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Where would Jesus eat?

October 7, 2015

I’m sure a good number of my fellow southern evangelicals would say Chik-fil-A because, you know, they are good Christians who close on Sunday.  We’d probably also say that there is any number of places, Hooters for instance, that he would not eat dinner.

This came to mind as I watched the flap over whether or not Pope Francis met with Kim Davis, the KY county clerk that refused to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples.  Her lawyers released a detailed story of the “audience” that she had with the Pope.  In it Davis expressed her gratitude for his support for her stance in favor of traditional marriage.

This eventually led to a statement from the Vatican that, while Davis had been invited by a Vatican U.S. Consul staffer to be one of a few dozen people to greet the Pope while in Washington; and that he did in fact shake her hand, have a brief chat, and give her a rosary, they denied that it was an “audience” (which seems to have a specific meaning in the church) and that the Pope arranged it.  They also released a picture of Francis meeting with a young gay Argentinian.  Implied in the release was the possibility that, as he greeted her, the Pope didn’t even know who she was.

It seems pretty clear that, while the meeting took place, Davis’ lawyers had spun the release quite a bit.  This is not surprising.  These are the same people who released this picture:


The lawyers inserted the title on the picture.  It turns out that the meeting pictured was actually held back in 2014 and that all they had was a message from one of the organizers of that meeting saying that “we are praying for you.”

But the interesting thing was the reactions from both sides of the same sex marriage issue.    After the first release, one side was joyous and the other apoplectic.  When the Vatican message came out the joy and apoplexy switched.  It appears however that Pope Francis gave a warm and friendly greeting to both Davis and the young gay man.  Which leads to the question – who would Jesus greet with a smile and warmth if he came to Washington for a short visit?

The answer is pretty clear – both.  We see in the Gospels that Jesus dined with “tax collectors and sinners,” much to the consternation of the Jewish religious leaders.  But we also see him dining with Pharisees.  I am sure he would greet both Davis and the young gay man.

So would Jesus go to Chik-fil-A if he was invited?  Would he go to Hooters?  I suspect he would.  He seemed to have no fear that his presence either affirmed or validated the actions of his hosts or the others there.

So why do we fear such things?  Why do we fear that going to a same sex marriage “approves” it?  Why are we reluctant to visit the home of a couple who are living together without the benefit of marriage?  Why are we so desperate to demonstrate that we don’t approve of the “lifestyle” of people with whom we disagree?

Perhaps the better question is that, when we show our disapproval in so many ways, why are we surprised when people think we are hateful?


From → Christianity

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