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#349443 06/24/10 09:18 PM
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I am getting the idea that smoking and drinking (not to the point of drunkenness, at least I don't think so) are not issues which are addressed by Orthodoxy.
Am I right? And, if I am right, then why not?
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Are they issues in Catholicism?

I hate to admit I smoke, and have sometimes read it to be a venial sin, and sometimes not. I should really try to quit before school starts again.

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Why should they be addressed specifically? As long as not done to excess, all the fruits of the earth were made by God for the benefit of man. We're not Baptists, for goodness sake! What would C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkien say?

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Smoking is bad for your health - we all know that. And morally speaking, boy-oh-boy, are there ever a lot of things worse than that.

I read somewhere Pope Pius XII was very anti-smoking.

Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassatti smoked both pipes and cigars. Not because it was virtuous to do so but his enjoyment of them didn't prevent his beatification.

I think on this subject the Catholic Church would say,use common sense.

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Originally Posted by StuartK
As long as not done to excess, all the fruits of the earth were made by God for the benefit of man. We're not Baptists, for goodness sake!


I take it that means smoking pot and using opium as long as not done to excess is ok?

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This is all so new to me .... as a former Evangelical, smoking and drinking were definitely frowned upon .... based on "the body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit" and as such we are not to defile it.

It just seems incongruous to me that with all of the regulations of Orthodoxy that this is not addressed in an outward and forthright way. Admittedly, I'm a bit shocked.

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This is all so new to me .... as a former Evangelical, smoking and drinking were definitely frowned upon .... based on "the body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit" and as such we are not to defile it.

Poor Jesus! He wouldn't be allowed in an Evangelical church because of all that drinking (not to mention actually making wine out of perfectly good water). Hanging out with sinners and loose women wouldn't do him any good, either. And what was He thinking, when He said it was what came out of a man's mouth, and not what went into it, that mattered?

As to why it isn't addressed explicitly in Orthodoxy, Khouria Frederica put her finger on it when she said the objective of Eastern Christianity is to make us grow up and stop acting like jerks. Knowing how to handle the passions, including the use of alcohol and tobacco, is part of growing up and not acting like a jerk.

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St. Pius X smoked cigars. St. Pius X and Leo XIII were fans of "Mariani [en.wikipedia.org]" - a wine containing cocaine.

In the book of Genesis we read that everything God created is good, and that it was made for us. The concept that part of the creation is evil in itself is pagan. Moderation is Christian.

Originally Posted by amberpep
[...]smoking and drinking were definitely frowned upon .... based on "the body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit" and as such we are not to defile it.
A temple needs incense. But seriously speaking, this quotation is often used in a sense that's far from the original context - in which the "temple of the Holy Spirit" refers to giving live - abstaining from fornication.

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St.Nikolai Velemirovich allegedly was a pipe smoker,though some Serbian clerics have denied this.He died as Rector of my Alma Mater,St.Tihkon's Seminary,in 1956.Also,before ROCOR canonised the New Russian Martyrs in 1981,some zealots objected to the Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II beong canonised because he had been a smoker!(Perhaps they had't heard that martyrdom washes away sins?).Certainly,when those two Saints were young men,smoking was far more socialy acceptable than today.The late Archpriest Vladimir Borichevsky,one of my professors at St.Tikhon's,regarded smoking as a sin,and I would tend to agree.Of course, now that we all know just how harmful use of tobacco can be,it would seem wrong to take up a habit that would defile the temple of the Holy Spirit.

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Originally Posted by Fr. Al
The late Archpriest Vladimir Borichevsky,one of my professors at St.Tikhon's,regarded smoking as a sin,and I would tend to agree.Of course, now that we all know just how harmful use of tobacco can be,it would seem wrong to take up a habit that would defile the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Though I dislike smoking and gave it up many, many years ago, I do not think that it is any more a sin in deliberately ingesting a harmful substance, than eating mass produced red meat, or processed food from the supermarket or a fast food outlet is. hat they have in common is that they all do known and documented harm to your health-- whether it be your lungs, your heart, your weight, your cholesterol,and/or your blood pressure, and they have all been proven to cause inflammation in the body which leads to cancer.

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Originally Posted by Alice
Originally Posted by Fr. Al
The late Archpriest Vladimir Borichevsky,one of my professors at St.Tikhon's,regarded smoking as a sin,and I would tend to agree.Of course, now that we all know just how harmful use of tobacco can be,it would seem wrong to take up a habit that would defile the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Though I dislike smoking and gave it up many, many years ago, I do not think that it is any more a sin in deliberately ingesting a harmful substance, than eating mass produced red meat, or processed food from the supermarket or a fast food outlet is. They all do known harm to your health, whether it be your lungs, your heart, your weight, your cholesterol, your blood pressure, and they have all been proven to cause inflammation in the body which leads to cancer.

Alice, you make a good point. However, I slightly disagree. Smokers who smoke in public places (although it has become increasingly difficult to do so in the USA due to legislation) can cause harm to the health of others as well (although certainly to a lesser degree than to the one who is doing the actual smoking).


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Originally Posted by Athanasius The L
Originally Posted by Alice
Originally Posted by Fr. Al
The late Archpriest Vladimir Borichevsky,one of my professors at St.Tikhon's,regarded smoking as a sin,and I would tend to agree.Of course, now that we all know just how harmful use of tobacco can be,it would seem wrong to take up a habit that would defile the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Though I dislike smoking and gave it up many, many years ago, I do not think that it is any more a sin for deliberately ingesting a harmful substance, than eating mass produced red meat, or processed food from the supermarket or a fast food outlet is. They all do known harm to your health, whether it be your lungs, your heart, your weight, your cholesterol, and/or your blood pressure, and they have all been proven to cause inflammation in the body which leads to cancer.

Alice, you make a good point. However, I slightly disagree. Smokers who smoke in public places (although it has become increasingly difficult to do so in the USA due to legislation) can cause harm to the health of others as well (although certainly to a lesser degree than to the one who is doing the actual smoking).

True, and agreed, but my point was not about smoking around others.

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Dear Alice, I too am a reformed smoker,perhaps that's why I'm such a zealot against it.I quite agree with you about fast food,processed foods, and mass produced red meat.I'm glad we're in the Apostle's Fast right now,because I do tend to overdo the meat during non-fasting periods!

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Dear Father Al,

Bless.

Yes, indeed, we are fortunate for these fasting periods which force us into healthier eating. I always remind my husband of the health benefits when he starts getting a bit grumpy! wink

In Christ,
Alice

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In defense of the Catholic smokers I know, I'll say in there defense that everyone of them is trying to quit, some more some less. Never saw what was the big deal with smoking myself, but right now I'd kill for a giant Margarita.

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