I’m late getting on this bandwagon, but life is busy so pretend I’m on time.
Aug. 1 was Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. I read multiple articles and Facebook posts and had multiple conversations about it, but haven’t talked about it on social media because 1 – Pretty much everyone else already has and 2 – I didn’t feel like rehashing what everyone else was saying, either for and or against the fast food chain.
I will say that it was about more than a chicken sandwich (or nuggets and waffle fries in my case), and I was proud to be in line with dozens of others, including a few co-workers, that day. Sometimes I get frustrated that Christians seem largely silent on important issues, so it was nice to see thousands pour into the restaurant and speak volumes on some of today’s hottest topics — even if their mouths were full.
I read that one gay guy dined at the restaurant that day because he agrees that people should have a right to say what they believe without severe backlash. One person commented on a story I read, saying he is a Christian who supports gay marriage, but planned to eat Chick-fil-A for the same reason. Another columnist said he’s a Christian and loves Chick-fil-A but would not be a customer on Appreciation Day because he thinks it sends a bad message of “us versus them.” I have to say I disagree with that one. I’d say many of the people who came out that day have no ill will toward the gay population (and I don’t think they should), but simply stand up for what’s now become “traditional marriage” and/or want to see us uphold free speech (not to mention freedom of — not from — religion). There were no riots that I know of on their part, just silent support of the restaurant and its president, Dan Cathy. I was also miffed by the fact that this all started when Cathy told the Baptist Press that his company backs “the biblical definition of the family unit.” Yep, sounds like fightin’ words to me. Sounds like reason for public outcry.
First of all, was this really news? The company has always held Christian values, so why was this a surprise? And why don’t we see this kind of outrage or opposition when companies like Starbucks or Amazon openly support gay marriage? Were they not largely applauded and thanked for their positions? You have your values; I have mine. Eat, drink and purchase where you want, and let it be. Yes, there are many — MANY — who claimed their support for Chick-fil-A, but those who got their feathers ruffled got a little ridiculous about it. In fact, I think if I hear the word “bigot” one more time, I might scream.
(And side note: Since when is a non-hateful expression of one’s opinions while respecting others bigoted? Sure, there are people who fit the bill, but the word seems to fly off people’s tongues with little to no thought. Difference of opinion does not equal bigotry. No matter what side of the controversy you’re on, can’t we at least be civil?)
I was also amused that some cities, universities and people in general who pride themselves on embracing diversity and being inclusive were quick to turn right around and shun Chick-fil-A. Hm, doesn’t sound very tolerant to me! I could understand if the restaurant refused to serve certain people or acted negatively toward them, but to my knowledge, that’s not the case. I don’t care if people personally boycott the restaurant or not, but don’t say you champion tolerance then wag your finger at people who think differently than you. (I also have beef with the way people use the word tolerance. You can tolerate people without condoning their beliefs.) I’ve had friends, co-workers and bosses from all kinds of backgrounds with all kinds of beliefs and if I severed ties every time we had a disagreement, I probably wouldn’t have any friends left and certainly would have found myself unemployed a long time ago.
Last but not least, here are some of my favorite pictures from last week. Note that the last one was not endorsed by the restaurant itself. … Also evident in the fact that “sandwich” is misspelled. 😦