Doctor Laura Isn’t the Only Gay Basher

Below is a response I gave to a friend of mine who sent me a joke regarding the practices in Leviticus.  The point of the joke is to make Leviticus 18 look bad and I think for many people it is a real problem because they don’t know how to respond to it.

This is a joke that has been passed around the Internet for nearly a decade now. I personally saw it about 5 years ago and I will try to give the same response I gave then when it was given to me by my mother.
Ultimately the issue in question here is Dr Laura’s alleged response to homosexuality.  I say alleged because I doubt seriously it ever happened. The letter was first made public in 2000 when it ran in the Halifax Daily News written by a women named Jane Kansas.  Jane was promptly fired from the publication due to her lack of facts.  With that said, I think the point still remains and I do believe that Dr Laura would likely make this claim though it might be in private.
The point of concern is if, by some reason, we are inclined to ignore some parts of the biblical text but still adhere to others there absolutely must to one of two dynamics at play:
1. We have biblical reasons (not philosophical) for doing so.
2. We are flat out prejudiced toward homosexuals.
It can be no other way, and if it turns out to be the latter, then we as Christians need to repent for pure hatred toward another person.  This is not the Christian or Jewish way of living.  So which is it?
Prior to giving my opinion, I think a little history is in order.  For the most part Leviticus is a set of ceremonial laws, and the Bible states clearly that these laws are to be kept by the Jews.  That includes Leviticus 18. Failure to keep these laws can resort to being ceremonially unclean all the way up to the death penalty.  The important point is not the punishment but a recognition of whom the laws are intended.  The Jews – Period.  With that said it seems we have a bit of a conundrum.  Christians are not Jews and yet they forbid homosexuality so it must be that Christians are prejudice.   There are two problems with that logic. First, Leviticus  is not the entire basis for Christian condemnation of homosexuality and second not all the portions of Leviticus are ceremonial.  Some are quite clearly universal and Leviticus 18 is definitely one of these.  Instead of jumping all over Leviticus like the author of this letter did, lets take a look at what actually Leviticus 18 states. I think my point will become clear. I will add commentary within the text to make my points.
“The LORD said to Moses,“Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘I am the LORD your God. You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices. You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the LORD your God. Keep my decrees and laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them. I am the LORD.”
What we see here is that God is prohibiting something that he sees as an abomination in both the land of Egypt and Canaan.  Therefore we can conclude that this chapter has a more universal truth to it.  He is requiring the Jew not to do these things (he is speaking directly to them) but the abomination is much more widespread than that.

“No one is to approach any close relative to have sexual relations. I am the LORD. “‘Do not dishonor your father by having sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother; do not have relations with her. “‘Do not have sexual relations with your father’s wife; that would dishonor your father. “‘Do not have sexual relations with your sister, either your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether she was born in the same home or elsewhere. “‘Do not have sexual relations with your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter; that would dishonor you. “‘Do not have sexual relations with the daughter of your father’s wife, born to your father; she is your sister. “‘Do not have sexual relations with your father’s sister; she is your father’s close relative. “‘Do not have sexual relations with your mother’s sister, because she is your mother’s close relative.“‘Do not dishonor your father’s brother by approaching his wife to have sexual relations; she is your aunt.“‘Do not have sexual relations with your daughter-in-law. She is your son’s wife; do not have relations with her. “‘Do not have sexual relations with your brother’s wife; that would dishonor your brother. “‘Do not have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter. Do not have sexual relations with either her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter; they are her close relatives. That is wickedness.“‘Do not take your wife’s sister as a rival wife and have sexual relations with her while your wife is living.“‘Do not approach a woman to have sexual relations during the uncleanness of her monthly period. “‘Do not have sexual relations with your neighbor’s wife and defile yourself with her.”
“‘Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molech, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the LORD.“‘Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.“‘Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion.”
Some astute individuals will point out that the word abomination in the Hebrew is the same word as unclean (translated detestable in this version).  Therefore the most we can glean from this passage is that someone who is practicing homosexuality cannot enter into worship until they go through a ceremonial cleansing.  However, the context does not allow that to be the case.  Homosexuality is nicely sandwiched between Child Sacrifice and Beastiality.  Are we seriously stating that if someone sacrifices a child that all they have to do is take a bath? The context of the passage makes it clear that the word is not to be translated as unclean but detestable.

“‘Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. But you must keep my decrees and my laws. The native-born and the aliens living among you must not do any of these detestable things, for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled. And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.”
Here we see once again a universal punishment.  God punished the inhabitants of the land before the Jews entered it for committing the aforementioned things.  Certainly no one would claim they were given the revelation that the Jew received, yet God felt compelled to punish them anyway.
“‘Everyone who does any of these detestable things—such persons must be cut off from their people. Keep my requirements and do not follow any of the detestable customs that were practiced before you came and do not defile yourselves with them. I am the LORD your God.’”
We also see the universal judgment for sexual sin in general in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.  The judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah was several hundred years prior to the writing of these laws yet God punished the inhabitants for committing sexual sin (one of which was homosexuality the other was rape)
It becomes quite clear when you look at the context of the passage that these issues are universal and not just limited to the Jews. Though God is addressing the Jews in Leviticus and only the Jews (Which is why Christians universally reject the punishment for homosexuality in Leviticus 20:13),  he also goes on record as punishing non-Jews for doing the same kinds of things. If it were limited to the Jew and their revelation (that becomes the Old Testament) then God would be nothing more than a bully for punishing those people who did not receive the revelation.  God did so because, as Paul states in the New Testament, it is quite clear to all men that sexual sin is wrong (more on that in a minute).
In addition, Dr Laura is a Jew so she would not be able to use the words of the New Testament as defense of her position.  One might state that Jesus never spoke on the issue of homosexuality directly. They would be correct, however there is a good reason for that. The crime of homosexuality carried a death penalty in biblical times and if you were gay you were dead – period. Needless to say they didn’t have many gay people to address in those days.  Jesus taught mostly to the Jews and a few Samaritans and homosexuality just wasn’t a problem for them.  Paul on the other hand, was speaking to the non-Jews and he addressed this issue by stating that homosexuality is the worst form of abomination because it goes against the natural function of the body.  In this small sentence he demonstrates why God felt compelled to punish people practicing homosexuality.  He is basically stating that everyone knows it goes against the natural function of the body so no  special revelation is necessary.  Whether you hold to a position of genetics or behavior on the issue, no one would ever state that it is the intended practice of humanity.  Man and woman have sex and baby is born, man and man have sex…well, nothing.  At best homosexuality is a behavioral issue and worst it’s a genetic abnormality.  Either way Paul would state that it goes against the natural function of the body and condemns us from practicing it regardless of the cause.
New Testament passages on this subject are found in:

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 – “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
Romans 1:26-27 – “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.”
Jesus did however, state that we are to “love one another” so our response to homosexuality is not to condemn the homosexual but to love the person even though they may be living in sin.  Homosexuality is yet another sin in a long list of sins we all commit.  Christians have, unfortunately, done one of two things both of which are, I believe, equally as sinful as homosexuality and likely more damaging. They either make homosexuality a hobby horse issue and condemn gay people (God Hate FAGS), OR they reject the revelation of scripture and embrace the sin and call it acceptable behavior for Christians.  Neither is a consistently Biblical position and embracing either of these two options means either rejection of the authority of the Bible or rejecting Jesus’ command to love one another.
The last point I need to make is the built-in irony of the letter to Dr Laura.  The author is clearly being sarcastic but the answer I would give her is simply, “If you feel strongly about the other laws in Leviticus, then you should probably follow those laws too.”  The author isn’t trying to argue that Leviticus 18 isn’t true just the we are inconsistent in how we practice religion.  So this is the author’s chance to make it right and get back to true religious practice of keeping every jot and tittle of the law.  Of course this is impossible and for that reason alone Jesus, the God-Man came to earth to fulfill the spiritual laws. He is the spotless lamb sacrificed for our inability to live up to God’s moral laws and that truth does not require that you be straight or gay, just that you bow a knee in allegiance to him.
I hope that clears the point up for you and though I know you and your wife disagree with me, I hope you can see my point and understand that I much prefer to leave this issue “well enough alone” but when confronted with the issue, I cannot ignore the clear teaching of scripture on this point.  I have eagerly seeked responses from those who disagree and have been left “wanting”.  Most of the responses have been angry attacks on myself or the Bible and not a one has responded to the points above, but simply emoted the anger they feel for my position.  Many responses have been simply to reject those teaching as errors in the Bible or racism by the writers.  Though this could be the truth, if one takes this line of reasoning, they hold the burden of proof.  They must prove that these sections are in error – they just can’t state it.  Unfortunately, no proof has been given and if these are indeed in error, then we simply can’t know anything about God or his desire for our lives.  If the Bible isn’t true then our faith is for nothing, as we can’t know anything about Jesus, his sacrifice for us, his conquering of death on the cross and his promise for eternal life.  It is just as likely (actually more likely) that these statement are untrue as they are controversial.  Homosexuality in Biblical times was not controversial so there would be no need to lie about them.  Resurrection on the other hand, was controversial and continues to be to this day. So why not reject those teaching as well?
Lastly, it is important to understand that we are all living in rebellion against God (thanks to Adam and Eve) and though I do not commit the sin of homosexuality personally, I have committed and continue to commit sins just a egregious in the eyes of God.  God sees my sin and still decided to pluck me out of the darkness and THIS is the true biblical message delivered by Jesus and the apostles through the authority given on the cross.  We, as Christians need to keep the main thing the main thing, and stop focusing on the sin and start presenting the Gospel that cleanses the sinner.  God and God alone saves us and that should be comforted in knowing that regardless of our past, present of future sins, God will be his promise.
    • Mark
    • January 24th, 2011

    I have reported you for tag spam, please don’t tag posts which are only about Christianity with other religions.

      • schooloffish
      • January 24th, 2011

      There of course is another explanation other than Tag Spam, you can read the blogs and respond in a meaningful manner from your world view. Just because I filter things through a Christian world view doesn’t mean they are not meaningful for others. The tags on this post are Apologetics, Bible, Christ, Realitivism, Religion, World Views. Seems to me like I got it perfect. unless you are referring to another post, if that’s the case. Is your comment not comment spam?

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