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Monday, December 22, 2008

The birds, the bees and the pastor

The tying together of gay marriage to pedophilia, incest and polygamy made by Rick Warren in this interview was all I needed to hear to tick me off.  After 2 minutes and some deep, cleansing breaths, I realized that Warren is not the only one who effortlessly wraps all of this behavior together.

While I am a Christian and gay, reading the Bible is difficult psychologically.  I still own a copy of the Bible given to me as a child which is underlined, highlighted and noted in places where the Bible refers to homosexuality.  Seems I did not need someone else to bash me over the head with the Bible; I was doing a good enough job on my own.

Now seems as good a time as any to start conquering my fear.  The first place most go to quote Christianity's laws against homosexuality is Leviticus.  Leviticus 18: 6-13 cover incest.  Verses 14-18 cover Jerry Springer territory. Verse 19 . .eww!   Verse 20 . . again, Jerry Springer territory.

OK, Leviticus 18:22, here we go.  Well, as I've not "lie(d) with a woman" ever, I'm thinking I get a free pass.  OK, I am splitting hairs, I suppose.  However, as I'm a Christian, I actually do get a pass on this one.  Click here to better understand how this works.  

And, finally, Leviticus 18:23 talks about bestiality.  On to Chapter 19.

Here we go, Leviticus 19:19 talks about wearing clothing "woven of two kinds of material".  I sure hope Pastor Rick has checked the labels on his shirts (I think the jeans are safe being denim) and his suits.  As there doesn't seem to be a point value assigned to each of these laws, wearing a polyester/wool, cotton/polyester or cotton/lycra article of clothing is just a big a no-no as Leviticus 18:22.

(I'm breaking Leviticus 19:19 right now . . I leave it you to figure out how !)

Oh, Pastor Rick, how could you!  In Leviticus 19:27 and Leviticus 21: 5-6, that trendy goatee/mustache thing you have has to be grown out!  I'm thinking about 6 - 8 weeks should give him a full beard and start on forelocks?

Leviticus 20 goes into the penalty phase of the law breaking referenced in Leviticus 18.   Wow, there's a lot of blood and dying in this chapter.  Maybe, to adhere closely to this chapter, Pastor Rick can band together with like minded others and lobby to get our penitentiary system back in line . . or, on second thought, perhaps some further study would be helpful.

OK, enough with the nitpicking.  In my review of five chapters of Leviticus, I didn't see anything saying I could not marry another adult male who is not my blood relative.  There was also an imperative thousands of years ago that the tribes of Israel procreate and have lots of children to give them the best chance of maintaining and growing the tribes.  Put in this context, it makes a bit more sense why pork and shellfish were also verboten (pork not cooked thoroughly still contains trichinosis which is deadly to humans; a shellfish allergy, which some people have, can also be deadly).  It also makes sense why incest and sexual relations while women are having their period were also against the law -- both would either not produce children or produce a child much more prone to genetic defects.

In a world where we know of shellfish allergy, we process, test and cook pork thoroughly before eating and where most have a basic understanding of the human reproductive system and genetics, the laws written in Leviticus make a bit more sense and we understand the actual consequences of not following these laws.

Specifically to Leviticus 18:22, it is important to note that thousands of years ago, there was no such thing as a microscope, which is needed to view sperm and ova.  According to The History of Obstetrics and Gynaecology by Michael J. O'Down and Elliot Elias Philipp (pages 256 & 257) ova were not described and observed until the 19th century!  

 It seems most likely that men contained all the ingredients needed to create children and women's wombs were much like a farmer's field.  A man, literally, would be planting his seed in a woman's field in order to grow a child.  If a man was not having procreative sexual relations in compliance with laws in Leviticus, he was wasting seed, throwing it everywhere but in a place it would be most likely to grow.  And in a society where creating families with lots of children was most important, waste of any kind would, of course, be contrary to that goal.

If I have figured all of this out with the help of my Pastor (and a lot of search engine use), it makes me wonder if Pastor Rick Warren had the same opportunity I had to learn all of this and to change his mind about gay marriage in the last . . uh . . . week or so.  Certainly, with six billion people on the planet and so many children left orphaned, abandoned and neglected, the requirement to procreate is not nearly as important as it was in biblical times.  

Now that is commonly knows the creation of human life requires sperm and ovum and that the meeting of the two can be aided outside the womb, perhaps Pastor Rick is now open to helping nurture loving relationships amongst his congregation, no matter if the couple is infertile, post-menopausal, two consenting men or two consenting women.

Guess we'll find out next month. 

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