MOBILE, ALABAMA—Chik-fil-A has announced a new pilot study, titled "One More Day", at three Mobile, Alabama locations. The three selected franchises will hire part-time atheist employees to work one day a week, allowing the famously Christian organization to remain open on Sundays.
"This initiative will allow us to serve all members of our community every day of the week, and still retain our convictions to honor the Lord's Day," said Cathy Belmont, Chik-fil-A public relations spokesman. "These workers of no faith will allow us to honor our faith."
Local evangelical pastors have been quick to criticize the move. "I just completed a seven-week sermon series on 'Keeping the Sabbath'", said Reverend Lincoln Hereford. "We had finally committed as a church to only eat canned foods on Sunday, but all of that progress has been erased by Chik-fil-A. How am I supposed to keep the flock away from crispy chicken sandwiches after the morning service?" Reverend Hereford declined to comment when asked if he would be protesting the change with a boycott.
Chik-fil-A sees no conflict. "The reality is that Christians like to go out for Sunday afternoon lunch," said Cathy Belmont. "Would it be better for them to purchase the burgers of this world, or to worship God together over a plate of waffle fries?"
Local Chik-fil-A management is also in favor of the move. "I will of course be on call every Sunday," said Angus Kerry, manager at the Airport Boulevard franchise. "It will be a spiritual hardship, but Chik-fil-A has worked with my schedule and remuneration to ensure that I can shoulder the burden."
The manager does not foresee any conflict between the current and incoming employees. "With cross-training and schedule substitutions, it's inevitable that there will be some mixing of the employees," said Mr. Kerry. "But all our full-time employees will go through sensitivity training to learn how to interact with the new employees. And we will strongly discourage proselytizing on the job to reduce turnover in the non-faith-practicing portion of our staff."
Chik-fil-A has also faced renewed criticism from synagogues and Seventh-Day Adventist churches. "We've held a few rallies to demand that Chik-fil-A close on Saturday," said Pastor Bill Miller of Gilmore Creek Seventh-day Adventist Church of Mobile. "So this is definitely a setback. But I'm taking it as a sign to redouble our efforts."
Other Christians see no problem with working on Sundays. Local pastor Moses Jones explained, "Well, the Sabbath was actually on Saturday, and it only applied to the Jews. There's no reason a Christian couldn't worship God and work on Sundays."
Cathy Belmont cautions critics that this is only a pilot program and will not necessarily be continued throughout the country. "We'll look at the numbers after the trial, and who knows? Maybe we'll draw some customers that would never darken the door of a church. To me, that would be a success."
I got the idea for this article back when Babylon Bee took submissions. Unfortunately, they now only publish articles written by their paid contributors.