We are proud that Rabbi Michael Lerner, co-chair of the NSP– Network of Spiritual Progressives, and rabbi of Beyt Tikkun Synagogue-Without-Walls that meets in S.F. and Berkeley, stood with other community leaders in urging the conservative Catholic archbishop of San Francisco to withdraw from an anti-homosexual group’s rally in Washington, D.C.
This is nothing new for Rabbi Lerner or for Tikkun. Tikkun critiqued homophobia in the Jewish world starting in 1988, and the famous Rabbi David Hartman, founder of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and a champion of tolerance in other respects, resigned from the Tikkun Editorial Advisory Board after telling Lerner that Tikkun’s support for gay rights “might endanger the Hartman Institute’s legitimacy in the orthodox world,” given the opposition to homosexuality in the Orthodox Jewish world. Lerner refused to relent in Tikkun’s critique of homophobia both in the orthodox and Conservative Judaism worlds. Rabbi Lerner officiated at gay and lesbian marriages from the time he was ordained in 1995.
“Every form of demonizing or ‘other-ing’ is a violation of the highest Jewish standards of Torah, which call upon us to see every human being as created in the image of God, and to LOVE THE STRANGER/The Other as a central Jewish religious duty. Spiritual Progressives of every religion and none stand behind this same Torah command,” said Rabbi Lerner in explaining to a media figure why he had signed this statement in support of glbtq rights. Read the story below.
CA Leaders Ask SF Archbishop To Cancel Participation In Anti-Gay Event
Family Research Council And NOM Behind June 19th D.C. Gathering
Originally printed 6/11/2014 (Issue 2224 – Between The Lines News)
Top California and San Francisco officials, along with faith, LGBT and civil rights leaders, have signed an open letter to San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, asking him to cancel his participation in an upcoming march and rally against civil marriage for same-sex couples. The June 19th event in Washington, D.C. is being organized by some of the nation’s most virulently anti-LGBT organizations and leaders, including the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and the Family Research Council.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, State Senator Mark Leno, State Assembly member Tom Ammiano, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, San Francisco Treasurer Jose Cisneros, and Supervisors David Campos and Scott Wiener are among the more than 70 leaders and organizations calling on Archbishop Cordileone to reconsider his participation in the National Organization for Marriage’s march and rally and, instead, “join us in seeking to promote reconciliation rather than division and hatred.”
“We respect freedom of religion and understand that you oppose civil marriage for same-sex couples,” write the diverse group of signers, which includes the Episcopal Bishops of California and Wisconsin; the Very Rev. Dr. Brian Baker, Dean of the Cathedral at Sacramento’s Trinity Cathedral; Rev. Will McGarvey, Executive Director of the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa and Community Presbyterian Church; Rev. Dennis W. Wiley, Pastor of the Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ in D.C.; Rev. Dr. Karen Oliveto Sr., Pastor of Glide Memorial UMC in San Francisco; and Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun Magazine.
“Many people of faith who have different opinions on the question of civil marriage for same-sex couples have come together in respectful dialogue and discernment to discuss those differences. Sadly, the actions of NOM and its invited speakers push us farther apart rather than bringing us together.”
The signers point to NOM’s “long and well-documented history of publishing material that connects homosexuality with pedophilia and incest and falsely suggests that gays and lesbians are trying to ‘inculcate children.'” The Family Research Council, which is co-sponsoring the event, has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The letter points out that the actions of NOM, Family Research Council and several of the invited speakers contradict the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “which states that lesbian and gay people ‘must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.'”
Please join or make a tax-deductible contribution to the Network of Spiritual Progressives at www.spiritualprogressives.org.
If you live in the Bay Area, come to ourJuly 4th celebration honoring those who stand or has stood up for human rights, peace, social and economic justice, environmental sanity, etc–at Live Oak Park in Berkeley. Details can be found here.