Clobber Verses and Biblical Selective Hearing

First of all, I would like to apologize for taking a long hiatus. Life is a wave and it sometimes carries us away. But I’m back now and I’ve decided to take this blog in a new direction – a religious direction – so here’s my first post in the new Tiny Elephants Blog.

There is a school of Christianity – for the sake of this blog, we’ll call it neo-Christianity – that had latched onto certain Bible verses and cling to them like a life raft against the aforementioned wave. These particular verses are often called Clobber Verses and for good reason. Take Leviticus 18:22, for instance: “You shall not lie with men as with women. It is an abomination.” Or Romans 1:26-28: “For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind and to things that should not be done.” Or this little gem found in Jude 1:7: “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”

But here’s the thing about clobber verses: they tend to be very one-sided. Did you notice that all of these verses deal with one specific thing, namely homosexuality? These verses, and many others like them, are commonly used by neo-Christians to justify their hate of homosexual behavior. Yet there are other things in the Bible that God seems to hate just as much as homosexuality.

For example Leviticus 10:9: “Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations.” Perhaps I am mistaken, but isn’t drinking of wine an integral part of many religious ceremony’s in many different Christian denominations?

Or Deuteronomy 14:8: “And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcass.” Yet I know lots of Christians who love them some bacon and will gladly partake of that Easter ham.

And how about Genesis 17:14?: “And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.” I’m sure there are a lot of uncircumcised men out there who consider themselves Christians.

And finally, Matthew 19:7-9: “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery” I don’t recall there being any picketers standing outside the courthouse protesting divorce when mine was finalized.

The bottom line is this – the Bible can be a text full of enlightenment, hope and love. But when you use it to justify your own narrow-minded view of the world you turn it into something that is corrupt and, just maybe, evil. Does the Bible condemn homosexuality? Maybe but it also condemns many, many things that we Christians do on a daily basis and there seems to be much less of an outcry about those things. Pick and choose the Bible is you must but in the process, try to choose love. The world will be a much better place if you do.


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