Too Much Leviticus - 28th April 2012


Extra-ordinarily I have had very little correspondence indeed regarding Leveson/ Jeremy Hunt/ Murdoch, despite the wall to wall media coverage. Strangely enough my most numerous correspondence over the last few weeks continues to be against gay marriage. I saw 3 opinion polls on the subject this week –each with a statistically significant sample, but each by a different pollster. They all yielded the same conclusion: there is a clear majority in favour of Gay Marriage in every age cohort except the over sixties. That majority builds as you move down the age range, and is more pronounced amongst women. I can only conclude that opponents are disproportionately located in the New Forest!

More recently my correspondents have been quite disciplined : they do not refer to homosexuality at all, merely pointing out that the definition of marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman. I did however, receive a letter from a non-conformist clergyman telling me that the real issue was that homosexual practice was an ‘abomination’ because it says so in the Bible. My reply was restrained, but here is the letter I really ought to have sent him:

Dear Mr X
Thank you for pointing out God’s law to me as set out in Leviticus 18:22. You are clearly an expert in biblical exegesis. Perhaps you can be of further assistance to me: Leviticus 25:44 states that it is permissible to have slaves so long as you buy them in a foreign market, do you think that this now includes the EU?
Exodus 21:7 states that it is lawful for me to sell my daughters into slavery, but what would be a fair price in to-day’s money?
Leviticus 15: 19-24 says that we can have no contact whatever with a woman during her period, but how on earth do you tell?
After all, it would be considered rude to ask – and even asking would constitute contact.
I have many colleagues who work on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 tells me they should be put to death, but by whom, should I do it myself?
On a similar subject, what is the proper penalty for those who commit the‘abomination’ of eating shell fish (Leviticus 11:10)?
My wife does it all the time.
How should I punish her?
Is the abomination of eating shell fish, as abominable as the abomination homosexuality?
Leviticus 21:20 says that I may not approach God’s altar if I have a sight impediment. I’ve recently started using reading glasses. Am I still able to receive communion?
I’ve just had a haircut, expressly forbidden in Leviticus 19:27, It says I should die, really, is there no way out?
Leviticus 11: 6-8 says you mustn’t touch the skin of a dead pig. Not good for football, but is it ok if the players wear synthetic gloves and boots?
Why is the penalty so severe for wearing a polyester/cotton shirt –mixing threads in a garment- similarly punished is planting different crops in the same field (Leviticus 19:19)?
Is it really necessary to turn out the whole village to stone the offenders (Leviticus 24: 10-16)?
Wouldn’t it be simpler to just burn then in the same way as we do anyone who has sex with their in-laws (Leviticus 20:14)?
I really hope you can help. There are still plenty more questions where these came from.