In a sluggish response to the unfolding child sex abuse scandal rocking the Melbourne Jewish community (The Age, Jun 22 2011; Galus Australis, Jul 5 2011; The Age, Jul 8 2011) , the Jewish Community Council of Victoria released a statement on the matter on July 13 2011. The opening paragraph states:
The Jewish Community Council of Victoria is disturbed by the recent allegations of sexual abuse at Yeshivah College. JCCV President, John Searle said, “we abhor the abuse of children in any way, be it physical, sexual, emotional or psychological, and particularly when it is perpetrated by those in positions of trust and authority at our communal institutions”.
Sadly, I know these words are, in part, entirely disingenuous simply because the JCCV president personally endorses the specific form of psychological abuse of children that manifests itself as the intolerance of homosexuality. He has told me face to face that it is completely acceptable for [Orthodox] Judaism to perpetuate a dogmatically justified stance on the matter.
I have stated previously and will reiterate findings of relevant research:
Studies conducted over the last decade reveal that GLB individuals attempt suicide at rates between 3.5 and 14 times those of their heterosexual peers
Those belonging to religious faiths that promulgate negative discourses about homosexuality are particularly vulnerable to suicide and self-harm. Conflicts between spiritual or religious beliefs and sexuality can result in significant psychological dissonance as well as division and exclusion from family, friends and community.
How much longer will we have to put up with the vacuous platitudes of this ego-driven individual, who by his very silence on this matter is further enabling the horrific abuse of children in large sections of the Jewish community?