A Thumpin’

Hey Pilgrim, You're Gonna Need A Couple Of StitchesHey Pilgrim, You’re Gonna Need A Couple Of Stitches!

We here at Monohamakhos have recently struck another nerve with the publication of Fr Hans Jacobse’s response to Fr Robert Arida’s controversial essay. The blow-back against Arida’s questionable remarks still reverberates. This is all to the good and we thank our many readers for their thoughtful comments.

We are especially heartened at the number of priests who have spoken in defense of the normative Christian moral tradition. At the very least it means that the Ark of Salvation hasn’t sunk yet even if it has taken on some serious water.

Personally, I’m still trying to take it all in. Though immensely gratified by the response so far, and not just here but throughout the Orthosphere (e.g. Byzantine, Texas; Rod Dreher, Terry Mattingly, etc.), this thing is far from over. Instead, I pause for the time being to consider other events in our Republic today.

If you will be patient with me, I’ll explain why I think that a similar reaction has taken place as well in the political sphere and that it bodes well for the future (or so I hope).

It’s possible that in both instances, that is to say in the Church and in the State, we may have turned the corner.

Put Not Your Faith in Princes. . .

As you may remember, Your’s Truly wrote a rather lengthy (and not uncontroversial essay) several months ago in which I predicted the possible demise of the Republican Party. My prediction was contingent on the GOP following the RINO path of selling out our nation to the Chamber of Commerce and their demand for cheap labor.

Being the son of a trade unionist, a blue-collar worker who made his home in the Democratic Party when he came to America, one of the hardest things I ever had to do was tell my old man that I was going to formally sever my ties with the once-proud party of Jefferson and Jackson and become a Republican.

That was back in 1990 but watching the Berlin Wall fall made me realize that it was only because of one man that this possible. And this man was Ronald Wilson Reagan. And this man was a Republican. This knowledge left me no other principled option. I believed it then and despite all my disappointments continue to believe so presently.

Let me reiterate: if the New Deal Democrat who destroyed the Evil Empire had likewise decamped from that party for greener pastures, then in the interests of intellectual integrity I had no choice but to follow. Or as the Gipper himself said: “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me.”

The essence of our fallen nature however is that nothing enduring remains. Even the best of things degrade over time. So it is with political parties. It is not for nothing that we read in the Psalter the admonition to “put not your faith in princes of the sons of men.” In its later, Bushite phase, the GOP was repudiating the free market and Americanism and was entrenching itself as the party of crony capitalism and Amnesty. It was in that sense that I wrote my jeremiad predicting its probable demise should it continue on this primrose path..

Fortunately, the vast majority of Republicans took our RINO leadership to the woodshed over this issue. They started doing so back in 2007 when they melted down the phones lines at the Congress, giving Bush the Younger and John McCain –and the execrable Ted Kennedy of thrice-sorrowful memory–a major defeat. And we haven’t let up since. Even the dimmest of bulbs in the Republican hierarchy finally got the message and grew the necessary testicular equipment to stand up to their depraved paymasters.

In the end, we didn’t care if they had to be dragged to this position kicking and screaming. They could do it pretty, they could do it ugly but it didn’t matter as long as they did it. And they did it.

And then last Tuesday, Nov 4th, the dam broke and they were rewarded for their efforts.

Repudiating the Degenerate Order

What we saw last week was a complete repudiation of the present degenerate order. Nothing less. Mind you, this election was not a validation of the Republican Party by any means, which makes it all the more astonishing. There was no Contract with America. No charismatic leader. No set of guiding principles. Just a collective revulsion of what had been taking place over the last six years.

The American people rose up and said “No!” to the roiling of the racial waters as exemplified by Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.

“No!” to shoving gay “marriage” down our throats by federal courts.

“No!” to the idea that single mothers who live on the public largesse are heroines.

“No!” to the Neocon/Neoliberals at The Weekly Standard and The New Republic who tell us that the job of every young American man is to take “democracy” to the ends of the earth and if need be, die in foreign lands for ungrateful wretches who will never understand the concept of republican self-governance.

“No!” to gun control, higher taxes, Obamacare, you name it.

And most of all “No!” to the creeping, inevitable Amnesty that the Sheldon Adelsons and Mark Zuckerbergs among us want to implement. No mas!

We simply couldn’t take it anymore. The millions of hard-working people who have long played by the rules have gotten tired of seeing malcontents and deadbeats game the system. They’ve seen their wages stagnate while those who won’t work live off their earnings.

Many remember from their own family histories how hard it was to come to America in the first place; others personally know immigrants who have to jump through tremendous hoops to get Green Cards. And they bitterly resent the Republicrat leadership throwing open our borders to millions of Central Americans who are eager to live off Welfare and have no intention of assimilating into the American culture. And then there was Ebola. And Isis.

Republicans Are Not Called the Stupid Party for No Reason

And so it goes. Mind you, there’s no guarantee that the Republicans won’t screw it up. They’re not called The Stupid Party for nothing. No doubt cracks will appear in due time. Every party has Judases who will need their thirty pieces of silver because they think they’re doing the “right” thing. Then there are those who like Esau who will sell their birthright for a mess of porridge simply because they skipped a meal. It all may end in tears regardless. But at least now we have a chance. I’m heartened by the fact that the new Senators are not behold to the McCainiac/Pansy Graham wing of the Party. Some, like Joni Ernst of Iowa are veterans who served in Iraq. I imagine they are not as enamored of Neoconservatism given their own experiences. We shall see.

A political tsunami of this order doesn’t happen very often. Literally, it’s an earth-shaking event and whenever equilibrium is attained again, the landscape will be a far different one. The drubbing that the coalition of the discontented that make up the Democratic Party has been shaken it to its core. They have lost all moral legitimacy. Good. Let it be said that Al Sharpton is a buffoon, that Jesse Jackson is a poltroon and Chuck Schumer is a Fifth Columnist for a foreign state. Let us scream it from the rooftops. This tidal wave was nothing less than the complete annihilation of the ideology of grievance which for far too long has exercised an unfortunate stranglehold over the oldest political party in the world.

I’m exceedingly gratified that the majority of States have turned completely over to the small-government wing of the Republican Party. If this nation is to survive as a free Republic, the States must increase and become more independent. A lot of the suffering that takes place because of the Federal government will ameliorated in those States that are governed in a sane manner. If Blue States want to keep on doing what they’re doing, then screw ’em. It’s still a free country. Keep your toxins there and leave the growing contingent of Red States alone. Think of Texas as opposed to California; Wisconsin as opposed to Illinois. Forget the blather about Wendy (Abortion Barbie) Davis and keep your eye instead on Gov Scott Walker. The bench of the GOP is now broad and deep. The only credible national candidate the Democrats have is former Senator Jim Webb of Virginia (and not a bad pick if I may say so myself).

If they’re smart, the powers-that-be in the party of Jefferson and Jackson will sit down and rethink a lot of their core positions and strategies. They may discover the American people again and stop thinking of them as rubes and themselves as cosmopolitans. We’ll know if they come out with a statement that repudiates the Aliskyite turn they took back in 1968 in Chicago, when they became the party of “Acid, Amnesty and Abortion.”

In the meantime, buckle your seat-belts. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.


  1. Entering the Battle says

    I have been on the sidelines of the debate going on in the Orthodox Church in America for many years. I was more engaged when OCAN run by Mr. Stokoe was shedding light on what I thought at the time was a necessary engagement led by many but in particular Deacon Eric Wheeler. I considered him to be a hero for the truth.

    I was not aware of his political background, not that it made much of a difference back then, but recently I read a post of his in defense of Archpriest Robert Arida. I was, frankly stunned by his words. Of course he has every right as an American to his point of view, but I disagree with his politics and how it is shaping his Orthodox vision or visa versa?

    Given the topic of this new tread, I consider it appropriate to share his thoughts on Father Arida and his political identification and how the two mesh.

    I watch in amazement as the words and reputation of a senior and respected priest of our church are twisted and besmirched based solely upon a singularly focused interpretation of his recent article “Never Changing Gospel; Ever Changing Culture” (the article can still be found at the cathedral website). The two thousand work article mentions human sexuality in the next to the last paragraph, and boom! – the article is labeled a Pandora’s box that will place the Orthodox Church on a slippery slope to becoming the Episcopal church east.

    I do have to laugh, because it reminds me of the good old days when preparing white papers for the Holy Synod we would have to strip out the names of the seminary professors who authored them so that the bishops would at least read the articles without offering commentary based upon authorship.

    Unfortunately, Father Arida seems to be labeled a gay friendly priest – whatever that means – and everything he writes, in spite of its content, is perceived by a limited group who have their own agenda, to advocate a change in orthodox teachings dealing with human sexuality; (maybe I should find an angry friendly priest since I do not suffer fools lightly and I could adequately be ministered by a priest who specializes in people angered by stupidity).

    For the sake of transparency, I have known Father Arida for over forty years – we were classmates at seminary; I am godfather of his middle daughter, and his wife is my son’s godmother; I was his choir director at his first parish assignment in New England, and have maintained regular contact with him even after I left church work. He has, and has always had a great depth of understanding of orthodox theology, scripture and the writings of the fathers, helped in large part by his constant desire to be immersed in the worship of the church, the ongoing perusing of scripture, and his study of the church fathers greatly enhanced by his mastery of a number of foreign languages. He is one of the most Orthodox people I know.

    Anyone who has heard Father Robert preach or has read the plethora of writings he has produced over the years will find a true Orthodox pastor – a true Orthodox theologian – a preacher whose message of the never changing Gospel is always conveyed in a new, exciting, vibrant and life giving way. I challenge anyone to visit Holy Trinity Cathedral website, listen to any one of the hundreds of sermons available, or read any one of the hundreds of articles which are posted over the years and find one post that is not fitting our Orthodox teachings.

    For the record, Father Robert Arida was the ghost writer for every sermon and address delivered by Metropolitan Theodosius on a weekly basis in our local parishes, and throughout the Orthodox world for over a decade. We would joke that he was creating gold – and I cannot remember any instance of controversy raised by his words.

    It is interesting that the loudest cry railing against Father Arida’s article (gleaned from the 71 comments on the youth blogspot before they were taken down – and very few if any seemed to be coming from the youth) seems to be coming from conservatives who believe they have found a home in our Orthodox Church, but very clearly are still running from their previous delusion. An article on The American Conservative website in reaction to the article by Father Arida seems to believe that any discussion on the part of our Church that seeks to engage our culture is a Trojan Horse leading to a decline in the foundation of our faith. And the proof of this according to the author is what has happened in the Episcopal Church. Unfortunately, what is not recognized is that the church of one’s past did not contain the fullness of Faith that rightly divides the word of Truth. We in the Orthodox Church can have these discussions, we are not afraid of dialogue and our outcomes are generally found to be pleasing with us and the Holy Spirit.

    I have never considered myself conservative or liberal when identifying myself as an Orthodox Christian. It is an interesting phenomenon as I watch members of our Orthodox Faith, including members of the clergy identify their Orthodoxy with conservative organizations, blogs and websites. I really got a kick out of one website that advertises: Providing news, information and commentary from a conservative Orthodox Christian perspective on social and cultural issues of our time. Makes me wonder that since I am a democrat, does that make me a liberal Orthodox? I honestly do not want to see my Church hijacked by a bunch of Tea Party Orthodox.

    Father Arida is correct when he states, “The Church can no longer ignore or condemn questions and issues that are presumed to contradict or challenge its living Tradition.” There are new issues emerging in our culture that require and even demand an Orthodox response. And we are able to do this because our Church contains the fullness of Truth revealed once and for all time. While we have our Orthodox Dogma and Encyclicals and Affirmations, we must be engaged in our culture and clearly be able to articulate, and prepare our youth to articulate responses, to help transform that which is redeemable, to sanctify that which is holy and to condemn that which is sinful. While the fullness of faith has been revealed once and for all time, it constantly has to be expressed in new and creative ways. Father Arida’s article spoke of keeping the life giving Spirit alive in our Orthodox Church and not strangling its voice and turning our Church into a lifeless museum relic. For me, the article fit perfectly with the theme of the upcoming All-American Council – How To Expand the Mission. I appeal to you detractors to read the article once again, but this time, read it from an Orthodox perspective.

    -Deacon Eric

    If this attitude is now being enshrined by the Orthodox Church in America, I fear that very few in responsible positions are leading it down a dangerous path. This is not a path in which discussion is stifled, God forbid, but that a pre-determined end is already envisioned? This forum may be one of the few that can answer back. Let’s continue the discussion, I am all for that and may God be the judge.

    • Michael Kinsey says

      Teach and do, has not been practiced by Fr. Arida. He communes married gays. This is proof, that he does not do as he preaches. Unambiguous, indeed. his otherwise championing of Truth, has serious actions contrary to the Truth. It is not complicated. What he does is utterly anti-christian.

      • He is a pastorally and theologically dangerous and violent man.

        Sadly he is smarter, or perhaps sly is a better word for it than the bishops of the OCA. Arida’s other-worldly affectations and voice are all part of the swindle and act. Those that still follow him in Boston, are to be grievously pitied and prayed for in public and private. Arida see’s the eucharist as his province, along with the small congregation of unfortunates that cast florals and tribute, in, his, path….

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      Wow! Simply wow!


    • “For the record, Father Robert Arida was the ghost writer for every sermon and address delivered by Metropolitan Theodosius on a weekly basis in our local parishes, and throughout the Orthodox world for over a decade. ”

      Well, this speaks volumes, doesn’t it? My suspicion is that our current Chancellor is Met. Tikhon’s ghost-writer. Know the slowness with which His Beatitude responds to anything, it feels doubtful to me that he could churn out so quick a response to Fr. Arida’s essay.

      My 2cents. YMMV.

    • “The Church can no longer ignore or condemn questions and issues that are presumed to contradict or challenge its living Tradition. There are new issues emerging in our culture that require and even demand an Orthodox response.”

      Here’s the thing I really don’t understand. What are the “new issues”? Whatever they are, homosexuality is certainly not one. It was condemned by Moses as an abomination and listed by St. Paul as precluding a person who engages in it from entering the kingdom of God.

      And how does one, “condemn questions and issues”? Does he refer to condemning people who are asking questions? Questions about what? What exactly are the new issues that “demand” an Orthodox response?

      Now I see two possibilities here: One is that the deacon is referring to something of which I am unaware as a “new issue”. If this is the case, then he should identify exactly what he perceives emerging in American or Western culture which has yet to be addressed by the Church.

      If, on the other hand, “questions” actually represent challenges to or disagreements with Holy Tradition, then he is engaging in liberal Newspeak. I’m fairly well convinced that the latter is the case, unfortunately.

      “. . . questions and issues that are presumed to contradict or challenge its living Tradition.” sounds very much like the approach of someone who is not convinced that the Church has spoken authoritatively and decisively on the matter of homosexual attraction. This is, of course, false. But it may be what men like Fr. Arida and Dn. Eric wish to believe. If so, that unfortunately puts them outside of the fold of those who hold the Orthodox faith.

    • ChristineFevronia says

      Friends, I’ve read through all the comments about Fr. Arida’s blog post, and am still rather numb. The statement from Fr. Arida that still sends chills down my spine is:

      The Church can no longer ignore or condemn questions and issues that are presumed to contradict or challenge its living Tradition. Among the most controversial of these issues are those related to human sexuality, the configuration of the family, the beginning and ending of human life, the economy and the care and utilization of the environment including the care, dignity and quality of all human life… That there are Orthodox Christians who misuse the never changing Christ to promote a particular political agenda and ideology or as license to verbally and physically assault those they perceive as immoral along with those who would question the status quo of the Church impose on the Church a ‘new and alien spirit.’

      I have been gratified to read the eloquent rebuttals to his post here and on other sites, because I was shaken to the core. I couldn’t believe what I was reading.

      I didn’t think it could get more offensive, but then–wow! Along came these words in defense of Fr. Arida, written by Deacon Eric Wheeler, quoted from above:

      It is interesting that the loudest cry railing against Father Arida’s article… seems to be coming from conservatives who believe they have found a home in our Orthodox Church, but very clearly are still running from their previous delusion.

      I simply can’t believe the arrogance! What exclusionary language and offensive rhetoric! He separates converts out from those in “our Orthodox Church”… and follows it up by his statement, “I honestly do not want to see my Church hijacked by a bunch of Tea Party Orthodox.” (Please read Entering The Battle’s full post above for the full text. Caution: read with a vomit bag at the ready.) To add insult to injury, he ends with: Those who read Fr. Arida’s article in any way other than enlightening need to reread it “from an Orthodox perspective.”

      Is Deacon Eric’s “perspective” on Fr. Arida’s writings the norm in the OCA now? Is that why there is silence from within the ranks of the OCA–because they mostly agree that “their” church should not “hijacked” by a bunch of conservative pro-life, pro-traditional-family, anti-same-sex-marriage converts?

      • Christopher says

        Is Deacon Eric’s “perspective” on Fr. Arida’s writings the norm in the OCA now?

        It appears (based on the response on the ‘Wonder’ blog and elsewhere) that among the rank and file it is not. However, among the bishops, the central administration, a large contingent in the seminaries, and the “intelligentsia” it does seem all too common. So the “head” of the OCA is rotten (with homosexualism, and a willingness to be awed by “new things” in the culture which of course are very old things), and has been for quite a while…

    • “There are new issues emerging in our culture that require and even demand an Orthodox response.”

      -Pdn. Eric Wheeler

      Perhaps there are, for although homosexuality (among other depravities) is nothing new, societal recognition of homosexual ‘marriages’ is, to the best of my knowledge, something never imagined even among the heathen of old. With this one can largely agree.

      How, then, is it appropriate to offer only questions when answers are demanded?

      “Lastly, I want to stress that this essay has one goal – to encourage the reader to raise questions and not to fall prey to the fiction that all questions pertaining to God, human life and culture have been already raised and answered in the past.”

      -Fr, Robert Arida

      …and this not in the relative privacy of clergy among clergy at a conference attempting to address pastoral challenges, but on a blog site specifically aimed at youth!

      Sorry, but Dn. Wheeler’s defense doesn’t even hold up on its own terms. It should be disturbing to every parent in the Church. Perhaps the good deacon deems himself and his longtime friend to have progressed beyond the need for ‘milk’ and are prepared for a more mature diet of meat (although I have my doubts), but please don’t ask our youth, immersed as they are in the confusing quagmire of a sick culture, to answer questions that, according to your own words, demand an Orthodox response. Save your ‘meat’ (if indeed it is meat) for the mature, and give our children something wholesome to eat. If you won’t who will?

      Perhaps the best response on the Wonder Blog to the inappropriate public musings of Fr. Ardia to our youth was offered by a priest immediately prior to the comments being closed (in spite of hierarchical promises to the contrary). The good father concluded:

      “Clarity: ‘Thou shalt not eat…’
      Ambiguity: ‘Hath God said…?’”

      Our youth are searching for clarity. For God’s sake and for theirs, as well as your own, give it to them.

      • Christopher Snodgrass says

        I am new to the Church (wife thought we should switch)and trying to learn why I have a difference of opinion on some of these issues. For when I use my reading comprehension from Jesus’s teachings….all I see is His Love and compassion and NO harsh judgement of blaming others for society’s problems…

        and Hey, the only line that i undeniably agree with in the article above is:They have seen their wages stagnate”….This is NOT the fault of the disenfranchised poor that get blamed by the (GOP)-for all our problems lately. AND if you feel threatened by gay marriage…..then you have problems you need to discuss with your wife……..Jesus was / is a Liberal!—deal with it!…..

        If you want a country with Christian values and want to reduce aid to the poor/elderly like the gop= then you have problems. For this recession during wartime with little population participation BUT maximum UNAUDITABLE profit for the War machine is created by those with power and narcissistic tendencies…a substantial amount of the poor got their jobs cratered by greedy sob’s that do not “dance with the one that brung’ya”!—-lets ALL speak up when those in power privatize profits then socialise their losses!! Resurrect Glass Steagall !!!!!

        • Christopher,

          If I may suggest, your “reading comprehension” is simply an expression of your bias and unexamined presuppositions – which in your case is your liberal politics (which you admit as much as when you say “Jesus is a Liberal”). Another words your post is nothing but a political rant and has nothing to do with core debate. Along those lines however, as a “constitutional conservative” I most heartily agree with you when you say “lets ALL speak up when those in power privatize profits then socialize their losses!!”…

          • Christopher snod grass says

            I would certainly appreciate Bishop Fitzgeralds input on this so that I may learn more….

            As a ” fiscal conservative Human”( Do you not also agree that we need to AUDIT the Military Industrial Complex for a HUGE reduction in gov’t spending?) -who tries to respect the disenfranchised peoples human rights as he studies and learns more about Jesus teachings, I fail to see why you felt the need to(mis)label me as a liberal??–Labels are the refuge of the manipulative and unintelligent.. for it is too easy to marginalise and pigeonhole those who do not agree with ones thinking. Q: Are politics/power/money/ and manipulation more important than salvation??

            AND Human Rights My Brother has EVERYTHING to do with the core debate!!

            Right is right and wrong is wrong ….But,I am not so conservative as to condone/do/or protect and propagate misguided thinking.

            It is painfully evident that Pope Innocent III was putting politics before human rights/education/lives.-German priests,St Thomas Aquinos,etc in Byzantium wrongfully LABELED those translating the “good word” into French.etc,as heretics. They were burned alive!…..those trying to learn the truth and who are not manipulated by politics (unlike those with blind/ignorant /prejudiced football team loyalty can be) shall inherit the Earth.

            • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

              Well, here’s Protodeacon Wheeler popping up again! This bit was as typical as his puerile announcement a while back that he was going to go for dinner or some other social engagement with Mr. Stokoe and Mr. Stokoe’s significant other.
              Mr. snod grass should bear in mind that “Monomakhos” is not really representative of Orthodox Christians–I consider it to be a little more than 50 per cent those who are very needy in respect to being on the winning side of any argument–perhaps more so than they are committed to any Orthodox Gospel teachings. I agree that labels like liberal, conservative, communist, libertarian, etc. etc., are often synonyms for good or evil—which, of course they are not. Good people may fulfill any of those labels, However, I use them myself and try NOT to make them moral labels. I would have to categorize myself, for example, as politically on the Left, and religiously on the right. This lacks clarity, frustratingly, for many. Too bad, But I just turned 82 and have been such an Orthodox since 1960, the year
              (my 28th) I was received into the Church. I don’t know Fr. Arida except for his campaign against one of his predecessors much admired by ever-memorable Archbishop Dmitri at the time–Fr David Black, and for his walking what SOME consider to be the SVS Walk, and talking what SOME consider to be the SVS talk. I feel that one of the most important tasks for today’s OCA Holy Synod is to strengthen (or create?) a sense of SONSHIP of SVS toward the episcopate, rather than their blatant condescension towards the same. I much appreciate Mr. snod grass’s mention of such asPope Innocent III. Much more could be said….I personally feel more attention should be given today to the study if the origins and bases of Jihadism in the ranting of Pope Urban, who launched the First and Original FIRST JIHAD!

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                The Rashidun caliphs have Pope Urban beat by centuries, Jihad-wise; and a lot more successfully, to say the least.

                • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                  Well, Timor, I don’t think today’s muslim jihadists appreciate how Pope Urban and his troops transformed the old Rashidan caliphs’ jihads so much as to make them the savage orgies of violence with which we are familiar today. Pope Urban’s First JIhad was a real eye=opener for Muslims. As the Christian Jihadists besieged Jerusalem, some of them managed to try and tunnel into the city. They were caught, gave battle and were killed. The inhabitants of Jerusalem displayedd their corpses atop the walls of the city. In return, the Gospel Jihadists trotted out their LIVE POWs, made them kneel down and beheaded them before the eyes of the city’s defenders. Then, to show the superior might of Christian Jihad, they catapulted the heads of the dead POWs over the walls into the city. When the Christian Jihadis won, and entered the city, they rounded up the Jews into their synagogue where they had worshipped peacefully under the Muslims, and burnt them all up alive. Then they went about the city (according to their own bragging memoirs) and massacred Muslims and Greek Christians alike, even spearing pregnant Muslim and Greek Christian women! They bragged that the blood reached the ankles of their horses. Those Christian Jihadis that returned home were feted as semi-Saints! Those Christian Jihadis didn’t have so much fun again until the 4th Jihad when they were able to capture Constantinople, slaughter and pillage…. I found it ironic that Mehmet, the Muslim who conquered Uniate Constantinople, couldn’t manage to equal the savagery of the Jihadiss of that 4th jihad or even of the 1st! This Baghdadi guy of ISIL should read up on his history: he could learn so much from the Christians in respect to Jihadi violence!!!!

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          Do you ever read the parts where Jesus suggests that folks who are unrighteous will be cast into the outer darkness with the devil and his angels, where there will be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth? There are quite a few places in the book like that……

    • ChristineFevronia says

      Can anyone confirm that Deacon Eric Wheeler, author of the repugnant missive above, works at OCA Headquarters Syosset attached to St. Sergius Chapel, and serves with Met. Tikhon and OCA Chancellor Jillions?

      • For shame... says

        Dcn Eric Wheeler serves directly under Met Tikhon. Met Tikhon is his Bishop. Yes, Dcn Eric is assigned to Syosset and serves in the Metropolitan’s chapel there.

        To read the Deacon’s words posted here, then know he is the Met’s deacon at Syosset’s chapel… It just makes me want to weep for the OCA. It is under delusion to allow these sorts of statements to be issued by two of its senior clergy.

      • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

        Well, there are loads of clergy attached to the Chancery’s Chapel, partly clergy employed at the Chancery and partly clergy that no one knows what to do with: “supernumeraries” as it were, that no parish would accept. Wheeler the Protodeacon has his own business and serves “at will,” so to speak, as he always has done since he was”let go” by Metropolitan Theodosius,

  2. Michael Bauman says

    Against my better judgment, I actually voted in this election precisely because the Democrat candidates were so revolting and the possibility that they would be elected was real. I was driving home from work a couple of hours before the polls closed and I could not get it out of my mind that if I had a daughter I would not want the two lead Democrats anywhere around her. They are just plain sleazy.

    Mind you I have no illusions about the level of corruption on the Republican side but at least the try every once in a while to protect human life.

    BTW the gentleman took the Senate seat in Missouri is apparently a neo-con through and through–he is not alone. There will be battles between the two major wings of the Repubs. Where the old guard will stand (like Pat Roberts the carpet bagger we elected again to the Senate).

  3. “Marxism was repudiated as an ideology, even as it had repudiated ideology in general. It was the culmination of the Enlightenment, not only because Marxism had the most extreme notion of equality imaginable but also because it was ruthlessly consistent. It had views not only on politics and economics, but also on art, the proper raising of children, proper methods of plowing and the role of sports in society. It had views on everything, and with the power of the state at its disposal, nothing was outside its purview. In the end, Marxism discredited the Enlightenment. It was the reductio ad absurdum of systematic reason. Marxism shattered the Enlightenment into an infinite number of prisms, each free to live the one life Marxism could not tolerate: a life of contradictions. We are heir to the incoherence it left.” – George Friedman, Stratfor – http://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2014/11/12/what_the_fall_of_the_wall_did_not_change_110797.html

    I disagree with his assessment of Putin. However, he makes good points about Marxism being the culmination and refutation of the Enlightenment, and about the fact that a united Germany has always been problematic.

    As to America, well, I suppose hope springs eternal. But it would be hard to find another nation as completely dependent on the (discredited) Enlightenment for its founding principles.

  4. You should give credit to Bette Davis for the last line of your essay.

  5. Michael Kinsey says

    During the Civil War, when Lincoln freed the slaves, a great lightening occured among the majority of American people. It was spiritual in nature, a return of the Grace of God to a noticable degree. This must occur again, if we are ever to return true freedom in this sadly decieved nation. There is no human right to murder the innocent, all ever concieved, have been given full human rights, being vreted in the image and likeness of God. Human rights are derived frim the spirtual life in a human soul and not any physical condition or variations.
    I cannot hold any hope for the USA, regardless of little victories, as in this election.. We will only become free again when we extend human rights to all humans, especially the unborn. Those who murder thier own children with impunity, legal and moral, ( secular-humanist) do not have the spiritual and moral fiber to even want restore true freedom in the USA. Stop abortion first, father delivering up the son, or don’t bother.

    • Christopher Snodgrass says

      …MK–Didn’t you just say we should extend ALL HUMAN RIGHTS TO ALL PEOPLE..(even gays??)And while we are at it let’s end the death penalty ,because innocent humans have been executed….AND while we’re at it let’s give equal pay for equal work !….or do you have a problem with equality and mebbe think women are inferior?

      Indigenous rights are an issue also when you deal with our Imperialistic past and present.The Creator Loves all races doesn’t He?

      • Mr. Snodgrass, your conception as to what is a human being, and thus what is the basis for a “human right”, is most likely very different from Mr. Kinsey (or speaking for myself, it is different from mine). In the Church this is called “anthropology” (a bit different from what your local university calls “anthropology”). You should look it up…

        • Christopher snod grass says

          Since I have been getting closer to getting back in the Church due to family illness etc.,I have been praying for enlightenment and guidance on some issues….This is after working out in nature as a flyfishing/hunting guide,etc. for many years.. So I am wondering, aren’t indigenous people,gays and women human beings ? Please explain so that I may learn what you are saying.

          –And ,Yes after looking up the dual/definition of anthropology….etc,and perusing Sergei Kan’s book: Memory Eternal :Tlingit Culture and Russian Orthodox Christianity over two centuries.. I am more confused then ever.
          For MK said ,and i quote:”We will only become free again when we extend human rights to all humans.!”
          I unapologetically concur,-please elaborate on my question above on Natives,gays and women,so that I may learn.
          i am respectfully inquisitive and await your reply.

          • Michael Bauman says

            Christopher Snodgrass: The question of human rights is not that simplistic.

            But some points: As creatures of God we have no rights–only the gifts that God gives us. We are called on to rejoice in those gifts and not twist or destroy them through sin. Rather, we are to allow God to restore us and all the gifts he gives us to a heavenly state through the disciplines and practice of the Church (repentance/forgiveness; worship, prayer, fasting and almsgiving).

            Among the gifts we are given is our sexuality which is inextricably bound to male-female synergy that our Lord has created for us.. Sexuality is a gift, not an identity. Our identity is the image and likeness of God, the greatest gift of all. Our sexuality, ordered properly, allows for the fulfillment of the commandments given to us in the Garden– among those to dress and keep the earth and be fruitful and multiply (there are others).

            When we twist or pervert the proper use of our sexuality, that leads us into sin and away from God. We are called to repent of all of our sins and do them no more so that the grace of God and raise us above the dust that He used to craft us and come to Him.

            Our culture, and thus we ourselves, have deeply twisted and perverted our sexuality and every other gift we have been given.

            Marriage is also a gift, not a right. It is a gift that allows us (when entered into properly) to transcend ourselves and be in union with another human being of the opposite sex so that humanity may continue; so that there is a stable foundation on which to raise to God the children He gives us; and so that the two made one can rejoice in God together.

            Marriage is wholly impossible for two people of the same sex no matter what the ALMIGHTY STATE says. As Gregory Manning says elsewhere on this blog “it won’t work.”

            The only way in which even real marriage is possible, fruitful and healing for all involved is if Jesus Christ is known as the founder and finisher of the marriage. Only love of and communion with Jesus Christ can allow the true community to formed, sustained and fruitful.

            Even so, the greater union to which we are all called is with Jesus Christ Himself. Even at its best, marriage is a pale reflection of the greater union to which He draws us. The greatest saints have shown us that union with Jesus Christ pursued without thought of sexuality bears the greatest fruit. Such testimony shows us irrefutably that we are not our sexual feelings or proclivities. Such wisdom is anathema to the world and is mocked by it.

            Men and women are equal before God in that we each are made in the image and likeness and are called to repentance, holiness and union with our Lord. The externals such as color of skin, degree of wealth, ancestry, what sins tempt us, and all of the other minutiae the world holds as important simply don’t matter. Even the deeper aspects of our ontology are only known in their fullness and in purity when we pursue the greater union. That includes our maleness or femaleness–which are much deeper mysteries than the manner in which or to whom we are sexually attracted. Frankly, most, if not all sexual desire tends to lead us away from God. Only in a sanctified marriage in which both partners work for holiness will it not. Even there, given our fallenness, it can be a thorn at times.

            Unfortunately, the nihilist ideology of egalitarianism (which you seem to support) is a perversion of who we are as human beings and a never ending stream of delusion, bitterness and disorder. The only way to make everyone ‘equal’ in the egalitarian ideology is through the deadly force of the ALMIGHTY STATE. That is not freedom.

            True freedom lies only in our love of and obedience to Jesus Christ, not as some isolated individual but as persons in communion and community. That entails at least a modicum of obedience to the teachings of the Church–all of them — and especially the ones we don’t find easy.

            The teaching of the Church has always been that sex outside marriage is a sin, homosexual sex is even worse because it is an even greater perversion of God’s gift of sexuality and can never be sanctified. St. Paul in Roman’s 1 links such perversion and many others to our worship of the created thing more than our creator.

            We cannot serve two masters.

            May God guide you and keep you and bring you home to Himself through the embrace of the Church.

            • Christopher Snodgrass says

              Fear of what people do not understand seems to always cloud their judgement And yes it is hard to understand some issues….But,.Surely people do not choose to be gay and disowned by their family and fathers….It is possibly Mother Nature trying to add variations so that species will survive(evolution gone astray?)…some variations are hard to understand, but the Creator made them…We are not to judge ………..as per “equality”—surely there is too much exploitation by the powerful ,and that in my mind it is not a stretch to think that if Jesus were to materialize and hang out with the “marginalized’ and oppressed at the occupy wall street protest and start quoting some Mathew 25;40 etc……then the elites would just execute this rising leader as they did JFK,MLK,BobbyK,etc. For He would be a threat to their system that rewards exploitation…..so henceforth their fear would cause them to act immorally.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Anything is possible in the world of random action assuming a naturalistic setting. The Creation of man was neither random nor is it naturalistic. We, alone, are created in His image and likeness. Evolution has noting to do with it.

                There are abnormalities encoded in our flesh by the fact that we live in a fallen world. Our fall was not just ‘spiritual’ but physical as well.

                God longed to unite with us (generally and with each one of us uniquely and intimately) and so incarnated and took on our full nature (body and soul-except for the sin). He took both with Him when He ascended. He still has them. Thus paradise was opened to us once again–first to the thief on the Cross and then the rest of us.

                To posit that fallen sexual desires (of any sort) are part of our inherent nature is to say the same about Jesus Christ. It is a Christological heresy in my opinion and may be officially recognized as such at some point

                Romans especially Chapter One explains it really well–not just because it mentions homosexuality, but explains the entire cause of our depravity.

                I have been on this earth for 65 years and I know that we simply cannot fix much of anything except ourselves and then only by the grace of God. Insanity, despair and apostasy lie in the belief that we can fix anything. Give glory to God for all of His gifts (especially for things that are hard to bear), lift up your heart to Him and allow Him to give the increase. Here are a couple of examples of what I mean, especially the first: http://silouanthompson.net/2009/12/with-my-own-eyes/

                Surely giving alms (helping others near you who are in need, living a life or mercy) is a big part of the Christian life but that does not require that we worry about everything and everyone else. That is part of the secular assault on human beings that is intended to keep us always in a state of fear.

                “Fear not. I have overcome the world.”

                I am ever so slowly learning that truth.

  6. I’m amused by the deacon’s comments and suppose this is warranted:

    These people are, in effect, apostates. If you don’t weed them out of leadership, they will sink your ship just as they have many others. It may be too late already, given the strange reaction of the Metropolitan to Fr. Arida’s remarks.

    I know that many in the Episcopal Church believed one or both of two erroneous ideas:

    1. That confronting and excising this behavior is not necessary, it is better to keep the peace and be thankful that things are normal in my little corner of the church. What happens at a cathedral or at Central HQ does not affect me. Besides, we don’t go on “witch hunts”.

    2. That the chickens will never come home to roost and we will never have to deal with these troublemakers if we just go along to get along. Their not interested in us out here.

    Both these assumptions were horribly misguided and the ostriches got what they deserved. So too will those who ignore this type of subversion by people like Fr. Arida get what they deserve, though they may otherwise appear to be nice people. There is a reason the Church has excommunicated in past generations. It is to protect the wider church from spiritual corruption in one place.

    There is no more reason to discuss the acceptability of same sex sexual relationships than there is the acceptability of idolatry or abortion. Discussion implies that there is some merit in the subject considered. “We do not discuss abominations.”

  7. Here’s an article that further demonstrates how the OCA is on the sidelines and how Moscow isn’t waiting for it to get its act together. Although the OCA was included in this meeting, the purpose was for the MP to forge a close and working relationship with the ACNA.

    Metropolitan Jonah opened this door and to the ACNA and Moscow will pick up where he left off.