When i lived in the South, I will admit I used to eat at Chick-Fil-A all the time. I was dimly aware that they had some sketchy religious leanings or something, and they tended to hire only surrealistically white people to work in their restaurants, but hey, the sandwiches were good.
Well, not really good. But at least better than much of the mediocre fast-food stuff you could get at, say, Taco Bell or Burger King.
I wish I could say that I was surprised to learn that Chick-Fil-A has bought into the virulent strain of anti-gay nonsense that seems to have the self-described Christian conservative bits of society in such a frenzy, but I’m really not. Like I said, I was dimly aware that ther was some kind of right-wing religious something something at play.
But the media attention about Chick-Fil-A and gay marriage got me to thinking. Most self-described Christian conservatives base their opposition to gay marriage on two Bible verses. Leviticus 18:22 reads:
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination.
Leviticus 20:13 says:
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
The rest of Leviticus goes on to say similar things about cutting your beard, wearing clothes made of different fibers, eating shellfish, having sex with a woman on her period, letting different kinds of cattle graze in the same field, and executing women if
their husbands cheat on them they cheat on their husbands (seriously, it’s there, Leviticus 20:10).
Most Christians don’t follow these rules, arguing that Jesus made them irrelevant except the ones about homosexuality because those are totally different from the shellfish ones because of reasons, and some will even quote a third Bible verse, Romans 1:26-27, to justify banning gay marriage:
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
But the Bible, both old and new testaments, actually spends a whole lot more time talking about divorce than it does about homosexuality. Both testaments are very, very clear that divorce is never permitted, and that those who divorce and remarry are guilty of adultery, a sin forbidden by the Ten Commandments, and with the penalty of death according to the old testament…
Um, wait a minute, didn’t we recently see a serial divorcee running on some kind of pro-family, conservative Christian platform?
In fact, the Bible even claims that Jesus, who never spoke about homosexuality at all, had plenty to say about divorce, in Matthew 5:31-32:
And it was said, ‘Whoever sends his wife away, let him give her a certificate of divorce’; but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the cause of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
The Bible has Jesus speaking the same message many more times, in Mark 10:2 and Luke 16:18, for example.
So I wonder…
What would the right-wing Christian pronouncements look like if they actually applied the same thinking on divorce to their supposedly “Bible-based” blatherings about homosexuality? What would happen if you took their hysterical anti-gay screeds and replaced the word “homosexual” with the word “divorce”? It seems a fair substitution; the same moral, Biblical justifications for opposing homosexuality even more strongly apply to divorce, after all.
I started Googling Christian proclamations about homosexuality, which…well, if you have ever felt the need to go trolling on a motorboat down an open sewer, doing that sort of Google search will give you a similar experience. And I took “homosexuality” and replaced it with “divorce.” The results were…interesting.