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A Christian response to the Orlando attack

Florida-based Chick-fil-A restaurant. Photo: Robert du Bois/Flickr/Creative Commons

Florida-based Chick-fil-A restaurant. Photo: Robert du Bois/Flickr/Creative Commons

Chick-fil-A is a popular American-based fast food chain operated by Christians — the Cathay family. Over the past several years the restaurant has been in the sights of gay activists because of statements made by Chick-fil-A’s Chief Operating Officer Dan Cathay in a 2012 interview with the Biblical Recorder when he publicly came out in favor of “the Biblical definition of the family unit.”

Since then gay activists and supporters have launched many boycotts and  protests of Chick-fil-A restaurants. This includes picketing their restaurants, trying to stop the chain from setting up restaurants on university campuses and most recently the New York City Council called for a boycott of restaurants in that city.

After the horrid massacre of 49 people at a popular gay night club in Orlando, Florida on early Sunday morning on June 12 by an Islamic terrorist, Chick-fil-A broke one of its own cardinal rules to lend a hand. The chain purposefully closes its restaurants on Sunday, allowing its employees to go to church or spend time with their family, if they choose.

However, after the attack several Orlando Chick-fil-A restaurants opened their doors on Sunday to give free food and ice tea to people wanting to donate blood for people injured in the shooting that killed 49 people and seriously injured 53.

Post on Chick-fil-A's Facebook page.

Post on Chick-fil-A’s Facebook page.

The chain also served free sandwiches and nuggets to the hundreds of police officers still on the scene.

According to a statement on its Facebook page:

“A few members of our awesome team decided to go to work on Sunday and make food for people waiting in line to donate blood. We love our city and love the people in our community.”

This is how Jesus wants Christians to respond. We need to genuinely love those who mistreat us.

Jesus said:

28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. (Luke 6:28-30 NASV)

With Christians under siege by gay activists across the US, it is so easy to react in kind. That is the normal response.

Yet, God wants us to respond the exact opposite. We need to love those who despise or even hate us.

In order to do that, we must first forgive them.


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