Shocking (not really) results of a study on Orthodoxy and LGBT issues

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  • 02.Jul ‘20
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Shocking (not really) results of a study on Orthodoxy and LGBT issues

Last year, the American archdiocese of the Constantinople Patriarchate founded a think-tank under the guidance of renowned American theologists George E. Demacopoulos and Aristotle Papanikolaou. The think-tank has as its goal an ambitious and, let’s be honest, dubious intention of developing an Orthodox theology compatible with modern liberal values.  Demakopulos ( 🏳️‍🌈 inclusive)Its headquarters, as befits an Orthodox think-tank, is situated in Jesuit Fordham university, NY.  In August 2019, at a conference at Oxford they announced a joint project with Exeter University on the topic of Orthodox Christianity, Sexual Diversity & Public Policy. Today they published the results (see full text here) – and, obviously, Religion Today couldn’t help but wonder about its main conclusions.

The results of the study could blow the mind 😅 of an unprepared reader:  Orthodox churches turned out to be strongholds of conservatism. Despite all painstaking efforts of secular government institutions, the overwhelming majority of the Orthodox believe that:

– a person’s sex is biologically determined at birth 🧐;

– gender roles should be distributed according to the Orthodox ethical norms 🤨;

– marriage is a union of one man and one woman 👨‍👩‍👦, ‍‍ that is made once and for all 😳;

– extramarital sex is unacceptable 😰. 

Notably, it’s not only the clergy that hold these views, but Orthodox laypeople as well, which, in researchers’ minds, creates a challenge for changing such attitudes. It does not help that Orthodoxy, as the authors inform the reader, is a decentralized system: each and every authorized Orthodox autocephalous church is guided by the principles of unacceptable conservatism, and religious diversity is viewed as a threat to the religion itself.

Yet, the researchers have not given up ✊🏽. They have gone above and beyond in their study of Orthodoxy: the report presents 10 essays by Orthodox theologians that will be analyzed to determine the sore spots and contradictions in the modern Orthodoxy that could need to be addressed in the future.

The concluding part simpleheartedly presents further goals:

– There is a need to study Orthodoxy more. It is conservative, but not monolithic 📖.

– Civil governments should collaborate with loyal Orthodox authorities that could advocate for liberal ideas in general and cooperation with LGBTQ+ communities in particular ️‍🏳️‍🌈.

– It is of crucial importance to arrange meetings with the conservatives and discuss middle ground solutions

– There is a need to use the groundwork of the think-tank; support and fund 💵  other related projects.

All in all, despite all negative press, covfefe  they shall persevere.

Well, thank you for telling us.

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