Religion And Politics: Gay Marriage and Abortion
Shmuley Boteach is an American Orthodox rabbi, radio and television host, and author. He rose to prominence with the publication of his international bestseller Kosher Sex. He received his rabbinic ordination in 1988 from the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement in New York City, as a disciple of its leader, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. He frequently appears as a guest on television and radio discussing politics, religion, society and morality. He also now hosts a reality television program entitled Shalom in the Home which involves facilitating conflicts between family members. He has authored many books since Kosher Sex, the latest of which is The Broken American Male.
Question: How should we address these issues?
Shmuley Boteach: We’ve barely made a dent in the divorce rate in the United States. We continue to talk about, you know . . . So many of my religious friends tell me, “Oh, gay marriage . . . These gays are gonna ruin heterosexual marriage.” And I say to them, “Oh don’t worry about that. There’s nothing left to ruin. We straight people have done a fine job of destroying marriage already.”
I know that religion needs rules, because without rules religion becomes a mockery; but the love and the rules have to co-exist. So for example here in the United States, the two great religious battlegrounds have been abortion and have been gay marriage. There are so many ways to make those issues inclusive without religion compromising its stance. For example, you can tell gay men and women that because the Bible says that homosexuality is unacceptable that we can’t necessarily condone homosexuality. Having said that we love you. You’re equally God’s child, and there are so many other virtues that you have that we probably don’t have. Come to church and pray. We love you. Come to synagogue and pray. No one’s going to judge you by your lesbianism. We’re not even going to talk about it. Instead we say, “If you’re gay, should you be coming to church?” That’s terrible. I mean that’s terrible to exclude people based on any kind of choice like that. Or abortion. Why have we made abortion into such a profoundly divisive issue which is a debate on the origin of life? We really should have made it an inclusive issue, which is a debate about feminine dignity. Ninety-nine percent of all abortions are women who are bedded by men who don’t love them, who impregnate them, and then shedding any kind of responsibility, just leave them by themselves. That’s not a religious issue; that’s an issue of social responsibility. Radical left-wing feminists and right-wing Catholics should be on the same page about this one. Again not about abortion, but in telling women don’t let men take advantage of you. Value yourself. Go into a relationship where you demand and expect real intimacy, real love, and real commitment.
Recorded on: 09/05/2007
How do we address these issues?
Rediscovering the principles of self-actualisation might be just the tonic that the modern world is crying out for.
Abraham Maslow was the 20th-century American psychologist best-known for explaining motivation through his hierarchy of needs, which he represented in a pyramid. At the base, our physiological needs include food, water, warmth and rest.
"I was so moved when I saw the cells stir," said 90-year-old study co-author Akira Iritani. "I'd been hoping for this for 20 years."
- The team managed to stimulate nucleus-like structures to perform some biological processes, but not cell division.
- Unless better technology and DNA samples emerge in the future, it's unlikely that scientists will be able to clone a woolly mammoth.
- Still, studying the DNA of woolly mammoths provides valuable insights into the genetic adaptations that allowed them to survive in unique environments.
Does believing in true love make people act like jerks?
- Ghosting, or the practice of cutting off all contact suddenly with a romantic partner, is a controversial method of dumping someone.
- People generally agree that it's bad form, but new research shows that people have surprisingly different opinions on the practice.
- Overall, people who are more destiny-oriented (more likely to believe that they have a soulmate) tend to approve of ghosting more, while people who are more growth-oriented (more likely to believe relationships are made rather than born) are less tolerant of ghosting.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.