nalities. For example: “It goes withoutrnsaying, but again it needs to be said [forrnwhom?], that to hurt a homosexual, tornbe insensitive to a homosexual becausernof the person’s homosexuality, is despicable.”rnMoreover, “hi general not hiringrna person because he or she is gay isrnmorally indefensible”; “a homosexualrncan be as decent a human being as anyonernelse.” Though Praeger claims thatrnhe believes in the moral authority of thernBible, clearly his use of the termsrn”moral” and “decent” in these remarksrnhave nothing to do with biblical judgments.rnThey seem to have been liftedrnfrom editorialists at the New York Timesrnor from social workers trying to expressrndeep thoughts.rnPraeger offers another nontraditionalistrnand non-Hebraic opinion when hernexplains: “I regard these people [homosexualrnacquaintances] as no less worthyrnof friendship than my priest friendsrnwhose celibacy I do not agree with, or myrnbachelor friends whose decision not tornmarry I disagree with.” Needless to say,rnJudaism has never viewed homosexualityrnand celibacy in the same light. ThoughrnJews have traditionally elevated the marriedrnover the unmarried state, in obediencernto the Bible’s first commandment,rncelibacy has never been, for Jews, a capitalrnoffense or a ritual abomination. Jewsrnhave certainly not been commanded tornroot out people who practice celibacy, asrnthey have those who commit sexual perversion,rnhi ancient times there were Essenerncommunities of Jewish monks andrnat least one Talmudic sage who chosernnot to marry out of devotion to study,rnPraeger appears to know even lessrnabout world history than he does aboutrnJudaica. He insists that most culturesrnhave been awash in homosexuality, andrntherefore the heterosexual institutionsrnof the West built by Jews and Christiansrnare “a terribly difficult and uniquernthing.” In support of his contention,rnPraeger cites a variety of questionablernsources, from anecdotal material aboutrnthe private lives of Roman emperors,rnwhich Edward Gibbon drew from therncourt chronicler Suetonius, to an unmistakablyrnpro-gay and antireligious study ofrnculture and sexuality brought out inrn1988 by the sociologist Dayid Greenberg.rnPraeger is almost touchingly naivernin the way he ascribes validity to unprovedrnreports about homosexual activity.rnThough the late chief rabbi of GreatrnBritain, Joseph Hertz, seems to have anticipatedrnPraeger when he referred to thern”abyss of depravity” separating the Hebrewsrnfrom the Greeks and Romans onrnthe homosexual question, it is not at allrnclear that the abyss was as big as citherrnmight imagine. Up until recently, beforernthe onslaught of gay ideology, historiansrnand anthropologists still asked sensiblernthings about the nature and extent ofrnhomoeroticism in classical cultures.rnHow socially widespread was homoeroticrnbehavior among the Greeks and Romans?rnDid it typically involve sexual relations,rnor was it mostly confined tornother, less interesting forms of malernbonding?rnIn any case, it is clear that outside ofrnthe contemporary West, mostly NorthrnAmerica, no society has ever toleratedrnhomosexuality as an alternative to heterosexualrnmarriage. Even homoeroticrnGreeks were expected to marry and procreate,rnand the Greeks placed moral emphasisrnon procreatiye responsibilities,rnpaidopoiia, as the Hebrews did on thernprecept “Be fruitful and multiply.” he,rnwhose scholarly universe seems coextensivernwith American journalism, has nornsense of these facts. Like Hebrews butrnunlike the gay friends whom he showersrnwith the same social esteem as celibaternpriests, pagans valued the heterosexualrnfamily, even if they permitted kinkyrnthings to go on outside it. The Americanrngay movement does not come from classicalrncivilization, but from a quintessentiallyrnmodern alliance between social engineeringrnand sexual deviance. And thernpercentage of our population engagingrnin alternate lifestyles remains considerablyrnlower than the media suggest. Accordingrnto an extensive survey on habitualrnhomosexuality recently concludedrnby the Battelle Institute, that figure currentlyrnstands at about one percent. Homosexualrnadvocates have cooked theirrnfigures not only for our own practicingrngays but for those they allege to find inrnother times and places.rnOne would have hoped that Praegerrnmight have seen through this. Perhapsrnhe did but decided to play it safe. Beingrn”insensitive” to gays can, after all, be hazardousrnto one’s journalistic well-being.rnTwo weeks eariier an announcement hadrnappeared in Jewish newspapers across therncountry about the formation of a “newrnWashington-based Jewish think tank,”rnin which Praeger will be participatingrnwith Norman Podhoretz, Midge Decter,rnDaniel Pipes, and Irving Kristol. Thern”conservative approach to social issues”rnthat Praeger and his colleagues take seeksrnto be “compassionate.” From this descriptionrnand from Praeger’s observationsrnon homosexuality, it is clear that RabbirnSaperstein, Mr. Foxman, and the liberalrnAmerican Jewish Congress will not havernto engage in a protracted cultural war.rnAgain we shall see in practice the noisyrnoperation of a nonopposition, or of whatrnSamuel Francis once dubbed, perhapsrnin annoyance, “the harmless persuasion.”rn—Paul GottfriedrnT HE REPUBLICAN PARTY of Mr.rnM, my parents’ 94-year-old neighbor,rnand of novelist Henry W. Glune nornlonger exists. This became clear to mernwhile talking to Mr. M in the garden hernhas kept since before the Flood. He cutrnsome rhubarb stalks and rememberedrnhis 20th birthday, on Armistice Day,rn1918. He was not enthusiastic about thernFirst World War. “That was one maybernwe shoulda stayed out of,” I offered.rn”We shoulda stayed out of them all,”rnsaid Mr. M, a rock-ribbed Republicanrnand Scots-American and Methodist,rnin roughly that order. Mr. M ran thernYMCA for many years and, befitting hisrnposition, was a stalwart of the local GOP.rnA gymnasium and a Sunday School classrnare named for him.rn”I’m worried about this thing inrnBosnia,” he said, wiping the sweat fromrnhis brow. (He’d been weeding for twornhours under a springtime sun before Irncame along.) “We always get into thesernwars. None of our business. Why don’trnwe just stay over here and let them takerncare of over there. Don’t send ’em money,rnnothing.” Mr. M volunteered thatrnhe’d voted for Bush in 1992 but regrettedrnit; he was eager to vote for “this guyrnPerot” next time, when he will be 97, arnyear older than the century.rnThe novelist Henry W. Clune, Mr,rnM’s senior at 103, was similarly vexed byrnthe war drums when I saw him the nextrnday. “It’s stupidity,” he said, sipping hisrnmartini. “I’m like Fred Allen: I’d resignrnfrom the human race if I could get myrnmembership fee refunded. We’re tryingrnto police the worid when we can’t evenrnpolice our own streets.”rnHenry is a Main Street Republicanrnwho cast his first vote for WilliamrnHoward Taft. He became disaligned inrnthe 1960’s, when he denounced thernVietnam War as an “obscene enterprise”rnin his Gannett newspaper column. Hernwas for normalcy in 1920 and AmericarnFirst in 1940 and peace in 1966. Natu-rnJANUARY 1994/7rnrnrn