No, really. Vos Is Neias is reporting that Rabbi Yehuda Levin, a spokesman for the Rabbinical Alliance of America, thinks there’s a link:
When Americans are suffering economically and millions need jobs, it’s shocking that the Administration is focused on its ultra-liberal militantly homosexualist agenda forcing the highlighting of homosexuals and homosexuality on an unwilling military. This is the equivalent of the spiritual rape of our military to satisfy the most extreme and selfish cadre of President Obama’s kooky coalition.
We agree with Eileen Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness that this will hurt the cohesiveness of the military, cause many to leave the army, and dramatically lower the number of recruits, perhaps leading to the reinstatement of a compulsory draft.
Thirteen months before 9/11, on the day New York City passed homosexual domestic partnership regulations, I joined a group of Rabbis at a City Hall prayer service, pleading with G-d not to visit disaster on the city of N.Y. We have seen the underground earthquake, tsunami, Katrina, and now Haiti. All this is in sync with a two thousand year old teaching in the Talmud that the practice of homosexuality is a spiritual cause of earthquakes. Once a disaster is unleashed, innocents are also victims just like in Chernobyl.
First, I’m sure a lot of gays would agree, although perhaps defining their scale of Richter rumblings a little differently.
And here’s a memory:
Back when I was in basic training with a bunch of other new immigrants, there was a French recruit — let’s call him Laurent (I honestly forget his name) and he was Flaming avec un F majescule. The Israeli army euphemism for screw-up is a Hebrew-pronounced version of the f-word, and when our commander would bark at is, "Assitem F— Gadol!!" ("You did a major F—!", ie. "You screwed up!") Laurent would shout out, billowing with joy, "Ken, Hamefaked!!" (Yes, Sir!!!) And we all cracked up, no one was discomfited. Laurent pulled his weight, was a good soldier, and that was that.
Not that my anecdotal evidence says a lot, but surely the overall success of Israel’s military, which takes on gays, straights and all shades in between, does. Andrew Sullivan has it exactly right today, excoriating Bill Kristol, who should know better:
I wonder, for example, if he believes that Israel, whose security is much more potentially vulnerable than our own, is weaker because it doesn’t bar perfectly good soldiers because they violate ancient Leviticus strictures.
UPDATE: The RAA is a not insignificant umbrella group, but a reader points out, correctly, that I should note that other Orthodox umbrella groups have kept out of this debate.