Fr Josiah Trenham in Tbilisi: Homofascists not Welcome

Velsigne

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Clemente said:
minasoliman said:
NicholasMyra said:
Mina, I would contend that inner intent isn't that important at this stage. I mean if someone is causing a lot of damage, the first priority is to get it shut down, intention analysis can come after if at all.
I don't disagree, and in this particular example of him in Georgia, it is something that requires a strong response from us.  But in the meantime, everything else you mentioned needs backing.  You can't convict the person unless you are able to show the damage it is causing and what exactly he is doing.
Shut it down! A strong response! Kristallnacht!

Have you even watched the video? The whole video? He used the term "homofascist" a total of one time to describe legislative efforts on the part of the gay lobby to restrict religious freedom in California and in particular, Christian schools in California.

Although so far it hasn't passed, California Senate Bill 1146 would substantially interfere with the ability of faith-based colleges and universities to teach religion, hold chapel services, and maintain separate bathrooms based on sex. The provisions of the proposed bill represent a dramatic narrowing of religious freedom in California. http://www.opposesb1146.com

He is using the term "homofascist" to describe a well-organised LGBT lobby that is fighting to promulgate that agenda that would restrict freedom of religion. His speech to the World Congress on Families was very well received; this is the second time he has been invited to speak.

Now, I know there is a considerable contingent here at OC.net that is sympathetic to the homosexual lobby and would react at any public denunciation of their agenda. Orthodox priests like Father Trenham are always going to be their bête noire because he advocates a traditional Orthodox view of sex and marriage. However he says it, they are going to fulminate against him.

I don't agree with Father Trenham on everything and I am actually fine with legalised gay marriage. But I appreciate his perspective and he is right to use the term "homofascist" in this context to describe a well-organised lobby with a radical agenda that would circumscribe freedom.

And I would hope that more level-headed posters would actually consider the context of the comments before they start breaking glass.

Thank you very much for pointing out yet another attempted encroachment on not only on our religious freedom, but on educational freedom as well. 

I posted an article sometime back about an Orthodox woman who was denied her graduate degree at the last moment because one lesbian who actively proselytized in the high school took offense when the grad student privately questioned her whether it was right to be promoting a clearly political sexual agenda in a school.  The lesbian lobbied the university, gave the woman who had always had stellar grades and reviews a fail, and demanded she be removed from the program just prior to graduation.  The grad student filed suit after investing a tremendous amount of money in her degree with a private "Christian" school who were all to happy to bend to the gay sex political agenda.   

These types of these religious bigotry cases have been tried before the Supreme Court in US history and have not been upheld, but they also had a Supreme Court of a different type of mind: 

http://scholarship.law.wm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1456&context=facpubs

The Gay Lobby is in company with the Ku Klux Klan with the Masons who made many assaults on Catholics, but actually took over the State government in the 1920s and attempted to enact laws that banned private schools outright.  The nuns stood up to them and won:

http://pdxscholar.library.pdx.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3043&context=open_access_etds



I have no personal criticism or opinion of Fr. Josiah if that is the true topic of this thread. 


 

Velsigne

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Incorporation of Rights

The First Amendment initially only applied to the federal government. The Mormons could challenge the Anti-Bigamy Act because it was an act of Congress, the only governmental body named in the First Amendment.

But following the Civil War, the 14th Amendment was added to the Constitution. Among its provisions was the due process clause: “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law . . . .” Beginning in the 1920s, the Supreme Court began to interpret the due process clause as incorporating the fundamental rights of the Constitution and thus protecting individuals against the actions of state and local governments. On a case-by-case basis, the court has decided which rights are incorporated into the 14th Amendment’s due process clause. Once a fundamental right has been incorporated, it protects persons from unconstitutional laws and actions of their state and local governments and not just the federal government.
http://www.crf-usa.org/resources/the-free-exercise-of-religion-in-america
 

Cyrillic

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Clemente said:
Have you even watched the video? The whole video? He used the term "homofascist" a total of one time to describe legislative efforts on the part of the gay lobby to restrict religious freedom in California and in particular, Christian schools in California.
Using the word 'homofascists' for the kind of people who would infringe upon religious freedom and the conscience of others in the name of 'gay rights' doesn't seem to be too inaccurate.

Makes you wonder who the real drama queens are, with all the pearl-clutching going on around here.
 

Mor Ephrem

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NicholasMyra said:
Mor Ephrem said:
St Basil was not talking about crosses. 
He was talking about material goods, of which crosses are a sort. You only have to look on galleria byzantium to see some particularly stony examples.

Mor Ephrem said:
Crosses made of "stones and dust", made of materials "as they are in this age", are not "stones and dust" of one type as opposed to "stones and dust" of another.
What is the demonstration for this?
John of Damascus. 

And do you or do you not acknowledge the tension I spoke of in my previous posts?
I do, but not quite the way you do. 
 

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Cyrillic said:
Clemente said:
Have you even watched the video? The whole video? He used the term "homofascist" a total of one time to describe legislative efforts on the part of the gay lobby to restrict religious freedom in California and in particular, Christian schools in California.
Using the word 'homofascists' for the kind of people who would infringe upon religious freedom and the conscience of others in the name of 'gay rights' doesn't seem to be too inaccurate.

Makes you wonder who the real drama queens are, with all the pearl-clutching going on around here.
Fr. Josiah is not as "out there" as this thread seems to suggest.  His commentary and stance on certain social/cultural issues in America and the World are fairly representative of a large swath of even Orthodox Christians in the United States.  There is certainly a spectrum of opinions on these issues with plenty of commentators who would disagree with Fr. Josiah.

People reading this thread should also be away that Fr. Josiah's ministry is not limited to attending events like the one in the video.  I've been listening to his homilies on AFR "The Arena" for five years and I've found them to be edifying.  I've also appreciated certain offerings from Patristic Nectar - especially his catechism series.  As someone from a Reformed background, I've appreciated his book Rock and Sand. 
 

wgw

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Have any of you chaps bothered to click through to the video Fr. John Peck linked to?  Fr. Trenham delivered a beautiful homily on the importance of the dignity of the human person, every human person, quoting St. Symeon the New Theologian.

Now, I am not denying that Fr. Trenham also discussed homosexuality or that the left wing site misquoted him; actually I would very much like to see what Fr. Trenham had to say about homosexuality at that conference, in its entirety.

But whatever he said, it must be viewed in the context of his initial homility on the vital dignity of every human person, which so far I have seen no mention of in the extremely heated rhetoric of this thread.  I would in particular stress that he did not in the speech linked to even mention homosexuality per se; he seemed more specifically focused on the violations of human dignity posed by abortion.  Fr. Trenham (whose Latin is particularly beautiful) specifically rejected the idea of categories of humans who were inherently inferior to others; this was in the context of abortion, but I think we should keep in mind his speech on the Incarnation, human dignity and abortion when we read his remarks on homosexuality.

If someone could actually link us to a transcript of those remarks unedited and entire, or a video thereof, I for one should be much obliged, as I would actually like to hear what he said and then respond to that as such, as opposed engaging in an unproductive debate over mere soundbytes.

By the way, regardless of how any of you feel about Fr. Trenham, do watch the video Fr. Peck linked to, as it is a beautiful speech on the human person, which reminded me of many of the great orations delivered by my beloved Metropolitan Kallistos Ware on this same subject, albeit Fr. Trenham seems interested in exploring the the practical implications of this; I was quite moved and provoked by his beautiful observation that had we grown up in Bethlehem at the same time as our Lord we might well have played tag with him.  So please, watch the video before rushing to condemn, and let us also have the full text of what he said that has proven controversial, because as most of you know, if you quote someone partially and out of context, you can adversely impact the interpretation of their statements.

Edit: here is the actual video, so I suppose I am rather obliged to myself for bothering to look kt up on YouTube, but not terribly since I gave everyone else mere seconds to find it:  :p

https://youtu.be/HNXe4P_6dhw

~

Be sure to watch this in the context of the video linked to by Fr. John Peck, from the OP, which as it turns out is from the same conference, held last year.  I shall be watching what Fr. Trenham said this year presently, and then I may or may not have something to say in response to some of the posts.
 

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Upon watching the video I found it to be a forceful and eloquent protest against the LGBT movement, expressed from the persepctive of a truly benign and unselfish homophobia; that is to say, a brotherly concern for what will happen to people who openly embrace these sins on the day of jusgement, given the specific fate of Sodom.

Now one can argue that there are other sins we are turning a blind eye to, but I think this is not the case; the Orthodox Church as a whole has priests who condemn daily all sorts of sin, while they themselves struggle and occasionally succumb to the passions which produce such hamartia.

If we are to say that theosis is the objective of Orthodoxy, we cannot ignore what was said by Moses, our Lord and St. Paul; we should instead accuse ourselves, because all of us have had unclean thoughts about sexuality, and we must aim to govern and purify this passion either by taming it and directing it towards the betterment of society through reproduction in marriage, or suppressing it outright in monasticism (which by the way is not inherently the ideal course of action for the homosexually inclined; this instead varies and is something to be discussed with ones confessor).

Specifically in reply to the justifiable, but I believe, invalid, concerns expressed by Minasoliman:

I take no offense at his delivering this speech in Georgia; the Georgian laws on the subject seem proper and correct, the main problems being a culture of somewhat heavy handed policing inherited from the Soviet Militsya.  The Soviet police were always organized as a military force, and videos one finds on the Internet show that Russian police can be quite ferocious.  The use of excess force in enforcing the laws is sinful and represents a form of abuse of the human image which Fr. Trenham has previously held to be sacred, and tempering the police to act with a minimum of force, something the British police have historically enjoyed a good reputation for in decades past, should be on the agenda of the Orthodox church in each Orthodox country.  Also the police must protect people from being assaulted, whatever the reason, and I did not see Fr. Trenham inciting or encouraging the Georgian people to go beyond the law and impose vigilante justice on homosexuals.

However, I think you were very correct to raise this point; I recently came across a very interesting book on law, order and policing in the former Soviet Union which I believe is directly applicanle to your concerns as well as other recent controversies such as Euromaidan, which I will dig up a URL for if desired.  Essentially, however, the problem devolves to a purely political question of law and order, and how these are to be enforced, but God's law remains the same everywhere, so thus it would not matter if Fr. Trenham had delivered this speech in Tblisi or here in Los Angeles.
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
NicholasMyra said:
Mor Ephrem said:
St Basil was not talking about crosses. 
He was talking about material goods, of which crosses are a sort. You only have to look on galleria byzantium to see some particularly stony examples.

Mor Ephrem said:
Crosses made of "stones and dust", made of materials "as they are in this age", are not "stones and dust" of one type as opposed to "stones and dust" of another.
What is the demonstration for this?
John of Damascus. 

And do you or do you not acknowledge the tension I spoke of in my previous posts?
I do, but not quite the way you do.
1. What is the demonstration for crosses etc. not being a sort of stone and dust via St. John?

2. Ok, what do you think of Iconodule's take on the protest, then? More acceptable?
 

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augustin717 said:
Hoping I won't earn any further demerits on this forum , I wanna ask : would a formula such as the one below been acceptable ?
" I don't know Fr Trentham personally , but his public  persona comes across as what is commonly called  a drama -queen, or histrionic in the medical literature ..."
You must embrace skepticism viz. predicate-subject relation as follows:

It appears there is a constant conjunction of so-and-so and drama-queenishness.
 

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NicholasMyra said:
Mor Ephrem said:
NicholasMyra said:
Mor Ephrem said:
St Basil was not talking about crosses. 
He was talking about material goods, of which crosses are a sort. You only have to look on galleria byzantium to see some particularly stony examples.

Mor Ephrem said:
Crosses made of "stones and dust", made of materials "as they are in this age", are not "stones and dust" of one type as opposed to "stones and dust" of another.
What is the demonstration for this?
John of Damascus. 

And do you or do you not acknowledge the tension I spoke of in my previous posts?
I do, but not quite the way you do.
1. What is the demonstration for crosses etc. not being a sort of stone and dust via St. John?

2. Ok, what do you think of Iconodule's take on the protest, then? More acceptable?
.
I've seen used crosses  and worn out vestments being disposed of. Other than the action being carried out  in a "clean space" there was no fuss about it and indeed they were treated as dust basically.
 

Georgios Scholarios

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Cyrillic said:
Clemente said:
Have you even watched the video? The whole video? He used the term "homofascist" a total of one time to describe legislative efforts on the part of the gay lobby to restrict religious freedom in California and in particular, Christian schools in California.
Using the word 'homofascists' for the kind of people who would infringe upon religious freedom and the conscience of others in the name of 'gay rights' doesn't seem to be too inaccurate.

Makes you wonder who the real drama queens are, with all the pearl-clutching going on around here.
The issue is that "homo" is a slur, so it's no wonder why people take offense at the term "homofascist." Something like "LGBT fascists" would have drawn less criticism. Fr. Josiah was not wrong to criticize certain extreme LGBT legal actions, but using an offensive term to do so is unacceptable (although, perhaps he did so unwittingly).
 

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Georgios Scholarios said:
Cyrillic said:
Clemente said:
Have you even watched the video? The whole video? He used the term "homofascist" a total of one time to describe legislative efforts on the part of the gay lobby to restrict religious freedom in California and in particular, Christian schools in California.
Using the word 'homofascists' for the kind of people who would infringe upon religious freedom and the conscience of others in the name of 'gay rights' doesn't seem to be too inaccurate.

Makes you wonder who the real drama queens are, with all the pearl-clutching going on around here.
The issue is that "homo" is a slur, so it's no wonder why people take offense at the term "homofascist." Something like "LGBT fascists" would have drawn less criticism. Fr. Josiah was not wrong to criticize certain extreme LGBT legal actions, but using an offensive term to do so is unacceptable (although, perhaps he did so unwittingly).
"Homofascist" is a play on the term "homophobic".  I doubt there is any person employing the term "homofascist" who hasn't already been pegged a "homophobe". Are those who use the word "homophobic" also guilty of giving life to a slur?
 

Georgios Scholarios

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Hinterlander said:
Georgios Scholarios said:
Cyrillic said:
Clemente said:
Have you even watched the video? The whole video? He used the term "homofascist" a total of one time to describe legislative efforts on the part of the gay lobby to restrict religious freedom in California and in particular, Christian schools in California.
Using the word 'homofascists' for the kind of people who would infringe upon religious freedom and the conscience of others in the name of 'gay rights' doesn't seem to be too inaccurate.

Makes you wonder who the real drama queens are, with all the pearl-clutching going on around here.
The issue is that "homo" is a slur, so it's no wonder why people take offense at the term "homofascist." Something like "LGBT fascists" would have drawn less criticism. Fr. Josiah was not wrong to criticize certain extreme LGBT legal actions, but using an offensive term to do so is unacceptable (although, perhaps he did so unwittingly).
"Homofascist" is a play on the term "homophobic".  I doubt there is any person employing the term "homofascist" who hasn't already been pegged a "homophobe". Are those who use the word "homophobic" also guilty of giving life to a slur?
Did Fr. Josiah mean to use a slur? Probably not. But it's very easy to take it that way: just as easy in fact (and, in my opinion, easier) than to take it as a play on the word "homophobic" (which seems a bit far-fetched to me). He should have been more careful.
 

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Of cours one should be allowed to use the term homofascist in non-ironic ways; makes weeding out certain intellectual deficiencies so much easier.
 

NicholasMyra

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Cyrillic said:
Not everyone tailors his speeches to please the oversensitive PC police.
This isn't about triggering or PC or sensitivity. None of these need to be appealed to in order to explain why evil was done. I don't believe anyone in this thread has objected on such terms though maybe I missed it.
 

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NicholasMyra said:
Cyrillic said:
Not everyone tailors his speeches to please the oversensitive PC police.
This isn't about triggering or PC or sensitivity. None of these need to be appealed to in order to explain why evil was done. I don't believe anyone in this thread has objected on such terms though maybe I missed it.
I was referring to Georgios' posts, especially #190 and #192.
 

Georgios Scholarios

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Cyrillic said:
Not everyone tailors his speeches to please the oversensitive PC police.
I never mentioned "the PC police." He should choose his words carefully to avoid causing unneeded offense, which is stated in 1 Cor 10:32-33, 1 Pet 2:12, and James 3. I'm sure you'll agree that just because Christ used harsh language (to corrupt religious leaders and people who were trying to kill him) is certainly not an automatic excuse to speak sharply whenever we want.

Furthermore, I wasn't simply saying he should do so to protect peoples' feelings, I also had in mind the possibility that some extremists might take his language as an excuse to act violently.
 

wgw

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NicholasMyra said:
Cyrillic said:
Not everyone tailors his speeches to please the oversensitive PC police.
This isn't about triggering or PC or sensitivity. None of these need to be appealed to in order to explain why evil was done. I don't believe anyone in this thread has objected on such terms though maybe I missed it.
There was no evil.  Did you view the speech?  Fr. Trenham merely gave an accurate history of the gay rights movement, and enumerated the Biblical prohibitions against it as well as those found in other faiths, and stressed the need for countries like Georgia to not succumb to the pressure to give in to the hypocritical intolerance inherent in this movement. 

Also, everything he said must be taken in the context of his speech last year on human dignity; those who he calls "homo fascists" still posess the image of God and are of sacred worth, even though they intentionally distort that image through abuse of the reproductive faculty.
 

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People here seem to be assuming that because Fr Trenham was speaking in Tbilisi his audience was Georgian. But the World Congress of Families is a US-based international group. Here is a link to their website http://worldcongress.org/ and to the Wikipedia article on them https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Congress_of_Families.

wgw said:
Also, everything he said must be taken in the context of his speech last year on human dignity; those who he calls "homo fascists" still posess the image of God and are of sacred worth, even though they intentionally distort that image through abuse of the reproductive faculty.
Since not everyone who attends a World Congress of Families gathering is Orthodox, there is no guarantee that everyone in Fr Trenham's audience would have agreed with the phrase in bold type above.

By the way, Fr Trenham has a Presbyterian background and Protestant seminary education, which may account for his at times fiery/'theatrical' homily and public speaking style.
 
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