Good point. The people who seem to go on about homosexuality ignore the rest of the prohibitions in Leviticus.
Check out my icon. : - )
That icon is awesome.
If people only read the Bible- I mean really read it- they would find it impossible to be Fundamentalists.
They claim to be reading it and adhering to it strictly, but manage to leave out the parts that don't support what they believe.
Feel free to gank the icon. I got it from someone else, and am always happy to pass on icon love.
Thanks for sharing the icon.
Human beings are capable of such willful stupidity.
I took a copy of that for myself, it's good stuff.
I think that's true across the board.
Here in England, the Anglican church- which always stood for things like breadth and tolerance and scholarship- is struggling- all except for its fundamentalist wing, which is increasingly calling the shots.
Unfortunately I think it's because the pauline epistles give us that bit against homosex (even though real bible scholar folk question a lot of the terms he uses). Bible readers with a strict anti-homosexual view can say that the conjunction of Paul+Leviticius validates that those particular terms get carried into the "new law" while the other things (restrictions against bunnies, vegetable gardens) get thrown out by Christians as the "old law." (Of course, back to my hobby-horse, Paul also talks about slave-owning...)
Ultimately there may be no way of battling fundamentalism except to shrug and say "I refuse to go on playing by your rules because they're silly"- which they are.
The Bible is a book written by fallible human beings over a period of many hundreds of years, reflecting superstitions we no longer hold and circumstances that no longer apply. If it has authority it's because the things it teaches can be demonstrated to be wise, sensible, practical or whatever. It is no more or less divinely inspired than any other old Book that has stood the test of time- the Iliad, for example or Plato's Dialogues.
God didn't need to - he had Jarry Falwell to do it for him.
Doesn't Leviticus prohibit all kinds of wacky stuff?
Yes indeed. Check out the icon megan0611 uses in her comment above.
I think they're unclean and it's wrong to eat them.
A ruling which, of course, goes down very well in our household.
I bet if one were to look it up, there's probably at least twice as much in the bible about how to treat your slaves as there are condemnations of homosexuality. And, despite the intersection of some US fundamentalism with racism, I just don't hear a lot about returning to institutionalized slavery from right-wing christians these days...
Not to mention that the terms for homosexuality in the bible are vague and very historically contingent and scholars debate about whether certain ones mean homosexual in any way close to the way we use it...
I just don't get what kind of a problem fundamentalist christians have with gay people. I mean, I understand it intellectually (they're afraid of things that destabilize their own strictly binarized and hierarchized ideas of gender and how it fits into society), but I just can't put myself in that mental position at all. How in the hell would the very existence of someone else's noncoercive sexual practice be able to bug me? (Although I guess that's why fundie articles and sermons so often depict homosexuality as coercive -- child molesters, people out to prey and convert -- because it is easy to see a rapist as a threat even if said rapist lives nowhere near your house...)
(sorry, a morning rambling)
The Bible doesn't have all that much to say about any kind of sex. It's much more concerned with issues of oppression and justice.
Incidentally, I made the "but there's no condemnation of homosex in the Gospels" argument to a fundamentalist christian a while ago.
I got this reply:
"Those condemnations appear wherever they are necessary, in my view, The evangelists were spreading the Good News; Paul was prescribing (and proscribing) behavior, which was his appointed job."
2007-05-16 02:15 pm (UTC)
Re: know thy enemy
That's actually not such a bad answer.
But I return to the point that it's just not Biblical to go on and on about personal sexual behaviour. Paul's letters contain only the briefest of references to homosexual practises and Jesus, in the Gospels, says nothing about them at all.
At the risk of having people jump all over me, I will suggest that one of the reasons Christians do not condone homosexuality is because of frequent Biblical injunctions to be fruitful and multiply. Lying with one's own sex does not create babies. :,
Yes, I think you're entirely right.
One of the sites I was looking at this morning in search of inspiration pointed out that the Ancient Hebrews constituted a small nation ringed around with powerful enemies. Of course they wanted to make as many babies as they possibly could.
I remember going through puberty convinced I was hellbound, the way my mother's church went on about masturbation. Talk about a serious crimp in the teenager's sex life! It was only after doing some reading myself that I noticed Jesus never had much to say about the topic. Couple that with any number of adultery/divorce/money scandals that consistently rocked the congregation, and I figured God had bigger fish to fry than one horny kid. :P
2007-05-16 02:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Probably TMI, but WTH
I don't remember hearing masturbation condemned from the pulpit, but I still managed to pick it up from the ambient culture that this was just about the worst thing you could do.
Jesus has almost nothing to say about sex- and St Paul doesn't spend much time on it either. The Biblical attitude is, yeah, you shouldn't really do this, that or the other- and now let's talk about something that really matters.
That church had a lot of teens in the congregation, so sex was a hot topic.
The Biblical attitude is, yeah, you shouldn't really do this, that or the other- and now let's talk about something that really matters.
That was pretty much the attitude Jesus took with the woman condemned for adultery, wasn't it? "I'm not going to condemn you. Off you go, but try and behave." I always wish I'd asked some of them "if God's like that why are you so uptight".
I said yesterday in another blog that I like the idea of Jesus greeting Falwell at the gate and playfully kicking him in the arse on his way in. "It was about the LOVE, stupid. Now get in there. Rasputin needs a bridge partner."
2007-05-16 03:01 pm (UTC)
Re: Probably TMI, but WTH
I love that story of the woman caught in adultery. The pharisees were setting a trap for Jesus. Either he contradicted scripture or he OKed lynch law- neither of which would have been good for his image. So he takes time out- writing in the dirt with a stick- while he tries to figure out a really smart answer.
I reckon we should give Falwell the benefit of the doubt- that- like Rasputin- he really did believe he was doing his Master's will.