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John DiMascio wrote:

Hi, guys —

A friend sent me this as a joke.

  • How would we reply to this?

In defense of Leviticus?

Dr. Laura Schlessinger is a US radio personality, who dispenses advice to people who call in to her radio show. On her radio show recently, she said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination, according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, penned by a US resident, which was posted on the Internet. It's funny, as well as thought-provoking.

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 Laws and how to follow them.

  • Leviticus 25:44 states that I may 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?

  • 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?

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

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

  • I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath but Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death.
    • Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

  • A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination — Leviticus 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree.
    • Can you settle this?
    • Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

  • 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?

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

  • 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?

  • 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 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? 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 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.


An adoring fan

  { How would you logically reply to these reasonable-sounding objections in the book of Leviticus? }

Richard replied:

Hi, John —

This line of shtick has become a stock argument for the defenders of sodomy.

First, the writer picks the weakest argument against the sin, pretends that the whole case against the sin rests on Leviticus alone, and then he raises reasonable-sounding objections to it. When
I used to hear the "Dr. Laura Show" locally, Leviticus was not at all her only reference point on the subject, so the writer is misrepresenting the lady's argument.

He sets up a straw man, only to put on a show by knocking it over, and congratulates himself that he's defeated the arguments of a prominent, moral conservative. This is typical of the dishonest, immature, and sterile level to which public discourse has sunk — qualities that mirror the very perversion the writer is defending.

It's also an example of how necessary the natural-law tradition is to Catholic moral thought.

Arguments that depend on Scripture alone, apart from what reason tells us, are indeed easier for unbelievers to challenge.

— RC

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