Thursday, June 02, 2005

S.L.O.W. (Silliest Letter of the Week)

Bush and Abdallah, Sitting in a Tree?

From the Jewish Week:
Offensive Phrase

I understand referring to the image of President Bush and Crown Prince Abdullah walking hand in hand as “disturbing” as it relates to the special status the president has given relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia (“Stop Holding Saudi Arabia’s Hand,” April 29). I cannot understand the gratuitous reference to the image as one that might project “off-color meaning.” Not only is that phrase unnecessary to the editorial, but to suggest that two men holding hands is “off-color” and, by extension, to vilify gays and lesbians and same-sex relationships, is terribly offensive.

Surely The Jewish Week can avoid sinat chinam (baseless hatred) and perpetuating negative attitudes toward homosexuals in offering a critique of U.S. foreign relations.
Gabriel Most
New York, N.Y.
Besides the hypersensitive whining, political correctness, and the incongruity of the rather forced application of sinat chinam (a Torah value) to this situation to criticize what the Torah explicitly does vilify (same same relationships), there is yet another it is silly.

In most of American society (as opposed to in some places in the Middle East), men holding hands is not usual, and so the picture suggests that there is a sexual relationship going on. People know that it is not, and that Bush is not gay. But to suggest hanky-panky going on is "off-color."

The same would be the case if former President Clinton had been seen holding hands with Margaret Thatcher, in a way that people would think that there was hanky-panky, and adultery, going on.


Soccer Dad said...

Am I reading that last paragraph correctly? Should the word "not" be there someplace?

joshwaxman said...


Not with Margaret Thatcher, at least...


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