The Dancer in the Shadows

Thursday, May 16, 2013

"You Can't Pick and Choose"

I've debated with a great deal of very religious people who (at least initially) tell me that I am just flat wrong in my support for marriage equality for same sex couples because the Holy Bible clearly states that homosexuality is an abomination and you can't pick and choose the parts of the Bible you like.

I usually respond with a rather flat, "have you actually read the Bible?"

They look at me like I just grew another head and stammer that of course they have read the Bible.

That's when I smirk or giggle.

After I regain some composure, I start asking questions that really make them squirm and start denying things that are in the Bible.

Here is a sampling, and I have chapter and (where appropriate) verse (sometimes it is the entire chapter) for these to back it up.

* In some cases, prostitution is held up as the morally right thing to do.
* I may sell my daughters into slavery, as long as I get a good price for them.
* I may own slaves, both male and female, as long as I purchase them from neighboring nations rather than my own nation.
* Anyone working on Saturday is to be put to death.
* Eating shell fish of any kind is an abomination.
* Any male who trims his hair is to be put to death.
* Planting two different crops in the same field is grounds for death by stoning.
* Wearing clothes made of two different kinds of thread is also grounds for death by stoning. (cotton/polyester blend anyone?)
* Sex with your dead brother's widow until she got pregnant is a requirement if your brother died childless.
* I may have sex with someone else's female slaves as long as I pay the slaves' owner "full compensation"
* If I rape a free virgin, then pay her father 50 shekels of silver, she is now my wife. The only limit to the number times I may do this is the amount of silver I have. (For reference, a shekel was between eight and fifteen grams of silver. With the current (May/2013) price of silver, that is between $280 and $525)

And this sampling is only from the first five books. It was amusing at first watching their expressions as they actually read these for themselves and then try to back peddle their "you can't pick and choose" stance without actually renouncing it... Now I'm just irritated by it.

Has human society in general failed so badly that people can't admit they were wrong about something? These examples are very very clear evidence that no Christian denomination is truly following the "you can't pick and choose" doctrine, even if only through abject ignorance. And yet, even some people I've had this debate with, and showed them the chapter and verse in their own Bible, still tell me that I "can't pick and choose from the Bible," and that I'm wrong for supporting marriage equality for same sex couples "because the Bible says homosexuality is an abomination." The difference now is that they run away fast before I can start the debate again. Most that I've had this debate with simply avoid me thereafter.

The complete failure to be able to cope with the evidence presented to them reminds me a great deal of the Doublethink concept as described in George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four and seeing it so often in otherwise very intelligent people honestly terrifies me.

--- The Dancer in the Shadows

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