Fr. Peter Preble: The Super Bowl and Morality

peter-preble new-thumbLately I’ve been thinking a lot about sexuality, gender roles, tradition, and so on. This seems to be on a lot of peoples’ minds. Recently, the Secretary of Defense lifted the ban on women serving in combat positions. Together with the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, which gives homosexuals the right to openly serve in all branches of the military, I think we’ve come to a pretty bad place in American society, one from which we will not recover.

There are many avenues traveled to get to this point. One of them is feminism and the accepted sluttification of womanhood. Please read the following essay by Fr Peter Preble. (Courtesy American Orthodox Institute)

Source: Fr. Peter Preble Blog | By Fr. Peter Preble

In my last post, I wrote about my favorite commercial from the Super Bowl, And God Made a Farmer. However, there were some pretty disturbing commercials as well as the entire half time show that I think needs to be addressed.

Now I realize that each generation moves along a spectrum, and the previous generation does not always agree.  I was reminded on Facebook that Elvis raised some eyebrows in his day with his gyrating hips and what not.  But, as I remarked, Elvis kept his clothes on.

The first exhibition of how low America has sunk into the moral gutter was the GoDaddy dot com commercial.  GoDaddy spokesperson, and race car driver Danica Patrick talks about the merging of the sexy with the technical.  The camera moves to a scantily clad woman and, what I would describe, as a geek.  The two them start to kiss and the sounds are just stomach turning, and this goes on for what seemed like hours.

Next we come to the half time show.  I will set aside the fact that I just do not understand modern music, I will address, or rather ask a question, why do we believe it necessary for women to take off their clothes and prance around a stage?  I just don’t get it, and maybe I am showing my age, but to it bordered on the pornographic!  A few years ago the world went crazy with the “wardrobe malfunction” but we seem to be okay with everything just short of nudity, but I am sure that is not too far behind.

We were then subjected to a display by the two actresses from the show “Two Broke Girls.”  Now, I have never watched the program, but I have seen enough of the ads to understand this program is one step above the gutter itself.  The show glorifies fornication and other such things, and in the commercial the girls removed their waitress uniforms and began a pole dance.  Again I just don’t get it.  Things like this used to be only available wrapped in a plain brown wrapper behind the counter at the corner store.

Now maybe I am a prude, but I don’t care.  As an Orthodox Christian,  I find this downturn of our morals to be disturbing.  We have sexualized everything in this country now to include internet website domain names.  I do appreciate the creativity it takes to do that, but when are we going to be outraged?

Women in America have made significant strides in the movement for equality, and I do not understand why there is not more outrage from women when advertisers reduce them to nothing but objects.  The human body is a beautiful thing, and all of humanity is created in the image a likeness of God, but when it is reduced to an object, that is an abuse of that creation.  Women prancing around the stage, or swinging from a pole denigrates women.  I asked the question on Facebook last night, Is this what you want your daughters doing?  Pornography is on the rise, and this does nothing but feed directly into that dark world.

Beyonce is an exceptionally talented young lady, why she felt the need to prance around the stage last night in her underwear I will never understand.  What would have been wrong with just coming out on the stage and singing your music?  As much as I disagreed with the rendition of the National Anthem by Alicia Keys, at least she dressed appropriately for the occasion.  Beyonce was dressed more for the beach than she was for the International Stage.

America, when are we going to wake up?  When are we going to realize that we are on a slippery slope into the gutter and try to turn the tide and return to a sense of decency.  As I stated before in the essay, the human body is a beautiful creation and should be celebrated, not reduced to an object for entertainment.  When we sexualize young girls and women on television it reduces them to objects, and it takes the wind out of the sails of anything women are trying to do.  Modesty has been stricken from the lexicon of the day, or at least it has been redefined and not in a good way.

Read Fr. Peter Preble’s blog.

About GShep


  1. Sean Richardson says

    There is a great deal here that I agree with, and leading the list is the idea that I too just don’t “get it”. The sexualization of American society has indeed brought us closer, if not into, the gutter. The “sexualization of America” has led us down a path I care not to trod. One part that I would like to emphasize, that you didn’t address directly, is how confused our young people are today, forever receiving the double message of over-sexuality and the need to control their own sexuality. I see it in schools and in churches. A young person just doesn’t know how to reflect God’s image for himself/herself or how to appreciate God’s image in others. This is where we need to begin, as Orthodox Christians, taking a stand for righteousness and for the path that brings us closer to the Kingdom of God, while rejecting that path that leads us closer to the gutter. Thank you Fr. Peter.

    • Thank you, Fr. Peter for your comments–and George for posting them. It’s not really so hard to “get”, however. The half-time shows have been awful for years–even before the “wardrobe malfunction.” It was awful when nihilistic rock bands played . . . Now, there is deafening music being played in the stadiums between plays. But what do you expect, when the games are played on the Lord’s Day in a country and culture which has allowed the family to be destroyed by no fault divorce, carcenogenic chemical contraception, abortion on demand, two working parents and few children, the exclusion of prayer from schools, sporting and other public events and from the public consciousness, the ubiquity of porgnographic sex and violence in film after film, ad after ad and video game after video game, the wiedspread use of pharmceuticals from eveything to help one sleep, to help one keep going, to cope and lose weight, acceptance of misbehavior, deception and lying in activities from commercial adverstising to politics and statecraft, and the unashamed talk of using drones and other methods to kill our enemies. The school shootings and other mass murders are reactive signs against the nihilism that we have permitted to overwhelm our society and destroy it. Nominal Christians–including we Orthodox–are to blame in large part for our witness is blunted and our way of life not different enough from the “mainstream.”

      I stopped watching the Super Bowl, professional sports and television in general years ago. Even collegiate athletics have become corrupted and mammon-driven. Having attended a recent Eighth Day Institute in Wichita, I have had the good fortune to read again and keep the electronic media off. It has been like a taste of heaven on earth.

      May God give each of us the grace to honour Him and to glorify Christ openly and boldly as we are able. May He give us faith invinceable, love unwavering and hope unfeigned so that His name is hallowed in us and His likeness made visible in a dark and despondent world that is lost without Him.


    • Sean,

      Thank you for your comments. Your right I should have addressed that and you have given me an idea for a follow up post on that subject.

      • Old Fashioned says

        Dear Father Peter,

        For about as long as I remember, I and lots of people like me have not focused much on TV at all. In fact, I raised my children without TV, sending little notes from time to time suggesting that various teachers not require watching TV for classwork but that I was sure the children and young adults, depending, might enjoy a video or two in class. That kind of takes care of both the revealing costumes and the super bowls, Monday Night distractions, and leaning how to pander at a young age. Today’s TV has a lot of emphasis on being gay, transgendered and other such things.

        Since my own young adulthood, I have championed not wearing makeup, sensible shoes, conservative but plain dress for males and female alike, and attempting to construct of buy quality things that last for several reasons, one of which is cutting down on shopping and leaving more time for living. I am kind of shocked again and again how high heels, cleavage, showing chest hair, muscle shirts and other sexually oriented clothing seems to persist decade to decade, How far we have not come! Likewise, I can’t see humans as billboards and have never much cottoned to advertizing through logos. These days, as it become more and more incredibly expensive to dress sensibly and to have shoes that fit and don’t hurt, I find that I and others in all age groups resort more and more to thrift and other resale shops. When I end up in yet another small town, I hunt for shops with twenty and thirty year old stock for durable treasures I can afford. I keep a list of relatives and friends’ sizes in case I can find treasures for others.

        My friends and I have all learned to cook, even if our parents never taught us. I sent my sons to basic cooking classes. Why should their stomachs become a temptation and why can’t they provide good and tasty contributions for social gatherings? Cooking yourself or together as a family not only avoids additives and some of the other junk that can kill us but also limits shopping and maximizes living. When you maximize living, you also maximize church attendance.

        I can count the times I have visited a barber or beauty shop on three fingers. One of those three was because the shop was owned by a relative and so I thought I’d encourage her. Even men can cut their own hair.

        When’s the last time you said something nice and meant it about the beauty of someone who obviously had never worn makeup, had never had a facelift and didn’t color their hair, something even men do these days? When’s the last time you heard someone suggesting that five or six inch spikes were not appropriate church or work attire. Save the feet and save the service, one beloved relative used to say while encouraging her granddaughters to wear flats and boots to church. For her grandsons, she would suggest sturdy and polish-able over temporary and trendy. “Sneakers” were for sports. We’ve all got to speak up and praise what’s right and good if we want practical and durable dress.

        Have I mentioned that a simple life is one that costs less money? That sometimes allows women and men to stay at home. I know several successful Orthodox Christians who discovered that the little woman could make enough to support the little man staying home with the children.

        Nuff siad.

        Have I mentioned the pleasures of gardening on a windowsill? A balcony? Starting plants in a bathtub? Drying and saving foods on sale? The joy of the small or shared plot?

  2. macedonianreader says

    If anything, I think there is a lack of discussion in the Orthodox Church regarding manhood and what it means to be an Orthodox Man – i.e. the Order of Creation. This ‘curse’ of our culture, which is showing up in our media among other things is a direct result of the role of men being degraded and spaded to ‘men on couches holding remotes’ and not leading their homes. Generally speaking of course.

    There is really no one in the Orthodox Church talking about this at great length. We’re too busy talking about administrative positions, who is read first in the Diptychs and what people believe they’re entitled too within local parishes. We’re too busy wondering if we should ordain women as deacons “again” or obvious questions on who should approach the Chalice. To me, these are obvious questions that do not require a lot of discussion. We know the answers to them, yet we have hours upon hours, threads upon threads on forums, and blogs talking about them attempting to convince people – leaders of the Church who should know what to do and how to respond. We’re wasting time communicating to ineffective leaders. It seems within and without the Church.

    I would suggest finding the “Manhood Podcast” by pastor Tony Evans. Despite some if the short comings in doctrine – the series is actually pretty good and the man actually has the courage to talk openly about a problem that no else seems to have.

    Where have the prophets of the One True Church gone?

    • Sean Richardson says

      There was an interesting book published a number of years ago titled “Missing From Action” by Fr. Weldon (John) Hardenbrook dealing with the issue of men being absent within the American culture. It’s easy reading, not overly intellectualized and makes some interesting points. I’m not sure if it’s still in print, but it’s worth-while reading.

      • Sean Richardson says

        It is still available from amazon and can be had for as little as one cent, plus shipping, used.

        • macedonianreader says

          Thank you. I did indeed find out.
          I would also recommend – “The War Against Boys” by Christina Hoff Sommers. Not Christian based, but a good source.

    • That’s a very good point

  3. I am not as scandalized by the commercials and half-time show that Fr. Peter describes as I am that a hieromonk is watching all of this garbage in the first place. He says, “America, when are we going to wake up?” It is no secret that the Superbowl is a prime venue for the exhibition of this smut. When are we going to wake up and realize that we have a choice not to support, watch, or participate in such things? I was happy to have not watched this garbage, until Fr. Peter so kindly introduced all of the sleazy details to my imagination through this article.

    • macedonianreader says


      Sorry bro. But there’s just a whole lot of ‘dumb’ in your post.

    • Ivan Vasiliev says

      I have to agree with Jason. Getting all worked up about the Super Bowl half time is just a waste of time. Like so much of commercial TV, it is guaranteed to be full of hyper-sexualized garbage. The best choice for believers who would be offended is to opt out. I expect (or at least hope) that it wasn’t being watched in most Orthodox monasteries.

  4. Metropolitan Jonah Talk says

    forwarded message from St. John’s Cathedral, Washington, D.C.
    4001 17th St. Northwest, Washington, D.C., 20011
    (202) 726-3000

    Dear Brothers & Sisters,

    Please be advised that Metropolitan Jonah’s next talk will be this Friday at 7:30 pm in the parish library. The session that was scheduled for Feb. 15 is cancelled. The talk on Feb. 22 will go ahead, as scheduled.

    In XC,

    Fr. Victor

  5. Video and audio recordings related to the Enthronement of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon at Saint Nicholas Cathedral, Washington, DC on January 26-27, 2013 are now available on the OCA web site.

    “The videos were produced in conjunction with the Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia,” said Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, Secretary of the Orthodox Church in America, who oversees the OCA’s communications efforts. “Peter Lukianov, Director of the Media Office, headed the production team. We deeply appreciate their expert assistance and efforts to produce high quality, high definition videos.” Installation Videos & Audios Now Available

    Glory to God for this OCA-ROCOR collaboration!

    • Carl Kraeff says

      Which apparently did not end with the resignation of +Jonah. Glory to God indeed!

      • Why would you think otherwise? says

        Father Victor usually does the right thing. I can’t imagine him going backwards from unity and dividing the Church in any way. He was at the enthronement and the banquet. He attends most significant OCA events to which he is invited.

        • Carl Kraeff says

          My comment was not directed at ROCOR, but was a pointed rejoinder to some posters on this forum who were predicting otherwise.

          • Mourning Myrrhbearer says

            Mr. Kraeff, while you are pointedly rejoindering, I also attended the enthronement. Yet I understand that Metropolitan Jonah is innocent and should be restored unconditionally and immediately.

            When I walked up the street from the Wisconsin Avenue bus stop to the cathedral, I made a sign of the cross in front of the rectory on Edmunds Street, where our sweet Metropolitan was cruelly forced to resign, where his beloved sister had stayed with him, and where he could still watch over his flock from a distance, even though he was forbidden from his rightful place in their midst.

            I went to the enthronement so I could pray right in their midst, and did so, through sorrowful tears in front of the myrrh-streaming icon and all the relics (which took a while) for the bishops’ repentance and Metropolitan Jonah’s protection.

            May God soon cleanse the OCA.

            • Jane Rachel says

              Mourning Myrrhbearer wrote: “…forced to resign…”

              Please, oh please, someone tell us what this means.

            • Jane Rachel says

              P.S. Would you tell me more, please, about the myrrh-streaming icon? Is it still streaming myrrh? (I feel like a little kid right now…)

    • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster, PhD says

      Glory, indeed, Michael C. Now, what was that nonsense from a discourteous wise guy on this blog about ROCOR and “18th century peasants”? It appears from the news item on the website (excerpted above) that the OCA is quite dependent on the outstanding, very modern, cutting-edge, high-tech media office of ROCOR’s Eastern American Diocese under the skilled leadership of Reader Peter Lukianov to produce high-quality videos of the OCA’s own significant in-house events.

      • Congratulations says

        Congratulations on your parish’s release to ROCOR, Father Alexander!

      • Now ROCOR Was OCA says

        Fr Alexander,

        Father Bless!

        Maybe when the OCA grows up it can be like the ROCOR Eastern Diocese!!!!!

        All the ROCOR media expertise could not breath life into the Enthronement of Metropolitan Tikhon. If + Tikhon’s congratulatory banquet speech is any indication of the OCA’s future vigor, it is going to be a long, cold and uninspiring march into oblivion. The poor man spoke for 45 minutes and said nothing visionary. Gave no indication of what he would like the OCA to become. He spoke as if he was told to say nothing that could be used against him by a future Inquisition.

        Compared to the Enthronement of Metropolitan Anthony of the UOCUSA, the OCA event was sad, but it was a fair representation of their jurisdiction – shrinking and rapidly irrelevant.

        • Carl Kraeff says

          You sir are guilty of premature…dancing on OCA’s grave…

          • Now ROCOR Was OCA says

            That would be Miss, not “sir”.

            No dancing here, sir. Just a sad observation from my vantage point of a once positive Orthodox force here gone astray.

        • Jonathan Johnston says

          I really don’t understand why many of you here just don’t get it. The reality is that ROCOR is dying, not the OCA. Our new metropolitan is a very serious monk not a PR guy. You may not like his speeches or sermons, but they are spiritual in content, not meant to rouse the troops. It’s nice to see the ROCOR supporters here who will sing the Russian National Anthem as their ship continues to sink under the waves, but as for the OCA, it will continue to offer Orthodoxy in North America to all as a true, autocephalous canonical North American church. Go read the Orthodox Canons; foreign bishops have no authority in North America.

          • George Michalopulos says

            If ROCOR is dying, then why did Syosset have to ask them to film Tikhon’s extravaganza? Didn’t they have the money? Or is the money allocated for evangelism, outreach and media sequestered for the once and future Sex Czar?

            • Jonathan Johnston says


              Let me give you a direct quote from Met. Jonah in the Spring of 2012 when asked why he was pushing the agenda of ditching the OCA autocephaly and union with ROCOR under the MP.

              “You have to understand, ROCOR has nothing. If the OCA joined with them, the OCA would dominate them by sheer number of educated priests and parishes. I already know both they and Moscow would welcome such a union. This would be a great opportunity for growth while checking the Greeks.”

              • George Michalopulos says

                Interesting. What does this tell us?

                1. The OCA is larger than ROCOR (established fact).

                2. Moscow would “welcome such a union.” OK, and?

                3. “Opportunity for growth.” Is this a bad thing?

                4. Such a union would “[check] the Greeks.” I guess you forgot that the Phanar sees the whole world (that includes North America) as their territory. Are you in favor of Phanariote domination then?

                I must confess though, that I’m leery of taking your “direct quote” at face value. Where did you get it? Can you provide the context in which it was recited?

          • ROCOR is the fastest growing Jurisdiction. What do you mean it is dying?

    • ProPravoslavie says

      “We deeply appreciate their expert assistance and efforts to produce high quality, high definition videos.”

      Wait, I thought ROCOR is a church of 18th century peasants and dirty, unkempt monks?

  6. Gregory Michaels says

    “America, when are we going to wake up? When are we going to realize that we are on a slippery slope into the gutter and try to turn the tide and return to a sense of decency.”

    Fr. Peter and others, when will you all realize America will never wake up? That America is so far gone from any standpoint of civilized decency, and that your cries fall on deaf ears. There is only thing left: for us to repent and prepare for our possible martyrdom.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Mr Michaels, I have sympathy for what you say. I wrote two essays re the recent election in November basically saying that we’ve reached the “tipping point” in which tax-consumers, freeloaders, and the immoral have tightened their grip on the public purse whereas the tax-payers, productive, and virtuous are now in the minority. Having said that, I think that Fr Peter Preble is right to castigate the spectacle that was the Super Bowl. Even if nothing good comes out of it he will at least be able to give an account to the Lord on Judgment Day that at least he tried. How many other priests and bishops will be able to say that?

  7. Some sixty years ago, an Egyptian, Sayyid Qutb, spent two years in America, in a Colorado teachers’ college. A sensitive and religious young man, he was distressed in his soul by what he encountered and went home to become the propaganda director of the Islamic Brotherhood and through his writings the intellectual mentor of the likes of Ayman Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden.

    Qutb found American culture to be devoid of spiritual values and grossly materialistic. He was especially offended by the underlying sexualisation of the culture (and remember, this was in the late ’40s/early 50s), regarding it as indicative of an underlying primitiveness in American culture which pandered to man’s basest appetites. He perceptively linked this trend with the primitiveness of American sports, writing in regard to football, “This primitiveness can be seen in the spectacle of the fans as they follow a game of football… This spectacle leaves no room for doubt as to the primitiveness of the feelings of those who are enamored with muscular strength and desire it.” Perhaps Qutb, were he alive today, would not at all be suprised at Beyonce provocatively strutting around the half-time stage in her underwear for the entertainment of the gathered football fans (btw, to what degree is she complicit in her exploitation?), seeing it as the appropriate compliment to what happens on the field, i.e. the glorification of and desire for the physical and material.

    Later, Qutb impressed upon his followers that American culture was a corrupting influence upon all of civilisation and must not only be rejected by Muslims but wiped out, for the sake of humanity: “What should be our verdict on this synthetic civilization? What should be done about America and the West, given their overwhelming danger to humanity…? Should we not issue a sentence of death? Is it not the verdict most appropriate to the nature of the crime?” When Senator Moynihan asked (it was him, wasn’t it?) “Why do they hate us?”, as well as pointing to American support for Israel someone should have sent him a copy of Qutb’s book (perhaps they did?).

    One can concede Qutb had a point without supporting his conclusions and call to action. Indeed, one can only condemn the results of the latter, which are entirely foreign to the ethos of Christianity, whether of the East or the West. To anyone familiar with the ways of the Islamic East, there is also a whiff of hypocrisy in Qutb’s analysis, but the self-proclaimed righteous ones are often blind to their own moral failures. Perhaps if Qutb had been befriended by an average American family the bitter taste his American experience left in his mouth would have been ameliorated? Based on my experience, I know that many, perhaps even most Americans, are at heart decent and upright people who would not want their daughters presenting to the world as Beyonce does (indeed, what do her parents think, does anyone know?) and do not raise their young men to be cads (British Eng.: a man who is disrespectful of other’s rights and feelings) either on the street, on the sporting field or on the battle field. Yet somehow you produce and tolerate a popular, public culture which does just this and is the antithesis of the private culture which reigns in most of your homes.
    The best I can diagnose is that this popular culture is an heretical (if you will) distortion of an otherwise noble feature your Constitution has written into American life, namely the right to pursue happiness. Unfortunately, happiness is now no longer defined with the philosophical nuances the Founding Fathers would have used, following the Greeks, but has been completely debased and unhinged from notions of virtue and responsibility to the community; i.e. it has become vicious (in the original sense of to do with vice) and sickly individualistic. The original conservative critics of the American project have been vindicated…in spades. As to what can be done, short of some sort of spiritual revival, I tend to agree with Fr Peter that American popular culture is beyond redemption. The best one can hope to do is isolate oneself from it and perhaps protest against it in a truly counter-cultural way. Orthodox are well placed to do that.
    In the meantime, be aware that when you beam a spectacle like the Superbowl directly into the homes of a goodly portion of the world’s population (and even in the slums of Mumbai, Islamabad and Cairo they have cable TV), you shouldn’t be surprised if many of those in these deeply traditional cultures who chance to look at it are strongly offended and conclude that there is nothing which a culture which produces such a base exhibition of moral corruption can offer to them. It also fuels the murderous hatred of the young Muslim men who take up arms and bombs against the West. And so the rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born.

    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

      Many good points here. One quibble, it is not the Constitution that is the problem. Rather, it is the collapse of the Christian cultural consensus — a moral collapse that has led to the rejection of Christian social mores. As a result, founding documents shift in meaning and the institutions built on them lose their founding vision. Europe has the same problem. It just plays out differently.

      Solzhenitsyn gave an incisive analysis of the American side of the problem in “A World Split Apart — Commencement Address Delivered At Harvard University, June 8, 1978.”

      A deeper cultural analysis of the Christian West was provided in “Men Have Forgotten God.”

  8. George Michalopulos says

    Not at all, Saunca. I must confess though that I am perplexed regarding the role of women in the military. The issue is one of anthropology. Are women “junior men,” or “castrated men,” or otherwise “incomplete” in their own personae if they do not ape men in everything they do? Fr Peter’s essay is going to be the springboard of a series of essays dealing with this problem. For the record, I believe men and women are equal but different in the way that nature and nature’s God intended them to be and that their sexual selves more completely reveal God’s glory when they are together and complement each other. You know, the whole Yin and Yang thing. This rupture of course brings us squarely back to the Brown-shirted homosexual fascism that presently controls the life of this country. More to follow.

    • When evaluating the qualities of say, a Raptor driver, I would prefer to use categories like multitasking capacity, spatial orientation awareness, reflex speed and hand-eye coordination, ability to cope with g-loading, and decision making under stress. None of this has anything to do with cultural anthropology, male genitalia/lack thereof, or who is being true to their ‘sexual self’.

      Your implication that women serving in the military are doing so merely out of a desire to ape men is ridiculously sexist. If you’re starting from that kind of presumption, it may be why you are perplexed.

      • George Michalopulos says

        This is all beside the point. Actually it kind of proves my point in a number of ways:

        1. You assume (correctly, btw) that there are things women do better than men. This means that you accept the fact that there are ontological differences between men and women (which was my primary assumption).

        2. Even if we leave aside Postulate 1, it doesn’t obviate against the point that women should not serve in combat. Why? There are things that children do better than men and women. In the early days of the Royal Navy, 10 year old boys served as powder monkeys, carrying loads of gunpowder on their persons as they scurried through crawl spaces on ships. Children have also been used on suicide-bombing runs by the PLO, because nobody would suspect them. Mentally retarded children as well can be used because they lack the capacity to realize that they’re unable to understand that they’re not going to come back. (In one instance, the PLO used a mentally retarded boy to carry out a suicide bombing.) Does this mean we should lift all bars to children and/or the mentally retarded in combat?

        3. The logical end of your argument is that we need to have the best possible people involved, regardless of their ontological being. OK, then let’s go all the way: let’s completely militarize our society. Just like the Spartans, let’s look at every newborn and see whether it’s fit to survive or not. If not, give it an overdose of morphine. Next, let’s look at all the malingerers in our society. We can cut off Welfare payments to them –sink or swim fellas! At seven, let’s take all boys and girls from their homes and put them in the Agoge, forcing them to undergo a ten-year-long boot-camp so that by the time they’re 17, they’re the most lethal warriors on the planet.

        • 1. Your abuse of ontology makes the ancient Greeks cry. The farther away you get from black and white absolute realities, the more tenuous appeals to ontological differences are. We aren’t talking about: no man is capable, no woman is capable, the best man is worse than the worst women, or vice versa. There is a rather big gap between “no man can carry a child in the womb” and “in a sample size of X testing Y, the median score for gender A was 1.2 above gender B”. Of course there are ontological differences between men and women, we disagree as to whether any of them are relevant to justifying baseline exclusion of women serving in the military.

          2. Bravo, straight to the infantilization of women. Adult men are set apart and adult women are categorized with children and the mentally retarded.

          3. It is not the logical end for our society, which does not require such militarization for self-preservation or to accomplish societal objectives. That is where you descend into pathetic fallacy. If we come under existential threat from alien invaders, we can revisit this. Or if we end up with say, Imperial Emperor Santorum II beginning a campaign of global conquest. But we are dealing with how things are, not a theoretical where we pretend we’re living in “Ender’s Game”. At this point in time we have a military based on adult persons of reasonable mental faculties making a voluntary decision to join the military for set periods of time after which they are free to return to civilian life. Given those operational parameters, arbitrarily excluding people willing to serve based solely on gender, or limiting the capacity in which they may operate based not on capability, but merely on gender is counterproductive.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Nate, your first comment makes no sense. Even in the afterlife you and I will have a male identity. I feel confident of this because we will see the Blessed Mother there, where no one will be able to mistake for Samson –perhaps the uber-male of all time. We will duly note that it was through her womb that our salvation commenced. As such that ontological reality will always exist.

            No, I did not “infantalize” women. I merely asked a simple question. Women have led men into battle –Deborah, Artemissia of Harlicanassus, and Joan of Arc spring instantly to mind. That doesn’t mean that these outliers were the norm. Even most advanced pagan societies did what they could to protect women from the rigors of combat. I’m surprised that a progressive/liberal such as yourself (who probably believes in Darwinism) can’t see that.

            Stll, the question remains: if the role of the military is to absolutely, positively, destroy something as quickly as possible thereby achieving victory, then why don’t we rethink our entire ethos and militarize as much as possible? You may think this is a stretch (waiting for the ascension of Emperor Santorum II to the Imperial Throne created by Imam Obama) but there are a lot of things that are now reality that were not acceptable to even think about.

        • George Michalopulos says

          actually I’m not. Why are children “underage” at all? That’s a legal construct imposed on Western civilization by Christian sensibilities. The Spartan phalanxes marched into battle with young boys behind them playing drums and flutes and urging them on. The desire to “use children” is one reason that the age of consent laws are gradually being chippped away by the homosexual lobby. The logical end result of societies which tolerate sodomy is and always has been pederasty –all protestations to the contrary.

          • George Michalopulos says

            The acceptance of sodomy and the feminist juggernaut are two sides of the same coin. Both deal with the rejection of the fundamental anthropology of man as understood by Christianity. The reason that ECUSA has blundered into apostasy was because it had been softened up decades ago with the ordination of priestesses. Homosexualism could not hav gained its present triumh without the destruction of the family that feminism wrought.

            • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

              Very true George. The feminist juggernaut that led to the collapse of the Episcopalian Church would not have succeeded without a preponderance of homosexual clergy in its ranks. This shows too that not only is a male priesthood necessary, but the priests and other leaders have to possess a secure masculine self-identity. They have to be men, not just males.

              • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

                The same is true of the military. If sex doesn’t matter, then sex doesn’t matter. If the services could be forced to overlook the obvious problems of admitting women, they could be forced to overlook the obvious problems of admitting gays. And to expand the number of women in the ranks, the services were forced to accommodate a great many lesbians, who became a pro-gay fifth column as they rose through the ranks.

    • Carl Kraeff says

      George–There are many functions that women do as well or better than men. Interestingly, many of these functions are related to their similarity to and not differences from men. Regarding the military, let me give you couple of functions (which I had performed) that will show you that the vaunted anthropological differences are meaningless. Air traffic controllers, for example, need to be a special kind of person: smart enough to do the job, but not too smart in case he/she would over analyze, traits that can be found in either sex. Intelligence analysis likewise calls for specific talents and abilities that have nothing to do with anthropological differences.

      The situation is of course different when it comes to combat roles. In this arena, anthropological differences, such as over all size and upper body strength and women bearing children. The first difference is not absolute and can be overcome if the physical standards for combat duty are the same for either sex. The second one is more serious if, for example, a woman member of a combat unit must be puled out and replaced because of pregnancy. Of course, it would take a special kind of woman, as it does a special kind of man, to be able to function in a combat unit; there are indeed significant challenges that the vast majority of servicemen and women do not face as a matter of routine. I would refer you to Sir John Keegan’s work to have a feeling for what the combat troops have to endure. However, I can relay some of the challenges that were shared with me by combat veterans: ability to go on without food or sleep for long periods of time; learning to live with long stretches of boredom that are punctuated by periods of adrenaline fueled activity; learning to live without the usual comforts of the barracks; and, most of all, learning to handle the killing and maiming that happens.

      My bottom line is this: let the physical and endurance standards be the same and let all combat troops pass psychological tests.

      • Remember the POWs says

        In the discussions of women in combat, both here and in other forums, I have yet to see anyone raise the question of POWs. Perhaps too much time has elapsed since we fought an enemy that took them. What would have happened if there had been American women in the Hanoi Hilton or in POW camps run by the North Koreans or the Japanese? Not only would they have been gang-raped by every guard in the prison every day until they were dead, but the servicemen incarcerated with them likely would have gotten themselves killed or their own torture intensified in quixotic attempts to save the women from their fate. Most importantly, when the American public and American politicians found out what was happening, there would have been immense political pressure to make strategic concessions to the enemy to win the women’s release. Yes, some women are capable of performing combat roles. Yes, we can train our forces to put military discipline above natural instinct. But we don’t get to train the enemy. The history of warfare going all the way back to the Iliad records consistently that women in proximity to military conflict are rape targets for enemy forces. It hasn’t been an issue in this war, because we have been fighting insurgents who don’t take prisoners. Future conflicts will be different. It is a bitter irony that, at a time when the military says its highest priority is eradicating sexual harassment of, and sexual assault against, its female members, it is adopting a policy that is highly likely to get female soldiers raped to death and vital American national security interests compromised to make that atrocity stop once it starts.

      • Our brother Carl says: “There are many functions that women do as well as men.” True, but so what? This is hardly the anthropological and theological point. The statement itself exudes the modern, pragmatic–dare I say–Luciferian point of view that has come to dominate our culture and all our thinking. It ignores the complementarity of male and female that God made for reasons about which modern Americans and Europeans could not care much less and which we flaunt at every turn in our conviction that we know better.

        The Super Bowl discussion is frankly about nothing less than the pandering of our society to virtually every one of the passions and classical vices and the utter loss of any focus on the life of virtue. The half time show, the ads, the cheerleaders and (in large part) the game itself are about the glorification of lust and gluttony, pride and greed, Forget chastity, temperance, humility and magnanimity.

        Women in combat and the so-called “HHS contraception mandate are all about the coarsening of our society–which means making it less Christlike, less like Abel and more like Cain. We used to open the doors for ladies and in a crises it used to be women and children first, now it’s everyone for himself–and why shouldn’t it be (in the popular mind) since everyone is equal and equally expendable. The future doesn’t matter, only the present moment.


    • Women serving in “combat roles” (artillery, infantry, armor) has nothing to do with women wanting to be like men. Woman already serve in combat. Nothing to do with their personae but your perception. I’m sure conjecture will follow. I’ve had the honor to be among our men and women in the military for many years and I’ve respected each and every one of them. Be grateful young Americans are willing to serve and defend this nation so you can have the freedom to run blogs. Take a walk through Walter Reed it will take your mind off sodomy.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Anna, you make a logical fallacy here. I know women already serve in “combat” roles, simply because combat no longer means makhi as the ancient Greeks understood it (i.e. hand-to-hand combat.) That’s no different than children in Africa being given rudimentary training to serve in militias or the Japanese children who were trained to strap bombs to their backs and crawl under American tanks should the US have invaded Japan. As we go down this path, then civilians themselves will eventually be serving in combat.

        That’s not what’s at issue here. Instead, my concern is that icon of Christ that is expressed as womanhood is being distorted in blasphemous ways.

        I thank you for your concern about my seeming concern over sodomy. Because of my own sins I rarely think about it. To the extent I have to, I would gladly give it up completely if the gay activists, liberals, and ecumenists would
        repent or failing that, simply decamp for another church.

        • macedonianreader says


          If down votes are any indication, it would appear that your “conjecture” is actually something that needs to be said over and over, and it speaks volumes as to just how much the psychological disorder of modern feminism has already entered the Church.

          Don’t back down.

      • macedonianreader says

        Conjecture vs patriotic propaganda? Which one is better?

        Start from the premise that our wars since Korea up until our present missions(minus Afghan.) have been immoral – makes total sense that this would lead to breaking natural and cultural order of those serving in them. Imagine what “norms” we break in tomorrow’s wars? You(or those like-minded) most likely will be defending those as well…

        Commonsense – respect – past service have nothing to do with it. None of this changes the fact that women do not belong in combat. None of it make women in combat moral, right, logical, or otherwise. But it does make your opinion “of the world.”

        • George Michalopulos says

          Good point. We also forget that only Congress has the authority to declare war. Why we let Truman get away with it in Korea is beyond me. Horrible precedent.

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      George says, “I believe men and women are equal.”

      Then you’re not looking at the evidence, George.

      I am nowhere near the equal of my mother, my sisters, my wife, or my daughter.

      As for women serving in combat, please, I take warfare much more seriously than that. If there is a woman in a combat unit, her safety will be the dominant preoccupation of every man in that unit.

      • macedonianreader says

        Father – while I sympathize with your sentiments – as long as women bear children they are never “equal.” The attempts to bring abortion access to such levels, is an attempt to ‘level the playing field.’ Men have suffered with the perception that they could have relations without consequence, women want the same perception. Unfortunately, a lot of us men have become so medicated by pornographic society, electronics, food, and the loss of a creative mind/art that we really don’t care one way or the other as long as we get our ‘things.’

        Women activists don’t even accept the immoral usage of contraception as remedy because to them that is still an unfair burden.

        While I too have GREAT respect for my grandmother, mother, sister and wife; the only way this downfall of Western culture is going to reverse itself is by men taking up their ordered role and saying enough is enough without feeling as if they’re politically incorrect or made to feel guilty, hateful, or violent for speaking their minds.

        There are young men, boys, out there who are not necessarily our sons, nephews, grandsons that need the male back in our natural order to mimic and learn from. A lot of us are not there because we have become too afraid to say enough is enough. Or because it has even become popular in our parishes to tout feminism and pander to women who feel they’re entitled to position in the Church.

      • Daniel E. Fall says

        My wife and I discussed this matter and I believe if the women are in a women’s unit and it isn’t a mixed unit; it’d be allright. I’m not a fan of the idea because I like women in classical roles, too, but our concern is that it’d be distracting if women and men were serving side by side on the front lines. This same argument could be held for homosexual men serving in the military I suppose, but I’m not going there; this was about women.

        The only way it’d be okay with me if it were a women’s only kind of unit; including separate training, etc.

        Otherwise, let’s get serious here, shall we?

        And one more thing….here, here for greggo’s comments. Fr. Preble might gain some wisdom by reading that post.

        • Women should not be at war, whether in a separate unit or not. There’s is the gift of life and rearing godly seed in the fear and admonition of the LORD. It is bad enough that men should be compelled to resort to violence to protect their loved ones. The situaton is not improved by dragging women down to that level. But we are so generally deceived in this matter after a century of levelling that we are surrounded by crude and pushy women trying to act like men and girly men on morning talk shows acting like one of the girls. A society like this cannot and will not survive. Salvation is not a forensic matter as one that is programmed into the order of creation. The hybris of technocratic, Darwinistic man leads no where but cultural suicide. There is only One Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life and He made them male and female in the begnning to serve and guard the garden and to be fruitful (physically and spiritually) and fill up the earth as persons made in His image and likeness and not in any other deceptive and counterfeit form.

          How many Christians–yes, even modernized, Westernized Orthodox–realize this?


        • George Michalopulos says

          Saunca, you’ve really got to get over this whole Brown vs Board of Education thing. I went to school with black folks, worked with them (still do), been to church with them. Trust me, they despise the idea that their historical expierence is dragooned into every so-called civil rights debate whther it be gay marriage, women in combat, etc.

          Here’s a newsflash: there is no qualitative difference between males of different races or females of difference races. There IS a qualitative and quantitative difference between men and women of whatever race.

          • George Michalopulos says

            No, Saunca, you never did. However that has been the default position of every Progressive since time began. As in: “Why can’t gays get married? Don’t you remember when blacks were forced to sit in the back of the bus?”

            • George Michalopulos says

              Well, I’ll guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree. I think women are different than men. You obviously don’t.

  9. lexcaritas says

    Saunca, the push for women to serve in combat is part and parcel of the their masculinization and the destruction of the truly feminine. When women become like men the entire culture is debased, desensitizedand hardened.

    All of this goes with the destruction of the family and the demographic winter that is descending upon the whole “developed world.” With it has vanished the reverence that used to be due to those who would have been mothers and wives–the last and highest work of God’s creation. In this regard, the Theotokos is the epitome of womanhood and her Son, the Seed, Whose mission was to crush the Serpent’s head and into Whom, by faith and Baptism we are grafted to grow into His likeness.

    The Amazon in business, law, entertainment, sports and war is selling her birthright like Esau for a mess of potage. The consequence is that the whole culture is forfeiting the blessing. Like Eve in Eden, we have fallen from the deception from the father of lies who has been a murderer from the beginning. Now as then, the wages of sin is death. He knows it, and we pretend it to be otherwise.

    I heard recently that the story of Dr. Faust is the story of western civilization as a whole: we have sold our “souls” for a fools bargain. As Christians, we ought to have known better. I pray we the Orthodox do–and will live accordingly.


    • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

      It’s all a stupendous fraud. Anyone who believes in gender integration of the military believes in a lie.

      How do I know? Well, I happen to have written the book on the subject.

    • I have female relatives who served in combat and logistics roles in both the first and second world wars.

      It wasn’t until the Korean War that women in American armed forces were relegated to non combat and supporting roles, btw.

      • George Michalopulos says

        That doesn’t make it right. Please see my latest posting.

      • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

        Dear Lex, what country did your female relatives fight for? The Soviet Union? The Soviets were the only combattants to use women in combat in WWII. None did in WWI. And the role of American women in Korea did not change from the role of American women in WWII, except that a lot fewer women volunteered.

        • Dear Deacon Brian says

          Next time I see you in person, I’ll tell you about the relatives.

          Until then, have you yet achieved your release form the OCA to the ROCOR? Understanding your tough role right now, btw.

        • Lola J. Lee Beno says

          Sort of. You need to find out more about Maria Leontievna Bochkareva here:

          To be sure, this Women’s Battalion of Death was formed near the en of Russia’s participation in WWI.

  10. I am much more secular than most of your posters and much older too. I find the quasisexual behaviors on TV to be boring. The Victoria Secret models are manniquins as are the beauty pagent contestents. The pop music videos and shows are all in competition to top each other. TV dramas get gorier and sexier ever week. I suggest we just change the channel or turn the TV off. I watched the Simpsons during the half time show. The challenge to the church is to compete with these diversions rather than condemn or even judge. Condemning just makes folks defensive.

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      Greggo pronounces, “The challenge to the church is to compete with these diversions rather than condemn or even judge. Condemning just makes folks defensive.”

      And your argument for this is . . . . what?

      Matthew 23?

    • Greggo,

      I didn’t watch the game at all–only a few plays at the end. My wife and I watched Downton Abbey and spent some nice time together with the tv off. Would that vast numbers would do the same. However, viewership continues to increase and the culture becomes less and less worth God’s preserving because vice and disordered passions are elevated while virture and godliness are excluded from the public consciousness. Expect increasing infidelity and divorce, fewer children, an aging population bent on a nihilistic pursuit of pleasure, and more and more mass shootings and violations of rights of all kind. There is no exit from this apart from general and radical repentance–which even Christians are unwilling to recognize and urge.

      I was impressed by the Dinseh DeSousa film 2016–sort of. It made the point that Mr. Obama’s quest to impose greater “fairness” is driven by a kind of envy inherited from his admiration for dreams from his father. The film did not, however, touch on our culture’s opposite vice of greed. A recent Touchstone Magazine article pointed out that our society is now driven by its worship the false gods of health, wealth and hedonsim.


      • George Michalopulos says

        I confess, during the blackout, I switched over to Downton Abbey as well. So civilized, so enjoyable.

        • We’ve been talking amongst ourselves about why men like this program as well as women. Suggestions include that it was written by a man and portrays men’s feelings as well as women’s, ti displays an interchange between various forms of morality and immorality, it has historical context, it portrays class distinctions during a transition period as well as economic realities, and that it has detailed architectural interest. I admit to even liking some of the discussions on farming. And, of course, there’s good and evil yet often there are second chances for characters to do righter the second or third time around. There is very little giggly about it.

    • You say that the Church is challenged to compete with Sodom and Gomorrah. I suggest the Church do nothing of the sort but remain a place of refuge from the same.

    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

      The challenge to the church is to compete with these diversions rather than condemn or even judge. Condemning just makes folks defensive.

      Incorrect. The challenge for the Christian is to draw the correct moral distinctions (as Fr. Peter does above) and learn how to live the Christian life with integrity amid the corruption. The job of the Church (which is to say priests and bishops) is to lead by example and offer the means by which this can be accomplished.

      There is no competing with moral confusion or corruption. You will only end up sharing in the corruption in the end. The only antidote to being beset by the confusion or swallowed up by the corruption is new life in Christ that directs us into a counter-culturalism that begins in the heart.

  11. Daniel E. Fall says

    Actually, the only pornography I find is Ray Lewis making umpteen millions a year and stiffing the charity/foundations he setup, so when you hear Ray praying and saying oh lord (often), that is probably far worse a thing to hear than some poorly dressed woman on stage that wasn’t involved in a beating that resulted in death.

    Giving God a bad name is far worse a slander than anything the girl did.

    This of course has nothing to do with fathering 5-6 children with 4 different mothers.

    (Not a Ray Lewis fan)

    If he gets on tv, give me the channel changer.

  12. cynthia curran says

    The Super Bowl discussion is frankly about nothing less than the pandering of our society to virtually every one of the passions and classical vices and the utter loss of any focus on the life of virtue. The half time show, the ads, the cheerleaders and (in large part) the game itself are about the glorification of lust and gluttony, pride and greed, Forget chastity, temperance, humility and magnanimity You could say the same thing about the Hippodrome in Constantiople, a small fraction of the Blues or Greens knife each other.

  13. cynthia curran says

    Good point. We also forget that only Congress has the authority to declare war. Why we let Truman get away with it in Korea is beyond me. Horrible precedent. Well, think of the different between North and South Korea the whole country could have been under the Kim’s.

    Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)

  14. Hi, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, very good blog!