There’s a battle brewing in our country. The battle lines have been drawn. It’s red against blue. Republicans versus Democrats. Some claim it’s good versus evil. Whatever it is, things have become very heated—maybe it’s partly due to the record-breaking heat and dry weather—and things are about to explode. The amazing thing to me is the symbols of this summer’s battle are a snack cookie and a chicken sandwich.
It all started earlier this summer when an advertisement featuring a rainbow-cream-filled Oreo was posted on Facebook. The picture created an instant controversy. People called for a boycott of the popular treat, while others applauded the gesture and promised to buy more cookies. Some devoutly religious people resented the fact that Kraft Foods would promote a lifestyle they cannot tolerate, but others applauded the company’s attempt to celebrate diversity, equality, and love.
Suddenly, a cookie became the symbol of a war of wills. On one side people were crying about the loss of religious freedom. On the other side were people passionate about tolerance and equality for all citizens of this great country. Somewhere stuck in the middle was a larger, quieter group of people who long for a reasoned, balanced resolution to both problems.
Just when things were about to cool off, Chick-fil-A‘s CEO Dan Cathy reaffirmed his stance on gay marriage, and the battle was out in the open again. News reports pointed out the millions of dollars Cathy had donated to anti-gay organizations, and another boycott was called. This time around, the people who originally called for an Oreo boycott called foul for those calling for a Chick-fil-A boycott—oh, how soon we forget. The arguing about morality, love, and equality started once again on Facebook, The Huffington Post, and dozens of other websites.
It seemed like every five minutes, another new story was published online. Jim Henson Company announced they would discontinue their partnership with the fast food restaurant. Chick-fil-A fabricates a story as to why their toys are no longer available in kids’ meals. A suspicious character appears on Facebook to defend Chick-fil-A. Civic leaders send letters to the restaurant chain telling them they are not welcome to open business in their communities.
I am pretty skeptical of a lot of what I read on the internet, but this past week has been ridiculous. I am not sure which of these dozens of stories are true. Most, however, seem to be clever works of fiction written to destroy the enemy.
The few stories that I take at face value, however, lead me to what I think would be the best solution to this war we are experiencing. Mike Huckabee has declared August 1 Chick-fil-A day. He has called all good Christians to eat at the restaurant that day in a demonstration of solidarity and support. The only problem is that I know many Christians who don’t support Mr. Cathy’s—nor Mr. Huckabee’s—views. On the other side of the battle is this solution that I find to be quite clever.
As I was pondering how in the world we let a cookie and chicken nuggets expose this huge divide we have in our country, I had an epiphany. If there’s one thing we’re more passionate about than current politics, it’s food. We love our food—just look at the alarming obesity rates in this country. It appears to me, the only way to build bridges that are currently being blown to bits is for us all to sit down together for a nice dinner. Just imagine what we could accomplish with a national sit-down dinner provided by Chick-fil-A and Kraft. The only thing that would make it better is if JC Penney and Target were to provide the table settings for the meal.