Creep of the Week: Rabbi David Basri

By |2018-01-15T21:37:41-05:00March 30th, 2006|News|
Rabbi David Basri

Wow, is there anything horrible that gays are not responsible for?
When it comes to religious extremists, the answer is apparently not.
We have been blamed for the Sept. 11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina, Liza Minnelli’s divorce and now, of all things, bird flu.
Soon we’ll be blamed for global warming and poverty. At least, as soon as right-wing religious extremists consider those things problems.
In the meantime, it’s bird flu, which is God’s punishment for gay marriage according to Rabbi David Basri, a prominent Kabbalah leader (yes, that’s the religion of Madonna and Britney Spears – at least back when Spears was trying to emulate the elder pop star. Now, instead of seeking to become the next Queen of Pop, she seems to be aspiring to something more along the lines of McClean County Fair Queen).
“The Bible says that God punishes depravity first through plagues against animals and then in people,” Basri declared in a religious edict according to Reuters.
Prompting this outburst were election ads by Israel’s Meretz Party supporting marriage equality, one of which depicted two brides kissing. Israelis are electing a new government as this issue of BTL goes to press.
It’s quite a theory, but I have to wonder why God would smite millions of birds to get back at the gays. Currently the disease isn’t easily transmitted to humans. Granted, it could mutate and all hell would break loose, but it still seems like an awfully ham-fisted way to deal with the gays on God’s part.
In a March 27 New York Times article about bird flu, science reporter Denise Grady wrote, “It has infected tens of millions of birds but fewer than 200 people, and nearly all of them have caught it from birds.”
Grady fails to note whether or not those birds were gay.
Grady goes on to note “the 1918 flu pandemic was apparently caused by a bird flu that jumped directly into humans.”
And we all know what a hot issue “gay marriage” was in 1918. Then again, the 1918 virus was called the “Spanish Flu,” and God only knows that the Spanish can be a little, well, flamboyant. Perhaps God was confused.
“The latest country to report human cases [of bird flu] is Azerbaijan,” wrote Grady. Azerbaijan is, after all, the gay honeymoon capital of the world.
According to, this isn’t Basri’s first anti-gay tirade. In 2004, on the eve of Pride celebrations in Jerusalem, he said, “This is not a disease or a deviation, but a straight-out abomination. Even animals don’t behave this way… There is no place in the Holy City for such a phenomenon.”
Ah, but animals do “behave this way.” Homosexuality in animals has been well-documented. According to a 2004 National Geographic article, “Actually, some same-sex birds do do it.”
Yet something tells me God isn’t striking down creatures with feathers out of some anti-gay animus, nor is God smiting people for the same.
Is there any wonder why there’s such cause for alarm when religious nuts want to override science?

About the Author:

D'Anne Witkowski
D'Anne Witkowski is a writer living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBTQ+ politics for nearly two decades. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.