Or the "logic" of the A = B = C, thus A = C and whatever Scholastic conclusions follows from this "Western" non-phenomenological approach to harm done to real humans.
Of course a lot of people with convertitis say things like "that's Western", but I think most of us know better. I was seeking to boil Augustine's argument down to its basic substance, taking all the appeals to emotion and special pleading out of the equation.
(ad hominem Jim, since you didn't understand it without the fancy Latin).
This is attacking the outer trappings of the discussion (Latin terminology) instead of attacking the argument. Who cares if we use Latin words? The Fathers used Greek philiosophical terms to winnow out our theology, but we can't use Latin debate terms when we're debating? That is a red herring in this discussion.
He has raised numerous points which have merit and have yet to be addressed on the level of Christian charity.
His points have no merit because they seek only to make people happy and comfortable, which is not the point of Orthodox Christianity (though such people may be happy in Joel Osteen's community). He has offered no arguments as to why homosexual activity should be acceptable in the Church, except to say that some homosexuals want it, and appealing to emotion.
And for the 3rd or 4th time, a lot of homosexuals don't want the Church to accept homosexual activity, for their own sake. Why do the opinions of well-meaning-but-wrong heterosexuals have a greater value than the opinions of homosexuals themselves? What if the Church's acceptance would introduce a stumbling block for them? Does the Apostle not say to limit your own liberty for the sake of the weak?
I am concerned pastorally about homosexuals. I'm concerned about the ones who are entirely overlooked in this discussion, and most every discussion. I am worried about the lost sheep who are trying to find their shepherd, more so than the sheep who invited themselves over to the wolf's for dinner. I'm sorry if that sounds caustic, but in some ways we have to make value judgments and we have to help those who actually care, and dust off our feet for the rest. And if there's anything I've learned from the Fathers, it's that you show you care by doing
—fail though you may, but then standing up and doing
again. If we remove our standards, there is no more doing to be done.
Lest there be complaints that I'm setting up unfair standards for other people, let me say that I struggle with gluttony a great deal. Do I want the Church to start telling me to just eat whatever I want, stop fasting except for maybe Holy Week, and just do my own thing? No. Does such a "standard" help anybody actually overcome gluttony? No. The point of life is to overcome our sins and passions, so what good does it do to essentially erase the passions altogether?
And so I return to my friend, "N." How "loving" is it to lie to him, saying homosexual activity is not sinful, or maybe it is sinful but we'll let him do it because it's too hard for him not to? That is as charitable as telling children to play in the street because they really, really want to. We know that sexual activity outside marriage leads to spiritual death (all passions lead to death, but some more rapidly than others), so why would we tell people to do it? I'm sorry, but it makes no sense whatsoever.
I am going to stand down at this point. Because of the people I've met, the heart I have for their struggle against this particular passion, and the pain it has caused me to see others utterly destroy themselves in this passion, I don't feel I have anything more to say than I already have. I am not going to change my mind, and I pray the Church never changes hers, for the sake of all her children who are struggling to faithfully carry their very real crosses (deny their existence though we may).
The Church and her members should encourage us to help bear one another's burdens, not remove one another's burdens. The Church should not deny people the struggle—and hence the victory when they are overcome.