Dear Fag Waiters, Jesus Told Me Not to Pay You for Your Work [UPDATED]

Posted on November 18, 2013

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Self-described “Christians” judge you, find you wanting, and steal your labor.  Jesus would be so pleased.

Let’s hope this doesn’t become a full-blown trend:  it seems to have become increasingly fashionable among “Christians” to offer judgmental pronouncements scrawled on restaurant receipts in place of tips to the wait staff.

In October, this tip was received by a waiter at Carrabba’s in Overland Park, Kansas:  “Thank you for your service, it was excellent. That being said, we cannot in good conscience tip you, for your homosexual lifestyle is an affront to GOD. Queers do not share in the wealth of GOD, and you will not share in ours. We hope you will see the tip your fag choices made you lose out on, and plan accordingly. It is never too late for GOD’S love, but none shall be spared for fags. May GOD have mercy on you.”

Then it happened again:  on 13 November at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, NJ, waitress Dayna Morales got this tip on a $93.55 receipt:  “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I don’t agree with your lifestyle & how you choose to live your life.”**

There is SO much wrong with the misguided, hateful, selfish sentiments expressed in these petty little barbs, I hardly know where to start, but here goes:

Theft:  what these asinine Christians are really doing is stealing the value of their waiters’ labor, and then slapping them with a judgmental insult to justify their own cheap, selfish, thieving actions.  Yes, yes, I know that tips are at the discretion of the diner, but conventionally, standard wait service warrants a 15% -20% tip.  This expectation is so strong that there is a “tipped minimum wage” separate from the regular minimum wage… and the tipped minimum has languished at $2.13 per hour for some 22 years.  So – yeah, if you don’t tip your wait staff for basic, standard service, then you are stealing from them (personally, it takes a lot for me to decide to withhold the tip; if service was that bad, then you should be complaining to the manager).  If you just take one look at your waiter and decide he is a worthless Samaritan queer, then please just ask for another waiter right away, or better yet, go the hell home and boil some manna in holy water or something.  Don’t sit there through an entire meal with your pious little plans to steal people’s labor.

Prejudice, and Loving Thy Neighbor:  yeah, there’s a reason the Samaritan crept into the previous paragraph.  Everyone knows the parable of the Good Samaritan, but we are so far removed from Jesus’ time and place that we kind of don’t get it.  The whole point is that the Jews had a hostile opinion of Samaritans, kind of like how “Christians” like to see gays these days.  But while respectable people passed by the wounded victim on the road, it was a Samaritan who stopped and compassionately helped him.  So, dear Christians, go open your Bibles, re-read the Parable of the Good Samaritan (it’s Luke 10:25 in case you forgot), and take those pious little pens that you use to write on restaurant receipts, and every time you see the word “Samaritan,” cross it out and write, “queer.”  That will actually convey the meaning of the parable a little more accurately to you, and maybe you might learn something about Jesus’ attitude toward the scorned and excluded (it’s a big leap from where you are, so I will give you a hint:  they are your neighbors by Jesus’ definition, so you’re supposed to love them as yourself).

Personal responsibility:  everyone else is responsible for their choices, but Christians claim to have no choices and are therefore not responsible for the hateful things they do.  Don’t you just love the language relieving these loser Christians of all responsibility for their own choices?  “I cannot tip because…,” while blaming the wait staff for the lack of a tip:  “We hope you will see the tip your fag choices made you lose out on….”  You know, saying “I’m Christian so I can’t tip someone with different values,” is exactly the same as saying, “Jesus told me not to pay you for your services.”  (You do follow the teachings of Jesus, right?)  When I put it that way, doesn’t it sound kind of.. well, wrong?  News flash, Christians: yes, you CAN tip, you just choose not to.

A culture of exclusion and hate:  hardly Christian values, are they?  Jesus recognized sins, but he forgave people their transgressions and was famous for going among society’s rejects of the time, touching, healing, comforting, helping them.  He forgave the adulteress and saved her from stoning.  Mary Magdalene, one of his closest followers, has long been portrayed (probably incorrectly) as a repentant prostitute.  Christians can insist all day long that in accordance with the Old Testament, or in the evidence of the Letters of Paul, Jesus would have regarded homosexuality as a sin.  They can believe that Jesus might even tell gays, “Go, and sin no more,” as he did to the adulteress. But one thing is certain:

He would not have stiffed them on their justly earned wages.

“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being. In life, God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, starting from their situation. It is necessary to accompany them with mercy.”

– Pope Francis, in America Magazine, September 2013

** UPDATE:  There’s something amiss in the Dayna Morales case.  As of 26 November, a couple has come forward with the matching customer copy of the receipt in question, and it shows that a 20% tip was included.  The couple insists the handwriting on the offensive receipt is not theirs.  The clincher:  they also showed NBC News their credit card bill, with a charge at the same restaurant on the same date, but for the higher amount reflecting a 20% tip.  When questioned, Ms. Morales was at a loss, and also says the handwriting is not hers.

However, Lila stands by the gist of her opinion:  other similar cases have occurred, have not been questioned as false, and the sentiment behind them is wrong.

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