An Orthodox Response to BLM from Kaleb of Atlanta

Not feeling the love here if you ask me.

Recently, our friends over at published an insightful piece by an American Orthodox Christian by the name of Kaleb of Atlanta.

It’s a fascinating piece to us here at Monomakhos for a variety of reasons. One being that it shows that the Church of Russia is interested in the spiritual, political, and cultural convulsion that the United States is presently undergoing. And make no mistake: there is a spiritual element involved in what we are witnessing. The riots are merely a manifestation, a singular (albeit violent) item on a smorgasbord of crapitude that is on the menu before us.

Why do I say this? Because the demonic fury that is being unleashed on innocent people, their livelihoods, and their property, defies any rational explanation. There is no negotiation with such tactics, there is no political end-game –unless one believes that permanent anarchy is an end-game. It makes Helter Skelter, Charles Manson’s apocalyptic vision seem reasonable in retrospect. At least Manson believed he and his infamous family would ride in on their motorcycles and save the day. In contrast, the hooligans who are destroying our cities at present are not nearly as far-sighted; for them, it’s anarchy for the sake of anarchy.

I mean, seriously; I get looting a Target or CVS and absconding with some swag, You know a little undocumented shopping in lieu of the reparations that you got coming to you but some over-educated white dude burning down a Starbucks or an AutoZone? How is that going to help anyone? Even animals don’t foul their own nest. This is nihilism pure and simple. And God is not the author of nihilism. That honor belongs to someone else.

The question is why have so many succumbed to this spirit (and I literally mean to use the word “spirit”)?

People we thought we knew stand ready to spontaneously combust.  Like brittle tinder, they glow under a shower of sparks, bursting into flames at the slightest provocation.   This is not normal and it is not rational.  

The answer is really quite nefarious: the founders of almost all modern ideologies were themselves occultists or outright Satanists. The list is a long and sordid one: Albert Pike, Helena Blavatsky, and Aleister Crowley; these were the tip of this demonic iceberg.

When the slaves of Haiti understandably rose in rebellion against their French slave-masters in 1791, they invoked the names of African deities to help them in their quest for freedom. Unfortunately, when one makes a deal with the devil, there’s always hell to pay. Don’t believe me? Then why is Haiti the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere? (Look it up if you don’t believe me.)

Now comes word that the founders of the BLM movement are self-described Marxists, who lest it be forgotten, was himself, a committed Satanist. Their commitment to Marxist principles is not nostalgic but very up-to-the-moment. According to Dr Melina Abdullah, one of the founders of the Los Angeles chapter of BLM (Bigots Love Marx?), they “practice traditions from West African places”.

“When we come out into the streets, and we pray – the first thing we do when we hear of a murder is we come out and we pray, we pour libation we built with community where the person’s life was stolen,” [sic].”

To drive the point further, Abdullah goes on to say:

“…it took almost a year for me to realize that this movement is much more than a racial or social justice movement. At its core, it’s a spiritual movement. Because we are literally standing on spilled blood. And you can’t pretend like that’s work –that’s just like some organizing work.


Straight from the horse’s mouth if you ask me.

So you see, there is a spiritual element involved here. And given the billions of dollars of worth of damage wrought by these malefactors, it’s not a beneficent one.

In my opinion, the insights of Kaleb from Atlanta (which are highlighted below) must be understood in this light. It addresses the problems that are plaguing our nation, as well as why some misguided people, especially within the African-American community, turn to anti-Christian movements such as BLM in the first place.

Having said that, it raises another, more subtle point: why have our bishops here in America not addressed this mayhem in the proper, Orthodox light? Outside of Archbishop Peter of Chicago (of ROCOR), the silence of the Orthodox bishops in America has been thunderous. Or maladroit: as when Archbishop Elpidophoros of the GOA chose to march with these miscreants, in perhaps on of the most ill-advised actions of his short archpastorate.

Too many questions, too few answers.

In any event, we ask that you take the time to read this thoughtful piece by Kaleb. As always, your thoughts, opinions and responses are always welcome.


  1. Quite encouraging that this brother of ours has immersed himself in the African saints and seeks to evangelize those of African descent.

  2. Great article! Kaleb of Atlanta knocked it out of the ballpark.

  3. Our bishops have utterly failed the faithful not only with speaking out against BLM, but, shutting down, or partially shutting down, the Churches. They then went further with even considering allowing multiple spoons and requiring priests to wear masks while distributing communion, forbidding the veneration of icons, etc., is it any wonder they didn’t stand up to the wave of evil that is coming from BLM/Antifa/the Left? They have proven themselves to not have the spiritual fortitude to take care of the souls of their flock. Quite the opposite, we had one of the leading hierarchs (Archbishop Elpidophoros) not only march with the satanic marxist BLM, but, choose to bless a political party that openly advocates for the extermination of children UP UNTIL BIRTH. I am convinced that no matter what Archbishop Elpidophoros tries to accomplish here, whether it be the St. Nicholas “shrine” or parish renewal, it will not come to pass because at the end of the day, nothing he appears to do seems to be grounded in Christ.  
    If the spiritual mirrors the temporal then it is no coincidence that Hagia Sophia and the Chora Church have been permanently taken away from Patriarch Bartholomew, along with that the Turkish government creating the new Islamist center on Halki. Turns out all his pandering did not work. 
    As for Kaleb of Atlanta’s article in Orthochrisistian, I think not only the black American population needs the Orthodox Church, but, we all do in order to solve our civil strife. The problem is, if they seek out the Orthodox Church here in America, are our bishops and clergy going to have the spiritual fortitude to tell them that these movements are not only wrong, but, completely evil? I hope they would but their present actions say otherwise. 
    For Orthodoxy to survive and thrive here in America we need to do a hard reset because what we are currently doing is clearly not working on a large scale other than individual parishes 

    • It’s come to the point where we are going to have to choose between following Christianity, as championed by our good president Donald Trump, or following our bishops.  I think this is all becoming much more clear.

    • Petro,Bravo!
      I think the RESET must include the method of electing ALL clergy, yes indeed Bishops too! The original ancient method of including the votes of the laity has gradually been dropped:
      A bad bishop can easily promote/elect another bad bishop.
      What is worse, an archbishop can expertly “induce” many other bishops to elect the candidate chosen by the AB. At the end of the day, most of the bishops are easily influenced by the Archbishop, that is the death of the conciliar order.
      A by-product of the above is that the average bishop listens to the AB alone not the congregation, or even the brethren bishops!
      Long live the 1453 paradigm:
      The Sultan (now President or Banker) controls the ArchBishop and through him the Church!

  4. Elpi gotta go says
  5. Cryprian of the West says

    Here’s one response. In a similar nod to ‘systemic racism’, there is an article entitled Christianity and Racism in the most recent edition of the Antiochian Archdiocese publication The Word. Excerpt:RACISM IS MY SINAlmost all white people, even those who have committed egregious actions and posted vile statements, will begin with the words “I am not a racist, but….” I do understand, as a sometimes naive white male, not wanting to shoulder the “white guilt” of all American history. In Christ, however, it simply cannot be too heavy to say in humility, “I occasionally do racist things, sometimes without awareness.”

    • Michael Bauman says

      Cyprian, the author of the piece is a fellow parishoner. We have been at St. George together for a long time.  Reading the article allows me to make sense of several interactions I have had with him over the last few years I found puzzling at the time. I plan to talk to him about the article. God grant me the grace to speak in a way he can hear.  

    • I am not at all convinced that favoring ones own race or ethnic group is inherently evil, nor am I convinced that slavery is, in itself, evil.  To be so, I would have to repudiate my Orthodoxy and so it is not likely that I will come to that conclusion.
      All of the Church Fathers, save St. Gregory of Nyssa, were unequivocal in their acceptance of slavery.  St. John Chrysostom wrote of it as if it were a positive good to both master and slave.
      Furthermore, the notion that the soft racism of favoring ones own people or aggregating with them is evil seems foreign to God’s people and God Himself as described in the Holy Scriptures. 
      Why do we speak of the Chosen People?  Why did the Law of Moses, delivered by God, prohibit the descendant of a gentile to enter the priesthood unto the tenth generation.  Why did Christ refer to gentiles as the “dogs of the house” when approached by the Canaanite woman to heal her daughter?  Why was St. Paul sent first to the Jews, then only afterward to the Gentiles?
      This is not to say that the hard racism of violence solely because of the color of ones skin is defensible.  It is not.  God created all men in His Image.  But we must recall that entire tribes who mercilessly vexed the Hebrews were cursed with extinction by the same God who inspired the statement “God is love.”
      This white privilege and white guilt are simply the emotion fads of the age, passions just like any other.  “Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!!!” and so they feel better about having grown up in upper middle class or upper class homes while many underwent less comfortable experiences.  “It must be my fault.  What can I do about it?”
      And that is the place where the evil one wants you, feeling ashamed (remember the Garden), indebted to malevolent actors and supportive of their wicked machinations.

      • MomofToddler says

        This is very interesting. My husband and I were speaking of this the other day. We have certain instincts in us that are not sinful…and we generally don’t give much thought to. And now because of the propaganda going on, young adults will be asking themselves “Maybe I’m racist? Maybe I’m really a boy? Maybe I’m a girl? Maybe I’m neither? Maybe I’m fill in the blank?” They want to break down all of God’s created order so people demand the New World Order and One World Religion. The idea of nations is now even seen as some kind of racism, which is why Brexit was such a big deal. (Really didn’t read that much about it other than I know celebrities were angry about it and it was some kind of propaganda.) It’s now racist to like our own country and have American flags. It’s hard to put words to it but I really think trying to make people feel racist who are not actually racist, especially the under 30 crowd, is trying to break down a natural order and get people to accept the One World Gov and feel guilty for not doing so, etc. Talking about race itself generally stresses me out because I’m multi-racial, but I will say that many of my closest friends looked somewhat like me growing up, whatever racial mixes or not they had. That was during the insecure younger years and college, the years when people are often drawn to seek out people like themselves due to insecurity. And there is racism in the world….I had someone where I live before knowing my ethnicity tell me “I moved from [this state] to get away from [people of a certain ethnicity which is also mine]. Friendship pretty much ended after that. I have had people tell me that I couldn’t be my ethnicity because I’m well educated and articulate, etc. That stuff is not fun to hear…or even that I must have less of “my other ethnicity” than I think I do (not true.). With that said, BLM has nothing to do with racism or helping anything…it’s obviously communist, and even worse than that. If racism still exists, it is probably much due to the operations of the CIA screwing around with things and trying to push down certain races. (I have to be vague of this “other ethnicity” because the Orthodox Church is simply not very diverse and I’m trying to be anonymous.)

        • There are so many ways we exclude or hurt others by not treating them as icons of Christ, valued as much for their differences from “me” or “us” as much as their similarities to “me” or “us.” The Saints don’t seem to prioritize ethnicity or anything else. They are no respecter of persons but lovers of all. Isn’t that our common goal as Orthodox Christians? Isn’t this how the Saints think and behave because they are in tune with the Holy Spirit?

          Mother Gabriel helpful story:
          Again, Mother said . . . Once when I was there where I was, some foreign missionary came and said to me, “You may be a good woman, but you’re not a good Christian.” I said, “Why?” “Because you have been here so long and you only go about speaking English. What local languages have you learned?” I said to him, “I haven’t managed to learn any of the local languages, because I travel a great deal from place to place. As soon as I learn one dialect, they start speaking another. I’ve only learned ‘Good morning’ and ‘Good evening.’ Nothing else.” “Bah, you’re no Christian. How can you evangelize? All the Catholics and Protestants learn all the local dialects in order to . . .” Then I said, “Lord, give me an answer for him.” I asked it with all my heart, and then I said, “Ah. I forgot to tell you. I know five languages.” “Really? What are these five?” “The first is the smile; the second is tears. The third is to touch. The fourth is prayer, and the fifth is love. With these five languages I go all around the world.” Then he stopped and said, “Just a minute. Say that again so I can write it down.” With these five languages you can travel the whole earth, and all the world is yours. Love everyone as your own–without concern for religion or race, without concern for anything.  

 posted this week over 300 of her sayings…

          • Gail Sheppard says

            Enjoyed this. Thank you!

          • MomofToddler says

            “They are no respecter of persons but lovers of all. Isn’t that our common goal as Orthodox Christians? Isn’t this how the Saints think and behave because they are in tune with the Holy Spirit?
            I’m not sure I understand what you are getting at.  I wasn’t actually Orthodox when I was younger.  Also, I had a priest tell me that we aren’t required to be friends with everyone, but to love everyone.  We don’t have to be “best friends” with people we don’t have things in common with. (I like talking about homeschooling and gardening…I may “discriminate” against someone who doesn’t and that person may not be a close friend, even though I can still love them and talk to them sometimes.)  I think I’m just speaking on a very simple, practical level and I’m missing something.  

            • Oh me too Mom of Toddler! And I am right brain and not linear.  I was grieved by the experience you described and then thinking of all the ways (racially, socio-economically, gender, married/unmarried, employed/unemployed, “religiously” (Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Hi ndu), age wise, ethnically, we fallen humans tend to categorize regard the other as foreign or distant and hurt one another even in Church and withdraw unconsciously and especially when hurt by someone or a place, and though I happened to reply to you , previous posts by others were all impacting me and then I happened to read Mother Gabriel and thought her approach was perfect and certainly humbling to me but inspiring.   All the problems start in my mind if I cannot think of the other with love snd not as foreign to me.  Sorry if I confused you.  I was just trained to look to the Holy Fathers and Mothers for methods and solutions so share what I find that just helped me so I don’t forget our ideal which I forget a lot. However being old and much older than you I have been treated or regarded as “foreign” many time in different groups and contexts in hurtful ways enough as we all have gor differing reasons so always long for and appreciate those who empathize with others when hurt and can see their infirmities and not reject them for them, especially when harmed by others. My first and forever Orthodox community under Vladika Dmitri demonstrated that forbearance and generous love toward “difficult others” who even treated them cruelly out of their spiritual or emotional illnesses but subsequently healed over time in response.   And I realized yesterday that they used Mother Gabriel’s approach so I shared. Apologies  for distressing or confusing you!  

            • Dear Mom of Toddler
              Forgive me for distressing and confusing you!  I just wrote a long-winded post which I should have deleted but now can’t get.  I know fallen nature is well “nourished” in me so I am not surprised to see it everywhere else but it hurts to think of or see its effects on others in action.  So I am very grateful for the Mother Gabriel’s of the world and all our saints of reminding me of what I am supposed to be like so I can try to understand why someone may hurt me (and I them) and realize how much the best Orthodox I know have somehow managed to say and live out “Father forgive them, they know not what they do” and love them generously despite their infirmities, as Vladika Dmitri and other priests sent have taught me I should do in response.  The times I do so through gritted teeth I have been amazed at the grace and help God has given me “suddenly” to understand them and not retreat from them or strike back.  But only through the grace of God am I ever able to do so.  Hope this doesn’t make things even worse!  After one more post, I had best take a break from commenting, as I never meant to harm but clearly am.  Your prayers please!  

              • MomofToddler says

                Dear Nicole,
                Thank you for your posts and clarification!.  I do agree with you that what you described should be our ideal.  I have found when I have faith/worldview in common with someone, none of the other differences matter, at least not on my end.  In my situation, even at my former Orthodox church I just left, I didn’t have faith/worldview in common with very many so conversations had to revolve around an interest whether mine or theirs.  Before I moved to the Bible Belt 5 years ago and lived in California all of my friends were Orthodox, and now I mainly have a couple non Orthodox casual friends where homeschooling and kids is the only connection.
                The ROCOR church where I am able to visit once a month now, everyone is sooo nice and welcoming. 
                (Originally I was trying to make a connection to a false guilt in trying to get the younger crowd to join the “New World Order” movement where there are no boundaries, but you are also right that there is a Christian ideal of loving everyone and not showing preference so it’s a complicated topic I guess.)

  6. Michael Miles says

    While no doubt the article is well intended, it gets off on the wrong foot. It assumes that Black America is homogeneous. It is not. It assumes by virtue of having the same skin color that people are thereby the same otherwise. They are not.

    It assumes that an appeal to saints from the African continent would somehow appeal to people who are many many generations removed from said continent, would immediately see just how different they are if they went back to said continent, and which continent itself is not homogeneous in any meaningful way as evidenced by the historical wars and slavery amongst themselves by people of the *same skin color* on that continent. It does not. 

    “Black” America, like “white” America is quite diverse. Why white people think black people are any more culturally homogenous than they are is beyond me. There are huge cultural differences in “black America” just as there are in “white America.” When southern slaveholders tried to mix Africans of different geographical pedigrees together they found they could not do so. Why? Because despite having a similar skin tone they had clashing cultures. So they had to keep them apart.

    Ethnicity and skin tone are not the issue. Culture is and there is no cultural homogeneity amongst those who have long ago ancestors in Africa. And thank the Lord because while Orthodoxy cannot change ethnicity or skin tone it certainly can transform a culture. 

    • Gail Sheppard says

      George and I have been talking about this, too.

    • Consider politics, music, film, books, religion, other interests . . . American blacks are far less diverse in these matters than other large ethnic groups. Biden was right when he said that American Hispanics were more diverse as a group (he was criticized for this — even though it’s obviously true). Yes, we have Caribbean and African immigrants, but even the children of these folks tend to melt into American black culture. With 40 million people, of course you’re going to see a wide spectrum of people. Yet, compared to other groups, black Americans are more “culturally homogeneous.” In addition, the culturally fringed of the black community tend to pose as a standard black American instead of bucking the trend. There was this super-WASPy black guy who was in the news not too long ago . . . he is obsessed with golf, devoted to NPR, watches TED talks, reads high-brow literature . . . he even bought a vacation home on Martha’s Vineyard. He had it rough trying to break through, though, until he ditched his white girl friends and insinuated himself into black radical race hustling in Chi-town. After that, he sailed all the way to the White House.

      • I would state that African-Americans and European-Americans are just as diverse as each other, especially if their families have been here for more than three generations. It is more of a question of recent immigration than anything else.
        The appeal to Ethiopian black saints is the same as some white Americans have to Irish and English saints. I have experienced the effects of multiculturalism with individuals digging into the pre-Enlightenment cultures of their ancestors because their culture was more diverse and interesting. Also because our country lacks any history before the Enlightenment destroyed tradition, people (especially my generation, Millennials who are obsessed with identity) look for anything that they can claim as their own. We are taught that we must be unique.
        I agree with the article posted in Orthochristian and Medium. We have a massive spiritual problem and need a spiritual solution.

        • Michael Miles says

          Ben Davis:
          “The appeal to Ethiopian black saints is the same as some white Americans have to Irish and English saints.”
          I have no problem with this but some is the operative word. As a missionary strategy to 42,000,000 people (many with ancestral backgrounds that include Irish and English saints given the realities of life in the Americas) I think its misguided. 

          • Michael, I agree. The best saints to look to our America’s own (St. Herman, St. Raphael, St. John, etc.). The Church is diverse with a multitude of saints that we can immolate. St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco is one of my family’s patrons as we are constantly expats in other countries. St. Nichai Velimirovich and St. Paisius also help me. I believe that our mission ‘strategy’ as Orthodox is to provide examples of Christian life. This can be our life and the lives of the saints, especially local and modern ones that are easier for our contemporaries to understand.  To quote one of my favorite movies “If you build it, they will come.” We just need to trust God and His Providence.

      • Michael Miles says

        Joseph A.:

        “Consider politics, music, film, books, religion, other interests . . . American blacks are far less diverse in these matters than other large ethnic groups.”

        ??I’ve considered all of that and my original point still stands. The media image of what is colloquially known as “black America” is not the same as what is happening on the ground in “black America.” There is a certain segment (roughly 20%) for whom this is true but that certainly doesn’t encompass the entirety of what is going on.

        We could argue the relative extent of cultural homogeneity vis a vis one group versus another. But that wasn’t my point. The assumption of such a state among “black America” while common is misguided and wrong. 

        Among those who are religious they tend to be socially conservative and politically liberal. Hmmmm…I can think of some groups who call themselves Orthodox who would fit that label.

        “Yes, we have Caribbean and African immigrants, but even the children of these folks tend to melt into American black culture.”

        ??Africa is diverse enough that to speak of African immigrants without any qualifications is to speak nonsense. Such a broad brush is fine for pop discussions but when we start digging into the weeds its not very helpful.

        And many of the children don’t meld into “black America” in fact some of the most vociferous critics of many generations removed from Africa black Americans (with diverse ethnic ancestral mixtures quite different from African immigrants) are immigrants and their next generation children wondering what all the whining is about given the opportunities they have been able to exploit in the US because the culture they hail from values such things.

        “In addition, the culturally fringed of the black community tend to pose as a standard black American instead of bucking the trend. There was this super-WASPy black guy who was in the news not too long ago . . . he is obsessed with golf, devoted to NPR, watches TED talks, reads high-brow literature . . . he even bought a vacation home on Martha’s Vineyard. He had it rough trying to break through, though, until he ditched his white girl friends and insinuated himself into black radical race hustling in Chi-town. After that, he sailed all the way to the White House.

        ??Until the last bit I thought you were going to reference Clarence Thomas, another relatively unique figure in American politics. But I guess he doesn’t count. ?

        • Hello, MM,

          I think that the common beliefs about black American monoculture are comparative. Almost all judgments are. “My boat is big.” Obviously, it’s big compared to something . . . but not Jupiter. As another fellow stated, when a group votes 95% one way, they’re more likely culturally similar than another group that votes 70/30 or 60/40.
          I don’t understand your second “brown hand” — it doesn’t relate to my argument. African immigrants of whatever diversity are a drop in the bucket compared to native black Americans. As far as their progeny, I hope that you’re right, but it is not what I have seen. The talented 10% — high yellow islanders who take advantage of the Ivy League slots meant for the descendants of American slaves and then go on to work at the highest levels of government — they certainly are their own flavor. Regardless, they’re a fringe, while there really is a large cohesion in the American black community — owing, I think, to their less varied American origins story. Yes, there are blacks who stayed in the South, blacks whose families emigrated north before or soon after the WBTS, and blacks whose families came up to work in 20th century factories  . . . not to mention high class mixed folks from N’Orleans. Those distinctions, though, have receded as the various groups have intermarried — just as the differences between German and Italian immigrants have dwindled through marriage and cross-cultural pollination. Still, the initial differences were less than those of national differences (which had been lost or rather retained but homogenized much, much earlier among blacks).
          Location likely matters, too. The incomprehensible Gullah people certainly stand apart — but they’re not widely known. Anyway, my point is that there is a a stronger unity in black American culture — or, well, a far darker circle of overlapping Venn groups with American blacks in all sorts of ways than other groups. That doesn’t mean that the Ethiopians aren’t doing their thing in DC, owning the clubs and serving up wat. It doesn’t discount the dudes at Negril with their jerk chicken and rasta vibes.
          Thomas does buck the trend — very much so. But until the last decade, how many nationally visible colleagues of the same sort did he have? And, to make it harder for you, I mean people like Thomas from old American negro stock — not Malcolm Gladwell exotics. 
          I’ll end with a telling but also sad anecdote. DC is full of buppies — talented young’uns mov’in on up in the big city. These folks have relatively diverse backgrounds, but almost all have great grandparents who were poor and Southern. They inherited that culture to some extent, though many try to distance themselves somewhat, being Beltway social climbers. One of their social activities is “chicken and watermelon” parties, ironically named because, heaven forbid, they follow the stereotype. But they DO follow that stereotype because, well, honestly, who dislikes chicken and watermelon? (Especially seeded watermelon — leave that newfangled mutant stuff to the Japanese.) Yet, they have to do what they like to do with ironic airs because they want to distinguish themselves from the monoculture. But it’s just a childish move — a classist trick. Their families may have left Alabama 80 years ago, but they have retained a taste for the cuisine.
          With national hyper-mobility and the loss of regional distinctiveness, that may be happening with everyone. White Southerners certain like their chicken and watermelon — summer Sunday food, if there was ever any. Do white New Englanders? I don’t know. Do non-Oakie coastal Californians? They probably put Vietnamese cilantro and some weird lychee juice on theirs, fruitcakes that they are!

    • Michael Bauman says

      Michael Miles,

      [A man I know who works in] a local ER here in Wichita. As he alludes to he has had little contact with or experience with black America.  Who he sees in his ER and his experience as a medical misonary in east Africa decades ago are it. Currently we have no active African Americans at St. George to our sorrow.  The Lebanese community here in Wichita has been very unwelcoming to American blacks. We have a significant number of Ethiopians (some from the Selassie clan) but that is wholly different.  

      My parish has quite a bad history in regard to blacks.  It actually is bad enough that, if there were a viable option I would go there.  It is current enough that a black friend of mine who I helped bring into the Church and who went through the Antiochian House of Studies program no longer attends because his grandson was called racial epithets in the drive through of our “Big Dinner” a few years ago.  We lost him too.  

      God bless him, but Mark has no clue. He has a bad case of white Baptist guilt.   He is quite rigid in his opinions.
      His article made me realize that he and I have almost nothing in common except our love of Jesus Christ and devotion to the Church.  I have much less in common with him than with my black friend.  That Mark and I both found our way to the Church is amazing.  It is a continuing sorrow that my black friend feels he can no longer share the Cup with me. 

      None of that has any relevance to the politics of BLM however. They have hi-jacked the anger though. 
      God forgive us. Repentance, not ideology is the cure.  As a parish, we have a very long way to go. 
      Please pray for us. 

      • Michael Miles says

        Michael Bauman:

        That is a sad story. It shows the dangerous and precarious nature of what happens when we sin against a brother while also highlighting some of the problems that enfeeble some of our parishes.

        We never know how someone will respond. In some instances people can let it roll off and have a real compassion and empathy for someone who would hurl racial epithets at them. Others are wounded to such an extent (as your friend) that they leave the Church. I think such a response is problematic for many reasons on several levels but it is a reality. 

        I have been in a GOA church with a noticeable group of Ethiopians but no black Americans and wondered about that dynamic. Clearly its not an issue of skin color. Perhaps you could enlighten me on the situation. 

        • Michael Bauman says

          Michael there is very little affinity between blacks from Africa and American blacks. They tend to mistrust each other and not really like each other.  My experience over the years has been that many Africans tend to look down on American blacks for having been slaves, etc.  Stupid human crap like that. 
          The Ethiopians in my parish have been Orthodox all of their lives and can trace their Orthodox ancestors all the way back to the beginning of the Church. They are quite proud of that. That and their imperial ancestry. They carry themselves with a grace and confidence that I have seen in few American blacks–only the deeply Orthodox like Fr. Moses Berry and Fr. Paul Abernathy who have been able to process the legacy of slavery in Christ more deeply. 
          My friend, even when he came, would be in the very back pew because he did not want anyone behind him. Part of that came from his long work in prisons but not all. 
          His sponsor was a white guy who also worked at the prison but my bond with him (God given) was what convinced him to make the step.  He told me he had never met a white guy that he could connect with like he can with me.  By God’s grace I can see him and he can see me.  Deeply.  He still is a little spooked by that.  Somehow this white guy whom he hardly knew got past all of his defenses.  God is good.  I was there almost when we first met.  I don’t know how it happened either–just did. For my part, I let him see me too with no phoney white guilt while still acknowledging his fear and pain without judgement but also sharing his sorrow.
          He knows where his home is and will eventually return–just not yet

          • Michael Miles says

            Michael Bauman: 

            “Michael there is very little affinity between blacks from Africa and American blacks. They tend to mistrust each other and not really like each other.  My experience over the years has been that many Africans tend to look down on American blacks for having been slaves, etc.  Stupid human crap like that.”

            Oh yes I am acutely aware of this and alluded to it in an earlier comment. Though I must admit given the history of slavery on the African continent itself it causes me to chuckle when African immigrants look down on black Americans because some of their ancestors were once slaves.  
            “The Ethiopians in my parish have been Orthodox all of their lives and can trace their Orthodox ancestors all the way back to the beginning of the Church. They are quite proud of that. That and their imperial ancestry. They carry themselves with a grace and confidence that I have seen in few American blacks–only the deeply Orthodox like Fr. Moses Berry and Fr. Paul Abernathy who have been able to process the legacy of slavery in Christ more deeply.”
            In other words culture, not skin color or ethnicity, is what distinguishes them from many non-Orthodox American blacks.
            I do hope your friend finds his way back. 

            • Michael Bauman says

              Michael Miles, yes. The American fixation on skin color is blinding to humanity. My friend, bless his heart, is caught in the same trap in away. He has told me directly how surprised he was that a white boy like me and a black man like him could have such a connection. It happened when I gave him a book by Albert Raboteau as a welcome gift on the day I found out he was going to be Christmated. Right in the middle of Eighth Day Books.
              I trust you know of Prof Raboteau? 
              Such a shame, literally a shame that such sin still exists in the Church.
              My parents, especially my mother taught me that regardless of skin color or culture, we are all human. Christ died for all of us. That simple really.  
              The rest is just fear and stupidity.  May God forgive us. 
              Still being the only American black in the place would be daunting.   Even in the presence of the angels and saints.  I wish I knew a way of addressing the situation but I do not. Any ideas? 

          • Lola J. Lee Beno says

            I will agree with you on the little affinity.  I have no real interest in going “back” to Africa other than the fact that we share the same skin tones. My ancestors were made to settle deeply in Northern Virginia (see my first last name) and in the South. I’ll be damned if I will be made to move from my country.

    • “Why white people think black people are any more culturally homogenous than they are is beyond me.”

      Unlike any other demographic group, a super majority of black people are Democrats, and that’s why every group sees a monolith.

      Charlamagne: Listen, you’ve got to come see us when you come to New York, VP Biden. It’s a long way until November. We’ve got more questions.

      Biden: You’ve got more questions? Well I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.

      • Michael Miles says

        Yes I am aware of the political homogeneity that exists among black voters. I’m trying to encourage Orthodox not to embrace such a shallow sociological evaluation of “black America” if indeed we want to win many of them to the Orthodox faith. 

        • ” I’m trying to encourage Orthodox not to embrace such a shallow sociological evaluation of ‘black America’ if indeed we want to win many of them to the Orthodox faith.”

          You want to win many of them?  Then be the most openly anti-BLM/Democrat Christian group within America.  Focus on trying to woo the blacks who aren’t Democrats, and are in fact highly hostile towards them, that’s your target audience.  Oh nobody wants “those” blacks?  Then carry on with the virtue signaling, like that’ll help sell Orthodoxy to blacks, when they can just stay in their black majority Protestant churches and listen to that x100 and even put into action on the street fighting level.

          • Michael Miles says

            Myst: “You want to win many of them?”

            I do actually. God found me, an American black male, and graciously led me to Christ, and ultimately to the Orthodox faith.

            The rest of your little rant has no meaning to me.

            • Michael Bauman says

              Michael Miles, forgive my assumption that you were white. What I said about the dynamic between African and American blacks is my observation of the attitudes here and what I have been told by some black friends.   
              I would like to know you experience.  

  7. Following-up to my previous comment, on top of everything else Archbishop Elpidophoros is now praising the life of RBG…who is responsible for the murder of millions of innocent babies in the womb. Anaxios. That’s about all I have left to say about him. Anaxios. May his reign be short 

    • This Archbishop has no shame. I refuse to believe that he keeps committing these blunders out of ignorance. Just when I think that he cannot scandalize the faithful any further he proves me wrong. The entire Orthodox Church needs to rise up against this man and drive him out of America so that he can be reunited with his mentor in Istanbul!

      • cynthia curran says

        No its not. BLM is a secular group and while not all protesters support defunding the police or the black arts some of BLM does. In fact in Portland there were witches that cursed the cops. A lot of these folks while making fun of any christians, orthodox, catholic, or protestant support a lot of the occult. In fact BLM belongs to the left that hates Russia the most. As Terry Matthing, and orthodox that appears on the protestant issues etc mention the left started to hate Russia as it became more orthodox.

        • “while not all protesters support defunding . . . the black arts”
          Interesting, as pretty much every cultural institution in my city since May has been sending me countless emails, pledging to support black arts. Poor Beethoven, whose 250 birthday is coming up, is getting negative press because he and the rest of the pantheon of European genius are merely symbols of “white supremacy” to many denizens of this age. Article after article goes on about black arts and the black artists who do them blackally and how they are not given the respect they deserve because systemic racism blah, blah, blah.

          Just playing with you — I know they’re Satanists, though perhaps not all of them know it. Those who could hate Bach because the glory of his music somehow incites resentment in their perverse souls are already deeply possessed by evil spirits.

  8. cynthia curran says

    Its the wacko Tech industry that caused the messed. They insist all adding jobs to over price New York City when you get better workers in Austin or Raleigh. Rent is very high and making 100,000 in New York City means you rent, sorry. So, young people are thinking if its a choice between high tech in New York or service jobs at 15 an hour. Then, the left is right on the inequality problems. The tech left wants to be in expenive big cities where people don’t think they get ahead.

  9. Cyprian of the West says

    The article reminds me of DiAngelo’s White Fragility, where all white people are racist, even if they’re not aware of it. What made the editor decide to publish this? Is the Antiochian Church racist, because of racism against black people by most (every?) white parishioners? 

    • George Michalopulos says

      For what it’s worth, a truly stupid book by a truly stupid, over-educated academic.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Cynthia, there is no such thing as “secular*.  God is everywhere present, filling all things. Thus all of our actions and thoughts are either Godly or not. Our fruits reveal our direction. The fruits of BLM are clearly not of God. 

  10. I’m not racist, but BLM is an affront to black people.  Black people should denounce it.  If they don’t, then I have much less respect for them. The ball is in their court.

    • “I’m not racist, but . . .”

      Depending on one’s definition of racism (of which there seem to be thousands), I am most definitely a racist . . . meaning that I recognize that shared ancestry normally leads to shared and shaping experiences as well as (over time, given geographic separation and the interesting story of mankind) genetic differentiation (with nature and nurture/culture mutually influencing one another through the generations) that are _very_ important in understanding human beings. Ethnicity/race/endogamous socio-cultural-religious groups exist and matter _a lot_. That idea seems to be the best neutral definition for the word racism (root-ism). Indeed, many, many people hold this true but talk about it inconsistently so as not to violate the current idols of the tribe. I don’t care much for idols. I care about truth.

      “Black people should denounce it.”

      What does this mean? I had a friend who would get rather steamed when people would mention Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson as representatives of the Negro Nation (not exactly in those terms, but that was definitely the idea). She’d point out that she had never voted for them. No one had (well, maybe their congregations once, but that was linked to the “reverend” part of their job, not the official shakedown artist part). Similarly, why would you expect everyday black folks to denounce BLM? Many clowns, cons, and cultists who happen to be Persons of Pallor are constantly doing asinine or even wicked things. As a fellow POP, am I supposed to “denounce” them? To whom? Where? How often? Like Trump, am I supposed to talk about how vile David Duke is? Before each meal? During morning reflection? As soon as I introduce myself to strangers? “Hello, John, my name is Joseph, and I really disavow David Duke. Now, please tell me your qualifications for this opening.”

      • Gail Sheppard says

        RE: “Similarly, why would you expect everyday black folks to denounce BLM?”

        Well, I don’t expect it but all of my black friends do. They don’t care for the way BLM has been hijacked by anarchists. – Really liked your comment.

      • Was the Person from Porlock a Person of Pallor?
        I wonder…

        • As an unwelcome visitor, he most certainly had to be. African revisionism only claims the worthies.

          And speaking of which, I’ve encountered the Bantu Beethoven idea before, and I don’t buy it. The African heritage of Pushkin and Dumas was well known and widely celebrated (as an exotic, fascinating fact). Had Beethoven been part African, it would be known. He was part Walloon, which is shameful enough in my book. Better to claim Igbo ancestry; they’re a far more respectable people, even the criminals!

          Update: This inspired me to look up Pushkin’s great grandfather — Abram Petrovich Gannibal. What an amazing story! How in the world hasn’t his life been made into a(n English language) movie?!?!?!

  11. Michael Bauman says
    • What beautiful news on the morning of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos (OS)!   Thank you for posting Michael.  

      Another blessed morning venerating icons and receiving and worshipping “as usual” and without a camera at the ROCOR parish ~ so very reverent and focused on honoring Panaghia and all she has meant and means to us temporally and eternally!  

      Encouraging to see a devout Orthodox friend travelling around to find “normal” again and discovering it here this morning. Thank you Lord for blessings and Panagia for getting me there early!  

      Glory to God for our potential new brothers and sisters across the waters!