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Giacomo Sanfilippo of Orthodoxy in Dialogue is being persecuted for defending LGBTQ+

My friend Giacomo runs the site Orthodoxy in Dialogue, which has quickly become the standard bearer for LGBTQ+ people gaining acceptance in the Orthodox Church.  And this has made him a target for a fundamentalist contingent which has a lot in common with MAGAts, many modern white Evangelical/Fundamentalist churches, and a certain anti-Francis segment of the Catholic Church.

We have learned a lot about gender variations over the past 2000 years, things which people just didn’t know back when the Bible was written, just as with human reproduction (people used to think there were little men in sperm) and astronomy.  If the Church truly is not against science, then it has to admit when it’s pushing views that are hopelessly antiquated.  But some people are against any kind of change even when it’s desperately needed.

Many of us want people to be allowed to marry whoever they want and stay in full communion.  This isn’t about allowing licentiousness or promiscuity or pedophilia in the church–homophobic tropes where people just assume if you’re gay, you must be in favor of these things as well.  Society in general has been moving toward acceptance, but some just want to drag us backwards again.

For several years, Giacomo Sanfilippo has been subject to various attacks for trying to change hearts in the Orthodox churches so they can be safe spaces for believers who are LGBTQ+.  He’s been slandered, libeled, sued for defamation, and now he’s been doxxed on Twitter. They’re trying to get him in trouble with his bishop.  It’s being done by a group of people who claim to be “Christian” and call him and his allies “wolves.”

But I’ve seen a sample of their behavior online, and–to paraphrase John Fugelsang–I’ve seen atheists who are better Christians than these people.  They have no idea what Christianity is.  They’re the pack of wolves.  They harass, troll, abuse, and give Christ a black eye with everything they do.  They need to get off the frickin’ Twitter, sit down with the Red Letters of Christ, and come to repentance for the hate that fills their hearts, because right now it’s Satan they’re serving, not God.

A Conversation with Oscar Wilde–College Memoirs: Life At Roanoke–March 1995, Part 11

As part of my Lit mid-term, I was to write a dinner dialogue between myself and one of the twelve authors we studied.  I wrote,

I have invited over Oscar Wilde, have sent my time machine to him and brought him to my house.  We go to Country Kitchen, not because it’s the best food (not), but because it’s the “local hangout” and he can see bits of local society.

“I loved ‘Importance of Being Earnest,'” I say.  “It was so funny and so ridiculous.”

“Well, in my day, society is ridiculous,” Wilde says.  “Marriage based on how much money you have, your worth determined by what you do and what your connections are–I wanted people to see how silly they were being with these attitudes.”

We go on discussing the play for a while, not any others since that’s the only one by him that I know.  Then we begin to talk about contemporary issues–starting with marriage.

“Marriage these days is supposed to be based on love,” I say, “but we now have a 50% divorce rate.”

“We base it partly on love,” Wilde says, “or, rather, infatuation–and partly on economics.  Our divorce rate is low because people just don’t divorce.  But so many people are unhappy because they didn’t know their spouse well enough before marrying them, and now they’re no longer ‘in love,’ if they ever were in the first place.”

Somehow we end up on the subject of homosexuality; I admit I don’t agree with it, but I say that I think it was wrong for Wilde to be jailed for it.  “You shouldn’t be put in jail just because of the way you are, when you can’t always help it,” I say.

“I was put there for ‘corrupting a young person’ with it,” he says.  “I wish I’d never fought the Marquess; when he said I was homosexual, it was true.  Maybe people would’ve forgotten about it if I hadn’t sued, but now I’m in prison for a drive I have.  A drive I don’t know how to control.”

“You must admit, you were pretty–promiscuous there, and you do have a wife,” I say, which leads to AIDS–which leads to a discussion of the prevalence of syphilis in Wilde’s day.  Interesting, but not something I’d want to record here.

People look at us and wonder why Wilde talks the way he does and why he dresses the way he does.  But he notices that they seem less shocked at our topics of conversation than they are about him.

“It seems like you’re so much freer to talk, really talk, in your day,” he says.  We eventually leave, and I take him back to my house to spend the rest of the evening–wishing all the while that such a handsome man weren’t gay!

Actually, I’ve since discovered that he swung both ways.  And changed my mind about homosexual love being wrong.  But anyway, finding this test paper especially interested me after reading De Profundis (my commentary here) and a new biography of his wife.  There are details in the above conversation which, over nearly 20 years, I forgot I ever even knew.

Index 
Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

Table of Contents

Freshman Year

September 1991:

October 1991:

November 1991:

December 1991: Ride the Greyhound
January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD
February 1992:

March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?

April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign

May 1992:

Sophomore Year 

Summer 1992:

September 1992:

October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:

November 1992:

December 1992:

January 1993:

February 1993:

March 1993:

April 1993:

May 1993:

Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams

September 1993:

October 1993:

November 1993:

December 1993:

January 1994:

February 1994:

March 1994:

April 1994:

Senior Year 

June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:

July & August 1994:

January 1995:

February 1995:

March 1995:

April 1995:

May 1995:

 

“Gender-Identity and Expression”: Let’s add this to our anti-discrimination ordinances!

A gay member of our local city council wants to add “gender identity and expression” to our anti-discrimination housing ordinance.  At first I thought it was covered under “sexual orientation,” but he explained that it refers to transgender individuals–not the same thing at all.

Now, I have my own opinion on whether or not we should be tampering with our genes, but there is absolutely no reason why my opinion means that such people should be tossed out into the cold.

If they are decent tenants, paying their rent, keeping up the place, etc., then you shouldn’t be able to evict them just because they believe they should’ve been born a woman/man.

I’ve seen the same response from enough people that I have to ask: Did the local Republican party put out a flyer with talking points on this issue?  Basically, focus on bringing jobs to our area, not on this guy’s agenda.

Um……..The job of the city council IS stuff like this.  It’s their JOB to deal with such things as garbage, street clearing, water rates, anti-discrimination, ordinances, etc. etc.

And as my husband says, if they take care of that well enough, that attracts more jobs because businesses can attract workers who want to live here.

Should we have told this to the ones who fought for Civil Rights: “Focus on jobs, not ending discrimination”?  This is civil rights for the LGBT community.

I may not be part of that community, and my husband does not agree with it, but we are united on the importance of fighting discrimination.  Our religious beliefs should not infringe on another’s right to live as they wish.  Isn’t that what freedom really is?

If freedom is so important to you, then why deny it to the LGBT community?  According to the city council member who wants this, people do lose their homes over this.

Now I found a blog (which I do not wish to link to) complaining that this policy is dangerous and will violate our “safety, privacy and religious objections.”  The writer is upset that another city has already added the clause, and now our city is talking about it.

How does it violate our privacy to not get tossed out based on what we do in the privacy of our homes?  How on earth is our safety compromised by this?  And why is it okay to allow our “religious objections” to force some law-abiding citizen out of his home?

Some things about this town are so backward that it does get very frustrating.

 

Victory for Gay Rights: Supreme Court Ruling on DOMA

Supreme Court Gives Big Boost to Gay Marriage

Gay marriage is allowed again in California, and DOMA is struck down!  Just yesterday there were complaints that the Supreme Court is too conservative, thanks to Bush’s appointments, leading to gutting the Voter Rights Act….But today, the liberals won, as homosexuals in this country made a huge leap forward to full equality.

Since this is about legal rights, not religion, and as science and real-life gays show that they’re not just a bunch of sexual deviants–eventually opponents must admit that they’re trying to keep gay marriage illegal just because they don’t like it.

We have religious freedom in this country; if you don’t believe in gay marriage, then don’t have one; nobody will force you to.

This is not about forcing conservative churches to perform gay marriages.  This is indeed like the struggle for blacks to be allowed to legally marry whites.

Yes, I’m Orthodox and liberal.  What of it?  😉

 

So the Scouts are now considering whether to allow gays. I think it’s awesome if they do: No more official discrimination/bigotry.

The policy against gays makes me very uncomfortable, what with having my boy in the Scouts, and not wanting to teach him bigotry.  I want to teach him better than what I grew up with, in a more ignorant time.

However, my husband is ambivalent, especially since–while he doesn’t want to tell others how to live–he’s very conservative.  And a family member is very glad to have a daughter instead of a son, said he’d keep a son out of the Boy Scouts if they allow gays.

It just hurts to see this stuff going on at home.  I’m trying to break free of what we were taught about this growing up.  I want my son to never learn it.  The older I get, the more liberal I get.  The more I want my son to not be held back by the false beliefs of the past.  But how do you deal with it when the approach in your own household is so split?

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