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.