By Leslie Robinson
Who would have thought it possible? In Jerusalem, leaders of the Jewish, Islamic and Christian religions gathered together. They forcefully expressed a common purpose, a unifying goal. They had united around one vision. Was their objective to use their moral authority to bring an end to the Mideast’s cycle of slaughter?
Heavens no. They were just ganging up on gays.
The specter of WorldPride 2005 in Jerusalem brought on the clerics’ group tantrum. WorldPride, scheduled for ten days in August, will include a parade, a film festival and an arts exhibition. Themed “Love Without Borders,” it’s expected to bring thousands of visitors from around the globe.
Not if these religious leaders can keep the infidels the hell out of the city. “We can’t permit anybody to come and make the Holy City dirty,” said Sufi Sheik Abdel Aziz Bukhari. “This is very ugly and very nasty to have these people come to Jerusalem.”
Yes, it’s darn ugly and nasty of gays to stage a celebration of humanity in a city that’s a focal point of animosity. The nerve of us.
Not to be outdone on the hyperbole front, Rabbi Yehuda Levin, an American, called the festival “the spiritual rape of the Holy City.” He also offered, “This is not the homo land, this is the Holy Land.”
I’m a fan of Jewish humor. That wasn’t it.
Israel’s Sephardic chief rabbi, Shlomo Amar, said of WorldPride, “It hurts all of the religions. We are all against it.”
All of them. The disgust they all feel brought them together in one room to work for a common goal. It’s nice the seemingly eternal enemies can get together on something. Perhaps we should be proud. After all, we’ve managed – without even trying – to accomplish what the world’s best diplomats haven’t pulled off. The old foes are all in agreement, and I think we deserve credit.
On the other hand, being the sacrificial lamb isn’t a happy position. We’d like folks in the Middle East to find common ground, but we don’t want to be that ground. I object to heel marks on my head.
Hate is a unifying force. The ability of Hitler and his henchmen to harness anti-Jewish feeling helped bring about the Nazi nightmare. I’m sure the rabbis haven’t forgotten that – but they’re doing a heck of a job ignoring the parallels.
Since the prospect of thousands of gays walking the streets of Jerusalem put the fear of God in these clerics and led them to unite, perhaps the display of unity won’t be a one-hit wonder. Maybe they can agree on something else to put the kibosh on. Like pants for women. Or the education of women. Or the existence of women.
If it’s hate or fear that can bring these religious leaders together, maybe they’ve stumbled on a way to establish peace between their peoples. Instead of each group hating each other, all must join together in despising another bunch. The United Nations could form an all-gay peacekeeping unit. The clerics would unite to declare that every Moslem, Jew and Christian has a common enemy, and it wears a baby blue helmet.
By the way, that U.N. helmet, the peacekeepers would know, really brings out the color of the blue-eyed in their unit. Well, there has to be some recompense for such hazardous duty!
With a mutual enemy at hand, the locals would stop hating each other. But the peacekeepers would be Swiss cheese. Sheesh, either under this plan, or as the current objects of the clerics’ derision, gays make a good target.