Today, I didn’t eat at Chick-fil-A because I am a mind-numbed conservative religious moron who thinks that everyone who works at Chick-fil-A or has a fish on their car is somehow better than everyone else. I also didn’t eat there because I hate gay people, or because I’m in love with Dan Cathy, or because I couldn’t wait to be hurtful to anyone who is LBGT.
I ate there, primarily, because I am willing to fight to the death for my First Amendment rights, and the right of anyone else, and I mean ANYONE, to have those same rights. It doesn’t matter if I agree, or if I think the views expressed are idiotic or hurtful or hateful or the best thing since Patrick Henry – you have a right to say what you believe and run your business to match. Also, in the same First Amendment, you have the freedom to practice your religion in the way you see fit, which can also include holding to a traditional view of marriage, even when it’s not in vogue to think that way.
I’m tired of being bullied by people who are constantly offended by the personal beliefs of others, and I think that we need to return to a true First Amendment society. Everyone whinging about the unfairness of Dan Cathy holding the same beliefs that President Obama did all of six months ago needs to just grow a pair and deal with differing opinions already.
Note that even though I am a Christian, I did not support Chick-fil-A because of my Christian beliefs, although I do think that could have been a valid reason. To me, the political and cultural implications are more than enough reason to support this business, without my faith getting involved other than from a strict First Amendment perspective.
Now, despite the fact that I attended Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day on strictly secular grounds, I’d like to address what some Christians have used as reasons to not attend.
Many popular Christian bloggers (Rachel Held Evans and others) have pointed out that we are not “called to follow a corporation, but Jesus”. To which I reply: Amen. Now, how exactly is standing up for someone’s right to their opinion “following a corporation”? It’s become very popular amongst progressive Christians to insist that we won’t vote for anything that might be “hurtful” to anyone, that we don’t follow corporations, that we hate the politicalization of faith, and that all we care about is Jesus. Well, if that’s true I’m glad to hear it, but something is bothering me – why don’t these folks care about “hurting” traditional orthodox believers with their progressive views? How can they claim to hate the politicalization of religion and yet angrily hurl accusations of lack of compassion against anyone who holds a more traditional, conservative view? Plus, if all we care about is Jesus, and Jesus is God… …I think it amazing that I have to spell this out, but it seems to me that’s a dangerous tack to take for someone who is pro-gay-marriage, as the Guy they’re “all about” is pretty vehemently against it.
Here’s another line of thinking that’s similarly illogical but sounds really great. Many people have been posting on Facebook that those who go eat at Chick-fil-A should be feeding the hungry instead, or some similar “you jerk Christian, eating a sandwich and being hateful, how dare you” line of thinking.
Another blogger took it even further, saying, “I believe Christians need to avoid like the plague doing anything that serves the primary purpose of making us feel good about ourselves.” Meaning, of course, that we are all on our chicken-nugget-eating high-horses and feeling very holy about this whole thing. But let’s look at these statements critically. Of course we should all be looking out for the poor and watching out for our pride. I’m not trying to argue otherwise.
But really? You mean to suggest that because I choose to support a business whose values are close in line with mine means I can’t also help the poor? The reason this controversy started was because of the charities that Chick-fil-A chooses to support! And I shouldn’t do anything that makes me feel good about my faith? Oddly enough, I feel good about my faith (and, I guess, myself) on a daily basis. I feel good when I actually follow through and read my Bible. I feel good when I serve my church. I feel good when I take time out of my schedule to talk to or love someone who needs encouragement. Welp, all those activities are out the window, because I bought a chicken sandwich and am clearly a big bad baddie who’s pride must be contained. Sorry, Church, I will not be helping any more, because I am avoiding feeling good about myself “like the plague”. (Also, I would like to note that this Christian’s blog probably makes him feel good and he gets great satisfaction from expressing his views on faith and life. CLEARLY HE SHOULD QUIT.)
Also, the blogger I just mentioned and many others have said that they won’t eat at Chick-fil-A today because they can’t risk hurting their LBGT friends, and they usually throw in some reference to how Jesus would have shunned chicken nuggets and how most Christians just aren’t on the love-train, man.
Again, I have to ask: is it Jesus you serve, or public opinion? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sure that God cares what you had for lunch today, but I think He does care about whether we have the courage to speak the truth in love. I guess there’s a risk that you might hurt someone’s feelings by eating at Chick-fil-A, but does that mean that you shouldn’t? Are feelings what dictate our actions? Is it possible that those feelings, as much as we should be aware of them, are not appropriate? Should we not vote our conscience because of other’s feelings? If so, I will be VERY OFFENDED if you don’t vote for Mitt in November.
Did it work?
I didn’t think so.
Do you know why?
Because that’s not the real reason why they won’t eat at Chick-fil-A today. They are tired of being called bigots and homophobes and so they are responding by running the other way, proclaiming that they can’t imagine hurting their fictional gay friends and pretending to be oh-so-openminded and Jesus-y.
I contend that all of this is unnecessary, foolish, man-made drama. Just as Odd Man Out says that buying a Chick-fil-A sandwich is easier than fostering a child or whatever other selfless activity he suggests instead, I contend that speaking the truth in love is much harder than capitulating to the loudest voices. It is much harder to tell a friend, “I love you but I think you are wrong” than it is to just walk around “not offending” people. It is much harder to actually write out a blog of all of your thoughts, lay your soul bare for the world to see, than it is to simply write a holier-than-thou status update about how lovey you are to everybody and how much you hate chicken nuggets. It is much harder to stand for a holy, God-ordained religious tradition of marriage than it is to risk the name-calling, boycotting and outrage of our times.
However, I do agree with my progressive, anti-Chick-fil-A friends on one thing: it’s worth it to do the hard things. I believe in the First Amendment, I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman*, and I believe that sometimes, we have to stand up for our convictions, even when it is hurtful, difficult and unpopular.
(*Incidentally, as a true Libertarian, I think that the Gummint should get out of the marriage business entirely. Everybody should be allowed to procure civil unions, and churches can decide on their own who can marry. Not that it will ever happen, but you know. A girl can dream.)