Friday, July 21, 2006

Blogging the Bible

David Plotz has now started on Leviticus, the chapter of the Bible that contains the verse that makes conservatives cream their pants. Leviticus 18:22: "Do not lie with a male as one lies with a woman; it is an abhorrence." The people who take the Bible literally love this verse and love to quote it in their missives against the "evils" of homosexuality. But one has to wonder why these people pick and choose which parts of the Bible to take literally. If we're going to be against gays because the Bible is against gays, then maybe we need to take the other parts of the Bible literally as well. Skip church one Sunday? Death. Disrespect your parents? Also death. Have sex with a woman on her period? According to the Bible, you can't even sit on a chair where a menstruating woman has been sitting. Better take a long a folding chair (you also better sleep on the couch because her bed sheets are impure too). I hope you take a shower and do a load of laundry after sex too.

On the other hand, if we don't want to wiggle out of every rule the Bible puts forth since there are some keepers. Obviously the 10 Commandments are the biggies, but Leviticus 19 also has some rules regarding civil rights, fair business practices, loving your neighbor, being just, etc. How is it that some rules are decided to be archaic and swept under the rug while others become catch phrases of narrow-minded people? Who has the right to make these decisions and how do we know who is wrong and who is right? Obviously murder will always be illegal (we won't get into an abortion debate), but allowing homosexuals to marry isn't too far down the road. The courts protect them from hate crimes yet forbid them to marry. Women received their civil rights, as did African Americans. I find it repulsive that we deny a group of people their civil rights. Conservative Christians fear that we're straying too far from the Bible, but maybe that's not such a bad thing.

A.J. Jacobs, a writer from Esquire, is working on a book called The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest To Obey the Bible as Literally as Possible. That seems like it would be an interesting read.


Blogger nomadshan said...

Leviticus is fascinating. I liked discovering what was so high a priority that it required written law to back it up. And "amen" to your second paragraph!

7/21/2006 8:13 PM  
Blogger Hotwire said...

we have always had people who have molded the Bible in whatever shape they wanted it to be, and we always will. that's why #1 in my 101 list was that i'd like to meet Jesus - the real dude not the one that people have made him out to be.

once in a while i listen to an evangelical talk radio program called 'the way of the master' and one of the three hosts is kirk cameron from 'growing pains'. while kirk is ok the other two guys shift from making me think to making me laugh to making me want to drive off the road in a fit if rage. these guys pick and choose what scripture to highlight and when confronted with any passage that might contradict their own agenda they have such a weak explanation that i picture them laughing to themselves in the studio.

i used to have a bumper sticker that said, 'i love God, it's his fans that i hate'. got to try to find that...

7/22/2006 9:33 AM  
Blogger Jenny G said...

Nomad, some of those laws are crazy by our standards.

Great bumper sticker, Hotwire!

7/24/2006 9:29 AM  
Blogger katiedid said...

Man, I think I love Leviticus! I mean, death is always the answer! And you know, Leviticus is right: it is! It just takes a while to catch up with us ;P

Of course, what Leviticus fails to mention is the real REASON you can't sit on a chair where a menstruating woman has been sitting - Goddammit, that's my fucking chair, and I just got up to change the channel and to fetch myself some iced tea and PMS chocolate. Gimme my chair back you chair-stealing bastard! Or at least this is the real life application in my house...

7/24/2006 7:43 PM  
Blogger Jenny G said...

katiedid: I can't believe mankind still exists with God killing everyone all the time. And I feel bad for your husband :)

7/26/2006 5:14 PM  

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