Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ian McKellen is not a theologian

This is what irks me about stupid celebrities bad-mouthing religion and venting their ignorance:
Sir Ian McKellen is so offended by the Bible’s anti-gay stance he makes a point of ripping out the relevant page every time he stays in a hotel room. The openly homosexual actor, a longtime campaigner for gay rights, accepts he shouldn’t vandalise the Bible, but finds it difficult to contain his outrage at the contents of Leviticus 20:13 when he spots the holy book in hotels. McKellen says, “It’s the one thing I find difficult to defend but do go on doing.” The Leviticus 20:13 passage reads: “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.”

Technically, he should go vandalize a Torah, the Jews' holy book, since Leviticus is a core scripture for them. In the Bible, being a Christian holy book, the core scriptures are found in Chapter 2, the new testament (or sometimes Chapter 3 if you're reading a version with the Apocryphal texts included).

Now, I know that people use the passage from Leviticus 20:13 as justification to be anti-homosexual. But it seems to me that if you really wanted to push back, either use Matthew 22:37-40 (love your neighbor) and, if you want to hit a modern Christian with his theological pants down, slap them with Mark 10:1-10 (Jesus' quite clear prohibition against divorce).

Or, if McKellen wanted to be even more in-your-face, he could study one of those pages he defaced: Leviticus 19:27 prohibits cutting the hair at the sides of your face or trimming your beard; Leviticus 20:10 proscribes death for adultery. You could ask Christians how seriously they take those texts, if they insist on pushing Leviticus 20:13 in your face.

But for heaven's sake, don't tear up the bible. That's just immature.

(H/T The incomparable Ed Driscoll)