Last week was not a particularly good one for jurisprudence, integrity, marriage, morality, common sense and even the United States’ viability as a nation. Two court cases undermined traditional notions of morality and marriage, respectively, and enshrined in law – or at least purported to – draconian limitations on the pursuit of self-help as well as a dramatic redefinition of marriage that will hasten the decline of the American family if not the American polity itself.
First, a New Jersey jury found JONAH liable for consumer fraud. JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing) is a referral agency that helps people struggling with unwanted same sex attraction. It was sued by a number of patients – all instigated by the Southern Poverty Law Center, ranging far afield from its stated mission – who were unsuccessfully treated and could not overcome their same sex tendencies. The victims claimed that they were guaranteed recovery if they did the hard work necessary and protested some of the unconventional methods used by some of the therapists. They sued for recovery of the fees they paid – as well as substantial damages that now threatens the very existence of the organization. And they won.
The fix was in even before the trial started. There is no conceivable way JONAH could have prevailed. The trial judge ruled that the court would not allow any evidence that homosexuality can result from a mental disorder or youthful trauma – that such science had been settled and was no longer under discussion. Of course, the case effectively ended there because if homosexuality is not the result of any disorder, then why would anyone treat it? Why would anyone try to cure what does not need to be cured or attempt to abandon what the court ruled is a normal, healthy expression of sexuality? Why, indeed.
The dark secret is that many mental health professionals continue to maintain that homosexuality can result from some disorder but they are petrified to say it publicly or to put it in writing. Once the psychiatric establishment amended the DSM over forty years ago to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder – a decision based not on science but on politics and pressure – the expression of any dissenting views has been chilled. There is real fear of ostracism and employment termination, and so professionals play along. But once the court here ruled that it would not even entertain any evidence that homosexuals need or can benefit from therapy, even if the patient wants it, there was no way JONAH could prevail. Psychologists do not treat people to change their eye color or their right-handedness, so of course, under these parameters, the jury found JONAH liable for consumer fraud.
The jury was left with no real choice, notwithstanding the hundreds of people who have been helped by JONAH and were able to marry (or remain married) and parent children and notwithstanding JONAH’s own assertions that its “success” rate is consistent with that of successful therapy from other afflictions or addictions, a rate of perhaps 15-20%. It is not as if the desires disappear and the person is completely reoriented; rather, patients were urged to face the reality of their condition and sometimes in harsh ways, and then received behavioral tools to sublimate the desires and lead a heterosexual life. It won’t work for everyone – JONAH never made such a claim – but it has worked for many. So who are you going to believe –the jury, “science,” or these lying eyes?
Only a layman can fairly ask: how is it possible for a man to change into a woman – and be honored, feted and praised as courageous for doing so – but a homosexual cannot change into a heterosexual? Indeed, the possibility itself must be suppressed and denied, and all who participate shunned by civil society. Here is one answer: it is because the manipulators of morality and the debauched social engineers have decided that homosexuals are a protected class and homosexuality the equivalent of a religion, that it is normal and that the rest of society must accept it as normal, and change therapy challenges all those notions and must be repudiated. Sex changes also must be protected because they also challenge conventional society. Everyone else must kowtow to them and live on the defensive, afraid to speak the truth we all recognize. Thus, there is a bill pending before Congress that would ban even talk therapy for unwanted same sex attraction. Can anyone name another condition for which therapy is banned even for someone desperate for it?
It is a strange world we live in.
Like the American Psychiatric Association’s waffling on this issue, the court’s ruling, which informed the jury that homosexuality both should not and could not be treated, was politics and populism, not law, unsuited to a courtroom and unfair to the defendants. It is also unfair to religious Jews: the only options recognized by halacha for the homosexual are therapy (if possible) or celibacy. The verdict is therefore an outrageous assault on individual freedom and the pursuit of happiness.
The ruling should also terrify mental health professionals who now are subject to lawsuits if therapy fails, and especially if the malady being treated can be deemed by some to be normal, healthy and worthy of celebration. (Maybe the alcoholic is just an unusually thirsty fellow…so why treat alcoholism?) No one maintains that homosexuality must be treated – but to deny the right of someone with homosexual tendencies to seek treatment is bizarre, unjust and dictatorial. Such is the power of the homosexual lobby to intimidate, threaten and harass anyone who disagrees with its agenda.
Thus, it was quite predictable that the Supreme Court would find in the US Constitution a “right” to same sex marriage and even more predictable that Justice Kennedy would provide the deciding vote and write the majority decision. It was classic Supreme Court jurisprudence, in the worst sense – placing an arrow on the target and then drawing a circle around it. Bull’s eye! The scathing dissents are all worthy of reading because they underscore the sorry state of the American judiciary and the utter absence of any semblance of constitutionality, democracy and legal coherence. It is telling that none of the other four justices in the majority wrote a concurrence; can one add gossamer to already thin air?
Obviously, the Constitution makes no reference to marriage (a purely state issue) and so it can contain no “right” to same sex marriage. It is all made up, and for the crass purpose of social engineering. Kennedy gamely wrote that the legitimate, natural expression of love is limited to two people. Why that is so is a mystery; and even a first week law student could explain that such a sentiment is dicta and not binding on anyone. The fact is that there is no logical reason Kennedy or any supporter of this decision can offer as to why polygamy, polyandry or polyamory should not also be constitutionally protected for those who wish to practice it, nor incest for consenting adults. There is a father and daughter in Kentucky, for example, currently incarcerated, as they – both consenting adults – have sired several offspring together. ACLU, where are you? Why can’t they express their love for each other as well, or must they too be victimized by such obsolete Biblical inhibitions?
Even further afield, those who object that bestiality should remain illegal because it does not involve two consenting adults seem to miss the point that one can slaughter an animal without the animal’s consent. Surely if slaughter is permissible, a romantic evening together –steak dinner by candlelight followed perhaps by some dancing – should not be the subject of state action.
That is a joke (I think) – and of course this is not meant to equate all sexual sins – but what is no joking matter is the threat to religious liberty posed by this decision. All of Kennedy’s protestations notwithstanding, people of faith – people who believe in G-d’s Bible and its objective moral laws and attempt to incorporate those laws in their daily lives – will suffer as a result of this decision. Wait – it won’t be that long – for a same sex couple to demand their right to hold their wedding in a church or synagogue. A refusal will result in prosecution, lawsuits and/or loss of tax exempt status. Wait – perhaps a little longer – for a rabbi, priest or minister to be sued for refusing to officiate at a same sex wedding. The homosexual lobby masterfully (and disingenuously) conflated same sex marriage with interracial marriage; consequently, religious institutions or individuals that continue to object to same sex marriage will be no better than racists. Recall that Bob Jones University lost its tax exempt status in 1983 because its policies banned interracial dating (it rescinded the policy in 2000). Get ready, people of faith. Our heads are now on the chopping block.
That is the invariable next step now that individuals have already lost their religious liberties and rights of conscience. The Mozilla CEO was hounded out of his position because he contributed to a ballot initiative in California that – successfully but now futilely – opposed same sex marriage. Bakers, caterers, photographers, and florists have all refused to lend their personal services to same sex weddings on grounds of religious conscience, have all been sued, and have all lost. A New Jersey church refused to allow its beach front property to be used for a same sex wedding, was sued and lost. A couple in northern New York was sued and fined $13,000 for refusing to rent their farm for a same sex wedding. To top it off – right out of the playbook of North Korea and Communist China – that couple was ordered by the court to undergo sensitivity training in order to regain the good graces of civilized society. The Communists always called those facilities “re-indoctrination camps.” Such is the new America, land of the unfree and home of the depraved.
And here’s the secular danger to the decision: it will result in the collapse of the family, already under siege in this hedonistic society. American youth, already bedeviled by gender confusion and late to marry, if at all, will grow up in a society in which there is no preferred family structure – no vision of an ideal family unit that has the best chance of rearing healthy, well-grounded, and productive children. The radical homosexual activists would have us believe that it does not matter whether one is raised by a mother and father, two mothers, two fathers, one mother, one father, or any other permutation thereof. But, of course, it does, and G-d – and common sense – teaches us otherwise.
Do not believe any study that claims that it doesn’t matter; all purported studies will be politicized, fabricated and dishonest. Indeed, this process has been fraught with such studies. One much ballyhooed study was recently exposed as a fraud. The WSJ two weeks ago reported the following: A UCLA graduate student, one Michael LaCour, released a study last year entitled “When Contact Changes Minds,” which claimed that people’s opinions on same sex marriage dramatically shifted when they were visited by homosexual activists. Opponents were converted into supporters after one twenty minute conversation. Only the report was a fake! Others tried to duplicate his results and could not, and now the former student (Princeton revoked its offer to him of a professorship) is claiming that he discarded his raw data. Sure…and that is what passes for “science” today.
The homosexual activists are not seeking equal rights but wish to upend the social order. They don’t want to live and let live, or conscientious objectors would not be pilloried or harassed out of business. (See Jonathan Last’s “You Will Be Assimilated” in the Weekly Standard of June 22, 2015.) It would not be surprising if teaching parts of the Bible will soon be construed as hate speech, if those parts are not altogether excised from the Bible.
This agenda is fueled by a classic tactic of the left in America that has gained traction in last decade: the depiction of any dissenting opinion as “bigotry” and any dissenter as a “bigot” whose views are unworthy of discussion. This is never meant sincerely or earnestly but as a trick intended to stifle debate, as if the public square needs to be sanitized of the arguments of their adversaries. (Read the new “End of Discussion,” by Mary Katherine Ham and Guy Benson.) And this stratagem works! That is why expect it to be used against anyone who rejects the Supreme Court decision and continues to oppose same sex marriage; it is why there has been such relative silence from rabbis and others, with the focus not on the immorality of the decision and its consequences but on the reasonable need to safeguard religious liberties in the wake of such a decision. Good and decent people are afraid of being called bigots.
Of course, there are no greater anti-religious bigots today than the homosexual activists. (Can two play the same game? Probably not!)
There are compelling secular arguments that have been made in the failed attempt to preserve the traditional definition of marriage. (See “What is Marriage” by Girgis, George and Anderson, in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Volume 34.) Marriage is not primarily an emotional union of two people but a bodily union (with an emotional component) that can produce children. An emotional union only is really just a glorified friendship that renders marriage inherently unstable, as friendships come and go. This is already a problem in traditional marriages, as is the tendency to veer away from committed monogamy, but this situation will now be exacerbated. Marriage shapes and is shaped by the cultural cues that are extant; transforming the institution will transform it even for heterosexuals. And, as noted above, traditional marriage also reinforces the ideal of opposite-sex parenting, while same sex marriage threatens the religious freedoms that Americans have long cherished and that have made America unique in the annals of mankind.
The bitterness, acrimony and censorship that the homosexual activists have inserted into this discussion – and with which they prevailed – have already made us more fearful and less free. And if you doubt that, just ask the businesspeople pestered by the new McCarthyites and ask the well meaning people at JONAH as well.
But the moral dimension transcends all. Russell Kirk wrote: “True law necessarily is rooted in ethical assumptions or norms; and those ethical principles are derived, in the beginning at least, from religious
convictions. When the religious understanding, from which a concept of law arose in a culture, has been discarded or denied, the laws may endure for some time, through what sociologists call “cultural lag”; but in the long run, the laws also will be discarded or denied.” This is precisely what has happened to American society.
It is thus the rampant secularism that has been an affliction since the 1960’s that now defines American society. It accompanies the mindless pursuit of hedonism that in part is also responsible for America’s retreat from global leadership. Relatively few Americans are interested in the critical issues of the age, and of those who are interested many of them are not particularly helpful. All this greases the slippery slope down which the United States is sliding. There is hope for a renaissance, but it is faint and dimming.
The Talmud (Masechet Chulin 92b) states that even the antediluvian degenerates who practiced homosexuality did not go so far as to “write marriage contracts between men.” The familial system set up by G-d establishes opposite sex parents as the natural and most effective people to raise children. Such an arrangement is best for human beings, for children, and the most stable for society. It is normal and proper. But we have long moved past slouching towards Gomorrah and have already lurched past Sodom.
Even worse, there are nominally Orthodox rabbis (even serving nominally Orthodox synagogues, although both designations will have to be revisited in the near future) who celebrated the Court’s decision, one gushing that “it is not good for man to be alone” (Breisheet 2:18; he was likely unaware that G-d then presented the first man with the first woman as a spouse and not with the second man. Sometimes, you just have to read on!). Another opined that Facebook has paskened that homosexuality is now permissible and it doesn’t matter what the rabbis say. Well, actually, it doesn’t matter what he says; but the breathtaking shallowness and intellectual vacuity of some people aspiring to the rabbinate is shameful and alarming. Is ordination of such empty vessels worth anything? Not that I can see.
Personally, I am saddened by anyone who is suffering from these problems, and all the court decisions, parades, weddings and hijinks change nothing. It is important to reiterate that no person should be persecuted, assaulted, bullied, etc. for any reason, and certainly not because of predilections of one sort or another – nor should people of faith be bullied, assaulted or persecuted for their adherence and commitment to G-d’s immutable law. And we should distinguish – as the Torah does – between sins of the flesh (which reflect human weakness) and sins of the mind, ideological sins that come from a rebellious soul. The latter are far worse. Indeed, it is far worse to deny that the Torah forbids homosexuality than it is to engage in homosexual activity, especially if the latter is performed out of compulsion. We should not deny the sin, nor should we ever celebrate the sin. We should see them as part of the class of sinners, which, unfortunately, to one extent or another, includes all of us.
But civilization will pay a heavy price for this aberrant decision, as other departed civilizations already have. Those who think that the homosexual activists will rest now that they have won the right to marriage are gravely mistaken. They will continue to press their agenda until all people are forced to consider homosexuality a moral and legitimate expression of human longings, and until all notions of objective, Biblically-based morality are a dead letter. And those who supported the homosexual agenda thinking that it was all about love and freedom and live-and-let-live will soon realize that they have been the greatest victims of consumer fraud.
May G-d have mercy!
#1 Pro-Israel Article from Aish HaTorah:
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COMPLETE TRANSCRIPT OF:
Patronising the Palestinians by Pat Condell, 2013 January 3
Well, a happy New Year to everyone; I hope we all get what we want this year. And for my part, I would like to see a change in our racist attitude in the West, towards the situation in the Middle East, if that would not be too much trouble.
Because right now, we patronize the Palestinians, by holding them to a lower standard of behavior, as we do with all Arabs, because we are racists. We would never admit this of course; we would not want our racism to be perceived as racist, because then we would have to own-up to it, and that might short-circuit our poor, deluded, hypocritical, racist brains.
Because we are racists, we choose to ignore the fact that they deliberately target women and children, while hiding behind their own women and children, which is a war crime, and they do it ALL the time. Yet we know there is not a hope in Hell that any of them will ever be tried in The Hague, because we have given them a free-pass on indiscriminate barbarism. We do not believe they are capable of civilized behavior, because we are racists.
Being racists, we choose to ignore the thousands of Iranian rockets that come out of Gaza every month, until Israel finally retaliates to protect its people, and only then do we start huffing and puffing, and calling-in ambassadors.
Israelis get no credit AT ALL for carefully avoiding civilian casualties, even though it is not in dispute that that is what they do; we just ignore it. When, if the Palestinians would behave like that, we would trumpet their virtues from the rooftops, and shower them with Nobel Prizes. But they do not behave like that, because we do not expect them to, and they know that. They know they can blow-up Israeli civilians ALL-day-long, and the free-world’s racist double-standards will NEVER hold them to account.
On the contrary, we actively encourage their delinquent culture to become even more delinquent, by consistently indulging and rewarding its delinquent behavior with political support and billions of dollars; and then we will wring our hands, and wonder why nothing changes.
The Palestinians are victims, yes, but of their own insane and bloodthirsty leadership. And of a religion [Islam] that has such an iron-grip on it population that a mother will actually celebrate the death of her child in its cause, and dissent from it can literally cost you your life.
Yet we pretend that the influence of this religion is absolutely zero, and that this is actually a political situation. We maintain the ludicrous fiction that the Arabs are fighting for justice and civil rights, when we can see the kind of justice and civil rights that have been delivered to the people of Gaza, under the religious jackboot of Hamas.
We choose to ignore the fact that Arabs in Israel have more rights than they do in ANY Arab country, and that there are Arab Israelis in government and in the army, because these facts are inconvenient to our Liberal-racist-prejudice, and they shatter the carefully-nurtured propaganda myth of the apartheid state.
Beings racists, we choose to ignore the history of the region, and the fact that every time the Arabs feel strong enough, they attack Israel unprovoked, with the intention of committing religious genocide. And they make no secret of it. We know the [Palestinian] refugee situation only exists because the last time they did this, they told Arabs living in the West Bank to move out and promised them they could return when all the Jews had been killed. They are still waiting, and the agenda has not changed.
And the agenda is NOT territory or justice as we so dishonestly like to pretend. The agenda is religious blood vengeance, fulfilling Islamic scripture and wiping-out the Jews: ALL of them! Islamic-Jew-hatred, as mandated by the Koran, which was around long-before the State of Israel, as drummed-into the children, and is broadcast every day in the Arab media, is the root-cause of this problem. And for us in the West to pretend otherwise is as irresponsible as treating a bullet-wound without removing the slug; we are just messing-around with the symptoms and making things worse.
Nothing is going to change in the Middle East until we pay the Arabs the compliment of holding them to the same standard as everyone else. And that means cutting-off the money-supply and telling them bluntly, that it is time to drop this infantile Bronze-Age blood-vengeance-crap, and move into the 21st-Century, because we are all waiting for them. If we do not do this, if we carry-on indulging their primitive caveman-hatred, by treating this as political problem, and not a religious one, then we are effectively underwriting permanent war in the Middle-East; because whether we like it or not, Israel is certainly now the front-line between Islam and civilization.
And we should know by now that there is no compromise with Islam; you either win, or you lose; and if you lose, you lose everything, especially if you are Jewish. And the Palestinian leadership have made it crystal-clear, that as long as there is ANY level of Jewish autonomy in the Middle East, NOTHING that Israel concedes will ever be enough to satisfy them. They do not want peace at any price; they want to drive the Jews, ALL of them, into the Sea. And they never stop telling us that. We have no excuse for pretending not to hear.
It is written right-into the Hamas charter; it runs through every speech they make. And according to the leader of Hezbollah: Quote: “It is an open war until, until the elimination of Israel, and until death of the last Jew on Earth, unquote.” How many times do they have to say it, before we finally snap-out of our patronizing, Liberal-racist, stupor, and start listening?
Pat Condell is an atheist, who was born in Ireland around 1950 CE, and raised in England as a Roman Catholic, and educated in Church of England schools.
***** THE END *****
I must admit that it often bothers me that most of the “straight” couples in Sefer Breishis (starting with Adam & Chavah through Yaakov and his FOUR wives) all had severely dysfunctional family dynamics. Should one perhaps use Genesis as a guide of what a family definitely should NOT be?
Regarding transgenders, I’m no shrink but from what I’ve read, these people deserve alot of compassion and sympathy for having been born with this terrible infliction. If the only way they can function in life and be productive members of society, and ovdei Hashem, is through gender reassignment, isn’t that then the least bad option?
And of course marriage is a sacred bond between a man and a woman who are looking to build a bayis ne’eman b’Yisroel. However, as far as the government is concerned (and a good chunk of Jewish law as well), isn’t marriage for the most part a legal/financial contract between two parties, which, for example, allows a couple to file a joint tax return share insurance benefits? I thought U.S. Jews were in favor of a separation of Church and State.
Chas Vashalom. First, there are no non-straight couples in Breisheet. Secondly, we should never presume to judge our ancestors. The Torah tells us their stories to teach us musar and right conduct, and especially those of the Avot and Imahot. (I don’t feel as connected to Adam and Chava.) But obviously the model is male/female, and your point is essentially a distraction.
Regarding transgenders, sympathy is a given, but the Torah bans sex reassignment for Jews. Homosexuality is banned for Jews and non-Jews.
And even without the Supreme Court decision, people of all different social combinations had the right to create contractual relationships (inheritance, visitation, insurance beneficiaries, etc.) as they wish. It just is not marriage. The tax code incentivizes and disincentivizes based on social desiderata, as in , e.g., the deduction of mortgage interest incentivizes home ownership. That has nothing to do with church and state. Nor does this issue, in essence, any more than the law against homicide is “religious” because it is found in the Torah.
Also wanted to ask Mr. Cohen: As you seem to have many interesting, irrelevant stories to share, wouldn’t a Facebook or Twitter account be better suited to your needs?
Memo to haters:
The invective that I am receiving is sad but typical. Name-calling in place of dialogue, straight out of the Saul Alinsky playbook. Just call someone extreme, homophobic, radical, bigoted and you think you will silence and delegitimize them. How sad.
Read “End of Discussion” (referenced above) for a full analysis of this phenomenon, but suffice with the book’s introduction, a quote from Bill Buckley: “Liberals claim to want to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”
The days of intimidation and silence are over.
I don’t understand why this Pat Condell’s opinion matters enough to post. As this author is a person who denies God and Divine Providence, I personally don’t give any weight to this person’s words. I thought it was halacha that Esav and Yaacov will never have peace, and I assume that it applies with Yishmael as well. Calling us racists just puts the equal blame on us for their bloodthirsty nature. Of course we shouldn’t tolerate their barbarian ideology. But we also shouldn’t expect civilized and enlightened behavior from them, either. I doubt Hashem created them to function as a civilized, war-free society, as they have never done so historically.
When Jews defend Israel, people in the audience think that the Jewish defenders are motivated by their Jewish ethnicity, not by the facts of the case. This reduces the perceived credibility of the Jewish defenders of Israel.
When Fundamentalist Christians defend Israel, people think they are motivated by their pro-Israel religious beliefs, not by the facts of the case. This reduces the perceived credibility of the Fundamentalist Christian defenders of Israel.
BUT, when non-Jewish atheists defend Israel, nobody can claim that the defenders are motivated by their ethnicity, nor can anybody claim that the defenders are motivated by their religious beliefs. This is a psychological advantage.
Compare this to the Biblical Book of Proverbs, chapter 27, verse 2:
LET A STRANGER PRAISE YOU, INSTEAD OF YOUR OWN MOUTH;
A GENTILE [SHOULD PRAISE YOU] BUT NOT YOUR OWN LIPS.
ספר משלי פרק כז
(ב) יְהַלֶּלְךָ זָר וְלֹא פִיךָ נָכְרִי וְאַל שְׂפָתֶיךָ
Great. Why don’t you start your own blog and.post all the pro Israel, pro.pat caddell.posts you want.
You stated above “Marriage is not primarily an emotional union of two people but a bodily union (with an emotional component) that can produce children.” If you are defining marriage by its end product (ie, producing children), does that mean that heterosexual couples who are infertile, past childbearing age, or choose not to have children do not qualify for the marital bond?
That’s always a red herring argument – because a small number of cases do not fit the general pattern, therefore the pattern does not apply. It’s a facile argument. The exceptions to the rule do not undo the rule. But I took the phrase almost verbatim from the Harvard study I cited, where the authors offer cogent reasons why the three types of marriages you mention are of course considered marriages, notwithstanding that they do not result in offspring. Please read it there.
This is what 50 years of Godlessness causes. Most men have an innate sense to fulfill a higher purpose in life. For most of us, that sense is filled with religion. (I don’t mean to imply that religion is fake or created simply to fill that void; it is the natural state of things.) When God was taken out of the schools, it had to be filled with something, and that something became liberalism. And with blacks, women, etc, all getting their “protected class” status long ago, liberalism looked this way and that for another victim class to play hero for, and found a good target in homosexuals. It worked hand in glove with religion no longer around to set standards.
By the way, thank you for pointing out that the trial judge excluded evidence that homosexuality is not immutable, I had not known that. Of course, as you said, that more than just prejudices the jury, its the entire ballgame right there. It is obviously reversible error, but, equally obviously, it wont be reversed on those grounds.
Where is the Pope in all this? Your clarity and conviction, rabbi, is outstanding, and believe me, unrivalled by anyone in the country. Would that I could publish your columns on the front page of every paper and website in the country. But we orthodox Jews are not big enough. And the evangelicals do not have an authority figure like him. Where are you, Pope Francis? Will you not lift your voice at this hour?
Actually the JONAH case is even more apalling. JONAH never promoted itself as a psychiatric health care establishment, none of the defendants were even in the health care field and none of the clients were ever regarded as “patients”. JONAH never referred to same sex attraction as an illness and never suggested the concept of “cure”. These were all lies told by the plaintiffs and disproven in the trial. JONAH neither davertised nor offered “conversion therapy”. The terms “gay”, “straight” and “conversion therapy” we’re totally absent from the groups nomenclature. Such terms were only used by their opponents. JONAH was prosecuted solely because of its independence from the “gay community” and the fact of its success in enabling same sex attracted men to live within non-gay religious traditions outside of the gay identity was threatening to gay apologists. Such apologists simply took this opportunity to therefore destroy the group and its members by enlisting one of their many leftist judges to make a law crimanalizing these Jews and all that they do. It is important in telling the story not to fall into the “conversion therapy” straw man which could portray this case as anything other than the overt exercise in anti-Semitic bigotry that it is.
I’m certainly not apologist for gays. I think homosexuality certainly should be condemned in Torah society, which hopefully we are. I also understand the consumer fraud verdict is political and not based on true justice.
Having said that, is there any truth to some of the methodology allegedly employed by JONAH, such as touching privates and group cuddling? If there is, it is troubling. I’m just not sure who to believe. Would plaintiffs make this up out of whole cloth? Are patients warned of the radical treatment to which they may be subject? I just don’t know what to make out of these accusations. Some perspective would perhaps be helpful. Any thoughts?
Thank you for your post. Can you provide a link or reference to the JONAH case? This attack on religious freedom can’t be ended soon enough!
Check out their website at Jonahweb.org
Your article is brave and impressive. Yet as a person who has been active in this kind of therapy , I think you are wrong in describing the therapy just as a way to control temptations. I do agree that most men who undergo this treatment do stay at a control stage where they just are able to not act on their impulses. But for many of us other changes do happen; by me gay pornography became totally boring, and overall attraction to men has diminished to the extent that I would kind of have to decide to turn it on if I wanted to (and I am sure many straight men if they wanted to could to -why would anyone-) , and also my attraction to woman has recently emerged. One word of caution even in this field not all therapists are created equal, not even all whom are recommended by Jonah. To succeed I believe, you have to want it yourself (my case) and if someone is in therapy against his real will he is wasting his time, and also is easier if you are running towards something than away from something. I would suggest you review the way you understand this therapy, because you also sound as if you believe that one cant change. And to those frum therapists who suggest that this therapy does not work, what are your sources , I would sue them If I had time and money to waste. (even worst those who suggest celibacy, or therapist who just tell you to get married to a girl and believe that it is genetic and nothing to do therapy for -those will end up hurting their wife’s with addictions that will always surface in a gay persons life if not earlier later on in life unless one does the work to understand it).
If I was reading your article I would have never tried this therapy because to just be in control mode seems depressing and Deracheia Darchei Noam..
Also there are reasons beyond religion to want this therapy. (by me religion was just a small factor). Most gay men (religious or not) would agree that if there was a pill to make one straight they will take it.
Wow, extremely well said. Rabbi Pruzansky is one of the best writers in today’s Orthodox Jewish world. Thanks!