The Jewish Press, which by all accounts is a mainstream Jewish Publication that has been around for a long time recently ran an article by Rabbi Eliyahu Fink. I follow Rabbi Fink on Facebook and I admire his open-minded attitude and agree with most of what he writes. He wrote an article in response to a ridiculously horrible op-ed in the Five Towns Jewish Times by an even more ridiculous person who calls himself “Rabbi” that stated that the Jewish community is under attack by the LGBT community (which he grouped with pedophiles…no comment) and that banning conversion therapy for kids under the age of 18 is a violation of our religious freedoms. The article was offensive, hurtful, and mostly ignorant.
Anyway, Back to The Jewish Press. They ran Rabbi Fink’s article, titled, “We are Not Under Attack by the LGBT Community. Here are some excerpts of the article:
Regarding the ‘LGBTPed’ grouping:
The headline is obscene. It implies that there is equivalence between LGBT and pedophiles. Leaving aside the issue of whether these tendencies are inborn or learned, or whether they are deviant tendencies, LGBT and pedophilia cannot be uttered in the same sentence with a straight face. One who is LGBT and acts on those tendencies with a consenting adult may be a sinner in the eyes of some religions or God. However, they are acting in a loving and respectful manner. A pedophile who acts on their tendencies is taking advantage of a child. This is a violent, selfish, abusive act. There is no moral equivalence between the two and we should not allow ourselves to fall into the trap of equating the two under any circumstance.
Regarding banning conversion therapy
Banning Conversion Therapy is not an assault on freedom nor is it an attack against religion. The 9th Circuit correctly ruled that these bans are not an assault on freedom because they do not regulate speech. They regulate professional activity. We are guaranteed freedom of speech, not freedom of professional activity. It’s no different than any law that regulates psychologists or lawyers or really any profession where the bulk of the work being done is speech. When speech is used in a professional context like therapy it is not simply speech, it becomes conduct. The government has the right to regulate professional conduct. Just because much of the conduct is speech, the power the government has to regulate the conduct does not magically become limited
On Orthodox Attitudes towards LGBT:
There is nothing to be gained by dehumanizing LGBT people. They have been made to feel subhuman for their tendencies enough times in their lives. We don’t need to pile on. In fact, it would be really great if we could somehow assure people who have been through so much already that they are loved and accepted no matter their preferences behind closed doors. While it’s true that we cannot proclaim that an act we believe to be a sin is not a sin, we are not obligated to do everything in our power to make their lives miserable. Indeed, it is not uncommon for LGBT people to feel unloved and shunned by the Orthodox Jewish community. Is there any group that would benefit more from a little extra love and affection from the rest of us? Perhaps not.
Overall, this article is excellent. And once again I commend the Jewish Press for running it. Maybe there’s hope yet…