“All you did was go and eat a sandwich!”
After Wednesday’s huge show of support for Chick-fil-A, marriage, and/or free speech (depending on the patron), such comments are really all that the bullies have left. It’s just hard to verbally bully people when they’re not inclined to go along with it. And so the protest is being minimized instead: “It didn’t involve a painful sacrifice. It didn’t require courage. It therefore doesn’t matter. You all are making way more of this than it really is.”
True, we shouldn’t make it more than it is. But let’s not deceptively make it less than it is by pretending it’s being overblown and then denouncing the pretend overblowing.
Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day was exactly what a protest should be: a proportional response to the problem at hand. Some big city mayors and media figures tried to pretend that believing two men or two women can’t marry is this radical & bigoted position that just isn’t tolerated in civil society. In response, lots of people proved them wrong by going out to eat sandwiches made by someone who holds that view. Mission accomplished.
In our pride, we think excellence in a vocation is performing some grand act of virtue. When it comes to protesting, we like to imagine ourselves as the one who calmly stares down the firing squad or risks everything to make a stand for what he believes. In reality, excellence in vocation is no less about simply doing the day-to-day necessities well. Far from making simple protests irrelevant, we wouldn’t even need grand acts of courage and sacrifice if people were actually consistent about these straightforward, day-to-day needs. How many small good works are lost because we’re holding out for opportunities for big ones? Some days require more courage and sacrifice than others, but excellence in vocation is always in taking up whatever trial the day brings. That is how we do well.
This simple act of protest was done well, and I am thankful for that. Good on everyone who participated.