Monday, October 30, 2006

Gay Pride in Jerusalem?

Israeli Police and the Judiciary have cleared the way for the Gay Parade to take place in Jerusalem this year. Stormy debates have erupted in the Knesset, with religious MKs demanding the parade be called off, warning of an expected million protestors against the parade. The Left (big surprise there) is demanding that the Police allow the parade despite the deep pain it will cause all religions.

There are many approaches one could take when arguing this issue. One could argue from an Orthodox Jewish (or Christian or Muslim, for that matter) perspective, that homosexuality is a serious offense against God, and must certainly not be celebrated by anyone, least of all Jews in Jerusalem, God's chosen city. (Even in a secular or non-Jewish state, this agrument is supported by Chullin 92b.)

One could also argue from a security perspective, that parading homosexuality in Jerusalem's religious atmosphere is akin to shouting 'fire!' in a crowded room, and should not be protected as free speech. It's timing and placement is simply too inflammatory.

One could also point out that the event organizers deliberately chose Jerusalem to thumb their noses at tradition and religion. This is their way of saying, 'You cannot beat us. We will come into your sanctuary and lust in our orgies of what you consider sin, in your own bedroom, and there is nothing you can do about it!' Again, this should not be protected by free speech.

I just want to add my own little reason to outlaw this parade. What society allows the public display and support for so private and intimate an issue sexual relations? What sickness causes us to shed our last iota of modesty and shame, and parade about a lifstyle whose only real talking point is sex? Where do we get off allowing people to strut around in underwear, which, in any other city, would be grounds for arrest under the laws of indecent exposure? When did we lose our sensitivity?

Is Israel a beacon of light for the world, with the center of that light in Jerusalem? Or did the survivors of the Holocaust, and their children still, die at Givat Hatachmoshet, at Latrun, on the Golan Heights, on the Burma Road, for a drunken Mardi Gras with our backs to God?

The Talmud in Megilla (26a) states that Jerusalem belongs to the Jewish people as an entity. It does not matter if we live there, or not, we must protest its abuse. Each of us are, for better or worse, part owners. What happens there is our collective responsibility.

Whether or not this parade takes place, will not change the resolve of those who work for the Geula. However, if we can stop this abomination, we may find ourselves closer to that dream.

To paraphrase the Prophet (Ezek. 8:16), some of our brothers come to this city, and they stand with their backs to God, and they bow to their own lust, with their backs to God. But we, we are God's, and we look to Him for redemption.