Counterflow Podcast: The Fordhamites, Russophobia & More!

Last week, Gail and I had the extreme honor to join Fr John Whiteford, Dissident Mama, and the esteemed Jim Jatras on Buck Johnson’s Counterflow.

The topics of discussion were our friends the Fordhamites and their various minions.  It seems that their critique of American Orthodoxy and ours don’t mesh.

Not for the first time, we’ve been in their crosshairs.  It usually has something to do with converts, the South, nationhood, and those wascally Wussians.  

So, since we’ve all been taken to task at one time or another, Buck Johnson (who is a catechumen in the Orthodox Church) wanted to know “what’s up with all that?”  And what better way to find out than by hosting a panel discussion on these subjects.

We had a great time and we can’t thank Buck enough for putting up with us.  (Well, at least me –Gail and Rebecca are easy on the eyes.)

Anyway, here it is!  We hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed doing it!





  1. Excellent discussion.

    With liberals, hyperbole is the currency of communication. Their slurs, for us, are badges of honor but to them they are seriously discrediting. But it is possible to take them seriously if you understand that they have a point in their emotional reasoning even though the dispassionate facts do not support their extreme conclusions.

    Liberals can look at the revival of the Russian state as an overtly, unapologetic Orthodox Christian one. They can look at Putin’s speeches and interviews regarding social policy and culture. They can see the rise of Viktor Orban in Hungary and Law and Justice in Poland. They have been wary of the Serbs for decades simply for taking up for themselves following the disintegration of Yugoslavia. Also, they have watched with concern the whole Brexit drama, Nigel Farage, and the limited successes of Marine Le Pen in France as well as the yellow vests. They are also aware of AfD in Germany.

    Trump’s election in 2016 only convinced them that it can also happen here. They saw him, rightly, as outside the liberal consensus of the Uniparty. They see Putin and Russia as the background or unipole around which all of these heresies (from their perspective) revolve and from which they are inspired. And they notice that there is a continuity in the ideas of these people, a more traditional understanding, which terrifies them that it might take over the West.

    So, in the minds of liberals, the Russia Hoax is real enough regardless of the evidence. But recently they have bitten off more than they can chew. Not only did they steal an election without even bothering to cover it up effectively, but they drove Russia into an alliance with China with which, up until now, they had had a fairly cozy relationship. Now they have Russia, China and India arrayed against them as well as the populists in the US and Europe.

    In short, liberals are a dying breed. They must either impose a police state or relinquish power. Six to five and you pick em.

    • George Michalopulos says

      What you describe is a mental illness. Still, your assessment is correct.

  2. George Michalopulos says

    Speaking of mental illness, the sodomites are coming to Ukraine’s defense:

    They’ve got the Ukrainians backs no doubt. (I expect the Fordhamites to laud these “unicorn soldiers” any minute now.

  3. George Michalopulos says

    Andrei Martyonov (quoting James Kunstler and the late Sir Roger Scruton) best sums up why many of us in the West support Russia in this civilizational war:

    “I have been on record for years that the best what Western Civilization gave to the world survives today in Russia. For all (justified) distancing of modern Russia from contemporary West, it is Russia who is genuinely Western in civilizational sense than modern day Europe or the United States. Especially when one gets to the definition of Western Civilization, such as given by late Roger Scruton, who, incidentally, was a Russophobe.

    ‘The roots of Western civilization lie in the religion of Israel, the culture of Greece, and the law of Rome, and the resulting synthesis has flourished and decayed in a thousand ways during the two millennia which followed the death of Christ.’

    What passes today for modern “West” is hardly Western in any meaningful sense and loses last connections to what Western mind and ethos were in the last 500 years, which gave us not only wars and suffering–characteristic of ANY civilization–but greatest achievements of science, art, industry and human spirit. Most of it is gone today in the combined West. Which is post-Christian not in a sense of the dwindling number of people attending church services on Sunday but in losing Christian ethics substituting it with terrifying menagerie of human anomalies in moral and physiological sense. This becomes evident to many people nowadays, and while Russia is not without her own blemishes of national character and life, what she represents today for many people around the world, is what the combined West was supposed to become but never did.” (Emphasis added.)

    In other words, the West is no longer the West, but a menagerie of ideologies specifically designed to put down normal people while extolling freaks and perverts.

    • This is true. IMO the individuals I encounter on a daily basis have largely forgotten their Christian heritage, and they have little to no idea of what it is – and I am talking about the “Christians” I know whose families WERE Christian. It’s gone or going fast, replaced with something else. Unless a person takes a determined and active stance against this “culture” they are largely lost from it.

  4. Just finished the podcast, everyone was great.

    I hope y’all continue to meet and fight against the NPR & Fordhamite crowd, not only on your individual websites but together, strength in numbers. I know there are many other online Orthodox personalities like David Erhan and Patriarch Prime (who Dissident Mamma had on) who are also fighting against the current anti-Orthodox zeitgeist.

    We are all called to fight for the Faith, unfortunately it is against some who are in the Church themselves. I really appreciate what you said Gail about converting and having to leave people behind and so you take the Faith seriously because of what you have had to give up, and I think that is a sentiment that me and many, many other converts share. For those of us in the 20-30’ish age group any semblance of cultural Christianity is dead, so those of us that still practice in spite of that take it seriously.

    Side note, I noticed that Jim mentioned he goes to St. Herman’s, does that mean he has left the Greek Archdiocese? I was under the impression that’s where he was.

  5. Meant to add that I agree with the podcast consensus, the NPR article will, and probably is, backfiring and will actually end up drawing more people to Orthodoxy. I haven’t seen anything to the contrary.

  6. George Michalopulos says

    So the Ministry of Truth is coming back after all:

  7. LonelyDn says

    Disgusting Ukraine Debuts LGBTQ ‘Unicorn’ Troops

    Ukraine’s gay, lesbian, and transgender military volunteers are adding a unicorn patch to their uniforms, right under the national flag.

    The patch is meant as a rebuke to Russian rhetoric about “de-Nazification” and Russian rhetoric about the absence of homosexuals in the military forces of former Soviet territories.

    The unicorn patch became popular with Ukraine’s LGBTQ community after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. Since there were supposedly no gay soldiers in the army, gays sarcastically chose the mythological unicorn as their symbol.

    Germany’s Deutsche Welle (DW) reported last summer that Ukrainian soldiers began coming out in greater numbers in 2018, including those deployed to fight Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. Even then, gay Ukrainian troops thought identifying themselves could help counter Russian propaganda about fascists running Kyiv.

    “One of our aims is to expose the lies of Russian propaganda myths that claim Ukraine is being ruled by a ‘neo-Nazi junta.’ How could there be talk of neo-Nazis in an army that has gay-friendly units, and in which gay and lesbian active-duty and veteran service members can come out without fear?” Viktor Pylypenko, founder of a group called Ukrainian LGBT Soldiers, told DW in June 2021.

    Similar sentiments were expressed by “unicorn” troops who spoke to Reuters on Tuesday. They said there was “no aggression, no bullying” when they volunteered for front-line duty against the Russian invaders, and their commanders said homophobia would not be tolerated.

    “The thing I’m worried about is that in case I get killed during this war, they won’t allow Antonina to bury me the way I want to be buried. They’d rather let my mum bury me with the priest reading silly prayers … But I am an atheist and I don’t want that,” one of the unicorn soldiers said, referring to his transgender partner.

    LGBTQ recruits say they are deeply concerned with the repression they would face from Russia if Ukraine is conquered. They point to the harsh treatment of gays in Donbas, where separatists aligned with Russia-controlled towns and cities before the massive Russian invasion began in February, and the vicious treatment of gays by Russia’s Chechen allies. Whatever complaints about discrimination gay Ukrainians had before the war, they seem to be in agreement that life under Russian rule would be worse.

    “The LGBTQ+ community in Ukraine is in huge danger should Russia win. If Russia wins, it means darkness. There will be no freedom, no opportunity to be yourself, no rights for diverse communities,” territorial defense volunteer Vlad Shast told Forbes in March.

    • Antiochene Son says

      Ukrainians faithfully serving their masters (the Gay West).

      • George Michalopulos says

        If there was any doubt in my mind as to the rightness of Russian civilization at present, it has been laid to rest by antics such as these.

    • I used to joke about a “Homosexual Liberation Army” (btw, apparently the word ‘homosexual’ is now considered offensive to them!). I guess the longer you live, the more some things you thought were laughable come to pass. That’s actually scary…

      What this really proves is that the Neo-Nazi Uke’s hatred of Russians is so profound, they will align with the devil himself if needed. Most of them are unapologetic homophobes, polonophobes, antisemites, and if you press them on the subject of Greek Orthodoxy they’ll say their mythological “Ukri” ancestors are more ancient than the Greeks themselves. But when it comes to hating Russians everyone else is an ally, because there’s no bigger threat to their own sense of special identity and “otherness” than the Russians. One convert once said that he was amazed at how these people defined themselves first and foremost by rejecting any ties to Russianness, that it is a cornerstone of who they think they are.

      There was only ONE historical instance where Banderite Ukrainians and Russians fought on the same front, and that was in the Transdniester region of Moldova during the armed conflict there in the early 90’s. It was very short lived. Very shortly after that they ended up fighting on the side of the Chechens against the Russians in the first and second Chechen war. Very deranged people.

      • George Michalopulos says

        GeorgeS, this is something which has intrigued me as well about the Ukraine. And why I believe it is (and was) a failed state. Simply put, you cannot generate a nation-state built only on ethnic/racial hatred. It’s not possible.

        That is not to say that the concept of “blood and soil” are not the generators of ethnogenesis –they are. But an incipient nation needs more than saying “we good, they bad.” Sheer hatred of “the other” cannot maintain order, prosperity or viability.

        Of course, all viable nations have antipathies. The Americans hated and feared the Indians. Grievously so. The English treated the Irish like cattle. In Israel, the non-Jews are definitely second-class. We Greeks despise the Turks. Serbs/Albanians, French/Germans, etc, all true. But in each of these cases, the “master race” within them (or the “state-forming demographic) have provided far more to their peoples (as well as other nations) than mere genocidal hatred of this or that minority or competing nation.

        The fact that the Ukrainians are willing to take freaks and perverts as allies, when in reality, among all the Slavic peoples, they have the greatest contempt for homosexuals, tells me just how thin a reed their nationality rests on.

        Please understand, I have nothing against the Ukrainian people. They are brave fighters and I realize how they arose from free-booters and highwaymen (the Cossacks) but their greatest contributions was when they entered into the Russian Empire.

        • If you asked people living in eastern Ukraine – including Kiev – to describe who they were pre-1917, they wouldn’t even know what the word “Ukraine” and “Ukrainian” would mean. And if we go to the so called anti-Russian west, back in 1914 when the Russian army entered Lvov after chasing away the Austro-Hungarians, they were greeted as liberators (yes, even by the Uniates, who called their faith the ‘Russian faith’ at the time). The Austrians realized that was a bad thing and so they started a concentration camp in Talerhov to punish the pro-Russians in that region.

          The entire phenomenon of a Ukrainian nation that extends to the borders of the current failed state was originated entirely by Lenin, as Putin mentioned in his speech. What he didn’t also mention (alas) is that Stalin continued the project in earnest as commissar of the nationalities, including promoting the chauvinistic variant of western Ukrainian identity (which had its genesis in the Catholic Uniate Austro-Hungarian domain) in the current Donbass region. Only in 1937 did Stalin, ever so the pragmatist, switch course.

          The Nazis loved the idea of a separate Ukrainian state, so they continued supporting it. After the war, the western world was never embarrassed to borrow pages from Rosenberg’s ideological playbook when it suited them, so they aggressively courted the western Ukrainians during the cold war, and always made sure they promoted the most anti-Russian ones. That came particularly handy in the post-Soviet era when it became critical for the geopolitical euroatlantic mandarins to bolster the concept of a separate Ukrainian state and identity as part of Brzezinski’s concept of using Ukraine as the anti-Russian buffer state.

          It’s outright ludicrous for someone to genuinely believe that a person who was born in Ivano-Frankovsk and in Lugansk have MORE in common with each other than someone born in Rostov or Bryansk. It’s an artificial construct that just happens to very conveniently serve euroatlantic globalist geopolicy, just as previously it had served the Third Reich’s eastern policy, etc.

    • Anonymous II says


      U.S. Marine Corps Goes Woke, Celebrates ‘Pride Month’ with Rainbow Bullets

      The U.S. Marine Corps went full woke on Wednesday, marking the first day of “Pride Month” with a celebratory image featuring rainbow bullets.

      “Throughout June, the USMC [U.S. Marine Corps] takes #Pride in recognizing and honoring the contributions of our LGBTQ service members,” the U.S. Marine Corps said in a statement posted to social media.

      “We remain committed to fostering an environment free from discrimination, and defend the values of treating all equally, with dignity and respect,” it added, using the hashtags #PrideMonth and #USMC. The statement is accompanied by an image of a Marine helmet adorned with six bullets, each a different color, comprising a rainbow:

      Throughout June, the USMC takes #Pride in recognizing and honoring the contributions of our LGBTQ service members. We remain committed to fostering an environment free from discrimination, and defend the values of treating all equally, with dignity and respect.#PrideMonth #USMC

      — U.S. Marines (@USMC) June 1, 2022

      Commenters were woefully unamused by the pandering attempt.

      “Maybe focus on what’s actually important to the nation’s defense. China and Russia are bolstering up their ranks with masculinity understanding it’s necessity, while we seem to be celebrating sexual choices and gender changes in our military,” one user remarked as another said, “This makes me sad.”

      “Is this satire?” another asked.

      “I’ve seen it all now,” another exclaimed as one added, “Focus on building warriors and less about social bullshit.”

      The tweet came on the first day of “Pride Month,” which spurred mass pandering from the Biden administration, corporate media, and various organizations.

      “This month, we honor the resilience of LGBTQI+ people, who are fighting to live authentically and freely,” Joe Biden said in a May 31 proclamation on “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, And Intersex Pride Month.”

      “We reaffirm our belief that LGBTQI+ rights are human rights. And we recommit to delivering protections, safety, and equality to LGBTQI+ families so that everyone can realize the full promise of America,” he added. Notably, Biden failed to match the super woke terminology embraced by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who once used “2SLGBTQQIA+ people.” That acronym includes two-spirit, questioning, and asexual, all of which were excluded by Biden.

      Biden’s Department of State followed suit, posting celebratory pride month posts on social media. One of the images posted by the Department of State features a redesign of the Pride Flag, dubbed the “Progress Pride” flag:

      On June 25, the Department flew the Progress flag for the first time over Washington, DC headquarters. @DeputySecState: “The United States is firmly committed to fighting for LGBTQI+ people at home and everywhere.” #PrideMonth

      — Department of State (@StateDept) June 1, 2022

      June is #Pride Month! For over 50 years, people around the world have come together to celebrate, promote, and fight for the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons. The Department proudly supports LGBTQI+ persons around the world. #Pride2022 ?

      — Department of State (@StateDept) June 1, 2022

      * Do they fire blanks?

      • George Michalopulos says

        Yeah, we’re boned.

      • I hate to say it bc I feel like I know the outcome, but, I would almost love to see our woke military go up against Russia.

        This really is a confrontation against good and evil.

        And the good news is, God and goodness always win.

        • Sick of this stuff says

          Sometimes I sit back and dream that a sane country would conquer us and put all this woke garbage out of its misery. And I say this as a retired American military officer. Not easy to say, but it’s the truth.

          Like so many other American institutions/universities/companies/corporations, our military is captured at the top and is run by “woke” lunatics who are thinking about their next star/promotion rather than the good of the military. Virtually all of the best leaders in the military get out before they reach the top levels.

          In the end, this garbage is all simply about retaining power and cultural influence. They don’t give a crap about sexually confused Marines or soldiers. Their goal: shame the people, divide the people, and in doing so consolidate and retain power, and make money in the process.

          When I say “they,” who I mean are the generally white, 40s-to-70s year old leftists who run culture. Many descend from formerly WASP-ish protestants who know very well that their WASP cultural clout has shrunk considerably. Yet they are terrified about not having their cultural power.

          It’s no accident that the Ivy League used to be a bastion of white American Protestantism and is now a bastion of white “wokism.” It’s the same people, the same families, and maybe some newer generations.

          These folks know that numerically, they are dwindling, yet they’re terrified of losing power. COVID, this woke garbage, this LGBTQ lunacy – it’s simply all a power play they unleash on the country and the American-influenced parts of the world to retain power. They know damn well that this stuff is crazy. They don’t care…. this seems to be all about dividing the population, turning us on each other so that we don’t collectively turn on our terrible civilian and cultural leadership.

          They know that virtually all “ethnic” Americans despise this stuff, as does 80% of the world (pretty much all of the non-English-speaking world). But they don’t have any other way to keep the people down while still retaining power other than shaming and dividing us.

          Well, there is the brute force method of consolidating power, which Lenin and Mao were experts at, but the American/Western Left hasn’t developed the stomach for that.

          Petros, I think it’s somewhat disingenuous to say that “God and goodness always win.” Yes, maybe that’s true if your perspective is millennia, but He certainly does allow humanity to go through terrible trials and turmoil. We certainly do not believe that if God loves us, then the more comfortable, the more painless, and easier our lives will be. No way. That’s simply not true and is not an Orthodox Christian perspective on life.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            Well, said. Good to hear from you, Sir!

            As you know, God chastens whom He loves. If we were worthless, He’d be done with us. The fact that He still bothers with us is His guarantee He’s still with us.

            The Woke are missing something like the Egyptians did when the Red Sea parted. They expected they would be able to follow the Israelites on dry land.

            That didn’t happen.

            God’s not done, yet. Expect a miracle.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Petro, SoS, Gail, as much as I hate what has become of America (we live in unAmerica at present), I have to believe one of two things:

              1. “God is not done with us,” or
              2. He is going to turn His back on us.

              If #1, we should look on our present troglogytic culture as chastisement from the Lord. If #2, then we’ll go the way of the Canaanites, Assyrians, Israelites (i.e. Northern Kingdom), Philistines, etc.

              I for one believe Gail’s position (i.e. #1) is closer to the truth. However we might be on the knife’s edge.

              • I for one believe Gail’s position (i.e. #1) is closer to the truth. However, we might be on the knife’s edge.

                I agree as well George, I very much lean more towards Gail’s take. I mean, think of the pre-Christian Roman Empire and its horrific persecution of Christians, where a probable majority of our martyr-saints come from, who would have ever thought that this Roman Empire would embrace the Christian Faith and spread it far and wide. Or, Soviet Russia and its Christian rebirth, same with post-Communist Albania and its Orthodox flourishing under Archbishop Anastasios.

                No one knows what God has in store and all hope is never lost, doesn’t mean we will always know what it is and doesn’t mean we would have to be put through fire, but, let’s remember the phrase “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.”

                I believe (and hope) that God is not done with America yet. What America will look like on the other side of this unAmerica I’m not sure. But, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that there has been a massive surge in interest in Orthodox and a huge number of Catechumens, it’s Divine Providence.

          • “…there is the brute force method of consolidating
            power, which Lenin and Mao were experts at, but the
            American/Western Left hasn’t developed the stomach for that.”

            I think that’s what COVID [etc] is for…

          • George Michalopulos says

            I can’t remember if I’ve referenced this article before but here it is:


            I truly feel your pain. John Paul Jones must be spinning in his grave.

      • cynthia curran says

        Hopefully, M OZ will win in PA meaning we can bring other religions against this more. No kidding Martin Luther was right about a good Muslim ruler. Changed my mind on OZ since PA is growing faster in the foreign born than New York is because its cheaper to live in PA particularity the counties near Philly and Lehigh Valley which attracts a lot of folks both professional and blue collar.

  8. This is all a fascinating development in the “Traditionalist vs Modernist” dichotomy. This dichotomy is found both in America and abroad, but it seems most apparent in America, in the west.

    It seems that the Modernist crowd is finally being recognized outside of certain Orthodox discussion communities. More mainstream people in Orthodox media and society in general are picking up on this.

  9. Anonymous II says

    European Union Commission Declares ‘Future is Queer’

    The Twitter account “European Youth,” which stated that it is run by the European Commission, wrote on Wednesday, “No two people are the same, we are all unique. Each one of us is the result of our own values, dreams, ambitions and talents.”

    “In this Pride, we want to assert our singularities because, when combined, they make us stronger. This month follow #TheFutureIsQueer. And be proud,” the account added, alongside a picture stating “the Future is Queer.”


    Man, what I’d give to have Codreanu back

    • George Michalopulos says

      I hear you.

    • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

      RE: “Man, what I’d give to have Codreanu back.”

      Let’s not open that can of worms again!

      • George Michalopulos says

        Fr, if memory serves, Codreanu’s father’s original name was Zelensky. Can you believe it?

        • ‘Zelea’. I think.

          • Apparently his ancestors were from Bukovina, and the Austrians forced the Zelea family to change their name to Zelinski, and his father changed it back.

            • That is interesting.
              I have heard that in the old Soviet Georgia,
              Lavrenty Beria decided that only he would bear the name;
              so ‘Benia’ became a much more common name than before…

  10. Μωλον Λαβε says

    Timelines to God as as one minute is to eternity. I believe that The Lord is not done with us yet, nor has he turned his back on us unless there are at least two “just” men left on the planet.
    It does not matter what God’s intentions are or when. Revelations tells us this. The time to confess one’s sins, have enough oil for their lamps and prepare as we can for the Kingdom of Heaven is NOW. Every minute that passes is the only significnt time. The most important act is to make ourselves right with God.

    Forgive me for preaching, for I am the greatest of sinners.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Agreed and had God wanted us to think this way (i.e. if there are 2 “just men” there is still time), Christ would have told us, but even He didn’t know.

      During Abraham’s time, there was no New Testament, Christian communities, bibles, Holy Fathers, etc. so the expectations may be different now.

      We shouldn’t discount what Christ said about “the first will be last and the last will be first,” either.

      The “greatest of sinners” is right! NOW is the time to act to make ourselves right with God.

      If nothing else, you can ask God for His help. He didn’t come to save the just. He came to save sinners like us.