Hey, remember that time when Christians lined up to eat chicken to defend their religious freedom?
No, not that time, the more recent one, at the beginning of this month, after legitimate Todd Akin fan Mike Huckabee declared “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” remember that?
Yeah, well, I didn’t ever finish linking to — or even reading — all of the sharp commentary and follow-up posts in response to CfAAD. So let’s take a trip back to those days of yesteryear, all the way back to four weeks ago, to catch up on some of the leftover links I failed to highlight earlier this month.
The anti-gay “National Organization for Marriage” was so thrilled with Huckabee’s “appreciation day” that they have urged their supporters to “make every Wednesday a Chick-fil-A Wednesday!”
The funny thing about failing to link to that news sooner is that this effort already seems to have fizzled out. But then we shouldn’t underestimate the organizing power of NOM. These are the same people, after all, who boast of having toppled Starbucks and Google.
Tony Jones talked to a bunch of Chick-fil-A appreciators after their big day and found:
They don’t know any gay people. … And I think the church blew it because a lot of Christians have been able to dehumanize GLBT people; and they’ve been able to dehumanize gay people because they don’t know any gay people.
Jason Dye: 10,000. “Distinguished professor of philosophy” J.P. Moreland: 0.
(And, actually, that score makes it seem closer than it really was.)
If you think Jarred seems angry, he’d like to explain that it’s not about “seeming,” he actually is angry: “I tend to get angry when I feel that someone, anyone, is actively hurting me, people I care about, or both.”
Witnessing the Flustercluck, Richard Beck reprises this kernel of wisdom:
“Christianity” has essentially become a mechanism for allowing millions of people to replace being a decent human being with something else, an endorsed “spiritual” substitute.
This was no display of Christian love. This was no humble stand for the truth. This was an act of spite. Bloated, aggressive spite, rooted in pride and void of compassion.
I would invite my fellow evangelicals not to react to that as an argument or as a political statement. Consider Sierra’s post a theater review.
On August 1, American Christians put on a show. The reviews are in — hundreds of thousands of them. And Sierra’s is pretty representative.
This is what the audience thought of the show. That’s not the sound of applause.
For weeks now, the cast of that show has been insisting that the audience just didn’t understand. The cast disagrees with all of the reviewers: they misunderstood the play, or they failed to grasp its true deeper meaning, or they just stubbornly refused to appreciate the subtle nuances of the performance.
I understand this impulse. I’ve been in some real clunkers myself. But the cast, the playwright and the director don’t get to correct the audience.
Well, they can do that. The cast can sit around all they want complaining about how obtuse, uncomprehending and unappreciative the audience was. That may give the cast something to do during all the free time they’ll have the following weekend now that the show has closed as a flop.
But here’s another option: The cast could get out of costume, take a seat in the house and see how this show looks from out there.
What they see within the walls leads them to unwittingly support injustice, to magnify human suffering and alienation without ever seeing that this is the consequence of what they do. From behind the walls, given what they see, it looks like goodness.
My job, then — and the job of those who see what I see — is not to call the owners of Chick-fil-A and those who support them evil or hateful or bad. Our job is to help them see the walls, and then to help hoist them up to look beyond.