Friday, January 23, 2009

Audacity of Hope, comment 1

I'm going to jump ahead and correct one of the many things I will have to address since it's such a patent misunderstanding of God, the Bible and faith.

Page 218 "Would we go with Leviticus, which suggests that slavery is all right and eating shellfish is an abomination?"

Um, it helps to know a little human history. Slavery existed among humans before God gave the Law, "the Bible," to the Israelites. God was not saying that "slavery is all right." God was laying down laws for the decent treatment of slaves, a concept which was unheard of previously.

Second, any Jew will explain to you that the foundation for certain food being abomination traces back to health prohibitions. Pork is prohibited not only because pigs are "unclean," but "unclean" means, in part, that in the poor cooking of those days trichinosis was spread. Today with conditions such as mad cow disease (spread by cows being fed infected brain matter of other animals), Chinese shellfish contamination, and the probability that HIV jumped to humans as the result of eating monkeys, one should have a more sophisticated understanding of God's prohibitions about "unclean" and "abomination" consuming of animals. I mean, duh. God in the Bible and later in the Koran was giving food prohibitions that would later be demonstrated by the wonderful "science" to be ahead of its time, not ignorant or behind the time. I wish people thought eating monkeys and other bushmeat was an abomination. Don't you?

I've addressed this before in my blogging. But I can tell I'm going to cringe through this entire chapter because there's a real problem when "lawyers lecture on faith history."

I like reading about someone's faith journey, including those raised with no faith, or happy slappy "new religion per week" cafeteria approaches. But this chapter dives right into lecturing like a school marm on a subject that there is lack of any scholarly foundation. Ugh.