Chick-fil-A and My Family

I love Chick-fil-A. Still do.

My love for them is not bound up in a great chicken sandwich. Honestly, I eat very few of them. My love for them is based on how they have treated my family, especially my son.

My oldest daughter went to work for Chick-fil-A at the age of 15. A few years later my son turned 15 and went to work at the same location. Their mother and I encouraged it because Chick-fil-A was known for being a values-based company and they were closed on Sundays.

My son continues to work for the same owner-operator. While still in his 20’s he became the general manager of one of the most successful Chick-fil-A stores in the country. He has been good to them and they have been good to him.

With recent and current events, let’s just say that managing a Chick-fil-A has a bit more tension than normal.

In light of the current controversy, let me offer a few reflections. I hope my comments are given and received in light of the two greatest commandments given to us by Jesus.

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
(Mark 12:30 ESV)

The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
(Mark 12:31 ESV)

In the days ahead, I plan on writing some other articles that will offer a bit more depth to the issues of sexual ethics. For now here are just a few thoughts. These thoughts are not new. In fact, over the past months I have probably discussed each of these with my adult kids of which I have four.

1.  Because each of us have been created in the image of God, we should treat each other with great dignity.

I know my son has managed his store in this manner. I have managed my hotels the same way. It shouldn’t be any surprise that the hospitality industry has had a significant number of gay people employed. I have hired gay and straight people. I have promoted both. I have significant friends with whom I disagree with and they disagree with me about the issue of homosexuality. Whether co-worker, employee, boss or customer, I have tried with all of my strength to treat people with dignity and respect.

I also know that my son has made it a habit to be charitable with his efforts. When disaster have struck in his area, he has gone out of his way to help and assist.

2.  Those who hold a Christian view that homosexuality and/or gay marriage is not right should not be treated with a lack of dignity by some in the gay community.

My son has already had to deal with vandalism at his store. That doesn’t seem like a very tolerant act to me. I would never condone my child vandalizing the property of those with whom they disagree.

3.  Sanctimony from the right or the left is not a pretty sight.

Yes, stand up for what you think is right. But, I tire of the petty social media posts from both sides. I have dear friends who disagree with me on these issues. That is not surprising. What has surprised me a bit is that some of them now post hateful comments about people like me.

I see people take harsh stances because somebody they love is gay. Well, somebody I love manages a Chick-fil-A.

4.  As followers of Christ, we should not really be surprised by harsh opposition.

I am a big boy and can take harsh words. So is my son. It will probably get worse. But opposition is not a reason to change a view that is grounded in biblical teaching.

5.  While the issue of the day is homosexuality, many of us are sexually broken and sinful.

As a man who has heinous sexual sin in his past, I am not out to cast stones. Just as I think homosexuality is sinful, so is adultery and a host of other things. I have found grace and forgiveness from my son and my other children for how I sinned against their mother. But I don’t want them to think that it was okay to have done what I did.

God has provided a sexual ethic. Anything less than his standard is sinful. Loving my neighbor means that I want for all of us what God wants for us.

6.  Being born with certain inclinations is not a valid justification.

Since we have all arrived into this world with a fallen, sinful nature, we are naturally going to be inclined toward things that are not God’s design. I am naturally inclined to want to have sex with women to whom I am not married. But doing so is so destructive.

7.  Recent actions mean that Christians who are hypocrites now have company.

Now I don’t want anybody to be a hypocrite. That is someone who teaches one thing but does another. I’ve been one. It’s not pretty. Christians who rail against a particular sin in others while ignoring their own sin are hypocrites.

Those who preach tolerance and acceptance but vandalize and lash out at those who disagree are no less hypocritical.

The mayor of Chicago has been very vocal of his opposition of Chick-fil-A. This is the same guy who was in charge of releasing press releases from President Obama opposing gay marriage in our very recent history. But now it’s okay to try and ban a company that holds the same views?

It’s been almost humorous to see that some of the people I know who have been very vocal in attacking Chick-fil-A work for companies that have serious ethical issues. Oh, well.

I’ll stop here for now. Comments are welcomed, but let’s keep it civil.