What Chick-Fil-A Teaches Us
Written by: Clif Johnson
The dust has somewhat settled in the chicken coop we call Chick-Fil-A. The controversy started when Dan Cathy told a Baptist newspaper that he and his company “operate on biblical principles” and “are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit.”
In response to his statements, several government officials threw their opinions, and cities, into the coop. “Because of (Dan Cathy’s) ignorance, I will deny Chick-fil-A a permit to open a restaurant in my ward,” Chicago Alderman Proco Moreno said, in a threat echoed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino was just as blunt: “Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston,” he said. “We’re an open city. We’re a city at the forefront of inclusion.”
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn echoed the Boston Mayor when she called for exclusion in the name of inclusion: “We are a city that believes our diversity is our greatest strength, and we will fight anything and anyone that runs counter to that.”
One lesson we can learn from the brew-ha-ha over Chick-Fil-A is that people can tend to be terribly inconsistent. For instance, how can a mayor who claims his city is an “open city…a city on the forefront of inclusion,” exclude anything or anyone. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of inclusion? Or why would a council speaker want to keep out a company that is diverse if diversity is that city’s greatest strength?
Hypocritical right? And who wants to join in with a bunch of hypocrites? Answer: Jesus does. In fact, if you are Christ-follower, then you are living proof that Jesus did get involved with hypocrites. While we help show support for First Amendment rights, we must not forget to pray for others. No, I am not talking about holding a demonstration prayer circle. I am talking about actually praying, in your closet, just you and God.
Another lesson we can learn is that stances affect actions, as they should. One comment I have read repeatedly in all the commentary over this controversy is that it is okay for Dan Cathy to have a private belief, but it is not okay for those beliefs have ramifications in public. But that is just the point of beliefs—they guide our actions. Follower of Christ, do your beliefs guide your actions, or do you separate private beliefs and public beliefs?
I am truly thankful that Dan Cathy and his commitment to running a company with biblical values. I am thankful that last Wednesday millions of people (including my own) waited in line to show their support for a biblical view of marriage and First Amendment rights. But a deeper question may be, “Would you wait in line to show your support for First Amendment rights if it involved a person with whom you disagreed?”