‘personal is political’

Anti-Gay-Marriage Activists—I Feel Your Pain

The California Supreme Court has just overturned the state’s ban on same-gender marriage. People (gay AND straight) who support full civil rights for all Californians are celebrating; those who believe people forfeit their routine civil rights if they have same-gender sex are outraged. Memo to this latter group: I’ve read your denunciations of this court decision. When I look beyond the lies and distortions, I see your fear and anger. And I sympathize. Appreciating your pain helps me forgive—well, at least understand—your destructive, undignified lying, your desperate cries that civilization is collapsing. So let me address some of your lies:…

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Pharoah Lives—In The Hearts of Orthodox Jews

Greetings from Budapest, Hungary, where I’m lecturing for a few days. By coincidence it’s also Passover, which gave special meaning to my visit to the old Jewish Quarter here. I toured the famous Dohany Synagogue, the second largest in the world (after New York’s), along with several smaller ones. Done in various 19th century styles, one feature common to all is the physical separation of the genders—typically men downstairs, women upstairs. This separation continues today in modern Orthodox Judaism in America, Israel, and around the world. Some Orthodox Jewish men won’t shake hands with a woman from outside their family.…

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Dear Pope: Support Life, Support Masturbation

The Pope has stepped forward to talk about the pain inflicted by priests who sexually exploited young parishioners, calling it “a wound on the body of Christ.” “No words of mine could describe the pain and harm inflicted by such abuse,” Benedict said today in Boston, vowing to eliminate such behavior from the priesthood. This, of course, is an important step. But with all due respect to the thousands of lives damaged by molesting priests, what about the tens of millions of lives damaged by the OTHER Catholic Church sex scandal—the profound condemnation of masturbation? This is the first sexual…

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