17 February 2011



As Mark Twain wrote: "Humor must not professedly teach and it must not professedly preach, but it must do both if it would live forever."

Dear (Choose your favorite religious hypocrite),

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from you, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind him that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the Bible's other specific laws and how to best follow them.

a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

c) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

e) I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

f) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an Abomination (Lev 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

g) Lev 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

h) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev 19:27. How should they die?

i) I know from Lev 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

j) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev 24:10-16) Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your devoted disciple and adoring fan,

(Sign name here)

I attempted to find the original writer, but this has been passed around so much, it was an impossible task.


Snowbrush said...

Say, where have you been? I do think about you, and have often looked forward to you posting again, or at least visiting me.

You know, I suppose, that PBS has a good series about homosexuals, transgender people, and so forth ("In the Life"). My father was in the latter category, and he lived a sad life with no support.

You also know, I suppose, that the government might very well cut off all funding for PBS. The Republicans have hated it for years, and now they have a good excuse with their efforts to control every aspect of the deficit except for subsidies for the wealthy and an open pocketbook for the Pentagon.

C Woods said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
C Woods said...

(I deleted my previous comment for a stupid spelling error. This is exactly the same comment except for the correction.)

Hi Snowbrush,
Thanks for stopping by.
Yes, I know about Republicans' long-held hatred of PBS. We don't have cable (by choice) & can't get a signal for the closest PBS station, but occasionally I watch their online videos or older programs via Netflix.

I would vote to cut the military budget any day over PBS.

At a time when millions are jobless, those rich SOBs who have benefitted from tax cuts for so long should be thrilled that they have so much & be willing to share it with everyone else via higher taxes. Before her death at age 95, my mother used to complain about taxes. She was not wealthy, but she had social security, a portion of my late father's pension, income from investments, & no debt ---far more money than she needed for necessities ---and enough saved, even if admitted to a nursing home. I used to tell her she should be glad she didn't have to live off her meager $450 in social security as some elderly people have to ---and be glad she was making enough to pay taxes.

And, hey, if Republican legislators don't want to raise taxes on the rich, they could lower their own salaries so they wouldn't have to pay higher taxes ---and if any member of Congress opposes universal health care, drop his/her health coverage, too. That will lower the debt a bit.

But I rant.

Let me explain my AWOL status. I discovered that my local community college allows seniors to take free credited classes (as long as they aren't filled to capacity with paying students.) One can audit classes for no credit or opt to earn credit. I do the latter because I know I will apply myself more if I am working for a grade. I simply pick & choose what interests me from what is offered at times I can attend. The problem is that nearly EVERYTHING interests me. I'm not attempting to earn a degree or certificate ---I already have 2 degrees ---& I am retired & plan to stay that way. But I love to learn new things.

I spend hours and hours reading texts, finding supporting materials at the library or online, and working on my assignments. So that is what I've been doing for the past 18 months or so ---not blogging or reading other blogs much.

But I have been thinking about you and will hop over to your blog right now.

concerned citizen said...

I have also seen this "letter" before. I find it wonderfully ironic.
"God's word, eternal & unchanging."
Ha! What a lot of bull!
I think they should always add..."& open to my interpretation."
But fundamentalists can't be that honest. Why? They deny their humanity.

Snowbrush said...

Concerned said: "But fundamentalists can't be that honest. Why? They deny their humanity."

I don't know what you mean here. I grew up fundamentalist, and my church was keen on what they considered the timeless perfection of the Bible, so any notion that the Bible didn't possess both of these qualities would have completely destroyed its credibility as far as they were concerned.

I see that you live in Oregon. I do too--in Eugene.

Boy, C Woods, I wish I could audit classes for free. Last time I looked into it, it was prohibitively expensive.

Elisabeth said...

The irony of this letter is exhilarating. I'm here via Snowbrush and pleased to meet you. I too have my reservations about institutionalized religions. It seems to me they perpetuate wars.

C Woods said...

Snowbrush ---check with your community college. Ask if they allow seniors to take (for credit) or audit classes for free. If auditing, you can participate in classes but don't need to do assignments or take tests, so there is no extra work for the instructor. My community college allows both. (Continuing ed. classes are NOT free, only credited courses ---but some colleges offer the exact opposite.)

If yours doesn't have such a policy, you might ask if you can just sit-in and absorb without participating. Or check with your state, county or community's department on aging to see if they can sponsor such a program.

I think ---but am not sure --- that there must be some benefit to my county's community college to do this ---perhaps they receive funding from the state per student, without regard to whether they are paying or not. Our state lottery supports free transportation for seniors and other programs, so this might be a part of that.

I have only taken a few classes so far, and I take them at a satellite campus, not at the main campus, so I don't have a clear picture of how many people take advantage of this policy. So far I have met only one other senior taking classes for free. She is almost ready to graduate with an associate degree in graphic design.

Here is an article about free classes for seniors:

libhom said...

I wonder what the thumpers would do if they knew that football (at least ungloved) is forbidden by the bible.

C Woods said...


Addendum to my previous comment about college classes for seniors.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is a national program that offers classes for seniors. There is one near you at the U of Oregon: http://osher.uoregon.edu
You can request a complimentary one-month pass.

An online newsletter lists activities in all parts of Oregon ---there are tons of events each month.

OLLI's website says: "Without the burden of career preparation or emphasis on grades, you now have the opportunity to be a part of a learning community of peers who are interested in their own ongoing development. The year-round curriculum lets you engage in discussions, enjoy lectures and contemplate important questions—and answers. There are no prerequisites, credit requirements, grades or tests—just learning for pure enjoyment."

I could not find fees for your area, but found some for IL & PA which might give you some idea of what it might cost in OR.

In IL if you pay a one-year membership ($125) now, it will be good through June 2012. ($100 for a 2nd member.) It allows you to take one free 6- or 8-wk course per year (July 1-June 30), additional courses $25/each, free study groups, and lunchtime lectures as well as other events.

In PA, it costs $125 per term to audit 2 undergraduate courses ($25 for additional) or $225 for 3 consecutive terms. Ten percent discount for 2 memberships. Other options (for partial benefits) are available.

You can also offer to give lectures or lead discussion groups (no pay, as far as I know, but maybe you can take a free class in exchange for teaching something.)

I knew about this organization from my friend in AZ who is involved in the program, but had forgotten about it until I saw a flyer for it on the bulletin board at the library a few days ago.

Snowbrush said...

Thanks, C Woods. I did the one-month pass thing here in Eugene, and thought seriously about paying for a year. I didn't because I was given to understand that I would be expected to volunteer to make the center's programs a success, and I simply didn't want to devote the time. If I could have simply gone to events, I would have been fine, but to go to events plus putting in volunteer hours was just too much. I know nothing about being able to audit classes for free through the center (I should have thought that something about it would have been said or written), but I have looked into auditing classes directly through the U of O, and they were quite expensive.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...