Leviticus on Homosexuality and other Abominations

This was forwarded to me by my friend Mike Spence in Victoria, B.C. I thought it too good not to share.

The Laura Schlessinger Retort

Laura Schlessinger dispenses sex advice to people who call in to her
radio show. Recently, she said that as an observant Orthodox Jew
homosexuality is to her an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22
and cannot be condoned in any circumstance.

Dear Dr. Laura.

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I
have learned a great deal from your radio show, and I try to share
that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to
defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them
that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the
specific Bible laws and how to follow them.

a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates
a pleasing odour for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my
neighbours bitch to the zoning people. They claim the odour is not
pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in
Exodus 21:7. What do you think would be a fair price for her? She's
18 and starting college. Will the slave buyer be required to
continue to pay for her education by law?

c) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in
her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev. 15:19-24). The problem
is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence
and threaten to call Human Resources.

d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and
female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A
friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not
Canadians. Can you clarify?

Why can't I own Canadians? Is there something wrong with them due to
the weather?

e) I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus
35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally
obligated to kill him myself, or should this be a neighbourhood
improvement project? What is a good day to start? Should we begin
with small stones? Kind of lead up to it?

f) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than
homosexuality. I don't agree. I mean, a shrimp just isn't the same
as a you-know-what. Can you settle this?

g) Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I
have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading
glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle
room here? Would contact lenses fall within some exception?

h) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair
around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by
Lev.19:27. How should they die? The Mafia once took out Albert
Anastasia in a barbershop, but I'm not Catholic; is this ecumenical
thing a sign that it's ok?

i) I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes
me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

j) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two
different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing
garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester
blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really
necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town
together to stone them? (Lev.24:10-16) Couldn't we just burn them to
death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep
with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident
you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is
eternal and unchanging.

US Back in the Execution Business

In a 7 to 2 vote the US Supreme court ruled April 15th that the most common method of lethal injection to execute condemned prisoners is constitutional.

The justices said the three-drug combination used by Kentucky, the Federal Government and 34 other states, sodium thiopental, which induces unconsciousness; pancuronium bromide, which paralyzes the muscles; and potassium chloride, which causes cardiac arrest, does not carry the risk of substantial pain so great as to violate the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment

"Simply because an execution method may result in pain, either by accident or as an inescapable consequence of death, does not establish the sort of 'objectively intolerable risk of harm' that qualifies as cruel and unusual," wrote Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.

This begs the question - Just what would qualify as cruel and unusual?

The immediate result of the decision was to dissolve the de facto moratorium on executions imposed since the court announced in September that it would decide the case, Baze v. Rees. Indeed, only hours later the Governor of Virginia lifted the hold he had placed on capital punishment.

The day before the Supreme Court decision, Amnesty International released its annual report on capital punishment, Death Sentences and Executions in 2007, which said that at least 1,252 people were executed in 24 countries and at least 3,347 people were sentenced to death in 51 countries. Up to 27,500 people are estimated to be on death row across the world

However, the most interesting element of the report (to my mind, at least) was the list of top executing countries. Eighty-eight per cent of all known executions took place in five countries: China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the USA. The actual ranking was:

China – at least 470 executions, Iran – at least 317 executions, Saudi Arabia – at least 143 executions, Pakistan – at least 135 executions, USA – 42 executions followed by Iraq and Viet Nam with at least 33 and 25 executions respectively.

Yes, the land of the free, home of the brave, world leader (?) is right up there with the worst of them – a shameful record.

Since World War II there has been a consistent trend towards abolishing the death penalty. In 1977, 16 countries were abolitionist. As of January 1 2008, 92 countries had abolished capital punishment altogether, 10 had done so for all offences except under special circumstances, and 33 others had not used it for at least 10 years - while 62 countries actively retained the death penalty.

At least 3,000 people (and probably considerably more) were sentenced to death during 2007, and at the end of the year around 25,000 were on death row around the world, with Pakistan and the USA accounting for about half this figure between them.

Because I know you’re going to ask, my country, Canada, eliminated the death penalty for murder on July 14, 1976 because of fears about wrongful convictions, concerns about the state taking the lives of individuals, and uncertainty about the death penalty's role as a deterrent for crime. The last execution in Canada took place on Dec. 10, 1962 at Toronto’s Don Jail.

According to Amnesty International Canada, contrary to predictions by death penalty supporters, the homicide rate in Canada did not increase after abolition in 1976. In fact, the Canadian murder rate declined slightly the following year (from 2.8 per 100,000 to 2.7). Over the next 20 years the homicide rate fluctuated (between 2.2 and 2.8 per 100,000), but the general trend was clearly downwards. It reached a 30-year low in 1995 (1.98) -- the fourth consecutive year-to-year decrease and a full one-third lower than in the year before abolition. In 1998, the homicide rate dipped below 1.9 per 100,000, the lowest rate since the 1960s.

I expect I will get some comments from irate Americans on this one.