Wednesday, August 01, 2012

It doesn't feel like a Chick-Fil-A day today



I love chicken. I love it just as much as the next guy. And when Chick-Fil-A opened in The Cape, I was ecstatic! Some might say giddy. Some joked that I would have my office and a personal phone line moved there. (I'm still trying to convince the powers-that-be that this is a good idea)

All that being said, I will not be eating at Chick-Fil-A today.

I know, I know, it's Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day, or something like that. If you are on Facebook and you didn't know that, then you haven't been paying attention. Apparently it's a pretty big deal. but I won't be taking part.

The flap occurred when Dan Cathy, President of Chick-Fil-A, came out (no pun intended) and said that he was "very much supportive of the family - the Biblical definition of the family unit." It got bigger when it was uncovered that he and his family had given millions of dollars to "ant-gay" causes. This blew up bigger than when the McRib went away. People on one side of the fence started screaming, "How could he?! What a jerk! I'm never eating there again. As a matter of fact, let's go stage a same-sex kiss-in to show him who's boss." On the other side, people screamed just as loudly, "WOO-HOO!! You go, Dan! Stand up for what's right, and that ain't homosexuality. Let's have a day where we all eat at Chick-Fil-A to show our support for Dan and how much we disagree with those other people."

Which brings us to today, Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day. And I'm not going. Why not? It's not because I don't support traditional marriage, because I do. It's not because I don't value free speech, because I do. It's not because I hate chicken, because, as already stated, I LOVE me some chicken (especially from Chick-Fil-A, with their waffles fries and sweet tea ). I am not going to Chick-Fil-A today because of how this can potentially be viewed by those who are homosexuals in the midst of my community. Well-meaning Christians say that they will be going to support Dan Cathy and his right to speak and traditional marriages, but I'm afraid that it would be viewed a little differently by anyone who happens to be a homosexual. Instead of them seeing, "Those people are supporting this particular viewpoint," I fear that they will see, "They are against me." And that is something I want to steer very clear of.

Let's say a Muslim opened a burger shop. It was so yummy that it grew to epic proportions, so much so that there were franchises all over the country. One day, the President and CEO came out and said that his desire is that this would be a Muslim country. CNN reported on the comments and blogs were written. Then someone started a campaign to support his right to free speech by setting aside a day to eat there. Muslims were posting the messages on Facebook for all to see. Would we as Christians support their right to free speech, or would we feel, in some way, threatened. I think we would feel threatened.

And I don't want people who need Jesus - just as much as I do - to be so turned off by my political action that they will never see the Jesus in me.

Jesus said that the 2nd most important commandment was to love your neighbor as you love yourself. That's higher than the Bill of Rights, in my estimation. I want my life to be dictated by the question, "What is the most loving thing I can do in this situation?" Am I loving my homosexual neighbor by making a stand by eating chicken on a particular day to tell them that our beliefs are right and theirs are wrong? I don't think so. I think that might communicate something other than love for them. So that is why I am not eating at Chick-Fil-A today.

On a side note: Perhaps the most loving thing would be to show up where they are staging same-sex protests and hand out cheeseburgers. Just a thought.

Will you be eating at Chick-Fil-A today? Why, or why not?

15 comments:

Mark said...

I'm not eating at Chick Fil A today for all the reasons you've written...although you've articulated them much better than I could have.

jms said...

Thank you, Fitz. Well said.

Joe said...

I am feeling the same way! I'm glad someone else was able to articulate what I have wanted to say for AT LEAST a week.

Way to go Fitz.

Let's go get burgers for those guys...

JillybeansMommy said...

So thankful to have someone find my words for me. Glad a friend posted this for me to see today. Prayers for all of us and peace in the midst of the chaos.

Jason Culbreath said...

As always, masterfully said, Fitz. I agree 100% with your view on the situation, especially our choice of menu items. :)

Joel Snyder said...

Not sure I totally agree. How can you ever preach a sermon on "Biblical marriage" and not be labeled a "hater"? Unfortunately, it seems like there are people who don't want me to eat at Chick-fil-a on ANY day. Just because I support a company that I agree with doesn't mean I hate others. And, anyone who thinks I hate them doesn't know me very well or doesn't want to know me very well.

Geoffrey Smith said...

Arthur Fitzarelli - you are one strong man for denying the chicken on this day. Much props, but I loves me some chicken and my beliefs... And yet, you keep the world view in focus. Thanks for the viewpoint. Just widened my view! As always bro... G

Art said...

We said, but this begs the questions, "What will you do tomorrow and how will the homosexuals in your congregation view your actions?"

Karen said...

Well said. I agree and didn't eat there today....primarily for the exact same reasons. But also can you imagine how tough this is for regional managers and employees at chik fil a? This whole relation has not been so loving and has left me me saddened.

knitpic said...

I appreciate your thoughts. We tried to eat dinner there, but too crowded. My thought is that I wanted to support chick filet, but I was the one encouraged. As believers, we can often feel alone in our world. To see Christians joining for support, had to be an encouragement across our country. I pray that it will be viewed as a positive thing.

RJ said...

Will they think different if they see you there another day? I appreciate "loving your neighbor" as what it means. So either you believe they are wrong and not saved or you believe it doesn't make a difference. If they are not how do we "teach them to obey all that I have commanded you" ?

Fitz said...

I think if a homosexual friend - or stranger - were to see me eat at Chick-Fil-A another day (like this morning when I had a chicken biscuit - YUM!), they would probably think, "He must like chicken." I don't know that it would be viewed any other way. However, if I were to go there on a day which outsiders - not Chick-Fil-A owners or managers - set up as a way of saying "we're right, and you're wrong," then it has the potential of closing any possible doors I might have with them to open up a conversation.

As far as sharing the Gospel is concerned, I think it is best done in relationship, not through political protest. Jesus communicated the truth to the woman at the well not by attending an "Eat at Fish-Fil-A Day to promote Sexual Purity." He did it through a relationship. Same with Zaccheus. Same with the disciples. And so on. If we are not willing to open up relationships with those who may believe differently than we do, the chances that they will pick up what we're laying down decreases dramatically.

Blue in Fragments said...
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Remember Who You Are said...

We show the love of Christ to people on both sides of an issue.

We have found it more helpful for our friends who live a homosexual lifestyle to be welcome and loved in our home, than to voice an opinion at or concerning a protest.

The love of Christ includes being kind and loving towards those who you perceive are persecuting you. We have to demonstrate that as well...regardless of how wrong you think they are.

I have had private conversations with homosexual friends about the importance of loving the Christians who look down on them. We've also had many conversations about my concern for them in their lifestyle. It is not about separating us, but about moving towards the life for which God has created them.

Here is the question for Christians who want to do more than jump on one side or the other of a protest: What are we doing personally to reach those living in alternate lifestyles or simply far from Christ? or how are we actually showing love to someone who is trying to follow Jesus but seems far from experiencing His best for them? What are you doing personally to demonstrate for them how to love those on the opposite side of an issue?

It has to be more than to eat or not eat at a restaurant or talk about whether we ate or didn't eat there....

Remember Who You Are said...
This comment has been removed by the author.