Today, 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.