Chick-fil-A Fire

Real quick (excuse the Midwestern terminology) take a moment to read something positive on the internet.

Two videos regarding Chick-fil-a were posted by a gentleman early this month. The first was this man waiting in the drive thru line at a Chick-fil-a in Arizona. It was a Wednesday when there was said to be a same-sex ‘kiss-in’ at the restaurants. This was after supporters who carry the same traditional marriage/biblical values as CEO Dan Cathy waited in the long lines to show faith and eat chicken. Adam, the man in the videos, demonstrates very different character aspects from first video to the second. The first video ignited a viral blaze fueled by Adam’s temper; he let his anger cloud his opinions and took it out on Rachel, the female employee working the widow. Excited about receiving his free water Adam gets up to the window and very quickly…looses it, as many of us do when we feel strongly about something. Rachel however, maintains her beliefs and her composure, handling the verbal assault with such poise. “Chick-fil-a is a hateful cooperation’ Adam says, and then it escalates to “I don’t know how you live with yourself and work here. This is a horrible cooperation with horrible values.” Meanwhile Rachel does nothing to fan the flames of his rage. She stays neutral and most importantly respectful “it’s my pleasure to serve you always” she says when she is allowed a second to respond. “I’m really uncomfortable with you video taping me.” Adam rants a bit more talking about hatred in an ironically hateful way. “We’re happy to serve you in any way that you need. I hope you have a really nice day.’ The video ends and presumably Rachel is left at the window to recover and Adam drives away satisfied.

Not at all, this is why this video begged for blogging. There’s a second video remember? Starring Adam again, just him, not Rachel. Continuing his tirade on how disrespectful Chick-fil-a is, no quite the contrary actually, instead of taking the Charlie Sheen approach, Adam sits down and takes his time saying what can be the two most difficult words for people to say let alone mean these days. Adam says he’s sorry, he apologizes, he takes responsibility for his actions, he acts like the adult he is; he exercises maturity. “I’m sorry I treated you so inhumanely. I compromised my personal integrity, while I might not agree with everyone’s views I wanna always treat the other person with respect. I didn’t do that with you.” He tells her she should be very proud how she handled the stressful situation “your peacefulness will take you a long way.” How amazing humility is. It is wonderful that Adam had this change of heart and felt the need to act on it.

The first video is wonderful too, not the anger, not the yelling, not the hurtful words; but the fact that the change in his heart was caught on tape. Having two videos of one man in very different lighting, gives his honest remorse the impact necessary to not only affect him and Rachel, but to affect others as well. Wouldn’t be quite as profound if it was just a narration of how the tantrum went and then he apologizing would it? Physically seeing the change from hate brings the word love to life. “We have to start seeing people as people, we aren’t ever gonna make social progress by personally attacking people, I’m clearly guilty of this.” Both Rachel and Adam deserve applause, Rachel was Christlike from the beginning and so was Adam after a brief detour-emotions will do that. They derail the composure train faster than someone can shout a warning. Hence, why it is important to consistently check things through the heart, because where the head fails the heart will not. This is an amazing illustration to do as Paul writes in the book of Philemon: “yet for love’s sake, I prefer to appeal” (Philemon 1:9). Even if it is right, even if the judge and the jury say holding a grudge is justifiable, do everyone a favor and bring it back to love. Towards the end of the video Adam reflects on this: “If people can get this passionate about a guy being rude to a girl in a drive thru…how much more passion can we have for our fellow human beings?” Let’s all amaze the world with beautiful kindness and dignity.

Adam Smith was let go from his job after the company received hateful threats and emails. Given how this situation played out, that in the end there was humility and apology and love; how about showing him some mercy and welcoming him back to work?

See it for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MFHYFW9PqA

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