Pornography is an Affliction for Young Men. And It’s Been Mainstreamed.

Internet Porn Harms Young Men

It comes from the depths of hell to destroy their characters before they can grow into a healthy sense of who they are.

Source: Minneapolis Star and Tribune February 12, 2017.

By Fr. Johannes L. Jacobse

I am old enough to remember the sexual revolution and its dubious promises that once moral restraints on sexual behavior were removed, a new golden era would dawn in which everyone would live happily, carefree and satisfied.

It didn’t turn out that way. Today I deal with the destruction that revolution caused and try to bring healing to men damaged by it.

I mentor young men, and I see how the mainstreaming of pornography has hijacked their journey from adolescence to adulthood.

Growing up is a difficult process, fraught with all sorts of emotional turmoil that tempt young men to look toward pornography for relief. Once the seeking of relief becomes habitual — and this can happen quickly — the necessary experiences that boys require to become men are often thwarted. Tension is resolved not by learning how to master the problems of life, but by ever deeper retreat into sexual fantasies.

Today this affects more of our young men than we can count. In my experience, the consumption of pornography is nearly universal among young men, and the effects are never neutral. Researchers indicate that only 3 percent of boys and 17 percent of girls have never seen pornography. The internet now makes it available anytime and anywhere. First exposure most often occurs during adolescence, when the brain is still forming and very impressionable by graphic images.

It’s difficult to calculate in hard numbers how profitable the porn industry is. Before the internet, access to pornography was controlled, by locating distribution in seedy neighborhoods; under those limitations the price could be kept high, leading to substantial profits. Since expansion into the internet, access to porn is as close as the click of a mouse, and content is increasingly free. In the last 30 years, American porn studios have declined from 200 to 20, and direct worldwide revenue has dropped from between an estimated $40 billion and $50 billion to about three quarters of that.

Free access also means that porn has gone mainstream and become a commodity. The only accurate measurement we have of porn consumption is internet click rates or Google searches. Profits are decreasing while porn is proliferating. Mindgeek, one of the world’s biggest online purveyors of pornography, reports that it serves more than 100 million visitors a day, who consume 1.5 terabytes of pornography per second — enough to download 150 feature films.

In earlier generations, viewing pornography was seen as shameful. That’s why porn shops were located in the unsavory parts of town. Pornographers were met with scorn. Today, all that might seem quaint, even ignorant — but it concealed a wisdom that we are only now beginning to rediscover. One reason for those earlier restrictions was the fear that porn would “corrupt youth.” This was laughed off as archaic, rigid, even unhealthy. We are finding out the hard way that our elders were right.

Young men ask me what I think of porn, and I mince no words. Porn comes from the depths of hell, and is calculated to destroy the characters of young men before they even have a chance to grow into a healthy sense of who they are and what they can become. Once your mind becomes pornified, I tell them, two things gradually happen: You lose any higher sense of self, and your relationships become distorted.

The vast majority of pornography users are men, but women are also injured by the epidemic. Wives report feeling betrayed when their husbands use porn — much like actual adultery. Women enter marriage seeking respect, companionship, partnership, honesty and romantic love. The world of pornography consists of exploitation, voyeurism, objectification and detachment. Counselors report that porn use increasingly contributes to divorce.

A coarsening of the heart fosters a coarsening of the culture. When more and more young men are conditioned to approach sex as casually as drinking a glass of water, young women are pressured to join in and many do. Porn is a driver of this shift. Where it will lead as the “hookup” generation gets older is anyone’s guess. But the collapse of sexual mores doesn’t bode well for the stability of society in the long run.

We don’t need a library of psychological studies to confirm these kinds of elementary truths. Generations before us intuitively understood them. That’s why they restricted pornography to places where only the chronically addicted would seek it out. Today we blindly lead our children to a pit of destruction, believing our ignorance of the wisdom practiced in earlier generations is somehow virtuous.

How does pornography harm our young people? (Warning: frank language ahead.) The road from adolescence to adulthood is an arduous one filled with many kinds of emotional upsets. A young man can find relief in masturbation, but most soon learn that such comfort is fleeting and does not resolve the problems that need attention — or at least that is the way it used to be.

Porn has become so pervasive that it is now increasingly difficult to escape the escapist pattern of behavior. Pornography is a sexual stimulant used to compel masturbation. Initially, young men use it to flee what appear to be insurmountable emotional pressures. As the behavior continues, it becomes a compulsive habit that retards maturation.

It works a lot like drug use. Give me a young man who has a problem with drugs and wants to get clean, and the first question I ask is when he began using drugs. That tells me when maturation stopped and where to locate the problems that led to the drug use. Only when those problems are dealt with can the flourishing begin that young men yearn for.

These days, I ask: When did you first start using porn?

How does healing occur? The truth is that young men long to become stable and mature. Once they begin grappling with the hold pornography and its attendant behaviors have over their lives, something remarkable occurs. They start to experience what a healthier interior life (heart, soul and mind) feels like, and they want more of that feeling.

I tell young men that the journey of self-discovery is the most exhilarating adventure a man can undertake. This journey never ends. I also tell them to resist all false promises that can imprison the soul. The lies are like a cupful of sand given to a thirsty man. Choose the water.

We begin this journey together, but eager young men learn fast. All most need is a road map, encouragement and accountability.

Sexuality is closely tied to creativity. Flourishing first occurs when the young man morally reorients himself so that his creativity can be expressed in ways that conform to his native gifts and talents. This requires a counselor or spiritual director like me who can discern what the gifts are and guide the young man toward them.

Often the young man lacks confidence because the porn habit prevented him from experiencing the testings that otherwise would have forged it. Nevertheless, once the creativity that was previously dissipated in porn connects with success, the logic of moral self-control becomes self-evident.

Not all young men succeed. Once I was contacted by a young man who longed to serve in the Coast Guard. He needed to finish college first. He could have succeeded, but in the end he was unwilling to undergo the struggle to overcome the habituation that was holding him back.

Had he been born a generation earlier, he might have avoided the conflict altogether.

Pornography is a problem few people want to face, mainly because we don’t know how to deal with it. The Republican Party correctly called it a “public health crisis” in its 2016 platform. Defenders of porn cite First Amendment protections to fight off restrictions on porn distribution.

But porn is much more than speech. And it is not the kind of “idea” the First Amendment was established to protect. We don’t give cigarettes and alcohol to minors. Why do we stand idly by while the merchants of porn ply them with their toxins?

Young men grow up. But if the porn cycle is not broken — and in many cases it isn’t — they grow up to be man-boys. Then the pathology infects families and children.

This poisoned fruit of the sexual revolution may be with us for generations.

The Rev. Hans Jacobse is an Orthodox priest in Naples, Fla. He grew up in Minnesota and began his ministry in Minneapolis.

Comments

  1. I’m going to get criticized for this, but here goes:

    I agree with Fr. Hans up to a point, and basically I share the same view of pornography as C.S. Lewis – that the danger is getting lost in your own erotic world and not living in the real world. It can be seen as s form of idolatry.

    That being said, something else also needs to be stated, nay shouted and rubbed in thoroughly: The life we live in a feminist matriarchy is not the least bit natural and is designed to produce the frustrations that lead to the use of pornography. It is the Fem/Perv culture that is to blame for pornography, not the natural male libido.

    As I have repeated ad nauseum here to the chagrin of many, the feminist matriarchy of independent women is evil. A culture which produces lots of independent, unattached females on the loose stirring up sexuality without any sense of responsibility is diabolical. The problem is that we have rejected the patriarchy in favor of the a feminist matriarchy. In that context, given a sexual libertarian streak in our society, widespread pornography is inevitable.

    Men desire to dominate or possess women. It is a natural instinct. Dominance is a central part of the sexual attraction that men feel for women. Desiring to be dominated is a central part of the sexual makeup of females. It is very primal and cannot be changed. It is one reason why the patriarchy is natural and a feminist matriarchy is very unnatural and leads to all sorts of evil consequences.

    When the natural dynamic of male dominance/female submission or male leadership/female following is broken or contradicted, it releases a pandora’s box of demons. Single (female) parent families are one aspect of this. They lead to cycles of poverty and violence – boys don’t know how to become men and girls don’t know how to identify good men or behave around them. Gansta culture results. Welfare, matriarchal culture propagates misery.

    The same with pornography. In a decent culture – in the culture the Church Fathers approved of – you simply don’t have the temptations manifest in society because you do not have a plethora of independent young women out there stirring the pot. Since these independent young women are ideologically programmed to want to be in control of their own bodies and reproduction and therefore not inclined to defer to male lovers, males don’t know what to do with them other than use them for sex and discard them.

    Such women are not suitable for marriage or childrearing. Only women that obey/submit to their husbands can possibly be trusted to remain faithful and stable and not run off with the children leaving only a bill for child support.

    Feminists and beta males created the porn culture. They deserve it. It is the just deserts of evil people pursuing an ungodly evil worldview – feminism.

    You will not defeat pornography – you do not deserve to defeat it or rehabilitate the feminine image – until you repent and recognize that women were created to serve men, that the patriarchy is God given, and that feminist matriarchy has no other source but the devil.

    Face it. Feminism is what prevents them from growing into healthy males. Pornography is just an outlet for the conflict created by feminism.

    If ideal = “independent woman” aka “filthy whore”, then, —> pornography (and abortion, btw)

    It’s the Law of God. The Fathers warned us about it. I’ve been trying to get people to see it for over 15 years but beta-male syndrome is a very powerful delusion.

    • Kh Christina OGrady says:

      Firstly, let me affirm the strong points made by Fr Hans Jacobse. I too lived through the sexual revolution and the casting aside of social mores and all respect for any form of authority. The outcome has been the unleashing of untold demons not the least of which is rappant use of pornography. As a public school teacher and a priest’s wife I attest to the destruction of many families, schools, churches and community life by this illicit sexual epidemic.
      And I agree that feminism plays a major role in the proliferation of porn and sexual deviance and the breakdown of healthy families. However, I do not agree that healthy men and women are motivated by the desire to dominate and to be dominated. A healthy man respects loves and cherishes his woman. He needs a woman, not to exert his machismo, to dominate and keep her in her place like a John Wayne and Maureen O’Hare movie, but to learn what self sacrificial love is all about. Most truly healthy, productive, fulfilled women have been loved, encouraged, cherished by a man; a father, a husband, a brother or uncle, even by a teacher, or an employer or pastor. She has been made to feel safe and respected. In such an environment she is free to give herself in relationships with others, to her husband, her children and her culture. Such freedom makes for healthy emotional and sexual life within a marriage. Without this love and respect, a woman can become bitter, angry and destructively aggressive. ‘Hell hath no fury like a women scorned’, it says in Proverbs.
      But men need women as well. Men face incredible challenges and very few men can face them as effectively if they are alone. They need the encouragement of a woman who respects and honors them. Submission is not about subservience. It is not about blind obedience or an itch to be dominated by an alpha male. It is about support, honor, encouragement and trusting enough to risk letting another set a good course. It is not easy but without a strong woman most men will not become emotionally, sexually, or psychologically mature. Men need the weight of wife and family to move beyond fist bumping, pubescent male posturing that is emotionally impacting. Sometimes men need a gentle female voice to tell them how truly great they are and how much they can accomplish if they just push through. And sometimes they need a strong voice for a woman to tell them to buck up, and get real. In the words of Vic Moretti to Walt Longmire, “don’t give me any of that monosyllabic Gary Cooper crap, talk to me!”
      In short, we need each other, men and women, our needs are different but the same. Love respect, encouragement, trust, and honesty. Healthy relationship between men and women is a strong antidote to sexually transmitted diseases, physical diseases, emotional diseases, psychological and spiritual diseases that are killing our culture.

      • “He needs a woman, not to exert his machismo, to dominate and keep her in her place like a John Wayne and Maureen O’Hare movie, but to learn what self sacrificial love is all about. Most truly healthy, productive, fulfilled women have been loved, encouraged, cherished by a man; a father, a husband, a brother or uncle, even by a teacher, or an employer or pastor.”

        Actually, it is very much like a John Wayne movie called the Quiet Man, and I can only have faith that American men, like Wayne’s character, will finally find themselves. A man’s love of a woman is naturally dominating, though not necessarily domineering. But women aren’t qualified to tell the difference. If she has a problem with him, she should go to the priest (not a Protestant “pastor Bob”, feel good, Dr. Phil beta). But if he’s not firmly in charge, it’s not a Christian marriage at all but a fraud.

    • lexcaritas says:

      My brother Misha,

      I fear that some of your language regarding “serving” and “domination” will be misunderstood without careful definition and nuance (of what true dominion and husbandry involve and the delight of service to which we all are called).

      However, your concerns about matriarchy and feminism are perceptive. There is so much in the modern project and in the dysfunctional non-culture that we have allowed to develop and that must be repented of that, I surmise, without Divine intervention we are simply incapable of seeing it on the one hand or making the many and considerable necessary sacrifices and turnabout on the other. I hope I am wrong and will continue to pray for a deep and widespread change of heart and that many of us, in large numbers, will “come to ourselves” and get out of the pig sty and go back home to the Father’s house. I think, righteous in his generation, Noah did as much and though the Flood came, he, at least, and his family and the creatures he had collected at God’s command were saved.

      Christ is in our midst, may we glorify Him.
      lxc+

      • George Michalopulos says:

        Lex, I agree with you. Words like “dominance” and “submission” have no place in marital discourse. I find the proper words in the entire Orthodox marriage service, especially Paul’s Epistle.

        • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

          “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” Ephesians 5:22

          “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.” Colossians 3:18

          • You forgot to keep going, for in marriage there cannot be one command without the other; it’s beautifully circular.
            “Husbands love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” Eph 5:25

            Wives must trust their husbands in order to submit to their protection, care and decisions. Husbands gain that trust and position by loving their wives as Christ loved the Church. While receiving this type of love, women trust and respect their husbands even more, and so it goes….
            Personally, I think the husbands have the larger & more difficult calling.

            And as mentioned previously, submission is not not about subservience, or “being dominated.” THAT sounds like an idea someone borrowed straight out of pornography, not the Bible.

            • George Michalopulos says:

              Saunca, I very much agree with you.

              • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                Saunca and George, the issue is whether “submission” is part of the Christian understanding of marriage. We all agree that husbands ought to love their wives, but George apparently thinks wives ought not submit to their husbands. How very modern, and how very un-Christian.

                Misha has spoken very crudely of marriage. He should be more careful, lest others write him off as a crank. But Misha’s crudeness is no excuse for George’s nonsense.

                • George Michalopulos says:

                  Not at all, Deacon. It’s just that the word “submission” today has an unsavory connotation. I realize I’m being weasel-wordy here but I do believe in the headship of the man. A hierarchy exists. Most rational women understand that this hierarchy exists.

                  • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                    The word submission has an “unsavory connotation” today because many people have been led astray into thinking submission is evil, but Our Lord Himself submitted to the Father, doing the Father’s will, always speaking of it as the Father’s will, and thereby showing us how we are to treat our fathers. Submission is therefore Christlike and divine.

                    This is not all there is to Christianity, for we also have the loving headship of the Father. The Father gives, the Son serves. Indeed, all of the self-giving between Them is done by the Father, and all of the thanking between Them is done by the Son. This is how we too are to be “one as we are one,” in our various human relationships that are also based on self-giving and thanksgiving.

                    Between the man and the woman, the man takes the Father’s archic role as the self-giving source of the woman, and the woman takes the Son’s eucharistic role of thankful service, humbling herself and serving him as Christ served God. Toward her children, she takes the archic role and they take the eucharistic role, just as toward us Christ takes the archic role and we, the eucharistic role. Both roles are Christlike and divine. That is the beauty of the Gospel. No other God does both.

                    • Whatever else you may believe, Dn., I hope you are not suggesting that women are not still under the curse to be ruled by their husbands. None of the other curses have been lifted in material reality.

                      Ideally, we should strive for the original relationship – worthy assistant. That is the best translation I know for what Eve was created to be. Still, it is clearly a subservient and supportive role.

                      This aversion to male dominance is very unbecoming in you all. I mean, it is really ugly from a traditional Christian perspective. You are trying to placate semi-feminist women and keep the peace by selling your birthright for a bowl of soup. I would let you if it were not for all the hell that “equality” has caused in human society.

                      The feminist matriarchal Borg/Grendal must be destroyed, not met half way, destroyed – destroyed without a trace. It is not human or merciful to allow it to live.

                    • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                      Misha, must we all sound as outraged as you to be as pious as you? There is some sense to what you say, but there are other ways to approach the issue. My approach is to explain the ideal, which is a matter of nature and calling, before explaining the onerous economy of life in the fallen world. It won’t do these days to say simply, “This is the order, these are the rules—submit and obey them!” People deserve a better answer, more grounded in Christian knowledge of God.

                    • Pdn,

                      Please forgive my directness but the printed word is a fairly constrained means of expression. I sit writing in libraries with a relatively calm spirit, not ranting at the computer. Some people are not accustomed to the easy navigation of strong opinions without trauma, I will not chide them for this, the world needs such souls.

                      On the other hand, mincing words has gotten us nowhere and a prophetic witness, judging by the example of the Old Testament prophets, is quite adamant. St. John the Forerunner did not march or sign petitions or write columns about the calumnies of his age. He was direct and offensive and it got him killed and I’m sure he is grateful for the honor.

                      I do not claim to be a prophet, what I do know is that what the Orthodox have done in America to date has gained very little ground against a sick culture which you can see making inroads into the Church.

                      Perhaps it is time to be more abrasive.

                • Michael Bauman says:

                  Submission to whom for what reason is the question. The submission in Christian marriage is to the Lord and to each other in ways that are appropriate to being either male or female.

                  In mutual submission their us still headship and hierarchy. If read with humility and discernment the Biblical/Christian vision of marriage is neither complicated nor difficult to see.

                  Read through the darkness of the modern mind, it is nonesense.

                  • No Michael, it clearly states that women are supposed to submit to their husbands and that men are supposed to love their wives. Later, it pronounces a general duty of submission or deference between Christians but this is different than the husband wife thing. Scripture from Genesis forward, through the Old and New Testaments and in light of the Fathers, clearly teaches the patriarchy, that women are to submit and be subservient to men and that men are to love them. That is what is wrong with today’s society – the main culprit behind many social ills.

                    Ignoring it won’t make it go away. Denying it is, in a way, denying the Gospel, for patriarchy is most certainly part of the Gospel. Christ blessed the marriage at Cana and extolled marriage. The only form of marriage He was talking about is based on the relationship of Adam and Eve in the Garden (with her as a worthy assistant) and after the Fall, where Adam is to rule over her.

                    It’s crystal clear from Scripture and the Fathers and it is beneath you to be dishonest about it.

                    • George Michalopulos says:

                      Peter, two points:

                      1. You’re right about Pat Buchanan. Although I’ve published several of his pieces here in toto, I don’t think I’ve given him enough credit. So, you’re right. By going to blogs like The Unz Review and VDare, I just pick up Buchanan’s thoughts in distilled form.

                      2. President-in-waiting. Yeah, I certainly hope it’s Pence. I was meaning of course Hillary who was all-but-crowned POTUS by the Establishment. My snark got the better of my grammar.

                • https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-02-20/le-pen-advances-in-french-polls-as-security-concerns-sway-voters

                  I have to take my hat off to this lady. I just hope that a rightist German arises to keep her in line if she strays. Her father was a piece of work.

                  • I actually deleted this when I realized that she had changed FN to pro-abortion and same sex unions.

                    Really, though, it’s hard to say what she would do in power. It is France, after all. I mean, really I suppose she could just say anything to get elected and then govern as her father taught her.

                • Michael Bauman says:

                  Pdn Mitchell, early in my marriage I was reading your book, Scandal of Gender. I shared some of it with my wife. She agreed enthusiastically with what you wrote.

                  She is a Godly woman.

                  The point I am trying to make is that the “Godly” part has to come first.

                  All of us have seen the horror that occurs when the words of the Scripture are misunderstood and used to abuse and enslave rather than as a proper expression of God’s love. The words are impossible to understand in a non-sacramental approach to Christianity.

                  I will not abide such twisting of God’s direction it is blasphemous.

            • Michael Bauman says:

              Saunca, I agree as well. We could debate which has the more difficult role. In reality, they are both embracing the Cross. I could not do what a woman does. No more than a woman can do what I, as a man do.

              The truth is that when both do it, focused on Christ, the yoke becomes light.

        • Ephesians 5:22-33:

          Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

          Fine, defy God at your own peril. America has been under a Curse because of its rejection of the patriarchy. The wealth here, the technology, it could have been much better much sooner were it not for the Democratic feminist matriarchal plantation. The Curses are abortion, pornography, cycles of poverty, high divorce rates, gansta culture and the violence and the drug problem – people trying to escape this feminist/matriarchal dystopia by chemical means.

          Allow women to choose and expect them to choose differently than the millions of murderous choices they have already made here and abroad (abortion). What foolishness!

          Удачи

          • Michael Bauman says:

            As usual the complimentary commandment to men to give themselves for their wives as Christ does for the Church is not mentioned. Wonder why?

            Unless a man embraces the Cross for his wife, he has no call on his wife’s submission. If she gives it anyway in faith her husband’s transformation will either follow or he will burn.

            • “…as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her.”

              ..without which the teaching of the submission of the wife (which is, indeed, proper) has more in common with Islam than with Christianity.

              A man who demands a subservient slave for a wife is an ugly caricature his Prototype.

              • Personally I find it quite sad that we even have to explain and debate the subject. I suppose the bait too brilliant and the fisherman relentless. Again stay tuned for the next lure to drop. Like flies to……

              • The problem is that men are by and large already loving and you are preaching to the choir. The missing element is not male love but female subservience. That is why I beat the drum, that is why marriages fail, that is why women abort, that is why women leave or kick out their men and form single (female) parent families, that is why boys don’t identify with good role models, that is why girls don’t identify good men to marry, that is why the gangsta culture arose, that is why you have cycles of poverty and the growing drug culture – not because men don’t love, which they do by and large, but because women do not submit, nor are they required to by law.

                It’s really an equation of sorts. Like a law of physics. You introduce X and you get Y. You fail to introduce X and Y never results. Cause and effect.

      • Yes I agree, Lex. Brother Misha makes a lot of good points about feminism and such, but he speaks of marriage relationships as if it comes all from theory.

        As George said, words like “dominance” and “submission” have no place in marital discourse. Yes wives may demurely “submit” to their husbands, but it is out of love for him — it should never be out of fear of him. Submitting to a husband out of fear of him is a one-way ticket to abuse and domestic violence. Likewise, the man leads the family as Christ led the church — a sacrificial love where he is ready to give his life for his family. “Dominate” is definitely the wrong word for it. A man who dominates his family instead of leading the family in the sacrificial way of the Cross will often abuse them. The Church should never tolerate abuse and should always call it out when it occurs.

    • Peter Millman says:

      Hi Misha,
      I think your ideas are very simplistic. The blame for pornography in our culture rests squarely with men. Hugh Hefner, the voyeuristic sexual pervert is largely responsible for the profusion of pornography. No one person is more responsible for the objectification of women.

      Of course, women are weak, and seek approval through sexual appeal. I have no respect for women who succumb to the allure of breast implants, and dressing like tramps and whores. In our sex obsessed, depraved culture, our God given healthy desires have been subsumed into the broader unChristian culture.

      I have no respect for woman who have bought into the demonic sexual revolution. If we are single, God calls all of us to a life of chastity. The dirty filthy addiction to pornography goes hand in hand with the vile, disgusting, sinful practice of masturbation. It is all bad and should be vigorously condemned from the pulpit in no uncertain terms. We need to get rid of the vile practices of sexual liberation, pornography, monkey spanking, lust, adultery, and unchastity. All sexual expressions outside of holy matrimony are completely evil. We must declare war on sexual immorality. With enough committed Orthodox Christians, we can overcome the immoral. demonic sexual revolution.
      I can honestly say that when I see women with breast implants, and dressed like whores, I am actually deeply repulsed, and don’t fine these women to be the slightest, least bit attractive.

      • George Michalopulos says:

        Peter, you’re right to a great extent. I imagine you’re about my age, and though I was not a young man in the 1950s (when Playboy came out), it’s androcentric philosophy was still going strong. Women were to be viewed as objects of men’s pleasure. There’s no way of sugar-coating that.

        Women –specifically young, attractive women–foolishly bought into it. Young men like myself went along for the ride and enjoyed every minute of it. (Give me chastity O Lord, just not yet.) We’d have been foolish not to, especially those women who literally threw themselves at those of us whom they deemed to be attractive. They disregarded the teachings of their mothers and their mothers before them. Now our society is caught in a death-spiral with the war between the sexes only getting stronger and society sinking further into the abyss.

        I realize the allure that a woman can have on a man, it’s natural and pleasant at times, and I have no dissent from the idea that Satan knew this as well and seduced Eve in order to get to Adam, but the blame for the pornification of our culture rests on our shoulders, not women’s.

        • The other question we must ask ourselves – besides how porn could possibly be produced without the enthusiastic, eager and active participation of willing women – is why men consume it.

          To put it bluntly, the reason men consume it is because they are not busy enough engaging in what it depicts. If they could be, they would be. And the reason they are not doing that is because they are not the masters of their own homes and the women therein.

          God commanded us to be fruitful and multiply and gave us the patriarchy for the purpose of pursuing that occupation. In rejecting His explicit commands, we unleash all sorts of diabolical consequences.

          Do you recall the scene in American Beauty where Kevin Spacey is masturbating in bed and his overbearing, materialistic wife catches him? In that scene is encompassed the entire dynamic of the problem. American values and law produce that situation and until the values and law change, it will persist. And there’s nothing anyone can do about it but bitch and moan . . . or face it.

          • George Michalopulos says:

            Misha, you are correct that porn could not exist without the participation of women. Where I differ from you is the degree to which they are “willing” participants. I’m quite sure that there are some, perhaps many women who willingly allow themselves to be objectified. I’m just as sure that a great many find themselves in such a state because of prior sexual abuse by an older man, drug/alcohol addiction and economic circumstances.

            Even in the first instance, of women being willing, I’m not so sure about that. Like all people, young girls learn early on what is accepted and preferred. Our culture has gone from young girls wanting to be like precious little girls like Shirley Temple to useless sluts like Kim Kardashian. The younger generation gets imprinted with what is acceptable. Plus, throw in non sequitur arguments like “well, your grandmother’s generation practiced chastity but don’t forget, that she also thought blacks and whites should be segregated, blah, blah, blah”.

            In other words, take what was good about a previous generation, conflate it with something that we now deem evil, and voila! whatever we do now is not only acceptable, but preferable.

      • Peter,

        There is enough blame to go around and you misunderstand me if you think that I am trying to absolve men of the blame for pornography. I am not.

        What I am instead saying is that the widespread pornography we have today is a direct result of women’s “liberation”. Liberating women from their roles as wives and mothers, from reproduction, was a terrible idea – sinful in the utmost. That is why they were created. That is my point.

        It is only when you have “liberated” women that you have the type of porn industry you have here. It simply could not exist in a patriarchal society except on the fringes, underground, much like prostitution did traditionally. It could not exist because most all women, unless they went out of their way to rebel and were allowed to do so, would belong to their fathers, husbands or oldest sons who would never allow them to participate in such activities even if they were so inclined.

        The only reason porn exists is because women are willing and free to do it. Otherwise, the only porn you would see would be anime (but someone would have to do the female voices).

        Women deserve most of the blame for pornography. Without their willing participation, there could be no such thing. Don’t treat them as idiots who are not responsible for their own actions. That is the one thing the Fathers do not allow us to do. They know what they are doing, they like it, don’t kid yourself otherwise.

        Women demanded the right to vote. Women went out an burned their bras and demanded reproductive freedom. And women just marched in Washington to oppose anyone who would presume to tell them what to do with their bodies.

        I have no sympathy for women anymore and neither should you. They have brought all this hell on themselves, with the help of men to be sure, but by their own willful choices. Nothing can change that incontestable fact, nor the fact that they have no right to any of the things they demand if the Orthodox Christian faith is true in its particulars.

        You can either face that or continue wallowing in the misery of this evil society. But make no mistake, those are your only two choices.

  2. lexcaritas says:

    <<Defenders of porn cite First Amendment protections to fight off restrictions on porn distribution.

    <>

    Exactly right, Father Hans. The same argument used to justify the virtually unrestricted proliferation of profanity, violence, murder, and mayhem in video games, film and television–often by people who would restrict gun manufacture and ownership but will say and do nothing about the media that foster their improper use–and which they often own or control.

    Christ is in our midst. May He mitigate and save us from the wrath to come.
    lxc+

  3. Be true to yourself, and remember that the emperor really did not have any clothes on. The innocent mind of a child knows that the images that are shown in any electronic view screen are just electrons. They what they see is not really happening in the present, and they are not part of it.. They realize they are looking at something that is not really alive It is spiritually satisfying to be real, and honest and guileless. This cannot compare to being with a real live person in a relationship each other. Teach your children to seek what is real in real life, and not to lie and deceive themselves in a prurient mind game. That being honest with one’ s self is the principle genuine requirement for authentic live giving and affirming spirituality. Real love, true love, for God and man. Chide them, saying the emperor has no clothes on, your just looking at electrons, well duh.

  4. Caroline Humphrey says:

    Daily I encounter on the internet links to what I consider pornographic material, at least by the titles: 20 hot women, 15 photographs that shouldn’t be seen, 20 Olympic women you have to see and etc etc. Reminds me of 6th grade when we discovered art books and nude paintings.

  5. Fr Patrick B. O'Grady says:

    Bravo, well conceived and expressed!
    There are so many pitfalls today, this one being a symptom of a profoundly deep issue: depersonilizing and objectifying of one another. This is what you get if indeed “God is dead.”

  6. Thank you Fr. Hans, for a critically important message that must be shared. As one led down this path – when a cousin who grew up in dysfunction and sadly, ended dying of an overdose, wanted to show me the magazine he had when we were but teenagers – i too, can attest to all you write and encourage anyone looking for a program that works to consider the Conquer dvd and study series. It will open eyes and offer solutions from Christian “sex therapists” (MDs, PhDs, pastors, counselors…) who’ve been there, suffered greatly and found what boundaries and tools can and will keep one in freedom. As life is short and time too precious to waste (what pornography does esp., to the God-seeking), we will be making use of it this summer with a number of men in our greater area who’ve asked for help! in this regard. Trailer and material found here https://conquerseries.com/resources/

  7. Fr. George Washburn says:

    Right on, Fr. Johannes, as we used to say – and sometimes still do, I guess!

  8. pelagiaeast says:

    Yes, it is adultery, and old men think it solves ED, but the truth it, it contributes to ED. There is so much more I could say. It is of the devil, a terrible curse, and so vigorously defended.
    Lord, have mercy.

    • Yes, porn-induced erectile dysfunction is a known entity. When a man (esp. a young man) has ED but no medical reason to have it, this is often why. But ED is rarely a problem when you give yourself to your spouse and remain chaste and only express your sexuality with her.

      Porn is an addiction, just like alcoholism. Sadly, many lives and families will need to be damaged and destroyed by porn till we as a culture realize how dangerous it is. It took a long time for us to realize this about alcoholism – many families had to be damaged by alcoholism first, unfortunately. We need a lot more sex addiction programs comparable to AA, Al-Anon, and ACA/ACoA.

      Fr Christophe is trying to help considerably: http://inexhaustiblecup.org

  9. This is nonsense. The world average is that one female reproduces for about every four males. I suppose the other three males can take monastic vows, but please. Most men will never live up to modern female expectations, and won’t be able to get within 3 feet without a sexual harassment complaint or sexual assault complaint. There is one woman for every man, but most women only want to compete for the top 25%, meaning some guys share the wealth but most men live lives of quiet desperation.

    Now, say you are one of the “lucky” who make the cut, and you get married. One used to be able to distinguish between a contract for prostitution and a contract for marriage based on the length of time and the difficulty of getting out of it, but no more. The big difference today is that a contract with a prostitute will get you sex, marriage will only get you stuck with child support and alimony payments, and good luck ever seeing your children again.

    When was the last time your priest gave a sermon on 1 Cor 7:3-5? I doubt we would have so much pornography or adultery if the Church did a better job of schooling the latest crop of over-privileged, narcissistic and entitled women on the REAL obligations that God and the Church have placed on them.

    The problem is not females, of course. It is a non-Biblical Victorian-era falsehoods about the nature of woman that plagues conservative Christians, combined with a legal and cultural system designed to appeal to and incite the darkest aspects of female character. Sure, it is no fun to be a divorced male (or passed over male), but it is even worse to be a child in the new “family”. If you are not aborted, you can look forward to your risk of sexual abuse going up 700% when mommy starts holding out on mommy’s new boy friend, or maybe he just beats you to a pulp and your in the hospital. But a girls got to follow her heart, and respect herself, doesn’t she?

    In a world where woman are free to chase only the best, and where marriages are throw away when something better comes by, the majority of men will lose out on the possibility of companionship. Even those who end up with a girl, most will never keep her.

    Porn is a symptom, not a cause. One should be asking oneself, why are so many perfectly good men of character ignored completely by the opposite sex (except when they attempt normal courting behavior, e.g. “harrassment”), and why are so many marriages (and children) cast aside on the basis of wanton female passions. Women are responsible for at least 2/3rds of the divorces.

    Can you blame men for opting out of a game of gender 3 card monte? Will the Church really overcome the moral crisis by lying to men about marriage and females, and trying to guilt them into a sucker’s bet? If you want to fix marriage, sex, procreation, it has to start with an attack on female privilege and the legal and cultural supports of female privilege. I doubt very much the Church has the intestinal fortitude to engage in such a pursuit, notwithstanding what Tradition and Biblical Sources unambiguously demand.

    Implement a Church that actually teaches and demands Biblical marriages, and a society that strikes no-fault divorce laws, takes children away from single mothers and sticks them in orphanages, that cut irresponsible people off the dole, that prosecutes fornicators and adulterers, and jails women who abandon their families, and you will find the demand for pron diminishing.

    • Michael Bauman says:

      I have never had a problem finding correct teaching on marriage in books, from the pulpit and in example.

      Marriage, for sure is lived out within a worshipping community. Part of being married is committing to remain in the congregation, not skipping off “for better opportunity”.

      There is also, the difficulty of dealing with the pervasive sin surrounding courting and marriage.
      Particularly with those who divorce and later want to marrying again in the Church. Pornography will be found in the heart of many of these tragedies I suspect. Equally difficult is the often on-going financial and custody battles.

      No one, it seems, ever really divorces. They go on being married to each other in conflict. Like the movie: War of the Roses.

      Pornography is both a symptom and a cause, but it is not the only problem.

  10. It is only self willed men and women who desire to dominate each other. The Gift of the Magi was not a product of domination and submission. It was true love, self sacrificing love, of the kind people can have who are authentic Christians Women hate to be dominated as do men. The self will interferes with being true to yourself at all times, which occurs frequently when one of them just want their own self willed way. People who love each other just want to be together in trustworthiness.

    • No doubt Christian marriage has greatly improved since Eric Fromm’s “unconditional love” has replaced St. Paul’s Epistles as the basis for Orthodox teachings on marriage. In the same way, in Soviet times, we understood that Karl Marx’s communist system was the fulfillment of Christianity. St. Paul is pretty clear about what happens when society exchanges “Truth for a lie”.

      1 Corn 7:4 is pretty clear about the hierarchical nature of marriage. As a post-modernist, I can understand why an atheist Marxist outfit like the Frankfurt School would target the institution of traditional marriage in the name of “Progress”. What is sad is so many Christians have uncritically absorbed CultMarx beliefs and “integrated” them with the faith.

      Rather than ad hominems against those who challenge CultMarx Orthodoxy, perhaps these less self-willed individuals will familiarize themselves with the actual workings of the so-called “Family Courts” and pay attention to the spiritually and physically damaged children and young people in our “Juvenile” and “Criminal Courts”, raised with no fathers, abused and neglected, and living amongst a string of half-brothers and sisters. Only when people start accepting that the rising divorce rate, the fact that most of the poor and working class don’t even bother to marry anymore, the rising rate of child abuse and neglect, and the opioid crisis are directly related to the cultural revolution they have been pushing for 50 years, can we have a discussion.

      Monogamy and patriarchy are the norm in most of the world because they encourage male investment in offspring, which results in healthier and stronger offspring, not because men are such dominating brutes. Substituting female hypergamy and matriarchy discourages male investment in children, resulting in worse outcomes for children. The battle is not about domination, it is about doing our best to see our children have a brighter future. In other words, the “self-sacrificing” love should not be directed to the woman, but by father and mother to the children in the form of a patriarchal family.

      • KD,

        “Domination” is just the receiving end of “submitting”, like yin and yang. Until they have ears to hear and eyes to see all our preaching will not touch them.

      • M. Stankovich says:

        Someone needs to empathize with you for the prettiest girls in school somehow desiring the quarterback and not you. Personally, I just can’t seem to find it in me. Apparently the “choice” of lover and/or mate is an incredibly more complex process than you can fathom – including all the gifts of ego-strength, such as humility, continence, sobriety, trustworthiness, fairness, justice, respect, empathy, and warmth. Who would have thought? Secondly, I find it difficult to respect those who would not follow their own admonishments, in this case, if you intend to mock the nature of the anthropology, theology, and Tradition of the Church, you would first “familiarize” yourself with the Scripture and the writings of the Holy Fathers. They are infinitely more authoritative than talk radio.

        Elsewhere, I grant He gives to the husband abundant precedence, both in the New Testament, and the Old saying, (ἡ ἀποστρόφή σου, LXX. Genesis 3:16.) “Your turning shall be towards your husband, and he shall rule over you.” Paul does so as well by making a distinction thus, and writing, (Eph. 5:25-33) “Husbands, love your wives; and let the wife see that she reverence her husband.” But in this place we hear no more of greater and less, but it is one and the same right. Now why is this? Because his speech was about chastity [ἔνθα δὲ σωφροσύνης λόγος]. “In all other things,” says he, “let the husband have the prerogative; but not so where the question is about chastity.” “The husband has no power over his own body, neither the wife.” There is great equality of honor, and no prerogative.

        St. Chrysostom, Homily 19 on First Corinthians, PG 61.152

        This would suggest that, rather than a consequence of ad hominem, you are not prepared for the discussion. Scott can get away with this bullshit by virtue of volume and “apocalyptic ostentation.” You don’t seem to me affected enough, nor intelligent enough to to rely simply on rude aggression. Yet. And while I’m not a betting man, I somehow imagine you’re not finished.

        • You imagine correctly. Your drivel is vacuous as usual.

          Did you see this? It is delicious:

          http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/02/loud-arab-call-prayer-times-square-muslims-protest-trump-shout-allahu-akbar-video/

        • M. Stankovich:

          I think you cast me as the wrong character. My parents were the typical baby boomer degenerates. I was raised by wolves and taught to be a wolf, and although I have found truth in Orthodoxy, it is not your Frankfurt School “Orthodoxy”.

          [As far as my own, personal experiences and youthful indiscretions, strangely, women do seem to find the wolves appealing, especially feminists. As Misha says, Yin and Yang.]

          If you want to convert wolves back into men, then you have to start thinking about how boys turn into wolves in the first place. I can assure you it has very little to do with pornography. I imagine you can’t, because you can’t accept that your “progress” and “modernism” is nothing more than the discipleship of the Anti-Christ.

          Perhaps you should check out “The Young Pope”. It is not the 1950’s anymore. Most young people have known nothing but violence, sexual abuse, chaos and insecurity as a result of our glorious revolution and its inversion of nature, which much of the hierarchy has mostly accommodated itself to on the fundamental, metaphysical level, if not in outward forms.

          • M. Stankovich says:

            Yeah, yeah, KD, I met many “wolves” in prison & psych units. Fabricated people, always greater than the sum of their parts; a burden on society and unanimously ego-compromised. Attachment disorders and conflict in “object-relations” abound, cowards attempting to fill the emptiness and boredom by intimidation and cruelty. You waste my time, bro, with jingo of “progress” and “modernism,” the new tactic of intimidation of our time. Take my word, you’re out of your league. I miscast you? No, bro, I nailed it.

            • Wow, your condemnation of the imprisoned and those tormented souls in psychiatric care sounds make you sound more like a National Socialist than an Orthodox Christian! You are not one of those Alt-Right types are you?

              I too have spent my life assisting those in prison and in mental hospitals, as well as helping good Christian men who’s wives dump them for greener pastures try to get the minimal rights the system nominally promises to them.

              Granted, you are much wiser than me, and not self-willed like I am, nor have you sinned as profoundly as I have against Christ, but shouldn’t we have a modicum of empathy for the suffering, and willingness to speak out against the root causes of much of that suffering?

              Further, its not just men, 1 in 4 young women between 18-25 yo has a mental illness. Is that a result of pornography (which has always existed, if less widespread, and which has decreased the demand for prostitutes, an institution previously more widespread), or something more deeply and profoundly wrong with our society? Is it an accident that young people score increasingly high on measures of narcissism?

              Unfortunately, the phenomenon of which I speak is not confined to prisons and psychiatric hospitals, notwithstanding the unprecedented explosions of those populations since the early 1960’s. All you have to do is spend some time with the “good kids” at an American public high school and you will find plenty to concern you.

              Can you even entertain the possibility that you are wrong, even if I am no doubt a fool in the eyes of the wise?

              P.S. I have no doubt that you are braver than I, and more manly, I am just a mere insecure coward, little more than a boy with a sling shot. That’s why I rely on scripture, the writings of the Church Fathers and empirically verifiable facts in couching my arguments, rather than personally attacking one who, by self-profession, holds a superior spiritual station.

            • It is actually amazing that some of these people make their arguments with a straight face. One hundred years ago, nothing I have written here would be the least bit controversial in Orthodox circles. Scripture and the Fathers are absolutely crystal clear that women are to be subservient to men and were created for that very purpose and no other. When they rebel, they denature themselves and screw up society.

              What is often labelled “misogyny” by feminists in their examination of the Fathers is simply their frank appraisal of women in light of the God-ordained patriarchy and the consequences of the Fall which they saw in their own experience. So when they write about women, they know whereof they speak.

              Tertullian said it best, a temple built over a sewer. They are like Huns, if they’re not at your feet, they’re at your throat.

          • Lived in the late Roman Empire like John Chrysostom. He called actress water whores since they had acting shows where they perform in water in his day in the 4th and 5th century. There is nothing new under the sun.

        • Let’s consider St. John Chrysostom’s prior words in that homily, which are more germane:

          3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband.

          Now what is the meaning of “the due honor? The wife has not power over her own body;” but is both the slave and the head of the husband. And if you decline the service which is due, you have offended God. But if you wish to withdraw yourself, it must be with the husband’s permission, though it be but a for short time. For this is why he calls the matter a debt, to show that no one is master of himself but that they are servants to each other.

          When therefore you see a harlot tempting you, say, “My body is not mine, but is my wife’s.” The same also let the woman say to those who would undermine her chastity, “My body is not mine, but my husband’s.”

          Note that the male’s duty not to give into the harlot is the reciprocal duty of the duty born by the wife, to gratefully pay her marital debt, and even ask her husband’s permission before maintaining chastity.

          I think it is pretty clear if we are worried about men giving themselves over to harlots, we can presume that oftentimes this is a direct result of a woman’s offense to God. Further, if we look at the culture around us, we are raising women, even in the Church, to regard a lifestyle that is offensive to God as normal and good. Can we wonder that men are flocking to harlots? St. John Chrysostom would not.

          It is very strange to read an Orthodox discussion of the problem of “pornography” were the behaviors of modern women aren’t even worthy of mention, when we see in the writings of the fathers they are expressly and metaphysical linked with male behaviors.

          Men display and women choose. When women are empowered by outside influences to choose evil, the men quickly fall. It is not as if Satan has not been aware of this weakness since the beginning.

          Only the Orthodox Church seems blissfully unaware, happy to replace Christ with a liberated woman on a pedestal and a pinch of incense for a goddess.

          • M. Stankovich says:

            Hard to explain, I suppose, how St. Simeon the New Theologian in his discussion on the fall of Adam never mentions Eve, other than to say Adam attempted to blame her – “this woman you gave me” – for his lack of remorse and inability to accept responsibility for his own choice. Perhaps this is the source of “wolves,” ego-compromised men who attempt to blame an alternate source for their own lack of integrity? And what would be the explanation for the genetic fact that male genes serving as biological inducement to propigate have diminished in our age dramatically from available samples in preceding centuries? Feminism? Progressive American politics? Why the marked & widening disparity in longevity favouring females, undoubtedly genetically mediated? Why the increased X-chromosomal inactivation that has diminished fecundity resulting in the decline in male births, the numbers of sequential males in a given lineage, as well as thought to be a risk factor in certain families for homosexuality in multiple male siblings? Abortion rights, perhaps? Why the dramatic increase in Russia for single-female head of households correlated with a rise in alcoholism, known to be genetically mediated particularly in males? Please, your insight & sacrilege of the Orthodox Faith is shallow and superficial. Men need to heal men, not women. And if I’m not mistaken, the prince of this world has been vanquished in the Resurrection. You’re free, bro. Rejoice and turn off talk radio.

            • I suppose your shift from St. John Chrysostom, once I revealed more of the context of your quote, indicates that you agree with my exegesis and now seek to change the subject to St. Symeon’s discussion of the Fall.

              It is interesting that you point out St. Symeon does not mention Eve in his discussion of the Fall. You point this out because St. Symeon is, as we say, extraordinary amongst the Church Fathers in this regard.

              Strangely, despite your self-professed spiritual illumination, you seem to suggest that I am claiming men lack moral culpability or free will, a claim which you will find nowhere in anything I have written. Woe betide me were I to suggest such at thing! What I did claim is that the piece had a distinct lack of balance, in that, unlike St. John Chrysostom who clearly understood the symmetry between the sexes, the piece failed to account for both sexes. For this, I receive abuse! May the righteous man rebuke me, and you, M. Stankovich, are as righteous as they come, outside of a university.

              I do not argue Adam lacked free will, I argued that the best way to corrupt a social order is to poison the women. If we consider Alexander the Great, we both agree Alexander, his officers and his troops all possessed free will. However, we understand that Alexander’s death, and not the death of his troops, lead to the end of his conquests and his Empire. I say rarely do we see men stumbling in the absence of women stumbling. This is an observation on human nature, which accord with scripture, not a comment on man’s volition.

              I did point out that if women are given legal incentives to behave badly, the result will be the moral corruption of both men and women. I further stated the our family system is uniquely designed to cater to the worst elements of the female character, creating much of our problems. Females living in homes with unrelated men have a 700% increase in sexual abuse rates. Their mothers, in divorcing, put their daughters at elevated risk of sexual assault, but that does not excuse the male perpetrators. However, it does suggest that changing our divorce laws can limit these opportunities and spare these young girls this kind of damage. I guess I am a failure as a Christian, but I would put preventing child rape as more important then adolescents looking at videos on pornhub.

              Strangely, it sounds like you are claiming that I am making some kind of defense of pornography. My personal view is that legal restrictions on obscenity should be increased, and that pornography has a negative and destructive effect on men. It is rather the intense concern about removal of the mote while denying and disregarding the feminist beam wounding the eye of God.

              Likewise, it is clear that secular societies produce low fertility rates, drug abuse and alcoholism, as well as innovations like liberal divorce laws and the promulgation of vice. Feminism can only be viewed as one tentacle on the monster, although for whatever reasons, the GREAT WHORE seems to be the proper appellation affixed to the monster.

              It is rather strange to be lectured to about the Fathers, and then read “Men need to heal men, not women”. First, I find the statement incredibly sexist and having no sanction in the Christian tradition. Jesus healed both men and women. The male saints healed both men and women, because the worshiped Jesus Christ, not a woman on a pedestal. That was the pagans, if you remember.

            • M. Stankovich:

              It is clear that in my knowledge, wisdom, and piety I cannot hope to approach your level of illumination.

              Perhaps Priestmonk Kasmos’s discussion on this topic can help you in your understanding:

              http://www.orthodoxtalks.com/talk-65-feminisms-war-on-men-marriage-family-and-even-women/

              • M. Stankovich says:

                I am sorry to learn of your diminished aspirations, apparently on my account. I would, however, encourage you to continue the struggle.

            • “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.”-1 John 5:19

              “If someone says,”I love God” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?”-1 John 4:20

              “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.”-1 John 5:21

            • Men need to heal men, not women.

              She left her loving and self-sacrificing husband to shack up with an alpha “bad boy” drug dealer. A few days after her husband found her and pleaded with her to come home, he found himself barricaded in his spare room for three days as his wife trashed the house and threatened to kill him with a kitchen knife. When she finally left the house, her mommy drove her back to the drug dealer’s house so they could continue their affair. The husband, meanwhile, refused to file for divorce until months later because he loved his wife and could not give up on her, even though it was clearly over. He continues to suffer from PTSD.

              • M. Stankovich says:

                Shall you bait me with anecdote, Ages? Nothing worse than a cheatin’ ho for a man’s ego? I have provided treatment to sexually, physically, and emotionally abused women & children for 25-years. Where would you like to begin? With the epidemiology or the stories I have heard? I have been the clinical director of a co-morbidity treatment program for parolees since January, and my entire day is a confrontation with the fragility of the male ego, awash in unacknowleged hurt, lonlieness, inadequacy, and fear. And their answer to stave off the terror of abandonment? Lashing out at women, manipulating, and attempting to externally control them in order to somehow feel in control of themselves. Ironically, from the rich and “contented” patients in the suburbs, to those that come directly from an 8×12 cell after eight years for torture and inflicting great bodily harm, the type is always the same: “Don’t leave me.” Emotionally immature, ego-compromised male “wolves” rail against “matriarchy” as the source of our societal decadence and woes? Beta-male faggotry, pure and simple. Perhaps St. Paul intended “submission” to be founded in the respect of one’s husband? In those who bitch the most on this site, I personally don’t see much to respect. But that’s an anecdotal observation, Ages.

            • “Men need to heal men, not women. And if I’m not mistaken, the prince of this world has been vanquished in the Resurrection. You’re free, bro. Rejoice and turn off talk radio.”

              Stankjoshka,

              You are simply a heretical apostate who has taken the drivel you learned from the quasi-Uniates at SVS to its logical conclusion due to your own proclivities. Satan still rules as the prince of this world. Look around you. You are the one who is delusional.

              If men were only fit to heal men and not women, Christ would not have established an all male episcopate. You are daft in the extreme.

              Ages wrote:

              “She left her loving and self-sacrificing husband to shack up with an alpha ‘bad boy’ drug dealer.”

              Yes, Ages. Her husband is a coward. It is time for us to face the fact that beta males are cowards. Not every alpha male is good, but every beta male is in some way defective and bad. His wife behaved like a whore and his duty was to divorce her, document her activities and seek custody of the children if there were any.

              The drug dealer of course is probably evil, the wife is evil, and the husband is a weak coward, which is also evil. No heroes, just misery.

              That’s what happens in a feminist matriarchy.

              • I should clarify my remark about Satan ruling as prince of this world: That is true of unrepentant sinners and, generally, of the materially minded. That is the point of characterizing it as “this world”; i.e., the material world which is under the Curse of Perishability. The world was not created to be perishable, that was the work of the evil one. God redeems us from this curse. But the work is not completed until the Second Coming. Until then, we are subject to dying. When that happens, we shall be transformed.

                Yet even now, Christ has conquered death. Christians who understand their faith know that they are imperishable souls who will be united to imperishable bodies eventually. This unity of imperishable body and imperishable soul is what we were meant to be.

                “These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

              • M. Stankovich says:

                Remind me to ignore the Pascha Canon in April, Scott.

    • Michael Bauman says:

      Unfortunately, Mr. Kinsey, most of us still fall in the self-willed class. I certainly do, yet I work to actually be a Christian man and husband. Some days it is witheringly difficult and I fail.

      Most days, I simply try to stave off the fear and selfishness that tends to dominate my life by giving thanks for my wife and the fact that she loves the Lord.

  11. This is brilliant and part of the number crunch that has to be done to really understand what has been happening:

    https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/our-miserable-21st-century/

    This is the pathology of a feminist-matriarchal dystopia exacerbated by oligarchic elites that seek to maximize profit through outsourcing production. People just can’t see any point and give up.

    “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” – Proverbs 29:18

    God’s “law” is the way He has programmed this fallen cyberworld we live in. Cause and effect do operate and we reap what we sow.

    Meanwhile, the NYT is finally catching up with reality:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/21/opinion/trumps-russia-motives.html?ref=opinion&mtrref=www.realclearpolitics.com&gwh=FF027345CECDE47B70DF8936B218E0CE&gwt=pay&assetType=opinion

  12. I probably should have stated this early on, but I agree completely with Fr. Hans estimation of pornography. I simply went a step further to look at the “root causes”, so to speak, of the phenomenon.

    It is a cycle loop of sorts. Feminism coming full circle against itself. What started as the quest for women’s “equality” inevitably ends in allowing those women who choose to profit from exploiting their sexuality to do so. It is a dead end much like abortion.

    Men should be having sex with women and raising the offspring of the union, not engaging in meaningless sex for the purposes of arousing other men. Nor should boys be consuming porn as an outlet for their sexual fantasies. They should be engaging in being fruitful and multiplying.

    But that is quite precarious in a feminist matriarchal culture because all the power is in the hands of women. Women get to decide when and if men will have sex in a feminist matriarchy. That is what we have now. Women decide if they will have sex, if that sex will lead to reproduction, and if that reproduction will be welcomed into the world. After reproduction, they usually decide where the offspring live. Moreover, they have a right to support of the offspring from the fathers.

    They have all the power. Men have none. They control it every step of the way.

    And it is an unmitigated disaster.

    • M. Stankovich says:

      This a fascinating observation, Scott, in that I personally have never felt disempowered nor powerless with or by a woman. I was taught and have been supervized by brilliant, talented, emotionally secure and gifted women, young and old. My wife is an educated, gifted clinician whom I love, respect and admire. She is a woman whose hobbies (e.g. gymnastics, scuba diving, cave exploring) I do not share, but are a source of fascination & education to me. Our mutual interests are many, and she is a true companion, a source of endless conversation, and simply fun to be with. I have never been manipulated, disempowered, or controlled by sex, which continues to a be a mutually loving and satisfying expression of our love for one another, absolutely apart and distinct from “reproduction,” as was ordained and sanctioned by our Lord by his presence at the wedding in Canna of Galilee.

      Every time I read your bold pronouncements about the nature of and our God’s intention for women, I feel like I have read the interpretation of a dog breeder; someone who could not have possibly had a loving, cherished, transcendent relationship with a woman. Perhaps you could share with me the unmitigated disaster and disempowerment you personally have experienced on account of sex, “feminism” and “matriarchy?”

      • Ah, Stankjoshka,

        The unmitigated disaster is tens of millions of abortions American women have chosen because they dared believe they had a right to murder. It is the single (female) parent families wherein the male children have no strong role model because the mother never married him or ran him off, with the support of an evil state. It is in those same families where fools like you learn that women can and should lead men. It is in those same families where young females get a skewed sense of what it means to be female and male which leads them to make terrible choices later in life. And it is in these same families, funded by the state, where young black men learn to live in a matriarchal culture which their own bodies and minds tell them is illegitimate which leads them to glorify gangsta culture as the only expression of masculinity that is permitted them.

        That’s the evil culture which people like you and your wife have built which must be destroyed by any means necessary. You have consciously chosen evil, to side with the evil one, and so no light emits from you and everything you contribute, until you repent, serves satanic interests.

        That’s why I don’t waste much time with you, Stankjoshka. There is nothing positive there with which to interact.

        • M. Stankovich says:

          Ah, Scott,

          Unless you actually are a young Black man seeking recourse and solace in the gangsta life, I fail to see how you consider this mess a response to my question. I asked you personally how you personally have been affected by female sexuality.

      • Dr. Strangelove,,,errr Stankovich, Here we go again. Now you’d like to treat Misha of a broken heart. A true compassionate Orthodox Christian you are.

        May God give you and your wife many happy and healthy years together. You are truly blessed! Count your blessings as many of us have been broken hearted, and some still remain broken, without a second chance. Thank God I was given a second chance.

        We are all guilty of hitting below the belt at times, but regardless of your indifferent attitude, I imagine Misha forgives you.

    • http://www.elle.com/culture/career-politics/news/a43285/casting-spell-donald-trump/

      Speaking of witches . . . you just can’t make stuff this precious up.

  13. Another perspective on Ephesians and the role of men and women in marriage by Fr Maximos* (and the antidote for pornography and objectification):

    Comment from a policeman: “St. Paul said that women should obey their husbands.” Fr. Maximos shook his head. “No, no! The type of obedience that Paul refers to in that passage must be understood as obedience to the love of Christ, not obedience to their husbands. That goes also for husbands toward their wives. In reality, Paul urged husbands and wives to obey each other, that is, to feel total love and commitment to one another and a readiness to sacrifice even themselves for the sake of the other. If you start your marriage with an exclusively hedonistic expectation, that is, that marriage is a means of gratifying your wishes and desires, then you are setting yourself up for failure.” “Well, what’s the purpose of marriage, Father?” the policeman asked with a quizzical look. “The purpose of marriage is to transcend marriage itself,” Fr. Maximus replied….
    “(When people ask) ‘Why is the Church so strict about premarital relations?’ I tell them that indeed the Church is against premarital sex, not because it wishes to undermine relationships between men and women but because it wants these relationships to be built on solid foundations. If you do not learn from your teenage years to see another human being not merely as a man or as a woman but first and foremost as a person, then you are bound to create problems in your marriage. You will be unable to see the other as an individual and not merely as an object of pleasure. At least this is what seems to be happening here in Cyprus.”…
    “For a successful marital bond to emerge, it is important that a man and woman first learn how the other feels and thinks and how they see the world. The aim is not to conquer, subjugate, and absorb the other person, to obliterate the other’s personality, but rather for the two to become a new person. We have,I believe, a unique word in our language when we refer to a married couple. We call them androgyno [manwoman], a new personal reality, the loving union between a man and a woman. Such a situation emerges when each party brings into the union his or her respective gifts, leading to a new joined personality, which defines them both. This is the ideal that one should strive for in a marital bond.”

    *“Father Maximos” is the pseudonym for the spiritual mentor of author Kyriacos C. Markides featured in his later works (Mountain of Silence, Gifts of the Desert, and Inner River) and reportedly in real life is the present Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol. Quotes are from Inner River: A Pilgrimage to the Heart of Christian Spirituality, pages 252-256, Kindle Edition.

    • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

      Good grief. Nonsense like this fully deserves Misha’s scorn. The bit about mutual obedience is 20th century nonsense. You won’t find it in the Fathers. The Fathers were real men, not gutless geldings.

      • Michael Bauman says:

        PSN Mitchell, no there is not mutual obedience in an egalitarian sense. The hierarchical nature of marriage and life in general makes such an impossibility.

        Each partner must strive for obedience in the proper order of the marriage. It is a heinous lie that leads some to believe that such hierarchy entails and requires abuse.

        However simply because the principal is neither understood nor followed by such people does not make the principal wrong.

        It is interesting to me that the very few times my wife has ignored a specific direction of mine, she has suffer pain. Not from my hands but because what I said had only her welfare and protection in mind. Her wilful rejection of my direction placed her in danger. Fortunately nothing serious but the potential was there.

        • LOVE God and serve him alone. Wives are certainly equally empowered to be true to themselves in this most important striving.God out ranks husbands. You were lucky, if your orders were truly always a help. Most people never accomplish such perfection. The One mind the apostles were given on Pentecost created mutual co-operation among the them, directly subordinate to the Holy Spirit. I do not believe this cannot also appear in a marriage, if Heaven deems it so.

      • The mutual obedience is directed to Christians in general and comes before the specific direction to wives to obey. Epistles were addressed to “brethren” i.e., “brothers”. This was inclusive in the sense that women were understood to be hearers as well, but it was a patriarchal society so no one would be under the mistaken impression that mutual submission was a duty between the genders. That is not God’s hierarchy. God created men above women on the hierarchy, period. After a certain age, grown males should not accord their mothers any authority. Christ made that clear at Cana. This is so because it is unnatural psychologically for a man to be under female authority. St. Paul simply wouldn’t allow it. There may be limited circumstances, but they should be rare, if ever.

        Honestly, those here who feign shock at what I write and repeatedly reject the teachings of Scripture and the Fathers on the subject need to simply grow up. In Ephesians, chapters 5, Paul lays down the law regarding husbands to love and wives to obey. You will find the same teaching in Colossians, 1 Peter and explicitly or implicitly throughout the Old and New Testaments and the Fathers. In Ephesians chapter 6 he goes on to instruct slaves to obey their masters. You really need to just come to grips with the fact that neither the Apostles nor the Fathers shared modern sensibilities on these subjects and that our faith is the faith of the Apostles and Fathers, not the modern world.

        It is a measure of how far we have fallen from any semblance of righteousness that these views are in the least controversial. Now, there is nothing in the faith that mandates that we practice slavery. If we were to do so, it should not be the type based on race which we formerly had in this country. I am against slavery in general as unnecessary and unwise in this age, other than being slaves to Christ. But we are commanded to practice the patriarchy by Scripture and the Fathers and we have simply rejected that duty.

    • Terrible advice, not Orthodox. If the man is not willing to love and the woman is not willing to submit and obey from the beginning, it’s a train wreck waiting to happen regardless of how often or loud they sing “Kumbaya”.

      The reason divorce rates, for example, were low up until the beginning of the twentieth century was that women did not feel like they had the choice not to submit or to disobey within marriage because the law precluded them doing so successfully. Restore coverture and you will again have low rates of divorce within a generation or two.

      The mistake is allowing women to choose whether to submit and obey or not. Continue allowing them this choice and you will get more of the same.

      “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” – Ephesians 6:12

      • “Restore coverture, and you will have low rates of divorce…The mistake is allowing women to choose whether to submit and obey or not.” Says Misha!

        Seems that the former shock and awe of Misha’s Koo Koo for Cocoa Puffs comments , no longer shocks and awes. Not sure if that’s a good thing or bad? Again! Women treated as cattle, and property does not fly for me no matter what verse you use from The Holy Bible, or Holy Fathers, to make your case. You would fit well in traditional Mormonism. Distortion of the good book served them well.

        Sorry if I seem to pick on you Misha. Truth is most comments I agree with, but some are just way off base.

        Correct me if not true, but even our Lord allows free will to men, AND WOMEN, but not in Misha’s world order.

        • George Michalopulos says:

          Dino, I’ll let Misha defend himself but I’d like to defend the concept of coverture at this point.

          Coverture is based on reality, the fact that women are physically (not physiologically) weaker than men. Also, they are more easily beguiled by predators. To my mind, coverture as a legal concept arose in order to recognize the need for women to be protected at all stages of their lives by a male relative (father, brother, son, etc.)

          We saw an example of this at Golgotha where Jesus ordered his cousin and beloved disciple John (who was probably a teenager) to take in His mother, the Theotokos, and to provide for her. He (John) was now “her son” and she (Mary) was now “his mother”.

          I realize that this concept grates on modern sensibilities bu the reality is that we are seeing a gradual overturning of the egalitarian blasphemy that was perpetrated at the Garden of Eden and went into hyper-drive during the French Revolution.

          • Michael Bauman says:

            George and Misha, coveture is also founded on the acceptance of the revealed truth that husband and wife are one flesh. In a secular society such as ours that truth is looked on as a legal fiction.

            Given that, coveture as a law cannot be supported outside of an actual Christian polity.

            If you want coveture reinstated, a Christian polity must be reinstated.

            In other words a mass conversion is the first step, followed by intense persistent teaching on the reality of marriage and a system of mentorship and accountability in the Church for both the men and the women to support them in times of temptation and to bring them to account if either fails.

            Particularly for men if there is apathy and an unwillingness to support and care for his family or he becomes abusive in any way.

            It would help a great deal if we had an economy that also supported the reality of marriage so that it would not be an option just for the rich.

            Of course under coveture married women could no longer vote.

            I believe the last vestige of coveture in our law is that spoeses cannot be forced to testify against each other in court.

            I am actually surprised that has survived.

            My state, Kansas, was a pioneer in overturning the property aspects of coveture and we also had the first elected female mayor of any town in the US.

            Kansas marriage law also requires and assumes that the husband and wife are equal economic partners in the marriage. At the time it meant that men could not just throw their wife out on the street if they wanted to get rid of her.

            These laws were crafted from both the frontier experience and a real decency in the community to protect women when their husbands failed.

            No-fault divorce was crafted as an ideological device to “empower” women. Combined with the property provisions in divorce that were part of the coveture ethos, a lot of men and families and women too have been devastated.

            It is neither righteous nor practical to merely reinstitute coveture or advocate for that alone. The foundation for it in belief and culture has to be built first.

            Miracles occur, but I am not holding my hreath

            • “In other words a mass conversion is the first step, followed by intense persistent teaching on the reality of marriage and a system of mentorship and accountability in the Church for both the men and the women to support them in times of temptation and to bring them to account if either fails.”

              Only if you believe in democracy, which I don’t. I’m quite content to impose it from on high if possible and force everyone to get used to it. I don’t care how it happens, just that it happens – by any means necessary.

              But, I’m not holding my breath either. I’m packing my bags. That’s the sane thing to do.

          • Thanks for the history lesson George, and history it is. Sorry, but we are no longer hunters, gatherers, and farmers. Yes we will protect our wives, but I’ll tell you what, my wife is just as handy with a fire arm, and assault rifle as I am, mess with with that little Greek lady, and you will be sorry.

            Speaking of Greek ladies, I’m sure our mother and Grandmothers, were never short to give their opinions, especially when their husbands got a little off base, they got an earful. It was not Matriarchy, but neither was it coverture, submission, and obey or else. Common sense, not all black and white, mostly gray.

            Two Examples. If a man loves his wife, and provides for her, but also loves alcohol slightly less, and will not cut back on the booze, should she obey his commands and not comment on his drinking, as he commands. If that man also believes that polygamy is his God given right, and having a couple concubines is cool, because he can provide for them, and hey they were doing it two thousand years, it’s even in the Bible. Wife must submit and obey, right George? I know you will say you don’t believe in polygamy, and/or having a couple concubines in your basement, but many men do, and their wives living in this coverture, that you defend, will live in misery. I would expect those living in Saudi Arabia, and Utah, to be strong defenders of coverture, but not you George.

            • George Michalopulos says:

              Dino, like you, most of the women in my life were (are) strong women. Especially the Greek ones. 😉

              That doesn’t mean that they didn’t respect their husbands. They taught their daughters to give their husbands holy hell in private when it was warranted but in public they always showed a unified face. The family was all. These public acts of respect for the patriarch (father, husband, brother) are a testament to the reality of the sexual hierarchy (even if they did hen-pack their menfolk in private).

              Wasn’t it Churchill who said that “hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue”? My own dad told me that “the husband is the head of the house, his wife is the neck”.

              Anyway, I’ve never known a real man who didn’t listen to his wife. Not if he knew what was good for him.

              • George, my family was the same way. What I truly miss growing up was our family commune, for lack of a better word. My grandmother’s home was “Grand Central Station” where I spent a great deal of my time, and all the uncles, aunts, close friends and cousins would pop in and chat, eat and drink, and go on their merry way. There was always something on the stove, and all were welcomed, even her Communist brother who she would always argue with, and remind me to never listen to his “devil tongue”.

                I miss those days, now we all are spread far and wide. No one seems to have time for a chat, and cup of greek coffee. The best I can do is get everyone together after church for brunch, and boy is that a chore just picking out the home or restaurant, but through all the yelling and arguing I find love, and peace. Plus a shitful of laughs, and memories money can never buy!

                • George Michalopulos says:

                  Dino, from your lips to God’s ear! Sometimes, I wonder what would happen if an EMP went off and we were sent back into the pre-Industrial age. I imagine that after a time, we’d see the recreation of your Yiayia’s house and its commune. Instead of atomized individuals suffering from ennui and taking Prozac, we’d be a might bit happier.

        • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

          Coverture does not mean that wives and daughters are treated as “cattle” or even chattel, and saying that it does is a feminist slander against the sacrament of marriage.

        • Dino,

          You simply are not well versed enough in the subject to grasp what I’m saying. God gave man free will. God also gave man the Law of Moses. God did not abrogate free will by giving the Hebrews the law. Man does not abrogate the free will of women by legislating coverture and obedience to ones husband mandatory. She is still absolutely free to disobey her husband and break the law. Free will is a gift in the absolute, not relative. And even absolute free will does not in any way spare us the consequences temporal or eternal, of our free choices.

          …Laws against murder do not, for example, restrict free will. You are free to murder. But if you do, you could be tried and punished in this life and suffer everlasting torment in the next. Yet you still have free will.

          …Now, women have a Christian duty to submit to and obey their husbands. Unfortunately, they are quite free to ignore this inasmuch as it is seldom expected of them, the Church does not mandate it on pain of excommunication, and the law does not reinforce this Christian way of living (the patriarchy) but actually outlaws it in its particular laws “protecting” women as individuals rather than recognizing their responsibilities as wives, daughters, etc. That is to say, we live in an aggressively evil society which outlaws Christian marriage and Christian gender relations in general – that is why I call it a feminist matriarchy, which it is, and condemn it as diabolical and worthy of our seething contempt.

          Hope that helps.

        • Perhaps this is what Misha, in his own (alternating between lucid and crazily unbalanced) clumsy way, has been attempting to communicate. If so, he is not entirely off base.

          But his perception of it somehow being woven into Trump’s political agenda requires quite a stretch of imagination. It would be nice if it was, though. It would give me the greatest pleasure to concede that he was right about our president’s agenda in this regard.

          • I understand where Misha is coming from he just doesn’t understand that you catch more bees with honey.

            I also understand submission is required, but submission is required from both sexes for a marriage to work. Man must submit to God and love his wife more than himself and woman must submit not only to God but her husband so truth be told they are both submitting to each other and God.

            If you love God, submission to God, and each other comes naturally.

          • Oh, I’m not suggesting that Trump has any conscious intention of effecting what I recommend in terms of male/female relations. What I have written in the past is that that may well be a secondary effect of his policies since his economic policy is calculated to cut the legs from under the race/gender/perversion rights lobbies. When politicians get in the habit of voting with Trump to fund make work programs and entitlements based solely on economic status, the ability of the race/gender/perv lobby to move or oppose anything will be largely eliminated. Without riding on entitlements as a base of power, they do not have a large enough constituency to continue their shenanigans.

            That’s why you had a Women’s March after the inauguration. The feminists have already done the math. They know their days are numbered.

            PS: I wrote a critique of the piece you linked. I thought it did not go far enough though.

          • Michael Bauman says:

            Really good and quite challenging. One note, the article makes the point that man’s authority over women flows from his communion with God.

            I have been trying to say much the same thing.

            There is one other critical part of the equation not even mentioned and that is the synergy that occurs with the creation of Eve. Synergy does not require equality in fact such synergy almost demands a hierarchical submission. It is similar to the synergy between God and man as St. Paul points out.

            The male-female synergy allows us to fulfill the commandments given to us in Genesis: to dress and keep the earth which includes multiplying and subduing the earth in dominion.

            Just as the submission of the woman to the man should not involve violence or abuse so it is with our interrelationship with the rest of the visible creation. The author of the article alludes to this in his observation about the authority given to man to name all the animals.

            I have no doubt that if the proper order is restored between men and women then a proper order will be reflected in the health and fecundity of the earth.

            As I noted it begins in communion with our Lord and creator.

            We must eschew all lust of power for these interrelationships to function in their proper order and fullness. A critical point made in the prayer of St. Ephraim.

            I find a lot of material here for my Lenten reflection and repentance.

            • Michael,

              Rationalize disobedience to God’s commands regarding the patriarchy all you wish. It will not change the fact that the host of curses flowing from this rejection cannot and will not be lifted until American society repents of the abominable sin of feminism, whether moderate or radical. Dying in ones sins is always an option which God allows.

              • Michael Bauman says:

                Well, Misha not doing what you think I am doing at all. In fact this conversation has begun to show me my need to more fully exercise my headship. I simply will never accept that such headship in Christ requires or blesses force or violence. To me that is abrogation of headship.

                My lovely wife has survived the repeated abuse of defective men who refused to acknowledge what being a man means. She has been victorious by the Grace of Christ.

                We were brought together so that I could show her what a Christian man is like and lead her more deeply into Christ. Just a fact.

                So, don’t preach to me on this — you don’t have a clue who I am.

                • Dear Mr Bauman,

                  As a psychiatrist who works with abused women at times, I welcome your more harmonious and respectful tone. I am concerned that the quotes from Fr Maximos above seem misunderstood by many. He was speaking of the relationship of Adam and Eve BEFORE the Fall and encouraging spouses after the Fall to aspire to that purity of heart and intent and mutuality toward one another which God gave us originally when we were so in harmony with Him that as a result Adam and Eve were in perfect harmony themselves. This theme of equal honor and harmony is outlined in Fr Seraphim Rose’s book quoting numerous Fathers Genesis, Creation and Early Man which I am reading presently. (And other books in my deep retrieval state). St John Chrysostom is noted as saying in pre-Fall Paradise Adam was the “head” but in no way was submission involved in the post-Fall sense. Feminists and chauvinists both react with anger at the opposite sex, blaming them for their misery, which of course is post-Fall behavior and thought. As is submission of wife to husband, birth pain and toil in the field. These are part of the restorative “curse” which God allowed for our awakening to how much we need Him so we might be in enough pain to realize our original state before pride wrecked us.

                  Father Maximos is most Christ-like in calling us back to the goals set before a married couple who hope to become like Him and thus honor one another as icons of Christ. Those who dismiss him simply dismiss the way God originally created us to be. And of course He was so compassionate that he offered the falling Adam and Eve chances to save themselves by being humble and looking at themselves and repenting to Him of what they had just done. And history might have been different. And instead they betrayed and accused the other, and by doing so betrayed God and themselves, as some would say feminists and chauvinists have sadly done since.

                  I am writing only so that new Orthodox and women who chance upon this blog will at least be pointed to Fathers directly to see what is said and how. I guarantee you there are enlightened priests and elders who can encourage us all to aim to make the words “one flesh” be a harmonious and beautiful relationship with equal honor for all. And that involves submitting ourselves to God and serving and deferring to one another in love, barring anything which goes against God Himself, but not demanding submission or blaming others. Christ stands at the door and knocks, He does not force or order submission. He invites us by loving sacrifice. He told His disciples to lead by serving. Thus many statements which superficially resemble the secular post-Fall world, mean something else entirely. Gentlemen please think what these might be.

                  I wish we could ask Met Athanasios aka Fr Maximos what godly pre-Fall headship looks like to an enlightened elder. In my carnal state I certainly may benefit from choosing to submit and obey in any number of situations, that is sure. I certainly want to respect men and women. But nothing macho, chauvinistic or feminist is Orthodox, from what I read in the Scriptures, the lives of Saints, or the Fathers.

                  I think of the respect Vladika Dmitri showed to women and girls and encouraged in husbands. I wish he were here to speak to this issue at least in person to each of us, since he disapproved of the internet as a mode of communication. I miss him and his beautiful Orthodox perspective.

                  A fruitful Lent to all.

              • “The change of yourself, and not the other, the restoration in yourself, and not in the other, of the first-created human nature is the purpose of the marital union…”

                I wouldn’t say Michael is rationalizing. I would say he is contemplating his own life and seeking to be obedient, as we all should.

            • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

              Michael, it strikes me as odd that you would refer repeatedly to the danger of “violence and abuse” by husbands and ignore completely the danger of disrespect and disobedience by wives, as well as the violence and abuse by them. Maybe it’s a difference of experience. My experience has been much along the lines of C.S. Lewis’s, who observed that it was far more common for husbands to literally submit to their wives out of cowardice than for them to tyrannize their wives out of a lack of love. What, after all, do we see Adam do to Eve? And which poses the greater danger today? Sure, men still need to be told to love their wives, but they also need to be told to take charge and not let their wives behave like Eve. They certainly do not need to be told to submit to their wives, and teaching people that will only make both husbands and wives miserable.

              • Michael Bauman says:

                Pdn Mitchell, perhaps it is a difference in experience. I have seen and known far too many women abused by men, often with “Christian” cover.

                Like my friend, when a Protestant, who was beaten and cheated on by her husband (a user of pronography too) who was told by their pastor that it was her duty to submit but nothing was said of her husband’s deep and perverted sinfulness. Or my Catholic friend whose perverted husband sexually abused their daughters at very young ages and was actively involved with the demonic (in secret) while forcing his wife as well. When it came out, their congregation refused to believe her because her husband was such a “good Catholic” — the one priest who supported her was forced out f the RCC. Both those women are now Orthodox.

                Out here in Kansas, the Protestant twisting of woman’s submission to include all sorts of abuse is common. It poisons the whole idea of what a Christian marriage is.

                Not to mention the type of abuse my mother, my late wife and my living wife had to endure at the hands of angry, defective and perverted men with no explicit Christian cover but the men were still allowed a certain leeway and the women looked at suspuciously because of the twisted Protestant ethos in this part of the country.

                Many other examples from women I know or have known. I have seen way too much male anger unleashed on women and experienced the lasting damage that results.

                But I am also responding to Misha’s going overboard in a manner that IMO was going in the wrong direction. I cannot nor will I abide such behavior or belief.

                The problem you mention is also real. To me they are opposite sides of the same coin. It is at base a lust of power. The problem cannot be discussed however without looking at the whole picture.

                Feminism is a nihilist ideology which has gained traction, in part, due to a severe lack of real Christian manhood which includes the submissiveness you speak of. There is a growing condemnation of men in general. Manhood is under assault from every direction, including from within the Church. That assault has been going on for a long time. Seemingly it is wound up in the primordial temptation to usurp God.

                • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                  Yes, we have indeed had different experiences, but the fact is that American women on average either (a) are freer than ever from abusive husbands or (b) were freer in the past when women were actually taught to obey their husbands. See the problem? God, in His infinite wisdom, has decreed that the best protection for women in the fallen world is their subjection to men. Feminists rebel against that subjection and create havoc in the home. Misha dares to declare bluntly that God was right, but you and George respond as feminists, denying half of the “whole picture” — the half that says women, for their own good, should submit to their husbands in a way that husbands should never submit to their wives. Truly, such a response is not only unhelpful but unmanly.

                  • George Michalopulos says:

                    Deacon, please, I am not against the patriarchy nor the idea that women should lovingly submit themselves to their loving husbands. If anything, I have had much experience working at pharmacies in both the ghetto as well as the trailer park and no first hand the pathology of the matriarchy.

                  • Michael Bauman says:

                    Pdn Mitchell, I see the problem! It is a genuine problem and I am adamently opposed to feminism and all of its fall-out.

                    However, the fact that you wrote that women are freer than ever from abuse is true. I just see no reason to continue to couple abuse and patriarchy, especially Christian patriarchy. Such a coupling is neither inherent nor required. Such a coupling in fact poisons the well even when it is only implied.

                    I emphasize the proper treatment of women within a patriarchal hierarchy because I honestly believe such treatment is required of us. We are required by God to lift up women to God in a way that is quite different and more complete than they can do themselves. We return them to God better than they were when He gave them to us. We grow and are transformed in the process. It is a great bonus that it gives a positive to talk about. This is both my belief and my experience.

                    My wife tells me that in our marriage she is finally free to be a woman. She is finally free of abuse and belittlement. She is finally free to be Christian since it was through me that she came to the Church.

                    That is the best testimony I will ever have before the dread judgement seat of Christ when asked what I have done with what I gave you?

                    God is great.

                  • Pdn BPM,

                    Problem is, you have some of us who visibly remember seeing our dads beat and hit our moms. And mom cowering in terror. And this in what was supposed to be an Orthodox home! May Christ forgive us.

                    Christ mercifully saved me from that family dysfunction, but I think you will understand if I will always be skeptical at teaching women to blindly “obey.”

                    For my mom, that meant black eyes that she had to lie about. For my dad, it meant enabling his shame-based narcissism and he never got the help he needed. For me, intensive therapy and ongoing recovery. For my extended family, suicide and mental illness.

                    Can you see how I and people like me wonder who wins? For it to work, the man must obey Christ.

                    • Michael Bauman says:

                      Exactly, and the Church must teach it properly and mentor couples with a soft accountability.

                    • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                      D. K.,

                      The problem is that the feminists who now dominate this world tell us all the time about how men beat women, using your experience (which is not universal) to deny Christian truth about the nature of the man and the woman. They are so effective that even many Christians cannot now bear to hear talk of women submitting and obeying. Here on this page, Christian men who should know better have said that submission has no place in Christian marriage and that husbands should submit to their wives, effectively denying the order that God has ordained. Those men are making more sense now, but only because they were taken to task for going overboard in defense of women.

                      What you suffered is of course terrible and should never happen. No one here has justified such abuse, and no one is talking about “blindly” obeying. Rather, we are talking about knowingly and faithfully obeying, which women will not do unless they are taught the truth as revealed by God. Men are taught the truth about loving their wives, but women are very rarely taught the truth about obeying their husbands. Pastors shrink from the duty for fear of women, repeating the sin of Adam. Misha expresses the impatience of many men with this one-sided distortion of Christian teaching.

                    • George Michalopulos says:

                      Deacon, I’m one of those Christian men who are put off somewhat by all this talk of “submission” within marriage (uncomfortable, not antithetical) but for what it’s worth, I’ve never advocated for men to “submit to their wives”.

                    • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                      True, George. But others did mention mutual submission and even mutual obedience (that pseudonymous monk). Michael Bauman clarified what he meant by mutual submission, but without a double definition of submission many people will understand “mutual submission” as a denial of the husband’s headship. Enough of that.

                    • Adamant as I am regarding the Fem/Perv Borg, this will all work itself out in the wash. The die is cast and the pendulum is falling. Nothing can stop it.

                      It seems that God has heard the prayers of Christians here and abroad and somehow started a process by which some portion of the devil’s work will be undone in America. It will not even be possible for most people to see how bad it got until they get used to a more traditional vantage point and look back. And they will look back in horror, of course.

                      Trump is not a feminist. Feminists march against Trump and his colleagues. There’s a reason for this.

                      I am sure he intends to affect the flow of money in society to the benefit of men as opposed to women. What mechanisms his senior people choose are the only question. Being money, however, it will show up on someone’s radar, however he proceeds. Power is like that.

                      However the real change will come as funding for feminism dies out. Things that go against nature have to be constantly supported and reinforced to be able to persist. Otherwise, a natural default regains ground and takes over. When you disconnect the redistribution of income from the upper to lower classes from gender, when you break the link between poverty and gender, you destroy feminism.

                      Or, to put it differently, when you redistribute income to the poor with a blind eye to what lies between their legs, all the crap about discrimination on the basis of gender dries up from lack of interest.

                      At some visceral level, even the feminists know this.

                      The real trick will be to accomplish this with respect to childcare. You simply can’t continue funding single (female) parent families. It’s immoral. You have to find a way of tying the funding to the father.

                      “You want a baby? Fine, but you’re stuck with support flowing through the father for at least 18 years until the child is out of the house. Deal with it.”

                    • Gail Sheppard says:

                      The reason many women do not obey their husbands is because their husbands don’t love them as Christ loves the Church nor do they treat them as they would their own bodies. You all keep leaving that part out. You don’t have to submit yourselves to your wives! Submit yourselves to Christ and become more like Him. He gave His life for the Church and as a result, we worship and honor Him. He makes no demands. We follow Him because we want to, not because we have to. – Similarly, you will not change a woman by subjugating her. It can’t be done. A woman must *want* to obey. She has to respect her husband and, unfortunately, too many men don’t warrant that respect. You want to change a woman? Quit cheating on her. 72% of you cheat on your wives. Work. Women should not have to make up 50% of the workforce. Get an education. Women should not exceed your graduation rate. Stop fathering children out of wedlock. More than 1 in 7 of you do. As a population, you are a sorry site and until you bring value to the proposition, women will have no need of you. Fix yourselves and your problem with women will be over. – Even God chose women over men when men were weak.

                    • Really, the way to solve it is to redefine what dependency is under state law and make sure that the definition is constitutionally acceptable to a conservative Supreme Court. Allow me to explain:

                      For seven or eight years I practiced law in, among other areas, dependency/neglect/abuse court. This is the civil court in which cases of child neglect and the like end up. “Dependency” is when the child’s caregivers fail to provide for the child’s needs through no fault of their own; “neglect” is when they fail to provide for the child’s needs that they are capable of fulfilling; and “abuse” is physical or sexual violence.

                      Society must chose to make the decision to classify all single (female) parent homes as “dependent” and proceed accordingly.

                      I.e., to say, we must decide that single women are unfit parents by definition unless there is a man in the house willing to act as father to the children. It should not actually even be primarily a matter of economics, but psychological and emotional health. No man in the home, no child in the home – period.

                      That would solve a plethora of social ills. If the woman is not willing to identify the father, she looses the child – period. If she cannot find another man willing to keep house with her, she looses the child – period. The children would either go to the father if the father has a stable girl friend or wife capable of raising them, or to foster care, or to adoption. You fully fund the foster care programs and make sure that all the homes are stable two parent (male/female) homes. There are long lists of couples waiting to adopt. Redirect all of the funds going to single (female) parent homes to the foster care apparatus.

                      You could muster a mountain of social science date to support the policy. Rock solid data.

                      Yep, that would do it.

                    • George Michalopulos says:

                      Apropos of nothing at all, for those of you who were ever wondering how a loser like that guy Kody on Sister Wives can acquire a harem, look no further than AFDC, WIC, SSI, Section 8, etc. Thanks to Uncle Sugar, women don’t need an actual husband, just a sperm donor. One is just as good as another.

                    • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                      Actually, Gail, the worst thing men have done against women collectively is abdicate their position as head by NOT insisting on their headship—by giving women the vote. In the wake of that abdication came laws that force employers to hire women, force employers to prefer women (affirmative action), force schools to treat men and women the same, force the military, police departments, and fire departments to pretend that women are just as good as men at every task, lest there appear any vestige of obvious difference between them.

                      Quite a lot of public policy has gone into forcing society into the feminist mold. Men are to blame for those policies, but not just men: Women are as well. How many women would freely give up the advantages that have made it harder and harder for young husbands to compete against young women for jobs to support their wives and children? Will you, Gail, support amendment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and repeal of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 to allow employers the freedom to value male labor more than female labor and to prefer men over women so women don’t have to work?

                      Everything is upside down in our society with regard to male and female, but when a man points that out women howl and whine about men not being Christ. Men and women are equally to blame for all that is wrong, but what needs to be said to set things right is not the truth that everyone accepts but the truth that makes some people howl.

                  • M. Stankovich says:

                    I am curious as to the context of your statement, “the fact is that American women on average either (a) are freer than ever from abusive husbands or (b) were freer in the past when women were actually taught to obey their husbands.” I cannot imagine why you are even willing to propose such absolute “facts” when we know that current epidemiological data is drawn exclusively from legal (generally arrest records or filings for orders of protection – and notably laws that mandate police officers to make arrests if they observe evidence that suggests domestic violence exists), medical (ER admissions, primary care physicians, and so on, who are increasingly designated as mandated reporters of “intimate partner violence” [IVP] and intra-family violence), and social service providers (e.g. shelter providers). Obviously, we will never know the extent of IPV that does not come to the attention of these reporting systems, and like any and all conditions that are both shameful and stigmatizing, particularly when the consequence of reporting may subject you to retaliation, we are forced to rely on analogies of behaviour and statistical predictions. Having said all of this, and even when it is reported that IPV has peaked and, in fact leveled and stabilized in the US, does not diminish the fact that is still epidemic, and that an astonishing number of adult women, college-age women, and – God help us – adolescents & children will experience IPV in the form of physical and/or sexual violence, sexual coercion, and unwanted sexual contact in their lifetime.

                    As I have noted here numerous times, nearly 25% of females under the age of seventeen were found to have been victims of sexual abuse & sexual assault by a male peer, and the CDC’s report on adolescent behaviour (based on a sample of >16,000 subjects from around the country) that I posted here last April indicated that nearly 38% of female children aged 14-18 had experienced either being coerced into sexual activity they did not want to engage in, forced into sexual activity they did not want to engage in, forced and/or coerced into sexual activity they identified as “abusive,” and IPV, all of which they consistently did not report to any authority (most notable parents) because they were ashamed. Add to this that the CDC reports nearly 1 in 5 women (18.3%) has been raped in their lifetime; nearly 1 in 10 women in the United States (9.4%) has been raped by an intimate partner in her lifetime; an estimated 13% of women have experienced sexual coercion in their lifetime (i.e. unwanted sexual penetration after being pressured in a nonphysical way); and 27.2% of women have experienced unwanted sexual contact by any perpetrator.These are the facts.

                    The State of NY’s Office of Domestic Violence spent more than a year examining data collected from IPV arrests, ER IPV reports, and Family Court proceedings and concluded:

                    Heterosexual men’s domestic abuse is grounded in both inequalities in power and resources between women and men and social rules for male/female relationships. This context creates entitlement for men and vulnerability for women and makes men’s violence work very well to control their female partners. The tactics of men who abuse women specifically target aspects of sexual inequality, such as what he calls women’s “default consignment” to housework, caretaking and sexual service. Coercive control is built on the rules for the victim’s daily conduct as a woman, which makes it hard to tell where the constraints of women’s gender role leave off and coercive control begins. No parallel thing happens to men, even to men with abusive partners. Unlike women’s violence in relationships, “male violence is more apt to be a pattern to be repeated in subsequent relationships rather than situational in a particular relationship.” Perpetrators who are actually arrested for DV crimes or the violation of an order of protection are overwhelmingly male, and their victims overwhelmingly female.

                    I would also note that as of noon on 02/28/17, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) of the FBI, through which legal arms dealers must receive clearance before the sale of a firearm, has already rejected 144,480 firearms sales to individual buyers specifically because of a domestic violence conviction in this year alone.

                    I would suggest to you that God, in His infinite wisdom, did not intend a woman submit [ὑποτάσσω] herself to coercive, controlling violence at the hands of an emotionally fragile, ego-compromised, and attachment disordered spouse who is terrified of abandonment. I would ask that, in your retraction of “facts” that are impossible to corroborate or prove, you will also withdraw the idea that “the best protection for women in the fallen world is their subjection to men,” and your insinuation that there is any reason to justify domestic violence or to blame women for their own victimization. My thought: it would be the manly thing to do.

                    • Gail Sheppard says:

                      Great post, Michael.

                    • Well put.

                      With regard to Misha’s proposed regulations, that no children should remain in a single parent (female) household… So if a couple divorced due to let’s say, the abuse and addiction of the husband, it would be better to place the children with this abusive drunkard than leave them in the relative safety of their Mother??

              • Yeah,

                There’s a lost generation of men who have been shamed by women and are probably lost on this particular issue and can’t be gotten through to. But that’s ok. That’s on the margins. As Shimon bar-Kokhba said to the rabbis, “Don’t help us but don’t spoil it for us.”

    • Michael Bauman says:

      Unfortunately such teaching can only be absorbed by those in the Church. For those caught in the clutches of nihilistic modernity it is simple nonesense.

      There is, in fact, submission and obedience within a hierarchy of man to woman. That hierarchy is not one of slavery or control or abuse but it is real. It is a sacramental hierarchy that in my case took a lot of time and suffering to begin to comprehend much less practice.

      To start with: the basic tenants of Christian morality and chastity need to be taught and reinforced: chastity and abstention before marriage; chastity and faithfulness after marriage.

      Pornography and all of the proto-pronographic passions and images in the world makes such teaching hard to bear especially with long periods of time prior to marriage as we “prepare” economically or the simple unavailability of an Orthodox mate within our community. The romantic notions that are so prevalent are also a part of the proto-porn as they sentimentalize love and marriage and reinforce the idea that marriage is about “my” desire and “my” fantasy.

      Marriage is a podvig. A joyous podvig most of the time, but a podvig still. It necessarily entails bearing the fraility and death of the person who is half of your soul.

      The common personhood of the man and the woman as husband and wife (not individuality as individuals can never be married) cannot be recognized except within a sacramental marriage which is a fruit of one’s faithfulness to God’s law of chastity.

      Pornography destroys precisely because it presents itself as a fulfillment of natural desires which the world says must be satisfied.

      As Malcolm Muggeridge pointed out: sex is the sacrament of the secularists. We are poisoned by it because we embrace the lie that there is life without God and I control that life. We train our children in the same fantasy wanting them to “succeed”

      God forgive us.

      • Michael,

        I’m an attorney and, basically, in law school was tortured into being relentlessly assertive in all forms of communication. This was a blessing. I seldom write, “I think . . “, I just state it as a fact. People are free to disagree and present evidence to the contrary of any proposition I set forth.

        That being said, some have taken what I have written in the wrong spirit. Perhaps this is understandable given the limitations of the written word devoid of voice and body language. So let me elaborate and summarize and perhaps we can have a meeting of the minds.

        I love women. They are wonderful, intelligent, beautiful creatures. Now, that being said, I also believe what God has revealed to us in Scripture and the Fathers. And that is that men are above women on the hierarchy of authority. Man was created first, then woman from man. Woman was created as a worthy helper, a qualified assistant, so to speak. Originally, there was simply understanding of the reality of the relationship, probably without any verbal expression. They each just knew their role and what to do. I’m sure the best marriages are like that.

        Of course, that is not the end of the story, as we all know. People disagree. And that’s the thing. When disharmony enters, when the spell of grace is broken, who prevails? The husband loves, the wife submits. Or, if the fur is bound to fly, he rules over her as God clearly commanded in the aftermath of the Fall.

        That is Christian society in its gender relations. That is the patriarchy. And it is from this that we have strayed. And in doing so, we have created a culture of abortion, divorce, broken families, custody battles, child support battles, marital property battles, devastated lives, single (female) parent families, cycles of poverty, cycles of violence and dependency – a dystopia from which increasing numbers of people seek to escape through drugs, gangs, pornography, virtual reality games, etc.

        In creating this feminist matriarchy, we channel resources through single mothers and thus reinforce and perpetuate a sick system. And unless we wake up, it will continue.

        So we need to wake up, right?

        • Michael Bauman says:

          I have often wondered what would have happened if Adam, instead of going along with Eve had said, no way. I am not eating that.

          In the structure of the story the kind of Patriarchs by you speak of is clearly linked to the failure of both Adam and Eve.

          Perhaps ruling over women is part of the curse?

          Nevertheless I believe it was St. Isaac, the Syrian who explicitly taught that a crucial step back to the Kingdom is the healing of the rift between men and women.

          • “Perhaps ruling over women is part of the curse?”

            Try not dying. You will have about as much luck. The point is that women were created subservient. In an unfallen world, there is no need for any ruling because there is no disobedience or failure to serve or love. In a fallen world, there is. Thus the ruling.

          • Gail Sheppard says:

            I have wondered the same thing, Michael. I suspect if Adam had not eaten the fruit and had gone to God and said: “Oh, Lord, please forgive her. Do not be angry with her. If you are angry, let it fall on me. She is mine in every way and I take full responsibility for her. She is good. She was deceived. I will teach her. Have mercy on her and make me accountable.” I think God would have been very pleased with this response and we might be in the garden today.

            • I have always wondered that as well and it seems like your rendition could have been true.

            • M. Stankovich says:

              Gail,

              I would add to your comment the fact that St. Ephraim the Syrian noted specifically that the devil was ragingly jealous of the gifts God bestowed upon Adam & Eve, and that he purposely desired to humiliate God by seducing his creation to betray Him. Purposely, St. Ephraim writes, he selected to approach Eve because he believed she would be more difficult to sway, but having done so, she could be relied upon to take his direction and seduce her husband. On the other hand, St. Symeon the New Theologian, in his Commentary on the Fall of Man, never mentions Eve by name once; and only once directly refers to her in order to illustrate the complete arrogance, the lack of responsibility and remorse, and the defiance of Adam by blaming God Himself for his sin, by saying, “It was this woman You gave me.” This demonstrated to God that men could not save men, but would require the sacrifice of His Only-Begotton Son and our Lord.

              There is no question as to what he could have done, and we live in a “veil of tears” because of his choice.

              • In general, the Fathers saw the devil’s approach of Eve as being because she was the weaker. That is the constant refrain throughout their writings. As to “vale of tears”, yes reference to Catholic terminology (Salve Regina) is appropriate in defending feminism.

                Roman Catholic, progressive liberal, feminist and Gnostic attempts to twist Scripture and the Fathers will fail in the end because they are all based on the sand of the passions.

                • M. Stankovich says:

                  By all means, Scott, be so kind as to specifically share what (the text) and where (the source(s)) of the Fathers conclusions generally of the devil’s motivation may be specifically found. My citations have been here for months.

                  The “vale” (pardon my error) of tears” is found in the LXX version of Psalm 83 as κοιλάδα [meaning a recession of the earth’s surface between two slopes, a valley] τοῦ κλαυθμῶνος [derived from the word κλαυθμός, meaning “weeping & lamentations”]. The interpretation is both metaphoric and literal, such that a pilgrim must literally traverse the path through the Valley of Klafthmonos* should they wish to climb Mt. Zion; as the Psalm indicates,

                  Blessed is the man whose help is from You, O Lord; in his heart he has purposed [διέθετο – made a covenant with You] to go up the valley of weeping [κοιλάδα τοῦ κλαυθμῶνος], to the place which has been appointed, for [there] the Law-Giver [νομοθετῶν] will grant blessings. They shall go from strength to strength: the God of gods shall be seen in Zion. (Ps. 83:5-7)

                  And just to prove that there is no irony, Scott, on the second morning of Great Lent, the Greek Triodion calls for a verse to be sung following the first kathismata of Matins (᾽τῆ δευτέρᾳ πρῶϊ εἰσ’ ‘τον Ὄρθρον στιχήρα καθίσματα κατά Τριῴδιον), in Tone 6:

                  In the Valley of Klafthmonos (κοιλάδα τοῦ κλαυθμῶνος), in a place where we will be assembled and all hidden things will be revealed by the angels, fair judgement and mercy will be rendered to the righteous. Spare me, O my God, and save me.

                  Apparently, Scott, the Fathers were neither Roman Catholic, liberal, feminist, nor Gnostic, and this Tradition is built upon Rock. But as Fr. Michael Pomazonsky frequently said, “Error takes root and becomes obstinate most frequently because of the pride of those who defend them, because of intellectual pride.” A lesson to hold dearly, son.

                  * Continuing this metaphor, as I do not speak colloquial Greek, the details escape me, but there are numerous references to a public square in Athens referred to as κλαυθμῶνος that has traditionally attracted gatherings and/or protests following elections i.e. a place of “weeping & lamentations.” Perhaps someone who speaks Greek or knows something about this could explain it further.

              • Gail Sheppard says:

                Michael S., how fascinating!

                You probably know there is clinical proof of what St. Ephraim wrote. How often does THAT happen?!

                I went to ASU and my education was predictably unremarkable except for a single professor. I’m sure you know of him. His name is Dr. Robert Cialdini. In the Spring of 1974, he asked me the following question: “Gail if you had to tame a ferocious lion, a meek lion and one in between, which one would you train first?” I remember thinking I wouldn’t tame ANY any lion but said, “I would train the meek one first and work my way up to the ferocious one.” His response: “No because if you tamed the ferocious lion first, all the other lions would fall into place.” – Consequently, when I went into hospitals to install a system, I would always choose the most negative person to be our liaison, much to the horror of my team, because I knew if I could win THAT person over, no one else would give me a problem. It worked every time.

                I guess the devil knew this principle before Dr. Cialdini!

                As aside, I was affiliated with the alumni committee and through a random series of events Dr. Cialdini heard I had used his techniques throughout my career and called me! He asked if he could use my stories in one of his upcoming books. I don’t know if he ever did.

                I never realized that Adam blamed God for Eve but he absolutely did! I’d say, “how funny,” but it’s not considering the consequences!

                Thank you for this. You made my day (and my point).

                • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                  St. Irenaeus also says Eve was stronger, but it’s just his way of shaming men, lest they be “worsted by a woman,” and quite a few Fathers say the opposite, including St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. John Chrysostom, St. Ambrose of Milan, and St. Augustine of Hippo.

                  Here’s another way to look at the issue, from an article in St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly in 2010:

                  In these acts of anarchy, the man and the woman each turn away from their archē and act contrary to their divine ordination as male and female, thereby destroying the natural relation between them and between creation and God. It begins with the Arch-anarchist, Satan, who through the serpent offers the woman equality with God. Why the woman? Because she fits the devil’s own anarchistic outlook, his perverted vision of domination by the Creator justifying rebellion by the creature. Thus tempted, the woman turns away from the man to follow the serpent; the man then turns away from God to follow the woman.

                  • Michael Bauman says:

                    Weaker, stronger, pound lasts longer. Head for the Eden Applejack.

                    Seriously, it matters not whether men or women are stronger. It just matters that our repentance and love of God and His Order are sufficient to allow His Grace to bring us into properly order.

                    Clearly what we have now is not it. Men wimping out and women trying to become some infertile Chimera of man/woman.

                    Gloria Steinem laid out the vision in a speech she gave here in Wichita in 1972 when I 24: women will have all the power and we may keep the guys around for sex if you are subservient enough.

                    The most obscene, illogical sppech I have ever heard, yet many of the college guys were lapping it up like the little dogs they would become.

                    My first taste of feminist ideology. Been against it ever since.

                  • Or, to put it another way, the serpent stole another master’s servant and used her against him, so to speak.

                    And Steinam got her wish, that is exactly what we have today. Drones kept around for productive value and seed, women in complete control of the whole reproductive chain from birth to death.

                    Satanic.

                    It’s amazing how it can be right under everyone’s nose but they fail to appreciate the magnitude of its wrongness and grotesque twisting of the natural order. Really, if you sit on your hands, you deserve to get screwed, and that’s what’s been happening in Western society to men.

                    The problem is that it’s all binary and men don’t seem to be able to see or face that. Either men will be in control of society and reproduction or women will. There is no such thing as equal. There are no androgyns of no gender to control everything and dole out power in some scheme of “equality”. If there were, they would be diabolical because we already know the will of God from Scripture and Tradition.

                    Men are meant to rule, dominate, control human society. Ideally, it is a mutually beneficial rule, like that of the Sun King or certain beloved Byzantine and Russian emperors (Tsar-Batjushki), but rule nonetheless.

                    I mean, come on, God said explicitly, “. . . he [the man] shall rule over you [the woman].” Genesis 3:16. That is His Will. Reject it if you want to but it is ice skating up hill and diabolical. The patriarchy is the confirmation by force of authority of the arrangement prior to the Fall because of Eve’s disobedience. Adam’s punishments were labor and death (which Eve also shared, being one with Adam).

                    PS: Women need not respond to my observations on gender. They are correct in a way that men need to reform men. The reformation of Christian man though is to enable him to see his rightful place in the patriarchy and, consequently, to take power by any means necessary. He certainly has leave from God. God is the one who instructed patriarchy. One simply must take into account the gangs with guns who call themselves law enforcement and the juntas that call themselves courts. It’s a dicey business, but it is God’s business.

                    Glory to God for all things!

                    • Jerry Wilson says:

                      “I mean, come on, God said explicitly, “. . . he [the man] shall rule over you [the woman].” Genesis 3:16. That is His Will”
                      No, that is the curse…

                    • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                      Misha, Eve’s subjection was decreed after the Fall, not from the beginning, and it is in fact a subjection of equals, as St. John Chrysostom says:

                      “For what if the wife be under subjection to us? It is as a wife, as free, as equal in honor. And the Son also, though He did become obedient to the Father, it was as the Son of God, it was as God. For as the obedience of the Son to the Father is greater than we find in men towards the authors of their being, so also His liberty is greater.” (Homily 26 on 1 Cor.)

                      As an equal, the woman is told by the Apostle to submit to her husband, but the husband is not told to “dominate” his wife. The woman is subject to the man by law, not by nature, and the law is only to bring the man and the woman back together in their original unity. There is, in that unity, a difference in how they relate to each other—he is naturally her head, which is to say, her source, her arche, as Christ is his head and as the Father is the Son’s head (1 Cor. 11:3)—but there is in such headship no subjection, no imposition of will by one upon the other. There is instead self-giving by the head and thanksgiving by the body.

                      To reduce marriage to a relationship of “master and servant” founded upon “domination and submission” is to speak crudely, ignorantly, and (in your case) malignantly of a great mystery. Please stop. You are only making women fear submission more.

                    • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                      Jerry, the Apostle Paul himself writes that the woman’s subjection is “law”: “Let your women keep silence in the churches, for it is not permitted unto them to speak but to be under obedience as also saith the law.” (1 Cor. 14:34) St. John Chrysostom asks, “And where doth the law say this? ‘Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.'” (Homily 37 on 1 Cor.)

                      Elsewhere, Chrysostom writes, “For with us indeed the woman is reasonably subjected to the man, since equality of honor causeth contention.” (Homily 26 on 1 Cor.) He continues: “The wife is a second authority; let not her then demand equality, for she is under the head; nor let him despise her as being in subjection, for she is the body.”

                      Likewise, St. Irenaeus writes that Miriam but not Aaron was punished for defying Moses because “both nature and the law place the woman in a subordinate condition to the man.” (Fragment 33, PG 7, 1245C)

                      And St. Epiphanius also, writing against the Artotyrites, says, “Even though it is because of Eve that they ordain women to the episcopate and presbyterate, they should listen to the Lord when he says, ‘Thy resort shall be to thine husband, and he shall rule over thee.'”

                    • Jerry,

                      Yes, it was his will to utter the Curse. The Curse is His will, given the disobedience of Mankind. It is no more up for discussion than our mortality or the pain of childbirth. It . . . simply . . . is.

                      Now, the curse of death has been annulled in Christ and will be lifted in material reality on the Last Day, of course. As will the other curses from the Fall. But that is in the future. In that future, there will be no sin for the righteous with God and so there will be subservience to God, and within His Ordained Hierarchy (continuing as male and female in the original hierarchy of their creation before the Fall, we presume), yet no Curse of overt ruling since there will be no inclination toward disobedience.

                      Everyone will simply be joyously content with their role in the perfected Divine Economy.

                      Until then, we live with the arrangement he left us. In Christ, it can approach the original grace with little overt exertion of authority, but never actually get to the perpetual subconscious hiearchical grace of paradise until paradise is restored.

                      You all want to project upon me a call for harsh domineering. That is not at all what I am saying. Dominance is leadership and what I am saying is that the hierarchy is an absolute necessity and the dominance must at least be in proportion to overcome the resistance if and when it arises.

                      You all are simply advocating for an abdication of responsibility, something which God is not prepared to grant you. He will continue the curses of modern society until man assumes his ordained role.

                      We need not argue about that either. You see it everyday in the news with your own to eyes and will continue seeing the same old social ills in the same proportions until Western man repents and believes the Gospel.

                      It’s not a discussion, it’s an equation.

                    • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                      No, Misha, we are not projecting anything on you. We are reacting to your perverse preference for the vocabulary of slavery to describe Christian marriage. You disregard the common understanding of the words you use and demean both men and women when you reduce the relationship of husbands and wives to “dominance” and “subservience.”

                      No, dominance is not leadership as those two words are commonly understood, and no, “hierarchy” is not original to the man and the woman as the Fathers understood the term. Both the Apostle Paul and St. John Chrysostom, in passages already in evidence, liken the man and the woman to the Father and the Son; do the Father and Son relate to each other hierarchically? No, because hierarchy, as originally conceived and understood by the Fathers, is how unequals relate to each other. It is always a matter of highers and lowers. That’s why the Fathers never speak of the Trinity as a hierarchy. Only very recently have some Orthodox writers begun to do so.

                      The point does need to be made that the man and the woman are ordered one over the other in the Divine Economy, but that point must be made in a way that sheds more light on the subject and not less.

                    • Jerry,

                      Sorry about the crazy capitalization, and ignore my observation about equations. It’s just my opinion.

                      I have been to harsh in my language regarding the patriarchy. I see that now. I ask all of you to forgive me. “A soft answer turneth away wrath.”

                      I have been distracted and saddened by this business concerning the Phanar. I attended a Greek Orthodox church here in Lexington for many years and I would hate for the Phanar to actually break away from the Church. It kind of had me rattled.

                      However, charges of heresy have been brought against Patriarch Bartholomew in the Synod of Greece and we shall just have to await the outcome of that.

                      In more positive news. Antioch has reissued their service book with clearer rules regarding triple-immersion baptism. So they seem to be heading in the right direction. That is all God expects of any of us.

                      Misha

                    • I am forced to lower my own standards for salvation it seems. God has no sense of humor with my judgmentalism. I certainly believe that anyone chrismated into the Church may escape damnation and probably anyone who does according to the least of these as to Christ Himself in any appreciable way will be saved and escape hell.

                      Also, I was wrong about polygamy. Rereading Christ’s remarks about divorce, I believe He foreclosed polygamy as an option for Christians.

                      I’m trying to get my act together, folks. Please forgive my judgmentalism. I have been terribly wrong.

                    • Ok, please forgive me for any harm that I have caused anyone here emotionally or spiritually. Something is going on that I can’t fathom. I’m going to sign off until I can better understand my situation.

                    • May God bless you, Misha, and give you peace.

        • Gail Sheppard says:

          Misha, I think we just got to the heart of what you believe. You see women as “creatures.” Interesting that God would choose a “subserviant creature” to bear His Son. Clearly, He places a higher value on women than you do. – Do you think Joseph “subjugated” the Theotokos or did God choose him to honor *her*, protect *her* and love *her*? Christ, the new Adam, came as a servant, not a ruler. He sacrificed His life for us! Christ is your icon. A man is to sacrifice himself for his wife. You’ve got this hierarchy thing turned upside down. The one on top is to serve the one on the bottom and the one on the bottom honors the one on the top by bringing forth fruit. Women are the life bearers. To bear life, women need to be protected. Men are to be their protectors. Too many men have lost this focus. Women are having to protect themselves and that’s why they want protector status, i.e. to be equal to men.

  14. Thank you Fr Hans as always. In my office I see the tragic effects of pornography on men, women, teens, and children. A helpful book for parents in understanding factors encouraging pornography in teenage boys in the US is Boys Adrift by pediatrician Leonard Sax. https://www.amazon.com/Boys-Adrift-Epidemic-Unmotivated-Underachieving/dp/0465040829 A companion volume to help parents understand how to help young girls in contemporary society by the same author, Girls on the Edge, is equally recommended.

  15. Michael Bauman says:

    Gail, your admonishment to men to fix ourselves and that men frequently leave out the requirement that we submit ourselves to Christ, and care for women as Christ cares for the Church even unto death and treat them (our wives) as our own body is the very point I have been trying to make.

    You made it better.

    • M. Stankovich says:

      Michael Bauman,

      I am on the record – as best I can tell, the only one on record – as acknowledging and supporting your numerous efforts, and it was precisely in this vein that I have repeatedly stated that in order to restore the “natural order,” first and fundamentally, men must heal men.

      I have taken and defend the position that men, as a group. are ego-compromised and emotionally immature . I specifically refer to the fact that men have become so incapable and incompetent at identifying and functioning according to their emotional character; have developed a defensive “style” that has diminished the innate capability of expressing love and affection for women in anything other than sex and aggression; and in the end, destroying any natural inclination to seek affection, acceptance, camaraderie, nurturing, warmth, or consolation from other men, absolutely terrified that the healthy, comforting, and natural emotions essential for our sense of well-being are not masculine, are not manly – and God forbid – are sexual. Or equally horrific to imagine, that another man would perceive them to be sexual. Further, there are then two corollaries: 1) any man who denies these facts is a liar; and 2) there is nothing we can externally order, legislate, demand, or attempt to enforce in women that will heal this disaster of male gender. Men must heal men. And in my experience, men, as a group, have neither the inclination, nor the fundamental courage to face this disaster. I have come to believe that God is protecting us from an actual “patriarchy,” simply because He knows if He calls out, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” there are no prophets to respond, “Here am I; send me.”

      Ironic to these frail, warped and distorted male projections of a meaning of “subjection” – suggesting a a live chorus of inspirational BMF* – is the reality of (what else?) the Holy Scipture itself:

      For the creation was subjected [κτίσις ὑπετάγη] to purposelessness [ματαιότητι], not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. (Rom. 8:20-21)

      That’s all you need to know.

      *[Beta Male Faggotry©]

      • Michael S.

        Every been to a good AA meeting? Or seen a healthy sponsorship relationship in that program? It is there that I have seen what you propose.

        • M. Stankovich says:

          lurker,

          First, let me state categorically that AA/NA are God-given programs of recovery:

          Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of be­ing honest with themselves. There are such unfortu­nates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasp­ing and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average.
          There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest. Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are
          willing to go to any length to get it—then you are ready to take certain steps. At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.

          If you read Michal Bauman’s comment directly below, “To your point on the inadequacy of men to emotionally engage other men, while true can be dealt with rather easily in the right environment,” AA/NA is that “right environment,” par excellence. And in my saying above, “in my experience, men, as a group, have neither the inclination, nor the fundamental courage to face this disaster.,” is testimony to those individuals – men and women – who, in the moment, were like St. Paul on the road to Damascus, struck by the blinding light of rigorous honesty, and who found within themselves the courage necessary to “let go.” Your short comment is extraordinarily powerful, and I am grateful to you for the reminder.

  16. Michael Bauman says:

    Michael S. Thank you but men cannot heal men alone by ourselves. But it does begin with dilligently searching the Scriptures.

    To your point on the inadequacy of men to emotionally engage other men, while true can be dealt with rather easily in the right environment.

    At least the beginning.