Poultry of Christ

The recent uproar over the public stance of Chick-fil-A franchise president Dan Cathy regarding same sex marriage has blossomed into yet another nationally embarrassing example of anti-intellectual absurdity. Beyond the senselessness of the CEO of any fast food chain feeling the need to publically take a stance regarding the Christian inspired biblical principles pertaining to homosexuality… the responses from the cable news watching proletariat have been as comedic as they are tragic. Ignorance is indeed on parade…. again.

Predictably, there has been a negative backlash heaped upon Chick-fil-A by gay rights groups and their supporters.  Oddly enough, when people experience socio/political bias against them, and have had to endure both violent and passive attacks, not to mention an unjustified negative portrayal… they tend not to be complacent about their social status while being discriminated against. But the responses from gay and civil rights activist groups are not where the absurdity lies. The absurdity lies with those who have tried to justify their bigoted moral precepts via a third party deity by rushing to the defense of what would otherwise be indefensible.

The newest bigoted rationalization tactic comes in the form of a self victimizing sense of martyrdom, claiming that those who expose religious intolerance are in fact, exhibiting a bigoted lack of tolerance for the Christian right of religious freedom. But of course, this makes no sense to anyone remotely tethered to reason. It would be like members of the Ku Klux Klan complaining that southern blacks are bigotedly trying to suppress their right to burn crosses. From the evangelical mindset, by not allowing Christians to oppress whomever their dogmatic tenets demand discrimination against … those who combat their extremism are themselves, anti-Christian bigots. And Chick-fil-A has become a rallying point for the lunatic fringe to express their astigmatic world view.  

However no one is attempting to curtail anyone’s right to practice their religion in their home, in their church, or even in their heart and mind. No one is saying that a Christian doesn’t have the right to practice his or her faith. What is being said is that Fundamentalist Christians do not have the right to create legislation, and deny their fellow Americans equal rights under the law based on their own religious beliefs.

For the life of me, I can’t understand why this is such a difficult concept for so many people to grasp.

One must ask themselves, how would Christians feel if the Tenets of the Koran were forcibly taught  to their children? How would they feel if their beliefs caused them to be beaten, and discriminated against? Yet this is what Christian fundamentalists expect us to endure from them.

What’s more disturbing is the cherry picking, if not the alarming lack of knowledge about the bible of those who purport to enact biblical principles, and moreover, the mosaic law they propagate. For instance, when Chick-fil-A President and self described “Christian” Dan Cathy defined homosexuality as being in violation of “Biblical Principles”, that in itself is a confounding statement when one considers that most of biblical law –including seven of the ten commandments– is in violation of our constitution. The truth is, if Christians followed their own rules, they would be petitioning against many core American principles.

Although the Jesus of the New Testament never actually says anything about same sex relationships, the rationalization Christians make for their bigotry against gays are biblical verses where Jesus references the Mosaic laws of the Old Testament such as this:

“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.” -Mark5:17

And This:

“For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” (John 5:46-47.)

For those who aren’t aware, Moses is the alleged writer of the first five books in the bible, and those which define what is known as “Mosaic Law”. In fact, the Mosaic laws which Jesus alleges to condone are very graphic in their depiction of homosexuality as a “sin”.  So we understand why Christians wish to discriminate against homosexuals. Moses clearly outlined how God expects us to treat gays:

“Homosexual acts are an abomination to God.” (Leviticus 18:22)

“If a man has sex with another man, kill them both. (Leviticus 20:13)

However, if one were to base their Christianity –and by extension their treatment of gays– on Mosaic principles, then would they also be force to claim that slavery, rape and murder are also part of God’s will? Moses is very clear on this as well:

“However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way.” (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)

“When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. “(Exodus 21:7)

‎”As you approach a town to attack it, first offer its people terms for peace. If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor. But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town. When the LORD your God hands it over to you, kill every man in the town. But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder. You may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the LORD your God has given you.” (Deuteronomy 20:10-14)

The bible is replete with such verses. Nothing is being taken out of context. Clearly the preponderance of those exhorting biblical principles are doing so with an incomprehensive understanding of the bible itself. The concept of metaphor having all but escaped them, misrepresented fiction has been presented as relevant social discourse. Born of a pressing need to cope with their fear, and assert their bigotry,  radical sectarians have found a platform to express themselves in Christianity. It is an alarming manifestation of ignorance that is unprecedented in our nation’s history.

But how we treat same sex couples, and moreover, how we legislate who is allowed to love whom is the fundamental moral question of this generation. Just as civil rights were for our parents, and slavery was to those in the latter half of the nineteenth century, this issue will shape how history views America at the turn of this millennium. Do we allow fear and ignorance to govern our passions and take a social step backward into the Reformation? Do we derive our ‘morality” from dark age precepts? Or do we do what is truly moral, and allow love to flourish regardless of where it grows?

My sense of morality demands that I fight against bigotry.

 

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About Rich Woods

Rich Woods is the author of the critically acclaimed books, UnLearn Vanilla Marriage, and Yahweh to Hell. He is also a columnist, sociologist, and satirist who has performed seminars around the country. He's also made several TV and radio appearances. Transitioning from a blue-collar background has given Mr. Woods a unique perspective --and an even more unique elocution--among his peers. Raised Catholic, Mr. Woods is now a very public atheist who champions the separation of church and state. He's an advocate for non-traditional relationships, including --but not limited to-- negotiating non-monogamy, as well as being a vocal opponent of political correctness. Throughout his career, Woods has had colorful metaphors hurled in his direction from both liberals, and conservatives. To be honest, most of the vitriol comes from the Tea Party. However, he considers one of his greatest accomplishments having been called "Harry Reid's Lapdog" , and referred to as being "just like Rush Limbaugh" from two different sources within minutes of one another. Originally from Queens, New York, and presently residing in central New Jersey, Rich Woods is madly, and hopelessly in love with his wife Jane since before they were wed in 2002, and is the proud father of two successful, brilliantly creative, young adult children. Try as he might, he can't juggle.

Posted on July 28, 2012, in Recent Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Rec’d this in today’s email…I don’t know if it’s true, but …….
    On her radio show, Dr.Laura Schlesinger said that
    homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus
    18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following
    response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, written by a U.S. man, and
    posted on the Internet. It’s funny . . . as well as informative:

    Dear Dr. Laura,

    Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I
    have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that
    knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend
    the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that
    Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination … End of
    debate.

    I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements
    of God’s Laws and how to follow them.

    1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and
    female, provided they are from neighboring nations. A friend of mine
    claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you
    clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

    2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in
    Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair
    price for her?

    3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in
    her period of Menstrual uncleanliness – Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is
    how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

    4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a
    pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is my
    neighbors…..They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I
    smite them?

    5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus
    35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated
    to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

    6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
    abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than
    homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there ‘degrees’
    of abomination?

    7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I
    have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading
    glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room
    here?

    8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair
    around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.
    19:27. How should they die?

    9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes
    me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

    10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two
    different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing
    garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester
    blend).

    He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary
    that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to
    stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a
    private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their
    in-laws? (Lev. 20:14) I know you have studied these things extensively
    and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I’m
    confident you can help.

    Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and
    unchanging.

    Your adoring fan,
    James M. Kauffman, Ed.D. Professor Emeritus,
    Dept. Of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education University of
    Virginia

    P.S. It ‘s a damn shame we can’t own a Canadian.

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