Here are my thoughts.
You’re talking about a book written in the Bronze Age that’s likely to contain all sort of unpleasantries which clash with any workable formulation for Everybody Getting Along today. To smooth this over, it’s best if. society fudges on the exact translated meaning of some things.
Conservatives hate this approach. Take our own SCOTUS and the whole issue they have with the Constitution being a “living document”. Every time someone says that, a clerk of the court has to go clean out Thomas’s diapers. The thing is what it is in the literal interpretation of the very words used as they were intended by the people who wrote it, oh, and every single word of it is literally true.
Of course even though the Bible clearly says “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” and those words are pretty UNambiguous, you don’t see fundies going after witches anymore. When I proclaim my Warlockhood (not really) and offer them to take a swing, the fundies I talk to claim not to be acquainted with that passage and promise to get back to me on it.
OTOH, the Bible clearly says a man shall not lay with a man as with a woman. So doing it standing up must be OK. As it’s written, it’s clear the authors of the Bible aren’t against gay sex per se, only the position of the participants. This is what it says, and we’re interpreting the Bible literally, right? Damn Right ! Inerrant word ‘o God that is! So the Biblical authors must have been worried about the position of the gay sex act; perhaps it had something to do with the Santorum (link time!!!!) :
(and STILL #1 on Google: santorum… let’s be creative and keep this going folks!)
It’s all about cognitive dissonance at the personal and societal levels. I don’t get stoned for declaring my warlockhood because the people who would do the stoning weigh the consequences for themselves ad look for a *nice* way out. That’s what I call “blinking away cognitive dissonance” as opposed to really *resolving* it at a meaningful level .
BLINK! BLINK! All gone!
Huh? What just happened?
So ditto About.com and its authors. We need to gloss this kill the infidel shit over somehow. Try going to Pakistan or Indonesia where About.com is banned (one supposes) and see if anyone is glossing anything over. Mmmmm not so much.
If we could get all the world’s conservative fundies to loosen up, through some device, say an agreed upon About.com article we can all feel good about, then we’d have gone a long ways to defusing the ticking time bomb of murder every fundie is.
But it’s easier said than done. It seems to be related to your own perceived vulnerability; if you think people might hit you back or otherwise something bad might happen to you if you believe literal interpretations, then you’re more open to the About.comization of your belief system.
If you find yourself in a position of unassailability, compromise is less likely; think of Clarence Thomas. HE’s never going to change his mind because what bad thing is going to happen to him if he doesn’t?
Ditto those in power in local areas of Pakistan. They ARE the law. Ditto people who never step outside of their fundy circle of friends.
This is why i like laws like the one France passed that said to deny the Armenian Genocide is a crime. And in Germany, which has one that says denying the Holocaust is a crime. That spreads the consequences for anti-social fanaticism around a lot more and removes secure places of impunity fundies and their ilk otherwise hide in.
So the About.com article is not about facts, it’s about a strategy someone(s) is deploying to try to give the bomb throwers room to back off their bombs if they’re so inclined.