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Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Can a bishop eat bacon?

Slyblog (a nearby Somervillean) reads the Wall Street Journal editorial page so you and I don't have to — and he passes along this bit of exegesis by Harvey Cox of Harvard Divinity School:

The opponents of Bishop Robinson's confirmation who quoted Bible verses during the discussion in Minneapolis must have known they had a weak case. The same word, usually translated as "abomination," which in the Hebrew Scriptures is frequently applied to certain homosexual acts, is also used to condemn eating any pork product or even touching the skin of a pig. Those who enjoy crisp bacon with their fried eggs or a game of touch football on the beach should take notice.

The trouble with flinging out texts is that everyone is selective about what to quote and what not to. Not only did St. Paul tell women to be silent in the churches, he also told slaves to obey their masters. Opponents of emancipation and of women's ordination often cited these verses, but this only illustrates clearly that we need to rely not just on the biblical text itself but also, as we do in constitutional law, on the history of its interpretation. ("A Schism Averted," 8.12.03, A12)

Amen to that.

Update 8.17.03. The full text of Cox's op-ed is on the Harvard Divinity School Web site.

Copyright © 2003 by Philocrites | Posted 13 August 2003 at 5:17 PM

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Next: Can a fundamentalist be a unitarian?

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