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In Benetton's World, Gay Sex Solves Everything

Just like defining moments in the life of an individual, there can be defining moments in the history of an organization that reveal deep character -- the core ideals and beliefs that define that entity psychologically and morally. For the fashion house Benetton that moment is now, with the publication of advertisements for its "Unhate Foundation" that depict Pope Benedict XVI erotically kissing a Muslim imam, and President Obama erotically kissing Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and China's Hu Jintao. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is shown in a passionate moment with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

The only psychological interpretation of such ads that makes sense to me as a psychiatrist is that the corporate leaders at Benetton literally believe that homosexual sex between world leaders -- or at least homosexuality, as an orientation -- would lead to world peace. They have tipped their collective hands as a company and indicted marital fidelity, faith and heterosexuality, labeling them the real sources of hatred and suffering around the globe. In the collective mind of Benetton, if religious leaders and political figures would just have sex with one another all would be well.

Really. That is what they seem to think--or at least what they want our sons and daughters to think.

No matter, Benetton would have us believe, that we may have vast differences on human rights. No matter that we may have profound differences on religious tolerance. No matter that we may have fundamental differences on economic policies, respect for international law and child labor. All these non-issues will melt away with enough wet kisses between men who were once so backwards as to believe that ideas and ideals and knowledge of history and courage still mattered. No, Benettonians -- that new movement of homoerotic Utopians -- are telling us, homosexual sex is what matters -- and so much of it, in such unrestrained fashion as to unite men from democracies with men from dictatorships, Catholic and Muslim leaders, black men and white men. See, we had it all wrong talking about hearts and minds, about the Greatest Generation and lessons from history. We had it wrong elevating principle over pleasure and sacrifice over sexual gratification. We had it wrong thinking we could move the world forward while allowing men to be attracted to women. Our connections must be made man-to-man, with our tongues and genitals. That is the only road forward.

Make no mistake, this series of images published and posted along streets by Benetton is a declaration of psychological warfare on religious tradition and cultural mores and one that elevates narcissism and sexual gratification above intelligence and leadership. It is a direct message to the young people targeted by Benetton marketeers that theirs should be a generation defined by indulging in erotic pleasure above all else, and without regard to one's religious vows, or moral standards, or respect for one's office and public face, or one's word.

Benetton now joins J. Crew as a fashion retailer with a social agenda that is no secret. At J. Crew, Jenna Lyons made it a point to tell Americans that painting boys' toenails pink is a good thing and probably a proper antidote to their rising levels of testosterone. At Benetton, heterosexuality and faith, are now linked to all the problems in our troubled world, problems that can be reversed if men in positions of leadership would just yield to their innate desires to have sex with each other.

I have been asked, why are people so outraged by these images? What is the psychological reason? The reason is simply this: Human beings still know, thank God, when they have been attacked for who they are.

If you are heterosexual, if you are a leader who believes your position demands decorum, if you are a person of substance who believes you should be valued for your mind, not just your sexuality, if you think that countries and religion deserve respect, not ridicule, you were attacked today by Benetton. You felt it. And you shouldn't be talked out of your outrage.

Dr. Keith Ablow is a psychiatrist and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team. Dr. Ablow can be reached at info@keithablow.com.