Tuesday, June 8, 2010
How Christians Justify Their Bigotry
“God Hates Fags.” That is a common sign that you will see when you look up any article about Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church. Fred Phelps and his group of minions are roundly criticized and condemned by “true Christians” across the country on a regular basis. However, these same “true Christians” seem to have no problem espousing the same hatred, just in different, nicer terms. They talk about the sanctity of marriage and the damage that it will do to the fabric of our country. Oh, and the children. Think of the children! Is any of this really any different than what Fred Phelps is saying? No, it isn't, and here is why it is the same exact thing: the justification that each of these groups (true Christians and Westboro Baptist Church) is the same. Both of these groups point to the Bible, specifically to Leviticus.
Leviticus is pretty clear on the subject of homosexuality. Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 says that being gay is an abomination. Abomination! This is where most of the justification for being disgusted by homosexuality comes from these two verses. However, Leviticus is a book of rules. So if you are going to go back to the Old Testament and start pulling out rules like those against gays, then you have to fallow them all. If you believe that God wrote the damned book, then you have to follow everything that is written in it. No allegories, no miscommunication, no mistranslations, and no wiggle room. So lets take a look at what else good ol' Leviticus has to say about how we should live.
Starting in Leviticus 6, we begin to get the list of stuff we can't do. Don't deceive your neighbor, don't steal, don't lie, and don't take lost property. I can live with that. Now on to Leviticus 7. Eating fat or blood is forbidden and will result in excommunication (Lev. 7: 22-27). So if you have ever eaten sausage or German food, you are cut off from the people.
Interested in knowing what animals you can't eat? Camels. Not sure I would eat a camel, but I can't say I have had the chance. A coney. This is an animal I had to look up. I don't think they exist in the States, so we should be safe with that one. A rabbit. Come on! Have you ever eaten rabbit? It's awesome! Pigs. The staple meat of the South. If you have ever eaten bacon, pork chops, pork rinds, livermush, ribs, or BBQ, then you, my friend, are unclean. Not only are you not allowed to eat these animals, but you can't even touch their carcasses. It's an abomination.
Seafood is OK, as long as it has both scales and fins. Have you ever eaten shrimp, scallops, oysters, clams, muscles, lobster, or crab? Say no and I will call you a liar. You are an abomination on two counts. The people in the bible have obviously never had Crawfish Etouffee. You can't eat owls, herons, ospreys, or bats. I don't think I would argue that one too much. No four-legged or flying insects, except for grasshoppers, katydids, crickets, or locusts. Obviously, those must be tasty. Nothing that creeps on the ground. That includes, rats, lizards, and weasels. I hope all of this has made you hungry.
You know what else is unclean? Women. When women have their period, they are unclean. When women give birth, they are unclean. Women are actually unclean longer if they give birth to a girl verses giving birth to a boy.
Then we get into common sense things, like don't rub all over someone who has an oozing, puss-filled sore, rash, infection, or any other malady. Anything covered in mildew is bad and should be burned. So, the next time you get some mildew in your shower, burn the house down. The Bible is unclear on what we should do if we find mildew on plastic though. I wonder how they didn't see that coming?
Emissions from the body are also unclean. This includes spit, urine, feces, semen, blood, vomit, and I guess water from boils. Again, women are gross. Men can't sleep in the same bed or sit in the same seat as a woman who is having her period. Because, you know, icky.
Now comes the fun stuff: Sex. You can't have incest relations (something I don't think I will ever have to worry about). But that is to say close incest relations, such as mother, father, brother, sister, half-sister, half-brother, aunts, uncles, grandparents, grandchildren, or children. Cousins are OK! If your dad gets married to another woman, you can't have sex with her either. No sex with a woman and her daughter. It doesn't seem to take a stand on any other threesomes, foursomes, or orgies. So that's good news. No gay sex. No bestiality.
You know what else you can't do? Cut your hair or beard, plant two different kinds of seeds in your garden, or wear clothes from two different kinds of material.
Take a wild guess at what the punishment is for committing any of these “sins”. You guessed it. Death. Atonement for the lesser sins just involves killing animals and rubbing blood everywhere. Sounds wonderful.
So, the next time you condemn homosexuality “cause the Bible tells me so”, remember, you aren't living up to the Bible yourself. Now, you can say what most Christians say. “Oh, we have the New Testament. The Old Testament is just so... old.” However, if you are going to use the laws of Leviticus to condemn homosexuality, then you have got to apply them all, to everyone, everywhere, all of the time. Or, you could join us in the 21st century and mind your own damned business.