My grandmother is 90 and still plays as substitute organist for her church. Cujo and I went with her yesterday to support her. During the joys and concerns section of the service, which is about as depressing as a funeral, a church member stood up and took the mic.
“I have an announcement,” he said. “Recently, Chick-fil-A stood up for Christian values. Since there’s not a Chick-fil-A near us, I went online and ordered some of their merchandise. I set up a table downstairs, if anyone is interested. I just thought that it was so great the way they stood up for Christian values.”
I’m sure by now everyone knows about the Chick-fil-A president coming forward to announce his anti-gay-marriage stance, and the uproar that caused as people began boycotting and supporting the chain as though national legislation depended on it. The thought that stuck in my head after the gentleman made his announcement, other than the image of my grandmother’s ancient church advertising for a fast-food chain, was: when did anti-gay become Christian values? Did Jesus at any point stand up and single out homosexuality as a root evil in the world that we must persecute? For that matter, did he single out anyone? I may be biased, but I happen to think if he were around he’d be much more concerned with war, famine, violence, the environment, and injustice than gay marriage.
There’s a man in town that helps my grandmother two or three times a week. She calls him daily and comes up with request after request for him to help her out with. He charges her pennies. How she hasn’t yet driven him crazy, I don’t know. My family’s a little puzzled, in fact, by what exactly drives him to help her so selflessly. The closest thing we can figure is that he believes it’s part of his service, because he attends a different church in town. For all I know, he supports Chick-fil-A as passionately as the man in grandma’s church, but I can tell you one thing–he hasn’t mentioned it. I believe that his actions speak louder of faith than supporting a chain that seeks to alienate people; his values speak of patience, compassion, service, humility, and kindness. Those are the kinds of Christian values I can respect.