Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Recently there has been some furor over the owner of the Chick-fil-a franchise and his statements to a Christian interviewer. He said he was in favor of traditional marriage. Everyone is entitled to their opinions; CEO’s and custodians, gay and straight, male and female, short and tall, American and European, Asian and African. Each brings to their respective tables the collective societal and individual perceptions that they have experienced.
When I first heard about the uproar, the question I asked myself was “Why are people upset that someone’s view does not agree with theirs?” It seemed a little selfish, frankly, that a group should demand others to observe their own view on things so that they would not be hurt.
I was forgetting something, however. The people who are gay have suffered tremendous emotional pain and rejection from society. From family. From friends. Over years and years. Sometimes they are threatened and even beaten. It hasn’t been so long since society has changed and become more accepting and yet in parts of the world, people are still murdered by the state just for the way they feel. This pain can be rationalized, excused and written off, yet it is still there. I can see how for someone who has suffered this way, they would view Mr. Cathy’s statement as another rejection. Another reminder. Another twist of the stake in the wound. Lord, have mercy.
Now, should we avoid any conflict of view in order to “not offend” as is common in today’s society? No. Jesus deliberately offended people in order to speak truth. Scribes, Pharasees- hypocrites! And yet, he never spoke directly to the issue of same sex attraction. Hm.
Back in the 80’s I went to an incredibly conservative and, yes, legalistic college called Liberty University. Jerry Falwell’s place. I graduated angry with God and left my faith for many years, but God never left me. I eventually realized that I had to forgive Jerry and what he represented to me; a slick salesman who compromised the gospel and basically told me that the important thing was conforming to what was at the time there, the norm; i.e. “the rules.” I think I have reached a point where I have forgiven him. (Of course, what do I know?)
So what is the bottom line? We should be motivated by love, not political correctness. To my gay friends and family, if I have in any way said anything which has hurt or wounded, please forgive me. Please forgive us. I am incredibly imperfect. I humbly ask for the peace of God to cover us all. Because the most important thing- is love.