Friday, January 21, 2011

Quote of the day, and food for thought

From Philo's own comment to his guest post on a planned Orthodox Gay Shabbaton:

On the one hand, I have a hard time understanding why anyone who's gay would want to stay affliliated with Orthodoxy, given the strong bigotry towards gay people in the vast majority of the Orthodox community. After all, you don't need to be "Orthodox", which is really only a social contruct, to be shomer mitzvot.

But I suspect that there's a parallel to the way I feel. I don't really agree with the Orthodox community on many points of hashkafa, and am comfortable in an egalitarian environment. But I affiliate with Orthodoxy, more or less, because I want to be part of a shomer shabbat & kashrut community. Outside of some places like JTS and some other (rather expensive) neighborhoods in NYC and Boston, it's almost impossible to find a heterodox, yet observant community.

Gay Orthodox Jews probably want the same thing - an observant community. A shabbaton like this may be a good start.
2 days ago, 12:10:19 PM

[ ¶ ]That's the question: I prefer an egalitarian environment, but do I also "want to be part of a shomer shabbat & kashrut community," and if so, will I find it necessary to conclude that being in an observant community, which is almost impossible to find among Conservative Jews, is more important to me than being in an egalitarian one?

[ ¶ ] And would becoming "culturally Modern Orthodox," as opposed to "philosophically Modern Orthodox," really be such a terrible thing?

[ ¶ ]The jury's still out. Stay tuned.


Anonymous Wiz said...

This whole topic is really gross because of the immorality it suggests, based on Torah, not my own. You can't be frum and gay if you act on that gayness by performing forbidden acts. You can be frum and abstinent however. There is no law against feeling whatever you feel, just acting on it.
BUT, this "Shabbaton" to bring gay people together is just over the top, and discussing "safe sex" at the event is beyond words.

Sat Jan 22, 09:03:00 PM 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with Philo's comment is that it seems to imply that people find out they're gay, then decide they want to be shomer mitzvot. Most of the frum queer people I know grew up within frum communities, figured out their sexual orientation, and realized that they shouldn't *have* to choose between frumkeit and queerness. So they stayed in the frum world. It's not only mitzvot, it's also the culture of the frum world, the social connections, and so on. I wouldn't leave, either. Certainly I didn't leave my religious community despite the institutionalized discrimination (masked as "acceptance"--hah!) against my sexual orientation.

As a side note, one of the people pictured prominently in the brochure is a friend of mine and is not Orthodox at all. It's rather amusing that they used her picture.

Sun Jan 23, 01:57:00 AM 2011  

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