Buchanan: The Rise of Putinism

Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan

Putinism appears to be rising, while the New World Order of Bush and the neocons seem to belong to yesterday.

Liberals, secularists, and neocons (including the religious right like George Weigel, secularist Jews like William Krystal and Norman Podhoretz, the morally confused like Andrew Sullivan and the crew at Salon and HuffPo) hate (yes, hate) Putin precisely for his nationalism and religion. But what has Putin ever done to them? What are the reasons for the hatred?

The answers are complex but briefly the secularist despises Putin because he repudiates the bland, colorless, fundamentally inhumane life of the global bureaucrat that hides a nascent totalitarianism; the kind we see in Huxley’s Brave New World where men are enslaved to the high manipulations of technocrats and other elites and pacified by a steady diet of anti-depressants, porn and other ‘medications’ in the same way the Old Soviet regime plied the oppressed with vodka.

The secularist views any challenge to his sterile Utopian dreams as a threat to his own existence. He sees the person who acknowledges the native human longing for transcendence as a despicable distortion that challenges his will to power, and so the technocrat must cleanse the world of such dangers and even eliminate them if necessary.

Liberals and secularists (liberal/secularists?) are fools who don’t see beyond the 1960s, the era in which ideas long brewing erupted in the popular culture but which they believe were invented by them. They still believe that history began on the day they were born. Time will take care of them much like it did of the true Marxist believers during the Lenin era who, when shoved into the Gulags, thought that “Comrade Lenin” made a mistake and they would be freed as soon as they were discovered. They were never discovered.

For religious neocons like Weigel, Putin (and left unsaid but even more important — Orthodoxy), represents the impregnable wall against romanticized notions of Catholic reemergence as the moral force in the world; an illusion built on a history when Catholicism ruled the moral life of Medieval Europe and one that they hope will rise again once the secular experiment inevitably collapses from spiritual exhaustion.

Secularism is a friend to the Catholic triumphalist because secular modernity contains the seeds of its own destruction. It must collapse for the Church to regain its former glory. (The religious neocon overlooks that Western Europe may turn to Russia for defense against a Muslim onslaught which is another possible outcome of the collapse.)

Protestantism will be a distant memory when the collapse comes and will allow Catholics (neocons at least) to usher in a New Catholic Age unimpeded. The problem is that Putin (and Orthodoxy) stand in the way of the new hegemony, just at the Orthodox stood in the way of the Crusades when the same ideas held sway centuries ago. Wiegel and his cohorts would no doubt have found great comfort in the Crusades and other examples of the Catholic imperialism they seek to revive.

Buchanan also said this:

Fareed Zakaria lists as “crucial elements of Putinism … nationalism, religion, social conservatism, state capitalism and government domination of the media. They are all, in some way or another, different from and hostile to, modern Western values of individual rights, tolerance, cosmopolitanism, and internationalism.”

Yet not every American revels in the sewer that is our popular culture. Not every American believes we should impose our democratist ideology on other nations. Nor are Big Media and Hollywood universally respected. Patriotism, religion and social conservatism guide the lives of a majority of Americans today.

The misinformed will read this quote (and my comments) as an unqualified endorsement of Putin. They are wrong. But their inability to understand reveals how confused many of us Americans really are about our own decline.

Source: Patrick Buchanan website

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“Abe tightens grip on power as Japanese shun election.”

So ran the page one headline of the Financial Times on the victory of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Sunday’s elections.

Abe is the most nationalistic leader of postwar Japan. He is rebooting nuclear power, building up Japan’s military, asserting her rights in territorial disputes with China and Korea.

And he is among a host of leaders of large and emerging powers who may fairly be described as the new nationalistic strong men.

Xi Jinping is another. Staking a claim to all the islands in the South and East China seas, moving masses of Han Chinese into Tibet and Uighur lands to swamp native peoples, purging old comrades for corruption, Xi is the strongest leader China has seen in decades.

He sits astride what may now be the world’s largest economy and is asserting his own Monroe Doctrine. Hong Kong’s democracy protests were tolerated until Xi tired of them. Then they were swept off the streets.

Call it Putinism. It appears to be rising, while the New World Order of Bush I, the “global hegemony” of the neocons, and the democracy crusade of Bush II seem to belong to yesterday.

Narendra Modi, leader of the Hindu nationalist party who was denied entry into the United States for a decade for complicity in or toleration of a massacre of Muslims is now Prime Minister of India.

“Members of the rightwing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh,” the FT reports, “the Organisation of National Volunteers that gave birth to the Bharatiya Janata party headed by Mr. Modi — have been appointed to key posts in the governing party and cultural institutions.

“Nationalists have railed in public against the introduction of ‘western’ practices such as wearing bikinis on the beach, putting candles on birthday cakes and using English in schools — all to the chagrin of fretful liberals.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is another such leader.

Once seen as a model of the enlightened ruler who blended his Islamic faith with a secular state, seeking friendship with all of his neighbors, he has declared cold war on Israel, aided the Islamic State in Syria, and seems to be reigniting the war with the Kurds, distancing himself from his NATO allies and the U.S., and embracing Putin’s Russia.

Not since Ataturk has Turkey had so nationalistic a leader.

And as the democracy demonstrators were routed in Hong Kong, so, too, were the Tahrir Square “Arab Spring” demonstrators in Egypt, home country to one in four Arabs.

With the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, the Muslim Brotherhood came to power in free elections, but was then overthrown by the Egyptian Army.

General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi is now president and rules as autocratically as Mubarak, or Nasser before him.

Thousands of the Muslim Brotherhood are in prison, hundreds face the death penalty. Yet, despite the military coup that brought Sisi to power, and the repression, the American aid continues to flow.

What do these leaders have in common?

All are strong men. All are nationalists. Almost all tend to a social conservatism from which Western democracies recoil. Almost none celebrate democracy or democratic values the way we do.

And almost all reject America’s claim to be the “indispensable nation” or “exceptional nation” and superpower leader.

Fareed Zakaria lists as “crucial elements of Putinism … nationalism, religion, social conservatism, state capitalism and government domination of the media. They are all, in some way or another, different from and hostile to, modern Western values of individual rights, tolerance, cosmopolitanism, and internationalism.”

Yet not every American revels in the sewer that is our popular culture. Not every American believes we should impose our democratist ideology on other nations. Nor are Big Media and Hollywood universally respected. Patriotism, religion and social conservatism guide the lives of a majority of Americans today.

As the Associated Press reports this weekend, Putinism finds echoes across Central and Western Europe. Hungary’s Viktor Orban has said he sees in Russia a model for his own “illiberal state.”

The National Front’s Marine Le Pen wants to bring France into a new Gaullist Europe, stretching “from the Atlantic to the Urals,” with France seceding from the EU superstate.

“Of the 24 right-wing populist parties that took about a quarter of the European Parliament seats in May elections, Political Capital lists 15 as ‘committed’ to Russia,” writes the AP.

These rising right-wing parties are “partners” of Russia in that they “share key views — advocacy of traditional family values, belief in authoritarian leadership, a distrust of the U.S., and support for strong law and order measures.”

While the financial collapse caused Orban to turn his back on the West, says Zakaria, to the Hungarian prime minister, liberal values today embody “corruption, sex and violence,” and Western Europe has become a land of “freeloaders on the backs of welfare systems.”

If America is a better country today than she has ever been, why are so many, East and West, recoiling from what we offer now?


  1. Thanks for this George. As usual, Buchanan nails it.

    I increasingly come across conservative Protestants who quietly admit to admiring Putin and wishing that we had someone like him as the leader of our own country. None have Pollyanna views about Putin himself, and none are anti-American — all would side with the US in a conflict with Russia. They just wish we also had a leader who was an unabashed patriot and nationalist who put his own country’s interests first.

    There will be some who will, for the sake of Cold War nostalgia, buy into the current fad of anti-Russian and anti-Putin propaganda, but there will also be a whole lot who just won’t.

    I find the highly aggressive language used by Catholics toward Russia to be very disturbing (but not surprising). It is almost as if they are beside themselves at the fact that all of their Marian apparition prayers for the “salvation of Russia” were answered, as it were, by God resoundingly rejecting a “Catholic solution” for Russia.

    • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

      “increasingly come across conservative Protestants who quietly admit to admiring Putin and wishing that we had someone like him as the leader of our own country. None have Pollyanna views about Putin himself, and none are anti-American — all would side with the US in a conflict with Russia.”

      Jan. 9th, (Nazi puppet junta) Ukrainian PM Yatsenyuk, while visiting Germany, says USSR was the aggressing invader of Nazi Germany in WWII [cue Twilight Zone music]:


      UN vote against “glorification of Nazism, neo-nazism”:


      Only three “No” votes: US, Ukraine (US backed Nazi puppet junta that violently overthrew the democratically elected and legal government), Canada.

      Ukraine Crisis – What You’re Not Being Told:


      Meet Janika Merilo: Ukraine’s New Minister For Attracting Investment:


      Satanic eye/hand symbolism, cutting her mouth with a knife, licking the blood.

      Flashback to 2013: Putin, “Why do you want to supply arms to people who eat their enemies organs?”


      I don’t see how any (sane) person backs Obama in either Syria or Ukraine against Putin.


      • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

        Ladder of Divine Descent (Please give us a ladder of Ascent!) labels Yatseniuk “Nazi Puppet Junta” Prime Minister of Ukraine. Stick to the travels of Saint Paul or some of the Orthodox “Lore” you usually portray on your pages. Your descent is not divine at all, but rather a descent into the MUD. I’m surprised you didn’t call him a scientologist as some other ideological ranters of your ilk have done. The Nazi party and government are long gone. Yatseniuk is no one’s puppet, but an independent thinker, (Ukrainian Catholic) from, I believe, Czernowitz. I know an Orthodox Priest who was a schoolmate of his who characterized him as, rather, intelligent and capable. By the way, his English is excellent, for whatever that’s worth.

        You wrote, “I don’t see how any (sane) person backs Obama in either Syria or Ukraine against Putin.”) Our bombing of ISIL and disagreements with Assad are NOT actions taken “against Putin”, although if they were, that would not necessarily be a sin.
        I’m no fan of Putin or his initial Anschluss (the one in Crimea) or any prospective Anschluss in the Baltic states, but he is an excellent sniper who knows how to turn on our Tea Party types with his sniping. But I think you’re just a ventriloquist’s dummy for an iffy hierarch of sorts, no? “On his brain and on your tongue.” as Russians like to say!.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Actually Your Grace, Yatsenuk is 3/4 Jewish and a Baptist minister. And it’s well known that every member of the Maidan Junta is a puppet of the State Dept.

          • Actually Your Grace, Yatsenuk is 3/4 Jewish and a Baptist minister. And it’s well known that every member of the Maidan Junta is a puppet of the State Dept

            He’s a Jew, he’s a Catholic, he’s a Baptist, he’s a scientologist, he’s a puppet, he’s whatever y’all want him to be. There should be a law prohibiting fools from using Google.

          • Yes, George, it is a junta. Yanukovich was the duly elected leader of Ukraine. He was never legally impeached. The shock troops for the coup d’etat were neo-Nazi wannabees from Pravy Sektor and Svoboda. It was these mongrels that frightened the Eastern Ukrainians to revolt. If anything, Russia was too stingy with assistance. I surmised that Putin probably wanted to make sure that they understood where their lifeline came from.

            As to Crimea, far from being an Anschluss, it had long, long been controlled by Russia. Khrushchev made a meaningless gift of it to the Ukrainian SSR when their policies were dictated by Moscow. The vast majority there are Russian and wanted to join with Russia. Not gonna change, done deal.

            Turchinov is a Baptist minister. Don’t know about Yatsenyuk but his Wiki article apparently documented his membership and ties to Scientology and then was cleansed:


            Whether it is true, I don’t know. George Friedman of Stratfor is quoted in this article, he is close to the mark about the whole thing::



            He was born in Hungary of Jewish descent.

          • George, I am curious as to your sources for this. His wiki entry says he is a Greek Catholic, and the family tree footnoted here shows his predecessors as Ukrainian.

          • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

            “Actually” usually precedes weak propositions, as here. I spoke last week with an Ukrainian OCA Priest who was a schoolmate of Yatseniuk’s and he told me “He’s a Greek Catholic.’ Who, George, is the authority for your claim? I don’t see how your new claim that he is a puppet of the U.S. State Department relates to my denial that he is a Nazi puppet….Or was that a sneaky “Uncle?”
            It is well-known, rather, that there are disagreements between Pereshenko and Yatseniuk that would indicate schizophrenia in any puppet master.
            What you may mean is, “i’ve made up my mind that V. Putin is not a FSB thug and all who oppose him are Nazis and Democrats and Liberals and other demons of the same sort who refuse to canonize Metropollitan Jonah, who speaks well of him, which is all we need to know.”

            By the way, How would this fictional 3/4 Jewish prime minister fit into the infamous Nazi-Fascist-Ukie “Junta?
            PS You are wrong: every member of the current Ukrainian government is not a puppet of the U.S., NATO, or Nazidom.
            I never considered you to be gullible, but sometimes I wonder. Why call anyone who does not agree with V. Putin’s strategy a U.S. puppet? Is Russian Internet propaganda now some kind of dogmatic media authority?

            • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

              I spoke last week with an Ukrainian OCA Priest who was a schoolmate of Yatseniuk’s and he told me “He’s a Greek Catholic.’

              Not the sign of the cross:


              “Greek Catholic” usually equals Uniate. They’re the worst. The Croats were outright genocidal Nazis during WWII and they were just ordinary Roman Catholics. The Uniates are even worse because they’ve kept the exterior form of Orthodoxy, betrayed the essence, and are always having to prove to themselves and others what good Roman Catholics they are by hostility against Orthodoxy/Russia.

              Roman Catholic/Uniate preaching in the Ukraine:


              And today our Ukrainian nation makes a sacrifice before God. When a sacrifice to God is made, the best is brought: the best fruits, the best creations of human hands.

              Our people also sacrifices before God the best of the best, those sons and daughters who without fear responded to protect their own land, having shed also their blood to the Holy Ukrainian Land and the soldier Andrey shed his blood, brought his life to sacrifice. Let enemies don’t rejoice that our best of the best are fallen . For each of ours will lie down tens of them. They come here because they need our land, they want that we gave them our land.

              We will do it, but on the contrary – no land to them, but we will give them to our land! (by killing and burying them) You love your enemies so. But as our Holy Ukrainian Land showed, shows and will show a special love. It accepts with love any “Ordynetz” (member of a “horde” – that is the idea that Russians are “Asian Mongol-like savages”), any aggressor, any enemy who came having set foot on our land to profane it. Our land opens the bosom and accepts it there for ages. It will accept this Moscow horde too, will accept, as a one!

              Don’t rejoice the enemy! Hundred will lie down – one thousand will rise to the weapons!
              – Glory to Jesus Christ!
              Glory to Ukraine! To heroes glory! (That is WWII Ukie Nazi Bandera’s slogan.)
              – Glory of the nation! Death to enemies!
              – Glory of the nation! Death to enemies!
              – Glory of the nation! Death to enemies!

              By the way, How would this fictional 3/4 Jewish prime minister fit into the infamous Nazi-Fascist-Ukie “Junta?

              “Jewish” (Revelation 3:9) Nazi leader right here:


              It isn’t unusual for occultists/Satanists to pose as Jews while also pretending to be crypto-Jews disguising themselves as some form of Christian. Take Sec. of State and 2004 Pres. nominee “John Kerry” in our own USA for instance, you’d think he was merely a (heretical) Roman Catholic, but peel the onion and you discover he’s “Jewish” and the family’s original last name was “Kohn”:


              You peel the onion more and you discover he’s a Skull and Bones (“Order out of Chaos”) occultist.




              These people are heretical (pro-abortion, sodomy, etc) Gentiles when it is useful, they’re “Jewish” when it is useful, all the while throwing out the occult/Satanic symbolism and moving towards goals that are directly opposed to interests of the races/nations/religions that they are pretending to be. You question their Christianity then you’re a hateful bigot, you notice/question their “Jewishness” then you’re Anti-Semitic, you question the occult background and put the pieces together than you’re a crazy conspiracy theorist. Unfortunately, it works. Divide and Conquer.

              PS You are wrong: every member of the current Ukrainian government is not a puppet of the U.S., NATO, or Nazidom.

              Of course not, that’s why despite banning the Communist party, essentially the only organized opposition party, there are all the amazing fight videos from the parliament.

              The New Ukraine Is Run by Rogues, Sexpots, Warlords, Lunatics and Oligarchs:


              For example, at the end of last year a new law was passed that allowed former citizens of other countries to participate in Ukrainian politics and even the government, in case they denounce their former citizenships. The reason given was the fight with notorious Ukrainian corruption. Apparently, in a country of more than 40 million people, Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk (called “Rabbit” by his citizens) couldn’t find a dozen or so native-born yet not corrupt professionals for his government.


              By law, double citizenship is not permitted for a Ukrainian governmental official, but, as often happens in Ukraine, for some there is always another way around. The governor of Zaporozhe region, oligarch Igor Kolomoisky, for example, has three citizenships.

              As exhilarating winds of change swept through the Ukrainian government, Western newspapers giddily reported the fact that after the last elections for the first time in decades there would be no Communists in the Ukrainian Parliament. But that means all possible organized opposition to the current president and prime minister is gone.

              Instead, the new Rada has a big group of parliamentarians of very uncertain political loyalties and even dubious mental state—former warlords and street activists who distinguished themselves during street fights and tire burnings.

              These government rookies are sometimes turning to strange ways of self-promotion, now within the walls of the Parliament.

              One new face in the Rada—leader of the Right Sector ultra-nationalist party and former warlord Dmytro Yarosh—admitted in a January interview with Ukrainian TV that he caresses a real hand grenade in his pocket while inside the Rada. Because he is MP, the security personnel has no right to check his pockets. They just ask if he has anything dangerous on his person and he says no. The reason to have a hand grenade on his body is that there are too many enemies of Ukraine within the MP crowding him during the voting process. He is not afraid, of course. But when the time comes, he will use this grenade and with a bit of luck he will take a lot of them with him if he dies.

          • Actually Your Grace, Yatsenuk is 3/4 Jewish

            Really George?


            Does it even matter?

            and a Baptist minister

            Are you sure you’re not confusing him with Turchinov?

          • Isa Almisry says

            And that contract that Biden’s son got in Ukraine is a total coincidence.

            • Antonio Arganda says

              As was his dismissal from the US Navy for repeatedly failing a drug test.

              • Isa

                And that contract that Biden’s son got in Ukraine is a total coincidence.


                As was his dismissal from the US Navy for repeatedly failing a drug test

                We who aren’t CONSPIRACY THEORY NUTJOBS have no idea what you two are getting at.

        • Michael Kim says

          “Tea Party Types” ? Do you mean that movement that steers clear of social issues as it would be too divisive, and have instead sought to have activists focus their efforts away from social issues and focus on economic and limited government issues? Or are they the “Tea Party Types” you speak of, the ones who have been fabricated by the Left Wing Media, and the well intended (but delusional) bleeding heart types, who fall at the feet of Elizabeth Warren, and Comrade Obama?
          With all due respect your Grace, in speaking about “types”, you surely are a gossiping type, and even more so considering you’re a Bishop(?)

      • Yes, the anti-Russian brigade in that part of the world is bat poop crazy. Recently, the Poles refused an invitation to Pres. Putin for the Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary. It was the Soviet Army that accomplished the liberation being celebrated. This even provoked the denunciation of the Simon Wiesenthal Institute in Israel.

        “Putin Derangement Syndrome”

    • Mute as a Fish says

      “anti-Russian propaganda.” Are you pulling our legs?? It’s not unlike the sergianist soviet days when soviet propaganda was all we needed to hear.

    • Good post Edward! I completely agree.

    • I find the highly aggressive language used by Catholics toward Russia to be very disturbing (but not surprising). It is almost as if they are beside themselves at the fact that all of their Marian apparition prayers for the “salvation of Russia” were answered, as it were, by God resoundingly rejecting a “Catholic solution” for Russia.


      I never cease to be amused by conservative Catholics who clamor constantly for the Pope to pray for the salvation of Russia. While there is much work for the Church to do in Russia, it’s pretty obvious that Italy, France, Spain, Germany, the UK, and all the rest of Rome’s many wayward nations need a public prayer for salvation more.

      Remove the splinter from your own eye, etc.

  2. Well I guess I am part of “crew at HUffPo” as you put it. Sorry to disappoint.

      • That’s sad. To what depths “Orthodox” clergy have been sinking lately!

      • Helga, I just read your link. Fr. Preble is a seriously confused individual who needs lessons in clear thinking and logic — this is bad even for the Huffington Post. Were he Unitarian, I doubt that even they would have published drivel like this, but he is probably their token Orthodox commentator and he has to stay on HuffPo message.

        There is no law against ecclesiastical same sex marriages in any state, including North Carolina. Fr. Preble himself can marry two guys or two gals, or a guy and a goat for all the state of North Carolina cares. (Although one hopes that his bishop would care). The marriage just won’t be legally recognized. But if the clergyman involved and the two individuals involved think that they are married in God’s eyes, that’s between them and God and the state doesn’t care. Back when there were anti-sodomy statutes, the clergy might have got in trouble, but not today.

        Fr. Preble’s (historically questionable) statements about the intent of the Founders are therefore poppycock — if for no other reason than that no exercise of religion is being interfered with by the state of North Carolina. Unlike in many countries, clergy in the U.S. are accustomed to being deputized by the government to execute legally-enforceable contracts, but being an agent of the government is something that clergy may or may not be granted. North Carolina clergy are authorized to make legal marriage contracts between heterosexual couples but not between Dick and Hairy. They can make an ecclesiastically recognized marriage (recognized by their church, that is) between anyone they want, without restriction.

        This is nothing new. Clergy in the state of North Carolina cannot contract a marriage between a brother and a sister, a father and his daughter, a mother and her son, a man and a 14 year old girl, or a woman and a mentally retarded boy, etc. The marriages they perform are only legal if they follow the marriage laws of their state, even if their religion allows any or all of the above things.

        Logic is your friend, Fr. Preble. This lawsuit will be laughed out of court, unless the judge is as logically-challenged as the reverend…

    • Antonio Arganda says

      I wouldn’t know since I have been banned from HuffPost comments.

  3. Engaged Observer says

    Is there really a suggestion of a “Catholic reemergence as the moral force in the world”? I haven’t seen signs of any. The troubles of Roman Catholicism abound in Western Europe and in America.

    Catholicism (and also Protestantism) were strong when their believers held strong faith and were willing to fight to defend their homes, their children, their way of life. Where are the Western European Catholics and Protestants today who are willing to fight to defend their way of life?

    With the horrid murders in Paris a few days ago — where are the French Catholics saying “The French are strong people and France is a Catholic country — we welcome some immigrants to live here, but you must live according to our rules.” Aside from a small but vocal minority — may God Bless Ms. Le Pen! — mainstream Western culture is totally compromised itself to the point that it CANNOT say this, at least without admitting that the secular anti-Christian humanism that it has driven down everyone’s throats for the past 40 years was a tremendous mistake.

    Roman Catholicism and Protestantism remained strong forces in Europe and Ameirica when people were willing to fight to defend them. (Think about it: If the Church of England were attacked by Islamic radicals next week, can anyone imagine a bunch of dedicated Anglicans storming out to fight off the attackers? Um, no.)

    It is important to note that Orthodoxy is different. Possibly because of her depth (a depth that the Protestants not only cannot approach but which they actively reject), possibly because of the monasticism that maintains Orthodoxy during times of trials and terror. Orthodoxy as already demonstrated that she can survive more than 400 years of Islamic domination (the Greek church under the Ottoman empire). And Orthodoxy has demonstrated that she can withstand militant persecution from aggressive secular, totalitarian states (the Russian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Albanian, Serbian, and other Eastern European churches under communism).

    I fear it may be likely that Islamic radicalism will put the final nails in the coffin of Western Christianity. American protestant evangelicalism may be an exception for a while, but this is a purely American phenomenon that will also likely fold once the Islamic radials arrive in force in America.

    Only Orthodoxy will be able to withstand the resurgence of Islamic terrorism (yes, it’s the same thing that happened in the 700s as Islam was spreading). She has done it before, and she will do it again. And may our Western Christian brothers and sisters come home to Orthodoxy soon!

  4. Putinism is “rising” ??? Anybody check the mortality rates in Russia lately? With commodity prices nosediving, Russia’s mafia economy is deader than a doornail. But the Rolex Patriarch will provide the vodka and smokes for any Orthidox Christian who wants to poison himself. Putin’s Russia is a miserable HELL-HOLE.

  5. And it’s not just the Russian Orthodox who appreciate Putin. it seems Russian evangelicals also appreciate Putin’s leadership. This from Christianity Today http://bit.ly/1Dz2xGF

    • Nice article. The writer seems befuddled to have to write what he does, since it goes dramatically against his pre-conceived notions.

  6. Salemlemko says

    Buchanan gets it!

    Hey, I got your Arida right here! The sewer starts at 165 Park Drive Boston.

  7. Daniel E Fall says

    Uber nationalism….hmmm

  8. Francis Frost says

    Two alternative points of view by Russian thinkers via the Window on Eurasia blog.

    Monday, January 12, 2015

    Putin’s Eclectic Cynicism Leading Russia and the World toward Disaster, Ryklin Says

    Paul Goble

    Staunton, January 12 – Vladimir Putin does not have a well-developed ideology, however much people want to find one. Rather, his eclectic cynicism provides him with the flexibility to keep himself in power, is congruent with a consumerist Russian society skeptical of any broader systems, but points to a horrific totalitarian future for Russia and an ever more dangerous world.

    That damning judgment is offered by Mikhail Ryklin, a Russian philosopher and author now living in Germany whose wife committed suicide after being harassed by the Russian authorities for her role in the “Watch Out: Religion” exhibit at the Sakharov Museum in 2003 (svoboda.org/content/article/26787369.html).

    In an interview with RFE/RL’s Dmitry Volchek, Ryklin says that since he came to power in 1999, Putin has sought to inculcate in the Russian population “a cynical attitude toward everything. Now this cynicism has affected an enormous number of people as the Crimea events show.”

    Some people argue that Putin is a conservative nationalist, he continues, but “no big ideology stands behind Putinism.” He is completely cynical about all of his moves and it is worth noting that today he is simultaneously persecuting liberals and also those harsh nationalists who understand in their own way how it is necessary to conquer ‘the Russian world.’”

    “Chekists are not that educated,” and Putin is one of them, Ryklin says. “They do not need an ideology; for them the main thing is to have everything under control. If that is an ideology, then Putin and his entourage have one. But it isn’t an elaborate ideology like National Socialism or even more Communism.”

    That absence of any core set of beliefs – other than self-preservation and control – in turn helps to explain why Putin and his regime can suddenly change course and also why his and their reaction to events is often schizophrenic, reflecting the fact that they see value of being on both sides of an issue.

    Thus, official Moscow’s reaction to the Charlie Hebdo terrorist act, Ryklin says. On the one hand, Putin and other officials condemned the actions of the Islamists. But on the other, they and even more those close to them signaled that the Europeans in significant ways had themselves to blame for being overly tolerant.

    Because of this eclecticism and cynicism, he continues, “Russian society still does not imagine what awaits it in the next year or two.” But neither does Putin, Ryklin suggests. His playing with nationalism, his authoritarianism, and his cynicism has brought Russia nothing but pain even while Russians continue to view him as a great patriot.

    If Putin is able to continue his current course, Russians will eventually find themselves in the position of the Germans in 1945, forced to confront the horrors carried out by their leaders and in their name. But if the economic crisis intensifies, the very consumerism and cynicism that have led Russians to support Putin could lead them to turn against him.

    But that is probably a vain hope, Ryklin says. “Liberals have no chances now in Russia” given how successful Putin has been in spreading cynicism while gaining support as someone who won’t allow any repetition of the early 1990s. And both he and the Russians more generally are increasingly infected with a kind of unthinking consumerist fundamentalism of a most dangerous kind.

    “This is an achievement of the Putin system,” the Russian philosopher says, but it is one that has involved the descent of Russians into a radical consumerism – “I have not seen a country as consumerist as Russia,” he says – and allowed him to impose his rule on millions of people and threaten both them and the outside world.

    But despite this “achievement,” Ryklin says that he believes that “the powers that be will have big problems” too. The fall of the ruble reflects not just the decline in the price of oil or the imposition of sanctions but also “the enormous expenditures” the Kremlin is making to maintain the police and the military.

    And this is “happening in parallel: “the price of oil is falling, but [these] expenses are growing,” an indication that Putin and his entourage see troubles ahead. It is thus likely given Putin’s current radicalization, that he will respond by taking ever more risky and dramatic moves both at home and abroad, hopeful that these will give him a way out.

    In that event, many are going to suffer, and many are going to have to answer even if the answer they are likely to provide is like the one the Germans gave in 1946: “we didn’t have any relation to all this; we are small and simple people.” Unfortunately for them, that will not save them either.


    Shiropayev Calls for Reformation of Orthodox Church in Russia
    Paul Goble

    Staunton, January 10 – The Russian Orthodox Church must undergo “a reformation” not only for the sake of the spiritual life of its followers but also to advance “the liberation political struggle for the triumph of the constitutional principles of democracy, federalism, and secularism,” according to Aleksey Shiropayev, one of Russia’s leading advocates of regionalism.

    On the Rufabula.com portal, Shiropayev says that he has been prompted to push for that by two events. On the one hand, Patriarch Kirill recently gave church awards to “odious political figures like Oleg Dobrodeyev of State TV and Dmitry Kiselyov of Russia Today, an indication that the church remains “a structural part of the System” and “in essence a state church.”

    And on the other, and only two days later, Gleb Yakunin died, a prominent religious dissident in Soviet times and someone who exposed the ties of the ROC hierarchy to the KGB, fought to memorialize Russia’s new martyrs, and spent the last years of his life in the Apostolic Orthodox Church (rufabula.com/articles/2015/01/07/thoughts-on-christmas).

    “The present dominating position of the ROC of the Moscow Patriarchate and its monopoly on Orthodoxy in Russia are unacceptable, above all from the point of view of the existing constitution,” Shirpoayev says. Many indeed have called the hierarchy “a Soviet church” because it was created by Stalin and insist it has no right to represent Orthodoxy.

    Father Gleb agreed, the regionalist writer continues, and argued that the ROC of the Moscow Patriarchate is “a closed ‘totalitarian sect’ which always fervently served an anti-religious totalitarian state.”

    Consequently, Shiropayev argues, “it is long past time to liquidate the monopoly of the Moscow Patriarchate on Orthodoxy in Russia” by making all Russian Orthodox denominations —
    both existing and newly emerging – equal. Indeed, he says, “it is time to raise the question” about having many Russian Orthodox churches and not just one.

    That “alternative Orthodoxy,” he suggests, “could begin a Reformation and resolve (and by the way is already resolving such longstanding questions” that were raised by church authors and philosophers before the 1917 revolution but which were put on hold by “Comrade Stalin” and his “’Byzantinism.’”

    Among the most important of these are “the election of the clergy at all levels” something that was done in Novgorod before Moscow conquered it, a married episcopate, the use of Russian in all services, temporary monasticism, and a shift to the Western calendar so as to bring holidays in Russia into line with those elsewhere in the Christian world.

    Such an Orthodox Reformation, Shiropayev argues, would promote democracy, federalism and secularism; but precisely for those reasons, it will be opposed by the current Russian powers that be who need an Orthodox church only as a supporter of its authoritarian course, and it may be opposed by many hierarchs of the Church itself for the same reasons.

    “Of course,” he adds, “one of the necessary conditions of the appearance of a genuinely alternative Orthodoxy is the liberation of Russian Orthodox consciousness from its imperial and monarchical notions” and its return to the Orthodoxy of Novgorod the Great, Pskov, and the Cossacks, all of whom showed that “tsarism and the empire are hardly obligatory things.”

    Those who know their history will recall that “Orthodox Novgorod was a republic and also an organic part of the Hansa Leage and Northern Europe,” something that Georgy Fedotov stressed in his 1950 book, “The Republic of St. Sophia,” and which he contrasted with Moscow’s approach.

    “Moscow,” Fedotov wrote, “became the successor at one and the same time of Byzantium and the Golden Horde, and the orthodoxy of the tsars was not only a political fact but also a religious doctrine and for many almost a dogma.” But that is not the only possible tradition, he said, and Orthodoxy properly understood can support “a democratic Russia.”


    • Shiropayev Calls for Reformation of Orthodox Church in Russia

      1. Because the reformation worked so well the last time?

      2. What are these “Russian Orthodox denominations”? Reminder that schism is opposed to everything the Church stands for.

    • “That damning judgment is offered by Mikhail Ryklin, a Russian philosopher and author now living in Germany whose wife committed suicide after being harassed by the Russian authorities for her role in the “Watch Out: Religion” exhibit at the Sakharov Museum in 2003 (svoboda.org/content/article/26787369.html).

      Bear in mind that this was reported on Svoboda.com (the site of the milder neo-Nazi Ukrainian Party).

      “The works – which are now in the prosecutor’s office – included a poster by Aleksandr Kosolapov, a Russian-born American, which depicts the image of Jesus on a Coca-Cola advertisement. “This is my blood,” it said in English. Another was a Russian Orthodox-style icon with a hole as a head through which visitors could poke their heads. Its title came from the Second Commandment: “Thou shalt not carve idols unto Thee.”
      Mr Samodorov has always said that the exhibition was not anti-religious . . .”


      The exhibit also included a Jesus body with a Mickey Mouse head and Lenin on a crucifix.

      Russia does have a “separation of church and state” clause in their constitution (the US only has an Establishment Clause which is only interpreted as separation since the 1940’s), first introduced by the Bolsheviks in the 1920’s. Yet they do not have our freedom of speech. Nor does the UK, for that matter.

      ‘Nuff said there. Moving right along:

      “That ‘alternative Orthodoxy,’ he suggests, ‘could begin a Reformation and resolve (and by the way is already resolving such longstanding questions’ that were raised by church authors and philosophers before the 1917 revolution but which were put on hold by ‘Comrade Stalin’ and his “’Byzantinism.’'”

      Stalin’s “Byzantinism”? “Legitimate Reformation”. Why were not these glorious reforms undertaken by “Comrade Lenin” up until his death in 1924?

      “Among the most important of these are ‘the election of the clergy at all levels’ something that was done in Novgorod before Moscow conquered it, a married episcopate, the use of Russian in all services, temporary monasticism, and a shift to the Western calendar so as to bring holidays in Russia into line with those elsewhere in the Christian world.”

      The neo-Patristics, Patriarch Meletios IV and the Living Church would all be pleased, I’m sure.

      “Such an Orthodox Reformation, Shiropayev argues, would promote democracy, federalism and secularism; [Note: the gods of the Western Liberal pantheon] but precisely for those reasons, it will be opposed by the current Russian powers that be who need an Orthodox church only as a supporter of its authoritarian course, and it may be opposed by many hierarchs of the Church itself for the same reasons.”

      Yes, I think it was the Soviets themselves that compelled the ROC to support “secularism”.

      Tragic delusion.

      By the way, did you see the latest diversions by those little darlings from FEMEN (aka, Pussy Riot):


      ” Using the customary Femen tactics of “caricature, provocation, blasphemy, and intolerance” to garner media attention, Bouton had invaded St. Madeleine several days before Christmas (these women must really have something against the birth of Jesus) and took up a position (bare-breasted, of course) before the altar and the astonished eyes of about a dozen parishioners and choir members present.

      Wearing a biblical-like head-covering to appear like the Holy Mother Mary, Bouton proceeded to mimic an abortion, leaving pieces of bloody calf liver on the altar steps to symbolise the aborted foetus of Jesus. Bouton concluded her act of profanation “`a la sauce Femen,” as one French journalist called it, by urinating on the floor. (A similar, blasphemous “happening” occurred only days later during Christmas mass in Germany’s ancient Cologne cathedral. A Femen sitting in a front row pew suddenly disrobed and jumped, bare-breasted and screaming, on to the altar with “I am God” emblazoned on her chest). ”

      We could do with a little restriction on expression. And I’ll take Putin’s Orthodoxy or that of those who protested the Watch Out: Religion! exhibition rather than that of FEMEN or Francis any day of the week.

  9. Michael James Kinsey 1380805 says

    Derivatives, 1.5 quadrillion dollars worth and growing larger. None of these politicians, have a solution, or even desire for one, for when this utterly corrupt banking bubble burst. Derivatives, that’s the ticket to collapse the whole world economy. Over-leveraged 300% t0 3000% Basel III banking (2017-2019) require a doubling of reserve funds for all Basel Banks. It looks like an impossible task, unless they can get the numbers to lie. The mark of the beast will be offered as a small hope of financial; stability after the whole world economy collapses.This is what looms over the world and most people don’t know what a derivative is. Putin isn’t telling or Obmama or any other puffed up politician.Buchanan won’t tell you either.

  10. Francis Frost says

    As an aside:

    PBS “Frontline” documentary series will be airing a documentary: “Putin’s Way” chronicling Mr. Putin’s rise to power in Russia tonight, Tuesday, 1/13/2015 on most PBS stations. Check your local PBS channel for your local listing.

    Looks to be interesting.

    BTW: A Happy New Year to all those on the Julian calendar and a Happy St. Nino’s Day to those on the new calendar. Ninobas Gilotsavt !

    • James Denney says

      Here is a link to the PBS video. Anyone who watches this will have no illusions that Putin has even a shred of morality or integrity, in spite of his Orthodox pretense. http://video.pbs.org/video/2365401766/

      • PBS could do a hit piece on Jesus Christ and if that were all you knew you wouldn’t think He had a “shred of morality or integrity” either.

        • George Michalopulos says

          I would also caution using a hit-piece as the full measure of a man. Just the other day, I read a well-researched article on Martin Luther King Jr. I can assure you that every fact presented was 100% accurate. Distressingly, the accumulutaion of said facts (all negative) painted a picture of a highly immoral, unethical and cynical man.

          Based on those facts, we would have to assume that there was nothing redeeming about that man. And yet for all his many faults and his low character, history has adjudged him to be a moral force for the better at least as far as our country is concerned.

          The same pathographical picture can be painted of King David or any other OT worthy.

          Sometimes we need to see things through God’s eyes, not ours.

          In the meantime, we would be wise to take a more humble approach to Russia and its political machinations. For all his faults, Putin may be the only thing standing between between the globalists and their final assault on all worldly power.

          • Carl Kraeff says

            George–How about considering all the facts before we come to an appreciation of a man? Saying “sometimes we need to see things through God’s eyes, not ours” can used as an excuse to excuse abominable behavior or protect the narrative.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Only this Carl: having just read a boatload of facts regarding MLK’s deficiencies and worse, I have to ask myself was his mission ultimately good for our nation? If yes, then we have to trust in God’s providence that He chooses men (all of whom are flawed and some more so) for His purposes.

              The same pathographic facts about Putin’s rise to power can be repeated –in spades–about the Judges of Israel, King David, Constantine the Great, and so on.

              We forget that Putin is the result of the demolition of Christian monarchy in Russia. To regain the monopoly of violence (which is the ultimate legitimate goal of government) after 70 years of barbarous Bolshevist brutality, it will require of man of Putin’s temperament. (As an aside, I think Putin’s ultimate aim should be the restoration of the Romanov autocracy and the handing over of his accumulated powers to a God-anointed monarch, but that is an argument for another day.)

              Compare the post-Soviet era with what transpired before the onset of the Bolsheviks: Once Michael Romanov was elected as Tsar in 1613, all power was concentrated in his person and passed on through the generations in a far more peaceful manner for over three centuries. This was a peaceful transition of power that led to incredible stability throughout the Russian Empire. Consider what happened in England during a similar time period with the violent disruptions in power with the Wars of the Roses and the Commonwealth of Cromwell.

              • Yes, George, conversations on contemporary Russia in Orthodox circles are very revealing. Putin is doing nothing other than what countless Orthodox Eastern Roman emperors and Russian tsars did for a very long time which, in general terms, not only did not secure the condemnation of the Fathers and saints but met with their approval and frequent blessing. It is simply traditional Orthodoxy, though a bit more liberal than when there were actual emperors. And that is very revealing when it comes to the opinions of Orthodox modernists.

                Essentially, they have chosen Enlightenment liberalism over Orthodoxy. They despise traditional Orthodox government and they despise Orthodoxy in favor of a religion created out of wholecloth based on their infatuation with Western liberalism.

                A baby who knows nothing about Orthodoxy, paganism, heresy, good or evil is Orthodox after having been baptized and chrismated as such. That is really the only sense in which these people are Orthodox. Yet they know better, whereas a baby does not.

                May God have mercy on them on the Day of Judgment for they have effectively apostasized. For a person to call themselves “Orthodox” and to favor Western liberal moral policy is despicable and diabolical.

          • http://buchanan.org/blog/against-terrorism-but-for-what-15504

            Buchanan has another excellent one. This one goes straight to the heart of the matter and echoes what some of us have been saying for years. His quotes from Elliot are priceless as well. The fact is, we become more like our enemies during a conflict. This happened with our gradual socialization during our conflict with the Soviet Union. It may yet occur in our conflict with Islam.

            Moreover, as Eliot wrote, it takes a religion to battle and defeat a religion. The fierce commitment to a moral worldview and willingness to sacrifice are vital to success. The West simply doesn’t possess this resolve. It’s chosen worldview, Western liberalism, is self-critical to the point of being self-defeating.

            And I must admit Schadenfreude at this whole scene. It serves the liberal establishments in America and Western Europe right. They can’t even really admit that it is happening or that they are the willing accomplices to their own destruction, compelled by their own ideology’s deification of weakness.

            Thank God Almighty for the commitment and blindness of Western liberals! The destruction of Western liberalism which more traditional cultures cannot accomplish themselves is being facilitated by Western liberalism itself on principle. The ways of God are indeed mysterious.

        • Misha:

          PBS could do a hit piece on Jesus Christ …

          THIS BLOG is a never ending constantly updated HIT PIECE against Fr. Arida, the “enemies of +Jonah,” MR. Pappas, the “gay mafia,” and anyone else whose mere existence poses a problem for phony traditionalism. THIS BLOG is a HIT PIECE against the average, ordinary Orthodox believer in America.

          • I disagree. Nothing has been writhen about Aida in quite some time. As predicted, it is already fading in the memory of OCA faithful. Those in charge knew they could wait out the anger and let it die down, and they were right. The pattern seems to be no different in the OCA from what it was in the Episcopal church.

              • Heracleides says

                Thank you Helga for posting the link above to the excellent piece by Fr. John Guy Winfrey. Would that more than a bare handful of our priests had the backbone to speak out against Arida and his ilk.

              • Heracleides says

                Thank you Helga for posting the link above to the excellent piece by Fr. John Guy Winfrey.

                Would that more than a bare handful of our priests had the backbone to speak out against Arida and his ilk:
                [i]”Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord; As I live, saith the Lord God, surely because My sheep became a prey, and My sheep became meat to all the wild beasts of the field, because there were no shepherds, and the shepherds fed themselves, but fed not My sheep. For this cause, O shepherds, thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require My sheep at their hands, and will turn them back, that they will not feed My sheep, neither shall the shepherds feed them any more; and I will deliver My sheep from their mouth, and they shall be meat for them no more.” ~Ezekial 34: 7-10[/i]

            • Aida is a great opera….Did you mean Arida ?

            • Edward:

              I disagree. Nothing has been writhen about Aida in quite some time. As predicted, it is already fading in the memory of OCA faithful.

              Michalopulos’s and Fr. Johannes’s HIT PIECES against Fr. Robert and all the hateful PILING ON including the ludicrous Texas clergy association screed are still published on this blog. That the whole non-issue is fading from memory has more to do with the facts and the common sense of the OCA faithful and its hierarchy – Fr. Robert did nothing wrong, canonically or otherwise – than with the “expectations” of the contributors to this blog. Reread the comments. There were all sorts of embarrassingly naive calls for censure, defrocking, and so forth. Which just goes to show, if any further proof were needed, how utterly OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY these people are.

              • John Pappas says

                OOM, no one talks more about gay stuff on this blog than you. You always bring it up.

                All gay, all the time.

                • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

                  Speaking of “gay stuff,” replies are no longer possible on the “Christ is born” thread, so I will make this comment here regarding this post by Michael Stankovich, which Fr. Alexander Webster and Peter Papoutsis approved. To them and anyone else, I wish to say: hold on there; don’t let Michael off so easily; re-read this graf, in which Michael opens the door as wide as possible for biological explanations of homosexuality and closes it as tight as possible on post-natal experience:

                  It is currently believed that some individuals may receive a genetic defect that contributes to the development of sexual orientation, and that post-genetically, but in intra-uterine events, may, in the two distinct periods of hormonal “cascades” that determine gender and are thought to contribute to sexual orientation, experience distinct differences and delays. None of these events, however, render, predispose, or pre-determine anyone as homosexual. They are merely at potentiated high risk. What are the epigenetic factors we may cite post-natal? It is a best-guess. We can, however, using current research, largely eliminate many anecdotal stereotypes: attachment disorder of childhood (cf. John Bowlby); childhood trauma, including sexual abuse; lack of appropriate gender-modeling; gender-modeling of homosexual 1st and/or 2nd degree relative (most-frequently cited is a make sibling); invasive, “fluid-boundaried” mother and/or distant/absent/father, etc. This is not to say many of this conditions are not present. But they are not causitive.

                  Note how he switches from stating, as a matter of expert opinion (“It is currently believed”), that genetics and intrauterine epigenetics contribute to homosexual orientation, to dismissing completely, on the basis of “current research,” any possible contribution by conditions after birth, which he says are not “causitive.” (correct spelling: causative)

                  In sum, Stankovich says that nature contributes to homosexuality but nurture does not. And he claims science proves this. Baloney.

                  • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

                    One could easily turn Stankovich’s words around to say what he wishes to deny, even though it is just as factually true:

                    It is currently believed that post-natal epigenetic factors — to include attachment disorder of childhood (cf. John Bowlby); childhood trauma, including sexual abuse; lack of appropriate gender-modeling; gender-modeling of homosexual 1st and/or 2nd degree relative (most-frequently cited is a make sibling); invasive, “fluid-boundaried” mother and/or distant/absent/father, etc. — may contribute to the development of sexual orientation. None of these factors, however, necessarily renders, disposes, or determines anyone as homosexual. They are merely at potentiated high risk. What are the epigenetic factors we may cite pre-natal? It is a best-guess. We can, however, using current research, largely eliminate genetic defects and post-genetically but in intra-uterine events that, in the two distinct periods of hormonal “cascades,” determine gender. This is not to say many of these conditions are not present. But they are not causative.

                • M. Stankovich says

                  A good scientist never, ever paints her/himself into a corner, never, so to commit me to “denial” in a topic of emergent data is about as self-servingly dumb as could be imagined. Secondly, where I’m from, when you challenge someone, you do so with data, not heavy breathing, bluster, and that discharge of androgenizing hormones that fouls the room and stains the clothing. Some doors open by research and analytical thought, while others by tempests and loud bullies. In any case, time will judge the veracity of what I have presented as the most contemporaneous research at our disposal.

                  Nevertheless, my exhortation to the Church to be a place of hope and healing for individuals with same-sex attraction, with the promise of a life on the path of repentance, chastity, singlemindedness, and obedience, to which we are all called in the fullness of Christian life, certainly, surpasses this ignorant, unqualified, seemingly endless mission of trying to prove me wrong. Apologies to Fr. Alexander & Peter Papoutsis for being caught up in an unlikely obsession.

                  • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says
                  • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

                    Alas, my bouquet to Dr. Stankovich on another thread here may have been premature:

                    ‘Thank you, Dr. Stankovich, for a thoughtful and edifying reply. This is the kind of dialogue that honors Psalm 133:1–“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!”‘ [January 24, 2015 at 9:22 pm]

                    My joy for a post by Dr. S with measured scholarly argument free from Szechuan prose and gratuitous ad hominem attacks may not be taken as agreement, as Protodeacon Brian Patrick Mitchell incorrectly infers, with all of Dr. S’s points, particularly his take on the question of post-natal causation of homosexual attraction in human beings. And yet my friend and colleague the Protodeacon is correct, in my estimation, in his critique here of Dr. S’s hasty, unwarranted dismissal of post-natal epigenetic factors as merely anecdotal and definitively non-causative. The “we” in this assertion by Dr. S does not include me: “We can, however, using current research, largely eliminate many anecdotal stereotypes.”

                    The research of Orthodox theologian / psychologist Elizabeth Moberly (published in 1983 before the thorough politicization of the “same-sex” phenomenon by popular and academic advocates of the disorder) persuaded me years ago that a dysfunctional father-son relation is significant and often decisive. As it happens, the findings in the third quarter of the 20th century by Bieber, Evans, Socarides, et al., are, it seems, invoked only with expletives in elite academic and political & policy circles.

                    What “we” need is less “obsession” concerning an unlikely political movement to champion and foist upon human civilization, at all costs, an intrinsic disorder with grave moral and spiritual consequences if left unchecked, and more genuine, unfettered scientific epigenetic research. I am hopeful for both but expect neither to come to pass in the immediate future.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      This began, Fr. Alexander, with your “challenge” to timothy – “calling his bluff,” as I recall – to demonstrate his position with “data,” and I reciprocate the challenge: there is no known and identifiable post-natal event – psychiatric, medical, developmental, environmental, or spiritual – that is more significant than any genetic/hormonal/epigenetic event I have described in the development of a potentiated risk for same-sex attraction. Not one.

                      I could fill a post with contemporaneous research citations that dismiss any correlation with what you describe as “hasty, unwarranted dismissal of post-natal epigenetic factors as merely anecdotal and definitively non-causative” that would make a post of Mr. Nevins seem a “footnote,” while you and your colleague offer outdated, overwhelmingly dismissed theories of long-forgotten and discredited academic hacks. Seriously, you insult me to my face with such unqualified and pretentious assertions. What possible business do either of you have entering a discussion at a level of expertise at which you are grossly unqualified to comment?

                      In effect, you are asking us to rely on your “combined” intuition as to the “significant and often decisive” factors that cause homosexuality, which if true, would, for example, have resulted in an epidemiological contagion of homosexuality, simply by observing the divorce rate, lack of paternal presence in the home, lack of appropriate male-gender-modeling in childhood & adolescence, male-to-male intimacy, and so on. We should be inundated with male homosexuality – and I will not even consider men of color! – but the fact is, we are not. There is absolutely nothing to suggest the the prevalence of homosexuality has been anything but stable. You obviously have no explanation for this because there is none.

                      I can in all good conscience challenge you to prove me wrong for the very simple reason that there is no answer. If you carefully read what I originally wrote, I attempted to address a very limited sub-set of individuals who meet a set of specific criteria for which we seem to have a limited amount of emergent data. It also happens that in today’s issue of Nature Neurosciene Magazine, the discovery of “a 30% genetic overlap between bipolar disorder and schizophrenia” was announced. These findings are intended to instill hope, not proffer “political movement[s] to champion and foist upon human civilization.” This is a concept you and your colleague cannot seem to grasp. Hope for relief, hope for healing.

                      My suggestion to you is to stand down. You are clearly out of your league. You are insulting for no good reason, and certainly for no edifying purpose. And you are embarrassingly unqualified to comment at the level at which you choose to comment. And you would do well to exercise some humility in allowing me to teach you.

                    • Gregory Manning says

                      I have previously identified myself as a repentant homosexual. What I definitely am not is a repentant lab rat! Please stop talking about me and those like me as if we were lab animals to be studied. Scr#w your genetic studies! This is not a scientific issue; it is a broken emotional issue. Fr. Webster is right; it is about a dis-ordered affection. Science tells us why butterflies are attracted to one kind of flower over another but it cannot tell us why I and others like me seek the intimate affection of a man rather than a woman. If this is a genetic disorder or malfunction then we are doomed. Thanks be to God the realm of human emotions such as love are beyond the reach of arrogant science. The church can stand up, cheer, and otherwise celebrate this lifestyle all she wants but it won’t change anything. We will still be committing suicide in depressing numbers. Why? Because homosexuality misses the mark, it doesn’t work! Gay men don’t become depressed and commit suicide over this because society at large and the disapprove of the life style; they do so because they never find what their hearts yearn for and what our hearts yearn for is something no mere mortal man can give us. Only Christ our God can heal this!

                    • Thank you, Fr. Alexander, for your wise insight on this issue. There are many studies and research regarding homosexuality and how people are born wth “it”. And I guess there are opposing views as well. Why anyone would “choose” the sexual orientation and be subject to discrimination and harassment is still a valid a question .

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Mr. Manning,

                      I am immediately reminded of the scene recounted in John 9, where the disciples – relying on a very ancient belief – inquired of the Lord, “Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (Jn. 9:2) And the obvious answer is that neither sinned, but rather such things occur as a consequence of of our fallen humanity – which includes our bio-psycho-social-spiritual anthropology – and this broken world. People are born blind, heritable genetic defects result in horrendous disease and deformity, mental disorders develop that distort human existence into a nightmare of tormenting command hallucinations & the darkness of depression, and some – whether you accept it or not – seem to inherit a vulnerability to disorders long thought to be purely volitional: addictions, varying compulsive disorders, and same-sex attraction.

                      I will never forget the Friday lecture that became the Lenten Sunday commemorating the Cross sermon delivered by Fr. Alexander Schmemman, who suggested following the most “adjusted” person you can find in Manhattan and see if, at the end of the day, they don’t end up on the psychiatrist’s couch. And why? Because they reject the Cross. And so, the choice is the Cross or the couch. I can only begin to imagine the number of individuals who took this message to mean that mental disorders are nothing more than a fundamental lack of “the Cross.” And not to diminish the essential role of prayer of fasting by which demons are cast out, who would have imagined that so many would be delivered from the depths of the darkness and despair of depression by a simple daily dose of medication? Or who could have imagined the end of tormenting voices, deprecating and instructing self-harm, every single day without abating, could cease with a weekly (now monthly) injection?

                      I appreciate your reaction, but our humanity is grossly removed from that which was “in the beginning,” and if we are to, in any way, relieve human suffering and pave the way to repentance and the fullness of the Christian life of chastity and obedience, I fail to see your objection to doing so by whatever means that does not compromise the Scripture, the Patristic or Canonical Fathers, or the Tradition of the Church. And personally, all I see in operation, in reality, is disinterest, hostility, intolerance, and rejection in nearly every corner of the Church. We are only doomed by ignorance and fear.

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    It always pays to return to return to the insight of Charles P. Pierces’ Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free, if only for his common-sense observations on how we have lost any sense of expertise – and particularly with the widespread dissemination of varying degrees of reliable information via the internet – how everyone is an expert. And like it or not, the “internet-enabled” expert has transformed the “American crank” – formerly a locally boisterous and annoying figure – into an influential “commercial salesman” with instant respect. As Pierce notes the new “crank”

                    speaks to the gut feelings, which are a roiling repository of dark, ancient fears that knows what it knows by “feeling,” pitted against intellect which is widely believed to stand for cleverness, which transmutes easily into the sly or diabolical. If something “feels” right, it must be treated with the same respect given something that actually is right. If something is felt deeply, it must carry the same weight as something that is true. If there are two sides to every argument—or, more to the point, if there are people willing to take up two sides to every argument —they both must be right or, at least, equally valid. Dress it up and gut feelings are “common sense,” which rarely are common and even more rarely makes sense. It often comes down to assessing what Everybody Knows, even though Everybody might be as false as blue money to the truth of things.

                    He continues

                    Because there are two sides to every question, both deserve respect and both must, in some way, be true. Gut feelings tells us that this is only fair, and we are a fair people, after all. All one has to do is muster an argument with enough vigor, package it well, and get enough people to buy both the idea and the product through which it is expressed. The more people buy, the more correct you are. The barriers that once forced American cranks to adapt or withdraw—or even merely to defend—their ideas all have fallen. It is considered impolite to raise them again, almost un-American, since we are all entitled to our opinion.

                    And tying it all together – though Google makes it simple – “respect for the effort required to develop and promulgate nonsense somehow bleeds into a respect that validates the nonsense itself.”

                    My point: Google experts have seriously dumbed down the threshold for scholarship and truth, and are frequently manipulative and harmful.

                    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                      Michael, putting Pierce’s contempt aside for the moment, he is nonetheless accurate in describing how feeling has become the ground for determining the veracity of things deemed to be true. Almost all millenials think this way.

                      But this development is not the result of the widespread dissemination of new information. It’s the loss of the awareness of God, and thus any notion of transcendent and enduring truth, that lies at the root. It’s a cultural crisis of the first order.

                      Secondly, religion and science have contributed to this corrosion of trust. No need to go into religion’s failures here (Catholic abuse scandals, Anglican/Protestant collapse, etc.), but science too carries its share of the blame.

                      For example, the APA is one of the most politicized medical guilds in existence today. It would be irresponsible to ignore this (see: Former president of APA says organization controlled by ‘gay rights’ movement).

                      Then there is the problem with contrived research and increasing cases of fraud in scientific research (see: Retraction Watch). Put another way, even the ostensible safety of peer review first depends on the virtue of the reviewer.

                      So it is not really a problem of the “Google expert.” Science too (particularly the “soft sciences” like behavioral research) has become afflicted with the moral relativism that arises when enduring truth fades from awareness.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Fr. Hans,

                      Your point as to the contribution of science and religion to the corrosion of trust is well taken, and Pierce devotes considerable discussion to this matter. You are also well aware of my disdain for the APA(s) plural (psychology & psychiatry), but you mistakenly over-emphasize their actual influence on policy and clinical practice. They are neither a licensing nor an accrediting body, and there is no particular “benefit” to joining. They lobby the congress, but so does the AARP (which is arguably equally one of the most politicized, and more influential, guilds in existence today).

                      Secondly, with the completion of the mapping of the human genome and the development and sophistication of medical technology and devices, you simply can no longer speak of psychiatry in terms of “soft science.” Many of the recent genetic and epigenetic correlations with human behaviour – interesting but merely “data” – could lead to future forms of intervention and treatment. It is now possible, for example, to predict medication efficacy for major depression and psychotic disorders based on genetic profiles, and this capability will only expand with further research. Further, these data have also given insight into cognitive processes that may be addressed adjunctively in psychotherapy (e.g. combining medication and specific psychotherapeutic techniques for the treatment of PTSD in returning war veterans). There is nothing “speculative” or “soft” about this science.

                      Finally, there will always be outright fraud in scientific research, and I believe that the system (at least in the US) has increasingly added safeguards to prevent fraud before it ever reaches the point of per-publication peer review (and I am very familiar with Retraction Watch). But there are considerable factors that also impact research including incompetence, and mistake (just last week, the European Medical Agency recommended suspending the use of 300 medications based on “faulty” clinical studies conducted in India; and this is a short commentary regarding “professional subjects” who ruin studies) that are completely distinct from politicized intrusion.

                      My point here is that any suggestion that homosexuals or homosexual-sympathetic scholars have so invaded the research community as to render the data unreliable is foolishness. You should be equally concerned that groups such as NARTH self-publish and self-referee their own scholarship and refuse access to raw data. It is exemplified in the example of research and “expert” testimony presented by Mark Regnerus in the US District in Michigan in March, 2014 against same-sex marriage where the judge stated: “The Court finds Regnerus’s testimony entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration” because, while he claimed his “funding source did not affect his impartiality as a researcher, the Court finds this testimony unbelievable. The funder clearly wanted a certain result, and Regnerus obliged.” Moral relativism, as it were, apparently cuts both ways.

                    • Monk James says

                      M. Stankovich (February 1, 2015 at 5:45 pm) says (among other things)

                      I am immediately reminded of the scene recounted in John 9, where the disciples – relying on a very ancient belief – inquired of the Lord, “Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (Jn. 9:2) And the obvious answer is that neither sinned, but rather such things occur as a consequence of of our fallen humanity –


                      Probably not.

                      The question posed here suggests that at least some Jews contemporary with our Lord Jesus Christ believed in reincarnation, and that sins which people had committed in former lifetimes might affect their condition at present.

                      This is pretty much identical to the hindu theory of karma, a not unreasonable attempt at theodicy — a pointless effort if ever there was one. God’s infinite and perfect balance of justice and mercy will never be understood or explained by us mortals. Never.

                      But God loves us, and desires that we ‘all be saved and come to know the truth’.

                      Instead of such rationalizations, we should just accept our Lord’s statement that there is no truth to be found in the question as phrased. Rather, He tells us that the condition of the man born blind is an opportunity for Him to show forth the power of God.

                      Let’s all take a lesson from this, and understand that our limitations are somehow an opportunity for us to let the power of God shine in our lives, and focus our prayers on that for ourselves and for each other, entrusting us all to Christ our God.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      This is pretty much identical to the hindu theory of karma, a not unreasonable attempt at theodicy — a pointless effort if ever there was one.

                      Madonna mia, man! And you call yourself a “Greek scholar” and translator? There is a lesson for you here, son. And enough with the competition & personal insults. You obviously cannot hit the curve ball low & inside, so stop swinging. It’s tiresome already.

                    • Gregory Manning says

                      Thank you Mr. Stankovich.
                      My father (b. 1895) like many of his generation, never approved of inter-racial marriage. He used to quote the old saw “Birds of a feather flock together.” My mother (a geneticist herself) once responded “Yes, dear, but birds don’t fall in love.” My point here as is that, as my mother understood, genetic programming can account for why “birds of a feather flock together” or why hummingbirds prefer one blossom over another, but it can’t account for human affection. In these modern times it is increasingly common to look to science to explain phenomena but the realm of human affection defies such enquiry. Same-sex attraction cannot be looked at as though it were a bio-mechanical phenomenon; the result of malfunctioning genes which need to be tweaked to get them to work right. We can’t adjust our genetic make up so as to love one person rather than another because genes have nothing to do with affection. (Could we adjust genes so that everyone would love God?! Or, given the approaching Lenten fast, could we adjust genes so that everyone would experience the fast as the “joy-creating sorrow” of St. John Climacus?) We are blessed to seek out remedies for our frail and broken bodies and there is an enormous benefit to be had by the psychological therapeutic arts. I benefited enormously from such therapy 30 years ago and there are/have been more than enough folks in my family in the scientific/medical professions.

                      Homosexuality is about an otherwise normal quest for affection-intimate/erotic affection. This quest is a natural one and, once experienced, gives real meaning to the phrase “No man is an island”. Only heterosexual men have the opportunity to experience the full beauty of this affection. Homosexuals cannot because the affection we seek is actually the affection we ought to have received from our fathers. Heterosexual men do not yearn for this affection because they inwardly/instinctively operate from the assumption that they have received it sufficiently so as to be able to go out and look for that affection from women, not men. Hence, the conventional wisdom in the gay world has always been “Never fall in lovewith a straight man because he will not fall in love with you.” This is the crucial point which lies at the heart of homosexuality. Note it does not say “Don’t try to have sex with a straight man but, rather don’t seek him out in your quest for “love” because he won’t give you what he doesn’t feel”. In this same vein, what passes for promiscuity amongst gay men is, in large measure, this relentless quest for a love which will quench an otherwise natural desire. Since we can’t find it amongst straight men, our only choice is other gay men. But they are looking for it as well.. I have always said that being a gay man is like being in a room full of other men, all of whom have a glass that is half-full. Everyone in that room (quite naturally) wants their glass filled but no one has any to spare. (There is also the equally important quest for completion as a man but that is another subject). This unquenchable, relentless quest for this very powerful form of affection is why homosexuality is, functionally, a sin; a missing of the mark. It doesn’t work. We never get what our hearts desire. It is not hard to see that the realization that one is going to go through life never experiencing this very unique and powerful form of love would lead many to conclude that life isn’t worth living. For my part I came to see that, since my father was no longer here to participate in what “repair” could be made to improve if not heal my brokenness and, in the absence of an “intervention” on the part of the Holy Spirit, this would continue to be my cross to carry. In short, I found myself between a rock and Jesus Christ. I chose Christ and began my journey anew.
                      Early on in this new journey I had to stop and answer one important question implied in something C.S. Lewis wrote: Either Jesus is Who He says He is or he is a madman. I came to see that before I continued I had to be decisive here, because if I could not go unto Him, I who “travail” and am “heavy laden”, then there was no where else to turn, no mere mortal could help no other god was up to the task. Having firmly chosen Christ-God and come to see the true nature of my cross, I saw that I had been given the opportunity to see how badly I need and therefore, to know my Redeemer. Coupled with the God-inspired wisdom of “the great cloud of witnesses” who have proceeded me in this great Church which we are I saw what I must do. The nature of my struggle has changed radically. Having see the true nature of my sin it has ceased to be the bogey man it has been all these years. That I am a “gay man” is now a mere technicality which takes up little of my time. I have been liberated from that quagmire so now, when I walk through the door of my church I do so as a plain, every day sinner.
                      Yes. Science can solve a lot. But some things only Christ can heal.

                      Yours, In Christ,

                    • Monk James says

                      M. Stankovich says (February 4, 2015 at 8:33 am):

                      (quoting me)
                      ‘This is pretty much identical to the hindu theory of karma, a not unreasonable attempt at theodicy — a pointless effort if ever there was one.’

                      And then goes on to write:
                      Madonna mia, man! And you call yourself a “Greek scholar” and translator? There is a lesson for you here, son. And enough with the competition & personal insults. You obviously cannot hit the curve ball low & inside, so stop swinging. It’s tiresome already.


                      Well, I can say for a fact that I never called myself a ‘”Greek scholar” and translator’ here. Those are inferences on Michael Stankovich’s part. Legitimate inferences, I admit, but not anything I ever said here.

                      So I clicked on the link to the site where Michael Stankovich thought that there would be a lesson for me, whom he calls ‘son’. No such lesson was there, just a lot of pro-homosexual bilge.

                      MS is greatly mistaken if he thinks that any of my remarks here were ‘personal insults’ directed at him; they were not, and the record of my posts will demonstrate that amply well.

                      Competition?! MS here thinks much too highly of himself and might be a bit paranoid. Now, THAT was personal. Not insulting, just analytic, but still personal, reflecting my reaction to the man’s style, for once, rather than his thoughts.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Mr. Manning,

                      The problem in discussing any one aspect of our humanity is to forget what the Fathers (in particular Sts. John of Damascus, Gregory of Nyssa, Symeon the New Theologian, and Maximus the Confessor) refer to as the symphonia of our created nature. We are are biological (including genetic), psychological (including emotion & volition), social (including the need to interact, to seek affection, etc.), and spiritual beings in our natural anthropology, “as it was in the beginning.” To say it is “symphonic” is to say the “parts” form one “whole,” and to separate one aspect from another – even for the purpose of “academic” or intellectual” investigation – runs the risk of inaccurate conclusion because of the loss of essential context. So, when I speak of “genetics,” I do so in the implied context of our symphonic humanity.

                      Met. Anthony (Khrapovitsky) used the phrase, “We are far removed from the time of grace,” and this reality must influence the pastoral approach. I find this to be especially profound. We live in a time when those who practice immoral behaviours & live immoral lifestyles contrary to the moral tradition of the Church oppositionally & defiantly demand that the Church accommodate them, rather than they turn from from their sin and repent. The obvious reaction to such defiance is “There is nothing I can do for you until you are willing to repent. Come back when you are ready.” But how many times did the disciples “lose” Jesus, only to find him among the sick, the poor, the needy, the “young rich men,” and the adultering women? So, for four years, I have presented contemporaneous scientific information – the majority of which is more than moderately reliable – to demonstrate that in addition to psychological, social, and spiritual factors, there are biological factors that influence same-sex attraction in a symphonic person, in our fallen human nature. And as I have said from my first post, nothing I have posed is contrary to the Holy Scripture, the Patristic & Canonical Fathers, nor the Holy Tradition of the Church.

                      I agree with you, Mr. Manning, that science will never solve this problem because it is a symphonic problem. Nor has it ever been my intention – despite the accusation of jackasses – to covertly “normalize” same-sex attraction. My hope would be to end needless fear & shame, stigmatization, fear of being “outed” and being ostracized from the parish community, and to offer the hope of repentance & chastity in the fullness of the Christian life.

                      You are in my prayers!

    • George Michalopulos says

      So, thanks to Frontline, we now know more about Putin’s rise to power than we know of Obama’s. Refresh my memory: how come nobody remembers him while he was at Columbia, or that his own bio for the Harvard Law Review states that he was born in Kenya?


      • Michalopulos:

        So, thanks to Frontline, we now know more about Putin’s rise to power than we know of Obama’s. Refresh my memory: how come nobody remembers him while he was at Columbia, or that his own bio for the Harvard Law Review states that he was born in Kenya?

        I’m not sure credibility is your thing, but are you so out of touch with reality not to realize that the subtext to these remarks makes you sound CRAZY WACKY?

  11. Francis Frost says

    An interesting article from the New York Times Magazine: “A Russian Soldier Vanishes in Ukraine” describes the actual tragedy of Mr. Putin’s war in Ukraine for Russians citizens as well as for Ukrainians.

    Pray for peace!


  12. Ashley Nevins says

    Chuck Missler has some interesting Youtubes of what he believes is going on and so does Walid Shoebat. There is a bigger picture and it is unfolding. No one knows exactly how it will but it is unfolding, the time is growing closer and closer. I hope to see all of you in heaven and yes, laugh out loud, you will get to live with me for eternity. Something I bet some of you just can’t wait to do (NOT!). I have the assurance of where I am going, do you? I have yet to meet one of you who do and I can prove it by what you really place your salvation in.

    Yes, some of you do have salvation, but the rest of you I wonder about by the corrupt outcome of your church and because it takes a majority to corrupt a church. A systemically corrupt church has a corrupt salvation pointing to its lack of salvation among those in it. Unless your salvation can correct the systemic corruption it is corrupt salvation.

    Orthodox, I speak the bottom line today, salvation. The true church of Jesus Christ does not die by its salvation. The dead church does by how it turns living salvation into church death as salvation or death as salvation. Systemically spread that through a church and it will DIE. The day comes that the dead out number the Christ living and the church dies. The dying state of your church shows the minority of those in it that have true Christ salvation.

    Oh, but, Ashley, what about those Protestant denominations that go corrupt and die? I have seen Christians divide over such corruption and leave behind what they were once involved with to see a revival of their Christianity. They leave what is dead by Satan and join what lives by Jesus. Christ in the Gospels is division from corruption, from what is dead. If you remain in the company of corruption what does the Bible say that will do to YOU? What does it say about a little leaven?

    If you live in a morgue is that not your thinking to live in one? The same could not be said about a museum? Oh, I see, the Orthodox by who they claim to be are immune and the real world outcome of their church proves it, right?

    The morgue/museum state of church is the state of Christ’s living church in the real world? The museum/morgue state of church that is also systemically corrupt is Holy Christ our living salvation? You can’t be serious, you must be joking, right?

    About those failed denominations I am glad they got out of the way of the living Jesus and His living salvation, they are a drag on real Christianity and salvation. They will not bring salvation to places like China. My concern is about that failed Orthodoxy that is in the way of Jesus. I take a different approach than does Buchanan.

    Buchanan does not realize what is happening with the Evangelicals in China, they will become a fading memory? This church is not going away. It is growing exponentially and not Orthodox dying. Buchanan is delusional to believe it is going to become a relic of the past. It is the most evangelizing alive in all of Christianity. Yes, there is a relic church that I believe is dead, but it is not my church that is Christ alive.

    Putin is corrupt like the ROC is corrupt. Putin and Krill are the dynamic duo of church/state power and control revival in Russia. Authoritarian Orthodoxy always gravitates to authoritarian state rulers to become one with them and that is a form of Orthodox imperialism. It is imperial rule power and control. All of you have been spiritually abused by this and in ways you do not see and will deny when pointed out. The state of your church in America is the state of spiritual abuse of power and control. It is the same from where your jurisdictions came from. Spiritual abuse is abusing your church to death in America.

    Time you all got real world objective rational about the state of your church and why it is in that state. You know, take symptoms back to cause and then don’t deny the cause when you get to the cause.

    Considering who Obama has turned out to be of course conservative Protestant Christianity wishes America had a president who could stand up to the likes of the corrupt dictator Putin. Can we all together say ‘DUH!’ Oh, but, because we want a strong principled leader that must mean we want a Putin like dictator in charge with his side kick Krill, right?

    Yes, Orthodox, what is the role of Russia in the end times? The picture of what is really going on is bigger than how Buchanan states it to be. His argument has so many holes in it one would think it is Swiss cheese.

    Orthodox triumphalism is the savior of Christianity in the world and just like it is in America?

    A systemically corrupt church is a friend of the world, it is of the world. It is a kingdom of this world when it is systemically corrupt. The ROC has an exclusive grandiose viewpoint of itself inside of its authoritarian power and control and that is a religious dictatorship. That leads to idolatry that deceive blinds you to the idolatry. Jesus did not come to us merged as one with the dictatorship political state and it is not a NT teaching. That is corruption and Jesus did not come to us corrupt.

    Jesus plus anything else is the corruption of Jesus. It leads to religious works and performance and spiritual abuse. Think it through and connect the dots Orthodox. Your church is corrupt and in more ways than you know, see and will admit too. You are in religion denial as to why it is corrupt, failed and dying. Your exclusive mindset in your authoritarian structure and its closed and isolated system is your denial. Corruption of Christ is your self righteous and arrogant denial. It is your triumphant grandiosity that is delusional about itself in its pride. This mindset is SYSTEMIC among you and it will be your end in America.

    Satan is corruption and his strategy is corruption and his most effective strategy is systemic corruption that corrupts everyone in the system. His strategy is always the counter strategy to Jesus and Jesus is HOLY. There is far more to it than this in what is really going on behind the spiritual scenes in Orthodoxy. Satan’s goal is to replace the holy rule of Jesus with the corrupt rule of the evil one. The degree of Orthodox systemic corruption is the degree evil has replaced the authority of Jesus in your church with his own corrupt authority. That is the set up for the anti Christ who replaces Jesus with himself. That is what the word ‘anti’ means.

    Putin and Krill are not imperialistic?

    Russia is not a sewer of corruption?

    Putin is not a dictator?

    The Orthodox are pawns to systemic church corruption. Pawns are OBJECTS USED to attain an end. The attained end goal to win his diabolical game is systemic corruption and so he can rule in the place of Jesus over you. Those on the side of holy Christ are player warriors in the war and not manipulated pawns being played on a board. The church merged with the political dictatorship state is political in rule and not spiritual in rule and that is another way that it goes corrupt by it secularization, by turning it into the corrupt world. In other words, any church with a church/state mindset is corrupted by the world. The ROC is worldly just like the GOC is.

    The idol god of this world does not win in the end and I for one do not want to be associated with what is a worldly church gone systemically worldly corrupt. I know who really rules over it, John 8:42-44. Jesus told them they were idolators. Those of this worldly religious corruption defend their corruption just like those Jesus confronted did in John 8:31-59. It was religious corruption gone Satan tradition legalism corrupt and it had an exclusive viewpoint of itself. They too believed they were Gods only true and right theology, tradition, rituals, history, worship, fathers and salvation. They conspired with the Roman state to kill Jesus. Jesus did not come to us merged with the state. That only kills Jesus in the church over time and what kills Jesus replaces Jesus as authority. It is divisive division of the authority of Jesus that systemically corrupts. Satan wants to rule the church and he does it by the world, by turning it into the world, by merging it with the world. The god of this world wants to turn the church into a kingdom of this world that he controls. Eventually how Satan corrupts a church by turning it into a kingdom of this world is seen in that church real world corrupt outcome that proves the character of Satan in rule power and control behind the scenes not seen by his deception by corruption.

    Yes, I know, top down centralized authoritarian rule with an exclusive viewpoint of itself in a closed, isolated and therefore subjective system with a history of being merged with the worldly political dictatorship state disagrees with me. Systemic corruption disagrees with me. Predictable that it would.

    The goal of Satan in strategy to destroy us is corruption. It is the same lies that corrupted us in the Garden that corrupt the EOC today. I can show you the parallels between those lies believed and your church systemic corruption. I can show you how they are the same basic lies believed but tweaked to make them even more deceptive in the systemic corruption of your church. I bet none of you would be inclined to make that comparison. Gods only true church is above and beyond such a comparison for it believing it is Gods only comparison of what is an exclusively Gods only true and right church that has no comparison to it.

    The comparison is Jesus to Satan to understand the why and how of your church being systemically corrupt.

    The strategy of Jesus is systemic holiness and the strategy of Satan is systemic corruption.

    Now tell me which one rules a systemically corrupt church that is dying and shame spiritually abusing itself to death. The character of Satan is corruption, shame and death. That is his strategy. It is what he brought to us in the Garden. When he turns a church into corruption and shame he kills it dead. He is corruption, shame and death based. I have told all of you for years that the basis of a church is how it thinks and how it thinks determines its real world outcome. Satan’s goal is to replace the Christ basis of a church with his basis in rule of a church. The basis of Jesus is Holiness, truth and grace, the fruit of the Spirit. The rotten fruit of corruption is a systemically corrupt church real world outcome. That rotten fruit is corruption, shame and death based. It is the ground it grows in and in reality it is the ground it is dying in. That is the Satan evangelism counter strategy compared to the evangelism strategy of Jesus. Internally corrupt a church and it will not externally share the salvation of Jesus and/or what it does share as salvation is its corruption. Satan has a counter strategy to every strategy of Jesus. The Orthodox are Jesus evangelistic? No, they are systemically corrupt and demographically dying in America due to a failure to Jesus evangelize like Jesus in the Gospels. Evangelism has been replaced by something else and it is corruption. It is a evil strategy to stop salvation by stopping evangelism.

    When your religion, your church or the state and church together are your salvation and not Christ alone your salvation has been corrupted. Jesus simply did not come to us as corruption. Satan does. Jesus in authority or Satan in authority can be seen in the real world outcome of a church. It exposes its character. It is a comparison of character. Satan and Jesus compared and a corrupt church and Jesus compared. Jesus is the only comparison and Jesus + anything else as the comparison will lead to a wrong conclusion in such comparisons. You will not see yourselves as you really are. The ‘ plus anything else’ will destroy the objectivity of Jesus and eventually destroy your church by corrupting it. No objective Jesus alone as the comparison and your church becomes corruption, shame and death based. The ‘plus anything else’ leads to corruption, shame and death as a church.

    Of course the church of Jesus + something else does not believe me. I fully understand why corruption, shame and death with an exclusive viewpoint of itself does not believe me. I understand why the basis does not believe me. I am considered by it to be heresy that practices apostasies in comparison to it

    Orthodox, systemic corruption is systemic heresy and apostasy. That is not Jesus the only comparison and no matter who and what your church exclusively claims to be. Systemic evil is not the comparison that determines the state of Christians and churches outside of that evil and to that evil. That is, unless you have been deceived to believe that evil is Jesus and your salvation and that a systemically corrupt church is Gods only true church.

    How many of you have an Aerial Toll Houses salvation? Is a monastic elder + demons + Jesus your salvation?

    How many of you have corruption as your salvation, a corrupt church as your salvation? Is a systemically corrupt church + Jesus your salvation?

    How many of you are part of the systemic corruption that corrupts salvation and evangelism? What does the real world outcome of your church tell you that you are a part of?

    Bottom line, is Satan whose basis is corruption, shame and death your salvation? Is what is causing the dying state of your church your salvation? If your church is corrupt and salvation is only in your church is that not a corrupt salvation?

    Holy and living salvation will tell you what corrupt and dead salvation is and it does not work the other way around. Now tell me how I don’t have salvation if I am not an Orthodox. Tell me how suspect in your exclusive eyes my salvation is.

    Orthodox, you have a corruption of Jesus and His salvation problem and it is the worst possible problem a church can have. Yes, I know, corruption does not believe me and it is not in the manner that I tell you as the reason why you don’t believe me. The lie of corruption simply will not believe the truth told to it, but it will try to tell who tells it the truth that is a lie in comparison to it, John 8:31-59. Every reason why they did not believe they were corrupt is every reason why they were corrupt. By their exclusiveness they denied their corruption and because that exclusiveness is corruption.

    Orthodox, God can use what ever He wants to speak into you with, Number 22:28. Some of you see me as this: Who is that inferior jack ass who dares to speak into our superior exclusiveness that has no comparison?

    Yes, I am a fool for Christ. I am not ashamed of the Gospel, but the shame based church is. Its Gospel of shame that is not the Gospel of freedom in Christ shames the church to its death. Satan has a counter strategy to the strategy of the Gospel and it is corruption, shame and death as the Gospel and he masquerades in his deception to be holiness, life and salvation. He has the veneer surface appearance of God in his idolatry of him deception but under the surface of him he is systemically corrupt. His real world outcome exposes his character of corruption, shame and death. So, this means the Orthodox have nothing to be really that concerned about by who and what they exclusively claim to be and no matter what the objective real world outcome of them proves them to be.

    Orthodox, Satan rules by corruption. He can so systemically corrupt entangle you in bondage that you will actually use that bondage by its deception to be the solution to the bondage and the bondage never goes away.

    Axios Satan and his bondage? He has you right where he wants you when you do and you do it continually. It is your greatest consistency to honor, respect, reverence and be loyal to corruption. You do that because you believe it is your salvation, you believe it to be God. Your exclusiveness is your God and salvation and your God and salvation church is systemically corrupt.

    Who said, I have the most profound respect for the bishops on stage with me? Were they corrupt bishops worthy of profound respect? It is the same in every jurisdiction. All are religious codependents to the religious addiction authoritarian power and control. Religious addiction is authoritarianism that has a exclusive arrogant viewpoint of itself and that has no comparison to it for how right it sees itself in its authoritarian power and control. Religious addiction is nothing less than religious dictatorship in power and control. It is an idol, the object of religious idolatry dependency. It defines you into what it is and how it thinks. It is corruption defining you and determining how you think. That is the mind control of a religious addiction structure and system of authoritarian power and control rule. If it is not a cult it is at the very least cultic or cult like. It is easily turned into a cult in Christianity, into a Christian cult. That is simply not Jesus in the Gospels. The salvation of Jesus does not turn us into this, but a lie of salvation will.

    Corruption is not my salvation. Orthodox, what is your salvation? Is it your church? Yes, I know, you believe my salvation is corrupted and because it does not come from your systemically corrupt church as salvation. Jesus who is not corrupt is my only salvation. Those who have corruption as their salvation are in a corrupt church. It will show the corruption of its salvation by its real world outcome. The more corrupt the outcome and the longer it has been corrupt the more corrupt the salvation found in it. My salvation is not religious codependent upon corruption as its salvation. That is why it is in Jesus alone who is my dependency for salvation and whose character is not religious addiction that wants me by corrupt Satan to be dependent upon corruption as my salvation. And, all of you think we are theological bumpkins who fell off of the back of a wagon on some country back road, bumped fractured our heads, and now run around aimlessly without the Orthodox church as our salvation.

    George, did you miss Jonah telling the jurisdiction that he has the most profound respect for the corrupt?

    What, you don’t believe that was corruption saying that?

    I am not on the Orthodox Christian side, the side of Jesus, to tell you this? This is a critical judgmental spirit against the Christians in Orthodoxy telling the Orthodox such? Every last one of my predictions about your church coming true are me against the Orthodox? They will continue to all come true. I promise without fear of that promise turning out to be untrue. I have complete confidence in God and His spiritual gift that sees into and through and predicts. It is always brought into worst case scenarios like this and it pays a price for it. It does not matter that much how it is brought into the midst of the worst case scenario, but it is important why it is. What is not Orthodox recognized as a spiritual gift does not really want to recognize why it is really in a state of church death. God can bring us what we least expect to speak into us. Even a jack ass. The foolish who are corrupt cannot recognize a fool for Christ that speaks into them about the corruption of Jesus in their midst. Those fooled by Satan do not recognize what the fool for Christ tells them.

    The fool of Satan is the strategy of Satan to try and thwart the fool of Christ strategy. It calls what the fool for Christ speaks foolishness, not the truth, a lie. The fools of Satan end up getting fooled and that is the deception that led them into a failed, corrupt and dying state of church. They end up looking like fools for what they believed in and followed. The fool of Satan denies why what he believes in and follows is in the state that it is in. He proudly defends it and when he really should be humbled by its state in repentance. The fool of Satan is arrogant, proud and self righteous. The fool for Christ is the opposite of that and is bold and forthright in being the opposite by the confidence of Jesus Christ, by identity in Christ.

    Jesus plus anything else as your Christian identity is the corruption of your Christian identity. It creates a dualism of identity that is divisive to the identity in Christ alone. What divides your identity in Christ divides the power of Jesus in your life, it divides you away from the power of Christ in your identity, and when a whole church is found in that state it is made POWERLESS by its split identity. Satan wants to divide your identity in Christ so he can become your identity in deceptive ways you do not see. He divides to conquer your identity to destroy your identity so he can destroy your church. He can internally implode a church by this strategy and no one will be able to see him doing it for their being of his identity that is made blind to it.

    Oh, then, Ashley, if we become more Orthodox Mind then we will be able to defeat these strategies of the evil one.

    What do you think my answer to that statement would be?

    Yes, I know I am difficult to hear, but only because I reflect back to all you how difficult of a systemic evil corruption problem your church REALLY has. Do any of you think for one second that I like looking into that sewer of corruption pointing out what is floating in it and why it is a sewer of systemic corruption that has the character of the evil one? It reeks of demonic! Can’t any of you smell it and trace the smell back to the cause!?! If you can’t your church will surely die and yes it is surely dying right before your eyes and none of you get close to the reason why it is in all of your explanations of why it is struggling to survive. All of you speak the symptoms are the cause and that is failure to recognize the cause.

    If you have a disease do you treat the symptoms or the cause to stop the disease? Systemic corruption is the symptom pointing to it cause that is the disease that systemically corrupts. A structure of rule is what creates a system of rule. Christ is the structure of rule and the church is the system. Orthodox, why is your structure and system of rule corrupt if is Gods only true structure and system of rule? I believe it is because Christ is not really the structure of your rule authority and that is why the system of your church is corrupt, why your church is dying.

    BB’s bouncing off the sides of the Orthodox cathedral is this.

    • Yet another hate-filled dissertation by Ashley. Sigh.

      • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

        It’s the kind of narcissistic bit of self=stimulation that could drive a family member to suicide, just a relentless rant. The man needs to get over himself and find God.

        • Vladyka:

          It’s the kind of narcissistic bit of self=stimulation that could drive a family member to suicide


    • Antonio Arganda says

      Still an incoherent babbler after all this time.

    • Michael Kim says

      You got my attention. So, if all Christians regardless of denomination were say, “politically neutral” a whole lot of strife and divisions would be non-existent, correct?
      So, I assume that whatever church/religion you are in, it is politically neutral?
      Or, is it some sort of hybrid?
      Thank you

  13. Carl Kraeff says

    I cannot support Putin because he is supposedly an Orthodox Christian. You must remember that Rasputin was also considered to be an Orthodox holy man. No, Putin is a thug, and those Orthodox clergy and laity who support him are doing Russia and the world a great disservice.

    • Carl Kraeff:

      You must remember that Rasputin was also considered to be an Orthodox holy man.

      Correction. Rasputin IS considered to be an Orthodox holy man by many in Russia, and there is many an icon in many a Russian church with St. Rasputin!

      • Larry H. Puttgrass says

        I also have heard many individuals refer to Rasputin with great reverence as a Holy Man.

        The version of the story told to me by many is that his murder was committed by Russian “noble men” (read as land owners) who where plotting all the while to murder Tsar Nicholas and his family. The same individuals that murdered Rasputin also plotted against Tsar Nicholoas.

        It sounded strange to me so I did some research. Sure enough, I also found references in several scholarly articles linking the murderers of Rasputin to the same people that ordered the murder of Tsar Nicholas.

        This does not make a compelling argument for the “holiness” of Rasputin, however, it clearly demonstrates that we need to examine the possibility that popular information concerning the legend of Rasputin and his influence over the household of the Tsar may be purposefully inaccurate for the purpose of forwarding a political ideology.

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          No, let’s not revisit Rasputin.

        • Larry:

          This does not make a compelling argument for the “holiness” of Rasputin, however, it clearly demonstrates that we need to examine the possibility that popular information concerning the legend of Rasputin and his influence over the household of the Tsar may be purposefully inaccurate for the purpose of forwarding a political ideology.

          Yes, and it’s very possible that JEFFREY DAHMER is getting a bum rap, too!

    • Carl Kraeff:

      I cannot support Putin because he is supposedly an Orthodox Christian.

      “SUPPOSEDLY” !?!?!?!?!?!?! HOW DARE YOU ?!?!?!?!?!

    • Rasputin never led Russia and was killed by tsarist loyalists for his influence over Alexandra. Nicholas Ii whistled and walked away when he heard the news.

      What Putin is really advocating and doing is Autocracy-lite (aka, “sovereign democracy”), Orthodoxy and Nationalism, the pre-Bolshevik Russian policy of Alexander I. It is as Orthodox as was the Eastern Roman Empire. – symphonia. Democracy, on the other hand, is a tool of the evil one in order to destroy the faith of the Body of Christ.

      America and Western Europe are simply on the wrong side of this and we will pay for it in the long run. Godless and losing ground to Islam and secularism every day, what will be left of the West to defend and who will be left with the will to defend it?

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        “Democracy, on the other hand, is a tool of the evil one in order to destroy the faith of the Body of Christ.”

        Breathtaking indeed! I wonder why so many fought for it in WWII……there was a lot of talk about the degeneracy of democracy back then, too– by tyrants.

        As for Putin restoring “symphonia”– good luck with that. Put not your trust in princes…and certainly not in corrupt aparatchiks. But if he succeeds, great; I doubt he will, though.

        Maybe somebody should try out the Novgorod model again.

        • ‘Breathtaking indeed! I wonder why so many fought for it in WWII…...there was a lot of talk about the degeneracy of democracy back then, too– by tyrants.”

          Like the Soviets who sacrificed the most in terms of blood? How ’bout the blacks in America who were largely disenfranchised at the time, what were they fighting for?


          Democracy has turned out to be a mechanism for human degeneracy and irresponsibility to run rampant. But it won’t last forever. It contains the seeds of its own destruction.

          • George Michalopulos says

            We also forget the 120,000 Japanese Americans who were rounded up, stripped of their wealth, and herded into concentration camps. Oops.

            • Tim R. Mortiss says

              So, George, we know what you don’t like about this country and all of its history since, say, Lincoln, if not since John Adams (perhaps it was Michael Bauman who said the slide started with Adams…).

              If anything good is ever said about this nation, you are handy with your counter-examples. My dad had many high-school classmates interned in WWII, which he always told us was a great injustice. This did not lead him to the conclusion that his country was evil.

              What do you want to see? Say for your children and grandchildren, and great-grandchildren?

              Who do our haters of “democracy” wish to see placed over us…. and them? And by what process do they hope to see this come about, in their secret hearts?

              • Michael Bauman says

                Timor, a very good question. For the record, I don’t hate democracy but neither do I idolize it.

                John Adams’ quote was that democracy as the he envisioned it was suitable only for a Christian people. His point being that only Christian people had the inner strength, rectitude and virtue to govern themselves rather than being governed.

                Christianity is unique in that it promotes both freedom through personal responsibility in obedience to God AND a ruling hierarchy.

                Therefore with our human tendency to think dichotomously rather than antinomically we argue about stuff when there is actually no argument.

                Any legitimate form of government such as democracy and Christian monarchy requires good character on the part of those tasked with governing and those being governed at least to some degree.

                As the character of the governing and the governed declines (which is inevitable), law is used in an effort to replace the lack of character and virtue. However, law by itself without a virtuous population is wholly inadequate to the task and the devolvement toward tyranny begins. Tyranny because the one thing human beings dislike more than loss of freedom is loss of order and descent into anarchy.

                All of us have different appetites for degrees of anarchy or tyranny but none of that matters really in our being Christian–seeking ever greater union with God through prayer, fasting, almsgiving, worship, repentance and forgiveness giving thanks for all things in the process.

                Two books that I have read recently that point this out: the life of the blessed surgeon Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and the Crimea who reposed in 1961 and the little book taken from the public teaching of Fr. Alexander Men of blessed memory who was murdered in Soviet Russia in 1990.

                IMO the best way to work for good government (whatever that is) is subsumed in our work as Christians for holiness. The level of public personal involvement is up to each person. The greatest difficulty in our time at least is to avoid the ideological trap thinking that said ideology is virtue.

              • Tim,

                That is an interesting question. Actually, all you need to do is look at current events and you will know what we think should be and is happening. America is receding and will decline as a global hegemon, descending into moral and economic squalor and lacking the will to assert its own rational interests. it will become increasingly Hispanic in composition and increasingly resemble Detroit (“the Mogadishu of the North”), a Second/Third World country.

                Europe is being and will be Islamicized. It’s Islamic population has reached a concentration where it will take over demographically unless there are mass deportations – which Europe could not stomach.

                Russia has recently reversed its demographic crisis and, if it is smart, will continue to take measures to encourage prolific families and reinstate the patriarchy. This cannot be accomplished except in an authoritarian context. As time goes forward, it will become clear that Western secular liberalism is the weak man in the world and that Roman Catholicism has been so compromised as to have been taken out of the equation, much like the Anglicans.

                In the end, it will be Orthodoxy and Islam. But if Orthodoxy does not defeat Western liberalism, Islam will prevail. People who do not believe in reproducing cannot possibly inherit the earth.

                • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                  Misha, this is a broad analysis and the details of how it plays out might surprise us, but barring any authentic recovery of Christianity in America and Western Europe, it is how I see it too.

                  Secularism is just a layover from one historical epoch to the next although this trip takes a century or two to complete.


                  I refer to the prevailing Western view of the world in modern times. I refer to the prevailing Western view of the world which was born in the Renaissance and has found political expression since the Age of Enlightenment. It became the basis for political and social doctrine and could be called rationalistic humanism or humanistic autonomy: the pro-claimed and practiced autonomy of man from any higher force above him. It could also be called anthropocentricity, with man seen as the center of all.

                  And yes, Western secularism is the weak man and must be defeated in order to prevent the Islamization (a descent into cultural darkness) of the world. Solzhenitsyn again:

                  For a post-modernist the world does not possess values that have reality. He even has an expression for this: ‘the world as text,’ as something secondary, as the text of an author’s work, wherein the primary object of interest is the author himself in his relationship to the work, his own introspections…. A denial of any and all ideals is considered courageous. And in this voluntary self-delusion, ‘post-modernism’ sees itself as the crowning achievement of all previous culture, the final link in its chain…. There is no God, there is no truth, the universe is chaotic, all is relative, ‘the world is text,’ a text any post-modernist is willing to compose. How clamorous it all is, but also – how helpless.

                  • Father Johannes,

                    Thank you. You are to be commended for your work over the past few years bringing the seriousness of the situation to the consciousness of the Orthodox and wider public.

                • Tim R. Mortiss says

                  I agree with some points of the analysis, especially those about Europe.

                  I wouldn’t count Roman Catholicism out– yet. I have no anti-Catholic or anti-Protestant animus, and hope that does not come to pass.

                  It is better that those who immigrate here in large numbers are European in language and culture and Christian in religion, rather than Muslims. In addition, East Asians have made a good group here, too. Among the Koreans, large numbers are, indeed, Christian.

                  But to those to whom everything is dark, there are never any bright spots!

                • Francis Frost says

                  Misha writes:

                  Russia has recently reversed its demographic crisis and, if it is smart, will continue to take measures to encourage prolific families and reinstate the patriarchy. This cannot be accomplished except in an authoritarian context. As time goes forward, it will become clear that Western secular liberalism is the weak man in the world and that Roman Catholicism has been so compromised as to have been taken out of the equation, much like the Anglicans.

                  Russian experts in actuarial demographics disagree:

                  Demographically-Driven Ethnic Conflicts Will be ‘More Destructive’ in Russia than in Europe, Expert Says

                  Paul Goble

                  Staunton, January 19 – The looming decline in the number of Russian births, the increase in emigration, and the rise in the number of births among non-Russians and especially Muslim groups will spark “inter-ethnic conflicts” in the Russian Federation that will have “a more destructive effect” than those in Europe, according to Nataliya Shishkina.

                  An expert at the Moscow Center for Scientific Political Thought and Ideology, she says that this prospect means that even apparently small decisions about demographic issues can have a major impact on the political life of the country, something she suggests the government does not appear to understand (politobzor.net/show-42133-pravitelstvo-mozhet-otkazatsya-ot-materialnogo-stimulirovaniya-rozhdaemosti.html).

                  Shishkina’s comment was prompted by a statement of Russian Labor and Social Security Minister Maksim Topilin last week that the government believes it has achieved all it can from spending money to boost the birthrate, that it can reduce spending in that area, and that it will nonetheless not pay a major price by doing so.

                  Topilin had been one of the leading advocates of what Russians call “material capital” incentives as recenty as the end of last year, Shishkina notes, and his comments suggest that the government has now turned against that idea, possibly as a result of budgetary stringencies, and will end that program altogether. It has not done so yet, however.

                  Russian officials have celebrated the slight rise in the number of births in 2013 (23,000) and in the first eleven months of 2014 (37,000) and the fact that in the latter period the number of births per 1,000 exceeded the number of deaths, 13.3 to 13.1. But in doing so, they ignored that this pattern was much worse than in Soviet times and that it is not sustainable for the country as a whole.

                  The number of births and the birthrate rose “only in certain regions,” and those were not the regions where ethnic Russians predominate but rather where members of Muslim nationalities are the most numerous. Thus, even if the overall rate has ticked up, that covers the fact that the ethnic balance in the population is shifting against the Russians.

                  Even more seriously, Shishkin says, this uptick isn’t going to last and births are not going to exceed deaths for the next decade or more unless something unexpected happens. Indeed, the economic crisis, rising emigration, and the continuing immigration of Muslims all point in the opposite direction.

                  “More than 75 percent of all chidren are born to mothers between the ages of 20 and 34,” she points out and notes that “deaths ceased to outnumber births” only in the last two years where most mothers were born between 1978 and 1992, years of relatively high fertility rates compared to now.

                  But “the lowest birthrates were in 1998-1999.” As a result, there will be ever fewer women in the prime childbearing age group over the next decade, and consequently, the number of children who will be born in Russia will fall unless the birthrate is pushed up significantly, something the government does not appear to have much interest in doing.

                  That means, Shishkina says, that “in 2015 and the following years one should expect a serious decline in the number of births,” a new “demographic pit,” especially if the government cuts spending on maternal capital and the economic situation remains critical, prompting ever more young women (and men) to emigrate.

                  Boosting help to poor families with children might help, but the government has not been willing to invest in this group sufficiently, she continues, as is demonstrated by “the gradually growing number of poor families with children and the reduction in the number of poor childless families.

                  The decline in the number of births reflects not only the low number of women born in 1999 and the difficult economic conditions Russia now finds itself it, she says. It also reflects fundamental problems with the Russian medical system, which increasingly charges people for its use, something neo-liberal economists are celebrating.

                  But the commercialization of medicine just like the commercialization of education, although “a mantra” for some, is hitting many Russians hard, reducing their willingness to have children and having a negative impact on their own health as well.

                  Whatever the government thinks, Shishkina says, getting the Russian birthrate to European levels is insufficient. Not only is Russia far larger and adjoining countries like China with enormous populations, but the shifting balance of ethnic groups is certain to lead to ethnic clashes and conflicts.

                  That is already happening in Europe, but the impact will be far worse in Russia, Shishkina argues, given Moscow’s failure to deal with existing conflicts in the North Caucasus, the economic crisis, and demographic decay. In this situation, she says, “anything, even something insignificant at first glance, can become the spark.”


                  • And the personal opinion of this person demonstrates what? The fact is that Russia has recently reversed its demographic decline. Will it continue? Perhaps. That depends on their willingness to abandon Enlightenment inspired policies. If Russia’s detractors had had their way, Russia would have folded up shop in the 1990’s. Hasn’t happened and isn’t gonna happen.

          • The problem is not democracy per se, Misha, but the character of the people who exercise it.

            As John Adams noted, the American Constitution was made for a people who were both moral and religious.

            It seems large swathes of the American electorate are neither. That is more the problem and the cause of American democracy going to seed.

            • Actually, the problem is democracy. America was not intended to be a democratic country. I can point to any number of examples from the founders and the Federalist Papers to support this proposition. The only part of a branch of government which was democratically elected was the House of Representatives. The Senate was appointed by the states. The President was elected by the electoral college and the Supreme Court was appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Only the body which was a necessary participant in any new tax laws or in a declaration of war was democratic.

              The founders did not believe in democracy. They considered it mob rule. During their lives, America was an aristocracy of the landed gentry. There were large numbers of the population without the franchise: women, blacks, Indians, some religious minorities. Additionally, there were property requirements and literacy requirements for those even theoretically eligible to vote. That was what America was intended to be in the beginning.

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                This is true, but it to some degree at least is a matter of semantics: a representative republic in modern times is generally going to be referred to as a “democracy”.

                Here we still have many non-democratic features to our system, which still distinguishes it from Western parliamentary democracies. These are well-known to us all: the Senate remains very undemocratic notwithstanding direct election of Senators, and substantive provisions of the 225-year-old Constitution are extremely resistant to “democratic” change. True democrats are very frustrated by these and other aspects of the American system.

                • Another comment beside the point. As I stated, America was never founded as a democratic country. The more democratic it has become, the more “vile” it has become.

          • Fr. Peter M. Dubinin says

            Misha says – “It contains the seeds of its own destruction.” Or perhaps we should really get down to the matter, quit deflecting, and perhaps rephrase this – “within each of us there is the seed of our own destruction” – an inebriation with the sound, sight and smell of our own presumed intellectual superiority, and amazing skill of insight (if only everyone would realize their own stupidity and bow down to it) uber alles.

        • Isa Almisry says

          “Maybe somebody should try out the Novgorod model again.”
          Why? It obviously didn’t work the first time.

      • Carl Kraeff says

        Misha–I learned one important thing in my years in intelligence: no romanticized views of history. I( think you are indulging in some wishful thinking here. Regarding Putin, he is said to admire a White Russian philosopher, Ivan Ilyin, who believed in the following three tenets.

        Gosudarstvennost’. Ilyin was a firm believer in a strong state. Gosudarstvennost’ can be viewed in purely descriptive terms as meaning the system of government, but it is also a value-laden term. It implies a belief that the interests of the state should come first. In this sense it can be contrasted with obshchestvennost’, which is often translated as ‘public opinion’ but more accurately describes the liberal stratum of Russian society and its beliefs, and it can be contrasted also with partiinost’, the ideology of the Communist Party, which placed the interests of the party first. Ilyin believed that to view the state as a balance of competing material interests was profoundly mistaken. The state should work for the general good. To this end, it must be strong. In Russia, a weak state would result in anarchy. ‘Russian state power will be strong, or it won’t exist at all’, he wrote. Ilyin rejected federalism and demanded a unitary state, ‘dictatorial in the scope of its powers.’ He favoured autocracy, but one filled with ‘creative spirit … a dictatorial-aristocratic-democracy.’ The state should be absolute in those areas in which it had competence. But it should not have competence over everything. ‘At the head of the state must stand a single will,’ he wrote, ‘It cannot and should not regulate everything. The totalitarian state is godless.’ The state had to be bound by law and accountable to the people.

        Pravosoznanie: A lawyer by training, Ilyin was a firm believer in the importance of law. One of Imperial Russia’s greatest failings was its undeveloped ‘legal consciousness’, that is to say its people’s sense of what was right and wrong and whether they should obey the law. One of the most important tasks of the autocratic state would be to develop the people’s legal consciousness until eventually it reached a level at which the people would become capable of self-government. Until then, however, attempts to impose liberal democratic forms of government would be disastrous. Thus, in The essence of legal consciousness, Ilyin wrote ‘The political structure and legal consciousness form a living, inseparable unity insofar as not a single reform is possible until a definite improvement in legal consciousness takes place, and any reform that is disproportionate to the state of popular legal consciousness will turn out to be absurd and ruinous for the state. The single true path to any reform is a gradual education in legal consciousness … in its idea the state can be reduced to self-government of the people. However, the sole and objective end of the state is so high and requires from the citizenry such mature legal consciousness that historically the people turn out to be incapable of self government. … Political philosophy must uncover the root of this divergence; state power must find the path to healing it.’

        Natsionalizm: Ilyin was a nationalist. Love of country was a central part of his philosophy. Russians he felt, should put Russian interests first. This contrasted with the internationalist philosophy of the communists. Furthermore, every nation, Ilyin said, should develop in its own way. Thus the West had no right to tell Russians how to run their own country; conditions in Russia weren’t the same as in the West. ‘Western Europe, which doesn’t know Russia, has not the slightest basis for imposing any political forms whatsoever on us,’ Ilyin declared. At the same time, Ilyin’s vision of Russia was as a multi-national empire. He did not believe that every small nation had a right to self-determination. Ukrainian independence was anathema to him. But, precisely because Russia was a multi-national country, and precisely because each nation should develop in its own way, Russians should not seek to assimilate the minorities within the country but leave them to develop their own culture.”

        I do not think of Putin as a philosopher, let alone an intellectual. I see him picking and choosing any source that he can find that suits his overriding goal: to restore Russia to greatness with him as The Vozhd.

        • I don’t think Putin is a philosopher either and I think you have misunderstood the point. However, I will agree with you in a sense on his actual project. He is interested in restoring Russia to greatness and he is the head of the government.

          • Tim R. Mortiss says

            I would like to see Russia restored to greatness, as well. There is no nation which has suffered so much, and remains so afflicted by that suffering.

            I hope that Russia finds the right path governmentally, because it often has found it hard to do so. I’d be happy to see Putin “succeed”, but I have serious doubts that he will. This is nothing more than my personal opinion, of course.

            Russia needs to be rebuilt for a long time. Strength ultimately is cultural and economic strength. Those are the priorities. On the international stage, Putin is dealing from weakness, not strength, in the long term.

            Putin said in 2005 that the “breakup of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical disaster of the century”. (Checking this remembered quote through various internet sources substantiates it.) I would have called the First World War that, followed closely by the Bolshevik Revolution….But that’s a sidenote.

            • “Putin said in 2005 that the “breakup of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical disaster o’f the century”. (Checking this remembered quote through various internet sources substantiates it.) ”

              I do not doubt that he said it. But what does it mean? And, given that, is it true?

              Now in the West it is tempting, given all the Russophobia, to interpret that as meaning that he longs for a resurrection of the “evil empire”; i.e., a militant atheistic, socialist state with the borders of the former Soviet Unioin. Yet that would be a stupid and irrational interpretation. Nothing in his actions or statements points to any effort on his part to effectuate this. He is cozy with the Church. The Soviets persecuted it relentlessly. He is relatively friendly with business and is fine with capitalism, so long as it does not try to exercise domination of the government. Yet the Soviets were socialist ideologues, vehemently opposed to private property and private enterprise.

              So what did Putin mean since he clearly did not mean a resurrection of the atheistic, socialist Soviet Union?

              What he meant was that it would have been much better if the government of the Soviet Union had transitioned into a capitalist-friendly, Church-friendly form while not sacrificing any of its territorial integrity. He laments the fact that the Russian Federation today does not encompass the entire territory of the former Soviet Union. He laments the fact that the Ukraine and Georgia, for example, are not federal republics of the RF as is North Ossetia.

              Whether this is true or not is, of course, in the eye of the beholder. But I can certainly see his point from the point of view of Russian economic and military security.

              • The Soviet Union was simply an attempt to continue the czarist Russian Empire without God. The borders are virtually the same.

                The Bolsheviks were among the greatest spiritual/social disasters of human history. But Putin is right that the dismantling of the Soviet Union was a geopolitical disaster, simply because it marked the final end of the czarist Russian Empire — an empire that had the capability of being a counterbalance to Western Europe and its largely Catholic emphasis and to the Muslim world to the south.

                Putin has done an incredible job of salvaging some of the geopolitical counterbalancing force that used to be at the disposal of the Russian czars (and later, the Soviets).

                As is so often the case, the left (the Soviets) stole something that someone else created — and messed it up.

      • Misha:

        What Putin is really advocating and doing is Autocracy-lite (aka, “sovereign democracy”), Orthodoxy and Nationalism, the pre-Bolshevik Russian policy of Alexander I. It is as Orthodox as was the Eastern Roman Empire. – symphonia.

        A gangster government in cahoots with a profiteering corrupt church. That isn’t “symphonia,” it’s CONSPIRACY.

        • Nonsense. Russia is more free and less corrupt than the Eastern Roman Empire or the Russian Empire was. You are condemning all historical Orthodox government. That is fine if you reject the whole notion of authoritarian government. It is quite un-Orthodox though.

      • Another View says

        Misha: “What Putin is really advocating and doing is Autocracy-lite (aka, “sovereign democracy”), Orthodoxy and Nationalism…”

        Russia was an absolute monarchy, an empire governed by an aristocracy just 98 short years ago. It had been governed that way for centuries. The 1917 revolution only substituted one ruling class for another.

        Psychologically, Russians still live in a monarchy. They expect to be governed by a strong leader who will provide them with security and stability. They don’t expect much accountability from their civil authorities. The monarchial mindset there is why many ex-Soviets look upon the Stalin years with nostalgia. It also explains why Putin enjoys rock star status with his own people, and approval ratings that are the envy of any Western leader.

        When the West and the USA in particular were trading hi-fives for winning the Cold War, it perhaps expected Russia to behave like a bigger version of France which is allowed some liberties while it nurses its wounded pride and remembers its past imperial glories. The West doesn’t seem to appreciate that Russia has its own legitimate interests. For starters, it was only 74 years ago that Russia suffered a major invasion from the West which devastated its major cities, killed millions of its citizens, and wreaked a trauma across its society which is still in its living memory. Russia is not going to let that happen again which is why keeping Ukraine out of the EU is non-negotiable. The West doesn’t seem to have the intellectual capacity to understand that Russia will not behave like a Western democracy. Also nobody seems to give Putin credit for stabilizing a decaying nuclear-armed power that was disintegrating into chaos.

    • Larry H. Puttgrass says

      lol *face palm*….like Mr. Putin’s success or failure depends on the support of Mr. Kraeff. I’m sure Mr. Putin is crushed and heart broken at your announcement.

      Thank you Mr. Kraeff for my daily chuckle. 🙂

      • Carl Kraeff says

        MR. Puttgrass–You are welcome. I am delighted to have provided you with a chuckle. Indeed, I must thank you for returning the favor. I am always amused by those who think with horse blinders on. Looking forward to more mirth, I again thank you.

      • Viler.

      • Larry,

        You do have a good point. Nothing anyone says here has much chance of impacting the dynamic of the unfolding political situation between the countries. Thus condemnations of Putin or Obama or Ukrainian leaders, etc. are actually somewhat pointless, “full of sound and fury and signifying nothing”. I write to help those who seem lost in Western propaganda actually understand the facts of the situation and the perspective of Russia, given its religious, political and military history and that of its neighbors.

        I do not seek to influence any policymakers. Nor do I utter statements like, “May the Lord rebuke you!” like it is some magic incantation that can call down the wrath of God on someone. That’s just childish narcissism.

  14. Gregory Manning says

    I’m not sure what ideology V. Putin has but I’ve no doubt he has one. It very likely is, in large measure, unpleasant to (put it mildly) but it isn’t chaotic. We may think it’s over the top by western standards, but from what I’ve read many consider him to be a cunning strategist who (the current economic setbacks the country is experiencing notwithstanding) stands a better chance than anyone else in in the wings (if there is anyone else) at keeping Russia on the stage as a major player. Also, I don’t see our kind of democracy and fair play in the cards for Russia. Ten or so years ago a survey in Russia revealed that 60% of the population believed Joseph Stalin had it right! Could it be that American democracy simply isn’t suited to all peoples? Can Russia, giant Russia, be managed politically and socially without some form of tyranny? Do those who yearn for the return of a Stalin recognize this? Do Russians instinctively like (somewhat benevolent) tyrants? Those Russians who stand behind Putin today don’t seem to adore him because he’s a Mr. Rogers (may he rest in peace). I’ve done a lot over the past few years to learn what I can about Russia and her history and all I can say is that she is indeed enigmatic and I still don’t quite understand her.
    I agree with Mr. Shiropayev that the MP needs some serious housecleaning but otherwise Mr. Shiropayev is largely dreaming. (Is he even Orthodox?) For openers, a church which teaches it’s flock to be “in the world but not of it” is never, NEVER going to embrace secularism. Moreover,as many on this forum can attest multiple Orthodox churches (legitimately) in the same region is not often a formula for congeniality. A nation the size of Russia full of them is asking for trouble. As I recall the MP did recently say that overlapping jurisdictions are not a problem but I suspect that means they’re not a problem when they’re not a problem for Moscow.
    Many accuse the MP of ecumenism, believing such activity inevitably leads to assimilation with other forms of Christianity (it does) but I dare say the MP will prove to be the exception to the rule. She is never, ever going to “share” power with anyone, including Rome. In that same vein she is not going to share a vast country like Russia with churches she can’t control.
    Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church are enormous dynamos which bear watching. For my part I plan to keep reading and watching. Russia is altogether enormously fascinating!

    • Manning:

      I agree with Mr. Shiropayev that the MP needs some serious housecleaning but otherwise Mr. Shiropayev is largely dreaming. (Is he even Orthodox?)

      (Is Putin even Orthodox?) (Is the Rolex Patriarch even Orthodox?)

    • Francis Frost says

      Dear Mr. Manning:

      Perhaps you saw the “Putin’s Way” documentary? If not try to view it on line. It documents from local Russian sources, including state prosecuting attorneys, the corruption that resulted in Putin’s rise to power. In short, Putin covered up the corruption of the Sobchak (local St. Petersburg) and Yeltsin (national) regimes, while enriching himself on the wealth stolen from starving Russian citizens. His first millions were made by hijacking a program to trade natural resources for food during the starvation days of the early 1990’s. The food, never materialized while Putin and the Sobchaks used the money to build grand villas in the south of Spain.

      Putin has an estimated net worth around $40 Billion USD, all on a stated salary of around $56,000 USD per year.

      Of course, Putin has an ideology, it is the same atheist materialism he learned in the USSR, which translated into daily life means: ” I’ll get mine and f— the rest”. Putin cares for no one but himself. Does he care about the nearly 5,000 dead in eastern Ukraine? Does he care about the 4,000 Russian boys who have died so that Putin can gouge an inflated price for natural gas from the Ukrainians? Does he care about the Russian mothers whose sons have died and who cannot even get an honest answer about how and where their sons died? Does he care about the 100,000 Russian citizens who perished in the second Chechen war? Clearly not. I get mine…..

      The sad fact is that so many assume that Russians are incapable of democratic government. Never mind that the cities of Novgorod, Vladimir and Suzdal were governed as relative democracies until their conquest in the time of Ivan IV (Grozny). Never mind that most Russian villages elected their leaders (Starosti) and managed communal lands for centuries. The assumption that Russians are incapable of democracy borders on a racist slur!

      The Russian people deserve so much more than they have gotten. They are capable of so much more. That so many commentators like Buchanan would deny the Russian people that chance at a better life for the sake of a vicious KGB thug demonstrates who are the real anti-Russians!

      • Gregory Manning says

        Thank you Francis. I only just watched the Frontline documentary last night. Alas, I spend much of my time traveling around Texas in my truck and don’t always have internet access and I haven’t watched TV in years.
        Like many Frontline documentaries this one was well done and compelling. For me though it only detailed just how bad the man (Putin) is. I learned some gory details but, in the end, Putin is just a variation on the theme of despotism. That he was a wicked man I never doubted,
        As to my previous comment I merely asked questions. As Churchill observed: “Russia is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” As an American I can’t imagine a people who favor tyranny, even a benevolent tyranny, but I have to allow for the possibility. If the plurality, through their actions (or inactions!) allow for a tyrant they certainly got one. Alexis deTocqueville said that “In a democracy the people get the government they deserve” which seems to me to mean “If you voted an idiot into office you deserve the idiot”. It is Russia who must make up her mind for tyranny or democracy, not you, me or Buchanan. That is why I stand back (all the way over here in America) and watch. What I do share with Buchanan and others are serious doubts that no one can possibly be happy without American style democracy and, if we have to force it down your throat, we will because, after all, we know what’s best for the rest of the world. Looking back over our actions on the world stage at least since our involvement in Vietnam, we seem to have made a dog’s breakfast out of everything we’ve tried to “fix”.
        Of far greater interest to me as an Orthodox Christian is the following article also written by Paul Goble:
        If the premise is accurate this is momentous to say the least. Kiril has come to the realization that his “symphonic” cheerleading of Putin’s nationalistic ideology has backfired on the Moscow Patriarchate. Orthodox Ukraine is threatening to unite and separate themselves from Moscow’s control. If that happens the MP will be cut down to size and will lose it’s status as a major player on the Orthodox world stage. Kiril, it seems, is trying to back away from his former enthusiastic support of Putin’s world view and do what he can to keep Ukrainian Orthodoxy with, if not under, Moscow. Moreover, Ukraine seems able to pull this off via the Ecumenical Patriarch! Are the tables turning on the MP?

        • George Michalopulos says

          Much wisdom here Mr Mannig (re our “fixing” the world). Best to just step back and let the Russians and Ukrainians sort things out on their own.

          Your point about a possible unification the schism of Ukraine from the MP, under the offices of the Phanar, is a troubling one. It has long been rumored that this is exactly what Bartholomew has wanted to happen (although not to make the Ukrainian church autocephalous). If true, and if any steps are even gingerly taken in this regard, then the long-hoped for Great Council set for 2016 will be derailed completely. That’s just if steps are simply taken.

          If this were to happen, then there’d be an actual schism within Orthodoxy worldwide and it won’t be pretty. We’re not talking about the Greek-aligned churches vs the Slavic-aligned ones but schisms within the diaspora churches.

          How so? Thanks to the growth of traditional monasticism in the Constantinopolitan churches, we can see splits down the middle of GOA parishes. The OCA wouldn’t be immune, as this would force the scenario that Kishkovsky has always wanted: for the OCA to come out of the closet and come directly under the Phanar.

          • Michalopulos:

            If this were to happen, then there’d be an actual schism within Orthodoxy worldwide and it won’t be pretty. We’re not talking about the Greek-aligned churches vs the Slavic-aligned ones but schisms within the diaspora churches.

            How so? Thanks to the growth of traditional monasticism in the Constantinopolitan churches, we can see splits down the middle of GOA parishes.

            Is this WISHFUL THINKING or simply DELUSION?

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says

              Its the truth. Further, as the Russian government controls or attempts to control the MP the U.S. via the State Department controls or attempts to control the EP. As always Individual Orthodox Churches as merely the pawn of governments because the “Patriarchs” think this will enhance their power and prestige in the world and in the Church (Canon 28 used to check Third Rome doctrine of Moscow, 1970 Tomos used to cause disarray in the Russian Church and of course place all Orthodox Church under the OCA that Moscow would control. America would have loved having U.S. Citizens who were Orthodox under the control of the Communist controlled MP. At the height of the Cold War something tells me that America and Moscow were fighting the cold war in Christ’s Church and we just let them do it).

              Just like we are doing now with the Ukraine, Russia and the U.S. via the EP. Exactly how is all of this Orthodox let alone Christian? I guess we like being secular government pawns. I mean why be Orthodox Christians. That’s just boring.

              Well let the chess match continue why should we stop it now. Its not like we are losing souls over this right?


      • I wonder just how large a percentage of the Orthodox world that Francis et al. are intent on demonizing. Putin is wildly popular in Russia among Orthodox and non-Orthodox alike. And, moreover, see below:

        His Holiness Patriarch Irinej greeted the Russian people on the Church feasts.

        “The ongoing events in the Ukraine are very tragic. We see in them precisely what happened with ourselves: with Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia, Herzegovina. Lack of understanding led to a collision within the same nation. It can only be called a tragedy.

        Obviously, it was influenced by certain external forces which were not interested in the unity of the nation at all. Most probably this is somebody’s plan, which unfortunately is being put into practice here as well as in Russia and the Ukraine.

        As the Church and as a Slavic nation, we want this problem to be solved as soon as possible. So that the parties should sit down at the bargaining table and find a rational and reasonable solution.

        There is so much spite in the world, so much injustice, dishonesty, so many atrocities, thefts, murders. All this indicates that the modern world has deviated from the moral law, and thus has abandoned God. And falling-away from God has its consequences.

        I would like to greet the pious Russian people, their Church as well as the country’s leaders; and we, Serbs, wish them success to go further, following the path they have chosen. We consider this path to be the only true one on which the people should be taken.

        Let all the arising problems be solved in the spirit of the Gospel, the love of Christ, in patience and hope.

        And the most important thing is to see the image of God in every person, in all our neighbors, so that this Divine image should be respected in each person.

        I wish all of us to make this world and to build our lives according to the Divine plan. General consent and love should reign. People should respect each other regardless of their nationality, skin color and religion. So these are my wishes and prayers today.”


        What Francis et al. are really doing is waging a polemical war on traditional Orthodoxy. It’s really that simple.

        • http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/76725.htm

          Also, this is quite encouraging, in a way. Pat. Kirill addressed the Duma in support of a blanket ban on abortion. Of course, the “progressive Orthodox” here will rail against this at the same time as criticizing Russia for its high abortion rate and uttering senseless memes like “you can’t legislate morality”.

        • Francis Frost says

          Misha writes:

          I wonder just how large a percentage of the Orthodox world that Francis et al. are intent on demonizing. Putin is wildly popular in Russia among Orthodox and non-Orthodox alike.

          Jesus Christ says:

          And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

          Patriarch Irenej said:

          I wish all of us to make this world and to build our lives according to the Divine plan. General consent and love should reign. People should respect each other regardless of their nationality, skin color and religion. So these are my wishes and prayers today.

          Misha, however wants autocracy light, and the defeat of his ideological enemies no matter how many innocents are crushed by Putin’s anschluss.

          Our Lord said “ Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you, pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Be merciful as your Heavenly Father is merciful. Matthew 5

          Of course it is so much more fun to indulge your Schadenfreude.

          Rejoicing at other’s suffering, dear Misha, is a sure sign of a demonic spirituality.

          May the Lord rescue you from it!

      • Regarding Frontline’s documentary “Putin’s Way,” I saw it as “the Prosecutions Case” of a trial jury proceeding. I want to see an equal “Defendants Case” before I make a personal decision one way or the other about the allegations.

  15. Carl Kraeff says

    I hate to be using NYT as a source, but I do not doubt that the following report is true regarding the Russian reaction to the Paris killings.

    “On the official level, there was quick, sober condemnation and condolences. But social media and some pro-Kremlin media — whether in print or on television — erupted with accusations blaming some of Russia’s favorite boogeymen.

    The reactions range from calling the attacks the just consequences of Western depravity to the inevitable conspiracy theory summed up by a mainstream tabloid’s cover on Monday: “Was the Terrorist Attack in Paris Staged by the Americans?”

    Now, there are some folks on this blog who would agree with any anti-American mis/dis-information because they are America haters. There are others who would believe because they are enamored of Putin and Russia. A few are religious fanatics and/or +Jonah lovers who continue to deeply resent what became of him and love to strike back. I am glad, however, that some have maintained their sanity and see Putin for what he is: an evil, manipulative candle holder.

    • “The reactions range from calling the attacks the just consequences of Western depravity . . .”

      Didn’t the Pope also condemn the “journalism” which was being attacked by the murders? Of course, I will have to agree with you that Pope is also a “manipulative candle holder”, much more than his immediate predecessors.

  16. James Denney says

    Please watch this PBS Frontline expose on Putin. It will educate you as to his total lack of morals, and his tyrannical/fascist outlook, pretense of orthodoxy notwithstanding. http://video.pbs.org/video/2365401766/

    • Please give it a rest. Hit pieces only tell half of the story, and badly. I recall hearing people who watched the movie JFK being completely mesmerized by the “evidence” it laid out and saying that it “had to” have really happened that way. Get another person to tell the story, you get persuaded differently. Very few people can and will separate hard verifiable facts from opinion and spin. It’s the truism about grand juries writ large. A prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich because he controls everything there and there is no contrary perspective allowed. Ferret out all the people who have a bone to pick with Putin and portray them as being credible and you get a hit piece. No rebuttal allowed.

  17. Francis Frost says

    One more Example of Mr. Putin’s ‘Orthodox Morality’:

    Sexual Slavery in Luhansk
    (from EuroMaidan Facebook Page)

    Media stays silent about this topic: Sexual slavery is taking place in the occupied town of Luhansk.

    In the occupied office buildings of Luhansk Oblast [region], there are not only men in captivity, but also women (girls), but Ukrainian media often unknowingly remains silent about this issue, while Russian TV channels hide it based on orders coming from the Kremlin. As I learned from the parents of Marina K., their 18-year-old daughter was held in the building of the Luhansk SBU, and together with her in a small room with sealed windows there were about 40 other girls from Luhansk, all aged from 17 to 22 years old. Marina’s parents asked for help from Ukrainian police, internal investigative forces, even Russian journalists (since there was no other alternative), but all to no avail. Yesterday, Marina’s mom found my number on Facebook, called me and told me the following story:

    “July 6th was the first time when Marina told me (her mom) where she (Marina) was, she called me from an unknown number and said that she was still alive, but was taken by the rebels and was held captive in Luhansk at the SBU building.”

    A further telephone conversation went as follows, as explained by the mom:

    “What are you doing there, why did you not call me earlier?” –asked Mom.

    “I did not call because they don’t allow anyone to make a phone call. Right now all the insurgents are asleep because they are drunk and I was able to quietly take one of their phones and make a call. There are many of us here, about 40 people, all girls about my age, maybe a couple of years older. They (rebels) promise to release us after their victory, but when that actually happens–nobody knows” –answered Marina.

    “Why do they need you as their hostage? Do they hit you?” –asked Mom.

    “Sit down, it will be hard for you to hear this… they don’t beat us as long as we do what they ask us to do… we help them to… “relax” after the battles. You know what I mean?” –answered Marina.

    “They rape you?” –cried Mom.

    “They stick us with needles that have some mind-numbing substance, which forces us to stop thinking temporarily, and during that time they do with us whatever they want. Girls here are constantly changing, new ones arrive, while others are taken “to work” at checkpoints, then they do not come back here again. I don’t know what happens to them. I might go mad soon. ” –confessed Marina.

    At the end of the conversation, Marina said: “Oh, Mom, I think someone’s coming. I’ll try to call you if I can again…” and hung up.

    “She never called me back.” said the mom. “Where she went and what she is doing now, I don’t know. I can’t even imagine what they are doing with these girls at the checkpoints where they are taken to. Surely, they are not taken there to sing songs! ” –said the mother and cried…

    After that, I only have one question for the President. When will he give a military order “to invade the town of Luhansk?” Petro (Editor’s note: the Ukrainian President’s first name is Peter), if your Anti-Terrorist attack will continue to unfold at this slow pace, where people in charge tell you they need more time, then Lugansk might not have anymore people left in it much longer, and those who do survive will not want to go on living after the horrors they experienced while living in this occupation.

    By Vsevolod Filimonenko, journalist at VEZDE

    Translated by Denis Gregoriev and edited by Voices of Ukraine

  18. Peter A. Papoutsis says

    For your listening pleasure:http://saintnicodemos.org/content/apocalypse_audio.php

    I have listened to almost all of them. This is a must for all to listen to because of the times we are living in.
    This comes highly recommended.


  19. Francis Frost says

    Another view on the “Clash of Civilizations” by Garry Kasparov in today’s WSJ.

    Read the entire article here:


    The Global War on Modernity
    Islamists set the time machine to the Dark Ages. Putin dreams of czarist Russia. A common enemy: America.

    Jan 20, 2015 7:42 p.m. ET

    The recent terror attacks in Paris at the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, and at a kosher supermarket, leaving 17 people dead, represented the latest offensive in a struggle that most people, even many of its casualties, are unaware is even taking place.

    Globalization has effectively compressed the world in size, increasing the mobility of goods, capital and labor. Simultaneously this has led to globalization across time, as the 21st century collides with cultures and regimes intent on existing as in centuries past. It is less the famous clash of civilizations than an attempt by these “time travelers” to hold on to their waning authority by stopping the advance of the ideas essential to an open society.

    Radical Islamists, from the Taliban and al Qaeda to Boko Haram and Islamic State, set the time machine to the Dark Ages and encourage the murder of all who oppose them, often supported by fatwas and funds from terror sponsors like Iran. The religious monarchies in the Middle East are guilty by association, creating favorable conditions for extremism by clamping down on any stirring of freedom.

    Vladimir Putin wants Russia to exist in the Great Power era of czars and monarchs, dominating its neighbors by force and undisturbed by elections and rights complaints. The post-Communist autocracies, led by Mr. Putin’s closest dictator allies in Belarus and Kazakhstan, exploit ideology only as a means of hanging on to power at any cost.

    What unites the time travelers is their rejection of modernity—or what we should instead call modern values, to replace the obsolete and condescending term “Western values.” With violence and with violent rhetoric, the time travelers’ natural target is often the traditional champion of the rights that threaten them: the United States. The guaranteed freedoms represented by the First Amendment frighten the radical mullahs and dictators more than any drone strike or economic sanction.

    In addition to bringing these relics into contact and competition with the modern world that threatens their power, globalization provides the time travelers with markets for their natural resources and with the technology they use for murder and repression. Thus they cannot disengage from the modern world entirely. Since the time travelers cannot fight head-to-head with the ideas and prosperity of the Free World, they fall back on their arsenal of ideology, violence and disregard for human life. They combat the lure of free speech and free markets with irrationality: radical religion and nationalism, cults of personality and dogma, hatred and fear.

    Instead, the mullahs, monarchs and dictators are pushing back against the threat to their time-warped reigns. This is the common thread connecting the Putin attack on Ukraine and the murderous Islam-derived ideology that fuels jihadists like the Paris killers.

    Although the modern world’s broader goal must be to bring those stuck in the past into the present, it cannot be achieved by force. Presenting an overwhelmingly appealing alternative, for instance, is the best way to blunt the jihadist appeal to young, susceptible Muslims. None of this means coddling or tolerating violent extremists or those who create them, at home or abroad. An open society that cannot defend its citizens will not be open for long.

    The idea of individual liberty was the West’s sharpest sword in winning the Cold War, but it has been beaten into a plowshare and now we must arm ourselves once more.

    Mr. Kasparov is the chairman of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation.

    • “What unites the time travelers is their rejection of modernity—or what we should instead call modern values, to replace the obsolete and condescending term “Western values.” With violence and with violent rhetoric, the time travelers’ natural target is often the traditional champion of the rights that threaten them: the United States.”

      In a way, I agree with him. Orthodox values are in now way “modern” values. “Modern” values are largely evil and deserved to be combated by any means necessary. He has framed the situation more or less accurately – albeit in terminology which betrays his bias in the conflict. The problem is that he is on the side of evil, not good.

      • Francis Frost says

        Misha writes:

        What unites the time travelers is their rejection of modernity—or what we should instead call modern values, to replace the obsolete and condescending term “Western values.” With violence and with violent rhetoric, the time travelers’ natural target is often the traditional champion of the rights that threaten them: the United States.”

        In a way, I agree with him. Orthodox values are in now way “modern” values. “Modern” values are largely evil and deserved to be combated by any means necessary. He has framed the situation more or less accurately – albeit in terminology which betrays his bias in the conflict. The problem is that he is on the side of evil, not good.

        Well, Misha once again conflates, violent imperialism and cynical war-mongering with “traditional Orthodoxy”. Perhaps our dear Mishka can point to us where the Gospel or the holy Fathers permit the killing of innocent civilians in a cynical invasion cloaked under the banner of “Orthodox morality”

        This past week, another 262 souls perished in the renewed fighting in occupied eastern Ukraine, adding to the over 5,000 souls already lost. This tally does not include the now 4,300 Russian boys forced into “voluntary” contracts, who have perished in Ukraine, whose mothers are denied even the decency of an orthodox burial and the truth about how their sons died.

        Misha, your cynical pseudo-Christian ‘political Orthodoxy’ is drenched in the blood of innocents! The fact that you cheer on the murder of innocent lives in a clear invasion of a sovereign nation is despicable and sure evidence of a calloused heart.

        May the Lord rebuke you!

        As of January 24, 2015, the terrorist forces in eastern Ukraine have bombarded the port city of Mariupol with a population over 400 000, targeting mostly living districts and suburbs, as well as several other prefrontal towns which remain under the protection of Ukrainian military. Up to date, 29 deaths among civilians in Mariupol only have beenconfirmed, children among them, yet till tomorrow this number is expected to be at least tripled; more than 102 people are wounded and are hospitalized. Seven underage children remain in extensive therapy and unconscious.

        Heavy shelling from the Russian side of the front, from the direction of Novoazovsk, occurred on the night of January 23, and seemed like a chain of organized artillery attacks on the Ukrainian side, usually carried from afar. All in all, the terrorist forces refrain from confronting Ukrainian army directly, and stick to attacking Ukraine from the distance – as usual, using civilian housing areas as a human shield. According to Ukraine’s Minister of Defense Stepan Poltorak, the shelling was conducted from the village of Sakhanka on terrorist-held territory, with six Grad missile systems, four of which were subsequently destroyed by return fire of the Ukrainian armed forces.

        Investigative journalists @DajeyPetros and @Conflict_Report have immediately taken to geolocating the impact craters from the rocket launch available from open-source imagery and videos. There is no doubt that the shelling came from the eastern direction.

        Read the full article and photos at:


        Girkin (Strelkov) now admits the Crimean ‘vote’ for accession to Russia was coerced:

        Igor Girkin, ex-minister of defense of the so-called Donetsk Republic, who fled Donetsk in August of 2014, when Ukrainian forces began their suppression of terrorist forces, has now become a peculiar kind of self-whistle blower. Recently, sitting in a studio of the “Polit-Ring” debate TV show featured by something called NeuroMirTV, Girkin has openly described some of the schemes which were implemented during the illegal referendum in Crimea in the spring of 2014, which was later used as the excuse by Russia for the annexation of the peninsula. As his opponent is passionately describing how Crimean outfits of the Ukrainian army and the police were, in his opinion, in all ways supporting of “people’s desire to reunite with Russia”, Girkin quietly laughs, and retorts:

        “Have you actually been to Crimea during the referendum? Well, I have. I have been there since February the 20th. What you are describing here is absolute rubbish. There were no policemen who supported our side at that time. The only law-enforcement subdivision that has joined our ranks back then was the Berkut. The rest of the law-enforcement agencies remained under control of Ukrainian Ministry of Internal, and kept carrying out the MIA’s orders. Yes, sometimes they were sabotaging these orders, but all in all they were under Ukrainian control. I haven’t seen any support from official governmental representatives in Simferopol. Our troops had to force the deputies into the Oblast Council hall so that these representatives would vote in favor of our initiatives. I know this because I have been at the time commandeering one of such militant teams and I’ve seen it all from the inside. We had absolutely no support from the people, not to mention the army. The Ukrainian army units remained loyal to Kyiv as they were. Furthermore, most of the army remained that way. The only thing that made what we have accomplished in Crimea possible was the presence of Russian army.” (Fragment of video in Russian):


        Russian military aggression, terrorist attacks, intimidation, and warmongering, being covert before, are now coming to the new, top official levels.

        Russian foreign affairs minister Lavrov, in today’s phone call with Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, openly admitted that Russia was blackmailing Ukraine with use of military aggression and war crimes against civilians.

        In essence, Lavrov said that Russians might have not bombed Volnovakha, Donetsk, and Mariupol, if Ukrainian authorities had listened to Putin and did what he wanted.

        In particular, as stated on the Russian MFA website, Lavrov said to Mogherini:

        “It was underlined, that if Ukrainian authorities had accepted the proposal of President Putin of 15 January 2015 – to immediately withdraw heavy weapons from the line, fixed in the Minsk Memorandum of 19 September 2014, then the tragedies of Volnovakha, Donetsk, and Mariupol might not have happened”.


        In other words, the Russian Foreign minister publicly admits that the invasion of Ukrainian territory is organized by Moscow and is carried out for the purpose of blackmailing the Ukrainian government to accept Russian hegemony.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Francis, how is it that these “262 souls” perished in the first place? Were they murdered by Putin alone or did the Kiev junta have something to do with it?

          If on the other hand you believe that the Kievan govt is blameless in the deaths racked up during a civil war instigated by rebels against it, will you at least extend the same courtesy to President Assad? Logic would mandate that you do so. (I will for the sake of argument grant the Kievan junta the cloak of legitimacy in order to assist you in answering the question.)

          • Francis Frost says


            you are being just as disingenuous and cynical as Putin. The Ukrainian government did not intrude on one centimeter of Russian soil. It is the 9,000 Russian troops, missile launchers, tanks and Grad missiles creating chaos and death in occupied Ukraine jast as they have done three times in occupied Georgia. The United Nations charter grants every sovereign nation the absolute right to defend its own citizens and its own territory. Russia has no right whatsoever for its illegal invasions and occupation of neighboring countries. As the Apostle stated clearly ” Lawlessness is sin.” I John 3:4

            • George Michalopulos says

              Well, neither did Assad “invade” Syrian soil. That was my point. And more: the Kiev Junta is doing to the Donbass rebels what Assad is doing to ISIS/etc. Unfortunately liberls like yourself can’t see the similarity in that you condemn Assad but praise Pereshenko to the heavens for raining death on the rebels.

              It gets even worse for your juvenile world-view: ISIS is actually trying to gain control of all of Syria. It’s a true civil war. The Donetsk/Donbass rebels are only fighting for more autonomy. They aren’t taking the war to Kiev. At worst, they are secessionists and have no desire to impose their Rusyn mentality on the rest of Ukraine.

              And then there’s this: Putin isn’t raining death on Ukraine. It’s the Kiev Junta who’s doing that.

              • Nate Trost says

                It is perpetually entertaining to listen to Mr. Michalopulos refer to a junta in Ukraine when the current leaders of the country were elected in presidential and parliamentary elections in 2014 that were recognized internationally, including by Russia. Thailand was a military coup followed by a junta. Ukraine was an impeachment vote that fell just shy of the constitutional threshold followed by democratic elections after the government functionally collapsed.

                Slight difference. But I guess Mr. Michalopulos feels on his blog he gets to have his own dictionary.

                • Nate,

                  What actually happened is that there was a deal n February brokered by the powers involved between the Yanukovich government and the Maidan protesters that would have called elections at the end of the year. Fascist thugs from the neo-Nazi parties, acting as a spearhead, then overthrew the Yanukovich government illegally and drove him out of the country by violence in violation of the agreement – a coup d’etat.

                  Nothing really legitimate has happened since then. As you mentioned, the impeachment vote failed.

                  George is spot on. And it would not be the first time when Western liberal powers conspired to overthrow a democratically elected government. Remember Egypt. It all depends on how pro-Western the government is, not how legitimate it is according even to Western rhetoric.

              • Carl Kraeff says

                George–It may not be too late for you; as Kool-Aids go, you may still have a chance. Just vomit this Putin poison / disinformation that is clouding your judgment.

              • http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/01/26/ukraine-is-losing-the-war-on-3-fronts.html

                An interesting thing is that the reporter is not calling it “Luhansk” but “Lugansk”. From the tone, though they hate the fact, I think they’re beginning to understand that Kiev can’t win this.

        • Look Francis, I see the whole attempt at bringing Ukraine into an economic and military umbrella under the EU and NATO as a clear act of aggression against Russia punctuated by an illegal coup d’etat. I’m all for Russia making it as costly a mistake for Ukraine and the West as they have it in their power to do.

  20. M. Stankovich says

    Since I was surprised to find the “Diversity” & “How not to get your ass kicked by the police” topics closed I put this here. I just returned from walking the dogs where there is an informal “park” over-looking a canyon, a major highway, and a large open shopping mall in Mission Valley. I heard what sound distinctly like automatic weapon fire – which I know from the gun range at state prisons – but a good distance away. As the small road winds closer to the edge of the canyon, the sound was louder & more distinct, and I had to presume someone was shooting in the canyon, on the highway, or at the mall. As I reached the peak of the edge, below there were two young men, both dressed completely in black, with what looked like body-armor vests, black fingerless gloves, and both appeared to be firing automatic rifles, until one turned a bit revealing a bright orange tip on the end of the rifle barrel.They saw me and started walking up the side of the canyon. They appeared to be Hispanic junior or senior high school students, and I said, “Aren’t you a little old to be playing with this stuff? Someone could mistake you for the real deal.” “We’re just messing around.”

    I followed them out of the little park, and within a minute, from opposite directions, a San Diego Police utility vehicle with 3 cops came from one direction, and a cruiser with 2 cops came from behind me. I just held my breath. I also started prominently filming with my cellphone. They had them on the ground in seconds, examined their fake guns, frisked them, and after about 5 minutes, cut them loose, having had them remove their hoodies to cover the guns as they carried them. They probably saw the orange tips, but nevertheless, you can have the job!

  21. Francis Frost says

    From Vitaly Portnikov via the Window on Eurasia web-site:

    Putin Trading in Death Because He has Nothing Else, Portnikov Says

    Paul Goble

    Staunton, January 25 – Russian actions at the Donetsk airport over the last week and in Mariupol now show that “except for military blackmail and murders, Putin has nothing to offer either Western leaders or Ukraine,” a conclusion that Vitaly Portnikov argues should compel both to re-examine their willingness to negotiate with him.

    Ukraine’s defensive actions need no explanation, the Kyiv commentator says; they reflect what people have always done when faced with aggression. But Putin’s actions do require answering questions like: why is the Kremlin leader dispatching his forces to fight and kill even in places that may have little strategic significance?

    Why is Putin sending new military units to Ukraine “to prevent the liberation of Donetsk and other cities of Ukraine from bandit formations which are terrorizing local residents” even as he is “talking about peace and sending his foreign minister to Berlin ‘to achieve progress?’” (liga.net/opinion/219479_torgovets-smertyu-zachem-putinu-donetskiy-aeroport.htm).

    The answer to these and related questions isn’t hard to identify, Portnikov says. “Putin is not a military leader and even not a politician. He is a huckster,” someone who seeks to get his way by blackmail, intimidation, and trading one thing for another. That is clear if one considers what he has done in Ukraine in the past.

    The Kremlin leader has used a series of carrots and sticks to try to bend Kyiv and Ukraine to his will, shifting from one to the other when his earlier “offers” didn’t work out and increasingly working to destabilize Ukraine with military force and violence, something Ukrainians are of course resisting.

    “Now try to answer the question: what can Putin trade now? – given, Portnikov argues, that “his chief goal is not Ukraine and even not the restoration of the empire. His chief goal is that he be recognized as a real ‘emperor,’ a player equal in weight to the president of the United States and the leaders of the European Union.”

    The only thing he can “trade in” is killing, the Kyiv commentator argues. His economy is at the brink of collapse, and he has nothing else to offer Ukraine, the remainder of the former Soviet space, or the world beyond.

    The only way he believes he can “convince Obama, Merkel and the others to speak with him on conditions of equality is the destabilization [of Ukraine] and with the murder of Ukrainians.” And if he concludes that doing that in Ukraine won’t be enough to “frighten” them to the table, then “he will begin to kill someone else” elsewhere.

    Putin is convinced that if he kills enough Ukrainians and destroys the Ukrainian economy, the West will invite him to sit at the negotiating table as an equal; but given that the West isn’t prepared for such a trade, this “Putin dialogue with the West is a dialogue of the deaf,” one in which neither side understands the nature of the other.

    Whether Putin gets his wish and sits down with the Western powers in a position of equality as he hopes “depends on [Ukrainians] themselves. [They] must understand that Putin is proceeding from incorrect assumptions and that if [they] keep from being panicked and clenching [their] teeth,” they will live until the collapse “if not of the Russian regime itself than of its foreign policy course.”

    “Such a collapse,” Portnikov says, “is a question of time. It is only important that [Ukrainians] do not destroy [their] own home out of the fear that tomorrow it will be destroyed by the trader of death.”

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      I don’t believe in piling on Vladimir Putin, but as much as he is doing to keep certain other evil forces at bay, we should not lionize the man or think that he is somehow good because he is a so-called “Orthodox Christian.” I think that Russia and Putin’s role in the world are needed as a form of checks and balances, against the Evils of the West, but Putin is not necessarily a good man, nor should we think of him as such.

      Take a look:http://news.yahoo.com/judge-opens-inquiry-death-ex-russian-spy-litvinenko-103421853.html

      Peter A. Papoutsis

      PS. I hope ROCOR knows what its doing reuniting with Moscow, but from where I stand ROCOR could be making a mistake. I emphasize the word COULD. Let’s wait and see how this plays out.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Peter, I don’t know (and frankly don’t care) whether Putin is a “good” man or not. That’s for God to decide. I’m just a pragmatist. I see him as the only man capable of standing up to the globalist/secularist enterprise. Just the fact that he stopped the Iraqization of Syria (read: whole genocide of religious minorities) will put him in good stead on Judgment Day. And yes, I know Assad’s not the nicest person on the face of the earth, but what are you gonna do? Democratic republicanism is a tough needle to thread, only a virtuous and religious people (John Adams) but there you go.

        Having said that, we cannot forget there were great Christian potentates in centuries past who did the Lord’s work. Go far enough back into the OT and you could say the same thing about many of those worthies. (King David was a nasty piece of work if you read between the lines of Judges/Kings. Solomon? a sensualist who dabbled in the occult. Tamar? a temptress who seduced her father-in-law. Abraham? he pimped his wife to Pharoah. Etc.)

        Time will tell. I only hope that the new GOP Congress will get off the “Christian”/Zionist bandwagon and think twice before provoking a war with Russia, or bombing Iran.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          I agree George. I just don’t want Orthodox, especially Russian Orthodox to fall in love with a man that is more political than Orthodox and that those politics are not above violating the Gospel. Russia’s role in the world to check the globalists is needed, but we should be realistic about it.

      • “The structure of European culture, erected without Christ, must crumble away, and crumble away very quickly, prophesied the insightful and astute Dostoyevsky one hundred years ago, and the mournful Gogol over one hundred years ago. And before our very eyes are the prophecies of these Slavic prophets coming to pass. For ten centuries has the European Tower of Babel been building itself, and now a tragic picture meets our gaze: what has been constructed is a huge nothing! General perplexity and confusion have begun: man cannot understand man, nor soul understand soul, nor nation understand nation. Man has risen up against man, kingdom against kingdom, nation against nation, and even continent against continent.”

        “European man has reached his destiny—determining and head-spinning heights. He has set the superman at the summit of his Tower of Babel, seeking therewith to crown his structure, but the superman went mad just short of the apex and fell from the tower, which is crumbling away and collapsing in his wake, and being broken down by wars and revolutions. Homo europaeicus had to become a suicide. His “Wille zur Macht” (lust for Power) became “Wille zur Nacht” (longing for night). And night, an onerous night, descended upon Europe. The idols of Europe are crashing down, and not far distant is that day when not a stone will remain upon a stone of European culture—a culture that builds cities and destroys souls; which deifies creatures and casts away the Creator… ”

        ” . . . Prior to the First World War, Europe’s impending perdition was sensed and foretold only by melancholic Slavic seers. Following it, some Europeans also take notice of and sense this. The boldest and most sincere of them, doubtless, was [Oswald] Spengler, who shook the world with his book Untergang des Abendlandes (O. Spengler, vol. 1, Image and Actuality) In it, through all the means that European science, philosophy, politics, technology, art, religion, etc., could provide him, he shows that the West is perishing. Ever since the First World War, Europe has been emitting her death-rattle. Western, or Faustian, culture, which according to Spengler had its origins in the tenth century, is now passing away and crumbling down, and is destined to perish completely in the twenty-second century. (At present it would seem that this process has become accelerated.) In the wake of European culture, Spengler foresees the coming of the culture of Dostoyevsky, the culture of Orthodoxy.”

        ‘ . . . Doubtless, the principles of European culture and civilization are theomachic. Long did the type of European man become what he is, until such a time as he replaced the God-man Christ with his philosophy and science, with his politics and technology, with his religion and ethics. Europe made use of Christ “merely as a bridge from uncultured barbarism to cultured barbarism; that is, from a guileless barbarism to a sly barbarism” (St. Nikolai [Velimirovich], “A Sermon On Everyman”).”

        “In my conclusions about European culture there is much that is catastrophic, but let this not astonish you, for we are speaking about the most catastrophic period of human history—the apocalypse of Europe, the body and spirit of which are being rent asunder by horrors. Without a doubt, volcanic contradictions are implanted in Europe, which, if they are not removed, can be resolved only by the final destruction of European culture. Where does humanistic culture lead?” – St. Justin Popovic – http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/76844.htm

        A fitting eulogy for what Putin seems to be fighting against. I too do not know whether Putin is good or not. However, I do know that he is battling an evil empire.

  22. This is a more accurate assessment, still through Western eyes.


  23. Francis Frost says

    “Orthodox Jihadism” is the greatest threat to the Orthodox Church today.

    John R. Schindler is a strategist, author, and professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College and Boston University. Mr. Schindler who is also an Orthodox Christian, recently wrote an on-line article describing the ideological justification for Russia’s invasion of its its neighbors. Mr. Schindler points to political Orthodoxy, which he titles “Orthodox Jihad” as the source of Putinist thought and the ideological justification for Russia’s military aggression against its neighbors.

    The entire article may be read here:


    This “Orthodox Jihad” ideology poses a significant dilemma for Orthodox Christians, particularly those Orthodox Christians who live and worship in “the West”. Indeed,this Orthodox jihadism poses the greatest danger to Orthodoxy in the West and in America for two reasons.

    First, Orthodox jihadism perverts the Gospel teaching in the service of Russian imperialism. Second, the Orthodox jihadist ideology is at its root anti-American. Orthodox jihadism seeks to use the Orthodox church as a tool to attack America and the West as Satanic institutions, destined for and deserving of destruction. It is clear that the Moscow Patriarchate and its top leaders are not only in agreement with the “Orthodox jihad”; but are actively promulgating it.

    Mr Schindler writes:

    The ROC is not Russia’s state religion, as Putin and top bishops have been at pains to state, but it cannot be denied that the Moscow Patriarchate’s close ties to the Kremlin grant it a very special relationship with Putinism. Whether this actually is symphonia, meaning the Byzantine-style unity of state and church which is something of an Orthodox ideal, in stark contrast to American notions of separation of church and state, remains to be seen, but Orthodoxy has become the close political and ideological partner of the Kremlin in recent years, a preferred vehicle for explicit anti-Western propaganda.

    ROC agitprop, which has Kremlin endorsement, depicts a West that is declining down to its death at the hands of decadence and sin, mired in confused unbelief, bored and failing to even reproduce itself. Patriarch Kirill, head of the church, recently explained that the “main threat” to Russia is “the loss of faith” in the Western style, while ROC spokesmen constantly denounce feminism and the LGBT movement as Satanic creations of the West that aim to destroy faith, family, and nation. It is in this context that Putin’s comments at last year’s Valdai Club event ought to be seen:

    Another serious challenge to Russia’s identity is linked to events taking place in the world. Here there are both foreign policy and moral aspects. We can see how many of the Euro-Atlantic countries are actually rejecting their roots, including the Christian values that constitute the basis of Western civilization. They are denying moral principles and all traditional identities: national, cultural, religious and even sexual. They are implementing policies that equate large families with same-sex partnerships, belief in God with the belief in Satan.

    The excesses of political correctness have reached the point where people are seriously talking about registering political parties whose aim is to promote pedophilia. …

    This week (Decmeber 2014) the ideological ante was upped by the Kremlin with the comments of Fr. Vsevolod Chaplin, a media gadfly cleric, who gave a very long newspaper interview in which he castigated, among other things, radical Islam, usury, and the West generally, but it was his comments on the current conflict with America that got all the attention. Chaplin minced no words, proclaiming that Russia’s God-given goal today is halting the global “American project.” As he explained:

    It is no coincidence that we have often, at the price of our own lives … stopped all global projects that disagreed with our conscience, with our vision of history and, I would say, with God’s own truth .. Such was Napoleon’s project, such was Hitler’s project. We will stop the American project too.”

    Chaplin added the usual tropes about Western decadence compared to Russian spiritual strength, waxing nationalist and Orthodox in a manner much like Putin has done many times. This interview was viewed as strange by most Westerners, but it must be realized that Chaplin, for all his inflammatory statements, is hardly some lone cleric talking crazy. He is the official spokesman of the Moscow Patriarchate who has a very close relationship with Patriarch Kirill; he appears in the media regularly and has received a raft of decorationsfrom the ROC and the Russian state.

    The forty-six year old Chaplin regularly makes statements that reflect a patriotic and religiously hardline stance on, well, everything. …

    Chaplin’s biggest theme is that the decadent, post-modern West, led by the frankly Satanic United States — whose separation of church and state, per Chaplin, constitutes “a monstrous phenomenon that has occurred only in Western civilization and will kill the West, both politically and morally” — has no future. According to the ROC, speaking through its spokesman, the triumph of same-sex marriage means that the West doesn’t even have fifty years left before its collapse, and it will be up to Russia then to save what can be saved, to “make Europe Christian again, that is, go back to the ideals that once made Europe.”

    While it is tempting to dismiss such talk as ravings, even when they come from the official spokesman of Putin’s own church, they have deep resonance with more serious thinkers whom Putin admires. Ivan Ilyin, a Russian philosopher who fled the Bolsheviks and died in Swiss exile, was reburied at Moscow’s famous Donskoy monastery in 2005 with public fanfare; Putin personally paid for Ilyin’s new headstone. Despite the fact that even Kremlin outlets note the importance of Ilyin to Putin’s worldview, not enough Westerners have paid attention.

    They should. A devout Orthodox, Ilyin espoused a unique vision, a Slavophile take on modernity and Russia’s predicament under the militant atheists. He espoused ethnic-religious neo-traditionalism, amidst much talk about a unique “Russian soul.” Of greatest relevance today, he believed that Russia would recover from the Bolshevik nightmare and rediscover itself, first spiritually then politically, thereby saving the world. Ilyin’s take on responsibility for Bolshevism — and its cure — merits examination, as he explained:

    The West exported this anti-Christian virus to Russia … Having lost our bond with God and the Christian Tradition, mankind has been morally blinded, gripped by materialism, irrationalism and nihilism … In order to overcome the global moral crisis, we have to return to eternal moral values, that is faith, love, freedom, conscience, family, motherland and nation, but above all faith and love.

    Although Ilyin died sixty years ago, he remains to his admirers “the prophet of the new Orthodox Russia which is being born and which alone can give the contemporary world a viable future, providing that it is given time to grow to fruition in contemporary Russia.”

    The sort of uncompromising faith Ilyin stood for, which bears little similarity to Western Christianity much less to post-modern notions of “tolerance,” is made abundantly clear in his numerous writings and speeches. Of particular interest is a speech Ilyin gave in 1925, extolling Lavr Kornilov, a White Russian general who fell in the struggle against Bolshevism (and, not coincidentally, exactly the sort of Orthodox-believing yet non-noble White counter-revolutionary figure much admired by Putin). Ilyin defined what Russia and Orthodoxy now needed: “This idea is more than a single man, more than a feat of one hero. This idea is great as Russia and the sacred as her religion. This is the idea of the Orthodox sword.”

    As Ilyin explained:

    In calling to love our enemies, Christ had in mind personal enemies of man, not God’s enemies, and not blaspheming molesters, for them drowning with a millstone around their neck was recommended. Urging to forgive injuries, Christ was referring to personal insults to a person, not all possible crimes; no one has the right to forgive the offenses suffered by others or provide for the villains to offend the weak, corrupt children, desecrate churches and destroy the Fatherland. So therefore a Christian is called not only to forgive offenses, but to fight the enemies of God’s work on earth. The evangelical commandment of “non-resistance to evil” teaches humility and generosity in personal matters, and not limpness of will, not cowardice, not treachery and not obedience to evildoers.

    This is the vision — uncompromising faith and patriotism, without any sentimentality or weakness — that animates Russia’s holy warriors today, from Fr. Chaplin, and perhaps Vladimir Putin too, on down. Russian Orthodoxy’s church militant is a special breed that tends to mystify Westerners. Certainly the West finds the motley crew of Kremlin-backed Orthodox adventurers and mercenaries battling in the Donbass to be equal parts comical and sinister, yet they have an ideology which they hardly hide. As an Orthodox priest ministering to Russian fighters in Donetsk explained a few months ago — a bearded cleric and tough veteran of the Soviet Afghan war, he is a creature straight out of Ilyin’s dreams — what they are battling against is not the Ukrainian government, nor American neoconservatives, rather the Devil himself. The goal of Moscow’s enemy, as he elaborated, is perfectly clear to the eyes of faith:

    The establishment of planetary Satanic rule. What’s occurring here is the very beginning of a global war. Not for resources or territory, that’s secondary. This is a war for the destruction of true Christianity, Orthodoxy. The worldview of the wealthiest men who own almost all the material goods in the world is Satanism. Having summoned the elements of the First and Second World Wars and a Third Information War, and having laid hundreds of millions of the slain at the altar of their father, Satan, they have initiated the Fourth World War. They are intentionally hastening the reign of Antichrist.

    As with Vsevolod Chaplin, it’s tempting to dismiss all this as the ravings of a lone nut, but these are no longer fringe views in Putin’s Russia. Jihad is not a word to be used lightly, given its sinister connotations to the West after 9/11, but this bears more than a little resemblance to Holy War in a Russian and Orthodox variant. Whether Putin really believes all this may be immaterial, since his regime has created and nurtured a virulent ideology, an explosive amalgam of xenophobia, Chekism and militant Orthodoxy which justifies the Kremlin’s actions and explains why the West must be opposed at all costs


    Of course Ilyin’s re-interpretation of he Gospel is heretical and absurd. If Ilyin was correct, then Our Lord Jesus Christ, Himself, would be worthy of blame for not resisting those who crucified Him. Christ would be guilty for failing to “fight the enemies of God’s work on earth.” Of course, Christ prayed for those that crucified Him: “ Father forgive them for they do not what they do.” Luke 23:34. If Ilyin were correct, the entire choir of Christian martyrs would be likewise blameworthy for their failure to resist evil. Indeed, if Ilyin, Putin and Chaplin had their way the Chrisitian martyrs would be wearing bomb vests and carrying out ‘martyrdom missions’ as do the Islamic jihadists. End Quote.

    Apparently Illyin never read the Gospel of Matthew:

    But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. Matthew 5:44-45.

    Therefore, be merciful, just as you ?Father is merciful”. Luke 6:36

    Ilyin and his spiritual descendants, the Orthodox Jihadists, have overturned the Gospel. They have replaced God’s mercy with war . like the Islamic jihadists, Ilyin and his disciples have divided the world into the “house of faith and the house of war.” The Orthodox jihadists are perfectly willing to kill, rape and destroy all in the name of our merciful Christ. This is nothing less than the “abomination of desolation” which Christ prophesied, and which has now come to pass come in our own day.

    Orthodox Jihadism is a pervasion of the Christian Gospel, a true heresy of our day. It is precisely the “internal apostasy” predicted by Russia’s own saints. Orthodox Jihadism is the ideological fore-runner of the Anti-Christ., and the destruction of Orthodoxy from within.

    What is more, for the Orthodox in America, the Moscow Patriarchate’s public embrace of Orthodox jihadism, presents a further dilemma. If Orthodoxy is equated with a violent and inherently anti-America ideology, then the Orthodox church simply has no future in this country. If this belligerent anti-American ideology is not renounced and denounced by our bishops then we are lost.

    Father Alexander Schmemmann wrote of his dream for a church that was “fully Orthodox and fully American”. Metropolitan Phillip dreamed of “bringing Orthodoxy to America and America to Orthodoxy”.

    It is our heritage from these visionary leaders that is imperiled. If our church is simply to become a fifth column for the Orthodox Jihad, an advocate for the violent destruction of America, then Orthodoxy has no future here or anywhere for that matter.

    What is supremely ironic is that nearly all of the victims of the “Orthodox Jihad” are themselves Orthodox Christians living in occupied Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. The cynical practitioners of “Orthodox Jihad” have had no qualms about attacking, murdering and ethnically cleansing fellow Orthodox Christians in its ‘proxy war’ against the hated “West”.

    In Ukraine over 5200 Ukrainian civilians and military are already killed. Some 4,000 Russian soldiers have already died. Most of them have been surreptitiously buried to cover the fact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. During the three invasions of the Republic of Georgia, nearly 50,000 Orthodox Christians have been murdered in their own homes and villages. Over 300,000 have been driven into exile. Two entire orthodox dioceses have been laid waste. The ancient Ghvertaeba Cathedral was rocketed, desecrated sand burned in August 2008, with the weapons literally blessed by Russian Bishop Feofan of Saratov. At this time, Metropolitan Esaiah of Tskhinvali / Nikazi is held hostage behind enemy lines in occupied Samechablo (South Ossetia). What is more, the Russian military has routinely used North Caucasian (Chechen, Ossetian, Kabard) Muslim militias along with non-uniformed Cossack irregulars in its hidden wars against fellow Orthodox Christians.

    Orthodox Jihadism is the greatest threat to the purity of the Orthodox faith and the unity of the Orthodox Church in our day.

    Putin’s “ Orthodox” Jihadism must be publicly opposed by our bishops. The future of our faith and our church is at stake.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Francis, the first rule of propaganda is to posit a straw man. The British did this during the early days of WWI to whip up anti-German hysteria. We were told that German soldiers were bayonetting Belgian babies. Hence, the “wicked Hun.”

      I haven’t read Schindler’s piece but I can spot the false premise early on: so-called Orthodox Jihadism. I’m sorry, but that is nonsense on stilts. There is no such thing, never has been and never will be. Thus everything that follows is sheer lunacy.

      I’m disturbed if in fact our tax dollars are subsidizing such febrile thoughts at our Naval War College. Leaving aside the historical absurdity, how is it possible –from a military standpoint–for Russia, a country of less than 150 million people to conquer the world? With what assets? The US alone spends more money on defense than the next 25 richest countries combined. I for one certainly hope that our military intelligentsia is not itching for a shooting war over a slice of the eastern Ukraine.

      As for the rest of his essay, the fact that Schindler uses Prog code words (“LGBT”) shows me that he has bought into the present nihilist mindset. Unless I’m gravely mistaken, I believe you have as well.

      I’m curious though: how would you advise our president if Russia was to put nuclear missiles in Mexico? It’s a fair question, not a trap. I genuinely interested in what your response is.

      • Francis Frost says

        Dear George:

        You wrote :

        Francis, the first rule of propaganda is to posit a straw man. The British did this during the early days of WWI to whip up anti-German hysteria. We were told that German soldiers were bayonetting Belgian babies. Hence, the “wicked Hun.

        I haven’t read Schindler’s piece but I can spot the false premise early on: so-called Orthodox Jihadism. I’m sorry, but that is nonsense on stilts. There is no such thing, never has been and never will be. Thus everything that follows is sheer lunacy.

        George, war is not a “paper tiger”. Russia’s wars against its neighbors are well documented facts. The Russian government and its military have repeatedly invaded the former Soviet sates of Moldova, Georgia and now Ukraine. What is more the Moscow Patriarchate has been a willing and public accomplice in these war crimes.

        In South Ossetia, nearly 100,000 ethnic Georgians were expelled from their homes in 1991, while Russian “peacekeepers” armed and protected the Ossetian militias during the fighting. 

        In Abkhazia the Apsua (Abkhazian people) comprised only 17% of the population; but were guaranteed control of the local government. After Georgia declared independence, fearing loss of their status, the Apsua declared war on their ethnic Georgian neighbors, who comprised 47% of the population in Abkhazia. With the help of their allies in the “Union of the Mountain Peoples of the Caucasus”, a Muslim confederacy, with armed protection of the Russian army, regulars, the Apsua all but exterminated the Georgian community in Abkhazia. Nearly 47,000 Georgian Orthodox Christians were killed, and nearly 300,000 were driven into exile.

        For more information on this conflict you may read: “The 1992-93 Georgian – Abkhazian War: A Forgotten Conflict” by Alexandros Petersen of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.


        or, the report “The Dynamics and Challenges of Ethnic Cleansing: The Georgia-Abkhazia Case” by the United Nations High Commission on Refuges at:

        Descriptions of the suffering of the victims of this genocidal campaign can be read at:


        After the 1992-93 invasion of Abkhazia, the Russian Orthodox Church created a schismatic “Abkhaz Orthodox Eparchy” on the ruins of the legitimate Orthodox Diocese of Tskhumi and all Abkhazia. The “leader” of this schismatic church is the de-frocked Archimandrite Vissarion Apliaa. Despite the obvious schismatic, un-canonical nature of this so-called “Eparchy”; the Moscow Patriarchate has ordained and assigned clergy to this diocese, and has funded its work.

         In the “Orthodox Occupation” television documentary, the Russian Bishop Panteleimon of Karabadino-Adyghe is shown con-celebrating with the schismatic Vissarion Apliaa, and officially awarding him the Order of St Seraphim of Sarov on behalf of the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate. This demonstrates the direct involvement of the Moscow Patriarchate in the creation of the schismatic “Eparchy”
        Following the 2008 invasion of Georgia, this same Vissarion Apliaa led the forces that expelled the last legitimate Orthodox clergy from the newly occupied Gali and Kodori districts in eastern Abkhazia in April 2009.  Vissarion Apliaa has been received into the ranks of the clergy by the Moscow Patriarchate, and Patriarch Kirill has personally con-celebrated with this renegade monk in violation of the Sacred Canons of the Orthodox Church. Reports of the persecution of the legitimate Georgian Orthodox church by the schismatic “Abkhaz Eparchy” and its sponsors may be read at the Forum 18 Religious Freedom web-site:




        The Human Rights Watch Organization has posted updated reports on the on-going persecution of the Georgian Orthodox faithful in occupied Abkhazia



        In August 2008, the Russian bishops, Panteleimon of Kabardino-Adyghe and Feofan of Saratov (since transferred to Machkhala) accompanied the invasion forces and publicly “blessed” the weapons used to attack civilian populations. These “blessings” were televised first in Russia and then in Georgia. You may watch the video with your own eyes as it is included in the “Orthodox Occupation” video on You Tube. These infernal “blessings” are also included in Andrei Nekrasov’s documentary “Uroki Russkogo” (Russian Lessons), which debunks the Russian government’s propaganda campaign of justification for its invasion of Georgia. Mr.Nekrasov’s documentary is also available on You Tube in 12 segments, some with English sub-titles for those who do not understand the Russian language.

        On August 8, 2008, the missiles “blessed” by Bishop Feofan were used attack the ancient Ghvrtaeba Cathedral and the Shrine of the Protomartyr Razhden in Nikazi. On August 9th, the Russian military and their Ossetian allies looted, desecrated and burned this ancient House of God. These weapons were used in bombing raids and missile attacks on civilian populations throughout Georgia, including areas well outside the so-called “zone of conflict”. Currently Metropolitan Isaia of Tskhinvali – Nikazi has been held hostage in occupied Samechablo for the past year.

        The 2008 documentary “Orthodox Occupation” has been re-released and posted on You Tube at the following url:
        Portions of this documentary plus additional footage are now available with English voice over, titled “Orthodox Occupancy Part 1 and Part 2” at the following urls:
        Now, Russia has engaged in a fratricidal war with the Orthodox people of Ukraine. This is a horrific crime as the casualties mount on BOTH sides.

        What is more, the MP’s support for aggression has disaffected its own parishioners in Ukraine. Some 3 dozen parishes have already defected to the Kiyv Patriarchate in disgust. The entire Dioces of Volhynia, including its hierarch have declared their preparation to defect to a unified Ukrainian Orthodox Church (including the Ukrainian Greek Catholics) under the EP.

        Evan as Putin doubles down on armed aggression, his own state is starting to crack and crumble. Read the following excerpts from today’s WSJ:

        Entire article at: http://www.wsj.com/articles/david-satter-putins-shaky-hold-on-power-1423009255

        Putin’s Shaky Hold on Power

        Russia’s flagging economy and growing discord over the war in Ukraine are converging to destabilize the regime.

        Feb. 3, 2015 7:20 p.m. ET

        The upsurge in fighting in Ukraine, with Russian troops and equipment pouring across the border, is a sign that Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided to engage the West in a dangerous game of “chicken,” the goal of which is to show that the only result of Western pressure on Russia will be renewed slaughter….

        Given the objectives of the two sides, a renewal of the fighting was probably inevitable. Russia has fought from the beginning to remove the government in Kiev and prevent Ukraine from acceding to the European Union and NATO….

        The fear that pervades the Russian leadership is reflected in a series of recent statements by the country’s leaders. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Jan. 27 that if Russia is cut off from the Swift international payment system as punishment for its actions in Ukraine, its response “will know no limits.” Andrei Kostin, the head of VTB, Russia’s second-largest bank, said excluding Russia from Swift would mean “war.” Igor Ivanov, the former foreign minister, said that a confrontation could involve nuclear weapons.

        In fact, the Russian leaders now face a crisis of their own making….

        It is a measure of the government’s concern that it has cut the price of vodka, despite the need to fill the treasury. This is a transparent attempt to use vodka to tranquilize the population….

        If the economic situation in Russia continues to worsen, many Russians may come to see that the Ukrainian model of a peaceful and spontaneous rebellion against a corrupt regime can have relevance for them. It was because of the potential power of the Ukrainian example for Russia that Mr. Putin began the war in Ukraine in the first place….

        The cost of the fighting has been hidden from Russians but, as the death rate climbs, the war may soon become less popular. The Russian authorities state officially that there are no Russian troops fighting in Ukraine but the movement of thousands of troops is impossible to hide and it is similarly impossible to hide soldiers’ funerals.

        In St. Petersburg, calls are coming in to the hot line of the Soldiers’ Mothers organization from parents of soldiers who report anonymously that their children are being commanded to sign contracts that enable them to be sent to Ukraine. Such reports are also coming from a number of other regions….

        The military is carefully hiding the dispatch of forces from their places of permanent dislocation…. Now, there is an attempt to transport the bodies of those killed to unpopulated areas for funerals. But they are nonetheless seen and news of the high cost of the war is spreading.

        The war in eastern Ukraine has been turned into a war of attrition in which the Ukrainian military is mostly holding its positions. Such a war could go on indefinitely. The Russians, however, have not used their air force and they have an estimated 52,000 troops just over the border from Ukraine. They could decide to begin an all-out offensive and drop any pretense of nonintervention. Such a course of action, however, carries risks for the Russians.

        The pyramid of power in Russia is very unstable. Capital flight is reaching epic proportions ($63.7 billion in the first quarter of 2014, according to the U.S. State Department) and thousands of Russian officials have made contingency plans to escape with their money to the West.

        Mr. Putin and his cronies will not take aggressive action if they fear that they could as a result lose their hold on power. This is why the time for maximum deterrence on the part of the West is now.

        Mr. Satter is affiliated with the Hudson Institute, Johns Hopkins University and the Henry Jackson Society in London. His books include “It Was a Long Time Ago, and It Never Happened Anyway: Russia and the Communist Past” (Yale, 2011).

        • George Michalopulos says

          Francis, as usual, your hysteria gets the best of you. My comment did not address Russia’s actions against any of its neighbors. I addressed the issue of propaganda –specifically false propaganda. The fact that you cannot answer my critique says volumes about your mental acuity.

          As in so many times past, I have asked you specific yes/no questions and you refuse to answer them, preferring instead to vent your anti-Putinist spleen. You have the right to do so but you gain no adherents in doing so. You might get a kudo or two if you answered my very simple questions. I fear however that you do not because it would expose your hypocrisy to the my readers.

      • Daniel E Fall says

        If Russia were to put nuclear missiles in Mexico; my guess is there would be a full scale invasion that coincided with the threat. Of course, nuclear weapons are fear inducing buggers.

        Are you suggesting Putin is afraid?

    • Yes, Francis’ is an entirely different religion and God from mine (as is Bishop Tikhon’s). I had some doubts about my remarks from yesterday but now I have none.

      • Francis Frost says


        Sho zh’ tebe skazat’?

        You are absolutely right. you and I do not worship the same God.

        You do not believe in the Gospel commandments and therefore you cannot love the Lord Jesus Christ.

        It is written: “If you loved Me you would keep My commandments”

        The Lord commands you to “Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you, Pray for those who persecute you.”

        You Mishka, on the other hand cheer on the perpetrators of war and massacres in the name of your “religion” which has nothing to do with Christ.

        May God help you.

  24. Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

    George, readers of your site should know that Dr. John R. Schindler was fired from the Naval War College allegedly for an activity similar to what also led to the public scandal of former U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner. That dismissal occurred before Schindler coined his “Orthodox Jihadism” epithet, which is so odious and extreme as to warrant no further comment by any faithful Orthodox Christian or reasonable, fair-minded American.

  25. George Michalopulos wrote:

    so-called Orthodox Jihadism. I’m sorry, but that is nonsense on stilts. There is no such thing, never has been and never will be.

    If you think the idea is so outlandish, perhaps you should review the posts of one of your commentors on your own blog over the past couple weeks. Get a critical mass of minds like that, which wholeheartedly believe democracy is a satanic system of government, killing Old Testament style can be a just and moral God ordained affair, especially in the aim of bringing about a “Orthodox” authoritarian form of government and you have…well, not a Rotary Club.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Mr Trost, there is a “critical mass” or Orthodox thinkers who think that marriage should be –and will be–“redefined.” Even if they were the majority, that doesn’t mean that the Orthodoxy will do so.

      We can go down the list of every “ism” out there, all of whom have Orthodox adherents. Luckily, Schindler’s fable is far more far-fetched than the success of the “gay marriage” meme that has overtaken Western society.

      • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

        Please, George, I don’t know any Orthodox thinker who thinks that marriage should be redefined. Can you tell us the names of a couple members of your “critical mass” who do so think or, rather, who you guess MUST think that way?
        [I like that idea of memes “overtaking” anything too! Sometimes the days are too short!]

        By the way, did anyone besides me notice how all Heracleides Pompikos’s cartoons actually look like Heracleides Pompikoa? Does she sketch before a big mirror?

  26. Michael Bauman says

    Mr. Manning, I don’t and never can understand your struggle but I can acknowledge it and share it a bit. Though our struggles are not the same I am strengthened in my own by your testimony. I am grateful to you and to God. In that the is a little less loneliness for me.

    Thank you.

  27. This is entirely off-topic and I apologize, but the comments are closed on the Metropolitan Joseph article.

    Just a small note: All the Antiochian bishops are officially listed as “Auxiliaries” on the website. Not sure when this was added, but there it is. http://www.antiochian.org/bishops

    As an Antiochian member, I’m not upset by this. We all knew this was the case. The whole “self-rule” thing was an affectation on Met. Philip’s part. That Metropolitans are the only “real” bishops is standard in the Byzantine portion of the Church, and particularly in the Church of Antioch. Perhaps all of the bishops will be elevated to Metropolitans someday, but as it stands, I think the situation is OK and provides for a certain nationwide uniformity that is not found in the Greek Archdiocese.

  28. Gregory Manning says

    Thanks Michael. I’ve come to the realization that, when it comes to loneliness, I’m not alone. Thirty plus years ago I chose to let my gay friends drift away because I came to see that I actually preferred friendships with straight men. We could actually talk to each other about the everyday things that both enjoyed. But I began to see something disturbing. Many of these men have relationships with either their wives or girl friends (and often times both) that I found depressing. One friend, Rafael, a charming and relentless womanizer of Puerto Rican descent, told me once that American men knew nothing of romantic love; they didn’t love women; they just liked them as sex objects. Somewhere in that time period I re-printed a Valentine’s Day letter an Orthodox priest wrote to his wife and gave copies to several of my straight male friends. Rafael (predictably) and one or two others were deeply touched by the love expressed in the letter. The remaining 5 or 6 were clueless. I began to see that love between heterosexuals is depressingly crippled and disturbingly prevalent! Also, I read yesterday that the incidence of suicide, arising out of depression, is on the rise among men in general. Why are more and more men becoming so depressed? And I thought I had problems!

    • Michael Bauman says

      Gregory, more and more men are becoming depressed because in a manner analogous to homosexuals, we have been seduced by an idea of sexuality that does not work, that leaves us lonely and crippled as you so poignantly describe. It tends to cut us off from not only women, but other men as well. Coupled with the castrating ideology of feminism: confusion and isolation tending to despair is the norm. Rape, abuse, fornication and totally dysfunctional forms of sexual action abound and are encouraged by our nihilist culture.

      Your friend Rafael was correct in part, many men don’t like women, but these same men don’t really like other men either so how can they possibly like women. “Womanizing” is not the solution however. I have found that the foundation of my marriage allows me to be real friends with women and share a different type of intimacy with them than with my wife.

      I have come to the conclusion that none of us has a truly healthy sexuality except perhaps the holiest of saints.
      While the particulars are different, the general struggle we share in common to a point: how to be intimate as God intends. This intimacy is not just conjugal sex even between men and women but our culture tends to force all attempts at intimacy into carnal sex.

      There is a deep mystery here that needs better articulation and more courageous exploration in a righteous direction.

      BTW if you ever get to Wichita, Ks look me up. I’d love to break bread with you in worship and in fellowship. St. George Orthodox Christian Cathedral is my parish.

      May God’s mercy be with you.

      • Gregory Manning says

        Thank you Michael.
        I’ve attached the URL (to that letter I mentioned) in my response to really?. I think what Rafael was saying is that many men have a stunted sense of romantic love if they have one at all. What struck me when I saw the responses of the straight male friends I handed it out to was that the feelings expressed by the author of the letter completely went over their heads. I remember thinking that if I as a homosexual, (for whom feelings of intimate affection for a woman are foreign) was instantly touched by the feelings of the author but my straight friends were clueless, a large segment of humanity is in trouble and something (much bigger than the brokenness of homosexuality) is in play; something cynical and pernicious. Now, I no longer say prayers for myself and my fellow man, I pray for myself and my fellow man.
        Thanks for the invite. Hospitality, and Christian hospitality in particular, has to be one of the jewels in the crown of human kindness!
        BTW I always enjoy seeing your comments pop up on Fr. Stephen Freeman’s illuminating website.

    • Gregory,

      Is it by any chance appropriate to reprint that Valentine’s day letter here? I would love to see it!

  29. Gregory Manning says

    Thank you Mr. Stankovich.

    First, and most importantly, thank you for including me in your prayers!

    I have read all that you have written on this blog and always come away impressed with your insights. I have seen where others have misconstrued some of your comments to mean that you surreptitiously condone SSA. I have not. I believe your concerns are genuine and heartfelt and I look forward to future comments.

    My concern has been that those who are SSA as well as those who support them, would use a genetic explanation as a basis for concluding that the attraction is entirely accountable scientifically and that, therefore, heterosexuals are obliged to accommodate them (and their growing list of demands) unconditionally, in effect forcing everybody else to become their enablers which we, as Orthodox Christians, cannot do because we may not.

    If, as you argue, there are reliable scientific studies to support a genetic element in SSA, I don’t mind conceding the point. In the end, the problem of homosexuality is one of dis-ordered affection; an otherwise natural desire for an affection which homosexuality fails to deliver on. Many gay men may very well fall into despair because society and some in the church reject them but I submit that, when all is said and done, it is the loneliness which does them in.

    I conclude by restating something I wrote earlier: Having come to see the true nature of my brokenness has freed me from the crippling stigma of homosexuality. Now when I walk into church Sunday mornings I do so with the crippling stigma of a regular sinner because that is what I am now. I’m just like every other sinner; no better, no worse. Having been blessed to actually see my sin for what it was allowed me to sincerely “arise and go to my Father….”. This saving revelation has also sensitized me to the frailty of others, even those who don’t yet see how frail they are. This also includes those who, if they knew of my past (which, btw, is none of their business!) would judge me and seek to exclude me from the church. But, as Fr. Hopko said once, to say I am Orthodox is to say that I am in possession of the Truth. Well, I am now in possession of the Truth and no one can take it away from me.

    Thanks again Mr. Stankovich.