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Chapter 1 of the book is called "Being Pro-Gay an Hanging in There with Leviticus." 

As a Reconstructionist rabbi, I understand the Hebrew Bible (and all sacred texts of all religions) to be human creations -- imperfect, human attempts to describe and reflect aspects of the Divine and of Truth. So for me, there is no need to do interpretive somersaults to try to make the two anti-gay verses in Leviticus mean something that they don't. Just as I think we are right to disagree with verses in the Torah that instruct parents to have a stubborn and rebellious son stoned to death, and to disagree with verses that state that a man who rapes a woman who is a virgin is obligated to marry her (pending her father's approval), I believe that we are right to reject the teaching that male-to-male intercourse is evil. 

What I try to do with this chapter is explain openly how I stay in relationship with Leviticus despite my deep dismay over its anti-gay verses. I also describe  what I find that's valuable in Leviticus, including in the realm of human sexuality. There's a lot of baby in that bathwater. 

My philosophy is that we do best in our religions when we open ourselves to the insights and truths found in our sacred texts, while also having the conscience and independence of mind to dissent from them when needed.

 


08/29/2013 11:04am

I like the way you are grappling with Leviticus from a progressive viewpoint instead of simply avoiding it as many liberals do. It’s refreshing to hear that it’s OK to disagree with scripture and at the same time still value it as a person of faith. Sort of like staying in a relationship even though you experience the imperfections of your partner.

The focus of my blog is LGBT spirituality, but it looks like your book explains other parts of Leviticus that trouble me, such as animal sacrifice. I also salute you for your contemporary metaphors, such as “impurity as Kryptonite.” If you let me know when your book is available at Amazon.com, I can put an ad with a photo link to the end of my blog post on Leviticus.

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