Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Silent Majority?


I have a secret.    It's something you probably didn't know.   Maybe you knew, heck, maybe you're one of a silent population out there.   But this is an important secret, why?  Because this draws attention to a little known fact, that really, we're not as alone as we think we are.  Are you ready?  Here it goes:

straight coptic people support us

I'm telling you the truth.   Straight coptic people SUPPORT us.  You might be thinking: "Well of course there are quite a few straight people who attend church every year at Easter, who probably brush their teeth before taking communion, who think Tai-shori is sung during the Feast of the Cross when it's clearly supposed to be Ti-shori.  Oh, and also if they had read Bishop Youssef's commentary on the subject they would clearly know how His Grace thinks of this matter, and what is then expected of us.  Amateurs!"


Actually, both in my real life, and from emails I've gotten through this blog, there are quite a number of people, much more than I had expected, who are straight, who are coptic, who actually believe and serve in the church faithfully, but who see past the simplistic answers given by the church (lowercase C).  They've come to understand that especially regarding this issue, there is a lot more than meets the eye.

Unfortunately many are afraid to get their views out there and a few have told me, they'd rather not speak up about it.   Why?  Well, it's rather simple. Our culture oppresses. There, I said it. If you think differently, look differently, act differently, if you even eat differently, you will receive the judging eye of your congregation, and to many, that is their life, their family, and their community.  And it's understandable, we don't want to be ostracized by our friends, and we don't want to ruin our reputations.  We do want to get married after all.  But it's not only that.  There is a certain respect we have for the teachings of our church, that we love so much.  In the past 1500 years, the church has been through so much, that we have developed a sense of pride in what our ancestors went through, in order for us to be who we are today.  But in that respect, we tend to have blurred vision, when it comes to what the Church gave us, and what the church demands.

But for you brothers and sisters who have given your love, your hugs, your emails, and unconditional support and understanding, I dedicate this to you. You make this world safer for people like me. You remind me that there is no straight or gay, but only people.  And you are Jesus to those who have the privilege to know you. Thank you.

3 comments:

  1. Hopefully a dialogue both in the Coptic and Orthodox Churches regarding homosexuality can begin on the internet and spread so that gays in the Coptic and Orthodox communities can see that they are not alone. Perhaps even we can shout out and make a noise loud enough to be heard, not just in the blogging sphere but in the mainstream.

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  2. I hope so too. I hope more sane voices are in the mix, because the extremes make the most noise.

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  3. Hi Michael,

    Thanks for your interest in this blog, and for posting a comment. There are plenty of links and posts on this site that talk a bit about Romans 1. Romans 1 seems to provide an explanation for homosexual orientation, and that it's the result of a person's distance from God. It's a result of a man ceasing to worship God and begin worshipping man-made things.

    However, most gay people, including myself, have felt this way since their early teenage years, or even beforehand. Many of us, were very close to God at the time, we were children, innocent, many of us were close to God and the church. Yet these feelings were still there.

    At the time of Paul's writing however, there were people who were normally heterosexual, who during certain pagan religious practices would engage in ritual sex. Many older men had younger male lovers even if they were married.

    I'm not sure Paul is talking about the small minority of people who are actually homosexually oriented. He talks about shameful acts, but what is the shame exactly? Is it the fact that they are men having sex with another man? Or is the shame in the context they were having sex? The bible talks about many shameful heterosexual acts, but it does not disqualify heterosexuality. In fact most of the mentions of sex in the bible are coupled with shame and God's wrath, yet any Orthodox Theologian will assert the Godliness of sex, as it is an expression of mankind's deepest desires for love and connectedness, and when shared with the right person in the right time and the right context, God is present in that union.

    I will say however, the Bible is often used to prove one thing or another, so I will just default to the words of Jesus, to judge a tree by its fruits. These are the tests of all things, and the beginning of wisdom.

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