vaecrius: Duke2 Rigelatin overlord: "We'd kill you, you see, but our religion prevents the interruption of suffering." (rigelatin)
[personal profile] vaecrius
Further yet again to my garbled... garblings (as clearly there was no muse inspiring me in any of that), here is something by people who have done a much better job.

What I was so blindly, flailingly groping about for in my last post gets boiled down to just two words:
To make this clearer, we’ll talk about gender in an iconic way in terms of the human vocation to be a priest, a king, and a prophet. This idea actually comes from Dr. Tim Patitsas, who’s the ethics professor at Holy Cross. We think of the kingly character as being essentially masculine, and the prophetic as being essentially feminine. We all have both these aspects in our soul, but the relative priority of these is different. So men will generally show a priority of the kingly aspect over the prophetic, and women will generally show a priority of the prophet over the king. But the central location, for all of us, male or female, is that of a priest. We reflect Christ’s high priesthood. We are called to sacrifice ourselves for others. ...

So if you imagine what it means to be a man as a cowboy, well, then cowboys shouldn’t cry or shouldn’t have any tenderness, and if you imagine woman to be a princess or something, well, she shouldn’t be strong. These simply are not true, and when we force persons into these categories and boxes, abuses and distortions occur. We get confusion because we don’t really fit those stereotypes.

What we fit, the reality as revealed to the Church, is we are all, each of us, called to be priests, to selflessly offer to one another. So there’s a commonality between all of us, and in our priesthood of all believers, then the male has the kingly and the prophetic, and the woman the prophetic and the kingly. So between genders, what we see in this relationship of back and forth and of giving, that there’s similarities, but there’s differences. In fact, those differences are very important so that this back and forth actually happens.

We really, in relationships, focus on chastity, purity, and selfless giving in love, which then allows our own real uniqueness to come through. So you’ll get a man who might be maybe more effeminate, or a woman who might tend to be more masculine, but that’s part of the uniqueness and diversity of creation, but it still fits within this dynamic and this relational and iconic experience.

And it's one thing to have every reason to believe it based on working it out from known first principles, and another to find support for it with laypersons who have lived it and found it to be workable, and another still to put it to your priest and have him give the okay, and yet even another for a famous Metropolitan to frequently advise in favour of it:
Mr. Allen: Andrew, let me ask you this question. When we interviewed Metropolitan Kallistos Ware on Ancient Faith Today, he brought up the guidance that he has sometimes given to same-sex couples. He says some people think he’s crazy, but he recommended that they try to live out their life in a non-genitally erotic approach for those that want to live together in love but without sin. What’s your comment about that approach?

Mr. Williams: There was a stir some years ago about a book written by a scholar called John Boswell who claimed to have discovered a liturgical rite in ancient Orthodoxy for same-sex unions. What he had discovered was a rite called adelphopoiesios, which means “making of brothers.” So it was a liturgical rite, and it was for joining together two men in a committed, intimate friendship. Of course, it wasn’t a same-sex union in the sense that we now understand the term, as many other scholars have since pointed out. But it is a good thing that he drew our attention to this rite and its surmise, because it helps us to see that we have isolated marriage and the so-called “nuclear family” as the only place for intimacy. You might even say that, in a lot of ways, we’ve made marriage an idol instead of an icon, and this has come back to bite us.

Metropolitan Kallistos, when he says this, you’re right, he says, “People laugh at me for saying it,” but maybe his advice is not as silly as it seems at first glance, although it would probably not be wise to try this with a relationship that had already been sexualized. But we should probably recover the possibility for intimate friendships that are not sexual.

There's a lot more and to quote all the good stuff would be to quote almost all of it. Little of it may make much sense outside of Christianity, or at least it won't make sense within modernity (while possibly making a good deal of sense in some pre-modern pagan societies).

I know this

if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content.

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