“Apocalypse” Averted

Source: American Orthodox Institute

By Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster

In A Christmas Carol, a seasonal favorite that Charles Dickens wrote in 1843, the miserly misanthrope Ebenezer Scrooge is privileged, thanks to the silent, ominous Spirit of Christmas Yet to Come, to glimpse his miserable future and lonely demise. Before he turns to read the tombstone inscribed with his own name, Scrooge asks the specter with great trepidation, “Are these the shadows of the things that Will be, or are they shadows of things that May be, only?”

In view of the numerous overwrought displays of grief, disbelief, and even violent protests following the unexpected defeat of Hillary Rodham Clinton by President-Elect Donald J. Trump in the November election, I propose that we consider what might have been if the Democrat nominee had prevailed. What are the “shadows of things” that might have been?

On October 11, 2016, in a moment of “extreme carelessness” (like her email server scandal) or sheer hubris, Mrs. Clinton declared to Mark Leibovich of the New York Times, “As I’ve told people, . . . I’m the last thing standing between you and the apocalypse”. Mrs. Clinton was, as usual, mistaken. She would have been the “apocalypse,” politically speaking, of the American Republic.


In an article titled “Transfigure or Die Trying” in Touchstone in May / June 2015, I suggested that traditional religious communities in America were already under siege in a “post-Christian vortex that bears a striking resemblance in many ways to the formative centuries of the ancient Church.” In broad strokes, “militant secular progressives are hell-bent on subverting the cherished moral virtues of life, family, chastity, work, responsibility, and piety.” America “is drowning in a sea of idolatrous self-worship, pursuing a modern version of ‘bread and circuses’ through increasingly violent and vulgar forms of entertainment and self-expression, a permanent welfare state from cradle to grave, abortion on demand, unrestricted sex, artificially constructed sexual identities, and publicly sanctioned ‘marriages’ between persons of the same sex—a contra naturam abomination that even ancient Rome at its worst moments never imagined.”

The two-year national election campaign just concluded accelerated our spiritual and moral decline as a people. The coarsening of public discourse and private conversation is breathtaking and almost enough to drive one to despair. Pathological lying, lawlessness, and acts of malice and personal destruction are omnipresent among the political class, the mainstream media, and the cultural elites in the academy, Hollywood and the other entertainment industries, even professional sports.

Almost no component of our federal government is above political and moral corruption—from the White House to the Congress to the U.S. Supreme Court to the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to the U.S. armed forces in which I served as an Orthodox chaplain for a quarter of a century until my retirement in 2010. Particularly ominous for traditional Christians in America are the increasing rhetorical, legal, and federal assaults on the religious freedom heretofore guaranteed to all Americans by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

In his dissenting opinion to the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision in June 2015, Chief Justice John Roberts rang an alarm bell: “The majority graciously suggests that religious believers may continue to ‘advocate’ and ‘teach’ their views of marriage. . . The First Amendment guarantees, however, the freedom to ‘exercise’ religion. Ominously, that is not a word the majority uses. . . . Indeed, the Solicitor General candidly acknowledged that the tax exemptions of some religious institutions would be in question if they opposed same-sex marriage.”

As recently as September, 2016, Martin R. Castro, chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, summarized a special report on religious freedom by that federal agency: “The phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance.”

In April 2015, Mrs. Clinton herself declared, “[F]ar too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth. All the laws we’ve passed don’t count for much if they’re not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.” Mrs. Clinton’s use of passive voice in the last phrase (“have to be changed”), instead of the usual active infinitive one might expect (“have to change”), betrayed the authoritarian intent of a would-be despot.


And that brings us to what a President Hillary Rodham Clinton might have wrought, if she had defeated Donald J. Trump.

Within her first 100 days in the White House—the standard for measuring the success of a new U.S. president—Mrs. Clinton would have undoubtedly begun to construct via proposed legislation, “executive orders,” or nominations and appointments a new socialist order with open borders and unrestricted immigration; all abortions—including “partial birth”—fully funded by the federal government; the transgenderization of all public bathrooms and locker rooms in all fifty states, including all government (“public”) schools; 50% quotas for women in federal hiring and appointments; a federal prohibition against “hate crime” speech that associates jihadist terrorism in any way with Islam, a “religion of peace”; a radical left-wing nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court bearing no semblance whatsoever to the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who interpreted the U.S. Constitution as a strict constructionist; needless provocations of the Russians owing to an obsessive anti-Putin animus but also rooted in hostility to the rebirth of the Russian Orthodox Church and the symbiotic resistance of Church and state in Russia to the West’s perverse crusade for “human rights” as viewed through secular progressive lenses; and other, unanticipated acts of foolishness and recklessness.

Most dire for Orthodox Christians, other traditional Christian communions (both Roman Catholic and Protestant), and the Orthodox and Hassidic Jewish denominations is the high probability that Mrs. Clinton would have, as President, issued an executive order unleashing the IRS to revoke the 501c3 federal tax exempt status of religious organizations that have not yielded to the new intolerant orthodoxy enforcing the LGBTetc. agenda. A gutting of the “free exercise” of religion enshrined in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution might have followed in the first year or two of President Clinton’s reign.

It is neither silly nor unrealistic also to have expected attempts by federal agencies, cheered on by a thoroughly corrupt mainstream media and an increasingly radicalized Democrat Party (both dominated by secular progressives), to discredit dissident churches and synagogues (though probably not mosques, for obvious reasons) and even close them and, perhaps, arrest and imprison dissident clergy on bogus charges of the violation of “human rights.” In a Hillary Clinton administration that modern political concept would have undoubtedly ballooned to include unchecked abortion and LGBTetc “rights.”


A self-described “progressive” but a totalitarian at heart, Mrs. Clinton, a protégé of the radical left-wing agitator Saul Alinsky dating from her senior thesis at Wellesley College, is, I would contend, a disciple of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the political godfather of modern totalitarianism.

In the chapter “On Civil Religion” in his influential, prescient 1762 treatise, The Social Contract, the French philosopher allowed for religion as a reflection of the “General Will” (or collective “sovereign”) that must govern the citizens of a state [Jean-Jacques Rousseau, On the Social Contract, trans. By Donald A. Cress; Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1987, p. 102]. But that “religion” must be “a purely civil profession of faith, the articles of which it belongs to the sovereign to establish, not exactly as dogmas of religion, but as sentiments of sociability, without which it is impossible to be a good citizen or a faithful subject.”

Rousseau enumerated those essential—and exclusive—“dogmas” as the “positive” concepts of (1) a powerful, personal, providential “divinity”; (2) an afterlife; (3) “happiness of the just” (but not everyone, to be sure); (4) “punishment of the wicked”; and (5) the “sanctity of the social contract and of the laws.” In addition, there was one “negative” dogma—the exclusion of “intolerance” in the pursuit of “tolerance.” Rousseau’s version of acceptable civil religion was little more than a very muscular Unitarianism.

To enforce the sole, national, civil religion Rousseau proposed two draconian measures adopted only a generation later by the Reign of Terror after the French Revolution and, eventually, by the worst totalitarian regimes—both fascist and communist—in the twentieth century. Rousseau averred that “the sovereign can banish from the state anyone” who refuses to believe in his “sentiments of sociability” as the civil and sole “religion.” However, a citizen who had publicly professed those “dogmas” and subsequently “acts as if he does not believe them . . . should be put to death” for his apostasy. Either accept and live according to the civil religion—in George Orwell’s fictional scenario, “Love Big Brother”—or suffer EXILE or EXECUTION!

Substitute “traditional Christians and observant Jews” for Rousseau’s “citizens” and we have a preview of the 21st century reign of terror that “Stalina,” the first female president of the United States, might have inflicted upon America.

The Democrat candidate tipped her own hand in her infamous “basket of deplorables” insult on September 9, 2016, against half of Donald J. Trump’s supporters—or roughly one quarter of the entire adult population of the United States. Mrs. Clinton dismissed as “irredeemable” (a religious term) and “not American” those American citizens whom she excoriated in a string of nasty, extreme left-wing epithets: “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic—you name it.” Mrs. Clinton obviously views multiple millions of Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant Christians, as well as hundreds of thousands of observant Jews and, ironically, Muslims, who affirm traditional sexual morality and marriage as contemptible and, to draw a logical conclusion, intolerable. That could have, in a worst case scenario, rendered Mrs. Clinton’s “deplorables” worthy targets of marginalization, oppression, and, ultimately, persecution in the neo-Stalinist regime that might have been.


This year, more than any in recent memory, we can wish one another a “Merry Christmas” or a “Blessed Nativity” with joy and a sense of great relief. Thanks to the divine providence of our Lord Jesus Christ and to the voting citizens of the United States, the Clinton Apocalypse will not descend upon us after all.

Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster, PhD, is a retired U.S. Army chaplain in the rank of Colonel and rector of St. Herman of Alaska Russian Orthodox Church in Stafford, Virginia.


  1. This blog is a clear statement of the ugly facts on the ground. I will not use the word Truth, because there is not Truth in these facts. Still, the neo -con right has the opportunity to rise unchecked with Trump having the power of majority in the 3 branches of government. I need only to site the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and the 911/ war on terror full government support. This aspect of government did not disappear with the Obama election, but he continued in it’s godless madness as Hitlery also would have.
    Trump is blank slate, with no history, just campaign promises. I have no idea about what he will do. I can only state my observations of the past. The American tradition of electing a worse president than the one just before him, which would be double astonishing after Obama,Bush,Clinton,Bush.Carter,Ford,Nixon,and Johnson.Perhaps, by the prayers of the Faithful this sordid tradition can be broken. Or as Gandolf said, it’s the turning of the tide.

  2. Not a fan of Gov. Kasich, and do not know if he had a direct role, but Ohio is having a vote on restricting abortion, after a heartbeat has begun. Great news, and no doubt President Trump will not attack Ohio, if the vote wins.

    Now imagine if Clinton were President, and how she would come guns a blazing, against any abortion reform in Ohio. Hopefully President Trump will come guns blazing on those sanctuary mayors.

    • As hideous as abortion is, and it is, the law will not survive constitutional challenges and will cost the state of Ohio taxpayers a fortune in a losing legal battle. America is a free country and those freedoms held dear and protected by the constitution are not without a downside. Freedom to end a pregnancy the world has no knowledge of…

      The abortion section was an amendment to a bill about child abuse. If Kasich doesn’t line out the heartbeat provision, he is foolishly spending taxpayer money on lawyers. He might end up letting the bill sit on his desk so he doesn’t have to line it out, which will mean it becomes law and then the state representatives own the expenses of the legal battle they can’t win.

      • I appreciate your opinion that the law most likely will not survive. But, as you state how hideous abortion is, this is a step in the right direction.” Heartbeat Bill” is a title that might stick, as it resinates with saving a life, and not a non-human fetus, which pro-abortionist push on us.

        Considering the money our government wastes on worthless issues, this issue is priceless! My hope it will become a state rights issue, and more states will follow Ohio’s lead. Yes, America is a free country, but those freedoms should not include the murder of babies. Pray that the tide will shift in America’s heart for the most innocent among us.

        • Anonymous,

          While I understand your pragmatism, I do question your assumptions.

          1.) Where is the freedom to snuff out the life of an unborn child enumerated in the Constitution as a protected right? Answer: There is no such enumerated right. It was created by justices, as was Plessy v. Ferguson; and, given the right circumstances, it can just as easily be struck down.

          2.) Why is it perfectly acceptable for the Progressive Left to spend untold taxpayer dollars on legal battles they may not win while we are always deceived into accepting prevailing injustices because it is supposedly “settled law”?

          3.) When was the last time a Supreme Court ruling was overturned apart from a party with standing (in this case a state) challenging it directly?

          4.) How many times did the Progressive Left lose on many issues before they finally won? And why did they finally win? Because they never gave up trying. Moreover, when they are in political control of the public purse strings they never hesitate for a moment to use taxpayer dollars in their fight. Is it somehow wrong to use taxpayer funds to fight injustices against the citizenry?

          5.) By what means would you propose we fight against what you rightly called a hideous injustice?

          • All good.

            Your q&a is rhetorical, but I will try to engage.

            1. I like where your head is, but if the ‘pro-life’ movement is against contraception; they will never win anything in the copa, so totalitarianism is their only hope. Why play crazy when you are on good ground?

            2. Point taken, but the facts on this are very clear, and it cannot withstand legal challenge. The ‘pro-life’ movement would be better off spending money promoting contraception if they want a cultural change. They don’t. They would prefer to fight the unwinnable to remain in their clique.

            3. Do your own research.

            4. It would be different if it were sensible. The DOMA was a similarily foolish misadventure that ultimately ended up blessing ssm. Don’t you see? Polarize it enough and lose it all.

            5. See my other post below. ‘Pro-life’ needs a top down reorg man. Rather than battling Roe, win the copa; instead anti-contraception is lose the copa on a separate issue. Insane. Simply insane.

            • Anonymous,

              Why do you keep bringing contraception into a conversation about killing children that have been conceived?

              The argument over who should be forced to pay for things that go against one’s religious conscience is an entirely separate issue. And lest you become distracted, it is a question of payment, not availability or legality. Contraception is cheap, easily obtained, and even free to those who cannot afford it. That you think contraception is an answer to abortion makes it obvious that you have never worked in a crisis pregnancy center and thus cannot understand the mindset that “safe and legal” abortion promotes. Every pregnant girl my wife ever encountered (thousands of them) made it clear that they had easy access to contraception and willingly chose not to use it.

              • The concept of crisis pregnancy is one largely formulated by ‘pro-life’ to remove the terminology of ‘unwanted pregnancy’ and to get women to consider alternatives. Sounds good right? However, by this logic a pregnancy can be a crisis. Yet, by the logic of ‘pro-life’, contraception promotes pregnancy as a disease state. Hmmm, talk about your logical inconsistencies. Well, a crisis is not a disease… (game over sounds)

                Using anecdotal ‘crisis’, aka unwanted pregnancy, aka unwanted child, for the basis against contraception is nothing more than a hoot. This isn’t even 20/80, more like 1/99. Meaning, you are taking a 1% snapshot of the population and using it for decisions/arguments against the best way to reduce abortion. A bunch of usually young women, unwilling to use contraception versus an entire population successfully doing so.

                As to the killing of unborn children, everything should be ordered against. Clearly ‘pro-life’ is not interested in any partial or decent mid range solutions and would prefer a totalitarian, all seeds must bear fruit approach-at the expense of more what? More abortion. An approach that will never gain any traction with most women. Now, in addition to losing in court, pro-life will lose in the copa, too.

                As for Hillary’s foolish desire to repeal Hyde, I’d say America answered.

                It’d be nice if pro-lifers chastised ‘pro-life’ for its anti-contraception positions. You’d rather rebuke a pragmatic perspective backed by epidemiological study, even when the person presenting is clearly not a fan of abortion, than accept any rational thought.

                By the way, if your wife asked what kind of contraception they had access to, it would not have been something good. The contraception they had access to was either too tedious to use or too tedious to use, so your bad example is even worse.

                • Contraception..contraception…contraception? Again?!!! Really? Are we not talking about abortion? You cannot seem to bring yourself to stick with the subject at hand.

                  And your reply to Michael Bauman speaks of nothing but – Oh, that’s right, CONTRACEPTION! And crisis pregnancy is an evil term that promotes abortion. And you are certain that the contraception to which these women had easy access was too tedious to use. Now I see clearly. What was I thinking?

                  I will be sure to tell my wife that that I have conversed with someone who evidently knows more about her interactions with these women than she does. She will no doubt be enthralled by the sheer breadth of your knowledge, as am I.

                  • Your wife is working in a tiny snapshot of the world. One where obviously pregnancy is considered a crisis. Most women seeking abortions don’t go to crisis centers Brian.

                    Contraception would be preferred. It is a concept Brian.

                    No disrespect of your wife was ever intended, just my frustration with the anti-contraception idea.

                    And it bothers you to discuss them together because why?

                    You know it is important and ‘pro-life’ has it wrong.

                    • You mistake me for an ideologue, Anonymous, or perhaps a faithful Roman Catholic. Neither my wife nor I am involved in the Pro-life “movement” as such. We simply do what we can on a personal level – the only level that matters since “humanity” has no existence apart from human persons. I am commanded only to love my neighbor, the person before me and the only person I have any possibility of actually loving.

                      There are what could be called “layers” to this subject.

                      One layer is the legal aspect of abortion. Only the most ignorant among us (and these are extremely few) are completely unaware that abortion is the murder of a child. The pro-abortion crowd is the least ignorant of all in this regard. They know precisely what abortion is, and they simply do not care. They justify murder in the name of freedom, and their ideology needs to be exposed for the evil it is. Someone in this thread asked, “Why the special pleading for abortion?” And while I won’t accuse you of participation in this special pleading, it is a question that demands an answer in the legal realm. There are any numbers of things that limit a person’s freedom. Are they all to be deemed legally permissible? And if not, why not if the legal reasoning that supports abortion prevails?

                      Another layer is the societal aspect of abortion, and the culture it creates. It makes murder – MURDER! – a ‘reasonable’ back-up plan when all else fails, and it artificially removes responsibility and consequence from sexual behavior. I say “artificially” because although it removes the obvious consequence, it cannot remove (rather it can only compounds) the true consequence to the human person and degrades the respect and responsibility for other persons that is the foundation of any reasonably healthy society.

                      Another layer (the layer with which my wife and I are most concerned) is the utterly tragic and almost irreversible hell into which those who make this choice inevitably descend. It is a lifetime sentence of crippling guilt and shame from which there is virtually no escape. Repentance for murder is possible, of course. God is greater than any sin. But the Evil One never stops reminding, accusing, condemning, and driving the person to despair – the same Evil One who convinced them of the necessity and ‘reasonableness’ of their decision (and the same Evil One who defends current law). Those whose own conscience subjects them to these attacks have almost no means of atonement, for their act cannot be undone in this life. As much as our culture would like to convince us otherwise, one cannot take the life of one made in the image of God –purposely, ignorantly, accidentally, or even justifiably (as in war or police action) without severe consequence to the human spirit/psyche. Anyone who casually says, “Well, God can forgive” is telling the truth, but they are missing the point entirely (I am not speaking here of you).

                      Given this reality I will not cease to use any means within the bounds of love to prevent it from occurring. And this includes civil law which, although it cannot save or ‘legislate morality,’ is nevertheless both pedagogical and a means of restraining these evils from occurring. Society in general was considered just and fair to women when abortion was still illegal. It both taught against and restrained them from entering the hell described above.

                      Finally, since you insist on discussing contraception…

                      Yes. It is better to contracept than to murder. How could it be otherwise? You won’t hear any argument from me.

                      Nevertheless, as unpopular and “Catholic- sounding” as it may be, Dino is correct that contraception was frowned upon by the Fathers. But as they did not live in a society that was quite as culturally promiscuous and focused on “sexual fulfillment” as our own, they did so for reasons somewhat (although not entirely) at variance with the Roman Catholic teaching of today. I would only say that in the sort of personal, face-to-face redemptive work we do as Christians it is far removed from being any sort of solution. It would be counterproductive to say the least. I could never advise anyone to sin but take precautions against the consequences.

                      Public policy, however, is another matter. We cannot expect pagans to behave as anything but pagans. Thus, I have no interest in promoting anything other than lesser evils in that realm.

                  • Brian! Truly a brilliant response. I could not have said it better myself. God bless, and Merry Christmas, my brother in Christ!

                • “As you have done to the least of these, so have you done to Me.”

                  This is the Heaven/Hell dichotomy that Christ makes in His parable about the Last Judgment. It is very fitting that Progs should obsess on the subject of abortion.

            • And the answer to #3 is never. The SCOTUS only hears disputes. And in order for their to be a dispute there must be disputants, which is to say those willing to fight for a cause. What puzzles me is why so few are willing to fight unless there is a worldly sort of assurance of victory – as though God did not exist.

              ““You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts.”

              • I could no respond to the 12/20 4:51 post Brain. I agreed about 99%. Thanks and sorry I missed it.

                I don’t get posting respect from forum moderator?, so I get frstrated at times.

        • The logical failure is many women only think they are late at 5 weeks and this means they have a week to deal with it. It won’t withstand any legal challenge.

          The best way to stop abortion is by making it desirable for women to bear children and by keeping contraception easy and available. But the pro life movement has fallen into the abyss of crazy and is now against contraception. And the public is becoming aware of this madness and rejecting it for the alternative, but ugly freedom.

          • We don’t treat other forms of murder this way. Why the special pleading for abortion?

            • pleading for what?

              Just don’t see much value in the heartbeat law-it won’t pass a challenge

              If ‘pro-life’ spent its money on contraception giveaways, it woud have been more impactful

              • George Michalopulos says

                Wrong. Let me use another medical analogy: needle-exchange programs don’t work because at the end of the day, all we’ve done is increase the attractiveness of hypodermic drug usage. It may work for an individual drug user for a time, thereby extending his life, but eventually it catches up with him. That is not to say however that said drug user may come to his senses at some near point but that’s iffy at best.

                • M. Stankovich says

                  I was beginning a break from this haven of contrived news – to which I shall return – but someone emailed me about your comment that again steps on my toes in an area in which I invested a significant amount of research and work. “Needle-exchange programs don’t work.” Don’t work at what, exactly? Needle-exchange had one purpose and that was to address contagion in the transmission of HIV among IV drug users. In the end, it not only met, but exceeded expectations in the minority communities, and has included the lowered rate of transmission of chronic forms of hepatitis. You can read and download the latest details summarized by the CDC yesterday here.

                  Further, out of that community-based needle-exchange process has emerged – as you can read beginning on page three of the report I have cited above – Syringe Services Programs (SSP), or “wrap-around” comprehensive community intervention services for drug users to access the health and treatment system “on-demand,” which should have been in place years ago, a situation explained when you look at the statistics presented at the bottom of page two of the report: for the first time, white people now significantly outnumber Blacks & Hispanics as individuals who are beginning to use injectable drugs. Wow. Is that all it takes to actually get people’s attention? I watched on CNN as a reporter rides around with a sobbing white cop who threw his 19-year old addict daughter out because she was stealing all the family possessions, yet he took a night shift so he could follow her around to be sure she’s safe; yet I beg for all I’m worth and can’t get a young Black kid with two years of college into detox because… “Take him downtown to 16th St.” I don’t have to tell you what’s at 16th St. Epipen? Come on. Everybody is carrying naloxone these days, Mr. Michalopulos, right?. When did this start? When white people started dying of narcotic overdoses.

                  It is bound to get better now. Every major candidate in the past election – like it or not – was forced to sit in some town hall in the northeast and promise that this is outrageous and will be addressed; from Mexican and Black drug lords bringing it north, blah, blah, blah. And somehow, I always seem to find myself on the wrong damn side of the street for these victory parades.

                  Know your limitations, Mr. Michalopulos. I’m not scolding, I’m just suggesting that these issues are often more complex than you are aware. And from my vantage, a lot more sad.

                  • Oh Michael, the right has all the answers easy, black and white. They don’t need no sticking logic. They have the moral high ground; contraception is designed to make women believe pregnancy is a disease state. See the education tab on pro-life Wisconsin’s webbpage.

                    So sad.

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      Anon, your first and fatal mistake is to look at things through ideological glasses. Do you really think that the issues of abortion, contraception, etc are actually issues of “right’ vs “left”?

                      Ideological reasoning never arrives at the truth because the premise is wrong from the start. All ideology is false.

                      That is one reason that the politicians on both sides have such a hard time figuring out Trump. He is not an ideolog. Doesn’t mean he is correct but he uses that confusion to keep folks off balance. You seldom see what he actually wants until you are signing on the bottom line.
                      Pregnancy has been looked on as a disease state for decades. Contraception and abortion and IVF are of that mind set. At the very least it is considered a problem to be solved and managed in a rigid technological assembly line manner rather than a human miracle with, at times, medical challenges. The best docs and nurses and midwives understand that.

                      There are many folks who have worked very hard to change the technological approach. They have made inroads.

                      Ideological reasoning always divides people into at least three camps: my side, your side and the truth. It creates a rigidity of spirit that demands other people act in a certain way or be damned. Ideology is without mercy, kindness or grace. Without life or light.

                      Ecumenism is an ideology that divides the Church. It is a mirror of the ideology based on lust of power and self-righteousness that led to the Great Schism and the Reformation.

                      A sacramental understanding focused on the revealed person of Jesus Christ: the Incarnation, the Cross and the Resurrection in repentance and forgiveness brings healing. Genuine metanoia is required.

                      All of the ideologies must die, be purged from our hearts, likely by fire before real healing and real communion can flourish.

                      Snarky comments on the ignorance and backwardness of others won’t

                    • It’s true though, and many answers are black and white.

                    • Michael B – I have never looked as pregnancy as disease in my lifetime. This is made up by the same people that deemed unplanned pregnancies ‘crisis’ pregnancies.

                    • Yes Michael,

                      Ideologies are intellectual totalitarianisms. Closed systems used to explain reality. They are all based on something other than the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ as understood in the life of the Holy Spirit in the Orthodox Church – Sacred Tradition. That is the only Truth you are ever going to find. Every thing else is an ideological construct.

                      That is why people seem to be losing it these days, why their reasoning is so f’d up. The intellectual constructs that they are using, their ideologies, are being shattered on the rocks of Reality.

              • Contraception is not pro-life. It’s anti-conception, which pales in comparison to pro-abortion, but it’s still not the life-giving ideal that is the married life.

                But who am I kidding? Marriage? It’s the current year!

                • The fallacy ‘pro-life’ is running on is that every sexual encounter should result in conception. Of course this is not what they say or suggest, but their new stique against contraception give ‘pro-choice’ folks a new sane high ground. It is one of the most politically bizarre base pandering arguments I’ve witnessed. It follows no epidemiology and is the science of feeling good about yourself. Every person that is against abortion must reject the anti-contraception feel good, scienceless, have lotsa babies, approach. Just when you think the culture might change, leave it to some idiots to think making the spectrum wider will move the pendulum their way. Next thing they’ll do is require funerals for a miscarriage.

                  • Is this gibberish even English?


                    • By the way, Anonymous, were it the case that pro-life advocates believe that every act of copulation should result in conception–which they DO NOT, it would still not be a logical fallacy since it does not have anything to do with drawing conclusions from premises.

                      It would be more accurate to say that pro-life advocates believe–out of devotion to God Who made us in His image and placed us in the world as His representatives–His priests and prophets–and commanded us to keep and tend the Garden and to be fruitful and multiply and fill up the earth, and who said that it was not good for man to be alone, and thus made of him a woman, flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone, so that the two could become one flesh one flesh in a fruitful self-donating union, that because of this we believe that every act of intercourse should be reserved for husband and wife, in the sanctified bond of Holy Matrimony and open to the creation of new life, if and when God will s it so. Other uses of the “marital act”, however pleasant, profane it and necessarily cause it to fall short of its God-designed glory and holiness and potential vitality. Suffer the little children to come unto Me, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.


                    • M. Stankovich says

                      [Every] act of intercourse should be reserved for husband and wife, in the sanctified bond of Holy Matrimony and open to the creation of new life, if and when God will s it so.

                      Please, lexcaritas, demonstrate this is true according the Scripture, The Holy Fathers, or the Holy Fathers. You cannot because it is ridiculous. As I have noted previously, “This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” (Eph. 5:32) By your pharisaic reasoning, “we allow” what the Creator established in the Creation – “and they two shall be one flesh” (v.31) – in post-menopausal marital relationships under the “Well, it happened to Sarah,” phenomenon? Do we sit down with a couple and say, “I’ve examined your genetic profile, and because:

                      [ ]Y Chromosome Deletions that result in sperm counts too low for reproduction;

                      [ ]Nonobstructive azoospermia, where a congenital blockage that results in 0-sperm count in the ejaculate because of production problems in the testicles; Oligospermia, the ejaculate contains a sperm concentration of <5 million sperm/mL semen. Similar to non-obstructive azoospermia, this is most commonly due to an underlying sperm production problem;

                      [ ] Congenital absence of the vas deferens (CUAVD, CBAVD); characterized by the malformation or absence of the ducts that allow sperm to pass from the testicles into the ejaculate and out of the body during ejaculation;


                      [ ] Unexplained obstruction or blockage, a less common reason for men to have a 0-sperm count (azoospermia) than nonobstructive azoospermia is obstructive azoospermia. In essence, this is an unexplained zero sperm count due to a blockage of the reproductive tract ducts leading from the testicle to the ejaculate (and worse news, you are more likely to pass on Cystic Fibrosis to your children through the mutated CFTR gene.

                      We cannot allow you to marry, because your “marital acts, however pleasant, profane it and necessarily cause it to fall short of its God-designed glory and holiness and potential vitality.” Ridiculous, with a capital, “ridiculous.” And we didn’t even address female infertility!

                      Certainly, while the Orthodox Service of Marriage speaks frequently of “may they see their children’s children,” and celebrates, “the fruits of their bodies [fair children],” how could you not be in awe of the calls “Blessed are You, O Lord our God, the Priest of mystical and pure marriage, and the Ordainer of the law of the marriage of the body, the Preserver of immortality, and the Provider of good things…” and continues later, “O Holy God, who created man out of the dust, and fashioned his wife out of his rib, and joined her unto him as a helpmeet, for it seemed good to Your majesty that man should not be alone upon earth. Also now, the same Lord, stretch out Your hand from Your holy dwelling-place, and join this Your servant, N., and this Your handmaid, N.; for by You is the husband united unto the wife.”

                      And finally, in the end, as he removes the Crowns, the priest says to the Groom: “Be exalted, O Bridegroom, like unto Abraham ; and be blessed, like unto Isaac ; and multiply like unto Jacob, walking in peace, and keeping the commandments of God in righteousness.” And to the Bride: “And you, O Bride. Be exalted like unto Sarah; and exult, like unto Rebecca ; and multiply, like unto Rachel: and rejoice in your husband, fulfilling the conditions of the law: for so is it well-pleasing unto God. ” And what do you imagine, lexcaritas, are the “commandments of God” – He who is referred to as the “Priest of mystical and pure marriage, and the Ordainer of the law of the marriage of the body” – to be “kept in righteousness,” and in which the Bride should rejoice, “for so is it well-pleasing?” Procreative “abilities,” or “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined to his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” (Eph. 5:31-32). That, quite obviously, was purely rhetorical…

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Dr S, in my reading of the Orthodox wedding service, it’s clear to me (and I speak for myself here, not Lexcaritas) that the marital embrace is a profound mystery which binds man and wife together in a way not dissimilar to the Eucharist.

                      Thus, even a couple who are infertile should not hesitate to participate in this act. The tenderness for each other that results from the act is certainly a blessing from the Lord in my humble opinion. And not simply because a la Zacharias and Elizabeth or Abraham and Sarah they may produce a God-pleasing offspring.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Mr. Michalopulos,

                      That was exactly my point and we agree. I was objecting to the notion that we would deter or prevent anyone from entering into Christian Marriage because a defect associated with this fallen world renders their conjugal relationship, from the outset, “[a use] of the “marital act”, however pleasant, profane it and necessarily cause it to fall short of its God-designed glory and holiness and potential vitality.” It falls short of absolutely nothing. By the same reasoning, we should then be instructing post-menopausal couples to – I don’t know what, “live out your remaining days snuggling?” – because their sanctified sexual union is no longer “efficacious?” Foolishness. The sexual relationship one has with one’s spouse is neither lust nor passion, but a love with which “Christ loved the Church,” [καθὼς καὶ ὁ Χριστὸς ἠγάπησεν τὴν ἐκκλησίαν] (Eph. 5:25), washed & sanctified, “holy & blameless.” (v. 27); and again the analogy, and so should a man love his wife. The architype of Christian marriage is not Gen. 1:28, “And God blessed them, saying, Increase and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it,” – which is not read in the Orthodox Service of Marriage – but rather the lesson purposely & carefully selected from Ephesians 5.

                    • Michael,
                      Can you not see that you have written nothing here that contradicts what Lexcaritas has written?

            • Michael Bauman says

              Ages, ’cause to those immersed in the atomizing lies of the world it ain’t murder son, it is oppressed women exercising their reproductive rights.

              Otherwise they would be continually subjected to the inhuman control if a man and the slavery if being mother. Oh, the humanity.

              Anyone who calls it a murder is just a misogynist Nazi pig. Who is the actual murder. Murdering the spirit and the future of any woman denied an abortion.

              Clearly you resistance to the revealed truth requires re-education. As Anonymous clearly implies, resistance is futile, you will be assimilated.

              • If calling abortion murder makes me a Nazi, then heil Hitler! 😉

                At least when Hitler committed genocide, he was fairly upfront about it. Unlike the Democrats and their agenda of ethnic cleansing against blacks and other minorities, as well as the poor.

              • Actually Michael, you are 100% wrong. My greatest point about abortion is that ‘pro-life’ should have the moral high ground and yet they have gone down a road where even contraception is considered bad. The assimilation happens within movements. I am not in the pro-life or pro-choice movement.

                If you put an objective measurement on the success of pro-life as being the abortion rate declining, what would their score be? Do they score themselves, or do they win on ideology alone?

                Your arguments against me are greater arguments against them and their ill conceived approach..

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Yes, it cuts both ways. That is exactly my point. Pro-life as an ideology has ceased to be interested in the people involved to the same extent as the abortionists.

                  Although I’d day you need to revise you score on my correctness. But that’s probably my ego.

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Anon, as regards your other point that you have never thought of pregnancy as a disease– that is a good thing but I know first hand that medical professionals do just that. Although it was many years ago and has probably changed some. I also live in what used to be the late-term abortion capital of the US until Tiller, the baby killer ($5000 and he would abort any child, no questions asked even if the women were brought in by their pimps or incestuous abusers) was murdered across the street from my church. Murdered in his Lutheran Church where he was a member in good standing.

                  It supports your criticism of the pro-life movement that the murder did more to stop abortions than decades of screaming but actually doing very little.

                  The Orthodox ministry here in Wichita called The Treehouse (saving the world one diaper at a time) has done more as well than the ideologists.

                  Human activity , not political ideology.

                  I cannot bring myself to totally condemn the murder of Tiller, but what The Treehouse has done is a better way.

                  • The Treehouse is a stand up effort at real impact. It makes the approach by pro-life seem more than silly, and they are comparable.

                    • Once again, the last sentence makes no sense grammatically. What in the world are you trying to say, Anonymous?

                      God bless you.

                    • I do apologize for the bad grammar.

                      What does Pro-Life Wisconsin do to reduce abortion? Marches? Road signs about fetal development? Condemn contraception? ??

                      Anything with measurable results? Do they give themselves a score on reducing the numbers of annual abortions? How would condemning contraception (they now do so) work into their scorecard? Obviously they don’t. This is the ideology bit Baumann brought up, but it of course backfires here.

                      Treehouse might only stop one abortion a year by supporting women in need, but they would have a measurable impact.

                      Is this clearer for you?

                      I have never believed the organized pro-life movement has done a good job and I believe it is getting worse and not better, so I am very critical of them. They have the moral high ground, they have resources, but, frankly, don’t do a good job. Trump would fire them.

                      Most of their efforts seem to be ordered at guilting women. The efforts seem more ordered at upholding their financial support. And my guess is this is how they score themselves – on financial contributions.

                      When you compare organized Pro-Life and Treehouse for measurable impact; Treehouse wins. And this is painful, but very true.

                      And everyone should know Kasich vetoed the heartbeat bill, but he supported the 20 week ban. Kasich wisely recognized there was no possible way the heartbeat bill would withstand any legal challenge. The 20 week ban will have its own challenges. Of course, the only group pleased with Kasich’s actions were National Right to Life who are pushing for recognizing pain as part of a way to push abortion dates closer to conception. (4 weeks here) Of course, the Faith2Action bill sponsor is very unhappy and planning to try an override of the veto. Even the people organized against abortion are not in agreement with each other Lex – don’t blame me.

                • The Church had historically considered contraception to be bad. Go back 150 years and it will be hard to find ANY Christian body of any stripe that approved of it.

                  Abortion is far, far worse and we must choose our battles wisely, but let’s be careful not to approve an anti-life mindset.

                  • The first “church” to approve contraception was my former “church”, the Episcopal Church, in 1930. It used to be called the “Republican Party at prayer”. It is unfortunate that abortion became a partisan issue.

                    The whole mindset of “contraception” is wrong. Children are a blessing, a good thing. Only the devil could inspire one to kill ones own offspring. Now if a mother’s life is in danger and the choice is actually one between saving the mother or the baby, and it is crystal clear that the mother is not going to survive, then it is a judgment call. I have heard of bishops allowing this since it was allowed under Jewish law in Christ’s day. The analogy was to an innocent person attacked by an innocent attacker. The question is, who is the aggressor? The Rabbis found that the baby was the newcomer and therefore had to be characterized as the aggressor.

                    That is one way to look at it. But in the end, it is a question for the bishop to decide. They have the power to bind and loose.

                    That is an exceedingly rare circumstance.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      After reading all this, I can fully appreciate how a “feminist” would conclude that these are the misogynistic “ponderings” of white men; Pharisees quacking about the “law” and “judgment calls,” and “bindin’ and loosin’,” in which they are to remain silent, heads covered, in this God-established patriarchy that, ultimately will get around to saving them, after they make their husband a sandwich.

                      Not once is mentioned what Paul Evdokimov so beautifully and poignantly writes of as the Sacrament of Love, a continuation on the words of St. Paul to the Ephesians, “This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” (Eph. 5:32) These questions of the sexual relationship between a married couple have traditionally been considered so reflective of that great mystery [τὸ μυστήριον τοῦτο μέγα ἐστίν] and analogy of Christ and His Bride the Church – “and they two shall be one flesh” (v.31) – that “admittance” was limited to one’s confessor – and as Evdokimov points out – even he does so with great reluctance, and peripherally at that.

                      Scott, of course, presents his version of the matter, “The whole mindset of “contraception” is wrong,” without a single reason to support it beyond his small feline brain. Is there Scripture that condemns it? No. Do the Fathers condemn it? No. Would you argue that contraception is a “post-modern phenomenon?” Please. Will you argue that the mechanism(s) of contraception cause a form of abortion? Don’t go down that road with me. “Children are a blessing, a good thing.” Do you have children, Scott? I just finished a book you might want to pick up, Women Without Men: Single Mothers and Family Change in the New Russia by sociologist Jennifer Utrata, published last spring:

                      Russians ask, who can really blame normal women for going it alone as mothers? Few consider single motherhood any great tragedy. Instead, and in vivid contrast to the United States, ordinary Russians generally see single Russian motherhood as a nearly inevitable by-product of two intractable problems – a critical mass of weak men and a weak state. Men, Russians of all kinds argue, are too often irresponsible and weak-willed in the face of difficulties, tempted by both the traditional vodka bottle and several newer, capitalist temptations. The state, in turn, makes glowing promises of a brighter day to come but has cut back its support for families in general and for women and children in particular.

                      I intend to write her, but she is saying that in the US, women have the added burden of societal “critique” (read that as “shame”) that single-parenting – even as the result of divorce – (or as Mr. Michalopulos speculated, having more children as a means of increasing welfare benefits – nice touch) brings to them, but not the fathers.

                      It would seem that with so little actual wisdom driving this particular discussion, why not then allow prudence in following the words of St. Paul, St. Chrysostom, and so on, in the over-all pattern and tradition of the Mystery of Confession to cool your Pharisaical interests: you entrust guidance on the path to salvation to a Confessor whom you humble yourself before, and who is answerable to the Lord Himself alone for directing you. Would you like me to sit in? I didn’t think so.

                    • Having ten plus children is something that would destroy the world quickly. The concept that contraception is bad is unwise.

                      The continued effort to paint contraception in unfavorable light will find an opposite result of desired intent.

                      More abortion…

                    • Anonymous,

                      Having ten plus children is something that would destroy the world quickly.

                      This comment is sadly among the most revealing you have made.

                    • Having ten plus children would destroy the world quickly

                      On the contrary, what is destroying the world is the sub-replacement fertility rate among Christians. Not only is it shrinking our numbers, it is a collective affront to God who commanded fruitful multiplication.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Since when did murder become a Constitutional “right”. I know when SCOTUS said so, but that is a lie.

        Every other law we have is at some level designed to protect people from harm. That is a righteous purpose of law.

        Only abortion law allows and protects the direct harm to another person, actually at least two people(mother and child) but the father as well in many cases-all actually.

        Not to mention the immense harm it does indirectly as it creates an environment that tacitly approves of abuse of women and children.

        If it is heinous then there is no decent, righteous pragmatic argument to allow it.

        • Let us pray Trump gives us a solid majority on the Supreme Court and the states can manage to get a suitable law before them, so we can start reversing this evil.

          I have heard people, even Orthodox, say we shouldn’t legislate morality. I say, why the hell not?! We legislate all kinds of morality—that is the point of law! Why not legislate some things that save lives?

          • Yes, it is not a question of whether we are going to legislate morality. It is a question of whose morality is going to be legislated. Like I have said, three final contenders: ProgLibs, Islam and the Orthodox. The Chinese can easily fit into Orthodoxy as Taoists. Taoism is absolutely and without question a precursor to Christ. Allow me some poetic license in an effort to clarify: The Tao became flesh and dwelt among us. What Lao-tse referred to as the Tao is Yahweh.

            The Chinese are very intelligent. They figured out Heaven and Earth before Christ appeared. It’s just that it has been hard for them to recognize the Tao in Christ. To arrive without traveling. To see all without looking. To do all without doing. Effortlessly. Wei wu wei. That is theosis.

            “I am the Way [Tao], the Truth and the Life. No man cometh unto the Father but by Me.” – John 14:6

  3. Thank you Fr. Alexander. Spot on!

  4. Very insightful article, Fr. Alexander. Misha is proud of you.

    It could have been worse. If you look in the Apocalypse of St. John, you will see some language indicating that the LORD may use restraint in the last days to mitigate the severity of the judgment that He will dispense.

    I assume that the election of Trump was an act of divine mercy. It may not seem so to his detractors, but his policies will probably improve the economy and hopefully the situation with “social issues” will be resolved in the context of everybody getting fed. That is when people are at their most lucid and gracious best.

    Thinking clearly once again, we might notice that higher rates of reproduction provide support and stability for the economy and culture of a nation. We might even quandry, “Why aren’t we more prolific?” Allow me to venture a guess.

    What is it that prolific cultures have that non-prolific cultures lack? Or, put another way, what do prolific cultures lack that non-prolific cultures have?

    Non-prolific cultures are feminist. Prolific cultures are patriarchal.

    Men have to believe that we have an ownership interest in the woman and babies in order to aggressively pursue reproduction. It’s a dominance thing. Testosterone. Androgens. The Divine Command to be fruitful and multiply is quite strong in us, but we have to feel like we are the ones in charge and making it happen – owning it. It is our contribution to creation. The female’s is obvious.

    Now obviously I’m not saying women need to be men’s slaves, but there is a dominant component to the relationship, always has been, up until the rise of feminism. So long as it doesn’t get out of hand, both sexes seem to enjoy it. I mean, it makes things more exciting and solves the problem of who’s going to initiate action, or, when it’s all said and done, we are “we” and we have to do something, so what is that? Whose wishes, for better or worse, prevail?

    This is not at all to say that women do not have influence. “The neck turns the head.” as it is said. But it is not possible to go down two roads simultaneously. If one tries, bad things happen.

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      Misha on male dominance always takes me aback a bit…..

      But then, my wife and I have been married for 49 years, we had 5 children by 29 and have 12 grandchildren, several already in college. So I have to share the credit with some great sons and sons-in-law….I do get some grins from these disquisitions (as I expect many a man married over 40 years with a lot of kids would, too)!

      • I’m glad they give you chuckles. If Western men and women were habitually doing their duty as well as you, my disquisitions would be positively hilarious. That not being the case, they simply point to the natural effect of a wrongheaded ideology.

        The stars might lie but the numbers never do.

      • Michael Bauman says

        I would use the word hierarchical rather than dominant. It only works in its fullness if men are Godly men, submitting themselves to God’s love and mercy and women are Godly women willingly receiving.

        Men need to offer themselves and their family up to God every day in prayer and service. Part of that offering is being unselfish enough to give direction.

        Women willingly receive and give life and body to that. It is quite like the Incarnation on a very small scale.


        Other than that I would say Misha is pretty accurate.

        Feminism is focused on denying and subsuming the male. Women’s will being exercised without the male and controlling men through non-reproductive sex and/or feminizing us.

        As the sex is not productive, neither is the feminist culture. It quickly becomes cruel, violent and tyrannical as does a misconstrued “maleness” that excludes or mistreats the female.

        We work in properly ordered tandem or we don’t work at all. Men are head but that headship is realized and completed in the Cross.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Misha, I would argue that a woman has no control over a man unless he is 100% complicit. It is not within her providence nor is it her true desire. The problem occurs when the man abdicates his role, as did Adam did in the Garden. Had he just said, “No,” we wouldn’t be here.

          Women do not control men through non-reproductive sex either. Sex is actually the man’s weakness (or strength); women are not driven by it. We could not feminize you if you did not allow it. – Want to change the situation? Talk about making men stronger; not women weaker.

          Be careful how you teach your sons. Don’t give them excuses for saying, “The woman made me do it.” God is going to hold THEM accountable, as He has already demonstrated.

          • Michael Bauman says

            Gail, you are correct. Men need to be stronger. Why any man would want a weak women is beyond me.

            But believe me men can be canoodled into a lot of things. Samson comes to mind. Passions can over ride intent or sense. Clearly Gloria Steinem believed it to be a good static.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              Yes, Michael, but the passion thing works both ways. Generally, it’s the woman who gets the short end of the stick when it comes to the consequences. Men might be forgiven for the entanglement (I think the Samson thing is way over stated), but it is unforgivable to walk away. Too many men do, leaving women with impossible choices.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Yes, Gail but the feminist ideology encourages that. It feeds into the sin of Adam who blamed everything on “this woman you gave me”. That is a statement made to cover deep shame.

                IMO we men are given headship explicitly to counter the running away tendency in our sinful hearts.

                When headship is destroyed culturally and it is looked on as something bad, or used as an excuse to abuse and control what else is to be expected.

                Women cannot restore proper order, men cannot do it alone.

                True headship is possible only in a sacramental order.

                A lot of work to do.

                • Women have nothing to fear from the patriarchy or hierarchy. God is love. He loves everyone, men and women. It’s just that there has to be some order to things. He set it up that way. Men are created to be dominant, women to assist men. That is how it was in the beginning. It is the devil who has contrived otherwise. Islam is a perversion of the truth. They seem to practice domination without love, rather than loving dominance.

                  They keep women like slaves, secluded. That is not necessary. The Orthodox cover in church and modesty is wise. Sexual attraction is quite powerful and enticing. Women have no idea how powerful a force sexual attraction is in males because they cannot experience it from the man’s point of view. It is indescribable.

          • “Women do not control men through non-reproductive sex either. Sex is actually the man’s weakness (or strength); women are not driven by it. We could not feminize you if you did not allow it. – Want to change the situation? Talk about making men stronger; not women weaker.”

            Not exactly, Gail. The law works against us. That is the problem. Were the law not in the way, men would naturally dominate women as they always have absent a greater intervening force. The legal framework of the matriarchy is what must be destroyed. It is diabolical. When women can “liberate” themselves from their men by taking the kids, demanding half of marital property plus child support and hiding behind the judge and the sheriff, there is no Christian society. It has been rendered illegal.

            No fault divorce, abortion, contraception in marriage, child support and custody laws and marital property laws are all part and parcel of the same feminist/matriarchal system which is evil to the core. The social welfare system which rewards unmarried women for having babies is another component. It is one huge wicked feminist/matriarchal Borg, The Whore of Babylon, if you will.

            Trump has merely tugged on this serpent’s slimy tail. Slaying this dragon will be a wondrous feat if it is to be done before the Second Coming.

            Google “coverture” to see a more traditional approach to the role of women in society. That was the law, more or less, in Christian societies before the fall of Christendom. Yet coverture is perhaps an extreme example contrasted with contemporary society. The Saudis, for instance, do not allow a woman to have her husband’s name. She is an adopted part of the man’s family unless he divorces her, in which case she is sent back to her family but any children remain with the man.

            The Feminist/Matriarchal Borg is the real elephant in the room at the bottom of all of this. It is Grendal’s mother, of Beowulf fame. It is why the Muslims hate us. It is why we are hampered at defeating their false religion’s inroads into our societies. It is at the heart of Progressive Liberalism as well.

            So there it is, nice and neat for you, wrapped up in a package with a big red ribbon on it.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Misha, this is one of those cases in which the thesis (i.e. Gail) and the antithesis (you) are both correct. Only on different days.

              What you describe is 100% accurate –now. We are living with the detritus of feminazism and accelerating over the cliff thanks to homosexualism. What Gail is describing however (as I understand it) is how we men abrogated our vocation first. Feminism is the result of our turning our backs on Christian manhood. We wanted easy sex; abortion and contraception were what made it easier for us. Feminism, or female careerism in its initial phase, took off because we wanted easy divorce as well. Under such a regime, women had no choice but to ignore their own vocation (motherhood and dutiful wifehood).

              Now of course it has gone overboard and men in the black community and the poor whites are nothing but inert drones, merely providing their semen so that the women can conceive children and draw a paycheck from the government. This unnatural ascendancy of women over men can only last as long as there is a large enough population of working men who’s tax largesse can sustain such a regime. Not long in my estimation.

              I’m afraid nothing short of a complete societal collapse (perhaps an EMP going off and frying all electronic circuits) will allow for the normal and natural reformation of normal sexual roles.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              So, Misha, now it’s the “law” that makes men weak?

              THIS is why men are weak: They make excuses, e.g. feminists make me weak, the opportunity women present for non-reproductive sex makes me weak, laws make me weak (I think someone even suggested nuns make you weak). . . and so it goes. Apparently, you’re not strong enough NOT to be weak. Doesn’t this sound the least bit pathetic to you?

              I know some VERY strong, Christian men. They ignore the feminist agenda, they turn down sex unless it’s with their wives, they aren’t touched by the law, because they don’t divorce their wives or give them a reason to divorce them, they don’t get women pregnant out of wedlock, they aren’t abusive and they don’t blame childhood bullies who exploit their boyhood vulnerabilities like those mean old nuns! (Nuns take a switch to little girls, too, BTW. One could argue they are even HARDER on girls.) Most importantly, they take responsibility for their failures. Truth be told, they even take responsibility for the failures of the women in their lives. They actually like and respect strong women because they feel no need to compete. There are more than a few men like this on this blog. If one is struggling with being a man in the face of all these seemingly insurmountable obstacles you’ve presented, it might be a good idea to talk to one of them. No woman is going to make it all better so you can be strong. I promise you that.

              * * *
              Yes, George, you’ve captured my feelings perfectly.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Gail, I think you got Fr Pat Reardon wrong. Those nuns weren’t abusive to little boys but actually taught them how to fight. Am I correct, Father?

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  So very sorry, Father Pat. What you said actually makes so much more sense. It also explains why you became that tough Chicago guy. 🙂 Again, my apologies.

                  My only experience with nuns came late in life. One of my clients was a Catholic Hospital in the Southwest. The nuns invited me over for dinner. I got to the door and a nun ushered me in. She sweetly asked, “Would you like a little Coca-Cola, dear?” I said that would be lovely. It was straight bourbon! We had an incredible time.

                • Those nuns weren’t abusive to little boys but actually taught them how to fight. Am I correct, Father?

                  Correct. The first time I put on a pair of boxing gloves, Sister Joetta (Lord, rest her!) tied the strings.

              • Gail,

                You have gotten the wrong impression from what I have written. I do not blame women for the sad state of affairs. It is only logical to observe that if men had the power and gave too much of it to women that that is not the fault of women but of men. I couldn’t agree more. I’m not blaming women for anything. They are as much victims of this sick system as anyone else.

                However, the fact is that the system inhibits men from exercising dominance by the only means that could possibly prevent us – physical force. That is really what explains the demographic and cultural decadence, the renunciation of the patriarchy.

                Now how is the problem solved? I am skeptical of a democratic solution. I think America is simply too decadent to do the right thing and, though we may have this respite under Trump, that the problem will get worse.

                What could actually move the ball forward is if Europe came face to face with reality and took measures to reverse its demographic suicide in the face of Islam. If the Europeans re-embraced the patriarchy, perhaps the strength of the fashion would move American elites to massage the legal framework and just make it happen.

                I mean, men could introduce legislation reinstituting some semblance of coverture and reforming the legal system to either reinforce or at least remove obstructions to male dominance in domestic relations. This is heady brew though. You would have widespread public revolt, outrage, etc at the prospect – the disappearance of “rights”.

                Apart from that, foolish men will continue to shoot themselves in the foot by enforcing a feminist/matriarchy and there is little anyone can do about it. I mean, if you wake up one morning and see divorce rates plunge as well as the rate of abortion while birth rates skyrocket – well, I just don’t see it without a complete change in phronema.

                As to men struggling with manhood, some end up as beta males, like the Democratic candidate for vice president. Some simply act like men and take their medicine, which most often is divorce and child support and then serial monogamy. The “babymomma” culture. Five kids by three different women. Some side step the whole ugly mess.

                It’s actually so ugly that it is repulsive at this point. Blacks have largely abandoned the institution as inimical to manhood. Lower class whites are not far behind. This is simple cause and effect. Do this and you get that. It’s that simple.

                It will take a true revolution, as jolting and disconcerting as the Bolshevik one, to right the ship.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  Misha, I think we are alignment and I appreciate your comments. I agree that it’s going to take a cultural revolution. Sometimes, though, incidental changes can be the tipping point of more significant changes in an unintended way. I’m cautiously optimistic, but maybe Trump will be that catalyst.

                  • Love ya, Gail. You’re a good sport. God only knows what the future holds. The heart of the law is mercy.

            • Michael Bauman says

              Misha, one must not forget that non-covetous, traditionally minded women often get the petard in the current system of divorce laws.

              My lovely wife suffered from that even though her ex and the woman he ran off with actually planned to kill her (obvious, but not provable in court).

              He “lost his job” so he would not have to pay alimony, hid assets and stole from her. Happens often.

              She could not afford a good lawyer and the one she had sold her out.

              Until I came along her credit was in the crapper and she had a mortgage that had we not refinanced would have forced us out of her home of 30 years. A refinance that was impossible without my income and credit rating to offset her “trashed by divorce” credit rating. Unfortunately her daughter is in a similar situation right now.

              The list goes on. You are right but it is not the full story. The fallout in my wife’s case and many others is the other side of the same coin you describe.

              • Michael,

                The reverse is the norm. Alimony or maintenance has gone out of fashion unless the husband supported the wife as homemaker for an extended period of time. This is as it should be. If we are going to have a feminized/matriarchal society, then women can work and not have a right to be kept. Child support is different, of course. But most often it is the woman who leaves the man for whatever reason. Eighty percent of divorces are filed by women. 80%.


                Now, Michael, I don’t want to get too far into the particulars of your wife’s situation but if her ex actually tried to kill her, you must admit that that is a rare anomaly. The vast majority of the time, the woman simply decides she doesn’t want to be married to the guy anymore – bored, “grown apart”, found another guy, whatever – takes the kids and leaves. It is increasingly common for there to be “joint custody” of the kids: part time with mom, part with dad. That assumes that dad has a means of caring for them when he is working. Otherwise he’s out of luck and only gets to see his own children from time to time.

                Really, it’s a sick, evil system straight from the mind of the devil. It gives women extraordinary power and leaves men with the tab in the vast majority of cases. It has been subtly foist upon us as one boils a frog: turn up the heat slowly enough and he won’t notice until it’s too late for him to escape.

                I tend to see it as a way for a certain class of effete elites to keep the lower classes in line and accepting of their rule. Calling its legitimacy into question is very threatening to them. Very. That is part of what all the hubbub is about with Putin and Russia. The other part has to do with God and Christianity, more on that in another post.

                Matriarchia delenda est.

          • Pat Reardon says

            Gail says, “We could not feminize you if you did not allow it.”

            Feminized men are largely created in schools, darling, where little boys are very vulnerable.

            When I was a schoolboy, some 70+ years ago, the nuns taught us to box.

            • George Michalopulos says

              True. God bless those nuns who raised you Father! Where could we get some of them today?

              Seriously now, I’d say over the last 30 years, the mostly female professoriate has not known how to deal with young boys. Instead of being spanked they are forcibly medicated with amphetamines. As a pharmacist, I can tell you that there is nothing good that comes out of that.

              • M. Stankovich says

                So let me check if I have this correct: you are reading from the School Sampler of the Klu Klux Klan, correct? Teach boys to fight at a young age; model their “masculinity” against racist, beer-swilling, ignoramus misogynists in “wife-beater” t-shirts; denying the results of massive studies, such as the NIMH “Metropolitan Study of ADHD” involving more than a hundred-thousand subjects in multiple sites on the advice of a pharmacist who was punked into believing that a presidential candidate was running a massive child sexual abuse ring out of a DC pizza parlor; learn the fake news “theology” of misogyny from someone who reports someone occasionally takes over his mind; and priests who no longer – as demanded by St. Gregory the Theologian to “theologize in the manner of the Apostles,” does so rather in the manner of Karl Rove. You are coldly and with clear calculation being put in your place by a few of the best, Gail, and I suggest you cut your losses before you force the emergence of something very ugly.

                • Michael, because I’m so riveted by Mr. Misha’s candor, and by his generosity in sharing with us, from that overfull, fermenting heart, all those sinister, smelly & subversive pontifications sociological, political and theological — as are, I’m pretty certain, alas, some in the CIA, NSA and even the FBI (particularly given his entrepreneurship in “private” intelligence gathering, or whatever it is — among other reasons) — I do try not to miss a single one; but it looks like I overlooked the boast (?) you cite about alien noetic abduction, or overshadowing. Or was it alien noetic eclipse? Your representation of the phenomenon was not entirely clear. Can you link me to that?

                  [And BTW, Misha, I hope I don’t sound over-flippant about all this, or, much worse, about you as a person: though your creepier remarks can be thoroughly infuriating due to their vileness, and I can sometimes react to that in an (obliquely) uncharitable mode, I do sincerely care and worry about you very much, often. I pray for you, too, for whatever my prayers might be worth.
                  Still, Brief Interviews with (and Soliloquies by) Hideous Men can be unsettling, even as theatre, particularly in cases when the interviewee (or soliloquist) is as dramatically un-self-aware in confession as you, and as (understandably) averse to facing “the mirror” and dealing honestly with the view to be seen therein. (Apparently, anyway.) But such utter shamelessness can be true, more or less, of us all, of course. It’s just that you can sound like a very advanced case in some respects, Scott. Dr. Stankovich and I get these tougher cases a lot: whereas he’s a highly trained and experienced professional and devoted public servant, I’m an amateur in this anthropological genre of dangerous curiosity — though not inexperienced. Still, I hope one day to serve the Kingdom of God in my little way, as Dr. M. does already, with no doubt far superior effectiveness.]

                  But honestly, doc — do you think callow, clownish poseurs such as these two are could be “a few of the best” at that vileness to which you allude? In real life? That seems laughable to me. Or accomplished at much of anything else, for that matter? I mean, beyond posting abysmally stupid, often seditious public indiscretions that border on actionable treason (if only in spirit), and of course these uniquely nauseating strip teases in public for all with eyes to see, and gag? (Not to mention noses…) I give them that, sure, but, as you know, it’s merely humane to recall that Mr. Misha is not playing with anything close to a full deck, obviously, and so probably deserves significant consideration, for medical reasons, and George is, well, George. (I think we might rightly blame his priest most of all for his grave spiritual condition.)

                  • By the way, Scott, I need to clarify that I didn’t mean to suggest any sort of moral equivalence between your bizarre persona here, however adequately it might represent your essence as a person, and the horrifying cases Dr. Stankovich has bravely wrestled with over the years, serving our state of California. I read again what I posted and saw that that misunderstanding was possible. Your persona strikes me, in general, as a more garden variety of clueless, delusional poseur and stinky misogynist, bully and bootlicker. To be clear. Not a personality (as refracted through your weird persona) sunken to such a depth as uncommon (I hope) and monstrous as the guilt attaching to the sexual abuse of children. Just to be clear.

                    Though it’s only fair to recall at this point that you yourself made no such distinctions here, in many posts, between gay men and such criminals as I just did between them and you (as self-portrayed here, in persona). You equated them explicitly. That’s unconscionable, and in many decent countries it’s considered hate speech. In a few, on top of that it’s criminally actionable libel. FYI.

                    Incidentally, I’m certain you would find that many if not most human beings, or at least most who approach such a high calling as being human, might well regard you as significantly more subhuman, at least in the persona you reveal here, than many of the gay men they have known well and whom you have reviled, dehumanized and frequently equated, as a class, with such criminal miscreants and worse. Again, FYI.

                    Have a blessed and fruitful season of the Nativity, Scott.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      I imagine Scott will have a “blessed and fruitful season” this Nativity. As will I and all those who worked hard to elect Mr Trump to the presidency.

                    • Their name is “legion”.

                      Strange, I’m sitting here peacefully, quietly typing at the public library on my pc. I look at the news, the weather, etc. I remembered to pray this morning, that’s good.

                      Low and behold I see a bunch of unhinged crap flying at me! Well, better duck. Not even close. Ah, well, par for the course.

                      God bless everyone. We all need it.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Let’s leave my priest out of this. He’s got enough crosses to bear. At the very least doesn’t countenance sexual sin as being evidence of being “wonderfully made.” I imagine that makes his job somewhat easier.

                • Stankjoshka,

                  You need to get your meds regulated. You’re a good guy and write some interesting and clever things from time to time, but you’re starting to sound a bit rabid in your outrage. Just be calm and it will all work out according to God’s plan.

                  Take your meds, have a cookie and some eggnog. You might want to spike it. It helps “activate” the meds.

            • I always loved that movie, The Bells of St. Marys. Sister Mary Benedict taught the good kid to box and defend himself against the bully. It got a little too real for her though when she got cocky and thought the boy couldn’t tag her. He accidentally clocked her and it jolted her back into a certain realization that she was just a very thinly armored visitor in his world – he had to live there.

            • Peter Millman says

              I forget what movie that was from. Was it Going My Way or The Bells of St. Mary?

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          Indeed, hierarchical is the better way of putting it, I think.

    • M. Stankovich says

      This is an example of the wounded and the weak providing an “anthropology” – not founded in the Tradition of the Scripture or the Fathers (and Lord help me from, again asking for citations beyond the theologumena-salad Scott is so eager to unleash from his own head) – but unsupportable, unsubstantiated commentary that – off the top of my head – directly contradicts Sts. John Chrysostom and Maximus the Confessor, among others. Fake theology, like fake news, is not intended to educate, it is intended to draw attention to the author! Scott, I challenge you to take your theology of the Eucharist and “feminism” to Fr. John Whiteford’s blog like you did with your theory of ἀποκατάστασις. See how far you get before you have to dog him again! You are a Google-anointed poseur, not a theologian, who attempts to “lead” by quantity and “threatening” your “enemies.”

      I am a smart man, Scott. I do not plan to “debate” you on this matter for the simple reason that I know the sustainability of this level of cognizance. But I’ll be back. Once I can stop my amazement at your “imprimatur” of Fr. Alexander Webster (“Misha is proud of you.”), whose thoroughly researched and duly cited scholarship you have historically referred to as outright foolishness & stupidity. You need to take a break and speak with a professional.

      • Stankjoshka,

        I consider Fr. John a friend and informal mentor of sorts. We disagree in our appreciation of St. Gregory’s sentiments, but that is about it. He is brilliant and a definite jewel in American Orthodoxy. We corresponded a bit privately over the internet after that little exchange but did not come to complete agreement. But it is an esoteric point. We both agree that God can do as He wills and that He can condemn whomever He wants to hell. No argument there.

        As to Fr. Alexander, I disagree with him about very little that I can discern. I am sure that Christians have chosen pacifism as a response to violence from the earliest times in emulation of Christ’s execution and the martyrdom of most all of the Apostles. My ruminations on violence are confined to what is permissible. Pacifism surely is permissible. I merely hold that it is Marcionite to insist that Christians avoid all violence as a religious obligation.

        Fr. Alexander hit a home run with this piece. It is his glory, not mine. But I’m sure his glory is to the glory of God. That’s the deal believers make.

  5. George Michalopulos says

    Excellent essay.

    In the spirit of a little humor, it appears that the stars were indeed arrayed against Stalina in that Gov McAuliffe of Virginia’s chicken (named Hillary) died before the election: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/terry-mcauliffe-says-his-pet-chicken-named-hillary-died-right-before-election/article/2609220

  6. M. Stankovich says

    You would, again – with the full confidence of an authority of which I am entirely uncertain – ascribe to “divine providence” that which can only be revealed as true by the course of time and the fruits of repentance. I would suggest that your argument is no more persuasive than the general laws of probability, and speak nothing to words of the Lord, “If you were of the world, the world would love his own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (Jn. 15:19) But for the record, your essay is not the contemplation of an Orthodox priest, to be frank, but the jingoistic, jargon-laden punditry of a polemicist, which, as I have noted previously, I find particularly offensive; you are entitled to your political opinion, but I object to the presumption of authority that “Archpriest” lends to it. I find nowhere in the Orthodox Service for the Ordination of a Priest the gift of political or social “clairvoyance.”

    Politics, in effect, are a bit like meat, are they not? “Meat commends us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.” (1Cor. 8:8). Knowing this, in what context do you interpret St. Paul’s words, “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (1Cor. 2:2) You don’t. In fact, you write to say we have dodged a bullet and the “kids are alright.” God Himself has spared us and blessed His Inheritance. Throw open the curtains, open the windows and behold! The world still smells of Lazarus, three days in the tomb. Imagine.

    These things have I spoken to you, that you should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yes, the time comes, that whoever kills you will think that he does God service. And these things will they do to you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, you may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not to you at the beginning, because I was with you. (Jn. 16:1-4)

    You cannot seem to grasp that the natural history of the narrow path to our salvation – the salvation of a Church selected and entrusted with the Truth – as the inevitable and inescapable path of persecution and martyrdom “for the sake of righteousness,” and as St. Chrysostom wrote, “For forty years the Jews wandered aimlessly in the desert, but fear not. For now your guide and leader is Jesus Christ.”

    To complete the metaphor, “If eating meat scandalizes my brother, I will eat no flesh while the world stands, lest I scandalize my brother.” (1Cor. 8:13) There is no politic, government, or court that will prosper or bring morality to a Church which has no voice of moral authority, and more importantly, a moral community of believers that is unfazed by polemic and punditry, and yearns for the Gospel and the Patristic message of the Fathers.

    • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

      I refer the right honorable gentleman to my previous remarks (on another thread on this website) concerning his political and (a)moral “Quietism.”

      • It is of the same variety as Mario Cuomo’s personal opposition to abortion. Either God is Incarnate or not. Either He is everything, or He is nothing. This compartmentalization breeds neuroses.

    • And now my head explodes………..POOffffff

    • Michael S.,

      Are there not two questions here?

      The first is the question of the Church (which is not of this world) and our salvation. In these it is right to say that politics plays no direct role.

      The second question is that of the temporal environment in which the Church must live, in which our children must live, and in which our salvation is worked out.

      Has it ever been wrong to be grateful to God for His providential relief from the enemies of our Faith? I hope Monk James can restrain himself from unnecessarily worrying about proper translation , but do we not pray, “…and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”?

      Doubtless there are times when in God’s providence it is good for the sake of our salvation that our faith be tried by fire. But if we are to believe that He, in fact, hears and answers the prayer His Church…

      “For the peace from above and for the salvation of our souls…”
      “For the good estate of the holy Churches of God…”
      “For the president of our country…”
      “All things good and profitable for our souls and peace for the world…”
      “That we may complete the remaining time of our life in peace and repentance…”

      …how is it wrong to recognize the hand of God and give thanks?

      Now I will certainly admit that we have little knowledge of exactly what challenges the new president may well bring to our Faith. But I will not be ashamed to give thanks that the agenda of his opponent was decisively put down. Nor can I – or should I – fail to recognize the hand of our God in affairs of men. It is quite possible to give thanks for temporal relief from earthly enemies (as our fathers always did) without putting our trust in princes as the means of our salvation.

      • M. Stankovich says


        The answer is to look no further than Nineveh, “that great city,” as the Lord commanded the Prophet Jonah: “And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, ‘Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.'” (Jonah 3:3)

        So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. For word came to the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, ‘Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God: yes, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?’ And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do to them; and he did it not.” (v.5-10)

        Metaphor? Apocryphal story for us to contemplate in the Matins of Great and Holy Saturday? No, Brian, you explain to Archpriest Alexander that this is the Lord changing His mind; this is our God delivering His people from “Apocalypse.” This is the God of mercy who sees true repentance and is moved to deliver His people; not the God who considers Rousseau, Dickens, Dostoevsky, Justices of the SCOTUS, and the New York Times; but as Fr. Georges Florovsky wrote, “[Consider] St. Athanasius, St. Gregory of Nazianzus, and St. Maximus the Confessor. Their theology was a witness. Apart from the life in Christ, theology carries no conviction, and, if separated from the life of faith, theology may easily degenerate into empty dialectics, a vain polylogia, without any spiritual consequence. Patristic theology was rooted in the decisive commitment of faith.” Shame on him for referring to me in terms of “(a)moral “Quietism.” I have the courage to climb into the tree as Zachaeus (cf. Luke 19:1-10) to shout him down and point out his “empty dialectics, and vain polylogia,” and if it is (a)moral, let him correct me, not fire cheap insults over my bow for effect.

  7. Pat Reardon says

    My sincere thanks to Father Alexander!

  8. Opps, missed Reagan who gave us voodoo economics and turned this nation into the largest debtor nation from the largest creditor nation. Doekoo’s to the gipper, the opposite of coodoo’s. I saw him as an 8 year old, when he was advertising for GE, on TV. Progress is our most important product. I jumped up from the floor in front of the tv angry, his tone was so totalitarian dictatorially harsh. There was a sinister deceitful chimp, behind that kindly fatherly smile. He was hand picked, with Nixon at Bohemian Grove, by Herbert (NAZI) Walker. He is pictured standing (presiding) between a sitting Nixon and Reagan at the Grove. I have seen the picture.

    • MK,

      Reagan had his flaws, but “voodoo economics” worked. The Laffer Curve has been vindicated and revenues increased. The problem is that the Reagan Democrats who were very happy to cut taxes were not so eager to cut spending:


      And that is where we are at today, basically sitting and staring at the printing press and philosophizing on the nature of reality.

      What seems obvious to me is that the West is awash in products, as is much of Asia, Europe and Russia. Technology is also ubiquitous. So we are producing at astounding value and perhaps are not appreciative of that fact. Could it be that the value of what is produced as outrun the volume of currency issued to measure and trade it?

      In any case, it also seems obvious that manufacturing jobs have been exported to lands where wages are quite low in order to maximize profit. The problem is that if wages bear no relationship to the value of the product at its final destination, wealth is extracted from the consuming class in the country where the products are consumed.

      What low income taxes and reciprocal trade policy ensures, is that consumers are not bled dry.

  9. Here’s what seems to be happening:

    The Progressive Borg appear as though they seriously think that they can keep Trump from taking office. Jill Stein’s recall effort was one thing, but this thing with the CIA and trying to say that the Russians stole the election is something else entirely.

    We should be clear about what is at issue with Russian “interference”. The question is if Russian intelligence hacked into secrets of the Democrats through espionage and gave them to Wikileaks or whomever in an effort to “steal” the election from Hillary.

    What we are NOT talking about is the Russians actually interfering with the voting machines or the vote tabulations. People voted for whom they wanted to vote for. The only question is whether they had accurate information upon which to base their votes.

    But this is a perpetual question. Politicians lie and and are fact checked all the time. Secrets get exposed and influence elections. Was it true? Time will tell. Normally the best remedy for bad speech (misinformation) is more speech.

    So long as no one interfered with the process of individuals voting for whom they wished – and there is no evidence of that – it was a fair election.

    But the Progressives don’t want to see it that way. The reason is because they know how powerful their dominance of the media has been. They know that they determined elections by the way they reported news – which facts and what they mean.

    What they seem to be attempting to suggest is that it is somehow illicit for Russia to interfere in their dominance of the information pool (i.e., if, in fact, it was the Russians and that was their intent, that remains to be established) – that that is somehow undemocratic.

    They may seriously think that they can prevent Trump from taking office, leave Obama in office, or get Clinton elected by tampering with the electoral college. That seems to be what all this noise is about.

    That would be a coup d’etat.

    But how would they get away with it? They would need the military, FBI and national guard to allow them to impede Trump’s inauguration. Once he’s in, it’s done. They know they have to strike while Obama remains commander in chief if they are going to make this work.

    I could be wrong about this, and I hope that I am. This would cause a national conflagration. It may be that Progressives see that they have gone as far as they can pursuant to the democratic system and believe that they have no choice but to take power if their dream is to proceed.

    It may be that we are in a very dangerous place at this point.


    • Misha, The only question I have is who exactly is, THEY, and how are “they” powerful, and organized enough, to get all this done before Trump becomes President? It could be the making of a good Tom Clancy type book. Give it try my friend. Don’t forget my cut, or at least a thank you in the book if it’s a best seller!

    • I wonder where was this “Prime Directive” of Obama’s when he was campaigning against Brexit? Surely if it’s wrong for Russia to meddle in our domestic politics, it was wrong for him to meddle in Britain’s?

  10. http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/the-wrap/article/Trump-vs-CIA-10-Electoral-College-Voters-Demand-10791105.php

    Yep, they’re gonna try it.

    They are going to try to convince enough of the American people that the Russians illicitly influenced whom they would vote for; i.e., got in their heads through hacking and the media.

    “Did it influence me? What about others? OMG?”

    That’s the narrative. Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

    But are enough of the American people dumb enough to believe that information, whether it is true or false, which may have been hacked by the Russians, by its “polluting” release into the American information pool, illicitly effected a change in what the electorate believed to be the right choice?

    And why might that be a bad thing, even if it were true, if we believe in freedom of speech and freedom of the press?

    I mean, what they’re really saying is that they’ve lost control of the narrative and they don’t like it one damn bit. And that’s fine. Nobody completely controls the narrative anyway.

    But are they scared enough to overtly seize power?

    I hope not. We don’t make our best decisions when we are animated or almost paralyzed by fear.

    So everybody just relax.

    • sfgate.com/entertainment

      Sums it up.

      • Dino, Ages, et al

        I try never to underestimate my adversaries, especially the enemies of Christ.

        I’m less alarmed than I am puzzled. Their actions, that of the media left and leftist Democrats, are so crazy these days that its hard for my little feline ears to get a clear bead on them. They’re fluctuating radically.

        I suppose I give them too much credit. We’re not dealing with Che Guevara here. These are whiny liberal pantywastes, after all.

        It’s just that they are clearly trying to delegitimize the election. But to what end? On the other hand, they are also speaking as if they expect there to be a Trump inauguration. It is most peculiar. Were it people with cajones speaking, I would expect revolutionary activity.

        It’s also possible, I suppose, that they are undergoing a very powerful and painful exchange of psychoses: The earlier operating psychosis was that we are in charge, the vanguard of progressives who control the narrative and we are both right and invincible.

        The new psychosis may be that we are the vanguard of the progressives, but that evil racist, homophobic, misogynist, imperialist autocrat Putin in a masterful, dastardly plot unseated us and put an equallly loathsome Neanderthal in charge for the time being and ousted us from control of the media pond (Foul, foul!!!) and, though we are still right (and ever shall be), we seem to be less than invincible.

        That is easier for them to swallow than the objective reality that they are nothing but a gaggle of soft fascists, morally unanchored to anything but fashion, spiritual bankrupt, lacivious, decadent narcissistic little tin gods and empty shells of humanity.

        But, of course, there’s hope for everybody, I suppose. Even that perpetrator Saul of Tarsus turned out to be corrigible.

        It is true that Obama’s term expires on January 20th and he is ineligible to serve a third consecutive under the Constitution. It is also true that only ten electors have so far waffled and only one of them, I believe is pledged Republican and has indicated that she will vote against her mandate.

        I too find it very difficult to believe that the military or the joint chiefs would sign on to some extraordinary extralegal adventure. Moreover, there would be civil war. The white South would rise. They’ve been poised for some time.

        It would be good if Trump spoke up and clarified the situation in that no new information is really “bad” or “evil”, however it was obtained by whomever. Truth is disinfectant and if lies are sometimes mixed in, they are filtered out with even more speech.

        As to the CIA, McCain, et al. The Cold War is over. The Russians that they had to worry about were the ones who venerated Lenin and Marx. Gorbachev sabotaged that ideological empire from within, weakening it so much that regional leaders like Yeltsin (of the Russian Republic) and others soaked up all the power and legitimacy from the reformed legislative electoral rules Gorbachev instituted.

        The hardline Bolsheviks tried to overthrow Gorbachev but Yeltsin saved his butt. After that, all Russians knew that the real power was Yeltsin and the spell of 74 years had been broken, because Yeltsin turned out to believe in markets rather than Marx.

        But Yeltsin was an old alcoholic who had no idea how to privatize the Russian economy. The West took advantage of this this gave rise to the crazy 1990’s and the rule of oligarchs, the Russian counterparts of MNC’s, unaccountable to their nation, just as the West wished them to be.

        Yeltsin had the sense to put Putin in charge. Putin had served as a KGB propaganda officer in East Germany and was running a successor agency – FSB. He had never been an ideological Marxist, only a patriot, and had renounced his Party membership at the earliest signs that the Party was going to lose power.

        Putin knew that capital had to be harnessed to work for the good of the state/people and he knew that the press is a weapon of control in any modern society, most especially in democratic societies. That ideological clique which occupies the field of the press leads the consciences of the people who vote and thereby control the course of government.

        Putin tamed the Russian oligarchs and the Russian press. Though he left room for dissent and debate, he made sure that the voices of national unity were the loudest ones the people heard.

        This, of course, upset the West. First of all, the whole thing was too honest and open for people accustomed to the fiction that the press is objective and polices the government. Second, it didn’t fit the imperatives of Western world hegemony. Third, this independent ideological area out there was run by people who did not salute the Progressive moral gods.

        Completely intolerable.

        So, Georgia and later the Ukraine as well as Westward expansion of Nato and the EU. Continuation of the Cold War, even though Russia was no longer a socialist power.

        This was confusing to everybody since the Russians were no longer sinister atheists but increasingly appeared to be reviving traditional Christianity in their homeland. Normal Americans saw this as a very good thing. Socialism dies, Christianity is reborn.

        But Progressives were horrified. Progressives are socialists at heart, they just don’t want to become pious and chaste by socialist standards all at once. They want to get or stay rich, gradually socialize the economy and make all the deplorables and little people dependent on the Progressive plantation.

        That’s what’s best . . . at least for Progressives.

        And religion! . . . perish the thought. Religion is dangerous, don’t you know? Very unprogressive.

        So this whole situation was increasingly intolerable to Progressives, especially since some of those little brown people over there, the ones who call themselves Muslims, seem hell bent on mischief. The little animals are so hopelessly backwards that they still believe in that Allah thing, male dominance, modesty, etc. That’s very quaint but they will broaden their perspectives once they become assimilated to the clearly superior ethos of the Progressive West.

        Yet the ungrateful bastards not only did not appreciate the colonialism and cultural imperialism but dared to attack us for trying to help them. Well, we can deal with them in time.

        But we have our own problems at home to deal with first. Putting these traditionalist ideologues out of business makes our own homeland safe for us. Thus the culture wars are all important and news is merely a weapon, a tool, not any search for objective truth. What is reported affects the public consciousness and leads voting behavior.

        Meanwhile, in Russia, Putin notices that NATO is ever expanding, as well as the EU and that he is becoming increasingly militarily and economically isolated. There seems to be no reset or end to the Cold War.

        This will not do. What do these maniacs want to do, rule the whole world? That would seem to be the objective of their destabilization efforts globally. Their economy is already bankrupt, as is their morality. They’ve left hundreds of thousands dead here and there trying to impose a Western dominated and managed “democracy” of progressive values against the wishes of indigenous populations. Their hypocrisy knows no limitations in their alliance with cultural enemies for crude economic gain.

        So, like any decent God-fearing patriot with a sense of self and national preservation, Putin began to give as good as he got.

        And Putin is very, very good at this game, having been trained by the best ever to play it.

        This brings us to the American Election of 2016. “Acquire the Holy Spirit and a thousand souls around you will be saved.”, or something like that.

        Anyway, in recreating Holy Rus’, Putin also inspired many of his countrymen to patriotic endeavors in service of the national interest, including f*cking with the enemies of the Rodina.

        As Trump has indicated, probably no one will ever know exactly what the objective truth is behind how much of a role Russian hackers, private or government, played in the flow of information surrounding the 2016 American election. I assure you that Putin leaves no trail if he does not want to be discovered. So whatever assertions that come out of the CIA are likely shooting in the dark based upon “who benefits”. Long on assumption, short on or devoid of forensic evidence.

        Now, the Russian government could have obtained facts by cyber espionage and released them into the American media pool in an effort to influence the election.

        SO WHAT!!!!!!!

        Was the stuff true or not? If not, those who might be harmed by it politically can respond with their own proof and investigations and persuade the public that their version is accurate.

        Any fool can lie. You don’t need the FSB to do that.

        The only possible objection can be against revealed information that is truthful and that the Democrats did not want the country to have. That is what this all boils down to. That and Comey’s last minute review of new evidence in the Clinton email server scandal.

        All of these things were self inflicted wounds and the Progressives are simply positively livid that it all came to light. Some even going so far as to assert that it is a betrayal of democracy.

        These people are beyond evil. They are completely delusional, spoiled little brats with an arrogant sense of entitlement the likes of which has scarcely been seen in human history.

        And they got what they deserved.

        • Misha wrote:
          Now, the Russian government could have obtained facts by cyber espionage and released them into the American media pool in an effort to influence the election.

          SO WHAT!!!!!!!

          As an American and a patriot, my response to Russian meddling in American sovereignty is two middle fingers at the Kremlin and calls to my representatives urging Russia should be made to pay a harsh price for such behavior.

          The only possible objection can be against revealed information that is truthful

          Truthful? Like an email thread about meeting for food being blown up into a fable of child sex ring? Don’t make me laugh. Who could ever object to a little maskirovka among friends?

          The answer a person gives to the question “So What?!?!” will pretty much tell you if a person is a patriotic American or a Kremlin cuck.

          • George Michalopulos says

            I love it when a Proglib starts putting on patriotic garb. Trouble is, the pants don’t usually fit when they haven’t been worn for several years.

          • Are you saying that the Russians hacked into the Democratic servers to discover clever lies to tell the American people? Did they have to hack into the Democrats to do that?

            Really the absurdity of the whole assertion collapses under its own weight when it is examined in detail.

            A. Russians penetrated some secret.

            B. Russians released it to a third party.

            C. Third party releases it into the media pool to influence the US Election.

            D. Therefore, the Russians illicitly influenced the American election.

            But I ask you, what was the nature of the secret information they supposedly hacked? Was it true or was it false?

            If it was true? What harm could it possibly do? The Truth shall set you free.

            If it is false, why was it secret? Why would the Russians have to hack to get lies? They could easily make up their own.

            Progressives are the lowest form of moral life. They believe that they have a moral right to control what is defined as “truth”. Someone has to be in charge, they feel, and it better be them. That’s what the whole mess boils down to.

            They . . . are . . . despicable people.

        • Misha, Whenever I need a good laugh, I turn on CNN or MSNBC. I almost feel guilty, watching their little bleeding liberal hearts cry. Almost! I always remember what almost happened during the election, and all the guilt leaves my soul. The main danger, and power they now have, is the disinformation they feed our youth.

          You’re spot on, in regards to Russia, and the Libs, the Libs actually deserve more than they got. Truth is, you, and I, are on the same page in most matters, Stalin excluded, but let’s not go there again. Tumps victory was a great hurdle. Now if we could do something about our universities, that is where the future lies. I heard that a new web site is reviewing professors and their political leanings. College can be hell, when stuck with a God hating socialist teacher, trying to destroy, all the values, we parents have taught our children!

          • Misha, I forgot to ask. What is your take, on the reports, that Putin has had many murdered in Russia, who do not see, eye to eye with Putin.

            • Dino,

              Putin controls the lion’s share of news coverage in Russia. He does not need to murder reporters. He is in charge of the judiciary and tax collecting apparatus, he does not need to murder his political opponents.

              What I assume has been going on is one or both of two things:

              1. Patriotic Russians tend see sympathy to Western NGO’s and interests in opposition to Russia to be traitorous and Russians love Putin by very wide margins – 80-90% approval sometimes. So intelligence operatives or special forces/paramilitary types who had to be let go during cost cutting in the 1990’s had all these skills, love of country and easy targets. I assume some of these types thought they were doing the state and/or Putin a favor by offing critics here and there.

              2. Russian politics has always been more physical/contact oriented than that of the Enlightened West. Oligarchs are basically mobsters at heart and staging operations to make each other, and Putin, look bad are pretty much par for the course. In the end, Putin used the tax system to go after these people when they tried to prevent him from harnessing capital to the national purpose instead of operating like Western MNC’s. Recall it was tax problems that put Capone in prison.

              Now, I’m not saying that Putin is above pulling the trigger. Far from it. He is definitely responsible for many deaths when it comes to conflicts in which Russia has taken part. But Putin was trained in KGB and headed FSB. KGB was hands down the best intelligence outfit in the world in its heyday. They had EVERYBODY’S number. He doesn’t need to be sloppy and medieval about things. Legally the press is more circumscribed there than it is here. Britain is similar. They have leeway but not free reign. Basically, he doesn’t need to do all the nefarious stuff he is accused of – so why would he?

              I’m not saying it’s not possible, just that I don’t have any strong reason to believe it.

              • Misha I understand you love all things Russian, perhaps more than the country we live in, that is your business, not that you care, but I have no problem with that. I would like to see Russia succeed, just not at America’s expense. Russia and Orthodoxy are now intertwined, Orthodoxy is now in the spotlight, after being hidden from the west for centuries. That should matter to all Orthodox Christians. I personally don’t know what to make of Putin, my fear is he is a unofficial archbishop puppet master of the Russian Orthodox Church.

                One hypothetical, what happens when the people of Russia no longer want Putin, but Putin does not want to leave? Polls and votes won’t matter if he is running the media as you say. Do you favor this type of Government?

                • Dino,

                  I love America and would like to see it return again to the type of country I vaguely recall as a child, pre-Watergate. The cultural revolution that followed from the 1960’s after JFK’s assassination has been absolutely devastating to American mores. Though one side of my mother’s family has Russian roots, the other has roots that go back to the Old South and I have long been sympathetic to traditional Americana.

                  The ProgLibs destroyed that culture. In dominating the media, they have slowly turned up the heat on the frogs so that it is now nearly impossible for many of them to shed the ideological blinders that have been introduced (the heat).

                  Under Trump, the American constitutional system will continue. No one, least of all him, is talking about abolishing Congress or the Judiciary. The American people knew full well that Donald Trump wants better relations with Russia. That may very well be why many people voted for him. HRC was promissing policies guaranteed to escalate the tension in US-Russian relations. Americans are sick and tired of senseless wars.

                  Obama and the Progs are being disingenuous in the extreme with their allegations. Worst case scenario, if Putin did order people to hack into the DNC to copy emails and release them to Wikileaks into the American media, what that amounts to is the following: Someone (possibly the Russians) interfered in MSM control of the flow of information to the American people. The narrative was interrupted to some extent with authentic emails of Democratic dirty tricks which they wished to keep hidden. In short, worst case scenario, if Vladimir Putin is behind it, all he did was weaponize the truth.

                  Now, if that offiends you, that the American people knew more than the MSM and the DNC wanted them to in order to make a decision, that’s fine.

                  In my eyes, it lowers my estimation of your character since what you’re saying is that Progressives have a right to control the media, the source of our information.

                  Now, what I think is likely is one of three things:

                  1. Trump will be assassinated before taking office. No man, no problem. – as Stalin said.

                  2. Democrats and some Republicans will attempt to form a National Unity government such as the one Lincoln ran with during the Civil War. Enough RINO’s might join to sink the Trump Express if Obama’s preferred form of “retaliation” is to suspend the Constitution and introduce a temporary parliamentary type government until a new election, the results of which may be more acceptable to the Dems/Progs, can be held.

                  See bottom of this article:


                  * * *

                  “Historian Robert S. McElvaine wrote that there should be significant upset over the CIA’s conclusion of Russian interference.[119] McElvaine called actions by a foreign government to engage in manipulation of democratic processes as the most problematic scandal in U.S. history.[119] He said this eventuality was specifically why the Founding Fathers of the United States created the Electoral College to intervene in such instances.[119] McElvaine referred to Federalist No. 68 in calling upon the Electoral College to adopt a Government of National Unity.[119]”




                  3. They will stand down and let Trump be inaugurated and be content to merely hound him and try to impeach him.

                  I am not sure what they will do. The devil had free will and so do the Progs.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Excellent analysis. (Go easy on Dino though, he’s on the right side all things being equal.)

                    No one in their right minds believes that the Russians “influenced” anything unless by “influencing” we mean that they got more (and correct) information so that the American electorate could make an informed decision. James Comey for his part did that as well. There is no such thing as too much truthful information.

                    In this vein, if Vladimir Putin truly did “influence” the election, then he should be given the Presidential Medal of Freedom. A duly-inaugurated President Trump is the only thing standing between us and world war. (Not that the Deep State won’t try with some false flag operation.)

                    • Has it occurred to everyone that the MSM now has a conflict of interest? The hacked emails, whoever hacked them, showed that they colluded with the Democrats to elect HRC. Obviously they can’t be trusted to report the truth anymore.


                      Also, frankly, have they considered the details of the deal that they would get under Sunni Islam?

                      I mean, all the practicing homosexuals would be executed. The women would be forced to wear hijab, perhaps niqab or burka. God only knows whether they would revive slavery or not.

                      Picture downtown Moscow. Now picture downtown Riyadh. All things being equal, where would you rather live?

                  • Misha, Agreed on most points. Don’t know where in my post you thought I’m offended by the hacking, and their release, I am not! My hypothetical question was never answered Misha ,please read it again. My hypothetical question now actually plays into your own assumption of my position of hacking, and releasing or not releasing information.

                    • Misha,

                      You stated that my character is not up to par with I assume yours, in regards that I don’t have a problem with progressives controlling the media and our information , which is not true.

                      Do you mind that Putin controls the lion’s share of the media,as you stated, and what happens when the people of Russia no longer want Putin, but Putin does not want to leave. Are you not being hypocritical? Do you favor Putin’s style of Government?

                  • “Historian Robert S. McElvaine wrote …”

                    I find it hilarious to watch the Progressive Left suddenly pretend to be Originalists – as though they ever gave any consideration to the intent of the founders and their “living document.” It is as disingenuous as their pretended concern for a smooth and peaceful transition of power.

  11. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/14/world/middleeast/aleppo-syria-evacuation-deal.html?_r=0

    When it is all said and done, we should remember how incorrigibly evil progressives have become at this point. Assad has been a stabilizing force, protecting Shiites and Christians in the country he rules. Radical Sunnis despise him for this reason and insist on his overthrow. They care nothing about democracy, nor do their Saudi and Turkish backers.

    Now Assad, with the help of Russia, is retaking Allepo. As in all wars, there is chaos and collateral damage. Some of the people being killed by either side are not combatants but civilians.

    Yet the Times is hell bent on making this out to be a case of Syrian/Russian atrocity and war crimes. You can almost hear the violins playing in the background of these stories.

    I personally will never forget what these minions of the evil one are trying to accomplish with such stories. They are trying to paint the defenders of Christians and scourge of ISIS/al-Qaida as evil butchers.

    In my book, that makes them enemies of Christ – McCain, the NYT, all of them – enemies of Christ.

  12. http://prospect.org/article/case-resistance


    Interesting week of hyperventilation in Progressive circles.


    In the end, it all boils down to the fact that secrets, which were true, were exposed. How can the public knowing the truth be a bad thing?

    All this Russian hacking stuff boils down to this: Someone, perhaps private Russians or Russian intelligence, hacked into the DNC servers and got emails. They released them through Wikileaks and it became part of the pool of news which resulted in Trump being elected. But the emails were not fake, they were real. No one made up emails and released phony ones. That might be interference. But publishing accurate information only educates, it does not deceive.

  13. Anonymous December 20, 2016 at 5:03 pm) (says:

    Having ten plus children is something that would destroy the world quickly. The concept that contraception is bad is unwise.

    The continued effort to paint contraception in unfavorable light will find an opposite result of desired intent.

    More abortion…
    Perhaps it’s best that the author of these words is ‘anonymous’, because what she says is completely at odds with the authentically orthodox catholic christian Tradition

    Myself, I am the oldest son of my mother’s ten children, two of whom died before birth in miscarriages, both of them baptized by her and my grandmother under running water in the sink.

    I come from a long line of Christians who would find ‘anonymous’ sadly deceived and in need of our prayers.

    The Tradition which guides The Church tells us that contraception is to be avoided because it is sinful, and that married couples who feel that they must limit the number of their children — for various reasons — must do so only with the advice of their spiritual fathers, usually their parish priests, and in a spirit of penitence.

    And even when they are blessed to (at least temporarily) avoid having children), this must be done in a spirit of repentance and contrition, acknowledging that any form of contraception is sinful and in need of repentance.

    • I don’t think you listen well Monk James. And I don’t need prayers over this subject, so don’t flatter yourself.

      The result of less contraception is more abortion. The math is clear, the studies have been done, I don’t need to cite them again. I am criticizing everyone who is anti-contraception as a promoter of abortion. Now, you? The world is not fully Orthodox I remind you.

      Can you cite in the Liturgy, or in any service, or in Scripture exactly and precisely where contraception is considered sinful? I never got the memo. Perhaps when they said it, I just didn’t want to hear. As a young boy, I can imagine I didn’t want to hear about pregnancy prevention being sinful, or pregnancy, or marriage all that much. Go forth and multiply, but did it have a caveat with reckless abandon? Help me out.

      Do you genuinely believe promoting the idea contraception is sinful or bad and requires discussion with a priest will bring more people to the faith? I don’t. I think people outside the faith that see this type of suggestion believe the faith is nuts.

      Pray for starving children; they need it far more than do I.

  14. Michael Bauman says

    Monk James, here, here. The blanket pro contraception rationale Anon presents is founded on a mechanistic, utilitarian understanding and the corresponding economy of scarcity and competition. Understandable even prudent in some ways but not of the Kingdom.

    Now, that many children may put a great strain on the physical, emotional and financial resources of the husband and wife but that can be addressed in the personal life of each couple.

  15. Michael Bauman says

    Re Marriage.

    It is certainly a Eucharistic celebration in the Church that includes thanksgiving for the full fecundity of our life in Christ. Are the specifics of the fullness of Grace limited to only those described? Unlikely.

    Clearly though the marriage is one man and one woman with no blessing for concubinage.

    As a husband in a marriage where there is no possibility of our own children both being 60 when we married (although not blessed in the Orthodox service) I have been assured by my Bishop that our marriage is blessed by God.

    I am also finding that my wife and I are collecting grandchildren at, to me, an alarming rate. She has her 16 or so grands and great-grands from her children, but we have two adopted ones so far. ?

    As difficult as it is for me to accept, the whole lot is mine and ours because my wife and I are one flesh and increasingly one spirit.

    Or as my priest asserts: love finds a way.

    Glory to God.

  16. M. Stankovich says

    Again, a response appealing to an uncited – and I strongly suspect contrived – authority under the banner of Tradition. But what T/tradition could possibly be violated with contraception without relying on a truly foreign concept that the primary purpose and intention of Christian Marriage is procreation pursuant to Gen. 1:28?

    If, in fact, it is sinful to intentionally “thwart” the primary intention of the Creator in instructing us to be “fruitful and multiply” by employing contraceptive devices or medications, how is not sinful to be sexually abstinent? The means may vary, but the end result is the same. Does anyone imagine that simple sexual abstinence was not the primary form of “contraception” and “family planning” for Orthodox Christians for centuries? I recall from medical school the complexities of estimating the approximate time of ovulation following the last menses, measuring basal body temperature (look it up), etc. to be used as both times to increase the likelihood of fertilization, or to avoid the likelihood of fertilization; obviously the technology has dramatically improved, and there are apps for Smartphones. The point is Pharisaical. Certainly, these matters are between a couple and their confessor alone; and certainly, some have fallen into their own selfishness and the secularization that characterizes this world. But by what “tradition” could contraception be categorically and indisputably “sinful” and utilized in “penitence” any more than abstinence? I read bold statements with nothing in support.

    Again, it seems fairly reasonable to me to ask yourself why the Genesis account of the creation of Adam and Eve – including the astonishing kingdom the Creator provided for them, that they would rule over this creation, and would share this creation with Him for all eternity – is referenced in the Orthodox Service of Marriage, but it is not read. Instead, the Church chose to instruct us of the great mystery which is the relationship between Christ and His spotless bride, which is the Church.

    • The point is to control the passions. The passions are natural desires taken to the extreme. One should control and enjoy emotion, not be controlled by it. That is the great lesson that humanity is meant to learn in this kindergarten of ours. God wants us to get that one right before we move on to higher matters. He is teaching us to have faith in His judgment, His explication of good and evil, not what we contrive for ourselves. We would not have suffered evil had we not chosen to have known it.

      As to all the prudishness . . . please. It’s crystal clear in the Old Testament and if you read the New Testament and Church Fathers with open eyes you can see the Law of God. The Church Fathers were “good ole boys”. They received a mandate from the God-man and carried it out in their writings. Their consensus is Sacred Tradition.

      Yes, virginity is beautiful, as is reproduction. The very first commandment given by God to all living things was to be fruitful and multiply. Nonetheless, in pursuit of holiness/theosis, vows of chastity may be taken to remove that desire/passion from the playing field – for it is a powerful one. Of course, just vowing it does not make it go away. Monastics have to learn how to control it, to ensure that it only resides with them as a desire, not a controlling passion. That’s part of the monastic podvig. There’s nothing at all wrong with it. Everyone can’t do it or humanity would vanish in a generation, but it is indeed a great endeavor.

      God is in charge of everything. Most people have control issues. God doesn’t. He let’s us fall flat on our faces. That’s the only way we are going to learn.