Anti-Gay Hatred Brings World Peace

Okay, not quite. But it may at least bring peace to Israel, or so some are suggesting. There is an international gay pride event scheduled to take place in Jerusalem in a few weeks and that finally gives the bigots on both sides of that country's wars something to agree on. Rabbis and Imams called a press conference together to condemn the event and discuss ways to stop it.

Rabbi Yehuda Levin, of the Brooklyn-based Jews for Morality organization, is now in Israel for the express purpose of trying to stop the parade from happening. He led a press conference on Monday, together with Israeli-Arab MK Sheikh Tzartzur, Rabbi Menachem Fruman and others, calling for a "hudna" [ceasefire] in the current Israeli-PA conflict in order to fight a common battle for traditional values.

Well it's nice to see that, if nothing else does, at least their common desire to go get the fags can unite them as one menacing mob people. On the other hand, these folks actually seem to be arguing for heightened tension between Jews and Muslims over this event that could be used as a pretext for banning it from taking place:

Though several international news agencies showed up, Rabbi Levin expressed great disappointment that Al-Jazeera and others were not among them. "It's important for us to get this message out to the Moslem world," he said, "for several reasons. Their enthusiastic cooperation in this matter can be very helpful in convincing the police that there is a security risk involved in allowing the parade to be held." Rabbis from Italy, Russia and Venezuela also participated, as did Sheikhs Tamimi and Hamed Bitawi by phone.

Rabbi Fruman - a resident of the Yesha community of Tekoa - later explained to Arutz-7 that allowing the parade in Jerusalem would increase Moslem hatred for the "Jewish infidels who allow the Holy Land to be polluted in this manner. I have long felt that the conflict between us is a religious one... A prominent Sheikh just spoke last week very strongly against homosexuals - the Al-Alwatim, they call them, in the name of the Biblical Lot, even though Lot actually tried to prevent a homosexual attack... I feel very strongly that having the parade could increase the risk of Arab attacks against Israel - possibly on the day of the parade itself, and possibly afterwards."

Sounds like Mafia logic. "That's a nice gay pride event you got there. It would be a shame if someone was to blow it up. You know, the Muslims hate you folks even more than we do and they just might decide to get medieval on your asses. Those folks even think they get a bunch of hot chicks in heaven if they die for something like this. We're bad, but those people are nuts." Well, I think they're all nuts.

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The God Delusion is a book coming out by Richard Dawkins. That video is a TV special by Dawkins, entitled "The Root of All Evil?".

Your correct Gretchen but I think the video's two parts have two seperate segments one called 'The God delusion' and the other 'The virus of faith'.

First of all, you should know that Arutz Sheva is the Fox News of Israel... they are the mouthpiece for the religious right and are particularly skewed in their coverage toward the most radical amongst them. You should know that there is at least one rabbi that is intending to march in the parade. You won't find that their web pages!

I have to say that although the rhetoric is ridiculous and over the top, I have to agree with the idea that having a gay pride event in Jerusalem is mildly inappropriate. Just mildly, but still on that side of the fence.

Imagine the Pork-Eaters of America marching in the Jewish parts of Brooklyn or women in bikinis marching down the main streets of a strictly Muslim part of town. It's not illegal, but it's deliberately inciting people. Wearing bikinis or eating pork isn't at all inappropriate in themselves, but flaunting it in the face of people who you *know* are morally against the idea is... well... insensitive.

Jerusalem is a difficult city in that it is the declared secular capital of Israel and simultaneously arguably the most religious city on the planet. It's a difficult balance that plagues all aspects of Israeli government, and this sort of thing doesn't help. There are precious few areas in Jerusalem that *aren't* holy sites of some fashion.

On a side note, check out this editorial in the Jerusalem Post about the idea of civil marriage and the bruhaha that is causing.

There's a fine line between demonstrating and flaunting, although there's no legal distinction (at least in the US) that allows one but not the other. But just because it's legal doesn't mean that it's right.

On the other hand, just because someone else doesn't agree with it, doesn't make it wrong.
The fact that someone finds something morally offensive for purely religious reasons is certainly not a good reason not to do it, insensitive or not. If everyone lived their lives in a way that made sure no-one was ever offended, then no-one would ever do anything.
As for myself, I'm finding the constant claims of offence by the religious deeply offensive, as if belief makes your offended sensibilities somehow superior, and your faith gives you the right to impose your moral code on everyone.

By Pinchbeck (not verified) on 22 Jun 2006 #permalink

Imagine the Pork-Eaters of America marching in the Jewish parts of Brooklyn or women in bikinis marching down the main streets of a strictly Muslim part of town. It's not illegal, but it's deliberately inciting people. Wearing bikinis or eating pork isn't at all inappropriate in themselves, but flaunting it in the face of people who you *know* are morally against the idea is... well... insensitive.

The distinction here is whether the Gay Pride marchers would still be doing so even if no-one had a strong visceral reaction about it. I believe the answer is "yes"*. This would probably not be the case in the situations you describe.

It's only rubbing someone's nose in it if you could actually give a damn what happens to their nose.

* Except the entire situation of treating gays as second-class citizens probably wouldn't arise in that case. Assume for the sake of argument that it did, though.

John Krivitzky wrote:

I have to say that although the rhetoric is ridiculous and over the top, I have to agree with the idea that having a gay pride event in Jerusalem is mildly inappropriate. Just mildly, but still on that side of the fence.

Imagine the Pork-Eaters of America marching in the Jewish parts of Brooklyn or women in bikinis marching down the main streets of a strictly Muslim part of town. It's not illegal, but it's deliberately inciting people. Wearing bikinis or eating pork isn't at all inappropriate in themselves, but flaunting it in the face of people who you *know* are morally against the idea is... well... insensitive.

Or imagine blacks marching for their rights in the deep south, where they new damn well that they were "deliberately inciting people" who hated them. Then again, those marches helped bring about enormous change for the better. There is nothing the least bit inappropriate about an oppressed minority holding a perfectly legal march despite the fact that bigots won't like it; indeed, without such actions little would ever change.

Ed - The difference I see is that the demonstrations in the South were attempting to bring light to an injustice by the government and by their fellow citizens. They were expressing their legal right to petition and assemble, even in the face of almost certain condemnation. I don't see a strict correlation between that and a perceived injustice in established religion, which has its own internal rules and procedures that are outside government control. What WorldPride is doing is ostensibly the former, but by choosing to march in Jerusalem, they've veered into the latter. That's why this is so murky.

Practically every part of Jerusalem is holy ground for *someone*, so it'd be like Catholics marching into a synagogue to demonstrate for holy communion to be more accepted.

You've discussed pro-gay rights people demonstrating in heavily Christian schools, but they weren't trying to change the religion, just the school itself. They wouldn't (and shouldn't) do that during Sunday Mass. And even if they did, it would be an internal matter for the church to deal with.

I agree that the hardline Jews can be bigoted in this area, and I'm not at all pleased about it. But even the most liberal of Jews doesn't want to be told what their religion *should do* from those who aren't Jewish. That is for Jews and Muslims to figure out on their own... and it's a centuries-old internal struggle for each.

Again, it's not that I think that this is a black-and-white issue. I am *strongly* in support of the legal rights of the WorldPride event to march whereever they want. I also am 100% behind the greater acceptance and equal rights of homosexuals across the globe.

I just think that choosing to march in Jerusalem brings religion into it in an unfortunate way. If they demonstrated just outside Jerusalem I'd be behind them all the way.

Jon Krivitsky wrote:

Ed - The difference I see is that the demonstrations in the South were attempting to bring light to an injustice by the government and by their fellow citizens. They were expressing their legal right to petition and assemble, even in the face of almost certain condemnation. I don't see a strict correlation between that and a perceived injustice in established religion, which has its own internal rules and procedures that are outside government control.

There is no distinction here. Blacks in the south were bringing light to injustice by the government and by their fellow citizens; the same is true in marches for gay rights today, they are fighting against both government policies (not allowing gays to serve in the military, or to be able to adopt children, or to get married, etc). If that fight is valid - and it clearly is - then it makes no difference whatsoever where it takes place. If the cause you're marching for is legitimate, where better to march than where people are most likely to disagree? The prominent civil rights marches took place in Selma, Montgomery, Little Rock - places where their message was most likely to be seen as immoral and horrible.

Practically every part of Jerusalem is holy ground for *someone*, so it'd be like Catholics marching into a synagogue to demonstrate for holy communion to be more accepted.

I think that's a horrible analogy. They aren't asking for changes in what religions believe, they're asking for changes in how they're treated by the law and by their fellow citizens. Whether that ill treatment is motivated by religion or not is irrelevant. Remember that ill treatment of blacks was also justified with religious piety.

You've discussed pro-gay rights people demonstrating in heavily Christian schools, but they weren't trying to change the religion, just the school itself. They wouldn't (and shouldn't) do that during Sunday Mass. And even if they did, it would be an internal matter for the church to deal with.

This march is not taking place in a church or a synagogue and it isn't going to interrupt anyone's worship services. It's taking place on public streets with a public permit. This has nothing to do with internal church politics. I don't care that religious groups think those streets are "holy", they're wrong - those streets belong to all of the citizens, who under Israeli law have as much legal right to march as those religious groups do.

...the cause you're marching for is legitimate, where better to march than where people are most likely to disagree? The prominent civil rights marches took place in Selma, Montgomery, Little Rock - places where their message was most likely to be seen as immoral and horrible.

I think you may be changing my mind a bit. Part of me is trying to think of the best way to change the attitudes of the hardline Jews and this kind of demonstration fires up more anger than understanding. Still, that's not WorldPride's responsibility, and, frankly, I don't think they're out to change the hardliners.

I just wish it weren't Jerusalem! Stoke their righteous (not right) anger standing elsewhere!

I don't care that religious groups think those streets are "holy", they're wrong - those streets belong to all of the citizens, who under Israeli law have as much legal right to march as those religious groups do.

Here's where I still disagree a bit. Legally they have the right to do what they're doing (although I'm not as familiar with Israeli law, the basic freedoms are certainly similar enough). I still maintain that Jerusalem is a "holy" city to much of the world's religious population, and this is closer to having something in a church than any other public area in the world. Maybe it's because I have many religious Jews in my family that I'm more sympathetic to this concept... there's something *very* special about Jerusalem. It's a lot closer to Vatican City than it is to Washington, D.C., and it has almost twice the history behind it. No matter what the legal justification, it still feels like building a shopping mall in a cemetary; an infringement of the mundane into the sacred.

Just so I don't sound like a Jewish nutcase, I would feel the same about Bethlehem or Mecca being the location of the march.

All this may be irrelevant, I admit. Your points are valid... I just don't agree 100%. I just wish that the demonstration was held elsewhere so I could support it completely.

I don't think you're a Jewish nutcase or anything, Jon. But I think even if one believes Jerusalem to be different than other cities because it's so holy to all three major monotheistic religions (and I myself would love to visit the city for that very reason, and even I consider it a more meaningful city for that reason - I certainly consider it a far more important and compelling place than, say, Tulsa), I don't think we therefore need to cede that territory to anti-gay bigotry. There are a lot of people within those religious traditions who do not accept bigotry against gays and it's their religion too. Indeed, since gay rights is, for me, such a strong moral stance, I say where better to take a stand for it? Even as a non-Christian, I say where better to make a plea for our common humanity than in the city where Jesus said, "Whatever you do to the least of these, my brethren, you do unto me"?