Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Bible tells me so

I've always had a complete fascination with religion. People get so worked up over it and kill each other and have long, ridiculous debates and not a single person has any proof they're right. And each option is so interesting and so filled with history and logic and then anti-logic, I love them all.

In college I took a couple of Bible as philosophy classes with one Calvin Mercer, pretty much the best professor ever because he would never tell us what his religion was and we could never figure it out. That's a good religion teacher. I learned a lot about the Bible that year, made doubly interesting by the fact that my roommate was obsessed with being Christian but had never actually read anything other than Revelation. That taught me quite a bit about people who believe something just because it's what they're told to believe. I've never been that kind of person.

Right now I'm working on this zombie script and I have a character who only speaks in quotes from the Bible. It's been a while since I've been thoroughly through this book, although I do reference it a lot in class since much of English literature is based on its teachings. Last night I was going through Leviticus because if you know your Bible you know Leviticus is where the party's at, and I discovered the following things I didn't know.

I am unclean. Because of my vitiligo I am considered to have an infectious (it is not actually infectious, ancient biblical dudes) skin disease and as a result I must do the following:

"The person with such and infectious disease must wear torn clothes, let his hair be unkempt, cover the lower part of his face and cry out, 'Unclean! Unclean!' as long as the infection remains unclean. He must live alone; he must live outside the camp."

Well, crap.

I also learned that you are not to have sex with the following people:
a close relative
your mother
your father's wife
your son's daughter
your daughter's daughter
the daughter of your father's wife
your father's sister
your mother's sister
your father's brother's wife
your daughter-in-law
your brother's wife
both a woman and her daughter
both a woman and her granddaughter
your wife's sister, but only while your wife is alive
any woman while she's on her period
your neighbor's wife
a man, if you're a man

It doesn't say anything about sleeping with your brother-in-law, so I'm in the clear on that one.

Just kidding. My former brother-in-law is revolting.

Have you heard about that new book by AJ Jacobs, The Year of Living Biblically? The guy spends an entire year living by the rules of the Bible, most of which can be found in Leviticus. So he couldn't touch pig skin and he couldn't sit where his wife sat when she was on her period or sleep in the sheets where she slept while she was on her period until they'd been washed. He said that bit pissed her off so much she sat in every single chair in the house just so he'd have to stand up all week. I'm definitely getting that book.

That Bible. I tell you, it's some interesting stuff.


  1. Also I just read somewhere that shrimp are forbidden. I think Leviticus 11:11. That is handy because I'm allergic to crustaceans anyway, so now I can say it's Biblical and get credit for it, right?

    Then I should get credit for the inadvertent vows of poverty and chastity too. Awesome!

  2. So it seems like the only married women I'm not allowed to sleep with are relatives and the wife of my neighbor. Hot damn.

  3. That's great. When's Morgan Spurlock making a movie about it?

  4. Anonymous3:20 PM

    You're in trouble now.


  5. I always marvel about what is specific in the Bible and what isn't.

    Sure seemed to think it was important to be very precise about who to not sleep with.



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