Cultural Revolutions

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Gays and Judaism were recently discussed in the summer 1993 issue of the Public Interest. Since the author of the article, Dennis Praeger, had been identified a few weeks before in Insight as a political conservative and Jewish traditionalist, one might have expected to find here an attack on sexual perversion based on Leviticus 18. And Praeger docs mention that in the Mosaic law a man who lies with another man is committing toavah, an abomination punishable by death. He then points out that homosexuality was not only a grievous offense in the Bible, but one likened there to such hideous acts of defilement as incest, carnal relations with animals, and human sacrifice.

Praeger might have gone further and noted that in Leviticus 18:24 divine judgment is threatened against nations that sanction such pollution {tumah). Thus the Canaanites will be vomited out of their land and dispossessed by the Hebrews for practicing sexual perversion. Such practices are characteristic of those particularly wicked nations, like the Canaanites, whom the Hebrews are to destroy in response to a divine commandment. Though such statements would offend Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, Rabbi David Saperstein of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, and other Jewish communal leaders now lumping anti- Semitism and homophobia together, the Jewish heritage does provide the most vehement and merciless condemnation of homosexuality...

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