Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chick-fil-a, gay marriage, and Christianity

I'm confused, and somewhat annoyed, about this whole Chick-fil-a fiasco that the news, and social media, have created.

How does eating a chicken sandwich suddenly become a political stance? Why on earth are we focused on a fast food chain instead of on the government officials who actually have the power to grant or deny the right to marry? If I chose to indulge in a yummy milkshake from this restaurant am I insulting my homosexual friends? If I don't buy food from this restaurant does that mean I'm no longer a Christian?


This is crazy.

Chick-fil-a is run by Christians. Christians, in general, believe that homosexuality is a sin. They believe that allowing homosexuals to get married will degrade the value of marriage. So, in general, Christians are opposed to allowing homosexuals to get married. So, why is anyone surprised to find out that the people who run Chick-fil-a are opposed to gay marriage? Seriously, this caught people by surprise?

Let me start at the beginning. I support gay marriage. I support gay people.

Wait, let me go farther back.

I am a Christian. I believe in the Bible. I believe that God loves people, all people, and that he sent his son Jesus to die for the sins of people, all people. I know what the Bible says about homosexuality. I also know that it says a whole lot more about love. When Jesus was on this earth he didn't spend all his time trying to stop homosexuality. He showed the love of the Father to people who needed it, regardless of their background.

Most Christians believe that homosexuality is a sin. That is not what I'm debating right now. I'm debating the right of a person to be legally married to the person they love.

So, my question to those people who believe gay people shouldn't get married because they're living in sin is this: what about the other sinners who get married? Adultery is a sin. Theft is a sin. Murder is a sin. Physical abuse is a sin. People who do those sins get married all the time. But I don't see petitions to keep them from getting married.

People say they're opposed to gay marriage because it corrupts the sanctity of marriage. What about people who get married for the wrong reasons? What about people who don't marry for love? Or who marry and then get divorced right away? Doesn't that corrupt the sanctity of marriage too? Why doesn't that invoke the same outrage?

Why this issue? Why is this particular group of people being singled out? Why are heterosexuals who are sinners and don't respect the true meaning of marriage allowed to get married, but monogamous gay couples who love and are committed to each other have to jump through hoops to be able to be legally married? Seriously, I really don't understand.

I believe that if two people love each other, are committed to their marriage for the long term, understand the risks and benefits that marriage can involve, and want to be married then it should be their right. The marriage of two men or two women does not void the value of a marriage between a man and a woman. Allowing gay couples to reap the financial and emotional benefits of being legally married will not decrease the sanctity of heterosexual marriage. That's already been done by heterosexuals.

So, about this chicken sandwich mess. Will I boycott? No. Will I increase my purchases there? No. I didn't change my McDonald's eating habits a while back when it was "revealed" that they supported gay rights. I don't make my political stance with my lunch. Do I agree with the Chick-fil-a president's stance on gay marriage? No, not at all. But I also don't think that every single employee who works for that company is against gay marriage. I don't believe that they would refuse service to a gay couple. And I believe that they probably do support some good programs with their corporate money - environmental stewardship, programs for children, overseas ministries, etc.

Does the fate of marriage in the United States of America rest on the shoulders of a fast food chain? I'm pretty sure it doesn't. Do we still have discrimination, hate, and fear plaguing our society. Definitely.


  1. Very well reasoned. Nice to see coherent thinking instead of knee jerk reactions.

  2. Sounds sensible enough, but the flaw in the reasoning here is that while the fast food chain does not have the direct power to grant or deny marriage, they do have the indirect power to do so by giving large portions of funds to the campaigns of candidates that DO have such power. So when you buy that sandwich, a portion of that money goes to such candidates. Is it a lot? Not by itself, no. But how would you feel if the store increased its prices by a penny an item, with the stipulation that ALL sales from that extra penny go to political candidates with the full power to ban gay marriage? Would you still buy your lunch there? OK, now suppose the amount of the price raised was a nickel, which you probably still wouldn't notice but still would raise considerable funds. How about a quarter, even a dollar, with the same stipulation? Where would you draw the line?

    Just something to think about.