So a top-ranking executive at the fast food chain Chick-Fil-A, Dan Cathy, said the following in an article in the Baptist Press:
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.
Some have opposed the company's support of the traditional family. "Well, guilty as charged," Cathy said when asked about the company's position. "We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles."
He has every right to voice his opinion, and to worship as he sees fit. But I do question his belief in running a company on biblical principles. I also wonder if he has actually read the Bible. According to ChristianAnswers.net, the Old Testament contains 23,214 verses and the New Testament contains 7,959 verses. Out of those 31,173 verses, approximately six condemn homosexuality. Jesus Christ had nothing to say about homosexuals or homosexuality. Here is just one of the six damning verses:
1 Corinthians 6:9-10:
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
So along with homosexuals, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, slanderers and swindlers are also doomed from entering the kingdom of God. Now if God is truly condemning "the greedy" to eternal damnation along with homosexuals, that would certainly include a large portion of the population in any capitalistic economic system. Adulterers are also quite common and would include many well-known Christian leaders. And surprisingly, the Bible also only mentions homosexuality in men, not women.
I will give Chick-Fil-A credit for not opening their stores or doing business on Sunday in accordance with Christian tradition. Sunday is the Sabbath and working on the Sabbath is punishable by death in the Bible. But how far does Chick-Fil-A take their biblical values?
Here are just a few restrictions and laws also included in the Bible, paraphrased for length:
Leviticus 15:19-20 When a woman has a discharge of blood, which is her regular discharge from her body, she shall be in her impurity for seven days, and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening
Leviticus 19:19 Don't wear clothes made of more than one fabric
Leviticus 19:27 Don't cut your hair nor shave.
Leviticus 20:9 Any person who curseth his mother or father must be killed.
Leviticus 20:10 If a man cheats on his wife, or vise versa, both the man and the woman must die.
Leviticus 21:17-18 People who have flat noses, or are blind or lame, cannot go to an altar of God.
Leviticus 11 Includes many dietary restrictions including unclean meat such as pork, rabbit, camel, shellfish, birds of prey, bats, mice and various bird and lizard species.
Deuteronomy 13:12-15 If you find out a city worships a different god, destroy the city and kill all of it's inhabitants... even the animals.
Deuteronomy 17:2-7 Kill anyone with a different religion.
1 Corinthians 3:2 You are not to combine milk with meat.
So I would love to ask Mr. Cathy if his employees all have beards and long hair. Does his company allow menstruating women to work? And what about the menu items that contain pork products and dairy combined with chicken, are these not also abominations? Are the uniforms made of only one type of cloth and thread? Is it acceptable for an employee to murder a customer or fellow employee if that person is not a Christian? If an employee curses their parents are they put to death?
I don't quite understand how Christians who cite these six scant verses in the Bible that condemn homosexuality conveniently ignore some of the more extreme laws. How is one verse the "WORD OF GOD" and another discarded as being out-of-date? Who decided what is relevant and what isn't? It sure sounds nice to say that one lives by biblical laws, but no one really knows what those laws entail. Of course there is great wisdom and philosophy in the Bible, even for non-believers, but the darker passages cannot just be ignored. Cherry-picking passages from the Bible and then using it to condemn homosexuality while ignoring the other absurd and out-dated prohibitions is intellectually dishonest.
A religious person can and should live however they like as long as their behavior does not go against secular laws and does not harm others. But homophobia does harm, and results in harassment, bullying, suicides, loss of employment and infringes upon basic human rights. Some Christian conservatives are actively trying to force their religious beliefs into law in a secular society while most homosexuals are just trying to live their lives and not be treated like second class citizens. Gay men and women are not trying to limit the rights of heterosexuals -- this is hardly an even or fair fight.
If Dan Cathy really wants to live according to the biblical tradition of the family and run his business according to biblical law, then he should get to work and stop picking and choosing which laws he takes seriously. If Cathy wishes to run his company according to biblical values, then we at least should start seeing full beards and long hair on every employee. It might not be up to health code, but it would be according to God's will.
Follow Juliet Jeske on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JulietJeske