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Letter to Dr. Laura

This is a letter to Dr. Laura Schlessinger, a conservative Jewish talk radio host who was apparently quite popular at one point. She's made comments regarding the "abomination" that is homosexuality, and this was written about it and has been floating around the net for years.

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination ... End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

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?

I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

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. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

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, or should I ask the police to do it?

A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

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 that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

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 know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

My uncle 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)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I'm confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan,

SSA Conference

This is incredibly awesome. Robbie, Jeff and I went to the annual Secular Student Alliance this year. I guess Brendan was there too, but he didn't ride with us and has a bitchin' beard. Despite that drawback, our experience was roughly as awesome as the picture on the left.

We left on Thursday, delayed an hour only because Jeff can't remember to not misplace his iPod.

Way to go, Jeff.

We stopped somewhere in Wisconsin to eat lunch, and after seeing that the Culver's we stopped at was packed with a busload of kids, we decided to go next door to the equally packed Taco Bell. I'm not sure if I can convey my distaste for Taco Bell, besides mentioning that I refer to it as "Taco Hell," so I'll just say the food isn't that good. I mention this stop because as we got up to the counter, we saw the person working there.

I have never seen a more dejected person in my life.

He was saying "Welcome to Taco Bell, what can I get you?" but his eyes were saying "DEAR GOD PLEASE KILL ME NOW."

The rest of the trip down there was uneventful (except for MBMBaM, which is digital awesome) but if you want a more complete picture, you can look at the twitter record of #CASHroadtrip. Also, goddamn it was long. Do you know how long 14 hours is? It's like, more than half a day. Also, Red Roof Inns aren't as shitty as I was expecting.

Friday was the Columbus Zoo and the realization that Ohio is a humid hellhole. I didn't actually look at the weather all weekend, but I'm pretty damn sure that it was like 90˚F and 90% humidity. The plan was to have our guide, an OSU anthropologist, talk about various exhibits as we got to them, but the heat and the constant drone of people bitching about the heat prevented that. When he finally gave his presentation, it was really interesting.

When we got back to the dorm after the awards presentations Friday night, I had a really good time hanging out with people down in the lobby, talking about different issues, Pokémon, and random bullshit.

Saturday started off disappointingly because of the conspicuous absence of promised donuts, but once we got into the swing of things, all was forgiven. There were several interesting talks, I'm not going to go into specifics here for sake of brevity, that made it well worth the trip. Ellery Schempp and Greta Christina were the keynotes, and they both rocked.

Robbie and I, however, were distracted by something Neil deGrasse Tyson said. Despite our best efforts, we couldn't get NDT out to Buffalo Wild Wings with us, unfortunately. I ended up turning in early, but I'm told there was an after-party, and it was crazy.

We were forced to leave just as the festivities were starting Sunday, and consequently missed friend of the blog Hemant Mehta's talk. The trip was uneventful (again, see #CASHroadtrip) but we did stop at a Steak n Shake at my insistance. ZOMG why don't we have those in Minnesota? It baffles me.

Anyway, that's the SSA conference 2010.

Hank is a part-time atheist and full-time burger enthusiast. You can follow his twitterfications here.