Tuesday, August 17

Bush the Sodomite? Tikkun on "Sodomy"

Bush the Sodomite: According to Jewish tradition, the sin of Sodom was not homosexuality, but rather insensitivity to the needs of the stranger. Abraham was famed for his hospitality—according to tradition, he kept his tent open during the day in all four directions, and when he saw strangers approach he would rush to greet them and feed them. Thus, he tried to prepare food for the messengers who came to tell him of the fulfillment of his dream to have a child with Sarah before he even knew who they were. Those same messengers proceeded to the house of Abraham's nephew Lot in the town of Sodom, where they were accosted by an angry mob who demanded Lot hand over the strangers. The Rabbis argued that this was consistent with the Sodomites' general refusal to treat the powerless in a welcoming and generous way—and it is for this sin, not homosexuality, that the city of Sodom merits the fire and brimstone and people turning into salt.

We have that Sodomite policy in our own society. The massive impact of the Bush tax giveaways to the rich has begun to be reflected in less funding for desperately needed social programs on the state and local level. For example, as state revenues decline, hospitals and health care programs for the poor shut down and tuition at state universities rises to levels that poorer students can't afford. While the billionaires rejoice in their windfalls, and the millionaires stuff the pockets of the various organizations created to promote Bush's reelection... This is the kind of sodomy that we need to criminalize while congratulating and welcoming into our midst the many couples newly married under Massachusetts and San Francisco law.