Key Vote Looms Saturday
Tomorrow, December 18, the US Senate may vote to permit open homosexuality in the US military, currently prohibited. An Orthodox Jewish group issues a warning about the possible consequences should the vote pass. Meanwhile, in Rome…
By Robert Moynihan
“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination…” —Leviticus 20:13
“Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.” —Romans 1:26-27
A Key Vote
Tomorrow — Saturday, December 18 — the Senate may vote on whether to permit open homosexuality in the military (the House has already passed the pro-homosexual resolution, and homosexual lobbyists are pressuring Senator Harry Reid to bring it up for a vote tomorrow, in the lame duck session, before the more conservative Congress takes over in January).
The Church has been relatively silent on this issue, but a group of Orthodox Jews has sent out an email press release asking for opponents of the legislation to contact their senators.
The phone number in the US Congress to call, 24 hours a day, seven days a week — this press release says — is 202-224-3121.
TORAH JEWS FOR DECENCY
Monsey, NY 10952
CONTACT: RABBI NOSON LEITER
JEWISH LAW FORBIDS COLLABORATION WITH THE HOMOSEXUALIZATION OF THE MILITARY
Bible-Believers in Military Alerted to Prohibitions of Participation in LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgendered) Policies Mandated by the Proposed Repeal of the Law Banning Homosexuals in the Military
December 15, 2010, Monsey, New York — Ahead of a looming Senate vote on repealing the current law banning homosexuals from the Armed Forces, Rabbi Noson Leiter, Executive Director of Torah Jews for Decency, an Orthodox pro-decency and religious-liberties advocacy organization, issued the following statement:
“We ask citizens to urge their Senators, the GOP leadership, and swing Senators (202-224-3121 (24/7)), to do whatever it takes to stop the treasonous effort to force servicemen to betray their Biblical beliefs. A homosexual-ban repeal would hijack the zero-tolerance military regimen, and thereby threaten to:
— force Bible-believers to shower and use washroom facilities together with flagrant homosexuals in zero-privacy, and sleep in close quarters with flagrant homosexuals, contravening religious directives to avoid indecent influences and situations;
— potentially impinge on the rights of chaplains and others to faithfully share the undiluted Torah perspective on volitional, sinful conduct condemned by the Bible as abominatory (Lev. 20:13);
— force-feed Bible-adherents heretical LGBT dogma;
— require participation in/ collaboration with anti-Biblical programs and policies that legitimize sin;
— as well as decimate the morale and readiness of decency-minded servicemen, resulting in unforeseen numbers of combat troops killed due to breakdown of unit cohesion, and deplete the Armed Forces (according to polling data), ultimately threatening a draft – along with the pursuant conscription of Bible-adherent 18-year-olds into a fully homosexualized military.
“As Jews, we are immensely indebted to the American People, and especially the Armed Forces, for the religious liberty we have enjoyed. It is the values of this Constitutional Republic that have been vital in keeping America a haven from godless despots. Foundational to those values is the principle that America is not a crude, pure Democracy – in which mobocracy rules. Certain principles are to be safeguarded, regardless of the whims of Man. Included in those are individual rights – rights derived from our Creator, not from the State. The Founders recognized that the right of Bible-believers to follow the Bible is not given by Man, and therefore cannot be taken away by Man. Moreover, as George Washington stated in his Farewell Address, religion and morality (in context, referring to the Biblical type) are essential for a free and prosperous Republic.
“These and other considerations compel us to call attention to the Torah principle that government has no authority to compel Man to disobey our Creator. We therefore urge Senators to rise to the challenge of defending Religious Liberty by defeating the ban-repeal — regardless of any “religious exemptions” added to expedite the euthanasia of Biblical values.
“Whatever the outcome, we intend to offer any possible assistance in advancing legal action to safeguard the rights of Jewish, Christian and Muslim servicemen whose religious liberties are threatened by LGBT tyranny. US Servicemen may contact Torah Jews for Decency for assistance in regard to such LGBT-infringements, at any point in time.”
(1) E.g. see website of Alliance Defense Fund.
(2) E.g. see Sefer HaChinuch 387; Biur Halacha 1:1 mitzva 6; Iggros Moshe, Yoreh Daiyoh 3:115, p. 360 col.1.
(3) See MilitaryCultureCoalition.com.
(4) E.g. see Rashi on Doniel 3:16; Midrash Tehillim Shochar Tov 28; VaYikra Rabbah 33:6.
(end of press release)
Interestingly, Senator Joseph Lieberman, who is also Jewish, is one of the key senators pushing for this legislation. He said Friday he thinks it will pass.
“We’ve got the votes. It’s time to get it done,” Senator Lieberman, an Independent from Connecticut, told CNN’s John King this evening.
The senator said there are more than 60 votes for the procedural move, which would signal the bill would easily pass when it comes up for a separate vote.
Lieberman told CNN that repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” would be remembered as a historic civil rights achievement.
“This will allow gay and lesbian Americans to be called… what they want to be called, which is Americans — not gays or lesbians — who want to serve our country,” Lieberman said.
There has been resistance to this legislation from top generals in the service branches over concerns about the impact on troops and military readiness, especially as U.S. troops fight wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Marine Corps Commandant James Amos has been outspoken that overturning the ban would be disruptive and could lead to a loss in lives.
Citizens who wish to make their voices heard on this could still possibly have some impact if they contact their Senators overnight.
Male Acrobats Partially Undress in Front of the Pope
Meanwhile, in Rome, an acrobatic performance in front of the Pope during his Wednesday General Audience has attracted considerable attention around the world, with some 500,000 views already on the YouTube clip of the performance.
Many chatrooms are filled with writers suggesting that this performance in front of the Pope had strongly homoerotic overtones.
“It might be winter in the Vatican, but temperatures soared this week when a troupe of male acrobats stripped for some skin-on-skin action in front of the Pope,” one internet site wrote. (link: https://www.novafm.com.au/video_acrobats-strip-for-the-pope_108992)
Here is the Assoicated Press report on the performance:
Acrobats perform for Pope, form human tower
VATICAN CITY — Four acrobats have taken their circus act to the Vatican, performing shirtless for Pope Benedict XVI during his weekly general audience.
The men took off their shirts as they came on stage Wednesday to begin their show, which lasted a few minutes. They lifted each other in acrobatic poses, keeping balance with their bodies supported only by their arms, at one point creating a human tower.
The Pope looked on, and at the end of the performance he clapped and briefly got up as he greeted them.
The group of acrobats is called “Fratelli Pellegrini” (“Pellegrini Brothers”) and has performed across the world. They were invited as part of a convention on circuses organized by the Vatican’s office for migrants.
(end Associated Press report)
Here is a YouTube clip of the performance, lasting 1 minute 45 seconds, with two notes: (1) this posting, evidently one of the first — many different people can and do post the same video — was from Russia Today, and it is both incomplete and slightly edited; the men performed two different human towers, not just the first one, depicted here; and the nuns, as far as I can tell, are spliced into the the clip, and were not actually cheering and waving their handkerchiefs in response to this particular act; so that seems to be a deliberate distortion, but who precisely decided to distort the video in this way, I do not know; (2) the comments section under the video contains obscene commentary, so much so that I hesitated to post this link, but I know of no other way to show readers what was posted; so, please do not read the comments if you do not wish to enter suddenly into contact with rather bizarre and very foul thoughts — this is one of the great problems with the internet today. But this is the video, of all those on the internet of this event, that has been seen by the most people, with some 500,000 viewers to date:
Here is a different video; it is a report on the entire papal audience on Wednesday, by Rome Reports, with just a brief segment on the acrobats’ performance; it has been viewed by only 1,400 viewers worldwide (far fewer than will receive this email):
And here is a more complete video of the acrobats’ perfomance, lasting 4 minutes 41 seconds, containing the second part of the performance, also from Rome Reports; it has been viewed by about 3,800 people (note that in this video there are no nuns waving handkerchiefs):
Confusion and consternation
Many Catholics, viewing the Russia Today YouTube clip, felt the performance, performed in this place, at this time (Advent season), and in this way, was highly improper:
One wrote to me: “This is a disgrace to our faith, and an embarrassment to the Holy See. I admire this Pope for so many different reasons, but when he or his assistants — or someone else — sets the Pope up for a mockery of the papacy and our holy faith, we must speak out. My understanding is that there is a dress code for visitors to St. Peter Square, yet now we have half-naked men in the Vatican itself, before the Vicar of Christ and his retinue of representatives, with nuns screaming in the background, like they are watching the Beatles in 1964. Why? Who is responsible for this outrage? It could not have been the Pope. Even if all the trapeze artists are Catholic and meant well, and do this for a living, it is not appropriate for anyone to appear underdressed, much less semi-nude, in or around the Vatican — the Holy See is not Venice beach, with bodybuilders and women in bikinis, for God’s sake! And note, all this happened during the end of Advent, just as we prepare for the celebration of the birth of Our Savior, Lord Jesus Christ. Pope Benedict indirectly criticized John Paul II a few years ago for having Bob Dylan sing for him; yet this spectacle, under Pope Benedict’s watch, is much worse. I am no defender of Dylan’s, who like many celebrities, has had a messy personal life; but at least the man was not half-naked when he performed for John Paul II, and in fact has numerous songs supporting God and Christ.”
Another wrote: “Given the reception given to The Light of the World and the scorn heaped on Benedict — which cast a cloud over Benedict, the book, and the whole Vatican presentation and public relations fiasco — this homoerotic performance before the Supreme Pontiff is both incomprehensible and inexcusable. I have no idea how anyone could have argued this should be shown to Benedict. Artistic merit? Balanced human bodies symbolizing a world in balance? Sure the group has gymnastic skill that would be appreciated in today’s totally secularized and immoral world. It had to have been sold to the Vatican for some artistic, moral or social reason. Even if the argument was that they represented a group with rare skills, they surely should have been told to perform with their shirts on and without the Madam in tights. And who brought in the nuns to scream in excitement?”
True, these performers are gymnastic acrobats. That is their profession. They could not do what they do unless they trained their bodies to be extraordinarily powerful. And, in Italy since the Renaissance, Italians have proudly displayed the human body in their art and in life — even in their public squares, as the statue of King David in Florence.
Still, given all the context, the Pope was done a grave disservice by those who planned this event. Someone approved allowing Benedict to be placed in a position where he could be videotaped looking over at four handsome young men as they strip off their jackets, then, topless, performed elaborate gymnastic maneuvers, in the middle of a papal audience. This videotaped material is now on the internet, it is being spliced and photoshopped, and videos are appearing, like one in Russian — which I will not link to — entitled “??????? ???????? ? ???????? – Strip Pope – Male striptease in Vatican City.”
Given this context and these consequences, this performance at this time in this venue was a mistake.
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life.” —St. Paul, First Letter to Timothy 6:12
Available: A Talk by Dr. Robert Moynihan about the “Old Mass”
This talk gives a 2,000-year history of the Mass in 60 minutes which is clear and easy to understand. The talk covers questions like:
— Does the motu proprio overcome some of the liturgical confusion since Vatican II?
— Who was Annibale Bugnini?— The mind of Pope Benedict: How can the Church restore the sense of the presence of God in the liturgy?
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