Elster's World

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Thoughts on the Gay Pride Parade

UPDATE: The Gay Pride Rally (formerly known as Parade) was held in relative peace and quiet today. A few protestors were caught and stopped and a few people trying to march towards Jerusalem were arrested by police. Thankfully this ended up with relative calm. Israel doesn't really need more negative press right now.

With regard to this whole billowing issue (and if you don't know what I'm talking about - well get your head out of the sand pal) – I know exactly how I come out. On one hand, I believe having the parade in the holiest city in the world could not be more wrong. I will sign petitions to stop it. I would make phone calls to stop it. I would cast my vote to stop it. As far as I’m concerned a gay-pride rally anywhere in Israel is flat out wrong. But if one must be held there, then at least have it in Tel Aviv (a bastion of New York-likeness). Or Eilat (a bastion of flesh). Or Nahariya (exactly). Why, of all places, must this “abomination” (Torah’s word for homosexuality, not mine – see below) take place in Yerushalayim?

On the other hand, I am opposed to the extremist reaction to use violence to stop the parade. I am not condemning all Chareidim here. I am condemning the use of violence to stop the demonstration and those who speak out and say voilence is an acceptible method for stopping the parade. There are many reasons for this but these are a big two:

- Violence begets violence. A letter was sent to many Chareidi leaders today stating that for every person hurt at the rally, ten religious girls would be raped. On so many levels, this is horrific, none of which need to be explained. But this is the cycle of violence. This is what violence does. And shame on those particular leaders calling for violence outright or just looking the other way and saying “well, we told them not to do it, but what do you want us to do?”.

- The world/press reaction – Needless to say, Jew on Jew violence is like bloody chum in the water for the shark-like media. Yesterday CNN had a headline "Orthodox Jews Protest Gay Pride". I mean, they love it. They absolutely love it. And indeed, why in the world would we, as a people, do things which we know will make us look so much worse in the public eye? Why draw the never ending spotlight right back down on Israel?

So to sum up – I’m against the parade in general, very against it in Jerusalem, but opposed to violence to stop it.

But the whole situation has made me re-visit a different point altogether. Homosexuality.

To be completely honest, homosexuality was always clear cut in my mind. Torah calls it “toeiva” (translated, basically, as “abomination”) – thus it’s an abomination. Therefore, homosexuality is bad. Simple right?

But here’s the once piece that makes it a little less simple. I always believed that homosexuality was a choice. People are not born gay, they chose to be gay. And my argument was – well, if you know it’s wrong, then don’t chose to be gay. Very simple. And it was easy to believe the theory of choice because it made my argument (just choose no) so much stronger.

Now I don’t know one way or the other, but what if it isn’t a choice. What if people are born gay? What then? Do we simply say “tough break pal, Torah doesn’t say you can’t be gay but it does say you cannot act on it. So your sh&t out of luck”? Is that the answer? And if it is, then is it an acceptable one from any standpoint other than - well ,we all have to make sacrifices for our beliefs? And I’ll be honest - I don’t know the answer.

But it certainly makes for a more interesting question.

14 Comments:

  • The headline you saw on CNN must've been revised after everyone (myself included) sent them a nastygram copied to the ADL. THIS was the original headline:
    "Jews set fires, stab, rage to stop gay parade"

    Bastards.

    By Anonymous anysara, at 6:46 PM  

  • RE:being born gay. I honestly think there are some people out there who were born gay. Probably many of the people who eventually come out of the closet do so because they've felt this way their whole lives.

    In this day and age of promiscuity/hyper-sexuality, however, I DO think that there are people who choose to be gay (though I think they're mostly women and a minority of gay women at that).

    I wouldn't want that struggle for anything. I've seen a friend in the community struggle with it and the torment/torture it caused.

    I think the bigger question becomes, what does H-shem expect? He obviously created people a certain way - but to be born a sexual human being and gay? It makes me shudder to even think of someone under that amount of duress.

    By Anonymous anysara, at 6:53 PM  

  • 1. While the idea of being "born gay" is not quite accurate, there's no question that male homosexuals do not choose to be gay any more than you or I chose to be straight.

    2. The fantacism of some of the charedim in Israel almost make me root for the success of the parade.

    3. Frum people in our generation and younger have a much different attitude toward gays than older frum people.

    4. Please use a spell checker.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 9:43 PM  

  • "He obviously created people a certain way - but to be born a sexual human being and gay? It makes me shudder to even think of someone under that amount of duress."

    How is that different from being a frum, older single?

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 9:44 PM  

  • "what does H-shem"

    Not to nitpick, but is there any basis for not spelling out the word Hashem, which is a substitution for the Hebrew version of God (a/k/a G-d)?

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 10:00 PM  

  • Um, I did spell check.

    Than ks for your comments though.

    By Blogger Elster, at 10:14 PM  

  • Your spell checker ain't working.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 10:18 PM  

  • I agree that they shouldn't be having the Gay Day Parade, since I jsut think it's inappropriate to make such a load statement anouncing your sexuality. As for actually being gay, I think that someone who feels that way should have the freedom to act however he/she feels in private, though in public I think it would be nice not to flaunt it (I do feel the same way about any sexuality, including heterosexual acts).

    By Blogger reluctant rebel, at 11:42 PM  

  • I'm with reluctant rebel here. I think people are free to do whatever the heck they want behond closed doors. But I find it rude and crude to see either a man and a woman, or a woman and a woman, or a man and a man flaunting what they do in public. I mean, get a room.
    I do thinnk that a gay parade in the holiest city of the world is innapropriate. Why don't they all get n a plane to San Francsico and paint up in body paints and march there? At least there they can wear flowers i their hair and not have antything thrown at them.
    It's insane how far people everywhere will go to push limits...don't you think?

    By Blogger Sara with NO H, at 7:32 AM  

  • "I find it rude and crude to see either a man and a woman, or a woman and a woman, or a man and a man flaunting what they do in public. I mean, get a room."

    But it is legal - in Jerusalem too - to do that. What basis could there be to ban a parade?

    "Why don't they all get n a plane to San Francsico and paint up in body paints and march there? At least there they can wear flowers"

    Because there are gay people in places other than San Francisco, and there are gay people who do not paint up in body paint or wear flowers.

    While I by no means support the gay political agenda (whatever that is or means), let's not express opposition via ignorant and baseless arguments.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 10:01 AM  

  • I was being very broad when I said San Francisco. My basic idea was for it not to be paraded through a holy city and let it happen somewhere where it's more common and accepted. You shouldn't take everything I say so literal.

    By Blogger Sara with NO H, at 7:51 PM  

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    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:27 AM  

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  • Uh oh - I am one more spamming blitz away from adding word verification back in.

    By Blogger Elster, at 9:21 AM  

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