Written before the Obergefell v. Hodges by the Supreme Court that made gay marriage legal in all 50 states. However, the argument against logical fallicies still holds.I hate having to make posts like this, but I confess that I've become weary of the supposed logic of certain arguments I see thrown about in social media in the form of what is supposed to pass as a witty graphic.
I could make a witty graphic for this as well, but I have a bad habit of not insulting the intelligence of other people and I'm not going to insult yours.
Now most of you will think this post is about homosexuality, but it isn't. It's about logical fallacies and how to read ancient documents. And I must confess I have no idea why I wasted my time writing that sentence because there are some of you who are going to injure yourselves with your keyboards rapidly typing out how much I'm a homophobe and a throwback, ad nauseum and will delightfully miss the whole point of this post.
But for the adults present, let's talk about the real point of this whole shebang.
People who support homosexuality as a valid lifestyle use two arguments against the stance of most evangelical churches: the supposed fact Jesus said nothing against gay marriage and the argument that the verses that speak against homosexuality in the Old Testament book of Leviticus also speak against all sorts of other actions that Christians do not follow today.
For those gay supporters on my friend's list, please stop using these. I confess they may work against a lot of Christians because the level of education in most American churches is so low that most church attenders today probably could not pass a standard fourth grade Bible class test, but I have a Bachelor of Science in Bible Studies and two Masters degrees. So allow me to explain.
Argument #1: Jesus said nothing against gay marriage, therefore he was completely cool with it.
This is called argumentum ex silentio (the argument from silence) and is a logical fallacy. Let me explain:
On your own social media, you have never condemned yelling "Fire" in a crowded theater and you have never condemned sacrificing children to the ancient god, Molech. Therefore, since you have not condemned them, should I assume you support these and other unsavory activities?
Jesus was a good Jewish boy and as I will address in the Levitical argument, you need to understand all ancient literature in its cultural context. Jesus did not speak against gay marriage or cannibalism or going on a berserk murderous rampage because it was a cultural given. Regardless of your own personal stance, everybody back then agreed these were automatically wrong. One does not need to restate the obvious.
Whether you agree or disagree, the Jewish culture of the day looked down on homosexuality, period. Anybody who studies ancient Near East literature knows this.
Now you may not like this little factoid, but if you continue using the argument from silence, you will understand why I place you on the same intellectual level of a backwoods, snake-handling, pulpit thumper who "don't need no book larnin'!" (an actual quote)
Now let's look at the Leviticus argument.
Argument #2: Leviticus condemns homosexual practice and also condemns wearing a shirt composed of two different materials, eating shrimp, and a whole host of rules not followed today. Therefore, homosexuality can no longer be considered immoral.
When you read ancient literature whether it be Beowulf, The Illiad, or the Old Testament, you need to understand its historical and cultural context.
The Leviticus argument says that since Christians use the passages of Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 to condemn homosexual practice, then they are hypocrites because the passage also condemns such unique practices such as eating shrimp, not wearing two types of fabric in a shirt, etc.
Sorry. That don't work on me because I understand the historical and cultural context not just of Leviticus, but of the entire Torah. In its context, the Old Testament laws are divided into three areas. Quoting J. P. Holding:
1. First, universal moral laws. This includes do not steal, do not kill, by common agreement.Sometimes, all three types of laws found themselves stated side by side in the same chapter (Bible chapters and verses, by the bye, are a man-made invention to help with finding certain passages. The original writings don't have them. Did you know that? No? Hmmm.)
2. Second, cultural universals. By this I mean laws geared to Israel's culture that have a universal moral law behind them. (As an example, some have suggested the prohibition on trimming your beard [Lev. 19:27] relates to pagan practices that cut facial hair for magical purposes. So the universal behind this cultural would be, don't do the occult.)
3. Finally, ceremonial laws. Instructions for building the Ark of the Covenant, for example.
Regardless of your stance on homosexuality, the sanction against homosexual practice was considered by both the Old and New Testament to be a universal moral law.
By the way, Levitical law also condemns incest and sacrificing children. Should we toss those aside as well? Just asking.
Now again, you can continue to use the Leviticus argument, but if you do, what does that leave me to ask about your intellectual integrity?
Again, this is a going to blow your mind, but this post is not about homosexuality. It's about coming up with better arguments because the two I addressed should not be used by intelligent people. They just don't work.