Jon Stewart also put his foot in his mouth when he stated, “If you read Leviticus, eating shellfish is an abomination,” which led him to wonder out loud why religious conservatives weren’t trying to shut down Red Lobster.
His argument, of course, was that since Leviticus 18:22 says that male-male intercourse is an abomination and it also says that eating shellfish is an abomination, then those who claim to follow the Bible should campaign against restaurants like Red Lobster.
The problem for Stewart is that the only sin singled out as an abomination in Leviticus (in Hebrew, to’evah) is homosexual intercourse. A different word is used with reference to the dietary laws in Leviticus 11, a fact that is obscured in some English translations. More importantly, the dietary laws were given to keep the people of Israel separated from the nations; the laws concerning forbidden sexual relationships applied in God’s sight to Israel and the nations (see Leviticus 18:24-30; for a one-minute primer on this, see here.)
But the most absurd part of the dialog between Stewart and Robinson occurred when they presented same-sex marriage as something conservatives should embrace.
According to Robinson, when Americans look at gay couples and the kids they are raising, “What they’re seeing is all American family values.”
To be sure, a large majority of gays and lesbians are not seeking to be married and are not raising kids, and so those who are already represent a more conservative part of the LGBT community. And it is certainly positive to see gays and lesbians recognize that marriage is not something to be despised, in contrast with the extreme attacks on marriage in earlier gay activist literature.
But how can Bishop Robinson possibly think that having two daddies or two mommies equates to “all American family values”?
Stewart is equally in the dark, saying that, “It’s so surprising to me that this is not a conservative issue, to try to bring more people into the fundamental unit that they believe to be the foundation of any rational structured society. More people getting married seems better than less.”
Mr. Stewart, may I point out to you that the “fundamental unit” we believe in is not two people joining together in holy matrimony but rather a man and woman joining together? It is the lifelong union of a man and woman, producing children who are joined to them, that is “the foundation of any rational structured society.” Put another way, human society was not built on “Heather Has Two Mommies.”
But what else should we expect? Despite Robinson’s irenic tone and Stewart’s serious intent, we are, after all, talking about Comedy Central.
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.
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