Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?
Quite a bit of media coverage has been dedicated to Chick fil A President Dan Cathy’s comments denouncing same sex marriage. Mr. Cathy’s statements have been interpreted as a company wide position, resulting in a worldwide media barrage of political posturing.
Many people have supported Cathy/the company in its definition of ‘Christian values.’ Others have spoken out against the commentary, claiming Cathy’s words promote “hate and inequality.” Former Arkansas Governor, and popular conservative, Mike Huckabee joined in the fray by encouraging a “Chick fil A Appreciation Day” on August 1 – with the stated goal to support Cathy’s (and the company’s?) right to free speech.
The day after, it is hard to open a newspaper, in print or online, without reading about the groundswell of response from Huckabee’s call. Waiting times of 30-45 minutes were common, as customers voted with their pocketbooks – large purchases from the Christian right; orders of water only from those opposed to Cathy’s comments. Many others, I would imagine, came out in support of the original call – free speech. And my heart goes out to anyone who was not aware of the onslaught of controversy, finding themselves inside a Chick fil A yesterday, with no knowledge of the political fray.
I avoided Chick fil A yesterday, but watched the ruckus through online media outlets. I listened while a friend shared his voice on camera in Austin. I watched my facebook feed as many of my friends accepted the invitation to the Appreciation Event of the Year. I saw Twitter light up with debate. And I was thankful for that freedom of speech.
But when the time came for me to eat my lunch, I sat quietly at my desk, and listened to my heart on the topic. My heart told me this:
‘The Spirit of the [Lord] is upon me, because [he] has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. [He] has sent me to proclaim release to the capitves and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the [Lord’s] favour.’ (Luke 4:18-19, NRSV)
Had I braved the crowds, I would have done so in support of free speech. And perhaps I would have been thoughtful enough to purchase a few sandwiches for that mother down the street who can’t feed her children. That is the biblical value I choose to support.
In all things, Love.