Sunday, 12 February 2017
The Bible: A Very Grim Fairytale: Leviticus - Chapter 20: Stoning Sinners (With Stones)
Leviticus is mostly a set of rules and regulations about what you are and what you are not allowed to do. Mostly what you are not allowed to do. When it tells you what you are allowed to do, then it's mostly about worshipping and otherwise revering God.
So the last chapter was about a set of rules, yet more rules. Now in this chapter we get the punishments should you break those rules. And if you've ever seen Monty Python's The Life of Brian, you'll love this chapter.
This then is going to be a punishing chapter. God gave Moses his commandments and this is what happens to you if you don't do as you're told. God was telling his chosen people that they had to be worthy of him because he was holy.
So, if you worship the god Molech then you will be stoned to death. And for the avoidance of doubt God even informed Moses that they were to be stoned to death with stones. Rather than being poked with soft cushions.
The rest of the chapter carries on in much the same way.
Fail to honour your parents? Stoned to death.
Adulterers? Stoned to death.
Have homosexual sex? Put to death. Note not stoned to death as some half wits from certain churches in Hicksville America would have you believe.
Have sex with an animal? Put to death. And the animal too, which doesn't seem very fair.
See your sister or your mother or your father's wife naked? You shall be cast out.
Have sex with a menstruating woman. Then both participants in this act shall be cast out, although how anyone would know about this is a mystery.
God said that his people should not behave as the Egyptians had done since they had behaved in this wicked manner, although nobody pointed out that, despite this wickedness, they had also created one of the world's greatest civilisations and done some impressive civil engineering too. Maybe a bit of homosexuality and sleeping with menstruating women wasn't so bad after all. But God wasn't having any of that.
No. They were his chosen people and he was taking them to the land of milk and honey. But they had to be worthy of him and be holy.
And so, obviously, if any of them were a wizard or a witch they would be put to death. Do you hear that Harry Potter?