It would take us too far afield to describe how the following reached me (far afield but entertaining; sorry, no dice, just a hat tip to SR). Whatever its provenance, it concerns matters of medical importance as framed by one of the better known doctors in the country, Dr. Laura Schlesinger (or as her mother refers to her, "My daughter the doctor"). Dr. Laura is an observant Orthodox Jew who believes everything she reads in the Torah. The Torah is what Jews call the first five books of the Old Testament. The third of those books is Leviticus, wherein Dr. Laura read and then preached from her radio office pulpit that homosexuality is an abomination (Leviticus 18:22), and cannot be condoned under any circumstances. This prompted a number of other questions from one of her grateful listeners:
Dear Dr. Laura:
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 of the other specific laws and how to follow them.
1. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odour for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbours. They claim the odour 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 offence.
4. Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A friend of mine claims this only applies to Mexicans, not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?
5. I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 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?
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, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.
Your devoted disciple and adoring fan,
Thanks for the laugh!
This is an oldie, but still a goodie (I think I first saw it about 4 years ago)
You know what the answer would be something like this: "I know that God still hates homosexuals, and how many orthodox Jews play football, but as for the rest of your harder to follow items on the list, God has changed his mind."
It would be a lot funnier if these deranged religious fuck-ups didn't have so much influence on society.
Comrade Physioprof: It would be a lot funnier if these deranged religious fuck-ups didn't have so much influence on society.
Actually then it wouldn't be funny at all because it wouldn't make any sense. The only sense it has now is that some people believe some of this nonsense and impose it on others, so the logical inconsistency of picking and choosing what they believe is what gives it sense.
I first saw/heard these in the second season of The West Wing (Episode called The Midterms). Searching on it turns up what is attributed to be the original letter to Dr. Laura, dated May of 2000. here: http://tinyurl.com/mrtxv
For what it's worth, her doctorate is in physiology; she is not a medical doctor or a psychologist.
Hmmm, wonder what her thoughts on Tzniut are. Particularly in regards to proper rules of dress for women? ;^}
and like many zealots, isn't she a convert?
I cannot help but pick at very picayune points. I am a little OCD perhaps.
Dr. Laura left Orthodox Judaism something like four years ago, maybe five.
This particular letter works better sent to Christians, as it was on the West Wing,
because, well, because Ortho Jews still do try to keep these laws. They check
clothes bought at department stores for whether there is any mixing of linen and wool,
and return said items if they don't pass the tests. They don't eat all the things the Bible calls abominations. They reject the idea that more than a handful of people were ever put to death for any of the many death penalty items mentioned in the Bible, (because of the difficulty of properly proving the criminal intent on the part of the accused) or, that anybody would be put to death in the future should they ever achieve a Biblical society (Jewish lawyers having gotten only pickier since Biblical times), but they still try to refrain from doing all the many "sins" listed.
In any event, this is not meant to defend them from being called silly or even evil;
just to defend them from being called hypocritical in this one regard: they don't pick and choose between lobster and homosexuality.
As a Catholic (not practicing now), I was taught we should not pay much attention to certain sections in the Old Testament which is essentially the Torah.
There is an oral law in Judaism, which contains the authoritative interpretation of the written Torah, and this is embodied in the Talmud. Feeling ambitous one day I went online to Amazon to get myself a copy. The English version consists of 73 volumes and cost over 2000 dollars. That was the end of it.
"but as for the rest of your harder to follow items on the list, God has changed his mind"
Christopher, that's just what Christians believe, thus the sending of Jesus and the New Testament.
As a result of the Christian influence, and after the Fall of the Roman Empire, slavery dwindled, monogomy flourished, homosexuality was frowned upon and killing was not permitted, except for the church sanctioned Crusades to save those in the East and the South from the tyranny of Islamic rule, which was established by force. This provided the Christian West access to Greek and Isamic science and scholars from the Byzantine East, and along with Christian education and the universities that were provided Church protections, science began to take off with the Churches blessing.
Galileo, Copernicus and Kepler were practicing Christians with a Christian education. Galileo was censored only beceause he was guilty of presenting his hypothesis as fact without adequate proof. His science was really shoddy, his attempted proof using tides was proven incorect. Kepler and Copernicus had no problems because they did not present their theories as anything more than theories. The church had long recognized that mans interpretations of the sciptures needs to change if there was a contradiction between proven science and the scriptures, and so willing funded science. Ultimately, when the science was proven, it was accepted by the Church.
When the church weakened as a result of reformation and secular enlightenment which led to nationalism, the slave trade took off and we have had 400 years of perpetual war culminating in the genocides of the 20th century. So I am not sure we are better off under secular fundementalism or atheism. I mean, Stalin and Mao were atheists, that didn't work out too well for the Chinese and Soviets, especially those who were religous.
You might want to read Atheist Delusions by David Bentley Hart for an alternative history, since the popular history of this period is somehwat biased and based more on myth than fact.
devo, pft: don't fight over who is more hypocritical. There's more than enough hypocrisy to go around.
I was not.
This is an ancient post which has done the rounds for ever. However what disappoints me that even for Revere an "ex-jew" that he makes reference to Torah and the old testament. The use of the term old testament is offensive to those of us who are proud to be Jews. Those of the Christian faith may have their New Testament but to us Jews there has not been a replacement to the Torah or even the Tenach
However what disappoints me that even for Revere an "ex-jew" that he makes reference to Torah and the old testament.
The Torah is what Jews call the first five books of the Old Testament.
For the incurably sensitive... OK, maybe he could have said "for you idiot Xians who are usually too stupid for me to even bother with, the Torah is what Jews call the first 5 books of what you morons call the New Testament."
But really, that probably wouldn't have been much better.
Lighten up dude.
As a result of the Christian influence, and after the Fall of the Roman Empire, slavery dwindled, monogomy flourished, homosexuality was frowned upon and killing was not permitted, except for the church sanctioned Crusades to save those in the East and the South from the tyranny of Islamic rule, which was established by force.
Saving tyranny with tyranny to retain - tyranny. Awesome.
And slavery did not dwindle.
When the church weakened as a result of reformation and secular enlightenment which led to nationalism, the slave trade took off and we have had 400 years of perpetual war culminating in the genocides of the 20th century.
The reformation helped spawn one of the greatest periods of human achievement in history. The enlightenment woould not have been possible without it. The slave trade was already booming and any connection between having a reformation and slavery is tenous at best. Ignoring the slaughter of past ages while vilifying modern wars is just keeping your head in the sand. Plenty of bad to go around at all times in history.
So I am not sure we are better off under secular fundementalism or atheism. I mean, Stalin and Mao were atheists, that didn't work out too well for the Chinese and Soviets, especially those who were religous.
At least pft left hitler out of it by name, though we all know that's what he/she/it meant by "genocides."
I have this pamphlet by Martin Luther pft might want to read.