Home Roland Rocchiccioli It is hard to understand why some sections of our community are...

It is hard to understand why some sections of our community are opposed to same-sex marriage.

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For my part, I am not bothered, one way or the other. It is a personal choice, and should be available to those who feel the need, and want, to legalise their commitment. I certainly do not share the opinion of the dinosauric bunch, headed by Corey Bernardi and Concetta FierravantiWells, who argue, erroneously, that such legalisation of relationships will result in an increase in bestiality, or, heaven forfend, the end of civilisation as we know it. Try as I may, I am at a loss to fathom how the legalisation of a relationship between two people, whom I do not know, and will never meet, could possibly have any miniscule impact on my little life. I did laugh when I heard a comedian say: ‘Couples in same-sex relationships should be forced to get married. They should be unhappy like the rest of us!’

As for Margaret Court, I think her opinions are odious. She does not deserve to have a sporting arena which bears her name. With talent comes responsibility, and an obligation to help unite the community. Always, it troubles me when someone is so implacably opposed to anything. The prosecution of an argument should be measured, always, and couched in terms which help persuade those who hold more radical, or dangerous points of view. In short – you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

Also, when your pontifications are on the public record, and become part of the national dialogue, they need to be accurate and informed. Ms. Court’s interpretation of the bible runs contrary to those of the scholars, whose life’s work is devoted to attempting to understand and translate the scriptures. Translations, by their very nature, are reliably inaccurate. It is why, if you are going to read Proust, you should read it in the French, or Goethe in the German. The nuance of language is complex. We do not have English words for the German sitzprobe, schadenfreude, or zeitgeist; there is no definitive translation for the French, laisser-faire, frisson, or joie de vivre – even though we know what they mean, and use them as part of everyday conversation. For the record, nowhere in the bible is there a mention of homosexuality or marriage. The wedding at Cannae, in Galilee, is recorded not for the nuptials, but as a record of the first miracle wrought by Jesus. To put it into modern parlance, and with a touch of humour: they ran out of grog, the party was headed for a disaster, so he turned the water into wine!

However, Jesus does mention divorce. In those times, women were chattels, the property of men. They could not own land and had few, if any, rights. A woman, divorced by a man, and turned out of her home, was destitute. Jesus recognised the injustice and preached against it.

Often Leviticus is quoted as being the source for condemnation. The original, as translated by classical scholars, word for word Leviticus 18:22 is roughly: You shall not lie with (adult) man beds (plural noun) a woman/wife (singular noun).

These are the various liberal interpretations which we have come to accept, as the word of God: KJV: (King James Version, 1611): Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination. LB: (Living Bible, 1971): Homosexuality is absolutely forbidden, for it is an enormous sin. (Notice the clear, unjustified extension of the verse to include lesbians; lesbian behaviour is entirely absent from the whole of Hebrew Scriptures.)

NIV: (New International Version, 1973): Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. MSG (The Message, 1993): Don’t have sex with a man as one does with a woman. That is abhorrent. NLT: (New Living Translation, 1996): Do not practice homosexuality; it is a detestable sin. (Again, a clear, unjustified extension of the verse to include lesbians.) NET (New English Translation, 2005): You must not have sexual intercourse with a male as one has sexual intercourse with a woman; it is a detestable act.

You would have to agree – a quantum leap in translation. I would refer you to the website: stopbibleabuse. org Leviticus. It is most interesting.

These are real quotes from various books of the bible. I need some advice from you regarding some of the specific laws, and how to best follow them. a) When I burn a bull on the backyard altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odour for the Lord (Lev 1:9), but the neighbours complain of the stink.They even called the police. Should I smite them? b) A friend is considering selling his daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. He wants know, in this day and age, what would be a fair price for her? c) Men are allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev 15:1924). The problem is, how do you tell? If you ask, they take offence.

d) Lev. 25:44 states that I am allowed to possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to New Zealanders, but not Tasmanians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Tasmanians? e) I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath (Saturday). Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I call in friends to help? f ) A friend of mine reckons, that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. What say you?

g) 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, I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some room for negotiations?

h) 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?

i) I know from Lev 11:6-8, touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves? I wonder what the AFL thinks? j) A friend 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. 20:14). All that is for real!. I wonder what Margaret Court would make of it?

Roland can be heard each MONDAY morning on 3BA at 10.30.Contact: rolandroc@bigpond.com