuality? … I need the Word and sacraments … because I, I am a sinner in desperate need of Jesus Christ and His unmerited grace.”

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    • The Queen says:

      Emphatically, NO, Christ didn’t die on the cross for our control of anything! His merciful gift of grace was the sole intention for His agonizing death. That grace gives me the responsibility to live out His Word and His commandments. Sometimes that means we as Christians, are compelled to take action, whether it’s smuggling slaves in the late 1800’s or standing for life today. But always, always in love.

      The beginning of this whole thing was an interview (http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=38271) in which Mr. Cathy stated that he supported traditional marriage. A very unpopular stance, granted, in some circles. But why can’t he say that? If he had stated he “hated” non-traditional marriage, then no, that’s wrong. He can disagree with that statement but hate it? No. Unfortunatly, as I understand the events and I’m sure that things are getting twisted this entire week by many if not all sources, pubic figures started throwing fits about it and decided his business couldn’t come into “their” towns. That’s where the whole issue gets convoluted. Big time. Can a mayor REALLY say a business can’t set up in their town because they’re too gay or too black or too anything? As long as the law isn’t broken, how can one person decide who can sell hamburgers and who can’t?

      That’s where my ears perked up and the hair stood up on my neck. This is not just about Christianity or being Baptist or Jewish… it is about what we can say in an interview without having our business boycotted. And that’s where all reason starts to fail, IMHO, because as soon as an opinion is offered…and this has very definitely been the case in my experience, I am immediately cursed, called names and accused of being a hypocrite when my spiritaul status has not even been stated. That’s what I don’t get.

      CFA in 2010 donated 6.2 million to charitable organizations. I have no idea if any were worthy but it’s on the record. I totally agree with you, I also “am a sinner in desperate need of Jesus Christ and His unmerited grace.” Thankfully, I have both. And thanks for your input!!

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  4. Connie says:

    AMEN! Sister!! I’m with ya!

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  5. phylly3 says:

    I am a Christian but it is opinions such as these that makes me almost embarrassed to admit it.
    How can you show love for someone by continually telling them that they have no right show their love for the person of their choice.
    My denomination is The United Church of Canada – the largest protestant denomination in Canada. This is a statement from their website:
    “The United Church has a history of affirming all human beings regardless of sexual orientation, including a call in 2003 to the Government of Canada to recognize same-sex marriage.”
    Instead of painting “Christians” as if we are all of the same stripe, why not refer to yourself as a Pentecostal or Baptist or whatever. All Christians do not adhere to the same tenets.

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    • The Queen says:

      It wasn’t my intention to embarass you at all , phylly. I understand that you don’t agree and that’s ok. And I was raised Baptist denominationally, if that helps? But I’ll just say, that there are non-Christians darkening Baptist churches as well as born again Christians. Baptist does not equate Christianity and as such, does not tell me where to stand on any issue. The Bible is my only source and guide.

      Loving someone…anyone…unconditionally is one thing. Liking their actions is another. I can honestly say that I love a gay friend of mine but I don’t necessarily like his actions. I don’t point a finger at him and I don’t tell him he’s wrong..unless he wants to know what I think. I don’t love him less because he’s gay and I don’t love him more because he’s gay. I just really like the guy personally!

      “Our culture has accepted two huge lies: The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear them or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense.
      You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”

      – Rick Warren

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      • judiang says:

        I agree with Warren’s quote. One can absolutely not approve of the gender of somebody’s sex partner based on one’s religious belief. However, that does not give one the right to deprive somebody else of the same rights one enjoys based on one’s religious belief.

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      • judiang says:

        I have questions about your gay friend. I assume he’s a wonderful person, or you wouldn’t love him. What if he came crying to you that he couldn’t see his dying long time partner in the hospital because he wasn’t legally family? What if his partner’s family took everything the two had worked to get because he had no legal standing? What if he couldn’t adopt a child for whom he was caring and dearly loved because he was gay, so the child is dumped back into the hellish foster care system? What if he called in shock saying he was just fired for no other reason than the boss discovering he was gay? What would you say? I love you but your partner is the wrong sex, so… well… too bad -you’re gay?

        I’ve read your comments on other blogs and your fun posts here (fascinating to a city girl BTW!) and just can’t see you saying that. I think you’d feel sorrow for him as a human being and a certain sense of injustice. I just wish that why people thump their bibles that they also remember all the others out there, just like your friend who may suffer because somebody’s religious beliefs say they should.

        I wonder if the anti-gay debate isn’t also fueled by the malicious stereotype of gays all being promiscuous, AIDs ridden, predatory, immoral pedaphiles. Sure, there probably are some of those, but they exist in the straight world too. But I don’t know any. Do you? Does anybody commenting? All of my gay friends are like your friend. What I saying is allowing your friend rights and dignity as a human being doesn’t mean you agree with or condone his sexual partners. THAT is what bothers me the most, the contention that not condoning must equal treating your friend like a lesser person.

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      • The Queen says:

        @judi…the framing of your questions seem a bit extreme if not exaggerated but, yes, I would absolutely and completely do everything possible to help my gay friend in any of the above “worst case scenarios”. Being my friend means regardless of gender, race, religion, politics or color of eyes, I am your friend. Really. I don’t know how I can prove that but I can only say it with every ounce of integrity that I have. And I can also say that everyone that I count as friends or family…or maybe even foes, would do the same. I just read rant after rant on Twitter about someone’s fellow Christians being hypocrites. I’m afraid she’s right. But what she hasn’t considered, is that we’re all hypocrites. In one way or another.

        I can only say one more time that this whole CFA thing started in reaction to the Mr. Cathey’s opposition parties screaming “Bigots!” because he dared to say that he supported the traditional family. Seriously? He can’t say that? We’ve been through this drill before and will again. Time and time again, the voting public has rejected the gay community’s petitions for “equal rights in the form of same sex marriage”. Really? How many times does the issue have go down in flames? Because the people vote against an issue, that automatically makes them haters? I don’t think so.

        But nothing I say is ever going to change that. There’s only One Person who can change men’s hearts and minds. And no, I won’t throw a Bible verse at you or anyone else. And I won’t thump a Bible or chose to park my chariot on any hill. I have bigger battles to face…praying for my grands’ salvation, reading to my grandchildren, tending my gardens, doing everything possible to get real “change” voted in before this great nation of ours completely deteriorates.

        I don’t know of one person who wants a gay to suffer. That’s absurd. And I certainly don’t think of them as “lesser” than myself. I love them with all of my heart just like I do unbelievers and believers. (And yes, I believe that being gay doesn’t preclude Christianity. There ARE Christian gays). Period. Unconditionally. Just like the Lord loves me, inspite of the fact that I sometimes speed when driving and let my tongue get the best of me and…well you get the idea. I’m as imperfect as they come, but I’m working on it. 🙂

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        • servetus says:

          The thing is, some of those organizations that Mr. Cathy supports with Chik-Fil-A profits? They *do* want gays to suffer. Family Research Council is a prime example. Their leadership supports recriminalization of homosexual behaviors. They lobbied Congress to keep silent on a bill regarding gays in Uganda — where the death penalty is the punishment for gay behavior. If you look at the print trail of Family Research Council — they have published book after pamphlet after publication that alleges that gay men are pedophiles. I’m not making this up: this stuff is in libraries, churches, and the public eye. It’s no secret. This is clearly a civil rights issue, and I don’t see how these organizations can be defended as not seeking the suffering of gays — indeed, they seek to impose that suffering as a matter of law and policy. It’s not just an opinion we’re talking about here, that we can agree to disagree on. When someone’s opinion is that a fellow citizen of mine doesn’t deserve equal rights to mine, I am called to action and to speech.

          FWIW: I read this about the issue today, written by a conservative, evangelical Christian, and it really expresses effectively what I think about this issue with regard to Christianity.

          http://gillispiefam.blogspot.com/2012/08/food-for-thought.html

          (The blog she links to is worth reading, too.)

          My own experiences with Christianity were problematic, but I am still capable of admiring Christians when I see them act like this. And it challenges me to abandon my own pretensions on the issue. For me, a non-Christian, after reading that, the lesson should be — when I’m thinking of eating a fast food lunch, what I probably need to be doing is packing a cheaper lunch from home and taking the extra money and buying lunch for someone who needs it. There are more than enough hungry people in the U.S.

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  6. judiang says:

    Oh yikes! I know this is a hot touchy issue, so I will try to articulate what I feel in the most succinct way possible. This is solely my personal opinion; I’m not implying that I speak for anybody else. I also must make another disclaimer: I no longer call myself a Christian. If pressed for a label, on good days I say I’m agnostic, on bad days an atheist. However, I was raised Christian and attended religious schools from 8th grade onwards.

    IMHO, one of the things which baffles me about conservative Christians is a certain willful blindness about they say is the word of God. Aside from the infamous passage in Leviticus often quoted, the bible is chock full of other passages as well. It’s the Word of God not for women not to speak in front of congregations. It’s the Word of God for a husband to discipline his wife if necessary. It’s the Word of God
    to stone people to death for various crimes. It’s the Word of God to exact an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. It’s the Word of God to own other people and limit their rights. Throughout history, the bible was used to sanction every one of these things. We just lived the civil rights movement where the issue of equal rights for African Americans was hotly debated. People died over this. Yet nobody today except the most rabid bigot would suggest people should adhere to the Word of God. Thankfully, interpretation of the bible has EVOLVED away from these beliefs, or Christians would be living similiar to Islamists, whose ways are derided as extreme and barbaric.

    So why cherry pick Leviticus now to say okay, the other things should not be interpreted literally, but this thing on homosexuality, we must keep? So, love our neighbor, like ourselves, except for The Other? That’s not Christian. Remember when race mixing and equality was called a calamnity that would destroy society? Hmm. Looks like we survived. Yet, the final explanation is, “it’s the Word of God!” as if that other stuff isn’t also the Word of God. There is an inherent hypocrisy in that.

    People weren’t angry yesterday at Christians supporting Christian. They were angry at Christians rallying to support bigotry against gays. Make no mistake, this isn’t about free speech; Kathy is not prevented from saying what he wants and spending his millions. This is about denying full civil rights to a segment of society based on cherry picking a passage that flies in the face of what Jesus taught.

    This is my 3 cents worth anyway. 🙂

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    • The Queen says:

      Thanks judi. I appreciate your 3 cents! I’d have to disagree with your take on your statements concerning the Word, but that’s a whole other discussion. The thought that the Word of God “evolves” is as basic to me, personally, as my salvation experience. It just doesn’t evolve. Period. I am unshakeable on that point!

      You’re right…Mr. Cathy has every right to say what he said. I’ve been waiting from someone to say those words publicly for some time. I think it was gutsy of him to say it, knowing that there would be repercussions. He was willing to take that chance. 🙂

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  7. phylly3 says:

    @judiang – Exactly! Thank you for saying what I wish I had. (Except for the first paragraph.)

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  8. phylly3 says:

    @TheQueen, Sorry, didn’t read your last comment before I posted. Thank you for the link. I was not aware of this issue.
    I do think a person has a perfect right to speak about their beliefs in public. For a business person, it is obviously more risky. I respect the fact that he closes on his business on Sundays. As for all the hullabaloo on this issue… all I can do is offer a guess as to what people must be thinking.
    Of course, he is perfectly right to believe in a traditional family and run his business in the way he thinks is right. Where I think people have a problem is that by saying publicly that he is FOR traditional family values – that statement also implies that he is against something. People who are not in “traditional” families (and they seem to be in the majority nowadays) tend to be pretty touchy on that subject. So he basically said (or they chose to hear) that he (and his business) was against THEM.
    Would you want to support a business that you felt was against you? So people vote with their feet in a democratic capitalist society. I wouldn’t want that right taken away. I want to be able to boycott a company that is using slave labour or whatever.
    It is fair, that his company was targeted? Probably not. He seems like a nice person and a good boss with a good product. But maybe he forgot the most important rule of the sales industry: “The customer is always right’.

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  9. Kitty says:

    If we look at the issue, it isn’t about the gay life style verses the 1 man + 1 woman = Godly marriage. It is about freedom to express our beliefs. It is about tolerance. From my vantage, I see a group of people who wants every one to agree with them. If we do not agree, then we are defined as haters and intolerant. Jesus plainly tells us (Christ followers) that we are to love people into His way: “And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him. And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Mark 2). The problem I have discovered is that those who choose to live the gay life style do not see themselves as practicing sin. I am not judging by saying that the gay life style is a sin. I do believe that the Word of God says this. God is holy and we must remember that God calls His followers to strive to be holy (1 Peter 1). God is holy – totally other; other than those who are Christ followers, and also those who are not Christ followers. We would all do well to remember Him in His holiness and tremble @ His ability to do whatever He chooses to bring glory to His Name. He alone is judge. He will judge whether His followers fed the hungry, gave a cup of water to the thirsty, was hospitable to the stranger, clothed the naked, visited the prisoner, kept a tight rein on our tongue while we cared for the widow and the orphan (Matthew 25, James 1). He alone will judge whether anyone knows Him, yet chooses not to glorify nor give thanks to Him, exchanging the truth about God (His holiness) for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator (Romans 1). It should be no surprise to us as Christ followers that we are ridiculed for standing on biblical principles. Jesus told us that we would have trouble (John 16), but praise His high and holy name, He has overcome.
    With no shame or embarrassment I repeat these truths. I claim Jesus and His blood and the truth of His Word. Sunday School lesson over.

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    • The Queen says:

      I think you’re on to something, Kitty. I think our “approval” is sought after on this issue and when we can’t give it, it just doesn’t sit well. And thus interpreted as if you’re not for us, you have to be agin us! God speaks to us about sexual sins between same sex as well as the sin of sexual impurity outside of marriage. Now that’s one that we would really catch heck for. How many of our Christain teens have been harassed and laughed at over their virginity? Ask me how I know…

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      • servetus says:

        I don’t think anyone physically *attacks* those Christian teens for being virgins, though. As happens to gay teenagers, routinely. Because someone is either telling people or implying to them that is okay. I’m not saying it’s (only) Christians. I don’t think most gay people seek Christians’ approval (Christian gay people might be in a separate category there — and I know a lot of Christian pastors who are absolutely on the other side of this issue). But what they seek — and what they have a right to — is not being subject to violence because of their sexual orientation.

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  10. servetus says:

    I don’t think that protections on freedom of speech (which really only involve the government’s capacity to restrict speech — not that of any other entity — start working for a private company or even for a state government and you’ll see just exactly how much protected freedom of speech you really have, which is not much) imply that free speech has no consequences. Mr. Cathy is free to say what he wishes and to spend his corporation’s money as he wishes, legally and in every other sense. I also have a freedom. I don’t want to buy support for anti-gay values (that’s really what Family Research Council and the other group, whose name I forget, support) with my chicken sandwich. If you’re bothered about being criticized for your stance: believe me, it’s happening on this side, too. It’s disturbing to me that I get condemned for voting with my feet in a country where I’m constantly being bombarded about the virtues of free markets. If the market is free, I choose to spend my money at places where I’m not buying political and social support for anti-gay values. If speech is free, I choose to urge my like-minded friends to participate in such a boycott. Because I believe this is actually a civil rights issue, and also that when religions try to establish their social values in law, they are going down a perilous route (but that’s, of course, a separate issue).

    As far as Christians being under obligation to act in love: Amen. I just don’t see how this action is loving, or toward whom. And if I were gay, I would see this as a fundamental assault on my identity and my civil rights. Now, had Mr. Cathy said, we’ll use 10% of our profits on our sandwiches to make sure that every kid in the state where my corporation is headquartered goes to school having had a healthy breakfast — we’ll stand at the doorways to the schools and kids can pick up one of our tasty chicken biscuits and a carton of milk if their parents were unable to provide it for them — I’d be eating there every week. Cuz there’s more than one on my campus, and I like the food. I wasn’t the one who chose to make visiting Chik-Fil-A about more than the food. Mr. Cathy did that. I’m just responding to his choice to do so with the means I have.

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    • The Queen says:

      And I do the same when I don’t go to say…JC Penney’s. Are we cancelling each other out?!! LOL! I wonder if McDonald’s or Burger King or KFC donate a percentage of their profits to kid’s lunches? But then, if Michelle has her way, none of us will be eating at fast food joints ever again!

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      • servetus says:

        I think I’m going to try very hard to be organized enough this fall not to have to eat fast food lunches on campus and donate my lunch money to a hunger prevention effort. Probably I’ll manage till mid-term, when everything usually falls apart. But I was really moved by the link that I posted above.

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      • The Queen says:

        Serv, I think that would be very commendable…sacrificial giving at its best. We are trying to practice that within our small church in regards to a mission in Africa. The church kids are learning so much from that mission. They can’t believe that the entire orphanage has 1 ball to play with and if they’re lucky, they’ll get a meal a day..rice and some beans, if they’re lucky. Hard to imagine.

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  11. grammyjj says:

    WOW, so many comments – and varying points of view. Ms. Queen – I do agree with you, and I also saw a photo/post on FB inquiring “when was the last time you saw Christians lining up to donate food to the poor?”. I must say that I see it all the time. I see it when “feed the children” holds their food drives, I see it when the local food pantry asks for food, I see it when our churches find out about a family in need.
    But the thing that got to me was that the person writing it seemed to think that only Christians were upset with the “boycott” of Chick Fil-A. My experience this week talking to patrons at several of the restaurants indicated that there were people there from all walks of life. There were a number of Christians, yes; but there were also a number of folks who were just fed up with the PC police telling folks what they can and cannot think/say.
    Mr. Cathey built his business from the ground up and has done an amazing job. He started with a set of values that have not changed over time. I’ve read his book and heard him speak. I’ve also spoken with current and former employees and from all accounts, Mr. Cathey does not and has not discriminated against anyone who is gay, employee or customer. He was asked a question and he gave his opinion. Isn’t that what our service men and women have fought and died for since the inception of this country? The right to say and think what we wish; aren’t they still doing that today?
    In this PC society, if we disagree with ANYONE and the way they choose to live their life – we are intolerant. When did that happen? And why is anyone who proclaims themself a Christian immediately a biggot, racist or intolerant. Why can’t we be free to state our belief’s/opinions, just as anyone else? Hmmmmm
    OK, so I’ve rambled and chased rabbits here enough – I know this doesn’t make any sense, so I’m done.

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  12. heartfelt says:

    You’ve made perfect sense, Grammjj. Tolerance seems to be key. Tolerance of the choices of others, though they may not be our choices. Tolerance of the deeply held beliefs of others, though they may not be our beliefs. Tolerance of the right of others to express their beliefs in a civil way, as we wish to be tolerated when we express our beliefs likewise. Tolerance does not imply agreement, just a willingness to afford intrinsic respect to fellow human beings and to not assume the worst motives in their choices, their beliefs and their civil expressions of these beliefs. To do otherwise, diminishes us all.

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  13. Suzann coffey says:

    I think this is very simple , in the Bible it says man shall not lust after another man or woman after another woman. That is Bibical. But the Bible also says we are to love each other as we do ourselves. God did not put us together to judge one another but to love one another. He will be the final judge—not us. The whole scenario reminds me of when my children were young. I would tell them , ” I love you unconditionally , but I don’t like the way you are acting right now.”

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    • servetus says:

      That assumes, though, that the behavior in question is an aberration and something that can be easily avoided. Most gay people in contrast would say that their sexual behavior comes from their identity and that this is not changeable. When people say, “I love you, but your behavior” (which to me reads like a politically correct version of “love the sinner, hate the sin,” the response would be, “if you can’t accept my behavior, you cannot accept who I am.” If i were in that position, I personally would see that as the essence of un-love: the failure to see the person and love them for who they are; the insistence that they be someone else for me. That’s an awfully high demand to place on someone under any circumstances, and it does constitute a judgment of the person him or herself, I’m afraid.

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      • The Queen says:

        @Serv…while I can’t agree with most of what you say, I will say that having raised 3 sons, I’ve learned many lessons about tough love. As a parent, there have been times that’s the only thing you have left in your portfolio of parenting. I have to completely disagree…you can love unconditionally but still dislike the behavior. I’ve experienced it as a child and as a parent…also as a partner in marriage. God expects change out of us. Otherwise when we ask for His forgiveness and He grants it…do we continue in the same sin willingly? No, we attempt to change. Sometimes succeeding, sometimes not.

        It appears to me, that many many gays consider their gayness their total identiy. That one thing is what their world revolves around. Everything they do, think and believe is centered around their being gay. And that’s where things get really complicated. Once their eyes are off God, if they ever were on Him, then it all becomes narcissistic in the worst form. Yes, Christians can be narcissistic also, but most of us, and I do include myself, are trying to not fall into that trap and are attempting to be better.

        Would I accept rebellious and beligerant behavior from a my child/grandchild? Nope. Not because I don’t love them but because I DO love them. Not trying change bad behavior signals unlove. God warns us about that over and over. My insistance that my child change his behavior is not for me. It’s for his own good and for his relationship to his/our Father.

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        • servetus says:

          I’m on the fence about whether homosexuality is a sin (have been for years; have read tons of argumentation on both sides by all kinds of biblical scholars of numerous denominations) and also think a lot about what it means to me personally and practically it if is — but I would disagree that “most of us … are trying to not fall into that trap [narcissism] and are attempting to be better.” I can’t speak for you. But I have as many acknowledged and unacknowledged sins as any homosexual. Every time my mother calls and I cringe inside before I go to her assistance, I’m guilty of putting myself at the center of the universe, and I don’t see this getting any better in the short term. And that’s just one example. And in the end, it doesn’t matter whether we’re trying or not, I think. No matter how hard we try, we don’t deserve anything from G-d. Jews and Christians agree that humanity deserves to die for its sins. Every year that G-d doesn’t kill me is a gift from G-d, an act of grace that I can’t fully understand. And the thing is: none of us is G-d or understands what is in G-d’s mind. If G-d wants to punish homosexuals with some kind of “tough love,” that’s up to G-d. It’s not my role to step in for him in punishing sin, especially when the list of my own sins is so very great.

          Like

      • The Queen says:

        Serv, if you think that I think I don’t sin just because I try to better myself, that’s completely false. I am as flawed as any murderer, homosexual, adulterer, liar, bigot, alcoholic or whatever. The point I’m trying to make and seem to be failing, is that God disciplines us as parents have to discipline a child that we’re responsible for. Sin is sin. No one sin is worse than any other.

        You’re absolutely correct in saying that we don’t deserve anything from God. But He loves us and sent a redeemer to save us…a free gift of grace that we can’t do anything to earn. That’s the beauty of God’s love…His only Son was our ticket to everlasting life!! Glory be!

        And I don’t have any concept of “God killing us”…yes, He has a plan for us, but KILL us? Absolutely not. And please just get rid of this “punishing” homosexuals because they sin!! No way and no one I’ve ever known wants them punished. Because, you know what? My sins would condemn me too if there’s going to be any punishing going on. But I took care of all of that at age 11 when I stepped forward to give my life to Him. I know I’ve disappointed Him more than is imaginable. I know I’ve failed on so many levels but the joy is that I keep on putting His love around me, trying to be more like Him and He loves me regardless. His is an unconditional love.

        I don’t know about the situation with your mom, but I’m pretty sure she loves you. A lot! The only advice I can give you is to remember all the times she mopped up after you. Wiped your grimy little face clean. Kissed away the tears. Cleaned your nasty little butt! Cooked wonderful meals for you. You can do that too. Now, it’s your turn. I know. I’ve had to do it and I’ve counted it as a blessing….yes it was hard and sometimes I wished I was anywhere but doing what I had to do, but one day, I may have to have someone taking care of me. The shoe will be on the other proverbial foot and I won’t like it. But it will be my turn to be on the receiving end of kindness. I hope I can do it graciously!

        Like

        • servetus says:

          My sin doesn’t consist in what I do for my mother; it consists in the resentment I feel about it from time to time. My point was that I’m just as likely to put pieces of my identity –wanting to spend my time writing, for instance– at the center of everything as anyone else, it’s just that my sins in that regard don’t lead to people wanting to deprive me of or prevent me from obtaining civil rights. No one says I don’t deserve protection against employment discrimination, for instance, because I’m full of resentment from time to time. It’s pretty hard not to see the programs of groups like Family Research Council and others that CFA supports with its money, which do seek such goals, as not seeking to punish homosexuals. I think it’s a punishment when a loving partner is held away from a hospital bed because his relationship is not seen as worthy of being dignified with the label of marriage and the political rights that goes with it — something that routinely happens in the U.S. I’m sad when I see any version of Christianity mobilized in service of that, for Christians, for the religions as a whole, and for the one G-d. That’s not tough love — but if I said what I truly think it is, I’d be accused of hyperbole and that would detract from my reason for being here.

          While I’ve been trying to discuss for mutual information / awareness, I think that I’ve done all that I can in that regard. Be well, The Queen.

          Like

    • The Queen says:

      Key phrase Suz…God will be the judge. Not only that, He is in total control. I take great comfort in that. Letting Him have that control isn’t always easy for me. I tend to try to make things work. I must make Him shake His head a lot. I’m sure the times that Seth was in the hospital and serving in the military, you would’ve like to have some control over your boy, but left him up to God!

      Like

  14. Suzann coffey says:

    So true Deb. I try to FIX everything. It’s hard for me also to let go and let Him do what is best. Like our Pastor said this morning, it’s hard for we humans—we want instant fixes!

    Like

  15. grammyjj says:

    Servetus, I didn’t intend to post again, and have waited a couple of days to think this over – but I couldn’t let your post go unanswered. I’m sure you didn’t intend to sound patronizing when you stated, “While I’ve been trying to discuss for mutual information / awareness, I think that I’ve done all that I can in that regard.”, however that’s how it came across.

    As someone with gay family members and friends, I can speak to this issue with some personal knowledge. Also, as an aside – my profession is as a Director of Human Resources, so I can speak to the employment side as well. So, here goes….

    As far as discrimination in employment – employers may be able to technically discriminate against those who they know are gay – but 99.9% do not/will not. It’s not worth the potential lawsuit. Remember, anyone can file a lawsuit for any reason, and then you have to fight it. If an employee or former employee files a charge of discrimination against you with the EEOC for ANY reason, you have to respond – which takes time/manpower aka $$. Then, if the employee decides to short circuit that route and ask for a “right to sue” letter s/he can surely find an attorney who will take the case on contingency. At that point, the employer must put up the $$ to either fight the suit or settle – neither of which is cost effective. On top of that most employers are too busy just trying to make ends meet to care about who is sleeping with whom. We expect EVERYONE to keep their sex/dating life OUT of the workplace.
    Next up – keeping a partner from a dying/hospitalized individual. That is quite easily solved, the same way that a hetrosexual couple would solve this if they were not married. Remember unmarried hetrosexual couples face the same obstacle. EVERY individual should have a living will, a durable power of attorney and a medical power of attorney. These are ironclad instruments of law that cannot be circumvented by anyone attempting to keep a loved one away in a medical emergency.
    This is not the dire situation that those with a liberal agenda would have us believe it is. It is simply easy to manipulate folks with slanted “facts”.
    I’m not here to try to change anyone’s opinion – just as no one can change my opinion. We’re all adults and can/have made up our own minds. But let’s speak factually on the issues and not patronize each other.
    Just my 2 cents.

    Like

    • servetus says:

      I was trying to leave politely after I’d been feeling that I’d been patronized, myself, grammyjj, and since a soft answer has been said to turn away wrath, I’ll leave it at that. You be well, too.

      Like

    • judiang says:

      grammyjj, I think we’ve all been having this discussion for mutual information/awareness, not to change each other’s minds, but to gain more insight about each other. I could suggest a few adjective describing what I’ve read here from those with a “conservative agenda,” but it would be unnecessary and unproductive. One of things I liked about this discussion was how civilized and adult it was. So let’s not go there now. Queen, it’s been interesting. Take care.

      Like

      • servetus says:

        I’ll just add that I really, really like The Queen even though this post disturbed me no end, a fact which I tried to communicate in love despite the potential for hurt feelings. So I was here talking because I hoped we could teach each other something. Love you, Queen.

        Like

    • The Queen says:

      grammyjj, coming from one who deals with these issues every day, you’ve brought up some interesting points. And to be honest, I am seeing more and more cases where its the Christians being ostracized. Yesterday, a pastor who was arrested for having home Bible studies was jailed and is now holding Bible studies in the jail. Our lawmen are out hunting up scary Bible study teachers instead of working on the drug dealers, etc….something isn’t right here. I read a blog yesterday where it seems that Christians are now responsible for every war and atrocity known to mankind. And the scary part was…everyone who was responding to the post was agreeing with the blogger. Surely the negative reactions weren’t being “moderated”?

      But I have to say…I appreciate all of the opinions and views expressed here. I’m not sure I “get it” any better than I did before I posted. But I have learned, nonetheless! And thanks for the civility.

      BTW, Amway is on the ropes now..who’s next??? http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/orlando-magic-amway-boycotted-anti-gay-marriage-donation/story?id=16812037 ..please pass the chikin.

      Like

  16. judiang says:

    Queen, it’s this type of irresponsible reporting by certain media, namely FOX news, that really gets my dander up. The man was not jailed for holding bible study in his house. He had a private home bible study that outgrew his house. So, he got permission from the city of Phoenix, AZ (BTW, one of the most conservative states in the country) to turn a garage on his property into a gaming room. Instead he built a 2,000 sq ft structure for 50+ people. The city said it was big enough to be called a church and hence was in violation of city zoning and building violations including health and safety measures designed to save lives in case something happened like the building burning down. He refused to remedy the violations, so he was jailed. So, this is not about religious freedom. This about a man trying to get around city ordinances, implemented for the safety of him and his people. This battle has been going on for over three years. In fact, it started in 2007 when the city became concerned about the number calls parked in front of his house, blocking things like emergency services and street accessibility, a legitimate concern.

    His logic that as long as it’s called a bible study and on his private property, he can do whatever he wants is bogus. The house in which he lives had to meet code for a single family dwelling, (or whatever it is) or he would have not been allowed to move in. His logic also allows that he could keep expanding and bringing in more people, as long as he calls it a bible study. What about the health and safety of his students? Indeed, let’s just all buy private property and build whatever, call it a bible study, and save money from complying with the pesky laws. Freedom of religion is one thing. But this man seems to think his religion exempts him from complying with the law. Not so, no matter what his religion.

    Meanwhile FOX news leaves out most of the facts, in order to feed the fears of it’s heavily Christian audience that they are being persecuted. There are people in the world truly being persecuted for their religions, but this man isn’t one of them.

    Like

    • servetus says:

      If we’re going to embark on the ship of media analysis — FOX News (and other similar outlets) clearly provides information to support the fears and sentiments of its intended core audience, the people who watch it and nod, but let’s also ask what it does for those audiences who watch FOX News and are horrified. If you are not sympathetic to the sort of stories about religion provided on FOX News, what do you tend to get from watching it? Horror. I watch FOX News — I see a lot of it, it’s my parents’ favorite news sources — and think, wow, once again Christians are being portrayed in ways that make them look like self-righteous jerks if you don’t already agree — by a media outlet that is actually supposed to be sympathetic to them. My point is that if there’s a perception problem for Christians in the U.S., it’s engendered as much by sources that portray certain kinds of activities with approval as by sources that are negative about them.

      Incidentally, zoning laws are a frequent area of church / state conflict in the U.S. I’m thinking specifically of the ongoing tussle over the construction of a mosque in TN, which opponents block because they say the mosque builders did not obtain the correct construction permits or give due notice to begin construction, or the incidence of arrests of santeros whose holding of livestock and / or use of animal sacrifice violates residential zoning laws in some large urban areas. I think if we want to be consistent about our arguments about violations of religious freedom, we need to consider that all religions are affected equally by these regulations. Fortunately or unfortunately, for many people, a religious center of whatever denomination or group is also a focus of NIMBY sentiment.

      Like

    • The Queen says:

      Whoa. I have NO idea where the FOX news rant came from. But we turned off the Big 3 years ago. I brought it up purely on the basis of how interesting it is that something like this pastor is considered a danger to society when there is so much violence and real crime getting off scotfree. Time for a deep breath! 🙂

      Like

      • servetus says:

        The question is where we get our information come to conclusions about what’s really happening. How did you hear the story about this pastor? Where does your information come from? This was a story that my students followed very closely because it coincided with a course I teach on church / state conflicts in the West — and the reporting was astounding to witness.

        I think, however, that saying, the state has time to enforce this law while it can’t extinguish all crime confuses two separate issues. The state has an obligation to enforce against legal violations as it can. The fact that it manages to act against someone who violates zoning regulations does not mitigate its obligation to fight crime. No one thinks that. It’s not even the same branch of the government that’s usually responsible. Police forces fight crime; city governments enforce zoning regulations.

        Like

  17. The Queen says:

    Serv, I wasn’t analyzing the media. I’m pretty sure that you and Judi beat the drum. I could be wrong. But being the mind-numbed robot that you seem to think I am…Yes, I did hear a blurb on FOX as I was chasing 5 kids and making lunches this AM. How did you know? But the rest of the story is…after they left and the dust settled, I came to the computer, sat down and started searching out info on the net. I do that often! I used the Huffington Post, the Tea Party.com, the National Review, the Examiner and the Baptist Press for info. If it matters…I’m still deciding on the pastor’s “infractions”. I’ll let you know when I decide where I stand on that. I do know that had these regulations been practiced in our area, my husband and I would now be serving life terms. Scary.

    Like

    • servetus says:

      But they’re not the law in your area — and many things are allowed in more rural areas that are not permitted in urban areas, where population density is closer. Presumably your choice not to live in a city reflects not only your pursuit of agriculture as a source of living, but also your preference for country life — a sentiment I sometimes or even often share with you. 🙂

      In the city I left a year and a half ago, a regular event on Thursday nights filled a residential neighborhood on the edge of an entertainment district with cars, traffic, trash, and inconsiderate people who treated the residents’ property irresponsibly. None of us questioned it when the city limited the event for zoning reasons in that case. Americans have a tendency to put religion in a special category — I think, mostly for historical reasons that have to do with our background of immigration — that somehow makes it okay when a pastor creates a situation in violation of zoning rules that disrupts residential life, but not when a bar does so. Now, if you were an irreligious bar customer, you might call that a violation of equal protection, if you were ticketed for parking wrong while a churchgoer who did the same thing was not.

      That’s the point of the state vs the church as a governing authority. The state can stand above us all, neutrally, in a way that a church cannot because we can all be assumed to accept certain prerogatives of the state in the way that we would not do so of a church. This is why the U.S. is such a haven for religious minorities, or has been until recently — because the law is enforced impartially here, if not in every case, at least relatively more often than it is many other places in the world. And in the U.S. that includes — blessedly — the freedom from religion as well. That diversity is a strength — not a weakness. My neighbor’s freedom enhances mine, it doesn’t detract from it. The fact that the law is enforced on me means that it will also be enforced on my neighbor, equally. Or so we hope.

      Like

  18. The Queen says:

    But I still don’t get where the FOX rants came from. I never mentioned FOX. In fact, I referenced an ABC report. I’m confused.

    While FOX and Civics 101 are interesting, the subject matter at hand is…rather, was, CFA. And quite possibly, Amway and others. Quite simply…I’ll continue to go to CFA because I love their food and because I want to. I’ll not be going to Starbucks or Tom and Jerry’s because I’m not crazy about their products and I don’t particularly like their politics. Those who feel differently, can do the exact opposite. I don’t have a problem with that. That doesn’t make you a hater because you might love Starbucks and/or T&J. Not at all.

    And on that note….I’m suddenly hungry for chicken. The closest chicken joint is KFC 40 miles away. Wonder who they hate? Best do some checking at Glen Beck’s site to find out!!! 🙂

    Suz, I’m headed your way as soon as harvest is over. Meet me at the Mall? You know the place…Mr. Cathy’s joint? Can’t wait!!!

    Like

    • judiang says:

      Queen, I know you’re being droll, but honestly. It really kills a discussion to say something, and then later say you didn’t say it, especially when I can go back and, like you know, read and quote it, if I felt like it, which I don’t.

      I hope you enjoy the chicken when harvest ends. Sincerely. As I said before, it’s been interesting and I might add, insightful.

      Like

    • servetus says:

      I think to say that this question (CFA) has nothing to do with civics is, at best, avoiding the issue. I think, indeed, that it’s a very acute lesson in practical civics. What are our obligations with regard to the civil rights of our fellow citizens? When may these be abridged? Are our own civil rights abridged by the decision to guarantee those of our fellow citizens? These are essential questions that are raised by your original post about CFA. No one would care about CFA if its decisions didn’t have political consequences that move into the realm of public life.

      And I don’t believe anyone in this thread called you a hater. Not me, certainly. I prefer to discuss arguments rather than personalities. If this matter were all about chicken, I don’t think we’d have been discussing it this long.

      I do hope you enjoy your free time when it comes, however that suits you best. I will continue to enjoy your blog.

      Like

  19. The Queen says:

    Where did I mention FOX before your comment mentioning it? Please quote it. I must be losing my mind as I don’t remember saying anything about it until you did. But of course I could be wrong.

    Like

  20. judiang says:

    Not in your first post, in your second post after I deduced you must have heard it from FOX News. FOX is the medium that first presented the pastor’s story on Sunday and has been trumpeting it since then, so it wasn’t hard to guess. The other media has been picking it up from them.

    “Yes, I did hear a blurb on FOX as I was chasing 5 kids and making lunches this AM. How did you know? But the rest of the story is…after they left and the dust settled, I came to the computer, sat down and started searching out info on the net. I do that often! I used the Huffington Post, the Tea Party.com, the National Review, the Examiner and the Baptist Press for info.”

    Then you said you never mentioned FOX but referenced an ABC report, that you hadn’t mentioned. You raised the issue of the pastor as an example of a trend in persecuting Christians. When I presented more facts saying FOX hadn’t reported the whole story, you waved it away as interesting, implying I was the one getting off-track because the original issue was about CFA.

    If we’re getting down to quibbling over who actually typed FOX first although you admitted it was FOX that alerted you, then the discussion is getting truly loopy and needs to end.

    Now I have a taste for KFC but there’s none around here.

    Like

    • The Queen says:

      LOL! Well that’s interesting but believe me, I would NEVER have brought up FOX first, specifically or by name. Ever. I know better. After your opinions of FOX were stated, believe me I hesitated but honesty pushed me forward. I guess if you can deduce my sources, I’m more transparent than I thought. And you’re absolutely right…loopy doesn’t even begin to describe it. My head is spinning!!

      What? No KFC??? Sound like a burger is in order!

      Like

  21. The Queen says:

    Serv, you’re right the two can and may intersect. But my main point was and still is, why can those of us who support Mr. Cathy do so w/o being called names. No, you did not ever call anyone a hater. I appreciate that. But the subject at hand was “Standing with a fellow Christian is what this is all about. Saying we’re not going to keep quiet anymore.” That’s all I wanted to say. Maybe that’s wrong of me, but there it is.

    To quote a deacon in our church, I think it’s safe that we must “agree to disagree”! I don’t have a problem with that. I’m pretty sure our politics are extreme opposites. And that there is life. I can live with it.

    And thanks, I will enjoy a break! Texas, here I come!!

    Like

  22. bZirk says:

    I haven’t read all of the comments yet, but I will. I have read some, and I was wondering how best to express my sentiments about the Chick-Fil-A incident when I stumbled across an article that sums up very well how I feel. Here

    Like

    • The Queen says:

      bZirk…thanks for the link! I’ve been reading many blogs these past few days, some with like reactions to the above link and some the exact opposite. Probably about 50-50 at last count, Interesting where our culture seems to be headed.

      Like

  23. grammyjj says:

    Love the linked blog! Thanks for sending us there!

    Like

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