For the Love of Chick-Fil-A…

…what is going on? It’s no secret that my family loves Chick-fil-A. Actually my kids beg for it, so I can not sit back any longer. I am over Chick-Fil-A being thrown in the pit of the culture wars. I’m over the fear mongering and hate propaganda. I’m over the political posturing and power plays. I’m over the finger pointing and name-calling.

Dan Cathy is a citizen; he has a right to an opinion. He isn’t selling his theology, but the Chicken Sandwich. There are certainly gay folks who work for and dine at Chick-fil-A. No one has ever been asked for proof of their heterosexuality before stepping into the restaurant. If you don’t like his personal opinion, don’t eat there.

BUT, when some mayors are suggesting Chick-Fil-A be denied permits in their cities, I cannot not just sit back. A difference in personal opinion – not lewd remarks, not discriminatory actions, not company policy – turned into punitive legislation. Mayor Bloomburg, a supporter of gay rights, condemned the statements, saying “cities should not ask about political beliefs before issuing a permit.” Of course they shouldn’t! Will we begin quizzing small-business owners on their positions on gun control, abortion and immigration reform, and decide if their companies are “welcome in our cities?”

Perhaps Chick-Fil-A is banned in Boston, but we will also stand by if a Muslim business owner is banned from operating in Huntsville, Alabama? Mark Zuckerberg is an atheist; should Christians all delete their Facebook accounts? This affront to democracy is infinitely more dangerous than a CEO with an opinion, which, we are supposed to have the freedom to hold and express in this country without threat of commercial retribution.

By the way, I hate the culture wars on both sides of the party line. Conservatives, do you really think posting pithy statements on Facebook about “standing firm in our values” and “resisting the liberal media” is helping? With every hate tweets and finger jab, you are telling my gay friends they are indeed unwelcome, unloved, unvalued and uninvited. If your agenda is to battle homosexuality, how’s that going?

Things that I can’t stand are my sin, pride and arrogance; death of almost 16,000 children from hunger-related causes (Source: Bread for the Word); overcrowded orphanages; and abuse, violence and trafficking of women and children. These things I CANNOT tolerate.

Things that I love are people because Jesus does – ALL of them; grace, healing and redemption because we get to be a part of that everyday if we’re brave enough to say yes; and Jesus because He was always in hot water with the religious people for eating with sinners and offering scandalous grace not just to the leper but to the tax collector.

I’m not here to argue issues, but to bring us back to an understanding that we are commanded to LOVE! Love people, battle real injustices and care for the poor in the love of Jesus. Offer mercy to one another, even if it is viewed as “soft” or “cowardly.” Trust that Jesus is actually at work in this world like He said.

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