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Yankee Bigot Scared Of Chick-Fil-A

In terms of parochial, un-self-aware narrow-mindedness, it is hard to beat this piece from the New Yorker [1]on how the a popular purveyor of delicious chicken and waffle fries is making Manhattan into an unsafe space. Here’s the headline:

“Creepy”. It’s a fast-food joint, you woke twerp!


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. When a location opened in a Queens mall, in 2016, Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed a boycott. 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.

Where are the thinkpieces in the New Yorker interrogating Muslim and Hasidic Jewish-owned businesses, asking whether they should be allowed to “join” the New York community? They don’t exist. Evangelical Christians and the food prepared in restaurants they own are a unique threat to New Yorkers, it would seem. They probably make nugget breading from the blood of kidnapped theybies [2].

Here, the author attacks the famous Chick-fil-A cows:

It’s worth asking why Americans fell in love with an ad in which one farm animal begs us to kill another in its place. Most restaurants take pains to distance themselves from the brutalities of the slaughterhouse; Chick-fil-A invites us to go along with the Cows’ Schadenfreude. In the portraits at the Fulton Street restaurant, the Cows visit various New York landmarks. They’re in Central Park, where “eat mor chikin” has been mowed into the lawn. They’re glimpsing the Manhattan Bridge from Dumbo, where they’ve modified a stop sign: “stop eatin burgrz.” They’re on the subway, where the advertisements . . . you get the picture. The joke is that the Cows are out of place in New York—a winking acknowledgment that Chick-fil-A, too, does not quite belong here.


Its arrival in the city augurs worse than a load of manure on the F train.

Again, this is beyond parody. Read the whole thing [1]— note that the author accuses Chick-fil-A of being infected with “suburban piety” —  and chortle. Finally, the cherry on top, is the piece’s description of the author:

Dan Piepenbring is a writer based in Brooklyn.

Of course he is! Of course.

All that is funny. But here’s what’s not funny.

Would the New Yorker have published a piece critical of a fast-food chain owned by pious Muslims, characterizing their appearance in New York City as an “infiltration,” and saying that because of its ownership, the restaurants do “not quite belong here”? Of course it wouldn’t. So why do they single out Evangelicals for this spiteful treatment? I think we know the answer, but I wish editors at the magazine would ask themselves this question.

And I wish they would ask themselves how they would respond if a magazine somewhere out in Jesusland published a piece stating that the local opening of a national chain stored owned by Orthodox Jews amounts to an “infiltration,” and that the Jewish-owned store “does not quite belong here.”

I love the New Yorker, and have subscribed to it for years (and it has loved me back [3]). But this Piepenbring piece is not only an example of laughable cosmopolitan hickishness, it is rank anti-Christian bigotry.

139 Comments (Open | Close)

139 Comments To "Yankee Bigot Scared Of Chick-Fil-A"

#1 Comment By MH – Secular Misanthropist On April 14, 2018 @ 1:43 pm

Re: Mamma Cass choking on a ham sandwich

It is an urban legend started by a tabloid news story. In fact she died of a degenerate heart condition, probably because of her weight.

What is true, and frankly weird, is that the room she died in, Flat 12, 9 Curzon Place. Four years later, Keith Moon died in the same room, also at 32 years old.

The rational part of my mind attributes it to selection bias. The irrational part of my mind says don’t live there.

The cynically irrational part of my mind says: you’re older than 32, and not a rock star, so what are you worried about?!

#2 Comment By Tmatt On April 14, 2018 @ 3:04 pm

People have got to get over this thing about all New Yorkers and all NYC neighborhoods being the same. I’m a Southern guy who is in NYC about 2-3 months a year, teaching a few blocks from new Fulton Street Chick-Fil-A. Down here, the LICAL food joints — most of them — are as friendly as a Chick-Fil-A. The new store seems to just fit in. The staff is really diverse. The key, talk to them. Lighten up folks.

#3 Comment By Liam On April 14, 2018 @ 3:12 pm

Out of the avalanche of scathing tweets responding to Precious Piepenbring’s Piece, many of them quite artful and many of them from progressive folk, this was cherce (old un-hip Brooklyn argot):


#4 Comment By JonF On April 14, 2018 @ 4:22 pm

I don’t care for Chick-Fil-A. Nothing to do with politics at all: I just don’t like their product. And I do wonder if it weren’t for their conservative politics whether most people wouldn’t just consider them another fast food shop, on par with Burger King and Taco Bell. (I will, however, agree that the New Yorker is being silly about this)

#5 Comment By Lynwood Allen On April 14, 2018 @ 4:24 pm

In Alabama a chicken “purveyor” would be locked up or run outta town.

#6 Comment By Dale McNamee On April 14, 2018 @ 4:30 pm

The only thing that’s worth reading in the New Yorker are the cartoons… < sarcasm

#7 Comment By bruceb On April 14, 2018 @ 4:38 pm

Those liberals making consumer choices to express their political views.   It’s immoral!  It’s communist!   It’s capitalist!


#8 Comment By ROB On April 14, 2018 @ 6:10 pm

New Yorker cartoons haven’t been funny or amusing for twenty years. To see the real McCoy find a copy of New Yorker Cartoons 1925 – 1950.

#9 Comment By jxk On April 14, 2018 @ 9:12 pm

The cows always reminded me of this:


#10 Comment By Courtney On April 14, 2018 @ 9:36 pm

When I saw that article come up on my Facebook feed late yesterday afternoon, I thought, in part, I can’t wait to see Rod Dreher’s response. Thanks for not disappointing me. 🙂 I’m a long-time New Yorker subscriber and part of their target demographic (upscale liberal in a large American city), but boy did this make me roll my eyes. This is what I posted on their Facebook page in response:

I’m a non-religious, moderately liberal resident of a blue city in a red state who is staunchly pro-gay rights and voted for HRC in 2016. This article made me roll my eyes so hard that I now have a headache. I used to avoid eating at Chick-Fil-A in part because I don’t like their founder’s stance on gay marriage. Then I had kids, who were introduced to Chick-Fil-A by their friends and loved it, so I ended up caving and taking them there. I discovered that the restaurants are always clean, the employees are well-trained and polite, the food is reasonably good for fast food, they give out educational toys and fruit in their kids meals, and most locations have an indoor playground that my kids love. They also pay their employees far better wages compared to most fast food restaurants and guarantee their employees at least one day off a week, something unheard of in that industry. I have also never heard of any instances of Chick-Fil-A firing or refusing to hire employees based on their sexual orientation or denying service to LGBT customers. Yes, their founder’s stance on gay rights is retrograde, but it stems from sincerely held religious beliefs. It seems he and his company apply those sincerely-held religious beliefs in positive ways, like making sure their employees are treated and paid decently. I’ll accept that.

#11 Comment By Colonel Bogey On April 14, 2018 @ 10:58 pm

Dear Robert E.: Thank you for your appreciative remarks, and for not impugning my conservative bona fides! I was almost afraid I’d gone over the line in calling Nestor a jackass, but I see that my comment was passed by Rodrigo. I’m sure Nestor is a nice person. He takes his name from the Homeric sage who was a wise man. There is, however, a difference between a wise man and a wise-ass.

Had I not been distracted by being called a liberal, I’d have commented in defence of Mama Cass. I am sure I have read that that lovely singer died of a heart attack, and not from choking on a sandwich.

[NFR: I will omit that insult. I passed over it because we were out of power most of the day here, owing to the bad storms. I went to a Starbucks and had one hour to approve 242 comments. I read too quickly. Sorry, Nestor. Come on, Bogey, play by the rules. — RD]

#12 Comment By Nate J On April 15, 2018 @ 3:51 am

@Voltaire’s Ghost: “I am a Christian and I do not consider the article anti-Christian bigotry. I think people who donate money to organizations that want to deny full citizenship to gay people are bigots and anti-Christian.”

– – –

Translation: “I am a Christian, but I believe that my fellow believers should have their arguments twisted in the most uncharitable ways possible for the purposes of casting their view of faith – informed by God’s Law, Christ’s words, and the Apostles – aside with belittling snark.”

Very Christ-like, indeed. Do leftists only like to use that “Judge not lest ye be judged” line when it comes to hand-waving away sinfulness? Because it sure seems that you have your mind made up about who is and is not a Christian, and it sure seems like the line you draw is around LGBT issues – something that has only sprung up in the last 10-20 years of human history. But, sure, I guess go ahead and toss the last two millennia of the Church in the trash for the purposes of beating up that nice, little strawman you’ve made for yourself.

#13 Comment By Nate J On April 15, 2018 @ 4:00 am

@kevin on the left: “Nothing says ‘I’m a lighthearted, humorous, happy warrior’ like going on the internet and fantasizing about how you would totally beat up those effeminate leftists in a street fight.”

– – –

Well, I’m certainly not humorless, because I can laugh openly at your unhinged hysteria.

My point was that people on the left seem to have no vigor. No vitality. No gumption. I think there’s a great deal to be said for working with your hands – for occupying your body as well as your mind with productive activities. Sometimes, good old fashioned labor can go a long way to clarifying one’s mind and warding off the kind of coddled, entitled, decadent nonsense that this writer spits out.

I have no desire for street fights, but it’s interesting your mind went there. I will modify my original statement, though: not only are you progressives humorless bores who use indignant faux-offendedness to suck the joy out of life, you are also dangerously emotional, with your hysteria rendering you incapable of engaging with the actual substance of anything coolly and sensibly.

#14 Comment By Randy F McDonald On April 15, 2018 @ 8:40 am


“I have also never heard of any instances of Chick-Fil-A firing or refusing to hire employees based on their sexual orientation or denying service to LGBT customers.”

What would you do if you did?

#15 Comment By mrscracker On April 15, 2018 @ 10:02 am

You know, just guessing, but I’d bet that this young man comes at least partly from some old school,blue collar, Christian roots and folks who would have loved Chick-Fil-A, and his grandparents are likely rolling in their graves, or praying for him from a better place.
Moving to Hipsterville and writing pieces like this suggests not only a disconnection but a determined effort to disconnect from something familiar.
Just this undereducated, grandma’s 2 cents for whatever it’s worth.
Sometimes, the longer you live, the more dots you can connect from observations. But it’s not fool proof.
In either case, I still hope his grandparents are praying for him.

#16 Comment By kevin on the left On April 15, 2018 @ 10:04 am

“My point was that people on the left seem to have no vigor. No vitality. No gumption. I think there’s a great deal to be said for working with your hands – for occupying your body as well as your mind with productive activities”

And again, nothing says a “well balanced mind shaoed by long exposure to the elements and superior values” like long internet rants about your mental and physical superiority over beta males. Someone is being hysterical here indeed.

#17 Comment By John On April 15, 2018 @ 11:25 am

Personally I prefer Costco’s rotisserre chickenover anything else but if I was going to get my chicken fried I’d just do KFC.

As to what we should or should not boycott I’m with Pharmtech. I may not care for Chick-fil-A but we really need to pick our battles.

If they displayed more overt hostility towards gay people (say they fired their LGBT employees) or if they forced their employees into a prayer before work began than I might reconsider but for now I would say there is no reason to organize a boycott.

If you don’t want to pay for their politics you don’t have to eat there. Don’t go. I’d advise you not to make a big deal make about it either but then maybe it is – for you, but then be prepared to stand up to the heat because there may just be a reaction from those who think you are being silly.

No one is forced to buy from or patronize any commercial enterprise they don’t otherwise want to patronize.

#18 Comment By I Don’t Matter On April 15, 2018 @ 12:21 pm

“My point was that people on the left seem to have no vigor. No vitality. No gumption.”

Nate J, I find the mix of political views at my MMA gym to be pretty well balanced, hard lefties included. If you think MMA don’t require “vigor” and “vitality”, you should try some.

#19 Comment By BlairBurton On April 15, 2018 @ 1:01 pm

The one time I ate at Chick-fil-a I was less than impressed. The food wasn’t bad, nor was it particularly good. I’d describe it as “blah”.

And stop me if I’m wrong, but I thought virtue signaling was frowned upon on this blog. Well, the sign at my local branch of the franchise, the sign that is, say, 20-30 feet high, right under the name of the restaurant states “Closed Sunday”. Most restaurants when displaying their hours do so on the door or a window by the door. After all, why is it necessary to show that the restaurant isn’t open on Sunday on the sign visible from the road, when anyone driving by on that day would see the parking lot was empty?

As I said, virtue signaling, ya’ think?

#20 Comment By Lewi Deane On April 15, 2018 @ 1:39 pm



It was a comic sight:
His earnest face forward
In the fury of impotence,
Awkward and shyly expressed,
And she agile in her agreements
Reassurance with a “Yes, yes, yes.”

Had muddy eloquence enchained her
Or the force of that will
Desperation implies
Perhaps afraid of turning keys
Of murderous desire:

Who knows the end of these things?


In the street and in the rain
He let her dwindle like his voice
That, lost and inept,
Had weakly made a pledge
Diverted by the beer
She ordered at the bar:
Words stopped in a shock stare,
He and she were released
From the embarrassment of proposal:
“You must avoid awkward promise of intent
Striving for a perfect civic form
Impossible and blind.”


That was the last time he saw her:
The idea afloat for a while
Till stress and ulcer and the starving age
Each had slashed its way
Through to his cognisance.
All the point was gone:
What had been a mirage
Of tempting possibility
Was a joke a city smiled at
In its busy search for gold.

#21 Comment By grumpy realist On April 15, 2018 @ 1:46 pm

OT, but I thought you’re like this article, Rod: [6]

Which makes me believe more and more that this whole gender/no gender stuff is nothing more than a marketing racket by fashion mavens looking to find the next “cutting edge” for which they can charge beaucoup. (Look at the prices mentioned in the article. Racket.)

And honestly, anyone who freaks out shopping for clothes in the opposite gender section part of the store should develop a thicker skin and stop bawling. I had to do so for YEARS when I was living in Japan and it doesn’t seem to have killed me.

#22 Comment By Thaomas On April 15, 2018 @ 1:49 pm

If a large-enough-to-notice chain of Halal restaurants publicly wigged in on an important political issue like same sex marriage, I think it would be appropriate to invite people who do not favor discrimination against same sex couples not to patronize that business

#23 Comment By redfish On April 15, 2018 @ 2:59 pm

The article is largely a joke, but I’ve also always found the ad campaign a little bit bad taste.

Yes, most markets and restaurants distance themselves from the fact that the meat comes from slaughtered animals, and maybe a little too much, because I think most people don’t think about how it gets to their plate.

But its not really better when its pointed out, but trivialized. Not to say no jokes are allowed at all, but some may be a bit in bad taste. Speaking of religious values, a lot of the kosher rules in Judaism are meant to give some dignity to animals.

Not the most creepy thing I’ve seen, though. I’ve seen a Mexican restaurant have a sign showing a pig cutting up another pig.

#24 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On April 15, 2018 @ 6:17 pm

I’ve never eaten at Chik fil-A, but a lot of people at my home church love the place. I think there is one in Wisconsin now, but its out in the suburbs. This article is absurd. The simple fact is, no business has an obligation to toe a complex political and cultural line in order to exist. It just has to comply with all relevant labor and sanitation laws and sell something people like and want.

I might well favor sharp reductions in the wealth reaped by the owners, in favor of higher wages, more benefits, lower prices, or all three. But at the end of the day, what’s his is his, and I don’t have to agree with his use of his money to buy his product.

The author of the article is reciting all kinds of transparently known facts as if he is revealing deep dark secrets… and the proper answer, as with so many such bits of nonsense, is “So what?” The author may drop their jaw in horror that most of us don’t see the significance he sees, but “So what?” is something we need to be saying quite a lot right now.

Stuff like this, plus a lot of boring bland prose, is why I don’t subscribe to the New Yorker, even though there is, several times a year, a really good, well-researched article on something people really need to know about that appears nowhere else.

#25 Comment By Fran Macadam On April 15, 2018 @ 7:03 pm

“[NFR: I thought it was a ham sandwich. — RD]”

Someone should have indicted that ham sandwich.

#26 Comment By mike On April 15, 2018 @ 8:08 pm

@mrscracker April 15, 2018 10:02 am
100% DEAD ON
This guy feels that Chick-fil-a is a creepy infiltration????
Does he not realize that 99% of his ancestors – along with their relatives, friends and neighbours – would consider him and his ghoulish cohorts to be the definition of creepy?

#27 Comment By Nate J On April 15, 2018 @ 11:44 pm

“Nate J, I find the mix of political views at my MMA gym to be pretty well balanced, hard lefties included. If you think MMA don’t require ‘vigor’ and ‘vitality’, you should try some.”

I’m going to go ahead and presume that none of the “hard lefties” at your gym have ever given much thought to, let alone penned an essay about, the horrors of a chicken sandwich joint.

This type of think-piece puffery is only possible from those who fundamentally have nothing better to worry about or occupy their time. We live in a fundamentally unserious, decadent age and the fact that this opinion piece could be published in a major national magazine without a hint of irony is proof. The culture of perpetual offendedness is practically its own industry by this point. People from academia to journalism to professional activists get paid to feed this to a growing consumer base of thin-skinned, joyless ninnies (mostly those who have been marinating in a thick stew of “intersectional” grievance mongering brought to us by universities).

That a chicken sandwich could cause such a response in this writer and (I can only presume based on the fact that he is employed to produce content to help sell magazines) his SJW readers is frankly embarrasing. I’ve evidently touched a bit of a nerve here, though.

#28 Comment By Sartmore On April 16, 2018 @ 3:16 am

I don’t have a Twitter account, but this response to this article on Twitter was too inane to leave alone:

Easton Smith
Apr 14
Replying to @amconmag
Sorry this is wrong. It’s regrettable you did not look more carefully– for instance here’s a long piece critical of Hasidic community covering up molestation from 2014 [7]

This issue, obviously, isn’t whether or not the New Yorker would or would not cover a sexual molestation scandal in any religious community–the question is whether or not the New Yorker would call a successful chain on kosher delis “creepy” etc. because of the owners’ religious beliefs. Show an example that is at all germane to this discussion, or go take a basic course in logic, Easton.

#29 Comment By I Don’t Matter On April 16, 2018 @ 7:35 am

“I’m going to go ahead and presume that none of the “hard lefties” at your gym have ever given much thought to, let alone penned an essay about, the horrors of a chicken sandwich joint.”

Why would you presume that?

“I’ve evidently touched a bit of a nerve here, though.”

Yeah you did. This is not a compliment though.

#30 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On April 16, 2018 @ 10:56 am

Show an example that is at all germane to this discussion, or go take a basic course in logic, Easton.

Well said. What do they teach in schools these days?

This type of think-piece puffery is only possible from those who fundamentally have nothing better to worry about or occupy their time. We live in a fundamentally unserious, decadent age and the fact that this opinion piece could be published in a major national magazine without a hint of irony is proof.

This hard lefty salutes your critique. In fact, I have NEVER taken time to write an essay on the political and social implications of a chicken sandwich.

#31 Comment By EarlyBird On April 16, 2018 @ 1:18 pm

Liam, thank you for linking us to Tweets which laugh at the nonsense displayed by the New Yorker piece. Laughter is a very powerful weapon against all sorts of pinched, mean-spirited ideas and people. We need more of that.

#32 Comment By EarlyBird On April 16, 2018 @ 1:21 pm

“If a large-enough-to-notice chain of Halal restaurants publicly wigged in on an important political issue like same sex marriage, I think it would be appropriate to invite people who do not favor discrimination against same sex couples not to patronize that business.

But would they, is the question? I strongly suspect not, because then they would set themselves up for charges of anti-Muslim bigotry. But you also dress up the article with too much reason. It’s really just a “weirdo Christian company has the temerity to show itself around here?!”

#33 Comment By Brendan from Oz On April 17, 2018 @ 12:56 am

Ah, yes, the wisdom of the MMA world and its vitality. Maybe like Conor McGregor said: “**** politics and **** religion.
I just want to swing a few lefts and a few rights for a couple of hundred mill in peace.”

The world could do with less such vigor and vitality, IMHO.

#34 Comment By Jerry On April 17, 2018 @ 11:07 am

Liberals don’t hate Christian businesses, they hate bigoted businesses. Out here in liberal California, the most beloved fast-food chain is In-N-Out, which is owned by a family well known for being devout Christians. In-N-Out’s wrappers and drink cups are printed with little listings of Bible chapters and verses. The big difference between In-N-Out and Chik-Fil-A is that no one from In-N-Out has funded anti-gay causes.

#35 Comment By Richard On April 17, 2018 @ 11:30 am

“They probably make nugget breading from the blood of kidnapped theybies.”

I nearly pissed myself with laughter on that one.

Seriously, I have no problem with the chain. Once when we were stranded in Florida at the airport due to a delayed flight, Chik-Fil-A came to the collective rescue of the passengers and delivered hundreds and hundreds of chicken sandwiches. They weren’t bad. I hope they succeed.

#36 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On April 17, 2018 @ 1:20 pm

The big difference between In-N-Out and Chik-Fil-A is that no one from In-N-Out has funded anti-gay causes.

So what?

But would they, is the question?

I wouldn’t refrain from eating at a Halal restaurant because it donated to “anti-gay” causes. I would want to know if the food is good, and if its food I like to eat. I would not eat at a restaurant that “refused to serve Negroes,” or Jews, or gays, or Muslims, because that is integral to the food service itself. But what the owner spends their money on? Every home improvement chain available is owned by families who donate to Republican candidates. Where am I going to buy my plumbing supplies? I try to go to a local hardware store as much as possible, but maybe their owners donate to Republican candidates too.

#37 Comment By Lucas Temple On April 17, 2018 @ 1:30 pm

My wife worked at Chic Fil A for two years. They definitely do pay their employees better than the other fast food places around – but it does depend on the owners of each franchise.

They have a kind of training which focuses on getting their crew members to say phrases like “How may I serve you” or “It would be my pleasure” are reflections of their core values.

It’s interesting that the New Yorker bothered to target them. At a certain point, you start to wonder why media outlets find the smallest things to raise outrage about – if you can call it that.

This apparently is a new form of high end snobbery by our enlightened ruler class where political outrage extends to every aspect of our lives – including what we should be outraged about – or else we are terrible ists, isms, phobes, etc.

Chic Fil A isn’t even that “political” or pushy about Christianity. The most you could say is that they play instrumental worship music. How terrible and fundamentalist.

I’ve gotten way more doses of proselytizing at rather liberal establishments to the point of exceeding regular annoyance and… toleration levels.

It is just a damn sandwich.

If you go to Starbucks, it’s just a cup of black coffee – or some custom Frappe. It’s not political or cultural. The people working there and at every other fast food joint don’t care. They want their shift to end so they can go home and go about living.

You can say the same about most of their customers. I live in Illinois and Lake and Cook County – probably the most liberal counties in Illinois – and Chic Fil A locations are always packed.

Perhaps serving real chicken helps – so does the family friendly atmosphere. Having a place you can bring your screaming toddlers and not worry about angry and irritated glances from workers and customers helps to ensure we keep coming back.

#38 Comment By Ed On April 18, 2018 @ 10:42 am

Dan Piepenbring, who has no online bio anywhere, attended the College of William and Mary, so maybe he’s not a “Yankee.” There are a lot of Northerners at William and Mary, but something other than Yankeeness probably provoked his article.

Rainman says:

Isn’t this the magazine that had a front page picture of Donald Trump with the caption ‘Loser’ just before the 2016 Election? I mean, why would you worry what they write?

No, that was New York magazine. The New Yorker never has a photo on its cover.

Piepenbring writes:

Still, there’s something especially distasteful about Chick-fil-A, which has sought to portray itself as better than other fast food: cleaner, gentler, and more ethical, with its poultry slightly healthier than the mystery meat of burgers.

Minus the Christianity that sounds like something New Yorker readers — if not writers — would really appreciate. Maybe Chick-fil-a hits too close to home, reminding hipsters of where they came from and upscale readers of who they basically are at heart. It tells the Brooklyn hipsters that they haven’t really left home far behind and the suburban sophisticates that they still do live in the suburbs and secretly prefer suburban cleanliness to the authentic grime that they are supposed to like.

#39 Comment By Zach S. On April 18, 2018 @ 11:54 am

I know I’m late in the game in responding to this post, but thinking about this issue brought to my memory a piece I had read a few years ago, and I’m glad I was able to find it: [8]. (I did a quick search of the responses to this post to see if someone else had already pointed this out, but I’m sorry if someone did and I missed it.)

This article was written in Jan. 2013 by Shane Windmeyer, the founder of Campus Pride, in his words “the leading national organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and ally college students.” And it’s about his friendship with Dan Cathy, the president of Chick-fil-A. (Yes, you read that right.) Cathy had personally reached out to Windmeyer, after Campus Pride began protesting Chick-fil-A several years ago. But he didn’t reach out to condemn, as Windmeyer had anticipated, nor even to ask that they stop protesting. He reached out to listen. It’s amazing and beautiful, and it’s still a humbling and convicting reminder to me of the kind of response to hostility to which Christians are called.

It seems particularly and painfully relevant to this current discussion. It also feels like it’s describing a different world, even though it was only written in 2013. (But I guess following your recent post about Aaron Renn, we’ve since moved from Neutral to Negative World, right?) There are a number of noteworthy points in the article, but this quotation in particular was sobering for me:

“Our worlds, different as they can be, could coexist peacefully. […] Gay and straight, liberal and conservative, activist and evangelist — we could stand together in our difference and in our respect. How much better would our world be if more could do the same?”

Again, that’s just five years ago, and look where we’re at now. It’s hard to imagine a similar article being written today (and the contrast with the New Yorker piece is stark).

I think, Rod, that Windmeyer’s article envisions and promotes not only “peaceful coexistence” but also the good kind of dialogue on LGBT (that is, of two people with opposing viewpoints–which are well-known to each other–developing a friendship of mutual respect, while not changing their own beliefs in the slightest, other than to begin to see a human face in the other side).

It’s too bad the New Yorker piece ignored (or most likely forgot, or never knew about) this story. But then again, it seems fitting because, as the Windmeyer piece indicates, Cathy wasn’t seeking to make a show of his overtures. Still, this would be a great piece to re-up or re-publish, though I’m guessing the Huffington Post won’t touch it now.