[Ed. – A fascinating take on a righteous decision.]
A dean at Rider University in New Jersey announced her resignation from her position this month after the school declined to pursue a contract with Chick-fil-A for a new restaurant on campus. The university explained that it had removed Chick-fil-A from consideration specifically because of “the company’s record widely perceived to be in opposition to the LGBTQ+ community.” It sounds unwise to give up a university deanship because your campus isn’t getting a particular fast-food franchise, no matter how much you love the waffle fries. But the dean, Catherine Newman, didn’t quit over chicken sandwiches. She told the conservative site Campus Reform that she resigned rather than parrot the school’s talking points about Chick-fil-A’s unwelcome “corporate values.” “I am not willing to compromise my faith and Christian values,” Newman said.
Newman quit because she understands what many other conservative Christians do: The Chick-fil-A brand is so strongly associated with their values that the restaurant serves as a kind of avatar for conservative American Christianity as a whole. A community that embraces Chick-fil-A is a community friendly to “Christian values,” the thinking goes, and a community hostile to Chick-fil-A is likely hostile to those values as well.