Recently, the president of the tasty chicken sandwich joint, Chick-fil-A, announced that he and his company are “very much supportive of the family.” And when he says “family,” he means a traditional family…with one mother and one father. Dan Cathy, not knowing when he should probably shut his yap and move on, decided to take it even further by saying, “I think we are inviting God’s judgement on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage!'” And THEN…despite the fact that he is the owner of a national chain and despite the fact that the discussion of homosexuality, heterosexuality and pretty much ANY kind of sexuality is a hot button for scrutiny these days…he decided to take it one MORE step and said, “I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”
So let’s discuss.
What IS marriage all about?
Let’s face it, these days, the concept of marriage can be defined in MANY different ways. So when Dan Cathy speaks of HIS definition of marriage, it comes from “the biblical definition of the family unit.” So in those regards, here are some of several mentions of the definition of “marriage” in the Bible…
Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman, ‘ for she was taken out of man.” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
This is one of the more famous proverbs from the bible and I’ve been hearing it since I was a young child and I still dunno what the hell it means. So….a woman was “BORN” from a man’s rib? And if that happened, God took this woman and headed over to the guy he took the rib from and introduced them and they got married or something? Seems a little like inbreeding if you ask me. But then again…it IS open to discussion. If a female came from a man’s body doesn’t that make her his daughter? It’s all rhetorical but still…if it’s taken in context as stated…this seems to be a misprint because there’s no way the Bible would allow a man to marry his daughter and become “one flesh” when they already are of the same flesh. It’s confusing. Either way…moving on.
Then there’s this from Proverbs 18:22:
He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.
This hardly seems fair. If a guy has been married 6 times, this puts him in a more favorable light than a guy who has only been married once? And this seems to say that finding a wife is like finding something good. So if she’s THAT good, why has the guy been married 6 times? Once again…confusing.
And there’s this one from Ephesians 5:22-23:
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.
Oh come on. I’ve been married going on 12 years and let’s be honest here…there ain’t no wife “submitting” anything except magazine subscriptions to “Cosmopolitan” and “Glamour.” As for the husband being the head of the wife…I have to be honest…I want nothing to do with being in my wife’s head. I have enough problems being in my OWN head. So for me to be HER head would really get us nowhere. I handle the financial stuff, she handles the kid stuff and together we make a pretty good team. But put ME in charge of all the stuff SHE usually handles? Yeah…you get a mess. Forget that one. I want nothing to do with it.
From Mark 10:6-9:
“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
Now…not 4 proverbs ago they were saying a woman was taken from a a mans rib. So NOW the Bible is saying that a man and woman were made at the beginning of creation? So…where did the idea of the rib go? Or was man created at the beginning and then a few minutes later God took the rib and made a woman? If so, then women were NOT created at the beginning…they came soon after. But if it’s the beginning of creation, were the man and woman created at a reasonable time in their lives so that they could fend for themselves? Because if they were infants, they surely would have died from hunger…right? I mean…there’s no one there to feed them so they HAD to have been created in their teenage years or so, right? Once again….very confusing.
Oh wait! And then I found THIS long-winded nugget that should make for some good head-scratching! From Corinthians 7:1-16:
Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion. To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife. To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?
I’ve now read and re-read this passage 5 times and I have to be honest…I have no idea what it’s saying. Is it saying I shouldn’t have gotten married? Is it saying it’s good that I did get married? Apparently my body is NOT my own, but also my wife’s…in which case she is now the proud owner of a 43 year old body that is in dire need of some serious crunches or at least a “Shake Weight.” If I don’t believe (in God, I guess) I should leave but if I do she should stay? And if we both stay, we can have kids except if one leaves, and then the kids are unclean. So why not give them a bath? I’m sure if one of the parents left, even if it was the mother who is probably a lot better about these things, a father could fill a tub up with water and give the kid a good washing. I don’t get this passage at all.
So after reading ALL of these passages, I think it’s safe to say that no matter how you read it, the Bible can be a little confusing. Granted, there has been a lot of emphasis on the Bible as fact throughout the last…oh…I dunno…2 thousand years or so, but in recent years we’ve come to ask questions. A few hundred years ago, you question the Bible? You’re head would be sliced off. Or you were hanged. Or a war started and millions died. Or priests had sex with young children. Oh wait…that’s a TOTALLY different discussion. No…the Bible was NOT to be questioned. Until 1954.
In 1954, Elvis Presley released a single called, “That’s All Right.” It’s been all downhill from there for the Bible and it’s rowdy group of thumpers. Not that Elvis created chaos…he just released a sexual energy and tension into the fray. Girls started WANTING to have sex. Boys STILL wanted to have sex. It didn’t matter if it was in matrimony or not, they were SCREAMING for the pelvis! And with that hip shake came questions.
What if marriage WASN’T the answer? I don’t know where the Bible came from. It’s supposedly written by a group of Jesus’ disciples, apostles and prophets. But suppose the Bible was written by an underground group of nomads who were simply writing stories. Stories they thought made for some pretty good campfire reading? And when those stories were told, hundreds and hundreds of years ago, people were worried they would do something that would anger the almighty God. God would strike them down! God would get angry! God would set a plague upon the earth, wiping out them and all of their goats! What should we do?!?!
FEAR THE GOD! is pretty much what the Bible says (in not so many words). So…we did. Well…they did. And then Elvis happened and we had questions. Obviously it’s absolutely ridiculous (as is much of this post) to assume that Elvis is the actual instigator of all of these questions we have about the Bible, but I gotta start somewhere…so let’s start with that hip shake. So now women are screaming, guys want to shake their hips, dancing starts, God is watching and then…we start to question. The Bible says MANY things about so many things that it speaks in reverse half the time. It’s a conundrum of questions, a wasteland of anecdotes and a veritable cauldron of plausible thoughts. It is everything anyone could ever want if they want an answer to anything! But then, amidst all of the thous and thou shall nots, it gets all muddled and confusing.
It’s 2012. We have questions. The Bible says a LOT of stuff that makes absolutely no sense. It’s a compilation of thoughts by a bunch of people who had no means in which to communicate, no idea how anything happened and with not an inkling of how mankind was created. The earth was flat, the main source of food were goats and fish and sandals were the new fashion statement. It was too early on this earth to question it. But now…we question it.
Somewhere in the Bible, there is a list of 10 Commandments. For the most part, we all know them and we all realize that, as a human race, we should all LIVE by them and some of us do, some of us don’t. Whatever. But the MAIN Commandment, the one which isn’t really a “commandment” at all, just a universal truth, is from the book of some guy named Matthew. It’s beautifully simple yet decidedly complicated. In our world (or, at least, in North America), freedom of speech has given way to some taking thinking they are the bastion of all knowledge (
much like myself, rambling on in this post). Anyways…It goes like this…
“DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE OTHERS DO UNTO YOU.”
It’s 11 words. If you don’t believe anything else in the Bible, you should believe and follow those 11 words.
So to the owner of Chick-fil-A, I respectfully say…run your business however you see fit. But don’t ostracize a group of people you don’t know anything about by saying that they (or, in this case, we) have no idea what marriage is. Marriage IS a loving unity of 2 people. Marriage is NOT a ring, or a house, or a piece of paper. It is so much more. It is LOVE.
And to those who write hatefully about Mr. Cathy I say, try to forgive a man his beliefs, no matter what you think about him. They are his beliefs and he lives in a country that allows freedom of speech. He SHOULD be more considerate of others and their lifestyles however if he doesn’t, that is his right. He isn’t forcing you to be heterosexual, homosexual or any other sexual. He is simply stating what he believes. As for you, you aren’t forced to go eat at any of the 1,600+ Chick-fil-A locations nationwide (even if the chicken sandwiches ARE pretty damn good). But I find it amusing that the company’s “purpose” is “to have a positive influence to all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.” On that level, he has failed miserably.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
And THAT is what you should be basing your company on, Mr. Cathy. Just my thoughts. Take them as you will. And best of luck to you and your company.
If you are interested in reading an article that I found to be quite informative and a lot more knowledgable than anything I’ve written here, go to THIS article. It’s well written and I agree with it. Just sayin’…