Friday, August 03, 2012

From blood of the lamb to fried chicken

I was so not going to write anything more about Chick-fil-A appreciation day, but you know how that goes. I saw a few pictures, read a few stories, checked out the blog-o-sphere.

According to the best guesstimates, the big day may have bumped the fast food giant's bottom line up by as much as $8 million. Hundreds of thousands of Bible-believers turned out. Make that a few thousand in Iowa, where we have just a few Chick-fil-A outlets.

Way to go, Christians! --- for doing your bit to demonstrate to that wicked old world ya'll used to worry so much about that you've dumped the soul-saving blood of the lamb and traded Jesus for a mess of fried chicken and waffle fries.

If there were such a thing as a vast gay and liberal conspiracy out to discredit the church, those guys couldn't have stage-managed things better. You took the bait and swallowed that chicken nugget whole.


This was entirely a Christian enterprise --- don't blame (or credit) Chick-fil-A. It didn't organize it or encourage it and it's franchises did what any business would do on the big day --- sell chicken. There's also no indication the company discriminates against gay employees or singles out gay customers for harsh treatment. Don Cathy, the owner, and his foundation donate to what LGBT people and others consider hateful causes --- but that's his right. Just as it's the right of those of us who disapprove not to eat more chicken. And of those who do approve, to do just that.

Credit for the appreciation day spectacle has to go instead to failed preacher and politician Mike Huckabee, who hatched the idea, and to such allegedly Christian luminaries as Billy's boy Franklin Graham, who sent out letters to supporters of his Samaritan's Purse project fanning the flame. And of course to the sheep they led to slaughter --- if cholesterol is a consideration.

The result was a very public vision of the church triumphant in the 21st century --- most likely not a soul saved or a heart turned --- just a massive collaboration between organizers, participants and the media to reinforce all those  stereotypes about people of faith already circulating among marginal believers, disbelievers and the wounded.

So on behalf of all LGBT people and our allies who were unsurprised by the spectacle --- let me be among the first to say thanks for proving our point.


On the other hand, from those of us who still have a stake of some sort in the church --- shame on you for taking the broad and easy path that leads to destruction.

The straight and true path, love and discipleship, ain't easy and involves approaches other than thumbing your nose while standing in line at a fast-food joint. I'm no damn good at following it. But thank God some still do make the effort.

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