Not Minding My Own Business: Leviticus, Morality, and Not Killing Gay People
Minding my own business. That’s all I was doing. A little catching up on social media, when I came across an article about a Colorado pastor, Kevin Swanson, who warned on his radio show that inside of ten years, gay people will likely be burning Christians at the stake -- because, you know, that’s how the gays do … at least since Nero.
What really caught my eye, though, was a quote from another person on the show, who suggested (wrongly) that people can be indoctrinated (though he doesn’t say how) into a lifestyle (homosexual) for which the Bible demands “capital punishment.”
I’ll admit that, at first, reading someone make what appears to be a serious claim about the Biblical mandate for icing gay people struck me as over the top at best, and loopy at worst. Would we do it by stoning, or would our Post-Enlightenment sensibilities require a more civilized method … say, electrocution, lethal injection, or firing squad (which can still be done in a modern society, while retaining the small town quaintness prized by folks who tend to listen to radio shows in which groups of otherwise law-abiding people are charged with being pedophiles)?
“But,” I thought, “to their credit, it is in the book.” Well, sort of, anyway. Leviticus 20:13 does talk about putting to death “a man who lays with a male as with a woman”--though, I should be quick to point out that, according to the context of the passage, this is a reference that suggests a prohibition against ritualized temple prostitution, and certainly not the same gender love against which Mr. Swanson and his guest prattle.
Still, unlike many people who oppose homosexuality, these radio folks are consistent. “If the Bible says kill ‘em, then we ought to by-God kill ‘em.” Refreshingly honest, if a bit Medieval.