All about ideas…

An Open Letter to Dr. Laura Schlesinger

with 6 comments

I picked the following up from Yves Smith’s Naked Capitalism blog. It was just too good to pass up.

Time for a change of pace. This came via e-mail from Marshall Auerback:

In her radio show, Dr. Laura Schlesinger (a popular conservative radio talk show host in the USA) said that homosexuality is an abomination according to the Bible Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, and was attributed to a James M. Kauffman, Ed. D.

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination… end of

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God’s Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual unseemliness – Lev. 15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev. 1:9. The problem is my neighbours. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2. clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination – Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there ‘degrees’ of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really
necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev. 24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan,

James M. Kauffman, Ed. D.
Professor Emeritus Dept. of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education
University of Virginia

NOTE: A responder left this comment: Kaufman didn’t write it and no one really knows who did:


Written by Valerie Curl

March 25, 2010 at 7:15 PM

Posted in Religion

6 Responses

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by It's not Wil, Elizabeth Good, I'm not tellin', John J. Bullock, daniel c and others. daniel c said: RT @PsiChic: It doesn't matter who wrote it; absolutely perfect response to biblically-based homophobic arguments!: http://tinyurl.com/2bh2alr #gayrights […]

  2. Dear blathering moron.

    I’m sure you meant for your letter to be an inspiring diatribe hosting your brilliantly comedic intellect and showing all those who believe that homosexuality is an abomination are merely mean-spirited, pretentious snobs. One would have to point out, however, that it highlights your own ignorance and limited synaptic adhesion.

    1. This entire chapter is the groundwork for the legal system of the Nation of Israel. If you bothered to examine the context of this chapter, you would understand that Leviticus 25:44 does not institute slavery, nor does it command Jews to own slaves from any land that happens to neighbor theirs.

    If you were to say, then, that the Leviticus 18:22 passage should then be ignored outside the land of Israel, then I would ask you to kindly read Genesis 19:5-7 – “And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, ‘Where are the men which came in to thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may know them.’ And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, and said, ‘I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.’

    It was clear, even before the time of Moses, that homosexuality was considered, according to the word of God, a sin.

    2. This passage does not condone the selling of one’s daughter into slavery. A “maidservant” is not a slave. In fact, if you had bothered to read the context (again), you would clearly see the following passage: “If she please not her master, who hath BETROTHED her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her.” (Exodus 21:8). This passage, with the assistance of the word in BOLD print, illustrates further that a “maidservant” is not, in fact, a slave, but rather a wife-to-be. Even if this were not the case, a maidservant is a SERVANT, not a SLAVE.

    3. Once again, you fail to read the context. It is not simply the touching that is a matter of concern, but that of ‘sexual contact’. Reading beyond, even further, you discover the whole chapter is about maintaining a distance from bodily fluids. As we all know, excretions from the body may contain numerous hazardous contagions. This was not common knowledge numerous centuries ago, hence this chapter.

    4. If you are burning the entire bull, then you are doing it wrong, according to the scripture you quoted. Also, if you are doing it without Jewish priests, or without the appropriately ordained tabernacle (which does not exist in your yard), then you are doing it wrong. Your neighbors have a right to complain and you should not kill them.

    5. Your neighbor works on the Sabbath. Is he a Jew? Is he an Israelite? Does he live in Israel? Then, no, you should not kill him. If the answer to the aforementioned questions is, “yes”, then consult a proper Jewish priest on exactly who should do the killing and when God might think it would be appropriate to do so. After all, the Jews didn’t kill Jesus or his disciples when they gathered grapes on the Sabbath.

    6. Lesser degrees of abomination? Are you serious? Try reading a dictionary sometime.

    7. Lev. 21:20 refers to the seeds of Aaron. If you actually utilized the self-professed skill of reading, then you should have used it on verse 17.

    8. Unless your friends are rounding the corners of their heads, or marring the corners of their beards, God doesn’t have a problem. And where does it read they should die? That doesn’t appear in any of the 22 translations of the scriptures that I have access to.

    9. Lev. 11:6-8 does not say anything about the skin of a dead pig, but of the carcass. Even so, footballs are not made out of pigs at all. If you knew much of anything about the game, you would know they use plastic, rubber and leather or cowhide. Just before you think about it too much, cowhide and leather are tanned and processed skins; a far cry from being a carcass.

    10. First of all, the term is, “mingled seed”. This, from an agricultural standpoint, is bad because some plants will kill others when planted adjacent to one another. It’s also extremely difficult to reap a crop of mingled seed. Secondly, the garment issue is limited to a mixture of linen and wool. Neither cotton, nor polyester, qualify. As for the blaspheming, unless he is cursing God directly (not just saying stuff YOU don’t like) AND he is in Israel, then it doesn’t count. As far as getting the whole town to stone him, that is not correct either. It takes the whole congregation, which includes several towns, small villages and sometimes several cities, depending on the location of the offender. As far as, “burning people with fire”, it can only be ASSUMED that the passage meant, “to death”, because it doesn’t say that. Either way, Jewish traditions and laws command that members outside the family must be involved if anyone is to be put to death, for any reason. So a, “private family affair”, wouldn’t do in either case.

    Well, whoever you are, you’re not Doctor Kauffman. He’s actually intelligent, whereas you are not. At any rate, your pitiful and miserly arguments that Jewish law is sadistic are failed, and really have nothing to do with whether or not homosexuality is wrong. But, thank you for trying.


    August 21, 2010 at 11:08 AM

    • Sir, this post was picked up from a post. The original authorship has been attributed to JAMES M. KAUFFMAN of UVA. Whether that is true or not, I do not know. However, you might want to read and review these two sites. I’m sure they’ll make your blood boil even more.



      Religion is a fiercely personal thing, often accepted during youth from the beliefs of one’s parents. However, some people choose to look beyond what they’ve been taught through research and reading to find more spiritual and ethical meanings. There is a reason why Plato and Aristotle placed such high value on “ethos.”

      Anyone can pick and choose from the Bible, New Testament, Koran and any number of other holy books. But God gave us humans a great gift, the gift of reason. As we humans grown in our reasoning, which I believe God wanted, we’ve chosen to end the barbarity of earlier generations. Barbarity which was considered quite acceptable in earlier eras is no longer acceptable.

      This essay – letter, if you will – provides a conterpoint argument to thinking that was quite acceptable in bygone eras but is losing validity as human reasoning grows.

      BTW, your salutation exhibits your lack of “ethos.” Why? Are you not capable of respecting others point of view? Is you own mind so closed that you are incapable of reading, digesting and arguing your viewpoint without denigrating another human being? Is this your “ethos”?

      Valerie Curl

      August 21, 2010 at 8:31 PM

    • So I guess this “ME” never heard of satire…

      Get over yourself. Congratulations on interpreting the bible to support your own views, but this was ONLY intended to poke fun at people who lack the intellectual capacity to NOT take everything the bible “says” as literal.

      While you are able to write in complete sentences, your words and anger clearly show that you are as narrow minded in the other direction as what you are complaining about. So it’s great you’ve studied every word of the bible, now go out and buy a copy of “Common Sense for Dummies.”

      Or, it’s America, you have the freedom to go on with your bigotry if you choose. OR, enlighten yourself, find something more productive to be passionate about other then discriminating against people and make a difference. Mozel.


      September 2, 2010 at 10:19 AM

  3. God doesn’t make mistakes.


    October 11, 2011 at 8:06 PM

  4. I think the larger point of the article by or not my Kauffman is that Leviticus is cited as the reason to object to homosexuality but those who cite(outside orthodox jews) don’t find Leviticus as compelling.

    You can’t cite Leviticus as the reason and then say, but we can ignore the rest.

    Narcissa Smith-Harris

    October 27, 2011 at 5:59 PM

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