Thursday, August 02, 2012

I Cannot Stay Silent

What a week this has been! And all over a fried piece of chicken and some waffle fries. However, if we step back a minute and look at the events of this week, it's pretty easy to see that in the end, the issue is not the issue. It's kind of like in marital counseling when a couple comes in who is at an impasse over a certain issue. Upon further examination or after a little digging you realize that the issues underneath "the issue" are really fueling the problem.

I have watched as Facebook went CRAZY this week with convicted people on both sides hurling insults, accusations, generalizations, etc. Then, interestingly, after the issues grew and morphed, many tried to come back and say...this is only about Dan Cathey's right to free speech. (As an aside, I support Dan's rights and his faith. I believe that he sincerely shared his heart and then his comments were used to fuel a war...for both left and right.) 

Here's where this all gets sticky. Yes, on some level this all began with Dan's right to share...which was not helped by the dumb mayors of Chicago and Boston. But it didn't end there.  And, unfortunately, the LGBT community weren't the only ones who made a big stink about it (as some have said). I'd say the responsibility went both ways. The religious right took all of this and used it just as much as the other side. And, perception is reality...especially when it comes to the way we love the LGBT community.

Whether we like it or not, this has turned into a we vs. they kind of deal. I wish you guys could be privy to my inbox today and the heart-wrenching conversations I've had with people...all who feel so hurt and angry over the hubbub yesterday...people who struggle, friends of people who struggle, parents of kids who struggle...all feeling so frustrated, hurt, irritated, etc. It may have started out to be about civil liberties but isn't it funny how when it's YOUR civil liberties in question it feels justifiable to rant?  

The bridges to the LGBT community have been blown to Hell so many times (and I mean that literally) by well-intentioned Christians that it's barely able to be navigated anymore. We have such a LONG way to go in communicating love to that community and we are at such a deficit with them already that anything that smacks of us against them is hurtful...even under the most innocent of motives. 

I am attaching a link here that has been widely circulated and as Lynn Anderson has said, is one of the most thoughtful responses to this whole event. Chic-Fil-A entry 

I know Brent Bailey well. He is a Godly man who is struggling with his own brokenness and desires and who wants to live a life that is pleasing to God (as we all hope to). He never chose to feel the things he feels. He's merely seeking to know how to honor God as he works out all of those things. Imagine being in his shoes and reading posts like the ones that "well meaning" Christians have posted over the last 24 hours. No wonder so many people in the LGBT community won't set their feet anywhere near a church building. 

Dan Cathey had a right to say what he did and I appreciate greatly his faith. But when forces outside his control took it over...on both sides...the issue was no longer the matter what we may think. And we, as true followers of God who are called to deeper things MUST learn to respond in love. Always. So, the arguments now about how this is not about gay's about religious liberties...don't mean a lot to me. I think it WAS about that in the beginning, but it morphed. (And not only because of rantings by the LGBT community...Christians too.) 

I deeply and profoundly appreciate my religious freedom, but I would always hope I could stand up for a person OVER my own freedom. It doesn't mean if you ate at Chic-Fil-A that you're bad...heck, I love their food! It just means that sometimes we have to take a deep breath and realize there is more at play here and that precious, precious souls are watching...waiting...wondering how the faith community will react. When already so wounded by churches, the lines are too easy to cross and it's OUR responsibility to discern those.


Elizabeth S said...

AMEN. Thank you Brandon for putting into words what I have been feeling over the last few days.

courtney said...

i agree with so much of what you say. i used to work with several gay people and i liked and enjoyed most of them. we were work buddies and enjoyed numerous lunches together. i still keep in touch with some of them and consider them friends. however, i DO still believe that homosexuality is a sin. the Bible says so. so are MANY of the things i do--jealousy, pridefulness, disobedience, etc. their sin is not greater than mine and mine greater than theirs--but i still believe it's sin.

i saw this quote from Rick Warren and thought it was very insightful.....

Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone's lifestyle, you must fear them or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don't have to compromise convictions to be compassionate. ~Rick Warren

Brandon Scott Thomas said...

Thanks for your comments. Your post confused me a little. It seemed contradictory. The stuff you wrote seemed to assume what I believe about the issue itself which was not even a part of this blog. And then you quoted Rick Warren...which really fits better into what I was saying. I think I get what you were saying but to be clear, my post was about how we approach that community in love.
I loved what you said about sin and it's equality. It's so true. Isn't it funny how we categorize though? For instance, would we say, "I used to work with several gluttons (or prideful people, or jealous people) and liked and enjoyed most of them"? It's just funny in a way. Ha!
Thanks for commenting! I really appreciated your thoughts!

courtney said...

lol! i didn't mean to sound contradictory, i was just trying not to be too wordy which probably resulted in incomplete thoughts in my comment!

i echo your sentiments that we, as Christians, can love the GL community--and should! but, we Christians should be able to accept the person without having to accept the sin despite the cultural pressure to accept homosexuality.

it's such a difficult and delicate subject. i just have to remind myself not to judge bc others sin is different than my own.

btw, pretty sure I was the glutton in that office--too many Krispy Kreme's on Friday!!