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August 28, 2014 / 2 Elul, 5774
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Letters To The Editor

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Carl Rosenzweig
(Via E-Mail)

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3 Responses to “Letters To The Editor”

  1. Even though Jonah advertises in the Jewish Press everyday, I was surprised you did not run the story that is making front page headlines and was featured yesterday on CNN TV.

    The founder and co-president of JONAH, Arthur Goldberg is a convicted felon. His crime was fraud!

    "The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a first-of-its-kind lawsuit today accusing a New Jersey organization of consumer fraud for offering conversion therapy services – a dangerous and discredited practice that claims to convert people from gay to straight.

    The lawsuit, filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey, charges that Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH), its founder, Arthur Goldberg, and counselor Alan Downing violated New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act by providing conversion therapy claiming to cure clients of being gay.

    It is the first time a conversion therapy provider has been sued for fraudulent business practices. The lawsuit describes how the plaintiffs – four young men and two of their parents – were lured into JONAH’s services through deceptive practices.

    “JONAH profits off of shameful and dangerous attempts to fix something that isn’t broken,” said Christine P. Sun, deputy legal director for the SPLC. “Despite the consensus of mainstream professional organizations that conversion therapy doesn’t work, this racket continues to scam vulnerable gay men and lesbians out of thousands of dollars and inflicts significant harm on them.”.

    The lawsuit describes how the underlying premise of conversion therapy – that a person can “convert” to heterosexuality – has no basis in scientific fact. Conversion therapy has been discredited or highly criticized by all major American medical, psychiatric, psychological and professional counseling organizations.."

  2. Roy Neal Grissom says:

    It seems Mr. Rosenzweig, while demurring from legislating Halakhah in regard to sexual morality, nevertheless advocates a Theocracy when it comes to economics. How else to interpret his implication that abortion is no one's business but Jews should vote for Democrats so the Torah's economic policies may be enacted into law? Does the Torah make "mistakes" on sexual matters that it doesn't on economic ones?

    Of course the welfare state as we know it is not the Torah's version of mandated compassion (though neither is it Social Darwinism; it's Theocracy, and as the only form of government from G-d is naturally unique). But perhaps Mr. Rosenzweig is unaware that the Seven Laws of Noach are as objectively binding on non-Jews (ALL non-Jews, even though most non-Jews have never heard of them) as Halakhah is to Jews. And the Democrat party is on record as opposed to the basic principals of the Noachide Laws (such as male homosexuality being a chayyav miytah for non-Jews as well as Jews). True, the Republican party isn't perfect in this regard either (since Xianity certainly violates the Noachide Laws), but that hardly gives an excuse to support a party that takes the positions which the contemporary Democrat party does.

    The reason that people approve the legislation of economic morality but oppose that of sexual morality is that economic morality is allegedly "rational;" one can arrive at a proper understanding of "social justice" without appealing to G-d. But this rationalistic ethic is hardly Jewish (considering that even though the Torah assumes Derekh 'Eretz, there is still no Derekh 'Eretz without Torah). It comes instead from the eighteenth century European "enlightenment" brought to us by such people as Voltaire (who was not a big fan of the Jews, btw). It is hardly the Jewish mission to replace G-d's Laws with a purely secular ethical system. In fact, up until some three hundred years ago, ALL Jews lived in self-governing Theocratic communities governed by the Rabbinate and the Battei Din. THIS is genuine Jewish governance (maybe we could bring it back?); not the addlepated parroting of eighteenth century European rationalism.

    As to abortion being such a sticking point, it is certainly true that Halakhah on the matter is not identical to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church (which are also not identical to the teachings of the Protestant churches), but considering that Roe v. Wade was issued on 1/22/'73 and that Jews somehow managed to live in the United States for hundreds of years prior to that time (as well as in other parts of the world where there was no legal abortion), it simply seems like a fig leaf of an excuse. If abortion were such a huge "Jewish issue" wouldn't we have heard about it at one point or another? And certainly a person who votes for Democrats with whom he has a few disagreements wouldn't use the anti-abortion issue as an excuse to avoid the Republican party. Perhaps people should have the freedom to opt out of Mr. Rosenzweig's economic "theocracy" as well so their "freedom of conscience" isn't subject to "religious fanaticism?"

  3. JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives to Healing) responded to allegations of “consumer fraud” outlined in the suit brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), based in Montgomery Alabama, on November 27th, 2012. The lawsuit is without merit, and is designed to create a chilling effect upon speech and programs that assist people in overcoming unwanted same-sex attractions.

    JONAH will vigorously defend itself and gender-affirming processes from the baseless attack contained in the lawsuit.

    Arthur Goldberg, JONAH’s Co-Director, stated, “We remain steadfast in our commitment to assist those with unwanted same-sex attractions. There are thousands of people who have shed their unwanted same-sex attractions, not only through our programs, but also through other similar programs”.

    See http://www.voices-of -change.org.

    “As indicated by the publicity surrounding the event, the lawsuit is designed to create a chilling effect on people and organizations that stand for the position that change is possible, a position that is not contradicted by the APA’s latest statements,” said Mr. Goldberg.

    JONAH works only with people who express dissatisfaction with their homosexual ideation and helps them assess and overcome deep issues. JONAH does not seek to coerce anyone into changing his or her sexual orientation. JONAH supports the right of client self-determination, not “SPLC-determination,” of what is in the client’s best interests.

    The intent of the SPLC’s lawsuit is to totally deny individuals the freedom to seek help for their own unwanted same-sex attractions. This bias denies the diversity of thought, belief and feeling within the GLBT and Questioning population. Whatever SPLC’s goals are, this narrow-minded lawsuit runs directly contrary to true support for diversity and tolerance.

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