An article that The New Yorker printed this week received flak for its anti-Christian sentiments. Writer Dan Piepenbring cited that the expansion of Chick-fil-A, the restaurant with Christian traditionalist beliefs, could be culturally dangerous to the New York City community.
As Chick-fil-A opened its fourth branch in Manhattan last March to the delight of its patrons, Piepenbring implied that he won't be one of those asking for a table at the new branch despite the chain's popularity among food lovers. He cited that Chick-fil-A's presence "feels like a [creepy] infiltration." He called out the company's policy against same-sex marriage and alleged that Chick-fil-A has "quietly continued to donate to anti-LGBT groups."
Piepenbring mentioned that the company's Atlanta headquarters has an actual statue of Jesus Christ and its offices have Bible verses everywhere. On Sundays, Chick-fil-A closes its operations because it's the day of worship, which Piepenbring also took issues with since he felt that the restaurant operated like a megachurch.
Netizens, however, expressed their disagreement with Piepenbring's article. Not a lot were convinced that Chick-fil-A exists primarily to evangelize in the community.
"Just eat the food and enjoy or don't eat the food. Your choice!" one netizen said. "Bet you wouldn't say this about any other religion," another chimed.
Piepenbring's piece gave Christians legitimate reasons to confront liberal beliefs. In a rebuttal, Katherine Timpf of the National Review wrote that she's not religious and she supports gay rights, but she still eats her meals at Chick-fil-A. She said, "If I allowed myself to eat food only from establishments where the owners agreed with all of my beliefs, then I'd probably starve."
Chick-fil-A began as a fast food restaurant serving chicken sandwiches in 1946, which S. Truett Cathy, a Southern Baptist devout, established. Over decades, the company expanded to 2,200 restaurants across the United States, making it one of the largest food chains in the country.
In 2012, the company sparked controversy when Cathy's son, Dan, the current president and CEO, publicly stated his opposition to same-sex marriage. Its first branch in New York, which opened in 2016, was met with protests and boycotts, but the company's growth remained steadfast.