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Egypt’s Coptic Christians celebrate Christmas, ponder changing date

A villager wearing a traditional peasant galabiya gown inspects Christmas trees in El Kosheh, Egypt, on Dec. 18, 2018. RNS photo by Fady Hadny

EL KOSHEH, Egypt (RNS) — This Coptic Christian village about 280 miles south of Cairo calls itself “Little Jerusalem.”

Around this time of year, many of the village’s 40,000 residents recall their frequent pilgrimages to the Holy Land, which include a stop at Bethlehem’s Grotto of the Nativity.

“We make our own papier-mâché scenes of the Grotto of Christmas as a symbol of the holy infant who was born poor in a cave,” said Ne’mat al-Qumos, 52, a vice principal at El Kosheh’s public high school.

Like many other Orthodox Christian communities in the Middle East, Egypt’s 20 million Copts portray the birth of Jesus as happening in a cave, not the wooden stable in the manger scenes prevalent in Europe and the United States.

Because they follow the Julian calendar, they celebrate Christmas Eve on Jan. 6, and feasts are held on Christmas Day, Jan. 7.

Some now argue this ancient community should change the dates to Dec. 24-25 as a sign of global Christian unity. The idea is drawing mixed reaction in a community that is already experiencing change in its longstanding Christmas traditions.

Evergreen fir trees don’t grow in the Nile Valley, so the Christmas tree is a relative newcomer to a landscape of sugar cane, wheat and cotton fields and date palms. Today a 9-foot-tall Christmas tree, along with El Kosheh’s biggest nativity grotto, decorates the courtyard of the Church of the Martyrs and the Archangel Michael, the largest of 10 congregations in the town.

“The Christmas tree did not arrive here until after the big massacre,” said al-Qumos, referring to a January 2000 clash with Muslims from a neighboring village that erupted in El Kosheh after a dispute between a Muslim trader and a Christian shop owner.  Twenty-one local residents were killed. Some were crucified.

Church spires dot the skyline of the Coptic Christian town of El Kosheh, Egypt. RNS photo by Fady Hadny

Today the violence persists despite President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s support for the community, including giving Coptic civil servants the same paid leave to make pilgrimages to Jerusalem as their Muslim peers receive to make the hajj to Mecca. El-Sissi has also attended Christmas celebrations in Cairo.

Earlier this month, rogue security guards shot two Christians outside their church in Minya. In November, militants ambushed three buses carrying pilgrims on their way to a remote desert monastery, killing seven people and wounding 19.

“We needed joy after the bitter grief we lived, and the beautiful lights and adornments of Christmas trees helped us,” al-Qumos said.

Still, as plastic trees imported from China have become ubiquitous in the rural Coptic heartland, shifting Christmas traditions are simultaneously embraced and questioned.

“The tree is certainly a new phenomenon, as is Santa Claus,” said 62-year-old homemaker Angel Marcus. “But I still stick to my grandma’s old holiday recipes of grilled Nile tilapia and mackerel, even though many of my neighbors have started making meat dishes like roast beef and turkey.”

Church historians agree that the original Saint Nicholas was born in Asia Minor in 280. Legend holds that Nicholas unexpectedly spent in time in Egypt when a storm knocked his Holy Land-bound ship off course to Alexandria, the Mediterranean port city that serves as the official seat of Coptic popes.

“In eastern churches, Nicholas’ miraculous rescue earned him the title of the patron saint of sailors,” said Yousra El Gendi, an author of scholarly books on the community. “The red-robed Santa Claus is a new bit of iconography in Egypt, particularly for the rural Copts. These things were not seen in Egypt until the British effectively occupied the country in the late 19th century and French Jesuits and Italian Franciscans built hospitals and schools.”

Now El Kosheh’s townsfolk are also discussing controversial proposals to move the date of their nativity feast.

A Christmas service is celebrated at a church in El Kosheh, Egypt, on Jan. 6, 2016. The Coptic Christian town’s churches are adorned with icons of the holy family and images of saints most beloved in the Coptic tradition, which puts a special emphasis on the time Jesus, Joseph and Mary spent living in Egypt. RNS photo by Fady Hadny

Two years ago, Roman Catholic officials and Copt leaders started exploring steps toward mutual recognition of baptism rituals, pilgrimage sites and even reconciling their liturgical calendars.

Bishop Anba Epiphanius, who was also the abbot of St. Macarius Monastery, was the point man in Coptic Pope Tawadros II’s efforts to reconcile their church with the Vatican.

But in July Epiphanius was killed. The two men charged in his death are monks with links to a group called “The Faith Protectors” who are vehemently opposed to changing the dates of scriptural readings, Christmas and Easter.

The group has threatened to disrupt any attempts to move the date of the holiday.

“We are happy with the idea of collective celebration provided that our loved ones come to us in our time to celebrate with us as we also celebrate in the same way that our apostles gave us, ” said the association’s founder, Mina Assad Kamel.

Al-Qumos, the high school administrator, characterizes the Faith Protectors as extremists. But he believes the Coptic church should keep its unique calendar.

“I see nothing wrong with Santa Claus and Christmas trees,” he said. “But I think changing Christmas for some kind of political rapprochement with the West is wrong.”

But 31-year-old truck driver Malam Allam, who hauls the boxes of plastic trees 40 miles from the provincial trading center of Sohag to El Kosheh, said the date change is inevitable and would be inspiring.

“Modern transport and technology is erasing the difference between the countryside and cities and even between Egypt and Europe,” said Allam. “Pope Tawadros sees this as something beautiful, and I agree to unify Christmas with the Western world so we all celebrate Christmas at the same time.”

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  • Changing the date is not going to change the following:

    Christmas, the embellished story of the birth of a simple, preacher man named Jesus.

    As per many contemporary NT exegetes, his parents were Mary and Joseph although some say Jesus was a mamzer, the result of a pre-marital relationship between Mary and a Roman soldier.

    http:// www. earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

    Jesus was not born in Bethlehem at least the one we are familiar with and there were no pretty wingie thingies singing from on high, no slaughter of the innocents by Herod, no visiting wise men and no escape to Egypt.

    Mark’s gospel, the most historical of the four gospels, does not even mention the event.

    And from Professor Gerd Ludemann in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 269-272, “The historical yield of the Lukan infancy narrative in respect to the birth of Jesus is virtually nil (ditto for Matt. 1: 18-25, Matt. 2. 1-23)”

    Conclusion: Christmas is historically a non-event. Ditto for the Feast of the Magi and the solemnity of Mary aka New Years day.

  • I hope they do not change the date. But, as Santa Claus and western-style Christmas trees have already been introduced, I expect a change in date is an eventuality. What then follows will likely be a western-style secularization of the feast. That secularization that will grow in importance over time.

    Change is in the offing, and I have learned that change cannot be stopped. Change can be delayed, argued against, disparaged, discouraged, etc — but in the long run change, once started, does occur. The old die, the young take over, customs are updated maybe for the better, maybe for the worse.

    Internet, 24-hour news stations, modern transportation; It’s a small world after all — it’s a small, small world.

  • I agree; it’s disappointing that the links to the past are slowly being erased. I’m certain it’s been similar since the beginning of time; but sad all the same.

  • “Ne’mat al-Qumos, 52, a vice principal at El Kosheh’s public high school … believes the Coptic church should keep its unique calendar.”

    ME TOO.

  • Rigorous historic testing agrees with much that is being taught in graduate theology classes and the conclusions of groups like the Conservative wing of Judaism.

  • And so the banner of Islam now flies over 99.9% of the Middle East land mass for many centuries. It must be part of God’s divine plan.

    Coptic News: 
”Since Christianity came to Egypt in 57 A.D., we, the Christians of Egypt, have not had conflict with the Jewish people. Copts have been a marginal population held in captivity for sixteen centuries. We constitute the largest non-Arab, non-Moslem minority in the Middle East. The Church of Alexandria, is one of the oldest organizations in the Middle East. Despite this distinguished history, it is a church that has been under siege since the Islamic invasion.”

  • From reading Hitler’s bio, his parents, Catholics, ran the house in authoritarian manner, he was doing well in Catholic/monastery school, which is very authoritarian, then starting studying Pan-Germanism, another authoritarian idea. What does that have to do with Rational Conclusions? Tens of millions of Christians killed each other in WWII Europe while the Vatican remained neutral.

    I am an atheist, but when I was young, blacks could not worship in most white churches, nor use their bathroom, or water fountains. And we saw what 2,000 years of Christian love looked like in Europe, with all the wars, pogroms, genocides, inquisitions, slave trading, and all the conquers of the New World flew the flag of Catholic Kings, all with the approval of the Church.

    February 2006, BBC “Church apologizes for slave trade”–
    The Church of England has voted to apologize to the descendants of victims of the slave trade. An amendment “recognizing the damage done” to those enslaved was backed overwhelmingly by the General Synod. Debating the motion, Rev Simon Bessant, from Pleckgate, Blackburn, described the Church’s involvement in the trade, saying: “We were at the heart of it.”

  • Are you a disciple of the Holy Lewdman, like Rat Con, the self-appointed “Mouth of Lewdman”?

    Let all bow before him!

  • Yeah but that hardly explains (1) the #MeToo phenomenon of Neil deGrasse Tyson, David Silverman, Lawrence Krauss & Al Franken. Or that (2) there’s no such thing as The Atheist Moral Compass. Or are you begging to differ on both counts? EXPLAIN.

  • What hallow a religion is the name and the blood of Jesus. It is not the date, the place, the organ, the pew, ….. In fact, this town has a special history of massacres in the end of last century in this holy season. It would dishonor those saints whose blood cried out from the crypts. The one world thing is just a sideshow before the LORD Jesus come.

    Now the dusk is falling quickly. Come quickly LORD Jesus!

  • You learn right from wrong in the house growing up by example, not from a book. Every culture has come to the conclusion that you cannot murder each other, steal, lie, and lust after your neighbor’s wife and children. Morals are the rules that you live by. I am sure you are not walking the path of Jesus.

  • So where did your #MeToo Idols – Neil deGrasse Tyson, David Silverman, Lawrence Krauss & Al Franken – “learn right from wrong”? In whose “house”? Or aren’t you “sure [they] are not walking the path of [ASHiesm]”? EXPLAIN.

  • I add to the discussion: from the Code of Hammurabi and the Egyptian Book of the Dead (the source of the Ten Commandments).

  • The Ten Commandments? Lets look at God’s first four moral Commandments:

    1. You shall have no other gods before me. (Jealous) (Egotistic)

    2. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God. (Jealous and Egotistic)

    3. Thou shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. (Egotistic)

    4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. (Egotist) (One day a week, just for me “the Lord your God”)

    I wonder if those are HpO’s first four moral commandments!

  • Amen. These passages were basically taken by Jewish scribes using the cited references. There was no Moses and no holy mountain and no burning bush.

  • Of course if YOU were a deity and actually created everything from nothing, those first commandments would make complete sense and be quite reasonable.

    And, also of course, as an anti-religious troll who wants all the attention on himself and NOT on the deity, they annoy you.

  • “You learn right from wrong in the house growing up by example, not from a book.”

    So, you’re arguing:

    – there is no objective morality;

    – Hitler apparently lived in a bad house.

    Good luck with that nonsense.

  • But you have to admit, they were great stories for their time and I enjoyed them growing up as well. If the concept of God really wanted the world to have the Ten Commandments, He would have created mass communication and produced copies in thousands of languages and given it to mankind.

  • Wow. Who would’ve thought your #MeToo Idols – Neil deGrasse Tyson, David Silverman, Lawrence Krauss & Al Franken – were talked about way back in “the Code of Hammurabi and the Egyptian Book of the Dead”!

  • No, you’ve never “explained” how that your #MeToo Idols – Neil deGrasse Tyson, David Silverman, Lawrence Krauss & Al Franken – are “exceptions to the rule.” What ASHiest “rule”? What ASHiest “exceptions”? SPEAK UP. CAN’T HEAR YOU.

  • Might want to read the cited Codes. And keep in mind, your hero was insane as noted by his belief in Satan and angels and thinking he was a food and wine replicator and a devine wizard curing the sick and raising friends from the dead. Gullible you are!

  • Since nobody really knows the date of Christ’s birth changing the date to December 25 would be a gesture of unity. Perhaps the Western Churches through the World Council of Churches in return could adopt the Orthodox date for Easter since this date varies already.

  • I came here to respond to the Coptic Christian issue, and you just want to play games. My original response was–
    Coptic News: 
”Since Christianity came to Egypt in 57 A.D., we, the Christians of Egypt, have not had conflict with the Jewish people. Copts have been a marginal population held in captivity for sixteen centuries. We constitute the largest non-Arab, non-Moslem minority in the Middle East. The Church of Alexandria, is one of the oldest organizations in the Middle East. Despite this distinguished history, it is a church that has been under siege since the Islamic invasion.”

  • Interesting, this. For even Psychology Today endorses the objective morality position!

    “There is … a clear path to a universal and powerful moral objectivity, the view that morality (or most of it, anyway) is just as objectively true as science and mathematics. The key ingredient is the notion of harm. … We know harm exists, we just don’t know its boundaries. But given what we do know, it is objectively clear that where there is intentional harm, there is immorality.”

    Source: Eric Dietrich Ph.D., “Morality Is Objective: Morality is robustly grounded in facts”, Psychology Today, December 23, 2017.

  • There are similarities in all of the documents, but that is the extent. Additionally, each has parts unique to that particular document and its purpose. None are a direct lift from the other and it is false to assert that they are.

    The Decalogue reads similarly to a Hittite document of treaty between a ruler and his subject people. But rather than a mere treaty, the Decalogue consists of commandments and are inscribed upon stone, similar to the Mesopotamian Code of Hammurabi. The Egyptians, unlike the ancient Israelites, believed in an afterlife, the Book of the Dead is a book of spells to guide the dead to the Judgement.

  • Many OT, NT and koran thumpers are actually thumping the rules and codes of the
    ancients like King Hammurabi and the Egyptians who wrote the Book of the Dead
    and who did NOT need revelations from angels or mountain voices to develop
    needed rules of conduct for us hominids.

    “Hail to thee, great God, Lord of the Two Truths. I have come unto thee, my Lord,
    that thou mayest bring me to see thy beauty. I know thee, I know thy name, I
    know the names of the 42 Gods who are with thee in this broad hall of the Two
    Truths . . . Behold, I am come unto thee. I have brought thee truth; I have
    done away with sin for thee. I have not sinned against anyone. I have not
    mistreated people. I have not done evil instead of righteousness . . .

    I have not reviled the God.

    I have not laid violent hands on an orphan.

    I have not done what the God abominates . . .

    I have not killed; I have not turned anyone over to a killer.

    I have not caused anyone’s suffering . . .

    I have not copulated (illicitly); I have not been unchaste.

    I have not increased nor diminished the measure, I have not diminished the
    palm; I have not encroached upon the fields.

    I have not added to the balance weights; I have not tempered with the plumb bob
    of the balance.

    I have not taken milk from a child’s mouth; I have not driven small cattle from
    their herbage…

    I have not stopped (the flow of) water in its seasons; I have not built a dam
    against flowing water.

    I have not quenched a fire in its time . . .

    I have not kept cattle away from the God’s property.

    I have not blocked the God at his processions.”

    “The Book of the Dead was written circa 1800 BCE. 2 The Schofield Reference Bible
    estimates that the Hebrew Exodus from Egypt and the provision of the Ten
    Commandments on Mount Sinai occurred in 1491 BCE., some three centuries later. Many
    religious liberals, historians, and secularists have concluded that the Hebrew
    Scripture’s Ten Commandments were based on this earlier document, rather than
    vice-versa.”

  • Many religious liberals, historians, and secularists have concluded that the Hebrew
    Scripture’s Ten Commandments were based on this earlier document, rather than
    vice-versa.”

    You copy/paste some form of this lie with every claim that you make. “You have no power here. Now, begone, before someone drops a house on you, too.”

  • What is your cultural heritage, and how do you order them? Please be specific. And do you read Hebrew?

  • I’m Latino. I don’t order them, as I’m familiar with the different ordering by the different sects. The differences aren’t drastic. Look up The 10 Commandments on Wikipedia for a chart of the differences. Yes, I read Hebrew, I hold a ThM.

  • No, I said that neurosis is the foundation of mental illness, it can then progress to much deeper illnesses.

  • Recommend you put my statement in a search engine such as Google, Bing or Yahoo to see how many times you can find verification of my statements .

  • “I’m Latino”– The people of Latium, Lazio in central Italy are the original “Latini”, which is simply the plural form of Latino. Is that your cultural heritage? Or do you just speak a Latin based language like Romanian, Portuguese, French, Italian.

    Do you read ancient Hebrew before they had any vowels and understand the meaning of the time. You probably still believe in Adam and Eve. How come Jesus never wrote anything, and why the gospel writers never wrote anything in a semitic language, the language of Jesus people?

  • Why did the Vatican remain neutral during WWII as tens of millions of white Christians were killing each other?

  • I will make it simple for the slow of mind– What is your definition of anti-hypocrite? It appears that you couch it as anyone that questions belief systems. In other words, if someone says ‘the only way to get into heaven is to accept Islam’ and I respond with “where is the factual basis for your belief’ — would that make me a hypocrite?

  • I did not write “anti-hypocrite”, you did.

    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/hypocrite

    hypocrite – noun

    A hypocritical person.

    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/hypocritical

    hypocritical – adjective

    Behaving in a way that suggests one has higher standards or more noble beliefs than is the case.

    https://disqus.com/home/discussion/religionnews/egypts_coptic_christians_celebrate_christmas_ponder_changing_date/#comment-4261050286

    “I am not anti-religious per se ….”.

    https://disqus.com/home/discussion/thedailywire/unreal_leading_university_faculty_union_argues_believing_two_genders_violates_academic_freedom/#comment-4233722580

    “God is just a concept …”.

  • I am sorry, I mean anti-religion, which is exactly what you said. Atheists question belief systems! For some reason that pisssses you off. It strikes a nerve up in your orifice. Why! You know that you cannot get into heaven unless you accept Islam. And you know that you cannot get into heaven unless you accept Jesus Christ as your lord and savior. Shall we go down the lists of belief systems that you seriously question?

  • Of course if you believe there is no deity or deities, you are anti-religion by definition.

    It hardly p-sses me off.

    What p-sses me off is ninnies showing up in fora where their posts are inappropriate specifically to troll others.

    Like yourself.

    Since you have you nothing of interest to say, at least of interest to anyone other than yourself, do you have any objections to my blocking you?

    https://help.disqus.com/commenting/user-blocking

  • I believe there is a concept called God. But there is zero evidence for the basis of a belief that it is a physical entity that controls the universe. But that belief could change if there were irrefutable evidence to the contrary.

  • By most definitions a deity would not be a physical entity.

    Since spiritual entities, in fact spiritual anything, cannot be tested, measured, or otherwise physically analyzed, all you’ve constructed is a tautology.

    Whoopee.

    So, you don’t mind if I block you?

  • I write for the readers and not you specifically, so if you want to block out the hard questions, it is your choice.

    To your first point, anyone that bring the spiritual entity into the real world of physical creation and what God said, and to whom he said it, then you have a real discussion, which you want to block? Your choice!

  • Right on cue. Or rather back to being on cue, per the usual tit-for-tat: So waddyasink again of your #MeToo heroes, Neil deGrasse Tyson, David Silverman, Lawrence Krauss & Al Franken? I wasn’t paying the 1st time you evaded this question.

  • It is not a question relative to me or this article, although I am a fan of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s work on the cosmos.

  • You haven’t asked any hard questions.

    If you think you have, you’re even less worth reading than I have concluded up this point.

    For example “To your first point, anyone that bring the spiritual entity into the real world of physical creation and what God said, and to whom he said it, then you have a real discussion, which you want to block?” is so incomprehensible it cannot be graphed.

    I choose not to waste my time further.

    Bye bye.

  • Nice dodge, David Allen! No answers, make it personal! It is easy to take cheap shots from behind your computer.

  • Whatever, Pequeñito.

    You ask hidden agenda questions that no one alive today can answer. They just didn’t and we can’t know why.

  • Hitler had millions of followers! Five million Germans starved to death in occupied Germany after the war, and another two million died in labor camps. Millions of Germans died as a result of ethnic cleansing carried out by, Russians, Poles, Czechs, and Serbs according to the former German Prime Minister Konrad Adenauer.

  • How do you explain hundreds of years of slave trading and the decimation of the indigenous peoples of the New World?

  • Very direct questions! I will ask another one. If Jesus worked as a carpenter with his earthly father for the first 30 years of his life in the very small town of Nazareth, and he never got married, and then started running around with a bunch of men telling everyone to love each other, the question becomes –Would you still love and praise Jesus if history should show him to be a gay Jewish man?

  • Oh and there’s more: 1 out of every 2 philosophers is pro-objective morality, whereas only 1 among 4 is anti. Check out these findings from “The PhilPapers Survey … of professional philosophers and others on their philosophical views, carried out in November 2009”:

    “Meta-ethics: moral realism [or objectivism] or moral anti-realism [or subjectivism]?

    “Accept or lean toward: moral realism … 525 / 931 [respondents] (56.4%)

    “Accept or lean toward: moral anti-realism … 258 / 931 (27.7%)

    “Other … 148 / 931 (15.9%)”

  • In law the same dispute is between legal positivists

    https://www.iep.utm.edu/legalpos/

    and its opposition is natural law

    https://www.iep.utm.edu/natlaw/

    that standards of morality are in some sense derived from, or entailed by, the nature of the world and the nature of human beings.

    It is interesting to note that BiO, raised a Jew and homosexual, advocates legal positivism which is the very legal approach the Nazis took while gassing Jews and homosexuals, while in American law minority rights are derived from natural law.

    There is a reason for this apparent anomaly; natural law is also the primary argument against the LGBT agenda.

  • I could care less about the sexuality of anyone.

    Being new here, you’re a day late and a dollar short, TinyMind. Most everyone here knows that I’m gay myself.

  • I don’t see what either of those atrocities has to do with neurosis or psychosis. They have to do with privilege and institutional bias & racism.

  • You know that I am no fan of the religion and ancient texts being talk as fact, but I will ask you another straight question- How do you feel when the Church keeps calling homosexuality an abomination?

  • I looked at a study a while back showing how difficult it was to correct people’s common misconceptions, even when you presented them with the factually correct information. The misconceptions or myths not only continued, but often were reinforced, like religion and racial superiority.

  • As I live in the USA, there are a number of mainstream iterations of the Christian Church that don’t believe that the LGBTQ communities are an abomination and speak out to that effect. I belong to one such body, the Episcopal Church, which is part of the Anglican Communion, of which a number of national or regional churches also join TEC in welcoming all the baptized into their memberships and ministries.

  • Are you down with ‘all sex outside of marriage being a sin’? While I have never cheated on my wife, I had a lot of sex outside of marriage when I was young and do not feel the need to ask anyone for forgiveness. Do you think I am going to burn in the hellfire?

  • “I could care less about the sexuality of anyone”? Personally I would give the death penalty to all these priests that betrayed the trust of innocent children and sexually molested them. Most of them have never done a day in prison, and the Church has paid a fortune in legal fees and paying off victims with church money. — You still could care less!

  • I don’t care about the sexuality of the priests. There isn’t a sexual orientation that causes one to violate another human being a minor or an adult.

    An orientation is a drive deep in an individual’s personality which leads them to find one sex or the other delightful, exciting, alluring, and carnally desirable. Merely to be aware of one’s orientation is to be already launched into the sphere of action, even if only mentally in fantasy and pleasurable anticipation. It is already to have ‘sinned’. Our Lord tells us merely to look is already to have done the deed in our heart. And in our heart of hearts, if we are honest, we all know this is true.

    There are only two orientations: heterosexual and homosexual on a scale with one on each end. Humans fall on the scale, perhaps more towards one end rather than the other.

    Incest is not an orientation. Heterosexual and homosexual people may fall in love with and/or have inappropriate sex with relatives of the gender to which they are oriented.

    Pedophilia is not an orientation. Crimes of pedophilia are committed by heterosexually and homosexually oriented people.

    An orientation involves erotic excitement at the thought of intimacy with one sex and a disinterest in, recoiling from, or revulsion at the idea of intimacy with the other sex. Incest, pedophilia, bestiality, promiscuity, adultery, polyamory are NOT orientations. They are acts committed for a diverse array of motives by people with either a heterosexual or a homosexual orientation.

  • Well thought out article and written in a way that a person of average intelligence (myself included) can fully understand.

  • On the other hand, child’s surroundings provide clues to orientation, like growing up in an alcoholic family, you are statistically more likely to become an alcoholic, or repeatedly being sexually molested as a child makes you statistically more likely to become an abuser. Some of the best martial artists were repeatedly bullied as a child. In other words, these kinds of orientations implant something in your identity, whether you act on it or not. –Please give me your best academic response.

  • I get your point, but if you have heard this message since childhood, it has an effect. Like hearing cigarettes causes cancer all of your life, so every time someone lights up, they know it is not good, so it causes internal conflict, causing further damage than just the cigarette alone.

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