Published July 31, 2012

Paul's Epistle...
"Taking A Stand"

What does it mean to take a stand for Christ? What does it mean to take a stand for Biblical principles? What does it mean to affirm boldly and publicly Godly principles?

It means a lot to Dan Cathy, head of the 1,608-restaurant chain Chick-fil-A. It is the second largest quick-serve chicken restaurant chain in the USA. And it's built firmly on Biblical principles.

One of those principles has been getting Chick-fil-A a lot of attention over the past week or so. Cathy came out firmly in support of the Biblical definition of marriage. He told Baptist Press, "We are very supportive of the family – the Biblical definition of the family unit... We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that."

Well... In this day when same-sex marriage is the politically-correct stand, comments such as Cathy's drive the liberal left berserk. How dare anyone say that marriage is only for one man and one woman, joined forever in holy wedlock!

Boston's mayor, Democrat Thomas Menino – a champion of same-sex marriage – pledged to use his political power to keep Chick-fil-A out of his city. "We are indeed full of pride for our support of same-sex marriage..."

Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, an Obama confidant who left the White House to take over the windy city, roared, "Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values." Apparently not. At least for the politicians. Rahm said he would support an alderman's efforts to keep the Christian-owned chain from building more restaurants there.

Even the Jim Henson Company – creators of the Muppets – have canceled any plans to work with Chick-fil-A in the future. "Lisa Henson, our CEO, is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage," they explained. (Unfortunately, I'll never think of the Muppets quite the same way again.)

You haven't been able to read the papers or hear the news lately without hearing some liberal or another excoriate Chick-fil-A for their egregious audacity in preferring to stand by God's definition of marriage rather than the politically-correct definition of, well, "anything goes." Online blogs have been spewing characteristically vicious, vulgar profanity-laced tirades against the company. But what would you expect? They would rather vilify, humiliate and silence anyone who doesn't endorse this sinful lifestyle.

This isn't the first time. Last year, Chick-fil-A donated lunches to a healthy marriage seminar. As Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council puts it, "To most people, it was just a box of chicken. But it ruffled the feathers of homosexual activists who saw it as a declaration of war." That helps explain their coordinated blitzkrieg this time.

Chick-fil-A, though, isn't backing down. In fact, if anything, they've become more bold. In a recent radio interview, Cathy said, "I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage." Cathy said he prays for "God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about."

The amazing thing is that Chick-fil-A doesn't discriminate in any way. Not in hiring. Not in serving customers. That's policy. But the liberal left simply can't stand a company whose CEO espouses Christian values. And they're irritated to no end that in a down economy, Chick-fil-A actually saw business increase last year by 13 percent to $4.1 billion. Do you suppose God's favor had anything to do with that?

Would you be bold enough to take the kind of stand Dan Cathy has? Would you be willing to follow his example?  It doesn't seem to be hurting Chick-fil-A. Shelia and I ate at one of their restaurants last evening. The place was full and the line of people waiting to place orders wound through the seating area almost to the door. I had to wonder as I looked around how many of those people were actually there because of the recent publicity – to support the company's stand. We were.

And the Chick-fil-A owner's stand is getting support from key leaders of the Christian community. No less than Rev. Billy Graham, 93, has commended Cathy and his family for their "strong stand for the Christian faith." Cutting to the gist of the issue, Graham said, "Each generation faces different issues and challenges, but our standard must always be measured by God's Word." Franklin Graham commended Cathy for taking a bold stand "in a culture that has grown openly hostile to the Christian faith and its followers."

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is spearheading a national "Appreciation Day" for Chick-fil-A, inviting everyone to eat at a Chick-fil-A restaurant tomorrow, August 1st. "Let's affirm a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the Godly values we espouse."

Good idea. Tens of thousands of people have already promised to do just that. In one case, the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary announced they expect to purchase more than 200 meals at a Chick-fil-A near campus tomorrow "to encourage Chick-fil-A's support of the traditional family and the First Amendment right of Dan Cathy to live out his religious beliefs."

Tomorrow, Lord willing, I plan to get takeout meals from Chick-fil-A for our entire office staff to show our support. How about you?

Oh, by the way – the food's great, too!

- Paul

Note: See a previous column about marriage here.
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