Last week Burger King introduced hamburgers wrapped in rainbow paper in one of their San Francisco locations. The company also produced a short video of people commenting on the marketing scheme, some in favor and some not, but everyone who ate a burger found out the real secret to what was being sold as The Pride Whopper. It was exactly the same as the regular Whopper, hence the phrase printed on the inside of the rainbow wrapper: “We Are All The Same Inside”.
Toward the end of the video are a number of people overwhelmed with emotion by the idea that Burger King would recognize them as human beings just like everyone else: we are all the same inside, the wrapper reminds us. Remember, these are people who live in San Francisco, supposedly one of the most tolerant and accepting places to live for people in the LGBT community. Yet as the opening scenes showed there are many there who “don’t agree with the gay lifestyle,” as one man put it.
Another man who is not a fan is John Piper. He decided it was time to cut all ties with Burger King:
Mr. Piper’s tweet reveals a rather sad outlook on the matter. Not because he’s going to miss out on eating Whoppers (although I do tend to like them myself), but because of what he means when he says “watch the last five seconds … and weep”.
What Makes Me Weep
A couple decades ago when my kids were young, it was unusual that one of their friends or classmates would come from a home with two parents of the same sex. Now the idea that a child has two mommies or two daddies is something people rarely find worthy of comment, and those who do will probably stop commenting on it after they meet a second family structured that way.
These family structures aren’t what make me weep, though, contrary to Mr. Piper’s reaction to it all. No, what makes me weep is the fact that Mr. Piper has that reaction at all.
You see, Mr. Piper’s tweet isn’t really saying goodbye to Burger King but to the people in the video: Goodbye all you people who like the rainbow wrappers, goodbye.
This is not at all of Jesus. He did not tell people on the margins of society, “I don’t like your lifestyle choices. As far as I’m concerned, you are a bunch of people unworthy of my attention.”
No, Jesus preached a different message than the sermon contained in Mr. Piper’s tweet. In his very first synagogue sermon recorded for us, Jesus read from the Prophet Isaiah and then explained its meaning:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:18-21.)
Jesus spent a lot of time with people others rejected. He loved them, knowing that there was no way these people could ever act in a way that would please God but that he, God incarnate, could do that for them. He’s done that for me too.
It looks like Mr. Piper has forgotten that this is the gospel we are called to preach.
That makes me weep.