THE HOMOSEXUAL CHRISTIAN by Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko

Father Thomas Hopko (1939-2015)—professor of dogmatic theology and dean at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, son-in-law of Father Alexander Schmemann, and author of Christian Faith and Same-Sex Attraction: Eastern Orthodox Reflections (2006; revised 2015)—published the following text in the mid-1980s as one of four Christian Lifestyle Tracts. It has been posted to the website of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) since May 11, 2012. (See the source for his bibliography. ) Any discussion of sexual and gender diversity in human nature and its place in the life of the Orthodox Church must come to terms with Father Hopko’s widely disseminated and influential views, enshrined on the OCA website as its official teaching: to wit, that same-sex orientation is a curable disease, and that those who think otherwise (such as Orthodoxy in Dialogue) are guilty of “the mindless, equally demonic affirmation of homosexual activity by its misguided advocates and enablers.”  
pjimage (3)

Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko

Many gay men and lesbians claim that the Christian faith is the guiding rule of their lives. Some of them hold that their sexual orientation is given by God, that it is good, and that there is nothing wrong or sinful with their homosexual activities. These persons say that the Bible and Church Tradition do not condemn homosexual behaviour, but have been misinterpreted and misused, sometimes unknowingly and other times quite willfully, by prejudiced and hostile people who hate homosexuals. Those who believe in this way obviously want others to agree with them, and many are now working hard to have their views accepted, particularly by fellow Christians and Church leaders.

Other homosexual Christians hold that their sexual orientation is not from God – except providentially, since the Lord’s plan inevitably involves human freedom and sin but derives from human fault. While some of these people are not willing or able to identify the specific reasons for their sexual feelings, though still affirming that they are not good and are not to be indulged; others with the help of what they believe to be sound biblical interpretation and accurate psychological analysis, identify the source of their sexual orientation in faults and failures in their family experiences, particularly in early childhood, and perhaps even before that, which contribute to their sexual makeup. These people hold that they are called by God to struggle against their homosexual tendencies as all people are called to struggle against the sinful passions which they find within themselves, while they work to heal the causes of their disorientation and disease. Those who hold this position look to their fellow Christians, especially their Church leaders, for support and assistance in their spiritual struggle. Read More


FATHER SERAPHIM OF MULL MONASTERY FORCED TO ADDRESS ORTHODOXY IN DIALOGUE’S SUPPORT FOR HIM

This video was brought to our attention this evening by one of our readers. Starting at 16:00 Father Seraphim addresses—without naming Orthodoxy in Dialogue or editor Giacomo Sanfilippo—our article Father Seraphim (Aldea) of June 16, 2020.

It saddens us deeply that our support for him and the monastery has caused some of our brothers and sisters in the Orthodox Church to hate him by association. Read More



SPIRITUAL SOCIALISTS: RELIGION AND THE AMERICAN LEFT reviewed by Jan Michael Ostrowski

Spiritual Socialists: Religion and the American Left
Vaneesa Cook
Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019

spirsoc

Though I was still a kid at the time, I remember when it was announced on the evening news that Norman Thomas, the perennial presidential candidate for the Socialist Party and the “conscience of America,” had died. Aside from the fact that a third-party leader drew the attention of the major news networks, this was surprising for another reason: the use of the word Socialist and conscience in the same sentence. This was in an America that, not too much earlier, had found itself in the grip of the hysteria of the McCarthy Era. To most Americans, the word socialism was laden with images of gulags and the crushing disincentive effects of a sprawling state-run economy, as well as an official—and often brutally enforced—atheism. To many, linking the word conscience to a concept such as socialism would have seemed improbable and an oxymoron.

Yet Thomas, the erstwhile Presbyterian minister, was able to rise above the fray and present socialist ideals as not only compatible with equality, pacifism, democracy, and yes, Christian values, but the logical extension of such objectives. While many Americans viewed his opinions as naïve and quixotic, he was able to avoid being associated with the harshness of the Soviet system, and was a reminder of the existence of the non-Marxist left in the US political landscape. Read More