Orthodox Church Categorically Condemns All Homosexual Behavior

Orthodox Church Categorically Condemns Homosexual Behaviorby Editors –
The following information originally appeared in The Word, January 1984, pp. 6-11. The Word is the official news magazine of the Antiochian Archdiocese. Published monthly (with the exception of July and August) the magazine circulates to the households of all members of the Antiochian Archdiocese and other subscribers including libraries and seminaries.

Orthodox Statement on Homosexuality
The position of the Orthodox Church toward homosexuality has been expressed by synodical canons and Patristic pronouncements beginning with the very first centuries of Orthodox ecclesiastical life.

Thus, the Orthodox Church condemns unreservedly all expressions of personal sexual experience which prove contrary to the definite and unalterable function ascribed to sex by God’s ordinance and expressed in man’s experience as a law of nature. [Read more…]

Conservatives Must Defend Marriage for Principled and Practical Reasons

Defend Marriage Religion by Carson Holloway –
To hear some commentators talk, America’s struggle over the meaning of marriage is already over, and conservatives have lost. Like latter-day Edgar Allan Poes, they are busily preparing a premature burial for marriage as a male-female union. Conservatives should imitate Poe’s protagonist and refuse to cooperate with this ghoulish enterprise, showing their opponents that they and their cause are very much alive.

Recent suggestions of surrender are noteworthy because they go beyond the now-familiar claims from the left about the “inevitability” of nationally approved same-sex marriage, claims that were always intended as a substitute for actual argument about the proper understanding of marriage. Now, even some voices on the right are speaking of American conservatism’s coming defeat and surrender on the question of marriage.

Calls for capitulation are premature, however, for reasons of both principle and politics. [Read more…]

The Left Embraces Blacklisting and Christian Persecution

Left Embraces Blacklisting and Christian Persecution by Sally Zelikovsky –
David and Jason Benham had their HGTV show canceled when it was discovered that they are Christians (oh, the horror) and are pro-life and pro-traditional marriage (high crimes and misdemeanors, doncha know). It won’t be long before people who hold these views will be hauled off by PC mobs and stoned to death.

The web is a cyber galaxy of information and connectivity that allows for full expression of the individual in the cyber marketplace of ideas. There is no question that the World Wide Web has enhanced so many aspects of our lives. But the very same platform that gave rise to this information highway — this liberating agent — can also be used by both private and public concerns as a weapon against the individual.

We all know what happens to law-abiding citizens when they express their private opinions outside of work: left wing zealots dig up whatever “dirt” they can find on them — usually related to race, sexual orientation, religion — publish these findings on the internet, and demand any business arrangements with the alleged “extremists” be canceled forthwith. [Read more…]

Catholic Bishop: Supreme Court ‘Giving Legal Protection to an Intrinsic Evil’

Bishop Thomas John Paprockiby Terence P. Jeffrey –
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, leader of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, Ill., says the U.S. Supreme Court is giving “legal protection to intrinsic evil” in its decisions late last month that advanced the cause of legalized same-sex “marriage” in the United States.

“As in the case of Roe v. Wade striking down abortion laws forty years ago, the United States Supreme Court has again usurped its legitimate prerogative through a raw exercise of judicial power by giving legal protection to an intrinsic evil, this time by striking down the Defense of Marriage Act in the case of U.S. v. Windsor and in refusing to take up the defense of Proposition 8 in California in the case of Hollingsworth v. Perry.

“These hollow decisions are absolutely devoid of moral authority,” said the bishop. “It is becoming increasingly and abundantly clear that what secular law now calls “marriage” has no semblance to the sacred institution of Holy Matrimony. [Read more…]

OCA Bishops: Synodal Affirmation of the Mystery of Marriage

Orthodox Church in Americaby OCA Holy Synod –
At the Tenth All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America, held in Miami, Florida in July 1992, the Holy Synod of Bishops issued a document titled, “Synodal Affirmations on Marriage, Family, Sexuality, and the Sanctity of Life.” The Affirmations were issued after a lengthy process of study and discernment with the intention of addressing issues that, even in our time, continue to be a source of debate and division within American society.

The first section of the Affirmations, titled, “The Mystery of Marriage,” reads as follows.

“God creates human beings in His own image and likeness, male and female. He declares human life, with all that He makes, to be ‘very good’ (Genesis 1:27-31).

“God wills that men and women marry, becoming husbands and wives. He commands them to increase and multiply in the procreation of children, being joined into ‘one flesh’ by His divine grace and love. He wills that human beings live within families (Genesis 1:27; 2:21-24; Orthodox Marriage Service). [Read more…]

Children Need Our Marriage Tradition

Children Need Traditional Marriageby John M. Smoot –
In the United States, we were fortunate to inherit a marriage tradition of monogamy with a strong stigma against divorce. Did it work for everyone? No. Did it work for our society as a whole? Yes. Was it beneficial for most children? Yes.

Then the sexual revolution happened. As Yale Professor George Chauncey writes in his article “Gay at Yale: How Things Changed”:

All around them, lesbians, bisexuals, and gay men saw their heterosexual friends decisively rejecting the moral codes of their parents’ generation, which had limited sex to marriage, and forging a new moral code that linked sex to love, pleasure, freedom, self-expression, and common consent. Heterosexuals, in other words, were becoming more like homosexuals, in ways that ultimately would make it harder for them to believe gay people were outsiders from a dangerous, immoral underworld. [Read more…]

Catholic Bishops on US Supreme Court Decision: ‘Tragic Day for Marriage and Our Nation’

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops logoby editors –
The U.S. Supreme Court decisions June 26 striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and refusing to rule on the merits of a challenge to California’s Proposition 8 mark a “tragic day for marriage and our nation,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.

The statement follows.

“Today is a tragic day for marriage and our nation. The Supreme Court has dealt a profound injustice to the American people by striking down in part the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The Court got it wrong. The federal government ought to respect the truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, even where states fail to do so. The preservation of liberty and justice requires that all laws, federal and state, respect the truth, including the truth about marriage. [Read more…]

Homosexual Tyranny: The Gay Takeover of America

Homosexual Tyranny Gay Takeover of Americaby Crystal Wright –
What is happening to our country? Gays, who represent less than 3% of our population, are trying to dominate our culture and society. Love whom you want. Love the one you’re with. People don’t really care. This is the message most people want to say but are afraid to because the LBGT (lesbian, bi-sexual, gay and transgender) community will verbally flog anyone who doesn’t agree with them. Between gay marriage, gay adoptions, forcing the Boy Scouts to admit gay scouts and scout masters, and lauding a rich NBA player for announcing he’s gay, the message is clear from gay America to the 97% of the rest of us. You will accept our lifestyle as mainstream. My response: “No I won’t.”

Notice when anyone rejects this gay agenda based on religious beliefs or personal views, they are called bigots or mocked. Appearing on Meet the Press May 5, 2013, Republican Newt Gingrich noted the Catholic Church is prohibited from performing adoption services in states like Massachusetts and the District of Columbia because the Church will only allow a married couple (by definition a man and woman) to adopt a baby. This is a perversion of societal norms all in the name of liberals forcing their political correctness down America’s throat whether her people have an opinion about it or not. [Read more…]

The Price of Gay Marriage: The Galvanic Corrosion of Language

Defend Marriage Religionby Geoffrey P. Hunt –
When was that watershed moment where advocacy of gay marriage crossed into the mainstream from the radical chic of the intellectual elite ? Gay marriage, quite apart from homosexuality per se, has only in recent years been embraced by more than just a few libertarian sophisticates. Ironically it wasn’t too long ago when the progressive darlings and the beautiful people believed, to the contrary, that marriage of any kind was oppressive, a form of institutional bondage.

One of the more incomprehensible aspects of the gay marriage movement has been the spectacle of well-educated academics, plaintiff’s lawyers, politicians, judges and Protestant clergymen designing tortured arguments for deconstructing natural law, human biology, the history of civilization, language and logic. On the other hand, creating a new class of civil rights amidst claims of discrimination is easy when your world view equates justice with moral equivalence, accompanied by enabling the slow corruption of language. [Read more…]

Homosexuality, Marriage, Family, and the Truth: What Would Love Really Do?

What Would Love Really Do - Christ God by Jennifer Hartline –
Just how the heck am I supposed to love someone who demands something I cannot give? How do you love the person who requires you to celebrate their sin or be punished? How do you love the neighbor you must engage in the battle for our culture? How do you love the person whose lifestyle you must actively oppose for the sake of protecting what’s right? What does love have to do with all of this? Everything. Just not what you might think.

There’s such a thing as objective truth and it comes from a perfect and unchanging God. Love tells the objective truth. It does so as patiently and gently as possible, but it does so without flinching. Love does not apologize for the truth. Love will not amend the truth in order to spare someone’s feelings. … [Read more…]

Defending Marriage and Family is Defending the Common Good

Defend Marriage Orthodox wedding by Deacon Keith Fournier –
True marriage is the preeminent and the most fundamental of all human social institutions. It is a relationship defined by nature itself and protected by the natural law that binds all men and women. It finds its foundation in the order of creation. Civil institutions do not create marriage nor can they create a “right” to marry for those who are incapable of marriage. …

It seems that almost weekly there is another assault on true marriage. The unrelenting efforts of an activist wing of the homosexual community have nearly succeeded in reframing the issues of the debate. They aim to enforce a Cultural Revolution. They have been joined by eager collaborators in the Judiciary and elected officials who believe they are some kind of new “liberators”. [Read more…]

Same-Sex Marriage: How Did We Get Here? And Where Are We Going?

Fr. Lev Semenov

Fr. Lev Semenov

by Archpriest Lev Semenov –
President Barack Obama recently affirmed his personal support for the legalization of same-sex marriage. For a perspective from Russia on this momentous development, we offer the following commentary by Archpriest Lev Semenov, Dean of the Faculty of Further Education at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University and cleric of the Church of St. Nicholas in Kuznetskaya Sloboda, both in Moscow.

The political heavyweight of the Western world has taken a step towards the abyss. If we are to believe the news report broadcast on the radio, and later confirmed in the press, President Barack Obama has made his first public statement in support of the legalization of same-sex marriages.

One can only sympathize with the citizens of this country who hold the Christian faith, just imagining how they must have felt when they heard this statement from their head of state. [Read more…]

How to Win the Marriage Debate

Defend Marriage Orthodox wedding by Selwyn Duke –
The big news on the culture-war front is a federal court’s striking down of Proposition 8, California’s constitutional amendment protecting marriage.  In a two-to-one ruling, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit wrote, “The people may not employ the initiative power to single out a disfavored group for unequal treatment and strip them, without a legitimate justification, of a right as important as the right to marry.”

Now, I’m not sure why the judges mention a “disfavored group,” as if singling out a “favored” one for unequal treatment would be okay.  As far as I know, the 14th Amendment, on which the court based its ruling, doesn’t offer equal protection to only those the current fashions deem “disfavored.”  Thus, I think this is an example of emotionalism influencing a ruling and its language, sort of as if a judge sentenced a defendant and, adding an adjective, announced him as “stupid” Mr. Smith.  Calling a group “disfavored” is similarly a subjective judgment.  This is not the only thing the judges were subjective about, however. [Read more…]

Bishop Matthias Reaffirms Orthodox Teaching on Homosexuality

Bishop Matthias

Bishop Matthias

Beloved Clergy and Faithful of the Diocese of the Midwest,
Christ is in our midst!

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

In light of the ongoing discussions and debates about “same sex marriage”, I felt the need to address our faithful concerning this issue. Although it would appear to me that the Church doctrine and Scripture has been clear about this issue, there are those who “twist” the Scriptures and the Canons of the Church to fit their own needs. We have always believed that the interpretation of Scripture lies within the framework of “Holy Tradition” and the experience and interpretation of the Holy Fathers before us. Who are we to interpret the Scripture outside of this Sacred Tradition? Only those, who do not have the light of Christ, will interpret Scripture to their own ends.

In the above passage from Romans, St. Paul writes that because of the “lusts of their hearts,” they exchanged the truth of God for the lie. [Read more…]

Met. Jonah: On Marriage, Family, Sexuality, and Moral Living

Metropolitan Jonah

Metropolitan Jonah

Beloved Fathers, brothers and sisters in Christ,

If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:6-10)

In our own lifetimes we were blessed by an act of prophetic witness in July 1992, when the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America issued the magnificent “Affirmations on Marriage, Family, Sexuality, and the Sanctity of Life.” Two decades later we Orthodox who live in the diocese that includes our nation’s capital city need to be reminded of some of the moral verities contained in the Affirmations. It should be obvious to any attentive observer that those verities are under increasing assault by the intellectual, social, and cultural elites in this country—and even by many of our public officials, particularly in the federal government headquartered here in Washington, DC. More alarming is the erosion of those moral verities within some of our Orthodox congregations. [Read more…]