Leviticus 18:22 & 20:13 “Is everything detestable to these people?”

It’s been a while since I worked on this series. Even longer for those of you reading this on my personal blog (The Snark Who Hunts Back) as opposed to the articles on Queerlandia. (Yes, they are posted in both places. It’s relevant to both blogs).

Here is the review of the original documentary that this information comes from, for the most part.

And the first 3 sections  of verses. Genesis 1:1-31, Genesis 2,   Genesis 19:1-29.

I’m writing about both Leviticus verses in one post today. Each verse on it’s own would be terribly short and both have some similar issues.

“‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.”

– Leviticus 18:22

“‘If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”

– Leviticus 20:13

Before we get to bogged down in analysis of this verse, I would like to mention that Leviticus 18 (in fact all of Leviticus) is a lot more complicated than a simple book of the Bible that tells a story like the Gospels, or Esther or Ruth (my two favorite books of the Bible, if you want to know). It is ritual and theological moral and legal code that was devised to govern the priest class (Levites) and the other tribes of Israel. The code was established by people interpreting theological ritual into rules for a society. I know of no serious Biblical scholar that refers to Leviticus as a book that was “inspired” by god.

Now that we have that out of the way.

Let’s talk about the actual meaning of these verses.

First we hear from Reverend Gregory Dell and Dr. Amy Jill Levine on the purpose behind these two particular verses.

The purity codes, the holiness codes from which Leviticus 18 is taken had a very specific design. And that design was to help distinguish themselves from the other cultures and faiths around them.

– Reverend Gregory Dell

The text is interested in categories and everyone and everything fits into an appropriate category. The categories do not mix.

– Dr. Amy Jill Levine

Then of course there is the constant issue that we find with Leviticus.

All we ever hear about from religious fundamentalists is “homosexuality is an abomination – Leviticus 18:22”.

What they seem to forget, is that Leviticus was a code of conduct for a people group over 2,000 years ago and they had a lot of funky ideas about proper behavior and what was an “abomination”.

[I]f one in the church must insist on using Leviticus then it seems only appropriate for those members of the Christian church to look at other laws in Leviticus.

*

To pick and choose which laws to follow and which laws not to follow, at the very least we need to determine why are we choosing this law and not that law.

– Dr. Amy Jill Levine

In chapter 18 of Leviticus alone there are at least 19 prohibitions against different types of sexual relations.

That’s not to mention the incredible amount of truly odd things that are mentioned in the book (as well as the rest of the Old Testament) as being “abominations” and “detestable” outside of sex.*

One of the prohibitions mentioned specifically in the documentary is Leviticus 18:19.

“‘Do not approach a woman to have sexual relations during the uncleanness of her monthly period.”

When this is mentioned, Pastor David Ickes had this to say.

Okay, but still, how does that support homosexuality? All that does is tell me that we should start preaching against people sleeping with their wives on their cycle. That doesn’t give you any justification whatsoever.

Okay, so here is where I earn the name of my personal blog, because hoo-boy does this comment deserve a lot of snark.

Where do I start? (this could almost be a blog of it’s own).

First thing. He says “people sleeping with their wives”. People? Shouldn’t that be “men sleeping with their wives.”? For someone that is all about heterosexual marriage, he’s being very PC in his language.

Secondly, the point wasnotthat the sheer number of silly prohibitions invalidated the one about homosexuality. (We’ll get to that later). The point was that you can’t run around preaching that homosexuality is an abomination and ignore all the other rules that you and your congregation are breaking without looking like a horribly hypocrite.

If there is one thing that I truly hate in this world, it’s a hypocrite. I don’t use the word ‘hate’ lightly.

Third. So why don’t you preach to men and tell them not to have sex with their wives during their period or the 7 days after it?
Try it. You’ll be laughed off the pulpit. People are happy to listen to prohibitions on other people’s sex lives, but a pastor who starts telling people how and when to have sex with their spouse and you will be out of a parish really damn quick.
That’s the same reason why most churches, even the American Catholic church, barely even look askance at divorce anymore. Or remarriage after divorce. That second one, specifically, carries a penalty of death in the Bible.

Okay, now I’ll leave Ickes alone. He’s not all that bright it seems, but that isn’t the point of this post.

Here’s where the real issue of this verse becomes clear.

This verse isn’t, just like the rest of these verses, talking about homosexuality at all.

What Leviticus actually says is “A man shall not lie with a man, as a woman”. In other words ‘a man shall not treat another man, sexually, as if that other man were female.

– Dr. Amy Jill Levine

Greek homosexuality had the same concept. Men were not women, you could have sex with them, but you couldn’t treat them like a women. You could even have a relationship with another man (as women could with women, y’know…Sappho) but that man would not be another women. He was intrinsically going to be more than a women, based on that culture, and he would be more your equal.

Every woman in that time was the property of some man. A part of the way you claimed and made this property your own was the consummation of the marriage through intercourse. If you have sex with a virgin who isn’t properly betrothed to you, you have damaged another mane’s property.  So all of thsi is really just property law and according to the understanding of this law code a man cannot own another man like that.

– Reverend Dr. Fred Neidner

Guess what…you can’t own anyone that way in this country in this day and age. So does that make heterosexual marriage invalid as well?

*List compiled at Canyonwalker Connections by Kathy.

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Time for another glitter-bombing post.

Back to my roots, complaining about the liberal gay left.

Also Occupy Wall Street/any city they can get to, because they seem to be doing a bit of the glitter slinging these days as well.

I’ve talked about glitter bombing before, but I thought it was time for another go at it, since people still seem to consider it a good way to deal with their issues….instead of, y’know, actually having civilized discussions.

Because throwing things was so helpful in solving disputes in kindergarten. *eye roll*

So last time I talked, it was mostly about how childish the concept of throwing glitter at your opponents makes you look.

But I’ve changed my mind (don’t faint, it happens). It still makes you look irreparably stupid, but there is nothing childish about it.

Nothing is childish about assault.

Yes, you heard me right. Glitter bombing is assault.

Here is the definition of assault.

noun

verb

  1. In criminal and tort law, an act, usually consisting of a threat or attempt to inflict bodily injury upon another person, coupled with the apparent present ability to succeed in carrying out the threat or the attempt if not prevented, that causes the person to have a reasonable fear or apprehension of immediate harmful or offensive contact. No intent to cause battery or the fear or apprehension is required so long as the victim is placed in reasonable apprehension or fear. No actual physical injury is needed to establish an assault, but if there is any physical contact, the act constitutes both an assault and a battery.
  2. In criminal law, in some states, the term includes battery and attempted battery.
  3. Any attack .
  4. The act of inflicting bodily injury upon another. See also mayhem.

The parts in bold are what I want you to look at.

Sure you didn’t mean to glitter in that senator/aid/candidate/judge’s eye. You didn’t mean to lacerate their cornea or cause major injury or disability.

But you still did…or you risk doing so with every handful of glitter that you throw.

[A] Washington, D.C., optometrist warns that it is possible to injure someone with glitter.

“If it gets into the eyes, the best scenario is it can irritate, it can scratch. Worst scenario is it can actually create a cut,” Stephen Glasser told The Hill. He also noted that breathing glitter into your nose and sinuses could cause an infection.

NPR

So it’s not childish. It’s criminal.

As 20 year old intern, Peter Smith, found out last Tuesday.

Tuesday’s glitter bombing, however, is different. The student who tossed the glitter was charged with “throwing a missile” and “unlawful acts on campus grounds.” If convicted, 20-year-old Peter Smith could face up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Smith, who was working as an unpaid intern for the Colorado Senate Democrats, was promptly fired and also faced possible expulsion from University of Colorado Denver. Although UCD chose to take no disciplinary action, Smith still faces the other charges.

Indiana Daily Student

The IDS paper is calling the charges “a little disproportionate.”

Claiming that being fired was appropriate, but expulsion and jail time/a fine was a punishment unfit to the crime.

One has to wonder…would they be so tolerant if this was another situation.

Here’s one for you.

My school gets a lot of these “street preachers” who show up with megaphones and stupid t-shirts and big signs quoting Biblical verses (all out of context) that talk about hellfire and damnation. I’m not impressed by this…I grew up in the Southern Baptist church. I cut my teeth on fire and brimstone preaching.

However, what if this group took things a step farther. What if, instead of just shouting abuse at us, they started throwing pamphlets at us and spraying super-soakers filled holy water on the students.

Pamphlets can give people paper cuts and certainly carry the danger of cutting someone in a dangerous place…like…I don’t know…the eye.

A super-soaker on campus could, similarly, have bad results.

So, we could legitimately claim this as assault. It fits the legal definition I quoted in enough ways to make that feasible.

So would these same writers feel it was “disproportionate” to charge the speakers, with their loud protests about how being gay and masturbating will send you to hell, with assault?

Well?

I don’t know, but I have a feeling that they would be fine with it.

And just for reference. Here is the golden rule again. (I’ve quoted it before)

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

If you would appreciate a handful of glitter in your face, a slashed cornea, and a painkiller/eye-patch fashion combo, then, by all means, keep throwing glitter at people.

If you would appreciate Bible’s being thrown at you because you are gay, and the street preachers thought that physical violence would change that, then, by all means, keep assaulting others to get them to change their opinions.

If, however, you realize how much you would not appreciate either one of those things.

Then please, give it a rest, put down the craft box, screw the lid back on the glitter container, and go write a blog or something.

I never got around to writing a post about the Prop 8 decision in California (aside from the short piece, partially blaming it for Santorum’s surge in votes). However, this is the EXACT point I would have made if I had found the time.
TCNA and I are on the same wavelength so often that it’s almost scary.

The Conservative New Ager

So the Prop 8 Court decision came in a few weeks ago and along with the Birth Control Mandate helped push Rick Santorum up in the polls.

And the gay rights community rejoiced.  Which I found odd, as usually, people don’t rejoice in  their own downfall (ignoring the Obama inauguration and mythical behavior of Nero).  Wait, ruling that a ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional is bad for gay rights?  Yeah it is.

Let me explain since I know there must be some confusion.

Basic human psychology is that people hate being forced to do something.  They really hate it.  But when they think they’re doing it themselves they’ll embrace doing that thing that they hated only a minute ago and go even a step further.  Think about the American Revolution, we started a war on a 2 cent tax on per metric ton of a breakfast beverage because it…

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Slut Shaming

(I apologize, this topic got away from me at some point) (I also want to point out that I’m addressing only the female version of this, it happens to men on occasion, but my issue with this topic at the moment has to do with female slut shaming)

People keep saying that this particular song "You Belong With Me" by Taylor Swift is some sort of 'slut shaming', 'woman hating' diatribe. Couldn't it be that he broke up with his girlfriend because she was a bitch, not because she was a whore? (FYI: most teenage guys would love to date a girl that puts out.)

If you follow any liberal feminist blogs at all (I don’t do it for fun) you will undoubtedly have heard the phrase “slut shaming” at some point. Any TV that dares to show negative consequences for sex is accused of this.

Anyone who advocates that abortion is something that should only be used in extreme cases (like those that involve rape, the mother’s health, or serious medical/genetic problems on the part of the fetus) are accused of this as well. And those that believe that abortion should be outlawed completely are even worse.

Hell, even those that have a problem with President Obama’s contraception mandate, which is an attempt to force the Catholic church to shell out cash for contraception despite their religious belief that contraception is morally wrong, are told that they are practicing ‘slut-shaming’ and should be ashamed of themselves.

That’s the real reason Republicans care about restricting access to birth control and abortions. It has nothing to do with religious beliefs or concerns about the lives of cute little babies. It’s about punishing sluts.

How else can you reconcile the platforms of anti-choicers? If you truly were against abortion, you would be fighting desperately for comprehensive sex education and easy access to contraceptives – things that actually reduce abortions. If you truly thought abortion was murder, you would never make exceptions for cases of rape or incest. If you truly were concerned with women’s health, you wouldn’t use HPV statistics to scaremonger young girls about sex while simultaneously fighting against a vaccine. If you truly were pro-life, you’d want improved child care, education, and family leave instead of losing interest in someone once they pop out of the womb.

It’s simple. These people want you to catch STDs and have unwanted children, because you’re a dirty slut who deserves punishment. And they love babies so much that the punishment is babies.

– Blaghag

If you don’t know what “slut shaming” is, here is the definition from Urban Dictionary (look, it’s not like this term has made it into Webster’s yet.)

An unfortunate phenomenon in which people degrade or mock a woman because she enjoys having sex, has sex a lot, or may even just be rumored to participate in sexual activity. Often it’s accompanied by urban legends such as the common virgin misconception that the vagina becomes larger or looser with use– in fact, sex has no effect on vaginal size.

However, since most people would rather women be MORE sexually active than less, slut shaming is counterproductive to the aims of most men and quite a few ladies.

Though if you read enough feminist blogs (liberal feminist, slightly different than my own version of feminism) it becomes something more like:

Anything that alludes to negative consequences resulting from sex. Denying that women have any responsibility for negative consequence if they do occur, even though sex has no negative consequences. *

See, I thought that feminism was all about taking responsibility for our own bodies, our own sexuality, our own decisions. Maybe I was wrong, but that’s what I always heard from other feminists.

Whether you like to admit it or not, having promiscuous sex can have negative consequences of a physical (whether you use condoms or other contraception or not) and emotional nature. Discussing that fact is not “slut-shaming”, addressing that fact in popular television shows (I hate Glee, I don’t deny that it is popular) is not “slut-shaming”.

Unless you were raped (in which case you have my utmost sympathy and as I’ve already said, I can completely understand your wish to have an abortion) then you made a decision to have sex. Whether it was with one person or twenty. Sure, if you’ve had lots and lots of sex with multiple partners then you probably fit the definition of “slut”, but you won’t hear me calling you that. I think I once, only once, called a woman a whore on this blog. It was fitting and necessary, not because she had promiscuous and unsafe sex, but because she didn’t take responsibility for the consequences afterward.

My asking you to take responsibility for your own actions and choices is not “shaming” you.

The truth is, if you are comfortable with how much sex you are having, you are happy with your partners, and feel that what you are doing is morally and ethically right, then you shouldn’t be ashamed when someone points out how much sex you are having or whatever consequences it may or may not have. Why? Because you should have thought through the ramifications that each encounter could have and decided that it was worth the risk.

Sex is fun, but it’s also serious business and should be treated accordingly.

(Also see Easy A for an appropriately shame free, and hilarious, reaction to attempted slut shaming. Just because someone else feels you have done something morally wrong doesn’t mean you have to take their opinion to heart.)

I have only had one sexual experience which I regretted and was slightly ashamed about after the fact. Every other time I have had sex, it was with someone that I liked, respected, and (in some cases) loved a great deal. I have never felt ashamed to talk about sex, or the number of sexual partners (fairly small, I admit) that I’ve had.

However if your (or my) decision to have sex comes back to bite you on the ass then you need to own up to that. You can’t blame Republicans (for not wanting the government to force private companies/religious institutions to provide birth control. Isn’t the whole point of Planned Parenthood, the liberal feminists best friend, to give out free/cheap contraception?) or the religious institutions themselves. (I’m going to talk about Obama’s contraception mandate in another post).

The only people that can be blamed for the negative consequences are yourself and your sexual partner(s).

And for another view on how the term is being used to the point of it not meaning anything at all, one that I basically agree with, check out the Thought Catalog.

*Look, I’m writing this based on several feminist blogs that I’ve read over the past few weeks. I understand that this is not the case for all feminists, I just feel the need to make my opinion known on this topic since it has been bugging for a while.

A very good point for those of you who aren’t a fan of Romney because of RomneyCare.

Also, I know I have only been reblogging other writers (great ones, but still) lately. Classes are not as easy as I thought they would be this semester so I don’t have as much time. I have about 5 posts started and I hope to get back to posting more frequently in a few weeks.

The Conservative New Ager

A bit simplistic, and I wouldn’t have focused on some of these…but I like it (all the citations are here)…I do like the state’s rights issue at the end.

And while I’m not thrilled with Romneycare (especially for those 8 sections that Romney vetoed but were overturned) it is clearly not Obamacare….and I don’t have to live in Massachusetts.

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Definitely a great evening. I’ve been excited since Thursday night when The Conservative New Ager asked me if I was free to attend the rally. It isn’t as if this changed my opinion, or even cemented my vote for Romney, as my vote was cemented a while ago in his favor. However, getting to see him speak in person was impressive.

The Conservative New Ager

Mitt Romney, the next President of the United States came to Mesa, AZ.

This is the first political event I’ve been to in year.  And while I am not a fan of large gatherings of people (I’m a solitary soul and it works for me) I had a wonderful time.

I can’t say I learned anything new as his speech was a typical stump speech covering a lot of the same themes as his CPAC speech but it became all to clear that he is not the lifeless clod the media tries to portray him as.  He is quite charismatic (and this is coming  from a  person who doesn’t like or respond to charisma all that much).  And what is really nice, what I am seeing in a lot of his speeches is that he doesn’t just reference the Founders or the founding documents, he quotes from them with a…

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