Wednesday, 26 January 2005

Links That Caught My Gay Eye Today


Gays Observe Holocaust Memorial Day
Spain Tells Pope To Stay Out Of Gay Marriage Debate

Now this is all getting ridiculous:
Gay SpongeBob Flap Intensifies
Gay Road Is Too Gay

Do those people have nothing more important with their lives than to focus on such trivialities? Or is it a sign that common sense is finally winning and that nutters are only clutching at straws these days?

Monday, 24 January 2005

Thought For The Day

"It is wrong to invoke the love of God in order that one person's 'values' might diminish another's value. Those who claim that homosexual people threaten to dismantle the value of heterosexual marriage would do well to remember that if anyone destroys marriage, it is married people, not gays and lesbians."


Right Rev. Dr. Peter Short, Moderator of the United Church of Canada
Canada's Two Biggest Faiths Battle Over Gay Marriage

Friday, 21 January 2005

Busherie 2 - He is Back

It is now official: we have just embarked on another four years of madness. Despite what we hear on the radio, there does not seem to be many signs that things are going to change, let alone improve!
No expense spared at inauguration

"[...] our duties are defined not by the words I use, but by the history we have seen together." Key quotes: President Bush's speech
Considering the mess we are in, one tend to wonder though...

Second Term Begins Amid Anti-Gay Amendment Concerns

Tuesday, 18 January 2005

Quote of the Day

"Moral Indignation permits envy or hate to be acted out under the guise of virtue."

A quote I have just found here. I have been reading "Geisha"'s blog for a couple of months now and although our experiences are probably as different from each other as they can possibly be, I love her stuff...


Bourne's Swan Lake - Review

When I first heard about Matthew Bourne’s all male version of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, I was in my late teens, living in a small town very, very far from London with only a bunker of a bar, a couple of cruising grounds and a "gay friendly" Sunday night in a club as excuses for a gay scene. Over the years, this show took on almost a legendary aura for me, so when I heard that it was being revived for its tenth anniversary, I knew I would have to go and see it. That was about a year ago, but on Saturday evening the big night finally came…

Swan Lake is one of the major ballets in the classical repertoire. This, combined with a generally held idea that ballet is a little stuffy and stiff necked, might prove a little daunting for some. But if this is your opinion of ballet, Bourne’s version is bound to make you change your mind. There is Tchaikovsky’s music of course; always light and sweet to the ear with the added pleasure of some very famous tunes. The show has the usual signature cartoonish look and Bourne has made it into a very funny and witty pastiche of classical ballet. Something you are not likely to hear very often at the ballet is the laugh of the audience: you do here.

Yes, the show is a little slow to start and you find yourself yearning for some "serious" dancing in the first few scenes, which are little more than an exposition of the situation and are verging on the ponderous. And when the real dancing finally arrives it is not always up to scratch. It is a little lack-lustre and sometimes even scruffy. However, with the various pas-de-deux between the Prince and the Swan, the show finally grows wings and takes off.

The most striking thing about the show though, is what Bourne made of this classic tale just by changing the sex of some of the characters. Although some critics seem to refuse to see the obvious, the show is clearly meant as a metaphor for gay life. The clue perhaps that it is, is in a cameo by a young Quentin Crisp in one of the scenes. All the elements are there. The dominating, yet estranged mother (with those gorgeous frocks!), the loneliness and the depression at not fitting in, the young man trying to fulfil (in vain) his mother’s expectations by dating the first girl he can find, the finding of one’s own kind and the metamorphosis this implies, a therapy inflicted by society to cure the despicable sin, the back stabbing within the “brotherhood”. Of course this is all a little clichéd and it is wearisome to find again that both “gay” characters die at the end. This choice might be questioned. It might have to do with when the show was first produced but the mid 1990’s already had examples of positive gay characters. Perhaps is it simply because of the choice of original show, in which case, this will be seen as an attempt to transcend the usual limitations of gay stories and create a timeless gay tragedy in the lines of any other great heterosexual stories of unhappy love with the added bonus that this one is also actually gay, in the original sense of the word. This eventually is what will leave a positive impression on the audience. In the end, Bourne should probably be applauded for making such a clear statement for visibility to what turned out to be such a wide audience due to the success of the show.

The critic of the Times informs us that Bourne has created something “unlike anything Tchaikovsky could possibly have imagined.” Perhaps, it would be more accurate to say that Tchaikovsky might have imagined something similar, considering he was homosexual but would never have been in a position to make this idea come true. Bourne’s version is probably one of the nicest homage that could be paid to the composer.

Swan Lake has now left Sadler’s Wells but is going on tour. No self-respecting "gay boy" should miss it.

Swan Lake
Music by Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Choreographed and directed by Matthew Bourne
Website

Friday, 14 January 2005

News From The Twilight Zone.

Had a bit of a shock earlier. I was checking who had visited this page on my tracking service's page when I noticed a strange looking URL. Here is how it looked:
http://www.whitelabel.org/wp/wikiproxy.php?url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4173453.stm

I clicked on it out of curiosity and find myself on the BBC News website, looking at a page treating of young Harry's recent foibles. The astonishing thing and the source of the aforementioned shock was that a link to this, my blog, sorry: MY blog, was in a prominent position on this page. Here is the picture to prove it:



Now, if you go to the BBC News page, the list of "blogs about this article" does not show. Turns out that wikiproxy (appearing in the first part of the above URL) is some sort of software created for the BBC to ad links to its webpages. I am still not sure how this works to be honest but it is nice to think that somewhere in another dimension my blog, sorry MY blog, is listed on the BBC's website. And this after a couple of months online only...

Update - 19/01/05: this might help make SOME sense of the whole thing.


Gaybraham Lincoln?

Don't you just love that? The "founding father" of the (now) fag-hating GOP was probably one of us!!!

A Republican hero, but was Abe Lincoln gay?
or
Conservatives Rail Against Book Claim Lincoln Was Gay

Où l'on reparle de Harry....

I would like to come back on yesterday's post. While the controversy shows no sign of abating and with a few lone (and not very articulate) voices trying to come to the Prince's rescue, I think that the whole thing has now passed the question of whether he needs to apologise himself or not. It seems pretty clear now that he won't, after having released that statement. What I think is important is to try and understand what led to him wearing this costume.

I hear most of his defenders (and some of his detractors) calling him "a boy". Either they are trying to minimise the affair or they are being incredibly patronising towards their protégé. As I pointed out yesterday, he is now 20 years old. He is an adult, presumably capable of making his own considered decisions and required to face up with their consequences. He is not any 20 year old either, who can go and make a fool of himself with limited repercussions: He is, whether he wants it or not, a leading figure in this country and possibly a few others, and this sort of mistake does not make me look like he is adequately prepared for his position of influence. This is rather worrying for the future.

Another point I made yesterday is that he has been given the chance of a very good education. He is also not the type of young man who has spend his youth on his own devices, with no one around to have as a role model or to give him a sense of perspective. This should have enabled him to recognise that Nazi-ism is a dangerous subject to treat lightly. He should have been convinced in his heart of hearts that you do not, you CAN NOT, make light of this "dark hour" of the human history. My circumstances bear no relation whatsoever with his but I am convinced that even at an earlier age than his (as young as 15/16, I would say), I would have been aware of all this and it would not even have crossed my mind to wear anything Nazi under any circumstance. How could he imagine that Nazi could be funny?! Is he really lacking so much in sense as not to realise that it was a bad idea? The only way he could have done it is by not wearing the uniform "straight": ie not done up properly and/or wearing make up or something of the kind; in other words by showing that he was making fun of the Nazis not just endorsing their uniform and therefore, potentially and by association, their ideas... Another worrying point is that those aids of his of whom we hear ever five minutes at the moment seem to have been singularly absent at the time when he decided to wear the uniform.

We know precious little about the circumstances of his choice and I think that rather than another apology which would probably not satisfy many, an explanation might prove more helpful; both for the people who feel hurt by the whole episode and for the Prince's peace itself...

Thursday, 13 January 2005

I Can Do Bad Humour Too

Terrible story I know, but Mr and Mrs Gay trying to adopt Christian Blewitt?!
Sorry. *hangs head*

Oops! He Did It Again...

This morning as I was getting ready to go to work, I was listening, as usual, to the excellent Today Programme on the just as excellent BBC Radio4. *grovels* There was a report on how children in Care Homes are causing great nuisance in certain communities (in West Sussex I think it was); theft and all sort of disorderly conducts having become a popular form of entertainment amongst those youths. Over a period of three months (if I recollect correctly), the police had been called over 300 times to look for missing "residents" of the local homes. The example was sited of a missing teenage girl turning up at a police station to get a lift back to her home, insisting, when being told it might not be quite as easy as she thought, that the police had to drive her home due to their Duty of Care!

It seems however that misdemeanour by young people is not limited to any specific strata of society. Much higher indeed on the social ladder, we got this morning a clear example of this. Prince Harry has been at it again! As the phrase goes, he is not exactly a stranger to controversy (or the front pages of the tabloids, for that matter). One might remember randomly a drunken incident, a teacher claiming to have been forced to cheat for him, or a scuffle with a photographer at a club... This time, a picture taken during a private fancy dress party (the theme of which was "colonial and native". An interesting theme already, when one is aware of a certain nostalgia for the lost Empire still lingering in certain parts of this country!) shows the Prince wearing a Nazi uniform with a very prominent swastika armband. Already hardly acceptable in normal circumstances, the incident is made even more unfortunate by the fact that Holocaust Memorial Day is taking place on the 27th of this month. This year marks the 60th anniversary.

Now! "Clarence House" has issued an apology but the controversy has not died out so easily and all sorts of people have been expressing support or lack thereof regarding this sorry business. The easy and most employed cop out in some quarters is to say that an apology has been issued and that it was just a regretable but silly mistake. However, incredibly, I find myself agreeing with Michael Howard that Prince Harry should appear in person, apologise and explain how he came up with his idea of costume. With a survey from the BBC, showing incredibly that almost half of the adult population in this country claims to have never heard of Auschwitz, it is most important to take a strong stance here. Let's not forget that we are talking about the third person in line of accession to the throne; a young man of 20 who has just been given a very expensive education and who should now be able to judge responsibly what is appropriate and what is not. In my opinion, the thought should not even have crossed his mind to wear this costume at a party. But even if he was stupid enough to think it was a good idea, what about his entourage and counsellors? The other people attending the party? Why did they not say anything? Why did they let him make a fool of himself?!

While I do want to believe it was only a glitch; the "silly mistake" people want it to be, I am worried this might be one of the symptoms of something much wider and much darker. While we see the "safer" world brought to us courtesy of Mr W, sinking deeper into terror, while rampant anti-Semitism seems to be on the rise in France, while intolerance fuelled by all sort of fears is showing its ugly head in so many quarters of our lives, we can not afford to forget the past; we can not afford not to learn from it. Ignorance is at the root of too many evils.

Who Knew?!

A BBC news alert from last night:
"US intelligence officials say the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is over, without any arms stockpiles found.

For more details:"
So they were still looking then?!

Wednesday, 12 January 2005

A Bit of Harmful Fun...

Have a look at this interesting website found on this blog entry... I suggest you particularly have a look at the shop... but the rest is worth checking out. I supsect there are some hidden gems in the Pastor's Mailbag section... The article on the Tsunami is also a nice piece of satire :O)

Monday, 10 January 2005

Jerry Springer, The Saga


Hurray! The BBC did the right thing this week-end and did broadcast Jerry Springer, the Opera despite pressure from Bible Wielders of all sorts (see this). It turns out that the campaign back fired with record audiences watching the show.

If you had been able to see what was happening in my room on Saturday afternoon, you would probably have been quite entertained. I was listening to Any Answers? on Radio4; a call-in show where people react to the opinions of four guest panellists expressed on Any Questions?. The broadcast of the opera took up a major chunk of the show. I was fuming at the level of stupidity of some of the comments while clapping and cheering when someone was defending the BBC's decision. How sad?!

First we heard the most fantastic allegations about there being thousands of swear words (the real estimation saying, I think, about 400), in the show. This is forgetting that the show is only two odd hours long. Using one's brains for half a second shows that this is not technically possible. Such lack of information is not surprising however, and is due to the fact that most people against the show, had not even seen it, hence talking through their hats of something they knew nothing about.

Then you had conservatives saying that the BBC, as a public service, was to safeguard the morals of the country by basically replacing the Lord Chancellor (formerly in charge of censorship); The same conservatives who for ever howl against the so-called Nanny State! The same conservatives whose leader for ever goes on about choice!

There was also several people complaining that because parents are so lax in the way they educate their children and because those children had televisions in their room, they would be able to watch the show even if it was broadcast after the watershed. What they are completely forgetting to mention is that the children can watch the real Jerry Springer show (as well as a few others of the same tasteless sort) on daytime TV. You very seldom hear people complaining about that... The Opera, by its very nature, is steeped into artificiality. No one for a second can believe it to be true or forget that it isn't.

But what I really do not understand is that those people who are supposedly fighting the "Culture of Death" rampant in our modern society can so easily forget their pledges to be pro-life or even the Ten Commandments they should be holding so dear and make death threats because there is something on TV they do not care for? Do you hear any of those dreadful atheists call for the death of any of the BBC's controllers because Songs of Praise is on every week?! I don't think so...



The poem referred to in the article is The Love That Dares To Speak Its Name by James Kirkup. Very easy to find on the net.

Sunday, 9 January 2005

Sunday Blues

The nice thing about the weather in this country is that it seems so often to be in tune with my frame of mind. It certainly was today...
Here is a poem I wrote in 2002, which might give you a clue or two (Translation provided). Enjoy.
Je marche dans les rues de cette immense ville
Ses lumières autour, indifférentes, brillent.
Le vent balaie les feuilles et les emporte au loin
Je frissonne et mes mains sont fermées en un poing.

Brouillés par la buée qui me remplis les yeux,
Des visages apparaissent puis s'effacent peu à peu.
J'aimerai les toucher, qu'ils me donnent de l'espoir,
Mais leurs yeux sont fermés: Ils restent sans me voir.

Et me voici soudain dans un carré de vie,
L'éclat d'une fenêtre ouverte sur la nuit,
Un sourire éclatant et remplit de chaleur
Qui m'enveloppe entier et me caresse le cœur.

Au moins pour quelques temps, j'espérais me chauffer
Et trouver réconfort, sympathie, amitié.
Hélas trop rapidement le volet se referme,
Me laissant dans le froid; La nuit encore plus terne.

La lumière était vive mais son éclat fut bref
Comme l'est l'amour humain et toutes ses promesses.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
I am walking the streets of this vast city
Its lights, oblivious, shinning around.
The wind sweeps away the leaves and takes them afar.
I shiver and my hands are closed in a fist.

Blurred by the steam which is filling my eyes
Faces appear and then slowly vanish.
I would like to touch them, for them to give me hope,
But their eyes are closed: they do not see me.

And suddenly, here I am, in a bright square of life.
The glare of a window open upon the night
A bright smile full of a warmth
wrapping itself around me and stroking my heart.

I had hoped to warm myself, at least for a while,
And find comfort, sympathy, friendship.
Alas, too quickly the shutter closes itself again,
Leaving me in the cold: the night even more drab.

The light was very bright but it’s glare was so short.
Just like human love and all its promises.

Thursday, 6 January 2005

For god's sake, leave us alone!

To get home after work I have the choice of two buses; No 12 and No 171. Both will take me to about 2 minutes walk from where I live but for some reason I prefer to catch 171. I was therefore quite happy tonight, when after about 5 min of waiting, I saw a 171 appear at the horizon. I got on board, find myself a free seat on the upper deck, whipped out the book I am currently reading (Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris) and readied myself for enjoying the next 20 minutes or so, far from the madding crowd, as on many other evenings.
Alas! It wasn't to be. A few hundred metres down the road, I was pulled out of my story by a male voice on my right singing its own version of Amazing Grace. You meet those people from time to time in London, most of the time some decrepit rasta singing reggae; they sing out loud and you are never really sure why they are doing it: is it that the light missing on certain floors or do they expect to be discovered by a producer and start a career? I was reflecting that this latter possibility was not very likely on a bus and even less so in the part of the city we were in as I was getting ready to go back to my book. I clicked my tongue to show my dissatisfaction. I was looking at the man at the time. He seemed noticed me from the corner of his eye and immediately raised the volume of his singing. I tried to return to my reading anyway. After all I have been used to reading in noisy environments since school. This time it wasn't happening however. I decided to bide my time and see whether the man would stop after that song or perhaps get off at the next stop. The bus was by now almost full.
After a while, he did indeed stop and I breathed a sigh of relief. A short lived sigh of relief. The next thing I knew the man, in a rather emphatic way, a bit like an actor saying his lines, was telling us about god.... How he had decided to love him and how god had decided to grant him salvation in return. I glazed over pretty quickly but did catch the word "love" (or is it "Love"?) being repeated several times. I tried again to ignore the man and to go back to my reading. To no avail. Slowly but surely, my temper, usually rather unflappable, came to boiling point. Several times, I thought about interrupting him and asking him politely to desist but did not do anything about it probably out of cowardice. After about ten minutes of this, I just could not take any more. I shut my book, put it back into my bag and got up to get off the bus at the coming next stop. As I was coming down the stairs, I glared at the man one last time. I met his gaze as he was still talking: did I imagine a sparkle of mockery?
I took the next bus, which fortunately arrived quickly. Not so fortunately however, I could not go back to reading. I went on fuming for the next ten minutes of the trip home and here I am ranting about it now. I imagine the aim of this guy was to make some converts or at least to interest people to his saintly discours on love (sorry: Love). In my case (and was I really the only one?), it did not work at all. It actually had the completely opposite effect. The man was here to extol love but he only managed to raise anger and something verging on hate. I don't go about shouting my beliefs (whatever they are) over the rooftops (except, perhaps, this particular rooftop: Blogspot). Most people don't. Why do religious zealots feel the need to do just that? What can't they stick to their beliefs and keep all those marvellous discoveries of theirs to themselves? If I wanted to hear about them; if I wanted someone to tell me how to live my life, I would know where to find a church... It is those sort of practices which have spawned most of the violence the world has know: crusades, inquisition, forced conversions, jihad, terrorism (some of it), intolerance... Why can't people leave each other alone? I am not asking them to give up on their beliefs and thought; just that they stop shoving them down other people's throat. Is that too much to ask?
Religion was the topic of the day it seems!

Jerry Jerry Jerry!

Just sent an email of support to the BBC for broadcasting Jerry Springer, the Opera this Saturday. Telling them that not everyone out there is blinkered and biggoted!!! Please do the same.

The full story.

I went to see the show a few weeks ago and while it is far from perfect, I thought it was quite funny (I think I found particularly funny as someone who got a religious up-bringing). Have the people complaining about this got nothing better to do with their lives? If they don't like it, why do they just not watch it?
The show is not making any serious point and is certainly not a tirade against Christianity. Perhaps those people are not happy because the Klu Klux Klan is being ridiculed?

Who do they think they are?


First post of the year and it is turning ugly already! Happy New Year!

I have already alluded here to my queasyness with all things religious and more particularly with proselites. With the tsunami happening on Christmas Day, I was expecting to hear some religious nutter claiming that this was a punishment from god inflicted on some perverts or others (what with one of the places destroyed being called Phuket (which just happen to be a popular gay resort it seems)? I did not have to wait for long...
Check this out.

Yesterday, I came across this blog; this nice young (but my canonic standards) gay man has been in contact by email with the infamous Phelps gang. Those people are hell bent (pun intended) on making the life of the family of Matthew Shepard... well... hell. Here and here are the posts relating to those emails. Who these people think they are to take the high moral ground so; I don't know. They must be perfect indeed! What makes them so important that they can feel justified to speak in god's name; to claim to know his will? Where is the humility advocated by Jesus? What about those requests made by Jesus to be charitable to each other and to love one another? Their actions and words contradict the very teachings they claim to be defending.

As some sort of response to this, because we can't let such blind stupidity pass without some sort of reaction, I have decided to post an old farourite of mine. The now famous email to Dr Laura (more about her and her oeuvres here). I have added a couple of bits myself and, as usual for the sake of impartiality *cough*, I attach a response (not always that convincing I must say) from some home grown (Scotland, I think) bible-wielders (check out their website, it is a hoot!):

"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 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 best 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 neighbors. 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 I 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 neighboring 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 the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 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 agree. 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)

k)A reading of 2 Chronicles, 4:2 makes clear that mathematicians have for many years been under a misconception that the number pi (the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter) was a transcendental number which is approximately 3.1415. The true value of pi, as the Bible makes clear in this passage, is actually 3. Am I personally obliged to burn all maths textbooks, put to the sword as blasphemers all who propagate the false value of pi and forbid all false images of the true circle?

l) We all agree that marriage is for procreation only. Therefore don't you think that in addition to homosexuals, infertile persons, men with vasectomies, and others should be barred from marrying?

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your devoted disciple and adoring fan.


-----------------------------------------------------------

Those "Dr Laura" Questions Answered.

By Stephen Green. October 2004

Dr Laura Schlessinger is a US radio personality who dispenses advice to people who call in to her radio show. A few years back, she said, rightly, that homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstances. An open letter to Dr. Laura was penned in 2000, and posted on the Internet. It has since done the rounds:


"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 of the other specific laws and how to follow them.

"I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

"Your devoted fan."


The idea of the questions is that the requirements of God's law through Moses look silly and that therefore that looking to the Bible for any questions of morality is silly. The questions fall down by making no distinction between the judicial and moral laws of God, which in their general equity are still in force, and ceremonial matters of ritual holiness and the priesthood, which has all passed with the sacrifice of Jesus. But I am going too fast already.

Dr Laura Schlessinger herself became a convert to Judaism in 1998. A Jew shouldn't have a probem with these questions any more than a Christian, as Jews are used to living under the law of the land, and as for the observations of ritual cleanliness, for Jews you do them if you are a Jew, and you don't if you are a Gentile. Easy.

Dr Laura is now thought to be leaning towards Christianity, inspired by the loving and supportive letters she has had from Christians over the last few years. Christianity is after all the logical outworking of Judaism, as Yeshua Maschiach (that's Jesus Christ in Hebrew) fulfilled all the Biblical (ie Old Testament) Messianic prophecies. Through Him, Christians have a more personal relationship with God than is possible under Judaism. Dr Laura said recently: "I have envied my Christian friends who really, universally, deeply feel loved by God."

Well, on sending out copies of our glossy booklet "Homosexuality and the police" to the press last year, I received "the questions" in a letter from Paul Borny, "Group Senior Writer" at Capital Radio Group, which, apparently, is an equal opportunities employer, and takes exception to "hateful, offensive, homophobic material." I can't think how that applies to "Homosexuality and the police", but there we are.

From a brief web-look, I can't see that anyone has attempted to answer the Dr Laura questions before. No matter, I am brash enough to have a go, by the grace of God. Here follow the famous questions to Dr Laura Schlessinger, and my replies to them more or less as I sent them to dear Mr Borny. Oddly enough, he never replied. Perhaps he had a sense of humour failure:



Q. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odour for the Lord (Leviticus 1:9). The problem is my neighbours. They claim the odour is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

A. No. You need a Israelite priest to offer the sacrifice for you in the Temple in Jerusalem ; you can't just do it yourself in your back garden. You have a problem! The Temple was destroyed in 70 AD. But stop believing in the pleasing odour of animal sacrifices anyway, for it is written that the blood of bulls and goats can never take away sin (Heb 10:4). You need to believe that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross takes away all your sin, now and forever. As to offering violence against your neighbours, that will have you hauled up in front of the magistrates for a breach of the peace and actual bodily harm at a minimum under any system of law, ancient or modern.


Q. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of uncleanliness (Leviticus 15:19-24). How do I tell? I have tried asking but most women take offence.

A. This is to do with purity of worship in the Temple . Not just sexual intercourse (we would all be agreed on that) but even touching a menstruating woman made the one who touched her unclean. It has passed. When the Temple in Jerusalem was sacked in 70 AD, as Jesus prophesied, it was already 40 years past its use-by date. The sacrifice of Jesus in AD 30 (+/- a year or two) had rendered the doings of the Temple obsolete. Even the veil of the Temple (which separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of Temple ) was torn in two (Matt 27:51) at His death. Believe in His death and you will be forgiven. Believe in His resurrection and you will live. If the matter you raise still troubles you, I should avoid all contact with women other than your own wife. And if you don't know when she is in what you describe as her period of uncleanliness, then heaven help you.


Q. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may buy slaves from the nations that are around us. A friend of mine claims that this applies to the French but not to the Scots. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Scottish people?

A. It doesn't actually say slaves, it says 'bondmen and bondmaids'. People who were poor bonded themselves or their children to someone wealthy. It was a form of social security. It is also written (Exod 21:16) that anyone who steals a man to sell him shall be put to death. So those Muslim slavers who took and sold black slaves to the white man were flat out of order and worthy of death. Don't forget that the man who had slavery outlawed in Britain was William Wilberforce, an evangelical Christian. Atheists were quite happy with slavery.


Q. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as it suggests in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

A. It actually says 'maidservant' not slave. I should have thought you were doing well enough at Capital not to have to sell your daughter as a bonded servant. What a rotten Dad you are, to want to get rid of her even though you can afford to keep her. Daughters are precious. So are sons, come to that. You'ld have to be in pretty dire straights 3,000 years ago to sell your children as servants, but I guess they would at least get fed and housed then. Anyway, back to your daughter. I think you would do better to send her to college and then see if she can't get a job. Mind you, most jobs today are just wage-slavery, aren't they? We spend 45% of our time working for the tax-man. Who can be totally free? Only those who trust in Jesus and know the truth will be free, as it is written, 'The truth shall make you free.' (John 8:32)


Q. I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obliged to kill him myself or may I arrange for our vicar to do it?

A. Neither. You need to remember that the ancient principle of 'due process' still persists in our law today, despite a succession of Home Secretaries, including dear David Blunkett, wanting to get rid of it as a bit of an impediment to the Government just locking up whoever they want. So you can't go around putting people to death yourself, that is what we Christians call murder. OK, if someone killed your son or raped your daughter, you might call it vengeance, but you have no personal interest in what your neighbour is doing, it just gets up your nose a bit. Report your neighbour to the police, support your allegation with two witnesses, and see if the police can find a law against what your neighbour is doing. They won't. This country doesn't do a day of rest in any form any more.


Q. Leviticus 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?

A. This applies to the High Priest of ancient Israel , who entered into the Holy of holies once a year on the Day of Atonement. I suppose God has a right to say who was going to approach Him in the Holy of holies. But even if you are a cohen, (a) you won't find the Temple still standing today and (b) all that Temple ritual is past. Jesus has been and has offered Himself for the sins of all who will believe in Him. Job done. Finished.


Q. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Leviticus 19:27. How should they die?

A. God did not want His people looking like the pagan priests of the nations round about with dodgy haircuts and peculiar beards. Getting your hair cut as such isn't wrong in the eyes of God. Exekiel the prophet (Ezek 44:20) says that the rule for the priest is to have his hair cut neatly, not shave his head nor grow his hair stupidly long like what the pagans do. Can't see this was a capital offence, though, even then.


Q. I know from Leviticus 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

A. Clean and unclean animals are done away with by Peter's vision in Acts 10:11-15. My advice if this really worries you is to play as a forward or a back, and not as a midfielder, as they do most throwing in and place-kicking, and certainly don't play in goal. And don't handball either, as that is against the laws of the game.


Q. A friend of mine feels that though eating shellfish is an abomination (Leviticus 11:10) it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

A. They are different words in Hebrew, so your friend is right. But in any case, the clean and unclean animals distinction has gone with Peter's vision. So the New Testament abolishes the Old Testament food laws. But the New Testament confirms that homosexual activity is an abomination. Shellfish don't agree with me, but that's another matter. You tuck in to that prawn curry.


Q. My friend 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 him as commanded in Leviticus 24:10-16 ?

A. Yes, because it is all a matter of due process. You are a bit for taking the law into your own hands, aren't you? Does your friend actually curse the Name of God like the man in Leviticus did? Anyway, next you must find a judge and jury who will convict him. Unless his blasphemy really is scurrilous, abusive or offensive to God, Jesus Christ or the Bible, and tends to vilify the Christian religion, you are unlikely to see a conviction in our land today. Best let your friend know how offended you are and if he persists, get another friend. He sounds a bad sort, anyway.


Q. My uncle has a farm. He violates Leviticus 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).

A. Doesn't sound much of a farmer. How is he going to harvest it? Mind you, he could put a fence down the middle, then he would have two fields, and he could sow one crop on one side and the other on the other side, I suppose. As long as his wife does not wear a mixture of wool and linen, she should be OK to go and take part in ancient Israelite society. Back to the future!


Q. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws (Leviticus 20:14)?

A. You don't half have a vicious streak. Once again, in God's design for mankind, the State has the responsibility for the judicial death penalty, not the family. God's law does not allow people to put members of their own family to death. You are thinking of Islam and Hinduism. Oh, and Britain today. When our Parliament passed the Homicide Act 1965 and the Abortion Act 1967, they took away the death penalty from the guilty, by the State, where it belongs, and placed it on the innocent, within the family, where it does not. Macabre or what?


P.S. Another silly question was added later:


Q. A reading of 2 Chronicles, 4:2 makes clear that mathematicians have for many years been under a misconception that the number pi (the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter) was a transcendental number which is approximately 3.1415. The true value of pi, as the Bible makes clear in this passage, is actually 3. Am I personally obliged to burn all maths textbooks, put to the sword as blasphemers all who propagate the false value of pi and forbid all false images of the true circle?

A. Do you really think the ancients didn't know the value of pi? What we have here is something us engineers call 'rounding'. You really must deal with your bloodthirsty nature, though. All this taking the law (or what you think it is) into your own hands just will not do. And nit-picking over a couple of Biblical decimal points is not blasphemy. My, isn't there some God-hating ignorance out there!
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