Every Christian is a Selective Reader

I have never met a single Christian who is following the Bible completely and literally. I’ll say that again: I have yet to meet a Christian that follows every part of the Bible. Dan Savage discussed this idea on Savage Love last week, and I have to fully agree.

Christians pick and choose certain parts of the Bible to focus on and live by. This is a necessity due to modern society as well as the Bible’s contradictory nature. I’m not knocking this practice; it’s a necessity. However, many parts of the Bible, especially the Old Testament, just don’t apply to our lives. What I do have a problem with is cherry-picking sections of the Bible to discriminate and hurt others. It’s hateful and another example of our very poor reading skills. Christians, I strongly encourage you to read your Bible. Don’t just listen to what other Christians tell you. I promise you do NOT follow the Bible word-for-word, so you need to be careful which parts you are choosing to enforce on our nation.

Leviticus, from the Old Testament, is most often cited when Christians want to show evidence of homosexuality being a sin. (I realize I’m not even getting into the fact that church and state should be separate. That’s a whole other issue).

Can we at least all agree that this was a bad idea?

“Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable”
-Leviticus 18:22

“If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”
-Leviticus 20:13

Now let’s put those quotes into context. First, the Old Testament is no longer law over Christians. Paul, the apostle, said this. Second, even if you wanted to still follow the Old Testament as law, you would be hard-pressed to do so:

Leviticus 11: 7-8
and the pig, which does indeed have hoofs and is cloven-footed, but does not chew the cud and is therefore unclean for you. Their flesh you shall not eat, and their dead bodies you shall not touch; they are unclean for you.”

This means all of you BBQ eaters are serious sinners, too. Oh, and don’t even think about tossing that football with your kids at the next tailgate you attend.

Leviticus 20:9 “If anyone curses his father or mother, he must be put to death.”

Wouldn’t we all be dead if we followed this one? I’ve seen your kid at the checkout lane in Target.

Hold on. I’m getting the feeling I could use the Bible to defend being vegan. Hmmmm.

Leviticus 25:44-45  “And as for your male and female slaves whom you may have—from the nations that are around you, from them you may buy male and female slaves.Moreover you may buy the children of the strangers who dwell among you, and their families who are with you, which they beget in your land; and they shall become your property.”

Here’s a prime example of how the Bible cannot be literally translated to our current lives. It is universally agreed upon that having slaves is immoral. Christians choose to no longer follow these verses, so why must they follow the verses that allow for them to discriminate against homosexuals? I would argue they are cherry-picking the verses that align with their current and acceptable bigotry.

Leviticus 12 explains to Christians that a woman is twice as unclean after birthing a female child compared to a male child, but for either child, the mother is required “to bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon, or dove, for a sin offering, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation…” I live a block away from two churches, and I haven’t seen any women carrying lambs, pigeons, or doves up to their doorsteps.

My point is simple: You cannot point to the Bible to back up your views on homosexuality because you are NOT following every law of the Bible, especially the Old Testament. So go ahead and admit to yourself that this is a personal opinion, not a religious one. You can’t hide behind the scripture. It’s too contradictory and inapplicable to everyday life.

This verse seems applicable to all of us:

John 4:7 “Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been fathered by God and knows God.”

Here’s one of my favorite clips from “West Wing” on this topic:

Bible Lesson on Homosexuality


3 thoughts on “Every Christian is a Selective Reader

  1. Yup. This is the same point that I’ve been trying to make with several of my Christian friends that can’t seem to understand why I tell them that eating BBQ or shrimp is just as bad as being gay… 🙂 Thanks, Megan!

  2. Atta girl! This is so spot-on. Why can’t major news networks give someone a concise little thirty minute spot carefully explaining this exact fucking thing???? (I’ll put in a vote for Megan Roberts!)

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