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Some Thoughts About Vaguely Chik-Fil-A Related Things

August 5, 2012

1. A lot of things that I’ve seen on the internet dealing with the whole Chik-Fil-A debacle have revolved around the question of whether homosexuality is genetic/constitutional or whether it is a lifestyle choice. I would propose that in a Christian framework (and maybe in any framework,) it doesn’t really matter. As far as I know, genetics do not equal hard determinism. For example, to my knowledge, I am heterosexual. Maybe I’m bisexual and I don’t know it. But that does not necessarily predicate that I have to have sex with a woman. For example, maybe I choose to be celibate, or maybe I die before I’m able to have sex or maybe I suck at small talk and die a virgin. The point is that just because someone is “genetically” or even environmentally determined to have an attraction to the same sex has no bearing on the argument.

Here’s another point. As a heterosexual, I have a sex drive. This means that I want to have sex, preferably with a woman. (duh) My Christian faith says that it’s a sin to give into temptation. However, it does not proceed from that that it is a sin to be tempted. If some lustful thought comes into my mind, I have not sinned by being tempted. However, if I say, proceed from that thought to sleeping with someone’s wife, then I have gone from being tempted to practicing sin. The same thing would apply to someone having an attraction to the opposite sex. If a person is “bad” by being tempted by homosexual lust, then wouldn’t I be just as bad by being tempted by heterosexual lust? Being tempted is not a sin, giving into temptation is a sin.

This is important when some in the Christian community seem to think that we can streamline repentant gays into being perfectly “normal” heterosexual, when I don’t think this will be the case. Maybe some gays will end up as heterosexuals, but maybe some will end up as celibates or as Christians who struggle with themselves or something else entirely. The point is that you shouldn’t expect someone with this sort of condition (and I don’t mean that in a disparaging way) to suddenly conform to some man-made standard of “normal manliness.”  Even in the world of heterosexuals, trying to hold people to that sort of extrabiblical standard has disastrous results.

2. If, as I believe a large portion of the Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender/Questioning/Whatevs community holds, your sexual orientation is constitutional, then why is there a need for “Gay Pride?” You say you’re proud that you were born gay. Fine, I say that I was proud that I was born with brown hair, two feet, and a big nose. There’s no point in being proud of something that you were just born with. If, say, I wrote an awesome song on the piano, then I could be proud. If Elton John wrote an awesome song on the piano, then he should be proud. But if I said that I was proud because I wasn’t born in a hospital and Elton John was proud because he had brown hair, then that would not be warranted.

And I would say that someone could be proud of a community’s achievement. For example, if by Gay Pride you meant, I am proud of the contributions to society that the gay community has made, then I can understand you. But as far as I know, most Gay Pride parades don’t have people waving signs promoting Tchaikovsky, W.H. Auden and Oscar Wilde. If this has happened, please tell me.

3. One of the things that has annoyed me about the entire Chik-Fil-A incident is the way that people on both sides have responded. The gay community hasn’t shown much of an initiative in reaching out to the people who disagree with them. Instead, it has simply hurled epithets at them, labeling them as “bigoted,” “hateful,” etc. If you never try to connect with people who disagree with you, you will constantly demonize them. The gay community could have had a great opportunity to boost their standing in society, and instead they simply adopted the tactics of the people they despise-retreat and name-calling.

The only way to get people to see your point of view is to connect with those people first. If you are gay live in a bubble of  fashionable Leftism and only come out to parade the streets in a skimpy outfit occasionally, then don’t freak out when people respond to you hatefully. If you always present yourself as “better” than people who disagree with you, then you won’t be able to make them agree with you. You’ll just make them mad. If instead, though, you actually try to become friends with some people who disagree with you and try to see where they are coming from, then you will win people over to your side. And yes, there will always be those people who will just hate you or try to put you down or don’t even give you a fair shot, but those people exist everywhere and have stupid opinions about everyone and everything. Don’t let them control your life. A lot of people are more open-minded than they appear. And if you simply demonize everyone who disagrees with you, then you will be just as bad as the ones you criticize.

The same thing applies to the Church (of which I am a member). As Doug Wilson has pointed out, the Church is not supposed to be some vaguely spiritual frathouse denouncing “fags.” Whenever I see Christians on comment sections of internet articles or message boards or anywhere else spewing all sorts of hatred and calling people “queers” or worse, it makes me vomitous. This is no way to communicate the message. We are being worse than the unbelievers, because of all people we should know better than to be puerile and vindictive. If you live in a Christian bubble where you don’t know anyone who does not conform to your pattern of belief, and you consistently label anyone who has ever felt an attraction to the same sex or for that matter a strong inclination to wear flip-flops, as a “fag” and a “perv” and a potential child molester, then you’re never going to win anyone to your cause, and you’re probably going to make several people on your side leave your side, and more than a few people become disgusted with you.

4. One thing that I’ve been seeing on comments about this issue is the pro-gay side will often use words like “love” or “acceptance,” and usually connect them with with Jesus, in a phrase like “Jesus would have never condemned a gay person. Christianity is supposed to be about love and acceptance.” However, I think there is a failure to understand the proper concept of acceptance.

It’s true that Christ did show love to the sinners he dealt with, in a way that lots of Christians have failed to emulate. Jesus didn’t parade around Galilee carrying a sign that read “God hates sluts and tax auditors!” But while Jesus accepted sinners, he did not accept sin.  When Jesus defended the woman “caught in the act of adultery,” after he got the Pharisees off her case, he told her “go and sin no more.” He did not sermonize, but neither did he offer some “everything-is-fine” treacle and send her on his way. Jesus accepted the person, but not the sin.

Here’s another way to see it. If I believe that someone is making a negative choice, say, eating too many twinkies, then if I loved them then I would feel obligated to try to keep them from making a choice that I believe would hurt them. So if a Christian believes that practicing homosexuality is wrong, then he would do his best to persuade someone not to be a practicing homosexual. Unfortunately, a lot of Christians take charity out of the equation and find a sinful glee in pointing out the sin problems of others, to the point where you begin to think that they are glad that their fellow men (and women and transgender/questionings) are in sin and on the highway to hell. This is just disgusting. Once must extend charity to all, and be careful not to demonize anyone, even if they are a demon. Starting a conversation by pigeonholing someone as a “worse” sinner than others will not do anything but make both sides angry and frustrated.

The main thing that bugs me about the “love” and “acceptance” talk is that it presupposes the idea that there is some inherent virtue and vice in the words “love” and “hate.” You say love is good. Fine; I love robbing banks, pushing old women down stairs, and stealing candy from children. You say hate is bad. I say I hate the Nazis. You say I should follow the path of acceptance. Fine; I accept the Ku Klux Klan. The point of this is that there is nothing inherently better in “hating” or “loving”–the virtue or vice comes in what and why you hate and love. To say that “love” is better is like saying that eating is better. It’s good to eat pizza (foodies, stay quiet), it’s bad to eat batteries. If I am eating batteries and you think that is wrong, then you should try to convince me that eating batteries is wrong, but you shouldn’t say some pious mumbo-jumbo about eating being wrong.

5. When I went to eat at Chik-Fil-A on Wednesday, August 1st, I didn’t see any display of bigotry or Westboro Baptist Church-style protesting. What I saw was a quiet, multi-ethnic crowd who was respectfully promoting their views by supporting the restaurant. (Or who were just hungry.) If I had been an outsider who had no knowledge of the controversy, I would have assumed that we were about to go into a Chicken Sandwich Great Depression and everyone was making a run.

This is all I have to say. Let the hatred begin.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 6, 2012 5:45 pm

    Really excellent.

  2. Katy permalink
    August 6, 2012 9:38 pm

    Great discourse on this ubiquitous subject…very mature and well thought out! I “love” the part where you said, “there is nothing inherently better in “hating” or “loving”–the virtue or vice comes in what and why you hate and love.”

    • August 7, 2012 3:27 pm

      That’s actually not original to me–I picked it up from Doug Wilson (which is where I get most of my ideas). Credit must be given where credit is due.

  3. Sam permalink
    August 9, 2012 11:31 pm

    Excellent thoughts about the lack of differnece between heterosexual lust and homosexual lust. I appreciate you making the differentation of temtpation and lust. I know as a sinner, I am continually tempted but it is through the power of the Holy Spirit by which I am able to resist that temptation. And the same is true for the homosexual.

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