Ben Zuckert | Straight Out of the Bible
Law and order
Published: Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 01:10
As we know, laws are a key part of a functioning democracy that provide — what am I saying? This week, we’re dealing with three historic bodies of work: Deuteronomy, Leviticus and the 2013-14 Tufts University Student Handbook. I think it’s safe to say I’m the first Tufts student to ever read (skim) the entire handbook.
First, let’s start off with one of the worst forms of punishment: getting stoned to death. I just want to thank Tufts for not including it. In the Bible, however, it’s everywhere. You’re stoned to death if you curse God, break Sabbath, worship an idol, rebel against your parents — wait, what? According to Deuteronomy 21:18, a rebellious son who can’t be disciplined should be taken to the elders and then all the men of the town will stone him to death.
You need the whole town?
At this point, I just want to say thank you to my parents for being so good to me. I miss you guys so much. I’m not just saying that because of Deuteronomy 21:18. It’s completely unrelated.
Let’s move on to the Tufts Handbook. On page 17, it says that no Tufts student can carry a firearm anywhere on campus. These firearms include, but are not limited to, “shotguns, rifles, pistols and revolvers, paint ball guns or BB/pellet guns; firearm replicas; ammunition; martial arts-type weapons; explosives (including fireworks); bows, crossbows, arrows; slingshots; switchblade knives, double-edged knives, hunting (fixed-blade)-style knives of any length, throwing knives or folding (pocket-style) knives with a blade length of four inches or greater; swords; axes; mace, pepper gas/spray . . . “
Jesus, Tufts, we get the idea. But read that list again; there’s no mentioning of stones anywhere. That begs the question: should stones be banned on campus? This is a complex issue and a public forum may be necessary.
I gotta say, the 2013-14 Handbook could use some updating. In the Residents’ Bill of Rights it states that all residential students have “the right to expect reasonable cooperation in the use of shared items in the room, such as a TV and telephone.” Who shares a telephone? Is it talking about landlines? If you have a landline in your room, email me with the subject line: “I HAVE A LANDLINE.” The handbook also states, “Many students participate in social bulletin boards and websites such as Facebook, MySpace and others.”
Who’s editing this handbook?
While most of it’s incredibly boring, one section really made it worth it. Just skip to page 13: “It is a violation of university policy for a faculty member or academic administrator to engage in an amorous, dating or sexual relationship with a student whom he/she instructs, evaluates, supervises, or advises or over whom he/she is in a position to exercise authority in any way.” Okay, so you can’t have sex with your professor, but I may have found a loophole: it doesn’t mention professors who you’re not involved with. So next time you go to The Burren on a Monday night and strike up a conversation with a biology professor and you’re studying art history, you’re good to go . . . I think — don’t take my word on this one.
Deuteronomy and Leviticus also discuss 4th base. They outlaw having sex with people of the same gender, close relatives (shout-out to Freud) and animals (shout-out to Catherine the Great). Curiously, sleeping with your professor is not prohibited. This is a major dilemma. Whose rules do you follow: God’s or Tufts administration’s? It comes down to a classic battle: Anthony “Tony” Monaco vs. God “The Lord.” Monaco was a Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Oxford, but God created man? I’m going with Monaco.
Ben Zuckert is a senior majoring in political science. He can be reached at Benjamin.Zuckert@tufts.edu.