As noted by, among others, the Friendly Atheist; a waitress in SC served a couple who “tipped” her by leaving her a demeaning note written on a napkin. The waitress (who works at a Cracker Barrel) was left this “tip” which instructed her to give up her job and dedicate herself to taking care of the household for her husband (she isn’t actually married). It also says that her husband must cheat on her because of her sinful dedication to her job. And of course, they insist in their note that in order to “make America great again” women need to be in the home, cleaning and cooking, as God intended. Here is the original news story. (See the full text of the note below)
Here is a transcription (spelling and grammatical errors preserved):
"Dear Renee, thank you for your excelent[sic] service today. Your a good waitress.
Heres[sic] your tip:
The womans[sic] place is in the home. You’re place is in the home. It even says so in the Bible. You may think that your contributing to your household by coming into work, but your not. While your in here “working” this is the reason your husband must see another women on his way home from a long day at his work. Because you should be home taking care of the household duties. You may think what you are doing “working” is right, it is really essentially a disgrace to his manhood and to the American family. So instead of coming to your “job” and looking for hand out’s to feed your family, hows about going home and cleaning your house and cooking a hot meal for your husband and children, the way you’re husband and God intended, and help make America great again. Praying for families and our nation.
Now that is just some good OLD fashioned Southern Christian warmth and generosity, isn’t it? I’m sure Jesus would be proud.
Now, let’s break this down. For one thing, the couple (although I’m sure the man is the one who wrote the note, since writing isn’t in the list of responsibilities he put down for women to uphold) went back to this table after getting up to pay and hastily left the note on the table before dashing out the door. Not exactly demonstrating strength of conviction there; more like the level of conviction held by kids playing Doorbell Ditch. If Jesus can withstand crucifixion for your sins, can’t you stand up for your shitty behavior in his name?
OK, that aside, they thanked the waitress for her excellent service before launching into their diatribe. How kind… But wait a second, if a woman’s place is to maintain the household and cook for her husband, then why are these two dining out at a restaurant? Shouldn’t they be at home eating the meal this man’s Godly wife prepared for him? Well, maybe they’re far from home, traveling for one reason or another. But this guy also doesn’t know anything about the waitress...
Let’s try a thought experiment. In a hypothetical situation, what if this woman had been married, but her husband died from cancer? What is something Christians often say when someone dies young like that? They often say something like, “Heaven needed another angel.” So, in this thought exercise where the woman lost her husband to cancer, Christians would probably think it was God’s will that her husband had died. So is she still a sinner for working outside the home after God took her husband for some poorly explained reason?
Let’s look at this from another angle. It’s well-known by many people that the Bible is rife with contradictions. So while there can certainly be an argument made that the Bible supports what this man wrote, what about the parts that argue against him? For instance, what about Saint Phoebe? In Paul’s letter to the Romans in the New Testament, he mentions several women, including Phoebe, whom he identifies as a deacon. She also happens to be the one that Paul sent to the Romans to deliver the very letter she is mentioned in. Besides being a deacon, Paul also identifies her as a prostratis, meaning someone who should be esteemed highly “because of their work”.
So was Paul a sinner then for not only regarding Phoebe so highly for her work, but for actually sending her away from her home to act as courier to the Roman congregation?
Unfortunately this is just another example of a religious person using their faith to support their own backwards ideas about how they personally think the world should work. These people often have a poor understanding of their own holy scriptures. Why? Because their belief has its roots in childhood indoctrination or an otherwise deep-seated need to believe in this book. They would rather be told what’s in the book by their priest or pastor than read it themselves and research the history surrounding it. It’s sad that in this day and age there are still some people who would rather cruelly condemn someone they know nothing about in the name of their faith than legitimately try and do some good.
I'd like to take one moment to note that while the above paragraph does contain a few generalizations, it's important to note that not every Christian behaves that way. But this is still an issue that we see occur time and time again. And in a time where there is a lot of hate and rhetoric being spread around, we should be trying to lift people up, not bring them down.
And I’m not even going to touch that whole “make America great again” thing right now…