Sunday, August 5, 2012

Forget Chick-Fil-A, boycott Christianity

With all the hullabaloo about a certain chicken sandwich business these days and the people who run such institution, I think it’s time to set the record straight—Chick-Fil-A is not the problem.

 Sure, Dan Cathy wasn’t doing himself or his business any favors when he said that “we’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage. And I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude that thinks we have the audacity to redefine what marriage is all about” (Washington Post). Whatever one feels about that statement on a moral level, it doesn’t seem like a smart idea to alienate potential customers.  Of course, Chick-Fil-A quickly backtracked from Cathy’s statement when this all started to blow up, posting on Facebook that they treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender” and that “going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”

Regardless of the craziness that has since ensued with mayors trying to ban the restaurant from their cities, Mike Huckabee declaring a “Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day” and the huge turnout that followed, and the “kiss-in” protests after it all falls short;  Chick-Fil-A isn’t the problem, Christianity is the problem.

"One of the disturbing things about Church history is the Church's appalling track record of being on the wrong side of the great social issues of the day" -- Richard Stearns (President of World Vision).  In his book, The Hole in the Gospel, Stearns recounts how Christianity as been on the wrong side of slavery, civil rights, AIDS, and so on.  In that same way, Christianity is on the wrong side when it comes to gay marriage and homosexuality.

My beef isn’t with a chicken sandwich anymore, it’s with a religion that has made this issue its rallying point. It’s with Christians narcissistically convincing themselves that they are the ones in America being oppressed.  Being that Christianity is the largest religion by far in America and a huge percentage of Americans consider themselves to be Christians, 78.4% in fact according to a Pew Forum survey, those seeking marriage equality are actually the ones being oppressed. They are the ones being denied “equal protection under the law” yet countless numbers of Christians assured themselves that they are heroes of the faith because they ate a chicken sandwich.  Last Wednesday wasn’t a good day for Christianity—it was a day that should quickly be forgotten.    

The majority of present-day Christianity continually disregards any modern biblical scholarship that disagrees with their narrow-minded positions.  Despite the continual refrain of “believing what the Bible says,” Christians could care less about what the Bible actually says.  Their interpretation isn’t even close to being accurate, but that’s what happens when one insists on reading the Bible as if it was written in the 20th century when in fact it was formed thousands of years ago in cultures vastly different then our own.

So like the Occupy movement, perhaps that’s what needs to happen to current-day Christianity. Those who claim to be followers of Jesus must demand change or boycott the religion of Christianity until the religion changes.  I like chicken sandwiches, I like waffle fries, and I like good customer service so I’ll probably eat at Chick-Fil-A again, but they aren’t the problem, Christianity is the problem.

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