Disagreement is not fear


In a recent exposition on a part of the book of Leviticus, I heard someone assert it as one of the most boring books in the Bible. When I heard that, my first thought was “depends on the person”.

I knew someone from my church in my high school days who dissected the book of Leviticus for us with quite a high level of interest. And in my college days I knew a professor, Dr. S.I. McMillen, who wrote the book None of these Diseases about how all those crazy dietary laws in Leviticus were medically sound for the prevention of the diseases endemic to those times.

But the other assertion I picked up from that recent exposition was about how the book of Leviticus espoused episodes of sexism and homophobia. This I felt a somewhat false logical conclusion. To disagree with something doesn’t mean to fear it. And to have a phobia is to fear something. There may be very logical reasons for someone’s position, and even if we disagree with the position, and the logic, reducing it to the charge of a phobia is the creation of a straw man.

The Old Testament is full of promises of children, of being the father of nations, of having a land full of bounty and plenty. Pope John Paul II in his Theology of the Body noted that God created us in his image, which includes being creative, and that we express that creativity through our bodies as well as through our minds.

The example of the life God gave to the Israelites was one of creativity and prosperity, of fecundity. The sterility of the homosexual lifestyle is antithetical to that example, that lifestyle, a denial of the promises given to Abraham and his children.There is no fear here, just practical recognition that it is logically incompatible with the promises of the Abrahamic covenant.

I won’t make comments on the sexism assertion, since I have no ideas what things were thought of as sexist. I’ll just make the observation that one era’s definition of liberation can easily become the next era’s repression — one must beware listening to the Spirit of the Age and avoid chronological snobbery to find the well of the timeless and eternal.


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