Lycra or Hell?

June 27, 2006

Women bishops and gays ? That’s the church for me – Comment – Times Online

And, yes, I know it’s not exactly the same for gays, as there is some scripture in the Old Testament (though not in Christ’s teachings) that forbids homosexuality. Yet there is some pretty rum stuff in the Old Testament, Leviticus in particular.

Are women still to be deemed “unclean”, “impure” and untouchable for seven days in every month? Are priests with a physical disability to be banned? After all, God instructed Moses to tell Aaron: “No man among your descendants for all time who has any physical defect is to come and present the food of his God. No man with a defect is to come, whether a blind man, a lame man, a man stunted or overgrown, a man deformed in foot or hand, or with misshapen brows or a film over his eye or a discharge from it, a man who has a scab or eruption or has had a testicle ruptured.”

I bet there is a bishop or two in the Anglican Communion with misshapen brows or filmy eyes.

Leviticus also prohibits tattoos, beards with the edges shaved, and garments woven with two kinds of yarn. That puts paid to polycotton vestments then. We should not eat meat that has any blood in it, or any meat from camels, rock-badgers, hares or pigs. Shellfish are out too, but locusts are fine.

It is all very well for conservatives to say that we liberals cannot pick and choose what teachings we follow from the Bible. But they do the same. How many of them abjure prawn cocktails? Do they refuse to take out a mortgage or put money on deposit because of the injunction against usury? Do they wear no clothes with added Lycra?