Why Can’t I Own Canadians?

Source: a loyal reader

Dr. Laura Schlessinger used to be an American radio personality who dispensed advice to people who called in to her show. On one occasion she said that homosexuality was an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22 and could not be condoned under any circumstances. The following is an open letter.

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 I 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 him or her that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and how to follow them.

(a) 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 neighbours. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

(b) 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?

(c) 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 tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

(d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

(e) I have a neighbor who insists on working on Sunday (the Sabbath). In the book of Exodus verse 35:2 it clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

(f) 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 know. Can you settle this?

(g) 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?

(h) 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?

(i) 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?

(j) 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).

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4 responses to “Why Can’t I Own Canadians?

  1. A few days ago I asked for enlightenment on whether scripture (no matter whose) actually calls for violence as an act of faith.
    I guess I have my answer.
    Thanks, Eric, for trotting out this oldie but goodie. It could hardly be more relevant in these troubled times.

    • To respond to your question in relation to the extraordinary story about Dinah – why is there no film about her? I would say that her brothers’ incredible violence and deception had nothing to do with what we think of as “faith” but everything with her family’s – and her tribe’s – Covenant with God with whom there was a special relationship as the Chosen People. Marriage to a pagan prince would have appeared to them to be an intolerable breach of the Covenant. To find out why their father Jacob did not share that view, you will have to read Thomas Mann.

  2. What you talking about, man. I thought Americans could own Canadians.
    They certainly have massive numbers of Australians in thrall, including all our politicians, military and security services.

  3. These exquisite verses from Leviticus are used to splendid effect in the TV series The West Wing. The whole series can be found online for free binge viewing, but here is the relevant clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSXJzybEeJM
    And here is Sam Harris on Leviticus: “. . . just tear out Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Exodus, and 2 Samuel from the Old Testament, and 2 Thessalonians and Revelation from the New Testament. The book would be mightily improved. Would it then be the most profound book we have on morality (or cosmology, biology, psychology, etc.)? Not by a long shot. But it would be a much better book than it is at present.”
    Sam Harris, in a debate with Andrew Sullivan
    http://www.samharris.org/site/full_text/debate-with-andrew-sullivan-part-two/