Must Read: Prager on “Why Judaism Rejected Homosexuality”

Dennis Prager has written the best explanation of the essential theological-sociological nature of Catholic-Jewish teachings on human sexuality. Starting with a description of male sexuality and implicitly the necessity of social mores/boundaries on the male, he demonstrates the connections between the dignity of the human person, particularly women and children, and the sublimation of male sexuality into exclusively heterosexual outlets. In Catholic terms there is a continuum between the consistent ethic of life and heterosexual family building. It’s an absolute must read!

To a world which divided human sexuality between penetrator and penetrated, Judaism said, “You are wrong — sexuality is to be divided between male and female.” To a world which saw women as baby producers unworthy of romantic and sexual attention, Judaism said “You are wrong — women must be the sole focus of men’s erotic love.” To a world which said that sensual feelings and physical beauty were life’s supreme goods, Judaism said, “You are wrong — ethics and holiness are the supreme goods.” A thousand years before Roman emperors kept naked boys, Jewish kings were commanded to write and keep a sefer torah, a book of the Torah.

In all my research on this subject, nothing moved me more than the Talmudic law that Jews were forbidden to sell slaves or sheep to non-Jews, lest the non-Jews engage in homosexuality and bestiality. That was the world in which rabbis wrote the Talmud, and in which, earlier, the Bible was written. Asked what is the single greatest revelation I have derived from all my researches, I always respond, “That there had to have been divine revelation to produce the Torah.” The Torah was simply too different from the rest of the world, too against man’s nature, to have been solely man-made.

The creation of Western civilization has been a terribly difficult and unique thing. It took a constant delaying of gratification, and a re-channeling of natural instincts; and these disciplines have not always been well received. There have been numerous attempts to undo Judeo-Christian civilization, not infrequently by Jews (through radical politics) and Christians (through anti-Semitism).

The bedrock of this civilization, and of Jewish life, has been the centrality and purity of family life. But the family is not a natural unit so much as it is a value that must be cultivated and protected. The Greeks assaulted the family in the name of beauty and Eros. The Marxists assaulted the family in the name of progress. And today, gay liberation assaults it in the name of compassion and equality. I understand why gays would do this. Life has been miserable for many of them. What I have not understood was why Jews or Christians would join the assault. I do now. They do not know what is at stake. At stake is our civilization.

7 Responses to Must Read: Prager on “Why Judaism Rejected Homosexuality”

  1. Zacharias says:

    “The creation of Western civilization has been a terribly difficult and unique thing. It took a constant delaying of gratification, and a re-channeling of natural instincts;”

    You know, I never thought about it like this! Certainly makes you look at the world differently.

  2. Fr. J. says:

    Thanks for the comment, Zacharias. Yes, the harnessing of all kinds of energies whether against rampant sexuality, complete independence, rebellion, greed and so many others, is the building block for the kind of discipline necessary to build cathedrals and ships to navigate the world and to acquire the intellectual disciplines of the academy. And so much of this is now unraveling…

  3. pfaff says:

    so the peoples of the world who have escaped westernization are less than animals?

    oooohh… kaaaay….

  4. Fr. J. says:

    pfaff, where did u come up with THAT? Misrepresentation of others views is not an argument.

  5. so the peoples of the world who have escaped westernization are less than animals?

    oooohh… kaaaay….

    That is what you took from that?

    oooohh… kaaaay….

  6. Laura says:

    Sorry to be so late in finding this. Prager is spot on, and I’m glad to find this post. His work “Judaism, Homosexuality and Civilization” was an immense help to me in the mid-90s when I was discovering that my ex-husband was gay. His work made sense of the senseless, gave me an anchor to hold on to. He offers a strong and reasoned argument, one that needs to be more widely read and heard in the increasingly insane debate about “gay rights,” especially the debates about marriage and adoption.

  7. Wotton Bev says:

    1st. There needs to be a clarity- ‘Homosexuality’ is NOT a people but a ‘Term” / “Label” for a Sexual Preference as are i.e. Heterosexual, Beasteality amongst Others, and like it or not G-d /Bible/Torah labels it a perversion bearing consequences, so don’t get caught in the ‘Political Correct’ /’Tollerance’ Syndrome, it’s a black hole, a tool used i.e.. by Politicians and the Gay communities. Remember, de-sanctioning this movement is NOT against the Person BUT the ACT.. and ‘the Public, in your face’ promotion of a Sexual pervision / preference which should be kept where it belongs, in one’s bedroom and between them and G-d. Heterosexuals Supporting / Promoting ‘Homosexuality’ are equally accountable… make no mistake, Imagine the Pandora’s box this is opening.

    2nd. G-d is Specific about this beginning in Genesis, continuing through the New Testiment to Revelations. Whether or not you believe in G-d is not the issue, the FACT this is ‘His’ Game and ‘He’ wrote the Rules, is. As in any Game there are rewards and consequences but unlike the accepted, oximoronal Judicial System of our Day, G-d’s System still remains consistent with its origin. One is free to challange it but remember there are consequences, as experienced by like minded generations (i.e.. Sodom and Gomorrah, one of many) who came before you and as the last Chapter of his Rule Book attests and remains for those who will come after You. There is NO changing of the Rules – ‘”if there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with woman, both of them have committed a detestable act (toebah: abomination). They shall be surely be put to death. Their blood guiltiness is upon them (Leviticus 20:13).

    3rd. Can Homosexuals change? ABSOLUTELY! Though it will be tougher for some than Others, know with G-d, NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE! What is equally exciting about this change is, that all will see and know and consider together the hand of G-d has done this.. they are truly free to live as G-d had created and experience
    all he has to give, notwithstanding, being a Witness of Expectation for Others

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