Some of My Best Friends are Gay
by Samuel Silver, Chairman, Toward Tradition
19 April 2004
A Guide to Same-Sex Marriage From the Manufacturer’s Instruction Manual.
The debate about
legal recognition of same-sex marriage is ultimately grounded in our understanding
of human nature, values, and the role of human relationships in creating
and defining the type of society we desire. For the vast majority of Americans,
these issues are understood in the context of the Bible and religious traditions,
the “Instruction Manual” provided by our “manufacturer.”1
This critical debate is not truly between homosexuals and heterosexuals;
it is between two opposing worldviews, one secular and the other religious.2 Approximately 80% of Americans hold a religious worldview,3
but the secular left has done an excellent, yet nefarious, job of dividing
those with a religious worldview through false stereotyping. Their manipulative
“divide & conquer” strategy has led many religious people to erroneously
fear other religious people more than they fear the secular fundamentalists
set on destroying religion and Judeo-Christian values. Thus, many Americans
are understandably confused about the same-sex marriage issue and its ultimate
driving force, secular fundamentalism.
Everyone does not fit neatly into the purely religious or purely secular
worldviews, but “sitting this one out” is not a viable alternative. The stakes
for our families and free society are too great. We have to join one team
or the other, so we must each choose which team is closer to our own personal
values, or which team is further from our values. To avoid a choice is still
a choice -- one for the other team.
The Religious Position
Everyone knows the secular and radical “gay rights” side of the argument;
the public schools, universities, and mass media faithfully present it to
us. Fewer understand the religious side of the argument, which is falsely
portrayed as ignorant, bigoted, hateful, intolerant, and homophobic. A proper
understanding of the religious position is necessary if a real debate is
to take place prior to the destruction of a 5,000-year-old institution by
a minority of citizens, against the will of the majority.
To discuss the religious view of human nature is not to ignore science, which
also informs the opinions of Americans. Many people may not be aware that
modern science is belatedly learning that the Biblical view of human nature
is more accurate than the views that have been the foundation for most of
secular liberalism. In his courageous new book, The Blank Slate, The Modern Denial of Human Nature,
MIT professor Steven Pinker, himself a secular liberal, concludes “…the theory
of human nature coming out of the cognitive revolution has more in common
with the Judeo-Christian theory of human nature …than with behaviorism, social
constructionism, and other versions of the Blank Slate.” Those that think
religion is just ancient superstition should take a second, or in many cases,
a first look.
To discuss the religious view in dealing with matters of public policy is
also not to ignore the “Separation of Church and State,” a 19th century metaphor
mistakenly assumed to be in the U.S. Constitution. Unlike humans, who are
born morally “tabula rasa” with a blank slate, the United States was not
created morally “tabula rasa” as a secular nation. The unifying moral principle
of this country’s founding was a religious faith in a divine Creator and
the freedom of each individual to practice his or her religion (or no religion)
without interference from the government.
The Founders believed that religious faith, particularly the Judeo-Christian
tradition, provided the objective ethical basis needed for a free society
to properly function. To this very day, the majority of Americans share this
belief, so to ban religion from the “public square” is to radically redefine
America into a secular nation in opposition to both the principles upon which
it was created and the wishes of the majority of its citizens.
The government, as defined in the First Amendment and explained by its author
James Madison, must remain neutral between various sects of religion, but
is not required to remain neutral between religion and irreligion.4
In the wise words of Thomas Jefferson, so frequently and erroneously presented
as an atheist, “The God who gave us life, gave us liberty. And can the liberties
of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis,
a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from
A review of traditional Judaism’s opposition to homosexuality, and most importantly
its public sanction with the legal recognition of same-sex marriage, will
highlight the fallacies many well-meaning people, Jew and non-Jew, have apparently
accepted.5 (Judaism will guide this discussion, although the general ideas should be in agreement with traditional Christianity.)
To have compassion and tolerance for all of God’s children is admirable and a mitzvah
(commandment) under Jewish law, but there is no way Jewish law and tradition
can be perverted to endorse and publicly sanction same-sex marriage.
The “Instruction Manual” is clear and unequivocal. “You shall not lie with
a man as one lies with a woman, it is an abomination.”6
The ultimate punishment for homosexuality along with the other sexual sins
listed in this section, such as bestiality and incest, is kares; God “cutting off” their souls (spiritually) from the midst of their people. Kares
is generally understood to be exacted after death, and is considered one
of the most severe punishments for a sin. In Judaism, the harshness of the
punishment assigned to a sin, whether or not meant to be carried out by humans,
helps us understand the relative seriousness of the sin.
Obviously, sexual immorality is a very serious matter for Jews, but Judaism
also teaches that sexual immorality, including homosexuality, is universally
prohibited to all humans as one of the seven Noahide Laws, God’s “natural
law” for all mankind.7
The very first commandment in the Bible comes immediately following God’s
creation of human beings, male and female together and equally in His image.
God commands us to “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it.”8
The great 19th century sage, Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, describes this
fourfold mission as a guide to the “whole free-willed moral development of
the human race:” Fruitful is marriage, multiply is the family, fill the earth is society, and subdue it is property, i.e. the “mastering, appropriating and transforming the earth and its products for human purposes.”9
Rabbi Hirsch further points out the critical nature of heterosexual relationships,
based on the Commandment for “man to leave his father and mother and cleave
unto his wife, and they will be one flesh.”10
“Man is not unique among living beings in having a sexual life. But other
creatures require mating only for the purpose of breeding; because male and
female were created simultaneously, they can function independent of one
another. Man is different: woman was created from man to show that only in
a partnership do the two of them form a complete human being.”11
While a small percentage of humans may subconsciously desire a same-sex relationship
because it is less complex and challenging, God warns us to consciously overcome
that desire and understand that He created the female to be “a helper corresponding”
to the male. As the sages explain, “A wife is neither man’s shadow nor his
servant, but his other self, a ‘helper’ in a dimension beyond the capability
of any other creature.”12 Interestingly, the Hebrew word, kinegdo,
here translated as “corresponding to him,” may also be translated as “against
him” or “opposite him;” reflecting the built-in complexity and difficulty
of the complementary relationship between man and woman.
So humans, originally created as male and female, then separated, must rejoin
not just physically, but spiritually to create a civil and prosperous society.
Our Creator did not design us to achieve this necessary spiritual unity with
But humans do not like rules defining and inhibiting our behavior, so we
use our God-given ability to rationalize almost anything and accept erroneous
ideas in order to ignore those rules.
Fallacy #1: Natural Inclination Equals Acceptable Public Behavior
Whether a homosexual inclination is caused by genetics, hormonal changes
in the womb, psychological development, or mere whim is completely irrelevant.
The Creator of human nature would not have prohibited homosexual activity
if He did not design this inclination to be controllable by human free will.
He gave us free will to control the multitude of inclinations that we all
possess to varying degrees. Some are extremely difficult to control, but
we are discussing human behavior, not a passive trait such as skin color.
God also gave us mortal and physical humans commandments to guide us in the
choices we make, in order to elevate ourselves spiritually -- not to live
as instinctual animals, but as rational human beings created in His image.
And our volitional efforts are necessary so the spirituality we attain will
have a distinct human involvement.
As Maimonides (1135-1204), one of Judaism’s greatest philosophers and legal codifiers, taught:
is “possible for a person to be born with a tendency to one of the virtues
or one of the shortcomings – i.e., conduct [representative of this trait]
will come easier to him than other types of conduct. He should not say that
these shortcomings are already ingrained in his character and cannot be removed.
For in every situation a person has the choice of changing from good to bad,
and from bad to good. The choice is in his hands.”13
free will, there is no basis for morality or for that matter Judaism or Christianity;
so to argue that homosexuality or any prohibited behavior is OK because it
is a “natural” inclination is an oxymoron.14
After all, some scientists believe that people are born with inclinations
to be violent or criminal or even pedophiles. Do we then condone and
sanction these anti-social actions because they were born that way?
Those who believe modern science has proven homosexual activity is impossible
to control, resist, or even change; and believe that people who disagree
are ignorant and “homophobic,” should be more open-minded and check their
Regardless of propaganda in the mass media, there is no scientific evidence
demonstrating that homosexuality is either innate or immutable.16
Fallacy #2: Opposition To Same-Sex Marriage Is Hateful Homophobia
Many view the legalization of same-sex marriage as eliminating “discrimination”
in a desire not to make anyone “feel” uncomfortable, as if there is a Constitutional
right not to “feel” uncomfortable. They even tie-in discussions of same-sex
marriage with “hate crimes” legislation. Therefore, it is important to distinguish
between “hating the sin” and “hating the sinner.”
The idea that opposition to homosexual activity and its public sanction is
equivalent to or leads to hatred of individual homosexuals is a “big lie”
created to demonize, intimidate, and silence opponents of the “gay rights”
agenda. And the data confirms the “big lie.” Every crime of violence against
another human being is reprehensible, but according to the latest FBI Hate
Crimes statistics, it is estimated that less than 0.0001 of homosexuals were
victims of violent assaults; not exactly an epidemic of homophobic rage spreading
across America. 17
In one of the founding documents of the “gay liberation” movement, published
in the mid-1980’s, the National Gay Task Force laid out their plan to create
this “big lie.” 18
• The first order of business is the desensitization of the American people concerning gays and gay rights.
• Almost any behavior begins to look normal if you are exposed to it enough.
• The main thing is to talk about gayness until the issue becomes thoroughly tiresome.
• Where we talk is important. The visual media, film and
television, are plainly the most powerful imagemakers in Western civilization.
The average American household watches over seven hours of television daily.
Those hours open a gate: the private world of straights, through which a
Trojan horse might be passed. As far as desensitization is concerned, the
medium is the message of normalcy.
• Portray gays as victims. In any campaign to win over
the public we must be cast as victims in need of protection, so that straights
will be inclined by reflex to assume the role of the protector.
• We can undercut the moral authority of homophobic churches
by portraying them as antiquated backwaters badly out of step with the times.
• At a later stage of the media campaign for gay rights,
it will be time to get tough with remaining opponents. To be blunt, they
must be vilified…The public must be shown images of ranting homophobes whose
secondary traits and beliefs disgust Middle America. These images might include:
the Ku Klux Klan demanding that gays be burnt alive or castrated; bigoted
southern ministers drooling with hysterical hatred to a degree that looks
both comical and deranged. These images should be combined by a method propagandists
call the bracket technique.
The propagandists have been extremely successful! We let their Trojan horse
enter our homes unabated, and we let them infect the minds of our children.
But it is still a lie, built on anti-religious bigotry.
Judaism and Christianity both abhor the sin of homosexual behavior, but only
teach love, respect, and toleration for individual fellow humans -- all created
in the image of God. Religious people who believe homosexual behavior is
a sin and oppose same-sex marriage can sincerely say, “Some of my best friends
The fact is that a person practicing homosexuality has committed a religious
sin, a very serious one in God’s eyes, but so has a Jew who doesn’t keep
Kosher, observe the Sabbath, or violates any of the Commandments. They are
no less Jewish, and society lives and deals with these “sinners” in a variety
of amicable, tolerant, and neighborly ways without creating special legal
“rights.” This same tolerance applies to homosexuals. 19
Truly religious people are tolerant of others with whom they disagree and
can live peaceably and neighborly with them in a free society. 20
This is especially true in America where the political environment has always
been one based on respect for and protection of individual rights. But the
“gay rights” movement does not want tolerance; they want nothing less than
forced acceptance of their lifestyle as normal, healthy, and moral; a position
most religious people must reject for themselves and their children. And
this is where the problems arise.
This undemocratic use of government force by a minority of citizens is at
its most despicable when public schools are used to impose these ideas on
children of religious families. 21
And as if this use of public schools for ideological indoctrination were
not enough, they then use judicial activism to control private organizations,
such as the Boy Scouts, which are only remotely connected to the government.
Are there intolerant religious people? Of course, but they represent only
a small minority not fully observing a basic tenet of both Judaism and Christianity,
“Love thy neighbor as thyself.” 22
Their religious practice, however flawed, at least constrains their behavior,
and in the long run it is an effective tool for improving their humanity.
On the other side, without religion as the basis for the public moral culture,
what will constrain behavior and lead to an improvement of humanity? What
will restrain secular intolerance from infecting not a small minority, but
a large majority? History’s grand experiment with a secular society, Communism,
was an evil and dismal failure that killed over 100 million innocent people
in the 20th Century. 23
Add to that the Holocaust perpetrated by the socialist, neo-pagan Nazis.
All of the (Judeo-Christian) religious wars in the history of the world pale
by comparison. 24
Could a secular society result in a nation as great as the United States?
Anything is possible in a perfect world, but in our imperfect world, no such
society has yet approached the freedom and the spiritual and material prosperity
of the United States.
Those who wish to ban religion from the “public square” and impose secularism
on the majority of Americans would do well to rethink their position – the
grass is not always greener on the other side. As Benjamin Franklin wrote
to Thomas Paine in an attempt to persuade Paine to abandon his anti-religion
essays: “If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be if without
Fallacy #3: Same-sex Marriage Is A Private Act Between Consenting Adults
hidden [sins] are for Hashem, our God, but the revealed [sins] are for us
and our children forever, to carry out all the words of this Torah.
-- Deuteronomy 29:28
explain that Moses is teaching, “hidden sins are the province of God alone,
and He holds no one responsible but the sinners themselves. But everyone
is obligated to safeguard…against openly committed sins.” 26
Thus, homosexual activity between consenting adults practiced in privacy
is primarily a sin against God, and He will deal with it. It is not a matter
for government regulation. The same cannot be said about same-sex marriage.
Most people may be surprised to know that the debate over same-sex marriage
is not new. As the wise King Solomon taught us, “There is nothing new under
the sun.” The Bible teaches that God brought on the Flood in Noah’s time
because, “all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth.” 27
A fascinating Midrash (ancient rabbinic commentary on the Bible) teaches:
“the generation of the Flood was only blotted out from the world because
they wrote marriage contracts for males and for females.”28
Later, the Talmud teaches that Noahides (monotheistic non-Jews) who did not
observe all of the Noahide laws at least did “not write a marriage contract
In explaining this discussion, Rashi, the great 11th century commentator
on the Bible and Talmud, points out the vital distinction between private
actions and public policy:
though they are suspected of homosexuality and sequester themselves with
males for intercourse, nevertheless, they are not so irresponsible about
this commandment that they would write a marriage contract for them.
are serious consequences to a society that officially sanctions activities
the vast majority of its citizens accept as immoral. We ignore, at our own
peril, the infinite difference between acceptable private and public behavior,
especially for families raising children with a focus on future generations,
a challenge very few homosexuals share.
To publicly sanction same-sex marriage is to implicitly sanction the short-term
outlook on life inherent to homosexuality. A perfect example of the disastrous
public policy effects of this sort-sighted viewpoint was the “father” of
FDR’s New Deal, economist John Maynard Keynes. A major flaw in Keynes’ thinking
was his concentration on the short-term. He thought that focus on the long
run was utterly futile and one of the great mistakes in economics. He abhorred
"savings," thought the "abstinence" of people impedes the growth of wealth,
and believed savings are always a potential threat to economic progress.
One of the leading economists of the 20th Century, Joseph Schumpeter, noted
the connection between Keynes’ flawed ideas and his "childless and essentially
short run philosophy of life" when he said, "for a person committed to homosexuality,
who is without descendants, there is little for them to focus the future
on."30 It is not a coincidence that the Hebrew word in the Bible for “children” is linguistically the same as “builders.”
As economist and political philosopher Thomas Sowell explains,31
is not an individual right. Otherwise, why limit marriage to unions of two
people instead of three of four or five? Why limit it to adult humans, if
some want to be united with others of various ages, sexes, and species. Marriage
is a social contract because the issues involved go beyond the particular
individuals. Unions of a man and woman produce the future generations on
whom the fate of the whole society depends. Society has something to say
elects not to say anything about it and abandons the primacy of the traditional
family, with its focus on children and future generations, we also abandon
our connections to past generations, traditions, and history. All we will
be left with is a “present” filled with hedonistic irresponsibility. And
we don’t have to wait too long -- just look around! This current attempt
at a perpetual age of adolescence, if not halted soon, will lead at an increasingly
rapid rate to the uncontrollable destruction of civil society.
The Emperor Nero reportedly “went so far as to write a marriage contract for one of his favorite male lovers.”32
Do we really want to follow the Roman Empire into decline and ruin? It is
critical to recognize the essential difference between a society where homosexuality
is practiced privately and one that actually gives it official sanction and
Fallacy #4: Economic Benefits For Homosexuals Can Only Be Obtained By Government Force
Proponents of same-sex marriage claim all they really want are equal “rights”
for homosexuals who live together as couples. This is very appealing to Americans
who historically have been tolerant and fair; but it is a false argument.
Before new “rights” are created, it is only logical to ask what is their
source. The “revolutionary” achievement of the Founders of the United States
was their recognition that neither they nor any government could create rights.
This was in complete contrast to the historic Divine Rights of Kings or the
modern systems of man-made collective rights, such as in the former Soviet
The individual rights of man were from God, as the Declaration of Independence
clearly states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all
men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain
unalienable Rights…” President John F. Kennedy confirmed the divine source
of these rights in his Inaugural Address, “…the same revolutionary beliefs
for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe -- the
belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but
from the hand of God.”
Same-sex marriage, by any stretch of the imagination, is in complete contradiction
to God’s “Instruction Manual,” so if the rights of man come “from the hand
of God,” it is inconceivable that God would view same-sex marriage as a “right.”
If proponents of same-sex marriage truly want just the economic benefits
(not “rights”) that heterosexual sexual couples have, those benefits can
easily be provided in the free market on a voluntary basis, without the use
of government force. Many corporations such as Disney, General Electric,
and Wal-Mart accommodate their employee benefit programs for homosexuals
and many already include insurance coverage for “domestic partners.” Just
as voluntary sexual activity should be a private matter, economic benefits
for private sexual relationships should be voluntary. This may entail modifications
in some State laws concerning contracts and benefits, but it does not require
laws destroying the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman that
has been the cornerstone of civilization for over 5,000 years.
A Final Fallacy: Same-Sex Marriage Hurts No One
In America, we believe in “Live and Let Live,” so who is hurt if two boys or two girls want to marry each other?
“Live & Let Live” is a great hallmark of American political life, but
it is only effective in matters between fully developed adults. The introduction
of children and a concern for future generations change the equation.
This is especially true when it comes to public sanctions and forced indoctrination
of children in the public school system. Parents should not be forced to
teach their children that a fundamental religious and moral prohibition,
one that has been a standard of Judeo-Christian morality for thousands of
years, is not only condoned, but is publicly sanctioned by their government.
Many homosexuals, such as those with a religious worldview and especially
those with children or strong family ties, understand and accept the position
that same-sex marriage will be harmful to society; yet it is understandable
that many other homosexuals might not see the harm in same-sex marriage.
But, why do so many heterosexuals support same-sex marriage? It seems apparent
that most are misled with the nice sounding but intentionally false idea
that government force is necessary to eliminate hatred, uncomfortable feelings,
and differences in economic benefits. What about those leading this battle
and intentionally misleading the public? Why are they so vociferously demanding
the right to impose this potentially disastrous policy on the majority of
The answer lies in the fundamental difference between the secular and the
religious worldviews; therefore, it is not unimportant that the vast majority
of Americans hold a religious outlook on life. The third chapter of the Talmud,
Pirkei Avos, (Chapters of the Fathers), asks three of the most critical questions humans grapple with.33
As Rabbi Daniel Lapin explains, each of these transcendental questions can
be answered in two primary ways, defining the difference between the two
1. How did human beings come to be on this planet?
Religious: God created us in His image and placed us here.
Secular: By a lengthy, random process
of unaided materialistic evolution, primitive protoplasm became Bach and
2. Where is the human race headed?
Religious: To an ultimate day of God’s
choosing when a grand Messianic redemption will take place resulting in the
whole world recognizing God and His truth.
Secular: To an ultimate day of destruction
and oblivion that will wipe us out through overcrowding, poverty, global
warming, acid rain, nuclear explosion, off-course meteorites or any combination
of the above.
3: What are we supposed to be doing here?
Religious: We are supposed to be developing
our relationship with God and becoming closer to Him through studying and
following His Torah and obeying His mitzvoth. In other words, we have a set of objective ethics to live by.
Secular: There are no objective ethics,
so everything is subjective and relative. “Anything goes” is good enough
as far as our personal lives go! Our primary focus on the future is to head
off the threats to humanity in the Secular answer to question #2. If
they are too formidable for us to solve alone, we should urge our government
to solve them. If they are too much for one government to solve, we
should urge governments to cooperate through the United Nations in order
to solve them.
Monotheists, such as Jews and Christians, would be in basic agreement with
the religious answers, albeit with variations in the details.
Secularists eschew objective values and ethics,36
and look at the future as extremely tenuous and limited to only “this world.”
The ultimate day of destruction and oblivion are rapidly approaching, and
there is nothing after that! Thus both homosexual and heterosexual secularists,
based on their secular worldview, can very easily fall into the trap of supporting
same-sex marriage. To do so, they intentionally ignore the serious problems
they are imposing on parents with a religious worldview -- parents trying
to teach their children Judeo-Christian values.
Secularists truly believe religious people are ignorant, intolerant, homophobic,
racist, and generally dangerous; so they believe it is only “social justice”
to destroy any public acceptance of the religious worldview, even by undemocratic
means. The leaders of the secular movement are strident atheists who cannot
tolerate religious people; a constant reminder of everything they reject.
Instead of being religious fundamentalists, they became secular fundamentalists.
Through propaganda and ridicule, these fundamentalists have also convinced
a minority of Americans, who believe in God, to fear religion more than secularism,
in complete disregard to the barbaric reality of the 20th century.
After the fall of Nazism and Communism, the secular fundamentalists focused
primarily on post-Christian Europe and American academia, turning both into
hotbeds of anti-religious bigotry and virulent anti-Semitism. These self-proclaimed
“progressives” espouse diversity, but are in fact very close-minded and hostile
to all political, cultural, and especially religious opinions with which
Over a century ago, Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch anticipated modern secular fundamentalism with prophetic precision.37
is now no longer enough for the apostate to be able to live undisturbed according
to his convictions, as he calls them; to him there is no well-being and no
peace as long as his convictions have not become the only ones recognized as right and valid.
sees in the Law an intellectual slavery from which it is the Godly task of
a second Moses to redeem his unfortunate brothers. In Torah-loyalty, he sees
superstition, backwardness, and at the same time a calamity which is to blame
for all the miseries of the past.
sees in “liberation” from the yoke of the Law a goal so high and so humanitarian
that every means which seems capable of bringing about progress toward this
great goal must be employed.
He has reached the stage of waging fanatical campaigns of persecution against those loyal to the Law.
on either side can be dangerous if initiation of force is not limited by
a strong Constitutional defense of individual rights and religious freedom.38
The secular side, however, offers the greatest risk to society. It contains
no internalized mechanism for an objective moral code of human cooperation
and must rely solely on the collectivized, legalistic force of government
for citizens to defend themselves. It also contains no effective, common
moral foundation for raising children, especially in a vacuum without an
existent moral culture passed down from previous generations of religious
The Ultimate Victims
Who are the ultimate victims? On a micro level, our children are the victims,
but on a macro level, our free society will be the victim. As President John
Adams said in 1798,
have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions
unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made for a moral
and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.39
George Washington expressed this same idea in his 1796 Farewell Address to the Nation:
all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion
and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the
tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of
human happiness - these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.40
In other words, our secular form of government was designed only for a non-secular people.
150 years later, President Harry Truman confirmed that a “moral and religious
people” were still necessary for maintenance of our free society.41
fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.
The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings we get
from Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul.
we don’t have a proper fundamental moral background, we will finally end
up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody
except the State.
Washington, the other Founders, and Presidents through George W. Bush have
understood that a limited Constitutional government “of the people, by the
people, and for the people” could work only if the society is primarily self-policed,
based on a common moral code that served as an invisible net of social stability.
In America this has always been the Judeo-Christian values derived from the
Bible, most recently expressed in the phrase “one nation under God.”
Some argue that to officially state the United States is “one nation under
God” or to publicly recognize Judeo-Christian thought as the source of our
legal and political systems violates the rights of atheists and non-monotheists.
The very concept of “rights” in the United States presupposes belief in the
God of the Bible, not by every citizen, but at least by the majority. Like
homosexuals, atheists want to invent a right to force their neighbors to
lock their religious beliefs in the closet, so no one ever feels uncomfortable.
To accept the assertion that public sanction of religion violates the rights
of atheists and non-monotheists, one must completely ignore the Declaration
of Independence, the history and writings of the Founders, and our nation’s
history until the last 50 years. If ignored, then this discussion is not
about the United States, but a completely new country. How can the greatest
nation in the history of the world allow judges and special interest groups
to completely redefine the nature and character of this great country without
ascertaining the will of the majority through a democratic process?42
Do we really believe that the Founders, who created this revolutionary concept
of rights and created the greatest Constitutional system as yet devised by
mankind, did not understand what they were doing? Contrary to a historical
myth perpetrated by the secularists, America at the time of the founding
included atheists, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, etc.,43
and the Founders knew that it was only this unique form of government, based
on individual rights from God, that would protect people of all beliefs.
As historian David Barton explains, the Founders were all religious Christians,
but they did not oppose pluralism, “as long as the beliefs of other religions
did not threaten the stability of civil society.44
In fact, the Founders believed that pluralism survived only within the concept
of religious liberty espoused by American Christianity,”45 uniquely different from European Christianity and based on what we now term the Judeo-Christian Ethic.46
The opposite is not necessarily true. As Rabbi Hirsch taught us about the
secular fundamentalist, there will be “no well-being and no peace as long
as his convictions have not become the only ones recognized
as right and valid.” He cannot tolerate a religious worldview outside the
confines of the church or synagogue. Sadly, the history of 20th century Europe
and the secular liberalism of 21st century American academia confirm both
his prediction and the understanding of the Founders that pluralism of belief
will not survive in a secular society.
People yearn for predictability in their lives and communities, and this
invisible net provides that predictability in their everyday lives. If predictability
is lost to chaos, they often turn to dictators or other forms of totalitarian
government to restore predictability.
Without a moral public culture shared by the majority of citizens to provide
the invisible net of social stability, government could not be limited and
would have to encroach into every citizen’s life and freedom. Instead of
a free society of cooperation between individuals, more and more human interaction
would have to be decided by the legal system and bureaucrats. Morality would
be replaced by legality, which helps explain why the judicial system is taking
control of our government and our lives. Without a commonly accepted morality,
there is no basis for human cooperation, other than force. Freedom would
rapidly morph into tyranny.
As Rabbi Lapin has explained:47
unintended side effect of the secular fundamentalism sweeping America is
how it erodes the rules that hold together the invisible net of social stability.
By encouraging unfettered personal license, secular fundamentalism helps
collapse civilized norms. Then, when people dress with deliberately provocative
vulgarity and they express themselves loudly and obscenely in public, hardworking,
family-minded citizens are left with a growing feeling of unease. When young
people no longer see their maturation leading naturally toward marriage and
when marriage itself becomes threatened by cultural ridicule and purported
alternatives, parents feel unmoored. When public institutions depict religion
as only for the emotionally needy and the intelligence impaired many Americans
feel resentment and alienation.
is obviously not to suggest that the hobby of shattering traditional rules
that seems to delight so many journalists, academics, and intellectuals is
going to endow America with a future dictatorial tyrant. It can eventually,
however, infect ordinary Americans with docility about further Federal control
beyond that necessary to protect us from our enemies. In a desperate attempt
to recover some sense of normality and predictability in our lives, we might
be tempted to embrace expanded government influence over how we live, earn,
and worship. We would yearn for the predictability and normality that used
to be supplied by those traditional rules that many Jewish and Christian
Americans of faith remember increasingly nostalgically. Biblically-based
faith helps to maintain freedom by holding together the invisible framework
of social stability.
The Founders understood this lesson well, but we have strayed from that lesson.
Our free society, as the Founders dreamed it and we once knew it, will be
lost forever unless Americans make a political stand to preserve this endangered
“invisible framework of social stability.” That stand must begin with protecting
children from the Trojan horse of secular fundamentalism expressed in such
formerly unthinkable legalisms as same-sex marriage.
The secular fundamentalists leading this assault on Judeo-Christian values
understand very well that the children are their point of attack. If you
doubt that children are the intended victims, read the words of an openly
homosexual woman who was formerly an insider in the leadership of the feminist
and radical “gay rights” movements, until she realized these movements were
no longer based on the ideal of civil-rights, but on “socialism, the foundational
model of the Far Left.”48 These are a few of her comments about their efforts “to end anti-gay bias in K-12 schools.”49
people whose entire identity and reason to live is based in their sexuality,
what do they need to do in order to fit comfortably into our society? They
must work to sexualize every part of society – and, as every good marketer
knows, that effort must begin with children.
efforts of gay establishment organizations, if the future is really their
concern, should be focused on persuading the horde of bacchanalian boys to
change their lifestyle. Instead, they are demanding that we accept their
degeneracy, and the destruction of our future in the process. We dare not
judge them. We dare not question their actions. And we are to hand the nation’s
children over to them.
This is why a free society such as the United States, where the vast majority of the people believe in Judeo-Christian values, can tolerate unrestricted private sexual activity between consenting adults, but cannot allow public sanction and endorsement of homosexuality as a cultural norm.
Will God Continue to Bless America?
Until the past few years, almost all Americans, and especially Presidents
and candidates for President, firmly believed that America had earned God’s
blessings. Now, secularists and even some Presidential candidates question
this bedrock belief of religious Americans. The naysayers may unwittingly
prove to be correct if they are successful in imposing their secular agenda
on the majority of Americans.
From the religious point of view, same-sex marriage and its public sanction
of homosexuality will desecrate God’s name. On a much larger scale it will
also risk the loss of His blessings on the United States, so eloquently requested
by President George Washington in his first Inaugural address (1789):
it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official Act, my fervent
supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the Universe, who presides
in the Councils of Nations, and whose providential aids can supply every
human defect, that his benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness
of the People of the United States, a Government instituted by themselves
for these essential purposes.
Samuel Silver is Chairman of Toward Tradition, a national movement of Jewish and Christian cooperation, fighting anti-religious bigotry and secular fundamentalism.
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1. As Rabbi Daniel Lapin explains, just as automobile manufacturers
provide an “Instruction Manual” with every car produced, God gave human beings
an “Instruction Manual” upon our creation. Rabbi Lapin calls this “Instruction
Manual,” “God’s biblical blueprint”, and it is revealed in the Torah – the
Jewish bible that serves as the foundation for both Judaism and Christianity.
It is further revealed in the oral law given by God to Moses and further
explained by the sages over thousands of years.
2. For a larger understanding of the secular war against religion and
Judeo-Christian values in the U.S., see Daniel Lapin, America’s Real War,
Multomah, 1999. Another excellent resource is Rabbi Lapin’s audio presentation,
“Is America Airborne? Or have we run out of fuel?” available from Toward
Tradition at http://www.towardtradition.org/.
3. In the United States, 75% of citizens identify themselves as having
a “religious outlook,” compared to 10% with a “secular outlook,” 6% with
a “somewhat secular outlook,” and 9% who either do not know or refused this
question. It is assumed that some of these 9% also hold a religious outlook,
thus the approximation of 80% of Americans holding a religious worldview.
Only 1% of Americans identify themselves at atheist or agnostic. Source:
“2001 American Religious Identification Survey,” The Graduate Center, City
University of New York. Available online at: http://www.gc.cuny.edu/studies/key_findings.htm
4. For a detailed analysis of the Founders’ intent in writing the 1st
Amendment, see the dissent that Justice William Rehnquist wrote in the 1985
Supreme Court case (Wallace v, Jaffree). Available online at: http://www.tourolaw.edu/patch/Wallace/Rehnquist.html.
5. It is bewildering that organizations describing themselves as Jewish
could applaud and advocate the Judicial tyranny leading to a “right” for
homosexuals to marry. These groups include ADL, AJC, Hadassah, and the Religious
Action Center of the Reform movement.
6. Leviticus 18:22
7. The Seven Noahide Laws, derived from the Five Books of Moses and
delineated in the Talmud, are considered by Jewish scholars to be Natural
Law for non-Jews. The first six are prohibitions against murder, theft, sexual
immorality, idol worship, blaspheming God, and eating a limb torn from a
living animal (animal cruelty). The 7th law is a positive requirement to
institute a system of law and courts to implement the first six. Online information
available at: http://www.rb.org.il/noahide/noahinstitute.htm.
8. Genesis 1:28
9. Samson Raphael Hirsch, Commentary on the Torah (Unabridged Edition), Genesis 1:28.
10. Ibid. Commentary on Genesis 2:24.
11. Genesis Volume 1(a), Artscroll Tanach Series (Mesorah Publications). Summary of Hirsch commentary on Genesis 2:24
12. Ibid. Commentary on Genesis 2:18.
13. Maimonides’ Introduction to the Tractate of Avot (Shemoneh Perakim), Chapter Eight, “The Composition of Human Nature.”
14. For those that erroneously believe science has ruled out the existence
of free will, refer to Jeffrey Satinover, The Quantum Brain – The Search
for Freedom and the Next Generation of Man, John Wiley & Sons, 2001.
15. For example, refer to Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth by
Jeffrey Satinover, M.D. Baker Books, 1996. The most current research in this
field is available online at http://www.narth.com/. There is also a “Jewish”
organization, JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality) which
offers information on their website, http://www.jonahweb.org/.
16. See “The Innate-Immutable Argument Finds No Basis in Science,”
available online at http://www.narth.com/docs/innate.html.
17. See “Hate Crime Statistics, 2002” at http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/hatecrime2002.pdf.
An assumption was made that 3% of the U.S. population above age 14 was homosexual
or approximately 6.6 million. The total violent “hate crimes” due to “sexual
orientation” was 633. If it is assumed that homosexuals represent a higher
proportion of Americans, such as the estimated upper limit of 5%, the ratio
of “hate crimes” is even far less significant.
18. Marshall Kirk & Erastes Pill (aka Hunter Madsen),“Waging Peace,”
as quoted in The American Enterprise magazine, June 2001.
19. For a detailed discussion on how the word “tolerance” has become
corrupted by secular fundamentalists to really become “intolerance,” see
the Toward Tradition pamphlet, “Terrorized by Tolerance,” available online
20. For this discussion, religion refers to the twin civilizations
of the Bible, Judaism and Christianity, as practiced within the United States.
Traditional Islam might also fall into this category, but a full discussion
of Islam and other religious traditions is beyond he scope of this paper.
21. It is ironic that if the secular fundamentalists are successful
in legalizing same-sex marriage and achieving their other goals such as removing
any public mention or display of God, it will be the kiss of death for the
public school system that they have used to indoctrinate America’s children.
Parents will eventually revolt and take back control of their children’s
education through a voucher system.
22. Leviticus 19:18
23. Courtois, et al, The Black Book of Communism, Harvard University Press, 1999.
24. Many in the Jewish community hold Christianity responsible for
the Nazi Holocaust. There is no doubt that European Christian anti-Semitism
historically created a terrible and horrendous mindset against Jews in Europe,
and played an indirect role in the Holocaust. However, the ultimate expression
of this anti-Semitism was carried out, not by Christians, but by the National
Socialists (Nazis) who were neo-pagans and also hated Christians. See “The
Church’s Responsibility,” in The Rav, The World of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik,
volume II, KTAV Publishing, 1999.
25. A letter to Thomas Paine (Dissuading him from publishing a Work
of an irreligious Tendency.) The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Jared Sparks,
Editor. As quoted in David Barton, Original Intent, Wallbuilder Press, 2002.
26. Commentary on Deuteronomy 29:28 based on Rashi and Ramban, as quoted
in The Chumash, Stone Edition. Mesorah Publications.
27. Genesis 6:12
28. Midrash Rabbah, Vayikra 23.9
29. Tractate of Chullin (92 a & b)
30. See Samuel Silver, “In the long run, we are all dead - NOT!” Jewish
World Review, Dec. 21, 2000, available online at: http://www.jewishworldreview.com/sam/silver122100.asp.
31. Thomas Sowell, “Gay Marriage Confusion,” Jewish World Review (3/9/2004),
available online at: http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell030904.asp
32. David Novak, The Image of the Non-Jew in Judaism. An Historical
and Constructive Study of the Noahide Laws. The Edwin Mellen Press, 1983.
33. The three questions are literally: “Know whence you came, whither
you go, and before Whom you will give justification and reckoning.”
34. For a more complete discussion of these three essential questions,
see Daniel Lapin, America’s Real War, Multomah, 1999. Also see Rabbi Lapin’s
article, “Ethnicity versus Belief in Jewish Marriage” available online at:
35. The logical conclusion of the secular answer to this first question
of “How did human beings come to be on this planet?” is socialism and/or
its collectivist first cousin fascism, but that discussion is beyond the
scope of this paper.
36. There are rare exceptions such as the Objectivism of Ayn Rand.
37. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, “The Seven Stages of Apostasy” in
Collected Writings of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, Volume I. Feldheim Publishers,
38. As Nobel laureate, Milton Friedman has pointed out on numerous
occasions, only a “classical liberal” approach to limited government and
free-markets (libertarian, with a small L, in 20th Century terms) will effectively
protect individuals and especially minorities, whether racial or religious.
For example, see Capitalism and Freedom, U. of Chicago Press, 1963, and “Capitalism
and the Jews,” Presidential Address to the Mont Pelerin Society (1972), available
online at http://www.fee.org/vnews.php?nid=1967.
Another Nobel laureate, economist and philosopher, F.A. Hayek, himself a
religious agnostic, believed that societies and even religions could come
into being by his concept of “spontaneous order,” but that only certain monotheistic
ones have proven successful in transmitting the necessary “beneficial traditions.”
As he stated, “Among the founders of religions over the last two thousand
years, many opposed property and the family. But the only religions
that have survived are those which support property and the family.” F.A.
Hayek, The Fatal Conceit, U. of Chicago Press, 1988, Volume 1, Chapter 9.
Hayek and Friedman would both agree that socialism and all forms of collectivism are dangerous for
Jews, Christians, and all other human beings.
39. John Adams. 1798 Address to the Military. Quoted in William J. Federer,
America’s God and Country - Encyclopedia of Quotations. Amerisearch, 2000.
40. George Washington, Farewell Address, Philadelphia, September 17,
1796. Available online at: http://odur.let.rug.nl/%7Eusa/P/gw1/speeches/gwfar.htm
41. President Harry Truman, Address to the Attorney General’s Conference,
1950. Quoted in William J. Federer, America’s God and Country - Encyclopedia
of Quotations. Amerisearch, 2000.
42. George Washington warned of an undemocratic usurpation of power
by one branch of government in his 1796 Farewell address: “It is important,
likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution
in those intrusted with its administration to confirm themselves within their
respective constitutional spheres, avoiding the exercise of the powers of
one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends
to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create,
whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that
love of power and proneness to abuse it which predominates in the human heart
is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position. The necessity
of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by dividing and
distributing it into different depositories, and constituting each the guardian
of the public weal against invasions by others, has been evinced by experiments
ancient and modern, some of them in our country and under our own eyes. To
preserve them must be as necessary as to institute them. If in the opinion
of the people the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers
be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way
which the Constitution designates, but let there be no change by usurpation;
for though this in one instance may be the instrument of good, it is the
customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed. The precedent must
always greatly overbalance in permanent evil any partial or transient benefit
which the use can at any time yield.” George Washington, Farewell Address,
Philadelphia, September 17, 1796. Available online at: http://odur.let.rug.nl/%7Eusa/P/gw1/speeches/gwfar.htm
43. For a discussion of religious pluralism at the time of the Founders,
see David Barton, Original Intent, Wallbuilder Press, 2002. P. 31. Although
atheists existed in colonial times, they were not numerous or at least not
publicly visible. Even today, only approximately 1% of Americans claim to
be atheists or agnostics. See “2001 American Religious Identification Survey,”
The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Available online at: http://www.gc.cuny.edu/studies/key_findings.htm.
Another 13% specify “no religion,” but that is not the same as atheism.
In a pamphlet written for Europeans considering relocation to America, Benjamin
Franklin offered this outlook on atheism in America. “Atheism is unknown
there; Infidelity rare and secret; so that persons may live to a great age
in that country without having their piety shocked by meeting with either
an Atheist or an Infidel.” Information to Those Who Would Remove to America,
quoted in William J. Federer, America’s God and Country - Encyclopedia of
Quotations. Amerisearch, 2000. P. 247.
44. Thomas Jefferson, a committed Unitarian Christian, also understood
well the importance of religious pluralism as long as the religions did not
“threaten the stability of civil society.” In 1822 he wrote to a fellow Unitarian,
“I write with freedom because, while I claim a right to believe in one God,
if so my reason tells me, I yield as freely to others that of believing in
three. Both religions I find make honest men, and that is the only point
society has any authority to look to.” Quoted in Eugene Sheridan, Jefferson
and Religion, Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, 1998, P. 68.
45. David Barton, Original Intent, Wallbuilder Press, 2002. P. 33.
46. To understand the unique combination of Christian and Jewish thought
that was the hallmark of the Founders, see “Jewish Metaphysics at the Founding”
in Michael Novak’s On Two Wings: Humble Faith and Common Sense at the American
Founding, Encounter Books, 2002. Some of Novak’s discussion is available
online at: http://www.politicsandvirtue.com/novak1.htm.
47. Daniel Lapin, “And it came to pass in the days of Saddam.” Available
online at: http://www.towardtradition.org/article_Saddam.htm
48. Tammy Bruce, The New Thought Police, Inside the Left’s Assault
on Free Speech and Free Minds, Random House, 2001, P.4. Ms. Bruce was formerly
President of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Organization for Women
49. Tammy Bruce, The Death of Right and Wrong: Exposing the Left’s
Assault on Our Culture and Values, Prima Publishing/Random House, 2003, pp
103-104. This discussion is about GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education