I have noticed that nearly every article on the Chick-Fil-A controversy mentions they serve delicious chicken sandwiches. This must have KFC wondering who might feign offense at them and fry up some of that free publicity (when even Billy Graham plans on observing Chick-Fil-A Wednesday, you know you’re on to something).
This backhanded compliment seems to be a modern version of Tertullian’s plea that the Roman emperor should stop persecuting his best citizens. I’m not saying that “Christians are haters who know how to fry a chicken” is in the same class as Tertullian’s point, but it’s a start.
Ross Douthat has a powerful essay on religious tolerance in today’s New York Times. Here are his final four paragraphs, which should encourage you to read the whole thing:
It may seem strange that anyone could look around the pornography-saturated, fertility-challenged, family-breakdown-plagued West and see a society menaced by a repressive puritanism. But it’s clear that this perspective is widely and sincerely held.
It would be refreshing, though, if it were expressed honestly, without the “of course we respect religious freedom” facade.
If you want to fine Catholic hospitals for following Catholic teaching, or prevent Jewish parents from circumcising their sons, or ban Chick-fil-A in Boston, then don’t tell religious people that you respect our freedoms. Say what you really think: that the exercise of our religion threatens all that’s good and decent, and that you’re going to use the levers of power to bend us to your will.
There, didn’t that feel better? Now we can get on with the fight.