It happened again: a Bible-thumping Christian withholds a tip for a gay server but was only too happy to be mean-spirited on the receipt.
Here we go again.
A Christian — and I use that term dubiously — refused to tip a server, citing the server’s “lifestyle” as the reason. Relevant Magazine posted a photo of the receipt the customer left a female server.
The bill was $93.55, so if a 15% gratuity had been added, the server should have received about $14.00.
Instead, the “tip” line on the receipt had a line drawn through it. Next to the line, the customer wrote, “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I don’t agree with your lifestyle and how you live your life.”
Relevant reports that some decent Christians have come forward to provide the tip money the server should have gotten. So at least there’s that.
But a few questions remain in my head.
The first question may be fairly obvious: how did this “Christian” know that the woman was gay? Was she wearing a t-shirt that read, in big, bright, bold letters, “I’m gay?” Did she burden them while they were trying to order their meal with stories of her same-sex relationship?
Did they look at her appearance — and I have no idea what this server looks like — and decide she must be a lesbian?
This isn’t some attempt to find a way to “blame the victim.” But I’m curious how they were certain enough of a server’s sexual orientation — and beyond that, her “lifestyle” — to make such a bold statement on the receipt. These people must have much deeper conversations with their average server than I do; I don’t recall the last time a server of mine got into a discussion about his or her lifestyle as he or she suggested which appetizers I might try.
The second point is this: if they were so offended by this server’s “lifestyle,” why did they take advantage of her services at all? Why didn’t they simply ask for a different table, or a different server? Why accept her attention and care during their meal so they could then slam her when it was time to pay up? If her lifestyle was so repulsive to them, one wonders why they’d want that person handling their food to begin with.
Of course, bible-thumpers don’t necessarily need logic or common sense on their side. Instead, self-righteousness seems to be the thing on which they rely most.
There’s that fantastic verse in Matthew 7 that so many of these “holier-than-thou” types always manage to forget about. Most people — even non-believers — know it as “Judge not lest ye be judged.” But consider this interpretation from The Message:
“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults” unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, “Let me wash your face for you,” when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.”
It’s a shame that so many of us as Christians find homosexuality to be such an easy target for our scorn. What’s even sadder is that we can’t seem to see that when we do, it’s like putting up a smokescreen to hide our own failures. One of the most basic truths of Christianity is that we’re all sinners. Though the Bible may list certain sins by name, that doesn’t mean there aren’t more ways than that in which we fall short of where we need to be.
How quick we are to ignore “the plank” in our own eyes as we criticize and ridicule “the splinters” in the eyes of others. People who treat other people that way aren’t treating them the way Christ commanded them to. If you can’t treat people better than that, you deserve the same kind of treatment, and the Bible makes it clear that it’s exactly what you should expect.
And you’d have no one but yourself to blame.