View Full Version : [SS Weekly] God, Goats And Good Friday.
8th April 2009, 09:50 PM
Hello again Same Samers,
According to the Bible, Easter is the time when Jesus was tortured, humiliated and nailed to a wooden cross - turned into the ultimate scapegoat for all of humanity by 'dying for our sins'. Regardless of whether this actually happened or not, the story itself is an amazing tale of courage, humanity, blame and ultimately forgiveness.
The ritual of scapegoating is a fascinating one, and is described in Leviticus 16. It basically involved people placing their sins onto a goat, which was then sent away to die, absolving them all of guilt. It was a quick, easy solution for everyone - except the goat.
Over time scapegoating has come to mean a person, often innocent, who is blamed and punished for the wrongdoings of others. Throughout history we've seen countless people scapegoated based on their difference, be it their religious beliefs, race, politics, gender or sexuality.
This year, Easter takes place against an international backdrop of violence, war, suffering, inequality and persecution. Scapegoating continues to not only be an effective way of bringing and keeping the 'mob' together, it also detracts attention from the real issues.
Until next week,
9th April 2009, 05:47 AM
There is a reply printed a few years ago to Laura Schlesinger (sp), and many of the response issues revolve around Leviticus. I did try to attach it, but don't know if it worked, but in any case I found the text version to add to this post, so here it is:
THE GOOD BOOK
On her radio show recently, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant
Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22,
and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following response is an
open letter to Dr. Laura, penned by a US resident, which was posted on the
Internet. It's funny, as well as informative:
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 other elements of
God's Law and how to follow them.
1. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a
pleasing odour for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbours. They
claim the odour is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
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 uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I
tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence.
4. Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed 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?
5. I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2.
The passage clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated
to kill him myself?
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,
9th April 2009, 06:06 AM
Love the responses guys, funny as!! But even though I may not believe it in the traditional sense, I kind of like the idea of it as something to hold on to. A connection with the rest of society and our past. It reminds us of the past routes travelled to get to the present. And letís face it there could have been worse 'state religions' for homosexual rights to evolve in. Can you imagine an Islamic western world? Fundamentally and indirectly I think Christian beliefs have given us the path of self-determination. So in a weird way I think itís ok to acknowledge Easter for the right reasons. That not to say we donít keep fighting for equality.
9th April 2009, 08:18 AM
Great context Christian.
As a gay christian and happy with the label, like you say, real or not, the concept is moving and an inspiration to humanity, especially in todays world
9th April 2009, 08:20 AM
9th April 2009, 07:22 PM
The biblical quotes stated in Christian's thread here are collected from the Torah. (Christians call the Torah the Old Testament - and even then the 'revised' Torah Christians read was 'transliterated' 74 years after Jesus died). Jewish Law is only binding on Jews, not Christians. Most modern Jews only interpret some Torah Law as literal. For the most part (especially in Reform Judaism) the laws are relaxed & taken in metaphorical terms (killing a person for working on Shabbat is seen as a spiritual erosion; not actual physical death; walking away from G-d slowly by working on the sabbath represents the 'death' in Torah inso much as non-observance over time is a metaphorical *death*- 'sin' can be atoned for on Yom Kippur - teshuva - a return to the *right path* - so, spiritually, a Jew can *walk towards life* (ie HaShem)by not working on the sabbath after having done so previously).
Christians don't really heed the Old Testament because (in their opinion) Jesus has *washed away sin* so in essence, the old Jewish Laws are *redundant*.
Oh, and with the 'placing the sin onto the goat' is misguided (no offence Christian). Jews killed the animal (before receiving the Torah on Mt. Sinai) in Temple as a way to purify, not cast off sin or to *scapegoat*. The idea being that the blood of the animal purified the Temple on Rosh Chodesh (head of the month - 1st day of each Hebrew month). In Judaism it is against Torah to suggest that any human (let alone an animal) can forgive sin. Only G-d can do that. The killing of the goat was to signify devotion to G-d, a signal to G-d that the Temple was pure IN ANTICIPATION for G-d to then take away sin. Not the goat...
10th April 2009, 12:26 PM
Although not christian, I thoroughly enjoyed your article and it caused me to look at the issue from a new perspective. Many thanks....Irvani
13th April 2009, 09:59 AM
13th April 2009, 02:16 PM
I am just a little disappointed at the fact that they wouldn't let me flagellate the Jesus in the Perth mall on Saturday. I mean, I needed a scapegoat for the persecution I see on a daily basis and he was around, it was convenient...
In all seriousness though, it's a shame that the positive aspects of spirituality and faith can be obfuscated by the trappings of religious conservatism and the 'vocal majority'.
Hope everyone had a happy Easter though. And that you got what you wanted out of it - be it spiritual nourishment or chocolicious malnutrition.
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