There is a continuing crisis on social media about Chick-Fil-A, the chicken joint who choked off her largely Evangelical Christian base by withdrawing support for organizations that oppose unnatural and disease-spreading behaviors. The company has since been forced to make a series of statements attempting to support their base, including a statement by Franklin Graham, who said that he was “assured” by the CEO that the company still supports “Christian values”.
Rev. Franklin Graham said he was assured by Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy that the company “remains committed to Christian values,” after the fast-food chain’s charity arm decided to no longer donate to three organizations criticized for upholding traditional Christian beliefs on sexuality.
In a Thursday morning Facebook post, Graham, leader of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said he spoke with Cathy on the phone.
“Dan was very clear that they have not bowed down to anyone’s demands, including the LGBTQ community. They will continue to support whoever they want to support. They haven’t changed who they are or what they believe. Chick-fil-A remains committed to Christian values. Dan Cathy assured me that this isn’t going to change. I hope all those who jumped to the wrong conclusion about them read this,” Graham wrote.
After it was reported this week that the Chick-fil-A Foundation switched up its giving structure to no longer include the Salvation Army, Paul Anderson Youth Home in Georgia and Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the company has faced a wave of conservative uproar in response to the decision. (source)
I addressed the situation with Chick-Fil-A before, but given the unnecessary shock this has caused to the increasingly fragile world of American Christianity, it is worth addressing again.
Chick-Fil-A, or any restaurant- whether it serves chicken or not -is not a place for, let alone is it something to be equivocated with theology in any way.
It is a restaurant and a business that, while having at some point in her history done good things for certain groups in society, is at her final mission a restaurant no different in her mission than Bojangles, Church’s, KFC, Popeyes, or Zaxby’s, which is to sell their particular recipe of chicken and chicken sandwiches for profit.
What Chick-Fil-A did was foolish because she attacked her main base, which is American Evangelicals and also some Christians of other denominations who have created, intentionally or not, a cult around a restaurant that sits as a part of their cult of nationalism and government worship equivocated with support of the divine common to both the Eastern world, the Protestant realm, and the US or those realms in which the support of American Protestant influence can be ascertained in a palpable way.
The issue is not Chick-Fil-A, but rather that the “controversy” here is a modern example in a very small sense of a larger problem throughout Christian history, which is the tendency of many people to equate governments, leaders, and companies that exist in a non-theological context with theological things. The forms by which it manifests changes by time and culture, but it always has the same effect, which is to blend the Church either into the state or into the people and thus make her a vassal of either instead of being something which supports but exists outside of either as an independent entity.
Unfortunately, that this argument has been reduced to a three-dollar chicken sandwich in modern times is a telling state of American Christianity. It is ironic that many Christian people, who are also supporters in a majority of sodom, would rather argue theology over chicken sandwiches while at the same time defending, as the colloquial phrase is well-known, those define themselves by playing with their and other people’s “chickens”.
If one is upset about Chick-Fil-A and one is not upset about sodomy or instead insists that one just needs to “pray for them” without a serious examination of what is happening today, they need to reconsider their priorities in what it means to be a Christian.
One can eat what one wants, but one is not entitled the same liberty of belief, for one can “believe what one wants” but that does not exempt one from the consequence of this. One can choose to eat an Chick-Fil-A or Popeyes, but neither is a sin in itself, yet many would seem to have thought such a decision to be one that could be indicative of sin, yet at the same time to ignore the sin of sodom as though consequences were of little or even no matter.
Is there any wonder why there is so much confusion today in contemporary American Christianity?