Our former NC Senator Jesse Helms hailed from Monroe, NC. which is a lovely town in our Presbytery. It’s the county seat of Union County, known for Klan rallies back in the mid-20th Century. And today, there’s a restaurant in town that offers Drag Bingo.
This is not to say that Monroe has gone Full Wokeness. In fact, a colleague was sharing that many Good Christians are not happy with East Frank Superette & Kitchen. (I ate there recently and had one of the best sandwiches of my life, for the record.)
All the usual accusations about establishment with any drag activity have been expressed by disapproving locals: they are grooming children, etc. There have even been protests outside the restaurant during Drag Bingo Night. And how did this restaurant respond?
They served free food and drinks to the protesters. They offered authentic hospitality to those trying to run them out of town.
First of all, if our churches are not doing something controversial, maybe we aren’t following Jesus very closely. Jesus, we will recall, offended all kinds of religious leaders, power brokers, and rule followers. Jesus wasn’t crucified for chucking little children under his chin. He was crucified for offending Herod and the religious hierarchy.
Examples of some things like might offend our neighbors – even the Christian ones: loving our enemies, offering shelter, feeding the hungry. (Sorry. Not sorry?)
We sometimes miss the point in Church World. We sometimes forget what Jesus said. We sometimes follow societal norms to the detriment of the Gospel. We can do better loving those with whom we disagree.
Thank you East Frank Superette and Kitchen And – friends – do yourselves a favor and try them out if you are in NC. And let’s be a more hospitable church.
I love their response to the protest.
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