Here is a story about how social media and social consciousness can ruin your breakfast…but stimulate important conversations and perhaps encourage more justice in the world.
This morning, between some housework and a son that just wouldn’t wake up to go to daycare, I left the house without breakfast. As I was getting hungry on the bus ride to work, I remembered that yesterday a brand new Chick-fil-A opened up just two blocks from church—this was a pretty momentous occasion for southerners and all other lovers of fried chicken living in Chicago. Figuring they served some form of tasty chicken biscuit for breakfast, I turned to Yelp to double check they they are open for breakfast.
While I confirmed that they are indeed open for breakfast—and probably have a damn good biscuit sandwich—I also read a few comments that reminded me that Chick-fil-A has received some pretty strong criticism lately for supporting a variety of anti-gay organizations and causes. Chick-fil-A is a famously Christian company and it’s certainly their right to support whatever social agenda they want. But, I also read about how many supporters of LGBT rights are boycotting Chick-fil-A in protest.
This created an ethical dilemma for me. I really wanted a chicken biscuit. But I also want to stand in solidarity with the LGBT community. What to do?
I turned to social media, of course, and posted the following question to Twitter and Facebook: A Chick-fil-a just opened two blocks from church. Should I indulge the tasty goodness or refrain in solidarity with LGBTs? When a lesbian friend responded that I should refrain, I had my answer.
I guess I won’t be eating at Chick-fil-A in the near future. My waistline doesn’t really need a steady supply of fried chicken sandwiches anyway.
In a tangential direction, as I googled articles about Chick-fil-A’s anti-gay activities, I came across a line talking about the “biblical” standard of marriage between one man and one woman. This prompted another social media query: Can someone explain how “one” man and “one” woman is the “biblical” standard for marriage with all the unchecked polygamy? This question resulted in a great Facebook exchange, which you can follow here.
My main point in this conversation is that there is no clear biblical prohibition against polygamy, much less a clear biblical standard that defines marriage as a covenant between one man and one woman. The “traditional” understanding of marriage—which prohibits gay marriage and polygamous marriage—relies on much more than sola scriptura, and I wish conservatives would just own up to that. But they won’t. Here’s one of my comments on Facebook:
Social conservatives should just admit that there is no clear biblical mandate against polygamy. But that would mess their convoluted hermeneutics all up. If they even hint that this foundational “standard” relies on something more than the Bible, it opens up the door for lots of extra-biblical innovations that they won’t like.
All in all, my craving to “eat mor chikin” has resulted in a great morning of public theology via social media.
As I finish up this post, someone suggested on Facebook that we should host a Bible study at Chick-fil-A to talk about these very issues. I think that is a great idea…