Kirby: Sorry, folks, the Bible doesn’t really tell us what to eat

By Robert Kirby

The Salt Lake Tribune

Published: July 27, 2012 12:53PM
Updated: October 30, 2012 11:33PM
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Robert Kirby, Tribune columnist

It seems I should take a political stand regarding my biblical values. Everyone else is doing it, including chicken sandwich makers.

In a radio statement regarding gay marriage in America, Chick-fil-A’s devoutly Christian Chief Executive Dan T. Cathy said Chick-fil-A is a biblically oriented company and therefore supports marriage only between a man and a woman.

Cathy said, “As it relates to society in general, I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’ ”

Makes sense. Maybe. Or not. Hell, I don’t know. When I went to Chick-fil-A before, all I wanted was a chicken sandwich. Now, I have think about homosexuality, too.

And if that weren’t enough, Cathy’s statement prompted The Jim Henson Co. — which supports gay rights — to remove all of its Muppet toys from Chick-fil-A’s kids’ meals. How am I going to look at Kermit the Frog the same way again?

Is there anything in the world that religious debate can’t screw up?

Yeah, I know. That was in fact a rhetorical question.

But traditional biblical values are important to a lot of people. So, here’s a statement from me: “As it relates to society in general, I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a chicken sandwich.’ ”

Think about it. Has anyone really researched the biblically traditional value of a chicken meal over that of, say, a kangaroo sandwich?

Make no mistake about it, God is very specific about what should and should not be on our menu. That’s why I firmly support the traditional biblical stand against eating pelicans.

I don’t care if you stop reading my column because of it. God said not to eat pelicans. It’s in the Bible (Leviticus 11:18). That’s good enough for me. If it’s not good enough for you, you’re going to hell.

Other wing flappers that are biblically abominable to eat include eagles, storks, owls, ravens, cuckoos, cormorants, swans, bats and lapwings (whatever the #*&%@ those are). Oh, and herons.

Not to worry. There are still plenty of biblically approved flappers to eat — provided that you’re willing to read a lot in between the lines and not think too much about it.

Here’s the thing: The Bible does not specifically mention chickens as being OK. Nowhere in it — including the really weird parts — does it say, “And unto the day thou dost consume the flesh of a leghorn, thou shalt surely die. Verily, eatest thou more cow.”

Back to chickens. Leviticus 11:21, says, “Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth.”

A chicken goeth not upon all four, but the ones I’ve seen definitely have legs above their feet. Delicious ones.

So, it’s probably OK to eat a chicken sandwich — provided you first check to see if it includes any pelican or bat.

There’s nothing in the Bible about puppets, traditional or otherwise.

Robert Kirby can be reached at rkirby@sltrib.com or facebook.com/stillnotpatbagley.