Monday, July 30, 2012
Here's my beef with the whole thing: the liberal left and the conservative right have both missed the point.
I'm an elder in the United Methodist Church who has vowed to uphold the Discipline of my denomination, and according to the laws of my church cannot participate in or officiate at a same sex marriage, nor allow the same to be conducted in the church I am appointed to serve. I'm cool with that. If you want to say that is preserving the biblical ideal of marriage, I will defend to the death your right to believe that.
But wait...there's more...I am an elder in the United Methodist Church who has vowed to uphold the Discipline of my denomination, who by the laws of our church cannot officiate at or participate in a same sex marriage, nor allow the same to be conducted in the church I am appointed to serve...HOWEVER...I have full sacramental rights to re-marry as many folks as I want for the second, third, or fourth time...which, with a few ancient exceptions...also mars the glorious sanctity of holy matrimony, and the family born from that union.
When this whole thing blew up, it caught my attention. Why? Well, because Chick-fil-a makes a killer chicken sandwich. I don't visit often, but in the times I have patronized their establishment I've never been disappointed. I applaud the fact that, along with Hobby Lobby, Swirlz, and a few others, they are closed on Sunday to give their employees time to worship, if they choose, and/or spend time with family.
The first thing I did when I started seeing the Facebook posts was to start doing a little research, which is my other beef with the whole fiasco. Granted, I have not done extensive research, but some is better than none. Evidently there were only about a dozen of us who actually went back and looked up the quotes before we started slamming Facebook with our shares and reposts.
What I found was Dan Cathy being quoted as saying this: “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives.”
I applaud Mr. Cathy for the fact that he has made his marriage work...or at least wants the public to think that it's working. I am thankful that we live in a country where he can say what he wants with complete freedom, and that he can run his company pretty much as he sees fit. I also applaud him for standing for what he believes in even though it may not be popular.
What gets me though, and it's another thing that makes my job so cotton picking hard, is the scores of folk jumping on whatever raft floats down the river without doing any homework. From what I read, Dan Cathy never mentioned same sex marriage. He may be against it, and perfectly within his right to be so, but in this particular situation, from these particular quotes, those of us who have divorced and remarried, and divorced and remarried, have done just as much damage to the biblical institution of marriage and the biblical image of family. And...as an officiant at more than one exchange of vows for the second or third time, does that make me just as guilty even though I am still with my first wife?
If you support same sex marriage, and don't want to eat at Chic-fil-a, don't eat there. There are countless other places to get a good, nay great, chicken sandwich. If you oppose same sex marriage, and want to support Chick-fil-a, get in line. You won't be alone. Personally, it doesn't matter to me. This isn't a sword I'm willing to fall on. But...there's something in scripture about planks and eyes, or splinters and eyes, or something like that, and this we cannot forget. Make sure the reason you are supporting the company or trying to shut it down is legit, and based on facts instead of mob mentality.
Gentlemen, if you are concerned about preserving the biblical image of family and protecting the sanctity of marriage, and if you have looked at a woman cross-ways and had bad thoughts about her while your wife was standing beside you, you might want to hold off on ordering that chicken sandwich. Ladies, likewise, if you are concerned about preserving the biblical image of family and protecting the sanctity of marriage, and if you have ever winked at a man that wasn't your first husband, maybe a cheeseburger this week instead of that grilled chicken. If you have thrown your wife or husband away and said something like, "I just don't think I love you anymore," or "I'm just not sure I want to be married anymore," maybe you should hit McDonald's instead. Wait, let me make sure Don Thompson hasn't said anything. (I think he's McDonald's CEO)
If you are trying to keep Chick-fil-a out of your city because their freedom of speech doesn't line up with your agenda, get over yourself. Dan Cathy has a right to believe and say what he wants, just like you and I do, and get this, has the right to run his company pretty much the way he sees fit. From what I've read, he's not discriminating against anyone, just stating the beliefs that stand behind his company.
The beauty of living where we live is that we don't have to agree, but for the love of all that's good and holy, let's at least do a little homework so that we know what it is we are disagreeing about.
...oh...and by the way...that's an Arby's chicken sandwich in the picture
Addendum...after seeing a few comments about this, I feel like I need to say that my reflections are about the quotes attributed to Cathy, not what the company does or does not do with their profits. Further research into that could change everything.