The Book of Matt

shepherd-2I believe it was Chesterton who said “when men stop believing in God, they start believing in anything” or something to that effect. I’m old enough to not worry too much about it. I’ve seen plenty of false religions collapse. Don’t get me wrong, it’s never pretty but yet they always do.

Outside of a few valid observations, the psychoanalytic religion postulated by Sigmund Freud has been rendered a joke, maybe a step up or so from phrenology. Marxism preached equality, however the violence that was necessary to make Utopia come about quickly became known, at least to a few heretics like Malcolm Muggeridge, Arthur Koestler, and George Orwell. It’s demise has resulted in the destruction of nations. The implosion of Keynesianism likewise has had disastrous effects: the Housing Bubble could not have happened but for this illegitimate pseudo-science. Secularism, modern liberalism/progressivism, materialism, and even Darwinism: false religions revealed by false prophets every single last one of them. It’s inevitable –they will be destroyed in due time.

A subset of these false religions is homosexualism, or what some critics call Homosexuality, Inc. Like Trayvon MartinTM, it needs a narrative: a prophet, a savior-figure, a devil, and a magisterium. Simple belief in a god is not enough however. A physical avatar is needed. The Church of Homosexuality found one in the winsome guise of Matthew Shepard. Thanks to the Gay Catechism, we know the rough outlines of Matt’s life: a handsome young gay man, loving mother, and a horrible death at the hands of Homophobic Red-staters Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, who had just handled some snakes at church. While on their way to go and vote for Sarah Palin, they ran into young Matt who was simply frolicking on the plains of Wyoming picking daisies. Because of their sinfulness, they couldn’t stand his beatific appearance, so they turned on him, pistol-whipped him and splayed his body on a wooden fence out in the middle of nowhere. He was found barely alive a day later and was taken to the hospital but by then it was too late.

shepherd-3According to the Gay Catechism, Matt was too good for our sordid planet, wanting nothing more to love in the way that God intended him to love. (Because, you know, God doesn’t make mistakes.) Like Jesus, his death was redemptive. A new gospel was preached in the guise of The Laramie Project, a passion play which has been staged in high schools all over the nation, revealing an Amerikkka that was intolerant and must be saved from itself. Innocent children in schools were told to get over their parents’ homophobia. There has been at least one documentary as well. Matthew Shepard, Inc has become a new religion and his Blessed Mother has reproved bigots (formerly known as “Christians”) on venues such as Katie Couric, Oprah, and every other chat-show watched by bored housewives who have nothing better to do than cluck “tsk-tsk” while looking down their noses at their social inferiors.

For those of us who live in the real world, we had a feeling that this was all bullshit from the get-go. And so it was.

sheperd-crossThanks to Stephen Jiminez, a heretic in the Church of Homosexuality, we are now beginning to learn the truth. In his soon-to-be-released The Book of Matt, we learn that Matt Shepard was anything but a sweet, innocent youth. The late Mr Shepard was a drug dealer and user –specifically methamphetamine, one of the worst street-drugs out there. His two killers were likewise meth dealers and users. One of his assailants (Aaron McKinney) was in fact bisexual himself and had been a part-time lover of Shepard. What we now know is that the altercation between Shepard and McKinney was the result of a drug deal gone bad. Thanks to the meth, McKinney had gone five days without sleep and was literally out of control. According to Jiminez, Shepard had gotten hold of a large cash of meth and refused to give it up to the two other young men. This was more Breaking Bad than Brother Sun, Sister Moon.

The Church of course will try to hide the truth of the matter. Shepard’s mother has come out with an encyclical threatening excommunication to all who believe this grievous heresy. An anathema hurled preemptively by a grieving mother may actually do the trick given our PC-induced paralysis.

In fairness to Shepard he shouldn’t have gotten killed. No one deserves to die, especially in the manner in which McKinney and Henderson murdered him. But he wasn’t a Christ-figure. And the wooden fence in which they found his splayed body isn’t a Cross. He was a meth-dealer and his murder was the result of a drug deal gone bad. We shouldn’t make it more than what it was.

Will the truth collapse the Cult of Homsexuality, Inc? I doubt it, but it is definitely another nail in the coffin of yet another false religion. No doubt other false religions remain and yet others will be dreamed up. But in the end, they will all end up on the ash-heap.

Pray for Matt Shepard’s soul. Pray for his grieving family. That goes without question. But don’t believe in false gospels either. Otherwise, you’ll be misled.


  1. Gail Sheppard says

    “Brother Sun, Sister Moon?!” I haven’t thought of that movie in years. It made such an impression on me. I LOVED that movie! I especially like the part where he was sitting uncomfortably in the front of the Church, because he felt like he belonged in the back. At least I think that was a scene from the movie, wasn’t it? It has been awhile. I wonder if I watched it now if it would make me feel the same way. – Sorry, George. I got distracted.

    • George Michalopulos says

      No distraction at all, Gail.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        I rented Brother Sun, Sister Moon from Amazon last night and watched it again. I still love it! – I think God gives you the grace of amnesia to get through the grieving process, especially if you’re a parent. You won’t remember the drugs or the less than stellar life your son lived. You will remember whatever was good and special about him and hold on to that. For a mother, the death of an adult son is also the loss of the baby she carried, the infant she fed, the toddler she taught to walk . . . You lose every moment of your son’s life. It is profound and painful. The grief can be unbearable at times; like swallowing shattered glass. – Matt’s “Blessed Mother” is just trying to put the pieces of her son’s story together in a way that makes sense to her. Try not to be too hard on her for that. Selective memory is part of the special kind of hell we go through to get through the day. It is really our secularized media who is to blame. They are using this woman’s grief to support their own agenda. Blame them.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Agreed. The problem is that in order to make some sense of her son’s senseless murder, she has chosen to speak out and indict people as bigots when they are merely Christians who adhere to traditional morality. And who would never for a million years actually go about and murder someone. By entering the public arena, she opens herself up for criticism. This has happened to many other prominent people. Knocking a mountebank off his pedestal is usually a good thing, and even when a man is essentially good, there’s nothing wrong with calling him a fink every now and then. It keeps him humble.

  2. Trudge at SmartVote says


    I think at the ground of the false “gospels” we are taken in by is the notion that has taken hold among modern Christians, even the Orthodox, that “science” has displaced revealed religion as the reliable basis for knowledge for modern people. Therefore in this confusion the modern structure of ecclesiastical education is the academic seminary which attempts to strike a “balance” between the preeminence of the modern scientific enterprise and the Spiritual Truth of the nature of the created universe and the Creator revealed to us in the Scriptures through the prophets and Apostles and the Christ himself, and contemplated by the Holy Fathers in the struggle between this revelation and the intellectual fads of their day.

    As an antidote to this unfortunate situation is a selection from Basil the Great’s sermon on the creation narrative in Genesis, taken from Homily I of The Hexaemeron. The selection I hope will stir us up to take hold anew of the beauties of what the Scriptures and the Fathers have to teach us, and also to show us what is possible in a Orthodox sermon.

    In this selection St. Basil addresses the qualifications of Moses as a man of scientific knowledge and as man God could speak to directly. He also addresses that the enterprise of science left to itself is “vanity,” an enterprise destined to reach only foolish and ignorant conclusions. This introductory sermon also demonstrates that the basic dogma of scientific materialism in the theory of Evolution was present in Basil’s day.

    He also indicates the kind of spiritual preparation we need in order to understand the creation narrative.

    St. Basil’s works online:

    The whole early Church Fathers online:

    Life of Basil the Great:

    Homily I.

    In the Beginning God made the Heaven and the Earth.

    1. It is right that any one beginning to narrate the formation of the world should begin with the good order which reigns in visible things. I am about to speak of the creation of heaven and earth, which was not spontaneous, as some have imagined, but drew its origin from God. What ear is worthy to hear such a tale? How earnestly the soul should prepare itself to receive such high lessons! How pure it should be from carnal affections, how unclouded by worldly disquietudes, how active and ardent in its researches, how eager to find in its surroundings an idea of God which may be worthy of Him!

    But before weighing the justice of these remarks, before examining all the sense contained in these few words, let us see who addresses them to us. Because, if the weakness of our intelligence does not allow us to penetrate the depth of the thoughts of the writer, yet we shall be involuntarily drawn to give faith to his words by the force of his authority. Now it is Moses who has composed this history; Moses, who, when still at the breast, is described as exceeding fair; Moses, whom the daughter of Pharaoh adopted; who received from her a royal education, and who had for his teachers the wise men of Egypt; Moses, who disdained the pomp of royalty, and, to share the humble condition of his compatriots, preferred to be persecuted with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting delights of sin; Moses, who received from nature such a love of justice that, even before the leadership of the people of God was committed to him, he was impelled, by a natural horror of evil, to pursue malefactors even to the point of punishing them by death; Moses, who, banished by those whose benefactor he had been, hastened to escape from the tumults of Egypt and took refuge in Ethiopia, living there far from former pursuits, and passing forty years in the contemplation of nature; Moses, finally, who, at the age of eighty, saw God, as far as it is possible for man to see Him; or rather as it had not previously been granted to man to see Him, according to the testimony of God Himself, “If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house, with him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently and not in dark speeches.” It is this man, whom God judged worthy to behold Him, face to face, like the angels, who imparts to us what he has learnt from God. Let us listen then to these words of truth written without the help of the “enticing words of man’s wisdom” by the dictation of the Holy Spirit; words destined to produce not the applause of those who hear them, but the salvation of those who are instructed by them.

    2. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” I stop struck with admiration at this thought. What shall I first say? Where shall I begin my story? Shall I show forth the vanity of the Gentiles? Shall I exalt the truth of our faith? The philosophers of Greece have made much ado to explain nature, and not one of their systems has remained firm and unshaken, each being overturned by its successor. It is vain to refute them; they are sufficient in themselves to destroy one another. Those who were too ignorant to rise to a knowledge of a God, could not allow that an intelligent cause presided at the birth of the Universe; a primary error that involved them in sad consequences. Some had recourse to material principles and attributed the origin of the Universe to the elements of the world. Others imagined that atoms, and indivisible bodies, molecules and ducts, form, by their union, the nature of the visible world. Atoms reuniting or separating, produce births and deaths and the most durable bodies only owe their consistency to the strength of their mutual adhesion: a true spider’s web woven by these writers who give to heaven, to earth, and to sea so weak an origin and so little consistency! It is because they knew not how to say “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Deceived by their inherent atheism it appeared to them that nothing governed or ruled the universe, and that was all was given up to chance. To guard us against this error the writer on the creation, from the very first words, enlightens our understanding with the name of God; “In the beginning God created.” What a glorious order! He first establishes a beginning, so that it might not be supposed that the world never had a beginning. Then he adds “Created” to show that which was made was a very small part of the power of the Creator. In the same way that the potter, after having made with equal pains a great number of vessels, has not exhausted either his art or his talent; thus the Maker of the Universe, whose creative power, far from being bounded by one world, could extend to the infinite, needed only the impulse of His will to bring the immensities of the visible world into being. If then the world has a beginning, and if it has been created, enquire who gave it this beginning, and who was the Creator: or rather, in the fear that human reasonings may make you wander from the truth, Moses has anticipated enquiry by engraving in our hearts, as a seal and a safeguard, the awful name of God: “In the beginning God created”—It is He, beneficent Nature, Goodness without measure, a worthy object of love for all beings endowed with reason, the beauty the most to be desired, the origin of all that exists, the source of life, intellectual light, impenetrable wisdom, it is He who “in the beginning created heaven and earth.”

    3. Do not then imagine, O man! that the visible world is without a beginning; and because the celestial bodies move in a circular course, and it is difficult for our senses to define the point where the circle begins, do not believe that bodies impelled by a circular movement are, from their nature, without a beginning. Without doubt the circle (I mean the plane figure described by a single line) is beyond our perception, and it is impossible for us to find out where it begins or where it ends; but we ought not on this account to believe it to be without a beginning. Although we are not sensible of it, it really begins at some point where the draughtsman has begun to draw it at a certain radius from the centre. Thus seeing that figures which move in a circle always return upon themselves, without for a single instant interrupting the regularity of their course, do not vainly imagine to yourselves that the world has neither beginning nor end. “For the fashion of this world passeth away”and “Heaven and earth shall pass away.” The dogmas of the end, and of the renewing of the world, are announced beforehand in these short words put at the head of the inspired history. “In the beginning God made.” That which was begun in time is condemned to come to an end in time. If there has been a beginning do not doubt of the end. Of what use then are geometry—the calculations of arithmetic—the study of solids and far-famed astronomy, this laborious vanity, if those who pursue them imagine that this visible world is co-eternal with the Creator of all things, with God Himself; if they attribute to this limited world, which has a material body, the same glory as to the incomprehensible and invisible nature; if they cannot conceive that a whole, of which the parts are subject to corruption and change, must of necessity end by itself submitting to the fate of its parts? But they have become “vain in their imaginations and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.”Some have affirmed that heaven co-exists with God from all eternity;others that it is God Himself without beginning or end, and the cause of the particular arrangement of all things.

    4. One day, doubtless, their terrible condemnation will be the greater for all this worldly wisdom, since, seeing so clearly into vain sciences, they have wilfully shut their eyes to the knowledge of the truth. These men who measure the distances of the stars and describe them, both those of the North, always shining brilliantly in our view, and those of the southern pole visible to the inhabitants of the South, but unknown to us; who divide the Northern zone and the circle of the Zodiac into an infinity of parts, who observe with exactitude the course of the stars, their fixed places, their declensions, their return and the time that each takes to make its revolution; these men, I say, have discovered all except one thing: the fact that God is the Creator of the universe, and the just Judge who rewards all the actions of life according to their merit. They have not known how to raise themselves to the idea of the consummation of all things, the consequence of the doctrine of judgment, and to see that the world must change if souls pass from this life to a new life. In reality, as the nature of the present life presents an affinity to this world, so in the future life our souls will enjoy a lot conformable to their new condition. But they are so far from applying these truths, that they do but laugh when we announce to them the end of all things and the regeneration of the age. Since the beginning naturally precedes that which is derived from it, the writer, of necessity, when speaking to us of things which had their origin in time, puts at the head of his narrative these words—“In the beginning God created.”

    • M. Stankovich says

      Trudge at SmartVote,

      This is a “niche argument” that is uncharacteristic of the basis of common “knowledge for modern people” in my experience in general, and Orthodox Christians in specific. I have spent a significant potion of the past decade on the staff of a medical school in the fifth most funded research institution in this country – with Nobel Drive running through the middle of campus for a reason – and having been exposed to the brilliance of scientific minds, however inadvertently. I am amused in that, if you had suggested that outcome of the arrogance and narcissism of “the enterprise of science left to itself” is an endless & closed “object-relations” loop that is void of empathy and collegiality, that there simply is no “room” for the malignant self and religion, I would have tipped my hat. But “displaced revealed religion as the reliable basis for knowledge for modern people?” You fail to appreciate the fundamental frailty of the construct. Vanity, arrogance, and narcissism are not born of strength! They are symptomatic and characteristic of deficit & weakness; indecision & insecurity. To the ego they are crippling and disabling, not enabling and empowering.

      Secondly, in the more than twenty-five years that I was either a student, parishioner, or “gadfly” of SVOTS, apart from the specific course in Bioethics taught by Fr, John Breck, I do not know of any “confusion [of] the modern structure of ecclesiastical education is the academic seminary which attempts to strike a ‘balance’ between the preeminence of the modern scientific enterprise and the Spiritual Truth.” An Hexaemeron, be it of Basil, Chrysostom, Augustine, or Seraphim Rose was always in context of the history of the Salvation of our God and His people. What balance would you assume necessary? Each day, without exception, Vespers begins with Psalm 103, recalling the creation at the Hand of the Creator.

      While St. Gregory of Nyssa was very clear that “the Fathers theologized in the manner of the Apostles, not in that of Aristotle” (Hom. 23, 12), St. Gregory the Theologian admired St. Basil’s ability to debate with the philosophers. Fr. Florovsky writes, “In the age of theological strife and incessant debates, the great Cappadocian Fathers formally protested against the use of dialectics, of “Aristotelian syllogisms,” and endeavoured to refer theology back to the vision of faith.” To that end, Fr. Florovsky mourned that we have lost the “scriptural mind:

      Christan ministers are not supposed to preach their private opinions, at least from the pulpit. Ministers are commissioned and ordained in the church precisely to preach the Word of God. They are given some fixed terms of reference— namely, the Gospel of Jesus Christ— and they are committed to this sole and perennial message. They are expected to propagate and to sustain “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Of course, the Word of God must be preached “efficiently.” That is, it should always be so presented as to carry conviction and command the allegiance of every new generation and every particular group. It may be restated in new categories, if the circumstances require. But, above all, the identity of the message must be preserved.

      If you are asking yourself, “What does he mean by ‘preach the Word of God,’ and ‘efficiently,'” I heard him preach, as well as the SVS faculty, etc. They preached following the reading of the Gospel, holding the Gospel, and only of the Gospel (and the Epistle) reading that preceded their sermon, for the approximate time of ten minutes. It was abundantly clear that there was a time to teach, and there was a time to preach, and there was a significant difference.

      I am not aware of what you do for a living or your background, or your parish, or your friends or your colleagues, or your acquaintances. They must be extraordinarily different than mine, because I simply do not see people in my working, professional life, in church, or among my friends and acquaintances who believe as you claim. You need to convince me beyond these generalizations.

      • Trudge at SmartVote says

        Dr. Stankovich,

        Thank you for bringing in Florovsky. I agree exactly with what Florovsky mourned, that we have lost “the Scriptural Mind.” I mourn it too and am very dismayed by it, even terrified by it, seeing how the youth especially turn from the Church, “The Way,” the “True Philosophy,” to the world and its enticements.

        However, if Florovsky and others of your experience restricted themselves to preaching on only what were the readings of the service, and only for 10 minutes, they were not following in the tradition of Chrysostom and Basil in this.

        And that is the point, the loss of the ability of our priests and bishops, and our deacons (remembering how St. Ephraim of Syria did so most beautifully!), to contend with the philosophers, which are most commonly known as “scientists” in our age, nor with the “professors,” nor with the “disputers” (opinion makers, TV personalities, and politicians, etc.) having neither the ability nor the desire to preach sermons to the laity, and to the public at large, in the way Basil and Chrysostom preached, among the other Fathers, and of course the Apostles and the Christ himself.

        And to the broader matter at hand, what did you think in your reading about Basil’s take on the enterprise of atheistic science, and scientific materialism as the basis for present day evolutionary theory and the modern scientific dogma? That is, Basil with his detailed scientific knowledge, which you recognize, and is demonstrated in the excerpt from Homily I, concluded that atheistic science, as a theory arises then is shortly destroyed by the next, can ultimately be only vain and foolish?

        What do you think of Basil’s conclusion?

        • M. Stankovich says

          Trudge at SmartVote,

          Quite an odd question you pose. First, and most importantly, I am not a theologian and take no issue with the writings of him who is honoured among the Three Hierarchs. Nevertheless, I do agree with St. Gregory the Theologian that this is a “niche argument” with a specific audience in mind (and you did not mention that there are nine homilies that constitute this exegesis of Genesis), and with St. Gregory of Nyssa that it is “in the manner of Aristotle.” Further, I do not believe it has a place in the “cathedral,” but I will return to this.

          Let me be clear here, Trudge: I am not defending “science” or “scientists” – as if there is a unified body constituting an “enterprise” with a unified “dogma” – but addressing the problems with this argument. You have shifted ground in your response – “philosophers, which are most commonly known as “scientists,” “atheistic science,” and “modern scientific dogma” – from your initial essay, which makes my response more difficult. In my estimation, these are three common stereotypes associated with your original contention that “science has replaced religion as the basis of common knowledge for modern people.” You have yet to demonstrate the veracity of your original claim, and now you would like to convince of stereotypes that necessarily depend upon first condition being true! You should have done your homework here: 1) What are the religious or spiritual beliefs & practices of “scientists” in the US and how do they imagine their personal beliefs affect their science? 2) Does the personal religious or spiritual beliefs (or lack thereof) of a “scientist” affect the opinion of the work among colleagues? 3) Of what significance or consequence is it to patients/consumers that, for example, a new therapy for cancer was developed by scientists who identify themselves as a) committed Christians or b) militant atheists? The point is, frequently, knowledge, truth, goodness, and healing emerge from these places of “vanity & foolishness.” Do we ignore and reject them? Or do we refrain from segregating the physical creation. Fr. Schmemann wrote:

          Then there is a second element, inseparable from the first: this world is fallen — fallen in its entirety; it has become the kingdom of the prince of this world. The Puritan worldview, so prevalent within the American society in which I live, assumes that tomato juice is always good and that alcohol is always bad; in effect, tomato juice is not fallen. Similarly the television advertisements tell us, ‘Milk is natural’; in other words, it also is not fallen. But in reality tomato juice and milk are equally part of the fallen world, along with everything else. All is created good; all is fallen; and finally — this is our third ‘fundamental acclamation’ — all is redeemed. It is redeemed through the incarnation, the cross, the resurrection and ascension of Christ, and through the gift of the Spirit at Pentecost. Such is the triune intuition that we receive from God with gratitude and joy: our vision of the world as created, fallen, redeemed. Here is our theological agenda, our key to all the problems which today trouble the world.

          Finally, following the Anaphora, there is a prayer calling to mind “for whom these Gift are offered,” including, “Prophets, Apostles, Preachers, and Evangelists.” Fr. Florovsky was very clear in his position as to the Preacher:

          We are living now in an age of intellectual chaos and disintegration. Possibly modern man has not yet made up his mind, and the variety of opinions is beyond any hope of reconciliation. Probably the only luminous signpost we have to guide us through the mental fog of our desperate age is just the “faith which was once delivered unto the saints,” (Jude 1:3) obsolete or archaic as the idiom of the Early Church may seem to be, judged by our fleeting standards.

          One has to be sure that one is preaching the same gospel that was delivered and that one is not introducing instead any “strange gospel” of his own. The Word of God cannot be easily adjusted or accommodated to the fleeting customs and attitudes of any particular age, including our own time. Unfortunately, we are often inclined to measure the Word of God by our own stature, instead of checking our mind by the stature of Christ. The “modern mind” also stands under the judgment of the Word of God.

          Collected Works of Georges Florovsky, Vol. I: Bible, Church, Tradition: An Eastern Orthodox View

          Preaching is the Gospel, teaching is, for example, the Hexaemeron (and since Fr. Florovsky is known with Fr. Meyendorff as the initiators of Patristic renewal, I am sure he would endorse our “lost Patrstic mind” as well), and perhaps we need a revival of teachers and preachers.

          • Trudge at SmartVote says

            Dr. Stankovich,

            Thank you for staying with me on the topic of science and its relation to revealed religion. I think we divide preaching and teaching too distinctly and opposite. The Gospels show the Son of Man preaching and teaching simultaneously, and too the Apostles. And if we are in agreement that teaching and preaching need revival, therefore are dead in modern Orthodoxy, then that is tragic, and not a nice to have, and a great, profound and destructive sin of which our hierarchs must repent, and goes a long way to explaining the weakness of modern Orthodoxy more than jurisdictional overlap ever can.

            But I ask you to reconsider your take on the quote from Basil’s Hexaemeron that in your theological assessment does not belong in the Cathedral. In fact it was given in the Cathedral as the first of a series of Lenten sermons, to common hearers. Also, there is nothing “niche” about it. Unfortunately, modern Orthodoxy has indeed expelled Basil and Chrysostom from the Cathedral and relegated them to the narrow interests of academia, along with the Scriptures, of which for the most part parishioners are ignorant. This it has done in parallel with the modern mind extinguishing the public aspect of the Gospel and the mission of the Church and the work of the hierarchy, reducing it to a merely private experience and to intrafaith concerns.

            Below is the intro to Basil’s Hexaemeron and the assessment of its importance by the Fathers and the broadness, not the nicheness of its scope.


            The Hexæmeron is the title of nine homilies delivered by St. Basil on the cosmogony of the opening chapters of Genesis. When and where they were delivered is quite uncertain. They are Lenten sermons, delivered at both the morning and evening services, and appear to have been listened to by working men. (Hom. iii. 1.) Some words in Hom. viii. have confirmed the opinion that they were preached extempore, in accordance with what is believed to have been Basil’s ordinary practice. Internal evidence points in the same direction, for though a marked contrast might be expected between the style of a work intended to be read, like the De Spiritu Sancto, and that of the orations to be spoken in public, the Hexæmeron shews signs of being an unwritten composition.

            In earlier ages, it was the most celebrated and admired of Basil’s works. Photius (Migne, Pat. Gr. cxli) puts it first of all, and speaks warmly of its eloquence and force. As an example of oratory he would rank it with the works of Plato and Demosthenes.

            Suidas singles it out for special praise. Jerome (De Viris Illust.) among Basil’s works names only the Hexæmeron, the De Sp. Scto, and the treatise Contra Eunomium.

            That Basil’s friends should think highly of it is only what might be expected. “Whenever I take his Hexæmeron in hand,” says Gregory of Nazianzus, (Orat. xliii. 67) “and quote its words, I am brought face to face with my Creator: I begin to understand the method of creation: I feel more awe than ever I did before, when I only looked at God’s work with my eyes.”

          • Trudge at SmartVote says

            Dr. Stankovich,

            To see the hostility of modern science to religion and intelligent design see this article on Philosopher Thomas Nagel’s recent work viewed as “heresy” in academe for suggesting the necessity of a creator-mind.


            Yet, also I believe that it is true that slowly behind the scenes the tide is turning away from a conflict model of science and religion, but “privately,” then again, the young seem strenuously athiestic compared to your generation.

            However, materialism is the bedrock of modern scientific work and that work is paid for by the government, and academic science is political like all academic career advancement, and scientists are beholden to those who provide the funding and the tenure.

            Also the public school textbooks and higher education and the controllers of the information flow to the public retain the science-religion conflict model, and present “scientists” as a unified, unbiased, and infallible source of knowledge. The information controllers’ only interest in science is when a news item appears that they see supports the progressive agenda. Therefore the information controllers see genetics as already having “proven” a genetic foundation for sexual “orientation,” which you acknowledge it has not.

            Also, see the link below on the Conflict model of science and religion that has dominated since the Enlightenment.


            Also, the Religious debate in the Enlightenment:

            To counter your personal experience, my wife has been in the social sciences for 20 years and is the only conservative-theist that she knows.

            As to the origin of my “stereotypes” of modern scientists I was linking Basil’s thought founded in the Scriptures from the Apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, used recently during the Feast of Elevation of the Cross, which undergirds Basil’s criticism of athiestic science.

            For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:

            “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
            And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”

            Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom (philosophy-science) did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks (with their science) foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (from Chapter 1)

            The “wise” in our age are the scientists, the “scribes” the academic professors, the “disputers” the politicians and shapers of opinion of the popular culture through the electronic media.

            And you quoted Florovsky yourself, “We are living now in an age of intellectual chaos and disintegration.”

            • Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!
              I’ve just been reading a book compiled by Metropolitan Hierotheos, from the lectures of Fr. John Romanides, Empirical Dogmatics of the Orthodox Catholic Church (it’s in two volumes, published by Mount Thabor Press, which is directed by Prov. Veniamin at St. Tikhon’s Seminary I believe).
              It sheds light on this thread, both in terms of the empiricism of Orthodox theology as a science (an apophatically experiential one), the utter difference between Creator and creation, and the way that contemporary science in the form of quantum mechanics helpfully subverts metaphysics in Western tradition.
              It would seem that the Church fathers generally are in agreement about the changed nature of things subsequent to the Fall. So our ability to try to analyze the nature of the act of creation and the sustaining of it ultimately must fail in light of the revelation and inspiration afforded to those illumined and glorified by experience.
              Another well-circulated book that recently addressed at length patristic Orthodox approaches to creation, Genesis, Creation, and Early Man, edited by Fr. Damascene from Fr. Seraphim Rose’s writings, comes to some different conclusions from the new Empirical Dogmatics book’s discussion of creation on the issue of time. But both I think are in overall agreement (and with other Orthodox patristic studies) about the inability of metaphysics (whether in the guise of secular scientism or Western theology) to achieve what theology as an empirical science can do in the experience of the saints and fathers.
              It reminds me of a talk by the physicist-writer Brian Greene on our campus a couple years ago, when he kept emphasizing (as a self-professed agnostic) that science can tell us nothing about what happened before its model of the Big Bang.
              Please pray for me the sinner,

              • Trudge at SmartVote says

                Thank you for bringing attention to these works, Kentigern.

                I see also that the revealed religion that is Orthodoxy is at heart empirical, but an empiricism initiated by God Himself.

                It is also empirical in the detailed representation of actual events and reflections on the universal human experience.

                For example, the Son of Man gathered as the material for the parables observations of the natural life processes and human industry.

                “the way that contemporary science in the form of quantum mechanics helpfully subverts metaphysics in Western tradition” – I take this to mean that life is not reducible to a mechanism where events can be predicted, which was abrasive to Einstein.

                “the inability of metaphysics (whether in the guise of secular scientism or Western theology) to achieve what theology as an empirical science can do in the experience of the saints and fathers” – But also the Scriptures themselves became a source of empiricism, that were the primary source of the Fathers and other Saints, and records the empirical experiences of Moses encountering God in a direct way, and those who encountered the Christ, seen here as emphatically empirical:

                That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life – First Letter of the Apostle John

                And pre-modern Orthodoxy is well understood as the “science of the soul,” of which someone encountering the Philokalia will experience.

                I hope to promote the reading and study of the Scriptures and the Fathers directly, including the Philokalia, because they are accessible once we have established a framework. To progress from our present crises it is not enough for us to know about them only from modern sources, but we must throw off our weak modernism by encountering them directly.

                The Scriptures are themselves a special case, being more than a text, but a living thing when approached with thirst and hunger and humility, as they attest to themselves. And that is why the Fathers are so valuable because this is what they did.

                Not only would we the laity be informed and energized to provide from ourselves priests and bishops and not allow the hierarchical shenanigans and apostasy we see, we would be reaping our own harvest of spiritual goods.

                • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

                  Eugene (Fr. Seraphim) Rose, Nihilism: The Root of the Revolution of the Modern Age, pp. 12-13:

                  “Absolute truth”: the phrase has, to a generation raised on skepticism and unaccustomed to serious thought, an antiquated ring. No one, surely–is the common idea–no one is naive enough to believe in “absolute truth” any more; all truth, to our enlightened age, is “relative.” The latter expression, let us note–“all truth is relative”–is the popular translation of Nietzsche’s phrase, “there is no (absolute) truth”; the one doctrine is the foundation of the Nihilism alike of the masses and of the elite.

                  “Relative truth” is primarily represented, for our age, by the knowledge of science, which begins in observation, proceeds by logic, and progresses in orderly fashion from the known to the unknown. It is always discursive, contingent, qualified, always expressed in “relation” to something else, never standing alone, never categorical, never “absolute.”

                  The unreflective scientific specialist sees no need for any other kind of knowledge; occupied with the demands of his specialty, he has, perhaps, neither time nor inclination for “abstract” questions that inquire, for example, into the basic presuppositions of that specialty. If he is pressed, or if his mind spontaneously turns to such questions, the most obvious explanation is usually sufficient to satisfy his curiosity: all truth is empirical, all truth is relative.

                  Either statement, of course, is a self-contradiction. The first statement is itself not empirical at all, but metaphysical; the second is itself an absolute statement. The question of absolute truth is raised first of all, for the critical observer, by such self-contradictions; and the first logical conclusion to which he must be led is this: if there is any truth at all, it cannot be merely “relative.” The first principles of modern science, as of any system of knowledge, are themselves unchangeable and absolute; if they were not there would be no knowledge at all, not even the most “reflective” knowledge, for there would be no criteria by which to classify anything as knowledge or truth.

                  This axiom has a corollary: the absolute cannot be attained by means of the relative. That is to say, the first principles of any system of knowledge cannot be arrived at through the means of that knowledge itself, but must be given in advance; they are the object, not of scientific demonstration, but of faith.

                  • Trudge at SmartVote says


                    You say at the end:

                    That is to say, the first principles of any system of knowledge cannot be arrived at through the means of that knowledge itself, but must be given in advance; they are the object, not of scientific demonstration, but of faith.

                    The idea is sound but “faith” in its common usage today is spoken of in a vague way even among those who name the name of Christ, and is popularly understood as a “blind leap of faith,” which is absolutely foreign to the Scriptures and to Orthodoxy.

                    As St. Mark the Ascetic put it:

                    He who does not know the truth cannot truly have faith; for by nature knowledge precedes faith. -from On the Spiritual Law, #110

                    Mankind is in a state of ignorance and blindness unless God reveals, discloses himself. God is the initiator providing evidence of his existence and knowledge of his will for his creation.

                    When a man acquires this knowledge, the seed of the word of God in the parable of the sower, and understands and builds his life on it, as in the parable of the house on the firm foundation, then he has acted demonstrating “faith,” and his mind or intellect is illumined with spiritual knowledge, and is restored to its proper functioning.

                    That is why it is so devastating that modern priests, bishops and parishioners do not devote themselves to the Scriptures and the Fathers and there is so much ignorance and unsoundness among us.

              • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                Kentigern, Trudge,

                Have you checked out information theory? I’ve been reading George Gilder’s new book “Knowledge and Power” which deals with information theory applied to economics. Gilder is chiefly an economist but he is other things as well including the co-founder of the Discovery Institute (much maligned by the scientistism establishment) which is ground-zero for much of the new thinking on the philosophy of science.

                Basically the thinking is that analyzing systems as process orientated (creation is a process of chemical interactions) misses the big picture. Creation is directed by an informational structure. The notion that the complexity of creation evolved from simple to complex organism arises from the “materialist superstition” (Gilder’s term) that has come to hinder the expansion of knowledge (and thus science) because of the a-priori assumption that only matter exists; the ground of epistemology is material processes — chemistry. It just isn’t so.

                Gilder argues the ground of epistemology is information, and that material processes are the carrier of that information. My example: think of the sperm and egg. One sperm cell penetrates the egg and then dies. What was its function? To deliver information, in this case one half of the genetic code which begins the process of cell multiplication that creates the human being guided completely by the code that is now self-contained and complete. Informational structures direct the material processes. Material (matter) is merely the carrier of information.

                Science itself is discovering the informational basis of all material processes which is why there is such great battle between Darwinist and non-Darwinist political and cultural forces. Information theory challenges the Darwinian (materialist) hypothesis at its foundation. My thought (looking at it from a cultural history point of view) is that the fall of Darwin is inevitable. Of the three great materialist prophets, Marx and Freud have fallen and Darwin is next. The Darwinian creation myth will fall along with it. (This is not to say that the ideas promulgated by the materialist prophets still don’t hold considerable influence over the larger culture. Clearly they do.)

                I had the good fortune of meeting some people at the Discovery Institute a few weeks ago — quite by accident as it turns out or perhaps it was the hand of God through the consideration of a friend. A 45 minute visit ended up being twice as long. I mentioned to them that some of their ideas were already expressed in the Orthodox tradition — primarily St. Maximos the Confessor. That too, might have been fortuitous. You might remember the the story of Richard Sternberg who was drummed out of his job at the Smithsonian for daring to publish an article that questioned Darwninian orthodoxy (Ben Stein featured him in the movie “Expelled”). It turned out that he has since become an Orthodox Christian and was giving at lecture at Discovery that afternoon on St. Maximos.

                Sometimes I think we are at the end of Western culture. Our philosophies, institutions, indeed many cultural structures are clearly spiritually exhausted. Then, at other times, I think that were are on the edge of discovery that is as significant as the discovery of Newtonian physics. I wonder if some of the materialist based thought so prevalent in culture (Social Darwinism, Progressivism, etc.) is just the last gasp — a reactionary lock-down — of an ideology and false hope that promised progress but delivered confusion and in its more radical forms massive death.

                Ever notice that some of the most creative thinking in the Orthodox world is being done outside of the established institutions? That would fit in with Gilder’s thesis extrapolated to other systems and structures. New information expands knowledge, and it always enters systems from the outside. Systems that cannot incorporate the new knowledge die (Xerox and Kodak in the business world, mainstream Protestantism in the religious world). Instead of being open to the new information, they instead exercise power over those who bring the new information hoping to banish it and thereby blindly ensure their own end. Maybe they sense their own impending death and are react against it like a trapped animal.

                Watch the outliers. That’s the future.

                + + + + + + + + + +

                A clip of Ben Stein and Richard Sternberg from the documentary “Expelled” (view full movie).

                A short essay by Gilder published years back the first introduced me to information theory and the paucity of insight in the materialist superstition.

                Evolution and Me by George Gilder

                Below is the book I am reading by Gilder.

                • Thanks for the tip; I am looking forward to reading Knowledge and Power.

                • Michael Bauman says

                  As I was reading you saying that Gilder believes information is the ground of epistemology, I thought: the Logos and St. Maximus. Then you went on to say the same thing.

                  Here is my question: does it do harm to see The Logos as an impersonal reality such as “information”? Because in one sense it still seems to partake of materialism…just a more sophisticated materialism.

                  • Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!
                    A good question. I’ve heard information described as the immaterial side of nature by a scholar of biosemiotics. This is not necessarily Orthodox at all, but it is not exactly materialism either. Charles Peirce described meaningful information as embodied feeling. His view was that meaningfulness must also involve relaitonship, triadically, rather than a binary of opposition.
                    Please pray for me the sinner,

                    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says


                      Gilder defines information as the “surprise;” the data that does not fit into expected categories and thus introduces entropy into the system.

                      Creativity and the introduction of new information go hand in hand. Creativity is a high entropy activity (it introduces new information) but it depends on low entropy carriers in order for that creativity/information to have any beneficial effect in systems (economic, institutional, etc.).

                      Very compelling stuff. Take Obamacare. If the government, which is actually a low entropy system (it is supposed to ensure order, property laws, remove barriers of entry to markets, etc.) becomes a high entropy system (which it has by becoming the nation’s sole insurance carrier), then innovation on the high entropy end (the risk takers and creatives) will diminish because there is no low entropy carrier to take the new ideas to market. My prediction: Israel will surpasses the US as the leader in technological innovation in the medical field.

                      It applies to the Church as well. Parishes are high entropy. It is where the work gets done. If information is centralized, that is, if the attempt is made to shift the locus of creativity from the parish to a central administration, then creativity stops. Power is exercised (low entropic centers have institutional power, high entropic centers don’t) to prevent the new information (the creative ideas that nourish the systems) from being disseminated.

                      That is what we see happening in the GOA and OCA. If the low entropy administrators perceive the high entropy creatives as a threat (dynamic priests and lay people), then creativity stops and so does the flow of information necessary for the vitality of the system. The creatives get pushed out so that the system becomes completely low entropy. This type of stasis however, results in diminished results, breakdowns, and even death. Look at Xerox, Kodak, the Episcopal Church, inner cities with a welfare economy, and so forth.

                      In ecclesiastical structures where stasis prevails, the Gospel is perceived as a commodity rather than the Word of Life that it is. A mythology has to be constructed that supplants the Gospel but claims to be true to it (the Episcopalian preoccupation with homosexuality presented as a fundamental question of Christian justice for example). This is a prescription for failure. Put another way, the Gospel by its very nature is highly entropic in that it will obliterate any created contrivance that seeks to contain it — including ecclesiastical structures if necessary.

                  • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                    I agree, a very good question.

                    Be warned, the following is speculation. It is not the Logos that interpenetrates creation but the logoi — the word of the His power. Information is the interface between energy and matter, the mediating grid that gives energy material form and impregnates it with meaning and purpose.

                    Moreover, since information is necessarily hierarchical, the Darwinian (materialist) creation story doesn’t work here. If information is hierarchical, it has to preexist the the “big bang.” Darwinian notions of creation preclude this because a random universe requires that the information (the underlying logic that governs material processes) arises out of the matter itself. This simply cannot work. It is illogical.

                    The only thing that makes sense is the Genesis narrative. (Data needs to be collected and framed in a larger narrative in order to find its proper meaning; Genesis is narrative, not science.) If God spoke the world into existence then 1) the ontological distance between Creator and creation is maintained (monotheism vs. polytheism); and 2) the power of those words still penetrate and hold the creation together and gives it the marvelous coherence and interdependence that as stewards of the creation we are meant to discover and comprehend.

                    So the starting point of creation (call it the big-bang if you want) was not necessarily an explosion but something more like music; words spoken that still ring through the universe like the pure tones that emanate from a tuning fork, the meaning of which is comprehended through the examination of the material universe as well as the spoken words of the prophet and apostle.

                    The closest analogy I can draw is music. Think of a full orchestra opening with a crescendo. That’s what the big bang was really like. It is coherent and beautiful and the meaning of the piece stays with you long after you leave the concert hall. That meaning is its power, why the piece still has life long after the notes in the concert hall were played. With creation of course, more is created than meaning although everything that is created is meaningful.

                    The logoi are the residuals — the power inherent in God’s speaking, the power that exists in His spoken words long after they were spoken — that still ring through the universe and hold it together like the tones of the tuning forks that never waver in energy or clarity. It provides the coherence, the marvelous and complex interrelationships between all things and holds it all together.

                    Even more stunning is that we can comprehend those relationships which proves 1) we are indeed created in the image of God, and 2) human creativity is a gift to be used for His glory, that is, in accord with His purposes for speaking the world into existence in the first place.

                    St. Paul writes:

                    For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

                    For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross (Colossians 1:16-20).

                    • Trudge at SmartVote says

                      Father Hans,

                      Have to think on this, but appealingly put.

                      I work in the field of database technologies to hierarchical stores of information make sense to me and are part of my everyday work.

                      As for the orchestra metaphor, here is Einstein on that:

                      According to biographer Walter Isaacson, Einstein was more inclined to denigrate disbelievers than the faithful.[21] Einstein said in correspondence, “[T]he fanatical atheists…are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who—in their grudge against the traditional ‘opium of the people’—cannot bear the music of the spheres.”[21][22] Although he did not believe in a personal God, he indicated that he would never seek to combat such belief because “such a belief seems to me preferable to the lack of any transcendental outlook.”[23]


                      Musica Universalis:

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      Fr. Hans, thank you a for the response. Helps to focus a bit better, but I’m not sure my original question was addressed.

                      Information as I understand it is impersonal and does not contain value inherently. Does Glider have that same understanding?

                      Are not the logoi the personal, specific identity which God in His wisdom and grace gives every created thing intentionally? I have always thought that it man’s innate noetic capacity to recognize that identity that allow Adam to name all the creatures and is and integral part of our dominion and our ability to dress and keep the earth, even be fruitful and multiply.

                      You make it sound a bit random and impersonal: “The logoi are the residuals — the power inherent in God’s speaking, the power that exists in His spoken words long after they were spoken”.

                      But perhaps I am mistaking your meaning. Your music metaphor is apt I think. When a composer composes, each note has a specific intent and meaning and place in the order and harmony of the composition similar to what is found in poetry and dance as well.

                      Any disharmony either through sloppy execution or malicious intent, messes up the composition, the entire composition. That is why I like Tolkien’s version in the Silmarillion

                      Even though you say that the information gives value to energy, I don’t see (outside of the Christian revelation) where that value comes from. It is not just value with which I am concerned either, unless value is ontological and personal, we seem to be back into a relativist mode or at least the potential for that.

                      The concept is exciting, don’t get me wrong. It seems to have a lot of potential. Probably have to get the book.

                    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                      Michael, most of the extrapolations are mine and I am struggling with trying to find the right language. But my interest in the topic was spurred years ago by various events and experiences that crystallized into an understanding that developed as I grew older which I expressed here: One Word of Truth Outweighs the Whole World and later turned into a talk I gave at Acton University this summer titled, “Why Solzhenitsyn Matters” (below):


                      All this is a long way of saying that what I discovered from the religious/cultural side, scientists are discovering from the scientific side, i.e.: language, information, words, The Word, however it is characterized is the ground of epistemology, indeed all of creation.

                      Yes, the term “residuals” is clumsy but by it I don’t mean static. All the ideas about why the GOA and OCA are undergoing demographic decline are mine of course.

                      Gilder is an economist, not a theologian, and most of the language is mine, not his (except for the part about information, entropy, and the health of systems).

                      Kentigern, thank you very much for the offer of the book if you do indeed get extra copies. I would be very grateful to get a hold of a copy.

                      Trudge, I had no idea about the Musica Universalis but in a world not yet shorn of all sense of the sacred, I can see how they saw it.

                • Father, your blessing!

                  Thanks, I’ll look forward to reading the Gilder book, too. I am working with a student doing a thesis on information theory and it interests me. It also reminds me of another field in Europe, biosemiotics or ecosemiotics.

                  Biosemiotics developed mainly from Tartu University in Estonia, where I visited a few years ago while participating in a related conference. It is based on work by the Estonian-German biologist Jacob Von Uexküll and the American semiotician Charles Peirce. It also can be related to the semiotics of Mikhail Bakhtin, the crypto-Orthodox theorist, and circles connected to Fr. Pavel Florensky. The basic idea is a definition of life as information-exchange, which challenges the Neo-Darwinist approach as well.

                  What has been written on it in English in terms of Christianity has mainly been related to Thomism (rather mistakenly I think), but I have a new book collection coming out that discusses it, entitled “Re-Imagining Nature: Environmental Humanities and Eco-Semiotics.” Unfortunately it is an academic book with a high price; if I get extra copies I will send you one.

                  Yours unworthily in Christ, Kentigern

                • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

                  “Then, at other times, I think that were are on the edge of discovery that is as significant as the discovery of Newtonian physics.”


                  Pysicists have discovered a jewel-like geometric object that dramatically simplifies calculations of particle interactions and challenges the notion that space and time are fundamental components of reality.

  3. Thank you for your insightful depiction of idolatry(false religion).

    1) Could you clarify the similarities and differences between the “savior figure” and the “physical avatar”?

    2)Wouldn’t Matt Shepard be a “martyr”? (I would not elevate him to the position of savior figure. Is martyr and physical avatar the same thing? You did not mention the martyrs as a necessary facet of false religion, which is after all, an aberration of authentic religion.

  4. Gail Sheppard says

    To George: This may not be the appropriate time or place, but when has that ever stopped me?! 🙂 I just wanted to thank you for allowing women to have a voice on your blog. Not just the women who effortlessly fit the mold of the Church, but the more feral, like me, who struggle. I appreciate it, George. True men do not feel the need to silence women. They appreciate woman, like you do, whether or not they agree with them. – Always such a pleasure to read and participate on your blog.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Gail, I can’t thank you enough for your considerate thoughts. I hope I’ve never given the impression to anyone that I don’t respect the company and camaraderie of women, especially on this blog. Some of the best commentators I have (yourself included) are women. I would never think to silence anyone on this blog. And I’m gonna take your advice and rent Brother Sun, Sister Moon.

  5. ” No one deserves to die…” On the contrary, George, don’t we all deserve to die? “The wages of sin is death”. I wouldn’t wish a violent death at the hands of murderers upon anyone (although drug dealers do run that risk by the evil company they keep), but since we all sin, we all must die one way or another. Even so, just as through Adam all die, through Christ all shall be made alive. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

    • Sean Richardson says

      But God wishes that none would perish, but that we would all return to Him through repentance.

      I will admit, that this story, both the “Church of Homosexuality’s” version and the “Book of Matt’s” version caused me a great deal of pain and inner turmoil. It bothers me to see anyone, gay or straight, who suffers and dies; and it bothers me when our youth are overcome by drugs and their insidious nature. There is so much evil in the world that only the redeeming power of Christ can cleanse us from. Yet, if we are true Christian, we must forever be “in the world, but no of the world”. My prayers are with all those who live a life of necessity, that instead they may live a life of peace, in Christ.

  6. You seem to be obsessed with homosexuals. This kind of obsession is symbiotic with that of secular culture. They feed each other.

    What if you were obsessed, instead, with kenotic love for others, with the “Sacrament of the Brother,” in the words of St. John Chrysostom?

    • George Michalopulos says

      Clare, thank you for your concern. Please be assured that I am NOT obsessed with homosexuals. As I’ve written, oh, about 100 times, I’m a live-and-let live kind of guy. What concerns me is the reordering of our society and possibly our church (and this is key so follow me)–not so much to accommodate homosexuality as normative–but to use homosexuality and feminazism to upend the Christian moral tradition.

      At the end of the day we’ll either be nihilists or life-affirming (cf Romans 1). We won’t be both. Either our culture will collapse or it will be reinvigorated.

    • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster, PhD says

      The “obsession” with homosexuality, Clare, is exhibited all the live long day in the major news media and popular culture alike, among the intellectual elites and increasingly anti-tradition religious organizations, and even by some avant-garde members of the Orthodox Christian community in this country. Please do not confuse a valiant attempt to uphold Orthodox moral and spiritual tradition in the face of such a relentless onslaught with a pseudo-psychological malady.

      • Postmodernist Intellectual Elites Jobsource says

        Teach It and Preach It offers an intellectual elite tenure track opportunity:

        Assistant Professor, LGBTQ/Sexuality Studies, Grand Valley State University

        The Women and Gender Studies Program and the Liberal Studies Department at Grand Valley State University ( ) invite applications for a new joint tenure track position beginning fall 2014 specializing in LGBTQ/Sexuality studies; primary appointment in WGS. Both programs are located in the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies.We are especially interested in candidates who bridge the social sciences and humanities and who can teach interdisciplinary research methods and/or feminist and queer theory. All candidates should demonstrate strong potential for excellence in teaching as well as a productive research agenda. A Ph.D. by August 1, 2014 is required for appointment as assistant professor.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Thank you Fr for describing clearly and succinctly the present morass.

  7. Ilya Zhitomirskiy says

    I think it was St. Anthony the Great who said that “There will come days when all men will be mad, and will say, you are mad, because you are not one of us.” This is what seems to be happening now, and those who support traditional morality are being told that they are either bigoted or mad. But how can one support an aberration of normal human sexuality and remain sane? That would be as sane as a doctor not treating cancer and attempting to “accept” or “affirm” people with cancer as a lifestyle. Isn’t the fact that a homosexual lifestyle exists a sign that it is a choice? And if it is a choice, and one that is aberrant, then homosexuality is wrong, and it is our duty to remind the world of the truth. We are called to be meek as lambs and wise as serpents, but we are also called to bear witness of Christ and to call out immodesty if we see it.

  8. Tim R. Mortiss says

    This accusation of “obsession” with homosexuality is just another rhetorical device in the movement for making it normative in society.

    The New York Times, as an example, pushes “normative homosexuality” constantly, inexorably, from its news pages, opinion pages, and “society” pages. Its Sunday Styles section is a clarion for it, from the articles to the wedding photographs. It is very clear that the attempt to normalize this in society is a serious and deliberate aim. Indeed, integral to the propaganda is the lofty assumption that it is already fully normative.

    My Presbyterian church, which I have left to become an Orthodox catechumen, has in recent years preached this normalization, with mentions of gay rights, gay acceptance, and gay marriage at least every other service. In a long life I have never heard any other subject dwelt upon so incessantly and unremittingly. My state now has same-sex “marriage”, and such marriages are now duly performed in that church.

    The way politicians and ordinary citizens now publicly approve of this whereas they disapproved of it just 5 years ago is really uncanny. “My thinking has evolved” just means “I follow public opinion, so I can still go to the good parties.” It’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

    So we either join the pod people or we fight it. When we do, they will call us “obsessed”. As we can see here on George’s blog, even supposed allies will say this, directly or indirectly.

  9. Off Topic Iconography says

    Who approved this iconographic scheme? Depicted below are, among the frescoed righteous, Dorothy Day, Lev Gillet and Mother Teresa (in this rendering of Croatia!)

    And then we get the pleasure of venerating Patriach Athenagoras and Pope Paul the Sixth

    Also, check out the vestment in

    This is an Orthodox monastery! And Metropolitan Herman is in some of the photos

    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

      “Off Topic Iconography” cited links to the Novel or New Skete monastery. It was a Franciscan monastery of Byzantine rite which resented control by the office of Eastern Rites, whatever, and two or three leading Archpriests in the OCA manipulated Metropolitan Theodosius into receiving it into the OCA. The monks make cheese and are deeply involved in dog breeding. The iconography in their temple or catholicon is legendary for its heterodoxy, as “Off Topic” etc., shows in his links. You know, Archbishop Romero, a Pope or two—not on the western wall where judgment and hades are frequently displayed, but on the south and north walls.
      Protopresbyter Rodion S. Kondratick was deeply and actively and forcefully involved in trying to push first Metropolitan Theodosius and then Metropolitan Herman into making the monastery correct its iconography in accordance with Orthodox Tradtion. He stepped on many important toes. I personally feel that asking an Orthodox Priest, Deacon, or Bishop “What do you think of New Skete in general and its iconography in particular” as the closest thing to an INFALLIBLE guide to discerning Orthodoxy as can be found.
      The only problem at that “monastery” ever addressed by the OCA administration was financial and resulted in the removal of the Abbot. Of the three Metropolitans, Theodosius, Herman, and JONAH, none of them addressed the problem of New Skete’s Orthodoxy!!!!! And they were all fully informed, especially Metropolitan JONAH, who spoke of them disparagingly even when he was but a layman. “Orthodox” monastics who flee the world in order to assist dogs in their coupling!!!!! Quite a contrast with the Holy Mountain, no?
      I guess “Father Bob” is the only cleric who cared about that sort of thing. No one told him “it’s all about money, you dope!”
      Thank you, “Off Topic,” etc.!!
      Oh, by the way, the link to the Priest in the lovely Grecian style phelonion with the colorful landscapes painted on it, is not a monk of Novel or New Skete: it’s Archpriest A. Vinogradov, just serving there. I bet he made a hint with those ‘former” Franciscans!
      BTW, at the last link you may behold several pictures of both Archpriests: A. Vinogradov, and R. ARIDA, preaching to the brethren….

  10. Michael Kinsey says

    The purity of deceit in this murder, is plainly demonstrated, as Satan was a liar and murderer from the beginning. There is utterly nothing of the Truth showing in this story by the mass media or the gay agenda. Murdering and lying, that’s their story and their sticking to it.
    It is needful that authentic Christian be aware that this purity of deceit is also the pattern of people like Mark Stokie, all gay bishops, the Barbara abomination, and somewhere, I put the troll archbishop in this list Tikon who tells me ,I am incapable of understanding and authentic Christian discernment..This is Tikon story, and he is sticking to it.

    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

      Michael Kinsey writes: “and somewhere, I put the troll archbishop in this list Tikon who tells me ,I am incapable of understanding and authentic Christian discernment..This is Tikon story, and he is sticking to it.”
      I don’t know to whom he refers. It’s not me: I’m not an archbishop, and have never posted as such; moreover, I’ve never heard of a “Tikon”, and I don’t know what story he is “sticking to.”

  11. Thomas Barker says

    Once you say that some behavior is no longer forbidden, no longer morally wrong, then the next step is to say, “Why not try it?”

    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

      Thomas! If only you had been around to stop Saint Paul from no longer insisting on circumcision!!!

      • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

        “Thomas! If only you had been around to stop Saint Paul from no longer insisting on circumcision!!!”

        Righteous Gentiles who worshipped our God were recognized and had an established place at both the Temple and the synagogue. So, when these same Gentiles became believers in Christ, or Gentiles who came to belief straight from paganism, the question arose did they have to become Jews first to be fully Christians. Paul and others said no, however this position was not that of no longer insisting on circumcision for Gentiles, because our ancestors in the faith hadn’t done so, so if anything it was just mantaining Holy Tradition. Circumcision for Hebrew Christians wasn’t dealt with in the NT, Hebrew Christians seem to have continued the practice for several generations, until they were absorded through intermarriage. Therefore you were quite unfair to poor Thomas Barker.

        Moreover, Thomas is wrong in that he doesn’t go far enough. The next step is not “Why not try it?” What is already here is; you must partake, as in school children being made to engage in homosexual kissing; you must vocally support and/or signal your approval of homosexuality, silence and non participation means hatred and homophobia, as from internal documents at the US Department of Justice.

        DO assume that LGBT employees and their allies are listen-ing to what you’re saying (whether in a meeting or around the proverbial water cooler) and will read what you’re writ-ing (whether in a casual email or in a formal document)

        DON’T judge or remain silent. Silence will be interpreted as disapproval.


        Display a symbol in your office (DOJ Pride sticker, copy of this brochure, etc.) indicating that it is a “safe space.”

        Talk openly and positively about your colleagues, friends and family who are LGBT.

        Request that your office receive follow-up training on gender identity in the workplace and/or DOJ Pride’s “Allies in the Workplace” t raining.

        • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

          “Ladder of Divine Ascent!” Judaism, until the triumph of imperial Christianity, was one of the important MISSIONARY religions in the Mediterranean world. St. Paul himself cited this in his mocking reference to those who traversed land and sea to make one convert. It was relatively easy to become a Jew then; the most painful aspect was (male): circumcision. The question arose whether, in the NEW Israel, converts would have to be circumcised as was considered righteous in the OLD Israel. There were two parties in this controversy. St. Paul’s party won out, and the requirement was dropped from the moral code.

  12. cynthia curran says

    have been replaced three times in the past 12 years by H-1B visa holders. All three times I made sure those H-1B visa holders that replaced me failed at their jobs. I also went to Italy and sold the rights to two of my nano technology patents to a startup company. I used to pay approximately $25,000/year in federal income tax. Now the federal government pays me $17,000/year for public assistance. I am signing this petition to support y’all’s efforts but as I just explained I have already taken my own action. I have almost completed additional nano technology research and after I apply for a patent I am selling those rights to a company in Russia. I am going to make sure that foreign nations get ahead of the struggling third world USA in terms of high tech. Ted Cruz the Senator from Texas recently in May 2013, proposed increasing H-1B visas from 65,000 to 325,000. Ted Cruz needs to resign. To all off you signing this petition please take your high tech expertise to small startup companies overseas, stay clear of large corporations and any companies associated with the USA. We the high tech experts can win this high tech war while these greedy corporations and clueless politicians watch their USA tumble.

  13. cynthia curran says

    It is difficult to be pleased by the fine words of an administration that fully intends to stab our STEM graduates in the back via floods of H1-B visas and other work-arounds providing cheap tech labor to corporate internationals. It isn’t even fair to mock Obama on the point, since alternative adminstrations would likely do the same. The worst of the increase in visas is the huge percentage going to companies specializing in offshoring technical employment. We have plenty of engineers who can fill those jobs, who are unemployed or under-employed now.

  14. Michael Bauman says

    A recent occurrence at Ole Miss University during a performance of “The Laramie Project” certain unspecified “gay slurs” were uttered in the darkened theater. Though the report of the occurrence was quite vague as to the frequency or the decible level of the alledged slurs, 20 members of the schools football team were singled out.

    The schools BIAS RESPONSE TEAM investigated and although the team could not find any evidence as to who saidwhat how often or how loudly everyone implicated (football player or not) was sent to the schools version of a reeducation camp.

    In the news report Matthew Sheppard was described as a gay college student who was murdered.