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« Reply #45 on: February 04, 2006, 09:16:57 PM »

Fornication and marriage, by definition, are complete opposites both in type and kind.

Good point, to quote the 26th canon of St. Basil, 'Fornication is not matrimony, but is not even the beginning of matrimony. So that if it be possible to separate persons joined in fornication, this would be the best course to take. But if they insist upon marriage at all costs, let them pay the penalty for fornication, and let them have their way, lest anything should happen that is still worse.'

Of course even St. Basil allows for pastoral considerations, knowing the person is more important than the law, but the point is that Fornication and Marriage have nothing in common.
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« Reply #46 on: February 04, 2006, 09:21:53 PM »

  Granted, homosexuality is a sin and the people who suffer from this need to be brought to healing and repentance through a loving Christian witness- how would you go about that?   

I think we can agree that homosexual acts are sinful; if homosexuality implies the performance of homosexual acts, then we are agreed.  But if we're going to say that attraction to members of the same sex (in a non-lustful way) is sinful, then there's another thing: while all lust is sinful, whether directed at animals, members of the Homo sapiens sapiens who are of the opposite sex, or of the same sex, attraction is not sinful, even if directed at the same sex.  It is problematic insofar as it has no physical outlets that are appropriate, i.e. there is not even a remote possibility in the Church of physically manifesting that attraction.  BUt this does not make it sinful - if it is controlled, and the energy is refocused to God and prayer, then it has positive outlets.  This should be the focus of Orthodox teaching: how can those who cannot engage in physical love (i.e. all the unmarried, whether hetero- or homo-sexual) focus and channel their energies of attraction and lust towards divine purposes, such as study, prayer, scripture, worship, etc.
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« Reply #47 on: February 04, 2006, 09:22:23 PM »

Quote
realizing that God created some people homosexual by nature...
Ummm....no.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #48 on: February 04, 2006, 09:25:56 PM »

Ummm....no.  Roll Eyes

It is hard to imagine that people just wake up one morning and decide they are attracted to the same sex. If homosexuality were not a choice and assuming that God does exist then one could say that God makes people gay.
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« Reply #49 on: February 04, 2006, 09:27:41 PM »

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

Well, from a purely secular standpoint, there is no reason to deny a homosexual couple the full rights of a married couple, unless the constitution/s (national and state) are amended to reflect such prohibitions.  But we as Orthodox, while allowing the secular government to operate in its realm and while dutifully doing those duties to it that do not interfere with the core of our morality ("give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's), it does not mean that when we vote we should separate our morality from our civics.  While not descriminating against homosexuals, giving homosexual couples the rights of married couples promotes the image of a broken home, just as common law marriages do.  Just as we shouldn't permit spousal-priviledges to live-in boy/girlfriends who are trading genetic material with their significant-others, so we shouldn't permit those living in the image of an incomplete family from enjoying the protections and benefits fit only for the complete family.
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« Reply #50 on: February 04, 2006, 09:31:22 PM »

It is hard to imagine that people just wake up one morning and decide they are attracted to the same sex. If homosexuality were not a choice and assuming that God does exist then one could say that God makes people gay.

But making such statement raises one up to a level where they have insight into the motives and actions of God.  You don't think we're at that level, do you?
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« Reply #51 on: February 04, 2006, 09:34:32 PM »

Well, from a purely secular standpoint, there is no reason to deny a homosexual couple the full rights of a married couple, unless the constitution/s (national and state) are amended to reflect such prohibitions.¦nbsp;

Would it be right to amend the Constitution for a religious reason?

But we as Orthodox, while allowing the secular government to operate in its realm and while dutifully doing those duties to it that do not interfere with the core of our morality

How would it interfere with our morality if the state granted gay unions? Our Church would not be forced to recognize their marriage nor perform gay weddings. Again, in a free and democratic society, there must be more than purely religious reasons to forbid gay marriage.
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« Reply #52 on: February 04, 2006, 09:36:24 PM »

But making such statement raises one up to a level where they have insight into the motives and actions of God.  You don't think we're at that level, do you?

Do you think a just God would damn people to hell for what they were born to be?
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« Reply #53 on: February 04, 2006, 09:44:50 PM »

It is hard to imagine that people just wake up one morning and decide they are attracted to the same sex.
Hmmm....I don't recall saying that..  But I guess an analogy would be for one to wake up one day and decide he's an alcoholic.
 
Quote
If homosexuality were not a choice and assuming that God does exist then one could say that God makes people gay.
Homosexuality is not biologically determined, although there may be biological factors that predispose one to ultimately become "oriented" that way. Ultimately, however, it's a learned behavior.
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« Reply #54 on: February 04, 2006, 09:45:45 PM »

Do you think a just God would damn people to hell for what they were born to be?
Matthew (and Doubting Thomas),
The Orthodox view of sin is that it is an illness requiring threapy, and the Orthodox view of passion is that it is a condition which needs to be managed and controlled rather than allowed to control us.
People are born with Diabetes Melitus- should it not be managed with insulin and diet simply because being Diabetic is what they were "born" to be?
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« Reply #55 on: February 04, 2006, 09:47:32 PM »

it's a learned behavior.

From what and whom?
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« Reply #56 on: February 04, 2006, 09:49:11 PM »

From what and whom?
"From what and whom" is any complex learned behavior learned from? Cool

If Homosexuality were completely biologically determined then there would be a 100% concordance rate of it among monozygotic twins.  However the rate (based on studies of 10,000 plus sets of twins) is only around 33%.  In other words, if one twin is gay there's only one-third change that other--who shares exactly the same genes--would be gay also.  So what ever role biology may play, it's certainly not the whole picture.

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« Reply #57 on: February 04, 2006, 09:49:29 PM »

Do you think a just God would damn people to hell for what they were born to be?
¦nbsp; This is a purely protestant notion.God gives us the free will to accept or deny him. If one is condemned to hell, it is because of the choices we make in this life.
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« Reply #58 on: February 04, 2006, 09:50:12 PM »

People are born with Diabetes Melitus- should it not be managed with insulin and diet simply because being Diabetic is what they were "born" to be?

Are people damned to hell for being diabetic? The hypothalamus is the part of the brain which controls sexual desires. Humans with an enlarged hypothalamus are more likely to be attracted to the same sex. If God didn't want people to be gay, why have this design flaw?
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« Reply #59 on: February 04, 2006, 09:51:02 PM »

¦nbsp; This is a purely protestant notion.God gives us the free will to accept or deny him. If one is condemned to hell, it is because of the chooses we make in this life.

Think about this - Would God damn me to hell for having brown hair?
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« Reply #60 on: February 04, 2006, 09:54:09 PM »

Are people damned to hell for being diabetic?
No, but should they not treat their condition and manage it, and be assisted to do so? I think you missed my point.
The Church should be a hospital for the passions, not leave people to spiritually die as a result of them.
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« Reply #61 on: February 04, 2006, 09:54:24 PM »

Think about this - Would God damn me to hell for having brown hair?
What does that have to do with ANYTHING, Matthew?
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« Reply #62 on: February 04, 2006, 09:59:29 PM »

Are people damned to hell for being diabetic? The hypothalamus is the part of the brain which controls sexual desires. Humans with an enlarged hypothalamus are more likely to be attracted to the same sex. If God didn't want people to be gay, why have this design flaw?
Key phrase is "more likely".  Having an enlarged hypothalamus is certainly not causative.  Plus, given the plasticity of the brain/CNS, structures (and neural connections) can become enlarged and reinforced by thoughts and behaviors.  This is basic first year med school knowledge.  So it really is a "chicken and the egg" kind of question.
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« Reply #63 on: February 04, 2006, 10:03:51 PM »

To be honest Matthew your arguments have grown so weak recently , it seems as if you are some kind of automatron. Come on man, my 13 year old is far more persuasive when it come to debates and making his point.
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« Reply #64 on: February 04, 2006, 10:09:06 PM »

If God didn't want people to be gay, why have this design flaw?

Firstly, where did I say that God never allowed the possibility of same sex attraction? And secondly, by this view, Diabetes Melitus is also a "design flaw" allowed by God.

You, Doubting Thomas and Mo all seem to be missing the point. The Orthodox view is that same-sex attraction is a passion (whether genetically determined or not), and that passions are not in themselves sinful. We wont "go to hell" because we have passions. But we are called to master our passions and control them. If we can teach gay people this Orthodox view instead of pushing the protestant view that same sex attraction (and all passions) are sinful and must be wiped out (which is impossible according to the Fathers), but instead, present the Orthodox position that the passions must be managed and transformed, we may actually get somewhere.

"Without temptation, no one is saved."- St. Anthony the Great.
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« Reply #65 on: February 04, 2006, 10:22:01 PM »

and Mo all seem to be missing the point.
"
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« Reply #66 on: February 04, 2006, 10:25:39 PM »

It is hard to imagine that people just wake up one morning and decide they are attracted to the same sex. If homosexuality were not a choice and assuming that God does exist then one could say that God makes people gay.

Homosexual tendencies grow from childhood, and may not reach a height until later, and it may appear to be overnight.
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« Reply #67 on: February 04, 2006, 10:27:47 PM »

...all seem to be missing the point. ...

"Without temptation, no one is saved."- St. Anthony the Great.

Excellent post! I agree completely.
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« Reply #68 on: February 04, 2006, 10:29:45 PM »

t.
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Sorry mate (the Australian word for "homey"), but I understood from your post that you were saying that same-sex attraction was a conscious choice and therefore inherently sinful. Forgive me if I misunderstood.
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« Reply #69 on: February 04, 2006, 10:36:24 PM »

Excellent post! I agree completely.

Good grief! First GiC, and now you? What's wrong with me?!!! Cheesy
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« Reply #70 on: February 04, 2006, 10:39:19 PM »

Sorry mate (the Australian word for "homey"), but I understood from your post that you were saying that same-sex attraction was a conscious choice and therefore inherently sinful. Forgive me if I misunderstood.
¦nbsp; George .. You and I spend far to much time arguing. Forgive me for my many, many offences against you.
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« Reply #71 on: February 04, 2006, 10:51:18 PM »

�  George ..despite our differences, you and I spend far to much time arguing. Forgive me for my many, many offences against you.
God forgives, and so do I.
And forgive me for my offences against you.
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« Reply #72 on: February 04, 2006, 10:55:55 PM »

What does that have to do with ANYTHING, Matthew?

If homosexuality is an inborn physical and personality trait, one could not justly condemn a person for having it.
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« Reply #73 on: February 04, 2006, 10:58:52 PM »

Firstly, where did I say that God never allowed the possibility of same sex attraction?

What we are speaking of is whether or not people are born with the tendency to feel attracted to the same sex. Why would God create same-sex attraction if He did not intend on people to act on it?
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« Reply #74 on: February 04, 2006, 11:01:53 PM »

What we are speaking of is whether or not people are born with the tendency to feel attracted to the same sex.
No Matthew, that's what you are speaking of. What the Church says is that it doesn't matter whether people are born with it or not, it is still a passion.
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« Reply #75 on: February 04, 2006, 11:04:08 PM »

To be honest Matthew your arguments have grown so weak recently , it seems as if you are some kind of automatron. Come on man, my 13 year old is far more persuasive when it come to debates and making his point.

Does the truth need its own argument?
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« Reply #76 on: February 04, 2006, 11:08:22 PM »

Would it be right to amend the Constitution for a religious reason?

In a system of a democratic republic (I'm speaking of the ideal, and not of a particular nation for which debate is banned in this forum) the people have the right to determine whether or not the Constitution can be amended for religious reasons, when they vote on it in referrendum.  One cannot and should not apply restrictions on the motivations of the electorate, for it undermines the very fabric of the system of democratic voting.

How would it interfere with our morality if the state granted gay unions? Our Church would not be forced to recognize their marriage nor perform gay weddings. Again, in a free and democratic society, there must be more than purely religious reasons to forbid gay marriage.   

What interferes with our morality is the belief that one can personally separate their beliefs from their action in the secular sphere.  You are right that for elected officials there must be more than purely religious reasons to forbid gay marriage, but not for the electorate; if they elect a judge whose platform is religious adherence, then that is their mandate; if they vote in referrendum for a constitutional amendment, then it is the will of the people, which is the only inviolate piece of the democratic system.
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« Reply #77 on: February 04, 2006, 11:14:34 PM »

One cannot and should not apply restrictions on the motivations of the electorate, for it undermines the very fabric of the system of democratic voting.

Then we might as well throw the establishment clause and the freedom of religion it protects out the window. The reason for having a Constitutional Republic is to protect the minority from the tyrrany of the majority.

What interferes with our morality is the belief that one can personally separate their beliefs from their action in the secular sphere. 

Are you arguing that people should be able to deny gays jobs and opportunities for advancement merely for their sexual preference?
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« Reply #78 on: February 04, 2006, 11:22:08 PM »

Do you think a just God would damn people to hell for what they were born to be?

My statement was basically saying your claim that "one could say that God makes people gay" is too much of a stretch; unless there is concrete proof that God makes people gay, don't even postulate it.
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« Reply #79 on: February 04, 2006, 11:26:45 PM »

My statement was basically saying your claim that "one could say that God makes people gay" is too much of a stretch; unless there is concrete proof that God makes people gay, don't even postulate it.

If we are speaking of the scientific evidence, without allowing personal bias, would the preponderance of evidence favor that homosexuality is an inborn personality trait? 
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« Reply #80 on: February 04, 2006, 11:35:53 PM »

Then we might as well throw the establishment clause and the freedom of religion it protects out the window. The reason for having a Constitutional Republic is to protect the minority from the tyrrany of the majority.   

And the establishment clause was designed to protect the States from the Federal Government establishing a religion that conficted or suppressed the state religion.  Even after the adoption of the Federal Constitution there was a legal establishment of state religion.

Are you arguing that people should be able to deny gays jobs and opportunities for advancement merely for their sexual preference?   

I would argue that the government has little place to restrict what private business do in their hiring practices; I think the market and economics will punish them enough.
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« Reply #81 on: February 04, 2006, 11:36:45 PM »

If we are speaking of the scientific evidence, without allowing personal bias, would the preponderance of evidence favor that homosexuality is an inborn personality trait? 

Well, if you can refute what Doubting Thomas posted earlier, then maybe; but until then, there has been a statement with evidence that homosexuality cannot be classified as an inborn personality trait.
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« Reply #82 on: February 04, 2006, 11:49:04 PM »

I would argue that the government has little place to restrict what private business do in their hiring practices; I think the market and economics will punish them enough.

Then we might as well forget that the civil rights movement ever happened.
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« Reply #83 on: February 04, 2006, 11:52:38 PM »

Well, if you can refute what Doubting Thomas posted earlier, then maybe; but until then, there has been a statement with evidence that homosexuality cannot be classified as an inborn personality trait.

The first line of evidence that we must consider is how often and in how many species that homosexuality occurs in nature:

The Natural "Crime Against Nature"
A Brief Survey of Homosexual Behaviors In Animals
http://www.bidstrup.com/sodomy.htm
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« Reply #84 on: February 04, 2006, 11:54:15 PM »

The civil rights movement's biggest victories were in the areas of desegregating institutions of learning (which receive federal funds), publicly-operated systems (like public transport) and the government in general.  Statements like "we might as well forget" are useless in that this is impossible; my statement was made with the civil-rights movement and its reprecussions being a prerequisite.  The civil rights movement has gotten us to a point where my idea is possible, since it raised public awareness and changed general public opinion to the point where racism (and sexism, to a lesser degree) are not as socially acceptable as they were back then.
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« Reply #85 on: February 04, 2006, 11:56:54 PM »

The Natural "Crime Against Nature"
A Brief Survey of Homosexual Behaviors In Animals
http://www.bidstrup.com/sodomy.htm

As an Orthodox Christian who believes at least in the spiritual authority of scripture, you cannot make comparisons between the human species and the rest of the animal kingdom.  What you do need to address are the two claims, one being that genetics cannot be used to prove homosexuality as a biological predisposition because of the lack of complete 1:1 correlation in identical twins; and the fact that enlarged hypothalimus does not necessitate homosexuality.
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« Reply #86 on: February 05, 2006, 12:05:52 AM »

The civil rights movement has gotten us to a point where my idea is possible, since it raised public awareness and changed general public opinion to the point where racism (and sexism, to a lesser degree) are not as socially acceptable as they were back then.

What good are civil rights without a government that will protect them?
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« Reply #87 on: February 05, 2006, 12:08:20 AM »

As an Orthodox Christian who believes at least in the spiritual authority of scripture, you cannot make comparisons between the human species and the rest of the animal kingdom.  What you do need to address are the two claims, one being that genetics cannot be used to prove homosexuality as a biological predisposition because of the lack of complete 1:1 correlation in identical twins; and the fact that enlarged hypothalimus does not necessitate homosexuality.
I think we are getting hung up on the nature/nurture issue too much, as though the question of whether same-sex attraction is a passion or not depends on this. It doesn't depend on this. Alcoholism is also a passion (yes, cleveland, I'm afraid it is!) but if an alcoholic stops drinking for the rest of their life, they have conquered their passion instead of letting it conquer them. And although there is some evidence that there is a genetic predisposition towards increasing the chances of becoming alcoholic, genetics alone cannot determine who will or will not become alcoholic.
And the question of whether God makes people gay or not is also moot. We Orthodox hold that we are the result of generativity, not creation. Our soul does not come into being out of nothing, but is generated from the souls of both our parents, just as our genetic code is. So God didn't "make me", my parents did, and their parents made them, and their parents made them and so on all the way back to Adam and Eve who alone were originally created by God. So who I am is a result of of who all my ancestors were before me, and my particular passions are a result of the same. What I choose to do with this is entirely up to me- and of course, my knowledge and understanding of this.
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« Reply #88 on: February 05, 2006, 12:09:24 AM »

I'm not going to respond to Matthew's continued posts on Civil Rights - this is totally off topic; you should be building up your arguments on human sexuality using the countless experiments and studies that have manipulated animal genetics (specifically fruit flies, according to GiC) that have successfully changed the sexual orientation of said animals (specifically fruit flies, according to GiC).
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« Reply #89 on: February 05, 2006, 12:10:59 AM »

{ASIDE}

Alcoholism is also a passion (yes, cleveland, I'm afraid it is!) but if an alcoholic stops drinking for the rest of their life, they have conquered their passion instead of letting it conquer them.

Coming from the deposed Archbishop of Stoli, I find the note interesting; I will never deny that alchoholism is a passion, and fortunately I suffer very little from it.

{/ASIDE}
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