[quote=dgoods]not currently Christian, but not ignorant either
I agree, it would not be easy to live literally by Leviticus.</quote>

No one ever lived "literally" by Leviticus. The laws in Leviticus and the rest of the Torah were constitutional principles upon which the structure of Jewish life was constructed. It cannot be understood or implemented outside of the living traditional framework of a transgenerational community that studies and lives the laws. The laws in the "Old Testament" were given that people might live by them and we are told that that these laws are within our grasp and we can choose to live by them (Deuteronomy 30:11-20).

<quote>It is widely understood that the prohibitions against pork and shellfish within the OT reflect an ignorance as to the cause or prevention of trichinosis or salmonella. With no microscopes or antibiotics, how would you keep your people safe from these threats in a way that would survive generations? Easy- make it a sin against God.</quote>

That may be the way the laws of kashrut are widely understood, but that is not the reason they exist. Otherwise, chickens would be prohibited along with pigs due to the risk of salmonella. No, the dietary laws existed to make their adherents distinct from other peoples and to elevate the act of eating to a sacred, religious experience.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
~ Oscar Wilde