Tune in tomorrow to hear John Searle, president of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, talk to Doug Pollard on gay and lesbian community radio station JOY 94.9 regarding the latest JCCV initiative to combat vilification and discrimination against GLBT people. Details here. The podcast and transcript of the interview will be posted as they become available.
Apparently Allah can still hear your prayers, even when you have been facing the wrong direction. Reuters reported it here.
Ridwan said Muslims need not fear that their prayers have been wasted because they were facing the wrong way.
“Their prayers will still be heard by Allah,” he said.
Nonsense. Allah cannot be getting the clearest message if you’re not facing him when you are talking, otherwise what would be the point in having to face him. He needs to hear it directly, with you facing the right direction, all the time, every time. Otherwise he’ll be getting a garbled version of the prayers, muffled by the walls of the mosquitos (those little Spanish mosques), and everything else in his way.
This would precisely explain why when Muslims pray for world peace and harmony, love of all fellow humans, especially love of homosexuals (particularly those who engage in anal intercourse – but not love of heterosexuals who engage in anal intercourse because we know heterosexuals don’t engage in anal intercourse, don’t we?), and also the love of Jews, he hears it incorrectly and gets messages like “send planes into the World Trade Center towers”, “send suicide bombers to blow up bars in Bali”, “send suicide bombers into Israeli cities”, “send suicide bombers into hotels in India” and so on. He really must be getting such mixed messages to be confusing love and acceptance with death and destruction.
You know what? Islam is just as evil as the Catholic Church. There is no validation for it’s existence. No amount of praying in any direction will ever get a message out to a god or profit that doesn’t exist.
If I get a fatwah from this blog I’ll put it down to Allah having misheard a message of “Send Michael chocolates and love” because some deluded Muslim was facing the wrong direction when he was praying.
This week’s edition of Southern Star covers the revised policy of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) that asks for the Victorian Jewish community to respect gay people (read my blog on that here). This came about as a result of action by the Australian Jewish Democratic Society and people from the Bund movement. Read their motion put to the JCCV in the October 2009 JCCV plenum meeting here.
This call for respect is definitely a good start. However the downside of simply not saying bad things about gay people is that potentially no one says anything. As an example, some people previously only said degrading things about gay people because they feel our homosexual ‘lifestyles’ are an abomination in the eyes of their religion. Now these people may reluctantly feel an obligation to abide by the JCCV’s request to respect gay people, possibly because the organisation they are a member of is in turn a member of the JCCV, and so bite their tongue and don’t use degrading language to describe us.
So you then have the situation where people are not saying bad things about gay people, which is good, but they’re then not actually saying anything, which is bad, because it makes the issue of intolerance of homosexuality invisible.
The next step that the JCCV must take is to make the issue of intolerance of homosexuality visible. It claims it’s serious about addressing mental health issues in gay people in the Jewish community because it has set up a reference group to investigate these issues. It would be good to see some sort of public statement about what this reference group is actually doing, as it’s now 6 months down the track since it was established and there has been no public statement or any form of transparency on its operation.
It would also be good if the JCCV started acknowledging that these mental health issues and the alarmingly high suicidal behaviour didn’t just affect ‘GLBT Jews’ but actually affected the entire community. I say this because the people who are most at risk are those who have same-sex attractions or gender identity issues but don’t or can’t identify their feelings outwardly and so are not visible as GLBT in the community. They are “in the closet” and may be in denial of their sexuality or gender identity and in fear of anyone finding out.
These people are someone’s children, siblings or parents. They’re someone’s friends or business partners. They’re part of a community that supposedly cares about its people. Supposedly.
Yes, respect is good, but it’s not enough. Tolerance is only part of the way there. Acceptance is the ultimate goal and it must be unconditional.
”There is no place for homophobia. Differences are not a cause for concern. Differences are part of the fabric of our society”
The Australian Jewish community has remained silent for too long on homophobia. Whilst there are increasing numbers of young people in the community who are living openly as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, there is no mainstream support for same-sex attracted people and still no statement that intolerance of homosexuality is unacceptable.
Orthodox Judaism and other fundamentalist or extreme Jewish sects consider homosexuality incompatible with religious lifestyle. This intolerance has been proven to put same-sex attracted people, comprising about 10% of the population, at serious risk of suffering mental health issues such as depression, anxiety or self-harm, potentially leading to suicide.
What is needed are more leaders like Gideon Sa’ar, Tzipi Livni, Shimon Peres and Benjamin Netanyahu to declare that homophobia in the (Jewish) community is unacceptable and that our society must completely respect and accept people who are same-sex attracted, as they do anyone else.
The Australian Jewish community must take example from Israel on this important matter and speak out immediately against deeply rooted ignorance, hate and intolerance of homosexuality. Education is the key to success, and ultimately we’ll all be better off for it.
[I have added a comment with a clarification to this posting below. Please read it in addition to the main article. -MB 29/11/10]
Bobby, Danny and Simon are dead. They were victims of religious bigotry. They were someone’s sons and now they’re dead. They’re dead because their families didn’t understand them and let them suffer and die horrible, miserable lonely deaths. Their families believed they were doing the right thing because of their own selfish religious beliefs.
These deaths were all avoidable. If the families of these boys told them they loved them irrespective of their sexual orientation they would probably still be alive today, living happy, fulfilling lives. But they’re gone, forever. Their memories live on, but that’s a poor compromise. These were normal boys. They deserved better of their families.
Ask yourself if upholding your religious beliefs is worth the death of your children. In 2009 Suicide Prevention Australia released research that showed people who experience same-sex attraction are up to 14 times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. This statistic is frightening. Add to this that the situation is exacerbated in religious communities and you have a recipe for disaster.
You owe it to your children to ensure they receive the most loving, accepting environment possible. Religious intolerance is guaranteed to harm them. This is proven. The only way to overcome this is to overcome your prejudices and accept them for the wonderful people they are.
Remember Bobby, Danny and Simon and don’t let your children become statistics like them.