Two key facts emerge as I begin pounding the keys of my trusty MacBook Pro early this morning. First, I love chicken — fried, baked, on a bun, on a plate, doesn’t matter, that’s fact No. 1. Fact two, I am a preacher. Enough said. Years ago, I remember hearing that the reason preachers eat so much chicken is because of that pesky rooster that told on Peter’s denial of Jesus.
Back to the subject at hand: Chicken, Chik-fil-A’s chicken, to be exact. It seems that feathers are a bit ruffled in the Big Apple these days as Gotham is reeling from the uncaged success of Chik-fil-A. This brings me to last week’s article in The New Yorker magazine. Nicole Russell wrote regarding Chick-fil-A, which opened its fourth franchise in Manhattan. Even though customers seem thrilled and the company appears to be thriving, some on the Left aren’t happy. On Friday, The New Yorker published a story with a headline only they could love: “Chick-fil-A’s Creepy Infiltration of New York City.” The Federalist, a web magazine focused on culture, politics and religion, points out a “creepy” tweet from The New Yorker’s Twitter feed: “Chick-fil-A’s arrival in New York City feels like an infiltration, in no small part because of its pervasive Christian traditionalism.” Now that’s a perspective that really lays an egg.
A few years ago, Chik-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy made comments in which he affirmed his view that the Biblical view of marriage should be upheld. When the press attacked him for his views, it was Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, called for a Chik-fil-A appreciation day, which led to lines around the block at every location in America, producing record sales, which keep climbing.
It occurs to me that there are a lot of Americans who still like the taste of good chicken. There are a lot of Americans who still like the taste of faith in God. There are a lot of Americans who still like the taste of freedom, and they like the taste of free market. This is still a great nation. As my good friend Chad Connelly says, “we don’t see anyone from America taking wood from their homes and strapping it together to build a boat to leave this country for another.”
Yes, Americans still like the taste of faith. The Psalmist writes: “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him.” I believe that one of the lessons to be learned here is that just because you think you’re right, doesn’t mean everyone else agrees. This is proven in sales and profits. It’s proven in the free market. It’s even proven in elections. People tend to gravitate toward good taste, hospitality, good manners, great customer service and — I know this hurts the progressive mindset — people tend to gravitate toward God. You see, this isn’t about chicken, nor is it about Chik-fil-A. This is about America, and America still has an appetite for faith and freedom. So, for those who haven’t grasped the timeless principles of who America really is and where we came from, I can see where this would be a little confusing and disconcerting. America still has an appetite for God. This is a sobering reminder that there may be many who don’t believe in freedom. There are those who don’t have the same appetite and do not wish the best for us, our children and grandchildren.
Alexis de Tocqueville, after visiting America in 1831, said, “I sought for the greatness of the United States in her commodious harbors, her ample rivers, her fertile fields, and boundless forests — and it was not there. I sought for it in her rich mines, her vast world commerce, her public-school system and in her institutions of higher learning — and it was not there. I looked for it in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution — and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
May we never allow foul intentions to distract from America’s greatness.
So, let the progressive chicken hawks circle the barnyard. God-loving and fearing Americans know what tastes good and right. Join me, won’t you. Let’s make chikin great again.
Tim Throckmorton is the former executive pastor for Plymouth Heights Church of the Nazarene in Franklin Furnace, Ohio, and Portsmouth First Church of the Nazarene. He is currently senior pastor at Crossroads Church in Circleville, Ohio.