They looked like they had been through a battle. Their uniforms were dirty and disheveled. They had sweat beading up on their foreheads. They had been fighting, some for six or seven hours with no end in sight. And when I looked one of them in the eye to tell them thank you, she replied with an exasperated, “My pleasure.”
Such was the scene at one of our local Chick-fil-A restaurants on Wednesday. Now, if you know anything about me, you know that I don’t really need an excuse to eat there. Yes, I am a fanboy. Yes, I could eat all three meals there and even finish the day with a milkshake.
But who knew that my favorite fast-food establishment would be ground zero for a cultural battle that is simmering. No doubt that Tuesday’s election in Georgia was important, but the biggest statements made this week were the lines that poured out of Chick-fil-A’s all across the nation on Wednesday. Have we really come to a place as a nation where the most significant question is not black or white? Rich or poor? Republican or Democrat? Left or right? Could it be that the most significant cultural question this week boils down to a simple choice – sodomy or sweet tea?
There may be some who feel that this whole thing is blown out of proportion. I would tend to agree. But when cities threaten to refuse business licenses because of the religious convictions of the owner, Christians should pay close attention. Why not refuse Baptist churches building permits because the Bible explicitly condemns sexual sin? Why not refuse business licenses to stores that sell the Bible? Suddenly it isn’t about sweat tea any longer. I hope we all understand that this is much bigger than Chick-fil-A.
And I hope we all understand that this is not about homophobia. I do not believe the Cathy’s are homophobes. If they were intentionally undercooking the chicken of homosexuals, then I might be persuaded otherwise. The truth is that the homosexual is a sinner just like I am. I was in the same boat as every homosexual in the world – condemned in my transgressions and sin. But God saw fit to rescue me from my sin through the cross. And I truly believe that God can rescue any sinner, no matter what sin they’re in bondage to – sodomy, pornography, or pride.
I don’t actually believe that the Chick-fil-A battle is about sin at all, at least directly. Instead, it is about the right of people to have convictions that there is an absolute moral authority. That’s all Dan Cathy did – made a statement of value based soundly on the authority of Scripture. Who did he offend? The people who reject the notion that moral absolutes apply to them – as well as those hoping to be elected by those same people.
The day that American citizens cannot form their opinions based on biblical principles without fear of persecution is a dark day for our nation. I champion the rights of Mr. Cathy to make a statement like he did. Believe it or not, I also champion the rights of the left to disagree with him. But I do not champion the attempts of our culture to suppress the opinions shared by Mr. Cathy and at least half of the electorate of our nation. This isn’t about sweet tea, it’s not about fried chicken, it’s about freedom. And that is something you should definitely care about.