God Bless ‘Em, the Catholics Really Mean It. Do We?

In our last post Monomakhos congratulated the Assembly of Bishops for finally stepping up to the plate and speaking out against the egregious mandates contained within Obamacare. Forcing religious institutions to subsidize contraception, sterilization, abortion, and in-vitro fertilization is 180 degrees opposed to the free exercise of religion. It is in fact nothing short of tyrannical.

Recently, Timothy P Broglio, the Roman Catholic archbishop in charge of all Catholic chaplains in the United States Army directed all priests serving under him to read a statement condemning the onerous dictates of Obamacare from the pulpit. Unfortunately, the Director of Chaplains in the Armed Services countermanded that order. Not being one to take this lying down, Archbishop Broglio went straight to the Secretary of the Army, John McHugh and had it out with him. When confronted with a God-fearing bishop instead of a grovelling time-server, Sec McHugh saw the light. Broglio graciously accepted his apology and gave him a face-saving way out.

Chalk up another win for the good guys.

On the civilian front, the Church Militant is proving to be as every bit as aggressive as its military counterpart. Catholic bishops are exhorting their flocks to fight these tyrannical mandates anywhere and everywhere. Even the words “civil disobedience” are being used for the first time in a long time. Check out this video of Bishop Edward Slattery of the Diocese of Tulsa:

His Excellency has always been a stand-up guy. It was with his blessing and under his auspices that our humble parish and several other concerned Christians were able over the past four years to produce our own local March for Life. We now have had three. (Our pastor received the blessing of His Eminence Dmitri Royster shortly before he retired, who fervently desired for us to join with other Christians in pro-life endeavors.)

Because of the witness of Catholic hierarchs like Slattery, Broglio, Timothy Dolan, Charles Chaput and others too numerous to mention here, the Orthodox Church is beginning to see the light. Of course, the OCA has always been stalwart in this matter but the apathy displayed by the Orthodox hierarchy in-toto has muffled its voice to a distressing degree (to say nothing of the shocking complacency coming out of Istanbul).

Some Orthodox Bishops Get it Right — and Wrong

It was with great happiness therefore that we reported on the wonderful homily given by His Grace Demetrios Kantzavellas, an auxiliary bishop in the GOA Metropolis of Chicago at a recent inter-Orthodox vespers for the Sanctity of Life Sunday. OCLife is working closely with Bishops Matthias Moriak of Chicago (OCA) to endow an Orthodox home for unwed mothers in that city. Kantzavellos has enthusiastically supported this effort. The GOA Metropolis of Atlanta also got in the act, issuing an encyclical (.pdf) in support of the sanctity of life. Although the communique from Atlanta did not once mention the word “abortion,” it was still a step in the right direction.

Score another couple of wins for the good guys.

Unfortunately, the happiness of this occasion was diminished recently when Kantzavellos publicly admonished Fr Peter Preble for the latter’s criticism of the Assembly of Bishops and the inertia they have heretofore displayed on this matter. As our readers no doubt know, Preble had published an editorial in The Huffington Post, castigating the Assembly of Bishops for not coming to the aid of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in their righteous cause. Had His Grace’s criticisms remained private —between himself and Preble—no damage to the pro-life cause would have transpired and we wouldn’t be writing about it today.

As for the letter itself, it seems that the good bishop is talking past Preble rather than engaging his arguments. The substance is rather thin. Bishop Demetrios certainly has done herculean work on the sanctity of life front but the good news is largely confined to his Metropolis. On a national level, the normal lethargy that we have come to expect from the GOA is still regnant. Instead of real leadership, we get breathless press releases about the primate of the GOA hosting conferences at posh resorts attended by industrial tycoons and FOX news lovelies. All in the name of something called “Faith: An Endowment for Hellenism and Orthodoxy.” Since the departure of the late Archbishop Iakovos Coucouzis, this has all-too-often been par for the course.

Be that as it may, by taking Preble publicly to task, His Grace muddied the waters considerably. The issue is not whether a bishop had the right to criticize a priest who spoke openly or whether the criticisms leveled against Preble were valid, but whether it was prudent to do so, especially given the fact that both men are on the same side on this issue and that our ranks are exceedingly thin. Even though Kantzavellos received a blessing from Archbishop Nicolae Condrea (Preble’s hierarch) to address him privately, it is not known at present whether he received similar permission to make the letter public. All of these factors reinforce the perception that we Orthodox form circular firing squads at the drop of a hat and are all-to-eager to give the order of Ready, Fire, Aim!

We are aghast at the fact that those of us in the pro-life movement within our tiny Church are turning on each other — to no good end. The very real fear is that the rest of the episcopate will simply bide their time while our pro-life energies dissipate because of this in-fighting. The end-result will be the same-old/same-old: American Orthodoxy will revert to the default position of worldliness and celebrity-mongering that has so far characterized so many of our jurisdictions.

Some Orthodox Bishops Don’t Get it at All

This fear is very real, given that Metropolitan Savvas Zembillas, the Chairman of the Committee on Church and Society (the committee of the Assembly of Bishops that has been tasked with grave moral issues), seems to have more time to engage in political satire than to address the burning moral issues.

Bishop Savas wrote: “I posted this because I found it on the article that follows, on the apparent death of compassionate conservatism, and it struck me as the kind of provocation the saints we are honoring today would have endorsed” after posting this video:

To be sure, His Eminence is to be commended for urging his priests to set up Facebook pages. That’s one way to engage the culture. However the tactlessness of this particular cartoon raises certain uncomfortable questions, the most obvious being if His Eminence realizes that a significant percentage of his flock are politically conservative and that they might take umbrage at the aspersions that this cartoon makes about them. This is of a piece with his earlier fawning encomium to Obama upon his election to the Presidency in which he made liberal use of the Psalter to hail the President-elect. (The only thing that was missing was palm branches and rose petals lining the streets.)

And we know what his default position is on abortion: the same old tired trope that all children should be wanted. We cannot afford to have one of our own — and a high-ranking cleric at that — mimicking the late Robert Drinan, a Catholic priest and Congressman, who consistently toed the pro-abortion line. In doing so, he provided political cover to pro-abortion Congresswomen like Bella Abzug, who when asked about her position on abortion, always responded with the words: “I voted the same way Fr. Robert Drinan voted.”

Drinan’s form of Vichy Catholicism did much damage to the moral witness of the American Catholic Church and created a sub-culture in which prominent Catholic politicians could hide their own pro-abortion views behind the smokescreen of “being personally opposed” to abortion.

No Vichy Orthodoxy

We’ve come too far to let this happen. Yes, the Assembly of Bishops is to be applauded for finally releasing a statement condemning the tyrannical portions of Obamacare. But as commendable as the auxiliary bishop of Chicago’s efforts have been on this front, it must be understood that whatever successes have been accomplished in Chicago have been largely confined to that diocese. They cannot be universalized and considered the normal state of affairs in American Orthodoxy. They are unique, not ubiquitous.

The recent encyclical in support of the Catholic bishops is a good start, but it’s only a start. We need more priests like Preble, not fewer —and bishops too. Because one thing is certain: The USCCB is not going to back down on this one. Either the secular fundamentalism will win or the bishops will. Our bishops better take heed. They are either going to be in this til the end or they’re not.


  1. George, permit me to cross post this observation I made at AOI:

    If I were to make a prediction going forward, I would guess the following. This press release is excellent as is the statement of the EA, however looking from the inside, this press release also shows that 79th Street has lost control over the whole HHS ruling issue. People rose up and spoke their consciences and the EA was compelled to act or else endure a couple of rounds of bad publicity.

    Traditionally speaking 79th Street does not like to enter into the culture wars so I have to believe all of the events on this blog and with the EA make them very uncomfortable. After all if your primary focus is Greek political issues and getting access to the present political power structure then lining up with Catholic bishops and the pro-lifers is not a smart move. And of course the last thing you want as the annual Greek Independence Day party with Obama approaches is to have the GOA bishops cast in the same light as folks the Archbishop Dolan of New York or Bishop Zubnik of Pittsburgh.

    Now my prediction is that we will see a move by the EA or the GOA Eparchial synod that puts some distance between the Orthodox and others on this issue. This move will also attempt to placate the Obama adminstration by indirectly saying “we are not like those people”. It will stress “enlightened Orthodox tradition” and cultural disengagement.

    I would look for some type of statement by the EA/GOA or Church and Society Commission that claims this whole issue has gotten too heated and out of control. The statement will praise vague things like dialogue and a “more excellent way”. It will say things like the Orthodox must take the high road and point out that political activism by Orthodox is not appropriate and not “Orthodox”. It will also slip some praise in for the political powers that their intentions are in the right place and that the real problem is all these right-wing Catholics, Orthodox, and evangelicals.

    Again, There is simply no way 79th Street allows this issue to escalate and for GOA bishops to continue to mentioned along the same lines as Roman Catholic leaders like Dolan, Chaput and Zubnik along with evangelicals like Colson and Moehler. 79th Street needs to reclaim its liberal outlook or risk losing some its political access.

    As for Metropolitan Savas, you just have to feel sad for the guy. Today on his facebook “ministry page” he posted yet another round of the opinions of others while still hiding from taking a positon himself in his own words. I wonder if some of the GOA wizards of smart both here, at the Phanar and on K Street are beginning to wonder if the Metropolitan’s facebook presence is more of a liability than an asset. Meanwhile Greece is falling apart but the GOA partying is great at the Ritz Carlton this wek in Florida!

    • Carl Kraeff says

      I wonder if Metropolitan Savvas will stay on as the Chairman of the Committee on Church and Society for the Assembly of Bishops. It seems to me that he was the wrong person to have been given this job.

  2. Lola J. Lee Beno says

    Looks like the Catholics really do mean business. Here’s a leaked internal letter:


  3. cynthia curraWen says

    Well, the Greeks love the Byzantines and the Byzantines prohibted abortion except for the mother’s life was in danger in the Basil Code. Child abandoment is forbidden in the Justinian Code and abortion is as well. Panders in child prostution rings also severaly punished. Homosexaulity could sometimes mean the death penality, not that I believe that in both Justinian,Theodosian and Basil Code. Granted, sometimes homosexuals could be spared by confessing their sin to the Patriach or bishop or priest.

  4. cynthia curraWen says

    I think Bishop Savas shown St Constantine in a slide. St Constantine punished by death men that kidnapped women to marry them and adultery. St Constantine and St Justinian on the social issues on apart of the religious right of the 4th and 6th centuries. A lot of leftist hate them on religious matters and in some respects I came agree with them on Justinian since I believe in freedom of religion and not punishing people for heresy but the left also hates him on homosexuality. The left both hates Constantine and Justinian when it comes to war since St Constantine was involved in civil wars against other Romans. Constantine was no pacifists like some modern Orthodox. And McDonnel a british isles historian hates Justinian’s attempt to reconquest the west by going call it the Destrucation of the Roman Empire. Granted, the war in Italy was complex but Justinian wasn’t the only one involved in the destrucation of Italy, the Goths also played there part. too.

  5. cynthia curraWen says

    One last observation- Ron Paul that wants to legalize Prostution. Even in places like Greece where its semi-legal there still is the force element involved and the sex trade. The average age is only 14 years old which means there is a lot of fraud and force involved in the selling your body not many women do it as a matter of choice. This is one reason even with those opposed to the war why I even prefer N. Gringrich since I doubt he would propose to make it legal.

  6. cynthia curraWen says

    I have criticized the Byzantines here myself but being a medieval culture they did think certain things were right or wrong unlike their modern counterparts. Most here blame it on the west, granted the west is responsible for this type of thinking about a lot of easterners have adopted the view of the west on the social issues, and actually the vast majority of the west here in the US disagrees, most states did not legalized gay married.

  7. cynthia curraWen says

    Yes, George its wrong. Granted, some on the right have a narrow focus and maybe they don’t care about poor people. In fact both parties tend to not care about the employment of americans since Obama favors just as many work vistas as Bush did for low skilled jobs and high skilled jobs. Mark Krikorian who is a oriential orthodox and highly involved in restricting illegal and some legal immirgation has brought this up in regard to Obama and the Republican Candidates.

  8. Ashley Nevins says

    Just think if America were a Orthodox church/state theocratic dictatorship of top down power and control that cannot paradigm shift out of the 12th century to modernity our freedom of religion based democracy would not exist and this issue would not even be an issue.

    There would not be freedom of religion and so such Obama problems just would not exist. The bishops with the royal state court would decide what king rules over us. Together they would protect us from such Obama attacks on Christianity.

    Personally, I believe the Greeks should rule over America through their church. Then they can turn us into church/state and socialist Greece that is the moral and ethical authority of Europe.

    It was church/state Russia that ushered in the paradigm shift of communism into our world. The church/state was the perfect set up for the Communist SOCIALIST state. It was a paradigm shift of one dictatorship to another dictatorship. Now the ROC rises again to do it all over again.

    Yes, I can only imagine that the Orthodox are wishing the glory days of their church power and control had control over America. Far left secular and socialist liberals who try to engineer our society would not be able to do that for how the church/state has engineered the society to protect the power and control of the church/state.

    The next best thing to a church/state is a socialist state. Centralized and top down power and control is the basis of both ideologies and the outcome of both of these ideologies can be clearly seen in the reality of the real world. Both are failed.

    The Orthodox are the solution by the elimination of freedom of religion. If we were only one church/state Orthodox religion in America then the far left liberal attack on Christianity would stop.

    I believe socialism and church/state ideology have many common denominators and work well together in places like GREECE. Both create a sick and self destructive codependent relationship between the people and the state. The church/state turns you into codependent serfs and the socialist state turns you into codependent pawns of the social justice and welfare entitlement state.

    There can be on freedom of religion, freedom of mind and freedom of speech in a church/state totalitarian top down dictatorship that calls itself Gods only alone right and one true church and salvation on the planet. Not unless you believe being like a Muslin dictatorship state is freedom. Freedom of religion protects us from the religion dictatorship state. Orthodoxy does not provide that protection and never has. Orthodox, think it through without the totalitarian church thinking for you.

    The free world is free because it is free of church/state top down and centralized power and control. America is the paradigm shift against that ideology and it is the paradigm shift against the ideology of SOCIALISM.

    I would rather have Obama created religion problems in freedom of religion than Orthodox church/state created problems without freedom of religion. Obama’s created problems with Christianity are nothing compared to the problems that church/state theology creates for the Orthodox. If you think his liberal ideological attacks on American Christianity are bad just think what our country would be like if the Orthodox church/state was in power and control rule over us without freedom of religion.

    Basically, in the church/state there really is no freedom of speech and so if you speak out against the church/state you most likely would end up dead or imprisoned. It was the Reformation that started the paradigm shift against this and that then led to the formation of American freedom of religion.

    The Reformation was a western rational Christian revolution and paradigm shift that today gives us the FREEDOM to PROTEST the STATE. It is pro-test-ant in basis. If we would have had an eastern church/state top down power and control dictatorship basis there would be no protest of the state.

    There were no EOC bishops or priests involved in the American Revolution as Black Robes of the Revolution. In Orthodoxy you don’t change the church/state to democracy freedom of religion or the church looses all of its power in and over the state.

    It took a Communist (socialism) revolution in Russia to separate the eastern church from the state. This is an eastern irrational revolution and paradigm shift. The end result was not good. Eastern irrational Christianity is not the missionary machine to the world.

    It took a Democratic (capitalism) revolution in America to separate the all churches from the state. This is a western rational revolution and paradigm shift. The end result was good. Western rational Christianity is the missionary machine to the world.

    One revolution rationally frees the individual and the other one irrationally imprisons the individual.

    Orthodox, do you know what the opposite of being rational is? It is being irrational. You can tell the difference between them by their outcomes in the reality of the real world.

    Socialism is state sponsored political codependency.

    Church/state is church and state sponsored religion and state codependency.

    When you put the two together you end up with GREECE. It is an irrational outcome whose only basis can be irrational and the irrational outcome proves it.

    You will notice the reaction the eastern irrational Greeks are having towards the western rational Germans. German rational objectivity is exposing the subjective irrationality of the Greeks. The rationals are holding the irrationals transparent and accountable. The objective is holding the subjective transparent and accountable.

    Irrational subjective thinking cannot hold itself transparent and accountable. Any church based upon that kind of thinking will end up corrupt, failed, irrelevant and dying. It will not be able to find a rational and objective solution to that state of corrupt failure. Irrational subjectivity cannot see itself as it really is. Only objective rationality can.

    It is western rational to protest Obama freedom of religion violations and therefore protect freedom of religion and Christianity. If the Orthodox applied similar rationality to the corrupt and failed state of their church maybe they could protect it from its ugly and painful death. Obama and the far left is not the greatest threat to the Orthodox in America. The far left did not cause the corrupt and failed state of the EO in America.

    Bottom line, there would be no freedom of religion America if not for the Protestant Reformation that started the paradigm shift process of separating the church and the state. Had it been left up to the EO it never would have happened and all of us if they had their way would still be under a ROC or GOC like church and state rule. Our freedom of religion problems would take on a more serious tone for there not being any freedom of religion in America. That is far more serious than Obama’s HCR and Catholic birth control problem.

    Ashley Nevins

    • Carl Kraeff says

      Mr Nevins–You are so ate up with hatred of the Orthodox Church that you are in danger of losing your soul to the devil. I am putting you on my prayer and commemoration lists. May be it is not too late for you. Lord have mercy!

    • Geo Michalopulos says

      Ahsley, you can blame the Church of Greece for a lot of things, but the socialism of the Greek state is not one of them. That’s like blaming the devil for freewill. Yes, we screw up because of freewill but it is a gift from God, not the devil.

    • What self-indulgence and vanity ! What in the world would Ashlen Nevins do for an audience if it weren’t for “Monomakhos?” He gives the word “logorrhea’ a whole new lease on life. He must just sit down with a headset and Naturally Speaking or MacSpeech and just ramble away while scarfing down something like beer and buttered popcorn, watching TV, and scratching himself, and when he’s sated, he just hits hits “Copy” and we are treated to the evacuation of the whole mess here.

      As Luther said to Zwingli: “Du hast einen anderen Geist!”
      And “Where’s the air-freshener when you need it?”

    • Lola J. Lee Beno says

      What’s your beef? Haven’t you spent enough time reflecting on whether your anger is causing you spiritual harm?

  9. cynthia curraWen says

    I don’t want to literally go back to either the Common law in the British Isles suring the middle ages or the Justinian Code. I was referring that pre-modern era people did follow christian teachings on abortion, homosexuality, and so forth they didn’t use modern reasons against those teachings whether they were in the West or East. Anyway, the Byzantines were far from socalist and many on the left have complain about the upper-classes leading to the fall of Byzantium. Yes, they got the state too much involved in trade particularly in the silk market. A study on Byzantium in the year 1000 shown per Capita income below 1,000 and about 20 percent lower than Rome during Augustus. Also, the Gini Coefficent that measures inequality Byzantines around 40 to 45 which is on the high side since a low score is 25 or lower. Constantinople more inequal than modern US but less so than Brazil. Some emperors gave the peasants back the land like Basil II but this made a small impact still some people including the emperors were rather wealthy.

    • What “common law” existed in the British Isles (sic) during the middle ages, pray tell?
      As for what ‘pre-modern era” people did or did not do, be informed that Greeks were exposing girl babies on mountainsides in classical times and right into the twentieth century.

      Please be more careful and don’t write nonsense such as ‘I don’t want to literally (sic) go back to….” and don’t try and regale us with how “other people complained” about anything. That’s a very private language that doesn’t mean much to people “outside”.

      • Would that Bishop Slattery speak out with the same indignation about pedophilia practiced by the Catholic clergy, as he does about this supposed attack by the state on religious freedom.

        If the Catholic Church chooses to engage in business ventures as an employer, does it have the right to enforce its beliefs on its non-Catholic employees?

        Putting that aside, studies have shown that high as 98% of sexually active Catholic women have used contraceptives. Many Catholic clergy and theologians as well reject the Catholic Church’s teaching on contraception. And yet this bishop speaks out on a matter of national public policy and on an issue most Catholics are in disagreement.

        The issue of whether to use contraception or not, as well as when and how to have sex is best left to a husband and wife to decide.

        • Geo Michalopulos says

          Logan, except for your first point, everything else you write is superfluous. Let us engage them seriatim:

          1. The “Business Venture” nonsense. Using your logic, a kosher, for-profit delicatessen should provide pork for its gentile employees.

          2. 98% number of Catholic women using contraceptives. First, please cite the source for this astronomically-high number. Secondly, see reason #1 above. 90% of American Jews do not keep kosher. Should they be forced to subsidize pork futures?

          3. Sex is of course best left to husband and wife. This is not an issue here. A person freely chooses to work at a Catholic institution. If he/she doesn’t agree with its tenets, mission statement, benefits package, one is always free to work somewhere else.

          You see, it really is about religious freedom.

          • Insurance coverage for contraception has been required by 28 states for years and Catholic institutions have complied (apparently without complaint). Religious institutions are free to preach contraception or anything else they choose as immoral in our country, but they don’t get to dictate public policy. Muslims don’t get to practice polygamy as a religious freedom. Should Jehovah’s Witnesses demand their health coverage not cover employees receiving blood transfusions?

            A couple more stats: every dollar spent on family planning reduces Medicaid expenditures by $3.74; it costs employers an extra 15% if they don’t cover contraception.

            It’s not as black and white as you make it seem.

            Here’s the link:

            • That’s simply not true Logan46. There are 28 states that have some sort of contraception mandate but all of them have religious exemptions or other exceptions that allow Catholic institutions to avoid paying for contraception.

              • R. Howell says: That’s simply not true Logan46. There are 28 states that have some sort of contraception mandate but all of them have religious exemptions or other exceptions that allow Catholic institutions to avoid paying for contraception.

                IIRC, New York and California have only narrow exemptions, specifically for houses of worship, but not for affiliated institutions. (My apologies for any inaccuracies–with hot button issues, sometimes it’s difficult to determine what is factual.)

                • Most of the 28 states have broad religious exemptions. The few that don’t do have other loopholes, such as only applying to plans that include prescription medication. California’s law is one of the toughest, and Catholic Charities of Sacramento appealed the all the way to the California Supreme Court before losing. It’s not clear to me if they now cover contraception or have abandoned covering prescription medication (as many Catholic organizations in the states with the toughest mandates have chosen to do).

                  In any case it is clearly not true that there are 28 states where Catholic organizations are contentedly complying with regulations equivalent to the new HHS ones. At most there are a handful of states whose regulations come close to being as tough as HHS’s, where a few Catholic organizations have conceded defeat after great protest and lawsuits.

            • Geo Michalopulos says

              Logan, the practicing of polygamy is optional within Islam. The vast majority of Muslims are engaged in monogamous relationships. Even though our Republic was founded by Christians ajnd a Christian culture informed it, we would not mandate that Muslims preach against polygamy or rabbis to preach against breaking kosher rules. Nor would we affirmately demand of them that they must subsidize those things that are contrary to their teachings.

              But let’s bring up the fact that Amish and Mennonites are completely exempt from Obamacare. And I suppose Christian Scientists as well. Using your logic, these groups should be forced to buy into Obamacare. OK, then why are THEY exempt?

              As for Jehovah’s Witnesses, yes, I believe that if they buy health insurance, they should be exempt from covering blood transfusions. What is so darn difficult about granting religious institutions exemptiions?

              I think I know the answer: because the Leviathan State doesn’t really care about tiny pockets of sectarians like the Amish or the Christian Scientists. They want to control the Big Kahuna. They’ve got their sights on the American Catholic Church. They want all its insitutions. They won’t be able to destroy Christianity until they first subjugate the Catholic Church. Once they go, then it’s all over.

              • Geo Michalopulos says: I think I know the answer: because the Leviathan State doesn’t really care about tiny pockets of sectarians like the Amish or the Christian Scientists. They want to control the Big Kahuna. They’ve got their sights on the American Catholic Church. They want all its insitutions. They won’t be able to destroy Christianity until they first subjugate the Catholic Church. Once they go, then it’s all over.

                George, you’re letting the “theys” cloud your logic. You’re take what probably are byproducts and weave them together as a sinister, conspiratorial plan. History is made up of a conglomeration of fragmented events in which we try to make sense of. The “theys” are one way to do so, but I’m not sure of its validity.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  yes, I agree. But nature abhors a vacuum. When asked why he robbed banks, Willie Sutton answered: “because that’s where the money is.”

                • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                  George, your first answer is correct. The Obama administration wants to tear away at the moral authority of the Catholic Church, and through it the authority of the Christian moral tradition. Stories that have come out about the internal conversations in the White House about the HHS mandate reveal that Obama administration targeted the Catholic Church specifically (Biden warned against it), and calculated the blow-back it would receive. Obviously their calculations were off. (How many divisions does the Pope have?)

                  • Geo Michalopulos says

                    Yes, Fr. I just read Eleanor Clift’s latest editorial. She says that Obama figured that such an assault on contraception would fire up his base.

            • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

              “A couple more stats: every dollar spent on family planning reduces Medicaid expenditures by $3.74; it costs employers an extra 15% if they don’t cover contraception.”

              Great logic. Why not eliminate all conception? That way we could make all our Medicaid expenses disappear!

              It’s like the guy who argues abortion helps the poor. He thinks the way to cure poverty is to kill the poor.

              • Geo Michalopulos says

                So did Margaret Sanger by the way. Black people especially. I’ll hyperlink Michelle Malkin’s recent editorial on “The Negro Project.”

                Most genocides are labor-intensive and waste capital resources, The Nazis wasted considerable time energy building their death-camps. From a strategic point of view, all that effort could have been used to take Stalingrad and reinforce the Atlantic Wall and suing the Allies for peace. Had Hitler not had such a genocidal fury, the Third Reich would still be in existence today.

                Planned Parenthood found a way to make genocide profitable. Once they realized that they couldn’t completely exterminate minorities they decided to make the best of the situation and continue to make money by aborting their babies on a chronic basis. All paid for by the taxpayer and/or the trusts left by the foundations of wealthy families.

                • Geo Michalopulos says: So did Margaret Sanger by the way. Black people especially. I’ll hyperlink Michelle Malkin’s recent editorial on “The Negro Project.”

                  Most genocides are labor-intensive and waste capital resources, The Nazis wasted considerable time energy building their death-camps. From a strategic point of view, all that effort could have been used to take Stalingrad and reinforce the Atlantic Wall and suing the Allies for peace. Had Hitler not had such a genocidal fury, the Third Reich would still be in existence today.

                  Planned Parenthood found a way to make genocide profitable. Once they realized that they couldn’t completely exterminate minorities they decided to make the best of the situation and continue to make money by aborting their babies on a chronic basis. All paid for by the taxpayer and/or the trusts left by the foundations of wealthy families.

                  C’mon George, you’re an intelligent person (much more so than I), but you’re letting your hard right political views cloud a reasonable interpretation of history. Please don’t use Michele Malkin, or any other media idiot savant, as a source for anything.

                  You’re correct the Third Reich wasted tremendous resources attempting to achieve the “final solution,” but the Third Reich was doomed when it crossed the Polish border, and for certain with the invasion of the Soviet Union.

                  Margaret Sanger had racist views as probably did 90% of white Americans of her time. In the early 20th century, eugenics was considered reputable science. Sanger detested Hitler. Her books were burned by the Nazis. You can call contemporary Planned Parenthood genocidal for supporting abortions, but that wasn’t part of its inception.

                  • geo michalopulos says

                    Actuall/y, her birth control reviewvpubliehed articles by third Reich luminaries. She came to detest Hitler only afterwards, when the monstrosity of hisvregime became apparent.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Logan, killing the messenger doesn’t invalidate the factual narrative.

                    As for WWII, you will notice that I did not say that Nazi Germany could or couldn’t have won. From a geostrategic sense, you are right, once Hitler stabbed his buddy Stalin in the back, there would be hell to pay. However, a seperate peace with the Western Allies would have allowed him to fight off the Soviets and maintain the Reich. In fact, Stalin feared that Churchill and FDR would stab him in the back and constantly pressured them to open the Western Front.

                    This is almost precisely what happened in WWI, when the Germans were able to force an armistice. Although the reperations they had to pay to the West were horrendous, Germany took more land at Russia’s expense at the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. By any definition this was not a loss but a truce.

                  • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                    Margaret Sanger had racist views as probably did 90% of white Americans of her time. In the early 20th century, eugenics was considered reputable science. Sanger detested Hitler. Her books were burned by the Nazis. You can call contemporary Planned Parenthood genocidal for supporting abortions, but that wasn’t part of its inception.

                    I really wish people who made assertions like this knew history. No, 90% of white Americans were not eugenicists. No, Margaret Sanger was not a benign do-gooder. You obviously are only familiar with the defensive polemics of Planned Parenthood and other culture of death organizations that labor so hard to obscure their own histories.

                    Before you say another word about this, you need to educate yourself. Start with Edwin Black’s “War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race.” Yes, I’ve read it. You can read my review here.

                    When you really know something about eugenics, Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger and the others you defend, you might have something worthwhile to say.

                    BTW, the Nazis laid the ideological groundwork for the Final Solution from American eugenic tracts.

                    • Geo Michalopulos says

                      You know, even if we accept the proposition that 90% of Americans were racists in her day, that still leaves out one important point: even racists like the Abraham Lincoln, KKK, Woodrow Wilson, et a, did not try to actually exterminate blacks. She did. At most, what they wanted was either black repatriation to Africa or failing that, a rigid, perpetual segregation. (Yes, you heard me right: Lincoln anticipated Jim Crow laws in his debates with Stephen Douglass as well as black repatriation. BTW, black nationalists like Marcus Garvey also wanted black repatriation to Africa.)

                    • Dear Fr. Hans, I wasn’t aware that opinions expressed here actually had to be worthwhile. I hope it’s not only opinions that you agree with that are worthwhile?

                      I doubt my statement, that 90% of early 20th century white Americans believed the Negro race to be inferior, was that far off the mark. I also implied eugenics was widespread in early 20th century America–not sure of how that statement missed the mark as well.

                      Also, I’m not sure how I became an advocate of Planned Parenthood, other than supporting an individual’s right to use contraception. If I understand correctly, for Orthodox, certain forms of contraception are acceptable.

                      I’ll struggle to read more and speak (post) less.

                    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                      Logan, you said:

                      Margaret Sanger had racist views as probably did 90% of white Americans of her time.

                      Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, and eugenics are inseparable. Your statement portrays her as no different than any soft racist of her era.

                      Further, your next statement:

                      You can call contemporary Planned Parenthood genocidal for supporting abortions, but that wasn’t part of its inception.

                      …has the same fuzzy logic. Planned Parenthood was Sanger’s (non-aborted?) baby. It carries forward eugenic ideas under the cloak of Progressive benevolence. See: A Life of Passion: Progressive Eugenics and Planned Parenthood.

                      The eugenicists of Sanger’s era were completely convinced they served the common good. They were as persuaded as you are that the cold rationalism of the cost-benefit calculus that you employ below was morally unassailable:

                      A couple more stats: every dollar spent on family planning reduces Medicaid expenditures by $3.74; it costs employers an extra 15% if they don’t cover contraception.

                      To your credit you admit a measure of confusion on your position:

                      Also, I’m not sure how I became an advocate of Planned Parenthood, other than supporting an individual’s right to use contraception. If I understand correctly, for Orthodox, certain forms of contraception are acceptable.

                      The nexus of your confusion lies in the phrase, “…other than supporting an individual’s right to use contraception…” One cannot marginally support Planned Parenthood. It’s like overlooking the Final Solution to point out Hitler benefited some Germans along the way. Clearly Orthodox teaching on contraception fosters your confusion, but that speaks to a failure of moral clarity on the part of Orthodox teachers and not you. That, however, is another topic for another time.

              • Fr. Hans Jacobse says: . . . It’s like the guy who argues abortion helps the poor. He thinks the way to cure poverty is to kill the poor.

                Fr. Hans, would you not agree that family planning and contraception is beneficial for the poor? Should a husband and wife not think about whether they can support, care, and feed a child(ren)? If society has to bear the financial responsibility for the children of those parents who won’t, and contraception would reduce that cost, should that not be a public policy consideration? Let the Church teach and change us concerning morality, but someone, society, the state, has to deal with the practical side of it.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Why stop there Logan? It’s a proven fact that our present entitlement system is unsustainable. Why not start euthanizing the elderly? First, we’ll just start withholding medical care.

                  We can also do what they do in Japan, where mortality rates for newborns vis-a-vis America are skewed. They simply don’t count day-old babies as “live births” Therefore no heroic medical measures are undertaken to save their lives should they be born with difficulties.

                  “Death panels,” anyone?

                • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                  In the 1950s, 75% of all Black families in Harlem were from intact two parent families and the trend was rising. At the end of the 1960s the number was reversed. The reason? The Great Society programs which decimated the black families by rewarding irresponsible behavior.

                  How to deal with hardships imposed by the Progressive ideas? Set up abortion clinics and paper over the grisly evil using the language of benevolence. It deceived many people and made them unwitting shills for the abortion industry — such as yourself.

                  Racism is alive and well on the left. A far higher percentage of Black babies are aborted than white. It’s justified in terms of benefit for the poor. And if you really believe that these ideas don’t have their antecedents in the eugenic madness of Sanger and other fellow travelers, then you don’t know history. See: Margaret Sanger, Founder of Planned Parenthood, in her own words.

                  The problem with your thinking Logan is that it is naive. Your conclusion, “Let the Church teach and change us concerning morality, but someone, society, the state, has to deal with the practical side of it” absolves you of any responsibility for your ideas by shifting the practical consequences to the state. I call it the Pontius Pilate syndrome — issue decrees but wash your hands of the results.

                  Of course, if you don’t defend life at the beginning, you can’t be counted to defend it anywhere else. You might assert this isn’t true, but how can we trust someone who has already demonstrated that he won’t take responsibility for ideas that justify the killing of the unborn?

                  • Fr. Hans, I have no problem considering your premise that Planned Parenthood, as the virtual embodiment of Margaret Sanger, is continuing a covert program of eugenics. If I understand correctly, it goes like this. Unfortunately eugenics came to be discredited when the Nazis, who with their Teutonic thoroughness, moved beyond sterilization to mass genocide. Thus thwarted, eugenic proponents (Planned Parenthood) sought to make their program of population control more palatable by focusing on contraception (birth control). After indoctrinating us on that, then they, which now not only includes Planned Parenthood, but duped liberals and democrats, as well as probably those deluded fools who are always spouting off about social and economic equality, will get down to the original goal all along–involuntary sterilization. Perhaps, as you say, I am woefully uninformed. My local library has the Edwin Black book and as you suggest, I will read it.

                    I’m not an advocate for Planned Parenthood. I never could be as I don’t accept abortion as a morally acceptable choice. OTH, I support the individual choosing to use contraception or not. To which, you said:

                    The nexus of your confusion lies in the phrase, “…other than supporting an individual’s right to use contraception…” One cannot marginally support Planned Parenthood. It’s like overlooking the Final Solution to point out Hitler benefited some Germans along the way. Clearly Orthodox teaching on contraception fosters your confusion, but that speaks to a failure of moral clarity on the part of Orthodox teachers and not you. That, however, is another topic for another time.

                    Are you saying contraception must, of necessity, lead to eugenics, involuntary sterilizations, and genocide? Yes, I am confused. Contraception–no mater in what form or practice–is sinful, evil, immoral, and unethical?

                    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                      You are making it way too complicated Logan. Planned Parenthood, like the eugenicists of old, implements policies that seek to eliminate who they deem undesirable. Most undesirable these days are poor blacks. Back then it was poor blacks and whites. Oh sure, I know PP ostensibly exists to help women, but back then people thought they were serving the greater good too. They just rationalized it in a different way.

                      As for contraception, no, I am not saying it leads to eugenics. Rather, it divorces sex from procreation. That served the goal of the old eugenicists like Sanger, but it also serves Planned Parenthood. The unborn child, if not planned, becomes what? — a fetal extraction usually. What are they doing that is any different than the old eugenicists in the end? Not much.

                      The truth is that the Orthodox have to be clearer on the use of contraception. We have absorbed the attitudes of the secular culture and think in its terms.

  10. The blustering and bullying tone of Bishop Demetrios is very similar to the one I got from “Fr. Anthony”, a Greek Orthodox priest who served (and still serves?) as a moderator in ByzCath Forum. When I was still in that Forum, I asked, without any polemics, a very simple question: what is the position of the Greek Orthodox Church on abortion?

    Instead of a factual reply I was accused by “Fr. Anthony” of insulting the Orthodox Church and denying that it is pro-life, then he locked the thread.

    Sounds like the actions of someone who knows in his heart that his church has massively failed the pro-life cause, and is extremely defensive about it.

    I’m going to be blunter, too. Why is it that Greek priests tend to be so impolite, crass, and bullying? I’ve noticed it all over the Internet.

  11. cynthia curraWen says

    Well , your right about child exposure there is a lot of that mention back to the Theodosian Code. Yes, medieval people had problems too. I write a lot of nonsense anyway and yes I shouldn’t mention about how everyone complains.

  12. cynthia curraWen says

    Well, Ashley yes the Byzantines put to death the Paulicians and in the Catholic west the Cathars. The protestans burn witches more, so everyone did put people to death either for religious views or supposed witchcraft in the case of protestants.

  13. cynthia curraWen says

    Ashley, George is pretty fair. He is not one of the Orthodox that doesn’t have anything to do with Catholics or Protestants even if he disagrees with them on theology. He tries to show the other side that not all Orthodox are anti-USA politically or very liberal.

  14. Vichy Catholicism, Vichy Orthodoxy. Excellent use of images, Mr.Michalopulos!

  15. Ashley Nevins says

    The National Herald has two very interesting articles regarding the archdiocese of Greece not coming to the aid of poor Greeks and how the GOA archbishop is intervening in the Utah parish issues.

    The leadership competency of this corrupt, failed, irrelevant and dying church is in the Orthodox public view again and the GO laity do nothing really to stop their corruptions. The Patriarch who protected pedophile monks in Astoria NY has the ethical and moral authority to address ethical and moral issues in the GOC? Only on planet Orthodoxy.

    Earth to planet Orthodoxy, is anyone home?

    The moral and ethical authority of the GOC is a sewer farm that can’t treat its sewer.

    Watching the EOC in rational modernity is like watching a train wreak in slow motion.

    If the EO do not soon paradigm shift their church to rational modernity by reformation that demands leadership competency, ethics and morality in excellence their church will continue to find itself irrelevant to our generation and any future generation. The anti rationalism and modernity stance of the EO will be its demise.

    Yes, Orthodox have an anti west eastern mind set towards Christianity in western America and call that your mission and evangelism strategy that is going to convert all those lost American Christians into Gods only alone right and one true church and salvation. Use your moral and ethical track record and dying state as your witness to them of how off base they are by not being of your corrupt church.

    Send the Orthodox Christian witness to us and through you two largest and most corrupt and failed jurisdictions in America. Let your bishops define you as mission here after being here for 200 years and when Christ in the Gospels defines Christians as mission where ever they are found. Look to the source of your never ending corruptions to solve those corruptions.

    Since the EOC is based upon tradition and past and not living in the present reality with God it will not paradigm shift out of their dying left behind paradigm. If the EO do not reform away from an introvert, past tense and tradition based church to a extrovert, current reality and future vision church it is over. If the EO was based upon the current presence of God in modernity they would be having a dynamic, living, growing and healthy outcome. It would be able to cast competent future vision for itself and see its future unfold quite differently than what is obviously seen in the present.

    The current state of EO America is the result of some past vision cast for it. If the future vision for it is the same as its past vision has been nothing is going to change and all is going to grow ever worse. If your vision is tradition and not paradigm shift change to relevancy its over.

    The Orthodox by paradigm shift can become a present and future tense church or they can remain in a dying and left behind paradigm and beat their breasts in claiming that this corrupt failure is Gods only alone right and one true church and salvation. It is the Orthodox choice to remain a tradition based past tense church or a current relevancy and future vision based church.

    The EOC outcome proves it Gods alone right and one true church on the planet? The more you die the more of the claim lie you cannot hide. The Orthodox do not seem to understand a basic fact of rational reality. It is the reality seen with Christ in the Gospels. It is the reality of comparison. Christ was huge on comparison that could be objectively seen and rationally realized. Christ is freedom of religion by being the freedom choice over dead traditions of men religion. He is choice by current and future tense comparison to the Sanhedrin tradition and past tense.

    That comparison in the Gospels is a warning not to become the following:

    1. Dead by tradition
    2. Self righteous works by tradition
    3. Shaming abuses by tradition
    4. Idolators of tradition
    5. Self centered/self protective by tradition

    That’s the short list. Yes, I know, your bishops don’t quite tell you this is why your church is a failure in modernity. It is always something else that is the problem, simply denied or ignored or the glory of Orthodoxy will prevail, blah, blah, blah.

    Tradition is not wrong. Tradition made an idol is wrong. The Orthodox believe they are based upon the tradition of Christ. Oh, really, then why is tradition killing Christ in your church by the obvious outcome seen? It looks like it is based more on the tradition of dead religion than the tradition of the living Christ. The last ones to realize they were idolizing tradition over God were the traditionalist’s Christ confronted. They turned themselves into idolatry and never saw it happen. Idolatry is highly deceptive, delusional making and denying. Idolatry always sees itself as right in comparison to those not of its idolatry of being right. Being right can become a self righteous idol that kills a church dead.

    Christ is the rational modernity paradigm shift come to the Sanhedrin tradition that could not paradigm to relevancy of Christ in their generation. He told them that a tradition basis leads to mechanical works and performance dead religion that focuses backwards upon itself and not forward upon others outside of itself.

    Those Christ confronted believed they were Gods right worship and belief, Gods right structure and system, Gods right history, Gods right theology, Gods right people, Gods right salvation, etc, etc, etc. They were so right about themselves in their traditions and self idolatry they could not see the modernity paradigm shift of Christ and the rational comparison Christ was making between Himself and them.

    Freedom of religion rationally compares. It gives you choice in options. There is no comparison without freedom of religion. Christ is the object of comparison and the option and not the so called Gods alone right and one true church and salvation. If the EOC is the comparison of what is Christ right before God as a church then Gods Holy Spirit is on life support dying in His death bed.

    When the EO were in absolute totalitarian church and state power and control they were the only option and it is an option based upon tradition. Now in rational modernity freedom of religion options that can be compared we can all see the main Christian options people choose over the EOC. That goes directly to the relevancy of your theology and its ability to be Christ and salvation in the generation it is found in. It only really works when it is in absolute totalitarian power and control outside of freedom of religion. You know, kind of like the Sanhedrin.

    The Sanhedrin worked by religious works all based in tradition in totalitarian religious power and control.

    Christ works by freeing us from the works of tradition based dead religion through humility and service.

    You can tell the difference between a power and control centered church and a humility and service centered church by their outcomes that are rationally compared. You know, like Christ was the humility and service rational comparison to what demanded it be bowed to and served by religious idolatry works.

    Perfection is not expected. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. However, relevancy is expected. When you make a claim that you are Gods only alone right and one true church and salvation you had better back that up with relevancy in a modern society that rationally compares. In Sanhedrin Orthodoxy there was no real comparison until Christ showed up as the comparison.

    Orthodox, in America what has showed up as your rational and objective comparison? It is the church alive compared to you dying state. Christ alive is the modernity church comparison to the archaic and dead Sanhedrin tradition structure and system. The comparison still lives today. Only the dead deny that it is and just like they did when Christ the rational comparison walked among us.

    The Sanhedrin claimed to be Gods right structure, system and salvation based in tradition. They believed that made them relevancy. They believed if they changed it would ruin them and they would lose all power and control over their dead religious kingdom. They were a tradition based closed structure and system of religious totalism power and control and Christ was their direct modernity rational and objective comparison. Christ was modernity come to them and they rejected Him and the rational comparison He was to them.

    The modernity church is bottom up, open system and relevancy by its vision. It is centered in current tense living relationship with God. He is engaging and objective.

    The archaic church is top down, closed system and irrelevant without vision. It is centered in past tense dead tradition relationship with itself. It is isolationist and subjective.

    That is the same direct comparison Christ made to those He confronted in the Gospels. I don’t make the comparison. God does. Anyone can see the comparison. Yes, I know, just like the Sanhedrin the Orthodox reject the comparison. Only they can be the comparison by their claim that they cannot back up by a relevancy outcome.

    The Sanhedrin believed they were the relevancy of God and then God showed up to compare them to Him. If you don’t have God to compare yourself too then you will soon come to believe you are the God comparison. You will turn yourself into self idolatry just like the Sanhedrin did and they did not see that happen. When told by Christ that is what had happened they crucified the messenger.

    It is good that some Orthodox stand with American Christians on the Obama Catholic issue. However, it is not going to change the outcome of their church in America.

    Yes, George is a good man and fair. I actually like him a lot. That is not the issue. The issue is the EO claim made and its outcome in the rational reality of the real world that compares.

    The EO by freedom of religion are welcome here and even if the Orthodox reject freedom of religion. The EO by their theology, history, tradition and structure and system reject freedom of religion and like those things reject modernity and western rational thinking.

    Orthodox, you cannot fit a dead paradigm into an alive paradigm. God does not stay stagnant and He does go backwards. He paradigm shifts today just like Christ was the paradigm shift to those of that time. Salvation is a transformation process that NEVER stops transforming or it dies. Salvation transformation is paradigm shift to innovation to change to relevancy to Christ alive church. When Christ alive salvation transformation is replaced with dead tradition a church dies by no transformation. How hard is that one to make comparison with?

    Welcome freedom of religion America EO and welcome to the rational comparison you cannot escape.

    Ashley Nevins

    • George Michalopulos says

      Ashley, as usual, you usually have one or two good points, but then my mind grows weary at following your subsequent rationales. I actually agree with you about the two stories in The National Herald, and as for the interference of the central administration in the Metropolis of Denver, I am appalled. (I plan on addressing this very issue soon.)

      Having said that, your criticisms (which are sometimes trenchant) always lead me to ask the inevitable question, which you never answer: which faith tradition to do you belong to and is it in perfect conformity with the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

      • Ashley Nevins says

        I do not advocate perfection and never have to the Orthodox. If I ever found the perfect church I would not join it. My sin would ruin it.

        I advocate relevancy that supports your claim of being Gods only alone right and one true church and salvation.

        All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, but in the Orthodox Mind they sin less by being Gods only alone right and one true church and when their outcome is a sin outcome by irrelevancy.


        Ashley Nevins

    • Teena H. Blackburn says

      Mr. Nevins: I drop by this blog from time to time, and I keep seeing what is basically your same screed over and over again. I could summarize your basic (one and only) point in about two paragraphs and then just post it again and again-it would be about the same thing you seem to do. This is not my blog, so the person who runs it can let you keep doing this, but frankly, I don’t know why they do. If you detest Orthodoxy so much, why do you lurk on an Orthodox site and keep railing at us? Does it make you feel better? Do you really think given your nasty attitude that anyone would be likely to listen to you even if you happened to be right about some point or another? I don’t know what anger you are working out on this site, but most of what you say is barely even intelligible, and I have to say, profits neither you nor anyone you are trying to influence in the end. Don’t you have something better to do-I mean really? In case you don’t know it, I suspect most people see your name, look for the high points (which are always the same from what I can tell), say to themselves, “Ah well, him again….” and then go about their business. You are not engaging in dialogue. You are convincing no one and you come across as someone who may even be on the point of derangement. So much venom…over and over. Do you expect me to believe all this stuff is spewed out of love and concern for the salvation of Orthodox people? If it’s not said for those reasons, then why are you saying it-and why in such an ugly and uncharitable manner. Your tirades are enough to make me not even want to read this site, which is a pity. I will in the future at least make a point to skip over your tiresome tomes wholesale. Sorry if this sounds unkind, but good grief.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Very well said, Teena.

      • Teena H. Blackburn says:
        February 12, 2012 at 1:57 pm
        “Mr. Nevins: … If you detest Orthodoxy so much, why do you lurk on an Orthodox site and keep railing at us? Does it make you feel better?”
        It seems obvious to me that it makes him feel better as his way of getting revenge on us Orthodox christians for the supposed “wrongs” his son “suffered” at St. Anthony Monastery.
        Be at peace, Ashley, remembering that “revenge is mine saith the Lord.”

    • Dear Mr. Nevins,

      You are philosophically ignorant, and your sweeping assertions and irrational conclusions barely reflect reality.

      The lack of rationality in your polemics is only superseded by their lack of education or theological prudence.


      A philosopher

      • Ashley Nevins says


        Yes, I know, the EO do not listen. It does not matter who tells them or how they are told they do not listen. All Orthodox can see the slow motion train wreak of this church and all Orthodox are powerless to reverse its course.

        The number one issue facing this church is not the social or political issues of our country. It would seem to me that the predominant issue the Orthodox need to be consistently discussing, confronting and trying to solve is the corrupt and dying state of their church.

        The discussion on the state imposing itself upon the RCC is an important issue. However, for the Orthodox what their church has imposed upon them by its corrupt state is far more dangerous than far left secular humanism trying to impose itself into freedom of religion. A corrupt, failed, irrelevant and dying church that has no solution to that state of church has far more serious problems than the liberals in our country threatening freedom of religion.

        Freedom of religion is an important issue for Christians to discuss. Freedom from the corrupt, failed, irrelevant and dying state imposed all of you in your church is more dangerous than Obama and it is not the priority the EO are trying to solve. All of you are watching your church demise by a slow, ugly and painful death and all the circular without solution talk about the church problems is not solving the church problem. If the EO in our country do not solve their irrelevancy and self destruction problem what the far left does to freedom of religion will not matter in Orthodox America through killing itself dead by other means not liberal political.

        Freedom of church corruption is more important than freedom of religion if all of you want your church to reverse its corrupt and declining state. If your church is not internally free the external of freedom of religion is secondary to the bondage gripping the EOC by its throat and choking it to death. The Obama policy in HCR is a threat to the EOC in America. The greater threat to the EOC in America is the EOC itself.

        The failure of the two largest jurisdictions in America is a greater threat to your church than Obama’s policies towards freedom of religion. Without real world practical solution discussion that leads to a pragmatic paradigm shift in your church relevancy to the society outside of it any threat to its freedom of religion is minor in comparison to the threat this church is to itself. Yes, I am repeating myself on purpose.

        As the EOC in America continues to grow more corrupt, failed, irrelevant and dying in a downward trend line you will see an upward trend line of spiritual abuse and spiritual abandonment increase. When the lines intersect in parity that is the point of no return. That is a far more serious problem for the Orthodox than Obama and his attack on freedom of religion. If your church is not internally free then freedom of religion is a secondary concern to it. The internal state of your religion is not free.

        Yes, I know, the EO do not believe they can reach a point of no return. That is why their denial has led them to a point of no return. When you are circular without solution and when any solution you apply fails you are at the point of no return. The downward trend line and the upward trend lines I discuss in the previous paragraph are the real world of a church experiencing the point of no return. With rational thinking in reason anyone can see the logical outcome of these trend lines.

        With this reality facing the Orthodox in America one would think by freedom of religion that they could address this issue with practical solutions that really work rather than whine and complain in a powerless state without the ability to solve the greatest threat your church faces, itself. You can point out the issues in your church, but if you cannot find practical solution to them you are just talking into the wind.

        If I was an Orthodox concerned about my church relevancy and future I would take that confrontation right to the bishops and become their worst nightmare come true. I would do all that I can to start a organized revolution movement against the corrupt state of failed church. I would not talk zero tolerance against corruption. I would take zero tolerance to that corruption and stop it. If all of you had this same mind set the outcome of your church would be radically different in America.

        The statement read in front of all Orthodox parishes in America needs to be a revolutionary statement against the corrupt and failed state of the EOC and those responsible for its corruptions.

        Your bishops are all in unity support of making a statement like that in front all of you and then they will lead you by that statement into an era of zero tolerance for corruption, right? Does holiness or corruption unify your jurisdictional bishops? Look at the state of your church for that answer. All of you tolerate it and enable it or it would not be taking place. Period.

        Don’t DETEST the the self destruction of your church by systemic corruption.

        Don’t DETEST the spiritual abuse you all receive from this corrupt state of church.

        Don’t DETEST those responsible for this state of corrupt church.

        Love sin that leads to self destruction over loving God’s holiness that leads to relevancy. The outcome of your church reveals which one the Orthodox love as their God. As the trend line of your love for sin moves up the trend line of relevancy moves down in direct correlation. I see many correlations taking place in EO America and none of them are good.

        Ashley Nevins

      • Ashley Nevins says

        The Descartes like philosophical statement of the Orthodox by the outcome of their church:

        I think corrupt therefore I am corrupt.

        Ashley Nevins

    • It’s common knowledge that Ashley’s beef with Orthodoxy is personal. It’s all because his son freely became an Orthodox monastic, and it gnaws at Ashley night and day – he needs someone to blame, so Orthodoxy is his whipping boy. I would ask each person here to pray for him, that God would release his heart from bitterness and that God’s rich mercy and grace would be poured out on him.

      “A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a castle.”

      Ashley is a prisoner in a prison of his own making. God help him.

      • Ashley Nevins says

        If you really understood how a cult works you would understand that free will choice is not made to join the cult or to remain in the cult. The blame lies in one place. The cult. The cult manipulates the will to its will and the cult recruited never sees it happen. If the cult did not exist no one would be in the cult. How simple is that?

        The whipping boy are those whose salvation is whipped by the lie of cult salvation. The goal of cult salvation is to whip true salvation to DEATH.

        False salvation is used to keep the cult member in the cult by telling that member if they leave the cult they will either lose their salvation or put it into serious jeopardy. So, the cult will do its best to convince you that all of the cult is your salvation and so you had better not leave it.

        Young people ages 18 to 24 are the main target of the cult. The prisoner is the cult member or the person in corrupt church that has no solution and therefore no way of escape. Cults are closed, isolated and subjective systems that block way of escape by mind control. Until that mind control is broken in some fashion you remain in the cult.

        In the cult the front door can be wide open to leave, but the cult controlled mind will not leave. That is not free will. It is cult control over free will. The ephraimites will tell you all with the elder are free to leave. No they are not and when you have been mind control convinced the cult is your only real hope of salvation.

        The fact that the GOA is under the authority of corrupt top down sexually corrupt bishops and a guru cult leader elder that claims to be salvation and your ticket through the Aerial Toll Houses can only be denied by the Orthodox in that church and that is why that church is found in this cult state. When a church knowingly embraces, enables and justifies corrupt leadership that is a cult. This has been going on for so long in the GOA to deny it has not been turned into a cult is cult delusional and cults are delusional about themselves.

        The heart of bitterness is the bitterness the cult has against the salvation of Christ and that salvation is a direct threat to the cult. Unless the cult and its cult leader is your salvation then you are wrong in the face of the cult. Lie to me about salvation and Ashley will be in your face to no end or until your lie comes to an end. Last time I checked the cult of bishop sexual corruption and guru elder cult leader of anti Christ salvation is still alive and well in the GOA.

        Do the Orthodox realize who a cult leader is? A cult leader is the anti-Christ among you and respected by you. You can tell that he is a cult leader by the outcome the cult produces by its thinking, attitude and behavior that centers around the cult leader. Cults have no mercy and grace. They have slavery by mind control no one sees as mind control.

        The GOA laity, priests and bishops have been told of their corruptions and nothing changes that corruption. That is mind control and the only mind controlled would believe that is not mind control.

        In the cult you are a pawn slave of works and performance that you believe lead to your salvation. Your works are not for God. They are for the propping up of the corrupt cult and its leaders.

        There are two basic types of cults:

        1. The Black Widow Spider Web Cult
        2. The Killer Wasp cult

        The killer wasp cult hunts you down and recruits you in. It is pro-active. The Black Widow Spider cult is something you unknowingly walk into. It is passive. You fall into the web and the spider sucks you dry. Which cult is the GOA bishops and elder and since the Orthodox are passive???

        It really does not matter which one a person falls victim too. Both will kill you dead.

        The interesting thing about the Orthodox in the GOA is that having sexually corrupt bishops and a guru cult leader elder does not GNAW at them. If it did there would be such a ground swell of outrage the cult corrupt would be removed and it would not be nice or pretty in how they are removed. It would be all out spiritual warfare in the GOA. Since that spiritual warfare does not really exist in the GOA the church remains cult corrupted.

        Do you know why you do not see spiritual warfare over the corrupt and dying state of the GOA? You don’t see it because Satan has won that war. Scary is that, right?

        Orthodox, the evil one does not leave unless you THROW HIM OUT with spiritual violence that does not compromise, enable or tolerate corruption. I talk that kind of not nice or pretty violence to the Orthodox and they flat don’t like it. It exposes what they compromise, enable and tolerate. It confronts their spiritual immaturity and incompetency. It exposes the true state of their church that they deny.

        You can call that bitterness or anything else you want. I call it uncompromising zero tolerance of cult enabling that destroys lives without mercy or grace. I am war on cult corruption that kills and what kills is Satan’s war against salvation. I do not mince words in the war on evil. I am what the GOA will not be to itself and it is not beautiful Orthodoxy.

        Do I hate? Yes, I hate cult corruption sin that kills salvation by lying about salvation. The interesting thing to me is how the GOA does not hate cult corruption sin that kills salvation. I see how Christ alive by salvation the GOA is. The GOA denies what I clearly see. It’s dead by corruption. What is religious and dead by corruption is the perfect set up to be turned into a cult and no one will see it happen.

        If the GOA did not see itself turn itself into corruption it will never see itself turn itself into a cult. Only the corrupt do not see their corruption and since they can’t they see no need to change away from the corruption they have become. Corruption is the GOA norm and it is their norm because the GOA does not see itself as corrupt. Period.

        Yes, I take it personal when a anti Christ cult lies to me about salvation and when I know if I believed those lies it would have potential to personally destroy my life or the lives of others. I take it personal when a cult tries to steal my salvation. I also know that the GOA is liar regarding salvation. Salvation is not a sexually corrupt cadre of bishops, a dead church and a guru cult leader elder in a corrupt church that calls itself salvation.

        Ashley Nevins

        • See? It’s like poking a hornet’s nest.

        • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

          I think what is closed is your reasoning, Ashley. It allows for no other conclusion except that the Orthodox Church is a cult. Any objection to your assertion is swallowed up into that blender and it always spits out the same result.

          That’s the definition of ideology, BTW. Ideologies are self-referencing. It will either incorporate outside ideas and rework them to fit predetermined outcomes, or it will see the bearer of the discordant idea as a threat and seek to eliminate him.

          Your conclusion is always the same. Nothing anyone says can alter it.

  16. cynthia curraWen says

    Well, Ashley I agree with you in regard to Greece. I think Roman Catholics and Protestants and Neo-Pagans should be able to advertise their faith in Greece which currently they aren’t able to. Greece has anti-proseytizing laws that go back to the 19th century when a lot of Protestants tried to convert them. I think the Orthodox Church in Greece fears that if people are allowed to preach their religion it will be like Latin America where a lot of Roman Catholics went to Protestant churches.

    • Teena H. Blackburn says

      I would agree with you here. If I’m free to convert to Orthodoxy, then people also have to be free to convert from it. The only argument I’ve heard against it is with groups who bribe or mislead. I’ve always thought it very patronizing to try to prevent the faithful from hearing opposing viewpoints because it’s for their own good. I’m glad I was free to become Orthodox-I will not deny someone else the right to be something else.

      • Ashley Nevins says


        What you just stated is what I call the western rational and logical CREEP into Orthodoxy.

        The truth is that the history of the Orthodox church/state is to deny options outside of Orthodoxy. To state what you stated is stating you believe in freedom of choice and that is freedom of religion. That is very contrarion to the stated claim of the Orthodox in their church/state.

        There is no way the Orthodox can keep western rationalism out of their church when good folks like Teena are raised in western rational America. That has potential to transform your church if it does erase itself off the map of American Christianity first.

        For instance, with all of its failure and corruption I believe the OCA is trying to make something of a rational paradigm shift by cutting ties to the old world church. However, when I see Jonah partying with the corrupt Russian church rulers I do not see the OCA making that paradigm shift. Rationally Jonah was not qualified for the Met position. Giving him that position is like watching Obama learn by one failure after another how to be President of the USA and without learning any lessons. You don’t do that if you want a competency outcome of church.

        Gaining a rational viewpoint of themselves will help the Orthodox immeasurably.

        That rational viewpoint is for you and not against you. Yes, it is very confrontational in protest of your corrupt state. It’s my DNA showing through. I am rational protest based and not irrational conformity based. I am independence based and not codependency based. Alive Christ is independence. Dead religion is codependency. If you cannot protest your own church corruption and then by that protest change away from that corruption you got serious problems as a church that will not soon be resolved.

        I believe a Orthodox website dedicated only to dealing with the issues that are keeping it from becoming relevancy in our modernity generation would be helpful to the Orthodox. It would look similar to one of those heretic Protestant church growth strategy websites. It would also by name and picture post the bishops who are undermining that shift to relevancy. This would be a bottom up and open system approach to changing a top down and closed system. It would model how Christ really came to us in the Gospels as an open system and bottom up. That works. Obviously, what the EO are doing from the top down does not work.

        Ashley Nevins

        • Take notice of Ashley’s appeal to his own DNA, to his natural inclinations toward rationality, the wordly savior of man. Of course, we know that the church has cast off the world, worldy things and worldy thinking. But the world desires to drag you to hell with themselves.

          For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself (Phil 3:18-21).”

          The paradigm shift that Ashley speaks about so constantly and with such ferver is where we no longer look to God, but rather to man, for the answers to this life. The forms and functions that Ashley wants the church to embrace are laid by the foundation of the rational thoughts of men, and not the mind of Christ.

          We need only look to the bitter fruits of Ashley’s Church of Rationality. Such man made brilliance has the ultimate incarnation of rationality and relevancy in none other than Joel Osteen and a host of other teachers of the worshipping of the God of Self, leading millions of people into the pits of hell. Hear the cries of independence, rationality, relevancy, and logic. They are the shrieks of people who reject the commandments of God for the desires of men to determine their own destinies.

          • I think the best we can say about Ashley Nevins is that he is our “thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet [us], lest [we] be exalted above measure.” (1 Cor. 7 NKJV)

          • Geo Michalopulos says

            Excellent points, Spasi. Where has rationality (reason with revelation) led us?

            • Ashley’s behavior itself is totally irrational.

              • Ashley Nevins says

                PdnNJ, how a church thinks determines its outcome by its behavior.

                Spasi, the only power the EO in America seek is Christ, and Him crucified?

                The outcome of the EO in America reflects that, right?

                The power of Christ and Him crucified results in a corrupt, failed, irrelevant and dying church that has no solution to that state of church?

                The Scripture you quoted reflects the outcome of the EOC in America?

                Ashley Nevins

                • Ashley makes conclusions that are completely separated from reality. Since when he looks at Orthodoxy he only sees corruption, failure, irrelevance, and death, then he’s answering questions of his own making using his own criteria. He apparently knows who is being saved and who is not being saved. He is the judge of all things.

                  The fact is, he is speaking from his bitter, judgmental heart and a myopic and distorted view of Christianity that’s formed by the likes of false-teachers like Joel Osteen, charismatic charlatains, and reformed ‘churches’ which have embraced the world instead of being separate from it. As we are told when Peter denied Christ, Ashley’s language betrays him. His thinking is wordly and not spiritual. What he himself deems to be success as a church is completely unbiblical. I don’t think the man has ever read a word of scripture in his life. I think he read a book on so-called “Christian organizational theory” formed by protestant minds who are forever protesting something.

                  Yes, I could certainly ignore what Ashley writes, but then I wouldn’t ever want him to think that I was giving tacit agreement to any of the bilge that flows from his keyboard. Let him come to repentance for speaking against the Church of God. If he ignores it, then it’s his problem.

          • Ashley Nevins says

            Typical Orthodox, they can’t be wrong. Those who point out the problem are the problem. No matter what method is used to point out the problem those who point out the problem are the problem by their methodology.

            Typical Orthodox, you shoot the messenger. You cannot provide your church with solution like the messenger speaks to and you reject possible solutions because they did not come to you through an Orthodox.

            Typical Orthodox, you react and don’t act. Interesting that you react to my confrontation but provide no solution what-so-ever by reaction to the corruption of your church.

            Typical Orthodox, rational thinking is immediately seen as a threat. It must be humanist man by his reason that is the problem and it cannot be the reason of rational God who makes direct rational comparisons between Himself and corruption.

            You left out modernity. You are slipping.

            I can only surmise that you really are not about solution by reaction to the corruption of your church, but as soon as you believe someone is attacking it by pointing out its corruption you react to that by defending your church. I like drawing out those kinds of Orthodox reactions that do not solve their corrupt failure problem.

            The cultist ephraimites react the same when confronted with the cult corruption of the elder and their enabling of that cult corruption. The elder can’t be wrong. Those who point out the cult problem are the problem. They call me spawn of Satan. You call me the church of rationality.

            The GOA is in a indefensible position by its corrupt, failed, irrelevant and dying state. Your reaction to that state when confronted on it is the Orthodox PREDICTABLE reaction. Self protection.

            I will part ways with you now and so you can make me or what ever the problem for the purposes of not finding solution to your corrupt and failed state of church. Orthodox denial is clearly seen in their avoidance strategy that avoids the real issues facing all of you.

            That denial by avoidance is exactly why your church is found in the state that it is and it is very rational to see its state as it truly is. Not seeing it as its state is irrational and not dealing with it is SIN.

            Yes, I know calling it sin is humanistic and secular rationalism that is self sufficient and does not need God. Why, that’s the church of rationalism and therefore should not be listened too. Its no wonder to me why the EO cannot find solution to the state of their corrupt and failed church.

            Self protection is the solution to the church that is based in self protection. It will not work and that is why your church is not working. That is for you and not against you. In the Orthodox Mind it is against them and because it exposes them and their failure to find solution.

            Self protection hates expose’.

            Ashley Nevins

            • Everyone should take close note that Ashley does not respond well to the light of truth being thrown on what is really in his heart. His reaction demonstrates the weakness of the rationality and logic of this world, which cannot stand up to the pure revelation and light of the word of God. Such people will only respond with name calling: “corrupt, failed, irrelevant, dying…” These are the objections of a man steeped deeply in the things and thought of this world, embittered at the church which called his son out of this world. (“And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” [1 Jn 2:17]).

              Ashley, like other worldly ‘Christians,’ will never understand that the weakness of the church is her strength. That the church lives in the death of Christ, every day, and will never achieve the worldly glory and success that Ashley says is the only sign of God’s blessing. But the church will always appear to be irrelevant and dying. Worldly churches, which abound today, seek relevance by embracing the world and all the fallenness of it. To them, Orthodoxy is a complete and utter failure.

              And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

              However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (I Cor 2:1-8)


              But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (I Cor 1:14-16)

              The only power we seek is Christ, and Him crucified. All other power and success is just vanity and lies.

        • Teena H. Blackburn says

          I think Orthodoxy is true, Ashley, and I probably don’t have to remind you that lots of Christians in the Western tradition have not been in favor of religious freedom as we know it today. Go ask Calvin how he felt about religious freedom. You have issues with Orthodoxy-fine, we’ve hear them…over and over again. I can’t figure out why you don’t go get another hobby. I will repeat myself, do you really think anyone here is likely to be converted to your point of view in any way given your venom, your lack of charity, and your continued repeating of the same old phrases over and over again? Are you on here for our benefit or yours? If it’s the former, I hate to tell you, but it’s not working. You come across as little else than a crank-and that doesn’t help anything or anyone. I love how you seem to know what our Lord is all about-is that the infallible teaching of Pope Ashley or are you accountable to someone above you? We’re completely screwed up-we get it…now why don’t you go preach to someone else somewhere else? I really will have to skip this site completely during Lent-it does little for what meager charity I have to keep reading you vomiting all over my religion. You come across as a complete ass-if you’re OK with that, I guess that’s alright, but you are not doing yourself or anyone else any favors.

    • Ashley Nevins says

      I think it is all about top down and closed system power and control that isolates itself by subjective self protection of its closed system of top down power and control.

      There is no way around this. Orthodox church/state theology, structure and system is exclusive and therefore highly self centered in self protection of its power and control.

      That simply is not Christ come to us in the Gospels. Christ was about bottom up and open system humility and service in risk taking that is sacrificial and that is not self protective of power and control.

      No humility and service risk taken and no relevancy return. Get it?

      I know what it is that I am talking about. The outcome of the Orthodox proves they don’t know what they are doing.


      Ashley Nevins

  17. cynthia curraWen says

    Well, hate to agree with M. Sanger on one point-immirgation. The business interest in early 20th century America just like today didn’t care how many immirgants came into the US until the quota system which favored Europeans was put into effect in the 1920’s. Immirgants like today were taking jobs away from the native born and depresssing wages. Granted, some people didn’t like the darker skin Europeans but when immirgation slow down Greeks and Italians were able to moved up income wise. I don’t support eugenics.

  18. Ashley Nevins says

    Oh, my, the Greeks just threatened to derail the markets!!! The mouse roars!!!

    Western rational thinking and logic in reason tells us they will have to derail themselves first. To self destruct would be irrational.

    It gets better. The Greek police union wants to issue arrest warrants for IMF and ECB officials.

    Western rational thinking and logic in reason tells us the unions do not have the authority to do that unless Greece is now a police union state. To be a police state would be irrational.

    Does the theology of the state church in Greece teach:

    1. Personal responsibility
    2. Self control
    3. Work ethics
    4. Sexual morality
    5. Charity/Selflessness

    I hope the Greek church leadership by its moral and ethical role model and example authority and by its deep spiritual concern for the spiritual and physical needs of the Greek people will come under those hurting people and encourage them and minister to them like Christ. I hope the selfless and sacrificing Greek bishops who have taken vows of poverty and therefore have earned the spiritual respect of the Greek people will by humility lead the Greek people to God during this time of welfare state and social justice entitlement debt spending collapse.

    If the Greek state church in Greece is what it claims to be and if its bishops are true spiritual decedents of the 12 then all Orthodox can be rest assured that the spiritual needs of the GO will be taken care of during this seemingly never ending Greek tragedy. The spiritual decedents to Christ’s Apostles will inspire the Greek people to work with God through the consequences.

    Of course, all of this depends on if the Greek church leadership is who it claims to be by how they live their lives out in front of the GO in Greece. You can claim to be a direct spiritual descendant of the Apostles and if it is true then you will spiritually operate the same, right? If the claim and the bishop don’t remotely match up then what do you really got? In my mind you got a charlatan and a sham. But, that’s just western rational thinking me. I compare and then make rational and logical conclusions.

    I don’t just spiritually believe it because a Greek Apostle bishop in Gods only alone right and one true church says it is so. The corrupt bishop in the corrupt church tells me he is the direct line of Christ’s Apostles and his church is Gods only alone right and one true church and salvation on the planet? Please help me, I’m not Orthodox and so I just can’t rationally and logically connect those dots.

    All churches struggle with sin in leadership. Not all churches are based upon sin in leadership. The church that struggles with sin in leadership is not corrupt by its leadership. It can recognize the problem and deal with it. The church based upon sin in leadership is corrupt by its leadership. It cannot recognize the problem and deal with it. If the Orthodox recognized the sin in leadership problem they would not deal with it. If you cannot deal with it then you are not recognizing the sin in leadership problem by being based upon sin in leadership.

    CNBC will have full coverage of the unraveling of Greece social fabric and the Greece financial system Monday morning. The drama queen and spoiled Greek nation will put on quite a whining and tantrum throwing show.

    What would the protestors do if the Greek Patriarch and his hierarchy of bishops stood between the protestors and the police and called for civility and peace?

    The Greek hierarchy does not have a spineless, milk toast and coward hiding in the bunker mentality, does it?

    Will visit all of you again sometime in the future.

    Civility in civil disobedience is peace.

    Ashley Nevins

  19. Fr. Hans Jacobse says

    Ashley, wake up. The Greeks are going to have to face the consequences of their collective sins, but America’s time isn’t that far off.

    Look at the Boomer legacy: massive debt in the trillions, manipulation of the national and world economies (tech bubble, housing bubble, the ongoing education bubble), aborting over 50% of the present generation, elevating homosexual rights as the centerpiece of American foreign policy, and so forth.

    It’s easy to point to Greece. Yup, they are guilty of a lot. But so are we Ashley. Don’t fool yourself.

    And don’t tell me that a good portion of American religionists were shouting Amen and Hallelujah as long as the money flowed. You know and I know they did.

    • Ashley Nevins says

      All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.



      • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

        Well, sure, but why not apply the criticism across the board?

        You offer paragraphs of criticism for Greece, but why is America is beyond your condemnatory stare? We are the largest producer of pornography in the world — much to our shame and perhaps to our judgment. In fact, we mainstream pornography. Comcast (my cable company and perhaps yours) is America’s largest distributor of it.

        This corruption feeds Muslim radicals around the world. So does the incessant preoccupation with homosexuality in some Protestant Churches that you never seem to mention (See: ‘LOVE FREE OR DIE’ – Bishop Gene Robinson’s Story Wins at Sundance Film Festival.)

        Think you might be suffering from some selective blindness?

  20. Ivan Vasiliev says

    It seems to me that our Church’s stand on the sanctity of life is very clear and that many, many of our bishops have spoken out on it again and again. The Assembly of Bishops has weighed in. But we must remember that our “weight” in this country compared with the RCs is that of a flea to an elephant. Some people in our parish were upset that the Orthodox hadn’t responded to the Executive Branch’s assault on freedom of religion (and the Constitution in general). They were surprised to hear that we have responded; it just wasn’t reported in the local press. Our problem isn’t that we don’t have something to say, its that no one can hear our voice.

    As to Bishop Demetrios’ letter to Fr. Peter Preble, it seems to be a somewhat intemperate response to the intemperate remarks Fr. Peter made that “we are more concerned with territory and language than we are with issues that affect real people!”. Those remarks were unnecessary and hyperbolic and could have been left out. They unfairly tarred the Church hierarchy and provide disinformation to our enemies in an area where we actually are united. The saddest thing is that both His Grace and The Very Reverend Father should be seen as the allies they are in this matter. Perhaps Father Peter and Bishop Demetrios should have thought longer before they hit the proverbial “send” button.

    • Reasonable people may agree with your conclusions that “As to Bishop Demetrios’ letter to Fr. Peter Preble, it seems to be a somewhat intemperate response to the intemperate remarks Fr. Peter made that “we are more concerned with territory and language than we are with issues that affect real people!”.

      However, people may also disagree with your analysis that “They unfairly tarred the Church hierarchy and provide disinformation to our enemies in an area where we actually are united.” I do think that many Orthodox hierarchs worry too much about “territory and language” and I am willing to supply you with evidence to that effect. Also, while the Assembly of Bishops’ statement indeed supports a common position, it is a position that is not uniformly and consistently supported. Fr Peter may have been intemperate but he was speaking the truth. And, the truth cannot be “disinformation” by definition, no?

    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

      Ivan, Orthodox moral authority vastly exceeds our numbers. I have seen this again and again. When we talk, people listen. We don’t have the numbers to move politicos, but we do have the authority to inform, guide, and direct other Christians. Our endorsements, in other words, carries weight. From there the ball starts rolling.

      Having said that, the reason the Bishop’s statement was not reported is because of sloppiness on our end. It doesn’t take much to get a notice by the Orthodox into the religious press, and from the religious press into more mainstream outlets. The only reason you did not see this is because it was not attempted.

      I’ve written items for the Catholic press. In a matter of days it is all over the world. They would have picked up a story on the Bishop’s statement in a heart beat had we given it to them.

    • Geo Michalopulos says

      Ivan, very trenchant points. However Fr Peter –if anything–was charitable with his criticisms about turf and language. That’s all it’s every been about unfortunately.

      • I think we have to be very careful with how we deal with this issue.

        There have been some troubling reactions to the bishops’ statement. We know we have our own problems with some bishops caring more about ethnic identity than essential matters, and ignorant Orthodox, both clergy and laity, who promote abortion and contraception against church teaching. Also, we have to be very wary of any government or administration that deprives other religions of their freedom to practice.

        Thanks to this brave statement attributed to the Episcopal Assembly, we know there are bishops who do care about standing up for the faith. It is imperative that we show them the appropriate gratitude for this, and encourage the bishops to speak out further on other issues through the Assembly.

        I wish the matter had been dealt with in a less combative fashion by all involved, and I hope to see Fr. Peter and Bishop Demetrios reconcile.

  21. Lola J. Lee Beno says

    Bishop Daniel Jenky speaks out on Catholic politicians:


    Money quote:

    Bishop Jenky said there are too many Catholic politicians in the U.S. who “like to wear green sweaters on St. Patrick’s Day and march” or “have their pictures taken with the hierarchy” or “have conspicuous crosses on their forehead with ashes” but who then “not only do not live their faith they collaborate in the assault against their faith.”

    I guess one can say the same of certain Orthodox politicians.

  22. cynthia curraWen says

    Well, Ashley I’m aware of a lot of Orthodox that blame the west going back to the year 1000 but not all of them blame the west for everything. And Fr Jacob is right Greece has it problems and a lot of Eastern Europe after the Fall of the Soviet Union is trying to come to grips with the modern world. A lot of Christians in both east and west are to blame for a lot of bad behavor since they are nominal. Take the sex trade girls from eastern europe are sent to both Greece and the United States same problem in the Byzantine Empire in the 6th Century were girls were forced into brothels and pimps promise them a better life.

    • Ashley Nevins says

      The struggle of the Eastern Church is that by its religion tradition and religion totalitarianism it cannot paradigm shift to rational reality and modernity. It’s that simple.

      God has not abandoned mission and evangelism because what claims itself Gods only alone right and true church is in complete systemic corruption without solution. He has chosen other Christian means to move salvation forward. God moves in paradigm shifts and those who cannot shift with Him get left behind in a dead or dying paradigm of irrelevancy.

      Yes, I know all about Orthodox blame. They sarcastically say the Prot’s are the egg the RCC laid.

      Lol, who then laid the RCC egg? (Do the Orthodox have logical mirrors?)

      I am being western rational with you and because I am you may not eastern irrational understand.

      Orthodox, here is an insight you are completely missing. In rational modernity you are compared and measured. If you make a claim of being Gods only alone right and one true church and salvation then your relevancy had better comparatively and by measure support that claim or you will fail in the comparison of measure.

      The logic of your claim states it is the most relevant, dynamic and alive church on the planet. I do not see Christ in the Gospels embracing tradition and church/state theology as His relevancy come to us. I do not see the Apostles advocating it. I see Christ telling us to render to the Romans taxes. He did not say merge and become one with their corrupt dictatorship state. We are to be in and not of that world. Satan offered Christ the kingdoms of this world if He would only bow to him. Satan wanted Christ melded and merged with the corrupt world and its kingdom STATES. That is how Satan rules. With rationality in logic anyone can see and realize that Roman dictatorship state was one of those kingdoms Satan offered to Him.

      So, Orthodox, Christ rejects Satan’s offer and you merge Gods church with the Roman dictatorship state. When you did that you moved the church from of humility and service to power and control. The EOC in America is having a power and control outcome and not a humility and service outcome. Christ in the Gospels was the rational comparison between humility and service and power and control. You can measure the difference between them by reading the Gospels.

      The EO do not believe that the rational Christian by being rational in his Christianity is right in his analysis of such things. If it is not the Orthodox analysis it is wrong in comparison to Orthodoxy that is right. The Orthodox by their claim believe they are Gods spiritually correct standard of measure of what is the true church of God. However, their outcome is the comparison they call right before God by their claim. That is Orthodox rational thinking come to us as the solution to our heresy by not being of their church and the Orthodox church does not work.

      Frankly, if you did not have the comparison of rational Christianity confronting your irrationally corrupt failure all of you in your closed, isolated and subjective structure and system would believe there is nothing really that wrong and this is the norm of God. It is your norm accepted or you would change it. All of you can talk all you want about how concerned and fed up with the corruption you all are, but if nothing changes then that is nothing more than dust in the wind. Talk is cheap. Action costs you something. The Orthodox hate being told such things because by their claim they are the ones who tell Christians outside of them how wrong they are in comparison to them.

      Do the Orthodox get it about what they did to themselves by becoming one with the state and how that has left them without ability to paradigm shift to a modernity relevancy in the generation they are found in?

      Just because your claim is truth and relevancy to all of you that does not make it relevant to anyone outside of you. You make it real and relevant to the world by living up to the claim made. Verifiable and objective proof by outcome of church is what the Orthodox do not have to support their claim.

      Fact is, if any church followed your theology that is the basis of your structure and system of church that church would be found in the same state of your church. That is logical by rational and measuring comparison. Christ made the same type of comparisons in the Gospels.

      Do Orthodox understand western logic? I do not believe they do by believing their eastern and failed logic will somehow be relevancy here. You cannot fit what is irrational and illogical into what is logical and rational. That would be like saying you can fit madness into sanity and expect a sane outcome. It would be like saying you can fit corruption into holiness and expect a holy outcome.

      The greatest threat to the Orthodox in America is not western modernity and rationality. It is not the RCC leaving them centuries ago. It is not the western rational Protestants who run circles around them. It is not freedom of religion that gives us Christian church choices outside of Orthodoxy.

      Do you know what the greatest threat to Orthodoxy in America is? (Do the Orthodox have logical mirrors?)

      Ashley Nevins

      • Note well that Ashley’s rants and complaints again and again only amount to three points:
        – Orthodoxy does not accept modernity
        – Orthodoxy does not accept rationality
        – Orthodoxy does not accept relevancy

        We should read carefully what he’s writing. Becuase what you see in him is, in fact, the outcome of modernity, rationality, and relevancy, especially as it relates to modern-man’s ‘religion.’ Ashley is the poster child for everything that has gone awry in modern, rational, and relevant so-called ‘Christianity.’ Such people are tone deaf to hearing the gospel’s message, of believers being given the Kingdom of God as an eternal inheiritance through the Holy Spirit. All they see in their skewed Christianity is legalism, the parsing of words, a mental exercise in making an argument to its rational end. See in his writings the lack of joy, love, goodness, mercy, compassion, patience, kindness, goodness, self-control. It’s bereft of holiness, sobriety, indeed, devoid of the Spirit of God.

        We are warned by the Apostle Peter to be very suspicious of those who mislead us with their empty words, especially of those who claim to be preaching Christ:

        For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. (2 Peter 2:18-19)

        He wants you to be convinced of the rightness of what he himself actually embodies. He’s frustrated as to why the Orthodox church is not like him, doesn’t think like him, doesn’t say what he says, doesn’t follow his man-made rules. And that’s precisely why authentic Christianity has always, and will always, reject such self-centeredness. The modernity, rationality, and relevancy that Ashley wants for the church is the love of self, the view of man as the highest ideal. It’s indeed a worship, not of God, but of man – because such a man, just like Ashley, worships modernity, rationality, and relevancy.

        • Ashley Nevins says

          Yes, thinking for yourself with NT morality and ethics is seen as secular rationalism that worships itself in the Orthodox Mind. Your post does not provide solutions to the state of your church. The reason why the EOC is in a state of corrupt failure is because they have no solution to that corrupt failure.

          I have yet to hear one Orthodox admission of the state of their church that has a solution to that state of church. I do see the solution the Orthodox tried to apply to the OCA and I do not see any GOA finding a solution to their sexually corrupt bishops. Solution is not the discussion. Trying to make someone who brings you solution ideas wrong is the discussion.

          Maybe when you shrink by half in the next 20 years you will begin to listen and discuss real solutions that actually work?

          Maybe when the youth of your church abandon it by droves you will listen and begin to talk serious solutions that work?

          Those questions are secular rational humanism against you, right?

          Well, that’s about all I can see to respond to and I am out of time. If I missed someone please accept my apology. I have no denial avoidance strategy.

          Ashley Nevins

          • The only solution the Orthodox church needs is my repentance before God. Everything else is commentary.

            And I am no more shooting the messenger than St Paul and St Peter who warned us to stay away from false teachers. I am shooting your message and calling it what it is.

            Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them (Eph 5:6-7).

            Ashley will never understand such an approach because he has elevated himself to be the locus of all answers and logic – the new and rational savior of the church. Sadly, his words are borne out of envy toward the one church who offered nourishment to his son and hatred toward the only Savior who gave his son new life.

  23. cynthia curraWen says

    Well, Ashey I agree with you in regard to the Byzantine empire. The Empire with emperors at the top did lead to a lot of ambition where one killed in order to get to the top.Not always Godly behavor to get to the top in the Byzantine empire. The Byzantines got this from the Roman Empire . The Roman Empire in the 3rd century had several men killed arrivals and several civil wars this was one reason why Rome end up a divided empire during Dioletian into four and by Constantine into one who prefered Byzantium renamed New Rome and later Constantinople. The final division between Theosdosius son’s Honorus and Aracadius led to the fall of most of the west and by the 7th century a good chunk of the eastern empire was taken. Even in the East in the early and late 6th century, there was some civil war. Anastasius was almost overthrown by Vittalian partyly because Anastasius was a monophysite while Vitalian was not. Vitalian around 521 was either killed by Justin the first or Justinian. At the end of the 6th century both Maurice and Phocas came to blows and Phocas killed Maurice and his sons. If anyone doubts some of the history they can look up DIR Roman Emperors which has a bio on emperors from Augustus to some of the Byzantine emperors.

  24. It helps to put a face and a story to Mr. Nevins’ anger and venom.

    After a few minutes of looking around online, I found some videos (here and here) of Mr. Nevins. He is the bearded fellow in the group of parents interviewed in a news segment about a monastery on Arizona. He speaks in both videos. According to a YouTube comment by Mr. Nevins’ son, you can see the son setting the tables at 3:27 in the second video. The son, Scott, was at the monastery for six years. It appears that he remains Orthodox but has some harsh words for the monastery and for Elder Ephraim.

    I find it interesting that my emotional reaction toward Mr. Nevins has changed after seeing and hearing him. I obviously disagree with him, but now I see the man behind the screed. I recommend that you who are vexed by Mr. Nevin’s words watch the videos. The reporting is typically ridiculous (ominous music, hilarious map commentary that suggests that the Ephraimites are going to take over the country), but that is par for the course melodrama in American local news.

    I know that many of us value the internet’s anonymity for professional and personal reasons, but the same qualities that allow for anonymity also tend to make the web a dehumanized zone. Such is dangerous for the souls of internet users if they develop uncharitable habits as a result.

    • In my estimation, Ashley Nevins is a man to be pitied. He shows me here what the passion of the rememberence of wrongs coupled with the inability to practice the Christian virtue of forgiveness can do to the human mind.

    • Teena H. Blackburn says

      I found the source of his anger too. I have absolutely no idea whether Elder Ephraim is a good person or not. Obviously, this man’s son had a bad experience. Perhaps something really terrible happened, I don’t know. If it did, that is a scandal. However, I assume this man’s son was an adult who made a choice and then for whatever reason reconsidered. That does not explain Mr. Nevins trolling on this blog on what appears to be a daily basis, and proceeding to rant and rave about our church and its problems with modernity, or whatever else seems to be under his skin on any given day. I don’t have to read it, of course, and don’t plan to do so anymore. It’s just incredibly annoying and counterproductive. He admits we won’t listen to him, and then keeps railing away. I don’t despise the man, I don’t even know him. I’m just noting that he sounds absolutely deranged, and that it is doing him no favors and is not likely to sway anyone who is reading here. There is no dialogue when you just cut and paste the same rant to whatever topic is at hand. I’m done now. A blessed Lent to all of you.

    • @JosephA – I’m not sure what you’re referring to when you speak of “uncharitable habits,” but I’m trusting that you’re directing those words to Ashley who has been on a campaign of revenge and tirades for years against, not only St Anthony’s Monastery, but the entire Orthodox faith. The charitable thing here is to show him his errors and defend the Faith, not only concerning the things that he says, but the reality of the state of his heart, which is all too obvious from his voluminous diatribes that litter the Orthodox blogosphere. To do any less would indeed put our souls in jeopardy. We do him no favor by coddling him, since the man has no capacity for the acceptance historical, dogmatic, liturgical, doctrinal, or social reality. He’s trapped in a prison in his mind that he created for himself, and he can’t seem to get out of it. I won’t sit back and allow some two-bit hack with an ax to grind to speak ill of my Faith without a response that shows him what and who he really is.

    • I think that countering his arguments are counter-productive as they either fall on deaf ears or inflame him even more. The best thing we can do is to ignore his posts and pray for him.

      • And because, I think, he is just plain “nuts” or just “playing games” with us because he relishes all the attention he is getting here.

  25. cynthia curraWen says

    This is what concerns me. The Bulgarian Orthodox Church was defended by spokesmans on the far left. Granted on the social issues they are right one on but they want the state to do socal justice which could lead back to communism. Communism created the Modern Russian Mafia because of vast shortages of food and so forth, a large underground economy. There leftist in the Catholic Church and among liberal protestants and some evangelical protestants like Jim Wallis but there are also in the orthodox church.

  26. cynthia curraWen says

    What is interesting is John Calvin use the Justinian Code to put people to death for heresy. The Offficers in the Roman Cattholic west also use the Justinian Code for puting people to death for heresy. So, the law code for putting people to death for heresy came from the East.

  27. Just read this by a friend on Facebook:
    “Administration: “We’ve decided to pass a law requiring mosques to sell bacon.”
    Well, I thought it was funny and apropos.