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Senior Rabbi: Gay people are ‘unfortunate’ but public must rise above ‘aggressive’ attitude to them

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  1. Saying that we’re ‘not to blame for [our] inclination’ is tantamount to accepting that sexuality is just a feature of our biology..

    Therefore, remaining ‘disapproving’ of such a thing basically makes them the bad guys~

  2. Oh dear. What a patronising old qunt. “Revulsion” and “very unfortunate” are words that I am sure were used when discussing a certain minority in 1930s Germany. And we know the result was most “unfortunate”.

    1. Exactly the point. The Jewish communities along with with black communities (specifically members whom take offence at the gay community) should really be looking to their own history for reasoned judgement in these matters.

      “First they came for the Communists,
      and I did not speak out because I was not a communist” – so the poem goes.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 9 Jan 2013, 6:17pm

      I agree. His bloody religion, orthodox Judaism is reponsible for much of the institutionalised homophobia in religion. It spread to Christianity and then to Islam. All of the hateful rhetoric and bigotry has its roots in the old testament, the Jewish part of the f_cking bible. Who does he think he is passing moral judgment on gay people anyway, f-cking hypocrite.

  3. Polly Conroy 9 Jan 2013, 2:15pm

    Again, please, Rabbi, but just a little more patronising…?

    The only think “unfortunate” about being gay is the bigotry of parts of society, including you, against it.

    It feels like you don’t really learn from your own past with Jews being seen as “unfortunate” by some parts of society. And while you are not advocating gas chambers, you are judging homosexuality in a bad light…and that is enough for some of your followers to pursue religious based persecution.

    Sir – you are hypocritical and irresponsible.

  4. nice to know as one of lifes “unfortunates” I am having such a good one!

  5. The Torah is a pile of manic, antiquated dung, revered still by the mentally unstable. I think HE’S unfortunate.

  6. “one of the leaders of Modern Orthodoxy”. It is such a shame then that his modernity does not extend into real human life!

    I am not unfortunate. In-fact, I am very fortunate as I have a very close, loving family who accept me for who I am, not what I am.

    1. “Modern Orthodoxy” is an oxymoron, surely. Like “Caring Conservatism”.
      I, too, have a happy life, and refuse to play the victim card for my sexuality. It is a difference, not a defect.

  7. Didn’t the N.azi paper Der Stürmer Contain the slogan “Die Juden sie unser Unglück!” (The Jews are our misfortune!”)

    You would have thought that being part of a group that has been severely persecuted throughout history would make him more empathetic but no, people never seem to learn from history. I think exactly the same thing about gay people who are racist, if you’re part of a section of society that has been oppressed surely you would learn a little understanding. The only conclusion I can come to is that humanity as a whole is fundamentally stupid.

    1. I agree with you Chris.
      On Gay racism I would say, I have never heard a Gay person say that blacks shouldn’t have equal rights. I have never heard a Gay person say that Jews shouldn’t be allowed to adopt children. I have never heard a Gay person say that Asians are a intrinsically immoral.

      1. I’ve met several gay people who have whined about “the oppression of multiculturalism” or who have said “I’m not racist but”. I have also met a gay person who sympathised with the BNP.

        Gay people can be just as bigoted than any other section of society.

        1. Hi Chris, no I really do agree with you. I have made the same point myself. The Gay racist stuff was me going off on a tangent because of one point you made. Of course there are Gay racists but it isn’t embedded in the culture as it is in some other cultures and in most religions. Our representative groups like Stonewall, Outrage! etc do not make racist statements on our behalf. Nor do we carry racist banners on our parades. We are made up of every race on earth. On the whole, we can hold are heads up as a minority that does not seek to oppress others.

          1. No but that wasn’t my point, I was pointing out the lack of understanding amongst human beings as a whole, regardless of what group they belong to. As a a whole gay people are far less bigoted than religious people but bigoted individuals do still exist nonetheless. The comment I made about gay people who are racist was merely to point out how people fail to reflect on their own community’s history of suffering persecution when they seek to persecute others. I have talked to some gay people in the past (in the vast minority I should add) who were frighteningly narrow-minded. That was what I was pointing out. The same can be said about black people and Jews too.

      2. So racist gay people don’t exist? Anyway, I think you’ve missed the point I was trying to make.

    2. Spot on, Chris! People have VERY short memories – especially those from persecutred minorities. I’m constantly amazed how homophobic African Americans can be. It’s not fifty years that they were forced to sit in separate parts of busses. But today, they will happily call for gays to be outlawed. I blame religion …..

      1. It’s true, there is a problem with homophobia in the black community, mostly it is down to religion, just like it is amongst everyone. People seem to have this need to persecute and discriminate against people who are different to them. We are one interesting species.

    3. Jews forget the Inquisition, and hold their own pogrom against gay men and women. Christians forget the days when Protestants Kings and Queens burned Catholics, then Catholic Kings burned protestants…..

      How many gay men and women died fighting Nazi oppression? Or worked tirelessly for the Allied cause? Or worked in the liberated camps in 1945?

      A name for the Rabbi to consider: Rabbi Lionel Blue.

      1. That’s just it isn’t it, it’s human nature to forget and learn sod all from the past.

        I hate to sound like a pessimist but….

  8. carlo corbellari 9 Jan 2013, 2:42pm

    il solito moralismo di tutte le religioni che considera noi gay come sfortunati o malati o maiali. mai normali esseri che amano un corpo uguale al loro nella natura dei sentimenti kisses

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 9 Jan 2013, 6:20pm

      Ben detto, Carlo e grazie!

  9. People have such short memories. Around 300,000 gay people were executed alongside Jews in the gas chambers of Nazi Germany. Wouldn’t you think religious leaders of that faith would have more compassion for those who suffered alongside them? I despair at religion, I really do ….

    1. That There Other David 9 Jan 2013, 3:33pm

      However, contrasting the albeit patronising comments from the Rabbi that call for more tolerance against the ridiculous comments towards us from Imams and a certain Josef Ratzinger it does appear that Orthodox Judaism gets it much more than the other conservative monotheistic cults. What happened during the 20th Century may well be a factor in that.

  10. Positive step forward coming as it does from the senior, conservative end of the religious spectrum.

  11. this is a man of great learning but no sense. pontification is his way of life.

  12. David Cary Hart 9 Jan 2013, 5:27pm

    As a religious group we TEND to be the most tolerant of others. Thousands of years of persecution have something to do with that.

    As with any rabbi, this schmuck doesn’t speak for anyone but himself. We do not have any form of hierarchy or authority structure.

  13. Does he refuse to eat with Egyptians or advocate the stoning of women who don’t report their own rapes? Does he insist that Jewish farmers allow widows and orphans to pick up the remaining ears of their imperfectly gleaned fields?
    Sanctimonious old buffoon. He can take his vast moral superiority to those who flout his arcane taboos and shove it.

  14. Jean Pierre Katz 9 Jan 2013, 8:34pm

    This Rabbi is an ally trying to bring positive changes in the treatment of gays
    in the Orthodox Jewish community.

    Billions of Christians, Muslims, and Jews
    believe in religious teachings that forbid some or all gay sexual relations.

    In Jewish Orhodox tradition you can not
    and should not change the way these laws are interpreted.

    The same is true in Islamic law and how it is interpreted.

    But there is a way in Judaism to improve the lives of gay Orthodox Jews and this rabbi should be applauded not vilified.

    1. Applauded for what?
      Suggesting that we should be pitied as addicts to an abomination instead of just straightforwardly demonised? Both are hugely destructive to people who can only belong to a ‘community’ by accepting the denigration of their most important feelings and relationships and thus the trashing of their human dignity.
      You are also very naive if you think that the interpretation of religious traditions ‘cannot’ be changed. It changes all the time and is the stock in trade of how religion survives – no matter how ignorant or amnesiac its practitioners are.

  15. I shalln’t be softening my stance on his lot.

  16. Frank Boulton 10 Jan 2013, 7:40am

    What a pity Rabbi Dr. Aharon Livhtenstein doesn’t take a leaf out of the books of more progressive rabbis such as Lionel Blue and Julia Neuberger. If he uses such derogatory terms as “revulsion” and “abomination” to describe a group of people, who also perished in the Holocaust, then perhaps Rabbi Lichtenstein needs to remember what the Torah says about genocide. Deuteronomy 20 (in particular verse 17) records how God instructed the Ancient Hebrews to exterminate six nations to every last man, woman and child. If you want to hold on to a literal interpretation of the Torah, which condemns homosexuality, then you have to accept that genocide is justified in God’s eyes. A nice little conundrum! Does the Rabbi support both homophobia and genocide, or neither, or is he using the Torah as his moral supermarket and choosing which divine commands suit his own agenda?

  17. His ‘inclination’ to believe in a floating, vindictive man in the sky is similarly ‘unfortunate’.

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