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Blog of the Grateful Bear

ramblings of a freelance panentheist {"all things are in God, and God is in all things"} . . . musings on Emergent spirituality, powerlifting, LGBTQueer issues, contemplative prayer, mysticism, cats, music, healing, and more. I like my coffee and my existentialism dark-roasted.

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Location: Marietta, Georgia, United States

I'm an LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor), in private practice in Marietta, Georgia. My writings on queer spirituality have been published in Whosoever and several other magazines. I live in a house-in-the-woods (Bear's Hermitage) in Marietta with Leonidas (Lenny) and Guy, Mighty Warrior Cats, and way too many books.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

On the Chick-fil-A Boycott

I’m having trouble getting behind the Chick-fil-A boycott 100% because there's really nothing new here; Chick-fil-A has been supporting groups like Focus on the Family for decades. I can understand why many don’t want to support such groups, even indirectly, and I can understand why some feel a need to take a stand against what they see as “hate speech.”

But I don't think holding a particular view on homosexuality necessarily constitutes hate. If your view leads you to wave “God Hates Fags” signs at funerals or to bully a gay person, then yes, that's hate. But I don’t think it’s hate or even “anti-gay” if your reading of the Bible sincerely leads you to believe in what Dan Cathy calls “the biblical definition of the family unit.” (A straight friend pointed out that since she is divorced and remarried, she wouldn’t fit Dan Cathy’s definition either.) I have conservative friends who hold such views but who are wonderful people whose friendships I, as a gay man, value greatly.

Perhaps it’s easy for me to understand those who hold such “biblical views” because I held those views myself for many, many years. I didn’t hold those views because I was anti-gay or pro-hate, I held them because I sincerely thought that’s what the Bible taught. I no longer interpret the Bible in that way, and I’m grateful for the freedom that came in my life when I learned there are other ways of reading the Bible. I’ve written several articles about gay-affirming spirituality, and I’m proud that those articles have been published in gay websites and magazines. I will continue to take a stand for gay-affirming spirituality. But I don’t think that makes me superior to those who still read the Bible the same way I did for the first 30 years of my life. For me to condemn or even look down on someone because of a belief – that feels like intolerance to me.

Chick-fil-A is no longer my first choice for a fast-food meal, but I personally don’t feel a need to boycott it completely. You have every right to either boycott or support Chick-fil-A or any other company, and I certainly won’t judge you or condemn you either way. And I hope if you see me getting a Chick-fil-A sandwich or diet lemonade on a hot summer day, you won’t judge or condemn me either.