Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Stamp Out Sodomy! Gershom Gorenberg's Appeal to the Jewish Community

Thank you to all the readers who have encouraged me to keep spreading my silliness by blogging (though you may eventually regret encouraging me).  I really do appreciate the support.  And since we haven't yet left on our little work trip (for Steve) that will be a getaway trip for me, I do have one observation to share about something I read yesterday which may interest readers.

It's this: isn't it refreshing to read folks who have the courage to talk openly about sodomy in the culture in which we live today, where people now shy away from open discussions of sodomy?  I'm talking about Andrew Sullivan and Gershom Gorenberg here.  Sullivan links to a piece by Gorenberg at the Daily Beast site in which Gorenberg pleads with his brother and sister Jews not to vote for the party of Sodom in the 2012 elections.

Gorenberg writes:

Sodom was a polis run by the philosophy of Ayn Rand, where redistribution of wealth was regarded as immoral, where government had the responsibility to protect private property but not to insure the well-being of the people. Upstanding Sodomites would not have accepted a decision by the city elders requiring them to put coins in the kitty to pay healers who might treat people besides themselves. They would have argued that "I'm responsible for myself and I'm not responsible for other people… I should get the fruits of my labor and I shouldn't have to divvy it up with other people." The city elders would not have asked people to pay for more teachers to educate other people's children, and certainly not to pay for food for those who couldn't afford it. Not to put too fine a point on it, but in Sodom there would have been no problem passing the Ryan budget plan... 
And yes, I know that Benjamin Netanyahu's economics are as selfish as those of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. But America is the last empire standing, the capital of the early 21st century. The ideas it chooses have an influence far beyond its shores, and have to matter to me.  Besides that, I have read the surrealistic reports that some Jews are considering voting for the party of Sodom. Sisters and brothers, please reconsider.

As I say, it's refreshing to see people unafraid to keep condemning sodomy right now, when strong cultural norms have made discourse about sodomy increasingly unacceptable.  It's refreshing to see people remembering such key Judaeo-Christian biblical passages as Ezekiel 16: 49-50: "Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen."

Or Amos 4:1-11.  Or Matthew 10:14-15 and 11:20-24; or Luke 10:8-12.  

But strange, on the other hand, isn't it, to see the U.S. Catholic bishops and many "conservative" American Catholics working overtime to promote the party of sodomy in the current elections?  History is certainly full of ironic twists and turns.

The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah as depicted by Hartmann Schedel in the Nuremberg Chronicle (1493).  Look closely, and you'll see Lot's wife turning into a pillar of salt.

No comments: