Saturday, August 4, 2012

Rooting Where We Stand

It's been an intense few weeks. It's summer and things are hot and burning - wildfires in the west, drought conditions in much of the country, and chicken empire CEO's.

The whole Chick-fil-A thing has been a comedy of errors. Businesses do have a right to operate their business based on their values, so long as they're not violating current law. Cities should not have the right to disallow businesses because of the owner's religious beliefs. Consumers have the right to patronize businesses they like and agree with, and those who disagree with a business owner's practices and policies have the right to take their business elsewhere.

I acknowledge and honor and agree that we have religious freedom in this country, and the Chick-fil-A CEO has the right to say he doesn't believe in same-sex marriage. I read an article that talked about business owners needing to stand on two feet in their values. Bravo, Mr. Cathy. You've done just that.

That being said, personally, I think Chick-fil-A food is terrible. But I wouldn't eat there now even if I liked it, because I won't stand behind a company that funnels money to groups that are actively working against other people. It's discrimination. You can't hide under the umbrella of religious freedom and actively discriminate against other people and expect things to be hunky-dory. Especially when the religion you're hiding behind is supposedly based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. Do not call yourself a Christian if you cannot emanate the actions of Jesus, especially the hard ones where you have to love your neighbor. There was no "except".

Jesus sat with the lepers and prostitutes. He said judge not and love one another. If you can't do that, please don't call yourself a Christian. Jesus spoke simply...love one another.

I believe in Jesus' teachings. I was raised a Christian, but don't refer by that moniker anymore because it's been tainted. Tainted by alleged holy men, leaders of various religious organizations, doing terrible things to children and women, stealing money from their parishioners and cheating on their wives. Fortunately, I know some wonderful, good Christians who DO live and love like Jesus did, and some of them are gay. I'll hang with them. Those of you hanging out at Chick-fil-A because you think that's where Jesus is, you've been mislead.

Jesus is in the streets with the homeless, working with the social workers and in schools and daycares, he's with children and animals and women who've been neglected and abused, with kids who are being bullied, the mentally ill, the indigenous people, working with teachers who are made to teach without adequate resources, the environmentalists who are trying to keep this planet functional, and with every person who has been discriminated against for being poor, or the wrong skin color, weight, height, and every other thing that we persecute one other for. 

Jesus hangs with the lowest of the low. He's not been in the board room lately, because no one there is listening.

We root where we stand. If we stand still long enough, we become fed by those around us rather than choosing for ourselves, whether it's nutritive or not. Some ideas and beliefs are poisonous, and that leaves us standing in muck. The concept that any one person or religion or thought or opinion is the only way and is more valuable than others is a fallacy. Every person and every living thing on this planet is connected and important. Every one. And for those who believe in the concept of Intelligent Design, what does the Creator think about the harsh judgment of his creations?

The strength of humans is in our diversity. When we choose to see the differences as bad, we separate ourselves from all the possibilities of the good we could have had and the good that we could have done, together.

Every human being has the right to food, clean water and air, shelter, medical care, and love. Every other living thing on this planet has the right to those things too. When one of us suffers, we all suffer. We can't drown the suffering in money or hide it under religion and try to pretend it doesn't exist. We're better than that. We're intelligent, creative beings, and we can solve this. There's no need to point fingers, we all had a part in this creation. Let's try again.

Jesus got down in the muck and suffered with all those suffering. He gave up his life in the hopes that we would notice where he had chosen to stand, so that we could see what still needed to be fixed after he left, leaving his life as an example. Even if you're not a Christian, he left a message that is good for everyone...Love.

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