This is a post in which I will discuss social issues, modern culture, politics, hypocrisy, closed-minded fundamentalists, homosexual-marriage, Biblical family values and chickens. Funny thing is, I don't even like chickens.
As you may have suspected, what's on my mind today is the media uproar over Chick-Fil-A President Dan Cathy's statements to a reporter that he supports "the traditional family". Specifically, when asked about the company's position in support of the traditional family, according to this article, Cathy said this:
"Well, guilty as charged - 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."
Frankly, as a fellow Christian I saw absolutely nothing wrong with this at all, and admired his willingness to be that open about where the company stands. He wasn't rude, he wasn't obnoxious, he wasn't anything but pro-family and for me, that earns him huge points (even if he does sell chickens).
Now, for some reason, all kinds of folks got all upset about this. I assume it's because they're shocked that a Christian actually lives and does business like one. Or it's because they have the nerve to actually come out and say publicly that they believe what the Bible says about the family unit. Or maybe it's because they know what Christians believe but they just hate it so much that they simply cannot tolerate one voicing his beliefs. I suppose there's all sorts of reasons why folks got upset, why the mainstream media went all ballistic over what Cathy said and why gay rights folks at the Human Rights Campaign went so far as to commit libel against the company by putting a fake logo up accusing them of supporting discrimination. Even though, Cathy emphatically stated in this article that it's the company's position
"to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect -- regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender."
Ironically enough, this is one of those pesky, archaic Biblical values that anti-Christian people rail against so much, and they don't even realize it. Treating people this way is what Jesus taught us to do because all men (READ: ALL HUMAN BEINGS) are created in the image of God and we're to treat all people this way - without exception. Now, some people make it really really really hard to treat them this way (vile criminals, rapists, child molesters, hate-filled racists, etc.) but this is what we as Christians are called to do, no matter what. Dan Cathy's business operating on that Christian principle flies right in the face of any outrageous accusation of supporting discrimination.
The most ironic statement of all that I've read so far, was that of Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino. As printed in this article in the Boston Herald, here's what Mayor Menino had to say about Chick-Fil-A coming to Boston:
"Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston. You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a 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 hell the name is, on our Freedom Trail.”
You may be wondering why I find that ironic? It's very simple, really. If I re-worded that ever so slightly, you'd see it clear as day. Let's turn things around and pretend for a moment Mayor Menino is one of those narrow-minded Christian fundamentalists we all hear about and cringe when they make a statement, and the company in question takes a very open, very pro-gay stance. Now here is Menino's sentiments once again:
"Your company doesn’t belong in Boston. You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that takes a pro-gay stance. We’re a Christian city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of Biblical values... That’s the Bible Trail. That’s where it all started right here. And we’re not going to have a company, whatever the name is, on our Bible Trail.”
Now, doesn't that sound eerily like those people who are SO well known for using Christianity as a club, as they go around making all kinds of noise in the media, boycotting things like funerals, and making a complete and total mockery of genuine Christianity? Of course it does, it sounds EXACTLY like that, and that's why I find it so ironic. I know I'm not the only one who sees it, since according to this article, Focus on the Family's Glenn T. Stanton said
"They [Chick-fil-A's critics] are the new close-minded fundamentalists."
Bingo. So much for tolerance, eh? Oh how times have changed...