This is a somewhat longish but highly important article, VERY worth the time to read. It is uncomfortable, because it paints human (especially male) sexuality in a light that we would prefer not to be painted -- but it makes a very strong case for the truth of that painting.
The basic proposal of the article is that Judaism created the concept of "homosexual" -- in all other ancient life, sex was a power relation between penetrator and penetrated. Gender was just one of the many things that didn't matter to the ancient male.
The revolutionary nature of Judaism's prohibiting all forms of non-marital sex was nowhere more radical, more challenging to the prevailing assumptions of mankind, than with regard to homosexuality. Indeed, Judaism may be said to have invented the notion of homosexuality, for in the ancient world sexuality was not divided between heterosexuality and homosexuality. That division was the Bible's doing. Before the Bible, the world divided sexuality between penetrator (active partner) and penetrated (passive partner).Prager covers a lot of ground in the piece -- the ancient civilizations and sexualized religions that surrounded the Jews as well as the Greeks, the Romans and others. Quite in contrast to the idea that Judaism and Christianity "subjugated women", he points out the obvious fact that males are more powerful -- they take what they want by force, and what they often want is sex. Without restraint, the world they create bears little resemblance to Western Civilization -- even in its rapidly declining form.
I've often stated the things that most convince me of Christianity:
- Nobody dies for something they know to be false. Many of the disciples that bore witness to the Resurrection would have had to know it to be false if that were the case, yet they went to their painful deaths as martyrs testifying to it as truth. Not human behavior if it were not true.
- Nobody would make up the New Testament -- it is full of things that are simply extremely poor salesmanship. Peter denying Christ, the bickering among the disciples, the differences in the accounts. Including the testimony of women as witnesses (they didn't get the vote in the US until 1920, their status in the 1st-2nd centuries was nada). Sure, TODAY, we understand that a too pat story with too perfect hero's is a sign of fabrication, but the ancient world did not see that -- they wrote the Iliad and the Odyssey, Gilgamesh, etc ... a suffering saviour that dies a horrible death on a cross? Not a good founding story for a religion!
"In all my research on this subject, nothing moved me more than the Talmudic law that Jews were forbidden to sell slaves or sheep to non-Jews, lest the non-Jews engage in homosexuality and bestiality. That was the world in which rabbis wrote the Talmud, and in which, earlier, the Bible was written. Asked what is the single greatest revelation I have derived from all my researches, I always respond, "That there had to have been divine revelation to produce the Torah." The Torah was simply too different from the rest of the world, too against man's nature, to have been solely man-made."We can pick up a living thing and instantly know "this is not of human construction". Or we can go to any of our stores and pick up items that are clearly "not a construction of nature".
Just as we can look around us at the universe and know in our soul that this was created, even more so, we can realize that without the hand of God, none of what we call Western Civilization today would exist. Thanks be to God that he has promised that his Word and Church will endure, so it will not ALL be lost -- but only the most blind can fail to see that massive pieces of the once great civilization are falling around us.
As Praeger says in another part of the article, even if most people were blinded, we will never look at blindness as "normal"!
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