So here I am, telling you that despite their being my first employer, despite my children's love for their milkshakes and playplaces and my love for their consistent, thoughtful service, and despite the fact that we are not boycotting, I will unequivocally NOT be eating at Chick-fil-A on Support Chick-fil-A Day. Which is kind of a shame, because it’s Emerie’s half birthday (winter babies need something to look forward to), and that would have been a nice treat. But we won’t be there.
First, this is a circus. I read the quotes and heard the sound bytes and regardless of whether you agree with Dan Cathy, I think we can all agree a whole lot got taken out of context by the 24-hour press. This led to public outcry and celebrities and officials calling for Chick-fil-A to change its “discriminatory policy.” What policy is that? The CEO’s personal beliefs? I certainly don’t check on this type of matter for each of the companies I patronize with the intent of only patronizing those with whom I agree. I don’t plan on starting to do so now. If you do, that’s admirable, I guess. Anyone is, of course, free to patronize whomever they choose, or not, and everyone is free to believe what they choose and state it accordingly. Dan Cathy has that right, as does everyone who disagrees with him, as do all the boycotters and Chick-fil-A supporters.
Unless Dan Cathy is running for office, I don’t see the relevance of his stance on much of anything. I did take exception to his statement about supporting the biblical definition of a family unit, since I'm not even really sure what that is. We teach our children that families come in all kinds of colors, shapes and sizes; they know that a family is a group of people that loves and takes care of each other, whether by birth or by choice. Everyone’s family doesn’t look like ours. Because it doesn’t matter how you think it should be, that’s actually true.
I thought the whole thing was unfortunate and expected it to go away. Then I started seeing all the puffed-up Facebook posts and blogs about supporting Chick-fil-A. I was already dismayed by the situation; this set me over the edge.
I have a lot of non-Christian friends and loved ones, and do you know what they think of us? They are accustomed to hearing about Christians for what they are against, not for their love.
I will not eat at Chick-fil-A tomorrow because Jesus told us to love our neighbors as ourselves. ALL of our neighbors, just as they are. He didn’t ask us to judge anyone, persuade anyone or argue with anyone. He doesn’t need us run to His defense or interpret for others what we think He meant. He just commanded us to love Him and everyone else, even when it’s hard, even when we don’t agree.
I believe this event at Chick-fil-A is not going to read like an event in SUPPORT of a company or a CEO or free speech, or traditional marriage, no matter what Mike Huckabee and the attendees intend. To me, it seems like an event AGAINST—not against gay marriage or a “lifestyle,” but against real people— my friends and neighbors, you or your son or daughter, co-worker or parent. Why would we want to risk hurting people we love? Why would we want to send the message that Christians are prideful, judgmental, angry fighters? Why would we ever want to let anyone believe for even a second that we think there is anyone capable of being outside of the love of our God?
God is big enough to fight his own battles, whatever they are. Bigger than all of this. There are, for sure, passages in the Bible I can’t reconcile. But here’s one I can:
“And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31)
I’ve got enough to keep me busy right there. Love is bigger.