The Night They Drove Chick-fil-A Down

At least it got us a couple of funny Rod Dreher columns

© 2006 Adam Jenkins used under a Creative Commons license

I’ve had a hard day, so I’m going to take the easy way out and let my subject do the work. Ladies and gentlemen, Rod Dreher at The American Conservative:

This is a sad day. Even though Chick-fil-A is hugely profitable, it still capitulated to progressive bullies:

The famously anti-gay chicken emporium has decided to stop giving to the also famously anti-gay Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, or rather, per the New York Times, has “released a list of organizations to which its foundation has donated this year” that did not include these organizations.

Oh well, that’s capitalism, comrade! But lest we forget, though Rod hates everything socialistic because it leads to moral decay, neither is he a friend to capitalism, as it doesn’t always privilege the rigid social order he grew up believing was eternal (he seems to think, for example, that American women only take jobs instead of raising children because the Soviets brainwashed them into it). As you may expect, Dreher’s anti-capitalism is less Bernie Sanders than Tucker Carlson, probably because Sanders doesn’t hate Muslims.

But Dreher’s true praxis is pure end-stage American conservatism — all about his hurt feelings and their exploitation toward to end of keeping the gomers enraged. After a shitfit in which he alternately blames gays for forcing Chick-fil-A’s hand (“the LGBT lobby, and their progressive allies, will never, ever leave you alone”) and denounces his erstwhile comrades for weakness in the face of sodomy (“Here’s what cowards Chick-fil-A’s leadership are”), Rod nails his feces to the church door:

I love Chick-fil-A, but it’s going to be a while before I go there again. This is nothing but gutless surrender.

In six months he’ll be buying his family Popeye’s chicken sandwiches and congratulating himself on his self-control — “If Solzhenitsyn could stand it, so can I!”

Thence, on to how Sprite’s trying to make everyone trans and Cheerios is trying to make your kids gay, etc., until finally he must resort to Rod Dreher’s Reader Mailbag to restate his thoughts as Vox Populi:

Tearing down civil war veterans statues or teaching kids about transgender sex changes would have been unthinkable 10 years ago. But now the Media/Academic complex has made it mainstream….to oppose it is to be a bigot/hater/bad-thinker…… normal people give in. And they give in quick!

I went to Baylor. If i started posting Facebook stores about how the LGBT movement was becoming totalitarian most of the girls I knew in college would block me or unfriend me in a second.

And these are church going late 20s-early 30s women. Even my wife does not like me to complain about it.

Don’t give in to them Jezebels, comrade! You’ll get a locker-room tension reliever in heaven.

Breaks your heart, don’t it? But wait, there’s more: Dreher actually follows up with his second post on the subject in the same day, entitled “Why Chick-Fil-A’s Surrender Matters” — which title you may suspect betrays a little guilt over worrying this trifle so frenetically, but no:

Sometimes a delicious chicken sandwich is just a delicious chicken sandwich. But in the case of Chick-fil-A’s capitulation to the progressive left, it matters precisely because whether it wanted to be or not, the fast-food giant became a massive culture war symbol.

I can well imagine that its corporate leadership just wanted to be done with all the hassle, and stick with selling grub, like all other fast food chains. Who can blame them? Chick-fil-A didn’t invite these years of disgusting, lying smears…

I guess Rod and Chick-fil-A are friends again. Is it because he just can’t quit their waffle fries?

My wife and kids love Chick-fil-A, but I don’t go to it that often, because I’m not big on fried chicken.

Not on Rod’s top ten list of “sacramental meats,” I guess. I should have know that Dreher, who’s constantly fucking off to Europe and rhapsodizing about the fancy foods they serve him there, wouldn’t eat this shit on a bet, but approves it on doctrinal grounds.

Still, it has been one of my favorite brands, in large part because it has succeeded smashingly — it is now the third-largest fast food retailer in the US — despite being the object of so much progressive hatred. Chick-fil-A showed that you could be faithful to traditional Christian values, and despite the scorn of the hateful Left, still succeed economically. The kind of people who write for The New Yorker might despise you, but the marketplace rewarded you for the good chicken and waffle fries you provided, and didn’t buy the smear that you are a hateful company.

There was Us — the decent, junk-food-buying saving remnant — v. Them — the New Yorker-reading fag-lovers. A man knew where he stood!

For a lot of us, Chick-fil-A’s quiet, cheerful resistance was a model of how to hold on to your Christian values, in spite of progressive spite, and still succeed. Quality work and a good product will always win out, even over left-wing prejudice. It was possible to look at Chick-fil-A and draw that conclusion … until today.


It is no doubt true that Chick-fil-A’s stance, however unfairly characterized by LGBT activists and their allies…

[Pause to consider the cognitive dissonance it requires to snarl for two columns about the evil gays, then blubber that they’re unfairly acting the victim.]

…was hurting its ability to expand into the European market, and into more liberal markets in the US. But good grief, how much money does Chick-fil-A need to make, anyway?

Oh God, Rod, you’re so close! But no, with this bunch ressentiment beats enlightenment every time:

Only the company’s top decision-makers know why they did what they did, but I would bet money that this was not about markets, but about its executive leadership class getting tired of them and their spouses being stink-eyed by fellow rich and upper middle class peers at social gatherings.

People hated them for hating gays, just like they did Our Lord!

Their social class now reveres LGBTs; this requires it to despise Christians and others whose beliefs, for whatever reason, fail the progressive purity test.

Because you can’t love gay people — excuse me, revere them — without hating Christians. It’s in Deuteronomy.

On and on for 1,866 words, ending in:

Sometimes a chicken sandwich is just a chicken sandwich. This is not one of those times.

Fear, if you will, for Dreher’s sanity, but not for the causes that animate him, because for all his Jeremiads he is just another Republican of the JustTheTip Trumper variety, and though he has lost one beloved hobby-horse those causes are very much alive. His President’s the toast of the Evangelicals despite his comically amoral behavior; the Attorney General is a religious maniac, and the newest Supreme Court justice is like Opus Dei meets Delta Tau Chi. If a psychotic break threatens, his heroes will throw another refugee baby in jail and make Dreher proud to be an American.