Thursday, December 07, 2006

Conservative Jews ordained gay rabbis and bless homosexual couples

The title of this post is fairly unambiguous. I read about it in the NY Times this morning. Apparently the announcement was made at the home of our Interseminary Dialogue partner Jewish Theological (JTS). Although gay rabbis and gay couples are now going to be blessed within Conservative circles, the vote was not lopsided and multiple proposals were put forward.

Also, since it's such an obvious violation of Levitical law to bless homosexual actions, the stipulation was added that the gay rabbis and couples could be blessed, but they could not be involved in sodomy, since that's violation of the rule. Yet, the article made if painfully obvious that this is a shrug/nudge stipulation that there will be no attempt to enforce. As the author of a slightly more liberal proposal said after this stipulation was added, "practically the effect is the same." He's right.

Now folks, I have to call BS on this one. sorry, that's just crap all the way around. This type of casuistry goes to prove once again that we're naturally legalistic avoiders if you give us half a chance. There's absolutely NO QUESTION that Torah says no, and the Talmud is, as I understand it, even more strict on the issue.

Why can't people just say it like it is? It's simple, allow me to help with the official statement: "We no longer really believe that archaic crap. Most of our members don't take it seriously already, and mostly it's just a way to keep a cultural heritage that we treasure. As such we will not allow plain but unsatisfactory ordinances attributed biblically to Moses to infringe, to any real extent, on more real-world concerns, namely our sexuality."

Was that so hard? I feel liberated just writing it on my blog, even though I'm not an official spokesman or even a co-religionist. Sure, I may not agree with it, but it's intellectually honest for someone taking such a position!

I guess this means that Conservative Judaism has chosen its home to some extent. The biggest difference between Conservative and Reform Judaism is now going to be the consumption of pork. And why be in a club where you can't have Memphis style hickory-smoked ribs when you can join the club that can?


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