I was happy to one of the thousands across the country to stand in line at Chick-fil-A yesterday. I wasn’t there just to buy a chicken sandwich and waffle fries – but I did order and enjoy my favorite milkshake. I wasn’t there because it was the popular thing to do – even though I felt like I was a part of something bigger than myself. And I certainly wasn’t there because I enjoy standing in line.
I was there because I felt that it was time to say something about what I believe.
So why was I at Chick-fil-A yesterday?
I am tired of what I interpret as bullying against anyone who comes down on the side of a traditional Christian worldview. Do you remember how this whole thing got started? The mayor of Chicago vehemently spoke out against Chick-fil-A opening a second restaurant in his city because company president Dan Cathy shared his personal views regarding traditional marriage and family values.
Dan Cathy’s exact words where: “We don’t claim to be a Christian business … [Christianity] is about a personal relationship. Companies are not lost or saved, but certainly individuals are. But as an organization we can operate on biblical principles. So that is what we claim to be.” And he added with regard to the company’s support of WinShape Foundation, “That morphed into a marriage program in conjunction with national marriage ministries.” Does the company support the traditional family? Said Cathy, “guilty as charged … We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit ….”
Meanwhile, according to Cathy, “Chick-Fil-A has not turned away a single customer because the customer was gay. Chick-Fil-A has not discriminated against either employees or customers”.
Rather than making a knee-jerk reaction to ban a restaurant because of it’s owners worldview, wouldn’t it make sense to let the public decide where it will eat?
In my generation alone there has appeared to be greater pressure put on Christianity to conform to secular societal values. While the Chick-fil-A “battle” has unfolded we remember that on the other front the Catholic Church is still locked in a bitter fight to oppose the forced support of organizations to pay for contraceptives in their health insurance. We’ve all read and heard stories of pressure on the Catholic Church to change their views.
Perhaps one of the most amazing things about America is that is was formed to protect the Church from the State and consequently, the State from the Church. Orthodox, Biblical Christianity has a particular worldview. So does Islam. So does Judaism. So does Secular Humanism. Nowhere so we see those three religious views (or the multitude of others) being forced to change because they don’t reflect the values of the culture.
Everyday in schools across the country, our kids are reminded about the evils of bullying. They are told not to shut people out because they are different but be tolerant and accepting. Maybe that’s something we adults could remember.
I wanted to support a Christian brother and hisbusiness. Yesterday wasn’t Chick-fil-A’s idea. Their PR department wasn’t brainstorming about new ways to drum up business. It was a grass-roots movement by people who wanted to support a man and his business. Chick-fil-A isn’t open on Sundays. Mr. Cathy goes to church. He’s been married to same woman for years. While the restaurant isn’t Christian, Mr. Cathy is and he reflects his faith in business practices. I want to support someone like that.
My guess is that if you are a Wiccan, a Muslim or pagan, you’d want to support a business owned by someone who holds your worldview. I think in yesterday’s long lines we glimpsed a bit of America’s core values.
I wanted to show my kids that what you believe matters. Yesterday wasn’t about chicken sandwiches. It was about personal values and decisions that reflect a belief and a worldview. A worldview that America is still about freedom and choices and that government cannot infringe on the rights of the people.
And secondly, that my Biblical, Christian belief is valid and appropriate. That as I read and study the Bible as God’s Word breathed to humanity I’ve come to the conclusion that God loves us all but transforms us out of our selfishness and brokenness through Jesus. That this same God created humanity with a specific plan in mind for the covenant of marriage. And that this same God created sex and redeems sex and sexuality through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
To be sure, we are living in difficult times. America is trying to figure out who she is now that a sense of a traditional center has been forgotten. Perhaps the role of Biblical Christianity has shifted to a place of saying “no” when it is appropriate but with lots of love, compassion and grace.