A few days ago I linked to an article written by Dennis Prager titled Judaism’s Sexual Revolution: Why Judaism Rejected Homosexuality.
Dennis Prager then re-tweeted, which caused a flurry of activity (for one of my tweets) and a 31 comment back and forth between two people, @azach79 and @Rx4nails. It is in this post that I seek to address the questions posted between these two, primarily @azach79.
In the article, Mr. Prager describes how Judaism restrained sexual activity for its followers and the positive consequences of this sexual restraint:
The Hebrew Bible, in particular the Torah (The Five Books of Moses), has done more to civilize the world than any other book or idea in history. It is the Hebrew Bible that gave humanity such ideas as a universal, moral, loving God; ethical obligations to this God; the need for history to move forward to moral and spiritual redemption; the belief that history has meaning; and the notion that human freedom and social justice are the divinely desired states for all people. It gave the world the Ten Commandments, ethical monotheism, and the concept of holiness (the goal of raising human beings from the animal-like to the God-like).
In so doing, he makes a broad claim that Judaism, and by extension Christianity, are the foundation of Western moral, value, and ethic systems, and thus have done more to impact the creation of modern Western society than any other civilization, including the Greeks and Romans. This appears to be where @azach79 disagrees.
The twitter conversation got off on a tangent and finally ended in
To @azach79 I believe that Mr. Prager would say, “Yes. Ancient sex practices derailed ancient civilizations. Jewish sex practices, monogamy (with few exceptions), fidelity within marriage, establishment of family as the central, or primary, unit in society, leads to social stability and strength. Even the Kingdom of Israel fell when the people moved away from these practices.”
I would support Mr. Prager in that argument. The leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints affirmed this position in 1995 in The Family: A Proclamation to the World.
All in all, the essay is not about how the Jews built a larger or more prosperous society than the Greeks or Romans. It is not about how the Jewish math, or science, or philosophy is/was grander than the Greeks or Romans. It is about how Judeo-Christian morals, values, and ethics have done more to influence modern Western society than other ancient cultures and that the primary difference was Judaism’s sex practices.
All I said was that the article was an interesting read.