What it takes to keep a man alive

Rod Dreher is much exercised over Chick-fil-A’s announcement that the Cathy Family Foundation is going to focus on education and homelessness, presumably dropping support for Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Salvation Army, who the progressive bigots considered bigots simply because they have moral positions against homosexual acts.

Yes, that (combined with one statement by one family member that same-sex marriage invites God’s judgment) is how slender the case is for Chick-fil-A as monster: Some Chick-fil-A profits go to a family foundation that supported garden-variety Christianish groups that adhered to historic Christian sexual standards, though opposition to sexual deviance wasn’t their focus.

Even at that, I think Rod’s overdoing it, letting one more win by the other tribe work him too far toward frenzy, but that’s not my point, which rather is to praise an analogy offered up by one of his readers:

I cannot help but to compare Chick Fil A to Thomas More–and the comparison isn’t very favorable. Both quietly supported efforts to keep a marriage (or type of marriage) from being recognized that they thought was invalid. Both saw their cause lose. Both quietly accepted defeat and went about their business and did not try and stir up trouble. Yet neither was left alone, but compelled to publicly affirm the marriage. More was locked up. There are some great portrayals of Thomas More (A Man For All Seasons) and even Jeremy Northam’s performance in The Tudors. Northam’s version of More’s response to the Henry’s demand that he sign it is excellent. He protests that by remaining silent, he is in effect consenting to the public. “I do no harm, I say no harm, I think no harm and if that not be enough to keep a man alive, I long not to live.” Of course Henry was not satisfied with silent consent, he insisted upon on public and explicit affirmation.

There are differences of course. Chick Fil A is an organization, not a man. (In fact they are a multibillion dollar empire.) But More was locked up in prison and he refused to give an inch even in the face of death. A bunch of underemployed losers with nothing better to do than nurse imaginary grievances wrote nasty things on social media and Chick Fil A folded like a cheap suit.

Note two things: they have not yet publicly affirmed gay marriage, yet they have surrendered their conscience already by trying to appease the bullies. What this means is that there is blood in the water and the LGBT activists are not going to quit until Chick Fil A explicitly affirms the LGBT stance. CFA should have rather responded in More’s words: We do no harm, we say no harm, we think no harm and if that not be enough to keep a company in business, we long not to be.

I’m a sucker for A Man for All Seasons (the first time I saw the ever-creepy Julian Assange look-alike John Hurt, appropriately cast) so that hits my sweet spot.


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The Lord is King, be the peoples never so impatient; He that sitteth upon the Cherubim, be the earth never so unquiet.

(Psalm 98:1, Adapted from the Miles Coverdale Translation, from A Psalter for Prayer)

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