written by Sam Greenspan
Yesterday, I found myself in a discussion about the anti-abortion people. The reason: It’s just incomprehensible to us that people get so zealous about that issue that they’ll go as far as to murder doctors who perform abortions and bomb abortion clinics.
The conversation then took its natural turn to selective, self-serving interpretations of the Bible… finding a few verses that you can use to justify a position that lets you impose your morality on someone, and riding those verses hard and fast for the rest of your life.
So I thought it’d be a good time to find a bunch of stuff that the Bible bans… stuff that’s a lot LESS convenient. Don’t worry, though… just because I’m pointing it out, that doesn’t mean you now have to follow it. It’s a lot easier to keep discriminating against gay people for no particular reason than to stop eating bacon, after all.
Here are 11 things that are technically banned by the Bible. (All quotes are translations from the New American Standard Bible, but, because I’m actually trying to maintain serious journalistic integrity here, I cross-referenced several other translations to make sure I wasn’t missing the point.)
- Round haircuts. See you in Hell, Beatles… and/or kids with bowl cuts, surfer cuts or (my favorite) butt cuts. Leviticus 19:27 reads “You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard.”
- Football. At least, the pure version of football, where you play with a pigskin. The modern synthetic footballs are ugly and slippery anyways. Leviticus 11:8, which is discussing pigs, reads “You shall not eat of their flesh nor touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.”
- And you’re doubly breaking that if you wake up, eat some sausage then go throw around the football. Or go to the county fair and enter a greased pig catching contest.
- Fortune telling. Before you call a 900 number (do people still call 900 numbers, by the way?), read your horoscope or crack open a fortune cookie, realize you’re in huge trouble if you do.Leviticus 19:31 reads “Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.” The penalty for that? Check Leviticus 20:6: “As for the person who turns to mediums and to spiritists, to play the harlot after them, I will also set My face against that person and will cut him off from among his people.”Seems like a lifetime of exile is a pretty harsh penalty for talking to Zoltar.
- Pulling out. The Bible doesn’t get too much into birth control… it’s clearly pro-populating but, back when it was written, no one really anticipated the condom or the sponge, so those don’t get specific bans.But… pulling out does. One of the most famous sexual-oriented Bible verses… the one that’s used as anti-masturbation rhetoric… is actually anti-pulling out.