Thursday, January 05, 2012

The Very Most Retired "Archbishop" rants again

I've mentioned this odd man and his odd views previously. In his most recent rant on YouTube he makes a number of ridiculous statements. He begins by talking about recent examples of the abuse of women in the Islamic world, but then quickly shifts into an attack on the Scriptures and the historic Christian view of morality.

He asserts that women were not legal persons until the 1930's and were not allowed to manage their own property previously. Women in the United States gained the right to vote in 1920, with the passage of the 19th amendment to the Constitution. Most adult women gained the right to vote in the United Kingdom in 1918, and all who were 21 and older gained it in 1928. And it is simply untrue that women were not seen a legal persons prior to that time, nor is it true that they had no right to manage their own property prior to that time.

Puhalo also asserts that the treatment of women in Islamic countries -- such as the torture of a child bride whose in-laws were attempting to force her into prostitution -- was not much different than the way women were treated in the Old Testament. He asserts, for example that a woman who was raped in a city was put to death, and a woman who is raped elsewhere was charged with adultery. Here is the actual passage in question:

“If a young woman who is a virgin is betrothed to a husband, and a man finds her in the city and lies with her, then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry out in the city, and the man because he humbled his neighbor’s wife; so you shall put away the evil from among you" (Deuteronomy 22:23-24).

First of all, it should be noted that this passage does not say anything about a woman who is raped being put to death. It speaks of a woman who is betrothed to one man, but who has sex with another man in a city. The question of whether she was raped or not is the question that this law addresses, and it says that if she resists, she was being raped, and so is innocent, but if she does not resist, she was not being raped.

This is made clear by what follows those verses:

"But if a man finds a betrothed young woman in the countryside, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. But you shall do nothing to the young woman; there is in the young woman no sin deserving of death, for just as when a man rises against his neighbor and kills him, even so is this matter. For he found her in the countryside, and the betrothed young woman cried out, but there was no one to save her" (Deuteronomy 22:25-27).

Note that this passage says nothing about the woman being charged with adultery. It says "You shall do nothing to the young woman, because she is innocent, just as in the case of person who is innocently murdered. Now you might ask about other scenarios, such as a man you gags a woman in a city and rapes her with a knife to the throat... this law lays out some general principles, but obviously there are always exceptional cases that change the picture, and both Jewish and Christian tradition are full of discussions about such exceptions... and so there is no reason to believe that additional facts that pointed to the woman's innocence would be ignored.

What laws like these definitely accomplished is that they prevented women from being put to death when they clearly had been raped, unlike what you find in Islamic law.

Puhalo then goes on to rant in his support of transgenderism. No one has suggested that when you have people who are born with phyical abnormalities that they should be denied corrective surgery. What has been denied is the idea that a man who believes he is trapped inside a woman's body, or vice versa should have a sex change operation.

Once again, here are the conclusions of the Russian Orthodox Church on the matter:

Sometimes perverted human sexuality is manifested in the form of the painful feeling of one's belonging to the opposite sex, resulting in an attempt to change one's sex (transsexuality). One's desire to refuse the sex that has been given him or her by the Creator can have pernicious consequences for one's further development. «The change of sex» through hormonal impact and surgical operation has led in many cases not to the solution of psychological problems, but to their aggravation, causing a deep inner crisis. The Church cannot approve of such a «rebellion against the Creator» and recognise as valid the artificially changed sexual affiliation. If «a change of sex» happened in a person before his or her Baptism, he or she can be admitted to this Sacrament as any other sinner, but the Church will baptise him or her as belonging to his or her sex by birth. The ordination of such a person and his or her marriage in church are inadmissible.

Transsexuality should be distinguished from the wrong identification of the sex in one's infancy as a result of doctors' mistake caused by a pathological development of sexual characteristics. The surgical correction in this case is not a change of sex. 

One has to wonder how long the OCA will allow a "retired Archbishop" to rant publicly against the teachings of the Church and the Scriptures, without some sanction.