Press-Republican

FYI...

November 10, 2012

Same-sex marriage and the book of Leviticus

Amid concerns about voter intimidation, little mention has been made of Leviticus, that strong-arm book of the Bible that for years has tried to dictate my thoughts and actions through fear and guilt, and on Tuesday dogged my every step to the polls.

"Leviticus, 18th chapter, says that a man lying with another man is an abomination," Bishop David Allen Hall of the Church of God in Christ had told me a few days earlier. He is the spokesman for the Coalition of African American Pastors. His group was demanding that President Barack Obama and the NAACP tell same-sex marriage supporters in Maryland to "stop urging black Christians to ignore their own pastors' teachings."

Lord knows I had heard it all before, having grown up in the Bible Belt during the 1950s with that Old Time Religion.

Walking to my polling place in Fort Washington, Leviticus appeared, as if rising from a stake in the grass: "Don't Redefine Marriage! Vote AGAINST Question 6," read the yard sign. "Marriage = One Man + One Woman."

Of all the holiness codes implanted in my head as a kid, one involved a sin so vile that its name dare not be spoken. All I needed to know about it was Leviticus 20:13, which warned that if I "lie with mankind," I will surely die.

Early on, I came across William Blake's depiction of a stoning, "The Blasphemer," based on a verse in Leviticus, and it made quite an impression.

"Neither the concept of homosexuality as we know it today, nor the word, is in the Bible — from Genesis to Revelations," said Ronald Hopson, a professor in Howard University's School of Divinity and its Department of Psychology. "Condemnation of gays as we see it expressed today is not what the ancient writers meant. Part of the concern back then was not so much with men having sex with men, but with men losing their status. To be a man of means meant you could own women, but men who seemed to be taking on the role of women were regarded as a threat to that privilege."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
FYI...
  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20110929_bowling.jpg Why fewer people go bowling

    Like other industries facing tough economic times, America's bowling centers are trying to reinvent themselves.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • mama.jpg What we get wrong about millennials living at home

    If the media is to be believed, America is facing a major crisis. "Kids," some age 25, 26, or even 30 years old, are living out of their childhood bedrooms and basements at alarmingly high numbers. The hand-wringing overlooks one problem: It's all overblown.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your chocolate addiction is only going to get more expensive

    For nearly two years, cocoa prices have been on the rise. Finally, that's affecting the price you pay for a bar of chocolate - and there's reason to believe it's only the beginning.

    July 28, 2014

  • Facebook tests button to let people shop from its website

    Members on desktop computers or mobile devices can click a "buy" button to make purchases through advertisements or other posts on the world's largest social network, the Menlo Park, California-based company said Thursday in a blog post.

    July 27, 2014

  • Wal-Mart to cut prices more aggressively in back-to-school push

    Wal-Mart Stores plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending.

    July 26, 2014

  • An oncologist uses scorpion venom to locate cancer cells

    Olson, a pediatric oncologist and research scientist in Seattle, has developed a compound he calls Tumor Paint. When injected into a cancer patient, it seems to light up all the malignant cells so surgeons can easily locate and excise them.

    July 25, 2014

  • An alternative diagnosis to ADHD: Schoolchildren need more time to move

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells us that in recent years, there has been a jump in the percentage of young people diagnosed with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, commonly known as ADHD: 7.8 percent in 2003 to 9.5 percent in 2007 to 11 percent in 2011.

    July 24, 2014

  • Hospitals let patients schedule ER visits

    Three times within a week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo went to the emergency room at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles because of intense back pain. Each time, Granillo, who didn't have insurance, stayed for less than an hour before leaving without being seen by a doctor.

    July 23, 2014

  • Why it's basically impossible to delete those naked selfies you text

    If you're selling an old Android smartphone on an online auction site, you could be giving away rather more than you intend to, according to a recent investigation by anti-malware company Avast.

    July 21, 2014