To the Readers' Forum:
The op-ed by a local pastor on Sept. 10 misleads us on several levels.
He claims that prohibitions listed in Leviticus 11 [shellfish] were for Isrealites only, while the homosexual prohibitions in Leviticus 18 are 'universal.' However, both Lev. 11 and Lev. 18 start with the Christian god saying the exact same thing: "Speak unto the children of Isreal, and say unto them..."
There is nothing clear in the text that the commands in Lev. 11 are only for Isrealites, where the commands in Lev. 18 are universal. This is just a case of picking the laws we agree with and calling them the 'universal' ones. To this point, just look at Lev. 20, which is an extention of the homosexual prohibition from Lev. 18: "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"
Put to death. It claims they should be put to death. But we know this would be an immoral and horrific act, so we don't follow that advice, of course. We again pick and choose what we want to follow: 'put to death' becomes 'not allowed to marry.' We don't follow the advice of Lev. 20 because we know it is wrong. We pick and choose.
The author next admits that the Old Testament defines marriage also as between one man and 'many' women, but claims that Jesus later corrected this in Matthew 19:4-6. But this is not the case. In these passages, Jesus was responding to the question of whether it's lawful for a man to divorce his wife. Jesus responding by saying that man shall 'cleave to his wife, becoming one flesh. What god has joined together man, let man not put asunder."
The question was asked in the singular, and so it was answered as such. Nothing in Matthew 19 states that marriage is defined only as one man and one woman.
He then claims that as a nation we are still accountable to 'god.' But this begs the question, which god? Our nation endorses no religion, and our citizens have many different gods. Therefore, an individual may feel he is personally accountable to his personal god, but as a nation, we are not accountable to any specific god or organized religion.
So, again, we can not make religious dogma become law.