Marriage is Heterosexual

Why do Christians not support homosexual marriage?

From the perspective of the Bible, marriage is sacred. It is a reflection of the relationship God has with his church in which he demands purity. God sets the standards with regard to defining marriage. Jesus reinforced this view when he stated that at the beginning God created man and woman and blessed their marriage. The purpose of the marriage was relational and to provide children for God's purpose of populating the earth. Since God created both the creation and people, he has the authority to define the parameters in which marriage will occur.

Homosexual marriage goes against the natural law that God established regarding marriage. He limited marriage to a man and a woman for life. Since the family unit is absolutely essential for the good of any culture, to promote a marriage pattern that goes against the way God made people will result in cultural chaos. World history shows this to be true as cultures degenerated once they broke their marriage vows and their family structures disintegrated. The result was a total breakdown of cultures that left them vulnerable to their enemies.

The following video gives a good overview of this position and how Christians should respond to those that may disagree with God's pattern of marriage.

Sex and Marriage


JudaismSexual Revolution: Why Judaism (and then Christianity) Rejected Homosexuality

Dennis Prager

WhenJudaism demanded that all sexual activity be channeled into marriage, itchanged the world. The Torah's prohibition of non-marital sex quite simply madethe creation of Western civilization possible. Societies that did not placeboundaries around sexuality were stymied in their development. The subsequentdominance of the Western world can largely be attributed to the sexualrevolution initiated by Judaism and later carried forward by Christianity.

This revolution consisted of forcing the sexual genie into themarital bottle. It ensured that sex no longer dominated society, heightenedmale-female love and sexuality (and thereby almost alone created the possibilityof love and eroticism within marriage), and began the arduous task of elevatingthe status of women.

It is probably impossible for us, who live thousands of yearsafter Judaism began this process, to perceive the extent to which undisciplinedsex can dominate man's life and the life of society. Throughout the ancientworld, and up to the recent past in many parts of the world, sexuality infusedvirtually all of society.

Human sexuality, especially male sexuality, is polymorphous, orutterly wild (far more so than animal sexuality). Men have had sex with womenand with men; with little girls and young boys; with a single partner and inlarge groups; with total strangers and immediate family members; and with avariety of domesticated animals. They have achieved orgasm with inanimateobjects such as leather, shoes, and other pieces of clothing, through urinatingand defecating on each other (interested readers can see a photograph of theformer at select art museums exhibiting the works of the photographer RobertMapplethorpe); by dressing in women's garments; by watching other human beingsbeing tortured; by fondling children of either sex; by listening to a woman'sdisembodied voice (e.g., "phone sex"); and, of course, by looking atpictures of bodies or parts of bodies. There is little, animate or inanimate,that has not excited some men to orgasm. Of course, not all of these practiceshave been condoned by societies — parent-child incest and seducing another'sman's wife have rarely been countenanced — but many have, and all illustratewhat the unchanneled, or in Freudian terms, the "un-sublimated," sexdrive can lead to.

De-sexualizing God and Religion

Among the consequences of the unchanneled sex drive is thesexualization of everything — including religion. Unless the sex drive isappropriately harnessed (not squelched — which leads to its own destructiveconsequences), higher religion could not have developed. Thus, the first thingJudaism did was to de-sexualize God: "In the beginning God created theheavens and the earth" by his will, not through any sexual behavior. Thiswas an utterly radical break with all other religions, and it alone changedhuman history. The gods of virtually all civilizations engaged in sexualrelations. In the Near East, the Babylonian god Ishtar seduced a man,Gilgamesh, the Babylonian hero. In Egyptian religion, the god Osiris had sexualrelations with his sister, the goddess Isis, and she conceived the god Horus.In Canaan, El, the chief god, had sex with Asherah. In Hindu belief, the godKrishna was sexually active, having had many wives and pursuing Radha; the godSamba, son of Krishna, seduced mortal women and men. In Greek beliefs, Zeusmarried Hera, chased women, abducted the beautiful young male, Ganymede, and masturbatedat other times; Poseidon married Amphitrite, pursued Demeter, and rapedTantalus. In Rome, the gods sexually pursued both men and women.

Given the sexual activity of the gods, it is not surprising thatthe religions themselves were replete with all forms of sexual activity. In theancient Near Fast and elsewhere, virgins were deflowered by priests prior toengaging in relations with their husbands, and sacred or ritual prostitutionwas almost universal. Psychiatrist and sexual historian Norman Sussmandescribes the situation thus: "Male and female prostitutes, servingtemporarily or permanently and performing heterosexual, homosexualoral-genital, bestial, and other forms of sexual activities, dispense theirfavors in behalf of the temple." Throughout the ancient Near East, fromvery early times, anal intercourse formed a part of goddess worship. In ancientEgypt, Mesopotamia, and Canaan, annual ceremonial intercourse took placebetween the king and a priestess. Women prostitutes had intercourse with maleworshippers in the sanctuaries and temples of ancient Mesopotamia, Phoenicia,Cyprus, Corinth, Carthage, Sicily, Egypt, Libya, West Africa, and ancient andmodern India. In ancient Israel itself, there were repeated attempts tore-introduce temple prostitution, resulting in repeated Jewish wars againstcultic sex. The Bible records that the Judean king Asa "put away theqdeshim [temple male prostitutes] out of the land"; that his successor,Jehosaphat put away out of the land ...the remnant of the qdeshim that remainedin the days of his father Asa"; and that later, King Josiah, in hisreligious reforms, "broke down the houses of the qdeshim." In Indiauntil this century, certain Hindu cults have required intercourse between monksand nuns, and wives would have intercourse with priests who represent the god.Until it was made illegal in 1948, when India gained independence, Hindutemples in many parts of India had both women and boy prostitutes. In thefourteenth century, the Chinese found homosexual Tibetan religious ritespracticed at the court of a Mongol emperor. In Sri Lanka through this century,Buddhist worship of the goddess Pattini has involved priests dressed as women,and the consort of the goddess is symbolically castrated.

Judaism placed controls on sexual activity. It could no longerdominate religion and social life. It was to be sanctified — which in Hebrewmeans "separated" — from the world and placed in the home, in the bedof husband and wife. Judaism's restricting of sexual behavior was one of theessential elements that enabled society to progress. Along with ethicalmonotheism, the revolution begun by the Torah when it declared war on thesexual practices of the world wrought the most far-reaching changes in history.

Inventing Homosexuality

The revolutionary nature of Judaism's prohibiting all forms ofnon-marital sex was nowhere more radical, more challenging to the prevailingassumptions of mankind, than with regard to homosexuality. Indeed, Judaism maybe said to have invented the notion of homosexuality, for in the ancient worldsexuality was not divided between heterosexuality and homosexuality. Thatdivision was the Bible's doing. Before the Bible, the world divided sexualitybetween penetrator (active partner) and penetrated (passive partner).

As Martha Nussbaum, professor of philosophy at Brown University,recently wrote, the ancients were no more concerned with people's genderpreference than people today are with others' eating preferences:

Ancient categories of sexual experience differed considerably fromour own... The central distinction in sexual morality was the distinctionbetween active and passive roles. The gender of the object... is not in itselfmorally problematic. Boys and women are very often treated interchangeably asobjects of [male] desire. What is socially important is to penetrate ratherthan to be penetrated. Sex is understood fundamentally not as interaction, butas a doing of some thing to someone...

Judaism changed all this. It rendered the "gender of theobject" very "morally problematic"; it declared that no one is"interchangeable" sexually. And as a result, it ensured that sexwould in fact be "fundamentally interaction" and not simply "adoing of something to someone".

To appreciate the extent of the revolution wrought by Judaism'sprohibiting homosexuality and demanding that all sexual interaction bemale-female, it is first necessary to appreciate just how universally accepted,valued, and practiced homosexuality has been throughout the world.

The one continuous exception was Jewish civilization — and athousand years later, Christian civilization. Other than the Jews, "noneof the archaic civilizations prohibited homosexuality per se," Dr. DavidE. Greenberg notes. It was Judaism alone that about 3,000 years ago declaredhomosexuality wrong.

And it said so in the most powerful and unambiguous language itcould: "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is anabomination." "And if a man lie with mankind, as with womankind, bothof them have committed an abomination." It is Judaism's sexual morality,not homosexuality, that historically has been deviant.

Greenberg, whose TheConstruction of Homosexuality is the most thorough historicalstudy of homosexuality ever written, summarizes the ubiquitous nature ofhomosexuality in these words: "With only a few exceptions, malehomosexuality was not stigmatized or repressed so long as it conformed to normsregarding gender and the relative ages and statuses of the partners... Themajor exceptions to this acceptance seem to have arisen in twocircumstances." Both of these circumstances were Jewish.

Bible Truth

The Hebrew Bible, in particular the Torah (The Five Books ofMoses), has done more to civilize the world than any other book or idea inhistory. It is the Hebrew Bible that gave humanity such ideas as a universal,moral, loving God; ethical obligations to this God; the need for history tomove forward to moral and spiritual redemption; the belief that history hasmeaning; and the notion that human freedom and social justice are the divinelydesired states for all people. It gave the world the Ten Commandments, ethicalmonotheism, and the concept of holiness (the goal of raising human beings fromthe animal-like to the God-like). Therefore, when this Bible makes strong moralproclamations, I listen with great respect. And regarding male homosexuality —female homosexuality is not mentioned — this Bible speaks in such clear anddirect language that one does not have to be a religious fundamentalist inorder to be influenced by its views. All that is necessary is to consideroneself a serious Jew or Christian.

Jews or Christians who take the Bible's views on homosexualityseriously are not obligated to prove that they are not fundamentalists orliteralists, let alone bigots (though, of course, people have used the Bible todefend bigotry). Rather, those who claim homosexuality is compatible withJudaism or Christianity bear the burden of proof to reconcile this view withtheir Bible. Given the unambiguous nature of the biblical attitude towardhomosexuality, however, such a reconciliation is not possible. All that ispossible is to declare: "I am aware that the Bible condemns homosexuality,and I consider the Bible wrong." That would be an intellectually honestapproach. But this approach leads to another problem. If one chooses which ofthe Bible's moral injunctions to take seriously (and the Bible states itsprohibition of homosexuality not only as a law, but as a value — "it is anabomination"), of what moral use is the Bible?

Advocates of the religious acceptance of homosexuality respondthat while the Bible is morally advanced in some areas, it is morallyregressive in others. Its condemnation of homosexuality is one example, and theTorah's permitting slavery is another. Far from being immoral, however, theTorah's prohibition of homosexuality was a major part of its liberation (1) ofthe human being from the bonds of unrestrained sexuality and (2) of women frombeing peripheral to men's lives. As for slavery, while the Bible declareshomosexuality wrong, it never declares slavery good.

Those who advocate religious acceptance of homosexuality alsoargue that the Bible prescribes the death penalty for a multitude of sins,including such seemingly inconsequential acts as gathering wood on the Sabbath.Thus, the fact that the Torah declares homosexuality a capital offense may meanthat homosexuality is no more grave an offense than some violation of theSabbath. And since we no longer condemn people who violate the Sabbath, whycontinue to condemn people who engage in homosexual acts?

The answer is that we do not derive our approach towardhomosexuality from the fact that the Torah made it a capital offense. We learnit from the fact that the Bible makes a moral statement about homosexuality. Itmakes no statement about gathering wood on the Sabbath. The Torah uses itsstrongest term of censure — "abomination" — to describehomosexuality. It is the Bible's moral evaluation of homosexuality that distinguisheshomosexuality from other offenses, capital or otherwise. As ProfessorGreenberg, who betrays no inclination toward religious belief writes,"When the word toevah ("abomination") does appear in the HebrewBible, it is sometimes applied to idolatry, cult prostitution, magic, ordivination, and is sometimes used more generally. Italways conveys great repugnance" (emphasis added).Moreover, the Bible lists homosexuality together with child sacrifice among the"abominations" practiced by the peoples living in the land about tobe conquered by the Jews. The two are certainly not morally equatable, but theyboth characterized a morally primitive world that Judaism set out to destroy.They both characterized a way of life opposite to the one that God demanded ofJews (and even of non-Jew — homosexuality is among the sexual offenses thatconstitute one of the "seven laws of the children of Noah" thatJudaism holds all people must observe). Finally, the Bible adds a unique threatto the Jews if they engage in homosexuality and the other offenses of theCanaanites: "You will be vomited out of the land" just as thenon-Jews who practise these things were vomited out of the land. Again, asGreenberg notes, this threat "suggests that the offenses were consideredserious indeed."

Choose Life

Judaism cannot make peace with homosexuality because homosexualitydenies many of Judaism's most fundamental principles. It denies life, it deniesGod's expressed desire that men and women cohabit, and it denies the rootstructure that Judaism wishes for all mankind, the family.

If one can speak of Judaism's essence, it is contained in theTorah statement, "I have set before you life and death, the blessing andthe curse, and you shall choose life." Judaism affirms whatever enhanceslife, and it opposes or separates whatever represents death. Thus, a Jewishpriest (cohen) is to concern himself only with life. Perhaps alone among worldreligions, Judaism forbade its priests to come into contact with the dead. Tocite some other examples, meat (death) is separated from milk (life);menstruation (death) is separated from sexual intercourse (life); carnivorousanimals (death) are separated from vegetarian, kosher, animals (life). This isprobably why the Torah juxtaposes child sacrifice with male homosexuality.Though they are not morally analogous, both represent death: one depriveschildren of life, the other prevents their having life. This parallelism ispresent in the Talmud: "He who does not engage in propagation of the raceis as though he had shed blood."

GOD'S FIRST DECLARATION about man (the human being generally, andthe male specifically) is, "It is not good for man to be alone." Now,presumably, in order to solve the problem of man's aloneness, God could havemade another man or even a community of men. But instead God solved man'saloneness by creating one other person, a woman — not a man, not a few women,not a community of men and women. Man's solitude was not a function of his notbeing with other people; it was a function of his being without a woman. Ofcourse, Judaism also holds that women need men. But both the Torah statementand Jewish law have been more adamant about men marrying than about womenmarrying. Judaism is worried about what happens to men and to society when mendo not channel their passions into marriage. In this regard, the Torah andJudaism were highly prescient: the overwhelming majority of violent crimes arecommitted by unmarried men. Thus, male celibacy, a sacred state in manyreligions, is a sin in Judaism. In order to become fully human, male and femalemust join. In the words of Genesis, "God created the human ... male andfemale He created them." The union of male and female is not merely somelovely ideal; it is the essence of the Jewish outlook on becoming human. Todeny it is tantamount to denying a primary purpose of life.

Few Jews need to be informed of the centrality of family to Jewishlife. Throughout their history, one of the Jews' most distinguishingcharacteristics has been their commitment to family life. To Judaism, thefamily — not the nation, and not the individual — is to be the fundamentalunit, the building block of society. Thus, when God blesses Abraham He says,"Through you all the families of the earth will be blessed."

The Enemy of Women

Yet another reason for Judaism's opposition to homosexuality ishomosexuality's negative effect on women.

One of the most remarkable aspects of contemporary societies'acceptance of homosexuality is the lack of outcry from and on behalf of women.I say "outcry" because there is certainly much quiet crying by womenover this issue, as heard in the frequent lament from single women that so manysingle men are gay. But the major reason for anyone concerned with women'sequality to be concerned with homosexuality is the direct correlation betweenthe prevalence of male homosexuality and the relegation of women to a lowsocial role. The improvement of the condition of women has only occurred inWestern civilization, the civilization least tolerant of homosexuality.

In societies where men sought out men for love and sex, women wererelegated to society's periphery. Thus, for example, ancientGreece, which elevated homosexuality to an ideal, was characterized by "amisogynistic attitude," in Norman Sussman's words. Homosexuality inancient Greece, he writes, "was closely linked to an idealized concept ofthe man as the focus of intellectual and physical activities...The woman wasseen as serving but two roles. As a wife, she ran the home. As a courtesan, shesatisfied male sexual desires." Classicist Eva Keuls describes Athens atits height of philosophical and artistic greatness as "a society dominatedby men who sequester their wives and daughters, denigrate the female role inreproduction, erect monuments to the male genitalia, have sex with the sons oftheir peers..."

In medieval France, when men stressed male-male love, it"implied a corresponding lack of interest in women. In the Song of Roland, a French mini-epic given itsfinal form in the late eleventh or twelfth century, women appear only asshadowy marginal figures: "The deepest signs of affection in the poem, aswell as in similar ones appear in the love of man for man..." The women ofArab society, wherein male homosexuality has been widespread, remain in anotably low state in the modern world. This may be a coincidence, but commonsense suggests a linkage. So, too, in traditional Chinese culture, the lowstate of women has been linked to widespread homosexuality. As a Frenchphysician reported from China in the nineteenth century, "Chinese womenwere such docile, homebound dullards that the men, like those of ancientGreece, sought courtesans and boys."

While traditional Judaism is not as egalitarian as many latetwentieth century Jews would like, it was Judaism — very much through itsinsistence on marriage and family and its rejection of infidelity andhomosexuality — that initiated the process of elevating the status of women.While other cultures were writing homoerotic poetry, the Jews wrote the Song of Songs, one of the most beautifulpoems depicting male-female sensual love ever written.

A final reason for opposition to homosexuality is the homosexual"lifestyle." While it is possible for male homosexuals to live lives offidelity comparable to those of heterosexual males, it is usually not the case.While the typical lesbian has had fewer than ten "lovers," thetypical male homosexual in America has had over 500. In general, neitherhomosexuals nor heterosexuals confront the fact that it is this male homosexuallifestyle, more than the specific homosexual act, that disturbs most people.This is probably why less attention is paid to female homosexuality. When malesexuality is not controlled, the consequences are considerably more destructivethan when female sexuality is not controlled. Men rape. Women do not. Men, notwomen, engage in fetishes. Men are more frequently consumed by their sex drive,and wander from sex partner to sex partner. Men, not women, are sexuallysadistic. The indiscriminate sex that characterizes much of male homosexuallife represents the antithesis of Judaism's goal of elevating human life fromthe animal-like to the Godlike.

The Jewish Sexual Ideal

Judaism has a sexual ideal — marital sex. All other forms ofsexual behavior, though not equally wrong, deviate from that ideal. The furtherthey deviate, the stronger Judaism's antipathy to that behavior. Thus, thereare varying degrees of sexual wrongs. There is, one could say, a continuum ofwrong which goes from premarital sex, to celibacy, to adultery, and on tohomosexuality, incest, and bestiality. We can better understand why Judaismrejects homosexuality if we first understand its attitudes toward these otherunacceptable practices. For example, normative Judaism forcefully rejects theclaim that never marrying is an equally valid lifestyle to marriage. Judaismstates that a life without marrying is a less holy, less complete, and a lessJewish life. Thus, only a married man was allowed to be a high priest, and onlya man who had children could sit as a judge on the Jewish supreme court, theSanhedrin. To put it in modern terms, while an unmarried rabbi can be thespiritual leader of a congregation, he would be dismissed by almost anycongregation if he publicly argued that remaining single were as Jewishly valida way of life as marriage. Despite all this, no Jew could argue that singleJews must be ostracized from Jewish communal life. Single Jews are to be lovedand included in Jewish family, social, and religious life.

These attitudes toward not marrying should help clarify Judaism'sattitude toward homosexuality. First, homosexuality contradicts the Jewishideal. Second, it cannot be held to be equally valid. Third, those publiclycommitted to it may not serve as public Jewish role models. But fourth,homosexuals must be included in Jewish communal life and loved as fellow humanbeings and as Jews. Still, we cannot open the Jewish door to non-marital sex.For once one argues that any non-marital form of sexual behavior is the moralequal of marital sex, the door is opened to all other forms of sexualexpression. If consensual homosexual activity is valid, why not consensualincest between adults? Why is sex between an adult brother and sister moreobjectionable than sex between two adult men? If a couple agrees, why not allowconsensual adultery? Once non-marital sex is validated, how can we draw anyline? Why shouldn't gay liberation be followed by incest liberation?

Accepting homosexuality as the social, moral, or religiousequivalent of heterosexuality would constitute the first modern assault on theextremely hard won, millennia-old battle for a family-based, sexuallymonogamous society. While it is labeled as "progress," the acceptanceof homosexuality would not be new at all.

Again, Judaism's sexual ideals, especially its opposition tohomosexuality, rendered Jews different from the earliest times to the present.As early as the second century B.C., Jewish writers were noting the vastdifferences between Jewish sexual and family life and that of their non-Jewishneighbors. In the Syballine Oracles,written by an Egyptian Jew probably between 163 and 45 B.C., the authorcompared Jews to the other nations: The Jews "are mindful of holy wedlock,and they do not engage in impious intercourse with male children, as doPhoenicians, Egyptians, and Romans, specious Greece and many nations of others,Persians and Galatians and all Asia." And in our times. sex historian AmoKarlen wrote that according to the sex researcher Alfred Kinsey,"Homosexuality was phenomenally rare among Orthodox Jews."

Moral and Psychological Questions

To all the arguments offered against homosexuality the mostfrequent response is: But homosexuals have no choice. To many people this claimis so emotionally powerful that no further reflection seems necessary. How canwe oppose actions that people have not chosen? The question is much moreinstructive when posed in a more specific way: Is homosexuality biologicallyprogrammed from birth, or is it socially and psychologically induced? There isclearly no one answer that accounts for all homosexuals. What can be said forcertain is that some homosexuals were started along that path in earlychildhood, and that most homosexuals, having had sex with both sexes, havechosen homosexuality along with or in preference to heterosexuality.

We can say "chosen" because the vast majority of gay menhave had intercourse with women. As a four-year study of 128gay men by a UCLA professor of psychology revealed, "More than 92 percentof the gay men had dated a woman at some time, two-thirds had sexualintercourse with a woman." As of now, the one theory we can rule out isthat homosexuals are biologically programmed to be homosexual. Despite anunderstandably great desire on the part of many to prove it (and my owninclination to believe it), there is simply no evidence that homosexuality isbiologically determined. Of course, one could argue homosexuality isbiologically determined, but that society, if it suppresses it enough, causesmost homosexuals to suppress their homosexuality. Yet, if this argument istrue, if society can successfully repress homosexual inclinations, it can leadto either of two conclusions — that society should do so for its own sake, orthat society should not do so for the individual's sake. Once again we comeback to the question of values. Or one could argue that people are naturally(i.e., biologically) bisexual (and given the data I have seen on humansexuality, this may well be true). Ironically, however, if this is true, theargument that homosexuality is chosen is strengthened, not weakened. For if weall have bisexual tendencies, and most of us successfully suppress ourhomosexual impulses, then obviously homosexuality is frequently both surmountableand chosen. And once again we are brought back to our original question of whatsexual ideal society ought to foster — heterosexual marital or homosexual sex.

I conclude:

  • Homosexuality may be biologically induced (though no evidence of this exists), but is certainly psychologically ingrained (perhaps indelibly) at a very early age in some cases. Presumably, these individuals always have had sexual desires only for their own sex. Historically speaking, they appear to constitute a minority among homosexuals.
  • In many cases, homosexuality appears not to be indelibly ingrained. These individuals have gravitated toward homosexuality from heterosexual experiences, or have always been bisexual, or live in a society that encourages homosexuality. As Greenberg, who is very sympathetic to gay liberation, writes, "Biologists who view most traits as inherited, and psychologists who think sexual preferences are largely determined in early childhood, may pay little attention to the finding that many gay people have had extensive heterosexual experience."
  • Therefore, the evidence overwhelmingly leads to this conclusion: By and large, it is society, not the individual, that chooses whether homosexuality will be widely practiced. A society's values, much more than individual tendencies, determine the extent of homosexuality in that society. Thus, we can have great sympathy for the exclusively homosexual individual while strongly opposing social acceptance of homosexuality. In this way we retain both our hearts and our values.

Is Homosexuality an Illness?

Society, in short, can consider homosexuality right or wrongwhether or not it is chosen. Society can also consider homosexuality normal orill whether or not it is chosen.

Though the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, did not thinkthat in and of itself homosexuality meant that a person was sick, according tohis standards of psychosexual development, he considered homosexuality to be anarrested development. But until 1973, psychiatry did consider homosexuality anillness. To cite one of countless examples, Dr. Leo Rangell, a psychoanalyst,wrote that he had "never seen a male homosexual who did not also turn outto have a phobia of the vagina."

In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) removedhomosexuality from its official listing of mental illnesses in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of PsychiatricDisorders. Gay activists have used this as a major weapon in their battle forsocietal acceptance of homosexuality. But, for many reasons, the APA decisionhas not resolved the question of whether homosexuality is an illness, and thequestion may well be unresolvable. Given the mixed moral and judgmental recordof psychiatry, especially since the 1960s, all one may conclude from the APA'sdecision to remove homosexuality from its list of illnesses is that while itmay have been right, organized psychiatry has given us little reason to trustits judgment on politically charged issues. For these reasons, the fact thatthe American Psychiatric Association no longer labels homosexuality an illnessshould not persuade anyone that it is not. Given the subjective nature of theterm "mental illness," given the power of gay activists, and giventhe political views of the APA leadership (as opposed to most of its members),the association's vote means nothing to many observers.

If social pressures forced psychiatrists in the past to labelhomosexuality an illness, how can we be certain that social pressures in ourtime have not forced them to label it normal? Are present-day psychiatristsless influenced by societal pressures than were their predecessors? I doubt it.So, putting aside psychiatry's ambivalence about homosexuality, let us pose thequestion in this way: "Assuming there is such a thing as normal, is it normalfor a man to be incapable of making love to a woman (or vice versa)?"

Presumably, there are only three possible answers:

  • Most homosexuals can make love to a woman, but they find such an act repulsive or simply prefer making love to men.
  • Yes, it is normal.
  • No, it is not normal.

If the first response is offered, then we have to acknowledge thatthe homosexual has chosen his homosexuality. And we may then askwhether someone who chooses to love the same sex rather than the opposite sexhas made this decision from a psychologically healthy basis. If the secondresponse is offered, each of us is free to assess this answer for him orherself. I, for one, do not believe that a man's inability to make love to awoman can be labeled normal. While such a man may be a healthy and fine humanbeing in every other area of life, and quite possibly more kind, industrious,and ethical than many heterosexuals, in this one area he cannot be callednormal. And the reason for considering homosexuality abnormal is not its minoritystatus. Even if the majority of men became incapable of making love to women,it would still not be normal. Men are designed to make love to women, and viceversa. The eye provides an appropriate analogy: If the majority of thepopulation became blind, blindness would still be abnormal. The eye wasdesigned to see. That is why I choose the third response — that homosexualityis unhealthy. This is said, however, with the understanding that in thepsychological arena, "illness" can be a description of one's valuesrather than of objective science (which may simply not exist in this area).

Man and Women He Made Them

To a world which divided human sexuality between penetrator andpenetrated, Judaism said, "You are wrong — sexuality is to be dividedbetween male and female." To a world which saw women as baby producersunworthy 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 saidthat sensual feelings and physical beauty were life's supreme goods, Judaismsaid, "You are wrong — ethics and holiness are the supreme goods." Athousand years before Roman emperors kept naked boys, Jewish kings werecommanded to write and keep a sefer torah, a book of the Torah.

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

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

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

It is very easy to forget what Judaism has wrought and whatChristians have created in the West. But those who loathe this civilizationnever forget. The radical Stanford University faculty and students who recentlychanted, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western civ has got to go," werereferring to much more than their university's syllabus. And no one is chantingthat song more forcefully than those who believe and advocate that sexual behaviordoesn't play a role in building or eroding civilization. The acceptance ofhomosexuality as the equal of heterosexual marital love signifies the declineof Western civilization as surely as the rejection of homosexuality and othernonmarital sex made the creation of this civilization possible.


Prager, Dennis. "Judaism'sSexual Revolution: Why Judaism (and then Christianity) RejectedHomosexuality." "Crisis" 11, no. 8 (September 1993).

Reprinted by permission of theMorley Institute, a non-profit education organization. To subscribe to"Crisis" magazine call 1-800-852-9962.

Dennis Prager is a writer,theologian, and daily talk show host on KABC Radio in Los Angeles. He alsowrites a newsletter, "The Prager Perspective."

Copyright © 1993 by CrisisMagazine

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