bible stories (warning: minimal U2 content)

lilith ([email protected])
Mon, 06 Jul 1998 04:23:42 GMT

To go further into the subject of just how literally one should not take the bible...

Leviticus is a very interesting section of the Bible. It has many instructions on how to behave properly in a way pleasing to "the LORD" (as it says in the online version of the King James Bible I referenced). It starts with instructions on how to properly offer a bullock or goat or other animal on the altar as a burnt offering, and for what reasons one should do so, and so forth. Apparently the LORD liked his meat well done, and had a special preference on how the fat and kidneys etc. were removed & prepared; indeed, He seems to have been something of a gourmand back in the old days, for I do not believe this ritual is carried out today. At least it is not in the Methodist churches of my youth, though the times may have changed since I was last in a church.

Then it says that a woman who bears a male child shall be considered "unclean" for seven days, but if she has a female child she is considered unclean for two weeks. Now, I can understand the "unclean" part as being perhaps a way of getting mama some alone time (i.e., away from her husband) after the strain of giving birth, but what is with the time difference depending upon whether it is a girl or a boy? In any case, I don't know of a mainstream Christian sect that obeys _this_ rule either.

There is more of this, including commandments not to wear garments of "mingled linen and wool" (what does the LORD make of polyester?), and to not eat the fruit from new trees until the fifith year (before then it "shall be as uncircumcised"!), "neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times" (?), and only people of "unblemished" appearance were considered good enough to make offerings in the sanctuary (so I guess the cult of the Beautiful People is hardly an invention of Hollywood), and so forth.

So if all these other rules don't have to be followed by modern Christians then why does the one referring to a man lying "with a man as with a woman" have to be obeyed?

just wondering,

PS: Anyone know/remember what location in LA U2 did their video of "Where the Streets Have No Name"? I am going to LA Thursday and thought maybe I'd take a drive by the place, if it still exists...

"When Christianity gained control of the Roman Empire it suppressed the
writings of its critics and even cast them into flames."
Robert L. Wilken, The Christians As the Romans Saw Them
(New Haven: Yale, 1984), p. xii.

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