Friday, January 20, 2006

Leviticus-Based Constitutional Amendments I Would Consider

The whole gay marriage brouhaha has gotten me to thinking, "if we're going to use the Bible to start writing Maryland's laws, how can we best put it to use?" Consider for example:

Leviticus 11:9-12:

9 These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat. 10 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: 11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination. 12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.

A constitutional amendment banning the eating of shellfish? Hardly a step could be taken that would do more to preserve our ailing oyster, crab, and clam populations. So the watermen don't like it. I guess the wages of sin aren't that lucrative.

Leviticus 11:13-19:

13 These are the birds you are to detest and not eat because they are detestable: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture, 14 the red kite, any kind of black kite, 15 any kind of raven, 16 the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk, 17 the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, 18 the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey, 19 the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat.

I'm not aware that eating herons or ospreys is a particular problem, but let's go ahead and codify it anyway.

Leviticus 19: 9 When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.

Sounds like precisely what the Chesapeake Bay Foundation is working on right now. Farmers, leave that land around the edges undeveloped, particularly land that borders waterways. As for offering excess harvest to the poor. Who could disagree with that?

Leviticus 19: 13 Do not hold back the wages of a hired man overnight.

Astonishingly, most people have to wait two weeks for a paycheck. Good luck getting the Maryland Chamber of Commerce on board with this one. Can you imagine the shrill bellyaching about "higher administrative costs" we'd hear if this got before the Gov?

Leviticus 19: 18 Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.

My guess is this one is really going to cheese off those death penalty junkies.

Other suggestions are welcome.

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