L’Observatoire des religions

"Judaism’s Sexual Revolution : Why Judaism (and then Christianity) Rejected Homosexuality."

dimanche 23 mars 2008 par Dennis Prager

When Judaism demanded that all sexual activity be channeled into marriage, it changed the world. The Torah’s prohibition of non-marital sex quite simply made the creation of Western civilization possible. Societies that did not place boundaries around sexuality were stymied in their development. The subsequent dominance of the Western world can largely be attributed to the sexual revolution initiated by Judaism and later carried forward by Christianity.

This revolution consisted of forcing the sexual genie into the marital bottle. It ensured that sex no longer dominated society, heightened male-female love and sexuality (and thereby almost alone created the possibility of love and eroticism within marriage), and began the arduous task of elevating the status of women.

Author Dennis Prager (born August 2, 1948) is a Jewish American syndicated radio talk show host, columnist, author, ethicist, and public speaker. He is noted for his conservative political views and for his study of the consequences of secularism in the 20th Century.

Is homosexuality an illness ?

Society, in short, can consider homosexuality right or wrong whether or not it is chosen. Society can also consider homosexuality normal or ill whether or not it is chosen.

Though the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, did not think that in and of itself homosexuality meant that a person was sick, according to his standards of psychosexual development, he considered homosexuality to be an arrested development. But until 1973, psychiatry did consider homosexuality an illness. To cite one of countless examples, Dr. Leo Rangell, a psychoanalyst, wrote that he had "never seen a male homosexual who did not also turn out to have a phobia of the vagina."

In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) removed homosexuality from its official listing of mental illnesses in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders. Gay activists have used this as a major weapon in their battle for societal acceptance of homosexuality. But, for many reasons, the APA decision has not resolved the question of whether homosexuality is an illness, and the question may well be unresolvable.
Given the mixed moral and judgmental record of psychiatry, especially since the 1960s, all one may conclude from the APA’s decision to remove homosexuality from its list of illnesses is that while it may have been right, organized psychiatry has given us little reason to trust its judgment on politically charged issues. For these reasons, the fact that the American Psychiatric Association no longer labels homosexuality an illness should not persuade anyone that it is not. Given the subjective nature of the term "mental illness," given the power of gay activists, and given the political views of the APA leadership (as opposed to most of its members), the association’s vote means nothing to many observers.

If social pressures forced psychiatrists in the past to label homosexuality an illness, how can we be certain that social pressures in our time have not forced them to label it normal ? Are present-day psychiatrists less influenced by societal pressures than were their predecessors ? I doubt it. So, putting aside psychiatry’s ambivalence about homosexuality, let us pose the question in this way : "Assuming there is such a thing as normal, is it normal for a man to be incapable of making love to a woman (or vice versa) ?"

"Crisis" 11, no. 8 (September 1993).

Copyright © 1993 by Crisis Magazine

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