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Comment: Reflections on Yom Kippur and homosexuality within Judaism

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  1. Brian Burton 29 Sep 2009, 5:56pm

    Benjamin, Yom Kippor is a weapon in the Jewish orthodox armory. They live and work in that orthodox bubble and feel in control from there. How are you going to tear down the barriers they erected in the distant past to protect the Jewish Religion from all commers? That includes people with an unorthadox sexuality, that includes you Benjamin. In 1948, when the Isreali state became a reality. The political leaders established themselves like the carismatic Ben Gurian, who I lived to see take his place in Isreal as their first President. At the same time, the Religious leaders established themselves in their Synagogues and gave Religious leadership to a confused, terrified populace. Isreal, as in Rome, the Religious directives eminate from those two ‘Power Houses’ and fed down to the masses through the Priesthood. After all, Priests were always used as a type of local ‘News-Stand.’ It is anyones guess as to what will happen with the Jewish religion, the hard-liners, the Benjimin Cohens who will continue to be a thorn in their side. I wish you well, Benjimin Cohen.

  2. Simon Murphy 29 Sep 2009, 8:41pm

    The homophobia of the United Synagogue is sad but expected. It is a religious grouping which believes in a ‘god’ whose existence is unproven and impossible to prove. Like the catholics and muslims and hindus and baptists and mormons and sikhs and all the other religions, it is unrealistic to expect them to be reasonable. If someone wishes to follow a religion then that is entirely their choice. But there are options. If you must follow a religion why not choose a more tolerant, accepting version of judaism?

  3. Brian Burton 29 Sep 2009, 8:53pm

    Simon Murphy,
    Who in the world needs religious advice from a raging atheist? Stick to what you know Simon…Nothing! You will know nothing to the end of your days!

  4. Benjamin Cohen 29 Sep 2009, 9:48pm

    Just a footnote- I never said in the article that I actually have faith. I studied Theology at university so my interest in religion is often an academic one and I’m often driven by community rather than any notion of a surpeme power

  5. Simon Murphy 29 Sep 2009, 10:25pm

    Brian Burton: you say: “Who in the world needs religious advice from a raging atheist?”

    I’m not offering advice. I’m merely pointing out that religious groups tend to use their belief in a ‘god’ they can’t prove exists to promote hatred. They tend to have zero reticence in spewing their bile about homosexuality. If you believe in ‘god’ then good for you. Just so long as they don’t try to use it as an excuse to promote their hateful agenda. If someone uses their belief in ‘god’ to say homosexuality is immoral or sinful then they should quit whining about criticism of their zany beliefs.

    No 4: Benjamin Cohen: A question for you. If your interest in religion is academic and community based then why not be a member of a more inclusive synagogue. I don’t know a lot about judaism but I do know there are different, more tolerant synagogues. Wouldn’t you be able to continue your academic interest inside a community that accepts and welcomes your ‘unorthodox’ sexuality?

  6. Gosh Brian, you are one angry man. you need to chill out. My view on religion is that is a personal view. When I worked in palliative in London in the 80s, dying men rarely called on any god towards their dying because all of them realised there was sweet f all beyond. Only one 94 year old woman I cared for until she died use to pray occasionaly but that was because she wanted to make sure she was not humanly abandoned when she needed help most. That same woman had spent years in a concentration camp. Fundamentalists are the same what ever they believe.

  7. Brian Burton 29 Sep 2009, 10:27pm

    A great pity Benjamin, on faith. I am Gay and a Christian and feel fulfilled.

  8. Simon Murphy 29 Sep 2009, 11:22pm

    Good to hear you’re religiously fulfilled Brian. Personally I prefer to be filledfull. Sadly because I’m gay most religions have serious problems with this.

  9. Hi Benjamin. You may be interested in reading a paper by Jerome Walsh titled “Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13: Who Is Doing What To Whom?” Journal of Biblical Literature 120/2 (2001), 201–209 (also online at http://web.archive.org/web/20070104151350/http://www.sbl-site.org/Publications/JBL/JBL1202.pdf).

    In brief, Walsh argues that the phrase the lyings of a woman is the opposite of the lying of a male, which in the Old Testament (e.g. Numbers 31:17–18, 35, and Judges 21:11–12) means a male doing vaginal penetration. The opposite of this is female vaginal receptivity – the meaning of the lyings of a woman. The male equivalent of vaginal receptivity is anal receptivity. Therefore the Leviticus verses prohibit a male from being anally penetrated by another male.

    My views on the Leviticus verses are given on the Moses page of the “Gay and Christian” website at http://www.gaysandslaves.com/lev_summ.html.

  10. I understand there are many “Gay Christians” who speak of being fulfilled . . . but in a context of religious intolerance at every turn towards homosexuality . . . One wonders how any one could actually feel fulfilled.

  11. Personally I have found more acceptance of homosexuality in Liberal and Reformed branches of Judaism than I have in comparable branches of Christianity. . .

    My partner is Jewish, I am a lapsed Anglo-catholic – we have been together over 23 years . . . I therefore have a lot of experience of both religions. . .

    Yom Kippur has made us both think about what this might mean for 21st century secularism . . . particularly sacrifice . . . surely most pertinent in a throw away – have right it now – unsustainable consumerist society . . .

  12. Eagle Ashcroft 30 Sep 2009, 1:15am

    Reformed Jews are not against homosexuality and the verse he was talking about means a man should not lay in the bed of a woman during her monthly period as it is unclean. It has nothing to do with homosexuality. Many verses in both the Torah and bible are either misread or completely changed around going from Hebrew to Greek to English. My mother was Jewish, but converted to Christianity long before I was born and I grew up in the Christian church but begin to have my doubts when “god” condemned gays when I had these feelings since the age of five and begin to thoroughly investigate the bible and religions in general at age 35. By the time I was 45 I converted to atheism when I was convinced that the bible and the Torah were fictional and there was no god. After many years of not going to church I decided what the hell; and started back, but not because I believed in God, but Jesus’ messages were good even though I consider Jesus a fictional character I still like his sermons. Sort of like the Nibs character in the 30 book Nibs misadventure series; I like Nibs thinking and how he opens the doors of Boodocky to the oppressed of the world and fights for the oppressed. Any character in any story fictional or not, as long as the main character is inspiring I’ll show up at that “club house” (church, temple, etc) to hear the inspired word. Some day I hope to attend a reformed Jewish temple as I get newsletters from some of them and they have nothing against gays and accept them with open arms.

  13. @JohnK – ‘we have been together for over 23 years’- that is absolutely wonderful. I wish I could find a partner like that. I would love to hear your story of how you met and how you have coped homophobia and lived through the years.

    Benjamin try a Reformed Synagogue or even Conservative although I am not sure about the Conservative Synagogues.

  14. Jean-Paul Bentham 30 Sep 2009, 10:06am

    Ben:

    Thank you for this.

    Although I didn’t read your reflections on Yom Kippur two years ago, and my knowledge of the Jewish faith and practices is deplorable (there were no Jewish families where I grew up), I swear I could follow you emotionally from start to finish.

    At the moment, I am a senior lapsed-catholic Acadian-Canadian.

    All Acadians are catholics. My ancestors arrived here in the “New World” from France with the mission to convert the native Indians to catholicism before the protestants could get to them.

    My point is that like you, my participation in catholic liturgies were entirely community driven for years and years and years.

    As a cradle catholic, I know that the catholic mentality will always be with me. Memories are real. The people I’ve known are real. My family is real.

    Now that I’ve stopped practicing catholicism, my entire extended family, especially the Acadian patriarchs and matriarches, who are highly educated you know, can more easily accept the fact that I am 100% gay than the fact that I’ve stopped practicing my cradle religion.

    In fact, I am presently alienated from the older generations and even many who are younger than I because it has become common knowledge that I’ve turned my back to the church.

    My partner is also a cradle lapsed-catholic Acadian, but his family is nowhere as closely knit as mine is, and a lot less numerous. But whenever he feels the need for comfort, he will go to church in the off-hours and light a candle, a symbol of continuous prayer.

    Changing to another church is not the answer for us. This papacy has been the final straw, and we intend to wing it on our own, come what may.

    You are still a fairly young man and you have already made a tremendous contribution to society. You can be proud of that, and you know as well as I do that your jewishness will always be with you, even if you became an agnostic or an atheist. As a friend of mine once said: it seemes to be in our “genes”. haha!

    Personally my faith is in my heart, and my heart belongs to my partner, and vice versa. Our friends have become our family. That’s OK with us, and we are as happy as can be. Neither one of us feels the need to confess simply because we are not hurting anyone.

    Thanks again for your transparency. Love you.

  15. I think we need to be a bit blunt here. one can have community with one’s family by going to a restaurant. Judaism, like Christianity, is pointless drivel which is is best avoided. The fact that Mr Cohen is prepared to exclude his husband from this celebrations may say more about him than about the issues in the article.

  16. Ben, its pity when someone as intelligent as yourself and obvioulsy very aware of your proud heritage has to feel so uncomfortable in a religious building. I used to feel the same sitting in my RC church, the place I was baptised in! Then I dumped it (as far as a guilt ridden gay catholic can dump it!!!) You mention the more liberal Judaism (I gather thats the bid Lady Neuberger is in? I’ve always admired her)but I guess in a way its like looking for aChritain Church that accepts LGBT as equal; I found one in the USA this year and If I loved there I might even be tempted!!

  17. ps Freudian slip! If I live there…..sorry

  18. Brian Burton 30 Sep 2009, 1:03pm

    Well, I think you are ALL talking out of your Backsides, ALL of you who think Religion is a waste of time. Simple Simon Murphy constantly prattles on about ‘PROOF’ he will never find proof unless he finds his ‘Faith.’ The Atheists on these threads are legion,so, I don’t listen to their (Just pointing out!) as S.M. says to me the downside of Religion. There is no down side to my belife in God. As a Gay Christian, I’m ‘FULLFILLED.’

  19. Brian – I think you are being quite irrational in your response here. You claim that Simon Murphy won’t get proof of the existence of god unless he has faith. Not meaning to be rude here but that is quite the absurd statement. Faith doesn’t really prove anything other than that you personally have a belief in a god,

    Considering how homophobic and intolerant most religions are they actively discourage faith and belief in god. If religion teaches that being gay is evil then the obvious reply from a gay person is ‘Well am I evil? Well no, I don’t think so. I try to live my life with honour and respect for others. Who tells these people that I am ‘evil’. They say it is their god. Well I want nothing to do with a god who is supposed to have created me but who regards me as evil’. The quite logical conclusion is that god is either an asshole or fictional.

    If you believe in god and have found a religion that doesn’t hate you because you are gay then you are lucky. Most gay people do not have this experience. Most get told they are sinful, or immoral, or perverted, or sick.

    So it is perfectly understandable why so many gay people are atheists. The god they are taught about is a hateful, vengeful, monster. So when they withdraw from the hateful, vengeful, monstrous god they will stop and think ‘Well how come these priests can’t prove god exists, they are making the whole thing up’

  20. And Brian. 1 more thing – you are aware of how smug your responses appear I hope?

    You refuse to deal with reasonable valid, questions. You seem to be repeating in parrot fashion ‘I believe in god, I am fulfilled’

    The idea that you can prove the existence of god by believing in him is absolutely contradictory and really is a very facile comment. It basically is ad admittance that god’s existence cannot be proven but that this is irrelevant because you personally believe he exists.

    Considering how evil most religions are on the subject of homosexuality it is entirely understandable why most gay people are atheist.

  21. Brian Burton 30 Sep 2009, 4:50pm

    Vince,
    you are just a carbon copy of Simon M. And, when you die it is total oblivion for you is it?…It certainly looks that way Vince!
    Belive me, I’m not tring to prove anything to anyone on this thread. I am free to choose what I belive as you are free to have your views. I have the right to express my feeling of ‘Fulfillment’ also. I feel sorry that you are so deluded. I cannot help but chuckle at your naive views on my belifes. There are thousands of Gay Christians Vince. We filled the Albert Hall for ‘Gay Christian Praise’ if you can sing as good as you prattle on, you’d do well dear Vince. Simon M. is an atheist and I am Christian but I still like him as I like you too Vince. That is fulfilling in itself is’ent it?……And Vince, I hope you are not a vengeful, hateful monster?

  22. Simon Murphy 30 Sep 2009, 6:09pm

    Hahahahaha. Oh Brian. You are a card. YET AGAIN you are unable to answer reasonable question.

    Your comment “Simon Murphy constantly prattles on about ‘PROOF’ he will never find proof unless he finds his ‘Faith.’”

    That is a truly ludicrous statement. That makes about as much sense as believing the earth is flat simply because the pope told his followers it was the case despite evidence to the contrary.

    Simon: “can you prove the existence of god?”
    Brian: “I believe he exists and that is all the proof I need”

    I fully believe that once we die that is it. There is no afterlife.

    But if it gives you comfort to think you’ll end up in heaven then good for you. But you seem reasonably intelligent. It is bizarre that you believe such nonsensical superstitionn

  23. Brian. On the MCC asks ‘Would Jesus Discriminate’ discussion you accused me of posting with a lack of love. Your posts on this thread, and many others, aimed at Simon Murphy, amongst others, are hardly done in the spirit of peace love and understanding.

    At no point do I ever remember studying the part of the bible where Jesus, or indeed any of the other characters in the good book, state ‘do as I do, not as I say’

    How do you spell hypocrite?

    You have truly shown your christian colours. Congratulations, you are,obviously, a true believer.

  24. Brian Burton 30 Sep 2009, 7:39pm

    Thank you Alan for your comments. I have made it quite plain I like Simon Murphy, I just Do not agree with him. Also Alan, I have the democratic right to be Christian (Not Fundermentalist) Just a regular beliver!

    Simon, glad to have made you laugh dear Boy…now that’s a favourable response I would say!

  25. Hi Rich

    Look me up in the members section . . . . lets have a chat

    http://my.pinknews.co.uk/members.html

  26. Jean-Paul Bentham 30 Sep 2009, 10:59pm

    Rich:

    I will vouch for JohnK.

    You will not reget getting in touch with him.

  27. @Rich
    Lets chat in the my space on this site

  28. Jean-Paul Bentham 1 Oct 2009, 1:58am

    pinhead

  29. Brian Burton 1 Oct 2009, 6:46am

    JonnK,
    Why not e-mail Rich? That’s what it is there for…! Rich is one of the good guys.

  30. Brian Burton 1 Oct 2009, 7:17am

    As for Yom Kippor and what it means to an openly Gay Jew. Have the good grace to accept it. After all, You expect to be accepted for yourself. There are no one-way streets in life, they are all two-way. As for Gay-Partnership, it’s an interesting bond and becomming the norm for the time being untill proper marrage is instituted world-wide for same sex couples. Experiance is of value to Gays and marrage could be certainly an experiance! Judaism is a facinating Religion because it’s as old as time itself seaminly. But what ever the Religion and whatever we seek to do with it, it is not important. The Spirit alone is of importance. And remember, the gift of prophecy is given to all those who do not know what is going to happen to themselves.

  31. Simon Murphy 3 Oct 2009, 2:19am

    Do you think Jesus eats Skittles, Brian?

  32. Brian Burton 3 Oct 2009, 7:25am

    Simon, Is that a retoricle question?

  33. Jerry Weiss 3 Oct 2009, 12:21pm

    When I was 16, my grandmother “bought” the Leviticus alliyah for me to go up to the torah to “read” on Yom Kippur. She knew exactly what she was doing as I’d been detained by the cops in a gay sex sting (this was a long time ago). Since that day I haven’t set foot in an orthodox synagogue. Why even give the time of day to those who hate you?

    If you’re ever in New York City on Yom Kippur, check out the Gay Synagogue’s free Kol Nidre service at the Javits Center (a huge convention hall), which attracts upwards of 6000. It’s a very freeing experience, and also very gay (Kol Nidre itself presented three times: once by a cantor, once by a soprano, and once by a cello soloist).

  34. Jerry Weiss 3 Oct 2009, 12:27pm

    P.S. Yom Kippur is not a “festival.” A day of fasting cannot, by definition, be a festival, a word which derives from “feast.”

  35. Brian Burton 3 Oct 2009, 4:37pm

    Jerry Weiss,
    What a heart-warming story. When I was young, (I’m in the UK) the cop sting talked about here was Singer Jonny Ray arrested in a New York Bar. Now, a gay charity is handing out condoms in Gay cruising areas over here. I am not Jewish, just very pro-Jewish. I have not even been to Isreal yet. I have been advised, that when I go to Isreal to leave your Religion at home!

  36. Edward Teeger 8 Oct 2009, 2:08pm

    Hi Benjamin. A great article and better than the comments generated.
    As a committee member of JGLG jewish Gay and Lesbian group, and an active member of a Masorti Synagogue for 30 years, this is a personal view.
    1. Orthodox Jewish law is not only based on the Old Testament. It has grown out of over 2,000 years of commentaries on the Old Testament, and later writings. It is the result of acceptance by Jewish communities, over hundreds of years selecting one interpretation out of the conflicting views of generations of Rabbis and teachers. For example all the hundreds of laws relating to kosher food are the interpretation of only one biblical rule, “Do not seethe a kid in its mother’s milk”. Yet all the laws have the full validity of formal Orthodox Jewish Law.

    2.Orthodox Judaism today does not have any mechanism to alter the laws in the Bible and as interpreted in the commentaries. This makes changes to the rules almost impossible, despite the desire of some religious leaders to re-interpret them. This problem leads in many cases to an acceptance that some laws are unfair, for example that a Jewish ex-wife can only remarry after her ex husband gives her a document to allow this.

    3.Biblical interpretation and literary scholarship in the 19th and 20th century has identified that the bible was probably assembled from many documents in the first century of the Common Era, (A.D.) and reflects the customs and ideas of that time. Some consider that the homophobic statements in Leviticus (supposedly about 1250 B.C.) were actually written after the Babylonian exile (maybe 586 B.C.) and were influenced by the danger of the Jewish people disappearing altogether if procreation and religious fundamentalism were not stressed. Our view is that as a living religion our attitudes should be judged against current values and justice.

    4.Unfortunately the teaching of religion to young people often stresses the miracles and “magic” of the ways of God. It can be difficult to recondition oneself to a more sophisticated and historic appreciation of the scriptures. This can lead to conflicts between what we consider Human Rights in present day standards, and the so-called, “words of God, written down by Moses” of 3,000 years ago. Both Jewish and Christian theologians today question the idea that the scriptures are the unchanging and only words of God.

    Many biblical statements and those of other religions are now considered to be simply wrong on issues ranging from the treatment of children, women, and Jews (in the new testament) to homosexuality and nationalism.

    5.Judaism believes that each individual has the free will to decide, that Rabbis are only teachers to help individuals or communities to understand or interpret the laws. Gay or Lesbian Jews with religious convictions may try to find a Rabbi with sympathetic views. Some remain in an orthodox community but keep quiet about their homosexuality. Some orthodox rabbis consider their homosexual congregants as Jews who sin in this aspect of their lives, just as other Jews sin, for example, by driving on Saturdays.

    6.Jewish people of every denomination choose which groups of religious laws they wish to observe, e.g. some eat only kosher food, some do so, but only at home, some do not ride or write on Saturdays. As a gay or lesbian committed Jew one has to decide which laws are fundamental to your faith, (such a fasting for the prescribed 25 hours on Yom Kippur), which laws one is comfortable to break, which you do not consider as God given at all, or just wrong and destructive, and there may be laws about which you feel guilty, frustrated or unresolved.

    7.Being Jewish, like being homosexual is an accident of birth, not usually a choice. It is often difficult to stop feeling Jewish because of the influences of family upbringing, society, and feelings of belonging. Individual reactions to awareness of the Nazi holocaust and conflicts in Israel, often promote identification with other Jews.
    GAY AND JEWISH MEANS BELONGING TO TWO MINORITY GROUPS, with resulting benefits and disadvantages.
    ——————————————————–

    Dr. Laura Schlessinger is a radio personality who dispenses advice to people who call in to her radio show. Recently, she said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22 and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following is an open letter to Dr. Laura penned by an east coast resident, which was posted on the Internet. It’s funny, as well as informative:

    Dear Dr. Laura:

    Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them:

    When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev. 1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

    I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

    I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness – Lev. 15:19- 24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

    Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

    I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

    A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination – Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?

    Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

    Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

    I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

    My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? – Lev. 24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

    I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.

    Your devoted fan,

  37. I’m nominally Jewish, as is my wife. But when she decided to go to Israel for a once in a lifetime trip, I refused to go.

    Because about Mid January 09 a couple of ULTRA orthodox gay members of the Knesset (parliment) said that gays were “like bird flu”. And obvious call for the mass murder of gay people.
    By those whose close ancesstors – maybe even parents – shared hitlers ovens with the gays of germany.

    The fundamental problem is biblical fundamentalism. Blind robots of religion, wanting to live in the 1st century. Which includes not just the orthodox Jews, but the catholic hierarchy, and some of the various christian sects. In the US led by the Southern Baptists, a church set up in the early 1800s to be the backbone of slavery, and to this day worships not God, but Satan.

    As someone said, good people do good things, evil people do evil things. But it takes corrupted religion to get good people to do evil things.

    So I kept my money, and gave it to the US group in main who is trying to prevent a referendum on the states marriage law, in an attempt to remove it.

  38. Brian Burton 9 Oct 2009, 11:24pm

    Orthodox Jewish Law is Man-made as an interpritation of what God expects from his People. Strict and inflexable, Jewish Orthodox Law is as bad as the Islamic Taliban Law but not as cruel or demonic. It is designed to only apply to a flock of obedient sheep. Free thinking is frowned upon in Jewish Orthodox communities. There is no place for outsiders in the Jewish Orthodox Communities, so Homosexuality cannot have a place in it.

  39. Brian Burton 11 Oct 2009, 4:57pm

    A letter to the Hebrews was written to a group of Christians who, faced with increasing oppersition, were in danger in danger of abandoning the Christian faith. The writer encourages them in their faith primarily by showing that Jesus Christ is the true and final revilation of God. In doing this he emphasizes three truths: (1) Jesus is the eternal Son of God, who learnt true obediance to the Father through the suffering He endured. As the Son of God, Jesus is superior to the prophets of the Old Testament, to the angels, and to Moses himself. (2) Jesus has been declared by God to be an eternal priest, superior to the priests of the Old Testament. (3) Through Jesus the beliver is saved from sin, fear and death; and Jesus, as High Priest, provides the true salvation, which was only forshadoerd by the rituals and animal sacrifices of the Hebrew religion.
    By citing the example of faith of some famoue persons in Isreal’s history, the the writer appeals to his readers to remain faithful to the end, with eyes fixed on Jesus, and to endure whatever suffering and persecution may come to them.

  40. Steve in MD 12 Oct 2009, 6:50am

    Basic issue – Biblical fundamentalists, be they Jewish, Islamic, Catholic, or Christian, are all the same. Wedded to an all consuming control of minds, and cloning and recoloning an evil past here in the present.

    Reform Jews are much more tolerant, and there is reasonable accomodation for gays in some conservative Jewish temples. But the Orthodox – forget it. As the Jerusalem post called them back in late June – “our Taliban orthodox.

    And the ultra-orthodox – these are the people whose parliment members have called gays “worse then bird flu”. A call for extermination of the very group whose ancestors shared hitler’s ovens with the close relatives of the ultra-orthodox.

    For this kind of mentality, I just made the decision that I will join the Unitarian Universalist church here in the USa. Which is about 20% jewish, 20% gay, and the rest all good light Christians.

  41. Brian Burton 12 Oct 2009, 9:22am

    Steve in MD (Where is MD?)
    I wonder Steve when we are about to breath our very last breth, you in the USA and me in the UK. Will we hope that we have done and said all the right things during this short span of years we are alloted here on earth? One thing is sure, If we have not done or said anything right, we will not get the chance to change it. Life goes faster than realism, but romanticism is always in front of life!

  42. As the Army told me decades ago, some days you need to put on your biggest set of balls.

    And you, sir, need to do the same. And leave these stone age beliefs in the dust to which they should return.

    By joining a Reform, or supportive Conservative Temple. And ridding yourself of the anxieties buried under the surface of the subconscious about what is essentially changing your religous beliefs, and stop the self torture that goes on in the name of G-d.

    We belong to a reform Congregation in the USA, and we actually are planning to have a gay day at the temple, in conjucnction with supportive christian churches in the area. Where we will celebrate our gay memebers lives.

  43. stevemd2, I think Ben Cohen just liked going along with his family (and possibly community).

    Someone needs to sit down with the Master Rabbis who concoct the strictures to live by – I believe they have teams of them constantly thinking about the Torah or whatever – and slap some sense into them about gays, women and whatnot.

    Benjamin – it would be nice if your family changed to a more accepting synagogue, I suppose.

  44. Brian Burton 17 Oct 2009, 1:38pm

    Well, my religious belifes are unshakable but I have always been told, if ever you visit Isreal, leave your religion behind at home!

  45. The amazing thing is that your “regret”, Ben, is self-inflicted. No one is holding a (meta)physical gun to your head and forcing you to sit in any place, to follow any tenets, to swallow what your soul senses is wrong. If there is conflict of mind between your essence and the drivel that is being espoused around you, then one or both of those things is invalid. But you wish to believe in the inherently fallacious mysticism of religion out of a blind obedience to outmoded and dangerous tradition. I was never freer than the day I spit in the face of the dogmatic subjugation. We are not born lowly servants to the unknown, full of intrinsic self-loathing; that is what all the antiquated clerics demand. We are potent. We are worthy. Until the time you cast off every vestige of indoctrinated theism, you will be at odds. I have no sympathy for someone who willfully seeks the company, counsel or absolution of those that despise him.

  46. Brian Burton 17 Oct 2009, 6:52pm

    Truth,
    Rather than cast off, as you advised, it’s much more prudent to ignore dogmatic drivel like you espouse so arrogantly. I am a Gay Christian, liberated, happy, optirmistic and I totally spurn your inhuman analogy of Ben’s situation!

  47. brian is very protective of his faith to the point where he feels he has to patronize anybody who holds a different opinion to his or is critical of a religion. brian dear u made ur point, just stop going on about it like a scratched record

  48. Brian Burton 20 Oct 2009, 4:37pm

    Mad Max, put an egg in your shoe and beat it!

  49. Brian Burton 20 Oct 2009, 4:44pm

    Max,scratched record?…you gotta be my age?

  50. Brian don’t be childish

  51. Brian Burton 20 Oct 2009, 8:55pm

    Good-By Max!

  52. Brian Burton 22 Oct 2009, 9:00am

    I have started a new group on ‘MY’ called “Christian Melting Pot” and it would be great to accept Jewish points of view on the Religious debating forum of ‘Christian Melting Pot.’ You do not have to be even Religious to join us.

  53. Eagle the militant American Indian-Jew 24 Oct 2009, 6:40am

    [quote] The literal translation of “V’et zachar lo tishkav mishk’vey eeshah toeyvah hee” is “and with a male you shall not lay lyings of a woman.” This is not quite the same thing.

    Shalom Benjamin; This translation is the correct one, as the word homosexual was invented in 1868 AD and was the norm back in the time of Moses. Its the Catholics that messed everything up and corrupted religion. In fact a creator would not create homosexuals amongst human and animal-kind and then condemn them, as it is not logical even. Its like a builder building a skyscraper and then condemning it, or a farmer planting wheat and then condemning it, it would make absolutely no sense. But then all religions were the inventions of ignorant simple-minded men in ancient times past to explain everything they did not understand and was accepted by insecure brainwashed people and indoctrinated to them as mere children growing up believing this dribble to the point they believed it by faith alone. Actually religion is a form of fairy tales for grown-ups to believe in as children have imaginary people they believe in and this faith is unshakable. Its actually harmless until it attacks other people thus spreading hatred, violence and death, then its no longer harmless, but deadly and evil as the notion that homosexuality is wrong and therefore all homosexuals should be put to death and all of the rights denied. At one time most people believed that Black people were cursed by the Mark of Cain and had no souls, therefore they had no rights. And the Muslims believe their women have no rights and should be mistreated. These are good reasons to condemn such religious beliefs whenever they deny other people’s rights. I know the Reformed Jews do not condemn gays because they know the right translation from the bible, even though the bible can not be proven to be true its self, its writers did not write any condemnation against homosexuals as it was done later by those that rewrote the bible to suit their own agendas thereby with holding the right translation and causing undo suffering to millions within the last 1700 years.

  54. Brian Burton 24 Oct 2009, 9:12am

    Good horse sence as the saying goes and my friend Eagle has that.
    So all you puny minded agnostics take note and profit from Eagle!

  55. Miriam, the tranz Schmiriam 10 Nov 2009, 11:04pm

    Please don’t listen to Brian Burton. He claims to be a ‘gay christian’ but he is actually a Nazi activitist. He told me that he thinks I love the BNP – when actually I don’t. For one, I’m trans and also my father’s family were Jewish and some of them were killed by the Nazis during World War II. This ‘Brian Burton’ character (I doubt that’s his real name as he’s certainly a liar) really needs to be exposed for what he is.

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