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Author Topic: Did the Church sanction gay marriage?  (Read 24584 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: December 05, 2006, 07:25:39 AM »

Quote
Irish Times, August 11, 1998
Dublin, Ireland

When Marriage Between Gays Was a Rite

As the churches struggle with the issue of homosexuality, a long tradition of gay marriage indicates that the Christian attitude towards same sex unions may not always have been as "straight" as is now suggested, writes Jim Duffy.

Opinion: Rite and Reason
by Jim Duffy

A Kiev art museum contains a curious icon from St. Catherine's monastery on Mt. Sinai. It shows two robed Christian saints. Between them is a traditional Roman pronubus (best man) overseeing what in a standard Roman icon would be the wedding of a husband and wife. In the icon, Christ is the pronubus. Only one thing is unusual. The "husband and wife" are in fact two men.

Is the icon suggesting that a homosexual "marriage" is one sanctified by Christ? The very idea seems initially shocking. The full answer comes from other sources about the two men featured, St. Serge and St. Bacchus, two Roman soldiers who became Christian martyrs.

While the pairing of saints, particularly in the early church, was not unusual, the association of these two men was regarded as particularly close. Severus of Antioch in the sixth century explained that "we should not separate in speech [Serge and Bacchus] who were joined in life". More bluntly, in the definitive 10th century Greek account of their lives, St. Serge is openly described as the "sweet companion and lover" of St. Bacchus.

In other words, it confirms what the earlier icon implies, that they were a homosexual couple. Their orientation and relationship was openly accepted by early Christian writers. Furthermore, in an image that to some modern Christian eyes might border on blasphemy, the icon has Christ himself as their pronubus, their best man overseeing their "marriage".

The very idea of a Christian homosexual marriage seems incredible. Yet after a twelve year search of Catholic and Orthodox church archives Yale history professor John Boswell has discovered that a type of Christian homosexual "marriage" did exist as late as the 18th century.

Contrary to myth, Christianity's concept of marriage has not been set in stone since the days of Christ, but has evolved as a concept and as a ritual.

Professor Boswell discovered that in addition to heterosexual marriage ceremonies in ancient church liturgical documents (and clearly separate from other types of non-marital blessings of adopted children or land) were ceremonies called, among other titles, the "Office of Same Sex Union" (10th and 11th century Greek) or the "Order for Uniting Two Men" (11th and 12th century).

These ceremonies had all the contemporary symbols of a marriage: a community gathered in a church, a blessing of the couple before the altar, their right hands joined as at heterosexual marriages, the participation of a priest, the taking of the Eucharist, a wedding banquet afterwards. All of which are shown in contemporary drawings of the same sex union of Byzantine Emperor Basil I (867-886) and his companion John. Such homosexual unions also took place in Ireland in the late 12th / early 13th century, as the chronicler Gerald of Wales (Geraldus Cambrensis) has recorded.

Unions in Pre-Modern Europe lists in detail some same sex union ceremonies found in ancient church liturgical documents. One Greek 13th century "Order for Solemnisation of Same Sex Union", having invoked St. Serge and St. Bacchus, called on God to "vouchsafe unto these Thy servants [N and N] grace to love another and to abide unhated and not cause of scandal all the days of their lives, with the help of the Holy Mother of God and all Thy saints". The ceremony concludes: "And they shall kiss the Holy Gospel and each other, and it shall be concluded".

Another 14th century Serbian Slavonic "Office of the Same Sex Union", uniting two men or two women, had the couple having their right hands laid on the Gospel while having a cross placed in their left hands. Having kissed the Gospel, the couple were then required to kiss each other, after which the priest, having raised up the Eucharist, would give them both communion.

Boswell found records of same sex unions in such diverse archives as those in the Vatican, in St. Petersburg, in Paris, Istanbul, and in Sinai, covering a period from the 8th to 18th centuries. Nor is he the first to make such a discovery. The Dominican Jacques Goar (1601-1653) includes such ceremonies in a printed collection of Greek prayer books.

While homosexuality was technically illegal from late Roman times, it was only from about the 14th century that antihomosexual feelings swept western Europe. Yet same sex unions continued to take place.

At St. John Lateran in Rome (traditionally the Pope's parish church) in 1578 a many as 13 couples were "married" at Mass with the apparent cooperation of the local clergy, "taking communion together, using the same nuptial Scripture, after which they slept and ate together", according to a contemporary report.

Another woman to woman union is recorded in Dalmatia in the 18th century. Many questionable historical claims about the church have been made by some recent writers in this newspaper.

Boswell's academic study however is so well researched and sourced as to pose fundamental questions for both modern church leaders and heterosexual Christians about their attitudes towards homosexuality.

For the Church to ignore the evidence in its own archives would be a cowardly cop-out. The evidence shows convincingly that what the modern church claims has been its constant unchanging attitude towards homosexuality is in fact nothing of the sort.

It proves that for much of the last two millennia, in parish churches and cathedrals throughout Christendom from Ireland to Istanbul and in the heart of Rome itself, homosexual relationships were accepted as valid expressions of a God-given ability to love and commit to another person, a love that could be celebrated, honoured and blessed both in the name of, and through the Eucharist in the presence of Jesus Christ.

Jim Duffy is a writer and historian.
http://www.libchrist.com/other/homosexual/gaymarriagerite.html


Are any of these historical claims, such as references to liturgical texts, actually true? I'm not inclined to believe this sort of thing.


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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2006, 07:59:11 AM »

I've read Boswell's work Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality, and while the pro-homosexual bias is obvious, it is still impossible to simply dismiss his work out of hand. Regarding the article you posted, I think it distorts things terribly, as it makes Christian history sound like modern day San Francisco during a gay pride march. If there were indeed pockets of acceptance of homosexuality, they were by far the exception to the rule. As to how much of what Boswell says is accurate, I don't know.

What I can tell you is that I found his exegesis of the relevant Scriptural passages to be interesting, though not wholly convincing. I don't really know enough about the medieval history aspects of his work to even venture a guess. For myself, the more important lesson of his book is that tradition isn't always what you assume that it is, and that we need to learn to not think of history as a black and white thing, as though all the subtlety, diversity and profound complexity of human beings and human society exist only in those alive today.
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2006, 09:35:12 AM »

I simply cannot believe, now more than a decade after it was first published, John Boswell's generally discredited Marriage of Likeness: Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe is still taken seriously by some people. Historians with expertise in the relevant fields thoroughly debunked this book's most controversial thesis and its tortured interpretation of evidence, sometimes fanciful conjecture, and slippery methodology (all in the service of a contemporary gay liberation political agenda). To put it simply, Boswell was grasping at some serious straws to interpret Eastern brotherhood ceremonies as having a marriage-like and sexual dimension. He also notoriously spinned his translations to make the relationships in question to seem more intimate than the evidence suggested. Being a philologist, he should have known better.

It's odd, because most of his previous work was usually well-received (though still controversial) by much of the scholarly community. Perhaps he knew his colleagues would punch enormous holes in his radical thesis, but he wrote it anyway so activists could run with it and an unsuspecting public could take it in without question. It was to be his last book---he died of AIDS in 1994, the same year it was published.



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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2006, 09:43:37 AM »

I simply cannot believe, now more than a decade after it was first published, John Boswell's generally discredited Marriage of Likeness: Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe is still taken seriously by some people.
I guess it has a kind of Da Vinci Code appeal to conspiracy theorists.
I remember distinctly closing the book and returning to the library last century after reading where he said that the Trisagion Hymn was "Holy, Holy Holy...." That gave me an insight into the "depth" of his research.
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« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2006, 09:55:34 AM »

I'd post links to reviews of the work in scholarly journals, but unfortunately the journals are copyrighted. If you have access to a university library's databases, you should be able to read and download them in PDF format via JSTOR.
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« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2006, 10:11:46 AM »

There is an excellent rebuttal to this homosexual claim by a female professor which shows all of the defects in that author's assertions.  This woman - and her friend - actually took part in the very ceremony this man claims is a homosexual union.   I wish I could find the piece but if you google enough you will find it.

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« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2006, 10:47:09 AM »

I just can't believe some people are looking at Boswell's work as authoritative...

wait a minute..I see who started the thread. Now it starts to make sense... Wink
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« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2006, 10:48:34 AM »

Haven't we talked about Boswell, the Byzantine rite of adelphopoiia, and Sts. Serge and Bacchus at least two or three times in the last two years? This stuff is old, old hat.

A simple Google search turns up the following standard source: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/2rites.html
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« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2006, 11:38:16 AM »

Thanks, Pensate...

I was hoping to do the search but didn't get the time to do so until now regarding the last time we discussed this topic...

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9135.0.html
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« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2006, 11:51:50 AM »

Ah, yes. There it is. Thanks, Father. Not a bad thread.

For those who don't want to spend the time to read the other thread, at least check out this review of Boswell's work from none other than Robert Wilken: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/pwh/bosrev-wilken.html

That pretty much says it all.
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« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2006, 12:11:59 PM »

Ah, yes. There it is. Thanks, Father. Not a bad thread.

For those who don't want to spend the time to read the other thread, at least check out this review of Boswell's work from none other than Robert Wilken: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/pwh/bosrev-wilken.html

That pretty much says it all.

Who is Robert Wilken?  (I've never heard of him, but that's just me.)
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« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2006, 12:47:35 PM »

He's the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Early Christian History at the University of Virginia. He's been one of the foremost scholars of early Christian history for the last several decades (especially on issues of rhetoric, biblical interpretation, the eastern fathers, and relations between Christians and Jews in the ancient and Byzantine world). His faculty Web site lists his interests and areas of research as: Early and medieval Christian history and thought; Byzantine Christianity; history of biblical interpretation; early Christian ethics; Eastern Christianity; Christianity and Islam; Augustine.

He has an excellent command of English prose, by the way, so his books are always easy to read. Here's a list of some of his more famous:

Seek His Face Always: The Pattern of Early Christian Thought (Yale University Press: 2002)
Remembering the Christian Past (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.: 1995)
The Land Called Holy: Palestine in Christian History and Thought (Yale University Press: 1992)
The Christians as the Romans Saw Them (Yale University Press: 1984)
John Chrysostom and the Jews: Rhetoric and Reality in the Late Fourth Century (University of California Press: 1983)

I believe he was raised Lutheran and recently became Roman Catholic.
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« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2006, 01:21:06 PM »

I noticed that the article quoted is also from 8 years ago.  So more recent examinations of it's fallacies would not be taken into account.

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« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2006, 01:33:03 PM »

There is an excellent rebuttal to this homosexual claim by a female professor which shows all of the defects in that author's assertions.  This woman - and her friend - actually took part in the very ceremony this man claims is a homosexual union.   I wish I could find the piece but if you google enough you will find it.

It was Robin Darling Young, and the article appeared in First Things in 1994. Here is a copy of it.
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« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2006, 01:46:27 PM »

I simply cannot believe, now more than a decade after it was first published, John Boswell's generally discredited Marriage of Likeness: Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe is still taken seriously by some people. Historians with expertise in the relevant fields thoroughly debunked this book's most controversial thesis and its tortured interpretation of evidence, sometimes fanciful conjecture, and slippery methodology (all in the service of a contemporary gay liberation political agenda). To put it simply, Boswell was grasping at some serious straws to interpret Eastern brotherhood ceremonies as having a marriage-like and sexual dimension. He also notoriously spinned his translations to make the relationships in question to seem more intimate than the evidence suggested. Being a philologist, he should have known better.

It's odd, because most of his previous work was usually well-received (though still controversial) by much of the scholarly community. Perhaps he knew his colleagues would punch enormous holes in his radical thesis, but he wrote it anyway so activists could run with it and an unsuspecting public could take it in without question. It was to be his last book---he died of AIDS in 1994, the same year it was published.






I was in my professor's office the other day, and she has it in her bookcase.  I noticed it because it was slightly prominant and I was drawn to look at it.
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« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2006, 02:19:57 PM »

 Angry Why does this topic keep showing up on a religious forum and an Orthodox forum when the Church clearly does not and never has condoned or in any way recognized this form of behavior.  What's the point? 
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« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2006, 06:34:26 PM »

Ah yes. Robert Wilken. He gave a lecture on Augustine at my university and at the Christian Study Center of Gainesville last year. I would take seriously anything he writes.
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« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2006, 03:02:09 AM »

Angry Why does this topic keep showing up on a religious forum and an Orthodox forum when the Church clearly does not and never has condoned or in any way recognized this form of behavior.  What's the point? 

To better understand history, I would suppose. I think it's a good thing if we are able to refute the claims of revisionist historians.
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« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2006, 05:24:32 AM »

I am always amazed at those in the 21st century looing backward at history with contemporary eyes instead of seekingto understand the times. Although I may be feeble in my history (correct me if I am wrong) was it not a common practice in middle eastern culture  for two men to cut a covenant between each other. The covenant was to be a bond of friendship and peace wherein a cermony would take place, a banquet and a name change. This cutting of the covenant did not imply that a sexual union was to take place or would take place. The only feeble correlation that we have today is the business contract between two parties.
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« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2009, 06:52:04 AM »

Irish Times, August 11, 1998
Dublin, Ireland

When Marriage Between Gays Was a Rite
The very idea of a Christian homosexual marriage seems incredible. Yet after a twelve year search of Catholic and Orthodox church archives Yale history professor John Boswell has discovered that a type of Christian homosexual "marriage" did exist as late as the 18th century.


I was browsing the archive -there is truly a wealth of encyclopedic information - and saw that there has really been no forceful answer to Boswell's assertion that the Orthodox used to conduct gay marriages.  So I'd like to put something on record... something I wrote on CAF...

Boswell is very (and probably deliberately) mistaken with his claims that the church rite of "Brothermaking" (Greek -Adelphopoiesis) is some sort of homosexual marriage.

His notions are well addressed in this article

http://web.archive.org/web/20050215134921/http://www.paratheke.net/stephanos/articles/adelphopoiesis.html



Each of these figures— Boswell, Zymaris, SanFilippo and Halsall, has been working to construct a gay-friendly Christianity, complete with a particular interpretation of Scripture, patron saints, and iconography.

First, as a liturgical rite of the Orthodox Church, adelphopoiesis would not have been in conflict with the fundamental moral teachings of the Church.[24] Second, there exists a substantial body of scholarship on adelphopoiesis and similar rites of adoptive kinship which are known throughout the world. These rites are well understood and do not have the sense that Boswell and others would like to ascribe to them.[25]

Finally, it should be said that the scholarship underlying their claim is highly suspect. Even among those who might have been expected to be sympathetic, Boswell’s work was met with skepticism. As Robin Darling Young notes, “The reviews…have been notably skeptical—even from sources one would expect to be favorable.Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe was greeted by reviewers with many colorful comments. Among them, David Wright, Senior Lecturer in Ecclesiastical History at the University of Edinburgh, wrote, “Mr. Boswell’s adventurous forays impress more for their speculative ingenuity than for common sense. One cannot but admire his immense resourcefulness and glittering intuitions, and lament the fallacious sophistry in whose service they are enlisted."[27] Robert L. Wilken, Professor of the History of Christianity at the University of Virginia, opines: Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe creates a world that never existed, misrepresents Christian practice, and distorts the past. This is a book on a mission, scholarship at the service of social reform, historical learning yoked to a cause, a tract in the cultural wars, and it is in that spirit that it should be read.”[28]
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« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2009, 12:31:37 PM »

Dear Fr. Ambrose,

I have never even heard of this book by Boswell.

Thank you for the information,
Tamara
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« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2009, 03:45:56 PM »

Dear Fr. Ambrose,

I have never even heard of this book by Boswell.

You didn't miss much.  I was at the U of Chicago when it was the pre-publication buzz.  I remember some dopey reinactment of the rite among Polynesians IIRC and asking them what they thought it was.  After publication, not even the militant GALA showed much interest.

No, there is nothing to it.  For one thing, the contentions that the view of homosexuality is a new thing is nonsense.  The canons of St. John the Faster (the first EP) in the Pedalion specifically say that a sodomized boy cannot later be ordained.  (The Pedalion has commentary).

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« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2009, 11:30:37 AM »

You didn't miss much.  I was at the U of Chicago when it was the pre-publication buzz.  I remember some dopey reinactment of the rite among Polynesians IIRC and asking them what they thought it was.  After publication, not even the militant GALA showed much interest.

No, there is nothing to it.  For one thing, the contentions that the view of homosexuality is a new thing is nonsense.  The canons of St. John the Faster (the first EP) in the Pedalion specifically say that a sodomized boy cannot later be ordained.  (The Pedalion has commentary).

Isn't there some Orthodox society devoted to lobbying the bishops to moderate the negative view of the gay lifestyle?   In the States?    Does anyone know what standing it has and are Orthodox who advocate this lifestyle seen as within the boundaries of Orthodoxy or are they subject to sanctions from the bishops?

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« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2009, 10:22:13 AM »

You didn't miss much.  I was at the U of Chicago when it was the pre-publication buzz.  I remember some dopey reinactment of the rite among Polynesians IIRC and asking them what they thought it was.  After publication, not even the militant GALA showed much interest.

No, there is nothing to it.  For one thing, the contentions that the view of homosexuality is a new thing is nonsense.  The canons of St. John the Faster (the first EP) in the Pedalion specifically say that a sodomized boy cannot later be ordained.  (The Pedalion has commentary).

Isn't there some Orthodox society devoted to lobbying the bishops to moderate the negative view of the gay lifestyle?   In the States?    Does anyone know what standing it has and are Orthodox who advocate this lifestyle seen as within the boundaries of Orthodoxy or are they subject to sanctions from the bishops?


I know of one called Axios.  No, it has no blessing from the Church.

There are a number, how shall we say, from within the Church seeking to moderate negative views of homosexuals, as opposed to the gay lifestyle.  I'd rather not name names.
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« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2009, 10:50:09 AM »

Pushing the Gay Agenda in the Greek Archdiocese
WRITTEN BY GLEN CHANCY      
MONDAY, 02 MARCH 2009

http://www.orthodoxbiz.com/20090301355/commentary/pushing-the-gay-agenda-in-the-greek-archdiocese.html
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« Reply #25 on: June 15, 2009, 10:53:28 AM »

Denis Gogolyev and Mikhail Morozov, who live in Nizhny Novgorod, 280 miles east of Moscow, took part in a wedding ceremony.

After a full Orthodox wedding ceremony, Father Vladimir Enert, a local priest of the Moscow Patriarchate, pronounced the pair "man and spouse" and placed gold rings on their fingers.

The couple, beaming with joy, donned gold crowns, an Orthodox wedding tradition, and held hands. "He didn't even frown," Mr. Gogolyev said.

At one point, Father Vladimir paused and asked who would play the role of the man and who that of the woman. "It's the same to us, Father, we're both just spouses," Mr. Gogolyev said he replied.

Source: The Washington Times, September 5, 2003.
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« Reply #26 on: June 15, 2009, 11:12:59 AM »

Pushing the Gay Agenda in the Greek Archdiocese
WRITTEN BY GLEN CHANCY      
MONDAY, 02 MARCH 2009

http://www.orthodoxbiz.com/20090301355/commentary/pushing-the-gay-agenda-in-the-greek-archdiocese.html


Great link.
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« Reply #27 on: June 15, 2009, 11:26:01 AM »

Denis Gogolyev and Mikhail Morozov, who live in Nizhny Novgorod, 280 miles east of Moscow, took part in a wedding ceremony.

After a full Orthodox wedding ceremony, Father Vladimir Enert, a local priest of the Moscow Patriarchate, pronounced the pair "man and spouse" and placed gold rings on their fingers.

The couple, beaming with joy, donned gold crowns, an Orthodox wedding tradition, and held hands. "He didn't even frown," Mr. Gogolyev said.

At one point, Father Vladimir paused and asked who would play the role of the man and who that of the woman. "It's the same to us, Father, we're both just spouses," Mr. Gogolyev said he replied.

Source: The Washington Times, September 5, 2003.


And so you continue to peddle your filth.  Thou shalt not bear false witness: you left out the end of the story.

Quote
Denis Gogolev and Mikhail Morozov have staged their own personal revolution, garnering criticism from both queers and homophobes when their marriage last year by a Russian Orthodox Priest was made public....Queer disapproval intensified after the priest was subsequently defrocked...The marriage ceremony for Denis Gogolev and Mikhail Morozov resulted not only in the defrocking of the priest, but the chapel where it was done was reportedly bulldozed and burned by order of the Orthodox Church.
http://www.thegully.com/essays/russia/040513_gay_lesbian_russia.html

from the same site:
Quote
Between 1997 and 1999, the Eastern Orthodox Church [MP] was rocked by gay-related "scandals." As church authorities excommunicated a bishop on grounds of homosexuality, many priests anonymously revealed that they were gay. Nevertheless, the Church continues to define lesbians and gay men as depraved sinners who should not be allowed to teach at schools or hold positions of authority in the army or in the penal system....The Eastern Orthodox [MP] tradition will always be allied with those elements of the state determined to impose a comprehensive social plan on Russia, which includes wiping out "social deviance," like homosexuality, abortion, divorce and broken families

That you selectively edit the story shows that like your teacher Ms. Olga, you are interested only in slander, and not in presenting Truth.
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« Reply #28 on: June 15, 2009, 01:43:10 PM »

Pushing the Gay Agenda in the Greek Archdiocese
WRITTEN BY GLEN CHANCY      
MONDAY, 02 MARCH 2009

http://www.orthodoxbiz.com/20090301355/commentary/pushing-the-gay-agenda-in-the-greek-archdiocese.html


Great link.

Indeed and quite informative.  Thank you.
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« Reply #29 on: June 15, 2009, 06:43:10 PM »

if you look at the picture of Michael Huffington with the Roam and Orthodox priests you will see the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of San Francisco...please correct me if I am wrong...what gives?
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« Reply #30 on: June 15, 2009, 06:43:58 PM »

if you look at the picture of Michael Huffington with the Roman and Orthodox priests you will see the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of San Francisco...please correct me if I am wrong...what gives?
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« Reply #31 on: June 15, 2009, 08:50:53 PM »

Gee I don't know SDMPNS (sarcasm) but hey, your question brings to mind some things:

1.- The musical La cage aux folles

2.- The song We are family http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmJjD33eKDU

3.- Folsom Street and the Castro.

Spiritual decay, and immorality is what follows those who preach a different Gospel, and false doctrine.

I met a priest during the Glorification of Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco, and I asked "This city has the incorrupt relics of Saint John, miracle working Icons, and such wonderful pious true orthodox christians. Why then is there so much evil round us?"

The priest looked at me straight in the eyes, and said "Iskariot sat right next to the Lord, impious jews stormed the Lord from all sides, as a swarm of mad wasps, even in the holly of hollies." he said nothing and kept looking at me with those piercing bright eyes, and an expressionless face.

I felt as if fresh air came into my head, awakening my mind, everything was clear, and I seeing my own foolishness felt ashamed for asking such a question, and I told him "Of course! the devil attacks God and everything related to Him, in his mad attempt to become God and the lord of everyone".   

After that, the priest and I became silent, I was happy, enlivened, I felt so light and joyful, with such a deep peace, and quietness, my senses were sharpened, my mind was quick as lighting, and I said a quiet prayer in my mind "Glory to you my God, you help me so much in swift and awesome ways, despite my unworthiness". As soon as I finished, the priest said amin and blessed me. It didn't surprise me, there was an authentic soul to soul communication, and the Lord was in our mist, guiding and inspiring us.

 

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THIS USER USED THE SCREEN NAME PRAVOSLAV09 BEFORE.
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« Reply #32 on: June 16, 2009, 06:10:00 AM »

Pravoslav...I have no idea why you would want to be so disrespectful. That is the Metropolitan of San Francisco and I am abit surprised that he would be in the picture. It could be from when Mr. Huffington was running for senator.
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« Reply #33 on: June 16, 2009, 10:37:48 AM »

That is the Metropolitan of San Francisco and I am abit surprised that he would be in the picture. It could be from when Mr. Huffington was running for senator.


Caption from the article:
Michael Huffington gathered with Orthodox and Roman Catholic priests at the ceremony celebrating his endowment of the institute that bears his name at LMU.

According to the article, this photo was taken in 2007:

When not funding films or blogging, Huffington is also busy using his checkbook to directly further his ideas. In 2007, Huffington gave $5 million to Loyola Marymount University to establish the Huffington Ecumenical Institute to promote Catholic-Orthodox dialogue and understanding.
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« Reply #34 on: September 07, 2009, 04:08:14 PM »

Just came across this:
Quote
“Fraternization from a Canonical Perspective”
Athens 1982

Fr. Evangelos K. Mantzouneas
Secretary of the Greek Synod Committee on Legal and Canonical Matters

 English translation by Efthimios Mavrogeorgiadis, May 1994
Minor editing by Nicholas Zymaris

http://syntheosis.org/Synod_Greece_1982.htm

from a very strange blog that combines extreme EP ethnocentrism with seeming support for the gay marriage, etc.: any opinion of his/their posts (they claim to be three as one).  The site is copyrighted, so I can't post quotes, but I am interested in others opinions of the site
http://jn1034.blogspot.com/2009/09/panheresy-is-fathers-of-all-lies.html


It can be graphic: it has a Wedding of Cana in the Background with a wedding cake with two groom in front. Background indeed.  Another is an old type print as one would find in a prayer book, saying "The Neo-Martyrs of the Homosexual Yoke." It runs a misogynist of the week or some such thing: it had a picture of the Pope of Alexandria with what seems to be a journalist on an interview, with a bottle of Viagra superimposed on him.  This is when he repudiated the comments by a bishop in South Africa about women ordination.
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« Reply #35 on: September 07, 2009, 06:55:01 PM »

The troika at JN1034 have defending their site's view on gay marriage this way:

Quote
+++JN1034 said...
>"Which is it worse: a woman’s desire to serve her God or a man’s willingness to lead astray hundreds into schism as the AOI does daily?"

Amen. Amen. Amen.

As for our sibling priest, Fr Gregory ... We appreciate he's made time to visit our blog, and honour us with the appellation "a far greater threat." However, one can't help but be scandalized that amidst the plethora of information we provide and the Tradition we uphold, some people comment only on the minor aspects of sexuality and gender. It comes as no surprise that a recent rating of 200 Orthodox blogs places JN1034 at #14, outdoing the more "popular" Orthodox sites, including Fr. Gregory's Koinonia. Perhaps this is due to either some Orthodox parishes' ineffective, unrealistic, unwelcoming, oft-chastising, theosis-blocking ministry to gays and women, or that some folks' idiopathologies fixate only on the periphery of the vast and eternal Orthodox Tradition.
https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=4988930954657528450&postID=7364030910103952282
(link only for attribution purposes).

It was rated 14 out of 200 Orthodox blogs by these:
http://www.blogged.com/directory/society/religion-and-spirituality/christianity/eastern-orthodox
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 07:07:23 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #36 on: September 08, 2009, 07:04:18 AM »

The troika at JN1034 have defending their site's view on gay marriage this way:

Quote
+++JN1034 said...
>"Which is it worse: a woman’s desire to serve her God or a man’s willingness to lead astray hundreds into schism as the AOI does daily?"

Amen. Amen. Amen.

As for our sibling priest, Fr Gregory ... We appreciate he's made time to visit our blog, and honour us with the appellation "a far greater threat." However, one can't help but be scandalized that amidst the plethora of information we provide and the Tradition we uphold, some people comment only on the minor aspects of sexuality and gender. It comes as no surprise that a recent rating of 200 Orthodox blogs places JN1034 at #14, outdoing the more "popular" Orthodox sites, including Fr. Gregory's Koinonia. Perhaps this is due to either some Orthodox parishes' ineffective, unrealistic, unwelcoming, oft-chastising, theosis-blocking ministry to gays and women, or that some folks' idiopathologies fixate only on the periphery of the vast and eternal Orthodox Tradition.
https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=4988930954657528450&postID=7364030910103952282
(link only for attribution purposes).

It was rated 14 out of 200 Orthodox blogs by these:
http://www.blogged.com/directory/society/religion-and-spirituality/christianity/eastern-orthodox
IMO, this blog rag is rated 14 because of its shock value. The one time I sadly stumbled into this garbage dump, the priest editors were spewing hatred, which could incite violence, against “an elderly OCA professor at St. Vlad’s who wrote a book on homosexuals”.  Anaxios! Anaxios! Anaxios!

(If one must put an ethnic flavor to this toxic waste dump, please refer to it as chariot rather than a troika. Wink )
Is no one else angered that this blog rag puts the +EP seal at the bottom of the page?
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« Reply #37 on: September 08, 2009, 08:09:55 AM »

The troika at JN1034 have defending their site's view on gay marriage this way:

Quote
+++JN1034 said...
>"Which is it worse: a woman’s desire to serve her God or a man’s willingness to lead astray hundreds into schism as the AOI does daily?"

Amen. Amen. Amen.

As for our sibling priest, Fr Gregory ... We appreciate he's made time to visit our blog, and honour us with the appellation "a far greater threat." However, one can't help but be scandalized that amidst the plethora of information we provide and the Tradition we uphold, some people comment only on the minor aspects of sexuality and gender. It comes as no surprise that a recent rating of 200 Orthodox blogs places JN1034 at #14, outdoing the more "popular" Orthodox sites, including Fr. Gregory's Koinonia. Perhaps this is due to either some Orthodox parishes' ineffective, unrealistic, unwelcoming, oft-chastising, theosis-blocking ministry to gays and women, or that some folks' idiopathologies fixate only on the periphery of the vast and eternal Orthodox Tradition.
https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=4988930954657528450&postID=7364030910103952282
(link only for attribution purposes).

It was rated 14 out of 200 Orthodox blogs by these:
http://www.blogged.com/directory/society/religion-and-spirituality/christianity/eastern-orthodox
IMO, this blog rag is rated 14 because of its shock value. The one time I sadly stumbled into this garbage dump, the priest editors were spewing hatred, which could incite violence, against “an elderly OCA professor at St. Vlad’s who wrote a book on homosexuals”.  Anaxios! Anaxios! Anaxios!

(If one must put an ethnic flavor to this toxic waste dump, please refer to it as chariot rather than a troika. Wink )
Is no one else angered that this blog rag puts the +EP seal at the bottom of the page?

Yes.
+Bartholomaios I, Archbishop of Constantinople New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch.

(LOL.  One can only hope).

Under a picture of the primates of the RM/OCA, with hands in the middle raised as to bless, blood all over them:

It then claims that the OCA committed a hate crime against X, a suicide victim at St. Vlad's.

Then there follows a Slavic font heading saying "New Martyrs of the Holy Homosexual Yoke."

Then it claims that the OCA leads in homophobia, with the Antiochians and Copts.

There follows a pink triangle with "Stop Gay Genocide." On the side is their motto, a picture of three elders/bishops WE ARE THREE AS ONE ΕΙΜΑΣΤΕ ΤΡΙΑ ΩΣ ΕΝΑΣ Orthodox.  Homodox. Trinitarian.The first and third are redundant, the second contradicts the first.

It goes on to of course questin the OCA's autocephaly, not accepted they allege by the Orthodox World (a common falsehood), the OCA infiltrated SCOBA with hate-speech and homophobia against its own children. 

It then gets rather threatening, saying that visitors from OCA and St. Vlad's to their site are increasing and that JN1034 sees them, as does God, and says their scandals will come out, and states that the gay communicants of the Orthodox Church have theosis for the taking.

Lord have mercy on X (name withheld by me, as I don't find it appropriate in this context to raise it) and his family.  Whatever there is to mend, may God grant that Met. Jonah (elevated since this post) may mend it.

So these are the people who claim the Church sanctioned gay marriage, which they claim to be the unbroken teaching from Christ through the fathers.?
http://jn1034.blogspot.com/2008/11/vestments-as-sword-ministry-as-shield.html
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« Reply #38 on: September 08, 2009, 08:26:12 AM »

Quote
There are a number, how shall we say, from within the Church seeking to moderate negative views of homosexuals, as opposed to the gay lifestyle.  I'd rather not name names.
Maybe ME? LOL

As I already stated on the topic on celibate partnerships, I don't feel any hatred for those homosexuals living in the church, but they must work on their sexual behaviour and overcome it.
I studied the question of Boswell's works and his vain attempts to demonstrate not just that homosexual LOVE is acceptable, but that homosexual SEX is. The last thing is an abomination. I don't have anything contrary to two persons loving each other more then just friends, but I think that the Church has established once and for all that homosexual sex is contrary to the Gospel ethics, sanctioning this in the canons. I firmly believe that the Church never condemned homosexuals per se. When the church condemns sodomy, she does this using the koiné word "arsenokoitia" meaning "male bed", and thus reflecting an entirely sexual connotation.
As for Boswell's misinterpretations, it suffices to tell three points I found that disprove his conclusions (may God have mercy on him in the last day!)
1) He stated that one of the sources of the Brothermaking rite is the story of st. Bacchus and st. Serge, martyrs. In fact, the hagiography of these two soldiers states that Serge was Bacchus' "erastes". Boswell says that erastes was a common Greek word for an active male pederast in a homosexual relationship. I think he is completely wrong, since the word "erastes" (lit. lover) and its passive counterpart, "eromenos" (lit. beloved) are both derived from the word "eros", which doesn't mean (as in modern bad culture) "sex", but "love". In fact, how would John dare to say that God is sex? obviously, he's not: God is LOVE! That Serge and Bacchus might have an intimate and exclusive affection for each other (something like a very very close intimacy) seems to me to be verily possible, and this doesn't surprise me at all. In the ancient Greek armies, homosexual affection (but not necessarily sex, of course) was incouraged as this led the fellow soldiers to a greater abdication and cooperation on the battlefield. But saying that "eraster" ALWAYS implies a homosexual carnal relationship is as stupid as to say that ALL fiancés necessarily have sex before marriage. Boswell's conclusion proves nothing but the great love in Christ shared by these two men who shared in their blood shed at martyrdom the same crown of bliss. Definitely, Bacchus and Serge loved each other, but in the same manner as Jesus loves the Church... a pure and chaste expression of unconditioned love.
2) He stated that the use of Bacchus and Serge as a prototype of gay marriage in the rite of Adelphopoiesis "proves" that Brothermaking was an euphemism for Homosexual Union. This is not the case, since the same liturgy summons figures such as Peter and Paul, who had been more in hatred then in love for most of their life, and anyway could have had no homosexual relationship... The rite of Adelphopoiesis seemed to me to be a celibate life experienced by two friends in a sort of joint monasticism. The two founded on Christ's blessing a spiritual brotherhood, and offered to help each other as if they were two blood brothers. Since blood brotherhoods had been condemned as a pagan practice, spiritual brotherhoods blessed by the priest founded a valid reciprocal adoption in the eyes of the church. Now, that this rite might also have become an instrument of the Church to grant homosexual lovers some extra-grace this is entirely possible, but it must have done this in hope that the Holy Spirit might have allowed them to resist temptations and conduct a chaste life. As for this, I'd really like to have the rite restored...
3) Some of Boswell's interpretations on the Sodom and Gomorrah episode is, I think, a hole in the water. That Sodom was a deprived city especially for other sins (especially absence of hospitality and charity) this is of no doubt: yet, God condemns the Sodomites also for their pederasty, which adds up to the list of the sins they committed.

In Christ,   Alex

PS: The entire discussion should push the Church not to accept homosexuality, neither to condemn them, but to welcome sinners and offer them a chance to abandon sin. As a healing Church, we must contribute in the spiritual healing of its members. Homosexuals are often rejected independently of their acting upon sin or not... we should on the contrary offer an hand to them, and show them how they must renounce their homosexual conduct (and not their attraction of feelings: temptations are a part of our nature, and love is always good) in order to enter Christ's kingdom.
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« Reply #39 on: September 08, 2009, 10:34:20 AM »

^Hate the sin, love the sinner (and by the sin, I mean actions, not the tendency). I agree with all of the above.
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« Reply #40 on: September 08, 2009, 10:35:09 AM »

Pray for me AlexanderOfBergamo.  I am finding it difficult to embrace priests that stir up hate and potentially deadly crimes against other priests.

BTW, the toxic waste dump site previously mentioned also assures its readers that the His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia is an Atheist Commie and continues to collude with Commies for his personal financial gain.

I won’t put a specific reference on OCnet for this evil comment because it could disperse other noxious gases.
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« Reply #41 on: September 08, 2009, 11:02:04 AM »

Is Boswell the only source for the false belief that bi/homosexuality was not a sin for many centuries and has only lately become a sin? (besides the clergy on the toxic waste site and their fans)
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« Reply #42 on: September 08, 2009, 11:16:02 AM »

Trying to read JN1034 gave me a headache.  Jumble-aya. </pun>

I will try to keep this response as safe-for-work as possible, but those who are of a more sensitive disposition might want to bypass this post.

At any rate, aside from the obvious un-Christian rage, there is a real skirting of the problem at hand regarding Theosis and homosexuality: homosexuality is less about one's attraction to the same gender as it is a rejection of one's own gender.  This is why, in general, homosexuals tend to put on airs of the gender they are not, making a male 'effeminate' and a lesbian, well... I'm not so sure of the proper word for false masculinity in polite conversation.

A primary element of Theosis is the acceptance of one's brokenness, which leads one to admit that one is more than his temptations.  All of us have unnatural temptations, which is why the list that includes homosexuality is usually rather long.  The problem for JN1034 is that he has reduced himself to his temptation, rather than accepting that he has an unnatural temptation which is his cross to bear.  He thinks other people have lighter crosses, which entitles him to 'play hard ball' because he is treated 'unfairly' in his own eyes. However, this is not the path to union with God.

We cannot approach God with wrath in our hearts even for our enemies.  However, he has self-justified himself to the point where it is very clear there is no helping him.  Lord, have mercy!  He has designed a reality-game that only he can win.  He sets the rules and defines the discourse so that no one else has any way of making a point that might challenge him.

The truth is that homosexuality is a very, very big cross to bear, far greater than my own. I have known good men who have strugglewitth it, and have turned themselves over to God's care to remain celibate.  Their spirituality is far superior to my own, and these men surely stand far ahead of me in the Kingdom, should I get there at all.  However, their superior spirituality was not the result of demanding that the Church condone their temptations and grant them license, which is what JN1034 is asking and is the tragedy of his circumstance.

We can only approach God with total and complete surrender of the self.  Everything must be put down, even one's sexuality.  Some put down their sexuality and never again take it up, while others are able to take it up because they have been given the gift to use it wisely in this life.  I have surrendered certain things that I will never again take up because I know myself and my ability to abuse those things.  I am free in other ways, but in certain respects I am not.  All of us have these burdens if we are honest enough to examine ourselves.

When one reads the Marriage Service and the entire theology of the Church regarding marriage and sexuality, it is quite evident that homosexuality is not natural to creation.  The same is true of love and sex, which are two entirely different things, though there is some overlap.  However, to say that all love requires sex is preposterous.  We'd never get anything done in the first place, simply because the male sex drive is insatiable.  Men are expected to harness this drive, more so for the homosexual male than the heterosexual male, but both share a common calling not to act on every sexual impulse.  To say that heterosexual males have an advantage because they can get married and have sex with a legitimate partner totally ignores the fact that married men continue to be drawn to sex with others even after blissful marriage to swimsuit models and Playboy bunnies.  Frankly, I have known men who's impulses got worse with marriage and were more tormented after losing their virginity than they were when they were inexperienced.

JN1034 makes a logic jump that leads him to false assumptions: marriage and sex do not necessarily make people more happy.  This is why St. Paul counsels against marriage.  Marriage is not a natural right, but a gift from God.  To some He does not give the gift, but that does not mean He does not love us.  It simply means He has chosen another path for us to struggle along.  To permit homosexual marriage and sex is akin to breaking the cross.  By denying the burden, it no longer becomes a means of salvation (when struggled with), but rather a certain source of condemnation.

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« Reply #43 on: September 08, 2009, 11:20:46 AM »


At any rate, aside from the obvious un-Christian rage, there is a real skirting of the problem at hand regarding Theosis and homosexuality: homosexuality is less about one's attraction to the same gender as it is a rejection of one's own gender.  This is why, in general, homosexuals tend to put on airs of the gender they are not, making a male 'effeminate' and a lesbian, well... I'm not so sure of the proper word for false masculinity in polite conversation.


Not necessarily true. While many homosexual men can be seen as being very effeminate, there is in fact a large percentage of homosexual men who are more on the masculine side in their behavior. We don't normally notice these masculine homosexual men because they don't stick out like the others do. What's interesting about this is that these "masculine" homosexual men tend to "date" or partner up with the more effeminate ones.
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« Reply #44 on: September 08, 2009, 12:50:29 PM »

Trying to read JN1034 gave me a headache.  Jumble-aya. </pun>

I will try to keep this response as safe-for-work as possible, but those who are of a more sensitive disposition might want to bypass this post.

At any rate, aside from the obvious un-Christian rage, there is a real skirting of the problem at hand regarding Theosis and homosexuality: homosexuality is less about one's attraction to the same gender as it is a rejection of one's own gender.  This is why, in general, homosexuals tend to put on airs of the gender they are not, making a male 'effeminate' and a lesbian, well... I'm not so sure of the proper word for false masculinity in polite conversation.

A primary element of Theosis is the acceptance of one's brokenness, which leads one to admit that one is more than his temptations.  All of us have unnatural temptations, which is why the list that includes homosexuality is usually rather long.  The problem for JN1034 is that he has reduced himself to his temptation, rather than accepting that he has an unnatural temptation which is his cross to bear.  He thinks other people have lighter crosses, which entitles him to 'play hard ball' because he is treated 'unfairly' in his own eyes. However, this is not the path to union with God.

We cannot approach God with wrath in our hearts even for our enemies.  However, he has self-justified himself to the point where it is very clear there is no helping him.  Lord, have mercy!  He has designed a reality-game that only he can win.  He sets the rules and defines the discourse so that no one else has any way of making a point that might challenge him.

The truth is that homosexuality is a very, very big cross to bear, far greater than my own. I have known good men who have strugglewitth it, and have turned themselves over to God's care to remain celibate.  Their spirituality is far superior to my own, and these men surely stand far ahead of me in the Kingdom, should I get there at all.  However, their superior spirituality was not the result of demanding that the Church condone their temptations and grant them license, which is what JN1034 is asking and is the tragedy of his circumstance.

We can only approach God with total and complete surrender of the self.  Everything must be put down, even one's sexuality.  Some put down their sexuality and never again take it up, while others are able to take it up because they have been given the gift to use it wisely in this life.  I have surrendered certain things that I will never again take up because I know myself and my ability to abuse those things.  I am free in other ways, but in certain respects I am not.  All of us have these burdens if we are honest enough to examine ourselves.

When one reads the Marriage Service and the entire theology of the Church regarding marriage and sexuality, it is quite evident that homosexuality is not natural to creation.  The same is true of love and sex, which are two entirely different things, though there is some overlap.  However, to say that all love requires sex is preposterous.  We'd never get anything done in the first place, simply because the male sex drive is insatiable.  Men are expected to harness this drive, more so for the homosexual male than the heterosexual male, but both share a common calling not to act on every sexual impulse.  To say that heterosexual males have an advantage because they can get married and have sex with a legitimate partner totally ignores the fact that married men continue to be drawn to sex with others even after blissful marriage to swimsuit models and Playboy bunnies.  Frankly, I have known men who's impulses got worse with marriage and were more tormented after losing their virginity than they were when they were inexperienced.

JN1034 makes a logic jump that leads him to false assumptions: marriage and sex do not necessarily make people more happy.  This is why St. Paul counsels against marriage.  Marriage is not a natural right, but a gift from God.  To some He does not give the gift, but that does not mean He does not love us.  It simply means He has chosen another path for us to struggle along.  To permit homosexual marriage and sex is akin to breaking the cross.  By denying the burden, it no longer becomes a means of salvation (when struggled with), but rather a certain source of condemnation.


Thank you, Father, for your very knowledgeable assessment. (Very respectfully and sincerely I ask) "Is there a concept of “carrying the cross of racism?"  (The toxic site seemed to focus on specific ethnic jurisdictions.)
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« Reply #45 on: September 08, 2009, 01:13:17 PM »


Thank you, Father, for your very knowledgeable assessment. (Very respectfully and sincerely I ask) "Is there a concept of “carrying the cross of racism?"  (The toxic site seemed to focus on specific ethnic jurisdictions.)

Well, I would say that most racism in general is based on fear of others derived from one's own sense of self-loathing (we tend to loath in others what we hate in ourselves).  Fear is something all people struggle with, which is why all of us are susceptible in some way to racist attitudes.

Then again, what you mean by racism these days can be rather blurry.  There things about certain cultures that I don't like and try to avoid, but that does not make me racist.  In our modern American culture, the term is being overused, so that, for example, I was once accused of racism because I despise 'rap music.'  I told the accuser I didn't think incessant talking (which is what rap sounds like to me) was a racial requirement.

I didn't read enough of the site to make a determination one way or another, since it really was giving me a headache with its jumbled organization and overwhelming offensiveness (a dog with a bishop's mitre caught my eye).  I probably would not dignify it with the term 'racist,' but merely stupid.

Getting back to your question, we all bear the temptation to fear.  Again, the question is whether we give in to temptation or struggle with God's help against it.  I may also be a racist, but the question is not about the temptation but rather whether or not I am willing to fight to overcome it.  As Christians, we are called to love everyone, and this Divine Love we are called to manifest in the world is supposed to overcome our negative attitudes towards others.


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« Reply #46 on: September 08, 2009, 01:34:13 PM »

^Thank you again, Father.
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« Reply #47 on: September 08, 2009, 02:19:14 PM »

^Hate the sin, love the sinner (and by the sin, I mean actions, not the tendency). I agree with all of the above.
Precisely LOL
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Pray for me AlexanderOfBergamo.  I am finding it difficult to embrace priests that stir up hate and potentially deadly crimes against other priests.
I once thought the same too. The advantage of Orthodoxy is that the opinion of one bishop is not authoritative. I even abandoned Roman Catholicism because the judgment of one person, aka the Pope, was binding for everyone in that Church. A bishop - even the Patriarch of Constantinople - has no more power then any other; on the contrary, they only have a greater burden and responsibility in guiding their flock, and they often fail because they're just humans. Don't hate who thinks that faith could justify hatred or violence; on the contrary, pray God that these people might see the light of the true Gospel and become transformed - even transfigured - in holiness by its message of love and hope.


At any rate, aside from the obvious un-Christian rage, there is a real skirting of the problem at hand regarding Theosis and homosexuality: homosexuality is less about one's attraction to the same gender as it is a rejection of one's own gender.  This is why, in general, homosexuals tend to put on airs of the gender they are not, making a male 'effeminate' and a lesbian, well... I'm not so sure of the proper word for false masculinity in polite conversation.


Not necessarily true. While many homosexual men can be seen as being very effeminate, there is in fact a large percentage of homosexual men who are more on the masculine side in their behavior. We don't normally notice these masculine homosexual men because they don't stick out like the others do. What's interesting about this is that these "masculine" homosexual men tend to "date" or partner up with the more effeminate ones.

I have to agree with you, Papist. I personally know some homosexual men and women myself. As they're not in my own religion (most of them are atheists, of course because they see that "Church hatred" I mantioned in my previous post) I can't change their mind, so I keep a friendship hoping that through my witness of religion they might save themselves and be attracted by Holy Orthodoxy. The only exception to this is my best friend, a girl who made the choice of chastity because she has discovered Holy Orthodoxy: she is an example of how one can be attracted to the same sex and learn how to control it and become impassible to sexuality (but not heterosexual, that would be against her true feelings).
Anyway, among these people there are at least a male who could never be thought of as a homosexual (or at least I couldn't understand it alone if he didn't tell me in secret) and of a girl who is... well, very seductive and feminine, I couldn't think of her as a lesbian even when she told me. So, let's stop this prejudice of "gay=effeminate" and "lesbian=masculine". Also, bisexuals are generally in harmony with their biological sex, so they don't fit in the discussion  on sex-exchange which has been proposed here.
Quote
JN1034 makes a logic jump that leads him to false assumptions: marriage and sex do not necessarily make people more happy.  This is why St. Paul counsels against marriage.  Marriage is not a natural right, but a gift from God.  To some He does not give the gift, but that does not mean He does not love us.  It simply means He has chosen another path for us to struggle along.  To permit homosexual marriage and sex is akin to breaking the cross.  By denying the burden, it no longer becomes a means of salvation (when struggled with), but rather a certain source of condemnation.

On this point, I totally agree Father, and I'd put my signature behind it if I could. I even feel a great esteem for these people blessed by God for being called to celibacy. If they only knew it... what a great responsibility is it for the Church to teach them the true meaning and purpose of their condition!

In Christ,    Alex

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« Reply #48 on: September 08, 2009, 09:51:58 PM »


The attacks on Jn1034 are cowerdice, have become personal, and do not debate substantively the issues which divide. I don't agree philosophically with anyone on all issues. I don't know them personally and aside from their use of provocative imagery their actual posts are encouraging loyalty and love to the Ecumenical Throne. I believe if someone want to search more deeply then their side bar is filled with many thought provoking messages and images. I personally believe that sexual behavior outside the confines of marriage are the result of our fallen state. I also readily accept that many married couple engage in sexual conduct not befitting a Christian.  According to Church teaching even masturbation is considered an act outside the acceptable limits established for the welfare of mankind. Homosexuality is on the continuum of sexual conduct or misconduct. I myself to not prescribe to gay marriage through the Orthodox Church. Nor do I accept polygamy as a mystery of the Orthodox church. As a side note, I also do not support the ordination of women as I see feminism as a cult of death.We cannot expect that the church would modify or modulate teachings because people feel or believe a certain way. We can lovingly encourage not preach more suitable expressions of love while relegating sexual conduct to the marital union and imitate Christ with mercy and love. There were ancient bonding rituals or sacraments to further bless and establish close bonds between individuals but these were not marriages as I have come to understand and learn. The group of brothers on JN1034 have many important and relevant messages and teachings for us to learn from. This does not mandate that we accept everything they believe. I have common ground with them on loyalty to the Ecumenical Throne and my serious concerns about the hijacking of the blogosphere to dissenters and those who wish to turn upside down the hierarchy of the church with their brand of liberty; who incite in internal revolution which aggressively attack the mother church and her rightful place. These heretics choose to come here and bash Jn1034 on their orientation rather then the substance of te debate that was actually being discussed. They came to discredit their arguement to some homophobic or anti-homosexual gay bashing. I feel that homosexuals have enough to bear knowing tha they fall outside the norm. They themselves are bashed and discredited by the extremist within their own group. This is far more objectionable and threatening to the church economy. I do not condone personally homosexual behavior or any sexual expression which falls outside of the church teachings. I will not however condemn the homosexual. I perhaps am more offended with the cheating husband. I know that sin is sin; but we must also get real: a child molester sins but his sin has greater impact on society and his soul then someone who unfortunately has a moment of indiscretion. Gays and straights can all love God and serve the Church. They can all sacrifice and defend the honor of the Orthodox Faith. We can all reach out to the lost people of God both straight and gay.  We must all watch that we don't cozy up and unfortunately finds ourselves over identifying with our sinful fallen state. I am a sinner who falls short of the mark regularly. I strive to be and do better. 

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« Reply #49 on: September 08, 2009, 11:29:57 PM »

^^ Wow! I completely missed the "thought provoking messages" that encouraged loyalty and love to the Ecumenical Throne on JN1034.....must have been that picture of my Lord, Jesus Christ, depicted as a       M O R B I D L Y    obese man while hanging on the cross FOR YOU AND ME, that distorted my vision.  No, maybe it was the dog with a bishop’s mitre.  No, maybe it was the rant about how the +MP was a thieving Commie.  No, maybe it was the rant suggesting that an elderly professor at St. Vlad’s was a murderer, which could incite violence against him or his family. No, maybe it was.................... 
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« Reply #50 on: September 09, 2009, 07:45:10 AM »

Dear ms.hoorah,
I encourage you to abandon your accusations which mine Church unity at its base. Even when I don't approve the choices and beliefs of the EP (and I often do this), I'll never accuse him vehemently as you do. After all, we're laypeople and it's not our job to oversee the faith of others in our own Church. The EP is actually in communion with the other three Eastern Patriachates, the Patriarch of Moscow, and many other hierarchs who can vigil over him as fellow bishops, but have naturally chosen to keep in communion with the Phanar. There must be a reason for that... only heresy could push the other churches to abandon the Ecumenical Patriarchate and re-found it... which is of course (I hope) not to happen, since in order to merit it he would be abandoning the dogmas of the Fist Millennium or the indisputed practices of the Orthodox Church, and at that point he wouldn't be Orthodox anymore even before a public condemnation of the Church.

Elgreca262: what do you mean by "I see feminism as a cult of death"? Can you clarify this opinion? I know it's a bit outside of topic, but I think your statement should not be put in the thread like a stone in the water, but like a seed for further discussion (after all, the OP also allows a discussion about gender).

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #51 on: September 09, 2009, 07:52:27 AM »

^^ Wow! I completely missed the "thought provoking messages" that encouraged loyalty and love to the Ecumenical Throne on JN1034.....must have been that picture of my Lord, Jesus Christ, depicted as a       M O R B I D L Y    obese man while hanging on the cross FOR YOU AND ME, that distorted my vision.  No, maybe it was the dog with a bishop’s mitre.  No, maybe it was the rant about how the +MP was a thieving Commie.  No, maybe it was the rant suggesting that an elderly professor at St. Vlad’s was a murderer, which could incite violence against him or his family. No, maybe it was....................  

AlexanderOfBergamo,
Methinks the above is an exercise in extreme sarcasm.  But I'll let ms.hoorah speak definitively for herself.
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« Reply #52 on: September 09, 2009, 08:38:32 AM »

My commentary regarding feminism being a cult of death is when taken to it's end it is a culture of death. Death of the woman as a unique creature of God. Refashioning her as something altogether different. There are practical reasons why N.O.W never speak out against cruelty to women who are conservative or anti abortion. Feminism which lays firm grasp of the concept that gender is beside the point in every scenario is unnatural and way off the mark. Abortion should be no suprise, growing rates of promiscuity and divorce are expected. We all need to celebrate the roles and visions God has for his people his men and women. This would be the case for homosexual tendencies and other sexual devient behaviors. I might at that JN1034 have very provocative imagery on their site. Rather then just bashing their statements or pictures I have been reading diligently about their position and the church position. I don't consider all sin to be equitable the sin of abortion is different then the sin of stealing though both are transgressions. I understood well one point they make regarding sexual orientation: there have been and will continue to be homosexual individuals who identify themselves as orthodox who either have martyred for this cause or will do so in the future. There have been many defenders of the faith some perhaps notable and others anonymous who have suffered for their faith, struggling with their sin as we all should. I am not here to defend, nor can I defend in truth, the position that homosexual behavior is equitable with heterosexual behavior within the confines of the marital bed. I beleive for the orthodox church marriage is confined to one man one woman. I believe that there is little difference between the man who engages in sexual behavior with another man and the husband who watches pornography. They both damage their relationship with God and with their partners. This is as honest as I can be. Shunning the seeker, the lover (agape) of Christ, is not Christian. Attacking ones weakness because you can't debate other issues with which you disagree demonstrates ineptitude.
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« Reply #53 on: September 09, 2009, 08:50:17 AM »

What about unmarried heterosexual couples who live together? Should they be married in an Orthodox service? There does seem to be a bit of discrepency in how we treat these issues.I know several couples who "shacked up" to use an old time label who were subsequently married in Church.
The JN1034 site is getting lots of publicity and numerous hits on their site...Their imagery is very disturbing to me personally..I do wish we could have a discussion about the issues they raise.
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« Reply #54 on: September 09, 2009, 10:01:27 AM »

My commentary regarding feminism being a cult of death is when taken to it's end it is a culture of death. Death of the woman as a unique creature of God. Refashioning her as something altogether different. There are practical reasons why N.O.W never speak out against cruelty to women who are conservative or anti abortion. Feminism which lays firm grasp of the concept that gender is beside the point in every scenario is unnatural and way off the mark. Abortion should be no suprise, growing rates of promiscuity and divorce are expected. We all need to celebrate the roles and visions God has for his people his men and women. This would be the case for homosexual tendencies and other sexual devient behaviors. I might at that JN1034 have very provocative imagery on their site. Rather then just bashing their statements or pictures I have been reading diligently about their position and the church position. I don't consider all sin to be equitable the sin of abortion is different then the sin of stealing though both are transgressions. I understood well one point they make regarding sexual orientation: there have been and will continue to be homosexual individuals who identify themselves as orthodox who either have martyred for this cause or will do so in the future. There have been many defenders of the faith some perhaps notable and others anonymous who have suffered for their faith, struggling with their sin as we all should. I am not here to defend, nor can I defend in truth, the position that homosexual behavior is equitable with heterosexual behavior within the confines of the marital bed. I beleive for the orthodox church marriage is confined to one man one woman. I believe that there is little difference between the man who engages in sexual behavior with another man and the husband who watches pornography. They both damage their relationship with God and with their partners. This is as honest as I can be. Shunning the seeker, the lover (agape) of Christ, is not Christian. Attacking ones weakness because you can't debate other issues with which you disagree demonstrates ineptitude.
Thanks for making your position clearer. I support your world view. On the personal sanctity of homosexual Christians, your right. Wasn't Seraphim Rose an homosexual before he took on his monastic tonsure? Isn't the relationship between Serge and Bacchus, and that of Perpetua and Felicitas, more then just an ordinary friendship? Of course! I think these two couples of martyrs really loved each other in an intimate sense, but that doesn't change the way they were faithful to Christendom. The same church that condemns pederasty, has had no problem in canonizing these saints, because they are witness of how an Orthodox homosexual should behave. They're not icons of homosexual marriage... they're icons of a spiritual bond between people of the same gender. What a difference is this!

What about unmarried heterosexual couples who live together? Should they be married in an Orthodox service? There does seem to be a bit of discrepency in how we treat these issues.I know several couples who "shacked up" to use an old time label who were subsequently married in Church.
The JN1034 site is getting lots of publicity and numerous hits on their site...Their imagery is very disturbing to me personally..I do wish we could have a discussion about the issues they raise.

I don't know almost anything of JN1034, and sincerely, I have no time or intention to study and discuss their position: my path to Orthodoxy is led by God's love, by the original message of the Gospel, which is LOVE ("Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, all thy soul, all thy strenght and all thy mind"; "Love thy neighbour like thyself"; "Love each other, as I have loved you"; "Love your enemies...") and by Christ's example of mercy and understanding ("Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they're doing"). There's no space for a message of hatred and discrimination, no matter what it is: a person who defends a just cause using violence and insults, is even a more serious sinner then the one opposing the cause with his life. Our Lord said not to judge. Judgment has been pronounced by God in the Holy Spirit's voice at the Ecumenical Councils and in the Bible, and we should just agree with what's already been established, and abstain from useless innuendos. This said, I think there's a slight distinction to be made in what you said.
Personally, I'm not contrary to two fiancés living together, as my answer to Liz's post clearly shows. What a betrothed couple must/should have in mind is, anyway, that this betrothal is just a temporary condition, and that the final aim of the couple is to wear those Crowns the priest will give them at the Holy Mystery of Matrimony. Even in the condition of betrothal, though, sex is strictly prohibited... the betrothed couple obtains the same MUSTs as a married couple but can't enjoy the same sexual relationship which is blessed and sacred only through the Sacrament. This way the Church doesn't show (as some atheists would say) some sort of sexophobia. On the contrary, in the Orthodox Church sex is so sacred that the Christian community is given rules (canons) by which the sanctity of the physical bond between two partners is defended. The care of sex in Orthodoxy is the same as for the sacraments, for monasticism and for every other aspect of an ordinary human life which could either help or compromise one's way towards God.


In Christ,    Alex
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« Reply #55 on: September 09, 2009, 10:25:13 AM »

My commentary regarding feminism being a cult of death is when taken to it's end it is a culture of death. Death of the woman as a unique creature of God. Refashioning her as something altogether different. There are practical reasons why N.O.W never speak out against cruelty to women who are conservative or anti abortion. Feminism which lays firm grasp of the concept that gender is beside the point in every scenario is unnatural and way off the mark. Abortion should be no suprise, growing rates of promiscuity and divorce are expected. We all need to celebrate the roles and visions God has for his people his men and women. This would be the case for homosexual tendencies and other sexual devient behaviors. I might at that JN1034 have very provocative imagery on their site. Rather then just bashing their statements or pictures I have been reading diligently about their position and the church position. I don't consider all sin to be equitable the sin of abortion is different then the sin of stealing though both are transgressions. I understood well one point they make regarding sexual orientation: there have been and will continue to be homosexual individuals who identify themselves as orthodox who either have martyred for this cause or will do so in the future. There have been many defenders of the faith some perhaps notable and others anonymous who have suffered for their faith, struggling with their sin as we all should. I am not here to defend, nor can I defend in truth, the position that homosexual behavior is equitable with heterosexual behavior within the confines of the marital bed. I beleive for the orthodox church marriage is confined to one man one woman. I believe that there is little difference between the man who engages in sexual behavior with another man and the husband who watches pornography. They both damage their relationship with God and with their partners. This is as honest as I can be. Shunning the seeker, the lover (agape) of Christ, is not Christian. Attacking ones weakness because you can't debate other issues with which you disagree demonstrates ineptitude.

I would consider myself a feminist. I do not think gender is 'beside the point'. I simply think that it is cruel and wrong to impose limitations on people based on their gender, which are not absolutely necessary. Thus, of course, men cannot have babies and women cannot grow beards. These are biological limitations. Nor can one reasonably expect that a male nurse should be allowed to insist upon intimate nursing of a nun, or a female doctor to a priest. These are limitations that result from respect for others. But, one should not object to the man becoming a nurse, or the woman a doctor. When I uphold the right of the female doctor and the male nurse, I consider myself a feminist. I expect my idea of feminism differs from yours, but I am slightly shocked that you can bring yourself to call it a 'cult of death'. And I certainly don't think anyone human has been 'refashioning' me!

Edit: I will also agree with Papist and others that it is simply not true that homosexuality results in men being less 'manly' and women less 'feminine'. I find it slightly offensive, too, that effeminacy in a man or the equivalent in a woman are seen as negative qualities. My partner cooked me a lovely meal yesterday: should we then condemn him for behaviour unbecoming to a man?!
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« Reply #56 on: September 09, 2009, 12:02:17 PM »

^^ Wow! I completely missed the "thought provoking messages" that encouraged loyalty and love to the Ecumenical Throne on JN1034.....must have been that picture of my Lord, Jesus Christ, depicted as a       M O R B I D L Y    obese man while hanging on the cross FOR YOU AND ME, that distorted my vision.  No, maybe it was the dog with a bishop’s mitre.  No, maybe it was the rant about how the +MP was a thieving Commie.  No, maybe it was the rant suggesting that an elderly professor at St. Vlad’s was a murderer, which could incite violence against him or his family. No, maybe it was....................  

AlexanderOfBergamo,
Methinks the above is an exercise in extreme sarcasm.  But I'll let ms.hoorah speak definitively for herself.
Cleveland,
Sadly, no, these things are actually on this toxic site.  I am really unsure of why AlexanderOfBergamo bizarrely states I am accusing the +EP of creating this awful site.  Clearly, the +EP did not create this site and I never accused the +EP of this offense.  Very bizarre accusation!

The creators of this offensive filth placed what looks to be the +EP seal at the bottom of the page. In addition, they placed a gauge to show you that they are tracking or can track your IP number.  "Be careful" if you must visit this toilet.
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« Reply #57 on: September 09, 2009, 12:48:55 PM »

My commentary regarding feminism being a cult of death is when taken to it's end it is a culture of death. Death of the woman as a unique creature of God. Refashioning her as something altogether different. There are practical reasons why N.O.W never speak out against cruelty to women who are conservative or anti abortion. Feminism which lays firm grasp of the concept that gender is beside the point in every scenario is unnatural and way off the mark. Abortion should be no suprise, growing rates of promiscuity and divorce are expected. We all need to celebrate the roles and visions God has for his people his men and women. This would be the case for homosexual tendencies and other sexual devient behaviors. I might at that JN1034 have very provocative imagery on their site. Rather then just bashing their statements or pictures I have been reading diligently about their position and the church position. I don't consider all sin to be equitable the sin of abortion is different then the sin of stealing though both are transgressions. I understood well one point they make regarding sexual orientation: there have been and will continue to be homosexual individuals who identify themselves as orthodox who either have martyred for this cause or will do so in the future. There have been many defenders of the faith some perhaps notable and others anonymous who have suffered for their faith, struggling with their sin as we all should. I am not here to defend, nor can I defend in truth, the position that homosexual behavior is equitable with heterosexual behavior within the confines of the marital bed. I beleive for the orthodox church marriage is confined to one man one woman. I believe that there is little difference between the man who engages in sexual behavior with another man and the husband who watches pornography. They both damage their relationship with God and with their partners. This is as honest as I can be. Shunning the seeker, the lover (agape) of Christ, is not Christian. Attacking ones weakness because you can't debate other issues with which you disagree demonstrates ineptitude.
Thanks for making your position clearer. I support your world view. On the personal sanctity of homosexual Christians, your right. Wasn't Seraphim Rose an homosexual before he took on his monastic tonsure? Isn't the relationship between Serge and Bacchus, and that of Perpetua and Felicitas, more then just an ordinary friendship?

HELLO? PRIESTS ON OCNET?  Please respond to this statement.

Of course! I think these two couples of martyrs really loved each other in an intimate sense, but that doesn't change the way they were faithful to Christendom. The same church that condemns pederasty, has had no problem in canonizing these saints, because they are witness of how an Orthodox homosexual should behave.

HELLO? PRIESTS ON OCNET?  Please respond to this statement.

 

I don't know almost anything of JN1034, and sincerely, I have no time or intention to study and discuss their position: my path to Orthodoxy is led by God's love, by the original message of the Gospel, which is LOVE ("Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, all thy soul, all thy strenght and all thy mind"; "Love thy neighbour like thyself"; "Love each other, as I have loved you"; "Love your enemies...") and by Christ's example of mercy and understanding ("Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they're doing"). There's no space for a message of hatred and discrimination, no matter what it is: a person who defends a just cause using violence and insults, is even a more serious sinner then the one opposing the cause with his life.
There have been zero judgmental statements made on this thread EXCEPT about those who desire to distort the Orthodox Christian faith.  I am not a theologian because God needed me to pursue a career in healthcare. I am hoping a priest or deacon (soon to be ordained to the Holy Priesthood....Cleveland Smiley) will reply to your statements.

 
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« Reply #58 on: September 09, 2009, 01:00:20 PM »

Edit: I will also agree with Papist and others that it is simply not true that homosexuality results in men being less 'manly' and women less 'feminine'. I find it slightly offensive, too, that effeminacy in a man or the equivalent in a woman are seen as negative qualities. My partner cooked me a lovely meal yesterday: should we then condemn him for behaviour unbecoming to a man?!

Being 'effeminate' is quite different from being 'feminine' - http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/effeminate

Perhaps there are plenty of men who would find your assumption of cooking being a feminine trait as being offensive as well (Wolfgang Puck, Paul Prudhomme, Emeril Lagasse [sp?], etc.).  Being offended is not really evidence as to much of anything in many cases.

By effeminate, we are speaking of unnatural and constructed behaviors that purposely are out of place on a man.  It has nothing to do with feminine traits, since many of those who are effeminate grossly exaggerate feminine behavior in a cartoonish way.

However, I stand by the premise that most gays are either effeminate or tend to be attracted to the effeminate in other men.  Obviously there will always be a minority exception, but the overriding gay culture is awash in false genderism.  Yes, there are a few 'Bears,' akin the the English 'rough trade' variety of homosexuality, but their relationships hinge on one partner assuming 'dominance' while the other is the 'submissive,' the latter who gives up his male role to bring balance to the relationship.  Now, you can spend all day citing personal experiences of the exceptions, but one trip to West Hollywood or Santa Monica will show that the overwhelming majority of gay men display effeminate traits.  For some it is a pleasure, but others speak of it as a burden (read Quentin Crisp for insight into the inner suffering of the effeminate gay male).

Aside from affect, I also operate from the assumption that part of genuine masculinity and genuine femininity is attraction to the opposite sex, ergo homosexuality is a rejection of the created order and therefore a rejection of one's self.  Just so you understand that I am not singling out homosexuals, the same is true for obese people who eat to the point of joint damage and organ failure, the alcoholic who drinks himself to death, and countless other 'dangerous attractions.'  Each of these reject the reality of who we are in Jesus Christ and the cosmos.  When we sin, we reject our true nature and identity, and ultimately ourselves.

I do not think all homosexuals choose their orientation, but most alcoholics do not choose their bodily reaction to alcohol either.  Other personality disorders can be traced to involuntary biological problems.  This being the case, a person with a brain injury that leaves him susceptible to violence is still expected to control his behavior.  He may be tempted to violence, but society expects we control our instincts.  So long as we sin, we reject who we are.  I don't condemn homosexuals for their temptations, since I know my own weaknesses.  I do condemn those who say that we should act out on our impulses just because we did not choose them.

That's the absurdity of 'gay marriage.'


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« Reply #59 on: September 09, 2009, 01:12:44 PM »

Edit: I will also agree with Papist and others that it is simply not true that homosexuality results in men being less 'manly' and women less 'feminine'. I find it slightly offensive, too, that effeminacy in a man or the equivalent in a woman are seen as negative qualities. My partner cooked me a lovely meal yesterday: should we then condemn him for behaviour unbecoming to a man?!

Being 'effeminate' is quite different from being 'feminine' - http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/effeminate

Given the rest of your post, I remain confused as to what you think the difference is.

Quote
Perhaps there are plenty of men who would find your assumption of cooking being a feminine trait as being offensive as well (Wolfgang Puck, Paul Prudhomme, Emeril Lagasse [sp?], etc.).  Being offended is not really evidence as to much of anything in many cases.


My intention was to expose how ridiculous it is to pretend that behaviour stereotypes such as 'masculine' and 'feminine', 'effeminate' and 'butch' are anything but a social construct.

Quote
By effeminate, we are speaking of unnatural and constructed behaviors that purposely are out of place on a man.  It has nothing to do with feminine traits, since many of those who are effeminate grossly exaggerate feminine behavior in a cartoonish way.


Like how?

Quote
However, I stand by the premise that most gays are either effeminate or tend to be attracted to the effeminate in other men.  Obviously there will always be a minority exception, but the overriding gay culture is awash in false genderism.  Yes, there are a few 'Bears,' akin the the English 'rough trade' variety of homosexuality, but their relationships hinge on one partner assuming 'dominance' while the other is the 'submissive,' the latter who gives up his male role to bring balance to the relationship.  Now, you can spend all day citing personal experiences of the exceptions, but one trip to West Hollywood or Santa Monica will show that the overwhelming majority of gay men display effeminate traits.  For some it is a pleasure, but others speak of it as a burden (read Quentin Crisp for insight into the inner suffering of the effeminate gay male).

I would ask, respectfully, whether it is possible that you've formed this opinion because you simply don't notice as homosexual those men and women whose behaviour does not draw you to form that conclusion about their sexuality? I have only once met a stereotypical 'butch' lesbian, and I know a whole lot of lesbians.  Nor do I know of many couples who adopt dominant/submissive roles to any greater extent than heterosexual couples.


Quote
Aside from affect, I also operate from the assumption that part of genuine masculinity and genuine femininity is attraction to the opposite sex, ergo homosexuality is a rejection of the created order and therefore a rejection of one's self.

Ok, I understand this, as far as it goes. But you say this is only 'part of' masculinity and femininity.

Quote
Just so you understand that I am not singling out homosexuals, the same is true for obese people who eat to the point of joint damage and organ failure, the alcoholic who drinks himself to death, and countless other 'dangerous attractions.'  Each of these reject the reality of who we are in Jesus Christ and the cosmos.  When we sin, we reject our true nature and identity, and ultimately ourselves.

I do not think all homosexuals choose their orientation, but most alcoholics do not choose their bodily reaction to alcohol either.  Other personality disorders can be traced to involuntary biological problems.  This being the case, a person with a brain injury that leaves him susceptible to violence is still expected to control his behavior.  He may be tempted to violence, but society expects we control our instincts.  So long as we sin, we reject who we are.  I don't condemn homosexuals for their temptations, since I know my own weaknesses.  I do condemn those who say that we should act out on our impulses just because we did not choose them.

That's the absurdity of 'gay marriage.'


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« Reply #60 on: September 09, 2009, 01:29:31 PM »

Edit: I will also agree with Papist and others that it is simply not true that homosexuality results in men being less 'manly' and women less 'feminine'. I find it slightly offensive, too, that effeminacy in a man or the equivalent in a woman are seen as negative qualities. My partner cooked me a lovely meal yesterday: should we then condemn him for behaviour unbecoming to a man?!

Being 'effeminate' is quite different from being 'feminine' - http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/effeminate

Perhaps there are plenty of men who would find your assumption of cooking being a feminine trait as being offensive as well (Wolfgang Puck, Paul Prudhomme, Emeril Lagasse [sp?], etc.).  Being offended is not really evidence as to much of anything in many cases.

By effeminate, we are speaking of unnatural and constructed behaviors that purposely are out of place on a man.  It has nothing to do with feminine traits, since many of those who are effeminate grossly exaggerate feminine behavior in a cartoonish way.

However, I stand by the premise that most gays are either effeminate or tend to be attracted to the effeminate in other men.  Obviously there will always be a minority exception, but the overriding gay culture is awash in false genderism.  Yes, there are a few 'Bears,' akin the the English 'rough trade' variety of homosexuality, but their relationships hinge on one partner assuming 'dominance' while the other is the 'submissive,' the latter who gives up his male role to bring balance to the relationship.  Now, you can spend all day citing personal experiences of the exceptions, but one trip to West Hollywood or Santa Monica will show that the overwhelming majority of gay men display effeminate traits.  For some it is a pleasure, but others speak of it as a burden (read Quentin Crisp for insight into the inner suffering of the effeminate gay male).

Aside from affect, I also operate from the assumption that part of genuine masculinity and genuine femininity is attraction to the opposite sex, ergo homosexuality is a rejection of the created order and therefore a rejection of one's self.  Just so you understand that I am not singling out homosexuals, the same is true for obese people who eat to the point of joint damage and organ failure, the alcoholic who drinks himself to death, and countless other 'dangerous attractions.'  Each of these reject the reality of who we are in Jesus Christ and the cosmos.  When we sin, we reject our true nature and identity, and ultimately ourselves.

I do not think all homosexuals choose their orientation, but most alcoholics do not choose their bodily reaction to alcohol either.  Other personality disorders can be traced to involuntary biological problems.  This being the case, a person with a brain injury that leaves him susceptible to violence is still expected to control his behavior.  He may be tempted to violence, but society expects we control our instincts.  So long as we sin, we reject who we are.  I don't condemn homosexuals for their temptations, since I know my own weaknesses.  I do condemn those who say that we should act out on our impulses just because we did not choose them.

That's the absurdity of 'gay marriage.'



I agree with most of what you have said Father. However, I just think that there are probably far too many homosexuals in the closet for us to determine whether or not most gay men behave more girlish or not. I would agree that those who are "out, loud, and proud" probably behave in a more girlish manner. However, what about the ones who act on their urges in secret, or the devout souls who remain chaste for the kingdom of God? We simply cannot quantify how many of these are "guyish" or "girlish".
That all being said, yes, action on homsexual inclinations is a denial of one's self.
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« Reply #61 on: September 09, 2009, 01:41:21 PM »


I agree with most of what you have said Father. However, I just think that there are probably far too many homosexuals in the closet for us to determine whether or not most gay men behave more girlish or not. I would agree that those who are "out, loud, and proud" probably behave in a more girlish manner. However, what about the ones who act on their urges in secret, or the devout souls who remain chaste for the kingdom of God? We simply cannot quantify how many of these are "guyish" or "girlish".


I just don't see any reason why homosexuals would be likely to take on characteristics of the opposite sex. A good friend, who is gay (and not Christian, incidentally), once said to me:

'Why would I WANT my partner to behave like a woman? I'm attracted to MEN.' His bewilderment about summed it up for me.

All I can think of is the way that, back in the day, there was the concept of 'political lesbianism' (very weird), and a strange sort of alliance between pseudo-feminists and pseudo-lesbians led to the idea that for a woman to be actively 'feminine' (eg. by wearing lipstick) was somehow 'betraying the feminist/lesbian cause'. Time was when you could get stopped at the door of a gay club for dressing in a stereotypically feminine way, to have your lesbian 'credentials' questioned. To be honest, I think this is as barmy as it comes!
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« Reply #62 on: September 09, 2009, 01:44:46 PM »


I agree with most of what you have said Father. However, I just think that there are probably far too many homosexuals in the closet for us to determine whether or not most gay men behave more girlish or not. I would agree that those who are "out, loud, and proud" probably behave in a more girlish manner. However, what about the ones who act on their urges in secret, or the devout souls who remain chaste for the kingdom of God? We simply cannot quantify how many of these are "guyish" or "girlish".


I just don't see any reason why homosexuals would be likely to take on characteristics of the opposite sex. A good friend, who is gay (and not Christian, incidentally), once said to me:

'Why would I WANT my partner to behave like a woman? I'm attracted to MEN.' His bewilderment about summed it up for me.

All I can think of is the way that, back in the day, there was the concept of 'political lesbianism' (very weird), and a strange sort of alliance between pseudo-feminists and pseudo-lesbians led to the idea that for a woman to be actively 'feminine' (eg. by wearing lipstick) was somehow 'betraying the feminist/lesbian cause'. Time was when you could get stopped at the door of a gay club for dressing in a stereotypically feminine way, to have your lesbian 'credentials' questioned. To be honest, I think this is as barmy as it comes!
Well once we start living lives contrary to God's natural order, we quite often find ourselves dealing with lots of "barmy".
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« Reply #63 on: September 09, 2009, 01:49:39 PM »


I agree with most of what you have said Father. However, I just think that there are probably far too many homosexuals in the closet for us to determine whether or not most gay men behave more girlish or not. I would agree that those who are "out, loud, and proud" probably behave in a more girlish manner. However, what about the ones who act on their urges in secret, or the devout souls who remain chaste for the kingdom of God? We simply cannot quantify how many of these are "guyish" or "girlish".


I just don't see any reason why homosexuals would be likely to take on characteristics of the opposite sex. A good friend, who is gay (and not Christian, incidentally), once said to me:

'Why would I WANT my partner to behave like a woman? I'm attracted to MEN.' His bewilderment about summed it up for me.

All I can think of is the way that, back in the day, there was the concept of 'political lesbianism' (very weird), and a strange sort of alliance between pseudo-feminists and pseudo-lesbians led to the idea that for a woman to be actively 'feminine' (eg. by wearing lipstick) was somehow 'betraying the feminist/lesbian cause'. Time was when you could get stopped at the door of a gay club for dressing in a stereotypically feminine way, to have your lesbian 'credentials' questioned. To be honest, I think this is as barmy as it comes!
Well once we start living lives contrary to God's natural order, we quite often find ourselves dealing with lots of "barmy".

But what I find odd about it is that this is exactly the same attitude that Father Giryus seems to have! You can't judge a book by its cover; you can't make assumptions about someone's sexuality based on personality traits and appearance.
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« Reply #64 on: September 09, 2009, 01:50:30 PM »


I agree with most of what you have said Father. However, I just think that there are probably far too many homosexuals in the closet for us to determine whether or not most gay men behave more girlish or not. I would agree that those who are "out, loud, and proud" probably behave in a more girlish manner. However, what about the ones who act on their urges in secret, or the devout souls who remain chaste for the kingdom of God? We simply cannot quantify how many of these are "guyish" or "girlish".


I just don't see any reason why homosexuals would be likely to take on characteristics of the opposite sex. A good friend, who is gay (and not Christian, incidentally), once said to me:

'Why would I WANT my partner to behave like a woman? I'm attracted to MEN.' His bewilderment about summed it up for me.

All I can think of is the way that, back in the day, there was the concept of 'political lesbianism' (very weird), and a strange sort of alliance between pseudo-feminists and pseudo-lesbians led to the idea that for a woman to be actively 'feminine' (eg. by wearing lipstick) was somehow 'betraying the feminist/lesbian cause'. Time was when you could get stopped at the door of a gay club for dressing in a stereotypically feminine way, to have your lesbian 'credentials' questioned. To be honest, I think this is as barmy as it comes!
Well once we start living lives contrary to God's natural order, we quite often find ourselves dealing with lots of "barmy".

But what I find odd about it is that this is exactly the same attitude that Father Giryus seems to have! You can't judge a book by its cover; you can't make assumptions about someone's sexuality based on personality traits and appearance.
What do you think I am judging?
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« Reply #65 on: September 09, 2009, 01:54:10 PM »


I agree with most of what you have said Father. However, I just think that there are probably far too many homosexuals in the closet for us to determine whether or not most gay men behave more girlish or not. I would agree that those who are "out, loud, and proud" probably behave in a more girlish manner. However, what about the ones who act on their urges in secret, or the devout souls who remain chaste for the kingdom of God? We simply cannot quantify how many of these are "guyish" or "girlish".


I just don't see any reason why homosexuals would be likely to take on characteristics of the opposite sex. A good friend, who is gay (and not Christian, incidentally), once said to me:

'Why would I WANT my partner to behave like a woman? I'm attracted to MEN.' His bewilderment about summed it up for me.

All I can think of is the way that, back in the day, there was the concept of 'political lesbianism' (very weird), and a strange sort of alliance between pseudo-feminists and pseudo-lesbians led to the idea that for a woman to be actively 'feminine' (eg. by wearing lipstick) was somehow 'betraying the feminist/lesbian cause'. Time was when you could get stopped at the door of a gay club for dressing in a stereotypically feminine way, to have your lesbian 'credentials' questioned. To be honest, I think this is as barmy as it comes!
Well once we start living lives contrary to God's natural order, we quite often find ourselves dealing with lots of "barmy".

But what I find odd about it is that this is exactly the same attitude that Father Giryus seems to have! You can't judge a book by its cover; you can't make assumptions about someone's sexuality based on personality traits and appearance.
What do you think I am judging?

Oh, sorry, I didn't mean that. I didn't think you were judging anything. I thought Father Giryus was arguing that effeminacy and homosexuality are inherently related, and he says you often see homosexuals behaving in what he sees as effeminate ways. But I don't think you can accurately predict someone's sexuality from their behaviour, and I think it's a bit offensive to suggest that effeminacy and homosexuality are linked. Actually, I think 'effeminacy' is a pretty dodgy, offensive concept. But none of that was directed at you.
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« Reply #66 on: September 09, 2009, 01:55:28 PM »


I agree with most of what you have said Father. However, I just think that there are probably far too many homosexuals in the closet for us to determine whether or not most gay men behave more girlish or not. I would agree that those who are "out, loud, and proud" probably behave in a more girlish manner. However, what about the ones who act on their urges in secret, or the devout souls who remain chaste for the kingdom of God? We simply cannot quantify how many of these are "guyish" or "girlish".


I just don't see any reason why homosexuals would be likely to take on characteristics of the opposite sex. A good friend, who is gay (and not Christian, incidentally), once said to me:

'Why would I WANT my partner to behave like a woman? I'm attracted to MEN.' His bewilderment about summed it up for me.

All I can think of is the way that, back in the day, there was the concept of 'political lesbianism' (very weird), and a strange sort of alliance between pseudo-feminists and pseudo-lesbians led to the idea that for a woman to be actively 'feminine' (eg. by wearing lipstick) was somehow 'betraying the feminist/lesbian cause'. Time was when you could get stopped at the door of a gay club for dressing in a stereotypically feminine way, to have your lesbian 'credentials' questioned. To be honest, I think this is as barmy as it comes!
Well once we start living lives contrary to God's natural order, we quite often find ourselves dealing with lots of "barmy".

But what I find odd about it is that this is exactly the same attitude that Father Giryus seems to have! You can't judge a book by its cover; you can't make assumptions about someone's sexuality based on personality traits and appearance.
What do you think I am judging?

Oh, sorry, I didn't mean that. I didn't think you were judging anything. I thought Father Giryus was arguing that effeminacy and homosexuality are inherently related, and he says you often see homosexuals behaving in what he sees as effeminate ways. But I don't think you can accurately predict someone's sexuality from their behaviour, and I think it's a bit offensive to suggest that effeminacy and homosexuality are linked. Actually, I think 'effeminacy' is a pretty dodgy, offensive concept. But none of that was directed at you.
Thanks for clarifying.
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« Reply #67 on: September 09, 2009, 02:31:31 PM »

But what I find odd about it is that this is exactly the same attitude that Father Giryus seems to have! You can't judge a book by its cover; you can't make assumptions about someone's sexuality based on personality traits and appearance.
Well, you may not be able to be 100% sure, but the cover of a book does tend to tell a lot about its contents.

For example, the contents of the 'book' chooses the 'cover' (unless we are talking about extreme instances of poverty and disease).  We pick our clothes, hair style (if we still have hair to style), jewelry, tattoos, piercings, etc.  In most cases, an atheist will not wear a nun's habit (unless to a Halloween party), and a nun will not tattoo a gang logo on her arm.

Many stereotypes are, for the most part, fairly accurate.  That's how they came into being in the first place.  Whether we use them to do harm to others is an abuse of them.

Getting back to the topic of appearance and sexuality, there are a deceptively small percentage of heterosexual men who cross-dress (Eddy Izzard is presently their flag-carrier).  However, most cross-dressing is indicative of homosexuality in one of its troubling paradoxes as noted.

Homosexuality is full of paradoxes, which is why it is often so difficult to unravel.  We can also find plenty of exceptions to whatever rule we put in place, but the same is true of human psychology in general.  The fact that there are exceptions does not mean we must then do away with all manner of general rules and, yes, stereotypes.  We just need to always be cognizant of the exceptions.

As to the comparison of Sts. Sergius and Baccus to a (celibate) gay couple, I think it is absolutely rubbish to think that all close friendships must be homosexual.  Therefore, since a relationship of this type does not necessitate homosexuality, and the actual hagiography makes no mention of it, I think it is a stretch to make such a conclusion.

At any rate, I do admire those who do battle with and defeat the impulse to act on their temptations.  Those homosexuals who choose the path of holiness and take up their crosses are deserving of our respect and emulation rather than our scorn.


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« Reply #68 on: September 09, 2009, 02:50:22 PM »

But what I find odd about it is that this is exactly the same attitude that Father Giryus seems to have! You can't judge a book by its cover; you can't make assumptions about someone's sexuality based on personality traits and appearance.
Well, you may not be able to be 100% sure, but the cover of a book does tend to tell a lot about its contents.

For example, the contents of the 'book' chooses the 'cover' (unless we are talking about extreme instances of poverty and disease).  We pick our clothes, hair style (if we still have hair to style), jewelry, tattoos, piercings, etc.  In most cases, an atheist will not wear a nun's habit (unless to a Halloween party), and a nun will not tattoo a gang logo on her arm.

Many stereotypes are, for the most part, fairly accurate.  That's how they came into being in the first place.  Whether we use them to do harm to others is an abuse of them.

Getting back to the topic of appearance and sexuality, there are a deceptively small percentage of heterosexual men who cross-dress (Eddy Izzard is presently their flag-carrier).  However, most cross-dressing is indicative of homosexuality in one of its troubling paradoxes as noted.

I am 99% certain you are wrong here. I have heard it said many times that the majority of cross-dressing men are heterosexual, and whereas I know personally at least two heterosexual men who cross-dress, I have never once met a homosexual man who did. And I can think of upwards of 100 homosexuals I've come into regular contact with.

Quote


Homosexuality is full of paradoxes, which is why it is often so difficult to unravel.  We can also find plenty of exceptions to whatever rule we put in place, but the same is true of human psychology in general.  The fact that there are exceptions does not mean we must then do away with all manner of general rules and, yes, stereotypes.  We just need to always be cognizant of the exceptions.

As to the comparison of Sts. Sergius and Baccus to a (celibate) gay couple, I think it is absolutely rubbish to think that all close friendships must be homosexual.  Therefore, since a relationship of this type does not necessitate homosexuality, and the actual hagiography makes no mention of it, I think it is a stretch to make such a conclusion.


True. I totally agree with you here. It is absurd to pretend that close friendships are homosexual. It belittles the nature of friendship. I find it particularly annoying when people insist that David and Jonathan 'must have been gay'.

Quote
At any rate, I do admire those who do battle with and defeat the impulse to act on their temptations.  Those homosexuals who choose the path of holiness and take up their crosses are deserving of our respect and emulation rather than our scorn.

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Sorry, but may I ask you again what you think constitutes 'effeminacy'? Or its equivalent in women? I mean specific examples of behaviour. And what's wrong with a man being 'effeminate'?
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« Reply #69 on: September 09, 2009, 03:01:16 PM »

Oops, double post.
^^ Wow! I completely missed the "thought provoking messages" that encouraged loyalty and love to the Ecumenical Throne on JN1034.....must have been that picture of my Lord, Jesus Christ, depicted as a       M O R B I D L Y    obese man while hanging on the cross FOR YOU AND ME, that distorted my vision.  No, maybe it was the dog with a bishop’s mitre.  No, maybe it was the rant about how the +MP was a thieving Commie.  No, maybe it was the rant suggesting that an elderly professor at St. Vlad’s was a murderer, which could incite violence against him or his family. No, maybe it was....................  

AlexanderOfBergamo,
Methinks the above is an exercise in extreme sarcasm.  But I'll let ms.hoorah speak definitively for herself.
Cleveland,
Sadly, no, these things are actually on this toxic site.  I am really unsure of why AlexanderOfBergamo bizarrely states I am accusing the +EP of creating this awful site.  Clearly, the +EP did not create this site and I never accused the +EP of this offense.  Very bizarre accusation!

The creators of this offensive filth placed what looks to be the +EP seal at the bottom of the page in addition to a gauge to show you that they are tracking or can track your IP number.  Be careful if you feel a need to visit this toilet.

You misinterpreted my intentions. My idea was to show that EVEN in the case the EP would err, there would be no problem for the survivor of the Orthodox Church, so even the existance of extremist groups such as that one can even be tolerated. Of course, I don't know anything of them, but reading how you hate their attitude and thoughts, it seems they must be really outside of the limits of tolerability. Anyway, pray for them and stop accusing them... the Church is made of many members, many of them defect from faith or have a distorted idea of the Gospel... but I don't think they should be, for example, attacked or expelled unless their doctrines come to be considered heretic by the Church (a thing, as it seems, has not yet happened).
I pray you to forgive my bad answer, don't want to be misunderstood.

In Christ,  Alex
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« Reply #70 on: September 09, 2009, 03:19:00 PM »

Dear Liz, I think that FatherGyrus might be using the word "effeminate" in the same meaning as it is mistranslated from the NT, in the list of those sins that don't "bring to the Kingdom of Heaven".
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Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, 10 Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
The Greek word means "soft", an expression which indicated depraved men indulging in attitudes typically feminine. The term has been so largely applied that sometimes it did imply homosexuality, and at other times the (ab)use of jewelry, make-up or cross-dressing by men. In truth, a "soft" person could also be a man spending too much many in body care... actually, this vague meaning could be applied to half of our contemporary men on earth (look at men who passionately cure their aspect and sunbathe etc). So, it is an error to read this word out of its context... In Paul's times an effeminate attitude like the above might have been a symptome of homosexuality or something like that. Poor Paul, had he seen this generation in person he would have had a heart attack!

In Christ,   Alex

PS: The fact that the word "erastes" is used in the hagiography, and the torment of wearing female dresses which was imposed to them by the Emperor are to me a sufficient proof that Serge and Bacchus might have been more intimate then friends. Anyway I'm not pontificating, there' a total freedom of interpretation to the text. Also, I guess that their sentimental orientation doesn't affect their sanctity, but on the contrary should be taken as a valid example of a true Christian conduct. One thing is certain: no doctrine of "gay marriage" can be derived from that hagiography, no matter what modernists are saying about it. The Holy Ghost through the Church has always transmitted the same faith and codified it in the Canons for our spiritual edification. This puts the question outside the boundaries of doubt... we are certain that any sexual intercourse happens to destroy all relationship with God, and should thus be condemned for what it is.
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« Reply #71 on: September 09, 2009, 03:20:56 PM »

I am 99% certain you are wrong here. I have heard it said many times that the majority of cross-dressing men are heterosexual, and whereas I know personally at least two heterosexual men who cross-dress, I have never once met a homosexual man who did. And I can think of upwards of 100 homosexuals I've come into regular contact with.
There are straight transexuals, gay transexuals and bi-transexuals just like non-transexuals. 

Is there any priest or deacon, on OCnet today, that is willing to answer the statements in reply #58?
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« Reply #72 on: September 09, 2009, 04:51:09 PM »

Is there any priest or deacon, on OCnet today, that is willing to answer the statements in reply #58?
^^reply #57 not #58
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« Reply #73 on: September 09, 2009, 05:01:22 PM »

I can't believe the debased conversations that are occupying the hearts and minds of people. The conversation has been reduced to the proclivity of individuals who cross dress? How is this relevant? It appears that hiding beneath the vanear of disapproving verbage I read here the thoughts of the morbidly curious. It is a sad state. Emerging and continuous issues of gender identity cannot be understated. Gender is the single most defining attribute of the person. The first proclamation made by midwives and doctors are "It's a ...(boy or girl). When confusion about ones gender identity or homoetrotic tendencies become apparent there is quite enough blame and shame to go around. I think we should be more diligent in broadening our acceptance of those seeking the Truth to include sinners. Imagine that, and by sinners I mean all sinners. Let's not hide gossip beneath the veil of intellectual discourse. Truth paired with leniency for all. Obscenity is not deligated only to the sexual arena. I think this topic is exhausted let's move on to more substantive matters.  I find bullying more offense and detrimental to the church then affection.
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« Reply #74 on: September 09, 2009, 05:28:18 PM »

I can't believe the debased conversations that are occupying the hearts and minds of people. The conversation has been reduced to the proclivity of individuals who cross dress? How is this relevant? It appears that hiding beneath the vanear of disapproving verbage I read here the thoughts of the morbidly curious. It is a sad state. Emerging and continuous issues of gender identity cannot be understated. Gender is the single most defining attribute of the person. The first proclamation made by midwives and doctors are "It's a ...(boy or girl). When confusion about ones gender identity or homoetrotic tendencies become apparent there is quite enough blame and shame to go around. I think we should be more diligent in broadening our acceptance of those seeking the Truth to include sinners. Imagine that, and by sinners I mean all sinners. Let's not hide gossip beneath the veil of intellectual discourse. Truth paired with leniency for all. Obscenity is not deligated only to the sexual arena. I think this topic is exhausted let's move on to more substantive matters.  I find bullying more offense and detrimental to the church then affection.

This is not gossip. Gender is not the most defining attribute of a person. To think so is contrary to our shared Christian faith. Of course we are all keen to accept and extend help to sinners of all kinds. That is not under question. But I think it is important to consider to what extent, and in what ways, attributes such as femininity are socially or religiously constructed, and what this might mean for the way we relate to one another. If you think the topic is exhausted, ignore it. It is really quite rude to offer no contribution bar censorious remarks, which you've not even bothered to spell-check, when some of us obviously consider this discussion interesting and important. Who are you to judge which of us needs help with these issues?
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« Reply #75 on: September 09, 2009, 06:02:56 PM »

Gender is not the most defining attribute of a person.

I agree. In fact, the notion that there are two human genders is, strictly speaking, wrong. There are androgines - people with poorly defined genders. They may have the karyotype XY and, hence, have masculine traits, but these traits may be very poorly defined, while there will be many feminine traits. Even more so in people with Kleinfelter's syndrome (XXY, XXXY, XXXXY, etc.), who, again, do have some masculine traits dictaded by some genes in the Y chromosome, but they are the more "effeminate" the bigger number of the X chromosomes they carry. BTW, Kleinfelter's syndrome occurs rather frequently (~1 in 3000 male births, meaning there are millions of humans around us who are not quite male and not quite female), and people with this karyotype may be physically and intellectually healthy.
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« Reply #76 on: September 09, 2009, 06:16:21 PM »

Gender is not the most defining attribute of a person.

I agree. In fact, the notion that there are two human genders is, strictly speaking, wrong. There are androgines - people with poorly defined genders. They may have the karyotype XY and, hence, have masculine traits, but these traits may be very poorly defined, while there will be many feminine traits. Even more so in people with Kleinfelter's syndrome (XXY, XXXY, XXXXY, etc.), who, again, do have some masculine traits dictaded by some genes in the Y chromosome, but they are the more "effeminate" the bigger number of the X chromosomes they carry. BTW, Kleinfelter's syndrome occurs rather frequently (~1 in 3000 male births, meaning there are millions of humans around us who are not quite male and not quite female), and people with this karyotype may be physically and intellectually healthy.


A good point. We can't ignore the fact that issues like this can and do have a bearing on how we construct and understand gender. And if we cannot properly understand gender and gender roles, how can we hope to understand sexuality?

I notice elgreca hasn't replied about her views on feminism. I have to admit I hadn't connected the two posts, nor had I noticed she was such a recent addition to the forum. I apologize if my tone has been more combative than it should have been. But I am still very interested to hear views on either of these subjects, whether they remain part of this thread on gay marriage, or whether anyone wants to discuss them elsewhere.

Liz.
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« Reply #77 on: September 09, 2009, 06:59:27 PM »

A good point. We can't ignore the fact that issues like this can and do have a bearing on how we construct and understand gender. And if we cannot properly understand gender and gender roles, how can we hope to understand sexuality?

We are very far from such an understanding. We jump into conclusions based on the so-called "norm," or "normalcy," which is simply constatation that this or that happens more often than this or that. And according to this logic, tooth decay (karies) is norm, while healthy teeth is not norm, because the number of people on our planet who have karies is much bigger than the number of people who do not.
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« Reply #78 on: September 09, 2009, 08:25:10 PM »

A good point. We can't ignore the fact that issues like this can and do have a bearing on how we construct and understand gender. And if we cannot properly understand gender and gender roles, how can we hope to understand sexuality? 

We are very far from such an understanding. We jump into conclusions based on the so-called "norm," or "normalcy," which is simply constatation that this or that happens more often than this or that. And according to this logic, tooth decay (karies) is norm, while healthy teeth is not norm, because the number of people on our planet who have karies is much bigger than the number of people who do not. 

I don't know if that's a great example: tooth decay in the norm, since that is the natural state our mouths would be in without direct intervention.  Tooth health isn't normal - however, it is yet another example of humanity transcending its animal nature through its better qualities (discipline, ingenuity, perseverance, etc.).  In the world, the way things are now, sin is the norm we've allowed to occur; and sinlessness isn't normal - however, it is again an example of humanity transcending its fallen nature through its better qualities and God's divine help.

Of course, as I've argued in many places here, the problem is that we focus the discussion on a few 'hot-button' issues, and ignore the overall (like focusing on incisor decay, while neglecting the molars & canines) picture of sin.

How one self-identifies gender is ultimately between them and their Creator; a male can be very masculine and a greater sinner than a male who is very effeminate (especially if the former likes to beat up the latter).  Like everything else, as long as it isn't flying in the face of God's plan, then it's all about "how you use it" (the same thing we say about wealth, intelligence, strength, charisma, etc.).

How one is attracted is also between them and their creator.  The Church's position doesn't focus on the attraction, it focuses on when we take it and misuse it (lust, sex outside of marriage, etc.).  In this way, we should apply the teaching of the Church equally within our own disposition: if we think homosexuals should be counseled against sex, then we should do the same for heterosexuals.  If we want to shout about the evils of homosexual marriage, then we should do the same for heterosexual cohabitation.  If we want to hate people because they're sinners, we should hate all people. 

Of course then we'd find ourselves in the position of the townspeople who were going to stone the adulteress - realizing that we deserve stones thrown at us at least as much as the person(s) at whom we are directing our rage.

From our perspective, we'd be better able to minister to the maligned if we were to look at the overall picture of sin and realize that we should be just as maligned as they are.  Don't accept the sin, but don't destroy the sinner, unless one is prepared to be destroyed also.
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« Reply #79 on: September 09, 2009, 09:15:17 PM »

What is the type of sin called which distorts  a belief of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church in an attempt to justify personal sins or others' sins of which one approves?  Is this a tiny, fissure sin only affecting one tooth or is it invasive osteosarcoma of the mandible which could endanger the entire “body” (of the Church) if allowed/encouraged/ignored and it spreads?  What treatment should be prescribed? 

No, I am not encouraging the excommunication of sinners (myself included).
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« Reply #80 on: September 09, 2009, 09:59:08 PM »

What is the type of sin called which distorts  a belief of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church in an attempt to justify personal sins or others' sins of which one approves?  Is this a tiny, fissure sin only affecting one tooth or is it invasive osteosarcoma of the mandible which could endanger the entire “body” (of the Church) if allowed/encouraged/ignored and it spreads?  What treatment should be prescribed? 

No, I am not encouraging the excommunication of sinners (myself included).

I'm not catching what you're trying to say.  Honestly.  Is this directed to me, to others?
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« Reply #81 on: September 09, 2009, 10:05:57 PM »

What is the type of sin called which distorts  a belief of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church in an attempt to justify personal sins or others' sins of which one approves?  Is this a tiny, fissure sin only affecting one tooth or is it invasive osteosarcoma of the mandible which could endanger the entire “body” (of the Church) if allowed/encouraged/ignored and it spreads?  What treatment should be prescribed? 

No, I am not encouraging the excommunication of sinners (myself included).

I'm not catching what you're trying to say.  Honestly.  Is this directed to me, to others?
I am disturbed about the material presented on the "offending site" JN1034. It is offensive in itself, but then it adds the +EP seal at the bottom.  There is other incorrect information on this thread which refers to Sts. Sergius and Bacchus.  This is the world's largest Orthodox Christian forum.  Should posts that present incorrect Orthodox teachings be allowed to go uncorrected on the world's largest Orthodox Christian forum?
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« Reply #82 on: September 09, 2009, 10:24:00 PM »

I don't know if that's a great example: tooth decay in the norm, since that is the natural state our mouths would be in without direct intervention.  Tooth health isn't normal - however, it is yet another example of humanity transcending its animal nature through its better qualities (discipline, ingenuity, perseverance, etc.).  In the world, the way things are now, sin is the norm we've allowed to occur; and sinlessness isn't normal - however, it is again an example of humanity transcending its fallen nature through its better qualities and God's divine help.

But in your chain of reasoning, great as it is, there is this word, "sin" - and what is it, when we are talking about genders and homosexuality and the like? When we are talking about hurting others, edifying ourselves on the expense of others - than there is no doubt, the transgression against the principle, "love your neighbor," is obvious. But when it is against what you are? what you are born as? Easy for those of us, like you and (possibly) me, to say that "sin" is what we are not and in this case, the "sinners" must "transcend" (what???) and exercise discipline (for what end???)

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« Reply #83 on: September 09, 2009, 11:26:45 PM »

Adelphopoiia according to the Secretary of the Greek Synod Committee on Legal and Canonical Matters, Fr. Evangelos K. Mantzouneas

http://www.qrd.org/qrd/religion/judeochristian/eastern_orthodox/Church.of.Greece.on.adelphopoiia
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« Reply #84 on: September 10, 2009, 05:28:18 AM »

I have known a few Orthodox gays to claim that they are getting a very raw deal from the Church.  They claim that up until the 1800s the Rite for Brothermaking  (Bratotvorenie in Russian and Adelphopoiia in Greek) was an Orthodox marriage service for gay marriage.

They say that in the 1800s under the unfluence of the Catholic Church the Orthodox did away with this marriage rite.  (In my opinion, this mitigates against their contention- what influence could the Catholic Church have had on the Orthodox in the early 19th century!?)

Now I have always been taught that Brothermaking was simply what it says, and indeed I have participated in the rite in Serbia. 

Bit I want to fly a kite as they say and ask for opinions.    Would it be beneficial to gay Orthodox to re-instate it?  I don't mean as a marriage ceremony but as a brothermaking ceremony for males (and females) who want to make a commitment to one another. 

This could be re-instated irrespective whether it is for heterosexuals or homosexuals.  Could the great and amazing relationship of true and profound friendship find a liturgical expression once again, in the modern Church?
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« Reply #85 on: September 10, 2009, 05:40:19 AM »

Adelphopoiia according to the Secretary of the Greek Synod Committee on Legal and Canonical Matters, Fr. Evangelos K. Mantzouneas

http://www.qrd.org/qrd/religion/judeochristian/eastern_orthodox/Church.of.Greece.on.adelphopoiia

Thanks, ms. hoorah.  Somebody recently gave us a web link to Peter Moghila's Trebnik (Book of Needs) from the 17th century.  It contains the Slavonic text for Brothermaking.

May we have the link again please.
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« Reply #86 on: September 10, 2009, 06:33:21 AM »

somewhere here we have a link to some article of a woman who had taken part in the ceremony (in Syria?) and was astonished about Boswell's claims.
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« Reply #87 on: September 10, 2009, 06:43:36 AM »

somewhere here we have a link to some article of a woman who had taken part in the ceremony (in Syria?) and was astonished about Boswell's claims.
^^Was it this article?

http://www.leaderu.com/ftissues/ft9411/articles/darling.html
After a Orthodox Church Sunday liturgy, the author of this article was joined as a "sister" to a very good friend.  They were not lesbians but very good friends. It was clearly not a marriage ceremony.

Many college sororities and fraternities also have "brother/sister" ceremonies.


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« Reply #88 on: September 10, 2009, 07:05:11 AM »

I have known a few Orthodox gays to claim that they are getting a very raw deal from the Church.  They claim that up until the 1800s the Rite for Brothermaking  (Bratotvorenie in Russian and Adelphopoiia in Greek) was an Orthodox marriage service for gay marriage.

They say that in the 1800s under the unfluence of the Catholic Church the Orthodox did away with this marriage rite.  (In my opinion, this mitigates against their contention- what influence could the Catholic Church have had on the Orthodox in the early 19th century!?)

Now I have always been taught that Brothermaking was simply what it says, and indeed I have participated in the rite in Serbia. 

Bit I want to fly a kite as they say and ask for opinions.    Would it be beneficial to gay Orthodox to re-instate it?  I don't mean as a marriage ceremony but as a brothermaking ceremony for males (and females) who want to make a commitment to one another. 

This could be re-instated irrespective whether it is for heterosexuals or homosexuals.  Could the great and amazing relationship of true and profound friendship find a liturgical expression once again, in the modern Church?


I think it could greatly benefit these couples, because:
1)It would be a recognition for homosexals that they're not alone, and that the Church is ready to welcome and help them living the Faith
2)It would be a way to control homosexuals better, so that once they "come out of the closet" they can be better assisted by the parish priest. This would also eliminate all clandestine relationships.
3)It would be a blessing, and thus a conferring of grace from the Church, an instrument of sanctification so that the couple might understand more correctly the specific purpose of their condition in God's plans.
4)It would be a way for a couple not to renounce to their love (which is always positive), while abandoning passion (which is always negative, especially when it can't be rightfully satisfied).

In Christ,   Alex
4)It would be
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« Reply #89 on: September 10, 2009, 07:13:38 AM »

I have known a few Orthodox gays to claim that they are getting a very raw deal from the Church.  They claim that up until the 1800s the Rite for Brothermaking  (Bratotvorenie in Russian and Adelphopoiia in Greek) was an Orthodox marriage service for gay marriage.

They say that in the 1800s under the unfluence of the Catholic Church the Orthodox did away with this marriage rite.  (In my opinion, this mitigates against their contention- what influence could the Catholic Church have had on the Orthodox in the early 19th century!?)

Now I have always been taught that Brothermaking was simply what it says, and indeed I have participated in the rite in Serbia. 

Bit I want to fly a kite as they say and ask for opinions.    Would it be beneficial to gay Orthodox to re-instate it?  I don't mean as a marriage ceremony but as a brothermaking ceremony for males (and females) who want to make a commitment to one another. 

This could be re-instated irrespective whether it is for heterosexuals or homosexuals.  Could the great and amazing relationship of true and profound friendship find a liturgical expression once again, in the modern Church?


I think it could greatly benefit these couples, because:
1)It would be a recognition for homosexals that they're not alone, and that the Church is ready to welcome and help them living the Faith
2)It would be a way to control homosexuals better, so that once they "come out of the closet" they can be better assisted by the parish priest. This would also eliminate all clandestine relationships.
3)It would be a blessing, and thus a conferring of grace from the Church, an instrument of sanctification so that the couple might understand more correctly the specific purpose of their condition in God's plans.
4)It would be a way for a couple not to renounce to their love (which is always positive), while abandoning passion (which is always negative, especially when it can't be rightfully satisfied).

In Christ,   Alex
4)It would be

For what it's worth, I think extending the blessing is very important here. It must be so sad to fall in love, and then feel there must be a choice made between God and that new love - and you can love someone without needing a physical relationship with them.
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« Reply #90 on: September 10, 2009, 09:39:18 AM »

somewhere here we have a link to some article of a woman who had taken part in the ceremony (in Syria?) and was astonished about Boswell's claims.
^^Was it this article?

http://www.leaderu.com/ftissues/ft9411/articles/darling.html
After a Orthodox Church Sunday liturgy, the author of this article was joined as a "sister" to a very good friend.  They were not lesbians but very good friends. It was clearly not a marriage ceremony.

Many college sororities and fraternities also have "brother/sister" ceremonies.
In addition, there are many ceremonies/celebrations in the Orthodox Church and Catholic Church where individuals wear crowns during or after church ceremonies/celebrations and they are NOT in a marriage ceremony.  For instance, in the Carpatho-Russian Church, girls wear lovely white dresses with crowns of flowers of their heads after they have completed their "learn about confession classes".  In the Catholic church, girls wear crowns on their heads during  their first Holy Communion.  Crowns in church services do not always = marriage ceremony.
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« Reply #91 on: September 10, 2009, 10:23:20 AM »

I have known a few Orthodox gays to claim that they are getting a very raw deal from the Church.  They claim that up until the 1800s the Rite for Brothermaking  (Bratotvorenie in Russian and Adelphopoiia in Greek) was an Orthodox marriage service for gay marriage.

They say that in the 1800s under the unfluence of the Catholic Church the Orthodox did away with this marriage rite.  (In my opinion, this mitigates against their contention- what influence could the Catholic Church have had on the Orthodox in the early 19th century!?)

Now I have always been taught that Brothermaking was simply what it says, and indeed I have participated in the rite in Serbia. 

Bit I want to fly a kite as they say and ask for opinions.    Would it be beneficial to gay Orthodox to re-instate it?  I don't mean as a marriage ceremony but as a brothermaking ceremony for males (and females) who want to make a commitment to one another. 

This could be re-instated irrespective whether it is for heterosexuals or homosexuals.  Could the great and amazing relationship of true and profound friendship find a liturgical expression once again, in the modern Church?

Do you think that this could be a slippery slope in the modern climate of the "gay rights" movement?
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« Reply #92 on: September 10, 2009, 10:36:23 AM »

I have known a few Orthodox gays to claim that they are getting a very raw deal from the Church.  They claim that up until the 1800s the Rite for Brothermaking  (Bratotvorenie in Russian and Adelphopoiia in Greek) was an Orthodox marriage service for gay marriage.

They say that in the 1800s under the unfluence of the Catholic Church the Orthodox did away with this marriage rite.  (In my opinion, this mitigates against their contention- what influence could the Catholic Church have had on the Orthodox in the early 19th century!?)

Now I have always been taught that Brothermaking was simply what it says, and indeed I have participated in the rite in Serbia. 

Bit I want to fly a kite as they say and ask for opinions.    Would it be beneficial to gay Orthodox to re-instate it?  I don't mean as a marriage ceremony but as a brothermaking ceremony for males (and females) who want to make a commitment to one another. 

This could be re-instated irrespective whether it is for heterosexuals or homosexuals.  Could the great and amazing relationship of true and profound friendship find a liturgical expression once again, in the modern Church?

Do you think that this could be a slippery slope in the modern climate of the "gay rights" movement?

I guess it could just cause even more ill-feeling, if people mistook it for a first step in the direction the Anglican Church has taken. That would be a big difficulty.
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« Reply #93 on: September 10, 2009, 10:42:55 AM »

What is the type of sin called which distorts  a belief of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church in an attempt to justify personal sins or others' sins of which one approves?  Is this a tiny, fissure sin only affecting one tooth or is it invasive osteosarcoma of the mandible which could endanger the entire “body” (of the Church) if allowed/encouraged/ignored and it spreads?  What treatment should be prescribed? 

No, I am not encouraging the excommunication of sinners (myself included).

I'm not catching what you're trying to say.  Honestly.  Is this directed to me, to others?
I am disturbed about the material presented on the "offending site" JN1034. It is offensive in itself, but then it adds the +EP seal at the bottom. 

Okay, I understand now.  In the manner presented, I thought your post was directed at the one I made just before it.

There is other incorrect information on this thread which refers to Sts. Sergius and Bacchus.  This is the world's largest Orthodox Christian forum.  Should posts that present incorrect Orthodox teachings be allowed to go uncorrected on the world's largest Orthodox Christian forum?

Ideally, incorrect information can and should be corrected ASAP, whether we're the largest or smallest Orthodox Christian forum (in English).  However, and partially due to the size of this site,

1. Many people have become bored of refuting/discussing the same points over and over again.  
To wit, other occasions discussing the Brother-making (this isn't the larger "Homosexuality and Orthodoxy" list):

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,18244.msg267309.html#msg267309
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,8122.msg106574.html#msg106574

including this thread directed specifically at the subject of the venerable Saints Sergius and Bacchus:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9135.0.html

2. The right people don't always see the right threads at the right time - there are so many, that often people choose what subjects or subfora to focus on at various times.

3. We're imperfect, too, and thus miss opportunities that may be obvious to others.


And, finally, the topic of Homosexuality in general:


The topic of homosexuality has been discussed at length on OCnet in many threads. Below is a list of many of those threads directly dealing with the topic. Not only do we have many threads on the topic of homosexuality, we even have a thread which deals with the topic of the topic of homosexuality on Orthodox Forums!
Therefore, in the interests of moving the discussion forward rather than letting it go in circles with new threads being started which cover the same topic which older threads have already discussed, please find below for your convenience a list of links to those threads which discuss the issue of homosexuality.
Before posting on the subject, you are asked to please read through them. If you read these threads, you will also note that we have some posters on this forum who are homosexually oriented and have converted to Orthodoxy.
You will find the discussion which has led to this post being made here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9360.0.html, and you will find a similar post to this one from a Global Moderator here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11954.msg162266.html#msg162266
You are asked to please take all this into consideration before posting on the subject of homosexuality on this forum.


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,7154.0.html


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10774.0.html


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,5260.0.html


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11688.0.html


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,5459.0.html


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11890.0.html


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11897.0.html


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,3825.0.html


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,6577.0.html


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,48.0.html


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,8458.0.html


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,8122.0.html


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,8068.0.html


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9156.0.html


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9360.0.html
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9330.0.html
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9297.0.html
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,7531.0.html
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11954.0.html

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,5780.0.html

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,5780.0.html
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11322.0.html
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9135.0.html

(Mind you, this list is old! - Follow the tag "homosexuality" at the bottom, to see some more recent threads on the subject.)
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« Reply #94 on: September 10, 2009, 10:52:30 AM »

Quote
For what it's worth, I think extending the blessing is very important here. It must be so sad to fall in love, and then feel there must be a choice made between God and that new love - and you can love someone without needing a physical relationship with them.

Precisely. I can tell this as I assisted to the frustrations of many in this condition. They think that the Church works contrary to the evangelical ideal because she condemns homosexuality as a whole. The Church should open her arms to this weak people so that they might continue their love and suppress the entire sexual/passional part, sublimating (don't know whether this word actually exists, I'm Italianizing) their eros into a "monogamic agape" (sorry for this expression) with one's partner. In this context, those gays and lesbians who truly love God will accept the sacrifice of abandoning sexuality and have a chance to correct themselves by God's grace. Of course, this is still my persona opinion...

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #95 on: September 10, 2009, 11:36:27 AM »

Quote
For what it's worth, I think extending the blessing is very important here. It must be so sad to fall in love, and then feel there must be a choice made between God and that new love - and you can love someone without needing a physical relationship with them.

Precisely. I can tell this as I assisted to the frustrations of many in this condition. They think that the Church works contrary to the evangelical ideal because she condemns homosexuality as a whole. The Church should open her arms to this weak people so that they might continue their love and suppress the entire sexual/passional part, sublimating (don't know whether this word actually exists, I'm Italianizing) their eros into a "monogamic agape" (sorry for this expression) with one's partner. In this context, those gays and lesbians who truly love God will accept the sacrifice of abandoning sexuality and have a chance to correct themselves by God's grace. Of course, this is still my persona opinion...

In Christ,   Alex
Aside from those who have taken a vow of celibacy (i.e. monks), very few people understand what a sacrifice and struggle this is. The is incredible pain knowing that when you come home from work every night, you most certainly be alone, and not just one night but for the rest of your life. There is a grave pain in watching all of one's friends and family marry and have children, and know that that will never be you. There is immense pain in knowing that the support and friendship that comes from a romantic relationship (which is quite different from the support and friendship that comes from platonic friendships) will certainly never be yours. There is intense suffering in knowing that you did not choose celibacy, you did not recieve the monastic benefits of being a celibate person, but it was thrust upon you. If a person truely lives up to the Christian ideal and has homosexual inclinations, one need understand that such a person is living the life of Christ Crucified.
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« Reply #96 on: September 10, 2009, 11:48:42 AM »

Quote
For what it's worth, I think extending the blessing is very important here. It must be so sad to fall in love, and then feel there must be a choice made between God and that new love - and you can love someone without needing a physical relationship with them.

Precisely. I can tell this as I assisted to the frustrations of many in this condition. They think that the Church works contrary to the evangelical ideal because she condemns homosexuality as a whole. The Church should open her arms to this weak people so that they might continue their love and suppress the entire sexual/passional part, sublimating (don't know whether this word actually exists, I'm Italianizing) their eros into a "monogamic agape" (sorry for this expression) with one's partner. In this context, those gays and lesbians who truly love God will accept the sacrifice of abandoning sexuality and have a chance to correct themselves by God's grace. Of course, this is still my persona opinion...

In Christ,   Alex
Aside from those who have taken a vow of celibacy (i.e. monks), very few people understand what a sacrifice and struggle this is. The is incredible pain knowing that when you come home from work every night, you most certainly be alone, and not just one night but for the rest of your life. There is a grave pain in watching all of one's friends and family marry and have children, and know that that will never be you. There is immense pain in knowing that the support and friendship that comes from a romantic relationship (which is quite different from the support and friendship that comes from platonic friendships) will certainly never be yours. There is intense suffering in knowing that you did not choose celibacy, you did not recieve the monastic benefits of being a celibate person, but it was thrust upon you. If a person truely lives up to the Christian ideal and has homosexual inclinations, one need understand that such a person is living the life of Christ Crucified.

Maybe I don't understand Alex correctly, but I thought he was suggesting something slightly different from what you describe. I'll let him confirm of deny, but it certainly seems to me that it might be a good thing if an Orthodox person who was homosexual could receive support for continuing in a celibate, but not platonic, relationship. As I understand it, there is actually no reason why the Orthodox Church should condemn a romantic (in the sense that it is a bond of love that two people reserve for each other) relationship between two men, or two women, as long as that relationship did not lead them to lust or to act upon lust. I guess if you are a devout Orthodox, and homosexual, this might be the best you could hope for without going against your religious belief.

But I agree with you that this life would be terribly hard and painful.

(Btw, Alexander, sublimating is a word.  Smiley )
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« Reply #97 on: September 10, 2009, 12:20:22 PM »

I really hate to flog the dead horse of homosexuality, but I've been wondering, lately... Look, in previous centuries, when nothing was known about serotonin, brain synapses, etc., suicide was universally condemned by the Church as a terrible sin, and people who committed it were always refused Church burial - correct? Today, of course, our knowledge about various mental disturbances is so much bigger than it used to be. And the Church grants Christian burial to those who ended their lives being in a state of depression.

Now... can't we imagine, just for a brief moment, that one day the Church will SIMILARLY change Her position of homosexuality and gay marriage? Gay people can be perfectly, blissfully happy in their sexual union, and they can be as devoted to each other as heterosexuals, and they can be absolutely monogamous (Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas lived together virtually all of their lives and died in each other's arms when they both were very old). If we all agree that homosexuality is not a choice of a particular behavior but a variant of the human nature (like androginy), can this move the Church to change Her position?
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« Reply #98 on: September 10, 2009, 12:38:08 PM »

I really hate to flog the dead horse of homosexuality, but I've been wondering, lately... Look, in previous centuries, when nothing was known about serotonin, brain synapses, etc., suicide was universally condemned by the Church as a terrible sin, and people who committed it were always refused Church burial - correct? Today, of course, our knowledge about various mental disturbances is so much bigger than it used to be. And the Church grants Christian burial to those who ended their lives being in a state of depression.

Now... can't we imagine, just for a brief moment, that one day the Church will SIMILARLY change Her position of homosexuality and gay marriage? Gay people can be perfectly, blissfully happy in their sexual union, and they can be as devoted to each other as heterosexuals, and they can be absolutely monogamous (Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas lived together virtually all of their lives and died in each other's arms when they both were very old). If we all agree that homosexuality is not a choice of a particular behavior but a variant of the human nature (like androginy), can this move the Church to change Her position?

Well said, and courageously said. Thank you.
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« Reply #99 on: September 10, 2009, 12:39:43 PM »

I really hate to flog the dead horse of homosexuality, but I've been wondering, lately... Look, in previous centuries, when nothing was known about serotonin, brain synapses, etc., suicide was universally condemned by the Church as a terrible sin, and people who committed it were always refused Church burial - correct?

We have no way of positively or negatively answering your question: the data just doesn't exist.  If you want to base the argument's (that follows) possibility of success on a presupposition that is shaky at best (that old way = no burial for suicide, new way = depends on mental state), then do so at your own (rhetorical) peril.
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« Reply #100 on: September 10, 2009, 12:48:34 PM »

I really hate to flog the dead horse of homosexuality, but I've been wondering, lately... Look, in previous centuries, when nothing was known about serotonin, brain synapses, etc., suicide was universally condemned by the Church as a terrible sin, and people who committed it were always refused Church burial - correct?

We have no way of positively or negatively answering your question: the data just doesn't exist.  If you want to base the argument that follows on a presupposition that is shaky at best (that old way = no burial for suicide, new way = depends on mental state), then do so at your own (rhetorical) peril.

Sorry, Cleveland, I do not understand what you are saying. Here is my argument, again: the Church loves all people, including homosexuals, but She considers homosexuality to be abnormal. This approach is, I assume (correct me if I am wrong), based on traditional beliefs of people who knew very little about biology of man, genes, chromosomes, neurons,  work of the brain (which is the main sexual organ:)). In former times, based on similarly limited knowledge of human biology, the Church refused burial to suicide victims. Now, She has changed Her position because of the expansion of the knowledge. CAN this also happen for the attitude of the Church to homosexuality? I am not asking whether it WILL happen - rather, is it possible? Yes, or no? It's not a rhetorical question, I would really like to know people's opinions...
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« Reply #101 on: September 10, 2009, 12:54:22 PM »

I really hate to flog the dead horse of homosexuality, but I've been wondering, lately... Look, in previous centuries, when nothing was known about serotonin, brain synapses, etc., suicide was universally condemned by the Church as a terrible sin, and people who committed it were always refused Church burial - correct?

We have no way of positively or negatively answering your question: the data just doesn't exist.  If you want to base the argument that follows on a presupposition that is shaky at best (that old way = no burial for suicide, new way = depends on mental state), then do so at your own (rhetorical) peril.

Sorry, Cleveland, I do not understand what you are saying. Here is my argument, again: the Church loves all people, including homosexuals, but She considers homosexuality to be abnormal. This approach is, I assume (correct me if I am wrong), based on traditional beliefs of people who knew very little about biology of man, genes, chromosomes, neurons,  work of the brain (which is the main sexual organ:)). In former times, based on similarly limited knowledge of human biology, the Church refused burial to suicide victims. Now, She has changed Her position because of the expansion of the knowledge. CAN this also happen for the attitude of the Church to homosexuality? I am not asking whether it WILL happen - rather, is it possible? Yes, or no? It's not a rhetorical question, I would really like to know people's opinions...

I would like to believe it could happen, as you know. But the Church doesn't have to believe something is abnormal in order to condemn it, I don't think. She certainly doesn't use biological normality as a guide to best practice - monasticism isn't exactly a 'normal' way of life, after all.
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« Reply #102 on: September 10, 2009, 01:17:37 PM »

I really hate to flog the dead horse of homosexuality, but I've been wondering, lately... Look, in previous centuries, when nothing was known about serotonin, brain synapses, etc., suicide was universally condemned by the Church as a terrible sin, and people who committed it were always refused Church burial - correct?

We have no way of positively or negatively answering your question: the data just doesn't exist.  If you want to base the argument that follows on a presupposition that is shaky at best (that old way = no burial for suicide, new way = depends on mental state), then do so at your own (rhetorical) peril.

Sorry, Cleveland, I do not understand what you are saying. Here is my argument, again: the Church loves all people, including homosexuals, but She considers homosexuality to be abnormal. This approach is, I assume (correct me if I am wrong), based on traditional beliefs of people who knew very little about biology of man, genes, chromosomes, neurons,  work of the brain (which is the main sexual organ:)). In former times, based on similarly limited knowledge of human biology, the Church refused burial to suicide victims. Now, She has changed Her position because of the expansion of the knowledge. CAN this also happen for the attitude of the Church to homosexuality? I am not asking whether it WILL happen - rather, is it possible? Yes, or no? It's not a rhetorical question, I would really like to know people's opinions...

I would like to believe it could happen, as you know. But the Church doesn't have to believe something is abnormal in order to condemn it, I don't think. She certainly doesn't use biological normality as a guide to best practice - monasticism isn't exactly a 'normal' way of life, after all.

I agree. Monasticism is not natural, it is "supernatural." But one chooses to become or not to become a monk, and Christ said that only those who are ABLE to accept monasticism should accept it. One, however, does not choose to be a homosexual, and, apparently, not all homosexuals are able to be celibate...
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« Reply #103 on: September 10, 2009, 01:26:30 PM »

Sorry, Cleveland, I do not understand what you are saying. Here is my argument, again: the Church loves all people, including homosexuals, but She considers homosexuality to be abnormal. This approach is, I assume (correct me if I am wrong), based on traditional beliefs of people who knew very little about biology of man, genes, chromosomes, neurons,  work of the brain (which is the main sexual organ:)). In former times, based on similarly limited knowledge of human biology, the Church refused burial to suicide victims. Now, She has changed Her position because of the expansion of the knowledge. CAN this also happen for the attitude of the Church to homosexuality? I am not asking whether it WILL happen - rather, is it possible? Yes, or no? It's not a rhetorical question, I would really like to know people's opinions... 

I don't think the Church has a position on whether or not homosexuality is abnormal; only homosexual sex (which, mind you, is sex outside of marriage and thus falls under the same condemnation as adultery, fornication, etc.). 

Beyond that point, the Church will do whatever the Spirit leads it to do, whatever Christ directs it to do.  All things are possible in Christ.  As to whether it will happen, I don't know - if it is good, it will, and if not, it won't.
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« Reply #104 on: September 10, 2009, 01:33:51 PM »

One, however, does not choose to be a homosexual, and, apparently, not all homosexuals are able to be celibate... 

So, what - they're just animals and cannot control themselves?  That's worse than homophobia!  At least homophobes admit that homosexuals are human beings!  Humanity's best moments, biggest strides, highest achievements have come because & when we exercise control: control to keep anger in check and not resort to violence; control to sit still and farm, rather than roam and hunt; control to wash, brush teeth, clean and sanitize, rather than live in our own natural muck; control to work rather than lounge; control to sacrifice oneself for the good of others.  Don't assert something that is impossible to prove (how unscientific of you!), that not all homosexuals are able to be celibate - you don't know that!  Just because people don't try, doesn't mean they are unable.

We'll find the genetic trigger for addictive behavior, and then what?  Addiction is o.k. because it's part of the natural order?  Who cares if they're addicted to pot, or sex, or something else that isn't necessarily going to kill them in 20 years?  Or are those people going to have to transcend the most base aspects of their being (addiction), and rise up to be something more - theosis is the goal, not the option or the afterthought.
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« Reply #105 on: September 10, 2009, 01:35:37 PM »

Sorry, Cleveland, I do not understand what you are saying. Here is my argument, again: the Church loves all people, including homosexuals, but She considers homosexuality to be abnormal. This approach is, I assume (correct me if I am wrong), based on traditional beliefs of people who knew very little about biology of man, genes, chromosomes, neurons,  work of the brain (which is the main sexual organ:)). In former times, based on similarly limited knowledge of human biology, the Church refused burial to suicide victims. Now, She has changed Her position because of the expansion of the knowledge. CAN this also happen for the attitude of the Church to homosexuality? I am not asking whether it WILL happen - rather, is it possible? Yes, or no? It's not a rhetorical question, I would really like to know people's opinions... 

I don't think the Church has a position on whether or not homosexuality is abnormal; only homosexual sex (which, mind you, is sex outside of marriage and thus falls under the same condemnation as adultery, fornication, etc.). 

But the Church does not recognize homosexual marriage exactly because She believes that the only "normal" (or "natural") sex is between a man and a woman, correct? That's what the GOA doctrinal web page states:

"The position of the Orthodox Church toward homosexuality has been expressed by synodicals, canons and patristic pronouncements beginning with the very first centuries of Orthodox ecclesiastical life. Thus, the Orthodox Church condemns unreservedly all expressions of personal sexual experience which prove contrary to the definite and unalterable function ascribed to sex by God's ordinance and expressed in man's experience as a law of nature. The Orthodox Church believes that homosexuality should be treated by religion as a sinful failure. In both cases, correction is called for. Homosexuals should be accorded the confidential medical and psychiatric facilities by which they can be helped to restore themselves to a self-respecting sexual identity that belongs to them by God's ordinance." http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith7101

Beyond that point, the Church will do whatever the Spirit leads it to do, whatever Christ directs it to do.  All things are possible in Christ.  As to whether it will happen, I don't know - if it is good, it will, and if not, it won't.

Yes. But I somehow feel that I should help the Church. I am the Church, too. And I, as a biologist, simply know that the GOA statement I quoted above is based on... well, let me put it bluntly, ignorance...
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« Reply #106 on: September 10, 2009, 01:37:07 PM »

One, however, does not choose to be a homosexual, and, apparently, not all homosexuals are able to be celibate... 

So, what - they're just animals and cannot control themselves?

No. They are humans who are forced by others to control themselves where these others do not have to.
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« Reply #107 on: September 10, 2009, 01:38:56 PM »

What is the type of sin called which distorts  a belief of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church in an attempt to justify personal sins or others' sins of which one approves?  Is this a tiny, fissure sin only affecting one tooth or is it invasive osteosarcoma of the mandible which could endanger the entire “body” (of the Church) if allowed/encouraged/ignored and it spreads?  What treatment should be prescribed? 

No, I am not encouraging the excommunication of sinners (myself included).

I'm not catching what you're trying to say.  Honestly.  Is this directed to me, to others?
I am disturbed about the material presented on the "offending site" JN1034. It is offensive in itself, but then it adds the +EP seal at the bottom. 

Okay, I understand now.  In the manner presented, I thought your post was directed at the one I made just before it.

There is other incorrect information on this thread which refers to Sts. Sergius and Bacchus.  This is the world's largest Orthodox Christian forum.  Should posts that present incorrect Orthodox teachings be allowed to go uncorrected on the world's largest Orthodox Christian forum?

Ideally, incorrect information can and should be corrected ASAP, whether we're the largest or smallest Orthodox Christian forum (in English).  However, and partially due to the size of this site,

1. Many people have become bored of refuting/discussing the same points over and over again.  
To wit, other occasions discussing the Brother-making (this isn't the larger "Homosexuality and Orthodoxy" list):

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,18244.msg267309.html#msg267309
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,8122.msg106574.html#msg106574

including this thread directed specifically at the subject of the venerable Saints Sergius and Bacchus:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9135.0.html

2. The right people don't always see the right threads at the right time - there are so many, that often people choose what subjects or subfora to focus on at various times.

3. We're imperfect, too, and thus miss opportunities that may be obvious to others.
I understand completely and ask for forgiveness if I offended you.

I know that you realize that JN1034 is not a small joke. I post more on this topic in case others do not.

JN1034 posts on blogs that are read internationally.   They clearly list their web address so many others can be lured into reading their lies (some of which may incite violence against priests) and distortion of the Orthodox Christian faith. I have witness their web address posted on the Huffington Post which is listed as the #1 blog.  In one month, October of 2008, the Huffington Post had 5,000,000 visitors.

By placing an imitation seal of His All Holiness, +BARTHOLOMEW I  at the bottom of the page, JN1034 is giving  the +EP and all Orthodox Christians, a virtual slap in the face.  Those who may be lacking in Orthodox Christian beliefs/knowledge (many Huffington Post readers) may believe that this offensive site reflects the beliefs of the +EP or is endorsed by  +EP because his seal is on the page.



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« Reply #108 on: September 10, 2009, 01:41:59 PM »

One, however, does not choose to be a homosexual, and, apparently, not all homosexuals are able to be celibate... 

So, what - they're just animals and cannot control themselves?  That's worse than homophobia!


I didn't interpret what Heorhji said the way you did, but nevertheless - depends on the homophobia. A homosexual boy in Ireland was crucified on a goalpost and left to die a few years ago - not much is worse than that. But I agree we shouldn't think homosexuals simply can't control themselves.

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 At least homophobes admit that homosexuals are human beings!  Humanity's best moments, biggest strides, highest achievements have come because & when we exercise control: control to keep anger in check and not resort to violence; control to sit still and farm, rather than roam and hunt; control to wash, brush teeth, clean and sanitize, rather than live in our own natural muck; control to work rather than lounge; control to sacrifice oneself for the good of others.  Don't assert something that is impossible to prove (how unscientific of you!), that not all homosexuals are able to be celibate - you don't know that!  Just because people don't try, doesn't mean they are unable.


With respect, I think a lot of people do try very hard.

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We'll find the genetic trigger for addictive behavior, and then what?  Addiction is o.k. because it's part of the natural order?  Who cares if they're addicted to pot, or sex, or something else that isn't necessarily going to kill them in 20 years?  Or are those people going to have to transcend the most base aspects of their being (addiction), and rise up to be something more - theosis is the goal, not the option or the afterthought.
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« Reply #109 on: September 10, 2009, 01:50:55 PM »

I agree we shouldn't think homosexuals simply can't control themselves.

Everyone should control him- or herself. I should control myself. But here, I see yet another example of a circular logic. Homosexuals cannot marry because sex between a man and a man is wrong. Why is it wrong? Because it is extramarital.

Or this: the purpose of marriage is not self-gratification but theosis. Homosexuals cannot achieve theosis being in a marital union, so all they do in their sex lives is gratify themselves. But why cannot they achieve theosis in a lifelong monogamous sexual union? Because they can't. They are homosexuals.
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« Reply #110 on: September 10, 2009, 02:05:05 PM »

So, Heorhji, do I take it you'd be in favour of the Church deciding to allow homosexual unions of some sexual kind? Or are you merely speculating on the whys and wherefores? PM me if you'd rather.

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« Reply #111 on: September 10, 2009, 02:18:29 PM »

I agree we shouldn't think homosexuals simply can't control themselves.

Everyone should control him- or herself. I should control myself. But here, I see yet another example of a circular logic. Homosexuals cannot marry because sex between a man and a man is wrong. Why is it wrong? Because it is extramarital.

Or this: the purpose of marriage is not self-gratification but theosis. Homosexuals cannot achieve theosis being in a marital union, so all they do in their sex lives is gratify themselves. But why cannot they achieve theosis in a lifelong monogamous sexual union? Because they can't. They are homosexuals.

I don't think that its a circular arguement. Homosexuals are not refused marriage "just because". They are refused because homosexuality is not viewed as part of God's natural arrangement but is rather a corruption of the natural. Indeed, I understand that Homosexual Celibate life is extremely difficult, but I do not for a second pretend that an active homosexual life is healthy, spiritually, physically, or psychologically. It would be better to live the painful celibate life than to engage in the dangers (both natural and supernatural) of aan active homosexual life.
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« Reply #112 on: September 10, 2009, 02:19:01 PM »

So, Heorhji, do I take it you'd be in favour of the Church deciding to allow homosexual unions of some sexual kind? Or are you merely speculating on the whys and wherefores? PM me if you'd rather.

Liz

Yes, actually, I would love to see my Church overcome age-old prejudices and bless homosexual marriage.
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« Reply #113 on: September 10, 2009, 02:22:04 PM »

I don't think that its a circular arguement. Homosexuals are not refused marriage "just because". They are refused because homosexuality is not viewed as part of God's natural arrangement but is rather a corruption of the natural.

But look what Cleveland wrote. He says that he does not think the Church calls homosexuality an anomaly; he says that rather, the Church condemns homosexual sex because it is extramarital. Cleveland, correct me if I am wrong?

Indeed, I understand that Homosexual Celibate life is extremely difficult, but I do not for a second pretend that an active homosexual life is healthy, spiritually, physically, or psychologically. It would be better to live the painful celibate life than to engage in the dangers (both natural and supernatural) of aan active homosexual life.

But you believe that active homosexual life (even if we are talking about monogamous lifelong union of two people) is UNhealthy... why? Based on what observations?
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« Reply #114 on: September 10, 2009, 02:30:00 PM »



But look what Cleveland wrote. He says that he does not think the Church calls homosexuality an anomaly; he says that rather, the Church condemns homosexual sex because it is extramarital. Cleveland, correct me if I am wrong?
But I think you are missing the next step in the arguement that I believe Clebeland is assuming and I am proposing for you evaluation.
Its not just extramarital for some arbitrary reason. It is not blessed by a Christian marriage because it is an overturning of the natural order.
But you believe that active homosexual life (even if we are talking about monogamous lifelong union of two people) is UNhealthy... why? Based on what observations?

I believe that this is unhealthy for several reasons. First, people in such a life style have higher rates of suicide, infidelity (even in so called monogomous unions), promiscuity, drug abuse, STDs etc. etc. etc. Second, it is unhealthy for spiritual reasons, in that a person is living a life in complete contradiction to God's natural odering of the universe. Third, personal experience and anecodotal evidence has supported my position.
Even in "monogomous" homosexual unions you see these same problems. There many sexual acts that are seen as normal in "monogomous" homsexual relationships that any Christian would view as repulsive. These relationships tend towards these problems because they are inherantly disordered.
Love would urge me to strongly recommend against engaging in a homosexul life style for any person who is considering it. I would want to spare that person the pain.
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« Reply #115 on: September 10, 2009, 02:38:14 PM »



But look what Cleveland wrote. He says that he does not think the Church calls homosexuality an anomaly; he says that rather, the Church condemns homosexual sex because it is extramarital. Cleveland, correct me if I am wrong?
But I think you are missing the next step in the arguement that I believe Clebeland is assuming and I am proposing for you evaluation.
Its not just extramarital for some arbitrary reason. It is not blessed by a Christian marriage because it is an overturning of the natural order.
But you believe that active homosexual life (even if we are talking about monogamous lifelong union of two people) is UNhealthy... why? Based on what observations?

I believe that this is unhealthy for several reasons. First, people in such a life style have higher rates of suicide, infidelity (even in so called monogomous unions), promiscuity, drug abuse, STDs etc. etc. etc. Second, it is unhealthy for spiritual reasons, in that a person is living a life in complete contradiction to God's natural odering of the universe. Third, personal experience and anecodotal evidence has supported my position.
Even in "monogomous" homosexual unions you see these same problems. There many sexual acts that are seen as normal in "monogomous" homsexual relationships that any Christian would view as repulsive. These relationships tend towards these problems because they are inherantly disordered.
Love would urge me to strongly recommend against engaging in a homosexul life style for any person who is considering it. I would want to spare that person the pain.


I think this is a mixture of propaganda and the sad result of stigmatizing an aspect of human behaviour. One could equally well apply the list of 'unhealthy' experiences you list to, say, Af

I would observe - and I hope no one minds me saying this - that most of the acts in homosexual relationships can also be part of heterosexual relationships. Kisses? Hugs? And if you think I am being willfully innocent here, all the sexual acts between women.
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« Reply #116 on: September 10, 2009, 02:39:05 PM »

So, Heorhji, do I take it you'd be in favour of the Church deciding to allow homosexual unions of some sexual kind? Or are you merely speculating on the whys and wherefores? PM me if you'd rather.

Liz

Yes, actually, I would love to see my Church overcome age-old prejudices and bless homosexual marriage.

Sorry, I didn't mean to come across as patronizing or disbelieving. I was just curious.
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« Reply #117 on: September 10, 2009, 02:40:10 PM »

I believe that this is unhealthy for several reasons. First, people in such a life style have higher rates of suicide, infidelity (even in so called monogomous unions), promiscuity, drug abuse, STDs etc. etc. etc.

Is there really a solid statistical proof that monogamous homosexual couples are mole likely to be unfaithful to their partners than monogamous heterosexual couples? And suicide, drug abuse, etc. - aren't these sad things be a lot more likely to happen in groups of people who are looked down at as "abomination," etc.?

Second, it is unhealthy for spiritual reasons, in that a person is living a life in complete contradiction to God's natural odering of the universe.

I wish I could be so confident, precisely knowing God's "natural ordering of the universe..."

Third, personal experience and anecodotal evidence has supported my position. Even in "monogomous" homosexual unions you see these same problems. There many sexual acts that are seen as normal in "monogomous" homsexual relationships that any Christian would view as repulsive. These relationships tend towards these problems because they are inherantly disordered.

I think people who are homosexual and who engage in active sex simply feel guilty because they hear the message from the Church, and are afraid, and devastated, neurotized. That's THE reason, and not any kind of "un-natural-ness" of homosexual behavior.

That said, I would like to stress that I do not wish to encourage anyone to go against the teachings of the Church. I only want Her to modify some of Her teachings, just like She did modify Her teachings on suicide. And I, as a person who knows some biology and human physiology, am willing to do everything I can to make that happen.
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« Reply #118 on: September 10, 2009, 02:53:39 PM »



Is there really a solid statistical proof that monogamous homosexual couples are mole likely to be unfaithful to their partners than monogamous heterosexual couples? And suicide, drug abuse, etc. - aren't these sad things be a lot more likely to happen in groups of people who are looked down at as "abomination," etc.?
Yes there is statistical proof. And I will dig it up for you this week. Also, even secular psychology text books from liberal uinversities discuss the inherent problems in homosexual unions. For example, my best friend's counseling course at the University of New Mexico (the liberal berlkley of the southwest) used a text book that discussed how studies have shown that homosexual men are less likely to be able to establish Love (defined as devotion to a person in spite of their faults, while not ignoring those faults) and were much more likely to form relationships based on infatuation (defined as that "puppy" love where you just pretend that the other person has not faults. This immaturity in romantic relatinshiops is a definite sign of the problems of homosexual unions.
And, no I don't just think that its a problem of prejudice. It clearly is not natural. I mean look at the design of our bodies.

I wish I could be so confident, precisely knowing God's "natural ordering of the universe..."
I think that the design of our bodies is compeling evidence that God did intend for heterosexual unions but not for homosexual ones.

I think people who are homosexual and who engage in active sex simply feel guilty because they hear the message from the Church, and are afraid, and devastated, neurotized. That's THE reason, and not any kind of "un-natural-ness" of homosexual behavior.
Again, I present the design of our bodies and the teachings of the holy scriptures.
That said, I would like to stress that I do not wish to encourage anyone to go against the teachings of the Church. I only want Her to modify some of Her teachings, just like She did modify Her teachings on suicide. And I, as a person who knows some biology and human physiology, am willing to do everything I can to make that happen.
Although I am not Eastern Orthodox, I highly doubt that the EO Church has changed its position on suicide. I think she still teaches that Suicide is gravely sinful. However, I would wager that she recognizes differing levels of culpability with regard to the act itseld, depending on the psychological state of the person. The EO Church may be emphasizing mercy more now in respect to suicide, but I don't believe she has changed.
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« Reply #119 on: September 10, 2009, 02:54:37 PM »



But look what Cleveland wrote. He says that he does not think the Church calls homosexuality an anomaly; he says that rather, the Church condemns homosexual sex because it is extramarital. Cleveland, correct me if I am wrong?
But I think you are missing the next step in the arguement that I believe Clebeland is assuming and I am proposing for you evaluation.
Its not just extramarital for some arbitrary reason. It is not blessed by a Christian marriage because it is an overturning of the natural order.
But you believe that active homosexual life (even if we are talking about monogamous lifelong union of two people) is UNhealthy... why? Based on what observations?

I believe that this is unhealthy for several reasons. First, people in such a life style have higher rates of suicide, infidelity (even in so called monogomous unions), promiscuity, drug abuse, STDs etc. etc. etc. Second, it is unhealthy for spiritual reasons, in that a person is living a life in complete contradiction to God's natural odering of the universe. Third, personal experience and anecodotal evidence has supported my position.
Even in "monogomous" homosexual unions you see these same problems. There many sexual acts that are seen as normal in "monogomous" homsexual relationships that any Christian would view as repulsive. These relationships tend towards these problems because they are inherantly disordered.
Love would urge me to strongly recommend against engaging in a homosexul life style for any person who is considering it. I would want to spare that person the pain.


I think this is a mixture of propaganda and the sad result of stigmatizing an aspect of human behaviour. One could equally well apply the list of 'unhealthy' experiences you list to, say, Af

I would observe - and I hope no one minds me saying this - that most of the acts in homosexual relationships can also be part of heterosexual relationships. Kisses? Hugs? And if you think I am being willfully innocent here, all the sexual acts between women.
However, when put in a romantic context these acts are ordered towards a different.
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« Reply #120 on: September 10, 2009, 03:10:59 PM »

Yes. But I somehow feel that I should help the Church. I am the Church, too. And I, as a biologist, simply know that the GOA statement I quoted above is based on... well, let me put it bluntly, ignorance...  

Physician, heal thyself.

Will your input change the Church's opinion of same-gender sexual activity from being "it's abnormal" to "it's normal?"  Because all science can demonstrate is that same-sex attraction is often "normal" for the person; but that is no statement to the sexual activity itself.  Well?

One, however, does not choose to be a homosexual, and, apparently, not all homosexuals are able to be celibate...   

So, what - they're just animals and cannot control themselves?

No. They are humans who are forced by others to control themselves where these others do not have to.

They're not forced - anyone can do whatever they want.  All the Church says is "the way that has been revealed to us is chastity for those who cannot get married in the Church."  If they choose to not follow that, it's fine - but that will be part of their conversation with God.  I do not presume to know how that will turn out, which is why I don't judge people for their sins, and I hope they don't judge me for mine.

However, your statement was "not all homosexuals are able to be celibate."  You are making a positive affirmation that there are homosexuals that are not capable of being celibate, limiting their ability to control what is most base in them (lust, regardless of direction), which I find insulting to any human being because it makes them less than human.
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« Reply #121 on: September 10, 2009, 03:16:17 PM »

But look what Cleveland wrote. He says that he does not think the Church calls homosexuality an anomaly; he says that rather, the Church condemns homosexual sex because it is extramarital. Cleveland, correct me if I am wrong?

But I think you are missing the next step in the arguement that I believe Clebeland is assuming and I am proposing for you evaluation. Its not just extramarital for some arbitrary reason. It is not blessed by a Christian marriage because it is an overturning of the natural order. 

Exactly.  My statement of "homosexual sex = extramarrital sex which is why it is condemned" doesn't get into the implied reason as to why homosexual sex /= possible marital sex, which I allude to and you state openly: while attraction to the same gender may indeed be natural for some, I have yet to see why sexual activity between members of the same gender is "natural" - the only reason presented is because the attraction is present and the activity satisfies the attraction, which does not go to the natural or un-natural state of the action per se.
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« Reply #122 on: September 10, 2009, 03:16:28 PM »



Is there really a solid statistical proof that monogamous homosexual couples are mole likely to be unfaithful to their partners than monogamous heterosexual couples? And suicide, drug abuse, etc. - aren't these sad things be a lot more likely to happen in groups of people who are looked down at as "abomination," etc.?
Yes there is statistical proof. And I will dig it up for you this week. Also, even secular psychology text books from liberal uinversities discuss the inherent problems in homosexual unions. For example, my best friend's counseling course at the University of New Mexico (the liberal berlkley of the southwest) used a text book that discussed how studies have shown that homosexual men are less likely to be able to establish Love (defined as devotion to a person in spite of their faults, while not ignoring those faults) and were much more likely to form relationships based on infatuation (defined as that "puppy" love where you just pretend that the other person has not faults. This immaturity in romantic relatinshiops is a definite sign of the problems of homosexual unions.


The point has been made that homosexual relationships are made in a society that still, by and large, condemns them. Psychology will also tell you that plenty of Indian women have insecurity issues about the paleness of their skin, because in India a 'wheatish' (ie. pale) complexion is still a prime mark of 'beauty'. This does not mean that Indian women are inherently insecure, or vain, or preoccupied by their skin colour - it only tells you how they are affected by society.


Quote
And, no I don't just think that its a problem of prejudice. It clearly is not natural. I mean look at the design of our bodies.


Forgive me for being blunt, but this is a rubbish argument. Homosexual sex is both possible, and (reportedly) physically gratifying. Indeed, as I have said before, there is little or nothing bar the gender of participants to distinguish lesbian sex from acts within normal heterosexual relationships. If you refer to our reproductive capacities, go look in the threads Cleveland linked to. I bet there's one that asks you to consider the case for barren women or infertile men having marital relations.

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« Reply #123 on: September 10, 2009, 03:21:11 PM »

Rom Touchstone Magazine, By Huw Rafael

I stand by those words of Fr. Seraphim. This Hell is being driven by one’s hormones and knowing that to deny them is “unhealthy.” Hell is being driven by one’s desires and fantasies and knowing that to deny them is to deny the only joy there is, the joy that defines your whole being.

Hell is a fine San Francisco morning standing trapped in your bedroom while an orgy takes place in the hallway outside. Hell is a foggy San Francisco afternoon standing in a room full of men involved in various actions with each other—and somewhere a voice tells you it’s all wrong, but you don’t know what to do. Hell is a balmy San Francisco evening on a back porch listening to ten homosexual men in the middle of the most liberal Episcopal diocese in the country insist that all churches are homophobic and evil.

Hell is being told in a Sunday sermon that Jesus died in first-century Judea, that Jesus isn’t alive, that Jesus isn’t coming back, and that he would want you to “follow your bliss” to find the will of God in your life—all of this when you know now that your “bliss” makes you more depressed every time you indulge in it. Hell is knowing that the same biblical scholarship that allows for your own sexual antics also allows for clergy who deny the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection.

Hell is a “Pride Parade” where no one looks at you, where no one returns your compliments, where no one bothers to notice you—on a day when egos are supposed to be full and fluffy, Hell is having one’s ego bashed. Hell is knowing that at this point, someone reading this essay will say, “Oh, he’s ugly and bitter, that’s all.”

Hell is watching your friends die for the sake of their own freedom to damn themselves—and hearing them cry, “I didn’t do anything to deserve this . . . God is hateful.”

Hell is knowing that there is the slightest possibility that the Jesus Seminar folks and other “new theologians” are wrong and that 2,000 years of orthodox Christians are right: that homosexual sex might be evil. Hell is standing next to those who end a conversation about this question by saying, “Oh, shut up.” Hell is being told that all the gospel is wrong—that two millennia of your brothers and sisters in the faith were wrong—and that Jesus loves you just as you are and does not ask you to change, that modern Christianity will just throw out everything that disagrees with this picture of Jesus. Hell is being told that this nihilism and denial of any and all truth is exactly what church is supposed to be—liberating us from the dark past of sin and law and guilt.

Hell is finding out that no one really wants “a relationship” no matter how much they want it blessed or accepted; rather, that they want easier sex, the right to demand acceptance from their neighbors, and the ability to collect a partner’s insurance payments. Hell is knowing that they would also like the blessed relationship to be open, not monogamous, with a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and weekends free to play around. And don’t judge us, please.

Source: http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=17-04-015-v

This guy agrees with Father Serpahim Rose conserning a homosexual life style : "I was in Hell. I know what Hell is."
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« Reply #124 on: September 10, 2009, 03:29:44 PM »



Is there really a solid statistical proof that monogamous homosexual couples are mole likely to be unfaithful to their partners than monogamous heterosexual couples? And suicide, drug abuse, etc. - aren't these sad things be a lot more likely to happen in groups of people who are looked down at as "abomination," etc.?
Yes there is statistical proof. And I will dig it up for you this week. Also, even secular psychology text books from liberal uinversities discuss the inherent problems in homosexual unions. For example, my best friend's counseling course at the University of New Mexico (the liberal berlkley of the southwest) used a text book that discussed how studies have shown that homosexual men are less likely to be able to establish Love (defined as devotion to a person in spite of their faults, while not ignoring those faults) and were much more likely to form relationships based on infatuation (defined as that "puppy" love where you just pretend that the other person has not faults. This immaturity in romantic relatinshiops is a definite sign of the problems of homosexual unions.


The point has been made that homosexual relationships are made in a society that still, by and large, condemns them. Psychology will also tell you that plenty of Indian women have insecurity issues about the paleness of their skin, because in India a 'wheatish' (ie. pale) complexion is still a prime mark of 'beauty'. This does not mean that Indian women are inherently insecure, or vain, or preoccupied by their skin colour - it only tells you how they are affected by society.


Quote
And, no I don't just think that its a problem of prejudice. It clearly is not natural. I mean look at the design of our bodies.


Forgive me for being blunt, but this is a rubbish argument. Homosexual sex is both possible, and (reportedly) physically gratifying. Indeed, as I have said before, there is little or nothing bar the gender of participants to distinguish lesbian sex from acts within normal heterosexual relationships. If you refer to our reproductive capacities, go look in the threads Cleveland linked to. I bet there's one that asks you to consider the case for barren women or infertile men having marital relations.


Yes homosexuality is possible. But so is putting my finger in an electris socket. Just beacuse something is possible does not mean that it is good for you nor that it is an ordered act.
Yes, man can have sex with a man. But the question is, did male genitalia and excritory organs evolve for that purpose? The answer is a resounding "no". They evovled to function properly with the female anatomy, and this is just pure science.

As for barren women, there is no problem here because they are still using their anatomy for the intended purpose: namely, sexual activity with a man. Again, the organs evolved (were created for that purpose).

Let me be blunt with you. Homosexual sex is difficult to pull off physically because the parts weren't designed for that purpose.

Finally, promiscuity and homosexuality are wrong for different reasons and thus I would apply a completely different arguement to the problems of adultery or fornication.
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« Reply #125 on: September 10, 2009, 03:30:55 PM »

Forgive me for being blunt, but this is a rubbish argument.

This is an entire argument about what is natural or un-natural, so why don't you prove first, and then claim as rubbish.

Homosexual sex is both possible, and (reportedly) physically gratifying.

The Church isn't concerned with physically gratifying activity - we'd encourage opiate use if we were.  We're in the business of getting people united with their Savior, and of building the kinds of relationships He wants us to use to get to that point.

If you refer to our reproductive capacities, go look in the threads Cleveland linked to. I bet there's one that asks you to consider the case for barren women or infertile men having marital relations.  

A thorough study of Christian history will provide you with plenty of examples to support the following: there is no such thing as absolute barrenness.  Plenty of women have been barren, and through prayer and God's grace have enjoyed Childbirth.  It is a reversible condition - homosexual sex's natural barrenness is not, thanks to the natural order.
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« Reply #126 on: September 10, 2009, 03:34:02 PM »

Rom Touchstone Magazine, By Huw Rafael

I stand by those words of Fr. Seraphim. This Hell is being driven by one’s hormones and knowing that to deny them is “unhealthy.” Hell is being driven by one’s desires and fantasies and knowing that to deny them is to deny the only joy there is, the joy that defines your whole being.

Hell is a fine San Francisco morning standing trapped in your bedroom while an orgy takes place in the hallway outside. Hell is a foggy San Francisco afternoon standing in a room full of men involved in various actions with each other—and somewhere a voice tells you it’s all wrong, but you don’t know what to do. Hell is a balmy San Francisco evening on a back porch listening to ten homosexual men in the middle of the most liberal Episcopal diocese in the country insist that all churches are homophobic and evil.

Hell is being told in a Sunday sermon that Jesus died in first-century Judea, that Jesus isn’t alive, that Jesus isn’t coming back, and that he would want you to “follow your bliss” to find the will of God in your life—all of this when you know now that your “bliss” makes you more depressed every time you indulge in it. Hell is knowing that the same biblical scholarship that allows for your own sexual antics also allows for clergy who deny the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection.

Hell is a “Pride Parade” where no one looks at you, where no one returns your compliments, where no one bothers to notice you—on a day when egos are supposed to be full and fluffy, Hell is having one’s ego bashed. Hell is knowing that at this point, someone reading this essay will say, “Oh, he’s ugly and bitter, that’s all.”

Hell is watching your friends die for the sake of their own freedom to damn themselves—and hearing them cry, “I didn’t do anything to deserve this . . . God is hateful.”

Hell is knowing that there is the slightest possibility that the Jesus Seminar folks and other “new theologians” are wrong and that 2,000 years of orthodox Christians are right: that homosexual sex might be evil. Hell is standing next to those who end a conversation about this question by saying, “Oh, shut up.” Hell is being told that all the gospel is wrong—that two millennia of your brothers and sisters in the faith were wrong—and that Jesus loves you just as you are and does not ask you to change, that modern Christianity will just throw out everything that disagrees with this picture of Jesus. Hell is being told that this nihilism and denial of any and all truth is exactly what church is supposed to be—liberating us from the dark past of sin and law and guilt.

Hell is finding out that no one really wants “a relationship” no matter how much they want it blessed or accepted; rather, that they want easier sex, the right to demand acceptance from their neighbors, and the ability to collect a partner’s insurance payments. Hell is knowing that they would also like the blessed relationship to be open, not monogamous, with a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and weekends free to play around. And don’t judge us, please.

Source: http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=17-04-015-v

This guy agrees with Father Serpahim Rose conserning a homosexual life style : "I was in Hell. I know what Hell is."

Papist, I understand you consider homosexual acts to be sinful, even evil. But in this article you quote, you mix together what sound like a whole set of sexual and social sins, or evils, or mistakes, and imply that all are inherently part of the same thing: homosexuality.

I find this deeply sad. I know of a heterosexual, married couple who have an 'open' relationship. No, in my view, it's not healthy. But neither does homosexuality open the door to such things. What your article describes sounds indeed like hell. But it is not representative of homosexual experience. Do you assume that homosexuals are somehow more depraved, more weak, than any other person who has extramarital sex?
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« Reply #127 on: September 10, 2009, 03:37:50 PM »



Is there really a solid statistical proof that monogamous homosexual couples are mole likely to be unfaithful to their partners than monogamous heterosexual couples? And suicide, drug abuse, etc. - aren't these sad things be a lot more likely to happen in groups of people who are looked down at as "abomination," etc.?
Yes there is statistical proof. And I will dig it up for you this week. Also, even secular psychology text books from liberal uinversities discuss the inherent problems in homosexual unions. For example, my best friend's counseling course at the University of New Mexico (the liberal berlkley of the southwest) used a text book that discussed how studies have shown that homosexual men are less likely to be able to establish Love (defined as devotion to a person in spite of their faults, while not ignoring those faults) and were much more likely to form relationships based on infatuation (defined as that "puppy" love where you just pretend that the other person has not faults. This immaturity in romantic relatinshiops is a definite sign of the problems of homosexual unions.


The point has been made that homosexual relationships are made in a society that still, by and large, condemns them. Psychology will also tell you that plenty of Indian women have insecurity issues about the paleness of their skin, because in India a 'wheatish' (ie. pale) complexion is still a prime mark of 'beauty'. This does not mean that Indian women are inherently insecure, or vain, or preoccupied by their skin colour - it only tells you how they are affected by society.


Quote
And, no I don't just think that its a problem of prejudice. It clearly is not natural. I mean look at the design of our bodies.


Forgive me for being blunt, but this is a rubbish argument. Homosexual sex is both possible, and (reportedly) physically gratifying. Indeed, as I have said before, there is little or nothing bar the gender of participants to distinguish lesbian sex from acts within normal heterosexual relationships. If you refer to our reproductive capacities, go look in the threads Cleveland linked to. I bet there's one that asks you to consider the case for barren women or infertile men having marital relations.


Yes homosexuality is possible. But so is putting my finger in an electris socket. Just beacuse something is possible does not mean that it is good for you nor that it is an ordered act.
Yes, man can have sex with a man. But the question is, did male genitalia and excritory organs evolve for that purpose? The answer is a resounding "no". They evovled to function properly with the female anatomy, and this is just pure science.

No, it is not. The first axiom of science is that you cannot prove, only disprove. You cannot prove that male and female anatomy evolved (interesting choice of word) exclusively for the purpose of heterosexual relations. But I take your first point, and I see where you're coming from.

Quote
As for barren women, there is no problem here because they are still using their anatomy for the intended purpose: namely, sexual activity with a man. Again, the organs evolved (were created for that purpose).

Let me be blunt with you. Homosexual sex is difficult to pull off physically because the parts weren't designed for that purpose.

I am female. I can't comment on male homosexuality. But female homosexual acts are easy as pie.

Quote
Finally, promiscuity and homosexuality are wrong for different reasons and thus I would apply a completely different arguement to the problems of adultery or fornication.

Fair point.
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« Reply #128 on: September 10, 2009, 03:40:56 PM »

Forgive me for being blunt, but this is a rubbish argument.

This is an entire argument about what is natural or un-natural, so why don't you prove first, and then claim as rubbish.


I apologise, I didn't realise the whole argument was about what is natural or un-natural. I don't find it terribly useful, as I suggested above when I said that monasticism is not 'natural', yet still it is holy. As I've said to Papist, I'm afraid I don't believe one can 'prove' a scientific hypothesis.

Homosexual sex is both possible, and (reportedly) physically gratifying.

The Church isn't concerned with physically gratifying activity - we'd encourage opiate use if we were.  We're in the business of getting people united with their Savior, and of building the kinds of relationships He wants us to use to get to that point.

[/quote]

Agreed. This being so, I don't think the argument about the design of our bodies is relevant.

If you refer to our reproductive capacities, go look in the threads Cleveland linked to. I bet there's one that asks you to consider the case for barren women or infertile men having marital relations. 

A thorough study of Christian history will provide you with plenty of examples to support the following: there is no such thing as absolute barrenness.  Plenty of women have been barren, and through prayer and God's grace have enjoyed Childbirth.  It is a reversible condition - homosexual sex's natural barrenness is not, thanks to the natural order.
[/quote]

That's a good point, and one which I take on board.
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« Reply #129 on: September 10, 2009, 03:44:06 PM »

Rom Touchstone Magazine, By Huw Rafael

I stand by those words of Fr. Seraphim. This Hell is being driven by one’s hormones and knowing that to deny them is “unhealthy.” Hell is being driven by one’s desires and fantasies and knowing that to deny them is to deny the only joy there is, the joy that defines your whole being.

Hell is a fine San Francisco morning standing trapped in your bedroom while an orgy takes place in the hallway outside. Hell is a foggy San Francisco afternoon standing in a room full of men involved in various actions with each other—and somewhere a voice tells you it’s all wrong, but you don’t know what to do. Hell is a balmy San Francisco evening on a back porch listening to ten homosexual men in the middle of the most liberal Episcopal diocese in the country insist that all churches are homophobic and evil.

Hell is being told in a Sunday sermon that Jesus died in first-century Judea, that Jesus isn’t alive, that Jesus isn’t coming back, and that he would want you to “follow your bliss” to find the will of God in your life—all of this when you know now that your “bliss” makes you more depressed every time you indulge in it. Hell is knowing that the same biblical scholarship that allows for your own sexual antics also allows for clergy who deny the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection.

Hell is a “Pride Parade” where no one looks at you, where no one returns your compliments, where no one bothers to notice you—on a day when egos are supposed to be full and fluffy, Hell is having one’s ego bashed. Hell is knowing that at this point, someone reading this essay will say, “Oh, he’s ugly and bitter, that’s all.”

Hell is watching your friends die for the sake of their own freedom to damn themselves—and hearing them cry, “I didn’t do anything to deserve this . . . God is hateful.”

Hell is knowing that there is the slightest possibility that the Jesus Seminar folks and other “new theologians” are wrong and that 2,000 years of orthodox Christians are right: that homosexual sex might be evil. Hell is standing next to those who end a conversation about this question by saying, “Oh, shut up.” Hell is being told that all the gospel is wrong—that two millennia of your brothers and sisters in the faith were wrong—and that Jesus loves you just as you are and does not ask you to change, that modern Christianity will just throw out everything that disagrees with this picture of Jesus. Hell is being told that this nihilism and denial of any and all truth is exactly what church is supposed to be—liberating us from the dark past of sin and law and guilt.

Hell is finding out that no one really wants “a relationship” no matter how much they want it blessed or accepted; rather, that they want easier sex, the right to demand acceptance from their neighbors, and the ability to collect a partner’s insurance payments. Hell is knowing that they would also like the blessed relationship to be open, not monogamous, with a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and weekends free to play around. And don’t judge us, please.

Source: http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=17-04-015-v

This guy agrees with Father Serpahim Rose conserning a homosexual life style : "I was in Hell. I know what Hell is."

Papist, I understand you consider homosexual acts to be sinful, even evil. But in this article you quote, you mix together what sound like a whole set of sexual and social sins, or evils, or mistakes, and imply that all are inherently part of the same thing: homosexuality.

I find this deeply sad. I know of a heterosexual, married couple who have an 'open' relationship. No, in my view, it's not healthy. But neither does homosexuality open the door to such things. What your article describes sounds indeed like hell. But it is not representative of homosexual experience. Do you assume that homosexuals are somehow more depraved, more weak, than any other person who has extramarital sex?
Liz, I'm going to have to say that the vast majority of homosexual men that I have encountered do or have participated in the things described above. I dont think its because they are intrinisically more evil than everyone else. I just think it happens because the homosexual act is such an incredible overturning of the natural order. See Romans Chapter 1
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« Reply #130 on: September 10, 2009, 03:44:23 PM »

Although I am not Eastern Orthodox, I highly doubt that the EO Church has changed its position on suicide. I think she still teaches that Suicide is gravely sinful. However, I would wager that she recognizes differing levels of culpability with regard to the act itseld, depending on the psychological state of the person. The EO Church may be emphasizing mercy more now in respect to suicide, but I don't believe she has changed.

If I understand this correctly, the former teaching was that suicide is actually the same as murder. There was no discussion about any possible excuse for what the person did, ending his or her life. Now, the notion is that suicide may be the result of disease - and therefore the victims of suicide, if they committed it being ill, must be mourned after, like any other departed people, and given the Orthodox burial. AFAIK, that is a VERY big change. And of course to the better. And of course driven by better awareness about the work of the human brain.
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« Reply #131 on: September 10, 2009, 03:45:38 PM »

Why is it hard to reconcile the following non-contradictory points?
  • Homosexuals are people, children of God, and are to be treated as such
  • Homosexual sex should not be treated worse than adultery, fornication, lying, stealing, etc.
  • Re: Homosexual Sex
  • Just because it's not worse doesn't mean it's ok.
  • The natural state of attraction does not necessitate that the sexual act is natural or good
  • Because it's not natural, and because it hasn't been revealed to us to be natural, it hasn't been included in the privileges of or justification for marriage.
  • Because it's not included in the privileges of marriage, then it is by nature an extra-marital act.
  • Don't spend so much ink condemning homosexuals that you condemn yourself for your own sins.
  • Don't insinuate that just because heterosexuals have sex outside marriage, that homosexuals should too - neither group should.
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« Reply #132 on: September 10, 2009, 03:47:05 PM »


No, it is not. The first axiom of science is that you cannot prove, only disprove. You cannot prove that male and female anatomy evolved (interesting choice of word) exclusively for the purpose of heterosexual relations. But I take your first point, and I see where you're coming from.

Quote
I don't buy that arguement. Science has give solid positive evidence of many things. I think evolution in general is a great example.

I am female. I can't comment on male homosexuality. But female homosexual acts are easy as pie.

Quote
They may be easy but they do not conform the massive amount of evidence that the Penis and Vagina evovled to be sexually compatible with one another, under normal circumstances for the purpose of procreation.
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« Reply #133 on: September 10, 2009, 03:47:48 PM »

Why is it hard to reconcile the following non-contradictory points?
  • Homosexuals are people, children of God, and are to be treated as such
  • Homosexual sex should not be treated worse than adultery, fornication, lying, stealing, etc.
  • Re: Homosexual Sex
  • Just because it's not worse doesn't mean it's ok.
  • The natural state of attraction does not necessitate that the sexual act is natural or good
  • Because it's not natural, and because it hasn't been revealed to us to be natural, it hasn't been included in the privileges of or justification for marriage.
  • Because it's not included in the privileges of marriage, then it is by nature an extra-marital act.
  • Don't spend so much ink condemning homosexuals that you condemn yourself for your own sins.
  • Don't insinuate that just because heterosexuals have sex outside marriage, that homosexuals should too - neither group should.
I can agree with this. And just to clarify, I'm not saying that homosexuals are greater sinners than heterosexuals. I am just saying that because homosexuality is such an overturning of God's natural order (see Romans Chapter 1) that it can in fact lead to some serious problems. I would go so far as to argue that homosexuality exists in contradiction to our human nature.
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« Reply #134 on: September 10, 2009, 03:48:30 PM »

Why is it hard to reconcile the following non-contradictory points?
  • Homosexuals are people, children of God, and are to be treated as such
  • Homosexual sex should not be treated worse than adultery, fornication, lying, stealing, etc.
  • Re: Homosexual Sex
  • Just because it's not worse doesn't mean it's ok.
  • The natural state of attraction does not necessitate that the sexual act is natural or good
  • Because it's not natural, and because it hasn't been revealed to us to be natural, it hasn't been included in the privileges of or justification for marriage.
  • Because it's not included in the privileges of marriage, then it is by nature an extra-marital act.
  • Don't spend so much ink condemning homosexuals that you condemn yourself for your own sins.
  • Don't insinuate that just because heterosexuals have sex outside marriage, that homosexuals should too - neither group should.

Amen to (most of  Wink ) that. I guess the most important thing is that Orthodox people who are attracted to the opposite sex should feel that, whatever the teaching of the Church, the Church welcomes them.

Have mercy on me, a sinner.
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« Reply #135 on: September 10, 2009, 03:50:19 PM »

Rom Touchstone Magazine, By Huw Rafael

I stand by those words of Fr. Seraphim. This Hell is being driven by one’s hormones and knowing that to deny them is “unhealthy.” Hell is being driven by one’s desires and fantasies and knowing that to deny them is to deny the only joy there is, the joy that defines your whole being.

Hell is a fine San Francisco morning standing trapped in your bedroom while an orgy takes place in the hallway outside. Hell is a foggy San Francisco afternoon standing in a room full of men involved in various actions with each other—and somewhere a voice tells you it’s all wrong, but you don’t know what to do. Hell is a balmy San Francisco evening on a back porch listening to ten homosexual men in the middle of the most liberal Episcopal diocese in the country insist that all churches are homophobic and evil.

Hell is being told in a Sunday sermon that Jesus died in first-century Judea, that Jesus isn’t alive, that Jesus isn’t coming back, and that he would want you to “follow your bliss” to find the will of God in your life—all of this when you know now that your “bliss” makes you more depressed every time you indulge in it. Hell is knowing that the same biblical scholarship that allows for your own sexual antics also allows for clergy who deny the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection.

Hell is a “Pride Parade” where no one looks at you, where no one returns your compliments, where no one bothers to notice you—on a day when egos are supposed to be full and fluffy, Hell is having one’s ego bashed. Hell is knowing that at this point, someone reading this essay will say, “Oh, he’s ugly and bitter, that’s all.”

Hell is watching your friends die for the sake of their own freedom to damn themselves—and hearing them cry, “I didn’t do anything to deserve this . . . God is hateful.”

Hell is knowing that there is the slightest possibility that the Jesus Seminar folks and other “new theologians” are wrong and that 2,000 years of orthodox Christians are right: that homosexual sex might be evil. Hell is standing next to those who end a conversation about this question by saying, “Oh, shut up.” Hell is being told that all the gospel is wrong—that two millennia of your brothers and sisters in the faith were wrong—and that Jesus loves you just as you are and does not ask you to change, that modern Christianity will just throw out everything that disagrees with this picture of Jesus. Hell is being told that this nihilism and denial of any and all truth is exactly what church is supposed to be—liberating us from the dark past of sin and law and guilt.

Hell is finding out that no one really wants “a relationship” no matter how much they want it blessed or accepted; rather, that they want easier sex, the right to demand acceptance from their neighbors, and the ability to collect a partner’s insurance payments. Hell is knowing that they would also like the blessed relationship to be open, not monogamous, with a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and weekends free to play around. And don’t judge us, please.

Source: http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=17-04-015-v

This guy agrees with Father Serpahim Rose conserning a homosexual life style : "I was in Hell. I know what Hell is."

Papist, I understand you consider homosexual acts to be sinful, even evil. But in this article you quote, you mix together what sound like a whole set of sexual and social sins, or evils, or mistakes, and imply that all are inherently part of the same thing: homosexuality.

I find this deeply sad. I know of a heterosexual, married couple who have an 'open' relationship. No, in my view, it's not healthy. But neither does homosexuality open the door to such things. What your article describes sounds indeed like hell. But it is not representative of homosexual experience. Do you assume that homosexuals are somehow more depraved, more weak, than any other person who has extramarital sex?
Liz, I'm going to have to say that the vast majority of homosexual men that I have encountered do or have participated in the

 things described above. I dont think its because they are intrinisically more evil than everyone else. I just think it happens because the homosexual act is such an incredible overturning of the natural order. See Romans Chapter 1

I guess we just move in different circles. I've never been remotely interested in casual sex, but you could easily argue that God led me to my very Orthodox partner to protect me  Smiley

If we sit around long enough, we'll all see what happens with the Church anyway.
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« Reply #136 on: September 10, 2009, 03:50:45 PM »

Agreed. This being so, I don't think the argument about the design of our bodies is relevant.

Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater - just because pleasure isn't part of the equation regarding sex doesn't mean the design of the body isn't relevant.  Pleasure can be gained through hetero- and homo-sexual sex, and through masturbation.  But that doesn't justify any of those acts - all are considered un-natural, with only the first (heterosexual sex) having the possibility of being good, when done in marriage and in love and respect for the other person (yes, even in heterosexual marriage there can be bad, abusive, sinful, non-loving sex).
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« Reply #137 on: September 10, 2009, 03:51:21 PM »

Why is it hard to reconcile the following non-contradictory points?
  • Homosexuals are people, children of God, and are to be treated as such
  • Homosexual sex should not be treated worse than adultery, fornication, lying, stealing, etc.
  • Re: Homosexual Sex
  • Just because it's not worse doesn't mean it's ok.
  • The natural state of attraction does not necessitate that the sexual act is natural or good
  • Because it's not natural, and because it hasn't been revealed to us to be natural, it hasn't been included in the privileges of or justification for marriage.
  • Because it's not included in the privileges of marriage, then it is by nature an extra-marital act.
  • Don't spend so much ink condemning homosexuals that you condemn yourself for your own sins.
  • Don't insinuate that just because heterosexuals have sex outside marriage, that homosexuals should too - neither group should.

 I guess the most important thing is that Orthodox people who are attracted to the opposite sex should feel that, whatever the teaching of the Church,
Of course. I would certainly hope that any Christian Church would welcome anyone. That being said, I would not use the arguements provide above to convince a person living a homosexual life style to change. I think it would just push them away. My interactions with such a person would be much more gentle.
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« Reply #138 on: September 10, 2009, 03:52:57 PM »

I guess the most important thing is that Orthodox people who are attracted to the opposite sex should feel that, whatever the teaching of the Church, the Church welcomes them.

Right - the Church is the hospital for sinners, and all are invited.  We just hope that all the patients (myself included) follow their doctor's orders, if they want to become healthy.

Have mercy on me, a sinner.

May He have mercy on us all!
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« Reply #139 on: September 10, 2009, 03:53:47 PM »

Rom Touchstone Magazine, By Huw Rafael

I stand by those words of Fr. Seraphim. This Hell is being driven by one’s hormones and knowing that to deny them is “unhealthy.” Hell is being driven by one’s desires and fantasies and knowing that to deny them is to deny the only joy there is, the joy that defines your whole being.

Hell is a fine San Francisco morning standing trapped in your bedroom while an orgy takes place in the hallway outside. Hell is a foggy San Francisco afternoon standing in a room full of men involved in various actions with each other—and somewhere a voice tells you it’s all wrong, but you don’t know what to do. Hell is a balmy San Francisco evening on a back porch listening to ten homosexual men in the middle of the most liberal Episcopal diocese in the country insist that all churches are homophobic and evil.

Hell is being told in a Sunday sermon that Jesus died in first-century Judea, that Jesus isn’t alive, that Jesus isn’t coming back, and that he would want you to “follow your bliss” to find the will of God in your life—all of this when you know now that your “bliss” makes you more depressed every time you indulge in it. Hell is knowing that the same biblical scholarship that allows for your own sexual antics also allows for clergy who deny the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection.

Hell is a “Pride Parade” where no one looks at you, where no one returns your compliments, where no one bothers to notice you—on a day when egos are supposed to be full and fluffy, Hell is having one’s ego bashed. Hell is knowing that at this point, someone reading this essay will say, “Oh, he’s ugly and bitter, that’s all.”

Hell is watching your friends die for the sake of their own freedom to damn themselves—and hearing them cry, “I didn’t do anything to deserve this . . . God is hateful.”

Hell is knowing that there is the slightest possibility that the Jesus Seminar folks and other “new theologians” are wrong and that 2,000 years of orthodox Christians are right: that homosexual sex might be evil. Hell is standing next to those who end a conversation about this question by saying, “Oh, shut up.” Hell is being told that all the gospel is wrong—that two millennia of your brothers and sisters in the faith were wrong—and that Jesus loves you just as you are and does not ask you to change, that modern Christianity will just throw out everything that disagrees with this picture of Jesus. Hell is being told that this nihilism and denial of any and all truth is exactly what church is supposed to be—liberating us from the dark past of sin and law and guilt.

Hell is finding out that no one really wants “a relationship” no matter how much they want it blessed or accepted; rather, that they want easier sex, the right to demand acceptance from their neighbors, and the ability to collect a partner’s insurance payments. Hell is knowing that they would also like the blessed relationship to be open, not monogamous, with a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and weekends free to play around. And don’t judge us, please.

Source: http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=17-04-015-v

This guy agrees with Father Serpahim Rose conserning a homosexual life style : "I was in Hell. I know what Hell is."

Papist, I understand you consider homosexual acts to be sinful, even evil. But in this article you quote, you mix together what sound like a whole set of sexual and social sins, or evils, or mistakes, and imply that all are inherently part of the same thing: homosexuality.

I find this deeply sad. I know of a heterosexual, married couple who have an 'open' relationship. No, in my view, it's not healthy. But neither does homosexuality open the door to such things. What your article describes sounds indeed like hell. But it is not representative of homosexual experience. Do you assume that homosexuals are somehow more depraved, more weak, than any other person who has extramarital sex?
Liz, I'm going to have to say that the vast majority of homosexual men that I have encountered do or have participated in the

 things described above. I dont think its because they are intrinisically more evil than everyone else. I just think it happens because the homosexual act is such an incredible overturning of the natural order. See Romans Chapter 1

I guess we just move in different circles. I've never been remotely interested in casual sex, but you could easily argue that God led me to my very Orthodox partner to protect me  Smiley

If we sit around long enough, we'll all see what happens with the Church anyway.
Liz if you are homosexual, I have to apologize if I am coming off as offensive. I am only providind what I consider a very rational approach to homosexuality. In dealing with a person who actually deals with the matter on a day to day basis, I would be more pastoral. I am unaware of your situation and I apologize if my clinical tone has been hurtful to you.
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« Reply #140 on: September 10, 2009, 04:06:09 PM »

Why is it hard to reconcile the following non-contradictory points?
  • Homosexuals are people, children of God, and are to be treated as such
  • Homosexual sex should not be treated worse than adultery, fornication, lying, stealing, etc.
  • Re: Homosexual Sex
  • Just because it's not worse doesn't mean it's ok.
  • The natural state of attraction does not necessitate that the sexual act is natural or good
  • Because it's not natural, and because it hasn't been revealed to us to be natural, it hasn't been included in the privileges of or justification for marriage.
  • Because it's not included in the privileges of marriage, then it is by nature an extra-marital act.
  • Don't spend so much ink condemning homosexuals that you condemn yourself for your own sins.
  • Don't insinuate that just because heterosexuals have sex outside marriage, that homosexuals should too - neither group should.

 I guess the most important thing is that Orthodox people who are attracted to the opposite sex should feel that, whatever the teaching of the Church,
Of course. I would certainly hope that any Christian Church would welcome anyone. That being said, I would not use the arguements provide above to convince a person living a homosexual life style to change. I think it would just push them away. My interactions with such a person would be much more gentle.

Ok. I may be treading on shaky ground here, so please forgive me. But how would you know you were speaking to someone 'living a homosexual lifestyle'? Admittedly some people wear their hearts on their sleeves, but many don't. I'd venture to say that the majority of those who have any likelihood of changing, are those who are relatively 'quiet'. What happens when someone stumbles across this thread and feels rejected by what you've said here? It's been pointed out that this is the biggest English-speaking Orthodox forum online, so it's not exactly unlikely you know.
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« Reply #141 on: September 10, 2009, 04:29:15 PM »

Why is it hard to reconcile the following non-contradictory points?
  • Homosexuals are people, children of God, and are to be treated as such
  • Homosexual sex should not be treated worse than adultery, fornication, lying, stealing, etc.
  • Re: Homosexual Sex
  • Just because it's not worse doesn't mean it's ok.
  • The natural state of attraction does not necessitate that the sexual act is natural or good
  • Because it's not natural, and because it hasn't been revealed to us to be natural, it hasn't been included in the privileges of or justification for marriage.
  • Because it's not included in the privileges of marriage, then it is by nature an extra-marital act.
  • Don't spend so much ink condemning homosexuals that you condemn yourself for your own sins.
  • Don't insinuate that just because heterosexuals have sex outside marriage, that homosexuals should too - neither group should.

 I guess the most important thing is that Orthodox people who are attracted to the opposite sex should feel that, whatever the teaching of the Church,
Of course. I would certainly hope that any Christian Church would welcome anyone. That being said, I would not use the arguements provide above to convince a person living a homosexual life style to change. I think it would just push them away. My interactions with such a person would be much more gentle.

Ok. I may be treading on shaky ground here, so please forgive me. But how would you know you were speaking to someone 'living a homosexual lifestyle'? Admittedly some people wear their hearts on their sleeves, but many don't. I'd venture to say that the majority of those who have any likelihood of changing, are those who are relatively 'quiet'. What happens when someone stumbles across this thread and feels rejected by what you've said here? It's been pointed out that this is the biggest English-speaking Orthodox forum online, so it's not exactly unlikely you know.
True. But then if I were to go to that extreme I could never make the arguement that I believe some in our society still need to hear.
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« Reply #142 on: September 10, 2009, 04:54:34 PM »

Why is it hard to reconcile the following non-contradictory points?
  • Homosexuals are people, children of God, and are to be treated as such
  • Homosexual sex should not be treated worse than adultery, fornication, lying, stealing, etc.

Why not better, if it is in a committed, lifelong union between two men or two women who love each other?

  • Because it's not natural, and because it hasn't been revealed to us to be natural, it hasn't been included in the privileges of or justification for marriage.

But that's the whole point - not revealed... It hasn't been revealed to us that airplanes can fly...
« Last Edit: September 10, 2009, 04:55:45 PM by Heorhij » Logged

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« Reply #143 on: September 10, 2009, 05:01:46 PM »

Rom Touchstone Magazine, By Huw Rafael

I stand by those words of Fr. Seraphim. This Hell is being driven by one’s hormones and knowing that to deny them is “unhealthy.” Hell is being driven by one’s desires and fantasies and knowing that to deny them is to deny the only joy there is, the joy that defines your whole being.

Hell is a fine San Francisco morning standing trapped in your bedroom while an orgy takes place in the hallway outside. Hell is a foggy San Francisco afternoon standing in a room full of men involved in various actions with each other—and somewhere a voice tells you it’s all wrong, but you don’t know what to do. Hell is a balmy San Francisco evening on a back porch listening to ten homosexual men in the middle of the most liberal Episcopal diocese in the country insist that all churches are homophobic and evil.

Hell is being told in a Sunday sermon that Jesus died in first-century Judea, that Jesus isn’t alive, that Jesus isn’t coming back, and that he would want you to “follow your bliss” to find the will of God in your life—all of this when you know now that your “bliss” makes you more depressed every time you indulge in it. Hell is knowing that the same biblical scholarship that allows for your own sexual antics also allows for clergy who deny the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection.

Hell is a “Pride Parade” where no one looks at you, where no one returns your compliments, where no one bothers to notice you—on a day when egos are supposed to be full and fluffy, Hell is having one’s ego bashed. Hell is knowing that at this point, someone reading this essay will say, “Oh, he’s ugly and bitter, that’s all.”

Hell is watching your friends die for the sake of their own freedom to damn themselves—and hearing them cry, “I didn’t do anything to deserve this . . . God is hateful.”

Hell is knowing that there is the slightest possibility that the Jesus Seminar folks and other “new theologians” are wrong and that 2,000 years of orthodox Christians are right: that homosexual sex might be evil. Hell is standing next to those who end a conversation about this question by saying, “Oh, shut up.” Hell is being told that all the gospel is wrong—that two millennia of your brothers and sisters in the faith were wrong—and that Jesus loves you just as you are and does not ask you to change, that modern Christianity will just throw out everything that disagrees with this picture of Jesus. Hell is being told that this nihilism and denial of any and all truth is exactly what church is supposed to be—liberating us from the dark past of sin and law and guilt.

Hell is finding out that no one really wants “a relationship” no matter how much they want it blessed or accepted; rather, that they want easier sex, the right to demand acceptance from their neighbors, and the ability to collect a partner’s insurance payments. Hell is knowing that they would also like the blessed relationship to be open, not monogamous, with a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and weekends free to play around. And don’t judge us, please.

Source: http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=17-04-015-v

This guy agrees with Father Serpahim Rose conserning a homosexual life style : "I was in Hell. I know what Hell is."

Papist, I understand you consider homosexual acts to be sinful, even evil. But in this article you quote, you mix together what sound like a whole set of sexual and social sins, or evils, or mistakes, and imply that all are inherently part of the same thing: homosexuality.

I find this deeply sad. I know of a heterosexual, married couple who have an 'open' relationship. No, in my view, it's not healthy. But neither does homosexuality open the door to such things. What your article describes sounds indeed like hell. But it is not representative of homosexual experience. Do you assume that homosexuals are somehow more depraved, more weak, than any other person who has extramarital sex?
Liz, I'm going to have to say that the vast majority of homosexual men that I have encountered do or have participated in the

 things described above. I dont think its because they are intrinisically more evil than everyone else. I just think it happens because the homosexual act is such an incredible overturning of the natural order. See Romans Chapter 1

I guess we just move in different circles. I've never been remotely interested in casual sex, but you could easily argue that God led me to my very Orthodox partner to protect me  Smiley

If we sit around long enough, we'll all see what happens with the Church anyway.
Liz if you are homosexual, I have to apologize if I am coming off as offensive. I am only providind what I consider a very rational approach to homosexuality. In dealing with a person who actually deals with the matter on a day to day basis, I would be more pastoral. I am unaware of your situation and I apologize if my clinical tone has been hurtful to you.


No need to apologize at all. I enjoy these discussions, and I didn't think your tone was too clinical at all. Logical, rational discussion is always good, whether or not we come to agreement.

As it happens, homosexuality is not condemned by my Church, so I'm not arguing on my own behalf. I merely worry about how others might feel turned away from God, which would be sad.

However, I live in a context where there are many homosexual couples, and I didn't recognize your description of them. I have a fair amount of first-hand experience as well. If I were homosexual, I would (being Anglican) likely be equally concerned about your viewpoint, and about my Church's mistakes in this area, as I am now. But I wouldn't be living with a male partner!

Liz.

Edit: Sorry, just realized my posts are out of sync for some reason - I clicked to post the previous message a lot longer ago than it seems to have registered, in which time an answer was written. Apologies if there's confusion.
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« Reply #144 on: September 10, 2009, 05:02:40 PM »

But that's the whole point - not revealed... It hasn't been revealed to us that airplanes can fly...

Really?  You're going to bring an absurd and weak argument to the table here?  I shouldn't be surprised - you've already stated that you don't think all homosexuals can do what other humans can do in controlling their most basic drives.  Airplanes flying is a morally neutral activity - one that neither helps nor hurts our salvation, but is rather a tool which can be used either for good (missionary work) or evil (9/11).  Sex is an activity which is not morally neutral (and never has been), and thus revelation - through science, saints, and everything in between - is important.  Sex transcends the physical aspects associated with it, and since it is a more pervasive act in society it thus must be taken even more seriously than aeronautical engineering.
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« Reply #145 on: September 10, 2009, 05:05:30 PM »

But that's the whole point - not revealed... It hasn't been revealed to us that airplanes can fly...

Really?  You're going to bring an absurd and weak argument to the table here?  I shouldn't be surprised - you've already stated that you don't think all homosexuals can do what other humans can do in controlling their most basic drives.  Airplanes flying is a morally neutral activity - one that neither helps nor hurts our salvation, but is rather a tool which can be used either for good (missionary work) or evil (9/11).  Sex is an activity which is not morally neutral (and never has been), and thus revelation - through science, saints, and everything in between - is important.  Sex transcends the physical aspects associated with it, and since it is a more pervasive act in society it thus must be taken even more seriously than aeronautical engineering.

Have to agree with Cleveland.

Let us consider: many aspects of religion are not amenable to scientific proof. Our attitudes may change as science moves on, but if we make morality subordinate to science, in a religion where Our Lord died, was buried, and rose again, we're likely to struggle!
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« Reply #146 on: September 10, 2009, 05:56:52 PM »

But that's the whole point - not revealed... It hasn't been revealed to us that airplanes can fly...

Really?  You're going to bring an absurd and weak argument to the table here?  I shouldn't be surprised - you've already stated that you don't think all homosexuals can do what other humans can do in controlling their most basic drives.

Not quite so. I said that some homosexuals are called for celibacy, while others aren't. Those who are, can become monastics or just live solitary lives and be happy. Those who are not, if they are believing and obedient chidren of our Church, have two choices: suppress their sexual urges because they are "unnatural" (just like airplanes that fly, contrary to "nature" of heavy objects that have to fall down...Smiley), or act contrary to the teachings of the Church. I certainly do not advoccate the latter. But I do not see why the Church cannot modify Her teaching on the "un-naturaleness" of each and every homosexual sexual act, even if the latter is between the two loving men or the two loving women who are committed to each other for life.

Airplanes flying is a morally neutral activity - one that neither helps nor hurts our salvation, but is rather a tool which can be used either for good (missionary work) or evil (9/11).  Sex is an activity which is not morally neutral (and never has been), and thus revelation - through science, saints, and everything in between - is important.  Sex transcends the physical aspects associated with it, and since it is a more pervasive act in society it thus must be taken even more seriously than aeronautical engineering.

I agree! But the same can be said about homosexual sex. If it happens between two men who are using each other to satisfy their lust (like it certainly was the case with some married men with children in those Hellenistic households St. Paul was referring to), then it is evil. Even more so if a man uses his slave for that purpose (as it also, most definitely, was the case in Rome, Corinth, Ephesus and other cities St. Paul traveled to in the 1st century A.D.). But when it happens between two individuals of the same sex who cannot live without each other and love each other exactly like any two really loving heterosexual spouses love each other - is it evil then?
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« Reply #147 on: September 10, 2009, 06:12:25 PM »

But when it happens between two individuals of the same sex who cannot live without each other and love each other exactly like any two really loving heterosexual spouses love each other - is it evil then?
You are assuming that homosexual "love" can be exactly like heterosexual love. However, if homosexual activity is not in the best interest of another person, helping them to committ homosexual acts would not and cannot be love. Your arguement assumes your conclusion by equating the two. Many reason have been given in this thread as to why the two should not be equated.
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« Reply #148 on: September 10, 2009, 06:20:08 PM »

Not quite so. I said that some homosexuals are called for celibacy, while others aren't.

One, however, does not choose to be a homosexual, and, apparently, not all homosexuals are able to be celibate...  

Again, I think you're over-stepping what you or I "know" and "don't know."  Your assertion that "not all homosexuals are able to be celibate" is a statement of capability, of ability to perform an action or live a way of life, and it is an assertion that limits their humanity.  Your assertion that "I said that some homosexuals are called for celibacy, while others aren't" is a statement of spiritual discernment, presuming a relationship with God that allows you to know what each person is called to do, or isn't called to do.  Unless you're an Elder of Great Counsel (which you may be - only God knows), I'm not sold on your (or anyone's) opinion as to what people are and are not called to do.  Don't limit what humanity is able to do through their self-control and relationship with their God.

Those who are, can become monastics or just live solitary lives and be happy.

Happiness isn't a barometer of success in the spiritual life.

Those who are not, if they are believing and obedient chidren of our Church, have two choices: suppress their sexual urges because they are "unnatural"

The urges are not "unnatural" - lust & extramarital sex are.

(just like airplanes that fly, contrary to "nature" of heavy objects that have to fall down...Smiley),

No, airplanes fly because of the nature of air pressure.  Orthodoxy is not opposed to science, but works with it when appropriate.

or act contrary to the teachings of the Church. I certainly do not advoccate the latter.

I'm glad to hear that  (I really didn't doubt it).

But I do not see why the Church cannot modify Her teaching on the "un-naturaleness" of each and every homosexual sexual act, even if the latter is between the two loving men or the two loving women who are committed to each other for life.

If the current teaching reflects eternal Truth, then it will never change.  If it reflects God's progressive revelation to us, which meets us where we are at, then it will change.  Only He knows - but He's very good at communicating His will to us, so fear not.

I agree! But the same can be said about homosexual sex. If it happens between two men who are using each other to satisfy their lust (like it certainly was the case with some married men with children in those Hellenistic households St. Paul was referring to), then it is evil. Even more so if a man uses his slave for that purpose (as it also, most definitely, was the case in Rome, Corinth, Ephesus and other cities St. Paul traveled to in the 1st century A.D.).

Ok...

But when it happens between two individuals of the same sex who cannot live without each other and love each other exactly like any two really loving heterosexual spouses love each other - is it evil then?  

So what is the purpose of sex?  Let's get to that, first, so we can stop this do-si-do.
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« Reply #149 on: September 10, 2009, 07:04:02 PM »

Not quite so. I said that some homosexuals are called for celibacy, while others aren't.

One, however, does not choose to be a homosexual, and, apparently, not all homosexuals are able to be celibate...  

Again, I think you're over-stepping what you or I "know" and "don't know."  Your assertion that "not all homosexuals are able to be celibate" is a statement of capability, of ability to perform an action or live a way of life, and it is an assertion that limits their humanity.

But I was just assuming that in their ability to live their entire life without sexual relations they are exactly like you and me (heterosexuals). Is this a wrong assumption?

Happiness isn't a barometer of success in the spiritual life.

OK, call it peaceful?

The urges are not "unnatural" - lust & extramarital sex are.

Agreed. But again, why is sex to be always extramarital for a certain category of people?

(just like airplanes that fly, contrary to "nature" of heavy objects that have to fall down...Smiley),

No, airplanes fly because of the nature of air pressure.  Orthodoxy is not opposed to science, but works with it when appropriate.

Cleveland, I know why airplanes fly. I was deliberately making a funny argument because just as Greeks and Hellenistic Jews like St. Paul knew precisely zero about aeronautics, they also knew preciously little if anything about the work of human brain and about the nature of human sexuality. What they knew very well, was that a man marries a woman and has children with her. If he does not, he might "burn" (1 Cor. 7:9). In this case, it is better for him to marry. They also knew that fathers give their daughters in marriage to pretty much anyone (a man of course) they see fit, and our whole concept of romantic love does not have anything to do with marriage, family, childbirth. So no wonder St. Paul in Romans attacked men and women who had homosexual sex as those who did something "unnatural": what was "natural" to him and to everyone else in that epoch and culture was to marry for the purpose of preventing the "burn" and for begetting children. Now, please note that I am not robbing St. Paul of telling us some very essential and eternal truths in those very books of Romans and Corinthians. Yet, he was a human being, and he was limited in his knowledge. We are, too, but we know a bit more as far as sexuality, and family are concerned, don't we? Will you deny, for example, that we know that a girl can choose her own husband - and to St. Paul this was something that perhaps never even entered his mind?

So what is the purpose of sex?  Let's get to that, first, so we can stop this do-si-do.

To bring joy and peace in our lives, because sex is a precious, unique gift of ourselves to our spouses. Joy, peace and growing in our theosis.

P.S. It seems to me that you are irritated... let's not continue this discussion then. Also, because this topic may be too painful to some members of this forum, maybe, if you so wish, we could continue by PMs. Just a thought.
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« Reply #150 on: September 10, 2009, 07:17:25 PM »


Agreed. But again, why is sex to be always extramarital for a certain category of people?


The problem is that you are trying to put men and women with homosexual inclinations into a different category. I don't think God sees us as gays and straights. Instead we are all just human. For all of us, it is licit to enjoy sexual relationships in the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony with a person of the opposite sex. For all of us, it is illicit to engage in sexual activity with members of the same sex. God shows no partiality.
And once again, your arguement assumes your conclusion, that homosexuality and heterosexuality are equal in quality. Such is simply not supported by the Church, Science, nor Sociology.
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« Reply #151 on: September 10, 2009, 10:58:05 PM »


Agreed. But again, why is sex to be always extramarital for a certain category of people?


The problem is that you are trying to put men and women with homosexual inclinations into a different category. I don't think God sees us as gays and straights. Instead we are all just human. For all of us, it is licit to enjoy sexual relationships in the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony with a person of the opposite sex.

And what if you can't, because for you, it is exactly the same as for me to "enjoy" sexual relationships with you? We do not choose that. We cannot influence on that. It's really like the color of our eyes.

For all of us, it is illicit to engage in sexual activity with members of the same sex. God shows no partiality.
And once again, your arguement assumes your conclusion, that homosexuality and heterosexuality are equal in quality. Such is simply not supported by the Church, Science, nor Sociology.

Church - no. Science and sociology - prove?
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« Reply #152 on: September 10, 2009, 11:00:18 PM »

Cleveland, I see no replies from you and no PMs. Was I right that you were (are?) irritated? I am sorry if I was the cause. Please PM...
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« Reply #153 on: September 10, 2009, 11:55:27 PM »


Agreed. But again, why is sex to be always extramarital for a certain category of people?


The problem is that you are trying to put men and women with homosexual inclinations into a different category. I don't think God sees us as gays and straights. Instead we are all just human. For all of us, it is licit to enjoy sexual relationships in the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony with a person of the opposite sex.

And what if you can't, because for you, it is exactly the same as for me to "enjoy" sexual relationships with you? We do not choose that. We cannot influence on that. It's really like the color of our eyes.

For all of us, it is illicit to engage in sexual activity with members of the same sex. God shows no partiality.
And once again, your arguement assumes your conclusion, that homosexuality and heterosexuality are equal in quality. Such is simply not supported by the Church, Science, nor Sociology.

Church - no. Science and sociology - prove?
Absolute homosexuality will make any society extinct in a generation.
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« Reply #154 on: September 11, 2009, 04:58:17 AM »


Agreed. But again, why is sex to be always extramarital for a certain category of people?


The problem is that you are trying to put men and women with homosexual inclinations into a different category. I don't think God sees us as gays and straights. Instead we are all just human. For all of us, it is licit to enjoy sexual relationships in the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony with a person of the opposite sex.

And what if you can't, because for you, it is exactly the same as for me to "enjoy" sexual relationships with you? We do not choose that. We cannot influence on that. It's really like the color of our eyes.

For all of us, it is illicit to engage in sexual activity with members of the same sex. God shows no partiality.
And once again, your arguement assumes your conclusion, that homosexuality and heterosexuality are equal in quality. Such is simply not supported by the Church, Science, nor Sociology.

Church - no. Science and sociology - prove? 
Absolute homosexuality will make any society extinct in a generation.

Thanks for lightening the tone  Smiley

I guess it's right to remember that we're only speaking of a small proportion of the population here, not the ravening hordes that some seem to imagine.
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« Reply #155 on: September 11, 2009, 06:50:20 AM »

I am starting to think that trying to have a sober open discussion about homosexuality on this forum is like walking through a mine field wearing swim fins....
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« Reply #156 on: September 11, 2009, 06:54:57 AM »

imagining the ravening hordes brings a lot of money to the coffers of right wing evangelists..
I have been Orthodox all of my life and i cannot remember ever hearing a sermon about homosexuality from the solea.
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« Reply #157 on: September 11, 2009, 08:14:42 AM »

imagining the ravening hordes brings a lot of money to the coffers of right wing evangelists..
I have been Orthodox all of my life and i cannot remember ever hearing a sermon about homosexuality from the solea.

You are welcome anytime at the Orthodox church where I go to worship. Smiley
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« Reply #158 on: September 11, 2009, 08:20:59 AM »

Cleveland, I see no replies from you and no PMs. Was I right that you were (are?) irritated? I am sorry if I was the cause. Please PM... 

No, I wasn't that irritated or mad - I try to stay dispassionate when it comes to discussions here.  I've just been working on other things and peeking in on this thread, even though I haven't had the time for any extended or complete answers to any of the pending questions.
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« Reply #159 on: September 11, 2009, 08:54:52 AM »

I find it very difficult to believe that an Orthodox priest in a Canonical Church would preach about homosexuality.I understand and I may be wrong that sermons should be based on the scriptural readings of the day.
I have heard clergy comment about the subject but never in a sermon in Church
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« Reply #160 on: September 11, 2009, 09:36:28 AM »



And what if you can't, because for you, it is exactly the same as for me to "enjoy" sexual relationships with you? We do not choose that. We cannot influence on that. It's really like the color of our eyes.
Then those persons don't get to enjoy sex. And just so you know, not all people get to enjoy all the pleasures of this world. This would include some colors. I happen to be red green color blind so I don't get to see every color. Not everyone get's to have sex. Such is life.

Church - no. Science and sociology - prove?
The Church has consistently and constantly opposed homosexuality. Science shows that it is an aberration by analyzing evolution. Sociology/psychology has demonstrated such by showing that the majority of homosexual men cannot establish mature and lasting romantic relationships.
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« Reply #161 on: September 11, 2009, 09:37:56 AM »

I find it very difficult to believe that an Orthodox priest in a Canonical Church would preach about homosexuality.I understand and I may be wrong that sermons should be based on the scriptural readings of the day.
I have heard clergy comment about the subject but never in a sermon in Church

Well, If the EO church every has readings from Romans Chapter one, then there is defintely an opportunity for a sermon on homosexuality.
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« Reply #162 on: September 11, 2009, 09:40:16 AM »

I find it very difficult to believe that an Orthodox priest in a Canonical Church would preach about homosexuality.I understand and I may be wrong that sermons should be based on the scriptural readings of the day.
I have heard clergy comment about the subject but never in a sermon in Church

I don't think I've ever heard a sermon on the matter, either.  Only articles and informal conversations.
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« Reply #163 on: September 11, 2009, 09:46:07 AM »

I am starting to think that trying to have a sober open discussion about homosexuality on this forum is like walking through a mine field wearing swim fins....

It's tough.  I think people want to tend to the extremes on this argument ("They're all damned," vs. "Let 'em marry in the Church") instead of taking a middle (and, most likely, correct) path.  That's why I've consistently voiced my objection to these discussions on this site: we've had 50+ threads about homosexuality, and none have been productive or good because of the wacky positions people take.  This thread is actually the first time in years that I have actively participated in such a thread - largely because it seemed to me the level of discourse was different.  Sadly, I was mistaken (at least to a small degree - not quite to the level that I have been in the past).
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« Reply #164 on: September 11, 2009, 09:51:41 AM »



And what if you can't, because for you, it is exactly the same as for me to "enjoy" sexual relationships with you? We do not choose that. We cannot influence on that. It's really like the color of our eyes.
Then those persons don't get to enjoy sex. And just so you know, not all people get to enjoy all the pleasures of this world. This would include some colors. I happen to be red green color blind so I don't get to see every color. Not everyone get's to have sex. Such is life.


Yes, but you couldn't choose to see red/green colour differences if you wanted to. That's the difference I think.

Quote
Church - no. Science and sociology - prove?
The Church has consistently and constantly opposed homosexuality. Science shows that it is an aberration by analyzing evolution.

But there are plenty of aberrations in the human race, which aren't considered morally wrong. It's an aberration to be albino, for example. It's perfectly possible (indeed, it has been suggested) that homosexuality has some useful role to play in evolutionary terms.

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Sociology/psychology has demonstrated such by showing that the majority of homosexual men cannot establish mature and lasting romantic relationships.

That is not how psychology works. Psychology comments on the way people behave in their current conditions.
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« Reply #165 on: September 11, 2009, 09:55:32 AM »



But there are plenty of aberrations in the human race, which aren't considered morally wrong. It's an aberration to be albino, for example. It's perfectly possible (indeed, it has been suggested) that homosexuality has some useful role to play in evolutionary terms.

So you admit that its an aberration? Ok, so now we are getting some where.  Cheesy

That is not how psychology works. Psychology comments on the way people behave in their current conditions.
Please Elaborate. (And as an aside, I earned a minor in psychology).
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« Reply #166 on: September 11, 2009, 10:00:13 AM »

That is not how psychology works. Psychology comments on the way people behave in their current conditions

Eh, Psychology can and does comment on normally predictable outcomes (i.e. if Child X is deprived of human contact, they are very likely to show the following symptoms in adulthood).  In that vein, it is possible (I haven't researched the particular claim myself) that Psychological study & analysis reveals that homosexual men are unable to build "mature and lasting romantic relationships."
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« Reply #167 on: September 11, 2009, 10:07:12 AM »



But there are plenty of aberrations in the human race, which aren't considered morally wrong. It's an aberration to be albino, for example. It's perfectly possible (indeed, it has been suggested) that homosexuality has some useful role to play in evolutionary terms.

So you admit that its an aberration? Ok, so now we are getting some where.  Cheesy


Did I ever deny it? Only a minority of people seem to be fully homosexual; it is not the usual pattern of attraction. But personally, I think it's a fortunate aberration in the human race.


That is not how psychology works. Psychology comments on the way people behave in their current conditions.
Please Elaborate. (And as an aside, I earned a minor in psychology).
[/quote]

Psychology observes people as they are. It isn't philosophy (though you seem to be thinking philosophically about psychology). What I mean is, you might do studies in psychology and observe that large numbers of gay men didn't make strong monogamous attachments. You might find all sorts of insightful explanations as to why this should be so. But behaviours are socially conditioned: you could not, I believe, extrapolate from your findings that such monogamous relationships were impossible to gay men. Do you think that makes sense, or not?

My PhD is working on building some bridges between psychology and the history of reading, but I am very much a beginner in my study of the subject, so I apologise if I've got it wrong.
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« Reply #168 on: September 11, 2009, 10:09:58 AM »

That is not how psychology works. Psychology comments on the way people behave in their current conditions

Eh, Psychology can and does comment on normally predictable outcomes


Agreed.

Quote
(i.e. if Child X is deprived of human contact, they are very likely to show the following symptoms in adulthood). 

Agreed - if you mean this as an example, not a necessary sequence?

Quote
In that vein, it is possible (I haven't researched the particular claim myself) that Psychological study & analysis reveals that homosexual men are unable to build "mature and lasting romantic relationships."

Yes - but I would argue the key words here are 'possible' and 'unable'. I agree it's possible, but I don't think we can prove anything. This works both ways - I don't see that I or anyone else could prove that homosexual men are always capable of mature and lasting relationships!
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« Reply #169 on: September 11, 2009, 10:27:53 AM »

That is not how psychology works. Psychology comments on the way people behave in their current conditions

Eh, Psychology can and does comment on normally predictable outcomes


Agreed.

Quote
(i.e. if Child X is deprived of human contact, they are very likely to show the following symptoms in adulthood). 

Agreed - if you mean this as an example, not a necessary sequence?

Quote
In that vein, it is possible (I haven't researched the particular claim myself) that Psychological study & analysis reveals that homosexual men are unable to build "mature and lasting romantic relationships."

Yes - but I would argue the key words here are 'possible' and 'unable'. I agree it's possible, but I don't think we can prove anything. This works both ways - I don't see that I or anyone else could prove that homosexual men are always capable of mature and lasting relationships!
But can provide emperical evidence to demonstrate that they are less likely to form those kinds of relationships.
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« Reply #170 on: September 11, 2009, 10:37:08 AM »

That is not how psychology works. Psychology comments on the way people behave in their current conditions

Eh, Psychology can and does comment on normally predictable outcomes


Agreed.

Quote
(i.e. if Child X is deprived of human contact, they are very likely to show the following symptoms in adulthood). 

Agreed - if you mean this as an example, not a necessary sequence?

Quote
In that vein, it is possible (I haven't researched the particular claim myself) that Psychological study & analysis reveals that homosexual men are unable to build "mature and lasting romantic relationships."

Yes - but I would argue the key words here are 'possible' and 'unable'. I agree it's possible, but I don't think we can prove anything. This works both ways - I don't see that I or anyone else could prove that homosexual men are always capable of mature and lasting relationships!
But can provide emperical evidence to demonstrate that they are less likely to form those kinds of relationships.

Yep, but only if the current social conditions remain constant. Otherwise, you're not comparing apples and apples. That's why, in this particular debate (when we're talking about the possibility of the Church perhaps adopting a different approach), psychological studies of what gay men may or may not be capable of in present-day society isn't going to change my mind. As you know, I'm far from convinced that all psychologists would agree on this topic anyway.
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« Reply #171 on: September 11, 2009, 10:51:06 AM »

That is not how psychology works. Psychology comments on the way people behave in their current conditions

Eh, Psychology can and does comment on normally predictable outcomes


Agreed.

Quote
(i.e. if Child X is deprived of human contact, they are very likely to show the following symptoms in adulthood). 

Agreed - if you mean this as an example, not a necessary sequence?

Quote
In that vein, it is possible (I haven't researched the particular claim myself) that Psychological study & analysis reveals that homosexual men are unable to build "mature and lasting romantic relationships."

Yes - but I would argue the key words here are 'possible' and 'unable'. I agree it's possible, but I don't think we can prove anything. This works both ways - I don't see that I or anyone else could prove that homosexual men are always capable of mature and lasting relationships!
But can provide emperical evidence to demonstrate that they are less likely to form those kinds of relationships.

Yep, but only if the current social conditions remain constant. Otherwise, you're not comparing apples and apples. That's why, in this particular debate (when we're talking about the possibility of the Church perhaps adopting a different approach), psychological studies of what gay men may or may not be capable of in present-day society isn't going to change my mind. As you know, I'm far from convinced that all psychologists would agree on this topic anyway.

That's true. In fact, homosexuality is no more considered a mental illness by psychologists. The fact that homosexuals are less likely to built solid relationships is due to moral prejudice and isolation ("homophobia"), which on the contrary is often a psychological illness (hatred, even in religion, is an illness, don't you think?). I am not supporting, as you perfectly know, neither gay marriages/sex nor homophobia; I am encouraging an softer attitude towards homosexuals. I don't think the Church could ever accept sodomy. Many would say (as it's been said of women priests) that the Spirit breaths where He wants, but since gay sex is strictly forbidden by the canons, and the canons are written under the action of the Holy Spirit in the Church, I don't think He might contradict himself, or change His mind over such a crucial subject. And on the question "Why is gay marriage forbidden?" we should only answer "God knows". Nevertheless, I am not against homosexual love - although risky as it might be. That's why a softer position in the Church might lead gays and lesbians to trust the parish priest, who would see when a couple can or cannot "survive" without sex, in a pure platonic love as it would be allowed in the Church.

In Christ,  Alex
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« Reply #172 on: September 11, 2009, 10:52:30 AM »

That is not how psychology works. Psychology comments on the way people behave in their current conditions

Eh, Psychology can and does comment on normally predictable outcomes


Agreed.

Quote
(i.e. if Child X is deprived of human contact, they are very likely to show the following symptoms in adulthood). 

Agreed - if you mean this as an example, not a necessary sequence?

Quote
In that vein, it is possible (I haven't researched the particular claim myself) that Psychological study & analysis reveals that homosexual men are unable to build "mature and lasting romantic relationships."

Yes - but I would argue the key words here are 'possible' and 'unable'. I agree it's possible, but I don't think we can prove anything. This works both ways - I don't see that I or anyone else could prove that homosexual men are always capable of mature and lasting relationships!
But can provide emperical evidence to demonstrate that they are less likely to form those kinds of relationships.

Yep, but only if the current social conditions remain constant. Otherwise, you're not comparing apples and apples. That's why, in this particular debate (when we're talking about the possibility of the Church perhaps adopting a different approach), psychological studies of what gay men may or may not be capable of in present-day society isn't going to change my mind. As you know, I'm far from convinced that all psychologists would agree on this topic anyway.
Then let's look at other societies that accepted homosexuality like rome and greece... who, btw, practiced all kinds of sexual pervertions.
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« Reply #173 on: September 11, 2009, 10:56:44 AM »

That is not how psychology works. Psychology comments on the way people behave in their current conditions

Eh, Psychology can and does comment on normally predictable outcomes


Agreed.

Quote
(i.e. if Child X is deprived of human contact, they are very likely to show the following symptoms in adulthood). 

Agreed - if you mean this as an example, not a necessary sequence?

Quote
In that vein, it is possible (I haven't researched the particular claim myself) that Psychological study & analysis reveals that homosexual men are unable to build "mature and lasting romantic relationships."

Yes - but I would argue the key words here are 'possible' and 'unable'. I agree it's possible, but I don't think we can prove anything. This works both ways - I don't see that I or anyone else could prove that homosexual men are always capable of mature and lasting relationships!
But can provide emperical evidence to demonstrate that they are less likely to form those kinds of relationships.

Yep, but only if the current social conditions remain constant. Otherwise, you're not comparing apples and apples. That's why, in this particular debate (when we're talking about the possibility of the Church perhaps adopting a different approach), psychological studies of what gay men may or may not be capable of in present-day society isn't going to change my mind. As you know, I'm far from convinced that all psychologists would agree on this topic anyway.
Then let's look at other societies that accepted homosexuality like rome and greece... who, btw, practiced all kinds of sexual pervertions.

Why would we look to Rome or Greece for guidance as Christians?
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« Reply #174 on: September 11, 2009, 10:58:53 AM »

That is not how psychology works. Psychology comments on the way people behave in their current conditions

Eh, Psychology can and does comment on normally predictable outcomes


Agreed.

Quote
(i.e. if Child X is deprived of human contact, they are very likely to show the following symptoms in adulthood). 

Agreed - if you mean this as an example, not a necessary sequence?

Quote
In that vein, it is possible (I haven't researched the particular claim myself) that Psychological study & analysis reveals that homosexual men are unable to build "mature and lasting romantic relationships."

Yes - but I would argue the key words here are 'possible' and 'unable'. I agree it's possible, but I don't think we can prove anything. This works both ways - I don't see that I or anyone else could prove that homosexual men are always capable of mature and lasting relationships!
But can provide emperical evidence to demonstrate that they are less likely to form those kinds of relationships.

Yep, but only if the current social conditions remain constant. Otherwise, you're not comparing apples and apples. That's why, in this particular debate (when we're talking about the possibility of the Church perhaps adopting a different approach), psychological studies of what gay men may or may not be capable of in present-day society isn't going to change my mind. As you know, I'm far from convinced that all psychologists would agree on this topic anyway.
Then let's look at other societies that accepted homosexuality like rome and greece... who, btw, practiced all kinds of sexual pervertions.

Why would we look to Rome or Greece for guidance as Christians?
I was talking about sociologically. Rome and Greece are just another sign post along the way demonstrating that homosexuality and sexual depravity often go hand in hand in "great" societies.
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« Reply #175 on: September 11, 2009, 11:10:54 AM »

Dear Papist,
in a previous post you stated that homosexuals are psychologically ill, and that psychologists state this. First of all, psychology is not a source of ecclesiastical right, and secondarily, it is not true.
Quote
The Australian Psychological Society states:
“    "Homosexual orientation is not a mental illness and there is no scientific reason to attempt conversion of lesbians or gays to heterosexual orientation. The Australian Psychological Society acknowledges the lack of scientific evidence for the usefulness of conversion therapy, and notes that it can in fact be harmful for the individual. Changing the sexual orientation of a person is not simply a matter of changing the person's sexual behavior. It would require altering the emotional, romantic and sexual feelings of the person and restructuring self-concept and social identity."[25]    ”

Similarly, the Royal College of Psychiatrists states "There is no sound scientific evidence that sexual orientation can be changed."[26] and "The best evidence for efficacy of any treatment comes from randomised clinical trials and no such trial has been carried out in this field."[27] United States Surgeon General David Satcher issued a report stating that "there is no valid scientific evidence that sexual orientation can be changed".[28]

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has stated "some people believe that sexual orientation is innate and fixed; however, sexual orientation develops across a person’s lifetime".[29] The APA also says that "most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation".[30] In a joint statement with other major Am