User talk:HeartOfGold/Essay Homosexuality Is Not On The Same Level As Eating Shellfish

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Comments, please hold back while essay is in development[edit]

Starting a potentially controversial article. Constructive comments are welcome while I am working on it. When I am done, constructive or other criticisms are weclcome. HGHeartOfGold talk 20:33, 24 May 2007 (CDT)

Can I ask why there are no spaces in the title? Tmtoulouse 20:33, 24 May 2007 (CDT)
My mistake, I will try to move it now. HGHeartOfGold talk 20:36, 24 May 2007 (CDT)


Both the verse on homosexuality and the one on shrimps use the word "abomination", in the English version that is, I assume that in the original Aramaic version both verses also used the same word (though not necessarily the word "abomination").

So by a literal interpretation of the Old Testament homosexuality and eating shrimps are on the same level.

This means that viewing sodomy as a crime while ignoring the shrimp-eaters is purely based on a personal dislike of gays, not on the Bible, and I for one believe persecuting people or limiting their freedoms because of someone's personal dislike of them, sounds a bit too un-democratic. MiddleMan

I am planning to address the argument about detetable. HGHeartOfGold talk 20:51, 24 May 2007 (CDT)

Question: why does your article say shellfish are "detestable", while the King James Bible says "abomination"[1], are you using a different version, or a non-English translation? MiddleMan

Yes, the NIV. I also have the KJV, as well as other translations into English (e.g., the NASB). The original hebrew word for detestable or abomination is sheqets. The Storng's number is H8263, and more information about this word can be found here. The Strong's numbering system is one system for assigning numbers to English words, for easier look up in Hebrew lexicons. In many instances, words in an original language have connotations and denotations not easily mapped into a second language. This is why I try to use multiple translations, Lexicons, and also original language word searches, to help ascertain the intended meanings of words.
NIV Translation into English KJV Translation into English NASB Translation into English
LEV 11:13 " ' These are the birds you are to detest and not eat because they are detestable: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture, 14 the red kite, any kind of black kite, 15 any kind of raven, 16 the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk, 17 the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, 18 the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey, 19 the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat. LEV 11:13 And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray, 14 And the vulture, and the kite after his kind; 15 Every raven after his kind; 16 And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckoo, and the hawk after his kind, 17 And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl, 18 And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle, 19 And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. LEV 11:13 ' These, moreover, you shall detest among the birds; they are abhorrent, not to be eaten: the eagle and the vulture and the buzzard, 14 and the kite and the falcon in its kind, 15 every raven in its kind, 16 and the ostrich and the owl and the sea gull and the hawk in its kind, 17 and the little owl and the cormorant and the great owl, 18 and the white owl and the pelican and the carrion vulture, 19 and the stork, the heron in its kinds, and the hoopoe, and the bat.


In the above table, the word in English that represents the hebrew word sheqets (H8263) is shown in red. HeartGold tx 22:18, 26 May 2007 (CDT)

Is the same word (sheqets) used in the passages about shellfish and homosexuality as well? MiddleMan

Yes. In the NIV, regarding shellfish, (I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to get other english translations, because this is too much work...but I may revisit if there is a huge outcry.):
Thanks for the question, I dug in a little deeper:

NIV Translation into English KJV Translation into English NASB Translation into English
LEV 11:9 " ' Of all the creatures living in the water of the seas and the streams, you may eat any that have fins and scales. 10 But all creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales--whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water--you are to detest. 11 And since you are to detest them, you must not eat their meat and you must detest their carcasses. 12 Anything living in the water that does not have fins and scales is to be detestable to you. LEV 11:9 These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat. 10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you: 11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination. 12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you. LEV 11:9 ' These you may eat, whatever is in the water: all that have fins and scales, those in the water, in the seas or in the rivers, you may eat. 10 `But whatever is in the seas and in the rivers, that do not have fins and scales among all the teeming life of the water, and among all the living creatures that are in the water, they are detestable things to you, 11 and they shall be abhorrent to you; you may not eat of their flesh, and their carcasses you shall detest. 12 `Whatever in the water does not have fins and scales is abhorrent to you.
LEV 18:22 " ' Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable... LEV 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.... LEV 18:22 ' You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination...


  • Red: sheqets Strong's H8263
  • Green: shaqats Strong's H8262
  • Blue: to`ebhah Strong's H8441

Hope that helps. HeartGold tx 22:22, 26 May 2007 (CDT)

So they ARE using different words, but then of course you get the discussion whether or not these words are synonyms or that one is more harsh, if you can prove that "to`ebhah" is to "sheqets" what "horrific" is to "unpleasant" you will have proven your point regarding this essay.

But, from my understanding, literal means literal, without freedom for any interpretation or rationalization, or the possibility to disobey rules that are "not THAT important". MiddleMan

While the words may be more or less severe synonyms, the context of the words is also important. In general, if the immediate context is not sufficient, I look to see how the words were used elsewhere in the Bible--but here, you have to be careful, for reasons I won't get into now. I don't think we need to go beyond the immediate context of the words to figure this one out, though. Feel free to read the apendices and dispute my contention if you wish. HeartGold tx 11:08, 27 May 2007 (CDT)

So there is a chance homosexuality and eating shellfish aren't on the same level (no definitive proof yet though.)

But who are you decide which rule you're going to follow and which you won't?

Personally I believe any good Christian should abandon the OT all together, since they seem to be talking about two different gods (read the books of Lot of Joshua.) MiddleMan 09:53, 3 June 2007 (CDT)

Sorry to have to postpone this[edit]

But I have other responsibilities. I'll try to get back to it later tonight or tomorrow. Meanwhile, constructive criticisms welcome (Please don't assume what will be in the completed essay until its done--it might surprise some (but not all). HGHeartOfGold talk 21:37, 24 May 2007 (CDT)

Also, move this to my user space if incomplete essays don't belong here[edit]

I was just thinking that maybe I should put this in my user space until I am done. I'll leave it for now, but won't object if somebody moves it to my user space. Thanks. HGHeartOfGold talk 21:39, 24 May 2007 (CDT)

I see no problem with a work in progress being where it will belong, as long as you intend to finish it. You might want to add a note at the top that it is not done yet, though? humanbe in 21:04, 26 May 2007 (CDT)
By the way, I didn't see much difference between all those rules in that old book. No need to debate me here, it's your essay ;) By the way, I would go all chapter and verse on ya, or at least try to, but you know what? I don't think that book is any more than well-written and very interesting in places. If I were to start quoting, I'd quote Oscar Wilde. I like shrimp, and find no reason on Earth to be bothered by whom some people are attracted to. Heck, I know a lot of "straight" couples that I consider abominations! humanbe in 21:04, 26 May 2007 (CDT)
Mmm, shrimp... --Kels 21:09, 26 May 2007 (CDT)
Shrimp pizza! humanbe in 21:26, 26 May 2007 (CDT)
Weird thing is, I actually want calamari. Must be all the Cthulhu talk earlier. --Kels 21:28, 26 May 2007 (CDT)

Suggestion[edit]

Since you're still early on, you might consider the fact that a lot of people who compare homosexuality with eating shrimp also deny that a lot of the activities you're using as backup are homosexuality at all. So if you account for that while writing, you won't have as much trouble defending from that angle later on. --Kels 22:32, 26 May 2007 (CDT)

The other activities specified in Leviticus 18 are not homosexuality. But they are grouped together with homosexuality as offenses that are on "HNL" (Hole nother level) than those listed in chapter 11. Am I mis-understanding your point? HeartGold tx 22:35, 26 May 2007 (CDT)
I think so. I meant things like the lying with men in a bed thing, which some claim to actually be an injunction against allowing fellow workers to take siestas (or whatever the equivalent was) on the same bed you slept with your wife in. There are other examples, which I'm sure you've heard. If you're planning to say these various references back up your point that homosexuality is a worse abomination, then it follows you have to defend that the proscribed acts were, in fact, all referring to homosexuality. Otherwise the argument falls apart. --Kels 22:38, 26 May 2007 (CDT)
Interesting. Can you give me a link to some notable argument regarding lending your bed for a worker's siesta? I have not heard that before. I doubt it would take much to debunk:) HeartGold tx 22:42, 26 May 2007 (CDT)
Honestly, I can't remember where it came from. I believe I saw it in one of the arguments on one of the homosexuality article talk pages on CP, but I'm not sure. I'm hardly a biblical expert, so I'm not sure, but there are other similar areas where the condemnation of homosexuality in various verses is called directly into question, such as the ones that suggest that what's being condemned are pagan religious practices, rather than homosexuality itself. But again, there are wiser heads than mine here, perhaps they can fill in a few of the blanks. --Kels 22:53, 26 May 2007 (CDT)
This might be where I remember it from, unfortunately there's no cite. I assume "Andy1024" was someone's sock, so perhaps they're here and can explain it further. --Kels 22:59, 26 May 2007 (CDT)
I just want to throw in, to be a jerk, that the bible is not a reference of authority. It's just another book. humanbe in 23:22, 26 May 2007 (CDT)
I obviously agree, but if HG's arguing on the basis of what it says in the Bible, then that's the ground rules and you've gotta respect that. It's his essay, after all. --Kels 23:31, 26 May 2007 (CDT)

<---I am arguing against a website, that is citing the bible, pointing out what I think is an error of their interpretation. To do this, we must resort to the Bible, as its misinterpretation is the subject of the dispute. The Bible is more than just a book. But that will have to be a different essay. HeartGold tx 00:48, 27 May 2007 (CDT)

I have to agree, the Bible is more than just a book. However, where a lot of people see it as either simple fiction or divine intervention in literary form, I see it as a cultural record, including elements of myth, elements of history, and other good (and bad) stuff as well, and definitely worthy of study and respect. However, as a source of morality, I'm a bit more on the skeptical side. Worth an essay unto itself, but I'll leave that up to people more conversant with the book. --Kels 11:05, 27 May 2007 (CDT)
Ah, yes, you are so right. End of argument, as far as I'm concerned: The bible says it's wrong, I don't care. Who cares about shrimp? And what was that (far away, elsewhere...) about homosexuality being on par with sex with your wife while she is, um, bleeding? Nothing wrong with that, either. But back on topic, your essay is all about biblical citations. I yiled to those here who know Greek and Hebrew. Night night... humanbe in 00:55, 27 May 2007 (CDT)
Who cares about shrimp? I guess, people who argue that Bibilical prohibitions against homosexual activity are on the same level as OT prohibitions against eating shrimp. I moved the extended quotes to seperate appendices. They are only there because I am always skeptical of people who take specific verses out of context, and I also believe that it will make it less likely that simple mischaracterizations of what the OT actually says will occur in the rebuttals or attacks on this essay. I assume that fighting what is often termed "quote mining" in evolutionist circles is a rational effort welcomed at rationalwiki. Anyway, this is slower going than I had hoped. HeartGold tx 02:01, 27 May 2007 (CDT)

By all means, make the passages as long as needed, we don't like quote mining, correction: we f*cking hate quote mining! MiddleMan


Who cares about shrimp? What foods these morsels be!! --Kels 11:09, 27 May 2007 (CDT)

I like shrimp, crab (my wife cooked me steamed crab and steak on Friday), and bacon. But I am trying to cut back on the bacon. HeartGold tx 11:10, 27 May 2007 (CDT)

Pork and shellfish? That's two laws broken! You don't happen to wear multi-threaded clothes as well, do you? MiddleMan

How about Adultery?[edit]

How about Adultery? Do we still need the death penalty for that and being disrespectful to parents? --Gulik 03:01, 27 May 2007 (CDT)

Yes, Gulik, good points. I have heard these two arguments before. I may include some responses in the see also section, if I can find good responses. Otherwise, I will have to write them. To shoot from the hip, and without wanting to turn this essay's talk page into me defending every perceived hypocrisy that RWins can find in the bible, I will note that Jesus expounded on the method of carrying out the stoning of adulterers, and this could equally be applied to children who disrespect their parents, and those who engage in homosexual activity. Indeed, I have heard a popular modern day political pundit who happens to be Jewish expound on the bit about being disrespectful to parents; if I remember his argument correctly, it never happened, and the purpose of that law, from a Jewish perspective (or at least from an individual Jew's perspective, said Jew not being Jesus or Paul, was to trouble a parent's conscience about how to better guide a disrespectful child. Basically, his rhetorical question was ~"What Israelite would want to admit his own failure and bring his child to be stoned by the community? It didn't happen" (Never mind that this is what figuratively happens at WP with RFCs and ArbComs).
In any event, I ask that we not take my answer of Gulik's question as an invitation for everybody to start listing every perceived hypocrisy or problem with the Bible. Meanwhile, I do encourage others to read the Bible, and try to make sense out of it for themselves. It takes a lot of understanding, and a heart that has not been hardened, and I don't know anybody who has figured it all out, though everybody I know that continues to read the Bible continues to make progress on this front. Of course, skeptics dismiss such an effort as rationalization and self-forced indoctrinattion. But God gave all human beings brains, and we exist at a time when the internet and the printing press and education allow us to search for answers to such questions on our hown. I do not believe that God expects us to turn our brain off when we read the Bible. But God does expect us to not merely read and accept on faith the writings, rantings, and deceptive whispers of secular fundementalists who have, for some reason or other, an axe to grind. I'd recommend reading the Bible two or three times, then read critics, apologetics, and "lost books of the Bible." You will find that most of the critics are quite shallow, much apologetics are quite weak, and the so-called lost books of the Bible are clearly not worthy of inclusion with the other books of the Bible (including those books in the Bible is akin to including some of the poetry that has occured on this website as Shakespearian.) HeartGold tx 10:34, 27 May 2007 (CDT)

Slight quibble over the title.[edit]

"Eating shellfish" as an action is quite clear, but "Homosexuality" is a description of a sexual orientation. Do you mean "Homosexual acts" or "Being homosexual" or something along those lines? As it is, I don't think they are the same class of thing, so they obviously can't be the "same". --Bob_M (talk) 03:57, 27 May 2007 (CDT)

I could title it "Doing the disgusting brown worm dance is not on the same level as eating shellfish", but it would be crass, and offensive to some of on this site:) I may retitle it after I am done, if you don't think I've address the point sufficiently in the essay proper. HeartGold tx 10:41, 27 May 2007 (CDT)

Suitable topic for RW?[edit]

I can see what HOG is trying to expound on: Although the Bible proscribes homosexuality and eating lobsters, the former is given greater weight than the latter. However, where is the justification for the authority of the Bible in the first place? A book which condones rape and the forced servitude of women cannot be used for justifying ones own prejudices. Personally, I am straight and cannot see the fun side of two guys making out together, but as long as their actions do not impinge directly on me then I have no objections. Is RationalWiki the right place to be reinforcing the moral authority of a bunch of desert nomads from more than 2000 years ago? Hum, I'll have to think about that one. Mad Min 04:11, 27 May 2007 (CDT)

I don't see a problem with this one, i think all kinds of essays should be welcomed and talked about. I think it would be unsuitable for RW not to allow discussions like these, would put as to the same gategory as CP. Timppeli 04:49, 27 May 2007 (CDT)
Mad min, this is a refutation of a liberal instance of "quote mining" the bible to discredit belief in it and defend an activity it condemns. Since it is the Bible that is being quote mined, the Bible is the authority. Others on this web site will no doubt in the future refute creationists who "quote mine" in the creation-evolution debate. And to do so, they may have to, for example, utilize the source of the quote mine to demonstrate that it was either taken out of context, an inaccurate and intellectually dishonest selective quote, or just flat out false. In fact, going to the source is actually quite necessary to refute quote mines. HeartGold tx 10:39, 27 May 2007 (CDT)
I may have got hold of the wrong end of the stick but the essay seemed to be claiming Biblical authority for an anti-homosexual position. Correct me if I'm wrong. Mad Min 10:47, 27 May 2007 (CDT) (I need to get me a fancy sig as well)

I think it reasonable to discuss these topics on RW. I would state firstly that I don't think the Bible should be assumed authoritative, but it should be recognized that many people feel it is. Therefore, this is aimed more at people who feel the Bible literally guides their behavior, rather than metaphorically in a sermon-on-the-mount kind of way.--PalMD-רפאל ליפשון 10:45, 27 May 2007 (CDT)

Again (mad min), while refuting a quote mine here, the Bible is every bit as authoritative as the Origin of species would be in an essay on how YEC's quote mine the Darwinist bibles. In any event, this is an essay. HeartGold tx 10:50, 27 May 2007 (CDT)
OK I may be barking up the wrong tree. Perhaps you could insert a statement of intent at the start of your essay. --Mad Min 10:57, 27 May 2007 (CDT)
I don't think an editor need justify an article before the article is fully developed and fleshed out. If it stands it stands if not, then is the time for justification(s). It's an essay, not an article, as usch it ought to be reflective of the views of its author; you do not have to like those views and can even write a counter-essay if you so choose...but to make editors jump through hoops to make a statement is a bit much. MOO ~~ Cracker 12:15, 27 May 2007 (CDT)
I'm not asking for justification, just what is the point of the article. I presume it has some sort of point to make otherwise why start the essay in the first place? In which case surely it would be better to outline it from the beginning before it is fleshed out. --Mad Min 12:43, 27 May 2007 (CDT)
Check out the title. HeartGold tx 02:30, 28 May 2007 (CDT)

(going back to zero indent).. While I disagree with the Bible's authority over anything, I do think that if we're going to be "rational" then a rational discussion of what the bible actually says is a good thing. Just because we don't like it or that it has no relevance to us does not make it "fact" that this is what the Bible says. Just to clarify, I've no idea what the Bible actually says. We can't stop people making articles just because we don't like them. respect for other points of view and all that. (or, what PalMD said)αιρδισΗταλκ 03:10, 28 May 2007 (CDT)

I've no problem with a rational discussion of what the Bible says and I'm not proposing the censorship of anything. I can accept the premise of the essay's title. I am just a little uncomfortable that it seems to be rejecting some spurious arguments that equate the sin of homosexuality with dietary restrictions, in order to then use the Bible to justify gay-bashing. I may have got that all wrong which is why I asked for clarification of the intent of the article. ɱɑδ ɱ¡ɳblow in my ear/I did this! 04:24, 28 May 2007 (CDT)
Ok, i take your point. I guess for me, the Bible has no moral authority so the use of it to gay-bash is not even a consideration. But yeh, it is something we have to watch carefully. A discussion of what the bible says, though, is - i believe - suitable for here. (that sentence was terrible!!!) So longs as it's a rational discussion :-) αιρδισΗταλκ 04:40, 28 May 2007 (CDT)

My current perspective[edit]

I just wroted a whole bunch, so I moved it to:

Essay:Homosexual acts are not on the same level as eating shellfish, and so?

The short version is, after proving that the admonitions not to "do the Santorum" and not to eat scallops wrapped in bacon are different in some way, I want to know - what way? humanbe in 20:14, 28 May 2007 (CDT)

Title Problem[edit]

Should the title be altered to read "Male Homosexuality Is Not On The Same Level As Eating Shellfish"?

After all, the extracts quoted clearly only apply to men and seem to have absolutely nothing to say about lesbianism. --Horace 22:29, 28 May 2007 (CDT)

P.S. Actually it is a content problem too, isn't it? --Horace 22:31, 28 May 2007 (CDT)

It should also read "homosexual acts", as that seems to be what are proscribed. Homosexuality, unacted upon, is just a sinner to be loved, right? But this is the title for now. If HG wants to change it (OMGz the multicaps!), he can do so anytime. (Just don't forget to change any links to it and make a sysop delete the old location. Housekeeping) humanbe in 23:26, 28 May 2007 (CDT)
Sticking with the title problem - which I raised previously. Perhaps we could create a companion essay with the equally surreal title, "[[Crustaceans are not on the same level as making love]]." --Bob_M (talk) 02:01, 29 May 2007 (CDT)
The progress on this is going too slow, so I moved it to my user page. I'll consider your suggestions, but first thoughts are that I will be able to address this, and it appears as though you're trying to make a point regarding literal meanings. My apologies if you're not trying to make a POINT.
I suppose I'll have to address your concerns. Perhaps female homosexuality is Kosher--but I somehow doubt it. Will read more about this tonight. HeartGold tx 00:40, 29 May 2007 (CDT)

Can't you edit the WHOLE article at once?[edit]

It's a bit wearying to check Recent Changes and see a solid page of edits to this article, all by you. --Gulik 01:27, 3 June 2007 (CDT)

It is an essay, it is by me, and I don't have a wiki word processor. It is in my user space. I'll move it to the main essay space when I am done. You may if you like remove it from your watchlist. HeartGold tx 09:41, 3 June 2007 (CDT)

You are aware…[edit]

that GodHatesShrimp is a response to GodHatesFags, GodHatesAmerica, GodHatesSweden, and all the rest of that tripe, right? At least I thought it was. And lest you start to defend WBC - not that you would (I hope ;)) - they have no redeeming qualities, at all. They're not even Christians, as much as they claim to be. Fred Phelps is about as close to hating someone that I come. ----Linus(plot evil tech) 22:35, 5 June 2007 (CDT)

Fred Phelps' continued non-Smitedness is the surest proof I have that if there is a God, It obviously doesn't care what us ground-apes think about It. --Gulik 01:17, 6 June 2007 (CDT)

Just my $0.02 worth...[edit]

Hi, I'm Ryland, one of the authors of the site. You make a valid argument that homosexuality isn't in the same league as eating shellfish -- we don't dispute that at all -- but it kind of misses the point of the site. We're not trying to equate homosexuality with eating shellfish as such; we're just saying that it's hypocritical to uphold the bits of the bible that you like (the gay bashing bits), but to dismiss the parts you don't like (the bits that forbid going to Red Lobster), all while claiming that the bible is inerrant and without flaw. Not all Christians take such a hard-line stance on the inerrancy of the bible, but the goons who quote Leviticus while protesting funerals do, and that's who the criticism is aimed at. If one is going to quote Leviticus to justify one's hatred of homosexuals, that indicates that one accepts the purity laws as spelled out in the Pentateuch (a.k.a. the Torah), and so one should be prepared to follow all of them, including growing a long beard, wearing only wool or cotton clothes, and keeping kosher. Otherwise, one should stick to the New Testament (or, ideally, mind one's own business). That's basically all we're saying. --Ryland 14:58, 5 January 2008 (EST)

Hi Ryland; it's an interesting way of hitting back at these goons, but they do have ways of wheedling round it - you could use the 'not being made impure that anything that goes into your mouth, only that which comes out of it' passage in the NT to get round it, although that would, as you say, be being selective and ignoring NT verses ('I come not to abolish the law, but to affirm it'). Leviticus 19:33-34 is a more unavoidable one, but doesn't quite have the ring to it. Loved the site, by the way - it ticks both the boxes of being lulzy and providing good arguments. --מְתֻרְגְּמָן שְׁלֹום
As far as them "wheedling round it," it's just as well. I despair of ever reaching the goons themselves with any kind of rational argument, they're just not the type to indulge in introspection or self-evaluation at that level. It's not as if someone like Fred Phelps studied the available materials and came to a logical conclusion that people should protest soldiers' funerals and carry signs that say "FAG SIN" and "GOD HATES YOU," so I don't expect him to see the site and think, "You know, that guy makes some good points, maybe I should rethink my position." They weren't convinced by the bible, in other words; they arrived at their hateful mindset, and only then used the bible as a rationalization to justify it to themselves.--Ryland 19:17, 5 January 2008 (EST)