My Quick Thought on Chick-Fil-A

My Quick Thought on Chick-Fil-A August 3, 2012

I [Andrew] was just asked by a media outlet my thoughts on tonight’s LGBT Kiss-In Protest at Chick-Fil-A, and how Christians should respond. Here was my answer:

This Chick-Fil-A situation got out of control really quick, in no small part to a number of pundits on both ends of the spectrum adding unnecessary fuel to the fire. They made this situation more than Dan Cathy voicing his support of traditional marriage (as well as some activists on the left also pointing to the money Chick-Fil-A has donated towards ex-gay ministries). These pundits made it a highly structured fight; setting it up as the battle lines must be drawn because the winning worldview will immediately take its place as the dominant majority in culture.

Tonight’s kiss-in protest is an unfortunate, and misguided subsidiary action to a much broader, nuanced conversation that needs to happen surrounding cultural engagement. Yes, this situation is about freedom of speech and religious liberties. But what is lacking is the understanding that there is freedom of speech on both ends of the spectrum. It seems that this Chick-Fil-A situation has people fighting for a freedom of speech for only their version of what they speak. There is no winner in that short of ditching the constitution. That is why August 1st’s Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day and tonight’s Kiss-In are secondary to educating each other in our daily interactions what it means to live in the tension of the reality of our contemporary society: The United States, where Christianity is still the dominant religion, is a pluralistic, post-modern country comprised of a variety of competing worldviews fighting to dictate cultural normalcy.

The main question today must be how we relate to each other with strongly held convictions, rather than continually try to force everyone into theological, social or political alignment. That will never work, as highlighted by the last three days. This gets us back to your original question; what to do tonight: Bring the gay kissing couples outside Chick-Fil-A some McDonalds (because they’re not going to eat Chick-Fil-A), say ‘I’m a Christian and I love you like Jesus,’ then walk away, and hope this evening finishes without more damage done. Then we can get back to the actual work of living out our Christian beliefs like Jesus instead of talking about them. That’s a daily exercise in orthodoxy, not a one-off event that anyone is supposed to care about.

What are your thoughts?

Much love. 

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  • Matthew Phillips

    Just wanted to say that I respect Dan Cathy right to his opinion and to express that opinion. My issue is with the money donated to hate groups, namely Exodus International. I have a psychology bachelor’s and am a clinical mental health counseling grad student, so when I hear someone is donating money to a group that practices a form of “therapy” that has a 1/3 suicide rate, I can’t support that.

    • Matthew – I appreciate your thoughts! This is in part to what Jon said below as well: I’m not opposed to anyone choosing not to eat there for, really, any reason–especially in lieu of money donated to conservative orgs that many feel are harmful. I just think there is a broader issue (e.g. “I want you to believe like me and until that happens you’re a [fill in a word]) that always get intentionally ignored by the folks stirring up the controversy! Ugh.

    • brad

      Matthew: I’m in my own learning process . . . so, I’m grateful for your willingness to grant Dan Cathy a right to his own opinion. I wanted to ask about your assertion that Exodus International has a 1/3 suicide rate. Can you link to an article that verifies that? I read the Atlantic interview with Exodus’ president; he seemed like a reasonable guy . . . didn’t sound like a “hate group” leader.

    • Luke

      “1/3 suicide rate” — Where are you getting this number?

      Andrew- I appreciate this article. I think you’re dead right.

  • thanks for sharing this, andrew. both sides are simply shouting past each other rather than engaging in a helpful and hopeful dialogue, which causes more hurt, fear and hate from each side.

    my hope is that as this exposes our inability to have constructive conversation with those whom we disagree we can find a better way forward.

    in the midst of all of the noise, there have been a few promising voices. yours is one of them. thank you.

    • Thanks brother. I couldn’t agree more about the exposing the inabilities as a society as we’re falling waaaaaay short. That always does more harm than good. Always.

  • Many of us who are unhappy with Chick-Fil-A are not unhappy with Dan Cathy’s opposition to marriage equality. It’s the way he communicated that opposition numerous times. He said on more than one occasion that marriages like mine are destroying the county — that we will destroy this country. This erupted now — for better or for worse — but many of us have known of the corporation’s negative attitudes towards LGBT people and families for a while. Their charitable wing has donated millions to groups like Exodus International and Family Research Council for years, something recently verified by current Exodus president Alan Chambers.

    I have never eaten at Chick-Fil-A and every time I learn more about their organization, that decision to avoid them is reinforced. I won’t be kissing anyone at their local restaurant tonight or protesting them at all. Though I’ll gladly share with others why I don’t eat there.

    Instead I will gladly support other businesses. I had my own private “Wendy’s Appreciation Day” last night in honor of that corporation’s support of adoption and foster care through the Dave Thomas Foundation. FWIW.

    • Seeing I live in Chicago, I never understood the Chick-Fil-A food fascination because we didn’t have one and I never ate one. As for Cathy, I don’t know him personally, but how he communicates certain things could definitely be done in more productive ways that wouldn’t put off balance-minded folks like yourself even if there is a disagreement. I saw your tweet the other day about Wendys…loved it 🙂

  • Ian

    Couldn’t agree more, brother!

    Glad to know we’re on similar pages here. I’d love to know what you think!

  • Celisse

    Thank you, Andrew. As a Christian who enjoys growing, learning, and living with the gay community, I felt like we missed the mark on Wednesday. The fact of the matter is that a group of people were hurt on Wednesday and a group of people are going to be hurt tonight. That is not what it means to be a Christian. We are called to not be like the world yet we are stooping to childish acts of passive aggression. I think that people are hiding too much behind their freedom of speech in order to condemn the opposing view. And that’s on either side. That is not what it needs to be about. Even (maybe “especially” is a better word) if they did not feel like they received the same, I am hoping that Christians everywhere will respond to tonight’s demonstration with respect, love, and open arms.


    • When you said: “The fact of the matter is that a group of people were hurt on Wednesday and a group of people are going to be hurt tonight.” Wow…So. True. And that is the point.

    • Julie

      “The fact of the matter is that a group of people were hurt on Wednesday and a group of people are going to be hurt tonight. That is not what it means to be a Christian.” <——-That precisely the thought in my head throughout the day Wednesday as I watched my Facebook feed fill up with photos and posts from Chick-Fil-A. I was just overwhelmed with a heavy heart for all the hurt that was happening beneath the surface of smiling people eating chicken and feeling proud of themselves.

      The saddest thing I read was from a friend who wrote: "This whole Chic-Fil-A thing feels spiteful, good thing those sandwiches are bomb though, I'll get mine later tonight." That one appalled me the most! While I believe some of the Chick-Fil-A supporters genuinely didn't realize their actions would be hurtful, this guy DID realize it, and went anyway. Really?!

      My sadness was further confirmed when I saw a gay Christian friend who wrote and posted a lengthy, gut-wrenchingly-honest letter to three "people [he] thought were friends" who ate at Chick-Fil-A that day, expressing why and how how their actions had surprised and hurt him deeply.

  • hope

    I was very disheartened by the support of Cathy’s viewpoint rather than the quality of the business. Actually, we don’t have one out here in Palm Springs and I haven’t been to one. I am a born-again Christian with many homosexual friends that are kind, loving, giving, and treat me well, how can I fight that? And I am not out to change my friends with an agenda that’s up to God, and I don’t think I’m perfect enough to do so anyway. I do tell them they can love Jesus no matter what their situation though and I believe that empatically. How can I tell gays they can’t marry while many Christians have been married multiple times as Christians, soooooo hypocritical? And I don’t see the church getting foster children like they should so why can’t a gay couple? I would have given anything as a child to have someone love and care for me regardless, but instead i had to live in “traditional” hateful homes. Of course perfection is a loving man and woman but that is pretty rare indeed, I meet so many arses in church. Marriage is not sanctified by God anyway in it’s current insitution, it is state sanctified and has no protection for anyone, any party is free to leave the family, cause poverty, and pain and suffer no reprocusions. What is wrong with the current Christian “stinking thinking?” Why don’t they focus on love, build a hospital, a clinic to help the sick, pray for others and quit dividing. I try to stick to the two laws Jesus gave me, love him and love my neighbors. And what about the ten commandments Adultery is mentioned and not homosexuality, so which one is worse? The church is full of adultery and it is accepted.

    • It’s amazing how in when people live in real time, those 2 laws are the most difficult simple things ever to exist. Totally agree on the other fronts too.

  • Richard Holloman

    To classify Exodus International as a hate group & to blame them for a large % of the suicide rate among gays reflects ignorance of Exodus International & contributes to the very attitude that Mariin referred to. Please do not be so swallow as to make such generalized statements about such a grace-filled ministry & toward a ministry that works so hard to express redemption & Christ ‘s love. Instead, get to know the authentic hearts of some involed in this compassionate & caring group of people.

    • It will be interesting to see what happens with Exodus in light of Alan Chambers recent statements. I do agree with you on the point of calling Exodus “hate filled.” I don’t believe they hate LGBTs (though there are some folks out there in the world who DO hate LGBTs), I believe they are living in their theological framework. Obviously there are LGBTs who have had very negative experiences with some of Exodus’ affiliate ministries, and that has caused these perceptions. I think the biggest issue however, is a wrong set of expectations. I don’t believe people can go from gay to straight–even those I know who consider themselves “ex-gay” they tell me they don’t consider themselves “straight.” A big nuance that gets left out from Exodus’ part. In that light, as I said, It will be interesting to see how the affiliate ministries change their approach, if at all. That will say a lot.

      • Laura

        Andrew: I’ve read Exodus’ material for quite some time now. I think your characterization of them is rather simplistic. I also think your perceptions of “going from gay to straight” OR NOT is all in who you know. In the most recent year of blog posts on Exodus’ website I don’t think that nuance gets left out at all. There are some people who have redefined themselves in helpful ways that has brought them peace, hope and satisfaction through some of Exodus’ materials, namely their clarified focus of the Gospel being the most important aspect of any conversation about being gay or not. Perhaps it’s the labels that get people stuck. I do think you are right, though, that expectations can be problematic.Let’s leave room for people to be “straight” IF THAT IS HOW THEY WANT TO DEFINE THEMSELVES and not declare: “I don’t believe people can go from gay to straight.” That sounds, well…rather narrow and limiting.

        • sue

          Thank you Laura! I am a child of God who seeks more than anything to be closer to God. To me that is what it is all about! This is what gives me peace.

  • i support chick-fil-a’s right to make chicken and sell it to whomever wants it. i support the owners to believe whatever they want, whether i might view it as right or wrong. i support the owner’s right to donate their own money to whatever organization they wish to fund with their money, no matter how i view that organization. i support people who are offended by what an owner says, or disagrees with them.

    i do not support corporations funding anything. whether a political party, or religious party, or a birthday party, a corporation cannot speak for the minds and hearts of its total employee population. it cannot speak for its entire customer base. it cannot speak for its investors and shareholders. donations made in such a manner make the assumption that it is supported by everyone connected to the org, and that’s not feasible. if the org wants to donate for tax purposes or to be connected to charitable causes, let them give money to the their employees and have them select their own place to put it.

    i also do not agree (almost always) with boycotting a company because of the owner’s beliefs. certainly enough companies cause us to take note of their actions and make us want to do business elsewhere. however, every day all of us interact with companies whose owners/managers/employees are doing things we find diametrically opposed to our own thinking. things that might repulse us. based on the chick-fil-a response, the world would have to vett every company and create lists of pro-choice/pro-life, liberal/conservative, etc, businesses to whom we would become patrons.

    these lists actually do already exist unfortunately. i’ve seen christian yellow pages and pink pages an all sorts of things. we muddy the conversations when we have to be absolutely on one side and everyone opposed has to be absolutely on the other side. i have friends of many years who can’t seem to converse with me anymore because i have left the traditional conservative evangelical viewpoint. they don’t care that i have not adopted any sort of sided viewpoint at this point, and that i choose to not be defined by an edge or end of a spectrum.

    too much is public knowledge these days and when the public gets a hold of it, it gets polarized. i did not find the owner’s comments to be inflammatory. i completely disagree with their corporate decision on what orgs to fund. it seems almost all my friends are mad at me for not picking a side.

    • Daniel

      I have to second your post. Even though I am a Christian, I am completely opposed to any company donating any money to any cause/PAC/lobby group that is not DIRECTLY RELATED TO RUNNING THEIR BUSINESS.

      If an employee or owner wishes to donate personal funds, go for it; just not the company money.

      Also, any owner or CEO has to realize that they are not just an individual, but the face of the company. Therefore any public statements they make reflect on their franchisees and many innocent folks that may or may not agree with the owner’s political views. Acting/speaking without taking this into account is extremely selfish.

  • Richard Holloman

    Correction: my phone auto spell error — “swallow” should be “shallow!” — gesh!!!

  • Bobby Parker

    They’ll know we are Christians by our love, not our fast food choices.

  • Dave

    I can support Cathy’s Freedom of Speech. He, just like the rest of us, is entitled to his opinions. No where does it say that everyone must agree with what someone else thinks or believes. For my Christian friends who went to CFA Wednesday to “support the Christian way of living” I challenged to also not do business with companies who support same sex marriage. In reality, those type of businesses far outnumber CFA.

    I don’t think the kiss in will have any positive results for the LGBT community. It seems more like a “knee jerk” response rather than a well thought out constructive plan and can only give the CFA supporters more reason to not trust us.

    • So are you supporting freedom of speech or seeking to boycott businesses that disagree with you on marriage equality?

  • Mark

    Ok, after having thought about it for a few days, I think the whole Chick-Fil-A debacle has been a series of miscommunications of epic proportions and a total humanity fail.

    You have one side boycotting against discrimination and you have the other side supporting a company’s 1st Amendment Rights. It’s like two people having a screaming match about two entirely separate conversations. Neither side is stopping to try and understand the opposition.

    Dan Cathy is an unsightly underwear stain, but he has a right to his religious views. It’s when your public company starts giving money to oppressive organizations with proven track records of supporting discrimination and hate that it starts getting bad. I completely support a boycott of Chick-Fil-A because of their donations to hate groups.

    On the other hand, while I appreciate any support I can get against those who would deny me rights, directly or indirectly, I think that an elected official trying to ban a company because of the owner’s religious views is a pretty big misstep. I understand the impulse to support such a company.

    I have a sneaking suspicion, however, that a lot of people who went to the Chick-Fil-A Appreciation day really wouldn’t mind if gay people were discriminated against. I have anecdotal evidence to support that suspicion, but obviously no number or polls or anything. Chicken with a side of hate, washed down with intolerance is wrong.

    In all, I would boycott Chick-Fil-A except that I’ve never stepped foot in one so it doesn’t really matter. I facepalm at the mayor of Boston and our own Rahmzilla trying to ban Chick-Fil-A, though.

  • I have no issue with Mr. Cathy’s opinion that gay marriage is wrong, and I don’t suggest he marry a man. I don’t agree with him, but I don’t have a problem with him having an opinion. My problem with his statement is he believes that gay marriage will bring the “wrath of God”. With everything wrong in the world (along with everything right) how could any logical human being feel that love expressed by two people (any two people) be the thing that brings our God’s wrath? That is hate and fear mongering and, frankly I don’t like it, but don’t feel pressured to protest it. (Personally I don’t like their food so the choice not to eat there was made long before his quotes on the subject.)

  • David

    Andrew, can I borrow your phrase (from comment above) “living in their theological framework”? Those words have been trying to form in my mind for several days now.

    I think many organizations are wrongly characterized as “hate groups” when maybe they’re just operating from their own theological framework – possibly misinformed, probably sincere. And that’s the issue that has so many people upset to the point they were willing to wait for hours just to buy a chicken sandwich. People calling others “haters” and worse just because they’re living within their own theological framework. Truly compassionate people and organizations who have done a lot of good have been unfairly characterized in the same category as KKK, Nazis and other truly hate-filled groups.

    I will be sure to go by CFA this evening and share love with any same-sex people who are kissing each other. I wouldn’t dream of calling them names or chastising their behavior. I know Jesus loves them and died for them just like He loves and died for me and the rest of the world. I also know that He calls us all to repentance, and to obedience. Yes, they’ll know us by our love – but love isn’t love without truth. I’m not gonna preach, but if someone else did – in love – then I’d support that.

    I will also continue to support organizations who are proclaiming the biblical blueprint for marriage. Whether that’s through buying a meal or through giving financially, or through even working with those organizations, that’s really my business. I want to see every marriage a biblical marriage, every home a godly home. That does not make me a hater. It makes me a disciple – follower – a Christian.

    I wonder…John 15:18-27 would be considered “hate speech”…? It seems that Jesus’ theological framework allowed for the fact that those who stand for biblical values could just expect to be hated by those who do not. He expected that we would not all be able to “just get along”. Those who hate truth call truth hate. Jesus said it was coming. Whaddya know, He was right – and that’s the truth.

    • Laura

      Well written, Dave. Thank you!

    • Jeff Straka

      The hate of the “world” Jesus was talking about was the Levitical nit-picking Pharisees that did not agree with the way Jesus discarded those rules that had nothing to do with loving your neighbor as yourself. It’s sad how evagelicals have turned Jesus from a reforming prophet into a Pharisee.

      • Frank

        There is nothing loving about accepting, encouraging, supporting, affirming or remaining silent about sinful behavior. In fact that’s a great definition of hate.

        • Jeff Straka

          Then where is the outcry of “love” against sins of divorce, greed, lust, coveting, violence (and so on) that Jesus DID speak about? Aren’t THESE sins that are FAR more prevalent than the 3% or 4% of the US population that claim LGBTQ identity?

          • Frank

            I do not think any Christian is suggesting that people get divorced, be greedy, be lustful, covet or commit violence or that those things are anything but sinful behaviors. With homosexuality people are suggesting that its ok and not sinful thus justifying a public response.

            And the prevalence of one sin over another does not negate the sinfulness of less prevalent sin.

            You do however unwittingly point out the real problem and that is someone making their sexuality part or all of their identity.

            • Jeff Straka

              Once again, Frank, you completely ignore my point which is that I hear NO NATIONAL OUTCRY from evangelicals on the sins that I listed TO THE DEGREE of outcry over LGBTQ rights. I saw NO “Chick-Fil-A Day” to protest against divorce (Cathy also crows about the fact he has never divorced). And gee, wouldn’t it have been nice that instead of stuffing their faces, the evangelical protestors would have donated sandwiches to the local homeless shelter. You, know – people that actually NEEDED a freaking sandwich!

              • Frank

                Jeff I answered your question. No one is trying to say divorce is ok.

                People can help the poor and do other things at the same time. its not a zero sum game.

                Wouldn’t it be great if those Christians who continue fight the losing battle against what God tells us about sexuality and marriage and instead used their time energy and money to serve the poor. Wouldn’t that be great? If they did that there would be no need to defend Gods plan for marriage and sexuality and all the people who believe what God said would have more time, energy and money to serve others.

                Wouldn’t it be great? But then again your bias shows through.

              • neal

                No, Frank, you did not answer Jeff’s question. No one is accusing chick-fil-a supporters or right-wing Christians of condoning divorce, murder, premarital sex, etc. In fact, I think they discourage these sins.

                But in spite of the existing objection to these more prevalent sins, why do we not see the same level of fervor to fight them? Where is the consistency? Or why not take it to the legal arena. You know, like ban the common-law marriage as it encourages premarital sex, and then top that with a chick-fil-a support day too.

                It’s like: ooh…there are gay people pushing for marriage and therefore festive rally against them. People having sex outside of marriage and cheating on their spouses: uh, those are sins but umm…….cricket………………cricket……………cricket

              • Frank

                Actually I did. Jeff wondered why there isn’t more outspokenness of other sins and the answer is no one is trying to claim those other things are not sinful. Remember it’s the gay activists who made this an issue.

              • Jeff Straka

                Au contraire, Frank! From Barna: Although Bible scholars and teachers point out that Jesus taught that divorce was a sin unless adultery was involved, few Americans buy that notion. Only one out of every seven adults (15%) strongly agreed with the statement “when a couple gets divorced without one of them having committed adultery, they are committing a sin.” A similar percentage (16%) moderately agreed with the statement. The vast majority – 66% – disagreed with the statement, most of them strongly dismissing the notion.

              • neal

                Respond to the stats Jeff presented below. In case you don’t know, Barna is a Christian research group. So don’t say it’s a gay activist thing. You don’t believe me, check it yourself.

                If we have to wait for the gay activists to raise this issue, then the state of the Christian church today is really concerning.

                No, you don’t answer the question AT ALL. I know they’re not trying to say those things are not sinful. Even I said that too. But where is the outcry to ban divorce, premarital sex, etc? Why all the legal brouhaha against gay marriage but not on divorce, adultery, and premarital sex? I know that just because there are no street demos doesn’t mean they’re not sinful! But the excessive amount of time and energy to fight gay marriage, and the lack of effort to fight divorce, adultery, and premarital sex MAKE IT SEEM like the hetero sins are judged by a lower standard, AS IF they are less threatening issues in the church, and that is NOT FAIR! Remember that God is just.

                If they’re all sins that are equally offensive as they break God’s design on 1 man and 1 woman marriage, how come homosexuality becomes everyone’s scapegoat sins??

                If you say one more time that “no one is trying to claim those other things are not sinful,” that can only mean two things:
                1) You’re acting like Jeff and I can’t read
                2) You really don’t have an answer and just admit it

              • Frank

                Jeff this is getting tiring as you seem to be on path that you cannot deviate from.

                Organizations provide clean drinking water to those that need it. Your argument would say “But there are hungry people, there are people without homes, there is racial inequality, etc why aren’t you focusing on those things.”

                Hopefully you see the ridiculousness of your logic. if not then I refuse to be caught up in your faulty reasoning.

                And for the record all caps basically tells me I can dismiss your ramblings.

                And every liar, thief, murderer, glutton, etc… could list there normal everyday activities in the same way as Kimberly does so its not relevant.

              • Jeff Straka

                And there is no point in me trying to “reason” with an ignorant, homophobic bigot who won’t even own up to the hypocrisy of his position.

              • Frank

                Thanks for showing your true colors. I knew we would get there eventually.

                And just so that you might actually learn something… if not being a hypocrite was the requirement to speak out about Gods word than no one could ever say anything ever.

              • neal

                Let’s try it again, Frank.

                Jesus stated in the Bible that divorce unless it’s due to adultery is sinful.

                We all know how legal no-fault divorce is in America. There you have it: LEGAL PROTECTION OF SIN!!!! I know the church doesn’t encourage this and recognizes this is a sin. But look at how (at least as far as I’m aware of) more “peaceful” the fight against divorce is: usually through counselling, talk to the pastor, etc. No Christians that I know, even as they object to divorce, says, “let’s pass a bill that prohibits no-fault divorce.” EXPLAIN. For the 10th time, don’t say again “no one is trying to say that divorce is okay.” I KNOW THAT.

                I’m not saying that “pro-family” groups cannot try to influence the gay marriage debate politically. There’s no reason to not exercise their rights. I’m just asking: what’s the justification to legally ban certain sins and not others?

              • Jeff Straka

                Frank, to put this is perspective, Barna also says “Among married born again Christians, 35% have experienced a divorce.” Compare that to the less than 10% of the TOTAL US population (not just Christian!) that are LGBT. Why are evangelicals wasting SO much time on “homosexual sin” vs. divorce (50% national rate)?

              • Frank

                It not an either or it should be an and. I am all for Christians fighting against divorce. In fact I believe Christians were in an uproar over no fault divorce.

                Also no on goes around flaunting divorce as a source of pride. The issues are very different.

                And as an aside there are many secular reasons to keep marriage as one man and one woman. Harvard released a paper on it.

              • Jeff Straka

                Yet Dan Cathy, in his “God’s judgment” rant, he said absolutely NOTHING about the high divorce rate (SIN) inviting God’s condemnation, did he? Evangelicals SAY “a sin is a sin”, but that’s not what their ACTIONS show! The LGBTQ people I am friends with do not “flaunt” their sexuality either – they just want the same freedom to marry the one they love as the rest of us.

              • Frank

                So what? Do you fight for every cause imaginable or do you focus on one or two that mean the most to you?

                Come on! You guys are smarter than you are making yourselves out to be with this line of reasoning.

              • Jeff Straka

                So why does this one SIN piss you off so much, Frank? If you’re so interested in “saving souls”, it seems it would be MUCH more productive working on the divorce sin! Or are YOU not that smart?

              • Frank

                Jeff I told you already. People,deserve the truth of God as people try to lie to them and deceive them

              • neal

                Tell me where I said that it’s an “either/or” thing b/w homosexuality and divorce?

                You still haven’t provided a sound reason as to why one sin should get legal protection and the other one shouldn’t. I’m not trying to support sin, I’m just trying to get an explanation for the lack of consistency in the response to fight against these sins.

                I don’t care that divorcees don’t flaunt their broken marriages. Does the absence of divorce pride parade make them any less sorry for what they did? Not necessarily!! What person in their right mind will celebrate the end of a committed relationship joined by God? People who don’t take their marriage seriously have cheapened God’s idea of the joining b/w a man and a woman in holy matrimony. If kids get involved, you sure are smart enough to know what the divorce will do to the the child! God HATES divorce!

                SIN IS SIN! You don’t get to pick which one is more offensive in the eyes of God. So once again, how do you decide which one is legal and which one is not legal??

                I’m not saying that one single person should fight for ALL the causes there are to be fought for. I’m just asking for more consistency in the Christian community as a whole in their response to various sins.

                If you want to ban the LEGAL right to marry (doesn’t mean the churches will approve necessarily, right?), fine, by all means go ahead and do it with the proper political tools because you have the right to do it. DO NOT FORGET that it’s God’s love that brings people to repentance. If this legal battle is your way of expressing love to the lgbt community, fine. But I argue, this is not enough.

                If you successfully ban gay marriage, ok, so you could say it won’t be the norm in society and “Yay, we won!” WRONG! Sure, maybe lgbt couples won’t have the benefits to support their committed relationships, but that doesn’t mean all the gay couples will break up w/ each other just because of the ban (there the “sin is still around”) and you have yourself a false victory.

                Generally American law bans substance abuse. It still happens, even as we put people in jail. Nothing wrong w/ the exercise of your political rights to fight for what you think is God’s cause. However, the excessive reliance on the law not balanced by the effort to love the gay community relationally (just as you would w/ other lost sinners-without condoning the behavior) will expose your true color.

              • Jeff Straka

                Ah, yes, Frank, but don’t all the millions of people who are deceived into thinking divorce is no longer a sin deserve more of your attention in correcting their beliefs before it’s too late? If they don’t think divorce is a sin, they won’t repent and therefore will be cast into the lake of fire! Am I right?

              • Frank

                Jeff you seem to be very concerned about divorce. Sounds like it should be your issue. I support you speaking out.

                Meanwhile homosexual behavior is still a sin and I will continue to speak out about the lies and deception .

              • Jeff Straka

                I meant to post this HERE:
                But all along, Frank, you’ve NEVER answered why this particular “sin” bothers you so much more than the others. In regards to divorce, you said “no one is trying to claim those other things are not sinful.” That’s a lie and deception on your part to simply cover over the obvious hatred you have for LGBTQ people. Divorce, overall, doesn’t really bother me personally. It’s the HYPOCRISY of evangelicals that claim same-sex marriage will somehow DESTROY the “sanctity” of marriage all the while focusing VERY little attention (especially when you consider the proportions!) to the 50% divorce rate in this country. The REASON for the hypocrisy is quite clear – evangelicals FEAR the FALSE STEREOTYPES of some “GAY LIFESTYLE” they have conjured up in their ignorant minds. Andrew Marin doesn’t help dissolve these stereotypes by focusing his “ministry” in the flamboyant, “gay bar” filled Boys Town community. Most LGBTQ in this country are our NEXT DOOR NEIGHBORS in the suburbs and subdivisions, living dull, ordinary lives with the same dreams and concerns as WE do! Educate yourself, get over the freaking FEAR and IGNORANCE and move ON with your life!

  • Um, FULL equality for queer people is NOT theological and political BUT a JUSTICE issue, Andrew! The Constitution is supposed to afford equal rights to ALL. It goes beyond marriage equality. It is about human dignity! Marriage for you heterosexuals afford you over 1100 rights we queers are not given. In MOST states we can be fired for being queer. In MOST states we cannot visit our partners in the hospital and make medical decisions. So, i am SO sick of being told as a queer person that i need to be nicer and more respectful to people who hate and dehumanize us. i get tired of being told i need to meet people half way.

    Also, read this:

    • I am not saying you need to try and befriend those that you feel have dramatically hurt you. That is an awful lot to ask, and it’s not for everyone. But if we do not make cognizant efforts to be respectful to others and their belief systems, how might you suggest the cultural consciousness shifts from polarized hate to at least, more peaceful and productive civic engagement? And thanks for the Hemant link. He’s a friend…actually works at the same high school as my Dad. Small world.

  • Rob

    Those who think there can be a peaceful resolve to this debate are kidding themselves. Either one side will “win” outright, or a true civil war will erupt.

    • The most realistic reality is that we are kidding ourselves. But to me it’s still not worth giving up trying even if it doesn’t work.

  • Jeff Straka

    You are WRONG to conclude (like Huckabee and the other politi-church folks) that it is about “freedom of speech”. It’s about contributing $5 million of CFA profit to ANTI-GAY HATE groups while calling the 50%+ of Americans (INCLUDING PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIANS!) that favor same-sex marriage that they are “prideful, arrogant” and are calling down “god’s judgement”. THAT’S what it’s about! And your “bridge-building” tactic is a bunch of hooey. Your are implying that the LGBTQ community must somehow “compromise” their theology. Bull. It is the evangelical community that history will PROVE wrong on this issue, and THEY are the ones that must change.
    4 minutes ago

    • David

      Jeff, please check your facts, or at least include relevant resources. I’ve seen varying numbers thrown around about how much CFA has contributed to, as you say “hate groups”, but when I dig into that, the facts seem to support a far smaller number. And that 50%+ who favor same-sex marriage? Where did that come from?

      Calling a person or organization who does not agree with you a ‘hater’ or ‘hate group’ is just ridiculous. Not saying you and I would even be able to get along, but I don’t hate you. We just have significantly different sets of values.

      • Jeff Straka

        Since 2003, Chick-fil-A has given more than $5 million to organizations that actively work to hurt LGBT Americans. These groups include the American Family Association, which the Southern Poverty Law Center deems a hate group. Additionally, Chick-fil-A has donated to groups that have gone on record as calling for “criminal sanctions” against gay and lesbian Americans, as well as groups that promote so-called “ex-gay therapy,” a practice both debunked and deemed as harmful by nearly every major medical authority in the country.

        Same-sex marriage support:

      • David: Setting aside Exodus International (who has been doing a major reputation salvation during the past year, but that’s another issue), the groups that have been listed as being supported by Chick-Fil-A — FRC and Georgia Family Council, for example — have been quite vile and libelous towards GLBT people and families.

        I guess I don’t see why people get shocked when LGBT people react strongly against slurs and attacks on our families. It’s like they want to mock and minimize and legally invalidate our families, but they don’t want a reaction. And they get upset and offended by negative reaction. I seriously don’t get it.

    • Jeff- Thanks for your comment. I actually don’t believe LGBT people need to compromise their theology. A perceived (and expectation of) force compromised theology is the reason why we have landed where we are. The point of building a bridge is to indeed have your convictions but live them in a way that seeks to be a reconciliatory agent to whoever might be your “other,” as Jesus demonstrated. That goes for both progressives and conservatives.

      • Jeff Straka

        It seems a bit much to expect reconciliation when one side is withholding full human equality and rights and dignity from the other side. I don’t think I would wish to reconcile with someone who considered me to be sub-human.

        • Jeff- I don’t think that because someone is theologically conservative or a republican means that they think of you are sub-human. I am not denying the clear fact that there ARE indeed conservatives and republicans that do think that way! But I just don’t think sweeping generalizations do anyone any good. I’m am sure an argument you have used is, “If those conservatives got to know me they wouldn’t see me as a sex act… (or something to that effect.” As Rachel Maddow says all the time about conservatives: “The easiest way to rally support is to create a clear enemy; and their enemy is the LGBT community.” It would be a shame for the same negative system to be implemented by the oppressed group once they gain power. It must go both ways in order to shift what is currently deemed as the “acceptable medium of engagement.”

  • Jibrael

    While I totally support having a conversation where everyone seeks to be respectful and listens to each other, I can say as a gay person that its always a little dehumanizing to be told that I need to be nicer and more respectful to the people and voices who have taught me to hate myself, who have excluded me from their churches, and who in many cases believe I will be butchered by God at Armaggedon or tortured in Hell forever.
    I’m trying to imagine saying to Frederick Douglass that the slaves need to just calm down and understand the slave owners, or telling Dr. King that he needed to tone down the rhetoric and really listen to the white southerners. Or imagine early Christians in the colliseum being asked to just try for a moment as the lions bore down on them to just see the point of view of the Romans.
    Yes: we need some healthy conversation. We need dialogue. But such can only happen when the oppressor sees the oppressed as his equal, and only when the abused minoirty, remembering the violent rhetoric of centuries, can feel safe. Otherwise, what seems like an attempt to engage in a dialogue only ends up perpetuating violence and oppression.

    • Jibrael- I totally hear you on that. And it IS a lot easier for me as a straight white male in a position of cultural power to say the things that I do. But thank God it’s not just me saying them. Even here at The Marin Foundation, our 5 person staff is two straight people, two lesbians and one gay man. We might not all agree on everything but we’re trying to live together differently to model this love we talk about. Also, please see some of my comments to Existential Punk above. Thanks for writing.

      • Jeff Straka

        Then where are your queer staff members voices in this conversation, Andrew? Why is it always the “straight white dude” that is the voice of your foundation?

  • Stephanie

    A big thank you to everyone on here. This is the most intellectual conversation about the fast food debate I’ve seen in days.

  • Lawson Raider

    Before we start talking about the Constitution, let’s understand what it was based upon.

    The Constitution was written by a society that largely adhered to Judeo-Christian values…up until 1962, it was illegal to perform homosexual acts in every state of the Union – hence the values that were inherent by our founding fathers in both the federal and state governments – and the values that the Constitution was based upon.

    So, to say the Constitution grants homosexuals equal rights with heterosexual couples in relation to recognized legal marraiges is wrong and false. Freedom of speech relates to verbal and written exchanges of ideas and has nothing to do with sexual behavior.

    What happened with Chick-Fil-A is one person voice his opinion that marriage belongs between a man and a woman and the media, politicians, and pro-homosexual groups went on the rampage and attacked the organization.

    In response, the public voiced their opinion in-large by stocking up the drive-through lines in massive support of Chick-Fil-A and their stance on what marriage should be.

    As far as homosexuality goes – the Bible states that it is an abomination to God and sin. God hasn’t changed His opinion about the subject…Sodom and Gommorrah were destroyed in part due to homosexuality – in fact, the homosexuals in Sodom and Gommorah were so sick and decrepid that they wanted to have sex with the angels that were sent to Lot.

    What happened at Chick-Fil-A? I would say the public at large has demonstrated to the homosexual community that the traditional definition of marriage is largely supported by Americans – that they consider homosexual marriages to be sick and decrepid and not acceptable.

    Even in the liberal mecca that is called California, the homosexuals could not get gay marriage legalized without going through the courts to have activist judges to overturn the gay marriage ban that the voters of that state engaged into their state constitution… Interesting how can you cry Constitution when you cannot even adhere to the principles of the Constitution when it comes to laws and procedures?

    By the way, the homosexual mafia (hence as they will be referred to) does not want to be able to just live in the same house and do their thing behind closed doors… They can do that right now. No, they want to force society to accept them as legitimate just as much as traditional marraige. It isn’t a matter of civil rights because civil rights relate to aspects of a group of people who are that way due to no fault of their own (A person cannot choose their race and cannot choose their own gender).

    A homosexual is not born a homosexual – they choose to be a homosexual. We have heard the “they were born that way – hence it isn’t a choice” argument.

    So, given that argument, wouldn’t two homosexuals engaging in the act be raping each other? After all, sex without consent is rape. Consent means someone chooses to allow the engagement to occur. Therefore, the two parties have to choose to partake in the engagement.

    Even taking the religious argument aside, even the secular teaching of evolution wouldn’t support the homosexual argument since two males/two females mating could in no form or fashion meet the simplest evolutionary principle of continuing the species. Therefore by even an atheist’s point of view, homosexuality doesn’t jive.

    In summary, good for Chick-Fil-A for taking a stand, good for all the other businesses for supporting Chick-Fil-A and taking a stand with them, and good for everyone who has went to enjoy a great chicken sandwich and standing up with Chick-Fil-A taking a stand against the radical homosexual mafia.

    • Jeff Straka

      So, to you, Lawson, LGBTQ persons are sub-human rapists? I find it sad that Andrew has not bothered to push back and dispute your sickening comments. To claim he’s building a “bridge” and yet allow such a disrespectful and hurtful comment to go unanswered is difficult to understand.

  • Nice thoughts Andy. Here are mine:

    (yep, i’m resurrecting Two World Collision!)

    • YES! So excited TWC is returning from the dead! 🙂

    • Beth


      I read your blog as well…great job! I am a Christian. I have been raised in church and, of course, grew up with the whole homosexuality is an abomination mentality. Since I am now an adult and have come to know Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I have also struggled with what WOULD Jesus Do? How would he act or think? I know that he would never turn his back on anyone and I don’t plan to either. I also struggle with the fact that the Bible says that homosexuality is wrong…especially in light of the fact that I personally know of people who have committed suicide trying to fight their feelings…that can’t be right, and yet we are supposed to believe the Bible in its entirety. I would love to hear/read more of your views and struggles as a gay christian. Thanks for being so inciteful and non-hostile.


  • Some good stuff in here. I wrote similar thoughts last night and tried to live it out today. Here are those comments:

  • Donna

    A lot of energy (and money) is being spent on an issue that REALLY does not harm the U.S.’s idea of family values and traditional families. It would be better directed at problems that TRULY plague Dads, Moms and kids everywhere…Internet porn, domestic violence and substance abuse, to name a few. But, I suppose those issues are not ‘hot’ enough to sell chicken. Most of the people who supported CFA on Wednesday did not even know WHY they were there. All they knew is that they are against LGBTG in any way shape or form. It was sad to see the lemmings gathered in the name of God. It’s one of those moments I say that God is up there shaking his head at his misguided children.

  • I’ve been lurking & enjoying the conversation the blog has going here. Thanks for stirring healthy conversations that build bridges. Thanks for not caving to sensationalism, banner waving and rock-throwing that so many blogs have use to drive their traffic.

    It shows not only restraint, but wisdom.
    Thanks for leading responsibly in this area bro.

  • Sam in San Diego

    Having owned and managed several businesses, I have a much different take on this. When the chicken man discovered a while back that donating food and money to conservative causes resulted in free publicity that got the name of his business, and what they sell, in front of the public, he decided to ramp it up.

    Ramp it up he did, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars of free publicity. Any idiot can get on the internet and figure out about what percentage of the population agrees with the chicken man’s political views. (I seriously wonder if he even believes what he says, or does it just for the free publicity.) The chicken man gets lots and lots of opportunities to get his business in front of those folks. Some people decide to patronize his business because of his political views, not because they especially want what he sells.

    The winner – The chicken man, who got free publicity and increased sales. The loser – The rest of us, especially LGBTs, who the chicken man shamelessly used to try to grow his business. Shame, shame, shame on the chicken man. How about the chicken man pays for his publicity and tells us about why we might want to buy the products he sells?

  • Jessica

    Andrew, I’d love to dialogue with you on some things…i sent you a FB message, is there a better forum for it? This post is beautiful…and you have such an amazing way of expressing the thoughts in my heart on issues like this. I went Wednesday and held a sign at a Chick-fil-a. It was based off some of the “I’m Sorry” campaign signs I’ve seen. It read, “I’m sorry…for the way we as Christians bully the LGBT Family”…I went for the very reasons you mention here. it was the public response that made it feel like there were two mobs of people, one hurting and offended and the other on some free-for all rally.

    Anyway, I got flack for it, but I stuck to my guns, because the “in-your-face” attitude never solved anything.

  • Caleb Boone

    Dear Andrew:

    I hope you don’t mind, but I do feel strongly that Dan Cathy, bless his heart, is wrong.

    In the Spirit and in the Letter.

    We must express the Gospel to the heathen in Jesus’ Love.

    I do not think Dan did that.

    I think he entirely missed the mark.

    Which it is so easy to do if you have the wrong concept of God as not a God of Pure Love.

    Of course homosexuality is a sin. Of course it is wrong.

    But Dan did not express that in the Pure Love of Jesus.

    Bless my heart.

    Below is a humorous song parody I had to write.

    Sincerely yours,

    P.S.: I think your antlers picture is great.

    Dashing Through The Snow!


    Scriptures He Don’t Know!

    A Hillbilly Carol

    By Caleb Boone

    To be sung to the tune of “Jingle Bells.”

    We’ll call him “Chicken Dan,”
    He talked all night and day,
    To boost his master plan,
    Confusing all the way.
    Bells on churchtops ring,
    That Dan is wrong, not right.
    How sad it is to say and sing,
    Dan’s half-baked thoughts tonight.

    Oh, Chick-fil-A, Chick-fil-A,
    Let’s send Dan back to school!
    He needs to learn some Scriptures,
    In a one horse open sleigh!
    Chick-fil-A, Chick-fil-A,
    How dumb can Danny be?
    Oh what fun we’ll have when he
    Is well out of the way!

    A day or two ago
    Dan said God would kill us,
    Blow us to kingdom-come,
    Without too much fuss.
    He said we’d be struck down,
    That God would be real mad,
    He’d blow us all to smithereens,
    And hurt us very bad!

    Chick-fil-A, Chick-fil-A,
    Your food is not that good!
    You’ll never beat Kentucky Fried,
    With sandwiches made of wood!
    Chick-fil-A, Chick-fil-A,
    The Colonel will survive!
    We’ll run you out of town real fast,
    In a one-horse open sleigh!

    Chick-fil-A, Chick-fil-A,
    Go back to Sunday School!
    You need to learn to read and write,
    Not sit on a Dunce Stool!
    Chick-fil-A, Chick-fil-A,
    God is Love, not hate!
    But, bless my heart, you’ll never know,
    Unless you study and stay up late!

    Hays, Kansas
    July 30, 2012.

  • heidi lacombe

    What happened to “everyone is entitled to his own opinion” Why do so many people care if this guy stressed his opinion? It is crazy that it can destroy someones life with one statement. Not everyone in this world has to like everyone. Some people don’t like gay people, white people, black people, or straight people. That is how life works. Sometime we need to just let things go. I for one don’t care what goes on in someone elses bedroom. I don’t have partys, or parades, to stress my sexuality and think it is weird that people do. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and it should not be held against them. If you want to let everyone know your gay, “ok”. But it is your choice. If you want to let people know your straight “ok”, but it’s your choice, everyone needs to chill about this. – My opinion!!!!

  • Jeff Straka

    Tell me how this demonstration was “unfortunate” and “misguided”. It’s quite clear that it WASN’T about “free speech” but about ACTIONS:

    “I don’t care about their personal views, I care about how they spend their money,” Atlantan Benjamin Cobb said as he protested with about 30 others outside the East Trinity Place Chick-fil-A in Decatur.

    “What they are saying is you’re welcome in our restaurant and your money is welcome, but we’re going to turn it around and use it against you,” said protester Tascha Madaffari, whose children, Dominic, William and Emerson, sat nearby eating McDonald’s meals.

    • neal

      This is an honest question, not an attempt at mockery or anything like that.

      If Chick-fil-a did not donate to “anti-gay” groups, would you have cared less that Dan Cathy made that statement?

      • Jeff Straka

        I live in Atlanta and have known for sometime about the conservative, Southern Baptist views of the Cathy family. I used to eat at their restaurants fairly regularly, even putting up with the cheesy “safe for the whole family” Christian music piped in. So Dan Cathy’s views were not shocking. But once I learned that they donated to harmful anti-gay groups and learned some of the anti-gay structures of the CFA-funded Winshape program at Berry College (Rome, GA), I decided I no longer wanted to spend my money there. .

  • Sara

    Chif fil a
    I have been reading some of the comments for a while and I can’t help but see that we are going in circles once again. This Chick Fil-A thing has gone wrong and I’m not Even sure it speaks for everyone but rather generalizes and separates both groups. 
    On the protesting and appreciation of Chick Fil A,  I do not side either simply because it only creates mob mentalities and hostility. Poeple are attracted by the safety in numbers, safety in not standing for what you believe alone, safety in being heard without hearing. 

    Gays protesting Chick Fil A:  I do think gays protesting Chick Fil A came not only from Chick Fil A voicing an “opinion” but rather for what this meant in a wider stage where there is so much oppression already on their lifestyle. So no, they are not protesting against a persons voice and religious belief, they are protesting many that believe like him and believe it is ok to oppress and  discriminate their lifestyle.  The Kissi-in rally was no more than retaliation for the support when they expected support themselves. Like I said, mob mentality and hostility.

    Christians supporting CFA : yes it was CFA’ right to state his belief under a constitutional right and that he did, he was not arrested. When I heard about the Chick Fil A appreciation day I couldn’t help but think of it as a childish sit in except you got a chicken and a drink to go with that. How many of those people stepped out of those glass windows and actually spoke out of God’s love? Very few from what I’ve heard and seen, and like one of you said (I’m sorry for not finding the argument read so many) how many go out of their way to avoid all products from companies supporting the gay community instead of retaliating and not letting the gay community voice their belief? Sounds to me like they found a comfortable place to be where they once say this is what I believe and I’m comfortable here and so should you. And look other people think like me I must be right. When did Jesus ever do a sit in? When did he eve reach to the broken and the sinners feet away from them with a chicken In his hand? By sitting across from them and pointing a finger or even worse pretending like they weren’t there? Like they didn’t exist?  If this is whom we’ve been brought up to believe in, to mirror why are we doing the opposite?? 

    God gave everyone of us a voice, a choice and a life to live. He gave us freedom of choice so that if we believe in him it’s whole heartedly AND with a PERSONAL conviction. Not a conviction set in numbers, under one rule and under the condition that it must be shared by all. It is not out job as Christians to hinder or take away that freedom and God-given ability to chose by sabotaging it supporting laws. If the founder of CFA worries about the homosexual sin ask him how many he’s reached out to? How many have changed his life through him and not through his money? I feel hypocritical thanking My God for being in a country when i have freedom to exercise my religion, when we ourselves have in a ballot the ability to take away freedoms from others based on our beliefs. Does anyone see this?  It is not my job to condemn people, it is not my job to make a decision about someone else’s lifestyle anymore than I can force them to believe in my God. And this is the way we go about it? By wrists-slapping homosexuals instead of preaching to them? We chose to separate ourselves? Where is the compassion and burden for souls? I tell you we’ve traded it for a yes or a no in a ballot. We’d rather vote behind closed doors on choices that do not pertain us than to go deal with it on our own. Stop hiding behind a ballot or a CFA. if homosexuals worry you don’t do so because they are “abomination” (BTW God used that word to refer to Us in a personal confrontation of our sin, I highly doubt this was ever I tended as an insult from “Christians” to non-believers) do so because you want to see them be saved, otherwise don’t bother. Just be conscious of this: in today’s world we have in our hands the choice of whether they practice what they believe behind closed doors. We stand in the side where we shame them where we see them being attacked, and belittled by laws, and do nothing to change that but rather support it. Remember the early Christians? They were once shamed persecuted and now we stand on the other side. Is this what God intended or did we forget? This time is not our freedom in jeopardy but it was once and I thought we’d know better. Do your job like God intended you to by showing compassion, by preaching, by affecting hearts and minds not laws. Avoid inciting and tracing differential lines between “Christians” and “sinners” for God also condemned that once. 

  • Someone was trying to insult the Pride movement by flying the Rainbow flag upside down at a Chick-Fil-A today…

    Little do they know –

  • Joe Piercy

    Hey Andrew! You mentioned that each group could engage at Mcdonalds instead of Chic-Fil-A…I was wondering if it could be at Arby’s because I feel like its a much better option?

    Enjoyed your article!

  • Jack Harris

    On “The Appreciation Day” the emotional side of me wanted to lash out on facebook. I decided that I really didn’t want to add to the insanity that existed that day. In addition to this, I have several students, staff and faculty from the many colleges that I have worked at and I decided that I wouldn’t be a good role model by lashing out.

    I also wish GLBT folks would stop using the word “homophobic” incorrectly. It is true that there are people out there that are but over the last few weeks–it’s been wrongly applied. In many cases, there are folks that simply have not had much exposure to the GLBG community–so it might be a stretch to assume they are afraid. I think its ok to be frustrated, angry and sad about the attitudes and beliefs of others–but slapping a label on someone because you heard someone use it in another context isn’t fair or correct.

    • Jeff Straka

      Merriam-Webster definition of “homophobia”:
      irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals
      So, it’s MORE than just fear.

      • neal

        I see the argument on the friendly atheist website too.
        I know that there are very many narrow-minded, intolerant, and bigoted christians that hate homosexuals. I mean, even if someone is a celibate gay Christian, this individual will still get as much hatred as the openly gay people.

        The bigoted “well-meaning” Christians don’t deserve as much hate. To be honest, I interpret the Bible’s stance on homosexuality conservatively. I believe it’s a sin in practice, but NOT in orientation. That being said, I believe gay couples should be allowed to marry UNDER THE SECULAR LAW i.e, there is no non-biblical reason to object against gay marriage.
        America may have Judeo-Christian founding principles/heritage with the whole “one nation under God” in the money bill, but there is a separation b/w church and state. To enforce Christian beliefs on gay couples that don’t even seek marriage in the church….yeah, does NOT make sense at all. Gay marriage in the church is something that I disagree with, but gay couples can get their union blessed in gay-affirming churches.

        What the well-intentioned “bigoted” Christians meant by objecting to gay marriage is that they believe in the conservative interpretation of the Scripture and they simply believe that the legalization of gay marriage encourages sinful behaviors. They perhaps only lovingly want to keep the gay couples from sinning and risking the eternal fate of their souls b/c as Christians they’re called to be the salt and light, regardless of the law. They just don’t seem to get how they legally discriminate the lgbt community in the process of expressing this love and the lgbt community doesn’t get this viewpoint either.

        Well, I know that you, Jeff, disagrees with my interpretation of the Bible. I’m not gonna debate you on that and decide to respectfully agree to disagree with you. Keep in mind, I’m not against legal gay marriage and I certainly don’t look down on married gay couples just because they “live in sin.” I don’t gain anything from doing that.

        But, I feel like I should speak out for my brothers and sisters who I don’t think should be piled with the TRULY homophobic people who think you’re less than human just because you have a different sexual orientation. Once again, I disagree with their view too. I can’t make you like them and I totally understand why, but this just has to be said.

  • Bob Lawrence

    Thank you, Andrew. I agree with your comments, but I am challenged by your closing statement about orthodoxy. I would submit that the answer to the question you pose (first sentence of third paragraph) is to eliminate any desire for orthodoxy. Even Jesus’ original followers weren’t orthodox in their understanding of Jesus, nor in the reasons behind their desires to follow him. Yet, they did their best to follow him in accordance with their individual understanding and abilities.

    So, although I agree with your premise that our goal should be to live our lives in accordance with our understanding of Jesus’ teachings, I would encourage you to find a word other than “orthodoxy” to express a common goal of living a life following Jesus; a word that honors different understandings and different abilities.

    • Jeff Straka

      Perhaps “orthopraxy” (correct action) vs. “orthodoxy” (correct belief).

  • I might end up being a small voice that gets lost in this conversation. But oh how my heart aches for humanity to tear down the walls of hate and anger over differences and love as Christ loves.

    Andrew- speaking as someone who feels torn in two, (being both Christian and gay) you have given me encouragement and hope that I sought often times in the church. THANK YOU.

    I couldn’t agree more that this situation got out of hand fast and unfortunately made both causes sound ludicrous. Even if there were valid points on both sides they got lost amongst the noise. Christian America should be embarrassed for engaging in a screaming match. They missed out on a valuable discussion. I feel both parties are equally guilty for the arguments escalation but as Christians we are called to higher standards. We aren’t called to be politicians rather… lovers. Lovers of Christ and lovers of humanity.