Saturday, February 28, 2004
Open Letter to Dr. Laura concerning her Condemnation of Homosexual People
I've seen this in various places on the Internet, and heard something VERY close on a past episode of the West Wing. Googling gets me no closer to the actual author. There is a James Kauffman on staff at the University of Virginia, according to a search of their website: http://www.virginia.edu/cgi-local/SFgate?language=English&verbose=0&listenv=DL&application=uvawhois&convert=Whois&converthl=&refinequery=&formintern=&formextern=&transquery=james%20kauffman&_lines=&multiple=0&descriptor=local%2f%2fwww%2fwais%2fwais-sources%2fwhois%7c1000%7c533%7cKauffman%2c%20James%20M.%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%28jmk9t%29%20%20%20Faculty%20%20%20%20Cu-Curr%20Instr%20%26%20Sp%20Ed%7cTEXT%7clocalhost:0%7c%2fwww%2fwais%2fwais-sources%2fwhois%7c1573280%201573813%20%2fweb%2fwais%2fwhois-data%2fuva-whois . I emailed this James Kauffman to see whether or not he is the author, and heard back from him that he is the author, and that this is authentic.
The questions are excellent, no matter who wrote them.
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 from Professor James Kauffman of the University of Virginia to Dr. Laura which was posted on the Internet.
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 odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor 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 offense.
4. Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring 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 neighbor 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,
James M. Kauffman, Ed.D.
University of Virginia
A culture is not an abstract thing. It is a living, evolving process. The aim is to push beyond standard-setting and asserting human rights to make those standards a living reality for people everywhere. - Mary Robinson (1944- )