Greece, like many Christian countries, celebrates January 6. It is called the Feast of the Epiphany, or the coming of the Wise Men with their gifts to the manager in Bethlehem. It celebrates the Wise Men from different countries who recognized that the infant Jesus was God in human form. I, paula, like to think of this event as humans offering our talents and gifts to God. One of my gifts is my homosexuality – given to me to celebrate. The best way I celebrated this gift was to legally marry Trish.
When Religion Become Toxic
In December 2015, the Greek parliament passed a law to recognize same-sex partner ships. The Greek Orthodox Church and the Neo-Nazis erupted with homophobic messages. Several Greek bishops have spoken of the Neo Nazi party “New Dawn”
as “sweet hope” for Greece. (Haven’t they heard of Hitler?)
Last year (2014) on January 6, the LGBT community came to have a “kiss in” at a religious gathering in Piraeus (a Greek port near Athens). It is tradition for priests to throw a crucifix into the sea and have several young ‘men’ dive into the cold water to retrieve it. It is considered “good luck.” (I guess women can’t stand the cold water, lol). This place was chosen because of Bishop Seraphium’s participation in his home town of Piraeus. The bishop is a notorious homophobe and the Greek hate-crimes legislation should be applied to him.
Love is NOT a Sin!
When the bishop tossed the cross into the sea, the LGBT community kissed and passed out pamphlets. Many of these pamphlets denounced the Neo-Nazis and the Greek Orthodox church of telling lies. Both parties have continued to link homosexuality with paedophilia and beastility which are crimes
whereas most enlightened societies do not place homosexuality as a crime. Seraphium went as far as threatening members of the Greek Parliament with excommunication. (This is a ritual where a bishop condemns a person to hell).
Law Not Religion is LGBT’s Friend
The Law with regards to basic human rights is more “Christian” than most churches. In November 2014, the European Court of Human Rights ordered Greece to allow same-sex couples to enter into civil partnerships like straight people can. The Strasbourg-based tribunal ruled that, in not doing so, Athens was in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Greek parliament passed this legislation in December, 2015.
Science v Religion
The majority of people would never go to a doctor who practised medicine from 3,500 years ago, yet these right wing homophobes are quoting Scripture from this era to state that homosexuality is abnormal in humans and in animals. Any biologist will tell you that homosexuality exists in albatrosses, king penguins, dolphins giraffes and many other species. Any historian will tell you that homosexuality was accepted in ancient Greece. Institutes of Psychiatrists and Psychologist world wide state that homosexuality is not a mental disorder or perversion and since it cannot be reversed, it is NOT a choice.
The Luke-Warm or Silent Worshippers
The Greeks that attend churches under the control of homophobic bishops like Seraphium and do not speak out against his un-Christian words are part of the problem! This was the problem in Nazi Germany (although the Germans had to contend with armed force). Many of the worshippers have children, grandchildren or family members who are homosexual or transpersons. They need to organize themselves after church and protest.