If conservative Orthodox Jews and other religious extremists would just practice their religious prejudices among their own, they would not be worthy of our time or comment. But they don’t. They constantly work to subvert the rights and freedoms of others.
Last summer the Agudath Israel of America worked vigorously to prevent the legalization of gay marriage in New York. This week, their public apologist, Avi Shafran, wrote in the Forward about Orthodoxy’s “Stance on Homosexuality.” It’s important to read articles like this in order to fully understand their warped view of reality.
It includes recommending psychological intervention:
Mainstream medical professionals deem psychological counseling aimed at helping people modify their sexual orientations pointless, at best, and counterproductive, at worst. There have even been reports of abusive behavior in the guise of such therapy.
But other mental health care professionals insist that such interventions, conducted responsibly, are not only safe, but also (at least for the highly motivated) effective. And then there are the inconvenient numbers of actual human beings who testify that the therapy has helped them realize their goal to live exclusively heterosexual lives. I have met one such individual — an intelligent, sensitive and even-keeled man — and have corresponded with therapists who have helped dozens of patients control homosexual inclinations and, as a result, live happy, fulfilled, Torah-faithful lives.
There’s a reason that “mainstream medical professionals” decry the futility and dangers of these therapies. They are futile and dangerous.
Shafran and company advocate this approach instead:
…[I]f there are in fact avenues to explore that might lead to the fulfillment (both emotional fulfillment and fulfillment of the mitzvot) of marriage and to normal procreation, doing the exploring is a worthy choice, if not a moral mandate.
At this moment in history, most married homosexuals are married to the opposite sex. At best, this leads to lives of repression and self-loathing. At worst, it results in abuse and degradation of the straight partner in the relationship.
Following through logically, Shafran can only believe that this is what makes God happy.
I’m glad there is no God. They make him out to be such an uncaring putz.