Archived Story

Hate isn’t okay

Published 8:48am Monday, August 6, 2012

I’m likely not eating a Chick-fil-A again. I’m not asking you to join me in that decision. That’s your choice. I made my decision and you should make yours.

Before you decide why I feel this way, let me make a couple of things clear.

One, I consider myself a Christian. I’m not perfect and I never will be, but I believe in God’s love for all of us.

I was brought up in a fundamental Christian church. I mean hellfire and brimstone, speaking in tongues and all the other Pentecostal things you have heard about. I spent most of my early life in those churches.

My life also began in a small, rural community; mostly white, mostly Christian and mostly closed-minded.

When I was 15 or 16, I faced a decision. I had two friends – one black and one white – who started dating. While I was spared the racist drivel that was prevalent in the generation before me, I had always believed interracial relationships were wrong.

I made a decision that my two friends were more important than some stereotype and thus began the process of me purposely being more open-minded about things that I didn’t totally understand.

When I was 18 years old, I went to college and met some of the best friends of my life. One of them happens to be gay. Honestly, I knew it the day I met him, although he didn’t “come out of the closet” until several years later.

It didn’t matter to me then and it doesn’t now. What matters to me is that he is my friend. I’ve often said the definition of a real friend is someone you can call at 4 a.m. and say I need you here now and they get in the car without asking a question. He is one of those people.

Another guy I knew and respected greatly in college is gay as well, but I never knew it. I’m not sure why, but it never clicked. He was someone I respected greatly, and still is.

Since then I’ve met and befriended other people who were gay. Some of them played sports at what was then Chowan College and another played for me at Bertie High School. They were and are incredible people who I treasure both for who they are and for the important part they played in my life.

I also want to make it clear that Dan Cathy can say anything he likes. He can believe anything he likes. It is a right that’s not only protected by the United States Constitution; it is also a moral absolute. If those idiots at Westboro Baptist Church have freedom of speech, so does he.

And I’m not staying away from his restaurant because of his opinion. I’m doing it because he spends money made at that restaurant to fund organizations who oppose gay marriage. While that is also his choice, he won’t spend another dime of my money to do it. I don’t support his beliefs and he will not spend my money to support causes I strongly oppose.

You see, the ability of gay people to get married isn’t a concept for me, it’s a real issue. When people speak out against gay marriage, they’re talking about my friends, people I care about and people I love – people for whom I want the same rights I have.

The issue is personal to me. It’s about the people I’ve mentioned in this column and many, many more. That vitriol and hate that is directed at the gay community is directed at people I care about and I take it personally. And while I know not everyone who went to Chick-fil-A Wednesday expressed that hate, I think they endorsed people who do.

You can use the Bible for whatever hate message you like. It’s been done before – against Jews, against Blacks, against Muslims, against just about every other minority in this country. Read the two commandments of Jesus and you will see quickly that hate isn’t okay with him because they both are about love.

The U.S. Constitution also forbids us from using religion as a basis for establishing law. Those of us who are Christians may want to remember that, because one day we may be in the minority and the hate may be directed toward us.

The bottom line is this: Hate isn’t okay – I don’t care if you wrap it in the American flag, the Bible, a white sheet or a Nazi swastika.

 

Thadd White is Managing Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be reached via email at thadd.white@r-cnews.com or by telephone at 332-7211.

  1. B

    Mr. White– Thank you for this thoughtful response to a very thorny issue. Although some people seem to have willfully misread your argument (despite what Chick-Fil-A supporters have tried to argue, the personal decision to not patronize a business is in no way about First Amendment rights), I found this piece appropriately nuanced and carefully considered. Well done, sir.

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  2. LisaBriley

    The Chick-Fil-A appreciation day was about our precious freedom of speech and the right to hold to your moral, Biblical principles. It had nothing to do with hate. Many liberals love to cry “intolerance” and “hate speech”. Dan Cathy is not denying a group of people the opportunity to eat at or work at Chick-Fil-A. I see intolerance and hate from those who want to deny Mr. Cathy the freedom to speak his mind. We are in the midst of the Third Great Awakening and conservative Christians are RESTORING LOVE!

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  3. DrRaymond

    August 7, 2012

    In response to Mr. Thadd Whites Editorial:

    Mr. White I plead with you and your readers to not receive this letter as synclinal or hatred toward any people group. I too have friends and have travel across the world with dear friends who were of the gay persuasion. Yet, they know I do not agree with their lifestyle.

    As for the talking in tongues, Pentecostal hellfire and brimstone church you were raised in, I admit there were and continue to be many fanatical groups of all faiths that have brought shame to God’s church throughout history. Ignorance and lack of understanding are often the bases for that, however if any of your readers feel the church has somehow let you down by their arrogance or ungodly pride, please, on behalf of all that is true and descent, I ask you to take the high road and forgive those who have hurt you and by no means hold it against God who loves you very much.

    The truth is, God is a God of love, He’s a God of kindness and certainly a God who forgives. So, if He is a God who forgives, what must he forgive? The answer is SIN. We’re not talking about men’s opinions, but NAMED sins in His inspired word.

    I Corinthians 6:(9) (niv) Be not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men (Effeminate), (10) nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (11) And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

    One more reference: 2 Timothy 3: 1 (kjv) This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

    God always takes issue with sin and unnatural or unholy lifestyles. That’s why the Apostle Paul said; “I die daily” referring to his “fleshly being” that was cursed with the trait of sin. So, one may argue with me or any person with Christian values, and some may actually choose to argue the bible in general, but that doesn’t change a holy God who ask his followers to refrain from evil (all evils) and unnatural lifestyles.

    You mentioned the U.S. Constitution in your article, be it known, I am not ashamed to say I am a Christian before I am an American. And, do not be mistaken or misquote me, An American I AM and thankful for every man and woman who gave their life or put their life on the line for my freedom!! But, they know and you know before there was a US Constitution 236 years ago, there was a greater authority, and His authoritative commands trump any law or lifestyle of any country. A political party, a newspaper editor or even a back stream Pentecostal will not push GOD and His profound Word in a corner.

    Therefore, I resolve, when the U.S. Constitution has dissolved and our bones have turned to dust, When Chick-fil-a and the Ahoskie News Herald are business’ that have long been gone……, the BIBLE, God’s authoritative word will remain the crystal clear authority concerning what is right and what is wrong. God has always loved the sinner, but from the garden to this day he detest sin and plainly called certain lifestyles “an abomination”. There’s no way you can water that down!

    I will continue my subscription to the Ahoskie News Herald even though we have differences of opinion.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Raymond Faircloth Sr.

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  4. oleander

    It’s a little extreme to say that people hate because they don’t want your gay friends to get married. Hating someone and disagreeing with the choices they make are two very different things. Have you researched the funding that the manufacturers of your car, home, clothing, etc provide and would you boycott them all if they were on opposing sides to issues besides gay rights?

    Furthermore, the excellent reporter that you are, did you do your research on this interview and how it got misconstrued? Are you angry with them and boycotting them for it? After all, it seems they want to perpetuate this “hate” you disagree with. Also, since Mr. Cathy does support a traditional marriage, was it really a shock? Conservative, closed on Sunday? But I digress. There are several scriptures supporting what he believes in the Bible and you know it Thadd. But everyone has a right to play church how they like.

    I’ll happily go buy my Starbucks tomorrow, because I do not pay for their political or social views of the world. I pay for their coffee.

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