Chick-fil-A and the Culture Wars

By Eric Beck, Commentary
Published 8:00 am EST, April 17, 2019

Why is Chick-fil-A Under Attack Again?

Some might say it’s a sure sign of the apocalypse when a chicken sandwich becomes America’s next symbol of bigotry and discrimination. Or, maybe it’s just the latest example of backward thinking from the progressive Left engaged in America’s culture wars.

Chick-fil-A has been under scrutiny for several years from progressive groups and their friends in the media. This scrutiny came about because of Chick-fil-A’s continuing financial support for well-respected charities (e.g., the Salvation Army) that progressives say discriminate against the LGBTQ community. Such scrutiny has helped broaden the cultural impact of Leftism, most notably by encouraging the intolerance of progressive organizations and government agencies toward an American culture based on Judeo-Christian values.

Rider University Sought “Values of Inclusion” by Excluding Chick-fil-A

Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey was a recent example of how progressives are attempting to transform American cultural norms. In November 2018, the Rider Administration polled its student body to determine what food vendors should be allowed to establish a presence on campus. Despite Chick-fil-A being a top choice of students, the Administration removed the company as a service option and then resurveyed students, this while blocking Chick-fil-A from opening a restaurant on campus. The Administration explained its action against Chick-fil-A by saying “the company’s record [is] widely perceived to be in opposition to the LGBTQ+ community.” They said that were seeking a balance that would serve student interests while at the same time “being faithful to our values of inclusion.” In other words: our own intolerance is OK, but your intolerance is not. The result was a perfect example of backward and hypocritical progressive thinking.

Rider University’s Viewpoint is Hardly Liberal

The Rider University Administration’s action against Chick-fil-A reflects one more incremental step in progressive attempts to replace traditional Judeo-Christian cultural norms with the new ethics of hardline leftism. Rider ignored the fact that Chick-fil-A has had no record of discrimination in either employment practices or customer service. Gay or straight, all persons are welcome for service and employment at their restaurants. Further, Chick-fil-A’s CEO Dan Cathy has been clear in his public statements that he doesn’t run a Christian business and has no interest in fostering a political agenda. However, for the progressive Administration at Rider, this wasn’t good enough. Given that Chick-fil-A’s donations to charity affirmed traditional heterosexual marriage, the Administration believed such support would certainly hurt the feelings of its gay student body. Therefore, its restaurants would not be allowed on campus. Such selective tolerance based on feelings is part of progressive culture and, unfortunately, it runs rampant on today’s college campuses.

Progressives Are Changing Strategies to Promote Cultural Change

With the Trump Administration now making consistently conservative appointments to the federal courts, progressives have become increasingly frustrated in their ability to influence culture through judicial activism. This frustration has forced progressive activists to employ new strategies to change America’s culture. For example, just months before leaving office, President Obama issued an executive order defending the right of transgender students to use the restroom and locker room facilities of their choice at educational institutions receiving public funding. Similarly, we now watch progressives in Hollywood and the media regularly spotlight individuals who try to convince us they are a different gender from what their DNA suggests. If you deny this, you are openly decried as a racist, sexist or homophobe, all because you refuse to play “let’s pretend” about their gender dysphoria.

Here in South Carolina, progressive parents recently encouraged their children to attend “Drag Queen Story Hour” at a public library with readings by transvestites. We have watched the states of New York and Delaware legalize what the late Democratic Senator Patrick Moynihan called infanticide. We have also seen the administration at the University of California, Berkeley block conservatives from speaking on college campuses under the feigned pretext of the need for campus safety. And once again, both the San Antonio City Council and the Buffalo Niagara International Airport have decided to block Chick-fil-A from opening concessions at their respective airports. After all, evil chicken sandwiches can’t be allowed to have an influence on our culture and values, right?

How Should Traditional Americans Respond to Progressive Attacks?

Americans concerned about progressive influence on our Judeo-Christian culture must first appreciate that the Left’s culture war is accelerating. The Obama Presidency taught us that we cannot always expect the Left to defend traditional values, or the rights of children who can’t vote and hold no political power. Therefore, traditional Americans must speak out on behalf of our children and defend them in the public square. This requires that we educate ourselves on progressive ideology, defend our children (especially Millennials) from its cultural influences, and vote accordingly. We must also consider withdrawing financial support from academic institutions that foster progressive thinking given their influence on the Millennial generation.

Christians Are Not Out to Get the LGBTQ Community

Contrary to what progressives might suggest, the LGBTQ community has nothing to fear from the Judeo-Christian community concerning their so-called rights. We simply acknowledge the lesson that the anti-Nazi dissident Dietrich Bonhoeffer taught us; That being “the ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world we leave to its children.” Our belief in traditional values is a positive affirmation of our concern for a culture that reflects natural law and that puts the interests of our children first. Our advocation of heterosexual marriage builds on this, reflecting the fact that all children are brought into this world by one mother and one father, and therefore have a natural human right to both. We believe this reality deserves special recognition in both our private lives and in the public square. The alternative would be to permit children to be placed into a social petri-dish and then hoping for the best when they are raised in alternative LBGTQ family relationships.

Beyond this, most people I know in the Judeo-Christian community do not care what homosexuals do in the private lives. Instead, they adopt an attitude of “live and let live” because we consider sexuality to be a private matter, not a public one. Therefore, what progressives and the LGBTQ community should know is that their fight is not with Chick-fil-A or the Judeo-Christian community. Their real fight is with the Constitution and our First Amendment religious rights that protect our right to advocate for heterosexual marriage. Good luck fighting that fight as the Trump Administration remakes our federal courts.

Education is the Key to Challenging Progressive Culture

For those who want to understand more about how to defend Judeo-Christian culture and American exceptionalism have an important resource available to them. Order a copy of Conquering the Political Divide – How the Constitution Can Heal Our Polarized Nation. This book provides the grounding we all need in basic civics and economics to help us defend ourselves from progressive ideology. Order your copy today by clicking here.

If you would like to suggest a topic for a future blog, or to provide us with feedback on this commentary, email us at: [email protected]

Eric Beck
Free Nation Media
Greenville, South Carolina


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Eric Beck


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