Chick-fil-A: Living in Orwellian Times
Last week, on Wednesday, August 1, several of us from Truth in Action Ministry showed our support for Chick-fil-A, by having lunch there. The place was packed. It was like an extension of fellowship hall at church, representing several different churches. I saw lots of old friends or acquaintances I hadn't seen in a while. But I saw no media (though I heard later there was limited coverage---very limited.)
Two days later, the manager told me that August 1 had been their best day ever. Of course, that milestone was true for Chick-fil-A stores throughout the country, thanks to Mike Huckabee's push to support the beleaguered fast food chain on that day.
Then on Friday, I heard on a radio news broadcast that gay activists were coming to protest at the same restaurant, so my wife and I returned there for dinner, to show our solidarity with Chick-fil-A. It's a free country. They're free to speak out against the fast food chain, and we're free to support it. Is this a great country or what?
There was no great crowd on Friday night. There were maybe 30-40 protesters out in front with signs, waving to the cars going by. Even though neither the restaurant nor the protesters drew many people that night, there was one thing this small crowd got that the Wednesday jam-packed crowd lacked---really good media coverage.
The affiliates for CBS-TV, the Fox Channel (not Fox News), and ABC-TV for the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale metro-market had remote trucks there. Where were these trucks on Wednesday, even though the drive-through line was a mini-traffic jam?
Chick-fil-A has become a target, primarily because of a statement by the current president, Dan Cathy (to the Baptist Press, July 16): "We are very much supportive of the family, the biblical definition of the family unit…We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that."
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And the problem is?
Is Mr. Cathy a "hater" for stating his heart-felt opinion?
A columnist for the New York Post, Andrea Peyser was disappointed with the big no-show in Friday's anti-Chick-fil-A protest. In a piece called "Chicken lips are scarce" (August 4, 2012), she wrote, "From Georgia to California, protests drew yawns, not saliva."
Are we living in Orwellian times---where right is wrong, and wrong is right? So often our picture of reality is painted by what is widely disseminated in the media. And the dominant media is so obviously biased to the left, I don't see how there be a credible argument to the contrary.
In some ways, the culture wars are ultimately a conflict between a biblically-based worldview versus that of secular humanism. And the dominant media expresses the latter.
It took a former Marxist, who used the pen name George Orwell, to write one of the greatest novels against totalitarianism, which would include the subset of secular humanism. I understand Orwell wrote his novel in 1948 and simply transposed the last two digits to describe his nightmare vision of the future---1984---where the Marxists have complete control in society.
In this terrible scenario, Big Brother with his big bushy mustache rules with an iron fist. (It's easy to see how he had Stalin in mind as Big Brother.) On behalf of the exalted ruler, the thought police control everything. In the novel, the "Department of Truth" works around the clock to change truth into lies. In 1984, war is peace. Everything is turned on its head.
I could see how Friday night's event (the protest of Chick-fil-A) was news. But not Wednesday's big-day of support? Their busiest day ever was not news, but some 30-40 protesters garners major media attention?
The media plays such a major role in shaping our lives. It tells millions of Americans what is acceptable and what is not. We all know that the dominant, mainstream media is biased toward secularism. The Media Research Center documents that bias every day. It's so helpful today to have the alternative media, including Fox News, but the major networks still have the major advantage.
This leftward media bias is nothing new. A couple decades ago two social scientists put together the famous Lichter-Rothman report, which was the result of surveying 104 of the "most influential television writers, producers, and executives." They found that the key decision makers in the media were very liberal people. They learned that 93%"say they seldom or never attend religious services." Their godless worldview is reflected in what shows up on the screen.
Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times surprised a lot of people a few years ago when he complained that he knew of no evangelical at any major news establishment in the country. The sad result, he said, is that "nearly all of us in the news business are completely out of touch with a group that includes 46 percent of Americans." At least he was arguing for some fairness.
About 750 years Before Christ, Isaiah the prophet wrote, "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil…" Sounds like he's been reading today's news.
I saw a bumper sticker at the parking lot during the support-Chick-fil-A day. It said, "I don't believe the liberal media." That's a great first step in how to deal with living in Orwellian times.