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Author Topic: Washington State & Homosexuality  (Read 22717 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: February 03, 2006, 07:54:09 PM »

   Following the lead of 16 other states, Washington will no longer tolerate anti-gay discrimination in housing, employment, insurance and lending. On January 17, the equal rights bill passed in the Senate 25-23, with Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) signing in approval.   
  Spokane’s electorate previously approved a similar ordinance preventing anti-gay discrimination. The Community Colleges of Spokane has upheld this ordinance as part of its code of conduct and now will follow the new state law.   
   Non-profit religious groups and businesses under eight employees will be exempt from the new law. Nonetheless, Washington Republicans are opposed on largely religious grounds.
      Sen. Bill Finkbeiner (R-Kirkland) voted alone among his GOP colleagues in favor of the anti-discrimination bill. Finkbeiner said he feels it’s wrong to discriminate based upon “who their heart chooses to love.” 
   Anti-tax crusader Tim Eyman promised to place a repealing measure on the ballot. If Eyman receives enough signatures by June 7, Washington voters will decide whether the bill should remain law.
   Many believe that the new law, in defending equal rights for gays, will pave the way for same-sex marriage. Maggie Hall, an SFCC student who identifies herself as bisexual, hopes that this will be the case.
   “If they say that (same-sex partners) can’t marry, that’s also a form of discrimination,” Hall said. “If they love their partner, they should be able to have the benefits of being married.”
   The Washington State Supreme Court may soon overturn the state’s Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional. Opponents of the act are now likely to argue that same-sex marriage should be included under anti-discrimination.
    On the campus of SFCC, there are already protections for gay students and faculty. CCS’s official policy forbids any form of discrimination or harassment based on sexual orientation.
   Barbara Williamson, advisor of The Alliance, advocates on behalf of students who feel they’ve been unfairly treated for their sexual preference. By presiding over our school’s LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Questioning) support group, Williamson has learned the proper methods in how students may lodge complaints.       
   Williamson said she chose to teach at SFCC because of its rules on sexual orientation. She supports the existing policy so that no student may be afraid to attend school for who they are. 
 “All students deserve equal access to an educational facility,” Williamson said. “What (the policy) does say is that as an institution, we value all people.”
   Even with SFCC’s anti-discrimination policy, violations still occur. Williamson recalls that The Alliance has a hard time keeping flyers up without them being torn down or vandalized. Furthermore, she claims to have received several angry phone calls merely for The Alliance’s sexual preferences.
   Carol Green is Vice President of Student and Administrative Services. She is the one to contact in case any student feels threatened by another student for their sexual orientation.     
   Green feels strongly that sexual orientation should be included under the school’s anti-discrimination policy.
  “If they discriminated based on sexual orientation, I would choose not to work here,” Green said. “Even if homosexuality were a lifestyle choice, I fail to see how discriminating against it would be any different from discrimination against one’s religious preference.”
    Green provides assurance that gays and lesbians are protected on our campus.
   “SFCC does not tolerate discrimination of any kind, including sexual orientation,”
 Green said. “If any incident were to occur, we investigate any complaints and take appropriate action.”
   Greg Stevens is the Chief Human Resources Officer of Community Colleges of Spokane. Stevens is responsible for enforcing the school’s policy in case any student feels harassed or discriminated against by an instructor or staff member.
    Stevens is also accountable for protecting employees of CCS from anti-gay discrimination. Human Resources provides the materials necessary to educate the CCS staff regarding the anti-discrimination policy,
   “We have a supervisory training element,” Stevens said. “We issue a payroll stuffer on a regular basis on the policy and how to report violations.”
     
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« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2006, 12:33:04 AM »

Ultimately, this new law is nothing more than the greatest commandment of Christ.
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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2006, 01:05:05 AM »

This seems to be an issue of special importance to you Matthew.  Trying to tell us something? 
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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2006, 01:25:18 AM »

Equal rights for all people is nothing more than upholding the golden rule. Are you trying to tell us something?
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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2006, 01:37:46 AM »

Equal rights for all people is nothing more than upholding the golden rule. Are you trying to tell us something?
Firstly, I don't think Nektarios' post says he was against equal rights for all people.
Secondly, "Equal rights" =/="the Golden Rule". The Golden Rule does not say "give everyone equal rights", it says "do unto others as you would have others do unto you." The unbaptized do not have equal rights in the Church as the baptized- are you saying that this contradicts the Golden Rule?
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2006, 01:40:45 AM »

Secondly, "Equal rights" =/="the Golden Rule". The Golden Rule does not say "give everyone equal rights", it says "do unto others as you would have others do unto you."

Do not discriminate against others as you would have them not discriminate against you.

The unbaptized do not have equal rights in the Church as the baptized- are you saying that this contradicts the Golden Rule?

We are not speaking of the Church, which has a specific exemption for being a non-profit religious group, but the public realm. Do you believe that people should be fired from their jobs for coming out as gay?
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2006, 02:04:45 AM »

Do not discriminate against others as you would have them not discriminate against you.
Must be the Aramaic version Wink

We are not speaking of the Church, which has a specific exemption for being a non-profit religious group, but the public realm.
Interesting...."we are not speaking of the Church" and yet your argument is based on one of her teachings....which you say should be applied outside the Church, but not within it.....
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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2006, 02:07:21 AM »

I would say that the job description of being an Orthodox priest includes that he not be openly gay. My bus driver or college instructor, however, should not be discriminated against based on his sexual preference.
Again, if you applied the golden rule to this issue, it would be a non-issue.
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« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2006, 02:07:44 AM »

 ÃƒÆ’‚  I don't believe people should be fired from their jobs for coming out as gay- unless gayness itself seriously undermines the group's values. (Why should an Orthodox parish be forced to support an openly gay priest, for example?) However, who could possibly deny that a stable heterosexual couple can perpetuate a healthy society in ways that even stable homosexual couples can't? Stable homosexual couples are ultimately "dead ends" for a society. Why shouldn't the State encourage self-perpetuating unions without openly discriminating against other types of "family units"?
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« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2006, 02:12:35 AM »

(Why should an Orthodox parish be forced to support an openly gay priest, for example?)

There is a specific exemption for religious groups.

Why should a person be fired from his job for a private matter which in no way effects his job performance?
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« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2006, 02:13:19 AM »

I would say that the job description of being an Orthodox priest includes that he not be openly gay. My bus driver or college instructor, however, should not be discriminated against based on his sexual preference.
Again, if you applied the golden rule to this issue, it would be a non-issue.
If we apply your version of the Golden Rule which is:
Do not discriminate against others as you would have them not discriminate against you.
then the job description of an Orthodox Priest you suggest is discrimination.
I am not opposed to civil equal rights- I'm all for them...All I am saying is that you cannot use the Golden Rule to support it.

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« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2006, 02:15:45 AM »

then the job description of an Orthodox Priest you suggest is discrimination.

Would you agree that there is a difference between a non-profit religious group and a for-profit company?

I am not opposed to civil equal rights- I'm all for them...All I am saying is that you cannot use the Golden Rule to support it.

Again, not discriminating against others is part of doing unto them as you would have them do unto you. Do you want people to discriminate against you for being a heterosexual Orthodox male?
Think about it.
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« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2006, 02:18:51 AM »

Would you agree that there is a difference between a non-profit religious group and a for-profit company?
Why yes, I discriminate between them. Wink

Again, not discriminating against others is part of doing unto them as you would have them do unto you. Do you want people to discriminate against you for being a heterosexual Orthodox male?
They do discriminate against me for being a hetrosexual male, even in my own Church.....they won't let me become a Nun! Cheesy
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« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2006, 02:20:30 AM »

This is a serious matter, there is no need to kid around. How is it not a great injustice when gays are denied jobs and housing merely for who they choose to love?
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« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2006, 02:32:15 AM »

This is a serious matter, there is no need to kid around.
Humour is a very adult way of dealing with difficult issues. What I am saying, is that for an Orthodox Christian, the Law is Love, not "Anti-discrimination". It is not enough for us to do the right thing, we have to do the right thing for the right reason. Anti-discriminaqtion legislation is the wrong reason to behave with Love and Compassion towards gay people. The right reason is because Christ commanded us to Love them.
I just see an inherent danger in your approach which will see the eventual overturning of this legislation. Remember the anti-segregation movement and what it acheived? Well, I've recently seen even Orthodox Christians on this forum posting opinions against anti-racism. The reason is, IMHO, because Anti-discrimination against blacks is viewed as something other than the commandment to Love.
It is not the Golden Rule you should be using. It is the Greatest Commandment which surpassed even the Two Great Commandments.
"Love your neighbour as yourself" has been superceeded for us Christians by an even greater (and more demanding) Commanment:
"Love one another as I have loved you."
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« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2006, 02:36:15 AM »

Anti-discriminaqtion legislation is the wrong reason to behave with Love and Compassion towards gay people.

Would you agree that this legislation should be enforced?

"Love one another as I have loved you."

With how they choose to treat gay people, it is often hard to believe that conservatives actually love them.
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« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2006, 02:49:51 AM »

This is a serious matter, there is no need to kid around. How is it not a great injustice when gays are denied jobs and housing merely for who they choose to love?

 ÃƒÆ’‚  Justice is defined as the quality of being just or righteous. There is nothing, from an Orthodox Christian perspective, just/ righteous in homosexual relationships (or fornicating, or adulterous ones). So, to deny homosexual/ fornicating/ adulterous couples certain things as couples IS just/ righteous because it corresponds with the only true measure of justice/ righteousness (God's).
 ÃƒÆ’‚  They can still get housing together as room-mates in our secular society but why is it JUST to give them such rights/accomodations when even from a purely secular sense their narcissism only weakens society?
 ÃƒÆ’‚ Of course, in a Christian society, a host of other arguments might be adduced to show why a Homosexual/ Fornicator/ Adulterer ought not to be a teacher/ etc. but I am sure you could infer the reasoning stemming from those suppositions without me belaboring the obvious.....  the arguments advanced above hint at the rationale from a purely secular vantage point well-enough............

 In Christ,
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« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2006, 02:52:37 AM »

Would you agree that this legislation should be enforced?

   First, we must decide what type of society we want- the answer to that question depends on this one..........

With how they choose to treat gay people, it is often hard to believe that conservatives actually love them.

  Amen, amen, and amen! Conservatives all too often come across as not loving the sinner.....AS OFTEN as the liberal comes across as not caring about the sin............
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« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2006, 02:56:52 AM »

Would you agree that this legislation should be enforced?
I'm saddened that we even need to legislate for it.

With how they choose to treat gay people, it is often hard to believe that conservatives actually love them.
Our Lord's commandment to Love extends also to loving the "conservatives". If people could just love each other because they are people, and not because of what they believe, whether "liberal" or "conservative" or "capitalist" or "communist" or "buddhist" or "christian", the world might be a better place, and the United States might just be a bit more united than it seems to be right now.
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« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2006, 03:01:26 AM »

So, to deny homosexual/ fornicating/ adulterous couples certain things as couples IS just/ righteous because it corresponds with the only true measure of justice/ righteousness (God's).
 

Why would it be just to deny somone a job based on their sexual orientation? Remember, a little empathy would goes a long way.

�� the arguments advanced above hint at the rationale from a purely secular vantage point well-enough............

From a purely Christian vantage point, in following the specific commandments of Christ, we are not to be intolerant nor hateful nor discriminatory against gays nor anyone.
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« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2006, 04:16:46 AM »

Why would it be just to deny somone a job based on their sexual orientation? Remember, a little empathy would goes a long way.

But we are not talking abotu a job now, but marriage - which only exists between a man and a woman.
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« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2006, 06:07:39 AM »

even from a purely secular sense their narcissism only weakens society?
 

 Huh I'm not sure this is a "purely secular" belief. Nor a belief based on real experience. How exactly are gay couples "narcissistic" as compared to straight couples? Do unmarried straight people co-habitating also weaken society from "a purely secular" point of view?
I would say that intolerance of our fellow citizens as people has a vastly more weakening effect on the fabric of society.
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« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2006, 06:41:19 AM »

Do unmarried straight people co-habitating also weaken society from "a purely secular" point of view?

Are you referring to monastics?
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« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2006, 07:48:36 AM »

Are you referring to monastics?
No, actually (although an interesting point!)
I was actually thinking of my neighbours who have lived together for over 30 years and are unmarried with 3 children and two grandchildren. I just don't see how they have weakened society from a secular point of view. And if they haven't weakened society, why would a gay couple? I may consider sex outside marriage or sex between people of the same gender a sin, but I can't say that "even from a purely secular sense" they weaken society by what they are doing. The only thing that weakens society is when people in a society turn against one another.
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« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2006, 09:27:57 AM »

Huh I'm not sure this is a "purely secular" belief. Nor a belief based on real experience. How exactly are gay couples "narcissistic" as compared to straight couples? Do unmarried straight people co-habitating also weaken society from "a purely secular" point of view?
I would say that intolerance of our fellow citizens as people has a vastly more weakening effect on the fabric of society.

   Yes, unmarried straight couples also weaken society. They may be a more accurate icon of healthy married couples since they have a greater resemblance to the prototype, but they still weaken it even if only by example. Societies are stronger when they have stable families with strong "old-fashioned" values and these families actually produce a next generation of citizens. Unmarried couples lower the societal standard by bad example and make "living in sin" less shocking and more acceptable. Real experience shows us that multitudes of unwed mothers and absent fathers is not good for society. Gay couples lower societal standards by example too and have the additional negative that they cannot produce a next generation to replenish (strengthen) society.
   Yes, intolerance also weakens society. Intolerance of the idea that traditional values form the bedrock of any culture can be devastating, for example.
   Ultimately, I don't think liberals understand tolerance very well. One can only be truly tolerant of something if he truly disagrees with it. Most liberals I have met are "tolerant" of homosexuals (as an example) simply because the spirit of the times has taught them that every man is an island and what we do only affects ourselves and homosexuality (or any other sin) really isn't a big deal. This is not tolerance, this is acceptance. I, as a conservative, disagree vehemently with homosexuality and believe that its public equivocation with traditional marriage would be a horrible thing for society. Yet, I have no desire to hurt or harm or persecute them in any way. I tolerate homosexuals without sanctioning them. And I care for them and would call them to repentance- and would not remove the reminder that their lifestyle is a deviation which is reflected in both civil and Divine law.
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« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2006, 02:26:01 PM »

Gay couples lower societal standards by example too and have the additional negative that they cannot produce a next generation to replenish (strengthen) society.

This has long been a classic argument against homosexuality, the entire 'Be fruitful and multiply' argument. But the same arguments could be used against monasticism, celibacy, and even heterosexual marriages where one member is impotent. It is an argument from an outdated judaic concept that is logically inconsistant and incompatable with our Christian understanding of love and relationships. Furthermore, with modern science it actually could be possible for two women (or even one woman by herself) to reproduce, though I'm guessing you'd say that this is 'contrary to nature' as well, for no other reason than the fact that before this age of scientific advancement we have been too ignorant to understand the science of genetics and reproduction.

Biblical prohibitions against homosexuality are primarially based on a lack of understanding of sexuality and the human psychology combined with outdated notions of ritual uncleanness, the same ritual uncleanness that prohibits you from eating pork or a having swiss cheese on your ruben sandwhich, or places numerous restrictions on women to ensure the dominance of clearly insecure men. Restrictions on homosexuality, observing from a psychological perspective, reflect little more than further insecurity about the sexual orientation of the ruling men of the day...alot like victorian England.

In the end we should follow the example of our Lord and be loving and understanding to our neighbours, realizing that God created some people homosexual by nature, we should not condemn them to a life of celibacy any more than we should condemn the impotent to a life of celibacy, it is not right to deny to others that which we are not willing to deny ourselves. The church in the 21st century should take note of the lessens of the Enlightenment and modern scientific andvancements and understandings about human psychology, and be loving and understanding to all humanity, rejecting outdated and discriminatory practices based on archaic notions of ritual uncleanness. There is no place for such hateful behaviour in the Orthodox Church and I would suggest that those who want to participate in it go join the The Westboro Baptist Church ( http://www.godhatesfags.com/ )

'Thou shalt love they neighbour as thyself.'
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« Reply #26 on: February 04, 2006, 03:03:13 PM »

Biblical prohibitions against homosexuality are primarially based on a lack of understanding of sexuality and the human psychology combined with outdated notions of ritual uncleanness, the same ritual uncleanness that prohibits you from eating pork or a having swiss cheese on your ruben sandwhich, or places numerous restrictions on women to ensure the dominance of clearly insecure men.

Agreed. I just think that they are disugusting perverts, it has nothing to do with religion for me.
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« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2006, 04:01:04 PM »

Agreed. I just think that they are disugusting perverts, it has nothing to do with religion for me.

I can agree with that sentiment, but I see no reason why disgusting should be equated with immoral. Be honest about your personal prejudices, dont try to cover them up and make excuses for them using mythology or religion.
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« Reply #28 on: February 04, 2006, 06:47:02 PM »

Biblical prohibitions against homosexuality are primarially based on a lack of understanding of sexuality and the human psychology combined with outdated notions of ritual uncleanness, the same ritual uncleanness that prohibits you from eating pork or a having swiss cheese on your ruben sandwhich, or places numerous restrictions on women to ensure the dominance of clearly insecure men. Restrictions on homosexuality, observing from a psychological perspective, reflect little more than further insecurity about the sexual orientation of the ruling men of the day...alot like victorian England.

In the end we should follow the example of our Lord and be loving and understanding to our neighbours, realizing that God created some people homosexual by nature, we should not condemn them to a life of celibacy any more than we should condemn the impotent to a life of celibacy, it is not right to deny to others that which we are not willing to deny ourselves. The church in the 21st century should take note of the lessens of the Enlightenment and modern scientific andvancements and understandings about human psychology, and be loving and understanding to all humanity, rejecting outdated and discriminatory practices based on archaic notions of ritual uncleanness. There is no place for such hateful behaviour in the Orthodox Church and I would suggest that those who want to participate in it go join the The Westboro Baptist Church ( http://www.godhatesfags.com/ )

'Thou shalt love they neighbour as thyself.'

I'm sorry, I just can't see how God can have a lack of understanding of anything.

God does not create sin.
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« Reply #29 on: February 04, 2006, 07:05:58 PM »

I'm sorry, I just can't see how God can have a lack of understanding of anything.

God does not have a lack of understanding, but sinful men who made these religious taboos and sinful men who interpret the will of God can, and often do, have a lack of understanding.

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God does not create sin.

Yet modern science has taught us God creates people with homosexual tendencies, provided you believe God has the role of creator of humanity...hmmmm...

And yet you argue that it is somehow unnatural and immoral...what kind of a perverse and sadistic god would do such a things a create something and at the same time condemn it? Is this the God of Love that Christians claim to serve?

But please, by all means, I invite you to solve this dilemma for me, if you can.
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« Reply #30 on: February 04, 2006, 07:35:03 PM »

GiC-

   The Truth as we have recieved it is very simple and compassionate and loving while remainng just and righteous. Orthodox Christian morality is clear and easy to know. It does not come from the Enlightenment or modern science's philosophical pre-suppositions. Our stand on different moral issues comes from revelation and the historic teaching of the Church through divinely revealed Scripture and Spirit-preserved Holy Tradition. If some heretical group loses the Orthodox balance on a subject like homosexuality by squeezing out the compassion while retaining a call to repentance, how does that invalidate the Fathers' teachings? If modern science determines homosexuality is a genetic predisposition how does that change what God Himself has revealed as right and wrong? It merely shows that the Fall can express itself even on a cellular level.
   As for the suggestion that Orthodox Christians who hold the historic teachings of the Church regarding  homosexuality should join the hateful organization you mentioned: it is an offensive suggestion and shows either a lack of understanding  of the Orthodox position or an inability to have an intelligent disagreement without demonizing the opposition with ridiculous caricatures.
       
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« Reply #31 on: February 04, 2006, 07:41:20 PM »

God does not have a lack of understanding, but sinful men who made these religious taboos and sinful men who interpret the will of God can, and often do, have a lack of understanding.

Yet modern science has taught us God creates people with homosexual tendencies, provided you believe God has the role of creator of humanity...hmmmm...

And yet you argue that it is somehow unnatural and immoral...what kind of a perverse and sadistic god would do such a things a create something and at the same time condemn it? Is this the God of Love that Christians claim to serve?

But please, by all means, I invite you to solve this dilemma for me, if you can.

   And pedophiliacs? Really, does the Church teach that everything God created is running as it should
or was there a Fall from this perfection that affects each of us with, among other things, predispositions to certain sins?..............You could solve the dilemna yourself if you wanted to............

In Christ,
Rd. David
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« Reply #32 on: February 04, 2006, 07:53:44 PM »

Oh come on, David! Your'e surely not going to accuse GiC of being a "liberal"!
Simplistic answers are for Protestant simpletons, not Orthodox Christians.
This may surprise you, but there are Orthodox Christians who disagree with your approach.
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« Reply #33 on: February 04, 2006, 07:55:19 PM »

A liberal is nothing more than a person who upholds liberty. I fail to see how is became a dirty word.
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« Reply #34 on: February 04, 2006, 08:13:13 PM »

A liberal is nothing more than a person who upholds liberty. I fail to see how is became a dirty word.

If you really believe this, I have a wonderful bridge in London to sell you...

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« Reply #35 on: February 04, 2006, 08:17:25 PM »

"Liberal" and "conservative" have nothing to do with it.
I find myself in the (very unusual) position of sharing GiC's sentiment here. Whenever the issue of same-gender attraction comes up, everyone seems to have a simple, stock-standard answer....It just doesn't work in a real world with real people. Yes, homosexual acts are a sin, but no more a sin than fornication. Yet someone on this thread even went on to suggest that fornication is more an "icon" of marriage! So somehow, they think that a grievous sin resembles a Sacred Mystery of the Church!
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« Reply #36 on: February 04, 2006, 08:19:30 PM »

Oh come on, David! Your'e surely not going to accuse GiC of being a "liberal"!
Simplistic answers are for Protestant simpletons, not Orthodox Christians.
This may surprise you, but there are Orthodox Christians who disagree with your approach.

 ÃƒÆ’‚ It does not surprise me when fellow Orthodox disagree with me on a host of subjects (e.g. politics). It does surprise me when they disagree on basic Orthodox Christian morality and how we can know what is right and wrong.
 ÃƒÆ’‚ It is sometimes hard to find the Church's historic teachings on certain peripheral subjects; it is not hard to do so with basic morality and dogma.
 ÃƒÆ’‚ If an Orthodox Christian strives to know these things through Scripture, the Fathers, the consistent teaching of the Church throughout the ages he is seeking the simple truth, not simplistic answers. Right and wrong is found in revelation, not test tubes and centrifuges. And I am not sure how this became my approach- I didn't make it up.......

Pax, Brother
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« Reply #37 on: February 04, 2006, 08:32:27 PM »

Yet someone on this thread even went on to suggest that fornication is more an "icon" of marriage! So somehow, they think that a grievous sin resembles a Sacred Mystery of the Church!


Oi!

Ps 56:5:  "All day they twist my words; All their thoughts are against me for evil."

Forgive me if my words offended you- the point was that although both are serious sins, one is a greater deviation in type if not in kind from the other.
 

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« Reply #38 on: February 04, 2006, 08:36:56 PM »

David,
No one on this thread has disagreed with your view of the sinful nature of homosexual sex. What I disagree with is your approach as to how to apply this in our Western societies in the 21st century, and how the Church can best minister to those who find themselves in the unenviable position of being same-sex attracted.
If we take the Orthodox view, then passions are not sins in themselves. The non-Orthodox view is that passions themselves are sinful. If we approach this issue from the non-Orthodox view, then we create untold psychological suffering for those who find themselves attracted to the same sex. If we approach this issue from the Orthodox view of passions, then we may be able to offer an understanding and hope to people who find themselves same-sex attracted which may allow them to seek theosis. If we punish people by discriminating against them simply because they have a particular passion, then we have closed the doors of salvation to them- and consequently, to ourselves.
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« Reply #39 on: February 04, 2006, 08:47:11 PM »

Ps 56:5:  "All day they twist my words; All their thoughts are against me for evil."

Forgive me if my words offended you- the point was that although both are serious sins, one is a greater deviation in type if not in kind from the other. 

Methinks we should be leery of nitpicking to this degree; in classifying sin, we get very close to attempting to exert power over it, which is something we do not have, only God does.  Anyway, when you do start to make multi-level distinctions of sin, the process goes to the extreme and we get strict classifications - as found in the Latin Church.
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« Reply #40 on: February 04, 2006, 08:50:52 PM »

the point was that although both are serious sins, one is a greater deviation in type if not in kind from the other.
David,
Fornication and marriage, by definition, are complete opposites both in type and kind.
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« Reply #41 on: February 04, 2006, 09:07:18 PM »

   I am glad we're all on the same page as far as the sinfulness of homosexuality is concerned........I was on the verge of replying to the reponses to my latest post but I realized I was falling into the basic internet trap of the never-ending nitpicking of one anothers' posts. It would be better if we could get off the ground floor of a thread like this and actually get somewhere with the conversation.........
  Granted, homosexuality is a sin and the people who suffer from this need to be brought to healing and repentance through a loving Christian witness- how would you go about that?
  Are you thinking of an independent ministry like "Exodus" I think it is called or parish support groups, pastoral workshops for confessors.......the only approach I think I put forward earlier was not wanting to change existing law to give the appearance of sanctioning immorality. That is something NOT to do, what is something positive that could be done?
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« Reply #42 on: February 04, 2006, 09:11:56 PM »

If you really believe this, I have a wonderful bridge in London to sell you...

"‘By definition’, Maurice Cranston rightly pointed out, ‘a liberal is a man who believes in liberty’ (Cranston, 459). In two different ways, liberals accord liberty primacy as a political value. First, liberals have typically maintained that humans are naturally in ‘a State of perfect Freedom to order their Actions…as they think fit…without asking leave, or depending on the Will of any other Man’ (Locke, 1960 [1689]: 287). Mill too argued that
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« Reply #43 on: February 04, 2006, 09:14:33 PM »

The Truth as we have recieved it is very simple and compassionate and loving while remainng just and righteous. Orthodox Christian morality is clear and easy to know. It does not come from the Enlightenment or modern science's philosophical pre-suppositions.

It doesn't come from philosophical pre-supposistions? First of all many of the fathers who you are so fond of bring up would disagree with you (e.g. St. Clement of Alexandria). Second am I to believe that truths that have been revealed to us by science or philosophy, by the mind and logic which God has given us, are to be dismissed without consideration? It must be nice to be able to excuse yourself from moral responsibilities and the difficulities associated with being a moral person by simply quoting dogmas and decrees, no matter how distant they are from what we know from experience to be true. Concerning Justice, I shall quote St. Isaac the Syrian, 'Never say that God is just. If he were just you would be in hell. Rely only on His injustice which is mercy, love and forgiveness.'

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Our stand on different moral issues comes from revelation and the historic teaching of the Church through divinely revealed Scripture and Spirit-preserved Holy Tradition. If some heretical group loses the Orthodox balance on a subject like homosexuality by squeezing out the compassion while retaining a call to repentance, how does that invalidate the Fathers' teachings?

If some new-coming heretical group (i.e. Christianity) ignores the Law of god on a subject like eating pork how does that invalidate the Levitical Law that was Given by God and handed down by the Priests, Prophets, and Rabbis?

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If modern science determines homosexuality is a genetic predisposition how does that change what God Himself has revealed as right and wrong? It merely shows that the Fall can express itself even on a cellular level.

WOW, this is amongst the most radical versions of Orginal Sin I have heard, our very biology is changed by the fall and our sinful biology is inherited from father to son...doesn't sound very Orthodox to me. And about God revealing it to be wrong, I fear I dont see that, unfortunately God doesn't come down and talk to me, I only see sinful men condemning something that they are Ignorant of and clearly feel threatened by, just like the opressive restrictions ment to make women second class citizens in society. This is the fear, pride, arrogance, and hatred of sinful men...NOT the Love of the All-Merciful God. I have left calvinism and renounced that heresy, so please dont use legalistic arguments stemming from Anselmian Blood Atonement to try to defend a notion of a ruthless and vengful God, I've heard them all, and quite frankly they're pagan.

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As for the suggestion that Orthodox Christians who hold the historic teachings of the Church regarding  homosexuality should join the hateful organization you mentioned: it is an offensive suggestion and shows either a lack of understanding  of the Orthodox position or an inability to have an intelligent disagreement without demonizing the opposition with ridiculous caricatures.

You have presented arguments for your posistion based on a legalistic God, that has more concern for upholding ancient texts than for the souls of his creation; a God that desires not all to be saved, but would actively condemn to everlasting hell one of his creatures that both Loves and Serves him for living a life that is consonant with the Nature God gave him. I fear I do not see a substantive difference between the posistion you espouse and the posistion of the Westboro Baptist Church...the only differences are in emphasis and degrees of severity.

And pedophiliacs? Really, does the Church teach that everything God created is running as it should
or was there a Fall from this perfection that affects each of us with, among other things, predispositions to certain sins?..............You could solve the dilemna yourself if you wanted to............

I dont know that the problem is as easy to solve as you suggest, in Ancient Greece a form of Pedophilia was not only Culturally Acceptable, but often expected. Perhaps our objections to this act which I would clearly describe as disgusting (along with homosexuality), are not some absolute moral standards as you claim, but rather cultural standards, that are relative to the society and place...perhaps the only universal moral standard we can uphold is the one that our Lord gave us in relation to our conduct with our neighbours...'Love they Neighbour as thyself.'
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« Reply #44 on: February 04, 2006, 09:15:02 PM »

   I am glad we're all on the same page as far as the sinfulness of homosexuality is concerned

Homosexuality may be a sin but in a free, democratic and secular society, work-place discrimination and hate crimes should not be tolerated. Furthermore, given that arguments against civil marriage for homosexuals ultimately boil down to purely religious reasons, the separation of church and state should forbid such a restriction on marriage.
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