I applaud Yeshiva University for so far refusing to sanction an LGBT club on its undergraduate campus.
I’m puzzled, however, by several recent statements by YU in relation to this ongoing controversy. A few days ago, for example, it proclaimed, “[O]ur commitment to and love for our LGBTQ students are unshakable.” Huh? These LGBT students define themselves publicly by their desire to commit a sin and aim to normalize behaviors that the Torah deems an abomination. Why are you professing your love for them?
Did Moshe profess his love for Korach? Did Pinchas profess his love for Zimri? Did Matityahu profess his love for the Mityavnim? Did Chazal profess their love for the Tzedukim? Did Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch profess his love for Reform clergy? Did Russian Jews profess their love for the Yevsektsiya? Since when do we profess love for Jews waging war against Judaism?
In fact, the correct response to such people is not love. David HaMelech said, “Do I not hate those who hate You, O Hashem, and detest those who rise against You? I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them as my enemies” (Tehillim 139:21-22).
The Torah of course commands us to love our fellow like ourselves, but the Midrash adds an important caveat to this mitzvah: “If he acts like a Jew, you love him. If not, you do not love him” (Avos d’Rabbi Nosson 16).
YU, though, consistently fawns over those who wish to form this club. Three weeks ago, it issued the following staggering statement:
“We welcome, love and care for all our students, including our LGBTQ students. We place a specific emphasis of importance on supporting our LGBTQ students. There are a number of ways we express this support, including hosting an LGBTQ support group, requiring LGBTQ sensitivity training to all of our rabbis and faculty and presenting public events so that all of our students better understand the experience of being LGBTQ and Orthodox.”
To illustrate how ludicrous this statement is, I am reproducing it below with only one change; I have replaced “LGBTQ students” with “students who want to commit adultery.” Here it is:
“We welcome, love and care for all our students, including students who want to commit adultery. We place a specific emphasis of importance on supporting students who want to commit adultery. There are a number of ways we express this support, including hosting an adultery-desire support group, requiring adultery-desire sensitivity training to all of our rabbis and faculty and presenting public events so that all of our students better understand the experience of wanting to commit adultery while Orthodox.”
This statement is morally perverse, as is the original one issued by YU. Torah Jews should not accommodate or seek to “understand” people who publicly take pride in sinful desires and then demand that you affirm this pride.
We have been so influenced by secular society that many of us forget that overt homosexual behavior is actually a capital crime according to the Torah. A capital crime!
But instead of proclaiming righteous anger at students who perversely celebrate their desire to commit a capital offense – and then sue YU for refusing to do the same – Yeshiva University goes out of its way to declare its love for them. It’s the equivalent of a woman declaring her love for her husband immediately after he strikes her and curses her parents.
What does YU love about them? Does it love proud racists too? Or just people who desire to commit an issur sekilah? (I’m not even getting into the lives LGBT activists destroy by advocating the surgical excision of intimate body parts; a Swedish study found that people who undergo these surgeries are 19 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population.)
Nor is YU doing these students any favors. By coddling them, it effectively is creating an environment in which students feel more comfortable to indulge in this sin.
A much better strategy would be to reenforce the stigma against LGBT behavior. For contrary to what liberals say, stigmas are actually good. We have stigmas against racism, incest, adultery, bestiality, being intimate before marriage, defecating in public, slapping a rabbi in the face, eating a cheeseburger in shul on Yom Kippur, and a whole host of other prohibited acts. Stigmas keep people in line (whereas unconditional tolerance does the opposite). As the old adage goes: You get what you put up with.
The Beatles sang, “All you need is love.” They were wrong. Love is appropriate for people who sincerely struggle with their temptations, their yetzer hara. It isn’t appropriate, however – indeed, it is downright immoral – for people who fanatically insist on undermining the moral fabric of society.
LGBT activists have essentially won in America. Democrats celebrate them. Republicans celebrate them. An entire month of the year is now devoted to them. But they aren’t satisfied, and won’t be satisfied until every last person bows before their altar. Like Haman, they act indignant when even one person refuses to submit. They want pious Christians to bake “wedding” cakes for them and an Orthodox Jewish university to grant them its imprimatur.
These are the people YU loves…
Elliot Resnick, PhD,is the editor-in-chief of www.1vs450.com and the author or editor of five books, including, most recently, “Movers & Shakers, Vol. 3: On American Glory, Jewish Destiny, Rare Integrity, and More.”