To be honest, I’m usually turned off when Christians talk about love. Why? There are a variety of reasons. First, my religious background, Armstrongism, tended to mock sentimental Protestants who went on about “love”. Second, I do not consider many Christians who blab on about love to be all that loving—-at least not to me. Third, the pressure on me to “love” has often come across to me as “You’re not acceptable to God unless you’re a social extrovert who reaches out to people.” And, fourth, I feel that the appeal to love is often used to shut down discussion. “This whole issue doesn’t matter. What matters is that we love people”, I have often heard.
In terms of the recent Chick-Fil-A controversy, I tend to identify more with the two sides of the cultural war than I do with those who act like they’re above the whole thing and preach about “love”. Some of the ones who act like they’re above the whole thing come across as condescending, holier-than-thou, and self-righteous. But those involved in the cultural war? Yeah, I can understand the conservatives (and others) who show up in mass at Chick-Fil-A to show liberals that they will not let others bully them about what they can and cannot say, and where they can and cannot eat. And, on the other side, I can sympathize with the gay rights activists who kiss each other at Chick-Fil-A to proclaim that they will not sit quietly while others tell them that their relationships are sub-standard or that they do not deserve the same rights as straight married couples.
But I have to admit: My eyes do well up when I read of concrete incidents of love—-not the rhetoric of love, mind you, but actual acts of love. And that was the case when I read the article, ‘Same-Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A’ draws kissing activists. The article states the following:
“In Wichita, Kansas, the owner of the Chick-fil-A handed out free chicken sandwiches and water to gay rights activists gathered for the kiss-in. ‘He was a very nice gentleman,’ Jeanne de Grasse, one of the sandwich beneficiaries, told Wichita’s KAKE-TV. ‘He was very reasonable, we had a nice dialogue and he shared sandwiches and water with us.’ In Decatur, Ga., Chick-fil-A employees served lemonade to the protesters.”
We have people from Chick-Fil-A reaching out to gay activists with love, and perhaps (in some cases) even a willingness to listen. Some of you may not think that’s enough or that it makes up for Dan Cathy’s support for groups that are opposed to homosexuality. But, in my opinion, it’s certainly a step in the right direction, and an inspiring example.