The West Wing on Homosexuality

I love this scene. It’s so… satisfying.

  • Matt P

    I think we’d all agree the world would be a better place if Josiah Bartlett were president. Of course, he’s unelectable. I remember hearing something about his son…

  • Custador

    Did I not post the video of this on the site at some point? It’s here, if anybody wants to watch it.

  • Schaden Freud

    Concentrated awesomesauce!

  • FO

    That’s brilliantly blunt.

    What’s the standard Christian rationalization?

    Isn’t the condemnation of homosexuality just a few verses after the condemnation of tattoos?
    If so, why are tattoos legal?

    • Reginald Selkirk

      Homosexuality: Leviticus 18:22.
      tattoos: Leviticus 19:28.
      Idiots: everywhere.

      • Yoav

        If I get a tattoo of Lev 19:28 will it cause the universe to collapse on itself?

        • Jer

          Probably not. A google image search turns up way too many examples.

    • RJ

      The standard Christian rationalization is that that is all Old Testament law, which they insist Jesus abolished with his death/resurrection combo (even though Jesus said very clearly that was not what he was there to do—but never mind). So why do they keep the homosexuality part then? Because they fear homosexuals (and sex in general, I suppose), and since they themselves are not homosexual and thus not affected by that part of the law, it’s okay to keep that part. How do they rationalize that? They don’t—but never mind.

      • Sarah

        Also because of Romans 1:18-27, which is in the New Testament, but if you ask me is in conflict with itself because on the one hand it says you can know God by what he created in nature (bonobos, for instance), but that homosexual behavior is against nature.

        • Thin-ice

          Sarah, then those non-hominid creatures that practice homosexuality need to read their bible and repent, I guess (google it, you’ll find LOTS of animals sinning this way!)

        • gwang

          I’ve yet to see a New Testament Christian call for shaving the heads of women who pray without head coverings. (I Corinthians 11:5-6)

      • trj

        Of course, the same Christians that claim the OT laws no longer apply constantly want to apply the Ten Commandments from the OT.

  • Sehro

    Last I checked, Martin Sheen (the man who portrays the excellent Josiah Bartlett) was born in the United States, and is still a citizen. He seems perfectly electable, at least to that point.

    • Elemenope

      You mean the guy who was born named Ramón Gerardo Antonio Estévez? It was hard enough electing a black president. The US still has a bit to go, I think, on that score.

      • FO

        Now find the birth certificate for THAT guy…

    • Matt P

      The reason I said he’s unelectable is because of his batshit crazy son, Charlie. Family still has an impact on politicians.

    • Twin-Skies

      Martin Sheen also voice-acted the Illusive Man in Mass Effect 2, who to this day I still think is Josiah Bartlett’s evil twin in the far future. :)

  • http://thesuperjesus.wordpress.com TheSuperJesus
  • http://timparkinson.net Tim

    The guys from the Australian comedy/news show The Chaser actually went and did this in Texas:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95hH1H5qK08

  • Bertrand T Russell

    Christianity, it’s like the Shite you can’t get off your shoe, once you step in it!!

  • Patrick

    This was already old when it was on West Wing.

  • Tucker

    Isn’t Martin Sheen a pro-life, devout Catholic? While Bartlett would make a wonderful liberal president in a fantasy world, I would never want Martin Sheen in the real White House.

  • Alexis

    A resetting of the previous e-mail meme the Dr. Laura letter:
    http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/drlaura.asp
    Dear Dr. Laura:

    Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination… 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.

  • Vander Goten Pascal

    “stoning someone for planting crops side by side” : please note that while deuteronomy forbids it, it doesn’t mention the death penalty in this case, and according to the Talmud the 39 whip blows are actually appliable instead.

  • 6uldvnt

    Actually, my favorite line from all that? “…in this building when the President stands, nobody sits.”

  • doctor machin

    Good job guys, you really showed those Christian bigots…oh wait, no, you failed miserably. This is what happens when your snappy anti-Christian comebacks are written by Jews who wouldn’t know Torah from a turtle.

    Too bad for Aaron Sorkin, the New Testament explicitly forbids “sexual immorality” early on in the Acts of the Apostles. It is an irony that the context of the rule was written when Jews were trying to determine whether or not non-Jews who converted to Christianity would have to follow the Law of Moses. The answer was “no”, but several rules were established that the Gentiles would have to follow. And guess what they were? Well, they didn’t include anything about wearing mixed fabrics or sowing crops, but they said “no sexual immorality”.

    So the “tightass” woman who was supposed to look stupid is actually more correct than President Bartlett, who, despite supposedly being a scholar of Christianity, has never actually read more than one sentence of the New Testament.

    I can’t wait to see what other crap the Left is going to defecate on the rest of the country in the coming years, and pass it off as “entertainment”.

    • Elemenope

      …the New Testament explicitly forbids “sexual immorality” early on in the Acts of the Apostles.

      Very early in the Acts of the Apostles, the Christian church was urged towards total communism of property, to the point that two who tried to hold part of their property back were struck dead by the wrath of God (or the wrath of Peter; it isn’t entirely clear).

      Modern Christians don’t do this much at all, so I’m unclear on why you think a text from Acts should be dispositive for deciding what one should expect from Christians. Clearly they don’t take it more seriously any any other part of the Bible, much of which directly conflicts with its instructions in any case.

      The concept of “sexual immorality”, porneia, was fairly broad and included such acts as having sexual relations with a menstruating woman/while menstruating. I have *never* seen a Christian give a damn about that (except fr the occasional immature “ick” factor), so their inconsistency reveals their true motive.

      Anyway, the criticism is still quite relevant because:

      1. Christians predisposed to being bigoted dicks (including the radio host character being lambasted in this here clip) tend to draw their inspiration from the juicier Old Testament bits, and
      2. The text is not even nominally clear on the status of the Law

      c.f. “I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”

    • Sunny Day

      Ignorant Tightass Club Rollcall:

      “Doctor” machin – Here!

    • Custador

      Drive-by troll? Drive-by troll.

    • Custador

      Forbidding “sexual immorality” is a tad bit pointless if you don’t also define what you mean by “sexual immorality”. Since I don’t think there’s anything at all immoral about homosex, I don’t think the NT proscribes it.

      • trj

        Ha, you know as well as I do that in religion you’re not allowed to personally define what is moral or not. That is completely contrary to how it works.

  • doctor machin

    Hey Sunny, thanks for admitting I’m right. There’s hardly a confirmation of victory like an ad-hominem from the other side. Feel free to continue in that vein, since it’s plain you have nothing of substance to add.

    Oh but since I’m so “ignorant”, clearly you in all your wisdom can explain how in fact homosexuality was not penalized by the early church, and you can then show me where Christians were told by James that it was necessary to follow the Mosaic Law. Thanks!

    the Christian church was urged towards total communism of property,

    This was an economic necessity thanks to various background issues, like the social status of Christians in 0 AD Rome, plus the rejection Jews who adopted Christianity would face in their own community. This was so severe at one point that new Gentile converts in Greece began giving money to the “major” church in Jerusalem headed by James (whose command makes Bartlett/Sorkin wrong, BTW).

    Nowhere is this a command, and nowhere is it required of believers to adopt a pure communal ownership style. This is up to the individual Christian to decide for themselves.

    to the point that two who tried to hold part of their property back were struck dead by the wrath of God

    Sounds like you didn’t read the story, so I’ll fill in the gap.

    The two, Ananias and Sapphira, were killed because they lied about the amount of money they had, not because they withheld any part of it.

    (or the wrath of Peter; it isn’t entirely clear).

    Actually the verse doesn’t mention Peter’s wrath at all. That’s your own invention. It’s plain that God killed them because they lied to His Spirit.

    Modern Christians don’t do this much at all, so I’m unclear on why you think a text from Acts should be dispositive for deciding what one should expect from Christians.

    Again, it doesn’t take much to see the communal property situation isn’t a command. The part about “abstaining from sexual immorality” is a command. There’s also nothing about crop rotation, mixing fabrics, etc. because Gentiles weren’t to follow those rules.

    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/302865/Council-of-Jerusalem

    This really isn’t difficult to understand.

    The concept of “sexual immorality”, porneia, was fairly broad and included such acts as having sexual relations with a menstruating woman/while menstruating.

    Right, and homosexuality would definitely be included in that list.

    I have *never* seen a Christian give a damn about that (except fr the occasional immature “ick” factor), so their inconsistency reveals their true motive.

    I have. Sounds like you haven’t looked. I have heard this all my life in the American churches I’ve been in. A look on any search engine will find Christian groups opposed to the practice.

    “Conservative/Traditionalist members of the Orthodox Church observe the ancient practice of abstaining from Holy Communion during menstruation.[9] This is a fairly common practice throughout Greece and Russia and other historically Orthodox Christian countries. ”

    from http://www.enotes.com/topic/Culture_and_menstruation#cite_note-OCIC-Menses-8

    So, the upkeep of this prohibition is not by any means restricted to American Christianity, or “Evangelicals”.

    So, to sum up your statement and why you and Bartlett/Sorkin are wrong:

    1. Christians predisposed to being bigoted dicks (including the radio host character being lambasted in this here clip) tend to draw their inspiration from the juicier Old Testament bits,

    Your personal take on Christians is not relevant to the issue. If it makes you feel better, based on what I have seen of “West Wing” viewers from the internet, you are nutty.

    I have plainly showed how:

    1. Homosexuality, considered sexual immorality, was forbidden by the early church. Acts 15:13-29

    2. Gentiles were held to no more restrictions than those four things. Same reference.

    2. The text is not even nominally clear on the status of the Law

    Can you read even a simple sentence? The text is plain. What part of “…to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials” (Acts 16:28) do you not understand?

    “I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”

    And nothing was negated. Your point is irrelevant anyway, since not only did the Law not become invalid by the ruling, even before Christ, non Jews were not required to follow Levitical ceremony to earn God’s favor. See Job.

    Further, the same God who spoke those words also handed down the verdict regarding Gentiles to James.

    So the error is yours, and Sorkin’s, who are so desperate with hate toward Christians that you play at selective evidence to make your case.

    • Custador

      A Christian complaining about the standard of somebody else’s evidence is kind of ironic. Still, I give you credit for outdoing most of the Christians who come here since you seem to have read the Bible. Tell me though, have you read the whole thing, cover to cover? And do you believe it to be inerrant?

    • http://fugodeus.com Nox

      Acts 5:3-10
      3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
      4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
      5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
      6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
      7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.
      8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.
      9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.
      10 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.

      So Peter expresses wrath, and immediately after Peter expresses his wrath, they fall over dead. That sounds oddly similar to what Elemenope described.

      You still haven’t addressed the obvious point of the original post, which is that the god who christians claim as a source of morality, makes several moral commandments that christians have no trouble ignoring (even the ones who mine the old law for verses to support their homophobia). And many moral commandments that anyone christian or otherwise would consider immoral.

    • Sunny Day

      Hey Sunny, thanks for admitting I’m right.

      I don’t know who you are. The person I was speaking to had a yellow gravitar and yours is green.

      If laying claim to someone else s’ ignorant words makes you happy, go for it.

  • doctor machin

    A Christian complaining about the standard of somebody else’s evidence is kind of ironic.

    The rest of the world has no trouble complaining about our standards. I normally don’t say anything, but the arrogance, the smugness, the hate just oozes from this scene. Those writers probably think they are just so clever! But their mistake is obvious, and they don’t have an excuse, just animosity.

    Tell me though, have you read the whole thing, cover to cover? And do you believe it to be inerrant?

    I have read the Protestant bible cover to cover and some of the books of the canons of the Eastern churches. I think it is more reliable than anything written by Aaron Sorkin.

    You still haven’t addressed the obvious point of the original post, which is that the god who christians claim as a source of morality, makes several moral commandments that christians have no trouble ignoring

    I did address them. That’s the whole reason I posted here in the first place. Did you read anything I wrote?

    So Peter expresses wrath, and immediately after Peter expresses his wrath

    “Wrath” on the part of Peter doesn’t appear in the verse, we have no clue if he was angry or shocked or sad or whatever.

    . makes several moral commandments that christians have no trouble ignoring (even the ones who mine the old law for verses to support their homophobia).

    The only person “mining” anything is whoever wrote that screed for Martin Sheen.

    Bartlett/Sorkin’s argument, that Christians are hypocritical for opposing homosexuality while not following other Laws, is incorrect, because they were never supposed to do follow those extra laws in the first place. It’s not even an esoteric issue, the text is plain, the book (Acts) is canon in every church I have heard of. Churches have been pretty consistent with this everywhere on earth.

    Bartlett, who supposedly studied at a Catholic seminary, would have known this, but his lines were written by people who hate Christianity and know nothing about it, and couldn’t resist getting this little “dig” in on their primetime show.

    • Jabster

      ‘“Wrath” on the part of Peter doesn’t appear in the verse, we have no clue if he was angry or shocked or sad or whatever.’

      … unless of course it’s need to support your own personal view then of course that’s what was meant.

      How’s it working out claiming that you can read the mind of the Christian god where others have just got it all wrong (did he pick you out personally?), and as a bonus he agrees with your personal views – sounds somewhat arrogant to me?

    • http://fugodeus.com Nox

      Did you get turned down for a job writing on The West Wing? You seem really obsessed with Aaron Sorkin. You know he probably isn’t reading this.

      ““Wrath” on the part of Peter doesn’t appear in the verse.”

      And before I pointed out that it’s Peter speaking in the verse in question, you said it didn’t mention Peter. Since I posted the relevant passage (wrath included), I’ll just let the reader decide if you’re misrepresenting your source text.

      And speaking of verses in Acts that you’re misquoting, fornication doesn’t mean the same thing as homosexuality.

      • Custador

        I hate to defend the Doctor, but in the interests of accuracy:

        “Actually the verse doesn’t mention Peter’s wrath at all.”

        Of course, he then went on to say:

        “It’s plain that God killed them because they lied to His Spirit.”

        And that part really is nonsense – That conclusion is not “plain” at all. In fact, I believe a straight reading of that passage would lead any impartial outsider who’d never read it before to conclude that it was Peter who caused the unfortunate pair to be struck dead, albeit wielding some kind of supernatural mandate. To get from there to “God did it” requires apologetics to “interpret” the script in ways that the Bible itself simply doesn’t support.

        I think this is what annoys me most about apologetic interpretations; this hokey thinking that “The Bible is always right because it was inspired by God, but it’s written in riddles, so we have to use all these other rules that men have come up with in order to get it to mean what we want… Er, I mean, in order to interpret what it really means”.

    • Custador

      Aaron Sorkin writes entertaining fiction; I suspect you’ve already guessed that in my view the Bible is the same thing, minus the entertainment. But to re-state the question you ducked: Do you think the Bible is inerrant?

      And I agree, the hate does ooze from that scene – The president hates that woman because she is a small-minded bigot. In other words, her unprovoked and unnecessary hatred of others is what causes the president to hate her. And rightly so. Preventing Christians from imposing their bigotry on people is not the same thing as persecuting Christians – It’s preventing Christians from persecuting others.

      (NB – I’m not including all Christians under the umbrella of bigot, I know some of you guys are good people)

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  • ravett

    “the arrogance, the smugness, the hate just oozes from this scene”. Yes. “Arrogance” is feeling that you are both factually and morally correct, and that anyone who disagrees with you is, by that fact (no I won’t put it in the Latin), wrong. Therefore, Christians are arrogant… as are, of course, any true believers in anything. “Smugness” is feeling good or satisfied in oneself and superior to others who are not in one’s in-group. Therefore, Christians are smug… as are, of course… “Hate” is the anger, contempt, and potential for violence resulting. Therefore, Christians hate… as do, of course… Now, given that, what is the alternative? It seems that underlying all this is *belief*. Can you, “doctor machin”, imagine yourself without your beliefs? What would you be like? What would your world be like? Is the thought nauseating? Dizzying? Does it make you feel as if you’re standing over an abyss? As if nothing could be real, nothing firm, no goals, no direction? You know, don’t you, that that’s exactly where your god is, all the time. It has no god’s god, does it. Think about it. There’s nothing to direct your god, is there… no goals, no direction… so strange, you wanting to be a sheep, and for that shepherd… you’re only one remove from that abyss, and your god has none at all.

  • Alan

    Does anyone else find it strange that Christians try to use logic and evidence, all be it weak on both accounts, to prove that SOME of the verses in the bible actually make some sense; while ignoring the verses that don’t and ignoring the actual fact their argument is based on an hypothesis that can’t be proved by either logic or any existing evidence?

    Their entire argument lies directly on the foundation that their god exists…if they can’t prove that claim then it is completely irrelevant what is said in the bible. And I think it’s time we started to drum this into them, repeatedly and consistently. Prove your claim that your god exists, prove that he is the ‘overseer’ of your bible, until then I have no interest in your BELIEFS and I will not take you seriously for telling me what YOU say your god has said.

    • Rain

      Yep, Christopher Hitchens used to grant a premise and then say okay, given that, all the work is still ahead. Miracles? Still gotta prove they came from whatever entity. Trinity? Still gotta prove someone didn’t reach the same Trinity conclusion and then invent a Jesus myth to fit along with it. This is what happens when one has diddly squat. Such is the nature of diddly squatness. However, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. So they got a free ticket to make stuff up in perpetuity, pretty much.

      • Glenn

        1. Slavery in ancient times was not necessarily like the modern conception of slavery. The Bible condemns kidnapping a person and selling him or her into slavery. A person could sell himself or his children into slavery, but could not force others into it. Slaves had various levels of respect and living conditions. Comparing Biblical slavery to modern slavery is unrealistic. Besides this, think about it: If a father sells his daughter into slavery, don’t you think that he will choose a good master out of concern for her welfare, especially since this is consistent with Christian principles?

        2. The Sabbath: This is the only one that is truly valid. God had just rescued the Israelites from terrible slavery in Egypt, and gave them a day of rest. The penalty sounds harsh, but think how simple the commandment is: They must rest on one day of the week and treat it as a holy day to reemember God. Is that so difficult to follow, especially given the circumstances? God wants to make sure that they remember him and have a day to relax.

        3. Crops and clothing: No, because none of the laws about planting crops side by side or wearing mixed clothing have any penalties attached to them — especially not the death penalty.

        4. Comparing a football to the carcass of a scavenger is a faulty analogy, especially considering the lack of sanitation and medicine in ancient times. Touching the body of a dead pig was dangerous in ancient times, when they had no soap, no concept of bacteria or washing their hands, hardly no medicine, no hospitals… for that matter, even eating the cooked body of a dead scavenger (like a pig or shellfish) was dangerous in those circumstances. Anyway, there was no prescribed penalty for these things, either.

        What a reasonable Christian would say is: (1) The laws reveal either moral principles or sanitation/medical principles. (2) It is generally easy to distinguish between the two based on the penalty: For something immoral like homosexuality, it was the death sentence or a harsh physical penalty, and for doing something unclean, it was temporary quarantine followed by a bath, or simply nothing at all. (3) While the principles are universal, the penalties or cleanings applied only to the nation-state of Israel.

        ————————–

        Did Christopher Hitchens really say that? It sounds like a miserable defense. The miracles came from Jesus. The second statement doesn’t even make sense. The concept of the trinity came from the sayings of Jesus and his apostles, and the burden rests on him to somehow overcome the historical evidence for Jesus and prove that someone did think of it first and invent a Jesus myth.

        • Custador

          I have to ask: Are the apologetics you’ve just given really not as absurd and transparent to you as they are to everybody else? Honestly? A few seconds to stop after each one and ask “Do I really think that what I’m saying here is true? Are my reasons for believing it to be true grounded in evidence or in wishful thinking?” is all it takes for anybody with a functioning mind to stop and realise they’re talking crap.

        • blotonthelandscape

          1. None of this justifies an omniscient deity prescribing commandments whose moral character failed to transcend the cultural context of the people who were required to follow them. Why is a man’s child allowed to be forced into slavery but not anyone else? Why could god not simply condemn slavery in all forms? No doubt you would be against instituting the forms of slavery that occurred at those times, despite your vain attempts to assert it was somehow different to the “modern conception”. but seem to think nothing of god allowing/encouraging/regulating it.

          2. Red herring. The simplicity of a law in no way informs the severity of punishment for breaking it. Such an assessment is unjust. Nor does the context of the rescue from Egypt (historical accuracy aside); a man was stoned to death for collecting firewood, simply because the day he did so was deemed “holy”. “How hard could it be?” hardly covers over the sheer injustice of such treatment.

          3. Should we obey God’s laws merely out of fear of retribution? Surely God has commanded such, and such it should be. Simply out of devotion? Is that not consistent with the Divine Command Theory you invoke to justify 2. “It’s a simple request…”

          4. We’re not talking about ancient times, we’re talking about the modern application of laws devised in ancient times. Regardless of the seeming reasonableness of commands to not eat pork/shellfish (why didn’t god just say “eating this increases your risk of death”), we are asking why it’s reasonable to apply the commands in Leviticus regarding homosexuality to modern societies, but not the commands on what to eat, what to do on “Holy” days, or how to plant our crops, cut our hair, treat our rape victims, make our clothes or prepare our sacrifices.

          In every other context, where an old law is out of sync with the needs, desires, expectations and technologies of the current culture, we change the law. This can mean revisions or wholesale replacements. It can happen gradually or suddenly. But because some religious bigots have an issue with teh gays, we have to maintain the discrimination in our legal systems? I don’t think so.

          You’ve given us no reason to reject all of the rules and laws and commands in Leviticus and Deuteronomy but keep the commands on gays. Neither did Jesus. Neither did Paul. Neither has the modern church.

          When I first abandoned faith, before coming across the incredibly insightful rhetoric of Hitchens, I decided I needed to give God an opportunity to reveal himself. I have a physical deformity that causes me no harm but is nonetheless obvious to the naked eye. I told God that if I woke up one morning and that deformity was fixed, I would believe.

          Then I thought, “okay, so even if one morning I wake up and my chest is suddenly flat, how do I know it was Jesus, or Yahweh? I’m just importing my cultural assumptions onto that act”. Clearly it would be supernatural, but the assumption that the source was Jesus was entirely me projecting my cultural bias onto the event. So I decided that, if God is omnipotent, and if he speaks directly to people (I know many who claim such), then he could and would do so for me, assuming he wants me to believe in him. But then I thought, I’m still importing my assumption that the god speaking to me is really Yahweh/Jesus. What if it’s a demon? What if it’s a spirit just trying to have a bit of fun at my expense? I would have no more reason to objectively assume these than to assume it was legit.

          I think this is what Hitch was getting at. Even if we assume the Trinity comes from the words of Jesus in the Bible (this is by no means as clear-cut as you wish to presume), we still implicitly assume that the records are accurate. etc. You can’t escape the rabbit-hole that is created by these bald-faced assertions, because you have no evidence which compels us to accept your Jesus hypothesis over any others we could dream up in its place. You have only faith, and faith is not reason.

        • Troutbane

          “While the principles are universal, the penalties or cleanings applied only to the nation-state of Israel.”

          Soooooooooooo, why again do we think gays should not have equal rights in the United States?

        • Sunny Day

          Glen what you just said with your 4 points were that those sins in the bible weren’t really sins after all.

          Why cant we apply the same reasoning to the rules against homosexuality?

        • Nox

          1., 2., 3., and 4.

          The god you describe here is a pathetically small minded entity who is clearly unqualified to advise us on moral issues.


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