Reading and Reasoning about Atheists, Part I
People are upset. It’s difficult to remember a time when people haven’t been as upset and contentious as they seem to be now because there always seems to be some issue at which people are taking sides. Among the latest concerns same sex marriage and particularly the comments made by Chik-fil-a President Dan Cathy. Mr. Cathy began an unforeseen firestorm of controversy by saying:
Some have opposed the company’s support of the traditional family. “Well, guilty as charged,” said Cathy when asked about the company’s position. We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.We operate as a family business … our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that,” Cathy emphasized.
The man never addressed or disputed homosexuals or their ideas or definition of marriage, nevertheless he and Chik-fil-a face their invective wrath and the backlash of an LBGT boycott. On this website Facebook comments supporting the boycott are sometimes responded to by well meaning Christians in support of Chik-fil-a and Mr. Cathy’s position. And this is where I get to the point of this post as one such responder, Emily, found herself and her Christian beliefs confronted by one Kevin O’Connell as follows:
Well Emily…. the Bible also says…. Exodus 35:2: God demands that everyone should be killed that works on the sabbath day
Deuteronomy 21:18-21: God demands we kill disobedient teenagers
Deuteronomy 22:13-21: God demands that we kill women whom are not virgins when they marry
soooooo… do YOU work on the sabbath???? did YOU ever disobey your parents as a teenager??? and were YOU (or will you be) a virgin at the altar??? just wondering and as long as I’m asking questions can you help me with these????
a) 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. Should I smite them?
b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
c) 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.
d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?
e) 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?
f) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an Abomination (Lev 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?
g) 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?
h) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev 19:27. How should they die?
i) I know from Lev 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
j) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev 24:10-16) Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
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.
A lengthy inquiry, to be sure, and though Kevin never identified himself as such, I think there’s little doubt from this that Mr. O’Connell is an atheist. (Continued in Part II)