Last month, Chick-fil-A opened its fourth franchise in Manhattan. Even though customers seem thrilled and the company appears to be thriving, some on the Left aren’t happy. On Friday, the New Yorker published a story with a headline only they could love: “Chick-fil-A’s Creepy Infiltration of New York City.” Not to be outdone, they tweeted an even worse headline, pulled directly from the article.
Chick-fil-A’s arrival in New York City feels like an infiltration, in no small part because of its pervasive Christian traditionalism. https://t.co/wnhMrMBN6z
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) April 13, 2018
From this and the article itself, one would think terrorists or some other hostile entity were invading America’s Big Apple, not that a restaurant famous for its fried chicken sandwiches had opened another location. The vitriol toward a company a Christian founded highlights just how much progressives hate Christianity.
The article’s quick history of the restaurant cherry-picks Christian beliefs to justify its bias against Christianity.
Its headquarters, in Atlanta, is adorned with Bible verses and a statue of Jesus washing a disciple’s feet. Its stores close on Sundays. Its C.E.O., Dan Cathy, has been accused of bigotry for using the company’s charitable wing to fund anti-gay causes, including groups that oppose same-sex marriage. ‘We’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation,’ he once said, ‘when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’’ The company has since reaffirmed its intention to ‘treat every person with honor, dignity and respect,’ but it has quietly continued to donate to anti-L.G.B.T. groups.
It’s true, the late S. Truett Cathy was an outspoken Christian who integrated Christian ethos into the company’s vision and mission. Orthodox Christianity has, since its beginning and through today, opposed homosexual behavior, so there’s no surprise here. Because of its owners’ Christian views about Christ’s love for sinners, the company has shown love and grace—through fried chicken sandwiches, of course—to communities in need over and over again, including communities grieving over gay loved ones. Apparently showing love to imperfect people is too confusing a stance for New Yorker writers to handle.
Following the shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, local folks gathered in line to donate blood. Employees of a nearby Chick-fil-A opened the restaurant, although it’s normally closed on Sundays to give employees time with their families, and gave donors food while they were waiting. Stories like this abound, yet there’s no mention of this kind of repeated generosity from the company.
Nor do media reports convey that this kind of loving behavior is rooted in Christianity’s central teaching that Christ gave his life on behalf of evil people (which is all of us). That’s because compassion and success hurt the progressive narrative about the evils of faithful Christians.
Instead, The New Yorker piece has a bone to pick, and it does so even to the point of sounding illogical and conspiratorial. The author, Dan Piepenbring, works hard to paint Chick-fil-A as weird and strange, because it demonstrates Christian, wholesome values under the guise of “community,” which clearly “suggest an ulterior motive.”
The restaurant’s corporate purpose still begins with the words ‘to glorify God,’ and that proselytism thrums below the surface of the Fulton Street restaurant, which has the ersatz homespun ambiance of a megachurch. David Farmer, Chick-fil-A’s vice-president of restaurant experience, told BuzzFeed that he strives for a ‘pit crew efficiency, but where you feel like you just got hugged in the process.’ That contradiction, industrial but claustral, is at the heart of the new restaurant—and of Chick-fil-A’s entire brand. Nowhere is this clearer than in the Cows […]I f the restaurant is a megachurch, the Cows are its ultimate evangelists.
The irony of an elitist author at a prestigious glossy being so concerned for the well-being of Manhattan he simply must warn hungry lovers of fried chicken against a silly marketing campaign cannot be overstated. Imagine another writer saying that the local opening of a Muslim- or Jewish-owned restaurant represented an “infiltration” of their beliefs? Or tearing apart their advertising slogans, of all things?
Yet Piepenbring can’t move past it. He continues bludgeoning over the cows’ deceitful marketing for several paragraphs. By the conclusion of his article, Piepenbring is seething with disdain over fried sandwiches, Jesus, and success.
Chick-fil-A, meanwhile, is set to become the third-largest fast-food chain in the nation, behind only McDonald’s and Starbucks. No matter how well such restaurants integrate into the ‘community,’ they still venerate a deadening uniformity. Homogeneous food is comfort food, and chains know that their primary appeal is palliative. With ad after ad, and storefront after storefront, they have the resources to show that they’ve always been here for us, and recent trends indicate that we prefer them over anything new or untested.
Piepenbring is right about a couple things: Chick-fil-A is successful. The company generates more revenue than any other fast food restaurant does, and it’s not even open seven days a week. In 2016, the average sales per restaurant were $4.4 million. That same year, the chain generated $8 billion in revenue.
Numbers like this mean nothing to Piepenbring. In fact, this, combined with their unapologetic Christian ethos, makes him hate them all the more. It’s not uncommon for progressives to show disdain for Christianity, but this was an effort of, dare I say, cow-size proportions. Unfortunately, all it did was highlight The New Yorker’s narrow-minded views and that many people love Chick-fil-A.