Friday, October 16, 2009

Picking cherries

I've been talking a lot about cherrypicking on this blog lately; that is, picking the bits you like out of something (let's say, oh, the Bible) while disregarding the bits you don't. It's one of the biggest reasons why I think one's personal religious perspectives in many ways form to fit the way they already see the world, rather than than one's worldview being shaped by religion.

Anyway, here's a terrible story: a gay man was brutally attacked and beaten on the streets of Queens. All of this was caught on security video. Disgusting. The two attackers have been apprehended, which is a good thing.

The news report below (WARNING: it includes video of the vicious attack) features an interview with a friend of one of the assailants who claims that the atatck was not a hate crime, as the victim had it coming for propositioning one of the attackers. Ugh. So, if a woman he wasn't interested in had propositioned her, she would have deserved such an attack too, according to his logic...

So, now to the cherrypicking part (as picked up on by the Friendly Atheist):

The interviewed friend features a tattoo of Leviticus 18:22 on his arrm. You know, the "thou shalt not lie with a man as with a woman" passage. Yep, that's in the Bible all right. But you know what else is in the bible? In some Bibles, probably even on the same page as LEV 18:22? This:
"Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord."
A prohibition against tattoos. Yet, he does not not seem to live in fear of being beaten nearly to death as a result.

Of course, his friends (assuming they were religious. Who knows?) were cherrypicking too: they're ignoring the "love thy enemy as theyself" parts.


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