Of the many things in my life I am thankful for, one broad category consists of all the thoughtful, younger than me, clergy in the The United Methodist Church. I am privileged to count people like Dalton Rushing and Ben Gosden as friends. Each has written about the whole Chick-fil-a conversation (Dalton’s here, Ben’s Facebook is here).
I agree with both my fellow clergy that where we eat lunch… or dinner for those of us who grew up in the rural south… is not a question of ultimate consequence. Neither is choosing or not choosing to eat Chick-fil-a, especially today, particularly a mark of Christian discipleship. Thank you, former Governor Huckabee.
But you know what is a mark Christian Discipleship? Standing in solidarity. Being present with people who have experienced harm. In this whole imbroglio that includes a fair number of my LGBT brothers and sisters.
Sure, me buying my grilled nuggets, fruit cup, and diet lemonade means only pennies of my lunch (dinner) would ultimately go to support issues that I do not wish to support. And yes, there is much that Chick-fil-a, their various foundations and Camp Winshape does that is laudable. Besides, of all the fast food options CFA comes closest to having Weight Watcher friendly options, albeit at a premium. And I’m particularly happy that the Decatur, GA CFA has gone out of their way to talk about their support for all families.
But symbols are still important.
To be honest, it does not bother me in the slightest what Dan Cathy thinks or believes; its a free country.
What I do care about is I have acquaintances, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, and parishioners who have been hurt, offended, or taken exception to Mr. Cathy’s statements and some of CFA’s charitable foundation’s work. There is no room in the Kingdom of God or simply playing by the rules of civility that calls for that.
Today, I stand with them.