This post is a follow up to a prior blog entry. See link below;
This is my opinion on the statement signed by right wing Rabbi's relating to Orthodoxy's position on homosexuality. Generally and then very specific...
There is never any distinction made in the statement between gay sex and the homosexual attraction. Vague references made to the "homosexual lifestyle" and "identity" and "inclinations", without actually discussing what the Torah considers wrong is misleading and extremely convenient. How can a Rabbi, representing Torah, sign a statement that pretends to be the ultimate position on a Torah subject which doesn't address what the Torah actually says? Can one make a statement about keeping Shabbos and not mention refraining from work? Can one talk about Kosher without pointing out the prohibition is to eat it? If you are going to state the absolute Torah position on homosexuality, you MUST make this distinction or else you are tainting the entire declaration.
Which leads me to my second point. As a result of the above, the statement is simply false. Saying things like "The Torah makes a clear statement that homosexuality is not an acceptable lifestyle or a genuine identity by severely prohibiting its conduct" is false and contradictory. Does the Torah make a clear statement or is it a derivative of the conducts prohibition? Which one is it? In other words, it never says anywhere in the Torah clearly that homosexuality is not an acceptable lifestyle, it simply states that a man should not have anal sex with a man (and barely says that). Also, is there anything the Torah forbids that isn't "severely forbidden"? What a conveniently manipulative verbal construct.
And I further quote " Particularly the Torah writes this in regards to homosexuality and other forbidden sexual liaisons" - Again convenient to pick homosexuality out as the model of "forbidden sexual liasons". What about straight up old fashioned adultery? Where is the statement about that? How insensitive to call a homosexual relationship a "liaison" as if a powerful intimate attraction between males needs to be "a secretive or adulterous sexual relationship" as Collins defines it. (More on the "abomination" factor in here). Not to beat a dead horse but again, no distinction made between the act and the "lifestyle".
I don't want to get sidetracked by pointing out that it's been clearly documented that reparative therapy has a ridiculously low success rate and that there is no clear evidence that the source of homosexual inclination "are primarily innocent victims of childhood emotional wounds." and that there isn't a genetic component to it.
And I quote "The concept that G-d created a human being who is unable to find happiness in a loving relationship unless he violates a biblical prohibition is neither plausible nor acceptable... Impossible, life long, Torah prohibited situations with no achievable solutions are not (part and parcel of this world)". And most painful "Abandoning people to lifelong loneliness and despair by denying all hope of overcoming and healing their same-sex attraction is heartlessly cruel."
Do they even hear what they are saying? Is this a challenge? I can make a much simpler derivation than the forced ones that the Rabbi's pulled out above. They are saying that the Torah and Hashem are heartlessly cruel. How do I know this? Because I (and many people who I have spoke to through my blog) live a life of loneliness and many times despair and have no semblance of a hope of overcoming my (our) same-sex attraction. They call this "heartlessly cruel". They say it is "neither plausible nor acceptable".
Until I read this I said to myself that even though I am not at this point yet, I can hope to reconcile God and my homosexuality by seeing it as a life long challenge that I will struggle through (albeit a horrible and painful struggle). This declaration says that my goal is wrong. It says that the Torah couldn't prohibit something like this. It says that it couldn't be part of our world. It says that its heartlessly cruel.
Is this what I want to spend my entire life trying to connect to?
Ultimately, I am fortunate not to buy into this crap. I don't believe the logical construct in those paragraphs. I believe someone can have lifelong struggles and God expects them to have it and get through life (I can't internalize it yet, but I believe it). There are people who's sexual organs simply don't work. There are people whose bodies are entirely paralyzed. Does that make God heartlessly cruel? What a horrible thing to say to someone struggling. Do they think that will make the homosexual want to change him or herself and connect to Hashem? Based on the flaws in their logic, it doesn't quite cause me to turn my back on Torah values and frumkeit; but a chillul Hashem it is. It has made me think about whether the Torah is cruel. It has devalued what it means to call someone a gadol hador. Until now I always maintained an innocent appreciation of daas Torah. It has taken that away from me.
I am somewhat exhausted from writing about this so I will leave this for now. I continue to pray for Hashem to help me see and feel his love. I ask Hashem to please help my parents, friends, rabbis and "gedolim" to bring out their Godliness in beautiful, sensitive and loving ways so that I can have people on this world after whom I can model His apparent beauty.