Those abominable shellfish

I don’t understand why the religious right fears homosexuality. They say it’s an abomination. The Bible says that shellfish are also an abomination. They who oppose sodomy must also oppose scallops.

Jon Stewart made this quip at a recent event, probably getting it from emails and web sites which mockingly equate the twin “abominations” of shellfish and homosexuality. So, they say, you think the Bible calls homosexuality an abmomination? Well, it says the same thing about shrimp! Hahaha!

This may satisfy those looking for glib putdowns, but it absurdly misinterprets the Bible. That the “abominations” in Leviticus 11:10 and 18:22 were altogether different is clear from the consequences. The prescription for violating dietary laws was ritual purification. The punishment for sodomy was death. It’s noteworthy also that God’s command against homosexuality in Lev 18 is bounded by prohibitions on child sacrifice and bestiality. If commmands against homosexuality were swept away by the New Covenant along with the dietary laws, then so were the laws against bestiality and child sacrifice. (See here and here for more, and also here for the usual accompanying argument that Jesus never mentioned homosexuality).

After thousands of years of scholarly interpretation separating the moral and ceremonial/dietary laws and anaylzing them in light of Acts 10, along come comedians to shed new light on Holy Scripture. Homosexuality has been universally and strongly condemned as sin throughout church history by those who picked Scripture apart verse by verse, “rightly handling the word” (2 Tim 2:15) that they considered “sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb” (Ps. 19:10). To quote just one such saint, here is Matthew Henry on Lev 18:22-3:

A law against unnatural lusts, sodomy and bestiality, sins not to be named nor thought of without the utmost abhorrence imaginable… Other sins level men with the beasts, but these sink them much lower. That ever there should have been occasion for the making of these laws, and that since they are published they should ever have been broken, is the perpetual reproach and scandal of human nature; and the giving of men up to these vile affections was frequently the punishment of their idolatries; so the apostle shows, Rom. 1:24.

The good news for homosexuals and their supporters is that that there is forgiveness… but only with repentance.

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