Gay, Jewish and not “Out”

Mr. Weinstein and the MRFF, I am one of the MRFF’s clients regarding the current situation with the USAFA Chaplain’s website’s disparagement of LGB human beings. I am a cadet in the Class of 20XX and am in Cadet Squadron XX. I do not have much time as I have to get to class. But I wanted to thank you and MRFF for standing up for those of us who are LGB here at USAFA. I am gay, female and Jewish. I am not “out” either as a gay person or a member of the Jewish faith. Because if I was, life here would be much harder than it already is. It would be brutal. That’s messed up but that’s the way it is. My future in the Air Force would be clouded forever. No matter that DADT is now officially gone.That website used by the USAFA chaplains to “explain” Judaism is so terrible, speaking again as a gay person and a Jew. I may have a choice about being Jewish but I have no choice about my sexuality. I was born “that way” and am not ashamed. Saying that I am like a “kleptomaniac” because I am gay is so low that it does not deserve a reply by caring people. Thak you and the MRFF for taking up this fight.

v/r

C/XX XXXXXX X. XXXXXX (all other ID info. withheld)

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    3 Comments

    1. Rael Nidess, M.D.

      Dear ‘Gay, Jewish, & Out’,

      I’m an MRFF supporter (long time) and was raised in a Jewish/Zionist home (I’ve happily gotten over both) but I sympathize with your situation. I want to comment on your sense of outrage over the ‘klepto’ analogy (which, BTW, appears to come from ‘About.com’s’ Judaism authority, a Rabbi Simmons who states:

      So, the ‘klepto’ analogy (odious as it is) is not original to the Judaism 101 site. The fact is (as you no doubt know), the Torah condemns homosexual acts (not the state of being) as ‘abomination’ just as it does with eating traif. That’s not opinion, that’s dogmatic fact. That ‘progressive’ forms of Judaism accept homosexual behavior is merely indicative of their deviation from dogma (as any Hassid would confirm) and as you also no doubt are aware, many fundamentalist Jewish sects would not consider, traditional, reform, or conservative congregations as ‘Jewish’ at all.

      Regarding the AFA’s choice to reference the Judaism 101 site as opposed to some other, it appears that if they’d have chosen the site Mikey cites as a ‘legitimate’ site (About.com), you’d have found the same analogy.

      What you seem upset about is that the basic expression of the religion you want to be part of doesn’t accept you as you are. Obviously, gays have the same issue with dogmatic Christian/Catholic religions and the Log Cabin Repugs have the same issue with the GOP.

      The answer is to divorce yourself from the hateful dogma, accept or invent a ‘faith’ in which you are embraced or embrace no faith at all. There’s no gain in allowing yourself to be hurt by hateful dogma, you can’t change it. After all, it’s ‘divinely inspired’, if you accept that crap.

    2. Rael Nidess, M.D.

      Well, I seem to have screwed the pooch with the HTML.

      Here’s a redo absent the HTML:

      I’m an MRFF supporter (long time) and was raised in a Jewish/Zionist home (I’ve happily gotten over both) but I sympathize with your situation. I want to comment on your sense of outrage over the ‘klepto’ analogy (which, BTW, appears to come from ‘About.com’s’ Judaism authority, a Rabbi Simmons who states:

      “The Torah understanding is that people can control their behavior if they’re motivated. There may be a predisposition toward homosexuality for some, but there exist many such predispositions. The Talmud says certain people have more of a genetic tendency toward bloodshed. The Talmud advises them to become butchers or Mohel’s, to channel their tendency into a useful pursuit.

      “Imagine a “kleptomaniac” who could only find fulfillment by stealing from other people. How would society respond? Although we’d be sympathetic and concerned for the individual, we still would not be able to tolerate behavior that’s destructive to society. This behavior is wrong and, with effort controllable.”
      http://judaism.about.com/library/3_askrabb…

      So, the ‘klepto’ analogy (odious as it is) is not original to the Judaism 101 site. The fact is (as you no doubt know), the Torah condemns homosexual acts (not the state of being) as ‘abomination’ just as it does with eating traif. That’s not opinion, that’s merely dogmatic fact. That ‘progressive’ forms of Judaism accept homosexual behavior is merely indicative of their deviation from dogma (as any Hassid would confirm) and as you also no doubt are aware, many fundamentalist Jewish sects would not consider, traditional, reform, or conservative congregations as ‘Jewish’ at all.

      Regarding the AFA’s choice to reference the Judaism 101 site as opposed to some other, it appears that if they’d have chosen the site Mikey cites as a ‘legitimate’ site (About.com), you’d have found the same analogy.

      What you seem upset about is that the basic expression of the religion you want to be part of doesn’t accept you as you are. Obviously, gays have the same issue with dogmatic Christian/Catholic religions and the Log Cabin Repugs have the same issue with the GOP.

      The answer is to divorce yourself from the hateful dogma, accept or invent a ‘faith’ in which you are embraced or embrace no faith at all. There’s no gain in allowing yourself to be hurt by hateful dogma, you can’t change it. After all, it’s ‘divinely inspired’, if you accept that crap.

    3. jdedelman

      Dear Gay, Jewish and Not Out,

      I read your letter differently than Dr. Nidess, above, as an expression of being proud to be who you are, both as a Jew and as an Airman, and you are rightfully thanking the MRFF for standing up to prejudice. Good for you. I am gay and Jewish (…and a strong Zionist) and proud, as you should be too. Judaism–even orthodox Judaism–makes plenty of room for LGB Jews. You can find discrimination anywhere, but you can also find people who understand and who prefer to applaud the mitzvoth you uphold (charity, visiting the sick, studying Torah, etc.) rather than concentrate on mitzvoth that you don’t uphold.

      To quote from our Christian brothers and sisters, “let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Keep being proud of who you are and be just as cynical of anyone who’d try to talk you out of your religious birthright as you would be of someone who tries to convince you that being gay is bad or wrong.

      Thank you for serving our country.

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