Dear AFTAH Friends and Supporters,
The following sorrowful email was sent December 31, 2015, by our good friends Arthur Goldberg and Elaine Silodor Berk of Jews Offering New Alternatives to Healing (JONAH) announcing that JONAH must permanently cease operations, including providing referrals and operating its website and listserv, due to “the unjust and unwarranted verdict in Ferguson vs JONAH from the New Jersey Courts this past June.” The case was brought with the help of the well-financed Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
What we have here is “Law-fare” in action: the abuse of the law to crush the opposition–including the forced reimbursement of impossibly expensive legal fees following a politicized case like this. I spoke with JONAH Co-Director Arthur Goldberg and he noted that a bunch of SPLC lawyers would be present at every legal proceeding in the JONAH case–to run up the cost of paying the legal fees against his small organization as part of the final settlement. (Is that “justice”? By the way, regarding our headline, Homo-fascism, and Gay-stapo, GayKK, Homo-Communist, etc., are what we use to lightheartedly describe the LGBT Left’s neo-totalitarian pursuits.)
Talk about chutzpah: the SPLC shopped for a fellow liberal judge who applied an “anti-consumer fraud” New Jersey law against this tiny Jewish organization that has helped many people overcome and manage unwanted same-sex desires–and which is now banned from even referring same-sex strugglers to places where they can get help with their unwanted homosexual desires. The judge in the case, State Superior Court Judge Peter F. Bariso Jr., limited testimony on JONAH’s side and reportedly was about as impartial as the notoriously far-left SPLC itself (see JONAH note below).
Fraud & the SPLC
The SPLC knows a little about *fraud*: it cunningly mislabels a myriad of pro-family groups (including AFTAH, AFA and FRC) opposed to Big Gay Inc as “hate groups” on a par with racist fringe kooks like the KKK. (This vilification tactic is called “bracketing.”) Then the LGBT and “progressive” cyber echo-chamber–joined by the subservient media–repeat the SPLC’s vicious smear ad nauseam to demonize and discredit the targeted family advocates, and ostracize them from the Public Square.
Needless to say, the self-styled “hate arbiters” over at the amateurish SPLC (who seem to think Blacks can’t think for themselves) have never labeled an LGBTQueer organization, website or activist–say, Dan (“Santorum.com”) Savage–as “hateful.” Quite a scam the SPLC’s got going–now they’ve taken it up a notch by legally bullying a small group into oblivion through another “gay” tactic, which I call “Focusing on the Failures.” All you do is highlight the failures among homosexuals who have tried pro-heterosexual therapy–while largely ignoring the EX-“gay” successes–former homosexuals like Greg Quinlan, Charlene Cothran, David Kyle Foster, Anne Paulk, Mario Bergner and Janet Boynes (many of whom have left homosexuality through other means, including Christian rebirth).
Here are two biased media stories about the JONAH case: one in Newsweek–which could have been written by GLAAD–and an older piece in Village Voice. Please help JONAH prayerfully and financially–and also please help Charles LiMandri’s organization, the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF), which handled JONAH’s case pro-bono. [See FCDF’s June release on the JONAH case.] LiMandri fought for JONAH with his usual guts and determination, but it’s hard to preserve liberty when you’re up against the liberal legal mafia and its “holy grail” of celebrating homosexualism. The full text of JONAH’s email follows.
One last note: JONAH’s Arthur Goldberg–author of an excellent book, Light in the Closet: Torah, Homosexuality, and the Power to Change–is a scrapper who is devoted to supporting the truth that people trapped in homosexuality and gender confusion can get out of it. Please write to Goldberg through JONAH–and pray for and support him and Elaine Berk as they move on to their next endeavor defending sexual and gender sanity. — Peter LaBarbera, AFTAH.org; @PeterLaBarbera
Full text of Dec. 31, 2015 email message from JONAH:
First, we would like to thank our many friends for their kind words and consistent financial support, which have been pouring in since we received the unjust and unwarranted verdict in Ferguson vs JONAH from the New Jersey Courts this past June. Your encouragement and good wishes have kept us going in spite of the often negative and blatantly false publicity that appears all over the media.
The NJ Court delivered its final judgement on December 18th. Under the order, JONAH must permanently cease operations, including providing referrals and operating its website and listserv. That means that our site, www.jonahweb.org, will no longer be available online after mid- January 2016, and neither of us will be permitted to give referrals to strugglers who call or email with requests for help. JONAH is required to dissolve as a corporate entity and liquidate its assets by the middle of May.
We are also required to pay a portion of the plaintiffs’ legal fees. We hope that our supporters will help us offset these costs by clicking here to give via PayPal or by mailing donations to JONAH, Inc, PO box 313, Jersey City, NJ 07303. JONAH’s bank account will be open to accept donations until mid-May 2016.
In thinking about the court’s ruling we both feel that:
The tragic miscarriage of justice which occurred in the JONAH case reflects the near triumph of political correctness and the gay activist agenda in the USA. We long for the day when the outcome in the JONAH case will be recognized as one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in modern history. So many of the court’s outrageous pre-trial rulings, such as not allowing our six defense experts to testify, the equally outrageous rulings that calling homosexuality “disordered” violates the Consumer Fraud Act, and the ruling during the trial which prohibited our attorney from arguing our freedom of religion 1st Amendment rights, ended any real chance for a fair trial and verdict. However, we fervently believe that the Torah’s traditional values on sexuality and the family will triumph in the end because these universal laws produce the most just societies which, in turn, offer G-d given truths for all humanity to follow.
Coercive tactics that attempt to shut down choice are antithetical to a country founded in religious tolerance. We believe that this decision continues the erosion of religious freedom now taking place in our country. Seeking counseling is a very private and personal decision people make and should not be interfered with by government or anyone.
Plans Going Forward
We have been working on our vision to form a new institute that will be rooted in Biblical values and express a Biblical world view. We look to put together a coalition of those who follow the Abrahamic religions (Jews, Christians, and Muslims, which constitute more than 50% of the world’s population). This coalition will advocate Divinely ordained moral imperatives and universal ethics known as the Seven Noahide Laws. We will continue to fight for core American values, including the freedom of traditional believers to live as free and equal citizens in this great country.
The new organization will focus on the Seven Noahide Laws given to Noah by G-d following The Flood. It will seek to inspire all descendants of Noah, the biblical survivor of the flood recounted in the Bible to follow these Noahide laws and to recognize the existence of a higher Power, one to whom we are responsible for our actions.
The Seven Universal Laws, known as the Noahide laws, prohibit:
These seven principles, if followed, permit us to establish a harmonious world in which diverse peoples can live together in a just society.
On December 29, 2015, we filed the articles of incorporation for our new organization, the Jewish Institute for Global Awareness (JIFGA).
We are looking for volunteers from different geographic areas in the USA and other countries to make suggestions and offer their ideas as we build JIFGA. Please let us know if you are interested in working with us on this effort. You may email us at info@JIFGA.org.
Reprinted from the newsletter of Rabbi Mendy Herson, Chabad of Greater Somerset County, www.Chabadcentral.org:
This month Rabbi Herson gives a beautiful rendition of the story of Joseph and his brothers. Rabbi calls it, “You Are Joseph”.
One can only imagine how Joseph felt.
Teenaged Joseph (of Bibilcal fame) had been abducted by his jealous brothers and sold into slavery. Persevering through a painful trail of difficulties, Joseph had managed to achieve huge success. This former slave had saved the Egyptian empire from economic catastrophe, ultimately catapulting Joseph to a position second to only Pharaoh himself.
Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt looking for food. They didn’t recognize him, since he had grown a beard and physically matured. He, on the other hand, knew their identities; but he still wanted to explore their humanity. He wanted to forgive, but he needed to know where they stood. Years ago, the brothers had had shown ugliness. But were those jealous brothers of yesteryear the same people now standing before him? Had they grown?
Joseph needed to know. He needed to know if they regretted what they’d done to him. He needed to know if they’d evolved and learned the lessons of their harmful behavior.
So he tested them. He maneuvered events so that he could probe their sense of regret for what had occurred, and their present sense of loyalty to the clan’s youngest son, their half-brother.
Once he saw that his brothers indeed regretted their past actions, and had indeed refined their behavior, he revealed his identity to them: “I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into Egypt.”
His next words are the part of this captivating narrative that always grabs me the most: “G-d has sent me here to be a provider for you and to insure your survival.”
Joseph first points out the obvious truth that they had consciously made the horrifying decision to sell him into slavery in Egypt; then he proceeds to call it G-d’s will.
Why the switch?
Once Joseph had achieved the closure that came with his victimizer’s contrition, after he saw how they were emotionally tortured by the pain they had caused him, he was able to unshackle himself of their deeds and move on with his life’s work.
Stepping forward into the next chapter of his life, Joseph’s pressing focus wasn’t on his past victimhood, it was on the question: How does G-d want me to use my present situation to better the world?
When the moment was right, Joseph turned himself from a victim into a victor.
There’s surviving. Then there’s thriving.
Joseph thrived, and we are Joseph.
Thank You and Shalom,
Arthur Goldberg & Elaine Silodor Berk
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