I came cross this blog post last night via the Facebook wall of Hunter Baker. On that blog, called “The American Jesus,” a young Christian man named Zack Hunt explains why he did not participate in “Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day.” (For some reason, “The American Jesus” cannot be accessed right now. Hopefully, it is only a temporary glitch).
Although I very much appreciate the thought that went into Zack’s post, I want to focus on one claim he makes: “Regardless, for me, dedicating a day to shove a chicken sandwich in the face of your `enemies’ just doesn’t seem like a very Jesus-like thing to do.” I don’t see it that way. Consider this analogy.
Imagine that Chick-Fil-A were owned by Muslims and the mayor of “We Love Jesus, Texas,” Billy Bob Cinderblock, announces that he “don’t want no crazy Muslims preaching their Sharia Law in these parts,” and thus suggests that his office will not allow Chick-Fil-A to build and open up a store in his city. Hearing of this, I and several friends, including Hunter, conclude: “You know, let’s show our support for the religious liberty of our Muslim neighbors and eat at Chick-Fil-A on August 1.” As Christians, we see this as an act of neighbor-love, consistent with the teachings of Christ. We then post our plan on the internet, and it goes viral. On August 1 hundreds of thousands of Americans eat at Chick-Fil-A restaurants throughout the United States in order to show solidarity with their Muslim neighbors.How is this not “Jesus-like”?
In fact, it seems to be quintessentially Jesus-like, since in both the real and Muslim cases, government officials, harboring anti-religious prejudices, were trying to harm–either by word, deed, or both–productive citizens who merely want to conduct business. When the mayors of three major cities (Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco) start issuing such secular fatwas, people of good will, regardless of political or religious differences, must do what we can to support our fellow citizens.