Final Thoughts on Kaepernick, His Antics and the NFL

I believe it was Robert Conquest who in tongue-in-cheek fashion proposed several laws about politics. His third law said something to this effect: “in order to understand an institution assume that it has been taken over by a cabal of its enemies”.

I’m afraid that this is precisely what has happened to the NFL. Some mole from NASCAR or the NBA or Tiddlywinks (or possibly all three) has penetrated the upper reaches of the NFL and engineered a brilliant internal coup. That’s the only thing that makes sense. Even with Tom Brady going to yet another Super Bowl, it was a ratings disaster. Many fans have simply dropped out, never to return.

The reason of course was the self-righteous buffoonery of Colin Kaepernick, who stupidly believed his press clippings. He started this entire fiasco in the fall of 2016 when he self-righteously “took the knee” to protest “Amerikkka” or something like that. Word on the street is that some neo-Marxist got to him and told him that America was ready for another Selma moment and he was the second coming of Martin Luther King. Well, somebody told him wrong.

In the not-too-distant past, I pointed out that the optics of multi-millionaires who are doing a job they love yet complain about “oppression” are really bad. Really, really bad. So bad that I have to reiterate my earlier observations. Let me make this as simple as possible: if you’re making a lot of money throwing a football and having cheerleaders throw themselves at you, you’ve got zip, zero, nada to complain about. It’s called “living the dream”, Dude.

In any event, chalk up another Trump victory. In his State of the Union speech, the Trumpster did not back down from his criticisms of the NFL protesters but doubled down. To much applause I might add. Somebody, probably the only sane person left at the NFL got the message. Not only were there no protests but the National Anthem was sung with gusto by some pop singer named Pink. Though she strikes me as your typical angry-young-mannish sort of diva, I have to hand it to her: word was that she had a serious bout of the flu but that didn’t stop her from honoring her obligation. I’ll give her points for that.

My gut tells me that Trump’s jeremiads are taking their toll against the whole Social Justice Warrior set. In any event, I –like millions of others–did not watch the Super Bowl. (Truth be told, I was working but even had I been off I probably would have gone to see 12 Strong instead.) Maybe Pink, the players, the owners and whoever else is associated with the wasting asset that is the NFL got some sense knocked into them. Some of them no doubt are smart enough to see which way the wind is blowing.

In the end though, it’s not going to make a difference. The NFL as the ultimate, most glamorous athletic institution of all time is over. Oh, I imagine it can come back after a fashion but it has lost its sheen. I imagine that from here on there won’t be anymore taking-the-knee antics, maybe some glitzy commercials with a flag waiving in the background or some such but the glory days are over. No doubt, there will be some seething anger at Kaepernick by the other players because he permanently damaged their brand. In the end though, it’s all about the fans and the average fan will remember the sheer ingratitude that these bozos displayed for the past two seasons. Once something unpleasant is seen, it can’t be unseen.

My father taught me valuable things when I was growing up which I imagine came from his knowledge of ancient Greek. Things like pan metron ariston, gnothi s’auton and speudai brabeos (“all things in moderation”, “know thyself” and “make haste, slowly”) One which stuck to me the most was an aphorism that went like this: “ingratitude was the only unforgivable sin”.

I didn’t necessarily get it back then but the older I get, the more I realize how right he was. Anybody born in this country, of sound mind and body, who can rise from humble circumstances to become wealthy playing a sport that he loves should get on his knees for only one reason: to the thank the Good Lord that he wasn’t born in Zimbabwe or some other sh!thole country where children are forced to eat mud-pies in order to stave off the pangs of hunger. Meanwhile, those of us who get up every day, slog to work at dead-end jobs and barely make ends meet, will never forget their antics.

Looking at the photo above, I wonder if any of those men who waded into the meat-grinder of Omaha Beach would do so again if they knew that a bunch of ungrateful millionaires would not stand for the same flag that they fought, bled and died for.

I imagine some of them would have a thing or two to say about Gentlemen’s Quarterly naming him its “Citizen of the Year”.


  1. M. Stankovich says

    I sincerely apologize for disrupting the flow, but I would kindly ask for your prayers for a friend and classmate of mine & Archbishop Benjamin of San Francisco – well known to those who were in the last classes of the Pre-Theological Program at SVS, and those who were students at SVS in the mid-1970’s. James Dennis Balamaci fell asleep in Lord suddenly on the morning of Friday, February 4, 2017 in Anchorage, AK. He was 63-years old. What is remarkable about Jimmy is that for 40-years, an American-Romanian “transplant” from Bridgeport, CT was the President & CEO of the Special Olympics of Alaska, which he transformed from nothing into a world-class organization. In fact, he brought the games of the world Special Olympics to Anchorage in 2001. It is no exaggeration to say he truly loved the Special Olympic athletes, and he was much beloved by them. May his memory be eternal – always in the memory of our God – and may his soul rest with the saints!

    • Ronda Wintheiser says

      Mr. Stankovich, the highlighted link you provided doesn’t lead anywhere and I would sincerely have liked to follow it and read more about your friend.

      May God make his memory eternal.

      • M. Stankovich says

        Thank you for kindly pointing this out. It is undoubtedly a typing error on my part. I wrote the message on my iPad in the psych ER in the middle of the night, and so it goes… The correct link is here.

  2. M. Stankovich says

    Mr. Michalopulos,

    You seem to be on a right-wing, stereotypic roll here, more like some aggressive, “Don’t bother me with the facts” radio host ready to fall off the right side of the square earth. I sincere don’t know much about Pink’s music, but as a musician, I have read a bit about what she has written about her personal life, and your comment, “she strikes me as your typical angry-young-mannish sort of diva” is so grossly uninformed and so grossly stereotypical, that if, for example, you referred to any woman who posts on this site in such a manner, you would apologizing with your tail between your legs – but I suspect only because you were caught.

    Pink, the multi-Grammy Award winner, has frequently written about the effort she and her husband dedicate to their marriage and how difficult – in fact, impossible it would be to maintain without this dedication to each other, to the idea of family, and to their children. She has written extensively about motherhood, her love for her children, the need for parenting skills, and the need for consistency in parenting. Before the Super Bowl, she joked on Twitter about how her children had the flu, “sneezed in my mouth, wiped snot on my cheeks,” but even if she lost the opportunity, it was OK. And obviously, you didn’t read what she wrote about the singing of the National Anthem: she had waited her whole career for this moment. She was from a military family. As a kid, she was so moved after 911 by Whitney Houston’s singing that it became her dream. When she was invited to sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl, she called everyone in her family, particularly everyone in the military, and to feel the opportunity slipping away because of the flu was unimaginable. #shenailedit.

    Why you thought it was necessary to self-righteously trash this young woman who at least is making an effort to be antithetical to your description (she was, in fact, criticized for wearing simple “mom clothes” when she sang at the Grammy Awards this year) speaks volumes about you and your confidence about being “smart enough to see which way the wind is blowing.” Dude, increasingly in your case, it’s blowing in across the bull pen…

    • George Michalopulos says

      It’s her physiognomy. Recently, she’s on the cover of some women’s magazine snarling and being generally unattractive. That’s what I meant. Otherwise, I know little about her.

      • Michael Bauman says

        George, Pink has decided to raise her children in a “gender neutral way”. Yuck!
        Not surprisingly all of this gender-bender nonsense has already produced more teens “identifying” as other than male or female. Self-fulfilling prophecy. Unfortunately, sooner or later this will blow up in everybody’s collective face. …and such anthropological nonsense infects the music produced as well. It will be crap. I have gotten to the point that the more Grammy’s someone wins, the less I will be inclined to listen to their music.

        I wonder what Pink will do if she has a son who spontaneously picks up every stick he can find and turns it into a gun or some other type of weapon as my son did starting as soon as he could walk. Or her daughter just looooooves dollies and dressing up girly.

        Lord save us!

        • George Michalopulos says

          Saunca, I had a BB gun when I was growing up. We had a pecan tree in our back yard and it was squirrel city. Mom made us go out and sweep the patio daily. I got tired of it so one day I started shooting at squirrels. My sister got mad at me. The next day, it was her turn to sweep the patio. She got so mad, she took the gun and with only a second’s aim, killed a squirrel. Our dog made mincemeat out of it.

          Moral to the story? Nothing wrong with a girl learning to shoot.

          • Michael Bauman says

            Nothing wrong with boys playing with dolls either as I did even has I had a small suitcase full of toy guns which I used to supply the neighborhood when we played war or cowboys/Indians. I lost interest in the dolls when puberty began and mostly the guns as well (women are just too darn interesting in every way don’t you know). That is not the point.

            My mother was a highly skilled contemporary dancer (she was in Martha Graham’s company at one point) who danced and taught dance all of her life. She absolutely despised male homosexual dancers. She called homosexuals the “confused” gender. I did not take up her attitude, but her description of their plight has remained with me supported by experience and observation over the years. It is not good parenting to foster confusion in ones children purposely especially to be in line with a deeply twisted secular ideology. We parents scar our children sufficiently as it is. No need to purposely start out that way.

            • All boys like playing with dolls, and just about everyone approves – just so long as we agree to call them “action figures.”

              Saying that Barbie is a “doll” and GI Joe is an “action figure” is a distinction without difference.

            • This is somewhat along the lines of my own thinking on the subject:

              The “Good Feminism” Delusion


              • M. Stankovich says

                And delusion it is. And now you have added an extra “bonus” dimension to your foolishness – and all-time favorite – the claptrap of “Mother Russia,” as if to suggest it delivers a reassuring balm of “traditional” patriarchy that we in the West have forsaken. Could your memory really be so poor?

                Well, apparently in the interim between between Ms. Iannone’s (Who?) observations, as she was dutifully making sandwiches for her male colleagues, someone else – oh, that would be Dr. Jennifer Utrata, who received her doctorate in Sociology from UC Berkley, and was doing a post-graduate fellowship at the University of Chicago – was studying a new Russian “phenomenon”: post-Soviet Russia was characterized by an unprecedented rate of single motherhood, which she spent several years examining by way of gathering official & unofficial ethnographic data, and conducted extensive interviewing. As she wrote in her book detailing her findings, Women without Men: Single Mothers and Family Change in the New Russia, Russian women consistently reported that, while they believed in two-parent households,

                “single motherhood is an inevitable by-product of two intractable problems: “weak men” (reflected, they argue, in the country’s widespread unemployment & chronic male alcoholism) and a “weak state” (considered so because of Russia’s unequal economy and poor social services to families.

                Dr. Utrata, as I noted in a review of this study I posted to this site twice, without comment from anyone, carefully details the history of other factors that have occurred in Russia (e.g. consolidation of manufacturing jobs and the closing of factories; movement of companies to areas where taxes are less & incentives are greater (eerily similar to the US), and so on) and a basic “non-interest” in unmarried fathers to live in the same residence as their children, resulting in the “de facto predominance of the matrifocal family.” The “narrative” Dr. Utrata presents is a “matrifocal family” that has become increasingly generational since World War II. Now, more often than not, a typical single, employed mother with one child, who receives no support from the birth father (despite contrary interview reports from birth fathers who insisted they wished to play a role in their children’s lives & contribute financially to their upbringing), could not afford to live on their own. The “matrifocal family” generally includes grandmothers, maternal aunts, and so on who are living together to survive. I would also note the fundamental lack of advocacy and/or assistance from the Russian Orthodox Church.

                All this being said, Scott, I fail to see anything helpful or “distinguishing” in the article to which you referred from basically anything in your catalog of offensive rhetoric. That you posted it into what became a processing of the shallowness of discussion reinforces your dramatic “commitment” to leave and develop your own site focusing on traditional whatever.

                This “near exit” is what, the fourth time in the history of the world you have made the same claim? Such decisions demand courage, not haste and tantrum. You provided neither explanation nor apology. It seems to me that you missed the memo that this is a “First Amendment” absolutist haven, allowing you to get all the attention you want by coming very close to the “line.” Bravo. By the same token, it also grants me the privilege to put you in your place. A bien tôte, mon frère.

                • Dude, Why so hard on the brother? Why push, guilt and dare him away? Not cool. He may need you, in some strange, but spiritual manner. If he’s gone for good, because of you. Would that please you. I don’t think it would, in fact deep down inside, I believe it would trouble you.

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    Seriously, Bob, you are missing years of this calculated, provocative offering of misogyny and offensive talk directed against women; talk of supporting “civil war” even to the point of suggesting that God Himself wishes – even desires – such a war, and insulting Fr. Alexander Webster (who served as a combat military chaplain in the Middle East); tirades and misinformation against preferential admissions of minorities to, for example, law school because they are just not smart enough; the “prophecy” revealed in Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody (yeah, read it again, Bob), blah blah, blah. As to the small matter of leaving to start his own site, frankly, Bob, it’s tiresome and uninteresting already. It is one thing to come to this site and be insulted by another poster, but would you actually visit his site to be insulted? The cheese stands alone. You’re a poor mind-reader, Bob, but you stepped in it by choice.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Dr S, maybe I didn’t read Bob’s comment as thoroughly as I should have but I believe your critique is overstated. For one thing, Bob doesn’t strike me as a “misogynist”.

                  • I am pretty sure Mr. Stankovich meant Misha is the misogynist, but at this point, who knows. I will remain a silent viewer, from this point forward, in regards to Misha, and Mr. Stankovich past history, and stay on topic instead. Lots of skeletons in Monomakhos closet it seems.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Bob, I think you and Dr S are correct. May both of you please forgive me. I lost the thread.

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    I was not referring to Bob in my critique.

                  • Constaninos says

                    Hi Bob,
                    Yes, Misha has said many times that he is starting his own website. Now he needs funding for it. Last week he claimed that he is a lawyer. The first time I heard that one. By the way, don’t lawyers make decent dough? If so, why would he need funding? Doesn’t make any sense.
                    George, I don’t think Mr. Stankovich was saying that Bob is a misogynist. I believe he was referring to Misha. Can anyone disagree with the fact that Misha is a dyed in the wool woman hater? Would you allow Misha near your daughter? I sure wouldn’t.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Two points: 1) if I misunderstood, I apologize. 2) Misha is indeed a lawyer.

                      If anybody wants to get in touch with Misha please let me know.

                • I didn’t see Stankovich’s rant until today. So much stuff on Monomakhos it all gets diluted and its hard to find. I was just going through stories and noticed it.

                  Not much to say, really. Russia knows it has a demographic problem. They try to encourage reproduction and have taken some measures to restrict abortion.

                  No doubt that you have a similar problem in Russia to the one we have in America with single parent families. I would have to look at the divorce statistics, but if it is anything like here, at least two thirds of divorces are filed by women. Men seem to be willing to let the thing ride even if they are not happy and seeing someone else. Women, not so much.

                  But at the bottom of it all, there is the matriarchy. When you give the power to women to force the man out and keep the children, taxing him, with no restraint other than caprice, you are begging for a disasterous trainwreck. And that’s what results.

                  If, on the other hand, the switch were flipped the other way and the woman had to leave if she wanted out of the marriage – and without the children – and she had to pay child support for daycare while the man worked, it would be completely different. The divorce rate would be dramatically lower and people would simply be forced to deal with their passions, rather than taking it out on the marriage and kids.

                  But that would be the Christian thing to do, and it seems we’re beyond that.

                  PS: Leave Stankovich alone. He couldn’t possibly say anything that would get to me in the slightest and he knows it. Pressure makes diamonds.

                  Here’s a link to a listing that has my former office. I’m still a member of the bar but I am no longer active and shut the office down several years ago:


                  Lotsa turmoil though the last few years. Midlife crisis of a sort, mirroring the midlife crisis of America in a way.

                  But thanks for your concern. It’s all working out in God’s good time.

                  You have to look at the problem of divorce in context. In Christ’s time, a man could divorce a woman, but a woman could not divorce a man. Everything Christ said about marriage was spoken in that context, the patriarchy. He protected women by making it difficult for men to divorce them.

                  Today, the situation is completely different. We have all these stupid libertarian ideas about each person being an island unto themselves. That is nonsense. There is no absolute freedom, especially not once one has committed to marriage and child rearing.

                  The plain fact is that women should not be allowed to leave the family with the children. And divorce should be harder to obtain, no “no fault” divorce. You close that door and you shut down most of the problem.

                  Forcing people to stay in an unhappy marriage is not the solution. Divorce is not the solution.

                  Forcing people to change the way they think and feel, to confront the passions and accept the natural hierarchy, and thus enable themselves to be happy in the marriage is the solution. That is what the commitment to marriage is about, if it means anything other than long term dating.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Truth be told, Russia and America share many of the same problems. However, if I had to guess, testosterone levels in young, under-40 Russian males are still higher than what obtains in the US present. That’s one thing, the other is that in the RF, they not only recognize the demographic winter, they are actually doing some natalist about it. We here in the US continue in our progressive delusion that people are interchangeable and women and men are likewise interchangeable and la-de-dah.

                    Our elites think that by opening the floodgates to Third-world aliens that all will be hunky-dory. Just like Europe [snark, snark].

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    Wow, Scott. I am proud as punch, on any number of levels, for being your own personal “high pressure, high temperature (HPHT)” catalyst to becoming a diamond. Me and the “temples built over sewers” couldn’t be prouder.

                    Anyway, I know reasonableness when I am dismissed by it, so I say #letscallthewholethingoff and declare that this has only been a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. Rest easy Hawaii; be assured we return to our customary vigilance:

                    Tell me what’s the matter,
                    What you gonna do?
                    First you say you quit me,
                    Then you say we’re through.
                    You better watch yourself
                    You better watch yourself
                    You better watch yourself
                    I got my eye on you

                    Mr. Michalopulos, I strongly suspect you have no realistic clue as to the role of testosterone in male-specific physiology (translation: Putin has a team that shaves his back and between his eyebrows before he runs around without a shirt, and his testicles are the size of raisins). And truth be told, I’ll bet that more under-40 Russian males have an elevation in the liver enzymes AST to ALT in a ratio of 2:1 or greater because of the use of alcohol than US males. This is a foolish path to go down, in my estimation.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Misha, although many women fleece their exs the people I know the best who have divorced are women and –two of which had to take bankruptcy, the third was left in tenuous financial shape and they each suffered in other ways because of the divorces-some of which still lingers for each one of them.

                    #1 Her husband was a pedophile sexually abusing his own daughters, she threw him out for anger and abuse issues in regard to herself and then found out the rest of the story. He went through lawyers like water using stolen funds from a pension account that was subject to a QDRO. He was never charged for the sexual abuse because his victims were too young and not credible in our wonderful justice system and no consequences on the theft of funds. He got court ordered supervised visitation of the children he had raped, despite the fact that he constantly refused the court ordered counseling and despite the fact that none of his children wanted to see him. He only wanted to see them to continue to torment his ex-wife. She did get the house and continued to raise her six children there but only through a creative use of welfare for which she had the need but could not get until one of the other women in the welfare office told how to work system.

                    #2. Her husband at the time was fooling around with her “best friend” and they plotted to kill her by blowing up the house, stole from her. He called her up and went into an angry rant that she foiled there plans they had been working on for two years. But there was not enough evidence to prosecute and she is a forgiving person. Her lawyer though colluded with her ex’s lawyer and she got the shaft financially. Even the house was a dump that she had to gut and redo and the only loan she could get at the time was a high interest rate loan with a $50,000 balloon payment (tragedy was averted).

                    #3 Her husband was an abuser/oxy addict and a total psycho who had to be arrested for stalking and threatening her (while he was engaged to another woman six months after the divorce). Left her with the house the kids and thousands of dollars worth of consumer debt.

                    I was fortunate enough to be able to help in all three cases, one permanently. Two of them are in the Church because of it. Each of the new husbands are real Christian men (two of the others claimed to be, especially the pedophile).

                    Each of the afore mentioned fine specimens of manhood were conveniently unemployed during their divorces and therefore unable to fulfill their financial obligations but they had enough money to pay for lawyers so they all continued the abuse legally as well. They each also had money to pay for their toys somehow. The courts acted as abusers in place of the ex husbands. Ain’t life grand?

                    Each of these women has gone on to find good men and put their lives back together, by the grace and providence of God. Although the financial strain lingers in all cases. The emotional pain is harder to heal.

                    So, to actually advance the cause of patriarchy we men have to be more concerned with ourselves and how we act than how women act. The divorce laws you advocate are beyond ridiculous but only different in emphasis from the ones we have now.

                  • Michael,

                    I did divorce law long enough not to believe anything anyone says about the other side on its face. One user usually means two users. Wild allegations usually mean that they were both so whacked out that they lost touch with reality.

                    Drugs do that.

                    The divorce laws I advocate, and the restoration of coverture, would cure much of the problem. But the society is not courageous enough or sane enough to accept it and reorder to some sane paradigm. It would require faith in the God of the Old and New Testaments.

                    America ain’t there.

                    So it will swirl on down the toilet.

                    I had some hope that Trump might be able to stop the bleeding and at least get the patient stabilized. But I don’t see how he can possibly accomplish anything of substance beyond the economic realm unless there is some type of revival in America which turns more people back to a realization that the Christian patriarchy was what made our culture civilized, unlike the pagan train wreck we have now.

                    God’s not amused. He’s working in Russia. If America comes around, so be it. If not, He will allow people to feel the continuing consequences of their own sinful phronemas and the legal systems that are created as a result.

      • Interesting how the mind works, so much going on in the world, and the good doctor is troubled how Pink is represented by you, on a blog that most readers probably never heard of, Mrs. Pink, that is. Well at least she respects the men and women who serve in the military.

        Out of curiosity, Googled Pink, and seems she was on the latest cover, of the oh so, godly Cosmo mag, and if you ask me, gender neutral raising of ones children is code word for future gender choice definition by said youngsters, and I mean little children. Telling mom, that they are the opposite sex, God granted them, with mommies approval, and support, more than Yuck, Mr. Bauman. This is child abuse, not good parenting! BUT! Wagging, and pointing ones finger is the usual pastime here, so who am I to complain, about complaining, while complaining.

        In other news, and not to let you off the hook George, in the funny, how the mind works. We all seem so shocked when all our suspicions come to light, as we see how our republic really works, yet expect heads to roll, and I mean the truly guilty heads, not the peons. Why do you seem so worked up by the Trump, memo business, eroded freedoms, and abuse of powers, when you, and many of your Russophile friends support religious monarchy? Are not most banana republics ruled by a monarchy, and notorious of abuse of powers. Then again in a monarchy you are given the right to a quick trial and execution.

        • George Michalopulos says

          She looks like she got shocked by a cattle prod.

        • M. Stankovich says

          No, friend Bob, misrepresentation of Pink was not my complaint at all. My complaint is the shallowness of the discussion. You are welcome to search the history of this complaint – to what end, I can’t imagine. But I said many years ago that as the shallowness of the discussion increased, the threshold for truth would decrease. Wow. Who knew? If you do look at the history of the contributors to this site and the level of discussion – the eloquence & thoughtfulness, the scholarship and attention to detail that characterized most threads – you will find most of those contributors (many who were clergy) are now long gone. Imagine, there was a time when there was no moderation of posts, they were all live. Simple things like beautiful icons as headers of the threads have given way to sarcastic political cartoons, greetings on Feasts Days are ignored and are just “days” again, and the occasional anonymous creep is now the way of life.

          When it is seemingly my “vocation” to encourage individuals in this world to challenge their values – to support them, to offer them hope that they can change, to convince them that to positively change their values is cumulative, blah, blah, blah, and to read them scorned simply by their appearance, or gender, or race is intolerable to me. Having treated children as young as five who were brutalized by sexual predators & violent care providers, and knowing that there is no relationship between raising children gender neutral and later violence or “gender choice,” I ignore these offensive and idiotic implications. There simply was nothing served, nothing gained, and certainly nothing to be proud of in trashing this woman whose personal dream was to sing the National Anthem of the United States at this event. Absolutely nothing.

          • Mr. Stankovich,

            You are absolutely, 100% correct, in that picking apart any person’s appearance, is shallow, whenever, and however, in any situation, or conversation, but I’m sure we all are guilty of such shallow behavior, and judgement. Human nature is human nature, first impressions are all we have, until the surface is scratched, and we see beyond the shell.

            I will also take you for your word, in that clergy no longer post as often, as in the past, or greetings on Feast Days ignored, as I was on the 30th of last month. The age of innocence and civility were long gone in our society, before the internet opened pandora’s box for the masses, now what little was left, is all exposed. We must careful with our words, and thoughts, lest we lose all we have worked for, because of a bad day or thought, and because it’s the right thing to do. George mentally exposes himself everyday, and allows us to throw darts at him in return, pro, and con. Not many can do that, within clergy or laity.

            Problem today is our words are broadcasted out there for internet eternity, for all to scrutinize, pick apart, and judge said authors/posters. Just Google a name, and all their thoughts on blog posts are there. So there lies your answer. Not many priests, want to be targets for the scrutiny and judgement associated with posting their thoughts on the internet. Too much to lose, in this money driven society. Even before the internet, priests used caution, to whom they would share their opinions with, and if they did not in their youth, they learned that lesson quick. Parish councils, and some in laity have no problem making up stories, and destroying good reputations of priests, either out of simple, and sinful gossip, or to remove a priest. Same with Bishops, and Metropolitans. What priest in his right mind would want to post on a blog, that might not be to the liking of his Bishop or Metropolitan, and find himself stuck in limbo, or kicked out of a parish he loves? Priests have wives, and children to care for, not to mention their flock, that are their spiritual family, why risk all that, and a salary, to post on a blog. One poorly thought out post, can follow, and define a priest, in this internet society we live in, to his dying day.

            • Constaninos says

              Dear Bob,
              I can say in all honesty that I have never in my entire life ever criticized another person’s appearance. Can our President say the same thing? He is very childish and mean.

              • Constaninos,

                You are better than most then. The President is your typical rich New Yorker, on steroids, not to mention probably a sexual addict, and narcissist. Most great leaders have these disorders. Great of course, is in the eye of the beholder.

                • Constaninos says

                  I’m not sure I would use the word “great” to describe our President’s leadership style. I voted for him, but personally I can’t stand the way he conducts himself. He needs someone like our brother Michael in his administration. Someone with integrity, class, and basic human decency- not loathsome people like himself and Rob Porter.
                  Trump is an extremely dangerous presence on the world stage. Very hard to believe he wrote a book titled The Art of the Deal. I wouldn’t want my daughter to go within ten feet of this guy. He’s bad news. The Chinese curse is upon us: “May you live in interesting times.” Indeed!

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    I hear you Costa. I don’t like the endless tweeting either. But we’re talking about a Disruptor. It’s unpleasant but that’s the only way that the Swamp is going to get drained.

                    • Playing by the rules, only works, when both sides, play by the rules. Sometimes love wins out, but most times only UGLY, can destroy,UGLY, in politics!

          • P.S. Mr. Stankovich,
            While you are the professional in such matters of sexual and physical abuse, and while these horrid abuses do not compare to adolescence transgenderism. Common sense, and a good parent would not allow children to decide they are not the sex that they are, especially before puberty. This is child abuse in my view, just as allowing a young child to have a girlfriend or boyfriend, because they believe, they are in love. I find it hard to understand why you would not, especially as a Orthodox Christian. Sorry you find me offensive , and my comments idiotic. Even if you are correct professionally, on this topic. I prefer to remain offensive, and idiotic.

            • M. Stankovich says

              What you are doing is “elevating” your personal opinion, in effect suggesting that your version of “common sense” is equal to empirical research. What does this mean? You are having chest pains that make it increasingly difficult for you to breath and are radiating down your left arm. You also know that your paternal grandfather and your father died of heart attacks in their early 60’s. You go to the ER and the doctor says, “In my experience, this usually turns out to be indigestion. Your (Obamacare) insurance sucks, so I’m not going to run a bunch of expensive tests, only to find out you just have indigestion. Here’s an antacid. If that doesn’t help in 3-hours, come back.” You’ll be back alright, back to take a private room in a drawer in the Pathology Dept. in the basement. We properly demand evidence-based medicine.

              Nevertheless, with no evidence whatsoever, you would have me believe that it is possible to negotiate a developing child’s gender assignment (i.e. we can manipulate, falsely influence/convince, “trick,” or even simply “provoke” a false sense of gender contrary to one’s birth gender) by some external dynamic. And not being satisfied with this notion alone, you would then elevate your perceived level of “influence” over a child’s gender selection whereby its application could be considered “abuse.” And to top it off, you emotionally appeal to my Orthodox Christianity and #inathanhale, because nothing, absolutely nothing, is more convincing than passion for one’s opinion. But wait… You have offered nothing beyond your version of “common sense” to demonstrate that anything you have have stated is even vaguely correct. And on the “strength” of your common sense, you are willing to declare child abuse, and “prefer to remain offensive, and idiotic.” Am I completely off-base in imagining that, if you survived, you would sue the hospital/ER doc for every righteous penny you could get from them?

              I have written an article that speaks to the issue of Gender Dysphoria in the context of of our Orthodox anthropology (and as a side-note, I offered it to Fr. Hans first, who refused to even read it, but instead links to an evangelical “the 5 things you need to know…” in his opinion), which is being used by three jurisdictions, specifically because, while we say we have addressed this issue, we most certainly have not. And finally, let me say that if I seem “reactive” and sensitive regarding this issue in particular, you were not here when I lost my job in a county clinic – a week before Christmas, no less – because I refused in my county case notes to refer to a woman transitioning into a man as “he,” and when a gay psychiatrist suggested I was “trans-phobic,” I shared two words with him, neither of which were “happy birthday.”

              This is a topic of extraordinary complexity that demands, on the one hand compassion & the invitation of Jesus Christ the Physician & Healer; but on the other, an insistence on the truth of the creation “as it was in the beginning,” and to which it will again return in the never-ending day of the Lord’s Kingdom which is to come.

              • Dude, a heart attack is what you might give me, if you came over for Thanksgiving. Since you seem to enjoy hypothetical stories.

                Imagine that you were not only my brother in Christ, but my biological brother. Every year we get together with the rest of the family, and enjoy a beautiful, and delicious Thanksgiving dinner. Always a drumstick on my plate. Good conversation, everyone is having a great time enjoying the family together, but then I notice my 8 year old daughter having a long conversation with you, Uncle Michael. I ask my little girl, “Honey are you telling Uncle Michael what you want for Christmas? With disdain in her eyes, she says,”Daddy, you lied to me, Uncle Michael says if I want to be a boy, I can. Why did you tell me I can’t be a boy, for my Christmas present? Uncle Michael says, there is nothing wrong with how I feel, and I want to be a boy!” Well at this point Uncle Michael would be threatened with my drumstick, and asked to leave, and told never to return, until Uncle Michael can quit behaving so offensive with my parenting skills, and idiotic with my daughter.

                Now a little reality. You have empirical research, I do not, but God thankfully granted me common sense, and well placed parental skills to sense when my daughter is pulling my leg, and when she is not.

                I also notice trends, especially in trend crazy America. Most are dumb, and harmless, like pet rocks. Some invoke greed like beanie babies. Some beneficial, but taken advantage by greedy and vengeful people as well, like the “Me Too” movement now running through Hollywood celebrity circles, soon to infect all workplaces of America. Some deadly trends, last forever, and convince mothers to kill their unborn children. Now our newest trend, sparked by celebrities such as Brad Pitt, Angelina Jollie, Pink, and others from Hollywood promoting their life styles upon it’s fans, spread through liberal news media sources, magazines,movies, social media, and talk shows. Convincing impressionable and gullible parents that it is wrong to suppress the wishes of their very young children.

                Don’t get me wrong. I understand there is a very, very small percentage of young children who suffer from Gender Dysphoria. Compassion, common sense, and wise parental love is key, in those cases. My point is I see another trend has begun, with a new trendy title, “gender neutral parenting”. Next Gender Dysphoria will not be seen as disorder,but an identity, and celebrated, by the enlightened of our secular society. Properly diagnosed or not, it will no longer matter, why would it? Now imagine, there will come a day soon, when I will be accused of child abuse when I dare tell my little girl, that she is not a little boy.

                Don’t think so? Who would have thought, even five years ago, that I now need be cool, with a bearded dude, in a dress, in the ladies restroom, with my little daughter alone, while I wait outside. If I dare protest, I am considered hateful, and a bigot, in this new world of enlightenment!

                • George Michalopulos says

                  I like your sense of humor Bob. The whole “gender dysphoria” thing will eventually collapse IMHO. Dysphoria at base means “being sad”. Well, we’re all sad at one time or another. We get over it.

                  One thing I’ll give Gay, Inc credit for is their push several years ago about how to respond to people who are upset with their lifestyle. Towit: “deal with it!” We all got problems. Some never go away.

                  • Exactly George! We get over it, especially thru young childhood. Most Tom boys, do not turn out transgender, or gay, but the progressives always want to push the envelope.

                    I am not insinuating, Mr. Stankovich, is a progressive pro transgender activist. Not at all, he proved his grit, resolve when he told his boss, Happy Birthday! Truth is, he’s the type of dude, I would love and consider a privilege to hang with, and share a bottle of Don Julio, and a six pack of Pacifico, over looking the Pacific, while picking his brain, on many topics. I wouldn’t even mind if he pulled out some of that recreational herb, that is legal in Cali now, in fact I would pay for dinner as well, if he got the munchies. In other words he one cool dude, regardless if we disagree on the details.

                    Here’s a quote I found interesting:

                    “Why is it considered acceptable to carve up a person’s body to match their inner sense of self, but bigoted to help them change their sense of self to match their body? Feelings can change. But the body is an observable fact that does not change. It makes sense to treat the body as a reliable marker of sexual identity…This denigration of the body, is the unspoken assumption driving secular views on, euthanasia, abortion, sexuality, homosexuality, transgenderism, and a host of related ethical issues.”

                    Now here is when it gets real KOOKY. The Professor continues;

                    “Trans activists have even protested the use of terms like man and woman, because some males identify as females, and vice versa….The Midwives Alliance of North America, changed their literature to delete the word ‘mother’, and substitute ‘pregnant individuals’ and ‘birthing persons’…It is now deemed transphobic to say ‘Breastfeeding’. You must say ‘Chestfeeding’ to be inclusive of trans men.”
                    -Author & Professor Nancy R Pearcey

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Bob, you will soon learn that “empirical facts” are everything to Michael S. , his empirical facts. No use getting upset about it. Such an approach can be useful and at times even necessary but he never seems to understand how maleable and subject to bias and false narratives such facts can be.

                  Things can be non-empirical and true. Indeed most things that are true cannot be explained fully in an empirical manner. Empiricism as a philosophy is just another secular heresy spawned in the abject apostasy of the “Enlightenment”.

                  Just because a truth is non-empirical does not automatically relegate it to the level of opinion.

                  However the empiricism of the gender benders is totally lacking as they fail to see what is the most obvious fact male and female created He them.

                  Added to the horrid assumption that body and soul are not intimately connected; body is just a shell yada, yada; leads to the mutilation of the body to “match the being caught inside”. Demonic.

                  The Church most emphatically has the answers but those answers have to be heard and applied in the right context: the ongoing sacramental discover of who we are in confession, repentance and thanksgiving for God’s gifts.

                  That does not require more empirical knowledge, just more seeking the wisdom of the Holy Spirit and the humility to hear it.

                  Empiricism tends to foster arrogance and hubris.

                  We do need to better understand and articulate the Incarnational foundation of the non-empirical reality in the context of our culture and time.

                  The line that must not be crossed is adapting the teachings of the Church to the modern empirical or ideological understanding. The reverse is always necessary.

                  • Hmm, Mr. Bauman, I wonder how Mr. Stankovich would argue with a atheist and their facts, against our ‘elevated’ beliefs and faith? After all we cannot ‘Prove’ Jesus Christ rose from the dead, and without the resurrection, we have nothing and are in deep trouble. Actually I really would like to know, by you as well Mr. Bauman, I need all the help I can get.

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    Michael Bauman,

                    Let’s be clear here: many years ago, I was trained in “empirical observation” and experimentation for the simple reason that psychiatry lacked the “scientific” base common to other medical disciplines (e.g. with the exception of certain “mimics” of psychiatric disorders caused by medical conditions, there was no diagnostic medical “test” one could order to diagnose a psychiatric condition). In the last 10-years, and dramatically so in the past 5-years, there is a solid & reliable “evidence-base” of data to guide practice which is not empiric in the least. Before this dramatic shift, the only tools available, for the most part, were purely observational and measured results of research & experimentation. This is no longer my exclusive practice – and this has been the case for a considerable number of years. While it is necessary, at times, to rely on empirically-derived data, it is no longer the norm, and I would refer you the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews which is the standard for evidence-based healthcare. If you would like to argue that observed genetic differences that indicate certain antidepressant are significantly more efficacious in some individuals than another are “maleable (sic) and subject to bias and false narratives,” you are welcome to the task. You would be, however, removed from the reality.

                    Secondly, I can’t imagine you have had proximity to actual medical researchers in a considerable period of time, or you read and pursue sources that bears no resemblance to my experience, and that would be in a community rich with research sources, and some of the country’s – and the world’s – most prolific research institutions. (I repeat myself that we have “Nobel Drive for a reason). This whole business of the relationship – or conflict, or clash, or philosophy, or whatever you are suggesting – with Orthodox theology is fundamentally non-existent in my experience. The “arrogance and hubris” I see and have experienced in some of the best & brightest researchers has nothing to do with empiricism that I can determine; they are strict, evidence-based physicians who, like many psychiatrist, may have psychiatric problems themselves. Ah, bingo! Even if you are vaguely familiar with, for example with FDA/NIH/NIMH funded research, the outcome criteria has significantly changed to strictly measured outcomes, obviously to better maximize control over past empiric fraud, but to ensure safety and better regulate when a trial moves to a next phase, and so on. The suggest that this is seen or guided by a “philosophy” empiricism, is dated and ridiculous. If anything, researchers reflect the community in general.

                    The last point is simply this: to even insinuate that I pose a “conflict,” real or imagined, or a sort of veiled or vague “narcotizing” contra-anthropology or theology in conflict with the Holy Scripture, the Patristic Fathers, the Canons, our Holy Tradition, or the Liturgical Canon is moronic. I have gone out of my way – more than anyone here since 2011 – to scrupulously cite my sources, and the implication of “his empirical facts” is that they indeed are “maleable (sic) and subject to bias and false narratives.” What is not said is that – more than anyone here since 2011 – I have invited correction as to matters of substance. If your complaint is that I have been “duped” by bias & false narrative, “Gird up your loins now like a man” (Job 40:7) and correct me. Addresses to 3rd parties when I am in the room are cheap shots.

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      Michael S. I in no way question the value of genuine empirical data in proper context. It is a valuable tool. Properly verified and contextualized empirical data can be critical in any number of areas. You do good work.

                      However I happen to approach problem solving in a social, cultural, faith context very differently. The ability to establish the context and clearly state the proper foundation for the interpretation of facts/empirical data (not quite the same but used interchangably by me) is much more important.
                      (A small truncated example)
                      Thus with gender issues proper interpretation and use of data must be done in the context of only two sexes(male-female). Any other context will result in the facts being misinterpreted and lead to false conclusions and damaging medical approaches.

                      The psychological/spiritual confusion of same sex attraction and gender dysphoria must be understood within.the context of the male-female synergy God has ordained. Any other context is delusional and IMO departs from a genuinely empirical approach resulting in greater confusion and pain.

                      Obviously there is a great spectrum of both male and female expression that is not problematic but the synergetic dichotomy still holds. Even when behavior has become problematic I have observed the preservation of that dichotomy in many instances. It is something that it would be nice to investigate rigorously to test my hypothesis but I am unable to do that.

                      Like statistics, empirical data can and is used in deceitful ways.

                      The truth lies in understanding the order of creation as revealed in the incarnate person of Jesus Christ in His Church. He holds nothing necessary back from us, but we must work as dilgently to participate in that order as real scientists work to establish empirical knowledge.

                      There is not nor should there be any conflict. Indeed they should compliment each other and will where there is truth.

                      But the empirical is always secondary if not tertiary in the hierarchy of knowledge.

                      Gail said I think outside the box. Rather I follow in the manner of thought that my parents taught me: all is inter-connected by a personal divine life and presence. Look for the connections within the presence. Wholeness and healing will be enhanced if you do.

                      By grace, I have been shown in a personally concrete way that the Divine person is Jesus Christ and the Orthodox Church is His Church. That is an incontrovertible fact to me that no amount of sin (my own or others) can destroy.

                      He is the nexus through whom all is interconnected. The ulitmate fact. Any data has to be evaluated within that transcendent reality.

                      Modern science does not do that. Some scientists do to some extent but the scientific magesterium does not, particularly in your field or you would not have been fired.

                      May the grace, mercy, peace and wholeness of our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ be with you my brother. Pray for me, a sinner.

              • I normally appreciate Michael Stankovich’s comments on matters of faith, but this one was just “out there” …somewhere.

                While it is true that parents cannot control outcomes, it is ludicrous to suggest that parents cannot or do not influence outcomes – for good or ill. Or are we to ignore as irrational and ‘unscientific’ all the parental admonitions in the Scriptures in favor of the latest research and assume that our rational science, however useful and informative it may sometimes be, has the capacity to instruct us in a wisdom that is greater than God’s?

                Shall we also then conclude that Orthodox Christians ought to cease to rear children in the Faith (the truth of all things)? Here again, a parent cannot control the outcome, but they are commanded to influence it to the extent of their power and example. I refuse to believe that these commands were given to us in vain, regardless of what any research might suggest. If that is considered simplistic or ‘unscientific’ by the “experts,” I gladly choose their ridicule.

                Bob is neither “elevating his personal opinion” nor his “common sense.” And he doesn’t need research to back him up. He has the holy prophets, apostles, and Fathers who nowhere encourage parents to rely on any wisdom other than God’s. Parents are commanded to rear their children “in the fear and admonition of the Lord” – which for Orthodox Christians ought to be the good sense that is common among them. They are given to children to guide them into all truth, including the gift of the sex God has assigned to them. To suggest otherwise is both unworthy and uncharacteristic of the good doctor who is normally in the good habit of calling us back to the faith of our Fathers.

                • M. Stankovich says

                  In the 1960’s and into the 1970’s, there was considerable research and investment in attempts to establish a credible “theory” of gender and the matter of gender development in children. The leading expert in this period – and for a substantial period beyond – was a Harvard trained psychologist and self-proclaimed “sexologist” from New Zealand named John Money. Dr. Money is, to the greatest extent, the person responsible for the notion that, contrary to the Scripture’s description of our humanity έν ἀρχῇ – in the beginning – “gender” is a social construct and a “fluid” state (an opinion I have even read upheld on this very site, which necessarily provokes the agita in me and my Jesuit colleagues. This, in turn, demands strong medicine.

                  All of this is to say that the legacy of Dr. John Money is cruel disaster and heartbreak. How? By deciding that gender is not set in children – it being fluid and all – until the second year of life, and perhaps later. And what is the implication? Money believed that, in consideration of the 14 genetic disorders that result in the indeterminate development of the external genitalia, because gender is “fluid,” parents could influence the child to be raised in the gender the parents preferred, without any harmful consequences. The caveat being that parental influence begin before the age of two. This brings us to Money’s most famous case, that being David Reimer. David Reimer was a Canadian patient who was born male with no genetic defect or disorder of sexual development, but he had the misfortune of being on the receiving end of the experimental use of an electrocautery being tested to perform the circumcision of male infants. You know where this going… The cautery literally burned off his penis. Dr. John money was called into the situation as an expert consultant. Money determined that the best approach was for the parents to withhold the truth from David; convince him and raise him as female, but with the explanation that he had a disorder of sexual development that accounted for his indeterminate genitalia (which were, in fact, surgically altered). As David later explained to Rolling Stone Magazine, he knew from a young age that something was dramatically wrong, and went on to describe “dysphoria” in a classic sense, a complete incongruence between his intellect and his emotions. His attempts to locate his medical records were futile; Money refused to speak with him; and his parents played as if he was exaggerating. He finally got a court order to unseal his medical records and the truth came out. Rolling Stone published their investigation which, in turn, brought out a good number of Money’s patients who were experiencing the same symptoms and conflicts as Reimer. Money had been consistently reporting his successful treatment of these individuals, when nothing of the sort was true. Approximately two years after the Rolling Stone article was published, Reimer, who had been suffering from a refractory depression for many years, took his own life. Money had already been discredited and was no longer influential.

                  Somehow, after reading you, Bob, and Mr. Michalopulos’ comments, I get the sense you have have absolutely no clue at both the depth of pathology and the extent of the suffering experienced by these individuals. Secondly, it pisses me off that I specifically provided in-depth information twice on this site discussing the prevalence of gender dysphoria among adolescents in the US, and it is minuscule, and in reality insignificant to the point of true anomaly. Adolescents who have feelings of gender dysphoria for whatever reason near universally resolve the matter themselves if left alone. You are writing with the “support” of the most anomalous and ridiculous of anecdotes available to “demonstrate” a threat that does not exist. You are as likely to “influence” a child into Gender Dysphoria by raising him/her in a gender neutral environment as you are to “making” them into homosexuals by forcing them to listen to Barry Manilow 24/7. The information I provided was from a landmark study of adolescent sexuality by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, and not a single comment was made. Now, you would school me as to what it is to be “patristic?” Gentlemen, you need to cross the street, literally. If you weren’t making so many jokes, what you’d see over here would break your heart.

                  • Micahel S.,

                    I love you and appreciate the facts, but what in the world does any of this have to do with a parent affirming an otherwise healthy child in his or her assigned sex?

                  • Mr. Stankovich, Since your getting pissed off, let me at least try and address your last paragraph. Maybe it will help so that we don’t continue going in circles. I believe we are talking past each other, Apples, and oranges…

                    First, No, pathology is not my gig, but pain and suffering I can imagine. Pain, suffering, and disorders, only God can answer why. Now you say you are pissed because you provided in depth info, and expect me to get in a debate in a field I know nothing about. Sorry I don’t fall into those traps. I may be ignorant with gender dysphoria, but I am not stupid to walk into gun battle with a stick. But! Here’s my point, which you help me with, by acknowledging the fact that Gender Dysphoria;” minuscule, and in reality insignificant to the point of true anomaly.”

                    So since Gender Dysphoria is in fact so rare, why the need to be pushed into letting our children dictate what they want to wear, and harmful agendas pushed down our throats ? No harm no foul right? They are what they are going to be, as you state, regardless how they are dressed, so why not dress them with what 99% of society have deemed normal since, forever? Why do I have to explain sexual orientation to a 4-11 year old child. Why sexualize our children at such young ages? Ever since sexuality has become a identity, instead of a behavior, all hell has broken loose, with the freak show. Yes freak show, call me a bigot, I don’t care. The freaks that want to sexualize my children can go to hell! Who promotes these things, and what is their agenda? There is something very demonic behind all of this. The devil comes with soft gloves, lulling us to sleep, with humane, kind, and what they deem is in the best interest of our children. Step by step, the water continues to warm the frog in the pot. Facts, and research come from people, people, and governments have agendas. Truth is in the eye of the beholder. Every nation has it’s own truth, and agenda.

                    Now I sense your angry tone. Why? I don’t know. I have gone out of my way to be respectful, in my conversations with you, but feel like you are talking down to me with your credentials, experience, and empirical research. I responded to your heart attack levity, with a little levity of my own, but you accuse George, and I of having fun, and making jokes, as if we don’t care for the abused little ones. Are only you allowed levity, because you have witnessed, treated the pain, of abused children. Abuse, pain and suffering of children we can all agree is intolerable, but sexualizing all children, to help a,”minuscule..insignificant..true anomaly.”your words, is the wrong path, IMHO.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      I tend to agree Bob. We’ve upended the entire concept of civil rights to create a society-destroying engine based on individual fetishes. To what end? What’s next? a lobby for coprophiliacs? Perhaps public restrooms can be used to accommodate their particular fetish and innocent trans-sexuals will be forced to watch.

                      We’re very close to the end-state of nihilism in my opinion.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Mr. Michalopulos,

                      If it would appear that I am somehow an “advocate” for any of this conflict, I assure you that I most certainly am not. The world will end first. I agree that we are making sweeping societal changes (e.g. the “gender neutral” restrooms) in consideration of an extremely small “class” of individuals. Nevertheless, from my vantage, it is not possible – morally, ethically, or for that matter, legally – for me to abandon them: their suffering and their struggle is real and legitimate. And it seems to me crucial that we ask ourselves, how many times in our lives have we actually been forced to make a life-changing decision that could literally end the most significant relationships in our lives – faith-based, family-based, and vocationally-based – yet we feel so strongly about the truth of the matter, that the loss seems reasonable and prudent.

                      It is precisely at this point that I diverge from most of my colleagues and allied colleagues, because I maintain that there is no reasonable explanation for this phenomenon of transgender and gender dysphoria except profound mental illness. There is no evidence of significant divergence as is demonstrated – at least in a limited manner – in genetic, neurological, endocrinological, and other “physical characteristic” findings in male homosexuality. Nothing. How do you make the diagnosis? By the patient subjectively “informing” you. And from there it only gets worse, to the point where we are now establishing a precedent in human medicine whereby we are administer potent medications to perfectly healthy adolescents and children to suppress the process of puberty in order to prevent the development of secondary sexual characteristics with absolutely no safety protocol, and no knowledge of the developmental impact of withdrawing these medications should the child change his/her mind about gender “transitioning” at a later time. (If anyone would like a copy of the paper I prepared for several bishops and their jurisdictions, I would ask Mr. Michalopulos to kindly forward email addresses to me, and I would be happy to send copies by email).

                      Finally, I believe we will come to similar conclusions in regard to gender dysphoria as was reached in regard to homosexuality: absolutely no one has a definitive, conclusive answer as to the etiology of homosexuality. The best we have accomplished is to eliminate what we are reasonably certain – based now on multiple decades of replicated research and confirmatory genetic and epigenetic data – what does not cause homosexuality. The current research suggestion is that we will understand the phenomenon gender dysphoria by analogy with homosexuality.

                      This leads me to conclude by saying, making the analogy with homosexuality, however reasonable and “common sense” the observation and practice might otherwise appear, there is nothing occurring post-partum that would lead one to conclude there is a factor(s) more significant for an increased or diminished vulnerability for gender dysphoria than familial genetics.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      It’s one thing to feel for people in their struggles, it’s quite another to rejigger civilization itself based on a mental disorder and/or sexual fetish. That’s all I’m saying.

                    • Michael S,

                      For what it’s worth, I agree with what you wrote above – at least in terms of having to admit that we really do not know the cause of these maladies.

                      I do wonder, though, and it is an honest question: How is it that that what goes on in the home of a child growing up can be studied with any real accuracy? You have spoken of the complexity of the maladies, and I do not disagree. But I can think of few things more complex than the sum total of a parent’s interactions with his/her child or, for that matter, with how a young child who cannot fully process his parental interactions can understand them or his own perceptions of them at the time once he is cognizant of his feelings. How do either parent(s) or child provide verifiable information that could in any way be deemed accurate or complete to a researcher? I suspect you’d agree that truly accurate non-subjective memory is tricky, if not almost impossible for human beings. And I want to clear that I am not therefore implying anything about parental culpability for these maladies.

                      My comment was triggered by your pouncing on Bob for his saying that rearing a child to be able to choose his/her gender rather than according to his/her God-gifted sex is child abuse. I do not see how his assessment is incorrect. I can think of few personal or societal maladies that at their core are not the result of our refusal to be grateful to God for the gifts He gives us (including how He made us) and the envy and confusion that comes of ingratitude and refusal to accept them (I am reminded of Fr. Schmeman’s famous Thanksgiving homily). “You can be whatever you choose to be” may be at least partially true, encouraging parental advice when it comes to the things they have the capacity to work toward, but it is abusive and destructive when parents offer children choices that may contradict their very being. Surely you can see that this is all Bob intended to say.

                      While I understand that you are immersed daily in the ‘dregs’ of society and are witness to the pain caused by all sorts of brokenness (Most of us here admire you for it), I would only ask that you bear in mind that, although we are all broken in some ways, there are many who are basically healthy – not because of anything we have done, but because we ourselves were blessed with selfless, wise, loving, encouraging parents who, although not perfect, set a godly example and instilled in us a pattern that is worthy of imitation.

                      I also ask your forgiveness.

                    • M. Stankovich says


                      I am at a loss as to how I was “pouncing on Bob for his saying that rearing a child to be able to choose his/her gender rather than according to his/her God-gifted sex is child abuse.” My point has simply been to point out that, exactly like homosexuality, there is nothing to suggest that anything a parent does – be it positively (e.g. in the form of “affirmations” of their birth gender, or gender role “modeling”), or negatively (e.g. in the form of poor gender role “modeling,” intimate attachment, or the enabling or actual perpetration of trauma) has any impact whatsoever on the development of gender dysphoria. Except for emerging data of genetic vulnerability – which has yet to be clearly established – I will report that I have yet to meet anyone with this disorder who reported it as an “acquired taste,” a passing fancy, a sexual experiment, something to to be envied in a parent or sibling, or anything other than that which they have clearly identified with their person.

                      The fact that I am “immersed daily in the ‘dregs’ of society and are witness to the pain caused by all sorts of brokenness” should not be sending a message about me, for heavens sake! The message should be that we are the haven in this heartless world; we are the light in this darkness; and that we are the Good News of the salvation of our God. Enough already.

                    • Brian and Mr. Stankovich, Never thought pounced on, more misunderstood. I believe we all meant well. I for one, have nothing left to contribute. I thank Brian, George and Mr. Bauman, as my advocates, and I ask Mr. Stankovich to forgive me if I offended or pissed him off.

                      Mr. Stankovich while I might have your attention, and if Misha is reading this.

                      How great would it be, if you, and Misha forgave each other of all past transgressions, and start off Great Lent as a great example for the rest of us?

                      Glory to God in all things, especially forgiveness!

                  • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                    I remember this story very well. The poor man suffers greatly in his life. His brother committed suicide, and eventually David Reimer committed suicide. This is the real world effect that we always miss or fail to realize. It is because of this our theology and practice need to be solid and unbending in this area. Dr. Stankovich should be commended for bringing this to our attention and for helping us realize that our beliefs have direct consequences in the real world and with real people’s lives.

                    Thank you Michael.

                    Peter A. Papoutsis

                    • Yes, Peter tragic, but this man might still be alive, if another medical trend did not take over North America. Male circumcision. I guess God screwed up, and Doctors Know better, wink wink. Follow the money,politicians, doctors, and lawyers, to solve all the riddles, boys.

                • Tim R. Mortiss says

                  Parents can control outcomes pretty well (speaking generally, not just regarding the incomprehensible arcana of “gender theory” and so on) if they do their jobs right. Of course, luck plays a role, too, and unending vigilance is absolutely required.

                  It’s harder than it used to be, because the larger society no longer “backs you up” anywhere near to the degree that it used to. But it still can be done.

    • I agree with George says

      Sorry. Doc, but you need to do more research. Pink’s music is degenerate.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Saunca, nothing I said about Pink was related to homosexuality.

        I’ll agree with you that my comment re her appearance on the mag cover was “shallow” but Good Lord! This wasn’t a candid shot or something. They told her to act like she was getting electroshock therapy. I wouldn’t do that. I can’t imagine you would either.

      • Constaninos says

        Mario Lanza!!! His voice was liquid gold.

      • M. Stankovich says

        As beloved-of-my-heart Saunca notes, I specifically wrote: “I sincere (sic) don’t know much about Pink’s music, but as a musician, I have read a bit about what she has written about her personal life…” To be honest, the only time I actually saw and heard her sing was a “behind-the-scenes” video of the making of a tribute album Herby Hancock did of the John Lennon song Imagine. Her voice was simply beautiful. Her singing of the National Anthem was powerful, heartfelt, and missing the ridiculous embellishments that singers feel compelled to litter the Anthem with these days. And most importantly, she was proud to sing the song, not just to be at the event.

        Mr. Michalopulos, now that you have put yourself out for all to see on video, it is only a matter of time before you receive some “unflattering” comment(s) of the “anonymous and otherwise” type. They are never pleasant to receive by anyone ever, and don’t tell me otherwise. They are always hurtful because a part of our ego-strength is based on a “mirror-reflection” of what other think about us. It is something to seriously consider.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Well, I’ll never try to purposely uglify myself as Pink did on the magazine cover. That’s all.

          • M. Stankovich says

            Nevertheless, you may rest assured that I will be the first – and most vocal – in defending the fact that you should be judged by your heart, “for such is the way of the Lord of Hosts [Who] judges righteously, [trying the reins] and heart,” for to Him alone you have “revealed your cause,” and He alone will judge and strike “vengeance on your enemies.” (cf. Jer. 11:20) We all deserve more than a shallow glance.

            • George Michalopulos says

              I know, but why the angry look? I mean, c’mon! She’s rich, young, attractive; got a husband and kids. You know, maybe if people got down on their knees more and thanked God because they didn’t get their legs blown off in Iraq the world might be a better place.

              However, point taken: I shouldn’t be shallow.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          When you compare Pink to Fergie, one comes to appreciate Pink.

  3. Tim R. Mortiss says

    George, I used to get frustrated now and then when your site moved at molasses pace. Now I can’t keep up with the thing!

  4. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    George rehearsed some Grecian truisms for us. They’re fun, like “Confucius said..” etc. I found a saying in Persian, written by Sa’di, to be much more timely and relevant to George’s ever-increasing and ever-more-loquacious attempts at producing “fine writing.” It goes like this: “The best thing for an ignorant person is silence; and if he knew that, he wouldn’t be ignorant!”

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      “The best thing for an ignorant person is silence; and if he knew that, he wouldn’t be ignorant!”

      My good bishop this has never stopped you. Why ask George to do something you have never done? Just saying.

      Carry on my non-grecian friend.


      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        Why, Peter Papoutsis! After a week, you wrote: ” Why ask George to do something you have never done?” What did I ask George to do? And what is it that has not stopped me from doing what?
        We should capitalize “Grecian,” no? You’re not a Grecophobe, are you?

        • Constaninos says

          Your Grace,
          It’s nice to see you haven’t lost your marvelous sense of humor. I hope and pray that you are in excellent health.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          Happy Valentine’s Day my good bishop.

          God Bless.


        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          “You’re not a Grecophobe, are you?”

          I think you can answer that question due to the many years of practice you have had.

          God Bless.

  5. Sounds to me like another Tower of Babel story. After all, NFL football preempted The Lord’s Day.

  6. Interestingly, I heard it mentioned just briefly in passing, the Philadelphia Eagles had never taken any “knees” in any games during the season. Patriots other hand had plenty of “knee takers” and “bench sitters” clutching elbows and the variations of the protest really not so “patriot” like in actuality. So with the Eagles as the underdog “Dogs” with fans wearing dog masks proved to be a more “patriotic breed.” Brady & Co. already enough Super Bowl successes anyway especially after last year’s 28-3 comeback against the Falcons. So we had some poetic justice and really it was a really fun exciting game to watch pulling for the “Dogs.” Kaepernick meanwhile now for Niner fans is a distant memory with Jimmy Garapollo signing for mega bucks five year deal former Patriot Collin who? Knee thing looks to be done and Kaepernick maybe still can play, he used to pitch, Cuban Minor League ball perhaps?

    • Constaninos says

      Dear Cy,
      That’s an interesting post on your part. Now many evangelicals think the Eagles won because of the born again Christians on the Eagles. As is well known, the great Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz is a devout pentecostal Christian( member of the Assemblies of God). Nick Foles is also a born again Christian who plans to become a pastor when his playing days are over. In any event, they are fervent, devout evangelical Christians.
      On to Jimmy Garapalo, they are saying Tom Brady wants to be paid mega bucks to continue his career with the Patriots. Talk about greed! He and his wife have a net worth around five hundred million dollars, but that is still not enough. In the Philadelphia Eagles, we may be looking at a real dynasty.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Re Tom Brady, I told anyone who would listen that after last year’s Super Bowl (possibly the greatest pro football game of all time) that he should have retired then and there. Go out on top, so to speak.

        • When the Philadelphia guy did the “Von Miller” play on Brady we know his
          days of stepping up into the pocket and getting Amendola are over. That trick play where Brady was supposed to catch the pass he should have needed a quad cane. He looked 40. Brady is slower inside the pocket. All his receivers are older and offensive linemen. Even Belichik is running out of options in red zone. What if the Patriots signed .. to replace Hoyer SF ineffective signal caller .. with another ineffective SF signal caller .. Kaepernick to back-up Brady. It would be good for television ratings. On his first play, replacing brady for a set of downs hand injury,
          Kaepernick scrambles, dodges a couple guys and heads up the middle of the field gaining 20 yards where the safeties are going to level him, legally, no targeting, but, but, Kaepernick takes a knee .. to be continued ..

          • Constaninos says

            Hi Cy,
            That’s a funny post. “Kaepernick takes a knee…” Brady has proven that he is overrated- and Belichick is no genius. With Carson Wentz coming back next year, the Eagles have the making of a real dynasty. By the way, a dynasty is not three championships in four years. Four in four is. The greatest athlete of all time- Bill Russell! He led his high school to two state championships, his college team to two national championships, five time MVP awards, eight straight NBA Championships, and eleven in thirteen years. That’s a true winner.

            • Hey Constaninos,
              We may be jumping a bit too far ahead here with four in a row Eagle dynasty after a fact check. Carson Wentz two year pro career does have that 60% + completion rating but 21 interceptions 13 fumbles and overall for career thus far 88.7 QB rating. Super Bowl experience Foles has that. Eagles have some players. But weren’t they the team back in the 40’s Redskins beat in NFL Championship 73-0 or 72? This is all sports talk now well let me toss in there Niner “Faithful” look’n to kick up some sod!

  7. Michael Bauman says

    Bob, while I understand the axiom that only UGLY can defeat UGLY, it is ultimately false. The Cross teaches us that.

    If more people were willing to ascend the Cross, there might be less UGLY. But even if not, it is the only way in which evil is defeated.

    “Be careful how you choose your enemy, for you will come to resemble him. The moment you adapt your enemy’s methods your enemy has won. The rest is suffering and historical opera. ” — Michael Ventura

    • Mr. Bauman, everything you said is true, but there is nearly nothing Holy in that D.C. den of thieves, and demons. It is beyond repair, all that can be done, at this point, is to hold the barbarian heathens, and demons, from completely busting down our gates.

      I will throw dirt, such as Trump, at dirt,the swamp. I will protect my family by any means at my disposal. I will pray, all the while, to do my Lord’s Will, and hold my ground until I perish, or, until He who willfully put himself on the cross for our salvation returns. It’s all but a waiting game for us brother. I can only hope, I am prepared for the only Judge that matters. “a time to love and a time to hate, a time of war, and a time of peace”-Ecclesiastes 3:8

      “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”-Matthew 16:18

      • George Michalopulos says

        Agreed. When institutions ossify and degenerate into rackets (much like our beloved “Swamp”) the Lord allows two options: 1) repentance or 2) oblivion. Both happen because of God’s mercy. As to how they are effected, God uses mysterious and often bewildering means.

    • Constaninos says

      Hi Michael.
      It’s like Ben Hur. I forget the woman’s name , but she said to Judah Ben Hur,” you have become Mesala!”

  8. Any thoughts about linking Super Sunday with football instead of the Resurrection? Isn’t Pascha the real Super Sunday?

  9. Michael Bauman says

    Misha, since I witnessed many of the events I describe and know the people involved quite well I can say while there was both enablement and willdul blindness to some degree in all three cases I am confident the situations were as I describe and I am being charitable to the men involved.

    It is impossible to correct the marriage situation with more law.

    Good law is the result of a societal consensus. The more that consensus breaks down the less effecacios law is. I have seen the societal consensus break down in my life. In the process law has gone crazy. The effort to fix the breakdown with more law has only exacerbated the break down. The result is law has become the opposite of what it is intended to br. It punishes those who have some degree of virtue and protects those who do not. Instead of being connective tissue to form and support the body politic, it attacks it. We have an advanced case of societal lupus. Not only does the center not hold we have no center.

    In our case the law codifies the tryanny of hedonism. In nihilist terms the law is used to control the herd so the ubermenschen can pursue their will to power. That includes attacking marriage. It is no accident that the more predetory of the pair usually walks away the victor.

    It is impossible to reform the law without the reformation of ourselves first. We have to have it written on our hearts.

    • The serious problems with men take care of themselves through the legal system rather than he said/she said. If the wife wants to leave, custody should go to the father. Of course, if he is found unfit by clear and convincing evidence, or convicted of something type of abuse in criminal court, beyond a reasonable doubt, then that is another matter.

      Generally then, the kids should go to foster care. The reason being that a single parent home headed by a woman is always a situation of unfitness, by definition. If the man headed the family, arranged for daycare and was payed child support, that might be ok since we assume he would find another spouse eventually and the structure the man provides is the sine qua non of the family.

      But the evidence of what comes out of single parent family homes headed by a female is so overwhelmingly negative that all means to avoid that situation should be on the table.

      It is eminently fixable. It’s just no one has the cajones to do it and weather the temporary societal trauma that would result from adjusting to a new paradigm. But once everyone knew that the law would side with the abandoned husband, absent his conviction, and that the law simply would not allow families to be headed by single women, foster care being preferable, everyone would modify their behavior accordingly. Marriages would be much more stable and the world would, in general, be a better place to that extent.

      Yet, I do not expect it. America is governed by beta males and feminists and deserves to follow its evil trajectory right to the bitter self-destructive end.

      So be it. Social salvation in this regard is unthinkable without a massive revival of traditional, patriarchal Christianity. No other populace would institute such a thing.

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        And what about widows and their children?

        Children of single mothers should be placed into foster care!

        Words fail.

        Are you a patriarch of a large family? I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything about that. Forgive me if I’ve missed it. What are your bona fides?

        • Tim,

          My rule of thumb has been that I would not wed until I could afford to support a wife and at least one child. Given my convictions, I’m sure that is wise.

          As to the rest of it, I stand by every word. A single female is by definition unfit. There may be exceptions here and there in extraordinary circumstances given joint custody with the single female’s parents (including a father/grandfather of age to be able to mind the store). However, that is my prescription – period.

          The desperate plight of widows and orphans has been recognized since time immemorial. I’m saying nothing less nor more.

          • Tim R. Mortiss says

            One can never “afford” it. When my wife and I got married at 19, I took a swing
            shift job and went to college in the morning. Three kids by the time I was 22- started law school with those three; had two more by age 28.
            Pretty hard to starve in this country: there’s always enough chicken and hamburger. We figure we went through a few boxcar loads of both.

            We always managed to get by. We had three kids in college by the time we were 40, and the fifth and last graduated when we were 52, by which time we had 7 grandchildren.

            A couple of years after that, I got where I could “afford it”. But by then, everybody was grown and gone! Most of our friends who waited upon marriage and then children until they could “afford it” will never see grandchildren, or at least grown-up ones. Six of our 12 grandchildren are adults.

            It never “pencils out”; it’s not about that, not at all.

            • George Michalopulos says

              TimR, I completely agree with you. You and your wife had the right idea. I imagine that as young newlyweds you were a Godly couple. I lament how many people of our generation bought into the consumerist, secular nonsense that had been peddled by Wall Street and Madison Avenue and ruined the lives of so many (and destroyed not a few marriages).

              I actually have some hope for the future in that I see many younger couples who are in Orthodoxy doing things right and not buying into the hype. I’m not simply talking about wives who wear headscarves or who home-school their children but who (by all other appearances at least) lead pious lives. They have a family prayer-rule, study the lives of the saints, go on pilgrimage to various monasteries, etc. If you want a reason as to why the GOA is crumbling, just re-read that interview with Mike Psaros: it is not through repentance that the GOA will be saved but instead will be restored because of “turn-around artists” who are going to be calling the shots. (Maybe the next few parishes will be named in honor of St Herman Cain and St Jack Welch. Perhaps Carl Icahn can donate a side-chapel.)

              These young people who have discovered Holy Orthodoxy are infinitely richer than my own generation. Without a doubt. If nothing else, they see through the charade that is American consumerism/materialism/secularism. On that basis alone, they are miles ahead of me when I was their age.

              • Hi Brother George,
                I am mystified by your optimism and positive thinking. I picked up a book by Frank Tarkenton called The Power of Failure. What caught my eye was one chapter called The Perils of Positive Thinking. Over forty years ago, I remember talking to a man with a net worth in excess of $100,000,000. He told me nothing will get a businessman in more trouble than positive thinking.
                Now I think one of President Trump’s problems is that he is a disciple of the late Norman Vincent People- author of the self help book The Power of Positive Thinking. In Fran Tarkenton’s book he also calls positive thinking “Magical Thinking.” It’s all the same nonsense as the Law of Attraction.
                In any event, President Trump denies reality and sees the world as he wants it to be, not the way it really is. That;s why he lies so much. He doesn’t face reality.
                Personally, I prefer pessimism and negative thinking. It’s just more realistic. I’ve been attending the same Orthodox Church for eleven years. In that time, the church has lost many members. There are many members of the Parish Council who only attend the Divine Liturgy sporadically. In my eleven years, I have found many of the members to be much more unfriendly than people I meet every day. This is an OCA parish. I think we average about twenty five people in attendance on a good Sunday – about the same as eleven years ago. These people are some of the most dour, unfriendly folks I have ever met. If a guest or a young person comes into church, it is a one time occurrence. I am very pessimistic about the future of Orthodoxy in our country. There will come a time in our country when people who identify as Christian will be a distinct minority. We Orthodox are supposed to have the true faith. Why is there no zeal to spread Orthodoxy? When seekers come into many if not most Orthodox Churches, they are met with coldness and indifference for the most part. To me, it’s sad, tragic and true. To paraphrase Jesus, ” The very people you say have no grace at all will get into the kingdom of heaven before you.”(not you personally. I mean Orthodoxy in general)

                • Billy Jack Sunday says


                  I have to agree

                  Go to an Orthodox Church located in America (in any juristiction – IMO) and you will find some of the coldest churches around.

                  This was also especially noticed by my woman and troubled her greatly.

                  The Orthodox Church here truly is filled with “The Frozen Chosen”

                  Probably the only church in America that you would be received with less enthusiasm would be an AME church – pending you showed up in blackface

                  • Constaninos says

                    Hi Billy Jack,
                    I have never attended an AME service, but my experiences with black people have been both positive and extremely rewarding.(not to mention the fact I love African American and Hispanic women They’re the best!!!!)

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Dourness and lack of hospitality seems to be the case in many places, God forgive us. But, just out of curiosity what part of the U.S. do you live Constaninos and BJS?

                  Protestants are taught to “be happy” BTW and “love bombing” can also be a tactic. In the end, it does not fit with the Cross very well. The Church is not necessarily a warm and fuzzy place.

                  Unrepentant sin will drag upon folks and in the Orthodox Church it will drag even more.

                  The cure for all these ills is the same: Repent, pray, give alms with a merciful heart, thank God for all things in the Eucharist and in everyday life. If you want demonstrations of the other the opposite of what you say go to Journey to Orthodoxy.

                  I came to the Church because of Jesus Christ. I was forty years in the desert before I was led home. My family and I faced lack of hospitality, hostility and a horribly dysfunctional priest. Fortunately, there was another parish in town but even there, I faced challenges to simply being there. I was there five years before one of the founding families noticed and said hello. I did not know what to do and handled it badly. I have begun to learn that I cannot fix anything at all. God can and does heal me. The more time I spend trying to figure out how and what to fix, the less healthy I become.

                  But, I am the kind of person who mostly wants to be left alone. My wife is too, but she is quite gregarious. She simply ignores many stop signs and overwhelms people with her genuine kindness. It is personal, one-on-one and has nothing to do with some generic fellowship (which is a really bad translation that does lead toward heresy).

                  I also read a book of conversion stories as I was coming into the Church. One of them was written by this non-Greek woman who went to a Greek parish. Her presence there was disturbing to the natives. At one point one of the GREEKS literally chased her around the building with a carving knife.

                  The lady stayed anyway and was received in that parish. Don’t know if she is still in the Church though. Still, remembering that story helped me face the trials of my first 8 years in the Church.

                  Certainly we can improve and need to but it is not as simple as being more welcoming.

                  I have stopped encouraging people to join. If I have to encourage them, they are unlikely to stick. Something or someone will arise that will be more important to them than communion with Jesus Christ through repentance and forgiveness. People come with their own agendas and expectations all of which have to be surrendered as we grow in Christ. Some folks are not willing or able to surrender them.

                  I have heard from many former Protestants that they miss the “fellowship”. Frankly, I don’t know what to say to that because the communion in the Church is far deeper and more lasting than any “fellowship” I have seen elsewhere. Like the Methodist slogan “Open Minds, Open Hearts”. Their minds are so open that all their brains fall out and their hearts so open their conviction evaporates. There is an element of the “fellowship” objection that is simply an unwillingness to accept hierarchy.

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says

                    I don’t think just being welcoming and friendly carries many spiritual risks. As for my GOA church, it does a pretty good job on that score; as good as most places I’ve been.

            • I have proposed to two women in my life. Neither worked out. That does not mean that I’m shy about the prospect.

              However, as time goes by, the realities change. The pool on both sides of the gender division become more cautious with age regarding economic security. The last woman I dated (no we never consumated it, so to speak) was actually a year older than I. I’m pretty sure money was a factor in the lack of progress in our relationship.

              But, I’m working non-stop on the money thing so there is hope on the horizon, to the extent that it’s a question. But really, I’m dispassionate about it, being 50 years old and having sown my oats in my younger years before joining the Church. I am quite open to it, but it does not vex me in the least; and that is the right attitude.

              • Gail Sheppard says

                Misha, if you find the right girl, money won’t matter and your “oats” will come back to you. 50 is not that old. – Just don’t launch into your theology on the first date. You’ll scare her off!

                • Joseph Lipper says

                  Gail, I hope you don’t really mean a “girl”.

                  • Gail Sheppard says

                    Well, a “girl” who is age appropriate, although he and I would probably disagree on what that is! For some reason, I just really want Misha to find love.

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      Gail, a good woman, a really good woman, would teach him a lot.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Indeed. Clearly, and our dear sister Gail is a good woman.

                    • She would be obedient and submissive or it would never get off the ground. Talking to me about that stuff is like arguing with a brick wall. In any romantic relationship, alpha is the one who is most dispassionate.

                      That will always be me.

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      The point of a man searching for a wife is to find one. When he does, he finds also, perhaps to his surprise, that he himself in turn has been sought.
                      From this realization much joy follows.

                      But not finding a wife despite a search is somewhat pointless. Best to find a woman to wed while one is still of any use to a woman at all.

                      All this talk here of what a man is and what he is not! One thing a man does is when he goes looking for a woman, he finds one.

                • Gail,

                  I’m not one to bring up theology in social situations, and obviously she would have to be traditional Orthodox in any case since that whole change of mindset from Western thinking is not compatible with the romantic process. Too much at once. It’s a prerequisite to consideration.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Misha, here is what worked for me: Pray to the Theotokos for a Godly woman. Then be open to perceiving who she brings into your life. She may come from a totally unexpected place. Mine was a thrice married American Indian Methodist. She loves the Church. She knows Jesus much better than I do. The American Indian part is what made her so open to the Church. Tradition, reverence a real understanding of God with us.

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      Oh BTW Misha she early on told me that she wanted me to be the head of the house. She has honered that in our marriage. Of course then I have to suck it up and actually be head. Jesus has also honered our commitment to Him.

                    • Michael,

                      That’s sweet that you have her permission to be a man.

                  • Gail Sheppard says

                    Misha, she may not have to be Orthodox when you meet her.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      Misha, you cannot take a woman by force. You have to get her to acquiesce, as she is giving up her power in deference to you. She will only defer to you if you give her that to which she is entitled, as Michael was explaining. You try to be the “man,” without loving her completely and putting her needs up there with your own, she will rebel and you’ll never have the opportunity to be the “man” again! A resentful woman is every man’s worse nightmare. But if you find the right woman and you REALLY love her she can bring all kind of blessings to you.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Misha, please listen to Gail. The blessings that can accrue to a man who treats the woman given to him by God as she deserves to be treated are incalculable.

                    • M. Stankovich says


                      This is an uncalled for rudeness certainly unjustified, and particularly coming from you. Members of this forum are extending themselves much further than seems justified, only to be scorned by you. Let’s be frank: your thinking is not compatible with the romantic process, and I dare say that Michael Bauman continuously demonstrates two very “manly” traits: he loves his wife even as himself, and he is a provider for her needs. Based on these core criteria alone, you demonstrably remain a beta, bro’, and have no business mocking anyone whom you should respect as a worthy teacher.

                    • Gail,

                      Actually, under the old law, marriage was consent and a husband could not be prosecuted for “raping” his wife. That was when the law acknowledged the rights of a husband though.

                      I seldom give an inch. And I’m right. The problem has nothing to do with verbal or other arrangements between men and women. The problem is that the rights of men in a Christian hierarchy over women have been abolished and are now punished instead of acknowledged as God given.

                      That is the precise locus of The Problem.

                      I’m not at all interested in a modern American marriage where the man is not head and master of the family by law. That is not marriage, it is dating with child support, nothing more.

                      I’m not interested in bantering with people, male or female over this stuff, really. It’s boring. The game is in making things happen by getting out there among the Antifa, Naral and NOW demonstrators (and the CAIR demonstrators, when they have a bone to pick) and making it plain that there is a contingent here in America which will take their rights by force if need be, only acknowledging the government as referee when it is overwhelming, or to our advantage.

            • The bride white of hair
              Is stooped over her cane
              Her footsteps, uncertain, need guiding
              While down the opposite church isle
              With that one toothless smile
              The bridegroom in wheelchair comes riding

              Now who is this elderly couple thus wed?
              You’ll find when you’ve closely explored it
              That here is that rare…
              …most conservative pair
              Who waited ’til they could afford it.

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                Love it!

              • Ah, but Death, where is thy sting?

                This life is, at best, a vestibule to the next. St. Paul was ambiguous about the whole matter of matrimony, if you recall.

                • That was an old poem I heard once, and I thought it was appropriate (and funny, too). Not saying you are or should be ready for marriage, but when you’re ready, you’re ready. Tim is right. Money is of little use, and a degree of poverty (as my wife and I shared in our early years) can help, rather than hinder, the bond when the struggle is shared together unselfishly. Thirty five years later, we have no regrets at all.

                  I do recall Paul’s words. I would use the word ambivalent rather than ambiguous. Almost all the Church Fathers had this ambivalence about marriage and child-bearing (which for them were almost one and the same). On the one hand, it is a Great Mystery, a real participation in the image of Christ and the Church, and a kind of martyrdom. On the other hand, those who marry cannot avoid (nor, in a sense, should they avoid) the pleasures of the flesh and the cares of this life. And childbearing in and of itself, as wondrous and beautiful as it is, is a propagation of death in that it only participates in creating more persons who are subject to death and in need of redemption – or as Christ said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh” and must be born from above.

                  I think most people have little grasp of this ambivalence. As a result, their view of marriage is either unrealistically exalted or denigrated as being somehow a ‘bad’ thing. Paul commanded that marriage be held in honor by all, but he also warned of its pitfalls. It seems to me that the Fathers, read rightly, mirror Paul exactly, albeit with different emphasis for the different contexts in which they wrote. Their words are often misunderstood (both ways) because we lack an understanding of their sense of their ambivalence toward marriage.

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says

                    And you can’t even be married without “ambivalence” now and then about the state, either! It’s a hard row to hoe sometimes, especially in those early years when the bank account is running dry again.

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      When my late wife and I were courting, we asked married couples about the early years of their marriage and difficulties. When we realized that the longer one was married, the longer the first # of years that were difficult became. At that point we stopped asking.

                    • But a marriage is a man ruling over a wife and children in a home. That is one essential aspect of a Christian marriage – rule. Now it is illegal.

                      I would be happy if the state stayed out of it, personally. If domestic matters were tried in church courts it would be according to Закон Божий, the Law of God. Men don’t need any help from the government to keep order. We’re equipped by nature to that end. We just need the government to stay the h*ll out of the way.


                      Ancient Faith had a response by Fr. Lawrence Farley to the issue on Public Orthodoxy. I commented only in partial agreement with Fr. Lawrence:

                      I am at a loss as to why we need to posit even an “ontological equality” to the respective genders. That, I think, may be the real disconnect. Man and woman were never created to be equal in any way. Rather woman’s creation was in itself a creation of a worthy helper, not an “ontological equal” for man. When a fall from grace interfered with her unequal God-given assistance, the husband was placed in a position of rule over the wife. But “equality” was never part of the picture – not for a second. While it is true that there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, etc., this has nothing whatsoever to do with hierarchical equality or any other sort of “equality”. The passage simply means that a human is a human is a human, all in need of the same salvation in Christ.

                      * * *

                      It’s not rocket science. If you take a man and a woman, each in the same average percentile as to height and weight for their respective genders, the male will be stronger by half again in terms of upper body strength, will be able to run substantially faster due to the fact that our hips are made for movement rather than childbirth, and the male will be capable of enduring more maltreatment and deprivation than the female; i.e., to say, he is tougher, less delicate than the “weaker vessel”. Endless footage of firefighter tryouts and the experience of the Israeli military just serve to confirm what everyone knows:

                      Men and women are not equal in any way, they are apples and oranges EXCEPT . . . when it comes to the narrow issue of dispassionate intelligence. But even there, men are more emotionally aggressive and therefore more decisive and less subject to corruption by special pleading.

                      And that is why men were meant to rule, women were not, because God made us this way.

                    • Misha,

                      Tim was referring to the “state” of marriage, not the state in a governmental sense. And Fr. Lawrence’s words are right on the mark. Ontological equality and modern egalitarian notions of equality are not to be confused.

                      In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.

                      You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      It seems to me you missed my point above entirely. You are speaking with such authority, apparently derived from the natural order bestowed by the Creation itself, where men are intended to rule. Now, by attempting to introduce this dynamic of “decisiveness” and stability in the face of “special pleadings” vis a vis had the serpent only tempted the stable, stead Adam, he would have withstood the temptation, you contradict the Holy Fathers. Sts. Gregory Palamas, Ephraim the Syrian, and Symeon the New Theologian come to mind in writing that the devil purposely confronted Eve as the greater challenge.

                      Lastly, you also seem to forget that the primary “role” of Adam outside the garden is described as earning what was so freely provided in the angelic life of the garden; and not simply earning, but “by the sweat of your brow you will eat your food” until you return to the ground from which you were taken (cf. Gen. 3:17ff). This was my point of your hypocrisy in mocking Michael Bauman. However you ignorantly choose to describe the physiology of a woman to meet criteria to serve you, Scott, it was not in the Divine order for any woman to support and sustain you while you entertain yourself doing whatever it is that you do during business hours. Until there is a major shift in your “lex orandi,” you remain a beta male who merely blows smoke and antagonizes.

                    • “Until there is a major shift in your ‘lex orandi,’ you remain a beta male who merely blows smoke and antagonizes.”

                      Not a smoker, but always happy to antagonize.

              • Gail Sheppard says

                Then there is that saying, “Life is what happens to you when you’re making other plans.”

  10. Joseph Lipper says

    Constaninos, may God reward you for your perseverance. I have had similar experiences also. I would leave work with fun and happy people and then go to Church filled with angry and bitter people. All I can say is that Satan attacks the Church, and we need to pray. God help us all!

    • Hi Brother Joseph,
      I appreciate your kind remarks. Also, I have a great deal of respect for you. There are some things that puzzle. One is our Matushka misses church for months at a time. She once complained of being burned out. A former Matushka at our church has to be one of the most unfriendly people I have ever met in my entire life. I have never once seen her reach out to a new face. She has said hello to me probably three times in eleven years. And I’ve had to be the first one to say hello. Do I take it personally? Not at all. I never try to read another person’s mind. Do I try to understand her? No. Why would I care what an eighty year old woman thinks? Personally, I really don’t care what anyone thinks.
      I don’t mean all the people are unfriendly. I have some very dear friends at the church. As far as hospitality is concerned, forget about it. There is no hospitality. It just surprises and disappoints me. If African Americans went to our church, they would feel extremely uncomfortable. These things ought not to be!

      • Joseph Lipper says

        Constaninos, I really value your comments on this blog, and again I also appreciate George’s willingness to keep this blog going and post most of what people want to share and vent and dialogue about. I don’t know how George manages to do it, but he does.

  11. Michael Bauman says

    Misha, God bless you my brother. You do realize that my wife carried out the Biblical command to submit to her husband? Why mock that? She submits despite the fact she has a history of physical and sexual abuse at the hands of men. She did it originally after knowing me for less than three months. God has blessed our marriage. He placed my wife under my charge to love her and offer her back to Him in Thanksgiving; to protect her and guide her. That is the Sacrament of marriage. Her bold and willing submission in complete trust allows me to be a man indeed calls God’s grace, mercy and guidance through me. Under God, we sanctify each other as man and woman should. It is a miracle of actual grace not an ideological construct.

    May God bless you with such a holy woman so that you may become the man you are and give life to the woman He blesses you with. Forgive me for tempting you.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Michael, your testimony is profound.

    • Michael,

      I’ve heard so much beta-speak that I don’t take it at all seriously anymore. Different worlds, different state of mind. Nothing to say to it.

      Christian marriage is essentially outlawed in America. It fell with the striking down of “head and master” ordinances in the states [see Kirchberg v. Feenstra 450 U.S. 455 (1981) – and the widespread recognition of “domestic violence” as a problem.

      “The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) defines domestic violence as ‘a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.'” –

      In contradistinction, what God has said is this:

      Genesis 3:16 :

      “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”

      It’s all about power. That’s what you don’t seem to be able to comprehend. Power is not about what two people agree to. Power is about what one person can do that the other can’t do a damn thing about.