Monday, December 15, 2008

Homosexuality & The Bible

Today I am co-authoring this with a guest blogger and well-known published author whom I will call "Calliope". Over the weekend, Calliope shot a recent article in Newsweek over to me with some comments that I will be incorporating into this piece.

And... For those of you who merely want an argument, be sure that you really understand what is being said before you wade into the fray. This is something that you will need to examine thoroughly before you weigh in. This is not simply an 'interpretation' issue: The evidence is clear.

You don't have to like what the Bible says - that's OK. But if you claim to believe in the Bible, you must deal with it. Don't like it? Fine - try another faith: Be my guest. I do not believe that the sun will stop shining if you choose another faith (or no faith at all).

NOTE: This is not a discussion of whether gay marriage should be allowed in the USA. That was discussed earlier in another post here. It is only a discussion of the Biblical view on gays and gay marriage.


On December 6, 2008, Lisa Miller wrote an article in Newsweek titled "Our Mutual Joy." It is a pitiful attempt at deliberate misinterpretation and tampering of scriptures in order to fit an agenda. To start out her salvo, Lisa uses examples of polygamy and apparent lukewarm recommendations of marriage:

"Would any contemporary heterosexual married couple—who likely woke up on their wedding day harboring some optimistic and newfangled ideas about gender equality and romantic love—turn to the Bible as a how-to script?

Of course not, yet the religious opponents of gay marriage would have it be so."

But the truth is drastically different. As Calliope writes:

"Just because the Bible records some cases of polygamy does not mean that it approves of polygamy. The pattern established in the Bible by God (and often repeated) is one man, one woman (Genesis 3:24, Eph. 5:31). Church leaders in the New Testament are to be the husband of one wife (I Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:6)."

In addition, many Jews and Christians over the years have pointed to the spicy heterosexual Song of Solomon (a.k.a. the Song of Songs) as a role model of an ideal, passionate marriage. It is hardly the stuff of prudes, as the bride and groom extol each other's physical attributes in great detail. They also discuss the raptures of the physical side of marriage.

And although the apostle Paul himself said (in the New Testament) that marriage was not the first and best choice, it is important to remember the situation at that time, when people were regularly being persecuted for their faith: Marriage and families complicated matters even further (ask anyone who is currently a missionary). And yet we know that at least one of Jesus' disciples (Peter) was married. So were Paul's compadres, Priscilla and Aquila.

The New Testament also spells out how husbands and wives are to treat each other. This was unique at the time, as women were almost always regarded by most people as a step-up from the slaves and without rights.

So, Lisa is woefully wrong. She is not merely cherrypicking scriptures to fit her agenda - she is ignoring so many facts that she is in danger of being asked to work on O.J. Simpson's legal team.

For instance, Lisa mentions that Jesus condemns divorce, but claims that this was a way to allow men the option to cheat on their wives. Lisa completely neglects The Divorce Clause.

What is The Divorce Clause, you ask?

In Matthew 5:31-32, Jesus says “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.”

At the time of his pronouncement, Jesus was addressing only men. However, this is traditionally interpreted as a rule that applies to both men and women. Additionally, it was a protection for the women at the time, since men were readily divorcing and remarrying women at their own convenience during a time when women could not easily fend for themselves and had to live according to their husbands' whims.

Lisa goes on to state "...while the Bible and Jesus say many important things about love and family, neither explicitly defines marriage as between one man and one woman." This is an utter falsehood.

I'll grant you that the Bible doesn't start with a dictionary which includes the definitions of every word used in it. That's because it doesn't have to. It uses terms and ideas that were universally accepted then.

If a Jew had walked up to a fellow Jew during Old Testament times and tried to argue that marriage could be between two people of the same sex, the best response he could hope for would be a hearty chuckle. The worst response he might encounter would be a very public death at the hands of an angry mob.


Because the Bible was and is very explicit in it's stand on homosexuality.

Calliope notes:

"Homosexuality is clearly condemned, both in the Old Testament (Lev. 18:22, Genesis 19 with Jude 1:7, etc.) and in the New Testament (Rom. 1:21-27; I Cor. 6:9-10, etc.) To teach the contrary is the ultimate in Scripture-twisting.

Also: Are we to assume that God has changed His mind about homosexuality? Malachi 3:6 "I am the Lord. I do not change."

This is also said about Jesus Christ in Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ is the same: yesterday and today and forever."

But Lisa writes "...the Anchor Bible Dictionary notes that nowhere in the Bible do its authors refer to sex between women, "possibly because it did not result in true physical 'union' (by male entry).""

This goes back to the 'lack' of a dictionary at the beginning of the Bible. Again, everyone knew what homosexuality meant, and it was used for both sexes.

In Romans chapter 1, the author speaks of God condemning evil people and punishing them. In Romans 1:26, we read "For this reason, God delivered them to degrading passions as their females exchanged their natural sexual function for one that is unnatural." Obviously the Bible doesn't regard homosexuality as a reward, but as something to be ashamed and horrified about.

Lisa also attempts to dismiss the Biblical condemnation of homosexuality by saying that it was only present in the Old Testament, but the book of Romans is in the New Testament and it invalidates her claim.

Lisa furthers her falacious arguments by adding " scholars have argued that his condemnation of men who "were inflamed with lust for one another" (which he calls "a perversion") is really a critique of the worst kind of wickedness: self-delusion, violence, promiscuity and debauchery."

This would only be argued by a 'progressive' scholar who doesn't know what language the Bible is written in, and chooses to disregard it. The word for 'lust' here in the original language means just that - a sexual desire.

Going back to her attack on traditional marriage, Lisa triumphantly declares "Monogamy became the norm in the Christian world in the sixth century; husbands' frequent enjoyment of mistresses and prostitutes became taboo by the beginning of the 20th."

Nice statistics for Lisa, if true. But they're not. Simply because something is practiced does not make it acceptable, and cheating on one's spouse was never acceptable or sanctioned by the Bible. (The problem with the issue of polygamy was dealt with earlier in this post).

Lisa attempts to wind up her article by writing "We cannot look to the Bible as a marriage manual, but we can read it for universal truths as we struggle toward a more just future."

Really? And what selective truths would that include? When do the restrictions against parents marrying their children become passe? When do we decide that it's OK to have sex with a goat because we choose to believe that this is no longer applicable to modern times?

One cannot take what one chooses from a religion and then leave the rest. At that point, it becomes a different religion entirely. So, if Lisa has decided to censor the Bible, cutting out passages at will, then I recommend that she start The Church of Lisa. It certainly will no longer be recognizable as Christianity.

The issue is not as simple as Lisa would like to portray it. This is the reason that churches are battling within their ranks. It is why the Episcopal church now has a major split.

Lisa then tries the worn out "What Would Jesus Do?" card. She writes "In the Christian story, the message of acceptance for all is codified. Jesus reaches out to everyone, especially those on the margins..." Not true. Again.

As Calliope points out, Jesus says he doesn't change. And he also makes it very clear that he does not tolerate all forms of sin because he's just a nice guy who wants everyone to get along. In fact, Jesus was a pretty unpopular guy among many at the time of his arrival on the scene. Crowds don't repeatedly seek to kill someone who is preaching tolerance of everything. Where Jesus showed tolerance was his acceptance of anyone who repented from evil and believed he was the Messiah.

Somehow, I doubt that Lisa believes that.

In her article, Lisa sums up her position in one sentence: "Ozzie and Harriet are nowhere in the New Testament..."

She is, of course, correct. And neither are Adam and Steve.


Anonymous said...

Here is my take on the whole thing, I do not condemn homosexuals as people, I do condemn what they do. I believe in what the bible says and I agree with it. Does that mean I am going to run out and tell people that are homosexual that I hate them and they are evil? No, definitely not, they make their choices, I make mine, I am not the one to judge them for their actions.

One of the christian churches I went to in Texas accepted homosexual's but they have a specific program to help them realize why their lifestyle is not accepted by the church.


Saur♥Kraut said...

Ange, Interesting! Thanks for the contribution. I really appreciate it. And yes - I do not think that Jesus would ever have approved of any hate crimes or even hateful behavior toward homosexuals (like spitting on them, etc.)

Scott said...

Here is the thing that gets me when anyone tries to use the Bible as a means of suggesting any behaviour that we should or should not engage in.

The Bible is a large and complicated book with a lot of conflicting messages. Now I am not a Biblical scholar by any stretch of the imagination but I will say that I have read bits and pieces over the years and what is always gets me is Leviticus. For instance:

Any person who curseth his mother or father, must be killed. (Leviticus 20:9)

If a man has sex with a woman on her period, they are both to be "cut off from their people" (Leviticus 20:18)

and even in Deuteronomy we get:

If anyone, even your own family suggests worshipping another God, kill them. (Deuteronomy 13:6-10)

How does one reconcile strongly held beliefs about Homosexuality when confronted with other passages from the Bible which I would imagine you are not for in any way.

And of course you know that I put no weight in the Bible at all, so I am mearly being argumentative, but also curious.

Calliope said...

Well, it would take time to answer all of those remarks, but let's consider a few:

(1) In the Old Testament we are looking at God's covenant with Israel which was run as a theocracy. Some of the rules pertinent to the nation of Israel (which Israel agreed to and ratified) were not always continued in the New Testament period when the message of God's salvation was extended to the Gentile world.

Many of the rules given to Israel guaranteed their survival--spiritually and ethnically. They agreed (in the 10 commandments, for example) to have no other Gods beside Jehovah. Since that was the very first of the 10 commandments, it was certainly fair to "cut off" anyone from the Jewish community that violated that command. When Israel did so and ignored that command, they got into various pagan practices (including child sacrifice) that caused them to lose the land. so the penalty was fair.

Let's take one more example. Why were children who reviled their parents to be executed? First of all, the procedure was carefully regulated. A hot-tempered parent could not maim or kill his own child. It was only when their son was intractably rebellious that the parents could take their son to the rulers of the city (Deut. 21:20) and if the leaders found the charge was true, the city would stone the son to death. Does this seem harsh? Do you think the way our society handles rebellious children is an improvement? Then why are many parents living in fear of their own children? Murdered by their children? Locking their doors at night? Changing the locks? Why would many give away their teenagers to the state if they could legally do so? This law ensured an authority structure within the community.

As far as a man having sex with his wife during her period, this was a gracious law for the protection of women! To be "cut off" does not always mean killed in the Old Testament, but "cut off" from the Jewish community, as scholars will tell you.

As far as the homosexual issue is concerned, the Bible is crystal clear on the subject in both the Old Testament and the new. There are many reasons for this, too numerous to go into now, but the very design of the human body would be a good place to begin, along with God's design for complementarity in the family unit. Give a careful reading to Romans chapter one.

mal said...

I refuse to get drawn into a discussion of whether homosexuality passes the "Bible Test" or not. I think the whole discussion is irrelevant unless you accept you that a document that has been transcribed, translated, transcribed and "adjusted" is literal.

I don't accept it at face value.

How do I feel about Gay marriage? I am not sure I really care but I support it because then Gays can pay the Federal Marriage Tax along with us heterosexual types! The Federal Deficit needs their help!!


Saur♥Kraut said...

Mal, That's more than fine. If you don't believe in the Bible, then this discussion is of no use to you whatsoever. No worries - we can discuss a broader subject next time! This is one of the times that it's a very narrow discussion. To see the secular argument against gay marriage (which WOULD involve and interest you) go here.

The Lazy Iguana said...

I really think Biblical arguments are pointless. For the simple reason that not everyone is Christian or Jewish, and the law is not supposed to support or prohibit any religion - or lack of religion.

And besides, you want to talk about cherry picking - but do you eat shrimp pasta? If you do then you should know that Leviticus condemns that. Also condemned are ham and cheese sandwiches. And bacon. And for that matter - any dish that mixes meat and cheese. So say good buy to cheese ravioli in a meat sauce, or even spaghetti and meatballs with grated cheese.

But those Jewish parts are routinely ignored. As are many other parts of Deuteronomy and Leviticus and other books from which the very strict orthodox Jewish law is derived from is ignored.

Of course when it is convenient to fit an agenda, passages from he Jewish parts of the Bible are OK to pull out. Just do not mention the shrimp thing - as I had lobster for dinner last night. Actually that is a lie. I had a Dennys breakfast sandwich for dinner last night. It had eggs, cheese, bacon, and ham. All mixed together.

In the eyes of the lord, according to the old testament, that sandwich was just as much of an abomination as shrimp. But it was pretty good. I could have used less maple flavoring however.

And there are some other things in the bible. Incest pops up from time to time. A father (who is the good guy) offers his daughters to some random men visiting the village -just to be nice. Here, sleep with my daughters! Talk about the welcome wagon.

Of course the visitors turned out to be secret agent angles, checking to see if any good people lived in a city before it was destroyed. And apparently whoring out your daughters to random men was good enough to get you out of the city before it was burned down.

And so on.

But those stories need to be interpreted. You have to take them in the proper context! So no, Lot (or whoever it was) did not pimp out his daughters, he was simply offering the strangers into his home for a friendly harmless game of Parcheesi.

But other passages are supposed to be taken word for word.

It is all very confusing. I can never keep track of what I am supposed to ignore, what I am supposed to interpret, how I am supposed to interpret it, what is supposed to be taken in context, and what is supposed to be taken word for word.

Or what translation is correct and which one is off. Since I do not read any language the original scrolls are written in I have to go by a translation.

As best I can figure it out, I can ignore all that Jewish stuff that I do not like. So I can have that ham and cheese sandwich. I can also ignore all the things that are supposed to invoke the death penalty. Pretty much everyone does - even the most orthodox of the orthodox rabbis. I have to interpret parts that I want to use to make a point, but contain some things I would rather ignore. And I take literally everything else.

And by the way - for the commenter who said the old testament applied to Israel only. Fine. Ill accept that. And since this in not Israel, we can therefore throw it all out? Or can we just throw out the parts we do not like?

I think I already answered my own question. Of course we do not throw it all out. Back to the a-la-cart menu. Ill take some of this, a little of that, a triple serving of this - but please hold the chives!!! I am allergic to those.

But like I said, the establishment clause of the 1st amendment is pretty clear. No laws that promote or prohibit any religion cab be passed. So saying "well the Bible says bacon offends god, so bacon sales in the USA should be banned" is not a valid reason to ban bacon sales. What if my religion allows bacon? Now you are prohibiting the free exercise of my religion, in order to promote your own.

So back to butt buggery in marriage. The law provides for equal protection to all. Even homos. The Bible would say it is OK to stone gays to death - yet if I throw a rock at a queer on roller blades floating down the sidewalk on south beach I go to jail for assault. And why is this? Well because I can not just throw a rock at you. And since I can not throw a rock at you, and the law applies to all equally, I can not throw a rock at anyone.

Regardless of what Leviticus says.

So using Bible passages to prevent gays from having the same protections under the law as everyone else is simply NOT constitutional.

The argument that voters approved something is not really valid either. I am sure white people in Mississippi would vote in Jim Crow laws if they could. They did once. And yet they were thrown out.

Do you think men voted to allow women the right to vote???? Oh hell no. I think the Bible says somewhere that women should mostly remain silent. In Puritan times a woman who tried to give a sermon would be declared a witch and put to death.

So what is "civil rights" and what is "liberal activist courts"?? Well I guess that depends on your agenda. But trust me here - when the womens suffrage movement was going on PLENTY of men were probably bitching about that darn liberal activist court. Giving women the right to vote. Why who did they think they were? Our town had a public election and even a public debate! Of course only men were allowed to take part in the debate or vote. But now the courts overturned the "will of the people"???

And so on. The "liberal activist" courts have a pretty long history of overturning the will of the people. And for the most part it was for the best.

So why the hostility to gay marriage? Where is the outrage for the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company chain of restaurants? Openly defying God like that by serving shellfish.

Nobody is saying churches have to accept anything. Nobody is saying that churches must perform marriage ceremonies they object to. For that would also be against the establishment clause. But since there IS a way to get married without involving a church or any religious ceremony (just go to the court house and an hour later you are married - a clerk of the court is the witness) I do not see how anyone who believes in equal protection under the law can say only straight people can use the courts in this way.

M@ said...


Don't you realize that the Bible is a canon of books written by animals of the last extent species of the family Hominiae?

It is a collected wisdom, for sure, a group intelligence. And that is something powerful and even "godly." But Jesus was thought to be divine and godly as a man whose IQ is estimated to have been 450 (by some estimates) among malnourished and uneducated people of the time.

But at the end of the day, this collective wisdom represents only a part of human thought. There is so much else out there.

daveawayfromhome said...

I was all set to dive into arguements, when I saw your comment to Mal, that this is a purely biblical discussion.

So, I'll actually agree with you within this very narrow application. Lisa Whatsername was wrong, the Bible is not gay-friendly, especially in the Old Testement, which is not particularly friendly in any manner, including to the Jews themselves (outside that "My People" thing).

And I'll stop there, because this is (or should be) an otherwise purely academic discussion.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Lazy, Please see Calliope's response to Scott.

As for the rest, this is really one of those narrow posts that are academic and for discussion among those who care what the Bible says. It's not really about whether or not it's applicable today or whether it should be. This is a dogma discussion.

In other words, if Lisa wants to be gay, I'm not going to argue with her here. If she wants to distort the Bible's teachings, however, she's got a fight coming.

And again, remember that the Bible isn't full of exemplary characters. Not everyone in there is supposed to be a role model, and the Bible makes it pretty clear when they're not. One such example would be the guy you mentioned (Lot) who offers his daughters up to perfect strangers. He was not awarded "Father of the Year" by God.

M@, No doubt that many (even the majority) share your viewpoint. I don't happen to agree, but I'm fine with your believing that.

I'm not trying to change anyone's mind, here. Sometimes Christians do try to argue someone into conversion, and have attempted to convince me to do the same. I believe that if God calls you, you'll come - pure and simple. I don't need to do the work.

Dave, Thanks so much for getting it.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I like stuff like this because it exposes the myth that the religious books are tolerant and open to all, when in reality they are divisive, horrible things, written by Bronze Age men with a fear of women and of being bummed.



Saur♥Kraut said...

Daniel, Seriously - there IS not a single belief system (yours included, as I'm sure you'll admit) that's tolerant toward EVERYthing. That's actually an impossibility.

After all, how can you be tolerant of The North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) which advocates child molestation, AND simultaneously be tolerant of the parents who don't want their boys molested?

How can you be tolerant of rapists and/or murderers AND tolerant of their victims?

How can you be tolerant of people who want to abuse animals AND yet be tolerant of animal rights?


Somewhere you must draw the line. Every belief system chooses where that line is drawn.

In your case, you have no tolerance for religion, and embrace the opposite of it.

From a secular view, religion is often what has kept civilizations from anarchy. In many cases, it is/was improperly applied or should be adapted for secular use and not wantonly applied to those who don't believe it. In this situation, there should always be compromise between believers and unbelievers whenever possible, IMHO.

As Ange pointed out at the beginning, Jesus ushered in a new type of tolerance. Although it was once the death penalty in the Judaic culture to practice homosexuality, no Christian in their right mind would believe that it was their duty to kill a homosexual for his/her practices.

So, Christianity is more tolerant of homosexuality (which it expressly labels a sin) than you are of Christianity.

The idea here is that homosexuality is a sin according to the Bible, pure and simple. This argument was written to show that any beliefs to the contrary are misinformed ones.

Incidentally, there are lots of other sins that we ALL fall under, and they're listed in the Bible too. I don't fall under the homosexual sin category but I have or do fall under other categories at different times - we ALL do.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Saur, I never said there was but we can certainly aim for something better than the silly religions we have that get hung up about a man having sex with a man and a woman having sex with a woman, or if they want to get married.

Having said that, the bible seems to approve of underage sex and incest if god deems it so, once again, that book or any of its off shoots are no marker for a civilised society.

Sorry but religion never kept any civilisation from anarchy, it just provides lazy answers for complex questions, humans prevent anarchy becuase anarchy is dangerous and bad for your health and kids health.

I don't stab everyone on the train in the morning becuase of god and morals from a bronze age book, I do it because hurting others hurts me and I like other humans a lot.

Nowt to do with Zeus or Milthra or big baby Jesus.

"no Christian in their right mind would believe that it was their duty to kill a homosexual for his/her practices."

I'm glad we've managed to move beyond that kind of thinking...good grief, how low are you setting the bar? And before you say Islam, I can point to millions of Muslims that would type waht you just typed and have a faith as strong as yours.

As for Christianity being more tolerant of homosexuals than I am of Christians, I'm sorry but homosexuals never invented a system of oppression and bigotry that has devestated large parts of the world and teaches many nice things but also some of the most backward ideas that you could imagine, mainly because it is Bronze Age thinking by men in a time that wasn't best known for being progressive.

"The idea here is that homosexuality is a sin according to the Bible, pure and simple. This argument was written to show that any beliefs to the contrary are misinformed ones."

And I agreed with you and then said that this is a wonderful highlight of the retardedness of the bible, which makes even being alive a sin, give or take.

As I said, religion, in all its ghastly forms, is anti-human and repressive.

Homosexual behaviour is as old as time, happens in animals as well as humans, it is a natural thing that happens to some humans and some animals; how an earth any 'god' could devise that to be a sin (or that'll be the same god that is uptight about sexual organs that he designed...)

You've got to laugh, really you have, what some people call faith I call a suspension of disbelief so vast that it makes Bobby coming back from the dead via shower dream sequence in Dallas look like reason at its best.

Here's to a pointless debate!

M@ said...

Of course you're "fine" with me believing the truth. You don't have a choice! You act like my lack of faith (in something ridiculous) is a faith in itself. It is not. It is the world as it really is....

Thought you might enjoy this article on process servers:

M@ said...

the link got cut off. It's on Drudge. A judge somewhere allowed someone to serve someone with legal documents via FaceBook. It was a precedent.

M@ said...

But to return to the post, arguing over the meaning of scripture is like trying to find meaning in the ramblings of the man on the street with the tinfoil hat and the broken shoes.

Saur♥Kraut said...

M@, My point is that this is not a forum where I am trying to convert or convince anyone.

Interesting article - I'll check it out - thanks!!!

Daniel, You're not reading what I wrote, so you're continuing in an erroneous direction.

1. The Bible does not condone the things you claim it does.

2. You mention it's a pointless debate but, frankly, you weren't asked to get into it as you don't use the Bible to justify or argue against homosexuality as you don't believe it. Therefore, your discussion of this post would be like my arguing whether pixies have brown wings or green. As I don't believe in pixies, it's useless.

3. Again, NO one is tolerant of everyone and everything. It's impossible with diametrically opposed ideas. You are intolerant in some areas I'm tolerant of, and you are tolerant in some areas I'm intolerant of.

I'm aware of that, and I know that there's no reason to argue about it. Are you?

We will have to continue to agree to disagree. But if you still choose to comment on this topic, you need to really read what I'm saying.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

M@ we form like Voltron on this one, using the laser of reason to blast away the Bronze Age thiking.


Saur♥Kraut said...

Daniel, Or not.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I was talking to M@.

You are not part of the Voltron on this matter.

Watch the lazers slice through prejudice!


M@ said...

Well, you know I'm not a flaming liberal when it comes to many issues but there are many perspectives, Sauer, that might open your eyes.

I am open to the idea of intelligence at levels other than our reality here in middle space, such as cellular intelligence and a super intelligence comprising all of life on earth--but the idea that scripture should be taken as anything but literature and collected wisdom is anathema to me.

If there is a god, the super-intelligence would be a self-constructing being that is a byproduct of us rather than our creator.

We beget Him, in other words.

There was an interesting book that came out last year chronicling all of the religious sect leaders who sprang up throughout antiquity as the "savior." I mean, Jesus of Nazareth was lucky to have made it to divinity (as a network of believers that exists today)--he had the best public relations team and they just went viral with it.

I am He. It was written.

M@ said...

In other words, I think we earthly creatures form "god" as Daniel and I form Voltron.

Saur♥Kraut said...

M@ & Daniel, Actually, you'd be surprised. You know very little of me, but I'll tell you this much - I was as close to agnostic as it comes for many, many years. I finally decided that Christianity was the one true way after reading MANY philosophical and religious writings/leanings and I'm better informed that you apparently think.

I had my eyes opened. They remain open. Whether or not you choose to truly examine these philosophies/faiths as much as I did is up to you. Simply because we do not agree does not mean that I am a savage or a troglodyte.

Let me add that your beliefs (secular) are as old as mine. You just are following a different branch than I do. So if you want to claim that mine are primitive and yours are 'sophisticated', I can happily recommend some philosophical and historical reading that will make you rethink your own.

M@, We agree on much, we don't have to agree on everything.

Daniel, If your goal is to shock, you don't. If it's to rage over something you don't believe, it's pointless.

Look: I'm not visting a sasquatch hunter's blog to taunt him about his beliefs because, frankly, I simply don't care about them. Perhaps you should ask yourself why you DO care so much (and please don't hastily answer with another put-down unless you really don't care about self-knowledge).

..."Methinks he doth protest too much" perhaps?...

michelle said...

..."Methinks he doth protest too much" perhaps?...

You took the words right out of my head Saur!

And M@, it's sAUr, not sAUEr.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Michelle, SO very good to see you, my friend! We need to talk and catch up - I've got things to tell you. ;o)

The Lazy Iguana said...

I did read Calliope's response.

About the old testament being "old" and not always applicable. It was a different agreement! Man formed a union and renegotiated the contract - which then became the new testament.

Fine. I can deal with that. But if the old testament is not applicable because it was "God's covenant with Israel which was run as a theocracy" then why not reject ALL of it? How is it that some parts remain, others don't, and people who are cast as righteous and Godly can be "not exactly father of the year"??

If it is the word of God then it is perfect - and therefore can not be rejected. If it is NOT the word of God then what is it doing in the Bible?

So is my shrimp pasta an offense to God or not? The Bible says it is, but then again it only says that in the optional part.

And how about all the things the Bible says about other things? I think Jesus would be a socialist. You know, feed the poor, help thy neighbor, and so on.

Jesus never passed a collection plate. The kingdom he spoke of was free. The multitude was fed for free. The sick were healed for free.

But universal health care is unthinkable.

I looked up Romans. There are some two or three passages that deal with homosexuality. And there are another two or three in Corinthians.

But the real good anti-homo stuff is in the optional part of the Bible. The part that was already established as being "God's covenant with Israel which was run as a theocracy" that does not apply anymore.

So tell me this. WHY all the fuss over what amounts to be a fraction of a percent of the Bible? Why is this faggery stuff such a major issue? There are PLENTY of aspects of modern society that are apparently OK with many Christians - yet are against what the Bible says.

But only homosexuality gets any attention. And from what I have found homosexuality gets very little print time in the non optional part.

So why the big deal?

From what I can see when it comes to ANY religion people tend to revert to the a-la-cart idea. Reject this, accept that, change the meaning of something else, gloss over this part, concentrate on this part, and so on.

Yet it is all supposed to be the word of God, and nothing is supposed to be added or taken away.

By the way.....

"As far as a man having sex with his wife during her period, this was a gracious law for the protection of women! To be "cut off" does not always mean killed in the Old Testament, but "cut off" from the Jewish community, as scholars will tell you."

Oh really? But the Bible actually says this.

Lev 15, 9-28 says otherwise. It very clearly states that women are UNCLEAN for 7 days every month. The word unclean is mentioned about 50 times.

Women are also unclean after given birth. If the child is female they are unclean for twice as long.

But I know - that is the optional part. So it can be rejected or interpreted.

But the parts that fit whatever agenda being pushed are to be taken without question. Without interpretation. And not rejected even if they come from the optional part.

I do not dispute what the Bible says about butt buggery. And I am sure the Bible says a lot more about a lot of other things. And I am sure that whatever is written can either be explained away or not, depending on what it is said and weather or not it fits whatever agenda.

But that really does not matter in the context of this discussion.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Daniel, You were on the edge, but you just toppled over. I had to delete your comment, as I do not tolerate outright blasphemy. It's one thing to disagree intelligently, it's another to act an outright fool.

Lazy, I must dash right now, but I'll be back and will do my best to answer you ASAP.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Daniel, How about not. Let's try the Reader's Digest Condensed Version:

"[silly comments about comic book characters in an immature attempt to marginalize anyone with religious beliefs]" - Daniel.

This way you don't have to worry about unnecessarily offending me or other believers, as I'm sure you would prefer to be taken seriously.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Lazy, Actually your questions are good ones. In order to understand the answers, you have to read the parts above and below the verses you pick out to see what's being covered and why, and who's being addressed.

There are times throughout the Bible in which God commands certain people to do a certain thing at a certain time. For instance, in Duet. 7, the Israelites are told to destroy the Canaanites. We know that this is not a command that continues today. After all, there are no holy crusades against Canaan or any surviving Canaanites. In fact, I doubt you can even FIND a Canaanite anywhere.

As for the woman being declared 'unclean' during her period, it meant 'untouchable.' It was God's way of saying "hands off" when she was having her period. We now know that women are more prone to bladder infections during their period, and sex is the driver (so to speak). Back when they didn't have antibiotics, this rule was DEFINATELY a way to protect women from a prolongued and painful death.

And even today, how many men are delighted to have sex with women during their menstrual cycle? This wasn't a tough rule for anyone to keep.

As for the dietary restrictions, we see many of them in Deut. 14. At the very beginning of this chapter, it is made clear that these restrictions are for the Jews. Vs. 1-2 are specifically addressing them and say "You are the children of the LORD your God. Do not cut yourselves or shave the front of your heads for the dead, for you are a people holy to the LORD your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the LORD has chosen you to be his treasured possession."

THEN the dietary restrictions begin.

Although it's been argued about for ages, no one really knows why the dietary restrictions existed. There isn't a lot of rhyme and reason to them. In the past some scholars have suggested that such restrictions kept the Israelites safe, but that's not really plausible. Someone I greatly respect feels that it was merely a way to keep the Jews separate and apart from the other cultures, as their dietary restrictions/laws would make it impossible to mix with other cultures.

However, these food restrictions were not meant to apply to the Christians, and that was made very clear in the New Testament in a couple of places.

Did that answer all your questions/comments?

The Lazy Iguana said...

Not really. I just confirms what I already said about a-la-cart menus and selective interpretation.

Unclean means unclean. Men could be unclean too. A lot of things were unclean actually. The passages before the laundry list of things that made women unclean are pretty much along the lines of "and then the lord said".

By the way, the list of unclean stuff included a lot of other things besides women. For one week a month, one week after giving birth to a male child, and 2 weeks after giving birth to a female child, they had the magical ability to make things unclean just by touching them.

So often times women were booted from the house for these special times in order to avoid a major contamination issue.

And why do I have to read passages above and below some parts (the parts that are optional or require things to be taken in context) yet other parts I just need one specific passage and the meaning is clear?

What is optional, what requires further reading, and what is a one liner? Who gets to decide which is which? And why?

Why even keep the optional parts around? Why not just rip out one chapter, and keep another after a black marker is taken to it to blot out passages that no longer apply?

Oh wait - that was already done. A long time ago. By some pope and his henchmen. But why did they keep so many optional parts?

Because they decided that the parts they liked outweighed the parts that they would rather ignore. Plus, the whole "well this does not apply anymore" excuse was invented - which made things easier in this matter.

So who knows.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Lazy, I don't think you really read what I had to say, but maybe you just don't want to try to understand it. Either way, I am going to stop trying to explain.

As for your comments about the Pope and how the Catholic church chose to interpret things (or what they chose to add), I'll say what I repeatedly say: The Pope and the Catholic church do not speak for many of us, and we do not agree with much of what they teach. So, I don't feel the need to defend anything they may say or do.