First off, my money is on Gary Coleman for governor of California. My real hope is that someone with the last name of Willis emerges as a major opposing candidate, so that every time they debate and the opponent asks Coleman a question he can say, Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis? Now. Lest I be accused of plagiarism, let me say right off the bat that what follows is not original. It's too hot outside to be original this week. This is something that made the e-mail rounds a couple of years ago, but in light of Pat Robertson's new Operation Supreme Court Freedom -- why does everything in the country have to be an operation ? and if Robertson is going to have an operation, why can't it be a lobotomy or, better yet, a sex change, which he probably secretly wants? -- and George W. Bush's immediate We are all sinners response in regard to the threat of same-sex marriages and for those of you who are not on the e-mail chain, I thought it might be worth bringing this one up again. It was an open letter to radio haint Dr. Laura Schlessinger, in response to her remark that, according to Leviticus 18:22, homosexuality is an abomination and cannot be condoned under any circumstances. Here's a letter to her written by someone who felt the need to point out a few other sins. The writer thanks Dr. Laura for making it clear that being gay is an abomination but has a few other questions, and here's a version of them with some side notes by yours truly. 1) 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 constantly complain that it is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them or try to find other ways to please Him so they'll stop calling the police on me? 2) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as is sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. What would you guess the going rate for her is in this bad economy? 3) Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves as long as I purchase them from neighboring countries. I'm at my wit's end trying to decide between Canadians and Mexicans. Does this also include Puerto Ricans? Can I have slaves from all three? 4) 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, and, if so, can I just burn him with the next bull I set on fire? 5) A friend of mine says that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser one than homosexuality. I don't see the difference. Did Leviticus leave any detailed notes about this? I really hate to give up
the oysters at Anderton's. 6) Leviticus 21:20 states that I cannot approach the altar of
God if I have a defect in my vision. I have to admit that I wear glasses. Is that going to
make me go to hell or can I sneak through with contact lenses? 7) I know from Leviticus 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean. Does that mean no more Memphis in May Barbecue Fest and can I still play football if I wear gloves? And last but not least, 8) My uncle has a farm. He violates Leviticus 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does my aunt by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (she loves a cotton/polyester blend that doesn't wrinkle too badly). Do we really have to get the whole town to stone them (Lev. 24:10-16) or couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family party like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws (Lev. 20:14)? And there you have it. Just some food for thought. In the meantime, here's a brief -- and very brief, because I have a plane to catch in a minute (next week's column will be from an Internet cafe in Ireland and probably will be written in Guinness-speak) -- look at some of what's going on around town this week. Tonight's Live at the Garden Summer Series concert at Memphis Botanic Garden is Mardi Grass in the Garden, featuring Marcia Ball and The Wild Magnolias. TheMemphis Redbirds play Las Vegas at AutoZone Park. There's live jazz at Le Petit Bistro (sitting outside on the balcony there with a bottle of wine is quite heavenly). And Dan Montgomery and Holly Cole are at Otherlands Coffee Bar.