Well, yesterday was certainly a little more entertaining than usual as Kos over at DailyKos was generous enough to link over here to my snarky little piece on the recently-married getting a one-year military furlough. I recommend popping over there and reading all the comments he got. (It's a sobering sign of blogosphere infamy when his link to my article got 150 comments, and mine got five.)
Now, my original post was certainly a little tongue-in-cheek -- I didn't seriously expect the vast majority of whacked-out, speaking-in-tongues Biblical literalists to suddenly have an epiphany and cry, "Lord, O Lord! How wrong we have been to send the newly-married to have their brains and other vital organs dashed upon the sands of the evil foreign power!" Or something to that effect.
In fact, if you read the comments at Kos, you'll notice the occasional reference to a classic standby fundamentalist defensive position: that it's really kind of unfair to refer to anything in the Old Testament, given that a good chunk of that (Leviticus and Deuteronomy in particular) is -- how shall I put this diplomatically? -- mostly inane, mind-numbingly stupid, indefensible twaddle about how thou shalt not wear clothing of mixed fabrics and similar silliness. So it's not surprising to find the Bible thumpers blowing off the Old Testament with, "Well, yes, we know what it says, but that's before Jesus Christ and a new Covenant with his followers that supersedes that complete rubbish. Anyway, it's not like anyone takes it seriously anymore."
Generally, an effective strategy ... except for one itsy, bitsy problem: the Old Testament is the only place anywhere in the Bible that explicitly condemns homosexuality.
If you pop over to BibleGateway and do a keyword search for "abomination" in the King James version of the Bible, you learn a couple of things. First, you learn that the Christian God, despite being the creator of all things, finds quite a lot of it abominable. Go figure.
More importantly, though, you learn that the only explicit condemnation of homosexuality occurs (as near as I can tell) exclusively in the Old Testament:
Which, of course, puts the sputtering, homophobic fundies in a bit of a bind as they struggle to categorize those parts of the Old Testament that they like and those parts they don't in some weird relativistic fashion. Like here.
Leviticus 18:22 (KJV): Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
Leviticus 20:13 (KJV): If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
In any case, while it's normally tempting for the annoyingly Godly to abandon any defense of the collective idiocy that is the Old Testament, you have to realize that down that road lies some serious rhetorical difficulty. I mean, if you can't use the Bible to prop up your closed-minded intolerance and homophobic bigotry, it seems all you'd have left is Jesus' numerous admonitions to love thy neighbour and treat him or her as you'd like to be treated. And what the hell fun is that?
Random additional ponderings: I realize I may be belaboring the obvious, but if you read the above two passages from Leviticus -- I mean really read them carefully and literally -- they do seem to be giving lesbians a pass, don't they? So, apparently, there's no problem, Biblically speaking, with a little hot girl-on-girl action. Just saying.