Kingdom of Priests

Kingdom of Priests


On Testing and Temptations

posted by David Klinghoffer

Regarding the little interchange on gay marriage you may have noticed going on between this blog and Dan Savage readers at The Stranger, it’s been a minor nuisance unpublishing the obscene, angry, abusive comments from gay-marriage advocates. From dealing with the Darwinist faithful, I was already used to that kind of thing. Certain views seem inextricably tied up with a weakness for petulant, uncouth public self-expression. Coincidence?

What made it all worthwhile was a wonderfully telling comment from one earnest gay man, a Stranger reader who, bright guy though he seems to be, couldn’t see the distinction between what a person feels tugged to do and what he actually does — as if tugs and temptations, which we all have, of different kinds and to various degrees, were there not to be transcended but to be accommodated and worked into one’s “lifestyle.” For him, as for many people today, homosexuality means both the tug and therefore automatically, because a person really has no choice in the matter of whether he follows his inclination or not, the activity as well. My assumption to the contrary he found “a bit disconcerting.”
How incredibly revealing of the sick times we live in, when belief in free will is largely rejected as a myth from the Iron Age. To one extent or another, we are all, myself included, infected by the sickness that causes us to doubt that we can tell ourselves: no. Among sins, homosexual activity is far from unique but it does stand out as a leading indicator of the Zeitgeist.
As in so much else, Darwin was a prophet of the new age. As I wrote a while back on NRO:

Gay advocates reason that because a man has a temptation to homosexuality, he has little moral choice other than to obey it. This view of morality goes back to Darwin, who reduced behavior to biologically determined instincts. In The Descent of Man he wrote, “At the moment of action, man will no doubt be apt to follow the stronger impulse; and though this may occasionally prompt him to the noblest deeds, it will far more commonly lead him to gratify his own desires at the expense of other men.” In his private notebooks, Darwin was more blunt, commenting that “the general delusion about free will [is] obvious.”

Darwin believed that “one deserves no credit for anything…nor ought one to blame others.” A dangerous thought if widely embraced, but he felt reassured that the “delusion” of moral responsibility was safely ensconced in the public mind. The masses would never be “fully convinced” that they were, in fact, not free but the playthings of nature. On that last point, at least, he’s been proven wrong.
Returning to the homosexual issue, I’m reminded of Rabbi S.R. Hirsch’s point about the Hebrew verbal root that means “to lift up” and, with the switch of a letter, “to test.” To test means “to place someone on a higher standpoint than that which he occupies so as to test him, whether he can stand there; for that is what every test is.” It’s clear that different people are tested in different ways. Some tests are more severe than others. Maybe you could argue that homosexuals are lifted up higher, making their test considerably more difficult than those which most other people experience.


Advertisement
Comments read comments(55)
post a comment
Glen Davidson

posted June 30, 2009 at 5:29 pm


it’s been a minor nuisance unpublishing the obscene, angry, abusive comments from gay-marriage advocates. From dealing with the Darwinist faithful, I was already used to that kind of thing

More name-calling from Klinghoffer, “the Darwinist faithful.”
As one of King Lear’s daughters said of the king, he “but slenderly knew himself.”
Because David does not know himself, he is “apt to follow the stronger impulse,” and blame others for the same.
It is unfortunate for his delusions that Darwin is so prescient. Nevertheless, David almost always demonstrates how his religious impulses do not lift him above anything.
Glen Davidson
http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p



report abuse
 

Eli

posted June 30, 2009 at 5:29 pm


Just because someone is ethnically Jewish doesn’t mean she has to practice the cold, legalistic religion, which has been superceded by the loving grace of Christ.
And the only reason that analogy is imperfect is because being gay–unlike practicing Judaism–is not a choice. So gay people are actually MORE deserving of acceptance than religious Jews are.



report abuse
 

Eli

posted June 30, 2009 at 5:50 pm


Quote: “How incredibly revealing of the sick times we live in, when belief in free will is largely rejected as a myth from the Iron Age. To one extent or another, we are all, myself included, infected by the sickness that causes us to doubt that we can tell ourselves: no.”
What sort of pathetic woman is fine with marrying a man who is saying “no” to his gay orientation and forcing himself to marry and have sex with her out of sheer will? I would think a woman would want a guy who is ATTRACTED TO WOMEN. You know, a straight guy? A guy who wants to have sex with her, who craves her, who spends all day thinking about what he wants to do with her that night.
I’m not sure which group is more negatively affected by David’s bigotry: gay men or straight women.



report abuse
 

Gracchus

posted June 30, 2009 at 5:53 pm


“How incredibly revealing of the sick times we live in, when belief in free will is largely rejected as a myth from the Iron Age.”
…says the man who also claims “men are unruly in their passions” (i.e. slaves to their biological urges). Okey-dokey, then.
By the way, I came here from pandagon.net, where we’ve been having a good laugh at the rank ignorance, pretzel logic, and unintentional howlers on display in this series of posts.



report abuse
 

Gabriel Hanna

posted June 30, 2009 at 6:00 pm


Another steaming pile of distorted quotes and unsupported allegations.
Of course David’s critics will rebut, and David will not acknowledge, respond, or retract, because he is a liar and an intellectual coward.



report abuse
 

Gabriel Hanna

posted June 30, 2009 at 6:04 pm


This view of morality goes back to Darwin, who reduced behavior to biologically determined instincts. In The Descent of Man he wrote, “At the moment of action, man will no doubt be apt to follow the stronger impulse; and though this may occasionally prompt him to the noblest deeds, it will far more commonly lead him to gratify his own desires at the expense of other men.”
And you are just making this up. When Job says “What is man, that he could be pure, or one born of woman, that he could be righteous?”, is he saying that men SHOULD BE impure and unrighteous? Of course not.
What Darwin is saying here is almost identical.
Either you cannot read, or you are a liar. I already know which you are, and everyone who reads the comments on your inane posts knows it too.



report abuse
 

Scott R.

posted June 30, 2009 at 6:29 pm


Just because someone is ethnically Jewish doesn’t mean she has to practice the cold, legalistic religion, which has been superceded by the loving grace of Christ.
You know, if you ever want to know why a lot of Jews cannot stand Xians, just re-read what you wrote.
Why a Jew would want to give up the faith handed down by God at Sinai for the pure idolatry of worshiping a dead man, and the polytheism of the “trinity” is beyond me. Maybe that’s why so few Jews actually throw their souls away on that nonsense, which is really the ultimate blasphemy and sin.



report abuse
 

Theo Magyar

posted June 30, 2009 at 6:36 pm


You are now admitting that you believe “Among sins, homosexual activity is far from unique but it does stand out as a leading indicator of the Zeitgeist.” And upon what do you base your belief that homosexual activity is a sin? If you consider that it is a sin because it is so written in the bible, what makes you think that the bible is infallible? Careful, circular arguments are logically invalid…. if you base your position upon faith, what give s you the right to inflict that postion upon others?



report abuse
 

Gay Christian

posted June 30, 2009 at 6:47 pm


It is sinful for The Kling to not accept Christ. Or are there any evangelicals posting here who disagree. Faith is much more of a choice than sexual orientation which really is no choice at all. David could choose to accept Christ, Jewish people to choose to convert all the time. Instead he chooses sin, because in a word to choose to not accept Christ is a sin pure and simple. I think most all evangelicals and Christians in general would agree. So David stop throwing rocks in your glass house.



report abuse
 

Gay Christian

posted June 30, 2009 at 6:51 pm


The new testament is infallible, all evangelicals believe this. David will spend an eternity in hell for the sin of not accepting Christ. I know he does not like to hear this, but it is true. So will his wife and children if they don’t repent. Or are there any evangelical Christians out there who disagree.



report abuse
 

David Klinghoffer

posted June 30, 2009 at 7:00 pm


You know, “Gay Christian,” whatever else you may be, you’re not a real Christian. I say that as a Jew who has known and worked with many Christians and they never, ever say things like that.



report abuse
 

concerned evangelical

posted June 30, 2009 at 7:41 pm


Please name for me one single Christian leader that thinks that you do not have to accept Christ to go to heaven. I think I have to agree with the “Gay Christian”. If you don’t know this your are theologically ignorant. There a distinct fringe minority of evangelicals that claim that there is something along the lines of a dual covenant. But they are out of the mainstream of Christian thinking. But just name one Christian leader who believes that one can go to heaven and not accept Christ. As an evangelical I have to agree that it is a sin to not accept Christ and even more of one to write books, as you do, trying to justify not accepting Christ. I do agree with you that you can’t be gay and Christian though. Perhaps there are “Christians at the Discovery Institute who believe this. I’d like to know their names. They are leading others astray. Again Names please of any Christian leader who believes that it is not a sin to refuse to accept Christ as your savior and repent.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted June 30, 2009 at 7:48 pm


The New Testament, in which Christians believe is also the inerrant word of God, does state clearly that salvation is only found in Christ Jesus. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 I’m guessing that is the point that “Gay Christian” was trying to make. You naturally don’t wish to be told that, and I don’t blame you, I wouldn’t want to be spoken that way either. I’m guessing that members of the LGBT community don’t like to be told that their sexual orientation is a “sin”, and that they are called to rise above it. Essentially, your saying they have two options? Option one, live a celibate and loveless life. Option two, deny who they truly are and live a lie with a member of the opposite sex, at least if they choose this option they aren’t forced to be celibate. I wonder if the table was turned, if our heterosexuality (spontaneous attraction) was the “sin”, which option would you choose? Would choose to be celibate? Or would you pretend to love another man, and deny who you really were? It’s an interesting question, as a heterosexual married Christian woman, I have often thought about it.
I’m guessing you would lean heavy upon your faith to make your decision, so would I. Being a Christian I’d take the following information into considertion, many would regard “abomination,” “enormous sin”, etc. as particularly poor translations of the original Hebrew word which really means “ritually unclean” within an ancient Israelite era. The Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Scriptures (circa 3rd century BCE) translated “to’ebah ” into Greek as “bdelygma,” which meant ritual impurity. If the writer(s) of Leviticus had wished to refer to a moral violation, a sin, he would have used the Hebrew word “zimah.”
I’m respectfully saying, that you have failed to convince me over the past several days of reading your blog and response to those who have questioned you, that a loving consensual realtionship between two adults of the same gender is “zimah”. You have your right to your own opinion, I will respectfully disagree.
Best wishes.



report abuse
 

Kim in Portland

posted June 30, 2009 at 7:51 pm


My apologies, I don’t know why my name didn’t appear. It isn’t there on my comment above. My name is Kim.



report abuse
 

freelunch

posted June 30, 2009 at 8:00 pm


The masses would never be “fully convinced” that they were, in fact, not free but the playthings of nature. On that last point, at least, he’s been proven wrong.
Please show us where he has been proven wrong.



report abuse
 

easy as 1 2 3 4

posted June 30, 2009 at 8:06 pm


OK there is an easy way to solve this. Go to a reliable source. In Seattle that could be Matt Driscoll of Mars Hill Church, Seattle’s largest church. They are VERY Bible based and I can recommend them to anyone looking for this. Ask Pastor Driscoll the following.
1. Is it a sin to not accept Christ as your savior.
2. Can one get into heaven without accepting Christ as your savior.
3. What are the alternates to heaven
4. Can you be gay and sexually active, accept Christ and go to heaven.
my guess is the answers will be, yes no hell & no



report abuse
 

Eli

posted June 30, 2009 at 8:15 pm


Scott R,
I’m not a Christian. I’m a Jew. I was making an analogy, which is a good one because religion is way more of a choice than being gay.
David,
It’s funny that you get mad and say that about “Gay Christian.” How is what he’s saying any more offensive than what you write about gay people? Your hypocrisy is unbelievable.
Also, what world are you living in where Christians don’t believe that? Uh, every Christian I know believes you have to accept Christ to go to heaven.



report abuse
 

Eli

posted June 30, 2009 at 8:17 pm


I’m thinking maybe David the Jewish Nazi got uncomfortable when someone bashed HIS group, but it’s okay for David to bash OUR group.
And like I keep saying, gay bashing is actually worse than religious antisemitism because being gay is not a choice.



report abuse
 

Scott R.

posted June 30, 2009 at 8:35 pm


Believing a man to be a god is an abomination. Believing in three gods is polytheism and an abomination. A Jew can not accept these beliefs and have a part of the afterlife. If you hold to these beliefs and try to sway others from their covenant, I truly believe that your afterlife will be very…short.



report abuse
 

Tom

posted June 30, 2009 at 8:48 pm


I don’t understand how religion is a choice. I always believe in what I perceive, no matter how right or wrong my perception may be. If I thought I were wrong, then obviously I’d perceive something else, therefore believing in something else, whether pertaining to religion, philosophy, physical and social sciences or what have you. Believing in a specific religion is not comparable to choosing what brand of clothing to wear, what kind of car to drive, where to live, etc. Maybe people treat it as such, and that is why there are so many problems.



report abuse
 

David Klinghoffer

posted June 30, 2009 at 8:48 pm


Eli & Co., I meant exactly what I wrote in response to “Gay Christian”: real Christians, whatever they may think — and only children say exactly what they think no matter what — real Christians don’t talk that way, they have never spoken that way to me. That’s how I feel confident in guessing that your pose as “Gay Christian” is just a pose. What a preacher may say from the pulpit is different, and I wouldn’t particularly know.



report abuse
 

David Klinghoffer

posted June 30, 2009 at 8:55 pm


Free Lunch: Darwin was wrong that the illusion of free choice would remain the secret knowledge of a few well-behaved Victorian illuminati like himself. On the contrary, what Darwin thought is now the common currency of pop culture.



report abuse
 

third rail

posted June 30, 2009 at 9:05 pm


There is no reason to erase what Gay Christian said. It wasn’t vulgar but is, in fact, the third rail of religious discussion. What a preacher says from the pulpit is what HE MEANS. Not what he says to you in polite company because he is on board with you in respects to the Israel issue. Erasing these posts shows you are a coward and that you know this is the third rail that you don’t want to touch. But as long as I have breath inmy lungs I will repost. Name me a religious leader that does not believe that:
1. It is a sin to not accept Christ as your personal savior.
2. You do you need to accept Christ to enter heaven.
3. That the price of not accepting Christ is an eternity in a very real Hell.
4. If you die as an orthodox Jew without accepting Christ you will go to hell.
Rather than erase this like a coward just answer. Just one evangelical pastor. This is not on vulgar or obscene post.
Again I appeal to someone out there to contact Pastor Matt Driscoll of Mars church and ask him. I already have.



report abuse
 

freelunch

posted June 30, 2009 at 9:25 pm


David,
I asked because I wasn’t sure if you were saying that free choice has been shown not to be an illusion or the claim has become a commonplace (and you clarified it for me that you were speaking of the second). The first is an interesting question that isn’t likely to be supported by evidence any time soon. The second seems less interesting, given that we don’t know the actual answer. Opinions arrived at through ignorance are rarely of value.



report abuse
 

David Klinghoffer

posted June 30, 2009 at 9:31 pm


Third Rail, I only unpublish comments that are obscene or abusive. I only suggested that Gay Christian was being disingenuous in identifying himself/herself. That’s not an offense punishable by being unpublished. I’m familiar with Mark Driscoll and I have a good guess what he says from the pulpit.



report abuse
 

David's little helper

posted June 30, 2009 at 9:35 pm


FALWELL
Earlier today, reports began circulating across the globe that I have recently stated that Jews can go to heaven without being converted to Jesus Christ. This is categorically untrue.
These false reports originated from a March 1 Jerusalem Post front page column which said: “An evangelical pastor and an Orthodox rabbi, both from Texas, have apparently persuaded leading Baptist preacher Jerry Falwell that Jews can get to heaven without being converted to Christianity. Televangelist John Hagee and Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg, whose Cornerstone Church and Rodfei Sholom congregations are based in San Antonio, told The Jerusalem Post that Falwell had adopted Hagee’s innovative belief in what Christians refer to as ‘dual covenant’ theology. This creed, which runs counter to mainstream evangelism, maintains that the Jewish people have a special relationship to God through the revelation at Sinai and therefore do not need ‘to go through Christ or the Cross’ to get to heaven.”
While I am a strong supporter of the State of Israel and dearly love the Jewish people and believe them to be the chosen people of God, I continue to stand on the foundational biblical principle that all people — Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, Jews, Muslims, etc. — must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ in order to enter heaven.



report abuse
 

VULGARIAN

posted June 30, 2009 at 9:41 pm


GOT LUBE? THE DEVIL WANTS TO KNOW
ROTHLMFAO



report abuse
 

VULGARIAN

posted June 30, 2009 at 9:44 pm


David, suffice it to say that gays, like yourself are not thrilled being told that they are pond sum in gods eyes. Being told that you are fit for the fires of hell is saying just that. They think that of your, regardless of your sexual tastes, they think it of me.



report abuse
 

VULGARIAN

posted June 30, 2009 at 9:47 pm


reword,
David, suffice it to say that gays, and jewish people like yourself,are not thrilled being told that they are pond sum in gods eyes. Being told that you are fit for the fires of hell is saying just that. They think that of your, regardless of your sexual tastes, and regardless of your mutual hatred of Darwin and they think it of me.



report abuse
 

Gabriel Hanna

posted June 30, 2009 at 10:36 pm


Please name for me one single Christian leader that thinks that you do not have to accept Christ to go to heaven.
Concerned Evangelical, does the Pope count? Catholics do not believe that Heaven is restricted only to Christians. You are being unfair.
I’m surprised David doesn’t know that; but it would just be one more of the many things David does not know, or pretends not to.



report abuse
 

concerned evangelical

posted June 30, 2009 at 11:19 pm


Hanna,
I can’s speak well for the Catholic church, but being that the current Pole is an “Obus dei” Catholic, you might be supprised to learn that the gateway to heaven is a bit smaller than your seem to believe.



report abuse
 

Gabriel Hanna

posted July 1, 2009 at 1:23 am


Concerned evangelical, would you like to READ what the Pope had to say, when he was just a cardinal, or would you prefer to spout stereotypes?
http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Christianity/Catholic/2007/01/Are-Non-Christians-Saved.aspx
Everything we believe about God, and everything we know about man, prevents us from accepting that beyond the limits of the Church there is no more salvation, that up to the time of Christ all men were subject to the fate of eternal damnation. We are no longer ready and able to think that our neighbor, who is a decent and respectable man and in many ways better than we are, should be eternally damned simply because he is not a Catholic. We are no longer ready, no longer willing, to think that eternal corruption should be inflicted on people in Asia, in Africa, or wherever it may be, merely on account of their not having “Catholic” marked in their passport.
Actually, a great deal of thought had been devoted in theology, both before and after Ignatius, to the question of how people, without even knowing it, in some way belonged to the Church and to Christ and could thus be saved nevertheless. And still today, a great deal of perspicacity is used in such reflections.
Yet if we are honest, we will have to admit that this is not our problem at all. The question we have to face is not that of whether other people can be saved and how. We are convinced that God is able to do this with or without our theories, with or without our perspicacity, and that we do not need to help him do it with our cogitations. The question that really troubles us is not in the least concerned with whether and how God manages to save others.
The question that torments us is, much rather, that of why it is still actually necessary for us to carry out the whole ministry of the Christian faith—why, if there are so many other ways to heaven and to salvation, should it still be demanded of us that we bear, day by day, the whole burden of ecclesiastical dogma and ecclesiastical ethics? And with that, we are once more confronted, though from a different approach, with the same question we raised yesterday in conversation with God and with which we parted: What actually is the Christian reality, the real substance of Christianity that goes beyond mere moralism? What is that special thing in Christianity that not only justifies but compels us to be and live as Christians?



report abuse
 

Gabriel Hanna

posted July 1, 2009 at 1:28 am


Anyway, if you read the whole thing you will see that Cardinal Ratzinger was concerned not with whether non-Christians could be saved-he takes that as given. He is saying, “Given that non-Christians ARE saved, what is the point of going to the trouble to be Catholic?” And he uses the parable of the laborers in the vinyard to explain why it is still worth the trouble.
Concerned evangelical, I don’t think you are an evangelical at all–you seem to be trying too hard to talk like a stereotype of one. Whether that is true or not, you are wrong to say that all Christians believe only Christians can be saved, and anyone who had any real knowledge of Christianity, as a whole–as opposed to their own sect–would know this.



report abuse
 

Turmarion

posted July 1, 2009 at 7:45 am


Gabriel, excellent post on Catholic beliefs. I was going to do so, but you did a much better job. I’d only add that Benedict XVI does not belong to Opus Dei, not that that would be relevant anyway. Unfortunately, I know enough evangelicals and what they believe to think that concerned evangelical may not be trying to come off as a stereotype. He sounds like a lot of evangelicals I’ve encountered. Ditto third rail.
I would join some of the others here in pointing out that the group of people among whom ID is most popular is evangelicals, most of whom, indeed, believe that all Jews who do not convert will burn eternally in Hell. In fact, plenty of them believe the same about Catholics, of which I am one. I really don’t get a Jew (or a Catholic–I never have understood why Michael Behe is into ID) who allies with such people, but I guess it takes all kinds.
David, is there anything that Darwin can’t be blamed for? And are you ever going to respond to the questions I’ve raised about randomness, the image of God, and such? Or do you have time only to respond to bad-mannered Christians that say nasty things?



report abuse
 

Mika

posted July 1, 2009 at 10:00 am


David,
In this post, you are purposefully misconstruing what your commenters have to say. The point that Jerry Becker and those like him were trying to make is that it is facetious and dishonest to claim to tolerate gay-identified individuals, but only if they never act on their sexuality. This is NOT because none of us could ever imagine resisting an impulse (modern ammoral hedonists that you take us for), but because you are dooming gays and lesbians to a choice between a life with love and a life with morals. A celibate, lonely, loveless life is not a Jewish life, it’s not a life that the ancient rabbis ever advocated, and you know it. Your “compassion” for gays would condemn them to being desperate and alone all their lives. That’s the only disturbing contradiction we were trying to point out.
So many have tried to reason with you, using careful logic and carefully-restrained anger, and all you can do is dismiss them summarily as abusive and obscene. It seems never to have occured to you that your warped, troglodyte views on issues such as Darwinian evolution and LGBT rights are what provoke anger in your fellow human beings, and that you are responsible for such anger because of your willful misconstruction of others’ points. You have not once replied to a trenchant criticism in your comments, not once responded to a challenge with a considered explanation. You hide from dissenting points of view, and that makes you a coward. Feel free to respond to my questions and prove me wrong.
1) If you believe gay identity is not a choice, as you’ve stated before, do you thus believe that gays and lesbians are created that way? Are gays and lesbians equally human beings in G-d’s image?
2) Is your solution for gays and lesbians (who, again, didn’t choose to be that way) for them to remain celibate and loveless all their lives, or for them to remain closeted and dupe a straight partner into marrying them, thus ensuring the straight partner’s lifelong misery and feelings of inadequacy? How does either solution resemble compassion in any way?
3) What do you make of intersexed individuals, those “between” the genders, who were created that way – who were also created in G-d’s image? How do they fit into your “an XX must marry an XY” schema?
4)Have you ever seen “Trembling Before G-d”?
5) Based on the TaNaKh, from whence you seem to take your position that male homosexuality is a sin, do you believe that lesbianism (never mentioned) is also sinful? Why or why not?



report abuse
 

Gabriel Hanna

posted July 1, 2009 at 10:05 am


Turmarion, I can’t stand to see people argue with things that are just made up, and then act like no reasonable person could disagree! I’m not any sort of a Christian, I don’t care who is or isn’t going to Hell; I don’t take it personally if Christian’s think I am (it’s not an expression of hate, I think).
I comment here because David makes stuff up and argues with it. If someone did the same to him, I’d defend him.
He’s never going to respond to any of the things you brought up, or any if the things I did,



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted July 1, 2009 at 10:58 am


‘I’m familiar with Mark Driscoll and I have a good guess what he says from the pulpit.’
What he says from the pulpit is what he will say to your face if ask him. He will say that is a sin, worse than gay sex, to not accept Christ as your saviour. Period. From the Pulpit, in your face, from a roof top, standing on his head, in a pink dress,any way or place or manor you like. period



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted July 1, 2009 at 10:59 am


‘I’m familiar with Mark Driscoll and I have a good guess what he says from the pulpit.’
What he says from the pulpit is what he will say to your face if you ask him. He will say that is a sin, worse than gay sex, to not accept Christ as your saviour. Period. From the Pulpit, in your face, from a roof top, standing on his head, in a pink dress,any way or place or manor you like. period



report abuse
 

Mark

posted July 1, 2009 at 11:38 am


1. Why do people in the comment chain keep equating sex with love? Defining a sexless or celebate person as loveless speaks of an inadaquate and juvenille definition of love.
2. Turn or burn is rarely an effective evangelical strategy. Yes, Christian doctrine is that there is no salvation outside of Christ. Even the Pope’s reasoning is about how there might be anonymous Christians in the grace of Christ without knowing it. God is a merciful God and He can do what He wants. What Christians do profess is that God has promised to be present in his Word and Sacraments. Maybe God will save others, although a fair reading of the scriptures would place that statement is serious doubt. What we do know (by means of revelation) is God promised to save those who believe and are baptized – a wonderfully safe harbor if you will allow the legal/business metaphor. As Christians you express you hope and joy in that work that God has done for us. We spread the Word about God’s promises, but the actual work of conversion is God’s. Like Moses in Deuteronomy the Gospel is a two edge proclamation – it places before you life and death. The Christian encourages to choose life, but rejection and the path of death are open.



report abuse
 

Vulgarian

posted July 1, 2009 at 11:45 am


Mika,
It is not so much that he is a coward, that is forgivable, it is that he is an opportunist without ethics. He won’t answer critical points such as the Christian belief that it is a sin to not accept Christ and that they believe he will be damned. And don’t bore me David about when or where they will say this. This is not about politeness. It is a fact whether thay say it to your face or not. He is a fundy seat sniffer because they have a common agenda Israel.
I have seen Trembling Before G-d. The Rabbi basically reforms his thinking to allow the gay guy he is advising to refrain from (I have to be careful to not be censored here) from one particular sexual act. Other than that it is OK.
Gabriel, I am not interested with what Ratzi the gay nazi has to say. He can skip away into the fires of hell with his ruby red shoes. He has done more harm to gays than all the orthodox rabbis on earth.



report abuse
 

vulgarian

posted July 1, 2009 at 11:51 am


Mark,
“Turn or burn is rarely an effective evangelical strategy”
I need a one work answer here. It is a black or white issue. Is the option before us humans to turn or burn. Yes or No. this is the response I need. One word period that is the only response we can accept. and your answer is………………?



report abuse
 

Mika

posted July 1, 2009 at 12:12 pm


Mark – it’s not so much that love and sex are perfectly equatable, or that love is impossible without sex. It’s that a person who has no interest in sexual love is called asexual, and they’re rare (maybe 1% of the population). The majority of us find a special fulfillment in sexual love, one that’s very difficult to live without. Are you willing to live without sexual love? Are you willing to condemn a whole segment of the population to live without it? Do you have the right to insist that your fellow human beings live without it?
The point that I was more particularly trying to make is that Judaism is not an aesthetic religion. Unlike Christianity, we have no history of monks or nuns or virgin births; we don’t place a premium on lifelong virginity or chaste martyrdom. The Talmud is very clear that human beings should marry and rejoice in sex with their spouse – even non-procreative sex. There is nothing inherently sinful about sex in Judaism; within the confines of monogamous marriage, it is considered a great good. So to advise gays and lesbians that their only path to an ethical life is lifelong chastity, after you’ve admitted that homosexuality is not a choice, is not only a farcical and insulting form of “compassion,” but also bizarre advice from a Jewish spiritual leader.
Vulgarian – yes, the “just don’t lie with a man as you would lie with a woman” banning of a specific sexual position is the official position of the Conservative Jewish movement, as well as some isolated Orthodox rabbis. At least they affirm loving, committed homosexual relationships – and in the case of lesbians, there are no barriers at all. It’s always seemed kind of silly to me, but it’s better than nothing. I simply found the movie a much more compassionate, and moving, view of the struggles of queer Orthodox Jews than Klinghoffer seems capable of forming. It always makes me cry.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted July 1, 2009 at 1:34 pm


Mika, I liked the movie also. And the Rabbi did not ban sexual relationships between men. Just one act. That leaves a lot still available. Enouth to fill a book:) I am not Jewish btw. From my perspective though, limited as it is, I believe Jewish people have done more to make lives better for gays than Christians have. Christians have made things worse. Also along these lines, there is one place in the middle east where a gay person can be open about who they are without fearing for their lives and that is Israel. For that reason alone I support Israel.



report abuse
 

stop makin sense

posted July 1, 2009 at 2:22 pm


Well there you go Turmarion making sense. Don’t you know it is not about Darwin, gays or any of this. It is about linking evangelicals to the common cause of defending Isreal’s security. This is what the jewish involvement in the Discovery institute is about. In fact for all involved it mostly about $$$$$$$$$
Oddly enough the democrats in much better in securing Israel because they take a long term look at what is best beyond an apocalypse that the evangelicals are convinced will happen any day now.



report abuse
 

Patrick

posted July 1, 2009 at 3:04 pm


David, the average straight man does NOT feel a tug to have sex with other men. If you do, it’s because YOU have homosexual tendencies, not that every man does. If you believe that homosexuality is wrong, be it from your interpretation of the Bible, or otherwise, that is a reason why YOU shouldn’t act on your homosexual urges. Many people don’t believe homosexuality to be immoral. They are not asking YOU to have gay sex. Why should they have to live by your beliefs?



report abuse
 

Patrick

posted July 1, 2009 at 3:39 pm


Dear David Klinghoffer,
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s law. I have learned a great deal from you, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind him that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and how to best follow them.
When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. How should I deal with this?
I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as it suggests in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev. 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
Lev. 25:44 states that I may buy slaves from the nations that are around us. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans but not Canadians. Can you clarify?
I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?
A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 10:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?
Lev. 20:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?
I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.



report abuse
 

David Klinghoffer

posted July 1, 2009 at 4:24 pm


Patrick, if you read the Bible as you would a comic book — with that much care, insight, and humility — then the results can seem comic. But in that case, why bother at all? Stick to real comic books.



report abuse
 

My name here

posted July 1, 2009 at 5:09 pm


If a book has to be read with care, insight and humility, than it is really not very clear is it? It might be best to read it for what it is, a book of ancient desert prejudices.
The Muslems also say the same thing about their magic book. I was told that they have to read it with a scholar by their side.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted July 1, 2009 at 10:45 pm


Dear David Klinghoffer,
It’s because of people like you that i loose faith in the bible and in God. The misery and despair that you teach, support and create directly or indirectly from your fallacious arguments based on some badly translated texts 2000-5000 years old … it’s just beyond belief.
Instead of pouring over moldy old texts written by flea-beaten sun-addled, dry old men thousands of years ago, why not look around and see the truth that’s obvious in people’s hearts. I rather think you’re more likely to understand God in the actions of men and women, in seeing the love in their hearts and minds. how can love ever be wrong wether it is between men and women, or men and men or women and women. sex and pleasure borne from love, gay or straight can’t be wrong either.
Stop trying to define God’s will, instead just accept it.
sincerely,
Annie



report abuse
 

Patrick

posted July 2, 2009 at 9:06 am


Cop-out answer there David.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted July 2, 2009 at 10:54 am


Religious fanatics like David don’t read the bible with care, insight and humility, instead they read into it with arrogance to justify their preconceived prejudices.



report abuse
 

Mark

posted July 2, 2009 at 3:12 pm


Vulgarian, it is not a one word answer because you are dealing with the hidden God vs. the revealed God. The Hidden God may choose to save everyone – but I don’t know that. And wishing doesn’t remove that uncertainty. Based on Christian revelation, your simple answer is yes – the only sure path to salvation is belief in Christ and baptism. A Christian points at that sure salvation in Christ. Outside of that we may wish that God saves more, we may pray that God saves more, we can build rational arguments on the charater of the revealed God, but ultimately all those things are a rejection of the salvation God has revealed in the wish that we get our way. Wanting our own way, wanting to be God, was the cause of the trouble in the first place. Instead of throwing ourselves against the hidden God (the hidden things of God remain His), should we not accpet his revealed salvation in His Son?
Mika – yes, we might get a special fulfillment in sexual love. I could point out that it might only be between the ages of 14 and 50 or so. But your argument places man at the center. Love is made to fulfill man’s desires. That is a very selfish view of love. The problem is that the very first commandment says nothing takes the place of God. Love of God preceeds the love of the other. In fact true love of the other is not possible without the love of God. If the consuming love of God say don’t do that even if it doesn’t make sense do we stay in His love or seek our own way? That apple sure didn’t make sense to poor Eve and she and Adam found their own way.



report abuse
 

Mordred08

posted July 2, 2009 at 8:51 pm


Mark: “If the consuming love of God say don’t do that even if it doesn’t make sense do we stay in His love or seek our own way?”
If there is a god, I don’t think he’d give me a brain and then demand that I not use it.



report abuse
 

Mika

posted July 2, 2009 at 9:09 pm


Mark, you are precluding the possibility of sexual love as a path towards intimacy with G-d – which, I think, really does a disservice to the incredible spiritual potential of sexuality. Some people are natural mystics, but they’re rare. For most people, orgasm may be the most transcendent, mystical, and spiritually ecstatic moment that they will ever experience. I’m not the first person to point this out, for sure, but I do think it’s worth saying.
Regardless, claiming that a pure, celibate love of G-d should be appropriate for the entire class of people who find themselves LGBT-identified relegates them to the class of monks and nuns – and not everyone is suited to that lifestyle. In fact, very few people have the discipline and intense spiritual desire required to make that happen. As a solution for LGBT individuals, many of whom have grown up scorned and despised by G-d’s “representatives” on earth, I think it’s hardly practical.
Moreover, within the Jewish tradition, the ancient rabbis have never advocated rejecting sexual love in favor of love of G-d, as if the two were somehow mutually exclusive. Judaism has always advocated a sexually active, committed marriage in ADDITION to a devotion to the Divine. The celebration of celibacy is a uniquely Christian trait. For Jews like Mr. Klinghoffer and myself, therefore, sexuality doesn’t have to be seen as a threat to religion.
“between the ages of 14 and 50″
Rather a narrow view, don’t you think? You’ve chosen the rough ages of reproductive relevance. However, many couples in their 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s are highly sexually active. It’s a pretty blunt expression of ageism to deny them their sex lives, even if thinking about it makes you uncomfortable.
“If the consuming love of God say don’t do that”
But I don’t believe that God DOES say anything of the sort, with regards to homosexuality. There’s certainly no mention of lesbianism in the ancient texts that I hold sacred. And the mentions of male homosexuality, I believe (along with many scholars, both historical and theocratic), reference pagan, cultist, ritual acts, NOT a loving, consensual, homosexual relationship. Our modern conception of homosexuality as an internal identity, as opposed to isolated sex acts, was inconceivable in biblical times. Therefore, to confuse Leviticus 18:22 with the expression of a committed homosexual relationship is an anachronism.



report abuse
 

Jeffrey Yasskin

posted July 6, 2009 at 12:14 am


You write: “… on gay marriage … it’s been a minor nuisance unpublishing the obscene, angry, abusive comments from gay-marriage advocates. Certain views seem inextricably tied up with a weakness for petulant, uncouth public self-expression.”
You really shouldn’t be surprised. If I, for example, repeated the lie that Jews drink the blood of Christian babies at Passover, I’d expect to get a lot of obscene, angry, and abusive comments from Jewish advocates. When you post shockingly ignorant posts that claim that gay marriage, and more generally, that acceptance of (read, “not lynching”) gay people hurts women, you deserve just as much hate mail.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

Another Blog To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Kingdom of Priests. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: Kabballah Counseling Happy Reading!

posted 11:24:22am Aug. 16, 2012 | read full post »

Animal Wisdom: The Voice of the Serpent
Our family watched Jaws together the other evening -- which, in case you're wondering, I regard as responsible parenting since our kids are basically too young to be genuinely scared by the film. The whole rest of the next day, two-year-old Saul was chattering about the "shark teeth." "Shark teeth g

posted 3:56:33pm Mar. 16, 2010 | read full post »

Reading Wesley Smith: Why the Darwin Debate Matters
If the intelligent-design side in the evolution debate doesn't receive the support you might expect from people who should be allies, that may be because they haven't grasped why the whole thing matters so urgently. I got an email recently from a journalist whom I'd queried on the subject. "All told

posted 5:07:12pm Mar. 15, 2010 | read full post »

The Mission of the Jews
Don't miss my essay over at First Things on the mission of the Jews to the world. This, I think, the key idea that the Jewish community needs to absorb at this very unusual cultural moment, for the time is so, so right. Non-Jews are waiting for us to fulfill the roll God gave us in the Torah. Please

posted 6:14:16pm Mar. 05, 2010 | read full post »

Darwin at the Mountains of Madness: Evolution & the Occult
Of all the regrettable cultural forces that Darwinism helped unleash, perhaps the most surprising and seemingly unlikely is its role in sparking the creation of modern occultism. Charles Darwin himself could not have been less interested in the topic. But no attempt to assess the scope of his legacy

posted 2:04:11pm Mar. 04, 2010 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.