Will Adopting the Homosexual Agenda Force Orthodoxy into ‘Mainstream Irrelevance’?

I read the response Fr. Hans Jacobse wrote to M. Stankovich’s comment in another thread where Fr. Jacobse outlines what the conflict over homosexual activism in the Orthodox Church could mean for us long term. I think Fr. Jacobse makes a strong and compelling argument. I invite your responses.

As always, Monomakhos is open to debate and response. I also invite Fr. Jacobse and Mr. Stankovich to explain and defend their comments if they so choose.

+ + + + + + + + + +

While the world careens towards a moral collapse that both threatens the Church and presents her with the greatest missionary challenge perhaps since Constantine,* you and other activists expect us to spend our time fighting a homosexual lobby inside the Church that demands that homosexual behavior be normalized. Are you serious?

I recognize a dead end when I see one. Look at what acquiescence to the homosexual lobby did to the Episcopalians. There is absolutely no reason that the Orthodox should travel that road.

Don’t try to take us down it. I will resist it and so will others. I’ve seen too much destruction from the sexual revolution that flooded the culture like a tsunami leaving nothing but wreckage as it recedes. We’ve created a horrible mess for ourselves. Don’t tell me it doesn’t affect the Orthodox either. It does.

Your essay (protected by two priests for personal reasons of their own, sympathetic or not) that argues that homosexual behavior should be normalized is clearly more of the same confusion. And no, it’s not unfair to make this charge so early in the game. Your premise has a predictable trajectory: if the moral prohibition is lifted, then homosexual attraction must, and will, be seen as part of God’s anthropological design. From there it’s a short step to assert that homosexual behavior is normative.

Nor do I buy that a clear defense of the tradition is somehow discriminatory to “homosexuals.” The term “homosexual” is merely short-hand for someone who defines himself by his behavior. I might use the term “alcoholic” to define someone who can’t let go of alcohol, but people are more than their sins and the alcoholic never demands that I treat his chemical orientation as an ontological category.

If I am not faithful to the moral tradition, if my teaching is unclear, if I compromise it in some way, then the man who is struggling with same-sex desire — who recognizes that homosexual behavior is unnatural and who seeks a life of greater interior integration, even if it means that the integration is achieved in a struggle against the desire — is robbed of the hope that integration is even possible.

This is anathema to the members of the Facebook group and other activists. Sure, they give it lip service but they cannot really countenance it if they believe that same-sex behavior is as natural as opposite-sex behavior. The moral relativist is always the greatest absolutist in the room and the movement to normalize homosexual behavior is no different outside the Church than within her. The movement must, in order to succeed, silence voices like Met. Jonah’s or anyone else who refuses to conform to its agenda.

I really wish the activists in the Church had not forced this. Everyone knows that dealing with homosexual desire is a struggle, and before the activists turned the tables and demanded compliance with the homosexual agenda, an accommodation of sorts was possible, not perfect perhaps but workable. That’s not possible anymore. As long as they force a challenge to the prohibition, this conflict will continue.

How to resolve this conflict that the activists have created? Frankly, I see no reason to transform the Church into mainstream irrelevance — the only possible outcome if the Church lifts the prohibition and shifts her self-understanding. Why not save us the grief and join a mainstream church instead?

*With the Rise of Militant Secularism, Rome and Moscow Make Common Cause

Comments

  1. cynthia curran says:

    I think the Orthodox church can continue its traditional view on homosexuality. The homosexual view is philosophical many of us know a lot of good homosexual people, but philosophically to convince people of the orthodox view is not always easy .In Constantine’s time, Roman’s viewed homosexuality as morality ok as long as upper class male was the dominate partner not the passive. In fact almost 400 years earlier than Constantine the young Julius Caesar was excuse of being in a passive relationship with King Nicomedes by his enemies which means he was too female rather than male. So, Roman views on homosexuality are different than those of modern homosexuals.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Patrick Henry Reardon says:

      Cynthia Curran believes “the Orthodox church can continue its traditional view on homosexuality.”

      I would be hard pressed to define the “traditional view on homosexuality,” but the Church’s position on homosexual behavior is perfectly clear: It is a radical departure from the order of Creation and a grievous moral fault in every instance.

      I recall one occasion when someone raised this subject at a Clergy Symposium of the Antiochian Archdiocese. Metropolitan PHILIP promptly disposed of it by remarking, “We do not discuss abominations.”

      This remark summarizes my own sentiments on the subject. Even to discuss the matter is to give it an unwarranted respect.

      As for Mr Stankovich: It someone can help him understand the gravity of this sin, that person would be doing the gentleman a great favor.

      If, after one or two admonitions, someone persists on the point, Paul’s letter to Titus should be our guide.

      If this blog site is turned into a forum for discussing the homosexual vice as a legitimate moral option, I will have to figure out a way of shaking the dust from my sandals onto it. I would never open it again.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      • Geo Michalopulos says:

        Fr, thank you for your forceful and thoughtful reply. Please understand that as a priest in the See of Antioch, you have been protected from all this nonsense for several decades of resolute leadership by +Philip. I still applaud him for taking the AOCMA out of the Synod of Satan that is the NCC. Please know that I am not one to countenance the further devolution of the OCA (and Orthodoxy in general) in the trajectory which Arida, Bobosh, and Vinogradsky wish to take us on with all the talk of “inclusiveness” and “tolerance.”

        Having said that, the fact that Monomakhos has become a venue for open and honest debate on this topic is to my mind, salutary. If nothing else, we’re making a virtue out of necessity in that we are able to talk openly and honestly about the problems of the zeitgeist. To this end, I published Fr Hans Jacobse’s earlier response because it was inarguable and held up the standard high for all to see.

        To all, I am not at all convinced that the moral tradition of the Orthodox Church will survive in a robust fashion. For one thing, the problem of a gay/secularist/ecumenist cabal is not unknown in the other jurisdictions. The Phanar itself is riddled with Soros-acolytes and prides itself on being used by neocons in our State Department as a counterpoint against Moscow. It is very possible that the Diversity/Tolerance apologetic will be used via “hate crimes” legislation to persecute the Church.

        I pray I am wrong.

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
      • M. Stankovich says:

        Fr. Patrick,

        With all due respect – and as I have stated in another thread, I believe you are due – you could not have possibly read anything that I have written, here or anywhere, and conclude I advocate for “legitimization,” “normalization,” or “moral options” in regard to homosexuality. I read post after post, after accusation, after “special insight” into my motivation, “trajectory,” agenda, cabal, associations, and affiliations., and winner of the “cheap-shot-of-the-week,” Mr. Bauman has even gone so far as to propose a dark & monstrous psychoanalytic “projection” of my own sexuality, likened to a stealth instruction to Wormwood. As Scooter Rizutto was want to say, “Holy cow!”

        But nowhere is there one single quotation demonstrating I have said anything contrary to the Scripture, Patristical writings of the Fathers, or contrary to the Tradition of the Church. A lifetime abundance of conjecture, presumption (“I know where this going,” “read between the lines,” “seeing the trajectory,” a soothsayers “ergo…”), but not a single statement. While I certainly agree with Met. Kallistos (Ware), that the Tradition and Theology of the Church is dynamic and evolving – just as St. Gregory Palamas describes the Father, as “free,” “dynamic,” and always “in action” – and most certainly, the Holy Spirit “goes where He wishes,” diversity in expression of Divine Truth is fundamentally different than advocating “reassessment” and “options” and change. If this were not the case, why preach at the Liturgy? The Epistle & Gospel have already been read (“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Mk. 4:9), and the Synaxarion more than adequately summates the day. But you are called to reflect and provide “as new” (cf. Rev. 21:5) Truth your congregation has heard, perhaps, hundreds of times previously. Is making a diverse expression of eternal Truth “renovation?” Will the utilization of emergent medical science to understand the human condition, as we live it in this fallen world, diminish eternal Truth?

        If you are the man to “help me understand,”” Fr. Patrick, I invite your instruction.

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
        • Patrick Henry Reardon says:

          M. Stankovich writes: “I certainly agree with Met. Kallistos (Ware), that the Tradition and Theology of the Church is dynamic and evolving – just as St. Gregory Palamas describes the Father, as “free,” “dynamic,” and always “in action” – and most certainly, the Holy Spirit “goes where He wishes,”

          And here, I submit, is the problem: Faced with the possible acceptance of homosexual sin, it is utterly irresponsible—and seriously immoral—to say, “the Tradition and Theology of the Church is dynamic and evolving.”

          Faced with the possible acceptance of homosexual sin, the proper response is, “Thus saith the Lord.”

          I am a recovering Episcopalian, so I recognize certain inflections. Back when we believers were trying to hold on to even the faintest trace of Christian truth, the other side was saying such things as “the Tradition and Theology of the Church is dynamic and evolving.”

          When I hear such statements—in the context under discussion—I smell brimstone and look for the cloven hoof. Don’t be coy. We know where this line leads.

          GD Star Rating
          loading...
          • Fr Patrick, thank you for getting to the root of the matter in your inimitable way.

            GD Star Rating
            loading...
          • M. Stankovich says:

            Fr. Patrick,

            I cannot think of anything to say regarding your journey to Orthodoxy other than I am saddened that a man of faith would have to endure such trials. But you are not the first former-Episcopalian I have heard speak as if you possessed the “fullness of faith,” only to have it torn asunder by the singular issue of homosexuality. The Anglican Church was in dark heresy from its formation, and what is the natural history of heresy but destruction? Am I to believe that if it were not for the “crisis” of homosexuality you would not be an Orthodox priest?

            In my “borrowing” of the thought of Met. Kallistos – and there is a similar quotation of Fr. G. Florovsky on the opening to the blog where I participate – I would specifically note to you that you do not find the words, nor the implication, nor the instruction, nor the advocacy of “change,” amendment, revision, or reconsideration of the eternal Truth and Tradition of the Orthodox Church. These are your interpretations; a projection of your fears; and apparently your uncanny ability to both “lie detect” by inflection and smell demons, but most certainly are not my words. If you would fashion me to be a “renovationist” or apologist for the acceptance of behaviour that contradicts both Orthodox anthropology and Tradition, you are wildly mistaken.

            Your fears are foreign to me as one raised in the Orthodox Church. Even in reading the commentaries of the proceedings of the 7th Ecumenical Council at Nicea, that the Church “was nearly lost to the heretics” – and I recall the days when the Russian Orthodox Church actually proclaimed the Nine Anathemas on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, and likewise undertook the scrupulous questioning and renunciations of heresy, according to the Rubric, in the reception of converts – these are the interpretations of men, and not of God. If I am unable to trust the foundational words of the Lord (Matt. 16:18), what, then, in this world, is worth trusting?

            I resolutely refuse to participate in this demagog you attempt to hold over my head, and apparently from which you derive the boldness to tell me I am “immoral” and “irresponsible,” someone you, literally, know nothing about. You would have me believe that the Orthodox Church, One & Holy; the Codifier and Guardian of the Scripture as the eternal witness of the Master among us; the “joy” of the Holy Martyrs; the Fountain of holiness and healing; the true and living experience of the Master’s Table which is to come; and all the while under the constant protection of the Theotokos, is honestly in peril of falling to a group on Facebook? Undermined by “internet dialog” where people lack the courage to use their own name? On the brink of “collapse” because of a minority projected to be from 1-6% of the population of the entire world? I am well aware of the psychology and dynamics of “insidious persuasion” – I work in a world of professional liars and manipulators – but does not an eternal Light reveal the machinations of the darkness?

            Fr. Alexander Schmemann once gave a sermon saying “do not imagine yourself, standing before the Throne of Judgment, head lowered and hat in hand, in a weak voice defending yourself by saying, ‘But Lord, I am weak…’ Because He will say, “Who told you this? I created you to be the crown of creation and the ruler of the earth. And that is what I expected of you.” I have taken this to mean that I can only differentiate success from failure or power from weakness by the gift of perspective.

            GD Star Rating
            loading...
            • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

              Lighten up Francis. You know your wrong and you are going nowhere in the Orthodox Church. However, keep beating the drum. At least we will find out who is with you and you is with the Lord.

              Peter

              GD Star Rating
              loading...
  2. Until the OCA openly and decisively cleans house of its gay bishops, priests and deacons, all this talk about homosexuality is moot in my opinion because it is being given tacit consent by its leadership. There are gay bishops on the OCA synod right now. There are gay clergy in OCA dioceses who are being protected by their bishops. There are gay deacons who are allowed to serve because they are being protected by the clergy above them.

    Why is it so difficult to say that homosexuality is not condoned in the Orthodox Church. If you an active homosexual you cannot commune, or more precisely, you have excommunicated yourself from the Chalice. If you struggle with the sin of SSA, you must fight it with all your strength and not be seduced into thinking that it is an ontological expression of who you are. You must remain celibate, and that goes for non-married heterosexuals.

    But this is made so much more difficult to express when you have clergy and laity chipping away at the edges of this topic with the ultimate goal of making non-celibate homosexuals an inclusive part of the Church and celebrated as equal members of the Church. This is exactly what the Deacon in Washington DC was so emphatic in defense of the Church’s teaching and was willing to put himself on the line for said teaching. But what happened? He was shouted down by the gay priest on staff in DC as being a disruptive voice in the Cathedral. He was forced out because his Bishop spoke out of both sides of his mouth on the issue.

    That is where the “rubber is meeting the road” on this issue when people stand up for what the Church has always taught and not be seduced by the so-called more enlightened scientific revealations about SSA. The promoters of a “dialogue” on this issue and the adament rejection of that “dialogue” by many of whom are refugees from that dialogue seduction in the Episcopal church are a new leven in the Orthodox Church given to us by God to fight against the likes of those who call themselves “the Legacy” of those who came before them. They are selective in that lineage and they are even more selective in their interpretation of The Legacy of Christ and the Fathers.

    But until the OCA cleans up its own act with gay leaders in their ranks, the OCA will continue to be weakened by the cancer of homosexuality and the less than subtle attempts by some posters on this blog to mainstream homosexuality in the Orthodox Church.

    George, you should count it as a compliment that such forces engage you on this blog. By so doing they confirm that what goes on here is a threat to their agenda.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Archpriest John Morris says:

      This cannot possibly be true. I must be very ignorant, but I cannot believe that any Orthodox Church in America or anywhere else tolerates openly practicing gay clergy. The teaching of the Orthodox Church on sexuality is clear. There is no ambiguity. All sexual activity outside of holy matrimony, which by definition is one man and one woman, is sinful. Hows can someone pretend to lead the Church while they rejects its most basic moral teachings? We are all sinners, but there is a line which one does not cross and remain in the priesthood. I have no doubt that any Orthodox bishop or jurisdiction that openly rejects the teachings of the Church and embraces the pro-homosexual agenda will find themselves out of communion with the Orthodox Church. One cannot reject the clear testimony of the Holy Scriptures, the Fathers, the canons of the Ecumenical Councils and the constant teaching of the Church on any subject and still call themselves Orthodox.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      • I haven’t heard of any priest who openly denies the teaching of the Church, but I know personally several who do not teach it, who do not follow it by disciplining those who openly live contrary to it, and who very actively and even viciously oppose those of us who do teach it and follow it.

        One priest I know vehemently objected to my mention of sodomy in a sermon, publicly condemned my denial of communion to a woman who many times professed her marriage to another woman to people at church, argued publicly that priests are not “communion cops” (his words) charged with determining who is worthy to commune, and continued to commune the woman I turned away despite explicit instructions from his bishop that she was not to be communed.

        Many people say this priest lives with another man, but I can’t swear to that. That’s the problem: People, even priests, can give every appearance of being gay, but if they deny it and you can’t catch them in flagrante, we all are obliged to pretend they are not.

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
      • Patrick Henry Reardon says:

        Archpriest John Morris, with that innocence of heart which is his best known trait—and universally endearing—says, “I cannot believe that any Orthodox Church in America or anywhere else tolerates openly practicing gay clergy.”

        Oh Father dear and bosom friend, we must talk.

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
        • Archpriest John Morris says:

          I do not know if I would use the term “innocent” to describe myself. Perhaps nave or even stupid would be more appropriate. I really have a hard time believing that anyone could be so hypocritical as to assume a position of leadership in the Orthodox Church when they reject its basic moral or dogmatic teachings. In this case the issue is clear. The question of whether or not homosexual acts are sinful does not fall into the category of theologoumena. There is no doubt that the Orthodox Church has always taught that homosexual actions are sinful. Therefore, if one wants to be a member of the clergy, a lay leader in the Orthodox Church they must not engage in homosexual activities or help those who do avoid the discipline of the Church. Those who enagage in homosexual activities must repent and go to confession before they approach the chalice. In every case of which I am aware, a member of the clergy who has been guilty of homosexual sins, has been removed from the priesthood. If there is the kind of open sanctioning of homosexuality described in this discussion in any Orthodox jurisdiction, it is a scandal that must be ended.
          The gays may ask why homosexuality has become such an issue. The answer is that the homosexuals and lesbians have made it an issue by their constant demand for affirmation. We are constantly bombarded by pro-gay propaganda in the media, popular entertainment, and through political correctness. If the gay community would leave everyone else alone there would not be such a backlash against their lifestyle. But with gay pride parades in our major cities, demands to redefine marriage, the proclamation of gay pride month by our president, not to mention the efforts to use sex education to teach our children that our beliefs are out of date and narrow minded, one who believes in the moral teachings of our Church is forced to either accept the pro-gay agenda or to face criticism and in some cases outright discrimination for their moral beliefs.
          Yes our response must be loving and caring, but it must also be honest. The only way to help a sinner is to help them see the nature of their sins and repent of them. It is not love to accept behavior that is clearly sinful or to encourage someone to continue to live a sinful life. If I fail to admonish a sinner to repent, I am failing in one of my primary responsibilities as the spiritual father of my flock.
          Those who want to change the moral teachings of the Orthodox Church are wasting their time. Some outward expressions of Orthodoxy have changed through the centuries, but the core beliefs never change. If we did, we would not longer be Orthodox. Those who demand that we change our beliefs would be more comfortable in a group like the Episcopal Church. There you can have all sorts of pageantry, vestments, chanting, incense, and believe whatever you want.
          Finally, I find it highly offense when anyone attacks Metropolitan Philip. He is a strong and decisive leader, but he is not a tyrant. I suspect that his critics have never actually had a private discussion with him. If they did they would find that he has the ability to listen to someone and convey the feeling that their opinions are very important to him. I do not always agree with every decision that he makes, but I always respect him and believe that he is doing what he honestly believes is in the best interests of the Antiochian Archdiocese. Those in other jurisdictions would do well to take care of their own problems before they criticize any other jurisdiction.
          I can only hope and pray that things in the OCA are not as bad as one would believe reading the internet.

          Archpriest John W. Morris

          GD Star Rating
          loading...
          • Jane Rachel says:

            Father John, things in the OCA are as bad as what you’ve read here. However, things were far worse in the days when the awful truth was hidden, before at least some of the truth began to be made known.

            GD Star Rating
            loading...
  3. Of course homosexuality is inconsistent with orthodox Christianity. Even most non-Christians know that.

    What is true, though, of our modern society’s obsession with homosexuality and its normalization is that in most cases, it’s not really about sex but the manifestation of a deep emotional longing.

    Father Patrick, your generation knew how to do and to cultivate same-sex close friendships. My generation and younger generations (to a large extent) do not. Most male-centered activities where men used to bond with each other and to get that male bonding that we all crave were effectively neutered and feminized in the ’70s and since (education, work, etc etc — Even high school and college sports.)

    Go to traditional cultures and you’ll see men at coffee shops or elsewhere talking for hours to their male friends. Same things at large family events in foreign cultures. Compare modern America– men just don’t do that, men are often afraid of closeness with each other, and the family is being destroyed daily.

    I’m not justifying homosexuality. But I do believe that there’s a reason this homosexual “agenda” came up in the early 21st century and not in the more traditional 1950s. There’s a clear reason for it. It represents a very warped way of men to get the male bonding that we all need but that we don’t do (or know how to do) anymore.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Patrick Henry Reardon says:

      LV says, “[Homosexual behavior] represents a very warped way of men to get the male bonding that we all need but that we don’t do (or know how to do) anymore.”

      It is refreshing to hear a sane assessment of the thing.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      • OrthodoxConservative says:

        Amen! The secularization and corruption of the culture have turned relationships upside down. Normal interactions and fellowship between men and men, women and women, men and women have been ridiculed and assaulted, while abnormal interactions have been glorified and promoted.

        This also happens to children who are brainwashed into accepting abominations as normal, and taught that normal interactions between boys and girls are “abusive”, “sexist”, etc. .

        Reminds us of these warnings from Scriptures:

        Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
        Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
        Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
        (Isaiah 5:20)

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
    • LV, you are defining some of the pathology behind SSA and you are correct, both psychologically and culturally. It’s also a major reason why homosexual activists should not be around young people, especially male teens. Boys need healthy bonding with other boys (as men need deep fellowship with other men), and allowing sexuality to enter that process by presenting homosexual behavior as normal, disrupts the process. The boys don’t want to be seen as homosexual and rightfully so, so they avoid the necessary bonding that allows a stable (and natural) heterosexual self-identity to emerge. Growing up is hard enough. The last thing they need is males with disrupted emotional development modeling for them how to be a man.

      It is true that as the cultural prohibition has eroded in the larger culture, homosexual behavior among teens has increased. It is also true that this has cause a lot of distress among them (although the gay teen suicide apologetic is a myth). We can expect to deal with more of this as the culture continues headlong over the sexual cliff, and we have to develop a better pastoral response to it. (If Met. Jonah’s antagonists were not hammering him so hard, the OCA could be well on its way to do developing this since he understands the human dimension of life in Christ so well.)

      Orthodox kids are not exempt from the sexual anarchy in the larger culture. I did five tours at Ionian Village (GOA), and almost two decades of summer camp in between. I’ve heard the confessions. I was the point man for the summer camp “sex talk” as we priests used to describe it. I know how the teens think, and I know the harm that sexual acting out — pornography, relationships, hooking up, etc. — imposes on their soul and psyche. Confession always ran long into the night after the “sex talk,” so much so that we priests scheduled for it. The kids want the wholeness and clarity of conscience that a chaste life offers. Instead, they are swept up by the culture because they don’t have enough opportunity to hear, or the social contexts to practice, the way of Christ.

      This effort to normalize homosexual relations in the Church has to be resisted, and hard. If Orthodox youth, particularly young men, catch a whiff of compromise they are gone. There is an instinctive resistance towards erotic relations with a same-sex peer built into all of us (the resistance fades as activity increases — a dimming of the conscience actually) and it is especially strong in young men. That’s why the worst epithet a teen boy can cast on another is, “You’re gay!” Gay activists argue this is discrimination. It really is resistance against the efforts to break their masculine self-identity and make them more feminine. If the Church starts tolerating this masculine breakdown, they will leave and never come back — and understandably so.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      • Katherine says:

        You are correct. Please keep the OCA in your prayers, and especially +Met. JONAH. The AAC starts next week. I am praying that the Holy Spirit will keep +Met. JONAH from being ousted. He has been hampering Mark’s efforts of late, which is why Mark is so frustrated right now and he is getting more and more vicious.

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
      • Geo Michalopulos says:

        Fr, on a tangential note, this fear of normal male bonding which Gay, Inc has effectively destroyed has led as well to the feminization of the Protestant Church, where we see men fleeing in droves. This is paralleled as well in Reform Judaism and secular Jewry as well. The backlash has been a resurgence of Hasidism which is uber-patriarchal. I guarantee you, there are probably more red-blooded American males in a ROCOR or Old-Calendarist Greek church on any given Sunday than in parishes that are pastored by the likes of Vinogradsky.

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
        • I wouldn’t be surprised George. Men don’t want a feminized church with effeminate priests (stable women don’t either). I think it was Presbytera Frederica who wrote an article a while back that explained the reason that men were not leaving Orthodoxy is that it was, well, manly. It expects something from you. You have to serve this Christ that we worship. Like I told my parish in a sermon a few weeks ago: Christ is merciful but He writes the rules. If you think you are going to negotiate with Christ, the only thing you will find when you show up for the meeting is the Holy Scripture lying on the conference table. Read that and you will understand the terms. The guys got it.

          GD Star Rating
          loading...
          • Geo Michalopulos says:

            Fr, I like that. If the metrosexuals in the ABV axis don’t like the rules, they can go join ECUSA. They love fabulous brocades over there.

            GD Star Rating
            loading...
        • Geo Michalopulos says:

          I guarantee you, there are probably more red-blooded American males in a ROCOR or Old-Calendarist Greek church on any given Sunday . . .

          I often visit this site to see what the “unofficial” requirements are to be orthodox. So far, I have learned I must examine everything through the lens of whether or not it promotes homosexuality. Homosexuality is so pervasive, insidious and diabolical, that all issues must first pass this litmus test. Secondly, I need to become much more conservative in my political and philosophical views. But this one, I may need more instruction on. I am male, but how does one know if he is “red-blooded American” enough? Is that only in ROCOR or Greek churches?

          GD Star Rating
          loading...
          • Very snarky there, Logan. You know, I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s. I was nearly 17 before I even knew what a homosexual was. Maybe I was sheltered, who knows. But my kids get it thrown in their faces on a daily basis. We had to explain to them as grade schoolers what it meant and what God’s expressed opinion on it was. By the grace of Christ my three still virgin children will chastely wait for the mate God has for them, or they will wait on Christ if no acceptable one comes along.

            Homosexual behavior has become pervasive. You, Logan, are probably a youngin’ and have not sense of history since your youth was spent in the ultra-sex saturated culture of the 80’s and 90’s. Please correct me if I am wrong on the age.

            GD Star Rating
            loading...
          • Logan, please don’t accuse us falling into the trap of “litmus tests,” that’s a bogus argument. The only litmus test for Orthodoxy is the ability to say and believe the Creed every Sunday and to engage in the spiritual discipline necessary to be able to partake of the Lord’s Body and Blood every Sunday. If there was worldwide movement to push polygamy and to soften the Church’s teaching on that because of “inclusiveness” or “tolerance,” then we’d be talking about that nonstop. Right now the heresy du jour is relaxing the Church’s teaching on sodomy.

            GD Star Rating
            loading...
            • Mike Myers says:

              Why is it not a heresy du siecles or even du millénaires to relax Christ’s perfectly clear teaching on divorce? According to the reports that have come down to us he said nothing about homosexuality, but he explicitly banned divorce, except in cases of “fornication.” Divorce is rampant among heterosexual Orthodox. This double standard confuses me.

              The highly placed Deacon Mitchell provocatively insists on using the incendiary term “sodomy” and “sodomites” on your blog, and no one reproaches him for it — he even does it from the pulpit, in the nation’s capitol! I take it he’s not a fool and knows very well what he’s doing, and the sort of reception that kind of language is likely to get across the board. Is that considered good, irenic pastoral practice these days among Orthodox? Is it winked at, in a Church that gives lip service to its duty to welcome struggling gay Christians, just as it would any other repenting sinner? How disingenuous is that? How hypocritical and bogus?

              When a teenager comes to your priests to confess homosexual activity, which is now and has always been very common behavior, evidently, is it thought good pastoral practice these days among your clergy to warn him that he is a “sodomite” or to exhort him to recall the fiery fate of Sodom? How likely is it that gay visitors to your blog, those who are seeking Christ, are going to feel welcome in the OCA when confronted with language like this from ordained clergy? Or in Antiochian churches? — Fr. Reardon assures us in highly indignant language that his Metropolitan, a well-known Oriental tyrant, refuses even to discuss this issue, being Himself too holy to discuss “abominations.” Fr. Reardon has expressed his own sympatico high dudgeon on this point, in comment two on this very thread. One suspects that his job depends on it.

              Are you people unconcerned about how all this looks to rational and decent human beings, in an environment where children are mercilessly bullied by their peers, occasionally murdered, and are frequently driven to suicide because of it? Do you honestly feel guiltless of any complicity in these things? If you do, I think you are self-deceived.

              GD Star Rating
              loading...
      • M. Stankovich says:

        Fr. Johannes,

        In a public forum, you have openly accused me of arguing that “homosexual behavior should be normalized”; that my “premise has a predictable trajectory”; and that I and “other” activists have brought this, ultimately, to subvert what is the eternal Truth and Tradition of the Orthodox Church. And you have accomplished this erudycyon without once demonstrating a specific statement I have made that supports your lofty conclusion. Remarkable. And when this is apparently insufficient in and of itself, you go to the “pile on” by implementing a rehash of the most trite and unsupportable stereotype available.

        In my mind, this is not a serious pursuit, and you clearly have misidentify your “enemies.” Take your fight to Facebook where it belongs.

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
  4. Lola J. Lee Beno says:

    Here’s one factor . . . canonical unity. Can you see Moscow Patriarchate continuing to be in union with an Orthodox jurisdiction that openly supports SSA?

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Lola,

      I think with your brief comment you have exposed a major divergence in the continuing support of the MP for the OCA going forward.

      I heard that Archbishop Justinian the MP representative in New York was invited and attended the celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the enthronement of Patriarch Bartholomew this weekend. The OCA was not represented. The OCA was not invited. What does that tell you about the EP and the MP in relation to the OCA? Not a good sign.

      Fr. Kishkovsky, are you listening?

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      • Oh, Fr. Kishkovsky will probably just blame it on Met. Jonah and that thing he did in Dallas two years ago.

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
        • Helga,

          You know what is so sad, that speech by Jonah, and his genuine apology to Patriarch Bartholomew, which he accepted, is not the reason why the OCA is “persona non gratis” with Constantinople. For all the bogy men tales about the EP, it comes down to a personal relationship with the OCA that was torn asunder by little minds with petty agendas. His All-Holiness is so disappointed in how the OCA treated one of its former chancellor’s that he grieves for what the OCA has become.

          Let there be no mistake about it. The OCA at one time could have been the catalyst for unity because of friendship and goodwill. Now, it is the major obstacle for Orthodox unity in North America. And, sadly, John Jillions will not change the course of the OCA, even if he thinks he can. Hold on to your tenure, Fr. Jillions it is not worth throwing away.

          GD Star Rating
          loading...
        • Geo Michalopulos says:

          Helga, even if take for the sake of argument, the Cabal’s argument that +Jonah hurt the OCA with his speech in Dallas, we are still left with the ruinous relationship between Moscow and the OCA because of the idiotic liberalism of Kishkovsky.

          The first assertion (+Jonah’s speech) is arguable and even if we accept the worst, +Jonah’s apology made things (officially) better. The second assertion, that Kishkovsky and his ilk have ruined relations between Moscow and Syosset is unarguable.

          That these clowns may be trying to do eject +Jonah shows how completely out of touch they are. They wouldn’t be shooting themselves in the foot as much as shooting themselves in the mouth. In my darker moments, I actually wish that they do something egregious, that way we could go ahead and have the battle royal that is necessary to cleanse the Church. It would be worth it even if the forces of Traditionalism lost in Seattle, because then the Syosset Soviet’s days would be really numbered then and all those priests and bishops who conspired against +Jonah would be left to go fight over the remaining real estate.

          There is simply no way any one church can exist for long in which there are opposing wings, one which is Orthopractic, the other which is secularist. We saw this with ECUSA, where the Tolerance Mafia has become an Inquisition, excommunicating those who hold to the moral tradition.

          GD Star Rating
          loading...
          • That last paragraph about ECUSA says it all. I love that phrase the Tolerance Mafia or should one say the Intolerant Tolerance Mafia. My way or the highway.

            GD Star Rating
            loading...
  5. The kids want the wholeness and clarity of conscience that a chaste life offers. They are just swept up by the culture and don’t have enough opportunity to hear, or the social contexts to practice, the way of Christ, not as thoroughly as they need anyway.

    Father Hans, I think in this one sentence you have crystalized the core longing of so many people who know deep down that what they are acting out in their lives is not going to bring them fulfillment. They desire more. They desire what is genuine. They long for what is eternal.

    Your statement should be emblazoned across the masthead of every youth program that the Orthodox Church may offer.

    God bless you.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  6. While perhaps off-topic, here’s an interesting link I saw from Rod Dreher’s website…

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  7. Joseph Clarke says:

    This post illustrates what seems to drive so much of Fr. Jacobse’s agenda: a fear of becoming “irrelevant.” The real concern comes not primarily from love for human persons (otherwise, why would a priest who believes homosexuality is uniformly evil ever countenance “an accommodation of sorts” for gay people in the Church?) but from a desire to transform American Orthodoxy into a political force. The moral landscape becomes black and white, neatly divided into pious Orthodox Christians and demonic, caricatured “activists” — i.e. anyone with the temerity to challenge publicly his moralizing, us-versus-them worldview.

    The desire to be “relevant” to current political issues is ultimately a hunger for power. Needless to say, it’s hardly a sound basis for navigating the challenges of contemporary pastoral theology.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Joseph, please. I have dealt with men struggling with SSA more than you know. I judge no man, but I do judge the effort to normalize homosexual behavior (one that you enthusiastically embrace judging from your participation on the Facebook group) because it violates scripture and the moral tradition.

      The “accommodation” refers to the fact that sexual chastity is a hard struggle. Ask St. Augustine. He had a lot to say about it in the “Confessions.” The difference between you and St. Augustine is that he never taught that his sins should be normalized.

      But, alas, because of your group’s political activism, homosexual sin has now moved to the forefront of church politics. It’s disingenuous to push it forward, and then accuse those who object to your agenda of moral myopia. But honest debate isn’t really the purpose. Episcopalianizing the Church is.

      Why not become Episcopalian instead? They already believe everything that you and your activist friends do. They are liberal, open-minded, tolerant, inclusive, loving, non-judgmental, and gay friendly. I’m sure they would love it if some of you came over.

      Meanwhile, neanderthals like me can busy ourselves with our “desire to transform American Orthodoxy into a political force” to satisfy our “hunger for power.” Sounds like a win-win to me.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      • Joseph Clarke says:

        You’re not a neanderthal, Fr. Jacobse. Your brand of activism is a distinctly modern phenomenon, and it’s an innovation American Orthodoxy would be better off without.

        I’m not going to take the bait and try to refute your string of allegations, which are completely unfounded. I will say that it’s a sad day in our Church when a priest is openly encouraging laypeople with whom he disagrees to leave Orthodoxy.

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
        • When someone has embraced heresy, at a certain point the Church is forced to show them the door. This is not however, because anyone wants to see people leave the Church, but when you have left the Church spiritually, and your continued presence is a danger to others in the Church, then it can become necessary.

          You have embraced the idea that homosexual sex is not contrary to the Orthodox Faith (which is clear from your posts to the “Listening” Facebook group). That is a heretical belief. If you do not want to separate yourself from the Church, you should submit yourself to the teachings of the Church and renounce this error.

          When faced with heresy, the Orthodox have always become “activists” against that heresy.

          GD Star Rating
          loading...
        • If you believe that homosexual behavior is accord with the Orthodox moral tradition, then you have two choices: repent from the false belief, or leave the Church. Those are your only two options. If you don’t repent (change your mind), then it would be better to embrace a church in accord with your beliefs than attempt to force the Church to embrace yours.

          If you succeed in forcing the Church to change its tradition, then the Church ceases being the Church. It is no longer Orthodox. Several things will happen. It will be disavowed by worldwide Orthodoxy. It will sink into the mire of irrelevance that afflicts mainstream Protestantism. It may face the judgement of God like ancient Israel did when it embraced sin over righteousness (only God knows).

          You really are better off becoming Episcopalian or liberal Methodist or joining some other mainstream group as long as you hang on to your pro-homosexual apologetic. I wouldn’t recommend Catholicism because their teaching that homosexuality is an objective disorder has not changed.

          GD Star Rating
          loading...
          • Carl Kraeff says:

            I agree with both Father John and Father Hans.

            GD Star Rating
            loading...
          • Joseph Clarke says:

            Thanks for your comments, Fr. Whiteford and Fr. Jacobse, but you’re ascribing to me intentions and beliefs which I do not hold. Whether you earnestly believe that I have a nefarious secret agenda that contradicts what I’ve written publicly, or are knowingly bearing false witness in order to rally anti-gay sentiment and feel “relevant,” is not important to me. Please leave the task of judging me to God and my priest.

            GD Star Rating
            loading...
            • “As Fr. Schmemann expounded, our theology grows out of our liturgical life—not the other way around. Theology is not something worked out in the form of abstract dogmas and then overlaid onto life; rather, the way we worship together expresses in a performative way what we believe. The reality that we experience together, in the Eucharist, ought to be the starting and ending point for our theological ruminations. And there’s nothing anywhere in the Liturgy to suggest excluding a certain category of Christians because of their sexuality…. I would like to hear a well-reasoned argument for why our liturgy entails excluding homosexuals from full participation.” – You.

              Joseph, this is a free world so you can believe whatever you want, but you cannot pretend that your beliefs can be reconciled with Orthodox Christianity.

              GD Star Rating
              loading...
              • Joseph Clarke says:

                Thank you, Helga, for quoting my actual words rather than inventing a caricature of them. All I can do, I guess, is stand by what I wrote. We Orthodox believe our theology is not contained in abstract systems and “moral prohibitions,” but is enacted through our liturgical and communal life, and I still haven’t heard an argument against homosexuality founded on this basis.

                Look, I have no interest in “forcing the Church to change its tradition” but I do think that our current de facto approach to homosexuality is inconsistent, hypocritical, and at times spiritually and psychologically harmful (see Iliff, Eric), and has not been adequately worked out with respect to objective scientific knowledge and the subjective experience of gay people. I certainly have my own opinion about how we could work through this, but I’m not trying to force my views on anyone, because I know I don’t have all the answers; it’s ultimately up to our bishops, pastors, and theologians to figure this out, in the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and I fully accept their authority. All I can do is bring the issues and questions that weight heavily on my conscience to the attention of my brothers and sisters — that’s the extent of my so-called “agenda.”

                People have strong views about this issue and I sincerely want to hear the well-reasoned arguments of others (I’ve pleaded in private messages with intelligent conservative priests to join the Facebook group and voice their skepticism). On the other hand, there are some in this conversation who really do have an agenda; they’ve already made up their minds that in order for the Church to stay “relevant,” its theology needs to be shoehorned into the contours of current hot-button political debates. I personally know several people who have been persecuted by their priests because they struggled with homosexuality, and the idea that another suffering young person might be driven out of the Church — or worse — for the sake of keeping American Orthodoxy “relevant” makes me sick. The proper way to begin thinking through this is with our liturgical experience of God and of each other, with the Bible and with Holy Tradition — not with political activism.

                GD Star Rating
                loading...
                • Heracleides says:

                  Look, I have no interest in “forcing the Church to change its tradition”…

                  Really Joseph? Then what exactly was the manifesto you authored, signed, and circulated for other members of Leonova’s coven to sign before forwarding it to the bishops of the OCA? Your attempt at being disingenuous on this matter borders on being an outright lie. Stop dissembling and simply say what you mean & mean what you say.

                  GD Star Rating
                  loading...
                • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                  Joseph, you write:

                  We Orthodox believe our theology is not contained in abstract systems and “moral prohibitions,” but is enacted through our liturgical and communal life, and I still haven’t heard an argument against homosexuality founded on this basis.

                  In fact, the Church has often condemned sodomy from the ambo and always excluded unrepentant sodomites from communion. So there’s your argument against homosexuality founded on a liturgical and communal basis.

                  GD Star Rating
                  loading...
                  • One good book to read that shows how the Church handled sexual sin (same sex) with abstaining from communional life is “Sex and Society in the World of the Slavs, 900-1700″, by Eve Levin.

                    GD Star Rating
                    loading...
                • Joseph, the only reason homosexuality is a “hot button” political debate in the Church is because activists such as yourself are pressing to normalize homosexual behavior. As for harmful treatment of homosexuals, if you mean that there has to be a better understanding of homosexual pathology, I think you won’t find find any substantial disagreement on that point.

                  You misunderstand my point about relevance. I am not arguing that we should remain faithful to the moral tradition in order to stay relevant. We stay faithful to the moral tradition because it points the way to salvation. If the Church abandons the moral tradition however, it will slide into irrelevance like the mainstream Protestants have done. It’s an important distinction, and there is no reason to go down that road.

                  GD Star Rating
                  loading...
                  • Mike Myers says:

                    Father Jacobse, surely you recognize that this moral tradition you vaguely cite is not something set in stone but one that has changed significantly over the centuries in the Church. Plenty of things that were approved or disapproved in the culture from which the Tenach emerged and the NT gospel derived are now disapproved or approved, respectively, in the contemporary Church. Eating pork is OK. Wearing clothing made of mixed materials is no longer outlawed. Women are not considered mere chattel, the property of their father or husband, as they were in the OT. Slavery is prohibited and almost universally decried. All of these, and much more could be listed, are major or comparatively minor changes to the Judeo-Christian “moral tradition.” Some as recent as the past century or so. Jesus’s nearly blanket proscription of divorce is quite unequivocal, and yet he is essentially ignored on this matter, in effect. I’m curious why you are so adamant on the importance of this one aspect of an objectively evolving moral tradition, particularly given the Church’s laxity on divorce.

                    A closely related question that has always interested me is why the adherents of a politically fashionable contemporary moralism — one fashionable among the Christian Right, anyway — who profess grave concern with the undoubted consequences to many individuals of homoerotic misbehaviours are not even more gravely and publicly concerned about the vastly more destructive consequences, not only to individuals but to society, of the abuse of heterosexuality. This disproportionate emphasis is highly suspect to me. It appears to be not genuinely religious in motive, primarily, but political. And hypocritical as hell.

                    Do you and Father Whiteford consider yourselves qualified specialists in decrying particular, comparatively quite rare sins, while leaving to others the much more dangerous job of denouncing far more prevalent and much more destructive heterosexual varieties of sins?

                    GD Star Rating
                    loading...
                    • Every time I debate an activist I notice this: Whenever we talk about homoerotic behavior, the moral tradition cannot be trusted (Tenach, eating port, etc.). When the time comes to level the charge of hypocrisy, the full authority of the tradition is invoked.

                      I am glad to see you arguing fidelity to the moral tradition Mike, although I don’t think that’s your intention.

                      For the record, I am an equal opportunity moralist. See: “Teen Sex is Killing Our Kids” at http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles/JacobseTeenSex.php

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • Mike Myers says:

                      Every time I debate an activist I notice this: Whenever we talk about homoerotic behavior, the moral tradition cannot be trusted (Tenach, eating port, etc.). When the time comes to level the charge of hypocrisy, the full authority of the tradition is invoked.

                      Activist? You mean me? If so, what sort of activist am I, Father?

                      Why did you completely ignore the point about Orthodoxy’s moral tradition of laxity on divorce? Does Christ’s teaching on divorce strike you as ambiguous or difficult to understand? I see how zealous you and Frs. Reardon and Whiteford are about mobilizing against any threat of laxity in the Orthodox Church with respect to homosexual behavior. You clearly protest much, all of you. But divorce is vastly more common and consequential. Do you guys also teach that those who remarry after divorce are committing adultery? If not, why not? Your moral tradition knows better than your Lord, apparently.

                      As noted, it looks like some clergy are (presumably) qualified, clearly very highly motivated specialists in one sort of moralistic rhetoric. It is interesting to me, incidentally, how often such specialists have a strong background of intimate association with the war racket, and/or as cheerleaders and apologists for horrifically costly foreign aggression and meddling. Costly in every imaginable way. It’s very unclear to me what any of that has to do with the Kingdom of God, although the association with Caesar and Mammon are clear enough.

                      For the record, I am an equal opportunity moralist. See: “Teen Sex is Killing Our Kids” at http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles/JacobseTeenSex.php

                      Unfunded wars fervently supported by you guys kill our kids and horribly maim them physically, psychologically and spiritually. Bankrupt the nation, too. Ever say anything about any of that, Father? If not, why not? Father Whiteford? Father Reardon? Father Mitchell?

                      Earth to Mars. . . Do you read me?

                      The Christian moral tradition has no monopoly on opposition to hypocrisy. It’s a cross-cultural value.

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says:

                      Like I said, when it comes to homoerotic behavior, the tradition can’t be trusted. When it’s time to level the charge of hypocrisy, the full moral authority of the tradition is invoked.

                      I should have added that when the contradiction is exposed, the hypocrisy charge is repeated full throttle followed by charges that the moral rhetoric is unseemly — all expressed of course in moralistic tones one step short of all caps shouting.

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • Mike, you’re not making sense. And you’re a hypocrite. Would you rather that those “unfunded wars” be funded? Would that make it all different for you? I rather doubt it.

                      I know your type. It all depends on whose ox is being gored.

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • Mike Myers says:

                      Unfunded was just a qualifier. It merely expressed an interesting, unique fact about this particular war. It would have made sense to anyone who was informed. Forgive me for my presumption here.

                      It was “funded” by issuing debt, now “owned” by the Chinese and Japanese, mainly. Bush told you to go shopping, as your contribution. Funny guy.

                      Anyway, yeah, you’re pretty astute to doubt that I’d have been for the Iraq war, even if Bush had funded it honestly by taxing the people who supported it (and the ones who didn’t). I’d have opposed it then, too. Unlike most of you guys I’m not a big chickenhawk fanboy of war and foreign meddling.

                      I know your type. It all depends on whose ox is being gored.

                      No clue what that’s supposed to mean.

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • Mike Myers says:

                      Like I said, when it comes to homoerotic behavior, the tradition can’t be trusted.

                      Yep, like you said. Problem is, I never said that. My first post:

                      A closely related question that has always interested me is why the adherents of a politically fashionable contemporary moralism — one fashionable among the Christian Right, anyway — who profess grave concern about the undoubted consequences to many individuals of homoerotic misbehaviours are not even more gravely and publicly concerned about the vastly more destructive consequences, not only to individuals but to society, of the abuse of heterosexuality. This disproportionate emphasis is highly suspect to me.

                      Although I’m not citing any “moral tradition” here but rather my own personal experience and observations, primarily, I’m perfectly well aware of the damage done to the soul by lust, in all forms. Lust and covetousness and greed of all kinds dehumanize. Any rational and observant adult can see that. To the extent that the “moral tradition” attests to that, my experience validates it. So this distrust you suspect in me is just in your head. Nothing I wrote should suggest it, at least to a fair-minded person.

                      I already noted that opposition to hypocrisy isn’t unique to the “moral tradition” you vaguely and selectively invoke. Opposition to that is a cross-cultural value. So I’m confused about my alleged contradiction.

                      I’ve already written you off with respect to getting an honest answer to my question about the real contradiction here: the one between the Orthodox and Protestant moral tradition that I presume you’re invoking — and Christ’s teaching on divorce and adultery. Or my other questions.

                      On an irenic note: I sense genuine pastoral concern in you for those suffering from SSA. I thank God for your charity.

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says:

                      I don’t know how much simpler I can make it.

                      You discredit the tradition to justify homoerotic behavior. Then you invoke the tradition to discredit people who uphold it regarding that behavior.

                      Why do you think your charge of hypocrisy should sting? Because it violates moral precepts.

                      But where do you think those precepts you invoke came from? Zeus’ head?

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                • We read t he Epistles of St. Paul in the Liturgy… including Romans, 1st Corinthians, and 1st Timothy, which explicitly condemn homosexual sex. Then of course, communion is a somewhat significant part of the Liturgy, and in that regard, we have this:

                  http://fatherjohn.blogspot.com/2011/07/homily-for-holy-thursday-by-st-john.html

                  GD Star Rating
                  loading...
                • Michael Bauman says:

                  Joseph, do you really believe there is such a thing as “objective scientific knowledge” when it comes to any question of human behavior especially politcally and culturally chaged isses as homoerotic behavior and inclinations?

                  There isn’t. The moral/spiritual anthropology of the Church is a much more objective and real source to rely on than anything modern science, infected as it is with materialism and an exceedingly non-traditional bias.

                  Besides if you and Mr. Stankovich are to be believed that you just want to promote a more nuanced, compassionate and pastoral application of the Church’s teaching, there would be absoultely no reason for any of the embroligo.

                  The only rational reason for the web-sites is to challenge and attempt to over-turn the teaching of the Church.

                  GD Star Rating
                  loading...
                  • There is no such thing as “objective scientific knowledge.” Scientific knowledge is produced by scientist, i.e., individual human beings (fallen ones, no less), none of which are purely objective. See A.Maslow’s book “The Psycology of Science” which is, as I understood it, also about the psycology of scientists.

                    GD Star Rating
                    loading...
                • Joseph Clarke says:

                  Forgive me for responding en masse to several commenters.

                  – Michael: “do you really believe there is such a thing as ‘objective scientific knowledge’ when it comes to any question of human behavior…?” This is a surprisingly postmodern and relativist sentiment. Yes, I do of course believe there is such a thing as objective science, of which we’re all daily beneficiaries, although I agree that it needs to be interpreted with care. For example, science cannot teach us right from wrong. While I am not a scientist or a theologian, I have tried to reflect on this topic here: http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/listeningorthodox/doc/241906149162570/

                  “Besides if you and Mr. Stankovich are to be believed that you just want to promote a more nuanced, compassionate and pastoral application of the Church’s teaching, there would be absolutely no reason for any of the imbroglio.”
                  My advice: If you want to know what somebody is “promoting,” read what that person has actually written. Read what’s been posted on the Facebook group, read what’s been posted here, and decide for yourself who started the imbroglio. By the way, I have no association with Mr. Stankovich nor he with the Facebook group.

                  – Fr. Deacon Mitchell: “The Church has often condemned sodomy from the ambo and always excluded unrepentant sodomites from communion.” If you’re referring to the scriptural definition of sodomy (Ezek 16:49), then I’m sorry to say it has long flourished in the Church. And with respect, we know that your preferred Communion policies are not generally reflective of current Orthodox practice.

                  – Fr. Whiteford: Romans, 1 Corinthians, and 1 Timothy say many things, but one thing they don’t do is “explicitly” condemn homosexual sex (certainly not in the “explicit” way Jesus condemns divorce). The passages to which you refer are difficult and their interpretation involves as-yet-unresolved philological ambiguities, scientific and metaphysical questions about human nature, and anthropological nuances of pagan temple culture. They’re essential and important passages, but they simply cannot be reduced to an easy laundry list of moral dos and don’ts. While I’m not a scholar of any of the above fields, I am prepared to rehearse the familiar arguments; but I’m not sure how useful it would be, because at the end of the day, Orthodox theology is not derived from a few “proof text” passages, but on the totality of scripture, liturgy, hymnography, iconography, etc.

                  – George: “Joseph, when a priest does this it’s for that person’s own good, otherwise he will drink unto damnation when he partakes of the Chalice.” Huh? Sure, it is sometimes necessary for an Orthodox Christian to be cut off from the Chalice for one reason or another, by his confessor and/or parish priest — not by politically-motivated priests from other jurisdictions who have taken it on themselves to sniff out “heresy” in the comments section of blogs.

                  GD Star Rating
                  loading...
                  • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

                    I have literally no idea where to begin with you. Within the church there is clarity on these issues that you are so confused about. I bid you peace brother, and I hope and pray you get the clarity you truly desire.

                    Peter

                    GD Star Rating
                    loading...
                  • Re: Joseph Clarke says:
                    October 26, 2011 at 7:43 pm
                    Forgive me for responding en masse to several commenters.
                    etc.
                    fallacy |ˈfaləsē| noun ( pl. -cies)
                    Thesaurus:
                    erroneous, false, untrue, wrong, incorrect, flawed, inaccurate, mistaken, misinformed, misguided; specious, spurious, bogus, fictitious, fabricated, made up; groundless, unfounded, ill-founded, unproven, unsupported, uncorroborated; informal phony, full of holes.

                    GD Star Rating
                    loading...
                  • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                    Joseph, you write:

                    And with respect, we know that your preferred Communion policies are not generally reflective of current Orthodox practice.

                    Spoken like a true American: We are the world, and what we do counts as “current Orthodox practice.”

                    Try taking your song and dance to Russia, and see how long they continue to commune you.

                    GD Star Rating
                    loading...
                  • Geo Michalopulos says:

                    Joseph, your tedentiousness knows no bounds. Why do you assume that a priest will “cut off” somebody from Communion for “political reasons”? If anything, being homosexual is so accepted today that I assume that if I ever came to your church it is I who would be cut off from partaking (of course, not for “political reasons.”)

                    On another note, you are aware that during the antebellum period, slavers and slave owners were regularly prevented from taking Communion in Protestant churches on the Northern side of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. This was for political reasons no doubt, but interestingly, itsn’t it hard to divorce political crimes from moral ones?

                    GD Star Rating
                    loading...
                  • Carl Kraeff says:

                    Dear Joseph–Just one quick point regarding your reply to Father John: it seems to me that the Holy Thursday homily that he referred to is completely unambiguous. I will quote the relevant passage:

                    “And furthermore, my brethren, I (Saint John Chrysostom) beseech you, and I say: no one that swears oaths, nor a perjurer, nor a liar, nor one that finds fault with others, nor a fornicator, nor an adulterer, nor a homosexual, nor a thief, nor a drunkard, nor a blasphemer, nor one that envies his brother, nor a murderer, nor a sorcerer, nor a magician, nor a charmer, nor an enchanter, nor a robber, nor a Manichean, shall, unconfessed and unprepared, approach, touch, or draw near the dread Mysteries of Christ, for it is terrible to fall into the hands of the Living God.”

                    It is true that this passage is a type of laundry list of don’ts; nonetheless, I think that it is a a good and useful laundry list that applies to all Christians, even if it may not be exhaustive. Bottom line: I do not see nuances where you see them. Joseph, lest you think that I speak from a position of moral superiority, I assure you that I am not any better than any of those who is cited by Saint John. Pray for me, brother.

                    GD Star Rating
                    loading...
        • Joseph, when a priest does this it’s for that person’s own good, otherwise he will drink unto damnation when he partakes of the Chalice. It’s also good for him because it clarifies the magnitude of his sin which he may not be able to see any other way. As for those who remain, it’s a safety mechanism to protect them from the poison of heresy. It’s also good for the Church as a whole because when a priest does not countenance open sin and/or heresy, he avoids scandalizing the faithful. How many times have we seen well-healed sinners had their sin ignored because because they give heavily to some building project. Such hypocrisy causes scandal and causes others to leave the Church because they see it as a corrupt enterprise.

          The reason we try to hold the clergy to a higher standard is because when they become corrupt and it’s not hidden, the others say to themselves “well, I guess I’ll embezzle money/screw around/ignore beggars/etc.”

          GD Star Rating
          loading...
        • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

          Actually its not new at all. Check out the Church Fathers taking on the heretics of their day, or keeping the heretics out of church councils with sticks and stones. It is actually much more civilized these days that its was in the Glory days of the Church.

          Peter

          GD Star Rating
          loading...
    • Regarding male bonding esp. in sports: I don’t know about you “guys” but sports talk among men is abundant; the professional sports remain (almost completely male) and women’s leagues are growing in leaps and bounds, directing women into that competition. All the Olympic sports separate women and men’s competitions. The young people I know, family and friends’ boys/guys for the most part bond over sports as well as video games. Yes, girls may participate but the bonding goes on between the guys. Plus, all this uptight reactionary approach to sexuality is rapidly going by the boards among young people. There are excesses in all things, but what I see of the community, much of the stereotypes about male and female roles continue, much to the frustration of many feminists. It is this emotional reaction to the changes that are happening in modern society generate the fear and reinforce very ignorant responses despite the reality.

      Acceptance of homosexuality is inevitable within the Orthodox church. How, when and who will be the leaders, most likely married priests and lay people. As more and more children of the Orthodox stop hiding their sexual orientation and insist that they are not going to be pushed out of the church, the more support from family and laity will result.

      It is my opinion, easily proved by reading this website, that many converts came to Orthodoxy under a mistaken understanding that the religion never changes. Instead of looking at history objectively and noting how the church has changed in some very fundamental ways, you have grasped onto a desire of your own that all in the Orthodox church will never change. And. particularly, you have grasped the tightest upon this position of the church around homosexuality with the tightest grip. It is this that is going to separate you from the rest of Orthodoxy as it begins to deal with accepting homosexuals from within, not from activists outside the church.

      I really wish the activists in the Church had not forced this. Everyone knows that dealing with homosexual desire is a struggle, and before the activists turned the tables and demanded compliance with the homosexual agenda, an accommodation of sorts was possible, not perfect perhaps but workable.

      This statement is arrogant and paternalistic and it isn’t going to float with the people who you may want to reason with to present whatever accommodations you were so graciously silently pondering. There’s no question in my mind that this kind of approach leads to an increase in the demands from the “other side”. If there was a plan you really should have brought it up earlier. Look at the result of your procrastination. Your bad.

      With regard to St Paul’s rant in Romans: you have already compromised St. Paul’s positions on many issues, making it difficult for you to argue from situations which never change. For example: where are the women’s head coverings?

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      • Rdr. Benjamin says:

        Stephen,

        I have been following this conversation for a while, and you have just crossed the line. I am one of those “young adults” who you say is slowly accepting homosexuality. You, sir, are absolutely wrong. “Acceptance of homosexuality is inevitable within the Orthodox church.” I usually take a soft approach, but what I hear in your rant here is the same voice I hear when I read of the words of Arius, Nestorius, and Judas.

        Advocating that homosexuality WILL inevitably be accepted by the church is willful ignorance. It is another Gospel that will never be accepted. If this were to happen, I will fight it, even unto my death and the martyrdom of my family. You call me bigoted. You call me uncharitable. You call me “out of touch” and “irrelevant”. I say, anathema!

        What you said above is, plain and simple, heresy. It is opposed to the scriptures, the teachings of the Fathers, the proclamations of Ecumenical Councils, and grieves the Holy Spirit. Repent.

        And may I remind you of what St. Paul passed on to us in his Apostolic authority, given to him in a revelation by Jesus, my Lord, God, and Savior Himself: “As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be anathema.”

        I am a sinner, I regularly transgress the Law of God. I follow after my own passions and whims as the wind, but there is one thing that I will never, God-willing, become, and that is a heretic. And I, for one, will NEVER join you in corrupting my infant son or his friends into thinking that God desires another lifestyle than he has portrayed to us in the Holy Scriptures.

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
      • Women’s head coverings are found on their heads. You may not see it in your parish, but if not, ask the women. However, St. Paul does not say “Be not deceived brethren, no woman who does not cover her head in Church will inherit the kingdom of God.” He does say that about those who engage in homosexual sex. And so while head coverings are definitely part of the Tradition of the Church, violating that Tradition is not on the same level as murder, adultery, idolatry, or sodomy.

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
      • Well, you are a good foot soldier in the homosexual cause Stephen, no doubt about that. Trouble is, when the activists take over the churches, they essentially die. No reason to consign Orthodoxy to the same fate.

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
      • Stephen, you make a series of assertions about the inevitability of the acceptance of sin as normative within the Othodox Church. You may be right. But if that happens, that church will no longer be the Orthodox Church.

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
        • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

          Amen! Truly this is disturbing. Even AFTER all the Orthodox Jurisdictions have condemed this practice Laity and some clergy are now openly flouting the Church’s teaching. I hate to say this, and those that know me through these posts know I hate what I am about to say, but if these Orthodox people cannot adhear to sound Moral Orthodox teaching then the Bishops of our church need to investigate and after their investigation IF it is revealed that those associated with the facebook group and “We are their legacy” are found to be in open rebellion AND unrepentant then we as a church will be forced to excommunicate these people.

          IF these people end up being a larger movement that coaleses into a religious body then schism is the only choice. HOWEVER, I caution this is the end result of many, many IFS and a complete investigation by our bishops of ALL jurisdictions. It may be raising its head in the OCA, but this ROT is in all Orthodox Jurisdictions and must be dealt with all together.

          We can talk about such things on this blog and many other blogs, but the job rests with our bishops, and our bishops cannot be afraid to make the tough decisions, even if money and the loss of membership is on the line. The Church will be better for it in the long run.

          God help us all.

          Peter

          GD Star Rating
          loading...
      • “Many converts came to Orthodoxy under a mistaken understanding that the religion never changes.”

        This may be true (I think it is true), but Orthodoxy has been marketed to us that way: “Orthodoxy holds that the eternal truths of God’s saving revelation in Jesus Christ are preserved in the living Tradition of the Church under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. …The balance and integrity of the entire Apostolic faith once delivered to the Saints has been preserved inviolate in the Orthodox Church.”

        The Timeline of Church History graphically makes a case for continuity that many never reconsider. How many parishes have that brochure in the narthex?

        The first person to ask me “How many Orthodox does it take to change a light bulb?” was a member of the clergy. (“Change? What’s change?”)

        If we have failed to do our due diligence, it is because we believed what we were taught. I don’t deny wanting to believe it, though.

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
        • I think Joseph might be a little confused here too. Sure, I have heard some people say that Orthodox teaching never changes, but what what most mean is that the big questions are settled. No more discussing if the resurrection is a space-time event or just a metaphor for example. When converts come out the churches where theological battles are a way of life, or when they went through a bruising defense of dogma and lost (Episcopalians for example), Orthodoxy is a respite despite our problems.

          But let’s be clear. The moral illegitimacy of homosexual behavior is not an open question. Is God merciful towards a person struggling with SSA? Of course. Is he merciful towards a man engaged in homosexual behavior? Yes, He is, and a man will experience that mercy if he turns to God. Should we be merciful as God is merciful? Absolutely.

          But does this mean the moral prohibition toward the behavior should be retooled? Of course not.

          GD Star Rating
          loading...
      • Acceptance of homosexuality is inevitable within the Orthodox church.

        Over my dead body. Can’t you be contented with having killed several other churches? GO to one of them and leave Orthodoxy alone. You are not a Christian; you are a secular Gnostic. Go away.

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
      • Oh, Stephen, Stephen. I had to laugh for a while after reading your comment. While your intent is obviously different, your ‘argument’ reminds me so much of the proverbial crotchety old man: “You know, I’ve been noticin’ those wimmin with their heads bare. What is this here church comin’ to? Now it’s the bare heads, and before long you know those homersexuals’ll be overrunnin’ the place!” C’mon! Is this what you have to offer? A slippery slope ‘argument,’ inverted in its intent, which lacks any coherence?

        You’ve already proven that dialogue– in which open minds on both sides engage– is not your intent. You proved that weeks ago when, ignoring all that others said, you simply asserted that gay marriage is equivalent in every way to homosexual “marriage.” Where is YOUR open mind? I’ve seen no evidence of it, and that saddens me. You’re correct, I expect that as society goes, so do the confused and shallow, even if nominally Orthodox. Yes, we’ll likely see more and more formerly-Orthodox Christians asserting that their SSA is undeniably core to their identity and a gift from God meant to be acted upon. By the same token, don’t be too shocked when more and more like me—those who’ve chosen the way of repentance—speak up.

        Last, I point out that you seem unable even to pretend to respect that which is from God. Your reference to St. Paul’s teaching in Romans as a “rant” is very telling. Don’t you tremble? Are you too angry to tremble?

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
  8. cynthia curran says:

    Well, St Augustine sin was minor since he was involved with a woman he could not legally marry. In Augustine’s day there were laws that prevented people from legally marrying because of social class. The most famous case two centuries later was of Justinian and Theodora since she had been an actress and senators could not marry actresses going way back to a law by the emperor Augustus. The law was changed according to Procopius so they could marry. Granted, its a sin to live with someone you are not married but its lesser if the state or government is responsible and I’m talking about heterosexual unions not homosexual ones.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  9. Matt Gates says:

    The Church is the living bod of Christ, not a proverbial glass house at the end of the universe where conflicts in the larger culture are ultimately one or lost.
    What’s at stake here isn’t even homosexuality, it Jacobse et al.’s desire to perceive reality as some grand Manchean, Lord of the Rings-type conflict, not a difficult arena for human salvation fraught with moral ambiguities, to cop a phrase, the way adults see the world.
    To be “relevant,” in Fr. Han’s world, requires a boogey man, a simple, external existential threat. Stankovich et al. have provided you all with a very good one. You’re welcome.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • ???

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      • Heracleides says:

        Matt is another member of Leonova’s coven. Thing’s must have gotten dull on her site (understandable since only one point-of-view is allowed) to occasion their arrival en mass.

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
    • Matt, the more you guys talk, the less coherent the sentences become. Look, when someone comes along to tell us that the moral tradition is wrong on homosexual behavior, it’s entirely appropriate to ask them why they want to take the Orthodox Church down the mainstream road. That’s not a bogey-man, that’s what happened to every church that has given in to homosexual activism.

      No one wants this fight and given our moral tradition we should not even be having it, but if the activists insist, well, a fight it will be. They could do us all a favor and join the mainstreamers. Their ideas won there so why not join the victors? They are happy and so are we.

      I agree that some issues are morally ambiguous, but some questions are also closed — no adultery, no fornication, no stealing, no coveting, no homosexual behavior, husband of one wife, and so forth. I’ll agree too that people struggle with obeying these commandments and sometimes fall. But say the adulterer or fornicator started a movement to retool the prohibitions against adultery and fornication. There would be a fight about that too. One the other hand, if they came to confession and sought counsel and reorienting the inner life in ways pleasing to God that could give them victory over their sins, that would be better.

      I’ve never argued that the moral prohibitions exist to make the Church “relevant” (Joseph misunderstood this point too). The moral prohibitions serve as sign-posts on the road to salvation. However, if those prohibitions are removed, then the Church will slip into complete cultural irrelevance, indistinguishable from the mainstream Protestants that already went down the homosexual road. Their membership is drying up. Who listens to them about anything?

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
    • Matt, you’re rage because your conscience won’t allow you to accept your sin as normative has not only eroded your logic, but your spelling skills as well.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  10. Matt Gates says:

    I’m sorry, that was a convoluted way of saying that “good guys versus perverts” narrative arises a childish and highly imaginative need to be constantly besieged by an insidious external force. This leads to a view of the world that is a lot more fun than the hard work of living in Christian community with imperfect real people with real issues and real needs, but not one ultimately grounded in reality.
    The shock that general shock that “people on the internet disagree with us,” disagree with us is an interesting case in point. Father Hans’ desire to tar and feather Stankovich and Joseph Clarke earlier in this thread, actually encouraging them to leave the Church for expressing views that are, in fact, quite nuanced, and not even remotely militant or even “activist,” reflects a pugnacity that is hardly pastoral.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  11. M. Stankovich says:

    Mr. Gates,

    Fr. Johannes is an “acquired taste” and can be a reactive rhetorical pugilist – whatever his need might be – but I do not disagree with with his theology in the least.

    My sustained objection is that I have not been “tarred & feathered” for what I said, but for, apparently, what is presumed I will say, despite my insistence to the contrary. Therefore, when cast in an otherwise untenable role – yet believing myself to be purposefully measured & reasoned – I stand by my integrity and allow my scholarship to speak for itself. But more importantly, I have attempted to make my comments, thoughts, and motivations transparent, and invite correction. Error, in my mind, can be as dangerous as misrepresentation. On the site with which I am affiliated, our names, pictures, and an exact mechanism of direct contact is prominent. The truth is the ultimate defense.

    This, then, Mr. Gates, leads me say that, if you at all appreciate what I have just stated as true, you will also appreciate that I entered this discussion keenly aware that the remarkable ability to read minds, hearts, and intentions is pervasive. Likewise, the tolerance for labeling, name-calling, and ascription is likened to the street – where anonymous “voices” yell from the darkened windows and occasionally “sling arrows of outrageous fortune.” This is to say that Mr. Michalopulos is a patient, gracious host, but it seems to me fabulously unwise to come here “packing attitude” without a similar appreciation for being, as we said in NY, NY, “handed your hat.”

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Mr Stankovich, please forgive me if I have misunderstood you as well. Look, I believe in “nuance” and the fact that we all struggle with our private demons (I’ve probably got more than most). My concern with some of your associates is that there’s too much reliance on nuance and not enough on the struggle and that if we start talking too much about “inclusiveness” and “tolerance,” then we will wind up like ECUSA or the Finnish Orthodox Church. That’s all.

      Please note that I’m not a “gay-basher” or want people struggling with SSA to leave the Church. If they remain, all I ask is what is asked of me –repentance, that’s all. If however their thinking is so muddled that I am accused of reading too much Tolkien and hence I’m some kind of a troglodyte when I am anything but, then they need to be brought to account. And if they believe as Leonova’s Coven does that the Church should countenance perversion, then they should be shown the door, for their own sakes as well as for those who are struggling. We choose to remain because know about our weakness, we don’t need to be scandalized on top of it.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      • Michael Bauman says:

        George, please don’t proactively apologize. Of course you are not a ‘gay-basher’ that is a profoundly un-Christian stance. It is merely ad hominum rhetoric to say otherwise.

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
    • Mr. Stankovitch, I am pleased that you have explained that you accept the Orthodox Church’s teaching on homosexuality and have no desire that it be changed. Were you invited to join the “we are their legacy” group as a counterbalance to Frs. Arida and Vinogradov?

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      • Heracleides says:

        Lol…well, it was about time for me to buy another keyboard. Waste of a perfectly good glass of ice-tea though. :P

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
      • M. Stankovich says:

        Catherine,

        Would it be impertinent of me, now that you are pleased and all, to suggest you return to the site and contact Fr. Robert and/or Fr. Alexis directly with your concerns?

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
        • Catherine says:

          Mr. Stankovich,
          If you had answered my question, I would not have considered it impertinent to suggest that I contact Frs. Robert and Alexis. However, this is the second time I have asked a question and, in your reply, you have made no attempt to answer the question. It seems to me that, when a group of people form a website together where they post essays, there is a reason why each person is invited and agrees to join the group. My question was in regard to your reason for deciding to join the group, a question which it seems reasonable to think that you can answer without me having to ask someone else.

          GD Star Rating
          loading...
        • Mr Stankovich, I hereby offer the services of this blog to Frs Robert and Alexis for a free and honest debate. I only ask that this same debate be conducted in their blog as well.

          GD Star Rating
          loading...
    • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

      Stankovich, your complaint about being attacked for things you haven’t said is disingenuous as usual. To take just one example, you have written absurdly that same-sex attraction and same-sex sexual activity are “mutually exclusive, distinct and separate.” You have never answered for this absurdity and instead have continued to argue that SSA is OK even if SSSA is not OK, steadfastly ignoring the causative connection between them.

      That and everything else you’ve said, and the company you keep, make it quite plain where you’re coming from — somewhere along the shores of the Dead Sea.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      • M. Stankovich says:

        I repeat that you simply lack qualification and knowledge to lecture me regarding this topic. I do not intend this as derogatory or pejorative, but as a statement of fact. There are far too many topics of which I lack the fundamental standing to discuss, let alone presume to instruct, and I do not place myself in such positions as a matter of respect. Apparently, this is where we differ.

        As to your monotonous assertion that I deny a “connection” between same-sex-attraction and same-gender sexual activity – and I am presuming that you infer that any same-gender sexual activity is motivated by same-sex attraction – I would present to you the example I presented Fr. John Whiteford: that some men and women engage in same-gender sexual activity in prisons is well known. Nevertheless, when questioned, they emphatically deny SSA, homosexuality, or bisexuality. Further, research would indicate that they will not continue this activity outside the confines of incarceration. How to account for this?

        Secondly, I am well aware of the correlation between SSA and same-gender sexual activity. I object, however, to describing, labeling, associating, or presuming same-gender sexual activity necessarily or inevitably with SSA. If it were not possible for someone with SSA to follow a course of whole-mindedness and purity, to which we are all called, than we have no discussion, no dialog, and no hope. And according to the same reasoning, I judge it grave error to confuse or interchange these terms as identical. They are mutually exclusive and distinct. If this is an expression of “denial” and/or “disingenuous,” I can live with it.

        I can only presume that I am responsible for your tone and posturing, and while I never intended it, I will own it. If I have somehow personally offended you in this process of discussion. I sincerely apologize.

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
        • Michael,

          What is the scientific data out there between those who have SSA and of those, how many engage in same sex activity?

          GD Star Rating
          loading...
          • M. Stankovich says:

            Amos,

            I am not aware of any such data. I would speculate that the reason such data is unavailable is because, outside of the Church, the notion of “chastity” would be seen as “bizarre.” Try Google blogs for “asexuality” as an example; Heracleides can correct me if I’m wrong, but when I hear of “celibacy” without chastity I think “Schizotypal Personality.”

            GD Star Rating
            loading...
        • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

          I am going to speak to you like I would any expert on the stand. Your quote Mr. Stankovich is:

          ” I am very con­fi­dent in stat­ing that research evi­dence clearly indi­cates a sig­nif­i­cant genetic her­i­tabil­ity for Same-Sex-Attraction.”

          Question? Do you stand by this statement yes or no?

          This is a yes or no question so please no narravtive sir.

          Peter

          GD Star Rating
          loading...
        • Michael Bauman says:

          I repeat that you simply lack qualification and knowledge to lecture me regarding this topic. I do not intend this as derogatory or pejorative, but as a statement of fact.

          Of course you do, you just are not honest enough to admit it.

          Since you refuse to engage on the substance of your assumptions and on the substance of how you choose your ‘facts’, order them and interpret them or even why you are part of (gag) “We are the world (excuse me) their legacy: there really isn’t much too talk about is there? I suggest you return to your olympian perch, your eminence. I choose not to worship at the altar of scientism as you apparently do.

          GD Star Rating
          loading...
        • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

          Never mind the science: You abuse the English language when you say that SSA and SSSA are “mutually exclusive.” Those words mean that two things cannot be true or present or occurrent at the same time. It is, of course, quite common for someone with SSA to engage is SSSA, for the simple reason that SSA is an impetus toward SSSA; ergo, the two phenomena, though conceptually distinct, are not “mutually exclusive.” Can you not at least admit that much?

          As for sex in prisons, you appear to be confusing SSA with GID — Gender Identity Disorder. Persons with GID do often feel SSA and engage in SSSA, but not everyone who feels SSA or engages in SSSA is also afflicted with GID. Some people develop SSA, along with their OSA, by exposure to SSSA. That’s what happens in prisons. That’s also what happens in other extremely immoral conditions, when people deliberately cast aside all moral limits to sexual behavior and indulge themselves indiscriminately. Such people do not become “gay”; they do, however, often continue to experience SSA to some degree, as a result of the learned association of same-sex relations with intense sexual pleasure.

          GD Star Rating
          loading...
          • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

            I see that Stankovich has once again declined to address the absurdity of his claim that SSA and SSSA are “mutually exclusive.” And he expects us to take him seriously.

            GD Star Rating
            loading...
  12. Matt Gates says:

    Point well taken. My point being, that faithful, intelligent people can disagree about things without the world ending or the Church dissolving. Maybe, must maybe will can even do so respectfully.
    The “OMG people are talking about something on facebook, pretty soon will be having Mountain Dew instead of Communion” attitude, doesn’t really accomplish much. In the case of Stankovich’s piece, it’s a apparently fine to distort what he actually wrote in an abundance of sensationalist caution.
    We’re not a cult. People will talk about things. People may even disagree.
    I would like, however, to thank you all for adding the word “coven” to my vocabulary. I intend to use it copiously.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

      Heresy cannot be tolerated and must be confronted. That is what is being done by the OMG people.
      Have an nice day.

      Peter

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  13. Don’t you get the feeling that M. dropping in here with his comments and then the flood of comments he gets back are all part of some sort of psychological experiment we are are the test group? Next a paper will be written and posted on “Legacy” confirming some psycho babble about SSA.

    Oh well, I have to check under my bed to see if their are any monsters there. Did you hear that voice?

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

      The feeling I get is that by pretending to discourse in earnest, overwhelming us with babble, and demanding respect for their arguments, they are getting the subversive dialogue they seek.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  14. With regards to dealing with homosexuality and SSA in Orthodoxy, there are two things that need to be done:

    (1) Defend the church against those who wish to make homosexuality acceptable in Orthodoxy (which it simply cannot be), and

    (2) Help those parishioners who struggle with SSA by understanding the roots of SSA, that it’s not about sex, that they are not horrible creatures who need to despise themselves above all and run off the nearest cliff. But that rather (mostly every time, and especially for those who have SSA feelings but do not want them), they are using sex as a warped means by which to get male bonding that is needed by all of us (and what God created us for — He did not create us to be alone), but that male bonding so much of our American culture doesn’t know how to do. Are our clergy prepared to help parishioners who are struggilng with this? Honestly?

    From what I can tell, the clergy who post on this forum are fantastic at (1) above. But what about (2)? I can honestly say that (even though I love his books including “Christ and the Psalms”), from the rhetoric I see posted here, Father Patrick does not seem to be the kind of priest I would recommend anyone struggling with SSA to confide in and seek help in understanding the roots of their SSA and getting past it. He simply seems too ideological, too uncaring. It may simply be his public persona here, but remember, these forums are how many develop an impression of clergy and others whom we have never met.

    The same for the other clergy posting on here except for possibly Father Hans, who at least expresses some understanding of the roots of SSA. One must understand its roots if one is going to help parishioners get through it, and honestly, most here don’t seem to care at all about the causes of SSA. They seem to think that SSA is simply caused by a bunch of troublemakers who have nothing better to do.

    As for Deacon Brian Patrick, well, he gives off about as much warmth as the Siberian tundra and strikes me about as caring as a hungry alligator and fairly uninterested in wisdom and self-restraint. Even though I loved worshipping at St Nicholas Cathedral back in the days of Father Dimitry Grigorieff of blessed memory and Father Constantine White, I’m not sure if I’d approach that place with a 10-foot pole with Deacon Brian Patrick there, and I’m one if his heterosexual “good guys,” even former military, just like him.

    I am not being judgmental — I am simply making observations based on what is written here and the tone of what people write.

    But one question is so important for the future of Orthodoxy in America — Is it possible for clergy to do both (1) and (2) listed above? I truly hope so, but from what I see posted here, I tend to doubt it.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • I too have fond memories of Father Dimitry Grigorieff and Father Constantine White,,It is very sad what is happening at the Cathedral,, I used to go there every time I visited family in DC. This time I will probably go to to St.Constantine and Helena {GOA}..

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      • I was baptized at St Nicholas and come from 4 generations of Russian Orthodox clergy. I remember when Father Arkady, Father Paul, Father Dimitry, Father Constantine, Father Dennis made up the clergy and served God and the congregation with grace, compassion, forgiveness, and wisdom guided by the Holy Spirit. The church was the center of everyone’s life.

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
        • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

          Unfortunately, under the last two priests you named, the cathedral also became the center of the DC Orthodox gay community — so gay friendly that some gays eventually began proclaiming their gayness and their gay marriages to parishioners and visitors in the coffee hour, at the church bazaar, and just about any other time they could. And the priests there did nothing about this until forced to by Metropolitan Jonah.

          Many of us at St. Nicholas were fooled. We knew who the gays were, but we weren’t their confessors, so for years we gave them the benefit of every doubt and loved them as we loved anyone else. But when they kept pushing the envelope, it became apparent that they weren’t coming to church for healing; they were coming to church for acceptance, obliging us to bless their waywardness so as not to appear mean and judgmental.

          But loving people doesn’t mean always pleasing them, and we weren’t loving them by letting them eat and drink their own damnation (which is what the Apostles and all the saints say they were doing). We were only cursing them with their own condition, not out of love but out of cowardice — fear of hurting somebody’s feelings and disturbing the peace of the parish.

          That’s what all apologists for acceptance are doing: they are cursing gays to remain as they are, telling them not to change, telling they can’t change, telling them the Church must change and that anyone who resists the change is evil.

          GD Star Rating
          loading...
    • LV, I think you’re being unfair to Dr Patrick. Nobody disagrees with you about priests doing both #1 and #2 as stated above. However, nobody can do #2 without believing in #1. Priests should be compassionate to the sinner, but let us not confuse compassion with touchy-feely smarminism.

      Let us conduct an expirement. Let us identify two Orthodox churches of comparable size. Let’s say that they are both cathedrals and that one is “rigid” and the other “inclusive.” Which of these do you think would have more parishioners?

      Before you answer, please look at the experiences of ECUSA. There is a large Episcopal pro-Cathedral in my city which was where all the elite went. It is built in the finest Gothic style. It’s got seating for at least 500 (my wife and I and a gay friend of ours recently attended the Rachmaninoff Vespers which was performed there. It’s still very elite but it’s very “inclusive.” I’ve seen the stewardship list (one of my friends was parish administrator for several years) and it is less than 200. Lots of widows and young men.

      So how are they paying the bills? We’re talking Episcopalians here, lots of endowments, otherwise known as “Dead People’s Money.” Remember what Theodore Roosevelt called the Episcopal Church? “The Republican Party at prayer.” Carnegies, Mellons, Cabots, Lodges, Saltonstalls, Bushes, and Roosevelts. That’s serious moolah. You think any Orthodox jurisdiction has anything comparable?

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says:

      LV, I think the problem has to do with how we use language. Secularism borrows the vocabulary of the Christian moral vocabulary and tries to claim it as its own. The words have been in use for centuries in some cases, and our cultural memory still imbues them with moral authority. I’m think chiefly of words like compassion, tolerance, and so forth.

      This creates a conceptual fog since the words, while still holding moral authority, are re-contextualized to defend ideas and practices that the tradition from which they are drawn disavows. Deacon Patrick tries to penetrate the fog by using words with no ambiguous meaning (“sodomy” for example) . He gets his point across although, as you point out, it appears he lacks compassion for the SSA struggle. He probably doesn’t although that is not clear by his language.

      Fr. Reardon recognizes from several miles off where the arguments the activists are using will ultimately end up. He plows decades of experience and hours of study into those terse sentences that he is so fond of. I usually read them through two or three times because more often than not, they are pregnant with meaning and implication and I want to make sure I understand his point. My hunch is that he thinks clarity about the ideas is the primary pastoral concern. You should know though he is one of the finest pastors around. I’ve relied on him for advice now and then and have first hand experience with his skills.

      The third option is to ignore the prohibition altogether and simply express concern for the person with SSA. This might be well meaning, but it can also be irresponsible because the intention not to offend becomes captive to the concepts employed by the homosexual activist. The distinctions collapse and the speaker usually ends up singing the activist’s song.

      I’ve thought about the language problem for years. My compromise is to try to do both: clearly express the teaching of the moral tradition but also try to speak more personally to the person suffering with SSA. Sometimes I end up getting mail from men asking me how to deal with SSA. I understand the pathology well enough to bring encouragement and some direction to them (praying with men who are fighting this is very important) although I try to direct them to a counselor who can help them in more detail.

      In any case, language has a lot to do with your reaction I think. We necessarily must stand against the activist but at the same time not discourage the man suffering with SSA. It’s not always easy to know where to draw the line.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
    • Jane Rachel says:

      Faith. Hope. Love. These three. If the Holy Synod were filled with bishops whose lives centered around faith, hope and love, they would be spending their time helping their sheep and not killing each other off. There are answers. If the bishops would do what they are supposed to do, the OCA would survive, and even begin to thrive again. Then, the Holy Synod, working together could meet, discuss and put together guidelines for pastors to use when working with people who seeks answers within Orthodoxy for their struggle with SSA. But before that happens, the bishops have to get their priorities straight. Deal with the mess, cut out the cancer, and begin to lead again. If they are going to lead by example, Bishops in the Orthodox Church can’t be homosexuals. Duh.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
    • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

      You know, Our Lord Himself, did not sugar-coat everything He said to try and talk the wicked into His Church. He was often quite blunt in telling people the truth and letting them condemn themselves by rejecting it. Instead of burdening his disciples with an impossible responsibility for converting everyone, He explained to them that His sheep hear His voice and follow, that he who has ears to hear will hear, and that those who seek the truth will find it.

      That’s what we’re seeing here: Some people hear the truth and accept it; others hear it and complain that it offends them — then try to shame those who speak the truth into hiding it a little, in the false hope that by not calling it “sodomy” we might manage to convince some of sodomy’s public advocates to admit their error.

      We must not allow such people to define the terms of debate. We must speak plainly in public and not be cowed into trying to treat the whole wicked world as we would a repentant sinner. The world will only hold our cowardice in contempt.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      • You know, Our Lord Himself, did not sugar-coat everything He said to try and talk the wicked into His Church.

        For example:

        Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline

        (Rev. 3:19, NASB)

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
        • M. Stankovich says:

          There is one point, and one point only in the Dn. Mitchell’s use of the term “sodomy.” Provocation. He entertains himself by provocation, and absolutely delights when someone is offended. Responding to his provocation is as “productive” as responding to John the “Troll,” who savoured his catch and departed on schedule.

          GD Star Rating
          loading...
          • No, this isn’t true. Dn. Patrick is a military man and has little patience with niceties or political correctness. His usage of the term might strike some as abrupt, but his context is always accurate.

            It’s entirely legitimate to use the term. If it weren’t, Joseph wouldn’t be so busy trying to redefine Sodom’s sin.

            GD Star Rating
            loading...
            • Mike Myers says:

              If it weren’t, Joseph wouldn’t be so busy trying to redefine Sodom’s sin.

              Fascinating.

              “…Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, surfeit of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty, and did abominable things before me; therefore I removed them, when I saw it.” — Ezekiel 16:49-50.

              Joseph is right of course about how the Prophets defined Sodom’s sin. You can read that definition above. The etymology and semantic history of the word “sodomy” is obviously another issue. You’re clearly attempting to conflate two entirely different things. I’m wondering why.

              GD Star Rating
              loading...
              • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                Mike, it’s really quite silly to keep repeating this one verse as if it’s the textbook definition of sodomy, while also overlooking its actual words: “They did abominable things.” Gee, I wonder what that’s all about.

                GD Star Rating
                loading...
                • Heracleides says:

                  Shhh…. you weren’t supposed to notice that portion of the verse Fr. Dn. Move on, nothing to see here…

                  GD Star Rating
                  loading...
                  • No offense to Deacon Patrick, but this is exactly why I don’t use the word “sodomy” to describe anal intercourse. Activists latch onto that whole “what’s the real sin of Sodom” thing and it just distracts from the issues that need to be handled.

                    GD Star Rating
                    loading...
                    • Mike Myers says:

                      They did abominable things.” Gee, I wonder what that’s all about.

                      Gang rape, maybe? You know, what the Genesis story actually narrated? Plus a charge that the population was abandoned to one or more of the many twisted idolatrous cults rampant in the ancient Near East? Toevah — תוֹעֵבָה — in the Old Testament is a technical term for things and actions and cults connected to idolatry.

                      וַתִּגְבְּהֶינָה, וַתַּעֲשֶׂינָה תוֹעֵבָה לְפָנָי; וָאָסִיר אֶתְהֶן, כַּאֲשֶׁר רָאִיתִי

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • Heracleides says:

                      “Abominable things” of course meaning anything BUT sodomy occurring in Sodom, right Mike? Give us all a break. You homophiles are nothing but Stokovites… er, contortionists in your attempts to subvert the faith, and rather absurd ones at that.

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                      Helga, we must not let them define the terms of debate. We are on firm ground on the word sodomy. As Fr. Hans says above, the dark side only protests against the word because they know its power.

                      Incidentally, the common American legal definition of sodomy is not restricted to anal intercourse and includes any unnatural sex act. That’s what I mean when I use it.

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                      Gang rape, maybe? You know, what the Genesis story actually narrated?

                      Mike, as you well know, what Genesis actually narrates is the attempted gang rape of men by men.

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • Deacon Patrick, avoiding use of the word sodomy in a debate context is *not* letting them define the terms of the debate, or conceding the meaning of the word to them at all. It’s simply avoiding being caught up in that particular aspect of the homosexual mythology.

                      Look at all this blather that has resulted from one use of the word. If you’d said homosexual activity (or SSSA, or unnatural sexual activity, or whatever), the apologists among us would have been forced to deal with that issue, rather than making *you* justify your use of the word “sodomy”. In that way, you *are* letting them define the terms of the debate. Be careful.

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                      I have posted at length on SSA and SSSA. I have also clearly and honestly distinguished and related to the two, against attempts by Stankovich to disconnect them and confuse them with other concepts. The terms SSA and SSSA are very useful in many contexts, but they do not say as much as needs to be said in other contexts, because they leave out the moral condemnation as well as the natural human revulsion communicated by the word sodomy. That’s why the dark side objects to the word and mounts its dishonest and unconvincing assault againt it.

                      Their assault can only success if we stop using and defending the word. By using it and defending it, we make our case for the condemnation of the abomination the word signifies. We also busy our opponents with a foolish and futile effort that further exposes their dishonesty while diverting them from other lines of attack more favorable to their cause.

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

                      While “sodomy” covers a wide variety of homosexual and heterosexual activity, “sodomize” almost invariably refers to anal penetration. Presumably only males can sodomize and they may also sin thus with animals of either gender.
                      A recent semi-comical book by Tariq Ali, “The Protocols of the Elders of Sodom,” opines that the whole story was invented by Jews to justify their genocide of the natives of Sodom, who equal the Palestinians of our time. just as the fabulously bogus “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” was used to justify the attempt to exterminate Jews, so, too, the O.T. narrative was used to justify exterminating the Sodomians.
                      I lost my Internet again, for a whole week, and am now recovering.
                      I’m not going to the Halloween Council of Orthodox Reform.

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                      Actually, the charge of sodomy and the verb “to sodomize” also commonly refer to forced oral sex (hetero or homo) and anal or vaginal penetration by foreign objects. I don’t have the data, but I’d bet forced heterosexual fellatio is the most common in court.

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • M. Stankovich says:

                      Vladyka Tikhon,

                      How you know about the Tariq Ali book is probably insignificant, but your humor is breathtaking. I laughed so hard I nearly dropped the iPad out the window.

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

                      Deacon Brian just does not want to let go. He is correct only insofar as a law court, a policeman, a prosecutor, a judge, etc., will when trying to locate the proper terminology for a case where an older man forced a minor girl to submit to oral rape, the charge will be of sodomy and the specification that he did indeed sodomize the girl.

                      However, outside the courts in civilized conversation minus legalese, if
                      someone not already committed to another usage in arguments heard on the phone that “X” had sodomized “Y” or Y’s son or daughter, or spaniel or lamb or piggy, he would assume that anal penetration was the misdeed. Of course, one MAY make any such term unmanageably broad. Modernists in Christian religious circles will make heresy (especially, “heresies of life”) apply to a much wider activity than could ever have been imagined by, e.g., St. John ibn Mansour of Damascus,f that wonderful Arab who compiled perhaps the greatest single work on doctrine ever written, for the Greek Orthodox people.

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • M. Stankovich says:

                      California penal code defines sodomy as “sexual conduct consisting of contact between the penis of one person and the anus of another. Any sexual penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the crime of sodomy.” Welcome to LA.

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                      I don’t know where the rest of you get your restricted definition of sodomy. I get mine from Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice:

                      (a) Any person subject to this chapter who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal is guilty of sodomy.

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • I am not really sure what to call this. Is it straining a gnat and swallowing a camel? Or is it tithing mint, dill, and cumin, while ignoring the weightier matters of the law?

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                      A complaint has been made against the use of the word “sodomy.” In responding to the complaint, it helps to know how people define it and why.

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
            • M. Stankovich says:

              Then I am apparently mistaken, Fr. Johannes. I should have recognized this “abruptness” as likened to the example of the Lord setting aside “niceties & political correctness,” cutting to the chase of the young rich man: “Then Jesus beholding him loved him and said…” (Mk. 10:21) I guess it’s that whole “military guy,” hooah business that tripped me up. And now you have given Fr. Deacon the authority of “context,” for which he gladly quotes you. The few. The proud. Sodomy. Carry on, men.

              GD Star Rating
              loading...
              • You may have missed the part about political correctness. “Love” does not mean labeling sin as something else. Take the woman caught in adultery, for example. The scripture records her sin as adultery. And what does the Lord say? Go and sin no more.

                I would not have used the word “sodomy” in the context Dn. Patrick did, but only because I knew the abruptness of the term would cause the reaction that you displayed above. But that’s a question of style, not context, a point you are not disputing either. Your disparagement of his military background proves the point. It would not have been necessary otherwise.

                Remember, your charge was that Dn. Patrick used the term sodomy as a “deliberate provocation.” Not true. Dn. Patrick doesn’t always season his words, but he is not a provocateur. You missed the mark on this one M. Stankovich.

                GD Star Rating
                loading...
                • Mike Myers says:

                  Stokovites, “the dark side,” activists, homophiles, com-symps, com-libs, and now Picard vs. the Borg. The vocabulary of a witch hunting mob. You holy ones vs. the condemned sinners. I’m puzzled however about your qualifications to hurl stones at sinners. Far from being without sin yourselves, many of you strike me as arrogant and loveless creeps, deformed by vanity and pride and conveniently atrophied, blinkered intellectual consciences. You appear to be blind to the worst sins of your church and nation, which you embody and unconsciously parody. Who would want to be part of your “churches”? Who besides similarly cold, arrogant, self-righteous and hypocritical poseurs could stand you? No wonder the OCA is croaking. No surprise to me.

                  I’m curious about something: is there a single one of you condemnatory holy ones who isn’t a “convert” from some branch of the Reformed “church”? George appears to be an exception who only proves the rule here and is anyway a presumed self-exile from a rooted tradition.

                  Your loveless hypocrisy is an ugly mockery. Your witness is a scandal.

                  GD Star Rating
                  loading...
                  • David Yentzen says:

                    In the Words of R. Reagan, “there you go again…”. Slinging out more personal attacks and character assassinations. Basic debate instruction is that when you run out of clear, thoughtful, intellectually valid thoughts then resort to stuff like name calling and changing the topic discussion at hand( strawman!!!). Smells like a hay barn in here.
                    Sooooo, lets burn it down…….Mr Meyers, please name for me one, just one person born Orthodox? Give ya a $100 if you can. You imply( by insult) in your post there is something deficient or neglecting about an adult convert to Orthodoxy. I wonder what the Apostle Paul would think about that…..but perhaps he is the problem. I mean the nerve of a man converting to the Faith and then becoming one of its most ardent defenders……spreading it around the world like that.
                    Once again……Mr Meyers were you born Orthodox? If not just when did you convert?
                    Smacks of bigotry to me.
                    I won’t even address the illogical mess that poses as Mr Meyers’ first sentence……I’ll let that house of cards fall down on its own.

                    GD Star Rating
                    loading...
                    • Michael Bauman says:

                      Mr. Yentzen, you could offer millions of dollars and still the bet you profer would be safe. No one is ‘born Orthodox’ each human soul has to be baptized into the Church and the Body of Christ, i.e. received into the Church. Each human soul has to be changed by submitting to the love of Christ, i.e. be converted.

                      Part of the problem is that those who assume the Church is their’s by birthright are not even getting the bargin Enoch got. At least he got a bowl of good porridge.

                      Part of the problem is that those who assume the Church is their birthright think as a consequence that anything they believe is still the Church.

                      I am profoundly greatful to those elder Orthodox and the scacrifices they made so that the Church might be there for me and mine and who still live the faith from generation to generation. I am profoundly frustrated with the miasmic ethno-centric triumphalism mixed with secularism that is too often passed off as Orthodoxy.

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • David Yentzen says:

                      Thanks Mr Bauman. You made the point of my statement stand out more easily. No one is born Orthodox and more importantly Christ’s last instruction was to go to the ends of the world preaching the Good News( not to keep it bottled up in a personal ghetto). We are all converts so its only a matter of when we convert. Mr Meyers, by argument, would have us believe that “cradle ” Orthodox are somehow immune from the ravages of our profane and increasing amoral society by virtue of ethnic fact. Another false argument.
                      I still( can I say that again—still) am waiting for Mr Meyers to answer any of my direct questions. I assume that he can since he has decided to “hang around” some more.
                      Crickets……..

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • Mike Myers says:

                      I’m actually quite certain there are lots of ex-Protestant converts to Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism who aren’t smug, vulgar, self-righteous, faux-Puritan, hypocritical and utterly textbook homophobes. It’s just that George’s little clique here seems to abide almost exclusively in that dreary microclimate of the human spirit. With a few exceptions, I guess. Thus my question.

                      I’m a “lapsed,” cradle Roman Catholic, to answer that. There was a time (over decades, actually) when I was quite seriously considering converting to Orthodoxy. I was attracted to it in theory, but concrete experience of the pseudo-saints of the OCA and AOCA scotched that hope. The other, more ethnic clubs weren’t so inviting, either.

                      I have been very profoundly impressed and touched by some genuinely saintly and pious and maybe even holy Orthodox I’ve been blessed to encounter. So I’m still torn. Few of you people, however, commend your churches IMHO. I’ll definitely pass.

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • David Yentzen says:

                      Ahhh, Mr Meyers. So you hang around long enough to sling more broad stroke, non-specific insults. Another false argument…….here we go. You accuse people of personal attacks by slinging personal attacks at them…you then go on to insinuate it is their impiety that prevents you from attaining salvation( Orthodoxy) as if this website is the sole access to the cosmos for you, that there is someone forcing to you engage this blog. Sir, it is your own self that is your impediment to your salvation. Do not falsely blame others( as if others exercise control over your free will) for your lack of faith.
                      God is standing right in front of you. You are responsible for your own salvation. So do not whine on about how other men stand in between you and God. Do not accuse others of being unchristian by being unchristian…..that simply points out your flawed thinking from the get go.

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • Mike Myers says:

                      I don’t lack faith in Christ’s teachings. I lack faith in y’all. Your bad company and pettiness isn’t preventing me from obtaining salvation — it just prevents me from wanting to join your weird cliques. Me and lots of other people. Which is why the OCA and AOCA are going down the tubes. Y’all clearly need to think it’s because of the “homosexual agenda,” but in reality, it’s because of you. Very simple.

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

                      Mike Meyers Says:

                      I don’t lack faith in Christ’s teachings. I lack faith in y’all. Your bad company and pettiness isn’t preventing me from obtaining salvation — it just prevents me from wanting to join your weird cliques. Me and lots of other people. Which is why the OCA and AOCA are going down the tubes. Y’all clearly need to think it’s because of the “homosexual agenda,” but in reality, it’s because of you. Very simple.

                      The GOA is growing and very stable financially.

                      The AOA is growing and very stable financially.

                      The ROCOR is growing, and after the 10/31/11 AAC may grow some more, and again financially stable.

                      OCA DOS is growing and financially stable.

                      Now let’s see:

                      Episcopalians – dead.

                      Presbyterians – dead.

                      United Church of Christ – dead.

                      Lutherans – shrinking and almost dead.

                      Congregationalist – Long time dead.

                      Wesleyans and Church of the Nazarene – dead and dead.

                      Who is still alive:

                      Methodists and Baptists that make up the backbone of the Evangelical Protestant Church. Why are they alive and growing? Faithfulness to the Gospel.

                      Catholics? Growing and very rich and powerful.

                      So what exactly are you talking about us “going down the tubes” when the reverse is true?

                      Good night.

                      PS. Ephramite Monasteries 16 monasteries and growing nationwide!

                      Peter A. Papoutsis

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

                      “Born Orthodox” is a term that belittles the need for Baptism. Many comment, correctly, that no one is born Orthodox.
                      Perhaps it would be better to refer to Voluntary Orthodox and Involuntary Orthodox?

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • George Michalopulos says:

                      Mike Myers, I’m glad you “lack faith in y’all.” As a point of clarification, no reasonable Christian should have faith in “we-uns,” “you-uns,” or especally, “y’all.” Instead, our faith is in the Triune God who sent the Second Person of the Trinity to incarne Himself as one of us and to teach us the way, the truth and the life. This same God through the Person of His Holy Spirit spoke through the Prophets and vivifies to this day the Church, which delivers unwavering doctrins.

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                  • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                    You’re free to go elsewhere, Mike. Please do.

                    By the way, if by “Reformed” you mean Calvinist, then George is not alone. Though a convert, I was never a Calvinist; I was raised in the Restoration tradition. You wouldn’t like it any better.

                    GD Star Rating
                    loading...
                    • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                      . . . I was raised in the Restoration tradition. . .

                      That speaks volumes.

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

                      Probably it would be better nowadays to use the words “Improved’ and “Improvers.”
                      From the Waldensians through the Hussites, Lutherans, Calvinists, Covenanters, and Renovators, etc., until today in the OCA we see a long thread of eager people hell-bent on Improving what was received.

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                  • Heracleides says:

                    It is pretty obvious to me that “Mike Myers” (tip-of-the-hat to the comedian Mike Myers no doubt) is also the former “Ted Logan” (tip-of-the-hat to Theodore ‘Ted’ Logan of “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” fame – and a former poster on GayPatriot.com) is the original nutter who went by the moniker “Anonymous Because It’s All The Rage.” Having been shown the door twice already, perhaps the third time will be the charm for this troll.

                    GD Star Rating
                    loading...
                  • Jane Rachel says:

                    HEY! Stop it! Mind warping run-on train of thought: Captain Jean Luc Picard’s battle against the Borg is fabulously appropriate here. Let’s have a nice cup of “Earl Grey, Hot” and talk it over. The battle of Picard against the Borg is not entirely appropriate, that is, when we are talking about the millions of homosexuals who wish people would simply stop being so mean and hateful to them, nor even in the oddly fascinating mind of M. Stankovich with his views (whatever they are, I’m still not sure. I do think if he’s an old classmate of the old singing group, it may lean towards something like what we saw in “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm” – his experience working with pathological murderers and really bad people in prisons notwithstanding, which I DO respect more than he may realize – the more mishy mashy sorts of people who want Orthodoxy to change but may not have thought it through all the way to things like Gay Marriage in the Church, with crowns and all and two men holding hands in procession, NO, it can never be) but in this case, here, with you, “Mike Meyers,” oh yes, it fits. I believe you and your mindset does definitely remind me of a member of the Borg with their mindset. “Resistance is futile.” OMG! I love that scene! It is the idea that there is no other way, it will happen, resistance is futile. It will not happen. Don’t even worry about it. Say, if it happens in the OCA, however, and the OCA is no longer part of real Orthodoxy, and you are gay, then you can finally go and have a nice time with anyone else who wants to stay with the OCA. But you won’t be Orthodox. Sorry.

                    GD Star Rating
                    loading...
                    • Jane Rachel says:

                      You can call it the MCA: Morphodox Church in America.

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • George Michalopulos says:

                      Herc, wasn’t it “Ted ‘Theodore’ Logan” of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure?

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
          • Jane Rachel says:

            M, That’s not true. I’ve read the Deacon’s posts for some months now. Whether I am always in agreement with him doesn’t matter. I know from his posts that you are wrong in your judgment of his character. You have just unraveled yourself again, for you have once again shown us another glimpse of your own character by pointing your finger at someone else when your thumb is pointing back at yourself.

            GD Star Rating
            loading...
            • Jane Rachel says:

              Gak. Here I am, defending the character of one man I’ve never met, while pointing a finger at the character of another man I’ve never met, and suddenly, here is my own thumb pointed back at myself. I am not sure where you are coming from in this discussion, Mr. Stankovich. You haven’t put it into words clear enough for me to understand.

              GD Star Rating
              loading...
              • M. Stankovich says:

                Jane Rachel,

                I appreciate the mirror. I am far too reactive and I apologize.

                GD Star Rating
                loading...
                • M.

                  You have to accept that at least on this forum there is going to be push back of you and your like-minded cohorts at every step. Like Capt. Picard said as the Federation the faced the ultimate battle against the Borg,

                  Not again. The line must be drawn here! This far and no further! And I will make them pay for what they’ve done!

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRmmHPE8EvA

                  So many have come to the Orthodox Church as refugees or exiles (I will let Marco Rubio sparse those terms) because of the gay agenda in their home churches. If that is the only reason, it may not be enough, but I choose to believe, from my experience, that Orthodoxy stands firm on the gay agenda, up to this point. The visceral emotions of us who communicate Picard’s words are not some sort of sub-Orthodox group thinking like Stan Drezhlo blathers about all the time that born Russian Orthodox are somehow better than konverts. Keep blathering Stan, you make our case more every day.

                  No, the push back is real, it will only get stronger and it will be an issue that, if people continue to push the gay agenda in the OCA, will lead to a schism. In fact, I would say that there is already an emerging schism because people are sick and tired of the gay blades in the OCA hierarchy and clergy and they are speaking out against it. Gay bishops cover for gay clergy in their diocese, Nathaniel being the most notorious example. But then you have Benjamin with his obsession with gay pornography and Jonah covering for a gay priest in his own Cathedral who has been living with his longtime partner for decades and was the favorite resting place for Theodosius when he visited DC.

                  We are really just sick of all of this; and then you come here, presenting your case in respectful tones, but nonetheless just more of the same. You join forces with Arida, Vinogradov, Wheeler and Jillions, all with the same “can’t we all just get along with our gay brethren” talk. Again, we just have had enough of this and we have drawn the line “here.”

                  You say you do not want to change the Church’s teaching on homosexuality. OK. Then why are you posting on an Orthodox website? Maybe to “teach us?” You talk, we listen, like your website says?

                  I have read the comments here of many on both sides and have borrowed liberally from their posts. I respect you as a serious Orthodox Christian who for many years has felt a calling to minister to gays. Your biography makes that clear. Your friendship with Mark Stokoe, an outed gay and Eric Wheeler who is sympathetic, along with your cohorts on “Legacy” is just too transparent for me to conclude that you are pushing an agenda that will tempt the OCA to lower her standards regarding this issue (not that we have not for decades by placing homosexuals in high office and then doing a Monty Python – “wink, wink, nudge nudge.”) We, again say, “no more.”

                  And if, the OCA continues to promote people with pro-gay agendas, like Golitzen, who was put on the permanent “no fly list” by the Holy Synod, but now passed through security, you will not see a reduction in our Picard-like resolve. We will fight and like post 9-11 “make them pay for what they’ve done!”

                  That is the where the line is drawn. We will fight, and like Picard, we will win. Strong stuff, but we will not be pushed back any longer.

                  GD Star Rating
                  loading...
                  • M. Stankovich says:

                    Is there even an outside chance that you plan to cite a single place, here or anywhere, that I have stated or insinuated anything that is contrary to the Faith and Tradition of the Fathers? No, you will not, because you cannot. And you cannot because I made no such statements. I may well be a “smooth talkin’ jackal,” but you owe me the respect to substantiate your charges, because I have earned that respect.

                    I was a young adolescent altar boy when Archbishop Valarian Trifa came to my ROC parish to read and celebrate the “Tomos of Autocephaly.” While I certainly could not understand the significance of what was occurring, I could certainly appreciate the celebration and sense of joyful expectation that filled the church on that evening. If you are somehow suggesting that what has subsequently transpired in your OCA is inordinately correlated with sexual orientation, you demonstrate a fundamental lack of knowledge or appreciation for history. You might take a moment to investigate endemic shameless pride, vanity, and lust for power as your “culprits”; like a narcotic, leading some to imagine they would “live and rule forever,” and robbing your OCA of foresight for future generations, or the maturity to produce leaders of respectability and character. And you would somehow place responsibility for this mess in my hands? I, among many, witnessed the history of your OCA in “real time,” and you would be straightened out post haste were it not for an overriding sense that “gossip” is, without exception, decisive and destructive, and propriety would suggest “let the dead bury the dead.”

                    Let me kindly suggest to you that, from apparent signs – and by that I mean the continuous, incessant excoriation & disrespect of the bishops, clergy, and anyone with seeming authority in your OCA that occurs on this site alone – your “standards” can’t go much lower.

                    GD Star Rating
                    loading...
                    • M.

                      It is not disrespect to name bishops and clergy who are deviant in their lifestyle against the teachings of the Church. Rather, it is speaking the truth, and even if that truth is in tough love, the truth, for the sake of their salvation.

                      Nonetheless, you have seen fit to divert my questions and not answer them. So, once and for all, confine your attempts to subvert the Truth of the Gospel and go to the Sheol of own own website and make there your case – and because you will only accept comments from those you approve of, may I suggest that it is time for the webmaster of this website to say, enough, and draw the line here!

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

                      Mr. Stankovich, I am still waiting for a clarification in regards to your statement that:

                      “Nevertheless, I am very con­fi­dent in stat­ing that research evi­dence clearly indi­cates a sig­nif­i­cant genetic her­i­tabil­ity for Same-Sex-Attraction. And the answer is the error in the premise of the “refu­ta­tion.” – Mr. Stankovick, We Are Their Legacy.com

                      I have read and examined your writings very carefully and you state that theire are NO genetic markers for SSA, but that it is hereditary. I believe you are speaking out of both sides of your mouth.

                      Its is NOT a matter of genetics, but of one being “Born this Way” that I and others are concerned with.

                      If you believe people are “Born” gay, which id NOT based on genetics, then what is it based upon? Further, do you believe people can change their behavior? If so, do you believe that Homosexuality is a Habitual condition that can be cured?

                      Other habitual conditions, such as Alcoholism and drug addition are habitual conditions, but are curable with treatment and persistent treatment at that. Is this what you believe?

                      Clarification would be greatly appriciated.

                      Peter A. Papoutsis

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                      And I’m still waiting for you to admit that you have several times grossly over-stated the difference between SSA and SSSA by calling them “mutually exclusive,” and that you have confused SSA with GID (Gender Identity Disorder) so as to maintain the mutual exclusion of SSA and SSSA.

                      By the way, do you even believe in GID? I wouldn’t guess you would, since it would seem to contradict your argument that there’s nothing wrong with SSA. But perhaps you can tell us plainly where you stand on the issue?

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                      Another thing: Since you admit that SSSA is sinful, what’s wrong with calling it sodomy? And why should calling it that be a “provocation” among faithful Orthodox Christians?

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                  • M. Stankovich says:

                    Amos,

                    I believe that if you look to the original post that began this thread, you will find that Mr. Michalopulos specifically invited me to defend my position. The only “question” (and that would be singular) I see in your entire lecture is “Why are you posting on an Orthodox website?” and the answer – because Mr. Michalopulos invited me – seemed quite obvious.

                    I would note to you that my ministry, such as it is, occurs among the most mentally ill and dangerous individuals humanity has to offer – psychopaths who torture for pleasure, and who victimize anyone they perceive as vulnerable – and if you imagine you will drive me away in a voice that rightfully belongs to Mr. Michalopulos alone – intimidation by growling – you evidence yourself as a rank amateur among the daily cast of characters that constitute my average day.

                    You, “Amos-whomever-you-are” are emboldened by the secrecy of the internet and are nothing more than a “cowardly lion” at heart and in my face only because there is no consequence for your disrespect. As a man said to me a few weeks ago, “I’ll take your shoes!”

                    GD Star Rating
                    loading...
                    • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                      Michael, if you’re so fearless, how about answering our questions? What are you afraid of?

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                    • Mike Myers says:

                      Incidentally, the common American legal definition of sodomy is not restricted to anal intercourse and includes any unnatural sex act. That’s what I mean when I use it.

                      Dcn. Mitchell, it’s interesting that you now claim to use the word “sodomy” to denote any sexual acts other than the one performed in the missionary position. Is that correct?

                      Surely you must know that few of your listeners would have understood you to be casting such a broad semantic net when deploying this particular word, as it’s conventionally understood in this time and place. (It has objectively denoted a very wide range of meanings over the centuries, in English.) If truthfulness, rather than provocation and deceit, is the point of one’s discourse, it’s generally more helpful to come right out and say what you mean. Normally, a teacher is careful to use words whose meanings are fully understood by the students. But you are just now getting around to defining this term.

                      You do realize this, right? Whether you do or not, I will have some further questions for you. I won’t be going just yet, if that’s OK.

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
      • Jane Rachel says:

        Deacon Brian Patrick Mitchell wrote:

        We must not allow such people to define the terms of debate. We must speak plainly in public and not be cowed into trying to treat the whole wicked world as we would a repentant sinner. The world will only hold our cowardice in contempt.

        Deacon Brian, this is the best statement I have read. I’ve been trying to put my feelings into words as I think about my brave homosexual friends and family, and imagine conversations with them, wondering what they would think of my part in this debate, and where I stand. I believe they would stand with me. Weird, eh? Knowing them, I don’t think it’s so weird. These men I know have struggled mightily in their lives. I am not sure how you would react to my view on this, Deacon Brian, but I know God is merciful to the humble, and I know my friends have integrity deep down. My friends would agree that the world is a wicked place, and knowing the history of Orthodoxy, that we Orthodox indeed “must speak plainly in public and not be cowed into trying to treat the whole wicked world as we would a repentant sinner. If we do that, we will become cowards.” Some of my friends have attended an Orthodox Church and decided they could not join it because they are homosexual. They would not think of asking the Church to change for them. They realize that if they want to join the Orthodox Church, they, not the Church, would have to change.

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
        • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

          I think I understand you and agree with you, Jane. I should add that plainly speaking the truth to the world is the only way anyone in the world can be saved. It is truly tragic that gays turn away from the Church because of its teaching, but at least they know they could choose otherwise, and as long as the choice of the truth is offered, there is hope that they will someday choose it.

          Hiding the truth from gays so as to trick them into the Church deprives them of a real choice and leaves them in sin, giving them no reason to give it up. This is even more tragic, for it condemns both them and others — those who please them without truly loving them, and those who stumble on account of seeing the truth betray. If only our priests could see the damage they do by being too nice!

          GD Star Rating
          loading...
          • Geo Michalopulos says:

            excellent riposte, Deacon. I fear that more sinners will be saved outside the Church where they at least are not perverting the Gospel than will be saved within the Church. And by this I don’t mean sinners who preach “another Christ” but those of us who let them do so.

            GD Star Rating
            loading...
  15. Michael Bauman says:

    LV, I think you are confusing Fr. Patrick’s and Dn Brian’s response to the dishonest activists who wish to radically alter the teaching of the Church under the guise of your #2 to make #2 unnecessary because homosexuality is just fine don’t you know with an their actual pastoral response to people who are legitmately struggling with sin and temptations.

    That is the moral & spiritual evil of the activists. There supposed ‘caring’ is a monstrous effort to “define deviance down” and turn anyone who objects to homoerotic activity seem to be un-Christian while those who suffer from sexual temptations (even normal temptations) of any kind are encouraged to sin all they want because it is not really sin.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  16. Peter A. Papoutsis says:

    RESPONSE TO M. STANKOVICH ON THE ISSUE OF THE ACCEPTANCE OF HOMOSEXUALITY AS NORMATIVE IN THE HOLY ORTHODOX CHURCH

    At the present time there has appeared in our beloved church the modern day moral catastrophy of Homosexuality and its subsequent heresy of The Acceptance of Homosexuality in the Holy Orthodox Church. To confront this heresy head on one must look at this issue in the wholness and totality of the Holy Orthodox Faith that encompasses Biblical and Doctrinal positions as well as the Liturgical practices of The Holy Orthodox Church. Once these various areas are examined with a clear mind and open heart one will quickly realize that within the confines of The Holy Orthodox Church and its faith and practice Homosexuality cannot be accepted in any way, shape or form, but that true healing can come about to all those suffering from this affliction.

    I. BIBLICAL FOUNDATIONS

    “Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise, also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.” (Romans 1:24-27)

    Most of us read this passage and automatically see that God condems Female as well as Male Homosexuality. Now while this quite true there is a deeper message that many of us miss and has direct ramifications for our current climate of Homosexual tolerance and out right acceptance. Notice very clearly what St. Paul stated above: “For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise, also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men…” St. paul is not only stating that Homosexuality is a sin, but unnatural or against nature! This is a bold statement and one that cannot be overlooked.

    St. Paul is telling us very clearly that Homosexual behavior was never ordained by Almighty God! Further, that the natural use that a Man should and must have is for a Woman and a Woman for a Man! Why is this? First and foremost, one does not need to be a scientist to realize that Homosexual activity does NOT lead to procreation – i.e. no children are born to Homosexuals. Its a simple enough observation, but one that is lost on modern society that simply has lost seeing any and all value in the birth and rearing of children and creation and preservation of a family. In fact, Homosexuality is extremely hostile towards the concept of the family, and if left unchecked, which is what usually occurs, Homosexuality destroys the concept of family and when the family is destroyed then society is destroyed.

    When the Law of Moses, more accurately the Law of God, insisted that all sexual activity, Homosexulaity included, be viewed through the prism of the family, and more specifically through marriage, which is the foundation and bedrock of the family, the world as we simple humans knew it changed forever! We see in the very beginnings of The Bible in the Book of Genesis how marriage was instituted and sanctified by Almighty God. From this first Human Couple, who were Male (Adam) and Female (Eve), that human civilization and society arose.

    While most of us get bogged down in useless literalism and miss the centrality of the Biblical Story its message is quite clear. “Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Genesis 1:18. Again, another bold statement from the Biblical text that we just overlook and think nothing of, but look closely at what is said: “…I will make him a helper fit for him.” (emphasis added). Woman was created to be FIT for Man and Man was FIT for the Woman. The old joke that God created Adam and Eve, and not Adam and Steve is correct. The FITness of Man and Woman is further made clear by the biblical text that immediately follows that states: “Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.”
    Genesis 1:23-24.

    One Flesh! God has stated that Man and Woman are made for each other literally that once they enter into marriage they become ONE FLESH! One cannot get more FIT or Suitable for each other than this. Yet, it is clear that Man was not made for MAN and Woman was not made for Woman. Nothing is mentioned. However, the lack of mention does not necessarily mean something is disapproved…at least not yet!

    So we can see from the Biblical narrative that Woman was made for Man and Man was to cleave and become one flesh with Woman. Genesis is clear on this point.

    Next we come to the story of Sodom and Gomorriah. In Genesis 19. Now the modernists interpret this story as a warning against people NOT being hospitable towards traveling strangers. It must be admitted that this is a pleasent fiction, but a fiction none the less. The modernists would have us ignore Genesis 18 and Abraham’s pleading to God NOT to destroy Sodom and Gomorriah NOT because they were rude or mean or inhospitable to traveling strangers, but because the people of Sodom and Gomorriah were NOT righteous! If hospitality was truly the issue then why do we have the MEN OF SODOM rejecting Lot’s daughters and seeking out the two men (i.e. Angles) with Lot .

    The Biblical text is clear: “But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house; and they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.” Lot went out of the door to the men, shut the door after him, and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. Behold, I have two daughters who have not known man; let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please; only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.” Genesis 19:4-8. The Men of Sodom what to know the men and not the daughters (i.e. women) of Lot. If this was truly predicated on the lack of hospitality why make the Men of Sodon’s sexuality a central issue? why not just have the Men of Sodom refuse them entry into the City? refuse them lodging in an inn? why was their sexuality the core issue? ANSWER: Because their sexuality WAS the core issue! This is why the Men of Sodom were NOT righteous. Although inhospitality is a sin, it is clearly the homosexual behavior of the Sodomites that is singled out for special criticism in the account of their city’s destruction. We must look to Scripture’s own interpretation of the sin of Sodom.

    The Epistle of St. Jude Ch.7 records that Sodom and Gomorrah “acted immorally and indulged in unnatural lust.” Ezekiel says that Sodom committed “abominable things” Ezekiel 16:50, which could refer to homosexual and heterosexual acts of sin. Again, Lot offered his two virgin daughters in place of the two men, but the men of Sodom rejected the offer, preferring homosexual sex over heterosexual sex. Genesis 19:8–9. So even though the lack of hospitality is a sin, it is NOT the central emphasis of the story of Sodom and Gomorriah.

    Even Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ made mention of Sodom and Gomorriah when He stated: :Then He began to upbraid the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Chora’zin! woe to you, Beth-sa’ida! for if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Caper’na-um, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.” So was Jesus talking about the Lack of Hospitality? NO His main point and emphasis was that these cities that He mentioned failed to repent just like Sodom and that Sodom would be better treated for their unrepentant stance that these cities WHO SAW THE WORKINGS OG GOD and GOD’S ONLY BEGOTTEN SON and STILL FAILED TO REPENT! Christ did not die on the Cross for Man’s lack of hospitality, but for his sin and for Man to made into a new creation in Christ and be transformed in to a true child of God (i.e. Theosis). It was because of Sodom and Gomorriah’s Homosexual activity and unbridaled sexual appitites that led to their unrighteousness, their destruction and a perpetual example of what truly and deeply displeases God.

    But all of this is BEFORE the Law of Moses, surely Moses talks about Homosexuality? Well, we all know the Law of Moses talks about it and that brings us to the most hated biblical passage of them all by practicing Homosexuals. Leviticus 18:22 which states: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” Pretty hefty stuff right? Well, it gets hefty’er as we go on. in Leviticus 18:24 it states: “Do not defile yourselves by any of these things, for by all these the nations I am casting out before you defiled themselves.” Defile? What does God mean by defile? God meant that we are NOT to pollute ourselves, OUR BODIES in the same way as the Pagans did who practiced these things – i.e. Homosexuality. Now Leviticus 19:23 talks about Men and Women not committing beastiality, as its an abomination. Homosexuality is placed on the same level of defile ment as bestiality by Almight God. If you stop and think about it that an extremely strong statement as to how impure and perverse Homosexuality truly is in the Eyes of God.

    Now we come to the dreded Leviticus 21:13 which states: “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them.” Well, what is God Talking about here? Shall we put all practicing Homosexuals to death? Did ancient Isrealits impose Capital Punishment upon men and women caught in the act of homosexuality? NO!

    As a lawyer, and as any lawyer will tell you, any offense, wherther criminal or civil, needs evidence – i.e. proof. Further, any law, and the Law of Moses included, includes admonistions infoming the public of the severity and gravitas of certain legal prohibitions that very strong punishments are attached, that very seldom, if ever actually occur. This is what occured with the prohibition against Homosexuality.

    Consider for a moment – would a man be killed IF he were raped by another man? Would a man be killed if he were raised as a male prostitute without ever having the opportunity to repent? Would a man be killed if he had no opportunity to repent even if raised under the Law of Moses? Consider further Cain or the Cain and Able story. Was Cain killed? Did God strike him down? No! In fact, God protected Him. Why? As you read the story no one, not even Cain knew, let alone committed Murder up to this point. Cain cried out to God that his punishment was to much for him to bear, and that everybody would want to take vengence o him (i.e. kill him too). But god showed Cain mercy and protected Cain from retribution. The same priciple applies here.

    Mercy, repentance, forgiveness, striving (struggling) for righteourness, but falling and failing were all present in the law of Moses because they were and still are present in the One true Faith of God. This is why were find no cases of capital punishment ever being inflicted for violation of this prohibition. However, the severity of punishment is placed in this prohibition to show the severity of the act – i.e. homosexuality.

    Furthermore, consider the story of the Prophet Elisha in 2 Kings Ch.2:23-24: “He went up from there to Bethel; and while he was going up on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, saying, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!” And he turned around, and when he saw them, he cursed them in the name of the LORD. And two she-bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the boys.” Wow, how can God and the Prophet Elisha be so cruel? Jewsih commentators has stated time and again that semetic culture attached such crule punishments NOT that such punishments were to actually occur, but to show the severity of s certain act. In the case of Elisha the disrespect that should NOT be shown to a Prophet of God.

    So in the case of Homosexuality the severity of punishment is harsh to emphasize the severity of the act! In other words: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor sexual perverts (Male Prostetutes nor Homosexual Offenders), nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9. We shall be deprived the Kingdom of God if we practice and continue in our Homosexuality.

    Thus, as it can be seen the moral position of the One True Faith, The Orthodox Christian faith, is very clear in its condemnation of Homosexuality. We do not, and never did condemn of the Homosexual, but we have always condemned his Homosexual activity, and now through the Gospel of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ all Men and Women can find rest in Christ, and forgiveness through his Gospel and atonement through transformation into a true Child of God (i.e Theosis).

    So for Mr. Stankovich to say that he is of the belief that a persons Homosexuality is a genetic (i.e. natural) condition goes against the very teachings and moral tradition of the Holy Orthodox Church.

    To Be Continued – PART II DOCTRINAL POSITIONS OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH AGAINST HOMOSEXUALITY.

    Peter A. Papoutsis

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • M. Stankovich says:

      Mr. Papoutsis,

      In that my experience is such that most instances of τῷ τὴν τιμὴν τὴν τιμήν are posthumous, I suppose I should be grateful. I have absolutely no disagreement – not a one – with anything you write until you reach your final sentence and state I have said that “Homosexuality is a genetic (i.e. natural) condition.” If you will allow me to quote myself:

      Most impor­tantly, our human genome – con­sti­tut­ing the entire “set” of the genetic cod­ing instruc­tions of inher­i­tance – must, of neces­sity, be first ref­er­enced to the cre­ation, “as it was in the begin­ning,” κατ’εἰκόνα θεοῦ (Gen 1:27), in the very image of God (and I take this to refer, as well, to the Lord’s body after the Resurrection; to be cer­tain, accord­ing to St. John of Damascus, “it was a real body,” but “changed”) What will be describe here, how­ever, is a fallen and bro­ken human­ity, brought to us by our first par­ents, into a bro­ken and fallen world. It fur­ther seems impor­tant to acknowl­edge that some her­i­ta­ble char­ac­ter­is­tics, as we shall see, are believed to be a direct result of our inter­ac­tion with this bro­ken world.

      And further, I have stated:

      “The point here has been to empha­size that “mod­ern med­i­cine,” as the struc­tured inves­ti­ga­tion of the icon of the Lord’s Humanity, is mod­ern only by virtue of its matu­rity as a field and inves­tiga­tive tech­nol­ogy. “What” is being inves­ti­gated was car­ried into this fallen, bro­ken world by Adam and Eve.

      How you are able to transform my words into the conclusion homosexuality is natural is beyond me. I am simply astonished.

      While I specifically noted in my writings that I would not provide instruction in basic human genetics, I have attempted to highlight terminology that might be pursued independently in appreciating the complexity. If you believe “genetic” means “natural,” you need to reorient yourself. Likewise, pursuant to the California Evidence Code, §407(a), “The proponent of the proffered evidence has the burden of producing evidence as to the existence of the preliminary fact,” which I interpret to mean that if you would ascribe “preliminary fact” as my words, you would at least be honest enough to quote me directly.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

        These are your actual words from your website:

        I am very con­fi­dent in stat­ing that research evi­dence clearly indi­cates a sig­nif­i­cant genetic her­i­tabil­ity for Same-Sex-Attraction.”

        If you want to clarify please be my guest.

        Peter

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
      • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

        Now who is taking about something they do not know anything about? Are you a lawyer?

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
        • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

          By the way you proffered YOUR CASE you have the burden of proof. Mine is only a response.

          Peter

          GD Star Rating
          loading...
      • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

        Do you believe it is a genetic abnormality, thus unnatural? Please explain further.

        Peter

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
        • Peter, all I can say is that if ever I need a good lawyer, you’re my man!

          GD Star Rating
          loading...
        • M. Stankovich says:

          Mr. Papoutis,

          I believe I have always been respectful to you on this site, as well as silent and tolerant to your remarks that I am a “destructive force” and hold beliefs that are “against the very teachings and moral tradition of the Holy Orthodox Church.” Quite frankly, while audacious, I can live with your accusations. As I have said many times: I stand by my integrity and my words speak for themselves. I have also continued to invite correction if I am in factual error.

          What I will not tolerate, however, is a disingenuous “cross-examination.” You have previously “corrected” a statement of mine with a lengthy discussion of, among other things, “KIT ligand (KITG)” genes and the “proliferation and migration of melanocytes (i.e. degree of Melanin)” which I found verbatim on Wikipedia; the irony of which is that your answer was incorrect. I later stated that “I did not learn human genetics on the internet,” somehow thinking you would say “I found it on Wikipedia and it could be wrong.” No. This left me with two possibilities: someone has plagiarized Mr. Papoutsis onto Wikipedia, or he is actually bold enough to put forth someone’s scholarship as his own – albeit the incorrect scholarship – and actually could not tell the difference between a KITG and a carton of milk. While I do not regret the respect I have continuously shown you, I resent being “played.”

          Just in case you missed it all over Mr. Michalopulos’s blog and elsewhere: I pick my words carefully and precisely because the Truth demands it; I do not tolerate “contradictions” because if I present error, I will gladly correct it; I attempt to be scrupulous in equally indicating what is not known or supported in the scientific literature; I have neither stated, implied, or advocated anything that contradicts the Scripture, teachings, or moral Tradition of the Orthodox Church; and I fully and completely accept responsibility for what I commit to text.

          Your witness, counselor.

          GD Star Rating
          loading...
          • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

            So, Mr. Witness, you claim to pick your words carefully because Truth demands it. How do you explain your claim that SSA and SSSA are “mutually exclusive”?

            GD Star Rating
            loading...
          • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

            If you are referring to information I have found and used on the internet Yes you are correct. However, I attempt very hard to present a very clear argument on subject and matters I have either a personal interest in or because of some unfortunate family issue I am keenly aware of. My thoughts and beliefs are always my own.

            However, being that you refuse to answer the question(s) posed to you directly, which I might add you have consistently done from the very beginning, it seems very clear to me that you have been exposed for the Gay, Inc. agent that you are. If I am wrong, then I welcome you to prove me wrong by answering the previously posed questions directly and clearly.

            You see I have cross-examined medical, construction and even genetic and cellular experts over the last 15 years of my practice. I have not gone to medical school or learned mechanical engineering, but I had to learn on the job so to speak. So I am knowledgeable of the issues you raise and how you are misusing them, especially equating fatal genetic illnesses with human behavior, but hey what do I know.

            However, in a spirit of fairness and professionalism I will here on out give you full cites to all of my references to thus take away another one of your red herrings.

            Peter A. Papoutsis

            GD Star Rating
            loading...
    • Peter, this is a fantastic exegesis. I hope you don’t mind, but I’d like to add something tangential which shows how abominable the activities of the Sodomites were in regard to the story of Lot and his daughters. Namely, that they put him in an impossible situation which even though he was righteous, he and his posterity suffered for all time from this calumny.

      Specifically, that when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed and he and his daughters were hiding in a cave, they thought that the whole world was finished and that they were the last three humans on earth. Because of the depravity which they witnessed, his daughters thought “what the hell?” and intoxicated their father and seduced him, in order to propagate the human race. Their posterity were known as the Moabites and in ancient Israel, the Moabites were regarded as the most base people on earth. Basically “trailer trash.”

      What’s my point? I guess what I’m trying to say is that the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah because of those cities’ abominable sins affected these righteous people as well.

      Question: will we be so affected, even those of us who do not engage in sin?

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      • Mike Myers says:

        Question: will we be so affected, even those of us who do not engage in sin?

        No further comment required.

        Other than this, posted for anyone here with the remotest interest in the Prophets, scholarship or just basic rationality, as opposed to the admittedly amusing ravings of ignorant blowhards.

        “…Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, surfeit of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty, and did abominable things before me; therefore I removed them, when I saw it.” — Ezekiel 16:49-50.

        “The Sodomites were among the richest of nations….

        Sodom was secure against attack; yet to discourage visitors, its citizens passed a law that whoever offered a stranger food should be burned alive. Instead, the stranger must be robbed of all he had and flung from the city stark naked.

        Once a year they held a feast…. When they had well drunken, every man would seize his neighbor’s wife, or his virgin daughter, and enjoy her. Nor did any many care whether his wife or daughter were sporting with his neighbor; but all made merry together from dawn to dusk, during those four days of festival….

        Beds were placed in the streets of Sodom for measuring strangers. If a man proved to be shorter than the bed on which he had been laid, three Sodomites would seize his legs, three more his head and arms, and stretch him until he fitted it. But if he proved to be longer than the bed, they forced his head downward and his legs upward. When the poor wretch cried out in a death agony, the Sodomites said, ‘Peace, this is an ancient custom here.’

        In the city of Admah, near Sodom, lived a rich man’s daughter. One day a wayfarer sat down by her house door, and she fetched him bread and water. The city judges, hearing of this criminal act, had her stripped naked, smeared with honey, and laid beside a wild bees’ nest; the bees then came and stung her to death. It was her cries that prompted God’s destruction of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboyim; also those uttered by Lot’s elder daughter, Paltit — who had given a needy old man water, and was dragged to the stake for her obstinate ways.” — Robert Graves and Raphael Patai, in “Hebrew Myths.” pp. 167-168. Greenwich House, 1983

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
        • Mr Myers, I am well acquainted with the writings of both Robert Graves (a pederast who wrote I, Claudius and Claudius the God, as well as King Jesus) and Raphael Patai (who wrote The Hebrew Goddess.) Where are their sources for inserting the Procustean Myth of the ancient Greeks into that of Sodom? Does that sound logical that any city in the ancient world would actually slaughter or torture strangers in such a physical manner? Why would anybody trade with these cities? Nobody would under these conditions, in the same way that nobody trades with North Korea today –it’s an idiotic regime that sane people stay away from. More to the point, how would these cities survive without trade? They’d have to have farms and wells within their walls as well as their own manufacturing and merchandise. In other words, an impossibility. Besides, any such massive and frequent cruelty would have warranted their destruction by their neighbors decades earlier. In other words, both Graves and Patai had their own ideological axes to grind.

          As for the casual rape of every other man’s daughter by every other man, I must agree with you, that’s an abomination. I’m glad to see that you believe that some sexual sins are abominations. (Although if I wanted to be snarky I could say that you’re being awfully judgmental.)

          Let’s also say that the “scholarship” of certain Englishmen of the early 20th century is highly suspect. A better book would be Michael Grant’s A History of Ancient Israel. Like many of these public school-educated Englishmen (many of who were homosexual), he is sympathetic to “the love that dare not speak its name” (as opposed to today where it is “the love that won’t shut the f$%* up”) if you read carefully between the lines. Though far more honest than Graves, he singles out homosexuality as a violation of the holiness code of Leviticus precisely because it was associated with pagan idolatry. That is why in his mind it is the major indictment by the Hebrews for this vice.

          Ultimately of course, you’re engaging in a rhetorical question for which there really is an answer. The question is “why did the Prophets, common Israelites, Hebrew priests, Rabbis, Church Fathers, and Talmudic scholars from ancient times to the present associate homosexuality as the chief sin of Sodom and Gomorrah?” Even if they were mistaken (which is doubtful given the weight of evidence and cultural revulsion that normal Israelites had for homoerotic acts), the fact that it came to considered as such is precisely because of the Biblical/cultural hermeneutic mandated that it be so.

          An example would be the crucifixion of Jesus. We don’t really know what type of cross He was crucified on. It could have been a tau-cross or a simple stake in which His hands were nailed above His head (the Jehovah’s Witnesses like this one). He could have been nailed to a tree with some outstretched branches. Rather than carrying the entire cross, He may have carried just the cross-bar to Golgotha strapped across His shoulders. This would even be true if He was going to be nailed to a tree. How to explain Simon of Cyrene? Jesus stumbled and the cross-bar may have been removed from Him and given to Simon to carry the rest of the way. There are certainly other possibilities. The reality is that since we weren’t there we can’t really know every detail of His execution. The fact remains though that He really did die by crucifixion and not by hanging, firing squad or beheading.

          Usually the simplest, most widely-accepted answer is the correct one.

          GD Star Rating
          loading...
          • Mike Myers says:

            Usually the simplest, most widely-accepted answer is the correct one.

            An utterly false assertion of course. But a telling distillation of where too many people come from, in terms of derelict critical thinking.

            Little of this has much real relevance to the question about the objective, historical nature of the undoubted wickedness of Sodom’s denizens that was represented in Hebrew writings, myths and legends, other than this question, which is easy enough to answer after some pruning of its dross.

            . . .“why did the Prophets, common Israelites, Hebrew priests, Rabbis, Church Fathers, and Talmudic scholars from ancient times to the present associate homosexuality as the chief sin of Sodom and Gomorrah?”

            First it’s obviously false that the Prophets viewed homosexuality as the chief sin of the Sodomites, as the pericope from Ezekiel should make clear to any honest person. I presume you read it. Isaiah and Jeremiah also touched on the legend of Sodom’s wickedness, and you can read them for yourself. These are among the earliest testimonies, aside from the Hebrew myths translated by the scholars cited. (Translated, not made up. I’d ask you to defend with some evidence your libelous remarks impugning the scholarship of Robert Graves as “far less honest” than that of MIchael Grant, but that might imply that I considered them worth the trouble, which of course I don’t.)

            What your evidence might be for the opinions of “common Israelites” that you cite and claim to know something about, I have no idea. I would only point out that “common people” commonly have believed all sorts of things that have little or no correspondence to reality or fact.

            It is exceedingly strange for a Christian to cite the Talmud as a reliable source for historical or legendary data. Do you have any idea what these writings say about … on second thought never mind.

            But Patristic and much subsequent extra-Talmudic Rabbinic commentary was indeed shifted into this monomaniacal direction by the profoundly influential scribe Philo, a Hellenistic Jew of Alexandria who grossly oversimplified and distorted a complex and multivocal Jewish tradition for his own personal and political reasons, evidently. The rest is history. This is well-known to scholars, if not to the “common people” or shameless demagogues.

            GD Star Rating
            loading...
            • David Yentzen says:

              I really try very hard not to post too often as I see much of all this as an “OCA situation” but I have patiently waited for someone to confront Mr Meyers on his own less than stellar critical thinking skills. Mr Meyers, you are as much guilty of “derelict critical thinking” as say some of the folks you sling ad hominem attacks at. You earlier make a post in effort to insult Fr. Reardon but instead and in addition to that you insult someone that is not even a part of this discussion( No , I will not provide you with that post—I do not provide others with ammo). That “well-known Oriental tyrant” is my metropolitan and while I am free to not always agree with Met. Phillip….nevertheless, he still “rightly divides the word” and is in no way a party to this discussion. I waited for a priest/deacon to address that fact that you slandered the name of a bishop in public without just cause but I wait no longer. My ability to act/speak is not constrained by a ryassa. Being devoted to Rothbardian Libertarianism, I highly value( indeed will defend) your right to mount a cogently organized presentation of your views but you should never, ever say anything over the internet that you would not say eyeball to eyeball. It has been my personal experience that a lot of the internet bravado withers away when placed eyeball to eyeball. Don’t insult someone from a distance if you would not do it eye to eye.
              In order that you may think clearly might I suggest one or both of the following:

              “In Defense of Clear Thinking” by Butler Shaffer (http://www.lewrockwell.com/shaffer/shaffer228.html)
              or
              “Defending the Undefendable” by Walter Block ( http://mises.org/resources/3490)

              Both gentleman have spent a lifetime devoted to logical, clear, rational thought.

              Besides, we all pretty much know that Occam’s Razor is simply a rule of thumb.

              George: please note nothing in this post should be misconstrued as anything but advice as I am committed to libertarianism and its first principle of non-aggression/coercion.

              GD Star Rating
              loading...
              • Mike Myers says:

                If you mean to suggest that I would not dare raise my concerns in person with MP about a certain haughty, indignantly dismissive, moralistic outrage that one senses and its real-world consequences for suffering, sometimes victimized human beings seeking Christ in Orthodoxy and elsewhere, I would indeed do so under other circumstances. The etiology of “homosexual vice,” the varieties of that, their untidy mixing up with ties of affection and strong emotional bonding and companionship, and the questions of moral culpability involved when all this is acted out and by whom are complicated issues, and it seems rather willfully ignorant and self-righteous to pretend otherwise. We don’t live in the ancient Near East, and exactly what the author of Leviticus was legislatlng against, and why, are in any case open to some interpretation among reasonable and informed people.

                But the situation in Syria is very grave and dangerous, and I’m certain your Met. has more pressing matters to attend to at the moment.

                Usually the simplest, most widely-accepted answer is the correct one.

                You commented:

                “Besides, we all pretty much know that Occam’s Razor is simply a rule of thumb.”

                If “we all” think George was stating OR, than y’all simply don’t know what that is. Ironically, you simply underscore my original remark, of course. But I’m used to that here.

                Occam’s razor, also known as Ockham’s razor, and sometimes expressed in Latin as lex parsimoniae (the law of parsimony, economy or succinctness), is a principle that generally recommends selecting from among competing hypotheses the one that makes the fewest new assumptions.

                The principle is often inaccurately summarized as “the simplest explanation is most likely the correct one.” This summary is misleading, as in practice the principle is actually focused on shifting the burden of proof in discussions.[1] That is, the razor is a principle that suggests we should tend towards simpler theories until we can trade some simplicity for increased explanatory power. Contrary to the popular summary, the simplest available theory is sometimes a less accurate explanation. Philosophers also add that the exact meaning of “simplest” can be nuanced in the first place.

                Never mind that to have added “most commonly accepted” is to really gild the lilly of falsity here. There are ever so many “most commonly accepted answers” that are very, very far from correct. This would be true too of your claim that George has stated Occam’s Razor.

                GD Star Rating
                loading...
                • Mike Myers says:

                  I forgot to express my relief and gratitude to you, or to your ideology, for generously eschewing aggression and coercion with respect to my person and/or views (?). In the context of this discussion, that you would proffer this reassurance is particularly interesting. But once again, such überironic over- and undertones are nothing new to me, around this joint.

                  GD Star Rating
                  loading...
                  • David Yentzen says:

                    Civilized conversation takes place within the context of two parameters: the expression of clear, well thought out, logical thought and eschewing any desire to disrespect( verbally/physically) anyone that you may be engaged with in conversation.
                    You fail at both. Over, and over, and over, and over, and over…….and over.
                    Besides, who in the heck still uses “eschew” ? LOL

                    GD Star Rating
                    loading...
                  • Fr. Hans Jacobse says:

                    Mike, the problem is that when the homosexual insists that his “orientation” is an ontological rather than behavioral category, any challenge is invariably perceived as aggressive and coercive. That’s why you respond with moralistic outrage when contradictions in your reasoning are pointed out.

                    Part of your frustration here I think is that most people don’t find the outrage persuasive.

                    GD Star Rating
                    loading...
                    • Mike Myers says:

                      Father, in one sense, I’ve learned a lot from closely observing and analyzing your astonishing tactics in discussion, and I’m grateful for the lessons. Thanks.

                      GD Star Rating
                      loading...
                • M. Stankovich says:

                  Mr. Meyers,

                  You are selective in your definition of Ockham’s Razor, and I will allow that it was not intentional, but rather reflects this increasing phenomenon of learn-as-you-quote “internet-derived” authority – something I champion (and to clarify, not bitterly champion, but I will agree with whomever would suggest it is, indeed, a bitter affair) as disrespectful to scholarly pursuit.

                  Ockham was not suggesting an assumption of the “most commonly accepted” explanation nor the “simplest” explanation. What Ockham advocated was limiting variables “beyond what is necessary,” and thereby, arriving at an answer that is “probably” – meaning, pursuant to the laws of statistical probability – the correct explanation.

                  Resident physicians, for example, are continually “grilled” as to what is called “differential diagnosis,” to catalogue all possibilities for a given symptom (or set of symptoms). This is savant. The art is in the practice & repetition of learning to dismiss variables to reveal the probable explanation. This suggests to me two things: first, reliance on “executive functions” (look it up) is far from a random “guess” or an “intuition,” but a manner of “inserting” new knowledge into the “flow” of knowledge we already possess; and secondly, probability is an essential aid to sound decisions. While you may have a point that “ever so many ‘most commonly accepted answers’ [are] very, very far from correct,” you certainly did not arrive at this conclusion from any process described by Ockham. The only überironic over/undertone I perceive – and these moments of a self-clarifying insight are too fleeting – is my own verbosity. Take that!

                  As you have generously undertaken a castigation of Mr. Yentzen as a metaphor of “this joint,” Mr. Meyers, I don’t exactly know if I should be personally offended, if only because I can’t understand what he’s talking about. Rothbardian Libertarianism, you say? It almost makes me want to Google…

                  GD Star Rating
                  loading...
                  • Mike Myers says:

                    Abandon all hope, ye who enter this joint. I’ll just leave it at that.

                    GD Star Rating
                    loading...
                  • David Yentzen says:

                    Ha, after reading MM’s “castigation” of me I still think he/she/it needs to hire a tutor in logic rather than use wikipedia as his mental master. And, I’ll repeat that the razor is meant only as a rule of thumb……you Mr Stankovich are correct(!), Ockham was a terse statistician before there were any.
                    I am still left with two concerns about the jumbled and illogical rants of MM. One, what the heck is a lapsed RC doing trolling an Orthodox blog site. Two, why is it that MM can never seem to directly/clearly answer a direct and straight forward question?

                    And I love Murray Rothbard almost as much as I love grits.

                    GD Star Rating
                    loading...
  17. From the Epistle of our holy, glorious and all-laudable Apostle Paul to the Romans
    (1:20-40, NKJV):
    22 Professing to be wise, they became fools
    25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie
    28 God gave them over to a debased mind

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  18. cynthia curran says:

    George is right about Robert Graves and his axes to grind. Both the Claudius’s novels and his other novel Count Belisarius about Justinian’s famous general Belisarius seem to have some axes to grind. Namely, the women in these novels dominated the men to a degree that is probably not believable. Livia in real life couldn’t had that type of influence over Augustus. Augustus was probably the best ruler of the ancient world and roman emperors including early Byzantine ones wanted to use Augustus in their title. Now, in Count Belisarius probably Graves was highly influence by Procopius who seems to praise Belisarius in the Wars since Procopius was his secretary but still shows poor Belsarius being ruled by Antonina his wife. Graves seems to believe that women really rule because of ancient goddess worshiped.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  19. Heracleides says:

    Seeing as how Leonova’s crew have decided to crash the party, I thought I’d help them out the door with a gift in keeping with the season. The image is a new banner for Leonova’s facebook page and is titled “Inga’s Cackle” – it may be viewed here: http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff436/Heracleides/

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  20. Corneliu Ilea says:

    No former Protestant/culture war refugee should become an Orthodox priest. That’s my opinion.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  21. cynthia curran says:

    No ex-conservative protestant should become a priest that is certainly biased. In fact, most of the earliest orthodox priests from the 3rd century to about the 6th century were pagans before they were christian.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  22. Corneliu Ilea says:

    look, homosexuals already destroyed one true faith-the holy catholic, apostolic,upper-middle class Episcopalian church; now some fled to various Orthodox churches since these seemed the next best thing.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • George Michalopulos says:

      Corneliu, it is not the converts who are bringing the culture war into the Orthodox Church. Trust me, 99.9% of the former Evangelicals I know who are now Orthodox or are considering Orthodoxy are horrified that this is being discussed at all!

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  23. Here is a post on the moral law of God in response to Lazar Puhalo: http://fatherjohn.blogspot.com/2011/10/continuing-validity-of-moral-law-of-old.html

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Heracleides says:

      Very well done Father and well worth the read.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
    • Jane Rachel says:

      Lazar Puhalo was a deacon in ROCOR, who was deposed in 1981. From 1981 until he was received as a “retired” bishop by the OCA, he was in a series of vagante jurisdictions where he was ordained a priest, then a bishop, and then raised to archbishop. He is referred to as a retired OCA bishop, but this gives the false impression that he was once an active OCA bishop, when in reality, he has never been an active priest or bishop of any legitimate Orthodox jurisdiction.

      This is nutty!! How did it happen?

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
    • Carl Kraeff says:

      So the debate on Archbishop Lazar spills over to this blog. Father John is a very learned and erudite priest but he is also a polemicist, which is OK of course, but it does mean that we cannot take everything that he says at its face value.

      I just want to say this: it is extremely disrespectful to call the Archbishop merely as “Lazar Puhalo.” It is disrespectful of the Church of which he is a member, it is disrespectful of the Holy Synod members who accepted him into the OCA, and it is contrary to the current spirit of brotherly relations between the OCA and ROCOR. To me this unprovoked attack feels like an attempt to poison that well by waging proxy wars.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  24. Heracleides says:

    And the rot continues… yet another ‘Orthodox’ website dedicated to advancing the homosexual agenda within the church. It is run by, of all people, a supposedly ‘Orthodox’ priest. It’s name is “Orthodox and Gay” and as the site clearly states:

    There are two main guiding principles of this website:

    One: The Orthodox Church is the Bride of Christ.
    Two: Being gay is a gift of God, the Creator. Therefore expressing that gift in a healthy and mature relationship is also blessed by God.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Apparently he was ordained in UOC-USA, but is voluntarily no longer serving as a priest. Yeah. Right.

      It would be nice if more bishops would defrock non-celibate homosexuals, especially ones who promote non-Orthodox teaching.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  25. Corneliu Ilea says:

    Most formerly committed Protestant-turned-committed Orthodox (especially those into “culture wars”) have almost no clue how Orthodoxy functions in its more natural environment, i.e. its historic lands and hence, the vaguely cultish atmosphere and feeling of their parishes, enterprises and publications.
    Orthodoxy functions basically like Catholicism or any other large, established religion: with a set of dogmas and rules on paper; those rules do not often change but they aren’t often enforced either, except perhaps if someone has strong masochistic tendencies and really wants all the weight of the canons top fall on them and thus, they might go to a monastery for confession to some very strict monk etc. Parishes are quite loose communities where, I dare say, from my experience, the glueing factor if there is one, isn’t religious, at least not in an overt, self-conscious way, but more kinship, family relations, outside of church friendships etc. So, because the religious factor is rarely overt in typical Orthodox communities of the old world there is almost zero policing of the personal lives of those that show up for liturgy or commune.
    But alas, for a normally functioning Orthodox church, one needs large numbers and a relatively high degree of mild indifferentism. Most of these lack in America, especially in convert parishes.
    Of course, militant gay advocacy within the Church isn’t traditional, but, culture warriors, do not fool yourselves, neither is your wild eyed defense of “traditional morality” or whatever you took upon yourselves to defend.
    Orthodoxy, as I have known it from earliest infancy, on another continent, is a free-for-all religion, big stuff on paper, for those that bother to read and low standards in real life.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

      Corneliu I have no Idea what you are talking about. I have been to Greece since I was a boy and yes the society maybe moraly lax, but the Orthodox Church never was. Corruption abounds, and a morally lax laity overseas abound, but to say that the Church does not care is just plain wrong. Nektarios is completely correct in his assessment.

      Peter

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  26. Nekatarios says:

    It is amazing how things change, in the old country in the old times (not long ago) someone who walks into a church and publicly says they are practicing homosexual and that the church is going to change to suit them, would either be

    A: ignored entirely as crazy
    B: beaten up

    My how things change.
    We can’t always be so nice and try to explain things to people.

    The Orthodox Church won’t be destroyed without a fight.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Carl Kraeff says:

      Peter and Nektarius–You seem to be concentrating on only one small aspect of what Corneliu wrote. What he is was generally criticizing was the lack of true piety, religious fervor and active discipleship as contrasted to mere Church membership. But, this is not really a characteristic of only the Orthodox Church but of all Christian Churches, especially amongst the non-converts. Lest you think that I am downplaying the cradles, please take a look at indicators, such as regular church attendance and involvement in parish life, where there is indeed a correlation between the percentage of converts and those two indicators. Generally, the higher the percentage of converts, the higher the rate of regular church attendance and involvement in parish life.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

        I agree with you in regards to the lack of piety, but was disagreeing that the Church inherently holds to a moral double standard or just turns a blind eye and that it’s acceptable. It is not.

        Peter

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
  27. Don’t make out the corruption in Eastern Europe to be something it wasn;t.
    The church still upheld BASIC morality, such as chastisity and natural man/woman marriage/relations.

    Whatever your experience was is not mine, Yours is an exaggeration to suit the “MASS INDIVIDUALISM” of the USA.
    manipulative brainwashing.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  28. Peter A. Papoutsis says:

    Also, check this article out in regards to what Actress Cynthia Nixon stated:

    http://news.yahoo.com/actress-claim-gay-choice-riles-activists-201717513.html

    Did you catch all that? Read it carefully. Even the Gay Activists admit that homosexuality is mutable (i.e. changable) they just won’t admit to it for political reasons, and because they believe that we, i.e. Christians, will give permission to the beating up of Homosexuals. They KNOW their sexuality is changable! THEY KNOW BUT WILL NOT ADMIT IT!

    This is why I, Michael baumen and others have insisted on fidelity, EXTREME fidelity to the Gospel of Christ and to the teaching of the Holy Church. Now that Homosexuals are getting their so-called civil rights the facade and lie that theyr were “BORN THIS WAY is coming down. Check out Elena Azzoni’s book “A Year Straight.” All it took for her was a hunky Yoga instructor touching her in the right place during a Yoga session to “Start having Feelings for Men.” Really!?

    So for you Orthodox out there as well as our eruidite friends over at We Are Their Legacy WAKE UP! YOU ARE AND HAVE BEEN FOOLED AND DECIVED INTO BETRAYING OUR FAITH!

    PS More examples like Cynthia Nixon and her “Choice” of Homosexuality or Elena Azzoni’s “Fluid Sexuality” are going to be coming down the road, and the compromisers and betrayers of our faith better have good answers to God, not us, as why they betrayed Our Lord’s Gospel.

    Sorry for the rant, but I knew for years this was coming and now the lie is finally being exposed. To see the destruction this has caused in our Church over the years, especially now, is just heartbreaking. I’m just sorry it took this long for the lie to finally be exposed.

    Peter

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  29. Peter A. Papoutsis says:

    Oh by the way I forgot to mention that the new PC word coming from all this Post-Gay Rights activism is : “PANSEXUAL.” Sooooo…are people born that way as well? If I recall, and it has been quit some time, Orthodoxy has a word for this as we. Its “Sinner.” But, come on “Pansexual” sound so much better.

    Peter

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Geo Michalopulos says:

      very perceptive Peter. Once they won the battle for marital “rights”, then the mask comes off.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  30. cynthia curraWen says:

    No one is saying that there are no Greeks in the home country that are not into religious piety. There’s a russian priest in Greece that has helped thousands of girls and young women escaped the sex trade in Greece. Modern Greece is worst in this respect than Constantinople was in the age of Justinian. Justinian punished brothel keepers. The priest stated that some of the customers helped the girls or women escape by marrying them but they were poor husbands since they got use to using women sexually. This demonstrates that lax morally takes its toll. The US also has problems with sex slavery, so not picking here on Orthodox or Greeks on the matter.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...