I got started on a new post nearly two weeks ago (part 2 of what I learned in Rome… as promised) and I haven’t been able to actually finish it. The topic just isn’t speaking to me now like it did when I first got home from Italy. That said, I still totally plan to finish it… it’s just that these days my mind is occupied by other thoughts that are taking precedence. So, sorry if anyone got their hopes up about that. Haha
The burden of posting has fallen on me recently (hence the lack of posts haha) as W and T have been enjoying a summer free from work, full of vacations, fun times, and, oh yeah, moving across the country. They’re mostly unpacked now, so hopefully W will be back to updating again shortly.
Anyway, what’s on my mind this week may be a bit controversial, and I typically don’t get into that stuff on here (or in public or with people I don’t know). So, I ask for your grace up front because, really, I need to just process my thoughts more than anything. I’m not trying to come to conclusions.. just trying to figure it all out, you see!
These days my facebook news feed is a battleground. Does anyone else feel that way? Each and every day I scroll through facebook and see a dozen or more impassioned postings from both sides of the political spectrum. Moreover, something tells me that my facebook friends may be a bit more disparate than the average user. Generally speaking, all of my theatre major and Teach for America friends are WAY on the left and all of my Christian conservative friends are WAY on the right. And it boggles my mind how these groups of people can be equally educated (Bachelor’s, Master’s, JDs, and a few PhDs in progress) and equally passionate about ideas and values that are wildly different. It is exhausting to me.
However, what has been bothering me the most recently is this… the many, many voices I hear on facebook that equate Biblical values with hate. This makes me so sad. SO sad. Don’t get me wrong, I’m aware of plenty of Christian people who are hateful and display a disgusting lack of grace to certain people groups in this country. Westboro Baptist comes to mind, but it is certainly not the only one. I am aware that sometimes Christian people are hateful… radicals of all faiths and creeds tend to be, don’t they? But what makes me sad is this growing idea that standing for Christianity means automatically assuming a posture of hate. That is simply not true for the great majority of us.
Right now there is a big firestorm in the media about ChickfilA and their "hateful, anti-gay stance and sentiments." Now, for those of you up North, this might be totally irrelevant… but here in Atlanta, the ChickfilA capital of the world – literally, this is a big deal. Moreover, it’s become an issue for me personally as several friends and my BF work for their corporate headquarters. My experience has been this: ChickfilA is an unapologetically Christian organization. I’ve posted about it before on this blog, actually. They operate professionally on Christian values, they hire solely Christian believers, and they use their philanthropy branch (Winshape Foundation) to support Christian causes. Despite their size, CFA is a private, family-owned company, and as such they can do what they want. And they do – they close the stores on Sunday, they share prayer requests at meetings, and they have Bible verses all over the corporate office. And – ChickfilA has arguably the very best food and customer service in the fast food business. The people who work there are the sweetest and most genuine that I have ever met… the corporate culture is so healthy and wholesome. There is not an ounce of hate in the building. Well, except maybe from the cows. =)
So, it hurts me to see the media and many of my facebook friends railing about how hateful the organization is. Standing for Christian values (which includes marriage for life and the traditional heterosexual family unit) does NOT necessarily mean harboring hate for the alternative. And, it’s funny that the very people who often criticize the Christian community for being intolerant, narrow, and hateful are the ones hatefully labeling us as such, often unfairly. I wish I could ask some of them, "Do you feel that you’re being tolerant of my values right now?" Of course, the answer would be no. So then, why such self-righteousness about your supposed tolerance and our supposed hate?
Sigh. I don’t know the solution here. What I do know is that I’ll continue my thrice-weekly habit of ordering a regular chicken sandwich, extra-crispy waffle fries, and/or a chocolate chunk cookie. One, because the food is outrageously delicious, and two because I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being unapologetic about what you think is right. If people don’t agree… well, they can continue to unapologetically stand up for what they think is right, and enjoy a mediocre meal and service at KFC. But why not leave their hate at the door, especially if that thing they stand for is tolerance?