In this blogposting…* God’s Law
* More Bad Luck
* AGM XXXV
Amongst the most rabidly homophobic people on Earth are religious fundamentalists of one hue or another. One of them is Dr. Laura Schlessinger, an American radio personality.
People call her programme in need of moral advice and guidance on some issue - and naturally, she’s happy to declaim her God-given opinions to anyone who will listen.
On several occasions she has said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, she regards homosexuality is an abomination, because it says so in the Bible at Leviticus 18:22. It therefore cannot be condoned under any circumstances.
What follows here is an open letter sent to Dr. Laura by someone who happened to hear her pronounce on the issue of homosexuality, including her reference to the Bible.
‘Dear Dr. Laura:
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law.
I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws laid down in the Bible and how to follow them…
When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odour for the Lord (Leviticus 1:9). The problem is my neighbours. They claim the odour is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Leviticus 15:19- 24. The problem is, how do I know? I have tried asking, but most women take offence.
Leviticus 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own a Canadian slave?
I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?
A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Leviticus 11:10 - it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?
Leviticus 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?
Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Leviticus 19:27. How should they die?
I know from Leviticus 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
My uncle has a farm. He violates Leviticus 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them?(Leviticus 24:10-16.) Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Leviticus 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.
Your devoted fan
Enough said, I think.
MORE BAD LUCK, WORSE LUCK
In posting 378 (back in July), I featured a seriously fascinating email I’d received from Peter in which he attempted to explain the origins of our most popular and enduring superstitions, like Friday the Thirteenth, black cats and spilled salt.
I’m pleased to say that Peter has now followed up his email with another. He’s been asking his friends and family to list as many superstitions as they can.
It’s quite a list.
- A bat flying into the house
- An owl hooting three times
- Three butterflies together
- Looking at the new moon over your left shoulder
- A five-leaf clover
- Breaking a glass while proposing a toast
- Putting a shirt on inside out
- Red and white flowers together
- Hearing a cock crow at night
- Cutting your nails on a Friday
- Putting a hat on a bed
- Getting out of bed left foot first
- Violets blooming out of season
- A picture falling
- Breaking a mirror
- Singing before breakfast
- Opening an umbrella indoors
- Giving away a wedding present
- Stepping on the cracks in the pavement
- An itch inside your nose
- Crossed knives
- Seeing an owl during daylight
Reading through this list, and the item above it, reminds me very forcibly that we are indeed a vulnerable and insecure species with a desperate need to believe in gods, devils, mysterious invisible super-beings - and nonsensical superstitions.
I wonder if we’ll ever grow up?
Don’t forget that the next country to fall under the truckshunter microscope is Armenia. All inside information, no matter how trivial or wayward, gratefully received.
Our annual Summer Extravaganza at the Tanfield Railway isn’t far away now. It starts at about 1030 on Wednesday 29 August. The weather is going to be balmily warm, the coffee and sarneys tasty and refreshing and the company invigorating.
So you’d better be there, hadn’t you….?
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