Yesterday, my Facebook page and my Twitter feed were clogged with post after post about Chick-fil-A. (Tomorrow, I’ll wrap up the week with a summary of the Great Chicken War of ’12.) There were a few people with respectful comments, some with interesting articles. But the vast majority were arrogant and nasty, and a few were downright hateful. Let me tell you, it was so draining that I eventually logged off. I couldn’t take it anymore.
There were too many things to respond to, too many times that I wished I had the right words to express what I wanted to say. I didn’t even feel like I could blog about it, not in that frame of mind. I begged off and wrote about writing, then went and did some actual writing about non-bloggy things. It was very therapeutic.
What I saw most frequently was a lot of obnoxious statements about how the protests were a “violation” of free speech, followed by people demonstrating that their free speech has not, in fact, been “violated” at all. (People really, really need to go back and review the definition of free speech; last I checked, boycotting a company falls into that category. Where were you all when people were boycotting Nabisco and JC Penney?) I ran out of things to say to people who claimed to be eating chicken for freedom and justice.
It made me tired. Tired, because I feel some days like I’m not doing anywhere near enough to make a difference. When I see an endless stream of “gay people want to take away MY rights,” I no longer know what to say. Sometimes, I want to give up. I want to say, “Yeah, I know it’s wrong and all. But couldn’t somebody else step up now? Couldn’t somebody else try to get the Church to just shut up and listen for a moment?”
And then I remember why I write about this so often. I remember why I find others who think like I do. I remember why I go out of my way to urge others to listen.
- I see the faces of people I hold dear, people who have come unexpectedly into my life and made a difference. They are members of my family, by birth or by marriage; friends from school or work or church; even random strangers on the Internet. Real, live people who have stories to share.
- I read the articles and blog posts, the ones that defend “biblical” marriage. Most of them fail to recognize the legal ramifications of preventing partners to marry, and the writers like to play word games about the definition of the word “marriage,” as though that word has some magic power that might be taken away if everyone had the right to use it.
- I listen to sermons and podcasts in which the preacher details the most deviant sexual behavior, attributes it to gay people, and then explains that this is why God doesn’t “allow” homosexuality. These same preachers also like to “explain away the gay” with childhood trauma; equate homosexuality and pedophilia; and cite sixty-year-old “research” that has since been discredited.
- I have conversations with acquaintances who want to remind me that “this issue is important,” meaning that it’s important that I agree with them. Sometimes, these people like to remind me that being gay is just as bad/sinful as stabbing a gay person, because “sin is sin” (yes, really). Or sometimes, they tell me that being gay is okay, but acting gay is wrong (whatever that means). Other times, they just tell me they hope I don’t ever plan to talk with their kids about it (no worries, wasn’t planning to).
I don’t keep on doing this because it’s my battle to fight, or because I’m going to be the “hero.” I do it because I simply can’t sit here and do nothing while I watch people I love be hurt by the Church. I do it because I simply can’t sit here and do nothing while I watch the Church I love hurt the people in my life.
If you ever feel like this, you’re not the only one. I would love to hear from you. Share a comment, send me an email. Tell me your story.
I’m leaving the comments open for now, so that people can share their stories. If it gets ugly, I will close them, though.