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10Th Century Rites For Same Gender Unions


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Why have I not been told about this?

When Same-Sex Marriage Was a Christian Rite

 

And 700 years later the lawyers said

There are contrary indications about the entire ceremony. The late 18th century Orthodox law text known as the Pedalion or Rudder does indicate that the ceremony was [ab]used in this way.

http://www.fordham.e...urce/2rites.asp

 

Are there equivalent rites in non-Christian societies?

 

Was this the equivalent of civil unions?

 

Here are arguments against Boswell's conclusions.

http://www.rense.com/general50/cath.htm

 

A key point

"A ceremony of blessing would hardly sanction------in a subliminal, contextual reading------what Popes and Saints forthrightly condemned."

 

Unfortunately sometimes the church is excellent at just such an exercise.

 

Dutch

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"... in the evening the youth came to him [Jesus], wearing a linen cloth over his naked body. And he remained with him that night, for Jesus taught him the mystery of the Kingdom of God. And thence, arising, he returned to the other side of the Jordan." —The Secret Gospel of Mark, The Other Bible,
Willis Barnstone, Editor, Harper & Row, San Francisco, 1984, pp. 339-342.
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There has been scholarly debate over whether or not The Secret Gospel of Mark currently available is the genuine Secret Gospel or if it's a modern day forgery that Huston Smith made. Personally, I think there's stronger evidence that David and Jonathan were gay lovers over Jesus being gay.

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Why have I not been told about this?

When Same-Sex Marriage Was a Christian Rite

 

And 700 years later the lawyers said

There are contrary indications about the entire ceremony. The late 18th century Orthodox law text known as the Pedalion or Rudder does indicate that the ceremony was [ab]used in this way.

http://www.fordham.e...urce/2rites.asp

 

Are there equivalent rites in non-Christian societies?

 

Was this the equivalent of civil unions?

 

Here are arguments against Boswell's conclusions.

http://www.rense.com...eral50/cath.htm

 

A key point

"A ceremony of blessing would hardly sanction------in a subliminal, contextual reading------what Popes and Saints forthrightly condemned."

 

Unfortunately sometimes the church is excellent at just such an exercise.

 

Dutch

 

I'm wondering if this type of marriage could have been a celebate union with the partners living like monks or some such.

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I'm wondering if this type of marriage could have been a celibate union with the partners living like monks or some such.

This seems to be the main point of contention. I am told the church did not have marriage rites between "a man and a woman". A pastor who has the book says that Boswell's research is impeccable. There are other intimate language in the rites which are suggestive. I just can't think of another cultural equivalent. The critics' "blood brother" seems silly to me. I haven't done that since - well I don't remember that far back. There was no property to inherit from those who took a vow of poverty. right?. In another century or two Rites uniting a man and a woman appear. Part of the church's plot to gain land because land was that the land became property of the couple not the kinship and the widow could will the land to the church which made it a huge landowner and rich and powerful.

 

An 18th century legal reading was that these were civil unions which included a sexual relationship. The practice seems to have been limited to Eastern? Europe. That might hint at the nature and origin of this rite.

 

Dutch

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Why have I not been told about this?

 

That is my exact reaction. If this is based on solid scholarship and has merit, why isn't it better known? Why haven't sme-sex marriage advocacy groups made this more prominent?

 

Truthfully, I don't think it would persuade hard-core homophobes, but it would add a historical religious argument to the issue.

 

George

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After reading both sides of the issue, to me it is inconclusive and imo really matters very little. I have to ask myself, What is the objective here? Is it to determine whether the Christian church system once accepted same sex marriages? If so, it then raises the further questions in me, Should the church system be our guide on these issues? Do we follow men. a system, or the light that God has put within us?

 

The real question to me regardless of purported writings perhaps is....Are we the judge of our brother that does to us no harm? Does any of us have an inside track of the will of God for another? Is it not enough for each of us to establish our own path? Should a sense of fairness and justice prevail in our civil laws and system? Considering those questions, though it may be an interesting study in history to research such an issue, it seems to me establishing whether those rites existed as reported or not should have little bearing on what direction we take as a society.

 

Just my own view for consideration,

 

Joseph

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Joseph,

 

Those are good questions and observations. I think the value is first in good history for history's sake. It also may help dilute the religious argument against same-sex marriage, i.e. it is not a modern secular innovation.

 

George

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That is my exact reaction. If this is based on solid scholarship and has merit, why isn't it better known? Why haven't sme-sex marriage advocacy groups made this more prominent?

 

Truthfully, I don't think it would persuade hard-core homophobes, but it would add a historical religious argument to the issue.

 

George

 

George,

 

Many gay advocates are aware of the research, and it is sometimes used. Why not use it? The answer is complex, but I'll offer a few suggestions.

 

Beginning with Freud, there has been a strong resistance towards accepting any scholarship concerning homosexuality done by a homosexual. It was the influence of Freud that cast the fate of gays being labeled 'abnormal, and since they are 'abnormal' they are unreliable. If you are curious you might look for a copy of Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality and read for yourself. Be advised, you might not like what you find.

 

Boswell was gay and I am told he was well aware of an almost automatic response of an assumed bias in his work. Is this attitude real, does it persist today? Yes, it does. I have monitored and participated in discussions on other boards where the revelation of one's sexual orientation changes the response in sometimes a not so subtle way.

 

Sadly, there is more. Boswell became known just before the AIDS epidemic began. He died of AIDS, and we lost a great scholar. But the stigma remains.

 

Finally, there is the current negative view of religion and especially the scandals concerning priests.

 

I am pleased that this article appeared on the ProgressiveChristianity.org website and is being discussed here. This is on of the few safe places where the nuances and history can be appreciated.

 

Myron

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Joseph,

 

To many of us it doesn't matter whether there is historical evidence and in most cases people change their mind based on relationships, but there are occasionally encounters with people on the fence who are looking for additional evidence to change their evaluation of the issue. This is another bit of evidence to be considered. It has limited weight but it is part of the discussion about whether the church's attitude toward same-sex marriage is unified and eternal.

 

Dutch

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Dutch,

 

I would agree that people change their evaluation of the issue based on evidence but is the opinion of the church historically or otherwise really evidence? Is it good that people who count that as evidence be swayed by it? If so then what of others things they have taught or are teaching?

 

It seems to me it is because of the influence and claims of the church system that we have been given some of the presummed justifications of this and similar issues of society. It also seems to me the undoing of teachings not by religious history but sound reasoning, rational thought, personal experience and real evidence will more effectively deal with these issues.

 

At least it seems so,

Joseph

Edited by JosephM
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In Christianity, Social Tolrance, and Homosexuality John Boswell uses homosexuality as a backdrop for the more general subject discussed in Part IV The Rise of Intolerance. Chapter 10 is entitled "Social Change: Making enemies." This history is, to me at least, more important to activists. Most people seem to think that a "gay activist" is only concerned about "gay rights", but this is often not the case.

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Is it good that people who count that as evidence be swayed by it?

Is it good that people be swayed? I think the answer is yes. Their intellect having been moved then their bodies and hearts may follow. I made an intellectual decision and THEN attended a gay church for 6 months so my body and heart and the unconscious homophobia would be available to my awareness.

 

For me it was mind first. At least that's how I experienced it.

 

Dutch

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Beginning with Freud, there has been a strong resistance towards accepting any scholarship concerning homosexuality done by a homosexual.

 

I am confident that you are right. This would 'discredit' his scholarship in the minds of some.

 

I also wonder if the antenna of a gay person is better in recognizing symbols and nuances on this subject that a straight person. As an example, I saw nothing initially in the painting from St. Catherine's in the Sinai (which, incidentally, is in Egypt, not Israel, as stated in the article).

 

George

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I am confident that you are right. This would 'discredit' his scholarship in the minds of some.

 

I also wonder if the antenna of a gay person is better in recognizing symbols and nuances on this subject that a straight person. As an example, I saw nothing initially in the painting from St. Catherine's in the Sinai (which, incidentally, is in Egypt, not Israel, as stated in the article).

 

George

 

George,

 

You are correct to some degree. However, a lot depends on the intent of the artist. It is typical of art of this sort that it have more than one intended meaning. What we also have here is Christ as the uniting symbol transcending or uniting dualities. I saw both interpretations almost instantly.

 

Myron

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