Friday, May 31, 2013

Homosexual sins and rabbi Steven Greenberg

Orthodox rabbi Steven Greenberg (1956)
Image wikimedia
Times are a'changing!

With the growing acceptance in secular and religious societies of the fact that sexual minorities do exists and that some people are naturally oriented towards their own sex, many homosexuals and lesbians are coming out of the closet. One outstanding example - because of the strict sexual morals of Judaism against homosexuality - is rabbi Steven Greenberg, 57, telling about his love of opera singer Steven Goldstein. Together they are the parents of two-and-half years old girl Amilia.

Greenberg's views
Israeli newspaper Haaretz had front page headline"And God created gays: The first openly gay Orthodox rabbi talks about coming out, pain, and parenthood" (Haaretz)

Wikipedia tells:
In 2004 Greenberg's book, Wrestling with God and Men: Homosexuality in the Jewish Tradition was published, meeting with critical acclaim. In particular it addressed permitted and forbidden sexual behaviour: “While the common understanding of the verse ‘Thou shall not lie with a male as one lies with a woman’ [Leviticus 18:22] has been taken to refer to both active and passive partners ... it would appear that the verse directly refers only to the active partner engulfing his penis in the body of another man. According to this analysis the verse prohibits one, and only one, sexual practice between men, namely, anal intercourse, and speaks specifically to the active partner. There is no mention of any other behavior that this verse would prohibit.”

In Greenberg′s reading “the verse prohibits the kind of sex between men that is designed to effect the power and mastery of the penetrator. Sex for the conquest, for shoring up the ego, for selfaggrandizement, or worse, for the perverse pleasure of demeaning another man is prohibited,” and he adds that reading Leviticus 18:22 “as a law against sexual domination and appropriation ... offers gay people a way to reconnect to God, Torah, and the Jewish people”. Greenberg says that he interprets the passage in this way “because it offers me a way of coming back to Judaism. It’s a radical reading, but if you believe that God hates what you are, why would you go to such a temple?”

Changing legislation
The acceptance of homosexuality as a natural phenomenon, as a true sexual minority, and the protection of their equality with heterosexuals has in recent years led to changes in legislation in several States of the United States and in many European countries, most recently France allowing gay marriages. The rights of homosexuals to have public legislative protection are a significant socio-ethical matter in Scandinavian countries where the majority of population belongs to Christian churches.

Sin of homosexuality
Times are a'changing!

However, with the acceptance of the fact that there are God created sexual minorities there is also a blurring of the divine prohibition of homosexual relations in the Old and New Testament.

For accepting the fact that some men and some women prefer their own sex is not a license to heterosexuals to engage in homosexual relations.

Bible says that homosexuality is abhorrent to God. But not only to God. It is a disgusting thing for heterosexual men and women who normally cannot imagine getting into bed with another man or woman. It is not predominantly a religious feeling, it is natural behavior.

In the same breath we can say that for a homosexual person having sex with opposite sex is a disgusting and unpleasant thing and in many cases simply impossible. 

This is good.

This is something that people of religious should keep reminding the people - that there are all sorts of things that God forbids and one of them is getting into bed with a person of same sex. 

It is a sin. 

The modern addition to this natural and just and important religious teaching is that it may be a sin for a homosexual to get into bed with a person of opposite sex. 

Times are a'changing
Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.
Bob Dylan

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