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Flashcards in GENDER AND SEXUALITY: Issues Deck (20)
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Celibacy in the Christian tradition

Marriage is a sexual, social and emotional union
Celibacy is choosing to live the life of a single person in order to devote oneself completely to God
By the time Matthew was writing, celibacy was seen as a deliberate religious choice: 'there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven' (Jesus in Matthew)


What was marriage a sign of in the Early Church?

Leaders were expected to marry as a sign of moral responsibility


From the 4th century, what was celibacy seen as?

A higher calling than family life


The Orthodox Church and clerical marriage

In the Orthodox Church, priests can't marry after their ordination. Bishops can't be married.
There is pressure in the RC Church to end the rule of celibacy due to shortage of people offering themselves for ordination


Protestant Evangelical Churches and clerical marriage

Many of these prefer their clergy to be married. They argue that a celibate man fails to live up to the biblical requirements for a church leader to be the husband of one wife and have an orderly family life


What does St Paul say about marriage?

Marriage is a concession to those who can't remain celibate


Marriage for the Catholic Church

A sacrament- a physical act that causes a change to the souls of the two involved
Raising a Christian family was a vocation but a vocation inferior to living a celibate life


Marriage for the Protestant Church

A family seen as God's blessing upon the union of husband and wife
Marriage a 'worldly thing' (Luther)


Divorce for the Catholic Church

Since 2 individuals become 'one flesh' in marriage, divorce isn't possible
A marriage can't be dissolved in the eyes of God and the Church
If divorcees re-marry, they are excluded from Holy Communion
A marriage may be annulled if there is evidence that a marriage wasn't sacramental in the first place


Divorce for the Protestant Church

Marriage isn't a sacrament so can be dissolved
The end of a marriage shows the couple have failed to live up to god's standards for personal life
Jesus appears to allow divorce a s result of marital unfaithfulness
The re-marriage of divorcees is possible if they admit their failure


Until the end of the 1950s, what did Churches regard homosexuality as?

A sin- periodt


Catholic tradition on homosexuality: Tendencies and acts

In Catholic theology, homosexual tendencies and feelings aren't in themselves sinful, but gay acts go against the principle of NML so are sins- the conception of children is the 'final aim' of sex


Celibacy as a response to homosexuality

Some argue that someone with gay tendencies should be required to remain celibate/a trans person should learn to live with a divided sense of gender


Interpretation of biblical texts by the LGBT community

Some texts have been interpreted to illustrate positive aspects of their experience e.g. David and Jonathan, Ruth and Naomi's relationship


Homosexuality and the Old Testament

God as creator= god has made gays the way they are so should be accepted
'Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does a woman; that is detestable'- Leviticus


Why can't the passage of Sodom and Gomorrah be used to condemn homosexual acts between men?

A homosexual act is only threatened
Maybe Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed because of violence and inhospitality; sexual sin is not specified


Homosexuality and the New Testament

'Men who have sex with men ... will [not] inherit the kingdom of God'- Corinthians. Does the Greek term mean gay men or male prostitutes?
'You who pass judgement do the same things'- Paul. All need forgiveness so Christians shouldn't judge others


Arguments against allowing change of gender

The Early Church was against surgery that tampered with sex identity. Eunuchs couldn't be ordained as priests
A surgical gender transition can't change a person's born sexual nature
If a trans woman sleeps with a man, this is a homosexual act
God created a trans person with their body, so they should be content with the gender God gave them


Arguments in favour of allowing change of gender

'In the image of god he created them; male and female, he created them'- Genesis. God's nature contains both male and female so changing gender is merely a case of emphasising one aspect of God's image over another
'There is neither ... male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus'- Paul. Gender identity has no significance in terms of salvation
'Every woman who makes herself a male will enter the kingdom of heaven'- Gospel of Thomas


The Church of England and gay ordination

Provided gay activity didn't interfere with pastoral ministry, pastors could be gay
Today, openly gay people may be ordained provided they remain celibate