In May of 2000, a musician from Maryland named Kent Ashcraft wrote the following letter and sent it, anonymously, to Dr. Laura Schlessinger, a radio host who, whilst offering listeners advice on her show, had regularly and publicly deemed homosexuality to be a “mistake of nature” according to Leviticus 18:22. No reply was forthcoming. However, a copy was also sent to a friend of Ashcraft, who shared it online, and before long the letter was everywhere. It even reached the inbox of Aaron Sorkin, who used some of it on an episode of The West Wing, for which Ashcraft eventually received payment.
And now, hundreds of years later, I’m sending it to you.
Dear Dr. Laura,
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s law. I have learned a great deal from you, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend homosexuality, for example, I will simply remind him or her that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other laws in Leviticus and Exodus and how to best follow them.
When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Leviticus 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. How should I deal with this?
I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as stated 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 (Leviticus 15:19-24). The problem is, how can I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
Leviticus 25:44 states that I may buy slaves from the nations that are around us. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify?
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?
A friend of mine says that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Leviticus 10:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?
Leviticus 20:20 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?
I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s Word is eternal and unchanging.
Your devoted disciple and adoring fan.
There are many different versions of this letter on the Intertubes, some with additional questions, some supposedly written by different people. As far as I can tell, this is the most accurate.
I appreciate the creative way in which the author made his point!
Loved this in the West Wing and love it even more in this original extended version.