The fast food chain Chick-fil-A and the gay & lesbian community have been at odds since a statement from Dan Cathy, whose family owns the Chick-fil-A hit the news media. Then Jim Henson Studios jumped in and BAM! It was on like Donkey Kong. Unfortunately for me I have been trapped in the duel because it is unavoidable. The insane amount of news articles and.Facebook posts have oversaturated us online. I have stayed on the sidelines because it was not really something I wanted to get involved in. I have spoken many times to businesses with my wallet but rarely elsewhere. There are plenty of companies I refuse to support because of their business practices, beliefs, and other factors.
As a general standpoint, Chic-fil-A has had very little influence on my life. My only purchases from them were the giant cups of fresh brewed iced tea. When I worked at a mall for a year or two, they were the best bargain. I obviously knew they were a Christian company since they were closed on Sundays. Before this controversy, I never cared whether the person making my food was Christian or non-Christian and I still don’t. The Muppets, on the other hand, taught me to read, count and share. They have influenced my life since age three. They not only brought us Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock and various movies, they also had a part in Star Wars, Farscape, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Labyrinth, Dark Crystal, and many others. I think Henson has Chic-fil-A beat on “who has a bigger spot in my life.” That being said, I quite frankly, could have cared less about all the media hype. However, when the manipulation of Christian morality jumped in and encouraged God fearing people to buy a chicken sandwich to prove a point, I was outraged. What does your faith have to do with this? I thought to myself, “What would Jesus do?”
Let’s start by looking at the work and life of Jesus.
We can start with the obvious first. Did Jesus condemn homosexuality? Not specifically. He did tell people to uphold God’s laws and if you interpret them to say that homosexuality is a sin, then you can say he was against it. But he never once mentioned the act of homosexuality in any of his teachings.
So what did Jesus do? Well, basically Jesus did four things.
- He restored broken lives – Jesus provided for people’s physical and financial needs. He healed broken bodies, raised the dead and forgave the sins of the guilty. According to the Bible, Jesus proved that God’s power is sufficient to meet every need and in the Book of Philippians 2:13 it says that same power works in and through us.
- He sought God – He had an intimacy with God through prayer. His entire story is filled with the concept of prayer. The gospels have forty five entries that state he went alone to pray.
- He embraced the outcasts – Jesus accepted the castaways of society. Despite upsetting the religious establishment of the times, Jesus embracing the sick and the sinners. He didn’t run with the holy crowd, the wealthy. He showed compassion to the people who needed it the most.
- He confronted hypocrisy – Jesus openly confronted religious hypocrisy. He cleansed the temple because people were using God’s house for their own gain. He condemned people from profiting from religion.
So with that being said, What would Jesus do? First off, he would not have come out and publicly condemned the homosexual community, even if he felt their sexual practices and relationships were wrong. If that was his viewpoint we would have seen it in the Bible. He would have treated them with compassion and embraced them. Taught them and gave them the same charity he offered anyone else, when it was needed. If he were to condemn anyone, it would have been Chic-fil-A. They can have their beliefs and he would normally have supported the business model if not for two things.
- They discriminate against those who do not fit their model of a morale person. The process you go through to become a manager, franchise owner, etc. is very strict and quite possibly discriminatory.
- By openly declaring the belief system and using it to condemn others, whether intentional or not, started using God to help them profit. If that was not enough, this current campaign to support them with your purchase is clearly an act of profiteering in the name of God.
What I would like to believe Christ would have done is this. Nothing that would involve Chic-fil-A. He may have condemned Mike Huckabee for creating Appreciation Day. After that, he would have gathered his disciples and followers and helped the poor or sick just like he did throughout the Bible.
What upsets me the most was pictures like this one, from Amy Voigt at toledoblade.com. Across the country thousands of Christians gathered to support a franchise, their beliefs and free speech. They also inadvertently supported bigotry and oppression. They massed to support a company in the name of God!
Why are there no mass gatherings and support for a free clinic, food bank or other charity that cares for the outcasts and sick? Where is the sudden outpouring for an organization that provides these services in our country and across the world? Why is the “Christian” message we get from them across any media, condemnation and hatred instead of kindness and compassion? Why does Westboro Baptist Church not recieve a public condemnation from the millions of Christians that disagree with their message?
Why does this list of the “15 Largest Charity Events” not have one church organization in it?
Why do Christians continually act in what they call “Christ’s Name” rather than his example?
Estimates about how many WWJD bracelets were sold in the United States during the 1990′s range from 15 million to 52 million. How many got the message?