Sunday, May 17, 2015

Pick-and-choose Christianity

The biggest objection to gay marriage right now is the religious, Christian argument of “The Bible says it’s wrong! In Leviticus, God calls it an abomination!” 

A few weeks ago, my teenage daughter mentioned wanting to get a tattoo when she turns 18. She’s also talked to me about wanting mother-daughter tattoos. My father used another Leviticus reference to admonish her for wanting a tattoo. 

This morning, while sitting in church, I started flipping through Leviticus trying to find the first reference, about homosexuality. Silly me, wanting to know the entire verse and context. I never found it, but I did find the verse my father was referencing. The exact same verse says men shouldn’t cut their hair or trim their beards. 

You see, I grew up in the Christian church, but as an adult, I’m turned off by the arrogance of many Christians who want to force their own rules on all Americans, even those of other religions or no religion at all. The very reason America was established by the early settlers was to escape the religious oppression of the Church of England – the “do it our way or else” mentality that is taking over our society today.

So, here’s a list taken directly from the frequently-referenced book of Leviticus of rules for society (by the way, these are not even rules for Christians – this was thousands of years before the birth of Jesus. I have yet to hear any of these from the New Testament.)

Things you SHOULD be doing:

  • ·         Animal sacrifices out of both guilt (for penance) or for praise
  • ·         Women who have given birth have to be hidden away for 33 days if the baby was a boy, 66 days if she had a girl. Then make an animal sacrifice at the sanctuary to be allowed back in.
  • ·         Two weeks out of every month women are “unclean” – the week of menstruation and seven days after. Anyone who touches her or her clothing, furniture, anything she dared to sit on, is also unclean. On the 8th day of after the second week, make a sacrifice.
  • ·         Have extramarital sex with a female slave
  • ·         Pay hired workers (employees) daily
  • ·         “The foreigners residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself.” (Gives new meaning to immigration reform, huh?)
  • ·         Execute anyone who curses at their parent.
  • ·         In the case of adultery, execute both parties.
  • ·         Burn prostitutes to death, if their father is a minister/priest.
  • ·         Marry a virgin
  • ·         Every seventh year, plant nothing. (Sorry farmers)

Things you absolutely cannot do:

  • ·         Eat rabbit, pork, birds, shellfish, calamari, anything from the ocean that does not have scales
  • ·         Cannot eat the harvest of your fruit trees for five years
  • ·         Eat blood sausage, blood pudding, rare steaks – nothing with blood at all.
  • ·         Gather your entire harvest of crops.
  • ·         Show preference to either the poor or the wealthy (that knocks out most politicians, right?)
  • ·         Mate different kinds of animals (Liger? Mule? Wolf-dog hybrids? Turkins? Bueller?)
  • ·         Plant two different kinds of seed in the same field (so much for companion planting – or household gardens)
  • ·         Wear clothing of two different kinds of material (cotton/lycra blends? Wool blends? Tshirt and jeans?)
  • ·         Mistreat foreigners
  • ·         Marry a widow, divorced woman, or someone from another country.
  • ·         Work on the Sabbath.
  • ·         Cut your hair
  • ·         Trim your beard
  • ·         Shave your head
  • ·         Get a tattoo or pierce the skin

All of these are found in Leviticus. If the whole “homosexuality is a sin” argument is valid, why aren’t these? Why do modern Christians give more weight to one thing than the others? And before anyone references the instructions of “go into the world and make disciples of all men” – that does not mean forcibly make them follow your religious rules. “But Jesus was the fulfillment of the law, so those rules don’t apply to Christians!” So why pick and choose some to still try to force on others?

 I legitimately don’t understand. How is gay marriage an attack on marriage? How does it threaten marriage? And since in the US, marriage is a LEGAL contract not a RELIGIOUS contract, it shouldn’t even be an issue. If you don’t want gay marriages performed, what’s next? Atheists can’t get married? Jews can’t be married? (Jews are not Christians, by the way) Buddhists, Sikhs, Taoists, Native Americans practicing native religions, Hindus, agnostics? Why not then ban weddings performed at City Hall, in gardens, at home, on boats, in orchards, in any venue other than a church? 

Or, better yet, why not remember that God loves everyone and the commandment “love your neighbor as yourself.”

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