LGBT

GOARCH archbishop called “woke” while OCA bans individual thought

So two things are going on at once in two different Orthodox jurisdictions in the USA:

First, our GOARCH archbishop is taking fire for daring to baptize the baby of a gay couple.  I am greatly encouraged by signs like these, from him and our local Metropolitan Nathaniel, of an opening of the church to more inclusive ideas.  For example, the Metropolitan told my church at his last visit that we should have altar girls.  Now I don’t think the Archbishop is necessarily advocating for gay marriage, but at the very least he doesn’t seem to feel that the gender/marital arrangement of a baby’s parents should affect whether the baby can be baptized.

Adapt or die–As more and more young people see the vast difference between the regressive ideas of conservative churches and what’s going on with their own friends and science/medicine, we’ll see the steady decline of all but the oldest and most extreme members of such congregations in the future.  I’m pretty sure that most churches don’t preach that the sun revolves around the Earth anymore, and even the Catholic church apparently abandoned the “Evolution is Evilution” mindset years ago.

But of course, we can’t possibly introduce any sort of love or change into our churches, because they’re full of Pharisees (see the essay I wrote on this nearly 20 years ago).  Already Archbishop Elpidophoros is getting pushback, with all sorts of angry blogs and objections from the Greek Church and a Greek Metropolitan (hey, we’re American now, not Greek!).

I strongly suspect that if Jesus were to physically come back and walk among our churches, there would be a lot of yelling going on, right before they took out an AR-15 to execute him for blasphemy for saying that we should ditch the guns and accept people on the queer spectrum and call them whatever they want.

But on the other hand, the OCA has just made a statement that basically bans everyone–even laypeople opining on their own websites–from deviating from the official church position that the queer spectrum is full of deviance and perversion.  Anyone who violates this is subject to excommunication now.  So you have to ignore your own eyes, your own knowledge, your own conscience, and CONFORM to Groupthink lest you be tossed into outer darkness.

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 MAGAs, 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.

“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.