We Live in the Age of Dostoevsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky
The SCOTUS decision to legalize gay marriage reveals that the corruption of American cultural gatekeepers and institutions is nearly complete. This ruling legitimates the homosexual agenda which at bottom is not about civil rights but the inversion of the moral bedrock of Christian civilization. Religion is the ground of culture wrote philosopher Russell Kirk and when religion changes so does the culture.

The decision codifies into law a definition of the human person that strikes at the heart of the Christian understanding of who God created man to be. All persons and institutions will be judged by the litmus test of homosexuality. When the cultural transformation is complete, the assault on the Church will begin. It will come sooner than we think.

Dostoevsky warned of just such transformation to his fellow Russians when the gatekeepers of Russian culture embraced a vision of man contrary to the received moral tradition, in his case Russian Orthodoxy. He saw a great darkness that would come as a result of their corruption. He was correct.

The conservative judges on the Court recognize the same thing. Judge Anthony Scalia wrote:

Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court. The opinion in these cases is the furthest extension in fact—and the furthest extension one can even imagine—of the Court’s claimed power to create “liberties” that the Constitution and its Amendments neglect to mention. This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.

Gay marriage has never been about marriage. Gay marriage has been about the moral sanctioning of homosexual couplings. It was and remains the wedge issue for the legal codification of homosexual behavior and the overthrow of cultural norms by using the coercive power of the courts. At bottom it is a revolt against Christ and Christian civilization.

Dark days are ahead. There will be no compromise with the forces that will be mobilized against Christians and Christianity as a result of this ruling. Liberty has lost, and next comes the attempt to extinguish the Light that illumined it.

(For more see my essay: Homosexual Marriage at the Dusk of Liberty.)

Comments

  1. Fr. Demetrios Carellas :

    Dear Fr. Hans,
    Christ is in our midst!

    I give thanks to God for granting you His Grace to write such Spirit-filled words on homosexuality and SSM, both in this article and in the one you wrote in January of this year. Tonight, God willing, I will be e-mailing your remarks to my list of 1933 souls. If you, or any brother you know, prepares a letter of condemnation of this demonic decision for all Orthodox Clergy to sign, please include me in the preparation. Below is something that I sent out to my list on Wednesday evening, and already the names of over 315 souls (136 of them Orthodox) have been sent to me to place on these prayer lists. I pray I will have the honor to meet with you some day. In Christ, +Fr. Demetrios Carellas

    My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,

    In the next few days, the U. S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) will hand down its decision as to whether or not same-sex marriage (SSM) is justified by the U. S. Constitution. Of course, the correct decision should be 9-0 that there is no such justification. Most people in high places believe that a 5-4 decision validating the constitutionality of SSM will be handed down.

    However, no matter what the decision, it is imperative that the Orthodox Church in this country becomes pro-active in educating its flock and our Nation that homosexuality is a grave sin against the One True God. It is a direct result of demonic oppression or possession. And the most powerful way to show true love to the precious soul who is a practicing homosexual is by helping him/her be healed from that demonic, unnatural lifestyle through Confession and the soul therapy available to us through the Spirit-filled writings of our holy Church Fathers.

    Unfortunately, the powerful news media, the entertainment world, many politicians and not a few clergy in different Christian formations want us to believe that this is no longer a sin. A couple months ago, Frank Bruni wrote an op-ed in the New York Times, in which he – in essence – stated that all church leaders must be compelled to take homosexuality off of the sin list! A few churches have already done this; and in doing so, they are showing that they have no love for these dear souls or for their salvation.

    I humbly entreat all of you to join with me in praying to our Most Sweet Lord Jesus to deliver all of our friends, relatives and acquaintances from this soul destroying lifestyle; and to deliver our Nation from its devastating impact on the natural family unit given to us by God. If you feel moved to do so, kindly send me the first names of anyone whom you know that is currently living as a homosexual. If the person is an Orthodox Christian, then provide – if known – his/her Baptismal name. Please separate into Orthodox and non-Orthodox, because the Orthodox can be remembered in the Holy Liturgies. After collecting names over the next few weeks, I will compile lists that I will send out to everyone. Then all 1930+ of us can offer daily prayers for our brothers and sisters suffering from this deep soul wound, and I will ask over 100 Orthodox priests to remember the Orthodox souls in the Holy Liturgies.

    Once the decision is handed down by the SCOTUS on SSM, after prayer for guidance, I will contact you again. Forgive me, my brothers and sisters in Christ, but – as an Orthodox priest, albeit a sinful one – I feel compelled to share these things with you. As Orthodox Christians, we must stand up for God’s Truth; and be willing to suffer loss of friends, loss of employment, imprisonment and even death for the One Who died and rose again for us, and Who is preparing a place for us in Paradise!

    With much love and prayers in Christ Jesus,

    +Papa Demetrios

    • Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

      Fr. Demetrios, no, I know of no such petition forming although some priests have been public and vocal about their opposition.

      • Fr. Demetrios Carellas :

        I really believe that a Patristic statement on Marriage is needed, and that every Orthodox priest in every canonical jurisdiction needs to sign on to it. If such a petition surfaces, please let me know. God grant you many years, Fr. Hans!

    • Thank for speaking these Truths so bravely and concisely. GOD expects HIS children to not hide the light to teach , to profess our beliefs.

      Live as closely to GODs law as our testimony and give Glory to HIM.

      Please add my Christian name is Marian.

      May GOD Bless you.

      Marian Kay Posey.

  2. James Bradshaw :

    “Religion is the ground of culture wrote philosopher Russell Kirk and when religion changes so does the culture.”

    Sometimes that change is for the better, sometimes it’s not.

    While objective truth may exist, humanity has never been very good at ascertaining what those truths are, including the religious establishment (despite claims to the contrary). Fanatical Islamic fundamentalists, just today, hung a man’s severed head from a gate in France to please Allah. In Russia, former KGB-thug Putin is effectively using the Russian Orthodox Church and its hierarchy to stir up nationalism and Russian exceptionalism, and he’s seen as an almost quasi-religious figure himself (even though freedom of speech and press are quickly eroding there). The Southern Baptist Convention recently met in my hometown in Ohio. This was a denomination founded primarily as a means of ensuring the legality of the human slave trade. They did eventually apologize for this, although it took them over a century to do so in any formal way. While the Catholic Church may not have more sexual predators than the population at large, no institution on Earth has as many people who knowingly protected these predators for the sake of their institution.

    I’m sure you’ll understand my distrust regarding the claims of the “religious establishment”.

    Having said all this, I acknowledge that religion is the expression of humanity’s quest for higher things and trying to understand what is ethical (even if sometimes failing to do so with perfect coherence). It should not and must not be stifled or kept out of the marketplace of ideas. Despite all the errors I’ve mentioned, religion has also inspired innumerable benefits for humanity.

    I agree with the Supreme Court’s decision today (even if awkwardly decided), but I will also reject any attempts to make these gains come at the cost of religion or the pre-eminence of the individual conscience.

    • Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

      You are not understanding Kirk. Read this: Civilization Without Religion?

      • James Bradshaw :

        Unless I’m misunderstanding, Kirk seems to be saying that religion only has power when it is authentic (and sincere), not merely when it’s viewed as useful.

        On this I would agree. No one would sacrifice their life for something they think might be somewhat true.

        Where does gay marriage come into play in all of this? You seem to be implying that if the Church’s teaching on homosexuality is discarded, people will feel free to discard all other moral preachments. The Church as a whole will have no moral authority whatsoever and religion will die.

        I don’t see this as being the case, though. Christianity has made various pronouncements on this or that issue of morality (think contraception before the Lambeth conference) that are widely ignored later, but it has not lessened the general religious impulse in people overall. It can’t. Despite humanity’s technological and scientific advances, for example, people still uphold young Earth Creationism. The SBC still has many members, despite the fact that it was founded for reasons most of its members do not believe in.

        What I think you fear (and rightly so) is a nihilist society filled with dead-eyed narcissists who care nothing for religion or for life or the transcendent, in general. To that I have no good answer. I will say that fundamentalist Christianity has told gay men and women that they have to choose between a life of faith and a life of companionship and affection, and unfortunately, this has forced some to become hostile to religion in general. It’s regrettable, because I think the gay community has much to gain from a life of faith. In jettisoning any notion of the sacred, many have come to embrace a life filled with absolute self-involvement and selfishness. The high rate of HIV is a testimony to that.

    • Karen Armstrong has written a book, “Fields of Blood,” which takes to task the claim that “more people have died in the name of religion / God than anything else.” For anyone interested in the topic, her study will no doubt raise eyebrows and, perhaps, change the way one thinks on the matter.

      As for recent events, it’s hard to tell what is going on. It’s not clear to me what ISIS or Islamic Fundamentalists actually are: are they an organic movement or are they trained, financed, and supported by various intelligence services? We began this process by training mujaheddin to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan in the late 70s. We created a vacuum of power in Iraq after dispensing with Saddam Hussein. Now, as al Quaeda, they are rebranded as “ISIS.” It’s interesting that they seem to strike fellow Muslim countries, Christians, and those that question the prerogative of Anglo-American interests — France was beginning to cozy up to Russia when the Charlie Hebo attack occurred. They don’t however, seem to strike anywhere else, certainly not in Israel.

      As far as Russia goes, I know The Economist and other major Western media would have us believe that Putin’s Russia is one of corruption, a loss of freedom, and nationalistic. Interestingly enough, since Bush’s “Axis of Evil” speech and the christening of the United States as “The Homeland,” the doctrine of American Exceptionalism seems ever bit as much in play as anything offered up by Russia. And, ironically, Russia isn’t droning enemies left and right, invading and occupying countries, and bullying other countries into accepting birth control policies. In the case of Ukraine, Victoria Nuland and various NGOs helped orchestrate an opposition that was bought and paid for by the US — one need only type into Google, “Victoria Nuland, Ukraine” to learn about these matters.

      Last year, German reporter Udo Ulfkotte, wrote a book claiming most major media work for, or are complicit with, Western intelligence services such as the CIA, MI6, and Mossad. The book, entitled, “Gekaufte Journalisten,” is available on Amazon (but it’s in German). Mr. Ulfkotte tells his own sordid tale about his recruitment by these services and subsequent distortion of news at the behest of them. While this raises interesting questions about the integrity of the news available in the US, one need only reflect on what has happened in the US over the last 20 or so years to see that, we too, have been sliding evermore into a more nationalistic, jingoistic country where freedoms are beginning to evaporate under color of law and judicial fiat. It’s easy to demonize Russia but most of the world thinks we’re the problem.

      As far as gay rights, we may be promoting that as well. It’s interesting that as the US props up the Poroshenko regime in Ukraine, Mr. Poroshenko goes on the record supporting a gay pride parade in Kiev. Who knows — perhaps this is all a coincidence.

  3. M. Stankovich :

    All persons and institutions will be judged by the litmus test of homosexuality.

    Personally, I cannot image where you were or what you were doing during Holy Week, but I hear distinctly the readings from the Gospel of Matthew 23 as the harshest and most terrifying indictment of judgment and “litmus” testing spoken in the New Testament, culminating in the words of the Lord:

    Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. (Matt 23:27-28)

    The assault of the Church began with abortion rights and the granting of state sanctioned murder as a form of “women’s health rights.” You have lost all sense of perspective. Fear indifference, “tolerance,” and secularism in the Church – as Fr. Alexander Schmemann wrote in The Problems of Orthodoxy in America – among the clergy as well as the faithful. Fear that the Orthodox in America do not care.

    • Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

      Abortion represented a radical shift of values in the culture, but there was no legal requirement forcing compliance with abortion ideology. Homosexuality is different given it is categorized as a human right.

      I’m not really following your point about Holy Week or why you quote Fr. Schmemann since secularism in the Church has been challenged by me and others (see: Fr. Robert Arida: Why Don’t You Become Episcopalian?). The real problem is the inability of the OCA Bishops to deal with priests like Fr. Arida. That’s not secularism. That’s confusion or a lack of courage.

  4. Fr. Peter Andronache :

    My first thoughts went to Daniel 3.

    King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

  5. “O Yahweh, … in wrath remember mercy.” (Habakkuk 3:2)

    Perhaps now Christians will wake up to the fact that we’ve been had and cease promoting the document responsible for this decision: The biblically seditious Constitution.

    Consider the following sampling of reasons the Constitution stands as the genesis for today’s horrific decision:

    1) Unlike their 17th-century Christian Colonial predecessors, the 18th-century founders failed to expressly establish government and society upon Yahweh’s unchanging morality as reflected in His commandments, statutes, and judgments, including those regarding the perversion of homosexuality.

    2) Article 3’s usurpation of the biblical magistrate appellate system for the Constitution’s unbiblical litigant appellate system without which this issue would have never been before the Supreme Court to decide, in the first place.

    3) Article 6’s Christian test ban by which biblical qualifications were all but eliminated and without which it was inevitable that America would end up with today’s Supreme Court Justices who are responsible for today’s decision.

    For more, see online Chapter 3 “The Preamble: WE THE PEOPLE vs. YAHWEH” of “Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective” at http://www.bibleversusconstitution.org/BlvcOnline/biblelaw-constitutionalism-pt3.html.

    Then Chapter 5 “Article 3: Judicial Usurpation.”

    Then Chapter 9 “Article 6: The Supreme Law of the Land.”

    Find out how much you REALLY know about the Constitution. Take our 10-question Constitution Survey in the right-hand sidebar and receive a free copy of a book that EXAMINES the Constitution by the Bible.

    • James Bradshaw :

      Very interesting, Mr Weiland. So how do you suppose America goes about dispensing with the Constitution and criminalizing the practice of non-Christian faiths (among other things)? Would you care to tell the rest of us whether your theology permits the practice of Catholicism and Orthodoxy?

      One point on your site states this:
      “There can be no tolerance in a law-system for another religion”

      So AOI readers and contributors, tell me which is worse: having a for-profit business be required to serve all customers, or being unable to practice your faith – even in your own home – without being threatened with imprisonment (or worse) because the government is ruled by despotic Calvinists who find your faith “idolatrous”?

      Tell me again that gay activists are the greatest threat to religious freedom …

      • No one’s talking about forced conversion (an impossibility to being with). It’s one thing to allow individual private choice, it’s something altogether different for government, in violation of the First Commandment, to enable polytheism to thrive in our nation.

        For more, see online Chapter 11 “Amendment 1: Government-Sanctioned Polytheism” of “Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective” at http://www.bibleversusconstitution.org/BlvcOnline/biblelaw-constitutionalism-pt11.html.

      • Christopher :

        “… tell me which is worse…”

        They are not even on the same planet Mr. Bradshaw. Mr. Weilands “despotic Calvinism” (a mostly accurate description by the way) has not just been made the law of the land. His is a politic, social, and religious view that absolutely no influence.

        On the other hand, Orthodox (and RC and traditional protestant and Jewish and Islamic and…) anthropology has just been made illegal by SCOTUS. This is a simple and technical legal fact – traditional Christianity is now illegal in these United States. Our persecution will mostly be through employment/business discrimination at first (what you in Orwellian speak call “having a for-profit business be required to serve all customers”), The forced closure of religious schools and other “periphery” Church institutions through “discrimination law” will follow shortly there after. Jail will come later…

        • James Bradshaw :

          Christopher, the current law (which I fully support) allows exemptions for religious institutions.

          See here:

          “The U.S. Supreme Court’s 9-0 decision in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC clarified the strong protections for religious organizations … Hosanna-Tabor made clear that the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment bar a school teacher’s wrongful termination action against a Christian school based upon an alleged violation of employment discrimination laws.”

          This was a unanimous decision by our current Supreme Court.

          • Christopher :

            As Justice Alito explains in his dissent, the recognition of “strong protections” can not withstand the courts legal reasoning of “Obergefell” (well, as Justice Scalia notes so well it is not actually *legal* reasoning at all – it is “fortune cookie mysticism” – it is naked willful social policy making). The RC church has already experienced this in Massachusetts and elsewhere where these alleged “strong protections” went out the window when they would not place children with homosexualist couples in their adoption programs. It is only a matter of time (and that time is already here for many Christians – the evangelical photographer in my state for example)…

          • Peter A. Papoutsis :

            The exemptions will disappear in a very short time. The fundamental ruling that Gay Marriage is a civil right, thus a human right, will destroy those exemptions in short order. Unfortunately, you are playing along like a useful idiot to the militant LGBT juggernaut. I wish I could sugar coat that, but that’s the truth. If you truly believe this is where this stops then you are dead wrong. By the time you realize that it will be too late for all of us.

            I also suggest you read and re-read Kirk again because you are greatly missing his point. Further, you are confusing the truth and bedrock of God’s revelation to humanity with the brokenness of the men and women trying to live out the best they can the tenants of that revelation. Its a common mistake made by those that consider religion to be a human construct instead of a divine revelation from Almighty God.

            I truly pity you and those like you. You have thrown away your hope and replaced it with nothing. How sad, how utterly sad.

            Peter A. Papoutsis

            • Christopher :

              Peter (and Fr. Hans):

              It is one thing to read such nonsensical “here is the line” by non believers (they are in the business of moving the line continuously), but what about the naive hope by many of the faithful that the line is suddenly still? I get the distinct impression from the response by the clergy/bishops of the NA Orthodox Church that they they knew this is coming (all of us did who did not have his head up his #@!) and that the current rather muted response is calculated to calm initial emotions. I can appreciate that.

              However, I may be giving them too much credit (perhaps Fr. Hans can give us an “insiders” perspective). I am wondering out loud if the NA Church needs a “night of broken glass” to realize the end game (jail)??

              • Peter A. Papoutsis :

                As far as I can tell there is no line. That “Line” stuff is just a deceptive ploy. Sun Tzu tells us: “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” That’s what happened and that’s what this is. War. The LGBT community knew this, but the Church did not. I knew this was war, but I’m a nobody and as much as I told people on blogs or in real life about viewing this struggle as a battle, as a war, no one cared and no one listened.

                Again from Sun Tzu: “Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.” This is exactly what the LGBT militants did. This was a war an out and out revolution that was subversive to its core and yet no one, and I MEAN NO ONE, wanted to kick the enemies teeth in while that’s exactly what they did to us.

                We were gentle as doves, but forgot to be as cunning as vipers. We should be upset at ourselves. We allowed this to happen. The LGBT Militants did what all militants do. Did we counter them? No! Can we counter them now? No, fights done we lost they won. Can we survive and rebuild? Yes and yes.

                The late Cardinal George here in Chicago had it right once civilization has fallen, which it will under this delusion, we will be there to pick up the pieces, barring of course the return of Our Lord. Your “Night of Broken Glass” will come, but most Orthodox and Catholic Hierarchies will do nothing.

                It would be best to allow the pruning to begin and to salvage and hold on to the remnant that will arise. Cultural and nominal Christians, both clergy and laity, were never believers to begin with so they will quickly fall and become part of the Harlot church or greater secular society. I stand with the Prophet Jesus (Joshua) Son of Navi in saying with the remnant of my Christian brothers and sisters that as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.

                I am not sad or depressed in the least, but in fact the opposite. We will finally be with true believers when all the chaff falls away. This means that our light will be much brighter than before to lead the lost to Christ. This is not a time for “Woe is me,” but “Ho-ray for Jesus Christ!”

                I’m more excited than sad. In fact, I am not sad at all. Once the non-believers leave just imagine how much better our witness will be. Persecution will come, whether soft or hard, but our commitment to Christ will continue. That Christopher is a cause of celebration.

                Remember that line from the Shawshank Redemption? “Get busy living or get busy dying.” I’m living no matter what the Supreme Court says. God is still in charge and Christ still conquered death and sin. Period.

                Now let’s get to work.

                Peter A. Papoutsis

                • James Bradshaw :

                  Mr Papoutsis writes: “I knew this was war”

                  First of all, let me say that I have no delusions about the capacity for vengefulness and spite from the far Left. I’ve been on the receiving end of it myself (including today when merely asking a pointed question about transgender issues got me labeled as an ignorant bigot).

                  At the same time, I must ask: given the treatment of the gay community over the last century, what do you suppose is a reasonable expectation of their response? They’ve seen their military (and private sector) careers destroyed. They’ve been labeled as deviants and predators as a population. They’ve been told by those with power and influence that they are “worthy of death” while holy books are cited specifying the brutal means to how that should transpire. Their most important relationships have been denigrated and awarded no legal recognition whatsoever (at least until now).

                  How would you respond? You’re right, this is a war, but I’m not convinced that your side didn’t initiate it to begin with.

                  I don’t know, Peter. At this point, those of us calling for common sense compromise are just going to be ignored, I think. Both sides’ extremists deserve each other as far as I’m concerned.

                  • Peter A. Papoutsis :

                    What is my side? You are making assumption when you haven’t clarified what “My Side” is and what “Those People” are that caused the problems with Gay people? As Voltaire says: “if you wish to converse with me, define your terms.” So who are these people that hurt and violated Gays? You assume it was “My Side?” “Really?”

                    Last I checked my parents came to this country as immigrants and didn’t have two pennies to rub together, as most Greeks, Serbs, Russians, Albanians, Ukranians, Bulgarians, etc., back in the day. The same can be said about many ethnic immigrant groups. It can also be says of whole churches like the Orthodox and Catholic Churches that held no sway or power in this country for a very, VERY long time. In fact, the Orthodox Church has no power because nobody knows about us. Seriously NOBODY knows about us so what did we as Orthodox ever do to Gays? Did I miss something growing up as an Orthodox Christians in this country?

                    So who is “My Side?” Before I will engage you in a debate I suggest you clearly define who these people are because I do not know them.

                    Second, please articulate the so-called “Gay atrocities” that you are making reference to. Because the Gays I know and see are very well off, very well employed and some that I know have been well employed for several long years and enjoy a good life.

                    Further, IF you are making reference to employment discrimination on the basis of Sexual Preference yes that did and does occur, and guess what it will continue to do so. I agree and many, MANY Christians have agreed that discrimination is wrong, BUT are we talking about employment discrimination? NO, so please don’t change the subject.

                    The issue at hand is not just the redefinition of marriage but the acceptance of a lifestyle that according to God is sinful and an abomination. a bedrock belief of the Christian faith for Orthodox and Catholics. Protestants I do not know, especially with the Episcopalians now voting to allow for Gay marriage as well as other Protestant groups.

                    So before we get in to this please define what you mean by “My Side?” and how past wrongs of employment discrimination somehow justify accepting the myth called Same-Sex Marriage and the hatred shown and will be shown towards religious people? Let me know and we can talk then.

                    Further, you cannot call me and others that hold to an orthodox Christian faith extremists. If I have misunderstood you on this then I apologize. However, one is NOT an extremist by ad hearing to biblical truth and the apostolic tradition given to us by Christ and handed down to us via the Apostles. Again, if I have misunderstood you then please clarify. I will listen.

                    This IS the conversation we should be having. I bid you peace.

                    Peter A. Papoutsis

                    • James Bradshaw :

                      Peter, there is still widespread opposition to legal protections for gay men and women in terms of employment in the private sector. There is still anger over the lifting of DADT and the ability of the military to oust folks from their careers, regardless of how well someone has served. By all of this, I’m inferring that many believe there is some moral imperative in actually keeping gays from the basic dignity of being able to provide for oneself. Maybe you don’t, but many do.

                      All of this is what concerns me, far more than the issues of marriage.

                      Who are “these people”? Well, by and large, it’s the Christian fundamentalist religious community in America, including both Protestants and Catholics. It’s a broad brush, but I don’t know how else to describe them. You don’t see a lot of Buddhist or atheist groups organized to fight gay rights.

                      Are all of these folks “extremists”? No, I wouldn’t say that. I’d say an extremist is a man like the one in Orange County who proposed the “Sodomite Suppression Act” which basically entails allowing private citizens to execute homosexuals with a bullet to the head (or anything else convenient). That’s about as extreme as it gets (although I think he does have a small number of supporters, frighteningly enough).

                      For the record, I don’t believe someone who upholds the biblical notion of marriage is even “hateful”. I understand that many believe marriage can only be the lifelong union of a man and a woman, ideally where both share a faith in Christ. Everyone has a set of values they try to uphold, even if not religious. The problem is to what degree those values can or must be imposed upon those who don’t share them. On this, there’s hypocrisy on both sides: the Left sometimes wants to punish those who don’t believe in their version of “tolerance”. Those of us who are more of the classical liberal/libertarian strain are just interested in retaining the greatest amount of freedom possible for people on both sides of these social issues and protected from unnecessary punitive actions.

                    • Fr. Hans Jacobse :

                      James, please. Go that route and some could just as easily point to the gay couple that adopted a Russian child for sexual abuse (the cause of Russia stopping adoptions to the USA, BTW). See:

                      http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/gay-conn-couple-accused-rape-face-trial-article-1.1310010
                      http://rt.com/news/pedophile-syndicate-russian-boy-481/
                      http://news.sky.com/story/1111016/adopted-boy-sexually-abused-by-gay-fathers

                      We should also consider the Catholic pedophile priests. That was in fact a homosexual problem given the majority of the abused were post-pubescent boys.

                      Or take the case of the “Perversion Files” of the Boy Scouts of America which was also a homosexual problem.

                      This notion that gays needs special protection because of their homosexuality is nonsense. What is needed is consistent enforcement of the laws that already exist. This, however, is water under the bridge.

                      What remains to be seen is whether the problems that consistently surround homosexuality such as abuse of teen boys or public health issues will increase now that homosexuality has been morally ratified.

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis :

                      Hi James,

                      Thank you for defining your terms, but you and I are speaking different languages. Where you see discrimination I do not. Although I was no fan of DADT I supposed it because it still somewhat supposed the old ban of Gays not serving in the military. I, like Colin Powell, understand how unit cohesion, on all levels in the military can easily be destroyed and undermind if known Homosexuals are known and out in a given en military setting. I didn’t view this as discrimination. The Military Code of Justice also penalizes heterosexual activity the same way in breaking down unit cohesion. The infamous “love boat” scandal comes immediately to mind. So that’s a non starter for me and a very distorted view of the military viewed through civilian eyes.

                      Further, employment discrimination, which I have 18 years of litigation experience in, very rarely occurs because of direct discrimination because of private lawsuits and EEOC actions that occur. People, gay or straight, are fired in this country at a very high rate because of at will employment, being fired for no cause, more than direct discrimination because you are gay. From experience I can tell you that Gays are very well employed, in professional jobs or jobs that support professional jobs. Their incomes are generally between 75K to 150k with no child care or child educational expences, and no other expenses generally associated with married heterosexual couples. So financially and professionaly Gay American do very well for themselves.

                      Further, having a world view that is supportive of heterosexual marriage and keeping certain sexual behavior out of the public square is not only Christian, but Roman, Greek, etc. So pinning this on Christians exclusively IMHO is inaccurate.

                      Further you use the IMHO the pejorative term Fundamentalist for all Protestant and Catholic Christians. I see you dropped the Orthodox from this list because you recognize we don’t have power in this country.

                      However even if we did we would not disagree with the policies against extending the marriage definition to Homosexuals as it continues to make no sense under Natura law and Christian theology and anthropology.

                      Basically where you see discrimination I see adherence to natural law and anthology.

                      Finally, this so called right was created out of thin air. If you and I cannot agree on this point then we have nothing more to discuss. If you do agree with me that this right was created out of thin air by the State the you must agree that this right directly attacks the very foundations of our constitutional republic. If we allow Government to make and give our rights then that is a very different government than what the founding fathers established for us. Our government recognizes our natural born with rights. Big difference. This is the threat to our Constitution.

                      As for our faith, well that goes further and endangersv their souls both gays and their supporters.

                      On a side note you,Ike most liberals immediately give me an extreme example with the Orange County guy, whoever that is. Usually those are red hearings that derail conversations and debates. They are further used in a very dishonest way of associating all Christian beliveres with wackos. It is almlso is a way, in an underhanded way of reinforcing your previously stated position that all Christians are fundamentalist thus too extreme for our society. Sorry not buying it and I rebuke such stafements.

                      In the end you have failed to support you position as to the legitimacy of SSM and the hatred of the LGBT Community towards Christians. Basically “why do so called two wrongs make a Constitutionap right?”

                      Answer it does not. That’s the problem

                      Peter

                    • James Bradshaw :

                      Peter, I made a point of insisting that the Orange County man was an extremist, not someone serving as a good example of the typical Christian. I made that abundantly clear, I think. Let me say it again: he’s an extremist, not indicative of the general Christian population.

                      Nevertheless, Fr Hans trots out a story about two men adopting a kid only so they could abuse him, and for what? Why bother mentioning this? Clearly, we’re supposed to draw the conclusion that “gay men = pedophile rapists”. Why else bring it up? It’s a slanderous and inaccurate comment, yet you said nothing about it because the Truth that you pretend to care about only apparently matters when it’s convenient to you or your tribe.

                      I’m really tired of beating my head against a brick wall, so this is my last attempt: all I’m suggesting is that you try to see things from the perspective of someone other than yourself or through the prism of your own religious worldview. I know it’s hard, but it involves just a little imagination. Given the highly organized and publicized efforts against legal protections for gays in employment and the military, what do you suspect is a reasonable reaction on their part?

                    • Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

                      I “trot out” the story to show the absurdity of citing the man from Orange County as authoritative of anything. Discrimination against homosexuals has been largely selective just as the abuse of minors by homosexuals has been.

                      (Most homosexuals don’t abuse teenage boys even though a greater percentage of child abuse of young boys relative to their population is committed by homosexuals.)

                      False narratives tend towards self-clarification although usually it occurs through pain and suffering. My view is that the this social experiment where moral parity is granted to homosexual behavior through the cultural mechanism of gay marriage will fail. Time will tell.

                  • Toby Grubbs :

                    James…the storied persecution of gays in the United States, while isolated instances can be identified, is mostly tall tales. The American leftists and gay activists want it to be true…so they make it true. An example of this is the Matthew Shepard murder (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/26/the-truth-behind-americas-most-famous-gay-hate-murder-matthew-shepard). Matthew Shepard is still “the” folk hero to the gay rights movement. There is only one problem; it was never a hate crime against a homosexual. It was a drug-fueled murder, committed by fellow homosexual druggies. If you cannot get the slumbering American populace to persecute you, you have to invent it. The greatest example of this is “gay pride” parades. These parades are NC-17 – X rated hedonistic sex orgy marches, held to draw the ire of the American population. Activists use the guaranteed public statements of condemnation and general feelings of disgust as self-inflicted “persecution”. There is no proof of a systematic persecution of homosexuals in the workplace, or at educational institutions. The fact is that gay men and women are generally more educated and tend to make more money than their heterosexual counterparts do (http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/03/01/gay-couples-more-educated-higher-income-than-heterosexual-couples). So, where is this persecution that homosexuals claim puts them in the same category as the African-American civil rights movement? Is it because nature will not allow them to reproduce? Maybe it is the fact that AIDS is primarily a homosexual and intravenous drug abuser disease. The truth is that for the entire history of humankind there has never been gay marriage (until now), and most civilized societies have never considered homosexual behavior “normal”. They are also persecuted by the fact that the world’s major religions condemn homosexual activity. Homosexuals want their passion (sin) normalized in society, and they are very dedicated utilitarian warriors. They won the war that the majority of slumbering Americans did not even know was being waged against them.

                  • Treatment of the gay community — this is a broad category that can’t be painted with a single brush. Mr. Bradshaw’s comments here suggest that the gay community is comprised of people “who want what all of us want” — a career, someone to love and be loved by, a family, respect, etc, etc, etc.

                    But the gay rights movement, at least in its academic incarnation, has always hitched its wagon to sexual revolution. In this regard, “acting up” or “acting out” has been seen as a political act: engaging in acts that transgress, defile, or overturn bourgeois propriety and religious mores has been promoted for at least a century (since Weimar) as a means for conducting a kind of culture warfare. If one reads Shilts’, “And the Band Played On,” one can see this political philosophy in action on the part of members of the gay community who saw what they were during as essentially cultural warfare. San Francisco didn’t close the bath houses when the AIDS crisis first hit because doing so was roundly rejected as subversion of the revolutionary prerogative of the gay community.

                    What we see, then — at least to one way of thinking — is not so much the logical conclusion of the gay rights movement or the endgame of classical liberalism but the latest phase of the sexual revolution. Some may argue that abortion began the process. It seems more accurate to understand abortion itself as the result of the sexual revolution and eugenics — Sanger was an unrepentant eugenicist — the two going hand in hand.

                    In this regard, homosexual rights have nothing to do with anything that falls out of American case law or the “logic” of the Constitution anymore than opening the borders and allowing millions of illegals to enter the country. Instead, what is happening is the harnessing of various forces — whether under color of law or by Executive fiat — for the destruction of the country.

  6. M. Stankovich :

    In my mind, this “lick-your-wounds” discussion serves as a proof of concept, that began when the great moral issues facing the Orthodox Church were reduced to “the impact of ideology and narrative on culture,” and capable, skilled, and erudite men of debate – and my sincere compliments to the proxy, Mr. Bradshaw – who unhesitatingly agree with every “ethical” stance of the Orthodox, yet still manage to expertly hijack the argument with their superior knowledge of American jurisprudence and case law. In the end, they rightfully celebrate a victory of an earned “equality” in a context we never intended. “But, but, but…” But what? And the cold irony to this whole mess, of course, is that the two imbeciles (quoting Florovsky & Schmemann under their breath) warning this was going to happen… (drumroll please) were me and Robert Arida. And if you imagine I stopped by to – what is that you say, Fr. Hans, “finger-wave and scold?” – shame on you. “This is the price of blood.” (Matt. 27:6)

    • Peter A. Papoutsis :

      Hi Michael,

      I hope you are enjoying your summer. I know it’s been hard on you lately. My thoughts and prayers are always with you. I just wanted to say that as you can see from my above post here and else ware I do not have a doom and gloom view of this at all, but one of a great opportunity for the Church to start functioning as the Church. There are many in the Church, and Fr. Arida does seem to be one of them, that does want to reconsider the issue of not only Same Sex marriage but the “Sin” of Homosexuality. Now was Fr. Arida unclear in his Essay on this topic? Yes. Does he need to clarify? Yes, I believe you also want him to clarify.

      Now the Orthodox Church here in America has already issued its statements and have made it very clear that we will not be changing our morality. We will not be “Taking a vote” like the Episcopalians just did to undo God’s morality. For that I am grateful. However there will be a culling of our Church here in the West and abroad over this issue. This, IMHO, is a good thing. I join with you that we should have tackled this and many other issues long ago and made our voice heard in this country and others, but we did not. That’s our failing.

      However now we have a great opportunity after the nominal and cultural Christians leave, as they were never really with us, to shine with full force the light of Christ from our Churches, our homes and our individual lives. A clear line in the sand has been drawn and I believe people will see it. They may not like it or us because of the stance that we take, but Jesus and His Gospel are the medicine that Humanity needs for its salvation, We cannot shy away from it.

      As long as the Bishops hold the line, and I hope they will, we will be just fine. Now what society will do to us and our business I have no clue. But like I said before the battle was won at the resurrection so all this “Other” stuff, as far as living out our Christian lives and faith, is truly meaningless. Adjustment will have to be made and Churches may schism over this issue of SSM, but in the end Christ’s Church will survive and proclaim louder than ever the Gospel of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is a good thing.

      Finally, the question for our LGBTQ brothers and Sisters will be this: “Will they stop practicing their lifestyle and commit themselves to a life of chastity and righteousness, which really we all should do, or will they say no my lifestyle is NOT a sin and thus no chastity and righteousness in this lifestyle is required?”

      Finally on a small but important note the so-called “Love Wins” meme for us Christians occurred at the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. (Romans Ch.1:1-4). This is a great opportunity for us as the Church. may the hand wringing stop and the work begin. Now that the so-called fight of the LGBTQ community is over and they start to realize the errors of their ways the Church need to be there with open arms to welcome them in, get them Baptized and/or Christmated and placed on a path of aestheticism that will lead them to Theosis. Basically becoming New Creations in Christ and become partakers of the Divine Nature. This also applies not just to LGBTQ people but to all of us that choose to take the path less traveled.

      Take care my friend and may you have a great and blessed day.

      Peter A. Papoutsis

  7. TED PERANTINIDES :

    PETER,you are so, so correct.the g.o.church will slowly become a “CLUB”like the elks,moose,etc,etc.we need many more like you.GOD bless you.

Care to Comment?

*

Top