It's always irritated me how people try to use the Leviticus passage about homosexual intercourse as an argument against gay marriage, and homosexuality in general. The passage reads,
"If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." - Leviticus 20:13, King James Version
Now, most people who do this probably haven't read all of Leviticus. I have. I suggest everyone read it. It's basically all about what you should and shouldn't do. The word "abomination" is thrown around more often than a baby who just won't shut up. I feel confident in saying that the majority of us don't live by most, or even half of all the rules Leviticus has laid out. Yes, even Christians. If you want to point out Leviticus 20:13, you must also acknowledge the rest of Leviticus.
First, some history:
Leviticus is a book in the Old Testament. That's important to remember. It is also important to note that the name Leviticus refers to the Hebrew tribe of Levi. These are the laws that were meant to govern their tribe, and mark them as different from the numerous pagan tribes surrounding them.
So, here's a little rundown on what it says:
Things You Should Be Doing...
- Making sacrifices to God. Male cattle, turtledoves, stuff like that.
- Offering hunks of meat covered in flour and oil to God. Oh, and salt. You must always include salt.
- Offering fresh vegetables you've grown to God.
- Offering the organs of animals, along with their fat to God.
- Whenever you sin, you must make a ritual sacrifice to God.
- Eat locusts, beetles, and grasshoppers.
- All males must be circumcised when they're 8 days old.
- If you get a scab, or any other skin blemish for that matter, you're supposed to go to a priest so he can make sure it isn't leprosy. This includes being in isolation for about 2 weeks.
- Females, after your period, you're supposed to sacrifice two doves or two pigeons to God in order to cleanse yourself.
- Respect your mother and father.
- Honor the Sabbath. That's Saturday, by the way.
- Help the poor.
- Slavery is okay, just don't treat your slaves harshly.
- It's okay to have concubines, or multiple wives.
- Respect old people.
- Be nice to foreigners.
- If you ejaculate, you must take a shower afterward, wash the clothes you were wearing, and the bed linens if you were in bed. If you weren't in bed, you have to wash whatever you were sitting on.
- If you have an STD that causes a discharge, you have to wash everything you've touched.
- Love your siblings.
- Speak up if you see someone doing something wrong, and let him know you think it's wrong.
Things You Shouldn't Be Doing...
- Don't make an offering of any food with honey on it.
- Don't eat fat or blood. (Perfectly marbled steaks are a sin!)
- No swearing. This includes "swear to God," "swear on my mother's life," etc. Also included is swearing to do something--good or bad.
- Don't eat rabbit, pig, camel, turtles, mice, weasels, ferrets, chameleons, lizards, snails, or moles.
- Don't eat anything from the water that doesn't have scales and fins. That means no lobster, crab, oyster, etc.
- There's a shit load of birds you're not supposed to eat. The list includes eagles, swans, and owls. Pelicans, too.
- Don't drink wine while at church. (CoughCatholicsCough)
- Females, if you have a baby girl, you can't go to church for 66 days afterward, and once you go back to church, you have to bring a lamb, a dove, or a young pigeon for a burnt offering. You must also bring an extra dove or pigeon for a sin offering.
- If you have a baby boy, same deal as above, but you're not allowed in church for 33 days. This is because, as we all know, it is less unclean to give birth to a boy than a girl. Yay for misogyny.
- If you're on your period, you must separate yourself from others. So basically, you can't sleep in the same bed as your husband/boyfriend, whatever.
- Don't have sex with a girl when she's on their period. You're not even supposed to see her naked.
- Don't eat roadkill. Thank God for this. If the Bible didn't tell us not to do it, I shudder to think where we'd be as a society.
- Don't sleep with any blood relatives, or relatives through marriage. (Remember all those "Christian" kings and queens who married within the family?)
- Don't take your wife's sister as a rival wife while your wife is alive. Once she's dead though, hey, go for it.
- Don't have sex with animals.
- Don't have sex with your neighbor's wife.
- Don't sacrifice your children.
- Don't have homosexual sex.
- Don't worship idols, or make idols.
- Don't over-harvest. Leave the edges of your fields unharvested, and allow the poor and travelers to eat from it.
- Don't steal.
- Don't lie. Don't deceive others, in general. This means no fraud as well.
- Don't hold back the wages of your workers. It says "overnight," so I am assuming workers were paid daily during the times of Leviticus.
- Don't play pranks on the deaf and blind, or be mean to them at all. Who does this anyway? Dicks.
- Judge fairly--don't show favoritism.
- Don't talk shit about people. Gossiping included.
- Don't put anyone's life in danger.
- Don't breed different kinds of animals. (The breeding of a horse and donkey to make a mule is a huge example of when we've done this)
- Don't plant more than one type of plant in your field.
- Don't wear anything made of a mix of materials. So, no fabric blends. 100% everything. Take a look at your closet. Almost every piece of clothing you own has some blend of polyester and cotton.
- Don't sleep with a slave girl promised to someone else.
- Don't eat from any fruit trees until they are five years old.
- No sorcery.
- Don't cut your sideburns or beard.
- Don't get tattoos in mourning.
- Don't make your daughter a prostitute.
- Don't use psychics. Don't trust them.
- Don't be a prostitute.
- If you have any sort of defect or sickness, you can't make offerings to God, or approach the alter. I guess you can't really go to church at all.