Now that kind of behavior against a perfectly legal business is unacceptable in a civilized society. And as a passionate supporter of free and open societies I would fight for the constitutional right of such a factory to open its doors in any city in the United States. Indeed in many parts of the world including Korea and China dog meat is eaten as a delicacy and in fact it is known to have considerable medicinal value.
Notwithstanding this, it would be incredibly insensitive on behalf of a dog slaughtering factory to open its doors in the midst of a community which treats dogs like family.
My feelings towards the Gay Pride march that organizers want to hold in Jerusalem are similar to this. According to the Hebrew Bible any sexual act outside of marriage is a sin. However, it would be completely unacceptable for any government to regulate people’s private lives. What consenting adults do is a private matter of personal conscience and governments have no right to interfere.
In fact, in my view, it is unjust for governments to deny same sex couples living in a committed relationship the same legal rights as married couples.
The problem is the sexualization of the issue. If it were just about same sex couples living in committed relationships then what they do behind closed doors is not a matter any of us should be concerned with or know about.
However, there is a sector of the gay community – represented by some of the Gay Pride people – which feel that they must focus in on the sexual aspect of their relationship. For some reason they feel the need to draw the publics attention to what should in the view of many people remain private.
It is undeniable that homophobia plays a role in the campaign to disallow the Gay Pride march through Jerusalem. However, this is not the issue for most people.
The fact is that the Gay Pride march includes overt displays of a sexual nature and even a heterosexual Pride March with men and women dressed and acting in a sexually frivolous and suggestive manner would be opposed on the same grounds. It would be opposed by religious people as not appropriate for the Holy City.
One must not forget that the same Bible that makes Jerusalem holy considers promiscuity and public displays of sexuality a sin. By wanting to march through Judaism’s holiest city the Gay Pride organizers are showing a cavalier attitude towards the feelings of the locals.
Jerusalem is simply not the right place to showcase post-modern attitudes towards sexuality. The entire ill conceived idea of this march through Jerusalem seems like a cynical attempt to paint otherwise peace-loving people as homophobes.
The organizers and their supporters must realize that religious people are offended by public displays of sexuality, be it homosexual or heterosexual. Being in denial and calling it homophobia is unhelpful and cynical.
To me this entire fiasco is no different to having “The International Dog Meat Eating Association” march through downtown Evergreen and displaying dog meat as they march. Whereas I support their constitutional right to do so, the attempt would be grossly insensitive to the feelings of the locals.
Rabbi Levi Brackman is executive director of Judaism in the Foothills and the author of numerous articles on a whole range of topics and issues, many of which can be found on his website .