It’s a curious thing, isn’t it?
It’s a curious thing that when religious people create a law granting themselves “religious freedom” somehow the rest of us end up with less freedom.
I said as much on Twitter:
The responses were … instructive.
Here’s a couple from one random internet denizen:
Everybody got that? Christians don’t pass laws. Politicians do.
In America, Christians don’t pass religious laws, it’s the politicians, see? And it’s totally coincidental that the laws in question were written and passed entirely by Christians despite protests and pushback from non-Christians (and many, many non-fanatical Christians too, to be entirely fair).
Earl, who as it turns out is Canadian, went on to helpfully explain how “Laws on morality do not tend to come from the religious.”
Laws on morality don’t come from the religious.
Laws. On Morality. Don’t come from the religious.
Sure they don’t, Earl. Suuuuure they don’t.
That’s why so many atheists propose morality laws everyday here in America, right?
That’s why the religious spend so much time explaining to the non-religious why there can’t be any morality without a deity in the sky to punish the wicked for doing bad things. Right?
Earl, it seems, lives in the Canadian province of Denial.
I’ve got a pile here of outraged email and direct messages in response to that tweet. Others agreed with Earl’s premise. Christians, they tell me, are being discriminated against in the United States. Christian values and beliefs are under attack from every quarter. Christians are being persecuted in record numbers, just like in ancient Rome, just like in those Islamic countries we hear so much about.
And so these new laws are simply there to protect religious freedom – for everybody, of course, not just the majority religion who already owns nearly every holiday and tradition and political office in America, tax free.
It’s just a coincidence that the sponsors of Religious Freedom Restoration bills happen to be Christian.
It’s just a coincidence that laws are written and passed by people who believe they must protect Christian beliefs and promote the Christian version of morality and who loudly declare the United States a Christian nation based on Christian values.
It’s just a coincidence that Christian fundamentalists came up with Indiana’s new Religious Freedom bill – and Arizona’s Religious Freedom Bill, and eighteen other states with similar religious “freedom” laws. Not to mention the federal law. It’s just a coincidence that those bills had no non-Christian sponsors.
It’s just a coincidence that it was a Christian Arizona state legislator who declared church attendance should be mandatory for every American. Not for religious reasons, of course, oh no. For moral reasons. It’s just a coincidence that she didn’t say Mosque attendance should be mandatory, or Temple attendance, or Pagan Druid Ceremonies, or a non-religious class on ethics and morality. No. Just a coincidence. An oversight. Her evangelical Christian beliefs had nothing to do with her statement that every single American be forced to attend Christian church for moral reasons.
It’s just a coincidence that the overwhelming majority of those who attempt to limit reproductive freedom and end of life choices are fanatical Christian fundamentalists.
It’s just a coincidence that those currently demanding America go to war with Muslim Iran are, yep, again outspoken Christians hoping to bring about the prophesied Holy Land apocalypse of their Christian bible. Totally coincidental.
And, of course, it’s purely a coincidence that a proposed ballot initiative currently before the California Attorney General, the so-called “Sodomite Suppression Act” was brought by a vehemently evangelical Christian.
I’ll say this, at least that last one, the California Sodomite Suppression Act is honest.
At least the proposed law doesn’t whore itself up with bullshit lies about “equal rights” and non-discrimination like the recently passed religious law in Indiana.
The proposed California law makes no bones about it.
It hates gay people and wants them dead.
Right up front the proposed Sodomite Suppression Act says that the Christian God hates gay people and non-Christians, and all true Christians should be allowed to murder anybody not of their faith on sight. Bang, bullet to the head.
In California, anybody can propose a ballot initiative.
If they pay the requisite fee of $200 and submit the proper form, the state Attorney General is required to create an introductory description and allow a ballot petition to be circulated.
Now, it seems highly unlikely that the initiative’s sponsor, lawyer and Christian conservative Matthew G. McLaughlin, will be able to collect the required 365,880 signatures needed to get the Sodomite Suppression Act on the ballot.
And even if McLaughlin does get the signatures, it’s highly unlikely that California voters would pass the act into law.
And even if they did, it would be unconstitutional. Obviously so. And would be immediately thrown out by a judge – without the necessity of going all the way to the Supreme Court at either the state or federal levels.
A lot of people are outraged that it’s possible for such a bill to become law, no matter how unlikely. They want the Attorney General to find a way to stop it before it can become a petition.
You know what I think?
I think this is as good of place as any to get this hate right out into the open.
I think it’s about time to drag this festering murderous Christian bigotry out of the dark kicking and screaming and spastically clutching its little plastic Jesus, drag it out into the light where we can all see the ugly hunchback pinheaded slobbering monster clearly for what it is.
Go on, get it out in front of the voters.
But – but – instead of the Sodomite Suppression Act, let’s call it The Mandatory Christian Compliance Act.
No more cherry picking Leviticus for Christians.
From now on, for those who identify as Christian fundamentalists, if you insist that the rest of us comply with your religious ideas, if you’re going to demand the right to kill Sodomites as your God commanded, then you have to comply with all of His law, all of it, to the letter, not just the part you like.
Since the primary Christian objections to homosexuality come from the Book of Leviticus, let’s just us see what other requirements that part of the Bible levies on Christians, shall we?
1. Burning any yeast or honey in offerings to God (2:11)
That’s right, Christians are prohibited from burning honey or anything with yeast in it when they make offerings to God.
Better keep a close eye on those sacramental hosts when they’re in the oven. Hate to piss off God by burning the holy bread. Of course it’s unleavened, but are you sure, really sure, there’s not a single cell of yeast in there? That stuff, wild yeast, floats around all over the place. That’s where natural sourdough comes from, you know. I’m just saying, you sure? Really sure?
It’s probably not something the average Christian has to worry about, but then again it’s number one on the list and you’d hate to see an entire church damned to hell for a contaminated batch.
The bible doesn’t give a specific punishment for this transgression, just the standard penalty you get when you make God mad.
Now since the Sodomite Suppression Act updates the killing of Sodomites with the use of modern secular tools (i.e. guns and bullets), and specifically cites the California Penal Code, I think it’s both fair and keeping within the spirit of the original proposal to use California’s sentencing guidelines for those Christians who violate their own holy law. $1000 or 30 days in jail, suspended if nobody gets hurt, should do it for the first offense.
2. Failing to include salt in offerings to God(2:13)
I’ve been in a lot of churches, never seen any salt in the sanctuary.
Same deal, you offer up prayers to God and forget the salt, $1000 fine or 30 days in jail. For the first offense.
You know, I bet you could make a killing in the Holy Salt Shaker market once this law goes into effect.
3. No eating fat (3:17)
According to the Bible, this one is “a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.”
By God’s law, all fat is to be saved for offerings to God. All fat. All.
Any Christian who eats fat of any kind, but particularly that from “clean” animals, is in violation of the law. And any Christian who fails to offer up fat to God is in violation of the law.
$1000 fine or 30 days in jail. This is big one though, God loves his bacon after all. In accordance with California sentencing guidelines, the second offense gets you a $10,000 fine or a year in jail. You don’t even want to talk about three strikes and you’re out. Seriously.
Between this and the following items, you’d better stick to salads, Christians – no oil & vinegar dressing either.
4. No eating blood (3:17)
No traditional English breakfast for Christians. No black pudding or blood sausages. No Scandinavian pancakes. No French coq au vin or pressed duck.
I don’t suppose this will be a real hardship, but a lot of Christians are going to miss those rare steaks.
5. Failing to testify against any wrongdoing you’ve witnessed (5:1)
Ah, now we’re talking felonies.
Leviticus says that those who fail to testify against ANY wrongdoing, any, “They will be held responsible” for the wrongdoing itself.
Any wrongdoing, no matter how great or small. Any violation of the law. Any transgression. Any bending of the rules in any fashion, and if you don’t speak up, Christians, then you’re just as guilty as the person who committed the crime.
Standard sentencing guidelines apply, you could find yourself facing a minor $65 fine or the electric chair.
Better step up. Seriously.
6. Failing to testify against any wrongdoing you’ve been told about (5:1)
Under secular law that would be hearsay, but under God’s law, you’d better report any alleged violation you hear about, no matter how small.
God holds you to account for hearsay same as He does for witnessing actual crimes, i.e. “they shall be held responsible.”
7. No touching an unclean animal (5:2)
No dogs. No pigs. No snakes. No shellfish. No crustaceans. No touching. This isn’t about eating unclean animals, we’ll get to that in a minute. This is about touching them.
Pet a dog? $1000 fine or 30 days in jail.
8. Carelessly making an oath (5:4)
Any Christian who “carelessly” makes an oath, even if they have their fingers crossed behind their backs, even if they don’t realize they’re doing it, is in violation of God’s law. $1000 fine or 30 days in jail.
Boy, if I was a Christian, I’d be very, very careful about clicking “Agree” on any software update.
Especially from Microsoft.
That shit could get expensive really fast.
9. Deceiving a neighbor about something trusted to them (6:2)
God says that if you borrow something from your neighbor and you lie about it, you have to return the item and pay them 20% of the item’s value PLUS the usual penalty of $1000 fine or 30 days in jail.
10. Finding lost property and lying about it (6:3)
God is not real big on finders-keepers. Any Christian who comes across something somebody else has lost and tries to keep it, is required to return the item to the person who lost it, pay them 20% of item’s value, and be assigned the normal penalty of $1000 fine or 30 days in jail.
11. Bringing unauthorized fire before God (10:1)
This for some reason is a biggie.
If a Christian starts an unauthorized fire, God is supposed to smite him. However, just like the gay thing, since God generally doesn’t go around smiting people who violate Leviticus these days, it’s up to us. So, any Christian starting an “unauthorized fire” should be shot in the head as specified by the Sodomite Suppression Act.
If I was a California Christian, especially in SOCAL, I’d be damned scared, damned scared, come fire season. Shit’s already crazy enough without summary executions.
12. Letting your hair become unkempt (10:6)
God’s law is pretty specific about this: Messy hair? You will die and God will be mad at everybody.
Now, depending on which version of the bible you read, this law might only apply to the priesthood. But better safe than sorry I say. Any Christian with unkempt hair? Bang! Right in the forehead. Get them before God gets us – just like it says in the Sodomite Suppression Act.
13. Tearing your clothes (10:6)
Again, you’ll die and God will be mad at everybody. You know what to do if a Christian rips his pants.
And remember, it’s the law.
14. Drinking alcohol in holy places (10:9)
Guess what? “You will die.”
Looks like open season on Catholics and Baptists, eh?
15. Eating an animal which doesn’t both chew cud and has a divided hoof (11:8)
16. Touching the carcass of any of the above (11:8)
17. Eating or touching the carcass of any seafood without fins or scales (11:10-12)
18. Eating or touching the carcass of the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture, the red kite, any kind of black kite, any kind of raven, the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk, the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey, the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat. (11:13-19)
What the hell is a hoopoe?
19. Eating or touching the carcass of flying insects with four legs, unless those legs are jointed (11:20-22)
By the time you figure out what kind of legs the damned thing has, it’s probably too late.
20. Eating any animal which walks on all four and has paws (11:27)
21. Eating or touching the carcass of the weasel, the rat, any kind of great lizard,the gecko, the monitor lizard, the wall lizard, the skink and the chameleon (11:29)
22. Eating or touching the carcass of any creature which crawls on many legs, or its belly (11:41-42)
God really doesn’t like you touching his stuff.
No eating pigs, rabbits, and the bible specifically mentions camels – though I don’t know how common camel BBQ is in California. Nevertheless, don’t do it, or you will be “unclean” yourself.
No eating or touching birds, bugs, lizards, or dead cats.
The bible’s not real clear on what the punishment for being unclean is, so the standard penalty applies, $1000 fine or 30 days in jail for each offense.
Also, note that part about no touching. Especially no touching pigs or pig parts. So, no more football. Nope. No football. Even if the ball is made from synthetics, it’s still called a pigskin. Do you really want to take a chance? With the guy who killed off every firstborn in Egypt and drowned the entire world. Really?
Besides, you’re supposed be praying all day on Sunday, not watching sports and drinking beer. Bad Christian, no salvation.
23. Going to church within 33 days after giving birth to a boy (12:4)
Any woman who gives birth to a boy is unclean for a week, and then forbidden from attending church for thirty-three days.
THEN she has to offer up a sacrifice to God.
Otherwise? It’s jail time!
24. Going to church within 66 days after giving birth to a girl (12:5)
Giving birth to girl is worse. Unclean for a week and forbidden from attending Church for sixty-six days. Then sacrifice and don’t forget the fat and salt, because the cops will be checking.
25. Having sex with your mother (18:7)
Now, if it were me, I’d say that the act itself was punishment enough, but God says that if a Christian has sex with his mom, he’s to be “cut off from his people.”
So, I’m guessing that’s either solitary confinement or exile to Alabama.
26. Having sex with your father’s wife (18:8)
Yeah, that’s a big no no. Plus, Dude, really? Anyway, both are to be put to death.
27. Having sex with your sister (18:9)
Good news, God says that if you have sex with your sister, you get the choice of marrying her or being put to death.
The bad news is that if you marry her, you’re both to “be removed from your people” and sent to West Virginia.
28. Having sex with your granddaughter (18:10)
29. Having sex with your half-sister (18:11)
Standard penalty applies, solitary confinement and major fines.
30. Having sex with your biological aunt (18:12-13)
This is big deal for Christians. Leviticus mentions it twice. Standard penalty, solitary and fines, plus in Leviticus 20:19 God specifies that the offender will be held responsible for the dishonor. I’m not real clear on what that means, but we’d better just shoot him.
31. Having sex with your uncle’s wife (18:14)
32. Having sex with your daughter-in-law (18:15)
What are you? Woody Allen?
33. Having sex with your sister-in-law (18:16)
34. Having sex with a woman and also having sex with her daughter or granddaughter (18:17)
Okay, even Jesus would call you Bro for this one. You did the mother and the daughter and the granddaughter? Hallelujah, Duuuuude! Ever thought about going into the priesthood, you’re a natural!
35. Marrying your wife’s sister while your wife still lives (18:18)
Somehow I doubt you’ll live long enough for God to punish you for this one.
Also, Jesus, man. Are you crazy?
36. Having sex with a woman during her period (18:19)
Hey, I hear it helps with the cramps.
37. Having sex with your neighbour’s wife (18:20)
Basically, if you’re a Christian and you’re having sex of any kind in any position at any time with anybody, ever, you’re screwed. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.
38. Giving your children to be sacrificed to Moloch (18:21)
Is this a thing? Does this happen nowadays? I mean do we really need a law?
And honestly, was this even a thing back in Biblical times?
Moloch sacrifice. Well, then.
Okay, Christians, anybody caught sacrificing your kids to Moloch will be shot in the head. Other people’s kids? That’s okay.
39. Having sex with a man “as one does with a woman” (18:22)
Gay sex is thirty-nine?
Gay sex is wedged in between Moloch and making metal gods?
What. The. Fuck?
Thirty-ninth? Thirty-ninth? Gay sex didn’t even make the Ten Commandments. And in Leviticus it’s thirty-nine? Thirty-nine?
Don’t eat Bald Eagles is more important than don’t have gay sex.
Don’t touch bugs with bendy legs is more important than don’t have gay sex.
No Messy Hair is more important than don’t have gay sex – seriously, go look at your bible. It’s right there. The fact that you own a fucking comb is more important to God than not having gay sex.
I’m just saying here!
Hey, don’t get pissy with me. This is your goofy stone-age religion, not mine. Always carry a comb! Come on.
40. Having sex with an animal (18:23)
You have to shoot them both.
Good thing this is California and not Texas. We’d need a lot more bullets.
41. Making idols or “metal gods” (19:4)
Is anybody else picturing 50 foot tall Robo-Jesus shooting laser bolts from glowing red eyes or is it just me?
We told you not to make a metal god! Now look what you’ve done! No! Spare us, Robo-Jesus! Zap! Zap! Aaaaagh!
It’s just me, isn’t it?
42. Reaping to the very edges of a field (19:9)
Leviticus is pretty specific about this. Christian farmers are to leave the outer edges of their crops as a gift to the poor.
Avocados. Oranges. Grapes (see item number 43). Nuts. Soybeans. Cabbages. Doesn’t matter. You leave the outer rows for the poor.
I’m curious why you don’t see more Christians demanding this. Seems like it would go a lot further towards Jesus’s command to feed the hungry than shooting gay people would – but then I’m not a Christian so what do I know? I’m rooting for Robo-Jesus.
43. Picking up grapes that have fallen in your vineyard (19:10)
God says that any grapes that fall in your vineyard are to be given to the poor. He was quite specific about it.
There’s a lot of vineyards in California, aren’t there? And there’s a lot of poor people.
So how come there are raisins?
Nobody ever asks the Pope these questions and you’d really think they would, wouldn’t you?
But again, all things being equal in God’s eyes, He’d probably rather you were out shooting gay people instead of feeding the poor.
44. Stealing (19:11)
45. Lying (19:11)
46. Swearing falsely on God’s name (19:12)
47. Defrauding your neighbor (19:13)
48. Holding back the wages of an employee overnight (19:13)
God obviously doesn’t understand how Capitalism works. Which is kind of weird, given how much he loves America and all.
49. Cursing the deaf or abusing the blind (19:14)
50. Perverting justice, showing partiality to either the poor or the rich (19:15)
51. Spreading slander (19:16)
Bad news for Birthers, Truthers, and Fox.
52. Doing anything to endanger a neighbor's life (19:16)
53. Seeking revenge or bearing a grudge (19:18)
Boy, good thing Christians don’t bear grudges. God hates that, which is why he’s been mad at the entire human race because some naked chick helped herself to an apple 10,000 years ago.
But I digress.
54. Mixing fabrics in clothing (19:19)
55. Cross-breeding animals (19:19)
56. Planting different seeds in the same field (19:19)
Laws 44 through 56 don’t have specified punishments. Gay sex, God saw fit to spell out the sentence for that. Because gay sex. But stealing, lying, fraud, perverting justice? Whatever. Use your best judgment. Community service.
57. Sleeping with another man’s slave (19:20)
Christians have to offer up a ram in sacrifice.
What about California Governator Schwarzenegger? How come he didn’t burn a sheep on the front lawn of his mansion when his wife caught him screwing the help? Easy, he was sleeping with his own slave. It’s a technicality, but God’s totally good with it.
58. Eating fruit from a tree within four years of planting it (19:23)
Don’t have this kind of sex. Don’t have that kind of sex. No screwing your mom. No sleeping with your sister. No banging your aunt or you uncle’s second cousin twice removed. No screwing somebody else’s slave or cows. No cheating. No lying.
Also? No fruit.
Anybody else get the feeling that this list is a little arbitrary?
59. Practicing divination or seeking omens (19:26)
Hmmm. Leviticus mentions this three times.
It only mentions don’t be gay twice.
So, how about all all those Christians with TV shows and all those Christian preachers who keep prophesizing the end of the world? God’s wrath. Poison arrows and toads falling from the sky?
According to Leviticus, those Christians should be shot in the head immediately.
60. No trimming your beard (19:27)
61. No cutting your hair at the sides (19:27)
62. No tattoos (19:28)
Clear rules. Pretty unambiguous.
It’s gonna be hard to tell the fundamentalist Christians from the fundamentalist Muslims (and the Jews for that matter), but then it already is. They’ve got a hell of a lot more in common than they don’t – probably why they hate each.
Leviticus doesn’t specify a particular punishment for shaving, haircuts, or ink, so I guess we should just apply the standard $1000 fine or 30 days in jail for each offense.
63. Making your daughter prostitute herself (19:29)
God says that if you make your daughter prostitute herself, the whole land will turn to prostitution.
Because apparently your daughter is just that goddamned good (But then, the preacher’s daughter usually is).
Seems like an odd punishment, doesn’t it?
What? You made your daughter into a prostitute? Okay, whores for everybody! That’ll teach you!
64. Turning to mediums or spiritualists (19:31)
Doesn’t Nancy Reagan still live in California?
Get in the car, Nancy. You’re going to jail.
65. Not standing in the presence of the elderly (19:32)
When I get old, I’m going to spend my days wandering through churches making citizen’s arrests. No, no, don’t get up … just kidding, you’re under arrest!
66. Mistreating foreigners (19:33-34)
“the foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born”
Again, pretty specific. The foreigner residing among you MUST BE treated as your native-born.
So, how come devout Christians aren’t flooding the California State Attorney General’s office with petitions to get the “Give Jose and Juan full native born citizenship right goddamned NOW” act?
Of course, I have the same question about the “Prostitutes For Everybody Act” too.
67. Using dishonest weights and scales (19:35-36)
68. Cursing your father or mother (20:9)
This one is a big deal. It’s punishable by death.
Just like man sex.
Curse your mom, you might as well be gay. Creation Science don’t lie, Folks. Because lying would get you shot in the head. Think about it.
69. No marrying a prostitute, divorcee or widow if you are a priest (21:7,13)
70. Entering a place where there’s a dead body as a priest (21:11)
Kind of takes all the fun out of the clergy, doesn’t it?
Ah well, there’s always the money.
71. Slaughtering a cow/sheep and its young on the same day (22:28)
72. Working on the Sabbath (23:3)
73. Blasphemy (24:14)
Another death sentence and just how certain are you really that your interpretation of the Bible is correct?
Are you willing to risk a bullet in the head? Summary execution by any random Christian on the street?
Are you really?
What if somebody shoots you down for blasphemy, but the crowd misunderstands and thinks you’re gay? Do they all go to hell for bearing false witness?
74. Inflicting an injury; killing someone else’s animal; killing a person must be punished in kind (24:17-22)
If a Christian inflicts an injury, kills somebody else’s animal (even by accident), or kills a person – they must be punished in the same fashion.
So, if you kill a gay person for being gay, you must be killed the same way, then the guy who kills you must be killed, then that guy must be killed…
Okay, it’s just me, right?
75. Selling land permanently (25:23)
Again, I don’t think God understands capitalism, but who am I to argue?
And finally, 76. Selling an Israelite as a slave (25:42)
All the way down here at the bottom. Oh, um one other thing, uh, don’t sell any Israelites. That’s bad. Touching a squirrel is worse, sure, right up there with sucking a dick. But after that, well, you know. Also, you can sell anybody else into slavery, that’s cool. But no Israelites. Got it?
Quite the list, isn’t it?
And that’s just one book of the Bible.
How many Christians adhere to these rules?
Tell you what, when Christians start living up to their own rules, under penalty of death, maybe they can tell the rest of us what to do.
Until then, their religion is free to take its version of Sharia law and go smite itself.
If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you. Do not take interest or any profit from them, but fear your God, so that they may continue to live among you. You must not lend them money at interest or sell them food at a profit.
- Leviticus 35:37