Chick-fil-A Community Causes Fear and Loathing at the New Yorker

The Chick-fil-A community constitutes an alien invasion because it carries hints of Christianity!

The New Yorker posted Dan Piepenbring’s bizarre editorial on Chick-fil-A community culture, “Chick-fil-A’s Creepy Infiltration of New York City.” It is impossible to describe how insane it is. Yet the New Yorker published it as if it is rational.

Christian groups do attempt boycotts from time to time, but I’ve never seen any Christian writer describe a fast food chain as malevolent propaganda, imaginatively parsing every word of communication for some hideous, hidden message. It’s like Piepenbring thinks Christians believe in killing innocents in order to establish a law code that will execute homosexuals….

But that’s Islamic extremism.

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Chick-Fil-A’s offense is to be owned by people who believe that marriage is heterosexual. That means one must not eat chicken and their restaurants constitute an alien invasion.

New York has taken to Chick-fil-A. One of the Manhattan locations estimates that it sells a sandwich every six seconds, and the company has announced plans to open as many as a dozen more storefronts in the city. And yet the brand’s arrival here feels like an infiltration, in no small part because of its pervasive Christian traditionalism. 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. When the first stand-alone New York location opened, in 2015, a throng of protesters appeared. […] No such controversy greeted the opening of this newest outpost. Chick-fil-A’s success here is a marketing coup. Its expansion raises questions about what we expect from our fast food, and to what extent a corporation can join a community.

I noticed that word—community—scattered everywhere in the Fulton Street restaurant. […] A blackboard with the header “Our Community” displays a chalk drawing of the city skyline. Outside, you can glimpse an earlier iteration of that skyline on the building’s façade, which, with two tall, imperious rectangles jutting out, “gives a subtle impression of the Twin Towers.”

This emphasis on community, especially in the misguided nod to 9/11, suggests 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.

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About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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