Beyond Biblical Cleanliness

Warmth and brandy can save lives!

Obviously the issue of gay marriage has been on in the news and on my mind a lot lately.  For my last post where I had read some of Leviticus to get more material, which I already knew was there, but I didn’t know specific location of anything in the book.  Upon reflection of the holistic biblical context I feel like an idiot for not seeing this correlation sooner.  The Old Testament concern about male on male action is no less about hygiene than chapter 15 that describes human discharges. Female homosexuality seems to get a pass.  Leviticus covers every other coupling under the sun from three generations worth of instructions on incest to bestiality but no there’s no mention of inter-female relations in the whole Old Testament.  I found this interesting and relevant to helping my point on the biblical concerns really being about hygiene.

Back to my thoughts on hygiene and medicine, in those days they didn’t have running water or any awareness of viruses, bacteria, or other immunity considerations.  Every disease, sexually transmitted or not, was interpreted and treated as a spiritual affliction cleansed by water and whatever other mumbo-jumbo they perceived to have helped at some point prior.  I’m not saying these people were void of medicinal ability.  I’ve read about olive oil being used as an antiseptic, soap being made from animal fat, and they instruct people to wait after bathing before considering themselves clean.  The point is that they clearly didn’t have much to work with in the way of knowledge or resources and it was found easier to leave camp or kill their own people than keep them around to inflict their uncleanliness on the rest of the group.

This explains why the severity of sexual uncleanliness decreased by Paul’s time when he just put homosexuality alongside promiscuity.  Society didn’t need to kill for it anymore, but as the end of Romans 1 indicates God was perceived to be perfectly capable of taking you out if he wanted to.  But disease was less of a risk to society because specialized practices like plumbing and medicine are just a couple perks which come from settling in a populous city.  Doctors still didn’t know what an immune system was but with the added knowledge and resources which comes from being a hub of trade a bunch of different mumbo-jumbo possibilities sifts out to expose consistent medicinal commonalities and the latest stock of supplies for carrying them out.  The goal of the doctor was still a matter of helping the patient’s spiritual fortitude along to the point of sustaining itself but the quality of care was far better than what could be provided by nomads in tents.

So this consideration begs the question of why human sodomy would still be considered morally unclean if there is now zero possible social ramifications for it.  We’ve bottled virtually every disease known to us, grasped it’s method of transmission, and are well on the way to finding cures or at least methods of neutralization.  Even the homeless have the ability to access plumbing, soap, anti-bacterial lotions, bath tissue, washing machines, and hospital care.  The biblical concerns about human sodomy are as obsolete as eating pork, shell fish, or going outside the camp to bury excrement with a trowel.

I’m not sure if this is what actually lies behind the Christian aversion to LGBTI marriage outside their schematic for love and devotion.  Jesus talks about the man and woman becoming one flesh thing in Matthew 19 and Paul about one husband one wife in 1 Corinthians 7.  But these are as much statements against divorce as they are definitions of union and since evangelical Christians have a divorce rate of roughly a third it hardly makes sense for them to declare their Christianity to be the morally superior one.

Of course all of this is a non-issue for the LGBTI community; they just want the right to stand by their partner legally as well as personally.  We don’t police the bed room so how consenting adults express their love isn’t even a matter on the table.  And the establishment clause of the first amendment prevents the government from making laws solely for the reason of enforcing the views of a religious establishment.

God Mode Voting: Gay Marriage Edition

You can’t advocate The Bible as a legal document without advocating theocracy.

Civil issues based in the reality of what it means to be a human seems to cause hangups for certain Christian perspectives.  I don’t understand how the civil rights issue of “separate but equal” doesn’t get naturally correlated with gay rights.  In a republic such as ours law is meant to protect the minority from the majority anyway and there has yet to be a qualifiable reason for a judge to rule against the legal marriage of any two consenting adults regardless of sex.

Passing the buck to God, Jesus, or some other biblical entity doesn’t alleviate a person’s responsibility for actively favoring segregation.  And when I do delve into biblical reasoning it always exposes the stark contrast between Christian beliefs and The Bible as a whole.  The Christian’s who stand by Leviticus 18:22 must be completely oblivious to the existence of Leviticus 20:13.  1 Cor 6:9 puts homosexual acts along side greed, slander and drunkenness.  I haven’t heard of a rise for another alcohol prohibition and Fox and Friends is caught red handed for misrepresentation all too often without having to recant despite their mostly Christian demographic.

Besides all of that marriage is a word which has already changed much in the last 2000 years.  Betrothals and the exchange of dowry are already things of the not so distant past as are marriages between races.  Love and vows are up to the couple and any legal adult can be ordained a minister in minutes.  Ceremonies are different the world over.  The divorce rate in this country is abysmal at best.  The word marriage can be used synonymously with monogamous to describe a seemingly devoted pair of animals.  Where reproduction, devotion, ceremony, and respect isn’t a necessity for marriage what sanctity is being defended within the institution aside from personal ego?