Thursday, May 1, 2008

Mingly Seeds: Breakable Literal Bible Law of the Week

In our secular society in which all religions are valued, it is of the utmost importance to follow the laws of the Bible. We all know that one man shall not lay (or is it lie?) with another man and all that. And further, as Focus on the Family tells us, "It is intellectually dishonest to say conservatives 'interpret' such verses out of prejudice against homosexuals." Indeed. And yet, something we all need to be a little more mindful of is that additional Bible laws exist covering a wide array of behaviors and everyday activities.

In fact, some of these non-sodomy Biblical laws are a bit ambiguous. When in doubt as to how to literally interpret a law, it is wise to seek further clarification. Doing so helps us all be a little less rule-breaky. But most importantly, following Biblical laws will prevent us from being up-chucked from the land. As the Lord tells us in Leviticus 20:22,

"Be careful to observe all my statutes and all my decrees; otherwise the land where I am bringing you to dwell will vomit you out."


With this in mind, a couple weekends ago I decided to test my green thumb by starting a small herb garden on my outdoor balcony. I immediately blew the dust off of my Old Testament and skimmed Leviticus for some guidance on how to morally grow a garden.

According to Leviticus 19:19, thus spoke the Lord:

"Thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed."

As I am gravely concerned with planting a garden in the morally righteous manner, I have a few questions.

For starters, I plan on growing basil, rosemary, and cilantro. Clearly, to grow all of these seeds together would "mingle" them. Now I already know that, since I am not growing grapes, I am entitled to gather all of these herbs upon harvest and not leave any behind for the poor or for strangers, pursuant to Leviticus 19:10.

My pressing questions, therefore, are these: Does a balcony overhang planter count as a "field" for purposes of Leviticus? If so, should I buy additional planters and plant each type of seed in a different planter? (My balcony is only so big, you know). But then again, what if my entire balcony counts as a "field" for purposes of Leviticus? In general terms, does this Biblical Rule mean that every person may only sow one type of seed?

What if one has already planted one's herb seeds in a mingly sort of way? Should one dig them up and begin a new garden sowing only one type of seed?

Oy, the Bible is hard.

Unholy field?

Forgive me father, for I have sinned(?)

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