Monday, March 27, 2023

Today on the Christian History Almanac podcast, we head to the mailbag to answer a question about Chicken Sandwiches (?!).

It is the 27th of March 2023 Welcome to the Christian History Almanac brought to you by 1517 at, I’m Dan van Voorhis.


A very happy Monday to you- today, we have a mailbag question from Bentonville, Arkansas! A place I’ve mentioned before on the show- one of the nerve centers of 1517 is located there. This is an absolutely delightful question- the email came from Tate- but Tate’s sons asked the question, and Tate transcribed it.

So- here we go

“Mr. Dan Van Voorhis,

Hi. Our names are Dean (5) and Walt (3). We listen to your Christian History "Allamadnax" in the morning on our Yoto player when we eat our breakfast. Do you have a Yoto player?

We love it when you say funny things at the end of your podcast.  We liked the funny thing you said about Chick FIl A. Chick Fil A is tasty - even on Sundays. Can you tell us the history of Chick Fil A?

I (Dean) know how to count to 100 

Goodbye Dan Van Voorhis.

Dean & Walt”

First- did you know my son is also named Walt- he is Walter Coert, and we call him Coert- and once upon a time, I was an assistant Dean of a college (but that’s a different thing).

I do not have a yoto player, but I love the idea of something without a screen- it’s an audio player like a radio but does podcasts. Nice!

So- Chik-fil-A is a gigantic company- overall, they are the third biggest chain in America- just behind MacDonalds and Starbucks. But, per store, they make more money than any other fast-food restaurant. Recently I was in Bentonville, and there was traffic- like Southern California-style traffic, and I found out it was because of the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru that was so full it caused a backup on the main road.

Chik-Fil-A was started by a man named S. Truett Cathy- the owner of the Dwarf Grill, which opened in 1946. The First Chik-Fil-A opened in 1967 in Atlanta’s Greenbriar mall and has 2,898 restaurants across 47 states. Which states don’t have them? Hawaii, Alaska, and Vermont.

What makes them interesting is that they are closed on Sunday- a practice familiar in some churches known as Sabbatarianism. Let’s break that down. 

The word “Sabbath” comes from a Hebrew root word that gives us the words for “rest” and “seven”- and of course, in the Old Testament- depending on what kind of church you go to the 3rd or 4th commandment reads:

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work”

The Sabbath day is the last day of the week- the seventh day of the week, which is Saturday! That’s right- Sunday is the first day of the week, even though we tend to think of Monday as the first day of the week. When Jesus rose from the dead on the 3rd day- that was Sunday, so when Christians started meeting, they moved the “sabbath” to Sunday. Now, Christians have disagreed with one another about what Christians should do. Dean and Walt- do you boys ever disagree or fight? Yes? But you are still brothers, no matter what- because you have the same Dad! Same for Christians!

In the 300s, the emperor Constantine began to forbid certain activities on Sundays- sometimes, people will still call it “the Sabbath” or the Lord’s Day. During the Reformation, new movements stressed the parallels between the Jewish sabbath and the Lord’s Day. When some of these Reformation Christians came to America, they implemented laws about what you could or couldn’t do on Sundays. Many of these laws are still in place, and these are in the Northeast and the South- where Chik-Fil-A comes from. The owner of Chik-Fil-A didn’t say that his employees had to be Christians- but thought it was a good idea to rest and ensure that people could go to church if they wanted to.  So I say- enjoy Chik-Fil-A and then go to Popeye’s on Sundays.

Thanks, Dean and Walt- you guys rock. Thanks for listening. And you or your children can send me questions at


The last word for today is a poem- I picked it out for Dean and Walt- it comes from a poet named e.e. Cummings- it is called "i thank You God”

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any—lifted from the no
of all nothing—human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)


This has been the Christian History Almanac for the 27th of March 2023, brought to you by 1517 at

The show is produced by a man who has informed me he lives in “Random Lake village, which surrounds Random Lake the lake” he is Christopher Gillespie.

The show is written and read by a man who lives in Lake Forest, where we have a few fake lakes and a few fake forests- But I’m the real Dan van Voorhis.

You can catch us here every day- and remember that the rumors of grace, forgiveness, and the redemption of all things are true…. Everything is going to be ok.

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