A Word From the Ref | Letters | Chicago Reader

A Word From the Ref 

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Here are a few points in response to the first part of Jay F. Shachter's October 13 letter ("Gay Marriage and the Law") challenging L. Olson's allegedly imaginative Bible paraphrasing.

(1) Score the first round for Shachter. The King James Bible sentences priests' daughters who become prostitutes to death by fire, not stoning. However, this frivolous nit-picking fails to undermine the main point in Olson's letter about the Christian right justifying its unfavorable moral views on homosexuality and most things sex (as well as the right to impose these views on people with different views) with an inconsistently literal interpretation of the Old Testament. To be consistent they'd have to favor the literal execution of gays, mediums, prostitutes, adulterers, etc--which might actually play well at a GOP convention, come to think of it.

(2) The second round goes to Olson, who is correct on mediums (sorry, Patricia), at least in the King James version (Leviticus 20:27), which sentences "a man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or a wizard" to be put to death (I guess this also explains why the fanatics want to burn Harry Potter at the stake). Although Shachter seems like the kind of guy who would consider it too enormous a leap to use "medium" in the paraphrase, so he might very well contest this round's decision.

(3) Both Olson and Shachter need to get a life.

Ben Linus

Rogers Park

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