America’s fastest-growing food chain has come to New York City. But as Hunter Baker notes in this week’s Acton Commentary, the “company’s success sticks in the craw of some who find it to be an alien presence due to the Christianity of the family who owns the company and their traditional values.”

A recent New Yorker piece refers to the Chick-fil-A expansion as a “creepy infiltration” of the city. The writer expresses part of his alarm by noting that the company’s headquarters includes a “statue of Jesus washing a disciple’s feet.” (I have to admit that I’m surprised by the writer’s apparent disgust at this portrayal of humility, love, and service.)

When Chick-fil-A CEO Dan T. Cathy originally launched an unwitting controversy by honestly answering a question put to him regarding the nature of marriage (male and female, according to him), the company was swamped by customers rushing to show support. The more interesting aspect of the kerfuffle was the comments made by mayors of Chicago and Boston suggesting that Chick-fil-A, with 2,200 restaurants in 47 states, likely had no place in their towns. Some found the remarks chilling because they suggested that it is not enough to run a business in a way that respects all customers and provides excellent quality and service, but rather that the owners of businesses must believe and repeat the reigning sexual orthodoxy (one, at that time, not yet even endorsed by five of nine justices on the Supreme Court).

The full text of the essay can be found here.

This article has been republished with permission from The Acton Institute.

[Image Credit: U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Kathrine McDowell]