In the last few years, the Homosexual Community has been emboldened to push forward with their agenda. That agenda is to condemn and hopefully outlaw any religious expression that does not see homosexual unions as as wholesome and the normal commonplace heterosexual unions. There have been many lawsuits trying to force companies owned by religious persons who view homosexuality as a grave sin. Recently Houston Texas’ Mayor has been sharply critizised for her gestapo like tactics towards the Christian pastors of the city who are pushing back at her draconian attempts to stifle their condemnation of homosexuality.
In my own life, I am surrounded at work may many people who are gay. Many of them are wonderful people. I would never consider even approaching them on the subject of homosexuality and condemning their choice. To me as long as they are not flagrantly throwing it in my face it’s none of my business. God is Judge, He does not need any help from us. Granted there is severe punishment in the Torah regarding this act. But that injunction is based on a Israeli Torah Community with the right of capital punishment. No such community exists today, even in Israel.
Playing the devils advocate here, is condemnation of homosexuals actually biblical and if so how do we approach the subject in light of the teaching of the Hebrew Bible? Are the fundamentalists correct in their approach or is there a better path? The following article from Rabbi Ariel bar Zadok of Kosher Torah.com brings some light on this hot button topic of our modern culture. Some of you mat appreciate it, some may not…
Sodom and Sodomy, the Real Point
by Ariel Bar Tzadok
The Biblical position on homosexuality is well known. It is categorized as a sin, and equated with such sins as the violation of the Shabat, or the eating of leaven (hametz) on Passover.
In non-religious eyes, this does not mean much, if anything at all. However in religious eyes, this equates homosexuality with some of the most grievous sins outlined in the Biblical code.
This being said, one has the choice, as with all things, to embrace religion, and live by it, or not. Yet, regardless of one’s embrace of religion, or the lack thereof, we are left with the issue of how society, as a whole, religious and non religious, should treat, and interact with, those of other philosophies.
From a religious point of view, we are Biblically obligated to “love our neighbor,” even and if when such neighbor violates such serious commandments as those mentioned. It is never taught in any Jewish religious text to treat with disrespect, or to abuse those who violate the Shabat, or those who do not keep the Passover.
I must then learn from this fact that while from the religious point of view homosexuality, as a practice, is not an acceptable lifestyle for a Torah observant individual, nevertheless, those choosing to embrace this lifestyle, be they Jewish or not, should not to be subject to any kind of prejudice, scorn, or mistreatment. Such disrespectful social behaviors violate Biblical religious law, and no one calling oneself religious is justified in acting in this fashion.
If one is to violate the laws of the Torah by acting contrary to its edicts, any of them, then such a one is equally guilty as those whom such a one point fingers at, to condemn.
While religion objects to certain behaviors, and condemns certain practices, nevertheless, in order for one to properly be called religious, one must still extend respect and dignity to all peoples, religious and non-religious. For although we may consider one to be violating a specific Biblical law, in all other areas of their lives such a one may still be considered righteous in accordance to Torah law.
The Book of Genesis relates the story of the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah Prior to their destruction, Genesis relates a tale that when the two angels came to the city to extract Lot and his family, they were surrounded and subject to attack and sexual assault by a mob, that the Bible makes clear was intent on homosexual rape.
Now, the angels were sent to the city by God to judge for themselves the evil of the place, which is apparent with the story of the attempted mob rape. Based upon this story, homosexuality has become synonymous with the city of Sodom, with anal intercourse, to this day, being called sodomy, after the name of this Biblical town. With this being said, let us take a closer look at this Biblical story.
True, the Bible says that a mob encircled Lot’s house seeking to homosexually gang rape the visiting “men.” This is indeed a great evil. Now, who would object to this being defined as evil? Even in the modern day homosexual community, who amongst them would condone and promote homosexual gang rape? What different is there between homosexual rape and heterosexual rape? None, in my opinion! Both are crimes of violence and not acts of sex.
I cannot believe that even the most radical homosexual agenda would condone the practice of gang rape in whatever form it took. Therefore, the evil perpetuated in Sodom was an attempted act of violence against innocent men. The fact that the homosexual aspect of it is mentioned, I believe, is only peripheral to the story, and not the story’s main intent. Even if the attacking mob were not homosexual, I believe, they would still have attacked, and expressed themselves violently in whatever other forms they chose.
Sodom, therefore, was not destroyed because of their homosexuality, but rather because of their rampant violence and other social injustices. For what sane and safe society would tolerate rape gangs in their presence, regardless of whether such gangs were heterosexual or homosexual?
Indeed, Torah legends about the evils of the city of Sodom abound. All of them mention the cruelty and injustice of the place, but none of them make mention of the homosexuality therein. Torah legend, therefore, concludes that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of their lack of justice and their other evil ways.
The presence of rape gangs in the streets were apparently tolerated by the Sodom’s people, the king’s guard, or the city police. This is indicative of the level of evil practiced and tolerated in the city.
This then was the reason why God showered down fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah. It was a fitting punishment for such evil people who so flagrantly disregarded public safety, and who so despicably failed to safeguard the needs of others.