Why do so many people think things are exactly as they seem?
One of the tenets of modern fundamentalism has become that the Bible is the literal word of God. They conveniently forget a few things, however. They overlook that the Bible was actually written by man (whether or not divinely inspired) which indubitably overshadows the text with man's emotions and rationale. While the fundies love to bash gays and lesbians with quotes from the Old Testament, they hate to be reminded of the other laws in the same book. They have no problem eating shellfish, shaving their face and skipping the animal sacrifices. The prohibition against homosexuality should be federal policy, but where is the national shut down of the oyster and lobster industries?
I'm reminded of how silly it is to automatically assume you can interpret old texts without any knowledge of the times and what the message really meant to it's original recipients. My reminder? An article about one of the Holy Grails of Queerdom - The Wizard of Oz.
This fascinating piece spells out some misconceptions modern readers might have about the "children's classic." In actuality, it was a political allegory about the gold standard starring the American farmer as Scarecrow, the American factory worker as the Tinman, and William Jennings Bryan as the Cowardly Lion. Dorothy, of course, represented the average American. And they all went merrily down the gold path to the capital to see the man pulling all the levers behind the curtains - Marcus Hanna, known as the wizard of the gold ounce (but shortened to the Wizard of Oz).