In response to the article I posted today describing a couple of innovative and important proposals for saving the institution of marriage — criminalizing adultery and de-licensing marriages that do not produce children — a Christian conservative wrote a rather lengthy response that caught my attention.
It would have been interesting to hear what a right-wing Christian thought about a tight clampdown on the rules related to marriage. Instead, as is typical of the Limbaugh-Hannity-O’Reilly-trained mind, this writer focused on the style of my article (my questionable wordsmithing), railed fantastical charges against “the Left” and offered wild suppositions about what I don’t know — but never got around to addressing the substance: locking up adulterers and annulling non-procreative marriages.
But this bit of Dittohead bombast made me chuckle:
The piece is also filled with fallacies, and I give the writer (and most activists) the benefit of the doubt in that they don’t read the Bible, and that they have been spoonfed the lies about what it contains and base it off of stereotypes instead of lying themselves. “In fact, there is nothing of any consequence about gay sex in either Testament.” Oh really? Ever read Leviticus? Probably not.
Leaving aside the fact that I am not an “activist” (and calling me one insults those who are), as it happens, I am extremely familiar with the contents of the Bible, especially Leviticus, and especially the part of Leviticus that says being gay is an abomination unto the Lord:
Leviticus 18:22: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.”
Yup, and since “lying with” is Bible code for “having sex,” I’m in deep shit. But as bad as this is, a couple of lines down it gets worse — much worse:
Leviticus 20:13: “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them.”
What? No boiling in oil?
Yes, the biblical sentence for being gay is the death penalty. It is unambiguously clear. Gay people must be killed on sight, and their corpses are to be drenched in their own blood.
It says so in the Bible.
Which brings us to the tricky part. If you believe the Bible, and you believe that gay people are doomed to hell because of this edict in Leviticus, then you also have to believe gay people should be executed on the public square. If you don’t believe all those things, then why bother believing any of them?
The experience of human spirituality might well remain constant from millennium to millennium, but it is impossible to take seriously today judgments made by desert nomads 5,000 years ago about food storage, apparel, animal sacrifices, women’s rights and human sexuality. Our understanding of these things has changed radically — is still changing. What we know now renders the attitude of nomads in 3,000 BCE to be, well, inconsequential.
But Enough about Me
So let’s talk about you for a moment, dear reader. You may be thinking, “He’s just tap dancing around the issue to excuse his immoral lifestyle choice. I’m not gay so I’m going to be fine.”
Sorry. Even if you are as “completely heterosexual” as Rev. Ted Haggard, you are not off the hook, abominations-wise.
Sadly, dear reader, you have undoubtedly committed abomination-class sins in your life — maybe as recently as at lunchtime. Maybe even at this very moment. In fact, you could be committing an abomination-class sin as you are reading these words — without even knowing it.
Worse news: ignorance is no excuse. You have committed sins that are equally as bad, equivalently as offensive to the Lord, as anything any gay person has ever done. And you are going to hell in the very same handbasket.
So before you judge me and deny me the right to marry the man I love and have lived with for 28 years, let’s examine your sins more closely.
But first, let’s define our terms.