The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

November 27, 2004

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 27 Nov 2004 00:19:36 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Dear Biblical Scholar Bush,

Dear President Bush,

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding
God's Law. I have learned a great deal from you and
understand why you would propose and support a
constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage. As
you said "in the eyes of God marriage is based between a
man and a woman." I try to share that knowledge with as
many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the
homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them
that Leviticus 18: 22 clearly states it to be an
abomination... End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some
other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25: 44 states that I may 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?

2. 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?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman
while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanness -
Lev. 15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have
tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. 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?

5. 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, or
should I ask the police to do it?

6. 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? Are there degrees of abomination?

7. 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?

8. 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?

9. 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?

10. 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:

I know you have studied these things extensively and
thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, as
well, you have a direct line to God so I am confident
you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is
eternal and unchanging.


[A bibliographical note by the moderator: This epistle
apparently originated as a set of seven questions penned
by Kent Ashcroft in response to a Biblically rooted
condemnation of homosexuality by Dr. Laura. Later,
through the collective genius of anonymous netizens, it
gained three questions and morphed into an appeal to the
Biblical scholarship of President George W. Bush. Below
are two versions of the Bible verses referred to and the
iniquiries establishing original authorship.

These are the Biblical verses refered to above, in two
different translations: the King James Version [KJV],
and New International Version [NIV]

    Lev 18:22 [KJV] Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as
    with womankind: it is abomination. [NIV] Do not lie
    with a man as one lies with a woman; that is

    Lev 1:9 [KJV] But his inwards and his legs shall he
    wash in water: and the priest shall burn all on the
    altar, to be a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by
    fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD. [NIV] He is
    to wash the inner parts and the legs with water, and
    the priest is to burn all of it on the altar. It is
    a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, an aroma
    pleasing to the LORD.

    Exodus 21:7 [KJV] And if a man sell his daughter to
    be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the
    menservants do. [NIV] If a man sells his daughter as
    a servant, she is not to go free as menservants do.

    Lev 15:19-24 [KJV] And if a woman have an issue, and
    her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be put
    apart seven days: and whosoever toucheth her shall
    be unclean until the even. 20 And every thing that
    she lieth upon in her separation shall be unclean:
    every thing also that she sitteth upon shall be
    unclean. 21 And whosoever toucheth her bed shall
    wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be
    unclean until the even. 22 And whosoever toucheth
    any thing that she sat upon shall wash his clothes,
    and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the
    even. 23 And if it be on her bed, or on any thing
    whereon she sitteth, when he toucheth it, he shall
    be unclean until the even. 24 And if any man lie
    with her at all, and her flowers be upon him, he
    shall be unclean seven days; and all the bed whereon
    he lieth shall be unclean.
    [NIV] When a woman has her regular flow of blood,
    the impurity of her monthly period will last seven
    days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean
    till evening. 20 Anything she lies on during her
    period will be unclean, and anything she sits on
    will be unclean. 21 Whoever touches her bed must
    wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will
    be unclean till evening. 22 Whoever touches anything
    she sits on must wash his clothes and bathe with
    water, and he will be unclean till evening. 23
    Whether it is the bed or anything she was sitting
    on, when anyone touches it, he will be unclean till
    evening. 24 If a man lies with her and her monthly
    flow touches him, he will be unclean for seven days;
    any bed he lies on will be unclean.

    Lev 25:44 [KJV] Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids,
    which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that
    are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen
    and bondmaids. [NIV] Your male and female slaves are
    to come from the nations around you; from them you
    may buy slaves.

    Exodus 35:2 [KJV] Six days shall work be done, but
    on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy
    day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth
    work therein shall be put to death. [NIV] For six
    days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall
    be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD.
    Whoever does any work on it must be put to death.

    Lev 11:10 [KJV] And all that have not fins and
    scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that
    move in the waters, and of any living thing which is
    in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you
    [NIV] But all creatures in the seas or streams that
    do not have fins and scales --- whether among all
    the swarming things or among all the other living
    creatures in the water --- you are to detest.

    Lev 21:20 [KJV] Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that
    hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed,
    or hath his stones broken [NIV] or who is
    hunchbacked or dwarfed, or who has any eye defect,
    or who has festering or running sores or damaged

    Lev 19:27 [KJV] Ye shall not round the corners of
    your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of
    thy beard. [NIV] Do not cut the hair at the sides of
    your head or clip off the edges of your beard.

    Lev 11:6-8 [KJV] And the hare, because he cheweth
    the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean
    unto you. 7 And the swine, though he divide the
    hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the
    cud; he is unclean to you. 8 Of their flesh shall ye
    not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they
    are unclean to you.
    [NIV] The rabbit, though it chews the cud, does not
    have a split hoof; it is unclean for you. 7 And the
    pig, though it has a split hoof completely divied,
    does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. 8 You
    must not eat their meat or touch their carcases;
    they are unclean for you.

    Lev 19:19 [KJV] Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou
    shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind:
    thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed:
    neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen
    come upon thee. [NIV] Keep my decrees. Do not mate
    different kinds of animals. Do not plant your field
    with two kinds of seed. Do not wear clothing woven
    of two kinds of material.

    Lev 24:10-16 [KJV] And the son of an Israelitish
    woman, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among
    the children of Israel: and this son of the
    Israelitish woman and a man of Israel strove
    together in the camp; 11 And the Israelitish woman's
    son blasphemed the name of the Lord, and cursed. And
    they brought him unto Moses: (and his mother's name
    was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe
    of Dan:) 12 And they put him in ward, that the mind
    of the LORD might be shewed them. 13 And the LORD
    spake unto Moses, saying, 14 Bring forth him that
    hath cursed without the camp; and let all that heard
    him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the
    congregation stone him. 15 And thou shalt speak unto
    the children of Israel, saying, Whosoever curseth
    his God shall bear his sin. 16 And he that
    blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be
    put to death, and all the congregation shall
    certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he
    that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the
    name of the Lord, shall be put to death.
    [NIV] Now the son of an Israelite mother and an
    Egyptian father went out among the Israelites, and a
    fight broke out in the camp between him and an
    Israelite. 11 The son of the Israelite woman
    blasphemed the name of the LORD with a curse; so
    they brough him to Moses. (His mother's name was
    Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri the Danite.) 12
    They put him in custody until the will of the LORD
    should be made clear to them. 13 Then the LORD said
    to Moses: 14 Take the blasphemer outside the camp.
    All those who heard him are to lay their hands on
    his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him.
    15 Say to the Israelites: If anyone curses his God,
    he will be held responsible; 16 anyone who
    blasphemes the name of the LORD must be put to
    death. The entire assembly must stone him. Whether
    an alien or native-born, when he blasphemes the
    Name, he must be put to death.

    Lev 20:14 [KJV] And if a man take a wife and her
    mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with
    fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness
    among you. [NIV] If a man marries both a woman and
    her mother, it is wicked. Both he and they must be
    burned in the fire, so that no wickedness will be
    among you.

Establishing the author

    I got the letter off the Net, but without an
    attribution. Some Web versions have the sig "Carole
    M. Cusack, Lecturer, School of Studies in Religion,
    University of Sydney" attached, but do not make it
    clear if this refers to the original author, or to
    the poster. So I requested clarification in an
    earlier version of this page.

    Someone emailed me in September 2000, saying that
    the UK Guardian newspaper of 16 Sept 2000 had an
    article claiming the author was Steve Turner.

    Someone else emailed me on 1 April 2001 [really!]
    saying "In the May 2001 edition of Playboy, they
    have a letter from a reader on page 62 in which a
    'Kent Ashcraft' states that he originally wrote the

    Then in July 2001 Kent Ashcraft emailed me, saying
    he is indeed the author (except of the last three
    questions, which are additions to his original).

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while i attempt to convert
and re\present
to anyone who will listen
will you listen to anyone
all the media there
my name is destiny

i am legion


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