Posts Tagged ‘sex

14
Jun
10

abominations, anathemas, absurdities

Leaving aside for the moment,  joyous occasions such as described in my last posting—Family Plan, June 10—I have another concern to share with you. This is one I personally walked a road of hot coals for in 2008/09. I have referenced my experience many times (sometimes overtly and sometimes not) since this blog began on June 29, 2009. (If you like, you can check the archives for these accounts.) The issue remains contentiously stuck in the minds of many. Some reasonable persons just get blind-sided.  What follows is at least humorous.

On her radio show recently, Dr. Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. It is worthy of mentioning, however briefly, that Doctor Laura has a doctorate in Physiology (the study of the body); she is neither a psychologist nor a psychiatrist. She did however, earn a post-doctoral certification in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling. You can read her bio at http://www.biography.com/articles/Laura-Schlessinger-9542197

The following response is an Open Letter to Dr. Laura, penned by a U.S. resident, posted on the internet and currently traveling extensively and humorously along its currents:

Advice From Dr. Laura Schlessinger

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and 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 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 other elements of God’s Law and how to follow them.

1. 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?

2. 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?

3. 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.

4. 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?

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

6. 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? Are there ‘degrees’ of abomination?

7. 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?

8. 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?

9. 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?

10. 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 and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God’s Word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan,

James M. Kauffman, Ed.D., Professor Emeritus
Dept. of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education
University of Virginia
405 Emmet Street South
PO Box 400273
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4273

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30
Sep
09

let’s be creative for a change

I am a member of an online listserv whose purpose is promoting open dialog on various aspects of LGBTQ inclusion in the Mennonite Church (MC USA).  This subject has been kicked around for the past 30 years in this denomination—one that is not given to hasty decisions, obviously! Much of the time the members of this broad based group contribute erudite views—all very worthy and many quite thought provoking. But sometimes I get tired of the effort, because inclusion is a no-brainer for Christ followers.

For the past numbers of days the subject of focus has been homosexual desire vs. homosexual practice. The other day, in the midst of a flurry of intellectual postings, one of the members—Natalya Lowther—posted a view that totally took me by delightful surprise. She set forth a slightly unorthodox view, but reasonable nonetheless, with insight, clarity and creativity, and has graciously granted me permission to re-publish here on Called By Name. More from this author (including her profile and raison d’etre) can be found on her own blog:  http://www.pinwheelfarm.blogspot.com

Having been raised by a physics professor, when I hear the word “orientation” I think of magnetized particles orienting themselves  towards magnetic north.

Magnets are attracted to one another because of this shared alignment.

Magnets are attracted to iron because it has a potential for shared  alignment.

But whether magnets are “mating” with other magnets or with iron, they are always “practicing” their orientation. The physical force of the attraction is weaker the further they are from what they are attracted to…but it’s inherently there and functioning at all times.

People are attracted to God, and to other people, when there is a shared alignment. Mentally, intellectually, physically, emotionally.

Unlike magnets, our various alignments can be at odds with each  other…we may think that because we are aligned physically with  people of the same sex, we must be misaligned with God. But I do  not find that to be so. We can also use some senses to restrict the  alignments of other senses–the mind putting the flesh into subjection, artificially, by force. But then we are at war with  ourselves, creating chaotic conditions. Such a condition is not  sustainable, not healthy. Put the “south” poles of two magnets  together, and incredible force is needed to keep them in proximity.

In my life, I seek the natural alignment, the harmony, the sympathy  among all parts. If my life, my soul, my spirit, is given freedom  to fully express its natural orientation towards God, then the  other orientations that appear “not of God” will naturally tend  towards a natural alignment that does not conflict with that  primary orientation, even though it may not fit some artificially  imposed “norm.”

Just reflections, not clearly followed through but a beginning sketch.

Blessings,

Natalya Lowther, Lawrence, KS

Sacred Bird of the North

21
Jul
09

states of being

Old man in sun-4x4 This is how I would like to be right now…at rest and at peace. Hard as I try I cannot find either of those states of being.  My denomination continues to be at war with itself, which is a strange state of affairs to begin with since it is a “peace and justice” church of pacifist conviction! And what is the problem? Sex: lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender S-E-X! As I understand it, we were all made in God’s image and dearly loved by God. Why? If for no other reason…the image thing is pretty stunning. The usual pattern for creatives is to pretty much love what has been created.  This is too simple an idea, I know, but it just seems so obvious. And didn’t Jesus admonish us to be as little children? Ah, yes, I know there is a deeper meaning, but I’m taking the lesser one right now due to considerable fatigue.

Since the time of Jesus we have had a new understanding of what can be instead of what has been. It’s called The Good News…brought to you by Jesus himself (while he was human). It’s all set down in the New Testament gospels and the books and letters that follow. In the gospels we don’t find Jesus concerning himself with sex at all, so why are we? We are a fearful people. God revealed God’s self in human form, but we can’t seem to grasp the human part of it all. God gave us all of our parts and pieces. This God gave us form and an ability to love and be loved. It is stunning how many times love is mentioned in the New Testament…something like 180 times—maybe more. We are admonished to love, love, love. What is it going to take to make the fearful ones understand that this gender issue is less about sex than it is about love…who one loves and that one loves. Orientation aside, can’t we just come to agreement on the love part of it all? I am naive today. I get a pass.




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