Contend Earnestly: God Hates Shrimp, Sex with Animals and Bad Exegesis

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

God Hates Shrimp, Sex with Animals and Bad Exegesis


I have heard of the site, God Hates Shrimp, and finally went over to see what it was more about. Although I do not advocate picketing against gay marriage or homosexuality, as it just seems stupid, I do believe that both are sins. They also say that they have set up the site to poke fun at Fred Phelps, which I think is a good thing, because that guy is crazier than Benny Hinn trying to preach the gospel for free. Godhatesshrimp.com is set up so that people will see that if you invoke any of the Leviticus laws you must advocate all of them, including prohibitions against fish without scales, such as shrimp.

There are many problems with this thought process, including the fact that God revealed to Peter that nothing was unclean to eat in Acts 11 and that Jesus said it wasn't what entered the man that made man profane, but what came out of the heart and mouth. Not only this, but this site tries to dismiss Paul's teaching against homosexuality and put forth that since Jesus said nothing against it, it must be fine. This is what happens when ones exegesis is combined with scissors and the thought process of Thomas Jefferson. You cut out whatever you don't like.

Beyond all this, their logic doesn't make sense. I must ask, if we don't allow Leviticus to rule our morals in any way because Christ is silent on such matters in the New Testament, can people now freely have sex with animals?

‘Also you shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is a perversion.
Leviticus 18:23

Jesus never mentions sex with animals, so why not? Can we now eat shrimp, wear polyester, get tattoos and have sex with animals? (of course 3 out of the 4 are not sinful) Or, are we to take a look at the laws in the Old Testament and use them how they were supposed to be used? Meaning, separating the moral laws for men and the national laws for Israel. The biblical response, and intent of God, is to look at the moral laws in the Old Testament and still apply them for today. Morals do not change, but historical national laws for Israel do, since we are not Israelites living under the Theonomical rule of God. Of course this understanding only works if one believes in absolutes, which I am assuming those at this site do not believe in, as other post moderns are adopting.


It would be like saying that a tribe in Africa made two rules. You should never steal and women should not wear pants. In their culture, for their tribe, one is a moral absolute and one is a cultural absolute. Do not steal, transcends culture and time, where pants on their women is more of a cultural understanding of their tribe and time. If someone were to ask the chief why these two rules exist, he would be able to tell them the moral reasonings for one and the cultural reasons for the other. If their tribe then moves to the cities and decide that women can wear pants, that doesn't mean that stealing is now also okay. It is not a take all or leave all. But, this is exactly what this site and other emergent types are trying to envoke on the Bible and any that understand that God has moral laws and national laws.
So, God does not hate shrimp and and he still does not allow sex with animals, lying, murdering or homosexuality.

2 comments:

allen blake said...

Is this one of your easy steps to legalism? Next you'll be telling me that premarital sex is wrong too. Bloody legalists. :)

Joe Decker said...

Hi Seth,

Promise not to argue about the gay marriage, but I did want to answer your comments about GHS in particular. I'm the cocreator of the site.

First, thanks for getting it, the primary point of the site, and perhaps the only real point of the site, is parody of the lunatic fringe. While the original protesters I Photoshopped were KKK instead of WBC, the point holds to some extent for both.

The KKK protesters involved did cite Leviticus in particular, by the way, I simply replaced Sodomites with Shrimp, and changed the verse numbers.

Strictly speaking, you are absolutely correct that there is a legitimate argument to be made for upholding some and not all of the Laws in Leviticus based on Peter. I don't think the interpretation of Peter as definitely being about food but definitely not about other things is quite as obvious as is commonly believed, but I see the argument and strictly speaking I have no quarrel with it.

(And if it's not accurate, why did I pick it? Because shrimp is a funny word. GHS is an act of parody, and you nobody should be taking their theology from a comedian.)

That having been said, I think this point stands for a criticism I do have of "it's in Leviticus so it's bad." I do believe, and I think GHS alludes to, a sense that is not only mine that many folks "pick and choose" which parts of the Bible to go by. Non-dietary restrictions in Leviticus include not only sex with animals (and no, I'm not for that), sex during menses, and killing your children for backtalking. Taken as a whole, it's difficult for me to see that a compelling case has made for the particular set of which parts of Leviticus to obey.

I personally believe that other forces are at work in that "picking and choosing" besides a fair and honest reading of the Bible.

I have never said that "everything in Leviticus is okay", so your conclusion from my words that I believe animal sex thing is flawed, nothing I have said logically implies that. What I said was, short of a coherent explanation of all the parts of Leviticus and which ones really do still apply and which don't, it's hypocritical to assert something is evil *only* because it's prohibited in Leviticus. That's different.

Anyway, hope this helps, and I'm glad you got, and enjoyed, the main part of the site. My best wishes to you.

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