Amsterdam’s chief rabbi suspended for saying gays can be “healed”

Some took that to mean that gays are diseased. And in Amsterdam, like Europe at large, there’s a bit of a history with the notion of demonizing an entire class of human beings as biologically inferior. As you can imagine, it doesn’t go over real well in more civilized circles.

The chief rabbi, Aryeh Ralbag, who was born in the US (big surprise there), is now parroting other extreme-right American political propaganda, such as the notion that Amsterdam’s Jewish community is now being “intolerant” of his intolerance.  The religious right has long believed that only they are permitted freedom of speech.  Amsterdam’s Jewish community is apparently not permitted the same freedom to respond, which they just did by removing the man (temporarily, at least).

One more thing. The rabbi is claiming the Torah says gays can be cured. Which is really neat, since the notion of homosexuality as a thing, and gays as a people, didn’t even come around until 100 years ago or so. Amazing how 2,000 years ago they were already aware of a lie the religious right only cooked up a couple of decades ago.

Kudos to Amsterdam’s Jewish community for taking a stand for human rights, and for recognizing how obscene it is for anyone, let alone a religious leader, to adopt prejudice and bigotry in the hometown of Anne Frank, no less.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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