7/27/2012

In America, people, (business owners too), are entitled to their own opinion

Chick-Fil-a has had a rough week. My response to the Chick-Fil-A controversy is the same I have about the more recent news about billionaire Amazon.com founder and president Jeff Bezos is donating $2.5 million to support gay marriage. That response is that in America, we have the right to our own opinions.
America is founded on principles of capitalism, democracy, life, liberty, justice, freedom and the pursuit of happiness to ALL. That means Wiccans, atheists, Muslims, Jews, Quakers, Buddhist, Hindus, Scientologists, all the denominations of Christianity, Catholics, Orthodox and ANYONE else tied or not tied to any religion. We are all entitled to the same freedoms and rights. All human beings that are citizens of this country should be treated with the same equal rights and liberties, that is what America is about.
It is easy for the Christian to have "a Christian over-reaction" to any of the news stories listed above. Some of my Christian colleagues all of a sudden are extra supportive of Chick-Fil-A and intentionally are no longer going to ever use Amazon.com. For me, I am more relaxed about all this. Yes, I am supportive of Chick-Fila, but I would feel the same support if they were an atheist owned business. I simply do not think it is in one person, a mayor, who also has equally free opinion to use that opinion to block the building of a restaurant simply because his opinion does not match up with the Chick-Fil-A's president.
I think that a Christian business owner -an American citizen- is welcome to his opinion also. If you do not like these things, do not eat at his restaurant, that is a capitalistic strategy that I can appreciate. My point is that in AMERICAN, agree or disagree with the values (all values aside really), we are a capitalist society. That means that given the EQUAL rights and liberties, all companies can build and have a chance to succeed (if they can) in a capitalist system.
I am not going out of my way to eat at Chick-Fil-A. I am consistent with my argument. I will continue using Amazon.com because I am a capitalist consumer. I save money with Amazon. Amazon has developed an excellent service. What the Founder/President of that company does with some of his profits is not my concern. I do not feel like my using of the Amazon.com service is contributing to gay marriage. Even if it were a direct correlation, I would not be concerned. He is welcome to have his own opinion on gay marriage. He is welcome to spend his money on it. He is a citizen of America. He has equal rights to an opinion in this free country too.
I will go even further, I am even willing to say that I am not too concerned if gay marriage becomes legalized. Hear me out here, this is tricky and a touchy subject. Yes, I am a Christian, ordained minister and have strong conservative values, but listen. Do not have a Christian over-reaction. Yes you heard this Christian correctly, I think that the LGBT community can have equal rights. They are human beings too and live in America, home of the free.
Yes, you may see the obvious clash between my own Christian values drawn from the Bible and my public opinion and support for the LGBT community. There is some tension there. How can I possibly give my support if I am truly a Bible-believing Christian? Here is my approach on it. I do not see the point in fighting with legislation. I do not see how being anti-LGBT is showing the love of Christ to these people, who need Jesus. Obviously, I am not living the LGBT lifestyle. I even agree that that lifestyle is not natural, not healthy and sin. Although, my understanding is that I cannot tell people which sins they choose and do not choose. It is not my place to judge nor my place to control.
I have to give up control of that battle and focus on the heart. I want to show these human beings Christ's love and His Gospel. Only Christ can truly save them and change their hearts, which in turn, will change their lifestyle. Only Christ can do that. I want to be His ambassador. I do not want to live in the past and say, this America is suppose to be a Christian nation (that is another post) ....let's move past that. Read my responses to that argument in the links. Basically, we are America, home of the free and all are welcome to live free here in America right now, despite any special relationship you think America has with God. I do not see it. It may be hard or unfortunate for some Christians, but we are where we are in America right now, some call it "post-Christian." That may be a stretch since nothing is impossible with Christ!
To take my previous argument further, that is I think that the LGBT are free to live how they want to in American. There is not way I can possibly live a life that is not connected or associated with any sinners. Firstly, all men are sinners. Some way or another every screen I look at, every food I consume, every book/blog I read...if you dig deep enough there will be a connection to a non-Christian. That is ok. All men are sinners. We once were sinners too! Have empathy.
Let us not have "a Christian over-reaction." Let us live "IN but not OF this world." Let's be the workers IN the fields harvesting. Let us NOT live in complete isolation like monks, what impact would that have? How useful is it to avoid completely everything connected to sin? Especially in a capitalist society...we are blessed to be allowed to enter the harvest! We are blessed to have EQUAL rights (EVEN AS CHRISTIANS!!) Compare yourself to Christians hiding in Asian and Africa! We are so blessed to be consumer capitalists with equal rights! COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS oh spoiled American Christians.
Now let us use these rights and advantages for Christ's glory! Let us be SALT and LIGHT in this very diverse democracy. Let us Praise Jesus because we have so many opportunities to make a difference and show Christ's LOVE, hallelujah!