One of the most popular fast-food restaurants in America today is Chick-fil-A. Their delicious entrees combined with talking cows and efficient drive-thru service have earned them a coveted spot among the top eatery chains in the nation both in terms of volume and profits. It’s particularly amazing considering their policy of closing on Sundays and competing with six days of income while all the rest have seven.

Most are aware that Truett Cathy founded this venture on godly principles by which it continues to operate today. His concern for employees as well as customers has built a loyal clientele of Americans seeking to satisfy their hunger. While all of their restaurants serve all customers who enter regardless of skin color, beliefs, or sexual identity, some have boycotted and even attacked the corporation through vicious smear campaigns.

The city of San Antonio, for example, has prevented Chick-fil-A from opening a store in their airport despite the public’s desire for one. Some college campuses have done the same, all citing alleged bigoted beliefs of the company.

Similar fates have recently befallen some states such as Georgia, Mississippi, and Ohio for passing legislation protecting the lives of unborn children. Threats and tirades from Hollywood actors and actresses as well as politicians encourage boycotts because of what they interpret as hateful and restrictive policies.

These situations and others like them strike me as particularly distressing considering the past rhetoric of those who champion LGBTQ and pro-choice causes. These very individuals and groups have pressed for freedoms of expression, speech, and choice, supposedly for all. Unfortunately, it turns out that they only want these for themselves and those who agree with them while seeking to silence and eliminate all others.

Their mantra of “love and acceptance for everyone” apparently only applies if one agrees with their policies and practices and all who disagree must be ruthlessly drummed out of business and kept out of town. Without getting into the reasoning for their beliefs or that of their opponents, the double standards are particularly obvious from those who have so long and so often accused their challengers of hypocrisy.

It’s not wrong to boycott businesses that advocate or sell products with which we disagree. My parents avoided all restaurants and grocery stores that sold alcohol in an attempt to vote with their feet and their dollars. Many Christians continue to boycott Target because they allow biological men into women’s restrooms.

In America, we are free to do business wherever we like for whatever reasons we like. I am so thankful we still have that freedom. What is particularly telling about these current situations, however, is that the very people who have so harshly criticized Christian boycotts of trashy television and other offensive sinful practices in the past are now employing the exact same tactics to advance their own agendas.

Even more distressing are their attempts to discriminate legislatively against businesses like Chick-fil-A solely based on strongly held religious beliefs especially when those beliefs have no impact on their business practices. Entrepreneurs that personally espouse communism, socialism, or even Nazism are free to establish whatever businesses they like as long as they operate them legally and ethically. Those who have complained about discrimination are now discriminating feverishly to restrict and punish Christians even though their Christian beliefs do not adversely affect their customers.

I’m thankful for recent court decisions that have protected the rights of Christian bakers and others who have established business practices based on their beliefs and pray that legislative protections will also be enacted to prevent further encroachments on our precious First Amendment freedoms.

Unlike the delicious sandwiches from Chick-fil-A, the hypocrisy of those who oppose these restaurants is very distasteful. As the glaring discriminatory action becomes apparent from those who have claimed to have opposed it for so long, may it remind us all to examine our own lives for discrepancies between what we believe and what we do. And may we support those businesses and individuals with whom we agree while respecting all with whom we don’t. Blessings, George

George Bowers Sr. is the Senior Pastor of Antioch Church of the Brethren and has authored thirteen books including a weekly devotional, Blessings Volume II, which is available at Four Star Printing and Shenandoah Stuff. He can be reached through www.georgebowersministries.com or at gabowers@shentel.net.

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