Why I Will Eat Mor Chikin

Syndicated on BlogHer.com

This post was syndicated by BlogHer on July 30, 2012.

The ruckus over Chick-fil-A raises the question: Who’s behaving like the hater here?

Chick-fil-A president and chief operating officer Dan Cathy’s recent comments in Baptist Press should come as no surprise. The company is privately owned. In 45 years of existence, their restaurants have never been open on Sundays. They’ve always supported a traditional, Biblical definition of marriage and family.

Chick-fil-A drive thru

drive thru

“We intend to stay the course,” said Cathy in the article. “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.”

So, let’s see. They haven’t changed their religious views. They aren’t refusing to serve people who disagree. We’re free to express our beliefs in this country.

Why the uproar now?

Chick-fil-A’s charitable donations were being criticized before the Baptist Press published their story. When Cathy reiterated his long-held convictions, in a religious publication mind you, Chick-fil-A critics were poised to pounce.

Cathy was labeled homophobic. Activists boycotted. Boston’s mayor banned Chick-fil-A from the cityThe Jim Henson Company broke ties with them.

Another commentator wants public schools and sports facilities to stop doing business with Chick-fil-A because they support families through non-profit groups that share their beliefs. Are you kidding me?

Attacking a successful company is unlikely to change anyone’s mind. It won’t help the economy either. Plus it’s mean.

My affection for J Crew clothing is well-documented in this blog. The company contributes to causes at odds with my values. Last year J Crew president and creative director Jenna Lyons left her husband of nine years and the father of her son for another woman. Not a decision that lines up with my faith.

I suppose I could stop buying clothes from J Crew, write nasty grams on their Facebook page, insist they be thrown out of malls that have received tax breaks, and start picketing their stores.

But that would just make me a bully who’s missing out on some mighty fine fashion, now wouldn’t it?

Chick-fil-A cow at family event

family night meet-and-greet the cow

Chick-fil-A uses their resources to support and care for families in ways they see fit. That includes contributing to non-profits that share their beliefs.

Speaking from experience, that also includes family activity nights at their restaurants, refreshing beverages for free, and politely carrying trays to tables for mothers like me who have their hands full. Besides, the food is delicious.

I don’t hate gay people. I don’t believe the Cathy family and their franchisees hate gay people. I don’t plan to stop eating at Chick-fil-A anytime soon. I understand if your convictions differ. You can stop eating there if you want.

You’ll be missing out on some mighty fine chicken if you do.

But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord. from Joshua 24:15 NLT

The Chick-fil-A Song by St. Louis comedian Tim Hawkins with a new verse for Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy.

Will you eat mor chikin? (Please mind your manners or your comment will be deleted.)

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50 Comments

Filed under America, faith, food & farm, life

50 Responses to Why I Will Eat Mor Chikin

  1. Cheryl Brewer

    You preach it sister……. just ate at Chick-fil-A last night and two nights before that!

  2. Fran Cook

    So well stated….we will continue to support Chick-fil-A

  3. I WILL eat more chicken!! As you and others have said, all they have done is restate beliefs we’ve all always known they held. I don’t see an issue there. They are being consistent! My biggest pet peeve lies in the double standard liberals apparently have for conservatives. They are just exercising free speech, but we are discriminating? Hmmmm….

    • Aimee @ everydayepistle.com

      Good point about the double standard. Glad to know you’ll still frequent some of my favorite Chick-fil-A locations. Miss that one on Manchester especially (sigh). Thanks for reading and commenting, Tiffany!

  4. AMEN!!! This subject has really bothered me–simply because of the love and compassion the company (through their staff) has shown me.

    When I was diagnosed last year with a recurrence of Ovarian Cancer–I was a regular there. When I missed a couple of weeks due to surgery–the manager stopped me in the drive-thru. He told me he had been missing me and my smile and asked if things were ok. I told him about what was going on and he asked if he could pray for me. I was humbled that he would even offer.

    During this whole year he would tell me–We’ve been praying for you!! Even to this day–he says it to me and I know that they have.

    How often do you hear that from a stranger at fast food joint? I know that their prayers helped me during that difficult time. I will continue to lift them up in prayers during this difficult time.

    Not only do I leave feeling blessed when I visit–I also have some mighty fine chicken too! It may take me 25 minutes to get there–but I’d rather drive the extra 20 minutes just to see their smiles…

    • Aimee @ everydayepistle.com

      L, what a great story! What an encouragement it must have been for you to hear from strangers that they were praying for you! I’m so glad you shared here.

      It doesn’t surprise me. Chick-fil-A employees are consistently kind, polite, and community-focused. The location we went to most when we lived in St. Louis offered these little bowls of Cheerios for free that moms could give to give little ones. They were quick to help parents carrying food to tables, get ketchup, refill drinks, etc. I mean, who else does that these days? Who thinks of details like that? Plus they offer lower fat and calorie options on their menus. And people want us to boycott them? Good grief!

  5. Joan

    Marriage equality is a civil rights issue. Just as with previous civil rights issues in this country, this is not simply a matter of differing opinions. There is a right side and a wrong side. Chick-fil-A has chosen to be on the wrong side.

    • Aimee @ everydayepistle.com

      Joan, thank you for respectfully sharing your comment and hitting what I think is at the heart of this whole ordeal. One side sees this as being about civil rights. This other side sees this as being about religious liberty. What’s right and wrong depend how you define the issue.

      • Aaron

        Aimee, I agree with you but would go one step further in your analysis. Even if civil rights is the “correct” issue, one’s civil rights are not violated except through the action of another. Merely expressing an opinion, without more, has never – until now – violated a person’s civil rights. Discrimination, alleged by the mayors of Chicago and Boston, requires a discriminatory act, not simply a contrary opinion.

  6. Once again you and I are on the same wave length. I basically wrote the exact same post on Tuesday. :)

  7. Ted

    Gay marriage is a tricky multi-dimensional issue:
    1) Is marriage a matter of religion or government? (In some countries, you get married twice, once by the state and once by the church) Bottom line, our government determines the rights of the partner while both live and also after one passes. This has a big impact for insurance, inheritance and other rights of marriage partners. So does the straight majority have the right to deny these rights of the gay minority?
    2) Choice or born that way? Again, one’s church or political party may declare that it is a choice, but is it really? Do you remember a time in your life that you consciously chose to be gay or straight? Not me for sure. In fact, I remember clearly being attracted to the opposite sex as a child before I understood what sex was. For me there was no choice and I can not believe that it is much different for most people regardless of their orientation.
    3) Religion tells us what is right & wrong. Of course the correct religion is the one that I belong to. But this can also be said by any individual of any religion. Some religions severely oppress women. Is this OK? If not, why is it OK to oppress gays? If your religion tells you to oppress one group, then you must accept how another religion oppresses the other group. Are you comfortable with that?
    4) Right vs Wrong: Religion prescribes what must be accepted by all people as being right vs wrong, but people of various religions, even atheists, get married. So how can one religion set the rules for marriage? The government should allow an individual freedom to do as they see fit as long as it does not harm other people, right? Hey this is U.S. of America, land of the free, right? So, remembering that marriage is a matter of state and not religion, can you logically explain how my marriage or my life (or yours) can be harmed by gay marriage?

    • Aimee @ everydayepistle.com

      Ted, thank you for reading and respectfully commenting. As you so eloquently point out, gay marriage is a tricky, multi-dimensional issue. I have gay friends I love and respect. Your comment reminds me of how they challenge me with this issue.

      Please know it’s not my intention to oppress anyone; it pains me to think that’s how you might feel. I respect your right to live and believe as you see fit, and I hope you will do the same for me.

      I can’t support gay marriage and maintain a clear conscience and reverence for God. However, I don’t want to see gay people marginalized or left without rights and protections other citizens enjoy. What are your thoughts about same-sex unions recognized by the state, but not necessarily by the church?

      PS: I wrote about this issue for Vyzion radio after the NC Amendment One vote last spring. Here’s the link if you want to check it out: http://vyzionradio.com/amendment-one-nc/

      • Ted

        Well, chik-o-fil is a very bad forum for discussion as it invokes more emotion than logic.
        Marriage already is a civil union. Only the certificate from the state is legally valid. The state doesn’t care if the parties are Baptist, Hindu, Buddhist or Atheist. But insurance, hospitals and probate courts will insist that it says “marriage” or you loose your rights.
        If you are Christian, it might be helpful to check out what Jesus did: His disciples wanted Him to get political. The Pharisees tried to trap him on legal./political issues. His position was always that the only thing that counts was your personal commitment. You can’t ‘save’ others through legislation.
        Personally, I am straight and long-time married, but have insight/sympathy into gay issues due to family connections.

        • Aimee @ everydayepistle.com

          Great points again, Ted. Maybe we should ask the insurance, hospitals and courts to make civil union the status they require. Though I doubt that would resolve all the issues people have with this.

          I am a Christian and I agree we need to check out what Jesus did. He loved people, but he never condoned sin. He was honest with people even if they didn’t like what he said. Jesus didn’t get “political” by working through the government–no one can be saved through legislation, only through faith which inspires acts of courage and obedience. But Jesus didn’t teach or act in a way that was inconsistent with scripture either. He was the fulfillment of God’s law.

          Good conversation with you. I’m glad you took the time to comment.

  8. The problem I have had with the Chick-fil brohaa is that as far as I can determine, Chik-fil-A has not discriminated against gays, in hiring, or serving. Since this is a private company what charity they support is up to them. Now I do believe that those who have an opposing view point have every right to boycott and encourage the boycotting of the restaurant. I personally don’t go to Chik-fil-A, no political reason it just not on my route

    • Aimee @ everydayepistle.com

      Very well said, Kim. I agree with you. As a private company, Chick-fil-A is free to support whatever charity they choose just as customers are free to boycott if they choose. Thank you for adding to this discussion!

  9. Public government telling private business they can’t run their business. There has been no legal charge or even official allegation that their services or hiring practices are discriminatory. Which means the government has to keep their nose out of private business. God help us if private business was at the mercy of pleasing politician’s opinions. Boston & Chicago, your tax payers will lose out in three ways; Tax monies being spent on such ridiculous policy, loss of an incredible chain-jobs, food, charity & the most insidious, loss of freedom.

    • Aimee @ everydayepistle.com

      Bam. You don’t mince words, kdeneen! Thank you for reading and commenting.

  10. Libby

    Aimee-

    Thanks so much for your post. I have been shocked by the hatred and flat-out bullying of CFA (let’s call it what it is, since “bullying” is the latest buzzword in our culture). Your friendly tone and calm reasoning (comparing CFA with J. Crew, for example) is refreshing in a landscape of hostile attacks on this company. Hopefully, the laws of freedom of speech/expression/religion will rule the day, and CFA will continue to be a shining example of a company that became successful the old-fashioned way: by having a great product, at a great price, with great service. I have never once had a bad experience at CFA, and each time I frequent their Des Peres store, they meet or surpass my expectations. I’ll be going there even more than usual now to show them my appreciation for standing up in the face of adversity.

    • Aimee @ everydayepistle.com

      Thanks, Libby! That Des Peres location may be my all-time favorite. You’re right when you say they meet or surpass expectations there. We miss it.

      I hope the laws of freedom of speech/expression/religion will win out here, too. If those are trampled, it won’t be good for anyone, no matter what side you’re on…

  11. I disagree with CFA’s stance on gay rights, and I’ve known about it for a number of years. I haven’t stopped going there. They make great food and until they start doing something worse than simply explaining their viewpoint (which is their right, whether I agree with them or not), I will keep going there.

    • Aimee @ everydayepistle.com

      Wow. I like your practicality, Anita. You demonstrate it’s possible to agree to disagree. Thanks for weighing in on this discussion!

  12. My new sister, you already know we’re like-minded on this issue. :-) Beautifully stated. And love the J Crew analogy. If every place we frequented needed to line up with our values, we’d pretty much stay home. I’m almost thankful for the uproar. It lets us know where we are and how we need to pray…and hopefully, it moves us to a deeper conviction to stand for biblical truth.

    • Aimee @ everydayepistle.com

      Kim, I’m honored by your comment. Thank you for coming by!
      I too hope this moves us to turn to God in prayer, steel our backbones, and with grace and mercy hold fast to Biblical truth. I’m including a link to your heartfelt post on this topic so readers can visit your site and read more: http://www.kimcashtate.com/2012/07/burdened/

  13. Mickey Atkinson

    Aimee, thanks for sharing wise words. I plan to give the local CFA free flowers for their tables next week in support. I would’ve done the same for a gay pride group if they were being bullied, but the bigot’s shoe is on the other foot in this case! Love you!

  14. Well said Aimee! I agree on every point. We’ll ALWAYS be eating more chicken at Chick-Fil-A, as it is our favorite fast food. Disney and the Jim Henson Co. don’t always line up with my beliefs either but I’m not going to stop watching The Little Mermaid or The Muppets. (It’s kind of an oxy-moron, isn’t it? Disney and The Muppets???) Anyway, getting back on track, people can get chicken elsewhere if they don’t like it. Amazingly, no one seemed to complain about the fact that you hear Christian music in the restaurants! Or did they? I don’t support gay marriage but I will love my gay neighbor as Christ calls me to do. It’s a shame Chick-Fil-A is getting such a back-lash but Cathy would’ve been a hypocrite if he had not taken a stand. Enough people already think we Christian church-goers are hypocrites.

    • Aimee @ everydayepistle.com

      April, you know I hadn’t considered how Cathy would have been viewed if he’d backed down. What an excellent point! His witness and credibility would have been shot. He may have gained back some customers or the approval of mainstream media, but at what cost? I thank you for taking the time to read, comment, and share another very good aspect to consider in this debate :)

  15. Bug'sMom

    They say money talks. I think the perfect response is to not argue the issue, but simply go eat on August 1. Make it one of the highest, or even better the highest sales day they have ever had.

    • Aimee @ everydayepistle.com

      Good thought, Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. It’s like the anti-boycott…

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  17. Very late on the comment, but just saw this post from the BlogHer syndication. I’ve struggled a lot recently with how to express my heart on this issue and still demonstrate Christ’s kindness and love. Your words are very helpful here Aimee. And I also notice how a kind, respectful, but honest blog post seems to carry through to the comment section even on an issue such as this.

  18. I’m sorry, I can’t agree with your position here. And the reason isn’t to do with marriage rights (though I do support legalization & acceptance of gay marriage) but because I think your concluding sentence indicates seriously flawed thinking.

    Your position that boycotting companies you disagree with is silly because you’ll be missing out on yummy chicken or cute clothes. That reasoning indicates that you use your money to indulge your personal preferences rather than as an extension of how you live your values. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you dress yourself in a way that lets people know what kind of person you try to be (respectable, maybe conservative, fashionable enough that you are participating in the world). So why aren’t you using your money similarly? It has a much bigger impact on the world than what brand of jeans you put on in the morning, it goes a lot farther in the world than you can personally (although your blog seems to be doing quite well, so maybe they are working equally hard), why wouldn’t you spend your money in a way that supports your beliefs?

    I do not care at all if you eat at Chick-Fil-A or shop at J.Crew. I live in California and don’t have a CFA available or I would definitely be boycotting. I don’t know if I would stop shopping at J.Crew (I don’t anyway) because it’s not like the J. Crew president is advocating that we all break committed relationships to commit adultery. You are entitled to your beliefs and you seem to be a person who has come by them thoughtfully. We are each in our hearts responsible for those beliefs and how we live them. You’ve gone far enough to work hard on this blog. Why not go the rest of the distance and stop shopping at places that don’t respect your values? Let your spending represent your values as well as the rest of you. For many of us, how we spend our money is the most meaningful vote we ever get, and we have the opportunity to exercise it every single day of our lives.

    • Aimee @ everydayepistle.com

      Point well taken, Cindy. Thank you for taking the time to comment here. And thanks for your words recognizing my work on this blog.

      I believe I do vote with my dollars in many ways (choices of entertainment, charitable giving, etc.), but perhaps I should vote with my dollars more in the way you suggest.

      The point with J Crew is not necessarily that Jenna Lyons committed adultery. That doesn’t jive with my faith, but lots of people do that even in the church. We all sin and are in need of Jesus. The real issue is in the sentence preceding the one about Lyons in my post: “The company contributes to causes at odds with my values.”

      If you follow the link in that sentence you’ll see J Crew, which unlike CFA is publicly held, supports Planned Parenthood the largest abortion provider in the US. That’s just one example; many companies give money to Planned Parenthood. Many companies outwardly support gay marriage, again a view opposed by my church. It would be difficult, if not impossible, for me boycott all of them. But I understand your point and it is a good one.

      I would also add we have another way to meaningfully vote our values in this country; that would be in the election booth.

  19. Wonderful post, as always!

    Love, love reading your blog.

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  21. JeanetteMorrisa

    Aimee, you said it so wonderfully!!

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