Wednesday, April 13, 2005

"People do not choose their desires… and surely there is more need for compassion and empathy for [gay people].”

Rabbi Chaim Rappoport states loud and clear that he opposes homosexual marriage, and doesn't really see how they can have a "legitimate outlet for their sexual desires." Fairly standard stuff from an Orthodox perspective. However -- and this is the important bit -- some of the commentators to my recent post about a gay commitment ceremony might like to take note of his tone:
...Rabbi Rapport shunned those who criticize and demonize homosexuals, pointing to the Torah to make his point.
“Nowhere does the Torah in its broadest sense criticize a person who craves for homosexual intercourse,” Rabbi Rapoport said, adding he strives to “save homosexuals from ridicule.”
Rabbi Rapoport also spoke out against fellow rabbis who make hyperbolic comments about homosexuals.
“It is devastating that rabbis and others will often mould a stereotype of homosexuals,” he said, noting such remarks could result in “emotional homicide” for gays and their loved ones.
With respect to why God would allow homosexuals to be plagued by no legitimate outlet for their sexual inclinations, the rabbi did not give a definitive answer.
“I admit that is an excruciating question,” he said.
“The issue has turned many people into agnostics.”
What the rabbi emphasized was the importance of keeping homosexuals in the faith and showing them compassion.
“My prayer is that when I come to stand before the throne of God Almighty, I would be able to say with a clear conscience that I for one have done nothing to alienate any of his children,” he said.

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