How “Greenberg” is my valley?
You would think that an organization as professedly Jewish as JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality) wouldn’t need any help from the Goyim. You thought wrong. (“Goyim,” by the way, means “Nations” in Hebrew, and in scripture refers to the non-Jewish, or Gentile, nations.)
While perusing JONAH’s online library, I came across more than a couple “Jewish” resources that point to not-so-Jewish origins. Now, it would be one thing if JONAH owned up to this and put a disclaimer before the Christian-produced articles saying something like “this article is of a Gentile origin, but is helpful nonetheless” – but they do not. Instead, they edit the articles and muddle their origins so that the religious Jews reading them will not feel threatened.
I will list the non-Jewish sources I found in alphabetical order:
- • Diane Eller-Boyko not only has a page in JONAH’s library; she is also a featured counselor at ChristianCounselingService.org. Fortunately for JONAH, she doesn’t drop one Biblical hint in her interview with NARTH’s Joseph Nicolosi.
• Janelle Hallman is a Christian counselor seeking to help using Christian values – the opening statements on her personal website make this explicitly clear. She works with the “secular” NARTH, where she tones down the bible-thumping, but it only takes a click to go from Jewish ex-gay article to Jesus Christ – the address of her site is provided at the top of her page at JONAH’s online library.
• Kaelly Langston contributed an excerpt from the first chapter of the book she’s apparently working on, called “The Rainbow Connection – The Truth About Homosexuality.” JONAH makes a half-hearted attempt at honesty here, and states that the text appeared in a “slightly different format” in the March 2003 issue of “BridgeBuilder,” the newsletter for Living Stones Ministry (a Christian ministry that takes their name from 1 Peter 2:4). One can only guess at how the other version of the article was “formatted.”
• Alan Medinger, known for using citations of the Nazi-admiring doctor Paul Cameron, has several articles on JONAH’s site, all beginning with the following text: “This article has been adapted for JONAH with the permission of Alan Medinger.” Well, at least they got his permission. But just what needs to be done to properly “adapt” an article for JONAH? I suppose you would need to get rid of all the Jesus references in it. Here is the original text (PDF) of his article “The Prison of Self-Protection,” which was originally published in the January 2005 issue of Regeneration News, the newsletter of Regeneration Ministries. The original article opens with a verse from the book of Matthew.
• Dr. James E. Phelan is a Christian social worker who has, in addition to his article at JONAH, made contributions to GospelCom.net and CatholicInsight.com. Because Judaism has consistently, historically supported a woman’s right to choose, Phelan’s pro-life stance would probably put him at odds with the morals of many of my people.
• Paul E. Rondeau will best be remembered as the man who put Holocaust Revisionism in bed with a Jewish ex-gay organization, by citing the research of Dr. Paul Cameron in his featured article “Selling Homosexuality to America.” He is director of development for Regent University (aka, Pat Robertson University), a major right-wing Christian institution. In fact, his article was first published in the Regent University Law Review, “a forum for Christian perspective on law in a traditional legal periodical.”
• Dr. Gerard Van den Aardweg’s book The Battle For Normality was published by Ignatius Press, a Catholic publishing house. Their site describes the book as “a Christian psychological approach and it offers the best opportunities for change.”
The cherry on top of all this is the “Non-Jewish Books” section of JONAH’s bookstore. JONAH’s “Jewish Books” and “Secular Books” sections each contain 8 items – while the “Non-Jewish” section contains 10. Is JONAH seeking to aid Messianic Jews? Or is it necessary to add the Non-Jewish resources to simply fill out the library? After all, NONE of the Jewish sources are specifically about homosexuality – they are about “traditional values” and bioethics. Every single non-Jewish book is dedicated specifically to the topic of Homosexuality.
If I were seeking help from JONAH, I would definitely be put off by their need to pool Christian resources to aid a Jewish clientele. A Jewish parent seeking help for their child would especially be put off- to paraphrase Wayne Besen, their kid might not come back an ex-gay, but they might come back an ex-Jew. This is one of the biggest nightmares of a Jewish parent. My ultimate question is, with all the rabbinical commentary, articles from Jewish periodicals, stories from Jewish counselors, and even support from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, why is it at all necessary to post thinly-veiled Christian resources? Is Jewish support for reparative therapy and ex-gay life really that sparse?
I certainly hope so.