Tune in on Friday July 1, 2011 to JOY 94.9 FM in Melbourne or on www.joy.org.au to listen to the “Rainbow Reporter” hour with Doug Pollard as he broaches a number of areas of discrimination.
In particular, he will be talking to the chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission, Anton Block, on the organisation’s recent decision to include GLBT issues in their purview. You can read about that here.
Two letters appear in the Australian Jewish News this week on the topic of Marriage Equality. No surprises here from the good rabbi, Chaim Ingram.
Marriage must retain its value
ADRIENNE Schwartz ( AJN 17/06) asks why same-sex marriage cannot be legalised “without affronting the rest of us”.
Notwithstanding that there are many valid reasons for retaining the status quo on marriage other than the affront to others, I would like to offer her a topical analogy.
Imagine that, instead of the highly selective procedure for acceptance of nominees for Australian honours awards, as of 2012 any Australian who was nominated by any two people was awarded a titled honour. Come to think of it, why limit it to Australian citizens. Surely any resident ought to be eligible? And maybe even non-residents too.
The result, of course, would be that the country would be flooded with AMs and OAMs, and the award would be completely devalued. Those Australians who had been carefully singled out under the pre-2012 system would be highly affronted and could not be blamed if they handed back their awards in disgust.
Marriage too is a high distinction. It is a sacred bond. Allowing the definition of marriage to be transformed beyond recognition would devalue it totally. I deem that an affront.
RABBI CHAIM INGRAM Bondi Junction, NSW
Could God be behind such a ‘cruel joke’?
IT is the Orthodox not the Progressive rabbis who have a problem with the Torah over same-sex relationships. Modern research has found homosexual behaviour among many animal species including primates, therefore common sense tells us that such behaviour will be natural within some humans.
Why then would God create gay people and then outlaw their behaviour in such vicious terms? Is this a cruel joke of the Almighty? This is not the only part of the Torah which is seemingly at variance with modern knowledge. The Sabbatical fallow years would lead populations to die of starvation.
Clearly the Torah, if it is to survive in the long term, must be understood in a new light. The Progressives have made necessary adjustments to keep the Torah relevant in the modern age of discovery and reason, while much of Orthodoxy has failed.
Certainly research shows the Orthodox holding on to their congregations in the short term but with these attitudes how many more generations can it last in a thinking world?
We are very lucky in this country to have so many Progressive Rabbis showing modern people that the Torah, sensibly interpreted, is still very beautiful and very much alive.
PETER COHEN Ormond, Vic