Holier than thou,
So, I asked ASK, Is homosexuality better?
Just over a week ago, I did promise a personal response to an item that appeared in the 16th April print edition of Dagens Nyheter, written by Erik Helmerson and entitled “Är homofobi bättre ?” (“Is homosexuality better ?” ) …about Bilal Philips who has just been expelled from Germany and who allegedly advocates the death penalty for homosexuals, being invited by Tuff to a conference on Islamophobia, in Sweden.
At the time, I thought that what I was going to say would be controversial, because I had just on that very day ( April 16th) – the Sabbath Hagadol ( The Great Sabbath – the Sabbath before the Pesach / Passover) I had just for the nth time read and studied the Torah portion Parshat Acharei in which occurs Vayikra/Leviticus 18:22-23 in which it is written:
22: ” You shall not lie with a man as one lies with a woman , it is an abomination.”
23.”Do not lie with any animal to be contaminated with it ; a woman shall not stand before an animal for mating, it is a perversion”
The Chumash notes (Stone Edition) for Leviticus 22-23 reads: “22-23. Sodomy and bestiality. The chapter of immorality ends with two forms of sexual perversion : homosexuality and bestiality. The harshness with which the Torah describes them testifies to the repugnance in which God holds those who engage in such unnatural practices.
- An abomination. None of the relationships given above is described with this term of disgust, because they involver normal activity, though with prohibited mates.. Homosexuality , however, is unnatural and therefore abominable.”
Without any beating about the bush this is the day and age of freedom of speech and so let’s hear the Bible speak.
Here’s the Bible on homosexuality …. and having gone through all that we are still in Bible territory, and our cultural scribes insist that we ( Sweden/ Europe/ the West ) are standing on the holy ground of Judeo-Christian foundations.
Live and let live is my philosophy.
There was a time here in Sweden, it was such a long time ago that I can’t quite remember when it happened ; it could have been in the 70s of the last century, or even in the 80s or 90s – that after Försäkringskassan (State Health Insurance) or some bigwig in some government department or other had classified homosexuality as “a disease” or illness, a whole lotta people called in to report themselves ill and unable to report to work early the following morning.
Times change. Times have changed. And then they saw the light – those who had talked about illness and disease. Some say that it was all seen anew, in twentieth century and twenty-first century light. There are others who even go further than that : That Sweden and indeed the world is not a Judeo-Christian theocracy – and in my opinion, in such a world Bilal Philips and his views on homosexuality also has its own place and in so far as he does not descend into hate speech, in my view, he should neither be banned nor should he be dis-invited – if anything his views call for a discussion even with revolutionary, heretic or reform-oriented impulses – and the solution does not lie in excommunication – and if it is excommunication, then on whose legal authority is such an edict issued : “This is the Republic of Sodom and Gomorrah .Thou shalt not come here to express contrary views about homosexuality”
Indeed, in my own experience and in my version of “The Curragh of Kildare” it’s a love no mortal man can cure (not even John, Jesus’ beloved disciple…..
Here in what is generally reputed to be sexually liberated Sweden, the Ecce Homo exhibition may have been a turning point in the general public’s consciousness about instinctual and spiritual love between man and man as one of the many possible varieties – and verities of human love and sexual relations.
The Ecce Homo exhibition could not have taken place in Mecca or Medina or in the Vatican or Canterbury or even in holy Athens…..nor would (astagfirullah) the likes of Bilal Phillips have graced such an occasion here in Stockholm except as part of a protest delegation and to preach the veracities of compassionate post-modernist Islamic morality.
It is not only in Sweden that sexual minorities face persecution from both extreme love church and some al-wadud from the mosque; we’ve been hearing about outrages in Senegal and in Uganda where homosexuals face extreme persecution and a new act of parliament was passed recently, criminalizing homosexuality most severely and now this is the latest ray of hope from another missionary outpost, Nigeria where the contending religions of Christianity and Islam along with some of the traditional mores out-law homosexuality and have many homosexuals ostracised and many other on the run.
Leaves you wondering what are the United Nations and Human Rights Organisations doing about protecting the lives and lifestyles of those who practice other normal forms of non-violent and peaceful human behaviour? Will it one day get to the point of NATO establishing no-fly zones over special enclaves, over for instance the most fabled Lesbian City in Sweden – and more importantly, in the spirit of Truth and Justice, will some of the unfaithful not merit such a place in a more long lasting future existence, sometime after the trials and tribulations to which all must submit, at death?
It’s the sort of existential question on which much sleep should not be lost.
( to be continued)