Today I read the article “Dan and Me: My Coming Out as a Friend of Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-A” by Shane Windmeyer. This gay activist, bestselling author, and Executive Director of Campus Pride shares his perspective on a new-found friendship with Dan Cathy, a man whom he had previously considered his enemy. He wrote that Cathy “advocated against who I am; would take apart my family in the name of “traditional marriage”; [and whose] voice and views represented exactly the opposite of those of the students for whom I advocate every day.” He then goes on to tell of how Cathy initiated this relationship, for no other reason than to simply know him. A genuine friendship followed.
The article is clearly from Windmeyer’s perspective- evident by references to pro-traditional marriage organizations as “divisive political groups that work each day to harm hardworking LGBT young people, adults and our families.” But as I read on, I marveled at this man, Dan Cathy, who is so beautifully living out biblical principles- uncompromising about God’s Word and uncompromising in God’s love for all. Here is what Windmeyer has to say about Cathy:
- Dan expressed a sincere interest in my life, wanting to get to know me on a personal level. He wanted to know about where I grew up, my faith, my family, even my husband, Tommy.
- Dan expressed regret and genuine sadness when he heard of people being treated unkindly in the name of Chick-fil-a — but he offered no apologies for his genuine beliefs about marriage.
- Dan, in his heart, is driven by his desire to minister to others and had to choose to continue our relationship throughout this controversy. He had to both hold to his beliefs and welcome me into them.
- It was Dan who took a great risk in inviting me: He stood to face the ire of his conservative base… Instead, he stood next to me most of the night, putting respect ahead of fear.
Sometimes it’s difficult for Christians to know how to apply biblical principles until we see it lived out. Well people, here’s Exhibit A in being “in the world but not of the world,” a “light to the nations,” and “as wise as serpents but gentle as doves.”
Christians, with whom will you initiate a relationship today for the sake of demonstrating Christ’s love? For what will you express “genuine sadness” regarding a harm that you or another has done in the name of God, without apologizing for the person or teachings of Christ? How can you better hold on to your beliefs while “welcoming others into them”? Where will you risk your comfort, or the approval of men, for the sake of serving others?
Because of Dan Cathy’s initiative, persistence, risk, and genuine care, Windmeyer (and arguably all within his sphere of influence) now has an exceptionally positive view of Cathy. Do the non-Christians in your world have a similarly-favorable view of you?
“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Col. 4:5-6