Dear Dr. Laura:
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s law. I have learned a great deal from you, 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 other specific laws and how to best follow them.
- 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. How should I deal with this?
- 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?
- 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.
- Lev. 25:44 states that I may buy slaves from the nations that are around us. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans but not Canadians. Can you clarify?
- 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?
- A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 10:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?
- 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?
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.
Another Open Letter To Dr. Laura
Dear Dr. Laura (An Open Letter),
Inasmuch as countless others are contacting you daily regarding God’s law and family matters, I felt that I should do so as well.
My teenage son became rebellious, disobedient, and drank and ate too much. I knew that the Old Testament (OT) required me to gather my neighbors together and take my unruly son to the edge of the city and stone him to death (Deut. 21:21). Should I have obeyed the OT?
My neighbor suspects his young vivacious wife with infidelity. He is consumed with jealously just thinking about this. His wife denies his accusations. The OT (Numbers 5:11-31) provides a way to reconcile this dilemma for the couple. What it allows, is, for the husband to take his wife to the priests, or rabbis, and have her fed poison. If she is innocent she will not be harmed. If she is guilty she will get what she deserves; her insides will bloat and her thighs will rot away and she won’t be able to have any more children (they already have five). My question to you is: “Do you believe this a failsafe way for my neighbor to handle this problem?”
I recently heard of someone who has come down with leprosy, of all things. According to the OT (Leviticus 14:1-8), the first step in cleansing leprosy is to have the priests or rabbis to kill a dove and spill its blood into an earthen bowl. Then the priest or rabbi is to take a live dove and, dip it in the bowl of the blood of the first dove. Then the live bird is to be loosed in the fields. If this doesn’t work one can take a larger more expensive animal, such as sheep, and do a similar exercise (the priest gets to eat the meat). Would you advise that this person, diagnosed with leprosy, seek this kind of help from one of your Rabbi friends — perhaps the one with whom you co-authored your book?
My spouse, — “the wife of my bosom” — for some 57 years, has, in recent years, sought comfort and solace in some aspects of the “New Age” religions. She has talked repeatedly and glowingly, to me, other members of our family, and people generally, about the joy and contentment she finds in some aspects of this. Sometimes I fear she may be becoming a later-day pagan. She has definitely turned away after other gods. I am told (Deut.13:6-11), in no uncertain terms, that I must personally kill her, lest she contaminates me and others with these gentler, un-God like, non-biblical beliefs. I really don’t want to stone her to death. Our children and our grandchildren love their mother and grandmother very much, and are opposed to my killing her, refuseing to help me as they are required to do. After all she is her children’s mom. Is there any way out of this for me?
I have two brothers who pre-deceased their wives. One of these women was childless. I understand that it was my duty as the husband’s brother (Deut. 25:5-10), to go in unto this childless sister-in-law, and bed her, and take her as my wife and bring up an heir for my poor dead brother. Dr. Laura, did it matter that I was already married? Did it matter that my wife took a dim view of my actually doing this? Was letting my sister-in-law publicly spit in my face the only alternative I had to doing this? That was pretty damn humiliating, I can tell you! Even so, that is much better than what happened to poor pitiful Onan (Gen. 38:9-10)! Now that was a sad business. Not only God killing Onan was sad, but also extrapolating from this that male masturbation is a capital offense, is a real downer for a lot of men and boys — this includes a good many deeply religious folks.
Dr. Laura, I know that you have not long been a convert to the God of the OT. But you do speak as one of the anointed ones, with the most certainty I have ever heard. Certainty is not uncommon in new converts but yours is exceptional. You say that you are knowledgeable in all the world religions. You can see why I have turned to you. My personal problems are rather pressing. Even though I have several biblical reasons for stoning my wife to death (she may have also been guilty of using perfume and body oil intended for priests and rabbis, Exodus 30:22-38) — I wouldn’t put it past her — I just can’t bring myself to throw the first stone. Like me, my wife is 75 years old, and if I put off killing her indefinitely she may die of old age, or I may die, and then I would not be able to kill her. What am I to do?
Oh by the way, do these commands of God apply only to Orthodox Jews? Are Reformed Jews, Christians, Muslims, Mormons, or others, who worship the OT God, bound by these laws as well? If you are an Orthodox Jew and your wife becomes a Christian, are you required to kill her, or is that okay? Is it all right for wives who believe in the OT God to kill their husbands if they turn to other gods, like football, say? These are just a few of the questions I have when I hear you singing the praise of your newfound fundamentalist faith.
Blessings and Shalom!
The above (satirical) “letters” have been floating around for some while now. Interestingly, most Christian apologists haven’t even bothered to touch them, for various reasons.
The two typical cop-outs appear to be:
- The claim that the 613 mitzvot are “no longer binding” on Christians.
(Odd, that, given the whole “not one jot and tittle”, thing).
2. Mere dismissal of the above as “satire”.
Both reactions illustrate a simple, irrefutable fact: ALL CHRISTIANITY IS “CAFETERIA” CHRISTIANITY.
It HAS TO BE. The closest you can get to a “non-cafeteria” version of Christianity is so-called “Messianic Judaism”.
There are sound historical reasons for this fact:
- The precursor to what we now know as “Christianity” never really caught on among Jews.
- Christianity has spent the past 1500 years coopting Non-Christian (“Pagan”) influences — particularly during the “Christianization” of Europe.
Whichever festivals etc. could be reporpused and force-fit into Christianity were coopted. (“Yule” became “Christmas”, for example). The ones that couldn’t be hijacked in this manner were relegated to the status of mere “superstitions”.
The beautiful part of the above (from a theological point of view) is: it becomes trivial to the point of absurdity, for any specific gaggle of “Christians” to accuse other self-proclaimed Christians of being “Lukewarm”, or involved in a “Satanic Counterfeit”, etc.
I honestly can’t figure this out: even assuming that Jesus DID, in fact, “die for my sins” — what were those “sins”, exactly?
That breakfast where I ate bacon and drank a glass of milk at the same meal?