Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

The Bible, Homosexuality, Animal Sacrifice and Other Anachronisms

Hi Everyone,

Three of the four Citizens were all coming home from the same pub tonight and got to talking about Biblical prohibitions on homosexuality and how they are based only on picking and choosing which prohibitions get respect and which get ignored. Its pretty arbitrary really. Bare with me here. I'm going to include an enormous amount of context to make the point that which parts get taken seriously by the Fundamentalists is entirely arbitrary.

These things all come from Leviticus which, if you aren't a Bible owning atheist like me, you can find online here.

Large parts of Leviticus are concerned with minute details about animal sacrifice. For example "15: And the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away. 16: And the priest shall burn them upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire for a sweet savour: all the fat is the LORD's. 17: It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood."

The first seven chapters of Leviticus are mostly concerned with animal sacrifice and how specific types of sacrifices made in very particular ways (going so far as to dictate making the sacrifice on the north, south, east or west of the alter). Each different sacrifice and method thereof is designed to take away the moral stain of specific types and circumstances of sin. Obviously, most fundamentalist Christians ignore most of this part.

Leviticus also has the dietary restrictions. Pork and lobster are out. But locusts are OK: "22: Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind." Interestingly, fundamentalists ignore this bit too and can you blame them?

Chapters 13, 14 and 15 are entirely concerned with the Priestly diagnosis and ritual treatment of leprosy, boils and other skin diseases. Pretty gross stuff, really.

According to chapter 17, killing an ox in the wrong place is punishable by exile. "3: What man soever there be of the house of Israel, that killeth an ox, or lamb, or goat, in the camp, or that killeth it out of the camp, 4: And bringeth it not unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, to offer an offering unto the LORD before the tabernacle of the LORD; blood shall be imputed unto that man; he hath shed blood; and that man shall be cut off from among his people:"

Chapter 18 is a rather detailed an lengthy description of who one may and may not see naked.

NOTE: I've read a lot of nonsense about stuff that no Fundamentalist Christian pays any attention to and there is as of yet not one mention of homosexuality.

Chapter 19 includes the Ten Commandments but also includes prohibitions against "cursing the deaf" nor "put a stumblingblock before the blind," (was this a common entertainment back then!?). This chapter and chapter 20 have a lot about familiar spirits and wizards. Also, having sex with the wives of male relatives was morally equated with seeing that male relative naked - which apparently was really bad.

In Chapter 21 we find out that God didn't like the disabled very much after all. OK, you weren't supposed make fun of deaf people or trip the blind but "Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. 18: For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, 19: Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded, 20: Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken; " (Yikes! Broken stones! That sounds painful!)

OK, here is the important part: Leviticus 20, verses 10-13, "10: And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. 11: And the man that lieth with his father's wife hath uncovered his father's nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. 12: And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them. 13: If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."

It can be interpreted to say that men who have sex with men should be put to death. But it is beyond question that adulterers should also be put to death - but that part gets ignored by the Fundamentalists who forgive adultery but despise homosexuals.

Comments? Discussion?


Raised By Republicans said...

Let me clarify the title. I don't think Homosexuality is an anachronism.

US West said...

In the first season of the West Wing, there is this great scene where Bartlett attach s Dr. Laura type figure. Here's the scene:

While giving some prepared remarks about the midterm election results (in television's alternative universe), Bartlet stumbles, then decides to depart from the text and address the person whose presence so disturbs him-Doctor Jenna Jacobs, the show's version of radio show host Doctor Laura.

"I like your show. I like how you call homosexuality an abomination," says Bartlet, with a cold chuckle, then points out that "Doctor" Jacobs actually has a Ph.D. in English literature.

When Jacobs responds, citing Biblical authority for her moral condemnation of homosexuality, Bartlet unleashes a series of quick, biting attacks.

"I wanted to ask you a couple of questions while I had you here. I'm interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7... What would be a good price for her?" Bartlet's infamous temper is inflamed now, ripe with indignation.

"My chief-of-staff insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself or is it okay to call the police? Here's one that's really important, 'cause we've got a lot of sports fans in this town. Touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean, Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves can the Washington Redskins still play football? Think about those questions, would you."

Jacobs can't respond, or even put together a coherent argument. She's helpless in the face of Bartlet's indignation, disarmed by his knowledge and intensity. The president tromps victoriously out of the room.

since the Bible so clearly says that male homosexuality wrong, what about female homosexuality? Or am I to read man as mankin kind and consider lesbians covered?

Anonymous said...

Well, we all know God likes some hot girl-on-girl action, since he's a red-blooded heterosexual male, so I'm sure that's it not an abomination.


US West said...

Well, not to be crude, but you know what Freud would say? The only reasons some of these conservatives are so threateded by the mere thought of homosexuals is that they have some dark, secret yearning.

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