Earlier this week, the president of Chick-fil-A, Dan Cathy, announced in an interview with Baptist Press that he believed in the Biblical definition of marriage. Naturally, his comments generated a media frenzy and all out social assault on those proud producers of the most tasty chicken sandwich on the planet. As a result of his statements, many people are now boycotting Chick-fil-A and some groups are even staging protests. To make matters worse, the Jim Henson Company announced today that they would no longer partner with Chick-fil-A; therefore, depriving millions of children the joy of purchasing a chicken meal with pictures of creatures form Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.
This is truly a strange turn of events for a company known throughout the world for its staunch support of Bovine Rights. Yet, in spite of years of stalwart support for one of the most under-appreciated species in our country . . . the cow! . . . Chick-fil-A is now being accused of supporting the suppression of human rights. On top of this, the mayor of Boston, in response to Mr. Cathy’s revelation, tragically stated that, “Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston” . . . can you imagine how depressed the people of Boston are going to be? They shall never know the joy of ordering food from a place in which the employee’s say with a huge smile on their face, “it’s my pleasure,” after serving you one of the most flavorful chicken sandwiches ever invented, next to a massive mound of waffle fries, and a giant cup of ice cold sweet tea! Nevertheless, one can understand the mayor’s position. As he further noted in his statement to the press: “we’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion.” Considering Boston’s status as being an open and inclusive city, it is only natural that its mayor would seek to exclude Chick-fil-A.
I must confess I’m a little baffled at the level of outrage Mr. Cathy’s comments (which he made to a Southern Baptist news agency) have generated. I mean, let’s be honest — was anybody truly surprised to learn that the Baptist president and chief operating officer of a company which closes on Sunday’s and has the phrase, “to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us,” in its corporate purpose statement, is not a supporter of Gay Marriage? Why is it that everyone is now up-in-arms over something which, in my mind, was already clear? The reason, I think, is because everyone (no-matter their age, race, gender, or sexual orientation) loves a good chicken sandwich. No one wants to boycott a place with such great service and yummy food; but now that the “cats out of the bag” people are being forced to chose between the food they love and their political activism.
For now it seems the majority of people are suppressing their love for great food in favor of their stance on Gay marriage. However, I wonder how long this will last? Every day, as people head over to McDonald’s on their lunch break, only to be greeted by a menacing overweight cashier who snaps at you for taking too long to order, a seed of doubt will take root in their mind. Every time an activist sinks his/her/it’s teeth into one of those greasy, bland, burgers on the value menu or takes a big bite out of a cheap imitation chicken sandwich, a sense of longing will begin to grow in their heart. Every parent whose child discovers a three-day-old diaper or razor blade in the ball pit will experience an existential crisis. Soon questions will enter their head: “why . . . why did the cashier blow her nose on her shirt sleeve before handing me my order?” . . . “why are these french fries so skinny and mushy?” . . . “why are their lumps of lard in my ice cream?”
Meanwhile, while Gay Rights advocates come to terms with a world devoid of safe, clean, healthy fast food, Christian activists are rallying together to defend the rights of gospel preaching chicken sandwich lovers around the country. At the forefront of spreading the good news of Chick-fil-A is Gov. Mike Huckabee who is calling for Christian’s everywhere to order a chicken sandwich on the first of August! When Jesus Christ, the eternal Word of God, suffered and died on the cross for the redemption and restoration of creation, I’m sure He had in mind this day–the day when thousands of His followers would come together and take a stand for good chicken sandwiches. Just the thought of this brings a tear to my eye.
Finally, evangelicals have found a way to reach out with love to the Gay and Lesbian community and demonstrate the humility and sacrifice of the cross–and the best part is, they get to do it while slurping down a pepper-mint milk shake. Admittedly it’s been hard to get Christians to rally together and tackle such problems as Human Sex Trafficking and Homelessness; so, it’s good to see so many devout followers of Jesus joining hands and saying with one loud voice, “we love Chick-fil-A!” I’m certain this massive effort to show their love and appreciation for fast food will go far in helping conservative Christians connect with the Gay and Lesbian community.