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Conservative Jewish leaders moving to end ban on gay rabbis
YNet ^ | Sept. 9, 2006

Posted on 09/09/2006 6:50:59 PM PDT by Alouette

Committee of Jewish scholars likely to roll back ban on ordaining gay rabbis. 'It is simply not natural to demand that they remain celibate,' one rabbi says, adding that movement has to 'interpret God's will'

A key Conservative Jewish leader is organizing talks nationwide to tell synagogues that the movement will likely roll back its ban on ordaining openly gay rabbis by year's end. He and two religious law experts joining him at the meetings are trying to help congregations prepare for the confusion and discomfort to follow.

Rabbi Jerome Epstein, executive vice president of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism in New York City, says a committee of scholars who interpret Jewish law for the movement will likely loosen the prohibition when they vote in December. At the same time, Epstein expects the scholars will endorse a policy aiming to keep more traditional congregations within the fold. Synagogues that believe Jewish law bans same-sex relationships still will be able to hire rabbis who share their view.

The vote by the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards will test what Conservative leaders call their "big umbrella" allowing diverse practices within one movement. It will also signal to the wider community how far the Conservative branch will go to reinterpret Jewish law.

"The committee might accept—will accept, I think—two or more" policies, Epstein said at an August 24 meeting of New York Conservative Jewish leaders. "One that actually reaffirms the current position and at least one that will liberalize it."

'Law stands to cause pain'

The effect of the contradictory actions will be that local Jewish communities have more freedom. Conservative seminaries, along with the movement's estimated 750 synagogues and more than 1,000 North American rabbis, will get to decide which policy to follow.

"It could cause confusion, it could cause tremendous angst, it could cause tremendous tension, it could cause tremendous disagreement," Epstein said.

Rabbi Joel Roth, a leading religious scholar and a member of the Conservative Law Committee, questioned whether people with traditional Jewish views on sexuality will stay, even if the panel allows synagogues leeway to accept or reject gay relationships. Roth said he has been "demonized" for saying that he interprets religious law as barring same-gender sex.

"I know the law as it stands causes pain," he said. "But pain is not to be equated with immorality."

Interpreting God's will

Rabbi Elliot Dorff, vice chairman of the Law Committee and also a respected scholar, supports ordaining gays, saying "it is simply not natural" to demand that they remain celibate.

"We have to interpret God's will in our time," Dorff said.

Dorff and Roth are traveling with Epstein, with more stops scheduled for Atlanta, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. The trio also spoke last month in Toronto.

The debate focuses on the significance of Leviticus 18:22, which states "Do not lie with a male as one lies with a woman," and 20:13, which says such an act is punishable by death. The last major Law Committee vote on gay relationships came in 1992, when the panel decided overwhelmingly to maintain the ban on openly gay rabbis.

Arnold Eisen, incoming chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, the flagship school for Conservative Judaism, personally supports ordaining gays. But he plans to discuss the issue with faculty and students before any admissions rules are changed.

Officials at the [Reform] University of Judaism in Los Angeles, which also trains Conservative rabbis, say only that they will follow whatever policy the committee adopts. However, Dorff is the school's rector and many expect the seminary, if permitted, will admit openly gay students.


TOPICS: Current Events; General Discusssion; History; Judaism; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Theology
KEYWORDS: conservative; homosexual; homosexualagenda; rabbis; religiousleft
Can somebody tell me why they call themselves "Conservative"?
1 posted on 09/09/2006 6:51:00 PM PDT by Alouette
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To: 1st-P-In-The-Pod; A_Conservative_in_Cambridge; af_vet_rr; agrace; albyjimc2; Alexander Rubin; ...
FRmail me to be added or removed from this Judaic/pro-Israel/Russian Jewry ping list.

Warning! This is a high-volume ping list.

2 posted on 09/09/2006 6:51:37 PM PDT by Alouette (Psalms of the Day: 79-82)
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To: little jeremiah; scripter; DBeers; DirtyHarryY2K

homo agenda ping


3 posted on 09/09/2006 6:52:19 PM PDT by Alouette (Psalms of the Day: 79-82)
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To: Alouette

I've read the article three times and I am still at a loss.


4 posted on 09/09/2006 6:57:08 PM PDT by onyx (1 Billion Muslims -- "if" 10% are fundamentalists, that's still 100 Million who want to kill us.)
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To: Alouette

Heblews...


5 posted on 09/09/2006 7:03:17 PM PDT by misterrob
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To: Alouette
Can somebody tell me what was written!!

We actually have a GAY and Lesbian Synagogue a few blocks away...and that is how it is listed in the phone book...Gay and Lesbian...YIKES.

6 posted on 09/09/2006 7:20:19 PM PDT by Suzy Quzy ("When Cabals Go Kabooms"....upcoming book on Mary McCarthy's Coup-Plotters.)
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To: Alouette
"Roth said he has been "demonized" for saying that he interprets religious law as barring same-gender sex."

That is something that he chose the word "demonize" for what his opponents were doing to him because of his adherence and obedience to God's Word - 180 on it's head, the whole planet.
7 posted on 09/09/2006 7:20:24 PM PDT by Esther Ruth (Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is thy keeper!)
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To: Alouette
"We have to interpret God's will in our time," Dorff said.

Pure "history is a budding rose unfolding" Hegelianism.

Someone kindly alert me when G-d has finished "evolving."

8 posted on 09/09/2006 7:23:15 PM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Hanistarot LaShem 'Eloqeynu, vehaniglot lanu ulevaneynu `ad `olam . . . !)
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To: Alouette
"I know the law as it stands causes pain,"

And my natural tendencies to rape sometimes cause me pain too.

ML/NJ

9 posted on 09/09/2006 7:25:00 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: Alouette

Can someone tell me if these butt munchers have ever read about Soddom and Gamorrah in the O.T.?

"Conservative Jews" my Black Irish Catholic Arse!


10 posted on 09/09/2006 8:19:29 PM PDT by 43north (7 of 11 living things are insects. This explains liberals and islamofascists.)
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To: 43north
The debate focuses on the significance of Leviticus 18:22, which states "Do not lie with a male as one lies with a woman," and 20:13, which says such an act is punishable by death.

What part don't they understand? It's not like the ancient rabbis dedicated whole volumes of discussions to this topic like they did with Sabbath boundaries or the volume of a ritual bath, there just isn't any wiggle room here.

11 posted on 09/09/2006 8:27:50 PM PDT by Alouette (Psalms of the Day: 79-82)
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To: ml/nj

LOL!


12 posted on 09/09/2006 8:29:26 PM PDT by justiceseeker93
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To: Alouette
"We have to interpret God's will in our time," Dorff said.

Wow. This piece of filth has no honor and no fear of the Lord.

13 posted on 09/09/2006 8:29:40 PM PDT by I got the rope
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To: Alouette
Can somebody tell me why they call themselves "Conservative"?

I was taught term refers to how strictly the member of the synagogue follow traditional Jewish law. For instance, when you see Jews walking to/from synagogue, they're usually conservative. Conservative keep kosher, fast on appropriate holidays, etc.

14 posted on 09/09/2006 8:35:28 PM PDT by libravoter (Live from the People's Republic of Cambridge)
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To: Alouette
The debate focuses on the significance of Leviticus 18:22, which states "Do not lie with a male as one lies with a woman," and 20:13, which says such an act is punishable by death.

Leviticus also declares polyester a sin.

15 posted on 09/09/2006 8:37:09 PM PDT by libravoter (Live from the People's Republic of Cambridge)
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To: libravoter
For instance, when you see Jews walking to/from synagogue, they're usually conservative. Conservative keep kosher, fast on appropriate holidays, etc.

No, those are Orthodox. "Conservative" Jews may or may not keep kosher at home, but will eat out at non-kosher restaurants, drive on Sabbath, etc. They call themselves "Conservative" because they are usually a step or two behind the liberal "Reform" denomination when it comes following the latest politically correct trend.

16 posted on 09/09/2006 8:41:29 PM PDT by Alouette (Psalms of the Day: 79-82)
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To: All
Seems to me like the Conservative movement has been having a lot of problems lately in attracting people to their synagogues, even without the the gay rabbi issue. So why fragment the movement at a vulnerable time with two different approaches on a major issue, each of which individual congregations are free to embrace?

Oh, BTW, there is a bit of good news in this article: it says nothing about gay and lesbian "marriages."

17 posted on 09/09/2006 8:42:28 PM PDT by justiceseeker93
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To: Alouette
"For instance, when you see Jews walking to/from synagogue, they're usually conservative. Conservative keep kosher, fast on appropriate holidays, etc."

P No, those are Orthodox. "Conservative" Jews may or may not keep kosher at home, but will eat out at non-kosher restaurants, drive on Sabbath, etc. They call themselves "Conservative" because they are usually a step or two behind the liberal "Reform" denomination when it comes following the latest politically correct trend.

Um... no.

Orthodox do far more than just walk to sabbath. Conservative vs. Reform have NOTHING to do with politics. They have to do how closely one follows traditional Jewish law.

18 posted on 09/09/2006 8:48:06 PM PDT by libravoter (Live from the People's Republic of Cambridge)
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To: Alex Murphy; Alouette

Alex, you got any of those "satire" gifs lying around? 'Cause I sure hope Alouette just forgot to use one.


19 posted on 09/09/2006 10:42:14 PM PDT by dangus
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To: Zionist Conspirator

Funny you bring up Hegel. He had some admirers who are very well known to the Jewish community: Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Marx, Engels, ...


20 posted on 09/09/2006 10:46:42 PM PDT by dangus
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To: libravoter

>> Leviticus also declares polyester a sin. <<

No, polyester is only one fiber. It's those cotton-polyester blends that are the problem. If you're going to make willfully ignorant comments by driving context-deprived quotes to absurdity, at least get the quote right.


21 posted on 09/09/2006 10:51:32 PM PDT by dangus
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To: dangus
Funny you bring up Hegel. He had some admirers who are very well known to the Jewish community: Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Marx, Engels, ...

Nothing funny at all. Hegelianism is the curse of the world today. It is today considered unthinkable to go back to the (in some ways) saner days of 1959 because that would be "theocracy." Yet America in 1959 wasn't a theocracy. Oh, but it would be today!

Free Republic is itself full of atheists who insist that as the world evolves and develops that an objective moral order is evolving spontaneously right along with it . . . in the words of Hegel, "the universe is creating G-d."

This notion of continually "onward and upward," of a constant impulse towards progress in a universe that at first had no meaning whatsoever, is what justifies every ideology that rejects the eternal laws given by G-d.

22 posted on 09/10/2006 7:11:20 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Hanistarot LaShem 'Eloqeynu, vehaniglot lanu ulevaneynu `ad `olam . . . !)
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To: 43north
"Conservative Jews" my Black Irish Catholic Arse!

"Conservative Judaism" is one of the non-Orthodox so-called "branches of Judaism" and has nothing to do with conservatism.

23 posted on 09/10/2006 7:12:50 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Hanistarot LaShem 'Eloqeynu, vehaniglot lanu ulevaneynu `ad `olam . . . !)
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To: libravoter
Leviticus also declares polyester a sin.

There are two categories of Divine Law: TaRYa"G Mitzvot (the 613 Commandments of the Torah) for Jews, and Sheva` Mitzvot Benei Noach (the Seven Laws of the Sons of Noah) for non-Jews. There are many, many, many of the 613 Jewish commandments that not only are not binding on non-Jews, but which they are actually forbidden to observe (Shabbat, Yom Tov, Tefillin, etc.). Others may be adopted volunatarily provided that it is understood that this is a matter of personal choice for devotional reasons.

Male homosexuality is one of the acts that is declared a capital offense for both Jews and non-Jews (others being idolatry, blasphemy, murder, adultery, incest, etc.). So I'm afraid that the fact that non-Jews are not forbidden to wear sha`tnez has nothing to do with the fact that male homosexuality is forbidden to all mankind.

Female homosexuality is forbidden to Jews by Rabbinic decree, acting on the authority given to the Rabbis by the Torah. I don't know what the technical status of female homosexuality is for non-Jews. But after all . . . what can they really do? ::snigger::

24 posted on 09/10/2006 7:20:00 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Hanistarot LaShem 'Eloqeynu, vehaniglot lanu ulevaneynu `ad `olam . . . !)
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To: libravoter
Conservative vs. Reform have NOTHING to do with politics.

Au contraire, they worship political correctness and just decorate it with some Hebrew rituals.

25 posted on 09/10/2006 8:05:06 AM PDT by Alouette (Psalms of the Day: 83-87)
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To: dangus
If you're going to make willfully ignorant comments by driving context-deprived quotes to absurdity, at least get the quote right.

Leviticus 19:19 prohibits mixing wool/linen, wool/cotton. Synthetic fibers are excluded from this prohibition, nevertheless I have an aversion to sleeping on sheets that are not 100% cotton (or less than 400 count)

26 posted on 09/10/2006 8:14:39 AM PDT by Alouette (Psalms of the Day: 83-87)
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To: Alouette
Oy, unbelievable .....

"If God does not judge America, He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah"

-Rev. Billy Graham

27 posted on 09/10/2006 8:25:25 AM PDT by austinmark ("May the Flea's of a Thousand Camels Nest in ALLAH's Pubic Hair" !!!)
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To: Alouette

Looks like main stream judaism is a darwinian institution....it's only a matter of time before the entire religion disappears from the face of the earth.


28 posted on 09/10/2006 9:31:44 AM PDT by x_plus_one (Muslim immigration breaks democracy into a self-defeating system .)
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To: x_plus_one
it's only a matter of time before the entire religion disappears from the face of the earth.

Orthodox Judaism remains unaffected by the craze for gayness and political correctness. The Orthodox will remain (as they have throughout all history) while the other "liberal" streams slide into extinction.

29 posted on 09/10/2006 9:37:55 AM PDT by Alouette (Psalms of the Day: 83-87)
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To: Alouette

Hope you are right. Hope the birth rate mushrooms in Orthodox families. But hope is not enough. Someone has to stand up for the right thing and protest loud and long. Someone has to take the heat and make the hard points.


30 posted on 09/10/2006 9:41:22 AM PDT by x_plus_one (Muslim immigration breaks democracy into a self-defeating system .)
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To: justiceseeker93; Alouette
it says nothing about gay and lesbian "marriages."

While it does not specify marriage, the rationale behind this change in interpretation of Leviticus, is to allow them to have sex.

Rabbi Elliot Dorff, vice chairman of the Law Committee and also a respected scholar, supports ordaining gays, saying "it is simply not natural" to demand that they remain celibate.

Does Jewish law approve of extra marital relations?

31 posted on 09/10/2006 10:02:42 AM PDT by NYer ("That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah." Hillel)
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To: Alouette

It was primarily Zacharias Frankel's reaction to Abraham Geiger's "Reform" movement. Phooey on them both.


32 posted on 09/10/2006 12:01:11 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: libravoter
wrong, wrong, wrong.

"conservative" Jews do not consciously observe any of the Torah's commandments. They have no reason to walk to shul unless they live down the block.
Their version of kosher means not eating pork and buying manishevitz macaroons once in a while.
The movement flourished in the early 1900's as a backlash against the not-religious at all reform and the "Torah observant" orthodox Jews.
Today, the movement has virtually collapsed and is for the most part, no different than the reform movement.
Orthodox Jews respect the law of G-d AND are ULTRA-DEVOUT POLITICAL CONSERVATIVES.
33 posted on 09/10/2006 12:31:02 PM PDT by Jaysin
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To: Alouette

Anyone who is naiively sympathetic to the Homo agenda can look to the Catholic Church as what will happen when the percentage of Homos reaches a critical mass---all sorts of horrible things will happen.

Imagine a town where Homos have leadership positions in City hall, the police department, Chamber of commerce, public schools, and among lawyers. While homos make up a small % of the population, they will find enough "natural" allies among pro-aborts and philanderers.

A prayer for the Conservative Jews who apparently considered ripe for picking by the Evil One.


34 posted on 09/10/2006 12:52:28 PM PDT by Piers-the-Ploughman
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To: Alouette
Leviticus 19:19 prohibits mixing wool/linen, wool/cotton. Synthetic fibers are excluded from this prohibition

CORRECTION: The prohibition against shatnez only applies to wool/linen and cotton/linen. There is no prohibition again a wool/cotton mix.

35 posted on 09/10/2006 2:32:25 PM PDT by Alouette (Psalms of the Day: 83-87)
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
If you'd like to be on this middle east/political ping list, please FR mail me.

High Volume. Articles on Israel can also be found by clicking on the Topic or Keyword Israel.

also Keywords 2006israelwar or WOT [War on Terror]

----------------------------

36 posted on 09/10/2006 3:07:07 PM PDT by SJackson (The PilgrimsóDoing the jobs Native Americans wouldn't do!)
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To: Alouette

"Orthodox Judaism remains unaffected by the craze for gayness and political correctness. The Orthodox will remain (as they have throughout all history) while the other "liberal" streams slide into extinction."

I guess you never heard of the movie "Trembling Before G-d".


37 posted on 09/10/2006 6:17:55 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: Zionist Conspirator

I consider the notion of continual "onward and upward" progress to be pecularily American. American civilization is young compared to that of a great many countries, and we have never experienced a long historical decline as have the Chinese, the people of India, the Europeans, Egyptians... No civilization remains perpetually rich and powerful. We've been very fortunate so far, but the USA won't remain rich and powerful forever.


38 posted on 09/10/2006 7:00:32 PM PDT by beejaa
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To: Alouette
Conservative Judaism is the "moderate" wing of the Jewish faith (I know you already know this, just clarifying this for others).

But hey, this sure worked for the Catholics and Episcopalians, didn't it? /sarcasm

39 posted on 09/10/2006 7:01:59 PM PDT by Clemenza (Dave? Dave?)
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To: Wuli
I guess you never heard of the movie "Trembling Before G-d".

I have heard of the movie. It is homo agitprop, made by an openly gay director for the purpose of propagandizing the religious Jewish community.

40 posted on 09/10/2006 8:01:51 PM PDT by Alouette (Psalms of the Day: 83-87)
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To: Alouette

You may be right about the director, and even about the directors mmotives, but I live in New Jersey, work and have a good part of my social life in New York and have observed that the "gay" community in New York is not absent an occasional ultra-Orthodox Jewish man (they are easier to notice than the women, by their hair and their clothes). Maybe that director had a few ultra-Orthodox friends in the New York City "gay" community.


41 posted on 09/11/2006 6:25:32 AM PDT by Wuli
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To: Alouette

These "conservatives" are nothing but Jewish Episcopagans.


42 posted on 09/11/2006 6:47:30 AM PDT by Convert from ECUSA (Mid East Ceasefire = Israel ceases but her enemies fire)
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To: austinmark

I'm no theologian, but something about the S&G story never made sense to me, as interpreted.

This town is full of men whose first impulse upon seeing an angel disguised as a stranger is to rape him.. and God brings his wrath not because of their tendency toward wanton rape of strangers, but because the strangers who the men want to rape happens also to be men?

If the angels were disguised as female strangers, would God have not brought his wrath?


43 posted on 09/11/2006 9:08:14 AM PDT by ivyleaguebrat
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To: Alouette
Can somebody tell me why they call themselves "Conservative"?

I guess because compared to Humanist, Reconstructionist, or Reform Judaism, they ARE conservative. Scary thought, IMHO.

44 posted on 09/11/2006 2:24:18 PM PDT by Tamar1973 (Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.)
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To: Wuli
the "gay" community in New York is not absent an occasional ultra-Orthodox Jewish man

Means nichevo. Every religious community has its sinners who sneak around doing forbidden stuff. The difference is when they are being looked up to as shining pillars of morality even while they openly flout G-D's laws.

45 posted on 09/11/2006 3:21:39 PM PDT by Alouette (Psalms of the Day: 88-89)
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To: Esther Ruth

"180 on it's head, the whole planet."

It's frustrating to see and is giving me agita


46 posted on 09/11/2006 4:42:30 PM PDT by Canedawg (In God We Trust)
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To: Alouette

I was not trying to deny what the official position, and the great-majority opinion is in the Orthodox community; there is no doubt about that.

I simply felt it was an over-statement to pretend that there were no Orthodox Jews at all represented in the "gay" community.

There is always various minorities, in all religious sects, who do not follow all the precepts of the sect, yet still want to keep a general committment to the sect, in every other regard. They do not leave the sect, because they have agreement with the sect in every other way; and because, like the sect in general, they hold those diferences with other sects to be important. Certainly for the Orthodox, "gay" issues are not the only issues that define an Orthodox position. Thus, even a "gay" Orthodox Jew can feel more comfortable as a nominal Orthodox Jew than anything else.

My observations in NYC informed me that such was the case with regard to a tiny minority of Orthodox Jews who mingle in the "gay" community and who are observed thusly in public.


47 posted on 09/11/2006 6:54:07 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: Canedawg
The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble, and He knoweth them that trust in Him. Nahum 1:7

The salvation of the righteous is of the Lord, He is their strength in the time of trouble. Psalm 37:39

My flesh and my heart faileth but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. Psalm 73:26
48 posted on 09/11/2006 7:38:33 PM PDT by Esther Ruth (Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is thy keeper!)
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To: ivyleaguebrat
If the angels were disguised as female strangers, would God have not brought his wrath?

Hmmm... God's Judgment for wickedness was coming one way or another. These cities had some women and children there also and they were to meet the same fate.

As I understand it, Sodom & Gomorrah was judged as immoral and full of sin. Just how it turned into the Castro District in San Francisco is a mystery to me. But a town of Homosexuals is what it is, And apparently these "New" strangers were viewed as Fresh Meat.

Besides, Lot even offered his daughters to the crowd of Homo's "burning with passion" if they just left the strangers alone. Being Girls, they had nothing to fear...

49 posted on 09/11/2006 11:05:22 PM PDT by austinmark ("May the Flea's of a Thousand Camels Nest in ALLAH's Pubic Hair" !!!)
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To: beejaa
I consider the notion of continual "onward and upward" progress to be pecularily American.

Actually it is known as the "liberal theory of history". It seems to have arisen from the ideas of the Enlightenment, and the Liberal political parties which spread across Europe in the 19th century.

50 posted on 09/14/2006 5:45:10 PM PDT by Lucius Cornelius Sulla
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