Humour in the face of ignorance

By ianzombie · Jan 12, 2010 · ·
  1. ianzombie
    Dr. Laura Schlessinger is a US radio personality who dispenses advice
    to people who call in to her radio show. Recently, she said that, as
    an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according
    to the Old Testament, Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under
    any circumstance.

    The following is an open letter to Dr. Laura penned by a US resident,
    which was posted on the Internet. It's funny, as well as informative.

    Dear Dr. Laura:
    Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I
    have learnt a great deal from your show, and try to share that
    knowledge with as many people as I can. When somone tries to defend
    the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them 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 other
    specific laws and how to follow them.

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

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

    3. I know that I am not allowed to have contact with a woman while
    she is in her period of menstrual cleanliness - Leviticus 15:19-24.
    The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women
    take offense.

    4. Leviticus 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?

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

    6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
    abomination - Leviticus 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than
    homosexuallity. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

    7. Leviticus 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?

    8. Most of my male friends get their hair cut, including the hair
    around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by the
    bible, in Leviticus 19:27. How should they die?

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

    10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Leviticus 19:19 by planting two
    different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing
    garments mad of two different kinds of thread (cotton and polyester
    blend). He also tends to curse a lot. Is it really necessary that we
    go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone
    them? - Leviticus 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? Leviticus 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 fan, Jim

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  1. g666d
    LOL! I do wonder what the radio presenter's inner thoughts are on that one...
  2. podge
    Haha. There are some beauties in there. Id love to see if Jim gets a response.
  3. coolhandluke
    swims HATES dr. laura, his mother used to listen to her and all he could think is "what a bitch". this letter is extremely funny, but also creates a very valid and deep point. im sure dr. laura didn't even give any thought to it (if she did she would most certainly have to change her point of view). ignorant and intolerant people piss swim off. the institution of religion has killed god.
  4. Rin_Weh
    Love it.
  5. Synchronium
    Ian, your post count is 666. :eek:

    Atheism FTW!
  6. welshmick
    Thats excellent - nice observations !
  7. KingMe
    made my night! thanks
  8. Crazy Insane Sanity
    HAHAHA! Greatest thing I've read in quite some time. Thanks for sharing!
  9. Jasim
    I'm just now seeing this. Awesome share!!! I love it, :applause:
  10. Erumelithil
    Fantastic. I would love to see the fundamentalists cope with that. :laugh:
  11. prescriptionperil
    That was great. This is a share with my ethnically Jewish, yet non believing husband. We both LOATHE
    Dr. Laura.
  12. varuka
    Wow. I would have loved to see her face when she received this!
    She's so uptight!!!

    Good one.
  13. PillMan
    Shit dude I'm glad you found this. This definitely made my night dude. Good read.
  14. Tigersonagoldleash
    Thank you, sat having a little cry to myself over something I should be over and this really made me giggle. I might actually get to sleep now. I think there is as much to be said about laughter as a method of recovery as any taper schedules or 12 steps etc... !
  15. bluenarrative
    With all due respect, the letter above is sort of humorous, but the undertone strikes me as being a bit too snide and too disrespectful to warrant much of a laugh from me. Judaism is NOT the primitive or irrational faith that the letter suggests. The specific points brought up in the letter have no relevance to the Jewish faith, as it as been practiced for more than 2400 years. Some of the points in the letter above (such as selling a daughter into slavery) are derived from remarkably poor translations of the Hebrew scriptures that made their way into the King James Bible. Others (such as planting two crops in one field) are taken entirely out of context and have been stripped of their allegorical dignity. It seems to me that this is, at best, cheap humor being foisted upon people who know little or nothing about the incredible depths and textures of the Hebrew Scriptures. I am reluctant to label this stuff anti-semitic. But, I will say that it comes awfully close.

    Yes, Judaism considers homosexuality to be sinful. So does Christianity. And Islam. And a host of other faiths. There are strains of Buddhism that consider homosexuality to be an obstacle to compassion and enlightenment.

    If one considers any/all faiths to be irrelevant to any discussion of sexual ethics, that is a reasonable position to hold. And in that case, one should be able to express one's opinion WITHOUT mocking the deeply held faiths of others.

    As a simple matter of fact, the very idea of a systematic morality is the greatest gift that the Jews have given to this world. All of the anciently Mediterranean world-- both Roman and Greek-- were in awe of Jewish ethics and morality. And they were in awe of much more than the specific moral conclusions of the Jews. They were astonished at the PROCESS by which the Jews determined their moral and ethical codes. The way that the Jews approached questions of morality impressed the best Greek minds as being vastly superior to the ways that other cultures or faiths resolved moral issues. So, we are not talking about ignorant savages here, or unthinking illiterate people making arbitrary or irrational decisions about morality. We are talking about a people who were deemed by the pagans themselves to be the intellectual equals of the best Greek minds, and also morally superior to anybody else in the ancient world. The relationship between the Jews and Romans was an up and down thing-- sometimes they got along well. At other times they at war with one another. But, note the special dispensations granted to the Jews by the Romans during the good times, and understand that these were bestowed upon the Jews because the Romans, for the most part, considered the Jews to be both morally and intellectually superior to the Romans.

    The letter above sounds as if it was written by a Bill Maher wannabe.
  16. Joe-(5-HTP)
    It's perhaps true that Jewish ethics was the only other contender with ancient Greek ethics.. but that's not really saying much is it, lol. Confucius was pretty good though.

    If stating facts about what the old testament says is a mockery.. then it seems to me that the mockery is done by those who believe it to themselves.

    The old testament is a litany of barbarous primitive nonsense. You can quibble with the interpretation, but the nature of an interpretation is that there is no true interpretation. We have no originals of the texts, so who knows how close to the original it is. Pointing to one mis-translation when it comes to the King James version is the least of those problems.

    I think you are missing the point of the argument. Of course these ridiculous 'moral' prescriptions are no longer followed by Jews 2400 years later, but the point is that therefore neither should the stuff about homosexuality. If you weren't so preoccupied with the sarcasm on the surface, maybe you'd have seen this!

    Also mockery of religion isn't just about making fun of religion. It's about removing the power and authority from religion. What better way to do that than to simply laugh at its absurdity? Laughing in the face of authority is an important element of human emancipation.
  17. bluenarrative
    Joe, You make some very good points. And I very much agree that laughing at bogus "authorities" is an entirely appropriate response, at times.

    I guess that, as much as anything else, I am reacting to what seems to me to be a rising tide of fairly explicit anti-semitism in the world today-- especially in the Islamic world, but also among fashionable European leftists, as well as with explicitly fascist parties in Europe, such as Golden Dawn and The Right Sector.

    One of the ESSENTIAL features of Judaism (since long before King David) is the idea that "blind obedience" to ANY authority (even to what may be presented as God's authority) is NEVER a good idea. Humanity should be grateful to the Jewish people for explaining in completely coherent and unassailable terms why "I was only following orders " is NEVER a valid excuse for morally reprehensible behavior.

    I've never heard of or seen Orthodox Jews killing or even imprisoning gay people. They argue, to be sure. They will adamantly assert their position. But, having done so, they simply walk away-- leaving their opponents to work things out for themselves.

    Muslims, in contrast, will kill you. Why not pick on the Muslims, rather than the Jews?

    I have no idea how much you know about Confucianism. Have you ever read through his canonical writings?

    Confucianism is a moral system devoid of a metaphysic. This may be what makes it attractive to you. Atheists and materialists generally like this approach. But it comes with problems. Specifically, it means that Confucianism amounts to little more than an arbitrary means of political and social CONTROL. Please note, every authoritarian government in Asia is specifically predicated upon a Confucian worldview.

    In East Asia, there is simply no concept of anything being organized horizontally-- everything is hierarchical. And the duty of every person positioned in the lower ranks of hierarchy is blind obedience to those above you. There is absolutely no sense of humans being, in any sense, equal. Somebody is always on top and somebody else is always lower. You may like this idea, but it doesn't do much for me. I think that men and women ARE equal. But have never met a person in Sinitic Asia who agrees with me on this point. Confucianism explicitly teaches that there is no equality in any part of the cosmos, much less among people.

    Again, in Confucianism EVERYTHING is seen as being arranged hierarchically. Everybody knows about the Japanese manner of exchanging business cards. It is only AFTER cards are exchanged that they bow to each other. But most Westerners do not realize that the entire point of the ceremony is to allow the businessmen exchanging cards to determine where they are in relationship to each other in the hierarchy of business-- and that the one positioned below the other in this arbitrary hierarchy must perform a much deeper bow than the one ascertained to be positioned on a higher level. This is but one small example of how Confucian thought plays out in the real lives of East Asians.

    Joe, I would also strongly encourage you to read what Confucius has to say about sexual ethics, in general, and homosexuality, in particular. It will probably dim your enthusiasm for the guy-- big time. (Hint: he REALLY doesn't like gays at all)
  18. Joe-(5-HTP)
    I'll happily pick on anyone lol. To the extent that Judaism discriminates against homosexuals, it deserves this criticism in my view. While Judaism may not actively seek the death of homosexuals, calling homosexuals an abomination feeds into homophobia in culture, and can perhaps result in suicides, playground bullying, division of communities, and so on. Certainly there is a lot of positive influence of Jewish ethics as well, but that's another story.

    I'm sure there's plenty of nasty stuff said by Confucius. There isn't a single ancient thinker who didn't at some point say something we'd now regard as horrible though.

    It's a whole other argument to say that a moral system deviod of a metaphysic must therefore be an arbitrary means of political/social control.. let's not get into that : P

    I think I've said enough to show that people are justified for indulging themselves in this piece of satire. I'd also assume anyone educated enough to read and understand it is unlikely to be anti-semitic. This satire can be applied to any Abrahamic religion.
  19. ianzombie
    I love it when religious people get butthurt (excuse the pun) ;)
  20. bluenarrative
    Ian, I am not unsympathetic to your aversion to "religious" people-- some of them are beyond the pale. But, I am not religious. Neither do I support the right of any religious group to impose their will on society, as a whole. I just think that, in this instance, targeting an Orthodox Jew for mockery is neither meaningful nor expedient. There are plenty of people in this world who are a lot more entrenched on these issues than members of the Jewish community-- be they Conservative, Orthodox, Hasidic, or even (what are termed) Ultra-Orthodox. For example, there is no Jewish equivalent to the Westboro Baptist Church, as far as I am aware... If you want to go after people who are genuinely intolerant (and dangerous), I would advise you to consider focusing on Islam, rather than Orthodox Jews.
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