Chick-FAIL-A: Dan Cathy’s Selective Appeal to ‘Biblical Principles’

It’s funny how selective and subjective the term “biblical principles” can be to some fundamentalists.

Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy recently said in an interview with the Baptist Press that that he aims to operate his restaurant chain “on biblical principles”:

“We don’t claim to be a Christian business…But as an organization we can operate on biblical principles.”

He added:

“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. … 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.”

It always amuses me when Christian fundamentalists cite “biblical principles”, they often select only those that oppress homosexuals. For instance, Leviticus 19:19 quite clearly reads:

“Do not wear clothing woven from two different kinds of thread.”

Nowhere in the New Testament do we find a verse or command that countermands, rescinds, or trumps this injunction from God (like there is in Peter’s vision in Acts 10:9ff ( see esp. vv. 14-15), where Peter is told to “kill and eat” food that was previously pronounced by God to be “unclean”). There is no such verse unbinding the command of God not to mix fabrics in garments, and yet, the online Chick-fil-A store advertises the following:

Biblical principles? Which ones?

Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy said his business is run on ‘biblical principles’. Apparently, however, he’s only interested in the ‘biblical principles’ that oppress gay individuals.

Note the “cotton and poly” blend of the sweatshirt? One must ask: is this sweatshirt produced according to “biblical principles”?

Now, while some might call this “nitpicking”, the hypocritical and highly selective appeal to “biblical principles” is glaring: often times, when Christian fundamentalists invoke “biblical principles”, they do so selectively, and only when they are seeking to suppress the rights of others with whom they happen to disagree. I’ve discussed “cherry picking” and the fallacy of an inconsistent hermeneutic before. It repeatedly seems that fundamentalist Christians will ignore clear “biblical principles” they find inconvenient, but are quick to invoke them when there is a chance to suppress the rights of gays.

And for this egregious, homophobic biblical hypocrisy, I shake my head.

(HT: Found at Addicting Info.)

16 Responses

  1. Well, if I ever considered Chick-Fil-A a reason to stop eating kasher, here’s another reason not to. These fanatics give me the chills and really make me lose my appetite – good thing I’m fasting though!

  2. When it comes to killing babies, the Left says, “If you don’t like abortion, then don’t have one.”

    Nowhere in his statement did Dan Cathy say anything to “oppress” homosexuals. All he said was that he believes in “the biblical definition of the family unit”. He did not say that his employees must believe it. He did not say that a certain percentage of his company’s profits goes to hire mercenary soldiers to rough up homos. All he said was what he believes. Which, by the way, is correct.

    So, if you don’t like Chick-fil-A, then don’t eat there.

    You went a long time without publishing any columns. Now, in three days you’ve written four anti-CFA columns. That’s a lot of pent-up anger over something that the man did not even say.

    (And, by the way, the cashier at our local Chick-fil-A told me that business is WAY UP ever since the start of “The Muppet War”. To paraphrase the famous words of Admiral Yamamoto, it seems that the Muppets have fed a sleeping giant. Eat more chicken!)

  3. I guess someone would REALLY be in trouble … if he/she wore one o’ them-thar thangs . . .

    AND picked up sticks on the Sabbath (Book of Numbers, ch. 15 — death penalty for doing that).

  4. These are emotionally warped people who are seriously disturbed. The depth of the misery these bigots inflict on their own families beggars belief.

  5. The human race from the Day of Pentecost following the crucifixion onward lives under the ‘Law of Christ’, not the Law of Moses. Please pass to all critics to quit citing Levitical / Mosaical law to set it against the Law of Christ…confine you scriptural sourcing to the New Covenant please when you want to criticize christians.

  6. Tom

    1) I’m in Israel digging with sketchy internet. I haven’t been blogging because I’ve been digging. But when I see something this absurd, I find the time.
    2) I said earlier that I fully expect Chick-fil-A’s sales to JUMP before they decline. They’re getting a lot of free press right now, and every Tea Party conservative will rush out and buy a chicken sandwich between now and Aug 1 and pose for pix, etc., but then sales will decline as Chicj-fil-A becomes the corporate symbol for Christian homophobia.

    BTW, chick-fil-A DOES insist that its employees:

    “The chain, according to the report, has 1,608 restaurants, sales of more than $4 billion and employees who are trained “to focus on values rooted in the Bible.” Chick-fil-A’s across the country shut down on Sundays.

    They’re trying to have it both ways: claiming NOT to be a ‘Christian’ company, but creating an atmosphere they insist is ‘based upon biblical principles’ apparently INCLUDING the suppression of some civil rights for gays, but EXCLUDING other clear biblical teachings.

  7. gary, please tell me that ‘fulfilling the law’ means to you.
    fulfilling the law usually means keeping it, does it not?
    this is why jesus said, ‘If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.” (matt 19:17)

    arguing that the mosaic law is nil after pentacost completely goes against everything jesus taught (like matt 5:18: “I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”)

    however, it became very convenient for christians to make this argument when they no longer wanted to follow the mosaic law.

    the question is: did god make laws or not? did he change his mind? were the people who were stoned to death for picking up sticks on the sabbath or eating shellfish suddenly forgiven when jesus ‘changed the law’?

    it’s a convenient argument that early xns made so that they could distinguish themselves from jews. (you can thank paul for this btw…)

  8. […] the record, this is what we’re dealing with when we talk about racism and homophobia. And this is why people are so outraged about the Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A scandal. Yes, they are different […]

  9. Robert, I wonder how much validity is in this link. If true, it’s not surprising with what the media do:

  10. Gary:

    WHERE DOES IT SAY THAT in the Bible about how as of the day of Pentecost “those” parts of the Bible are no longer valid ?

    waiting . . . waiting . . . waiting . . . .

  11. And in other news, it turns out that Gay Marriage … hold onto your hats, folks . . . caused Noah’s Flood !

    Yikes. Who knew ?

    Here ya go, complete with video of the Christian minister a-sayin’ so:

  12. “God knew that the people on the earth were going to destroy themselves through same-sex marriage, and so that’s why he brought the flood.”

    That is HILARIOUS !…appalling, too. We personally know some of these nuts; they’re convinced gay marriage will destroy marriage. Naturally, not *their* marriage, it’s always someone elses marriage that’ll be harmed.


  13. Mike Huckabee stated “if they believe that will help their cause, to put people of the same sex kissing each other in a public place in front of families, if they believe that will encourage people to be more sympathetic, then, you know, more power to them.” I am interpreting this to mean that Huckabee thinks gay men kissing in public will NOT engender support for the LGBT cause. Apparently Huckabee does not think gays should have the right of the pursuit of happiness. They are allowed the right of life and recently have been allowed the right of liberty but are not yet allowed the pursuit of happiness. Gay people can kiss their dog in public but if they kiss their partner (or even hold hands) then they put their safety at risk.

    Would some Christian – any Christian – out there please tell me how gay people came to be? I have asked until I am blue in the face but have never received an answer.

  14. My larger concerns here are: If God’s judgment is eminently upon us, what will it be and what will be the consequences of it? Is Dan Cathy making a threat akin to Osama bin Laden or other terrorists then possibly acting upon it or encouraging others to do so? How or why does HE alone personally see this judgment but nobody else does? Should we all get an RV and wait on a promontory for the coming Apocalypse?

    The underlying problem here is that somehow he apparently has a premonition that the rest of us do not. He states that he is worried about a possible coming judgment but cannot say what it is or when. He also fails to explain how he knows this too, unless he means he knows it because of his perceived understanding of our arrogance against God IN HIS OPINION by not supporting traditional marriage
    like he does. This is specious and circular thinking: my way or the highway to hell. The Bible also says to beware of false prophets.

    This is a very contentious issue in our society right now, and all citizens have the right to exercise their freedom of speech. Even Mr. Cathy has a right to his opinion and to spend the company money as for social causes. I respect his right to SAY he supports traditional marriage AND spend money to do it. He just needs to leave it at that. He is a LOUSY theologian at best and should stick to what he knows best: chicken sandwiches.

  15. Dear Bob:
    You said on on July 28, 2012 at 10:24 pm – in response to Gary:
    “it’s a convenient argument that early xns made so that they could distinguish themselves from jews. (you can thank paul for this btw…)”

    You are absolutely correct! Christians are Paulinists! Othen than Ebionites (James and his crowd in the Vatican) and those who want to demonstrate their contempt for Christians, and IGNORANT evangelicalist Christians (same crowd), who do not know where our separation from Judaism comes from, we are followers of Christianity as defined by the Apostle Paul. Whether one considers Paul to have written 13, 7 or only 4 of the Epistles attributed to him, we find that separation – Judaism & Christianity – very clear in his teachings. One of the (let’s take the smallest numbers) 4 Epistles credited to Paul, the Galatians, he teaches a lot about the separation and even so much as teach us that we may be heirs only treated as immature children for hanging on to certain aspects of the Mosaic law; then he, Paul, proceeds on to teaching about Christian liberty. So, yes, we have the Apostle Paul to thank for not killing people for picking sticks on a Sabbath! In one of the not so recognized Epistles of Paul he tells us not to let our religiosity be judged by days, holidays, etc. Yes, we have Paul to thank for! And God for choosing him.

    I know that the N.T. does not mean to you what it means to me. But the issue here is not the N.T., it is the fact that, in order to defend gay marriage, people of high intellect, theologians and bible scholars are acting and writing as if Christians are one the same with the Jewish Laws. Yes God spoke those laws and He must be obeyed, but the foundation of the Christian faith is that Jesus obeyed it for us, vicariously, or as a substitute and God credited this obedience to us by imputation (also Paul’s teaching). Yes, we have Paul to thank for and we Protestants believe such a teaching.

    Unfortunately YES, some of these people using terms such as “Biblical Marriage”, God’s Law, etc. should not use these terms so as not to demonstrate their carelessness in Biblical understanding.
    At least this Christian admits: We should be called Paulinistians… whether with 13, 7 or only 4 of his epistles… and we do have the Apostle Paul to thank for, btw!

  16. Go back to the original text, or just to the King James version, and your entire argument falls apart.

    Go Hawkeyes!

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