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So, there I was enjoying my usual godless Sunday. After sleeping late and OD’ing on coffee, I sat in my bed and started reading the newspaper while Meet The Press, and then This Week, played in the background.
It wasn’t an uneventful weekend, Jack Kemp died, Justice Souter stepped down from the Supreme Court, and people were still in a panic with Swine Flu…fever.
As I flip to the AJC’s Business section, and George Will talks about his Federalist tie, I’m happy to read the economy shows signs of improvement. (However, I’m sure this article is part of a liberal media plot to make Obama look good). The bottom of the page has a picture of Truett Cathy (founder of Chick-fil-A) and an article entitled, “Eating out makes Sunday special.”
If you don’t know, Chick-fil-A started as a Georgia business, and Cathy is a devout Christian. Since 1946 the restaurant has been closed on Sundays. I’ve never had a problem with this; however it was sometimes inconvenient when my oldest daughter (now 16) was a toddler. She loved her some chicken nuggets. If we were out shopping on a Sunday, she would want to eat there.
When my daughter was old enough to understand, I explained to her that some people don’t work on Sunday (or Saturday) for religious reasons. I explained to her that Chick-fil-A was a Christian run business, and this was also why she got crappy (no, I didn’t use that word) religious toys in her kid’s meals. She sat quietly in her car seat, contemplating all things divine. Then, with a sigh, she said, “Well let’s go to Taco Bell, their not Christian.”
Anyway, so I begin reading the article and am struck by Cathy’s words in the second paragraph.
My wife said she would cook three meals a day if I would just take her out to dinner after church on Sunday. [Since Chick-fil-A is closed on Sundays] I’ll eat with my competition to see what they’re doing.
I read on.
Cathy says he teaches a Sunday school class to 13 year olds, and then returns to Sabbath talk:
Not long ago we were on the subject of the observance of the Lord’s Day. I asked these boys, you know, we close our doors on Sunday — how would you feel about me teaching you this lesson if my cash register were jingling? One little boy said, “I would think of you as a hypocrite.” For that reason, I’m careful how I conduct myself on Sunday.
… I feel like people can spend all the money they’ve got in six days. Competition has gotten so stiff that instead of a day of worship, Sunday has become a shopping day. I think that’s in violation of the Bible, which tells us we should take one day, regardless of what day it might be, to give attention to spiritual development along with physical and mental development.
Does he really not see the double standard here? You’re a hypocrite if you make money on Sunday. It’s horrible Sunday has become a shopping day. But it’s okay to spend money and cause others to sin?
This brought up bitter memories of family members who self righteously condemned me for not closing my stores (when I had them) on Sunday, but love to eat out on Easter and go to movies every Christmas.
I go back to the article.
Cathy concludes by saying things with which I agree wholeheartedly. He talks about teaching employees to treat others like you’d like to be treated (which was taught by Confucius long before Jesus), and having his employees greet patrons with smiling faces. He does do this well. Chick-fil-A has always been great at customer service. Those teenage Baptist boys and girls do take care of you.
However, I can’t get over the fact that Cathy couldn’t see he was more a hypocrite with his Sunday activities than if he opened his restaurants 7 days a week.