The Chik-Fil-A-ing of America

This has nothing to do with the recent events surrounding Chik-Fil-A about gay rights or the rights of a private citizen to exercise his free speech.  This has to do with the way the company operates and how that type of business model is seeping into the way America thinks.

Chik-Fil-A is one of these so-called “Christian” businesses.  Like another business I know, Hobby Lobby, Chik-Fil-A makes a very public point of not opening on Sundays.  Great, but like those other “Christian” businesses that put the fish symbol in their advertising, I am in no way impressed.

So, with that as a backdrop, I once had lunch with my former boss, Dave, who I have written about before, and a colleague of his from Bob Jones University.  Dave’s son used to work at Chik-Fil-A and was a diligent worker.  They chatted about that for a while and then Dave’s friend commented about how Chik-Fil-A wasn’t open on Sunday and “that’s a good thing.”  There is something about that statement that rubs me the wrong way.

I wonder if Dave’s friend would think it’s such a “good thing” if everybody operated under the “closed on Sunday” philosophy of Chik-Fil-A and others.  I mean these people are not the stay-at-home-and-observe-the Sabbath-types.  They go to church but they will do other things afterwards.  They go to restaurants.  They go to movies.  They go to amusement parks.  They go to grocery stores, gas stations, the local mall.  They watch pro football, for crying out loud!  They travel for their businesses.  What if the airlines decided they weren’t going to run on Sunday?  What if all these businesses decided that Sunday was the Day of Rest?  It would suck, that’s what.

So here we have a business that makes a big deal about an empty gesture and they and others think it is somehow a commendable action.  It’s not, but it points out to me their lack of seeing the bigger picture: that we can’t operate the Chik-Fil-A way as a nation.  It’s this hypocritical myopia that’s turning the fixing of this country into a clash with dysfunctional ideologues.  You can’t go along thinking that you can enjoy certain benefits (not working on Sunday) while at the same time expecting others to be at your beck and call whenever their services are demanded.  It’s this type of thinking that infects the tax issues and social issues and it has to change.  We cannot survive as a nation if we are divided along the lines of empty gestures and postures all in the name of “no compromise.”  We need leaders who break the paralysis of political gamesmanship, not engender it.

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