A new monk arrives at the old Italian monastery for his celibate life of shared poverty and prayer, and is assigned to help the other monks in copying the old texts by hand. He notices, however, that they are copying from copies, not the original manuscripts. So, the new monk goes to the head monk to ask him about this, pointing out that if there were an error in the first copy, that error would be continued in all of the subsequent copies. The head monk says, “We have been copying from the copies for centuries, but you make a good point, my son.” So, he goes down into the cellar with one of the copies to check it against the original. Hours go by and nobody sees him. So, one of the monks goes downstairs to look for him. Hearing sobbing coming from the back of the cellar, he finds the old monk leaning over one of the original books crying, and muttering between tears: “There’s an R! There’s an R!” He asks the old monk what’s wrong, and in a choked voice came the reply, “The original word isn’t “celibate” but “celebrate.”
[An old favorite, written by James Kauffman, Ed.D., Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education at the University of Virginia. This was originally addressed to conservative radio talk host Dr. Laura Schlesinger, who said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, she found that, according to Leviticus 18:22, homosexuality is an abomination and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. This piece more recently went around the Internet, re-addressed to President George W. Bush. We use this latter version, with one addition from myself (#10).]
Dear President Bush,
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from you and understand why you would propose and support a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage. As you said: “in the eyes of God marriage is based between a man and a woman.” 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 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 other elements of God’s Laws and how to follow them.
1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may 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?
2. 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?
3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanness–Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women for some reason take offense at this.
4. 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?
5. 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, or should I ask the police to do it?
6. 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? Are there “degrees” of abomination?
7. 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?
8. 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?
9. 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)
[And one more, newly submitted:] 10. Very shortly after my recent marriage, I learned from Deuteronomy 22:13-21 that “a marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed.” Now, as a recent widower, my question is… do I get to keep her dowry and the wedding presents?
I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help.Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.
A lady goes to see her priest one day and tells him, “Father, I have a problem. I have two female parrots, but they only know how to say one thing.” “What do they say?” the priest inquired. “They say, ‘Hi, we’re hookers! Do you want to have some fun?‘ Isn’t that awful?” the woman laments.
“That’s obscene!” the priest exclaimed. Then he thought for a moment. “You know,” he said, “I may have a solution to your problem. I have two male parrots who talk, and I have taught them to pray and read the Bible. Bring your two parrots over to my house, and we’ll put them in the cage with Francis and Job. My parrots can teach your parrots to praise and worship God, and your parrots are sure to stop saying… that… that indecent phrase…in no time.” “Thank you,” the woman responded, “this may very well be the solution!”
The next day, the woman brought her female parrots to the priest’s house. As he ushered the woman in, she saw that his two male parrots, Francis and Job, were inside their cage, holding rosary beads and actually praying, their pious little faces upturned toward heaven with beaks moving slightly as they prayed intently to the Lord.
Very impressed, the woman walked over and placed her parrots inside the cage with these very devout parrots. After a few minutes, sure enough, the female parrots cried out in unison: “Hi, we’re hookers! Do you want to have some fun?” A long moment of silence ensued. Shocked, one male parrot looked over at the other male parrot and exclaimed, “Put the beads away, Frank. Our prayers have been answered!”