Some thoughts on Chick-fil-A day

Today is the day you have to decide if you are going to Eat Mor Chikin or pass on standing in the long lines. Everyone has expressed an opinion about Chick-fil-A as they become the symbol of frustration over the battle for homosexual rights. Many Christians are wondering if supporting the business today is the right thing to do.

Barnabas Piper asks:  How is the Kingdom of God served by this? Is Jesus represented well to the gay community and the politicians pandering to them?

Good questions. Something we should reflect on as we decide where to eat today. Piper goes on to say:

Convictions, especially biblical ones, will divide people. That is inevitable, but not desirable. The separation of believers and unbelievers, when it happens, must be a last resort or an unavoidable result. Actions to the contrary, those that clearly promote an “us versus them” mentality, are most often unhelpful. There is a time for Christians to engage in boycotting, such as when a business deals in obviously immoral areas or is clearly unethical in its methods. But for a mass of Christians to descend upon Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country tomorrow to support the leadership’s view on this issue is, I believe, a bold mistake.

Michael Kimpan at Relevant Magazine also explores how we should think about this issue:

This begs the question—if Jesus were leading us down the mountain today, where would he be leading humanity?  Probably not into the ring to fight each other over this issue. The seeming inability of many Christians to appropriately engage the LGBT community is merely symptomatic of a much deeper issue—how we view “the Other.”

The issue is not homosexuality. … The real issue is us. 

We struggle to “put skin” on the words and message of Christ with anyone who thinks differently than us.

I agree. The issue for today is not homosexuality. Today it is about more than whether we boycott a restaurant or not because they support our particular point of view.Today the issue is whether someone has the right to voice a dissenting opinion.

As it stands today, one of the owners of Chick-fil-A has voiced his personal view regarding the family. Despite his statements being largely reported out of context, the views held by the owner of the company was not breaking news. Nor has Chick-fil-A actually discriminated against anyone. So why all the furor? How is Chick-fil-A any different than Starbucks, Amazon, and other companies that have expressed their opinion earlier this year on the same topic? Why are so many so quick to jump on Cathy for exercising his  freedom of speech?

Well he had the courage to stand up for the traditional family and marriage when most are willing to redefine it. This will always draw attention. But even with these comment this would probably not have become such a major issue if several elected officials had not jumped into the fray. Sure we would have had some calls for boycotts as has been done in the past but then it would be over. Unfortunately several leaders threatened the company stating that they intended to prevent them from doing business because of the views their owner holds.  Of course all of this was going to be done in the name of diversity and freedom of expression.

  • I’ll always protect people’s rights … I get elected to make my opinions known – Boston Mayor Thomas Menino
  • Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values … If you are discriminating against a segment of the community, I don’t want you in the First Ward – Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
  • We are a city that believes our diversity is our greatest strength and we will fight anything and anyone that runs counter to that. – NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn

These leaders claim that they want to be inclusive of everyone. But only everyone that agrees with them. Sadly, these leaders likely miss the hypocritical nature of their statements. These leaders have a right to express their opinions. But the don’t have any more of a right to voice an opinion on this issue than Dan Cathy or anyone else. And many are finding out, they do not have the right to prevent Chick-fil-A from opening stores either.

We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles. – Dan Cathy, COO of Chick-fil-A

I plan on continuing to buy from Chick-fil-A, Amazon, and Starbucks regardless of their views. Why? Because I enjoy the products and value all of these stores offer. However I went to Chick-fil-A today, not because the waffle fries are so good (and they are), and not to take a stand on the issue of gay-marriage (some of my views on this can be found here), but to take a stand for  freedom of speech and religion. That is what why this day was started in the first place. So that the owners of Chick-fil-A, and Amazon and Starbucks could all share their different points of view. And so that all of us can as well. May we all use that freedom wisely.

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