Why Church Has Been Hard for Me

Church…under construction
Church…under construction

About a year ago, the Supreme Court struck down DOMA. That was the week when I started getting dozens more Twitter followers, and I didn’t know why. A little Internet sleuthing told me that the Huffington Post was rerunning the first, and probably most infamous, article I had written for them, “An Eastern Orthodox Defense of Gay Marriage.” That was July of 2011, when church became a hard(er) place to be in sometimes.

My alienation was subtle but sudden. Only a couple of my fellow parishioners wrote me condescending and/or threatening emails, but I quickly noticed how people stopped making eye-contact with me. It was not universal because not everyone knew what I had written, but those whom I knew had read my piece treated me rather coolly. I don’t blame them for this. It was the best they could do. The fact that the response was not more outrageous is a credit to the wonderful people in my parish. But I’ve always felt a bit out of sorts there. That’s not their fault. It’s just the way it is. Let me explain… Continue reading Why Church Has Been Hard for Me

Ancient Faith Continued: When “Orthodoxy” Gets it Wrong

Update: Comments here and on Facebook have made me aware that some people think this post is about gay marriage. It is not.

Ancient Faith Continued is a blog series following my recent appearance on Ancient Faith Today, in which I answer some questions I wish I had been asked about being Orthodox in a modern world.

St. Athanasius
(via Wikimedia Commons)

I support gay civil marriage. This puts me at odds with the official views of my bishops. If I had been asked about that on air, I would have said something about how I am personally uncomfortable disagreeing with my hierarchs, but I would also have said that in the Orthodox Church, just because a synod or council meets and says something does not mean it is right. Let me give you a few examples…

Continue reading Ancient Faith Continued: When “Orthodoxy” Gets it Wrong

Ancient Faith Continued: Theology and Symphony



Today I begin a series I call Ancient Faith Continued. I chose that title with a purpose.

Gregory of Nyssa (Wikimedia Commons)
  • At the most basic level, “Ancient Faith” refers to a radio program I recently appeared on to discuss how the church responds to gay marriage and the culture wars. I wanted to “continue” what I said there by addressing some questions I was told to prepare for but did not have time to discuss.
  • At a deeper level, “Ancient Faith” invokes the modern nickname for the Orthodox Church, and “Continued” points to the way I think about its relationship to culture. This raises questions of about the way I think about the Tradition (i.e. the scriptures and traditions of the Orthodox Church). Continue reading Ancient Faith Continued: Theology and Symphony

Why do I Write about Gay Marriage?



No really! Why? I want to know!

The Huffington Post e-mailed me yesterday to let me know my article on gay marriage had been published, and I immediately got a sinking feeling in my stomach. (It was the same feeling I got less than a year ago.) I hate writing about this subject. Really, I do. I get attacked from both sides. New atheists (who apparently have too much time on their hands) attack my beliefs, and my sisters and brothers in Christ attack the sincerity of my faith. Just this morning, someone called me stupid (atheist) and a liar (Christian).

Sigh! Continue reading Why do I Write about Gay Marriage?