Oliver Roy and same sex marriages.

In my last post Oliver Roy, Holy Ignorance Part II, I presented how Roy thinks that we have lost a sense of deviance. Roy cites the case of the community that acknowledges that the Church cannot permit married priests. That it wont change and wont ever change. Nevertheless, they want to keep their married priest because they love him as a pastor. Deviance reflects what people actually do, even as they at the same time want nothing to change.Even though I only posted on Roy earlier this week, I was reminded of it by a comment on a FB post in the midst of the discussion of same-sex marriages yesterday. I saw someone post on FB the following comment about “grey area” and asked permission to post it:

I have a friend who got his Flatbush Chassidishe rebbe to quietly witness and officiate a document between him and his “man friend” that was a slightly different thing from a ketuba. Gray area is out there, it’s just that the mainstream doesn’t want anyone to know about it It wasn’t a gay wedding. it probably happened in the rabbi’s study. It was very quiet and wasn’t an actual ketuba– some other similar document that was halachically binding.

Which got me thinking: There has been a noticeable greater acceptance over the last few years of same-sex couples here in this NJ bastion of Centrist Orthodoxy. There are openly same-sex couples who attend Orthodox shuls as a couple and accept Shabbat invites as a couple. So who did their commitment ceremonies? I assume they had a ceremony, so someone officiated.

Roy’s basic thesis is that secularism is great for religion because if secularism is seen as responsible for same-sex marriages then religious enthusiasm is all about creating a boundary to preserve one’s religious purity. The greater the general society is obsessed with items deemed pagan by the religious like sexual issues, the greater religion triumphs as a boundary creating response. Roy thinks that without the sense of transcendence then there is no other response to the secular. These boundary issues are now used as the sign of purity of community and who to write out of the community and are more important than prayer, study, or kindness. (128-129) Other violations like abuse, theft, and dishonestly are not seen as coming from secularism, so they cannot be used as a boundary issue. There is a begged premise that single sex marriage is from the pagan secular culture, and can therefore be used to show purity.

One response to “Oliver Roy and same sex marriages.

  1. I believe that something along these lines happened, but “Flatbush Chassidishe rebbe” doesn’t make sense on a number of levels.

    There are certainly plenty of rebbeshe types in Flatbush who have shtiebels, some of whom probably were never ordained formally or informally, but very few actual chassidishe rebbes.

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