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As much as we'd like to discuss Paris Hilton's DUI, it's Leviticus' clarity that we must tackle; jealous, 'Defamer?'

by Jeremy Hooper

In an AP piece discussing the possibility that Conservative Jews will soon allow the ordination of gay rabbis, Rabbi Joel Roth claims the verses in Leviticus considered to ban gay relationships "are really quite clear, despite the efforts by some to call their clarity into question."

And by "quite clear," he of course means that the verses of Leviticus -- which is a "Holiness Code," thought to have been written primarily as a ritual manual -- are as clear on barring homosexuality as they are on prohibiting tattoos, intercourse during a women's menstrual cycle, consuming certain kinds of meat, wearing poly-cotton blend garments, sowing a field with mixed seed, men cutting their hair or shaving, the cross-breeding of lifestock, or numerous other Levitical rules that EVERYONE now non-hypocritically follows to a tee. And in terms of the condemnation interpreted as speaking against (male)homosexuality, Rabbi Roth means it's so clear that the word translated to mean "abomination" in Leviticus was the Hebrew word "toevah," which is used throughout the Old Testament (often as part of the phrase "toevah ha-goyim," meaning "the uncleanness of the Gentiles") to designate foreign practices, such as Jewish sins involving idolatry or ethnic contamination. In fact, the Biblical authors were so clear on everything that they didn't even bother to use a word which would've plainly implied something intrinsically sinful (such as "zimah"), as they knew we'd be able to read between the lines thousands of years later and just know what it was that they meant to say.

::Writer rolls eyes so dramatically, he's sure his sarcastic ocular movement is 'forbidden' somewhere in Leviticus::

So while we're sure Rabbi Roth and many others would put us in the category of those who are just trying to muddy the waters by calling Leviticus' clarity into question, we must ask that all forgive us for not just accepting an oft-cited condemnation of our beings' cores without a little more analysis. In a perfect world, we'd all realize that further analysis of ancient text is not anti-religious, but rather what a God who gave us the capacity of rational thought would truly want.

Religion today [AP via MontereyHerald.com]

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