“I love being Jewish and I wouldn’t change being bisexual for the world. They are both intrinsically part of who I am.”
Well good for you.
But surely you can’t possibly believe that your religion is an intrinsic part of who you are.
You can believe something else but you cannot change your orientation.
And surely if you have been educated you accept that ‘god’ is an entirely human construct?
There are culture and ethnicity aspects to being Jewish too: it’s not just about religion.
Being jewish is a choice (she can be convert or reject all the religious and cultural aspects of it.)
Being bi is not a choice.
She can’t change the fact that she shares more genetic traits with other Jews than she does with non-Jews. No choice involved there.
dAVID, but being Jewish is also an ethnic issue. One cannot change one’s ethnicity through having a Jewish mother who determines the ethnic Jewishness of their child. WIth respect, it’s not really correct to say being Jewish is a choice. One can stop worshipping as a Jew but it doesn’t mean you’re not Jewish, ethnically speaking. That’s something one cannot change, it’s inherent at birth, just as one’s eye colour and sexual orientation.
An interesting article. Thank you, Sarah.
dAVID ofter expresses the views of a pillock. I don’t say he is one, because that would imply he has no choice.
So many religionists who don’t fit in with the “culture” of their religion decide to change aspects of their religion to fit their lifestyle.
Either it is the word of god or it isn’t. Make up your minds.
If you are deciding what the religion is about then you have really decided the religion is wrong. You are using your own brain to question what you are told, so just go the whole hog and ditch it.
Morality, like god is man made.
It may be the word of god but it falls to men and women to interpret it and to reinterpret it in the light of our ever increasing knowledge.
“Either it is the word of god or it isn’t. Make up your minds. ”
It is the word of G-d. Very simple. What “the word of God” means, is not so simple. We have 2000 years of commentary for that reason.
When I said “intrinsic”, I meant as part of my identity of “who I am”. I wouldn’t walk away from Judaism, even if I could. Please don’t put assumptions into my mouth.
I posted above, that the bible may be the word of god but it falls to men and women to interpret it and to reinterpret it in the light of our ever increasing knowledge.
Many people mistake religion as trying to demonstrate facts rather than truths. Facts are in the realm of science, which religion cannot touch. Truths are in the realm of arts – music, painting, poetry, theatre, religion.
For myself, I should say that the words of the gospels are very much the product of man, based on inspiration and revelation. They sought to capture in the stories some truths of their age – which stories must be continually reinterpreted so as to remain relevant to modern truths today.
This is what has become known as non-overlapping magisteria, I believe? After religion started to lose all the arguments, the religionists came up with this idea that science is about facts and religion about the unknown, the spiritual, the mystical and other magic.
There’s no truth in science then? Facts and truth live in different realms? Really?
“to remain relevant to modern truths today.” So the truth has changed as well? I would have thought a good description of truth is something that can never change. It is the “inspiration and revelation” that has been found wanting.
Scientific truth never changes, that’s why they call them laws.
There is no such thing as “religionists” any more than the “gays”. I also did not say that there was no truth in science but sought to draw a contrast between art and science.
Truths do change over time – as subjective views on art and meaning develop. Differently, no physicist would say that scientific concepts are not refined, discarded and replaced.
It is not true to say that scientific truth never changes but in any event, the changing of scientific theories is different to the discovered emotional truths of art.
Religionists (my word) are all the believers in religion. They do exist.
Truths don’t change over time. There is a great difference between a scientific law and a scientific theory. I am not aware of any scientific law that has ever changed, like the law of gravity.
Scientific theories however do change because new facts are discovered all the time. The theory is there to be tested or disproved.
This is the main difference between science and religion. Science sets out to discover if things are wrong. Religion believes it is right. Science enjoys being proved wrong and some of our greatest discoveries have resulted in someone being wrong.
Religion says don’t look for the answer because that is blasphemy. That is the opposite of faith, to question something. That is why religion has spent thousands of years getting caught with it’s pants down.
They deny the facts for so long and eventually have to change their opinion as they start to look foolish.
I didn’t realise you could put assumptions into someones mouth. Words maybe, but I certainly didn’t do that as I was making a general point about all religionists who end up having to move the goal posts, when their own views don’t chime with their god.
So “the word of god” doesn’t really exist then if todays “word of god” is different to last weeks “word of god”. Or did god just get it wrong first time around?
And the “word of god” changes every year as some pesky scientist answers another question that the priest couldn’t.
There’s a lot more commentary about god not existing these days. At least where you’re allowed to say that without getting your head chopped off.
The words stay the same, what we see in them changes. Take, for example, the Constitution of the United States. The words have stayed exactly the same for 200 years, yet America needs 9 judges to tell us what’s in it. And sometimes those judges disagree with the judges who went before them. No-one would say that Bowers v. Hardwick, which upheld sodomy laws in the US, wasn’t “true”. And no-one would say that Lawrence vs. Texas, the 2003 judgement that struck down those same sodomy laws, wasn’t “true”. The opinions change according to the times, all within the spirit of the law, and it’s letter.
You are talking about civil law which does change over time as attitudes change. Religious law cannot change if it is the word of god. The word of god is not flexible.
It is because religious law doesn’t work that we developed civil law. The conflict only arrives where an individual is trapped between their religious beliefs and that civil law. This is happening in more and more cases as individuals trying to cope with their religions bronze age morality cannot live in the modern world. See the famous B&B case.
The resulting cognitive dissonance is fascinating to watch.
If you want to believe that you can decide as an individual what god really meant, then I would argue that the next logical step is to realise that you don’t need god to tell you what is right because you have already taken over that responsibility.
Surely if you don’t believe in the Torah, how can you think or want to be Jewish? And if you do believe in the Torah, how can you think it is okay to be LGBT? It just doesn’t make sense. And it’s not about interpretation – anyone who knows their Jewish history knows that same sex relationships are not part of the Jewish faith. Reformed Judaism is a bit like saying, we don’t believe in it anymore, but we still want to hold onto it, so we’ll re-write it to suit us, which means that it isn’t what it was anymore – it isn’t Judaism – it’s something else – give it another name – that’s what the Christians did – but why would you want to do that? If you don’t believe in something, you don’t believe in it. Shouldn’t you just get over it and not try and re-write it? Just asking? Saying that, I have no problem with people who are have monotheistic faith and are in same sex relationships, good luck to them. I just think they’d be happier if they let it go. God isn’t jahweh or allah.
I presume that you are Orthodox, in which case I redirect you to “Wrestling with G-d and Man: Homosexuality in the Jewish Tradition” by Rabbi Steven Greenberg, the first openly gay Orthodox rabbi. He does a reasonably good job of demonstrating both that homosexuality has been part of Jewish tradition for centuries and that there’s room in Orthodoxy for gay people. The PDF is here:
For myself, I do not believe that Jewish tradition is binding, only the words of the Torah, and that is why I am not Orthodox. This is a matter of theology, not sexuality.
There is no such thing as theology. Just people who cannot agree with what they have been told so look for ways to adjust it to suit.
Theology is the science of coping with cognitive dissonance.
Sarah it is interesting that you took Mark Y to be orthodox as I took him to be atheist.
When one reads the commentary on the Torah, the Mishna Torah, the Talmud or any other book about Judaism, one comes to the understanding that each generation has interpreted differently.