The Abominable Shellfish

Why some Christians hate gays but love bacon

The third book of the Bible, Leviticus, has some wonderful passages. The Jubilee laws outlined in chapter 25, for example, provide an inspiring vision of liberty and justice for all. The 10th verse of this chapter even supplied the inscription for the Liberty Bell: "proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof."

The Jubilee laws and the ideals they embody, unfortunately, are nearly wholly neglected and forgotten. Most of the book of Leviticus is similarly neglected.

Yet some passages live on, their teachings still regarded as unwavering and binding.

One such passage is Lev. 20:13, which says (in the King James Version), "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination."

That passage is frequently cited by the spokesmen of the religious right to explain why they're so adamantly opposed to allowing homosexuals to enjoy full civil rights here in America.

The thing is, though, that the book of Leviticus condemns a lot of things as "abominations." The 11th chapter is overflowing with abominations. For example, from verses 10-12:

And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you: They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination. Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.

The folks over on the religious right cite Leviticus as evidence that homosexuals are an unclean "abomination," yet they have no problem eating at Red Lobster. What gives?

Since many observers have noted this apparent inconsistency (see, for example, godhatesshrimp.com) I figured I would wade in to try to explain why it is that so many contemporary Christians reject gays while embracing shellfish.

To understand why God is no longer considered a hater of shrimp you have to flip ahead to the Acts of the Apostles, the good doctor's account of the early days of the Christian church.

Acts chapter 10 finds the apostle Peter on a rooftop in Joppa, praying at noon before heading down to lunch.

The impulsive former fisherman has grown into a genuine leader in the early church. At Pentecost, he preached the gospel to people from every corner of the Roman Empire and he is slowly appreciating that this new community is supposed to transcend any ethnic or cultural boundaries. But the goyim still seem to bug him a bit. Especially the Romans.

So God gives him a vision. Peter falls into a trance and sees a vision of a giant tablecloth descending from heaven. The tablecloth is covered with honeybaked hams, cheesesteaks, crab cakes, calamari and lobster.

"Eat up, Peter," a voice tells him

"Surely not, Lord!" Peter says. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean."

"Don't call anything unclean that God has made clean," the voice says. "And try the angels on horseback, they're like butter."

This happens three times.

This is generally regarded as an instance in which a New Testament passage seems to set aside a prohibition from the Old Testament. And that's why our friends on the religious right do not feel compelled to eat kosher and do not consider shellfish to be "an abomination."

Fair enough, but there's something else going on in this story. The main point of Peter's rooftop epiphany has nothing to do with diet. The main point of this vision had to do with the people who were about to knock on Peter's door.

Peter is about to meet Cornelius. Cornelius is a gentile. Worse than that, he is a Roman. Worse than that, he is a Roman centurion. Cornelius is about as kosher as a bacon double cheeseburger.

But give Peter credit — he understood the vision. "Don't call anything unclean that God has made clean." Don't call anyone unclean that God has made clean.

Peter does not treat Cornelius as an unclean outsider. He travels to the centurion's house, where he says, "You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean."

Peter gets it. In this new community that God is building, this church, there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, slave nor free. No one is excluded as unclean.

This is the unsubtle point that Luke is hammering home for his gentile friend Theophilus. The surrounding chapters of Acts read like a hyper-P.C. after-school special on celebrating diversity. The church embraces Jews and gentiles, Roman soldiers and slaves, men and women, Africans, Greeks and even a token white European.

In our fondness for Easter ham, we Christians have fervently clung to the surface-level meaning of Peter's vision. But we haven't been as enthusiastic about embracing the larger, more important lesson God was teaching him there on the rooftop. When the "unclean" outsiders knock on our doors, we don't like inviting them in.

That, in a nutshell, is why some Christians happily dismiss one "abomination" while still behaving abominably out of allegiance to another.

(Oh, and what about Leviticus' Jubilee laws? Those were never set aside by anything in the New Testament, but Christians no longer treat them as authoritative because, um … well, because money is pretty and shiny and let's us buy nice things.)

  • cjmr’s husband

    Having a gay thought isn’t a sin? Having a straight thought certainly is:
    “Thou shalt not covet your neighbor’s wife”.
    Then again, “Thou shalt not covet your neighbor’s ass”…

  • cjmr’s husband

    Oops; cjmr points out that I misread Anthony’s last comment. Sorry.

  • Anthony

    Levitcus 20:10 “If a man commits adultery with another mans wife-with the wife of his neighbour-both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.”
    I doesnt matter about my martial status if i were or were not married and i slept with a married woman both the woman and i have commited adultery.
    But thats if the woman IS MARRIED. It wont be adultery if shes not married.

  • Jesurgislac

    Anthony: But it doesnt make me gay. Im denying being gay because of my passionate dislike for homosexuality.
    Well, yes. But that makes you a self-hating self-denigrating gay man – a gay man who hates that part of himself. Your hatred of your own sexual orientation will not remove it.
    Well heres a fact you should have got a long time ago IM NOT GAY! get the message? maybe not?
    Nope. You keep saying you’re not, but you’re still passionate about it.
    (by the way am i too insensitve to be gay) Sorry i know you think im attractive but its not going to work :)
    Heh. I’m a lesbian. :-)

  • ako

    So if (by your own admission) you’ve had sexual thoughts about other men, and you agree that people aren’t one hundred percent gay or straight, why do you make such a big deal of denying that you’re gay? Why does it bother you so much that a stranger you’ve only communicated with briefly over the internet thinks this about you? What are you afraid of?
    Also, do you get as passionate about other sins listed in the quote from Mark? Greed, for instance? Do you protest against the prevelance of popular reality shows where people are willing to publicly degrade themselves and others for money? There’s a moral problem that Christians can get really stuck into. Television promoting greed, malice, deceit, envy, and slander as the keys to victory. Publically, nationwide. While children are watching. And the networks in question doing it purely for a quick profit (greed). Are you as passionate and energetic in opposing those values as you are about the idea that two guys or two women might touch each other for pleasure?
    That’s the point of the original post. That’s what puzzles people here. Why, to so many Christians, homosexuality is so much worse than every other sin in existence.

  • Jesurgislac

    Why, to so many Christians, homosexuality is so much worse than every other sin in existence.
    Because to straight Christians, it’s a sin they can cheerfully condemn without ever worrying that they might be tempted to commit it – and with no concern as to what this wholesale condemnation will do to the psyche of gay Christians like Anthony.
    I’ve always liked what C.S.Lewis wrote about homosexuality in Surprised by Joy: that, one, he thought the main reason Christians were so ardent in condemning it was because it was illegal; and, two, he made a point of never writing in condemnation of a sin that he had not been tempted to commit – which, he added blandly, was why he’d never written against the sin of gambling, either, because he didn’t find that a temptation any more than homosexuality. He added – I wish I could remember the exact quote – that in his view it was far from being the worst sin a Christian could commit.
    I feel sorry for Anthony. If he’s not ready to go to a gay Christian support group, I’d recommend he read Surprised by Joy.

  • Garnet

    After all isnt god a just god in both the new and old testaments.
    No.
    Ref. entrapment of Adam and Eve, disproportionate punishment thereof, attempted genocide of all Earthly life forms via flood, destruction of Soddom and Gomorrah, hardening of Pharoah’s heart and punishing the Egyptians in total for said God-created hard-heartedness, and Job.

  • Duane

    But wait, there’s more..

  • Conscience

    Something I’ve always wondered about “Thou shalt lie with a man as you do with a woman.” (this is going to be a bit graphic).
    In many cultures of the ancient Middle East and Mediterrainean, women were only looked upon as breeding stock and prostitutes, and men were supposed to take them from behind so as not to even afford them the dignity of looking them in the face while having sex. Romantic love was only supposed to be felt between two men. Now these being the days before KY jelly, actual penetration wasn’t going to be very comfortable, and the favoured sex act between two men was interfemoral (which allowed them the luxury of making eye contact as they made love). Food for thought, huh?

  • bulbul

    He added – I wish I could remember the exact quote – that in his view it was far from being the worst sin a Christian could commit.
    Could you by any chance be referring to this?:
    And that is why I cannot give pederasty anything like a first place among the evils of the Coll. There is much hypocrisy on this theme. People commonly talk as if every other evil were more tolerable than this. But why? Because those of us who do not share the vice feel for it a certain nausea, as we do, say, for necrophilv? I think that of very little relevance to moral judgement. Because it produces permanent perversion? But there is very little evidence that it does.

  • bulbul

    In many cultures of the ancient Middle East and Mediterrainean … Romantic love was only supposed to be felt between two men.
    That certainly applies to Greece, but I’m not so sure about Semitic culture.
    interfemoral
    Do I wanna know..?

  • Duane

    Do I wanna know..?
    I don’t know what it is but I know it ain’t in Leviticus!!! Woohoo – who wants to get jiggy!?

  • Duane

    Romantic love was only supposed to be felt between two men.
    I disagree. My wife made a list of romance items that seem to get it done for us: food, candles, batteries, plastic and duct tape.

  • Duane

    Romantic love was only supposed to be felt between two men.
    I disagree. My wife made a list of romance items that seem to get it done for us: food, candles, batteries, plastic and duct tape.
    Nevermind, that was the hurricane checklist.

  • Conscience

    To be blunt, interfemoral entails rubbing an erect penis between your thighs. I apologize to any who are grossed out.

  • bulbul

    Conscience: ah, you mean intercrural sex. I was confused by the “-femoral” part, I thought it involved… Ehm, nevermind.

  • Jesurgislac

    Bulbul: That’s it – thanks! It’s been years since I read Surprised by Joy, and indeed I don’t think I own a copy any more – lent it and it went walkabout, I daresay.
    Conscience: I apologize to any who are grossed out.
    Ew! Erect penis… gross! ;-)

  • Ray

    But blowjobs are definitely okay, especially if you don’t lie down? There’s an idea for you Anthony – instead of trying to persuade gay people not to be gay, or telling them that they’ll go to hell if they keep it up, why not try to persuade them that oral sex is best?

  • Anthony

    “Why, to so many Christians, homosexuality is so much worse than every other sin in existence.”
    Homosexuality is not “so much worse” than murder or any other sin but it seems to be the most protected sin. Many people dont believe that homosexuality is a sin and this is very dangerous. If it is on the same level as murder or even incest, and we think its ok and not that bad a sin, we could be in BIG trouble. And our Theology would be in need of major repair.

  • Ray

    Joke response – what about the sins of eating shellfish, and wearing blended clothes? Nobody cares if you commit those sins – nobody including you, apparently. (Not such a joke response, because it points up the complete hypocrisy of taking one bit of Leviticus as holy writ and ignoring the bits that you don’t care about)
    Serious response – what about adultery? Coveting your neighbour’s wife is right up there in the ten commandments. People who get married make a solemn promise before God, and they accept that no human agency can separate what God has joined together. But this law is flouted by Christians every day. Ronald Reagan divorced and remarried, and US Christians adored him anyway. You say that you don’t know any gay Christians, Anthony, but I’ll bet you know some divorced Christains, and you don’t give them any shit about it either.
    Why play nice any more? You’re a hypocrite and a bigot. You don’t hate gays because the Bible tells you to – you hate gays and look for justification from the Bible.

  • Jesurgislac

    Homosexuality is not “so much worse” than murder or any other sin but it seems to be the most protected sin.
    Hardly. The most protected sin, in the US at least, is eating bacon. Most people – even you, Anthony – simply don’t regard that as sinful, even though the Bible says it is sinful in exactly the same way as men having sex with men is sinful: both are abominable violations of the purity laws set down for the Jewish people back in the time of the Torah. But, in many parts of the US it’s considered disgusting for two men even to kiss in public: there can be very few places in the US where it’s considered disgusting to eat bacon in public. The same applies to most violations of the Jewish purity laws: most of them, except for homosexuality, are extremely well protected, and no one really thinks of them as a sin.
    The next-most protected category of sin, and one that Jesus was outspokenly, no-quibbles-about-it against, is accumulating wealth and oppressing the poor.
    Almost as well-protected, but again something that Jesus was unquestionably against: religious hypocrisy. People making a very big deal about how religious and virtuous they are, in public, for everyone to see.
    This is a good game, actually: shall we list sins for Anthony that are better protected in the US than homosexuality, presuming that homosexuality is a sin?
    Taking the Biblical definition of sin (that is, it has to be specified in either the New or the Old Testament as sinful: but, if we count everything to be a sin that is listed in Leviticus as an abomination, then that means everything – including cheeseburgers.)
    Cheeseburgers are a more protected sin than homosexuality.

  • Beth

    Many people dont believe that homosexuality is a sin and this is very dangerous.
    Why? I believe that homosexuality is a sin, according to the OT, as are eating pork, shellfish, and wearing blended fabrics. (Oddly, the only one of those sins I don’t practice is homosexuality. I just don’t fear the urge.) I don’t know any homosexuals who don’t know that homosexuality is considered a sin by people like you, so your campaign to inform them of that is a total waste of time. Like me, they don’t believe that Jewish ritual law is the universal, unchanging will of God, so like me, they choose to ignore it. I suppose that like me, they are all hellbound, except for one gay Evangelical I know. He has been born again, so I guess that makes him a holy homosexual. I suppose he’ll be up in heaven while my shrimp-eating ass is burning in hell. Oh well.
    And our Theology would be in need of major repair.
    Not our theology, Anthony, your theology. Our theology is doing just fine, thank you. It’s your theology that’s in trouble, mostly, I suspect, because it’s so often represented by annoying prigs whose obsession with other people’s sex lives gives the whole religion a bad name.
    Oh, and Conscience, have you ever read the Song of Songs? Did you think it was about two men?

  • bulbul

    Homosexuality is not “so much worse” than murder or any other sin but it seems to be the most protected sin.
    Anthony’s back, with a tube of KY jelly vengeance!
    Ew! Erect penis… gross!
    Hey, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!

  • bulbul

    The most protected sin, in the US at least, is eating bacon.
    Nope. Eating bacon would be the most protected sin in my country with our pig- and potatoes-based diet.
    Usury is the most protected sin in the US.

  • Jesurgislac

    Bulbul: Hey, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!
    I think I can safely say that I have never knocked an erect penis in my life. ;-)

  • PepperjackCandy

    Usury is the most protected sin in the US.
    Amen to that!
    How about divorce? Protected or not?

  • Jeff

    A little late, for bulbul:
    Bacon, BACON, BAAAAAAAAAAAAAACON!!!one11!! (How’s that diet going? [smirk])

  • bulbul

    Jeff:
    Bacon, BACON, BAAAAAAAAAAAAAACON!!!one11!!
    You are going to burn in hell. Thou shalt not tempt thy brother … or something.
    But what the heck, so am I. I had a BLT on Sunday…
    Make that 3 BLTs…

  • Anthony

    “I believe that homosexuality is a sin, according to the OT, as are eating pork, shellfish, and wearing blended fabrics.”
    Stop mentioning the pork bit. cause its not a sin at all.
    Mark 7:18-19 “are you so dull?”he asked.”Don’t you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him ‘unclean’? For it doesnt go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body.”(in saying this Jesus declared all foods clean)
    “You don’t hate gays because the Bible tells you to – you hate gays and look for justification from the Bible”
    I dont hate gay guys but i hate the sin of homosexuality. I dont hate liars, i hate the lie. See im still a people person :P .
    “Like me, they don’t believe that Jewish ritual law is the universal, unchanging will of God, so like me, they choose to ignore it. I suppose that like me, they are all hellbound, except for one gay Evangelical I know. He has been born again, so I guess that makes him a holy homosexual. I suppose he’ll be up in heaven while my shrimp-eating ass is burning in hell. Oh well.”
    Well im sure that your friend will be judged by god for all i care.
    “Not our theology, Anthony, your theology. Our theology is doing just fine, thank you. It’s your theology that’s in trouble, mostly, I suspect, because it’s so often represented by annoying prigs whose obsession with other people’s sex lives gives the whole religion a bad name.”
    The jewish ritual law is unchanging. You have made assumptions about the bible and THAT IS FALSE THEOLOGY based on what YOU believe not what gods will is. It is people like you who cling to their pride and refuse to believe that your theology needs fixing. Even mine does too!(fixed by god not by people). Jesus never was against the laws but he was against the appliication of the law used in a ceremonial/religious way. Only the punishments have changed from the old testament (now is more afterlife centred than earthy punishmenst) because of jesus. There is nothing jesus said that we should follow the rituals by our own will anyway(cause that was what the pharices were doing). Jesus only ever mentions following him and living through him. The only people who cared so much about rituals were the pharices whom jesus criticized. Yes i am highlighting laws and rituals only to point out that homosexuality is a sin and you may believe that but some people dont.
    Yeah lets do what the anglicans do and have Gay priests that will really give the religion a good name! Im not obsessed with peoples sex lives but if it is a problem i would advise to fix it. You compare homosexuality to bacon(which is not a sin anyway) and all the other sins. If a person commits adultery and continues to do so, would you not tell him that it is a sin and wrong? Or would you let it be and let the sin continue. as according to you “obsessing” and criticizing it would give the religion a bad name. I dont think jesus was worried about having a bad name anyway, he did not exactly bring peace. He was a troublemaker to preach salvation and to condemn the trends at that time.
    as in (matthew 10:34).
    “Oh, and Conscience, have you ever read the Song of Songs? Did you think it was about two men?”
    Song of Songs also known as songs of solomon, do you think that the bible is gods will? If you dont you should reevaluate why you believe in christianity cause then it will be mans will and then you can start wondering about buddhism and other religions as well. Would god after stating his stance on homosexuality add song of songs(which you beleive to be gay) to confuse you already confused people? Everyone has theories about song of songs but if you did believe in god and jesus then you also know that there are no contradictions in the bible.

  • Duane

    Song of Songs also known as songs of solomon, do you think that the bible is gods will?
    Great question. What does God – or Jesus – have to say about the Bible? I remember Jesus saying he would leave us the Spirit but I don’t recall him saying anything about leaving us a handy red-letter pocket New Testament w/ concordance.

  • wintermute

    > Stop mentioning the pork bit. cause its not a sin at all.
    > Mark 7:18-19 “are you so dull?”he asked.”Don’t you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him ‘unclean’? For it doesnt go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body.”(in saying this Jesus declared all foods clean)
    Are you saying that there are sins laid down in Leviticus that are no longer sins? How does that square with these statements that you previously made?
    > So if he stated his will in the old testament it cant change in the new testament (Except you now say that it can change in the New Testament)
    > Yes eating shellfish is a sin then but then so is homosexuality (Except that you now say that eating shellfish is not a sin)
    Of course, Jesus’s words in the passage you quote apply just as much to oral or anal sex as they do to eating. Therefore, gay sex is also clean, according to Jesus.
    Once again, why is homosexuality so much more important to oppose than ursury, divorce, anger (=murder), encouraging slaves to defy their owners, and all the other sins specifically preached against in the New Testament?

  • Jesurgislac

    Anthony: Stop mentioning the pork bit. cause its not a sin at all.
    It is if you think homosexuality is a sin. Eating pork – touching pork – is an abomination according to Jewish law, just as a man having sex with a man is. You can’t have one without the other.
    I dont hate gay guys but i hate the sin of homosexuality. I dont hate liars, i hate the lie. See im still a people person :P .
    So how do you deal with lying to people about not being gay, when you are?

  • ako

    Okay, leaving aside the bacon, I bring up a different example.
    Divorce. Something Jesus specifically spoke against. For instance; Matthew 5:31-32. Same chapter as the Sermon on the Mount. Or again in Mark 10, verses 2-12. It’s often quoted by people who consider, “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.” to be in opposition to homosexuality. What’s rarely discussed is the explicit condemnation of divorce and remarriage as adultery.
    Now how many churches do you hear of campaigning against divorce? Honestly, think of the outcry against the possibility of gay marriage, and the fact that second marriages are explicitly authorized by law. In every state of the union, and by the federal government. Most churches, including the ones calling themselves bible-believing fundamentalists don’t stand against divorce. The Catholic Church refuses to recognise or perform second marriages after divorce, but I know of no other church that holds to the same rule. How many divorced pastors, ministers, and preachers are there? Where is the organized nationwide opposition to the legalization, and acceptance of divorce?
    There isn’t any. Because they’re too busy pouring over the Bible for passages that condemn sexual immorality, or describe humanity as coming in two genders (obviously proving divine opposition to homosexuality in all forms), and have no time to worry about things that Jesus actually says.
    Now tell me again how homosexuality is the most protected sin. Or better yet, tell me how you go on message boards for the newly divorced and tell them to repent and go back to their spouses, because you’re only trying to advise them in loving Christian concern.
    I’m guessing you don’t, though. Because your obession with homosexuality has nothing to do with Jesus or the Bible, it has to do with you being upset that gay people can find love and happiness, and you’re stuck on your own, trying to squelch the man-lust.

  • Beth

    do you think that the bible is gods will?
    No. I’m not even convinced that god actually exists.
    If you dont you should reevaluate why you believe in christianity
    I don’t, though I do respect Jesus as a teacher.
    cause then it will be mans will and then you can start wondering about buddhism and other religions as well.
    I’ve done more than wonder. I’ve studied and practiced.
    …song of songs(which you beleive to be gay)…
    No I don’t. I was responding to Conscience’s claim that there was no concept of romantic love between men and women in biblical times by pointing to a biblical text that describes such a romance.
    Everyone has theories about song of songs but if you did believe in god and jesus then you also know that there are no contradictions in the bible.
    Except of course for the dietary laws of Leviticus which are contradicted in Acts.

  • Duane

    Except of course for the dietary laws of Leviticus which are contradicted in Acts.
    No contradictions, NEW RULEZ!

  • none

    I’ll save you the trouble of looking up the text, Anthony – here’s the King James version, Matthew 5: 32 “But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.”
    Adultery is, you remember, one of the big sins. We’re not talking about some obscure passage of Leviticus, along beside the mixed crops and the shellfish, this is Top Ten. And America is awash with it. Forget about your positive portrayals of homosexuals in the media – serial adultery is so commonplace that it’s not even mentioned anymore. Would a gay man get elected president? It’s unlikely – but Reagan was an unrepentant fornicator and it caused him no problems. And gay marriage is still banned in most of the US, but it’s perfectly legal for Christians to be joined before God, then go fuck whoever they like, and even get married again (and again, and again).
    Do you care? No, as long as there’s no gay sex involved you really couldn’t give a shit.
    (And what about blasphemy? I can talk about Mary sodomising Jesus with bits of the cross, and that’s constitutionally protected speech in the US. Homosexuality isn’t “the most protected sin” in the US, it’s the one that makes your butt crawl, nothing more)
    The real clincher, for me, is the sins you choose to compare gay sex to. Gay sex, remember, is consented to by both parties – nobody is injured by it. Do you compare it to sex outside marriage? Do you compare it to adultery? Do you compare it to blasphemy? Neglecting the Sabbath day? Worshipping false gods? No, you don’t compare it to any victimless sin. According to you, gay sex is most similar to murder or rape.
    You’re a bigot. Get your own life in order before you start telling other people how to live.

  • Ray

    That last one was me, btw

  • Duane

    That last one was me, btw
    I couldn’t hardly tell.

  • Anthony

    Well i believe that the bible has no contradictions. Give me a passage more specific than just acts and leviticus and ill help you understand it better. Acts is new testament and levit is old testament so im guessing the “contradiction” lies where the laws are altered as a result of jesus sacrfice. Thats not a contradiction its a change because the son of god sacrificed his life. HELLO thats a big thing. THere is bound to have changes. GOd never compromised his will. Jesus came into the picture.
    “The real clincher, for me, is the sins you choose to compare gay sex to. Gay sex, remember, is consented to by both parties – nobody is injured by it. Do you compare it to sex outside marriage? Do you compare it to adultery? Do you compare it to blasphemy? Neglecting the Sabbath day? Worshipping false gods? No, you don’t compare it to any victimless sin. According to you, gay sex is most similar to murder or rape.”
    Thats why i said that “There is nothing jesus said that we should follow the rituals by our own will anyway(cause that was what the pharices were doing).” Tell me why is homosexuality different from any other sin? What makes it so special? Why cant i compare it to murder or rape or lying? You are seeing this in your own point of view. I dont listen to my feelings about sins because i know that i have an inclination to sin and sin feels right to the flesh. I see what the bible says and homosexuality is no different to any other sexual sins.
    No victims? WHO CARES! Its a sin! Ask jesus in your life and then try to refrain from it. Do people ask for forgiveness by the way, for homosexuality? They say that homosexuality is a sin but they dont believe that in their hearts.

  • bulbul

    Well i believe that the bible has no contradictions.
    Aaah, you’re one of those.
    Give me a passage more specific than just acts and leviticus and ill help you understand it better.
    Consider this, oh sensei:
    Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
    Whereas:
    James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
    ‘Tis undoubtedly a contradiction, oh master. How shallt thou explain it to me, who is unworthy?

  • Garnet

    Do people ask for forgiveness by the way, for homosexuality? They say that homosexuality is a sin but they dont believe that in their hearts.
    No, you say that homosexuality is a sin. I know it’s hard, but try to remember that the things you imagine people saying aren’t actually the things they are, y’know, saying.
    Asshole.

  • Ray

    (We’ve already done the contradictions in the bible thing, haven’t we? Who was Joseph’s father? Who discovered that the tomb was empty? Who came first, Adam or the animals?)
    Tell me why is homosexuality different from any other sin? What makes it so special?
    No, you tell me why you’re so much more concerned about homosexuality than you are about worshipping false gods, neglecting the sabbath day, or committing adultery. Why are you elevating an obscure passage from Leviticus over the Ten Commandments?
    Why cant i compare it to murder or rape or lying?
    Because having sex with someone who wants to have sex with you is very different from killing or raping them. Why is that so hard for you to understand?

  • Jesurgislac

    Garnet, we’ve managed to get along in this discussion with Anthony without outright calling him names. (Mockery and condescension I admit to: but in my experience a blogthread starts burning when people start actually calling names.)
    Anthony: I dont listen to my feelings about sins because i know that i have an inclination to sin and sin feels right to the flesh. I see what the bible says and homosexuality is no different to any other sexual sins.
    But you aren’t treating like homosexuality any other sexual “sin” – as Ray pointed out to you. You’re pretending it’s worse.

  • Jeff

    This whole argument is moot, of course, for non-Judeo-Christians. Any time I hear someone rant “XYZ is a sin!!!!”, I say, “Then don’t do it.”
    No-one, not bulbul, not Fred and certainly not Anthony, has the right to tell me I’m sinning. You may disapprove all you like of whatever I’m doing, but I’m likely to be disapproving right back.
    And of course, there’s that whole mote / beam thing.

  • bulbul

    there’s that whole mote / beam thing
    This should always come first.
    And, Jeff, I hope I haven’t offended you in any way. The whole “burn in hell” thing was a joke :o)

  • aunursa

    The only people who cared so much about rituals were the pharices whom jesus criticized.
    Besides God. God expressed some interest in rituals.
    As for the Pharisees, they got unfair criticism in the NT. Imagine if you will, 2000 years into the future, if the only things known about the presidency of Bill Clinton were from Republican Party sources. Or, conversely, if the only evidence of the Reagan presidency came from the Democratic Party. Can you picture that? That’s what happened to the Pharisees and why they have been given a bad name.

  • Duane

    And, Jeff, I hope I haven’t offended you in any way. The whole “burn in hell” thing was a joke
    (nervous laughter)
    Yah, mine too.

  • Jeff

    I realized that what I wrote was unduly harsh — you guys haven’t offended me. Amused me, made me think, made this possibly the bestest blog in the all teh internets. But not offended.
    I realized long ago that if there is a hell, I’m a number one candidate. Mainly because any God who would torture his own children (always for their own good, right) is not a God I could respect, much less worship.
    I think Hillel helped me with my conversion out of Judaism to whater the heck I am today. If Judaism can be summed up as “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The rest is commentary. Go and study.” then there’s no need for the synagouge or any specific rabbi — any teacher will do.
    So I do reject sin, and any “morality” where the right thing comes from without, in favor of “ethics” where the right thing is the one that doesn’t hurt people. Shellfish can be eaten, except by those with allergies. Homosexuality is no more or less bad than any other expression of sexuality (although I do wish “slash” wasn’t as popular as it is). It’s OK to covet your neighbor’s wife, to covet her ass, and even to do the nasty, as long as your wife and your neighbor’s husband are free to do the same (with each other or others) (4-somes are fun!)
    I apologize for coming off unnecessarily harsh.

  • Jesurgislac

    Aunursa: That’s what happened to the Pharisees and why they have been given a bad name.
    True enough – like the Sophists in Plato, virtually all we know about them is via their critics.
    Still, besides the real historical meaning of Pharisee or Sophist (or Samaritan) these groups have also acquired a metaphorical meaning.

  • Chuck

    So, have we gotten to the point where people are going to stop responding to Anthony? Because it’s obvious he’s not actually reading any of the points you folks are making, and we’re at the point where everyone is repeating themselves, but Anthony just keeps ignoring all of the salient points.
    To whit: Hey Anthony, why not address the contradictions in the Bible that have now been brought up three times? Just scroll up the page for specific examples, some actually quoted by chapter and verse.
    Then when you finish that, address the issue of why divorce is perfectly all right in both society and your hierarchy of sins, yet something that Jesus rails strong against? (And remember to refute the various discussions of adultery and why divorce apparently doesn’t count, even though Jesus specifically said they were equivalent.)
    If he actually gives full, coherant responses to this questions, I owe everyone on this board donuts.


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