Why I’m Not Going to Chick-Fil-A Today

This post is about Chick-Fil-A (sort of).  Today, August 1, is Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day, according to Mike Huckabee.  Neat.  As good Christians, we’re all going to head down to the local Chick-Fil-A and eat a chicken sandwich and some waffle fries in the name of religious liberty.

But it’s really not about that, is it?

Mike Huckabee’s Facebook event would be comical if it weren’t so…infuriating.

This is about taking “our” country back.

It’s about standing up for “our” values.

It’s about standing up for “our” rights.

It’s about defining what’s “ours” and, more importantly, not “theirs.”

Look, I support the traditional definition of marriage 100%.  Anybody that knows me knows that.  I’m a southern, reformed, conservative, presbyterian, Christian (really all those other labels are unnecessary I’m just trying to prove a point here).  I support Dan Cathy’s right to say what he believes and I support Chick-Fil-A’s right to donate to whatever cause they choose, just like I support anyone’s right to peacefully protest the company, just like I support Google or Amazon or Apple (all 3 companies that are staunch gay-rights advocates) to donate to whatever cause they choose.  To quote Buster Bluth “I don’t agree with your dirty doings here, but I will defend with my life your right to do it!”  That’s why I hate this language of “we’re taking ‘our’ country back!”  Guess what?  It’s their country too! (whoever they may be, unless they’re…you know…not American or something)

But whenever I see something like this, I have to wonder what’s really going on.  Does drawing more lines in the sand really help?  I mean, who are we taking “our” country back from?  Whose values are “we” standing against?

My question is this – what does it say to your homosexual neighbor to be waving something like this in their face?  It’s the same kind of thing as putting up a “Support Amendment [insert generic pro traditional marriage amendment number]” at your house or at your church.  Yeah, you’re taking a stand, but what’s it really saying?

All I know is this – if I were a homosexual or were struggling with homosexual feelings, and my Christian neighbor put up a sign like that or was up in arms about Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day or whatever, they’d probably be the last person I wanted to talk to.  And that’s an opportunity we are missing out on, all because we have to draw these lines in the sand that mean…well…nothing.   Like I said, I stand for traditional marriage.  But I don’t feel like that is something anyone that knows me, gay or straight, doesn’t already know.  So let’s talk about something else, ok?  My desire in life, my desire as an aspiring pastor and campus minister is not to see gay students made straight – it’s to see sinners come to know Christ.  Period.  The process of sanctification takes care of that other stuff.

This is a matter of conscience, and it’s simply the reason I’m not participating in CFA Appreciation Day.  I appreciate them enough as it is.  But I feel like this is one of those things that’s unnecessarily confrontational.  And it’s a matter of conscience, simply put.  I’m not trying to tell anyone else what they should do, I’m just asking y’all to think about what you’re saying.  What message you’re sending, and the ramifications of that message.

That said, I’ll probably go to CFA Thursday.  I love that place.

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16 thoughts on “Why I’m Not Going to Chick-Fil-A Today

  1. Anonymous says:

    If you remember at the beginning of this controversy, all Mr. Cathy done was publicly state in conversation that he supports traditional marriage. So for me it is not about being against anyone. It is about being able to speak freely by our constitutional right. Just like when you say you believe in God. It is the gay rights activist that brought on the protesting/boycotting. It is more about supporting a company that does a great job everyday to everyone that comes in the door with great service. I ate Chick fil a today because of their service and good food. Frankly I want to do my part to keep the business open when others might be trying to shut them down. Perhaps if they see the way it backfired, they will stop doing this to others.

  2. Chandler says:

    Then support a company because they do a great job every day and makes great food.

    You can “do your part” to help them not shut down. It’s like “doing your part” to help the tide wash up on shore – Chick-Fil-A isn’t hurting for business. Boycotts don’t really work, especially when the company being boycotted is being boycotted because they share a belief that over half of the country holds and a belief that probably 95% of their target market (the south) holds.

    Like I said – it’s a matter of conscience.

  3. Liza Nelle says:

    I think the real issue here originally was the governments ability to shut a business license request down because the Mayor didn’t agree with the personal beliefs of a company. If you are going to continue to make strong statements that influence people both on your blog and with college students i suggest you take an history or economics class. There are also numerous great organizations that provide great theological foundations for basic economics questions.

    Whether its chick-fil-a or Ben and Jerry’s, the local government having the ability to control business based on personal beliefs isn’t just scary, its fascist. Yes that right I said Fascist. And I’m not a nut job or wacko, i read all the same stuff you do, have gone to a few fairly progressive seminary classes and am all about loving my neighbors where they are….however, I also believe that everyone has the right to create, regardless of sexual orientation or belief. Work is a dignifying opportunity that God himself encouraged and has given to everyone, the ability to create and produce or so you should be more frustrated with the government that denies a individual the ability to work and create rather than worrying that your witness is relevant and hipster enough.

    • Chandler says:

      First off, to my knowledge, no Chick-Fil-A restaurants have been shut down because of this, and no “right to create” or “right to work” has been violated. The mayors of Boston and Chicago threatened it, but they legally don’t have a leg to stand on, and if there was any real danger of that happening (or if it actually happened) my tone would probably be pretty different.

      Second, like 10 people have ever read this blog before today. I had no idea (or intention) that anyone besides my close friends, who normally read the stuff I write, would read it.

      Third, I’ve taken plenty of history classes and have absolutely no interest in anything related to economics.

      Fourth, my seminary and denomination are not exactly what anyone would consider “progressive.” In fact we often get made fun of in the reformed community for being the TR group. So…there’s that.

      Finally, “hipster” and “relevant” really don’t describe me all that well.

      • Liza Nelle says:

        A) the event was created when those business licenses were in danger.

        B) why in the world would you write a blog if you “have no intention for other people outside of your friends to read it” ?

        C) If you have no interest in economics or politics then don’t comment on them.

        D) And yes, everything about your post was super hipster young reformed PCA type all over it.

      • Chandler says:

        i. Those business licenses weren’t in danger. They may have hit a temporary snare, but those mayors can’t legally do that. If they go through with it, this thing will go to the courts and all that.

        ii. I write because it’s fun. I write because I can flesh out my ideas and bounce them off of people without having to repeat the same thing a million times. I write because…well…because I want to. I don’t mind if people read what I write, obviously, but that’s not primarily why I do it.

        iii. I have no interest in economics, which is why I didn’t say anything about economics. I have some interest in politics, but I didn’t say anything about politics.

        iiii. You pegged me. I’m a hipster. A fishing shirt wearing, mainstream music listening, NBA/NFL/professional wrestling loving hipster.

        But whatever. You obviously see things differently than me, and I’m not wanting to be involved in some kind of pissing match. You win.

      • Liza Nelle says:

        You’re right. Im sorry. I wasn’t trying to get in a “pissing match” either. I just think that as an aspiring pastor and campus minister your every word is influential and should be taken very seriously because the young in their faith will hang on every word and misunderstand what you are saying.

        The hipster comment was not necessary and I apologize. Thank you for spending your time finding ways to meet people where they are as they see Jesus.

  4. James Pugh says:

    I appreciate your desire. But if American christians want to set aside and day and let Chickfila now by giving them our business for the day that we appreciate the stand they made then why would any christian be against that? I don’t get that.

    • Chandler says:

      It’s a matter of conscience, like I said. If you choose to participate, good for you. I chose not to, and I explained why. Your mileage obviously varies.

  5. Nathan G says:

    Really enjoyed this blog. Simply simple.

  6. virginiap66 says:

    Love it! I think you are exactly right. If I flaunt my lack of tolerance for anyone or anything that I believe goes against Christianity, then those people who are offended by my “flaunting” may very well look at me and think, “If that’s what being a Christian is, I’m not sure I want to be one.” Not the reaction I really want to go for….

  7. Trenton says:

    “My question is this – what does it say to your homosexual neighbor to be waving something like this in their face?”

    Very, very few people are waving it in others’ faces, though. Most (I’d say over 95%) are going to Chick-fil-A today to say, “Hey, I support what Cathy said.”

    To write this off because a few people are doing it the wrong way is nonsensical. Every good movement has those that take it to the extreme and do it the wrong way. Chick-fil-A Day, unfortunately, also has those that are taking it to the extreme. However, that doesn’t make it a bad or poor movement, nor does it make those that participate in it wrong.

    You ask people to consider what message they are sending. The ones that are taking it to the extreme ARE sending the wrong message. The ones that are participating in Chick-fil-A Day because they support how Chick-fil-A operates and supports Cathy’s right to speak how he feels are sending the right message.

  8. Chase Grogan says:

    When it comes right down to it, both sides are going the extreme route. A man’s opinion is his opinion, and declaring either a boycott or a day of appreciation because of it reeks of partisanship at the expense of others.

  9. Katie says:

    i appreciate what you shared and i agree.

  10. cimach says:

    As shared by others:
    a) This day was NOT AGAINST anyone (even though our liberal press always like to frame things this way). This was about standing FOR free speech . . . when government and university leaders make threats against business leaders due to their personally held beliefs.

    b) If one follows your arguments, one would think you probably should no longer attend your conservative Presbyterian church, which has taken a public stance AGAINST gay marriage. By attending there, your neighbor sees a weekly “in your face” against sin of every kind.

    See the problem with this line of thinking?

    • Chandler says:

      I’d like to redirect you to the first sentence of the second full paragraph where it says, and I quote – “I support the traditional definition of marriage 100%”. I also quote, again, “I support Dan Cathy’s right to say what he believes and I support Chick-Fil-A’s right to donate to whatever cause they choose”. Then finally, in the last full paragraph, again I quote “Like I said, I stand for traditional marriage.”

      So, yes, if one (selectively) follows my arguments, one would (mistakenly) think I should no longer attend my conservative Presbyterian church. Except that in three different instances in this post (and this is a pretty short post to emphasize something three times) I affirm a traditional definition of marriage, which should be read as I believe marriage is a union to be entered into before God as one man and one woman. I guess people read what they want to read into stuff.

      And there is an aspect of church that offers a “weekly ‘in your face’ against sin of every kind” for sure, but we don’t just condemn sin. We preach the freely offered grace of the crucified and resurrected Jesus Christ to all.

      But whatever. This thing was a week ago, I’m not responding to any more comments on this.

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