Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Wading Into the Chic-Fil-A Battle

I've been watching our friends to the South go into convulsions over Chic-Fil-A and their stance on marriage. I figured I'd give it a little while to cool down before I weighed in. The media have had a field day declaring their indignation that Dan Cathy would dare oppose same sex marriage, and various organizations - even politicians - have been taking turns blasting the company. A couple of weeks ago, friends of Chic-Fil-A helped them set a one day sales record as a show of support. So, what's the story?

First of all, Chic-Fil-A has always been known as a Christian company - their long-standing refusal to open on Sundays is evidence of strongly held convictions. Here's what actually happened just before President Dan Cathy set off a firestorm of media attention. Some have opposed the company’s support of the traditional family. “Well, guilty as charged,” said Cathy when asked about the company’s position. “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit..."

“We are very much committed to that,” Cathy emphasized. “We intend to stay the course,” he said. “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.” The subject of same sex marriage was never addressed in the original interview. He did not "condemn same-sex marriage" as has been claimed. He simply reaffirmed their support of "the biblical definition of the family unit."

I've been observing the debate and collecting articles from various writers coming from different angles of the debate. It makes for some interesting reading and leads to some good questions. For example, should company presidents be allowed to state their opinions and should their private companies be allowed to support what they choose? should the mayors of Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, etc... be able to block new Chic-Fil-A restaurants from being built simply because they disagree with their position on marriage? What are the other issues that company presidents are not allowed to comment on? Is there a list? Should we divide our cities along political lines? What about the church's response? What is your definition of tolerance? How do you engage someone in conversation when you disagree on a sensitive topic?

I'm going to give the links to a few different articles for your reading pleasure. Think about it, recognizing that very few issues are as simple as the media make them out to be.

This first article is a blog post by Perry Noble calling out the activists on both sides of the political spectrum. It's called "Ben & Jerry’s, Chick-fil-A & Political Correctness"

The second one is by Mark Hemingway looking at the origins of the story. His title makes it clear about his views: "Media Invents Story That Chick-fil-A President Condemned Gay Marriage"

This next one includes a video. It shows how passionate this debate is becoming. The title says it all:  "Exec Bullies Chick-fil-A Worker, Then Promptly Gets Fired For It"

I have good friends on both sides of this debate. I think we can - and should - differ and still like each other. I think that there's still a place for reasoned debate in our culture, though we have lost the stomach for it and, seemingly, would rather yell at and boycott each other. Take a step back, breath, and talk.

I do like what Rick Warren (who's had his own share of criticism) said: "Our culture has accepted two huge lies: The first is that if you disagree with someone's lifestyle, you must fear them or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don't have to compromise convictions to be compassionate."

Related Articles:
Election Rambling... Arggghhhh!
No Justice in Canada for the Unborn
Heads In The Sand
Why I Still Believe in Marriage
Defending Marriage


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