Thursday, July 26, 2012

Savage Chicken

Call the Bible full of "bulls!@#" and those who do not stay to hear the rest of your remarks at a high school journalism convention "pansy a@#ed" and your organization will remain featured on the White House official website.  Mention that you support the biblical definition of marriage and offer God thanks that you're still married to your first wife and Boston and Chicago will try to block your privately owned business from operating in their cities.  It's a strange world and strange times we live in.

Dan Savage leads the It Gets Better project.  The project's worthy purpose is to provide hope for LGBT teens.   Part of the organization's pledge?  That everyone deserves to be respected for who they are.  I am not certain Bible believing teens felt respected by Mr. Savage's comments at the journalism conference. Dan Cathy serves as President of Chick-Fil-A and admitted to being "guilty as charged" in believing the biblical definition of marriage.  He then released a hate-filled, profanity-laced statement of his own:  "The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender."  Whew, strong words.

Interestingly, Mr. Cathy did not single out gay marriage as the end-all, be-all affront to holy matrimony.  Critics rightly point out that church-goers, while often condemning homosexual unions, engage in divorce in numbers equal to the rest of society.  Hypocrisy never plays well.  The churched would do well to work on their own marriages and remember atheists are not idiots.  But Mr. Cathy didn't single out gay marriage.   He upheld it all, offending the divorced as well as the gay in his comments.  "We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives," Cathy commented.  Continuing, though some news organizations chose not to report the full thought, Cathy explained, "We give God thanks for that."  Sounds like a man who recognizes that we all stumble and fall in many ways and that it is only by the grace of God that two sinful people can have a long and happy union. 

What is tolerance?  Tolerance does not seek to silence those who hold contrary viewpoints.  True tolerance requires respecting those with whom one disagrees.  Christian tolerance requires respecting and loving those with whom one disagrees.  As President of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, Wade Burleson had a meeting with a homosexual rights group, SoulForce.  The group sought to change his mind and stance on homosexuality and told him they would picket his church until he did.  Burleson responded "that they were welcome to picket our church, and that if their members were driving a long distance to come, we would provide a meal for them after church. In addition, if SoulForce intended to picket after the evening service and wished to remain overnight, I was positive we could provide for them some accommodations."  

Christ-following teens exhibit such tolerance as well as or better than adults such as Cathy and Burleson.  After the Day of Silence each year, when high schoolers use silence as a protest against bullying of LGBT and other teens, many Christian teens then engage in a Day of Dialogue.  "Christian students in particular should be the first to stand up for those around them being hurt or harmed," states one of Day of Dialogue's guiding principles.  Rather than remaining silent, Day of Dialogue participants believe those of differing viewpoints can and should have civil discourse about healthy relationships, sexuality and faith.  Sounds a lot like true tolerance to me.

I like Chick-Fil-A.  I've met the owner of our local restaurant a few times.  He donated chicken sandwiches for a community winter festival our church sponsored.  His restaurant put on a fantastic field trip for my local homeschool group.  Each kid got to make his own free milkshake and ring up her own order.  The place is always clean, the play area well-maintained, the staff always ready to take my cup and refill it for me.  I can order grilled chicken nuggets, mixed fruit and milk for a quick, guilt-free, healthy lunch for my kids.  It arrives in a bag with educational games on the side and a quality book or toy that reinforces positive character traits.  I'm never told "You're welcome," but always "my pleasure" when I thank an employee.  And they say it in a way I believe.  As Chicago tries to block CFA from expanding within the city, it's worth noting that Chicago also has a long standing grudge against Walmart operating within the city limits.  They don't like Walmart's labor practices.  Chick-Fil-A, on the other hand, is closed every Sunday so its employees may worship or rest.  While many franchise opportunities require hundreds of thousands of dollars, Chick-Fil-A intentionally lowers the barrier to success by requiring just $5,000. 

Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day, suggested by Mike Huckabee, is August 1.  Count me in.



  1. As always, well stated on such an important current event. I had a great talk with my older kids on this issue this morning. I better go jot August 1 on my calendar to take my kids out for lunch. There is no CFA very close to us, but it is worth the drive.

  2. amen. went to chickfila yesterday. Love the poeple, the practice, the kindness, the food, the God they clearly honor.

  3. Very well written. Thanks. We hope to bump into you Aug. 1st at CFA...gee, maybe we should eat all our meals there that day. We also joyfully support their business. I've wondered if the persecution would be the same or remotely tolerated if the business was owned by someone of a different faith or sexual orientation. Thanks for addressing this important subject.

  4. Holly, I completely agree with your thought that tolerance is a two way street. I have a similar blog scheduled for next week. I never understood the people who want to change everyone's beliefs to match their own. What a boring world that would be! I am sorry the Trib only printed half your thought!