I’m not in the habit of responding to most of the crap that’s out there on the Internet, because I have a life and I prefer to live it. If I tried to address all the stupid things people write, I would end up spending the day in my bathrobe eating Cheetos for lunch while laundry and dishes piled up around me. Forgive me if I just don’t think it’s worth it.
This one, I decided, deserved the effort, for a couple of reasons. First, a number of people shared it and expressed the opinion that it was “well said” and “showed love.” Second, I think this piece sums up very nicely what’s wrong with pretending that “love the sinner, hate the sin” is either loving or biblical (hint: it’s neither). I’m going to take this article point by point, quoting it in its entirety so that no one can accuse me of taking Mr. Dallas’ words out of context. I’m splitting this into multiple parts, because it’s long.
To My Gay Angry Friend
Given the fact that Mr. Dallas never actually has any kind of conversation with this man, I find it interesting that he assumes the man is gay just for showing up to protest at Chick-fil-A. Because, you know, only gay people support equality or have issues with where Dan Cathy spends corporate funds. This must be the world where no bisexuals, transmen, or allies live. Don’t even get me started on the way he’s phrased it, his assumption that this person is angry, or his reference to the person as “friend.”
Last night my son and I visited our local Chick-fil-A to show support for the company and its owner. (Click here if you’re unfamiliar with the controversy) [The link is not to a news article about the Chicken War but to another marginally related post by Mr. Dallas.] After an hour’s wait alongside scores of other like-minded customers, we passed a lone gay protestor standing in front of the restaurant, quietly holding a sign with a quote from Leviticus. He was a solitary voice, a man I disagreed with but who made an impression on me nonetheless.
I couldn’t tell him so at the time. I’d like to tell him now.
Well then. Let’s just get right to it. The guy made an impression, but apparently not enough to warrant an actual conversation? Okaaaayyy… (Oh, and also, again with assuming this man is gay. Mr. Dallas never talked to him. He does not know whether this man is gay or not.)
You looked as lonely as you must have felt.
The crowd was, after all, hugely in favor of what you opposed. Scores of us were celebrating the scores of others who were there, happy with the turn-out; loving the solidarity.
Then there was you, quietly standing firm with your sign quoting a verse from Leviticus which demands that non-virginal brides be stoned, your point being that we Fundamentalist/Evangelical types don’t really celebrate the Biblical definition of marriage, though we say we do, otherwise we’d execute females who fornicate.
More on that later.
I love how he makes assumptions about this man. He was lonely? Really? You could tell that he was feeling that way, without actually talking to him? This man was “quietly standing firm.” Sounds like he was exercising his right to protest in a perfectly appropriate way, no?
You looked calm, angry and unfazed. And believe it or not, I liked you immediately. I liked your courage, especially, and your willingness to voice a note of dissent. There’s a pro-gay counter-protest scheduled this Friday for Chic-fil-A’s around the country, and hundreds of demonstrators will no doubt show up en masse, enjoying the comfort of like-minded activists. But you opted to come alone Wednesday, making your statement right in our socially conservative faces, and you did it like an adult. No theatrics, no loudspeaker, no screaming obscenities. I gotta salute you for that. I admire chutzpah, so I admire you.
“Calm, angry, and unfazed,” but apparently he also looked “lonely.” So which is it? Sounds like “lonely” merely refers to the fact that he was literally alone, not his internal feelings. Let’s not conflate the two. (I think I’ve established the fact that Mr. Dallas wants to be a good writer, but isn’t.)
Then Mr. Dallas goes on to semi-mock him for showing up two days before the “real” protest. This man is “making [his] statement right in our socially conservative faces.” Well, yes, in part because you are eating your chicken sandwich right in his non-socially conservative face, in your joy over the show of solidarity. I should note here that at least Mr. Dallas is honest about the fact that he is socially conservative. At least he didn’t say “our biblically conservative faces” or “our morally conservative faces” or “our religiously conservative faces.”
Still, after making digs at him, Mr. Dallas goes on to say that this man was protesting “like an adult.” I’m glad that Mr. Dallas was able to admire his “chutzpah,” though. I mean, it’s not like the guy was actually just standing there holding a sign in peaceful protest or anything.
I wanted to talk, but the meal I’d waited over an hour for was getting cold, and with a hungry family to feed, conversation wasn’t an option. But can I raise just a few points I wish you’d consider?
Let me get this straight: Mr. Dallas waited for over an hour for his meal, but didn’t have time to engage this man in a face-to-face conversation? Yes, I can tell he really wanted to have some dialogue there. Sheesh. His family couldn’t have stood in line and ordered for him while he took a moment to talk to the protestor? This is ironic, considering the fact that apparently, this is what Mr. Dallas does for a living. I find it really hard to believe that “conversation was not an option.”
Just a side note here. Failing to actually talk to someone in the moment, then addressing a blog post to that person that he will never read, is a cowardly act. And for the record, I’m not doing that here. I am well aware that Mr. Dallas will likely never read my words. But I’m not talking to him, I’m talking to the people who read my blog.
I’m going to stop here for today. Join me tomorrow when I pick this back up.