Sunday, August 10, 2008

Quote of the Day

From David Benkof, an Orthodox Jewish man who has ceased having same-sex relations due to religious reasons:
Many outspoken Jewish supporters of the "ex-gay" movement are non-observant Jews. One Jewish woman who wanted to encourage me to become "ex-gay" sent me an e-mail - on Shabbat - to suggest some reparative therapy Web sites. I wrote her back to let her know that (and I confirmed this with an Orthodox rabbi) if she had to violate one commandment, it would have been better for her to engage in lesbian sex than for her to e-mail me on Shabbat. She became very hostile. No serious practicing Jew would let such people supervise their kosher meat, so why should we trust them with Jews struggling with same-sex attractions?

Benkof is very hostile towards what Jewish movements there are affiliated with the so-called "ex-gay" movement (a label Benkof firmly rejects). Indeed, he basically views them as either front groups for Christian evangelism or irreligious projects of clueless secular Jews.

I, of course, would rather see Judaism evolve so that people do not see a conflict between being Jewish and being gay. But Benkof's more "traditional" outlook is still worth reading.

1 comment:

Matt said...

My sympathy for someone who's complaint is that the way Christians articulate their baseless prejudices against gays has hegemonically usurped the ground for Orthodox Jews to assert their own baseless prejudices against gays is pretty limited. And on that note, I think identity politics has eaten itself alive.