Wednesday, June 27, 2018

It wasn't the Red Hen's refusal of service, but the breach of Hospitium that is the true evil

Lot offered his daughters to the mob rather than breach Hospitium
    In a cluck heard around the nation if not the world the owner of the Lexington, Va., Red Hen restaurant kicked Sarah Huckabee Sanders out of her small, gourmet establishment because of her work for President Trump last weekend.
    Owner Stephanie Wilkinson claims the staff called her at home to tell her of Sanders' arrival (the reservation was in her husband's name), and she told them to go ahead and seat the party until she could arrive to make sure it was really her. When she arrived the Sanders party had already been served drinks and placed their order, and was eating a first course of bread and cheese.
    The owner told Sanders to leave and her party did with everyone but Sanders and her husband going to a neighboring restaurant. The Red Hen owner reportedly gathered a small crowd to follow the group and heckle them outside their new restaurant. A Red Hen waiter gloatingly posted on Facebook about the whole affair.
Wilkinson with family
    The owner is quite up front about what she did; there is only one point that I doubt about her narrative. She said she told the employees to wait for her to arrive to “be sure” is was Sanders. I think her purpose of having Sanders seated was so she could arrive and have the pleasure of giving Sanders a piece of her mind while ejecting her.
    From the beginning it was this mid-meal ejection that bothered me more than would a simple turning away at the door. The reason for my visceral loathing of the Red Hen owner has dawned on me: she breached one of society's most ancient obligations, that of Hospitium, or the divine obligation of hosts to not only not attack, but to protect those under their roofs whom they have extended hospitality. Sanders had already been offered food and drink by the Red Hen; for her host to attack her was an unpardonable sin.
    I can already hear the leftists poo-pooing this notion, but it is an obligation as old as civilization. After the Muslim victory at the Battle of Hattin, the victorious Saladin brought the Christian King of Jerusalem into his tent and offered him water. The king then attempted to share the water with a nobleman who had murdered many Muslims and Saladin struck the goblet from his hand, stating that he was not offering him drink or protection under his roof. The king's life was spared while the noble was executed.
    Genesis 19 tells the story of Lot being visited by two Angels in the wicked city of Sodom. Word of this visit soon spreads and a mob arrived demanding that the visitors be turned out so that the crowd of men might rape them. So strong is the obligation of Hospitium that Lot's response was to offer the mob his two virgin daughters instead, an offer the crowd refused, at which point the Angles struck them blind.
    In recent popular culture, Hospitium is referred to as Guest Right throughout the Game of Thrones series, and it comes into being any time one is offered and consumes food and drink under another's roof, which is very much the traditional form of Hospitium. Guest Right is shockingly ignored by Walder Frey when he orders the slaughter of Robb Stark, his family, and his army at a wedding feast. The act was considered unspeakably evil, even by those who benefited from it. Following this act the Frey family was cursed.
    I believe the concept of Guest Right is genetically encoded, and that for most of us its violation is morally unfathomable. But there have always been and will be mutants among us who are genetically deficient in some way or another, or who have perhaps been programmed to overcome their genetically encoded morals.
    The owner of the Red Hen and those who support her are, very simply, Freys. Their very existence is a blight upon humanity. The Game of Thrones milieu is filled with imperfect and sometimes bad people, but none are more evil than the Freys. The House of Frey was cursed and those who would be modern-day Freys will find themselves to be equally reviled.

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