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Postby Coppermine » Sat Nov 11, 2006 12:19 am

Amazinz wrote:Generally, people who cite Leviticus for the sole purpose of denouncing gays are not real men of God. They are using the Bible as a weapon and picking and choosing to believe what fits their agenda.


And such is my point.
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Postby Amazinz » Sat Nov 11, 2006 2:42 am

Coppermine wrote:
Amazinz wrote:Generally, people who cite Leviticus for the sole purpose of denouncing gays are not real men of God. They are using the Bible as a weapon and picking and choosing to believe what fits their agenda.


And such is my point.


Heh. No. Your original point to me was that eating shellfish and homosexuality are treated equally in Leviticus. As for this last point, I never said anything to the contrary. :-/
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Postby Coppermine » Sat Nov 11, 2006 3:16 am

Amazinz wrote:
Coppermine wrote:
Amazinz wrote:Generally, people who cite Leviticus for the sole purpose of denouncing gays are not real men of God. They are using the Bible as a weapon and picking and choosing to believe what fits their agenda.


And such is my point.


Heh. No. Your original point to me was that eating shellfish and homosexuality are treated equally in Leviticus. As for this last point, I never said anything to the contrary. :-/


I don't know how to respond to this. I've tried to be amiable but you're pushing my position. I don't live by the rules as stated by the Bible, interpreted by Christians or otherwise. We're not approaching this on level ground.

If what you're selling is that the part of Leviticus that pertains to homosexuality is followed by Christians and that the part about shellfish (and all that other stuff) only pertains to Jews, then I'm not buying.
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Postby Amazinz » Sat Nov 11, 2006 10:54 am

No, that wasn't my point at all. You have added a lot of misdirection to what I originally wrote:

Amazinz wrote:
Art Vandelay wrote:Why do you only use the comparison to that particular "sin"? Right there in the same book of the bible it says says that eating shellfish is an equal sin to homosexuality. Is someone who eats prawns also as bad as a drunk driver?

It does not say that eating shellfish is equal to homosexuality. There are two categories of laws in Leviticus.


I stand by my original statement because it is accurate.
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Postby Coppermine » Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:13 pm

This article I found makes much more sense to me than the argument that "they are not equal abominations because they are in different "categories." It's not a game show.

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, well, because money is pretty and shiny and let's us buy nice things.)


I have no reason to bother myself with the interpretation of the scriptures other than as historical curiosity and for understanding why Christian leaders are telling all Americans that they need to do what they say "because the Bible says so." I have every right to question the validity of that argument when I'm being told to vote on such measures because of their moral implications as presented in the Bible.
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Postby Amazinz » Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:29 pm

Not a game show, huh? So now your argument has devolved to snide remarks. It is your right to question the validity of anything but that's not exactly what you are doing. You act like a blowhard and regurgitate Google search results in order to prove/disprove things that you clearly do not have an understanding of.

The essay you posted is full of disinformation. First of all, abomination does not have the same meaning as it does it modern English. It is the translation of a word that means forbidden. Not all forbidden things are mortal sin. And the last paragraph is completely bunk. But I am done trying to enlighten you because your mind is already made up and you already know everything.
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Postby Absolutely Adequate » Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:56 pm

Amazinz,

Please help me understand this. I follow your argument about man's law v. God's law in Leviticus but am unclear about how I can tell the difference between the two. Obviously, there is no section that says "The following are God's laws." How can you tell?

thanks
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Postby Amazinz » Sat Nov 11, 2006 2:06 pm

Absolutely Adequate wrote:Obviously, there is no section that says "The following are God's laws." How can you tell?

thanks

There is! God is speaking to Moses and in the begining he puts forth the laws of the children of Israel. Then he says to Moses:

Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, that they separate themselves from the holy things of the children of Israel, and that they profane not my holy name in those things which they hallow unto me: I am the LORD.

And then follow a set of laws, each followed by the commandment: I AM THE LORD.
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Postby Amazinz » Sat Nov 11, 2006 2:15 pm

And let me make this clear if it wasn't clear earlier. I am in no way supporting Christians that use Leviticus as a weapon against homosexuals. It is very clear to most Christians that we are no longer governed by Leviticus. In the Old Testament god was very harsh on his people and it was not until Jesus Christ died for our sins that we were saved. And I realize that many of you believe that is hocus pocus. I am not trying to convert or convince anyone, just explaining the perspective.

My original point was to correct a misconception about the Bible that trivializes it. People who do not care for the Bible and only wish to use it as a weapon against believers make silly comments like God says homosexuality and eating shellfish are bad and are equally so. Come on. I was just trying to defend that aspect of it.
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Postby Coppermine » Sat Nov 11, 2006 2:20 pm

Amazinz wrote:Not a game show, huh? So now your argument has devolved to snide remarks. It is your right to question the validity of anything but that's not exactly what you are doing. You act like a blowhard and regurgitate Google search results in order to prove/disprove things that you clearly do not have an understanding of.

The essay you posted is full of disinformation. First of all, abomination does not have the same meaning as it does it modern English. It is the translation of a word that means forbidden. Not all forbidden things are mortal sin. And the last paragraph is completely bunk. But I am done trying to enlighten you because your mind is already made up and you already know everything.


That's all I've got Amazinz, I don't mean any disrespect. Your explanations are either unclear or beyond the scope of understanding to someone who does not follow the faith. I'm not trying to prove you wrong, again, I'm just trying to understand why voters are being told to condemn gays and vote for any measures which remove their rights.
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