Gays, Chick-fil-A, and Me

The first time I saw this picture, it was posted by my then pastor, Robb Ryerse, to FB. He thought it was creepy. I loved it, because I believe Jesus (and God) loved and love ALL of their creations, including dinosaurs and man.  Genesis 1:31(a) says “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”

So I love this picture because it reminds me that we are beautiful in God’s eyes, whether we are a creepy dinosaur or whatever. Jesus loves us and commands us to love. Matthew 22:39(b) says “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” I know, about now you’re saying that loving your neighbor means loving those on your block, or at work, or just those you like. But no, not really. This is how Jesus describes a neighbor:

The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37 NIV)

“On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.  But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii[c]and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

I think that means that the whole world is our neighbor. But before you get to thinking that you can just like those like you, let me explain further. The Samaritans were hated by the Jews, they were an outcast group, like blacks during Jim Crow, or gays today. You know, the ones that everyone makes “other.”

Back-in-the-day, when I was in the midst of my addiction, I experienced “otherness.” I cried when I saw the picture above, because I can remember that feeling of being so incredibly alone. I think that’s one of the things that has plagued society throughout history, and I think Jesus saw it as a sin, or why else would He have used Samaritan’s in his example? Not only does “otherness” hurt the psyche of the person feeling the “otherness,” it hurts society. When a person feels separated from society, then they don’t respect the boundaries of that society. I just finished reading a book, about a woman who was homeless, and as she began to see herself as part of society, she quit shoplifting and conning. So, “othering” others, hurts us in ways we can never imagine.

When I looked up Samaritans and History I found the following:

It is impossible to write an accurate history of the Samaritans because their records are so scarce, and their references are sometimes contradictory. The name Samaritans appears only once in the Old Testament, in II Kings 17:29 where it is used for those colonist newcomers, planted by the Assyrians, who persisted in their pagan ways. However, the majority of the population consisted of Israelites who had not been deported and who continued in their Israelite faith. The beliefs brought by the newcomers did not survive and, from a Jewish standpoint, no paganism is found in later Samaritan theology.

The mixed population of Samaria was not accepted as Jewish by the Jews of the south. When the Jews returned from the Babylonian Exile and began to rebuild the Temple, the Samaritans offered to help but were rejected, and then they proceeded to prevent or delay the project (Ezra 4:1-6).

So from the time of Moses probably, Samaritans were “othered.” During the early part of our country blacks were “othered” as were the Chinese, the Native Americans, and now Hispanics and Gays. Yes, we just replace one Jim Crow for another. In Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 87 S. Ct. 1817, 18 L. Ed. 2d 1010 (1967) miscegenation laws(or the mixing of the races laws) were found to be illegal. Yes, prior to 1967, many states had laws outlawing interracial marriage. The laws not only included African-Americans, but in some states, people of Asian descent. Does that sound a tiny bit familiar?

In other words, being “othered” has been going on forever, we just keep changing the class and group. And Jesus didn’t like it. But now, I’m about to hear how homosexuality is a sin. I have no comment, because that’s not the issue. Let’s stick to the issue  (woo hoo, law school is paying off.) What is our job? To love as Jesus loved. He didn’t love just the lovable, He didn’t love those who looked like us, I mean, He loved prostitutes and tax collectors. The only people Jesus had a problem with were the Pharisees and Sadducees.  What is a Pharisee or Sadducee?

The Sadducees: During the time of Christ and the New Testament era, the Sadducees were aristocrats. They tended to be wealthy and held powerful positions, including that of chief priests and high priest, and they held the majority of the 70 seats of the ruling council called the Sanhedrin. They worked hard to keep the peace by agreeing with the decisions of Rome (Israel at this time was under Roman control), and they seemed to be more concerned with politics than religion. Because they were accommodating to Rome and were the wealthy upper class, they did not relate well to the common man, nor did the common man hold them in high opinion. The common man related better to those who belonged to the party of the Pharisees. Though the Sadducees held the majority of seats in the Sanhedrin, history indicates that much of the time they had to go along with the ideas of the Pharisaic minority, because the Pharisees were popular with the masses.

The Pharisees: In contrast to the Sadducees, the Pharisees were mostly middle-class businessmen, and therefore were in contact with the common man. The Pharisees were held in much higher esteem by the common man than the Sadducees. Though they were a minority in the Sanhedrin and held a minority number of positions as priests, they seemed to control the decision making of the Sanhedrin far more than the Sadducees did, again because they had the support of the people.

Though the Pharisees were rivals of the Sadducees, they managed to set aside their differences on one occasion—the trial of Christ. It was at this point that the Sadducees and Pharisees united to put Christ to death.

Wait a minute, these people, that Jesus weren’t too fond of, and who seem strikingly familiar today (do I hear politicians and businessmen?) put Jesus to death. Not the Jews, a segment of the Jews. People with money, people who “othered” people. Jesus didn’t hate people, except for the Pharisees and Sadducees and even then I would argue that He loved them and hated their actions. I am going to contend here, today, that what Chick-fil-A [CFA] did, by condemning others, was tantamount to being a Pharisee and/or Sadducee and was a violation of the Ten Commandments.

Why do I say that CFA violated the Ten Commandments? It is very clear in the Ten Commandments that a person is not to take the Lord’s name in vain. Exodus 20:7 says “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” The word for “take” is actually א nasa’ {naw-saw’} or נָסָא nacah and it literally means to carry or lift up. Let’s rephrase that then. “Thou shalt not carry the name of the Lord they God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.” How do you carry something? Well, you carry a book, you carry a banner, you project it to the world. The Crusades were an example of carrying the Lord’s name in vain. Hating is another example of carrying the Lord’s name in vain. What is God? Love.  1 John 4:8 (NIV) says “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” Does love hate? No. Does love give to hate groups? No. Does love condemn? No. What is love? 1 Corinthians 13:4-8(a) says:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.”

Somehow, I don’t think CFA or their supporters acted in love. However, just as if it’s not CFA’s executives right to judge others, so it’s not my right to judge CFA. Matthew 7:1-5 says, ”

“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

I’m not judging CFA when I say I won’t eat there, because I don’t want MY money to be used to support hate organizations (which CFA has given to). Those are my choices. I also don’t buy P&G (for other reasons). But I’m not judging or condemning, just making sure that I don’t add to anymore “otherness.”



About michellerap

Today I find my identity in God. I use to find my identity in externals, like motherhood, being a lawyer, etc. But that's not who I am. I am redeemed and wholly loved and precious in His sight. First and foremost, this is who I am. The other things are part of me, but they do not define me. God does. My job as a Christian is not to judge people but to show them the heart and hands of Christ. I am to show mercy and grace. And someday, when I am an attorney, I hope I can help those God puts in my path to find justice. I am a mother of four and a grandmother of nine. I am proud of each of them. I also have three dogs. I am lawyer who loves what I do. I am also Gluten-Free and any recipe I publish is GF. It's the only way I cook.
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2 Responses to Gays, Chick-fil-A, and Me

  1. Terry Reed says:

    While I agree with the spirit of your post, I do want to point out that Jesus did indeed love the Samaritans. He rejected the foolish prejudice against them and took the gospel to these “outcasts.” However, He also expected that they turn from their way to His way, and it did not cause Him to be unloving or a breaker of the 10 commandments to say so. It may very well be that Mr. Cathy of Chic-Fil-A is a hater, a non-lover, a commandment breaker. Or he may just be stating what he believes the Bible teaches with no ill will toward gays. I don’t know. Only God who sees the heart knows. What I do know is that you DO have love in your heart, and I hope you will always love the unlovely as you clearly do. God bless!

    • michellerap says:

      I know that Jesus, who is God, told people about their sin. But I’m not God. I know that the love of Jesus shining through people, is what convinced me that I could trust God. I know that love is why I am where I am today. That’s why I feel that Christians are to show God’s love to others and leave any conviction to God. I think that the apparent self-righteousness of Mr. Cathy appears to be unloving and condemning. I agree we don’t know his heart, but the way he said it definitely came out wrong.

      Thank you for your kinds words and you’re wonderful compliment. I have been the unlovely, that’s why I can love them.

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