God Hates Crippled People

Leviticus 21 is a fascinating chapter in the Bible, containing the rules for priests who must offer up the sacrifice of food to God. The priests must remain “pure” and avoid anything that is “unclean.” And anyone who has the slightest defect is not allowed near the altar of God.

The Lord said to Moses, 17 “Say to Aaron: ‘For the generations to come none of your descendants who has a defect may come near to offer the food of his God. 18 No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed; 19 no man with a crippled foot or hand, 20 or who is a hunchback or a dwarf, or who has any eye defect, or who has festering or running sores or damaged testicles. 21 No descendant of Aaron the priest who has any defect is to come near to present the food offerings to the Lord. He has a defect; he must not come near to offer the food of his God. 22 He may eat the most holy food of his God, as well as the holy food; 23 yet because of his defect, he must not go near the curtain or approach the altar, and so desecrate my sanctuary. I am the Lord, who makes them holy.’”

I’d love to know how a Christian defends this passage. Because to me it sounds like a primitive society that is incredibly superstitious about people with disabilities and thinks they are unclean. Oh, there’s also verse 9:

If a priest’s daughter defiles herself by becoming a prostitute, she disgraces her father; she must be burned in the fire.

But remember, this is an eternally loving God who tells his followers to burn people and stone them to death. Because that’s so loving.

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