Rabbi joins the crazies, gets sacked

Rabbi joins the crazies, gets sacked January 18, 2012

UNTIL recently, Christian evangelicals have been in the vanguard of the “let’s-cure-The-Gays” movement, but it now appears that Jews of all stripes have been scrambling onto the bandwagon.
Earlier this week, I was alerted to some bilge called the Declaration On The Torah Approach To Homosexuality, which states:

The Torah makes a clear statement that homosexuality is not an acceptable lifestyle or a genuine identity by severely prohibiting its conduct. Furthermore, the Torah, ever prescient about negative secular influences, warns us in Vayikra (Leviticus) 20:23 ‘Do not follow the traditions of the nations that I expel from before you…’

Rabbi Ralbag
The declaration, signed by 162 rabbis and mental health practitioners – that is, health practitioners who are mental – also states that “homosexuality is not an acceptable lifestyle” and that “behaviours are changeable”.
One rabbi who gleefully attached his name to this crap was New York based Aryeh Ralbag, who manages to find time four times a year to get his ignorant arse off to Amsterdam, to perform his duties as the city’s Chief Rabbi.
Well, that signature, we learned today, has cost the fuzz-faced old loon his job.
According to this report, so great was the outrage in Holland over his association with the declaration that the Jewish community on Amsterdam decided to summarily axe him. Ralbag will remain suspended until he and community leaders have spoken about the issue
A press release by the community’s board, NIHS, said:

Rabbi Ralbag’s signature may give the impression the Orthodox Jewish community of Amsterdam shares his view. This is absolutely untrue. Homosexuals are welcome at the Amsterdam Jewish community.

The Dutch Israel information centre CIDI had also called on Ralbag to stand down from his Amsterdam position.
Meanwhile, it was reported here that Dutch medical organisations and health insurers are unhappy over having to pay for quack “gay-cure” therapies.
The treatment is offered by the orthodox Christian organisation Different, a recognised provider of therapies in mental health care. Because it is officially recognised, health insurers cannot refuse to pay for the treatment.
However, doctors and insurers say the treatment is damaging and even dangerous, and want the health inspectorate to look into the matter.
Hat tip: Remigius

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  • Stonyground

    I know that this question has been asked before but why are these religious loons so completely obsessed with the gay issue? I’m wondering if it is some kind of ‘last stand’ thing. basically their “Holy Books” are ignored on pretty much every single matter in the modern world. They entertain the vague hope that they can rally enough homophobes, even non religious ones, to hold this line. Once every society in the free world grants full equality to the gays, their influence will have finally been laid completely to rest. Is that what they are afraid of?
    One thing that they need to be aware of. As long as they continue to promote hatred of people that have done them no harm, and have no intention of ever doing them harm, even when they deserve it, I am their enemy and I will do everything in my power to oppose them.

  • barriejohn

    Rabbi Aryeh Ralbag: Come clean, Barry, you make them up, don’t you?
    Hairy Arab Gabbler

  • AngieRS

    Well done, the Netherlands. It’s shame some of those over here haven’t got the guts to stand up and defy the nutters.

  • I like that the group who is so determined to fix the gays and make them like everybody else goes by the name ‘Different’. I suppose calling it the Ministry of Love would have been a little too on the nose as irony goes…

  • Hitchens’apprentice

    How come the Torah doesn’t have a statement about minding your own Ghod-damn business?

  • Robster

    Seems to me that all these (so called) “religious leaders” have way too much time on their hands. For christs sake, why don’t they direct their energies to tackling some real problems? What the jewish, catholic, muzzie etc churches think about the “gay issue” is irrelevent, it’s simply not at all important. These people are admitted bigots, they’re only behaving as expected. They are rattling around the very edge of sanity and it won’t take much to get ’em over the edge.

  • Daz

    “why are these religious loons so completely obsessed with the gay issue?”
    I reckon its a combination of two things. Firstly, they need someone to blame for making a good god do/allow bad things. Secondly, the American religious right picked gays and abortion as handy, emotion-charged subjects of their scapegoating that fitted in nicely with their traditional view of anything to do with sex as being all icky and squelchy and generally Not Nice, and it proved so successful that everyone else jumped on the bandwagon.
    Still, at least with the Jews, we have a wonderful counterpoint in Lionel Blue.

  • Daz

    I meant to mention, there’s a nice little add-on for Firefox
    , which remembers stuff you type in comment boxes. It’s saved me a few times here when the bloody capcha thing goes haywire, and I remember you saying you had the same trouble.

  • barriejohn

    Thanks Daz. I always copy before sending now!

  • AngieRS

    Nice add-on, thanks Daz.

  • Har Davids

    Stonyground has it spot-on, I think. The strength of religion is marginalisation of certain groups and it just happens that over the last century the number of those groups has dwindled by the emancipation of women, non-whites, ‘lower’ classes et cetera. As homosexuality seems to be becoming less of a problem to the general population in the Western world, religious nuts have to become more vocal, all in vain of course.
    By the time homophobia has become too marginal to be significant, they’ll have to start a quest for a new scapegoat in their holy books; with some nit-picking they’ll come up with a new one. Be ready to be surprised!

  • barriejohn

    Many Christian groups have a similar idea of separating themselves from “the ungodly”:
    “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2Cor.6:17-18 KJV)
    Can you imagine the outlook of a child who has heard only this sort of thing from its earliest years?

  • AgentCormac

    I have to agree with Stony, it does seem that the major religious institutions are properly on the back foot these days. They realise they are no longer in a position of leadership, no longer that traditional ‘pillar of society’. Rather, they skulk around the edges of said society, whining and whinging like a kicked dog craving attention from people who wish it would just go away and stop being such a bloody nuisance.

  • Gay people may have an christian or jewish orientation, if only you do not bring your religion into practise!

  • remigius

    I find it amazing that in this day and age people could still cling to such an ancient, and let’s face it idiotic, system. I don’t know whether it’s just ignorance, or some unwillingness to break with traditional, backward methods and embrace the rational, the modern. This is the 21st Century, for fuck’s sake, why are people still using Firefox when we have Chrome?

  • Leo

    It seems like there is some truth in the expression that men think with their penis. When you cut of a piece, they immediately start to talk nonsense.

  • Stonyground

    Who will be left for these people to kick once society has advanced past the point where they can get away with their gay bashing? Lying about the actual meaning of secularism isn’t going to get them very far. If they decide to choose atheists as their next scapegoats then they really are in for a sound kicking.