A Harbinger of Things to Come

Things are getting hot and heavy. Politically, institutionally and culturally, we’re on the edge of a collective nervous breakdown.

There is no doubt anymore in my considered opinion that our Elite believes that Traditional Christianity needs to be brought to heel. This thought first came to my mind last year after the San Bernardino atrocity, in which an “American” couple slaughtered 14 of their co-workers in cold blood. What iced it for me was that this couple had turned their home into an ammo dump, complete with mortars and IEDs. What this tells me is that the next such atrocity will result in more carnage; basically what will happen is that IEDs will be placed along the major thoroughfares and exploded in order to derail any rescue attempts by first responders, which of course will allow future shooters to increase their body count.

The question of course is “why?”

It has been my contention since San Bernardino that the flooding of America and Europe by Third World hordes –mostly Moslem–is for the express purpose of using them as shock troops against the native white majorities. (In America, they serve as a counter-weight against the native black minority as well, “keeping them in their place,” if you get my drift.)

A recent incident at St Andrew’s Orthodox Church in Riverside, California, illustrates this point, albeit in a softer fashion. A warning shot by the jihadis if you get my meaning. Please take the time to read the story below.

For what it’s worth, it doesn’t surprise me that this happened to a parish pastored by Fr Josiah Trenham. Let’s just say that this is a most interesting coincidence. What worries me (in addition to the initial provocation) is that the police refused to include the religious nature of the incident in their official report. This is more of the “move along now, there’s nothing Islamic or terroristic to see here” meme that is triggered by our elites any and every time some jihadis blow up something. (Hence my suspicion that the Elite and the jihadis have made common cause.)

Regardless, we should expect more of the same. In the meantime please pray for Fr Josiah, his parish and for peace in the world.



  1. Michael Bauman says

    Al’Masiah Qam!

    Thank you George for publishing this.

    They got away with it. Next attempt will be bolder.

  2. Perspective Much says

    One can’t help but be struck by the macabre juxtaposition of reading this blog post the day after an imam and his assistant were murdered in the streets of New York near their mosque.

    To contrast: bullet to the head, versus an unknown couple of people who may or may not have been Muslim, who may or may not have had a megaphone, saying something that might have been “Allah Akbar” out of a car near a church. Which no one apparently pulled out a phone for and captured.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Y’all noticed that I broke my 24 hr moratorium on publishing comments. But this thing in Riverside is huge, not because of the incident itself, but because of what we’re up against when it comes to our protection. Namely that the police are going out of their way to cover up the details of the incident.

      PM: I agree that this incident pales in comparison to the murder of the imam in NYC but based on the sketch of the perp, I’m not so sure this was a “Donald Trump inspired hate-crime.” Jihadis have a way of settling theological disputes among themselves in a violent manner. Of course, if it’s proven that this was an Islamic intramural crime, rest assured that our illustrious president will blame the Crusades.

    • Reality Checker says

      Perspective Much, does his reply help you to see what you’re up against? I share your amazement, for the record. Together with limitless offenses falling under the jurisdiction of the Critical Thinking Unit, the Irony Cops ought to team up to apprehend him for an almost global malignant negligence. For one thing there’s never any criticism of certain other relevant instances of the violent settling of “theological” disputes, closer to the Orthodox Christian home. For example, in Ukraine. (Aside from a certain “Francis Frost,” at one time, though a mere comboxer. For his efforts, he got roundly derided by most of the habitués.)

      Honesty like that would only mar the fragile, ludicrous, cartoonish para-world many of these good people work so hard to maintain and inhabit. They style that perspective their “phronema,” you see, within which they sit in judgment on the whole wide world. Only rarely do they seem to direct that censorious gaze unto themselves and their own myriad flaws. It’s fascinating.

      Silly me to think that the Son of God came not to judge the world but to set an example, inspiring His followers to cultivate charity from a pure, generous and forgiving heart. But these latter day pseudo-saints obviously know far better than He does. This self-justifying trajectory they call their “theosis.”

      • Reality Checker says

        FF pointed out offenses against fellow Orthodox in Georgia, too. Almost forgot. I should add — in Syria, as we speak.

        • Michael Warren says

          How is it you fail to mention the Kristallnacht-esque immolation of over 100 peaceful protestors by banderofascists in Odessa on 02May2014? Perhaps the fascist death squads repressing the sovereign, democratic will of the Ukrainian peoples who want a referendum on their destiny? The banderofascist murder of women, children, pensioners in Donbass in reprisals against military defeats they have suffered at the hands of democratic peoples’ militias? How about the role the Uniate, banderofascist Ukraine plays in abductions, secret imprisonments, selling the vivisected organs of politically repressed victims to enrich banderofascist politicians and oligarchs. Such a Uniate phronema. What about the nebesnaya sotnya murdered by the orders of Galician Uniate leaders during their Maidan where Yanukovich was later blamed? False saints, you said. Even the Malaysian airliner, deliberately routed through a war zone, investigations later found was strafed by fighter fire. The democratic peoples’ militias were blamed, but at the time they had no jet fighters, no airforce. The gay parade held recently in Odessa in defiance of a court order denying the permit. We all know what type of “theosis” you San Francisco values liberals believe in: the spirituality of sodomy, Sodom and Gamorah 2.0.

          Let’s address Georgia. Georgia invaded territories a day after signing a peace treaty with them, perpetrating atrocities and attempting to declare martial law and begin a crackdown, repressions. It used weapons of war, Grad rocket launchers, against civilian populations perpetrating atrocities, crimes against humanity. In the treaty the Georgians signed, they agreed to allow the Russians a role in peace-keeping to prevent Georgian oppression of Abkhazians and Southern Ossetians. Somehow, Russia was wrong in preventing Georgian crimes against humanity? Crimes and corruption for which former Georgian leader, Salakashvili, is currently wanted by Georgian justice he was forced to flee.

          Syria, a Western backed insurrection-Western/Saudi training, arming, funding, sheltering of Al Qaeda/ISIS astro turf-to overthrow Assad while perpetrating atrocities against Syrians, Iraqis, Kurds and propagating genocide against Middle Eastern Christians. Where Russian, Chinese and Turkish intervention in conjunction with the Syrian army is now defeating terrorists, restoring civilization, ending ethnic cleansing/genocide and installing a democratic process in which the people of Syria will vote for the government and leader they approve.

          It is unbelievable how a liberal can defame Russia when that same liberal’s heroes constitute banderofascist and Islamist terrorists and war criminals, under Western sponsorship engaged in crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, genocide. The attempt is to wipe away this colonial criminality in a haze of russophobia and a veiled insult of Orthodoxy?! What this liberal supports was condemned at Nuremberg and the people this liberal champions hanged there as enemies of humanity. That’s the liberal “phronema” of Obamunism/Hillary pay for play. ISIS and Uniate Ukrainian death squads raping little girls to death they have abducted from their Russian Orthodox parents are this liberal’s “true saints.” Tens of millions gained from vivisected organs by Uniate, banderofascist, Ukrainian ethnogenesis is this liberal’s heaven, a fortune made from ethnic cleansing buying “American theosis.”

          This depraved and dying Western liberalism will end up on trial with its phronema, false saints, and genocidal, gay crusade-pornographic standard of “theosis” at a reconvening of the Nuremberg Process.

      • I guess there were no Christians until the last few decades, in your world. Let me guess, the Byzantines should have embraced the Islamic horde too, and welcomed their invasion.

      • Michael Warren says
      • I Love Carbs says

        So a couple months later it’s clear the Imam wasn’t offed by some white racist bigoted trump supporting blah blah blah, but by a hispanic. I’m in Jersey, there’s a turf war going down between the various sects of imported vibrancy here, fun stuff.

        Anyway, any of the leftists going to backtrack and apologize? Nope, it’s on to the next offensive!

        The key thing to recognize is that they are arguing in bad faith. You should recognize this and deal with the accordingly. It’s what Trump does, and that’s why he drives them nuts.

        • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

          I Love Carbs wrote:”Anyway, any of the leftists going to backtrack and apologize?”
          I, for one, apologize to all the white racist bigoted Trump supporting blah blah blah!

    • Gregory Manning says

      It wasn’t “Allah Akbar”. It was “Aloha Snackbar”!

  3. Michael Kinsey says

    Pro-lifers don’t count, like black lives. These RAISERS OF TAXES got to have enough money to beat and survive the global methane burps unstoppable feedback assaults released by the WRATH OF GOD. Nuking methane producing microbes won’t get the job done. We are helpless outnumbered.Can’t lie, steal,cheat and murder their way out of this one. Methane first just kills one third of all life in the sea, the next burp takes out all life. Modern science describes this scenario occurring once before in the Permian extinction. It was very quickly accomplished. But the bright side is THE CHRIST IS RETURNING, AND THE HOLY GOD WILL NOT ALLOW MANKIND TO SLAUGHTER ANOTHER BILLION INNOCENT CHILDREN IN ABORTION. iT IS INTOLERABLE, THEY WILL STOP THE MURDER WITHER THEY LIKE IT OR NOT. AND REAP WHAT THEY SOWED. Written by a man with no blood on his hands, guilty or innocent. Suck it up, godless pucks.

  4. Thomas Barker says

    “… the church now has security officers on hand for all regular services.”

    Having security, at least during services, will become the norm for Christian churches. May our Lord protect Fr. Josiah and his flock.

    • A time is approaching wherein our hierarchs need to seriously consider returning to the ancient practice of not admitting non-communicants entrance to the Nave. This practice never stopped a serious person from converting, and it won’t in the future either.

      • This may be, Ages, but the Muslims with the bullhorn were in the street, not the church. (At least at Fr. Josiah’s church.) Do you have a suggestion for “in the street” disrupters of worship?
        Thank you.

  5. Diakrisis Logismōn says

    The incident happened on April 2nd.

  6. Gail Sheppard says

    It has crossed my mind, more than once, that it could happen to the parish I attend in Tucson, because the first cell of Al Qaeda in the United States was tied to the Islamic Center of Tucson. Terrifying thought. There are so many doors into that sanctuary. – I hope in St. Andrew’s case, the yelling is a “good” sign, because if they wanted to act, they could have done it by now. Perhaps they are just being stupid. That’s my hope anyway. I’d like to believe they are safe. It’s a lovely parish, with wonderful people and an extraordinary priest.

    I remember, as a little girl, being traumatized by a scene in a movie where a priest is shot as he is praying in church. It bothered me that God would not prevent it. Of course now I realize that “drinking from the cup” can come at a price, which we’re all willing to pay, if we have. I just hope we don’t have to.

  7. It’s hard to say what is going on here. If one combs the Internet, searching with Islam-relevant phrases or words, all kinds of stories pop up. Over July 4th in Minnesota, for instance, a large number of Somali youth accosted a woman outside her house in an exclusive area of Minneapolis, threatening her and claiming sharia law permitted her being raped. In Michigan, Khalil Abu-Rayyan had plans to shoot up a church in Detroit. Of course, there are also stories out there involving Christians threatening to burn down mosques.

    So, what explains all this tension and general state of unease? When considering what is happening here, it’s interesting to look at the unwillingness of the current administration to do anything meaningful to secure the border, even when reports have indicated jihadists are making their way into the country as “migrants”. This information comes to light when a push is underway to bring in refugees from Syria, the vast majority of whom are not Christian. It’s hard to avoid the conspiracy-minded conclusion that this isn’t some sort of “Operation Gladio” here on American soil, the purpose of which is destabilization. What happened at St. Andrew’s could be part of a “copycat effect” or it could be state-sponsored activity originating far, far, far down the rabbit hole, a variation on Operation Northwoods.

    Whatever the explanation, it seems uncontroversial that Americans have increasingly abandoned the faith of their fore-bearers, whether Catholic or Protestant. Had this not happened, it is unlikely that those in positions to protect the Republic would have let this sort of thing take root.

  8. It really is past time to face up to the Muslim problem we have in the Western world. We are dealing with not only a religion but a political ideology that is totalitarian and hostile to our well being. And every person who professes Sunni Islam is spiritually invested to one degree or another in this totalitarian ideology. It is time to face that incontrovertible fact, because that is what Sunni Islam is by its own traditional definitions. The age of interpretation is over, by and large, by Sunni standards. Their shariah, unlike Shiite, is set in stone for the most part. There are different schools of interpretation: four major ones and some derivatives of these to be exact. But it is completely self referencing. They do not look to voices from the sky or gaudy miracles anymore. They don’t trust them. Miracles were at a minimum by their own lights even during Muhammad’s time. Apart from visions and a spider’s web concealing Muhammad and his closest aide, miracles are conspicuously absent from the hadith. Islam was simply “favored” with perpetually greater victories.

    Now, in point of fact, Islam is the concoction of Muhammad and probably a demon who misled him. God merely made the best of a bad situation of spiritual delusion. Thus, the Persians did what they could to right the ship of Islam in their version – Shiism.

    But Sunni Islam is a vehicle of antichrist, thoroughly and totally. That it has true elements is all part of the scheme of the evil one. Yes, it is patriarchal. Yes it is unapologetically monotheistic. Yet it denies the Trinity, Incarnation, and is rabidly iconoclastic. It is hopelessly bloodthirsty and totalitarian and will not cease making war on the rest of humanity until the rest of humanity is converted or is subdued to dhimmi status.

    That is Islam. We need not argue about it because anyone Muslim or not telling the truth about this damned religion will tell you the same thing if they are being candid. A good Muslim who actually knows and practices his faith is very, very dangerous and the mortal enemy of all Christendom, now and forever.

    They . . . are . . . Amalek.

    And it would be a good time to review the tactics available to Christians to deal with such monsters when worse comes to worse. For while we have no quarrel with peaceful people, we will not be ruled by Muslims as dhimmis under shariah. I personally would kill every last Muslim man, woman and child to prevent that if I thought it was necessary. God will be more merciful in the next life, we may pray.

    Yet that won’t be necessary. They just have to know that we are willing. That’s all. The Russians convinced the Chechens that attacking Russia is futile. Now, the Chechens provide a cadre of shocktroops for the Red Army. They just had to understand the firm commitment of the leadership of Russia. Putin began, and would have continued, to wage a “genocidal war” on the Chechens in order to punctuate the gravity of the situation as he saw it. They needed to feel his pain at the loss of Russian life. Admittedly it was collective responsibility and disproportionate. Sometimes, if you have a committed enemy, that is what it takes. Amnesty International flat out called what the Russians did “genocide”. And the matter was resolved. A leader arose among the Chechens who had a sense of self and national preservation. Same as what we did to the Japanese at the end of WWII. Same as what Saul and David were commanded to do, and eventually did to Amalek. Absolute obliteration. In the Old Testament, it is called “herem”. It makes jihad look like a boy scout jamboree.

    Lest we get cold feet, we may recall that Yeshua the Anointed is YHWH. That is the meaning of the saying and hymn “Jesus is Lord.” He who laid in a manger also slew the first born of Egypt. It’s just a fact we have to face. God, you recall, struck down a couple who withheld property from the early Church. It’s in the Book of Acts. Killed them mercilessly. Christ God. For less of a crime than beheading someone. Get the point? Pacifists are dead wrong about the Christian religion. And it shows throughout the Old Testament, in the New Testament, and throughout Orthodox Christian history. Pacifism is, of course, an option – a holy option – mostly for monastics. Others engage in it from time to time as circumstances may warrant – mostly in times of persecution where physically overcoming the persecutors is not a viable option to begin with. Escaping is also acceptable, as Christ Himself did at times.

    But not a jot or a tittle shall pass away. Christ is the fulfillment of the law of Moses, not its abolition. And the patterns of conduct ordered and approved by Christ God in the Old Testament cannot be evil. There is no darkness in the light.

    We are left with a full arsenal if we need it. And the war has already begun.

    Be dispassionate. Hateful hate is a passion. Compassion itself can also be a passion. God is love, but this does not mean that Love is god. With perfect understanding, fear disappears. But the fear of YHWH is the beginning of wisdom.

    We are called to be patient until it hurts in civil life. If a man strikes you on the right cheek (this would be a backhanded swat with the back of his right hand, the hand most people would use to strike, not a punch, i.e., a corrective method), you are to turn the other cheek. And we are to love our enemies. I don’t hate Muslims. It is simply that their religion is incompatible with our existence as Christians. If need be, they must go.

    Now some may wish to challenge what I wrote above. You are welcome to do so. I don’t shy away from “discussion” as you all know. But you will have to explain why the Savior told His Apostles to sell their possessions and buy swords in the Gospel of Luke; why He used violence to cleanse the Temple; how He, as God, could order fierce, genocidal warfare in the Old Testament (otherwise, if He is not, in fact, God, why do we care what He says?); why St. Basil says that killing in war is not considered murder and why other post-Nicene Fathers agree on that question.

    If you favor a theory of restrained warfare, you will have to show a consensus of the Eastern Fathers on what the terms of that constraint are sufficient to rise to the level of catholicity and Holy Tradition.

    And you can’t. I already know you can’t.

    So . . . there it is.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Misha, I hear you, but it would have to come from God, Himself, before I would go that route. May God be merciful and spare us from this; spare ME. I don’t have the stomach for it. I should not be one to live in the last days.

      See? Not “combat” ready, willing or able. A real woman.

      • My point, Gail, was that God allows it in extreme circumstances. There is no other plausible explanation for His own actions in Scripture. We have license from Him to do it if worse comes to worse.

        Now, I don’t think it will come to that. And the important thing is the willingness. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his own son. God ordered him to do it. But God stayed his hand at the last moment and spared Isaac. Then, to prove His bona fides, He gave His only begotten Son for us.

        Yet that Son, we must recall, is YHWH. He who ordered all the carnage of the Old Testament. There is just no way around that unless, like some heretics, you deny the historicity of Scripture, which I do not. Some of it is meant as allegory and stories. But you can usually tell the difference by an absence of, for example, genealogy.

        Sunni Muslims think we are too weak, otherwise they would never dare strike us as they have. They must be disabused of that notion. It is not true that I am just as ruthless as my enemies. I am far worse. So is God.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Yup, there it is. The devil while not incarnate uses physical means to foment evil. At times such means must be met with physical response.

      Repentance is still required even then..

      • No, repentance was required because of the attitude the ancients had to bloodshed. Blood was considered unclean and polluting. Also, killing in warfare was sometimes given a long penance, that is true. But it varied. There is really no catholic standard.

        The reason is that there is no standard of limited “justifiable warfare” in Orthodoxy. It does not exist. We could invent one if we wished, but it would not enjoy catholicity.

        This does not mean that the Orthodox cannot engage in warfare. What it means is that there is no catholic limitation as to tactics beyond the paradigms of the Old Testament where God commanded the Israelites. There is no such thing as a necessary evil. Either a thing is necessary or it is evil. Never both. Evil has no ontological reality. It is a mistake, a glich in the program.

        I know it sounds pretty bold, but that is, in fact, the Faith. It is full spectrum. Beautiful in its sacrifice and loving glory to make the angels weep with joy – and fierce enough in its fiery zeal to make them shudder in horror.

        • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

          RE: “there is no standard of limited ‘justifiable warfare’ in Orthodoxy. It does not exist. We could invent one if we wished, but it would not enjoy catholicity.”

          Misha, you need to do a little homework on the topic of limited “justifiable war” in Orthodox moral tradition. For starters, here are three of my books (the second and third of which are easily available on amazon.com):

          The Price of Prophecy: Orthodox Churches on Peace, Freedom, and Security. 2d. rev. ed. Grand Rapids, MI, and Washington, D.C.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company and Ethics and Public Policy Center, 1995. [406 pp.]

          The Pacifist Option: The Moral Argument Against War in Eastern Orthodox Theology. Lanham, MD: International Scholars Publications (an imprint of University Press of America, Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group), 1998 (1999 pb) [351 pp.].

          The Virtue of War: Reclaiming the Classic Christian Traditions East & West [co-authored with Dr. Darrell Cole]. Salisbury, MA: Regina Orthodox Press, 2004. [252 pp.]

          • I’ve read the Virtue of War, long ago.

            It struck me as an attempt to create an Orthodox Just War theory after 9/11. It contains no consensus of the Fathers regarding restraint. Nor could it. God does not order evil things to be done. He is Good.

            I’m actually not at all interested in pacifist arguments if they do not enjoy catholicity: that which has been believed always, everywhere, by everyone. Other than that, there is no standard. That is the Law of God, like it or not.

            Let me be very, very explicit here:

            What God ordered the Israelites to do in the Old Testament must be absolutely acceptable behavior for Christians today given similar circumstances if the Orthodox Faith is true and Christ is God.

            It is inescapable.

            Now, if a bishop or a synod wished to establish canons regarding restraint of violence in “justifiable war”, that is fine. But they are not any eternal standard. They are only valid as the law in effect at any given time and subject to economia as well. They could also be changed by council, ephemeral things, fleeting, not like the Ten Commandments.

            And, believe me, you will thank me for explicating this some day. It may very well be necessary to wage “herem” against Muslims in some circumstances in the future to avoid rule of shariah and dhimmitude. If so, I would do it.


            He who forbade us to commit murder ordered the extermination of the Amelekites. Is He or is He not Good? He is Light and in that Light there is no darkness at all.

            Now, context is everything. I do not suggest that the license be exercised lightly. But “Orthodox Christian Holy War”; i.e., “herem”, makes jihad look like a few hours in juvenile detention.

            BTW: I am not saying anything that is not already part of the strategic doctrine of the Russian Federation and the United States of America. If national security were in serious peril, either power would unleash herem against their perceived enemy in a nuclear strike.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Misha, if I may, why would God not use the military force of one nation to restrain the evil of another?

              I believe Fr Webster’s hypothesis is that there are many things in our fallen world that are of a less-than-pleasing nature to effect positive outcomes. Being in the medical field, I can honestly say that many toxins have beneficial effects. So does surgery.

              More to he point, the concept of restraining evil is a positive good all things being equal. We can do that through police forces, courts, prisons, fines, etc. The securing of a nation’s borders by a militia is just such a good. It may be unfortunate but we do live in a fallen world after all.

              • George,

                I’m sure He would and does. He has. You know the history of ancient Israel. He used other nations to chastise His chosen people. And it has happened to other Orthodox Christian countries as well. No argument on that from me.

                Does America have the nerve to use nuclear weapons against ISIS? I don’t know. I’m not concerned with that, really. I know Russia won’t hesitate to defend its national sovereignty. All the strategic plans regarding war in Central and Western Europe during the Cold War operated from the premise that it would go nuclear sooner or later. They coldly and calmly contemplated nuclear exhanges and the contingencies that might arise.


                Given the Church’s evident readiness to bless the RF’s nuclear arsenal, I have no doubt that is the case today as well.

                I respect Fr. Webster up to a point, but I think he is too sentimental. I really do see his book, Virtue of War, as a sort of wake up call after 9/11. But it was he himself waking up. It reminds me of Einstein and others’ letters to Roosevelt during WWII about the Nazi’s nuclear research.

                But this is par for the course of the Orthodox. That is my point. We have always, in reserve, had the license for truly breathtakingly fierce warfare. Really, if you want to know the truth, that was what was going on in the Balkans I’m sure that some clerics told the civilian/military leadership that they were authorized to do anything they had to to defend Serbian lives and holy places. And they did. They found themselves under the attack of Amalek and did what God had commanded in ages past.

                In the Middle Ages in Eastern Europe there were blessings for the armies and their weapons. The plain fact is, also, that there is no organized and explicated system of restraint on this force that has received the stamp of catholicity. What is not prohibited and has been ordered by God in the past must necessarily be allowed.

                Now, I’m not bloodthirsty at all. I would prefer everyone behave and get along. But, God will not be mocked.

              • Michael Bauman says

                In fact the monarch is given the authority of the sword to restrain evil so that good may prosper.

                My question is how does that extend to the modern state?

                How does that work for people not directly under the authority of either a monarch or a state?

                Clearly there are times when violence, even deadly violence, is necessary.

                Equally clear is that use of such violence has never been a Dogmatic issue.

                For someone who has never fired a gun or any other weapon with the intent to hurt somone actually doing it is daunting to consider. Even some modern soldiers in battle have refused to fire back.

                When we shed blood of another human being there is a cleansing required. Blood has life in it. What of shedding the blood of another Orthodox? It could be easily seen as shedding the blood of Christ.

                Also, to reiterate, there is a big difference between acting as an agent of a Christian monarch in war and the agent of a tyrannical state.

                “For Harry, England and St. George” is quite different than being sent because of the machinations of some faceless soulless ideology who is not on the battlefield.

                When it comes to my front door so to speak I will have to decide whether to take out my .45 Colt semi-auto pistols and fire or not.

                It is not as easy or without consequence as Misha makes it seem.

                • I can’t speak for every political system, but a president is for all intents and purposes a constitutional monarch for a fixed period of time. I don’t think we can escape from Christian ideas surrounding monarchy just because we don’t call our leader a monarch.

                  I realize there is the concept that authority flows from the monarch, which a presidency does not have. But the legitimacy of his minions does flow from the president, so again, it depends how technical you want to be.

                • Michael,

                  Actually it is precisely as easy as I have stated. That is not to say that it is without consequence.

            • You wrote: “What God ordered the Israelites to do in the Old Testament must be absolutely acceptable behavior for Christians today given similar circumstances if the Orthodox Faith is true and Christ is God.”

              You might want to think about that statement rather carefully. Does it apply to diet, for example? If not, why does it apply to genocidal forms of warfare?

              • Norman,

                Because in the New Testament, Peter received a revelation that the dietary laws were abolished. Moreover, the Apostolic Council mentioned in Acts gave a short list of things the Gentiles were to be held to account for, essentially the Noachide prohibitions.

                Genocidal warfare in the Old Testament is simply a matter of the fact that God ordered it to be done. God does not order evil, therefore, under certain circumstances, genocidal warfare is fine. The absence of any systematic restraint or structure to warfare in the Eastern Fathers simply emphasizes the point. That is, in fact, the standard. Did God order it? Yes. Then it can’t be evil in and of itself like, for example, adultery. Is there a restraint that carries the weight of Holy Tradition? No. Therefore the same standard applies. It is indeed just as simple as that. No need to make it more complicated. There is no rational justification or justification in Tradition for doing so.

                • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                  Misha! “God does not order evil?”
                  Isaiah XLV:5-7: “I am the Lord, and there is no God beside me. I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none else. I form the light and create darkness. I make peace and create evil. I the Lord do all these things.”

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    Vladyka Tikhon,

                    The Septuagint translators selected the word κτίζων, “created” evil, not “ordered evil. This word is reserved exclusively for the creative capacity of God alone. cf. Eph. 2:15 & 4:24, and Col. 1:16. The Septuagint reads:

                    [I] ἐγὼ ὁ κατασκευάσας [furnish] φῶς [light] καὶ [and] ποιήσας [produce, as one fashiones art] σκότος [darkness], ὁ ποιῶν [make] εἰρήνην [peace] καὶ [and] κτίζων[create] κακά [evil]. [I] ἐγὼ [the Lord] Κύριος ὁ Θεὸς ὁ [God] ποιῶν [do] πάντα [all] ταῦτα [these things] .

                    Your point is well taken.

                  • There is a sense, of course, in which the Lord created evil. Were that not the case, we would not know it. But evil has no ontological reality. Evil, really, is a mistake, a choice made by a created being. Evil is the by-product of free will. Free will is the gift that God gave angels and men. It was not He but they who twisted it into evil. But in that sense, since He gave them the choice, He created “evil”. But, again, evil has no substance. It is a glitch.

                    God wants His creatures to reign over yet more creatures, a holy reign. To accomplish this, they must know what it feels like to suffer. No one other than the Mover will move unless he is “uncomfortable” in rest. In a sense, that is the origin of “evil”. The rest is above our pay grades at present.

              • Carl Kraeff says

                “What God ordered the Israelites to do in the Old Testament must be absolutely acceptable behavior for Christians today given similar circumstances if the Orthodox Faith is true and Christ is God.”

                This is much more than the garbage that normally spews from Misha’s pen; it is heresy at best. Perhaps, it is demonic.

            • Monk James says

              There are two foundational judeochristian moral values at issue in this discussion, but they seem not to have been addressed yet.

              The first was delineated in the commandment which the Lord gave St Moses on Mt Sinai: ‘You will not take the Name of the Lord your God in vain.’ This means (among other things) that we cannot appear to wrap ourselves in the glory of God and expect Heaven to bless our efforts — especially in war — by claiming that ‘God is with us!’. After all, opposing armies have often asserted such blasphemy for themselves. I remember hearing that Abraham Lincoln was once asked if God were on the Union’s side in the american Civil War. AL replied that he was praying that the Union was on God’s side.

              St Paul explicitly teaches us that we ‘may not do evil so that good may come’. Therefore, if we Christians assert that war is evil, we may not then have recourse to it in view of our somehow assuring ourselves that whatever good we hope to accomplish by war will outweigh the evil we do by waging it. But this is an illusion:

              War, whether between individuals, groups of individuals, or entire nations, merely leaves one side victorious and the other vanquished, if they haven’t managed to completely destroy each other in the process. The only reliable and inevitable, predictably true result of armed conflict is that the stronger will defeat the weaker, and this says NOTHING about the relative good or evil intentions of either/both sides. After all, sometimes, the bad guys win. We must find better, saner,more christian ways of settling disputes and overcoming evil.

              Finally, appeals to divine support are rather embarrassing for combatants who claim such corroboration for themselves. I mean: If your God needs YOU to fight His battles for Him, you might consider finding a stronger God, since your God goes down with you if you lose the war.

              Altogether, it is unhelpful to appeal to the wars fought by Israel to secure their promised land more than three thousand years ago. Modern Israel thinks and behaves as if that covenant were still in force, but it is not.

              Since the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, we have a new and better covenant which supersedes and replaces the old one (per St Paul) and Jesus Himself gave us a ‘new commandment’ in which war has no place.

              Many of the first Christians died as martyrs rather than serve in the roman army. In an odd reversal, starting with Constantine 1, Christians began to serve in the roman army to the point where, in about the sixth christian century , the army was almost completely christian. This is due only partially to an abolition of the idolatrous rites formerly required of all roman soldiers. It also must be said that — once Rome was not only no longer persecuting The Church but also actively supporting it — the zeitgeist at work then made it desirable (on some not always well articulated levels) for The Church to be allied with The State — an arrangement which usually doesn’t end well.

              This was the political and philosophical environment which allowed St Augustine of Hippo to advance some ideas which eventuated in ‘just war theory’. With such thinking, though, he would have been expelled from The Church in the centuries before Constantine.

              But Augustine (for various reasons) became the most influential church father in ‘the west’. Had there been no Augustine, there might have been no Anselm of Canterbury, no Thomas Aquinas, no Calvin and no Luther.

              Now, this is not to say that Augustine is not a saint, for The Church recognizes his holiness for what it is; he was not sainted because of his philosophical quirks, but rather for his life of repentance and reform, and he corrected most of his philosophical errors in his Retractions, a work largely overlooked by people who uncritically espouse his previous conclusions.

              So, if ‘just war theory’ is mostly based on Augustine’s models, and if those models — especially in his earliest thoughts on theological anthropology, many of which he retracted, are broken — shouldn’t ‘just war theory’ be abandoned along with his first ideas on ‘original sin’ and soteriology in general?

              • Monk James,

                As usual, you have no idea what you are talking about. First of all, Just War Theory was not invented to permit Christian warfare. Please read a book. Just War Theory was invented to restrain warfare within the bounds of acceptable cause and acceptable tactics. The fact that it never arose in the East does not mean that we are not to engage in warfare but that there is no limit other than the biblical paradigms that God has given us.

                As to God’s actions with respect to Israel, He did not have to resort to authorize them to engage in genocidal warfare. He could have directed them to engage in absolute pacifism if He had wanted to and provided His divine protection and they would have been fine. But He didn’t. He directed them to wipe out Amalek without a trace in “herem”.

                Even in the New Testament, Christ told His followers to arm themselves in the Gospel of St. Luke. He told them that they would not enjoy the same divine protection among the Gentiles as they did among the Jews. Could God have extended this protection to them when they went out among the Gentiles? Sure. Did He? No. He works in mysterious ways. His ways are not the ways of man.

                Monk James, you are way out of your league and operating quite above your pay grade. You may want to stick to your spiritual reading and hesychasm for awhile and leave the online stuff to those more competent. Your arguments are facile.

                As far as your disparagement of symphonia, it is utterly unorthodox and Schmemannesque. You just don’t have the phronema at all, do you? You really need to just work on being a better monk for awhile.

                • M. Stankovich says

                  And exactly from which phronoma would you presume to so arrogantly speak? You would do well to start at the lesson given to Job:

                  Will you also cancel my judgment? will you condemn me, that you may be righteous? Have you an arm like God? or can you thunder with a voice like him? Deck yourself now with majesty and excellency; and array yourself with glory and beauty. Cast abroad the rage of your wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him. Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place. Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret. Then will I also confess to you that your own right hand can save you. (Job 40:8-14)

                  You say above, “What is not prohibited and has been ordered by God in the past must necessarily be allowed.” Says who? Apparently you. Your entire independent support for such a contention is a single citation from Wikipedia. Off the top of my head I could provide you ten or more calls from the prophets to not seek justice, but to trust in the Lord Who is Just God, and a God of Justice, who would never permit injustice against the righteous, but promises – in fact, swears an oath – to vindicatw injustice. And I would add, this is meticulously detailed in Fr. Alexander Webster’s, The Pacifist Option: The Moral Argument Againsty War in Eastern Orthodox Moral Theology.

                  Apparently you have sorely mistaken “Just War Theory” for ἡμέρᾳ κρίσεως; for ἡμέραν ἀνταποδόσεως; or for heaven’s sake, Scott, what anyone of Orthodox phronema would have easily recognized in Isa. 13:9 “δοὺ γὰρ ἡμέρα Κυρίου,” Ezk. 30:3 “ὅτι ἐγγὺς ἡμέρα τοῦ Κυρίου, ” Joel 2:1 “διότι πάρεστιν ἡμέρα Κυρίου, ὅτι ἐγγύς,” Amos 5:18 “Οὐαὶ οἱ ἐπιθυμοῦντες τὴν ἡμέραν Κυρίου,” Obidiah 1:15 “διότι ἐγγὺς ἡμέρα Κυρίου ἐπὶ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη,” Acts 2:20 “πρὶν ἐλθεῖν ἡμέραν Κυρίου,” 1Cor 5:5 “ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τοῦ Κυρίου,” 2Cor. 1:14 “ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ,” 2 Peter 3:10 “Ἥξει δὲ ἡ ἡμέρα κυρίου” (Read enough?) The day of the Lord. The day of justice. The day of recompense. And on that day, Scott, the pacifist you scorn without justification will look and ask:

                  Who is this that comes from Edom, in crimsoned garments from Bozrah, he that is glorious in his apparel, marching in the greatness of his strength? “It is I, announcing vindication, mighty to save.” Why is your apparel red, and your garments like his that treads in the wine press? “I have trodden the wine press alone, and from the peoples no one was with me; I trod them in my anger and trampled them in my wrath; their lifeblood is sprinkled upon my garments, and I have stained all my raiment. For the day of vengeance (ἡμέραν ἀνταποδόσεω) was in my heart, and my year of redemption has come.” (Isa. 63:1-4)

                  No, as I have noted previously, it is never just that easy when we are discussing morality, ethics, and Orthodox Theology. And as I stand here as the Wizard of Oz – “What did Alexander Schmemann have that our friend Scott does not have? Joy, friends. Joy.” You’re just bored, brother.

                  • Michael Warren says

                    …In 1380, while preparing for his campaign against Mamai, the Holy Prince Dimitri Donskoy visited the monastery of the Life-giving Trinity and received St. Sergius’ advice and blessing.The saint said: “Go forth, my lord, fearlessly! The Lord will help you against the godless enemy. You shall conquer your enemies.” To aid the Prince in battle, St. Sergius also gave him two of his schema-monks – Alexander (Peresvet) and Andrei (Oslabya) – former warriors.

                    On September 8, 1380, on the day of the Nativity of the Holy Mother of God, the Russian army defeated the Tatars on the Kulikovo field, making the first step towards liberating Russia from the Tatar yoke. While the battle was in progress, St. Sergius gathered all his monks in the church and prayed to the Lord for success in battle, and afterwards offered thanks to God for the victory that had been granted.

                    St. Sergius was a great peacemaker among the warring Russian princes, convincing them with his meek and humble words to accept the sovereignty of the prince of Moscow. …

                    (From the Life of St. Sergius of Radonezh)

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Having just visited Sergei Posad, I can’t tell you how moved I am about the story of St Sergius of Radonezh.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      And all the more reason to underscore the point that issues of morality, ethics, and Orthodox Theology are not simple matters. A single anecdote of the instruction of one saint, in one battle, in one corner of the world is hardly compelling – as Fr. Alexander Webster noted in his last post – as to the matter of Catholicity. Further, Fr. Alexander has an excellent, documented discussion of why the canons & Tradition forbid the Ordained Clergy and monastics from engaging in war and killing in his book, The Pacifist Option. This is hardly a trivial matter, and has been historically addressed, St. Sergius of Rhadonezh notwithstanding. Absolutizing and generalizing around anecdote is dangerous.

                    • Michael Warren says

                      More liberal nonsense. If a patchwork of quotes wove together to contradict this ridiculous, Quaker pacifism of some in the North America, they would offer denunciations of proof texting. Wrong and unread as a basis for an ideological stance is a position sinking in the sand of ignorance.

                    • Michael Warren says

                      Josh. 5:13 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”
                      14″Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?”
                      15The commander of the LORD’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
                      Josh. 6:1 Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.
                      2Then the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. 3March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. 4Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. 5When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have all the people give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the people will go up, every man straight in.”

                      Judg. 2:1 The angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said, “I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land that I swore to give to your forefathers. I said, `I will never break my covenant with you, 2and you shall not make a covenant with the people of this land, but you shall break down their altars.’ Yet you have disobeyed me. Why have you done this? 3Now therefore I tell you that I will not drive them out before you; they will be [thorns] in your sides and their gods will be a snare to you.” 4When the angel of the LORD had spoken these things to all the Israelites, the people wept aloud, 5and they called that place Bokim. There they offered sacrifices to the LORD.

                    • Michael Warren says

                      Judges, Chapter 6, ESV

                      7 When the people of Israel cried out to the Lord on account of the Midianites, 8 the Lord sent a prophet to the people of Israel. And he said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: sI led you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of slavery. 9 And I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all who oppressed you, and tdrove them out before you and gave you their land. 10 And I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; uyou shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.’ But you have not obeyed my voice.”
                      The Call of Gideon

                      11 Now the angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash vthe Abiezrite, while his son wGideon was beating out wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites. 12 And xthe angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, y“The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” 13 And Gideon said to him, “Please, my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are zall his wonderful deeds athat our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.” 14 And the Lord1 turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; bdo not I send you?” 15 And he said to him, c“Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, dmy clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” 16 And the Lord said to him, e“But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.” 17 And he said to him, f“If now I have found favor in your eyes, then gshow me a sign that it is you who speak with me. 18 Please hdo not depart from here until I come to you and bring out my present and set it before you.” And he said, “I will stay till you return.”
                      19 So Gideon went into his house iand prepared a young goat and unleavened cakes from an ephah2 of flour. The meat he put in a basket, and the broth he put in a pot, and brought them to him under the terebinth and presented them. 20 And the angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened cakes, and put them jon this rock, and kpour the broth over them.” And he did so. 21 Then the angel of the Lord reached out the tip of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened cakes. lAnd fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened cakes. And the angel of the Lord vanished from his sight. 22 Then Gideon perceived that he was the angel of the Lord. And Gideon said, m“Alas, O Lord God! For now I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face.” 23 But the Lord said to him, n“Peace be to you. Do not fear; you shall not die.” 24 Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and called it, oThe Lord Is Peace. To this day it still stands at pOphrah, which belongs to the Abiezrites.
                      25 That night the Lord said to him, “Take your father’s bull, and the second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down qthe Asherah that is beside it 26 and build an altar to the Lord your God on the top of the rstronghold here, with stones laid in due order. Then take the second bull and offer it as a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah that you shall cut down.” 27 So Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the Lord had told him. But because he was too afraid of his family and the men of the town to do it by day, he did it by night.
                      Gideon Destroys the Altar of Baal

                      28 When the men of the town rose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was broken down, and the Asherah beside it was cut down, and the second bull was offered on the altar that had been built. 29 And they said to one another, “Who has done this thing?” And after they had searched and inquired, they said, “Gideon the son of Joash has done this thing.” 30 Then the men of the town said to Joash, “Bring out your son, that he may die, for he has broken down the altar of Baal and cut down the Asherah beside it.” 31 But Joash said to all who stood against him, “Will you contend for Baal? Or will you save him? Whoever contends for him shall be put to death by morning. If he is a god, let him contend for himself, because his altar has been broken down.” 32 Therefore on that day Gideon3 was called sJerubbaal, that is to say, “Let Baal contend against him,” because he broke down his altar.
                      33 Now tall the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the East came together, and they crossed the Jordan and encamped in uthe Valley of Jezreel. 34 But vthe Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon, wand he sounded the trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called out to follow him. 35 xAnd he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, and they too were called out to follow him. xAnd he sent messengers to Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, and they went up to meet them.
                      The Sign of the Fleece

                      36 yThen Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said, 37 behold, I am laying a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece alone, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said.” 38 And it was so. When he rose early next morning and squeezed the fleece, he wrung enough dew from the fleece to fill a bowl with water. 39 Then Gideon said to God, z“Let not your anger burn against me; let me speak just once more. Please let me test just once more with the fleece. Please let it be dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground let there be dew.” 40 And God did so that night; and it was dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground there was dew.

                    • Michael Warren says

                      II Maccabees, Chapter 12, New American Bible

                      As soon as Judas heard of the barbarous deed perpetrated against his compatriots, he summoned his men;
                      and after calling upon God, the just judge, he marched against the murderers of his kindred. In a night attack he set the harbor on fire, burned the boats, and put to the sword those who had taken refuge there.
                      Because the gates of the town were shut, he withdrew, intending to come back later and wipe out the entire population of Joppa.
                      On hearing that the people of Jamnia planned in the same way to wipe out the Jews who lived among them,
                      he attacked the Jamnians by night, setting fire to the harbor and the fleet, so that the glow of the flames was visible as far as Jerusalem, thirty miles away.
                      More Victories by Judas.
                      a When the Jews had gone about a mile from there* in the march against Timothy, they were attacked by Arabians numbering at least five thousand foot soldiers and five hundred cavalry.
                      After a hard fight, Judas and his companions, with God’s help, were victorious. The defeated nomads begged Judas to give pledges of friendship, and they promised to supply the Jews with livestock and to be of service to them in any other way.
                      Realizing that they could indeed be useful in many respects, Judas agreed to make peace with them. After the pledges of friendship had been exchanged, the Arabians withdrew to their tents.
                      He also attacked a certain city called Caspin, fortified with earthworks and walls and inhabited by a mixed population of Gentiles.
                      Relying on the strength of their walls and their supply of provisions, the besieged treated Judas and his men with contempt, insulting them and even uttering blasphemies and profanity.
                      But Judas and his men invoked the aid of the great Sovereign of the world, who, in the days of Joshua, overthrew Jericho without battering rams or siege engines; then they furiously stormed the walls.b
                      Capturing the city by the will of God, they inflicted such indescribable slaughter on it that the adjacent pool, which was about a quarter of a mile wide, seemed to be filled with the blood that flowed into it.
                      c When they had gone on some ninety miles, they reached Charax, where there were certain Jews known as Toubians.* d
                      But they did not find Timothy in that region, for he had already departed from there without having done anything except to leave behind in one place a very strong garrison.
                      But Dositheus and Sosipater, two of Maccabeus’ captains, marched out and destroyed the force of more than ten thousand men that Timothy had left in the stronghold.
                      Meanwhile, Maccabeus divided his army into cohorts, with a commander over each cohort, and went in pursuit of Timothy, who had a force of a hundred and twenty thousand foot soldiers and twenty-five hundred cavalry.
                      When Timothy learned of the approach of Judas, he sent on ahead of him the women and children, as well as the baggage, to a place called Karnion, which was hard to besiege and even hard to reach because of the difficult terrain of that region.
                      But when Judas’ first cohort appeared, the enemy was overwhelmed with fear and terror at the manifestation of the all-seeing One. Scattering in every direction, they rushed away in such headlong flight that in many cases they wounded one another, pierced by the points of their own swords.
                      Judas pressed the pursuit vigorously, putting the sinners to the sword and destroying as many as thirty thousand men.
                      Timothy himself fell into the hands of those under Dositheus and Sosipater; but with great cunning, he begged them to spare his life and let him go, because he had in his power the parents and relatives of many of them, and would show them no consideration.
                      When he had fully confirmed his solemn pledge to restore them unharmed, they let him go for the sake of saving their relatives.
                      e Judas then marched to Karnion and the shrine of Atargatis,* where he killed twenty-five thousand people.
                      After the defeat and destruction of these, he moved his army to Ephron, a fortified city inhabited by Lysias and people of many nationalities. Robust young men took up their posts in defense of the walls, from which they fought valiantly; inside were large supplies of war machines and missiles.
                      But the Jews, invoking the Sovereign who powerfully shatters the might of enemies, got possession of the city and slaughtered twenty-five thousand of the people in it.
                      Then they set out from there and hastened on to Scythopolis,* seventy-five miles from Jerusalem.
                      But when the Jews who lived there testified to the goodwill shown by the Scythopolitans and to their kind treatment even in times of adversity,
                      Judas and his men thanked them and exhorted them to be well disposed to their nation in the future also. Finally they arrived in Jerusalem, shortly before the feast of Weeks.
                      After this feast, also called Pentecost, they lost no time in marching against Gorgias, governor of Idumea,
                      who opposed them with three thousand foot soldiers and four hundred cavalry.
                      In the ensuing battle, a few of the Jews were slain.
                      A man called Dositheus, a powerful horseman and one of Bacenor’s men,* caught hold of Gorgias, grasped his military cloak and dragged him along by brute strength, intending to capture the vile wretch alive, when a Thracian horseman attacked Dositheus and cut off his arm at the shoulder. Then Gorgias fled to Marisa.
                      After Esdris and his men had been fighting for a long time and were weary, Judas called upon the Lord to show himself their ally and leader in the battle.
                      Then, raising a battle cry in his ancestral language, and with hymns, he charged Gorgias’ men when they were not expecting it and put them to flight.
                      Expiation for the Dead.
                      Judas rallied his army and went to the city of Adullam. As the seventh day was approaching, they purified themselves according to custom and kept the sabbath there.
                      On the following day, since the task had now become urgent, Judas and his companions went to gather up the bodies of the fallen and bury them with their kindred in their ancestral tombs.
                      But under the tunic of each of the dead they found amulets sacred to the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbids the Jews to wear. So it was clear to all that this was why these men had fallen.f
                      They all therefore praised the ways of the Lord, the just judge who brings to light the things that are hidden.
                      * Turning to supplication, they prayed that the sinful deed might be fully blotted out. The noble Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves free from sin, for they had seen with their own eyes what had happened because of the sin of those who had fallen.g
                      He then took up a collection among all his soldiers, amounting to two thousand silver drachmas, which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice. In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection in mind;
                      for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead.
                      But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought.
                      Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be absolved from their sin.

                    • Michael Warren says

                      After the death of Constantius Chlorus in 306, Constantine was acclaimed by the army at York as emperor of Gaul and Britain. The first act of the new emperor was to grant the freedom to practice Christianity in the lands subject to him. The pagan Maximian Galerius in the East and the fierce tyrant Maxentius in the West hated Constantine and they plotted to overthrow and kill him, but Constantine bested them in a series of battles, defeating his opponents with the help of God. He prayed to God to give him a sign which would inspire his army to fight valiantly, and the Lord showed him a radiant Sign of the Cross in the heavens with the inscription “In this Sign, conquer.”

                      After Constantine became the sole ruler of the Western Roman Empire, he issued the Edict of Milan in 313 which guaranteed religious tolerance for Christians. St Helen, who was a Christian, may have influenced him in this decision. In 323, when he became the sole ruler of the entire Roman Empire, he extended the provisions of the Edict of Milan to the Eastern half of the Empire. After three hundred years of persecution, Christians could finally practice their faith without fear.

                      Renouncing paganism, the Emperor did not let his capital remain in ancient Rome, the former center of the pagan realm. He transferred his capital to the East, to the city of Byzantium, which was renamed Constantinople, the city of Constantine (May 11). Constantine was deeply convinced that only Christianity could unify the immense Roman Empire with its diverse peoples. He supported the Church in every way. He recalled Christian confessors from banishment, he built churches, and he showed concern for the clergy.

                      The emperor deeply revered the victory-bearing Sign of the Cross of the Lord, and also wanted to find the actual Cross upon which our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified. For this purpose he sent his own mother, the holy Empress Helen, to Jerusalem, granting her both power and money.

                      (From the Lives of SS Constantine & Helen)

                    • Michael Warren says

                      To the piety and the zeal of an Apostle, St. Stephen added the courage of a warrior and a hero. In the instructions he wrote to his son, St. Amelric (Emeric, Americ or Americo), he noted that he had spent almost all his life in wars, extending his Catholic lands and repelling invasions of foreign nations.

                      Indeed, as soon as Stephen ascended to the throne, many nobles who both feared the rules of Stephen’s new Religion and wanted to keep the old pagan superstitions revolted against him. They burned the fields, killed Catholic nobles faithful to Stephen, and raised a siege around the city of Veszprem. Stephen gathered his troops and, with the help of his German allies, marched against them under the banners of St. Martin and St. George. Though inferior in number, he defeated the rebels and killed their leader Koppany. To thank God for the victory, he built a monastery in honor of St. Martin over the battlefield, called the Holy Hill.

                      Among many other benefits for the Church, he founded the archbishopric of Gran (Eztergom), with five dioceses under it, and later the archbishopric of Kalocsa, with three dioceses. He then sent his ambassador, the skilled St. Asteriscus, to Rome to ask the Pope to approve those foundations. He also requested the title of king. Pope Sylvester II wholeheartedly granted both wishes and sent Stephen the crown that became the Royal Crown of Hungary, known as the Crown of St. Stephen.

                      The same Prelate, St. Asteriscus, acting now as representative of the Pope, anointed Stephen and crowned him with great solemnity in the year 1001. Stephen established the see of his kingdom in the city of Alba Regalis.

                      A monastery dedicated by king St. Stephen

                      In 1003 his pagan uncle Gyula, Prince of Transylvania, invaded his lands to depose him and take his lands. Stephen defeated him and incorporated his uncle’s territories under the Hungarian Crown.

                      (From the Life of St. Stephen of Hungary)

                    • Michael Warren says

                      In April 871, King Aethelred died, leaving two under-age sons, Aethelheim and Aethelwold. However, on April 23, 871, Alfred succeeded to the throne of Wessex, and the burden of its defense, in accordance with an agreement that Aethelred and Alfred had made earlier that year at an assembly at Swinbeorg. The Danes continued to press their attacks, forcing Alfred to ‘make peace’ with them, a peace that lasted for five years. In 876 under their new leader, Guthrum, the Danes renewed their aggression. After a narrow escape from an attack on Chippenham in January 878, Alfred, mounted an effective resistance movement from a fort at Athelney on an island in the marshes of North Petherton, rallying the local militias from Somerset, Wiltshire, and Hampshire. In mid 878, Alfred, backed by the people of Somerset and Wiltshire, emerged from his marshland stronghold to defeat the Danes at the Battle of Ethandun in a carefully planned offensive that pushed the Danes into their stronghold of Chippenham where they were starved into submission.

                      Among the terms of the surrender was that Guthrum converted to Christianity. Three weeks later King Guthrum and 29 of his chief men were baptized at Alfred’s court at Aller, near Atheiney, with Alfred receiving Guthrum as his spiritual son with the name Athelstan.[1] In the treaty negotiated in either 879 or 880 Alfred and Guthrum established the borders dividing their lands of which that part controlled by Guthrum became known as Danelaw. While the treaty with Guthrum brought an end to large scale conflicts, Alfred still had to deal with raids and incursions. During this period, Arthur reoccupied the city of London and initiated a program of restoring the city.

                      With the death of Guthrum in 889, a political vacuum was created in which revived attacks by Danes from the continent reopened war with the Vikings, thus ending these quiet years of Arthur’s life. Against the traditionally organized Danish tactics Arthur counter with a restructured military organization that included a standing, mobile field army, a network of garrisons, and a small fleet of ships navigating the rivers and estuaries. Alfred’s re-organization of the military defense system included the establishment of network of fortresses at strategic points in the kingdom. These burhs (later called boroughs) enabled his army to confront Viking attacks anywhere in the kingdom within a day, which formed significant obstacles to the Viking invaders.

                      In addition to his re-organization of the defense of his realm, Arthur initiated a new legal code that was based on the laws of his predecessors but mediated by his own standards. This code bore an introduction in which Alfred placed his laws in the context of Christian law as presented in the Decalogue, chapters from the Book of Exodus, and the ‘Apostolic Letter’ from the Acts of the Apostles (15:23-29), thus giving his law-giving the sense of being a continuance of the holy past. Alfred also undertook the revival of scholarship in England that had been depressed during the Viking invasions. This was done through the recruitment of clerical scholars from Mercia, Wales, and abroad to enhance education at the court and of the Church episcopacy and, through the establishment of a court school, to educate his own children, the sons of his nobles, and intellectually promising boys of lesser birth.

                      (From the Life of St. Alfred the Great)

                    • Michael Warren says

                      You, O comrades and brothers, lords and nobles, soldiers and vojvodas—great and small. You yourselves are witnesses and observers of that great goodness God has given us in this life… But if the sword, if wounds, or if the darkness of death comes to us, we accept it sweetly for Christ and for the godliness of our homeland. It is better to die in battle than to live in shame. Better it is for us to accept death from the sword in battle than to offer our shoulders to the enemy. We have lived a long time for the world; in the end we seek to accept the martyr’s struggle and to live forever in heaven. We call ourselves Christian soldiers, martyrs for godliness to be recorded in the Book of Life. We do not spare our bodies in fighting in order that we may accept the holy wreathes from that One who judges all accomplishments. Sufferings beget glory and labours lead to peace.

                      -Holy Tsar Martyr Lazar of Serbia

                    • Michael Warren says

                      During the War Vyritsa was occupied by the Germans. By the prayers of St. Seraphim, there was no destruction there or great loss of life. But they drove the Pioneer camp children who had been captured in Vyritsa into the camp, where many of them perished from hunger or cruel treatment. The Germans established their own order everywhere. They settled in like overlords, like a race of masters. They chose the best houses. To this day, the old-timers call one of the houses “Miller’s house,” after the name of one of the officers who was quartered there. And so, the German officers found out that there lived in Vyritsa a certain old man who could tell the future and who knew the present.

                      Out of a healthy curiosity, some of them would go visiting St. Seraphim at his home on Pilny Proyezd. They would ask him, “Old man, which houses do you advise us to choose—so they would be solider and we wouldn’t have to waste money on repairs?” But St. Seraphim? said to them, “Which houses? What are you talking about? They will drive you away from here. They will kick you out. And you will not see your Germany.” The Germans flew into a rage, and one of them took out his revolver and began to brandish it, “Oh, we’ll shoot you right now, then!” But the saint (who was already bedridden) answered quietly, “Go ahead and shoot. I only have a little time left now. ‘For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain’ (Philipp. 1:21).” The Germans spit in annoyance and left.

                      And in 1944 St. Seraphim’s prophecy was fulfilled: the Soviet army bombarded the German scourge with barrage fire and cleansed the vicinity of the city of St. Peter—including Vyritsa—of them. God only knows where St. Seraphim’s unfortunate visitors piled up their blueblood bones. It is only known that St. Seraphim prayed for Russia’s victory for a thousand days and nights (practically the whole of the Battle of Leningrad).

                      (From the Life of St. Seraphim of Vyritsa)

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      I am amused at this continual “insult” of proof text, and am reminded of Prof. George Barrois’ Jesus Christ and the Temple where he uses the beautiful allusion of the child Jesus in the Temple, speaking the words of Scripture to the elders – “proof texting” – of which He is, indeed, both the Inspiration and Author. Frankly, Google it is not…

                      Let me repeat that anecdote – even when inspiring, edifying, acted upon by the greatest of individual saints, and would seems to prove your particular argument in every detail, it is never how the Church has established its Holy Tradition, nor do we vote by Council or enact by Synod or Emperor. Our Tradition is revealed to us by time and the Holy Spirit. Not a handful of inspiring “war stories” drawn from the lives of the Saints.

                    • All of this nonsense about pacifism is unnecessary. If Christ was a pacifist and exhorted pacifism then He certainly was not God and all bets are off. The God of the Old Testament is not a pacifist, nor did He exhort pacifism at all. The identity and integrity of the God of the New Testament is completely predicated on the notion that He is the God of the Old Testament and the Father of the Son, Jesus Christ, conceived by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, but begotten in eternity before all worlds – the Logos. This Trinity ordered every act in the Old Testament including the genocide. He killed the firstborn of Egypt.

                      This Trinity founded the Church and has led it as the Holy Spirit since Pentecost through “many dangers, toils and snares”, one of which is the heresy of Marcion, which rears its ugly head today.

                      But Christ cleansed the Temple with a hand made scourge. He approved of the fact that His Apostles were armed and told them to sell possessions to buy more swords (Gospel of Luke). He killed the couple who withheld property from the Church (Book of Acts). He raised up St. Constantine to establish the Church in the imperial world. He Christianized the Roman Empire, particularly its Eastern half.

                      He led this Church and Empire through history by monarchs and saints. The devil became unchained and warred against this Empire, both for his own purposes and for God’s (the sins of the Empire itself). Warriors and saints and warrior-saints arose to defend it.

                      In the end, the Empire chose death in its capitulation to heresy and was conquered by the forces of the evil one in 1453. Yet it had christened another Empire to continue on . . .

                      The First Rome fell in the West and later succumbed to heresy, the Second Rome also succumbed to heresy and fell, and the Third Rome, though it went through many trials and tribulations and was ruled by the evil one for a generation, withstood this test and was reborn.

                      The hour is late. Third Rome will stand and there will be no “Fourth Rome” other than the New Jerusalem.

                      Like Possessors and Non-Possessors, there are two valid paths in Orthodoxy. One can choose pacifism, as did Sts. Boris and Gleb. And one can choose the Shield of David and the Sword of Constantine, as did St. Alexander Nevsky, St. Dmitri Donskoy, Kutuzov, et al.

                      And Orthodox Christian Holy War – – and there is such a thing – – is the very “חרם”, “ἀνάθεμα” prescribed in the Old Testament. In the New Testament context of occupation, where Christ did not exhort His followers to an uprising but rather to cooperation with the Romans with whom, He felt, they could work, this “ban” (Russian: анафема or проклятие) came to mean accursedness and extreme exclusion from the community although, as I mentioned, in the New Testament book of Acts a couple was “banned” by God in the extreme directly (i.e., executed).

                      It can arise as a Christian solution in modern context to a terrible situation wherein the community is threatened with collective subjugation and/or extermination. Russians perceived this to be the case vis a vis the Chechen terrorist attacks. Serbs perceived this to be the case vis a vis Bosniak and Croat actions in the Balkan wars.

                      One can approve or disapprove of the particular decisions made in the cases involved, but it is the natural resort of Orthodox Christians when faced with the “abomination of desolation”, so to speak.

                      I have no hesitation in embracing it, nor should any other conscientious Orthodox Christian. But it is a weapon to be used with caution for obvious reasons.

                      I tend to see recoil from this obvious truth as cowardice, frankly. But, to be merciful, it is cowardice in the following sense: You may recall C.S. Lewis writing about how a young Christian English soldier and a young Christian German soldier might shoot and kill each other on the battlefield in one instant (he was referring to WWI) and in the next instant find themselves face to face in a heavenly repose hugging each other as brothers.

                      That is faith. That is the trust that this life is not all that there is and that it is merely an anteroom to the next world. That is a wholehearted reliance on the holy story that we have been told, that was delivered unto the saints. It is a firm belief that this virtual reality “game” in which we live is just that: only a “virtual” reality, not the Reality of the world to come where we will be perfected, where death and bodily corruption will have no place, where our fallen condition will be remedied.

                      That is really our only home, the New Jerusalem. Blessing weapons and fighting a holy war in defense of the Church or some part of it is no great matter. Nor is laying ones head on a block and inviting the executioner to send one to a heavenly repose.

                      Faith heals all wounds.

                  • Michael Warren says

                    In other words, obfuscate and namedrop when Eastern Rite Protestant propaganda falls through, decontextualuzing YET ANOTHER author to prop up yet another, failed, ideological argument. Quaker pacificism and Orthodoxy are too different approaches to appreciating war and conflict, despite what liberals misrepresent in their hippie scrawlings.

                    • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

                      RE: “And Orthodox Christian Holy War – – and there is such a thing – – is the very “חרם”, “ἀνάθεμα” prescribed in the Old Testament.”

                      Misha, you seem to be on a “crusade” here to claim “holy war” as an authentic Orthodox moral tradition. If you’re acquainted with my research and publications on the issue, then you are familiar with my tireless efforts to distinguish “justifiable war” from “holy war.” The former may be engaged as a “lesser good,” but the latter is impossible since the Incarnation of our Lord and the birth of the Church for all of humanity.

                      Your insistence on the continuing moral value and necessity of the Old Testament ban (or harem in Hebrew) fails to account for the biblical and patristic teaching of the supercession of various elements of the Law of Moses and thus their temporary significance as religious duties. A more recent, but nonetheless useful, hermeneutic concept is the German Heilsgeschichte (“salvation history”). In brief, it allows for the theological, spiritual, and moral development of the people of God (first Israel and then the Church) from primitive barbarism to the Mosaic Law to the Gospel, with the latter as the final revelation and fullness of truth, faith, and virtue. What began as the Israelite “holy war” against the Canaanites sanctioned by God was gradually limited by divine revelation through the prophets, transformed into justifiable war, and then, with the coming of Christ and the universal Church, the twofold moral path of justifiable war or absolute pacifism. Old Testament “holy war” is no more binding upon or even relevant to Christians than the kosher dietary laws.

                      My most recent foray into the Orthodox justifiable war tradition addresses the issue of torture (specifically, waterboarding) in the current life-and-death struggle against Islamic terrorism: “Terrorism & Its Civilized Discontents: An Eastern Orthodox Ethical Reflection on Torture as Counter-Terrorism,” Touchstone (July/August, 2012): http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=25-04-045-f
                      Here is a section diametrically opposed to your blanket approval of indiscriminate violence on a grand scale ostensibly in “defense” of the Church or the nation:

                      Alexei’s Acceptance of “All Possible Means”

                      And third, we come to the late Patriarch Alexei II of Moscow, senior bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church, who sometimes betrayed his own Orthodox moral tradition in his vociferous public reaction to the egregious terrorist threats to his flock and his nation.

                      It was one thing for a prominent religious leader like Patriarch Alexei to justify, for example, the targeted killing of Shamil Basayev, the “Chechen Bin Laden,” by Russian special operations forces on July 9, 2006. Basayev had claimed responsibility in September 2004 for the hostage-taking at school number 1 in Beslan, North Ossetia, which resulted in the massacre of 330 civilians, including 186 children.

                      But it was quite another matter for Alexei, on September 13, 1999, in the wake of terrorist atrocities in Moscow and Bujnaksk, to appeal to the Russian government and law enforcement agencies “to protect our compatriots from terrorists by all possible means ” (italics added). Or to publish, in concert with his senior Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist counterparts on the Interreligious Council in Russia, a post-Beslan “message” on September 22, 2004, which included the following stunning proclamation:

                      “There must be no fear of dispensing justice to terrorists and their accomplices, and if need be they should be annihilated, whoever and wherever they may be, whatever slogans they may use as a cover. We insist that they are beyond any religion, serving the [sic] Satan and dreaming of plunging humanity into an abyss of despair and of taking over the world.”

                      Whatever we may think about Satan and his minions, what strikes me about this passage is the use of the term “annihilated”—hardly the measured response of influential religious leaders, and more redolent of the holy war/crusade/jihad approach to defense than of the venerable justifiable-war tradition.

                      [In sum, Misha, it pains me to state that your woeful mischaracterization of Orthodox moral tradition as endorsing and even demanding “holy war” aligns you—in terms of means though not ends–with the radical Islamic jihadis instead of the New Testament, the Church Fathers, and the many Orthodox saints through the centuries.]

                    • Unfortunately, Fr. Alexander, you are in error.

                      There was no progression from herem to “justifiable warfare”. Justifiable warfare is your creation, and that of St. Augustine, not God’s. It is simply another way of saying “necessary evil” or “lesser of two evils”.

                      [This is incorrect.]

                      I am telling you the truth.

                      It is that simple.

                      There was never any catholic consensus for a progression from herem to justifiable warfare to whatever you are postulating – – call it God, version 3.0 if you wish.

                      I am not suggesting jihad. As I said, jihad is a boyscout campout hunting expedition compared to herem. I am not “as bad” as our enemies. I’m far, far worse.

                      And that’s what it takes. Recall the One Whom we worship:

                      YHWH, God of the Armies. His nature has never changed. He has always been full spectrum. Utterly and absolutely loving as well as utterly and absolutely ruthless and cunning in the wisdom of His ways, which are not the ways of man. God is not a man that He would lie to you. And God has revealed His character in the Old and New Testaments, the writings of the Fathers and the Holy Story of the Church to date.

                      I appreciate the efforts of scholars like you and St. Augustine to protect His honor and contain Him. But this is impossible. He is uncircumscribable.

                      You get an “A” for effort and your heart is definitely in the right place. You seek justice and mercy, not hellish vengeance. That is His objective as well. But all means are on the table. That is simply the Law of God. You don’t have to like it. And, like I have said repeatedly, you will thank God for His indulgence on this matter one day.

                      Patriarch Alexei was right in his allowance of all means. I would say that I don’t expect you as an American to understand, but that wouldn’t be quite fair.

                      However, it is true that Americans have never faced a genocidal enemy before. And Americans have only lost about 1 million men total in all the wars that America has fought. The sheer magnitude of carnage is unfathomable to someone who has not seen killing fields up close and personal. Even then, the volume is beyond the appreciation of most.

                      Sometimes, we are put in the position of playing God, acting for God. Christ asked them why they marveled at Him saying He was the Son of God by quoting the Psalms, “Ye are gods.”

                      From a certain vantage point, even God’s people need a free hand and room to work.

                      I understand precisely what you are saying. You just happen to be mistaken.

                    • In sum, from St. Constantine to St. Alfred the Great to St. Stephen of Hungary to St. Sergius of Radonezh to St. Laxar of Serbia to St. Seraphim of Vyritsa, there has been an aspect of Orthodox podvig associated with war. It is not jihad however: jihad calls for atrocities and lacks all moral boundaries: Orthodox holy war is fuelled by then to reassert them as a civilizational exploit. One reads in the scriptures the wars of Holy Joshua, Holy Gideon, Holy Prophet and King David, Holy Judah Maccabee the basis for Orthodox holy war, where GOD even sends the Holy Archangel Michael to fight on the side of the righteous.

                      That ends up contradicting liberal, peacenik revisionism and condemning it as an attempt at inserting liberal condemnation of war into an Orthodox context. When it is so reformed as to condemn churchmen and Orthodox nations for pursuing Orthodox wars of defense, liberation, civilization, etc., it ends up thoroughly delegitimizing itself.

                      The crux of this discussion, Father, was not the validity of Orthodox Holy War, but your peacenik rejection of it. I will concede the point of view that Non Possessor-esque condemnation of war has always been a strain in the Church, even a morally rearming orientation. I will even agree all war is fundamentally evil, a grave sin. But history, Orthodox history, has never supported your condemnations and conclusions, and Orthodox history and civilization has more often been defended and preserved by militant defenders of the Faith and civilization. That fundamental point of appraisal allows me to reject your analysis in confidence.

                    • “However, it is true that Americans have never faced a genocidal enemy before.”

                      I should rephrase that. What I meant to say is that Americans have never faced a genocidal enemy intent on eradicating the American gens.

                    • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

                      RE: “peacenik rejection” of “Orthodox Holy War.”
                      Mr. Warren, my friends (and opponents) in the Orthodox Peace Fellowship would find that characterization of my moral theology quite rich.

                      Misha and Mr. Warren: neither of you seems particularly aware of the rich biblical, patristic, theological, hagiographic, iconographic, hymnological, spiritual, and historical sources of our Orthodox moral tradition that express the two-fold morality of war that I have described during almost forty years of scholarly research and publication as the “absolute pacifist” and “justifiable war” trajectories. Argument by mere assertion is neither truly an argument nor a serious, respectable form of informed discussion. I suggest, in a spirit of Orthodox fraternity, that both of you “go to school” before opining further on these complex–not “simple”–moral questions.

                    • I happen to have cited a few examples ABOVE of how exactly your particular point of view is revisionist and non-normative of the Orthodox view on war. You have chosen to ignore those examples, the points I have made, in rebuttal and simply reassert your conclusions with the typical Crestwood slight of hand which relies on an insult rather than an argument. I did expect more from you, Father. Thankfully, the University of Michigan and Syracuse University afforded me a better education than a meta-education from a Renovationist think tank which ends up arguing, “Read what I wrote again because I am infallible and my Crestwood meta-education is unimpeachable.” I am thankful yet again I refused to go to a Crestwood which traffics in such “scholarly temperament.”

                      It has been illustrated by Scriptural, hagiographic, historical quotes that your peacenik revisionism is indeed rich in its inability to reconcile itself with the Orthodox take on the topic of war. Your revisionism fails miserably and indicts itself when it attacks Orthodox churchmen with nothing more than thinly veiled Western agitprop. Finally, when it relies on a Crestwood neo-obscurantism to stay afloat, it embarasses those who endorse your take on war and peace, Father.

                      I am sorry that you chose to ignore thoughtful criticism of your position. It is unfortunate that you rely insults as your answer. I do hope you take this opportunity to thoughtfully and appropriately consider an answer to your point of view, written by people who reject it and its tone, worldview as non-normative of Orthodoxy. All the best.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Fr. Alexander,

                      Welcome to the world of Idiot America, the observation of author Charles P. Pierce, that Google/internet scholarship and one’s derived, postulated “opinion” – particularly when “collaborated” – is every bit as worthy as real scholarship. “If something feels right,” Pierce writes, ” it must be treated with the same respect given something that actually is right. If something is felt deeply, it must carry the same weight as something that is true. If there are two sides to every argument – or, more to the point, if there are people willing to take up two sides to every argument-they both must be right or, at least, equally valid.”

                      Beginning with the the declaration of the Fathers of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, Fr. Georges Florovsky notes the precedent and the power of their words: “Joining with those Holy Fathers before us…” Are the Google-derived “opinions” of Pennington/Warren consistent with the Scriptural, Patristic, Canonical and Tradition of the Orthodox Church? They don’t care. A handful of anecdotes from Wikipedia and Google, and the customary bucket of insults from Warren. Oorah.

                      Fr. Alexander, your published scholarship stands on its own. Scholarship is instructive, edifying, and transforming, not self-indulgent, nor-self-serving. I learned from your book, and it is highly recommended.

                • Misha, your arrogance astounds me. I find it difficult to believe you claim to be a Christian.As in many exchanges on this blog, you present your “opinion” as the definitive opinion. You are the voice of “true Orthodoxy”. My advice and my prayer for you is to get a good spiritual father who will lead you to repentance. Your formation, a word foreign to Orthodoxy, is one of hubris and arrogance.

                  • Michael Warren says

                    Spoken as an Eastern Rite Protestant arbiter of Orthodoxy. How is Misha’s opinion not Orthodox? And how are your opinions definitive, even constituent, of Orthodoxy? Do tell.

              • Gail Sheppard says

                Father James, the Old Testament is full of commandments from God to kill every man, woman and child, because of the likelihood that if the innocent were spared, they would pass their ways onto the Israelites. The Israelites were not doing evil; they were following God’s direction.

                I disagree that, “The only reliable and inevitable, predictably true result of armed conflict is that the stronger will defeat the weaker, and this says NOTHING about the relative good or evil intentions of either/both sides.” If this were true, how do you explain Gideon, Jericho & Constantine (vs. Alexander the Great)? There are many such examples. They had the weaker armies and would not have been victors without God’s help. God didn’t NEED them; He CHOSE them as His vessels.

                As you say, “Since the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, we have a new and better covenant which supersedes and replaces the old one (per St Paul) and Jesus Himself gave us a ‘new commandment’ in which war has no place.”

                But God does not change, Father. He is the same today as He was yesterday and He has clearly called for different things at different times. I think we really fall short in our understanding Scripture when we assume that what was instructed during a certain time and place is the same instruction we should follow today. As an example, although Christ specifically said He did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it, He shed a whole new light on what the law actually meant, e.g. not working on the Sabbath (God’s laws were made for man; not the other way around), adultery (it’s not just the act, but the thought), etc.

                God has been known to direct His people to protect His own and has honored those who have done so (Rahab comes to mind). He has also used women in more visible & important roles, although one would assume, from what Saint Paul said, that we should all be silent in Church, wear head coverings and devote ourselves entirely to our husbands; however, look at Deborah & Joan of Arch. They were not worried about being silent (where would we be if Photini had been silent???), or covering their heads and devoting themselves to their husbands. Christ talked to a SAMARITAN woman much to the horror of His Apostles, told Martha that her sister Mary was not to be chastised for abandoning her womanly duties, allowed Mary Magdalene to be the first person to see and speak with Him after he rose from the tomb, changed water into wine to for his His mother and said we were all the same under Christ. When we enter His kingdom, we will be like the Angels; there will be no male or female so why do we hold to traditions that fly in the face of what God, Himself, refined and re-defined? The entire Bible says that “your daughters will prophesize” in the last days. You can’t do that outside the presence of the Church and it’s kind of hard to prophesize if you’re expected to remain silent.

                Just thinking out loud, but we can’t presume to know what God wants based on what any one Saint has said. We do not have the mind of God. And if we don’t adhere to the little things (Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?), how can we be anything but hypocrites to insist we adhere to everything else that makes about as much sense. Many of you men have long hair, right? (I like it so don’t change.).

                Saint Paul made it clear he was NOT speaking for the Lord, but for himself. He said he did not want to put any restraint on anyone; he was simply trying to give some direction, believing the Lord’s return was imminent.

                We cannot blindly hold to something “just because,” turning ourselves into pretzels. This practice can become OCD like behavior, which will, inevitably, distract us from God.

                We have to fight evil. Ephesians 6:10-20 When you fight evil with your words, it can lead to war. I think that’s where we are.

                • M. Stankovich says


                  We do not “blindly hold to something ‘just because,'” but “Because we know God in is His actions, and by His actions (μεν τών ενεργειών)”; not in His <essence, but in His energies (St. Basil the Great, PG 29, Against Eunomius, 1:14). St. John of Damascus indicates in his Exposition of the Orthodox Faith that:

                  {These] are true knowledge, not just conjecture or deduction; true revelations of God Himself [ή Θεία ελλαμψις καΐ ενέργεια], a real presence, and not merely as the actor is present in the thing in which he acts.” (PG 96, 1:14)

                  Fr. Georges Florovsky refers to St. John as on a continuum of what the fathers referred to, from St. Irenaeus forward, as a “theology of facts.” And this brings us to St. Gregory Palamas, of whose theology Florovsky writes,

                  begins with the history of salvation, on the larger scale, the Biblical story, which consisted of Divine acts, culminating in the Incarnation of the Word and His glorification through the Cross and Resurrection; on the smaller scale, the story of the Christian man, striving after perfection, and ascending, step by step, till he encounters God in the vision of His glory.

                  OCD-like behaviour, Gail? Our God who is unknowable κατά φύσιν, in His essence, and under no obligation to us whatsoever, joins us to Himself in an act that is purely an βουλήσεως έργον, energy of His will (PG 150, 64-6 Against Arianos). Imagine! Fr. Florovsky would suggest that Gregory Palamas is certainly in the line of Athanasius, and thus,

                  In our own time, we are coming more and more to the conviction that “theology of facts” is the only sound Orthodox theology. It is Biblical. It is Patristic. It is in complete conformity with the mind of the Church.

                  Our God continues to speak to us from the “mind” of the Church, and we have to reasonably conclude that significantly more are talking than listening.

                • Gail,

                  You can find a refutation of the “long hair” meme on orthdoxinfo if you wish. I’m not going to bother with a link. Essentially, men in Christ’s time wore their hair long and had a sort of leather tie that held it up in the back. We know this to be true because the one belonging to St. Paul is referred to in the New Testament. There is no prohibition against men wearing long hear but rather against them wearing long, affected hairdos. That is the effect of the original Greek.

                  As to women not being placed in authority over men, covering in church, and not speaking with teaching authority in church, these are all commands of the Gospel to be accepted.

                  Feminism is evil.

        • Misha, again you present your view as the absolute Orthodox model–you are the pontiff. There are frequently divergent views on what is authentically Orthodox. You discuss war without mentioning St Augustine and his principles of just war, probably because you don’t accept him as a saint. You place yourself above the Church by rejecting Augustine as a saint even though he is listed among the saints.

          By the way, repentance is always required.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Misha, I agree with much if what you say on this matter, but given the ideology that dominates modern government it is hard to see a situation where it would be applicable.

          What is you source for your statement that the repentance was due to blood issues?

          Why is such a focus even if true not important.

          • Fr. Alexander speaks about it in his book, as have others. Blood is a paradox. It can be purifying and at the same time can be polluting.

            It is very relevant today. The Russians did the right thing in Chechnya. The Chechens were bringing terrorism into the Russian heartland. The government knew where it was coming from. When they’d had enough, they waged a war of brutal collective punishment which was successful in that a Chechen leader arose that they could work with. He arose because, and only because, the Chechen people were looking at possible extinction.

            In WWII, the Japanese presented a similar obstacle. They certainly were not afraid to give their lives to fight for the Emperor, whom they believed was a god. Men, women and children would have resisted an American invasion of the home islands with all the vigor that ISIS brings to the table, perhaps more.

            So killing a few hundred thousand, twice, was precisely the right and holy thing to do to convey the message that God controls the world, not their little tin god emperor, and that He will not be mocked. Pin a medal on the pilots that dropped them and give them communion without confession, if you ask me. But, of course, they were not Orthodox.

            If we do not worship YHWH, the God of the Armies of Heaven and Israel (Old and New), then we do not worship His Son, Jesus Christ. One and the same God. You don’t have to like it for it to be the absolute, unavoidable Truth.

            Just be thankful that He is so merciful to us that he allows us to do this, or to face martyrdom if we so choose. I could lay my head on a block and invite the stroke of the sword. I know where I would awaken. No doubt in my mind.

            And there is no doubt either about what I am writing now.

            • Most military historians I have read believe the bomb was unneeded and that Japan was already defeated. I really doubt dropping a man made bomb on innocent children made them believe in any God.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Agreed. The problem is our military doctrine of “unconditional surrender,” which was first promulgated during the War Between the States. According to Just War theology as well as the time-honored principles of military action, hostilities are to cease once surrender is on the horizon or the other side sues for peace. Unconditional surrender forces one side to fight the other to annihilation and thus unnecessarily (and tragically) prolongs hostilities to the detriment of both sides.

                The Japanese were ready to surrender when it became known (probably through disinformation) that the allies were going to allow Soviet troops to partake in the invasion of the home islands. Only a militarist faction that was willing to fight to the bitter end was making it difficult for the Emperor to broadcast the order to “cease resistance” (not “surrender” which would have been abhorrent to the code of Bushido.)

                In the end, we can’t say that we forced “unconditional” surrender upon the Japanese because we allowed them to keep the monarchy so the second (Nagasaki) bomb was superfluous.

              • Surrender is surrender and fight on is fight on. The Japanese were in no way defeated until they themselves chose to surrender. The question was whether the United States had the will to lose another million in invading and occupying the Japanese home islands. No one knows the answer to that question but I suspect that the answer is “no, we did not have that kind of will.”

                Thus we would be left with a perpetual time bomb – suicide cult vying for imperial power in Asia indefinitely. One which committed utterly unspeakable war crimes against all non-Japanese as if it were free.

                The incontrovertible fact is that the Japanese high command and the Emperor did not surrender until after the second bomb was dropped. They were that committed. They had to know – at the cost of over another hundred thousand lives taken in another instant – that the first strike was repeatable and no fluke. They had to meet the abyss face to face to be dissuaded from entering it. There was even a failed coup d’etat after the second bomb and after the Emperor finally decided to capitulate which prompted him to make a public speech to surrender on August 15th.


                All the crap about them being already defeated is progressive, old lady handwringing bs. They were “that fierce”. I actually admire that samurai steel. It is glorious. No one lives forever and all of those people died for something they believed in 110%. It is a shame that that “something” was not Christ, but I digress . . .

                In any case, there is certainly a case to be made that it was excessive and that it was merely a demonstration to shock the Soviets. And shock the Soviets it did. And I’m also sure that that was a good thing in light of what we had already given up at Yalta.

                No, no apologies here. Better them than us.

            • I have *never* understood the rationale for the bombing of Nagasaki three days after Hiroshima. Even if we grant the “greater good” (and that’s debatable) of Hiroshima, why on earth go after the second city?
              The photos and horror of Hiroshima had had time to be publicized (three days).
              I have always believed that Nagasaki was a moral stain on our escutcheon.

    • Indeed.

      As once in the wilderness the bodies of the Jews who did not truly subject themselves to Thee, the Master of all, fell into the abyss as was fitting; so now with psalmody do Thou scatter the bones of the impious and unbelieving Hagarenes in hell, O Christ. — Vespers on September 1, the Beginning of the Indiction

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        Ages, refresh my aged memory: into which abyss in the wilderness did the BODIES of Jewish rebels fall? What was the fate of their souls and those of the irreverent and sceptical Arabs?

        • I assume the followers of Korah.

          As to the fate of their souls, it’s impossible to say. The fate of impious and unbelieving Hagarenes is perhaps easier to say.

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      There be many, Michael, even amongst the pious and conscientiously Orthodox, who do not realize that they are not monotheists, but garden-variety dualists of Manichee stature!

  9. Rubidoux Summit says

    I have a feeling St. Andrew’s will be fine; 20-30% of the parishioners are packing at liturgy.

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      Rubidoux Summit, there were around a dozen OPEN CARRIERS at the Dallas event where a lone sniper shot so many people, but they all fled, holsters a-shake, thus giving the lie to blaming homicide-by-gun on the failure of targets to CARRY!

      • All intelligent carriers of weapons, whether concealed or open, know that using them is the last resort. When an ex-soldier is laying down expert sniper fire from a concealed position, that is not the time to start firing at random in response.

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        I have to correct what I wrote above. It was not “around a dozen” open-carriers at the Dallas sniping massacre—–it was over TWENTY, that armed and ready, as the NRA ADVISES IS THE ANSWER TO GUN VIOLENCE, that fell all over everybody, running for cover, holsters, gunbelts a jangle! Texas Duck Dynasty ideologues all!

        • Yeah, what a hoot. That’s the last time the if everyone had a gun argument will hold much water. Poor Alex Jones couldn’t twist that story into something the liberals caused via gun control. I feel so bad for him right now just thinking about it.

        • Michael Warren says

          Liberal, mustered out whack a doodles trying to trample on civil rights by taking cheap shots by innacurate innuendo to advance a non sequiter argument.

          Unarmed, rather disarmed/civil rights trampled Americans, when subjected to sniper fire would not flee and take cover?! Armed citizens at least can take cover, assess, possibly return fire and neutralize a threat at realistic distances: not getting pinned down and killed. Their chances of survival are greater when their civil rights and liberty remain in tact. Disarmed citizens, however, get pinned down, get executed, are victims of state repression of civil rights and are needlessly murdered as we witness in Chicago, DC and Oakland.

          Responsible use of the CIVIL RIGHT TO SELF DEFENSE REQUIRES EFFECTIVE ASSESSMENT OF A TERRORIST/CRIMINAL THREAT. Open carry of a handgun is not the most viable response to a sniper attack. Snipers operate under cover at distances handguns – what free Americans openly carry- are not effective at. A sidearm is generally effective up to 10 meters, 20-30 meters in trained, proficient hands. A sniper rifle used in an urban environment operates under cover at distances anywhere from 50 – 300 meters, depending on the sniper’s position. To imply people under sniper fire should have reached for their handguns to then indiscriminately and ineffectively fire at a hidden sniper out of the range of their weapons is precisely evidence that liberals have no clue as to what they are talking about when they engage in their ignorant propaganda against American civil rights. If this were a gunman on a college campus green, armed citizens could have put him down with handguns and prevented an atrocity; disarmed citizens would have been shot and killed. In this instance, an armed citizen, trained with a high power rifle could have acted to eliminate the threat once it was properly assessed. But, no, citizens armed with handguns should necessarily flee, take cover and assess their threat and then act appropriately when the threat is hidden and operating at an unknown distance.

          • Anecdotal perhaps, but reality sucks when it doesn’t mesh with your argument, doesn’t it? Funny how you twisted (well, tried) the reality (many long rifles were present at the march) into well, sidearms won’t do it. And then you suggest we are trying to trample on civil rights by a simple, but valid observation. But since you morphed the observation into a civil rights issue, let me say there is no place for open weapons in an urban environment. The shooter could have walked with his weapon and a pack full of ammo to his place of concealment, unchecked by anyone. This is a vital civil right? How? Some people believe free healthcare is a civil right, others believe walking around with sniper rifles is a civil right. I’m voting neither.

            The bishop’s point is valid.

            The rifle carrying, armed citizenry did squat against a military trained soldier.

            Rather than spit out. I suggest.


            The magic of the blog that you seem to forget in a Trump like fashion is you don’t need to respond to everything and sometimes when you do; all you get is to look foolish.

            • George Michalopulos says

              An armed citizenry “doing squat against a trained soldier”? Are you sure?

              While I do agree that the US military has cyber power that make putting down rebellion by armed confrontation increasingly unlikely, the fact remains that in all conquest scenarios, boots must always “be on the ground” for the conquest to take.

              At a very minimum, the American citizenry, being as heavily armed as they are, are a consideration that the Oligarchy must take into account. If they had their way they’d rather not have that consideration. They can work around it to an extent but I don’t see that they see themselves as comfortable in their positions as many of us think they are.

              Consider: the US Army has been feminized and homosexualized and hence, its fighting core of Christian traditionalists from the Midwest and South has been demoralized. The importation of illegal immigrants likewise will create a force that has no compunction upon firing upon American natives (black or white). The collective IQ and fighting ability of this newer, demoralized force can be used to our advantage. Think of the Roman Army in the West during the latter stages of the Empire, when they had to import Visigoths to fight the Huns. These were not the legions of Crassus, Scipio or Caesar, the finest war machine (rivalling Sparta) but just a cut above the rag-tag bands of Germanic tribes.

              In addition, there will remain a rump force of fighting men who will either (a) refuse to fire upon the rebels, (b) outright join them, or (c) give them valuable intel and/or materiel so that they can even the odds.

              In the end, when and if a collapse happens, those law-abiding people who are armed will form themselves into spontaneous militias to protect their kith and kin from roaming bands of marauders.

            • Michael Warren says

              It seems you are ignorant of the Founding Fathers and American history.

              1). The Second Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights, making the Right to Bear Arms a civil right. Now in liberal koolaid land you are never taught why it is a civil right and so you end up writing uninformed propaganda like this. So let’s go into why it is a civil right. American government is predicated on citizen sovereignty, meaning that the government operates by the will of the people as an executor of the peoples’ will, much like the British government and parliament was chartered to function at the behest of the British Crown. Now that means government acts at the behest of the citizenry and can be dismissed by the citizenry if it fails to respect citizen sovereignty and arrogates too much power to itself. Since states have a tendency to arrogate power and develop state architectures of coercion, ultimately the capacity of the citizenry to bear arms is what guarantees the sovereignty of the people, for ultimately, an armed citizenry can enforce its sovereignty and restore its liberty if a given government infringes it. Thus the right to bear arms is as fundamental a civil right as free speech and the right to vote and a guarantor of a free people to be the sovereigns of a free country. As a matter of fact, the right to bear arms insures citizen sovereignty, liberty and all other rights. So laws infringing the right to bear arms directly assault ALL civil rights. The right to bear arms is the most fundamental civil right and insurer of liberty against tyranny, subjugation, oppression. You can read Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams, The Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers if you doubt that bearing arms and citizen sovereignty are the foundations of American democracy. When you do, you will stop being so apt to agree with convalescent, liberal meta-Bishops mouthing the Daily Kos talking points of the day and doing it poorly.
              2). Who says carrying longarms has no place in the public sphere? Certainly not the framers of the Constitution. King George III said something like that. Look how that ended up. No matter what you liberals say and what laws you pass infringing American civil rights, criminals, terrorists, and crazy people don’t tend to listen and obey your statist repression, but, rather, use your assaults against the civil right of self defense to coordinate their crimes and designate their disarmed, subjugated targets of opportunity. You liberals empower crime, terror, mass shootings by disarming law abiding citizens and infringing their civil rights thereby removing the fundamental deterent to crime, terror, tyranny.
              3). I think the Viet Cong and the NVA proved that the determined resistance of a citizenry using small arms and small unit tactics could defeat a superpower. The American Revolution sure did.

              So I guess you cling to anonymity because you don’t want to be publicly embarrassed for advocating stomping on the civil rights of law abiding Americans to empower a coercive state architecture which erodes citizen sovereignty and ultimately displaces it while leaving it defenseless against crime and terror. Moreover, at the outset, your liberal, murderous, repressive policy position tends to advance its assault on liberty by advancing law predicated on holding the citizenry accountable for crimes and terror perpetrated against the citizenry. The innocent are guilty. The guilty are the mechanisms of the state’s encroachments upon liberty to consolidate power and overthrow citizen sovereignty. The liberal, gun control state acts as an accessory to crimes and terror to legitimize state coercion, oppressive powers to ultimately overthrow the social contract and become the arbiter of liberties it deems fit to grant to its subjects, formerly free, citizen sovereigns. The asinine, murderous bankruptcy of liberal statism couched in cynical obfuscations asserting nebulous appeals to “public good” ending up to repress the most fundamental public good, a free and sovereign citizenry.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Michael, your points regarding the fundamental right to bear arms is 100% correct. No argument at all from this quarter.

                The only issue I take with you is your assessment of the Viet Cong. Historically, the VC were completely defeated and it should be known that the United States military won every military engagement against the NVA as well as the VC. When we pulled out of South Vietnam, the war was essentially won in the South’s favor. We were looking at a stalemate along the lines of the Korean armistice, in which the sovereignty of South Korea was ensured for the foreseeable future.

                However in the aftermath of the purge of Nixon (and I have my issues with Nixon’s economic policies), Gerald Ford asked for additional aid for the South but he was rebuffed by the Congress. From that point, it was only a matter of time before the NVA (not the VC) was able to finally conquer the South in 1975. By not giving them the aid that they requested, we snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

                Ironically, a case could be made that since Vietnam has now participated in Naval war-games with the US, and since Vietnam is not now a communist state (in the economic sense), it is now a bulwark against Chinese hegemony.

                • Michael Warren says

                  After Tet, remnants of what was left of the VC merged with the NVA. Thereafter, the war was lost to the Americans, because not only did the North invade, but it found it had support among a South Vietnamese peasantry which saw with Tet it could wound the Americans and overthrow the exploitative, colonial, South Vietnamese government. In other words, armed citizens employing small unit tactics were the vanguard of an army of liberation which threw out an occupying superpower. Citizens armed with small arms employing small unit tactics can be effective in resisting and ultimately defeating a superior, colonial superpower.

                  Consider Che Guevara and Castro versus Bautista if the Vietnamese context isn’t as clear cut for you.

                  So even though the VC lost battles, they ultimately won the war and were vindicated. In doing so, they proved that armed citizen, guerilla resistance could be victorious over an advanced superpower. Much like the partisans on the Russian Front who defeated the NAZIs or the Maoists in China who defeated the Japanese, the Quomintang, and chased the Americans out of China.

                  • Tet was a failure. George is closer to the truth on this point although you both have cases to be made.

                    Tet was the best the North could do. It didn’t work militarily. However, it broke the spirit of some of the more sensitive folks in the West – both in the Administration and the press.

                    Essentially, it was a battle of wills between the Soviets and the Americans and the Soviets won. Russians armed the North, America armed the South. What was obvious but not really stated in public was that either side was committed to the point that they would sacrifice all life in Vietnam. Everybody was a razor. It was one of the heights of the human experience of warfare, and depths.

                    Regardless of what else happened, the American press lost it, Johnson refused to pursue the presidency and Nixon won on a secret plan to end the war. It was not a military victory but a psychological victory. A critical mass in the West chose to see the glass as half empty rather than half full. And the rest is history. In a sense, for a time, the Soviets won the Cold War.

                    Then came Reagan.

                    Reagan was a force of nature, probably God sent, definitely a wild card. He will be controversial until at least the Second Coming. He exuded wisdom and genius as well as utter bafflement. It is unclear to what extent he suffered from Alzheimer’s during his presidency. It wasn’t Thatcher. It wasn’t “Pope John Paul, the Great”.

                    It was Reagan.

                    He recognized, as did Karl Marx, the strength of capitalism: It produces and distributes very, very efficiently.

                    So he turned Nikita Krushchev on his head. My dad (a true blue progressive if ever there were one) had told me this before and I more or less believed him but Reagan made it come true: We will simply outproduce them. Bankrupt them. It’s not any more simple or complicated than that. They can’t sustain the motivation and production (both civilian and military) under their ideology. We can under ours.

                    Now, that does not mean that Western ideology is perfect. Far from it. It does mean that mixed market capitalism was stronger than totalitarian socialism. Yet mixed market capitalism has its limitations too, as we are seeing unfold before our eyes. Pure capitalism disappeared much earlier – back during the Depression. It could not survive in the wild. Full storehouses and beggars. Marx was right about a certain aspect in a certain way. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

                    But none of it should be a mystery. Once there was a form of government which dispensed social welfare responsibly and maintained a vibrant business sector and guarded the public morality.

                    It is called “monarchy”.

                    • Michael Warren says

                      I guess history stopped and all thought ended in 1987 and Adam Smith was crowned god emperor for a thousand years. Fact is, the standard of living of the middle class has become stagnant, regressively declining due to currency debasement: wages in successive decades falling in real terms
                      While Western economies are tottering on the brink, sinking in insurmountable debt and moribund growth. Globalization has led to factor price equalization with emiserating growth in developed nations. The US economy is doomed to lower wages, perennial trade deficits and a service economy. The middle class is shrinking. The underclass is the reality for increasingly larger segments of the country. And every year brings a lower standard of living.

                      No, putting a crown on some fool’s head isn’t going to fix these problems.

                      While the Chinese Dragon has emerged to be the most vibrant and largest economy in the world, shouting very loudly that social democracy is the economic future of this planet. The standard of living of social democratic, Scandinavian countries puts the icing on the cake. The American economy is increasingly a second rate has been.

                      Western capitalism is on life support floated by Chinese Communist wealth.

                      As far as Tet is concerned, it galvanised the Vietnamese people in tenacious resistance against Western colonialism and showed that motivated, partisan armies using small arms and engaging in small unit tactics could defeat a superpower and enforce their right to self determination. Guerilla warfare does not intend to win large scale battles in the conventional sense. It aims at undermining the enemy’s resolve, disrupting his infrastructure and making it too costly for him to maintain his occupation and enforce his political will.

                      McNamara and Westmoreland came to the conclusion that they would need 400,000 troops to enforce martial law and end the VC insurrection in South Vietnam. It was held that it would take 1000000 troops to defeat the North. That would have been roughly 1/2 to 1/3 the size of the entire American forces. Why Cronkite went on TV to say that the war was lost during Tet is precisely because the US could not pay the price to win the war in human terms: such a victory would have been pyrrhic at best and could have only been maintained by a totalitarian police state. It would have entailed escalating the war not only into the North but into Laos and Cambodia and conquering these nations. At a cost which would have increasingly drained the American economy and resulted in MIC destroying GDP in the West much like it did in the Warsaw Pact.

                      Thus, determined, armed citizen resistance, employing small arms and using small unit tactics can overcome a modern military engaged in a police action. Tet succeeded in breaking the will of the American war effort. As an NVA general said, “We will defeat you. We will win, because we are willing to fail and keep fighting more than you are prepared to sacrifice for your victory.” The Vietnamese people had nothing to lose in fighting American colonialism while the Americans had nothing to gain in sacrificing their young generation to impose an authoritarian, colonial regime on the Vietnamese people.

                    • MW,

                      Not exactly. Vietnam was lost for exactly the reason I said and Reagan won the Cold War in just the way I said. However, you are right in that the story is not over . . .

                      The problems we face now are just as I have outlined them. America/the West and Sunni Islam are each dualistic cultures, as are socialistic haves vs. have-not ideological cultures. Dualism is self destructive and externally destructive at the same time.

                      Both the West and Sunni Islam are engaged in a Manichean struggle. Totalitarian socialism already lost its seat at the table. It is now a shooting contest between totalitarian mixed market capitalism and totalitarian Islamism.

                      The Russians and the Chinese, if they are smart, are going to sit this one out and watch the fireworks. They are both essentially monarchial societies. The Russian sovereign democratic mixed market system and the “Chinese communism” system of state directed capitalism are not that far apart. China is, to some extent, still totalitarian. However, they can grow out of that. Totalitarianism is the notion that the state is god. Russia today is not totalitarian but a monarchial symphonia. China is more an ethnic monarchial state. It is an open question whether the dominant principle is the state itself or “Chinese-ness”; i.e., ethnic and cultural Chinese unity.

                      It would be better for China and the world if China could be brought into the Orthodox narrative. Embracing their Taoist/Cha’an religious/ideological culture could do just that. Guided by that Higher Power, they could transcend materialism and escape any dualistic tragedies. I strongly encourage them to do so.

                      As for the West and Sunni Islam, I’m afraid the die is cast. We could talk on but I doubt they will listen. As it is written in St. John’s Apocalypse, two great forces – Gog and Magog – are destined to battle it out. I suppose God could prevent or alleviate it, but He allows us free will and there are strong willed people at the helms of each of these ideologies.

                      My dad told me a joke once about “Herschel and Leroy”. This was a favorite archetype of jokes for him, the adventures of those two. Anyway, Herschel decided to get a job at the railroad. So the head of the railroad took him up on a hill where there was a train track running around at the bottom and told him to look down.

                      The owner said, “Now, Herschel, what would you do if you saw a train coming from the West and one from the East and they were on the same tracks rushing toward each other. You have no flares and you don’t have time to run down to stop the collision. What would you do?”

                      And Herschel replied, “Well, . . .

                      . . . I’d go get my brother Leroy since he ain’t never seen no train wreck before . . . “

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      I see the geostrategic reality in the broad outlines that you have described vis-a-vis Sunni vs Shiite Islam and the West’s confluence with Sunniism. A minor wrinkle though: why is Obama bending over for Iran and taking it up the old derriere? I can’t figure that one out.

                      Re Herschel and Leroy, are they related to ‘Rastus and Liza by any chance?

                    • Michael Warren says

                      Well, I am glad you are confident in your convictions but they are exactly your own.

                    • “A minor wrinkle though: why is Obama bending over for Iran and taking it up the old derriere? I can’t figure that one out.”

                      I suspect that Obama would like to “move on up” and become Secretary General of a world sovereign United Nations. Being a die hard diplomat might be his way of demonstrating his qualifications. I know the Davos crown is pursuing the goal of World Government through the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 effort.

                      I suppose he could show his “toughness” vis a vis Iran, but that would be very un-European and un-Davos of him. He does not see the map the same way I do. He too, and the Davosians, are dualists. They have a variant sectarian form of Roman Catholicism other than Protestantism. It is called Secular Humanism. It is a natural outgrowth, as was Marxism. They have crowned their own sacred cows through the “critical studies” priorities, but they are liars. Really the West is quasi-Fascist. What they say is that they are for the poor, for the racial “minorities”, for women, for sexual “minorities”, etc. But they are not being entirely forthcoming in that regard. The “Third World” and increasingly the “Second World” (Russia and China) see this, but it is harder to see in the United States.

                      Despite the Obama presidency, basically, the West is run by European racial imperialists. That has always been the European focus: hegemony based on blood. It transcends all other categories including gender and sexuality.

                      They associate blood with natural affluence. Much like the Nazis did. Hitler was just too efficient for them. They would prefer that the “mongrel races” work on the plantation, not be exterminated – at least not totally. Abortion is part of the puzzle too. As many have pointed out, it has taken the highest toll among blacks. They were really the main target of its promulgation. Western whites did not want to be overrun.

                      Some more idealistic Western whites experimented with the multi-kulti idea. “We can get along with Them if we assimilate Them to our superior culture.” Hasn’t worked. Didn’t work for blacks in the US. Didn’t work for Hispanics here, the new major minority, for the most part. Didn’t work for Muslim immigrants/gastarbeiter in Western Europe.

                      The Islamic world saw weakness and exploited it and the “barbarians” are now at the gates. In America, blacks never learned to love their white masters as employers, nor have Hispanics been happy just cleaning the toilets. You have to look at the broad picture.

                      Whites lower on the food chain can’t see it as clearly as whites and token minority “Uncle Toms” who are higher up, but that is essentially the gist of it. Hell, Obama may think they really love him.

                      Anyway, you can see the tensions if you have eyes to see. I see it on a daily basis. There are whole classes of people just waiting on a race war, civil and/or international – “Haves vs. Havenots”, Colonialists vs. Colonialized.

                      Muslims and Hispanics are conducting their own colonial projects as we speak. That is the main front of WWIII at this point. I’m not sure whether the powder keg in America will burst first internally or whether the Sunni Islamic world will acquire the means to decisively bring the fight to the West first.

                      But the race is on.

                      Specifically, as to Iran, I don’t think the Shiites are interested in sharing any nuclear technology they have or might acquire with their Sunni brethren. That rivalry is quite real and violent enough. Russia is comfortable enough with the Shiites to help them in their civilian nuclear endeavors, for instance. The Russians don’t like Sunni terrorists any more than we do.

                      Now, so as to attempt to be constructive, I will say that it would be wise for the Sunni world to embrace Shiism. And it would be wise for the Western world to retreat and embrace a kind of paleo-conservatism or national unity movement. Trump/Sanders would have been perfect, won in a landslide, etc.

                      But really, the best thing for the rest of us at this point is just to stay out of the way of the flying ordinance and live in the Holy Spirit.

                      PS: Think of Byzantine – Eastern Roman Imperial history. The Christian Eastern Roman Empire succeeded to some extent in being multiethnic because it had one overarching religious culture and did not put race/blood first. With the rise of Charlemagne and the West and the subsequent fall of Constantinople to the Muslims, the Greeks in Constantinople became more dualistic and Westernized in their outlook and began seeing omogenia as the criteria rather than religious truth. Thus the long, sordid history of the Phanar in dhimmitude to Islam and, more recently, to the West.

    • I’m in northern California (not Riverside), and open carry is a sensitive subject in Sacramento (state capitol, not where I live). Is open carry legal in Riverside County?
      There were some “actions” in Santa Clara County (San Jose, Palo Alto) where open-carry enthusiasts had meet-ups at a Starbucks and other commercial locations: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-helmke/guns-and-starbucks-espres_b_454312.html. The mgmt of the particular Starbucks I read about asked them to leave for the safety of other patrons. (Rationale: Management had no idea whether the open carriers were actually trained, skilled, and willing to practice good safety skills with their weapons.)
      How would that work, open-carrying IN church? Please clarify for me, if you would. Thank you!

  10. Doubting Thomas says

    This is worrisome if it happened, but Fr. Josiah is known to love the spotlight and there is no independent verification of this. I pray it isn’t true, and if it is, that God protect!

    • Michael Bauman says

      Really, DT. That is slander unless you know for sure.

      • Doubting Thomas says

        I think you need to brush up on what slander is. Personal opinion about Fr Josiah’s love of publicity is not slander. Have you seen any independent verification of this event? Video? A witness walking down the street? The linked article is even contradictory, claiming at one point it was a large crowd of Muslims disrupting services and in another place that it was three people driving by in a car who were heard only by women who stepped,out to calm a crying baby.

        • Rubidoux Summit says

          Yes, I personally know many (as in dozens) of the parishioners who witnessed it.

          And don’t talk crap about Fr. Josiah. You’re just doing the devil’s work for him.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Having an affinity for the public is not a bad thing. It is a big jump from that, even if true, to a priest falsifying an incident for publicity.

          Unless you have direct proof, calling anyone, especially a priest, a liar is slander.

          • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

            No one said or even INTIMATED that Fr Josiah lied about that guy on the blowhorn broadcasting “God is great!” in Arabic! Someone said he loves the spotlight, hence, might have exaggerated a little, e.g., in claiming Muslims (plural) were SCREAMING or that he was “terrorized.”

            • Michael Bauman says

              Your Grace, he clearly intimated that Fr. Josiah fabricated the whole thing to get personal publicity.

              • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                Michael B, if he “clearly intimated” I missed it. I think he clearly intimated that Fr Josiah MIGHT HAVE embellished the facts, not that he HAD falsified them.

          • Doubting Thomas says

            All I am saying is a large crowd of Muslims surrounding a church and chanting is different than three asshats in a car driving by. One gets a bunch of attention, and the other is chalked up to asshattery.

            Go from there.

            • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

              True that!

            • The story is so weak. First of all, the Muslims with a loudhorn is somewhat hilarious. Why would they? Kinda dumb – can you imagine the shakedown a cop would give them? Yeah, we terrorists, we bad!

              The more likely story is some rightwing asshat clowns thought the Orthodox Church was a bunch of Muslims. And I hate to say it, but that is a greater alarm than some Muslims (?on a loudspeaker?).

              • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                Good one!

              • Really? How is it more likely Rightwing extremists do such things? Are they the ones the USA has spent close to $4 T during two decades across the globe to fight its losing “war on terror”? No, that would be the Islamists of all sorts of stripes who use terror as a political tool for Islamist order everywhere around the globe.

                • Itemize the 4T please I think you got some Saddam bucks in there. He was about as Islamic as barbq ribs.

                  • The North Remembers says

                    I don’t think anyone has forgotten that the war in Iraq was considered part of the “War on Terror”.

                    • Oh, good grief.

                      There is more terrorism in Iraq now than there was when Saddam was in power. There was more terrorism the day Saddam went into hiding, so credit Obama all you want, still b.s.

                      And to be honest after watching Fr. Josiah’s eloquent speech on abortion and life, more likely a left wing asshat clown did the driveby. But we don’t need to worry about the left wing asshat pulling a gun.

                      Now, about that 3 post a day rule. Please be kind to George. He doesn’t care how many anonymous ip addresses you have or how many email accounts you have; he asked for 3 posts a day, so just sort of try and follow an Orthodox approach on the matter please.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      That’s three posts per blog entry per day.

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      “The North Remembers” omits mentioning that the war on Iraq was a way of distracting everyone from the real culprit: Saudi Arabia and its native-born distortion of Islam Bush even directed that the Saudi royals in New York be permitted to FLEE back home during the period when NO AMERICANS WERE ALLOWED TO FLY ANYWHERE! George W. knew on which side his bread was buttered!

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Father Josiah is a gifted priest. He is not ignorant (far from it). He is easy on the eyes, as is his wife and family. If he WANTED to be in the public eye, believe me, he would be a star. As far as I know, he is not on any reality show, although I’m sure it would be a hit if he were. – He has written some modest books (publications) about the subjects he cares about and understands. That’s it. He’s a teacher, not a publicity hound.

  11. Holy Myrrhbearers Orthodox Church in St. Cloud, Minnesota has been vandalized several times, and the city would desperately like to chalk it all up to “random vandalism”. I’m sure some of it is, but it definitely says something when this is the regard the “normal” person in the area has for a church.


    • Michael Bauman says

      When I visited there eight years ago they were having trouble then. It is an easy target due to its location away from main streets. I pray for them.

  12. Michael Kinsey says

    .I have not received a call to arms from the Holy Spirit. He who lives by the sword dies by the sword. How is this Truth written in the Holy Scripture reconciled with killing in a genuinely just war, done in pure self defense? I would kill someone, if absolutely necessary to stop someone from murdering an innocent child, unborn or otherwise..But, it is impossible that killing the murderer, the mother, would save the child. The child unborn child would die with her. It is her consent, only hers, that allows the murder. She is the guilty one. There is no way to justly stop the murder using force. A change of her heart is the only way the child’s life can be saved. Caesar is on the pro-abortion side legally. Superb Christian women I know, Joan Andrews Bell and Shelly Shannon would never kill even a doctor. These 2 matchlessly courageous women sacrificed themselves to try to persuade abortion moms to repent. Shelly shot Dr, Tiller in the hand , not trying to kill him , but incapacitate his surgery ability. She is my friend, whose failing was being too BRAVE.

    • Killing abortionists would be going to far, but I would fully offer my prayers for the divine assistance of those who would burn down abortuaries, so long as no occupants were in danger. We have hundreds of saints who were this bold. (And many suffered the temporal consequences, to be sure.)

    • I wouldn’t go so far as to condone use of a gun, but it’s very plausible that God would raise up someone to burn down an abortuary. It wouldn’t be the first time. While it would be rebuilt, certainly the lives of a few would be saved. (Though most abortuaries operate on the slimmest of margins; even a drop in demand of 10-20% would shutter many.)

      Most of the saints who did likewise came to a bad end, but what glories came afterwards. Perhaps He will raise up new Theodores and Bonifaces in our own time.

      • Quite a chilling promotion of violence there Ages.

        Is this what you would teach your children, or just weak minded men who believe they are following a just cause?

        It is unlikely Christ would promote such things. So what God do you follow?

        • Oh please. Destroying an inanimate object is not “violent.” Nor does Christ speak in defense of the property rights of murderers.

          The evangelists of the Germanic tribes, chief among them St. Boniface, routinely destroyed pagan holy sites and it was accredited to them as righteousness. As abortion is the “eucharist” of the modern age, there is exactly zero difference.

          I’m sorry for offending your pluralistic, multiculti sensibilities, though.

          • Hey man, no need to apologize to me. I just have a hard time hearing Christ tell us to burn down abortion clinics. You raised Christ up as straw man that would not defend abortion clinics; not me. As for what you consider violent, I’ll stick with the fbi’s definition over yours.

            • Michael Warren says

              CHRIST chased the money changers out of the Temple with a ship and overturned the tables at which they made commerce of religion. …

              But you believe the FBI is right in protecting places where they trade in infanticide? Seems to me the Prophets of Israel railed against the religion of Baal and its practice of Child Sacrifice. They were called by GOD to prophesy and testify: Orthodox theology teaches us that GOD communicated with them by HIS SON in the HOLY SPIRIT.

              While the NAZIs executed those who destroyed their mobile gas chambers…

              • Going to the Nazis again when the argument is lost.

                Tipping a table over is not burning down a medical facility. And like it or not, the fbi has a duty to protect lawful businesses. But that was your point, mine was simply about how violence is defined.

                Abortion rates in countries where it is unlawful are generally almost as high in countries where it is lawful; save a few nations where the culture has rejected the practice as well as supported women with affordable birth control. And, of course, the lawful practice is much safer. Now, simply because I said that, the “pro-lifer” would say I’m pro-abortion. But, alas, this is not the case.

                My point is that promoting violence in the abortion discussion is fairly perverse. And I’m sticking with it.

                The pro-life movement is actually a business. Their advertisements are geared as much (or more) toward their fundraising arms as they are towards reducing the practice. No different tooting a horn promoting violence against abortion clinics – friend love you for it!

                If the genuine goal is to reduce abortion; the tack would be much different. And you sure as hell wouldn’t burn down an abortion clinic, or change the name to abortuary. Those things are done by the self righteous for their own applause.

                • Michael Warren says

                  Actually, the argument isn’t lost just because you don’t like it. So let’s educate you as to why the comparison to the NAZIs is apt.

                  Fundamentally, a free state protects the liberty and personhood of all non-criminal elements who reside in it, where the state has no right to take the life of innocent human beings. In states where abortion is the law of the land, personhood becomes politicized and arbitrarily denied to human beings. Where a human being is either legally treated as an unborn child if the mother agrees to arbitrarily accord the child that fundamental right. If not, the child is termed a fetus, biomass of human cells and not a human being, not a person, not a human life. 3/5 person before the law dependent upon whether or not a master wishes to affirm a child’s humanity, where the state can legally consider a child “life unworthy of life” and a child can be murdered, have its remains vivisected and end up a victim in a “crisis pregnancy.” The apt comparison between the NAZI “Jewish Problem” and the liberal “crisis pregnancy,” propagandized as “the religious right’s war on women” are thus accurately correlated and the state policies condemned.

                  No, countries which restrict or outlaw abortions don’t have as many abortions: that is an outright lie! The Third World with its traditional cultures did not know abortion until America and its Western McSatellites/McColonies forced it upon developing nations as part of the coercive, family planning conditions of foreign aid: that is why there are such burgeoning populations in the Third World. As a matter of fact, prior to the Post Christian transformation of the West, abortion with its cut wives, was a rare and stigmatized crime and not at all even remotely practiced as it is in our modern world. One need only look at historical trends in population growth during that era to appreciate the falsehood of your abortionist propaganda.

                  I find it obscene that someone who has no problem with the commerce in the vivisected remains of human children either taking offense at comparisons to the NAZIs or slandering the Pro Life movement as some sort of political racket. The cynical hypocrisy is worthy of Dr. Mengele.

                  Now, when crimes against humanity occur, a civil society is compelled to act against the architecture of atrocity with all means of protest and political action, even militancy, at its disposal, reserving violence only to instances where peaceful protest becomes impossible, acting to prevent the slaughter of the innocent.

                  No, embracing your San Francisco values and turning the world upside down into some vision of a liberal, degenerate hell on earth at free loving, groovy Woodstock is not a moral decision Christians can countenance.

                  • Well Mike, you wrongly assume I find the trading in human remains acceptable. I don’t. Stop making leaps man. Selling human parts from abortion is wrong ethically, morally, and religiously. Try not to be a poseur when you engage me. I don’t care how many fellows here are on your side, I’ll still call you on a lie.

                    Abortion happened long before the US was ever settled by Europeans, so you calling it a Western Mcanything is Mcfunny and it doesn’t hold any Mcwater with me. That is sort of fun, so I get why you Mcdo it. Crediting the west for abortion is sort of like crediting the west for the pyramids. Abortion has never been trendy, overpracticed hell yes, but don’t try to say it is a culture we promoted and others followed; it simply isn’t true. I think you know it, but don’t want to face the music cuz of your uber love of foreign nations.

                    If I give you the left’s demotion of the ‘religious rights war on women’ as political mumbo jumbo can you explain to me why the prolife movement doesn’t deal with root cause in its advertising and signs all over the freeways? I can tell you why. The root cause of abortion is what? Failure to use birth control. Skip the people don’t value life crap. It is birth control. Instead of making this the pro-life drumbeat; they rather point to the fetus and attempt to guilt women into not getting abortions because of the undeniable fact that an eventual baby is horrifically destroyed. But women getting abortions don’t give a damn about that fact. If they consider an abortion, they don’t care what you or anyone else says. So, why the big advertising campaign landing on deaf ears-a campaign that doesn’t address root cause? I’ll tell you why. The “pro-life” movement fails to address root cause to keep its coffers funded. People enjoy the self righteousness knowing the other side destroys babies. It makes them feel holier than the rest. And you want to accuse me of being like Mengele – funny stuff. The ‘pro-life’ movement is not effective. If they spent half or all their money doling out birth control; they would be very effective.

                    Let’s look a bit further at Ages ridiculousness. Take Eric Rudolph, for example. He was so self righteous, he took it upon himself to stop abortion through violence. His violent acts killed innocent people. And yet, people will try to say that it is okay because perhaps he saved two babies from being aborted on a given day, but the women just found a different clinic. Burning down a medical clinic is senseless. The idea it will prevent an abortion is almost laughable.

                    You want to stop abortion?

                    Tell people to use birth control.

                    Not one sign on the highway from the ‘pro-life’ movement tells people to use birth control. Not one. Ask yourself why Mike.

                    Or go back to your ways of comparing me to Mengele and some made up garbage about free love from 55 years ago or homosexuality in San Francisco? in order to make a couple of friends on the blogosphere.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Anon, you’re showing your credulity here. While I agree with you that abortion (and murder and thievery and buggery, etc) have always and everywhere been practiced that doesn’t mean that they should be sanctioned by the culture (or the State).

                      Second, your assessment of what causes abortion –lack of birth control–is laughable. I don’t know what planet you’re writing from but it’s not the one I live on. Birth control has never been cheaper or more widely accessible than it has been for the last generation. Birth control however is not 100%. What we have is more promiscuity which even with ubiquitous birth control, leads to more contraceptive failure.

                      You are being too glib by half when you exonerate McCivilization for promoting abortion. The US promotes feminism, contraception, abortion and now homosexuality wherever we send our legions to or whoever gets our money.

                    • Michael Warren says

                      Just sounds to me like you have a problem adequately responding and you desire to restate your San Francisco, alley cat values.

                      If you had a problem with the sale of the vivisected remains of unborn children, you wouldn’t equate a moral equivalence between the abortionist groups which do it and the Pro Life action acting to stop it.

                      Egypt is considered a cradle of Western civilization, and although there were probably cut wives in biblical times (there sure were instances of infanticide), even in antiquity, it was viewed as a black, reprobate evil. Abortion and the murder of infants was viewed as one of the greatest expressions of evil. That moral outrage to abortion was seen in the Third World and evidenced in the Christian West until the Post Christian era and the time of your liberal, free love, secular, Woodstock new morality, your McCulture. (Your American, celluloid McEmpire is what I denounce and rightly DEFINES YOU, not me).

                      In NYC, 70% of all African American women who become pregnant abort their children. That astounding statistic WAS NEVER WITNESSED IN PRE LEGALIZED ABORTION SOCIETIES. Perhaps, 1% aborted their children when it was illegal due to “crisis pregnancies,” and that is a stretch to state. Your abortionist propaganda does not hold water.

                      The most effective deterent to abortion has historically been capital punishment for abortionists and ethics based societies, not birth control. Birth control is readily available to, even free for, African American women in NYC, yet 70% of them still end up aborting their babies. Why? Because they have been socialized by your vile, liberal McCulture which teaches them that murdering unborn babies is a right and morally acceptable. Here you are arguing that the millenia effective model of Christian morality (the emphasis of the Pro Life Movement) must embrace your liberal, McCulture of death and get on board with your hippie free love immorality and pass out condoms. Do what thou wilt is the whole of your liberal McLaw-just wear a condom. Well since the 1980s people have been wearing condoms to partake in your liberal sex revolution, but rates of abortion, STDs haven’t appreciably gone down and even in some instances like the NY-NJ area have precipitously gone up. Why? Because your liberal, alley cat immorality promotes promiscuity. That only leads to greater instances of pregnancy, because promiscuous people don’t always wear a free condom. NYC abortion statistics shout that back at your feeble, liberal rejoinders.

                      Would Eric Rudolph have been wrong if he bombed a clinic in the South intentionally infecting African American men with syphillis? Would a human rights activist have been wrong if he bombed an NYC lab exposing prison inmates to lethal doses of radiation “just to see what it will do”? Would an outraged parent have been justified in destroying the facilities which used children afflicted with polio for human experimentation where the doctors knew from animal trials the vaccines they were developing had slim chances of being effective from the outset? Preservation of innocent life is a moral imperative! When the peaceful means of doing so are exhsusted, militancy is justified. Only a person with the amoral views you hold could not appreciate how your liberal, wear a condom immorality empowers and enriches the Dr. Mengele abortionists among us.

                    • George, it is simply not true. The greatest reason for the high abortion rates in Russia is the low use of contraception. But if you want to suggest promotion of contraception is a negative US concept, then you can have the Russian method.

                    • Michael Warren says

                      Birth control isn’t used in Russia not because it isn’t available, not because it isn’t affordable and not because people don’t know how to use it, but because the Western culture of promiscuity imported with Khruschev imported abortion as progress and a human right, a “modern convenience,” a “reproductive right.” So emphasizing “use a condom” with your San Francisco values only encourages more promiscuity, BECAUSE THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM IS SEXUAL IMMORALITY. Your San Francisco values normalize sexual immorality. How can you not get it?!

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      An excellent study of contraception in Russia: Krassovics, M, and Viragh, G. “Usage patterns and attitudes towards emergency contraception: the Emergency Contraception Research Research Initiative.” Eur J Contraception Health Care.. 2016 Aug; 21(4):310-7. In Bulgaria, Lithuania, Romania, , and Russia, greater dependence on less reliable contraceptive methods such as calendar + withdrawal was associated with higher abortion rates & was associated with emergency contraceptive pills (“morning after” – 11-18%) and higher abortion rates (19-21%)… Because of cost and lack of insurance coverage, oral contraceptive access rates were measured at less than 26% in women of childbearing age.”

                      Next, in Lowin, J, Jarret, J, Dimnova, M, et al. “Direct costs of unintended pregnancy in the Russian federation.” Appl Health Econ Health Policy. 2015 Feb;13(1):61-8. The aim of this study was to estimate the direct cost of unwanted pregnancy (UP) to the healthcare system in Russia and the proportion attributable to using unreliable contraception. RESULTS: The model estimated 1,646,799 UPs in the analysis cohort (women aged 18-44 years) with an associated annual cost of US$783 million. The model estimated 1,019,371 UPs in the target group of 18-29 years, of which 88% were attributable to unreliable contraception. The total cost of UPs in the target group was approximately US$498 million, of which US$441 million could be considered attributable to the use of unreliable methods.

                      CONCLUSION: The cost of UP attributable to unreliable contraception in Russia is substantial. Policies encouraging use of reliable contraceptive methods could reduce the burden of UP.

                      Further, since 2003, some of the most informative data regarding contraceptive and “safe-sex” practices have come from two disparate sources, both relaying an equally sad and discouraging stories of the lack of direct and specific information being conveyed to the most vulnerable, those being diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, and those who are being treated for alcoholism/chemical dependencies, or who engaged in unprotected sex while intoxicated. In the first case, those entering the Russian military who were tested as to their knowledge of how HIV is contracted; how they themselves might have contracted HIV; or if they were a healthcare provider, how their patient might have contracted HIV. 66% of enlistees and 18% of the healthcare providers believed you could contract HIV from a mosquito bite, and a little over half of both enlistees & healthcare providers believed a condom effectively prevents the transmission of HIV, let alone prevents pregnancy.

                      And finally, ELEVEN separate studies dedicated to the single greatest factor resulting in unprotected sex leading to unwanted pregnancy and subsequent abortion? ALCOHOL. Who knew? And I’m not typing out the obvious…

                      So, Mr. Warren, pursuant to the National Library of Medicine, the answer is a not-so-complex convergence of the lack of access to contraceptives to all but a quarter of Russian women of childbearing age; ineffective & unreliable contraceptives when they do have access; and a fundamental lack of basic information as to the use of contraceptives to prevent pregnancy in the first place. What don’t you get about that?

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Dr S, I don’t dispute your analysis but have you thought about why many people in the former Soviet bloc are averse to using oral contraceptives? Especially when they are available?

                      My own experience as a pharmacist leads me to believe that the side effects associated with BCPs (birth control pills) are not insignificant –very much so in the long term. The withdrawal method (i.e. “Vatican roulette”) has a higher failure rate to be sure but it has no physiological or psychological sequelae.

                      At the risk of upsetting my readers’ breakfasts (warning: leave now), I work with many younger people. Leaving out those who have dropped out of the mating game (because of a crappy economy) many of those that are active are engaging in non-vaginal intercourse on a regular basis. It never ceases to amaze me how brutally frank and open people –and we’re talking mostly young women here–are in discussing their amours within earshot of people who don’t want to hear. Every now and then I’ll blurt out “TMI!” and sometimes they’ll get the hint.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Mr. Michalopulos,

                      Obviously, it was redundant and subject to foolish “challenge” and denial – to which you refuse to moderate – to make more than a cursory statement of fact. Nevertheless, fact it remains. IUD’s must serve as the mainstay of any realistic approach to changing a long term pattern of abortion as the primary means of contraception; this was again validated as safe for both short & longterm use, effective, and cost-effective for most women by the FDA & published in the CDC’s MMWR as recently as two weeks ago. Certainly there are side-effects & serious complications associated with the use of oral contraceptives. Nevertheless, as you well know, newer formulations have lessened a woman’s exposure to the hormones necessary to prevent pregnancy, as well as produce the most common side-effects that result in cessation. There is simply no medical justification for abortion in numbers that lead Europe and are occurring at a rate 85% greater than in North America. If the ROC is influential in educating and directing the faithful “on the ground,” as has been so adamantly purported here, demand that the government make effective contraceptive parity: available and paid for just as a medical abortion is unconditionally available and paid for any female, 16-44 years of age. Likewise, Mr. Michalopulos, studies indicated that there is a general availability of levonorgestrel in Russia, “Plan B” or the “morning after pill” abortifacients without a prescription, equal to North America, and perhaps you could focus your attention or mission in this area.

                      I want to emphasize again that for as much as some would put all of this in the context of some “Russophobia” mission, nothing I have presented is any different in North America. However, in North America, it seems to me no one is attempting to deny the facts such as they are “on the ground.” A nation with more than one million medical abortions per year cannot be in a position of “moral leadership”; cannot be “on the rise”; and cannot be “a holy nation” when it condones such darkness. Period.

                    • Michael Warren says

                      This is the beginning of the end of Stinkovitch’s russophobic propaganda. In Russia, as contraceptive use has increased, abortion has also increased, BECAUSE THE SAN FRANCISCO VALUES CULTUTRE OF SEXUAL IMMORALITY PROMOTES PROMISCUITY WHICH LEADS TO MORE INSTANCES OF PREGNANCY, EVEN WHEN CONTRACEPTIVES ARE MORE AVAILABLE AND USED!!! (There will be more sourced information to follow on this point to show yet again Stinkovitch is engaging in russophobic propaganda.):

                      Study: Higher contraception rates associated with higher abortion rates in Russia

                      Thaddeus Baklinski

                      Abortion , Contraception , Russia

                      MOSCOW, December 6, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – A new study from Russia has revealed that, contrary to the claims of abortion advocates, Russia continues to have one of the world’s highest abortion rates despite higher contraception rates.

                      Researchers at Moscow State University studied changes in birth control practices in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine, and correlated the prevalence of “modern methods” of contraceptive use to trends in abortion.

                      They found that while Russian women have the highest rate of contraceptive use compared to those in Belarus and Ukraine, they also have the highest abortion rate.

                      Researchers were perplexed by this, calling the findings “contradictory,” “unexpected,” and “paradoxical.”

                      “This result contradicts to our findings based on the sample surveys,” lead author Boris P. Denisov wrote.

                      “After adjustment for covariates, the Russian sample experiences higher odds of modern contraception,” he wrote. “This finding is unexpected given the higher level of abortion in Russia. It is also surprising that low fertility and rapidly declining abortion rates in Belarus and Ukraine go together with the inefficient structure of contraceptive methods.”

                      The research team also looked at data related to what they termed “unmet need” for contraception in the three countries.

                      “Although the wording of the questions and therefore the way of how the index of unmet need is estimated vary between the three countries, the unmet need in Russia is not likely to be higher than in Belarus and Ukraine,” they wrote. “This brings us to a paradox – along with the highest level of abortions, Russia does not exhibit the highest unmet need for family planning.”

                      “As a result,” the authors conclude, “today Russia continues to maintain one of the highest abortion rates among all countries of the world reporting this kind of statistics,” but note that “the survey data did not give an explanation of why Belarus and Ukraine experience greater progress in reducing abortion than Russia.” …

                      …Dr. Brian Clowes, the director of research and training for Human Life International, has suggested that the researchers who perform such studies are failing to report the logical conclusions that can be drawn.

                      “It’s the same thing old thing,” Dr. Clowes said. “These guys pretend not to know what’s going on, but they know full well.”

                      Scores of studies have shown that increased use of contraception results in greater sexual activity and, because contraception fails so consistently, in more “unwanted” pregnancies. This in turn leads to more abortions.

                      A ten-year study in Spain, published in the January 2011 issue of the journal Contraception, showed that the abortion rate in the country doubled between 1997 and 2007, even as 60 percent more women used contraceptive methods. The researchers concluded, “The factors responsible for the increased rate of elective abortion need further investigation.”

                      “Since it is … a long-recognized and documented scientific fact that almost all so-called ‘contraceptives’ routinely fail at statistically significant rates resulting in ‘unplanned pregnancies’, is there any wonder that elective abortions are socially required in order to take care of such ‘accidents’?” asked Dr. Dianne Irving, a bioethicist at Georgetown University and a former biochemist with the U.S. National Institutes of Health. “Thus abortion has become a ‘contraceptive’ in and of itself.”

                      “Those promoting abortion have long touted the link between contraception and a decrease in abortion, when in reality, the opposite is true,” said Bradley Mattes, president of the International Right to Life Federation. “It’s common sense that expanding the use of contraception increases sexual activity, which in turn increases pregnancies that follows with increased abortions.” …

                      …“The only way to decrease the number of abortions,” Mattes concluded, “is to encourage women to save sexual activity for marriage and to welcome the life that results from that marital union.”


                  • I’d like to add just one more thing MW as to why you are wrong with your comparison. The Nazi movement was a group. If a woman decides to have an abortion; her action is against the person developing inside her. There is no movement against all fetuses. That is fiction. The comparison between abortion and Nazism, just is not valid. A woman can terminate a pregnancy with her own actions – cutting, or starving herself. There is no requirement for the state to know.

                    • Michael Warren says

                      The NAZIs were a political party which came to power in Germany and rewrote the laws to reflect their Aryan race theories and new morality where “life unworthy of life” became a legally adjudicated means of exterminating human beings. The NAZI state legislated a judicial infrastructure in which human beings could legally be deprived all writ of habaeus corpus, forfeit personhood, and be exterminated.

                      The US Supreme Court ruling in Roe vs. Wade stated that the Fourth Amendment allowed a woman a right to privately deny life to her unborn child who would only be accorded personhood if she arbitrarily desired. Much like the Dred Scott decision where slaves were deemed 3/5 person and were denied legal personhood by the state and denied fundamental civil rights and legally subjected to their master’s whims of what right to life they may or may not have, unborn children in America have no Fourth Amendment rights to due process which would require the state or a pregnant woman to legally show cause why an unborn human being can be denied personhood and murdered. With Roe vs. Wade, human life can legally be regarded as subhumanity, forfeit legal protections, and be declared “life unworthy of life” and terminated. The legal correlation with NAZI Germany is direct and appropriately applied.

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      There is a movement against all unborn children and indeed all life. It is the core of all the …ism ideologies that dominant our political economy including conservatism and libertarianism. Each and everyone of them has roots in the foundational ism: Nihilism.

                      It is the faith of which Nietzsche was the prophet. All must suffer destruction so that the Ubermensch can be triumphant. All goodness is an impotent abstraction without vitality or purpose. Weakness.

                      The act of a mother killing her baby with or without assistance is not an autonomous act. It is the fruit of the gospel of destruction which has become the dominant political force in the world.

                    • Fine, you can apply the comparison to a single woman and a complete government if you wish, but the fact is, there is no government action against the unborn as there was against the Jews. The comparison is just not valid.

                      The angle for Nazism is always done by desperate men.

                      And Mr, Warren, the reason you are so infuriating to people is you label them and do so in an offensive, untruthful manner. The church to which you belong has failed you. And you deserve the in your face approach, sadly.

                      And the following excerpt is from the pro-life Wisconsin website. They actually believe that stopping pregnancy through contraception promotes (a liberal of course) view that an undesired pregnancy is a disease state. Bizarre, made up crap. And they falsely believe that men and women are going to space sexual behavior. This is the type of polarizing garbage that results in zero effort towards reducing abortion. And if followed, this promotes the type of behavior that would drive some people completely mad.

                      “Pro-Life Wisconsin is opposed to all forms of artificial contraception. We support only natural methods of spacing the births of children. The contraceptive mentality views pregnancy as a “disease” state against which women must be “protected” at all costs – even at the cost of their own health and the lives of their unborn babies. Abortion simply becomes backup contraception. The Unites States Supreme Court went so far as to enshrine the contraceptive mentality in law in its landmark Planned Parenthood vs. Casey decision in 1992.”

                      Like I said earlier, the pro-life movement is an abject failure in stopping or reducing abortion. Why? Because they go too far in their attitudes about sexuality. Promoting the rhythm method?…….good heavens. That is perverse and on their main page today.

                      And then you folks wonder why people decide abortion is okay.

                      Let me see….one side offers solutions to this real life issue
                      the other offers – the rhythm method (the failure rate is documented to be somewhere between 15 and 20%).

                      I almost forgot to mention the Casey decision cited by Pro-Life Wisconsin. 8 Republican justices essentially upheld Roe and went further. The amount of dissent was piecemal for the most part.

                      How about I stop trying to argue with people promoting the rhythm method. I give up.

            • Did St. Boniface act righteously when he chopped down the trees that the pagan Germans worshipped?

              What about King Josiah when he destroyed the shrines of Asherah?

          • Eric Rudolph (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Rudolph), who stated during his trial that he was indeed the bomber of the Olympic parade, the bomber of clinics and clubs in the South, and so forth, did NOT limit himself to destroying “inanimate objects.” He killed 4 people and maimed or injured >120 more during his violent campaign in the late ’90s. (The summary at the beginning of the Wiki says he killed 2 people, but there were 4, upon a closer reading.)
            If we want non-believers to believe in our sincerity, supporting the destruction of “inanimate objects” in this way doesn’t seem to be helpful.

            • Like I said above. Burning down an abortion clinic might stop an abortion on that given day, but it doesn’t necessarily stop any planned termination of a pregnancy. And murdering people to get your point across about saving lives is a rather ineffectual method of persuasion, not to mention socio or psychopathic.

              If you genuinely want to reduce abortion; you just need more women (and men, but doubtful) to use birth control.

              Everything else is an effort in futility. Even making abortion illegal is less effective than simply getting people to use birth control. Obamacare, that is, getting women access to affordable birth control is an effective means. But it just isn’t as polarizing and fun as arguing the Roe decision and putting labels on people.

              • Michael Warren says

                NYC has affordable, ready access to birth control and has had sex education mandated in its schools for decades yet 70% of African American women abort their children. Why? Because they have been taught your Woodstock, liberal anti-morality that sex and promiscuity should not be viewed as immoral and “reproductive freedom” is a human right. Your liberal anti-morality spawns the culture of abortion and subsidizes it. What you subsidize, you get more of even if you tell x, y, z to wear a condom with a wink and a knod.

                Let’s personalize this for a moment. If there were facillities, euthanasia centers, putting liberals like yourself to sleep because the state left your personhood up to the determination of a health department which could bureacratically file the paperwork, brand you a liberal, and, hence, a sociopath, where the paperwork would be passed on to your police precinct and the police then would arrive at your place of work to escort you to a liberal euthanasia center, would you want a Pro Life “sociopath” to act and bomb the bureaucratic office which had your liberal, euthanasia file, kill the bureacrat signing your liberal, euthanasia paperwork, interdict the policemen sent to coercively take you to a liberal, euthanasia center? Would you be abusively calling the Pro Life activist sacrificing his freedom, his life by destroying the liberal euthanasia center you were sentenced to a “fringe, rightwing, nutjob”?

                • M. Stankovich says

                  What is interesting about the statistics in regard to the rate of medical abortions among African Americans in NYC (which in 2015 were closer to 42%) are complex social and legal factors: fewer obstacles to abortion in state law; the absence of mandatory sex education in New York City public schools; the ignorance of people, especially young ones, about where to get affordable birth control; and the ambivalence of young women living in poverty and in unstable relationships about when and whether to have children. These are nearly exactly the same reasons cited as responsible for the abortion rates in Russia. Add to this children already in the home and the lack of prospects for suitable childcare for mothers seeking education and/or vocational training and you have the acceptable reasons in Russia to grant a second trimester abortion. Apparently, it is possible to be globally ignorant in regard to the interpretation of epidemiological data as to make an unintended case for your “opponent.” And an effective one at that.

                • And the award for obfuscating goes to….

                  Michael Warren.

                  Everyone please applaud his fantastic world of gas chambers for liberals. Oh wait, I was labeled Mengele. I’m just so confused with the expert obfuscation.

                  My point has been and continues to be about birth control and real solutions to reduce abortion. Unfortunately, the real story is the continued self righteousness of the ‘pro-life’ movement. The best opportunity for a good fight against reducing abortion is not going to come from NARAL.

                  To think the ROC just approved of the use of condoms(the worst possible contraceptive for compliance) just 6 years ago is almost humorous, but for anyone genuinely hopeful for a reduction in abortion; sad.

                  And then the citation from ‘pro-life’ Wisconsin sort of takes the proverbial cake. They are so ‘pro-life’ they have decided contraception is also unacceptable; essentially promoting, by taking themselves out of societal norms (smaller families) and the entire equation essentially, the very practice they purport to hate.

                  The baby killer is the mother.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Consider the murder of George Tiller. It happened right across the street from my home parish as he was handing out bulletins for his Lutheran Church.

                It was committed by a man who, apparently, is not in full possession of his faculties. Yet abortion in Wichita, especially late term abortion has been drastically cut. His killer will live the rest of his life in prison.

                Tiller charged $5000 a pop to terminate with extreme prejudice the life of any baby any time. No questions asked.

                It really surprised me at the time that the pro-death crowed especially our murderer-in-chief said little about it.

                Comments ?

                • Obama was trying to go soft for the pro-life crowd because he understands how horrid abortion is and how strongly folks feel about it. Tiller’s killer was a diagnosed schizophrenic, a divorced, incompetent loser who didn’t even pay child support for his own child. His original beef with government was he was paid too little to afford his bills and taxes per wikipedia. And Roeder, like many others, compared any person with even shared, but different views on abortion to Mengele, just like some here.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Most birth control is just an extension of the same attitude that fosters abortion. Technology is not the solution.

                • M. Stankovich says

                  Realistically, Michael Bauman, in a culture where the first response has been to routinely seek a government sanctioned and sponsored (i.e. paid as part of your medical insurance coverage) abortion, a “technological” intervention seems essential to interrupt a great pattern of evil. The church has been silent for generations in the public square, and generations have not experienced the church as a source of personal moral direction (though research indicates a return of Russians to desiring the church to be a societal influence and direction for moral behavior). I have noted previously – someone on Fr. Hans’ site recently reiterated – while this “resurgence” of faith in Russia is reflected in poles & surveys, 30% of Russians attend the services of the church, if that, notwithstanding Mr. Michalopulos ‘ anecdotal observations. – the commentator on Fr. Hans’ site suggested less.

                  No, we will not even begin to address any matters of faith and the church in this world with “technology,” but we must stop the atrocity of the murder of the unborn; a crime that cries out to heaven in numbers that Pat. Krill said to the Duma are astonishing to human understanding. Until then, our attempts to deny & ignore indict us.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Dr S, I’d like to address the point about “only 30%” of Russian attend liturgy regularly.

                    Two things: (1) so what? That’s 10 to 20 higher than Frenchmen who attend Mass regularly or Englishmen who go to parish. (In Greece the rate of attendance is 5% I believe.)

                    (2) On any given Sunday almost every church is full. Most of the newer churches have three altars so more than one liturgy can be celebrated throughout the course of a Sunday. When I was at Holy Trinity church in Diyeevo –at 5:30 in the morning no less–I looked around and saw at least two thousand people. In looking back I could ask myself, if only 30% of Russian Orthodox attend liturgy, where would they go if 50% attended or more?

                    Now compare this with the rate of Orthodox observance in America. Pathetic at best. The various jurisdictions would kill for a 30% attendance rate. Now let’s leave aside the Orthodox (paltry as we are). What about the Protestants? Atheism, materialism, apatheism, “NONism” is rising dramatically. The mega-churches are full, I’ll grant you that, but their level of commitment is inch deep. I’ve been to mega-churches and it’s basically calisthenics (I’m serious) or rock concerts or a nice looking, expensively dressed couple singing into microphones and giving a pep talk.

                    Don’t even get me started on Joel Osteen, who has the biggest mega-church of all.

                    • Reality Checker says

                      Pew Research Center’s Religion and Public Life project performed a complex demographic survey and sociological analysis of religious beliefs and practices in Russia. Poll results from previous surveys done in 1991 & 1998 were compared to results from 2008, analyzed and discussed in the linked report, which you can read for yourself. It’s very interesting.

                      In 2008, rates of attendance at religious services (of all the faiths surveyed, mainly Orthodox) looked like this:

                      once a week/2-3 times a month – 3%
                      once a month – 4%
                      several times a year – 14%
                      once a year/ less frequently – 35%
                      never – 39%
                      no answer – 5%

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      well, RC, I was there and I saw what I saw. Penultimately, I don’t care whether it’s 3%, 30% or 300%. There’s the issue of the beam in our (the West’s) eye vs the mote in Russia’s.

                      Ultimately, I’m more concerned that your liberalism + Russophobia + Western triumphalism = WWIII.

                    • If the Orthodox in Russia have 30% attendance at liturgy, they are doing much better than they were even a decade ago and remarkably so. Most Russian Orthodox clergy et al have realized that the way to revive church attendance is through involving the children, then you get the women, then, in the course of it all, you get more male participation since Russian Orthodoxy and all old fashioned Orthodoxy is geared first and foremost to male sensibilities, thereafter women and children. This has been frequently observed by Orthodox and non-Orthodox alike. Men just have to be reminded of what a spiritual treasure they have in the Church.

                    • Even 21% as attending seasonally is an improvement. With a mustard seed, all things are possible. But that is Pew. Who knows what the true numbers are? And how fast are they changing?

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Mr. Michalopulos,

                      With all due respect, I did not initiate this whole “3rd Rome, holy Russia, America circling the drain, etc.” rhetoric that has befallen several threads. I merely pointed out the hypocrisy of comparing one situation over another. As I recall – and have I noted that your site search function is basically worthless? – I merely pointed out that I was of the opinion that if one truly sought salvation, one vineyard planted at the right hand of the Lord was every bit as efficacious as another. So what, indeed.

                      Last night I was in a lovely little Greek cafe in the suburbs of Chicago, chatting with the very hospitable owners, when a customer opened the front door, also allowing a small mouse to run in ahead of them. The owners sadly excused themselves to muster the forces of their employees to catch this mouse because of what, if not attended to immediately, would result from from this “intrusion.” As I read the daily serving of vitriol last night, a considerable amount directed at me personally, I thought, you, Mr. Michalopulos invited the the mouse. Ha! Imagine.

                    • Reality Checker says

                      I’m not a liberal, and I doubt I’m a “Western triumphalist,” whatever that’s supposed to mean. I don’t pretend to know. One is a completely off-base and stupid label, not even in the ballpark. The other is probably just more vacuous static of the sort one is used to here.

                      As noted I don’t really care to discuss much my own politics, basic worldview, theological or moral/ethical principles. None of it matters wrt my duties here, but I’ll reveal that I’m a social democrat under current first world conditions. Have never had the least inclination for any genus of libertarian or laissez-faire ideology, whether social or economic. They only accelerate entropy. The one form of temporal government I could really believe in whole-heartedly would be a genuine aristocracy, flexibly structured and evolving, whose open (not exclusive, or purely hereditary) ruling class had been painstakingly bred, educated and disciplined over centuries. I’m ultra-old school.
                      Enough about me. I don’t matter.

                      “You saw what you saw” is yet another tiresome expression of the practically global confirmation bias that reigns in your head, filtering your perceptions and apperceptions. You seem impervious to sound methodologies for generating anything resembling a representative model for what is the case. Frankly, one is not hopeful about any venture to reason with someone capable of citing Alex Jones confidently. That signal came from a radically alien episteme.

                    • Michael Warren says

                      Wait, a liberal who is a statist not admitting being a liberal, who believes the Russian Church should be passing out condoms, citing an American poll paid for by the US Congress “to fight Putin” is somehow concerned with Church attendance in a Russia believed to have stolen everything from Galician Uniates?! A liberal who is unconcerned with non partisan studies which in reality show similar or worse trends in Europe and North America. Hmmm. Russophobic hypocrite with a push poll engaging in Obama the Messiah agitprop?! Never.

                      Here we have the real Reality, embarrassment and fraud Stinkovitch, denying symphonia in Russia because he had Greek food in Juice from Zeus Cafe and Car Wash while postulating how symphonia could only occur in Crestwood if Hillary opened an abortion clinic on its campus. He even read in his coffee cup the grounds, “dey say da gay in Syosset is OK if he speakit da Greek for Istanbul, Orthodox papouli.”

                      Typical day in Eastern Rite Protestant crazy reality.

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      In the darkest days of repression and persecution, the few “working” churches were always crowded to overflowing; however, they never had today’s tourists, foreign and also RUSSIAN! Polls in Russia show that many visit the churches today because it’s Russian to do so, even if, when asked they deny belief in God.

                    • A RUSSOPHOBIC meta-bishop continually at war with a reality where Russian church and state are acting to overcome the secularization his Western, liberal ideology brought to Russia to camouflage just how his America today traffics in that militant and murderous secularization and has declared an Obamunist, Soros dictated holy war against Orthodox Russia.

                      This is why unstable and dishonest people like this were fired from the episcopacy (and should have never been received into the Russian American Metropolia).

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    The atrocity of the murder of the unborn begins with a hardness of heart toward others in general and children specifically. Artificial technology based on the identical selfishness? It may stop the murder of babies but simply refusing them life in the first place is not much better.

                    It still helps maintain an attitude of disrespect for children, women and families that is reflected in the divorce, rape and abuse statistics.

                    • A sad post suggesting contraception is the cause of divorce and rape and abuse. No wonder NARAL gets accepted and Pro-Life rejected by so many. So sad that the one group that could put a dent in abortion is so hell bent on crazy they can’t or won’t for their idealogy. And the other group just says this should be a right and gets away with promoting murder.

                      There is a lesson here, but it isn’t that contraception causes rape.

                    • Michael Warren says

                      And now for a corrective to San Francisco values, wear a condom propaganda:


                    • M. Stankovich says

                      And now for a corrective to the Google scholarship that results in stupidity that suggests, “In other words, when couples use contraception, they agree to sex when pregnancy would be a problem. This leads to a desire for abortion,” and abortion rates are reflected in “contraception failure rates.” The research evidence world suggest that this is only true for countries such as Russia where access to effective, quality-assured contraceptives do not exist nor are available. As I have noted only two days ago, a levonorgestrel-releasing IUD is both safe and effective in both adolescent and female patients of all ages; immediately producing contraceptive effects for short-term or long-term use with few, if any side-effects warranting removal. The pregnancy rates for women who have a properly-inserted IUD by a trained healthcare professional is comparable to surgical sterility. So much for the “corrective.”:

                      From U.S. Selected Practice Recommendations for Contraceptive Use, 2016, Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, July 29, 2016

                      Intrauterine Contraception (IUD)

                      Four IUDs are available in the United States, the copper- containing IUD and three levonorgestrel-releasing IUDs (containing a total of either 13.5 mg or 52 mg levonorgestrel). Fewer than 1 woman out of 100 becomes pregnant in the first year of using IUDs (with typical use) IUDs are long-acting, are reversible, and can be used by women of all ages, including adolescents, and by parous and nulliparous women. IUDs do not protect against STDs; consistent and correct use of male latex condoms reduces the risk for STDs, including HIV.

                      Need for Back-Up Contraception
                      • No additional contraceptive protection is needed after Cu-IUD insertion.

                      Bimanual examination and cervical inspection:

                      Bimanual examination and cervical inspection are necessary before IUD insertion to assess uterine size and position and to detect any cervical or uterine abnormalities that might indicate infection or otherwise prevent IUD insertion.


                      Women with iron-deficiency anemia can use the LNG-IUD (U.S. MEC 1) (5); therefore, screening for anemia is not necessary for safe initiation of the LNG- IUD. Women with iron-deficiency anemia generally can use Cu-IUDs (U.S. MEC 2) (5). Measurement of hemoglobin before initiation of Cu-IUDs is not necessary because of the minimal change in hemoglobin among women with and without anemia using Cu-IUDs.


                      Screening for dyslipidemias is not necessary for the safe initiation of Cu-IUD or LNG-IUD because of the low prevalence of undiagnosed disease in women of reproductive age and the low likelihood of clinically significant changes with use of hormonal contraceptives. A systematic review did not identify any evidence regarding outcomes among women who were screened versus not screened with lipid measurement before initiation of hormonal contraceptives

                      Liver enzymes:

                      Women with liver disease can use the Cu-IUD (U.S. MEC 1) (5); therefore, screening for liver disease is not necessary for the safe initiation of the Cu-IUD. Although women with certain liver diseases generally should not use the LNG-IUD (U.S. MEC 3) (5), screening for liver disease before initiation of the LNG-IUD is not necessary because of the low prevalence of these conditions and the high likelihood that women with liver disease already would have had the condition diagnosed. A systematic review did not identify any evidence regarding outcomes among women who were screened versus not screened with liver enzyme tests before initiation of hormonal contraceptive use

                      Clinical breast examination:

                      Women with breast disease can use the Cu-IUD (U.S. MEC 1) (5); therefore, screening for breast disease is not necessary for the safe initiation of the Cu-IUD. Although women with current breast cancer should not use the LNG-IUD (U.S. MEC 4) (5), screening asymptomatic women with a clinical breast examination before inserting an IUD is not necessary because of the low prevalence of breast cancer among women of reproductive age. A systematic review did not identify any evidence regarding outcomes among women who were screened versus not screened with a breast examination before initiation of hormonal contraceptives

                      Cervical cytology:

                      Although women with cervical cancer should not undergo IUD insertion (U.S. MEC 4) (5), screening asymptomatic women with cervical cytology before IUD insertion is not necessary because of the high rates of cervical screening, low incidence of cervical cancer in the United States, and high likelihood that a woman with cervical cancer already would have had the condition diagnosed. A systematic review did not identify any evidence regarding outcomes among women who were screened versus not screened with cervical cytology before initiation of IUDs

                      Other screening:

                      Women with hypertension, diabetes, or thrombogenic mutations can use (U.S. MEC 1) or generally can use (U.S. MEC 2) IUDs (5). Therefore, screening for these conditions is not necessary for the safe initiation of IUDs.

                      Bleeding Irregularities with Cu-IUD Use

                      • Before Cu-IUD insertion, provide counseling about potential changes in bleeding patterns during Cu-IUD use. Unscheduled spotting or light bleeding, as well as heavy or prolonged bleeding, is common during the first 3–6 months of Cu-IUD use, is generally not harmful, and decreases with continued Cu-IUD use.

                      The article cited as a “corrective” is punditry, quoting “open-source studies” whose only value is their integrity in acknowledging their obvious “limitations.” This sort of “grasping” at Google-driven straws is simply not a bit helpful in dispelling the need to address this horrible problem of abortion as a primary for of contraception morally, spiritually, or economically.

                    • Anyone who cites a study funded by a government which also funds Planned Parenthood and has contraception and abortion as mandated measures “affirming reproductive rights” as conditions of Obamacare and foreign aid is an unserious HACK. That point is reinforced when such a liberal propagandist uses straw man language of “Google scholarship” and “punditry” to attack independent research. This indicts frauds who contrive facts and outright lie to try and assert their agendas as fundamentally dishonest and unacceptable interlocutors. It is clear now that Stinkovitch, Reality, and Anonymous are all clones of the same San Francisco values, immoral lunatic fringe trying to lie their agenda into reality. This isn’t going to bode well for them:

                      1). At first, this Crestwood hack said that the Russian government and the Russian Church were not taking measures to fight abortion. That has been proven false and his russophobic slander exposed revealing him to be a discredited, liberal hate monger. He has even admitted it here. Strike 2 for Syosset-Crestwood agenda of russophobic lies.
                      2). Then he and his clones toggled to the birth control equates less abortion argument claiming that rates of contraceptive use are low in Russia. Russians are too poor and ignorant to use contraceptives. And if only they did, abortion would end in Russia. From 1990 to 2012, as a result of the cooperation of the Putin government working with the Russian Orthodox church, abortions decreased from 4000000 a year to 1000000. Russia has decreaed abortions by 75% in 20 years using methods the the Pro Abortionist/Keep Funding Planned Parenthood/Pass Out Condoms and The Pill Stinkovitch and Co find unreliable, unacceptable, primitive, ignorant, reactionary, etc. While it is certain that his San Francisco values just wear a condom propaganda does not result in a 75% decrease in abortion illustrating the ridiculous Western sexual revolution immorality just needs to “be responsible” gimmickry of contraception fighting abortion’s failure to validate its claims or really be considered to be a superior solution to abortion in Russia. More contraceptive use has seen more instances of abortion. Contraceptive use is at 80% amongst sexually active Russians: the red herring of contraception being too expense being an act of sophistry floated by agendized, Western pro abortion NGOs to conclude that because abortion is free in Russia and contraceptives cost money that contraceptives are too expensive. That’s a stretch. This beetle smashing, cereal box doctorate now argues that as the rate of contraception has increased in Russia, only in Russia according to him, the rate of abortion has actually gone up! That just sank his pass out condoms to fight abortion in Russia propaganda and illustrates how much of an ignorant, Russophobic fraud he actually is. Strike 3 for Renovationist Syosset-Crestwood San Francisco values.
                      3). He then goes on to misrepresent one quote from a body of statistics indicating increase in contraceptive use actually increases the occurrence of abortion somehow stating that independent research is limited because it seemed to him it only reflected the Russian context (it didn’t). He then proceeds to back his stupid contentions with long, redacted quotes detailing the physiologically effects upon cervexes that types of birth control and abortion have to conflate his contention that more birth control in countries other than Russia equates to less instances of abortion. Tea being a plant affected by rain mitigates the desire for tea among Chinese because the length of its stem is commensurate with demand for tea. It does not follow in other words. So more bad news will shortly be provided from countries other than Russia showing that the use of contraceptives increases occurrence of abortion. Because subsidizing sexual immorality, San Francisco values, increases promiscuity and decreases moral barriers which result in more instances of contraception failing and, hence, pregnancy, where sexually liberated women have moral barriers removed to abortion. That’s strike 4 for to Syosset-Crestwood meta-educated wear a condom propaganda.
                      4). The moral teaching of the Orthodox Church is that sex outside of marriage is the sin of fornication whether one wears a condom or not, and a mortal sin. The moral teaching of the Orthodox Church is that it is GOD’s commandment “to be fruitful and multiply” to have families as a blessing, to share in the stewardship of creation and to lift it up in worship and thanksgiving to GOD. The moral teaching of the Orthodox Church is that abortion is murder and a grave sin. The moral teaching of the Orthodox Church is that contraception debases the marriage bed by encouraging the fallen state of sexuality by emphasizing the sinfulness of sex while impeding the divine commandment to multiply and be stewards in offering creation to GOD in blessing. All of this indicts the San Francisco values, sexual immorality propaganda of Stinkovitch and CO as having no validity and no legitimatacy in Orthodox discussion. Strike 5 for Syosset-Crestwood profligate Renovationism. How many strikes does it take to grab this blusterous and ignorant russophobic fraud by the scruff of the neck and toss his ignorant, fraudulent ass into the street. He is a liar and presents views irreconcilable with Orthodoxy and reality to advance a liberal, Reformed agenda. No, it is not acceptable to traffic in an agenda whose sole basiss is sin, hate, rebellion and lies.

                      More evidence will now follow showing he is nothing but an agendized, sectarian, russophobic liar…

                    • LoginCreate an AccountDonateUSA 

                      NEWSFri Jul 25, 2008 – 12:15 pm EST

                      “Heaps of Empirical Evidence” Vindicate Pope Paul VI’s Dire Warnings 40 Years Ago About Contraceptiv




                      By John Jalsevac

                      July 25, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A lengthy article appearing in the most recent edition of First Things, reevaluates Pope Paul VI’s controversial encyclical Humanae Vitae (the 40th anniversary of the publication of which takes place today) in terms of the empirical evidence supporting the Pontiff’s prophetic predictions about the consequences of the widespread acceptance of artificial contraception.

                      “To many people,” writes author Mary Eberstadt, the idea of opposing the use of contraception, “simply defies understanding. Consenting adults, told not to use birth control? Preposterous. Third World parents deprived access to contraception and abortion? Positively criminal. A ban on condoms when there’s a risk of contracting AIDS? Beneath contempt.”

                      Indeed, “if there’s anything on earth that unites the Church’s adversaries…the teaching against contraception is probably it.”

                      And yet, writes Eberstadt, for all of the contempt that is poured upon Humanae Vitae and the Church’s continued official defense of Paul VI’s teaching, the 40 intervening years since its publication have done nothing if not provided heaps of empirical data validating the Pope’s dire warnings about a contraceptive culture.

                      “Four decades later, not only have the document’s signature predictions been ratified in empirical force,” says Eberstadt, “but they have been ratified as few predictions ever are: in ways its authors could not possibly have foreseen, including by information that did not exist when the document was written, by scholars and others with no interest whatever in its teaching, and indeed even inadvertently, and in more ways than one, by many proud public adversaries of the Church.”

                      This is the great irony, says Eberstadt – that the evidence marshaled forth in condemnation of a contraceptive culture has been provided almost entirely by secular or explicitly anti-Catholic researchers, men and women who are “honest social scientists willing to follow the data wherever it may lead.”

                      Consider, she suggests, the work of Nobel Prize-winning economist Geroge Akerlof, who, in a well-known 1996 article, “explained in the language of modern economics why the sexual revolution…had led to an increase in both illegitimacy and abortion.”

                      Then there is the work of “maverick sociobiologist” Lionel Tiger, who has in the past described religion as “a toxic issue.” And yet, for all of that, Tiger has shown his ability to honestly “follow the data,” linking “contraception to the breakdown of families, female impoverishment, trouble in the relationship between the sexes, and single motherhood.”

                      “Tiger has further argued – as Humanae Vitae did not explicitly, though other works of Catholic theology have – for a causal link between contraception and abortion, stating outright that ‘with effective contraception controlled by women, there are still more abortions than ever….Contraception causes abortion.’”

                      And the list goes on. Eberstadt provides numerous examples of secular researchers who have followed the data, vindicating each and every one of Paul VI’s four primary predictions about the consequences of contraception: “a general lowering of moral standards throughout society; a rise in infidelity; a lessening of respect for women by men; and the coercive use of reproductive technologies by governments.”


                      The evidence proving that each of these predictions has come to pass is so obvious as to be common sense. For instance, on the question of the “coercive use of reproductive technologies by governments,” one need only consider the well-known forced-abortion and forced-sterilization practices of the Chinese government. Eberstadt also points to lesser-known examples of similar coercion that have taken place in India and Indonesia. And there are many other examples besides.

                      What about this matter of the deforming of the relations between the sexes, and the “general lowering of moral standards”? “Today,” responds Eberstadt, “when advertisements for sex scream from every billboard and webpage, and every teen idol is sooner or later revealed topless or worse online, some might wonder what further proof could possibly be offered.”

                      However Eberstadt searches for and finds even further concrete proof of the devolving of male/female relations right in the heart of the feminist movement, that great champion of contraception as the great liberator. Since 1968, she observes, “feminist literature has been a remarkably consistent and uninterrupted cacophony of grievance, recrimination, and sexual discontent. In that forty-year record, we find, as nowhere else, personal testimony of what the sexual revolution has done to womankind.”

                      “The signature metaphors of feminism say everything we need to know about how happy liberation has been making these women: the suburban home as concentration camp, men as rapists, children as intolerable burdens, fetuses as parasites, and so on. These are the sounds of liberation? Even the vaunted right to abortion, both claimed and exercised at extraordinary rates, did not seem to mitigate the misery of millions of these women after the sexual revolution.”

                      The author then turns her attention to the proliferation of pornography, which one social observer wrote, “is responsible for deadening male libido in relation to real women, and leading men to see fewer and fewer women as ‘porn-worthy.’‘’ The fact is, Eberstadt writes, Archbishop Chaput of Denver was correct when he wrote that, rather than freeing women, “Contraception has released males – to a historically unprecedented degree – from responsibility for their sexual aggression.”

                      Perhaps the most damning indictment of contraception in Eberstadt’s piece comes when she quotes from philosopher G.E.M. Anscombe, who wrote about the inevitable slippery slope that would follow the acceptance of contraception: “If contraceptive intercourse is permissible, then what objection could there be after all to mutual masturbation, or copulation in vase indebito, sodomy, buggery (I should perhaps remark that I am using a legal term here-not indulging in bad language), when normal copulation is impossible or inadvisable (or in any case, according to taste)?”

                      “It can’t be the mere pattern of bodily behavior in which the stimulation is procured that makes all the difference! But if such things are all right, it becomes perfectly impossible to see anything wrong with homosexual intercourse, for example. I am not saying: if you think contraception all right you will do these other things; not at all. The habit of respectability persists and old prejudices die hard. But I am saying: you will have no solid reason against these things. You will have no answer to someone who proclaims as many do that they are good too. You cannot point to the known fact that Christianity drew people out of the pagan world, always saying no to these things. Because, if you are defending contraception, you will have rejected Christian tradition.”

                      Eberstadt goes on to make several more observations about the link between contraception, adultery, and prematerital sex. She also observes that the shortage of priests in the Church, and the clergy sex-abuse scandals, are deeply related to the widespread dissent by Catholic faithful and clergy against Humanae Vitae.

                      The author concludes by once again quoting Archbishop Chaput, who said ten years ago, “If Paul VI was right about so many of the consequences deriving from contraception, it is because he was right about contraception itself.”

                      “This,” says Eberstadt, “is exactly the connection few people in 2008 want to make, because contraceptive sex…is the fundamental social fact of our time….Despite an empirical record that is unmistakably on Paul VI’s side by now, there is extraordinary resistance to crediting Catholic moral teaching with having been right about anything, no matter how detailed the record.”


                      Yet, for all of that, she concludes, “instead of vindication for the Church, there is demoralization; instead of clarity, mass confusion; instead of more obedience, ever less. Really, the perversity is, well, perverse. In what other area does humanity operate at this level of extreme, daily, constant contradiction?”

                      To read the original article in First Things, see:

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                    • Wed Jan 5, 2011 – 3:27 pm EST

                      Contraception linked to massive rise in abortion rate

                      Patrick Craine

                      Abortion , Contraception , Spain

                      SPAIN, January 5, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Abortion advocates often promote contraception by claiming that as contraception use increases, the number of “unwanted” pregnancies and therefore abortions will decrease. But a new study out of Spain has found the exact opposite, suggesting that contraception actually increases abortion rates.

                      The authors, who published their findings in the January 2011 issue of the journal Contraception, conducted surveys of about 2,000 Spanish women aged 15 to 49 every two years from 1997 to 2007.  They found that over this period the number of women using contraceptives increased from 49.1% to 79.9%.

                      Yet they noted that in the same time frame the country’s abortion rate more than doubled from 5.52 per 1,000 women to 11.49.

                      The researchers, who had aimed to gather information about contraceptive use in order to reduce the number of abortions, were clearly puzzled by the results.  They write that the findings were “interesting and paradoxical,” and suggest that the rise in abortion rate may be due to “inadequate or inconsistent use” of contraceptives.  They also say it could be because more abortions, including “clandestine” and foreign abortions, are being reported.

                      “The factors responsible for the increased rate of elective abortion need further investigation,” reads the conclusion of the abstract.

                      However, Dr. Brian Clowes, the Director of Research and Training for Human Life International, has suggested that the researchers aren’t being completely up front. “It’s the same thing old thing.  These guys pretend not to know what’s going on, but they know full well,” he said.

                      Dr. Dianne Irving, a bioethicist at Georgetown University and a former bench biochemist with the U.S.‘s National Institutes of Health, said the need for more study is “non-existent” because “years of scientific studies around the world” have established the link between contraception and abortion.

                      Pro-lifers have long argued that contraception results in greater sexual activity and, because contraception fails so consistently, in more “unwanted” pregnancies.  This in turn leads to more abortions.

                      “Since it is … a long-recognized and documented scientific fact that almost all so-called ‘contraceptives’ routinely fail at statistically significant rates resulting in ‘unplanned pregnancies’, is there any wonder that elective abortions are socially required in order to take care of such ‘accidents’?” asked Dr. Irving.  “Thus abortion has become a ‘contraceptive’ in and of itself.”

                      “The whole idea is just to get people on contraception so they can sell them abortion,” said Dr. Clowes.

                      He pointed out that numerous high-profile abortion advocates have made the connection between abortion and contraception since the 1950s.  These include figures such as Alfred Kinsey, Beckworth Whitehouse, and Christopher Tietze.

                      Malcolm Potts, the former Medical Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said in 1979, “As people turn to contraception, there will be a rise, not a fall, in the abortion rate.”

                      The U.S. Supreme Court also admitted the connection while upholding the “right” to abortion in their 1992 decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey.  “In some critical respects abortion is of the same character as the decision to use contraception,” the justices wrote.  “For two decades of economic and social developments, people have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail.”

                      “I’ve been all around the world, and the way they start trying to legalize abortion is to legalize contraception first,” said Clowes.  “And of course it fails tremendously, and so women start looking for illegal abortions.  … Then the same people who are pushing contraception say now we have to legalize abortion.  It’s a really neat little system that works every time.”

                      Dr. Irving pointed out that many of the “contraceptives” cited by the authors also act as abortifacients.  If the contraceptive action of the pill or the IUD fails, the drug or device then acts by “killing the early developing embryo during its first week of life while he/she is still in the woman’s fallopian tube,” she said.

                      The abortions that result from these abortifacient contraceptives are not counted in the authors’ abortion statistics, she noted, meaning the increase of abortions would be even higher than the study reports.

                      The authors found that the most common contraceptive was the condom; its usage increased from 21% to 38.8%.  The second most common was the pill, which increased from 14.2% to 20.3%.  Female sterilization and IUDs decreased, being used by less than five percent of women in 2007.

                      The authors grouped natural family planning methods in with contraception.  The number using NFP dropped from 0.9 to 0.5 over the study period.

                      The study, entitled Trends in the use of contraceptive methods and voluntary interruption of pregnancy in the Spanish population from 1997 – 2007…


                    • ..The first issue is the relationship of economic security to abortion. (All data here is taken from Guttmacher’s fact sheets from their last survey.) 69% of abortions are for women at 200% of poverty level or below. The abortion rate for women at or below poverty is 52 per 1,000 women (15-44), but their “unintended birth” rate is also very high: 70 per 1,000. Thus, the “unintended pregnancy” rate for poor women is 137 per 1,000 – a number near six times high than that of 200%+ poverty women (26). Guttmacher actually reports that the higher income group is more likely to choose abortion for an unintended pregnancy… but of course is dramatically less likely to have an unintended pregnancy in the first place. These numbers, which really show dramatic group differences, suggest that poverty and abortion must be addressed together. However, the number do NOT suggest that, if women had more economic resources, they would be more likely to choose life. (Otherwise, we would expect a higher ratio of abortions for poor women.) Rather, they suggest that with economic security, women might be less likely to get pregnant in the first place. Indeed, if women below the poverty level continued to get pregnant at the same rate as currently, but had abortions at the rate of wealthier women, the rate of “unintended births” to those in poverty would be over 100 per 1,000!

                      The above numbers … raise questions for the common solution proferred by the other side: contraception is the answer. Guttmacher, a very pro-contraception source, notes that the majority (54%) of women seeking abortions report using it either correctly or incorrectly. Of those not using contraception, Guttmacher reports that “About half of unintended pregnancies occur among the 11% of women who are at risk but are not using contraceptives. Most of these women have practiced contraception in the past.” That last sentence is significant; it calls into question the extent to which education and access are really the issue. Guttmacher even tries to determine reasons why women were not using contraception, and a mix of reasons follow, including “unplanned sex” and a perception of “low risk.” What Guttmacher doesn’t ask is how often this is a case of an unintended pregnancy in a non-stable relationship situation. They do report significantly (without poverty numbers): “More than one in 10 single men indicated that they did not know about the pregnancy until after the child was born. Among single men aware of the pregnancy, nearly three out of four births were reported as unintended.” If abortion is strongly connected to the unintended pregnancy rate, and unintended pregnancies are far more frequently reported by in situations of singleness, then perhaps monogamy matters. The question for the contraception side is how you drive down the “unintended pregnancy” rate in light of risky sexual behavior. As they note, the trend for “unintended pregnancy” among poor women is not downward – anything but! In 1994, the unintended pregnancy rate among women with incomes below the federal poverty line was 88 per 1,000 women aged 15–44; it rose to 120 in 2001 and 137 in 2008—a 56% increase since 1994. At the same time, the rate among higher –income women (those with incomes at or above 200% of the poverty line) fell from 34 in 1994 to 28 in 2001 and 26 in 2008—a 24% decrease.” Even if you increase effective contraception use, an increase in risky sexual behaviors will potentially offset this. …


                    • [Note: this article neither has the sentence Stankovitch attributed to it nor does it deal with contraception and abortion in Russia, PROVING THIS FRAUD HAS LIED YET AGAIN TO ADVANCE HIS AGENDA! How much of this nonsense has to go on before he is shown the door?! Is agendized propaganda based on outright deception, lies now legitimate dialogue?!]

                      Does Contraception Really Prevent Abortions?

                      Abortion industry studies indicate that the answer is not as simple as many claim.

                      By Scott Lloyd

                      Amidst the heat of the debate over taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, comes a claim from politicians and pundits that the contraceptives Planned Parenthood distributes prevent abortions. As the debate has intensified following the initial defeat of the bill on Monday, this claim lingers as one that has yet to be addressed adequately. We should focus on it a bit, as it is the rationale for hundreds of millions of dollars in spending annually.

                      One Senator stated the logic succinctly: “I will continue to support…funds that go to Planned Parenthood, because these programs reduce unintended pregnancies and, as a result, reduce the number of abortions.” Dana Milbank of the Washington post makes the same claim, but more colorfully: “[A]ntiabortion forces, in their zeal to slay their bête noire, are actually attempting something sure to increase the number of abortions: Denying women access to birth control.”

                      Both of these comments assume several things. First, the Senator’s comments belie the provisions of the bill to defund Planned Parenthood that channel funds for healthcare through other entities. Mr. Milbank, for his part, denies that this will work. This is unlikely, as journalists like Sean Davis and others have pointed out, given the number of community health centers throughout the country. But if such care is truly at risk, one wonders why Planned Parenthood just doesn’t swear off abortion and tissue “donation” to focus on providing this critical care.

                      These claims also assume that a certain percentage of women who become pregnant unexpectedly will seek abortion. While this is true, it is also true that it is possible to influence the percentage of women who turn to abortion. Indeed, in recent years this number has actually dropped from 47% to 40%. It’s not clear why these numbers have changed, but espousing pro-life sentiments among young people and increasing the prevalence of pregnancy resource centers are certainly among the factors. More study here would be useful, as would more support for pregnancy centers, like the help provided by the Knights of Columbus’s ultrasound project.

                      Contraception Leads to a Culture Dependent on Abortion
                      The biggest assumption at the heart of these statements, however, is that contraception prevents abortion. We can say that for the most part—and based on the available evidence—this is not true. In an article in the summer issue of the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, I use studies and statistics from the abortion industry to give a detailed account of how our culture’s reliance on contraceptives has counterintuitively led to our culture’s reliance on abortion. These statistics and others reveal that the reality is probably closer to the inverse of what these politicians and pundits claim, at least when we speak of abortion as a nationwide phenomenon. The bottom line is this: contraceptives do not work as advertised, and their failure is at the heart of the demand for abortion.

                      Contraception enables sexual encounters and relationships that would not have happened without it.
                      In the first instance, many of the interventions that doctors consider “contraception” are reliant on what the many women using them would classify as abortion. The IUD, regular oral contraceptives, Ella, and Plan B work partially or exclusively by making the uterine lining unhospitable for a newly conceived zygote, expelling that life. A substantial portion of women—44%, according to one study—would change their birth control method to avoid any possibility of running such risks.

                      More broadly than this, however, is the reality that the contraceptives we have come to rely on come with inherent failure rates, and these contraceptive failures form the core of the demand for abortion. It is not as though women entertain dreams of having a few abortions along the way in life. Instead, it is the case that contraception enables sexual encounters and relationships that would not have happened without it. In other words, when couples use contraception, they agree to sex when pregnancy would be a problem. This leads to a desire for abortion.

                      The Root of the Simultaneously Rising Rates
                      The Guttmacher Institute—the vast research arm of the abortion industry—recognizes this, to the point where they launched a 2003 investigation into why, in the United States and in other countries, “contraceptive prevalence and the incidence of induced abortion…rise in parallel, contrary to what one would expect.” While the study speculates as to some reasons for this, it somehow misses the most plausible answer: contraceptive failure rates.

                      Guttmacher’s study noted that couples in societies that did not rely on contraception ‘are at little (or no) risk of unwanted pregnancies.’
                      Even if we achieved perfect use of condoms and the pill alone, at current usage rates, our nation would still experience 231,000 pregnancies among women who were using these methods, according to their failure rates in the midst of “perfect usage”. We can predict that nearly 100,000 of these women would go on to seek an abortion.

                      But reality is far less than perfect, perhaps especially when it comes to sexual relationships, many of which begin because of the availability of contraception. Among typical users of condoms and the pill alone, we can predict more like 2.1 million pregnancies and 832,000 abortions of the 1.2 million total abortions (numbers here are from 2010).

                      These numbers come from a simple calculation of failure rates multiplied against usage rates. Looking deeper into the statistics, one finds that there is much more to the story. For example, only 8% of women who have had an abortion have never used contraceptives, and failure rates vary widely among different demographics. Altogether, the statistics tell stories of imperfect technologies and technologies used imperfectly—contraception as a project first endeavored but then abandoned, mismanaged, or paused as life’s irregularities make it desired, then not desired, and then desired again. But too often, it’s too late.

                      How stark is this phenomenon? Returning to Guttmacher’s study, they noted that couples in societies that did not rely on contraception “are at little (or no) risk of unwanted pregnancies.” This is their description of societies before contraceptives. After fifty plus years of the current approach, we still struggle with “unintended” or “unwanted” pregnancies, ultimately leaving us with over a million abortions a year. The notion that the answer to this dilemma is more contraception, which is at the heart of much of our public policy, is a notion that has little support in the lived experience of people who have embraced abortion. The time is coming when politicians and pundits will have a harder time asserting that contraception is the answer to abortion, as the empirical and historical records suggest quite the opposite.


                    • Endless statistics, but the cat is out of the bag. The world truly IS fallen. What are you going about it? Anybody still thinking a politician is going to reverse the course at this stage is delusional. Anybody trying to defend any of these politicians for anything is also delusional. It is too late. We have all been used, have all been useful idiots at one time or another in our lives. People want pleasure. They want what they see and they see everything. Everything is available, every statistic and every justification. Take your pick, they are prepackaged for you. But in your heart, are you ready to ask God to forgive everyone for everything? Or do you want them all damned? The end is coming, at least the end of your own life. Will you be prepared? Or angry?

  13. George, any thoughts on the murder of an Arab in your hometown? Seems pretty clear it was a hate crime:


    • George Michalopulos says

      Matt, I didn’t hear about this until you mentioned it. I just had lunch with our parish’s men’s group and several of us are going tomorrow to his funeral. May his memory be eternal.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Horrible, but all murders are hate crimes inspired by the chief murderer. But clearly the judge ought to be impeached and the cops who did not do their job ought to be fired.

      (Sarcasm on) But clearly the Jabara family is racist for having a black gardener. (Scarcasm off)

      It is a microcosm of the destruction of order in our land. We no longer have a society or a culture. Moral and legal anarchy reigns while our major political parties put up different versions of FU candidates neither of which is capable of scratching their own nether regions except with an extended middle finger to decency, character and virtue.

  14. Michael Bauman says

    It is now being seriously broached as a solution to “Global Warming ehh climate change”. World wide population control with a “carbon tax” on children.

  15. Michael Bauman says

    Well, all I can say is that the woeful ignorance on effective non-artificial birth control is striking. The natural family planning method is light years ahead of the antiquated straw men of the rhythm method and the withdrawal method.

    Of course it does require a loving husband and wife, some sexual ascesis and a willingness to actually have and value children. All the foundation that is missing in the “sexual revolution”.

    The fact is that the champions of abortion, birth control and all of the other fertility technologies and “no-fault” divorce, etc are all about the Will to Power, the unbridled expression of one’s autonomous will above all else. Exactly what Nietzsche preached and it has wrought the destruction he foretold.

    Saying pro-life organizations have failed because they don’t compromise enough is ludicrous. How much evil should we countenance in the name of “success”?

    I do not advocate this solution but the most “successful” method for stopping abortions in the short term is to kill the providers.

    All legal methods are being thwarted and the secular, nihilist mind-set is taking over most. But the killing method is of that same mind.

    Another method for preventing abortions are places like The Treehouse, the Orthodox ministry to single pregnant women here in Wichita that encourages and supports a mother’s decision to keep her child. “Saving the world one diaper at a time”

    In fact there are many such ministries established by those who are dedicated to protecting the lives of children and mothers.

    • Don’t these unmarried women know where babies come from? How dumb can you get?

      • Michael Bauman says

        J. Clivus, They know, they just don’t care because they live in a world where they are taught not to care and believe there are no consequences.

        Interesting: a program in Australia whose purpose was to encourage high school girls to either not get pregnant or terminate by trying to give them the experience of caring for a young child had the opposite effect. Somehow it awakened the caring instinct in these young girls. More of them wanted to keep their babies and were less concerned about getting pregnant.

        No doubt the setup was flawed and the experience was short on reality but there you go.

        What we need to do is encourage community based marriage(discouraging marriage outside the Church, divorce and premarital sex) and create an environment in which children and mothers are valued and supported.

        That is more important than the moral/Dogmatic side of things, though suspension of participation in the Eucharist during a period of repentance can be quite helpful (speaking from experience)

        If the non-Orthodox perspective partner really is serious about becoming Orthodox, the catechumenate should be completed.

        Now, there are cases where real pastoral exceptions can and should be made but they should be real exceptions.

        Promotion of artificial birth control is self-defeating.

        • Demotion of artificial birth control leads to abortion.

          Some liberals live in such a fantasy world, they believe government can do everything for you. But alas, it is just a fantasy. A lean too far.

          The Treehouse is a solution that mitigates what could be a crisis pregnancy.
          Artificial birth control is a solution that mitigates what could be a crisis pregnancy.

          I know you don’t have these worries at your age, but I think you are smart enough to see the fantasy world you are living in is just not real on this issue. A lean too far.

          All the best.

          • Michael Warren says

            And yet this just wear a condom parody fails to address how places like NYC, Spain and Russia have shown in recent years that as contraceptive use goes up, abortion becomes more frequent. Why? Because these effete liberals will not hear that encouraging immorality, promiscuity, sexual profligacy in the end promotes more of it, creating more instances of crisis pregnancy and by its immorality removes barriers to debauchery and abortion…

            • You continue to show your massive failure on the subject matter. Very few men tolerate condoms. They are horrible. If you knew the subject at all, you wouldn’t even mention them.

              Plenty of married men and women use contraception, most not condoms I’ll add. Your logic can’t even discuss that version of reality. Pro-Life Wisconsin can’t either. Their twisted version suggests the other side considers pregnancy a disease. What a crock of crap told to justify their own twisted idea that stopping conception is wrong. A pill too difficult to push and they know so off to excuse land they go….

              Having lots of children is not in the cards for everyone. It is hard, it can be costly, and many people cannot handle the physical and mental demands to raise many children. That is conveniently not considered by the anti-birth control crowd, or shall we call them the Comstock conservatives just for fun. Sending birth control underground would be a real puritanical hoot.

              Finally, I can give you contraception might result in more people having sex, but only if you agree to give me people will have sex without contraception outside of marriage-there is that darn Comstock idea again. And when you do, the idea you promote that birth control is a problem fails to stop abortion again when it isn’t used.

              You can cite a million sources, but you haven’t captured the essence of the argument that birth control is necessary for humanity. It has been practiced as long as people have understood how babies are created. The population of the world sans birth control in your fantasy world would explode.

              A world without birth control is truly a utopian concept. But when you just consider consequences, no studies are needed. I think the rampant dislike of birth control is most likely because of Margaret Sanger and because it empowers women.

              We are not going back to a day when birth control isn’t around and legal. Get used to it and adapt.

              • George Michalopulos says

                That’ not true. Condoms are a massive seller. What are the buyers using them for? water balloons? (I know, I’m a pharmacist.)

                Don’t lionize Sanger. She was an unrepentant racist.

  16. Michael Warren says
  17. Michael Bauman says

    Anonymous, a massive conflation of what I said, but that is not surprising.

    Not a cause but a symptom of the same sinful mind and heart. The cause is my own hard heart. I am grateful you are free of it.

    This is not a utilitarian cause-effect problem with pragmatic political solutions. It is a darkness of soul. Messing with the furniture arrangement won’t take care of the problem.

    Does one sin to overcome sin? Heaven forbid.
    Does one overcome evil using evil, even if it is a “lesser” evil?

    Certainly we are all tarnished by sin, but do we engage in more to be clean?

    What is the acceptable in sinning to achieve a “good” outcome?

    The standard is high, few will reach it, but it does not help to lower the standard. It helps to repent.

  18. George, in a post above you talk about Western Triumphalism leading to WWIII. I have the same concerns, but the West didn’t invade Crimea. It just made friends with some of Russia’s neighbors.

    Do you think the NATO alliance is problematic on its face?

    • George Michalopulos says

      Not as primarily configured –i.e. to protect western Europe from the Warsaw Pact. However, like Eisenhauer, the first head of NATO–it was to last for only for a short period of time. Ike thought 10 years or so. When the Berlin Wall fell, I think we should have demobilized and brought the troops home.

      Now I fear that the neocons are itching to find a casus belli and since we have embraced the values of Gomorrha, I fear that we have become belligerent.

  19. Michael Warren says

    Actually, no one invaded the Crimea, but the peoples living in the Crimea democratically exercised their human right to self determination and decided to sever ties with an illegitimate, Banderofascist, American colonial regime which overthrew the duly appointed democratic government of the Ukraine with US/EU/Israeli aid.

    Don’t you find it at all odd to argue your position when it is grounded in the use of Banderofascist death squads acting by atrocity and ethnic cleansing to prevent democratic referendums which would express the peoples’ will on the legitimacy of the colonial government the US/EU have installed in the Ukraine?

    How does one justify a fascist regime instituted by a Western orchestrated coup while calling a democratic referendum illegitimate. Surely not by standards set in the American Declaration of Independence.

  20. The use of contraceptives results in pregnancy?

    Who knew?

    • Those still interested in this topic note that you are avoiding the sources links where your GUTTMACHER. San Francisco values were disproven and bringing this up in another place, cowardly fleeing the scene of the crime. I suppose you’ll ask for the links again which show that in Russia, in Spain, in the US increased use of birth control has led to increased instances of abortion because Just Use a Condom San Francisco values propaganda creates immoral cultures of promiscuity which have more instances of crisis pregnancies while having the moral barriers removed to having abortions. 15 sourced links were provided when you brought this up elsewhere. Case closed.

      • hyperbole, cliché, name calling, labels – when you win an argument you need none of these

        married women using birth control causes promiscuity and increases abortion, hmmm, – a little unfair of me, but you started this

        • George Michalopulos says

          Actually, Warren is right. Adultery for married women is on the rise to levels never seen before. If you don’t know this then I’d say you’ve been living in a cloister for the last three decades.

          • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

            George! Please, let us know the source of your “data”: “Adultery for married women is on the rise to levels never seen before.” I don’t live in any cloister, but I do not KNOW that at all! Of course, if one counts all the divorces and remarriages for reasons OTHER than adultery granted by, e.g., the GOA and the OCA, then we would have to bear big responsibility for such a “statistic.”

          • I missed this puritanical crap you posted George. So because a woman uses birth control to avoid becoming pregnant during one of her estimated 2500 days of fertility; this makes her become an adultress?

            The cause of divorce is women’s adultery?

            Warren is right only as far as he believes in his own egotistical mind.

            • George Michalopulos says

              I’m sorry, but that makes absolutely no sense. A woman (or a man) is an adulterer when she (or he) commits adultery. Don’t you dare twist what I said. I have zero tolerance for that.

  21. M. Stankovich says

    What’s next? Cigarette smoking causes lung cancer? Imagine.

  22. Fr. Alexander,

    I have repeatedly challenged you to show what you cannot possibly show: A catholic consensus behind a just or justifiable war theory, one that would raise it to the level of doctrine. Barring that, as I have shown conclusively, the Church has not eschewed violence – not Christ Himself, not God acting in the New Testament, and not the Church acting through the saints.

    I have little respect for the OPF crowd. They are cowards. The game of moral equivalency they play is dispicable. If you are with them, you are no friend of mine.

    Yet my point stands. Neither God nor Orthodoxy has ever restricted the means by which violence can be used by Christians under similar circumstances to those demonstrated in the Old Testament witness.

    You could spend a thousand years trying to disprove that and would have no luck. Your justifiable warfare thesis is your own, not the Church’s and you have not persuaded.

    In the end, I’m not concerned about persuading OPF types. They are lost from the get go. Might as well be Jainists. You just write them off. In a sense, they are harmless cowards. Perhaps they might have the courage to put their heads on the actual block without resistance. I hope so for their sakes.

    I certainly would have that courage. But I also have the courage to defend the Church against all enemies of Christ, internal and external, by any means allowed to us by YHWH, the God of the Armies.

    So go your way in peace, Fr. Alexander. I wish you all blessings and nothing less than the Kingdom of Heaven…

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      Over 29 lines all about your self and your sentiments, Misha! I, I, I, I!

      • Only 29? Wouldn’t you like to hear more, Vladyka?

        [I’m flattered you bothered to count the lines.]

        I’m going to ease off of you not because of your gallant defenders but because I’ve said all that needs to be said and the rest is between you and God.

      • Peter Millman says

        Greetings Your Grace,
        That was a good one on your part. I really had to laugh. I’ve had to gently chide our friend Misha about his egotism, pride, vanity and vainglory a couple of times. All the best to you.

        • Ah, Peter, Peter!! I can see your house from up here.

          Sorry, that was bad.

          I think you picked the wrong dog in this little canine altercation.