Chick-fil-A Biblical Family of the Day

Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy: “We support biblical families.”

Today’s Chick-fil-A Biblical Family of the Day: Lot’s family in Sodom (Genesis 19:1-29).

With special guest John Fugelsang:!

Bonus Bible passage: Ezekiel 16:48-50

As I live, says the Lord God, your sister Sodom and her daughters have not done as you and your daughters have done. This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty, and did abominable things before me; therefore I removed them when I saw it.


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  • The thing that has always bugged me is how Lot throws his daughters to the wolves (effectively) and in doing do indirectly valorizes rape if it’s between different genders because at least it is not teh ickay buttsechs.

  • hidden_urchin

    I always figured it was an idealization of hospitality conventions: the ideal host will protect a shelter a guest even if it means sacrificing family.

    I could be wrong, though, since I don’t actually know much about the culture of tha time and location.

    Still, I’m totally not cool with it.  How about just telling the crowd to disband and offer neither guests nor daughters?  Hell, he could have offered himself.  Sacrificing someone else is not really a noble gesture in my opinion.

  • Personally, I think the word “know” is taken out of context here.  That Adam knew his wife “in the biblical sense,” sure, we all know what that means.

    But let’s look at context.  Sure, we’re meant to believe that the Sodomites were the nastiest bunch the world has ever seen, but let’s examine this from stone-tool-weilding set’s point of view.  This is ancient time, and anyone that you don’t know is from your town is probably up to no good, especially if they’re holed up in the house of the village outcast who then offers to allow you to DEFLOWER HIS DAUGHTERS rather than give up these strangers.

    So maybe “know” doesn’t mean “gang-rape” here.  Maybe what the crowd was saying was “Yo, Lot, we know you’ve got some strangers in there who may or may not be spies for one of our rivals, or advance scouts for an invasion.  We would like to have a calm discussion with them.”

    Now, granted, the end result of that calm discussion was likely to be two bashed-in heads, but hey, this isn’t high society here.  Point is, Lot responds to this with “Uhm, no, perhaps you would like to rape my daughters?”

    I can imagine the look on the crowd spokesman’s face.

    “I… what?  No, man, just send them out.”

    And in the end, God kills Lot’s wife for showing a modicum of concern for her neighbors being annihilated, and then just looks the other way while Lot gets drunk and lives out his twisted negotiation tactics with his daughters.

  • D9000

    Say what you like about the Lots, they never went short of salt.

  • Ross Thompson

    Say what you like about the Lots, they never went short of salt.

    Reminds me of how Mussolini invested heavily in biofuels research and made the trains run on thyme.

  • ohiolibrarian

    Yay for the ecclesiastical mook!

  • Nirrti

     That sure was some hospitality right there. You know, handing your daughters to a marauding crowd like throwing steak to attacking dogs. I’m sure Holiday Inn and Hilton should take note.

    And is Lot the same joker who got drunk and was “tricked” by his daughters in getting them pregnant? Or maybe I’m confusing him with some other outstanding biblical character.

    Yet another reason even before I quit being a Christian, I always took the bible with a grain of salt (pun definitely intended).

  • rizzo

    That video was good, hoping he has one for Jonah because that story is hilarious!

  • Robyrt

     I don’t really get your argument here. The reason people are assuming “know” in the sexual sense here is that Lot responds with a shockingly sexual counteroffer, one that would make no sense if the Sodomites just wanted to have a nice chat by the city gates.

    Also, “a modicum of concern for her neighbors” is selling it rather short. These are the people who had an angry mob trying to break into her house last night, who know nothing of even the most basic hospitality customs, who are so evil that Lot and his family (not exactly moral paragons) are the only people worth saving in the entire city. On the other hand, you have a pair of men with demonstrated supernatural powers, plus a direct command from God. To think, as you are fleeing the city of Sodom, “But that was such a nice place! Did we really have to leave?” is not just being concerned for your neighbors’ welfare. Not to mention the folly in every fairy tale of disobeying magical instructions – those are always there for a reason.

  • Jenny Islander

    Lot isn’t valorized in any way, though.  He constantly reacts out of fear.  He goes to live in a town that is infamous for the things the locals do to anybody who doesn’t have power (see Isaiah’s explanation of why Sodom and Gomorrah fell), and then he starts living like them, right down to bargaining with a mob out of fear instead of blocking the doors and trying to fight.  He gets rescued from his bad decision and starts whining and pleading about where his rescuers are going to take him, because he is afraid that he can’t run fast enough.  And then, after that, he’s afraid to stay in the place that he begged to be in and goes off to the original destination after all, so afraid that he hides in a cave.  With an upbringing like that, it’s no surprise that his daughters are afraid that they will end up as feeble old hermits in the cave and rape him in order to get children to support them.  (Rape being just another tool, after all; didn’t he show them that?)

    Being mentioned in the Bible doesn’t mean that the Bible proclaims a person to be good. 

  • Ross Thompson

    Lot isn’t valorized in any way, though.

    And yet he was the only person (not counting his wife and children, who were is property) that God decided was worth saving. The angels went to visit him, not the rest of the town, and when they destroyed the town, they let him escape.

    What conclusion are we supposed to draw, other than that God approved of his behaviour? Certainly, that was the conclusion that the author of 2 Peter 2:7 drew…

  • vsm

    The point is that Lot offers something he owns (not a very pleasant way of thinking about it in the 21st century, but that’s cultural evolution for you) to protect complete strangers. I’d say that is pretty hospitable.

  • AnonaMiss

    Something I’ve never really gotten about the Lot’s Wife part of the story is that she’s turned into a pillar of salt. Keep in mind that in the ancient world, salt was often more valuable by weight than gold. The equivalent in the modern world would be something like a pillar of diamond. (“Look again. Lot’s wife is now diamonds.”)

    Anyway, what’s the deal with that?

  • The_L

    Re: “that we may know them,” I always had the mental image as a kid of angry knife-wielding psychos saying, “Hey Lot, we hear you’ve for some guests..we’d like to meet ’em.”

  • The_L

    That may have been added to the story to explain a large local salt deposit. I’ve heard that there was still a good-sized lump of salt or salt-like material in that general area as late as the 10th century CE.

  •  As it was explained to me as a Yeshiva student, decades ago, the important part about salt in this story was not its monetary value but its value as a symbol of hospitality, and it connected to Lot’s wife earlier lack of hospitality to their guests.

    Caveat: I am not endorsing any of the cultural implications of that, just passing along the explanation I received when I asked that same question to a bunch of rabbis.

  • People are assuming “know” because it’s a lot easier to enforce their puritanical sexual mores if God Almighty rained hellfire and brimstone down on an entire city because “know” means “have sex with.”

    Lot responding with a shockingly sexual counteroffer isn’t too surprising when you consider that the man would a short time later go on to TAKE HIMSELF UP ON THAT OFFER.

    I think there’s probably a more logical chain of events:
    Two spies from neighboring Gonnakillya come around looking for weaknesses in Sodom.  Lot, being the  already sketchy character that he is, offers them dinner and details.  An angry mob forms to find out who these folks are, and Lot, the unsavory lech, figures he can shoo them away with some young girl flesh.  I mean, he’s thought about it, why wouldn’t they, amirite, wink wink nudge nudge?

    Fast forward a few hours, and Lot’s house is on fire, the spies are dead, and there’s an angry mob hot on his heels.  They manage to kill his wife, but lucky Lot escapes into the mountains with his two daughters and a big bottle of booze and the plot of this week’s episode of Law & Order: SVU is written.

    The forces of Gonnakillya show up a few days later and level Sodom.  In the ensuing documentary, Lot just happens to be the only guy that they can find to interview for the record.

  •  Also, no discussion of Sodom and Gomorrah would ever be complete without Brad Neely’s Professor Brothers: Bible History #1: (Totally NSFW)

  • Amaryllis

     Being mentioned in the Bible doesn’t mean that the Bible proclaims a person to be good.
    As the footnotes in my Douay-Rheims stduent say with considerable frequency: “The sacred author merely records the event. He does not approve of it.”

  • Ian needs a nickname

    I prefer to read Jude 7 literally.  On that account, Sodom was destroyed because it’s people tried to rape angels.  Literally, they went after “heteros sarkon” – different flesh.

    That’s right, the men of Sodom were killed for being heterosexuals.

  • Instead of diamond, would you settle for silver? (h/t RubyTea, Soon)

  • The Guest That Posts

     As far as I’m aware, Sodom and Gomorrha were supposed to have been in what is now the Dead Sea (which was presumably formed in the crater after God nuked the cities).

    That area is full of pillars of salt, and the Lot’s wife story was probably made up to explain a rather human-like pillar.