The biblical prohibition against gay men is a keystone citation in the culturewar. I’ve often wondered how non-vertebrate seafood and tattoos figure in the mix for anti-gay activists. Who determines what is abominable and what is simple good public health for a culture in an age that lacks an awareness of modern hygiene?
Emily Filler breaks down the arguments used by the anti-anti-gays:
What is the value of its many injunctions? And insofar as some of the Old Testament’s commandments, even beyond the famous first ten, are frequently invoked as normative in their literal sense—for instance, those regarding the status of immigrants —how does the Christian determine which have these status and which are worthy of being dismissed when engaged in text-based, theo-political arguments? The charge of selective biblical citation, particularly from the Hebrew Bible, is just as pertinent to liberal Christians as to their more conservative counterparts, and may be just as difficult to resolve.
A few things on this …
First, when a believer utilizes the injunction against football (Leviticus 11:7) there isn’t an undercurrent of mocking the Scriptures, nor even against pig leather. It’s a significant poke that too many believers treat the Bible less as one library, or 66 to 72 books, and rather as a collection of 1.5 million sound bites. Biblical literacy may suffer because, you know, who can track that many commandments and be perfect as the Father is perfect? Let’s just stick with what we like. What’s getting poked is the selectivity: I’ll page through my manual of Christianity until I find where God agrees with me. Or my media influences.
Professor Miller detects a possible whiff of anti-Judaism here. Hmm, maybe. Tread with care, I suppose. Protesters without faith invoking the banner “God hates shrimp,” probably don’t consider themselves mocking Jews, although they might be poking at their perception of Christians in general. There is the public witness of Jesus through many disciples who would be broadly considered as wise, moral, and just. It’s just that silly people are shouting more loudly these days.
And maybe Professor Miller is wise to suggest caution and prudence in this area. Judaism has taken quite a pounding lately–and I don’t mean Gaza to-and-fro shelling alone. On the other hand, I can’t quite imagine LGBT activists really want to sink seafood collecting in Maine and Louisiana over this.