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Dustin LindenSmith

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sage xmas

Why Can't I Own a Canadian? (an open letter to Dr. Laura Schlessinger)

Dr. Laura is kind of an outdated phenomenon, but the content of this e-mail joke that was just sent to me (originally dated October, 2002) is still relevant, and also pretty funny. I actually double-checked a half-dozen or so of the Bible references in this letter and found them to be legit; that is to say, they said what the letter-writer says they said. Of course, it's the writer's interpretation of these references that's the funny part.

The letter was inspired by Dr. Laura's denouncement of homosexuality based on Leviticus 18:22. FYI, this page by the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance discusses that particular well-known scripture in detail, along with its basis for denouncing homosexuality. A Google search on Leviticus 18:22 also yields considerable further discussion.
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 debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them:

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 neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

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?

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

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

I have a neighbor 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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your devoted fan,

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baal_kriah April 3rd, 2006
This is all wonderfully appropriate at pointing out the hypocrisy of Laura Schelesinger, who bases her bigotry on the notion that she is a religious Jew. Unfortunately it doesn't work with Christian bigots, who long ago gave themselves the out that the only parts of Leviticus that are binding on them are the parts that Paul (who seems to have been a rather hysterical homophobe and misogynist) said were still valid. BTW, Orthodox Jews still do their best to follow these injunctions; an Orthodox Jew who was named Lord Mayor of some English city (I think Manchester, Liverpool, or Birmingham) was granted a special dispensation by the Queen so he wouldn't have to wear the traditional garment which mixed wool and linen.

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