Monday, January 14, 2013

Why Hooters is Bad for the Heart: a cautionary tale

Scotty B.'s dad took us to Hooters during our freshman year of high school. He touted their wings: "Best in the Business." I'm pretty sure something else lured him to the restaurant--something, as advertised, "unrefined." When he ordered a salad, my suspicions were confirmed.
Scotty B.'s dad was something short of a serial husband. He married and divorced three women, doing his part to hijack matrimony statistics for Americans and Christians alike. Statistics, however, are always abstractions. His pattern of infidelity went beyond numbers: It became the curriculum for his sons and surrogates. He indoctrinated us on a steady diet of immoral movies (e.g., The Graduate) and compromising slogans (e.g., "Just because you've ordered, doesn't mean you can't look at the menu.")

The problem is when you rethink your dinner choice long enough, you begin to second guess. Steak sounds better than pork. Soup sounds better than salad. Blonde sound better than brunette; Mrs. Robinson, than Mrs. B.

There is a price to endless comparison. Before too long, the waitress returns to the table and you've severed ties with your Chicken Parmesan and spouse. The book of Proverbs says something about the wandering eye and straying feet. Run away from the adulteress! Close the menu and cross the street! In Solomon's world, the father teaches the son these lessons. Our actual fathers tend to be less educated.

Case and point: Hooters is off-limits for godly men. Anyone who takes Jesus' teachings seriously should make their wings at home or order Careside To Go from Applebees. Then again, Jesus makes it clear that adultery is a matter of the heart, not physical address. "Looking with the intent to lust," he warns, "is promiscuous" (Matthew 5:28).

Second guessing is for board games and baseball pitches, not holy matrimony. Going to Hooters to "look at the menu"; giving attractive women the double-take; searching the Internet for images that would make a mother blush; these are out of bounds. Sinful. Hellish.

Don't let your eyes or hands turn another person into a piece of meat. People are not consumable goods; they do not exist for our sexual gratification.

Reflections on Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (2nd in the series of 6 antitheses)

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