By Randolf Hutchins
As our regular readers will know, we at The ‘Ull Daily Mail are lovers, not fighters; and are keen to address not only the most challenging questions of the present era, but also to resolve seemingly intractable disputes between warring parties.
These hallowed pages have previously seen Priests, Imams and Rabbis gather in unison to debate such problematic topics as ‘What needs to be done if England are to win the world cup?’, and ‘What does Richard Littlejohn’s existence indicate about life being ultimately meaningless?’.
Well, today we are very lucky to have God – The Divine Creator Of The Known Universe – address the conundrum to end all conundrums: is God’s law eternal and unchanging; or is it circumstantial and open to amendment?
We would like to thank God for fielding the following questions; and the Hulliday Inn Bed & Breakfast for their hospitality.
1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans but not to Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?
(God) It applies to Canadians and Mexicans equally: both may own Americans as slaves. It would make a very refreshing change.
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?
(God) Charge by the pound.
3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Leviticus 15:19-24).
(God) Well, that’s not my fault. I think most women need a bit of peace and space during their period. I’d feel exactly the same.
The problem is: how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence.
(God) Ah, I see. White linen is invaluable. Preparing a hot water bottle will stand you in good stead, too.
4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odour to the Lord (Leviticus 1:9). The problem is my neighbours. They claim the odour is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
(God) Spite, not smite. If they complain, simply give them the cold shoulder for a while. That is the usual method in England – I’m sure it applies in America. Failing to hand over misdirected mail is another tactic in the same vein. Especially in light of neighbours who are inconsiderate with their barbecues. Possibly also consider not trimming their side of a dividing hedge.
5. I have a neighbour 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?
(God) If he’s an African American, the police will probably resolve the matter out of hand. If your neighbour is female, however, you will need to stop referring to them as ‘he’. It is ungentlemanly.
6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Leviticus 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there degrees of abomination?
(God) No. There are no degrees in abomination. There is no difference between eating shellfish and, well, “eating shellfish”, so to speak. And your choice in friends is growing increasingly questionable.
7. Leviticus 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?
(God) Typing error. It was intended to read ‘should not’ approach, rather than ‘may not’. The same is applicable to those who are preternaturally clumsy.
8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Leviticus 19:27. How should they die?
(God) Overabundant liposuction should do the job nicely. Very nicely indeed. Failing that, heart disease will suffice. Burgeoning alcoholism will resolve any remaining fellows.
9. I know from Leviticus 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
(God) You may play football without gloves. The material is synthetic; and very often a small percentage of the proceeds from sales is donated to charity.
10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Leviticus 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 (Leviticus 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 (Leviticus 20:14)?
(God) A tricky one that. I’ll refrain. Your choice. We are talking about America, after all – all forms of violence are traditional means of solving disputes there, I believe. Electricity is perhaps more contemporary. And it is a consumer society as well. I would charge admission, personally. Why not make a tidy profit in the process?