Yet Another Gay Marriage Thread

Homosexuality comes up frequenbtly on Orthodox forums because..

  • Some folks who need Prozac aren't on it yet.

    Votes: 20 27.8%
  • Since drunkeness, adultery, theft and dishonesty have been eradicated it's the only sin left to figh

    Votes: 10 13.9%
  • Apparently most Orthodox Christians have lots of gay family, friends and associates

    Votes: 7 9.7%
  • Orthodox forums attract a lot of self torturing closet cases and men with doubts about thier own mas

    Votes: 20 27.8%
  • Some folks who need Prozac aren't on it yet.

    Votes: 15 20.8%

  • Total voters
    72
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Ortho_cat

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Heorhij said:
Ortho_cat said:
The scriptures and the Church's interpretation of the scriptures on the issue of homosexual relationships are rather clear, I believe.
Relationships yes, mariage - no. There is simply no concept of homosexual marriage in Scripture, like there is no concept of biological evolution, electricity, automobiles, airplanes, protons, neutrons, women having rights independently of fathers or husbands, integrals, differentials, other galaxies...
Marriage seems to me to be a logical extension of relationships in this case.
 

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I think Witega's discussion of the Fathers' knowledge of the passions is right on - "The Fathers *always* recognized that desires arise naturally from the human soul without any action of the will." If there's one thing the ancients knew well it's this, despite not knowing about the concept of genetics, as we know it today.

Again, I think that in general, any Christian, and any potential convert, ought to be very careful about attributing ignorance to Holy Scripture. But even more careful about assuming that we know better today! We might end up being the ignorant ones!

By the way, for an elevated discussion of Christian sexuality, one that goes beyond rights, grievances, conflation of the four loves, etc., I would recommend the following two web sites:

http://eve-tushnet.blogspot.com/
http://johnheard.blogspot.com/

In particular, Eve's article at:

http://www.commonwealmagazine.org/article.php3?id_article=1957
 

yitbsal

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Heorhij said:
yitbsal said:
This is why I think that a 'cafeteria Orthodox', one that accepts some doctrine but rejects others, is simply in a transitional period towards complete unbelief. If one cannot, for example, believe scripture and the fathers on their teachings of sexuality, how can one believe their teachings on Christ's divinity, a matter far more fantastic and unbelievable than the teachings on sexuality?!
Well, as one of these people who are, according to your judgment, on their way towards complete unbelief, I might try to answer this. I don't know how, but I just believe their teachings on Christ's divinity (and humanity as well). I think these teachings principally cannot be verified by science. They are outside of the scope of science, like, for example, poetry.

On the other hand, human sexuality is most definitely addressable by science. When people had no idea about genes and genetic determination of sexuality, they could not have possibly conceive that a homosexual simply cannot stop being a homosexual. Similarly, they most certainly thought that once you have physical appearance of a man or a woman, you ARE a man or a woman. Knowing what we now know about transsexuals, we no longer believe that this matter is so simple.

BTW, in patristic sources that I have studied, depression is called a sinful passion, and we are called to fight it in ourselves with the help of prayer and fasting. While prayer and fasting are certainly great, a person with a serotonin imbalance in the brain simply CANNOT be cured of depression unless he or she takes a special medication that inhibits serotonin reuptake. Yet another subject that our dear Fathers could never have predicted...
I think Witega has correctly answered your question about whether the Fathers properly understood sexuality and depression.

On your point about 'outside of the scope of science', I would submit to you that in a sense, either nothing is outside the scope of science and social science or everything is outside the scope of science and social science. Take the example of miracles. We use a combination of science and social science to claim that there's no such thing as a miracle. Science, because we continue to find everyday more and more 'scientific' explanations for phenomena previously unexplained and perhaps attributed to miracles. Hence, science gains more and more credibility as the single source of knowledge. Social science, because psychology and sociology are helping us understand how people are deluded into assuming miracles where there are none.

So I would say that for anyone today to believe in the miracle of Christ's divinity, one has to some extent reject science and social science, or better yet submit them to or sublimate them under Christian belief.

The same for sexuality. Our current scientific understanding, heavily based on evolutionary biology, is that the 'ideal' (let's ignore the definition for now) is intimate relationships of pairs of individuals. Nature has programmed us to desire this, and any other course, such as monasticism, for instance, is unhealthy (the opposite of ideal). This of course goes against the Christian understanding of sexuality. As a Christian, by definition, I submit to the Christian understanding.
 

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yitbsal said:
The same for sexuality. Our current scientific understanding, heavily based on evolutionary biology, is that the 'ideal' (let's ignore the definition for now) is intimate relationships of pairs of individuals. Nature has programmed us to desire this, and any other course, such as monasticism, for instance, is unhealthy (the opposite of ideal). This of course goes against the Christian understanding of sexuality. As a Christian, by definition, I submit to the Christian understanding.
Well, monasticism is hardly "unhealthy" from the point of view of science (not only from the Christian point of view) - FOR THOSE WHO DESIRE IT. There are people who really prefer celibacy. BTW, there are examples of people who were not monastics and yet, according to their own testimony, never engaged in any sexual activity (Immanuel Kant, C.S. Lewis). Sexual abstinence is not in any way unhealthy in and by itself. But for those who do not desire it, and, moreover, CANNOT BEAR IT, monasticism (or "monasticism") is hell. AFAIK, that's exactly why our Lord said in the Gospels, "He that is able to receive it, let him receive it" (Matt. 19:12). And St. Paul advised people, in case they were not like him (who never touched a woman), to "marry rather than to burn."
 

Jibrail Almuhajir

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yitbsal said:
I think Witega's discussion of the Fathers' knowledge of the passions is right on - "The Fathers *always* recognized that desires arise naturally from the human soul without any action of the will." If there's one thing the ancients knew well it's this, despite not knowing about the concept of genetics, as we know it today.

Again, I think that in general, any Christian, and any potential convert, ought to be very careful about attributing ignorance to Holy Scripture. But even more careful about assuming that we know better today! We might end up being the ignorant ones!

By the way, for an elevated discussion of Christian sexuality, one that goes beyond rights, grievances, conflation of the four loves, etc., I would recommend the following two web sites:

http://eve-tushnet.blogspot.com/
http://johnheard.blogspot.com/

In particular, Eve's article at:

http://www.commonwealmagazine.org/article.php3?id_article=1957
Welcome to the forum, yitbsal!  :)  BTW, are these links Eastern Orthodox?  And what faith are you a member of?
 

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Heorhij said:
yitbsal said:
The same for sexuality. Our current scientific understanding, heavily based on evolutionary biology, is that the 'ideal' (let's ignore the definition for now) is intimate relationships of pairs of individuals. Nature has programmed us to desire this, and any other course, such as monasticism, for instance, is unhealthy (the opposite of ideal). This of course goes against the Christian understanding of sexuality. As a Christian, by definition, I submit to the Christian understanding.
Well, monasticism is hardly "unhealthy" from the point of view of science (not only from the Christian point of view) - FOR THOSE WHO DESIRE IT. There are people who really prefer celibacy. BTW, there are examples of people who were not monastics and yet, according to their own testimony, never engaged in any sexual activity (Immanuel Kant, C.S. Lewis). Sexual abstinence is not in any way unhealthy in and by itself. But for those who do not desire it, and, moreover, CANNOT BEAR IT, monasticism (or "monasticism") is hell. AFAIK, that's exactly why our Lord said in the Gospels, "He that is able to receive it, let him receive it" (Matt. 19:12). And St. Paul advised people, in case they were not like him (who never touched a woman), to "marry rather than to burn."
Heorhij,

With my 'scientific' hat on, I would say it is highly likely that a person who wants to be a monastic is doing so to hide from or mask other psychological issues that he has not dealt with. I might concede that there might a few, tiny few, asexuals for whom celibacy is ideal, but not monasticism or any kind of ascetism. Monasticism is a psychologically cruel tradition that is best relegated to the ancient dust-bin. This, I would say, is the prevalent scientific position.

Of course, I give monasticism as just one example. Jesus' commandment on divorce is another. Pre-marital sex - from the 'scientific' point of view, I would say that it is almost necessary for understanding one's sexuality and finding the ideal mate - is another. Contraception, to which Christianity does not give moral approval, is another.

Let's also remember that the Christian view of sexuality is, like all other teaching, based on the more fundamental concepts of sin and passion, which one would also consider 'unscientific'.
 

yitbsal

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GabrieltheCelt said:
Welcome to the forum, yitbsal!  :)  BTW, are these links Eastern Orthodox?  And what faith are you a member of?
Thank you, Gabriel. I'm Ethiopian Orthodox. These links are Catholic - well, more precisely, the writers are Catholic. The content, in my opinion, is in agreement with both Oriental and Eastern Orthodox doctrine.
 

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Heorhij said:
Well, monasticism is hardly "unhealthy" from the point of view of science (not only from the Christian point of view) - FOR THOSE WHO DESIRE IT. There are people who really prefer celibacy.
Have you ever actually spokent to a monk? Or, as with your mischaracterization of the Fathers' understanding of human sexuality, are you simply projecting your own assumptions? Monks do not become monks because celibacy is easy for them; in fact, for a naturally asexual individual there is little point to taking the monastic vow of celibacy.

The monastic life is all about the restriction or outright suppression of natural human urges. Sex, a full belly, and self-determination at the minimum; in more extreme (but not rare and always highly respected) cases, it extends to suppression of the desire for even such basics as shelter or human interaction. Look at St. Mary of Egypt, whom the church reveres as a great exemplar of the ascetic ideal. No one would confuse her with a 'natural celibate'. And I think you'd have a very hard time finding a secular scientist who considered her way of life 'healthy'. But the Orthodox understanding is that the monk takes the *direct* route to control and then purification of the corrupt natural desires. Not all of us are called to, or strong enough, to pursue such a stark form of the path, but we are all called to the path: 'Be perfect as your Father is perfect'.
 

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yitbsal said:
Monasticism is a psychologically cruel tradition that is best relegated to the ancient dust-bin. This, I would say, is the prevalent scientific position.
Perhaps; it souds, indeed, like a position of scientists who are philosophically un-believers, un-Christians (or anti-Christians). Personally, I prefer a different take on monasticism: it is not natural but "super-natural," a kind of life people live in order to dedicate more time and effort to serving God, praying for the rest of the world. But it certainly should not be forced on anyone. Again, Christ said, "He that is ABLE to receive it, let him receive it."

yitbsal said:
Of course, I give monasticism as just one example. Jesus' commandment on divorce is another. Pre-marital sex - from the 'scientific' point of view, I would say that it is almost necessary for understanding one's sexuality and finding the ideal mate - is another. Contraception, to which Christianity does not give moral approval, is another.
Contraception is perhaps a separate issue (I know tat my Church does not have any dogmatic position on it, making it a "pastoral issue"). As for divorce and pre-marital sex, there is a big difference with monasticism: we ALL are expected to be faithful to our spouses (if we have them) as long as we live, and we ALL are expected to to abstain from any kind of extramarital sexual relationships, including pre-marital. But NOT all of us are expected to be unmarried and celibate for as long as we live.

yitbsal said:
Let's also remember that the Christian view of sexuality is, like all other teaching, based on the more fundamental concepts of sin and passion, which one would also consider 'unscientific'.
Be it as it may, scientific or not, but why is a homosexual person deprived of an option to combat his or her sinful passions in the context of monogamous, committed, loving, lifelong marriage? Again, I do not see a break from the closed circle of tautology: gay sex is bad because it is extramarital, and gay sex will always be extramarital because gay sex is bad and gays cannot marry.
 

Heorhij

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witega said:
Heorhij said:
Well, monasticism is hardly "unhealthy" from the point of view of science (not only from the Christian point of view) - FOR THOSE WHO DESIRE IT. There are people who really prefer celibacy.
Have you ever actually spokent to a monk? Or, as with your mischaracterization of the Fathers' understanding of human sexuality, are you simply projecting your own assumptions? Monks do not become monks because celibacy is easy for them; in fact, for a naturally asexual individual there is little point to taking the monastic vow of celibacy.

The monastic life is all about the restriction or outright suppression of natural human urges. Sex, a full belly, and self-determination at the minimum; in more extreme (but not rare and always highly respected) cases, it extends to suppression of the desire for even such basics as shelter or human interaction. Look at St. Mary of Egypt, whom the church reveres as a great exemplar of the ascetic ideal. No one would confuse her with a 'natural celibate'. And I think you'd have a very hard time finding a secular scientist who considered her way of life 'healthy'. But the Orthodox understanding is that the monk takes the *direct* route to control and then purification of the corrupt natural desires. Not all of us are called to, or strong enough, to pursue such a stark form of the path, but we are all called to the path: 'Be perfect as your Father is perfect'.
I know that monks have urges and suppress them. But you are ignoring my main point: monasticism is never IMPOSED on those who do not desire it (regardless of why they DO desire it - be it because of their asexuality or because of their striving to live a passionless life and dedicate all their time to God). The Lord said, very clearly (again): "HE THAT IS ABLE TO RECEIVE IT, LET HIM RECEIVE IT." But when it comes to gays, you impose lifelong celibacy on them, regadless of their ability or inability to receive it.
 

Heorhij

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ialmisry said:
Don't we thus spit in the face, humiliate, dehumanize millions and millions of our homosexual brothers and sisters, impose on them something that as few of them can bear (i.e. lifelong chastity) as as few of us heterosexuals can bear?
No.
How many of them told you so? I know many people who are homosexual, men and women. Some of them are Orthodox and post to this forum (I will certainly not name them - but believe me, they are here, too, like everywhere). Not one single one of them says that we do NOT "spit in the face, humiliate, dehumanize millions and millions of our homosexual brothers and sisters, impose on them something that as few of them can bear (i.e. lifelong chastity) as as few of us heterosexuals can bear."
 

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Heorhij,

To return our discussion back into context, the subject of science was brought up when you said that, put simply, we should maintain our beliefs that do not conflict with science and discard those that do. I and Witega have tried to illustrate that not only our beliefs on sexuality, but most of our Christian beliefs clash with what is considered science today. So if we were to reject our beliefs that clash with science, we should get rid of most of our beliefs, and chiefly the fantastic belief in miracles and Christ's divinity.

If we pick and choose what we accept and what we reject, then at least we should be scientifically consistent. For example, you seem to favour homosexual marriage, but not pre-marital sex. From a scientific perspective, this is inconsistent. Like I said, a 'scientist' would consider pre-marital sex a necessary way of discovering and nurturing one's own sexuality and finding a compatible mate.

I should add that calling church doctrine or teaching an 'imposition' is out of context. After all, the doctrine that pre-marital sex is wrong is just as much of an imposition as the doctrine that homosexual sex is wrong. The word imposition is of no use here. Christianity is chosen, people freely enter and leave the Church, etc. The issue is whether the teachings make sense given Scripture and Tradition.

Which is what you're raising when you ask why gays don't have the same marriage options as heterosexuals. In other words, given the Church's teachings, _why_ does the Church teach what it does. This question, as far as I'm concerned, is similar to any other questions about doctrine - why did God make us, why the need for Christ's death and resurrection, etc. They are questions for which there are answers, to some extent, with the rest left to Mystery.

Having said that, I am no expert in this particular subject, but I suggest that you read the references I provided above, particularly Eve Tushnet's piece on Commonweal. I think these provide the best answers I've seen to date. Also, there's Father Thomas Hopko's book on homosexuality, which I haven't read, but I hear is quite good.

I just want to leave you with one last point. I'd like to reassure you that those of us who believe in the Church's teaching that homosexual desires are disordered understand fully that homosexual relationships are not devoid of agape love. This should go without saying, but there it is. There can be far more agape love (if we can measure love) in such a relationship than in others. But that is not the point... See http://insidecatholic.com/Joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6334&Itemid=48.


 

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Heorhij said:
I know that monks have urges and suppress them. But you are ignoring my main point: monasticism is never IMPOSED on those who do not desire it (regardless of why they DO desire it - be it because of their asexuality or because of their striving to live a passionless life and dedicate all their time to God). The Lord said, very clearly (again): "HE THAT IS ABLE TO RECEIVE IT, LET HIM RECEIVE IT." But when it comes to gays, you impose lifelong celibacy on them, regadless of their ability or inability to receive it.
Yes, I have been ignoring it, for two reasons. First off, having already rejected the authority of Scripture and Tradition on the morality of homosexual activity, you cannot logically appeal to the same authorities to justify that rejection (unless of course, you are taking the position of a non-believer like Asteriktos that the authority is internally inconsistent and therefore rejectable as a whole). You started from the position that modern scientific understanding of sexuality and human desire is a legitimate basis on which to reject the traditional teaching/practice of the Church (even though you have failed to at all engage the actual Patristic teaching on 'inborn desires'). So, using *your* logic, I have no reason to respect the tradition that monasticism is not imposed--I could argue that that leniency was based on the 'incorrect belief' that homosexuals have a choice. But now that we know they have no choice we should, for their own good, forcibly cut them off from temptation by sending them off to hermitages or into convents.

Secondly, your point is obviously incorrect. If a heterosexual cannot find someone willing to marry him, the Church *imposes* celibacy. If a priest's wife dies (not so common an issue now, but a depressingly common childbirth event prior to modern medicine), then the Church *imposes* celibacy. We had a member of our parish who had been divorced 3 times and so the Church *imposed* celibacy on him. It's true that the first example can always have hope that things will change, which in some senses makes his lot lighter than that borne by the gay; but it's a difference of magnitude, not of type. And the latter 2 are in the exact same boat.
 

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Heorhij said:
But when it comes to gays, you impose lifelong celibacy on them, regadless of their ability or inability to receive it.
Also, it should be obvious, but since it's apparently not--I (thankfully) have no authority and don't 'impose' celibacy on gays anymore than I impose it on my unmarried acquaintances (or chastity on my married ones). If the topic comes up and someone wants to know my opinion, I will explain the teaching of the Church to the best of my ability as I would on any other topic, but what they do it with it is entirely up to them.
 

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witega said:
Yes, I have been ignoring it, for two reasons. First off, having already rejected the authority of Scripture and Tradition on the morality of homosexual activity, you cannot logically appeal to the same authorities to justify that rejection (unless of course, you are taking the position of a non-believer like Asteriktos that the authority is internally inconsistent and therefore rejectable as a whole). You started from the position that modern scientific understanding of sexuality and human desire is a legitimate basis on which to reject the traditional teaching/practice of the Church (even though you have failed to at all engage the actual Patristic teaching on 'inborn desires'). So, using *your* logic, I have no reason to respect the tradition that monasticism is not imposed--I could argue that that leniency was based on the 'incorrect belief' that homosexuals have a choice. But now that we know they have no choice we should, for their own good, forcibly cut them off from temptation by sending them off to hermitages or into convents.
I am not rejecting the authority of Scripture and Tradition. What I am trying to say is that the spirit of love should (and will!) prevail over the LETTER of Scripture and Tradition. Again - and this is also what you and some others keep ignoring or down-playing! - for how many centuries Orthodox priests made it so clear to their flock that a person who committed suicide will be buried outside of cemetary walls without ANY service over him/her? And I am sure these priests had a lot to say about how Scripture and Tradition view suicide - as a great sin. But look, now, when we (including them, the priests and their bishops) - simply know a little about how the human brain functions, suicide victims more often than not are buried according to the generally accepted Orthodox rite of Christian burial.

witega said:
Secondly, your point is obviously incorrect. If a heterosexual cannot find someone willing to marry him, the Church *imposes* celibacy. If a priest's wife dies (not so common an issue now, but a depressingly common childbirth event prior to modern medicine), then the Church *imposes* celibacy. We had a member of our parish who had been divorced 3 times and so the Church *imposed* celibacy on him. It's true that the first example can always have hope that things will change, which in some senses makes his lot lighter than that borne by the gay; but it's a difference of magnitude, not of type. And the latter 2 are in the exact same boat.
I think it is a huge difference when a human being is given a chance. Then you cannot speak of "imposition." Gays are not given any chance, and that's dehumanizing.
 

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yitbsal said:
Heorhij,
To return our discussion back into context, the subject of science was brought up when you said that, put simply, we should maintain our beliefs that do not conflict with science and discard those that do. I and Witega have tried to illustrate that not only our beliefs on sexuality, but most of our Christian beliefs clash with what is considered science today. So if we were to reject our beliefs that clash with science, we should get rid of most of our beliefs, and chiefly the fantastic belief in miracles and Christ's divinity.
I think that's not so black and white. A few centuries ago, perhaps most Orthodox believers would say that if some weird person discovers that biological species evolve, that notion, as a one clashing with our beliefs, should be immediately rejected. While some "high-brow" theologians interpreted Genesis metaphorically, some 99.999% firmly believed that "things happened exactly the way the Bible says they did." Today, it's different. The Church does not campain against evolution, and a good number of priests, bishops, metropolitans openly say that we should not read Genesis literally. And I believe it's good that it is so. As for the miracles and especially the miracle of Christ two natures and His resurrection - that, I believe, is principally, philosophically outside of the realm of science and "progress." But a lot of other things are within it.

yitbsal said:
If we pick and choose what we accept and what we reject, then at least we should be scientifically consistent. For example, you seem to favour homosexual marriage, but not pre-marital sex. From a scientific perspective, this is inconsistent. Like I said, a 'scientist' would consider pre-marital sex a necessary way of discovering and nurturing one's own sexuality and finding a compatible mate.
But that would destroy the concept of MONOGAMOUS marriage. True monogamy is when you have one partner for life. People who engage in pre-marital sex usually marry someone who is not their first sexual partner.

yitbsal said:
I should add that calling church doctrine or teaching an 'imposition' is out of context. After all, the doctrine that pre-marital sex is wrong is just as much of an imposition as the doctrine that homosexual sex is wrong. The word imposition is of no use here. Christianity is chosen, people freely enter and leave the Church, etc. The issue is whether the teachings make sense given Scripture and Tradition.

Which is what you're raising when you ask why gays don't have the same marriage options as heterosexuals. In other words, given the Church's teachings, _why_ does the Church teach what it does. This question, as far as I'm concerned, is similar to any other questions about doctrine - why did God make us, why the need for Christ's death and resurrection, etc. They are questions for which there are answers, to some extent, with the rest left to Mystery.
Yes - but I think that if this "leaving it to Mystery" hurts, humiliates, dehumanizes our brothers and sisters, - we should change our ways regarding that. The Church HAS done it in certain issues (Orthodox burial to suicide victims), so She is absolutely capable of that.

 

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katherineofdixie said:
One thing I've always wondered is why homosexuality? What makes it different from any other behavior (wired or acquired)?
I don't know, but people with other behavior, wired or acquired, are not subject to prohibition to marry. Or am I wrong? Are two fetishists or paraphiliacs of the opposite gender prohoboted from marrying in the Orthodox Church?
 

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Heorhij said:
katherineofdixie said:
One thing I've always wondered is why homosexuality? What makes it different from any other behavior (wired or acquired)?
I don't know, but people with other behavior, wired or acquired, are not subject to prohibition to marry. Or am I wrong? Are two fetishists or paraphiliacs of the opposite gender prohoboted from marrying in the Orthodox Church?
Sorry, typo. Prohibited.
 

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Heorhij said:
katherineofdixie said:
One thing I've always wondered is why homosexuality? What makes it different from any other behavior (wired or acquired)?
I don't know, but people with other behavior, wired or acquired, are not subject to prohibition to marry. Or am I wrong? Are two fetishists or paraphiliacs of the opposite gender prohoboted from marrying in the Orthodox Church?
No one is prohibited from marrying a person of the opposite sex. Everyone is prohibited from marrying a person of the same sex. There is no unfair standard here.
 

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Papist said:
Heorhij said:
katherineofdixie said:
One thing I've always wondered is why homosexuality? What makes it different from any other behavior (wired or acquired)?
I don't know, but people with other behavior, wired or acquired, are not subject to prohibition to marry. Or am I wrong? Are two fetishists or paraphiliacs of the opposite gender prohoboted from marrying in the Orthodox Church?
No one is prohibited from marrying a person of the opposite sex. Everyone is prohibited from marrying a person of the same sex. There is no unfair standard here.
I was just answering Katherine's question about the difference between homosexuality and "any kind of behavior, wired or acquired."
 

LizaSymonenko

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Heorhij said:
I think that's not so black and white. A few centuries ago, perhaps most Orthodox believers would say that if some weird person discovers that biological species evolve, that notion, as a one clashing with our beliefs, should be immediately rejected. While some "high-brow" theologians interpreted Genesis metaphorically, some 99.999% firmly believed that "things happened exactly the way the Bible says they did." Today, it's different. The Church does not campain against evolution, and a good number of priests, bishops, metropolitans openly say that we should not read Genesis literally. And I believe it's good that it is so. As for the miracles and especially the miracle of Christ two natures and His resurrection - that, I believe, is principally, philosophically outside of the realm of science and "progress." But a lot of other things are within it.
Heorhij,

First of all, I love you like a brother.  However, as a sister I must ask you why you find this one point of Orthodoxy so contentious?  You agree that marriage should be a monogamy, and therefore, you argue that premarital sex falls outside the realm of Orthodoxy because it's not monogamous, yet, homosexual marriage is okay, because the couple is monogamous.  Right?  Who says that premarital sex isn't monogamous?  I know a couple who have been "together" for over 10 years, yet, do not wish to marry.  It's not a religious thing with them.  She's simply seen too many messy divorces and she wants no part of it.  What's hers is hers, and his is his, and they live happily together.  I don't agree with their lifestyle and have urged them to get married....even offered to help with the arrangements....but, it's their life.

So, Orthodoxy would frown upon their current "union" and should accept a gay marriage.  How come?

In the eyes of the Church both are wrong.

Orthodoxy is NOT Politically Correct, and I hope it never will be.  The Church, it's morals, and ethics should not change with the times.  The Church is our "Noah's Ark" leading us over the troubled, secular, immoral, storm of life to salvation.  This is the one place we should know we can go and NOT be led astray.

As for Evolution.  Please, tell me you don't know a priest who agrees that mankind evolved from monkeys!  What nonsense!  If you mean "evolution" in the sense that if you crossbreed a short mare with a tall stallion and her offspring are tall....the tall offspring mate with tall horses, .... that the whole breed will become taller....than yes.  That is a fact.  If you mean that birds evolve to survive on a particular pine nut found on the island where they live...okay, that's true too....because that is the only source of food available.  Heck, I evolve into a vegetarian during Lent in order to survive on veggies alone....and then I morph back to a carnivore after Pascha!

However, I for one, do believe the story of Genesis.  I believe that God created Adam and Eve.  I do believe we are all brothers and sisters, not only in Christ, but, in the flesh, as we share the same parents.

Believe me, my heart breaks for the homosexuals in this world.  I don't believe all of them "chose" that lifestyle...although to be frank many do (it seems to be the fad these days).  It's tough.  It's also tough for those who are single in this world.  We've heard from a number of people on this Forum who wish to have someone to love them, and don't.  It's just as tough for these "straight" single people.

Oh well.  That's life.  A person can live without sex.  Nothing will happen to them.

What does bother me...are the people who are in pain constantly, who have cancer, who can't breath, who can't think for the pain they are feeling is so great, who truly suffer....who are scared for their lives.....who are hungry.....who are freezing, or dying of thirst......these things are more of an issue.  These are the things that we have all lost site of because we are all preoccupied with the pretty rainbow colors and parades.

These are the people who are truly suffering, and who's lives are truly miserable.

Please forgive me for my outburst.  I am just so tired of listening to all this talk about "rights".

OK....lunchbreak over.  Back to work!

;)


 

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Heorhij said:
katherineofdixie said:
One thing I've always wondered is why homosexuality? What makes it different from any other behavior (wired or acquired)?
I don't know, but people with other behavior, wired or acquired, are not subject to prohibition to marry. Or am I wrong? Are two fetishists or paraphiliacs of the opposite gender prohoboted from marrying in the Orthodox Church?
I don't know. But their behavior is certainly prohibited. So what's the difference?
 

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Grace and Peace,

Does the Orthodox Church recognize the identification of human beings as 'homosexual'? I'm asking because I was taught that the Roman Church does not recognize such an identification as substantive. This is 'key' to any 'real' understanding of opposition to recognizing or not recognizing one's 'right to sodomy or any other sexual sin' as normative. If you recognize that homosexuality is a substantive human identity like being male or female etc then it does look to be that you are 'denying' another human being the 'right to relations' and it does appear unfair. I think the goal should be to let whoever you are discussing this with understand that we are 'all' simply human beings with appetites. Some of these appetites can be unhealthy and thus unacceptable to feed. Sodomy and other sexual acts with individuals of the same gender fall into this unacceptable category.

Is this not Orthodox teaching?
 

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Papist said:
Heorhij said:
katherineofdixie said:
One thing I've always wondered is why homosexuality? What makes it different from any other behavior (wired or acquired)?
I don't know, but people with other behavior, wired or acquired, are not subject to prohibition to marry. Or am I wrong? Are two fetishists or paraphiliacs of the opposite gender prohoboted from marrying in the Orthodox Church?
No one is prohibited from marrying a person of the opposite sex. Everyone is prohibited from marrying a person of the same sex. There is no unfair standard here.
Maybe by your church, but I think we're talking about the authority of our Church here, bud.
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
Papist said:
Heorhij said:
katherineofdixie said:
One thing I've always wondered is why homosexuality? What makes it different from any other behavior (wired or acquired)?
I don't know, but people with other behavior, wired or acquired, are not subject to prohibition to marry. Or am I wrong? Are two fetishists or paraphiliacs of the opposite gender prohoboted from marrying in the Orthodox Church?
No one is prohibited from marrying a person of the opposite sex. Everyone is prohibited from marrying a person of the same sex. There is no unfair standard here.
Maybe by your church, but I think we're talking about the authority of our Church here, bud.
Gay marriage is allowed in the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches? I know that the answer is "no".
 

LizaSymonenko

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PeterTheAleut said:
Papist said:
Heorhij said:
katherineofdixie said:
One thing I've always wondered is why homosexuality? What makes it different from any other behavior (wired or acquired)?
I don't know, but people with other behavior, wired or acquired, are not subject to prohibition to marry. Or am I wrong? Are two fetishists or paraphiliacs of the opposite gender prohoboted from marrying in the Orthodox Church?
No one is prohibited from marrying a person of the opposite sex. Everyone is prohibited from marrying a person of the same sex. There is no unfair standard here.
Maybe by your church, but I think we're talking about the authority of our Church here, bud.
Actually you would be forbidden to marry an "unbaptized" individual, even if he/she were of the opposite sex.  For example, correct me if I am wrong, an Orthodox man would not be allowed to marry a Muslim woman.  Doesn't the other partner need to be baptized?

 

PeterTheAleut

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Papist said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Papist said:
Heorhij said:
katherineofdixie said:
One thing I've always wondered is why homosexuality? What makes it different from any other behavior (wired or acquired)?
I don't know, but people with other behavior, wired or acquired, are not subject to prohibition to marry. Or am I wrong? Are two fetishists or paraphiliacs of the opposite gender prohoboted from marrying in the Orthodox Church?
No one is prohibited from marrying a person of the opposite sex. Everyone is prohibited from marrying a person of the same sex. There is no unfair standard here.
Maybe by your church, but I think we're talking about the authority of our Church here, bud.
Gay marriage is allowed in the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches? I know that the answer is "no".
You may be right, but that's not the point.  The point is that you're making dogmatic statements that cannot but represent your RC tradition, and this on a discussion board devoted to discussion of Orthodox Christian faith.  If you wish to say that gay marriage is prohibited by your church, that's fine, but don't presume to speak for the Orthodox Church here.
 

Papist

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PeterTheAleut said:
Papist said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Papist said:
Heorhij said:
katherineofdixie said:
One thing I've always wondered is why homosexuality? What makes it different from any other behavior (wired or acquired)?
I don't know, but people with other behavior, wired or acquired, are not subject to prohibition to marry. Or am I wrong? Are two fetishists or paraphiliacs of the opposite gender prohoboted from marrying in the Orthodox Church?
No one is prohibited from marrying a person of the opposite sex. Everyone is prohibited from marrying a person of the same sex. There is no unfair standard here.
Maybe by your church, but I think we're talking about the authority of our Church here, bud.
Gay marriage is allowed in the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches? I know that the answer is "no".
You may be right, but that's not the point.  The point is that you're making dogmatic statements that cannot but represent your RC tradition, and this on a discussion board devoted to discussion of Orthodox Christian faith.  If you wish to say that gay marriage is prohibited by your church, that's fine, but don't presume to speak for the Orthodox Church here.
But the Easatern Orthodox Church does not allow gay marriage. You are really confusing me with your nonsense. But I'll you ridiculous little game if you want. The Catholic Church opposes gay marriage. So does this one Byzantine-based Church in the east that I can't name becaue for some reason, stating the clear teachings of this Church are not allowed by one of its members, Peter the Aleut.
 

PeterTheAleut

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Papist said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Papist said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Papist said:
Heorhij said:
katherineofdixie said:
One thing I've always wondered is why homosexuality? What makes it different from any other behavior (wired or acquired)?
I don't know, but people with other behavior, wired or acquired, are not subject to prohibition to marry. Or am I wrong? Are two fetishists or paraphiliacs of the opposite gender prohoboted from marrying in the Orthodox Church?
No one is prohibited from marrying a person of the opposite sex. Everyone is prohibited from marrying a person of the same sex. There is no unfair standard here.
Maybe by your church, but I think we're talking about the authority of our Church here, bud.
Gay marriage is allowed in the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches? I know that the answer is "no".
You may be right, but that's not the point.  The point is that you're making dogmatic statements that cannot but represent your RC tradition, and this on a discussion board devoted to discussion of Orthodox Christian faith.  If you wish to say that gay marriage is prohibited by your church, that's fine, but don't presume to speak for the Orthodox Church here.
But the Easatern Orthodox Church does not allow gay marriage. You are really confusing me with your nonsense.
That's because you're focusing your side debate with me on the wrong issue.  I'm not talking about what the Orthodox Church permits or forbids.  I'm talking about the dogmatic tradition you represent in this discussion.
 

Papist

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PeterTheAleut said:
Papist said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Papist said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Papist said:
Heorhij said:
katherineofdixie said:
One thing I've always wondered is why homosexuality? What makes it different from any other behavior (wired or acquired)?
I don't know, but people with other behavior, wired or acquired, are not subject to prohibition to marry. Or am I wrong? Are two fetishists or paraphiliacs of the opposite gender prohoboted from marrying in the Orthodox Church?
No one is prohibited from marrying a person of the opposite sex. Everyone is prohibited from marrying a person of the same sex. There is no unfair standard here.
Maybe by your church, but I think we're talking about the authority of our Church here, bud.
Gay marriage is allowed in the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches? I know that the answer is "no".
You may be right, but that's not the point.  The point is that you're making dogmatic statements that cannot but represent your RC tradition, and this on a discussion board devoted to discussion of Orthodox Christian faith.  If you wish to say that gay marriage is prohibited by your church, that's fine, but don't presume to speak for the Orthodox Church here.
But the Easatern Orthodox Church does not allow gay marriage. You are really confusing me with your nonsense.
That's because you're focusing your side debate with me on the wrong issue.  I'm not talking about what the Orthodox Church permits or forbids.  I'm talking about the dogmatic tradition you represent in this discussion.
Read my modified quote and you'll understand how I feel about your silliness.
 

Heorhij

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^^Pani Lizo, thank you. I do understand and appreciate what you are saying.

Yet, if arguments like "they suffer" only meet counter-arguments like "they aren't the only ones who suffer" - then, maybe, let's look at it from the other side, positive sde?

I know one person, Andrei K., who is a regular correspondent of the Ukrainian web forum "Maidan." He is gay. He says (like many other homosexuals with whom I have communicated) that he has always been that way, since early childhood. And he tried to live a "normal life," dated girls, even tried to have heterosexual sex, which was a nightmare kind of experience for him as well as for the girl whom he dated. And then, suddenly, he met a man and fell in love with him. Now, he says that it's the only one, unique person in the whole world whom he really loves (in every way - spitirually as well as physically), and that he never is, and never will be, interested in any other "mates," 'partners" or whatever. They live together, they love each other, they have a physical relationship as well as a tremendously strong intellectual, emotional, and spiritual union. Andrei says that his entire life changed forever since the moment he met his love and understood that it is his love.

Andrei is a very gentle and God-searching soul. He is not an atheist by any stretch. He is very knowledgeable in the Church history, doctrine, activities, missions, etc. Currently he is not a practicing Orthodox, but he may become one some day, I hope. Must he give up the love of his life to be received by the Church? Obviously, yes. And... why?

I still think that the spirit of love will some happy day prevail over the letter of Scripture and Tradition and people like Andrei will be happily married to whom they love, and we will all partake in the one Eucharist, praising God.
 

Heorhij

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katherineofdixie said:
Heorhij said:
katherineofdixie said:
One thing I've always wondered is why homosexuality? What makes it different from any other behavior (wired or acquired)?
I don't know, but people with other behavior, wired or acquired, are not subject to prohibition to marry. Or am I wrong? Are two fetishists or paraphiliacs of the opposite gender prohoboted from marrying in the Orthodox Church?
I don't know. But their behavior is certainly prohibited. So what's the difference?
Is it?
 

PeterTheAleut

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Papist said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Papist said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Papist said:
Heorhij said:
katherineofdixie said:
One thing I've always wondered is why homosexuality? What makes it different from any other behavior (wired or acquired)?
I don't know, but people with other behavior, wired or acquired, are not subject to prohibition to marry. Or am I wrong? Are two fetishists or paraphiliacs of the opposite gender prohoboted from marrying in the Orthodox Church?
No one is prohibited from marrying a person of the opposite sex. Everyone is prohibited from marrying a person of the same sex. There is no unfair standard here.
Maybe by your church, but I think we're talking about the authority of our Church here, bud.
Gay marriage is allowed in the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches? I know that the answer is "no".
You may be right, but that's not the point.  The point is that you're making dogmatic statements that cannot but represent your RC tradition, and this on a discussion board devoted to discussion of Orthodox Christian faith.  If you wish to say that gay marriage is prohibited by your church, that's fine, but don't presume to speak for the Orthodox Church here.
But the Easatern Orthodox Church does not allow gay marriage. You are really confusing me with your nonsense. But I'll you ridiculous little game if you want. The Catholic Church opposes gay marriage. So does this one Byzantine-based Church in the east that I can't name becaue for some reason, stating the clear teachings of this Church are not allowed by one of its members, Peter the Aleut.
You still don't have a clue what I'm saying, as evidenced by the above misstatement of my words, so I'll put it to you bluntly.  You're a Roman Catholic posting on a board devoted to discussion of matters pertaining to Orthodox Christian faith.  Until such time that I actually move this thread, you would do well to not make dogmatic statements here.
 

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What's the difference between how RC's and EO's view homosexual marriage?
 

PeterTheAleut

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Ortho_cat said:
What's the difference between how RC's and EO's view homosexual marriage?
Probably no difference at all.  But that's not the point of my issue with Papist. ;)
 

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Heorhij said:
I still think that the spirit of love will some happy day prevail over the letter of Scripture and Tradition
"And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."


 

ialmisry

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LizaSymonenko said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Papist said:
Heorhij said:
katherineofdixie said:
One thing I've always wondered is why homosexuality? What makes it different from any other behavior (wired or acquired)?
I don't know, but people with other behavior, wired or acquired, are not subject to prohibition to marry. Or am I wrong? Are two fetishists or paraphiliacs of the opposite gender prohoboted from marrying in the Orthodox Church?
No one is prohibited from marrying a person of the opposite sex. Everyone is prohibited from marrying a person of the same sex. There is no unfair standard here.
Maybe by your church, but I think we're talking about the authority of our Church here, bud.
Actually you would be forbidden to marry an "unbaptized" individual, even if he/she were of the opposite sex.  For example, correct me if I am wrong, an Orthodox man would not be allowed to marry a Muslim woman.  Doesn't the other partner need to be baptized?
Yes, in my old cathedral parish, the priest "married" someone to a Jew (when he was told to kiss the Cross, the scene I am told would in and of itself make the case why the unbaptized cannot be married).  Half the parish left and told the bishop they would not return until the issue was dealt with.  The priest was told he would be defrocked if he tried it again.

On the happy side, the children and their mother came regularly to Church.
 

Heorhij

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ignatius said:
Grace and Peace,

Does the Orthodox Church recognize the identification of human beings as 'homosexual'? I'm asking because I was taught that the Roman Church does not recognize such an identification as substantive. This is 'key' to any 'real' understanding of opposition to recognizing or not recognizing one's 'right to sodomy or any other sexual sin' as normative. If you recognize that homosexuality is a substantive human identity like being male or female etc then it does look to be that you are 'denying' another human being the 'right to relations' and it does appear unfair. I think the goal should be to let whoever you are discussing this with understand that we are 'all' simply human beings with appetites. Some of these appetites can be unhealthy and thus unacceptable to feed. Sodomy and other sexual acts with individuals of the same gender fall into this unacceptable category.

Is this not Orthodox teaching?
Dear Ignatius, but have you tried to ask these questions while communicating with real people who are homosexual? What do THEY say when you tell them that they just have wanton and forbidden "appetites," like some alcoholic or erothomaniac? And in everything else, they do not differ from you?
 

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Ortho_cat said:
Heorhij said:
I still think that the spirit of love will some happy day prevail over the letter of Scripture and Tradition
"And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
Yes.
 
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