Is that a bull you're burning on your altar, or are you just trying to annoy your neighbors?
Madeleine L’Engle, author of, among other things, A Wrinkle in Time, called Biblical purists “Fundalits.” She was quite fond of the fundamentals of the Bible, but highly annoyed by people who took them literally. I agree. As someone who takes the Bible seriously, I simply can’t take it literally. Thankfully, I’m not alone. My mother-in-law, Cecilia, sent me this and I laughed so hard my Best Beloved had to gently smite me on the back several times to stop me from choking. This is why I refuse to discuss the anti-homosexual admonitions (particularly those in Leviticus) with anyone who isn’t burning bulls (bulls! I said bulls!) on their altar to please the Lord’s olfactory sense. Enjoy…
In her radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, penned by a US resident, which was posted on the Internet.
It’s funny, as well as informative:
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 other
elements of God’s Laws and how to follow them.
1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may 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 Canadians?
2. 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?
3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in
her period of Menstrual uncleanliness – Lev.15: 19-24. The problem
is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates
a pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors.
They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
5. I have a neighbor 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, or should I ask the police to do it?
6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than
homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there
‘degrees’ of abomination?
7. Lev. 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-
8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the
hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by
Lev. 19:27. How should they die?
9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig
makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.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? Lev.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? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy
considerable expertise in such matters, so I’m confident you can
Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and
Your adoring fan,
James M. Kauffman, Ed.D. Professor Emeritus, Dept. Of Curriculum,
Instruction, and Special Education University of Virginia
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