December 29, 2009

Encouraging Words 12/29/09-A Secular Jew Encourages LGBT Outreach to Religious Organizations

From Emma Ruby-Sachs, blogger for  Even though Christmas has passed, the thought is still very relevant.
As a secular Jew, I watch Christmas from the outside. It’s a holiday where the family rumblings and big dinners come with a pleasant, and for many, watered-down host of religious traditions: midnight mass, carols, Church concerts and performances. But religion is particularly important this time of year. With all that thinking about baby Jesus, people also can’t help but consider G-d, their relationship to G-d and their relationship to their own religious traditions.

Funnily enough, this week a number of religious leaders have taken a moment to comment on gay issues. Former Ugandan Archbishop of York condemned the anti-gay bill in his home country. And a patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church confirmed that, despite their position that homosexuality is a sin, punishing homosexual behavior is not supported by the church.

I find these small small movements towards tolerance heartening. We, as an equality movment, are often pitted against religious institutions. But at Christmas time, I am reminded, again, of how central religious institutions are to life in North America and around the world.

So, this Christmas season I am making my own kind of resolution: We need to reach out more, engage more and talk more to the religious community. For those reading this post in between family events, take this time to talk to your own religious community about tolerance and respect for LGBT people. The news shows us, thing are changing, moving towards acceptance.


  1. And how would one define a "secular" Jew?

  2. I believe that is considered to be someone of Jewish heritage who does not attend temple or practice Jewish customs.