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: Abner, Rizpah, Ishbaal and Saul (2 Samuel 3:6-11).

While there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, Abner was making himself strong in the house of Saul.

Now Saul had a concubine whose name was Rizpah daughter of Aiah. And Ishbaal said to Abner, “Why have you gone in to my father’s concubine?”

The words of Ishbaal made Abner very angry; he said, “Am I a dog’s head for Judah? Today I keep showing loyalty to the house of your father Saul, to his brothers, and to his friends, and have not given you into the hand of David; and yet you charge me now with a crime concerning this woman. So may God do to Abner and so may he add to it! For just what the Lord has sworn to David, that will I accomplish for him, to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul, and set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan to Beer-sheba.”

And Ishbaal could not answer Abner another word, because he feared him.

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  • Guest

    Your persistent strawmanning aside, here is the Biblical family that Mr. Cathy had in mind:

    He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,  and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?  So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6)

    Jesus defined marriage as heterosexual monogamy.

  • Which is of course why modern evangelicals struggle so hard against divorce, especially in their efforts to prevent states from legally recognizing the remarriage of divorced people…

    No? How odd.

    Also, I’m pretty sure that when I throw out great swaths of the Old Testament as being inconsistent with the nature of God as revealed in Jesus, that makes me a filthy liberal “cafeteria Christian.” So when you describe Fred’s relentless references to the Old Testament as “persistent strawmanning,” what would that make you?

  • Carstonio

    We can’t assume anything about what Cathy meant. He’s committing two wrongs here. First, by asserting that civil marriage be defined according to a specific religious doctrine, Cathy is promoting theocracy. No different than if Cathy said he supported Qu’ranic marriage or Vinayan marriage. Second, it’s simply none of his business who consenting adults choose to marry.

  • Foreigner

    This is the same Jesus who said he had not come to change the Law, not one jot not tittle of it, is it?

  • OriginalExtraCrispy

    I want my laws based on secular reasons, not your particular brand of holy book. Because if we’re going to pick a religion to make laws out of, then I’m gonna have to go with the Pastafarians.

    That’s the problem with you guys. You seem to think the laws should be based on, not just religion, but *your* religion. Guess what? All those other people of the “wrong” religions? They think *exactly* the same way about you.

    Wrap your mind around that for a second. Imagine, for a moment, living in a country that practices Sharia law. You wouldn’t like having to eat halal foods, pray toward Mecca five times a day, etc. (I’ve just exhausted most of my knowledge of Islam).

    The Christian Bible is NOT a law book. It is not what secular laws in a secular country should be based on. If you want your laws based on a religious book, go live in Saudi Arabia.

  • Wednesday

     Hey, Guest, I got straight-married in a courthouse. The Judge only invoked the powers granted to him by the state, and did not invoke any deities.  Also, we cohabited for five years prior to getting married, and the emotional and, er, physical nature of our relationship didn’t change upon marriage — just our legal and social status.

    So since you’re such an expert on biblical marriage, can you tell me if my marriage is biblical or not? Has a god joined me together with my spouse? If so, how can I find out which god?

  • SisterCoyote

    Wow, I was wondering how long it would take for someone to respond to these like that. Far longer than I thought!

  • Rizpah? What a strange name. It means “floor”! (I think in Biblical hebrew it can also mean a type of coal)

  • Launcifer

    Still, it was worth it just to see someone call quoting from the Bible “strawmanning”. I do believe that has made my afternoon, in a weird sort of way.

  • aunursa

    This is what Mr. Cathy said: “Families are very important to our country. And they’re very important to those of us who are concerned about being able to hang on to our heritage. We support Biblical families, and they’ve always been a part of that.”

    I am not aware of any statement in which Mr. Cathy indicated that he does not want his restaurants to serve families who follow the polygamous and adulterous behavior that was prevalent in the Bible.

  • Is there anything in the context around this passage that tells use whether Abner actually had “gone in” to Rizpah?  Was Ishbaal lodging a sincere complaint about Abner abusing his family’s hospitality, or making a false accusation to try to discredit a rival who was amassing greater power in his father’s faction than he had as Saul’s own son?  Abner’s response seems plausible either way — obviously in the latter case, because nobody reacts well to being falsely accused, but even if Abner had been messing around with Saul’s concubine, he might have felt entitled to the use of the king’s property (note that, by acknowledging the laws and customs of that barbaric and misogynistic society, I am in no way endorsing them), since by his account his power was the only thing keeping Saul on the throne.

  • Katie

     As a point of order, Sharia law specifically allows for Jews and Christians to eat, worship and marry according to their own religious rules. 

  • Lunch Meat

    He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,  and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?  So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6)

    Jesus defined marriage as heterosexual monogamy.

    Matthew 19:3: “Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”So when Jesus was asked about a man and his wife, his answer referred to a man and his wife…and you think this is noteworthy?

  • David Starner

    “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You
    hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will
    see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
    Matthew 7:3-5 (NIV)

    Justification using your verse is frustrating–maybe a little obscene–because almost nobody is keeping up the fight for the literal interpretation of that verse. It’s asking too much of heterosexual Christians to ask that they don’t divorce each other, but when it comes to heaping obligations on other people, that’s fine.

  • MikeJ

    It’s not just divorce either.  I know plenty of people who do think divorce shouldn’t be allowed, but that doesn’t really mean they’re free to start telling other people how to behave.

  • OriginalExtraCrispy

     Thank you for correcting me.

  • Amaryllis

     Well, Saul was dead by that time, and unable to personally object. Ishbaal was his designated heir. But David was establishing a rival kingdom, and no doubt Ishbaal wassn’t happy with the idea of yet another potential rival using what seems to have been a time-honored method of casting doubt on, literally, his potency.

    As for poor Rizpah, her story is terrible, and I expect that Fred will get around to her soon.

  • Mullerornis

    Except Jesus himself never actually makes that statement. Paul does. And Paul, to my knowledge, is not Jesus.

  • Mullerornis

    How convenient you ignore the original greek.

    The point was not to declare marriage heteronormative, but to prommote monogamous relationships.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Point one: Most of us don’t have a clue what the original Greek says; that’s why we have translations. If you’re going to base an argument on the original Greek, provide the original Greek (which, I’ve read Misquoting Jesus, have fun finding the original Greek) and citations for the definition of each and every word in the verses you’re citing.

    Point two: You do realize that you replied to Lunch Meat, who was criticizing the statement that “Jesus defined marriage as heterosexual monogamy”, not to Guest, who made that statement?

    Point three: When somebody provides you citations, as Guest did, have the basic common sense to glance over the citation before declaring the statements based on that citation to be flatly wrong. Matthew 19 does indeed have Jesus quoting the bits of Genesis that involve a man leaving his parents and becoming one flesh with his wife. (Whatever the fuck that’s actually supposed to mean.)