Guess what some of the great minds at Fort Worth’s Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary are focused on today. If you said “contemplating the trinity” or “debating Jesus’ human and divine natures,” you would be wrong. Heeding Christ’s command to “eat mor chikin,” Seminary officials became self-appointed corporate shills for a fast food company that sells deep-fried chicken sandwiches and opposes marriage equality for gay people. If Southern Baptists, fried chicken, and bigotry sound like a strange mix, then you must not be from around these parts. That trio has been a typical Sunday potluck combo for thousands of white churchgoers in North Texas since the heyday of Jim Crow.
Truthfully, I’m not sure campaigning for or against Chik-fil-A will accomplish much for either side, except lowering the boycotters’ cholesterol. I won’t be eating at a Chik-fil-A anytime soon, but that has nothing to do with the company chief’s idiotic statements on “God’s definition of marriage.” My boycott began many years ago after I tasted my first Chik-fil-A sandwich, which managed to be soggy and bone dry at the same time. I’m just grateful the CEO of Whataburger hasn’t come out against, say, hospital visitation rights for gay couples –– forgoing my double meat with cheese and grilled jalapenos in the name of fairness would severely test my liberal conscience.
It would be useless to point out to Southwestern Baptist officials that Jesus said nothing about homosexuality or chicken sandwiches. And as for Chik-fil-A, I’d guess more than a few of its corporate honchos aren’t thrilled by “Chik-fil-A Appreciation Day.” Spokespeople are already insisting that the company is not a Christian business and that it doesn’t discriminate against gay people in hiring or service. What company seeking to expand its national reach wants to deal with this stuff?