Time Out — Reset and Reboot

Recently, some commentators have taken Monomakhos to task for aligning itself with the so-called Christian Right. The one item that vexes many of my commentators is homosexuality.

Correspondents object to the discussions about homosexuality because they think it ignores other problems facing the Church. I promise you that when polygamy, whore-mongering, bestiality, thievery, skulduggery, or any other sin breaks out we will discuss them too. We will not however, go out of our way to avoid offending the sensibilities of the polygamists, thieves, or others when it occurs. Yes, we know all men are sinners. We are aware that love covers a multitude of sins and that it is honorable to cover a man’s sin so that his shame is evident to God alone. But there’s a difference between private sin and the institutionalization of sin as a life style choice. We’ll defer to the teaching of the Church on that one thank you and call it out when it occurs.

Put more bluntly, Monomakhos will not be put in the position of having to defend the moral tradition of the Orthodox Church. This tradition has its roots in ancient Israel and has been expanded and amplified by the teachings of the Apostles and Church Fathers. It’s source is Holy Scripture. And don’t bother me with arguments about the Mosaic Law allowing slavery or mandating the death penalty if your only purpose is to relativize the moral prohibitions against homosexuality or any other hot button issue. That is nothing more than an attempt to delegitimize the the revelation that laid the moral ground of Western Civilization. If you feel otherwise, then the responsibility is on you to point to cultures that embraced promiscuity and survived.

Furthermore, the argument that tolerance trumps the moral tradition is illegitimate. Even the anti-traditionalist proves the point. When pro-homosexual ideologues demand gay marriage for example, why do they limit it only to a couple? Doesn’t this affirm the same tradition whose moral authority they deny? And why won’t the homosexual movement repudiate the ideology of Queer Theory that teaches that all forms of homosexuality, including pederasty, are legitimate? Is it because they know that to challenge this ideology would be a way of imposing their morality on others? And doesn’t this imposition undermine their criticism against the received tradition? Of course it does.

For the record, I am a live-and-let-live kind of guy. What grown adults do in the privacy of their own bedrooms is not my concern. I also believe in freedom of religion. That means that you don’t have to join my church or any church for that matter. If you want, join a church which conforms more to your own moral vision. It’s up to you. But don’t come into my Church and tell me the moral tradition needs to be homosexualized.

On another note, a few critics have taken me to task for “censoring” their comments. I don’t censor comments. Sometimes comments get flagged as spam. When I clean out the spam folder (which can hold as many as 1000 comments) I hit the delete button over and over. Monomakhos is dedicated to the free exchange of ideas. My goal is to make Monomakhos a go-to source about culture, politics, and religion. If the offended parties can provide their deleted comments to me, I’ll publish them forthwith.

Sometimes people take pot shots at other correspondents. I’ll take my lumps but I won’t allow character assassination towards any other commentator. If you do that, your post will be deleted. If you continue, you will be banned. If you can’t rationally defend your arguments, go to MSNBC or the Episcopal Church or some other place that values moral posing over clear thinking.

So, no more talk about me “censoring” people, being “homophobic” or any other unreasoned shibboleth of the sort. Save your breath. They are false and all such critics will be directed to this editorial and expected to comply with it.


  1. It’s ridiculous that calling homosexuality and its related issues a serious sin would be equated with the American “Christian Right”. Do these people think the issue is treated any softer in places like Russia or Serbia? These places cannot be defined in terms of an American political right-wing. So the only conclusion is the simplest – that the Church has condemned homosexual lifestyles for 2000 years.
    To think that homosexual practice is not a very serious sin is moral heresy – a violation of the clear moral tradition of the Church. Do these people bother to read basic catechisms?

    • Katherine says

      Aglaios, I agree with what you say. I am hardly a member of the Christian Right, as I am not all that conservative. I have several friends who are homosexuals, and I love them a lot and feel a lot of compassion for them (they have a very heavy cross to bear), but I cannot condone what they are doing. We have to love the sinner and hate the sin. We’ve ignored the elephant in the room for too long. God has revealed this dirt so that it can be cleaned up. Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is to tell someone the truth. I’ve had that done to me. At first I didn’t like it at all, but when I thought about what the person said, I knew they were 100% right. I was very grateful that they loved me enough to tell me the truth. By the way, I would feel just as strongly about heterosexual sin (having sex outside of marriage, whether the sinner is single or married).

  2. Ivan Vasiliev says

    Thank you, George. Well put. I think that the vast majority of your readers and respondents know this. As Orthodox, we must defend and confess to the teachings of the Church, no matter what our own failings are. And you are correct that when an issue becomes public (and when the behaviors of certain public figures becomes well-known) they need to be addressed.

    The homosexual issue is before us whether we like it or not. The public behaviors of some of the Church leadership is before us whether we like it or not and these things must be addressed in a Christian, compassionate, and absolutely uncompromising manner.

    We also have to confront the reality that many “gay” people are suffering a terrible burden. And whether they are struggling with it as a passion that can lead to sin or whether they are pretending that all is well, the vast majority are experiencing real emotional and spiritual pain. If there is anything we need to beware of it is a tendency to address persons made in the image and likeness of God as generic issues. I get the clear impression that that is something you try hard to avoid on these pages and I commend you for it. I wouldn’t be a follower of your blog if you did anything less. You did not invent this “hot topic”–it has been forcing itself on us for decades, culturally, and has, unfortunately, forced itself on us as a Church because of the recent convulsions. We can’t pretend that it isn’t here and we have to respond. There are no other options.

  3. I consistently see those that defend the moral teaching of the Church labelled as Republicans or Neo-Cons or “Religious Right” etc… These labels are usually applied to the Diocese of the South as well. Fact is the politics of the vast majority of the Orthodox people I know down here in Texas do not fit these labels. The politics of most laymen and priests I know down here could better be described as paleoconservative or perhaps “Southern Conservative” – many of these types are very anti modern Republican party. My first church in Fort Worth had a number of families that drove cars with Democrat bumber stickers on them. I asked around and found out these people described themselves as “Southern Democrats” in the old sense -like in the Mel Bradford sense.
    So this whole thing about a political “Christian Right” in the Diocese of the South is a farse. What I see is a lot of educated laymen who are not stupid enough to believe that trendy notions of “tolerance” trump the clear moral tradition of the Universal Orthodox Church. This has nothing to do with political labels and more to do with basic literacy.

    • Aglaois,

      Mel Bradford! There’s a name I’ve not heard in a long time. Dr Bradford was my English professor my first semester at the University of Dallas. While I can’t say I learned a great deal in his class, the fault–and regret–is wholly my own.

      Thanks for the memory!

    • Aglaios,
      You are a very perceptive young man. I couldn’t agree more. It seems like the people you come to know in the Diocese of the South, if they identify themselves as conservative, are much more on the paleo end of things–“Front Porch Republic”–“American Conservative Magazine”–Buchanan/Larison on foreign policy, “Morning Joe” aficionados (sorry, George), etc., that sort of thing. It is always noticable when I do bump into an Orthodox Fox News Republican down here–not because they disagree with me, but because the tone is so much outside the norm. I think Orthodoxy forces you to think deeper about a whole range of things, and maybe this carries-over into this area as well–where we no longer accept simplistic and sentimental sloganeering by the FNR crowd. Like you say, the easy labeling just doesn’t seem to fit us. And sometimes, the most conservative thing you can do is vote against the “Conservatives.”

  4. Jane Rachel says

    Have I said thank you, George? Thank you, George.

    • Geo Michalopulos says

      Jane, that’s sweet. Much appreciated.

    • ditto. Thank you, George. How true your comments are.

      None of us are innocent of self-justification, but this is what is behind homosexuals’ diversionary accusations. It’s all about avoiding repentance, which is basically living in denial and rejecting the fear of God.

      Jesus said sodomites should have repented (Mt 11:23-24), and in mentioning Sodom in the Gospel of Luke (10:12f), He taught that those sodomites who admitted their sin and repented would receive forgiveness of their sin. The clear Christian teaching is that sodomy is a sin to be repented of. (St Symeon the New Theologian is a great example of this.) Jesus later reiterated this judgment (Luke 17), but the people were more concerned with their business, with their financial position, than they were with the immorality around them, as are corporate leaders today. So in the end, homosexuality destroyed the city of Sodom.

      Have your critics no compassion for hurting people who are deluded or enticed or forced into sodomy? (There is no other way to enter into this perversion — NO child is born desiring a male to force his penis into his anus. A 1998 study revealed that of the homosexuals surveyed, 62% had been threatened with a weapon and 85% had experienced significant property or financial loss from an angry partner. In addition, 39% had been forcibly sodomized, either orally or anally, against their will by a homosexual “partner.”) Many of the falsely-termed “gays” (they are nothing close to this) became such because they had been sexually abused.

      We are to love everyone, without exception and without condition, but we are simultaneously to speak the truth about the harmful sins being called “good.” It is love to speak these truths about the harmfulness of sodomy, of abortion, of euthanasia, of pornography, of the ridiculous idea that all religions are equal (“Islam is peaceful”), etc.

      Love warns when danger is near. Christian love speaks, even if it means being rejected or misunderstood. If my neighbor’s house is on fire, I would warn him; likewise, when my neighbor’s soul is being destroyed, I warn him out of the same personal concern for his life and the lives of those around him. And in the case of moral evils such as sodomy, my neighbor is harmed not just spiritually and in eternity, but is harmed in this life physically, emotionally, rationally, and psychologically. And not just my neighbor, but all in the accepting society are harmed by such collective sin.

      Far too many Christians –even Orthodox leaders– have compromised on moral issues, looking the other way, because they have confused pastoral care for people suffering from same-sex attraction with acceptance of homosexual behavior (or because they themselves are morally compromised, or because they’ve simply bought into the world more than into the truth).

      My only advice to your critics is to admit and repent of your sin. And pray for me, that I may repent of mine!


  5. Fr. Gregory,

    How wonderful that you took a class from Mel Bradford!
    I’m finishing up a Master’s from U.D. and his name still comes up from time to time.
    I previously went to a small college called St. Thomas More in Fort Worth where we took
    our Southern Literature very very seriously. Maybe you remember Dr. Louise Cowan – she’s still a
    minor celebrity around here. She’s in her 90’s and working on a massive book on Faulkner!

    My political views have probably been mostly formed by the Southern literary tradition. You meet a lot of Orthodox in the Dallas/FW area who are into this – at least I have. So it’s unfortunate that in the blogosphere many think that every conservative from the Diocese of the South must necessarily be some Fox News Republican or something.

    • Geo Michalopulos says

      Aglaios, you are in fine company. The Southron literary tradition is among the finest in the modern world. Id compare names like Flannery O’Conner, Walker Percy, and of course Faulkner as far superior to those of Northeaster liberals like Cheever, Roth or Doctorow any day.

    • Aglaios,

      Stop, you’re makin’ me cry! You went to St Thomas More in Fort Worth and had a class with Dr Louise Cowan! When I had her for English at UD she introduced me to Russian literature–Crime and Punishment in fact! Sigh!

      My own political views probably owe as much to Southern lit as they do anything else. It does not surprise me that there are Orthodox in the DFW area who think likewise. I remember when Reagan ran for president (the first time) and how MANY of my UD classmates (myself included, but I was younger then) couldn’t/wouldn’t see him as a conservative. From our point of view, while there was much to admire about him, he wasn’t a conservative the way in which we used the word.

      Congratulations on grad school at UD and if you want to gossip more about UD, DFW and all things Texan, drop me a note via the contact button on my blog (just click on my name here to go there) and we can chat privately.

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        I guess this would be a good time to let everybody know that I grew up in Clearwater, Florida, and went to a private school down there run by the Assembly of God church. Although I remain and devoutly affirm my Orthodoxy I was inculcated and educated in a very southern way with a very southern mentality by the AG’ers.

        The Civil War was clearly taught as the War of Northern Agrression. I learned all the Southern Generals, especially Robert E. Lee, and none of the northern generals, except Grant. A very strict southern morality was placed inside of me, very old-school Christian that I found blended wonderfully with my Orthodoxy.

        The King James Bible is STILL revered by me as Orthodox revere the Septuagint. Paleo-Conservativism was and still is my political outlook, and nobody knows what it means anymore. Everybody thinks its the Modern Republican Party or Fox News. When I try to explain it and raise such names as Russell Kirk a glazed look comes over people’s faces.

        I grew up venerating the stately southern gentleman. Don’t get me wrong I know there were abuses in the south with its virulent racism, but I definitely think we threw out the baby with the bathwater.

        I would really like to know how many Orthodox are southerners because it sounds like alot, even across jurisdictional lines.



        • Geo Michalopulos says

          I’m one Pete! You never saw the crest I helped design for the Diocese of the South, did you?

        • [quote] I would really like to know how many Orthodox are southerners because it sounds like alot, even across jurisdictional lines. [end quote]

          Although I greatly enjoy, learn and benefit from, the cultural variations throughout the Church, I try to place them where they belong. One is an Orthodox Christian. Ethnicity, regional personae, linguistic characteristics, and so forth, may colour the overall presentation, but they remain of vastly lesser importance than ones core definition of self, which is to be Orthodox.

          Modern migration patterns have diminished the prominence of regional variation. That’s a dissertation topic I would find most interesting. Despite living where I do, I would not call myself “Southern Orthodox.” From the age of fifteen months, I have lived in Texas, which I was taught in the [Texas] public schools is part of the U.S. Southwest. (East Texas does, however, align itself more closely with “the South”.) Four years of college passed by in North Carolina, but students came from all over, as it was at a “national” university. Later, I spent ten years in Alabama, part of “the South”. . . . I shall continue to refer to the Civil War by that accurate title. I can’t stand U.S. southern cuisine. In honors high school English classes, I slogged through Faulkner, Percy, and other well-esteemed Southern authors who can be classified as “good writers”, but whose writings left me either extremely bored or, sometimes, simply grossed out (to use the phrase common among high school students back then). Politically, I have to claim the meaningless label of “independent”, because every political party contains essential (for itself) beliefs which I repudiate. If I take time to watch television news, it is BBC World News. (Don’t start me on U.S. news channels.) My parents were “colour blind” and, without preaching or waving banners, transmitted to their children that same level of comfort and equality with people of all “races” (I dislike even using that foolish term) and socio-economic backgrounds.

          The personal opinions and experiences I just listed neither invalidate nor insult the personal opinions and experiences of those who consider themselves “Southerners”. We all are different, with no cultural group superior to another. (As this is a blog, however, I’m obligated to underscore that I was not accusing anybody of claiming superiority.)

          All those elements contribute to “who I am”, yes. The only element that matters, however, is the Orthodox faith. So, for full disclosure, I add that I do not consider myself “OCA” any more than I consider myself Greek, Antiochian, Romanian, Serbian, ROCOR, . . .

          Wishing a good post-Feast day to everyone !

  6. Thank you for caring more about the truth and what’s right than about not offending people who think it’s offensive to acknowledge sin!

  7. A. Arganda (Rymlianin) says

    Civilizations have, in their decline, often fallen into sexual promiscuity of every sort. India went through it as demonstrated by the bas-relief images on ancient temples. This led to a precipitous decline in Indian civilization.

    Rome went through a period during the transition from Republic to Empire very similar which threatened to unravel the very fabric of Roman life. Augustus was forced to impose the leges juliae to put an end to the depravity. He exiled his own daughter and granddaughter for sexual immorality, and imposed a significant restriction on same-sex relationships with the Lex Papia Poppaea.

    The point is that not even societies with loose moral history could stand and were many times called upon to reform their moral laxity. The Christian code of conduct has been with us for 2000+ years.

    Immoral conduct can start as a private matter but quickly blossoms into a social problem as evidenced by St . Paul, the Psalmist, and Proverbs. Sexual immorality leads to oppression of others, thievery, murder and idolatry. The Church must uphold its code of conduct, against both puritanism and sexual license (opposite sides of the same coin).

  8. George you raised many valid and important points regarding the need to bear witness to the truth and respond to the great moral issues of our time. Silence is not an option!

    These two questions that you posed are fantastic:

    When pro-homosexual ideologues demand gay marriage for example, why do they limit it only to a couple? Doesn’t this affirm the same tradition whose moral authority they deny?

    They evidence the delusion and internal inconsistency of those who argue that “gay marriage” is equivalent to real marriage and try to substitute their own “morality” in place of the real and permanent moral standard witnessed most clearly by the Judeo-Christian tradition and embodied fully in the teaching of the Orthodox Church since Christ.

    Once marriage is defined as “anything the state deems ok”, then why should we expect that the correct number of “persons” in a marriage should be limited to just two (2). Why not 3, 4, 5, 6, or more? Why stick with the “religious” Judeo-Christian standard? After all, the state can no longer make reference to God or show preference to any particular faith or belief system in drafting its new laws.

    Why not extend it to family members, cousins, sisters, brothers, etc.? What about those who want to grant animals “rights”, why should they be discriminated against when they choose to lobby the state to expand the definition to include their favorite dog, horse, monkey, or pet rat? Who are we to then say that they are not entitled to their own “inclusive” definition? On what moral or religious basis will anyone be allowed to challenge any new state regulation once society is completely unmoored from its Christian foundations and no longer draws its authority from God?

  9. You can count me as an Orthodox Christian who is proudly conservative, but the kind of conservative who has far more in common with the Front Porch Republic and The American Conservative crowd than with anything having to do with the Republican Party. I have usually voted Republican, but only by default. Truth to tell, my politics are more populist on economics than the GOP’s are, though I am very conservative on social issues. I guess you could call me a Harry Truman Democrat who feels politically homeless in America today. I don’t think either party has the economic interests of middle America at heart (too many campaign contributions from the banks and big business — and if you think the Democrats are pure on this front, I ask you to look into what Clinton and his economic team did), and I think that only the Republicans give a rip about traditional morality and religious freedom, though I hate to think that it’s mostly lip service. In my part of the world, it’s not unusual to find Christians who are strong moral traditionalists, but who identify as Democrats. Two of my closest friends are such people. I’m not, because I think of myself as a Republican-leaning independent. But I have more in common with that pair of old-school Dems than I do with most Republicans.

    All that aside, the very idea that some people in the OCA can describe something as basic as Christian moral teaching on homosexuality as something that only the “Christian Right” could be hung up on shows you how far gone the rot is.

    • Geo Michalopulos says

      Esse, I too believe that both parties are anti-middle class. Right now, I’d say the Democrats are more anti-populist/Americanist because they are more welfarist, anti-enterpeneurial, and of course way more for open-borders (all of which increase the number of people dependent upon the government). Probably the only reason I’m still a Republican is that at least within the GOP there is an avid discussion regarding the necessity of maintaining the historic American nation. That’s why we were able to see victories against the Bush/McCain/Kennedy amnesty deal of 2007.

      In the interests of fairness (and it’s very hard for me to admit this) but the Obama Administration in the person of Janet Napolitano has been far more aggressive in pursuit of illegal aliens than the Bush Admin ever was. I don’t know if this is because events such as sky-rocketing crime in the border states are forcing the situation or whether it’s because of the downturn in the economy which is causing illegals to self-deport, but the record speaks for itself.

      I won’t lull myself into thinking that this is a permenant turn to the right for Napolitano. If the Wall Streeters exert more pressure then she may buckle.

  10. Brian Stephen says


    Thanks for speaking the truth without apology. I have close friends who are at the heart of the emergent church. They are all now accepting “GLBT” folks into full communion if you want to call what they have a communion. At any rate, they think it’s the equivalent of slavery 200 years ago. They think the church should be on the cutting edge and not at the end of the social movement.

    It’s a damn shame because much of what is written by some of the emergent folks is pretty good and some of it very much in line with Eastern Christian thought– especially the classical view of the atonement.

    At any rate, what do you do with a guy like Frank Schaeffer who is motivated by his hate of right wing evangelicals (a la Pat Robertson and James Dobson). I listen to some of his points and agree but then he goes on and on about evangelicals being homophobic and that we ought to accept gay marriage etc. I know he is not the voice of the Church but he certainly was its spokesperson for a time. Does a guy like that think that homosexuality (i.e. gay marriage) should not be in the Church but is okay in public. His position seems unclear at best and seems to misrepresent what the Greek Orthodox Church believes. I believe he still runs Regina Press.

    Has anyone read his new book or know him personally?

    B. Stephen

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      Frank Schaffer is somehwat of a lost soul. I truly believe that he must speak much less and pray much, MUCH more. And NO Frank Schaffer does not represent the Greek Orthodox Church. Metropolitan Isaiah represents the GOA much better on social issues than Mr. Schaffer.

      Peter A. Papoutsis

      • Geo Michalopulos says

        very well said, Peter.

      • What happened to Met. Isaiah?

        I’ve heard allusions but no full account.

        I’ve been visiting a local Greek parish, and it is being rocked by the same culture wars as everyone else right now. I’ve been trying to understand what the folks in charge are really trying to do. Vaguely worded statements have made it extremely difficult to know.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Frank Schaeffer is and always has been motivated by his ambivalent attitude toward his parents. Right now, he appears to be in full rejection mode which also leads to rejection of authority in general.

      • Patrick Henry Reardon says

        “Frank Schaeffer is and always has been motivated by his ambivalent attitude toward his parents. Right now, he appears to be in full rejection mode which also leads to rejection of authority in general.”

        You could do Frank a big favor by having this text printed on a T shirt. It would save on expenses.

        That way, he would be spared all the book writing and other projects in which he is engaged in order to make the same point.

        • Jane Rachel says

          Heh heh. Ah, L’Abri, I miss the good old days!

          • Jane Rachel says

            That way, he would be spared all the book writing and other projects in which he is engaged in order to make the same point.

            … all the way to the bank…

  11. Janet Kirby says

    “If any one hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.”
    John 12:47

    Thank God!

    • A. Arganda (Rymlianin) says

      To complete the quote John 12:48-50

      He who rejects me and does not receive My words, has that which judges him- the words that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command , what I should say and what I should speak. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.

  12. Very good, George. And for those who don’t think the GLT crown is trying to make inroads to the church, I give you http://www.axios.org/doku.php

    Not content to go their own way, they strive to conquer that which they oppose.

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      Yeah, I’ve known about this group as well. How sad. This is actually a good place to point out the following:

      Orthodox Feminists point to the “So-Called” Ordination of Deaconesses to validate female Ordination. They bog us down in the word play between “Blessing” and “Ordination” without understanding any of its context.

      Orthodox Gays and Lesbians point out the so-called Rite of Brotherhood as a Same-sex marriage rite in the Orthodox Church to legitimize Homosexuality. Again, they scandalize a rite without any historical context.

      Are you starting to see a pattern? This is why I oppose both, clarify the historical record and stand up for the Morality of the Gospel.

      I do not think we as Orthodox truly have a grasp as to how deep the rot tru;y goes. However, we are beginning to find out. Stand firm guys its not over yet.


    • Does this mean that the city of Philadelphia is no longer the city of brotherly love?

  13. From:
    “Here we have no Continuing City”
    A Report on the 2004 Convention of The Lutheran
    Church—Missouri Synod.
    Pastor James D. Heiser
    Salem Lutheran Church, U.A.C.
    Malone, TX 76660

    “As one of the great teachers of the Lutheran Church of the 19th century, Dr. C. P. Krauth, observed in his magnum opus, The Conservative Reformation:

    When error is admitted into the Church, it will be found that the
    stages of its progress are always three. It begins by asking toleration.
    Its friends say to the majority: You need not be afraid of us; we are
    few, and weak; only let us alone; we shall not disturb the faith of
    others. The Church has her standards of doctrine; of course we
    shall never interfere with them; we only ask for ourselves to be spared
    interference with our private opinions. Indulged in this for a time,
    error goes on to assert equal rights. Truth and error are two balancing
    forces. The Church shall do nothing which looks like deciding between them; that would be partiality. It is bigotry to assert any superior right for the truth. We are to agree to differ, and any favoring of
    the truth, because it is truth, is partisanship. What the friends of
    truth and error hold in common is fundamental. Anything on which
    they differ is ipso facto nonessential. Anybody who makes account of
    such a thing is a disturber of the peace of the church. Truth and
    error are two coordinate powers, and the great secret of church-statesmanship is to preserve the balance between them. From this point
    error soon goes on to its natural end, which is to assert supremacy.
    Tr u t h s t a rted with tolerating; it comes to be merely tolerated, and
    that only for a time. Error claims a preference for its judgments on
    all disputed points. It puts men into positions, not as at first in spite
    of their departure from the Church’s faith, but in consequence of it.
    Their recommendation is that they repudiate that faith, and position is given them to teach others to repudiate it, and to make them
    skillful in combating it. (p. 195-196)”

  14. Robert Badger says

    I’m a Roman Catholic. I do think that the Orthodox Churches absolutely do need to examine our experiences in these matters. While there were true cases of pedophilia amongst the clergy, the majority of the cases of sexual abuse would count as cases of homosexual acting out with adolescents. This is not true pedophilia as it is clinically defined.

    I absolutely do believe that the Church has a duty to reach out to those with same-sex attractions. But we cannot approve of the active gay lifestyle. Despite the very ambigious teachings given by some Catholic bishops on the matter (a certain prominent former Archbishop on the West Coast comes to mind), there have been others, such as Father John Harvey, O.S.F.S. who has spent the greater part of his priesthood helping those with same-sex attractions lead chaste lives by spiritual direction, frequent confession, and mutual support of those who also have these attactions. This is the approach that ought to be taken.

    • Orthodox & Psychiatrist says

      Excellent point and why appearance and apparent orientation should not be pre-judged by outsiders. The Confessor alone should presume to know what is truly happening with that person. I have worked with people battling this pull and the struggle is courageous, complicated by the extra challenge of false reactions of others who perceive them to be “active” when they are not, both of the same and opposite sexes because they still “appear” to others superficially as having the orientation.

      It has been difficult and disheartening to see the “circumstantial evidence” posts on this and other blogs for specific individuals or for the appearance of people in a church with regard to this issue. We in the Orthodox Church have a procedure for submitting evidence discreetly and effectively if there are concerns. You would not wish to have a family member convicted based on circumstantial evidence alone perhaps.

      Why don’t we first ask for the spiritual court or other ethics procedure to take place before judging on the internet? I have no good answer, only prayers that our entire thinking and speaking about others as individual persons will be raised through God’s grace to a higher level, while we humbly pronounce the truth about the destructiveness of an active homosexual lifestyle.

      Posts which ridicule any person by reference to self-distortions through surgery or dress or apparent homosexual orientation undermine our witness as people who look for the image of Christ in one another. And we then actually cause those who might struggle for better to give up in despair. I pray we will be light for one another and not a cause for descent into the very thing we wish the person to avoid.

  15. Matt Gates says

    It’s not your moral judgement as such that I object to, so much as your pathological obsession with the issue, your widely irresponsible insinuation about highly-respected bishops, your use of people’s private lives as a political weapon, and psychotic paranoia that there is some kind of vast gay conspiracy to undermine the Church. You, sir, think about sex more than any fourteen-year-old boy and approach the subject with an emotional immaturity that is truly infantile. Again I say “grow up.”

    • Pathological?

      • Heracleides says

        I found the bit about “highly-respected bishops” a tad delusional… 😉

    • Geo Michalopulos says

      Matt, please refer to Robert Badger’s post above. As I’ve said at least a dozen times, I’d much rather be talking about something else than locker-room antics. Unfortunately, Iconoclasm is not presently roiling the Church, nor putting entire Catholic dioceses into receivership.

  16. juliania says

    I only recently discovered your site, George, and I want to thank you for the conversations you have made possible here. However, the diversity of opinions does somewhat cloud an Orthodox Christian’s reluctance to judge his fellow man on issues of faith and I am left with what I might call a rather severe puritanical attitude in general (not pointing any fingers) that may be the result of a fear I think is needless.

    On the subject of any partucular group taking over Orthodox practise, varied as the latter is among the partitions existing within the United States, I feel that has already been proven unfounded with respect to the women’s lib movement which many other churches did accomodate. Orthodoxy didn’t, and I don’t think it will in this case either.

    I did look up Father Mark Hodges’ quotes on the severity of the sin you are adressing here, and I find he rather overstated the condemnation when he states that the residents of Sodom “should have repented.” I am not saying that this sin is excusable, just that it is one which Our Lord refers to indirectly at best. And one might well say that the fire and brimstone to which he directs our gaze is already a part of the entire picture and we do not need to heap on further coals, as I think many allegations here attempt to do.

    In the quotations, Jesus is rather saying that there is a similar (perhaps worse) sin to the one under discussion, and that is of hearing the word of God and not doing it – for example, Lot’s wife. It is Lot’s wife who is emphasized in the quote from Luke 17 – “Remember Lot’s wife.” Our Lord doesn’t say “Remember Sodom.”

    The Gospels tell us that Christ ate with ‘tax collectors and sinners’, that the humble tax collector not lifting his eyes was more justified than the rich man who thanked God he was not like the tax collector. And the woman who bathed Christ’s feet with her tears was a sinner – he says she has many sins – but her love was great and so she was saved.

    He who is without sin is the one who should cast the first stone.

    I have seen some wonderful posts here. Thank you again for this site.

    • Geo Michalopulos says

      Thank you Julianna. Kind words. Please understand that I stand in judgment of no man as my own sins condemn me for all eternity.

  17. For this general discussion This web site is helpful.


    • Jane Rachel says

      Yes, there you have it. Nothing anyone can do to change what’s been written down.

  18. What a great reosurce this text is.

  19. cynthia curran says

    Personality, I more a fan of California Conservatvism rather than Southern Conservativism. Reagan with his faults actually when he was governor had a state that a lot of liberals would envy. California had little poverty before it adopted Texas style Conservativism which favored cheap labor from Mexico that lead partly to Ca current poverty problems. In fact, Eisenhower deported illegal immirgants last from Texas because Texas businessmen depended more upon them more any other businessmen in the 1950’s. Reagan was bad on this issue but good on foreign policy and defense. California, Washington and even Long Island once were hubs for defense spending that were in cities with small poverty, Aeropsace was King to Middle Class existence. Reagan supported this. In fact, as far as I’m concern the Byzantines were strong when they had a strong militaty presence when they were weak on this they got sack first by the crusaders and then by the Ottoman’s. Theodosian Wall one of the best defense barriers prior to the invention of gun poweder. Granted, I don’t believe that we always have to go to war everytime like neo-cons but probably a better defense than some paleo-cons.

  20. cynthia curran says

    I think that Orthodox are attractive to Southern Conservatism in its pre-modern before World War II since both the Byzantine and Russian Empire had land gentry’s similar but different from the South. Byzantium in the year 1000 according to one study was less equal from upper-class to the lower class than modern America but was more equal than modern Brazil. An Gnp a little under 1000 and a little less than Ancient Rome around the 2nd Century. A interesting study which proves Byzantium might have been less equal than some Orthodox like.

  21. cynthia curran says

    One of the best on social conservatives is the Ruth Institute, The Catholic Ruth’s blog mention about a book. How the West’s fertility war’s have left women at risk. The imbalance berween males and females has lead to males maybe getting sex thru the prostutuion market which is in many countries is coerced same as in Constantionple where young girls were used in brothels. A rise in the modern world to a large international sex market which is involved with sex slavery. Sex slavery is just behind drugs and weapon sales in making money and growing fast.

  22. cynthia curran says

    Well, the biggest turnoff of the of the right is Mr Gringrich who according to his second wife wanted an open married. I believe her and think Mr Gringrich has been hyrocrite most of his life. Gringrich like some of the Byzantine emperors of old. Manuel the first even had an affair with a niece-incest according to Byzantine culture and the Orthodox religion and Gringrich secretly wanted an open married back in the 1990’s.

  23. cynthia curran says

    Actually, doing a little more reserach on the Byzantines I found out how culturally conservative they were. They relied on medical practices from the Roman era Physician Galen, the arabs during their height were more innovative and the Byzantines adoptive some of the changes. They were more succesful at military science but based their studies upon Greek and Roman authors translated into Greek like Livy and maybe they even had a Greek translation of Caesar. But their situations were different from the Greeks and Romans in classical times. In fact they did believe themselves really Roman particulary in the upper classes which lead to little culture change since some of the greatest achievements were from the late Roman period like Theosdosian Walls, Justinian Code, Valens aquaduct, and Hagia Sophia you can’t improved on your ancestors as the saying sometimes goes. Maybe, it was easier in a very cultural conservative era to believe in traditonal christian morally than in modern times. In the US the Roman Catholics a more culturally conservative movement and cultually liberal evangelicism that modernized a lot even if its conservative on the moral issues makes it more difficult to believe in tradional morally.

  24. cynthia curran says

    Meaning modern times leads to changes also in the preception of morally such as committing adultery, homosexual sex, and so forth that people in the middle ages believed was wrong even if they engaged in such activities. Also, thinking about the terrible Gringrich candidate, bad on immirgation, involved with scandals with freddie and fannie and so forth, I think I will still vote for him over Obama who in Chicago favored babies that survive bad abortions being killed this was from some influence by the Ruth Inst.

  25. cynthia curraWen says

    Well, Mark Krikorian an aremian Orthodox that is involved with cutting illegal immirgaiton states that the Republican Pary appeals more to those that are native while the Democratics appeal to the outsiders. One reason why he feels that Bush and company are wrong that latinos will be republicans since they feel as outsiders. I also feel that a lot of Orthhodox who idenify more with the old country and emphasis that they are Eastern Christians in a western world feel more comfortable with the Democratics that like outsiders that are more criticial of their culture.