Home Forums General Discussion toward an Orthodox gay ethic – an invitation to discussion

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #1832 Reply
    James
    Guest

    The story of the woman taken in adultery (John 8:3-11) is one I’ve been returning to more and more often as the rhetoric around marriage equality becomes more and more strident. Given how critical this passage is of the Pharisees with their rigid insistence on following the letter of the Law, I’m often surprised at what seems like the intransigence of the Church on the issue of homosexuality.

    The action of the story John relates invites much thought, but what I would like to turn to here is its conclusion. After the crowd disappears one by one, Jesus asks the woman if any of them has condemned her [by casting a stone]. Of course she says none of them has. The first part of Jesus’ reply to her is memorable indeed: “Neither do I condemn thee”. But the second part can’t be overlooked either: “go, and sin no more”.

    What I would like to do now invite others who see their ‘struggle with homosexuality’ (to use the Church’s phrasing) as a gift from God but don’t feel called to a life of celibacy to consider here how we might live out sexual calling while at the same time ‘go[ing] and sin[ning] no more’. In other words, I’m inviting discussion of what an Orthodox homosexuality-accepting ethic might look like.

    #1833 Reply
    Titian
    Guest

    Hi James. Thank you for posting this interesting thread and I would like to discuss it with you and other people around here.
    However I’m not completely sure what you mean by “orthodox gay ethic” especially in the context of the Gospel passage you quoted. I think that the main obstacle toward an accepting gay ethic is created by the Church itself. Orthodox gays are institutionally precluded from living their sexual calling harmoniously because they can’t fully experience the redemptive character of the holy matrimony.

    As for the story of the adulterous woman I find it a little bit ambiguous if applied to homosexuals. I actually used to refer to it in the past while I was struggling to accept myself fully as a gay. I used to root my reasoning in the words of Jesus to the woman so my conclusion was that God didn’t judge me for being gay, but He did tell me not to sin i.e. not to commit homosexual acts. That’s how I used to understand the passage. However this may represent the general reasoning of most orthodox believers on homosexuality, including the clergy. I’ve been open about my sexuality with my fathers of confession since always, and I have never come across harsh judging. They have all been compassionate and never treated me differently, but it was taken for granted that this kind of condition should not unfold or develop in a positive and affirming direction. It was and it still is taken for granted among the clergy that, while faithful homosexuals shouldn’t be judged, homosexual behavior shouldn’t be accepted as ethical either. This attitude is often seen as a sign of love and compassion of the Church, but actually, it’s as absurd and hateful as it gets. Following this analogy, it would mean that being human is ok, but acting like a human is not. Being capable of loving is kind of acceptable, but you should under no condition unleash the energy God has given you.

    Even if Jesus’ compassion towards the woman can be a perfect example of how people should relate to homosexuals (stones may be a metaphor for words), at the same time there is no meaningful analogy between being a gay and being an adulterer. “Not sinning any more” for the woman would mean that she would stop being an adulteress, but it wouldn’t apply to me beacause I wouldn’t stop being gay. So I guess the discussion about an accepting christian gay ethics should revolve around the issue of marriage and why gay people are not allowed to participate in it. Everything in the end comes down to that.

    #1834 Reply
    James
    Guest

    Thanks for writing, Titan. Your post was very well thought out and also very helpful.

    #1835 Reply
    Titian
    Guest

    Well James, I’m pretty sure we haven’t exhausted all the answers. I suppose you had something in mind when you were starting the discussion.
    What I was trying to say is that, in my opinion, marriage is the only framework for an ethical gay relationship. Whether it is an accomlishable goal or not is still uncertain. Sometimes I’m prone to think that things are never gonna change, but if there is a slightest possibility that in 100 or 200 years things will be different, then I believe it is something worth fighting for.
    Thanks for reading this.

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
Reply To: toward an Orthodox gay ethic – an invitation to discussion
Your information:




Comments are closed.