Thursday, November 6, 2008

People of California: you make me sick

Or at least a majority of the voters in California do. Why did you have to rain on my parade? Why, in the face of so many victories for progress and civility, did you have to pass a law that limits the rights of your citizens? I expect this shit from Florida and Arizona, but California?

It is true that the Bible does seem to condemn homosexuality. Some people try to twist this around and say that the Bible doesn't really say that. Here's one place where the Bible says that homosexuality is bad: Leviticus 18:22 " 'Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. But read the rest of this chapter. It is creepy and extremely absurd. It is basically a laundry list of forbidden sexual activity, including some interesting and telling justifications. Here, for example, is the first rule: 6 " 'No one is to approach any close relative to have sexual relations. I am the LORD. Pretty straightforward. But then, from verses 7 - 18 the author lists these close relatives for those who think they might get away with something: your mother or your father's wife (so as not to dishonor your father), your sister, your aunt, daughter in law, sister in law, and so on. And in every case, the reason is that such a transgression would dishonor the other male party. Here's a fun one: Do not have sexual relations with your neighbor's wife and defile yourself with her (emphasis mine). And my favorite: 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. Please notice that child sacrifice is not forbidden, simply child sacrifice in the name of Molech, and why? Because it will profane the name of God.

A few short chapters later, the Bible also discusses slavery in Leviticus 25: 44-46:
44 " 'Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.
This is 2008. Americans do not allow or tolerate slavery, and yet, here are clearly laid-out guidelines for doing so. Homosexuality will be tolerated eventually. Perhaps even the next generation of lawmakers and voters will look at these freshly-minted laws of hate and fear and exclusion and reject them. When that happens, when a majority of Americans have grown up without feeling hatred toward homosexuals, the church will doubtless be involved. The church will push for this opening up for legislation and claim that they have led the way for progress, just as they claim large portions of credit for ending slavery and for humanizing women. But the reality is that the church did not go quietly. The church never goes quietly. The church clings to the words of their Bible until they become so absurd that even they can no longer take them literally. Then, and only then, when they are shamed by their own reflection, will the church take the actions that the secular society has pushed for. The church will be dragged, kicking and screaming into the next age, just as it was dragged into this one.

At the same time, Californians, I am very proud to see that you have passed a measure to stem some of the crueler measures that farm animals are currently subjected to. So good for you - I am very happy to see this go through.

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