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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witega

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Marc1152 said:
I know it sounds too sassy, but that is pretty much what I say to my Gay friends especially when they start working the angle that they deserve the same "rights" as the rest of us. I reply:

" You are free to marry any Woman who will have you"
In the context that this thread isn't going anywhere, yes, that's a pet peeve of mine. Heterosexuals don't have a 'right' to get married. It can't be a right when any woman in the world can deny it to me. I don't normally bring it up, because obviously what they really mean is that 'heterosexual couples have a right to get married (although that is not an unrestricted right either in secular law or the Church) and homosexual couples don't'.

I knew a candidate for the priesthood who kept putting off his ordination for 8 years because he wanted to get married--except he didn't have any prospects. He was a very nice guy; but, although it's mean to say, there were reasons (most of them shallow physical one, but real nevertheless) that I was not surprised that he could never find a woman who would take him (especially given that a priestly prospect has an much narrower field of prospects than the average person). He had a desire to get married, and a theoretical potential that a gay man wouldn't have--but I'm honestly not sure it wasn't crueler for him to keep holding onto that hope than to have just embraced the reality.
 

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augustin717 said:
witega said:
Heorhij said:
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! -
I am not ignoring your point, I am trying to get you to address the central point which you keep ignoring:
The *universal* witness of the Scripture and Tradition is that homosexual sexual activity is a sin. It is in the same class as any other kind of fornication. There is not a single example of an authoritative Orthdox voice (the Scripture, our Lord, an apostle, a Council, a Father) stating that homosexual sex is *not* a sin while there are multiple examples of such authoritative voices stating that it is.

As such, you cannot analogize your position to the Arian or Iconoclast controversies where an error became widespread but then were eventually rejected in favor of the correct opinion which *already* existed (the classic statement of Orthodox theology 'On the Incarnation of Christ' was written several years before Arius preached his first Arian sermon; the Iconoclasts got their name because they were 'breaking' icons already in existence). Nor can you analogize it to debates about fasting or the Calendar or the advisability of a national church (for the U.S. or for the Ukraine) where one authority says one thing and another says another thing so there are conflicting opinions which can be harmonized or chosen between. You also can't analogize it to how the Church addresses depression or suicide--because while the Church may alter how it pastorally addresses these things, the Church still teaches that depression is a problem that needs to be addressed, treated with whatever tools are available, and healed if possible. It still teaches that suicide is wrong, even if it sees a pastoral reason to bend the letter of the law and respond to the death as it would to any other death (and if you think that is a new thing, you need to pay more attention; this seems part and parcel with a general prejudice against the past that blinds you to the reality--we could tell the Fathers something about the mechanics of *why* homosexuals feel a natural/'unwilled' attraction to the same sex, but they were well aware of the existance of such an attraction).

Now, if you want to have a discussion that starts with 'Okay, the Church teaches that homosexual sex is immoral, how can we better pastorally address that in light of expanding medical knowledge', that would be a good discussion to have--and parallel to discussions the Church has had about depression, alcoholism, general mental illness, infertility, etc, etc. But that hasn't been your starting point. Your starting point has been to simply reject the universal witness of the Church because it doesn't fit the most recent scientific understanding (which is by no means settled--we think we know homosexuality has a genetic component, but the same twin studies that show that also show it is not absolutely determinative)--and once you do that, your argumentation falls to the Protestant dilemma. If I reject one part of the Tradition, on what basis can I determine else should be rejected or accepted? If I reject the universal witness of the Church about the immorality of homosexuality, why not reject the witness about fornication? After all, modern science has identified spreading your seed as widely as possible as the effective evolutionary strategy of male primates. Why do I even accept the witness of the Church on the primacy of agape love which you appeal to? Nothing in modern science supports that position.

So, in essence, until you address that fact - that the universal witness of the Church is that homosexual activity is immoral - by either accepting it and then trying to understand it, or acknowledging that you reject it because you have some other criterion for truth against which your and Scripture's arguments must be judged, the rest of your arguments are only so much smoke and mirrors.

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.
See, this is typical and why, I think, this will probably be my last response on this thread or at least in terms of your and my discussion: you jump on the first example, where the person has a 'chance' and ignore the latter two. What is the difference between the gay Orthodox and the widowed priest or my fellow parishoner? None of them has a 'chance'. All they have is choice, a simple one for all its difficulty in practice--they can accept the teaching of the Church and work on embracing celibacy, or they can reject it and do what they want. That's not dehumanizing. That's the same choice that every human being since Adam has faced every moment of their life.
1. Actually, if memory serves me well "sodomy" is classified in every priest's guide to confession and catechism as way worse than regular fornication, incurring much more severe ecclesiastical penalties than just sleeping around before marriage. "Sodomy" as it is referred to in those books is reckoned among the sins "that cry out for vengeance towards Heaven", only one step below "the sins against the Holy Spirit". Not that I necessarily agree with all of this, but this is how it is.
Regular fornication is only a "capital sin".
As the (former?) head of the Orthodox Theological Faculty of Bucharest, The Rev. Fr. Constantin Neclua put it once on TV, in a memorable way:"Our Romanian faithful might, at times drink a bit too much at the pub and then mistake the way to their neighbor's wife, but at least they are not fags..."
2. Although the canons would forbid marriage to widowed priests or laymen married three times before, in practice, this is done away with quite frequently. I know, in Romania, even priests that divorced, remarried and stay priests.
Does the guidance to Priests really say it's "worse" ..or..Does it advise  a different ( al biet stricter) remedy? Those are entirely different things.

I think you are putting your own spin on this when you look at things in terms of being "Punished"..

Maybe the spiritual illness of Homosexuality is simply a tougher passion and needs to be worked with differently.. Remember Church = Spiritual Hospital
 

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Heorhij said:
Why am I "big?" Just "brother will" do!

About the necessity of attachment: no. Most alcoholics do realize that their attraction is ruining them. They cannot give up drinking not because they believe in the "necessity" of their attraction, but because they are physically and emotionally dependent and too weak to fight with their vice. As for gays, what I hear from them is that they are just completely different. In them, their whole identity is unlike the identity of a heterosexual, regardless of what "attractions" they have at the moment or do not have.

As for peculiar attractions of, say, fetishists or other paraphiliacs (see special books for details), yes, I am sure that in the context of a monogamous committed loving marriage they are morally neutral or even beneficial for the spouses' theosis.

As for the order of nature, that's the root of the problem and I say, no, I do not know what this order is and I don't dare judge.
Grace and Peace,

It was only a reference toward your seniority in the Faith. Pardon for any offense 'Brother'.

Perhaps 'necessity of attachment' was the wrong words to use. I did mean don't most who find themselves in bondage to something tend to argue in it's defense? Clearly if someone identifies themselves as 'Gay' or 'Homosexual' they have incorporated said category as a part of their personal identity. They perhaps live in a subculture which supports said identity and draw 'strength' from that subgroup. I recognize that there might be differing levels of dependency and stages of development in incorporating such a view of oneself. The point that I am making is because of the general tolerance, they identities are given the time one need to really ingrain them within one's personality. It would be very difficult to simply 'change' their minds with a conversation.
 

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katherineofdixie said:
Heorhij said:
katherineofdixie said:
Heorhij said:
Those wired or acquired behaviors that are harmful to people, especially children, are, of course, a special matter.
Why?
Because children cannot consent to sexual activity.
Who decided this? Who decides what age? The notorious NAMBLA believes that they are "loving" children. Who are you to decide that's wrong?
I am nobody, but there is a colossal history of trauma associated with child molestation and rape.
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
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. ;)
And your point is ridiculous. I am defending your Church here buddy. If you have problem with that then you are strange strange little man.  ;)
Anyway, is this silliness come from a person who has an ax to grind or from a moderator?
 

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Does the guidance to Priests really say it's "worse" ..or..Does it advise  a different ( al biet stricter) remedy? Those are entirely different things.

I think you are putting your own spin on this when you look at things in terms of being "Punished"..

Maybe the spiritual illness of Homosexuality is simply a tougher passion and needs to be worked with differently.. Remember Church = Spiritual Hospital
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
In Romania, when it comes to "sodomy" the Church doesn't mince words.
And what you are saying is nice and probably true, however is quite a recent way of talking and not much encountered where I come from. You interpret the Church's attitude towards homosexuality in terms of "healing", "disease", "hospital" etc. But, they also bear a different interpretation, by different people. I would say that where I come from, being barred I don't know, 20 years from Communion is seen more as a punishment and a way of making up/paying for one's sins. These are the more common assumptions among people that don't bother reading to much recent theology, or theology at all.

 

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augustin717 said:
1. Actually, if memory serves me well "sodomy" is classified in every priest's guide to confession and catechism as way worse than regular fornication, incurring much more severe ecclesiastical penalties than just sleeping around before marriage. "Sodomy" as it is referred to in those books is reckoned among the sins "that cry out for vengeance towards Heaven", only one step below "the sins against the Holy Spirit". Not that I necessarily agree with all of this, but this is how it is.
Regular fornication is only a "capital sin".
See, here is a place where I would agree with Heorhij that there is room for debate and disagreement. While it may be true that "every priest's guide to confession and catechism" you have access to says this, there is a whole strain of Patristic thought that there is no such thing as comparison of sins (i.e., x is 'worse' than y)--that some sins may require a more stringent pastoral response/medicine, but all sins alike in falling short of the perfection of God. This strain is even codified in the prayers of the Church. If sodomy or murder or pedophilia are 'worse' than lieing, greed and lustful thoughts, how can I honestly (i.e., without lieing, without sinning) pray that I am the 'chief of sinners'--because I have not performed any of those 'worse' sins, though I am definitely guilty of the 'better' sins. And there are plenty of people out there who would argue that the whole idea of 'capital sins' is a late Western influence.

Similarly, while the Scripture does say that the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah "cry out for vengeance towards heaven", what Scripture describes for those sins is not simple consensual homosexual activity--it is full blown homosexual rape, with violation of the laws of hospitality thrown on top of it.

And I won't even get into how much that quote reminds me of 'He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: 'God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. ...'

2. Although the canons would forbid marriage to widowed priests or laymen married three times before, in practice, this is done away with quite frequently. I know, in Romania, even priests that divorced, remarried and stay priests.
Unfortunate. And certainly not my experience. The thrice-divorced man I've mentioned is a fairly good friend so I know quite well what the hiearchy has told him--even though he has been in a 10+ year relationship with another woman, acted as stepfather to her children, etc. He cannot get married again and is expected to live celibately. Do they ever fail in this? I don't know and that's definitely not my business. I do know that the practice of the Church is being affirmed in intent if not always in reality.

But again, if Heorhij wants to discuss this in a context of 'given our modern understandings (or our hypocrisy on the rules with regards to heteroosexuals), perhaps for pastoral reasons we should be more willing to bend the rules in individual cases' that's a different discussion than the one we've had up to now that 'modern understandings' have somehow obviated the actual teaching/ideal.
 

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witega said:
Heorhij said:
This is interesting because I have tried this line of reasoning in my conversations with homosexual people. They universally reject it. They say there still is an ocean of difference between a person with unconventional "attractions" (like a paraphiliac) and them. All of them say that their "gayness" is much, much deeper than just purely physical, animal attraction to people of their own gender.
This thread becomes increasingly circular
Witega, I noticed that you begin every response to my posts with very scornful, harsh, despising remarks like this one above, and it seems to me - maybe that's just my subjective feeling - that you are deliberately trying to cause me pain. I actually like your erudition and logic and I enjoy conversing with you, but you do cause me pain (I don't know, maybe because I imagine too much or because English is not my first language). May I suggest that that causing me pain is hardly necessary?

witega said:
but I'll bite: I've been avoiding the whole 'have you asked a gay persons about ...' 'my gay friends think...' tangent because its just silly.
That's your judgment. Fine. I was just conveying what I heard from them.

witega said:
Gays are just as much individuals as straight people, and aside from the 'attracted to men and not women' which defines the category, there is no such thing as a 'universal' gay view of anything.
Granted, except "attracted" is not the right word.

witega said:
I know a gay Orthodox convert who had a 3-year catachumenate because of how difficult it was for him, but who has always expressed support of the Traditional Church teaching on gay sexuality (obviously, I met him after he converted).
And just why does that negate what I said I heard from my gay friends (again, including gay Orthodox Christians who are posters on this forum)?

witega said:
I've never known a gay couple to maintain a monogamous relationship for longer than 3 years--even when they started off talking about soul-mates and life-partners, every gay couple I know that's lasted longer than 3 years has included taking additional lovers on the side (gay men, that is, lesbians are a different story). Does that mean that no gay man has ever maintained a monogamous relationship for his entire life? No. It just means that *I* haven't met him. So you shouldn't be surprised to know hear that what is 'universal' to the gays of your acquaintance is not universal. I have had this discussion with gays, in particular with a gay psychologist, who took the above view.
Granted, but again, why does all that make the testimony of, well, some gays that they are entirely different, that we (heterosexuals) cannot understand them and that they are feeling despised and dehumanized by us? Who is more representative of gays in general? How can we filter their true feelings from something certain people put on themselves to "fit in," etc.?

witega said:
And since you were the one appealing to 'scientific understanding' to begin with, you should realize that the subjective experience of individuals does not necessarily reflect objective truth--even when it comes to one's own consciousness. Many 'straight' guys insist 'I'd never be attracted to a man'--but then show them pictures of an attractive transvestite that they *think* is a woman, and attraction occurs. It's a demonstrated fact that a human male can have sex with anything--including inanimate objects. Some partners may be more satisfying than others, and some partners may require the brain to be busily thinking about a totally circumstance, but the act can occur.

To which I presume you will respond that you are not talking about "purely physical, animal attraction to people of their own gender" but about relationships. Except that it is the physical act which has always been the point of debate in this thread.
Again, homosexuals with whom I directly comminicate, including Andrei K. whom I mentioned to pani Liza, say this. They love their partners just like you and I love our wives. The physical union is a part of that love, an organic part, something that comes naturally (yes), and something that they hold sacred. They nourish each other in this physical union (in fact absolutely unseparable from the emotional and intellectual union) exactly the same way you and I nourish our wives and are nourished by them. They further say that if it were merely animal attraction, they would very easily get rid of it or keep it under check by, say, masturbation. But that's completely different.

witega said:
(And by the way, my exemplar priest didn't 'enjoy years of married life'. His wife died in childbirth within the first year of their marriage. He's 31 and facing decades not of 'gaining strength from joyful memories' but of struggling to deal with why God would let him have a taste only to yank it away--Christianity is not about making your life easier, it's about destroying your damaged humanity so you can be united with God "For those whom the Lord loves, He disciplines, and he SCOURGES every son whom He receives" (Heb 12:6)0.
I am very sorry for this priest. As for scourging, there are plenty of things in our lives that work like scourging, for gays and straights alike.
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
Papist said:
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.
Wait. How is the teaching of the Orthodox Church on the prohibition of same sex marriage any different from other Churches which teach the prohibition of same sex marriage?
 

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stanley123 said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Papist said:
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.
Wait. How is the teaching of the Orthodox Church on the prohibition of same sex marriage any different from other Churches which teach the prohibition of same sex marriage?
PtA does not argue with that. He just points out that when Papist says, "the Church teaches this or that," he should make some "qualifying remarks," because otherwise it sounds like he (Papist, a Roman Catholic) speaks on behalf of the Orthodox Church.
 

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There's the tradition that Jesus wrote specific sins (including sodomy) in the dust, and then erased them. Does anyone know how far back this tradition goes?
Then the legislator of morality and human conduct stooped down to the ground, smoothed out the dust with the palm of His hand, and began to write (John 8:6). What did the Lord write in the dust? The Evangelist maintains silence concerning this and does not write of it. It was too repulsive and vile to be written in the Book of Joy. However, this has been present in tradition, and it is horrible. The Lord wrote something unexpected and startling for the elders, the accusers of the sinful woman. With His finger He disclosed their secret iniquities. For these pointers-out of the sins of others were experts in concealing their own sins. But it is pointless to try to hide anything from the eyes of One Who sees all.

"M (eshulam) has stolen treasures from the temple," wrote the Lord's finger in the dust.
"A (sher) has committed adultery with his brother's wife;
"S (halum) has committed perjury;
"E (led) has struck his own father;
"A (marich) has committed sodomy;
"J (oel) has worshipped idols."

And so one statement after another was written in the dust by the awesome finger of the righteous Judge. And those to whom these words referred, bending down, read what was written, with inexpressible horror. They trembled from fright, and dared not look one another in the eye. They gave no further thought to the sinful woman. They thought only of themselves and of their own death, which was written in the dust. Not a single tongue was able to move, to pronounce that troublesome and evil question, "What sayest Thou?" The Lord said nothing. That which is so filthy is fit to be written only in filthy dust. Another reason why the Lord wrote on the ground is even greater and more wonderful. That which is written in the dust is easily erased and removed. Christ did not want their sins to be made known to everyone. Had He desired this, He would have announced them before all the people, and would have accused them and had them stoned to death, in accordance with the law. But He, the innocent Lamb of God, did not contemplate revenge or death for those who had prepared for Him a thousand deaths, who desired His death more than everlasting life for themselves. The Lord wanted only to correct them, to make them think of themselves and their own sins. He wanted to remind them that while they carried the burden of their own transgressions, they shouldn't be strict judges of the transgressions of others. This alone did the Lord desire. And when this was done, the dust was again smoothed over, and that which was written disappeared.
 

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Jetavan said:
There's the tradition that Jesus wrote specific sins (including sodomy) in the dust, and then erased them. Does anyone know how far back this tradition goes?
Then the legislator of morality and human conduct stooped down to the ground, smoothed out the dust with the palm of His hand, and began to write (John 8:6). What did the Lord write in the dust? The Evangelist maintains silence concerning this and does not write of it. It was too repulsive and vile to be written in the Book of Joy. However, this has been present in tradition, and it is horrible. The Lord wrote something unexpected and startling for the elders, the accusers of the sinful woman. With His finger He disclosed their secret iniquities. For these pointers-out of the sins of others were experts in concealing their own sins. But it is pointless to try to hide anything from the eyes of One Who sees all.

"M (eshulam) has stolen treasures from the temple," wrote the Lord's finger in the dust.
"A (sher) has committed adultery with his brother's wife;
"S (halum) has committed perjury;
"E (led) has struck his own father;
"A (marich) has committed sodomy;
"J (oel) has worshipped idols."

And so one statement after another was written in the dust by the awesome finger of the righteous Judge. And those to whom these words referred, bending down, read what was written, with inexpressible horror. They trembled from fright, and dared not look one another in the eye. They gave no further thought to the sinful woman. They thought only of themselves and of their own death, which was written in the dust. Not a single tongue was able to move, to pronounce that troublesome and evil question, "What sayest Thou?" The Lord said nothing. That which is so filthy is fit to be written only in filthy dust. Another reason why the Lord wrote on the ground is even greater and more wonderful. That which is written in the dust is easily erased and removed. Christ did not want their sins to be made known to everyone. Had He desired this, He would have announced them before all the people, and would have accused them and had them stoned to death, in accordance with the law. But He, the innocent Lamb of God, did not contemplate revenge or death for those who had prepared for Him a thousand deaths, who desired His death more than everlasting life for themselves. The Lord wanted only to correct them, to make them think of themselves and their own sins. He wanted to remind them that while they carried the burden of their own transgressions, they shouldn't be strict judges of the transgressions of others. This alone did the Lord desire. And when this was done, the dust was again smoothed over, and that which was written disappeared.
Jetavan,

What is the Buddhist view of Homosexuality? I understand the Buddha scolded a monk for returning to his wife and was equally strict to other who followed him. Do you know any details that might aid us in understand the Christian teaching on this topic?

Thanks.
 

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Jetavan said:
There's the tradition that Jesus wrote specific sins (including sodomy) in the dust, and then erased them. Does anyone know how far back this tradition goes?
Then the legislator of morality and human conduct stooped down to the ground, smoothed out the dust with the palm of His hand, and began to write (John 8:6). What did the Lord write in the dust? The Evangelist maintains silence concerning this and does not write of it. It was too repulsive and vile to be written in the Book of Joy. However, this has been present in tradition, and it is horrible. The Lord wrote something unexpected and startling for the elders, the accusers of the sinful woman. With His finger He disclosed their secret iniquities. For these pointers-out of the sins of others were experts in concealing their own sins. But it is pointless to try to hide anything from the eyes of One Who sees all.

"M (eshulam) has stolen treasures from the temple," wrote the Lord's finger in the dust.
"A (sher) has committed adultery with his brother's wife;
"S (halum) has committed perjury;
"E (led) has struck his own father;
"A (marich) has committed sodomy;
"J (oel) has worshipped idols."

And so one statement after another was written in the dust by the awesome finger of the righteous Judge. And those to whom these words referred, bending down, read what was written, with inexpressible horror. They trembled from fright, and dared not look one another in the eye. They gave no further thought to the sinful woman. They thought only of themselves and of their own death, which was written in the dust. Not a single tongue was able to move, to pronounce that troublesome and evil question, "What sayest Thou?" The Lord said nothing. That which is so filthy is fit to be written only in filthy dust. Another reason why the Lord wrote on the ground is even greater and more wonderful. That which is written in the dust is easily erased and removed. Christ did not want their sins to be made known to everyone. Had He desired this, He would have announced them before all the people, and would have accused them and had them stoned to death, in accordance with the law. But He, the innocent Lamb of God, did not contemplate revenge or death for those who had prepared for Him a thousand deaths, who desired His death more than everlasting life for themselves. The Lord wanted only to correct them, to make them think of themselves and their own sins. He wanted to remind them that while they carried the burden of their own transgressions, they shouldn't be strict judges of the transgressions of others. This alone did the Lord desire. And when this was done, the dust was again smoothed over, and that which was written disappeared.
I had always wondered about what He wrote in the dust...and why it wasn't revealed ...and yet was mentioned.

I've never heard this before....but, it is truly wonderful and symbolic in so many ways!

Thanks for sharing.


 

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ignatius said:
Jetavan said:
There's the tradition that Jesus wrote specific sins (including sodomy) in the dust, and then erased them. Does anyone know how far back this tradition goes?
Then the legislator of morality and human conduct stooped down to the ground, smoothed out the dust with the palm of His hand, and began to write (John 8:6).
....
And when this was done, the dust was again smoothed over, and that which was written disappeared.
Jetavan,

What is the Buddhist view of Homosexuality? I understand the Buddha scolded a monk for returning to his wife and was equally strict to other who followed him. Do you know any details that might aid us in understand the Christian teaching on this topic?

Thanks.
The texts say that if you're a Buddhist monastic, then any sort of sexual activity is forbidden.

As a lay-person, one is encouraged to not engage in what is called "sensual misconduct". In general, this means faithfulness towards one's spouse. It can also mean a general renunciation of sensual indulgence (such as oversleeping, or too much SEC football watching).

The Buddha did not make marriage into a "sacrament", so there is no textual basis for rejecting "same-sex union" or "same-sex marriage".

However, my understanding is that the Tibetan Buddhist tradition does explicitly prohibit certain forms of intercourse that are deemed "unnatural". Other Buddhist traditions may or may not have similar textual prohibitions; if they do, they haven't reached the ears of North American Buddhists.

Having said that, much of Southeast Asian Buddhist culture sees having homosexual desires as not an ideal condition in which to live.

The framework of rebirth/reincarnation offers a way for Buddhists (and Hindus) to explain homosexuality as a transitional phase between a lifetime as one gender and a lifetime as the other gender. Such a notion might lead to a fairly "tolerant" perspective on homosexual persons.

The Buddhist ideal is to see and understand the dissatisfactory nature of all craving; that is, craving produces dissatisfaction, and dissatisfaction can cause craving. From my understanding of the Buddhist perspective, sexual activity, no matter how sublime, still contains an element of craving. There's nothing wrong with a little craving, if one is fairly happy with one's life. But, as monastics of any tradition, Buddhist or Christian, will tell you, another possibility is offered, if one so chooses.
 

PeterTheAleut

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Papist said:
PeterTheAleut said:
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. ;)
And your point is ridiculous. I am defending your Church here buddy.
Papist, if you are defending my Church and the Church of most of this forum's posters, then you need to say so from the start.  When you say such things as the following:
Papist said:
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.
; without clarifying explicitly that you are trying to encourage us to look at our Orthodox faith tradition or that you represent the doctrinal traditions that we Orthodox and Catholics share, one is left to conclude from your profile that you are most likely arguing solely from the doctrines of your Roman Catholic Church.  This is something I generally try to discourage in the Faith Issues section, since it distracts from the mission of this board.  You're most certainly free to present the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church in other sections of the OC.net forum, but I really need to keep this in check here on Faith Issues to allow for "discussion of issues and inquiries related to the Orthodox Christian faith", as this section's mission is stated on the forum index under the link to the Faith Issues board.

Papist said:
If you have problem with that then you are strange strange little man.  ;)
Ad hominem noted and not appreciated.  It's not necessary to belittle someone else simply because he has a problem with your rhetorical tactics.  I'm pretty sure you've been warned about this before.

Papist said:
Anyway, is this silliness come from a person who has an ax to grind or from a moderator?
From a moderator.  If you have any questions about my decision in this matter, please feel free to send me a PM.

- PeterTheAleut
 

stanley123

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Heorhij said:
stanley123 said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Papist said:
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.
Wait. How is the teaching of the Orthodox Church on the prohibition of same sex marriage any different from other Churches which teach the prohibition of same sex marriage?
PtA does not argue with that. He just points out that when Papist says, "the Church teaches this or that," he should make some "qualifying remarks," because otherwise it sounds like he (Papist, a Roman Catholic) speaks on behalf of the Orthodox Church.
I don't think so. Papist has identified himself as a Roman Catholic and everyone knows it. So all these comments by Peter the Aleut are petty. 
 

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Heorhij said:
Witega, I noticed that you begin every response to my posts with very scornful, harsh, despising remarks like this one above, and it seems to me - maybe that's just my subjective feeling - that you are deliberately trying to cause me pain. I actually like your erudition and logic and I enjoy conversing with you, but you do cause me pain (I don't know, maybe because I imagine too much or because English is not my first language). May I suggest that that causing me pain is hardly necessary?
It is not my intention to cause you pain. I apologize for doing so.
I have attempted to restrict my part in this discussion to addressing facts, principles, and actual arguments. To whatever extent I have failed in that and made you feel like I'm attacking or impugning you or your motives (rather than your argument), I apologize for that as well.

I *am* feeling some frustration that
a) You seem unwilling to directly address the fundamental point. If the universal witness of the Church is authoritative, then you have to accept that homosexual acts are a sin and then we can how one integrates pastoral concerns and modern thoughts and discoveries with that authoriy; or you have to demonstrate that this is not the universal witness of the Church. You have not done either--you started by arguing scientific advancement as a criterion by which to judge the Tradition. Then later focused on an argument that seems to sum up as 'this part of Tradition (the teachings on love or monasticism) contradict that part of Tradition (the moral teaching on homosexuality) so 'that part' of Tradition needs to be discarded'--without addressing what criterion you use to decide which parts of Tradition you'll accept and which you won't. It feels somewhat like trying to discuss whether the sky is blue or green with pink polka dots with someone who refuses to open his eyes--but also insists that visual evidence is the criterion by which to determine the color of the sky.
b) You have several times seriously mischaracterized the teaching of the Fathers on such relevant subjects as fallen human nature, the nature of temptation, the nature of desire, and the nature of will. Even once this was pointed out, you did not appear to even pause to consider that since one of your premises was wrong, perhaps your overall argument needed to be reconsidered.

However, I did not want, and should not have, allowed that frustration to creep into my posts, and I apologize that I have done so.


A final thought--as I have said, I have tried to maintain this discussion on the merits. But consider this--if you are right, then I am 'oppressing' gays, in the sense of depriving them of a good. Since I have and want no authority, I am not the same as the judge upholding a miscegenation law or a communist censer preventing freedom of the press, but I am the same the individuals who approved and 'carried water' for such behavior. On the other hand, if I am right, then you are encouraging gays to indulge a sinful proclivity. You may not be the guy waving a shot under the nose of a recovering alcoholic, but you are the guy going, 'drink it up! a little alcohol never hurt anyone'. I bring this up not to accuse you of being 'that guy' (or to admit to being 'that guy') but to point out that as much as either of us may wish to keep the discussion respectively academic and objective, the fact is that either I am a supporter of oppression or you are encouraging homosexuals to damn themselves. Given that context, I do not how know to continue this discussion without being hurtful which is why I am trying to disengage now.

Again, forgive me.
 

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stanley123 said:
Heorhij said:
stanley123 said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Papist said:
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.
Wait. How is the teaching of the Orthodox Church on the prohibition of same sex marriage any different from other Churches which teach the prohibition of same sex marriage?
PtA does not argue with that. He just points out that when Papist says, "the Church teaches this or that," he should make some "qualifying remarks," because otherwise it sounds like he (Papist, a Roman Catholic) speaks on behalf of the Orthodox Church.
I don't think so. Papist has identified himself as a Roman Catholic and everyone knows it. So all these comments by Peter the Aleut are petty. 
Stanley, as you can see from the post immediately preceding yours, I have addressed this issue in a formal, moderatorial fashion.  If you would like to complain about it, please do so via a PM to me or to Fr. George.  Please refrain from saying anything more on this thread about how I have acted toward Papist.  Thank you.
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
stanley123 said:
Heorhij said:
stanley123 said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Papist said:
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.
Wait. How is the teaching of the Orthodox Church on the prohibition of same sex marriage any different from other Churches which teach the prohibition of same sex marriage?
PtA does not argue with that. He just points out that when Papist says, "the Church teaches this or that," he should make some "qualifying remarks," because otherwise it sounds like he (Papist, a Roman Catholic) speaks on behalf of the Orthodox Church.
I don't think so. Papist has identified himself as a Roman Catholic and everyone knows it. So all these comments by Peter the Aleut are petty. 
Stanley, as you can see from the post immediately preceding yours, I have addressed this issue in a formal, moderatorial fashion.  If you would like to complain about it, please do so via a PM to me or to Fr. George.  Please refrain from saying anything more on this thread about how I have acted toward Papist.  Thank you.
I agree with Papist on this particular point and I stand by what I have said here about your pettiness. 
 You can defend [blue]Papist[/blue] and question my "pettiness" all you want, but I asked you formally to do so via PM.  For choosing to question my moderatorial decision publicly, and to do so by quoting the very moderatorial post wherein which I instructed you to not say anything more on this thread about my decision, I am placing you on warned status for the next three days.  If you think I'm being unfair, feel free to appeal my decision to [blue]Fr. George[/blue] or to [blue]Fr. Chris[/blue].

- PeterTheAleut
 

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witega said:
It is not my intention to cause you pain. I apologize for doing so.
Thank you so much for this, accepted, forgiven and forgotten. Please forgive me if I hurt you in any way, too.

witega said:
you seem unwilling to directly address the fundamental point. If the universal witness of the Church is authoritative, then you have to accept that homosexual acts are a sin and then we can how one integrates pastoral concerns and modern thoughts and discoveries with that authoriy; or you have to demonstrate that this is not the universal witness of the Church.
Wasn't it, practically at least if not doctrinally-declaratively, a universal witness of the Church that people who committed suicide should not be given Orthodox burial? Weren't priests refusing this burial under the pain of being defrocked? I KNOW for a fact that it was a universal practice in Ukraine and perhaps in other parts of the former Russian Empire for many centuries. But it is gone now, no?

witega said:
b) You have several times seriously mischaracterized the teaching of the Fathers on such relevant subjects as fallen human nature, the nature of temptation, the nature of desire, and the nature of will. Even once this was pointed out, you did not appear to even pause to consider that since one of your premises was wrong, perhaps your overall argument needed to be reconsidered.
I corrected myself in that I agreed with you (because you seem to be really knowledgeable in this area) that Fathers did not insist that being homosexual is a choice, but, rather, considered it an innate "appetite." But, as I said, I heard many times, from many people who are homosexual, that it is something much bigger than just an appetite or desire or "animal attraction."

witega said:
consider this--if you are right, then I am 'oppressing' gays, in the sense of depriving them of a good.
Yes.

witega said:
On the other hand, if I am right,
I don't think you are, otherwise I would not continue this conversation.

witega said:
then you are encouraging gays to indulge a sinful proclivity.
NO! I am not. A while ago I had an exchange with Fr. George on this issue (he was "Cleveland" back then), and I stated very strongly that I AM NOT ENCOURAGING ANYONE TO DISOBEY THE CHURCH. Rather, I am encouraging the Church (of which I am a part, too), to change Her position and grant homosexual people the opportunity to proceed in their theosis, being in a monogamous, committed, responsible, loving, sacramental marriage blessed by the Church. Not ONE MOMENT before the Church changes Her mind will I encourage any gay individual to have sex with a person of their own gender. But She WILL change Her mind. I KNOW it will happen.
 
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