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.”