Being Gay is Like Eating Ham

David Gelernter has been the topic of discussion on these pages before. And the subject matter is always a bit of inside Jewish baseball that is probably a bit tedious to most — even me, who has some bizarre affinity for Jewish topics. But I could not resist pointing out the shameful and slipshod op-ed column Gelernter published today in The New York Sun. He writes in response to a decision this week by the Jewish Theological Seminary to accept openly gay and lesbian students into its rabbinical and cantorial schools. Gelernter thinks this is an affront to the role of a Rabbi, who should serve as a beacon of sorts to his congregation as a they strive to be the best Jews they can be. “A rabbi is like an officer in the Israeli army — he is expected to lead his men into battle and to say, ‘Follow me!'”

Gelernter then asks, quite ridiculously, whether we would think it alright if a certain Rabbinical student has a real persistent penchant for ham and caves in to those desire. “The Jew who publicly proclaims his love for ham sandwiches might be a wonderful person; might be a much better man than I. But he is the wrong man to be the rabbi at any kind of synagogue — Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform,” Gelernter reasons. So being gay is akin to eating ham?

But the lunacy reaches astonishing heights when Gelernter then proceeds to compare homosexual urges to heterosexual urges to commit adultery, both of which – to his mind – disqualify someone from the ranks of the rabbinate. This is really a grotesque comparison. The whole piece reads like a facile attempt to reconcile his own personal aversion to homosexuality with his equal personal – and constrained – reading of the Jewish tradition. It is pathetic.

Explore posts in the same categories: Holy Flurking Shnit!

3 Comments on “Being Gay is Like Eating Ham”

  1. HW Says:

    I thought being gay was akin to slamming ham, not eating it.

  2. Goldie Says:

    Wow, someone should put this guy in the same room as Alan Keyes, they’d get along famously!

    I love it when straight guys try to tell me that I should resist all my urges to mate with someone of the same sex because they somehow manage to confound their own innate biology by resisting their urges to bang anything with a vagina that moves (and is presumably past the age of the consent).

    On this eve of Passover, I’m thankful that the JTS is moving in a positive direction. Maybe I’ll even start going to a synagogue again.

  3. kate Says:

    on “being gay is akin to eating ham”

    well of course. isn’t it a choice? you may have to exercise some restraint, but you have control over it, right? just like a ham sandwich. this guy’s logic is flawless.

    you know, this guy doesn’t need to be in a room w/ alan keyes, he needs to be in a room w/ Baptist Rev. R Albert Mohler Jr. who’s equally homophobic but has at least actually admitted that the biological underpinnings to homosexuality are legitimate. then, at least, this joker can’t justify any more of his awful “it’s a life choice” analogies.

    just don’t keep them in the room together long enough to start scheming up ways to make the “anti-gay hormone patch.”


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