I will apologize now, at the very beginning. I’m sorry, so very, very sorry. I know, you can’t stand to hear another word about Chick-Fil-A. It’s been the topic everywhere. So much anger, so much shouting, so much GRRRR! But I ask you give me a few moments, if you would, for just one more comment on the topic.
Freedom of Religious Expression Is Not What This Is About
Were freedom of religious expression the issue, then yes, absolutely, by all means express all you wish! I’m not angry that someone feels that “one man and one woman equals marriage.” I disagree. That is an opinion based on Christian teachings, which I don’t think should have a place in a conversation about civil marriage. Marriage, the civil right, is a very different thing from the religious rite of marriage, that should be freely defined and conferred however a religion so chooses. That is freedom of religious expression. It is an opinion, I get your opinion, I disagree with your opinion, but I’m not angry about your opinion. No opinion problems here!
At which point everyone says, “well, all he said is that he is against marriage and the company supports these organizations, how is that not covered by freedom of religious expression?” Or something like that. Dan Cathy’s comments were not just a personal expression of his religious beliefs. Cathy’s comments were made as justification and clarification of his company’s donations to anti-LGBT groups. This is about his company and what they are doing with their profits, and why.
Still not all that bothered. You run a company, you donate money to causes that you personally believe in. Every company does. Some I agree with, some I do not. Still, we would only disagree. No anger about companies donating money and being expressive.
The anger is because of the way that the specific anti-LGBT groups, the ones to which Chick-Fil-A donates, use the money they receive. It is anger about the gumption to claim that making those donations is just part of being a good, wholesome, tasty Christian business. That those donations are in any way connected to anything that could remotely be called good, wholesome, or Christian.
Good? Wholesome? CHRISTIAN???
The organizations donated to do not, in fact, represent anything Christian, regardless of how much and how often they try to cite God, Bible, and Christian Teachings as the core that drives them. Spreading a message of “marriage is one man and one woman” while pointing to the Bible and Christianity as evidence, is one thing. Again, I don’t see the relevance, but I understand the opinion and why it exists. I get that there are strong beliefs that the Bible should equal the Law. As well as a belief that the United States of America was created as a Christian nation, one that has deviated from the path. Granted that path interestingly doesn’t include a lot of biblical law. But hey, your religion, if you want to cut and paste what is important and what is not, have at it. If you want to believe and express this is a Christian nation, go for it. I disagree, but I am not judging that, I am not angry about that.
At this point, everyone is still cool.
There is disagreement, but it is a polite disagreement. Those disagreements have been around for ages, centuries actually, and are the basis of the different denominations of Christianity. What laws to follow, and which ones are irrelevant, and why, are Christian issues that are not part of this conversation, other than to point out that they exist and to exemplify that they have no bearing in the conversation. Say whatever you like, believe whatever you like, go petition for changes that “correct the course of America.” Have at it, good luck!
So WHAT is the PROBLEM?!
What creates a problem is that, in furtherance of their goals, the anti-LGBT organizations that receive money from Chick-Fil-A, totaling about $5M, say nothing like that. Their message, their purpose, has nothing to do with Christianity. Christians, and Christianity are their revenue source and their shield. Religious freedom of expression, you can’t touch me, na-na na-boo-boo. The money is used to say things like part of the gay agenda is to lower the age of consent because all homosexuals are pedophiles. The money is used to say things like children raised with same gender parents are more prone to being mentally unstable, sexually molested, and converted to homosexuality. The money they receive is used to say things that are negative, untrue, and take advantage of people’s fear. Their goal is not supporting traditional marriage. Funding them is not a furtherance of Christianity. They are not keepers and defenders of the faith. They are using the cross as a sword to attack the LGBT community with impunity. Period. End of story.
The anti-LGBT groups we are talking about, as well as all the others who use Christianity as a tactical strategy in general, have more in common with the KKK than furthering Christianity. That is why this is such an issue, not because of religious expression, but because the money spent at Chick-Fil-A is being used to promote misinformation, lies, and deceit to oppress a group of people through unfounded stereotypes.
As a gay man, I have a gigantic problem with that.
Now, to be clear, that does not mean I hate anyone for not understanding what the big deal is. In the end, I can’t even really be mad about the people who ate their today under the misguided belief they were standing up for Christianity. People were lied to, but what they stood up for was important to them, and what they thought that they stood up for today I applaud, seriously, I do. Even if what they were used as puppets for hate, I get what they thought they were doing..
Fallout For Standing Up
And the end result? The end result of that is what makes me most angry of all, and that is where hate enters the picture. The kind of hate that you wish you could pull out of your body, choke it, and bury it, because feeling it is so intensely overwhelming.
Today, like so many before and very likely so many to come, people spent money to support something they believe in. Today, Chick-Fil-A received money that will become part of their profits, a portion of which they will donate. And those profits will go to groups masquerading as Christian organizations who will use that money to teach people my goal, according to them, is to corrupt and molest children. Groups that will tell people my purpose on this Earth is to eradicate Christianity. People will be told that I, and everyone like me, live for the explicit purpose of doing drugs, having sex, and spreading disease. The money they receive will tell those, and so many more, lies as loud and often as they can. Lies that become part of the “gay agenda” these organizations say that I have. Lies that tell children who are looking for acceptance, that they are horrible beings that need to be destroyed. Lies that lead to sham marriages and “reparative therapies.”
Lies that destroy lives.
I may not be a Christian expert, but it does not take one to see that this is exploiting Christianity as a tactical weapon. One that is aimed against me and everyone else who identifies as LGBT.
That is what makes me angry, that is what I hate, that is what I wish people understood.