In the Basement
by Jen Hatmaker on July 27th, 2012

I lived in Kansas from 8th-12th grade. In that time, I became well acquainted with Mr. Tornado and all his little friends: Siren, Tornado Watch, Basement, and False Alarm.

In April of my junior year, our house was hit by a tornado. The end of our street was flattened; we lost our fence and roof and trees. And evidently I lost my sense of security (21 years later, and I still have a tornado nightmare about once a month).

The most visceral memory of that day was crouching in the basement with my family and friend, Andrea, as we heard the tornado approaching. Everything started shaking, and the sound grew until it was deafening. I remember looking at my sister, both our mouths open, screaming, and we couldn’t hear each other. We were inside a train engine.

I’ll never forget hunkering down in the basement while the storm raged overhead.

This is precisely how I feel about the Chick-Fil-A debacle and all the other accouterments of the culture wars. I am so over it. I’m so over the fear mongering and hate propaganda. I’m over the political posturing and power plays. I’m over the finger pointing and name-calling. The storms are raging overhead, and let me tell you something:

I’m going to the basement.

This is obnoxious. So a business leader is no longer entitled to an opinion, even one that roughly half of America shares? Is that where we’re at? Now the mayors of Boston and Chicago and San Francisco are suggesting Chick-Fil-A be denied permits in their cities, and just like that, a hot-blooded difference in personal opinion – not lewd remarks, not discriminatory actions, not company policy – has turned into punitive legislation.

Mayor Bloomburg, also a supporter of gay rights, condemned the statements, saying “cities should not ask about political beliefs before issuing a permit.” Of course they shouldn’t. Where would it end? The CEO of the Phoenix Suns is gay; shall we all boycott their basketball games or deny their right to play in the public sphere? Is it time to quiz small-business owners on their positions on gun control, abortion, and immigration reform, and decide if their companies are “welcome in our cities”?

Because this will swing every way, you know. Perhaps Chick-Fil-A is banned in Boston, but we will also stand by if a Muslim business owner is banned from operating in Huntsville, Alabama? Mark Zuckerberg is an atheist; should Christians all delete their Facebook accounts? This affront to democracy is infinitely more dangerous than a CEO with an opinion, which, if you’ve ever paid attention, we are supposed to have the freedom to hold and express in this country without threat of commercial retribution.

Truett Cathy is a citizen; he has a right to an opinion. He gets to have that. He isn’t peddling theology…his currency is the Spicy Chicken Sandwich. There are certainly tens of thousands of gay folks who work for and patron CFA. No one has ever been asked to procure proof of their heterosexuality before dipping into their Polynesian sauce.

If you don’t like his personal policy, don’t eat there. Problem solved.

And lest you unfairly brand me as a mouthpiece for the right, I hate the culture wars on both sides of the party line. Christians, do you really think posting pithy statements on Facebook about “standing firm in our values” and “resisting the liberal media” is helping? The lines we draw in the sand do absolutely nothing except assure everyone else: YOU’RE OUT. When we turn to politics and power to legislate our brand of morality, we take the opposite approach of Jesus whose power was activated in the margins with the outcasts...humbly...peripherally.

I’m sick of the Jesus forwards and judgment. Sick of majoring on gay marriage. Enough, everyone. With every hate Tweet and finger jab and Bible bludgeon, you are telling my gay friends they are indeed unwelcome, unloved, unvalued, and uninvited. If your agenda is to battle homosexuality, how’s that going? How many gay folks read your Prop 8 yard sign, knocked on your door, and said, “Thank you for voicing your opinion to the neighbors in this manner. Would you kindly invite me in and teach me how to be straight? And do you have a Bible study I can join?”

When we resort to the same tactics being leveled at Truett Cathy, we sink to the least common denominator and – this is important – we make everything worse. How are these culture wars working out for us? Well, the church is losing around 50K folks a week, and the next generation downright refuses to come. The gay community is ostracized entirely (oh, they’ve gotten the message alright), and Christianity has turned into white noise.

Digging our heels in even harder is the problem, not the answer.

Love is, if you believe anything Jesus ever said or did.

Everyone is screaming and swearing at each other, pointing fingers and posting clichés on Pinterest. The storm is out of control. What happened to civil discourse? What happened to basic human respect? What happened to good men and women pulling up a seat at the table together and navigating differences with dignity and regard? What happened to listening? What happened to humility?

I'm done. I’m going to the basement, and I invite you to join me. Here is what we hate down in the basement:

We hate injustice.

We hate our own sin and pride and arrogance, and we grieve at how it has wounded, sliced, slashed, and humiliated.

We hate that 25,000 people will die today of hunger and we’re arguing gay marriage again.

We hate how the Gospel has been turned into a bludgeoning tool.

We hate pointless arguments that widen the gap and devalue real human people.

We hate abuse and violence and crowded orphanages and trafficked sixth-graders.

And it’s not all hate, lest you imagine the Basement Dwellers are a sorry lot indeed. We love some things down in the basement, too:

We love people. Because Jesus does. All of them.

We love grace, because it rescued all of us sinners.

We love healing and redemption, and we get to be a part of that every day, if we are brave enough to say yes.

We love that Jesus uses broken people, because that is our zip code and He chooses us anyway. Mercy is our only sane option.

We love the Body of Christ, when she isn’t being a bully or a tyrant or trying to take over the Oval Office and the Red Carpet. I swear, she can be beautiful.

We love Jesus, who was always in hot water with the religious folks for eating with sinners and offering scandalous grace not just to the leper but to the tax collector.

We love love, and we believe in its power.

If you are weary of the storm, come on downstairs. We’re going to get on with the business of loving people and battling real injustices and caring for the poor and loving Jesus. We’re going to go ahead and offer mercy to one another, even if it is viewed as “soft” or “cowardly” or “dangerous.” (But once I conquer all my own demons definitively, I’ll be happy to turn a critical eye on everyone else’s. Good?) We’re going to trust that Jesus is actually at work in this world like He said, and when he promised that “His kindness leads us to repentance,” we’re just going to believe Him.

Sure, the storm will rage on up there. But you can find refuge just down the stairs. We have a whole thing going on underground. Gay friends and family, you are welcome down here. Marginalized women, come on down. Isolated and confused by organized religion, afraid your questions aren’t welcomed? Join us. Activists and bleeding hearts, you are our heartbeat. Plain, old, ordinary sinners saved by grace, you belong here. Misfits, ragamuffins, and rebels, bring the party. Reformed legalists, you are my people. Pastors contending for God’s glory and people, help lead us. Dissenters, dreamers, visionaries, we need you.

Come on down to the basement. I ordered a Chick-Fil-A nugget platter.

[FOLLOW UP: "The Basement Manifesto"]

You want to join me in the basement? You are loved down here. Kindly do not turn my comment feed into a culture war. I'm not here to argue issues, only the love of Jesus which has netted infinitely more converts than judgment. Tell me why you're retreating from the storm.

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Kodi - July 27th, 2012 at 3:02 PM
THIS is the post I have in my heart. Thank you for so bravely sharing it. Life isn't easy in the basement, but it's good.
mnd - July 27th, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Why can't we
just get along....
Eva - August 1st, 2012 at 1:09 PM
AMEN! And can you pass me some Roasted Honey BBQ sauce for those nuggets. Thanks for sharing!
Patricia - August 6th, 2012 at 7:39 AM
I agree
Joey - July 27th, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Just think what a great nation we would have if we all looked and concentrated on our own sin instead of the sin of others.

Nicki - July 27th, 2012 at 11:25 PM
Don't throw stones if you live in a glass house right :) If only we would worry about ourselves first. This post is beautiful, and as a proud lesbian and lover of jesus and also a lover of Chick-fill-a I support this post.
Opinions are like a$$holes, everyone's got one. Do I agree with his, nope, will I think twice next time I'm craving a sweet tea where to get it from, yup. But that's my right, just as its his right to not agree with my lifestyle. My lost revenue will speak for me, and when I lay my head down at night will I pray for him. Absolutely, because Jesus told us to love each other, he didn't say judge each other.
We should focus on ourselves, as you stated, and tend our own garden, not others.
Wayne - July 28th, 2012 at 2:55 AM
Well stated Miss Nicki, thank you!
Kris - July 28th, 2012 at 5:51 AM
Amen Nicki and this whole post speaks my thoughts EXCEPT let us not forget the ceo of chick fil a did more than have an opinion, he pulled happy meal toys made by a gay rights supporter thereby using his personal beliefs to make a business decision and impact someone elses business and THEN he lied about it...that's going too far to me and he needs to feel that in the only place he cares about...his deep pockets!
L.isa - July 28th, 2012 at 8:01 AM
Actually, I think it was the Jim Henson CEO who pulled the toys from their meals, and since the CEO of Chik-Fil-A didn't want it known that he was losing business connections due to his anti-gay views, he lied about that and said that the toys were being recalled because they posed a possible danger.
KB - July 28th, 2012 at 4:10 PM
To clarify bc my husband and I own one in Arkansas,the decision to pull the toys was genuinely bc of complaints to customer care about children getting their fingers stuck. My daughter included! The department that made that decision was unaware at the time of the the issue that the Jim Henson Company had with CFA's beliefs. It's an unfortunate coincidence and I think people will always assume or believe the worst. Also, we are independent business owners in business with Chick-fil-A. When Dan spoke, he gave his personal opinion, not the opinion of Chick-fil-A and he has even told us that many times. He also gives money from their foundation WinShape...the money did not come from Chick-fil-A. Of course the money from their profits at Chick-fil-A go into WinShape but as as whole they don't give from "Chick-fil-A." They are a private family business, not a public business. Lastly, I am sure there are plenty of owner/operators of Chick-fil-A franchises who don't share his belief. They do not discriminate when they hire therefore they don't ask us our personal beliefs on issues or politics. They do not require us to be married...there are several single operators. Just a little bit of misinformation that is out there.
LC - July 29th, 2012 at 8:54 AM
Thank you! My daughter got her finger stuck in one of those toys and it really hurt her- it took me a while to get her to calm down. I called CFA and complained about it. I don't know why they went back to putting toys in their kids meals- we were disappointed when we didn't get a book that time!
AND I love this post. I will eat at Chick-fil-A. The only reason people are upset is because the media told them to be upset. I didn't say "liberal" media- the so-called "conservative" media attempts brain-washing too. People need to learn how to filter the BS and think for themselves- AND think past their knee-jerk reactions.
Lacey - August 1st, 2012 at 1:10 PM
So nice to see a comment from someone who actually KNOWS the truth. As with any piece of gossip, it gets turned, twisted, manipulated into a juicier story with each set of lips it passes from. Media also insinuates inflamming comments to stir the pot further.

buffyk - August 1st, 2012 at 8:55 PM
You are correct, it was Jim Henson Co. that pulled the toys.
Julie - August 2nd, 2012 at 9:55 AM
Yes it was the Henson CEO, it was not the CEO of chick-fi-A, who sadly passed away the other day. So, no one at Chick-fil-A lied about anything.
Name - July 28th, 2012 at 8:04 AM
Actually, The Hensen Corp. pulled their toys...not Chick-Fil-A.
Sarah - July 28th, 2012 at 9:46 AM
Actually, Chick-fil-A posted on FB that they pulled the toys for safety concerns. It had nothing to do with the current uproar. In turn, The Henson Corp. pulled their partnership with CFA. No reason was given why.
Juanita - July 28th, 2012 at 10:57 AM
Actually, what does it really matter to any of us on a personal level who pulled what when and why?
Sheila - August 2nd, 2012 at 4:37 PM
Enough already !!! Who really cares about the Toys ? Not I !!!!
Mikaela - August 1st, 2012 at 9:08 PM
The reason the Hensen Company pulled their toys was made very clear: "The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years and we have notified Chick-Fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors. Lisa Henson, our CEO is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-Fil-A to GLAAD."

Read more:
michael - July 28th, 2012 at 9:59 AM
But Kris, it's his company....he is making the same kind of decision t you are by choosing to not eat at CFA - it's the same thing. And if it's about his profits and not about his beliefs don't you think he would be open 52 more days a year? You have any idea how much in profits CFA DOESN'T make because of that?
Lari - July 28th, 2012 at 11:56 AM
yes! If it were about profits..he would be open 7 days a week.....
MBK - July 29th, 2012 at 12:30 PM
actually CFA makes more profits in 6 days then most fast food in 7. That is why they are allowed special contracts in Malls that allow them to close on Sunday. Otherwise the Malls would bring in a more profitable business... They actually get a commision on their vendors profit.

joe - July 29th, 2012 at 2:57 PM
Oh really? What malls do you own and operate? Most of the ones I deal with regularly just get paid rent from their shops and restaurants, not a percentage of profits. It’s called a lease. You can learn about it on wikipedia.
Tom - July 29th, 2012 at 3:21 PM
And many mall leases include a percentage of sales over a certain dollar amount. Mine did!
alex - July 31st, 2012 at 9:58 AM
Joe come on. Your antagonistic response is the very thing this excellent blog post so masterfully calls out. Quit with the snarky attitude and approach this tiny misunderstanding with some class and some respect
Josh - August 1st, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Actually I manage a mall and most retailers do pay % rent on top of their minimum rent and NNN. A lot national restaurants get % rent removed from the deal because they have the traffic draw. Chik most of the time does not pay % rent for this very reason but is very much possible for them to pay this. They bring thousands of people thru the door but they might pay a penalty for being closed on Sundays.
Lori - July 31st, 2012 at 6:37 PM
From first hand experience: many, if not all, of those mall CFAs pay a penalty for being closed on Sunday.
Name - July 29th, 2012 at 5:21 PM
They pulled their own toys.
Diana - August 1st, 2012 at 8:03 PM
It was the Henson Co. that pulled the toys from C-F-A not he other way around!
Brian - July 28th, 2012 at 9:13 AM
With as much respect as possible...Jesus never said not to judge, that is a widely misquoted verse of scripture, the following verses provide the proper context...Jesus told us not to judge by a standard that we are not willing to be judged by....we are often exhorted to call sin what it is, but to do so in our own lives also, without hypocrisy
Steph - July 28th, 2012 at 12:43 PM
Couldnt agree more Brian!
Jessica - July 28th, 2012 at 1:18 PM
Thank you for posting this. "Only God can judge me" is so frequently used as an excuse to do whatever you want and disregard what anyone says about it. Too often it is forgotten that yes, God really will judge us all, so it's best to examine what we are doing in light of Scripture.
lauren - July 31st, 2012 at 8:17 AM
awesome awesome responses, brian
Brian S - July 28th, 2012 at 3:32 PM
A different Brian here, agreeing with Brian above. I do think this is one of the most misunderstood teachings, about not judging. I think it applies to judging another's soul, their heart, their culpability, their being. None of that can we begin to judge, for we do not have the knowledge of the person that God has. God has the ability to read our hearts and judge them, we do not. It does not apply to judging an act in and of itself. To say that stealing or murder is wrong is a statement of judgement, right? To say that pedophiles are wrong is a judgement, but no one ever tells us not to judge pedophiles. Why don't people apply the "judge not" admonishment to those sins? What we don't know, is whether we would have done anything different if we'd walked a mile in someone else's shoes. So we cannot judge anyone's inherent goodness or badness. But we can say that theft is wrong. We can say that feeling hatred toward someone is wrong. Envy is wrong. Gluttony is wrong. Greed is wrong. Lack of compassion for the poor is wrong. And I can say that homosexual sex acts are wrong. What I don't know is whether I'm so blind to my own sins, that God is actually more pleased with my neighbor (hypothetical) who is in a homosexual marriage but has a heart open to God and overflowing with love and service toward their neighbor. So I can never say that I am "better" than someone in an active homosexual lifestyle. All I can say is the factual statement from Scripture and from natural law, that homosexual acts are sinful and damaging to those that practice them.
Allieal - July 28th, 2012 at 6:45 PM
So well said "2nd Brian";)! Wish all knew that!
M.A.H. - July 29th, 2012 at 3:36 AM
Brilliant. I can't STAND it when the "don't judge" card gets played in defense of a preferred personal sin. Whether this misunderstanding is the result of willful or innocent ignorance, it is still a misapplication of Scripture. It is not "judging" in then negative sense when a person simply restates a thing that is already stated in Scripture. It may hurt feelings and egos, but homosexuality is never approved of by Scripture; it is always condemned. Therefore, I cannot in good conscience stamp my seal of approval on such behavior, no matter how awesome or kind or compassionate the person is in every other aspect of their life. Doesn't mean I don't want to know you or be around you or share in your life, it simply means I think you are making a poor decision when it comes to one particular aspect of your life.
Deb - August 1st, 2012 at 9:10 AM
Thank you (second) brian for the wonderful comment. Love the sinner, hate the sin. Jen Hatmaker had a great commentary but she left out your last sentence. We all have choices and I chose to go by God Word. Again, Thank you.
Susannah - August 1st, 2012 at 11:00 AM
Well said!
Lile - July 29th, 2012 at 5:25 PM
Thanks, Brian! Judgment like Jesus judged is very misunderstood!
Martha - July 29th, 2012 at 7:40 PM
And I might add....Christians are also directed to judge Christians/The Church most differently than they do the world.
Fay - July 29th, 2012 at 8:47 PM
Thank you for writing that!!
Heather - August 2nd, 2012 at 9:39 PM
Actually, the NT tells us to "call out" other BELIEVERS on their sins. If your bro in Christ is sinning, you have every right (and "responsibility," some believe) to call them on it. But non believers? That's not your job. You're commanded to love them and show them grace.
R. Gabriel - August 4th, 2012 at 4:33 PM
In these posts I see a lot of diverse opinions, which is great--from those who try to follow Christ
Mary - August 13th, 2012 at 10:51 AM
Yes, Heather.. you are correct. My question is this... There are many people who are living in a homosexual relationship and call themselves Christians. Are we to ignore this or follow Scripture? If they are claiming to be our brothers and sisters in Christ and claim to be believers... then what to do? If I claimed to be a Christian and was living with my boyfriend, the response would be obvious, but because someone is gay and now in a specially protected class of people, we may hurt their feelings. Sin is sin. I have lots of it. But then I look at the other flip side. How many obese Christians are out there? Gluttony.. a sin....Do we approach our fat brothers and sisters in Christ and admonish them to lose the weight and stop eating so much? BTW.. I have lost over 110 lbs and still fat and food is my daily struggle. I understand this better then a lot of people.
N - September 18th, 2012 at 3:37 PM
Um... wrong. Calling people out IS loving them. Or do you suggest we let murderers off the hook? What's the whole message of the gospel? You are a sinner you need God's free gift of grace. You start with calling them out. We are not called to judge the motives, only the actions. God handles the regeneration.
Rick - August 5th, 2012 at 5:57 PM
Thank you Brian.

pat - July 28th, 2012 at 9:24 AM
And by the way, we ALL live in glass houses.
Jon - July 28th, 2012 at 12:30 PM
Too bad jesus doesn't love you!
JT - July 29th, 2012 at 12:53 AM
I'm not trying to be a jerk. I just genuinely want to know how your mind works. How do you think you are a Christian and living in willful, continual sin?
Liz - July 29th, 2012 at 8:57 AM
Not everyone believes that monogamous homosexual relationships are actually sinful. There is disagreement on the context and interpretation of the scriptures that those who are against gay marriage, for instance, use as proof-texts. Personally, I do not believe that homosexual sex is part of God's good plan, but that does not mean that no one can disagree with me or you and still be a Christian. If a person is in fact in willful, continual sin, that's a problem. But if they don't believe it's a sin, it's not "willful," is it? To give another example, some people believe that it is a sin to swear. I do not believe that, and I do swear (although I try to be respectful of others in situations where it would cause hurt or offense). If it turns out that I am incorrect, and swearing is in fact a sin, I am in a sense living in "continual" sin, but I am not living in "willful" sin, and it does not affect the fact that I am a Christian. What would make it willful would be if I became convinced it was sinful and yet continued to do it. God is able to look on the heart.
Rich - July 29th, 2012 at 11:42 AM
I could not disagree with you more. Whenever a person chooses to 'act', they do so as an act of their "will". Therefore, every act is "willful". Their choice may be based on misinformation, misunderstanding, or misconception,etc., but it is still an act of their will.
Liz - July 29th, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Um, what? Okay, so in my case it would be "willful swearing" but not "willful sinning." (You can substitute dancing, playing cards, smoking, wearing jewelry, stealing, corporal punishment, enlisting in the army, or anything else anyone has considered sinful ever--whether they are right or wrong.) Again, not the same thing as "willful, continual sin." Willful action is different from willful sinning.
payton - July 29th, 2012 at 5:36 PM
Jesus was angered, got out a whip to the sellers in the Temple, and said His house would be a house of prayer, it is to be devoted to honoring God. You don't mess with disrespecting God BLATANTLY. People have got to take the denial cap off, you KNOW that homosexuality is a sin and this sin is a continual conscious daily act, it is COMPLETELY different than "swearing" and trying to STOP, or accidentally gossiping and trying to do better, and striving to be more holy by trying to turn from the sin. THE LOVE is Not just sweety huggy mushy accepting stuff, TRUE Love will tell you the TRUTH b/c you care what God thinks and other people around you that the sin is rubbing off on, Love will be respectful to God's WORD first. All the skipping over the Gay issue will never lead to REPENTANCE, why would it if they don't fully understand it is wrong, there will be NO coming to the cross asking Jesus to change and forgive, FORGIVE what?, change what?, if you aren't laying this sin at the cross, ALOT of people are going to have a FALSE salvation and we as Christians are held accountable to tell the truth or the sins would Not be listed and how to handle them AFTER Jesus' death if they weren't made for us to discuss... Love with discipline helps us grow to maturity.
payton - July 29th, 2012 at 5:41 PM
AND I don't mean we should hit people over the head but be firm and love and never stop sticking by a persons side but don't waver in the truth, don't skip over it, in the long run when a person finally realizes the sin they are caught up in they will be so respectful of God when the cage around their life is gone.
Annie - July 31st, 2012 at 6:23 AM
Where is the "I love this" icon?
Josh - July 31st, 2012 at 11:52 PM
Payton, there are a number of things in the Biblical moral code that people no longer consider "sin." Christians get tattoos. Women not only speak in church, but they are even ordained as pastors in many churches. Christians universally stand up against human slavery. Women can have short hair and men can have long hair, etc. But all of these were prohibited in the New Testament! If you take the very few passages about homosexuality in their historical contexts and original languages, they're far less "black and white" than we think. Pro-gay Christians have many valid arguments. A nuanced approach to the Bible will reveal that the issue isn't so cut and dry.
Audra - August 1st, 2012 at 2:20 PM
^this^ for the win. Thank you, Josh.
Lydia - August 1st, 2012 at 10:22 PM
We are certainly called to love and respect all people, regardless of what they believe and do. As to this issue, though, it's more cut and dry than some think. Slavery is NEVER condoned in the Bible, for example...the only times it seems to be are actually referring to more of an indentured servitude (Greek term "doulos"). The tattoo restriction was about the content of the specific tattoos to which the passage referred, which was pagan. Most of the OT practices and restrictions people like to bring up in this argument are either rendered unnecessary by Christ or specifically lifted later on (such as "do not eat" restrictions). Though I will still treat those who claim to be Christian and simultaneously living a homosexual lifestyle with love and respect, as Christians are called to do, they certainly do not have any valid Biblical arguments...even a very basic amount of research shows the misconceptions in their arguments. It gets far too detailed to go into on a thread that has already gotten too long. Some topics are harder to see the Biblical truth, such as church government, worship styles, infant/believer's baptism, but this is not one of them.
Mary - August 1st, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Why is every one so considered about Chick-fil-a? They have had these views since they opened their doors. Either eat there or don't. If every one worried about themselves the world be run smoother. Speaking as a bisexual. I go about my business and keep it my business.
Dan - August 2nd, 2012 at 2:06 PM
Thank you...thank you thank you thank you
Shadi - August 2nd, 2012 at 6:06 PM
There is freedom in Christ. Christians getting tattoos and long or short hair is an inference to the "treating your body as a temple" and the whole "adornment" issue. Today, perhaps some people don't feel those are as black and white, but those were not issues of sin as much as they were guidelines without consequences for non-adherence. Women pastors is very much as contentious as homosexuality. Slavery was never condoned. Very few issues are "cut and dry" otherwise, there wouldn't be anybody on one of the sides. But it is silly to state that a person shouldn't fight for what they believe is right on one point because there are others who disagree with them. As a person who's read the Bible my whole life, and open-mindedly listened to the arguments on both sides, including a very well written and argued essay from Matthew Vines, and objectively looked at the non-religious, secular debate, I ultimately solidified my conviction that homosexuality, from a religious viewpoint, is a sin, and from a secular viewpoint is not natural. That's not to say, as a heterosexual, that I am in any way, better than them. I have my faults, I have my own daily struggles, and I fail at the most basic of commands. The difference is that I do not concede defeat, I do not conclude that's just who I am. I get up, acknowledge my shortcomings, confess my failures and strive to be better the next time I face my temptations. And each time I overcome, I get a little better at recognizing my own weaknesses and stay away from the things that cause me to stumble.
Name - August 1st, 2012 at 6:10 PM
LIZ, no judgment here, but maybe this will help you with swearing...Ephesians 4:29 Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. NLT...other translations call it corrupt communications, filthy talk, evil talk, unwholesome talk.
And no I do not swear and yes it does bother me tremendously when people do, especially when they use Jesus as a swear word, especially Christians. Yes, God looks at your heart, but swearing coming out of a Christian mouth is a bad testimony for Christianity.

Bill - August 2nd, 2012 at 6:03 AM
Agree w Nicki
christy b - August 2nd, 2012 at 9:06 AM
I often have told my own children that judging each other is a sin itself. Our society teaches judgement but you must train yourself to stand back and drop the judgement out of your mind. All sin is equal, so if I judge someone on their sin, they can judge me on mine (often referred as "the pot calling the kettle black"). I may look well put together on the outside, but I hold plenty of sin on the inside. Envy, jealousy, conceit, etc. Just because my sin isn't out there for the world to see, doesn't mean I am free of it.
Our sin is an issue between Our Maker and ourselves, not other sinners. They need to "tend to their gardens". I will continue to love all!
cindi - July 28th, 2012 at 10:37 AM
I could not agree with you more!!!!!
Jody - July 30th, 2012 at 3:07 PM
I totally agree. I am a Christian and the only sins that I can hope to resolve are MY OWN...and only through Faith. I just can't recall any of Christ's teachings about judgement and ridicule. Acceptance and powerful, they can move people into Faith!
Debby - August 2nd, 2012 at 1:45 PM
Why - that sounds rather . . . Biblical!
MMM - July 28th, 2012 at 11:47 AM
I am just wondering if Jesus was the kind, gentle, loving, accepting man we like to think of him as....WHY DID they Kill him? Why was he Crucified? Did they kill him because HE ONLY loved and accepted everything and everyone? Was he in the basement when they came and charged him....torn off his clothes...spit upon him....pushed thorns into his brow??? What was he Guilty of??? Just wondering?
John - July 28th, 2012 at 1:29 PM
He was murdered by some influential religious leaders of the day who were looking for their Messiah but blind to the fact that Jesus WAS their Messiah. They had a preconceived notion of what the Messiah would do and what he would be like. They thought "freedom" meant out from under earthly rule - the Roman kingdom. What Jesus brought was freedom in the spiritual realm- freedom from sin, guilt, and separation from God. When he proclaimed this, the "blasphemy" of his redemptive power over sin infuriated the religious leaders (who were NOT free from sin), and so they broke one of their beloved commands - "Thou shalt not murder." The paradox of this is that without Jesus' death, we would not be free. His resurrection from the dead is proof that death has been defeated - spiritual death AND physical death. One day we will fully realize both. Until then, this fallen world fights it, just like it did 2000 years ago.
Scottie - July 28th, 2012 at 1:30 PM
Jesus was killed because he claimed to be the Son of God and the promised savior that the Jews had been waiting for. The religious people of the day didn't believe him and accused him of blasphemy, and eventually got so angry that they had him crucified. Their envy of how people were following him instead of them and how Jesus called them out in their hypocrisy also probably fueled the fire. If you want to know about Jesus, the book of John in the bible is a good place to start.
Cara - July 28th, 2012 at 1:48 PM
Open up a BIBLE and you get the answers . Obviously you have never read any of it !
KS - July 28th, 2012 at 4:32 PM
I don't think MMM is asking a question. I think they are trying to say that Jesus was "in the basement". He wasn't out drawing lines in the sand or playing political games. He was loving and accepting everybody. So why did they kill him, if he was such a good person? Because it was a threat to those in power trying to control others.
Not to make matters worse - but perhaps someone else needs to open their bible and read it, and learn how to respond with love.
payton - July 29th, 2012 at 5:54 PM
yes and Jesus pulled out a whip to people selling in the Temple, he told people like it is, he preached it like it is, not always sweet foo foo talk. Matthew 10:34 "Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; MATTHEW 10:34 I have not come to bring peace, but a sword(to divide spirit and soul). 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36 and a man's foes will be those of his own household. HE also said blessed are the peaceMAKERS, meaning Making peace sometimes is tough love, but within the big picture peace is obtained.
JK - August 2nd, 2012 at 4:40 AM
I agree with Payton we're not called to be peace keepers but peace makers. Don't take any side but Jesus and pray for discernment. The intent is what should always be evaluated. We are called to share the truth in love. To those who choose to live a homosexual lifestyle we are called to love. By which we love them enough to be compassionate AND tell them the truth about what God says and that He desires that none should perish. BTW, Jesus didn't sugar coat things or turn a blind eye to sin either, in fact at times He was brutally honest, he called the pharicees a brood of vipers, and said to Peter "Get thee behind me satan". He spoke the truth in love in hope that they would repent. When it comes to compassion for those who are not yet saved, we need to remember we too were once deceived about living for ourselves but while we were still yet sinners, Christ died for us (how wonderful!). Now it is no longer we who live but Christ who lives in us because the truth has set us free and we should want the same for those who are not in the truth. It is not an us vs them, it is sharing with others to come to know (experience) the truth about God's love.
Donna - July 31st, 2012 at 5:44 PM
Good job sweet cara...
Autumn - July 29th, 2012 at 3:57 PM
Jen Hatmaker, this is one of the most real and beautiful things I've ever read. I hope everyone reads it!
Karen - July 30th, 2012 at 6:40 PM
Well said, thank you!
Richard - July 30th, 2012 at 10:15 PM
There are some who have lived in the "basement" and have come out with a re-newed perspective. Here is one person's pilgrimage:
This is a voice that should be part of the conversation as well.
Nancy - August 1st, 2012 at 9:14 PM
I so agree!
Amanda - August 1st, 2012 at 11:55 PM
And would everyone here by as proud of Cathy if he stated he opposed civil right for black people. Oh that's right....that was the 50's....when it was called racism/discrimination....and people were denied civil rights and hate speech was freely used against black people. This is 2012, and we're so much more acceptable of "free speech" when it comes to the civil rights of gay people and their right to marry. This issue isn't about being proud of who you are or free speech, it's about discriminating against a minority groups ability to have equal civil rights and about a majority group spreading hate towards a minority population again. History repeats itself, I hope you'll be proud of the position you took on this issue 50 years from now like those who wanted to make interracial marriage punishable by a court of law in the 1950s.
karen - August 6th, 2012 at 4:43 AM
thank god someone is seeing the real issue here
brady cottle - August 2nd, 2012 at 9:25 AM
Holy Cow! no pun intended VERY WELL SAID..Im headed to the basement too....
Kathleen Turner - August 2nd, 2012 at 10:09 AM
Bravo! I can't add anything to that. It's exactly how I feel.
Erica - August 2nd, 2012 at 10:15 AM
oh me too! Thank you so much for this. You said what I was feeling (and much more eloquently too)
Name - August 2nd, 2012 at 3:05 PM
So glad that you can join us in the basement... know that you are not alone. A simple Canadian

Dusty - August 5th, 2012 at 10:08 AM
Where is the basement idea biblical? I thought that to myself and realized that it is biblical. Or at least there is a biblical account of this sort of thinking and action.

I found this account in the book of Jonah. God calls Jonah to witness to a group of people and he runs from the Lords calling for him and he finds himself in the belly of a great fish. Only after Jonah repents and does what the Lord has called him to do, witness to the people of Nineveh, Jonah is spit out of the great fish.

Now, Christians, it is better to be spit out of the great fish and do what the Lord has called you to do, go out and make disciples of all nations, than to have Christ spit you out of his mouth.

For those of you who agree with this blog, now is your time for you to be like Jonah and heed the Lord's calling to be His witnesses to all nations.

Witness to ALL SINNERS and share the Gospel in Love.

Be like Jonah, all you Christians, obey the Lord and help others escape hell!
Mike - August 5th, 2012 at 2:57 PM
I wish you'd all get this f'n gay thing over with .... it's taking you guys way too long!!! Don't you know we have other great fetishes and twisted agenda's to push onto the sheple of the falling america ... Necrophilia and pedophilia (don't give me that crap about consenting adults - I was born with an uncontrollable desire ... it's in my genes! so I'm not responsible - everyone else is!) So, hurry up and make some laws that require everyone to think the way we think ... so we can start on the next movement - GO TEAM! Oh, and thank you very much ... all you do gooders! - burying your heads in the sand works wonders for us ... Gosh - I really love all of you! Just like Jesus ... Hope your daughter is in my 2nd grade class next year Looking forward to the "change!".
Sara - October 20th, 2012 at 9:51 AM
I will gladly join you in the basement. I guess I am already there. It isn't easy to stand up for what you believe in - speaking up against those who are stuck in their religous practices that mean notihingm those who are homophobic, pastors speaking of money being the blessing God wants to give, friends who seem to be fine with the middle class privilige, etc. But it is worth it! I commend you, Jen, for speaking out!
Elizabeth Renfroe - July 27th, 2012 at 3:03 PM
Thank you for writing such an eloquent and reasonable response to this hoopla. I've tried to come up with a way to express my feelings, but have failed. Now, I can just share your post. Hanging out in my own basement in Jacksonville, AL.
Mindy - July 27th, 2012 at 3:04 PM
Oh, thank Goodness! I was hoping I would still like you after this. I do. Yeah! I'm sure you're breathing a sign of relief. :)
M. Cargile - July 27th, 2012 at 3:05 PM
Yes and amen.
Cynthia - July 27th, 2012 at 3:06 PM
Reposting on facebook. This is exactly what I was trying to say.
Melody Hanson - July 27th, 2012 at 3:06 PM
Thank you. This was amazing. All I can say is another thank you. I breathed deeply of grace.
Name - July 27th, 2012 at 3:06 PM
THANK YOU FOR SAYING THIS. It needed to be said/written.
Christy - July 27th, 2012 at 3:07 PM
Yes. THIS.

You have said what my heart has struggled with for days. I am over all the bashing on both sides and shall gladly join you in the basement...all I want to do is love Jesus and love others and extend grace and not judgement....

So count me in as one of the basement dwellers.
Debbie - July 28th, 2012 at 9:43 AM
Lori Mercer - July 27th, 2012 at 3:07 PM
(all caps because it deserves it) WHERE WAS THIS AMAZINGLY ELOQUENT POST LAST WEEK WHEN I WAS TRYING TO SAY THIS EXACT SAME THING IN A RIDICULOUS FACEBOOK TRAP I FELL INTO?????? As the British would say, brilliant. I'm forwarding this to everyone and then I'm going to the basement.
Susan - July 28th, 2012 at 2:45 PM
Don't ya' HATE when you fall into those traps!! Your comment is great and made me laugh because every time I fall into one I swear I'm never doing it again...
Adrian W. - July 27th, 2012 at 3:07 PM
I get the tornado analogy. Wichita got womped this spring with 'em.

Anyway, that's kind of how I've been feeling about all this nonsense. It's all. just. stupid. I just want to chill in the basement til the crap blows over. I don't care who's ultimately wrong and ultimately right. All I know is Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected to new life, so that we might love more fully (which ISN'T code for "You have the authority to shove your opinions down the throats of others who just don't give a crap.")

Joana - July 27th, 2012 at 3:08 PM
Yes. Yes. A thousand times. Yes! This. Exactly. Once again you've put words to what I knew in my heart but couldn't express. Thank you.
Tamara - July 27th, 2012 at 3:09 PM
I'll join you in the basement....I'm bringing the sweet tea. Thank you sister for this post. MUCH needed
Samantha - July 27th, 2012 at 3:09 PM
Beautiful!!! I'm happy to join you in the basement.
michael j. kimpan - July 27th, 2012 at 3:09 PM
yes yes yes.
Rebekah - July 27th, 2012 at 3:10 PM
I'm coming to the basement with you, and I'll take a Chik-fil-A #1, with a lemonade. :)
Tracy - July 27th, 2012 at 3:10 PM
Very well said! Thank you Jen!
Kristen Swartz - July 27th, 2012 at 3:12 PM
I will be having my own basement party here in Guatemala. Thanks for sharing my views.
Leigh - July 27th, 2012 at 3:12 PM
Thank. You. When i first saw your tweet with the post I thought: Oh please no, don't let Jen be talking about it too. But I read anyways because I love your voice and wanted to hear what you had to say. Bam. You nailed it. So over the stupid debate. So so so so over it.
Kim Jones - July 27th, 2012 at 3:13 PM
Wow! Tears because you are able to verbalized with your God given talent what I and others would like to say...Thank you!
Amy Boone - July 27th, 2012 at 3:13 PM
Beautiful. Amazing. Awe inspiring. Exactly what I've been trying to say for a long time now. Thank you.
Angela - July 27th, 2012 at 3:13 PM
I agree and I am so proud of you for posting this!
cara - July 27th, 2012 at 3:13 PM
Im In!! In the Basement with all the people who just want to LOVE. Love everybody Just like Jesus did. Thank You so much for all your words you speak. Im reading Interupted and I must say I am and wll continue to be a different person after I complete it. So Thank YOu. For not just speaking Jesus but doing Jesus!!!
Brenna - July 27th, 2012 at 3:14 PM
I am so glad that I can have a party in the basement with others who don't think it a sin if I don't "like" a picture of Jesus on Facebook. You bring the chicken, I'll bring the Diet Coke.
Becky - July 27th, 2012 at 3:15 PM
Love myself a good nugget platter. And hunkering down with people who love... without that, we have just become clanging cymbals. And that's all that I hear coming from most...
Denise - July 27th, 2012 at 3:15 PM
Amen!! The thing that saddens me the most is that there is no tolerance for others anymore. I'm trying to teach my children to love their neighbors and to be the face of Jesus and it gets ever more difficult to spot others living that out in the real world. I will gladly join you in the basement! I'll be bringing along all of my sins and no stones to cast at others. I can also bring the waffle fries and cheese sauce. Please pass the nuggets!
Linda - July 27th, 2012 at 3:34 PM
I really agree with teaching tolerance and I believe things would be less volatile if people would stop confusing tolerance with acceptance. Tolerance -- the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with; vs. Acceptance -- agreement with or belief in an idea, opinion, or explanation.
Andrea - July 27th, 2012 at 4:17 PM
I'm thinking that Jesus didn't tolerate or accept - He just loved.
Nancy - July 27th, 2012 at 5:32 PM
Amen, Andrea.

Sarah - July 27th, 2012 at 6:38 PM
Actually, Jesus neither accepted nor tolerated the behavior of the Pharisees (the church leaders of his day)...
Jeff - July 28th, 2012 at 10:03 AM
Actually Jesus tolerated, accepted and loved and yes he judged. Throughout his gospels he did this. Don't want to be cliche but love the sinner and hate the sin comes from this.

Coralie - July 28th, 2012 at 8:25 PM
amen Jeff. Jesus loved Nicodemus, too.
rw - August 1st, 2012 at 12:04 PM
Kris - July 27th, 2012 at 3:15 PM
Love it! I've always wanted a basement...thanks putting into words what I couldn't! BTW just finished 7 and I'm wrecked... ;0)
glynis - July 27th, 2012 at 3:16 PM
beautiful. I'm coming to your basement.
Darin - July 27th, 2012 at 3:16 PM
Finally, how I feel, written down beautifully and finally I feel worthy of sharing to my small but important audiance which includes gay and straight. What kind of Christians would we be if we have none of them in our lives? I support CFA, always have and will but at the same time I feel the need to apologize to my gay friends by the reaction of "Christians" from all this crap! Anyway, thanks, thank you...
Kristen - July 27th, 2012 at 3:17 PM
All I can say, is thank Jesus someone was able to put into words what I've been mumbling to myself
Nichole - July 27th, 2012 at 3:17 PM
"If I could speak in any language in heaven or on earth, but didn't love others, I would only be making meaningless noise like a loud gong or a clanging cymbal." 1 Cor 13:1

Thank you, Jen, for letting God's grace and love flow through you.
Laurajane - July 27th, 2012 at 3:17 PM
i'm gladly running down to the basement to join you. thank you so much for putting words to what my heart was holding inside.
Laura - July 27th, 2012 at 3:18 PM
Thank you for this eleoquent post. I would love to join you all in the basement to wait for the storm to pass by. I will, however, bring my own peanut butter sandwich!
Erin - July 27th, 2012 at 3:18 PM
Absolutely!!!!!!!!! :) Thanks for your beautiful words Jen!
Tammy - July 27th, 2012 at 3:18 PM
Camille - July 27th, 2012 at 3:19 PM
I'm retreating from the storm because I think Jesus meant it when he said the greatest commandment was to love God and the 2nd greatest commandment was to love your neighbor as yourself. Nobody feels loved while engaged and caught up in war. I'm enjoying the basement right now and asking God to continue revealing more of the basement to me!
amber - July 27th, 2012 at 3:20 PM
"Sure, the storm will rage on up there. But you can find refuge just down the stairs. We have a whole thing going on underground. Gay friends and family, you are welcome down here. Marginalized women, come on down. Isolated and confused by organized religion, afraid your questions aren’t welcomed? Join us. Activists and bleeding hearts, you are our heartbeat. Plain, old, ordinary sinners saved by grace, you belong here. Misfits, ragamuffins, and rebels, bring the party. Reformed legalists, you are my people. Pastors contending for God’s glory and people, help lead us. Dissenters, dreamers, visionaries, we need you." -

Thank you for this...Sounds like a song
Kellie - July 27th, 2012 at 3:20 PM
This. Thank you. I wish my Christian facebook friends were as passionate about evangelism, justice, and mercy as they are about politics. Jesus resisted all attempts to politicize him. I wonder if after saying, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's," he added silently to himself, "Meatheads." I'm coming to the basement and I'm bringing margaritas.
Alex - August 3rd, 2012 at 3:02 AM
"I wonder if after saying, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's," he added silently to himself, "Meatheads.""

I love this! Almost had milk coming out of my nose!
Tracey Seth - July 27th, 2012 at 3:20 PM
I'm just tired that because I won't support the liberal gay agenda that I am a bad person. My pet peeve is the idea, "If you aren't for me, then you hate me."



Ruth - July 27th, 2012 at 5:47 PM
"liberal gay agenda?" That's full of love, isn't it?
Ohiocpa - July 27th, 2012 at 8:35 PM

Ruth - July 27th, 2012 at 9:49 PM
I'd hardly call a label such as liberal gay agenda a love-filled way to describe it. That's culture war jargon and not a term that's reflective of grace toward anyone.
Jen - July 28th, 2012 at 10:18 AM
You agree with Jen's post...yet you totally judge this person for expressing an opinion, just because of the semantics they chose? I understood their response as being tired of "disagreement" being equated with "hate", and the "liberal gay agenda" referring to politics, not people. So you didn't care for the choice of words. They agree with the concept that they are tired of the hate and politics and the war. Is there no room in the basement for this person??
Ruth - July 28th, 2012 at 8:51 PM
Words matter. The language we choose matters. If someone is truly tired of the hate and politics and war, then they ought not use the exact same verbiage that's being peddled by the generals fighting and leading the war.

I'm not in the basement...So whoever wants to go down, can go down. I don't want to go in the basement because the church is WAY overdue for a genuine and frank conversation about homosexuality as a sin and how we treat gay people. And that goes far beyond the current chicken flap. Why are gay people not welcome to come into the church house with their partner, but we welcome two people of the opposite sex who have been divorced and even let them walk down the church aisle to proclaim their love to each other? Something doesn't sync up.
Justin - July 29th, 2012 at 1:03 AM
Completely agree
Meg - July 29th, 2012 at 3:23 AM
" I don't want to go in the basement because the church is WAY overdue for a genuine and frank conversation about homosexuality as a sin and how we treat gay people."

^^^This. This is exactly how I feel on the matter. Well said. Though the post is very beautiful, I simply cannot agree for the reason you've so consisely stated above. Thank you!
payton - July 29th, 2012 at 7:15 PM
Ruth, people getting a divorce is WAY different than homosexuality partners attending church, the bible does not like divorce but it allows it for specific reasons, it does Not allow homosexuality. Also sounds like you are JUDGing the divorced person coming to church, how do you know if thAat person at church did NOT want the divorce, how do you know they tried everything to stay with the person but the spouse left and divorced them, it was out of their hands or they were abused, etc.. Such a difference I can't understand why I have to explain it except that many people haven't Studied the bible as they say.
Cathy - August 1st, 2012 at 7:20 PM
actually, while the church my allow for divorce, the bible does not.

Lydia - August 1st, 2012 at 10:33 PM
The Bible does allow for divorce in certain situations. For example, in Matthew 5 and Matthew 19 it is stated that in cases of sexual immorality, it is permissible. It is also allowed in cases where one spouse is in danger from the other. It is permissible but certainly never redemptive...just something to deal with more of the fallout from our sin.
Amy - August 1st, 2012 at 1:34 PM
My pastor has preached several sermons on making EVERYONE at our church feel welcome. INCLUDING and ESPECIALLY people who are gay. Not every church hates on people who are gay. We love everyone.
Linda - August 1st, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Ruth- she didn't say that. She was saying that she has seen those words thrown around by people saying they are Christians. Here is what she said.

And lest you unfairly brand me as a mouthpiece for the right, I hate the culture wars on both sides of the party line. Christians, do you really think posting pithy statements on Facebook about “standing firm in our values” and “resisting the liberal media” is helping?
Kristin - July 27th, 2012 at 9:31 PM
Not very loving or Christian of you, Tracey. Someday, when you meet God in Heaven, he'll say, "Now, what did you mean exactly about the liberal gay agenda? Are you talking about those beautiful people I made?"
Ruth - July 27th, 2012 at 9:52 PM
Amen, Kristin.
Lauren - July 27th, 2012 at 11:02 PM
Amen! The woe is me attitude is killing me too - and comparing themselves to blacks to throw in the guilt meter.
Sarah - July 28th, 2012 at 3:13 AM
Yes because we all know how black people enjoyed the support of most Christians when they fought for equal ri...oh wait. That's right. Many conservative Christians didn't support them until after the tide had turned...oh wait...most conservative Christians support efforts to disenfranchise black voters and efforts to end affrimative action.Gay friends, comparing yourselves to black Americans really won't win over the right or conservative Christians.As you can see from the previous post, they are not really people (black people), they are just "blacks." And you are "the gays." It's much easier to not apply Christian love when you reject an entire group's status as humans...humans God made and are deserving of love.
tiffani - July 28th, 2012 at 3:29 AM
*sloooooooow clap* right on.
Juliaj - July 28th, 2012 at 10:07 AM
Dang Gina! I mean Sara;) That right there was on point. Well said.
Me - July 28th, 2012 at 11:02 AM
Boy....self-righteous yourself while patting yourself on the back for not being that way. Tell me how "most conservative Christians support efforts to disenfranchise black voters." Would you please?

As for this blog strikes me the same way. Did make me think some. I do think that there is room in the basement for all of those people. I think, however, some of those people are trying their hardest to get rid of that basement (religious liberties, for example) and that's why people fight it. Not because they're hateful. Not because they think "those others sin." But because they're afraid we're losing our freedom to worship Jesus.
De - August 1st, 2012 at 6:27 PM
I don't know if they were Christian, or how conservative they were, but Republicans passed a better civil rights act than the one LBJ finally signed. So I don't see the disenfranchising comment. And I agree: I am supporting Chik-fil-A and other causes not because I hate anyone, but because I see our freedoms slipping away. I want my grandchildren to freely worship our Savior one day!
Dawn - July 27th, 2012 at 3:21 PM
Gina - July 27th, 2012 at 3:21 PM
This is perfect. I'm a Christ-follower and love the people who God made, regardless of their sexual orientation. I shared this on Facebook. This is one of my favorite blog posts I've ever read.
nancy - July 27th, 2012 at 3:22 PM
Ironically you and a gay Catholic political writer both addressed my discomfort with this insanity.

He calls out the gay community for acting contrary to everything they have been fighting for.
Krystle - July 27th, 2012 at 3:22 PM
Great, Great, Great! Jesus and I had a little conversation yesterday, and He informed me that I did not have to combat attacks with more attacks. I joined you in the basement yesterday! Excellent post!
Mikki - July 27th, 2012 at 3:23 PM
Literally sipping my Diet Lemonade from my CFA cup while reading this. Totally in the basement in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.... and this time, HAPPY to be there. "Don't you just LOVE love?" That's a quote in a movie, by the you know which one? It's one of my favorites.
Jess - July 28th, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Savannah Smiles??

Kaci - July 27th, 2012 at 3:23 PM
Thank you for speaking truth...I'll gladly join you in the basement.
@OdysseyMamaC - July 27th, 2012 at 3:23 PM
THANK YOU and AMEN! I addressed similar feelings in this post: I wrote about Oreos, but I hadn't gotten around to tackling chicken yet...just too ridiculously frustrating. Now I'm just gonna go all link-a-palooza with your post. PLEASE let me join you in the basement. I'll bring Oreos to go with the chicken, and we can blast some of those country hits you wrote about a while back. Awesome. :-)
gina - July 27th, 2012 at 3:23 PM
Nothing but love for this! Well said!
joy - July 27th, 2012 at 3:23 PM
i'd like to have beer in the basement, too. it can be shiner's bock for you:)
Bonky's Mama - July 27th, 2012 at 3:25 PM
Yes. This. And chicken cuz it is actually chicken and not grey solid something-a-ruther. And sweet tea. And BBQ sauce.

My other favorite is that I shouldn't shop at Target bc they support gay rights.

Well...I'll wear my target clothes when I show up w chick-fil-a. And I will still vote republican. And we have two chocolate-skinned beauties. How is that for a life of contrastedness? I make up words, too.

Go figure. :)
Dan - July 27th, 2012 at 3:26 PM
Wow. I'm an atheist. But I'm duly impressed by your wisdom and courage.
Rebecca - July 27th, 2012 at 10:11 PM
you are welcome in the basement too! :)
Kelli - July 27th, 2012 at 3:27 PM
I am so glad to have read this! You said it so clearly! I think I'm heading to the basement with you!
Jill Jefferson - July 27th, 2012 at 3:27 PM
Love this as much as I love Chickfila sauce...

They will know we are Christians by our love.
Nicolette - July 27th, 2012 at 3:28 PM

In the midst of everything else I have read and heard this calls to my heart and I clearly hear The Holy Spirit talking through you! Amen.
Denise - July 27th, 2012 at 3:28 PM
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this! Thank you. Right before I saw this I posted the following. If anyone can spare $3.00 please help!

Let me start by saying I am a COMPLETE Chick-fil-a fan and supporter! I've been to 4 Grand Openings and used the stuffed cow as my focus object in labor. But all this talk about Chick-fil-a and Dan Cathy's beliefs are irrelevant! Don't we have bigger things to worry about as a country? How about actually DOING the work of Christ instead of talking about what Christ says? Did you know that in more than 13 different verses in the Bible that it mentions actually HELPING the orphan? I PERSONALLY know and love 96 of them in Sierra Leone and right now they are getting ready to be homeless unless we raise $18,000 in the next week! Right now there are 5 million PLUS people who "like" Chick-fil-a and 182K who are talking about them on Facebook. Let's put our money (and chicken) where our mouth is as Christians. If everyone who "likes" Chick-fil-a gave the equivalent of the cost of a chicken sandwich about $3.00 that would be 15 MILLION dollars!!!!!!! How many orphans could we help with that??? What if we only gave $1? 5 Million raised! .50 cents? Only a mere 2.5 Million raised! Please watch this video and DO the work of Christ today instead of talking about it. Donate the cost of a chicken sandwich! Every little bit helps!

Valerie - July 28th, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Or adopt one.
Julie - July 27th, 2012 at 3:29 PM
I will join you! Thank you Jen!
Donna - July 27th, 2012 at 3:29 PM
Yes!!! Well said! I just love you and your writing style!!! You are blessed with an awesome talent!!
Celia - July 27th, 2012 at 3:30 PM
Yes, yes, yes. This is exactly why I've fallen in love with you just a little bit :). You voiced so well my feelings - I find this whole argument to just be so besides the point of Jesus.
Sharon - July 27th, 2012 at 3:31 PM
Yes, yes, yes. Thank you...I'll join you in the basement.
Renee - July 27th, 2012 at 3:35 PM
I love Kristen's comment. Amen and Amen!
Jen Barrett - July 27th, 2012 at 3:35 PM
You have so very eloquently penned what I've wished for a long time I could voice properly. I will definitely be sharing this. Thank you, Jen!!!
Celeste Barnard - July 27th, 2012 at 3:36 PM
I'm coming down, can someone grab me the honey mustard?
Christina - July 27th, 2012 at 3:37 PM
I love it.
Shelley - July 27th, 2012 at 3:38 PM
Hit it on the nose, Jen. Love it!
Jeff - July 27th, 2012 at 3:39 PM
I am a Reform Jew. (Like Jesus was) A Moderate politically, and I support the rights of an individual (CEO or not) see express his beliefs and his companies beliefs. Those who don't want to shop at this place of business any more need not.

I also think though, that for those who study the historical Jesus well...(I don't mean what was written after him by his followers when they created Christianity)....It's clear that his sense of social justice for all...and love for all....means that he clearly would have supported the rights of all to marry. It's crystal clear as a matter of fact. Dogma says no perhaps....but Jesus would have said yes.
Mary Kay - July 27th, 2012 at 9:20 PM
Sorry, Jeff, but He did say homosexuality is a sin. We are to love the sinner but hate the sin. Jesus would NOT have supported gay marriage.

Larry - July 27th, 2012 at 10:26 PM
Jesus never mentioned homosexuaity in any way, ever. Paul did. Great, thoughtful piece, Jen.
Carolyn - July 28th, 2012 at 8:32 AM
Actually God did in the old testament and it is a sin
Rebecca - July 28th, 2012 at 9:33 AM
You'd have to be a pretty selective reader of the Old Testament to use that as your guideline. How many other "sins" from the Old Testament do we condemn?
Susan - July 27th, 2012 at 10:32 PM
Mary Kay - Where did Jesus make the statement to which you refer? I think you are remembering Paul, not Jesus. I think our Jewish friend is right.
Me - July 28th, 2012 at 7:48 PM
The entire Bible is the infallible, inspired work of the Holy Spirit. So Paul is the mouth piece for GOd the Father. And as we know He and the Father are one. Sooooo yes technically Jesus did say it.
April - July 30th, 2012 at 12:33 AM
Jeff, Jesus made it clear that he came to fulfill the law. He mentioned the laws that changed and had the apostles reiterate those changes. The apostles followed Jesus in doctrine, and quoted the same laws Jesus did, including the changed ones. So to think "that's Paul's opinion, not Jesus' command" is to embrace a lie and be deceived. The Levitical law is the law Jesus came to fulfill. It was made to keep the Israelites as pure as possible until Jesus died on the cross. His death fulfilled the purpose of the law which is sanctification and salvation. Because of that, all laws contrary to his sacrifice and grace have been changed.

God made everything perfectly, male and female, to take care of and replenish (populate) the earth. Jesus quoted some laws that were changed and told the masses that they didn't apply anymore. He never mentioned the ones about homosexuality as being changed. He also didn't have to make people aware of those laws, ie mention them, because Jews already knew homosexuality was considered a sin, for they were aware of the law which Jesus spoke of. So, what you say is folly because Jewish life revolved around the Levitical law, and so did Jesus' life before he began his ministry. And that law is what states that homosexuality is a sin. Jesus changed some, yes. But, not the ones against homosexuality. Otherwise he would have definitely mentioned them as changed. And saying that you're a reformed Jew means nothing. It doesn't validate or strengthen your argument. Sin is sin regardless of what you choose to rebelliously believe.

One more thing, if what you believe about homosexuality was true, the world would not want to embrace it and it would have been considered dated, boring, instead of traditional marriage. In other words, everything that's said/done about traditional marriage would have been said/done about homosexuality if it wasn't a sin. The world follows Satan, who is it's prince. So, naturally, the world rebels against God.
Tara - July 27th, 2012 at 3:39 PM
If there was a Chick Fil in Port au Prince I'd head there RIGHT>NOW ... but as it turns out there are real problems here in Port au Prince and hardly any of it has to do with being played like a fiddle by the freakin media and helping them with their master plan of having us all act like huge a-holes. The world has real problems. What the free (America is still allowing everyone to have their own opinions, yes?) individual guy that started Chick Fil A or Starbucks or Wam-Mart thinks ain't one of em.

It's weird (read: disconcerting) to watch all of this from here, I know that much.

All that to say. AY-MEN.
Chrissy Plunkett - July 28th, 2012 at 8:24 AM
Still praying for you and your family Tara! You are right. I wish Americans would get out of America and experience the real world of ''loving others'' in the pit of despair
Beth - July 27th, 2012 at 3:40 PM
It seems like your argument leaves out some key information. People are not up in arms over the fact that the CEO doesn't personally believe in gay marriage. It's that Chick-fil-A provides money and other resources to organizations fighting same-sex marriage. Many patrons don't want their money going towards supporting a cause that they don't believe in. They have a right for their opinion to be heard just like the Cathys do. Additionally, it's easy to flippantly dismiss the importance of gay marriage when it doesn't affect you on a personal basis and to point out the fact that starving people have more urgent problems. If that's true then wouldn't it make more sense for a company like Chick-fil-A to donate the money that they spend on fighting gay marriage to an organization that feeds the hungry instead?
Jennifer - July 27th, 2012 at 3:59 PM
Beth, here's the problem. Not in that the CEO supports something that goes against your beliefs, its that he is open about it. I dare say there are organizations all over this country whose CEOs are donating money to causes neither you or I believe in, and we will never know about it. That is their right as the CEO to do with their profit as they see fit. Its a dangerous line when government starts limiting any company from doing commerce based on their religious, political, or personal beliefs. Like Jen said, it swings both ways. What happens if the Bible Belt decides to deny a business permit because the owner of the supports gay rights? The screams would be heard around the world and this is no different.

Again, its his company. He can donate to whichever cause he wants, as can anyone, CEO or not. I'm sure your laundromat, your liquor store, your grocery store, your mom and pop store, all donate a part of their profits to the cause of their choice. And I, for one, refuse to ask each person I do business with to answer a checklist of questions just to make sure we believe in the same things before I do business with them. THAT is the very definition of intolerance.
Beth - July 27th, 2012 at 4:19 PM
I agree that business owners have the right to donate to whatever cause they want. And most people are not going to question every business that they patronize to see if their beliefs align. But here's the thing, Cathy came right out to the media and spoke about his and Chick-fil-A's support of groups fighting same-sex marriage. He intentionally made it a public issue. He knew that there would be backlash, but he felt it worth the risk. People simply became more aware of how some of Chick-fil-A's profits are distributed, and they are responding in accordance with their beliefs.
Kate Wilson - July 27th, 2012 at 5:04 PM
Beth, I think individual citizens should be allowed to make, and indeed will make, their own personal decisions about where to shop after knowing where proceeds may go. I don't think that's the issue at hand. The issue is that the local governments are getting involved: city governments and the Boston mayor are saying they don't want to give permits to Chick-fil-a because of where Chick-fil-a's profits go--and I don't care how it's spun--that is wrong. No government in this country should have the right to turn down legitimate businesses from getting permits just because they don't agree with the business leader's opinion. It would be just as offensive if businesses were turned down permits because their CEO was gay or muslim--it infringes on the rights of those business leaders. I believe every individual should have the right to spend money where they want, and if they don't want to support Chick-fil-a, that's fine. But the government should not be trying to stop them from opening completely legal and legitimate business. Not only is it unconstitutional, but it's also a slippery slope for more government control.
Beth - July 27th, 2012 at 6:03 PM
It seems like there are many issues at hand with this topic. However, it's highly unlikely that these businesses will actually be denied permits in the end, and it's even more unlikely that more government control will be the result of this issue. That slippery slope thing doesn't usually play out how people think it will.

It's also interesting that individuals are crying "discrimination" as if Chick-fil-A will be the victim in the end (There's a good chance that they will see increased profits because of the voicing of their beliefs). Many would argue that the true individuals being discriminated against are those that aren't able to marry the individual of their choosing
Tara - July 27th, 2012 at 4:02 PM
... point well taken Beth, I admit I am tired of the hyperbole and the amount of energy that goes to these sorts of battles always leaves me feeling somewhat hopeless.
ej - July 27th, 2012 at 5:06 PM
how do you know that Chick-fil-a doesn't contribute money to feed the hungry or any number of worthy causes?
Beth - July 27th, 2012 at 5:36 PM
That wasn't the point that I was trying to make. The idea that there's a hierarchy of people's suffering and that only the top tier should be dealt with is a dangerous way of looking at things. Sometimes we need to prioritize how our resources are spent, but to say that one man's plight doesn't deserve attention because another man is hungry isn't logical or compassionate.
Marisa - July 28th, 2012 at 8:33 AM
I could be wrong, but I took Jen's comments about focusing on the poor and hungry to be directed at Christians who are spending all their time arguing about gay marriage. I don't think she was saying that we shouldn't care about other injustices.
Jami - July 27th, 2012 at 8:37 PM
I don't believe that to be true. Where are your sources?

KB - July 28th, 2012 at 7:59 AM
My husband and I own a chick-fil-A in a small town in Arkansas. We are independent business owners in business with Chick-fil-A. For fear of retaliation of people on here and all over social media I do not feel I can come out publicly with my name or our location. Beth, in regards to what you said...we have received many phone calls and first time as well as repeat customers are sharing with us they have come to support us because of the backlash that Chick-fil-A is receiving from government officials (mayors and so forth) saying we are not welcomed in their town and they will prevent us from getting permits because our beliefs do not match up with their city's beliefs (or better yet their personal beliefs). They tell us over and over again...these people are crossing the line by saying this. But in the end you are right, more government control will not be the issue. These government officials don't have a leg to stand on but merely voicing their opinion in this way has awoken many Americans to take a stand. At least, this is what our customers are telling us. Mr. Cathy is free to give his money to whomever he wishes and people are free to not patronize our restaurant. Unfortunately, many of the organizations WinShape gives to are deemed "hate groups" by the GLBT community. Organizations like Family Life which is a Christian organization that used and uses some of their money to help in the fight of whether marriage should be redefined. They certainly do a lot more with their money and invest heavily in saving marriages because divorce too is a big problem in our country. Many on the side of GLBT see them as "anti-gay" however if you are a person wanting to protect the sanctity of marriage then you see them as "pro family/pro traditional marriage. Many of the organizations that have been deemed "hate groups" I would bet are not considered "hate groups" by the majority of Americans. Fighting to protect the sanctity of marriage does not make you a hater. And these organizations do more than just fight to protect the definition of marriage. That is not the sole plight of their organization. Family Research Council also encompasses human life and bioethics, religious liberty and media (particularly what is broadcast on TV and pornography) not just human sexuality.

What I do know is that Chick-fil-A/WinShape does give a lot of their money to the homeless, the hungry and the orphans or as we call them in the United States, foster children. They have 12 Foster families. Twelve sets of parents who take in the abandoned children in our country and give them a loving home. Each family has roughly 10-12 kids and they are typically older children around the age of 10-12 ( the least desirable ages for adoption). The money we make from our restaurant goes to support these families 100%. Truett has personally adopted several of these children himself just to get them out of the system. Neither parent works, they are solely there to parent, provide a stable home and love these children as their own. These kids grow up and can always return to their home. Hundreds of lost children who have bounced around in the foster care system are having their lives impacted and now growing up to be productive members of society. I have never been a part of a company as generous as Chick-fil-A.

I see their argument and belief that we give to organizations that promote hate but I just don't agree these organizations promote "hate." Not patronizing our restaurant because of this is absolutely their right. As a former Marine Corps wife who sent my husband to Iraq 3 times prior to owning a Chick-fil-A, any government official making claims that completely violates our freedom of speech whether it is hate or not makes my skin crawl! And we should be outraged! My husband and many others were willing to lose their life for that liberty and there are thousands who did!

Jess - July 28th, 2012 at 10:12 AM
KB, Thank you. That was very well written. I am also a wife of a CFA Operator in Virginia and it has broken my heart to feel in the middle of all this.
angela - July 28th, 2012 at 7:59 PM
my sentiments exactly, beth. i couldn't care less what the head of chick-fil-a believes.
i care that my money is being funneled to causes i don't believe in.
i care that he slapped his personal opinion on his entire company, and i bet there are gays that work for chick-fil-a! i bet there are people who work for chick-fil-a who support gay rights!
way to alienate your workforce and your consumer base all in one go.
personal opinions are just that. they should stay personal.
anon - July 28th, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Found this girl's blog, a lesbian conservative who gives her side. Her whole blog is really interesting especially talking about how closeted she once felt she had to be as a conservative among her lesbian peers.

I have attached the link to her blog as well as copy and pasted her post.

Gay Marriage: The Love That Won’t Shut the F-UP
Posted on July 12, 2012
My current sentiments concerning the entire topic of gay marriage can be succinctly summed up in the following quote:

Once upon a time they called homosexuality “the love that dare not speak its name.” Now it’s become the love that won’t shut the f___ up. Felix, Taki Magazine

Oh, how very true. And the farcical fawning of the me–too media, America’s cultural bootlickers extraordinaire, helping to rub the gay marriage marathon into America’s tired and overexposed orbs 24/7—it’s Indoctrination TV at its very best.

And the moronic aping of heterosexual marriage mores….Frankly, the whole clamoring gay marriage hate campaign hell-bent on mimicking the straight matrimonial meme comically resembles a Monty Python parody. I mean, come on—husband/husband and wife/wife?? My gosh, if the only way you can find legitimacy for your mating match is to base your commitment on a rigid heterosexual model never meant to encompass homosexual unions, what the heck does that really say about the pretext and pretensions of your relationship?

A gay community that has been quite successful at inventing, developing, and organizing queer consciousness separate and apart from heterosexual culture now wants to pretend it’s so so straight. Well, I’ve seen some drag shows in my time, but this one really takes the fake.
Jamie - August 1st, 2012 at 7:59 AM
Thank you for being the voice of reason.
Becky - August 2nd, 2012 at 11:16 AM
You are absolutely correct Beth. The writer of the article does not grasp any of what you state. Not a bad article and based on a nifty idea but the understanding of the whole situation just isn't there.
d.l. mayfield - July 27th, 2012 at 3:44 PM
oregon doesn't even have a chick-fil-a. we feel so out of the loop! srsly though, if everybody wanna be hatin' on sin, i think it should start on the sin in our own hearts. what a good reminder. i am so far in the basement (especially politically) that now headlines make me giggle. once you step outside the storm, the clearheadness comes quickly. jesus has moved on, ya'll. let's go find him
Heather - July 27th, 2012 at 9:14 PM
Once you step outside the storm...what do you mean? Specifically for you as a Christian in regards to politics?
**I have been wanting some direction here.
Rachel - July 27th, 2012 at 3:46 PM
thank you and thank you! This post served up goosebumps, claps and a sigh of relief from me. I'll meet you in the basement. Did you get some honey roasted bbq sauce for the nuggets? If not, I'll pick it up and ungodly amounts of sweet tea.
Jennifer - July 27th, 2012 at 3:46 PM
Love Jesus... Love Others... That is what it is all about! I'm in the basement too, have been since this whole thing started.
Doris Swift - July 27th, 2012 at 3:48 PM
Right on Jen Hatmaker!!! As our pastor said last Sunday "categorizing people de-humanizes them" making it easier to condemn; We condemn when we fail to see we aren't meant to sit in the Judges seat.."Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven...."Luke 6:37

We don't have "basements" in Florida, but I'm right down there with you in the basement! Leave the judgement to the Lord, so yes, we can be about His business of loving and serving others...I'd like the Chick-Fil-A #1 meal with a coke please :) P.S. Is it very weird that now when I purchase gas, the amount always has to end in 7? Loved your "7" mutiny against excess!
Karen Fisher - July 27th, 2012 at 3:52 PM
Go Jen. :) wish we could do another event together!
Shelly Elston - July 27th, 2012 at 3:53 PM
LOVED every. single. word. Shared it. You rock!
Michelle - July 27th, 2012 at 3:55 PM
Jen, I agree with everything you said. Jesus' way of approaching sin is so much different than the way we do it. I struggle with this. However, another area I struggle is not standing up for things that are biblically right. Our country is suffering for it. Slowly and slyly Satan is making the Christian in America the outlaw, the criminal because we beleive what God's word says is true,or what the world deems as acceptable. How do we maintain a balance? I don't know, but we are letting our values go out the window. Yes, Cathey has a right to say and feel the way he wants to. But somehow, it is the Christian sector who is thought of as hating because our belief is based on what God's word says. I struggle with the balance. You are right, we will bring no one to know the love of Crhist through messages of hate. But we must stand up for God's truth and what He says. He is Holy and must be treated as such. Doesn't really matter what we think, or how we feel, ... it matters what He says. Stand up for righteousness. Not bashing on either side. What would Jesus do? I don't know but I wish I did. I struggle every day to be more like Him so I can show Him to others. I am not worried about Chick-Fil-A not making it because some people are protesting them. I beleive Cathey is where he is today because he commits everything to following a Godly principle of dealing with his business and his employees. So to all those who are tweeting, facebooking, and whatever else, Live your life as an example. Let people know where you stand on morality and righteousness not because of what you say but because of how you live. God is still in control.
Valerie - July 27th, 2012 at 5:21 PM
Well said, Michelle!
CArrie - July 27th, 2012 at 8:07 PM
Well said Michelle! I feel christians have been in the basement for too long.
Kate Wilson - July 27th, 2012 at 8:51 PM
Michelle, I share the same struggle you do. I want to stand up for God's Word, because I believe with all my being that it is true, and the way Christians should live. But I also don't want to be judgmental toward others, because I can't be responsible for their spiritual journeys. I think in many ways, modern Christians are diluted. I oftentimes see the modern Christians twist God's Word or try to push off parts of the Bible as not being serious or important--blowing parts of the scripture off because they don't feel it fits into "today" or that it is too "outdated." Sad, because God's Word is timeless, and it is true forever. I believe in Biblical principles. I think where I try to find balance is knowing that not everyone knows the Lord--there are many lost souls. And on the day of judgement, those who don't know the Lord won't be held to the same accountability as those who do know Him. We are expected to be the lights in this dark world, but those who don't know Christ aren't called to be lights as we are. Not that it makes their sins okay, but it just means that we need to focus on our own righteous living and make sure our hearts are right with God, while still praying for them. I believe in standing up for what is right--and I personally can't support gay marriage because I believe it's not Biblically right. However, I still treat gay people like I do straight people because we are all sinners. We all have equal sin, and I believe my sins are just as bad as theirs. I've had 2 gay friends in my life who I care very much about, and although they know I don't agree with their lifestyles, they also know I love them. And I think that's the best thing we can do. Just love them. They need God's love as much as we do, and it's not betraying our faith to treat them like the human beings they are. We can lead by example (which it sounds like you're doing).
Well, I think I went off on a bit of a tangent here, but my whole point is that I share the same view that you've expressed, and you are not alone in that challenge. :)
Laurie - July 27th, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Thank you, you put into words exactly how I feel.
Sarah - July 28th, 2012 at 5:29 AM
I think "standing up for righteousness" is getting Christians off-message and causing a lot of problems. Consider the parable of the woman caught in adultery (John7:53). Jesus stood up for righteousness, and justice, all at the same time, while reminding us that no one is without sin. The bystanders in that story (that would be you and me) didn't participate in Jesus' conclusion; they obeyed it.We are not called to pass judgment, we're called to obey it. It's laughable to suggest that Christians in America are "outlaws" or "criminals" - Christianity is preferred here, over other religions or over no religion, and the only time we are barred from religious expression is when we are trying to put it where it doesn't belong, or trying to force it on others. If someone is gay, that is between him/her and God.
Tamika - July 27th, 2012 at 3:55 PM
Wow!! Basement dweller. I was moved deeply.
Julie - July 27th, 2012 at 3:55 PM
Keeping it coming, sister - MANY of us are listening and agreeing and appreciating that you can put into words what is in our hearts! Going to the basement in East Peoria!
Sheila - July 27th, 2012 at 3:56 PM
As a gay Christian (yes we exist...) thank you. I feel both sides of the fence on a regular basis. I have a life story that neither the right, nor the left understands, gets, or would honestly support and spend my days living in the great divide. It ain't particularly fun so I am more. than. happy. to get in the basement with you....
Becca - July 28th, 2012 at 9:04 AM
I'm right there with you Sheila. I too am ever so uncomfortably wedged in the gay-christian discussion. Because I have felt what "hate, misunderstanding, judgement and condemnation" feels like from my well-meaning Christian brother and sisters...I have concluded that anytime our focus as humans moves to ISSUES instead of loving and respecting PEOPLE, we are missing the mark.

No matter what the issue, I don't imagine that Jesus would have been a sign holder...and I am pretty sure he would be hanging with us in the basement where everyone is welcome!
bm - July 27th, 2012 at 3:58 PM
Bull. Regardless of your opinion, stand up for what you believe. Don't sit on the sidelines of life.
Ellen - July 27th, 2012 at 6:22 PM
Agreed. The ostrich head in the sand stance kinda disappoints me, Jen.
NYer - July 27th, 2012 at 9:14 PM
What???? Both of you are delusional. I think everything in italics is a "stance".
Jenny - July 27th, 2012 at 9:30 PM
This is how she is standing up for what she believes. You don't have to get involved in every argument, especially those you weren't invited to. If you see two groups fighting over something and you feel that both sides are just making matters worse, choosing to not join either side is fine.

If I see two guys punching each other in the street, I am not required to join one in beating the other. I am allowed to stand to the side and say, "Stop fighting! Come and join me over here for lunch." That is a stand.
Dave - July 27th, 2012 at 3:58 PM
This could be the theme song:
Melissa - July 27th, 2012 at 3:59 PM
Thank you, Jen, for saying what has been in my heart for so very long. I too am tired of dodging the propaganda from both sides. What happened to that verse we throw around so much about taking the log out of our own eye first? We seem to have forgotten that one. We've forgotten not to judge. We've forgotten to invite sinners for dinner. We've forgotten the Jesus of scripture and have replaced the truth for the lie of political mumbo jumbo. I'm headed down to the basement!
Ruth - July 27th, 2012 at 3:59 PM
You said what I've been thinking. SO tired of all the crap. It's not what Jesus is all about. I'm joining you in the basement (oh and I have recurring tornado nightmares as well...). Thank you.
Timothy K Edwards - July 27th, 2012 at 4:00 PM
In my mind I have lived "in the basement" since graduating college.

Perfectly eloquently spoken
Unlikely Christian - July 27th, 2012 at 4:01 PM
Bravo! So perfectly put. I just got done writing my post on the same subject matter and came to the same conclusion that LOVE is the answer. This stupidity needs to stop! Come on Christians!
Jeni - July 27th, 2012 at 4:01 PM
This is beautiful. Thank you for saying what I've been feeling, so eloquently.
MeganB - July 27th, 2012 at 4:03 PM
In other words, "For the love of all things soft and fluffy... can't we all just get along???" Please pass the nuggets! :)
Melane - July 27th, 2012 at 4:03 PM
Yes THIS! Everyday and twice on Sunday. This is how I feel too! Fingerpointing does nothing but hurt everyone. Thank you Jen, THANK YOU! And I'll take a sweet tea, half and half, with some chicken minis please!
Glenda Dellinger - July 27th, 2012 at 4:04 PM
Jen, I LOVE your heart....and I share these same thoughts, girlfriend! Thanks for just being YOU! U R still a ROCK STAR!
Audra - July 27th, 2012 at 4:04 PM
That was refreshing, and exactly what I have been thinking and feeling! Thank you for putting it into words and being REAL! Being a real, true everyday Christian is not wrapped up in a pretty package to go to church on Sunday! It's loving people everyday. It's not about hate or discrimination.
Tracy - July 27th, 2012 at 4:06 PM
I like my basement and I am very happy to live there with the rest of you-except I am vegan so umm I will pass on the nuggets-maybe a quinoa burger would be good!
Jennifer - July 27th, 2012 at 4:07 PM
Having lived in Oklahoma my entire 32 years, I know about the tornadoes and basements. I am right there with you. I will stay in the basement as this storm passes.

LOVE THIS: "We hate that 25,000 people will die today of hunger and we’re arguing gay marriage again."

AND THIS: "We love people. Because Jesus does. All of them."

Thank you, thank you, thank you!
M Lee - July 27th, 2012 at 4:07 PM
I do like how you put all this together and I agree with most of what you said--but I don't think people should feel condemned for wanting to stand up for the protection of marriage and use media to do it. After all aren't you using media (via your blog) to also post your opinion on the issue? Just because someone isn't FOR gay marriage doesn't mean they are spewing hate. It kind of sounds like you are saying its wrong for people wanting to stand up for and defend specific issues they are passionate about. I am one of those Christian that is against gay marriage, and for the protection of how marriage is defined now but I am not going to engage in the hate speech, or protest, or whatever. I will support businesses (all businesses) who uphold biblical values including marriage, pro-life, etc. Yes there are poor people, yes there are orphans, yes there is injustice and those issues are important to God and certainly important to me. But so is marriage, and the decline of it in our country. In fact if you study history, the fall and destruction of many empires occurs when sexual immorality becomes rampant. I don't think its right for you to make it seem as if this issue is any less important to God than say poverty, or injustice. Much of the poverty today in the US has very much to do with the decline of marriage.

Scripture teaches us to love the sinner, hate the sin. Those living the Homosexual lifestyle with no intention of wanting to be set free of it, are not living that way because God made them gay. As believers we can love them, show grace, love and mercy to them, not condemn them any more than we would condemn any of our own sin. But we CANNOT say that being GAY is OK with God and sorry but it kind of sounds like you are saying that.
Amber - July 27th, 2012 at 6:05 PM
Well said, M Lee.
Deborah - July 27th, 2012 at 6:22 PM
M. Lee, I agree; so much that I have most recently read continues to 'cherry pick' issues and pit one against the other, as if God doesn't speak clearly towards ALL issues with the whole of the BIble. Yes, individual callings and gifts will tend us towards ministering in one particular area or another...but it does not invalidate what the Bible says regarding the all of life and the issues with which we are not as fully involved.
Mary - July 27th, 2012 at 6:58 PM
Could not agree more with your comment, M. Lee.
Tricia - July 27th, 2012 at 7:32 PM
I like your post, MLee, ditto.
em - July 27th, 2012 at 9:39 PM
as a Christian - I don't agree with you.. i think the hyper-focus on the sins of one group does nothing to further the gospel. NOTHING.. instead of fighting to protect something, why not pray to transform? it's like we're trying to clean fish before we ever catch them, and it's obvious it's not working. i say this with respect, but we will be held accountable for the constant noise in regards to this. your fight to protect marriage is throwing gas into a flame.. why can't people see that the louder Christian's get, the louder it all gets. Why can't people see that the Christian's use of social media, and the white noise that's been escalating hasn't worked. and most importantly, why can't Christian's see that it's not our place to define someone else by their sin. I do not wear a scarlet letter - why do they have to? How are we all reading the same word? The word that points out clearly the damaging effects of sexual sins (all of them. including adultery, affairs, etc).. that same Word recaps our savior standing at a well with a woman who had slept around with the entire town. why can't Christians take a cue from Jesus's response? Or see the broken souls and hearts behind our social fights?? i ask these things sincerely. i love the Lord, i am a believer.. i am not a psudeo-christian because i have a different view here.. i am seriously asking why people thinks this is a fight worth fighting no matter the cost?? the cost here is so great, and it shows a lack of trust in God's control. Marriage is HIS
Kari Jo - July 27th, 2012 at 10:24 PM
How is it possible that I agree with the opposing views here?? But then I think therein lies the problem doesn't it? We Christians are not very good at (if we're being totally honest) at pairing grace AND truth together. We tend to major on the one, giving it a megaphone and the almost austrocizing the other. It's like as a believer, I must stand for truth b/c I just don't see Jesus hiding in the basement, but at the same time do I have to have a prop 8 sign in my lawn SHOUTING to the world?! Randy Alcorn said it this way and I agree "We show people Jesus only when we show them grace and truth. Anything less than both is neither." and oh, how I fail dismally at this...daily!! And I believe it is a struggle that most of us have as look around especially as social media gets more and more out of hand on both sides. This is the struggle that is being fought really. Really, it's not about's not about one certain sin, it's about a worldview and repentance...and just how these two words grace and truth fit perfectly together. And those of us who are weary and heavy laden...we, who are all but DONE with the rehederic would do well to come to Jesus in his Word...and if you've got a Bible in that basement of yours...I'm sure you'll find him. ;0)
Kate Wilson - July 28th, 2012 at 11:33 AM
Well worded, Kari Jo! You are so right! I see many of my well-intending Christian family and friends on both sides of the issues screaming so loud about their opinions, no one actually hears their message. And I'm the worst of all about pairing grace and truth--I fail constantly. I'm so glad we have a Lord and Savior who is stronger than we, and that His yoke is easy and His burden is light! He will guide us to show grace and truth, which I am pretty much incapable of doing alone.
Someone named Brian posted a good point above: Christ didn't only say not to judge--he said not to judge others by standards other than what we are judged. Matthew 7:1-5 tells us not to be hypocrites, judging others and not seeing our own sins. I believe it means we should stand up for truth, but not spend our time pointing fingers at everyone else when we've got sins of our own. I tend not to comment on the lifestyle of homosexual people because I lived with my husband for 4 years and had sex with him before we were married. I knew I was sinning while I was doing it. But I can't look at the speck in other people's eyes when I have a plank in my own. So while I don't support gay marriage, I also don't use a megaphone to announce it. I think doing so turns others away from Christ, rather than toward him.
Oh, I'm probably off topic again. But I've enjoyed reading thread posts from people with all their different views. Good conversation. :)
Elizabeth - July 31st, 2012 at 9:15 AM
"It's like we're trying to clean fish before we ever catch them, and it's obvious it's not working. "

Best. Analogy. Ever.
Ellen - July 27th, 2012 at 9:44 PM
I hear your passion for truth and I commend it. But wouldn't you say that it's either about Jesus or it isn't? And we are showing HIM to the world or we aren't? Is my zeal for "standing up" for biblical marriage (or any other important issue) helping people see Him? Perhaps we should be willing to consider - just consider - that what we are doing isn't working. Or is it?

Maybe the place to begin is to back up and look at exactly what Jesus really calls us to do in relation to others, both inside and outside the household of faith. Are we willing to follow where Scripture leads us or not? Do we need to re-think our shrill tactics? The weapons I read about in Scripture are spiritual and our Enemy is not flesh and blood. Are "liberals" and "gays" our enemies? The mayor of Chicago or wherever? Really? That doesn't mean we can't vote our conscience or care about moral issues. It certainly doesn't mean that the things you say about marriage are not true. But maybe people are rejecting Jesus - who is the real answer to the human dilemma - because we, as His people, are confused about who our Enemy is. If people found Jesus and submitted to Him and His Word, wouldn't that make a difference? (So are we helping or hurting?) Of course, biblical marriage matters to God - for Christians, it's intended to be a picture of Christ and the Church. But I don't see a call in the Bible to defend it or to attack those who disagree, regardless of whether they attack us. And Scripture absolutely does talk a LOT about caring for the poor and the oppressed. Doesn't it say that without love, nothing we do matters? Even if we give our bodies to be burned? What about the fruit of the Spirit?

So, my call to all of us as believers is to dig in and figure out what Scripture really calls us to do and to do whatever that is, even if it challenges my cherished notions or yours. "Standing up" hasn't proven to be a winsome demonstration of the gospel, at least not the way we've been doing it. How's that working for us? Or maybe we'd just rather be right. Is there a prize for that?
Ava - July 27th, 2012 at 4:08 PM
I'm in the basement!
Mari - July 27th, 2012 at 4:10 PM
Amen, Amen, Amen. Very well said. I will gladly join you in the basement.
Jenny - July 27th, 2012 at 4:11 PM
Love.Love Love this. I'm a basement dweller with you!!
Marilyn - July 27th, 2012 at 4:14 PM
So well stated...Thank YOU!
Sarah - July 27th, 2012 at 4:15 PM
Great reminder to stay focused on Jesus - I want His heart to be my heart - so easy to get distracted!! If Jesus judged (actually condemned) my sin the way I tend to do others, I'd be eternally lost . . . so thankful for His love, patience and mercy!!
Fran - July 27th, 2012 at 4:16 PM
I am joining you in the basement- this says what I have been feeling the past few days!!! THANK YOU!
Kurt - July 27th, 2012 at 4:17 PM
Right on the mark. We're going to need a bigger basement.
Christian - July 27th, 2012 at 4:18 PM
Totally agree with this post. One suggestion though: the man who made the comments is President and COO Dan Cathy. Truett is Chairman and CEO.
Jen Hatmaker - July 27th, 2012 at 4:41 PM
DARN IT! You are so right. Shoot. Hate an egregious misquote. Thanks for the heads up.
Terry - August 2nd, 2012 at 4:13 PM
Yes, thank you for clarifying that - I noticed the error straight away and was about to post a reply stating as such.
Paul A. - July 27th, 2012 at 4:18 PM
I love this post a lot, but echoing what Beth said above me, the problem is that Cathy's comments have shone a new light on the millions of dollars Chick-fil-A spends supporting groups that believe the "gay agenda" is to gain greater access to children because "homosexuals" are more likely to be pedophiles. (That would be the Family Research Council, in case you're curious; they've been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for statements such as those by their leaderships as recently as 2010.)

Let me say that again: Millions of dollars.

When you say how much you'd rather Christians would spend their time and resources on the things about which Jesus was passionate, I'm standing and cheering. When you turn around and say you'll be bringing your Chick-fil-A nuggets with you to the basement, I kind of scratch my head. I'm not sure what I think about boycotts, but I feel a whole lot more uncomfortable knowing that my money has been helping support groups that connect my uncle, among other people, with pedophilia simply because of how he was born.

The problem isn't that some rich old white guy from the South opposes gay rights. What else is new? The problem is that he backs up his beliefs by giving through his company – I'll say it one more time – *millions of dollars* to groups that spread the hate you rightly and eloquently oppose.

At what point should we get out of the basement and lead the fight for Christians to start spending their millions on causes for which Jesus lived and died? Does staying in our basement do much to help the hurting LGBT men and women who have been and continue to be wounded to the point of suicide by the organizations Chick-fil-A supports with our money?

Let me reiterate: I really love your post and the spirit behind it. But I fear heading to the basement may do nothing more than exacerbate the very conditions from which you are trying to escape.
Jen Hatmaker - July 27th, 2012 at 4:40 PM
Thank you for this thoughtful response, Paul. I would love to invite you down to the basement where we can continue this very civil, reasonable, respectful dialogue! (As always, these things are more nuanced then press releases or blogs make them out to be. It is the aggressive, hostile combativeness I take such issue with on both sides, but you, sir, have done a lovely job of showing how to add to the conversation respectfully and thoughtfully. Teach a seminar.)

Trish - July 27th, 2012 at 5:42 PM
Paul, it's my understanding that while CFA has donated a great deal to several organizations opposing gay marriage, that the donation to the FRC (the ones connecting gay people with pedophiles) was a one time, $1,000 donation.

I readily admit I could be wrong. But that's my understanding.

This is a link to where I got that information (from a blogger supporting the boycott):
Paul A. - July 27th, 2012 at 5:54 PM
I'll have to check that out. That would help alleviate a lot of my concerns. Thanks, Trish.
Kelley - July 27th, 2012 at 4:21 PM
Because......"they will know us by our love". Amen.
sarah - July 27th, 2012 at 4:22 PM
Thank GOD you went there. This is exactly what I've had in my heart for months, but haven't been able to find a way to verbalize coherently. I am SO OVER all of the bashing on every side. THE HORSE IS DEAD, PUT THE STICK DOWN. We do not need to agree in order to get along and all love each other. I'm headed to the basement. With cookies.
Denise - July 27th, 2012 at 4:26 PM
Girl, just when you had a big fat tear about to fall down my cheek, you mentioned nuggets. And boy howdy, did it make me laugh out loud!! (As as a recovering legalist, you know that laughing is almost next to clapping as a mortal sin.) And let me tell you, there are "basement" meetings every week near most everywhere, called Celebrate Recovery. Some of my best friends in world I met there and have taught me SO much about their struggles with same-sex attraction. At the same time, I open up and share my struggles and weaknesses and they love me right back. And we seek Jesus, text each other when we're having a bad day and about to do something dumb (like drown our sorrows in a pint of Haagen Daas or are about to barf it up!). GRACE. MERCY. LOVE. FRIENDSHIP. LAUGHTER. SUPPORT. These are the hallmarks of a love that changes everything.
Leslie - July 27th, 2012 at 4:26 PM
You managed to say everyting I've felt but didn't know how to put into word! I'm joining you in the basement.
Amanda MacLean - July 27th, 2012 at 4:28 PM
Loved this, very well said. Thanks for writing.
Heidi - July 27th, 2012 at 4:29 PM
Yes yes yes yes yes. .
Steve - July 27th, 2012 at 4:30 PM
There are still many great christians who believe in the traditional family, but they don't HATE like everyone says they do. Just because they don't support it or believe in it, doesn't mean they hate them. Just sayin'...
julie - July 27th, 2012 at 4:31 PM
Awesome! And I'm hungry!
Melissa - July 27th, 2012 at 4:35 PM
I unfortunately believe that hiding in the basement is a bit like an ostrich with it's head in the sand and consequently is why our country is where it is today. As Christians, we aren't called to condemn, but to spread the Truth and while I know God can use us for His glory in any situation, I don't believe we're going to find many of those hiding in the basement. I don't believe you are hiding, as you obviously have a heart and passion of servanthood that I admire to no end. I'm not saying we go around bashing and persecuting, but that we spread the Truth as it is written. Unfortunately, when we are told we are doing something wrong in our lives (i.e. sin), it never makes you feel good. Christianity isn't always about feeling good. It is about personal conviction and using that conviction to try to live a life pleasing to Christ. I believe His blood covers all sins, even homosexuality, but only if you ask it to cover it and repent. His death wasn't meant to allow us to accept so that we could continue to live a life of sin with no consequence. I think many times, people forget that homosexuality is only one of a multitude of sins among us, and we are ALL sinners. The difference comes when you are trying to live a life according to the Word and seeking to fulfill His purpose for you on this planet. So, that said, I'm not going to the basement on this matter or any other that I believe isn't lined up with my Christian beliefs. I don't feel that my Christian beliefs call me to take a neutral stance on worldly topics. That said, Jen, I do appreciate the attitude of loving everyone, because I absolutely believe that Christ loved everyone. But He also spoke the truth.
Rory - July 27th, 2012 at 4:45 PM
This is really well said, Melissa.
Amber - July 27th, 2012 at 6:23 PM
Amen. Exactly what you said, Melissa!
Deborah - July 27th, 2012 at 6:26 PM
Indeed. Thank you for writing this.
Susan - July 27th, 2012 at 10:44 PM
Ask a young person who knows to the core of their being that they are gay, and then look them in the eye and tell him/her it's a sin. Their sexuality is who they ARE, just as yours is. To say that their homosexuality is a choice and a sin, is well, silly. You did not choose your orientation, nor do gay people. People in the days of yore did not understand the workings of the brain, of genetics, etc. and so Scripture reflects a very narrow awareness (Christians used to think the Bible taught segregation as well.) Anyway, I've learned a lot from listening to gay teens. They need compassion and acceptance - not judgment. Thanks for reading.
emily - July 28th, 2012 at 4:43 PM
Susan, I do agree with you that for many, it's not just a choice to be gay.. I don't know what it originates from, and really no one does. I do know that I believe God's word to be true, and His word places far more emphasis on my reaponse to others, and my obedience to deny myself and walk with Christ, than anything else.. Despite the issues at hand, the Bible clearly states our identiy is in Christ, and as believers we are covered
Caryn Ruff - July 27th, 2012 at 4:38 PM
Jen Hatmaker is my HERO! I just posted this very thing on my facebook page last night. It wasn't this grand, though. I only wish I had the words to express it the way you did! I went to bed praying that I would not be eaten alive on Facebook while I slept. It was to my surprise that there are MANY others that agree! Thank you Jen for writing this! I'm sharing on my Facebook page!
[email protected] - July 28th, 2012 at 9:28 AM
I also wrote a similar post yesterday, but I wasn't nearly as eloquent as this Jen.
lisa - July 27th, 2012 at 4:39 PM
Amen. Amen. Amen.

I am stick and tired of living as a Christian, having to take LOTS of time UNDOING and editing what fellow "Christians" have messed up forcing themselves on "unbelievers".

Is there room on the couch still? I am joining you in the basement. :)
Sammy Toppes - July 27th, 2012 at 4:39 PM
So far I'm Lucky, only met False Alarm and heavy rain, but our season has only just begun here in statford,

Tommi - July 27th, 2012 at 4:39 PM
Yes, yes, yes, absolutly and LOVE!!
Deborah Lee - July 27th, 2012 at 4:40 PM
Beautifully said! Truly anointed! I am headed to the basement! Hope you have a large one!
Jeanne Stevens - July 27th, 2012 at 4:46 PM
Well Said. Honest
Kara Higgins - July 27th, 2012 at 4:47 PM
Amen, AMEN X like, 5million.
Jenn - July 27th, 2012 at 4:48 PM
Thank you for saying *exactly* what's in my heart.
Carol Brown - July 27th, 2012 at 4:49 PM
I may have missed something here. However, Mr. Cathy just made a statement about his Christian beliefs and why he believed as he does. He said there are gay people who work for his company and the company serves gay people. I don't think it is the true Christian people who are attacking anyone. It is the pro-gay communitee, politicians, and actors who are attacking Chic Fil A and Christians. If we do not stand up for what is right while showing love, we are hiding our heads in the sand (basement). Yes, we are supposed to love, but there is nothing wrong for standing up for what is right and telling others the Truth. God's Truth is love. Christians are losing rights by the second, it seems. This is an attack on Christians. We have been quite for way too long and that has gotten others who aren't Christian to be more vocal and brave. We are hated by those people. Sure there are Christians or people that call themselves Christians that do not act out of love at times. As a whole, I think Christians who are in a church that promotes real Biblical Truth, reads and studies the Bible, prays continually, and are Spirit filled ,do act in love when discussing gay issues or any other moral issue. However, we better start saying what is right and wrong Biblically or we will be in more trouble than we have ever dreamed. I once heard a preacher say that homosexuality was the final straw for a nation before it is destroyed. I am reminded of a song that tells us we need to get back to the basics of life and back to what the founding fathers of this nation intended in order to be blessed again. We didn't have this problem until probably the last 10 years. It was kept very quite before. As I said, the more we stay hidden and not promoting what is right and wrong, we be attacked and looked down on even more than we already are. Moral issues will get worse. By the way, the Apostle Paul never stayed in a basement. He was very vocal about right and wrong! We are still a Christian nation that was founded on Christian beliefs. We are not judging we are holding people accountable. Most importantly, we should be concerned about where people are going to spend eternity! We should be in prayer and get our lives right before we tell someone about sins others are committing. We have to keep in mind, also, the only one perfect person is Jesus When we do that, we are acting in love and standing on God's side and he will bless us for taking a bold stand.
Brian - July 27th, 2012 at 11:37 PM
Carol - thank you, I agree. Your words made me imagine for a second what life would be like for someone who struggled with homosexuality if not one Christian ever spoke up. Yes, it's true, that some Christians are rough around the edges and should put more love in their presentation of truth. But what if every single Christian never again said anything about whether any particular sin (not just sexual sins) was wrong. Would that be a good thing for individuals within this society, in particular for a young person struggling in this area? We all here in this thread probably believe that promiscuity is not good for anyone. Every high school kid is bombarded with messages that promiscuity is just fine and fun. If it wasn't for the Church speaking truth, doing it's prophetic role, where would a high school kid today ever hear a message of purity?
Ashley - July 27th, 2012 at 4:49 PM
Thank you for this post...I swear your words are the ones that are in my heart trying to

be heard.
Teresa - July 27th, 2012 at 4:51 PM
Thank you!
Linda G - July 27th, 2012 at 4:52 PM
I am so glad to have met you through the books you have written, Jen. Thank you for common sense and reflecting Jesus - I am over it all as well.
Johna - July 27th, 2012 at 4:57 PM
I couldn't have said it better myself. Meet you in the basement!
Chrystal - July 27th, 2012 at 4:59 PM
Can we have chick-fil-a milkshakes in the basement too? Because they are fabulous! Thanks for sharing your heart Jen. You said it beautifully.
Deana - July 27th, 2012 at 5:04 PM
Very well said! I'm headed to the basement now!
STephanie - July 27th, 2012 at 5:05 PM
Beautifully written and FULL of wisdom. Thank you.
Sundi Jo - July 27th, 2012 at 5:08 PM
Amen. Amen. Amen. and AMEN! Thank you for this. Joining you in the basement as well..
Tracie - July 27th, 2012 at 5:09 PM
Yes. And Amen.
Jessica - July 27th, 2012 at 5:10 PM
This gave me chills....thank you for speaking truth and so beautifully! I'm coming down:)
Monika - July 27th, 2012 at 5:12 PM
WELL done!! Seriously. This is the best thing I've heard on the whole CFA thing so far. Coming down in the basement with you!!
Dina @ 4 Lettre Words - July 27th, 2012 at 5:12 PM
LOVE everything about this post. Being a GA Peach, I can totally relate to the fear of storms...especially since I grew up riding out the tornado warnings in an "interior closet". (We didn't have a basement.) We have a basement now, tho, and I'm headed down there right this minute. Sure wish I had a Chick-fil-A sweet tea!
Tiffany - July 27th, 2012 at 5:14 PM
I, too, grew up hiding from tornados as a child. One of my favorite things about huddling in the storm cellar with my family was getting to watch Johnny Carson. We can't do that, but how 'bout Antoine instead... you know, for a little comic relief?

I appreciate your honesty as well as your frustration.
Stacy Gruhn - July 27th, 2012 at 5:16 PM
Thank you for saying so well what many of us are thinking. I will come to the basement and will be happy to bring the waffle fries. ;)
Fran W, - July 27th, 2012 at 5:17 PM
By the way, I usually order a side salad with my nuggets to make a chicken nugget salad doused with a smidgeon of Thousand Island dressing followed by apple juice. I, too, am a basement dweller!
Amanda - July 27th, 2012 at 5:18 PM
I am going to the basement, too! Thanks for putting into words what so many of us wanted to say!
Mary - July 27th, 2012 at 5:18 PM
Oh my word!!! You are sooooo speaking my language and I will gladly join you in the basement!!! Thank you for finally seeing a post that I can get behind :)!!!
Karla - July 27th, 2012 at 5:20 PM
God is love! Coming down. Some sweet tea with those nuggets please!
Melissa - July 27th, 2012 at 5:23 PM
Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14 NLT)

As Chritians we can love but we can not agree with gay marriage period!
nate - July 27th, 2012 at 5:26 PM
Im not a believer or a christian but I have to say you said this about as well as it could be said. Thank you
Cindy - July 27th, 2012 at 5:27 PM
Thank you for so eloquently putting a "face" on evil.....and dragging it where it belongs....right out the door! This was so well put and, for me, exactly how I feel about so many "issues". All I know is: Love is the answer! Thank you so very much for the reaffirmation of that!
[email protected] Cheese Runner - July 27th, 2012 at 5:27 PM
I love this. This is exactly how I feel.
Mindy - July 27th, 2012 at 5:29 PM
Several posters have made comments such as "we have to defend our rights" and "Christians are being attacked". Yep. Pretty much Jesus told us we would be persecuted. But here's the thing..we have all read the ending and it turns out ok.
Rory - July 27th, 2012 at 5:37 PM
Hey Jen, can I ask an honest question? (This is totally an aside from the Chick-fil-a storm.) I appreciate the heart of what you said, and I think I understand where you're coming from even though we've never met face to face. I have points where I may disagree but am not entirely sure because it is so easy to read a post and miss tone of voice and intent. I'm just kinda processing this out loud for a sec, and I'm on limited "nap time" minutes, if you know what I mean, so I apologize if this gets discombobulated. There were parts of your post that caused me to pause because I wanted to make sure I really understood you. Because I don't think you were necessarily saying everyone should "hide" or "not stand for truth", though admittedly at certain points I started to take it that way. But then I collected my thoughts, reeled them in and read on. I think you were more posing that we remember to love (the kind that God had for the world in giving His Son and loving us all while we were still sinners), avoid pointless arguments (the kind 2 timothy 2:23 warns about that only produce quarreling for the sake of quarreling--I'm not saying that standing for truth is pointless!) which are different than honest discussions which stand for truth...I could go on, but these were things I wrestled with and went back to Scripture on after reading your post. Here's where my question comes. I recognize that this whole basement thing is an analogy, and I think there's some good strength in the one you posed. Here's my question though. I hear your call, "Come as you are! Come ____________ (fill in the blank: all you weary, down trodden, misunderstood, marginalized) Come to the basement!" (My wording, not yours necessarily.) My thought is this: Once everyone is in the basement, that same love that called us there should be transforming us into the image of Christ, to do the works of Christ, to bring His glory into the earth and see His kingdom come. Transformation is pretty radical, not always comfortable, and means--in terms of Christ--that we literally die to ourselves, to our sin and become new creatures, no longer condemned, washed in His blood. So maybe this isn't as much of a question as it is a continuing thought..."Come as you are, but... don't stay as you are." Right? That's for all of us. That's the Gospel. That's basement love, and if we're gonna go there then I wanna get transformed. Is that ultimately where you're going with this? Because if so, then I get it. I applaud the basement call, not as a permanent resting place, but as a temporary spot where this work can be done...and then? Wow, when the storm passes and the basement folk are released the world is gonna change.
Melissa Major - July 27th, 2012 at 6:28 PM
Awesome post!!!
Jen Hatmaker - July 27th, 2012 at 6:28 PM
ABSOLUTELY!!! Transformation happens in the basement, not in the media wars. We've got to have safe places to find Jesus, wrestle with difficult issues together, and let truth change us from the inside out. I've never seen a screaming lunatic change anyone's mind or heart. But down in the basement is where I think the MAGIC HAPPENS!!
Rory - July 28th, 2012 at 10:52 AM
Thanks Jen. That helps clarify!
Dolly - August 1st, 2012 at 1:48 PM
Thank you for your blog. I have been struggling so much with these issues lately. The basement is really the underground church.
RM - July 27th, 2012 at 6:32 PM
Rory, I felt the same way when I read Jen's blog...I to questioned where this was going...I felt hanging at first, thinking we love the person and their sin or we love them through to their transformation...also I was wondering do we hide while doing so...wasn't sure at first...I do like how you worded your comment Rory.
Thank you to everyone, for Jen's blog and all the comments (yes, I read them all). I am always interested in others outlook. God bless each of you as you reach out to others to love on them and to lead them to His Kingdom.
Rebecca Brownrr - September 9th, 2012 at 9:36 PM
What a great explanation of Jen's comments. I love the basement Jen!
Marla Taviano - July 27th, 2012 at 5:37 PM
Laura - July 29th, 2012 at 5:10 AM
HA! That was going to be my exact response.
Katie - July 27th, 2012 at 5:38 PM
Amen. Thank you!
Kelly - July 27th, 2012 at 5:41 PM
Thanks for this. I appreciate your honesty, your truth, and I'd come hang with you in that basement of yours. Any day.
Sheila - July 27th, 2012 at 5:43 PM
Exactly! Thank you for writing this!!
Bonar Crump - July 27th, 2012 at 5:44 PM
Mrs. Hatmaker,

I like you. These words that you have painfully wrung out of your heart make my heart smile. Truth does that, you know.

I'm gonna go out and fight the tornado, but my chances of success are slim, indeed. Save a spot for me in the corner of the basement.
allthingsgoodandwise - July 27th, 2012 at 5:44 PM
Thank you for posting what has been swimming in my head lately. I agree and join you. Walking in His Steps and loving.
Lauren - July 27th, 2012 at 5:44 PM
I totally get your point, and agree with it to an extent. However, I feel that you are implying that because we have "bigger" problems in the world, that people need to set aside their gay marriage opinions as they are less important. This really only holds up for people in which it doesn't affect. But for someone who is gay, not being able to marry the person they love probably affects them tons more on a personal level than dying soldiers in an unjust war. So yeah, it IS a HUGE EFFING DEAL. And people are literally fighting for rights that you already enjoy freely. You're right, the legal standing of businesses should not be affected by one employee's personal beliefs - any backlash they suffer should be at the customer level where individuals have the right to boycott. But to just hide your head in the sand slash "go to the basement" when people of influence are publicly spreading messages of hate and inequality... well, that's far more annoying than any facebook status could ever be.

"We hate that 25,000 people will die today of hunger and we’re arguing gay marriage again."... So what exactly did you do today that was more significant than arguing gay marriage?
Mindy - July 27th, 2012 at 6:06 PM
Hi Lauren:
If you had asked me this question:

"We hate that 25,000 people will die today of hunger and we’re arguing gay marriage again."... So what exactly did you do today that was more significant than arguing gay marriage?

I would have to hang my head in shame because other than donating some money to God's Little Angels last week for their building project in Haiti, I haven't done much. And, I need to address that issue.

Asking Jen that question, however, in my humble opinion is very unfair. She has heightened the plight of the orphan and the hungry, the homeless, the disenfranchised, more than any Christian speaker or author lately, I dare say. She has spread the word with books like 7. I know of many people whose lives and mindset have been totally changed by reading it. She sponsors children, and her public platform allowed all the children in a Haitian orphanage to be sponsored in mere minutes, to the point the organizations servers couldn't handle the traffic. I know I don't need to defend Jen, but let's not throw tomatoes at the people in the body who are doing everything they can to bring awareness. I don't agree with every single thing that Jen says, but that's ok, because when the rubber hits the road, she is doing a heck of a lot more than me, so best for me to not throw stones.
Jen Hatmaker - July 27th, 2012 at 6:26 PM
Lauren, you misunderstood me totally. When I say we're "arguing gay marriage again," I meant arguing against it pointlessly. Did you see the part where I invited you in as my friend? What I am "setting aside" is the screaming, yelling, name calling, and demonizing.
Tracie - July 27th, 2012 at 5:47 PM
As a person who is gay, I appreciate your sentiment, but I think you are wrong when you say that the CEO's actions aren't discriminatory. Anyone that gives millions of dollars to ensure that I am denied equal rights is discriminating and trying to enshrine that discrimination into law.

I also appreciate when public figures, including politicians and law makers, stand up to that injustice and speak out against it.
Andrew White - July 27th, 2012 at 7:53 PM
Right on, Tracie.

The guy can say or think whatever he wants. Using money to buy lobbyists to monkey with people's civil rights is not cool.
theresa - July 27th, 2012 at 5:47 PM
standing ovation from my corner of the basement!
Melanie - July 27th, 2012 at 5:49 PM
Yes. Love you so much for every word of this. I'm in the basement with you.
Susanelizabeth - July 27th, 2012 at 5:53 PM
Jen, as I read this I went from shouting to crying, deep, long sobs. I was soooo hoping you'd comment on this and felt sure you would eventually. Girl, you nailed it. Remember when I posted on your FB wall some time back about me being the reformed, "Get them saved before they starved to death" kinda girl? Well, I am still that Pharisee who's enjoying her recovery. I had no idea how to say what was in my heart all this time about this mess. Thank you. Thank you.And remember, what I said about people holding your arms up during the battle? Well, I am still here. And I will GLADLY join you in the basement!
JAG - July 27th, 2012 at 5:53 PM
Finally! Thank you!
kelsey - July 27th, 2012 at 5:57 PM
I don't know you jen hatmaker, but i think we could be best friends. thank you.
Ruth - July 27th, 2012 at 5:58 PM
I think ignoring this current storm is wise. Everyone is upset. No good comes from engaging either side at this point.

To take a step back and look at gay people through Jesus' eyes requires us to love them. It requires us to stop using phrases like "liberal gay agenda." Most gay people and couples I know have one agenda: to live their lives loving exactly who they want. I have many gay friends who WISH they could find a church to attend with their partner. I've invited them to our church because our mainline protestant denomination church has been welcoming of gay couples, allowing a gay couple to be photographed together for our church directory. My friends can't believe this when I tell them THAT'S how much we love ALL PEOPLE. My gay friends want to know Jesus better. Yet, many churches/Christians ostracize them before they darken the church doorway. We brand them "sinners" because they're holding hands with a person of the same gender instead of reflecting quietly on the ways we ourselves have fallen short of showing God's love.

This Chik-fil-a thing doesn't warrant anyone's time. What does warrant our time are honest, genuine conversations within churches about how we can show God's love to people the church has branded with a scarlet "G." I refuse to go to the basement if it means skirting this important discussion with my fellow Christians.
Sheree - July 27th, 2012 at 6:01 PM
Love, love, love
Jen H. - July 27th, 2012 at 6:03 PM
Thank you so much for saying what I have been trying to spit out all week. I love our local Chick Fil A and what it does for families in our area. I will continue to eat delicious chicken, no matter what anyone's stance is. Aren't we all people? Didn't Jesus perish on the Cross for ALL our sins, no matter what? Get over it, people. I'm going to the basement with Jen.
K - July 27th, 2012 at 6:03 PM
We are a part of a war- it is the war between good and evil. You cannot fight a toranado and win, you will lose every time, so of course you would want to find refuge. But in the war of good and evil, we know that the good will win. So we cannot hide. We need to stand up for our beliefs (in a loving Christ-like way). I appreciate this post and your Christ-like attitude of loving others, but we very much need to be out there raging this war. There will be refuge in the end.
Tricia Lynch - July 27th, 2012 at 6:07 PM
Perfect! Loved every single word!!
Lori - July 27th, 2012 at 6:07 PM
I never comment on anything I read online but I really want to comment on this! You have written a beautiful piece that perfectly puts into words how many Americans on both sides of this issue are feeling with this debate right now. We are fed up with the hatred, bigotry, and finger pointing from both sides. Bravo to you and I hope many, many people who had engaged in such actions will read this and realize how utterly ridiculous they are being. I will definitely be posting this on Facebook.
April - July 27th, 2012 at 6:12 PM
You know what I found out about the CNN article?

Truett Cathy was NEVER asked that question, and nothing was said during that interview. The "direct quote" that was used, noted by the quotation marks in the story, was not uttered that day.

You know what the author wrote in his sort-of-apology?

"It is what he was thinking."

We know what Mr. Cathy's thoughts and beliefs are. But when it becomes acceptable to make up part of a story to cause this kind of uproar, it makes a news outlet nothing more than a gossip rag.
Jen W - July 28th, 2012 at 11:22 AM
The Baptist Press Article is the one where Dan Cathy gave the "guilty as charged" quote, that AP and CNN and everyone else picked up. Here's the link:
Cindy - July 27th, 2012 at 6:15 PM
You read my heart. Thank you so much!!!!
jeane - July 27th, 2012 at 6:20 PM

I should have known to look in the basement.

Thank you.
Whitney - July 27th, 2012 at 6:26 PM
Great post!a,
Jamie - July 27th, 2012 at 6:32 PM
Truett would not say what Dan did. . . Truett was busy working to provide excellent customer service to all.
Jenifer - July 27th, 2012 at 6:32 PM
Love it Jen!
Amy - July 27th, 2012 at 6:33 PM
Love it, thank you for speaking so clearly and reminding us all what is important and how to really show God's love.
Jeana - July 27th, 2012 at 6:35 PM
In the basement with you, although I'm wondering if we couldn't move this meeting to the beach??

Thank you for saying all the things I want to say so much more eloquently
Carolyn - July 27th, 2012 at 6:38 PM
Thank you for being real about this! I have been telling people that Chick Fil A is not going out of business due to any boycot and same sex couples are not going to stop making lives together just because right wingers "eat more chikin"

I personally have been asking people that are banning chickfila if they are shopping fair trade companies. It just seems so unbalanced to me. It would be so nice if we could see the same uprising come over our country for the real injusticies that are happening everyday in this world. Real crimes against humanity that we fund one penny at a time by simply shopping at the local grocery or gas station.

If nothing else, this nonsense has caused me to focus more on that.
Shelley Patterson - July 27th, 2012 at 6:54 PM
One thousand percent agree!
Penni - July 27th, 2012 at 6:40 PM
Jen, you always hit the nail on the head! I love your writing and your blog and your heart and your soul and every inch of your being! I think there are so few on this planet who TRULY GET the message of Jesus Christ and YOU GET IT!!! I just am so inspired by everything you write!! Thank you for sharing your voice!!!
Anon - July 27th, 2012 at 6:44 PM
I agree with a lot of what this blogger posted; however I must warn that I feel all the Christians hiding away in the basement isn't the answer either. I think that is why this country is on so much trouble now. When this culture is so far off course, this isn't the time to hide in our closets and pretend everything is going to get better while we all hold hands and eat chicken nuggets together. This world needs a good dose of Jesus.....real Jesus.....the Jesus who still loves and saves sinners.....while at the same time speaking truth about sin. Lines have been drawn....let's not get passive....He created marriage. To talk like gay marriage isn't important is to tell God that His laws mean little to us.
Carolyn - July 27th, 2012 at 7:28 PM
My questions here are, what gives us the right to pick and choose what laws we should deem more important to God? God does not weigh one sin higher than another so why do we do this? Is it not God's place to judge? In fact were we told specifically NOT to judge? Since that came from God wouldn't that be considered a law? If we judge are we breaking that law? And if we are, how is it any worse than someone being a homosexual? Just asking, because if there something that indicates that the sins of others are greater than my own I would be very interested in reading it.
Name - July 27th, 2012 at 9:05 PM
Thank you Anon. A hearty "Amen!!" coming your way!
Karen - July 27th, 2012 at 6:44 PM
I think a lot of us feel frustrated by these never-ending debates and the unfairness on both sides. But I am also concerned that, because of our frustration, too many of us are heading down to the basement. Is our voice heard down there in the basement? I think we need to figure out how to best engage our culture--this is nothing compared to what is coming--and if we don't really understand how to be relevant, we will be confined underground, our voices silenced in fear. (I usually don't take a "political stand" but I am concerned about the trend...)
Amy - July 27th, 2012 at 6:45 PM
Jesus calls everyone to act in different ways. I'm thankful he called me to stand up for love and acceptance, and not hide in a basement in an indirect effort to draw attention to myself.

Refusing to give my money to a company that then spends my money to support some very controversial groups, including one that has been partially responsible for violence against homosexuals overseas (Exodus International), is not a bad thing. This post won't shame me into thinking otherwise, nor will those who are afraid of a little controversy make me feel guilty. Blessed are the meek -- I get that. But Jesus wasn't afraid to stir up some emotions and anger people when necessary.

I will never stick my head in the sand, or hide in a basement, when faced with hatred and discrimination and fear. I will speak out against it every. damn. time. That doesn't mean I'm a bad person. That doesn't mean I hate the haters. And it doesn't mean I don't love those who I disagree with. It just means I'm called to advocate for those who need help and a voice.

If you don't want to be an advocate, no problem. That's your decision. But how dare anyone try to shame those who are fighting for a greater good.
Ruth - July 27th, 2012 at 7:33 PM
Well said, Amy!
NJW - July 27th, 2012 at 6:52 PM
LOVED this.

Those that say "hiding in the basement" won't help anything, I think what Jen is saying is that, hey, let's leave all this non-sense and the opinions and fluffy stuff that doesn't matter like who is right and who is wrong and who is boycotting this place and who thinks they are perfect and leave those who judge where they are, and go to the basement where we can tackle things FOR REAL. It makes no sense to stay out in the storm, where you're NOT going to win.

I'm checking to see how soon I can have a basement built. :)

Michele - July 27th, 2012 at 7:30 PM
1000% agree! Kinda reminds me of the war waged in Chronicles of Narnia Prince Caspian. When was the war won? That's right, when they remembered who *really* fights and wins the war(s). Otherwise, there are unnecessary, insignificant casualties. I can't change people's hearts/behaviors, but I can lead them to the One that can, which is best done "in the basement."
Chandra s - July 27th, 2012 at 7:06 PM
We love. Period.

Last year after years of being on the outside of holidays, life, and pretty much doing everything wrong in my in laws eyes, they settled on spending thanksgiving with us. You see, we always have misfits, others like us, who are different, who don't have family, who enjoy holidays.....two precious lesbians broke bread with us. Speaking minimally to them, the day went better than we could have thought. The following day my fil, a pastor refused to walk past our entryway and yelled at my husband as I in front of our children about how we could have had "those neighbors" over.

Our kids were so confused and we were angry. How can one preach one day and another say hateful, vulgar words about someone Jesus created? Our minds were blown and our hearts ached.

To the person who says homosexuality is the reason for divorce, please actually look into facts and not go with what a church says. Homosexuality was around before divorce....divorce rates increased when porn, playboy, and Americans demanding gratification instantly took off....not because of men and women.

Churches divorce rate is 50%. Did you know that the average homosexual couple stays together longer than a heterosexual couple? They have to fight and work for their relationship, it's not as easy as paying $39.99 at their local court house when they feel like it.

Letters is a difference between sticking heads in the sand and let's love....seems like it would work better than standing outside a gay club with a sign that reads "you're going to hell'
Chandra s. - July 27th, 2012 at 7:08 PM
There is not letters....autocorrect! Grrr. That is it I'm picketing outside apple demanding an app that reads minds.
Katie - July 27th, 2012 at 7:10 PM
Thank you. :) This is well said.
Susan - July 27th, 2012 at 7:12 PM
Thank you for articulating my thoughts so well.
Steven - July 27th, 2012 at 7:14 PM
There is a HUGE misconception that Chick Fil A is being boycotted just because of the CEO's comments. They are being boycotted because the company donated the profits they make off of their customers to anti-gay groups. Over $2 million in 2010 alone. THAT is why there is an uproar. The CEO fessed up: "Guilty as charged." Its not about his personal beliefs, its about them using their profits to hurt gay people. Discriminatory actions.
Carolyn - July 27th, 2012 at 7:18 PM
Anyone that follows Jen's blog, writing and her life would say she is not someone who would run from a fight. In fact many would say just the opposite. I did not get that she was trying to shame anyone. It is just a losing battle regardless of which side you are one and both sides look bad. You have the "Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged" preachers actually judging and then you have those expecting tolerance for their view not giving it to the other side. It is an ugly situation and it is not a battle that is going to be won by who buys or doesn't buy a chicken sandwich.

I think that she was very brave to post this, considering most of her peers are going to strongly disagree. Especially when she is calling a spade a spade in this blog. Calling out your fellow Christians along side of those that they are deeming "sinners" is not something that is cowardly. It is something to be applauded, because as a Christian it is an obligation to do so.

Jennifer - July 27th, 2012 at 7:27 PM
Thank you of putting into words what has been stirring in my heart.
RachTurner - July 27th, 2012 at 7:38 PM
You nailed it, Jen Hatmaker. Nailed it to the wall with eloquence. Thank you for being a voice of reason for all.
Susan - July 27th, 2012 at 7:42 PM
You've stepped all over my toes with this and I appreciate it. I am ashamed of how I've let myself be sucked into all this unloving speech. If I want to experience grace then I need to be gracious.

I wonder how my Savior feels when His children bicker back and forth about things like this and then get all puffed up in our self-righteousness. Makes me want to hang my head in shame.

BUT! Tomorrow is a whole new day and my Lord allows mistakes especially when I learn from them and from Him.

Thank you for your blog post. Now, I'm going to grab a Pepsi and walk down to the basement.
Tonya - July 27th, 2012 at 7:42 PM
Thank you. I am fighting tears. Mostly because I often feel like I am the only one who feels like this. I feel caught in the middle of the "left" and "right and am so sick of the hatred. Jesus loved. and loved. and loved.
Corlea - July 27th, 2012 at 7:42 PM
Thank you for articulating how frustrating things have gotten on the ground level.
Kristen Severson - July 27th, 2012 at 7:43 PM
Thank you SO muxh for postiing this. I totally agree that we Christians as a group need to quit arguing over everything political and start loving people with all their 'ailments' because that's how we came to know Jesus. I didn't come to Jesus because someone shoved it down my throat or yelled at me or ostracized me. I came to Christ because the love that was shown to me was enough to win me over to Him.
Elizabeth Hankins - July 27th, 2012 at 7:54 PM
Thank you, Jen, for a grace-filled, hate-rejecting missive that points us straight at Jesus. You couldn't have said this with any more dignity, kindness and love for our entire human family. Love and blessings!!
Nichole - July 27th, 2012 at 7:54 PM
I grew up in church and I grew up hearing that being gay is wrong. Last year, my brother told our family that he was in a relationship with a guy. Since then, I KNOW that my unconditional love for him is all that matters. That's all I need to do, that's all I need to know. Period.
Amy Lynne - July 27th, 2012 at 7:55 PM
YOU ROCK!! I love this because it is said from the heart! Seriously, enough is enough from both sides of the aisle. Thank you for writing what so many of us are thinking!
Dana - July 27th, 2012 at 7:57 PM
Words cannot even express how you have captured the essence of what has been on my heart. All the hateful back and forth about chicken and gay marriage while people are suffering so much in the world. Just like the Israelites, we so easily get distracted from what God has called us to do and who God has called us to be. Thanks for the reminder. As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord - from the basement.
Jen - July 27th, 2012 at 8:00 PM
Sometimes truly loving people means acknowledging and taking a stand against their sin. Jesus loved people AND called them out on their sin (the woman at the well comes to mind). I am no ultra conservative fundamentalist but the idea that "loving" people to Jesus is all this world needs is wrong on many levels. God is LOVING and JUST. Forgetting that is a dangerous thing.
Bonnie - July 27th, 2012 at 8:33 PM
Thank you!
Diane - July 27th, 2012 at 9:50 PM
I agree; thank you for expressing this view.
Ashley - July 28th, 2012 at 10:00 AM
Yes, but I think you're already forgetting what you just said. GOD is loving and just. GOD. WE are not God. WE are called to love. WE are NOT called to do GOD's job for HIM. GOD will continue to be just, as we shall continue to love.
Christi - July 27th, 2012 at 8:03 PM
Wow! Love this!
Dianne Hadaway - July 27th, 2012 at 8:14 PM
Thank you for your eloquence, focus and the rare gift of intelligent writing in a voice that resonates with those who have ears to listen. I'm grateful my friend Dawn led me to your blog to read this. Now my head feels screwed on good again and my heart feels relief after trying so hard to formulate the very thoughts you have so brilliantly expressed.

There's nothing that compares with reading a message so passionately and profoundly channeled, so well conceived and brought out that no matter what your own leanings or ideas might have been before, you have now heard a voice of reason that is so true you can only say "Amen!".

Love is the answer, it's always been the answer. God is love. It's that simple and that complex and all consuming. Thank you Jen, for these healing words. See you in the basement!
Rhonda - July 27th, 2012 at 8:15 PM
Girl I am coming to the basement and hiding until this next election season passes! Better yet - I think I've just decided that you should be my "write in" candidate for POTUS! Anybody with me?

Jenster - July 27th, 2012 at 8:17 PM
What I love about the basement is the constant temps. It's a welcome relief from the scorching heat up here.

Thank you for this beautiful post and putting into words everything I've been feeling.
Laura - July 27th, 2012 at 8:26 PM
Exactly, Thank you!
jolie - July 27th, 2012 at 8:34 PM
I appreciate your heart and your sentiments. I really do, and I LOVE you Jen Hatmaker! I just ask that Christians look at this slightly differently than saying, "WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL! I GIVE UP AND AM STICKING MY HEAD IN THE SAND." (I'm simplifying your statement. I know part of your sentiment was to stop bickering and I applaud that.)

God forbid that in this day and age there would be an organization that actively supported STUNTING or prohibiting __________'s rights (women's rights? black people's rights?) - would you feel it was slightly more urgent or personal? Not allowing homosexuals to marry is denying them a civil right. Period. He doesn't just have an opinion on it. He's using big dollars to make sure he helps carry out what he wants. I have to say, if this was a women's right, I wouldn't give a shit if a CEO hired me - if he was putting all his money into taking away my rights, I would be hurt.

I understand Christians feel that this is a moral issue. For many non-Christians, this is not a moral issue. It's a civil rights issue. I do not agree that any Chick-Fil-A should be shut down based on their CEO's opinion, but I think it stands to be pointed out that there are very valid reasons people are upset, beyond just that the CEO, "is entitled to an opinion" and people don't like that opinion.

Thanks for being passionate and humble and promoting LOVE above all. I love that about you.
Paula Reece - July 27th, 2012 at 8:35 PM
Thank you for expressing what so many of us have been struggling to express ourselves. Love and grace and humility ... that's what Jesus is all about, and what so many have forgotten. What an inspired post. As God is surely saying, "Well done, child."
kev - July 27th, 2012 at 8:42 PM
Thank you. I love you. This is very much what I feel and am unable to put into words myself. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Keri Mason - July 27th, 2012 at 8:43 PM
Oh praise Jesus...seriously...I have had it! I am awaiting travel approval to go pick up my 3 1/2 year old who is living in an orphanage in China...we've been on this journey for 2 years. And my sweet 6-year-old Chinese daughter is facing her 4th cleft surgery next month...someone opened fire in a movie theatre, for the love...and I am surrounded by arguments over CFA. Really? I mean, really...I love your heart, Jen...and how the Lord has gifted you to share it. I'll bring the waffle fries and lemonade and meet you in the basement :0)
Kisatrtle - July 27th, 2012 at 8:46 PM
Well done. Well done.
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