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.

No comments:

Post a Comment