Monday, October 12, 2015

The Bible and Same-sex Marriage

The Bible is often quoted by those that oppose same-sex marriage, and indeed gay-ness in general.  And they are entirely right – in Leviticus 18:22 is says “No man is to have sexual relations with another man; God hates that.”  (Note, by the way, that it doesn’t mention women.)

But I often wonder why these people haven’t noticed that it also says it's desirable to keep slaves, that unicorns exist, and that a rape victim should be stoned to death.

Don’t believe me?  OK:

·         Deuteronomy 20: 10/11 “When you go to attack a city, first give its people a chance to surrender. If they open the gates and surrender, they are all to become your slaves and do forced labour for you.”  (And , by the way, if they don’t surrender, you slaughter them.) Exactly how anyone reconciles attacking cities with “Love thy neighbour” is a mystery to me.

·         Unicorns get nine mentions.  How about Numbers 23:22 “God brought them out of Egypt ; he hath as it were the strength of a unicorn.”  Or Isaiah 34:7 “And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.”  Also note that later, in Isaiah 34:13, we read “And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof : and it shall be a habitation of dragons, and a court for owls.

·         Deuteronomy 22:23/24 says: “Suppose a man is caught in a town having intercourse with a young woman who is engaged to someone else. You are to take them outside the town and stone them to death.” And then helpfully explains “She is to die because she did not cry out for help”.  And, by the way, in verse 28/29 we read “Suppose a man is caught raping a young woman who is not engaged. He is to pay her father the bride price of fifty pieces of silver, and she is to become his wife, because he forced her to have intercourse with him.”  Being forced to marry your rapist?

Other things it says is that believers should:

·         Not eat shellfish [Leviticus 11:12 “Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.”];

·         Not wear clothes made of more than one material [Leviticus 19:19 “Do not crossbreed domestic animals. Do not plant two kinds of seed in the same field. Do not wear clothes made of two kinds of material.”]; and

·         Not shave their beard [Leviticus 19: 27 “Do not cut the hair on the sides of your head or trim your beard.”]. 

And here’s one you should consider before driving: Leviticus 24:19 “If any of you injure another person, whatever you have done shall be done to you.

But, I hear you say, “we don’t believe that those rules still apply today”.
OK, then, who decides what applies today and what doesn’t?  Who decides that “Love thy neighbour” applies and stoning rape victims doesn’t?  Did God send another prophet that nobody has told me about?
What if I decide that I like the “Love thy neighbour” bit, but I want to ignore the whole believe-in-God bit?  Why can I not call myself a Christian?

It’s all just nonsense.  Either this is your Holy Book, in which case you have to follow ALL of it, or it’s just a collection of stories.  I’m quite happy with the latter, but if so stop quoting it at me when I want to legalise same-sex marriage.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

God tells you how to dress

In our local Baptist Church hall a week or so ago a friend picked up a booklet which was clearly put there for visitors to read, entitled "What should I wear?" I've set out below some extracts from it:

"When Christians wear styles that expose, rather than cover the body, they dishonor the Lord Jesus Christ."

"Brief, tight, or otherwise revealing clothing is designed to accentuate those parts of the body which God intended to be hidden from sight."

"Enticing clothing, a product of our sexually permissive society, has been directly linked with the increase in rape, sexual abuse and other sex-related crimes."

"In today's permissive society where perversion is on the increase, men sometimes dress as women and vice versa."

"The trend towards sloppiness and carelessness in casual dress is an extreme which every Christian should avoid."

"T-Shirts [bearing] the names of rock groups or alcoholic drinks, and symbols depicting death, destruction and violence should be avoided."

"... excessive make-up can definitely associate us with the wrong element of society."

"A man should always be distinguishable as a man by his short hair, and a woman should always be distinguishable as a woman by her long hair."

Now apart from asking why our Baptists are peddling this crap in 2015, I thought you might want to know when this leaflet was produced.

1800's?  1950s?  No, it was first printed in 1990!  So in Danville, IL. 61832 USA the people of "Grace & Truth" apparently still believe this stuff and think it is their mission from God to foist it on others.

I despair.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Cr*p on Facebook

My Facebook friends (though not usually the ones I actually know - I accept Friend requests from everyone, whether I actually know them or not.  Who knows, they may be interesting!  ... but I digress.) keep sharing stuff like this:
What am I supposed to do with it.  I don't believe there is a God, ever was a God or ever will be, so the proposition is entirely meaningless to me.

I've tried adding a witty Comment, but the result is usually that the perpetrator Unfriends me - which itself is interesting because it suggests that such people can only be friends with someone who shares their (to my mind, ridiculous) beliefs.  What narrow lives they must lead!

I've tried setting "Do not see posts from <<originator>>" (my 'friends' never generate these things themselves - they just recycle other people's stuff.)  The problem is that there seem to be too many originators.  There must be vast factories churning out this stuff, probably in the American Bible Belt.

So why do people post stuff like this to others they don't even know?  Are they trying to convert me?  I suspect not - they don't even know me or what I believe.

I think they re-post these messages to reassure themselves of their own beliefs.  A bit like buying a Volvo and then reading all the Volvo ads.

Or maybe they were too hung-over last Sunday to go to church and now feel guilty so re-post one of these messages to make up for it.

Or maybe there is so little of value in their lives they can't find anything more interesting to post.

Whatever the reason, I wish they wouldn't.