Dear Straight Allies, Please Stop Eating at Chick-Fil-A

Dear Straight Allies, Please Stop Eating at Chick-Fil-A

If these Christian-based groups want to spread their belief that being gay is a sin, that is their right.

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I was 12 years old, watching the news with my grandma in the living room. It was 2012 and Dan Cathy, the president and CEO of Chick-Fil-A had, in an interview with the Biblical Recorder, stated his company's support for the "biblical definition of the family unit." Suddenly, Chick-Fil-A had become a flashpoint in the culture wars, and social conservatives were lining up in droves to show their support for the fast-food chain.

On the TV screen, I saw a woman being interviewed, Chick-Fil-A bag in one hand and a Bible in the other, proclaiming her belief that homosexuality was an abomination. I walked away, locked myself in my room, and cried, feeling confused about how anyone could ever think that. I was a gay kid still in the closet but I remember thinking that if these people could just be gay for a day they would realize that being gay was the most natural thing in the world.

In high school and in college, I have been disappointed to see many straight people who call themselves allies eating at Chick-Fil-A. It seems so incongruent to me- to profess support for the gay community while at the same time boosting the profits of a company so explicitly anti-gay. It seems to me that people are willing to express support on Twitter but aren't willing to take any meaningful actions of solidarity. And actions speak louder than words.

I understand that the food at Chick-Fil-A is amazingly delicious. But if anything, this just makes the case for not eating there even stronger. If you are willing to give up something that brings you joy for the sake of a cause bigger than yourself, that is praiseworthy- it is the definition of altruism.

We must transform our ideas into action. If we don't we are hypocrites. And I recognize that with so many large corporations doing so many bad things- not paying their workers a living wage, polluting the environment, etc.- it is nearly impossible to avoid some level of hypocrisy. But that shouldn't bar us from trying at all. Perhaps being an ethical person means pursuing the horizon, working towards a goal you can never fully achieve but trying anyway.

I understand that consumer boycotts are often ineffective. But to me, effectiveness is not the point. I harbor no illusions that Chick-Fil-A will suddenly change its stance on gay rights anytime soon. Someone might wonder if their own personal choice not to eat at Chick-Fil-A will have any real-world impact, if it's a sacrifice worth making. But I would argue that it absolutely is.

Chick-Fil-A's tax-exempt WinShape Foundation continues to fund anti-LGBTQ organizations. Chick-Fil-A has justified this on the grounds that the money is going towards nonprofit groups that help disadvantaged youth. Yet all of these organizations deliberately exclude queer youth from their philanthropy and consistency preach against homosexuality. Now, I am all for freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of association. If these Christian-based groups want to spread their belief that being gay is a sin, that is their right. But straight allies have no business subsidizing this message.

Chick-Fil-A has a vision for America, one where gay people are denied equal rights and condemned to live as outcasts. But we have a different vision, one where gay people have equal rights under the law, where they are not merely tolerated but accepted. In the past few decades, we have come a long way towards realizing our progressive vision. Yet old vestiges of prejudice remain. The actions of Chick-Fil-A perpetuate this ancient hatred, breathing new life into its decaying form.

I've always found it strange how the ones who preach homophobia the most are also the ones who proclaim to faithfully follow Christ, who had unconditional love for all. I remember in my freshman year of high school, my Christian friend explained to me the story of Christ's sacrifice on the cross and even though I'm not Christian and hadn't believed in God in years, the story still had profound emotional resonance. God loved humanity so much that he was willing to sacrifice his son for our salvation. What a beautiful idea- to have a love for someone so deep, so powerful, that you are willing to put their interests above your own.

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A Letter From God To Help You Finish The Semester

God sees your struggles and He's here to give you strength and motivation.
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My Child,

The lack of motivation towards the end of the semester is normal. You are mentally and physically tired, but you are almost at the end. Don’t stop walking down the perfect path I have for you. When you’re going along and you come upon a speedbump, I want you to go over it and keep driving. The paper you have to write and the test you have to study for are just small speedbumps I have given you to make you wiser. You can write that paper and you can gain motivation to study for that test. I am here to give you strength, and am here to open up your mind and give you motivation.

You are so loved. You have such a beautiful mind. The light of Jesus shines through your eyes and your smile brings comfort to the world. There’ll be times you feel like you’re carrying a heavy load. There’ll be times you feel like the task I have given you is impossible to perform. But remember this: I would never put anything upon your shoulders that you cannot carry. If I put you in a certain situation, it’s because I know you are strong enough to go through it.

When you feel like crying, cry to me. When you feel like a failure, remember how much I love you. You are not a failure and you are not going to give up. I will hold your hand through every second of your life. I will seek your heart through your darkest moments. I see you, I see your heart, and I see your burdens. And remember that I have your heart which means I also have your burdens. Follow my footsteps and you will be free from the doubt. Remember Mark 4:40-41: “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” I have the power to calm any storm and wave. I have the power to calm YOUR storms and waves. Set your doubt, anger, and tiredness in my hands and simply be patient.

Romans 8:14-15 says,“For those who are led by the spirit of God are the children of God. The spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again, rather the spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.” Nothing can separate you from my love. Not even your lack of motivation. You have no motivation because you do not feel good enough. You are more than good enough. You were perfectly made by me and when I look down at you, I think of how proud I am of your heart.

Throughout the last few weeks of this semester, you will stumble upon speedbumps. But hold the hand of my son Jesus and you will be able to go over that speedbump with ease. Go write that paper, go study for that test, and go get an A in that class. I know you can because I have given you power.

Love,

God

Cover Image Credit: Margaret Carnes

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8 Phases Of Lent As Told By 'Jane The Virgin'

Nobody understands Lent like Jane.

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Every person that participates in Lent knows that there are different phases — almost like the stages of grief. Now that Lent is coming to an end, I wanted to review the challenges we have all faced so far. Easter is just around the corner and we have earned it. Although everyone's Lenten experience may be a bit different, we all know the struggles of giving something up, cheating, remembering to skip the meat on Friday's, etc. The pain is almost over, so enjoy a recap of everything you've been through in the past few weeks. Here are 8 scenes from "Jane the Virgin" that understand your struggles.

1. Thinking of what to give up

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Thinking of what to give up for Lent can be so stressful, especially when your whole family won't stop asking you about it. Leave me alone!

2. Fat Tuesday

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I hope that every Catholic family out there is having a full-out FEAST on Fat Tuesday! Don't worry about your food baby; it's called Fat Tuesday for a reason, right?

3. Getting weird looks on Ash Wednesday

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You just know everyone is looking at you like this when you have that big, black smudge on your forehead. But hey, at least when you pass another ash-covered face you can give each other a solid nod. They know what's up.

4. Cheating

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This is how every Catholic grandma looks at you when they catch you cheating during Lent.

5. Telling yourself you won't cheat again

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You tell yourself, "hey, we can do this, no more cheating during Lent." You are happy and confident.

6. Cheating...again

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Let's face it. It just isn't your year. Don't worry, Lent is almost over and the shame can finally end. Be gone, shame!

7. Eating a fish sandwich for the 100th time

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Fish sandwiches are delicious. That is until you eat one every week for almost 6 weeks.

8. When it's finally Easter

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Lent was long, but the wait was well worth it. Now go have some brunch and hunt for Easter eggs!

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