April 22, 2012

 

One of the greater tragedies of the twentieth century in Orthodox Church history was the cooperation between the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church and the government of the Soviet Union. The Church, whose mission is to bring souls to Jesus Christ, was systemically involved in fully supporting the brutal and atheistic regime of one of the most evil governments in history.

  Konstantin Kharchev, a former chairman of the Soviet Council on Religious Affairs stated that “not a single candidate for the office of bishop…went through without confirmation by the Central Committee of the Communist Party.”  Nathaniel Davis, a scholar of Orthodox Church history writes that the bishops “had to collaborate to some degree with the KGB.”  The current Patriarch of Moscow, Kirill and the former Patriarch Alexy II have acknowledged cooperation with the Communist authorities during the Soviet regime. While some cooperated, others resisted soiling their ecclesiastical positions and souls.  The various branches of the underground Russian Orthodox Church are to be commended for their faithfulness to Christ and His Orthodox Church in the darkest and most reprehensible of times. In contrast to the official church in Russia, the Roman Catholic Church in Poland frequently spoke out against the Communist regime and therefore was able to legitimately take upon itself the mantle of freedom and be one of the leading forces in liberating the country from decades of atrocious rule. It is laughable therefore that the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia and Ukraine today would attempt to many any statements concerning equality of rights for all people, and especially gay people.  The Church, because of its history, lacks complete legitimacy and authority in this area.

Recently the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate, has issued this statement regarding a planned gay parade in May of this year to be held in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. “We strongly protest against this co-called cultural event in the capital. In our opinion, the propaganda of sexual perversion will undoubtedly do irreparable damage to the minds of young people and children who may witness this action and will provoke mass protest of the healthy part of the society which will use all possible means to stop the agitation in support of sexual perversion.” (risu.org) The Church has also publically supported passage of Bill 8711 in the Ukrainian Parliament“ On Protection of Children From Dangerous Information”.  That proposed law would prohibit the propaganda of homosexuality which is a threat to national security as it leads to the spread of AIDS, ruins the institute of the family and deepens the demographic crisis.” (risu.org)

While one might argue over whether or not gay parades, complete with drag queens and lesbians on motorcycles help or hinder the level of acceptance for gay people in society as well as government actions supporting equal rights for gay men, lesbians and transsexuals; one certainly can condemn the inflammatory language that the Russian Church uses against her own people.  “Irreparable damage to the minds of young people” occurs when gay and lesbian young people are told that they are sick and perverted and deserve condemnation by the Church, their government and society. The men and women marching in the parades are more than likely baptized Orthodox Christians rejected by their Church and now persecuted by their government with not only the blessing of the Church, but her complicit cooperation. Instead of supporting legislation in Parliament that would protect gays and lesbians from hate crimes and inequality, the Church prefers to predict that people will “use all possible means to stop” the parade.  The Church appears to give tacit approval to those who will try and stop the parade and harm the participants.  Can you see the stones being thrown? And when they do, how many bishops and priests of the Church will say to those throwing the stones, “well done, good and faithful servant”? (Matthew 25:23)

Perversion is defined as a change to what is unnatural. In this instance the Russian Orthodox Church has surely perverted the message of Christ, who spoke about love and forgiveness and uttered nothing about homosexuality. Christ may not march in a gay parade, but I am positive that He would have condemned those who would dare to throw the stones.

  1. Nancy Carroll Said,

    I found this article insightful and a sad commentary on the so-called enlightened society in which we live,  It's interesting that the Church's position sounds like the rhetoric in the Middle Ages and the justification of persecution through the Inquisition.  While Russia and its satellite countries were atheist by force, the same cannot be said about countries such as the United States and even Canada.  Yet, we have large numbers of so called "good Christians" in both countries who believe that homosexuality is an abomination against God and forbidden by the Bible.  Even more devastating, they have banded together and are trying to force their ideas and beliefs on the rest of us — dictating to television programs, athletic and cultural events, etc. who their sponsors will be.  Or worse, ensuring that programs aimed at educating the public about homosexuality and helping gay and lesbian youth, especially, feel good about themselves, do not get the sponsorship from large companies that is so essential to their existence,
    I am a heterosexual woman in my late 50's, so I can only speak from my own experiences.  Over the years, I have worked with a number of gay men and women as colleagues.  Their sexual preferences were irrelevant and I still count several among my friends,  They are just people, like me, like my neighbours, like anyone else and should be treated accordingly. 
    I must admit that I'm not sure that the best way to be part of society is to parade through the streets next to naked, miming sexual behaviour and making lots of noise.  However, those who find these actions distasteful should be smart enough to figure out that these people do not represent the majority of gay men and women and probably doesn't represent their own day to day behaviour.
    That homosexuality causes AIDS is just ridiculous.  We have known for a number of years that AIDS is caused by the transmission of fluids between a person who is HIV and one who is not — this can be through sexual activity (either homosexual or heterosexual) or through things such as blood transfusions. Whole generations of women are dying in Africa because their husbands contracted the disease from female prostitutes.  
    I long for the day when people could just be people, without fear of persecution from anyone — family, friends, schools, churches and governments,.  However, I doubt it will occur in my lifetime,
     
     

  2. andre Said,

    Nancy, I thank you very much for your thoughtful and erudite comment. Many gay people do feel as if we are going through a type of “inquisition”. The vast majority of gay people know that they did not choose their sexuality, anymore than they chose their parents or their hair color. We know that God created us as gay and that He loves us for we were created in His image. Many of us have gone to extreme measures to “become straight” wanting to please family members, friends, society, their pastor, the Church . This is a very sad and at times has dangerous consequences. Thank you for your support of gay people, wherever you encounter them. The community needs wise and compassionate friends everywhere.
    (Nancy – I apologize that my comment did not appear earlier – I had written the comment but with my ineptness at technology I did not realize that I had to “make it visible”. I apologize and have now gotten a little better at technology – at least the posting comments part.

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