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Sunday, April 24, 2011

THE BIBLE & BUNNIES: Fun with Leviticus 11:6

This Bunny & Pig Interaction is Illegal in All States Below the Mason-Dixon Line
No need to bore you with rehashing the Christian hijacking of yet another pagan HolyDay.  I have to give a shout-out to Seventh-Day Adventists in that regard.  They don't celebrate ANYTHING, including birthdays, (at least the Adventists I knew) and are so fundamentalist that my conglomeration of evangelical, charismatic and fundamentalist church history nearly pales in comparison.  While my family tended to avoid secularization of religious holidays, we did so in part because the secularization exposed the HolyDays for what they really were: pagan, heathen and a slippery slope.

I'm surrounded by aging Mainline Protestant churches that turn my Sundays and HolyDays into Who's-Got-the-Bigger-Bell Competitions. They also make a Big Deal about Easter.  In contrast, for most of my church upbringing, the story of Jesus rising from the dead showed up in pretty much every sermon - so Easter was a bit Ho-Hummish for Born-Againers. Yep - Mainline Protestant churches are kind of desperate - but that's another story.

Time to get down to business... about The Bible and Bunnies. Time to get churched on Leviticus Chapter 11 and food. (Speaking of which - am I the only one who totally gets a kick out of how Christians LOVE to roll out the Ham for Holy Day dinners? It's so In-Your-Face to their Jewish roots. What a bunch of Rebels!)

Leviticus 11:6-7
"Nevertheless, you are not to eat of these, among those which chew cud, or among those which divide the hoof: .... the camel (4)... the rock badger (5)... (6)the rabbit also, for though it chews cud, it does not divide the hoof, it is unclean to you... (7)and the pig...." yadayadayada
You atheists who get so caught up on the OT - please put aside your need to get too hung up on the OT laws that Jesus eradicated with his Sacrifice and conquering of Death. But -all's fair in love and war with... The Bunny.

Behold the words of sassy-pants, femi-nazi Barbara G. Walker from "The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols & Sacred Objects":

"The hare was a subject of much controversy among fundamentalists and Bible critics of the nineteenth century, when it was noticed that among the Bible's numerous errors was the assertion that the hare is a cud-chewing animal (Leviticus 11:6). The ancients may have assumed this from the hare's habit of rapidly twitching its nose, which may have been mistake for chewing. At any rate, this and other false statements were cited to refute the doctrine of biblical inerrancy, which the more hidebound religious authorities still maintain. Pope Leo XIII's encyclical Providentissimus Deus forbade any admission of erroneous biblical statements. The church's Dogmatic Constitution of 1965 again proclaimed God the author of the Bible and all biblical statements "accurate, true, and without errors." In defiance of the church's ruling, however, hares persist in not chewing cuds." (377)

Now - any Christian worth their weight in gold has at least 2 or 3 apologetic responses to this dilemma... one of course being that the Bible is the Inspired word of God subject to the imperfection of human scribes... But I found a real deusy worth sharing regarding The Bible and The Bunny: Do rabbits chew their cud? The Bible beats the sceptics (again)...

"However, the Hebrew phrase for ‘chew the cud’ simply means ‘raising up what has been swallowed’. Coneys and rabbits go through such similar motions to ruminants that Linnaeus, the father of modern classification (and a creationist), at first classified them as ruminants. Also, rabbits and hares practise refection, which is essentially the same principle as rumination, and does indeed ‘raise up what has been swallowed’. The food goes right through the rabbit and is passed out as a special type of dropping. These are re-eaten, and can now nourish the rabbit as they have already been partly digested.

It is not an error of Scripture that ‘chewing the cud’ now has a more restrictive meaning than it did in Moses’ day. Indeed, rabbits and hares do ‘chew the cud’ in an even more specific sense. Once again, the Bible is right and the sceptics are wrong."

TAKE THAT HEATHENS!

I don't really have anything more to add -other than Jesus Is Winning!!! (because bunnies eat their #2s).
Put This Awesomeness on a Shirt and Wear it- Sold Here!

6 comments:

Infidel753 said...

No need to bore you with rehashing the Christian hijacking of yet another pagan HolyDay.

No indeed, since I've already undertaken the task of boring everyone with that.

am I the only one who totally gets a kick out of how Christians LOVE to roll out the Ham for Holy Day dinners?

Disgusting. Pigs are highly sentient, emotionally-sophisticated animals.

the OT laws that Jesus eradicated with his Sacrifice and conquering of Death.

Actually, he himself said that this is not the case -- Matthew 5:17-19.

The church's Dogmatic Constitution of 1965 again proclaimed God the author of the Bible and all biblical statements "accurate, true, and without errors."

Their assertions about what's "accurate, true, and without errors" kinda need to be assessed in the light of that whole "threaten Galileo with torture until he admits that the Sun revolves around the Earth" thing.

However, the Hebrew phrase for ‘chew the cud’ simply means ‘raising up what has been swallowed’.

It would be interesting to know if there's any truth to this. If the Hebrew phrase just meant "raising up what has been swallowed", one wonders why everyone translated it as something completely different. My guess is, creation.com is full of it. With a name like that, how could they not be?

Christine Vyrnon said...

Infidel - I discovered your "boring"(not) post about Easter mythology after I wrote this... so - thank you for your hard work!

Ooooo. You want to bring Matthew 5:17-19 into this?! Okay. Let's! He Fulfilled the law - which is different than destroying it - and by fulfilling he rendered it unnecessary for us to attempt to adhere all OT laws. He covered all the bases through his blood sacrifice. On the cross he could have skipped out on his job - and attempt to destroy the need for his blood sacrifice, but he chose to stay put and see it through. Basically, his sacrifice acknowledges that there was no way we could adhere to all the OT laws. The sucky thing is that if you don't take Jesus as your only savior - you're doomed to need to attempt to fulfill all those OT laws on your own...
:)
Thanks for playing! that was fun!!

Ultimately - the Bunny dilemma is more promising... and yes - the creation.com pretty much guarantees they are going to make it all make sense according to their "science."

Infidel753 said...

That's not what Jesus actually said, though. He said:

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do, and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

He's talking about the future -- until the end of the world, as the previous part makes clear. He's saying it still is, and always will be, wrong to break the commandments of the Old Testament law, or to teach others to do so; and it's righteous to keep them all. Nothing about his own sacrifice meaning that those laws no longer need to be obeyed. He's saying quite explicitly that they do need to be obeyed, and always will.

I understand why Christians like to claim this so they can escape having to defend all the morally-revolting stuff in Leviticus and Numbers, but it doesn't square with the plain meaning of the text.

Christine Vyrnon said...

True - and this is where fundamentalism comes in - in that it expects people to adhere to the law as best as possible - but fundagelicals like to mix it up in that they know people can't keep all commandments - which the pharisees liked to create tiers for - (James 2:10) but should try - and if they don't then they still believe they are saved as born-again believers. Much more "forgiving." Yes - some Christians like to write off the entire OT as moot points/literature and some like to have it both ways. Hence the inclusion of the OT in the canon. It is still necessary for more than just historical context - but as laws/commandments. As for what Jesus really meant here, if he was not referring to his own sacrifice in earlier scriptures but his philosophy on the matter - then his sacrifice/fulfillment is neither here nor there. Interestingly, there are so many ways to interpret which laws/commandments he was referring to... some say the beatitudes, some say just the Big 10, some say All of it - or any combination of the 3.

I personally like the Gospel of Thomas that suggests Jesus believed the kingdom of heaven to be right here, right now. Would have to revisit how that Gospel discusses following/fulfilling the law.

Seeing Eye Chick said...

It's funny but I learned about the rabbit ruminants, when caring for orphaned cotton tail babies. Apparently baby bunnies need that in order to establish healthy intestinal flora. To feed them in the absence of that often causes them to die of dehydration due to diarhea. :(

PureRiderz said...

Keep the Torah, "the law", forever. There is sin that leads death and Sin that does not lead to death. Its in john.

The OT, has laws, the laws are forever. no religions background can change that