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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ozgeorge

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Anastasios said:
Perhaps the best solution is monasticism or some form of ministry that does not require marriage.
Monasticism is like marriage in many respects, and I would not think it is a good choice for same-sex attracted persons, especially since it places one in close community with persons of the same sex (the object of attraction). Contrary to popular opinion, our spiritual strength and ability to supress our evil desires and inclinations actually weaken (along with their physical counterparts) as we get older....
 

Sloga

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Anastasios said:
Given your circumstances (age, cultural upbringing), etc., I don't think anyone faults you for not knowing. I for one am glad that you embrace learnign things so openly.

By formerly active, I mean, who have made a decision to stop all acts of fornication. Whether they are "cured" is something they would best answer for themselves. I have been informed that there are homosexual persons who have "become straight" through Orthodoxy but it seems to me this is the exception: that the damage of homosexuality runs deep and is something that is struggled with--for life. In many cases, "cure" means to stop not only the action but also the fantasy and lust--but to "become straight" may never be possible nor even advisable, as all persons are subject to relapse of their sins, and what would you say to the woman who married a formerly active homosexual who relapses after say 20 years? It's the same thing with very active fornicators--is it advisable to marry someone who has had multiple, multiple sexual encounters over years? It may not be. But God can "cure" anyone he wants and so I leave that up to the individual and his or her confessor to sort out. What's important to me is abstinence and a fight against the passions. I see homosexuality as like alcoholism: it may or may not be genetic, it may be a combination of many factors, but very rarely does someone recover "fully." However, as an Orthodox, I do believe such is theoretically possible, but not in every case. God will allow various levels of repentence and grace based on the person and his plan for them.

These are just my thoughts based on experience. I reject both extremes: namely that one is born homosexual, thus it is natural, and the Church should change; and the other, that it is something that ALWAYS with enough prayer can and must be "overcome" and the person can and should become straight and have a "normal" life, while accepting the possibility that this may happen if God wills it. Perhaps the best solution is monasticism or some form of ministry that does not require marriage.

Anastasios
Thank you brother, that was very insightful. I agree with your neither extremeity belief also, which is why I asked if it was the actions or the actual feelings that were stopped.

As for the marriage, I believe it is ok to give them some sort of financial agreement together, but not an offical marriage.

Contrary to popular opinion, our spiritual strength and ability to supress our evil desires and inclinations actually weaken (along with their physical counterparts) as we get older....
I believe it is a parabolic relationship...our spiritual strength begins weak as we are "finding" ourselves, but  during the midlife (perhaps mid 30s?), your spiritual strength is at its heighest and then eventually begins to come back down.
 

Anastasios

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ozgeorge said:
Monasticism is like marriage in many respects, and I would not think it is a good choice for same-sex attracted persons, especially since it places one in close community with persons of the same sex (the object of attraction). Contrary to popular opinion, our spiritual strength and ability to supress our evil desires and inclinations actually weaken (along with their physical counterparts) as we get older....
I thought about that before I wrote it but the example of several saints in the lives of the desert fathers who overcame what was apparently same-sex lust in conjunction with some monks I have met who were homosexuals and are now chaste caused me to offer it as an option, although possibly as you say not for everyone.

Anastasios
 

Cephas

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+ Irini nem ehmot,

Sloga said:
I believe it is a parabolic relationship...our spiritual strength begins weak as we are "finding" ourselves, but  during the midlife (perhaps mid 30s?), your spiritual strength is at its heighest and then eventually begins to come back down.
This caught my attention.  If spiritual strength is parabolic, that would seem to indicate that one has hit a 'peak' somehow.  As I understand it, there is no such peak, as we continue to strive to grow in Christ everyday (Christ being the source of our strength).  As Christians, we are called to grow in Christ continuously and try to be more like Him.  For our spiritual strength to decline would indicate a distruption in the link between us and the Source (Christ) which must be remedied right away.  As we get older, our spiritual strength (ideally) continues to grow and develop, it should not slacken.

Please pray for me.
 

Sloga

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ozgeorge said:
Contrary to popular opinion, our spiritual strength and ability to supress our evil desires and inclinations actually weaken (along with their physical counterparts) as we get older....

This caught my attention.  If spiritual strength is parabolic, that would seem to indicate that one has hit a 'peak' somehow.  As I understand it, there is no such peak, as we continue to strive to grow in Christ everyday (Christ being the source of our strength). 
I was mearly attempting to broaden OZ's statement by saying we do not start of spiritually, but your contradiction is between you and him, not me  ;)
 

Cephas

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+ Irini nem ehmot,

My bad.  I didn't realize the point you were trying to make.  My humblest apologies.

Please pray for me.
 

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As a social worker, I have  had the opportunity to come accross men who have come for counseling  stating they had a "sexual identity crisis".  Upon listening to many of them I discovered that while they were in their teens and trying to discern what God had in mind for them, they were approached by older  men who told them that because they had no attraction to women sexually that obviously they were homosexual.  They were led as children into homosexuality, guided by adult male predators who advised them that a person was either attracted to men or attracted to women. Such is the black and white result of the American Protestant Ethic.  They bought the idea that you were one way or the other, they did not know or teach about the third way, the angelic way of celibacy and possibly monastacism.

I have counseled numerous men and women who have had horrible relationships with companions, wives , life partners etc because they thought they must be in a relationship with either a man or a woman.  In my sesssions when I introduce the third way of celibacy, they are shocked---they almost always come back with the response they did not know of a third option. Our society does not offer the thgird option for the most part.  Indeed even Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christians often forget this option.

It is a very valid option and for those who have been called by God to it, this option can provide them great joy and fulfillment, a fulfillment much like that of marriage to those called to it. Perhaps the high divorce rate and growing homosexual voice may be arising from people who ave been denied the Third option for their life. What do you think?

In Christ,
Thomas
 

Fr. George

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Thomas said:
As a social worker, I have  had the opportunity to come accross men who have come for counseling  stating they had a "sexual identity crisis".  Upon listening to many of them I discovered that while they were in their teens and trying to discern what God had in mind for them, they were approached by older  men who told them that because they had no attraction to women sexually that obviously they were homosexual.  They were led as children into homosexuality, guided by adult male predators who advised them that a person was either attracted to men or attracted to women. Such is the black and white result of the American Protestant Ethic.  They bought the idea that you were one way or the other, they did not know or teach about the third way, the angelic way of celibacy and possibly monastacism. 
Thomas, I never knew about that kind of phenomenon!  As for the final sentence, I agree 100%!  Even in Orthodox families today, as I have observed in the GOA, the third option is seen as abnormal or strange.  It will be a long journey to get people to understand the blessings of each way of life - married (hetero) and celibate.
 

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How about #6: It is a socially unacceptable sin (unlike adultery, which at times is okay as long as it isn't public) that makes the perpetrator to seem more like a leper than the rest of us, who commit sins of equal magnitude yet because they are socially "acceptable" or "normal" don't get the condemnation.  THus, we use the internet like a lynch mob starting ground, to stir up anger at a sin which is just as bad as the anger and fury we wish to unleash upon it (specifically because our anger is not righteous anger, but rather fearful and ignorant).
 

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cleveland said:
How about #6: It is a socially unacceptable sin (unlike adultery, which at times is okay as long as it isn't public) that makes the perpetrator to seem more like a leper than the rest of us, who commit sins of equal magnitude yet because they are socially "acceptable" or "normal" don't get the condemnation. THus, we use the internet like a lynch mob starting ground, to stir up anger at a sin which is just as bad as the anger and fury we wish to unleash upon it (specifically because our anger is not righteous anger, but rather fearful and ignorant).
B-I-N-G-O.
 

Keble

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How about "because society/the media are presenting it as an issue"?
 

kansas city

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Maybe i'm an exception, or maybe i'm of precisely the perspective you're referring to. ÂÂ But i've hoped that the threads regarding homosexuality might offer some legitimate patristic insight, but that wasn't an option on the poll. A significant percentage of my friends are gay, travelling in the social circles i do. ÂÂ Not to mention the 'biological' claims, and dramatic demands of acceptance or running the risk of committing a 'hate crime.'  I have a distinct opinion about it and would like Orthodox insight because i am newly, however limitedly, 'illumined'.

I understand that this thread is most likely directed hostilely at specific posters, but i was hoping that a genuine inquiry might steer things more positively.

Forgive me for whatever could be interpreted sarcastically or offensively.

michael
 

Aristocles

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Keble said:
How about "because society/the media are presenting it as an issue"?
There you go! I agree. If bestiality were the new 'cause' I guess that would be a hot topic also.

(Opening new can of worms...)
 

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Αριστοκλής said:
There you go! I agree. If bestiality were the new 'cause' I guess that would be a hot topic also.

(Opening new can of worms...)
Which further proves that the folks of OC.net are up to date and in style  ;)
 

Carpatho Russian

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I went for choice #4.
As I posted previously:
Carpatho Russian said:
Why does it seem that at least once a month there is a post on the evilness or sinfulness of homosexuality?  Is there something lurking in the subconscious minds of posters?  ???
To take a line from Shakespeare's Hamlet, "The lady doth protest too much, methinks!" 
Although I think Cleveland's #6 says alot!
 

aserb

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Kansas City

Are you Serbian or do you just attend a SOC? Regardless, the Serbs of OC.net welcome you Orthodox Brother.
 

kansas city

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hah I love that that's always the first question i'm asked. Sunday was my first experience visiting an ethnic Serb parish. It was, in truth, quite an experience (positive).  i won't take the thread off topic; but that does remind me of a light-hearted poll i wanted to start myself..
 

Sloga

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kansas city said:
hah I love that that's always the first question i'm asked. Sunday was my first experience visiting an ethnic Serb parish. It was, in truth, quite an experience (positive). i won't take the thread off topic; but that does remind me of a light-hearted poll i wanted to start myself..
Welcome brother  :)
 
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