Can someone please explain to me how chicken and gay marriage ended up in the same conversation?
While you’re at it, can you also explain to me how buying fast food voices support for anything other than eating fast food?
In case you were in a coma during the months of July and August 2012, Dan Cathy — CEO of Chick-Fil-A — was asked during an interview about his take on gay marriage. He responded that he is not in favor of gay marriage and that he stands for a traditional view of marriage, which, as far as I can tell, means that he is in favor of the biblical teaching that marriage is between one man and one woman until one or both of them dies.
As a direct result of these statements by Mr Cathy, all the children in America died. At least that’s what I thought must have happened by the way both the liberal and conservative media outlets emotionally latched on to this. Liberal media, as well as the mayors of Boston, Chicago and DC, vociferously attacked Mr Cathy’s statements, championing the cause of the gay community and the right to be whatever kind of family you want to be, while liberal bloggers everywhere blogged liberally till there was no more liberal blogging to be blogged.
And then the other side reacted, championing the traditional view of one woman/one man marriage and fighting crusader-like for the right of an individual to state his opinion without retaliation. Conservative media and much of the evangelical community — especially former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee — vociferously responded, defending Mr Cathy’s rights as a citizen and defending traditional concepts of marriage, while conservative bloggers everywhere blogged conservatively until there was no more conservative blogging to be blogged.
That’s why this blogger decided to wait and let the blogosphere calm down already before drawing your attention to a few things:
1. I have no problem with what Dan Cathy said regarding his stance opposing gay marriage and endorsing traditional marriage. In fact, I agree with his statements.
2. Chick-Fil-A is a business run on Christian principles and actively engages commerce and charity work based on those values as it defines them.
3. Both items one and two are rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
4. American media, mayors, news sources and citizens that spoke against Dan Cathy’s statements live under those same rights.
5. There has to be a better way.
Let’s be clear: this kind of stuff happens all the time. A Christian or non-Christian takes a public stand against some cultural or religious thing, then the media from the other side attacks that person and his/her stand, defending that person and his/her rights while everyone else puts their heads between their knees and waits for this proverbial moral plane crash to go away (remember Madonna’s “Like A Prayer” video, the rapper Mace’s conversion to Christianity, or artist Andres Serrano’s piece depicting a crucifix in a bottle of his own urine?).
And, as far as I can see, this back-and-forth has gotten us absolutely nowhere in this case (or any other case). Traditional marriage is not prospered; gay marriage is not prospered. Moralism is not furthered, hedonism is not furthered. It’s just a temporary cacophony of insanity that erupts like Old Faithful and dies down just as quickly with no progress or healing taking place. Like I said, we’ve seen this before (Mel Gibson’s drunken anti-Semite rant in the wake of the success of the “The Passion of the Christ”).
But this situation took one turn that I don’t think anyone saw coming: the mass consumption of fast food as cultural and religious statement.
It was Mike Huckabee who thought up and announced “Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day”, a day when supporters of Dan Cathy’s statements were to go to Chick-Fil-A and buy food there. As a response, the mayor of Boston sent a letter to Chick-Fil-A telling them to “stay out of Boston”. But the masses — largely evangelical masses — were not to be denied. Out they came, setting a record day in Chick-Fil-A history by buying chicken and waffle fries and lemonade and nuggets and milkshakes and God-knows-what-else. This fried food calorie binge was all in the name and support of the traditional view of marriage and the defense of an individual’s rights.
Fox News was at a Chick-Fil-A on Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day and interviewed a gentleman there. Here’s an excerpt from that interview: “‘I believe what the Bible says (about marriage),’ Chauncy Fields told us after wolfing down a breakfast of chicken and biscuits. ‘So I came out here to support Chick-fil-A and the movement.’
Seriously? This is what we’ve got? Gluttony as spiritual warfare? Indulgence as morality?
Hey, you heathens, watch us stuff our faces with thousands of pounds of fried food and we’ll show you!
You can’t talk that like that to us! Of course, we can’t talk to you either cause our mouths are filled with waffles fries, lemonade and chicken!
Don’t get me wrong, I dig Chick-Fil-A. Their chicken is deliciously marinated in pickle juice and I’d take Chick-Fil-A sauce through an IV. But when in the world did unhealthy eating become the way to make a cultural or faith-based statement? Rights are not to be consumed, they are to be enjoyed. Therefore, we should enjoy our rights as American Christians but not respond like spoiled consumers when they are tread upon (in our opinion).
Since when did Christians have governmental rights? The entire Christian heritage is built on the loss and violation of governmental and even human rights. And Christ’s Beautiful Bride has always flourished in that governmental and social climate.
In the same way that Christ laid down His rights, all our rights were laid down at the foot of the cross when we confessed the name of Jesus and began following Him. This is what Jesus says when He calls us to “deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Me. (Mark 8.36) We have been saved from slavery to the law of sin and death to the freedom of slavery to the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Romans 1.1; 8.1-3). We are free, but only free to be bound to Christ and He defined our reality for us:
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’” — John 15.18-25
It doesn’t matter if America says you have rights or not. God calls us to a higher way, a fuller dimension; His government is what matters most. And His government says to love and bless those who hate and persecute you. Standing obstinately and annoyingly vocal on our rights as American Christians to speak and demanding to be heard and willing our respectability into existence and glaringly eating our chicken is not the way of Jesus.
There has to be a better way.