Comments Posted By George Michalopulos
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I love haggis. Haven’t had lutefisk though but I’m game.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On April 30, 2013 @ 10:35 am
My own grandfather hid two Greek Jews (at different times) who escaped from Thessalonica in his house for several days. When I asked my father what happened to them he said the last they had heard they decamped for Palestine.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On April 27, 2013 @ 11:54 pm
Thank you very much for your words of support. I often wonder myself if we go to far on this site. And I would be mortified if this site was the cause for scandal or otherwise causing honest inquirers turning away from the Orthodox Church. That’s why I allow open and free discussion on this site. It keeps me honest as well.
However I would hope that we learned the lesson of the American Catholic Church, which swept its sins under the rug hoping that they’d go away. Catholicism is now stronger because people, priests, and (some) bishops were willing to call a spade a spade. It was Jefferson who said “sunlight is the best disinfectant.”
We Orthodox need to hold our bishops and theological eminences to account. Otherwise we’ll continue our attrition. Enough of silence. If that means that some people are put off about joining, then so be it.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On April 27, 2013 @ 11:47 pm
I see your point, Michael. A personal aside if I may: the GOA was likewise “bigger” and “more than” Arb Iakovos. However since his ouster it has become invisible on the American landscape.
Yes, yes I know that it’s more stable and bigger than all the others combined, but that’s damning with faint praise.
IMHO, the vitality that exists in the AOCNA comes from the infusion of Evangelicals into that jurisdiction. It was because of Philip’s remarkable vision that this happened as well as his willingness to stand up to the theological barbarians that the AOCNA is sitting pretty right now.
What’s my point? I’ve come to the belief in my relatively old age that Orthodoxy needs strong leaders. Otherwise, why do we need bishops? “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
» Posted By George Michalopulos On April 27, 2013 @ 11:21 pm
Fr John, your points are well taken. In my defense, I was going to write something about the kidnapping about the bishops but I was warned early on that the facts weren’t correct. In looking at different websites concerned with the Middle East, I saw that there wasn’t a clear picture. So I decided to wait until the Antiochian and/or Syriac churches put out something first. In the meantime, Fr Peter Preble got the jump on all of us and posted something on the HuffPo yesterday.
As for your other criticisms they are pointed and well-reasoned. However I’m not nearly as sanguine as you regarding the ACOB and the ability of your jurisdiction to guarantee that it isn’t a stalking-horse for the Phanar. You rightly say that Metropolitan Philip and the Patriarch of Antioch wouldn’t allow it (and I believe you). However what will happened when His Eminence reposes? Or worse yet, if the See of Antioch is extinguished in the ensuing bloodshed in Syria? I don’t mean to be pessimistic but choose to view the prospects of the ancient patriarchates with a sober eye. Of course I pray that things turn out for the better but the destruction of dioceses and entire churches is not without precedent. North Africa was once the backbone of Christendom.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On April 27, 2013 @ 9:09 pm
Nice try, Nate. You’d have better chance finding a chimera than accusing me of Jew-hatred (I don’t use the word “anti-Semitism” any longer as this would include the hatred of Arabs, Chaldeans, Eritreans, and other Semites.) If you want public proof of this simply go to the header above entitled “Michalopulos Essays” and scroll down to my piece attacking Christopher Hitchens for his own curious views about Jewry (even though he himself was about 1/16th Jewish).
My friends and acquaintances would get a kick out of your insinuations as I have been accused on more than one occasion of being a Zionist. Others are more lenient and call me a “Christian Zionist.” Even though I am very much a neo-Isolationist, I do support the State of Israel as a national entity, that is a nation deserving of existence and not annihilation. But then as a neo-isolationist I don’t desire the destruction of any nation –Iran included. I request merely our retreat from the world stage.
As for why I mentioned Kishinev, I wanted to bring out that Kishinev was probably a turning point. Before then, the various “pogroms” were little more than inter-ethnic fracases between Jews and Slavs. This was proven by blue-ribbon commissions set up by the British government which had been hounded by recently arrived Jewish immigrants to “do something” about Russia, much like the Neocons of today who wish to harness American power in the service of Israel. Neither Gladstone nor Disraeli (who was very proud of his Jewish ethnicity) were going to get the British Empire involved in a war against Russia simply because anti-Russian bigots didn’t like the Russian majority. The English weren’t fools, they knew that within an empire the various ethnicities do not usually get along. (England had its own problems with the Irish and the Scots Highlanders after all.)
Indeed, the first pogrom in Russia took place in Odessa in 1821, when the large Greek minority in that town held a procession with the body of Patriarch Gregory V, who had been executed in Istanbul along with 2 metropolitans and 12 bishops. When the Odessa Greeks tried to honor the late patriarch, gangs of Jews in Odessa started harassing the Greeks, wounding many. In no time, the Greeks started fighting back and the Russian constabulary was forced to intervene and beat back the warring parties. In the following decades, the strife between Greek business interests and Jewish business interests kept on erupting in violence. In the end, the Jews won out over the Greeks. This doesn’t sound like passivity to me.
So when did the bloodletting really begin? It was after the fall of the Tsar. Most of us don’t realize but Russia erupted in a very real civil war after the brutal murder of Nicholas and his family. Whites on one side (most Christian and Russian) and Reds on the other. The Bolshevik Party was led predominantly by Jewish intellectuals and their staging areas were based largely in areas that were Jewish. The nature of the Russian Civil was brutal –no quarter was given on either side.
As for the three-part essay you find so distasteful, although I can agree that it is controversial, I can most definitely say that it was well-researched. In history, you got to go to where the facts take you. Any group that engages in a “Hooray for Our Side” historiography is peddling propaganda. And this includes Greeks by the way.
For contemporaneous sources you can read Winston Churchill. Louis Epstein, Gilad Atzmon, Israel Shamir and other Israeli authors have done yeoman’s work in sifting through the primary sources. You could also read Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Two Hundred Years Together, a fascinating book which remains untranslated into English for some odd reason. (It can’t be anti-Semitism because Dmitri Sipes has absolved Solzhenitsyn of that taint.)
» Posted By George Michalopulos On April 26, 2013 @ 11:02 pm
Fr, I think we all pray that you are right. However the past history of the Phanar and certain statements and actions since the resurgence of the Russian Church lead many of us to conclude that the Church of C’pole is still hell-bent for leather on Hellenistic supremacy. One example would be the curious creation of an ad hoc gathering of “ancient patriarchates and Cyprus” last year to discuss Middle Eastern issues. This was the first time anybody had heard of this distinction within the patriarchal college.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On April 26, 2013 @ 10:21 pm
We do read a lot about pogroms in Russia but they are usually blown way out of proportion. It was usually a fracas involving a Jewish tavern owner refusing to serve a drunken Christian any more liquor. They rarely involved more than a half-dozen people on either side. The worst pogrom was the Kishinev pogrom which was more of a race riot involving several of the ethnicities (Romanians included) in that city. When the late tsarist government started to remove the special licenses that Jews had heretofore possessed, especially the distillation and selling of liquors, many cried foul and started immigrating in great waves to the West. Stories among the newly-arrived in Britain amplified the supposed “pogroms” and they demanded that the British government get involved. Finally after a time the British set up a blue-ribbon panel that actually went to Russia and interviewed the participants (both victim and “aggressor”) and came to the conclusion that the majority of stories were overblown. (Again, this was before Kishinev.)
» Posted By George Michalopulos On April 26, 2013 @ 7:11 am
We can only hope that you are right Fr. Still, I can’t help but be sorrowful at what could have been. Rather than have a “one size fits all/top-down” solution rammed down our throats by non-Americans at Chambessy, the OCA could have shown the way. Instead we shot ourselves in the foot, ran down the street in clown masks with our hair on fire screaming “look at us, we’re the American Church!” Basically we threw the tomos away. What’s even sadder is that though a foreign solution is now our only hope, there’s no guarantee that that foreign solution will ever come to fruition. The long-rumored Great and Holy Council may probably be only a chimera. At any rate, even if it does come to pass, the OCA horribly weakened the hand of Moscow with our antics simply by showing we have not held up our end of the bargain of the tomos. By acting as we did, we ceded whatever credibility we had as a local church which could realistically serve as a model for an authentic, inter-Orthodox American Church.
Anyway, that’s my take. We made the learning curve unnecessarily steep.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On April 25, 2013 @ 8:27 am
I heartily agree with you Alex. Even though ROCOR is bursting at the seams with Russian immigrants, it’s not making the mistake that the GOA made in the 60s with the last, great burst of Greek immigrants as you and others have described. ROCOR is in the main very evangelistic and mission-minded.
What happened to the GOA was that with the burst of 60s immigration, it lurched back towards Greekification, ironically betraying the Hellenism of Byzantine Christianity. Not that it was making its home in America and indigenizing but nonetheless, a word of warning. ROCOR is happily not making the same mistake.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On April 24, 2013 @ 9:58 pm
Ilya, if I may reply in support. We forget that history happens in “real time.” It literally unfolds before our eyes. Though some men had Hitler correctly pegged from almost the start –Winston Churchill being one of them–the fact remains that the overwhelming majority of people then living didn’t think of Hitler in negative terms. Time Magazine for example named him “Man of the Year” not once, but twice. Most Europe’s second and third-tier nations actively supported him and actually sent entire divisions to help him overthrow Stalin. Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Macedonia, Croatia, etc. The Irish Free State maintained diplomatic relations with Nazi Germany to the bitter end. When Hitler double-crossed Stalin and invaded Russia he was welcomed as a liberator by millions of Ukrainians, Byelorussians and Russians. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem lent the Nazis support as well. It was only after the war that the atrocities of the concentration camps were uncovered and the full extent of his neo-pagan Darwinist racial struggle became known.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On April 24, 2013 @ 9:05 am
In addition, 18th century Russia was very evangelistic.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On April 22, 2013 @ 12:22 pm
There is a LOT here to chew on. Thank you for these insights.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On April 22, 2013 @ 9:12 am
Yes! My son is Supreme President of the Sons of Pericles and he and the other members of the AHEPA family were invited to the White House last week. I’m presently sifting through his 87 photos that he posted on his Facebook sight. My only regret is that he wasn’t able to shake Pres Romney’s hand. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On April 22, 2013 @ 9:11 am
That’s a very interesting point. I’ll have to think on it. I’ve seen the MC in the past as more in a more ethno-particularist fashion (a la the Archons/Leadership 100 model). I could be wrong. At any rate, they appear to be domestic shackles placed upon the Church rather than foreign shackles.
At any rate, what gets me about the MC is that they are not true to their calling. Their stated purpose is to provide lay oversight to the OCA, yet when push comes to shove, they never put up. It’s always heavily redacted minutes on the one hand and hypersecretive Executive Sessions on the other. I think if they’re going to exist that their proceedings should be videotaped like C-SPAN does with Congress.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On April 22, 2013 @ 9:09 am
I’m extremely flattered! And I can tell by the fine thinking that you have exhibited in the past, that your husband is a lucky man.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On April 22, 2013 @ 9:05 am
You bring up some VERY interesting points Mr Kinsey. One especially that never crossed my mind. Is it possible that when the Persecution comes it will not be eliminationist in nature but seductive? That only those parishes who have the “right” priests and who belong to the “right” jurisdictions (read: compromised and ecumenist/modernist) will be allowed to operate? While the rest will lose their tax exemptions at first because they will be subjected to “hate crimes” adjudication?
» Posted By George Michalopulos On April 22, 2013 @ 9:04 am
I’d rather my church be enamored of an18th century Russia that was Christian and evangelistic rather than a 21st century America that is anything but.
As for your point about individual parishes doing fine, I agree with you. The longer we go without bishops, the stronger some of us will be. What we are witnessing is the Congretationalization of OCA parishes. Are you sure that’s such a good thing?
» Posted By George Michalopulos On April 21, 2013 @ 8:29 pm
Well, then you explain to me why Fr Jillions writes incessantly about “sexual minorities” and has praised gay activists to the high heavens.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On April 21, 2013 @ 8:23 pm
I won’t blame Lincoln because had he lived the awful nightmare of Reconstruction would probably have been avoided. Jefferson Davis admitted as much some ten years after Lincoln’s assassination. This was buttressed by the opinion in the other direction by Frederic Douglass, who around the same time thought that Lincoln’s legacy was largely a failure.
Having said that, I can’t help but wonder what kind of post-slavery regime America would have had. In his 1958 debate with Stephen Douglas, Lincoln spoke vociferously against the granting of equal rights for blacks or allowing them to serve as jurors in cases involving whites, or intermarrying with whites. How this differs from Jim Crow I don’t know.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 24, 2013 @ 9:13 am
Thank you Lex. People forget that the Constitution and the Union that grew out of it, was created by the States. Had they not ratified it, there would not be a United States of America. The Union is not only a creation of the various States but a continuing creation of Territories who petition to join this Union.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 24, 2013 @ 9:09 am
CQ, for what it’s worth, I think that California is the most beautiful state in the Union. It’s also the one with the most potential. That’s why I cry at what untrammeled illegal immigration and over-generous Welfare policies have done to it, essentially making it a basket case. It’s terrible because it’s self-inflicted.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 24, 2013 @ 9:06 am
Seraphim, thank you for this lovely response. Robert Penn Warren was commissioned to write an encomium back in 1961 on the centenary of The War Between the States. One of his more searing insights was that the conquest of the South by the North infused the Radical Republicans with a moral sanctimony, a “plenary dispensation” as he put exonerate America from any and all excesses in the future. It created the Neoliberalism/Conservatism that gave Wilson, FDR, Truman, JFK, LBJ, and GWBush the right to impose “democracy” on other nations at the point of a sword.
I think that’s somewhat overbroad but there is no doubt that Neocons get all teary-eyed when speaking of the Emancipation Proclamation (which Warren points out did not actually free any slaves). Anyway, it’s what gives them ammo to force The Declaration of Independence down the throats of foreigners.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 24, 2013 @ 9:02 am
You have every reason to love your state because of its staggering beauty.
A minor quibble if I may: the territories were created from the bottom up but by American settlers in largely unpopulated lands. There was no necessity that they must or had to enter the Union. Indeed, they had to pass several benchmarks before they could be even considered for statehood.
Case in point: had the Mormon population of Utah not listened to their President/Prophet Willard Woodruff and abandoned polygamy in 1892, Utah would either have continued to be a Territory to this day or a sovereign nation known by the name Deseret.
Puerto Rico, Guam, the Fiji Islands, etc, are either Territories or Dependencies of the United States and have been for decades. If Puerto Rico wants to be a State, I say come on in; if on the other hand they want to become independent, I say “go for it.”
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 23, 2013 @ 12:00 pm
The “challenge” is mine alone. I know what my gut tells me, but I want to quantify it better, mainly for the credibility of my blog.
In the meantime, I know people (mostly productive ones I might add) who live in many of the states and I hear what they tell me, I can read the budget deficits/unemployment stats, I see new housing and building construction going on in this state or not in that state, I know how much people are getting paid in certain industries and which states have to kowtow to various government unions, and the picture looks very much like ND/Tex/Tenn/etc=gangbusters and Calif/NJ/NY=struggling to keep up.
I mean let’s be honest, people vote with their feet/rats don’t swim to a sinking ship/whatever metaphor you wanna use. Two years ago I believe, I posted a blog entry which was interactive. It showed migration patterns within the US. You could click on any two cities for example and see outflow (red lines) versus inflow (black lines). I’ll try to dredge it up again for a more precise analysis.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 22, 2013 @ 7:05 am
CQ, your challenge fascinates me. I will devote (soon I hope) some time to developing an essay regarding the growth and decrease of the various states. Right now I can honestly state that North Dakota and Texas are going (and growing) gangbusters whereas California is experiencing a significant decline.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 21, 2013 @ 10:16 pm
Wow, 0.08% growth. That’s something to write home to Mother about. If it wasn’t for the illegal aliens (read: net drain on resources) then that “growth” would really by “not-growth”.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 21, 2013 @ 1:54 pm
CQ, I guess time will tell. Right now with a net population decrease, I’d say things look pretty grim.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 19, 2013 @ 8:59 pm
Well, I’m sure California would love to have Tennessee’s problems. It’s the productive people of California who are leaving.
There is a danger though. Once reliably Red states like Colorado and New Hampshire absorb the outflow from California and Massachusetts respectively, they turn purple. This has been a danger however the shift may have turned. Those who left previously were productive but socially liberal. It’s possible now that those who are leaving are understanding on a gut level that it was these socially liberal policies that destroyed California. We’ll see.
As for the Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, may Tennessee (and the rest of the South) continue to fly it proudly.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 17, 2013 @ 6:34 am
Back To Stats Page
Mr Trost, I’m afraid I must agree with you in this regard, viz the “substantial evolution” of the political parties. If anything, the Democrat Party has become even more racist given how it has destroyed the black family. As for the genocide perpetrated against black people in America, I humbly defer to the Rev Jesse Jackson, who back in ’74 (I believe it was) said that “abortion is genocide.” Who am I to argue?
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 15, 2013 @ 10:30 pm