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August 16, 2012
Guest Blog: The Chick-Fil-A Flap
An earlier version of this essay appeared as a letter to the editor in The Enid News & Eagle on August 3, 2012. I asked Martha for permission to post it here as a guest blog. Charles Hedrick.
It pains me to see the current controversy over same-sex marriage sparked by comments of the national president and CEO of ChickFil-A. He has every right to express his religious belief, as long as he does it in a way sensitive to the beliefs of others.
However, to say that he takes that position because he is a Christian, implying that all those in favor of marriage equality are not Christian, is misleading. Christians are divided on this issue, with many Christians welcoming LGBT brothers and sisters into their congregations, believing that the love Christ taught is all-inclusive.
The Bible says very little about homosexuality, and Jesus did not mention it. In Leviticus 18:19-23 the prohibition of two men lying together is one of five prohibitions that seem to be intended to preserve and protect male seed and male lineage in a very different society from our own. Women are mentioned in Lev 18:23 along with men but there is nothing about women lying together in Lev 18:22, which makes it all the more difficult to assert that Lev 18:11 is intended as a blanket condemnation of homosexuality.
The institution of marriage has been evolving for thousands of years (See “An Ever-Changing Union” in The Week, June 8, 2012). According to the Bible, King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines (1Kings 11:3). According to The Week article, male-bonding ceremonies were common in churches across the Mediterranean in the twelfth century. Liturgies included the recital of marriage prayers, the joining of hands at the altar, and a ceremonial kiss. Later these unions were banned, but the idea of marriage as a sexually exclusive, romantic union between one man and one woman is a relatively recent development.
Modern science and many psychologists recognize homosexuality as a preference people are born with, rather than a choice they make. If they are correct, then homosexuals and lesbians are “hard” wired at birth. It is not a life style question but a matter of who they are.
If we believe that God loves each of us equally, as a child created in God’s image, does it not follow that God wants all his children to experience married happiness if they wish it?
That is my Christian belief.
Posted by Charles Hedrick at 6:00am
I deeply appreciate Martha Hatt's words - mostly because they mirror my own beliefs. In my own, more-than-a-little prejudiced way, I never thought I'd find someone from Enid, OK would ever share my belief or support me, in any way. So I am grateful beyond words for your posting her entry to your blog
Excellent expression of our thoughts and feelings, Charlie. Many thanks for sharing Martha’s essay with us. This somehow touches on Eugene Robinson’s recent column on “Community” with its all-inclusive implications. Encouraging, insightful, hopeful words.