more on homosexuality, promiscuity

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I’m back to this Jewish Press article, about homosexuality, halacha, and everything in between.

Firstly, what’s most significant about this article isn’t the content — there’s nothing new here in that regard — it’s the medium: the Jewish Press.  The fact that a highly visible, impeccably Orthodox platform has to publish a defense of its own movement’s stance means, in a sense, that the gig is up. This issue is not going away. The gays are not going back into the closet. And — here’s where things get dicey — they’re not going about it quietly (cf., recent YU conferences, etc.), to the point where it has to be confronted. A conversation’s begun, and it’s one that, you get the sense, some people would rather not be having.

So the authors pen a very declarative, almost scientific-sounding defense of their halachik viewpoint. Which can be summed up as: Hate the game, not the players. Or, as they put it, rather unromantically:

Even as halacha clearly labels the act a sin, Judaism does not seek to label the actors as evildoers whom we must shun.

Like I’ve said, we’ve heard this before a hundred times, a million times before. The party line has become a strange breed of political sensitivity and halachik inflexibility:  We’re not homophobic, promise! We’re just God-fearing!

This is bollocks. Let me be blunt: Homophobia, even if it’s divinely-sanctioned, is still homophobia. And just because Bible-literalists and the like feel that the attitude is inescapable, that it’s an ineluctable part of Orthodoxy, doesn’t make it okay, much less moral. This act/actor distinction is awfully blurry. Plus, it’s an entirely academic distinction. The right-wing Orthodox people I know are, for the most part, simply blatantly (and proudly) homophobic. When an openly gay man who nonetheless eschews sexual relations is hired in an Orthodox school, well, I’ll gladly eat it.

I’m not done with this.

Written by menachemkaiser

22 March at 16:02

Posted in rants

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