Guardian Unlimited Newsblog – Keeping It Real?
A fellow blogger whose blog I read regularly and proudly display on my blogroll – Fr. Joseph of “Orthodixie” – has been severely misquoted by The Guardian Unlimited Newsblog. Yesterday, they have posted an article covering the SpongeBob Squarepants issue (better late than never, I guess), where, among other things, the author is saying:
Among the leading critics is Dr James Dobson, of the Focus on the Family campaign group. One blogger, Father Joseph, a priest of the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church in Western North Carolina, writes "of course SquareBob is gay" (and so, apparently are Bugs Bunny, Elmore Fudd and Barney the dinsosaur).
Did Fr. Joseph really write that? Let’s see.
Of Course Sponge Bob is Gay!
Folks, be real. Can you imagine ever seeing Sponge Bob get married? To whom? Patrick? Squidward is certainly an "old maid" if I ever saw one.
Hate to break it to you: Bugs Bunny? Gay.
Ever seen Mrs Fudd? Gay, I say!
Barney? Never trust a man who giggles ... much less a dinosaur.
Droopy Dog? Don't get me started ...
and, further on:
The Flintstones invited us to have a "gay ol' time" (Wiiillll-maaa! Yelling for a woman; definitely not gay). <…>
Thus, using the Flintstone's definition, Sponge Bob is Gay.
But he's not a Gay Homosexual ...
Sponge Bob Square Pants is a Gay Hermaphrodite.
Note the not-so-subtle difference between the quote and the original. Is this because Mark Oliver, the author of the Guardian newsblog article, didn’t bother to check the sources? Or is this because Fr. Joseph’s views on the gay issue are not 100% identical to his own? We will never find out.
Unlike me, who (as I said before) wouldn’t touch the topic with a ten-foot pole, Fr. Joseph has written an article on the gay issue – “Gay… But Not Funny”. The article is right there on his blog for everyone to see. Not sure how Mr. Oliver missed it, and if he didn’t miss it, then I am not sure why he placed Fr. Joseph in the same category with Dr. Dobson. Here are a few quotes.
I once had a conversation with a friend who’d converted to Orthodoxy. At the time I was an Episcopalian on my way to seminary. I asked, “How does Orthodoxy handle your homosexuality?” “A lot better than the Episcopal Church,” he replied. He said that when he’d confessed his struggles in the Episcopal church, the priest frowned on his “orientation.” Whereas others, heterosexual college-aged men struggling with continence, had their sins winked at by the priest. [My how times have changed!] He went on to state that within Orthodoxy, sex outside of heterosexual marriage is a sin. Period. Sin is sin. And he was right. Carnal relations outside the God-pleasing confines of monogamous heterosexual marriage is contrary to God’s will. It separates us from God and others.
We, as Christians, members of the Body of Christ, do not get to vote on morality. The will of God on all matters pertaining to our relationship with our bodies and each other has been revealed. We must struggle, daily, to practice the precepts of our Faith. We fall, we get up. Fall down, back up. Fall again, up again. If we sin, through confession and repentance, we are reconciled through Christ to His Holy Church.
A priest once told about a man who came to see him about becoming Orthodox. The priest said, “Okay, we’ll need to discuss who Christ is, the Church, the Sacraments ....” The man interrupted him saying, “I’m gay.” The priest said, “Okay. But if you want to become Orthodox, we’ll need to discuss who Christ is, the Church, the Sacraments ....” “Dang it! Didn’t you hear me? I said, I’m gay!” “I heard you,” said the priest, “but if you want to become Orthodox, we’ll need to talk about who Christ is, the Church, the Sacraments ....” Crying, the man told the priest that other pastors had either told him it didn’t matter, or to get out! It took the man a couple years to become Orthodox, but another 10 years to become celibate. He claims he could never have made it without the benefit of Christ, the Church, and the Sacraments.
The Church – our Spiritual Hospital – must be open to all. We’re all sick with the disease of sin. We cannot be healed, really healed, without receiving the Body and Blood of Christ. We must never turn our backs on someone just because they’re a sinner or their sin’s not ours. God forbid! This is the mission of the Church, to save sinners! But, by the same token, it is not within our power to state that a sin is no longer a sin.
I am not going to comment on this. I am trying hard to stay away from the gay issue in its entirety. I don’t want any flaming discussions on this blog – at least, not yet. But do you see where Fr. Joseph’s quote was taken out of context and changed to mean the opposite of what it really said? Do you see why he doesn’t belong in the same camp with Dr. Dobson? I highly recommend his site. Please go over and read it. I need to know that my staying in the office alone long after everybody else left has been worth it.