Friday, July 27, 2012

This Post is Not About Chicken

First, a couple of things.

One, I really don’t care where you buy your chicken sandwiches, and I’m pretty sure that way down deep you really don’t care where I buy mine, either.

Secondly, I don’t want to write about same-sex marriage again, and so I won’t. My opinion is pretty publically documented, and if you’ve read “Enter the Rainbow” on a semi-regular basis, you know what it is. I don’t want to rehash old arguments in unhelpful ways.

So this is a post about neither chicken sandwiches nor same-sex marriage. Okay - good to go?

I’d like to write about inviting God’s judgment on our nation by shaking fists at God and claiming to know more than God does. This is what Dan Cathy said some people are doing in his comment that fanned the flames of the Great Chicken Sandwich Scandal of 2012.

Whatever you believe about gay marriage, you’d be pretty hard pressed to find people who believe they are actively opposing God in their stance. When somebody says a thing like that, they most often mean that the person they refer to is opposing them.

“You are opposing God” translates to “You are disagreeing with me” almost every time it is uttered.

The truth is, there are faithful people (who would never dream of opposing God) on all sides of these issues, and all of us are simply trying our best to live our lives the way God wants us to.

(And by the way, there are also non-religious people on all sides of these issues, and they are clearly not shaking their fists at God, since they would not think there is a God at which to shake a fist.)

Perhaps Mr. Cathy believed he was being prophetic. After all, he uttered some pretty powerful words, invoking the judgment of God on the nation. This is pretty much what all those Old Testament prophets did, too. However, it is pretty elite company up there. I mean, those dudes wrote the Bible!

Whatever may have motivated the quip, I am certain that Mr. Cathy is not shaking his fist at God when he says it. My personal disagreement aside, I believe that from his perspective, Mr. Cathy is a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ who is simply trying to live the life he believes God wants him to live, just like me.

I do not know better than God. Neither do you. Nobody does. No. Body.

When faithful people disagree about something, resorting to “You are opposing God” is a weak argument and shallow theology, bringing any meaningful dialogue to a screeching halt. And to me, it says a lot about our society that we are talking about gay marriage and chicken sandwiches before we are talking about the accusation of opposing divine will and claiming to know better than God. That seems to me to be the far more significant issue lurking under the surface, needing to be surfaced.

Disagreement does not equal faithlessness.

1 comment:

Joseph Kyser said...

In my opinion, the homosexual debate - rather it is in the context of marriage or bathhouses - is always the surface level debate. At General Conference, the bigger issue is how we, as United Methodist, serve and work together in a global church. Chick-Fil-A is about the voice of a corporation in our society, and how much power does that have in our nation. Homosexual relationships can be linked to it anti-feminism/anti-woman because men shouldn't act like women (and vice versa). The list can continue on. Next time you read about anything related to the queer community, there is always something more there.