June 10, 2005


The wrath of Leviticus
by Jim Hightower

Whoa! The religious extremists are on a white-hot tear, aren't they? From George W's election, to Terry Shiavo, to federal judge nominees, such zealots as James Dobson and Pat Robertson are flexing their political muscle, seeking to impose their, Republican "Christianity" on all public policy.

They're particularly intent at the moment on "saving marriage." Curiously, this holy crusade includes Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich, two serial divorcers and enthusiastic practitioners of extramarital sex. But it's not divorce that worries these marriage saviors — they're opposing marriage itself...when that union is between gay people. We're doing the will of God, they thunder, pointing to the Holy Word in Leviticus 18:22, which declared homosexuality an "abomination." We are not moral relativists, they cry, but Biblical literalists.

Wait, though, the wrath of Leviticus is deep and wide. Chapter 11, verse 10 tells us that eating shellfish is also an abomination. And, in 11:6-8, so is touching anything made of pigskin — someone call the NFL! Leviticus 19, says that planting two different crops in the same field is forbidden by God — yet George W's department of agriculture openly promotes this abomination, calling it "companion-planting." Let's hope USDA at least insists that those seeds be heterosexual.

Speaking of Bush, he's known to have a hot temper and to burst out occasionally with curse words. Does he know that Leviticus 24:10-16 commands that if a person blasphemes God with curse words, the whole town must come together and stone that person. Wouldn't that put the Secret Service in a Biblical bind?

The problem for extremists who insist that every word of the Bible must be accepted literally is that they then can't pick and choose which scriptures must be obeyed. I suspect they spend more time thumping the Bible than reading it...much less understanding it.

Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Let’s Stop Beating Around the Bush, on sale from Viking Press. For more information, visit www.jimhightower.com.


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