Apparently, Refusing to Stone Gays Means You’re Not a Christian

I mentioned yesterday, in writing about students learning about Islam in a world history class, that the Bible contains the same requirements as Islam regarding non-believers and others found objectionable: that they be killed.

Pastor David Berzins of Word of Truth Baptist Church in Prescott Valley, Arizona, said a fellow pastor, a friend of his, is a traitor to his faith for not endorsing the stoning of gay people. “Look, God came up with the laws of the Old Testament! They’re breathed by the Lord,” he said.

Leviticus 20:13: “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them.”

This is the Revised Standard Version (RSV). Berzins uses the King James:

“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.”

Obvious objections based on the United States Constitution being the law of the land, and not the Bible, aside, it certainly seems clear-cut. But there has been some debate over exactly what this passage actually means, that it simply forbids, for whatever reason, two men lying down together on a woman’s bed, or that it is directed against real (or imagined) pagan cultic practices (Jews and Christians always put sex at the center of their objections to Paganism).

At any rate, if Berzins is right, then yes, gays should be stoned according to the precepts of his religion.

But here is the catch: Berzins himself also needs to be stoned, because he is also in violation of the Law of Moses. To start with, he is not a Jew, and as we have seen, if you’re not a Jew, you get stoned.

So haul his a** out of church and stone him, right?

This might be a good time to mention Jesus’ injunction against being the one to throw the first stone (John 8:7).

Given the moves in both Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee to turn the Bible into the official “state book” in violation of the United States Constitution, this is certainly a good time to look at what the Bible actually says, so people like Berzins can have a chance to reconsider.

The Religious Right and the Republican Party have both turned the Law of Moses – which forbids a great many things members of both groups do today, openly and on a regular basis, into an anti-gay law. But scholars can’t even say with 100% certainty that the Old Testament forbids homosexuality.

These zealots obsess over the demand in Islam that people be stoned for various offenses, ignoring the calls for stoning in their own Bible – unless you’re gay. But the Old Testament does say you get stoned for many things – including as we saw yesterday, being a nonbeliever and being a disobedient child – and there is no argument over these:

  • Touching Mt. Sinai (Exodus 19:13)
  • Blasphemy (Leviticus 24:16)
  • Adulterers and rape victims who don’t cry out (Deuteronomy 22:23-24)
  • Violating the Sabbath (Numbers 15:32-56)
  • Taking accursed things could get you and your entire family and even your livestock, stoned (Joshua 7:1-26):

    “And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor.

    “And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the Lord shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones.”

Cripes, even your tent! C’mon, man!

Look, there are obvious problems with the Law of Moses and good reasons these bigots only want to follow the alleged requirement to stone gays. If they had to stone adulterers, a good many prominent Republican and Religious Right figures would no longer be among us, including George H.W. Bush, John McCain, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, and Rudy Giuliani.

And even if the Law of Moses did forbid homosexuality, homosexuality is a modern term. As I have shown here before, in many ancient cultures, it was permissible for a man to penetrate another man. The problem was not with the penetrator, but with the man who allowed himself to be penetrated, which to their eyes meant being sexually passive, in other words, a woman.

Today, it is a sin to be the man doing the penetrating as well, which is not at all how many ancients viewed it. And let’s just mention here that the Bible doesn’t even mention lesbianism, leaving anti-gay bigots no ground to stand on there.

And if Pastor Berzins is going to insist we follow the Law of Moses, then we can’t start picking and choosing which passages we follow, because as he himself said, “They’re breathed by the Lord.” They are inviolate. ALL of them.

So if they are going to continue to persist in pushing the Law of Moses, I saw let’s play along. Break out the stones, and let’s start stoning some religious fundamentalists into the Bronze Age.

After all, it’s what God wants, and as he intended, it will make the world a better place for the rest of us.

View Comments

    • Talk is cheap, asshole pastor!

      Start picking up stones, because just talking about it is a form of refusal. The only thing that isn't refusal is carrying through on the act.

      I guess you really aren't a Christian either!

  • The bigotry against gays (men only, as you pointed out) has nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with fearing, and therefore 'othering,' what these cafeteria xians perceive as an icky outgroup. There are at least 76 prohibitions listed in Leviticus, but the only one they care about is male homosexuality. And homosexuality doesn't even rank very high on the wholly babble's list, coming in at 39th, which makes it seem to me even less important than the two--count 'em, two--prohibitions against shellfish (don't touch, don't eat). When was the last time anyone saw a xian picketing Red Lobster?

    • No the real reasoon for anti LBGT talking points is to have something or someone to preech aganist and to use as a fund raising tool and a decisive

  • old joke...

    Jesus comes up on the village square... a woman is bleeding on the ground and a group of people are standing around...

    Jesus asks what's going on.. the people reply that the woman has been unfaithful and promiscuous and they are following the law and stoning her...

    Jesus picks up a rock and holds it out and says 'let he who is without sin cast the first stone'

    the crowd looks around and sheepishly disperses...

    except for one woman... she picks up a rock... winds up and lets fly as hard as she can...

    Jesus says... MOTHER!!! I wish you wouldn't do that!!

  • I'm pretty certain that the "laws" in the old testement were superceded by the teachings of Jesus. Christianity seems to be the only religion in the world where the person for whom the religion is named is completely ignored.

    • Correct. Seriously, when will these so-called "christians" patriarchs get that they're referring to pre-Christian biblical laws when they talk about stoning gays?

      And why aren't they stoning their promiscuous unmarried teenage daughters who get pregnant despite all the purity dad-and-daughter balls and purity rings?

      And why do they flip over to the New Testament with its "forgiveness" theme when they're caught with their pants down cheating on their wives?

    • @mary kaye, Good point. I have often wondered myself why these so called xians always refer to the Old Testament when Christianity is about the New Testament. Christians are followers of Jesus Christ, His teachings and works. My guess is that they are so filled with hate, they don't know about tolerance, forgiveness, love and acceptance. They ignore all of Christ's teachings because they are filled all the good stuff re. how we should treat each other. They are not true Christians and should not refer to themselves as such.

  • In the words of the most honorable Bob Dylan.."every body must get stoned" or in the words of the god man much better than that! if we treat every man to his desert who shall skape' whipping.

  • Red Lobster is an Abomination!

    Leviticus 11:9-12 says:
    9 These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.
    10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:
    11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.
    12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.

    Strange is it not? Christianity was established in the New Testament- and yet it is the OLD testament that the Bible thumpers want to quote from the most.

    • This seafood chapter must have been written by someone who had Fish (iodine) allergies and everytime he ate it got a rash and swollen, some may have even died of this allergy, consequently the entire population of seafood got a bad name.

      Yet, later in the New Testament, fish gets forgiven as Jesus & his chums like to go sailing & fishing.
      Remember the miracle of the multiplication of fishes to feed a multitud?
      Go and enjoy your fish, it is recommended.

    • @Moongrim. I recall in the NT that God sent food down from Heaven for Paul? who refused to eat because he thought he was being tempted. God asked him why he refused to eat the food that he sent him and told him that He, God created the universe and the food within it. I don't know where this nonsense about not eating shell fish or pig comes from in the OT, guess Jews didn't live near the sea? Why would God provide these different types of provisions if not for human consumption?

  • god foresaw the movie Spartacus and the bath scene...

    you know... Crassus trying to seduce Antoninous in the baths by offering him oysters...

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