Author Topic: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)  (Read 12032 times)

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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #180 on: July 09, 2017, 04:59:16 PM »
Regarding #171:

Is the hypothetical homosexual couple living chastely explaining their situation to everyone?  How are they presenting themselves to the community - as buddies, roommates, or as an actual "couple?"  If as a couple, without making known how they are living, I could see how this could be a source of scandal particularly if they are going to Communion.  I don't think it's equivalent to homosexual monks in a monastery.  I would say the same thing if the couple were heterosexual.

My understanding of this thinking is that the couple is a known romantic partnership, even civil marriage, of whom it's supposed to be assumed they are living in sexual ascesis, from which if they fall, it concerns only their confessor. I'm astounded at how many questions this begs and how it has so rapidly managed to assume the default role in Orthodox expectations and debate. I assume the stealthy success has much to do with the Church's fetish of academics. And I think it merits much more scrutiny.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2017, 05:01:06 PM by Porter ODoran »
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

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Offline FinnJames

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #181 on: July 09, 2017, 05:05:01 PM »
Regarding #171:

Is the hypothetical homosexual couple living chastely explaining their situation to everyone?  How are they presenting themselves to the community - as buddies, roommates, or as an actual "couple?"  If as a couple, without making known how they are living, I could see how this could be a source of scandal particularly if they are going to Communion.  I don't think it's equivalent to homosexual monks in a monastery.  I would say the same thing if the couple were heterosexual.

It's past midnight here and I'm going to bed. I'll reply to your post tomorrow.

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #182 on: July 09, 2017, 05:17:30 PM »
First of all, if a homosexual couple is not having sex with each other or with anyone else but is in other ways supporting each other as heterosexual couples do, then I don't see why that couple should be treated any differently than any other couple in the parish. The wives of several heterosexual couples in my parish are noticeably pregnant, which does sort of give things away. But there really is no reason to assume that a childless couple, heterosexual or homosexual, are having sex. After all, we all go to confession and presumably all of us confess honestly and repentantly.

Respectfully, I don't agree.  This answer assumes that the only thing wrong with a homosexual union is the actual sex.  It doesn't view homosexual attraction as a lamentable result of the fall, but as something pure and beautiful that is acceptable and even laudatory so long as the line of actual sex is not crossed.  (And who knows exactly what that means?  Where would one draw the line between signs of physical affection, making out, and actual sex?  Would things in either or both of the former categories be allowed so long as they didn't veer into the latter?  Should the homosexual couple be viewed simply as friends. or is there something more there?)  I don't agree with that worldview and I don't agree that it can be supported with Orthodox Christian ontology or anthropology.  It does not speak to the Orthodox conception of marriage as a union between a man and a woman that is first and foremost a path to holiness.

Such an approach is not one that has ever existed in the life of the Church.  It would be an innovation based upon the spirit of the present times and out of line with traditional Christian anthropology.  It would be essentially the same thing as saying that the Church could de facto bless - without actually blessing - a man and a woman living together outside of marriage, and if they should fall once in awhile and cross the line into premarital sex, all they need do is confess.  I'm sure you realize the Church could never bless such a thing or even commune a man and a woman living this way.  Could you please tell me how the scenario you propose is different in any meaningful way?

I see in your last post to Porter that you say that this is the kind of union you are yourself involved in, so I want to be very careful and not be mean to you here, but you said you wanted a truthful dialogue in love, so I hope you don't mind me expressing my point of view respectfully, even if it contradicts something which must be very dear to you.

Presumably there must be at least a few homosexual monastics living chaste lives in same-sex communities, so I see no reason to suppose that homosexual lay people shouldn't be able to follow a similar discipline in couples.  I see no reason why the Church should bless these unions, but I also see no reason why the Church should forbid these couples from forming legal civil unions.

People living together in the world is not the same thing as a monastic community, where people live under obedience to and under the supervision of a monastic superior.  Again, I don't believe that the Church could turn a blind eye to homosexual unions any more than they could to a man and a woman living together without a sacramental marriage.

The question of young people is a difficult one, but it is the one the mother asked Sr Vassa about. And note that this was a question she did not feel comfortable bringing to her priest (for fear of 'outing' her son, if I understood her letter correctly), which does say something about how the Church is perceived by its lay members.

How the Church is perceived by the laity can sometimes be a problem, but I don't believe that changing the Church's traditional means of addressing the subject of homosexual unions and homosexuality in general is the best way to address that problem.  Rather, the Church needs to articulate what has always been her teaching in a loving way, to offer therapeutic and loving means of coping with such problems to its members, and always to uphold the truth that such a thing is indeed a problem and not something that can be blessed, tacitly or explicitly.

Eventually, however, the Church also has to accept that while we always leave the ninety-nine sheep to pursue the one, people also have free will and are free to leave if they feel they cannot abide by the Church's perception of what constitutes morality.  If, at the end of the day, I cannot accept that the Church cannot bless or turn a blind eye to my living with a woman outside of marriage, I have to make a choice about whether or not I can remain in the Church.  I cannot reasonably expect the Church to change to accommodate something - however dear to me - which contradicts her lived theology.

Although most of the commenters here have assumed that Sr Vassa envisions a 14-year-old as dating, a careful reading of her post shows that she talks about dating as a possibility in the child's future. Unless the boy in question himself wants to follow the Church's teachings or his parents lock him in his room until he reaches adulthood, I don't see how they can stop him from dating someone of the same sex at some point. Whether for this lad dating is going to mean hopping into bed for a quicky or socializing and exploring how to relate to another individual he cares about depends largely on the advice he gets from his parents--and his Church. I don't see how this differs at all from the situation of heterosexual young people.

I don't agree with your reading of Sister Vassa's answer that she sees dating as something this young man will embark upon in the nebulous future as opposed to the present or the immediate future.  It makes little difference, however, because either way, I must once again respectfully disagree with your assertions here.  As indicated in previous posts, as a general rule, I don't agree with the mode of parenting in which the parents throw up their hands and accept the "inevitable" as it pertains to what their child will and will not do while living in their home.  As with Mina, this concept is foreign to me.  In my worldview, and the way I was raised, the children abide by their parents rules in keeping with their parents sense of morality until the day they leave the house as independent adults.  I cannot conceive of any parent tolerating behavior they find objectionable from a recalcitrant child.  In this sense, I can agree with you that this aspect of the discussion doesn't differ significantly than the situation of young heterosexual people.  If I don't want, say, my daughter going out with boys outside of a group setting, so long as she lives in my house, that is what she will do.  I don't concede that this necessarily means that she will be defying me behind my back, because I know too many households in which the children were raised right where this was not the case.

Further, once again we come back to how we view the subject of homosexuality in general, as either a result of the fall or as something equal to the union of a man and a woman in the self-sacrificial love which ultimately makes them human as ordained by God and described so eloquently by Fr. John Behr in various places.

I believe we have some fundamental differences in our worldview, FinnJames, and respectfully, I believe that yours is at odds with the traditional teaching of the Church on homosexuality, but I do appreciate the opportunity to dialogue with one another in love.  Thanks for talking with me, and please pray for me as I pray for you.  :)
« Last Edit: July 09, 2017, 05:24:13 PM by Antonious Nikolas »
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #183 on: July 09, 2017, 05:22:57 PM »
What is the basis for a supposedly chaste gay couple relationship, as opposed to, say, a chaste parent child cohabitation? The basis for the gay chaste relationship appears to be the sexual attraction, with the gay pair repressing the sexual act itself. So this man man gay suppressed sex love relationship is missing the mark of the ideal love couple pairing, which is Adam and Eve, Man and Wife. The underlying basis of this diverted gay relationship is the attraction of the suppressed sexual act. Thus the basis of the relationship is missing the mark and a diversion from the true path of the divine coupling.
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #184 on: July 09, 2017, 05:26:39 PM »
Regarding #171:

Is the hypothetical homosexual couple living chastely explaining their situation to everyone?  How are they presenting themselves to the community - as buddies, roommates, or as an actual "couple?"  If as a couple, without making known how they are living, I could see how this could be a source of scandal particularly if they are going to Communion.  I don't think it's equivalent to homosexual monks in a monastery.  I would say the same thing if the couple were heterosexual.

My understanding of this thinking is that the couple is a known romantic partnership, even civil marriage, of whom it's supposed to be assumed they are living in sexual ascesis, from which if they fall, it concerns only their confessor. I'm astounded at how many questions this begs and how it has so rapidly managed to assume the default role in Orthodox expectations and debate. I assume the stealthy success has much to do with the Church's fetish of academics. And I think it merits much more scrutiny.

+1

What is the basis for a supposedly chaste gay couple relationship, as opposed to, say, a chaste parent child cohabitation? The basis for the gay chaste relationship appears to be the sexual attraction, with the gay pair repressing the sexual act itself. So this man man gay suppressed sex love relationship is missing the mark of the ideal love couple pairing, which is Adam and Eve, Man and Wife. The underlying basis of this diverted gay relationship is the attraction of the suppressed sexual act. Thus the basis of the relationship is missing the mark and a diversion from the true path of the divine coupling.

Well stated, rakovsky.  I agree.
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #185 on: July 09, 2017, 06:19:51 PM »
What is the basis for a supposedly chaste gay couple relationship, as opposed to, say, a chaste parent child cohabitation?

Well, this is a bizarre opening.

Quote
The basis for the gay chaste relationship appears to be the sexual attraction, with the gay pair repressing the sexual act itself. ... The underlying basis of this diverted gay relationship is the attraction of the suppressed sexual act. ...

I understand what you're saying, and it would be my thinking as well. However, there's a concept afloat that divides "sexual" from "romantic" and says the latter is also a genetic compulsion. For example, someone could be homosexually active yet looking for a normal marriage in the future, and in this new concept's terms, he might say he is bisexual but heteroromantic. Supposedly "Bible teaching" only impinges on the former, and, voila, a rhetorical basis for celibate homosexual marriage. Now, to you and me, this all sounds like nothing more than obsessively systematizing what's always been understood in more general terms. So, by this concept, St. Paul might be discerned as asexual and biromantic, where to you and me he is ascetic and a spiritual father. Then this obsessive systematizing and relabeling is supposed to appeal to folks as some kind of new science and a replacement for their old terms but also the old anthropology and theology. At any rate, let's consider in general terms a situation where a man is determined to live chastely but thinks of himself as in love, or as suited primarily to friendships with gay men. What do you say to him?
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

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Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #186 on: July 09, 2017, 06:21:46 PM »
... It would be essentially the same thing as saying that the Church could de facto bless - without actually blessing - a man and a woman living together outside of marriage, and if they should fall once in awhile and cross the line into premarital sex, all they need do is confess.  I'm sure you realize the Church could never bless such a thing or even commune a man and a woman living this way.  Could you please tell me how the scenario you propose is different in any meaningful way?

Actually, this is not uncommon in the EO in the U.S., and sometimes even seems taken for granted by priests.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #187 on: July 09, 2017, 06:32:53 PM »
... It would be essentially the same thing as saying that the Church could de facto bless - without actually blessing - a man and a woman living together outside of marriage, and if they should fall once in awhile and cross the line into premarital sex, all they need do is confess.  I'm sure you realize the Church could never bless such a thing or even commune a man and a woman living this way.  Could you please tell me how the scenario you propose is different in any meaningful way?

Actually, this is not uncommon in the EO in the U.S., and sometimes even seems taken for granted by priests.

If true, that's pathetic.  That's not at all the situation in the Coptic Church.  Truthfully, it's not been my experience with the EO here on the East Coast either.  Either way, this doesn't provide an out for homosexuals arguing for an application of the same lapsed standard to their unions.  It just means that the EO in your neck of the woods needs to get its act together.
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #188 on: July 09, 2017, 07:55:30 PM »


At least they're willing to. What's your phobia? If you can't, that's fine, but what you've done is claim big things and deliver nothing.
What am I being tasked with delivering?
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #189 on: July 09, 2017, 08:06:11 PM »
At least they're willing to. What's your phobia? If you can't, that's fine, but what you've done is claim big things and deliver nothing.
What am I being tasked with delivering?


Oh, just to put your money where your mouth is, viz.:

Let's get down to brass tacks.  There is an idea being pushed here that some children are already gay by the age of three, that it's not really something that people can help
That doesn't seem implausible, why would you think it is? Because, if true, it could lead people to believe untrue things or project things onto their child that aren't there? That isn't a reason to not believe something.

So what's you're ultimate conclusion here?  What ramifications does this idea that you find so plausible have for the Church as it pertains to homosexuality?
Correcting faulty thought requires no stated apology.

How do you feel the Church should be addressing this issue?

Bare bones, weakness-exposed, standard-form arguments would be a good start at the abstract theological level.

Give a brief example.

Give me a typical argument about the church's position and I will convert it for you.

So your only concern with the Church's position is form? And you don't know the Church's position? Good; I can safely ignore your shrill input here.
Not merely form. The arguments modern churchmen typically put forward do not include an honest presentation of the best objections to those arguments. They do not re-create opposing arguments to be better than they were when they were articulated by their creators. They do not go out of their way to expose their worries with their own positions. And they do not go out of their way to be perfectly understood at each stage of argumentation.

In short, their is a great deal of intellectual humility that is not often present.

And what's an example of what this extra formality on their part would accomplish in regard to homosexuality and the Church?

At the academic level there is a 'fight' that occurs, though it doesn't have to be a malicious one!
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Ainnir

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #190 on: July 09, 2017, 08:16:54 PM »
... It would be essentially the same thing as saying that the Church could de facto bless - without actually blessing - a man and a woman living together outside of marriage, and if they should fall once in awhile and cross the line into premarital sex, all they need do is confess.  I'm sure you realize the Church could never bless such a thing or even commune a man and a woman living this way.  Could you please tell me how the scenario you propose is different in any meaningful way?

Actually, this is not uncommon in the EO in the U.S., and sometimes even seems taken for granted by priests.

If true, that's pathetic.  That's not at all the situation in the Coptic Church.  Truthfully, it's not been my experience with the EO here on the East Coast either.  Either way, this doesn't provide an out for homosexuals arguing for an application of the same lapsed standard to their unions.  It just means that the EO in your neck of the woods needs to get its act together.

This occurred to me also, and I was going to bring it up if no one else did.  Does it even matter if the man and woman are married/unmarried and celibate?  I've heard of the EO lauding married couples who lived as brother and sister, but have not even heard reference to an unmarried man and woman living chastely together, let alone as an option the Church endorses or allows, either one.  That sounds far-fetched to me, also.  But who knows?
"Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that."  ~me

Taking a hiatus.  Pray for me, a sinner.

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #191 on: July 09, 2017, 08:30:39 PM »
Please explain why an Orthodox Christian pastor should find the Church's position on homosexuality worrisome.

Here are some thoughts:

First, I was speaking of abstract theological discourse when I brought up "worries". Second, when one presents an argument, however valid one believes it to be and however sound one believes the premises to be, one can also perceive the points at which it is open to relative levels of objection. One may have real worries about the arguments one believes to hold. Or one may believe the conclusion of an argument without believing that the argument adequately demonstrates the conclusion. In doubing the validity of an argument for a position or belief within the church, one is not thereby doubting the conclusion of that argument. Here's an example of the first case: One may believe in God or a particular theodicy (say, Felix Culpa), while expressing one's worries about the weaknesses of that theodicy (say, an objection from gratuitous suffering, or certain views that base themselves off of the assumption that Molinism is correct about God's providence).

When one presents one's arguments in theological discourse, and here I am talking about scholarly theology, one expresses intellectual humility when one proactively presents the weaknesses and best objections to the arguments one presents. This is humble for a few reasons. First, it acknowledges that, no matter the degree to which one can "speak with the mind of the church," one is re-articulating positions. In virtue of this being a re-articulation it necessarily entails an accidental (at least) change in meaning that (at least) synergistically involves the re-articulator as a creative agent. Because of this, it ought to be subject to critique by one's peers; least of all because we are often bad, and a good God has no need of a bad argument.

In proactively presenting the weaknesses and best objections to one's argument, or one's claims, one is opening oneself up to criticism in a vulnerable way. And this opening is done for the betterment of the church, decreasing our own glory in a potentially bad argument in order to avoid scandal in the church through it's unfortunate proliferation. It is also an act of withdrawing as we create, which images God. and it helps make our re-articulation a communal effort rather than a solipsistic enterprise.

In keeping with this call for clarity in the light of day, clearly stated, what are the various positions on the subject within the Church as you see them?  Which do you find to be meritorious?
I would have to think about it more to do it proper justice but here are a few:

1. Homosexuality is wrong because it defies mechanistic natural law (improper function for a human machine to perform)
2. Homosexuality is wrong because it defies pre-copernican or neo-aristotelian natural law (failure to properly exemplify/move toward a natural end-in-action/entelechia, ultimately in God)
3. Homosexuality is wrong because it fails to embody transcendent otherness, this being known through our God-given intuition
4. Homosexuality is wrong because it contradicts God's ordinance, obedience to which is good of itself and defiance of which is bad of itself
5. Homosexuality is wrong because it has not been licit before and we are a church that maintains a core unchanging tradition

1. Homosexuality is acceptable because the forbidding of homosexuality was a contingent/accidental element of tradition which can be revised given the good of promoting human unions/relieving suffering

1.A Homosexuality is acceptable because it was never actually forbidden by our authoritative sources in the first place (all of the supposed forbiddings were actually referring to prostitution or some such)

1.B Homosexuality is acceptable because there is no core tradition (and we are progressively revealing a clearer picture of God over time, of which this is a part

2. Homosexuality is acceptable because, like divorce, it is an evil that must be permitted in order to prevent further evil/promote some compensatory goods

2.A. Homosexuality is acceptable because, like divorce, an evil has already occurred (instantiation/transmission of a fallen disposition) and the response (gay marriage or some other) mitigates this evil, does not attempt to hide it in a sinful way, or some other.

I dunno, those seem like the ones I hear most often. I'm sure I'd add more.

As for their merits, if I were to say those off the top of my head, without preparing extensively, I would be doing them a disservice. If you think I promised I'd list my responses somewhere in this thread, sorry. But like the boxing coach who is out of shape, we can call boxing like we see it and give proper boxing advice without being fighters ourselves. Nevertheless, this is something I do plan to take up at a later date.

My opinion is that, *setting aside the truth of the conclusions*, all of the above arguments, in the forms I've seen them, have damning objections.
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #192 on: July 09, 2017, 08:38:18 PM »
... It would be essentially the same thing as saying that the Church could de facto bless - without actually blessing - a man and a woman living together outside of marriage, and if they should fall once in awhile and cross the line into premarital sex, all they need do is confess.  I'm sure you realize the Church could never bless such a thing or even commune a man and a woman living this way.  Could you please tell me how the scenario you propose is different in any meaningful way?

Actually, this is not uncommon in the EO in the U.S., and sometimes even seems taken for granted by priests.

If true, that's pathetic.  That's not at all the situation in the Coptic Church.  Truthfully, it's not been my experience with the EO here on the East Coast either.  Either way, this doesn't provide an out for homosexuals arguing for an application of the same lapsed standard to their unions.  It just means that the EO in your neck of the woods needs to get its act together.
So if a man admits to being tempted by homosexual feelings, who should they be permitted to live with? He can't live with a woman because that would be improper, and he can't live with another man for fear of falling into sin. If he wants a room mate, what sex can he live with?
God bless!

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #193 on: July 09, 2017, 08:41:24 PM »
Please explain why an Orthodox Christian pastor should find the Church's position on homosexuality worrisome.

Here are some thoughts:

First, I was speaking of abstract theological discourse when I brought up "worries". Second, when one presents an argument, however valid one believes it to be and however sound one believes the premises to be, one can also perceive the points at which it is open to relative levels of objection. One may have real worries about the arguments one believes to hold. Or one may believe the conclusion of an argument without believing that the argument adequately demonstrates the conclusion. In doubing the validity of an argument for a position or belief within the church, one is not thereby doubting the conclusion of that argument. Here's an example of the first case: One may believe in God or a particular theodicy (say, Felix Culpa), while expressing one's worries about the weaknesses of that theodicy (say, an objection from gratuitous suffering, or certain views that base themselves off of the assumption that Molinism is correct about God's providence).

When one presents one's arguments in theological discourse, and here I am talking about scholarly theology, one expresses intellectual humility when one proactively presents the weaknesses and best objections to the arguments one presents. This is humble for a few reasons. First, it acknowledges that, no matter the degree to which one can "speak with the mind of the church," one is re-articulating positions. In virtue of this being a re-articulation it necessarily entails an accidental (at least) change in meaning that (at least) synergistically involves the re-articulator as a creative agent. Because of this, it ought to be subject to critique by one's peers; least of all because we are often bad, and a good God has no need of a bad argument.

In proactively presenting the weaknesses and best objections to one's argument, or one's claims, one is opening oneself up to criticism in a vulnerable way. And this opening is done for the betterment of the church, decreasing our own glory in a potentially bad argument in order to avoid scandal in the church through it's unfortunate proliferation. It is also an act of withdrawing as we create, which images God. and it helps make our re-articulation a communal effort rather than a solipsistic enterprise.

In keeping with this call for clarity in the light of day, clearly stated, what are the various positions on the subject within the Church as you see them?  Which do you find to be meritorious?
I would have to think about it more to do it proper justice but here are a few:

1. Homosexuality is wrong because it defies mechanistic natural law (improper function for a human machine to perform)
2. Homosexuality is wrong because it defies pre-copernican or neo-aristotelian natural law (failure to properly exemplify/move toward a natural end-in-action/entelechia, ultimately in God)
3. Homosexuality is wrong because it fails to embody transcendent otherness, this being known through our God-given intuition
4. Homosexuality is wrong because it contradicts God's ordinance, obedience to which is good of itself and defiance of which is bad of itself
5. Homosexuality is wrong because it has not been licit before and we are a church that maintains a core unchanging tradition

I don't know if it would be possible to be more tendentious. "Human machine"? "Pre-Copernican"? "Intuition"? "Obedience ... is good of itself"? "Because it has not been licit before"? And this after your accusation that the Church can't argue fairly. Good gosh. Grow up.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #194 on: July 09, 2017, 08:42:14 PM »
And what's an example of what this extra formality on their part would accomplish in regard to homosexuality and the Church?
This question has been answered.

Separately, if you'd like an example of how one of the arguments in my previous post would be broken down, here:

Here's one of the often-thought to be weaker arguments against homosexual actions. Keep in mind that the presentation below is not my thought-out view, nor do I agree with it:

1. If God ordains something, it's prima facie wrong to disobey.
2. God has ordained that homosexual actions are forbidden.
3.If 1. and 2. then it's prima facie wrong to perform homosexual actions.
4. Therefore it's prima facie wrong to perform homosexual actions.
5. There is no sufficient countervailing reason (say, a higher-ranking divine ordinance) that would justify performing homosexual actions.
6. If (4) and (5) then homosexual actions are categorically forbidden.
7. Therefore homosexual actions are categorically forbidden.

Worry about premises 1 and 3: Should we be acting in virtue of God's commands, or in virtue of exemplifying his character through imitation? Surely the latter is greater.
Rejoinder: Just because it may be greater to act in virtue of exemplifying God's character than following his commands doesn't mean that it is not more just to follow his commands than to disobey them.

Objection to premise 5: Jesus's injunction toward mercy rather than sacrifice, loving the sinner, and being undefiled by external actions/the old law is a superior command to the command against homosexual actions, and motivates the opposite.
Rejoinder A: Since it is an accepted principle that God's commands do not contradict one another, it cannot be the case that it motivates the opposite. There are interpretations consistent with both commands that have the same end: Prohibition of homosexual acts.

Remaining worry (note, this worry is presented by the person who is presenting the initial argument): But these interpretations, while they are consistent, are not equal, and I could see how God's articulation of mercy really does seem to trump the command to sacrifice certain forms of love. It's the strongest objection to my argument, even though I don't think it is sufficient to compel my argument's rejection.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2017, 08:54:43 PM by NicholasMyra »
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #195 on: July 09, 2017, 08:43:02 PM »
... It would be essentially the same thing as saying that the Church could de facto bless - without actually blessing - a man and a woman living together outside of marriage, and if they should fall once in awhile and cross the line into premarital sex, all they need do is confess.  I'm sure you realize the Church could never bless such a thing or even commune a man and a woman living this way.  Could you please tell me how the scenario you propose is different in any meaningful way?

Actually, this is not uncommon in the EO in the U.S., and sometimes even seems taken for granted by priests.

If true, that's pathetic.  That's not at all the situation in the Coptic Church.  Truthfully, it's not been my experience with the EO here on the East Coast either.  Either way, this doesn't provide an out for homosexuals arguing for an application of the same lapsed standard to their unions.  It just means that the EO in your neck of the woods needs to get its act together.
So if a man admits to being tempted by homosexual feelings, who should they be permitted to live with? He can't live with a woman because that would be improper, and he can't live with another man for fear of falling into sin. If he wants a room mate, what sex can he live with?

Males that don't have his weakness, or an older couple, or even a family that offers a stable home. Is this really that hard?
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #196 on: July 09, 2017, 08:43:48 PM »
(Not to mention, by himself, or with his own family.)
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #197 on: July 09, 2017, 08:46:30 PM »
... It would be essentially the same thing as saying that the Church could de facto bless - without actually blessing - a man and a woman living together outside of marriage, and if they should fall once in awhile and cross the line into premarital sex, all they need do is confess.  I'm sure you realize the Church could never bless such a thing or even commune a man and a woman living this way.  Could you please tell me how the scenario you propose is different in any meaningful way?

Actually, this is not uncommon in the EO in the U.S., and sometimes even seems taken for granted by priests.

If true, that's pathetic.  That's not at all the situation in the Coptic Church.  Truthfully, it's not been my experience with the EO here on the East Coast either.  Either way, this doesn't provide an out for homosexuals arguing for an application of the same lapsed standard to their unions.  It just means that the EO in your neck of the woods needs to get its act together.
So if a man admits to being tempted by homosexual feelings, who should they be permitted to live with? He can't live with a woman because that would be improper, and he can't live with another man for fear of falling into sin. If he wants a room mate, what sex can he live with?

Males that don't have his weakness, or an older couple, or even a family that offers a stable home. Is this really that hard?
Ok, sorry. I hadn't read thoroughly enough and there were a lot of subplots going on. I thought the argument was that a man struggling with homosexuality shouldn't live in the same house as another man period just like a man shouldn't live with a non-relative woman regardless of whether he is attracted to her or not.
God bless!

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #198 on: July 09, 2017, 08:46:42 PM »
I don't know if it would be possible to be more tendentious. "Human machine"? "Pre-Copernican"? "Intuition"? "Obedience ... is good of itself"? "Because it has not been licit before"? And this after your accusation that the Church can't argue fairly. Good gosh. Grow up.
The fact that you find these polemical tells me that you really know nothing about your hated Academy.
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #199 on: July 09, 2017, 08:51:53 PM »
Teaching three yr olds sodomy is "normal" is not malicious?
Clearly teaching them anything about sodomy or attempting to "sexualize" them is degenerate and anyone who advocates such is a degenerate, nobody has advocated such in this thread, it's about time this straw man came to an end.

Noting that we are always sexual beings does not imply that degenerate acts toward young people are good or acceptable.

You are better than that, I'd expect it from Charles and Porter in his snappier moments but come on.
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #200 on: July 09, 2017, 08:51:58 PM »
And what's an example of what this extra formality on their part would accomplish in regard to homosexuality and the Church?
This question has been answered.

If you'd like an example of how one of the arguments in my previous post would be broken down, here:

Here's one of the often-thought to be weaker arguments against homosexual actions. Keep in mind that the presentation below is not my thought-out view, nor do I agree with it:

1. If God ordains something, it's prima facie wrong to disobey.
2. God has ordained that homosexual actions are forbidden.
3.If 1. and 2. then it's prima facie wrong to perform homosexual actions.
4. It's prima facie wrong to perform homosexual actions.
5. There is no sufficient countervailing reason (say, a higher-ranking divine ordinance) that would justify performing homosexual actions.
6. If (4) and (5) then homosexual actions are categorically forbidden.
7. Homosexual actions are categorically forbidden.

Okay, Wittgenstein. Numbering straw men doesn't change them from being straw men.


Now you put in some work here:
Quote
Worry about premises 1 and 3: Should we be acting in virtue of God's commands, or in virtue of exemplifying his character through imitation? Surely the latter is greater.

You are manufacturing an opposition. In fact, God's commands are given to us to teach us how to exemplify his character.

[/quote]Rejoinder: Just because it may be greater to act in virtue of exemplifying God's character than following his commands doesn't mean that it is not more just to follow his commands than to disobey them.

Objection to premise 5: Jesus's injunction toward mercy rather than sacrifice, loving the sinner, and being undefiled by external actions/the old law is a superior command to the command against homosexual actions, and motivates the opposite.
Rejoinder A: Since it is an accepted principle that God's commands do not contradict one another, it cannot be the case that it motivates the opposite. There are interpretations consistent with both commands that have the same end: Prohibition of homosexual acts.[/quote]

Yes, there is no contradiction, and there is also no need to efface one of these laws -- since, in very fact, they already don't contradict one another. Sexual sin is not a matter of external ceremony but a matter of the heart. By saying "loving the sinner" you are already admitting there is a sin and thereby granting the validity of a command against it. "Mercy rather than sacrifice" has to do with the gifts we give back to God: of these, mercy on others is more pleasing to him to receive than a material gift. Your implication, that having mercy is identical to annulling commandments, or that a commandment is a kind of material sacrifice, remains to be demonstrated.

Quote
Remaining worry (note, this worry is presented by the person who is presenting the initial argument): But these interpretations, while they are consistent, are not equal, and I could see how God's articulation of mercy really does seem to trump the command to sacrifice certain forms of love. It's the strongest objection to my argument, even though I don't think it is sufficient to compel my argument's rejection.

Very tendentious toward your own side. No good when you say you're trying to show the Church how to argue fairly.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #201 on: July 09, 2017, 08:55:36 PM »
Teaching three yr olds sodomy is "normal" is not malicious?
Clearly teaching them anything about sodomy or attempting to "sexualize" them is degenerate and anyone who advocates such is a degenerate, nobody has advocated such in this thread, it's about time this straw man came to an end.

Noting that we are always sexual beings does not imply that degenerate acts toward young people are good or acceptable.

You are better than that, I'd expect it from Charles and Porter in his snappier moments but come on.

If you were to test a toddler's sexual appetites and decide their are for males, then you'd have to teach them something about homosexuality and sexualize them to some extent. Now, if I grant what Mor may have been saying and admit their may be some model researcher's use that correlates, say, love of trucks with appetite for men, then this would not be necessary. However, this is an assumption about whatever study (actually, I think she implies there are many studies) Sr. Vassa is alluding to and one nobody's proved, and any such model would remain quite problematic for other reasons.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #202 on: July 09, 2017, 08:57:00 PM »
... It would be essentially the same thing as saying that the Church could de facto bless - without actually blessing - a man and a woman living together outside of marriage, and if they should fall once in awhile and cross the line into premarital sex, all they need do is confess.  I'm sure you realize the Church could never bless such a thing or even commune a man and a woman living this way.  Could you please tell me how the scenario you propose is different in any meaningful way?

Actually, this is not uncommon in the EO in the U.S., and sometimes even seems taken for granted by priests.

If true, that's pathetic.  That's not at all the situation in the Coptic Church.  Truthfully, it's not been my experience with the EO here on the East Coast either.  Either way, this doesn't provide an out for homosexuals arguing for an application of the same lapsed standard to their unions.  It just means that the EO in your neck of the woods needs to get its act together.
So if a man admits to being tempted by homosexual feelings, who should they be permitted to live with? He can't live with a woman because that would be improper, and he can't live with another man for fear of falling into sin. If he wants a room mate, what sex can he live with?

Males that don't have his weakness, or an older couple, or even a family that offers a stable home. Is this really that hard?
Ok, sorry. I hadn't read thoroughly enough and there were a lot of subplots going on. I thought the argument was that a man struggling with homosexuality shouldn't live in the same house as another man period just like a man shouldn't live with a non-relative woman regardless of whether he is attracted to her or not.

No it's about longterm romantic relationships that are presented to others as civil marriage or equivalent. The analogy to heterosexual couples that live together, which somebody else made, seems apt.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #203 on: July 09, 2017, 08:57:32 PM »
You are manufacturing an opposition. In fact, God's commands are given to us to teach us how to exemplify his character.

Uh, are you really arguing with my example?

...why?
« Last Edit: July 09, 2017, 08:58:28 PM by NicholasMyra »
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #204 on: July 09, 2017, 08:57:41 PM »
I don't know if it would be possible to be more tendentious. "Human machine"? "Pre-Copernican"? "Intuition"? "Obedience ... is good of itself"? "Because it has not been licit before"? And this after your accusation that the Church can't argue fairly. Good gosh. Grow up.
The fact that you find these polemical tells me that you really know nothing about your hated Academy.

I said tendentious. Such a master of it should learn the word.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #205 on: July 09, 2017, 08:59:45 PM »
I don't know if it would be possible to be more tendentious. "Human machine"? "Pre-Copernican"? "Intuition"? "Obedience ... is good of itself"? "Because it has not been licit before"? And this after your accusation that the Church can't argue fairly. Good gosh. Grow up.
The fact that you find these polemical tells me that you really know nothing about your hated Academy.

I said tendentious. Such a master of it should learn the word.
Among the hated Academics, pre-copernican or neo-aristotelian aren't dirty words. Saying this being a holder of some of the latter view
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #206 on: July 09, 2017, 09:03:55 PM »
I don't know if it would be possible to be more tendentious. "Human machine"? "Pre-Copernican"? "Intuition"? "Obedience ... is good of itself"? "Because it has not been licit before"? And this after your accusation that the Church can't argue fairly. Good gosh. Grow up.
The fact that you find these polemical tells me that you really know nothing about your hated Academy.

I said tendentious. Such a master of it should learn the word.
Among the hated Academics, pre-copernican or neo-aristotelian aren't dirty words. Saying this being a holder of some of the latter view

Yeah, there is such a thing as a time before Copernicus. Which means nothing out of context. I'm not going to play the game where you pretend you can't see the post I responded to and instead take a bit out of my response and mock-marvel at it in isolation, and repeat with my response to that, a game of diminishing returns ad absurdam.

Just take your medicine.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #207 on: July 09, 2017, 09:07:14 PM »
Yeah, there is such a thing as a time before Copernicus. Which means nothing out of context.
I provided the context... but it would seem that, given you misunderstood my example post as well, you are a little hard of reading.

Thankfully those reading this thread, aside from Charles, are a bit more careful.
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #208 on: July 09, 2017, 09:08:11 PM »
Teaching three yr olds sodomy is "normal" is not malicious?
Clearly teaching them anything about sodomy or attempting to "sexualize" them is degenerate and anyone who advocates such is a degenerate, nobody has advocated such in this thread, it's about time this straw man came to an end.

Noting that we are always sexual beings does not imply that degenerate acts toward young people are good or acceptable.

You are better than that, I'd expect it from Charles and Porter in his snappier moments but come on.

If you were to test a toddler's sexual appetites and decide their are for males, then you'd have to teach them something about homosexuality and sexualize them to some extent. Now, if I grant what Mor may have been saying and admit their may be some model researcher's use that correlates, say, love of trucks with appetite for men, then this would not be necessary. However, this is an assumption about whatever study (actually, I think she implies there are many studies) Sr. Vassa is alluding to and one nobody's proved, and any such model would remain quite problematic for other reasons.
I going to again give the caveat that I'm not gay, so I can't speak from any kind of personal experience, but friends of mine who self-identify as gay tell me that they have known they were gay for as long as they can remember. For them, it wasn't even sexual when it started out. When kids in kindergarten have "girlfriends" and "boyfriends", they know nothing about sex or sexuality. It is just a generalized sense of attraction. If kids at a very young age can have that sense of attraction even before they know what sex is, I have to imagine it is either something they are born with or something that develops at a very young age. Could it occur during early brain development? I don't really know. All I know is that people are born or develop at young ages all sorts of disorders which develop into more serious sinful manifestations as they get older. I've know enough people who ended up coming out to me at various points in their lives, most of them as gay, but some of them as transgender, that I really don't know what to think. I don't question that it is sin, but I think that much of how Christians have responded to it has been largely unhelpful and damaging in helping people who struggle with it turn to the Church as a source of healing.
God bless!

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #209 on: July 09, 2017, 09:17:15 PM »
First, I was speaking of abstract theological discourse when I brought up "worries".

And this really isn't something that I'm interested in as it pertains to this topic.  If you're going to refuse to be nailed down to a particular position and argue its merits - and you feel your role in this thread is to play the gadfly and force everyone to examine the various possible theoretical implications of the topic,and reexamine their own positions in the process, all while taking no stand yourself - then you really have nothing to contribute but a lot of distraction and hot air.

I'm interested only in two things as it pertains to this subject:

1. The pastoral ramifications for everyone involved.
2. The maintenance of the integrity of the Church's traditional view of homosexuality in the fact of an objectionable modern culture which holds that it is no vice.

Second, when one presents an argument, however valid one believes it to be and however sound one believes the premises to be, one can also perceive the points at which it is open to relative levels of objection.

If, however, one believes that one's argument is grounded in absolute Truth, one needn't necessarily regard those potential objections as necessarily valid, only as something that will inevitably be overcome.  Such is the case with the Church's teaching on homosexual relationships, to be sure.

One may have real worries about the arguments one believes to hold. Or one may believe the conclusion of an argument without believing that the argument adequately demonstrates the conclusion.

This is true, when dealing with the abstract and the theoretical.  As I have said, I would like to discuss brass tacks, not spin potential variations of theoretical arguments ad infinitum.

In doubing the validity of an argument for a position or belief within the church, one is not thereby doubting the conclusion of that argument. Here's an example of the first case: One may believe in God or a particular theodicy (say, Felix Culpa), while expressing one's worries about the weaknesses of that theodicy (say, an objection from gratuitous suffering, or certain views that base themselves off of the assumption that Molinism is correct about God's providence).

My concern is the conclusion of the argument.  If a particular means of articulating the truth of the matter is weak or open to attack, I'd prefer not to invoke that particular argument at all.  I would still not hesitate from articulating the truth behind it, however, through other, less readily assailable means.

When one presents one's arguments in theological discourse, and here I am talking about scholarly theology, one expresses intellectual humility when one proactively presents the weaknesses and best objections to the arguments one presents. This is humble for a few reasons. First, it acknowledges that, no matter the degree to which one can "speak with the mind of the church," one is re-articulating positions. In virtue of this being a re-articulation it necessarily entails an accidental (at least) change in meaning that (at least) synergistically involves the re-articulator as a creative agent. Because of this, it ought to be subject to critique by one's peers; least of all because we are often bad, and a good God has no need of a bad argument.

I have no problem with this at all so far as it goes, since as I've already stated, the truth undergirding the arguments remains beyond doubt, question, or assault: in this case, that homosexual relationships could never be blessed, sanctioned, or tolerated within the Church, and yet the Church is mandated to deal with those afflicted by such desires in a compassionate and pastoral way.  Again, I am not interested in bandying about ideas related to homosexuality and the Church in the seminary classroom, though most in this discussion are surely capable of doing so if need be.  I am interested in the application of the Church's already well-established position on the issue in the parish.

In proactively presenting the weaknesses and best objections to one's argument, or one's claims, one is opening oneself up to criticism in a vulnerable way. And this opening is done for the betterment of the church, decreasing our own glory in a potentially bad argument in order to avoid scandal in the church through it's unfortunate proliferation.

Again, I can go along with this, so long as it is not a means by which the Enemy's argument and/or the world's argument is given an unjustifiable patina of credence.

By way of illustration, can you give me an example of such a bad argument and the criticism it has exposed the Church to as it pertains to this particular subject please?

It is also an act of withdrawing as we create, which images God. and it helps make our re-articulation a communal effort rather than a solipsistic enterprise.

Who is included in the community producing this statement?  Are apologists for a revision of the Church's stance on homosexuality a party to this creative act in your point of view?

In keeping with this call for clarity in the light of day, clearly stated, what are the various positions on the subject within the Church as you see them?  Which do you find to be meritorious?
I would have to think about it more to do it proper justice but here are a few:

1. Homosexuality is wrong because it defies mechanistic natural law (improper function for a human machine to perform)
2. Homosexuality is wrong because it defies pre-copernican or neo-aristotelian natural law (failure to properly exemplify/move toward a natural end-in-action/entelechia, ultimately in God)
3. Homosexuality is wrong because it fails to embody transcendent otherness, this being known through our God-given intuition
4. Homosexuality is wrong because it contradicts God's ordinance, obedience to which is good of itself and defiance of which is bad of itself
5. Homosexuality is wrong because it has not been licit before and we are a church that maintains a core unchanging tradition

1. Homosexuality is acceptable because the forbidding of homosexuality was a contingent/accidental element of tradition which can be revised given the good of promoting human unions/relieving suffering

1.A Homosexuality is acceptable because it was never actually forbidden by our authoritative sources in the first place (all of the supposed forbiddings were actually referring to prostitution or some such)

1.B Homosexuality is acceptable because there is no core tradition (and we are progressively revealing a clearer picture of God over time, of which this is a part

2. Homosexuality is acceptable because, like divorce, it is an evil that must be permitted in order to prevent further evil/promote some compensatory goods

2.A. Homosexuality is acceptable because, like divorce, an evil has already occurred (instantiation/transmission of a fallen disposition) and the response (gay marriage or some other) mitigates this evil, does not attempt to hide it in a sinful way, or some other.

I dunno, those seem like the ones I hear most often. I'm sure I'd add more.

As for their merits, if I were to say those off the top of my head, without preparing extensively, I would be doing them a disservice.

That's up to you, of course, but like I said, if you feel that your role in this conversation is merely to force an examination of the subject in a relatively abstract, academic sense, then I really have no interest in dialoguing with you for reasons outline above.  I also feel that it is cheap for you to pretend not to have a particular stance on the issue, when it is fairly clear that you are more than a disinterested party, or a party interested only academically.

If you think I promised I'd list my responses somewhere in this thread, sorry.

I never thought that you made any such promise.  I requested such, and you have elected not to oblige, which is of course your right.  As I've said though, this limits the amount of energy I'll be willing to expend engaging with you on the issue.  I'd be better served devoting the time and energy I can afford to expend on this board engaging with FinnJames.

But like the boxing coach who is out of shape, we can call boxing like we see it and give proper boxing advice without being fighters ourselves. Nevertheless, this is something I do plan to take up at a later date.

When you do, please let me know.  For now, if I only have time to spar with Canelo or exhaust myself listening to the endless ramblings of Teddy Atlas, I'm going to lace up my gloves and step in the ring with Canelo.

My opinion is that, *setting aside the truth of the conclusions*, all of the above arguments, in the forms I've seen them, have damning objections.

I'm much more interested in the practical applications of said arguments for the life of the Church than in endlessly debating them in theory.  But thanks anyway.
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #210 on: July 09, 2017, 09:19:22 PM »
... It would be essentially the same thing as saying that the Church could de facto bless - without actually blessing - a man and a woman living together outside of marriage, and if they should fall once in awhile and cross the line into premarital sex, all they need do is confess.  I'm sure you realize the Church could never bless such a thing or even commune a man and a woman living this way.  Could you please tell me how the scenario you propose is different in any meaningful way?

Actually, this is not uncommon in the EO in the U.S., and sometimes even seems taken for granted by priests.

If true, that's pathetic.  That's not at all the situation in the Coptic Church.  Truthfully, it's not been my experience with the EO here on the East Coast either.  Either way, this doesn't provide an out for homosexuals arguing for an application of the same lapsed standard to their unions.  It just means that the EO in your neck of the woods needs to get its act together.

This occurred to me also, and I was going to bring it up if no one else did.  Does it even matter if the man and woman are married/unmarried and celibate?  I've heard of the EO lauding married couples who lived as brother and sister, but have not even heard reference to an unmarried man and woman living chastely together, let alone as an option the Church endorses or allows, either one.  That sounds far-fetched to me, also.  But who knows?

I do not know of an example of the Church lauding an unmarried heterosexual couple living together as brother and sister.  I know married couples who live together that way personally.  It is certainly not something I could do.
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #211 on: July 09, 2017, 09:19:28 PM »
Teaching three yr olds sodomy is "normal" is not malicious?
Clearly teaching them anything about sodomy or attempting to "sexualize" them is degenerate and anyone who advocates such is a degenerate, nobody has advocated such in this thread, it's about time this straw man came to an end.

Noting that we are always sexual beings does not imply that degenerate acts toward young people are good or acceptable.

You are better than that, I'd expect it from Charles and Porter in his snappier moments but come on.

If you were to test a toddler's sexual appetites and decide their are for males, then you'd have to teach them something about homosexuality and sexualize them to some extent. Now, if I grant what Mor may have been saying and admit their may be some model researcher's use that correlates, say, love of trucks with appetite for men, then this would not be necessary. However, this is an assumption about whatever study (actually, I think she implies there are many studies) Sr. Vassa is alluding to and one nobody's proved, and any such model would remain quite problematic for other reasons.
I going to again give the caveat that I'm not gay, so I can't speak from any kind of personal experience, but friends of mine who self-identify as gay tell me that they have known they were gay for as long as they can remember. For them, it wasn't even sexual when it started out. When kids in kindergarten have "girlfriends" and "boyfriends", they know nothing about sex or sexuality. It is just a generalized sense of attraction. If kids at a very young age can have that sense of attraction even before they know what sex is, I have to imagine it is either something they are born with or something that develops at a very young age. Could it occur during early brain development? I don't really know. All I know is that people are born or develop at young ages all sorts of disorders which develop into more serious sinful manifestations as they get older. I've know enough people who ended up coming out to me at various points in their lives, most of them as gay, but some of them as transgender, that I really don't know what to think. I don't question that it is sin, but I think that much of how Christians have responded to it has been largely unhelpful and damaging in helping people who struggle with it turn to the Church as a source of healing.

This is the authoritative study proving homosexuality is inbred and insurmountable? Ask gay dudes what age they remember being gay?
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #212 on: July 09, 2017, 09:22:14 PM »
... It would be essentially the same thing as saying that the Church could de facto bless - without actually blessing - a man and a woman living together outside of marriage, and if they should fall once in awhile and cross the line into premarital sex, all they need do is confess.  I'm sure you realize the Church could never bless such a thing or even commune a man and a woman living this way.  Could you please tell me how the scenario you propose is different in any meaningful way?

Actually, this is not uncommon in the EO in the U.S., and sometimes even seems taken for granted by priests.

If true, that's pathetic.  That's not at all the situation in the Coptic Church.  Truthfully, it's not been my experience with the EO here on the East Coast either.  Either way, this doesn't provide an out for homosexuals arguing for an application of the same lapsed standard to their unions.  It just means that the EO in your neck of the woods needs to get its act together.
So if a man admits to being tempted by homosexual feelings, who should they be permitted to live with? He can't live with a woman because that would be improper, and he can't live with another man for fear of falling into sin. If he wants a room mate, what sex can he live with?

In addition to the options listed by Porter, I would ask what is wrong with living alone?  Lot's of people do it.  Further, do you really not see a difference between him having a male roommate and a male whom he thinks of as his homosexual companion?
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #213 on: July 09, 2017, 09:25:47 PM »
Teaching three yr olds sodomy is "normal" is not malicious?
Clearly teaching them anything about sodomy or attempting to "sexualize" them is degenerate and anyone who advocates such is a degenerate, nobody has advocated such in this thread, it's about time this straw man came to an end.

Noting that we are always sexual beings does not imply that degenerate acts toward young people are good or acceptable.

You are better than that, I'd expect it from Charles and Porter in his snappier moments but come on.

Play fair, Nicholas.  That quote is Charles Martel's, not mine.

The proof, you liar:

And what's an example of what this extra formality on their part would accomplish in regard to homosexuality and the Church?
It would allow the arguments for/against the various positions to shine in the light of day, without the shrouds of polemic. So that both sides could fight like men.

Fight? Fighting is part of the problem, I think. What's needed is for both 'sides' to listen and speak to each other with love (no homo  ;)). As far as I can determine, there are a lot more priests and a lot more homosexuals doing just that than either 'side' wants to admit, publicly at least.
At the academic level there is a 'fight' that occurs, though it doesn't have to be a malicious one!
Teaching three yr olds sodomy is "normal" is not malicious?
« Last Edit: July 09, 2017, 09:30:40 PM by Antonious Nikolas »
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #214 on: July 09, 2017, 09:27:25 PM »
Teaching three yr olds sodomy is "normal" is not malicious?
Clearly teaching them anything about sodomy or attempting to "sexualize" them is degenerate and anyone who advocates such is a degenerate, nobody has advocated such in this thread, it's about time this straw man came to an end.

Noting that we are always sexual beings does not imply that degenerate acts toward young people are good or acceptable.

You are better than that, I'd expect it from Charles and Porter in his snappier moments but come on.

If you were to test a toddler's sexual appetites and decide their are for males, then you'd have to teach them something about homosexuality and sexualize them to some extent. Now, if I grant what Mor may have been saying and admit their may be some model researcher's use that correlates, say, love of trucks with appetite for men, then this would not be necessary. However, this is an assumption about whatever study (actually, I think she implies there are many studies) Sr. Vassa is alluding to and one nobody's proved, and any such model would remain quite problematic for other reasons.
I going to again give the caveat that I'm not gay, so I can't speak from any kind of personal experience, but friends of mine who self-identify as gay tell me that they have known they were gay for as long as they can remember. For them, it wasn't even sexual when it started out. When kids in kindergarten have "girlfriends" and "boyfriends", they know nothing about sex or sexuality. It is just a generalized sense of attraction. If kids at a very young age can have that sense of attraction even before they know what sex is, I have to imagine it is either something they are born with or something that develops at a very young age. Could it occur during early brain development? I don't really know. All I know is that people are born or develop at young ages all sorts of disorders which develop into more serious sinful manifestations as they get older. I've know enough people who ended up coming out to me at various points in their lives, most of them as gay, but some of them as transgender, that I really don't know what to think. I don't question that it is sin, but I think that much of how Christians have responded to it has been largely unhelpful and damaging in helping people who struggle with it turn to the Church as a source of healing.

This is the authoritative study proving homosexuality is inbred and insurmountable? Ask gay dudes what age they remember being gay?
I didn't say I did a study. I'm just trying to figure stuff out. Other than saying that we are born in sin, Scripture doesn't really address anything of the sort. Most of my friends who have come out where/are Christians who were discussing the struggles they have had with trying to overcome their feelings. A number of them went through the whole gay therapy thing which didn't work for any of them.

Its just that it is a whole lot easier to discuss this in a theoretical context on an Orthodox Christian forum than it is to talk to someone in person who is struggling with it and looking for help. I'm the first one to admit that I'm probably not the best help since I've never struggled with it myself.  :-\
God bless!

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #215 on: July 09, 2017, 09:30:56 PM »
... It would be essentially the same thing as saying that the Church could de facto bless - without actually blessing - a man and a woman living together outside of marriage, and if they should fall once in awhile and cross the line into premarital sex, all they need do is confess.  I'm sure you realize the Church could never bless such a thing or even commune a man and a woman living this way.  Could you please tell me how the scenario you propose is different in any meaningful way?

Actually, this is not uncommon in the EO in the U.S., and sometimes even seems taken for granted by priests.

If true, that's pathetic.  That's not at all the situation in the Coptic Church.  Truthfully, it's not been my experience with the EO here on the East Coast either.  Either way, this doesn't provide an out for homosexuals arguing for an application of the same lapsed standard to their unions.  It just means that the EO in your neck of the woods needs to get its act together.
So if a man admits to being tempted by homosexual feelings, who should they be permitted to live with? He can't live with a woman because that would be improper, and he can't live with another man for fear of falling into sin. If he wants a room mate, what sex can he live with?

In addition to the options listed by Porter, I would ask what is wrong with living alone?  Lot's of people do it.  Further, do you really not see a difference between him having a male roommate and a male whom he thinks of as his homosexual companion?
They do it if they can afford it. There are lots of people who aren't in a situation that they can do that.

I do see a difference between the two, but I suppose my question would be, does that then permit men to live with women so long as they don't think of themselves as heterosexual companions? I would think not, but perhaps minds differ on that.
God bless!

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #216 on: July 09, 2017, 09:33:31 PM »
Teaching three yr olds sodomy is "normal" is not malicious?
Clearly teaching them anything about sodomy or attempting to "sexualize" them is degenerate and anyone who advocates such is a degenerate, nobody has advocated such in this thread, it's about time this straw man came to an end.

Noting that we are always sexual beings does not imply that degenerate acts toward young people are good or acceptable.

You are better than that, I'd expect it from Charles and Porter in his snappier moments but come on.

If you were to test a toddler's sexual appetites and decide their are for males, then you'd have to teach them something about homosexuality and sexualize them to some extent. Now, if I grant what Mor may have been saying and admit their may be some model researcher's use that correlates, say, love of trucks with appetite for men, then this would not be necessary. However, this is an assumption about whatever study (actually, I think she implies there are many studies) Sr. Vassa is alluding to and one nobody's proved, and any such model would remain quite problematic for other reasons.
I going to again give the caveat that I'm not gay, so I can't speak from any kind of personal experience, but friends of mine who self-identify as gay tell me that they have known they were gay for as long as they can remember. For them, it wasn't even sexual when it started out. When kids in kindergarten have "girlfriends" and "boyfriends", they know nothing about sex or sexuality. It is just a generalized sense of attraction. If kids at a very young age can have that sense of attraction even before they know what sex is, I have to imagine it is either something they are born with or something that develops at a very young age. Could it occur during early brain development? I don't really know. All I know is that people are born or develop at young ages all sorts of disorders which develop into more serious sinful manifestations as they get older. I've know enough people who ended up coming out to me at various points in their lives, most of them as gay, but some of them as transgender, that I really don't know what to think. I don't question that it is sin, but I think that much of how Christians have responded to it has been largely unhelpful and damaging in helping people who struggle with it turn to the Church as a source of healing.

But that's just it: How many are interested in actual healing and how many are interested in validation and being told that they can persist in what the Church deems sinful because "they can't help it" or "it feels like love to them"?
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #217 on: July 09, 2017, 09:35:28 PM »
... It would be essentially the same thing as saying that the Church could de facto bless - without actually blessing - a man and a woman living together outside of marriage, and if they should fall once in awhile and cross the line into premarital sex, all they need do is confess.  I'm sure you realize the Church could never bless such a thing or even commune a man and a woman living this way.  Could you please tell me how the scenario you propose is different in any meaningful way?

Actually, this is not uncommon in the EO in the U.S., and sometimes even seems taken for granted by priests.

If true, that's pathetic.  That's not at all the situation in the Coptic Church.  Truthfully, it's not been my experience with the EO here on the East Coast either.  Either way, this doesn't provide an out for homosexuals arguing for an application of the same lapsed standard to their unions.  It just means that the EO in your neck of the woods needs to get its act together.
So if a man admits to being tempted by homosexual feelings, who should they be permitted to live with? He can't live with a woman because that would be improper, and he can't live with another man for fear of falling into sin. If he wants a room mate, what sex can he live with?

In addition to the options listed by Porter, I would ask what is wrong with living alone?  Lot's of people do it.  Further, do you really not see a difference between him having a male roommate and a male whom he thinks of as his homosexual companion?
They do it if they can afford it. There are lots of people who aren't in a situation that they can do that.

I do see a difference between the two, but I suppose my question would be, does that then permit men to live with women so long as they don't think of themselves as heterosexual companions? I would think not, but perhaps minds differ on that.

Then like Porter said, let them live with their families, etc.  I don't think the Church would or should ever validate a homosexual couple living together on the basis of economics.  I also don't think the Church would or should consent to a heterosexual guy and girl shacking up under any circumstances.
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #218 on: July 09, 2017, 09:38:36 PM »
At any rate, let's consider in general terms a situation where a man is determined to live chastely but thinks of himself as in love, or as suited primarily to friendships with gay men.

What do you say to him?
The underlying basis for the erotic "chaste" romantic gay love is still the theologically and biologically deviant unfulfilled sexual gay urge. Thus the "romantic" chaste gay relationship is still founded on deviancy that misses the mark from the divine ideal desired male female romantic relationship.

The biological and theological ideal is for a male and a female to have romantic coupling. A male male sexual relationship is deviancy according to biology. There are many pieces of evidence for this, like the fact that sexuality and the sexual organs are for the purpose of reproduction. Gay sexual romantic relationships are also deviant in the eyes of the Bible, early Christians, and Church fathers, and the Church tradition.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2017, 09:42:59 PM by rakovsky »
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #219 on: July 09, 2017, 09:43:43 PM »
Teaching three yr olds sodomy is "normal" is not malicious?
Clearly teaching them anything about sodomy or attempting to "sexualize" them is degenerate and anyone who advocates such is a degenerate, nobody has advocated such in this thread, it's about time this straw man came to an end.

Noting that we are always sexual beings does not imply that degenerate acts toward young people are good or acceptable.

You are better than that, I'd expect it from Charles and Porter in his snappier moments but come on.

If you were to test a toddler's sexual appetites and decide their are for males, then you'd have to teach them something about homosexuality and sexualize them to some extent. Now, if I grant what Mor may have been saying and admit their may be some model researcher's use that correlates, say, love of trucks with appetite for men, then this would not be necessary. However, this is an assumption about whatever study (actually, I think she implies there are many studies) Sr. Vassa is alluding to and one nobody's proved, and any such model would remain quite problematic for other reasons.
I going to again give the caveat that I'm not gay, so I can't speak from any kind of personal experience, but friends of mine who self-identify as gay tell me that they have known they were gay for as long as they can remember. For them, it wasn't even sexual when it started out. When kids in kindergarten have "girlfriends" and "boyfriends", they know nothing about sex or sexuality. It is just a generalized sense of attraction. If kids at a very young age can have that sense of attraction even before they know what sex is, I have to imagine it is either something they are born with or something that develops at a very young age. Could it occur during early brain development? I don't really know. All I know is that people are born or develop at young ages all sorts of disorders which develop into more serious sinful manifestations as they get older. I've know enough people who ended up coming out to me at various points in their lives, most of them as gay, but some of them as transgender, that I really don't know what to think. I don't question that it is sin, but I think that much of how Christians have responded to it has been largely unhelpful and damaging in helping people who struggle with it turn to the Church as a source of healing.

But that's just it: How many are interested in actual healing and how many are interested in validation and being told that they can persist in what the Church deems sinful because "they can't help it" or "it feels like love to them"?
I can only speak from personal experiences I've had. I attended a Christian college, and 3 of my good friends came out as gay to me either while at college or shortly after graduation. None of them at the time were looking for any validation; they wanted to be rid of the feelings. With each of them, I prayed and talked with them, sometimes for years. Eventually all three of them left Christianity and became openly gay. It was after years of long, painful talks, lots of prayer, them going through conversion therapy, pretty much everything they could think of to do to not be gay. They tell me they are much happier and contented now, but I remain haunted, wishing that I could have done something differently, maybe gave better advice, helped them in some way, so they wouldn't have abandoned Christ. All that took place before I was Orthodox, so maybe I would give better advice now, I don't know. I don't feel like I'm any more of an expert on it, since all three of them basically failed Christ.  :'(

I just feel haunted by those three experiences. Like I made a big mistake and I don't know what I could have done differently.
God bless!

Offline augustin717

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #220 on: July 09, 2017, 09:46:47 PM »
First of all, if a homosexual couple is not having sex with each other or with anyone else but is in other ways supporting each other as heterosexual couples do, then I don't see why that couple should be treated any differently than any other couple in the parish. The wives of several heterosexual couples in my parish are noticeably pregnant, which does sort of give things away. But there really is no reason to assume that a childless couple, heterosexual or homosexual, are having sex. After all, we all go to confession and presumably all of us confess honestly and repentantly.

Respectfully, I don't agree.  This answer assumes that the only thing wrong with a homosexual union is the actual sex.  It doesn't view homosexual attraction as a lamentable result of the fall, but as something pure and beautiful that is acceptable and even laudatory so long as the line of actual sex is not crossed.  (And who knows exactly what that means?  Where would one draw the line between signs of physical affection, making out, and actual sex?  Would things in either or both of the former categories be allowed so long as they didn't veer into the latter?  Should the homosexual couple be viewed simply as friends. or is there something more there?)  I don't agree with that worldview and I don't agree that it can be supported with Orthodox Christian ontology or anthropology.  It does not speak to the Orthodox conception of marriage as a union between a man and a woman that is first and foremost a path to holiness.

Such an approach is not one that has ever existed in the life of the Church.  It would be an innovation based upon the spirit of the present times and out of line with traditional Christian anthropology.  It would be essentially the same thing as saying that the Church could de facto bless - without actually blessing - a man and a woman living together outside of marriage, and if they should fall once in awhile and cross the line into premarital sex, all they need do is confess.  I'm sure you realize the Church could never bless such a thing or even commune a man and a woman living this way.  Could you please tell me how the scenario you propose is different in any meaningful way?

I see in your last post to Porter that you say that this is the kind of union you are yourself involved in, so I want to be very careful and not be mean to you here, but you said you wanted a truthful dialogue in love, so I hope you don't mind me expressing my point of view respectfully, even if it contradicts something which must be very dear to you.

Presumably there must be at least a few homosexual monastics living chaste lives in same-sex communities, so I see no reason to suppose that homosexual lay people shouldn't be able to follow a similar discipline in couples.  I see no reason why the Church should bless these unions, but I also see no reason why the Church should forbid these couples from forming legal civil unions.

People living together in the world is not the same thing as a monastic community, where people live under obedience to and under the supervision of a monastic superior.  Again, I don't believe that the Church could turn a blind eye to homosexual unions any more than they could to a man and a woman living together without a sacramental marriage.

The question of young people is a difficult one, but it is the one the mother asked Sr Vassa about. And note that this was a question she did not feel comfortable bringing to her priest (for fear of 'outing' her son, if I understood her letter correctly), which does say something about how the Church is perceived by its lay members.

How the Church is perceived by the laity can sometimes be a problem, but I don't believe that changing the Church's traditional means of addressing the subject of homosexual unions and homosexuality in general is the best way to address that problem.  Rather, the Church needs to articulate what has always been her teaching in a loving way, to offer therapeutic and loving means of coping with such problems to its members, and always to uphold the truth that such a thing is indeed a problem and not something that can be blessed, tacitly or explicitly.

Eventually, however, the Church also has to accept that while we always leave the ninety-nine sheep to pursue the one, people also have free will and are free to leave if they feel they cannot abide by the Church's perception of what constitutes morality.  If, at the end of the day, I cannot accept that the Church cannot bless or turn a blind eye to my living with a woman outside of marriage, I have to make a choice about whether or not I can remain in the Church.  I cannot reasonably expect the Church to change to accommodate something - however dear to me - which contradicts her lived theology.

Although most of the commenters here have assumed that Sr Vassa envisions a 14-year-old as dating, a careful reading of her post shows that she talks about dating as a possibility in the child's future. Unless the boy in question himself wants to follow the Church's teachings or his parents lock him in his room until he reaches adulthood, I don't see how they can stop him from dating someone of the same sex at some point. Whether for this lad dating is going to mean hopping into bed for a quicky or socializing and exploring how to relate to another individual he cares about depends largely on the advice he gets from his parents--and his Church. I don't see how this differs at all from the situation of heterosexual young people.

I don't agree with your reading of Sister Vassa's answer that she sees dating as something this young man will embark upon in the nebulous future as opposed to the present or the immediate future.  It makes little difference, however, because either way, I must once again respectfully disagree with your assertions here.  As indicated in previous posts, as a general rule, I don't agree with the mode of parenting in which the parents throw up their hands and accept the "inevitable" as it pertains to what their child will and will not do while living in their home.  As with Mina, this concept is foreign to me.  In my worldview, and the way I was raised, the children abide by their parents rules in keeping with their parents sense of morality until the day they leave the house as independent adults.  I cannot conceive of any parent tolerating behavior they find objectionable from a recalcitrant child.  In this sense, I can agree with you that this aspect of the discussion doesn't differ significantly than the situation of young heterosexual people.  If I don't want, say, my daughter going out with boys outside of a group setting, so long as she lives in my house, that is what she will do.  I don't concede that this necessarily means that she will be defying me behind my back, because I know too many households in which the children were raised right where this was not the case.

Further, once again we come back to how we view the subject of homosexuality in general, as either a result of the fall or as something equal to the union of a man and a woman in the self-sacrificial love which ultimately makes them human as ordained by God and described so eloquently by Fr. John Behr in various places.

I believe we have some fundamental differences in our worldview, FinnJames, and respectfully, I believe that yours is at odds with the traditional teaching of the Church on homosexuality, but I do appreciate the opportunity to dialogue with one another in love.  Thanks for talking with me, and please pray for me as I pray for you.  :)
the canons always actually distinguished between sex and other displays of affection fwiw.
She hears, upon that water without sound,
A voice that cries, “The tomb in Palestine
Is not the porch of spirits lingering.
It is the grave of Jesus, where he lay.”
We live in an old chaos of the sun,
Or old dependency of day and night,
Or island solitude, unsponsored, free,
Of that wide water, inescapable.

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #221 on: July 09, 2017, 09:50:38 PM »
"Making out" isn't just a display of affection. Next you'll be saying no homosexual act is really sex according to the canons because it's not procreative.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #222 on: July 09, 2017, 09:51:09 PM »
Teaching three yr olds sodomy is "normal" is not malicious?
Clearly teaching them anything about sodomy or attempting to "sexualize" them is degenerate and anyone who advocates such is a degenerate, nobody has advocated such in this thread, it's about time this straw man came to an end.

Noting that we are always sexual beings does not imply that degenerate acts toward young people are good or acceptable.

You are better than that, I'd expect it from Charles and Porter in his snappier moments but come on.

If you were to test a toddler's sexual appetites and decide their are for males, then you'd have to teach them something about homosexuality and sexualize them to some extent. Now, if I grant what Mor may have been saying and admit their may be some model researcher's use that correlates, say, love of trucks with appetite for men, then this would not be necessary. However, this is an assumption about whatever study (actually, I think she implies there are many studies) Sr. Vassa is alluding to and one nobody's proved, and any such model would remain quite problematic for other reasons.
I going to again give the caveat that I'm not gay, so I can't speak from any kind of personal experience, but friends of mine who self-identify as gay tell me that they have known they were gay for as long as they can remember. For them, it wasn't even sexual when it started out. When kids in kindergarten have "girlfriends" and "boyfriends", they know nothing about sex or sexuality. It is just a generalized sense of attraction. If kids at a very young age can have that sense of attraction even before they know what sex is, I have to imagine it is either something they are born with or something that develops at a very young age. Could it occur during early brain development? I don't really know. All I know is that people are born or develop at young ages all sorts of disorders which develop into more serious sinful manifestations as they get older. I've know enough people who ended up coming out to me at various points in their lives, most of them as gay, but some of them as transgender, that I really don't know what to think. I don't question that it is sin, but I think that much of how Christians have responded to it has been largely unhelpful and damaging in helping people who struggle with it turn to the Church as a source of healing.

But that's just it: How many are interested in actual healing and how many are interested in validation and being told that they can persist in what the Church deems sinful because "they can't help it" or "it feels like love to them"?
I can only speak from personal experiences I've had. I attended a Christian college, and 3 of my good friends came out as gay to me either while at college or shortly after graduation. None of them at the time were looking for any validation; they wanted to be rid of the feelings. With each of them, I prayed and talked with them, sometimes for years. Eventually all three of them left Christianity and became openly gay. It was after years of long, painful talks, lots of prayer, them going through conversion therapy, pretty much everything they could think of to do to not be gay. They tell me they are much happier and contented now, but I remain haunted, wishing that I could have done something differently, maybe gave better advice, helped them in some way, so they wouldn't have abandoned Christ. All that took place before I was Orthodox, so maybe I would give better advice now, I don't know. I don't feel like I'm any more of an expert on it, since all three of them basically failed Christ.  :'(

I just feel haunted by those three experiences. Like I made a big mistake and I don't know what I could have done differently.

I don't think you should beat yourself up over it.  It's not like you singlehandedly failed them or that it was on you to singlehandedly save them.  God have mercy on them and lead them to His truth.  Like I said before though, men have free will.  If, at some point, someone decides that their sexual identity is more important to them than Christ, that is their sad choice to make.  We can't compel anyone to take up his cross, but we can't pretend it's okay when it's not just to spare people's feelings either, right?

First of all, if a homosexual couple is not having sex with each other or with anyone else but is in other ways supporting each other as heterosexual couples do, then I don't see why that couple should be treated any differently than any other couple in the parish. The wives of several heterosexual couples in my parish are noticeably pregnant, which does sort of give things away. But there really is no reason to assume that a childless couple, heterosexual or homosexual, are having sex. After all, we all go to confession and presumably all of us confess honestly and repentantly.

Respectfully, I don't agree.  This answer assumes that the only thing wrong with a homosexual union is the actual sex.  It doesn't view homosexual attraction as a lamentable result of the fall, but as something pure and beautiful that is acceptable and even laudatory so long as the line of actual sex is not crossed.  (And who knows exactly what that means?  Where would one draw the line between signs of physical affection, making out, and actual sex?  Would things in either or both of the former categories be allowed so long as they didn't veer into the latter?  Should the homosexual couple be viewed simply as friends. or is there something more there?)  I don't agree with that worldview and I don't agree that it can be supported with Orthodox Christian ontology or anthropology.  It does not speak to the Orthodox conception of marriage as a union between a man and a woman that is first and foremost a path to holiness.

Such an approach is not one that has ever existed in the life of the Church.  It would be an innovation based upon the spirit of the present times and out of line with traditional Christian anthropology.  It would be essentially the same thing as saying that the Church could de facto bless - without actually blessing - a man and a woman living together outside of marriage, and if they should fall once in awhile and cross the line into premarital sex, all they need do is confess.  I'm sure you realize the Church could never bless such a thing or even commune a man and a woman living this way.  Could you please tell me how the scenario you propose is different in any meaningful way?

I see in your last post to Porter that you say that this is the kind of union you are yourself involved in, so I want to be very careful and not be mean to you here, but you said you wanted a truthful dialogue in love, so I hope you don't mind me expressing my point of view respectfully, even if it contradicts something which must be very dear to you.

Presumably there must be at least a few homosexual monastics living chaste lives in same-sex communities, so I see no reason to suppose that homosexual lay people shouldn't be able to follow a similar discipline in couples.  I see no reason why the Church should bless these unions, but I also see no reason why the Church should forbid these couples from forming legal civil unions.

People living together in the world is not the same thing as a monastic community, where people live under obedience to and under the supervision of a monastic superior.  Again, I don't believe that the Church could turn a blind eye to homosexual unions any more than they could to a man and a woman living together without a sacramental marriage.

The question of young people is a difficult one, but it is the one the mother asked Sr Vassa about. And note that this was a question she did not feel comfortable bringing to her priest (for fear of 'outing' her son, if I understood her letter correctly), which does say something about how the Church is perceived by its lay members.

How the Church is perceived by the laity can sometimes be a problem, but I don't believe that changing the Church's traditional means of addressing the subject of homosexual unions and homosexuality in general is the best way to address that problem.  Rather, the Church needs to articulate what has always been her teaching in a loving way, to offer therapeutic and loving means of coping with such problems to its members, and always to uphold the truth that such a thing is indeed a problem and not something that can be blessed, tacitly or explicitly.

Eventually, however, the Church also has to accept that while we always leave the ninety-nine sheep to pursue the one, people also have free will and are free to leave if they feel they cannot abide by the Church's perception of what constitutes morality.  If, at the end of the day, I cannot accept that the Church cannot bless or turn a blind eye to my living with a woman outside of marriage, I have to make a choice about whether or not I can remain in the Church.  I cannot reasonably expect the Church to change to accommodate something - however dear to me - which contradicts her lived theology.

Although most of the commenters here have assumed that Sr Vassa envisions a 14-year-old as dating, a careful reading of her post shows that she talks about dating as a possibility in the child's future. Unless the boy in question himself wants to follow the Church's teachings or his parents lock him in his room until he reaches adulthood, I don't see how they can stop him from dating someone of the same sex at some point. Whether for this lad dating is going to mean hopping into bed for a quicky or socializing and exploring how to relate to another individual he cares about depends largely on the advice he gets from his parents--and his Church. I don't see how this differs at all from the situation of heterosexual young people.

I don't agree with your reading of Sister Vassa's answer that she sees dating as something this young man will embark upon in the nebulous future as opposed to the present or the immediate future.  It makes little difference, however, because either way, I must once again respectfully disagree with your assertions here.  As indicated in previous posts, as a general rule, I don't agree with the mode of parenting in which the parents throw up their hands and accept the "inevitable" as it pertains to what their child will and will not do while living in their home.  As with Mina, this concept is foreign to me.  In my worldview, and the way I was raised, the children abide by their parents rules in keeping with their parents sense of morality until the day they leave the house as independent adults.  I cannot conceive of any parent tolerating behavior they find objectionable from a recalcitrant child.  In this sense, I can agree with you that this aspect of the discussion doesn't differ significantly than the situation of young heterosexual people.  If I don't want, say, my daughter going out with boys outside of a group setting, so long as she lives in my house, that is what she will do.  I don't concede that this necessarily means that she will be defying me behind my back, because I know too many households in which the children were raised right where this was not the case.

Further, once again we come back to how we view the subject of homosexuality in general, as either a result of the fall or as something equal to the union of a man and a woman in the self-sacrificial love which ultimately makes them human as ordained by God and described so eloquently by Fr. John Behr in various places.

I believe we have some fundamental differences in our worldview, FinnJames, and respectfully, I believe that yours is at odds with the traditional teaching of the Church on homosexuality, but I do appreciate the opportunity to dialogue with one another in love.  Thanks for talking with me, and please pray for me as I pray for you.  :)
the canons always actually distinguished between sex and other displays of affection fwiw.

Could you give an example of what you mean, please?  Preferably quoting the canons in question?  Are we talking friendly pats on the back or something more graphic?
« Last Edit: July 09, 2017, 09:52:13 PM by Antonious Nikolas »
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline augustin717

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #223 on: July 09, 2017, 09:57:40 PM »
Yes John the Faster for instance gets very technical and scholastic in ranking suns and penances.
She hears, upon that water without sound,
A voice that cries, “The tomb in Palestine
Is not the porch of spirits lingering.
It is the grave of Jesus, where he lay.”
We live in an old chaos of the sun,
Or old dependency of day and night,
Or island solitude, unsponsored, free,
Of that wide water, inescapable.

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #224 on: July 09, 2017, 09:58:35 PM »
Teaching three yr olds sodomy is "normal" is not malicious?
Clearly teaching them anything about sodomy or attempting to "sexualize" them is degenerate and anyone who advocates such is a degenerate, nobody has advocated such in this thread, it's about time this straw man came to an end.

Noting that we are always sexual beings does not imply that degenerate acts toward young people are good or acceptable.

You are better than that, I'd expect it from Charles and Porter in his snappier moments but come on.

If you were to test a toddler's sexual appetites and decide their are for males, then you'd have to teach them something about homosexuality and sexualize them to some extent. Now, if I grant what Mor may have been saying and admit their may be some model researcher's use that correlates, say, love of trucks with appetite for men, then this would not be necessary. However, this is an assumption about whatever study (actually, I think she implies there are many studies) Sr. Vassa is alluding to and one nobody's proved, and any such model would remain quite problematic for other reasons.
I going to again give the caveat that I'm not gay, so I can't speak from any kind of personal experience, but friends of mine who self-identify as gay tell me that they have known they were gay for as long as they can remember. For them, it wasn't even sexual when it started out. When kids in kindergarten have "girlfriends" and "boyfriends", they know nothing about sex or sexuality. It is just a generalized sense of attraction. If kids at a very young age can have that sense of attraction even before they know what sex is, I have to imagine it is either something they are born with or something that develops at a very young age. Could it occur during early brain development? I don't really know. All I know is that people are born or develop at young ages all sorts of disorders which develop into more serious sinful manifestations as they get older. I've know enough people who ended up coming out to me at various points in their lives, most of them as gay, but some of them as transgender, that I really don't know what to think. I don't question that it is sin, but I think that much of how Christians have responded to it has been largely unhelpful and damaging in helping people who struggle with it turn to the Church as a source of healing.

But that's just it: How many are interested in actual healing and how many are interested in validation and being told that they can persist in what the Church deems sinful because "they can't help it" or "it feels like love to them"?
I can only speak from personal experiences I've had. I attended a Christian college, and 3 of my good friends came out as gay to me either while at college or shortly after graduation. None of them at the time were looking for any validation; they wanted to be rid of the feelings. With each of them, I prayed and talked with them, sometimes for years. Eventually all three of them left Christianity and became openly gay. It was after years of long, painful talks, lots of prayer, them going through conversion therapy, pretty much everything they could think of to do to not be gay. They tell me they are much happier and contented now, but I remain haunted, wishing that I could have done something differently, maybe gave better advice, helped them in some way, so they wouldn't have abandoned Christ. All that took place before I was Orthodox, so maybe I would give better advice now, I don't know. I don't feel like I'm any more of an expert on it, since all three of them basically failed Christ.  :'(

I just feel haunted by those three experiences. Like I made a big mistake and I don't know what I could have done differently.

I don't think you should beat yourself up over it.  It's not like you singlehandedly failed them or that it was on you to singlehandedly save them.  God have mercy on them and lead them to His truth.  Like I said before though, men have free will.  If, at some point, someone decides that their sexual identity is more important to them than Christ, that is their sad choice to make.  We can't compel anyone to take up his cross, but we can't pretend it's okay when it's not just to spare people's feelings either, right?
You're right, but through those experiences and those conversations, I can't really see how any of those guys were in a situation where they willingly chose those feelings. Rather, it seems like they were saddled with them for as long as they could remember and then eventually figured it was too hard to fight it anymore and decided to just give in to them. This is where I don't really agree with the "being gay is a choice" thing. Acting out on those feelings is a choice, obviously, but those feelings aren't. At least, that is the distinct impressions I got from my conversations with them.
God bless!