Why now? First of all we are celebrating the first anniversary of Monomomakhos. Second and more important, dramatic changes that have taken place in the Orthodox blogosphere. One of the most significant was the closure of OCANews, a website devoted to the party line of the Old Regime of the OCA. Another was the shutting down of Inga Leonova’s Listening: Breaking the Silence on Sexuality within the Orthodox Church, a Facebook Group dedicated to foisting the homosexual agenda on the Orthodox Church.
There is no need to rehash in detail OCAN’s agenda or many errors of fact. You can read these for yourself in the Monomakhos archive going all the way back to March of 2011.
Leonova’s Listening Group most likely closed down because they didn’t expect the resolve, logic, and congency of the arguments against their platform. Like the homosexual movement in the secular culture, they had it too easy for too long. The Listening Group more or less followed the movement’s party line: I’m gay and if you don’t approve of my lifestyle then you are a “bigot-racist-sexist-homophobe” (choose one) and a generally disagreeable person.
This tactic is calculated to shut down reasoned debate and succeeds in many venues. Not here though. We don’t hand over our understanding of sound manhood or womanhood to people confused about their own. It left them with precious little to say.
Yet the demise of OCAN and Lenova’s Listening Group leaves a vacuum in the blogosphere. Monamakhos won’t be filling that void. Our vision is a bit different. We are dedicated to Eternal Verities, not just in religion but also in culture and politics. We are not OCA-centric even much of debate in the past few months centered on OCA problems. Instead, we are concerned with the state of Orthodoxy and culture both here and abroad.
Is there a thumbnail description for Monomakhos? How about this: In matters of religion, traditional; in matters of the nation, patriotic; in matters of politcs and economics, classically liberal. As for our Church, we believe that it must be territorial, decentralized, and (of course) Orthodox. And we never apologize for our love of Western Civilization or Christendom.
That is one reason for our unstinting support of Metropolitan Jonah. As the Orthodox Church gains a more secure place in America, our leaders must speak to the American experience with candor and intelligence. Met. Jonah does just that.
We don’t focus on Met. Jonah’s administrative shortcomings and other exaggerated faults because in due course those can be corrected. Instead, we listen to what the man teaches, and we note both the eagerness to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ as it is understood and comprehended in our Orthodox faith and the respect shown to him whenever he preaches to Christians not of this fold. Met Jonah understands the Eternal Verities. He understands both the weakness and strengths of Western Culture. He knows Christ. He speaks to America with clarity and his words ring true (see: Asceticism and the Consumer Society or download .pdf).
At Monomakhos we believe in a robust and free-wheeling debate. Nobody has ever been censored from this site, nor have any comments been edited. We welcome the opinions of those who are opposed to ours.
All legitimate views are welcome. (We even are patient with illegitimate views because they tend to make us look better, although once the interlocutor catches wind of this he quickly disappears.) We take seriously the fact that the Orthodox blogosphere cannot be monochromatic and our hope is that the void will be filled with even more venues offering robust and honest debate.
Any correspondent who wishes to publish an editorial or an essay which is in disagreement to our stated positions needs only to contact me. Be warned however, you must be willing to withstand thoughtful and reasoned criticism. You will have to defend and explain your position. Sometimes the criticism can be withering, but if your argument is sound, it will stand (and so will you). If your argument not capable of withstanding logical scrutiny, then it will be tossed into the dustbin and deservedly so.
John Adams once said: “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.” The sun shines brightly in a public square free of ideological constraint. As uncomfortable as some are with the blogosphere, it is the new public square and it is here to stay. At Monomakhos we believe that in the long run our discussions will help us, the Church, and our corner of the world.