Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day – Reflections

WOW! Did anyone imagine how big the Chick-Fil-A appreciation day was going to be? I don’t really want to re-hash all the arguments from yesterday, but I do have some additional reflections. Here’s a summary of the issues.

I’ll start by sharing some of my friends status updates from Facebook.

  • Wow!! That chicky sandwich is sooooo tasty! Just shy of two hours … line still stretches out the store in the 100+ degrees.
  • This Chic Fil A thing is a multi ethnic deal here. About evenly distributed between us all! Plus iv seen some real cool tats!! Love it…still in line! Getting to know everyone!
  • Chick-fil-a line wrapping round the restaurant inside and outside
  • I’ve been here for an hour. Nobody just drinking water. Line has been like this for a long time. Line at other Chick-fil-A is even longer. Not an angry homophobe in sight.
  • Just heard that Hendersonville Chick-fil-a is officially OUT OF FOOD!
  • It was such a hot day that they were passing out cold cups of water to the protesters at the Chic-fil-A in Sevierville, TN yesterday. We thought that was pretty classy.

I share those just to point out that most people didn’t express anger or aggression toward anyone. Although they did buy a lot of chicken!

But not everyone was gracious. Here’s a quote from a Huffington Post blog by a gay CFA employee. He found himself in a tough situation, and obviously some of the comments he heard were very offensive… from both sides.

One gay employee who works at Chick-fil-A headquarters in Atlanta, Ga., and asked to remain anonymous for fear of losing his job, says he is getting it from both sides. On the one hand, there is the customer who came in and said he supported Dan Cathy and then “continues to say something truly homophobic, e.g. ‘I’m so glad you don’t support the queers, I can eat in peace,'” the employee, who is 23 and has worked for Chick-fil-A since he was 16, wrote in an email. On the other hand, he continued, “I was yelled at for being a god-loving, conservative, homophobic Christian while walking some food out to a guest in a mall dining room.”

Finally, I appreciated this reflection from John Dobbs, who takes a slightly different attitude to me, but who’s a preacher I respect:

Regarding the value of the Chick-Fil-A “appreciation day” at communicating a Christian message. “If the LGBT community are listening and paying attention, there are a LOT of Christian people affirming their love for this community. They are denouncing the hatespeech on both sides. And it is very possible (if they are listening with an open mind) that they are receiving the message that they are not hated for their feelings, nor rejected for who they are.

At the same time, a message is getting out that the Bible is plain on this subject and many others. I do think it is a distinct possibility that an interested soul could be won to Christ by the winsomeness of those who have taken a gentle approach. Those who want to hear that the Bible teaches that homosexual sex is OK with God, will have to hear that from someone besides me. That is not an act of hatred. Everyone has their battle to fight. There are a number of active and loud homosexuals, though, that interpret the teachings of Scripture that way.”

And here’s an anonymous quote I think summarises my attitude pretty well:

Wondering if I’ll see cars lined up and folks packing into every church Sunday like they were at Chik-fil-a. Surely if chicken can motivate you to wait in lines, lose Facebook “friends”, argue, etc, to support a human and his business, the Alpha and Omega is worthy of a lil time. Reppin’ Christ is a lifestyle not a single action.

  • What were your experiences (if any)?
  • What message (if any) do you feel the “Appreciation Day” communicated to the world?
  • In your mind was the protest about supporting Christian values, or defending free speech?

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