Chick-Fil-A: A Sad, Divisive Day for Americans

Guest blogger Shannon Marie King shares her thoughts about “Appreciation” Day

Originally published on: Facebook
Filed in: op-ed | Faith & Religion

Last night I went to bed ill, literally ill, because of yesterday’s “Support Chick-Fil-A” events. I saw a woman riding down the street on a bike with a, “I heart Chick-Fil-A” shirt. I saw the news “reporting” on the long lines and massive crowds waiting to “show their support” for their fellow Christians. And spoke to a dear friend who was oh so proud that she had gone and supported her fellow Christians in their stand for “the first amendment rights of Christians” in support of traditional marriage. It felt like I was stabbed in the heart. I am a married straight woman, in love completely with my husband and, on most days, happily married. I’m not going to try to fathom how this day has made my fellow human beings of the LGBT community feel. If I am this upset, I can only imagine this was a very painful reminder of just how little our country truly cares for their human rights and their equality.

When this all began, I thought, “Oh wow, this is ridiculous, and his [Truett Cathy’s] opinion is not news.” The more I listened and read and investigated, it became about more than just an opinion. It became about the bigger picture, where his money was going and, do I want to continue providing my money to a business I know is funding lobbyists who are
fighting against my fellow human beings’ fundamental rights in this country? Do I want my money going to a business which is funding lobbyists who are fighting against legislation which would help people in Uganda from being murdered simply because of who they love?

In reality, this is about love. You can say what you want about their love being a sin. I disagree that it is a sin; however, even if “it is,” your opinion and our Bible do not dictate civil rights. Even though the Bible has been used repeatedly throughout history to limit the rights of others, it does not make it right.

For me as a Christian, what I saw yesterday was not Christians standing together to support a Christian man and his Biblical views, or values that Christians hold so deeply. I, a Christian, saw people standing in lines and waiting in police-directed traffic to point out to other citizens that they are different, their rights do not matter.

When you file your taxes, I do not want you filing them the same as I do, married. When you fill out your emergency medical contact sheet, I do not want you to list the person you love and spend your life with as spouse. When the person you love gets ill, in an accident, etc., I do not want you to be able to make life or death decisions for them because you are their spouse.

I saw people standing together to limit the rights of others. I saw people standing together to show, “Hey we are Christians, and our voice is getting softer so we need to stand up and make people notice us because we are supporting one of our own. You gays are different and do not belong in our community. We will love you to your face, but we do not condone who you are as a human being.”

You do realize there are gay Christians, right? Do you know why straight people live longer than gays, statistically speaking? It is because of days like yesterday. They are constantly told by Christians that they are not normal. They are deviants, unnatural. God did not make mistakes. I was asked recently if I was standing in front of Jesus and asked him if being gay was a sin, what I think he would say. I think he would say, “What do you think” and when I said no, he would reply, “Good for you.” He would tell me that his Father’s message was distorted. That man is fallible and used his own thoughts and ideas to contort God’s message of love.

If you believe in “traditional marriage” in the manner in which OUR culture has come to know it, then fine, hold those vows close to your heart. Not every person who gets married is faithful, is a Christian or believes in God at all. So why is that union so Holy? Why do Christians get the say over who does and doesn’t get married?

Is it about your true questions? What they do in the bedroom? Who cares? When I tell you I love my husband, do you automatically think about what I do in the bedroom? I should hope not. Love and marriage is not about sex. It is about finding that one person, who fills your soul, your other half, your best friend. If you deny that kind of love, you are denying yourself a life of happiness. Who are we, as Christians, to tell anyone how to live their lives? We are supposed to lead by example, show God’s love in all we do. Did standing in a line yesterday show the love you have for God in your heart to the world? Or did it show it to the politicians and line the pockets of an already rich man who is already a Christian and in the process reject every possible person from the gay community from coming to see the Lord as their personal Savior?

How can you talk about your First Amendment Rights being threatened, when others do not even have the same rights as you? All you talk about is my rights, my rights. No one is trying to take your rights from you. Freedom of Speech does not mean freedom from judgment. Whether you like it or not, all Christians are being judged by those actions taken yesterday.

The media talks about the liberals, the conservatives, the Christians, the gays, the Muslims, the blacks. When are we going to stop and realize we are all human beings who want to love and be loved? I am deeply saddened to tears that we have to have all of these divisions, separations, categories. We are all Americans. On our worst days we rally together and love each other. On our best days we fight against each other. Why? How does someone else committing to the person they love with all their heart, affect you? How does it limit your rights? It doesn’t. What it does is continue to make other people feel inferior. It limits their pursuit of happiness and equality in a country that shouts about freedom from sea to shining sea.

It is days like yesterday when I cry. I cry for my friends. I cry for my family. I cry for my faith, my God. I cry for my country.
- Shannon Marie King

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(editor’s note: I had the privilege to travel with a number of exceptional people to Ireland this summer, and Shannon was one of them. A fellow Gemini, crossing guard, theatre student, mom and wife living in Augusta, Ga., Shannon’s post was so well-received on Facebook that she made the post public.
View it here. Image credit and h/t: “Why Chick-Fil-A Sucks,” Talk About Equality on Wordpress. Please note, Facebook has flagged this image as a “Rights & Responsibilities” violation, so share at your own risk on that site. To comment on this post, please go back home and find the blog entry. please share with your friends and thanks for reading!)

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