When Tolerance Invades

It was always cute when one of my young children would jump out of the bathtub and run around the house naked with underwear on his head. But it's a pathetic, tragic and obscene display when a fully grown adult demands the right to do the same in public.

Ellen W. Horowitz

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I've sat with this article and my thoughts for quite a while, trying to think of a good and proper way to deliver what's in my heart - and there just isn't a sensitive or delicate way to do this.

The force-fed tolerance festival (the Gay Pride parade) planned for November 10th is nothing more than a ruthless assault on traditional Jewish values and the sanctity of Jerusalem.

The courts, police, Knesset and press have handled this issue with the finesse and wisdom of a bull rampaging through a synagogue on the High Holidays.

For lack of a better term, I've coined the phrase "provocative negligence." There's no other way to describe the dangerous game that's being played out here.

Ynet's headlines announce that: "Gays plan for disaster scenarios at J'lem parade." Yossi Sarid told Haaretz, "The parade this year can also expect serious calamity." And last Friday's front page in of the Jerusalem Post informs us, "The Foreign Ministry is promoting Gay Israel as part of its campaign to break apart the negative stereotypes many liberal Americans and Europeans have of Israel."

This isn't about pluralism, freedom of expression, the principle of equality and freedom of assembly. This is about the deliberate and planned trampling of the religious and moral sensitivities of the people of Jerusalem, and of those who hold that physical intimacy and sexual expression should be sacred, holy and private. And, like the homosexual approach to sex, those who predict violence while at the same time promoting the event are being both brutal and sadomasochistic.

If the above statement is too harsh for your system, then please read the politically correct spin (the "polite rape" version), compliments of the Jerusalem Open House mission statement. Any way you look at it, it is clear that the LGBT organization has declared open season on heterosexual Jerusalem. Since 1997 the Gay community and its allies
have worked to make our city a place where all people are free to seek self-fulfillment. Our greatest challenge is a tradition of conformist heterosexism that continues to be enforced by almost all social institutions in Israel.... This challenge is especially formidable in Jerusalem, a city of traditional values and deeply rooted religious commitments.
You know, it's funny, because some time between the height of the Gay revolution and the outbreak of the AIDS plague, this artist left San Francisco and proceeded to get hitched in holy and heterosexual matrimony. I then freely chose to raise a family and seek fulfillment in a city and land steeped in traditional values, based on deeply rooted moral and ethical commitments. I'm not sure where I went wrong, but somehow my lifestyle choices and the very nature of Jerusalem currently pose a serious threat and challenge to homosexual, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people.

I never felt the need to brag about my conventional choices. Indeed, traditional Judaism encourages a sense of modesty and unpretentiousness, as pride in self-gratification tends to get in the way of spiritual pursuits. But ever since being overwhelmed by Jerusalem's Gay-Pride insurrection, I feel like I have to crow about the advantages of stability and ordinariness in a world gone mad - and the Gay world is especially confused.

Those of us who who fail to see the profundity of a movement that is largely consumed with self-gratification have been described as as intolerant, homophobic Gay-bashers. Just when you thought you had heard it all, the directors of Jerusalem's Open House have have decided that homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders are now a race; they've recently termed those who oppose the parade as racists and bigots.

But I don't think that we in the traditional, G-d fearing, heterosexual community are deserving of such sophisticated and ambiguous labels when our position on the parade is so very simple. Allow me to put this in terms that everyone can understand.

It was always cute when one of my young children would jump out of the bathtub and run around the house naked with underwear on his head. But it's a pathetic, tragic and obscene display when a fully grown adult demands the right to do the same in public.

I'm going to use big words now. Self expression and freedom, for many of us, translates into so much more than voyeurism, hedonism, narcissism and exhibitionism.

Homophobia is a misnomer, because we're not afraid of you - we're afraid for you. And we grieve for your wasted potential. I'm really not that mean, because I fully believe that homosexuals, lesbians, and gender-confused individuals face an unusual battery of challenges, and are deserving of our understanding and support. But the Gay Pride movement's agenda, with its brazen militant approach to sexuality and political/social issues, arouses more outrage than sympathy from a lot of us.

Insisting that we let it all hang out, and enforcing the principle of "I'm OK you're OK," may be acceptable for San Francisco. But I left that city in order to raise a family that would treat responsibility, accountability and an awareness that something was above themselves as priorities. Being self-aware, a little self-conscious and a bit in awe of where one is standing is the appropriate way to approach Jerusalem. The Gay world may not like the intensity and style of Jerusalem, but, quite frankly, that's more than OK.

As a mother, I often find myself yelling at the kids, "I will not tolerate this in my house." Other times, I tell them, "You can behave like this at home, but don't do it in public." These are hardly mixed messages; rather, it's a way of teaching them propriety, discretion, discernment, sensitivity and respect. I hope that they possess the stability and flexibility that will allow them to hold their ground, and hopefully manage to navigate through modern society's ever-shifting mores and values.

My kids have the ability to draw their own lines and they have the freedom to tow the line, walk the line and, when necessary, step out of line. But rarely will they blur the lines or cross inappropriate lines. But the Gay world doesn't hold by those lines. Indeed, the theme of this year's World Pride parade was the politically loaded "Love Without Borders".

When tolerance becomes invasive, you'll find that normal, healthy people will gag and rebel, because their system won't tolerate the intrusion and the confusion.

It seems that you, Gay guys, gals and everything-in-between, are just itching for a little action. The Gay world even has a term for this type of militancy - it's called "Stonewalling." But don't do it in Jerusalem, where the very stones and walls are infused with the sanctity of centuries of Jewish people who have freely and consciously chosen to diminish their egos, pride and worldly desires in favor of serving what they deem to be a higher purpose.

This time around, responsibility and respect may have to trounce tolerance. True to Gay Pride form, the parade organizers are using a perverse form of hindsight as they "plan for disastrous parade scenarios." Lest they be guilty of negligence, the powers-that-be may want to use a little wisdom and foresight in order to avert the disaster that the parade organizers seem to be craving.

Cancel the parade.