Volume 49 Number 47
                    Produced: Wed Aug 10  4:58:02 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Gay Child Molestation (3)
         [R E Sternglantz, Lisa Liel, Tom Buchler]
Gender and Sex
         [Lisa Liel]
Good point about the word Jew
         [Jeanette Friedman]
         [Shayna Kravetz]
Sexual Imprinting?
         [Shoshana Ziskind]
Statistics (was: Sexual preferences hard wired)
         [Freda B Birnbaum]


From: R E Sternglantz <resternglantz@...>
Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2005 07:33:07 -0400
Subject: Gay Child Molestation

I'm not quoting Mordechai's post because a) I'm really not sure I need
to repeat a link to a site inappropriate for this list's readers and b)
certain statements don't deserve repetition.

If you're going to make statements based on historical practices, sexual
or otherwise, learn a little more history than what is found on the side
of a cereal box or in one semester of Classics (or perhaps just a 'Great
Books' survey that covered Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance all in
one semester, and which may have been taught by someone without any real

Believing that homosexuality and child molestation are one and the same
issue is a very convenient way to demonize homosexuals and to redirect
blame; the Catholic church, incidentally, is expert at this.  That it is
factually untrue makes this an extremely dangerous comfort zone to

I would just like to point out the obvious irony in the fact that while
some people on this list are trying to have a serious discussion about
frum people who are not committing various forbidden sexual acts, some
of the heterosexual males on this list keep trying to divert attention
to all sorts of marginal and depraved sexual practices.  The mind

From: Lisa Liel <lisa@...>
Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2005 12:00:26 -0400
Subject: Gay Child Molestation

From: Mordechai <mordechai@...>
>The gay rights movement is the child molestors movement as well.  
>Once society starts writing marriage contracts for consenting adults 
>it will start to move to lower the age of consent to allow any child 
>to choose to have sex with adults.

I'm curious to know what the "red line" is for rechilut on this list.
One person posted a little while ago that "homophobe" should not be
allowed, because it is a derogatory term.  And yet, this post was
allowed, as was the semi-intelligable rant about "imprinting" that
showed up the other day.

As far as the real issue is concerned, there are two standards by which
it needs to be addressed: Jewish, and national.

>From a Jewish perspective, it's hard to see how anyone can justify
treating a frum Jew as anything but a frum Jew simply because they are
known to be gay.  Or because they are building a home together or
raising a child together.  If everything you know them to do is within
the bounds of halakha, there is no exception that I know of which
permits prurient curiosity and inappropriate hirhurim about what else
they "might* do to justify treating a frum Jews as anything but that.

>From a national perspective, it depends on the nation.  I can't speak
for the UK, but in the United States, the safety of our people depends
on religion being kept out of the government and its laws.  Neo-paganism
is growing by leaps and bounds in this country.  Would you like to see
"In God and Goddess We Trust" on your money if they some day become a
majority?  Would you like to see divorce made absolutely illegal, and
remarriage prosecutable under bigamy laws, if Catholics become a

Everyone on this list knows what will happen if the wall between Church
and State gets broken in this country.  At least they do if they've ever
read a history book.  It's possible to hold fiercely strong religious
views without trying to insinuate them into the laws of the only country
ever created in which everyone is supposed to be safe from the religions
of others.


From: Tom Buchler <tbuchler@...>
Date: Tue, 09 Aug 2005 11:58:34 -0400
Subject: Re: Gay Child Molestation

>From: Mordechai <mordechai@...>
>Subject: Gay Child Molestation
>For example they note "...Pederasty 
>is the main form that male homosexuality has acquired throughout Western 
>civilization - and not only in the West! Pederasty is inseparable from 
>the high points of Western culture - ancient Greece and the Renaissance...."
>Additionally they bring how many mainstream gay activists support adult 
>child relations
>The gay rights movement is the child molestors movement as well.  Once 
>society starts writing marriage contracts for consenting adults it will 
>start to move to lower the age of consent to allow any child to choose 
>to have sex with adults.

I am guessing that Mordechai has never knowingly had a frank and
open-minded discussion with any gay men. The type of thinking presented
here is on par with the anti-Jew web sites promoting the notion of a
Kosher Food Tax -- or that the Talmud and the Rabbanim condoned
pedophelia. All start with small grains of truth quoted out of context,
wrapped by mistruths, leading to a faulty and virulent premise.

I became baal teshuva fairly recently. Years ago, I lived in San
Francisco, and currently live in Key West. Both are well known as having
a greater than normal percentage gay population. During my more
"secular" years in these cities, it would have been difficult to not
have come to know a fair number of gay men and women. Some are frum,
some not, some not even Jewish. Some, I am proud to call my friends.
Some are real jerks. Some exhibit levels of mentshlichkeit and chesed
that I aspire to reach.  I'm saying this because I want you to
understand that I have personal experience with members of the gay
community and I am not speaking from conjecture or from reading some web
site or someone's realization that the vector for the contagion of
homosexuality is gay "vampirism."

I have had long and frank discussions with gay men and women --
particularly around 15 years ago when NAMBLA wanted representation in
the San Francisco gay pride march. The horror that spread among my
friends -- gay and straight alike -- that some would propose to
normalize or legitimize such behavior as pederasty, was palpable.
NAMBLA's efforts were roundly decried by the general public and gay
activists alike. Aside from their abhorence of pederasty, they were
additionally concerned that allowing NAMBLA to march would specifically
lead to the kind of unfortunate thinking that Mordechai has presented to
us here. This is on par with what many of us Jews felt when we read
stories in newspapers about orthodox Jews involved in some kind of scam
-- that the general public would think ill of all Jews based on the
execrable behavior of individuals.

Using materials on the NAMBLA web site to further the notion that "the
gay rights movement is the child molestors movement" is an argument of
whole cloth. There is a salient feature of pederasty that needs to be
brought forth here: The children in this "relationships" are coerced.
From the rabbanim to our most liberal secularists -- all hold that
children are not able to make major life decisions, particularly in the
presence of coercion. It is rather akin to rape. Even in our current
condition of relative secular moral bankrupcy, few would attempt to
legitimize rape, and few would attempt to legitimize pederasty.
Consensual homosexual activity has the critical aspect of mutual consent
that is missing in pederasty. This aspect will always be so whether you
or I condemn it, condone it or engage in it.



From: Lisa Liel <lisa@...>
Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2005 11:49:44 -0400
Subject: Re: Gender and Sex

From: <meirman@...> (Meir)
>>From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
>>  ...Theodore Bernstein's 1958 book, "Watch Your Language", states:
>>"Gender pertains to grammatical distinctions, sex to physiological
>I agree with this citation and all the others you made.  Since I've 
>been alive during most or all of the effort to add a new definition 
>to "gender", I feel qualified to comment.  People began to 
>use "gender" instead of "sex" because "sex" sounds too.... sexual.  
>They were embarrassed to say "sex".

I don't think it's a matter of embarrassment.  I think it's a matter of
the word "sex" coming to mean sexual acts.  "Having sex" doesn't mean
that a person possesses the characteristic of maleness or femaleness.

I dislike the term "homosexual" for exactly that reason.  It's not that
it "sounds" sexual.  It's that the word "sex" nowadays *means* sexual

Gender is a good word.  In Hebrew, the word migdar is its equivalent.
Children develop a gender identity at an early age.  They certainly
don't develop a sexual identity until much later.

>We should also start using "Jewess" whenever it fits the sentence.  

Chas v'shalom.

>That appears to be another word the antisemites have given a
>negative meaning to in the ears of many, but even if this can't be
>proven, it's a good word and we should use it.

Meir, with all due respect, it may be legitimate for a group to
"reclaim" a term that has been used as derogatory.  I know people who
are chareidi who have embraced the term "dos", which is an
anti-religious slur used in Israel.  There were boys in my high school
class who referred to their kippot as "yid lids".

That's fine.

But no one has the right to "reclaim" such a term for others.  Every
Jewish woman I know considers "Jewess" to be offensive.  I don't think
men are qualified to decided whether we have a right to be offended by
the term or not.  And here in the US (I hear it may be different in the
UK), the term is almost universally used by antisemites.

For the record, I am a Jew.  The word is not gender-specific.  I am also
a programmer, and not a programmrix.



From: <FriedmanJ@...> (Jeanette Friedman)
Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2005 06:33:40 EDT
Subject: Good point about the word Jew

As a holocaust educator, I read your post and it rang true.  I am going
to make a point of this when I teach, from now on.  and perhaps even
write an article for the holocaust survivors' newspaper about it--how do
I credit you


From: Shayna Kravetz <skravetz@...>
Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2005 12:37:45 -0500
Subject: Re: "Jew"

(Meir) <meirman@...> writes:
>Since we are or I am talking about avoiding words, another word commonly
>avoided, in America and I'm sure many other places, is "Jew".  More than
>half of the people I hear, both Jews and gentiles, will go out of their
>way to say "Jewish person" instead of Jew.  If you haven't noticed this
>yet, you probably will if you try. Their motivations are usually
>positive, but their reasons are sad.  The Christian Bible and Christian
>hate mongers have made Jew a dirty word, so people who don't dislike us
>try to find a "nicer" word to refer to us with. <SNIP>

I agree completely.  I seem to remember Woody Allen pointing out that
this turn of phrase lightens the burden of Judaism: it's not that we're
actually Jews, we're just Jew-ish -- i.e., kind of like Jews but not
really. <g>

>We should also start using "Jewess" whenever it fits the sentence.
>That appears to be another word the antisemites have given a negative
>meaning to in the ears of many, but even if this can't be proven, it's
>a good word and we should use it.

Among Jewish feminists, there is indeed a small revival of "Jewess" as
an honourable and dignified title for female Jews. (I almost typed
"Jewish women" but stopped myself!)  The word has certainly lost any
negative connotations in those circles.  I and another subscriber here
had a brief offlist interchange on the topic two years ago as both of us
are interested in the history and development of "Jewess" as an epithet.

Kol tuv from
Shayna the Jewess


From: Shoshana Ziskind <shosh@...>
Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2005 08:44:29 -0400
Subject: Re: Sexual Imprinting?

On Aug 9, 2005, at 5:23 AM, Leah S. Gordon <leah@...> 

> I find this idea preposterous.  The vast majority of US teenagers have
> both heterosexual and homosexual "experimental" sexual experience in
> high school, regardless of eventual (or initial) orientation.

Are there sources that backup such a statement? What does "vast
majority" mean statistically speaking?

Shoshana Ziskind


From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2005 07:33:23 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Statistics (was: Sexual preferences hard wired)

> I am not familiar enouigh with the history of this debate to know where 
> it is going halachically, or learned enough to comment on the halachic 
> issues, but as regards the hardwiring issue, I have met many different 
> types of people and worked in mental health (where a disproportionate 
> number of clients seemed to be lesbians - this could be a whole chicken 
> or egg debate).

It is a commonplace observation by now that to say "all the X in
psychotherapy have problems, therefore all X are in need of
psychotherapy" is inaccurate: it means that the X's the therapist is
seeing are the ones who have problems and sought help.

It's also a commonplace that women tend to be more "help-seeking" than
men; therefore therapists may see more of them.

As to the child molester bit: AIUI child molesting is related to
arrested development and not to sexual orientation.

Freda Birnbaum, <fbb6@...>
"Call on God, but row away from the rocks"


End of Volume 49 Issue 47