Homosexuality and Religion Gender and Sexuality: WRTG 3020 Hannah Alleman
Homosexuality In Religion Father Kevin Augustyn of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, and Pastor Jessica Nelson of First United Methodist Church, will be interviewed regarding homosexuality and their religion through the following questions: What is the background and main belief system of your religion? How does your religion perceive and approach LGBT individuals? How does these views your religion holds identify your beliefs?
In addition to the two interviews, I will be looking at other religions and their perspective on homosexuality in the Church. The religions to be studied are: 1.) Presbyterianism 2.) Church of Scientology 3.) Buddhism 4.) Judaism
Catholicism 1. History and Belief System of the Catholic Church 2. Catechism and Church beliefs on Homosexuality 3. Interview with Father Kevin Augustyn
Catholicism The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, claiming more than a billion members. Its leader is the Pope. The Church defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity. The Catholic Church is one of the oldest continuous religious institutions in the world and has played a prominent role in the history of Western Civilization. It teaches that it was founded by Jesus Christ, that its bishops are successors of his apostles and that the Pope as the successor of St. Peter possesses a universal primacy. It also maintains that it can infallibly define its dogmas through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Historical Views on Catholicism and Homosexuality In Roman Catholicism, homosexual acts are considered contrary to natural law and sinful, while homosexual desires are considered "disordered" but not themselves sinful. The Catholic Church considers human sexual behavior to be sacred, when properly expressed.
Father Kevin Augustyn Father Kevin Augustyn directs and handles:
Father Kevin Augustyn The Catechism, or the universal summary of teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church, states that homosexual acts are “disordered and against the natural law of human sexuality” However, the Catholic Church does not condemn the sinner, rather they condemn the act of sinning. The purposes of human sexuality are to 1. Procreate and 2. Achieve a union of spouses. These two factors cannot be separated, and although homosexual persons can marry, without being able to procreate, they are therefore going against the natural laws of human sexuality. Just as one would have to confess a sin of premarital sex, and homosexual could confess their sin of being engaged in a homosexual act and become fully forgiven of all their sins. Everyone in the Catholic Church is called to a form of chastity, and homosexuals are therefore called to a life of abstinence.
The United Methodist Church History and Belief System of the United Methodist Church United Methodist Church and Homosexuality Interview with Jessica Nelson
United Methodist Church The United Methodist Church (UMC) is a Methodist Christian denomination which is both mainline and evangelical. Founded in 1968 by the union of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the UMC traces its roots back to the revival movement of John and Charles Wesley within the Church of England. The United Methodist Church contains both liturgical and evangelical elements.
Historical Views on United Methodist Church and Homosexuality The United Methodist Church "affirms that all persons are individuals of sacred worth, created in the image of God" and encourages United Methodists to be in ministry with and for all people. In accordance with its view of Scripture,the Church officially considers, "the practice of homosexuality (to be) incompatible with Christian teaching." It states that "self-avowed practicing homosexuals" cannot be ordained as ministers, and supports "…laws in civil society that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman." But the UMC also states that "basic human rights and civil liberties are due all persons... regardless of sexual orientation," and supports the lawful claims of contractual relationships such as mutual power of attorney, guardianship, shared material resources, etc. between two people regardless of sexual orientation as a simple justice issue
Intern Associate Pastor Jessica Nelson Jessie is serving as Intern Associate Pastor as her fourth year of study for the Masters in Divinity degree at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. Her focus is broad to enhance her studies, working in all areas of ministry including education, worship and community outreach.
Interview with Jessica Nelson What is the basic belief system of the United Methodist Church in terms of homosexuality? Jessica: The official doctrine from the Book of Discipline states that homosexuality is incompatible with the Christian way of life, but at First United Methodist in Boulder, we believe in the sacred worth of all individuals. We believe in the priesthood of all believers, meaning that LGBT individuals may hold leadership positions. However, our church in Boulder is the only Methodist Church that allows this type of clergy and environment. In 1976, the vote to change these beliefs only lost 52-48, so it has been considered to allow LGBT individuals to hold leadership positions across the country. In 1997, the United Methodist Church held a “reconciling council” that allows LGBT individuals to feel more included in the church. There is now a ritual for a “coming out” celebration, just as one would celebrate a wedding or birth in the church.
Presbyterianism History and Belief System of the Presbyterian Church The Presbyterian Church and Homosexuality
Presbyterianism Presbyterianism refers to many different Christian churches adhering to the Calvinist theological tradition within Protestantism, and organized according to a characteristic Presbyterian polity. Presbyterian theology typically emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Scriptures, and the necessity of grace through faith in Christ.
Historical Views on Presbyterianism and Homosexuality The Presbyterian Church, is divided over the issue of homosexuality. Although gay and lesbian persons are welcome to become members of the church, the denomination's constitution, The Book of Order states that: “Those who are called to office in the church are to lead a life in obedience to Scripture and in conformity to the historic confessional standards of the church. Among these standards is the requirement to live either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness. Persons refusing to repent of any self-acknowledged practice which the confessions call sin shall not be ordained and / or installed as deacons, elders, or ministers of the Word and Sacrament (G-6.0106b).”
Church of Scientology History and Belief System of the Church of Scientology Scientology and Homosexuality
Scientology Scientology is defined as a set of beliefs written by founder L. Ron Hubbard. Scientology describes itself as the study and handling of the spirit in relationship to itself, others, and all of life. One purpose of Scientology, as stated by the Church of Scientology, is to become certain of one's spiritual existence and one's relationship to God, or the "Supreme Being.” One belief of Scientology is that a human is an immortal alien spiritual being, termed a thetan, that is trapped on planet Earth in a physical body.
Scientology and Homosexuality L. Ron Hubbard’s book: "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health(1950) in regards to homosexuality states that: "Such people should be taken from the society as rapidly as possible and uniformly institutionalized; for here is the level of the contagion of immorality, and the destruction of ethics...No social order which desires to survive dates overlook its stratum 1.1's. No social order will survive which does not remove these people from its midst." One of Hubbard's solutions to homosexuality was quarantine; the other was counseling with the goal of raising the individual's rating above 1.1: "The only answers would seem to be the permanent quarantine of such persons from society to avoid the contagion of their insanities and the general turbulence which they bring to any order, thus forcing it lower on the scale, or processing such persons until they have attained a level on the tone scale which gives them value."
Buddhism History and Belief System of Buddhism Buddhism and Homosexuality
Buddhism The Buddha was an ordinary man, who 2,500 years ago saw clearly into the true nature of reality. As such, Buddha’s teachings are not set rules to follow, nor the only wisdom in the world. Rather, they should be seen as advice to consider, from someone who has ‘gone beyond’ everyday views, ideas, and conceptions. Many have also become ‘enlightened’ before Buddha, have since the Buddha, and will in the future. Buddhists are encouraged to test everything they read or hear, to see if it stands up to their own standards as true or not. Life exists in itself - there is no inherent meaning attached to life. However - as all human beings (and animals) wish for happiness and not to suffer - the purpose of life may be said to end that suffering.
Buddhism and Homosexuality De Silvia, the Buddhist author of “Homosexuality and Theravada Buddhism states that: “In the case of the lay man and woman where there is mutual consent, where adultery is not involved and where the sexual act is an expression of love, respect, loyalty and warmth, it would not be breaking the third Precept. And it is the same when the two people are of the same gender. Likewise promiscuity, license and the disregard for the feelings of others would make a sexual act unskillful whether it be heterosexual or homosexual. All the principles we would use to evaluate a heterosexual relationship we would also use to evaluate a homosexual one. In Buddhism we could say that it is not the object of one's sexual desire that determines whether a sexual act is unskillful or not, but rather the quality of the emotions and intentions involved.” It is also worth noting that Buddhism does not traditionally place great value on procreation like many western religions. From the Buddhist viewpoint, being married with children is regarded as generally positive, but not compulsory (although social norms in various Buddhist countries often have different views).
Judaism History and Belief System of Judaism Judaism and Homosexuality
Judaism Judaism has no official creed or universal doctrinal requirements for membership. In general, a person can be considered "Jewish" whether he adheres to a complete system of beliefs about God and the afterlife, holds only a few simple beliefs that give meaning to ritual, or even (at least in liberal Judaism) does not believe in God at all. Judaism is a monotheistic religion which believes that the world was created by a single, all-knowing divinity, and that all things within that world were designed to have meaning and purpose as part of a divine order. According to the teachings of Judaism, God's will for human behavior was revealed to Moses and the Israelites at Mount Saini. The Torah, or commandments, which regulate how humans are to live their lives, were a gift from God so that they might live in according to His will.
Judaism and Homosexuality The current view of Orthodox Judaism has been to regard homosexual intercourse as contradictory to Judaism, since it is categorically forbidden by the Torah. However, homosexual orientation, if not acted upon sexually, is permissible since the Torah only forbids homosexual intercourse, not homosexual desires. Reconstructionist Judaism and Reform Judaism do not hold this view and validate homosexual intercourse.
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