Sunday, October 17, 2010

The condescending hatred of the "Godly"

This extends a comment I made here.

Oh how I love that Catholic "love the sinner, hate the sin". Let's see how that runs: love you, hate the fact that you're Jewish; love you, hate the fact that you're black; love you, hate how you are ... Actually, no, that is not love, that is belittling condescension passing itself off as "love".

That making a 13,14,15,16-year-old think they are against God and "outside nature", that they are "objectively disordered", that they are "oriented towards an intrinsic evil", because they are part of the human sexual diversity which is clearly an inherent part of human nature counts as "decent" or "Godly" is revealing in itself.

Noah's point:
It’ll get worse before it gets better. Indeed, it’ll get worse even as it gets better, even because it gets better.
is completely sound, as anyone who has studied the history of Jewish emancipation realises. The closer Jews got to legal and social equality, the more frenzied Jew-hatred became.

Indeed, if one wants to understand the C18th and C19th debates over Jewish emancipation, just think of contemporary debates over queer (i.e. all those who do not fit into simple sex=gender assumptions) emancipation, substitute "homosexual" for "Jew" and almost all the patterns repeat -- including the accusations laid against the "damage" that would be done allowing the Jews/homosexuals legal equality, that it is an affront to people's religious conscience, the accusations being made against a small minority (that they are against God, that they have betrayed their God-given nature/role, that they are engaged in a conspiracy against Christianity, that they corrupt everything they touch or are incorporated into, that they prey on children, that it is an offense against basic principles of the civilisation, that "science" proves their twisted nature) and so on.

Back in the C19th, the US was "betraying Christian civilisation" by giving legal equality to the "Christ-killers", the Russians "understood" what a dire threat Jews "really" were and the rest of Europe was the battleground. Now, Europe is "betraying Christian civilisation" by giving legal equality to the "intrinsically disordered", Africans "understand" what a dire threat homosexuals "really" are and the US is the battleground.

Noah's post included this quote from someone talking to an Orthodox rabbi:
I shared with him that people who are gay and lesbian who want to remain true to the Torah are in a great deal of pain. Many have just left the community. Some young gay people become so desperate they attempt suicide.

His reply: “Maybe it’s a mitzvah for them to do so.”

At first I was speechless. I asked for clarification, and yes, this is exactly what he meant. Since gay people are guilty of capital crimes, perhaps it might be a good idea for them to do the job themselves. For the rest of the conversation I was shaking, using every ounce of my strength to end the conversation without losing my composure.
(Why not lose your composure I wonder?)

That, even now, some Jews have not learnt how deadly the notion that some minority "deserves" extermination is, itself demonstrates how the deadly notion that people are not "real people", not legitimate manifestations of human, is to understanding and moral decency.


  1. Oy vey, I drew in my breath at that comment from the Orthodox rabbi. I think I would have lost my temper.

    I have seen a number of people who grew up in very religious families (both Christian and Jewish) discover that they are gay or lesbian. Their struggle is terrible.

    One friend said, "I've got something terrible to tell you." "What?" said I. "I'm a lesbian," she said. "Yep," I replied, "I guessed that one. Now what's the terrible thing you were going to tell me?" She burst into tears. Poor darlin'. She said, "I'm going to go to hell!" and I hugged her and said, "Ah well, we'll have a lot of fun there together" (she had long been upset at the fact I was a heathen was headed straight to hell).

  2. Yes, truly stunning. My three part review of Claudia Koonz's excellent <>The Nazi Conscience (particularly the first part) touches on this.

  3. Oh Lorenzo. You beastly imperialist anti-papist! Don't you know the poor Catholics are never given a moment's rest from their eternity of Otherness.

    I always say, hate the socialism, love the socialist! ;)

  4. LE

    The number of - Australian - people I know who have dreaded telling their families for years that they are gay. When they finally summon the courage, the entire family looks blankly at them, and says "well Der, we could have told you that 20 years ago". :)

  5. If you want to see homophobia at its most unvarnished, evil self, go to Jamaica!

  6. Peter: yes Jamaica is pretty vile in that regard. Of course, it is a bit of Africa in the Caribbean ...

    Regarding coming out to families: yes, indeed. Desperate wanting not to see often explains adverse reactions.

    Catholic moaning about being treated badly can get a little tiresome, poor dears, At worse, it is usually just them being treated as plenty of Others have been treated by Catholics.

  7. You asked "Why not lose your composure I wonder?"

    And the answer is, is that it wouldn't have done anything at all to the rabbi's opinion. If the rabbi was of a highly Orthodox school, he probably would have simply stared rather blankly at the speaker or simply shrugged it off.

    The Ultra-Orthodox, especially in today's world, are seen as modern people when they dress in suits and normal clothing, but there is a huge cultural gap that would be made easier for everyone to understand if they spoke a different language and dressed completely differently as the Hassidic schools do.
    They think differently, and have have different frames of reference for the language that they share with the nations around them, and nobody seems to notice.

    ^Speaking as somebody with lots of Ultra-Orthodox relations, who enjoys tweaking their noses with whatever is handy. Political/cultural issues work fine.

  8. That does answer the question nicely: I defer to your greater experience :)