Another Reason Why I’m Against Gay “Marriage”

I could’ve predicted this. Actually, anybody with two active neuronal synapses could have predicted this. My only question now is, can we expect a pastoral exposition on this from Frs Arida, Bobosh, and Vinogradov? Perhaps something along the lines of “polygamy is not a sin because monogamy is not a virtue”? Will doctoral-candidate Dunn likewise publish an essay that ends with the words, “perhaps we should just agree to keep quiet about all this and let the Lord sort it out”? And what do we do with the Anchor Babies?

Take a look here: America’s Guilty Pleasure/Obsession with Polygamy: What The Bachelor, Big Love, and Sister Wives Teach Us about the Ultimate Case of “Seeing Other People”.

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  1. Heracleides says

    An excellent response to Dr. Dunn’s article has been offered by Fr. Lawrence Farley entitled Thoughts on “an Orthodox Defense of Gay Marriage” and can be found at

    Thank God some our priests are speaking out. (Still waiting for the timid “Orthodox Leader” to take a definitive public stand… yawn.)

    P.S. George, the url you listed at the end of your piece doesn’t appear to link to anything specific on the referenced website.

    • Geo Michalopulos says

      Herc, gimme another hour or so to work out the kink. Sorry.

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      Hi George:

      I read the artcle by Fr. Lawrence, and I agreed and disagreed with it. I do believe the Church cannot lose it’s prophetic voice in Condeming sin and the abomination of Homosexuality, but I cannot believe that civil marriages are recognized by God. The only real marriage is the one in Church, not the one by the state. In Israel, if I am mistaken on this please correct me, people register their religious marriages with the state, but the state does not marry people. This is, IMHO, the correct approach. Also, St. Constatine’s aproach, and that of the Byzantine Church in having a very close Church-State relationship was not necessarily correct. In any event, the Church must stay firm in it’s timeless moral truths, but many states have come and gone, while the Church still remains. We can do as Fr. Lawrence says and be our brother’s keeper, but our brother will not necessarily listen.

      In the end I do not see the whole gay marriage debate about changing the definition of marriage per se, but a further step in the Gay Agenda to normalize an abominable activity severely proscribed by Almighty God. The end game has always been to attack and destroy the Church.

      We can hook our wagons to this ship called America, but the Greeks did that with the Byzantine empire, the RC did that with The Holy Roman Empire, and the various European dynasties and the Anglicans did it with Great Britain. I truly believe we should get away from what I call the “Curse of Constantine” and recognize that God’s Kingdom is not of this earth.

      Ps loved that Dr. Dunn called the Holy Spirit a she. I knew I was taught that by my Greek Orthodox professor back a Loyola, but I digress.


    • I agree. Fr. Lawrence’s offered a very thoughtful and well-reasoned response to my article. Of course, I naturally do not agree with all of it, but he raised some good points.

      In all things charity,


  2. Regarding “Anchor Babies” It would seem to me that for an infant or child to be baptized into the Church, one or both parents should be communicants in good standing. Otherwise, why bother?

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      Jeff remarks: “It would seem to me that for an infant or child to be baptized into the Church, one or both parents should be communicants in good standing. Otherwise, why bother?”

      That is, in fact, the discipline here at All Saints. I do not believe in wasting water.

      • JDWatton says

        I would hope that you would turn them away with kinder words than: “I do not believe in wasting water.” Perhaps council the couple to join or rejoin the church? It is sad that people do not participate in the life of the church or support it financially at all and yet expect the church to be there to officiate at their baptisms, funerals, and weddings. And yet it is just as sad to see the church or clergy ask for money (ostensibly past membership assessments) to officiate at the funeral of a newborn.

        • I agree that Fr. Patrick could have phrased that a little more kindly, but I assume he would decline to baptize the child only after doing his best to counsel the couple to live a chaste, Christian lifestyle.

          Also, I think there should be a distinction between “good standing” in the sense that one can receive the sacraments, and “good standing” in the sense that one is a voting member of a parish. There’s some overlap in that anyone who is a voting member of a parish should be able to receive the sacraments, but I wouldn’t think it would be appropriate to deny all sacraments to someone who simply can’t pay their dues.

          • Patrick Henry Reardon says

            Helga comments:

            “I wouldn’t think it would be appropriate to deny all sacraments to someone who simply can’t pay their dues.”

            Dues? I won’t pastor a parish that requires dues.

            Or a parish that wastes water.

            • Heracleides says

              I believe the Antiochian term is “assesments” – yes? If so, what’s the differance?

              • Patrick Henry Reardon says

                Heracleites asks:

                “I believe the Antiochian term is “assesments””

                This parish has never paid “assessments” to the Antiochian Archdiocese.

                In fact, I believe that old policy has been the Archdiocese. It was never “dues,” in any case—that is t say, it was an assessment the Archdiocese made on the parish, not on the parishioners.

        • Patrick Henry Reardon says

          JDWatton remarks:

          “And yet it is just as sad to see the church or clergy ask for money (ostensibly past membership assessments) to officiate at the funeral of a newborn.”

          At All Saints it is a hard-and-fast rule that NO MONEY is exchanged in connection with a Sacrament—no Sacrament. No discussion.

          An expectation of monetary exchange, in connection with a Sacrament, is pure and simple simony.

          Those Orthodox Christians who worship each Sunday at All Saints can expect to have their children baptized here. Nobody else.

          I think I mentioned I don’t believe in wasting water.

          • You are absolutely correct, Father Patrick. Paying for the grace and power of God (the sacraments) is “simony,” condemned in the New Testament. And you are right on about baptism –we are baptized into a family of faith, and those who do not belong to a church simply want Christianized magic –an assurance of Heaven, which baptism is not. Your policies reflect the long-standing policies of St Stephen’s as well.

            • Having read the comments throughout this blog site, I see example after example of people who hold up the current perceived representation of church teaching on homosexuality and grasping hold of it as a desperate person to a life preserver, without which that person him/herself cannot be saved. it is as if the church you belong to does not have the most vile disdain for homosexuality that it is not the true church, in which a person-you-cannot be saved. Many of you seem to enjoy taking on the role of chief inquisitor, tossing about the word abomination like smite was used in earlier days.

              Doesn’t Jesus represent the proclamation of the new testament, the new covenant? Is not love the premier and vital centrality of the New Covenant? “Love is patient; love is kind. It is not jealous, love is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek it’s own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrong-doing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…”

              In 1Corinth, Paul speaks on a range of issues, dealing with self-sacrifice, marriage, chastity, sexual activity et al, attempting to move us to be moral in our lives. All of that is nothing if there is not love. If there is not God. God has not trapped us inside “the Law.” Rather he has fulfilled the Law in all righteousness. BY so doing, he has opened up the to us the new law: Love one another.

              Homosexuals are not to be placed in some lesser status in the church or held up from spiritual growth. If God calls each to their place within the church, and has called an LGBT person to holy priesthood, if they follow the Lord and lead people to the truth, it is God’s grace which has brought him to you to be your spiritual father and leader. Rejoice in what Jesus has provided you. Constant judging of people, or the use of another person’s supposed sinfulness as a weapon to destroy that person, is not the requirements of the church. Give to each that which for the sake of justice belongs to that person because they are sons of God in Jesus.

              Holy Orthodoxy is not an evangelical church in the way of some of your former spiritual leaders have devised. The “fire and brimstone” version of preaching the word is not the way Orthodoxy proclaims the Truth. There is an old saying that Roman Catholicism deals with legality, Protestant religions with justification and Orthodoxy deals with love. Focus on that Love which brings Christ to earth for our Salvation. That is the Orthodox way.

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                Dear Stephen:

                Love is at the very core of Orthodox Christianity, but you are not talking about love or even acceptance of the individual, you are talking about acceptance of a lifestyle, and lifestyle choice at that, that has been declared an abomination, worse that just a sin, in the eyes of God. You do not accept the teaching of the Old Testament on Homosexuality, you do not accept the teaching of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ when he very vivdly described and condemed the behavior of the Homosexuals in his reference to Sodom and Gommorah, you do not accept Romans Ch.1,1 Corinthians 6:9, 1 Timothy, etc.

                In fact, there is an even bigger sin that you are overlooking that you and other homosexuals are committing. You are breaking the very first commandment: “You shall have no other gods before Me.” Exodus 20:3. Your God is your Homosexuality! All Gods and even The One True God must conform to you lifestyle, not your lifestyle and you conforming to God! Unless and until you can make God the first and only in your life and conform to His standards there are bigger issues than your homosexuality.

                I would strongly suggest reading and re-reading the Book of 4th Makkabees to get a better understanding as to how one conforms one’s life to the Law of God/Gospel of Christ as opposed to the other way around.

                Finally, I nor anyone else has ever shown or demonstrated hatred towards you. We care for you and all sinner, which we ourselves are, and in desperate need of a Savior. It is not an us versus you, but and us versus evil; us versus our propensity to sin. So I and the rest of the Christian Church can and does love you, but we never can and never will love and accept your lifestyle.

                If you read the Gospel According to St. John this is exactly what Jesus Christ did with the Harlot caught in adultery. Jesus forgave her of her sin and told her to sin no more. Jesus accepted and loved her, but not her sin. Big difference. Very big difference.

                As always I will pray for you, and hope that one day you truly see and understand God’s Holy Word.

                Peter A. Papoutsis

                • Just to add to this Fr. Hopkos newest article on, lays out the teachings well.

                  • The latest article by Mark S. “Orthodox Pastoral Response to same-sex behavior in the Past’, by Anonymous.

                    Is just bad scholarship. I hope a priest did not write this . . . . There’s a better article on orthodoxwiki that touches on this specific subject.
                    So many contradictions in his article and then only one Greek word for same-sex practice??? And then the Kom-in describing that he negates himself about St John Chrysostom as being the only Father who actually addresses the issue . . . . Any way I don’t have time to dissect it–and good ‘ol Mark has no comment section on it.

                    Sorry to keep bringing attention to his blog, when I think he should be fired for his behavior to Metroplitan J. , but people still read and send in both good and bad articles there. The questions being brought up and statements being made need to be addressed.

                    • Fr Farely cuts to the chase. There is an underlying problem that is allowing this “debate” in the first place.

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      The conclusion of Fr. Farely’s message:

                      I think that it is time to recognize that debate is not legitimate if it is debate over things long uncontroversial in Scripture and Tradition. It is time to recognize that the present debate over gender in our Church is a symptom that we are dealing with an underlying heresy. It is not enough, of course, simply to cut off debate and to tell people to shut up and sit down. Thoughtful answers need to be provided—as they were provided to Arians in the fourth century. There is a difference between debating and answering. We debate to arrive at the truth. We answer when we know what that truth is.

                      The historic Church has long known what the truth is about human sexuality. It is time that these answers be authoritatively given.

                    • Hey-there is a comment section on it-under Georgia and other news . . .

                    • Fr. Farely writes:

                      “The historic Church has long known what the truth is about human sexuality. It is time that these answers be authoritatively given.”

                      Fr. Farely is clearly a man who shares an Orthodox Christian concept of knowledge. This knowing is not achieved through sophistry, concluded from analysis of historical documents, or arrived at through human logic. It is knowing the Truth by direct participation, a sharing in the mind of Christ, the purest and only true theology and anthropology.

                      While I respect the intellectual knowledge of those who know more than us simple folk and I understand the pastoral challenges our culture presents, it needs to be stated directly and unequivocally: Those who hold to the notion that the received Tradition is open to debate know nothing of Christ. They have already departed from the Faith.

                    • This is a great rebuttal to Mark S. blog “Orthodox Pastoral Response to same-sex behavior in the Past’, by Anonymous,


                • Michael Bauman says

                  Peter, very well stated.

                  Unfortunately, one of the problems many homosexuals face is the belief that they are their homosexuality. If homosexuality is a sin, they are two. If homosexuality is rejected as an abomination, they as people are also rejected as an abomination. Once the false anthropology is accepted, believed and internalized; the basic problem is made far more intractable.

                  The homosexual lobby makes a point out of promoting the false anthroplogy. That anthopology is un-Chrisitan and ultimately leads to a essentially hedonistic universalism. Each person becomes ‘like God’ in the sense that I am that I am. Nothing can be changed, I was made that way–God loves me anyway because He made me this way. No struggle with any sinfulness is necessary or even possible.

                  Stephen, you are wrong about who you are as a person. You are broken and wounded, as we all are, Jesus Christ and the Church do not wish to leave you in that broken state. Healing requires medicine, treatment and obedience. The bitter medicine is that your desires which seem so natural to you are temptations to live in a sinful manner that is unacceptable to God. We all have to accept that medicine. If we are unwilling to do so, there is no reason to be in the Church.

                  When, as a cathechumen, we agree to unite ourself with Christ, we also agree to follow and obey Church teaching. We do not agree to obey only those teachings that we feel ‘comfortable with’ or the ones we agree with. We commit ourselves to obey all of them with out reserving the right to change them if we so choose.

              • The problem, Stephen, is that putting our own will above that of God is the cause of the Fall of Mankind. (Read St Paul, Romans 1.) This idea is not ancillary to our religion; it is of the essence. Were it an ancillary idea, I might be more inclined to sympathize with you.

                The whole of Judaism and Christianity is based on this one premise of subordinating our own wills to God’s will. Therefore, it is indispensable.

                No one, of any sexual inclination whatsoever, is free to change that.

              • Isa Almisry says

                Love the sinner, hate the sin.

      • Fr. George says

        Dear Fr. Patrick,

        I’m not clear about some of your responses. Are you saying that the parish of All Saints has a different policy from the Archdiocese?

  3. You people suffer from sexual paranoia. Not that this necessarily means the people writing herein, but the studies that have been made about those who are homophobic–I don’t claim to know what is in your hearts, but looking from the way y’all write here, the term fits–are attracted to people of the same sex. This is no longer contested. What you can do is deal with your own same sex desires and leave us ‘poor’ homosexuals alone. I have been involved in LGBT activism since about 1983. You’d be surprised how little we ever talk about heterosexuals except that as a whole we find you boring. This blog definitely bears the truth of that.

    Pagan religions are quite active in non-Western cultures, as are small minorities within same. Hinduism, Buddhism and many other lesser know religions (Sufism, etc) are pagan. Christianity is an amorphous mix of Judaic and pagan beliefs and rituals. Start with the simplest of Christmas trees–were actually pagan ‘Yule’ trees brought in from northern Europe paganism. Christmas day was a major celebration of a pagan god’s birth. The middle east mythology is riddled with gods who “became man” and were sent to bring Man messages from the higher God.

    Most of the issues with condemnation of sexual behavior had to do with differentiating the Jews/Christians from the rest of the people living in the same space with them. Most of those condemnations had to due with pagan ritual practices which were unclean (ritually) and didn’t relate to people with same sex attractions living together. Again, much issue was made with protection of children and slaves from participating in sexual behavior involuntarily.

    To the extent which homosexual behavior is becoming normative is no threat to Christianity or individual Christians. I ask you to answer this question: how many of your Christian/Orthodox friends have told you–“Thank heavens that its ok to be gay; I’m off to be gay now! Bye Bye!” Not happening is it? You are the ones who are saying the EC is no longer a Christian Church…everyone else is still defining it as Christian. It isn’t the “Christian” Church you want to be in because they don’t focus all their time and energy worrying about LGBT people and rejoicing that they have found a religion which they think is there to give approbation to the virulent hate you have for LGBT people. Orthodoxy is not the last haven for homophobes. Go and found your own religion based on being anti-gay.

    • Heracleides says

      And you, Stephen, suffer from being a cliché. Can you at least offer one original thought in support of your sin of preference?

    • Stephen, it probably feels nice to think that all of us who support traditional Orthodox teaching on sexuality are really repressed homosexuals. It allows you to assume superiority over us and dismiss the truth we’re telling you. And you wonder why your pleas for “tolerance” ring so hollow to us? I can scarcely breathe around a “equality” or “diversity” rally for the stench of hypocrisy, for the “equality” only seems to be for those of select political mindsets and the “diversity” for all but those who perceive the existence of immutable truth.

      However, I have to say same-sex attraction is not a particular passion I struggle with. I have a difficult time even imagining how lesbianism would be remotely satisfying compared to actual sex with a man. And in case you are wondering, I am and always have been, genetically, psychologically, and anatomically, a female.

      Another problem with your argument is that you presume our position comes from reviling homosexuals. Actually, the real hatred being directed towards you is coming through those who tell you there’s nothing wrong with your sexual activities. You can live a chaste and God-pleasing life with His steadfast love and mercy. I have heard their claim that our insistence upon celibacy is somehow a condemnation to a life of loneliness. That is an outrageous and hateful lie. When the Church encourages you to forsake your inclination towards sexual sin and embrace a life of godly chastity, you are being invited to attain an exalted state of purity and holiness of life. The only condemnation is coming from those who think it is impossible for you to do this, and that you must be allowed to pursue your sinful passions in a crude counterfeit of Christian marriage.

      Pagan religions are quite active in non-Western cultures, as are small minorities within same. Hinduism, Buddhism and many other lesser know religions (Sufism, etc) are pagan. Christianity is an amorphous mix of Judaic and pagan beliefs and rituals. Start with the simplest of Christmas trees–were actually pagan ‘Yule’ trees brought in from northern Europe paganism. Christmas day was a major celebration of a pagan god’s birth. The middle east mythology is riddled with gods who “became man” and were sent to bring Man messages from the higher God.

      Most of the issues with condemnation of sexual behavior had to do with differentiating the Jews/Christians from the rest of the people living in the same space with them. Most of those condemnations had to due with pagan ritual practices which were unclean (ritually) and didn’t relate to people with same sex attractions living together. Again, much issue was made with protection of children and slaves from participating in sexual behavior involuntarily.

      True or not, what you’ve said here is as blatantly contradictory to Orthodoxy as the idea that homosexual relationships can be blessed by God in the Church. How can you assert all of this, and then presume to tell us to go found our own religion? Any neutral point of view would find that you are a blatant innovator compared to the historical consensus found in Orthodox tradition.

      You are the ones who are saying the EC is no longer a Christian Church…everyone else is still defining it as Christian.

      Why do you expect us to care what the definition of Christian orthodoxy is among heretics?

      Orthodoxy is not the last haven for homophobes. Go and found your own religion based on being anti-gay.

      You clearly have some issues with Orthodox teaching, and they go even deeper than your misunderstanding of Christian sexuality. Sorry, but Orthodoxy is not a choose-your-own-adventure religion with some fancy smells and icons attached. You don’t get to stray from Orthodox teaching and remain in good standing with the Church. You certainly don’t get to order people who actually follow and preach Orthodoxy out of the Church.

    • Stephen,

      No one is afraid of you, nor do we hate you. We are afraid for you, as we would be afraid for anyone who is approaching the precipice of death. You are free to pursue whatever lifestyle you choose. God Himself gives you this freedom, and He respects your freedom absolutely. Any Orthodox Christian worthy of the name will also respect your choice.

      What we will not do and cannot do while remaining faithful to our Redeemer and His love for mankind is allow death to masquerade as life in the Church of Jesus Christ. This applies first and foremost to ourselves personally and then to the Assembly of those who have answered the call to renounce death, repent, and choose life in Christ. It is obvious that you do not believe this, and therefore you are not a member of our community of faith. In this community we do not demand our rights, nor do we in our blindness get to decide what the Faith is . Rather we strive to submit to our Lord who has clearly shown us the Way of life.

      So with absolute respect for your choice to exclude yourself from the Assembly of Orthodox Christians we humbly beg you and all those who for some inexplicable reason insist on molding the Church of Christ to your views either to join us in continuous, albeit often faltering, repentance or leave us in peace to our repentance and cease your attempts to distort the Truth among those who know Him and are freely choosing His life – even as you are freely choosing the opposite.

      Once again, it is apparent that you don’t believe this. That is your choice. Orthodox Christians don’t believe in Mormonism either, and so we do not seek to join the Latter Day Saints expecting them to conform to Orthodox belief, nor could they be accused of hatred if they refused us membership on our own terms.

    • Jane Rachel says

      Stop saying heterosexuals are boring! Some of my best friends are heterosexuals!

    • This is why I hate to argue about such things. “you people”, “heterosexual”, “homosexual”?? You are not different from “us”. These catagories are false. We are all trying to figure out the human race and its behaviors, but as of now those who call themselves homosexuals are not any different physically than the rest of the population. You might feel different, but most people feel different, they just don’t talk about it. Studies are inconclusive on homosexual attraction. But it doesn’t matter for the Church. She has her teachings and we must all change to fulfill Gods plan for us.

      • It’s probably a good idea to stop JUDGING one another and fixating on OTHER PEOPLE’S behavior then. We’re better off worrying about ourselves as individual sinners than worrying about whether this person or that person are being TOO loving of another person.

        • If you saw your teenage son slashing his wrists, or your young child drinking rat poison, would you intervene? Or would you refrain from judging “other people’s behavior”?

          Homosexual activity is spiritually and physically destructive. However, there is also an even more dangerous mentality being expressed by church members: that homosexual activity is somehow equal to legitimate sexual activity, that the Church has somehow been wildly wrong since apostolic times about how sexual activity should be undertaken, and worst of all, that the Church is somehow beholden to obey the whims of whatever philosophical consensus happens to prevail in this generation. This is heresy, and it is most certainly our business to “rescue those being led away to death” and “hold back those staggering towards slaughter.”

        • you mean like you are doing?

        • Michael Bauman says

          Ioanna, hve you read Romans 1? Do you condsider the Apostle Paul as ‘judging’ other people’s behavior? What of St. Nicholas slapping Arius at the First Ecumencial Coucil for adamently refusing to recant Arius’s false teaching on the nature of Christ? Was that ‘judgemental’? Are we not to take seriously the anathema’s that were pronouced by all the Coucils, the foundation (after Holy Scripture) of our faith?

          St. Paul was an inspired genius who taught the principals of holiness unadulterated which we must follow without excuse. He also proclaimed the primacy of God’s mercy when we are unable to uphold the standards of holliness in our lives. “Go boldly before the thone of Grace”, i.e, repent

          We are all called to live a life of repentance. None of us can escape it if we long for salvation. That is tough and requires sacrificing our very most favoritist passions so that we might partake of God’s healing grace.

          That struggle is no less intense just because it does not involve carnal sexual passions.

        • Katherine says

          Should those who fought heresy coming into the Church have kept their mouths shut? After all, they were JUDGING Nestorius and Arius, weren’t they? I guess they should have just let heresy into the Church. Saying that homosexuality is not a sin and that they should be allowed to receive Communion even though they are committing serious sin and won’t repent is heresy.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Katherine, quite true.

            Personally, I’d like once and for all to lay to rest the myth that Jesus said to “never judge.” The context in which He was addressing must be understood. Jesus was addressing the Pharisees who were heaping ever-excessive burdens on the “poor in spirit,” making it ever-more ornerous for them to follow the Law and thereby judging them for inevitably falling short. They were doing this as a self-serving mechanism to keep them at the top of the religious heap. As such they were constantly “judging” those poorer people who were probably illiterate and anyway eked out a subsistence living making it well-nigh impossible to observe every little aspect of the Law.

            Jesus merely turned the tables on the Pharisees. Though they had an easier life in reality and thus could avoid mistakes, they could not escape the possibility of trasngressing some aspect of the Law at some time or another. Jesus merely said: “Be careful, if you expect perfection, you will be held to the same standard.”

            At NO time did Jesus tell people that they couldn’t use discernment, discrimination, common sense, or judgment. In fact, He said “be as wise as serpents but as gentle as doves.” Taken to an extreme, this could seem hypocritical but reality dictates otherwise. Police don’t give fines to every jay-walker, children aren’t spanked for every transgression, etc. As Christians, we are called to husband our resources and choose our fights judiciously.

  4. Hello, to everybody. I am not against gay marriage. But, I am against gay marriage because it may lead to Aids or HIV. If Aids or HIV is not present. Of course, I will support gay marriage. In so far, we gotta be careful because Aids is real and it not a game. Hiv is real. I take care of myself. This is not a joke. Aids does exist. So, I will be always careful with me and love myself because I want to live longer and not to expose such dreadful illness like Aids. Have you forgotten Pedro Zamora, who was a good guy and exposes gay marriage and died of Aids? I do not want to die of Aids. I love myself. I always use condoms because I do not want to die. I am not against gay marriage. But, I cannot do anything. it is their choice to die of Aids. I will go my way and take care of me. It is better to be wise than to regret.

  5. Again, I have had gay friends who were the most wonderful and friendly people with me and who died of Aids, and advised me to be careful because Aids is very painful. They told me their stories, and they were like my brothers because I was there for them to let them know how much I care, a true friend who was always there for them. Even they took medications to stable Aids but it is not the same as being so healthy. Because one of them told me that taking medications to stable him with Aids gave him nightmares, and Aids is not funny. Aids is real.

    • The wages of sin is death, Steven. The cost of filing your taxes separately is chump change by comparison. Fortunately, forgiveness and salvation are freely available to you.

    • “Since when do you get to earn money for being a breeder?” Since, at the the lastest, the institution of that Ponzi scheme called Social Security. Where did you think the money was supposed to come from for your declining years?

    • Steven, I don’t get your reasoning as to why heterosexuals should pay more.
      Compare a hetero couple with six children to a hetero/homo couple with no children. One earner versus two, massive educational expenses versus none, housing expenses with high taxes in desirable school districts, not to mention feeding and clothing offspring. Late retirement, few assets to pass on. The six kids enter the work force early, not expecting the parents to pay for endless years of grad school. They probably marry earlier as two can live more cheaply than one!
      So here you have six people paying into social security, within your own lifetime versus none? At age 80 the prolific “breeders” will have produced not just six but more likely a total of 24 younger working people paying in for the support of the elderly and disabled! Versus NONE.
      Now a bereaved gay guy believes he should be entitled to widow’s benefits that the breeders kids and grandkids pay for? Snort!

      • Geo Michalopulos says

        Yeah, I’m not getting that either. As a married man, I’m not a “breeder” but a sinner trying to work out my salvation with another human being and in the process, being blessed by God to continue His primordial commandment. As flawed as we are, married Christians are mirrors of the Trinity, however opaque.

    • Fr. Justin Frederick says

      I don’t accept the modern category of ‘hate speech’; free speech means just that, and in the words of a Jr. High teacher, “I may not agree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” So if Steven wishes to stoop to call those who marry a partner of the opposite sex and have children as ‘breeders’, that is his right; it is insulting, however, as he well knows, and one who uses such terminology loses his right to object to the use of smear terms against himself, terms which he would probably consider ‘hate speech’ and grounds for some sort of legal or social sanction.

      While some may identify themselves by their sexual identity, is this not a profound diminution of what it is to be human? Can a man’s identity can be reduced to “heterosexual” or “breeder”? Is it not insulting so do to? Is it not equally insulting to reduce someone else’s identity to ‘homosexual’ or @#@# or whatever? What a contraction of perspective! What a sad caricature of man!

      And yes, wouldn’t it be nice if everyone else but me (or those in my category) paid more?

      • Geo Michalopulos says

        Touche! Fr. Regarding the Constitution, I’m an absolutist. That’s why I can’t be a Progressive or believe in a progressive income tax.

      • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

        “Hate speech” is a term of intimidation to force people into politically correct thinking.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Father, while I do not disgree with you at all, the mentality behind the concept of ‘hate speech’ is one of self-hatred, an unwillingness to accept the manner in which we are created and give glory to God. When we reply in kind, as is so tempting to do, we enter into that self-hatred and validate it IMO.

          When we accept without thinking the classifications and approach of the world, we loose some of what we have been given by the grace of God. Hard work at which I fail on a virtually continuous basis.

          Self-hatred can only be healed by Christ and the balm of repentance/forgiveness, almsgiving, prayer and fasting. It is interesting that even failing in my efforts at the discipline of the Church teaches me a great deal about who I am as a human being both in my brokeness and in the way I was created to be.

          All I have to offer my Lord is my brokeness, my failure and my sin — all those things He took on in His Nativity even though he knew them completely before taking them on. All the more reason to give Him Glory!.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Christ is Born!

        Fr. Justin, the quote you give is from Voltaire and it, in fact, comes more from a belief that there are no absolutes because there is no God. No one ever really follows it, nor should they.

        Free speech is not without consequences an oxymoron that many seem to have come to believe. Our Founding Fathers were of the belief that men in society could regulate themselves and did not require a King to do it, nor should an earthly King do it.

        Just because someone is insulting, demeaning and doltish, does not mean that we then have the ‘right’ to return the compliments. In fact as Christians, it puts a greater burden on us to respond as our Lord–forgive, but never relent as to the truth.

        You are absolutely correct that we do ourselves a disservice when we reduce anthropology to what turns us on sexually. During the Nativity Fast, it occured to me that a part of the mystery of the Incarnation is that we are not just or even primarily sexual beings. To properly understand ourselves, we have to do it, to a certain extent, in an a-carnal place. While the mystery of gender seems to be an integral part of the creation as we understand it. That does not always and necessarily translate into sex. It seems that Church teaches us that to understand ourselves and our interrelationship with God, we must not see our selves as sexual beings, but as beings who commune with God by worship, prayer, fasting and almsgiving. The longer I am married, especially since both my wife and I are past child bearing years, the more I begin to see that the marriage and the reflection of the Holy Trinity have little to do with sex and a lot to do with patience, forgiveness and humble service to one another.

        The modern categories of what it means to be a human being are all flawed–most seem to be quite heretical and even blasphemous. It is up to us to discern the reality to the extent that we are graced to do so and proclaim that reality in the way we live and in what we preach.

        Glorify Him!

        • Amen to what Michael Bauman has said. Reading through the book of Psalms teaches us that we are related to God through our souls, not through our sexuality. What is important in life is our relationship with God and all that that entails. We are soul centered beings. How often do we worry about feeding our souls, instead of feeding our other desires?

  6. Is it possible in anyway to say on the one hand Same Sex Marriage should not be practiced in the church yet on the other it should be legalised?

    • Michael Bauman says

      gadfly. No! For the same reason that counterfeit money is not legal. It debases the entire reality of the foundations of our society, the ability to raise intact families and errodes the anthropological assumptions that allow for healthy inter-gender relationships.

      • Thank you Michael. So then, what should we do with our priests who believe this and yet say they don’t believe the church should carry out SSM?

        • I wouldn’t presume to answer for Michael, but there are a number of questions here all wrapped into one.

          First, why would anyone, let alone a priest, be in favor of sin and corruption – whether inside or outside the Church? It is like saying, “It’s good for society for there to be liars, murderers, and thieves; but the Church cannot bless their behavior.” How ridiculous! The salvation in Christ that the Church preaches is most definitely not a political or legal matter, but what is good for the health of the society in which all of us must live most assuredly is.

          Second, why would anyone care any less for the souls of those outside the Church than they do for those within?

          Third, what sort of society do these priests want for their children? Is it one in which the truth is ever increasingly corrupted to the point where the need for repentance of any kind is forever lost in all the moral confusion? Where absolutely everything militates against the truth? Where, because there is no immediate apparent consequence, sin itself appears as normal and even right and true? Indeed, the society is already in the midst of such confusion. Shall we encourage its further decline? Shall we willingly encourage this to be given as an inheritance to our children and to an entire generation? Don’t we realize that sin is not simply a matter of what is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in a nominally ‘moral’ or ‘religious’ sense but that real people actually suffer from its consequences? And moreover do we not understand that we leave those who suffer these consequences in the confusion of ignorance with no understanding of a path out of it? Indeed, they suffer immensely, often without even realizing it and without any understanding of why.

          Forth, are we not creating an artificial distinction between what is true and what the Church teaches and thereby admitting that what the Church teaches isn’t really true? Here, in my opinion, is the crux of the matter. Is the teaching of the Church true? If it is, then it is true for all. And if it isn’t true for all, then it isn’t true at all. This doesn’t mean we need to be embroiled in politics; it simply means that we remain faithful to Christ in His Church.

          Priests who say such things reveal themselves to be incompetent fools, hirelings, or wolves. Pray for them, and keep yourself and your children at safe distance.

          • This issue seems stuck. We have passed the Marriage Resolution that states what we beleive as OCA Orthodox which confirms what Brian and Michael state and yet this does not change the minds of those who think otherwise. Gadfly asks what do we do with these Priests? Staying away from them does not stop their influence over the church for those who don’t know better or are easily swayed. Is there something more to be done?

            • I would say to keep praying for the Church and all Orthodox clergy and faithful, to learn your facts as best you can, and be ready to call someone on that hypocrisy. This business of being in the royal priesthood of believers means we’re responsible for preaching the Gospel, too.

              If a priest treats homosexuality as if it were not a sin *within* the Church, Scripture says we should approach someone like this first privately, then with two or three other witnesses, and finally in front of the congregation. I’d get the bishop involved if possible, too.

            • Colette,

              Resolutions are good, but they don’t change hearts and minds, and although I agree with everything Helga has written, there are too many priests and even some bishops who have sold themselves to do evil – usually behind a facade of open-mindedness, sophistication, and a completely false notion of what love is.

              All these ideas are good, but the single most important thing is to model and actively teach (with equal emphasis on both) the fear of God to children…your children, your grandchildren, your Sunday school children… Don’t let any opportunity or example of the suffering that comes of sin pass without pointing out in crystal clear terms that the commandments of God are given to us in love for our good. If the priest is wrong on such a clear matter, I would not hesitate respectfully to tell my children (or now my grandchildren) precisely why he is wrong while making every effort not to undermine the dignity of the priesthood. The time when we could trustingly hand our children over to the Church for their education is quickly passing. If we do not help them to think clearly for themselves in the fear of God, there are ever fewer who will.

              • Brian, I totally agree. The basic fact here is that we’re fighting a heresy, and like all heresies, it’s pernicious and deeply ingrained.

                I strongly advise all Orthodox to carefully read the propaganda pieces on OCA News by Frs. Arida and Vinogradov, and the anonymous “pastoral response”. Being familiar with how they distort the truth is the key to awareness and recognition of the same lies when they are seen in our parishes. And when we see them, we have to counter them, fight them, protest as loudly as we can. Even if nothing comes of it, at least we weren’t silent in the face of evil.

                Also, we have to keep a close eye on everyone and everything going in and coming out of Syosset. They have gone after Metropolitan Jonah before, and they’ll do it again in time. We have to be ready to have his back.

        • Michael Bauman says

          gadfly, I agree with Brian 100% but to add my own flavor: I think we need to realize that whatever we say about the nature of man, we are saying abou the human nature of Christ as well. Therefore we must guard our hearts and minds carefully concering what we think feel and express concerning the nature of man. If we say that it is OK for man to sin as long as he is not of the Church we are positing that somehow sin is part of Christ as well, yet surely we know that is not true.

          It is this sort of fuzzy, dicotomous thinking that can easily lead to anthropolgical heresy.

          What do we do? We don’t accept the false teaching; pray, hope and encourage our bishops to be proactive on teaching the truth and applying liturgical discipline to those in the Church who flaunt untruth (even if it is us in other areas).

          It is not a single issue.

  7. For a look at how some nominally Orthodox people view active homosexual behavior, read this article from “gotruthreform”. Yeah, how dare this priest protect an unrepentant sinner from partaking unworthily. God grant us many more such priests instead of false shepherds.

    • Carl Kraeff says

      The folks in the Greek Orthodox Christians of Chicago for Truth and Reform may have some nominal Orthodox amongst them but to characterize all of them in such broad brush fashion may be wrong. My first impression of them was that they were “concerned about the apparent schism that they believe is occurring in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. They are of the opinion that the cause can be traced to the Ephraimite Monasteries, Archdiocesan Priests who have Ephraimite spiritual fathers and the followers of this movement. This organization was founded to educate the Greek Orthodox Christians and others through its website about how this movement operates.”

      • Heracleides says

        And of course Carl I imagine you, like these folks, are opposed to Athonite (‘Ephraimite’) monasteries on American soil – yes?

        • Carl Kraeff says


          • Carl Kraeff says

            To elaborate on my original answer to Heracleides, I am familiar with only one case involving one of the Ephraimite monasteries in the States. It was the case of a husband and wife, which had nothing to do with SSA, SSSA or SSM. I attributed it to a misunderstanding on the part of both the elders of the monastery and the unfortunate couple.

            Regarding the specific case in Chicago, I have only one side of the story (that of the site that Helga cited) and I am reluctant to draw any conclusions.

            However, generally speaking, my position is the traditional Church teaching that one does not approach the Holy Chalice because one is worthy but because one has prepared himself by a (recent) confession, fasting and participating in preparatory services, such as Vespers, Hours, Matins, and/or Prayers before Communion. Now, one is not free to pick and choose (clergy or laity) on what constitutes proper preparation. I would submit that if a former priest in a particular parish had allowed folks to partake without proper preparation, it would be the job of the new priest to train the congregation on how this should be done.

            Regarding SSA/SSSA, I m reminded of the Eight Deadly Thoughts of Evagrius in the case of SSA. and of St John Caspian’s Seven Deadly Sins in the case of SSSA. Neither are to be excluded from the life of the Church; to do so would be to deny the power of the Holy Spirit. I will never agree with the argument that SSSA is not a sin or that SSA is a “deadly thought” precursor to sin. Neither will I accept the claim that SSA will inevitably result in SSSA in the case of a Christian, particularty a practicing Orthodox.

            • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

              Mr. Kraef, please clarify for me your comment: “I will never agree with the argument that SSSA is not a sin or that SSA is a ‘deadly thought’ precursor to sin.” Is it your dual-contention that “same-sex sexual activity” (that is, in more familiar, less pseudo-clinical language, “homosexual activity”) is, indeed, a sin, but that “same-sex attraction” is not intrinsically disordered or a passion that disturbs the equilibrium of the soul?

              • Carl Kraeff says

                Dear Father–You are entirely correct. My understanding is that we are (all of us are) capable of having an array of “intrinsically disordered or a passion that disturbs the equilibrium of the soul,” I believe that was the whole point of Evagrius classification. I know that gluttony and lust, just the take the first two of the eight deadly thoughts, do disturb the equilibrium of my soul. Honestly, I could say that any of the eight have disturbed my path. I am trying hard not to see the presence of these thoughts in others but it is indeed hard not to notice them. In any case, there is a progression from thought to sin and that progresssion may be a quick one in any of these areas. My problem is the conflation of the thought with the sin, however short the distance between them. From a practical POV, my distinction may be one without meaning; however, I feel strongly that not making this distinction is to deny the redemptive power of the Holy Trinity.

                • Monk James says

                  Perhaps this can be simplified to the distinction between temptation and sin.

                  Not all of us experience the same temptations to do evil (or good, for that matter), and those of us who do don’t all respond to them in the same way. The question remains, though: do we dismiss or resist a temptation when it first arrives, or do we indulge it, even enjoy its possibilities in our minds?

                  In the first instance, there is not likely to be a sin, unless we were tempted/inspired to do something good and failed to do it.

                  But if we are tempted to do something evil and we mull it over until it arouses our lower passions, then, even if we do nothing outwardly, we have ‘already committed adultery in our hearts’ as our Lord Jesus Christ tells us, and we have sinned.

                  With all that, though, I’m unprepared to condemn anyone for having temptations different from mine, and I’m very reluctant to say that some temptations to do evil rather than others are in themselves sick or ‘disordered’, since that can be said of all evil thoughts, desires, and actions.

                  It’s especially disappointing to see heterosexual sinners condemning homosexual sinners with all sorts of psychobabble unworthy of Christians, attempting somehow to justify themselves for having such a visceral reaction to homosexuality’s ‘ick factor’.

                  Alright. It’s icky. Maybe homosexuals think that heterosexual intercourse is icky. But ALL sins are icky, no matter how elaborate our rationalizations might be. We need to (again, as our Lord teaches) ‘stop straining out gnats while we swallow camels whole’.

                  Lord, have mercy on us sinners, for we are weak.

                  • Monk James,

                    With respect, I beg to differ. The Bible itself, both the OT & NT, makes distinctions between the offensiveness of particular sins. It views same-sex sexual activity as particularly egregious because it so patently rejects the order God has given to human relations and corrupts the very foundations of human society. The “ick factor” is therefore surely a morally justifiable reaction, even if it is a visceral one. If people who identify as homosexual feel the same about heterosexual sex, that is surely testimony to how disordered their thinking, or in Biblical terms their hearts, has/have become, that they reject what God has ordained as good.

                    Having said that, are homosexual people irredeemable? Heaven forbid the thought! There is ample testimony in scripture itself and Christian history to teach us that is not so. Their wrong thinking can be challenged and righted, or they can be saved even while continuing to suffer the effects of their disordered state throughout their lives, working out their salvation with fear and trembling. Whichever the case, they deserve our love and support as fellow Christians (something we have all too often failed to provide, “Lord, have mercy on us sinners”). I’m loathe to use this cliche, but it can’t be put any better: “love the sinner, hate the sin”. We must, if we are to be the moral beings God has created us to be, make a judgment about all human actions (those that are not adiaphora) as to whether they are pleasing or offensive to God. And we cannot, I submit, as individuals or a church, pretend there is a moral equality between all sins.

                    • Monk James says

                      I was thinking about temptations and inclinations, the interior processes which might — or might not — result in sinful thoughts and deeds.

                      Clearly, homosexual erotic activity is always seriously sinful, as is heterosexual erotic activity outside the sacred boundaries of marriage. To what extent there is a qualitative moral difference between heterosexual sins and homosexual sins depends on a great many more factors than just that single distinction.

                      Were he (instead of Christ) responsible for judging such matters, I wonder which of these two sins ‘Basil’ and even the Bible would consider more offensive:
                      1. Two unmarried men live together and have sexual relations with each other.
                      2. A married woman with children takes up with a married man who has his own wife and children. Both abandon their families and leave the country for another place where they won’t be held accountable in law for their actions.

                      See? It’s more than just the hetero vs homo distinction. It’s just not that simple, and we should leave off taking big, broad, black-or-white positions. Treading the ‘narrow path which leads to salvation’ through all that vast grey area is not for the foolish or the fainthearted.

                      It would be a serious misinterpretation of my words here to think that I suggested anything like a ‘moral equality’ among all sins other than that I maintain that they’re all evil, each in its own way and to its own degree.

                      And I further maintain that the ‘ick factor’ blinds us and reinforces us in our visceral reactions in spite of our best efforts to be faithful to the Law of God, giving mere lip service to ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’ while we attempt to justify ourselves and rationalize our prejudices.

                      ‘When You come to judge the world, O Christ, all things will tremble.’

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      basil said: “And we cannot, I submit, as individuals or a church, pretend there is a moral equality between all sins.”

                      I am struggling with expressing my conceptual distinction between objective and subjective truths. It is one thing to objectively maintain that the Holy Church holds sin X to be more heinous than sin Y. It is another thing when I, as an individual, look at sins X and Y. If I were to adopt the objective distinctions, I may be tempted to disregard the fact than neither is good for me. Thus, subjectively Sin X and Sin Y are equal, while objectively they are not.

                    • Basil says:

                      With respect, I beg to differ. The Bible itself, both the OT & NT, makes distinctions between the offensiveness of particular sins. It views same-sex sexual activity as particularly egregious because it so patently rejects the order God has given to human relations and corrupts the very foundations of human society.

                      As someone who would like to become a Christian (and understand as well), I admit some difficulty understanding homosexual relations being a “particularly egregious” sin. As compared to what other types of sin? I have two close friends who are a homosexual couple. They are not activists and live quiet lives. Outside of the homosexuality thing, they are the most moral, ethical, Christian-like people that I know, so it’s hard for me to see their offense as the most heinous of evils that destroying the very foundations of human society. I guess it doesn’t help that it’s hard for me to see homosexuality as something that we all can be enticed into. Maybe I’m odd in that respect, but for me, it’s just not going to happen.

                    • Monk James says

                      Lest anyone think that the two moral situations I offered for consideration to ‘Basil’ be thought to be theoretic or hypothetic, I should have mentioned that these are real experiences in my immediate family.

                      This is the real world, my world, and it’s far less than ideal. I doubt that my own and my family’s experience is much different from anyone else’s. It’s just that I think that we Christians have to be more realistic, and all the more kind and loving for that, if our witness to the Gospel is true.

      • A schism, or more accurately, a rupture, is indeed coming within the precincts of the GOA because of the laxity and torpor that has characterized it over the last twenty years or so. Of course, if repentance takes place, then such a rupture won’t happen.

        Having said that, the contours of this rupture are apparent in the Chicago diocese of the GOA and will probably manifest themselves there initially. Time will tell.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          I hope George, I hope. But this “rot” is all over American Orthodoxy. While we fight within our jurisdictions and among ourselves (i.e. Russians versus Greeks and Greeks versus Russians, Cradle versus Convert and Convert versus Cradle) the “rot” grows and spreads and in the end all of our in-fighting won’t be worth a hill of beans.

          Like you said, time will tell.


  8. Peter A. Papoutsis says

    Being from the Metrpolis of Chicago of the GOA I can assure you that not all of us agree with the go truth refore people. I happen to support the Monasteries and what you see on their website is the brewing schism in the Greek Orthodox Church. Between those of us who are Orthodox and those who are nominal and what Orthodoxy “their ” way not the way of the Gospel.

    Because the Church needs money certain professionals and their lifestyles were allowed to exist without any correction because we needed the cash, or better yet, the Parish and Archdiocese needed the cash.

    People who genuinely struggle with this lifestyle should never be denied communion as they are working out their salvation. However, those who are NOT and live an openly gay lifestyle should seriously reconsider what it means to be Orthodox and Christians. I will leave that between them and God.

    In any event a storm is coming, and I fear that we in the GOA will not be strong enough to withstand it. Please pray for us. Thank you.


    • Pravoslavnie says

      Storm clouds are building and not just in the Greek Church, Peter. We need to pray for all Orthodox Christians.

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        As the comment was on the GOA in Chicago and GOA in general I responded to that comment. Trust me, I know how bad things are in American Orthodoxy. Question is: “what are we going to do about it?” Keep in-fighting? Keep insulting one another? That’s how the “Reform” people win. Divide and Conquer.

        How about we stop our in-fighting, at least here in America, and start helping each other. That’s how you stop the “Reform” people from winning. I do not see that happending any time soon, but sure hope and pray that it does.


        • Geo Michalopulos says

          You’re right Peter. We need leAdership though. The “reformers” have the MSM and the zeitgeist.

    • Hello, I came upon this page as it was of intense interest to me. I am not full orthodox as of yet, neither is my husband or children. I am however, a beginner, waiting for the fullness of this liturgy and the body of Christ. I am hoping that you will take my comments with the reason that it is of concern to me as it should be with all of us as Christians.

      I have been watchful of this degradation that has been seeping into society, mostly because I am a mother and am concerned for the future of children and how this sickness of Satan has permeated the general population. To call this, by what it is, needs to be done without fear. I have found that the hardest thing to confront is evil, I see people sidestep it and walk around it and not want to look at it. It is what it is. When the majority of people start to go for an ideal, even bad, I find that people start to justify that thing that is wrong. It becomes the axiom or agreed upon consideration of the group, or society.

      This scares me as a christian as we all know it is permeating into those groups too. What scares me more is if our brothers and sisters in Christ out of love, allow a homosexual to come to the fullness of Christ until they are fully cut with the ties of this particular sin as, I believe, it’s darkness has as its ideal, to break the church from within.

      I hope and pray you don’t think me foolish, or as I have been called, a hater, as I am not hateful of them as a person, ( I have known many growing up in a salon), but I have seen the destructiveness of what they are practicing. I am of the opinion to love the person enough to say to them to stop sinning.

      A comment above said that we should not stop a person who is struggling from coming to communion, only those who are actively homosexual? If a person is struggling then he or she is active to a degree? It would be the same with a drug addict, it can get tricky. You tell them because they are not a full blown addict, only struggling now, they can get the treat. The problem is that when they are addicted they are being criminal, it’s dark and has it’s own edge of reasoning. The sin of homosexuality is like heroin and the addict is not thinking like they were before they became part of the deception, it’s twisted.

      I pray that the Orthodox church will not bend to societies whim of deception.

  9. Carl,
    The distinction you make between the subjective and objective evaluation of sin is a helpful one.

    Monk James,
    I’m still not sure you understand my objections, in fact the example you cite convinces me you don’t. It might shed more light on the matter if I use philosophical terminology. In the case you mention, the homosexual couple are committing an “ontological” sin, if you will; by engaging in same-sex activity they are rejecting the very nature and purpose of the gift of sexuality. The heterosexual couple committing adultery are committing a “functional” offence, if you will; they are using the gift in the way the creator intended, but outside the bounds of legitimate usage, because outside of marriage. Both cases represent, of course, seriously sinful courses of action – beyond that I would not venture to speculate as to how God would punish them either temporally or in eternity because I am forbidden to do so.

    Now, it could be argued that the couple committing adultery are also committing an ontological sin, in that their sin offends against marriage; I’d be quite prepared to agree with that, but I think my first point still stands. By way of analogy – all murder is criminal, but the state generally imposes greater sentences upon murderers of police officers because such crimes are seen as an attack against the state – they are in that sense “ontological” crimes against the “being” of the state, which represents all of us and which has been ordained of God.

    My intention is not to draw down approbation upon homosexuals as the worst of all sinners. But, self-evidently, a radical movement which seeks to treat same-sex unions as not just legally but also morally equal to the union of a man and a woman in marriage as God intended “from the beginning” is a challenge to human society as it has hitherto been conceived (no pun intended!).

    • Monk James says

      As sometimes happens, it seems that ‘Basil’ and I aren’t communicating effectively, so please allow me to clarify a point or two.

      While it’s obvious that homosexuality is not in accord with the biblically stated and affirmed divine plan for humanity, it’s also obvious that heterosexuals who abandon their children are just as much out of line with that divine plan, if not more so. It was that unnatural behavior which I was comparing to homosexual activity, not adultery per se, although that was certainly an aspect of this tragedy.

      There’s no way for any of you to know this except that I tell you, so I will. The two moral situations I proposed earlier were not hypotheticals; they have actually happened in my immediate family, and we have had to deal with them realistically and humanely and keep our faith, too. Not that this was the reason or even the excuse for it, but of the seven of us siblings still living (I’m the oldest), only two of us are still officially christian. And there was/is a lot of ickiness and judgementalism to work through, too.

      So, back to my original contention: It’s wrong of us to categorize morality — even when it involves sex — simply in terms of homosexuality and heterosexuality. There are a great many other factors to consider, and we have to be as kind to each other as it’s humanly possible to be and forgive each other if we’re to have any hope that the Lord will forgive us our own sins and transgressions.

      We just read in today’s section from the Letter of James: ‘Mercy triumphs over judgement.’

      BTW: I don’t think I’m convinced of the essence vs expression distinction, especially regarding sexuality, since so little is known about the etiology of homosexuality. My homosexual brother, for example, has always insisted that his sense of his own sexuality has been ‘gay’ for all his conscious life.

      Clearly, homosexuality is counterproductive (at least as far as procreation is concerned) but it probably doesn’t deserve the excoriation it generally receives, a phenomenon which I still maintain is rooted less in judeochristian morality than in the ‘ick factor’ it usually engenders in the larger population of heterosexuals.

      Given the violence which my brother (among many other homosexuals) has suffered, I remain convinced that the scriptural proscriptions of homosexuality are mere excuses for heterosexual bullying based on prejudice rather than on divine revelation.

      We really can’t consider ourselves Christians if we beat up and maim homosexual sinners, and we haven’t altogether behaved much better than the Muslims who merely kill them.

      • “Given the violence which my brother (among many other homosexuals) has suffered, I remain convinced that the scriptural proscriptions of homosexuality are mere excuses for heterosexual bullying based on prejudice rather than on divine revelation.”

        Monk James,

        Again, with respect: that’s a massive non sequitur. To begin with, no-one here is advocating violence against homosexuals. I’m fairly certain all here who express condemnation of same sex activity would also condemn such violence. That people who beat up on homosexuals have used the scriptural verses as justification for their sins does not render those proscriptions somehow null and void – “abusus non tollit usum”: abuse does not take away use.

        Secondly, the scriptural proscriptions against homosexual acts were not rescinded by our Lord in his earthly ministry but re-affirmed, although the penalties attached in the Old Covenant have been abrogated in the New Covenant.
        That fact gives us quite clear ethical guidance in how we are to personally treat homosexuals – with respect as fellow human beings made in God’s image. That doesn’t mean we have to agree with aspects of their lifestyle or must remain “mum” on the issue, although if and when we speak (and not all will have that call) we must speak the truth in love as redeemed sinners ourselves. In terms of society, I thought the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of the military which also de facto prevailed in many areas of civil society was a humane one. It is the homosexual “lobby” – which not all people who identify as homsexual support – which has really made this an “issue” for society at large by pushing their radical agenda. If you can’t, at present, see how this will profoundly effect society in a negative way just wait and see. However, since it has thus been made an issue the church should reserve the right to critique that movement; no doubt this requires much tact and wisdom – may God grant it to our leaders!

        FInally, I’m going to be charitable in interpreting your sentence as quoted as directed against people who misuse scripture and not scripture itself. I’m sure you didn’t mean to say that the scriptural verses themselves are mere excuses for heterosexual bullying but rather that bullies have misused them as such (?). I trust I have read you rightly; the thing is, the “sachkritik” (content-criticism) method of reading scripture which rejects clear scriptural teaching on ethical matters in light of some higher principle supposedly derived from “the Gospel” has been used to argue for the ordination of women. Thus the argument goes: the Pauline “household ethic” passages legitimized violence against women, we know violence against women is wrong, ergo (and this is the error -B.) the teaching in the texts is clearly wrong/was relevant only to 1st C. AD cultural milieu and no longer applies in our more enlightened age, therefore those passages are irrelevant to the question of the ordination of women. I realize this takes us off our subject, but there is a relation here.

        • Monk James says

          Actually, my observations about heterosexual violence against homosexuals (almost always men against men — women seem to be off the radar in this) include a rather generalized notion that such bullies don’t even know the scriptures well enough to find justification there.

          The bullies can’t misuse what they don’t know, but their ignorance of the scriptures altogether gives them conceptual room to behave as they do. It’s only when commentary develops around the (only occasionally, although now moreso) reported instances of ‘gay bashing’ that people come forth with biblical ‘justification’ for the violence.

          When that happens, progay commentators — not unreasonably — say that the judeochristian tradition is wrong and ought to be ignored.

          The fact that both the bullies and the gay lobbyists are equally ignorant of the scriptures and their real practical application seems to whiz right by everybody.

          This social struggle is largely going on outside of The Church. It’s protagonists and antagonists mostly don’t want to hear from us christians.

          Why would they, if all we can represent to them is hatred and rejection rather than love? This is not the same thing as acceptance and approval, as Peter Papoutsis experienced to his disappointment.

          I don’t know what the answer is. All I know is that I can’t condemn anyone else to everlasting perdition if I hope to be saved myself, so I tend to be more indulgent, if that’s the right word, of even the most obvious sinners until they ‘get it’.

          • I’m not condemning anyone to eternal perdition – never have and never will. If anything I wrote suggested that let me know so I can clarify my language in the future. Because real people with layer upon layer of history and hurt involved, this discussion is always going to be fraught with difficulties in making ourselves understood.
            But I maintain there’s a difference between making a moral judgment about a human act and condemning the author of that act. We must retain the right to make a moral judgment (and believe me, they will soon try to take that right away from us). As forgiven, redeemed sinners, though, we have no right to condemn anyone.
            Personally, if I was in your situation, no doubt I too would lean to being tolerant of what I do not approve of for the sake of my relationship with my brother. Without the channels of communication being kept open, there would be little hope of anything good ever developing. It’s a tough road to walk, no doubt.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Monk James, your conflation of the Biblical proscription against homosexual behavior and violence is not in acord with the Biblical mandate to simply leave them alone if they do not listen. In fact, violence against sinners simply because they sin is a complete violation of the Gospel is its entirety. We would all be required to kill ourselves.

        Unfortunately, in today’s dicotomous world most folks cannot abide the proper stance of defending homosexuals against violence while at the same time pointing out the inherent sinfulness of their behavior.

        It is not just a moral stance however, Homosexuality is akin to idolatry, a worship of the created thing more than the creator. That makes it a violation that goes beyond most hetrosexual sinfulness even if the degree of sin may seem less.

        • Monk James says

          Friends, whatever my many faults, I assure you and Michael Bauman that I am not guilty of ‘conflation of the Biblical proscription against homosexual behavior and violence’.

          And in his last paragraph here, Mr Bauman seems to show some of the moral confusion and prejudice which I’ve been analyzing: obssession with sex or food or money is idolatry, as St Paul clearly teaches, and this is no more or less true of homosexuals than of homosexuals.

          My observation was merely that some bullies, when they become aware of biblical principles opposing homosexuality, (mis)use the scriptures to justify their violence against homosexuals, and that is blasphemous.

          • Sorry for the typo — I meant to write ‘…this is no more or less true of homosexuals than of heterosexuals.’ at the end of the second paragraph just above.

  10. Peter A. Papoutsis says

    Monk James:

    I understand your position, but let me share my insight if you do not mind. Scripture tells us that Homosexuality is a sin and abomination in the eyes of God. I accept this and believe it 100%. However, what is our pastoral approach to the Homosexual man or woman? The Gospel of Christ!

    A number of years back I was involved in a case that involved a Gay man infected with the HIV virus. As part of the case I had to take a doctor’s discovery deposition over at The Lakeview Specialty Clinic in Chicago, Illinois. While I waited for the Doctor to start the dep, I saw a rather large group of Gay men waiting in the waiting room. I asked the nurse if everybody was waiting to see the Doctor I was about to depose just so I could gauge how long I had to wait for the doctor.

    To my suprise the nurse told me that all of the men, and I mean ALL of them, about 20 of them, were waitingt for their HIV test results, and that usually they do not talk while they are waiting for their test results. Aftwer the dep I talked to the doctor’s coordinator, a young 23 year old hispanic man, who was HIV positive, and we just got to talking. I am ashamed to say he was the first to mention God, and the Church and not in very positive terms.

    He didn’t understand why God would give him these sexual desires and call them sins at the same time. Did you catch that? He knew the biblical mandate against Homosexuality, but his Homosexual desire was so strong that it trumped God. When I tried telling him otherwise he just shut down, and heard nothing. I can’t say I did a great job of communicating God’s Love, Healing and Compassion, but I tried.

    All to often we give mixed messages to the Gay Community. We say we love them yet there is true violence visited on them by those that they perceive as “Normal” and Christian.” The Lakeview Specalty Clinic also saw Gay men that were beated by so-called straight men having a night on the town and decided to go to Boys town to mess with the Gays. This is were Gay men and women see a Gay service man in Afganistan booed by so-called Christian People during one of the Republican debates. This is the image of the Gospel that gay men and women see, and nothing more. We should not be blaming them for this, but ourselves.

    True Christian Compassion is NOT acceptance of their sinful lifestyle, but a clear way out for them from a sinful lifestyle that can never be accepted, but the broken and hurt people can. This is the power of the Gospel of Christ. This is why the Gospel is hated and scares so many people. True unconditional love and acceptance of the sinner, but not the sin. Easy to say, so hard to do.


    I went to college and law school with many Gay men and women. When asked what I thought of Homosexuality I told them the truth. I never lied. However, I never stopped being their friend, but they did stop being mine. They feel as though I was not accepting them because to them their homosexuality is intrinsicly tied with who they are. To accept them is to accept their lifestyle. So to Gay men and women to denounce their lifestyle it is to denounce them. You can try until the cows come home to tell them different, but its no good. They will not listen. This is a very sorrowful truth that I have come to accept in my life.

    I never stopped caring and loving all people, but I cannot say they same for many of them towards me. That’s the best I can do guys. Sorry if I have come up short. Have a good night.


    • Geo Michalopulos says

      Peter, there’s a lot here in your posting. A few ramblings in no particular order:

      1. no one is advocating violence against homosexuals.

      2. a lot of violence is implicit within the male homosexual lifestyle. Last year, I read the latest Beatles offering (called “The Beatles), a heavily-resourced book. In talking about Brian Epstein, the Beatles first real manager, the author talked about how Brian would go out on the docks of Liverpool at night and engage in “rough trade,” the end result was being willingly beaten up. All he asked was that they leave his face alone (probably so he wouldn’t have to explain any embarassing scars). A good question: how endemic is this? (Matthew Shepherd for example was not killed because of his homosexual passes to two straight men but because of a drug deal gone bad.)

      3. how did you know that the men waiting in the doctor’s waiting room were all homosexual? Was it an effeminant posture? If so, this is further anecdotal evidence that HIV is almost completely restricted to the catamite in the relationship (i.e. the passive recipient whose rectum is inoculated with semen).

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        Hi George:

        I agree that no one is advocating violence towards homosexuals, but it has and continues to occur, at least in Chicago. Further, most of the violence is as of the result of a drunken night out instead of a conscious decision to go out and beat up Gay people. So I do agree with you on point 1.

        Point 2, as far as the first part I have no clue so I will just go along with the Beatle’s thing. As far as Matthew Shepard I agree with you as well. When the truth came out nobody on the left came out and said “Oops, got that one wrong.” So you are correct about that. Got to take one for the overall cause I guess even if its based on a lie.

        Point 3. The Lakeview Specialty Clinic is in the very heart of Boystown. Chicago’s official LGBT community. It caters almost exclusively to the surrounding Gay Community. The clinic is there to serve Gay people. As far as HIV being almost exclusively restricted to the Homosexual sub-culture this too is true and I agree with you on this point as well. The Book, and the reality, of “The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS” as an epidemic is simply not supportive of the facts, history or reality. So yes, you are correct on this point as well.


    • “You can try until the cows come home to tell them different, but its no good. They will not listen.”

      This is precisely why we must be hold steadfast to the truth – not only for the sake of those who have fallen into the life (or rather death) style but also for the sake of those who may find themselves curious enough to try it. There is an intensity of blindness associated with this particular sin, a snare out of which it is virtually impossible (although all things are possible with God) to be freed. Small wonder our adversary is pushing it so intensely.

      The eternal consequence is no different than any other sin, and the love and compassion we must have toward those ensnared can be no less in comparison. But the spiritual blindness characteristically brought about by this particular sin is what makes it ‘worse.’ In an anthropological sense it is a blindness that is tantamount to blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

      I often wonder if those caught in this snare don’t feel as though exposure to the truth only causes it to grip tighter upon them, as when the demon possessed writhe in agony at the Name of Christ. At such times I have to remind myself that as much as we all need to remain steadfast in the truth “this kind can only come out by prayer and fasting.” In other words, love is truth, but it is more than truth. It also requires sacrifice.