by Doug Wright
On Monday I intentionally ate a Chick-fil-A sandwich. I chose to eat at Chick-fil-A as a show of support for Dan Cathy, and in defiance of the social rebuke he is receiving. I went beyond just ordering and eating the tasty chicken sandwich; I expressed to the storeowner my reason for eating there that particular day. Chuck, the owner of several stores in our area, took the time to commiserate with me. Chuck was as disturbed as I was about the media and social response to Cathy’s statement. As one who knows Mr. Cathy personally, Chuck assured me that the founder is a godly man and spoke without malice.
In case you missed the context of this, let me fill you in. Dan Cathy gave a pre-planned interview to K. Allan Blume for the Baptist Press. The interview posted on July 16, and in the interview, Cathy committed the unpardonable sin. He supported traditional marriage and family values. Specifically here is what he said:
We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. We operate as a family business … our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that. We intend to stay the course. We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.
Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino typified the Christophobic response. Time magazines online headline said, “Boston Mayor Blocks Chick-fil-A Franchise from City over Homophobic Attitude.” Mayor Menino declared, “Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston.” He told the Boston Herald, “You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against the population. We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion. That’s the Freedom Trail. That’s where it all started right here. And we’re not going to have a company, Chick-fil-A or whatever the [expletive deleted] the name is, on our Freedom Trail.”
Dan Cathy’s statement could hardly be called “homophobic” – he does not even mention homosexuality! It could, however, be called biblical. For that reason I purposefully went to Chick-fil-A. I was glad to see the normal drive-thru line all the way around the building. Inside the business was brisk and the spirit of the employees was as pleasant as ever. In Exodus 32:26 Moses asked, “Who is on the Lord’s side?” For me this was an opportunity to say with both my money and voice that, “I am on the Lord’s side.” I encourage others to express their allegiance to biblical morals by both patronizing their local Chick-fil-A and verbalizing their support.
Doug Wright is pastor of Keystone Baptist Church, Berryville, VA.