Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Why I'm Not In Line For A Chicken Sandwich

Chick-Fil-AToday, I was forced into the Chick-fil-a discussion.

Someone at my office offered to buy Chick-fil-a for the whole office on this declared "Chick-fil-a Appreciation Day", which is essentially a conservative protest against the CFA boycott.

They came to me and asked me if I wanted something, and I quietly declined, gave an excuse, and have been internally fuming since. I don't want to get into a political debate at work. Been there, done that. But I do feel like I need to explain why I'm very intentionally not taking part in Chick-fil-a Appreciation Day. In Dallas (which I call the "buckle of the Bible Belt"), this thing is popular, and the line into my local Chick-fil-a stretched around the block when I passed it on my way to the post office.

A) I celebrate the freedom of speech and religion that this country has. And thus, I am glad that the owner of the auto shop I went to last week can be openly Muslim and chat with me about his upcoming fasting for Ramadan. I am equally glad that Dan Cathy of CFA can hold his own views about marriage and family. I am glad that a Christian can choose not to go to the Muslim mechanic (though I am not one of those Christians!), and those that are pro gay marriage can boycott Chick-Fil-A. It's a free country. *Que patriotic country song and look wistfully at the gently waving red, white, and blue*

B). It's not about Chick-fil-a. CFA actually has no stance on gay marriage, and despite many claims, their money doesn't really go into anti-gay causes. The issue is the owner's public statements and his strong views. Boycotting or supporting Chick-fil-a isn't really going to make any difference in a political or legal battle. Why then, do we do it?

C) Chick-fil-a is being made into a symbol. My facebook and twitter feeds are absolutely killing me as people equate support of Chick-fil-a directly with the Christian faith, the "Christian heritage" of this nation, and the Republican agenda. One comment said that if people were surprised by the lines at CFA today, they could just wait to see the lines at the polls on election day.

As a Christian, I do not want my faith to be made into a social cause, a political agenda, a pr battle, or (for heaven's sakes!) a fast food restaurant. My faith that Jesus is the way, truth, and life, does affect all areas of my life. However, I'm quite okay if people boycott Chick-fil-a because they don't agree with Dan Cathy's views. Let's assume for a second that Cathy accurately represents the Church and is standing up for a universally agreed on Christian principle. Even then, why do we get riled up when the secular public disagrees with us? Don't we kind of expect that?

And so, I respectfully decline the chicken sandwich today, not because I don't like Chick-fil-a (actually, they are the best run fast food restaurant I've ever been to), but because this is just not a battle I think we should be fighting.


Jaimie said...

I totally agree with you. However, for me, it looks like me not caring when/if I eat at Chick-Fil-A... except if I am hungry for it. Which I am today. Because it's EVERYwhere. Good God I need a chicken sandwich. I'm not staying away from CFA because it happens to be August 1; I'm staying away because of the lines. Ha!

(My comment looks like I'm quibbling with you on a small point of your post -- I don't mean to be. I think your response is 100% valid and good and really it just doesn't matter! And that is what you're saying.)

Amy B said...

I agree with you - not planning on heading to Chick-Fil-A today.

Except, I would add that the freedom of speech you cite includes the freedom all these people have to eat at Chick-Fil-A today. To be ok with people's right to boycott means we also have to be ok with other people's right to make a statement via patronage. And others are free to think their decision to make such a statement is unwise. Ahhhh, freedom!

I am sure you realize all this - just wanted to state it explicitly.

Kacie said...

exactly. Actually, we had previously planned to go to CFA tonight because we like CFA and it has a play place and I needed a spot close by like that for Judah. Not going anymore.

Kacie said...

Amy - absolutely. I hope it's clear in my "it's a free country" paragraph that I'm glad people have the right to boycott as they so desire. I only speak out because I am (sorta) an evangelical, and this is an evangelical boycott.... so I question whether this is a good thing for my crowd to be doing, based on what we really stand for!

Rach said...

I think this is a great post. I am so glad August 1st has passes so I don't have to grit my teeth at all the Chick-fil-a memes. And hear that "this is a FREE SPEECH issue". Um, yes, it is: it is a demonstration that free speech is still alive and well in our country. USA! USA!

My one point of contention with your post is a small one. A very, very small portion of Chick-fil-a's money does/did go to anti-gay causes. It is a miniscule amount, and not enough for me to boycott my favorite fast food restaurant. However, it is something and I can understand why many people don't want to support a company that gives, even in small amounts, to organizations like the FRC.

AHLondon said...

"As a Christian, I do not want my faith to be made into a social cause, a political agenda, a pr battle, or (for heaven's sakes!) a fast food restaurant." I agree. But while we might not want our faith in a political battle, the left does. One of the ways it holds it's factions together is by crating a specter of the socially conservative boogie man. Our faith is a political point of contention because it serves their purposes to make it so, whether we like it or not.

Kacie said...

@AHLondon, just because the other side chooses to engage us at that level doesn't mean it's appropriate to fight back in the same way. We are not just a political party with an agenda.

Anonymous said...

Totally, totally agree with you. I have been keeping my head down (as I usually do on these things) but I am going to share this because you said it way better than I ever could have.


Eric Johnson said...

I appreciate your well spoken words. But in a world where Christians do not stand up for their faith, sometimes it takes something as ridiculous as a chicken sandwich to remind some people that we ARE meant to speak up for something that is right.
I am forced to agree with a few comments above. We can ever so boldy decide to not be a part of the crowd, even in a Christian sense, but our silence on such an issue would only say "see, no one cares, so let's just push our pro-gay agenda on every walk of life."
Proverbs 18:17 - "The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him."

Kacie said...

Eric, you are absolutely right that there are times when good people need to stand up for what is right.

is this one of those times? What is this protest actually fighting?

I think, if I understand it all right, it's fighting the fact that people got mad at Cathy's anti-gay marriage sentiments.

If this were a fight against mayors who threated to ban a restaurant because of personal views, it might be different. If it was an actual discussion of marriage and the sacredness of it, that might be different.

It's not. It's us getting mad because one of our conservative cultural icons was reacted against by the "liberals"

So... I stand by my point that this is not the hill we should be dying one.

CatharineKariana said...

With respect, that's one thing I don't understand about the gay debate. I don't know any gay people who are asking to be married in a church. I don't know any gay people who are even asking to go to church. It's a secular issue. Gay people aren't pushing their agenda onto the church.

I should add, I completely agree that the Chick-fil-a people have the right to think and say whatever they want.

Kacie said...

Catherine, well, I'm totally with you in saying hey, lets seperate it as a secular issue vs. a religious one.

At least over here, though, it certainly has become an internal church issue as well. At least two denominations have split recently after they started marrying gay people or ordaining them into leadership. I think there are plenty of very religious gay people who do want to stay in a church.... albiet a church that accepts them.

CatharineKariana said...

Yeah it's such a touchy subject. I usually try to stay out of the gay issue. It's an old topic and there's so much other stuff in the Bible that is more interesting to me. I have my personal views but I prefer to let other people fight it out. The majority is going to have their say in the end, I guess.