On Friday, The New Yorker honed in on a serious threat to the lives of all New Yorkers: the arrival of Chick-Fil-A in their homey little corner of the universe. In a 1400-word diatribe titled “Chick-Fil-A’s Creepy Infiltration of New York City,” one Dan Piepenring wrote that New Yorkers should not accept the intrusion of a popular restaurant serving chicken because the owner happens to be a religious Christian. “The air smelled fried,” Piepenring wrote, ominously. “New York has taken to Chick-fil-A…And yet the brand’s arrival here feels like an infiltration, in no small part because of its pervasive Christian traditionalism.” What signs are there of this incipient theocracy? Its Atlanta corporate headquarters – not its New York store or any of its other stores – has Bible verses and a statue of Jesus, and its stores close on Sundays. That’s it.
But the mere whiff of Jesus means that New York must cast out Chick-fil-A like a leper, and that those who refuse to do so have succumbed to the blasphemous entreaties of the Midianites. “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,” Piepenring rants.