In an earlier blog post, I dedicated it to a young man who begged our Jewish community in Chicago to help him seek justice for what happened to him as a child when he was molested by a prominent rabbi. I did not believe the message he left on our answering machine that what he alleged was possible. The events of the last few years have shown me to be so wrong. I can not remember the young man’s name, but I hope this post as well will provide some contrition for my past sin of complicity.
In my earlier post, I vented my anger on the Israeli rabbis, including our current Health Minister. However, I think we have to take a look at the overall situation. Israel is only a shore on the ocean of pedophilia that the violators land upon in their flight. Some alleged violators like Malka Leifer are Israeli citizens who simply come home like salmon. A recent CBS News report looks at the others in the various parts of the Orthodox Jewish Diaspora that help the perpetrators get to Israel to continue their lives and the heroic efforts of the group Jewish Community Watch to bring them to justice. This organization gets nothing but resistance from the very communities they seek to help.
One could have called the report “Pedophiles to the Promised Land.” The case of Jimmy Julius Karow is especially galling to me. I look at this man and the rabbi that helped him in not just disgust, but disbelief. Any oleh (my ex-wife and I included) will testify to the incredible effort it takes to come to Israel. Every aspect of your background and character are examined. The rabbi in the CBS report expresses remorse at least, but I think that something else is being swept under the rug by “coming clean” in such an internationally covered case. As Karow’s prosecution and extradition proceedings happen, it will be interesting to see what the ritual janitors clean up and where. The rabbi’s admission may be for spin and damage control purposes. Stay tuned for this special report.
Somehow the Orthodox rabbis here and in the Diaspora seem to think that “conversion therapy” is the answer. The ducks quack very loudly.
This failed “therapy” is not just seen as a solution to molestation in the Orthodox Jewish community, but also in the Christian fundamentalist and Catholic communities as well. Rather, it is quackery. The professional psychiatric and psychological communities have proven that it fails everywhere with the same miserable results. Based upon the history of conversion therapy, one sees it is not simply a sham, but a projection of the hidden sexual frustrations of the above communities on an individual and a community basis, communities that simply can’t deal with reality.
Perhaps homosexuality is in God’s plan? Linguist and cognitive scientist Bruce Bagemihl documented in a 1999 study that the animal kingdom is a more sexually complex place than most people know. It is one where couplings routinely take place not just between male-female pairs but also between male-male and female-female ones. Indeed, same-sex partners don’t meet merely for brief encounters, but may form long-term bonds, sometimes mating for years or even for life. He documented this in 450 different species, 20% of those in his study. This was only a small sampling of the animal kingdom, so there are probably a lot more out there that use the practice during their life times as an adaptive mechanism. Perhaps the religious communities are fighting God’s plan? No wonder they don’t like to teach biology and evolution in their schools.
Folks, let’s just say that conversion therapy not only does not convert anyone. It can not solve natural tendencies of biology in terms of sexuality. It is also not possible to stop homosexual or heterosexual impulses by throwing them in the closet. This does not work in the Christian or Jewish worlds and only converts people to cynicism and disbelief.
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