Morality and the Chicken Sandwich: My Unsolicited Thoughts on Chick-fil-A

Over the past few days, I’ve read numerous tweets and status updates regarding Chick-fil-a. I’ve read a few blogs detailing superb thoughts on the issue (especially from Jen Hatmaker and Perry Noble). I’ve had discussions and heard commentators talk about the issues surrounding “controversial comments” from CFA’s president. I’ve seen news reports and pictures from all over the country (thanks Mike Huckabee) of cars running 30 deep in drive-thrus in support of CFA. I’ve tried to process viewpoints given from many angles: Gays, straights, Democrats, Republicans, Christians, atheists, right wingers, liberals, the apathetic and the overly energetic. And I’ve boiled it down to one basic, yet profoundly complicated question: have we lost our mind?

Have we as Christians really shrunken our moral standards to such a narrow view that we rally around a fast food joint? Is a place with cows prancing around as mascots really where we define our constitutional stand? Are gay people really going to stop eating tasty waffle fries and drinking great sweet tea?

I think we need to pull back the reins a bit and take a bigger picture look at the CFA morality stand. Here’s some brief thoughts…

Ultimately, eating “mor chikin” will do nothing to change the family. This has been noted in other blogs, but it needs to be accepted that while CFA day made some great headlines, it’s not going to affect long term the gay marriage issue in this country.

CFA has great food. At least by fast food standards. However, I can go to McDonalds and get the same sandwich for about a third of the price.

Gay marriage is a tough issue. Homosexuality period is a difficult topic, especially for Christians. Too often we come down way too hard on one side of the fence or the other, with little dialogue either way.

Despite good intentions, CFA appreciation day was little more than veiled exclusion from the church. Yeah, I said it. For all the “make a stand for biblical values” messages that Christians rallied around, we seemed to miss the other side of the coin. How would a gay person feel about Christianity after seeing this? Would they feel welcome in your church this Sunday? In today’s over-editorialized culture, so many Christians, churches, and ministries are known more for what they’re against thn they are their love and compassion. Derek Webb has a great song that starts off with him singing these words:

"They’ll know us by the t-shirts that we wear. They’ll know us by the way we stop and stare at anyone who’s sin is worse than ours…"

Homosexuality to the church today is the most evil sin, and nothing can be done to change that it seems. So rather than share the love of Christ with those in the LGBT community, we shove a picket sign in their face and claim to be followers of God.

What if, for example, CFA had a day where they announced 50% of profits would go overseas to abandoned orphans in Darfur? Or to help stop sex trafficking in Europe? Or to help those in local hospitals that are dying from AIDS? Would cars be lined up 20 and 30 deeps to buy a combo meal with a milkshake then?

I think for me, the most important question about CFA day is this: did it glorify God? Was Christ shown to those that don’t know Him? Are those questioning their beliefs now more firm because the love of Christ was displayed Wednesday?

I don’t know. I can’t answer those questions. I can say that God loves people. He made us to be His image bearers, His face to the world. He didn’t create us to be protesters and complainers. He didn’t call us to exclude the sinners. He didn’t give us His Son so that we could spend our time fretting away with frenzied reactions to those different from us.

He called us to love Him, and to love each other. That’s it.

And that love doesn’t necessarily mean we have to buy a chicken sandwich.