Gorsuch: An Unalloyed Victory

I was going to post this essay on Friday afternoon when it became clear that Neil Gorsuch was confirmed by the Senate. Instead, I was moved (shaken really) to write my thoughts on the Tomahawk missiles that were launched against the Assad regime the night before.

I will write more about that incident and what it means for Russo-American relations as well as Trump’s nationalist agenda at a future time, shortly after Easter. This is because I plan on going dark early this week in honor of Holy Week –posting only a spiritual video–and because I hope that the dust will have settled somewhat and we will have more information.

Today, I want to talk about the nomination and confirmation of Neil Gorsuch and why I believe that this is an unalloyed victory for the Trump agenda as well as for the conservative cause.

First of all, Gorsuch is an exemplary judge in his own right. There is no whiff of scandal surrounding him. Second, he is known for deciding cases on the merits rather than on his feelings. Third, he’s an Originalist; he views the Constitution in its proper context. It would be difficult to see him teasing out baby-killing from an “emanation from a penumbra” of the Constitution. I doubt he can even see a penumbra, much less an emanation from it. That’s good as it means he’s not psychotic.

Fourth, on a superficial level he’s viewed as merely a “placeholder” or a mere replacement for the great Antonin Scalia. That’s true as far as it goes but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Mainly because of his youth, his scholarship and his keen mind, he’s more than a mere replacement. In comparison to the lazy reasoning that emanates from Sonia Sotomayor or Elena Kagan, I predict that his rulings will be erudite and studied with great interest by legal scholars for years to come. (They’re not the only ones: Anthony Kennedy’s Hallmark-style emoting on the Obergefell case is laughable.)

And this brings us to the fifth reason why his confirmation was so important: in keeping the Scalia seat open, Sen Mitch McConnell did the unthinkable –he drove millions of conservatives to the polls to vote for Donald Trump. Trump as you may remember promised to appoint justices to the Supreme Court only from a list of stellar conservative legal minds. Gorsuch was at the top of that list. For many conservatives and Republicans, this was the only issue that mattered.

Now I realize that we have come to a perilous point in our Republic where the judiciary has become probably the most important branch of government. A kritarchy is not what our Founding Fathers envisioned but that’s a story for another day. Regardless, we “fight with the army we got” and the supremacy of the courts are an unfortunate fact of governance in our lives. If we had to do it over again, it might be a good idea to codify in black and white what is the province of the judiciary and restrict it like a tiger on a leash but that’s not where we’re at now.

And this leads us to the fifth benefit of all this: Republicans are beginning to understand how good it feels to have cojones. We may be seeing the dawn of a new era, in which Republicans are able to cast off their cuckservative “principles” and act like real men. McConnell was able to withstand the withering criticism of the political class and cover the GOP from incoming fire and for that he deserves high praise. I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see conservatives in Congress and on television likewise stand their ground when the usual leftist contumely is heaped upon them.

Sixth, and this is where it gets especially delicious: the Democrats made a fatal error in trying to use the filibuster against Gorsuch. For one thing, Gorsuch was –as stated above–a “placeholder”. The balance of the Court did not change from what it was little over a year earlier when Scalia died.

This can’t be said enough. The Democrats hurt themselves immensely in concentrating what little ammunition they had against what was basically a “gimme”. They should have taken a bye on this one and kept the filibuster for the future, when Trump can nominate another conservative to replace Breyer or Ginsburg (who are both very aged and infirm). Then what are they going to do? The filibuster no longer exists and the sky did not fall.

So why did they do it? Now we come to the seventh reason: because the Democrats are prisoners of their insane wing. They felt they had to do it because the only energy in the left today is found in the precincts of unhinged maniacs like Michael Moore, Madonna and Chelsea Handler. Look, there’s no doubt in my mind that Chuck Schumer is anything but a sane man; I’m sure he didn’t want to filibuster Gorsuch. But his increasingly insane constituency left him no choice but to take the entire Democratic caucus with him over the ledge.

And this leads us to eighth benefit, which is the continuing public nervous breakdown that we are seeing in the Democrats. That speaks well for the electoral prospects of the Republicans for the foreseeable future. Moreover it’s very possible that the GOP has learned how to press its advantage on certain issues. I certainly hope that this will continue to be the case.

Now the only wild card is Trump. Will he remain true to his agenda or will he give in to the globalists? I’m very worried about what Thursday’s missile strike in Syria portends. If he does the latter, then all bets are off.

Time will tell. In the meantime, I’m enjoying this victory and trying not to think too much about Syria.

About GShep


  1. What I hate are country … like Nikki Haley. She wants our sons and daughters dead fighting Russians I mean…go to hell… Like that coward John McCain .. songbird .. all the same ilk along with Lindsey Graham total worthless we know old pervert…so sick of all these people. They are all democrats or rep;ublikcans .. God is still keeping us here, i will not sell out like the Optina Fathers said those in end times EVERYTHING WILL BE FORGIVEN THEM just they keep the religion.

    • Cy,

      While I don’t like your language, I agree with the sentiment. This is the problem with our “all-volunteer force” which is a misnomer in itself, since young men and women choose options available to them. “Volunteering because there are few or no other options.” An 18-year-old son of a congressman simply doesn’t have the same options as the son of a factory worker in Indiana.

      The Republocrat leaders in DC will happily wage and fight wars as long as it’s other people’s children who are doing the fighting and dying. There was something more honorable back in the day when Senators, Congressmen, and Presidents potentially risked their own families’ lives in war. Not anymore. Remember when military service was a de facto prerequisite for public office? Ha, no longer, that is obvious. In some circles, it’s now considered a detriment.

      Fifteen years ago when we were going into Iraq and Afghanistan, President GWB essentially told the country to keep shopping, the whole country is not at war, the 0.5% of the population who are military will deal with it. Sadly, that sentiment persists.

      I’d expect more from Sen. McCain given his POW days. Really, at this time, he needs to retire to Scottsdale and play golf.

      The likes of Sen. Graham, Sen. McCain, HRC, and countless other neocon Republocrats will gladly fight senseless wars “down to the last Texan” (or Alabaman, or Oklahoman, or insert your favorite southern or midwestern state here). The foreign policy of neocons and liberal democrats is identical.

      And 99% of our country doesn’t care, since they’re busy shopping. After all, according to the modern ethos, that’s the point of our existence: to grow into good consumers.

      A blessed Holy Week to all, as we grow in what it means to be fully human, to be the men and women whom God designed us to be.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Saunca, I didn’t see that locution so I am sorry if I offended anybody.

        Regarding McCain, yes, he served but it’s the “honorable” part that is dicey. (More to follow later.)

        As for Nikki Haley, well, let’s just say that if you’ve got the good little Christian wife thing going on for political purposes you better really be the good little Christian wife in real life. There are two fellows in the past who might offer a different take on how faithful of a wife she was to her husband.

        That’s not my beef however. Being the child on non-European, non-Christian immigrants, she did not understand what the Rebel flag meant to Southerners and she allied herself with the carpetbaggers who used Dylann Roof’s atrocity to remove the Confederate battle standard from the Capitol grounds (and from pretty much everywhere else).

        I am the son and grandson of immigrants. Christian, European immigrants with a strong understanding of what historical symbols mean to a people, even a conquered people. Hence my devotion to the symbols of the Confederacy. Being Greek, I get it. Nikki Haley who is the daughter of Sikhs doesn’t. Here we see a problem with the Hart-Celler Act of 1965 which opened the doors to immigration from non-Christian countries.

        • Carl Kraeff says

          George–I live in Columbia, South Carolina. Indeed, I have lived here longer than anywhere else. I think I have earned the right to correct the record here. There was just one person in the Legislature who vehemently opposed the removal of the flag; two others made only half-hearted attempts to lessen the sting of the flag’s removal. In addition, there were no carpetbaggers in the General Assembly; I have no idea where you got that ridiculous idea, unless you had just watched Birth of a Nation. I, on the other hand, remember the last advice General Robert E. Lee gave to fellow Southerners: Do not fly the Confederate flag or its battle flag; fold them and put them away. He gave good reasons for that, but only men of honor can understand them.

          Second, if you had any balls, you would discipline the potty mouth “Cy.” At the very least you should censor his post or remove it. Let your readership see that you will not put up with such crude and obscene attacks.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Saunca, I already apologized for the slur. I did not use it nor did I see it. I apologized for letting it slip past my normally tight editorial standards. For that reason, I will moderate Cy for a week until he gets the message.

          It’s an apology, OK?

          Regarding the Confederate flag, any flag can be used to promulgate any ideology whatsoever. In case you didn’t know, neo-nazis of all stripes have the American flag at their gatherings. For that matter, the anti-rebel flag neo-marxists are openly calling for the removal of Old Glory from institutions that they control.

          In other words, these Christ-haters are never satisfied. We Southroners who actually understand something about the War (even those of us who were miseducated in the Government Schools) know that our flags are not the problem. Instead the neo-marxist onslaught that has gripped America and much of the West over the last century.

        • V. Rev. Andrei Alexiev says

          I’m sorry, Saunca, but I can’t let you get away with comparing the Confederate Battle Flag with the Nazi flag. I’m not just saying this because my mother’s people were from the South. My father was an Eastern Ukrainian, who also had Russian and Polish ancestors.

          Slavery was bad and I’m no apologist for it. But there were no concentration camps in which millions of blacks were rounded up and killed. There was no “final solution” comparable to Hitler’s plan for the Jews. Thus, I would argue that it’s unfair to put the CSA Battle Flag on a par with the Nazi flag.

          It was my mother, very much of a leftist, who reminded me that Robert E. Lee freed his slaves at the outbreak of the Civil War. He did not want to see the Civil War come, but could not turn against his own people of the South. For the same reason, I support Ukraine today. I DO NOT support any Nazi-like thugs, mostly emanating from Greek Catholic Western Ukraine. Nor am I anti-Russian; I venerate the New Martyrs of Russia, including the Royal Family.

          Another fact about the Civil War which I didn’t realize until recently; Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation freed only those slaves in the Confederacy. Four Union states held slaves right up until the end of the Civil War. Lincoln waged a bloody and unnecessary war , whereas many historians agree that slavery was on the way out.

          • George Michalopulos says

            True that Fr. Slavery has been with mankind since the Agricultural Revolution. It’s with us today (after a fashion) with the Mesoamericans we happily import into this nation to do the stoop labor that Big Agra needs to function (and to feed us).

            I would be more sympathetic to the neo-Abolitionists in their desire to reverence all things Lincoln if they were true to their convictions. Cesar Chavez, like Abraham Lincoln before him, was against the importation of a peonage class. Our “liberals” today are nothing but flaming hypocrites in this regard.

            • Michael Bauman says

              In fact, George, slavery is the basis of our consumerist debt based economy, the sexual trafiking, etc. Slavery is everywhere and just as with chattel slavery the slaves are pitted against each other for the master’s enjoyment.

              • Norman Hugh Redington says

                The Apostles considered themselves slaves of Christ. That’s what doulos actually means and it was used freely in the New Testament writings. It is not slavery itself that is the problem. It is lack of love.

                • Norman Hugh Redington says

                  I did not write the above post. What is going on here?

                  –Norman Hugh Redington

                • This post under “Norman Hugh Redington” is me, Misha. The name and email address of other posters has been coming up on my screen for some reason when I click the reply button. Most of the time I catch it, that time I didn’t. Sorry for the confusion but there is a problem with the site that is juggling info.

          • Peter Millman says

            Greetings Father Alexiev,
            Yes, you are correct; Lincoln waged a bloody and unnecessary war. How can a president who presided over the deaths of 600,000 Americans ever be called great? I’m from the North, but Mr. Lincoln was a tyrant and a dictator. He suspended the writ of habeas corpus, shut down the newspapers, issued an arrest warrant for the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, and divided the nation like no other president in history. The Emancipation Proclamation was a ploy to prevent France and England from recognizing the confederacy, and to foment an uprising in the South.
            There was more percussive force used at the Battle of Gettysburg than in the entire history of North America. You are also correct in asserting that slavery was disappearing of its own accord. Essentially, in our day and age, Mr. Lincoln would be considered a racist, white supremacist. He was a big government man, and is lionized by liberal politicians. Slavery could have and should have been eliminated by compensating the Southern slaveholders without a disastrous war between the states. Not a fan of Lincoln at all. He was a complete failure as a president.

            • Tim R. Mortiss says

              Some here believe as you do. However, coupling these views with Orthodox evangelism would, I think, be a losing proposition and should best be avoided. It is a subject which perennially arises here, though.

              My own view of Lincoln is exactly opposite; the majority view, although I always am reluctant to associate myself with majorities otherwise.

              Lincoln’s great sin in the eyes of his latter-day detractors and their forbears for generations is simply is that the “stupid ape” proved to be anything but, to say the least, and that he won the war despite extremely difficult circumstances. The war that, by the way, the Confederacy started (it’s always fun to hear discussions about that ineluctable fact…..)

              He was also a clear thinker and writer. Compare and contrast his speeches with the fevered, tendentious circumlocutions of his counterparts in the South. Of course, nowadays, only a devoted scholar can commit the time to studying the unending rhodomontade of Southern rhetoricians.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Timor, Union is always easier to articulate and defend than Confederacy. That, in and of itself, does not make it correct. Freedom is messy.

                For instance, the RCC papal eccelesiology vs we Orthodox.

                The Civil War was necessary if one supports Federal Union. Regardless of who started it, the North would have gotten around to it sooner or later.

                If you read the papers of Andrew Jackson as I have it quickly becomes apparent that unionism was an ideology that was almost holy to him and those of like mind.

                Thus his famous toast in the face of his VP’s (John Calhoun) defense of the South (long and flowery) at a White House dinner.

                “Liberty and union, one and inseparable”

                I used to believe that. Now it has an Orwellian foreshadowing that makes me uncomfortable and is in fact a lie. Confederacy in all things seems to be a more natural way of life and polity under the hegemony of our King. Two things happen when we revolt against our King: tryanny and/or chaos which are really the same thing.

                If history tells us anything it is that the the US experiment is a no win situation when ideology runs politics–like now.

                Jackson’s situation was about like Trump having Hillary as his VP BTW. Jackson delayed the Civil War and Lincoln inhereted the mess of the incompetents between him and Jackson. A litany of stupidity and inepitude never before or since duplicated. Eight Presidents who on average served three years each. Ancient figureheads, placeholders, dunces and alcoholics. And people say Trump is unfit. Hillary would have fit right in with that bunch.

                Still Lincoln and Jackson before him could have let the South go but economic fear and the unionist ideology would not allow them to. Despite the Constitutional likelyhood that unionist force was illegal, subjugation was demanded. A literal bloody mess followed which haunts us to this day. There is no winner. We all lost.

                Many of the same ideas and attitudes at play then are awake again–on a global scale. May our Lord forgive us..

                Come Lord Jesus!

              • V. Rev. Andrei Alexiev says

                Christ is Risen!

                Mr. Mortiss,

                The purpose of my post was not to put down Lincoln, nor to advocate any modern Confederate separatist movement. In following my own Archbishop’s policy, I never speak out publicly on partisan politics. Not in church, nor in public forums as this.

                My sole purpose was to point out the unfair comparison of the Confederate Battle Flag with the Nazi Swastika. I never display Confederate Flags so as not to alienate African Americans or others who see that emblem as a symbol of slavery on repression. The fact is that besides the 6 million or more Jews, millions of Russians, Poles, other Slavs, Gypsies, and others, were not only enslaved by the Nazis, but starved, brutalized, and ultimately executed by them. This was made possible by another bloody war, brought about by the alliance of two evil symbols, the Swastika and Red Star. No way at all would I compare President Lincoln to the two brutal tyrants who began the Second World War.

                By the way, since you know your history, you are probably aware that the American Civil War almost became the First World War. England and France had serious plans about coming in on the side of the Confederacy. But Tsar Alexander II of Russia said in effect,” This is an American Conflict. Hands off!” Then he backed up his words by sending a fleet. He is credited with preventing the Confederates from shelling San Francisco.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Yeah, I’m gonna hold that against him…

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Father the problem wirh the non-political approach is that everything in life in the US has become ideoligucal , therefore politicsl in some way. How do you preach good sermons that touch on who we are as human beings and our interrelation with God without touching on political topics.

              • At the end of the day, 600,000 people were killed because gradual emancipation was insufficiently swift to satisfy the abolitionists and industrialists of the North.

                Given the passions, immediate emancipation would have resulted in a similar number of deaths. Release that number of people in society without any means of property or livelihood, subject to the necessities of feeding, clothing and housing themselves, and an immediate memory of subservience and you are guaranteeing massive bloodshed.

                Make the rest of it up if you want to.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  The logical, expedient thing to do would have been to purchase the freedom for all the slaves. If need be, break up the great estates (through reimbursement as well) and allot each emancipated slave 40 acres and a mule.

                  But no, the Abolitionists were hell-bent on murdering as many Southerners as possible in order to “teach them a lesson”.

                • Of course, what is oftentimes forgotten is that the Emancipation Proclamation only freed the slaves in the states that had joined the Confederacy. States which remained in the Union could keep their slaves. It was really a pointless gesture, freeing the slaves you could not, and not freeing the slaves that you could.

                  But then, freeing the slaves was never a goal of Lincoln’s. Ever the politician, he simply seized it as a winning political issue when it was advantageous. (Similar to how Obama seized on gay rights.)

                • Tim R. Mortiss says

                  George, I thought it was the Yankees who were going to be taught the “lesson”– and in few weeks or months at most!

                  One thing I’ve been pondering in light of Mr. Bauman’s comments. Canada is where the American loyalists went. Canada remained loyal to the Crown, never rebelled, and enjoyed a largely peaceful transition to a self-ruling federal nation with the monarch still the titular head. Are they better off than us with regard to the issues we talk about here?

                  Of course, they did not have that vexatious slavery problem…..

                • V. Rev. Andrei Alexiev says

                  This is to answer Michael Bauman above. Sometimes one can’t avoid political issues in sermons. I once mentioned that our ex-president requested that all Christian symbols be covered with he spoke at Georgetown University. This is a recorded fact.

                  It’s also a recorded fact that the Emancipation Proclamation did not free slaves in four Union states. Stating fact’s about someone is not slander.

                  Pointing out the unfairness of comparing the Stars and Bars to the Swastika is not political, in my opinion.

                  Avoiding politics, as a clergyman, means not endorsing a political candidate or party, especially not from the ambon. I belong to no political party, nor do I follow any party line. Not Democrat, not Republican, not Socialist, not anything. The only “party line” I follow is the Church. I don’t even mention the President during the Divine Services. “For this Country, All Civil Authorities, and the Armed Forces”….. This certainly includes the President and all authorities down to the local government.

                • Canada has its own problems which Western Europe and, alas, America will share in full measure unless we come to our senses:


                • Tim R. Mortiss says

                  Indeed this is true of Canada and Western Europe, for which Abraham Lincoln cannot be blamed, nor the Founding Fathers…..

                • Joseph Lipper says

                  Father Andrei,

                  I very much appreciate your non-political viewpoint. This has always made the most sense to me, although I do find it much more difficult to be non-political than to be political. That’s probably a good sign.

                  I believe St.Tikhon of Moscow took a non-political stance during the Russian Revolution, and he was severely criticized for this, but it was the right thing to do.

    • Pat Reardon says

      country bitches like Nikki Haley

      Cy, whoever he is, is no Southern gentleman.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Again, Fr, Saunca, et al: I apologize for not censoring that comment as thoroughly as I should have.

        • George .. here let me refine ..
          What I “dislike” about our Country are the “likes” of those like Nikki Haley.
          Globalist neocons who are trying to foster a one world government run by 666.
          Anti-Christ. The Book of Revelation describes him he will be a “Christ” replica.
          Now when you look at all the democrats they will bow down to him in less than
          a half nano second. Republicans even the most obdurate, a minute or two. He will
          have direct power given to him from Satan, so, if we can just avoid that us Orthodox
          we have a chance to go to heaven even with all our sins ..

          in Heaven even the lowest condo .. you have access to twenty-one colors and smells
          and sounds you had not on earth. Each color will reverberate in your soul it will
          be profound. So don’t listen to any of the modernist OCA preachers avoid all of them
          get back to basics, St. Metropolitan Filaret of NY and St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco who himself mostly appointed Met. Filaret.

  2. On the History Channel they had a program that looked at the investigation
    of the Shroud of Turin. So the scientists saw there were no “particulates” on the
    cloth, no paint or ink or nothing that would indicate “application” of any kind
    of media. Then, the image they realize is only etched on the top most surface
    layer. Then that reveals a three-dimensional aspect. No one had that technology
    to do such sophisticated forgery back then and interestingly, the weave of the cloth
    and blood stains were depicted in iconography pre dating the carbon dating of the
    sample. Jesus’s body was wrapped in a linen and then over that linen strips of cloth
    were laid. That is told in the Gospel. Then they sowed those strips to the outer perimeter
    of the Cloth.

    So we know what Jesus looked like. In life, he looked like a major Icon.
    His features were more square than rounded indicating he was not emotional
    and did not laugh or smile, never insecure or emotional, thats all demonic catholic
    stuff Christ was 2nd Person of Trinity Incarnate but still descendant of David and
    GOD we know Christ refuted all the Scribes, Jews always who called him Rabbi.
    So who are the “Rabbis” Not me, I’m laity

  3. Excellent analysis, George!

  4. I saw an analysis of the political direction of Supreme Court justices, and Scalia was the only one who did not slowly drift leftward throughout his tenure. I hope that Gorsuch is able to fill those shoes.

    Gorsuch is a victory for Trump, and as bad as the international situation gets, at least we have Gorsuch. As bad as Trump could do, he’s still better than Hillary.

    My only question now is: will Trump return to his original list of justice candidates for the next vacancy, if there is one? Or would he seek to replace Ginsberg with a “moderate” (leftist)?

  5. Pat Reardon says

    One hopes your enthusiasm is well placed, George.

    Meanwhile, I observe that Justice Gorsuch belongs to an Episcopal parish pastored by a priestess. This is not a promising sign.

    • George Michalopulos says

      True that, Fr. I’m appalled by priestesses and priestitutes but Anglicanism is so far gone that we have to find our allies where we can.

      Your advice is well-taken however. While I’m sure there will be times when Justice Gorsuch will disapoint me (as did Chief Justice Roberts with Obamacare), I can’t imagine that he will turn out to be another Anthony Kennedy (or worse, Souter).

      I suppose I could be wrong.

      On the other hand, Justice Ginsburg was either showing her age or her deep insight yesterday when she called Sen Lindsey Graham “one of the ladies of the Senate”.


      • George Michalopulos says

        Saunca, I first heard that term about 5 years ago, from a dear friend of mine. A conservative Lutheran pastor who saw the ravages of the priestesshood up close and personal.

        I was taken aback but sometimes the prophetic word is brutal. I’ve long come to the conclusion that “priestitute” is indeed a prophetic word, describing in stark terms the Canaanite nature of feminized American Protestantism. Indeed, the homosexualization of American culture could not have proceeded apace without first feminazism taking place.

        Think of it. The ministry of women is to create, of this I have no doubt. It is a priestly ministry. Unfortunately, thanks to liberalism, women’s roles have devolved into the nonsense you see every month at the grocery counter in Cosmopolitan Magazine. Sheer and utter nonsense. And it seeped into the broader culture.

        Recently, I read an article in Touchstone, it was about Fr Thomas Hopko, “The Prophetic Preacher.” After growing up in Endicott, New York during the height of Eisenhower’s America, when the “American Way of Life” was ascendant, he asked a “…a poignant query–“What went wrong? … [it] referred to the collapse of this venerable national experiment in democratic pluralism. The macabre evidence was not hard for him to find. He cited a book he had recently seen on display at the American Academy of Religion. It was entitled The Sacrament of Abortion.”

        It was published in 1992, “it claims that abortion is a sacred act, a noble sacrifice to the goddess Artemis. Abortion is ‘an expression of maternal responsibility and not a failure of maternal love, … Artemis stands for the refusal to give life … if the gift is not pure or untainted…As Artemis might kill a wounded animal rather than allow it to limp along miserably, so a mother wishes to spare the child a painful destiny.”

        Unbelievable. But here we are. And effeminate WASPy preachers whose main virtue is to be nice to harridans and buffoons, rather than Nicene, allowed this nonsense to be published.

        So yeah, I stand behind the slur “priestitute”. And I’ll scream it from the rooftops.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Historically the pagan priestesses were frequently so in sexual types of service. It is not a far stretch actually.

        • Yes, well, we can all agree that the Divine Essence is unfathomable and uncontrollable. We experience God and know Him through His Energies. So our theology is sound. It is best not to write or think too much about the dichotomy between Essence and Energy. It is far above our pay grade. That is the ground of hesychasm and theosis and a good starets is optimal.

          As far as “priestitutes”, we might want to follow St. James’ admonition to police our own speech. We all get carried away sometimes.

          But, by and large, I agree with you, Fr. Hans. We are witnessing a sort of reckoning. Antioch seems like it is moving in the right direction with its latest publication on “triple immersion baptism”. Alexandria’s reinstatement of female deacons was unfortunate.

          These are the times that try men’s souls.

          • Jerry Wilson says

            First time I have agreed with you — delighted that it occurred — and I mean on policing our language….

        • Centurion says

          Fr. Hans is correct and this is exactly what awaits the Orthodox Church if we allow these Trojan horse progressive-liberal changes in. This is only the beginning. The end-game is exactly what Fr. Hans pointed out and it’s borne out by what has happened to the Episcopal Church and all those other “Christian Churches” that have apostatized.

          Is it no coincidence that virtually all the progressive-liberal-leftist propagandists who attack the Church teachings and conservative and traditional Orthodox priests, bishops and Christian apologists either ignore or defy the Moral Tradition, the Church Canons and Gospel teachings, and also support same-sex marriage and promote pro-LGBT ideas and ideals. Many are silent about abortion, and almost never speak of concepts such as repentance, morality, sin, virtues, faithfulness and chastity.

          Some even already commune “married” homosexuals at the chalice and want and have begun to speak openly about sacramental inclusion of same-sex couples and active and militant homosexuals into the life and communities of the Orthodox Church.

        • Joseph Lipper says

          Father, sometimes people ask me if the Orthodox Church has female priests. My response is that all Orthodox Christians are called to be priests in Christ, that we are all called to make Christ manifest in this world, and the greatest example of this priesthood is a woman, the Mother of God, who gave birth to Christ.

          Of course men will not physically give birth, and women will not be ordained by the Church, but all of us have a unique and important calling to manifest Christ in this world as priests. If a person can’t find this priesthood outside of ordination, I doubt they will ever find it through ordination. An ordained priest has a specific role and is bound to his bishop. The position of an unordained priest, that is to say the common priesthood of all Christians, is one of far more freedom, power, and creativity for those who fulfill their calling.

          There is such a thing as a lust for ordination. Without a doubt, there are many ordained male priests who later struggle with priestitution. That is a tragedy best to be avoided.

          • “Father, sometimes people ask me if the Orthodox Church has female priests. My response is that all Orthodox Christians are called to be priests in Christ . . .”

            You could just reply, “no”. A simple answer is sometimes best.

            • Joseph Lipper says

              No Misha, it’s important to let people know that we are all priests in Christ through baptism in the Church. The priesthood is not just for ordained clergy.

              The Orthodox Church is full of women priests, but it is important that they are not ordained, because that would severely damage the priesthood that they already have.

              • It depends on what you mean by “priest”. “Priest” comes from the Greek word “presvyter”, elder. “Hiereus”, “holy one”, is used to describe the mediating function of the Old Testament temple priesthood.

                No one is made a presvyter or episkopos through baptism.

                • M. Stankovich says

                  Actually, the word ἱεράτευμα occurs three times in the Scripture. Once in the book of Exodus: “And you shall be to me a royal priesthood and a holy nation [βασίλειον ἱεράτευμα καὶ ἔθνος ἅγιον], and you shall speak to the children of Israel.” (Ex. 19:6) and the identical phrase, “royal priesthood and a holy nation [ἐκλεκτόν βασίλειον ἱεράτευμα ἔθνος ἅγιον] occurs twice in the First Epistle of St. Peter (verses 2:5 and 2:9). This is also a common Patristic phrase in reference to the created order and the “Liturgy of Initiation” (i.e. Baptism); and having so recently completed the Fast, we can readily recall from the Anaphora of the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great: “having won us for Himself for a specific people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation [ἐκλεκτόν βασίλειον ἱεράτευμα ἔθνος ἅγιον] ; and having purified us with water, and sanctified us with his Holy Spirit, he gave himself a ransom to Death, whereby we were held, sold into bondage under sin.” It seems quite obvious that the Church has been able to describe the βασίλειον ἱεράτευμα of all intiate baptized Christians – be they male or female – without fear of confusing the male character of the Christian Priesthood.

        • Does anyone happen to know if Alexandria’s ordination of deaconesses was in accordance with the one-time ancient tradition – that is, a dedication to life-long celibacy and total self-sacrifice in the service of women in the Church on behalf of the bishop with no liturgical role that could even remotely be considered to be equal to the role of male deacons? If it was/is, I have no problem with it beyond how our progressive ‘friends’ will surely attempt to distort and exploit it. And if it was/is done in accordance with the ancient practice,the distortion and exploitation will not be Alexandria’s fault.

          If, however, it was done as some sort of stupid accommodation to modern ideas (as would be the case were it to happen in the West), anathema to them.

          Does anyone know? And please, no assumptions or hearsay- just the facts.

          • No replies. No one knows? There are several reasons I am inclined not to be disturbed by what Alexandria did in the ordination of these deaconesses based on what can be learned from on-line news reports.

            1.) They were not ordained in the altar which indicates a lack of the sort of equivalence for which Progressives yearn.
            2.) There is no mention whatsoever (other than the wishful speculations of some Progressive Western commentators) that they are considered ‘equal’ to male deacons.
            3.) The expressed purposes for their ordination as reported are roles appropriate to women.

            If anyone knows anything to the contrary, I would love to hear it.

            • Anonymouse says

              I read somewhere that they were ordained to assist in missionary efforts, presumably for lack of male volunteers? Or maybe they are ministering specifically to women, which could be in line with the ancient practice.

              But I share your concerns. Certainly the ordinands in the photos did not all look like women past childbearing age, which I had understood as part of the ancient criteria.

      • There is a certain sting in “priestitute” in that a pastor is supposed to be a father figure to his community and yet any woman has a duty of obedience to her husband and can never be a father, whatever else she might be. That is to say, there is certainly room for mischief in the role.

    • Michael Bauman says

      It means that at best he is a neo-pagan and certainly not a Christian. The last gasp of the WASP establishment now neutered.

      It does not bode well for a real defense of truth and faith. One would hope he has a more straight-forward interpretation of the Constitution than he does of Holy Scripture.

      It has always seemed to me that Congress shall make no law regarding ….. the free exercise of religion gets lost by the establishment part. Course that is a prescription for the secular state the Framers were after.

      I am beginning to come to the conclusion that the brilliance of those men is vastly overstated. I am beginning to think they are simply arrogant syncretists patching together the thoughts of the betters, stripping tradition at every opportunity.

      Should have stayed with the Crown. If we had never would have had the Civil War.

      • He could be a Christian of some type. His mother was devout Irish Catholic. Very often, that is dispositive. It may be that he goes to the Episcopal Church because of his wife. That’s not a good reason, but understandable. In any case, in terms of his interpretive methodology he is quite conservative.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Misha, anyone who supports or abides a female priesthood has ceased being a Christian. Such folk no longer acknowledge or understand the Incarnation or the Cross. His feminized faith is not real.

          Neo-pagan’s are secularists who worship ideas including a legalistic moralism that passes for conservatism.

          No matter what it is called it is idolatry. No way he will be friendly to actual Christians when push comes to shove unless he has an encounter with the real Jesus Christ. May it be so.

          • Let’s not forget President Trump’s pastor is a blue eyed, blond, that looks more like a retired super model than pastor.

            • I have mixed feelings about that crowd and I will attempt to explain why.

              What you are referring to by “the blue eyed, blond” “pastor” is his Prosperity Gospel Pentecostal minister, Paula White:


              Now, before you react that I’m going all soft on you please bear in mind my acerbicly morose diagnosis of America’s (previously thought to be terminal) illness of Feminist-Perversion-Secular Humanism. I stand by this and it deeply distorts the way that all of us perceive reality here in the States.

              God has nothing against economic success and would not dissuade us from praying for money if we had good use for it. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (as St. James wrote). And in a feminist society totally given over toward surface vanity as an indication of wholesomeness, her grooming choices are understandable if we are to be all things to all men, being clever as foxes and not being overly constrained about gilding the lily if the buyer really doesn’t deserve a break.

              So I cut her and the Donald . . . er, our president . . . some slack.

              You shall know them by their fruits.

              This brings to mind the greater question of the “Pentecostals” which bears some comment.

              Yes, I know. They are gaudy.

              God, however, is not too picky. I do not suggest that Pentecostals are the Church. You know me better than that. What I do suggest is that God promised to pour out the Holy Spirit “on all flesh” in the last days.

              Joel 2:28

              “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.”

              Acts 2:17

              “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.”

              We are seeing that, in various modes, right now.

              God wanted to come to Trump to give America one last chance to repent and believe and side with the sons of light. Would he have listened to Patriarch Bartholomew? Would Patriarch Bartholomew even be interested in siding with the sons of light, given his heresy?

              So who’s He gonna use to get the thing done?

              You may recall that there is also a parallel between what the prophet Ezekiel wrote regarding the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites and the description of the last days in the Apocalypse of St. John.

              He will come again in glory . . .


              I mean, we all know by now that the final conflict will be between Christianity and Islam, right?

              You expect then, of course, that He’s rooting for the home team.

              • Misha. Many do not know Orthodoxy, but many love Christ in Protestant sects, and The Roman Catholic church, why wouldn’t the Holy Spirit come to lovers and followers of Christ. What of the those who don’t even know who Jesus Christ is. Christ is merciful and will give his spirit to those unknowing of him in the end for sure.

                I actually worry more for the Evangelicals who believe Orthodox Christians a Pagan Satanic Cult, as we found out in the rejection of Hank Hanegraaff’s conversion to Orthodoxy. Nearly all the Radio stations have removed him, and Jeff Maples and the blog he is on wrote a couple horrible essays about our Church.

                What worries me more, is when the end is near, no doubt they will stear clear of our Orthodox churches direction, and fall for Satan and his demon’s tricks. This would include President Donald Trump, if he is lock step with his “Pastor” Paula.

                The only TRUTH, and WAY is our resurrected Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, but woe to those who do not recognize him, and reject him!

                • Estonian Slovak says

                  The Holy Spirit is the “Spirit of Truth” as we will be reading and chanting again on Pentecost. I don’t see how the Holy Spirit can abide where there is heresy.

                  Having said that, we cannot, of course, put a limit on God’s Mercy. It may be that God touched Hank because he was sincerely seeking the Truth. In the end, God DOES decide, not us.

                • Peter Millman says

                  Hi Dino,
                  I really like your post. Excellent!

                  • Thank you Peter. Estonian you are correct God’s mercy and patience with mankind is great! Those in heresy, I imagine, will be judged by their heart, and hopefully not their ignorance. Now if one is persecuting our Orthodox church, with hate, to gain money and power for his “church” that’s a different story! I really don’t worry too much, as I trust God’s plan with us. He has saved and forgiven me in so many pitfalls, and trials, my trust is blind with our Lord.

              • Estonian Slovak says

                I’m not a huge fan of Pentecostals, nor of lady “pastors”. But we didn’t vote for Trump to be Patriarch or Bishop. I think I mentioned the Greek priest who made a similar statement about Dukakis when he was running.

      • V. Rev. Andrei Alexiev says

        Christ is Risen!

        Dear in Christ Michael,

        Had the House of Stuart regained the throne of Great Britain , then we should have stayed with the Crown! I still toast “The King Over the Water.”

  6. If Guy McPherson is anywhere near close in his human extinction by 2030 prediction, these wonders of deplorable spiritual states will not really be around much longer. This tends to make me want to focus on what is reality, which always begins with the Command of God, Life Eternal. I have done the INTERNET research and compared the divergent assessments of how long we have left. The Holy Scripture predictions are a perfect accurate guide. as to which scientist has got it right.I don’t think the new justice will have the time to get anything Christian or otherwise done.Abortion will end, because their are no humans alive, who are not like unto the angels, in heaven, who cannot procreate. The Holy God will end all murder, forever. Glory be to God.

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  8. Michael Bauman says

    There is a great price to be paid for revolution. As Fr. Seraphim Rose of blessed memory pointed out all modern politics is chaotically revolutionary, even the “conservatives”.