Picking Sides: Chick-fil-A as read meat for Conservatives & Liberals

We are being duped. Yep. If you are a liberal and for gay marriage you have just been delivered red meat in the form of CEO Dan Cathy’s very simple affirmation of his believe in traditional family–along with God’s impending judgement. You already know his company gives a lot of money to causes that politically work to influence against gay marriage. If you are a social conservative in the political realm who is a Christian, then the red meat was thrown on your porch as well–wrapped in the news of a champion for your cause. We are all being seduced into polarizing politics.

It is much easier to sign up for “Support Chick-fil-A Day” than volunteer in your community and impact the needy. On the other hand, It is much easier to sign an online petition in a Bay Area town where as a secular humanist you are the majority than say find intelligent ways to influence people with reason. Are not humanists all about bringing things to the rational? If you are the majority whoever you are, it seems you will bully the other side. You will politically make your dominance shine, inflicting a penalty to the minority.

So, in the south–or other Bible-belt-coated regions–you may very feel empowered to say what you will against people not like you. All of your friends are likely to be in the same club. If you are living in the Bay Area–as I spent most of my life there so I know–then you equally feel entitled to rally emotions to a feeding frenzy that bullies people and a symbol of the other side. They happen to be the minority in your town. So, you can get away with it. Right? Being king on your block then is the goal, not being a place where freedom and liberty can be expressed with respect.

Picking sides only feeds the current political machine that is broken. Most of the public is tired of the nit picky TV ads and negatively-spun facts whirling on the airwaves. I know I am. Some of us see deeper issues that need more intelligent discourse. I for one, believe in the traditional family unit as God’s design. But, am I for banning rights of a very small minority? Is it the states role to decide these issues? In other words, should  government choose how we believe about marriage? I think not. At the same time, should the state deny rights of some to form a family in ways that are non-traditional?

All of these require some thought. Research is still young, and marriage in general is on the decline since no-fault divorce became the law of the land in the 1970s. This is proof that the states hand in our very precious institution may actually do more harm than good–even for those who think same sex marriage should be defined as law by the US government.  For now, we have to take the red meat and jockey for power on each side. Whoever wins will bully the other side into submission. Is that really an answer?

Here are some further questions for dialog:

Personally, I believe in traditional marriage, but does that mean I have to rely on the government to prohibit anything that does not look like what I believe?

Intolerance is what some claim, does it really make sense to fight it with the same thing? Rinse and repeat.

Is the government at the Federal level really the answer for this issue? Are there not other options besides going nuclear on both sides?

Will boycotting a business punish the owner, or penalize the little guys who work for them? Is that worth it?

Is there an acceptable way for Dan Cathy to have expressed his belief? Or, maybe a way a bit more helpful to his cause?

How do we have a civil conversation about something when we have differing world views, faith backgrounds, and politics? Is it even possible?

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Rich Kirkpatrick

Rich Kirkpatrick

Writer, Speaker, and Musician. Rich Kirkpatrick was recently rated #13 of the “Top 75 Religion Bloggers” by Newsmax.com, having also received recognition by Worship Leader Magazine as “Editor’s Choice” for the “Best of the Best” of blogs in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

14 comments

  1. The last question is the ringer. – I just hope they don’t boycott the sweet tea!

    1. Love the sweet tea!
      And, yep. That last question is something that I really do not know the answer to as of yet. It could be impossible.

  2. The last question for me is something that actually really hits home. We need to stop getting butt hurt (no pun intended) when things don’t go the way WE wanted. We all act like children. Mine mine mine, gimme now now now. We are like the two year old who cannot share. I thought growing up meant that we steer clear of that. I thought that part of living in a world, which God created for relationship, meant that we can connect and empathize with someone even if they disagree with us. Just my thoughts on the matter.

  3. Well said my friend. I like your spirit of unity, cautioning us against a pitfall we’re all tempted to fall into. And it definitely is a temptation! And there’s no shortage of issues either, be it the Aurora shootings, Chick-fil-A, or the Olympic athletes hotel replacing the Gideons Bible with 50 Shades of Grey. We all have a common enemy in the temptation to pick a side and complain and whine and bully the other side.

  4. Your first question is one I’ve been churning around in my head for some time, now.

    1. As have I. I wonder if we lived our “worldview” out better, would society be willing to react differently?

      1. Jesus came and abolished the law, and politics seems to be, by nature, legalistic. Therefore, I have trouble being politically involved in any capacity (this idea is still young in my mind). How can I support a government mandate when my faith is based on freedom from the Law?

      2. So, I guess to answer your question, I’m not sure that society even has the ability to react differently, because not every single person has the same worldview. I’m not sure that I can expect a worldly system to operate under Kingdom principles.

  5. Would it not be the governments place to promote a healthy and prosperous environment for it’s people and especially for it’s children? Many studies have shown that and the United Nations agrees that the best place for children to be raised is with it’s biological parents in a low conflict environment. The government making marriage legally binding protects and adds incentives to protect this environment. It is not illegal for same sex to have a ceremony, go on a honeymoon, and set up household, it just is not legally binding. Historically, no civilization has survived a redefining of the traditional family unit.

    1. Where civilizations fail is where liberty fails to exist.
      This post really is about whether we will be polarized over a chicken sandwich or learn to think more deeply.
      I tend to think Christians have been duped into abdicating to the political machine and government what we should own ourselves. Government should protect liberty. To redefine is wrong, only because to “define” in the first place may be wrong as well. One thing that will help? Evangelical Christians should learn to not have a divorce rate higher than the population. That will define marriage better than preserving or changing a law.

      1. The problem is, liberty is “fails to exist” in places where homosexual “marriage: is legal. It happens time and again. It has happened in Canada already. The reason it happens is because the homosexual community believes that it is bigotry to not agree with them, and especially they target those who actively oppose. Once they get the force of law behind them, (ie, homosexual marriage is made legal), they move to shut down the free speech rights for those who do not agree, and shut down the religious bodies who choose not to validate homosexual marriage by performing marriage ceremonies. It doesn’t matter how the law is initially phrased (to supposedly ensure that free speech and freedom of religion is maintained), what happens is the proponents of homosexual marriage will use the force of the courts and less savory tactics to shut down free speech and the religious bodies who don’t agree. So, whilst we Evangelicals we can aspire to having divorce rates lower than the general, non-evangelical population, that alone is insufficient. The laws and ballot initiatives that CLEARLY define marriage as between one man and one woman MUST continue to be passed — and laws defining marriage as such are approved very clear majorities in nearly every jurisdiction where they have been up for a ballot vote.

        1. The problem is we rely on secular law for our own security and expression of faith rather than the actual choices we make. We judge others while we fail to judge ourselves. So, we are the problem, not the law of the land.
          And, I live in America, not Canada (no offense to good friends there). Speech is protected. This issue proves it. Even the most liberal ladies of “The View” stood up for the rights to express speed when most of them disagreed with the view. The pertinent point is, liberty is the best soil for the gospel. Evangelicals are duped into trying to live our faith outside of ourselves–such as in politics. Let’s embody the gospel rathe than ask Congress to make laws that define or redefine our beliefs.

  6. Question 5 Dan Cathy was asked his opinion. He answered and re answered the questions. When you ask anyone that says his company is Bible based and is closed on Sundays why are you really surprised? I have worked at Chick-fil-A in the past and have had friends still working there. I have never seen Homosexual customers, employees treated any different then the next persons. Is it fair to be angry with a person for answering a question honestly when we have a good idea what that answer will be?

    1. You make my point for me. This is not news. What is happening here is a scenario where people on BOTH sides are riled up and manipulated. This drama over nothing creates a windfall for the news, and donations to activists on both sides of the issue.
      So, the question (5) perhaps is muddled in that Cathy has given millions to politically fight against gay rights. How about highlighting other charitable causes? I would suggest that to Cathy as a way to show he is more than hot on this one issue, which we know little of in comparison.
      But, its his right. In fact, many who disagree with him agree it IS his right. That liberty to speak, regardless of people liking it, needs to be protected.

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