Poor Shimon Cowen. He’s so misunderstood.
When he compares LGBTQI people with folks who like a bit of incest or bestiality, he’s not wanting to offend anyone.
At the JCCV forum on LGBTQI people and mental health last night, Cowen for some reason thought that people wanted to hear from him.
They didn’t, but Cowen ploughed on regardless.
Sivan Barak Bialobroda reported on Galus:
‘Just got back from a powerful event at BW.
JCCV forum on LGBTI social inclusion, fantastic speakers and rousing discussion.
I was running late from uni so I took an available seat in the back row next to an older gentleman who had his hat and reading glasses placed on a chair between us.
The room was semi full, an interesting mix of people across the religious and social divide were present.
After my experience at J Air last night I felt welcomed and at ease.
During question time the man to my left (Mr. hat/glasses) stood up and with a slightly shaking hand began to speak…introduced himself as Rabbi C…….and dropped the C[ompassion] word and then the B[estiality] word!!!!
The person who correctly guesses who done it and what those two words that spewed forth from the mouth of this foul man will win an interview on J Air!!!!
I think I’m a magnet for intolerance….
But on the bright side well done JCCV!!!!!’
There was a predictable Facebook backlash and Cowen felt compelled to tell the AJN:
‘”Last night I attended a meeting at Beth Weizmann hosted by the JCCV on the topic of assisting persons who may have been caused distress by the current Same Sex Marriage Debate.
“I am aware that a statement I made at the gathering is generating a lot of concern, and I want to apologize for any misunderstanding and offence it caused. The meeting discussed the issue of acceptance and inclusion of homosexual persons.
“I stated my understanding that we accept and care for all Jews – and indeed all people – because they are people, precious and made in the image of G-d. I went on to explain that one must be willing to exert oneself in this love and acceptance.
“Here I added extreme examples of misconduct, where the effort to love the person may be a difficult one. These examples included the case of a person who had stolen, or worse, a paedophile or a person who had committed incest. It was far from my intention to compare homosexual conduct to paedophilia or incest or anything else.
“Unfortunately, however, I was misunderstood to have compared them to homosexuality and this misunderstanding caused offence. I spoke after the meeting with the person who raised this grievance, explained to him and trust that I allayed any offence – which I certainly did not mean to cause – and that I was sorry that I was not more careful to avoid that misunderstanding.”‘
Here’s a bit of free comms advice for the good rabbi: if you don’t want people to think you’re comparing LGBTQI behaviours with bestiality and incest, don’t actually make the comparisons in the first place.
Also, try not to have a nasty-arse history of writing foul homophobic shit that was so egregious, you got kicked out of your *unpaid* associate’s role at Monash.
Here are some examples of Cowen’s contribution to an environment conducive to LGBTQI suicidality.