The Christian Chicken and Civil Rights

The most recent post my wife wrote on…come check us out over there!!


Linds here.

I haven’t yet written a post like this because A) it’s a vulnerable thing to do B) it’s controversial and C) my personality doesn’t tend to gravitate towards the controversial. I was perusing Twitter on Wednesday and came across one of my old acquaintances. He posted this link about the Director of a college’s Campus Pride and gay activist befriending Dan Cathy, son of Chick-Fil-A’s founder, Truett Cathy, with the comment, “we need more of this.” During and after reading the article I found myself feeling strange. I don’t usually linger over feelings but this one demanded my attention and even woke me up at night. Let me explain.

The article highlights that this Campus Pride Director, though he once boycotted Chick-Fil-A, he is now fast friends with Dan Cathy and even attended the Chick-Fil-A bowl as his special guest. My first thoughts were, “I am so glad that civil conversations between these two men took place and are still taking place. I’m a huge fan of people humbly approaching conversations in an attempt to understand people and discuss salient issues.” Really, I do fully support civility, decency, openness, conversation, and expressions of love and acceptance. I do believe that lasting change can be positively impacted by these types of civil talks. I think that’s where it started to get a little messy for me. I know several Christians who posted this article with the thoughts, “we need more of this.” And, I half agree. I think I get hung up on the notion of “can’t we all just get along?” Or, “let’s just all be friends.” This might make me sound like a bad person and I’m ready to face that, swallow that pill, and live in that reality but I have to say, I don’t feel compelled to share personal friendships with those who would oppose my civil rights at every turn. I promise I’m not trying to be dramatic, it just doesn’t feel right to me. If someone wants to have civil conversation, great, I’m game. If someone wants to reach out in Christian love, I’m a fan of love. If someone wants to be nice and accepting of people different from them, great! Me too! I’m just not going to get cozy and be friends. I don’t consider people who think differently than me to be my enemies, but I do consider them to be roadblocks, roadblocks to civil rights, roadblocks to history moving forward, and roadblocks to me personally.

I get a little bit feisty when the issue of gay marriage comes up sometimes. I know it seems like a hot media topic these days, but it’s also deeply personal to me. My wife whom I am not legally married to is the most lovely, beautiful, and important person in my life. She is not a news story, a political issue, or a line on the voting ballot. She is my wife. We committed our lives to each other before God, my family, and our friends and hold that commitment, that vow to be sacred regardless of recognition by the state. And, we are simultaneously being denied civil rights, not to mention over 1,000 benefits afforded to heterosexual married couples. It is a reality we face that if anything were to happen to one of us, God forbid, the other would have no legal rights regarding the “spouse.” If something were to happen to Steph, if she were to suddenly pass, her family could come, take her away, take all of her things, and burry her in some shit-hole in Texas without giving me a second glance. I’ve seen it happen to too many gay couples to be unaware of the reality of the situation. If you thought this very notion spills tears over my eyes while I write it, you’d be correct. We currently have to save up a chunk of money so we can talk to a lawyer, get counsel, and write a will to protect against this very thing. If you think it is painful to check the “single” box on forms I fill out because there is no “illegally married” box to check, you would be right. If you wondered how it feels to be stared at and to have the validity of our union and our commitment, represented by our wedding rings, questioned, it feels downright shitty. And, every year, thousands upon thousands of Americans vote to keep it this way. As stated by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.”

“How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? …Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.”

“An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal. By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal.”

I am unsure how to feel, think and act sometimes when difficult topics like this arise. I have a hard time with simple statements like, “we need more of this” as I’m not sure what “this” is. If it’s opening up conversations so that productive, civil communication can occur, I’m game. If it’s becoming ‘besties’ with someone road blocking my civil rights, I’m not inclined to acquiesce. We can get along as human beings, we can talk as adults, we can disagree civilly, and I will still remain profoundly affected by and in opposition of anyone who supports laws that degrade human personality. So, I’m sorry Dan, I won’t have my picture with you until we are celebrating my legal marriage and the granting of my civil rights.



The Big News!

Happy Halloween everybody!

On this last day of October, I am so excited to debut a new adventure for me and Linds in the form of a new website!!

You can check out what we’ve been working on here. Make sure to subscribe to our new blog and follow us both as we write about life and living with quality! All my writing and art will now be on the new website, and Lindsey will now join me with her thoughts and stories!

I am so so very excited about this new chapter in our story, and I can’t wait to see all of you there!


The big move is almost here! I am so ready. Yesterday I worked and worked and worked (for hooouurs!) till my muscles were aching, yet somehow I still felt like I didn’t do very much.

How does that happen?

In other news, we had our first snow here in Denver last night. I can’t wait to be out of downtown because I think the snow will be prettier outside of the city, but I did take some pictures today to document the year’s first snow. (Technically it snowed a little here Oct 6th, but Lindsey and I were in Florida, so it didn’t count for us!! :-P)

I just love the effect of snow on colorful leaves. It’s so dynamic!


Pumpkins and Peace

What do the Laney’s do when their house is full of boxes and there is always something else that could be done?

We go to a pumpkin farm, of course! And this isn’t just any old trip to a pumpkin farm, people. This is a treasured tradition in our family. Every year we go to a pumpkin farm, take lots and lots of pictures (naturally), pick out the perfect pumpkin or two, and then end the festivities with a trip to Starbucks for a tasty beverage.

There was no way we were going to skip this trip just because we’re about to move, all our stuff is packed, and everything is in a general state of craziness! So, we went, we took pictures, we selected a pumpkin for carving and some for decoration (which hopefully I can post sometime next week!), and we had fun together.

See? :)

Love! :)


I can’t tell you guys how excited I am about the changes coming to A Better Story!

It’s going to be wonderful fun and an amazing blessing to be a part of, and I’m /almost/ ready to reveal what Lindsey and I have been working on!

The operative word is /almost/ because the packing and moving part of our story right now is taking quite a bit of my time. Let me show you a little bit of the progress I’m making though!

Ok, I know you can’t tell anything from this picture except that I have a lot of boxes piled in my dining room area, but I promise I’m making progress I can be proud of, people! One week and counting!

honeymoon fun

In the midst of my crazy move…let’s enjoy some photos from the honeymoon! (It’ll remind me of more relaxing times and hopefully you all will enjoy the pics!)

What a wonderful honeymoon we had!! (I took over 700 pictures!) I sure do miss the ocean…

AND back to packing! Love to you all. :)