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Chik-Fil-A buy-ins: Free speech, religious freedom, and feeding the poor

VIRAL CHICK-FIL-A PICTURE CLAIMS CHRISTIANS DON’T FEED THE POOR — BUT WE HAVE PROOF TO THE CONTRARY!

By: Billy Hallowell          homeless ministry_INSPIRED

For the blissfully uninformed claiming that Christians are not found in homeless shelters, feeding the poor, we say: Perhaps you may try visiting one! -INSPIRED

This week, hundreds of thousands of Americans rallied to support Chick-fil-A amidst a firestorm of controversy over the fast-food chain’s views on gay marriage. As Christians and free-speech advocates rose to defend the company’s right to stand in support of “traditional marriage,” some critics waged attacks on those lining up for the so-called Chick-fil-A buy-ins.

An image that was making its rounds on social media had a strong (and utterly false!)  message for the mass number of Christians lining up at the restaurant.

“You’d never see that many Christians lined up to help at a food bank or homeless shelter,” it read. “And that’s something Jesus actually said to do.”

While it’s not immediately clear where the image originated, the aforementioned quote makes a plethora of assumptions — the first of which is that Bible-believing Christians are not overtly involved in feeding the poor and helping those in need. But reality paints a very different picture.

Just days before the Chick-fil-A controversy hit a fever-pitch, Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Love” brought tens of thousands of Americans — many of them Christians — to Dallas, Texas, to worship, serve and restore. Through the “Day of Service,” these individuals rebuilt homes, renovated churches, fed the poor and engaged in other activities that “Jesus actually said to do.”

Despite the mainstream medias’ refusal to report about the astounding events that unfolded, many lives were changed as a result of the “Day of Service” initiative. Embracing the ideology present in the aforementioned image ignores the hard-work and dedication of tens of thousands of Americans who braved the heat in Texas to “line up” and serve their fellow man.

INSPIRED

The Blaze was on-site to witness some of the inspirational stories of volunteers reaching out to help “the least of these.” We published numerous examples of these stories of people “lining up” to help those in need. Among the many stories resulting from “Restoring Love” is an effort to bring food to New Mexico’s depressed Navajo Nation.

Terra, a staff member on Beck’s Mercury One charity staff, appeared on the air on Wednesday to speak further about the project.

“There were approximately 500 individuals there waiting to receive food. Pastor Robert gave a blessing. During that time he specifically wanted to thank both your organization, Glenn, and also Mercury One. He said they’ve not seen this kind of outreach before.

“The local media came out to cover it and they shared with us that the local media does not come out to the reservation unless there is a shooting or a death. He said that in the 12 years that he has been there on the reservation, he has not seen them come out for anything other than a shooting or a death. So, that was pretty moving.”  –Seriously?

Considering that tens of thousands of volunteers from across America worked at 305 service projects across Dallas, the size and scope of the event was massive to say the least. In the end, in addition to the projects, 14 tractor trailers filled with food went out to 11 cities across the country.

Christians restoring love across the globe_INSPIRED

Certainly, non-Christians opposed to the Chick-fil-A ban are entitled to their opinions on the matter. But dismissing the work that Christians do on a daily basis defies reality. In the end, organizations like Here’s Life Inner City and Teen Mother Choices International — both Christian-run and operated — showcase the hard work that goes on in the trenches. They are, of course, only two of the many examples.

While “Restoring Love” serves as a perfect anecdotal example that proves that tens of thousands of Americans who are willing to give of themselves, these non-profits prove that there are so many Bible-believing Christians who regularly show up at food pantries, homeless shelters and wherever else they may be needed.

Even as many Christians live out their faith and help those in need, this isn’t to say that everyone is pulling his or her weight. The needs are massive and many do, indeed, fail to live up to the Bible’s commands to help the poor. Still, the narrative that Christians care more about Chick-fil-A than serving others seems somewhat unfounded, especially days after the historic “Restoring Love” volunteer initiative.

Billy Hallowell BILLY HALLOWELL

Billy Hallowell has been working in journalism and media for more than a decade. His writings have appeared in Human Events, Mediaite and on FOXNews.com, among other outlets. Hallowell has a B.A. in journalism and broadcasting from the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, New York and an M.S. in social research from Hunter College in Manhattan, New York. He is the founder of Pathufind Media and lives just outside NYC with his wife. You can find him on Twitter@BillyHallowell.

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2 Comments on Chik-Fil-A buy-ins: Free speech, religious freedom, and feeding the poor

  1. I just commented on and defended the Christian post thats been circulating today. But you said it best 🙂

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