In Praise of Virtuous Chicken

Recently, the comic Tim Hawkins performed a new song in which he extolls the wonders of Chick-fil-A. This is the second song he has dedicated to the restaurant. Tim is a fan. I am too.

Not everyone is as enamored with Chick-fil-A as Tim and I. The company and its CEO, Dan Cathy, are currently in the firing line of the culture war. Cathy made his opposition to gay marriage clear in a recent interview with a denominational paper. His support of traditional marriage has resulted in a growing cacophony of complaints. Entertainers and politicians are rallying around their mutual outrage. Evidently, righteous indignation has an unrighteous counterpart. The mayors of Boston and Chicago would like to close their doors to the company and spare their citizens from exposure to such bigotry.

The irony is almost too much to bear, these paragons of tolerance are only as open as their prejudices allow.  I am flummoxed by the dispute. How is Cathy’s opinion surprising? This is a family company that refuses to open their restaurants on Sundays. Their entire business model is shaped by their Christian faith. The entire uproar is a farce.

The silliness does, however, have a more sinister shadow. Christians who share the biblical convictions of the Cathy’s are more likely to tread carefully in the future. They won’t surrender their convictions, but they will be tempted to surrender their voices. I have recently read that younger evangelicals want no part in the culture wars. I can understand their desire to avoid conflict, but I fear that their understanding of scripture and culture is uninformed.

Let’s remember that our message is an offense to the ungodly (Gal 5:11; 1 Pet 2:8), and our obedience is guaranteed to attract persecution (John 15:20). Avoiding controversy demands we swallow our allegiance to Christ and His truth. It’s too high a price to pay.

And by vacating the public square, we allow others to shape our culture. And as Ken Meyers explains, our culture has a dramatic impact on us, and on future generations.

Cultures Cultivate. A culture is more like an ecosystem than a supermarket, and human persons, as encultured creatures, are generally less like independent rationally choosing shoppers than like organisms whose environment predisposes a certain set of attitudes and actions.

Cultures Cultivate. Not that our activities are absolutely determined by cultural influences, we are rational beings not just instinctual beings. We can make choices that go against the conventions that are sustained around us. We can lean into the prevailing winds, but only if we know how to stand somewhere solid, only if we are not being carried by the wind. 

I have no desire to become a curmudgeon. My faith doesn’t make me grumpy or angry. More than anything I am motivated by love. And in love I must campaign for goodness. If I love my neighbor, as I ought, surely I want to alert them to the dangers of ungodliness. And I should do this with just as much zeal as I herald the glories of godliness.

Personally, I am grateful for Mr. Cathy’s vocal stand. In spirit and in truth, I stand beside him.

10 thoughts on “In Praise of Virtuous Chicken

  1. AMEN! I admire Mr. Cathy for standing by his beliefs and those that chose to side with political correctness rather than Christ, best of luck to them. It those cities close their doors to his restaurants, well then, we can open more in Jackson, TN!!!

  2. For a person, that the public thinks he/she must rely on public opinion and a good product to have a successful business, to do this wouldn’t make sense to the non-christian. But we know that this business is run on CHRISTIAN BELIEFS and FAITH and has been and will be more than successful because of his principles and his belief in our LORD and SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST.

  3. Ditto!
    Think i might get 3 chicken sandwiches next wednesday to support.
    All up in arms over such a “of course” reply from Cathy?

    Lord help me to be like Cathy and say what i should when the rubber meets the road!

  4. Amen! I have long admired Chick-fil-a. It’s easy to fall into the trap of being PC or at least seeming to be. It takes courage to speak up and go against the flow. I agree that it’s easy (and tempting) to stay silent instead of speaking up to avoid conflicts.

  5. With HIM, all things are possible. I speak God’s divine love into the hears of Dan Cathy and his wonderful organization for standing for truth and light. I speak God’s divine love into the hears of customers for their unwavering support.and into all of you who love God and his ways. I hope that everyone will start to speak God’s love into the hearts of family, neighbor, friend, co-worker and even those who cut us off while driving or talking on the cell phone. LOVE NEVER FAILS.

  6. I’ve met Dan and produced a live broadcast at one of his Grand Openings in North Florida. There’s not a hateful bone in his body. Some of the hateful comments made about him are total lies. He plays a pretty mean trumpet by the way. Let’s all keep him in our prayers and EAT mOR CHIKIN.

  7. Amen, brother! Totally agree, especially with your observation that Mr. Cathy’s declaration should not come as a surprise to anyone. The dissenters could not have escaped the Christian aura of the business and have, unfortunately, used his words as fuel to further their fame with cheap shots to get their share of free publicity.

  8. We’ll be eating at Chick-Fil-A this Wednesday as a show of support.
    Aside from this current controversy, Chick-Fil-A has been our favorite fast-food for years. i think it is a wonderful testimony that the founder, Truett Cathy, had a conviction to close his restaurant on Sundays, and was successful against the conventional wisdom that he’d lose money and fail. Now the brand makes 2 billion a year, and gives back to the community. They are being persecuted for their long-standing biblical beliefs for these “offending” words (copied from The Baptist Press web site):

    Some have opposed the company’s support of the traditional family. “Well, guilty as charged,” said Cathy when asked about the company’s position.

    “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,” Cathy emphasized.

    “We intend to stay the course,” he said. “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.”

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