Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Sumerians Look On In Confusion As Christian God Creates World

In advance of next year's resumption of this very worthwhile project, we will be posting the odd little thing.

This is from the woundrous Onion...

Members of the earth's earliest known civilization, the Sumerians, looked on in shock and confusion some 6,000 years ago as God, the Lord Almighty, created Heaven and Earth.

YIR numbers web 5

According to recently excavated clay tablets inscribed with cuneiform script, thousands of Sumerians—the first humans to establish systems of writing, agriculture, and government—were working on their sophisticated irrigation systems when the Father of All Creation reached down from the ether and blew the divine spirit of life into their thriving civilization.

"I do not understand," reads an ancient line of pictographs depicting the sun, the moon, water, and a Sumerian who appears to be scratching his head. "A booming voice is saying, 'Let there be light,' but there is already light. It is saying, 'Let the earth bring forth grass,' but I am already standing on grass."

"Everything is here already," the pictograph continues. "We do not need more stars."

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Religion and the environment/back to the KJV

It's been a while, I know. A very long while. It's been a busy year - heading back to Palestine, completing not one but two books - the Leila Khaled biography I've had in the pipeline for ages, and an unplanned edited volume of the writings from Gaza of my amazing friend Sharyn. So dealing with the beautiful but sometimes slightly impenetrable language of the King James Version, and hefting the bloomin' great thing around as well, kind of slipped onto a very back burner...
But post-books and with a little time to think, I'm certainly planning to resurrect this project, although I can't speak for Husband. But he did just post the following on the Manchester Climate Fortnightly blog, and a thought it made a good start to some of the issues I'll be thinking about:

Monday, 16 November 2009
And ye shall know the truth, and it shall set you free...

MCFly attended the Faith Network of Manchester conference about Faith and the Environment, at the wonderful MERCi building in Ancoats. It was one of those evenings where everyone (between 35 and 45 people, slightly older than average 'climate' meetings tend to be) had a good time, but that you leave with nagging doubts about its effectiveness. Good grub, good chat, but not as incisive or interactive as it might have been...

After housekeeping and a brief intro to the history of MERCi (sustainable in many ways) we had four speakers.
On Buddhism, Clive Pyot spoke about his own community and the precepts he tries to follow. For more on Buddhism and the environment, see here. If it was true back in ol' Gautama's day that all existence is suffering, what's it gonna be like when the Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet">positive feedback loops kick in, eh?

On Christianity Rev John Hughes spoke about people's definitions of Christianity (he favours “God is, as Jesus is, therefore there is hope”) and Operation Noah and ecofeminism

The representative of Islam, Zahid Hussein, spoke of the Ecomosque project, and Rabbi Warren Elf finished off the session with a brief take on Judaism and the guidance to be found in the Torah.

Because of significant time over-runs, there was no time for questions and discussion in the big group- everyone legged it for the food, which was vegetarian and delicious (huzzah to the cook!)

There was an invitation and expectation that we should all “schmooze”, but this was not done coercively (name badges, enforced mingling etc) so people seemed to largely stick with those they already knew.) After a nice long break, we climbed back to the top of the building. Initially we were told that, as per the plan, we were going to get into groups to tackle very specific questions and come up with one-sentence pledges that would be stitched into a big pledge. Then followed some extended introductions, and since time was then very short, the initial plan was curtailed, and we were invited to be in big groups (of about 10 people) to discuss things generally and fill in a pledge leaf for a pledge tree. In MCFly's experience these groups tend to be dominated by one or three people, with the others drifting off mentally if not physically, so we cast ourselves out of the land of Nod.

MCFly's unsolicited advice- The evening might have been more intriguing and thought-provoking if the speakers had been invited to wrestle with one or more of the following-

* 1) My faith's doctrine and how it does or doesn't equate with “sustainability.” What are the tensions, what have the tensions been historically?
* 2) The existing PRACTICE of my faith and how it does/doesn't equate with sustainability (i.e. is there a gap between my doctrine and my faith's practice around environment, and if so why.)
* 3) What are the OBSTACLES that stand in the way if I try to make my doctrine/practice more in line with sustainability?

After all, for each religion there are problems;

Christians have the dilemma between the two bits of Genesis in which God says “hey, this creation is yours to subdue, fill yer boots” [domination] or else He/She says “look, I'm giving you this to look after” [stewardship]. Further, some evangelical Christians (and yes, I know some- and like them) – are very unconcerned about Climate Change because God Has A Plan. This segues nicely into Buddhism- there are some interpretations that allow people to “meh, it's all just one big cycle o' suffering, so what's the point trying to hold stuff together- everything changes”. I'm not saying it's a right interpretation, but it is prevalent.

Islam- well, take a look at the Haj- is flying to Mecca more than once (or even once...) compatible with sustainability? It's one big can of worms- ass soon as you start dissing people's interpretations of what it means to be a good adherent to their faith, it's gonna get messy. (Please not, most of the world's Muslims seem to live in countries with pretty low per capita carbon emissions. Before Westerners start lecturing, we might need to sort out the plank in our own eyes).

Judaism- I am not so clear on the tensions within it on environmental issues, but you could- without conflating Judaism and Israel- take a look at Israel's environmental record (nothing to write home about), and the reasons for the weakness of its environmental movement.

The point is, these problems (and others) exist. If they didn't, we wouldn't be in this mess. It seems a pity to hold an event that focusses solely on the good things that are going on. There has to be SOME time devoted to the problems, and how they might be overcome. If not, we simply violently agree with each other and are none-the-wiser for dealing with the real problems, because they haven't been named. As a Quaker might say, we've not born witness.

Given that the total time spent on the four speakers was closer to an hour than 40 minutes, despite the invocation on the agenda “max 10 mins each” it might have been better to have a fifth speaker- a secular humanist, or an animist or a pagan as well, and kept everyone strictly to their time (with a card held up to give them a two minute warning, or some such).

MCFly's two pence. In vulgar anthropological terms, religion is part of terror management, and also a way of maintaining social solidarity and rules of engagement within (and less commonly between) tribes. To that extent, religions mostly seem to follow the Golden Rule, which Christians will explain as “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Kant's categorial imperative yadder yadder. (And a nice little side line in telling you to behave in this life cos you get your reward in the next. But we digress...)

Well, if you're gonna retrofit the Golden Rule for “the Environment”, you simply need to say that “others” means not just other hairless two-legged apes stumbling about now but ALSO other species AND other humans and species that haven't yet been born.

Voila. We'll send you an invoice.

Random important quote

"Activism is my rent for living on this planet." Alice Walker

Further Reading

The stuff about Buddhism in Only Planet (pages 111-113)
The ">Ecology of Eden by Evan Eisenberg (long, but really really amazingly good. If you skim the 'Earth Jazz' tosh, that is)
Dancing towards Armageddon by

Things MCFly thinks they should read, if someone invents an extra 12 hours in the day:

">The Great Transformation, by Karen Armstrong

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Leviticus 23 to 24: Feast your eyes on this

Chapter 23

Blah blah Keep the Sabbath.

Blah blah lots of bread/lambs etc ya gotta sacrifice before you stuff your cakeholes

Blah blah how to calculate days of atonement, feast of tabernacles etc

And boy, is God the Union Steward enforcing the work to rule tactic:

Verse 30 “And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.”

This is cute:

Verse 40 “And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.”

And then there seems to be one of those Guinness Book of Records attempts- how many people can you fit in a phone box. In my experience, Time Lords always win that one...

Verse 42: “Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths”

Chapter 24

Light pollution and the 24 hour society is nothing new...

Verse 1-2 “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Command the children of Israel, that they bring unto thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamps to burn continually.”

Cakes equals covenants, it seems

Verse 4-8 “He shall order the lamps upon the pure candlestick before the LORD continually. And thou shalt take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes thereof: two tenth deals shall be in one cake. And thou shalt set them in two rows, six on a row, upon the pure table before the LORD. And thou shalt put pure frankincense upon each row, that it may be on the bread for a memorial, even an offering made by fire unto the LORD. Every sabbath he shall set it in order before the LORD continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant.”

And who gets to eat it? Who the heck do you think, hmm?

Verse 9 “And it shall be Aaron's and his sons'; and they shall eat it in the holy place: for it is most holy unto him of the offerings of the LORD made by fire by a perpetual statute.”

And the “son of an Israelitish woman, whose father was an Egyptian” gets in a fight, curses the Lord and they make an Example of him:

Verse 14 “Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp; and let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him.”
Remember Shirley Jackson's story “The Lottery”?

Anyhow, there's more of the stuff that Leviticus is justly famous for-

Verse 20 “Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again.”

Before they return to the main plot (artful, these suspense raising diversions...)

Verse 23 “And Moses spake to the children of Israel, that they should bring forth him that had cursed out of the camp, and stone him with stones. And the children of Israel did as the LORD commanded Moses.”

Leviticus 20 to 22: Insert snarky title here.

Chapter 20

Here's what God's gonna do if anyone is Israel (inc. 'strangers') 'giveth his seed (worships, methinks) Molech:

Verse 3 “And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name.”

In fact, you gotta kill him (Commandments be damned I say) or else you and your family will get caught up in God's secondary action (I thought those were illegal?)

Verse 4-5 “And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not. Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people."

If this stuff ever caught on, Amnesty would melt under the workload

Verse 9 “For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.”

Verse 10 “And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.”

Yep, and a repeat of no homosexuality, no adultery, no bestiality etc etc

And no shagging during that Time of the Month

Verse 18 “And if a man shall lie with a woman having her sickness, and shall uncover her nakedness; he hath discovered her fountain, and she hath uncovered the fountain of her blood: and both of them shall be cut off from among their people.”

Keep All these rules and it'll turn out peaceful and socially just, oh yes-

Verse 24 "But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey: I am the LORD your God, which have separated you from other people.”

Chapter 21

Priests sisters don't seem able to marry, though maybe I'm getting this wrong.

Verse 3 “And for his sister a virgin, that is nigh unto him, which hath had no husband; for her may he be defiled.”

And some sartorial 'advice'

Verse 5 “They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.”

Watch out daughters!

Verse 9 “And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.”

And despite the LORD's previous (Ch 19,14), He takes a dim view of anyone less than Aryanly perfect coming into his temple.

Verse 18-21 “For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded, Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken. No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God.”

They get to worship ('eat the bread') but are not welcome at the altar.

And Moses passes all this along.

Chapter 22

More bonkers rules- or rather, repeats of one's I've already done my cod-funny sneering at.

But catch this language.

Verse 21 “And whosoever offereth a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD to accomplish his vow, or a freewill offering in beeves or sheep, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein. Blind, or broken, or maimed, or having a wen, or scurvy, or scabbed, ye shall not offer these unto the LORD, nor make an offering by fire of them upon the altar unto the LORD.”

Beeves? Plural of beef.

Wen? n. (wĕn)

[AS. wenn; akin to D. wen, LG. wenne.]
(Med.) An indolent, encysted tumor of the skin; especially, a sebaceous cyst.

More of the same, rules-wise.

And. Don't. Call. God. Names.

Verse 32-3 “Neither shall ye profane my holy name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I am the LORD which hallow you, That brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD.”

Leviticus 18 to 19: At last, loopy Leviticus launches!

Chapter 18

God tells Moses to remind everyone how much He has done for them and all he wants in exchange is unthinking unswerving obedience.

Verse 6-7 “None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the LORD. The nakedness of thy father, or the nakedness of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover: she is thy mother; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.”

Got that, anyone caring for their parents? Let them sit in their shit until the carers arrive... No carers because social services is out of money? Well, your parent is out of luck. Wouldn't want to risk old Lordy's wrath, would we?

Whole long list of people you cannot see naked.

Er, huh?

Verse 21 And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.”

Ah, here it is, the verse that the homophobes Milk for all it's worth:

Verse 22 (drumroll please) Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

Must have been happening a fair bit though, for them to make a rule about it. Ditto for the bestiality outlawed in the next verses.

And if you don't keep all these rules...

Verse 25 “And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.”

Chapter 19

More orders: No other gods. Peace offerings.

Oh, and here's a bit as important as Ch 18, verse 22

Verse 9-10 “And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God.”

Disability Discrimination Act avant la lettre

Verse 14 “Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD.”

No gossiping, dammit

Verse 16 “Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD.”

Remember, you gotta keep ALL these statutes.

Verse 19 Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.”

Death penalty for adultery, so (as my mother says) 'be careful where you dip your wick'

Verse 20 “And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.”

No tats

Verse 28 “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.”

No pimping yo daughter

Verse 29 Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness.”

Don't tarry with tarot, and don't go potty about Potter

Verse 31

“Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.”

Be nice to strangers

Verse 34 But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.”

EU standard measures!

Verse 36 “Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt.”

Monday, 9 February 2009

Leviticus 14 to 17: Pure and simply boring

Leviticus 14

Leper goes to priest, who has to

verse 5-6And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water. As for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water”

Crikey, try getting that prescription filled at your local chemist!

And the priest has to do some lamb killing and burning and tips of right ear and toe of newt eye of frog and all that guff.

And there's a sliding scale if the afflicted be poor:

Verse 21 "And if he be poor, and cannot get so much; then he shall take one lamb for a trespass offering to be waved, to make an atonement for him, and one tenth deal of fine flour mingled with oil for a meat offering, and a log of oil"

And there goes God again, promising real estate

Verse 34 "When ye be come into the land of Canaan, which I give to you for a possession, and I put the plague of leprosy in a house of the land of your possession"

(followed by rules about cleansing and purifying and so forth)

Chapter 15

God tells Moses to tell the Israelites that running sores are unclean. This whole chunk of Leviticus is turning into a running joke, and it's making me sore.

More purity stuff-

Verse 4-7 “Every bed, whereon he lieth that hath the issue, is unclean: and every thing, whereon he sitteth, shall be unclean. And whosoever toucheth his bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. And he that sitteth on any thing whereon he sat that hath the issue shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. And he that toucheth the flesh of him that hath the issue shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.”

Now, a lot of this stuff makes sense, and was useful in the days before a germ theory of contagion. But I ask you

Verse 14 “And on the eighth day he shall take to him two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, and come before the LORD unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and give them unto the priest”

I mean, it's like something out of the Old Testame... oh, yeah, um. never mind.

Ah, and here is the Lewinsky doctrine-

Verse 16-17 “And if any man's seed of copulation go out from him, then he shall wash all his flesh in water, and be unclean until the even. And every garment, and every skin, whereon is the seed of copulation, shall be washed with water, and be unclean until the even.”

And this next bit is sure to be a red rag to the feminists-

Verse 18-19 “And if a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven days: and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the even. And every thing that she lieth upon in her separation shall be unclean: every thing also that she sitteth upon shall be unclean.”

Oh FFS. It's. Menstrual. Blood. Deal. With. It.

Verse 29-30 And on the eighth day she shall take unto her two turtles, or two young pigeons, and bring them unto the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And the priest shall offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for her before the LORD for the issue of her uncleanness.”

Chapter 16

Now, we come back to Aaron's dead kids. God gives Moses a bunch of instructions to pass on. Including

Verse 7-10 “And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD's lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.”

So, no bad thing to be an (e)scapegoat.

Gotta kill a bullock and sprinkle its blood around.

And it goes on. Yea did I create a rod for mine own back when I said I would read this in/for a year.

There must be some way to atone for this sin against common sense?

Verse 33-4 “And he shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the congregation. And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.”

Chapter 17

Ah, now the priests are channelling God, demanding their 'cut'. Remember that scene in The Godfather Two about 'dipping your beak'...

Verse 3-4 What man soever there be of the house of Israel, that killeth an ox, or lamb, or goat, in the camp, or that killeth it out of the camp. And bringeth it not unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, to offer an offering unto the LORD before the tabernacle of the LORD; blood shall be imputed unto that man; he hath shed blood; and that man shall be cut off from among his people”

And No Other Gods. Alright?? How many times do I have to tell you, eh?

Verse 7 And they shall no more offer their sacrifices unto devils, after whom they have gone a whoring. This shall be a statute for ever unto them throughout their generations.”

No blood drinking either.

Verse 14 “For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.”

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Leviticus 11 to 13: I got you under my skin...

Leviticus 11

God tells Moses what is edible and what ain't.

Verse 20-2: "All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you. Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth; Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind."

And ooh,germs, germs everywhere! OCD GOD?

Verse 32: "And upon whatsoever any of them, when they are dead, doth fall, it shall be unclean; whether it be any vessel of wood, or raiment, or skin, or sack, whatsoever vessel it be, wherein any work is done, it must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the even; so it shall be cleansed."

Purity and Danger and all that Mary Douglas stuff...

Leviticus 12

Women are unclean for seven days after giving birth to a boy. After his circumcision-

What's that useless piece of skin at the end of a penis called?
A man...

she's unclean for another 33 days, and shall touch no halloed thing, nor come into the sanctuary.

Since females are obviously inherently yuckier and ickier, after giving birth to a “maid child”, a woman is unclean two weeks, and then a further 66 days.

In either case, burnt offerings are due the prie... sorry, the LORD

Leviticus 13

God does dermatology outpatients clinics...

Verse 2-4 “When a man shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising, a scab, or a bright spot, and it be in the skin of his flesh like the plague of leprosy; then he shall be brought unto Aaron the priest, or unto one of his sons the priests: And the priest shall look on the plague in the skin of the flesh: and when the hair in the plague is turned white, and the plague in sight be deeper than the skin of his flesh, it is a plague of leprosy: and the priest shall look on him, and pronounce him unclean. If the bright spot be white in the skin of his flesh, and in sight be not deeper than the skin, and the hair thereof be not turned white; then the priest shall shut up him that hath the plague seven days.”

Basically, if the priest thinks you've got leprosy,

Verse 21-25 "But if the priest look on it, and, behold, there be no white hairs therein, and if it be not lower than the skin, but be somewhat dark; then the priest shall shut him up seven days: And if it spread much abroad in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is a plague. But if the bright spot stay in his place, and spread not, it is a burning boil; and the priest shall pronounce him clean. Or if there be any flesh, in the skin whereof there is a hot burning, and the quick flesh that burneth have a white bright spot, somewhat reddish, or white; Then the priest shall look upon it: and, behold, if the hair in the bright spot be turned white, and it be in sight deeper than the skin; it is a leprosy broken out of the burning: wherefore the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is the plague of leprosy."

- and these versus remind me of an extremely crude diagnostic algorithm- then you'll be treated like an, er, leper.

Verse 45-6 “And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, unclean. All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be.”

But given how clothes are expensive and all, and a proper dry cleaner isn't to be had for a good 3400 years or so, then decontamination is important...

Verse 56-9 “And if the priest look, and, behold, the plague be somewhat dark after the washing of it; then he shall rend it out of the garment, or out of the skin, or out of the warp, or out of the woof: And if it appear still in the garment, either in the warp, or in the woof, or in any thing of skin; it is a spreading plague: thou shalt burn that wherein the plague is with fire. And the garment, either warp, or woof, or whatsoever thing of skin it be, which thou shalt wash, if the plague be departed from them, then it shall be washed the second time, and shall be clean. This is the law of the plague of leprosy in a garment of woollen or linen, either in the warp, or woof, or any thing of skins, to pronounce it clean, or to pronounce it unclean.”

And look, I've gone all this way without making ONE joke about failing driving tests/comments to prostitutes etc etc. You've got to hand it to me...

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