Archive for the ‘leviticus’ Category

Fundamentalists from religions that place an emphasis on the correct interpretation of a revelation in the form of a holy text tend to claim not only that their interpretation is the only correct one – but that their interpretation is the correct one because it’s literal, doesn’t involve any metaphorical readings and sophistry(1).

Very often those claims of literalism are taken at face value in the discourse about religion, usually not by scholars, by but activists, journalists and atheist bloggers.

This uncritical reception of facts provided by parties who are by no means objective, neutral participants in the discourse about religion – namely, the fundamentalists themselves – constitutes a deeply flawed approach to understanding the phenomenon of fundamentalism, and to fighting it.

1) Fudamentalists are selecting the parts of their holy texts they want to interpret “literally”; those parts usually support their anti-modern, absolutist, Manicheist, xenophobic stance. Have you ever heard of a Christian fundamentalist sect that chose to interpret Matthew 22, 37 literally?:

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

There is no such fundamentalist sect. Quite the opposite, the fundamentalist sects will engage in all sorts of spurious sophistry to metaphorically explain this bit of the Bible away so that it doesn’t seem to be in contradiction with their plans of eliminating sexual minorities and subjugating women.

2) Fudamentalists’ literal interpretations are completely decontextualised and in fact false

Let’s consider the common stance of various fundamentalist Christian sects on homosexuality, namely that it is a sin, and that the Bible explicitly states that it is so. However, the Bible cannot possibly explicitly state anything at all about homosexuality, because it has no word for homosexuality in any of its many books. Even if there are some words that might or might not refer to homosexuality in the New Testament, there are describing a completely different phenomenon than the one we understand as “homosexuality” today. What the Bible says about homosexuality is:

(Leviticus 18:22) “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”

What it means in more modern terms is more or less this:

Two men having an anal intercourse is a bad thing, because if a man is penetrated by a penis that makes him a woman. A man becoming a woman, who is less of a human than a man, is a bad thing and a violation of a natural order. The natural order of things was established by God – therefore, anal intercourse between two men is an act of disobedience against God, and a sin.

Because women are unimportant, women having sex with each other are never mentioned. This isn’t because when the Bible says “man” it means “human”. Any such claims are ridiculous: in antiquity “man” meant “a non-foreigner who is male and who is not a slave”.

As in the example I provided, the process of constructing a typical “literal” fundamentalist interpretation looks more or less like that:

A. Picking the parts of modern ideology fundamentalists disagree with and want to fight against; this will be the things that they consider to be the biggest threat to the traditional, idealised way of life.

B. Re-defining them in modern terms and decontextualisation: they’re taking a stance against modernity not by ignoring or rejecting it but by actively opposing it; this paradoxically makes it necessary that modern terminology and vocabulary be included, at least as a point of reference.

C. Making a list of the things selected in B; this will be the list of fundamentals, the things that are especially important and interpreted “literally”, according to the members of the fundamentalist religion. As mentioned above, parts of the holy text that could be considered a threat to the literal interpretation of the fundamentals will be interpreted metaphorically, often with the help of seemingly sophisticated theology, which however will in the end be only the tool in the hands of a above-all anti-modern movement.

It’s extremely irritating to see atheist activists and sceptics being deceived by the claims fundamentalists make about their interpretations being literal. It’s quite certain that many of them sincerely believe that this is the case, this however, is not a sufficient reason to take them at face value; in fact, any sort of self-report, or claim about ideology someone is invested in should undergo a thorough scrutiny.

ETA: fixed typos ^^;;;;;;;;;;;

(1) Obviously, I will be only writing about the fundamentalisms that have holy text that are considered to be the word of the relevant god, and important because of it. However, it should be clear that not for all fundamentalisms, just for religions, the existence of such a holy text is necessary: a good example would be the Buddhist fundamentalism in Sri Lanka, or various Hindu fundamentalisms (this of course doesn’t mean they’re not using any texts at all, only that those texts are not considered to be the word of god(s) and consequently their interpretation and analysis is not accorded such a great importance as in the case of, for instance, Christianity or Islam).

(for Dan <3)

Because this is about the amount of attention I believe we should give to ridiculous bigots like this one.  Specifically, I mean his laughably inane video about Rick Warren’s hidden homosexual agenda.

(The YT one is totes not available in Europe, but the one from WND should work just fine)

(Before I even start, I’d like to point out how absolutely unimpressed I am with Rick Warren’s fake claims  of concern for gay people. In fact, I’m so unimpressed I might even link to people who will explain to you why His Gay Agenda Is Pastede on Yey)

Anyway, this guy, Molotov, is, like, a real gem.  I mean, he thinks he’s funny or something. He says that people in Uganda should kill gay people because:

– Gen 9:6, Lev 20:13, Ex 22:19

BUT!

Gen 9:6 is actually the following quote:

Whoever sheds the blood of man,
by man shall his blood be shed;
for in the image of God
has God made man.

So, should we kill people who kill other people (that is to say, men)? Like, you know, the anti-gay bigots in Uganda? Ups.

Lev 20:16

‘If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

So, gay sex is Biblically OK as long as it’s between two (or more) women,  not men. Did the anti-gay bigots in Uganda take this into account when they drafted their bill?

I didn’t think so. Ups.

Ex 22:19

Anyone who has sexual relations with an animal must be put to death.

In as much as humans are animals too, heterosexuals are having sexual relations with animals as well. In as much as having sex with members of a different species should be forbidden, it still has nothing to do with  anti-gay bigotry. Unless you’d want to argue that homosexuality makes you a member of a different species, which, hah, wouldn’t go down very well.

Ups. Try harder,  Molotov, try harder!

– “unless there are some Biblical passages that I’ve missed”

Yes, in fact quite a few. For starters Lev 11:9-12 or Lev 19:19, darling <3

– Killing people is OK ’cause it was God who created the death penalty

BUT!

Well, I went to check out the Book of Genesis again. I expected something like:

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he created  the death penalty, waterboarding and Superbowl commercials, and then he rested  from all his work.  And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he created the death penalty, waterboarding and Superbowl commercials, and  rested from all the work of creating that he had done. And then God watched Buffy.

You know, a little bit of omnipotent multitasking. I mean, I’ve normally a pretty relaxed attitude: show me a Bible verse, and I’ll laugh at you. Heartilly.

But this time? There was no quote!!!

Can you believe it?! The Bible never mentions god inventing the capital punishment and waterboarding! This must be the Liberal Bias showing, clearly.

– the USian Founding Fathers were totes for killing the gay with fire

BUT!

HURR DURR

Also, even if they were, what do they have to do with Uganda? Didn’t somebody say that Uganda is a sovereign nation around 1:55? Ups.

– Evil Homosexual king required all men in the kingdom [of Budanga] to submit to his sexual desires (wah wah wah)

BUT!

Orly? Also, what does it has to do with anything? I mean, in 1675 it came to light that the Marquise de Brinvilliers poisoned a lot of her relatives. Does it mean we should murder all French women now?

Didn’t think so, ups.

– persecuting gays is part of Ugandan culture

BUT!

Yes, ever since Xian missionaries taught people to hate the gay. Ups.

– liberuls only embrace multi-culturalism when it suits them

HURR DURR POT-KETTLE

– if they [the gays] don’t like the law, they can always leave!11!111

BUT!

Orly? Also, Molotov, princess, if you hate America with its distinct lack of legalised gay-killing, why don’t you just leave? Instead of posting spurious videos on YouTube? Ups.

– “Don’t think our Founding Fathers wouldn’t support this legislation.”

BUT!

How are they relevant? Uganda is an independent nation, after all. Also, clearly Molotov doesn’t think very often, does he?

– NOT LIEK THE NAZIS!11!!!!!

ORLY? Funny that you should mention it…

-NOT  WITCHHUNT!111!111!

ORLY:

“The term “witch-hunt” is often used by analogy to refer to panic-induced searches for perceived wrong-doers other than witches.”

-“they don’t want to kill homosexuals, they just want them to stop practicing the homosexual act”

Oh, because what two (or more) consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedrooms concerns them how? Also, gee, thanks for being so tolerant! I mean, they could kill people like me! But in their boundless generosity, they will only shower them with the Xian love beat them up a bit, ruin their lives, maybe imprison them and kill them only if they’re really obstinate about not stopping to be gay.

I cried, a little.

And the cherry on top of epic fail:

-“Like the great Dr. King told us, ‘the moral arm of the universe is long but it bends towards justice.’ Ugandans, stay on the right side of history.”

Ooooh, I get it now! This is, clearly, the right wing logic sort of thing. This is when you say that when Bush started the war in Iraq, he was just liek Gandhi, and when Hitler started killing Jewish people, he was just liek Jesus, and Ted Haggard is a completely heterosexual magical glittery unicorn.

Sleep well, my prince Molotov.

BUT WAIT! I like happy endings, therefore, have some Gay Agenda (via nameste via mrw):

This is very easy.

A recipe, of you please:

1 homo sapiens

1 holy book

0.5 brain

What you do is:

First, you read a holy book, one that says “because of some issues regarding gender roles in our society, anal sex in which a man is penetrated by the other party (parties) is wrong”, and then conclude that “therefore, gay sex is wrong”, which you swiftly re-parse into “gay people are sinners”. You then proceed to empirically verify this hypothesis, and find it false. Gay people are not only not evil, as you expected them to be, but they are remarkably not altogether dissimilar to yourself(1). They have families, relationships, and sometimes even buy their books in the same online bookstore as you do. You may even realize that they like the same films you do. They might even drink the same brand of coffee as you do, provided you’re an insufferable coffee snob(2).

Impossible!

You then proceed, by a strange stroke of luck that mostly can be explained by somebody’s internalised homophobia, to become friends with some of the gay people who are morally inferior to you by default because of the fact of them engaging in  sexual intercourse that may involve a position explicitly forbidden in a very old book you once read(3). They are fun, and you like to hang round with them. They also suffer from internalised homophobia, so they have nothing against hanging round with a morally and intellectually bankrupt hypocritical bigot.

Anyway, will it lead you to revising your initial hypothesis? Not in the slightest bit.

You continue being the same bigot you were to start with, now with the added cognitive dissonance, and bonus self-recriminations of “why am I not disgusted by gay people, oh noez!”, and “am I being permissive???”.

This is how religion oppresses religious people, guys. They may realise there’s nothing wrong, empirically, with being gay, and yet! Old book says it’s wrong, therefore it is.

(via Dispatches from Culture Wars)

ETA: typos.

(1) Apart from, on the average, being less bigoted than you.

(2) I am!

(3) That is, if you read it at all.

There’s no low that’s too low for me to stoop to, darlings. I’m childish, petty, not v nice, and basically absolutely all right with that. Especially when I’m convinced I’m right.

And I usually am.

1. This is just not natural.

Gay penguinsMoar gay penguins. Apparently, penguins are really gay. Gay-marriedly gay.

 

A very gay penguin with his gay family, gaily posing for a gay picture of him and his gay family, The photographs might have been gay, too. The camera sure was a lesbian. I have gaydar. I can tell.

In fact, so many animals are pushing the gay agenda that Wikipedia had to make an entire list of them. And the Bonobos, who are so human-like, heh heh heh, are evil filthy lesbians.

 

This fascinating article from the SEED magazine provides us with many valuable trolling opportunities:

Male big horn sheep live in what are often called “homosexual societies.” They bond through genital licking and anal intercourse, which often ends in ejaculation. If a male sheep chooses to not have gay sex, it becomes a social outcast. Ironically, scientists call such straight-laced males “effeminate.”

Giraffes have all-male orgies. So do bottlenose dolphins, killer whales, gray whales, and West Indian manatees. Japanese macaques, on the other hand, are ardent lesbians; the females enthusiastically mount each other. Bonobos, one of our closest primate relatives, are similar, except that their lesbian sexual encounters occur every two hours. Male bonobos engage in “penis fencing,” which leads, surprisingly enough, to ejaculation. They also give each other genital massages.

As this list of activities suggests, having homosexual sex is the biological equivalent of apple pie: Everybody likes it. At last count, over 450 different vertebrate species could be beheaded in Saudi Arabia.

Do I hear the bigots hetero-panicking yet? Mmmm(1).

Also, a list of gay animals with their gay photos.

2. There’s no gay gene.

There’s no stupid gene, either. And yet!

3. Gays are desperate, hopeless, sad, lonely, miserable people.

Possible replies:

a) And you’re so not helping.

b) Ask about how many gay friends the bigot has, and consequently, how they can tell.

c) Tell them to fuck themselves with a coat hanger.

d) Shove the statistics (with explanation) down the bigot’s bigoted throat.

d”) Mention suicidal children.

d””) Say it’s all the bigot’s fault. Make it personal. They will start feeling uncomfortable sooner or later. Stoop as low as possible. Actually, there’s no stooping too low when you’re talking to a person who believes you’re not really human at all, anyway.

4. Oh, and they’re really slutty too.

And yet they would never want to have sex with the bigot.

Bonus: point out that it’s a but bizarre how they keep bringing up the gay sex all the time. Ask them about repression. Mention internalised homophobia. Point out that homophobic males are sort of totally turned on by gay porn.

5. I LOVE gay people, but I just don’t like what they do.

This one’s fairly straightforward. Proceed from a) to b).

a) Take them at face value first. Ask them what is it that they dislike. Do they have issues with your crocheting? Or is it your choice of books? They will become exasperated, and also

b) This way you proved that you’re human. They might suffer from cognitive dissonance now. Hopefully. Proceed to point out nobody is forcing them to have gay sex, and it’s none of their business what other people do. They might have trouble dehumanising you again, because in a) you showed that your resemblance to a real person is uncanny, and you do not look much like the evil child-rapist and fire-breathing demon they pictured you to be.

6. Anal sex causes AIDS/STDs/cancer.

This why fundie kids like it so much, right?

Bonus: all sex causes all sorts of trouble if it’s not safe sex.

7. Gays can change, therefore they should.

Black people can change skin colour — I mean, look at Michael Jackson – therefore, they should.

(Shamelessly stolen from eliwurman)

8. Gay parenting harms children.

a) Ask the bigot whether the parenting of their parents was gay, because it sure harmed them.

b) Get personal. Tell them the bigot’s parenting, as a result of which more hateful homophobic might be brought up, is much moar harmful anything a pair of clueless gays could ever accomplish. They had it coming.

9. The gays already have equal rights, they want special rights!

a) Point out that the right to marry, adopt children, and not have bigoted fuckwits disrupting your life at every opportunity is not in fact a privilege.

b) Or just inform them that while eating Xian children is in fact a bit further down the gay agenda than such basics as gay marriage, you will of course do everything in your power to get your hands on the government-subsidised foetus sushi(2) that you’re clearly entitled to.

10. The bible is crystal-clear on the subject of homosexuality.

Yes. Yes it is.

(The anti-gay arguments used in this post come from the anti-gay bingo card)

(Still 15 to go)

(But you can start trolling now)

 

(1) Roughgarden’s theory sounds pretty interesting. Will have to pick up the book when I’m less busy.

(2) With salmon and wasabi.

OK, I know I just should keep my hands to myself, and take a cold shower, BUT. Cogito Ergo Sum, he’s so stupid, and I just can’t stoooooop reaaaaaaaaaading.

(Let me assure you that I checked several times whether he wasn’t a 13-year-old boy pretending to be an adult. This is because I don’t get my kicks out of laughing at little kiddies. BUT HE WASN’T.)

Uh-huh. The trainwreck begins as Cogito Ergo Sum shares his thoughts on gay people with the rest of the class:

This post is in response to a fellow blogger who reported on a Bishop of Church of England. It is not the intention of this post to mock or criticize or insult the homosexual community. But frankly I don’t understand why this tension exists between the Church and the community.

See, he’s a nice guy. He won’t mock!

(Is this because he couldn’t tell mockery if it was stuffed down his throat, and later had the bears maul him?)

He starts with a strong case:

If you want to be a part of the religion then you have to accept its doctrines. Or else you’re simply not a part of the religion. Mutilating a faith and its doctrines just so you can be accepted serves no purpose other than to force a social group to embrace you for your sexuality. This is a sort of emotional, political and social blackmail.

Strong case of intergalactic flu and Baby Dropped on Their Head Syndrome. Because, like most Christians, Cogito has never read the Bible, and even if he did, his reading comprehension skills are so severely lacking, he has to believe that even allowing teh gays into churches “mutilates” his “faith”. The education is that way!

Even the Devil believes in God, right?

No idea. Have you tried asking him? I must be worse than devil, though, because I don’t. Come to think of it, I don’t believe in the devil, either.

I don’t get what the homosexual communities issue is. If you aim to change the religion then you’d might as well abandon it or create your own occult practice, because that is just as good as changing the one that is there. I’m sorry that you feel unaccepted by them, but if that is the case then that is the case. It is what it is (emphasis mine — Sara).

OH MY DARWIN YES! He did say it!

For those who failed to catch up: there are other people who “aimed to change the religion”. Just to name a few, let’s maybe start with Jesus. Then, Paul (the epistolary guy), then some lesser known figures, like Luther or Calvin. Note how Cogito just called their religions “occult practice”. AHAHAHAHAHA.

Accept the religion for what it is or don’t accept it at all… why the religious intolerance? Is that not hypocritical of you? You criticize the religion for a lack of tolerance for you, but you fail to tolerate the religion for what it stands for.

Funny that you should say that, Cogito. Have you read the Bible yet? Is that not hypocritical of you? You criticise the gays for lack of tolerance for you, but you fail to inform yourself as to what your holy book actually stands for.

What are you accomplishing by mutilating a religion and its beliefs just so that you can be accepted into it? Would that help to validate you? Would it help you to feel better and sleep better at night?

We, gay people, don’t sleep that well at night. This is because we’re busy having sex.

Gay sex.

With each other.

Gayly!

Does it alleviate your own guilt for being gay? Would religious acceptance make you feel less of a sinner? I imagine it does work like that.

To alleviate my own guilt for making this drivel known to people whom I like and respect, I will put “have moar gay sex this month” into my Gay Agenda Magical Pink Sparkly Memo Pad.

You might be able to force societies and laws to change, but you cannot force a religion.

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. This is why Catholic priests are still allowed to marry, and we’ve been constantly having crusades in Europe since the Middle Ages. Also, the pope is a die-hard monarchist*.

A religion is by definition spiritual, transcendental in nature. At least, anyone who would want to be a part of the church would validate the fact that religions purport to be associated with spiritual matters.

I might be mistaken, but I hardly call the religious peoples’ interest in what I might do with a pink sparkly dildo in my free time transcendental. Or even spiritual.

God has spoken, right?

But have you read the Bible yet? And I don’t mean the abridged picture version.

The law-setter?

I don’t know. In my country, it’s usually the Parliament that does the wacky stuff with the law.

No amount of petitioning will change Gods mind about homosexuality.

OF COURSE, ONLINE PETITIONS NEVER WORK, DUH.
On a more serious note, though, it’s hard to change something that doesn’t exist (God). Even harder to change something that doubly doesn’t exist (the non-existent mind of a non-existent God). You can, however, try to change your homophobic hateful self, sweetheart**.

If you don’t accept that then you don’t believe in the faith. What more is there for you to do?

Point and laugh. Crochet. Have moar coffee. Lots of things!

A rose by any other name is still a rose. No matter how offensive an adjective or a lifestyle may be, a sinner is a sinner.

OK. Is the adjective that offends you “gay”? Gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay “>gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay ^__^***.

Also: no matter how offensive an adjective or a lifestyle may be, an ignorant homophobic fuckwad is still an ignorant homophobic fuckwad.

Also: SHAKESPEARE QUOTE HOW MEAAAAAAAAAAAAAN.

You can still believe in God and believe you’re going to hell at the same time, right?

Oh, those loving Xians, oh! You  make me feel soooo good about myself. Because, no matter what I do, I still won’t be able to beat that, right?

In fact, that sort of self-doubt is humble and virtuous, quite unlike the guilty Christians who confidently believe they are going to be sitting right next to Christ during every dinner, overly confident that they have earned a place in heaven, lower their guard and let sin set in.

What matters though is: do they let it in anally?

Surprise!

But was it surprise buttsex?

Don’t you think that you should be appeasing the church, instead of the state, in matters of religion?

Oh, I simply love this guy. “Appease”. I don’t think it means what you think it means! Look it up!

As a religious and spiritual construct, marriage is what you seek to achieve. As a social and legal construct, the notion of civil unity is far less meaningful and is less to the end of what you seek.

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. “Marriage”, my dear demented fuckwad, is entirely a social construct. Have you any idea what it looks like, or what it looked like in other cultures? No, of course not, why would you? Why would you even be interested, when you can remain blissfully ignorant forever instead?

(Do we need a gigantic series of “Marriage in (insert period/place)” posts to show people how limited and biased their own ideas of marriage are?)

Personally, I think that you suffer a delusional false belief that forcing a church, a body of men, to recognize you; that somehow God will as well.

Here, have some charming rapey gay imagery, what with “forcing the body of men”. Coincidence? NO WAI.

I think that it is a form of perversion to actively undermine a religion, not unlike atheists, under the false premise of virtuosity.

Um, so we had a false premise where we DIDN’T outright say we wanted to undermine religion? Guys, you need to update my forwarding address for the Atheist Agenda memos, I moved!

I’m also afraid “virtuosity” doesn’t really mean what you think it means. Look it up!

The churches believe that you lack moral fortification.

My pillow fort doesn’t count? Damn. Or, did you perhaps mean “moral fortitude”?

It seems true from my perspective in light of these realizations.

This is the last sentence. It doesn’t make any sense. His entire fapping essay makes no sense, but this makes even less. Charming!

(Dear homophobes: yes, this is what you look like. This is how stupid one has to be in order to become one of you.)

* Who knows, he might be. B16 is, just like his predecessor, completely batshit.

**  Please don’t. You’re too entertaining.

*** Daily passive-aggressive smiley quota filled! ERFOLG****!

**** FOREIGN LANGUAGE HOW MEAN.

Reaaaad eeeeeeet.

Posted: August 31, 2009 in atheism, fundamentalism, leviticus, religion
Tags:

So, I’ve got two totally awesome posts at Camels with Hammers:

1. About the interpretation of holy books,

2. About Biblical “literalism”.

Read them!

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to check out Daniel’s awesome Disambiguating Faith series!

In the beginning, there was PZ Myers.

(Obviously)

Teaser:

Genesis 1:1 (and beyond)

Version 1: (link to the full picture at the Brick Testament)

Version 2: In the beginning Cthulhu created R’lyeh and the earth.

Version 3: Oh hai. In teh beginnin Ceiling Cat maded teh skiez An da Urfs, but he did not eated dem.

Version 4: In the beginning Gloria created the heaven and the earth.
2 And the earth was nanti form, and void; and munge was upon the eke of the deep. And the fairy of Gloria trolled upon the eke of the aquas.

Version 5 and final*: 1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And darkness was upon the face of the deep; this was due to a malfunction at the Lots Road Power Station. 3 And God said, Let there be light; and there was light, but Eastern Electricity Board said that He would have to wait until Thursday to be connected. 4 And God saw the light and it was good; He saw the quarterly bill and that was not good.

(more…)