Grappling with the Holodomyr

I don’t always agree with Ta-Nehesi Coates (the author of this essay in The Atlantic) but when he’s right, he’s right. For too long we’ve been besotted in this country about “the Good War” and overlooking the manifest evil that was Bolshevism. Let us be honest, the propagandists for this view have been –and continue to be–Progressives. Their ranks included Walter Duranty, Lillian Hellman, Pete Seeger, and Paul Robeson, among a huge list of others. To this day, Lenin’s admirers can be found teaching in most American universities. The result is the same: absolute silence regarding the Holodomyr, the enforced mass starvation inflicted on the Ukrainian people by Uncle Joe Stalin and his henchman Lazar Kaganovich.

Unless we come to grips with this, and the fact that there have been other genocides besides the Holocaust, we will continue to go on pursuing interventionist policies that make little sense. The Ukraine at present is a case in point. The neocons, not content with egging on their Georgian pupppets and seeing the wreckage visited upon those people are now pushing for regime change in the Ukraine. Monomakhos takes no editorial position regarding which side in the present Ukrainian kerfuffle is correct, but only that it is none of the United States’s business. At the very least, we are aghast at the recent phone conversations that have been leaked which prove that neocon luminaries like Victoria Nuland are dictating who is to be the “right” candidate for president behind the scenes.

But more of that at another time. For now, please take the time to read this thoughtful essay published in The Atlantic (before it disappears into “Error 404” land.)

Source: The Altantic | Ta-Nehesi Coates

bloodlands-smallThoughts On Timothy Snyder’s The Bloodlands

A few days ago, I listened to a chapter in Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin on famine in Ukraine during the 1930s.  The famine was man-made—the result of Stalin making war against his own citizens in Ukraine. I listened (I have the book in MP3 format) to about 90 percent of the chapter before I just had to cut it off. I generally have a strong stomach when it come to reading about evil, but this was too much:

Survival was a moral as well as a physical struggle. A woman doctor wrote to a friend in June 1933 that she had not yet become a cannibal, but was “not sure that I shall not be one by the time my letter reaches you.” The good people died first. Those who refused to steal or to prostitute themselves died. Those who gave food to others died. Those who refused to eat corpses died. Those who refused to kill their fellow man died. Parents who resisted cannibalism died before their children did.

That people were starving to death in Ukraine, and that this was a political act, not an act of God, was hidden from the world. And then sometimes the world just looked away:

Throughout the following summer and autumn, Ukrainian newspapers in Poland covered the famine, and Ukrainian politicians in Poland organized marches and protests. The leader of the Ukrainian feminist organization tried to organize an international boycott of Soviet goods by appealing to the women of the world. Several attempts were made to reach Franklin D. Roosevelt, the president of the United States.96 None of this made any difference.

The laws of the international market ensured that the grain taken from Soviet Ukraine would feed others. Roosevelt, preoccupied above all by the position of the American worker during the Great Depression, wished to establish diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union. The telegrams from Ukrainian activists reached him in autumn 1933, just as his personal initiative in US-Soviet relations was bearing fruit. The United States extended diplomatic recognition to the Soviet Union in November 1933.

In August of 1933, French politician Édouard Herriot came to Kiev to see the socialist spirit. Instead he got a show. Food—meant for display not consumption—was put in the shops. Party activist were brought in to make it seem as though the town were bustling. The healthiest of the starving children were trotted out and coached to give pre-approved answers. Herriot was then chauffeured on to Moscow where supped on caviar. He would later praise Soviet actions for honoring both “the socialist spirit” and the “Ukrainian national feeling.”

Somewhere between 5.5 and 8 million people died during the famine. “The classic case of Soviet genocide,” Rafal Lemkin would call it. But at the time, men like Authur Koestler dismissed the dying as “enemies of the people preferred begging to work.” I don’t write to condemn Koestler or even the West. I keep thinking back to the long argument I got into with some members of the Horde over communism and Eric Hobsbawm, which was a low point for this blog.

The Soviet Union pitched itself in opposition to the racism of Nazi Germany, and even America. There’s a Stalin-era film, which I’m dying to see, in which the American heroine gives birth to a black child and finds peace in the Soviet Union. But it is hard not to look at Ukraine, or look at dekulakization, or look at the Polish operation, or the Latvian operation, and not see—if not racism—a lethal ethnic bias. I’ve yet to see the argument that Poles were inferior by blood, but I have seen this:

The Soviet Union was a multinational state, using a multinational apparatus of repression to carry out national killing campaigns. At the time when the NKVD was killing members of national minorities, most of its leading officers were themselves members of national minorities. In 1937 and 1938, NKVD officers, many of whom were of Jewish, Latvian, Polish, or German nationality, were implementing policies of national killing that exceeded anything that Hitler and his SS had (yet) attempted. In carrying out these ethnic massacres, which of course they had to if they wished to preserve their positions and their lives, they comprised an ethic of internationalism, which must have been important to some of them. Then they were killed anyway, as the Terror continued, and usually replaced by Russians. 

The Jewish officers who brought the Polish operation to Ukraine and Belarus, such as Izrail Leplevskii, Lev Raikhman, and Boris Berman, were arrested and executed. This was part of a larger trend. When the mass killing of the Great Terror began, about a third of the high-ranking NKVD officers were Jewish by nationality. By the time Stalin brought it to an end on 17 November 1938, about twenty percent of the high-ranking officers were. A year later that figure was less than four percent. The Great Terror could be, and by many would be, blamed on the Jews. 

To reason this way was to fall into a Stalinist trap: Stalin certainly understood that Jewish NKVD officers would be a convenient scapegoat for national killing actions, especially after both the Jewish secret policemen and the national elites were dead. In any event, the institutional beneficiaries of the Terror were not Jews or members of other national minorities but Russians who moved up in the ranks. By 1939 Russians (two thirds of the ranking officers) had replaced Jews at the heights of the NKVD, a state of affairs that would become permanent. Russians became an overrepresented national majority; their population share at the heights of the NKVD was greater than their share in the Soviet population generally. The only national minority that was highly overrepresented in the NKVD at the end of the Great Terror were the Georgians—Stalin’s own.

We are taught that World War II was a battle between good guys and bad guys. I came out of that notion some years ago. But there’s a difference between feeling something to be generally true, and being confronted with it in all the detail. It really is chaos out there. It’s always been chaos out there.


  1. Archpriest Andrei Alexiev says

    It’s HOLODOMOR, not Holdomyr. But thank you. I read that book, too. Don’t agree with everything. More later.

  2. Tim R. Mortiss says

    George, you are “aghast”? Really?

  3. George, thank you for this. Coates is a complicated writer, but one worth encountering on occasion.

  4. Just when you thought you'd seen it all says

    1st International Conference on Men and Masculinities “Identities, Cultures, Societies”
    11–13 September 2014, Izmir Turkey

    Call for Papers

    Initiative for Critical Studies of Masculinities (ICSM) cordially invites proposals for the first international conference on men and masculinities to take place in Turkey, in collaboration with Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities at Stony Brook University, Ankara University Women’s Studies Centre (KASAUM) and Izmir University Women’s Studies Centre (KCAUM). The conference aims to discuss theories, narratives, experiences, discourses, and activisms related to transformations of and challenges to men and masculinities with a particular focus on the Global Southern and Eastern European contexts.

    Various phenomena such as globalisation and reconfigurations of nation states/nationalisms; identity politics; new social movements and political activism; rise in digital technology and the new social media; and the influence of postmodern and queer theory have changed and challenged men’s lives and masculinities in distinct ways. Yet there is little consensus on how to characterise transformations caused by such phenomena. We are seeking to explore issues related to such transformations with their political, economic, social and cultural implications for men and masculinities. We are also interested in addressing issues concerning methodologies, scope and conceptual boundaries of the critical studies of men and masculinities that need rethinking in light of these changes and developments. In order to contribute to these debates, researchers from social sciences and humanities are invited to send proposals to discuss topics including, but not limited to:

    • Revolutionary movements, political activism, ethnic/religious
    • conflicts
    • Nationalism, military and militarisation
    • Lived experiences and/or representations of the body, disability
    • Sexualities, desire, pornography
    • Intimacy, affective turn, emotions
    • Subjectivities and experiences
    • Queering men and masculinities, sexual identities
    • Legacy of masculinity studies, future agenda, feminisms

    Confirmed keynote speakers include Michael Kimmel, Jeff Hearn, Elijah C. Nealy and Serpil Sancar.

    We invite proposals for individual presentations, panels, poster, film, and photography presentations. In addition to the formal presentations, the conference will also provide a forum setting for graduate students to discuss their work-in-progress. Following the conference, a selection of papers will be published in a special issue of the Masculinities: A Journal of Identity and Culture.

    Abstracts of up to 300 words for individual papers and 600 words for panel proposals as well as a 100-word biographical note should be sent to by 30 March 2014. Graduate students who wish to take part in the forum discussions should send a 300-word description of their research and a 100-word biographical note. Notification of acceptance will be made by 02 May 2014. The registration fee for the conference is 70 € and 40 € for graduate students. Five conference fee waivers will be granted for graduate students based on need and merit.

    For further queries, please contact at

    • Thomas Barker says

      No, no, please don’t hijack this thread back to gay. Still recovering from L’affaire Sprecher.

      • There is a conference scheduled concerning the extermination of rabid gophers infesting the moon. And proposals concerning their removal will be accepted for publication on a need to know basis. A thumbs down means you will submit a proposal, a thumbs up means, you consider this less credulous than the masculinities conference.Thanks for the post, even if it is very sad., seen it all.

  5. Archpriest Andrei Alexiev says

    I don’t seem to have Snyder’s book right now;either I donated it to the library or lent it to someone to read. One statement of Snyder’s struck me, something like, “90% of those people imprisoned in the (Soviet) Gulags came out alive.” I seriously doubt that even half that amount survived.
    What is striking, in my opinion, is that most of the world has forgotten that Stalin’s alliance with Hitler made WW II possible. Ever notice how the Left slams Franco of Spain for alliance with Hitler and Mussolini during the Spanish Civil War, but either is silent about Stalin’s alliance with Hitler or else actually praises it as a wise move. Yet Stalin enabled Hitler to start the war, wheras Franco actually used fo Hitler and got afway with it; unlike Mussolini he avoided following Hitler into the war.
    Stalin, on the other hand, cut a deal with Hitler and then was badly burned in the process.

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      I had the great good fortune decades ago to have had a Canadian client, a Hungarian by birth and upbringing, who spent 8 years in the gulag camp of Magadan, from 1945 to the death of Stalin in 1953. He worked in the mines. It was very, very hard. Many died, and despair was hard to keep at bay. (By the way– no way did 90% survive the camps.

      In one of the absurdities that characterize all human affairs, even Soviet ones, upon Stalin’s death, he was awarded a degree in mining engineering, freed from his sentence, and offered a job running the mines.

      He refused, and made his way by hook and crook to Budapest. He went to his apartment. His now 15-year-old son greeted him at the door. His wife had waited for him, against all of the advice of her family and friends.

      They moved to Canada, and were allowed to do so. Why Canada? He had no wish to live in a great power. (He had also been briefly imprisoned by the Nazis.)

  6. “There’s a Stalin-era film, which I’m dying to see, in which the American heroine gives birth to a black child and finds peace in the Soviet Union.”

    It’s called Circus (“Цирк“). Great movie, allowing for its politics. It feels like an American romantic comedy of errors from the same period. Its final scene is famous. The heroine’s black child is revealed by her evil, racist German manager but the Soviets don’t react negatively at all, they embrace the child and sing him a lullaby with verses in all the official languages of the Soviet Union.

  7. Archpriest John W. Morris says

    There is also an American pro-Stalin film, “Mission to Moscow” that shows the dept of pro-Communist feeling in Hollywood.

    • That was produced in 1943, when the USSR was a de facto ally against Nazi Germany. Given the historical context, I don’t think it’s fair to use it as evidence of “the depth of pro-Communist feeling in Hollywood” – pretty much any patriotic American would have been rooting for Stalin over Hitler at that point.

  8. At present, there are no Christian governments anywhere in the world. Bor does it appear that there will ever be a place for one until the Return of the Victorious Lord Jesus Christ.. A warrior culture entered authentic Christianity when Constantine ordered it as his state religion. Any just war perpetrated by the godless is impossible. The 10 kings will hate the great whore and make her desolate, burn her flesh with fire. He who is to be killed, must be killed, he who who is to go into captivity, into captivity, he must go.. Here. the Holy Scripture renounces warfare, because every side in any conflict is always engaged by entering the great whore, and killing for the beast.. On a national scale, there are no good guys, the Way of Peace is destroyed. This is the Way of Peace. Love God and serve Him alone, live by His Word&not bread alone, do not tempt God. This can be done by churches and small communities, but not without tribulations and persecutions.The history of the past 200 years is warfare which destroys the people, in many diverse ways and places. It will be this way until the end, as the Holy Prophet Daniel stated. It is not determined by the Holy God, but by apostate mankind..The mark of the beast will tempt God. God is not mocked, as the bowls and vials of God’s wrath will wage a total war against the beast and it’s mark.
    This is a fearful thing, but not as fearful as eternal damnation. Where were it not for the sake of the elect, no life would be spared, We have to reap what we sow, no escape.Come out of here my people, serve God alone., that ye may not partake of her plagues. The Christ meant what He said. Choose Life.

    • Thomas Barker says

      The 10 kings will hate the great whore and make her desolate, burn her flesh with fire….

      Michael Kinsey,

      The Eastern Orthodox clergy I have talked with consistently avoid interpreting the scriptures that describe end time events. I’ve been told that the Church draws a fence around parts of some books of the Bible such as Revelation or Ezekiel 38 & 39, and says that their meaning will become more clear in the future. That’s in stark contrast to the evangelicals and fundamentalists who jump in with both feet and produce books, movies and television shows to interpret recent news and current events in apocalyptic terms. Your comments at times seem to lean more toward this second camp. Just to be clear, I am not criticizing you for this, my brother. How do you reconcile these two approaches, and why not side with the Orthodox who often choose to let the end time prophecies stand, for a time, as a mystery not yet explained?

      • I am in neither camp. Historically my interpretation is accurate, I am not a member of the clergy, and I am not bond by any of their conventions, good or bad I exercise freedom of religion guaranteed by the Constitution, and also allowed under the providence of God and the inspirations of God. Match the wisdom. As for the timing of end times, I will quote Fr. Seraphim Rose, It’s later than you think..I define the abomination of desolation clearly, precisely for all who have the understanding when they read it.Let the reader understand, not let them remain uninformed and in ignorance. How can one see the abomination standing in the Holy Place, if he does not have the foggiest idea what it is? Do you rancor because people will not be allowed to remain in confusion, mystified by things, you say are too far above them? Bite you tongue knave.

        • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

          Wasn’t the Abomination of Desolation Epiphanius Antiochus? “It’s Later Than You Think” was a popular song when sainted Father Seraphim Rose was an infant:
          “Enjoy yourself; it’s later than you think,
          Enjoy yourself, while you’re still in the pink,
          Enjoy yourself, etc. etc. etc.

          And “rancor” is not a verb.
          But hey, ;Michael Kinsey, if you want to keep playing things “by ear,” it’s free country.

          • Tim R. Mortiss says

            Well, Jesus spoke of it long after the Seleucid king’s actions.

          • Michael Kinsey says

            Being snide and snarky are not fruits of the Holy Spirit..You may attempt to challenge this assertion also, but only if you claim the Truth is relative to the situation..I do find your petty posts positively 4th street.. Like the song, I wish you could stand inside my shoes, and just for that one moment, I could be you you. Then you would know what a drag it is to read your posts.I do seek to elevate the my posts above gut level, try it sometime, because there is nothing lower than gut level. Then you would see how absurd you are, attempting to condescend to others from gut level, an impossibility.

        • Thomas Barker says

          …I will quote Fr. Seraphim Rose, It’s later than you think..I define the abomination of desolation clearly, precisely for all who have the understanding when they read it.Let the reader understand, not let them remain uninformed and in ignorance. How can one see the abomination standing in the Holy Place, if he does not have the foggiest idea what it is?

          Michael Kinsey: I have not read your definition of the abomination of desolation. Didn’t Fr. Seraphim Rose say that the Jews would rebuild the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, and that the abomination would be the Antichrist standing in the Temple declaring himself to be God? Do you reject Fr. Seraphim’s interpretation which was based on the Church Fathers?

          • Michael Kinsey says

            I have posted the explanation on this blog, over a year ago. I can’t find the previous year on this page.Google disques, utube, and my name, abomination of desolation, is all over the internet. If you look you will find it.. I also explain why the 3rd Jewish temple cannot become Holy. There is no Holier site or ever will be than the Chapel of the Holy Sepulcher where the Holy Fire is received..

            • Thomas Barker says

              Michael Kinsey,

              Thank you and I will do some searches and take a look, but I won’t be posting further responses in this thread. We are not even on thread, which is mainly my fault. Apologies to all Monomakhosians.

          • Tim R. Mortiss says

            My guess is that Fr. Seraphim didn’t know any more about it than anyone else.

            It’s always perplexed me that apocalyptics, such as Mr. Kinsey (and many, countless others), who study Daniel and Revelations and look for signs, never conclude that the End will come in, say, 95 years, or 170 years, or 400, or some such.

            No, it’s always going to come soon, in the lifetime of the writer or his hearers. And yet it never does. So it has been for all “Adventists” for centuries, indeed, millennia.

            In the meantime, all of us know for certain that our own “apocalypse” is coming, in a matter of decades at most, mere years, or much less: we shall each die and face judgment. This is a rather more pressing concern than when the parousia will arrive.

            • Thomas Barker says

              timor mortis conturbat me,

              Why would you make such a guess regarding Fr. Seraphim Rose? Have you read his writings and transcripts of his homilies? I think he knew a lot. He relied greatly on the Fathers of the Church in much of his writing. Although I don’t believe he was right about everything, I feel it is unfair to dismiss him out of hand. (In disclosure of my bias, I’ll add that he baptized four members of my family at Platina.)

              “…we shall each die and face judgment. This is a rather more pressing concern than when the parousia will arrive.”

              Agreed, that’s much more pressing. My desire to find the meaning of “abomination of desolation” is not an attempt to determine “when” the Second Coming will happen (that such is impossible is made clear in scripture), but rather to understand two chapters of the Gospels, Mark 13 and Matthew 24. After all, we are to live not by bread alone, but “by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                I too am interested in the meaning of those passages, and have no knock on Fr. S. Rose, whom I know very little about. My offhand remark I would call rhetorical in the context of what seemed to be an extended discussion of the End. No offence!

                “To woo a dainty Eskimo
                I vowed to swim the Bering Sea.
                No sooner had I wet a toe:
                When Tim R. Mortiss occurgled me.”


                • Thomas Barker says

                  No offence taken. Accepting your hailing frequency…

                  We’ll bathe at Brighton
                  The fish you’ll frighten
                  When you’re in.
                  Your bathing suit so thin
                  Will make the shellfish grin
                  Fin to fin.
                  ….L. Hart

            • Michael Kinsey says

              Speaking of the last generation, the Christ gave this description. What shall I liken this generation, children sitting in the market place,, we have piped, and they do not dance, we have wept , and they do not morn.I watched the National Right to Life MArch in January, where the piping was heard, and the morning was very apparent. !. 2 billion innocent children aborted, is not enough, perhaps, to move Holy God to act. It says this generation, but after the mark of the beast appears. Then, most of you will be swept away as in the days of Noah. Itt’s just a matter of the time of one generation. NOthinh in himan history matches abortion world wide. Whole sale slaught of the next generation. Such people do not deserve life, or life eternal.Run on for a long time, run on for a long time ,sooner or later, God’s going to cut you down. in perfect divine justice.

  9. Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

    Actually, Michael Kinsey, the Vatican state has a Christian government, so, go back and start over.

  10. Actually Bishop, the Vatican has a Horis/Isis pagan and Christian government, serving 2 masters. TO my mind this state of affairs is not serve God alone. No man or church can serve 2 masters, so my original statement still stands.The divinity of the Mother of God in Her Co-Redemtrix role as co savior, with Jesus Christ establishes my claim.She is human and the Lord’s Handmaiden as She said. She is a human as you or I, and my Mother.

    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

      The Vatican government is almost all Roman Catholic clergy—-not a Horus or Isis among them–mostly Italians, but not all. No Christian government in history ever served God alone, no, not ever. All men serve two masters, Michael, including you. We try to serve God alone, but our passions, like anger and self-righteousness, are OFTEN our masters as well.

      • Michael Kinsey says

        If the Roman clergy accept the deification of the Most Holy Theotokos, as co redemtrix they are all Horis/Isis, also. You can’t have it both ways, one is Truth Christianity, the other is a lie, Horus/ Isis. Does this extremely simple logic escape you.. Man, you are a drag, Bishop.

      • Michael Kinsey says

        There are freemason cardinals and freemason Orthodox Cleric’s, which is as Horus/Isis as you can get.> do your own research, I know you won’t believe me.

    • Abbouna Michel says

      Another precinct heard from!

  11. US isolationism. is this too difficult a concept? if we stay out of other peoples business think of the thousands maybe millions people that don’t kill each other.

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      Yes, it’s always the US’s fault that these folks kill each other. By the “millions”, according to you.

      To me, this reflexive blaming, if not outright hatred, of one’s own country at the drop of any hat is a real disorder of some sort.

      Here’s how it usually works: if I like US policy on some point, then all is wonderful. If I disagree with it, it’s not just ill-advised, it’s responsible for all the bad things and horrors that everybody else inflicts on their neighbors.

      Isolationism of sorts may be the answer now. The important thing is that these ancient hatreds and grievances, and the attendant mass-murders and persecutions, must forever remain across the seas and far away, at any cost. Those who come here must observe the rule: leave your old resentments behind forever.

    • Francis Frost says


      Benign indifference is rarely benign.

      While it is fashionable in some circles, especially some “Orthodox” circles, to applaud the decline of American influence and power in the the world, that decline is nothing to encourage nor applaud.

      If you want to know what a world without American values and influence looks like, look at Syria today. The savagery that has overtaken than ancient land has developed precisely because the US government has retreated from its role as guarantor of the peace in the Middle East.

      With the US in retreat, the Sunnis and the Shiiites are now free carry on their ancient feud with abandon. They simply do not care that the conflict has killed tens of thousands. The Iran -Irag war of the 1980’s left over 1 million dead before the leaders of those countries accepted a cease fire (with no significant advantage to either side).

      Those who are funding this conflict do not care if it includes horrifying acts of barbarism: forced starvation, torture of children, the use of poison Sarin gas on innocent civilians, videoed beheadings and even public cannibalism. They do not care if our most ancient Christian communities are destroyed.

      No, they do not care about any of that; but then neither do you !

      St. Silouan of the Holy Mountain taught us: “My brother is my life.” but you Greggo repeat the sin of Cain by saying: “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

      Isolationism is simply a chimera in this day and age. What happens over there, may be here in an instant. Apparently some of us have learned nothing from the 9/11 attacks.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Francis, you can’t be serious! The reason Syria is in chaos today is because America “retreated from its role as guarantor of the peace in the Middle East.”? Good Lord man, what the heck were we doing in Iraq and Afghanistan if not “guaranteeing the peace” and look where it got us.

        Look, I can be as imperialist as the next guy, and I for one think that Rome did “teach the ways of peace” to the world (as Vergil said in The Aeneid) and Africa under the British Empire was a whole lot better off than it is now, but what we were doing was never imperialism in the pure sense of the word. We operated under the Wilsonian delusion that we could teach heathens and savages democracy. Either be imperialistic and that means cracking skulls or leave the barbarous races of the world alone (and for heaven’s sake, don’t let them immigrate here).

  12. Pere LaChaise says

    No one mentioned the contemporary holocaust of mideastern Christians, from whom a delegation of clergy recently spoke to the US Senate. At that meeting, the esteemed neocon Senator John McCain (props from Misha S.) got up in a huff and left the room, compaining of ‘these people’ who had no right to sully his conscience with their blithering complaints against ‘our boys’ (Al Nusra Front, waging the good war against that rat Assad.

  13. Michael Kinsey says

    It is 4:37 , Saturday Feb 15. My response to the Bishop has not yet been posted. Perhaps, your a little busy. I will repost it. I will not abide the trolling snarky rebuttal. with impunity.
    The Mother of God has no divinity, She, although most Holy, is not of the Holy Trinity. She is created human as we all are. She is the Lord’s Handmaiden, as She said. The elevation of the Mother of God to co redemtrix by the Catholic Church is done to impute divinity to Her. This makes Christianity compatible with every other Horus/Isis pagan, divine father/ mother God pagan religion in the world.. To do so is to serve 2 masters, and not serve God alone. No man or church can serve 2 masters. Therefore the Vatican is not an authentic Christian government, and my statement concern the non existence of an authentic Christian government still stands as I wrote it. Prove these scriptures wrong, and I will admit an error. Fat Chance!

    • Michael Kinsey says

      Implied in every pagan religion is the deification of human sexuality. The Holy Trinity is Uncreate, above human sexuality, which IT created, male and female. Co Redemtrix makes the Divinity of the Mother of God equal to the Divinity of the central mystery of Christianity, the doctrine of the Holy Trinity.. This is not the Truth, the Catholic claim, it is of the father of lies.

      • Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!
        Interesting read:

        • M. Stankovich says

          This is an excellent article. If I were to start over in processing this systematically, I would start with his comment,

          The role of the champion of Christian chastity today, I argue, is to dissociate the Church from the false absolutism of identity based upon erotic tendency, and to rediscover our own anthropological foundation for traditional moral maxims. If we do not wish to be swept away with modernity’s orientation essentialists, then we need to remind the world that our sexual ethics was never really at home in the modern framework anyway, and thus that our forsaking the framework need not lead to postmodern nihilistic libertinism. There is firmer ground to stand on in the classical Christian tradition. Indeed, it seems to me the only place left to stand.

          It seems next to impossible to continuously uphold the distinction of gender distinction and sexuality according to creation – “as it was in the beginning” – and what it has become in our fallen, broken humanity. As Met. Anthony (Bloom) wrote, so far removed are we from our “image and likeness” that Mary Magdelene mistook the risen Lord for a gardener (Jn. 20:15), and the two disciples walked and talked with Him on the road to Emmaus without recognizing Him. (Lk 24:35)

          In this world we cannot deny genetic & epigenetic influences in some individuals, obviously not “as it was in the beginning,” and obviously not attributable to God. Some come into this life “loaded” for an epigenetic activation “event” that will change their life; and to say to them there is no distinct, profound” shift in “orientation” is a silly philosophical point held by those those who have not experienced it. It is cruel and drives them away. This is a phenomenon of this broken world, not paradise, and needs to be acknowledged as such.

          At the same time, however, in this world, time after time, the reality is that if we are to direct those who have fallen to return, to provide a door to repentance and healing while appreciating the sheer complexity of the condition, we need skilled and experienced pastors, answerable to God alone, and not websites, surveys, and “critics” who can count the number of years they have been Orthodox on one hand. It seems to me there are so many things to be outraged over – for those so inclined – than sinners making the effort to repent.

          • Glory to Jesus Christ!
            Dear M. Stankovich,
            Yes, we should all embrace traditionalism and reject transformational living tradition, while barring converts from messing up the narthex :).
            That aside, in calling on the experts as you do elsewhere to deal with all manner of problems, i’d suggest re-reading C.S. Lewis’ That Hideous Strength. The Technocracy of the National Institute of Coordinated Experiments in the book may be just what we need to deal with issues of essentialized sexual orientation of all kinds as a source of identity. Not.
            But if we’re looking to living tradition, it’s more than only pastoral and a matter of official expertise — what your note suggests to me (and maybe I’m misreading you, please forgive me if so).
            Meanwhile your point about “crazy converts” is well take from my personal experience of myself, but do you have any critiques to offer of cradle Orthodox as well in all this? It seems like all agree their legacy has been a well kept secret in American culture, seeming to blend in despite its potential for being deeply counter-cultural and personally transfigurational. I say that with all due respect for the many excellent cradle Orthodox whom I know, the hem of whose garments I am not worthy to touch, given the very poor state of my own spiritual life. But you may find it worthwhile balancing your critiques and stereotypes nonetheless. Should American Orthodoxy be more present in our culture as an influence? I suspect we both think yes.
            Please pray for me the sinner,

          • Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!

            Oh those converts! Messing up the narthex, making things uncomfortable for the cradle/legacy folks, maybe trying to take the bushel off of the well-kept secret and causing trouble! 🙂 Sounds like a more Catholic style of emphasis on the priest, although maybe I’m not understanding you, forgive me if so. Our tradition is more than a sole focus on the pastoral, however important that may be, which is part of what makes it a living transfigurative tradition and not traditionalism with just forms and offices. Maybe you include monastic elders and ascetism in your sense of the pastoral, though, not to mention the experience of the Liturgy and the Eucharist and the community of the Church and prayer. But how does the welcome emphasis on experience of God jibe with your views in many other notes about trusting in the technocratic expertise and views of the day?

            Please pray for me the sinner,

            • M. Stankovich says

              Prof. Siewers,

              It seems fairly obvious that the recent threads bear witness to a mentality of utter disgust, rancor, rage, and the foulest of judgment regarding homosexuality: expose, deride, and dismiss. Suffice it to say I do not agree with this “method” and weep with the angels.

              Secondly, despite the fact that I have digressed from my own belief on many occasions in the context of arguments, I have always maintained that we, made “κατ’ εἰκόνα θεοῦ,” as symphonic beings, are undeniably biological & genetic; but to segregate this factor from the “symphony” will always and necessarily result in error and misconception as to our human nature “as it was in the beginning.” To suggest that I have a “reliance” or “trust” on any segregated aspect of our symphonic nature is absolutely untrue.

              My comments in regard to pastors were simple expressions of practicality, Prof. Siewers. I don’t know where you live, but I live in San Diego, in a community referred to as Hillcrest. It is the home of the famous San Diego Zoo, several world-class medical & research institutions, the Naval Medical Center San Diego, and it is the center of the LGBT community. As best I know, there is no monastic presence, no elders that I have seen, one Greek church (need I say more?), no obvious witness, no obvious “living transfigurative tradition,” nothing, in fact, that would suggest that there are Orthodox Christians of any stripe or persuasion.

              As usual, I admire your prose, sarcasm, and emoji, Prof. Siewers; well intended to school me as a dumb blonde. What I should have said was, “we need skilled and experienced pastors, answerable to God alone who will protect them from the Orthodox who would discourage them.” And please feel free to substitute “Black,” “Hispanic,” “poor,” “homeless,” or anyone else “we” don’t like for “homosexual.” Oh, and let’s not forget “stinky.” I’ve seen all of these employed to expressly keep individuals from the “experience of the Liturgy and the Eucharist and the community of the Church and prayer.” As Fr. Schmemann told us, his favorite memory of hearing confessions: “Father, basically, I’m a good person.” And so are we all.

              • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

                What “symphony” are you talking about, Michael? The “symphony” of spirit and body? Where do the Fathers speak of the body’s subjection to the spirit as a “symphony”?

                • M. Stankovich says

                  Dn. Mitchell,

                  As I have been writing the exact same phrases, with the exact same terminology, in reference to what Met. Hilarion (Alfeyev) terms as St. Symeon the New Theologian’s “most distinct and laconic anthropological definition” of our human nature, for nearly three years, I had assumed it was obvious. Apparently not. Having resigned as your science & medical instructor, I have no intention of picking up again as your research assistant. Nevertheless, I am happy to offer some hints:

                  1) As someone actually grateful to the Jesuits for their instruction in philosophy, I would note that classically, the Greek philosophers believed that the body consisted of four elements, “ἀμíκτως καὶ ἀσυγχύτως” (without mixture and confusion). The Patristic Fathers, largely, were Greeks.

                  2) St. Maximos the Confessor referred to man as “φύσις σύνθετος” (physis synthetos), or “composite/combined nature,” while others used the term “συμφωνία” (symphonia), suggesting a unity of “sounds” that result in a single “voice.” I specifically chose “symphony” because it reflects the current intention of medicine and mental health provision to address a “whole person,” mean­ing biol­ogy (including human genetics), psy­chol­ogy (including the impact of devel­op­men­tal expe­ri­ence and “events”), social (includ­ing envi­ron­men­tal events) , and spir­i­tual (includ­ing one’s faith, moral­ity, integrity, tran­scen­dence, and sobri­ety) dimen­sions.

                  3) The Church’s anthropology is undoubtedly best articulated by St. Gregory Nazianzus, St. Maximos the Confessor, and St. Symeon the New Theologian. Probably evolved in that order.

                  • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

                    It’s a minor point, but symphonic suggests the harmony of independent actors such as singers in a choir or church and state. The body is not independent of the spirit but subject to it, which may be why the unity of spirit and body is not among the uses of symphonia listed in Lempe’s Greek patristic lexicon.

              • Michael Kinsey says

                Black, homeless, Hispanic, poor, have a clearly discernible difference from homosexuality. They are not sin of themselves, and it is disingenuous( a lie) to categorize them with homosexuality, which is sin, of itself. Authentic Christians will not equate a normal human state with sin, which the homosexual agenda has attempted to propagandize as the same bias. Bias against homosexuality is the same as a bias against, lying, murder, theft, ect./ Nor is it a sin to have a love of good and a hatred of wickedness.

          • Michael Bauman says

            Of course, M. Stankovich, the question remains: are they trying to repent of to find rationalizations for not repenting?

            • M. Stankovich says


              As Fr. Schmemann often noted, the sin of Pilot was not his fear and intimidation in giving over an innocent man, but in his statement, “What is truth?” So, we come full circle to your own observation that, perhaps, the revelation of the victory shall not be realized in this life at all.

              For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are open and laid bare to the eyes of him with whom we have to do. (Heb. 4:12-13)

              The Psalmist asked, “Where shall I hide from Your spirit?” (Ps. 138:7)

              It would seem that the response to the Lord’s approach, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30) – sophrosyne/tselomudrye/chastity – will answer your question sufficiently.

              • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                “What is truth” is NOT a statement: it was a question. I believe other teachers in the Church have not considered that question (or any question?) to be a sin. The question is evidence of ignorance, not sin. It isn’t in the same league as “Who shall be first in the kingdom of heaven?”

                • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

                  Some Fathers do think Pilate is in earnest in asking his question. If he was, why didn’t he wait for an answer? Surely our Lord could have given him one. Instead, Pilate asks the question and then immediately goes out to confer with the crowd:

                  “Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.” (John 18:38)

                  • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                    If the writer had meant to writer ‘straightaway’, he would have done so. This reminds me of a PhD Archpriest who, preaching on the Gospel, explained that the only reason the Commandments about property were not quoted was that Christ was interrupted!

                  • Protopappas says

                    As Bishop Tikhon points out, the term “immediately/straightaway” in the text (and we do find it when it is intended) would be the only way that we could possibly say that Pilot didn’t wait for an answer. In fact, what he says to the crowd seems to indicate that, although he got no verbal response, he had some sort of interaction with Christ or moment of pause (even if brief) that convinced him of the “truth” of his innocence. We need to recognize the significance of this turn of events where Pilate asks “what is truth?” and then goes out and proclaims the truth–that he finds no fault in Him at all (to an angry crowd no less)! Of course, as we know, Pilate could have done more, but the point is, that if he finds NO fault in Christ, then he is accepting Christ’s saying about the truth. In other words, he seems to have asked the question and without words being spoken by Christ, have gotten the answer, otherwise, he would not have pronounced him to be without fault.

                    Really, reread it. The Lord makes a bold statement that everyone who is of the truth hears his voice, and then moments later Pilate pronounces Him to be without fault!

                    • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

                      I can’t help but read Pilate as someone I’ve seen many times in DC: cynical, ambitious, but with a soft spot for young, innocent true-believers. So when Our Lord speaks to him of “truth,” Pilate knows the man before him is an innocent, because anyone with any guile would know there’s no way of knowing the truth. That’s why he asks, cynically, “What is truth?” and then — “when he had said this” — goes out to tell the crowd he finds no fault in the naif they have brought to him.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Any thought as to the fact that the man who sat before him was the Truth (Jn. 14:6) and grace and truth came through Him [ἡ χάρις καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια διὰ Ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ ἐγένετο] (Jn 1:17)?

              • As Prof. Kesich said, “The sin of Pilate was that he could have acted, but decided to do nothing.” It is the same in our own lives; doing nothing is a negation. To act, to do something good is required of us as Christians. If we act negatively or do nothing, this is sin. We are called to be activists in Christ. However, there is a difference to act sinfully in the name of Christ also.

                • Permit me to take issue with the conclusion that Pilate’s sin was his failure to act. He was Prefect of the occupied province of Judea. He held the High Priest’s ephod in the Fortress Antonia and checked it out for use. The office of High Priest itself was sold to the highest bidder, which at that time happened to be the House of Channan and Kaipha. Pilate presided at our Lord’s “trial” and sat in the Judgment Seat. He had our Lord severly scouraged–and likely expected He might die from it so that he would be rid of both Jesus and Barabbas. He engaged in the well-known Roman “mockery” of the Ecce homo to ridicule the One presented to Him as claiming to be King of Judeans and a threat to Roman rule. He provided a detachment of solidiers to carry out the execution or our Lord with the two lestai (terrorists) taken with Barabbas during the recent riot where some had been murdered. He ceremonially washed his hands, which was in fact a judicial act. He gave orders for the wording of the titulus to be hung above our Lord on His Cross. After His death, it was to him that Joseph had to go to beg our Lord’s body and, following His burial, it was Pilate who gave permission for the tomb to be sealed and a guard posted to kept our Lord’s disciples away and insure that His body remained.

                  None of this–which he did against his wife’s advice–foreclose’s the possibility that he subsequently repented and surrendered to Christ as some apocryphal writings suggest, but the information we have about Pilate from extrabibilcal sources, including Seutonius and Josephus, in addition to the biblical text seem to say he was more activiely involved in the crime than we typically assume.


                  • Tim R. Mortiss says

                    All good points, although I think Province of Judea rather than “occupied province of Judea” would be more accurate. There was no “province” of Judea before…..

                    • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

                      The Roman province was actually called “Judaea.” It could not have become a “province” until it was occupied because the word province meant “conquered territory.”

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      That is my point, but I am most certainly quibbling…..

                    • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

                      I’m quibbling, too — not to correct you, but to support you.

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          It’s interesting all right, but as a provincial rube, of limited sophistication, I do bog down at queer theorists, Foucault, and subcultural deconstructionism, and so on.

          Can’t keep up with our more credentialed brethren, alas.

        • Thomas Barker says

          To put it nicely, the essay was a cascade of steaming horse diarrhea. Mr. Hannon seizes the gay relay baton of philosopher Michel Foucault (died of AIDS, his life partner is AIDS activist), declaring that “homosexual” and “heterosexual” are recently invented categories that must be demolished because they:
          (1) masquerade as natural categories that deceive “those who adopt its labels into believing that such distinctions are worth far more than they really are,”
          (2) the “schema” has “bred both intellectual obscurity and moral disarray” and
          (3) “It is at odds with the freedom for which Christ set us free.”

          As for (1) Let’s disallow “thieves” too as the category of those who steal because those who adopt it might think stealing is a really serious sin. (2) and (3) are just silliness dressed up in frilly philosophical pseudo-insights.

          My favorite line is: “The most pernicious aspect of the orientation-identity system is that it tends to exempt heterosexuals from moral evaluation.” Sorry, but everybody gets moral evaluation in the confessional. This kind of absurdity is typical throughout the essay. Mr. Hannon should get along famously with the Norbertines. I’d bet there’s not one tight end on their team.

          • So if someone dies of AIDS, their historical research is inaccurate? Interesting argument. Do you hate movies starring Rock Hudson, think Magic Johnson was a terrible basketball player (ok, he’s still living), and think Freddie Mercury was a terrible singer? “Heterosexuality” and “homosexuality” are words that originated in the 1800s, whether we like it or not.

            “My favorite line is: “The most pernicious aspect of the orientation-identity system is that it tends to exempt heterosexuals from moral evaluation.” Sorry, but everybody gets moral evaluation in the confessional.”

            You misunderstood the quote, but then correctly summarize the point of the essay. In mainstream Western societies today, being “heterosexual” is the norm, not being Christian. Being “homosexual” is not, although that is changing. The point of the essay is that this actually undermines a Christian view of sexuality – because the norm is “heterosexuality,” an invented social identity, not Christianity. The dominance of “heterosexuality” – so long as I’m playing with the opposite sex, I’m ok – undermines the confessional. I hope this is clear.

            Go back to the writings of the Fathers and see where they use the term “heterosexual” if you’re unclear. You’ll be searching for awhile.

            • You are absolutely right about these terms being new historically. We don’t realize it, but by making these categories we subvert ourselves to a world view that works against us.
              I haven’t gotten through the article yet, but have been thinking all around these terms lately.

            • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

              Hannon’s whole argument is based on the straw man that the words heterosexuality and homosexuality only mean categories of nature because that’s what they were invented to mean in the nineteenth century (he claims). But that’s not the only or even the most common meaning of the words today.

              As commonly understood, heterosexuality is sexuality involving both sexes, and homosexuality is sexuality involving one sex. That distinction is nothing new and has always been a part of Christian understanding. Hannon just doesn’t want to admit it. He claims the “classical Christian tradition” does not support the distinction between heterosexuality and homosexuality, but he cites no one to support this claim — not one Christian Father or any verse of Holy Scripture.

              He completely ignores Christian history because it does not support his argument. As Kyle Harper explains in his book From Shame to Sin (Harvard University Press, 2013), Christians from St. Paul onward were responsible for shifting ancient sexual ethics toward an insistence on heterosexuality and a general condemnation of homosexuality in all forms. The former was approved because it is “natural” (meaning consistent with human nature) while the latter was condemn because it is “unnatural” (meaning inconsistent with human nature).

              Hannon, however, would have us believe that neither is natural. He actually has nothing good to say about heterosexuality. He even says it has been as “abominable” as homosexuality. So the Christian ideal is asexuality? That is not the Christian tradition. That is nonsense — pro-gay, anti-human nonsense.

              • M. Stankovich says

                Dn. Mitchell,

                If we are to accept that “heterosexuality” is a part of the “classic Christian tradition” as you say, it must be “according to image of God [κατ’ εἰκόνα θεοῦ] He made them, male and female [ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ] He made them” (Gen. 1:27). Nevertheless, as you say, the word “heterosexual” is missing – in fact. I am unable, by the Genesis account alone, to find any reference to them in their creation as “sexual beings.” So how to reconcile the words of St. Methodius of Olympus:

                When man and woman looked at one another they did not see two persons as it were, they did not speak in terms of `I’ and `the other’, but each of them, seeing whom he could call the other, said: this is `alter ego’, `the other myself’, `the second myself’, and in that respect, the promise of God and the longing of man was fulfilled. `Helpmeet’ is an approximate translation of something which means one that will stand face to face with him, one who is an equal and more than an equal, not an equal in the sense of being equal but alien, but one who is him and therefore equal to him and who is so much him that it is a revelation of him to himself. It was he and she, it was man and woman, and each of them was a revelation of fulfillment for the one who gazed at his other self.

                Only in the realization of the tragedy of the fall did they realize their nakedness – and I presume their “distinct” sexual features – and they were ashamed.

                So, it seems reasonable to me to ask, when did they become heterosexual? In Adam’s creation? In Eve’s creation? When they “looked upon the other” seeing their desire for one another? At the command “God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground” (Gen. 1:28); thereby presuming this was intended to be accomplished sexually – “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.” (Gen. 1:31) Or was their sexuality reflective of a consequence of the expulsion: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your sufferings; in sorrow you shall bring forth children; and your desire shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you.” (Gen. 3:16) And when did men become homosexual? Did it spontaneously occur at Sodom, or generally consequential to the fall? How did it arise?

                Even if we look at this in reverse – that which was “in the beginning” will be restored, be made new – we have the story of Jesus tempted by the Sadducees who did not believe in the resurrection, and the Lord’s remark, “Do you not therefore err, because you know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are like the angels [ἀλλ’ εἰσὶν ὡς ἄγγελοι] which are in heaven.” (Mk. 12:24-25) Does He mean this literally or allegorically? St. John of Damascus instructs us that the angels “by nature” are “rational, and intelligent, and endowed with free-will, changeable in will.” Further, they are “immortal, not by nature but by grace. For all that has had beginning comes also to its natural end,” and importantly for this purpose, “they have no need of marriage for they are immortal.” They are not sexual beings. (Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, PG 96, Book II, Ch. 3).

                I believe the truth is this: in the never-ending day of the Kingdom, there will neither be heterosexuality, nor homosexuality, nor transgender, nor what have you. They are not of the Kingdom, nor of our nature, nor of “the way it was in the beginning,” nor of the Classic Christian tradition because they are contrivances of the brokeness of our world and the fall of our humanity. I am truly saddened to contemplate the writings of Met. Anthony (Bloom) and his observations of how far removed we are from recognizing our own humanity, and how much we invest in reading books and words other than the Fathers to try and find ourselves.

                • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

                  Time does not permit me to respond in full to all these questions. What I can say now is:

                  1. St. Methodius is speaking of the initial innocence of Adam and Eve — how much they knew of their sexuality before the Fall, not of their already sexual nature and relation (sexual in that they were already distinguished according to sex and related to each other differently on account of one being made from the other).

                  2. The same St. Methodius was quite insistent that the physical difference of sex would persist in the resurrection and argued vigorously against the presumed view of Origen that it would not. Later Fathers by and large sided with Methodius on the matter. In fact, by the end of the fourth century, the pro-Origen Rufinus chided St. Jerome on having once believed as Origen presumably believed.

                  3. All sexual relations are not carnal relations. The sexes relate to each other in many ways that have nothing to do with procreation or concupiscence. For instance, they relate to each other as head and body, as one who gives his life for the other, and one who responds to this gift with thankful service and devotion. This relationship mirrors the relationship of Christ and His Church. It also closely resembles the relationship of the Father and the Son. I’ve already written of this in SVTQ (Winter 2010) and will expand on it in my next book, which is nearing completion.

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    Already, Dn. Mitchell, you make me skeptical when you do not address the word “sexual,” as you are using the term at once to suggest a distinction differentiating a man and a woman, while simultaneously describing the unity which constitutes the relationship between members of the Holy Trinity. It was not my point to suggest that Adam & Eve were created without genitals, nor to imply that “living like the angels” necessitated their loss. Without a word to the contrary, it would reasonably seem more likely that a Greek Father would employ the traditional philosophical term γένος – the root of “genus” and “gender” – as did Plato, Aristotle, Aristophanes, Sophocles, and twenty-one separate times in the New Testament to show distinction between species, biological distinctions between males & females, races, countryman, languages, and so on.

              • Glory to Jesus Christ!

                Dear Fr. Brian,

                Thanks for that reference, which looks great.

                I think there is a big rhetorical tangle on these issues, Dr. Michael.

                I find myself agreeing with aspects of what you both are saying.

                Fundamentally, there is a fissure in our whole current discourse about sexuality (at least in our politics and popular culture). It is that identity politics is based on an essentialist view of sexual identity, no matter how multiplied those identities become, supposedly fixed, supposedly determined by genetics (thus there is supposedly no possible way to argue against it, otherwise one is accused of oppression and being anti-science).

                At the same time, the deconstruction of “nature” as in biological sex has been spearheaded by queer theory that argues there is no essential sexual identity. this too is thought to be somehow scientific.

                Both arguments seem to be used interchangeably but contradictorily.

                In that sense I think Hannon’s approach can have value (although I wouldn’t have written it in the same way, and his mode of explaining it may reflect his Catholic emphases). That is, in addressing the confusion between embodied sex (male and female) and gender and sexuality today in our technocratic politics (on which see C.S. Lewis’ That Hideous Strength :)).

                The existing rhetoric is almost impenetrable except by converting aspects of it against itself.

                So Hannon’s argument may have utility in helping to flip or convert some of the discourse on sexuality in education and media, as I think Dr. Michael points out. But it’s not necessarily patristic, as Dn. Brian I think points out. To me, it’s a little like St. Basil and others converting the philosophy and science of their day. May we all be worthy in a small way of helping with that project regarding sex in apologetics, on what one friend called the great heresy of our day.

                C.S. Lewis talked about “Mere Christianity.” I wonder if someday we may be able to talk in Orthodox terms of “Queer Christianity,” having converted that term too, as strange as that may sound!

                Queer, like social justice, sustainability, diversity and other terms, increasingly is becoming part of our culture’s secular sense of natural law, and follows from Foucault’s work, as in queer theory, queer studies, the Q in LGBTQ, even according to some radical secular scholars queer theology.

                To the degree that the term queer points to the strangeness of hybridity, maybe in some future discourse it can be converted, to appreciate the counter-cultural and uncanny hybridity of a biological male and a biological female coming together to form a body that in a sense types the cosmic marriage of Christ and His Church.

                Or the even deeper uncanny hybridity of God becoming a human being with a virgin birth.

                Ultimately we may see marriage as natural, but it is so arguably in a supernatural natural way, if that makes sense. Marriage in Orthodoxy is a mystery and not a contract. Christian apophaticism, for example, assumes a certain mysterious strangeness that could be put under the label queer without the political associations of the latter term today.

                Modern cyborg and queer theory in that sense have nothing on Christian tradition.

                There is a certain part of our cultural discourse among young people that is into strange beauty, the uncanny, and mystery.

                Maybe working on these kinds of discourse issues may help to reach them through apologetics.

                But, like adapting Origen, there also may be dangers of prelest, heresty, etc. It’s beyond my pay grade for sure, but perhaps we can all unworthily work on these issues a little bit, sometimes seemingly from different directions but hopefully with Orthodox grounding, as God gives us light.

                Please pray for me the sinner,


            • Michael Bauman says

              So if someone dies of AIDS, their historical research is inaccurate?

              Matt, dying of AIDS does indeed indicate the high probability of bias in one’s historical research and interpretation. History (despite the 19th century positivists) is not an empirical enterprise or at least not mainly an empirical enterprise. History is a bit like those TV movies which are ‘based on a real event’.

              Historians are trained to recognize the bias of others in historical evidence and in the collection and interpretation of data they use. Historians are also supposed to at least attempt to minimize and account for their own bias. There is no such thing as objectivity in the writing of history.

              Dishonest historians turn into propagandists when they are so subject to their own bias that the bias has become an ideology.

              That is what is happening with the homosexual narrative in our culture and the Church, it is propaganda driven by an ideology that is anti-human and anti-Christian.

              We are all effected by it and will be increasingly effected by it as the ideology becomes more and more a part of the mind of our age. The logical outcome of the ideology is that what we consider normal sexuality will be looked at as the perversion. We are already to the point where, by and large, any consensus moral constraint on sexual conduct is looked on as something approaching evil.

              There is no compromise here in the sense of attempting to find a ‘middle way’ between Christian moral understanding because that moral understanding is founded on a cosmology and an anthropology which contradicts in everyway possible the homosexualists agenda of ‘normalizing’

              In attempting to muddy and obliterate the cooperative distinction between male and female while at the same time reducing everything to sexuality, the purveyors of the propaganda seek to obliterate one of the primary aspects of our humanity and our interrelationship with our Creator.

              “Male and female created He them.” God also designed how male and female interact in a synergistic interdependence that allows us to fulfill the fundamental commandments He gave to us in the Garden: Dress and Keep the Earth; be fruitful and multiply.

              We can either allow Holy Tradition to inform and critique the modern or we can give into the temptation to allow the modern to critique Holy Tradition. The first way leads to a greater understanding as part of our mutual quest for holiness. The latter leads to the nihilist nightmare of nothingness. That way leads to total subjection to the Superman, none other than the father of lies.

              And please folks, don’t even think that anything I am saying is ‘hatred’ of homosexuals and those who struggle with homoerotic passions. I am a firm believer in Shakespeare’s observation in The Merchant of Venice: “…we do all pray for mercy and that same prayer of mercy teaches us to render the deeds of mercy…”

              Real mercy, however, is founded on knowing what is real and entering into a life or repentance because I know how far off the mark I am. {Sin after all is a word taken from archery meaning to miss the mark}

        • M. Stankovich says

          What a fascinating take on this article by Michael Hannon, published on Slate today by Mark Joseph Stern, entitled Gay Denialism Is the New Homophobia—and It’s Terrifying. In effect, the author sees this article as Hannon’s “random homophobic potshots [that] turn out to be nothing more than curious tangents along the winding road to Hannon’s final argument, a philippic against legal rights for gays.”

          Gay denialism may be fundamentally religious, yet as Hannon illustrates, it can be gussied up to look like a coolly intellectual philosophy. By reducing gay identity to sex acts, gay denialism rips from LGBTQ people their dignity and humanity—the very things that form the cornerstone of their fight for equality.

          Apparently, however, the underlying dynamic (“His [Hannon’s] only aim”) is to “free Christians from the sinful shackles of sexual orientation; his message is not one of hatred, but of love, peace, and faith.” Somewhere, I can only imagine Dr. Freud nods his head, Yes, yes, indeed, yes.” And if only Foucault had lived to see “Gay Denialism…”

      • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

        Surely, “Co-Redemptrix” is one of the silliest words invented; it implies another Redemptrix as well, iin other words, TWO Redemptrixes!!! If one wanted to make her co-equal with the Redeemer, then she would have to be a Co-Redeemer. Some people, learning new words, just can’t get enough of them. Confusion, confusion, confusion. Oh well some are not content with prosaic, every-day life,but need DRAMA: Condemnations, Imprecations, Vituperation. The sheer almost sensual delight in such appelations as ‘Father of lies’ and so on is kind of sad, but, we must admit, human: perverse, but human..
        “Co-Redemptrix” is like “Co-Queen”

    • William Harrington says

      I have heard this imputed to the RC and certainly the immaculate conception is heresy, but you go further. Where in the creeds or catechism of the Roman Catholic Church is Mary taught to be God? There have been radical theologians that have proposed this, but the Roman Catholic Church has official doctrine and theology. Please sight primary sources when making accusations. The US constitution and your right to freedom of religion do not constitute in you any authority that must be listened to and, while the RCC is heretical, as far as I can tell they seem to be closer to a source of authority that I would accept than your own person. Back it up or you are just another self appointed prophet who has found a more comfortable media than standing on the street corner with sandwich boards proclaiming “The End is Nigh”!

      • Michael Bauman says

        There was a movement in the RCC back in the 90s to officially elevate the Blessed Mother to the Godhead. It fizzled.

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        Let Michael be Michael!

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          The other Michael that is! The other other Michael’s post was not yet visible to me! (Like much else…..)

      • Michael Kinsey says

        A measured and thoughtful criticism by Mr. Harrington. The answer is in the Holy Scripture, A servant is not above His Master, nor is a servant’s preferences required to be reconciled by the Master, as is commonly done among those of equal authority, to find agreement.. A servant is not above or equal to His Master. Commonsense descerns this with ease.. Co Redemtrix as savior with the Christ, carries this obligation of agreement.. Being of one mind I am sure They always agree , but His Father’s business is always foremost, that business of the Uncreate, concerning the created. The Most Holy Theotokos is not part of this Divine Power and Authority, or St John would have mentioned Her in his first Chapter, In the beginning was the Word , and His MOM.

        • Michael Kinsey says

          Know ye not, I must be about my Father’s business, addressing HIs Mother and ST. Joesph. It does not appear they are co equal to me, with the same Power Authority and ability to redeem mankind. Not having the same concerns is obvious, as they worreid where He was, foremost in their minds. Not wrong of them, but, a secondary concern to the Salvation of mankind, in perfect accordance to the Command of God, Life Eternal. If She was co redemtrix she would have known His Father’s business as He did..

      • Michael Kinsey says

        Claiming co authorship of a book implies and equal contribution by both authors. Co Redemrix implies an EQUAL contribution by the Most Holy Theotokos and Jesus Christ.. The RRC need not claim directly the divinity of the Mother of God, but it is , without question, implied. While it does make Christianity compatible with pagan mystery religion, with an equal female and male deity. The compatibility is an excellent advantage over exclusive authentic Christianity if you wish to create an all encompassing ecumenical world religion.. The RRC champions the ecumenical movement from the Vatican and does claim spiritual sovereignty over all religion. They are the mother church , all others are daughters. You may research this yourself, if you have any doubts as to their claim. You may believe this if you see their own writings, but, perhaps, not believe me.

      • Actually (and to be fair) the movement was to have her officially named Co-Redemptrix. Not quite the same as elevation to the Godhead (although that is arguable in terms of practical piety). It is sort of a natural, logical result of a doctrine of immaculate conception. Consistent, logical, and yet another branch in the growth of heresy. The result of subjecting the beauty of poetry to extreme of rationality.

        • Michael Kinsey says

          Thank you Brian.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Brian if memory serves it was both with the emphasis as co-redemtrix. Led by some prominent women religious. The Pope ignored it and it died.

          • Oh, it was more than some women religious, Michael – a petition was begun in the 1990s for the pope to consider the proclamation of Mary co-redemptrix and it garnered 6 million signatures, including over 40 cardinals and over 500 bishops, although it is true the pope poured cold water on it. I suspect the question will arise again, though, especially if Catholicism finds itself in retreat or under attack in the West.

          • I obviously have no quibble with the fact that proclaiming her Co-Redemptrix would be a furtherance of existing heresy in a practical, if (possibly) not dogmatic sense. And I have no idea about the motivations of those who signed the petition.

            I only know that we have a very ‘orthodox’ Catholic radio station in my area to which I listen often (It beats listening to most of what’s on the dial these days). God knows it leaves me with not a twinge of desire to convert, but it has shown me that some (certainly not all) of what many think of Catholicism is a caricature of what faithful Roman Catholics actually believe, the popular beliefs and piety of nominal Catholics notwithstanding.

            It is helpful to bear in mind that a reading of many of our own hymns to the Mother of God could very easily lead those outside the Orthodox Church to conclude that we, too, worship Mary and view her as Co-Redemptrix. That also would be a caricature of both our poetry and our piety.

            It is not my intention to defend Rome. I just wouldn’t want to miss-characterize their intentions. It’s not helpful to anyone.

            • Michael Bauman says

              The difference is that I really doubt that anyone in the Orthodox communion would ever consider such a thing as what happened in the RCC with that petition which was quite specific. I was periodically watching Mother Angelica on EWTN at the time and she was really pushing it. As I recall, I pretty much stopped watching her after that.

              • That is very true. No one in the Orthodox communion would ever consider such a thing. The RCC seems (to me anyway) to have a very different understanding of the ‘development’ of doctrine than we Orthodox. The very idea of petitions to change dogma is incomprehensible to Orthodox Christians.

                Actually, I have to take that back – at least in part. There are some who call themselves Orthodox Christians pushing for female ordination and/or homosexuality, ignorant of the fact that this would constitute a change of dogma. But then, they wouldn’t be Orthodox Christians; would they?

                • Tim R. Mortiss says

                  I like the line somewhere in one of Ms. Matthews-Greene’s writings that I saw a couple of years back: to the effect that if you don’t like something about Orthodoxy, “there’s nowhere to lodge a protest.” (This was, of course, praise.)

                  Much less to put forward a “petition” to change dogma!

                  The situation of the Presbyterian Church in the USA is somewhat different. Let me digress and show how it has worked there, something I know a bit about as a 65-year member.

                  Presbyterians are proud, historically, of their orderly organization and processes. At the congregational level, “rule” by elders, together with the pastor. The pastor is not a member of the congregation, but of “Presbytery”. The Presbytery is the higher organization, or “judicatory”, above the congregation, which elects elder delegates to it. It will encompass a few counties-worth of congregations. There is a further body, the Synod (this will take in several States).

                  Then, the main governing body is the General Assembly, which is national and meets every two years. The members come from the Presbyteries. It is a good representative system, very “republican” [small “r”], and served pretty well for centuries.

                  The unanticipated problem? It can be taken over, provided organized parties and groups work at it for long enough. The pastorate and the activist types who pursue election to the higher bodies are in the modern area much more “progressive” than the congregations. For the last 20 years or so, the General Assemblies fought over “gay ordination”, which was voted down by ever-decreasing margins until the last one, where it finally passed. So, ultimately, having a mechanism to “hear protests or petitions” and ultimately to promulgate rules for the church, leads to its downfall.

                  I will add, since there has been a lot written here lately about judicial processes within the Orthodox church, the Presbyterians have very good written policies and are very serious about due process and swift hearings. I myself acted as defense trial counsel twice before the Permanent Judicial Commission of the Presbytery of Olympia in cases charging pastors with adultery, and in such matters the church has very fair and prompt procedures.

            • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

              Amen to Brian’s point about people mischaracterizing Roman Catholic doctrine and belief. Amen also to his point about poetry being taken too literally — but not just by RC’s; many O’s do this as well, so that they might as well call our Lady “co-redemptrix.” Some of our prayers do in fact speak of her as, if not God, then a demigod. Here’s one:

              “My most gracious Queen, my hope, Mother of God, shelter of orphans, and intercessor of travelers, strangers, and pilgrims, joy of those in sorrow, protectress of the wronged, see my distress, see my affliction! Help me, for I am helpless. Feed me, for I am a stranger and pilgrim. Thou knowest my offence; forgive and resolve it as thou wilt. For I know no other help but thee, no other intercessor, no gracious consoler but thee, O Mother of God, to guard and protect me throughout the ages. Amen.”

              A bit hyperbolic, no? But say that publicly and some O’s will climb the walls.

              Now, as to “co-redemptrix,” the prefix co- does not always mean or suggest equality. Often it means only participation, as in the words coaction and cooperation, co- being short for com-, which in Latin means “with.”

              In that sense, we are all co-redemptors, working with Christ to save ourselves and others. And our Lady is the co-redemptrix par excellence, doing more to save everybody than any other mere human — but still only doing what a human can do, which is a lot less than what God can do and has done.

    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

      Michael Kinsey, does refusing to serve two masters mean rendering nothing to Caesar? St. Paul was a Roman citizen in good standing, no? He didn’t need a Christian government anywhere in the world. The Church exists and even flourishes under anti-Christian governments.
      Instead of obsessing about “co-redemptress”, in which no Orthodox believe except to chant, “All-Holy Theotokos, save us,” and making your own Pope-like declarations from time to time, why not prepare for the Fast. And remember even you are infallible, like everyone else, when you speak the Truth. Your problem is not speaking, but discerning it. Your marksmanship is barely passing.
      And most all our Holy Fathers left the Apocalypse alone and it’s not to be aloud in Church.

      • Michael Kinsey says

        It is obedience to Christ to render unto Ceasar what is his, His ( Christ’s)command is obeyed in service to the Holy God alone, obeyed as they render Ceasar what it his. Why do you ask such stupid questions? Freemason catholic cardinals make you claim thier is a Chaitin government still around lying horse hocky. Knock it off , jerk! Al liars go to hell, that will obviously include you.

        • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

          Oh, oh, oh! Chuckle, giggle, snort! I’m thinking of re-posting Michael Kinsey’s sentence that begins “Freemason catholic cardinals” on Facebook. It’s funnier than John Cleese’s Funny Walk!
          Watch these out-of-control passions, my man! I repeat, prepare for the Great 40 Day Fast!!! Lord, have mercy!
          I want to put “Heracleides” and everyone else on notice that I’m thinking of posting with a pseudonym, but I want everyone to know it’s me. I just am in love with Michael’s outburst: “Horse Hocky”, and so if you see a message here from “Horse Hocky”, you’ll know it’s me. Oh the days are WAY too short!

          • Michael Kinsey says

            Petty, very petty. Google the list of freemason cardinals, over 50 , at least. freemasonry is pure Horis/Isis.. You can’t handle the Truth, apparently. Or your on their side and don’t want their sneaky infiltration to become common knowledge among Christians. It’ one or the other.

          • Aaron Little says

            Are you really a bishop or just someone profane pretending to be a bishop? Either way, shame on you for your horrible words and deeds.

            • Yes, he’s really a Bishop. He’s the retired former Bishop of San Fransisco and the West for the OCA.

            • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

              Oh,Aaron! Just call me horse hocky and get it over with if you can’t find anything particular to find fault with or don’t feel up to reasoning. “Either way” get help! May God Almighty, the All-Holy Trinity bless your goings in and your comings out! ( )
              Retired Bishop of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and the West, The Orthodox Church in America
              Captain, United States Air Force (Reserve)(Retired)

              • Judas was made a full fledged apostle with fully equal abilities as the other apostles. That ,obviously did not guarantee fidelity to the Truth, Jesus Christ, nor does your clerical .rank, or the clerical rank of Freemason cleric.s. Works and fruits are the test. You flunked so far

            • Aaron Little,

              It is because of people like you that the OCA is in deep trouble. Why don’t you go back to your hole and repent.

          • Michael Kinsey says

            It appears to me, the bishop rejoices with malicious glee, while insisting his lie concerning a functioning Christian government still existing is the truth. So is the government claiming Osama ben Laden ordered the 911 demolitions. Can’t beat a liar seems to be what this bishops puts his faith in.. And this reflects on my statement concerning Fr. Gerasim’s behavior while I was in Platina, which I posted long ago..I was startled by his first attack then, but this time I am prepared for it. I remain sober and vigilant..

        • Who are you to judge anyone? I know Bishop Tikhon can be a curmudgeon and down right mean, but you are obviously mentally ill and have a serious case of prelest. Who are you to talk to a Bishop of the Church that way? You’re out of your mind. You contribute nothing helpful. You would be better off going away frankly, going to a therapist and a priest.

          • Michael Kinsey says

            I’ ll talk t anyone who is lying through his teeth or dead wrong anyway I feel like. I don’t like being lied to or misinformed. When he shows me some respect, I’ll show him some. What I won’t do is kiss his butt, or yours, jerk.. Hold your breath waiting, ahh don’t take a breath.!

  14. Michael Kinsey says

    The 3 rd horseman is given power to take Peace from the earth opening the way for the 4 the horseman, the culture of death.. Islam and Communism have devastated Byzantium and Holy Orthodox Russia and the Balkan states, subduing them .The secular humanist value system is the 3rd horseman, a scale, not an implement of war, as a bow or sword. carried by Islam and Communism. Abortion, legalized by the humanist value system has destroyed 1.2 billion innocent children. There is no country in the whole world that is civilized, we are become the foul hold of the demonic. The Ram and the he goat the beginning of the end has been playing out since the first Gulf war. It is not the end, the mark must appear first.. When it appears, God’s total war will begin, as Michael stands up. God will requite the innocent blood, we have sowed it, and WE WILL REAP IT.

    • Clawdia Chauchat says

      Are you asking us to start preparing for the Second Coming?

      • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

        I’m not fooled, “Clawdia,” you’re really Frau Stoehr and next you’ll ask for someone to play Beethoven’s “Erotica.”

        • Clawdia Chauchat says

          Clawdia plays the opposite to the Lord Death; is Russian not German; and the music preference is from Alexander Borodin – just to be clear about everything.

          • Bishop Tikhon says

            To clarify, Clawdia, you are not an actress playing opposite anyone; you come from Russia but may be more Kirghiz than anything Slavic. You slam doors; however here on “Monomachos” you are given to Frau Stoehr-like antics which make one Clawdia would never give M. Kinsey the time of day.

  15. Francis Frost says

    It was nice to have you worship with us in Stillwater today. I am sorry you were not able to stay for the coffee hour. Some of our Georgian parishioners would very much like to meet with you and discuss your theory as to who actually invaded and ravaged their homeland. We also have Russian parishioners who could discuss Russian politics and the current scandal in the Moscow Patriarchate with you.

    George, once again in this posting you have provided us with a monument of illogic. The article you reference shows that Stalin succeeded in the genocide of the Holodomor due to Western inattention and indifference. And, you George, take this as evidence that the West should once again remain inattentive and indifferent to the fate of those who Mr. Putin wants to enslave inside his “zone of influence” ??? !! ???

    Not begin the erudite and diplomatic lawyer and clergyman that Father George Washburn is, I can only characterize your reasoning in our local parlance as “half assed backwards” Go figure.

    It may come as a shock to you; but The Ukrainian, Moldovan and Georgian people , and especially the Russian people want to live a normal life and enjoy the same civil rights and opportunities that you enjoy here in America. To dismiss their aspirations as insignificant and unnecessary is ignorant, unjust and cynical in the extreme.

    If you want to know about Russia, you might pay some attention to what actual Russians are saying. Below is an op-ed piece in today’s Wall Street Journal by the Russian author Mikhail Shishkin.

    What is most alarming about all this is that the Moscow Patriarchate’s ties to the “power vertical” cause most Russians to equate the Orthodox Church with communism, oppression, totalitarianism, corruption and violence. There will be a heavy price to pay for all of this, and the bill is coming due soon. Russia’s own saints warned us; but as usual no-one is listening.

    Sochi Olympics: Russian Writer Mikhail Shishkin Holds His Applause
    To Mikhail Shishkin, Russia today, under President Vladimir Putin, resembles too closely the Russia of old

    Like most Russians, Mikhail Shishkin has no memory of the 1980 Olympic hockey game known in America as “The Miracle on Ice.”
    That isn’t because the Soviets lost that game to America, however. The game took place shortly after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Following that offensive, Shishkin, who was 19 at the time, says he stopped supporting the Soviet sports regime.
    Thirty-four years later, his love of Russia and its people is palpable in the novels and short stories that have made him one of that nation’s most revered modern writers. But he’s a critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin. In an essay written for The Wall Street Journal, Shishkin expresses an ongoing disinclination to support the Olympic endeavors of his homeland.

    My grandmother went blind in old age. In her final years she lived with my father, spending whole days sitting alone in the apartment, so I tried to call her more often. In the middle of a conversation she would start asking, “Who is this?”

    “Grandma, it’s me! Misha.”
    “Misha? Misha, is that you? Where are they taking you? Let him go!”

    Every time I called she got stuck in the day they arrested her husband, my grandfather, in whose honor I was named. He died in a labor camp in Siberia. My grandmother would cry into the receiver, “What are you doing? Where are you taking him? Misha! Misha!” There was nothing I could do.

    I cannot help feeling that we all, the entire country, have been condemned to that wasted era. Every time Russia wakes, it wakes not to the next day, but to the previous one. It is a characteristic of every Russian to have been born into an empire: Russian orthodox, communist, postcommunist, whatever.

    One could attach the label ‘Déjà vu’ to everything that is going on in contemporary Russia. Once again we have an autocracy. Once again the courts serve the authorities instead of the law. Once again, the censors, the spirit of enslavement. Once again, the lie, the showing off, and the life principle: “It is better to stoop too low than not low enough.” In the new Russian empire, even the old Soviet anthem, personally selected by Stalin, has been restored.

    The current Olympics painfully resemble the Moscow Olympics. Once again, state propaganda, as it did then, assures us that “sports are outside politics.” But under a regime that has political prisoners, everything is politics, including sports.

    As a child, I rooted for the Russians against the Czechs. But in my mid teens, I came to realize that this wasn’t simply hockey—for the Czechs, this was battle. “You’ve got your tanks—we’ve got our pucks.”

    Sport was a weapon of the Cold War. Hockey victories prolonged the regime’s life, and losses shortened it.
    Along with eternal questions like “Who is to blame?,” there is another dilemma that occupies Russian minds: Should we wish victory or defeat for our state? If you love your fatherland, then should you wish victory or defeat for it? In the minds of the people, it remains unclear where the Fatherland ends and the regime begins.
    My school friend died in Afghanistan. They told him that he was defending the homeland over there. We would go to see his parents. Every time his mother would start crying: “What homeland? What homeland?” We would say nothing.

    I remember a news report when the war in Chechnya began. A Russian soldier, still just a boy, said, “I am here defending my homeland.”

    A regime, no matter the ideology, Orthodoxy, communism, Orthodoxy once more, always manipulated its people by means of patriotism—the trick worked flawlessly. And it continues to work. Now television propaganda is preparing Russians to defend the homeland in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. From what, Ukrainian occupiers?

    The regime controls the population through television. For the majority of Russians the state television channels are their only source of information. As the fictional but great 19th-century writer Kozma Pruktov put it: “Many people are like sausages: what you stuff them with is what they will carry in themselves.”
    Through the “zombie box” the state power is controlling and manipulating people, driving into their heads that holy Rus’ is surrounded by enemies and only the Father of the Nation over in the Kremlin can save us from enemies, foreign and domestic.

    Patriotism is a sacred Russian cow masticating human rights like cud. The new Russian empire, reborn before our eyes, has declared patriotism and the military victories of the past to be their ideology. In Russia, that’s a sure wager. These words were spoken over a century and a half ago: “They have started to emphasize patriotism. Apparently, they have been embezzling.”

    But those words sound as though they were spoken about our own thieving officials, who above all are concerned with love of country.

    It’s especially vile how every regime hides behind great writers. Pushkin and Tolstoy raised the intrinsic value of Russia to fundamentally new heights for Russians. It is one thing to feel that you belong to a country whose history consists of wars and an endless bloody battle for power. It is quite another to feel that you belong to the country that produced “Eugene Onegin” and “War and Peace.” That country is worth defending in endless wars.
    Thus every regime hides behind the great poets. And so the opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympics was not without Natasha Rostova’s first ball.

    My country is a bad student. We don’t want to learn the lessons of history. The Germans got over the idea of “patriotism” long ago, and Germany has made great strides in its social and economic progress.

    In Russia, scoundrels and idiots have profiteered in love for their fatherland for too long. How many sons must parents send to the slaughterhouse so that the borders of our country might creep this way and that?

    To be sure, taking a stand against power, force, your own government, against “patriotism,” is not easy. Especially if you are responsible for a family, your children. It is precisely on this care for loved ones that regimes have always caught people, as on a hook. It is how they catch people now, and it is how they will catch people in the future. It is easy to sacrifice one’s self for a good cause. It is very difficult when sacrificing one’s self would entail the sacrifice of one’s loved ones.

    The discussion needn’t be about the risk of going to jail. Suppose it were merely the risk of losing one’s job. We are always hostage to the people we love. True slavery is always a little bit voluntary.

    Arrests and internments will begin in this country again after we have crossed the Olympic finish line. And at that point all we will be able to do is hope that a next batch of political prisoners will be “pardoned” before the World Cup, which will take place in Russia in 2018.

    Or will Russia finally wake up from the Middle Ages?

    I want my country to be victorious in sport. But I do not want the anthem of dictators to be performed for the whole world upon that victory.

    Translated from Russian by Cory Merrill.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Francis, I very much enjoyed myself this morning. I regret very much that I couldn’t stay for lunch as I got called into work a little earlier than expected. I hope to return soon after you are in your new temple.

  16. Michael Kinsey says

    I realize I am over doing my comments, and I apologize and will take pains to refrain from this excess. It is done in response to assertions and questions if feel very strongly need to not be left un -addressed.. The blood of bulls and goats can never become an acceptable recompense for sin after the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross, who alone fulfill the Royal Law perfectly, stated clearly by St Paul. Nor is the kingdom of heaven a house divide against itself between salvation by Jewish temple sacrifice and the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.. 2 different ways to salvation, in opposition and some hostility towards each other..The Jews do not honor Jesus Christ. Why would the Holy God re-inhabit a 3rd temple site to accept a useless sacrifice of bulls and goats. It is the Holy Divine Presence that make the temple Holy, not the other way around, the temple does not make God Holy.The only possible way the 3rd temple could become Holy is if the Jews all convert to authentic Christianity while still controlling the temple site. I deem this extremely unlikely.

  17. M. Stankovich says

    I don’t know if saw that Mr. Coates wrote a very short, and in my estimation, very offensive essay today regarding the fact Michael Dunn was not convicted of the murder of Jordan Davis, in the Florida case compared to the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman Case.

    He made plenty of strong generalizations, many hot-tempered accusations, one of which was a bi-line

    I insist that the irrelevance of black life has been drilled into this country since its infancy, and shall not be extricated through the latest innovations in Negro Finishing School.

    But most offensive was that the piece was closed to comments. While he railed that young black males are simply not safe – despite anything their parent might do to save them – because of the endemic racism (“Spare us the invocations of “black-on-black crime.” I will not respect the lie. I would rather be thought insane.”). I wanted to tell him, “Your children are perfectly safe with me. I don’t own a gun. I don’t need a gun. I don’t want a gun. Now what?”

  18. I reposted the deinitio of the abomination of desolation at the bottom of the page of Part 3, MOral something, posted just down the home page. Pardon, the typo’s. feel duty bound to infrom any who ask, as one did on the Hor, whatever blog at the top of the home page. I don’t memorize ever strange word iI see, thus i annot spell it from memory. Bless you all..

  19. Michael Kinsey says

    There is one point of contention, which is the truth. Horis/Iss freemason catholic cardinals and Orthodox cleric’s or their all pure Judeo-Christian. Whoever is wrong is the worker of iniquity. The other defends the Truth.

  20. Michael Kinsey says

    The of men of Ninivah will rise up and condemn this generation. I most emphatically condemn the practice of wholesale slaughter of 1.3 billion children by abortion. Many on this site have called me insane. Is it then insane to condemn abortion? Or the reality of pagans claiming rule over Christianity, in the form of Masonic cleric’s? I think not, rather it shows a sound mind and a Christian soul..Run on for a long tome, run on for a long time, sooner or later, God’ going to cut you down. The ax is laid at the tree, God will cut you down, sooner the better.

  21. Reader Patrick says

    Have I unwittingly stumbled upon a redux of the Indiana List?

    After sifting through masses of ad hominem attacks and theological speculations, I have derived the following salient points from this thread:

    “Put not your trust in princes, in sons of men in whom there is no salvation.”

    The “last days” foretold by the Prophet Joel commenced on the Day of Pentecost following the Ascension of Our Lord. We are all living on borrowed time.

    Great Lent approaches, and via the Week of the Prodigal Son the Church calls us to prepare.

  22. Truly disturbing.

  23. I agree with not trusting teological speculations, of course, I quote proven facts, and Holy Scripture in context. You will not successfully dismiss all I have written, here, with insinuating it is all speculation.Reader Patrick. To do so is to insinuate the Holy Scripture, which I trust is all speculation. The Holy God know what you were trying to do. I need not bother judging it.

  24. Mike Myers says

    This thread is as good as the other to ask again for the forgiveness of those on this blog. Yet again I’ve been intemperate, ridiculously pretentious and worse, this time in posting comments about Russian history and hypocritical opinions about the shortcomings of the ROC. I doubt it comes as much of a surprise to anyone to hear me admit that I’m nowhere near competent or qualified to have an opinion worth stating publicly on such large and weighty matters. Pointless, pretentious chatter, almost exclusively. I’m ashamed of myself.

    If I’ve offended, I beg your forgiveness. I think it’s past time for me be silent here. Please pray for me, a sinner.

    I hope everyone has a blessed, fruitful and joyous Lent.

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      You are no different than any of us. This is why Lent is here, and I am proud to take this journey of forgiveness and redemption with you and all others on this blog. God bless you Mike and keep on your journey toward Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.