United in Homophobia

Yes! There is something that can unite us all! What, you ask?

Hatred Intense dislike of homosexuals, what else?

The NY Times reports that,

Now major leaders of the three faiths – Christianity, Judaism and Islam – are making a rare show of unity to try to stop the festival. They say the event would desecrate the city and convey the erroneous impression that homosexuality is acceptable.

“They are creating a deep and terrible sorrow that is unbearable,” Shlomo Amar, Israel’s Sephardic chief rabbi, said yesterday at a news conference in Jerusalem attended by Israel’s two chief rabbis, the patriarchs of the Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian churches, and three senior Muslim prayer leaders. “It hurts all of the religions. We are all against it.”

Abdel Aziz Bukhari, a Sufi sheik, added: “We can’t permit anybody to come and make the Holy City dirty. This is very ugly and very nasty to have these people come to Jerusalem.”

And

Organizers of the gay pride event, Jerusalem WorldPride 2005, said that 75 non-Orthodox rabbis had signed a statement of support for the event, and that Christian and Muslim leaders as well as Israeli politicians were expected to announce their support soon. They said they were dismayed to see that what united their opponents was their objection to homosexuality.

About the author

themiddle

86 Comments

  • “They said they were dismayed to see that what united their opponents was their objection to homosexuality.”

    First of all, an objection to something does not equal hatred.

    Second, I respect anybody who knows who they are, what they believe in, and have the balls to say it…loud and proud.

    Finally:
    “That is something new I’ve never witnessed before, such an attempt to globalize bigotry,” “It’s quite sad and ironic that these religious figures are coming together around such a negative message.”

    – Hagai El-Ad, the executive director of Jerusalem Open House, a gay and lesbian group that is the host for the festival.

    Bwahahahahah…yeah, the shock and the horror of it all. As if they didn’t know that this would happen. As if this isn’t the best publicity stunt of all time, for any marginalized group, in the history of parades and marches.

  • Wait, Shtreimel, so you respect extremist Muslims with narrow interpretations of the Qu’ran who are out to kill Jews? They know who they are. They know what they believe in. They have the balls to say it. Loud and proud. Hell, Hitler wrote Mein Kampf, he was so loud and proud about his beliefs.

    I dunno. Sounds like a pretty bad policy to me.

  • “They know who they are. They know what they believe in.”

    Michael,

    Good point. So let me clarify…

    Within reason, I respect anybody who knows who they are, what they believe in, and have the balls to say it…loud and proud.

  • lol, the “All Generalizations Are Bad” fallacy. Good call.

    TM: I had to put on “Whoomp! There it is!” after reading that comment. Ah, the 90’s.

    Now, On Topic, why would this “group” think that they could “march” through Jerusalem without triggering some “religious” backlash? Moreover, why would they “announce” it? Wouldn’t an “impromptu” “march” be easier to get moving, as the backlash would appear later? Obviously, strategy isn’t the first thing these “oppressed” “people” are “thinking” about.

    *shrugs* Don’t ask about the double quotes.

  • I don’t hate gay people, but parading homosexuality is not something that should be done, in Israel, or ANYWHERE.

    Having a parade to celebrate your sexual orientation is sick. You don’t see people parading around the fact that they’re straight, do you? If they want to celebrate their sexuality so badly, do it in private!

    Sex is a private thing. It’s done behind closed doors, and If they want to celebrate the way they have sex, it should be done privately as well. A parade celebrating homosexuality does noone any good. (I think its just a reason to be overly flamboyant in public.)

  • D is sort of the direction I agree with.

    I don’t have a problem with anyone who keeps their ‘sex’ discrete without involving third-parties. This goes for heteros too. The same way I oppose this ‘gay pride’ parade, I would oppose an equally provocative strip joint celebration parade.

  • D–they aren’t parading because they want people to know with whom they like to go to bed with. They’re parading because they are oppressed in many ways due to their sexual preferences and this parade is a sign of solidarity and acceptance by the mainstream.
    What I don’t understand is why some people feel the need to not just step on the toes (if you’ll allow me to fall back on a cliche) but stomp all over other people in order to get tolerance themselves. I tolerate homosexuality. Doesn’t make a difference to me what kind of lifestyle people choose for themselves. But why can’t the people who want to march in this parade respect and tolerate the people with religious views that are antithetical to their own?
    I’m sorry, because it’s possible that I’m just not seeing this clearly, but it seems to me that we should expect on ourselves what we give to others. If the people who want to march in Yerushalayim don’t respect that these religious heads are offended by their marching interest–why should they be expecting the religious heads to give credit to them?

  • Oh no…I wrote a comment about an hour ago and it’s still not up. Why do my comments always get lost in the filter??? Oh dear, oh dear.

  • D, Josh?
    I start from the premise that homosexuality is not a learned trait. One is born with one’s sexual orientation and it is thus not anything you can choose.

    Now it’s true, there are no heterosexual pride parades. But from the perspective of a gay person, why should there be? Heterosexuality is the norm that is reflected everywhere you go. Any time a gay person looks at most mainstream media or advertising, the message is “Hey gay boy! You’re different! You’re a freak!” Just ask shomer negiah people how they feel society’s subtle messages make them feel.

    So is it any wonder gay people want to get together with like minded individuals and proclaim “Hey! I am not a freak! This is how G*d made me and I will not engage in self loathing because I am different!” Think about it. To them every day is an endless hetero-pride parade.

  • ck:
    I start from the premise that homosexuality is not a learned trait. One is born with one’s sexual orientation and it is thus not anything you can choose.
    – – – – – – – – –
    This is a common misconception. The overwhelming scientific evidence indicates that sexual focus is not genetically determined, and is fluid throughout life.

    There is also a wealth of evidence that homosexuality is not a normal variant of human sexuality, but a maladapted response to childhood emotional deficits. Ironically, some of the most telling evidence for this comes from studies by pro-gay organizations that document the way most homosexuals live.

    Freud and others describe the psychological profile of homosexuality as an arrested adolescence – which translates into unending envy of others, and self-dramatization as a tragically misunderstood figure.

    When people with this mindset take up the tools of modern PR and victimology politics, you get a group with the chutzpah to trample other people’s values while simultaneously claiming that *they* are the victims.

    The Left plays this game in any number of issues. Jewlicious example: the doubletalk about “preserving freedom of speech” that is used to silence pro-Israel speakers on US campuses.

    The same “professional victimhood” is at work here: the wolf of tyranny in the sheepskin of “tolerance”.

    For FACTS rather than politically correct poses on the issue of homosexuality, one good place to start is http://www.narth.org

  • narth.org? No offense Ben-David, but you’re kidding, right? NARTH is a joke, combining shoddy research and ideological bias as well as a little wishful thinking (co-founder of Narth Charles Socarides’ son is openly gay) into this almost universally rejected notion that homosexuality can be cured.

    Arrested adolesence? Tell that to the guy that knew he was gay when he was 4 years old.

    I say this and I’m not even remotely a gay advocate! I’m just, you know, a critical thinker. Narth. Sheesh.

  • No, ck you are not a critical thinker – you have been bombarded by the half-truths of gay propaganda.

    Instead of the knee-jerk reaction, why not look at the peer-reviewed articles quoted on the site.

    Or read Freud, Jung, or any of the major theorists of modern psychology. A more Jewlicious link would be:
    http://www.jonahweb.org

    Gay men “knew they were gay” in childhood, because that is when their development veered off from normal scenarios. That is when many of them failed to bond with their fathers – and sexualized that perceived gap between themselves and the world of men.

    For the past 40 years or so, we have been similarly bombarded with “scientific proof” that divorce was no big deal, not damaging to the kids. Now the first waves of data are emerging from long-term studies, and it is clear that divorce wreaks havoc with children’s emotional lives – and effects them into adulthood.

    Same thing is happening with gay claims. The media has pounded our heads with outright lies (no, there is no gay gene) and sworn up and down that the psychological problems besetting gays were due to “intolerance”.

    Now it is 30+ years since gay emancipation – but oops, the dysfunction hasn’t gone away! A recent report by the Health Ministry of Holland (which has been swingingly open to gays for a generation) shows depression, substance abuse, and other indices of mental distress among gays running 3-5 times the rate of occurence in the general population.

    And despite Holland’s having legalized gay unions for over a decade (with clear financial benefits for those who marry) the vast majority of Dutch gays cannot maintain intimate relations with one partner longer than 2 years – and even those relationships are usually open to other sexual partners, to accommodate the compulsive promiscuity that is typical in the gay “community”.

    Yep, sounds pretty adolescent to me…

    The old theories of homosexual persona formation neatly explain the behaviors we observe in the gay “community” of today. They were never disproved – just shouted down.

    Beware politically correct statements made in the name of science.

    Ben-David

  • And I would similarly urge you Ben-David to “beware ideologically biased statements made in the name of science.” So why is it that the overwhelming majority of Professional medical associations not only do not embrace the theories you’re espousing, but flatly reject and contradict them? Is it some gay conspiracy led by the err… Learned elders of uh… Zayin?

    A guy I went to school with told me “Are you nuts? Why would I choose to be gay? Do you know how hard it was growing up queer? How upset and frightened my family was? Who in their right minds would choose this?” Sounded pretty reasonable to me.

  • Ben-David, half-truths of gay propaganda? How do you explain that in NATURE some animals choose to pick partners of the same sex? I happen to have friends who are gay and have perfectly normal relationships with their parents… And how can you say there is no gay gene? It seems to me that someone is biased by the anti-gay propaganda. That being said, why do you put so much effort into this? It is precisely because of people like you that gay people suffer from “intolerance”. And sex is demonized enough without people telling you left, right and center that the particular kind of sex you want to enjoy is disgusting. Why don’t people just leave it alone and live happily together in tolerance?

  • ck:
    A guy I went to school with told me “Are you nuts? Why would I choose to be gay? Do you know how hard it was growing up queer? How upset and frightened my family was? Who in their right minds would choose this?” Sounded pretty reasonable to me.
    – – – – – –
    …sounds like the Victimology Rag to me. Often this self-dramatizing line is combined – in the same conversation! – with out-n-proud assertions of how normal gayness is. So which is the truth? Is it normal, or a tragic… dysfunction? Can’t have it both ways.

    The truth is as I have said: gay attraction is a sexualized emotional deficit trapping the personality in adolescent modes of behavior. It is only considered normal nowadays because so many straights have lapsed into/remained in adolescent mode (perhaps you should re-read your own quite cogent post on the premarital sex thread, ck… about the Jewish ideal of mature sexuality…)

    ck asked: why is it that the overwhelming majority of Professional medical associations not only do not embrace the theories you’re espousing, but flatly reject and contradict them?
    – – – – – – – – –
    Most are taking their cue from the APA (American Psychiatric Assoc.) which changed the classification of homosexuality in the 70s – due to political maneuvering by gays who pushed themselves onto the board. The APA itself has started publishing articles that call the PC orthodoxy into question – as the scientific truth emerges.

    Recently, the very doctor who led the panel that reclassified homosexuality conducted a study to “debunk” the claims that gayness could be cured. But his data revealed that many people who wished to could, in fact, change their sexual identity and behavior.

    He was even more shocked that the gay lobby he had championed for so long turned on him and tried to suppress his research. The study was eventually published in a peer-reviewed journal ( try this link for a summary with full references, and here is a summary of peer-reviewed studies, at the bottom of the page.)

    patty-cake wrote: how can you say there is no gay gene?
    – – – – – – – – – – –
    Simple: several research studies tried to find a genetic pattern common among gays, and found none. This is typical – including the gay spokesperson’s smarmy, side-stepping “it doesn’t matter, we MUST be treated equally, blah blah…” – and This guy vets the axe-grinding pseudo-science of gay rights quite nicely.)

    More patty: why do you put so much effort into this?
    – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Because I have personal experience in my family – a cousin who was basically convinced by “counselors” that he was gay. I helped my parents/aunt navigate all the pseudo-science, and grew wise. If I can help another young kid avoid what my cousin went through, it’s worth it.

    Between bar-mitzvah and mid-20s up to one-third of young men experience same-sex attractions. In a saner generation, this was recognized as puppy love, admiration, a crush, not a full-blown “identity”. Fully 99 percent of these men – if left alone! – will spontaneously go on to integrate a healthy hetero personality.

    That is what should have happened to my cousin. Instead he was “helped” (= molested) by gay counselors, and is alone and HIV positive at age 28.

    Ben-David

  • I’m really sorry about your cousin, really. But you’re kinda starting to sound like a homophobic conspiracy nut.

  • Ben-David wrote: Recently, the very doctor who led the panel that reclassified homosexuality conducted a study to “debunk” the claims that gayness could be cured. But his data revealed that many people who wished to could, in fact, change their sexual identity and behavior.

    Then the opposite should be true as well, no? Howver, I can tell you with complete confidence, you can try whatever techniques you like, make me listen to broadway show tunes, make me wear Prada and Emerigllio Zegna, feed me all the quiche you like, try and instill in me an appreciation for women’s shoes, coasters and antiquing, slap me around and call me Sally, I will always be heterosexual.

    I am nonetheless very sorry about your cousin.

  • Ah Ben David…

    I’d hug ya if I could.

    Look folks, it’s not that the nature trumps nurture or vice versa, it’s that the jury is out vis-à-vis which one is 100% correct. And that leads to all sorts of opportunities to say what you’d like about choosing, or not, to be in a non-hetro relationship. What Ben David is saying, is that y’all been brainwashed by the PC media machine. And I’d agree.

    Next…
    “that I’m just not seeing this clearly, but it seems to me that we should expect on ourselves what we give to others.”

    I’m not sure what “we” we’re referring to. But I’m going to assume you mean Jews, and by extension, Torah. And the Torah is quite explicit about family, marriage, sex and gay sex (can we please…PLEASE…drop the whole “but it’s only referring to anal sex not oral or a relationship). And if that’s the case, we should expect exactly what the rabbis are saying. And I’m proud of ’em. But….

    I’d have no problem talking part in Gay Pride parade in Tel Aviv. I’ve been to ’em in Vancouver/Montreal, had a blast, and danced, danced, danced. One of my closest friends (female) is bi, and I fully support her choices.

    So I’m a bit schizo on the whole “where do i stand” gay issue thing. But fully support the clergy in Jerusalem to act the way they are acting. Y’ashear Koach.

  • I apologize for double-posting my reply, I didn’t see that it went through.

    Laya:
    you’re kinda starting to sound like a homophobic conspiracy nut.
    – – – – – – – –
    You can call me whatever you want – just address the facts.

    The websites I have provided all base themselves on recent, peer-reviewed studies. You are basing yourselves on politically correct chatter and what “everybody knows”. It is cheap and lazy to dismiss opinions you disagree with as “nutty”.

    But that’s OK. I was one of the “primitive nut-case” Israelis warning that the Palestinians would turn the guns we gave them upon us… What’s the phrase? – crazy like a fox. Indeed.

    Go ahead, call me whatever you want. There is a reason that every advanced society in the world thinks gayness is abnormal. There is a reason why Judaism does not condone it.

    And if just one reader actually reads a little, and thinks for themself, and is delivered from the terminal “mahvelousness” of the gay netherworld – the rest of you can call me whatever you want.

    Ben-David

  • For what it’s worth I agree with Ben-David. On two levels:

    1) Because he’s not backing down to please folks (Murray Bowen would be impressed)

    2) Because I’ve noticed similar things in working with gay teens. And I can’t friggin say ’em because of the PC nature of the environment in which I work. I mean…can’t even utter an alternative w/o being dismissed as a homophobe and gay hater. It’s gotten that bad.

    So props to you Ben David. There are clinicians who KNOW what you speak but are too afraid (not all of ’em) to address these issues publicly.

  • When I first saw the NY Times cover in my HS class today, I thought “wow all these religious leaders are getting together despite their history of conflict and controversies in order to join forces for something good. What is their message? World peace? I read the caption and it says they all got together to protest gays. It was no surprise to me to find an American Evangelical Christian was the person who brought it to their attention and organized it.

    now if i may mention this to put it into perspective:

    I was attracted to other guys at the age of 7, when I first noticed an older boy who was about 12. At the time I just thought it was extreme admiration, but looking back that was the first indication. That year I kissed a girl for the first time, but cried for two weeks afterward because it felt on some level to be deeply not right. I also kissed another boy that year, a Catholic school kid who wanted to commit all the “sins” his teachers were telling him to avoid, in order to be rebellious. In this instance I don’t think choice was an issue for me, it was how i felt. I knew for sure I was gay when i turned 11. Again, i didn’t want to choose this, because i spent many nights not sleeping, thinking about how i would never be married or have children, that my family would disown me, that G-d would have me killed because of what it says in Leviticus. If you think homosexuality is a choice, you are very ignorant. If i had a choice i would not have chosen this. or maybe what you mean by choice is that I could choose to deny my feelings and live a lie so that you can feel comfortable. no thank you. The NY Times article said that they are parading in Jerusalem
    to send a message in the holiest of city’s that we are G-d’s children too.

    The people who comment on here seem to be such intelligent people I don’t understand why they can’t see how hateful it is what they’re writing, and I ask what grand purpose are you fulfilling by citing all these pseudo-science and taking all this time out of your life just to prove your bigotry is correct? It’s very sad.

  • Ben-David,

    You weren’t seriously quoting Freud re. homosexuality there, were you? That was a joke, right? Because anybody who was born after the demise of the Austro-Hungarian Empire — and certainly anybody who keeps up with the science of human development and behavior — pretty much knows that Freud’s theories on homosexuality (not to mention his theories on a wealth of other issues — hello, penis envy!) were the coke-fueled musings of a crank.

  • Ah…Freud. Much of what he said was crank fueled brilliance that has morphed into new-Freudian works as well as Self Psychology. And as Irving Yalom (author/psychiatrist) stated:

    “When the biologists/psychiatrists want REAL therapy they almost always turn to psychoanalysis” (Yalom wrote those words in 2000).

    Freud’s original errors of focusing on sexuality as the basis for many of his theories is no different than any leader in any field breaking old ground with their colleagues. And then we build on ’em. But much of what he said is not only relevant today, it informs almost every therapist from CBT to analysis.

    BTW, there’s an excellent book entitled: “Freud’s Wars”. In it, a non-Freudian debunks the myth that Freud was addicted to coke.

  • Oh, and if you wanna really, I mean REALLY, read an excellent book on how psychiatry (biologically focused) and brief/solution therapy are crocks of s**t, check out “Healing the soul in the age of the brain” on amazon. The author is both a psychiatrist and freudian analyst.

    http://tinyurl.com/4tgas

  • Kyle:
    If i had a choice i would not have chosen this. or maybe what you mean by choice is that I could choose to deny my feelings and live a lie so that you can feel comfortable.
    – – – – – – – – –
    … and are you comfortable?
    Round and round it goes… you simultaneously bemoan your pitiful state while painting The Rest of Us as brutes for… what? pointing out that you’re suffering?! Are those the feelings you don’t want to deny – the feelings of self-pity? Or the homosexual feelings you assure us “nobody would ever choose”? If they’re such a burden, why cling to them?

    If your homosexuality is a terrible burden – I am justified in suggesting that it’s dysfunctional. If it’s perfectly normal – many of us are wondering why gays keep casting themselves as romantic ruins. Please choose one option, and stick to it for at least the duration of a single paragraph…

    This is what I mean by choice: You have a choice to heal the childhood wounds that led you to same-sex attractions. I have posted links to surveys that prove that change is possible.

    If you choose to live a life of victimhood – the rest of us are not obligated to go along with your romantic self-image if we see reality otherwise. That does not make us homophobes or brutes.

    We are not obligated to agree with you. You do not have a right to never be offended or insulted – none of us do.

    Ben-David

  • Kyle,

    I agree with you it’s very sad. Though I’m not sure we agree on why/what that is. My perspective on homosexual relations is informed by the Torah, personal and clinical experience. On a day to day level, I say let folks do what they want. Leave ’em alone.

    But this march is a provocation through and through. And it’s a stinky one.

  • Ben-David, are you totally kidding me?? If you dont want kyle to be offended or insulted, maybe you should try not being offensive and insulting.

  • Ben David’s onto something…

    After one too many drinking binges, my lead singer ended up in AA. His sponsor, who was gay, told him that the amount of drug and alcohol abuse among gay men is astounding. Of course, one must ask why gay men are abusing alcohol/drugs? Is it their “party” like culture? The alienation they felt as children/teens/adults? A byproduct of engaging in an unnatural act? I’m not sure. I’m sure there’s some truth in all of these, and many more, suggestions. Regardless, it is without question that the gay community has huge alcohol/drug issues…so the question is, what are they self-medicating?

  • Muffti has to say that the case for homosexuality being a genetic/non genetically determined matter is rather inconclusive and even the link that Ben-David provided confirmed that. There are conflicting studies and stray data that no one is sure how to interpret. There is also considerable conflict over restricting the scope of the phenomenon: who is it exactly that we are supposed to be studying? Anyone who claims to be gay? Anyone who exhibits weak attractions at times to members of the same sex? There is no clear working, acceptable definition (similar problems beset work on race, not surprisingly). Furthermore, homosexuality may have many causes: while certain genotypes might be sufficient for raising the likelihood of homoexuality, its not clear that it is necessary.

    In any case, Muffti isn’t really sure why that is the issue. The evidence Ben-David is citing about the evils of homsexuality is fairly equivocal. Partly, the traits you mention aren’t traits being exhibited in a vacuum: clearly the dominant message of society is that you are wierd and freakish if you are gay. As such, even if its not genetic, its not clear that it is the sort of thing you should be trying to cure. 30 years of slow transition to acceptance is NOT an ideal way to judge the traits a group is likely to show in circumstances that invovle real tolerance, acceptance and a lack of people trying to ‘cure’ what isn’t obviously a problem.

    The case of your cousin is, unfortunate, but very revealing. You say

    Because I have personal experience in my family – a cousin who was basically convinced by “counselors” that he was gay. I helped my parents/aunt navigate all the pseudo-science, and grew wise. If I can help another young kid avoid what my cousin went through, it’s worth it.

    It doesn’t follow in anyway that we should be attempting to ‘cure’ homosexuality: it may be that ‘counselors’ should not be overdiagnosing and molesting kids. But Muffti doesn’t see why your venom isn’t misdirected: shouldn’t we just be more careful in diagnosing when someone is gay vs. not gay rather than labelling it a disease that needs ‘curing’?

  • Well, let’s look at the Torah then. Let’s see… how does the Torah handle say … mental illness? Let’s imagine a person born with Downs Syndrome and the limited intellectual capacity that that involves. If that person habitually violates the Sabbath for instance, does Hashem consider that a sin? What about a woman who is completely devoted to a Torah way of life but has developped Kleptomania or Nymphomania or something like that – any sort of congenital or non-congenital condition that causes one to commit actions considered sinful on there own. Are those sins? Let’s start from that premise.

  • Shtreimel,

    I was thinking of the book “Freud’s Paranoid Quest,” which makes the opposite argument.

  • ps: Not that I would swear by that book, which has its own flaws. But I was under the impression that cocaine was very much a part of Siggie’s personal and professional life.

  • Freud recommending seven conditions for which cocaine pharmacotherapy might prove valuable:
    as a mental stimulant
    as a possible treatment for digestive disorders
    as an appetite stimulant in case of wasting diseases
    as a treatment for morphine and alcohol addiction
    as a treatment for asthma
    as an aphrodisiac
    as a local anaesthetic

    He was wrong about some, correct about others. In the end, he dropped the whole coke shtick and left us with psychoanalysis.

  • But did he use it as a “mental stimulant” while he was coming up with off-the-wall theories like the origins of anal retention?

  • EV,

    I don’t disagree with you that some of his original ideas are wonky. But his contributions to the therapy world visavis dream analysis, transference/counter-transference, unconcious, etc., is so huge, I’m not even sure where to begin.

  • Shtreimel,

    Agreed. I just question the cult that has arisen around Freud, and the acceptance in certain (diminishing) quarters of all his theories as holy truth. But you’re apparently not in that group, so we’re actually in agreement.

  • I’m always confused by the suggestion that homosexuality is a “choice” … surely then, the same is true of heterosexuality? Can’t speak for anyone else, but I don’t remember choosing to be attracted to girls. I just was. I suspect that gays have the same experience; they just know. It’s illogical to think otherwise.

  • The fact of the matter is that homosexuality is not normal or something you’re born with. Homosexuality IS a chosen lifestyle whether the person choosing it is aware of that or not.

    However it is normal for a man to have homosexual thoughts or tendancies. This is something a person has to dismiss as they do other ideas that are sexually immoral the way one would dismiss the idea of killing a person when they’re upset a them.

    I am willing to accept the fact that some people choose to give in to this abnormal urge and live their life that way. Thats OK. But to implore the public into accepting this as a normal way of life is ridiculous. Again as I said before. Its okay to be gay but don’t expect the rest of the world to like it or accept it as normal. As ck said before:

    Heterosexuality is the norm that is reflected everywhere you go.”

    And for good reason. Accepting homosexuality as normal would have to open the doors to basically accepting anything as normal. We shouldn’t treat people badly or single them out because they choose this lifestyle, but to accept it as normal is irresponsible.

  • In the photo, is anybody else wondering if the third dude from the right is propositioning the second dude from the right?

  • People, people, back on track here!

    I don’t care who’s doing who, whether they were born that way, or woke up one day feeing gay and decided to run with it. I don’t care if you’re a drag queen, bull dyke, or flamer. I’ve dipped my toe in that pond, marched in a few parades, and ended up settleing down with a nice guy. It was never a “choice”. The human being I fell in love with just happened to have “outie bits” instead of “innie bits”. It’s all about personal responsibility. You get your cards, and you play what you get dealt.

    I fully support civil rights for all people; black, gay, Jewish, siamese twin, whatever. We’re all people. We’re born, we fall in love, we fall out of love, we make mistakes, we learn, and we die. No exceptions.

    The ORIGINAL topic, is Jerusalem. I am not bothered by Gay Pride marches in general, but I have the same problem with it being in Jerusalem as I do if it were in Mecca or the Vatican. It’s just in poor taste, and I don’t think anything good is going to come of it.

  • Hey, T_M, I was wondering something similar about the photo — the NYTimes identifies each of the men, from left to right: the deputy mufti of Jerusalem; the Latin & Armenian “patriarchs;” Rabbi Amar, the Sephardic chief rabbi; and Rabbi Yona Metzger, the Ashkenazi chief rabbi.

    The NYTimes didn’t know who the man on the far right was. Does anyone else know?

  • There is a simple answer to the “gay problem’ as paraphrased from our beloved Torah: two witnesses and some stones.

  • Jewlicious: Pro-gay rights? It’s the blog for you. Pro-…um…pro-…stoning gay people to death? Uh…I suppose it’s also the blog for you.

  • ck and Andy wondered about “choice”:
    “you can try whatever techniques you like, make me listen to broadway show tunes, make me wear Prada… I will always be heterosexual.”
    -and-
    “I’m always confused by the suggestion that homosexuality is a “choice” … surely then, the same is true of heterosexuality? Can’t speak for anyone else, but I don’t remember choosing to be attracted to girls. I just was. I suspect that gays have the same experience; they just know.”
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    … and alchoholics “just know” a lot of things, too, that trap them in dysfunctional behaviors.

    Cigarettes, alchohol, sex – all have components of addictive pleasure. You could drink a fifth of scotch every night for a week – but unless the buzz connected with a deep inner need (or you were one of those with a genetically determined strong reaction to alchohol) you would not become an alchoholic.

    Homosexual self-image springs from a traumatic sense of separation/inferiority relative to members of one’s own sex. If you don’t feel this, you can eat all the quiche you want – with your pinkie sticking out! – but you will not become gay, because you are not driven by the underlying psychological deficit.

    You could even be one of the 1/3 of young men who feel crushes on another guy during their teen years, and you may even have one or two man-on-man encounters. The vast majority of these guys wind up integrating a hetero adult personality – not just because of social pressure, but because their sexual experimentation was just that: incidental experimentation, not a deep compulsive drive.

    In fact, there is much more solid evidence of a genetic disposition to alchohol than for homosexuality – genes triggering strong reaction to alchohol have been identified and traced in families whose members have drinking problems.

    So maybe all these genetic alchoholics should parade in Jerusalem, too:
    “We’re Drunk! We’re Driving! Get Used To It!”
    Then a carefully-groomed spokesperson of the Drunk Lib movement can go on National Public Radio and say:

    “We were born this way. Why should we be penalized for who we are? Drinking is a great, natural pleasure shared by evey human being. Why must we be made to deny our G-d-given experience of drinking just because it is different? I’m tired of living in the shadows, tired of brutal policemen pulling me over for a breathalyzer test – do you know how degrading that is when I have been out with my fellow members of the Drunk Community?”

    Homosexuals don’t need tolerance. They need treatment. Young people – guys especially – need to be told that their incidental attraction to other guys is a natural part of adolescence, and not have the shackles of “gay identity” slapped on them.

    Ben-David

  • Ben David, Muffti is still confused. Your complaint is well taken: surely no one should be confined to an identity on the basis of incidental evidence. Especially when there is a lack of workable criteria. But why does it follow that all gayness results from psychological deficiency? What is the utility of calling it a deficiency? And why does it need curing unless it is a real problem?

    Which also shores up the (fairly obvious) disanalogy with alcoholism. Alcoholism is clearly bad for you and anti-thetical to a happy life (with few notable exceptions Muffti supposes.) And we limit driving and so forth because of a clear public health risk. What is the analogue for the gay community?

  • for once i agree with muffti. what the hell does alcoholism have to do with homosexuality unless you consider homosexuality a danger to others?

  • Alcoholism is clearly bad for you and anti-thetical to a happy life (with few notable exceptions Muffti supposes.) And we limit driving and so forth because of a clear public health risk. What is the analogue for the gay community?
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Several indices of mental distress and dysfunction:

    -rates of drug and alchohol abuse that are 3-5 times the rate in the general population.

    – rates of clinical depression that are 4-5 times the rate in the general population.

    – high rates of other self-destructive behaviors, such as unprotected sex (there is actually a sub-culture of gays who wish to get infected and seek out HIV+ partners).

    – high correlation between childhood sexual abuse and homosexual identity formation (40-50 percent of gay men report a history of molestation, depending on the study).

    – inability of most gays (90% of the out-of-closet community) to escape a cycle of compulsive promiscuity, despite their wish to find a “dream lover”.

    – inability of most gays (80-90% of the out community) to sustain committed, intimate relationships beyond an 18-24 month limit.

    – a common family history of estrangement from father and/or enmeshment with mother (shared by as many as 80% of respondents in some surveys).

    – a common psychological profile of arrested adolescence: intense externalized envy, lack of self-esteem, narcissism and self-dramatizing victimhood (one thing that determines psychological dysfunction is the restriction of personality and emotional range into limited patterns of thought and behavior – the gay community demonstrates this quite clearly).

    – a “culture” organized around promiscuous, anonymous sex, prostitution, and exploitation – especially of minors.

    All these data points come from studies of the post-liberation gay communities of America and Western Europe – conducted by gay-friendly organizations like the GMHC. So it is no longer possible to pin all this dysfunction on the general society’s prejudice. Put a yarmulkah on your head and you’ll probably experience more hostility than most gays have ever been through.

    Again: this is the description of homosexual dysfunction described by all the major theorists of modern psychology. There were good reasons why previous generations – and most advanced cultures – viewed homosexuality as a maladaptation.

    None of these arguments were ever disproven. They were just shouted down by liberals with their own amoral agenda.

    The evidence that homosexuality is pathological is abundant, and based on scientific surveys. The links I posted previously are a good starting point for anyone wishing to confirm these facts.

    This is a purely secular argument: no Bible quotes necessary to reach this conclusion. Homosexuality fails the standard of “behaviors deserving tolerance” because of its obvious pathology, long before anyone calls it an abomination.

    Ben-David

  • clarification: mangled sentence should read:

    Again: All these patterns of behavior jibe with – and are explained by – the description of homosexual dysfunction described by all the major theorists of modern psychology. There were good reasons why previous generations – and most advanced cultures – viewed homosexuality as a maladaptation.

    Ben-David

  • Muffti find these stats, interesting, though some of them are not very clearly relevant to establishing dysfunction. Furthermore, there are plenty of studies that contradict many of these findings. See for example Here for on analysis of the data concerning promiscuity (conducted by a gay christian in Indianopolis).

    Comparison of studies such as (J Billy-1993: Family Planning Perspectives 25:52-60, R Fay-1989, Science 243:338-348) indicate that the number of partners homosexuals tended to have fewer lovers on average than heterosexuals. Muffti doesn’t take the data to be particularly clear but he cautions a fair bit of caution when we take ‘studies’ too seriously on these thing without careful looks at their methodology etc.

    In any case, Muffti finds it hard to take the idea that intolerance towards homosexuality has really abated seriously. At least, the thought that it has abated enough to hetero/homo comparison seem unlikely. That Seinfeld joke about ‘…not that there’s anything wrong with it.’ is more chilling than funny.

    There’s an entire wing of a political party in the states that opposes even recognizing gay civil unions. The president of the US is actively supporting a constitutional amendment that bans gay marriage. Showing gay physical activity on television is still considered taboo (as are nipples, demonstrated by the superbowl half time show a few years ago! Next time y’all talk about how laissez faire society is about sex, remember that the FCC raised the possible fine for ‘indecency’ to half a million dollars!)

    Hate crimes against homosexuals is not rampant but visible. According to the American Psychological Association, for instance,

    Of nearly 2,000 gay and lesbian people surveyed in Sacramento, California, by Dr. Herek, roughly one-fifth of the women and one-fourth of the men reported being the victim of a hate crime since age 16. One woman in eight and one man in six had been victimized within the last 5 years. More than half the respondents reported antigay verbal threats and harassment in the year before the survey.

    While murders are relatively rare (though let’s all remember poor Matthew Sheppard) the daily harrassment gays face in various parts of the country is palpable. And the general norm concerning heterosexuality is as firmly in place as ever.

    In any case, like Muffti said, he’s open to the idea that the facts of the matter and the politics are at logger heads. He just doesn’t think that the data is nearly as clear cut as you are making it seem. Nor does he share the presupposition that these comparisons with the hetero community really represent a balanced comparison. A more tolerant society is not a tolerant society per se.

  • p.s. Shtremiel, why haven’t you weighed in on this one? Is this the first matter we’ve come across where you haven’t ‘lived on both sides of the fence?’ 🙂

  • Well, According to Ben-David – wow unto all of the poor creatures from numerous species who display Homosexual behaviour in all its wild range. All of them are dysfunctional and their “Homosexual self-image springs from a traumatic sense of separation/inferiority relative to members of one’s own sex.”…

    Here:
    http://www.sciencenews.org/pages/sn_arc97/1_4_97/bob1.htm

    http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/13200.htm

    http://www.bidstrup.com/sodomy.htm

    and
    http://www.ipsnews.org/new_nota.asp?idnews=27742

    So either all these animals are loco, or we have to assume that for whatever reason, those creatures, created by the same power that created us – G-d or by Nature – whichever belief one subscribes to, have it in them as part of creation, or part of natural selection. I tend to think the second assumption holds more water; I mean those creatures don’t even have a Jewish Mama to blame, and I doubt counselling will help.

    One would have to reason that we are NOT animals (Motar ha-Adam nin Ha-Behema etc.) and maybe we do have the possibility of a choice to overcome certain desires (I’ll come to that in a minute). But that is not the point contested. Either it is a normal behaviour, and maybe we have a choice, or it is abnormal and we need treatment.

    If it was abnormal indeed, would it not stand that somewhere, sometime, both in the animal kingdom and within human culture, it would not occur? But it does, in all cultures, and hundreds of species. And at least in the human case, it seems to have a fairly stable ratio. A small albeit not insignificant percentage of people engage their heart, attraction and more with same-gender partners.

    And if it is normal, then the only good reason to make that choice and suppress it is because the Torah implicitly says so, and assuming one wants to practice properly one should follow the rules.

    But hang on, what about the laws of practice at the temples – so many which one cannot for the lack of temple (and please don’t drag this conversation into politics). The times they are a-changing, and we have to adapt and live with changes. Some of these are convenient (If you don’t like that, do not use your automatic Tchulent cooker for the Shabbat),; others call for us to question our moral standards.

    For example, how about little death penalty for the sake of keeping the Mitzvahs alive – we can choose from sins galore – from murder to blasphemy, idolatry to adultery, violating the Sabbath, practicing magic, and apparently even rebelling against one’s parents. And there is a wonderful array of appropriate measures –stoning, burning, death by swords… Eh, should we re-enact those standards too?

    Because if you make concessions for the times, you should use wisdom and balanced calculated judgements about what is appropriate. You can argue that one should suppress those urges because they are against the rules, or you can see that the laws applicable for a certain day and age might be out of whack with our present culture. Ben David might think that they need treatment, not tolerance, but I would dare say it is tolerance that allows different opinions to co-exist. Live and live. Intolerance from others was part of the Jewish life for centuries and it was not very forgiving, could we not learn something? You want to live by the Torah – wonderful for you. Someone else wants to live a bacchanalian life of sexual otherness – what is it to you? Forced therapy (which means is the modern day equivalent of stoning) will not make homosexuals go away.

    And by the way, in the name of tolerance, it seems appropriate to question if making such a statement in the streets of Jerusalem is a smart move, as it does bother many people. If tolerance would work all way around, one could sincerely question the wisdom of it.

  • Muffti:
    In any case, Muffti finds it hard to take the idea that intolerance towards homosexuality has really abated seriously.

    There’s an entire wing of a political party in the states that opposes even recognizing gay civil unions. The president of the US is actively supporting a constitutional amendment that bans gay marriage.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Translation: Of course there is still prejudice – there are actually people who still disagree with us!

    – and a president who acutally sides with 3,000 years of history on this issue, instead of 30 thin years of PC propaganda!

    How awful – benighted folks actually questioning lefties’ heavy-handed social re-engineering. Ingrates!

    Muffaleh, do you grok what a self-serving non-sequitir this is?

    Is it possible for people to disagree with the normalization of homosexuality without being branded ‘homophobes’? Is it possible for the majority in this country that is skeptical of gay claims to pursue their constitutional rights to free speech and political action without being condemned as “hate criminals”?

    This is the same lame technique being used to shout down dissent on affirmative action, assisted suicide, and other important issues.

    It turns normal definitions of victimhood and intolerance inside out – as lefties shout down others in the name of “tolerance” and victimize others in the name of their own “victimhood”.

    Use of data on substance abuse and depression are regularly used to determine mental stress/dysfunction. Correlation rates much lower than these are used to forward PC claims of “hostile workplace environments” etc.

    There is ample evidence that homosexuals do NOT make use of civil unions in large numbers, even when that option is offered to them. The picture of dysfunction and promiscuity that emerges from the data explains this – how do you explain it, Muffti?

    Michael –
    1) polyamory, infanticide, and cannibalism are also very common in the animal world. So?
    2) I am a Jew, I don’t let the baser parts of my nature limit my plans for my self or my society.

    Ben-David

    Ben-David

  • That guy writes about fags and his name is Bend-avid. Get it? BEND-avid?

    heh hehehehehe eh heh heh hehehehehe eh heh

    What a chode

  • Ben-David wrote: I am a Jew, I don’t let the baser parts of my nature limit my plans for my self or my society.

    So are you saying homosexuality is merely a base part of one’s nature? That it’s a natural inclination akin to polyamory?

  • ck:
    So are you saying homosexuality is merely a base part of one’s nature? That it’s a natural inclination akin to polyamory?
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    I’m saying basing ANY claims about human sexuality based on what animals do is asinine … attempts to equte human and animal morality/sexuality is just a lame and desparate distortion of science to suit a political agenda.

    The closest species to us is monkeys – and we understand things monkeys don’t, and have emotional and moral needs that monkeys don’t. We don’t structure our society like monkeys do (infanticide being the most obvious difference of many).

    At least I don’t.

    And yes, the sexual drive – compared with drives to altruism, truth, and justice – is classed among the baser drives by most Jewish sources, and by Westerners in general. Certainly we Jews don’t think “sex is bad” in the way Catholics do, but it isn’t viewed as the noblest of our creative forces, and is carefully channelled in positive ways.

    This is difficult for you? Not obvious?
    Ben-David

  • Had a dream last night about monkeys. It was really wierd and included 8 handed goofy looking spider monkeys.

    But I digress.

    The point I was getting at is that I don’t think homosexuality is natural. It’s not a part of me the way heterosexuality is. For instance part of me really likes the idea of having as much sex as possible with every cute woman I meet or see. But I control myself and try to behave in a decent manner. However I sure as heck do not have to struggle with homosexual feelings! I mean my nature definitely has base parts but none of them involve hot sweaty sex with a man!

    But that’s my sexuality and that represents the norm. You could no more cure me of my heterosexuality than you could convince me I was actually chinese. The same is true of homosexuals. Their sexuality may be abnormal but it’s still their sexuality – the only one they have. That’s just not something that can be cured, as much as the religious right would like to think so.

  • Just wanted to say, Michael Bergman, I totally agreed with everything you had to say, great post! 🙂

  • ck:
    Their sexuality may be abnormal but it’s their sexuality… That’s just not something that can be cured, as much as the religious right would like to think so.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    There is not a shred of evidence for this belief – and ample scientific evidence to the contrary: sexual orientation is fluid, and homosexuality results from a definite matrix of experiences that arrest normal development.

    There are plenty of other cul-de-sacs of compulsive or abnormal sexual behavior – and in all these cases, these fetishists experience their sexual impulses internally as “normal”. This is true of all mental illness, and all addictive/compulsive behaviors.

    The clearest – and most hopeful – proof of that homosexuality is a maladaptation is the success of reparative therapy. Paralleling drug and alchohol rehab, modern therapy identifies the underlying psychological needs and finds healthy ways to heal old wounds of sexual identity. When the underlying need for affirmation in one’s own sex is met, the same-sex attractions that everyone swears are inborn… weaken and fade of their own accord.

    Contrary to popular belief, this successful therapy does not use Pavolovian reconditioning or holy roller prayer. Just straight therapy similar to that used for other compulsive behaviors.

    The success rate is the same as for other rehab programs. In other words, the diagnosis is correct – this is a compulsion obscuring normal sexual development and expression.

    The experts themselves are increasingly coming around to these ideas, and rejecting the notion of sexual orientation that is fixed at birth. They have to – the attempts to find a biological basis for homosexuality have repeatedly failed.

    I notice that you have introduced the concept of the “religious right” – but none of my arguments have been based on homosexuality being an “abomination”. The hell I refer to is the lonely, compulsive gay lifestyle – a life of perpetual envy and insecurity, unrequited love, and a debasing, compulsive sexual grind.

    From Dr. Jeffrey Satinover of Einstein Medical College:

    Should the American Psychiatric Association have de-pathologized homosexuality? In some ways I think the psychiatric establishment was right–homosexuality is not a disease the way that, say, pneumonia or cancer or schizophrenia are diseases… Homosexuality is a method of adapting to adverse circumstances. But like sociopathy, it exacts a cost in terms of constrictions in relationships.

    Right now, the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) is mostly a collection of problems labeled illnesses because they are consensually undesirable in our present culture. But at base, they are really issues of values, philosophy, and character.

    How can we “prove” to the psychiatric establishment that homosexuality is psychologically unhealthy? When we cited the higher associated suicide rate, gay activists said that the suicide was not due to the inherently dissatisfying nature of the condition–it was due to the stresses of homophobia. When we point to the high level of gay promiscuity, they said we were using a narrow, “heterosexist” and outdated definition of promiscuity. Gays could be emotionally faithful to one partner, they argued, while being sexually active with many partners.

    And you can’t get around those arguments unless you’re actually willing to say that promiscuity is an inferior way of life. You need to be able to say that some certain standard is better.

    If we can’t settle on a shared higher vision, then it’s amazing what we must be prepared to accept. For example, there is actually a growing body of literature in sexological journals arguing that the psychological and emotional benefits of promiscuity more than outweigh the risks to life from AIDS.

    So that is the fundamental flaw of psychology–it is meaningless without a framework of values. Therefore I believe homosexuality–like narcissism–is best viewed as a spiritual and moral illness.

    Now psychology as a discipline must accept responsibility for the extent to which it has been propagating an amoral ethos. Dostoevsky put it best in The Grand Inquisitor: “Without God, everything is permissible.”

  • Ben-David wrote: The hell I refer to is the lonely, compulsive gay lifestyle – a life of perpetual envy and insecurity, unrequited love, and a debasing, compulsive sexual grind.

    Uh… I know a lot of hetrerosexuals who live that kind of life too. Got a therapy for them as well? I didn’t introduce the notion of the American religious right – you did when you referred to narth.org.

    The “research” promoted by NARTH has often been found to be shoddy and sometimes unethical. I understand how some would like the world to be but that’s simply not the way the world is.

    I don’t have the time or the inclination to address all your points and I’m not even remotely an expert in the field. I’ll just direct interested parties to one very articulate blog called ExGay Watch which can be found at http://www.exgaywatch.com/xgw/ – the tone is academic and dispassionate and every post is well documented.

    Enjoy!

  • I don’t have the time or the inclination to address all your points and I’m not even remotely an expert in the field.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – —
    Translation: This exchange is too challenging – so I will pull up the drawbridge to preserve my confidence in received PC wisdom, and shore up conviction that even though I’m not an expert, I still know better than YOU.

    First you ignored NARTH’s basis in scholarship and criticised it because it was founded by someone whose child was gay – as if that ever disqualified the parents who founded pro-gay organizations.

    Your reference to exgaywatch clinches your inherent prejudice. It’s a self-referential hall of mirrors in which the only opinions expressed are the correct ones. No scholarship, no scientific discussion – just panicked political analysis of the religious right.

    You’ve been worshipping too long at your own TEJ Temple.

    Ben-David

  • Ben-david wrote:

    Is it possible for people to disagree with the normalization of homosexuality without being branded ‘homophobes’? Is it possible for the majority in this country that is skeptical of gay claims to pursue their constitutional rights to free speech and political action without being condemned as “hate criminals”?

    Muffti can understand why you are feeling rather defensive given how much you are being attacked. But Muffti wasn’t trying to brand the president or the wing of his party homophobes; Muffti doesn’t think you are being very fair to what he said. He wasn’t using any technique to shout people down; if anything, Muffti thinks he’s been pretty engaging with the arguments you’ve offered.

    Anyhow, if anyone is using a lame technique it’s you: Muffti tried to offer some evidence that the environment is not, pace what you say, an overly tolerant environment. When he points that out, you say that he is trying to shout down all opposition. Perhaps you should try some groking yourself on the issue of non-sequitors. The ‘leftie’ claim, that homosexuality requires tolerance in order that gays thrive is not refuted by pointing to a group that has only recently acheived social recognition and is still hated by large chunks of the society they are embedded in. Muffti isn’t out (right now at least) to point fingers and call names. He’s just trying to get straight on the applicability of social standards to the skewed data.

    What he did say was that in such an environment, its difficult to get a decent character of the gay community for the purposes of comparison with the straight community.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean that the statistics are meaningless. Presumably they are the best we have right now. But Muffti sees no reason to think that they sketch out a very accurate picture of whether or not homosexuality should be treated as a disease to cure or an element of society of which we should be more tolerant.

    Finally, you wrote:

    The success rate is the same as for other rehab programs. In other words, the diagnosis is correct – this is a compulsion obscuring normal sexual development and expression.

    This is no indication of anything, now, is it? It’s at best an interesting correlation. Muffti is happy to let science trump politics: but it would be nice to have some proper science. Talk about non-sequitors.

  • “p.s. Shtremiel, why haven’t you weighed in on this one? Is this the first matter we’ve come across where you haven’t ‘lived on both sides of the fence?”

    Nah. I’m at the tail end of composing music for an NFB Documentary with a deadline of….TOMORROW!!! Besides, you boys seem to be doing just fine by yourselves.

  • Ben David, no offence, but conjuring the likes of Satinover into this conversation makes your claim of distance from the religious right questionable.

    The fact you don’t call homosexuality ‘abomination’, only a ‘cul-de-sacs of compulsive or abnormal sexual behavior’ but then proceed to validate your opinions by quoting a man who holds Clarence Thomas as his Hero (and indeed was instrumental in the Thomas-Hill court-case proceeding his nomination), not to mention repeating derisive phrases like ‘Lefties heavy-handed social engineering’ makes one wonder. What would you call yourself? A Centrist? Walking the Middle way?

    And more to the point:
    “Michael –
    1) polyamory, infanticide, and cannibalism are also very common in the animal world. So?
    2) I am a Jew, I don’t let the baser parts of my nature limit my plans for my self or my society.”

    1. There is a remarkable difference between practicing Cannibalism or Infanticide and sexual practices between consenting adults – the suffering of the other party. This is plain silly. You claim homosexuals are mentally sick and – your words – ‘not a normal variant of human sexuality’ Maybe the problem is in defining what’s normal – prevalence? Morals? Indeed, there are practices that we hope not to happen ever again (20 million Chinese baby-girls are missing because of the One-Child policy). But there is a strong case – at least to question – whether disqualifying a behavior which does not harm else as normal because it does not fit one’s personal morals is a wise choice.

    2. I’m a Jew also, so? I’m also a human being, and if for some reason I was brought up in a non-Jewish environment which awareness would emerge first? I personally have difficulties in judging my opinions fit to dictates ‘plans’ for my society – I don’t think I know that much – but you are wholly entitled to yours. However, claiming that being Jewish means that baser parts of our nature (and can you please decide – homosexuality is natural or not?) do not run the show is a noble aspiration but does not pass a reality-check: The face of Israel society nowadays does not seem very highly moral – on any standard, from human trafficking to violence on the roads. From what you say we should see higher forms of behavior in the Jewish religious sector – well, tell that to the volunteers of the religious Samaritan help line in Israel who talk to the abused children, bashed wives, suicidal (usually from guilt about having homosexual feelings) youth and the like. Baser parts of our nature have been part of the human experience – Jewish or not, religious or not.

    Some people are more adept in controlling their urges, and some are not – it has nothing to do with tags. Indeed, some social groups have better receipts for peaceful – maybe even happy – social interactions than others. The American Constitution is probably a more appropriate paper than Mao’s red book if you want social evolution. It is also true that by large the Jewish codex has the wisdom to see what human nature is like and find the right measures not to make rules which are too difficult to follow or too light to ignore the fact a spiritual voyage requires stretching oneself. But it is not perfect, and was finalised hundreds or thousands of years ago. And guess what? We have evolved since then – mentally, socially, even spiritually. Part of that evolution is democracy; part of it is tolerance to other ways. (There is no better example than the advancement in gender-relationship over the last century). And maybe this dialogue is also part of it… Even if sex is a baser need than say the wish to create art or discuss ideas, there is a remarkable difference between making a personal choice and dictating a social dogma. When that social Dogma is based on a belief system of goodness vs. bad it is unfortunate; when it is based on someone thinking they have the key to the truth of what is normal and what is not, it is on a slippery slope that more then once have ended in misery for the human experience.

  • I like sheep!

    How come no one stands up and fights for me?

    Perhaps if I liked male sheep (yes, I know they’re called rams)then I would get a whole slew of television and media support. But seeing I only have a thing for female sheep, then I’m branded a freak of society.

    Anyone who must define themselves or express their identity by their sexual preferences in my opinion is asking, in life, not to be taken seriously.

    If you’ve got a thing about where you like to stick your boner, tell it to your mate, mate! I for one do not have to hear about it on my t.v. set.

    -signed Joe the sheep-loving hermaphrodite.

    p.s. Iggy Pop lives and breathes in the hearts of all men.

  • Didn’t Iggy Pop enjoy the, um, “company” of David Bowie? Or was that just a rumor made up to sell more albums (remember when music was sold in albums?)?

  • Hi.

    First off, i would like to say that though i am clearly not a jew (look at my last name :D), i found the discussion on this board to be very interesting. If i may make a few points…

    Relying on psychology, particularly Jung, can lead to some pretty flawed viewpoints on human behavior. At the heart of all that stuff (with the SOLE exception of defining the brain as a self-antagonistic organ) is a very flawed ideal, and a primitive one at that: Fatalism. I won’t go terribly into detail regarding that, as it is off topic, but one should closely examine the teachings of both Jung and Frued before wielding them in debate.

    Am I a gay hater? Not really, I’m fairly indifferent to what folks do between the sheets. Should the gays march on Jerusalem? The answer is a resounding HELL NO. Before you start telling me the wonderful stories about your gay friends, hear me out. The Holy Land has been a religious battlefield full of zealots on all sides since the days of the Old Testament (forgive me, my Hebrew historical knowledge is fairly limited to the bible as I was raised a Catholic.), tensions run high. There are folks running around with homemade bombs and whatnot, and allowing such an act could possibly ignite street wars, and Jerusalem doesn’t need any more of those. Of course, it’s a done deal now, but there is another facet to look at:

    Does JErusalem really belong to any one group of folks? Maybe politically it does, but it is the holiest city in the world for THREE major religions. Each of those religions has millions of adherents, and each one feels that homosexuality is a sin. Reasons are irrelevant, the point is that each religion, including the religion of the folks who run the state, have that opinion.

    Gay folks want tolerance, and thats fine. But tolerance does NOT mean affection, and to openly throw something offensive in the face of of the person from whom you seek tolerance is truly, truly stupid.

    So, in conclusion, I say that gay marches in general are harmful to the gay rights movement (a man seeking to be viewed “normal” does not draw attention to how “normal” he is), marching in Jersusalem is an offense to many more people than the parade serves to empower, and it creates strain on a political situation that is a powder keg.

    I apologize for the thread necromancy, and i truly don’t know if the parade did happen or not. If it did and everything was fine, so be it. But i think that in THAT particular part of the world a parade is highly inappropriate.

    I would like to state theat i do not hate gays, i am not some wack job fundamentalist christian (hell im not even a christian), I am merely stating an opinion. I don’t care who has sex with what, but i do find it rather ridiculous that some folks want everyone to notice what thier particular preferred method is. And i don’t buy all the crap about “it was so hard growing up and being gay”, it rings hollow. We all got picked on as kids for a variety of reasons, and we all can find some immature jackass who will continue to pick on us for that self-same reason. Suck it up, if a person is going to treat you as an inferior, than they probably aren’t worth knowing in the first place.

    I apologize for Gentile-ing up your board, we know return you to your regularly scheduled Semitic-themed discussion.
    “What, I dont get any cake?”
    “No cake for the impuritor!”

  • And one more thing, regarding the gayness of animals (which is a non-sequitur in my opinion):

    Amongst most animals this is a way of establishing dominance, and is often preceded by a brutal beating from whichever animal is establishing himself as the “Top”. Does this in any way translate to the behavior of human homosexuals? i don’t think so, seeing as one of the things that establishes a human being psychologically is a sense of self and awareness, whereas EVERY other animal (even chimps and dolphins, sorry to dissappoint) have little to no sense of self.

    Animal gayness isn’t really relevant to human behavior, but then is gayness relevant at all to human behavior? It’s a sexual choice, and provided it doesnt involve the victimization of anyone (though i can tell you as a former manager of an adult bookstore in Cleveland, many, MANY gay men are interested in sex with boys) who the hell cares?

    The Torah, Bible, and Qu’ran all outlaw these things, yes. But these same books all pretty much say, “Be nice to folks, follow the rules, mind your own business”. Sure we’re all supposed to conquer for the glory of God, but one could argue that is more of a political mechanic as opposed to a call for spiritual purging within one’s own people. Sodom wasn’t exactly filled with Jews.

  • One last thing. It is a choice. You CHOSE to have sex with someone, regardless of genetic makeup. No one forced you to. I CHOOSE to sleep with my wife. She doesn’t force me, so why doesn’t it go both ways? We are responsible for our actions, blaming it on something else doesn’t make the responsibility go away. And responsibility denotes choice. It’s an ugly truth folks can’t ever seem to wrap thier mind around, but there it is.

  • That was 2 last things. You’ll have to come in again and start all over.

    Your assessment of the Torah’s outlook on illicite sexual relationships is totally off target.

    This weeks’s Torah portion contains the verses we also read on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It’s admonition against illicite relationships, including homosexual acts, concludes with:

    And you shall observe all My statutes and all My ordinances, and fulfill them, then the Land, to which I am bringing you to dwell therein, will not vomit you out.

    You shall not follow the practices of the nation that I am sending away from before you, for they committed all these [sins], and I was disgusted with them.

    So I said to you, You shall possess their land, and I shall give it to you to possess it a land flowing with milk and honey. I am the Lord your God, Who has distinguished you from the peoples.
    (Leviticus 20:22-24)

    I don’t think that G-d was just acting tough when He warned of us the consequences of our behavior. If you disagree, I suggest you take it up directly with Him.

    BTW, “Jeremy” is a very Jewish name. “Carnes”? Irish origin, perhaps?

  • I don’t deny that if one takes a purely religious viewpoint on the matter, it is out and out unaccpetable. I consider myself an “agnostic”, so i was arguing it from a completely ideologically un-biased standpoint. But you also further served to illustrate my point:
    Folks such as yourself, who have an intense interest in the Holy Land due to ancestral claim, spiritual reasons, or whatever, do not want this to happen, and furthermore, THREE major social groups do not want this to happen. Thier house, thier rules.

    As far as my knowledge of Torah, I must admit I am ignorant. Thanks for the info! However, I noticed you quoted Leviticus. What other books of the old Testament can be found in the Torah?

    As far as having a problem with God’s standpoint on things, I don’t claim to really know them. I know what was written down, but folks have written alot of things, and many ancient texts have been tampered with. No, I’m not accusing any specific rabbis of doing this, as i know that is a very UN-Jewish thing to do, but it doesn’t eliminate the possibility. I don’t have any personal beefs with God i need to work out. Besides, according to you, he isn’t really my God, right? 😀 Unless you see this as an attack on Canaan (which for all I know it may very well be, in religious terms), I don’t fully understand how God urging the ancient Israelites to war to take the land He promised them is relevant. I’m sure you can clarify this for me, and I truly welcome it.

    I wasn’t really trying to debate religiously, I was merely stating my take on things.

    Oh, Carnes is German.

  • Boker Tov (good morning), Jeremy. A couple of quickies:

    Yes, various religious and ideological groups are at odds with each other and on numerous issues there is not and never will be common ground.

    The Torah consists of the 5 Books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Their original Hebrew names are much better. 🙂

    Regarding tampering with texts, that’s a big no-no. If you find any serious scholarly works making such claims against the ancient Jews (this exludes Islamic revisionism, based on Mohamed’s need to delegitimize both Judaism and elementary Christian doctrines), lend me your links.

    The G-d of the universe is everyone’s G-d. This is a classic misconception. May I suggest you google for “noahide”.

    As for G-d’s commandment to conquer Canaan after Israel’s exodus from Egypt, this was not the foundation of what created the State of Israel in 1948. However, once Israel came under Jewish control, there is a religious obligation on every Jew’s part to defend her and certainly not displace its Jewish population and return parts of it to enemies bent on no less than the Jews’ total annihilation.

  • I have found absolutely no text accusing any Hebrew priest of any manner of altering sacred text, i actually was trying to convey a point, and failed.

    How close are the books of The Pentateuch (what christians call the five books of Moses).

    I was wondering though, are the homosexual folks in Jerusalem really bent on the utter annihilation of Judaism? I don’t understand the reasoning behind this claim.

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