8. UPHOLD THE SLAUGHTER
“You uphold the slaughter/when you support the cause/A tradition wrapped in bloodshed/And it’s no one’s fault but yours.” — Drop Dead, “Bullshit Tradition”
The Bible has a lot to say about issues which frequently arise in the hc/punk scene, such as:
This is, of course, the Bible’s big no-no, bigger than just about any other sin you can imagine. A surprising amount of the Old Testament is given over to discussing sex. For example, Jacob’s many sexual encounters with his wives and maids is discussed in Genesis chapters 29 and 30. All of Leviticus 18 is about sex taboos and regulations. So are Leviticus 20:10-21 and Deuteronomy 22:13-30. And let’s not even go into the Song of Solomon, which is basically one lengthy pornographic love letter. I’m serious — read it for yourself. My goodness, all those references to fawnlike breasts and juicy, swollen fruit!
The New Testament is not so full of sexual references, but what little is there is very interesting. Did you know that only 144,000 people will be saved when the world ends, and all of those people will be male virgins? It says so in Revelations 14:3-4. In 1 Corinthians 7:5 it is written that spouses should never refuse to have sex with each other unless they are abstaining and praying for an entire season. In practice, of course, this means that the husband may rape the wife at will. And we all know that many Christians frown upon sex before marriage, but the Apostle Paul actually didn’t want anybody to have any type of sex at all, ever. He wrote, “I wish that all were as I myself am (Paul was celibate) … To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do.” He reluctantly conceded that people may not be able to resist their natural (i.e. sinful) urges, and those who felt the need to give in to those urges should get married. All of this can be seen in 1 Corinthians 7.
The Bible specifically condemns homosexuality. I know that many people like to quibble about the translation of the word “abomination” or whatever, but here is what the Bible says. I have included five different translations of each verse (for more info about the translations, see Appendix B):
Old Testament, Leviticus 18:22
- NIV: Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.
RSV: You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.
KJV: Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
DBY: And thou shalt not lie with mankind as one lieth with a woman: it is an abomination.
YLT: And with a male thou dost not lie as one lieth with a woman; abomination it is.
New Testament, Romans 1:26-27
- NIV: Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
RSV: For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error.
KJV: For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
DBY: For this reason God gave them up to vile lusts; for both their females changed the natural use into that contrary to nature; and in like manner the males also, leaving the natural use of the female, were inflamed in their lust towards one another; males with males working shame, and receiving in themselves the recompense of their error which was fit.
YLT: Because of this did God give them up to dishonourable affections, for even their females did change the natural use into that against nature; and in like manner also the males having left the natural use of the female, did burn in their longing toward one another; males with males working shame, and the recompense of their error that was fit, in themselves receiving.
It seems perfectly clear that no matter how you translate the original Greek, the author of these passages is condemning homosexuality. Maybe “abomination” is really supposed to be translated as something else, but it doesn’t matter: the phrase before it says YOU SHALL NOT, and there is no debate about that translation. Maybe “lust” or “affections” or “vile” aren’t translated properly in the Romans verses, but the overall meaning is obvious. This is why all the homophobic idiots on the planet find great comfort in the words of both the Old and New Testaments. In short, Christianity is absolutely, incontrovertibly anti-gay.
The Old Testament has some interesting rules about women, particularly where menstruation and childbirth are concerned:
- After bearing a male child, women are unclean for forty days (Leviticus 12:2-4)
- After bearing a female child, women are unclean for eighty days (Leviticus 12:5)
- After menstruating, women are unclean for seven days, and anyone who touches a menstruating woman (as well as her clothes, her bed, or her furniture!) is considered unclean (Leviticus 15:19-24)
If you’re a female Christian, do you obey all of these rules? Do you consider them outdated because they’re ancient Jewish laws from the Old Testament? If so, read on; the New Testament is equally sexist.
The New Testament goes on at length about things women are not allowed to do:
- have short hair
- uncover their heads
- speak in church
- wear braids, gold, jewelry, or expensive clothing
- have any type of leadership role or authority over a man
All of these prohibitions can be found in 1 Corinthians 11:3-15, 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 and 1 Timothy 2:9-14, and all of them go directly against hc/punk. Christian women within the hc/punk scene must never have short hair or go without a hat, hood or scarf covering their hair; they must never speak in church; they’re not allowed to braid their long hair or wear jewelry (which probably includes piercings); they can’t wear expensive clothes (does an overpriced hooded sweatshirt count?); and they certainly can’t accept any leadership role within the scene which may cause them to have authority over any men. In addition to all these Biblical Thou Shalt Nots, there are quite a few Thou Shalts. For example, in Titus 2:3-5, older women are urged to be reverent and sober, while younger women are told to be chaste, domestic, and submissive to their husbands. So, Christian hc/punk males, it’s your job to keep Christian hc/punk females in line with these Biblical laws. Good luck, and keep in mind the Apostle Paul’s admonition from 1 Corinthians 7:1 — “It is well for a man not to touch a woman.”
We all know that this is one of the Christian Right’s big issues. It’s also a big issue within hc/punk. A lot of people in hc/punk are against abortion, but wouldn’t they be surprised to find out that the Christian God approves of murdering infants, sometimes smashing them against rocks, sometimes ripping them directly from their mothers’ bleeding wombs? Let’s look at some verses:
- Numbers 31:17 — “Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him.”
Hosea 13:16 — “Samaria shall bear her guilt, because she has rebelled against her God; they shall fall by the sword, their little ones shall be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open.”
Deuteronomy 2:34 — “And we captured all his cities at that time and utterly destroyed every city, men, women, and children; we left none remaining.”
Deuteronomy 3:6 — “And we utterly destroyed them, as we did to Sihon the king of Heshbon, destroying every city, men, women, and children.”
Psalms 137:9 — “Happy shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock!”
Isaiah 13:16 — “Their infants will be dashed in pieces before their eyes; their houses will be plundered and their wives ravished (raped).”
All of these verses refer to what God’s army gets to do to the enemy army once it’s vanquished. They are not taken out of context. Look them up if you want, but the bottom line is that God approves of killing innocent children under certain circumstances, so Christians can’t possibly argue that abortion is always wrong. For more on the subjective morality of Christianity, see the next section.
The Bible explicitly forbids tattooing in Leviticus 19:28 and prohibits body piercings in Leviticus 21:5, so any time you see a photo of some Christian hardcore band with multiple piercings and covered with tattoos of sacred hearts and glowing crosses, you should realize that those people are just going straight to Hell along with everybody else in hc/punk. Incidentally, men who shave their faces are also going against God’s will, according to Leviticus 19:27, so all Christian men should never cut or trim their facial hair.