26 March 2007

A Radically Nonsensical Literal Reading of Leviticus 18:22

Here is a radically literal but tongue-in-cheek interpretation of Leviticus 18:22 that popped into my head this afternoon.

This verse is often cited as a scriptural condemnation of homosexuality.

However -- when one reads the text literally, it doesn't prohibit all male-male sexual intercourse.

Here's the verse as translated in the Revised Standard Version:

"You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination."

The literal text only addresses male-male intercourse when the participants are prone.

It doesn't ban anal sex when both men are standing nor does it ban oral sex when one man is standing and the other man is kneeling. And -- for the incredibly gymnastic -- it doesn't ban the standing "69" position either. And it certainly doesn't ban mutual masturbation as long as the two men are not prone.

I suppose we can now legalize same-sex marriage as long as we require the use of twin beds by male-male couples. We would also need to ban double beds, queen-sized beds, king-sized beds, etc for male-male couples as well.

I'm pretty sure that bunk beds would be OK.

And male-male sex in hot tubs (which involves "floating" instead of "lying") would be acceptable within this Leviticus 18:22 framework.

This example shows the absurdity of trying to read the Bible as a literal sex manual in modern times.

The Bible (like many other ancient scriptures) works best when viewed holistic sense that provides us example of how to live ethically with each other.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There's an even sillier result that's impossible to avoid if you read it literally:

Leviticus 18:22 clearly and unequivocally requires all women to be lesbians. It says, in plain text, "do not lie with men, as you lie with women; it is abomination." Therefore women are both required to sleep with women, and forbidden from sleeping with men.