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Thread: When same-sex marriage was a Christian rite

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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    Default When same-sex marriage was a Christian rite

    When Same-Sex Marriage Was a Christian Rite
    By ThosPayne

    SS. Sergius & Bacchus - 7th cent.

    A Kiev art museum contains a curious icon from St. Catherine's Monastery on Mt. Sinai in Israel. It shows two robed Christian saints. Between them is a traditional Roman ‘pronubus’ (a best man), overseeing a wedding. The pronubus is Christ. The married couple are both men.

    Is the icon suggesting that a gay "wedding" is being sanctified by Christ himself? The idea seems shocking. But the full answer comes from other early Christian sources about the two men featured in the icon, St. Sergius and St. Bacchus, two Roman soldiers who were Christian martyrs. These two officers in the Roman army incurred the anger of Emperor Maximian when they were exposed as ‘secret Christians’ by refusing to enter a pagan temple. Both were sent to Syria circa 303 CE where Bacchus is thought to have died while being flogged. Sergius survived torture but was later beheaded. Legend says that Bacchus appeared to the dying Sergius as an angel, telling him to be brave because they would soon be reunited in heaven.

    While the pairing of saints, particularly in the early Christian church, was not unusual, the association of these two men was regarded as particularly intimate. Severus, the Patriarch of Antioch (AD 512 - 518) explained that, "we should not separate in speech they [Sergius and Bacchus] who were joined in life". This is not a case of simple "adelphopoiia." In the definitive 10th century account of their lives, St. Sergius is openly celebrated as the "sweet companion and lover" of St. Bacchus. Sergius and Bacchus's close relationship has led many modern scholars to believe they were lovers. But the most compelling evidence for this view is that the oldest text of their martyrology, written in New Testament Greek describes them as "erastai,” or "lovers". In other words, they were a male homosexual couple. Their orientation and relationship was not only acknowledged, but it was fully accepted and celebrated by the early Christian church, which was far more tolerant than it is today.

    Contrary to myth, Christianity's concept of marriage has not been set in stone since the days of Christ, but has constantly evolved as a concept and ritual.

    Prof. John Boswell, the late Chairman of Yale University’s history department, discovered that in addition to heterosexual marriage ceremonies in ancient Christian church liturgical documents, there were also ceremonies called the "Office of Same-Sex Union" (10th and 11th century), and the "Order for Uniting Two Men" (11th and 12th century).

    These church rites had all the symbols of a heterosexual marriage: the whole community gathered in a church, a blessing of the couple before the altar was conducted with their right hands joined, holy vows were exchanged, a priest officiatied in the taking of the Eucharist and a wedding feast for the guests was celebrated afterwards. These elements all appear in contemporary illustrations of the holy union of the Byzantine Warrior-Emperor, Basil the First (867-886 CE) and his companion John.

    Such same gender Christian sanctified unions also took place in Ireland in the late 12thand/ early 13th century, as the chronicler Gerald of Wales (‘Geraldus Cambrensis’) recorded.
    Same-sex unions in pre-modern Europe list in great detail some same gender ceremonies found in ancient church liturgical documents. One Greek 13th century rite, "Order for Solemn Same-Sex Union", invoked St. Serge and St. Bacchus, and called on God to "vouchsafe unto these, Thy servants [N and N], the grace to love one another and to abide without hate and not be the cause of scandal all the days of their lives, with the help of the Holy Mother of God, and all Thy saints". The ceremony concludes: "And they shall kiss the Holy Gospel and each other, and it shall be concluded".

    Another 14th century Serbian Slavonic "Office of the Same Sex Union", uniting two men or two women, had the couple lay their right hands on the Gospel while having a crucifix placed in their left hands. After kissing the Gospel, the couple were then required to kiss each other, after which the priest, having raised up the Eucharist, would give them both communion.

    Records of Christian same sex unions have been discovered in such diverse archives as those in the Vatican, in St. Petersburg, in Paris, in Istanbul and in the Sinai, covering a thousand-years from the 8th to the 18th century.

    The Dominican missionary and Prior, Jacques Goar (1601-1653), includes such ceremonies in a printed collection of Greek Orthodox prayer books, “Euchologion Sive Rituale Graecorum Complectens Ritus Et Ordines Divinae Liturgiae” (Paris, 1667).

    While homosexuality was technically illegal from late Roman times, homophobic writings didn’t appear in Western Europe until the late 14th century. Even then, church-consecrated same sex unions continued to take place.

    At St. John Lateran in Rome (traditionally the Pope's parish church) in 1578, as many as thirteen same-gender couples were joined during a high Mass and with the cooperation of the Vatican clergy, "taking communion together, using the same nuptial Scripture, after which they slept and ate together" according to a contemporary report. Another woman to woman union is recorded in Dalmatia in the 18th century.

    Prof. Boswell's academic study is so well researched and documented that it poses fundamental questions for both modern church leaders and heterosexual Christians about their own modern attitudes towards homosexuality.

    For the Church to ignore the evidence in its own archives would be cowardly and deceptive. The evidence convincingly shows that what the modern church claims has always been its unchanging attitude towards homosexuality is, in fact, nothing of the sort.

    It proves that for the last two millennia, in parish churches and cathedrals throughout Christendom, from Ireland to Istanbul and even in the heart of Rome itself, homosexual relationships were accepted as valid expressions of a God-given love and committment to another person, a love that could be celebrated, honored and blessed, through the Eucharist in the name of, and in the presence of, Jesus Christ.

    When Same-Sex Marriage Was a Christian Rite - Colfax Record
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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Well. I'll be damned! Lets see the fundies get out of this one.
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    oh AWESOME
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    Elite Member southernbelle's Avatar
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    I don't think a work of art "proves" that Christ sanctioned a homosexual marriage.

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    Elite Member MontanaMama's Avatar
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    But there is homosexuality in animals, is that a "mistake" of god's plan? I'm not sure I've ever heard that animals make moral or sinful choices, so homosexuality must be part of the devine design. If it's true of the animal kingdom, why would man be different? If that's true, and marriage between god's heterosexuals is sanctioned, where and when did god decide to discriminate against his own homosexuals?

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    Elite Member Aella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by southernbelle View Post
    I don't think a work of art "proves" that Christ sanctioned a homosexual marriage.
    While there's all that proof that he condemned it, in his own WORDS after all.
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    Elite Member Penny Lane's Avatar
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    It's a conspiracy. Gays somehow planted it there to discredit centuries of homophobic practices in the name of religion.

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    Elite Member Aella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Penny Lane View Post
    It's a conspiracy. Gays somehow planted it there to discredit centuries of homophobic practices in the name of religion.
    Yep. I bet they planted that whole "judge not" and "love they neighbour" nonsense too. Or that stuff about giving away half your stuff to the poor. Jesus was no a hippie commie, damn it!

    He was an abortion clinic-bombing, gun-loving, gay funeral-picketing REPUBLICAN. And I bet if he saw any sick illegals, he wouldn't use his magicky powers to heal them.
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    Elite Member shedevilang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twitchy2.0 View Post
    When Same-Sex Marriage Was a Christian Rite
    By ThosPayne

    SS. Sergius & Bacchus - 7th cent.





    Prof. Boswell's academic study is so well researched and documented that it poses fundamental questions for both modern church leaders and heterosexual Christians about their own modern attitudes towards homosexuality.

    For the Church to ignore the evidence in its own archives would be cowardly and deceptive. The evidence convincingly shows that what the modern church claims has always been its unchanging attitude towards homosexuality is, in fact, nothing of the sort.

    It proves that for the last two millennia, in parish churches and cathedrals throughout Christendom, from Ireland to Istanbul and even in the heart of Rome itself, homosexual relationships were accepted as valid expressions of a God-given love and committment to another person, a love that could be celebrated, honored and blessed, through the Eucharist in the name of, and in the presence of, Jesus Christ.

    When Same-Sex Marriage Was a Christian Rite - Colfax Record
    Also let's just not read this part at all it's not just about the art that "the gays" smuggled in somehow
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    reading and fact gets in the way of dogma and not thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by southernbelle View Post
    I don't think a work of art "proves" that Christ sanctioned a homosexual marriage.
    There's nothing proving he had an opinion one way or the other. You rely on hearsay written by cavemen 300 years after he went the way of the dodo.
    Last edited by Tati; May 5th, 2009 at 12:35 PM.
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    Elite Member Chilly Willy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    oh AWESOME
    Join! Now!
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    Elite Member Just Kill Me's Avatar
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    Here's the funny thing, Christ really didn't seem to give a flying fuck one way or another... pretty rough edges to wrap your mind around, I know.
    KILLING ME WON'T BRING BACK YOUR GOD DAMNED HONEY!!!!!!!!!!

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Kill Me View Post
    Here's the funny thing, Christ really didn't seem to give a flying fuck one way or another... pretty rough edges to wrap your mind around, I know.
    Is that a direct quote from the Mormon Church?
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    Elite Member MontanaMama's Avatar
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    Here's what ran through my head during a High Episcopalian Funeral that I attended this past Saturday...They were saying the prayers & singing the songs (I was trying to be respectfully silent - although I was raised Episcopalian) and all I could think of is if some dude ran around nowadays spouting his/her religiosity, we would have them committed. But somehow I'm odd, because I don't belive things that were written 150th hand hundreds of years after they supposedly happened. I respect everyone's right to believe whatever they want and worship whatever they want (so long as they leave me out of it) but I just could never wrap my brain around the whole concept of religion, it simply makes no sense.

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