Monday, August 06, 2012

Chic-fil-a & Biblical Definition of Marriage

I'm just back from two weeks of vacation where I stayed away from the electronic world and most of the news. 

I did manage to catch Dan Cathy of Chic-fil-a's comments about same sex marriage, the day of protest by anti-LGBT so-called Christians, and the news of the kiss in.  There are no chick-fil-a's in Martha's Vineyard (and no fast food at all, except for one Dairy Queen), otherwise I would have been happy to been there to kiss people while in my clerical collar.

I dislike what is called proof texting, but Cathy is just wrong when he talks about biblical marriage as one man, one woman.  The fact is that marriage has changed dramatically since Biblical times, when polygamy was the norm and women were regarded as property.  Remember that Biblical texts also forbid divorce and require women to be subservient to their husbands as well. 

And of course, Cathy conveniently forgets all of the other statements in the Leviticus Holiness Code that he most likely ignores, including serving milk products with meat or bacon on anything. But more importantly, he seems to have forgotten that the overriding messages of the Scriptures are love, justice, and inclusion.  As our Open Letter on Marriage Letter states, "scripture neither commends a single marriage model nor commands all to marry, but rather calls for love and justice in all relationships." 

My colleague Ken South has compiled this list of what the Hebrew Bible says about marriages and has given me permission to reprint it here.  I somehow doubt that it is what Cathy has in mind.

ives, Ahinoam of Jezreel, and Abigail of Carmel, Nabal's widow.

1 Samuel 30:5 David's two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam of Jezreel, and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel.

1 Samuel 30:18 David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken; and David rescued his two wives.

2 Samuel 2:2 So David went up there, and his two wives also, Ahinoam of Jezreel, and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel.

2 Samuel 5:13 And David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem, after he came from Hebron; and more sons and daughters were born to David.

2 Samuel 19:5 Then Joab came into the house to the king, and said, "You have today covered with shame the faces of all your servants, who have this day saved your life, and the lives of your sons and your daughters, and the lives of your wives and your concubines,

1 Kings 11:3 He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart.

1 Kings 11:4 For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.

1 Kings 11:8 And so he did for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.

1 Kings 20:3 'Your silver and your gold are mine; your fairest wives and children also are mine.'"

1 Kings 20:7 Then the king of Israel called all the elders of the land, and said, "Mark, now, and see how this man is seeking trouble; for he sent to me for my wives and my children, and for my silver and my gold, and I did not refuse him."

2 Kings 24:15 And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon; the king's mother, the king's wives, his officials, and the chief men of the land, he took into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon.

1 Chronicles 4:5 Ashhur, the father of Tekoa, had two wives, Helah and Naarah;

1 Chronicles 8:8 And Shaharaim had sons in the country of Moab after he had sent away Hushim and Baara his wives.

1 Chronicles 14:3 And David took more wives in Jerusalem, and David begot more sons and daughters.

2 Chronicles 11:21 Rehoboam loved Maacah the daughter of Absalom above all his wives and concubines (he took eighteen wives and sixty concubines, and had twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters);

2 Chronicles 13:21 But Abijah grew mighty. And he took fourteen wives, and had twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters.

2 Chronicles 21:17 and they came up against Judah, and invaded it, and carried away all the possessions they found that belonged to the king's house, and also his sons and his wives, so that no son was left to him except Jehoahaz, his youngest son.

2 Chronicles 24:3 Jehoiada got for him two wives, and he had sons and daughters.,

Daniel 5:2 Belshazzar, when he tasted the wine, commanded that the vessels of gold and of silver which Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple in Jerusalem be brought, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them.

Daniel 5:3 Then they brought in the golden and silver vessels which had been taken out of the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem; and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them..