A dear friend once asked me what I meant when I said that most of us conservative types would not object so much to homosexuals if they behaved themselves in public. She said that most of the gays she knew did behave. The above is a good representation of what us straight types object to.
From the Orthodox perspective (which is where I come from), we are more sorrowed by the Roman Catholic Bishop giving these people communion than surprised. First off, communion implies being in accord with the doctrine of the church at hand. It is clear from the dress and behavior of these people that they are not in accord with the doctrine of Rome. Further, their web site makes it abundantly clear that they are not Christian in any sense. They are an anti-Christian parody.
This doesn’t particularly surprise us Orthodox types. First off, in the Orthodox Church, you are given Communion by name. So – you must be known by the Priest. It is considered normal to check in with the Priest before you plop yourself into a Communion line. Even when the Bishop is visiting, the Priest, or a Deacon who knows the parishioners will be standing beside the Bishop to tell him your name (and to indicate if you should not be communed). If you are an unknown quantity, the Priest or Bishop will query your standing: what is your name? What is your home parish? When was your last confession? Have you fasted? Are you properly prepared? Since we firmly believe that this is the literal Body and Blood of Christ we are not going to Commune someone who is not prepared by prayer, confession, and fasting. It absolutely is the duty of the Celebrant to safeguard the Precious Gifts, not to throw them to the unworthy or unprepared.
This issue here is not whether someone is homosexual. We do not condemn someone for being attracted to someone else. We do condemn any sex outside marriage. We will not Commune an adulterer or a philanderer – that’s a matter of Church Doctrine and is rather firmly enforced. When the woman caught in adultery was brought before Christ, He did indeed say “Woman, your sins are forgiven”. But He also said “Go and sin no more“. The sin no more is often overlooked in this non-moral age, just as the sins forgiven was ignored in the hyper moral atmosphere of Puritanism. Christ did not waste words. He meant all of His words. We cannot Commune someone who is not earnestly striving to sin no more. This does not mean that we will make it. But we must try. In-your-face celebration of sinning is not a possible Christian position.
When nailed on his communing of Nancy Pelosi, whose beliefs and actions are clearly and publicly not in compliance with established Roman doctrine, this particular bishop just shrugged his shoulders and said that he was not a “gatekeeper”. This is not in accord with the Orthodox understanding. In the Sacrament of Ordination, the Bishop places the Lamb into the Ordinand’s hands and says: “Receive thou this pledge, and preserve it whole and unharmed until thy last breath, because thou shalt be held to an accounting therefore in the second and terrible Coming of our Great Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ”. I have talked with many Priests about this, and every one of them states that at that moment their knees just about buckle. They know that this is serious business. And they regard their priestly function as one of grave importance. This is not to say that we don’t have some bad priests and bishops, we do. They are human. But it is proportionately very few. A shepherd most certainly is a gatekeeper.
As an Orthodox Christian I cannot tell the Roman Catholics what to do in their church, but I can comment on behavior which is clearly not in accord with Christian doctrine. And this is certainly not defensible on any level. Of course, we are not terribly surprised since we regard the Romans as schismatic and the first protestants. In this country, our culture descends from Western European (Roman) culture, and we have been taught that the Orthodox East left the Roman West. Well, t’aint so. See my earlier article about why I am Orthodox for a discussion of this point.
Apart from my reaction as an Orthodox Christian there is my reaction as a United States Citizen. I see little difference between this in-your-face offensive behavior and a deliberate punch in the face. Both are deliberate assaults. And these freaks know it and glory in it. Why is immoral behavior “progressive”? There is a great deal of difference between the behavior of a reasonable and thoughtful and considerate person who happens to be homosexual and the antics of these demented self-hating creatures who are trying to be as offensive as possible. The responsible gay community does not do itself any good by tolerating these pervert’s behavior without condemnation. What this does is strengthen the opposition of the “Religious Right”. And, while laws may get changed, there is little chance of acceptance by “middle America” until these people are publicly and clearly rejected by the majority of the gay community.
HERSELF SEZ: The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is now an international organization with a missionary agenda. If there is not a chapter near you – – there will be. Just wait.