My Chick–fil–A two cents

Wednesday’s workout: Ran 3 miles in 27:11 | 100 walking lunges & 50 squats.

Thursday’s workout: Ran 2 miles in 17:12 (8:37 / 8:35 splits) | 10 min. arms & back.

While I mostly write about fitness–related topics, I never intended this blog to be only that. After several days watching the drama grow leading up to Aug. 1, then seeing all the posts and pictures on appreciation day, and now a day after reading a bunch of follow–up blogs and news stories, I feel the need to share a few thoughts on this whole Chik–fil–A nonsense.

Disclaimers: (1) I am a Christian; (2) My opinions cross both left and right, depending on the specific issue; (3) I am not a religious scholar, political analyst or social researcher, so these are just my opinions, observations and thoughts; (4) I have been a vegetarian for years and have never eaten Chick–fil–A. So really, I shouldn’t even be talking about this. 🙂

To my thoughts.

  • Chick–fil–A’s Dan Cathy has a right to express his beliefs. Period. And Chick–fil–A as a company is public about its traditional Christian values, so Cathy’s comments shouldn’t come as a surprise.
  • While city mayors don’t have the right to force a company out, they do have a right to express their personal beliefs as well, including a preference to not have a Chick–fil–A restaurant.
  • Mike Huckabee had a right to call for a “Chick–fil–A appreciation day” and traditional marriage supporters had the right to converge on Chick–fil–A’s across the country.
  • Gay rights supporters have a right to boycott Chick–fil–A.

Good. So everyone is golden and happy because they have the ability to express their beliefs and many have acted on that right.

The reality is, this whole thing exploded into something huge and exaggerated, full of anger, hurt and hate on both sides. And that, quite frankly, is ridiculous. I am all about putting your money where your mouth is. So if you don’t respect a company, don’t spend money there. If you do, spend all sorts of money there. Maybe on many days, not just one.

Morality questions aside for now, I have a really hard time saying that my faith tradition should deny a homosexual couple the standard rights that every heterosexual married couple enjoys in this country. And I honestly don’t view this as an attack on traditional, biblical marriage. I just don’t. We’re talking apples and oranges; a religious institution and legal liberty.

Generally speaking (from my personal experience), LGBTQ couples aren’t asking to be a part of a faith tradition. They are asking for the standard rights as a family member, such as insurance coverage for your spouse, the ability to be a part of health decisions at the hospital, etc etc.

The Christian community doesn’t have to agree with a lifestyle. But we simply cannot legislate or protest people into the church, and that is the goal, yes? My faith is one of the most important aspects of my life and who I am, and I want to share that. Perhaps it’s time to change how we communicate.

I honestly don’t think the LGBTQ community understands why this is such a tough and/or impossible issue for Christians to just “be OK with”. I don’t really see the gay community as a whole expressing much interest in finding out. On the flip side, when we do things like swamp Chick–fil–A’s, we are more focused on making a point rather than fully communicating our concerns and beliefs.

So! This is a very important discussion, both in churches and in public political forums. I don’t want to diminish the emotion, fear, hurt, frustration, opinions and values on all sides. There are so many misunderstandings and misconceptions for everyone. For a chicken sandwich to become a bloated and politically charged part of such an important conversation not only makes me roll my eyes in annoyance, it makes me very sad.

We are better than this. Gay, straight, Christian or otherwise, we are all better than this.


10 thoughts on “My Chick–fil–A two cents

    • Thank you. 🙂 This is a complex conversation that has become far to polarized, but I really do think it’s possible to be open with our beliefs (“our” meaning everyone, on all sides, all opinions) and still be respectful. There has been far too little respect and grace and meaningful communication.

      • You certainly compensate for it.
        My view is slightly less gracious than yours, but I think it slightly overlaps; I believe each person should own their own destiny, make their own decisions and choose what is right for them. I believe religion and philosophy are things we apply to our own lives rather than trying to make other people live by the tenets of our beliefs.

        I respect the right of orthodox jews and muslims not to eat bacon, but insist on my own right to eat bacon. In the same way I support the right of Christians to marry in whatever way they choose, according to whatever specific ideology they choose- I just don’t feel that ideology should be imposed on anyone else. Otherwise we’d have Catholics telling society that people can’t get divorced because it’s against their religion, or extremist Muslims stoning unfaithful women because according to their interpretation of the Koran, that’s okay.
        Freedom of religion is the freedom to apply religion to our own lives.

        • “Freedom of religion is the freedom to apply religion to our own lives.” Great point!

          I think that because faith is something so personal and so important to an individual, anything that seems to threaten it is feared and challenged immediately. It’s an unfortunate process.

  1. Just sayin’ … there are likely lots of businesses I patronize but wouldn’t agree with. Until the Muppets shamed me, Chick-fil-A was one of them. However it isn’t quite only about “live and let live” – because among other things, they funded the group that went to Uganda and advocated the death penalty for being gay. So, kind of the opposite of “live and let live.” Also, I think lots of gay people want to be recognized by faith traditions – and many are – but you’re right, that’s a separate issue. Just saying, the Uganda thing – for me – puts this over the edge …

    • Oh I agree completely! There are plenty of other reasons not to spend money at that restaurant. I think it’s our responsibility to know where our money is going as much as we can, and make decisions accordingly. I have never gone out of my way to research things various business support, but when I do find out about something (like CFA/Uganda for you) I definitely take a second look at my spending habits. Money is too powerful a tool to simply brush things off because it’s inconvenient to shop/eat somewhere else.

    • THANK YOU. THIS is why LGBTQ people are upset, not because we’re ignoring “why this is such a tough and/or impossible issue for Christians to just ‘be OK with’.” I’m really tired of being quiet about this because it’s SO incredibly hurtful and personal. Leaving aside the fact that many queers either grew up in a faith tradition or identify as Christian today (myself included — my dad is an ordained archdeacon and delivers the sermon at his church for at least one sermon every Sunday), I don’t think LGBTQ people are the ones who aren’t trying to understand the other side or see why it’s such a tough issue for Christians to be OK with. I mean, sheesh, I’ve been a part of both sides since I was born. “Live and let live” implies that LGBTQ people are the ones trying to take away the rights of others when actually we don’t have any power to do that. Yet right-wing Christian groups are actively legislating against us at every turn. So, who would you say needs to step back and understand the morality of the other side there? I’m probably not articulating well because this topic is really personal and upsetting to me, but this article sums it up better than I ever could:

  2. I am not sure where you get the idea that the goal of the Christian community in this case is to legislate people into the church? Of course, that in not the goal at all. The goal is to express our beliefs in a democratic society, as you said everyone has a right to do. Why does it seem that Christians get “hammered” for expressing this right more than the LGBT community??? Please do not believe that at least the leaders of the gay agenda will be satisfied with “equal” rights. They will not be satisfied until pastors who refuse to marry a gay couple will be violating a law and in jail for 6 months. Pay attention!

    • Major eyeroll from over here. The LAST thing I want is to be married in some church that doesn’t accept me and my partner or somehow feels oddly persecuted by our relationship. I’ll stick to one of the many open-minded and loving Christian congregations — like my parents’ — that supports marriage equality.

      • Yeah. My priest is gay. Sooooo …

        I think the lesson here is that, much like any group, there is no one “gay” or “Christian” stance or outlook (besides that, obviously, each person within those groups wants respect and understanding). I’m Christian and have met a whole lot of people who don’t think I qualify as such. V. tiring. So some Christians like gay marriage, some don’t … some gay people want to get married in a church … and some, either because they are just plain not religious, or because they feel like there has been a little too much negativity coming from that general direction, do not. It’s just not going to be helpful when one says “Oh, in my experience, the gays do not —-” – anymore than it is helpful to say “Oh, women are always crying about shoes.” You know?

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