Chick-fil-A! Lay Thyself Toward the Idol or Be Damned!

When asked to define the greatest commandment, Christ Jesus answered:

“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

It sounds simple, but that one-two punch of a commission is a constant challenge, and the work of a lifetime.

The whole point my writing Strange Gods was to illustrate how idolatry, far from being a defunct inclination, is still the default mode of humanity. The moment we look away from the Wholeness that is God — whether to that neighbor, or the apple, the idea, the feeling or the need — we become distracted and then ensnared by the thicket of the world where there will always be those quick to designate “Due East” for us and help us to prostrate ourselves in that direction.

Currently — and despite the best efforts of some who would navigate us toward a broader by-way — we are being told that “Due East” is where the godling called Same Sex Marriage resides, and if you think prostration is a choice, or that you can give a respectful nod in that direction and stay on the sidelines, think again. The servants of this idol are making it plain that your whole heart, your whole mind and your whole spirit are expected, or hell awaits, as Brendan Eich and Chick-fil-A have discovered. If you think I am exaggerating, check out this quote:

“We don’t need bigoted people even keeping their opinions to themselves…”

Thus spaketh New York City Councilman Daniel Dromm, for whom there the greatest commandment is clear: you shall love the godling of Same Sex Marriage with all your heart, and all your soul and all your mind. Insufficient to the day is merely keeping out of the public debate. You will pick up your palm brances and welcome this godling with hosannas, or you will never sell a chicken sandwich in this town, pal:

A Chick-fil-A spokeswoman told The Huffington Post that the company is “still in the process of evaluating locations in [New York].” . . .

“We don’t need bigots coming to New York City,” Councilman Daniel Dromm, who is openly gay, told HuffPost. “They are not welcome here unless they can embrace all of New York’s diverse community, including the LGBT community.”
Last month, [Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy] called it a mistake to have dropped his company into the same-sex marriage debate that way, but he seemed to stand by the substance of his statement.

“I think the time of truths and principles are captured and codified in God’s word, and I’m just personally committed to that. . . I know others feel very different from that, and I respect their opinion and I hope that they would be respectful of mine.”

[. . .]Current New York Mayor Bill de Blasio did not respond to questions from HuffPost on whether he would support the company’s planned expansion.

But Dromm, the city councilman, said there was no place for Chick-fil-A in New York, even if it remains out of the political fray.

“We don’t need bigoted people even keeping their opinions to themselves,” he said. “They need to wake up and see reality.”

The reality is this: Apologies are not wanted. Quiet co-existence is not desired. Full-on participation is required. When evidence was presented of Brendan Eich’s sin against the godling, the inquisitors made it clear that merely recanting would not do. Hampton Catlin — the web-developer whose open letter to Mozilla (protesting Eich’s appointment) was the catalyst for Eich’s eventual dismissal — initially claimed that “If [Eich] had apologized years ago, this would be a non-issue.”

Writing on his blog after Eich’s resignation, however, Catlin revealed that he actually wanted more than “an apology” made in some distant past; he wanted Eich to publicly disavow his donation while promulgating a specific and current political point:

“I met with Brendan and asked him to just apologize for the discrimination under the law that we faced. He can still keep his personal beliefs, but I wanted him to recognize that we faced real issues with immigration and say that he never intended to cause people problems.

Catlin is a more merciful guardian of the godling
than Dromm. He would at least permit The Sinner Eich to keep his personal beliefs, for now. Dromm on the other hand, plays his cards more openly, demanding nothing less than Doctrinal Wholeness. Once again:

“We don’t need bigoted people even keeping their opinions to themselves,” he said. “They need to wake up and see reality.”

The reality is this: the gods we humans make are more vengeful and unforgiving than the one who wishes to gather us under a protective wing or be your Consummating Lover.

The reality is this: The godlings born of a totalitarian mindset, nurtured on the milk of resentment and empowered through intimidation and inquisition are godlings that will ultimately fail, but not before they devastate, because false gods are destroyers.

The reality is this:

It is beyond ironic that some of the very people who fought to be able to live their lives freely and “out of the closet” are now actively working to shove others into a closet of silence, where personal beliefs are stowed away in service to a shushing tyranny of “niceness” — a pretend world where no one ever disagrees with anyone or entertains a thought that might slip into non-conformity, and the dubious idol of the permitted social idea has become the unmerciful all-in-all, a godling demanding constant prostration and continual penance under threat of eternal damnation.

Though ostensibly a “secular” topic, the Eich story has earned that religious allusion. The late atheist Christopher Hitchens called totalitarianism “a religious impulse” and said resistance to the totalitarian mentality was “an endless war … refought in every country and every generation.”

Now is our turn. The totalitarian horrors of the 20th century grew upon successful movements to oppress so-called “wrong” thinking, which is antithetical to the very notions of tolerance and of diversity. What followed was a most sinful subjugation of human minds and souls.

I don’t actually care about Chick-fil-A; I’ve never partaken of their birds, but people operating in good faith — and sure of the rightness of their position — should be able to withstand a principled disagreement. Plenty of gay marriage advocates manage to advocate without hoping for the social execution of all infidels, but fascism always seeks full obeisance to the idol and thus demands resistance.

I know that, as a rule, the Guardians of the new godlings are disinterested in anything that came before the godling Self, but they would do well to ponder the words of another man who once tried to keep the “wrong thinking” people out of his city: “the evil which I hate, that I do.”

Or, put another way, “all that I hate, I am become.”

Real Clear Politics —
Freedom to Marry, Freedom to Dissent: Why We Must Have Both. Can I get a big ol’ “duh!”

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Terry_Jim

    When Josh McDowell wrote “The New Tolerance” 12 years ago, he was accurate beyond anything I could have imagined. Not only does this new ‘tolerance’ demand promotion, not mere acceptance of their beliefs and practices; they now demand the economic destruction of anyone who THINKS in a way that is different from them. All the boxcar-stuffing , concentration-camp-building, murderous regimes began in the same way.

  • Manny

    The persecution cometh. Pray that the Lord finds you worthy to suffer for His sake.

  • Renee

    And in another universe we see the reality.

    “SPIT’IN ANGER: Venom of a Fatherless Son” Documentary Premieres in NYC”

    “The film addresses the underlying issue of anger that dwells in young black males as a result of not having a nurturing relationship with their fathers. Spit’in Anger was produced by Fathers Incorporated a New York based not-for-profit serving as a national leader in the field of Responsible Fatherhood.”

    How can we heal from family breakdown and rebuild the family, if even acknowledging it will bring out this wrath and want for retribution.

  • Victor

    ((( This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”)))

    By the way Anchoress, “I” want to thank you for all your prayers during Lent.

    I hear YA! I always pray for you Victor and then again me, myself and I pray for you some more. NOW finish reading the rest of my post. :)


  • Ron Turner

    Ugh. One of the reasons the proponents of same-sex pseudo-marriage are winning is because the defenders of marriage often use the language of the opposition. There is NO SUCH THING as “gay marriage” or “same sex marriage”..

  • Adam Frey

    Comments are back. Yay!

    Anyway, your anger is palpable, and justifiably so. I do think this is the time to take a deep breath and ponder what the next step is. I have seen elsewhere some people–notably Andrew Sullivan and Conor Friersdorf–calling for civility and rationality among gay marriage supporters. Christians probably want to do the same. The problem with deep-rooted principles like “There’s freedom of speech but not freedom from consequences” (which is the new mantra I’ve been hearing for the last year) is that they can easily flip against the person who uses it.

    Public opinion on abortion is slowly shifting back to the right. Can you imagine some liberal CEO who once made a $1,000 donation to NARAL getting ousted from his non-abortion-related business someday over his political decision? I imagine the left would scream “You righties got mad when this happened to Brandon Eich!” and the right would scream the opposite. And the cycle of left-right hatred would continue.

    Jesus called us to love our enemies. Pope Francis is preaching love, love, love. I don’t believe for a second that we need to tolerate the left’s new lack of tolerance, but I also don’t want to exact the same kind of revenge when the pendulum swings again. The outcry is good, but always remember: love.

  • Victor

    (((Or, put another way, “all that I hate, I am become.”)))

    I’ve read about 95% of this post and even right, I mean left a few propaganda comments myself. (LOL)

    God Bless Peace

  • FW Ken

    I’m tired of talking about same-sex marriage. I want to talk about Chick-fil-A. I like their food (not everyone does, which is fine with me), but I really like their attitude.

    I ate in one where the manager came over and apologized for my having to wait to give my order. I hadn’t noticed, but he was training two new guys and saw them talking rather than attend to me. With the apology came two buy one get one free cards. Believe me, I used them. And I bet those boys will get some useful job training.

    During a rare ice storm in Birmingham, Alabama, the staff, led by the manager, at one store made up all the food they could and traipsed through the weather giving it to people trapped in the traffic pile up. Gave it – they refused to accept money.

    I have never been treated like anything but a valued guest in their restaurants. Any of them. It was a pleasure to learn today that a new Chick-fil-A is going in near my office.

    One last story. My boss, an out and partnered lesbian, came in with Chick-fil-A for lunch one day and muttered something about “I know I ought to support my peeps, but…” But having politics with lunch doesn’t make much sense to me. Apparently not with her, either.

  • Joseph

    Great blog post. Just as early Christians in many cases were persecuted not so much for being Christians per se, but because they refused to make sacrifices to the pagan gods, Christians and devout believers of other religions today are facing persecution of sorts because they refuse to sacrifice to the pagan god of same sex marriage. We’re not being thrown to the lions, and the persecution is mainly social, but in some cases it is legal, such as the New Mexico photographer, and magistrates in same sex marriage states who oppose the practice and do not want to assist it. Socially, the pressure is enormous. Learn to love it with all your heart, as Winston Smith learned to love Big Brother, or there will be consequences, at least socially.

  • Win Nelson

    I am reminded by the story of Eleazar in 2 Maccabees.

  • The_Repentant_Curmudgeon

    It is impossible to read this post with being reminded–reminded with trumpets blaring in my ear–of Lincoln’s Cooper Union speech. Please take a minute and read just these three paragraphs:

  • The_Repentant_Curmudgeon

    Well put. Does this reference a specific verse?

  • Navarricano

    A blessed Easter to you.

    It is just as you say, I’m afraid. No one will be permitted to remain on the sidelines and maintain silence in this battle, nor will there be any “tolerance” shown to those who dare to maintain a different position in obedience to their own consciences.

    The Cromwells of contemporary society will proceed in the tribunal of the mass media exactly as Leo McKern’s Cromwell did at Sir Thomas More’s trial in the 1966 film adaptation of A Man For All Seasons:

    Cromwell: Now, Sir Thomas, you stand on your silence.

    Sir Thomas More: I do.

    Cromwell: But, gentlemen of the jury, there are many kinds of silence. Consider first the silence of a man who is dead. Let us suppose we go into the room where he is laid out, and we listen: what do we hear? Silence. What does it betoken, this silence? Nothing; this is silence pure and simple. But let us take another case. Suppose I were to take a dagger from my sleeve and make to kill the prisoner with it; and my lordships there, instead of crying out for me to stop, maintained their silence. That would betoken! It would betoken a willingness that I should do it, and under the law, they will be guilty with me. So silence can, according to the circumstances, speak! Let us consider now the circumstances of the prisoner’s silence. The oath was put to loyal subjects up and down the country, and they all declared His Grace’s title to be just and good. But when it came to the prisoner, he refused! He calls this silence. Yet is there a man in this court – is there a man in this country! – who does not know Sir Thomas More’s opinion of this title?

    Crowd in court gallery: No!

    Cromwell: Yet how can this be? Because this silence betokened, nay, this silence was, not silence at all, but most eloquent denial!

    Sir Thomas More: Not so. Not so, Master Secretary. The maxim is “Qui tacet consentire”: the maxim of the law is “Silence gives consent”. If therefore you wish to construe what my silence betokened, you must construe that I consented, not that I denied.

    Cromwell: Is that in fact what the world construes from it? Do you pretend that is what you wish the world to construe from it?

    Sir Thomas More: The world must construe according to its wits; this court must construe according to the law.

  • The_Repentant_Curmudgeon

    Yesterday, advocates of redefinition including Andrew Sullivan, Charles Murray, Jonathan Rauch and others released a letter wherein they try to wash their hands of any culpability in the consequences of their actions (which have barely begun). This crowd either cheered or was indifferent when bakers and photographers were forced out of business or were forced into acting against their religious beliefs, but they were spooked by Mozilla.

    There is no question that the late Philip Rieff would have classified redefinition as the epitome of the deathworks. Deathworks, he said, are an

    “all-out assault upon something vital to the established culture.

    Deathworks are battles in the war against second culture [second culture would refer to revealed Christianity] and are themselves tests of highest authority. Such tests bring something worse than Art [he uses the term to mean something specific]. They bring civil war.”

    He continues:

    Deathworks…can be read or seen in everyday life, where they are far more fatal in their implications for not being correctly read. The unconscious part of every day deathworks depends entirely upon the blindness of both the deathworker and those upon whom the work works.

    The pioneers of redefinition knew what they were up to, but many of their acolytes ​that came along later are completely unaware of the devastation they are imposing upon an unsuspecting public. And as such these latter acolytes are far more dangerous than the pioneers who couldn’t conceal what they were up to. The latter acolytes can conceal because they do not know what they do.

    I think we have the groundworks here to begin to answer the question, what do we do now? Our enemies, believing they stand atop total victory, now want to wash their hands of the dirty work and proclaim a truce, wherein we will still be allowed to have our own private thoughts behind closed doors. We cannot allow them to impose this peace of theirs upon us.

    We have been in the midst of a Cold Civil War for a very long time in this country. Every four years our presidential candidates declare that NOW is the time for coming together. We need to say enough to such pablum. We need to declare that this is a Cold Civil War, and our differences with regard to marriage are not reconcilable.

    They say they have the greater numbers now. They have more money and they certainly hold the reigns on popular culture and technology. But even with all that they can’t control what we do. We can’t let them impose a peace whereupon they get to declare their own reasonableness on their own terms. If we violate their laws we must see to it that they point their guns at us and shoot, or put us in jail.

    Their intimidation, their fines, their firings, their court dates, etc. is fundamental and inescapable. In the end, the only way we can lose is if we lay down our arms. We will not let them have peace on their terms.

  • Antiphon411

    The fight against so-called gay-marriage (GM) is America (or the modern West) is unwinnable on the field chosen by the defenders of so-called traditional marriage (TM). This is because both sides of the debate have already rejected the true definition of marriage.

    The purpose or end of marriage is the procreation and education of children. Had our society stuck to an understanding of the Natural Law when it comes to marriage, we would have no problem. Adam and Steve couldn’t pretend to be married because the very definition of marriage would hinge on the possibility of conception.

    The Catholic Church has preserved this definition though Vatican II obscured it–as with so many other things. Otherwise, all other “Christian” sects have embraced contraception and made marriage about…well what exactly?

    Marriage becomes an institution about two people loving each other and wanting to have sex with each other more or less exclusively. Well if that is what marriage has become, it is easier to see the point of the homosexuals: “We love each other, why can’t we enjoy that kind of loving relationship?”

    Then the TMers who are enjoying sterile (except once or twice) sex, what do they say? “Well, the Bible says marriage is between a man and a woman.” Yes, but precisely for procreation. It is to be a *fruitful* union.

    If we maintained that understanding of marriage, GM would be patently absurd. As is so often the case, the problems that those who call themselves “Christian” see in the world have their roots in “Christian” error. Its the old mote and beam thing again.

  • Theodore Seeber

    Welcome to the 21st century. I first began to see it headed this direction in March 2004, when three county commissioners in Multnomah County in Oregon decided to make a political statement that was only beaten down by a constitutional amendment.

    Today, a Jesuit trained federal judge from Gonzaga University, who wants to marry his long term live in male partner, will overturn that vote from 2004, and people are so terrorized that there is no hope of the law returning by popular vote.

  • Theodore Seeber

    You failed to set permissions correctly.

  • Theodore Seeber

    I’m sure long before Nero ever heard the term “Christian”, social persecution was going on for those funny people who refused to participate in public orgies, in eating food sacrificed to idols, and in worship of the Emperor.

  • Theodore Seeber

    There are TWO good things I’ve taken from the same sex marriage debate:
    1. Civil unions and civil partnerships are good even when they are completely platonic, and we need to extend those laws to cover *everybody*, especially those that we would traditionally want to discourage for “appearance of scandal”. I’m even to the point that I think we need some sort of sacramental of friendship in the Catholic Church- a formal pledge before God and community to mutually love, honor, provide materially for, and cherish each other’s soul. Not a sacrament- but a sacramental.
    2. The flip side of that is homosexuality and contraceptive heterosexuality is so dangerous to human dignity, that such a sacramental has to be *explicitly* non-sexual and contain vows of protecting one another’s chastity in all situations.

  • Roki

    Several of the articles you link are written by same-sex marriage advocates who – to my delight and surprise – describe accurately the traditional marriage position: that marriage is about the “procreative potential of the male-female union” as much as about companionship.

    Then they immediately dismiss the traditional marriage argument as “faulty logic” or “failing for a variety of reasons” without actually pointing out the faults in the logic or the reasons for failure. That’s fine; it wasn’t the point of their article. But I would’ve liked a pointer to where that argument is taking place. It’s one I have not yet encountered.

    Do you (or any of your readers) know where I can find the arguments same-sex-marriage advocates make against the argument that marriage is, at least in part, essentially a procreative institution? Ideally, arguments that don’t strawman the procreative argument?

  • Theodore Seeber

    Hard to defend marriage when one subscribes to the “homosexuality is not a sin” crowd.