The Implications of the “Cowtow” – 1984

Most of us naively assume that when Chick-Fil-A announced on 18 November 2019 that they would no longer donate to charities that the radical progressive minority deem “hateful” that this was just one more small thing. Nothing particularly special in the big picture. Not as significant as Roe v. Wade, not the same as many modifications to immigration over the years. Not as earth-shattering as other major losses in the Cultural War. In one sense, that is a correct assessment – it is after all just a chicken sandwich store, right. So what if Chick-Fil-A kowtows to the crazies of the world you might say, most other companies already have?

Taking such a view misses what has actually occurred. Such a view does not accept how this changes the world going forward.

Consider the facts.

  • Depending upon what measurement criteria are used, in 2019 Chick-Fil-A was between the #3 and #5 largest fast-food chain in America, increasing in almost all measurable categories since 2018.
  • Chick-Fil-A is privately held, therefore immune to vast stockholder pressure.
  • In both 2018 and 2019, Chick-Fil-A was subjected to an organized and viral campaign of lies, boycott, protest and corporate character assassination by the radical progressive left – yet they still grew in size and profits.

Despite apparently successfully shrugging off the efforts of the radical left Chick-Fil-A was thriving. They are privately held and have a board that is answerable to a smaller group of people. It appeared they were standing by their values, and winning at the game of capitalism simultaneously. Then in November of 2019, they just quit.

Sure, soon after they opened their first store in the United Kingdom the company announced in October 2019 it would close that location at the end of the six-month lease. Local LGBTQ groups had protested the location and the company since it opened. Perhaps this meant Chick-Fil-A was not going to be able to penetrate the European market. They are still a privately held company with $10Billion in sales annually – not bad. British and European citizens must find their own way to fight the Cultural War. They have gotten so much more wrong than America. If they cannot get their own houses in order, and they do not get to each Chick-Fil-A sandwiches as a result, so be it. After all, consider what the British have allowed Caroline Farrow to endure. To Britain I say, no waffle fries for you mate, cheers.

We cannot know why Chick-Fil-A caved. They were certainly making enough money and if sticking to one’s values meant staying out of Europe and the oppressive laws of the EU, so be it. But they did cave.

Image result for 1984

Implications

This, of course, means as Rod Dreher pointed out ” if even Chick-fil-A capitulates to the illiberal demands of LGBT activists, then what chance do you have in professional life, you and your religion, despised by power elites?

In the greater context of the Cultural War, this means;

  • Any company or organization that donates, supports or even hints at support of any cause, idea or organization deemed inappropriate can be brought to heel. There are simply no other privately held companies of Chick-Fil-A’s size, $10B in revenue.
  • Individuals, CEOs, professionals, teachers, academics, media personalities are now even easier targets. Those that speak up for traditional values, speak at “forbidden events”, donate to the wrong charities or espouse traditional values in the public square may be placed on a list and “canceled” one by one. Silencing voices and denying employment and income to those that resist. This has, of course, already been occurring, but the Chick-Fil-A capitulation is a watershed, these events will become more common.
  • Common people will come to further believe the narrative. “If the left said Salvation Army and the FAC were spreading hate, and Chick-Fil-A stopped supporting them then maybe they were spreading hate – I just want my sandwich“. The public square will be ceded further.
  • The surrender of Chick-Fil-A will demonstrate to politicians that the will and resolve of the radical left is much stronger than the conviction and dedication of traditionalists. They make noise and cause trouble far in excess of their true numbers. We are silent, allowing them to control the narrative and the public square. Politicians will soon come to realize that making attempts to even appeal to a traditional base is pointless, they can get elected without it, not despite it.
  • Politicians that seek to retain some support for traditional values will be increasingly isolated, ineffective because of shrinking numbers and easier to single out for organized smear and opposition campaigns.
  • With the public square under control, corporate America (and their donation dollars) captured, Congress and the Senate either filled with their candidates minus a few ineffective holdouts; it is over – this stage of the Cultural War is lost.
  • With public opinion either cowed into silence, relegated to a small corner of “radical hate and ignorance, access to corporate dollars secured, and domination of the political process the radical progressive agenda can move forward at a pace hitherto unimagined.

I personally assumed the process of total defeat in this stage of the conflict would take another decade. I see the march of history toward an authoritarian and Godless future, one has to be naive not to acknowledge that reality. I just did not think it possible to occur so quickly.

The 2016 election was an anomaly. As I argue in my latest book, The Philosophy of Commonsense, the election of Donald Trump was a result of him being the only Republican candidate to advocate for any of the issues at play in the Cultural War – Trump promised to fix the immigration problem, traditionalists believed him and elected him, despite his obvious flaws. His election was essential a counter-revolution to the progressive agenda, one last major offensive. The right cannot pull off such an offensive again.

Here is why:

Gen Z, Millennial and Gen X voters edged out older generations in 2016 vote
Older generations, Boomers and Silents, were surpassed in voting numbers in 2016
Gen X voter turnout reached a record high in 2016
Millennial turnout in 2016 was low, compared to 2008. Many more Millenials were eligible to vote but their numbers did not increase. Millennials vote almost 66% for liberal-progressive candidates
Blacks, another demographic that historically votes heavily in favor of Democratic and progressive candidates voted much less in the 2016 election

Despite most of the possible constituency that would possibly vote for anything traditional turning out, and the progressives missing significant numbers the results were less than encouraging: (via Ballotpedia)

DHillary Clinton48.3%65,844,969227
R Donald Trump 46.2% 62,979,984 304

Thank God the founders understood the importance of regions, States, community, and locality and placed the Electoral College in our system – an item the progressives will soon move to “correct”. The map may look red, but all of those red states are ignorant backwaters to the progressive.

Mathematically speaking, it does not matter if the Republicans field a better, less abrasive version of Trump, a candidate that claims to stand by more than one tenant of traditionalism, the numbers are just not there. Older, more conservative voters are dying, young and more progressive voters are increasing. Add to this the fact that Trump is really a major disappointment to many traditionalists, he did and apparently will not fix anything related to immigration and he has not advanced the cause of morality in any way at all. It will be difficult to mobilize a second offensive, believers have been burnt again and will not be motivated in 2020 and going forward.

Perhaps my generation, the slackers and nihilists of Generation X will remember some of what we learned and observed as kids. It is hard to imagine a group of kids that grew up watching Star Wars and reading 1984 not understanding how tyranny can slip into a government by “good intentions”. Generation Xers are already attending church weekly more than any other living generation. But we are a small generation, we cannot alter the landscape alone.

The real hope lies in our children, the Zoomers, as Forbes argued in Why Democrats Should Be Losing Sleep Over Generation Z

Hello, Generation Z! The fiscally responsible, tattoo hating, Republican-leaning group, touted by conservatives as their best hope for the future, and as the antithesis of Millennials.

Ashley Stahl

But the impact of the Zoomers is several years away. It will be some time before the full force of their voting impact is felt. In the meanwhile, America will be fundamentally changed, and much faster than most could have predicted.

It will only be after America moves very close to authoritarianism in government and the public square, the engine of capitalism is seized up with wealth-hating and redistribution policies and almost all of the remnants of Christian and traditional values are stripped from public life that Zoomers will step in and fix things. How we help prepare them for that awesome task was the entire purpose of my book.

We are in for a long, and ugly ride. We lost this stage of the Cultural War. Our battles and efforts now should be focused on retrenchment*, shoring up institutions, speaking truth so that it does not disappear entirely from dialogue, living in compassion, living our values and preparing our children for their task.

*Retrenchment is a technical term in fortification, where it is applied to a secondary work or series of works constructed in rear of existing defences to bar the further progress of the enemy who succeeds in breaching or storming these.

Christian Chicken and the Cultural War

Mike Church Church over at the Crusader Channel radio has been saying this for years in reference to Chick-Fil-A and the Cultural War.

If the #3 fast-food chain, a firm that only sells sandwiches six days a week, can fall and bow a knee to pressure, what chance do smaller firms and mom and pop businesses have?

In Chick-Fil-A’s kowtowing – in this case cowtowing© – to the progressive agenda they have thrown two good charities under the bus, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Salvation Army. Both of these charities are now validated as bastions of hate in the mainstream because of ChickFilA’s submission to authoritarian demands and lies. Unforgivable. The FCA for crying out loud!

The entire narrative has been taken over and controlled by radical progressives. There is no hope to win or even slow down the defeat of traditional American values so long as they control the words. They term disagreement as “hate”, they define principles as “bigotry” and they call faith ignorance. Their ideology is based upon authoritarianism masked as equality and compassion. Their goal is nothing short of the abolition of Christianity and traditional values in America.

I will be the very first to admit, perhaps to the disgust of some conservatives, that Christian Americans got homosexuality wrong. Homosexuality is a sin, no different than adultery, murder, stealing, lying, and hypocrisy – all sins. Hang with me a moment before you click past this page. Allow me to make a point.

Christian America ought to have handled this differently a long time ago.

Homosexual marriage should never have been recognized by the government. Marriage is a social institution that has served humanity well for centuries. However, if two same-sex people created a contract of sorts, that should have been fine – so long as it was not treated as a family, no adoptions and no family status recognized by the State that is supposed to protect the social order.

If homosexuals wanted to serve in the military, that should have been fine for them to enlist. At the same time, the government should have deemed active homosexuality as moral turpitude and denied them commissions and leadership roles – the same as for anyone that has a demonstrated morality problem.

Homosexuals should have been welcomed in all churches – that is where all of us sinners belong. They ought not to be preachers or teachers if they are active in their sin, but sinners ought to be welcomed in church.

Essentially we ought to have treated homosexuals and homosexuality just like any other sin. We recognize it exists, we know you cannot legislate away sin, we simply should have said “be yourself, but these are societies standards” regarding sin and immorality.

I would argue that this was exactly how America behaved until the 1960s or so. Sure individuals and communities might have been unwilling to accept a person that practices homosexuality – that was their liberty to hold an opinion. Sure there were laws on the books prohibiting homosexuality in many places, but there were many other morality laws as well; homosexuality was not singled out. All such laws were good intentioned mistakes.

None of what I propose above would make the LQBTQ+++ crowd happy now. They would term my speech hate for merely suggesting that homosexuality is a sin. Of course, their real agenda is much broader than gay rights.

What changed beginning in the 1960s and accelerating since is the narrative of the progressives. They turned grievances over laws, laws that were similar to morality laws that applied to heterosexuals, into a political cause and then conflated that with an entire anti-values agenda. Instead of merely advocating for equal liberty for all to sin or not on matters of sexuality they created a political ideology and a story- a narrative. This narrative painted anyone that opposed the changes they wanted as hate-filled, it described the religious convictions of the opposition as bigotry.

The conservative traditionalist response to this attack was something natural. It basically took the form of “you are attacking me and everything I believe, you and everything you believe are bad”. The radical progressive began the polarization of America.

None of that history, what should have been, what might have matters now. When the right opposes the LGBTQ+++ agenda they are not opposing gay people as individual children of God. No true Christian hates another person and anyone claiming to be a Christian that does hate another needs some knee-time. The LGBTQ+++ agenda itself is not just about rights for gay people, it is now wrapped up in a much bigger ideological argument. The rainbow flag and the faux arguments over homosexuality are just proxy wars for the bigger issue. Their argument ceased a long time ago to be about gay rights.

The biggest lie the radical progressive tell is that their movement is about rights, equality, and compassion. It is really about control, domination, submission, and hate for Christian values. Yet they wrap their narrative in happy flags and get a pass on their hate.

Conservatives, Christians, and traditionalists are losing the Cultural War for a few reasons. I will just address one here.

control their language and you control the people”

George Orwell, author of 1984

We have ceded the language and the narrative to the left. They wrap their arguments in inclusion, compassion, and dignity and paint ours as narrow-minded and hateful. Any disagreement with their dogma is termed hate. We simply cannot accept that. Many are afraid to actually speak because others will think poorly of them, leaving the public space for a minority to dominate. We need to speak our convictions, to friends, to family, in social conversation when the topic comes up and in the public square. We need to speak from first principles, with respect to liberty and equality and compassion but also recognizing universal truth. The LGBTQ+++ story is easily dissected from the progressive narrative if one simply discusses the core issues. Christianity is compassion, for the individual, the family, and society. Societal order is a positive good. There is nothing at all hateful by saying something is wrong based upon firmly held convictions and long-established tradition. A thing even Marin Luther King, an icon of the left, thought was wrong and said so publicly. Shall we deem him a hater and remove his name from the streets and a holiday for it?

What is hateful and bigoted is to attack an entire centuries-old faith tradition and the people that hold that faith dear. What is abominable is the desire to control and tell others what to think and how to do business as the radical progressive movement is so apt to do. All three of the world’s major religions consider homosexuality a sin, they have held this view for centuries. Are we to assume a few vocal radicals are smarter than most of the world’s population for most of our history? I think not.

We need to take back the language and speak our convictions with confidence. And, in the case of a company like Chick-Fil-A, we need to vote with our wallets. They did not achieve #3 fast-food staus on those little chicken sandwiches alone, and if you are honest, they were not exceptional items in any event. They were pretty good, but there are equal options out there. They had OUR support because many believed they operated with OUR values. They quit the Cultural War when they did not have to and in doing so made life a lot harder on smaller companies that desire to operate within their conscience. Such a betrayal cannot go unpunished – this is the nature of the Cultural War.

You may say “but all of corporate America has folded, why should I deny myself a rubbery chicken sandwich”. All of corporate America did not take a stand and carry the banner as a leader for traditionalism and values like ChickFilA. All of corporate America has not held itself out to you as a place to spend your money because they shared your values. Chick-Fil-A did that, and then they quit on you and us.

It is a shame, a real shame that the radical progressives have so twisted what should have been simple issues. Homosexuals should have had the same rights as any other sinner to do most of the things all sinners do. That would not have made the act right morally, no more so than any other sin that is legal, but it never had to become part of an agenda to tear down all that is traditional, moral and good about America. We should have dealt with that issue as Americans and skipped all this polarization.

The Philosophy of Commonsense: A Cultural War Primer by [Clark, Barry]

The Cultural War is the very subject of my latest book, The Philosophy of Commonsense: A Cultural War Primer. It addresses questions such as what are the basis of traditional American values, where does ultimate truth come from, why the cultural war matters and what are the ramifications for the future?

In my own personal life, I have known and even been friends with many homosexuals. Like most Christians I treated them just like every other sinner I come across, which is everyone I meet including me. In the Army I had a Soldier come to my First Sergeant and say they wanted to “come out”. This was back during “don’t ask, don’t tell”. I told my First Sergeant to go back to them and tell them I did not want them to tell me anything of the sort – I and everyone already knew anyway, it was no secret. They were a good Soldier. I had porn addicts, prostitute visitors, adulters and brawlers in my company – sinners all. Why would I let this person tell me something I would have to act on. That is the sort of example, not unique to me, that the radical progressives do not want to hear. They would rather call me a hater because I think it is a sin than realize I have treated all people the same, regardless. I am not alone. Yet their brush paints us all as narrow-minded bigots.

They made this a “Us versus Them” fight and Chick-Fil-A just picked the wrong side.

As Rod Dreher wrote in a piece for The American Conservative:

Symbolically, this is a big deal for those who hold to what Christianity, Judaism, and Islam traditionally teach about homosexuality and related phenomena. It sends the signal that resistance is futile. If even Chick-fil-A — the company that takes its Christian values so seriously that it closes on Sunday, and despite that revenue loss, was still able to become the third-biggest fast food franchise in America — if even Chick-fil-A capitulates to the illiberal demands of LGBT activists, then what chance do you have in professional life, you and your religion, despised by power elites?