It has come to my attention that Israel is not the happiest place on earth. There is, however, one thing that even the craziest of the religious crazies in Israel can agree on: gays are bad.
First of all, having "ultra" in your religious denomination's name is BADASS. As of now, please consider me an ultra-Nonpracticing Episcopalian.
JERUSALEM -- Christian leaders condemned it. Jewish radicals put a bounty on participants. Muslim clerics threatened to flood the streets with protesters. Jerusalem's conflicting religions have found rare common ground: opposition to
an international gay pride parade next month. . . .
"This group of homosexuals, we consider them impure," [Sheik Taissir Taimimi] said, calling on Palestinians to take to the streets to prevent marchers from entering east Jerusalem, where the holy sites are located. They "must not be allowed to enter Jerusalem" . . . .
Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski, himself an ultra-Orthodox Jew, has called for the parade's cancellation, but his office said Tuesday he had no authority to take such action. . . . [last summer] Thousands marched in a local gay pride parade instead, weathering insults from protesters and a stabbing attack by an ultra-Orthodox Jew that wounded three people. The threat of violence has resurfaced this year. An anonymous flyer distributed in some ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods Tuesday offered about $4,400 to anyone who killed a marcher.
Three Christian Zionist groups based in Jerusalem issued a joint statement condemning the march, saying its choice of venue was intended to spur conflict. "It's provocative, confrontational and it's a PR move. It's a gimmick," said David Parsons, spokesman for the International Christian Embassy, an Evangelical group that signed the statement. "It exploits what Jerusalem means to us. I don't think it means anything to the gay and lesbian community."
Second of all, doesn't this display of unity warm the cockles of your heart? I know I know, unifying to hate gays ain't exactly the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty, but we've got to give these guys positive reinforcement whenever we can. While I have no interest in stoking anti-gay fires, I wish they would hold huge anti-gay demonstrations in Jerusalem. Form anti-gay clubs, publish anti-gay magazines, join an anti-gay carpool, whatever. Just come together. Maybe, just maybe, a Muslim guy will discover he likes the same hot chocolate powder as the Jewish guy sitting next to him, and before you know it we have peace in the middle east.
Finally, I don't want any harm to come to the folks who attend this big parade, but I do have a suggestion, in the interest of peace: call yourselves "ultra-gay."