Monday, March 12, 2012

Living Up to Leviticus

As the Political Year from Hell that is 2012 rolls on, the rhetoric has been getting more and more nasty. Oh, no. The Republican Candidates are not saying bad things about President Obama so much. There much too busy saying all kinds of nasty things about each other!

The worst thing to come out of this campaign so far, in my humble opinion, is the dredging up of the contraception controversy. I thought we settled that way back in the 1960's. So did most other Americans. Even the majority of Catholic women use birth control in the United States. Its use is almost universal and has been for decades. I guess the radicals didn't get the newsletter.

To compound the issue, they've renewed the infernal drumbeat concerning those who are radically pro-life and those who are radically pro-choice. Both radical sides on this issue are …., well they're radical. I'll leave it at that. The vast majority of Americans in the middle of the issue, where sane people tend to be on most issues, have made it clear they want abortion to be safe, legally available and rare! That is a pretty simple concept, and its a pretty good place to draw a line in the sand on an issue that will never make everyone happy.

And to put the cherry on top of the calamitous cake they've baked, we have Mr. Santorum telling us John F. Kennedy's famous speech to a group of right leaning preachers in Houston in which he assured them the saw separation of church and state as an absolute, made him (Santorum) want to throw up! The man has taken leave of his senses, but no matter. He's still winning votes from the right wing nuts in the hearland. As another smart alec once said (more or less), "I remember President Kennedy. Mr. Santorum, you're no John F. Kennedy and you never will be."

But this blog piece is not really about politics. It's just that the very word "Republican" has become almost inextricably linked to the Christian Right in the collective minds of Americans. Some Americans, I think, actually believe that God Himself is a registered Republican! I'm really surprised that the Reverend (I use the title cynically and in a sense of mockery) Fred Phelps himself has not put down his signs saying "God Hates Fags," and changed them for signs saying, "God Hates Dems."

As a Christian myself (a liberal one) and a Republican (a moderate one), I'm just so tired of being thought a fool because I admit both to being a Christian and a Republican! The country is about to go down the proverbial drain, and we're fighting about reproductive rights and how big the gap (if any) there should be between church and state? The whole damn country was established more than 200  years ago by mostly religious forefathers who, in a wisdom born of great abuse in Europe, saw fit to set forth a constitutional principle that in this country there would never be a theocracy - that Americans would never be compelled to support religion nor would they ever be compelled to deny their religious beliefs.

But it's not just the country that is going down the drain. Likewise, organized religion is going down the drain and Christians, perhaps I should say, right wing Christians, are still trying to pick fights over the very foundations of the Gospel of Christ and over the Constitutional guarantees that have defined America for more than 200 years.

The facts speak for themselves. Over the last decade the percentage of Americans who do not belong to or attend the services of any religious group has almost doubled. I can't say I blame them. If I was not a Christian but just someone looking in at all the fighting and the bickering and the claims that God hates this and God hates that and the demands that you have to do this and you dang well can't do that or God is gonna git you, I'd run for the hills before I'd ever set foot in a church. I don't have to go to church to find such things!

Not many people will say it (they just vote with their feet and stay away from Christians), but the right wing of Christianity is suffering mightily from a bad case of reactionary fear. They've misinterpreted the Gospel so long and so appallingly, they've forgotten God Himself is still in control of the universe - not them. They don't have to make up their minds about what they need to do to save the rest of us from Hell, God had a plan for that two thousand years ago and He still does! And it's not a reactionary plan born out of fear. It is the master work of proactive plans.

In an age where the average person takes in over 100,000 words a day of information, Christian Right Wingers just look foolish when the try to convince everyone that the Bible is inerrant and the literal word of God. Everyone but them knows it's not. People are just too smart for that kind of nonsense any more. Recent statistics point out that only a third of Christian Right Wingers themselves believe it, but dang if they ain't a vocal minority of rabble rousers!

Now, I know I'm driving Two Lives crazy here, but all of this is just a long wind up leading up to the same important point I've made over and over of late. If you're a bisexual or homosexual man who is torturing himself over his sexuality based on what someone has told you about religion and the mindset of God towards guys like yourself, you're driving your ducks to a mighty poor pond as my grandma would have said. Do you know that recent statistics indicate that almost 50% of fundamental Christians admit they've never read the Bible! They just listen to other people TELL them what it says! They also let other people tell them what they should THINK about what it says. And, oh yes. They use it to bash you over the head!

Have you ever read it? Have you studied it? Have you taken the time to find out that the Bible has a known history and it didn't spring from a burning bush? Have you done all this research yourself before you started torturing yourself over the religious implications of your bisexuality or your homosexuality?

For almost all of you in that situation, the answer to those questions is, "No, you haven't." You've just surrendered without even putting up a real fight.

It's time you corrected that mistake. There are many many books written by well educated Christian theologians that can point you to a new way and a new understanding of yourself and your homosexuality or your bisexuality. There are hundreds of guys you can find on the internet who are Christians themselves who have come to see that they are as God Himself made them to be.

For your own sake, if you're going to take some part of the Bible literally, then take it all literally and spend your time working out the resulting mind numbing conflicts that will beset you before you start working on hating yourself. I guarantee you, you will never have time to get around to hating yourself. Remember, even the fundamentalist don't really take the whole Bible literally. They just take literally, the parts they can bash you with.

Two Lives (Cameron) at "If I Do The Right Thing" blog has posted a great letter that was written to Dr. Laura Schlessinger a few years back when she referred to homosexuality as a "biological error."

The letter is still timely. It talks about living up to Leviticus. It points out that even the most devout fundamental Christian does not begin to live up to Leviticus. Yet, they think they are going to heaven and you're not! Somethings wrong with that! You can read it on the "If I Do The Right Thing" blog at:

More recently the letter was parodied on the television show, "West Wing." You can find that You Tube Video at:

I urge you to read the blog from the link above and watch the video from You Tube as well. Do it for yourself and your peace of mind!

And one last thing. As I said, I've tried to use some gallows humor in this piece. Don't let my poor attempt at humor mislead you. My faith is important to me. It always has been. But as a ten year old boy, I found that the fundamental right wing faith I was being raised in just didn't cut it for me. Nothing about it made sense. Nothing about it ever added up. It always led to me to painting myself into a corner when I tried to take it at face value. It never taught me that God loved me. What it did was make me think if God was really like that, I didn't want anything to do with Him at all.

I struggled for many years with my doubts and fears and sense of self  hate. Then in a final bout of desperation, I began to read and study and think for myself. I found dozens of great liberal Christian authors who have written many wonderful books about faith and love. It is so important that you know the Christians who make the news are really a very vocal minority of Christians. Most Christians go about their lives quietly providing for their families and helping others when and where they can. They don't try to rabble rouse about their faith. They just live it day by day. Chances are you know one or more of them. Perhaps they are work in your office. Perhaps one of them is you kids school teacher. Their everywhere. They're just not in your face!

Like me, they don't claim to know all the answers. They don't claim to know the mind of God. They do claim to know the love of God. They do claim to know there are many many paths to God.  Some of them even lead through homosexuality. They don't claim that the Bible is the literal word of God. They don't claim it is a science book. They just see it as a good and sufficient guide to faith.

You can know all that for yourself. You can know that, even as a  homosexual or bisexual man, you are as God made you to be and that you are loved, not hated. That there is a purpose for your life. Reach out and see.

Jack Scott


  1. Great discussion, Scott. Only, I don't agree with "you are as God made you" if you have been circumcised. God never meant your genitals to be mutilated!

    1. Now I'm confused…

      I'm circumcised, but I didn't really have a choice in the matter. Is God really pissed at me? What about all these people with the plastic surgery? [Poor rich people…]


    2. You have a point there Uncutplus and I'm glad you made it because it illustrates perfectly the point of my blog. God never meant me to be circumcised. I wish I hadn't been, but I didn't have a choice at 3 days old.

      The good thing even though my parents fixed me so I couldn't live up to Leviticus, it doesn't matter. NO ONE lives up to Leviticus, not even the most staunch right wing Christian. They don't even try.

      Instead they just pick out the parts they can use to bash homosexual and bisexual men and use it as a weapon while ignoring the parts that apply to them.

      My further point is that it is way past time for homosexual and bisexual men to rise up and quit allowing themselves to be bashed by the Bible. For homosexual and bisexual men who are Christians, there are many many supportive churches out there filled with other Christians who have a different view.

      Thanks for the comment. I appreciate it and you.

      Jack Scott

  2. Well Bob, in your case I might have to think about whether or not God is really pissed at you!

    No, just kidding. God is not pissed at you at all. He's not pissed at anyone over their circumcision, their homosexuality or anything else.

    There is no book in which He keeps score. He just loves us each as we are.

    No one lives up to Leviticus. No one is free of sin. The point is it doesn't matter because God had a Plan B - Grace.

    Fundamental Christian groups will talk a little about Grace, but they add a human concept to it. I call it "Grace but…." Grace unless you're homosexual. Grace unless you've had an abortion. Grace unless this and Grace unless that.

    The good thing is that over and over again the Bible assures us that God's Grace has no exceptions whatsoever.

    Thanks for the comment as always.

    Jack Scott

  3. Thank you for communicating that very positive life-view.

  4. If a person looks at the specific Hebrew words used in those passages from Leviticus, it becomes arguable, if not conclusive, that the commandment is not about prohibiting sex with men as it is about banning male-on-male temple prostitution, which believe it or not was a common practice in the region prior to Moses, and for a long time afterward. See

    Many religious people oppose homosexual relations out of ignorance of the specific evil that was banned in the Mosaic Code; not just banned, but identified as "toevah" - an abomination. The ignorance is not necessarily their fault, as no English translation makes the distinction clear.

    At the same time, it's important to be honest about the fact that the parts of the Mosaic Code that were terminated as part of the revelations of Christ and Peter are mainly the dietary issues and emphasis on circumcision. They do not include Leviticus 18:22 or the prohibition on infant sacrifice found in Leviticus 18:21.

  5. I guess I should add - since this started out with politics -- that I am a conservative Republican and proud of it. And even though I am very far from being a Roman Catholic, I am appalled at the prospect that the federal government would dictate to Catholic institutions a requirement that they pay for contraception. Contraception is not prohibited in my religious view but that's not the issue. "Free exercise of religion" means that the state can use no means of compulsion to force religious parties to violate sincerely-held religious beliefs, except for those such as "jihad" (to the extent that it's interpreted as a duty to kill non-believers) that endanger the lives of others.

    1. I appreciate your comments Dave. I have read several books which say the same thing you are saying that Leviticus forbids male/male temple prostitution, not homosexuality between two partners in a relationship.

      I think its great that you are a conservative Republican who agrees that the Catholic Church should not have to financially support contraception against its belief. It is proof that contrary to what Democrats say, there are people who think and take principled stands among Republican conservatives.

      On a similar issue I have an honest question I'd like to bounce off you. Not trying to set you up I promise. Actually I agree with you that Catholics should not have to get involved with contraception. What I don't understand is if we can't force them to support contraception, how did we force Utah and Mormons to outlaw plural marriages before Utah was allowed to be a state? It is my understanding that was a condition of Utah's statehood.

      I'd appreciate it if you can shed any light on that. Perhaps it was just that it was in an earlier era when the law was not as well evolved as it is now.

      Thanks again for our comments. Appreciate your feedback.

      Jack Scott


I deeply regret that I must reinstate the verification process for those who want to leave comments on my blog. This is due to the intolerable amount of spam that spammers are attempting to leave on the blog.

At the same time I am changing settings so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will not have to have your comments moderated. My hope is this will encourage more readers to take the time to comment. The fact is I want to read comments with those of you who disagree with me as well as those of you who agree with me. All I ask is that you keep your comments clean and non-threatening.

The only reason I take the time to write this blog is to spur your thoughts and comments. Please do not let the spammers cause you not to comment. I know entering the verification words and numbers is a pain in the ass, but I hope you will not let the spammers cause you not to comment.

I still very much look forward to hearing from you.

Jack Scott

Anyone can comment on what I write in this blog. Regretfully, the recent amount of spam in my email account as required that I reinstate the word verification process for comments which I personally hate.

But at the same time I have loosened the comment moderation process so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will no longer need to wait for your comment to be moderated. I'm hoping this will tempt you to take the trouble to comment.

The truth is I want respectful comments both from those who agree with me and those who do not. All I as is that you keep comments to the point, clean and non-threatenting.

I look forward to hearing from each of you.

Jack Scott