FORT WORTH—Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary demonstrated its support of Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy and the biblical definition of marriage by purchasing chicken sandwiches for students, faculty and staff, Aug. 1. The seminary set up a tent outside the restaurant located on the corner of Altamesa and McCart in Fort Worth and handed out 250 sandwiches at lunchtime.
“We feel it’s important to stand with Mr. Cathy and his first amendment right and his freedom of religion to express whatever views he believes,” said Thomas White, vice president of student services and communications at Southwestern. “We also believe it’s fine for protestors to come. We welcome them, treat them with kindness and love them even though we disagree with them.”
In light of harsh criticism and calls for boycotts of the company after Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy recently claimed to stand for the biblical definition of marriage between one man and one woman, Former presidential candidate and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee launched a nationwide initiative urging people to visit the fast food chain’s restaurants on Aug. 1 for “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.” Huckabee, who was honored as a distinguished alumnus by Southwestern Seminary in June, created the website ISupportChickFilA.com, where people could “RSVP” that they intended to participate. As of the morning of Aug. 1, more than 600,000 people had responded that they were going.
“We’re also out here today to show our support for the biblical definition of marriage,” White said. “We want to make sure we put our money where our mouth is. We’re not out here with protest signs, but we’re out here with our pocketbooks. We’re not just supporting Chick-fil-A today, but also on Sept. 6 at our all-campus picnic, when we’ll purchase 3,500 Chick-fil-A sandwiches to give out to students, faculty, and their families.”
Southwestern ethics professor Evan Lenow noted that the seminary’s purchasing of sandwiches shows “tangible support” of the company and its president’s beliefs. He also clarified what Christians mean by the phrases “traditional marriage” and the “biblical definition of marriage.”
“For the most part, when people say ‘traditional marriage,’ they mean a biblical understanding of marriage—marriage between one man and one woman for life,” Lenow said.
“What it points back to is Genesis 2:24. That is how God created us from the beginning, and that is His intent for marriage. It’s not a tradition like your Thanksgiving dinner with family. It’s something that goes farther back all the way to God’s created order.”
Lenow encouraged Christians not only to support Chick-fil-A for one day but to make it a regular habit to support and encourage businesses that stand on biblical values with your words and money.
Southwestern Seminary, which is an agency of the Southern Baptist Convention, is one of the largest seminaries in the world with more than 3,500 students, faculty and staff. The seminary affirms the biblical definition of marriage and is in full agreement with the Southern Baptist statement of faith, The Baptist Faith & Message 2000, which says in its article on the family: “Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime.”
—Article written by Keith Collier, Southwestern Seminary