Any theory can be driven over the edge to absurdity. Judaism proclaimed the values of liberalism a millennium before other cultures started developing the doctrine. The religious red lines and later the common sense of rabbinical judges prevented the liberal legal system from morphing into its opposite.

The formal justice practiced by modern states tends to cross the line. German liberal democracy brought the Nazis to power, and the US liberal courts acquit obvious criminals on technicalities. Liberalism isn’t meant to overturn core values and freedoms.

The world is not rational in the mathematical sense. Ethical notions aren’t strictly defensible. Why shouldn’t a young and promising Raskolnikov kill an old usurer? Ethical norms—like prices in an economy—are distilled from myriad interactions, and their logic is not traceable. Eskimos kill their old, communist societies rob their productive class, Muslims practice polygamy; why do we prohibit similar actions? Why do we prohibit incest? There is no simple objective basis for our prohibitions.

Legal systems bereft of common sense safeguards are doomed. Sophists and scholastics have shown that any notion can be disputed and overturned. Why can’t one eat excrement in restaurants? People at the other tables should mind their own business; the pervert does not infringe on their rights. Fine, let’s invoke the doctrine of private property: the restaurant owner can prohibit the abomination. But the pervert moves onto public property and eats excrement in the street. Nothing, plain nothing forbids him to do so; a formally just court would have to uphold his right.

And so a Jerusalem court allowed the gay parade. There is nothing wrong with Gentile gays; let them enjoy each other. Their parade in San Francisco is hilarious. But not in the Promised Land.

Every civilized country has zoning laws. Non-violent but morally questionable casinos, brothels, striptease clubs, even liquor shops are zoned. Nudity is fine, but public nudity is prohibited. Tourists are asked to cover bare legs and shoulders in churches, even in municipally owned cathedrals. Jerusalem is more than a regular church. The city is sacred for Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Some things are just detestable. People spit on streets but not in churches. The question Why not? is an acid that dissolves ethics. Why not? reduces us to the level of animals burdened by no prohibitions other than power and driven by hunger and lust.

We are humans. We developed complex ethics and tastes. We don’t know why we like particular foods and dislike particular habits. We cannot explain gravity but we accept it. We want others to respect our morals and tastes. We don’t want a show of sexual deviants in the sanctum of Jerusalem.