Unlike a lot of Christians (some who, for the record, I love and respect very much) I am not under the impression that there is an unholy trinity threatening Christians today: abortion, post-modernity, and homosexuality. I don’t have the time or the energy to explain my position on all three, but I thought this letter takes a interesting approach to homosexuality. I try to avoid irony when dealing with an issue that can inspire passionate, often unfortunately violent, reactions. I just don’t like the nastiness it can foster. However, in the case the author raises what I think are valid points. Also, I didn’t write it, so I’m not taking fall. Helloooo, Loophole, my dear friend. Plus, the word “smite” plays a prominate role. At this rate, it’d be a crime not to share.
I should note that versions of this letter have been in circulation for years — online, in newspapers, and featured in a 2004 episode of The West Wing. The letter’s infamy can be followed here. I don’t think this fuzziness has any effect on the content, though you’re welcome to disagree.
On one of her broadcasts, Dr. Laura Schlessinger dismissed homosexuality as an abomination to God, citing Leviticus 18:22. A listener purportedly responded with the following:
Dear Dr. Schlessinger:
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. … End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God’s Law and how to follow them.
1. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness – Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
4. Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?
5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2. The passage clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?
6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination – Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there ‘degrees’ of abomination?
7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?
8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.19:27. How should they die?
9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? – Lev.24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.
Your adoring fan.