Tag Archives: leviticus
from “Addicting Info” blog
Conservative ‘Christian’ Pastor Openly Calls For Executing All Gay People By Christmas Day (VIDEO)
AUTHOR: STEPHEN D FOSTER JR DECEMBER 3, 2014 12:41 PM
It sounds like a sermon that would be delivered in Uganda, but it’s actually from the mouth of an American pastor in Arizona.
Conservative “Christian” Pastor Steven Anderson openly called for executing every gay person in America during a Sunday Sermon at his church in Tempe, Arizona. He claimed from the pulpit that gays need to be put to death in the name of God by Christams Day in an effort to wipe out AIDS, even though AIDS is not a virus exclusive to the LGBT community. Anderson opined:
Turn to Leviticus 20:13, because I actually discovered the cure for AIDS. If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. And that, my friend, is the cure for AIDS. It was right there in the Bible all along — and they’re out spending billions of dollars in research and testing. It’s curable — right there. Because if you executed the homos like God recommends, you wouldn’t have all this AIDS running rampant.
In addition, Anderson went on a hateful tirade about how gay people will never to allowed to step foot inside his church.
“No homos will ever be allowed in this church as long as I am pastor here,” Anderson declared. “Never! Say ‘You’re crazy.’ No, you’re crazy if you think that there’s something wrong with my ‘no homo’ policy.”
Here’s the video via YouTube.
Slowly but surely, conservatives are becoming more extreme in their anti-gay views. So much so, that some are now willing to endorse genocide in the name of God in a desperate bid to force their agenda of hate upon the nation. Despite the fact that the Constitution is the law of the land, conservative “Christians” like Anderson want to replace that document with the Bible.
The mass extermination of an entire group people is something the Nazis would be applauding. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, conservatives are acting just like the Nazis did in Germany, from claims that homosexuality is a sign of the decay of the nation, to claiming that it’s a disease that can be “cured,” to calling for killing gay people.
Many in Germany regarded the Weimar Republic’s toleration of homosexuals as a sign of Germany’s decadence. The Nazis posed as moral crusaders who wanted to stamp out the “vice” of homosexuality from Germany…
Because some Nazis believed homosexuality was a sickness that could be cured, they designed policies to “cure” homosexuals of their “disease” through humiliation and hard work.
Thousands of gay people died in concentration camps under Nazi rule.
It sounds like Anderson is one of those who are posing as a “moral crusader” to push their hateful anti-gay agenda. And yet, conservatives have the nerve to compare liberals to the Nazis. If we continue to stand by and allow conservatives to take power in the United States, we may discover to our horror that similar Nazi anti-gay policies have been established under the cloak of religion.
THE GOLDEN RULE
The Golden Rule or the ethic of reciprocity is found in the scriptures of nearly every religion. It is often regarded as the most concise and general principle of ethics. It is a condensation in one principle of all longer lists of ordinances such as the Decalogue. See also texts on Loving Kindness, pp. 967-73.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
1. Judaism and Christianity. Bible, Leviticus 19.18
Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.
2. Christianity. Bible, Matthew 7.12
Not one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.
3. Islam. Forty Hadith of an-Nawawi 13
A man should wander about treating all creatures as he himself would be treated.
4. Jainism. Sutrakritanga 1.11.33
Try your best to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, and you will find that this is the shortest way to benevolence.
5. Confucianism. Mencius VII.A.4
One should not behave towards others in a way which is disagreeable to oneself. This is the essence of morality. All other activities are due to selfish desire.
6. Hinduism. Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva 113.8
Tsekung asked, “Is there one word that can serve as a principle of conduct for life?” Confucius replied, “It is the word shu–reciprocity: Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you.”
7. Confucianism. Analects 15.23
Leviticus 19.18: Quoted by Jesus in Matthew 22.36-40 (below). Mencius VII.A.4 and Analects 15.23: Cf. Analects 6.28.2, p. 975.
Comparing oneself to others in such terms as “Just as I am so are they, just as they are so am I,” he should neither kill nor cause others to kill.
8. Buddhism. Sutta Nipata 705
One going to take a pointed stick to pinch a baby bird should first try it on himself to feel how it hurts.
9. African Traditional Religions. Yoruba Proverb (Nigeria)
One who you think should be hit is none else but you. One who you think should be governed is none else but you. One who you think should be tortured is none else but you. One who you think should be enslaved is none else but you. One who you think should be killed is none else but you. A sage is ingenuous and leads his life after comprehending the parity of the killed and the killer. Therefore, neither does he cause violence to others nor does he make others do so.
10. Jainism. Acarangasutra 5.101-2
The Ariyan disciple thus reflects, Here am I, fond of my life, not wanting to die, fond of pleasure and averse from pain. Suppose someone should rob me of my life… it would not be a thing pleasing and delightful to me. If I, in my turn, should rob of his life one fond of his life, not wanting to die, one fond of pleasure and averse from pain, it would not be a thing pleasing or delightful to him. For a state that is not pleasant or delightful to me must also be to him also; and a state that is not pleasing or delightful to me, how could I inflict that upon another?
As a result of such reflection he himself abstains from taking the life of creatures and he encourages others so to abstain, and speaks in praise of so abstaining.
11. Buddhism. Samyutta Nikaya v.353
A certain heathen came to Shammai and said to him, “Make me a proselyte, on condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot.” Thereupon he repulsed him with the rod which was in his hand. When he went to Hillel, he said to him, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor: that is the whole Torah; all the rest of it is commentary; go and learn.”
12. Judaism. Talmud, Shabbat 31a
Sutta Nipata 705: Cf. Dhammapada 129-130, p. 478. Acarangasutra 5.101-2: Cf. Dhammapada 129-130, p. 478. Samyutta Nikaya v.353: The passage gives a similar reflection about abstaining from other types of immoral behavior: theft, adultery, etc. To identify oneself with others is also a corollary to the Mahayana insight that all reality is interdependent and mutually related; cf. Guide to a Bodhisattva’s Way of Life 8.112-16, p. 181; Majjhima Nikaya i.415, p. 465.
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.”
13. Christianity. Bible, Matthew 22.36-40
The Bible bans a lot of things. Just ask right-wingers when they use it to defend their incessant attempts to discriminate against the LGBT community. As we all know, putting one’s devil stick in another man’s hell-hole is forbidden by the Bible–but other stuff is, as well. Like, umm…OK, that’s pretty much the extent of right-wingers’ understanding of the Bible.
Did you know, though, that there is more to the book than the wildly-misrepresented same-sex boom-boom verses in Leviticus? It’s true–we checked! The Bible says “no” to a lot of other things, too. Yes, it’s true that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross means that we are no longer under the particular set of laws that covers many of them but the thing about cherry-picking verses from Leviticus and the rest of the Old Testament is that if one irrational, invalid, and downright stupid “law” is valid the rest must be, as well!
Here’s a short list of some other things the Bible bans — but Bible-thumpers often do anyway!
It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood.
Cheeseburgers are full of fat, which is a no-no according to Leviticus!
And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.
Who doesn’t love bacon, right? Well, the Bible doesn’t!
12. Blended Fabrics
Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.
Like polyester blends? Well, God doesn’t. You’re going to Hell, sinner!
11. Tearing Your Clothes
And Moses said unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons, Uncover not your heads, neither rend your clothes; lest ye die, and lest wrath come upon all the people: but let your brethren, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning which the LORD hath kindled.
Yeah…it’s happened to all of us. We’ve all torn a shirt when it snags on something, or fallen and ripped the knee of a pair of pants. Well, according to the Bible…we’re gonna die!
10. Going to Church After giving Birth
Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean.
And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days; she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled.
But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days.
Women have it rough according to the decrees set forth in the Good Book. If your first instinct is to go to church and show off your new baby, though, you are doing it wrong! Interestingly, you need to stay away from church TWICE as long if you squeeze a little girl our of your sin oven. Your baby can go, but you can’t.
9. Creating Idols, or “Metal Gods”
Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God.
So…about all those Jesus statues and pendants…
8. Trimming Your Beard
Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.
Ever thought of giving the old beard a trim? Well, sinner, G-man says “no” to that! At least we know the Duck Dynasty guys are fine…
Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.
Sometimes, you get the urge to pop down to your local tattoo artist and show your love for Jesus by getting his image forever imprinted on your chest. Well, we have some news for you…
6. Mistreating Foreigners
And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him.
Boy, if only right-wing Christians actually read their Bibles…
5. Rounded Haircuts
Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.
Hey Ben Shapiro…you’re going to burn for all eternity…for more than just your haircut.
4. Remarrying After a Divorce
And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.
Hey Newt…we have some bad news for you….
3. Pulling Out
And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.
And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also.
Not everyone wears a condom…but if you choose not to, you’d better be willing to go all the way with it or you’re gonna BURRRRNNNN.
1 Timothy 2:9
“Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments.”
Ladies, pack up your gold and pearls…because Jesus no likie!
1. No Alcohol in Church
Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die.
OK, God, you’re confusing us now. Is Communion OK, or not?
homosexuality is an abomination, according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstances. The following response is an argument written to someone who allegedly quoted this:
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law…. End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God’s Laws and how to follow them.
1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?
2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness – Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is, my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath.Exodus 35:2. clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?
6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination – Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there ‘degrees’ of abomination?
7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle- room here?
8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?
9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16.
Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.
Your adoring fan,
Rabbi Michael Rothbaum
Rabbi/educator, Beth Chaim Congregation, Danville, Calif.
Now that the U.S. Supreme Court recognizes state-sanctioned same-sex marriages, the remaining voices opposing marriage equality — or at least the loudest ones — are primarily religious.
Conservatives insist on “biblical marriage.” Progressives, for their part, smugly reject the authority of “ancient texts.” Sides are chosen. Battle lines are drawn. Less listening. More shouting.
But what if both sides were wrong? What if the supposed biblical prohibition of gay sex were in reality an affirmation of honest and loving sexual relationships?
No Extra Words
The text most often quoted by in defense of biblical homophobia is Leviticus 18:22. In Hebrew, it reads, “V’et-zachar lo tishkav mish’k’vei ishah.” It is usually translated as, “Do not lie with a male as you would lie with women,” an apparent universal condemnation of sex between men.
The words “et-zachar lo tishkav” clearly mean “don’t lie with a male” or “don’t bed a male.” In a chapter that’s seemingly addressed to men, that directive would make perfect sense all by itself. But Jewish tradition, best expressed by Talmudic sage Rabbi Akiva, teaches that there are no superfluous words in Torah. Why, then, would the Torah add the peculiar phrase “mish’k’vei ishah“?
That “mish’k’vei ishah” means “as you would lie with women” is far from obvious. The word “mish’k’vei” itself appears only three times in all of scripture: in the two supposed prohibitions of gay sex in Leviticus, and at the end of the book of Genesis
Whose Bed Is Whose?
The scene is Jacob’s deathbed. As the patriarch prepares to die, Jacob gathers his sons around him to tell them what will happen in the days after his death. First-born son Reuben, perhaps expecting a blessing from his father, is nevertheless condemned by Jacob with the charge of “instability.” And then Jacob directly scolds his son, “Alita mish’k’vei avicha!” reads Genesis 49:4. “You ascended your father’s beds!”
What’s all this about beds? It seems that back in Genesis 35, “Reuben went and lay with Bilchah, his father’s concubine.” In addition to being wed to sisters Leah and Rachel, Jacob has sexual access to two concubines: Bilchah and Zilpah.
In context, then, Jacob’s condemnation is not literal. Jacob is not angry that Reuben was physically in his bed; he is angry about the sexual relationship that Reuben had there. Bilchah, as Jacob’s concubine, is permitted to be with Jacob. Reuben violated that boundary. Read this way, the term “mish’k’vei avicha” — the “beds of your father” — is a metaphor for Jacob’s sexual domain. Reuben is in trouble because he violated his father’s sexual space.
How Genesis Solves Leviticus
Jewish tradition teaches that when Torah uses a similar phrase in two places, there’s a connection, such that information about one case may be applied to the other. It’s called a “gezera shava.” Taking the meaning from Genesis and applying it to Leviticus 18:22, the result is this translation: “Don’t bed a male in the bed of a woman,” or perhaps, “Don’t bed a male in the sexual domain of a woman.”
This is not a text prohibiting homosexuality. It is a text about respecting our relationships.
Recall the earlier incident in Genesis. Jacob has just lost his Rachel, his beloved. Torah tells us that Jacob, having just set the monument upon her grave, immediately hears the mortifying news that Reuben has slept with his concubine.
How do we begin to understand Reuben’s behavior? Perhaps Reuben feels his own pain and humiliation. It has been suggested that Jacob, following the death of favored wife Rachel, established his primary sleeping space with Bilchah, rather than with Reuben’s mother Leah. Reuben’s father chooses not Leah but a concubine. Given such a scenario, it’s not hard to imagine Reuben “acting out.”
What, then, was the sex act about? Who was it about? Probably not Bilchah, who is object, not subject, in this text. Was it Reuben’s intention to “despoil” Bilchah so that Jacob could no longer have relations with her and would have to sleep with Leah? Was it to exact revenge against his father? Control? Dominance? To cast guilt, doubt, shame over all the sexual relations of his father? Over all the “mish’k’vei avicha,” “the beds of his father”?
This sex act, then, was not a loving act. It was an act of anger and vengeance. These are both possible reasons to have sex. And they’re both the wrong reasons to have sex.
Seen in this light, the condemnation we read in Leviticus seems to shift.
“V’et-zachar lo tishkav mish’k’vei ishah.” “Don’t bed a male in the sexual space of a woman.” Who is this woman? A wife of one of the men involved? A woman who expects integrity and honesty in her marriage but is betrayed? And who are the men? Men who long for a full relationship with each other but are denied such by society and must resort to deceit, tortured by guilt and self-loathing? Men who have sex with women not as an act of love but as a grueling burden? Men who bring that torment upon all the “mish’k’vei ishah,” “the beds of women”?
It is an abomination to bring this shame and guilt upon a marital bed. And, all the more so, it is an abomination for any state to demand us to do so.
What Leviticus Is Trying to Teach Us
The Bible is a wild, sprawling document, but to me it has one unifying theme: There’s a Power hidden in all that happens in the world, and that Power is concerned with holiness and justice. Readers from Moses to Martin have found a text that demands an accounting on behalf of the immigrant, the worker, the widow — a revolutionary worldview that our present moment demands perhaps more than ever..
Just as the Bible demands that we being justice to our marketplaces and workspaces, chapter 18 of Leviticus asks us to take the revolutionary step of seeing our bed-space as holy space — to see sex not as merely a mechanical, procreative act but as a conduit to the Divine.
Ultimately, Leviticus invites us to be open and honest with ourselves and our partners, to reject deception, to come out of hiding, and to create relationships that are loving, honest, and sacred.