Giving God a bad name

Giving God a bad name

: The front page of The New York Times today reports that religious leaders from Islam, Judaism, and Christianity came together in a rare meeting and rarer agreement in Jerusalem to unite in a single cause.

What cause could that be? Peace in the Middle East? Regaining God-given freedom in the Middle East? An end to economic despair in some parts of the Middle East? A call to condemn terrorism as murder?

No. Gay bashing. Bigotry. Hatred. That’s what brought them together. They oppose a gay pride event in Jerusalem:

“They are creating a deep and terrible sorrow that is unbearable,” Shlomo Amar, Israel’s Sephardic chief rabbi, said yesterday at a news conference in Jerusalem attended by Israel’s two chief rabbis, the patriarchs of the Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian churches, and three senior Muslim prayer leaders. “It hurts all of the religions. We are all against it.”

Abdel Aziz Bukhari, a Sufi sheik, added: “We can’t permit anybody to come and make the Holy City dirty. This is very ugly and very nasty to have these people come to Jerusalem.” …

When the first WorldPride festival was held five years ago in Rome, religious opposition came from the Vatican, while secular opposition came from a neo-Fascist group that vowed to hold a counterdemonstration. But the neo-Fascists canceled their demonstration, the march came off peacefully, and even a few center-right politicians joined many thousands of marchers.

One day later, however, Pope John Paul II appeared on a balcony over St. Peter’s Square and delivered a message expressing his “bitterness” that the gay festival had gone forward, calling it an “offense to the Christian values of a city that is so dear to the hearts of Catholics across the world.”

For shame.

  • Lou

    I don’t know anything about this WorldPride festival, but is it as er.. flamboyant as say, the Gay Pride parades in NYC or SF?
    /not that there’s anything wrong with that

  • Allen

    Yeah, I’d also want the details of what the “festival” consists of before smearing the religious leaders with the B word. Would the same festival translated to heterosexuals and heterosexual conduct be considered appropriate for public place? Just because the organizers and participants would be gay doesn’t give them license to do whateve they please. And what are the local standards of appropriateness in Jerusalem, as opposed to Tel Aviv?

  • steve

    And why do you suppose the event was held in Jerusalem? Seems that everyone’s agenda was fulfilled.

  • Mike

    The religious leaders are correct to speak out for the same reason the worldpride gay people feel that they have to march in some city to show their gayness. The religious leaders are merely emphasizing their beliefs that what the gay people are doing is wrong.

  • ED Beckmann

    Our founding fathers were fully aware of the nature of religous fanatics when they established the principle of SEPERATION of Church and State. I fear we are witnessing an all out assualt by the right on it.

  • http://crackhouse.blogspot.com Kirk

    I don’t get it. The pope will accept evolution but not gay people. It’s like we’re a world of teenagers afraid to leave our parents and grow up.

  • Lou

    From worldpride.net:
    Jerusalem WorldPride 2005 will be a ten-day festival covering two weekends. (August 18 – 28th) The calendar of events is designed to accommodate participants with a variety of backgrounds and interests.
    It will include opening and closing celebrations, a full schedule of parties, an LGBT film festival at the renowned Jerusalem Cinematheque, opportunities to attend religious services, and workshops on gay and lesbian social and political issues.
    The climax of WorldPride 2005 will be the WorldPride Parade, Street Fair and Rally in Jerusalem, where we will make our most public and visible statement of pride and unity as LGBT people.

  • Roger

    Shame? Isn’t that a loaded, morality-based term? Jeff, you hate-filled deiophobe, you (he said, jokingly). Exactly what is wrong with people of faith clearly stating their opposition to the promotion of what that faith clearly teaches is immoral behavior? They don’t ask anyone to persecute them – they state their opposition to an event promoting sinful behavior.
    I’m always amused how people use moral language (“hateful”, “shame”, “bigotry”) to condemn others who make moral assessments based on their faith. If it’s wrong for them, isn’t it wrong for you, Jeff? What is the moral basis or faith basis for your criticism? And why is your ‘faith basis’ superior to theirs?

  • richard mcenroe

    Hey, Jeff, howzabout we run a WorldPride march through your church next Sunday morning? Of course, they might knock over some of those lilies you set up…
    Isn’t it funny how they don’t hold these marches in places like Beijing, Havana, Damascus, or Tehran, where they might, oh, I dunno… get killed? But Frisco, Rome, and Jerusalem they can find intolerance in…
    And the problem with the Catholic Church isn’t getting the homosexuals in but getting the ones already in the clergy out. Or have you already stopped following the MSM?

  • pele

    God doesn’t like Gays but loves vengeance apparently. Yeah right.

  • chico haas

    If religious leaders in Jerusalem aren’t willing to be force-fed the gay agenda, isn’t it their right to remove the tube?

  • Master Of Sound

    You gotta go to the article and see the picture of the religious leaders that made the pronouncement- thry’re all so well-fed and richly dressed!
    Makes you realize what great business religion is.

  • Dan

    “United We Hate” — should be their slogan! I had no idea us gays were a potential solution to the peace process! We’ll just swish it up and absorb their relentless lust for blood, much in the same way that the priest saved Regan and jumped out a window in “The Exorcist.” Set to a pounding dance track.

  • James

    Arguing with the God pods (re: the religious) is a waste of time. They value faith over reason, fiction over fact, and the next(?)world over this one. I say, stop waiting for the “promised land”, commit suicide now, and spare the world your bigotry, hatred, and intolrence.

  • http://RuthCalvo Ruth

    Doesn’t this suggest that these three think they are satisfying a need their respective ‘flocks’ have? Which scares me.
    Religion should serve the needs of the world for peace, lovingkindness, charity, shouldn’t it? What use is causism against anyone?
    Like JJ, I think this is a disturbing use of the churches’ energies. Ministering to their church doesn’t look like it’s served at all.

  • Mike

    Thank you to all those non-members of these faiths to tell them how they should adhere to it. Truly these leaders should sit down with the likes of Jeff, Ruth, James, Master of Sound, etc. so they can be enlightened as to how they should hold their beliefs. For your word is as good as Gods.

  • http://www.hfienberg.com/kesher/ Yehudit

    I am very strongly for gay rights to get married, not be discriminated against, etc. and I am not offended by “queer” flamboyance or street theater. Let a thousand lifestyles bloom!
    But there is already a huge yearly gay pride fest in Tel Aviv, which is only a few hours away by bus and superhighway, and which has a reputation as a secular, even hedonistic, city. There is no city in the world more identified with more traditional religions than Jerusalem. So leave Jerusalem alone. Gays who live there can get to Tel Aviv very easily.

  • http://www.hfienberg.com/kesher/ Yehudit

    I am very strongly for gay rights to get married, not be discriminated against, etc. and I am not offended by “queer” flamboyance or street theater. Let a thousand lifestyles bloom!
    But there is already a huge yearly gay pride fest in Tel Aviv, which is only a few hours away by bus and superhighway, and which has a reputation as a secular, even hedonistic, city. There is no city in the world more identified with more traditional religions than Jerusalem. So leave Jerusalem alone. Gays who live there can get to Tel Aviv very easily.

  • http://www.hfienberg.com/kesher/ Yehudit

    Sorry for the double post – the internet was being weird.

  • Jay

    Wow, I agree with Yehudis.
    :)

  • Cal

    James:
    You wrote: “and spare the world your bigotry, hatred, and intolrence.”
    Re-read your post 3 times and tell me who should be spared what.

  • http://frontieret Gail

    It is Terri now but who wll be deemed the next person to “die with dignity?” The premature babies? Perhaps the elderly when they can no longer speak or swallow? Where are we going with this “right to die” issue?

  • Name Withheld

    Gail, correct, it’s “right to die”. As in a right. It’s not “forced to die” or “forced to live”.
    “Forced to die” is what George W Bush’s now famous Texas law is all about.

  • jeremy in NYC

    Actually, for once I disagree with Yehudit. I used to live in Jerusalem, and there were gay people there like just about everywhere else. Why do they need to go to another city to celebrate who they are? Should Jews in ROme refrain from sponsoring Jewish events since Rome is so strongly identified with Catholicism?

  • Dexter Westbrook

    How about a nice Nazi march through Jerusalem too. Or maybe a “white pride” KKK rally in Harlem.
    Don’t like it? Shame on you, intolerant yutz! Shame!

  • pele

    Gays, nazi’s and kkk all in one sentence. Ha Ha Ha.

  • http://RuthCalvo Ruth

    Mike:
    You said: “Thank you to all those non-members of these faiths to tell them how they should adhere to it.”
    What is your basis for believing the people, including me, you name as potential advisors to those faiths you claim we do not belong to, do not belong to any of these faiths?
    Of course, our responses are to JJ’s observations, and as such are aimed to his post and those who post there. Should the church leaders choose to visit this site, then they would receive the same observations.

  • http://healthy-elements.com Lynn

    They value ………….the next(?)world over this one.
    Exactly.
    “Reasonable Christians” are fooling themselves.
    Mankind is here to either advance or oppose the will of God on earth. Period.
    Religion should serve the needs of the world for peace, lovingkindness, charity, shouldn’t it?
    No.
    Religion is not here to serve or worship Man.
    Religion’s purpose is to worship and serve God.
    While God does instructs us to be peaceful, loving, charitable and kind,
    humanistic thinking often twists that directive so that
    we wind up directly opposing His commandments to serve mankind’s “needs”.
    Gail..you may want to check out:
    http://healthy-elements.com/euthanasia.html

  • http://meneltarma.blogspot.com Mark

    James: “they value faith over reason…”
    Interesting assessment. You don’t know what faith is or you would not put it into some kind of mystical upper story in your equation. Actually reason dictates that some things are not explainable, and that our very intellect is not autonomous.
    On the other hand, if you think you can explain everything through reason, I’d say you definately know something of faith.
    WHAT DO THEY EXPECT!? Do the organizers think they can spit on the beliefs of three of the world’s largest faiths, and somehow expect the representatives of BILLIONS of likeminded people to sit down and take it?