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…]

Northeast Priests Reaffirm Traditional Marriage Teaching of the Orthodox Church

Traditional Marriage Orthodox Church Reaffirms – OCA Priests in NY and NJ
To The Clergy and Faithful of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey

The political and ethical current of contemporary American society has once again been agitated by the recent legislative legalization of so-called “same sex marriages” in the State of New York. While the majority of Orthodox Christians are familiar with the Church’s consistent and constant teaching about same-sex attraction and the nature of marriage, this is an opportune time to repeat the Church’s teaching so that no ambiguity exists in the minds of the faithful.

Therefore, we, the Chancellor and Deans of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, wish to thank His Grace, Bishop Michael for his recent archpastoral letter and join him in reaffirming the teaching of the Orthodox Church in this regard. [Read more…]

In a New York Minute: Coming Persecution of Christians over True Marriage?

New York marriage - persecution by Deacon Keith Fournier –
The truth about marriage is not only a ‘religious’ construct, it is objectively true

The leaders of the homosexual equivalency movement are dedicated to building a society where the positive law of the Nation forces us all to call to be a marriage what can never be a marriage – or face the police power of the State. They scored what they believe was a decisive “victory” for their brave new world in New York last week. History will prove them wrong. However, with the tragic act of the legislature in New York, hostility toward Christians will continue to grow.

Sadly, even those who knew they were doing something which violated the Natural Law and threatens the common good – voting to call something a marriage which can never be a marriage – succumbed to the pressure of the mob last week. And the mob celebrated in the streets of New York on Sunday. The mob also placed on display some of the behaviors which will soon be protected by the positive or “civil” law of the State. To borrow from the refrain of the old Eagles song, “In a New York Minute, everything can change. In a New York Minute, things can get pretty strange.” [Read more…]

Bishop Michael: Affirming the Sanctity of Marriage

Bishop Michael OCA OrthodoxARCHPASTORAL LETTER RE-AFFIRMING THE SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE

June 24, 2011 Feast of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

Beloved Fathers and Mothers, Brothers and Sisters in the Lord:

Christ is in our midst! – He is and ever shall be!

On this very day, we have witnessed the successful efforts of public officials in the State of New York to legally re-define the meaning of marriage to include unions between two persons of the same gender. It is important for us, as Christians of the Orthodox Church, preserving the Tradition of teaching the truth handed down by the Lord Himself, “the faith which was once for all delivered to the Saints” (Jude 3), to re-affirm the meaning of marriage given to us in His Sacred Scripture.

In the document, Affirmations on Marriage, Family, Sexuality, and the Sanctify of Life, written and adopted by the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America in 1992, we read (in part) the following summary of the teaching of our Faith on this matter:

(1) 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…]

Gay Columnist: We Want to Indoctrinate Children

Books that teach children about homosexuality in a positive light
Books that teach children about homosexuality in a positive light
by Kathleen Gilbert
As the same-sex “marriage” battle heats up again in New York, one writer at a prominent gay news source is questioning why his lobby refuses to admit that the gay agenda involves “indoctrinating” schoolchildren to accept homosexuality.

Queerty contributor Daniel Villarreal criticized (WARNING site contains inappropriate images) the homosexual movement’s knee-jerk reaction against accusations of meddling in public schools. Villarreal pointed to a recent National Organization for Marriage (NOM) ad launched in New York that points out how homosexual indoctrination has been introduced in Massachusetts and California schools.

While gay activists usually deny that they want to indoctrinate children, said Villarreal, “let’s face it—that’s a lie.” “We want educators to teach future generations of children to accept queer sexuality. In fact, our very future depends on it,” he wrote.[Read more…]

Perversion of Democracy

Chuck Colson
Chuck Colson

Gay ‘Marriage’ and The Law – by Chuck Colson –
For two years now, I’ve warned that the drive for so-called “gay marriage” was the greatest threat to religious liberty we’ve ever faced. But I think I may have underestimated the threat, because now I fear the democratic process and the rule of law are endangered as well.

It was bad enough when the President and the Attorney General declared the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional and would not defend the law of the land in court. Never mind that the DOMA was signed by President Clinton in 1996 after the Senate passed it 85-15 and the House by a margin of 342 to 66!

But after the House of Representatives hired the law firm of King and Spalding to represent DOMA in court (since the executive branch wouldn’t), something not-so-funny happened. Gay-rights groups threatened King and Spalding and its commercial clients with boycotts. [Read more…]

Recalculating the Odds: Obama and DOMA

Obama against DOMA by Ken Connor –
During his campaign, Candidate Barack Obama repeatedly cited his opposition to same sex marriage. On the Human Rights Campaign’s 2008 Presidential Survey, he stated, “I do not support gay marriage. Marriage has religious and social connotations, and I consider marriage to be between a man and a woman.” Despite his formerly firm convictions, the President has now decided that traditional marriage is no longer worth defending in the civil sphere. Having determined that the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act is apparently unconstitutional, he has directed the Department of Justice to stop defending the law in federal court.

What gives? If the President was being truthful in his campaign statements about the importance of traditional marriage and his opposition to same-sex marriage, why is he now acting as though he believes the opposite? [Read more…]

Morality Is Not Hate

Orthodox Marriage Weddingby Fr. Mark Hodges –
This week, U.S. Attorney General Holder announced Obama’s decision not to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which was passed by a bipartisan overwhelming majority and signed by Bill Clinton in 1996. Significantly, the Attorney General described anti-sodomy beliefs as “animus,” which means “vehement emnity,” “hatred” or “ill will.”

This echoes Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s anti-Christian view, stated in a Supreme Court decision upholding the ejection a Christian legal group for not allowing open homosexuals in leadership positions, that “Condemnation of same-sex intimacy is, in fact, a condemnation of gay people,” and “Our (Supreme Court) decisions decline to distinguish between status and conduct.” (By this reasoning, if you don’t support gluttony, you “condemn” overweight people.)

The ACLU has hailed the Obama Administration’s decision as “the tipping point in the gay rights movement.” Indeed, it may be. It is certainly yet another turn toward moral insanity, as the Fathers and Mothers of the Church predicted, when the world calls evil “good” and good “evil.” [Read more…]

Marching on the Right Side of History

Christ, the Author of Life by Jennifer Roback Morse –
Defenders of marriage should draw hope and courage from the pro-life movement’s success.

As an advocate of conjugal marriage, I am often told that I am on the “wrong side of History.” The justice of “marriage equality” is overwhelming; the younger generation favors it; same sex marriage is inevitable. But this analysis is false. Indeed, there is ample reason to think that the March of History storyline will be proven incorrect. The reason? We were told all these same things about abortion.

“You need to accept Roe v. Wade. The unlimited abortion license is nothing but simple justice for women. Besides, the next generation will completely accept abortion. They will grow up knowing nothing else. They will not have all your hang-ups about sex and your squeamishness about scraping a bit of tissue out of a woman’s body. Reproductive freedom is the wave of the future. You are on the Wrong Side of History.”

A funny thing happened on the way to History: the people did not perform as promised. Last year, I took a group of Ruth Institute students up to the West Coast Walk for Life in San Francisco. [Read more…]

The Case for Marriage

9/25/2010 – National Review Editors –
If it is true, as we are constantly told, that American law will soon redefine marriage to accommodate same-sex partnerships, the proximate cause for this development will not be that public opinion favors it, although it appears to be moving in that direction. It will be that the most influential Americans, particularly those in law and the media, have been coming increasingly to regard opposition to same-sex marriage as irrational at best and bigoted at worst. They therefore dismiss expressions of that opposition, even when voiced by a majority in a progressive state, as illegitimate. Judges who believe that same-sex marriage is obviously just and right can easily find ways to read their views into constitutions, to the applause of the like-minded.

The emerging elite consensus in favor of same-sex marriage has an element of self-delusion about it. It denies that same-sex marriage would work a radical change in American law or society, insisting to the contrary that within a few years of its triumph everyone will wonder what all the fuss was about. [Read more…]

UK Forcing Catholic Adoption Charity to Accept Gay Adoptions

8/19/2010 – A Catholic adoption advisory service that refuses to help gay couples cannot win an exemption from anti-discrimination laws, Britain’s charity regulator said Thursday.

Catholic Care, a charity in Leeds, northern England, had argued that as a religious group it should be allowed to offer adoption-support services only to heterosexuals. It said its funding from the Roman Catholic church was dependent on its policy of helping only married heterosexual couples to adopt. [Read more…]