Chicken a la Huckabee

For Your Consideration

Peter CavanaughAugust 16, 2012 

"There's battle lines being drawn ...

Nobody's right if everybody's wrong ...

Young people speaking their minds ...

getting so much resistance from behind."

"For What It's Worth" -- Buffalo Springfield (1966).

Assuming that Dan Cathy, president and chief operating officer of Chick-fil-A, meant what he said when he told The Baptist Press that he was "very much supportive of the Biblical definition of the family unit," it might be cynically suggested that hundreds of area Christians lined up at Fresno's River Park Chick-fil-A outlet on Aug. 1 in enthusiastic support of boundless polygamy as endorsed by Mitt Romney's great grandfather, Miles Park Romney, when he fled to Mexico in 1885 with his five wives -- Caroline, Millie, Catherine, Alice and Hannah -- Mitt's great-grandmother.

The Old Testament is loaded with ladies who were a one-man woman to a many women man. That's just how things were -- a culturally inherited predisposition to just be that way.

Genesis 4:19 -- "And Lamech took unto him two wives."

Genesis 26:34 -- "Esau ... took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite."

And -- taking the gold -- 1 Kings 11:2-3 -- "Solomon ... had 700 wives ... and 300 concubines."

In the New Testament, we see such passages as Matthew 25:1, which reads, "Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom." At the time of Christ, polygamy was common in Jewish culture and practiced as a traditional custom by early Christians, although banned by Roman law.

Justin Martyr (AD 100 -165), an early Christian apologist considered a Saint by the Roman Catholic Church, observed it was common for a Jewish man to have four or five wives. In fact, polygamy remained a Jewish institution until formally banned by Rabbi Gershom ben Judah in 1000 A.D.

One of the few true constants in our human experience is the inevitability of change, an obvious notion ignored at substantial intellectual peril by many who should know better. Mr. Cathy's pronouncement has nothing to do with First Amendment rights, such stipulations enacted to curtail governmental restrictions against free speech. But there is no guarantee of impunity -- no Constitutional limitation to reaction for -- or against such commentary.

Dan-Dan the chicken man had a perfect right to say what he did, historically and theologically nonsensical or not. Supportive forces had an equally perfect right to answer Mike Huckabee's clarion call for communal chicken and I hereby claim my perfect right to suggest the Chick-fil-A turnout was driven immeasurably more by latent homophobia than liturgical heroics.

The faithful flock at Westboro Baptist believes that God hates queers.

The average Christian recoils at such despicable lunacy and considers those Westboro Baptists insufferable -- if not insane.

But in the case of same sex marriage, we witness an uncomfortable confrontation between what are perceived as the laws of God against those of man. It's nothing new.

"And Jesus answering said to them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marveled at him." Mark 12:17.

Thus -- Biblically -- ambiguity abounds. Nothing is crystal clear ... or clean cut ... or plain as day.

Is Barack Obama "not a Christian" for waging a "War against Religion" by recognizing the value of -- gasp -- "contraceptives?"

The search for truth can be found in all lands and in many diverse philosophies, none greater or wiser. Each belief system offers its own dynamics and is a reflection of the transcendental nature of its core culture.

The Holy Bible or Koran or Talmud or Book of Mormon or Book of The Dead or Rig Veda or Avesta or Amitabha Sutra or hundreds of other sacred scriptures represent "God's word" only as defined by fallible followers -- particularly errant when accompanied by self-serving insistence on spiritual exclusivity.

It's just that way.

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