Tennessee Billboard Quotes Leviticus to Condemn LGBT People


TN Billboard Quotes Leviticus to Condemn LGBT People
Though most Christians believe the Old Testament doesn't apply to modern mores, a billboard in Tennessee begs to disagree in its citing Leviticus' biblical prohibition on gay sex. Reporting on the billboard and the controversy surrounding it, WSMV in Nashville said:
In Portland, TN, a towering billboard quotes a Leviticus passage from the Old Testament: "You shall not lie with a man as with a woman. It is an abomination." 
Ronnie Monday, a Vietnam veteran, is the man behind the message. He commissioned the billboard and paid for it with donations from some friends. It has been up for four months. 
"When the president came out and indicated that he thought that gay marriage was OK, that was pretty much the last straw," Monday said. [SNIP]
Love it or hate it, residents will have to get used to it. The contract on the billboard has been renewed for another six months. 
"As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. And he says it's wrong. And in my opinion, that's what it is, it's wrong," Monday said.
Were Monday a true Christian that had actually read the Bible he claims to hold dear, he'd know modern Christians (and those who aren't Christian at all!) aren't beholden to Leviticus nor any other book of the Old Testament. The apostle Paul explicitly said this, in fact, in Galatians 3:10. The death of Christianity's savior Jesus Christ released Christians from the laws outlined in the first five books of the Bible. For a lengthier explanation of why quoting Leviticus to oppose LGBT people makes you appear biblically-challenged, I highly recommend reading Bible-Thumping Liberal's analysis.

But let's assume for a moment that up is down, black is white and the Old Testament laws still apply to everyone - even non-Christians who do not wish to live under Biblical law or theocracy. If we were to live in a world ruled by the same passages Monday uses to condemn LGBT people, why aren't we doing it to the full letter of the (biblical) law? Why the bet-hedging?  

When we bring up God's holy ban on eating shellfish or His loving command to kill your daughter if she isn't a virgin on her wedding night—passages in the Bible that Christians ignore—we're told that those passages are in the Old Testament, silly, so they neither apply nor matter to Christians because Jesus
Leviticus 18:22 goes on to say that men who lie with men as with women should be put to death. (Can't you just feel the love for people, people?) But if someone else were to put up a billboard in Portland proclaiming that all women who aren't virgins on their wedding nights should be stoned to death (Deuteronomy 22:20-21)—or that adulterers like Mark Sanford and David Vitter must be put to death (Leviticus 10:10) or that women should be forced to marry their rapists (Deuteronomy 22:28-29)—good Christians like Ms. Harman would cluck their tongues and insist that those folks were being silly and unfair because all that stuff is in the Old Testament and Christians are all about following Jesus and His shiny New Testament. 
Anyway, I've ranted about this before. Basically: It's fair game for them to use the Old Testament to beat up queers, but it's not fair for queers to use that same Old Testament to highlight their hypocrisy.
I won't hold my breath waiting on Mr. Monday to purchase another billboard condemning Red Lobster for selling all of that sinful shellfish.



About Tim Peacock:

For virtually his entire life, Tim has been writing. Over the years he's dabbled in mainstream fiction, science fiction, dystopian fiction, and personal essays. The one consistent thread through his entire writing career has been blogging - he's been doing it since 1997 in one form or another. In addition to writing Tim has frequently worked and volunteered as a civil rights advocate including on campus LGBT advocacy as well as interning with the Colorado Civil Rights Division.

You can find Tim online at Peacock Panache as well as his personal website. You can also find him on LinkedIn as well as on Twitter as @timsimms


File Under Told You So: The Benefits of a Living Wage

By Sheila Kennedy

[Originally published at SheilaKennedy.net on September 17,2014]

Click to Enlarge
A recent story in the Indianapolis Business Journal confirms what rational observers have been saying for quite a long time: keeping wages low is bad for business, and hurts the economy.

When significant numbers of workers are struggling just to make ends meet, they don’t have discretionary funds to spend in the market. That depresses business activity–and is a further drag on job creation. Most people with even an elementary understanding of market behaviors had figured that out.

What many of us probably didn’t realize is that, according to both the IBJ and that well-known bastion of socialism, Standard and Poor, low wages also threaten state budgets.

"Indiana has tied its fiscal wagon to a mule. The biggest source of revenue for the state is its sales tax, which at 7 percent is among the highest in the nation. But the slowdown in wage growth for most Hoosiers means they’re not spending much more money than before. And our wealthiest residents tend to save a greater share of their income and spend it on untaxed services."
Standard and Poor report that the widening gap between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else has made it more difficult for the economy to recover from the Great Recession. Their report attributes the sluggish recovery primarily to low wages; that’s because consumer spending fuels about 70 percent of the economy, and weak pay typically slows economic growth.

This isn’t rocket science. People can’t spend what they don’t have. Economic growth–for better or worse (and that’s a different debate)–requires consumer spending.

That’s the reason that evidence fails to support all those rosy promises about economic growth being triggered by Right to Work laws, and that’s the reason that the economy actually improves in places that raise the minimum wage.

When poorer people have more money, they spend it. What a concept.
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Sheila Kennedy is a former high school English teacher, former lawyer, former Republican, former Executive Director of Indiana's ACLU, former columnist for the Indianapolis Star, and former young person. She is currently an (increasingly cranky) old person, a Professor of Law and Public Policy at Indiana University Purdue University in Indianapolis, and Director of IUPUI's Center for Civic Literacy. She writes for the Indianapolis Business Journal, PA Times, and the Indiana Word, and blogs at www.sheilakennedy.net. For those who are interested in more detail, links to an abbreviated CV and academic publications can be found on her blog, along with links to her books..

Bryan Fischer: Bacon Proves We're a 'Christian Nation'


Bryan Fischer
Speaking on his radio show Monday, American Family Association (AFA) spokesman Bryan Fischer argued that because American businesses can legally and freely sell bacon, America is a Christian nation. Citing a three year old international incident, In that incident (which took place in Australia), an employee at a Halal-friendly KFC verbally (and nearly physically) assaulted a customer who requested bacon on his food.

"The violent outburst happened at a Halal-friendly KFC in Punchbowl on December 26, allegedly after a customer became angry after being refused bacon on their burger," local Australian news source 9 News reported. "The Punchbowl restaurant does not serve bacon or pork in accordance with Islamic law, and one employee can be heard saying “we don’t have bacon” before the other begins yelling." Commenting on the outdated incident, Fischer proclaimed, "You want one single item of proof that America is a Christian nation and not a Jewish nation and not an Islamic nation?" He continued, "One single bit of proof is all you need: we freely allow restaurants and grocery stores to sell and to serve bacon. That can only happen in a Christian country." 

"So the sheer fact that we freely allow the sale and consumption of bacon," he continued, "is absolute proof that we are, in fact, a Christian nation," he added.

Because only a Christian nation would allow businesses to sell bacon freely. 

While the holes in Fischer's logic are large enough to fly the space shuttle through, one thing sticks out: a truly Christian nation would indeed sell bacon, but would not sell something else specific: shellfish. Last I checked, the shellfish (and seafood) industry was still booming.

Fischer's logical downfall is his blind spot in viewing Christianity's similar dietary and retail restrictions - restrictions that in many areas are still on the books (in the form of blue laws preventing liquor sales on Sunday - Christianity's holy day). The Unites States, on the other hand, was not founded nor does it operate as a Christian nation. In fact, the founders specifically ensured any one specific sect of Christianity (or any other religious belief system) couldn't enact such prohibitions in the first place.

It appears that secularism and its lack of prohibitive, unpopular public square practices once again saves the day.

[H/T Right Wing Watch]


About Tim Peacock:

For virtually his entire life, Tim has been writing. Over the years he's dabbled in mainstream fiction, science fiction, dystopian fiction, and personal essays. The one consistent thread through his entire writing career has been blogging - he's been doing it since 1997 in one form or another. In addition to writing Tim has frequently worked and volunteered as a civil rights advocate including on campus LGBT advocacy as well as interning with the Colorado Civil Rights Division.

You can find Tim online at Peacock Panache as well as his personal website. You can also find him on LinkedIn as well as on Twitter as @timsimms