And Bless This Thy Holy Gay Parade

Guest Post by Vandersister

Traditionally, the annual Gay Pride Parade in Israel is held in Tel Aviv. Last year, the GLBT community asked to hold it in Jerusalem, claiming that they have the same right to march in the capital city as any other community or public sector. Unfortunately, and some say shamefully, the parade was reduced to a rally, as a result of enormous pressure from the police, various politicians and the threats of the Haredim (Orthodox religious sector). Long before the designated day of the parade, they were blocking the roads, starting fires, rioting, throwing stones at police officers, and at the same time – accusing the GLBT community of “disturbing the peace” and “compromising public safety”. Apparently, being homosexual in itself is more offensive and harmful than any form of actual, direct, verbal or physical violence. Why, of course it is. What were we thinking?

This year, on top of the riots, the stone-throwing, the tire-burning and the road-blocking, the Haredim have recruited a new weapon to use against the GLBT community – the ancient art of hexing (or spell-casting, if you will). Just a few days ago, the leading Rabbis of the Haredi sector placed an official curse (!!) on the organizers and participants of the Gay Pride Parade. They distributed a message in hundreds of flyers that were plastered all over Jerusalem, saying:

“To all those involved, sinners in spirit, and whoever helps and protects them, may they feel a curse on their souls, may it plague them and may evil pursue them; they will not be acquitted of their transgressions from heavenly judgment.”

Silly me, I thought this was the 21st century, not the dark ages. Uh well. But other than the obvious repulsion at this childish and medieval-style response, I felt a sense of familiarity when I read the words of the curse… Where have I heard these things before?… Oh yes! Of course! Monty Python’s film, The Holy Grail! That memorable scene where King Arthur and his knights are fighting the murderous rabbit; they stand helpless until one of them remembers that there is a sacred weapon they can use – the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch! Here’s a

Friar: “And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, ‘O Lord, bless this Thy hand grenade that, with it, Thou mayest blow Thine enemies to tiny bits in Thy mercy.’ And the Lord did grin, and the people did feast upon the lambs and sloths and carp and anchovies and orangutans and breakfast cereals and fruit bats and large chu–”
Brother Maynard: “Skip a bit, Brother.”
Friar: “And the Lord spake, saying, ‘First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then, shalt thou count to three. No more. No less. Three shalt be the number
thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, nor either count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three.
Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then, lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it.’ ”

In short? Holy wars are stupid. There’s nothing holy or sacred about violence. Support the parade in Jerusalem – Israel is still and despite everything, a
democracy. And don’t forget to count to three!