Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Carrie Prejean Inspires the Next Generation

Ms. California Carrie Prejean, best known for her openly anti-gay marriage views, seems to have done a great job inspiring the next generation of California pageant competitors. Now working her way up the California ranks comes Lauren Ashley, who doesn't just oppose gay marriage, but opposes letting gay people live:
“The Bible says that marriage is between a man and a woman. In Leviticus it says, ‘If man lies with mankind as he would lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death and their blood shall be upon them.’ The Bible is pretty black and white,” Ashley told Pop Tarts.

“I feel like God himself created mankind and he loves everyone, and he has the best for everyone. If he says that having sex with someone of your same gender is going to bring death upon you, that’s a pretty stern warning, and he knows more than we do about life.”

Fortunately, she assures us, she has gay friends. Because nothing is ever bigoted, ever.

I imagine that some sniveling liberals will want to condemn this brave young woman for advocating putting to death homosexuals. Political correctness runs amok in this country, let me tell you.

12 comments:

joe said...

This is the first time I've heard of this person, so I'm just going to parse the quote you posted: "If he says that having sex with someone of your same gender is going to bring death upon you, that’s a pretty stern warning, and he knows more than we do about life."

Passive voice here. If you're saying this means getting government to execute gay people, that's pretty thin evidence. It could well be that she expects God to kill those he deems to have committed an abomination without any help. Now, you might argue Reaganite indifference in the face of AIDs, which many fundamentalists said was God's divine plan, was akin to a death sentence, but that's still a long ways from the infamous Uganda bill.

So I think you're getting a little more out of this statement, disturbing as it is, than is said.

PG said...

In my first read of her comments, I had the same conclusion joe did, but a closer look challenges that conclusion:

"'They shall surely be put to death and their blood shall be upon them.' The Bible is pretty black and white."

So far as I recall, when the Old Testament talks about God being the executioner, the phrase is not "put to death."

More importantly, Ashley's quoting the part of Leviticus that indicates a legal penalty, i.e. one imposed by government.

In the KJV, Leviticus 18 says, "22: Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
23: Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.
24: Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you:
25: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants."

So there the Bible indicates that if the new inhabitants of this land act the way the former folks did, God will punish the land and its inhabitants -- "visit the iniquity thereof upon it."

But her quotation is from Leviticus 20, which is all about the crimes for which the people should put someone to death: "2: Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones."

This chapter consists of God literally laying down the law under which His people shall live:

"7: Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.
8: And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the LORD which sanctify you.
9: For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.
10: And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
11: And the man that lieth with his father's wife hath uncovered his father's nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
12: And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them.
13: If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
14: And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you.
15: And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast.
16: And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."

So yeah, by quoting Leviticus 20, Miss Beverly Hills is in fact saying that the government should kill teh gays, not that God is gonna strike 'em down.

Joe said...

Are you being deliberately obtuse? She cites the OT law as evidence of how seriously YHWH took sodomy, and makes no policy recommendation at all. There's no reason to think she's saying anything other than that it's a serious sin. I'm sure she doesn't think people should be executed for violating the sabbath, but thinks it's also a serious sin. This is not tricky.

PG said...

Are you being deliberately obtuse?

No, I'm taking her seriously as a Christian instead of assuming, as you seem to do, that she's just a dumb blond yammering random bits of the Bible.

If she were speaking solely about the moral seriousness of homosexual conduct, she would be citing Leviticus 18, which talks about God's punishment of a land in which such conduct occurs. That's sufficient to show that God takes it seriously.

However, she quotes Leviticus 20, which is all about the laws under which men shall live and that they enforce upon one another. She approvingly cites God saying that humans are to put one another to death for certain crimes.

As for whether she thinks violating the sabbath is a serious sin, where's your evidence on that? Do you seriously believe that she thinks all the laws set forth in Leviticus continue to be moral commandments, and that therefore she avoids eating shellfish?

By the way, I see you've changed your claim: in your first comment you said, "It could well be that she expects God to kill those he deems to have committed an abomination without any help." Now you're saying that she cited God's telling His people to kill gays as a way of showing how very seriously God took homosexuality.

lower-case joe said...

There is some confusion here, which I hoped to avoid by not using my Google account. I am the "joe" who wrote the first comment but not the "Joe" who wrote the third. So I don't think you're being obtuse.

I do think we shouldn't take Ms. Ashley to be a biblical scholar, and even if she were that's no guarantee she wouldn't find some excuse to not support what we might take her "black and white" view to imply.

Perhaps I'm being too generous here but I try to avoid the whole "gotcha" quote game, for reasons the childish nature of contemporary political culture should make clear.

Matthew said...

You know, I was thinking that "joe's" comments had grown increasingly asinine in the last week or so. Learning that there is a second joe explains a lot.

PG said...

lower-case-joe, thanks for clarification.

I do think we shouldn't take Ms. Ashley to be a biblical scholar, and even if she were that's no guarantee she wouldn't find some excuse to not support what we might take her "black and white" view to imply.

In my experience (which includes hanging out with Southern Baptists and Catholic priests), people who can quote particular books of the Bible verbatim generally intend to say what they are saying. They might backtrack when confronted with strong opposition to their views, but they are being serious in what they say and should be treated accordingly. I don't think it's charitable to wave away people's beliefs because we find them so appalling; it strikes me as patronizing to do so.

E.g., a Catholic acquaintance told me yesterday that he has children because God commands him and his wife to be completely open to such fruitfulness. I do him no favor by pretending that his beliefs are closer to what I consider reasonable than they actually are.

lower-case joe said...

Matthew, I guess I'll choose to take that statement in the best possible way it can be interpreted.


PG,

But the issue is that, as you admit, you're looking beyond just what this person said to get the Christian duty to slaughter homosexual infidels, because she did not specify the instruments of God's judgment. My practical experience tells me that people who say, for example, "Bible is the 100% objectively true word of God" don't follow the dietary and hygiene requirements laid out in it even when reminded of them, because they (or really their fundamentalist pastor) have some interpretive reason not to. Like almost every other deeply religious person who follows a holy book.

There is simply not enough evidence here to draw David's conclusion.

PG said...

because she did not specify the instruments of God's judgment

Yes, she did. "Put to death" refers to execution by man due to a violation of statute. That's exactly what I explained at length in my first comment on this post. Do you have a reason you think "put to death" refers to some other "instruments of God's judgment," and if so, what's the reason?

lower-case joe said...

They "shall surely" be put to death, so maybe it's a prediction, depending on the reading. You're looking at the biblical quote, not the speaker's interpretation.

Not everyone who says Scripture was black and white arrives at the same objective understanding, so we're still at the question of interpretation. To assume I know the speaker's exact interpretive frame would be patronizing.

I also think it's a little strange to soft-pedal this supposed belief given how extreme it is.

PG said...

They "shall surely" be put to death, so maybe it's a prediction, depending on the reading. You're looking at the biblical quote, not the speaker's interpretation.

I'm looking at both. She picked that particular quote from Leviticus (rather than one that would indicate merely God's displeasure), and then said, "If He says that having sex with someone of your same gender is going to bring death upon you, that’s a pretty stern warning, and He knows more than we do about life."

What's soft-pedaling about that?

lower-case joe said...

It's not soft-pedaling, which is my point. Extremists tend not to pussyfoot around because that requires self-awareness of just how extreme they are.

The "stern warning" quote you're highlighting just backs up my point that she could be expecting God to smite gays on his own.

It's unclear, but I'm not going to just go ahead attribute the worst possible policy view to someone just because I have a problem with her general worldview.