Friendship, Opposition, and Chick-Fil-A

I’ve had just about enough Chick-Fil-A over the past week to last more than a lifetime, and I didn’t even visit the restaurant today (more on that in a minute).

Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been reading and digesting, trying to nail down precisely what I think our response to all this should have been.  And not doing a particularly good job of that, frankly.  My thoughts have been muddled, more so than on an average day, as I’ve tried to sort through the cultural logic beneath both the protests and the counterprotests and what my own obligations and duties are in light of it and my desire to be faithful to the word of God.

See, I understand that people don’t like Dan Cathy’s remarks or the fact that Chick-Fil-A gives money to defending traditional marriage.   And I understand that makes them not want to buy Chick-Fil-A and to make a big fuss over it.  I get it, just like I get how people who are conservatives want to do that with Starbucks.

And I understand how silly politicians needed a reminder that, you know, people are still okay eating food at restaurants that support traditional marriage.  The naked hostility toward Chick-Fil-A by city leaders should be worrying to us all.  And those Christians who objected to supporting Chick-Fil-A might wish to consider what they will do to support religious liberties to make up the difference.  A letter to the editor might do, or perhaps some agitation against the HHS mandate (which was ironically implemented yesterday). 

But look, it’s easy to simply suggest that people are reinforcing an “us versus them” message by buying Chick-Fil-A, or that they’re merely doing it because they love “shoving it in [a gay person's] face.”  Those messages are probably unavoidable, even if not intentional, and that’s just the unfortunate reality of the thing.

But let’s also remember that “us versus them” goes both ways, and the wonderful elected officials who poured gas on the fire weren’t exactly offering terms of peaceful coexistence.  Yes, perhaps Christians should take the way of the cross and accept their permit rejections with joy.  But is there that much harm in enjoying one last supper before they do?

Look, I didn’t go to Chick-Fil-A today.  I have a job and it doesn’t take me near one, and judging by the photos I didn’t have the time to wait.   And frankly, I’ve been on the fence as to whether I think Christians even should.  Ethical consumption doesn’t entail these sorts of symbolic actions, and while it might be right to support the restaurant there’s also something to not letting the right hand know about the left when we’re doing what we ought.

But this bit from Zac Hunt, well, it finally cleared things up for me:

For me, “shoving it in their face”just doesn’t seem like the response of the Jesus who said “turn the other cheek.” Even if you disagree vehemently with homosexuality and gay marriage, the response Jesus expects from you towards them and those that would decry your position is clear: love them.

Frankly, Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day just doesn’t seem very loving to me. It seems a lot more like a battle to prove who’s right and who’s wrong.

The command to love our neighbor is a real one, and it’s true that a pervasive and unyielding “us versus them” mindset is inhospitable to obedience .  But there are genuine points of opposition between how I see the world and how a secular gay person might, points that it does no good to ignore or downplay.  After all, it was Blake who said opposition was true friendship, which may be one of the few things he actually got right.  We don’t have to drop our intellectual differences in order to be friends:  but we might have to be friends in order to see what’s really at stake in those differences.

And because of that, I officially regret not going to Chick-Fil-A–and inviting my gay friends to come along with me, at my expense, for a rollicking argument about religious liberties, ethics, and whether chicken can be simply chicken. Actually, that would doubtlessly go too long to be comfortable, so I’d also buy ‘em Starbucks to make the afternoon’s expenditures “gay marriage neutral,” to coin myself a phrase.

Whether they’d take me up on it, well, that’s up to them.  But see, one way to overcome the “us versus them” mentality is to remind them that the questions of liberty and justice are the sort that we all live or die by.  If it turns out to be true that gay marriage is unjust because it necessarily infringes religious liberties, well, then so much the worse for gay marriage and the society that implements it.  And vice versa, you know, because if it’s true that not letting gay people marry is actually unjust then, um, what precisely is stopping us? 

We may have our opinions on those, and unanimity will be impossible.  But the question is clearly not settled in any meaningful form.  For us to move forward, there must be commitments in our democratic discourse that go well beyond our own sense of aggrievement or entitlement toward an unyielding and unbending resolve to understand the truth.  It’s in that desire, that shared sense of inquiry and pursuit, that the civic good of friendship is ultimately forged and reforged.

It is also the truth, alas, that the passions and counterpassions of these seasons invariably sacrifice.  Once the frenzies are whipped up, on either side, the impulse to overstate, to let the rhetorical punches overshadow the rigor of reason, to keep the outrage stoked, becomes almost irresistible.  (It takes something of a great man to turn it down and the world knows precious few of those.)  Being of an academic temperament won’t let us off the hook either:  in the end, the mob who shouted “Crucify” was made up of both potters and Pharisees.

Still, the question of who is right and who is wrong won’t be won by the chicken or coffee consumed.  And therein lies my worry about the entire affair.  But it is a question that cannot be ignored.  And it is a question that, once answered, will remind us of the possibility of opposition and test our resolve to see whether friendship can still remain.  For the truth has sharp edges, as sharp as a sword.  The divisions it introduces, by saying this and not that, will always be accompanied by the possibility that others will feel impelled to take their leave.

Which is only to say, “a battle to prove who’s right and who’s wrong” is precisely what we are in.  But it is a battle that should be fought cheerfully, on both sides, with the sort of candor and honesty that doesn’t require belittling each other’s motivations or aggrandizing each other’s offenses to score a few rhetorical points.  It is a battle for the truth, not against each other, a battle to create a space where the truth can be spoken and heard with freedom.

And it is a battle that, next time, may find me and a few friends hashing out over Chick-Fil-A and coffee.

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  • http://www.jrforasteros.com jr. forasteros

    Matt,

    I love the idea of turning a eat-to-protest day into an opportunity to share in a sacred meal.

    Chicken and coffee as the new bread and wine? I’m down.

    For real, great post. You verbalized (uh… visualized?) many of my frustrations as well.

  • G Dub

    Matt,

    Maybe the fight must be fought cheerfully on both sides with respect and dignity without belittling, etc. however, the point of being a Christian is that, when/if the time comes when the “opposition” decides it doesnt care how it treats us, we need to rise above through love, grace, and mercy – not judgment, revenge, or retribution. Thats the difference. And that is why I personally feel that Chick-fil-A day was the wrong approach to take.

    Blessings.

    • http://www.mereorthodoxy.com Matthew Lee Anderson

      G Dub,

      For the record, I don’t think that people eating at Chick-Fil-A were, by and large, motivated by judgment, revenge, or retribution. I think they’re mostly motivated by a genuine concern for religious liberties.

      Best,

      Matt

  • Andrew Walker

    Well, well, well, Mr. Anderson, I think we have some disagreement. Mark it. It rarely ever happens.

    The triumphalism associated with yesterday, and I sure there was, somewhere, wasn’t in keeping with Christian humility. But the experience I had at Chick-fil-A didn’t smack as triumphalist, nor did I witness any. What I encountered was a predominantly Christian population expressing solidarity in their Christian beliefs with one another. Whether one wants to interpret this as inciting division or offering some implicit prosecutorial invective against homosexuals, they are free to do so. One is free to read into yesterday’s events however they want. But I can’t quite grasp the mentality that longs for unanimity in the Christian marital ethic, but then chastises the expression of such cohesion as inciting hatred where no hatred or enmity was observable, by me at least. It sends the message that whenever or whatever Christians bound together on to celebrate or to merely be understood, we will always be berated as an unkindly mob.

    The politics of grievance or the politics of outrage are worn out. I agree entirely with Greg Forster who suggests that Christians ought to begin “de-institutionalizing enmity.” Aside from a stellar phrase, I think it is spot-on; and to the degree that your post was written with that perspective in mind, we agree.

    But statements like “Frankly, Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day just doesn’t seem very loving to me. It seems a lot more like a battle to prove who’s right and who’s wrong” seem naive. It’s an ethic of surrender, which, it too, buys into the “culture war” mentality we’re all trying to crucify. It purveys the myth that if Christians can lay aside the necessity of expressing their opinion, that that particular action counts as a “win.” At the end of the day, perhaps Christians need to put aside there being any win from every holding any position on any issue. All we can do is witness. Witness seems a much more superior cultural ethic insofar as witness results in an outcome that we’re not accountable for. I don’t care about “winning.” I care about faithfulness and witness.

    It’s the audacity to have belief that makes any position potentially subject to enmity, disagreement, and potential controversy. Christians believe. We believe in something objective about marriage. It’s not about who is right or wrong, but about what is true.

    • http://Bensonian.org Christopher Benson

      Well said, Mr. Walker.

      • http://www.mereorthodoxy.com Matthew Lee Anderson

        Except for the part where he misread me. : ) See Chris’s post below.

        Matt

  • Ryan

    I have to respectfully disagree with you here Matt. I think you are looking at this to narrowly to see it as a way for Christians to be spiking the football in the face of the homosexual community. Which I would be completely against.

    I did not choose to participate in eating Chickfila yesterday, and personally found it a little weird, but did understand and appreciate the motive for most. Many of the people I talked to were not out to stick it to gay people, but rather to make a political statement of freedom. They were genuinely horrified that major political leaders were openly calling for the banning of people doing business based on their religious beliefs. Read that again and think about it for a second.

    When you do it does remind you how the cultural/political culture has shifted so suddenly. Imagine someone told you 15 years ago that the mayor of the second largest city in the USA would say that the beliefs of a major historic religion were not welcome in that city. We all would have said “no way.” This was and is about much more than an “us v. them” between Christians and homosexuals. It was about many being outraged that a form of fascism was being promoted by major American political leaders.

    • http://www.mereorthodoxy.com Matthew Lee Anderson

      Ryan,

      Thanks for the disagreement. It is indeed welcome. To clarify, I think Chris (below) got my intentions almost exactly right. My execution seems to have been a bit off, but that’s what I get for writing at 1 AM.

      FWIW, I completely agree that religious liberty is *the* issue at stake. I’ve written plenty about it regarding the HHS mandate and I wholeheartedly support defending it without reservation or qualification, for all people.

      Best,

      Matt

      • Ryan

        Good stuff Matt. Always enjoy reading your blog and thoughtful commentary.

    • http://www.anotherthink.com Charlie

      Well said, Ryan, and I agree. I waited 75 minutes to eat at Chick-fil-A for the very first time yesterday. I did so as a political exercise, not a religious one, certainly not an expression of anti-gay hatred. My goal was simply to come along side a bullied organization to assert that they have the same cherished right to speech, association and religious liberty that we all do. Politicians and interest groups who wish to punish speech that they disapprove of are out of line, and the protection of those rights is ultimately in the hands of we citizens, who from time to time have to push back against those who want to diminish those rights. That’s what being a member of a political society is all about: using the public square to debate and persuade. As a member first of the Body of Christ, how I push back is obviously very important. I did so by quietly standing in line and surrendering some of my money to a business that I respect, and my “speech” in this case was a delicious bit of consumption.

  • Jim

    Matt,
    You are trying to find a soft place that does not exist. Jesus say, you are either for me or against me. He said the world will hate you, because they hated me first and you represent me.

    It would be great it there was a way to compromise in order the get the truth out, but no such place exists. The Chick-A-Fil event was a testimony to the world that we who believe in God will stand firm in the truth. It was an event that taught thousands of young people that their parents believe that standing with God is important. So when you think to yourself that this event didn’t bring anyone to salvation and therefore was not valuable, consider the thousands that received the message of Christ and realize that without a preacher who will hear? In this way, this event was part of the nation saying we believe in God – will you stand with us?

    What are you saying by not participating? This was a teaching moment and you have a platform to use to stand for the things of God.

    • http://www.mereorthodoxy.com Matthew Lee Anderson

      Jim,

      I’m pretty sure our proclamation as Christians isn’t constituted by whether we ate at Chick-Fil-A yesterday or not. If anyone wants to call my willingness to stand for the truth of Scripture with respect to human sexuality and marriage because I didn’t go eat there yesterday then…okay. I have a large body of work where I have patiently and faithfully tried to argue my position in a variety of venues that I think speaks for itself.

      Best,

      Matt

  • http://www.feltonbiblechurch.org Randal Kay

    First, I would recommend “Love is an Orientation,” by Andrew Marin. He has some good and challenging thoughts for those seeking to live like Jesus in the midst of our culture and generation.

    Second, I thought about boycotting Starbucks, but I have friends who work there, and some are even Christians! (Go figure). I thought about boycotting Safeway, because some of the things they sell are not nature-friendly, or even good for you, but heck it’s the place we shop. Then I thought maybe I should just stay home today out of everybody’s way and spend time alone with the Lord and His Word, then I realized, (SHOCK!) my house is made out of wood! “They” destroyed forests to build my house! Let’s face it, there’s just no winning these battles…if it’s not one thing it will be another.

  • http://honeyandlocusts.wordpress.com John Gardner

    “We don’t have to drop our intellectual differences in order to be friends: but we might have to be friends in order to see what’s really at stake in those differences.”

    Amen! I also found myself encouraging Christian friends to eat with gay friends yesterday, because these are the sort of conversations that have to happen if we expect to do anything but spin our wheels when it comes to influencing culture and winning souls. The last few weeks have afforded me a great opportunity to have some valuable discussions with those who hold opposing views on the issue. I like the Chick-Fil-A + Starbucks idea, and may give it a shot (when the lines are shorter).

    • http://www.mereorthodoxy.com Matthew Lee Anderson

      Thanks, John. Appreciate that. And if you do the Chick-Fil-A /Starbucks combo, let me know how it goes!

  • http://www.chriskrycho.com/theology Chris Krycho

    Some of the commenters seem to be missing the thrust of the piece… Matt’s closer was on the very point that truth is a sharp and divisive sword. But, like the heroically antagonistic protagonists of Chesterton’s The Ball and the Cross, we can cheerfully recognize that we have more in common with those who recognize this is an issue of import—great import!—and are willing to fight long and hard and graciously for liberty.

    Part of the muddle in all of this is the great muddle of the last 3 decades of evangelical engagement in politics: we’re still trying to figure out how best to present a thoroughly Biblical, theologically conservative Christian ethic in the context of a liberal democracy (liberal in the old sense of the word). And it’s hard work. And being friends with our neighbors—gay and straight, Christian and heathen—is part of what it means to be in the world but not of it.

  • http://www.remnantculture.com Joseph Sunde

    I share your concern of riling up the mob, and think it can have very negative impacts on our discourse. At the same time, I think in a healthy culture, this particular type of event should leave plenty of room for that kind of engagement. If many of these people are rising up out of a genuine concern for religious liberty, as you grant them, I think we need to place some responsibility on opponents to be sincere about what “we” are striving for (which is not bigotry). At some point, we need to be able to stand up for what we believe in, or at least stand together, even in comparatively petty, symbolic ways, without fearing that someone, somewhere is going to see it as a punch in the face. As you seem to indicate in your piece, some people, on some issues, will always see anything as a punch in the face.

    Not sure if that places us in any kind of disagreement. I yearn for what your yearning for here, and I think this event is by and large compatible with that through what I’ve observed of it.

  • http://soulation.org/positivelyhuman/ L. James Everett, III

    We waited, conversed, and consumed chicken at Chik-Fil-A.

    Then, we went to Starbucks, and consumed some more.

    The only implication from our actions we wished to convey was the point Dennis Prager has made several times, including in his latest tome: Conservatives are more truly tolerant of diverse perspectives than that faction that claims to speak for the current Democratic party–the far Left.

    That is all.

    Wink/smile

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/returntorome/2012/08/the-suns-not-yellow-its-chicken-an-analogy-for-chick-fil-a-skeptics/ Francis J. Beckwith

    Click my name for my response.

    • Eric E

      1) I was expecting a response to Matt’s post but saw no mention of it. #blogetiquettefail
      2) There has been no great public outrage to or Christian-neighborly-love to the Murfreesburo mosque and other similar cases around the country where people have been actively trying to prevent them from freely worshiping and impeding their religious liberty. I only say this because it makes your thought-experiment less believable.

      The people here who are pretending this is JUST about religious liberty are fooling themselves. Whether you like it our not, the way the appreciation day was seen by many others was a bunch of Christians who hate gays are getting together to support a company that hates gays. At the very least, this means the Chick-fil-a appreciation folks did a poor job of getting their point across.

      • http://returntorome.com Francis J. Beckwith

        Eric:

        First, the fact that someone does not object to every wrong does not mean that they have lost the right to object to any wrong. Second, as for the Murfreesburo mosque, virtually no Christians know about that. It, sadly, did not get the publicity that the Chick-Fil-A situation got. The reason is that it did not involve the officials of several major cities, including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, and San Francisco. A little town in Tennessee is a wee bit less visible. But, as a matter of fact, I and many others have come out in support of the mosque. I am one of many signatories of a letter showing support for the mosque. The letter was distributed by the Beckett Fund, the advocacy group supporting Catholics and Evangelicals.

        Third, and I want to be careful in how I say this, but perhaps you should be a little more suspicious of your own epistemic commitments. What I mean by that is that the reason why you don’t “see” what you think you ought to see is that you have a deep and visceral prejudice against conservative Christians. People with such bigotries are incapable of assimilating evidence in a fair and impartial way. So, instead of seeing an act of communal support in what happened on Wednesday, they project on these folks what they already believe about them, and what they believe about them is one-dimensional caricature developed and nurtured by an uncritical consumption of liberal media. Think about Occupy Wall Street. I found it very difficult to take them seriously, but then I realized that I was permitting my visceral prejudices to rule my judgment. I tried my best to set them aside, and I gained a more healthy respect for the cause. Even though I think they were mistaken, I see them now as real, decent people trying to advance what they believe is good.

        Real tolerance is painful, and worth it.

        • Eric E

          Francis,

          I mentioned the Murfreesburo mosque only because I had read something about it recently. I just as easily could have mentioned the Ground Zero mosque which was much more visible, of course. I didn’t see hundreds of thousands of Christians supporting religious liberty in that case. And I didn’t say anything about people losing right to object … I was only pointing out that I didn’t find your thought experiment very believable.

          As far as my epistemic commitments are concerned, your speculation is wrong on both counts … I am very suspicious of my commitments and the idea that I have a “visceral prejudice against conservative Christians” is laughable. (Ask Matt if you don’t find that as funny as I do.) My point in the last paragraph may not of been clear. All I was saying is that while religious liberty is one aspect of this whole thing, people who took part in it shouldn’t be surprised when Chick-fil-a appreciation day gets interpreted as a slight against gay people (much like Muslims shouldn’t be surprised that the mosque near Ground Zero was interpreted as a slight against 9/11 victims and Americans in general).

  • http://stowellbrown.blogspot.com/ Flyaway

    The closest Chick Fil A to me is over 400 miles away so needless to say I wasn’t able to buy a chicken sandwich. There are only a handful of companies that have contributed money to traditional marriage organizations. But almost every other company has contributed to the gay marriage organizations. Target, Microsoft, Apple, Starbucks, are only a few of the companies. At one time I tried to boycott the advertisers on TV shows that normalized immoral behavior. Now almost every show has immoral behavior on it and society has accepted the behavior as normal. I’m just resting in the Lord that He has it all figured out and all I have to do is seek to follow His laws and precepts. Loving Him and loving my neighbor is about all I can handle.

  • Zedd

    I would understand if people were saying that they are supporting freedom of speech. I’m not however understanding how this is a support of religious freedom. If this man said his company doesn’t believe in those that are gluttonous (another type of sin), we would think he was weird. We would however not want his company to impacted negatively by a political act because we would believe that he has the right to say whatever he wants to say, even if its weird.

    We believe that for all have sinned… and do sin all the time. We also believe that you don’t get to pick okay sins and not so okay sins. Sin is sin in the eyes of God. Picking sins to be against is not Christian. Its contrary to scripture. So this protest cant be about being for the right to be Christian but the right to say whatever you want whether you are a Christian or not; whether you are right or wrong.

    However, if we are honest, it really is about sticking it to gays. Hence the big response. If he had said something about any other thing that Christians believe to be sinful, there wouldn’t have been this response.

  • Zedd

    Being a Christian suggest that you acknowledge your sinful nature and that YOUR goal is towards righteousness and are therefore against ALL sin.

    I’m not getting the need to get a mic and tell the world what sins YOU are against. Maybe someone can help me understand.

  • sue wilson

    The point of the massive outpouring for Chick Fil A was not that the CEO was courageous enought to say in an interview with a Christian media outlet that he believed homosexuality if wrong.

    The point was that he had a right to say it. Liberal vitriolic attacks are consistently applauded or ignored by the media of our country. Conservative views, especially Christian, are consistently ridiculed and condemned as racist, bigoted, stupid, ignorant, etc. The media grabbed the CEO’s comment and immediately condemned the man as a bigot. Should we have ignored his suffering? The outpouring of support for him and his company was a statement for freedom of thought and speech, even for Christians.

    If you do not recognize the danger of losing your right to free speech and freedom of religious views in this country, please read the book “Deliver Us From Evil” by Christian apologist, Ravi Zacharias. He echoes what has become obvious in the last couple of decades. I have observed it personally.

    Turning the other cheek does not mean that we stop standing for our Biblical beliefs, or that we bring into the church the commanding opininions of the world by remaining silent in the face of persecution.

  • Chad

    I must confess that I don’t know what to think about the whole approach by people in support/protests, but I have to “suffer” through it on both sides. You see, I am a manager who works at a California Chick-Fil-A. I have worked at Chick-Fil-A for seven years, and like anybody else who has ever worked in the restaurant business, the line “the customer is always right” is the standard that I have to abide by.
    Yes, I am a professing Christian, but no: I don’t work at Chick-Fil-A because I am a Christian. I work there because I am trying to get through Grad school, its expensive, and I need a job to make it. And yes, I work with gay people who are some of the coolest people I know: they are witty, smart, and filled with emotions. Yes, I cringe when I work the drive-thru and someone asks me “how I live with myself because I work for a such a hateful company.” I also cringe when someone decries the stupidity of homosexuals, inadvertently hurting my friend greatly who works beside me. The sword cuts us both ways, and we are bound not by our religious or social views, but by a business axiom: the customer is always right, regardless of how illogical their reasoning or loud their voice. Either way, we have to “suffer” through it.
    Honestly, I worked the Chick-Fil-A appreciation day, and came across many people who came out in support for a defense of the family. I also came across people who came to support us because they understand the deeper issues at work.
    Now, I have to work the Protests day, where people will “protests” against us (aka: the people who work there) because we work for a company who has stated these views.
    All of this is just to say that I felt good that so many people came out in support on appreciation day. For a nice surprise, the customer-server relation changed. Now it will change again today, as the relationship will be filled with animosity. People get to come in and verbally “abuse” us, and we get to smile and say thank you for letting us serve you, even if I find it deeply offensive and feel like I will scream if one more person calls me a bigot, even though they are being a bigot as well. Yet, I will smile and serve them because it is my job to do that. So, just remember: there are not only protestors and supporters, but also a third category: 50+ employees across 1600 restaurants who are caught in the middle, who don’t have a voice, and who are bound by the business motto: the customer is always right. Actually, they aren’t, but we are powerless to say anything about it. So perhaps the one’s who are actually being Christ-like are the servers at the restaurants, the ones who take the abuse with a smile and continue to serve, despite the animosity.
    So, all I ask is that you remember that third group in the mix: the servers who were thrown into the fire involuntarily. We are there just to do our job, and working there does not equate to believing everything the company as a whole believes.
    Blessings to you all :)

  • JPJ II

    There is a very, very strong wind blowing against traditional marriage. Not long ago, a woman was forced, under court order and threat of state-sanctioned violence, to photograph a same-sex wedding. The police power is being used to prevent people from opening businesses. A reverse boycott and the accompanying facebook mess hardly seems hostile in comparison to an exercise of the state police power.

    If this were happening to muslim shop owners in the wake of 9/11, or even now because of their opposition to same-sex marriage, buying something at the local Kwik-E-Mart would hardly spark the kind of outrage that the support Chik-fi-let day has.

  • Zedd

    Sue,

    I am a Christian and am concerned that firstly, your tone doesn’t sound Christlike. That’s what’s more important…. demonstrating the love of Christ so that people will come to Him. Telling people how you think things should go, really has nothing to do with Christianity. Doing so under the guise of Christianity is actually against the word of God and therefore promotes the mission to keep people out of heaven.

    The devil is using the Church as is most productive force towards bringing souls to their demise. I would hope that you don’t want to be among those on that mission.

    So as a fellow Christian, because we are required to admonish one another, I am challenging you to behave in a more Christlike manner, especially when you proclaim that what you do is because of your faith.

  • http://www.helwyssocietyforum.com Jackson

    I haven’t been eating at my local Chic-fil-A lately because the peach milkshake I purchased during my last visit made me sick. Also, I always ask for large fries and they give me a “medium” amount.

    This is to say, I have recently not been visiting this establishment because of my disappointment with their ability to deliver good service (though they are always friendly). Is this an adequate reason for me not to be a stellar customer, politics aside?

    I hope someone gets the humor and honesty of this question at the same time.

  • http://gcjeffers.wordpress.com Greg Jeffers

    Matt,

    Thanks for this post. I tend to disagree with you on a lot of stuff (being fairly liberal and such) but I appreciate the rigor with which you think and the way you are interested in substantively understanding other perspectives even while continuing to believe that we can answer questions. This sort of call for charitable conversation reveals your character, and I appreciate it.

    Blessings,

    Greg

  • L.W. Dickel

    And then Jesus came upon his disciples and said, “Brethren, may I inquire as to the rumor that I shall be a human sacrifice for the sins of humankind? Praytell, who in the goddamned hell came up with that Neanderthal bullshit!!? What are we, living in the fucking Stone Age!!?
    Blood sacrifice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!? Art thou all fucking insane!!?
    Listen, brethren, as I tell you something of utmost importance. Stop immediately with the blood sacrifice bullshit. It’s barbaric, disgusting, sickening, immoral, vile, wicked and fucking outrageous . And makes us all look like a bunch of goddamn Cro-Magnon lunatics!!!”–Jesus Christ, the Thinking Mans Gospel

    • http://www.mereorthodoxy.com Matthew Anderson

      Woooo, more astute commentary from our occasional visitor from the fever-swamps of unhinged atheism!

      Please, Mr. Dickel, I’ll ask you one more once to do keep things a bit more clean. I’ve never had to ban a commenter before, but if you can’t keep things a bit more civil then you will be (alas) the first.

      Best,

      Matt

  • Drew

    Context: Gay, Canadian, 51.

    A few comments:

    I think what is sometimes get lost in these discussions is not simply that Cathy opposes gay marriage and funds organizations that work to that end but that these organizations, at least some of them, have put out some really foul mistruths about gay people. They’re on record. Check them out.

    I think some of the support for CFA may have been motivated by actions of a few mayors. I get it. I think they overstepped the line. However, it does feel like, as a gay person (even one country removed), that I’m having my face rubbed in it. Hardly attractive or winsome. Doesn’t make me want to run into the arms of Christ.

    You may find this sermon interesting:

    http://tomorrowsreflection.com/dont-stand-up-for-jesus/

    http://renovatuschurch.com/media.php?pageID=5