Christian Zionism and Its Socio-Political Implications

There’s been a lively debate recently about Christian Zionism on this blog. I’d like to address the highlights in this section and go into a little more detail in the vlog below.

First, let’s get the caveats out of the way. Zionism as a political movement is as legitimate as any other nationalist ideology. That is to say from a secular standpoint, there’s nothing really wrong with it, all things being equal. All ethnogenesis is a messy prospect. On the other hand, from a Christian standpoint, it’s neither here nor there. All ideologies, all nations, all philosophies are inconsequential in that they will all pass away.

It’s only the Gospel which will stand the test of time. To the extent that a governmental system can be imbued with the precepts of the Gospel, the better. But even here that’s a tall order.

That being said, it fits well within the framework of Rabbinic Judaism (although that’s a big stretch as there are many sects within that religion that condemn its messianic pretensions). To be sure, most Jewish sects at one time or another condemned Zionism in that they believed that the nation-state of Israel could only be founded by the Messiah himself. Needless to say, since 1948, this view has not carried the day.

As Christians, the intramural fights within Judaism (or any other religion for that matter) are beside the point. The problem however arises when political Zionism insinuates its way into Christianity. Then it becomes a heresy, as I will explain in more detail below.

Second caveat: there is no place within the Church for racism, ethno-phyletism of anti-Semitism. Do they exist in some precincts? Of course. And this is regrettable. However –and this is often overlooked–they certainly do exist within Zionism itself as well as Christian Zionist offshoot. To the extent that these pathologies exist within the Church is certainly wrong but they do so in spite of the Gospel, not because of it. This is also an important distinction. One that cannot be emphasized enough.

Why? Because racial supremacy is the founding pillar of Zionism –in all its forms. In this sense, it dovetails nicely with certain strains of Talmudism which likewise teaches that there are fundamental physical and spiritual differences between Jews and non-Jews. To not put too fine a point on it, many Talmudic sages have taught throughout the ages that non-Jews exist to serve Jews. Indeed, some do so this very day.

Christian Zionists for their part have long believed that the Jews are God’s “chosen people” and it is the duty of the gentile nations to do their bidding in the political sphere. This is a species of racism if you ask me. It’s the stock-in-trade of John Hagee, a pastor of a megachurch which has become a way-station for Republican candidates as they try and make their way to the White House.

Nowhere is this to be found in Scripture or the Patristic consensus. It is in fact a modern doctrine pioneered by Cyrus I Scofield which is based on an erroneous understanding of God’s covenant with Abraham (Gen 12:1-3). The Church Fathers taught that God’s promise that “all nations would be blessed through Abraham” would find it’s apotheosis in the birth of the Messiah, Jesus.

It therefore follows that it is Christ’s Church which is Israel and any belief that there is a separate covenant for Jews is heretical, to say the least. All people are called to the Church –Jews, Greeks, male, female and those who are bonded as well as those who are free. There cannot be any distinctions.

The societal implications for Americans are enormous. First, it has thrust us into the Middle East on many occasions as an unappreciated referee. (That’s the best possible take on it.) Second, it has brought us toe-to-toe with Russia, which has taken upon itself the role of protector of the Christian minorities and the Shi’ite nations.

Unless we or the Russians (or both) find some way to pull back from the brink, there is not any viable or peaceful outcome as things now stand. Quite simply, it’s very hard to see how a workable condominium between America and Russia can succeed. Worse, any attempt at a peaceful solution between the Israelis and the Arabs will prove unworkable as both will feel slighted. (Not unlike the Arabs felt after the Sykes-Picot Treaty which divided up the Ottoman Empire to the dissatisfaction of these people.)

None of this seems to bother the Christian Zionists unfortunately. They continue to hold the whip-hand in the Evangelical movement and thereby to large extent in America’s foreign policy. And this is most unfortunate as the United States has engaged in wars of choice twice in Iraq and under the previous administration, destabilized Libya, a nation which was prosperous and fairly tolerant. This has had disastrous consequences for Europe and has ginned up enormous hatred towards us from the Europeans, driving many into the embrace of Putin. Nor have we ourselves been unmolested from the blowback.

In my opinion, it is the duty of the Orthodox Church to preach the Gospel to our American brethren so that in due time, they can see the folly of Scofield’s heresy and lay to rest once and for all the invidious influence of Hagee and his ilk, who to this day continue to beat the drums of war.


  1. Billy Jack Sunday says

    This has got to be one of THE most Kool-Aid doctrines of the evangelical world. It’s extremely popular and dug in. And yes, John Hagee is number one champion of this cause

    I once did a bit of beatnik poetry slam (comedic of course) for a Christmas party at a Pentecostal church back in the 90’s

    No one had told me that the whole Christian Zionism thing was a sham, but I felt it. So I decided to poke at it a bit with my rhymes. Let’s just say that if I was Free Willie, I would have totally smashed that kid because I did not go over well at all . . .

    You wanna know another way how to tell people are gobbling up a bunch of trash like Oscar the Grouch zombies? Just watch his show/sermons. He always does this pause emphasis thing and his audience of Little Hagees always give him applause without fail. It’s totally peculiar and spooky

    • P. Antonio Arganda says

      Hagee is a multiple adulterer who divorced his first wife because of her objection to his dalliances. He has zero credibility.

      • George Michalopulos says

        I wasn’t aware of that. Interesting. And somewhat curious if you ask me, given his overall appearance.

        • Constaninos says

          Brother George,
          Poking fun at someone’s appearance are we? By the way, in my earlier post, I wrote that Hagee left his wife due to an adulterous relationship he was having with his current wife. I am gently kidding you about poking fun of someone’s appearance. I’m sure everyone would agree with your keen eye. You’re not trying to say that he’s a fat slob, are you?

  2. Constaninos says

    Well, George, let’s not forget that John Hagee left his wife for another woman. Zionism was considered racism by the UN until the US had that resolution rescinded. The Jewish state was built through ethnic cleansing. The reason so many Palestinian Christians have left the Holy Land is because of the occupation.
    Netanyahu is a crooked thug who will be indicted for bribery in the very near future. Lieberman is another corrupt, thuggish politician. The US should not be giving foreign aid to Israel, Jordan, Egypt or any other country. Israel has a very lengthy record of spying on the US. Think Jonathan Pollard.
    You know it is illegal to give Israel military aid under US law? No nuclear state that hasn’t signed the NNPT is allowed to receive US military aid. How does Israel circumvent US law? Very simple. They maintain nuclear ambiguity. Mordechai Vanunu proved that Israel possesses nuclear weapons when he took pictures inside Dimona. The parasitic relationship between Israel and the US is exactly what President Washington warned us against in his farewell address. Of course, NATO and other alliances would also fall under Washington’s proscription.
    George, you are a man whose word is gold. You said you were going to address this subject- and you are doing just that. You have integrity with a capital I.

    • George Michalopulos says

      You are very kind.

      • Billy Jack Sunday says

        This issue of Christian Zionism is definitely a weed in the garden of faith


        Constaninos and I hereby bestow on you the title: Weedwacker Of The Faith

        Thereby making your full name/title: George – the Weedwacker – Monomakhos

        “I can’t pull out the tares . . . but I can wack some weeds!!”

        -George the Weedwacker Monomakhos

        • George Michalopulos says

          I guess I’ll have to settle for “weedwacker of the Faith”. I was hoping “Defender of the Faith” but I am not worthy of that exalted title.

          • Billy Jack Sunday says


            It was either Weedwacker or Goat Roper – but seeing that you are from Oaklahoma we thought you might be too sensitive for the latter

            Not that I deem any particular person as a goat

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        Correct. Further, the Jewish community in the Islamic Republic of Iran, with its synagogues, delicatessens, Hebrew schools, annual pilgrimages to the Tomb of Esther and Mordecai and elected representation in the parliament;majlis, alongside the elected representatives of the Christian Armenians and Assyrians, as well as Zoroastrians, would also agree. In fact, when the new state “Israel” advertised a subsidy in American dollars for Middle-Eastern Jews that would move to the new state, the Jewish community in Iran offered to double the subsidy for any Jews who would leave “Israel” and settle in Iran! Netanyahu and his American admirers, such as “Christian Zionists,” complain that Iranians say they want to “wipe Israel off the map!” Sounds bad, right? Anybody remember the days when the USSR and Soviet Union were WIPED OFF THE MAP –and replaced by the Russian Federation?

        • M. Stankovich says

          Vladyka Tikhon,

          I must unashamedly admit that, if a subsidy promised a good Jewish delicatessens among the amenities for relocating, I would consider settling in Iran, all other factors considered.

        • Bishop Tikhon you could not be more wrong about current conditions in Iran, not just for Jews but for all religious minorities and sadly for Muslims as well.
          Yes the ruling ayatollahs make a pretense of freedom for Jews. They have exactly one seat in the 290 member parliament who is hand picked by the ayatollah. Christians and Zoroastrians have one seat each also.
          Iran has no such thing as freedom of speech, freedom of conscious or personal liberty. All the Jewish sites you mention are under firm government control. Photo ops for the regime. Many Iranians including Jews are and have been subject to arbitrary arrest without charges and long jail terms without trials. No free speech and minors are still executed.
          Not only is Iran using its large cash payments from Obama to be the world’s largest state exporter of terrorism, it is a terror state for its own people as well as well. I know this because my neighbor’s parents still live in Terhan and are too old to travel. They are not Jews but even they come home from trips to see his parents deeply disturbed about the police state his parents are living in. Even his small children come home from these trips to see their grandparents visibly disturbed and are very withdrawn for about a week after returning from these trips.
          This is no doubt the reason why the number of Persian Jews had fallen from several hundred thousand a century ago to under 7,500 today. They are largely elderly and will die off soon, certainly within this generation. Very different than Israel’s fast grown Arab minority.
          Iran is the main funder of Hezbollah, which the U.S. has certified as a terrorist organization. Their support for global terror knows no bounds and wait to we see how this grows exponentially when Iran finally develop nuclear weapons, which will happen under the Obama deal unless President Trump stops it, like Clinton should have done with North Korea decades ago.
          Whether you like or dislike the current state of Israel, it is very much more free than Iran. It’s very large Arab contingent in the Knesset (about 20% of the body) is elected by Arabs and represents the Arab population. They caused such a ruckus on the day of the Pence visit that they had to be removed from the chamber that day to restore order. Do you really compare this to one old Jew who sits in Iran’s 290 member parliament hand picked by the ayatollah?
          Iran is a total police state. Almost all of my Persian friends in the US, of whom I know and love many, are either too afraid to go visit Iran or go to see old relatives for the last time and are in fear and trepidation until back on US soil.
          I don’t know where you get your facts or favorable disposition to the ayatollah’s police terror state but the narrative you are spreading is not only false but ridiculously so and a dishonor to all who have and continue to suffer under this brutal regime.
          You have made some daffy posts before and I usually laugh at them with the rest of the readers but this is a deadly serious matter, people are being jailed, beaten, tortured and even killed in Iran on a regular basis just for trying to be free. These are facts regardless of what you think of Israel. Your giving comfort to the regime is unworthy of someone who was once an active Orthodox bishop.
          Because of your former high office in the Church, and because of your honorable prior military service, for which I salute and thank you, I have tried to be as respectful as possible, but I am disappointed in you.

          • Michael, I have a feeling you WILL be disappointed even more.

          • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

            Thank you Michael for your comments about the Islamic Republic of Iran. I note that you mentioned some Iranian-American friends who have visited Iran and returned safely. Thank you. I’m not sure what you meant by “freedom of conscious!” You are right that the Jews of Iran may elect only one representative to the parliament of the Islamic Republic. Armenian Christians may elect one representative, Assyrian Christians may elect one representative, and Zoroastrians may elect one representative. In each case this represents 100% more representation in government than any Jew or Christian has in any entity of the Saudi Arabian government, so beloved of our president and the grand old party, G. O. P! I am sure, too, that not all your Iranian-American friends are royalists, and some remember very well the Shah’s secret police called SAVAK, which was not put in the shade at all by the Gestapo and the KGB! But that’s history. There are still about 300 open, active Armenian Christian churches in Iran mostly in Isfahan and Tehran. These are beautifully decorated inside with wall paintings and frescoes while at least one Cathedral in Isfahan has a large painting of the Virgin and Child on an outside wall. Furthermore, the Armenian and Assyrian churches, as well as the beautiful St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Tehran, all have the crosses atop their domes, completely visible to the Islamic populace. The Jews have an annual pilgrimage to the tomb of Esther and Mordecai. The Armenians have a much more popular pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Thaddeus the Apostle at the oldest standing Christian church in the world in northwest Iran. Non-Christian Iranians also participate in this trip, and the Armenian Archbishop performs the Divine liturgy in that church at the conclusion of the pilgrimage. It is true, Michael, that historically speaking Iran is unfriendly to foreign missionaries. Even Nadir Shah did not permit the Carmelites to enter Iran until they swore not to try and convert Iran’s Armenians! A Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, etc., Will not be welcome in the Islamic Republic even today. The Islamic ayatollahs whom you mentioned have an annual dialogue with the Russian Orthodox patriarchate of Moscow.
            Contrast that, all that, with the attitude towards Christians and Jews in our so-called ally, Saudi Arabia! You referred to my service in our Army and Air Force. I have to admit to feeling something close to fury when I contemplate what our government permits in Saudi Arabia. Our own Air Force and Army chaplains are forbidden to wear tiny crosses or stars of David in lapels of their uniforms! Our own Air Force and Army chaplains are forbidden to hold any services whatsoever Jewish or Christian, in the sight and hearing of any Saudi Arabians! Therefore the chaplains hold their services behind the sand dunes so to speak, in order not to defile the holy eardrums of the Sunni Arabs. (Remember also that there were no Iranians in the planes of 9/11! There were only Saudi Arabs there!) Of course our public dogma is that the Islamic Republic is terrorist, while the Saudi kingdom is not!
            You mentioned Hezbollah. Hezbollah, in Lebanon, is not Iranian. It is Lebanese ethnically, Arabic, and its main crime in the minds of president Trump, Sen. Cotton, and Benjamin Netanyahu is that after the Israeli army invaded and occupied South Lebanon, Hezbollah drove them back into Israel! This resulted in their being most hated by the Christian Zionists and others.
            Michael, it is an act of calumny and false witness to even hint that our president Obama gave any American funds to Iran! The agreement with Iran resulted in releasing Iranian funds that had been confiscated by us. And remember this was not just Pres. Obama’s agreement but the agreement of heads of other states and Iran. Pres. Obama didn’t give anything to Iran. The only American president to donate anything to the Islamic Republic of Iran was President Reagan! Remember? He sent Oliver North to Teheran with the cake and the Bible to give to the Ayatollah Khomeini on the occasion of the man’s birthday (and perhaps, who knows, in gratitude for not releasing the hostages until after the election) Reagan also sold military aircraft to the Ayatollah in order to finance his mini-wars in Latin America, which the Democratic Congress refused to do!

            • Bishop Tikhon we are in absolute agreement that the government of the Saudi Kingdom is reprehensible and should not receive a penny in US aid or any moral support. It is a repressive dictatorship. No one would be happier that me to see the House of Saud fall and many princes who have openly funded terrorism hang from the gallows. The only scary part is what may follow.
              But as for Iran, most of what you describe is window dressing. The regime is brutal and repressive. Even after I wrote earlier today the United Nations Human Rights Commission, hardly a hotbed of Trumpism, even more strongly condemned Iran for speeding up the pace of executing minors. I don’t care if they leave a thousand churches standing for tourists or to try to show a false impression of freedom. The facts are there are no human rights in the country. And the sham Parliament you mention? The fundsmentalist clerics on the Guardian Council personally vet every candidate before they are allowed to run, to confirm sufficient loyalty to the ruling ayatollahs.
              As to the money sent by President Obama, it was money owned by the lawful government of Iran when the Shah fell. That much is true. But there is no legitimacy in this current government and, call it what you will, President Obama put billions of dollars in cash into the hands of the largest state sponsor of terrorism on the globe. And make no mistake, Hezbollah, while largely a Lebanese entity, is a terrorist group and receives the lion’s share of its money from the Islamic Republican of Iran.
              I pray for the day when the current regime falls and the proud Persian people have a chance at freedom. I truly hope you do not see Iran’s current rulers as legitimate or in any way respecting even a modicum of human rights.

              • M. Stankovich says

                It seems to me that, now having read Vladyka Tikhon’s response to your critique, you have “softened” your position and are willing to acknowledge in him a modicum of knowledge and possessing a debatable position. It seemed to me from the beginning that he was making a simple analytical comparison: better to be in Iran (not receiving US aid) than in Saudi Arabia (receiving US aid). Obviously, this is a debatable point. Instead, you thought it more appropriate to insult Vladyka by tagging his posts as “daffy,” learned fellow that you be, worthy of a “laugh at them with the rest of the readers” at his expense. I, for one, do not find this amusing in the least. You conclude by suggesting that it is only his high calling as the very “anointed of our God,” and his military service, that spared him from – I don’t know exactly what – name calling and an end to his pension? “Disappointed?” Was not referring to him as “daffy” and “laughable” sufficient? Take a moment to ask yourself how such comments aided your argument.

                • Dr. Stankovich, I have on numerous occasions read posts on this board and others from the Bishop which are entirely in my humble opinion unworthy of his former high office. Many are rude and condescending. As I have said before, if you want to be snarky and condescending just use your name, do not drag a high church office you previously held into the mud with you.
                  I have not softened one bit on the Bishop’s position on Iran. Re-read my post please. I agreed with him on Saudi Arabia, but his position on Iran is as wrong today as it was yesterday, I have not softened one bit.
                  If I was uncharitable to him in my reply, I apologize. I think he is horribly wrong on Iran and it is damaging to the Church when he states his personal political position on Iran using the dignity of his former office. It gives comfort to terrorists coming from a (former) Orthodox Christian bishop.
                  I still respect his prior service to both Church and Country. I am unhappy at his giving comfort to the ayatollahs and Hezbollah etc. and perhaps that overly colored my post.

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    If anything, your response does demonstrate your capability & capacity to “debate” Vladyka Tikon without insulting him. Personally, I keep two things in mind:

                    “White hair is a crown of glory, if it is found in the way of righteousness.” (Prov. 16:31) Vladyka Tikhon served a quarter century in the vineyard of our Lord faithfully & without scandal. His writings regarding Liturgical practice remain on the diocesan website, and are referred to around the Orthodox world.

                    But more importantly, St. Ignatius (Branchianinov) said, “If you could actually see the holiness God has bestowed upon a Bishop, you would fall down.”

                    Perspective and joy, in my opinion, allows us, first, to set aside what so “distresses” us about anyone, and to see what is most precious. My opinion only.

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      Thank you, Michael S.! “Michael’s mind was made up long ago: Bishop Tikhon is a “poisoned well” (a logical category); therefor one need not prepare a logical response to his propositions, I offer here some recent remarks of Noam Chomsky who is not a Bishop-Bogeyman like me! “Iran has long been regarded by US leaders,And by US media commentary, as extraordinarily dangerous, perhaps the most dangerous country on the planet. This goes back to well before Trump. In the doctrinal system, Iran is a dual menace: it is the leading supporter of terrorism, and its nuclear programs pose an existential threat to Israel, if not the whole world. It is so dangerous that Obama had to install an advanced air defense system near the Russian border to protect Europe from Iranian nuclear weapons – which don’t exist, and which, in any case, Iranian leaders would use only if possessed by a desire to be instantly incinerated in return.
                      That’s the doctrinal system. In the real world, Iranian support for terrorism translates to support for Hezbollah, whose major crime is that it is the sole deterrent to yet another destructive Israeli invasion of Lebanon, and for Hamas, which won a free election in the Gaza Strip – a crime that instantly elicited harsh sanctions and led the US government to prepare a military coup. Both organizations, it is true, can be charged with terrorist acts, though not anywhere near the amount of terrorism that stems from Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the formation and actions of GRD networks.”

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      Thank you, Michael S.! “Michael’s mind was made up long ago: Bishop Tikhon is a “poisoned well” (a logical category); therefor one need not prepare a logical response to his propositions, I offer here some recent remarks of Noam Chomsky who is not a Bishop-Bogeyman like me! “Iran has long been regarded by US leaders,And by US media commentary, as extraordinarily dangerous, perhaps the most dangerous country on the planet. This goes back to well before Trump. In the doctrinal system, Iran is a dual menace: it is the leading supporter of terrorism, and its nuclear programs pose an existential threat to Israel, if not the whole world. It is so dangerous that Obama had to install an advanced air defense system near the Russian border to protect Europe from Iranian nuclear weapons – which don’t exist, and which, in any case, Iranian leaders would use only if possessed by a desire to be instantly incinerated in return.
                      That’s the doctrinal system. In the real world, Iranian support for terrorism translates to support for Hezbollah, whose major crime is that it is the sole deterrent to yet another destructive Israeli invasion of Lebanon, and for Hamas, which won a free election in the Gaza Strip – a crime that instantly elicited harsh sanctions and led the US government to prepare a military coup. Both organizations, it is true, can be charged with terrorist acts, though not anywhere near the amount of terrorism that stems from Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the formation and actions of jihadi networks.”

            • Gail Sheppard says

              “100% more representation” means 100% more fighting. It is impossible to move forward when every other single member of a governing body wants to move in a different direction. – In this country, we have a pendulum that swings back and forth and though we may not like the direction it’s going at any particular point in time, at least know the clock is moving.

              • George Michalopulos says

                As usual a good point.

                Your Grace, there is a workable solution to the conundrum you posit and that is to adhere to the Constitution and elevate the States to where they belong. That would mean that all but four Cabinet positions would be abolished, as well as the Federal Reserve, among other things.

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Repeal the 16th and 17th amendments. If the 16th amendment were repealed there would no longer be any question concerning the tax exemption for churches. Tithing would be more generous probably, at least mine would.

            • Constaninos says

              I don’t know why people on this forum don’t read The Jerusalem Post and Al Jazeera. If you read The Jerusalem Post, it is obvious that we live in extremely dangerous times. One of the sub headings in the newspaper today reads,” The War With Iran Has Begun.” That’s right. Israel wants a war with Iran and she wants it now. Guess which country is going to be the first casualty of this inevitable war? You’re right! It’s the US.
              When Israel tried to start a war with Iran before, they wanted the US to attack Iran. War with Iran is Israel’s top priority and their awful intention is for the US to do most of the fighting. Do you realize what is going to happen when Iran closes the Strait of Hormuz? It could lead to world wide conflagration.
              I also believe this US demonization of Russia is a prelude to war with Russia via Syria and/or Iran. I shudder to think what the future will be like for our children and grandchildren, if there is any future. Our Lord said,” Blessed are the peacemakers,” not Blessed are the warmongers.

            • Again, interesting how the mind works. The brain might forgive and forget, but Aah, the heart never forgets! Young love stays with us forever, even in our golden years. So much so, that it turns a blind eye to systematic torture, and execution of one regime, by simply pointing out the faults and sins of another.

              Here’s a thought, for our friends in Russia. Tell Putin, Russia might be better off sending sexy Russian girls to warp the mind of young, unmarried, up and coming politicians, instead of hacking elections, if they really want to influence our future politicians, and country. Did a young Persian girl, break your heart, during your youth, Your Grace?

              A retired United States Navy man, and American Bishop, quick to criticize and predict the end of his President, President Trump, why? The inexcusable, uncontrollable sexual agape, bad business deals, and guilty of pse’mata! The man lies, and is addicted to women, as if most other presidents were not guilty of lies, corruption, and sexual romps, not to mention the last three previous presidents, guilty of, illegal drug use. We also, now know most presidents had adulterous sex, the last hundred odd years in the White House. My heavens one would imagine we elected a bishop, not a president!

              I will give Obama credit, he was not the liar Clinton was. Obama admitted he inhaled. He even admitted to snorting, a little coke, as well, but never tried heroin, because he didn’t like his drug dealer. HMM?

            • Gail Sheppard says

              Your Grace, making the point that because Hezbollah is in Lebanon, they are not Iranian is like saying because I am Mrs. Sheppard, I am still married to one! Please tell me you know Hezbollah is being employed by Iran regardless of their origin.

              • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                Gail, your analogy is false. Iran is a non-Semitic non-Arabic nation, which speaks an Indo-Iranian language-Persian (just as “Deutsch” is the German word for “German”, Faarsi” is the Persian word for “Persian.” I tell Americans that I am fluent in German–never that I am fluent in “Deutsch!). Hezbollah is a powerful Lebanese political party, consisting of Lebanese citizens, who are not Iranians, but Arabs. It is current establishment dogma here that Iran backs terrorism. As Noam Chomsky recently wrote, “That’s the doctrinal system…In the real world, Iranian support for terrorism translates to support for Hezbollah, whose major crime is that it is the sole deterrent to yet another destructive Israeli invasion of Lebanon, and for Hamas, which won a free election in the Gaza Strip— crime that instantly elicited harsh sanctions and led the U.S. government to prepare a military coup.” Hezbollah is not Iranian. It is Lebanese, If you maintain it’s Iranian, you must maintain that Saudi-Arabia is American—especially in Yemen!

                • Constaninos says

                  Bishop Tikhon, May I add to your excellent post? The overwhelming majority of Lebanese Christians support Hezbollah. Just because Israel and the US claim that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization doesn’t make it true. In the war of Israeli aggression in 2006, I was hoping Hezbollah would give Israel a good, well deserved beating. Zionism is racism, colonialism, and ethnic cleansing. I support Iran, Lebanon, Hamas, and Hezbollah.

                  • Martyr’s Guilt says

                    What’s wrong George cat got your tongue usually it’s indeed to your well spoken well mannered friend

                  • Martyr’s Guilt says

                    What’s wrong George cat got your tongue usually it’s indeed to your well spoken well mannered friend?

                  • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

                    RE: “I support Iran, Lebanon, Hamas, and Hezbollah.”

                    “Constantinos,” surely you jest!

                    Iran is a major supporter of Islamic terrorism, as well as a serious international threat to the United States. Hamas and Hezbollah are Islamic terrorists organizations by any meaningful definition of that term.

                    Is your obvious hostility toward Israel blinding you to reality?

                    • Constaninos says

                      Father Webster,
                      Thank you for your military service. As the saying goes,” One man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter.” When Israel brutally invaded and occupied southern Lebanon in 1982, they killed 20,000 Lebanese citizens. Hezbollah was in its diapers at the time. Their guerilla tactics finally drove the Israeli military out of Lebanon after 18 years of occupation. Hezbollah is now Lebanon’s most effective army beloved by Lebanese Christians and Muslims alike.
                      Iran has friendly relations with Russia but not the US. Did Iran support Al Queda or ISIL? No, they didn’t and they don’t. As you know Iran drove ISIL out of Iraq and Syria. Iran is not hostile to the Jewish people, but is hostile to the Zionist regime. I am hostile to the racist, apartheid state of Israel. As I stated once before, the illegal apartheid wall must fall.
                      The racist Zionist regime is the bully of the Middle East. I support the peaceful dismantlement of the Zionist regime to be replaced by one nation called Palestine where the rights of Christians, Muslims and Jews are respected. Jerusalem should be under international control. The UN resolution of 1973 rightly stated that Zionism is racism. It is also apartheid, colonialism, and ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinians. No wonder Israel was a partner with apartheid South Africa. I also we need to cut off military aid to Israel because she is a nuclear power that hasn’t signed NNPT. I despise nuclear weapons, but if Israel can possess them, then I see no reason that Iran can’t have them as well. It would be a good counterbalance to Israeli aggression in the region. Is it any wonder that Israel and Saudi Arabia are secretly allies? Free Palestine!! By the way, Father Webster, I appreciate the kind and civil tone of your post. It is a pleasure to converse with someone I respect so much.

                    • Serge Boikoff says

                      Dear Fr. Alexander!

                      For someone of your erudition and scholarship, your reasoning is terribly flawed.

                      I find it galling that you would consider Hezbollah a ‘Islamic terrorist organisation.’

                      They are fighting in Syria alongside:
                      Syrian Arab Army (secular; mixed Sunni, Shia, Christian, Alawite, Druze)
                      Russian Armed Forces (mostly Orthodox Christian)
                      Palestinian militias (secular; mostly Sunnis and Christians)
                      The SSNP (secular; mostly Orthodox Christian)

                      ‘moderate opposition’ (US- and Turkey-supported Islamists)
                      ISIS (Israeli- and US-backed Islamists)

                      Not to mention that they have broad support in Lebanon, an ethnically- and religiously-mixed country if there ever was one. They even officially stepped back from Islamism around a decade ago ( and have become more of a national resistance movement, and a legitimate one at that, according to both the Lebanese and Russian governments.

                      Is your obvious devotion to Israel blinding you to reality?

                  • …You not only misspell a great Orthodox Christian name, but then you go on with manifest expressions of support with groups, who would no doubt nail you or hang you upside down on your church door, as they did EP Gregory V of Constantinople, and then only in the Jew hating Greek and Russian tradition, make you fall for tricks played out by the Turks, that the Jews, enthusiastically dragged the EP’s body thru the streets, and then threw him into the sea. Were always played by our masters.

                    If Islam ever ruled the world, as you imagine the Jews do, I am sure your attitude would change. Shame on you, and the Bishop you praise. Do you not understand Islam hates, not only Jews, but Christians as well. Bishop! Go to Iran, and spread the Good News there, see how long you will last, until you find yourself in a lovely Iranian prison. I’m sure you will receive a lot of respect, and love, by the guards, no different than you would in Saudi Arabian Prison.

                    A blessed Lent to all!

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      And a blessed Lent to you as well, Dino! Good to see you back!

                      While I agree with you that I prefer Israel as a nation-state to any garden-variety Islamic nation (just without US aid –I’m an America-firster), I feel I must correct you regarding the death and mutilation of the body of Gregory V.

                      For the record, the body of Patriarch Gregory V was taken down and given to the Jewish community in Constantinople, which did (along with several dozen Moslems) drag it threw the streets, infuriating the Greeks (who were also being massacred at the same time). It also infuriated the Russians (as well as the rest of Europe). Once Greek sailors had recovered it, they sailed with it to Odessa, Russia and undertook a counter-pogrom against the Jews of that city (which the Russian constabulary had to put down, focusing primarily against the Greeks, not the Jews believe it or not).

                      As for whether the Jews of C’pole participated with enthusiasm in this gruesome act or were forced to do so by the Ottoman overlords, the record is not clear. The only thing we know for sure from the eyewitness accounts was that it was a combined mob of Jews and Moslems which perpetrated this atrocity and that they appeared to be gleeful as they paraded the patriarch’s body threw the streets. Regardless of the intent behind this action, reasonable people can agree that it was most regrettable and that those who partook in it deserve obloquy.

                      Side note re Odessa: at the time of the original pogrom against that city’s Jews conducted by the Greeks, the Greeks were the predominant mercantile minority. Subsequent to this, the Jews of that city perpetrated several pogroms against the Greeks and eventually drove them out of business, believe it or not.

                      As for the Peloponnese, the rebellious Greeks were so outraged by the original atrocity that they took revenge against Jews in northern Greece viewing them as collaborators of the Turks (which they largely were). Many Greeks engraved the name “Gregory V” on their swords. What’s even more ironic about all this is that Gregory V had earlier condemned the Greek rebellion.

                      I also must take issue with your assessment regarding relations between Greeks and Jews and Russians and Jews. It’s very complicated. As far as Greeks are concerned, Hellenic anti-Semitism predated the Gospel by centuries. Lest we forget, both the ancient Greeks and Romans –pagans all–despised pretty much all Semites, not just Jews. These feelings were exacerbated during the lead-up to the First Jewish War when Jews all over the Roman world in a feverish state of messianic expectation spontaneously committed mass-murders against non-Jewish civilians.

                      As for the Russians, I was able to get a copy of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s 200 Years Together, which paints a far different picture of Russian-Jewish (more like Ukrainian/Byelorussian-Jewish) relations. Ukrainian peasants especially, had been cruelly exploited by their Polish-Lithuanian overlords who used Jewish middlemen to do the exploiting. (A similar situation had obtained in Moorish Spain and Norman England for that matter.)

                      And of course I’ve read several of the writings of Theodore Herzl and Ze’ev Jabotinsky, two of the leading lights of Zionism. I was surprised about how much they viewed the antipathy between Jew and European through a racial, non-religious prism. This is as opposed to the present paradigm which lays all anti-Semitism at the foot of the Cross. Their view of European anti-Semitism was a clinical one in that they viewed this type of racialism as inevitable. They also viewed Jewish emancipation in Europe with abject horror (as did the rabbis), seeing as how this led to increased intermarriage with gentiles. Hence their desire to set up a separate state for the Jews. Given this paradigm, there was no choice but to eradicate the natives of Palestine and failing that, to set up an apartheid state based on ethnic segregation.

                    • Welcome back, Dino!

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      Why Dino! So much paranoia! IF you are an Orthodox Christian, you must recognize St John of Damascus as a leading mind and teacher–a Holy Father–perhaps the chief dogmatist among the Fathers. He belonged to the ancient Christian family, the Mansours. He served, as had his grandfather before him, as the Vizier to the Umayyad Caliph in Damascus. It is even believed that his grandfather was the Christian leader who opened the city gates of Damascus to the invading Islamic army (as was done elsewhere in the non-Greek Middle East and in Egypt, where Constantinople was always problematic as Christian government). The Mansour family, like many other Christian families, were able to keep their Holy Icons in safety from the iconoclastic Byzantines! The Moslems left undisturbed, as they even do today, the Head of Saint John the Baptist enshrined in the Great Umayyad Mosque in Damascus. As far as Islamic doctrine goes, St John includes Islam in his great work “Against Heresies”, describing Islam as one of those heresies. (It wasn’t until the time of Rome’s Crusades that an opposition to Islam as something like “Infidel Evil” replaced St John’s teachings on the topic!) It is nuclear-armed Israel that prevents all possibility of a peaceful Middle East, not Iran! Why doesn’t Israel sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty? Atheist Turks were responsible for the murder of Gregory V as for the Turkish massacre of Armenians. The Holy Synod of the Moscow Pariarchate, Dino, has an annual dialogue with those Moslem mullahs of Iran—hadn’t you heard? THEY apparently don’t feel contaminated or traitorous for doing so! Iran has NEVER EVER welcomed foreign missionaries, while protecting the ancient Assyrian, Armenian, and Jewish communities there. The clergy and people of St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Tehran do not fear being locked up in prison. I would trust their opinion of the Islamic Republic’s government more than Dino’s! Dino! Are the security police of the Islamic Republic better or worse than the secret police (SAVAK) of the Shah (who ran away rather than face the music)? EVERY jihadist movement in the Middle East is supported and/or outright financed by the anti-Iranian Saudi Arabian kingdom. Dino! I am not one of those imbeciles who imagine that Jews rule the world! Where ever did you get that idea! In my opinion, Baron Rothschild and George Soros are great men and great philanthropists who, nevertheless, have very little in common, outside of ethnos, with the leaders of Israel! Many Orthodox Jews disapprove of the modern European state: Israel—on religious grounds! IMHO, you just have a shallow comprehension of the Middle East acquired from SCANNING newspapers and magazines. Many Moslems and many Christians hate Jews–no doubt about that. But hatred of Jews and hatred of Christians is as much forbidden by the Qur’an as it is by our Gospels.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Your Grace, I find your thoughts stimulating and worth of consideration. Until you conflate the words “George Soros” and “philanthropist” in the same sentence.

                      Soros is a philanthropist in the same way that Henry VIII was a widower.

                    • Constaninos says

                      In response to Dino:
                      Thus speaketh the Christian Zionist.

                    • Bishop, I don’t know what type of baptized Orthodox Christian you, or I are. I do know my father’s ancestors might have known of some Russian Orthodox Bishops who dined with their Communist friends, whom were the eyes and ears of the KGB, and then past judgment on Russian Jews, and Greeks living in Georgia. Many enjoyed a free, one way train ride to Siberia, unless of course, one was good, monetarily, or otherwise, with the well feed Bishops! Keeping the masses at each others throats is old school for our friends in high places, then and especially now! Even today some of the old Communist ruled Russian Bishop informants are still around, one might even be the MP of Russia!

                      My mother’s ancestors also knew Bishops in Smyrna who dined with the Ottoman Turks, most of which were Islamic, not atheists. You see my mother’s ancestors were wealthy in Smyrna, and understood the politics at play. They left Smyrna with only a key to their home, but at least unscathed. No such luck for the Bishop’s and priest’s dead bodies were also dragged throughout the streets of Smyrna, like EP Gregory V of Constantinople, even after so much jizya was payed to their Islamic masters. Saint Chrysostomos of Smyrna was not sparred, his eyes, nose, ears and beard, while dragged through the streets, but of course those must have been atheist Turks as well, right Bishop!? As if the atheist Turks made such big decisions, on their own, in Islamic Turkey, but whatever helps you sleep at night, Bishop!

                      Thankfully you, nor I, will never have to navigate such roads, of right and wrong, when lives and souls are at stake, as the Bishops, and occupied before us. Tending one’s garden, Your Grace, is much safer for us!

                    • Lost Post? BTW/P.S. Bishop Tikhon, Please quit with selective hearing. You know; the Russian Clergy of Saint Nicholas in Tehran know; everyone knows; Preach the Good News of Christ Risen From The Dead,or pass out Holy Bibles, in downtown Tehran, and you will either end up dead, beaten to a pulp, or in prison, to which the prison guards will show you some Iranian hospitality.

                      Do you imagine the protection given to the religious minorities in Iran comes free, out of the kindness of Islamic hospitality as well? Someone is/was paying for that protection, to the Iranians, and at the same time protecting Iran from the Great Satan, The United States. You know the country you call home, and served for. I also noticed the Russians are learning from their Iranian friends, as well and kicking out non-Orthodox evangelists, out of Russia, as well. Birds of a feather, Your Grace! No such worries, for evangelists, in your evil empire of Israel,(little Satan among Islamist) but the Jews, do get nervous when they see a Muslim with a backpack, and not because they imagine it is full of Islamic literature to convert them!

                    • Peace, prayers, and blessings to you Brian! I always enjoy your posts. You always remind me, of myself, if I was intelligent and learned, as you are!

                      Sorry for the outburst during Lent, but even hints of selective hatred, boils my blood. The Jews, have earned the right to some slack, and support for at least a century, before hatred is feed to a frenzy again. Some day we might be on the receiving end. The holocaust was real, and so systematically evil, and effective, we must be very sensitive to such evil returning. Some how we have forgotten how horrible it was, by comparing it to other horrors of history, but what was done to a religion in such a short period of time must never be forgotten, no matter how envious we are of a intelligent sect/religion of people who stick together, and support one another, most likely out of survival DNA, inbred thru the centuries.

                    • Dino,

                      Thank you for your very kind words. It’s good to see you back again. I hope you stick around.

                      I have avoided commenting on, or reacting to, anything political lately– not because I lack opinions, but because (especially in this thread) there is at least some truth to what almost everyone has written. Discerning the truth is rarely simple and straightforward when it comes to political matters. This is not necessarily a criticism of anyone’s comments, but it is why I hesitate to do so myself. It is difficult, if not impossible, to be 100% right about things that are a sinful mess by their very nature. No matter what one says, someone else will (often rightly) point out why it is wrong in some way or another, I find much the same in all discussions of a political nature on this blog or anywhere else.

                      Perhaps the only comment in this thread with which I can agree in its totality without reservation is the one Monk James offered on February 16th.

                      Thank you for your prayers. They are most needed! God bless you.

                    • Constaninos says

                      This post is to Dino and all other Christian Zionists:
                      In the Jerusalem Post today, one of the headlines reads The Church of the Holy Sepulchre Closes. The Church of the Resurrection has closed its doors in protest of Israel’s moves against the church. The Christian leaders say that Israel is systematically trying to reduce the Christian presence in the Holy Land through punitive taxation.
                      Now, this is one of the things in the article that irritates me. It says many Christians believe the Church is the site of Christ’s entombment and ” alleged resurrection.” Alleged resurrection? Who talks like that? Do the Jews not become apoplectic when someone refers to the “alleged holocaust?’ For the record, I believe the Holocaust occurred in which approximately six million Jews perished through the Nazi plan to exterminate all of European Jewry. Got it Dino? I’m a holocaust believer in the worst genocide in world history- the deliberate extermination of the Jews by the Nazis.
                      I believe the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is absolute historical fact. In truth, it is one of the best proven facts in all of history.
                      In my humble opinion, all Christian Zionists like Dino need to learn how to think logically and rationally. In reading Dino’s posts, I find them poorly written with bad grammar and poor spelling. His thinking seems very convoluted and illogical to me. Dino, since you are not a student of history, let me spell it out in plain language for you: Israel is a racist, apartheid state built on ethnic cleansing and land theft. I believe it is deeply unChristian to support Zionism and the racist, apartheid state of Israel. If you want to be on the side of angels, support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction movement. Free Palestine!
                      In one of Dino’s dumber statements, he wrote that due to the Holocaust, the Jews get a pass for at least one hundred years. Wrong as usual, Dino. It’s nice to see that you grant them the permission to kill Palestinian children through land theft, pillaging and ethnic cleansing. By the way, Dino, who gave you that lordly right? Dino, talking to you is like talking to a brick wall due to your inability to think and reason. Instead of trying to run with the big dogs like Vladyka and Joseph Lipper, just stay on the porch.

                    • Constaninos,

                      I am sorry I insult your intelligence. Most here, look past my uneducated state, in Christ-like fashion, and put up with me. One fine brother, even thought me so wise in spirit, that he asked to be my Spiritual son. I left this site so that I would not improperly influence him, and harm him in anyway. Since he is gone I thought I was safe to return. You might know whom I’m referring to, apparently you are leaving as well? Safe travels…

                      May I add? I do not see myself as a Zionist. You seem to worry who has rights over another, or which government or political movement is right or wrong. Really makes no difference, in the end you will be disappointed. I seek no man made kingdoms on earth.

                      I only seek the Kingdom of God, everything else will follow;

                      “But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you”(Mt 6:33)

                      But also

                      “From the days of John the Baptist until now, The Kingdom of Heaven suffer violence, and the violent take it by force.”(Mt 11:12)

                • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                  One further remark for Gail Sheppard who wrote: “Please tell me you know Hezbollah is being employed by Iran regardless of their origin.” Gail! Please tell me you know that America is being employed by Israel and Saudi Arabia regardless of their origin!

                  • Constaninos says

                    Your Grace,
                    With all due respect, you have some serious brain power. You have written some excellent posts. Thank you!

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  Your Grace, I never said Hezbollah was Iranian. I said they were in Iran.

                  • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                    Gail, I was referring to Hezbollah in Lebanon, a Lebanese Arabic political party that defends Lebanon from Israeli aggression. If you have some complaints about Iranian-located Hezbollah, let’s hear them! Perhaps you’ll enlighten us all on the leadership of both Hezbollahs?

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      An’ Do HezBOllah Ynnn LeBanon EVuh tRavEll bEyonD da hOOD? cuz DERee IZ $Um bAD BoyS wIF DAAA $ames NAmee $HaKin DOwn irAnnn Fo” uhh LOttt o’ ChANGE.

                      A little ghetto talk seemed appropriate.

                      (And does Hezbollah in Lebanon ever travel beyond the hood? Because there are some bad boys with the same name shaking down Iran for a lot of change. )


                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      Gail is being inspired by George’s “muse!” And addressing an audience that needed mommy to translate? Hezbollah, the Lebanese political faction, rarely travels outside Lebanon. I suggest consulting Christians in Lebanon how they view Hezbollah. I’ve done it. Although I was born in Detroit and always attended integrated classes from kindergarten in 1934-5, and matriculated at Wayne State and served in the integrated U.S. Army, I feel Gail’s attempt at satirizing what she calls “ghetto talk,” flops miserably—tone deaf, too, I bet! To “shake down” is regular white urban English; moreover, I am unaware of Hezbollah in Lebanon doing that to Iran! What an idea! What leverage would they have to shake down Iran? A modern Iranian-American girl visited some relatives in Beirut. When her cousin suggested a visit to an area of the city controlled by Hezbollah, the American asked where she could get a hejab. Her cousin burst into laughter. “The only time we ever wore hejabs here was when Ahmadi-nejad officially visited Beirut, and that was just for one day if we went where he was visiting!”

                    • Gail,
                      To say that I’m extremely disappointed in you would be a gross understatement. “Ghetto talk?” Are you ridiculing black people? No group of people has suffered more in the US than our African American brothers and sisters. I love black people – and don’t take kindly to them being the subject of ridicule. This is one of the problems of our Orthodox Church. There’s is no outreach. I would love to see every Orthodox Church filled every Sunday with African Americans and people of all races and nationalities. Orthodoxy is supposed to be for everyone, not just Greeks and white people. This is one of the main reasons that Orthodoxy is almost dead in America. We’re still living in the long ago days of the misogynistic, racist Byzantine Empire.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Costa, I hate to see you go and I hope you will reconsider but I must take you gently to task when you impute “racism” and “misogyny” to the Byzantine Empire. I think it is stretching things a bit if you ask me.

                      To me, any society that reveres and venerates the Theotokos cannot be misogynistic in style or scope. Remember, women only enjoyed emancipation in Christendom and that was because of the Blessed Virgin. One of the tragedies of the Reformation was the marginalization of Christ’s mother. Women in the Protestant West simply had no understanding of the proper role of women as women in society. In traditional European societies (Catholic as well as Orthodoxy) women are not marginalized in any way as they are in Protestantism. Hence today we see the phenomenon of women “running amok” (I believe that was Gail’s phrase). I’m sorry but even in largely secularized Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, etc. there’s no clamor for women to go marching through the streets wearing Pussy Hats. (That’s a symptom of the true “gender dysphoria” that afflicts the West today.)

                      As for “racism” that’s a modern concept brought about in the wake of Darwinism. And anyway, it’s ridiculous to impute it to a largely European phenomenon such as Byzantium. If you want to see what true racism looks like, consider the African slave trade that went from Africa to the Middle East, which was mandatory castration for black men and infanticide for babies born to black women. And I don’t even want to go into what the great Islamic and Talmudic sages say about Africans.

                  • Gail, Bishop Tikhon, et al,

                    I don’t want to leave you all believing I have no respect for bishops. Quite the opposite, it is because I have so much reverence for bishops, monks, nuns and priests that I hold them to a higher standard. In other words, I expect them to respect the role and calling God have given them.

                    In my previous post I mentioned that some bishops were traitors to their flock and community. This info I obtained from both sides of my family, but especially my mothers side in Smyrna. As I said my mother’s ancestors were very wealthy in Smyrna, and we all know how at times clergy tend to cling the wealthy. So some in my family were a bit jaded by bishops playing both sides of the fence to appeal to their Muslim protectors, and laity. In the end their Muslim masters would betray them with murder in horrible fashion.

                    The second part of this story is that when my mother’s family fled Smyrna with only what ever they could carry, they began a new life on the Island of Chios. They never regained the wealth they had in Smyrna, but still managed a good business downtown, and were well known on the Island. They would again lose nearly all again with the Nazis, but by the grace of God survived. My grandparents, mother, aunts, and uncles would only tell us endearing stories of the godly clergy of Chios. One cousin, and great,great Aunt became nuns under Saint Anthimos. My mother, and her siblings still remember blessings, and even jumping and playing on Saint Anthimos bed when the family would visit him.

                    My mother’s Uncle, Vasilios, was a true servant of God, and help not only many in clergy, but the poor of Chios as well. Their last name is still well known within the older generations in Chios. When he passed away in his fifties, no one in town would except payment for any of the funeral costs, and hundreds came to pay respects. At the time of his death, Aghia Skepi Monastery received a new Evangelio which would traditionally remain in the church for forty days. Geronda Cornelios of the monastery instead brought it to my grandfather and asked if would alright to leave it on my Great Uncle Vasilios’s office desk for 40 days instead, and did just that! My Great Uncle Vaslios last words to my uncle before he died was, “Never worry, God will provide all!” when my uncle promised to take care of his children, at his deathbed. Sorry for the ramble, I just want to say that my family has seen both the worse of clergy, and the best, through it all they only emphasize the good, and have always only taught us to respect, love, honor, and treat clergy as you would a family member. I say this with tears running down my face.

                    Now, in regards to Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald, Do you imagine it is wise for a bishop retired or not to come on blogs and make political beliefs manifest to all. You tempt us, not only to scandalize you, but scandalize us as well. I would love to hear, what you might have to share in all things that apply to Orthodox Christianity, or the insights that only a bishop could share with laity. Help Strengthen, our faith, help make this blog, pleasing to God, not just a den of gossip, and politics. You have so much good to offer us. Trying to convince us that terrorists or the countries that support terrorist is not good, no matter how bad the ‘other guys’ are. Forgive me, and pray for me, Your Grace! In all sincerity, and concern, a Blessed Lent to All!

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Dino, I’m mightily impressed by the spirituality of your relatives. A blessing to you. And to our blog because you are on it.

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says

              Bishop Tikhon is rightvabour Iran and our so-called friend Saudi Arabia. He is also correct about Hezbolla and why Israel and their Christian Zionist backers hate Hezbolla. Good job your eminence. Happy Great Lent and may you have an even greater Pascha. I humbly ask that you please forgive me of my sins against you, and ask for your irreverent prayers for my family and myself.

              Glory to Jesus Christ!

              Peter A Papoutsis

          • Billy Jack Sunday says

            I just falafel about this as well

          • The only place on Earth truly safe for the Jews is Israel.

            Sure, other countries — especially the United States of America (finally) — offer assurances of equality and non-discrimination to everyone, but that’s just a law on the books. It doesn’t in any way protect Jews or anyone else from intolerance and persecution — it merely offers legal relief if those who are suffering under such prejudice can prove that they’ve been mistreated.

            In the second year of my doctoral program, I was asked to serve on a committee which — among other things — considered whether or not particular ‘religious’ houses could be accommodated in campus housing for undergraduates.. There were Catholic requests and Buddhist requests and Hindu requests — all of which could be addressed with minimum readjustments on the part of other students in the residence halls.

            But the Jews needed a kosher kitchen. On top of that, they needed a kitchen _kosher le pesakh_ — kosher for Passover. So they needed access to two kitchens all the time, depending on their level of observance, and a rabbinic certification for one of those kitchens for at least one week out of the year.

            The idea of ‘religious’ houses came up several times during my service on that committee, but when the question of a Jewish house came up, I (unexpectedly) said: Let’s give them their kosher kitchen. When the Jews are safe, everyone is safe.’ And so we did.

            For that, I was given some sort of award.

            I feel the same way about Zionism. There must be some place where the Jews can feel safe, and we should help them in that.

            But it is a serious mistake for us Christians to think that helping the Jews return to the land which God allowed them is in any way connected with the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord will not be coerced by anything we mortals do, Jews or Gentiles, temple rebuilt or not.

            • Well said Monk James. I was the person who George mentioned as having to google Christian Zionism. It is nonsense certainly as a theology. But what do you expect coming from the likes of John Hagee.
              But you are also right, Israel is the only place on earth where Jews can truly feel safe. That safety is slipping away and nearly gone in many parts of Europe – just look at France for an example.
              There are 57 majority Muslim nations on the earth. They largely have abysmal human rights records even for Muslims. The percentage of the population that to this day supports the death penalty for apostasy ranges from 60 to 90% according to Pew.
              It may not be perfect but in Israel Arab Israelis have significantly more rights than religious minorities in any of the 57 majority Muslim countries.
              The Palestinians lost land because time after time they declared Israel did not have the right to exist and attacked it. Each time they lost, badly. I hope that God grants Israel many years of safety and security in their dangerous neighborhood.

            • The Jews feel safe in their homeland, I wonder if Europeans will ever experience that again.

  3. Joseph Lipper says

    George, you are a real stand up guy. Great post and video, thank you.

    I just wanted to say there is a real Christian Zionism, though. It’s called the Kingdom of Heaven, and it comes through being a part of Christ’s Church and through our repentance of sins. Wishing everyone a blessed Great Lent. To everyone, please forgive me, a sinner.

  4. Wow that’s real good. They really the “Christian Zionists” should be a cult along side the Adventists and Jehovah Witness and Mormons. They believe in the “rapture” so some of them get whisked away into heaven by osmosis. Ones left behind await “Christ’s second return to rule 1000 years as in Revelation ‘1000 year reign of Christ.’ ” Only problem there that’s the son of perdition. Mix up. Jesus is not coming back to rule the earth he already told Satan that in Scripture when He was forty days out in the dessert that the ‘world’ he was ‘prince’ (and has nothing in Him) and also told the same thing to Pontius Pilot that our world was not His. Then with this eschatological incoherence or madness what then after “thousand year reign of Christ” did it fail? How? Is there an ‘armageddon’ somewhere along the way, lots of questions. Orthodox Church Fathers have taught “thousand year reign of Christ” is not literally 1000 years, in Revelation it denotes “long period of time” allegorical.
    Reign of Christ begins at Pascha Resurrection and is to our day. For theologians they may state Pentecost was Day One of the Reign of Christ.

    • Cy, FYI, Mormons do not believe in the rapture, one of the few things they get right. They are polytheists, and I am not just talking about The Trinity, which is all one needs to know about them.

      Let’s just say Utah drivers are notorious for cutting off each other, in reckless haste to get in front of others. Why? As the joke goes, No god before me!

    • Billy Jack Sunday says

      No way Jesus was out forty days in the dessert

      For one, He was fasting . . .

      • Michael Bauman says

        Billy Jack….joke or being obtuse. Sometimes I can’t tell for sure

        • Billy Jack Sunday says


          Where in the scriptures is there any reference about Jesus and desserts?

          Pomegranates by themselves do not count, btw. Neither does honeycomb.

          Although you could use those items in a dessert, scripture doesn’t indicate that Jesus ever did so

          • Michael Bauman says

            Ahhh, the light dawns. Thank you Obi-Wan.

            • Billy Jack Sunday says


              You tease me

              But your Guardian Angel watches over you with a lightsaber

              For what is a flaming sword? Obviously it’s a lightsaber and your Angel watches over you with one while using angelic force . . . Wind, flame, etc . . .

              Much better than Angels In The Outfield . . .

              • Michael Bauman says

                BJS, St. Michael’s sword is both fire and light protecting the vulnerable and ravaging evil sundering the two even within one’s heart. Whatever it may look like iconographically, it is likely not a medieval broadsword or Roman short sword.

                He, or one of the heavenly host under his command, yelled at me once to keep me from being killed and one guided my late wife and her friend through the NJ Parkway once sitting on their car like a hood ornament. They are a blessing to have around.

                Now, if all of us who bear Michael’s name would act like him, there would be fewer lost boys and predatory males out there. Despite his strength and martial appearance, his name contains the ultimate humility: Who is there like God?

                And since you bring it up: Let the free association begin.

                The Angels in the Outfield always felt a bit creepy to me. I wondered which team they actually played for both here and in the unseen world especially with the Danny Glover remake. At least in Damn Yankees it was clear: Whatever Lola wants; Lola gets….. I wonder who Bryce Harper has been seeing lately? Alas they no longer play the Yankees as the old Washington Senators did (or tried to).

                The MLB Angels are a team to watch this year now that it is not just Mike (note the Michael) Trout and his minions. Don’t know anything about their pitching though.

                The Angels will remain for a long time the poster child for not paying a lot of money for a long period of time to aging stars.

                With both Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer going to the National League, I may have to find an NL team to root for. The Brewers are the most likely, Ryan Braun notwithstanding. Watching LoCain is fun.


                • Billy Jack Sunday says



                  Could you elaborate on your stories of angelic shouts and hood surfing, please? I think these stories should be told

                  I would say I believe I may have had three angelic encounters myself, maybe more, but three I think as such

                  • Michael Bauman says


                    In 1974 I was in Fargo, N.D. I was driving home alone in my car late (for Fargo) one night in a 40 mph zone approaching a major intersection (for Fargo) with the light green for me. There were very few cars on the road anywhere, the light was green and I was going the speed limit. I got about 30 yards from the green light when a very loud male voice yelled, SLOW DOWN! (I perceived it coming from behind me just over my right shoulder) I was startled and took my foot off the accelerator and did slow down some. Just as my car got to the intersection (light still green for me), another car shot through the red light at about 60 MPH missing the front end of my car by maybe five to eight feet. My foot was on the brake by this time.

                    As far as the NJ Turnpike: my late wife (before we were married) was traveling through NJ on the way to Boston with a friend. Neither of them had ever been on a road anything like the NJ Turnpike and were having trouble navigating it. My late wife’s friend then saw an angel come and sit on the front of the car’s hood and proceed to give directions. They followed the directions and got through it. Once they were safe and oriented, the angel went on its way.

                    Another story which my Bishop Basil related from when he was the priest at my parish: He was in the altar praying and doing his priestly duties after a Sunday Divine Liturgy when he heard someone singing the hymn “A New Commandment” with a harmony he had not heard before. He thought at first it was some choir members who had stayed behind but when he looked, no other humans there. He is a good enough musician that he remembered the harmony, and wrote it down. We use it to this day.

                    One last angel story that is a bit more poignant: 13 years ago as my wife lay dying in the hospital surrounded by our priest and fellow parishioners singing prayers for her repose, I saw her angel come and stand by her head waiting. It was brief but unmistakable. Not long after that, she did repose in peace.

                    A few years later I was talking with my son who was also there about his mother’s death and related my story. He asked, “You mean you saw him too?”

                    When I have mentioned such experiences to my priest he says, “O, they are quite common.”

                    We are not alone, ever. Glory be to God.

          • Maybe in Cana when Jesus turned the water into wine.
            One of the barrels could have been a “dessert wine.”

  5. Anti-Semitism is the Pope’s bait. Constantelos said the Greeks got it from Dandolo and Serbatov said the Russians got it from Jagiello. Marco Polo grew up a frangocrat in Constantinople and went not to the Chinese emperor but the Turk decimator of China, Kublai Khan to negotiate the partition of Greece and Russia between the latins and Turks. The Jews are our natural allies. Cinstantine the Great was a Christian Zionist when he recognized Gemaliel IV as patriarch of the Jews. Romulus and Remus shared the volpomammic birth myth of the Turks because the Trojans were slant-eyed Turanian Hittites, indeed Turks. The Turks are the very Magog.

  6. Islam is your enemy, support those who understand that fact. Y’all would step over a dollar, to pick up a penny, in your minutia.

  7. There is an elaborate system of belief concocted by various shades of modern Protestants dating back over a century that could be categorized as “Christian Zionism”. Probably, as with the particularities of heresies in general, we Orthodox need not concern ourselves with such things except to reject the entire mindset.

    There may be Biblical prophesies that could be construed as indicating that a remnant of Jews will return to the the Land of Israel near the Last Days, etc. Yet the Hebrews already returned once and constructed the Second Temple.

    But Paul addresses the situation of the status of Jews in the Book of Romans and indicates that a part of Old Israel is preserved and continued within the New Israel of the Church; i.e., those Hebrews who accepted Christ. The rest he considers enemies in the Gospel but yet does not seem to indicate that God has abandoned them totally:

    “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.” – Romans 11:25-32

    That is to say, perhaps they will be converted by Christians in the Last Days.

    However, our present context is a Jewish State with Christian and Muslim minorities which also occupies predominantly Muslim (and Christian) inhabited territories.

    So does Jewish Israel have a right to exist? To that I must reply, “I would not defend any such ‘right'”. Yet at the same time, we should not be under any illusion as to who are the greater enemies of Christ. Jews who presently reject the Lord Jesus as Messiah are not to be trusted or encouraged at all in their disbelief. But Muslims are in a different category altogether. The Jews have preserved a witness of God’s acts in their Scriptures.

    Muhammad, probably with diabolical assistance, founded a false religion predicated upon the notion that Christianity has been corrupted by its adherents; that originally it was synonymous with Islam, in complete rejection of the Incarnation and Resurrection, and that Muslims have the right to conquer the entire world, subjugating Christians to dhimmi status.

    Moreover, there are well over a billion Muslims; perhaps 15 million Jews.

    It should be crystal clear who the greater enemy is.

  8. American laws aga!nst intolerance are rarely applied nowadays aga!nst anyone except ant! lbgt agenda cryt!cs., mostly Christians. Do as thou Freemasons do, rules the culture. Spiritual Sodom and Gomorrah ! n spades. The 4th horsemen s riding h!gh. Geo-engineering s meltng everything frozen and poisoning with metals n the sky everything that has life. Dead bees abound. Nano -nano -nono whatever.

  9. Joseph Lipper says

    If only the State of Israel would have just kept to the original “UN Partition Plan for Palestine”, then they would have had some moral clout and could be taken seriously as a peaceful nation. Unfortunately, the State of Israel has only shown contempt and disregard for the original UN Partition Plan, and yet the U.S. and it’s many “Christian Zionists” continue to support this nation-state’s illegal and bloody endeavors:

    The UN Partition Plan for Palestine

    On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 181, calling for the partition of historic Palestine, which had been ruled by the British since the end of World War I under a mandate endorsed by the League of Nations in 1923, into two states, one Jewish and one Arab.

    The Partition Plan allocated approximately 55% of the land of historic Palestine to the Jewish state and just 42% to the Arab state. The city of Jerusalem was to be placed under international administration.

    At the time, Arabs comprised about 67% of the population of Palestine, while Jews made up only about 33%, many of whom were recent immigrants from Europe.

    Although they were allocated more than half the area of historic Palestine under the Partition Plan, Jews only owned about 7% of the land in 1947.

    Almost immediately after the plan was approved, violence broke out between Palestinian Arabs and Jewish Zionists. Not long afterward, Zionist paramilitary groups began to expel Palestinians from their homes.

    By the time that Israel declared independence in May 1948 and war broke out with neighboring Arab countries, more than 200 Palestinian towns and villages had been emptied of their inhabitants by Zionist forces under Plan Dalet, the blueprint for expelling Palestine’s Arab population that was formally adopted on March 10, 1948, by the Jewish Zionist leadership under soon-to-be Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion.

    Expanding far beyond the proposed borders of the Jewish state delineated in the Partition Plan, by the time Israeli forces stopped their advance they were in control of 78% of historic Palestine.

    In December 1948, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 194 calling for the newly created state of Israel to allow Palestinian refugees to return to their homes. It stated: “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.”

    By 1949, approximately 750,000 Palestinians, or 3/4 of the Arab population of historic Palestine, had been ethnically cleansed by Zionist and then Israeli forces in an effort to create a Jewish majority state.

    In June 1967, Israel conquered the remaining 22% of historic Palestine, comprising the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. In the intervening years, Israel has systematically transferred more than 500,000 Jewish colonists into the occupied territories in violation of international law, part of a plan designed to preclude a viable, sovereign Palestinian state from ever being established there.

    To this day, Israel refuses to define its borders and continues to colonize the West Bank and East Jerusalem with Jewish-only settlements in defiance of international law and the will of the international community.

  10. M. Stankovich says

    Mr. Michalopulos,

    Some enemies are, quite literally, staring you in the face:

    Wyss, A., Hashibe, M., et al. “Cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoking and the risk of head and neck cancers: pooled analysis in the international head and neck cancer epidemiology consortium.” Am J Epidemiol, 2013 Sep 1: 178(5): 679-690.


    Cigar and pipe smoking are considered risk factors for head and neck cancers, but the magnitude of effect estimates for these products has been imprecisely estimated. By using pooled data from the International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology (INHANCE) Consortium (comprising 13,935 cases and 18,691 controls in 19 studies from 1981 to 2007), we applied hierarchical logistic regression to more precisely estimate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoking separately, compared with reference groups of those who had never smoked each single product. Odds ratios for cigar and pipe smoking were stratified by ever cigarette smoking. We also considered effect estimates of smoking a single product exclusively versus never having smoked any product (reference group). Among never cigarette smokers, the odds ratio for ever cigar smoking was 2.54 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.93, 3.34), and the odds ratio for ever pipe smoking was 2.08 (95% CI: 1.55, 2.81). These odds ratios increased with increasing frequency and duration of smoking (Ptrend ≤ 0.0001). Odds ratios for cigar and pipe smoking were not elevated among ever cigarette smokers. Head and neck cancer risk was elevated for those who reported exclusive cigar smoking (odds ratio = 3.49, 95% CI: 2.58, 4.73) or exclusive pipe smoking (odds ratio = 3.71, 95% CI: 2.59, 5.33). These results suggest that cigar and pipe smoking are independently associated with increased risk of head and neck cancers. [emphasis mine]

    Full text available at: Cited by 22 other studies in the National Library of Medicine.

    What we don’t know is the rate-of-exposure-to-disease, Mr. M., nor the disposing genetic factors that might contribute to disease (there are seven known factors at this time). Take the advice of a friend, set a good example (the implication to younger viewers – even in passing – by appearing in a video, is that it is safer than smoking cigarettes; if you are shooting for an image of “erudition,” old fellow, wear an academic stole & cap, neither of which promote any cancers of which I am aware), and KNOCK IT OFF. The Lenten Spring has come…

    • Billy Jack Sunday says

      Dr. S

      Was that a “No ‘Stank’ You,” commercial? Do you remember those?

      You just blew my mind!


  11. Constaninos says

    I just read that Mike Pence will be the keynote speaker at the unregistered agent of the Likud Party AIPAC’s upcoming conference along with Nikki Haley. The AIPAC conferences are where American politicians bow down in obeisance to the rogue, apartheid state of Israel. Why hasn’t AIPAC registered as a foreign agent? Gee, I wonder what will be on the agenda? The demonization of Iran? You know Iran. They’re the country that saved Iraq and Syria from ISIL. The United States gives the nuclear state of Israel more military aid than any other country in the world. We give over 3.8 billion dollars annually to the racist, colonialist, ethnic cleansing state of Israel. Unbelievable!!!

  12. Joseph Lipper says

    I believe those who supported the invasion of Iraq will be held accountable on the Day of Judgement for all those brave young men and women killed and cruelly wounded who gave of themselves selflessly for their country, many of them returning with missing arms, missing legs, missing genitals.

    I believe those soldiers who died or were maimed are justified in their service of their country, but I can’t say the same for those who weren’t soldiers and who supported that war.

    When I start hearing about the possibility of the U.S. going to war with Iran, this sounds like Deja Vu.

    The Zionist State of Israel was the main benefactor of the invasion of Iraq, and the war in Syria, and they would be the main benefactor of a U.S. war with Iran. Some say that it’s about protecting U.S. oil interests, but if we are honest, the U.S. can survive without Middle Eastern oil.

    It just seems that the Zionist State of Israel has so thoroughly raped and sodomized the U.S., that all they have to do is tap us on the back, and our government will drop it’s pants and bend over.

    Let’s suppose our government one day is overrun by self-proclaimed “conservatives” who believe that people who identify themselves as LGBTQ+ are needlessly persecuted and should have their own state. Using eminent domain law, congress allocates generous swaths of land from our country to create a 51st state called “Sodom and Gomorrah”.

    Immediately a rebel American militia (labeled as the “liberal” militia by the media) would form to fight off Sodom and Gomorrah, but the “liberal” militia would only have hunting rifles and home-made explosives. Sodom and Gomorrah would have the backing of the U.S. federal government, it’s Army, Navy, Air Force, and the most advanced weapons imaginable. The “liberal” militia wouldn’t stand a chance.

    So why this story? Why would a self-proclaimed “conservative” government today support the sodomization of our country by the Zionist State of Israel? I believe that’s where we are headed if the U.S. goes to war with Iran.

  13. Joseph Lipper says

    Wow, and this just keeps getting worse. The U.S. now plans to move it’s embassy to Jerusalem in less than three months, on the State of Israel’s 70th Anniversary of Independence, May 14th.

    How is this not provocative? I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop, and I have a feeling this is going to be very bad.

    • What a beautiful day this will be. President Trump is actually following the law of the land in moving our Embassy and not signing another chicken shit waiver.
      Hopefully he also stops signing chicken shit waivers on the Iran deal and goes and gives Iran the bruising they have been itching for for decades now. Nothing says good morning to the largest sponsor of state terrorism in the world than 60 well aimed cruise missiles aimed at nuclear development sites and other military targets. And yes Bishop Tikhon I think the next sixty should be aimed at the palace of every Saudi Prince that we know has funding Sunni Islamic terrorism.
      Israel is the one democracy and our one true friend in the Middle East. I have no belief in Christian Zionism but as a pragmatist who had a kid serve in Navy intelligence in Balad Iraq during the Second Gulf war (those who read my earlier post will know we are Navy family all the way back to Pappou who was a Pearl Harbor survivor), I believe a strong secure Israel is firmly in the best interest of the USA! And God bless President Trump for putting America first!

      • Constaninos says

        Under international law, the Holy City of Jerusalem is under illegal, belligerent Israeli occupation. As you know, Jerusalem is a corpus separatum(an international city) to be administered by the UN. Israel is neither a democracy nor our only true friend in the Middle East. If you want to send cruise missiles at a nuclear weapons site, aim them at Dimona. Zionism is indeed racism. Free Palestine ! I believe that you are really an Orthodox Jew pretending to be an Orthodox Christian- and that you live in Israel.
        I know you are not a lawyer because you don’t know the first thing about the law. While pretending to be an Orthodox Christian all this time, you have been engaging in hasbara. As Michael Corleone said in The Godfather,” You thought you could fool a Corleone.” I say to you Israeli Jew, you thought you could fool the dumb goyim.

        • Constantinos I am beginning to think that you are either bipolar or you drink. Over the course of the same day you hurl out insults then apologize then praise people for agreeable disagreement.
          Just because you disagree with me you accuse me of not being either a lawyer or Greek. Because of odd people like you on this board I don’t share my full information but George can google me and tell you I am both 100% Greek and 100% lawyer. And I believe in US law which says Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Not meaningless U.N. votes where Muslim countries outnumber Israel 58 to 1.
          People will often disagree with you. Get over it and grow up without falsely accusing people of lying. From your posts you have made some money but have no education and your lack of breeding now shows forth when you resort to such attacks on people and lies instead of debating the facts.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Just so you know Michael, I won’t “google” you –or anybody else for that matter.

          • Constaninos says

            The poster Michael made the ridiculous statement to me,” God gave them the land.!”
            How can you have an intelligent conversation with someone like that?
            He was also chomping at the bit hoping the US would attack Iran. Do you realize how crazy that is?
            The first thing Iran would do is close the Strait of Hormuz; eighty seven percent of the oil transported through the strait goes to Asia. This would send the price of oil into the stratosphere. Also, the US would have a very difficult task re opening the strait , necessitating direct bombing of the Iranian mainland. When this happens, the US would find itself in a hot nuclear war with the world’s number one nuclear super power Russia. This would be the end of life on planet Earth as we know it. So, if anyone wishes the US to attack Iran, use your heads.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Costa, I agree with you. We need a war with Iran like we need a hole in the head.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Constaninos, whoa….. dial it back brother. The state of Israel is not worth disturbing one’s peace or heaping obloquy on others.

      • Joseph Lipper says

        Michael, I appreciate your family service and devotion to our country. I believe you have a genuine interest in making our country our number one national priority. However, we can also be assured that the State of Israel’s number one national priority is the State of Israel.

        One might argue that the U.S. is just using the State of Israel to maintain global dominance in a game of controlling and preventing other countries from accessing the supply of oil in the Middle East. The U.S. creates a strongman, the State of Israel, who instills terror and tension in the region. It’s a familiar tactic employed by the U.S. globally.

        So why did U.S. troops have to invade Iraq? This is where that argument breaks down for me. I believe the only benefactor to the Iraq invasion was the State of Israel, and that this invasion actually made the U.S. much weaker and made the State of Israel much stronger. Isn’t it time to question our nation’s relationship with the State of Israel?

        • Joseph thank you for disagreeing in an agreeable manner. Constantinos started that way weeks ago and fell off the wagon somewhere.

          I agree with you that Israel is Israel first. No doubt. I just believe that in the modern world our interests and Israel’s interests overlap in the Middle East. The friend of my friend and all that.

          And I agree we had no business invading Iraq. My kid served there. In Balad. In Navy Intelligence. Waste of time and treasure. But that was Bush’s folly pushed by the neocons. Huge mistake.

          I support Israel because they are a democracy and a more open and pluralistic society than any of the 58 Islamic nation’s of the world. I like knowing they are in the middle of a dangerous neighborhood and have lots of nukes. Because I believe that is the only thing keeping the Islamic crazy regimes in line at the moment.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Michael, first of all, we thank you for your son’s service to our country. However Constantino’s point (if I may interject) is that it is the idea that Israel is so much a “western” country (whatever the hell that means anymore as the West is slowly becoming Islamified) that causes us to serve the interests of the Neocons. They preach a wonderful Reaganite gospel, uplifting in their recitation of The Federalist Papers and calmly assuring us that the whole Arab world wants nothing more than that. At the end of the day however, they are perfectly content to send your son to die in the sands of Araby because it serves the interests of the Likudniks.

            At the end of the day, that’s all they really care about.

            • George thank you for your kind words for my son. In four generations of our family I am the only one who did not serve (two generations were Navy, one was Air Force) and I have tremendous respect and admiration for all who did.i tremendously value your opinions but strongly disagree that the Iraq wars were about Israel. I truly believe it’s about money. Yes the neocon movement is infested by many Jewish Americans who have an agenda (I do not give anyone a free pass). But it is more the Never Trump Republicans and military industrial complex that took us to war. Dick Cheney is the perfect example. I don’t think he is a Christian Zionist or has any such tendencies, but he was in the back pocket (and front pocket) of Halliburton and greed took us to war in my humble view.

              • George Michalopulos says

                No disagreement here Michael. I’m not an anti-Semite and know that even though the Neoconservative movement is heavily populated by Jewish Americans I also know that the Military Industrial Complex is not. For the present (at least) their interests dovetail rather nicely.

                I must disagree however that the Iraq War and its aftermath (i.e. the destabilization of Syria, Libya, Iraq, etc.) do not redound to Israel’s benefit. Clearly it does. Whether this was the real intention of the war in the first place is immaterial at this point.

              • Michael and George,

                Israel is to the Middle East, what Trump is to America!

                Ironically, If Israel never existed, the Muslims, would be eating their own even more, with no one to blame. Trump’s arrival has got the left eating their own, with him to blame. Islam is of Satan!

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Bob, I don’t disagree with you. Israel is a far better nation than what would otherwise be there. My brief is that (1) they ain’t perfect or holy, (2) they should sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, (3) we shouldn’t give them (or anybody else) any foreign aid and (4) if there is to be a hegemon in the Middle East it should be either Turkey or Russia.

                  George Washington: the first America-firster.

                  • Constaninos says

                    Not true at all George. Before Zionism, the Jews, Muslims and Christians lived in peaceful co existence for two thousand years. Israel is an evil ethnic cleansing, racist, illegitimate state. Doesn’t it bother anyone that Israel killed our Palestinian Christian brothers and sisters. There was a Greek Orthodox Saint murdered by Zionist settlers near Jacob’s well in a monastery. AIPAC is an unregistered foreign agent of the Likud government. Politicians can’t get elected in this country until they swear undying love and fealty to the racist, apartheid, colonial state occupying Palestinian land. Israel is no better than any South Africa during the days of apartheid.
                    One other point, Christianity is an apologetical religion. The reason the angel rolled the stone away was not to let our Lord out, but to prove that the tomb was already empty. What would we have seen if we were in the tomb at the time of the resurrection? We would not have seen a dead corpse sitting up; we probably would have seen the grave clothes crumble as the Lord had a glorified body. Christ is truly risen.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Costa, please go back and re-read my posts regarding Christian Zionism and Israel. I am not an apologist for Israel. If anything, I am a rock-ribbed America-firster. At the same time, I know that ethnogenesis is a messy business and I know about the crimes committed there.

                      Leave that area for another hegemon.

                  • George,

                    Agree 100 percent with first three points.

                    Would it not be great if we had allies without our foreign welfare gravy trains? Of course we might defend them if attacked by those outside our circle of trust, but no more money. Time to pay off our debt to China, or become their slave. This would be a huge first step in paying off our debts, and saving our children’s future. Most likely, a pipe dream, as our politicians receive commission, in round about ways, on those gravy trains. Term limits on Senators is greatly needed!

                    Speaking of trains, and pipe dreams. Israel joining the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty has left the station, and is a pipe dream. They won’t even admit they have them. Some how they built nuclear weapons, and no one said a word, or demanded action? Makes one wonder! Amazing, except that I believe everything comes full circle, God began with the Jews… I never believed that God needs Israel/Jews to accomplish anything to grant us the End. But I feel Israel/Jews will have a part to play in it, after the ball starts rolling, not before, or because of…

                    Hegemon in the Middle East? Dude! As a Greek, you would trust a Turk or anything Islamic?! Double Puke!! At least Russia is Orthodox, so that would be alright, I suppose, with nose pinched tight!

                    We should also shut down the UN in New York, and turn it into condos. The UN and their resolutions are a joke. Lot of space in Africa, or China to build a new UN, if the third world lecturers need a place to complain.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      I’d much rather see the Russians as hegemon of the Middle East but if Turkey had a role to play in that sandbox, they might leave Greece alone.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Michael, they have nukes. And since we’re talking about “American law” let’s not forget that “American law” also states that we cannot give aid to countries that haven’t signed the Nuclear Non-prolilferation Treaty”.

            Let’s be consistent here.

            • George I believe the law is much more complex and nuanced than you describe in one sentence. And if memory serves, every federal court that has reviewed this issue, including both the US District Court and US Appeals Court for the District of Columbia, has ruled against the position you describe, as recently as last year in the federal appellate Court. There is a process for determining what “American” law means and it has already played out in the federal courts on this point.

            • Constaninos says

              Once again Michael doesn’t have the faintest idea of what he is talking about. Technically, it is illegal to give Israel foreign military aid, but Israel has never declared that they are a nuclear state, and the federal government prohibits anyone in the government from stating the obvious truth that Israel is armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons.
              Now, Michael accused me of being bipolar or am a drunk. Those are more lies. For the record, I suffer from no mental illnesses, and only drink Harvey’s Bristol Cream at Christmas, never once becoming intoxicated. In fact, I don’t drink at all except for a small glass of the aforementioned at Christmas.
              He accused me of “not having good breeding,” all the while using profanity in a previous post. The thing that irked me was that he called for the US to start a war with Iran, a country that has not invaded any country in over two hundred years. One of the agendas of the Israeli foreign agents in our country is for the US to attack Iran. His statements are identical to the Likud Party and the corrupt Bibi.
              Mueller indicts thirteen people for being Russian foreign agents ,but never a word about the Israeli foreign agents in our country. You know foreign agents like Jonathan Pollard and Steven Rossen of AIPAC. No country in the world spies on the US as much as our so called ally Israel.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Costa, for the record, Pollard did incalculable damage to the United States.

                At first, I bought the party line that “at least he only gave secrets to an ally (i.e. Israel)” but in actuality, Israel sold many of these American naval secrets to the Soviets. This was during the Cold War.

                Pollard should have received the Ethyl & Julius Rosenberg treatment.

                • Constaninos says

                  I honestly don’t think there is anyone on this forum who knows more about the Israel/Palestine conflict than Joseph Lipper and me. It’s been my task to study this issue for many years in what little spare time I have.
                  If an honest person wants to know about a truly great Israeli Jew, he or she should learn about Dr. Jeffrey Halpern- the founder of the Israeli Committee Against Housing Demolitions. In addition to all his good works, he is a staunch supporter of the BDS movement. People should check out his lectures on Youtube. He lived in the US but moved to Israel in the 1970s. He was a staunch opponent of the Vietnam War, and was active in the American Civil Rights movement.
                  It is my firm conviction that if anyone on this forum supports the apartheid state of Israel, they are grossly uninformed, stupid, immoral or definitely not an Orthodox Christian.
                  For the record, I am a staunch liberal. I am against abortion and capital punishment. I would like to see the citizenry and the police disarmed. All weapons of mass destruction in all countries should be eliminated. As far as gay marriage goes, I couldn’t care less if gay and lesbian people get married. I don’t believe in persecuting people. “He that is without sin let him cast the first stone.” I have been a civil rights activist and anti war activist for over fifty years- ever since I was a little boy. By the way, I am a registered Democrat.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Costa, I applaud your stances. Your knowledge of the Middle East is voluminous and for the most part right on the money.

                    If more men were like you we wouldn’t need laws. Or guns. As for anal marriage, it’s a stupidity, a nullity. No such thing therefore I can be neither for it nor against it. I might as well have a position on unicorns.

                    Truly, I admire your convictions. But let’s be honest: you’re probably the only liberal Democrat who’s against both abortion and capital punishment. I’ve yet to meet a liberal (and I used to be a Democrat) who was against baby-killing.

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      George wrote:
                      “But let’s be honest: you’re probably the only liberal Democrat who’s against both abortion and capital punishment. I’ve yet to meet a liberal (and I used to be a Democrat) who was against baby-killing.” Ever hear of Nat Hentoff, popular columnist on the “Village Voice?” And I’m at least as much of a classic liberal as Constaninos. Conclusion: you need to get out more!

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      I have as a matter of fact. I forgot that Nat was a liberal Democrat. OK, that brings us up to two.

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      George “forgot that “Nat” (Nat Hentoff, famous columnist of the Village Voice) was a liberal Democrat!” Nuff said. Repeat: George needs to get out more and not spend so much time and energy pursuing that will o’ the wisp, “fine writing!”

  14. Michael Bauman says

    Or, the Yellowstone super volcano could explode and it will all be moot. Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.

    Forgive me my brothers.

    • Joseph Lipper says

      Michael, thank you, yes of course the Yellowstone super volcano could explode along with a myriad of other “what ifs”, but I’m just trying to keep to the topic of “Christian Zionism and it’s Socio-Political Implications”.

      I’m still hopeful that there is some sort of negotiating tactic at play in Jerusalem, but it doesn’t sound good right now. It doesn’t sound good for Christians. This “Christian Zionism” portrays an incorrect Christianity to the world and tarnishes the name of Christ and Christianity. Our country needs to repent of this.

      Mike Pence is lauded for being a conservative “pro-life” politician, but he has much more direct involvement and power in implementing a Zionist agenda than he could ever have in implementing any actual “pro-life” policies. I hate to say it, but the “pro-life” movement all too often works as a front for Zionist policy. That was certainly the case with Jerry Fallwell and the politicians he influenced such as Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and George W. Bush. If Mike Pence doesn’t already have blood on his hands, he may very well have soon.

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        What I’m worried about is when the Zionists merge with the Masons, especially the Shriners; then we’re really in trouble!

        Yes, there are many things to deplore!

        • Billy Jack Sunday says


          The answer to why your one and only Orthodox Church parish in your town qualifies itself as Greek is:

          A conspiracy

          Don’t believe me?

          Reread some recent articles and also as many old ones you want to dig up on this site

          We don’t have an Autocephalous United Orthodox Church in America that is also fully recognized by all simply out of the desire of certain conspirators. Because, come on! We are not inept retards! Having the issue resolved is simple. It is only made to look complicated

          Greek lobbyist with cash calling the shots for benefiting a throne overseas – as well as a few other global/political entities.

          Change the characters and the land and some religion – Christian Zionism

          It’s all the same mechanisms really

          Next time you look at your church sign, think about these things

          It’s also the reason why there is no Orthodox Billy Grahams out there (to answer another question of yours) – because they end up getting the Peter Gilchrist treatment

          We might as well put American Orthodoxy in the back of a Lincoln convertible and drive through Dallas

        • Zionists in fezzes and go-carts? Our parades will never be the same.

        • Joseph Lipper says

          This culture of “Christian Zionism” that we’re discussing is of course just a false pretension. It’s not actually Christian, as George has pointed out, and yet it creates this terrible bondage and burden on our country, draining our blood, sweat, and tears, and falsely so in the name of Christianity. No, Christianity is not bound together with the destiny of the State of Israel.

          Personally, I’m not really concerned with what the State of Israel is doing. They will do whatever they want, and I don’t care to stop them. No, I don’t wish to free Palestine. My concern is with how Christianity in our country has become intertwined and subsumed with the State of Israel and it’s Zionist goals. Christianity in America needs to be freed of a self-imposed Zionist yoke.

          The “Christian Zionists” in America are the very first to speak out against abortion rights and homosexual rights. Mike Pence, for example, just made a grandiose statement about how legalized abortion will be defeated in our country in this generation. Ironically, the culture of “Christian Zionism” he also defends is a culture of death and a culture of forced sodomy on himself and his country.

          Where are the Orthodox voices on the impact of ideology and narrative on culture?

  15. Gail Sheppard says

    Constaninos, I’m not ridiculing anyone and now I’m beginning to wonder if your perceptions about how people see black people in the Church is equally flawed. Is it possible that you are flat out wrong? It might be helpful to *ask* when something doesn’t seem quite right to you, rather than go into attack mode or be “exceedingly disappointed.”

    In my case, I used an English to an Urban translator to show Hezbollah moved out of the “hood” (Lebanon) to Iran. It had nothing to do with anyone being black, white or purple.

    • George Michalopulos says

      True that, Gail. Rap (like Jazz before it) has broken out of the precincts of the black community and is now a universal phenomenon.

      • Constaninos says

        Although I disagree with you, once again you display that you are a man of character and integrity by publishing my posts. I don’t believe that Gail was engaging in rap, but was engaging in racism. Still, you are a man whose word is your bond, and you have courage, character and integrity in spades. Thank you George for being a truly honest and good man.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Costa, thank you for your kind words. I do ask though that you reconsider what you said about Gail. She’s most definitely not a racist. As anyone who has seen her writing on this blog –going on for almost a decade now–knows that she’s one of the kindest, Godliest women around. (Admittedly also a ferocious debater and rhetorician.) And anyway, the whole race card has been maxed out now for at least a generation. In reality, the word “racist” has lost all meaning.

          I’m sure that as a man of integrity yourself you will do the right thing.

          To all: let’s try not to impute evil intentions to others on this blog with whom you may disagree with —ad argumentum, non ad hominem. (“To the argument, not the man.”).

          • Constantinos has gone even beyond that. He has directly accused me of lying about my heritage and profession because that is all he has, not real arguments to counter what I say. Sad.

            • Constaninos says

              If I blew out nine tenths of my brains, I would still know one hundred times more about the Israel/Palestine conflict than you would ever know in one million years. I’ve heard your stupid, idiotic arguments hundreds of times. It is called hasbara. Read my posts and educate yourself. Don’t forget I was once an ignorant Zionist like you, but then I read- and listened.

              • Constantinos you write like an uneducated hillbilly. You may think you know about it, from God knows where, but I have forgotten more than you will ever know about the Middle East, much of it learned from a decade as a foreign affairs aide in the House of Representatives with a security clearance. I tried to debate nicely with you and when you lose arguments you resort to name calling and personal invective. You obviously have little education or breeding and I don’t intend to waste more time on you.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        While that may be true, George, I used a translator. It takes English and converts it into Urban slang. It has nothing to do with music. It was intended to be a lighthearted way of referring to the migration of Hezbollah out of their “hood” to Iran.

        • George Michalopulos says

          That’s kinda what I figured, Gail. In truth, we all speak with some “hoodspeak” at times. I know that it’s everywhere. Even an old square like me can’t escape using these locutions.

          In truth, they do have a certain power.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Hence, that is why they are used. They convey a certain, gritty, raw power that cuts right to the chase if you ask me.

    • Constaninos says

      Is it possible that I am flat out wrong? No.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Oh, but you were, Constaninos. You were flat out wrong about me. Apparently, you would rather have people believe the worst of me than say you were wrong.

        • Gail,
          I apologize for imputing racist intentions to your post either consciously or unconsciously. If George and you say I am wrong, I take you at your word. It’s not my intention to have people believe the worst about you. I believe you were trying to light heartedly, humorously make a point. Lord knows, I should never accuse anyone of racism when they are not a racist. I misunderstood your intent- and I apologize for my sin of calumny against you. Please forgive me a sinner.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            Thank you, Constaninos, I appreciate that. All is forgiven.

          • M. Stankovich says

            Calumny, you say. Now I have to wonder why Fr. John Meyendorff began Confession nearly every time I went to him by asking, “So, Michael, any dirty thoughts?” Something about me, perhaps…

  16. Constantinos my friend I am not sure if this will post in the right place but I have to take exception to some of your comments.

    First, on the taxation issue, Israel is not seeking to impose a penny of tax on a single Church property used for any religious or cultural purpose. They only seek to tax church properties used for commercial purpose such as hotels and restaurants and office buildings. This is the exact same law as in the United States. Only church owned buildings used for churches or personages are tax-exempt.
    It is very wrong to compare belief in the holocaust with belief in the Resurrection. The holocaust was a well documented historical event, denying it is only possible by those u willing to accept science and history.
    The same empirical evidence does not support the Resurrection of Christ and well it should not! It is an article of faith! We who accept it and believe it do so not because we have seen it (have empirical evidence, as our Lord said to Saint Thomas, but because we have faith, we believe, with no proof or evidence. God forbid we should become like the Latin scholastics and Thomas Aquinas seek to prove the existence of God! Our faith is our salvation.
    Finally your thoughts on Israel are beyond my comprehension. God have the land to the children of Israel over 2,000 years ago and it is their historic home. The fact that Ottomans occupies it for 400 years eliminates their rights no more that Ottoman occupation of Greece for 400 years eliminates ours. The Palestinians had land and a state, Jordan, until they made themselves unwelcome by seek to overthrow the good King of Jordan. They lost more land when they launched an unprovoked attack on Israel.
    And remember your good buddies the Palestinians were the only people on earth dancing in the streets and handing out chocolates when the towers fell on 9-11. Their leaders in both factions – Hamas and Hezbollah- are corrupt terrorist organizations who refuse to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist.
    I respect your right to your own opinions but not to your own facts. When Palestinians renounce violence, accept Israel’s right to exist in defensible borders and select leaders who are neither corrupt or with blood covering their hands, I will support their having a state. Blessed Sunday of Orthodoxy to all.

    • Constaninos says

      Dear Michael,
      Being a lawyer, you already know no state has any legal right to exist. Also, there is overwhelming evidence that the resurrection of Christ is an actual historical event. Four gospels attest to this historical fact. Also, all the epistles bear witness to this fact. My belief in the resurrection of Christ is based not on faith, but historical fact.
      It almost sounds like you believe in a dual theology covenant. Did not our Lord say that the land would be taken from the Jews and given to another? I’m sure you know the state of Israel came into existence through the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian population. These Palestinians lived in the Holy Land ever since the time of Christ. By the way, Michael, the Church of the Resurrection is located in the occupied territory of Palestine. Jordan is the custodian of this holy cite, not the racist, apartheid, illegal state of Israel. Hamas is the legitimate, legal government of the Palestinian people, not a terrorist organization. Hezbollah is neither corrupt nor a terrorist organization; they protect the Lebanese people, many of which are Orthodox Christians and Maronite Christians. I believe that Israel is the source of all the conflict in the Levant. The sooner Israel is dismantled the better.
      By the way, Michael. I would never vote for Trump again. I literally had to hold my nose when I voted for him the last time. Thank you for your post.

      • George Michalopulos says

        For what it’s worth, according to DNA analysis, many of the Gaza Arabs are descended from Jews who escaped the Roman exiles enacted by the First and Second Jewish Wars.

        • M. Stankovich says

          Such ironies, Mr. Michalopulos, are worth the price of the 123& me DNA kit alone. In that half my family originates from the Balkans (Serbia in specific), my brother eagerly awaited confirmation from my bloodwork that we were significantly influenced by the Muslims in the region,which would have enraged my father (and the Serbian church camp we attended as children; the only purposes I can recall were to learn to recite the Lord’s Prayer in Church Slavonic and to instill in us a hatred for the Muslims). As it turned out, there was no influence from the Muslims whatsoever, but a remarkable 15% contribution from the Ashkenazi Jews (the ultimate insult to any Slav), and an unexplainable 2% contribution from Sub-Saharan West Africa. This would suggest, in fact, that I am a brotha’. And so it goes…

          • George Michalopulos says

            I read recently that a group of jokers at were busted for jiggering the figures, telling some people that they were “less than 2% sub-Saharan”.

            Technically, that’s true. Everybody is “less than 2% X” –it’s an old rhetorical trick. Like when they told us in pharmacy school that when “Brand X can stop cold symptoms for up to 12 hours” that means that if Brand X doesn’t work at all it’s still a valid statement. It can stop cold symptoms, it didn’t say it would.

            • Although the ‘Palestinians’ studiously avoid acknowledging this, they are, on the whole, a combination of ethnic groups resulting primarily from the Assyrian destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel, including the ‘ten lost tribes’ of Jews. Intermarriage and acculturation notwithstanding, modern DNA screens can attest this easily and well.

              The fact that they are now mostly Muslims and speak Arabic doesn’t make them Arabs any more than speaking English makes Americans Brits. This is also true of all of North Africa from Egypt to Algeria and Morocco, where recent political unrest might better have been called the ‘Arabic Spring’ rather than the ‘Arab Spring’.

              It’s just so sad that that there is still such trouble in the Holy Land.

            • M. Stankovich says

              Holy Cow! This is a tough room to work. It was a joke! There is, however, a longstanding argument that everyone should demonstrate DNA from Sub-Saharan Africa in the belief that the earliest skeletal evidence of humans was discovered there, suggesting we began there. The better arguments are that this phenomenon (which is widespread, well-known, and well-documented, rather than “villanous”) is an error endemic to the technology – the actual testing process employed by & 123&, or simply what is referred to mathematically in social science data as “statistical noise,” and literally insignificant. In an any case, whether we’re discussing panda genitals or my preference for the Southern fried (<== JOKE), chill.

              • George Michalopulos says

                I got your joke Dr S. I just raised it one. BTW, you did hear that the earliest hominin ancestor has now been traced to southern Bulgaria and named Graecopithecus freyborgii. Maybe the whole out-of-Africa thesis needs to be revisited?

              • Joseph Lipper says

                My DNA test came out as mostly Northern European with less than two percent Neanderthal. Perhaps that’s why I am so easily offended at caveman jokes.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Supposedly, all white people are ~2% Neanderthal. I believe Asians (i.e. Mongolic) are the same percentage Denisovian.

      • Constantinos now you think I am a lawyer again? Make up your mind.
        There is no historical or scientific evidence for the Resurrection. Not since Saint Thomas offered his hands and side to show the place of the nails, but those days are gone. Those of us who believe do so on faith.
        Hamas and Hezbollah are and always terrorist organizations. If they get the Old City, ancient Churches will become stables and open air toilets like everywhere else Muslims take over. Just look at North Cyprus and Kosovo.
        And I can assure that President Trump does not need or want your vote, we will do just fine without you in 2020.

        • George Michalopulos says

          That’s not true. First of all, let’s get the whole “scientific” thing out of the way. There is no “scientific” evidence for Darwinism –the fossil record shows no gradations or slow transformations from one species to the next. Darwin knew that and his chief disciple Thomas Huxley did as well and begged him to modify his theory to allow for the possibility of saltations (i.e. dramatic jumps). And Darwinism is the regnant faith-based philosophy of our time.

          We can keep going down this rabbit hole of scientism if you want: there is no scientific evidence for the life and career of Alexander the Great. We’ve found his father’s tomb but yet still have to locate his. Yet nobody is going to suggest that Alexander did not live or have an explosive career.

          Now I grant you that Alexander’s life is normative whereas the bodily resurrection of a dead, Jewish rabbi who was executed as a criminal is most decidedly not. But as in the case with Alexander (or Caesar or Pompey), the effects of Jesus’ life –and most importantly the aftermath of His death–definitely shows that there was a widespread tumult within Yahwism.

          If by “historical evidence” you mean documentary evidence, the resurrection is easily one of the most well-attested events in Classical history. For a primer, go get a book by F F Bruce (whose title escapes me), then go read Rabbi Pinchas Lapide’s book on the Resurrection (and he’s an Orthodox rabbi).

          The internal evidence regarding the transformation of parts of the Torah by the Pharisees (cf Isaiah 53 and the rejiggering down of the longevities of some of the OT patriarchs) in light of the early Church’s fervent belief in the bodily resurrection of Jesus is (I grant you) not documentary evidence but highly suggestive that there was a tumult within the precincts of Yahwism to justify such a radical reworking.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Michael, you are making a false dichotomy between faith and “historical evidence” That sort of fuzzy thinking (although most think it is precise thinking) leads to dualism eventually and any sort of dualism is anathema in the Church. Your statement also makes it seem that faith is an emotion or a mental ascent to some precepts and is somehow secondary to “facts”. That is not accurate. It is dead wrong.

          As someone who trained in history I can tell you that historical evidence also includes oral reports of events that are passed down and the written record of those events put down later (if any). Historically speaking those reports can be the strongest evidence we have (out side the German school of history at least). So you are factually wrong when you say there is no historical evidence of the Resurrection. There is a massive amount of historical evidence on and about the Resurrection. BUT….

          You also make the error that somehow evidence and facts speak for themselves. That is not true either. As an attorney you ought to know that. All facts and evidence have to be evaluated for accuracy, importance and relevance. When that is done there are times when a specific point of data or “fact” is found to not be that at all or it may be insignificant while within the entire context the result may be something different than expected. Is that not the process of any trial?

          In matters regarding Jesus Christ, the Church has done that evaluation and is doing that evaluation. It is one of the duties of bishops as they rightly divide the Word of Truth.

          You are also missing the really BIG evidence for Christians and even non-Christians: The truth of the Resurrection is revealed to people. From St. Paul to the present time Christians have been blessed to have the Lord Himself tell them He Resurrected.

          Faith is the ongoing process of entering into the Revelation of our Lord through His Church. Faith is active listening to the presence of our Lord and giving Him right glory.

          I can tell you for “a fact” that I do not simply take the reality of Our Lord’s Resurrection on either emotion or mental ascent to a doctrine or any passive belief. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Our Lord is Resurrected.

          BTW one of my history teachers in college frequently used to say that as we grew and were called to jury duty if we wanted to be excused all we had to do was tell the attorneys that we had been trained in history and therefore new better how to evaluate evidence than they did.

          The nature of evidence and how it is handled is actually a big ecclesial divide between Protestants. the RCC and we Orthodox. The Protestants think everybody is competent to sift through the data and decide for themselves what is evidence and what is not (all of the ‘alones’). The RCC essentially says only the Pope can decide.

          We Orthodox understand that the Church as a whole (which includes the presence and guidance of the Holy Trinity) has the job to embody the evidence and present it whole and complete with the bishops having ultimate discretion. Such is the wholeness that sets us apart from either the Protestants or the RCC.

          • Tim R. Mortiss says

            It has often been pointed out that there are more contemporary and near-contemporary texts in support of most things to do with Jesus, including his Resurrection, that of anybody else in antiquity, except for the greatest figures, such as the Caesars, etc. If the subject matter were purely secular, it would be regarded as indisputable.

            I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Bauman as to facts and evidence. And we do have to make up our own minds at some point. What is the most powerful actual evidence of the Resurrection? To me personally it is Paul’s letter to the Corinthians describing not only the Lord’s appearance to him, but His appearance to about 500 people, most of whom were still alive. He said that in the 50s. He never would or could have said it unless it was true; there we lots of witnesses still around who could back him up. Or he could easily have been contradicted.

            Remember there were many churches besides Paul’s, and no doubt many missionary witnesses besides the ones we know about.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Indeed. There are MANY reasons to believe in the Resurrection. Paul’s witness however –he, a man who persecuted Christians and was never given any slack by the other Apostles because of it–is perhaps the most compelling. What was in it for Paul? To get pretty girls and become the high priest living large off of the dubious claims of some messianic cult? Or travel hither and yon with maybe two drachmas in his pocket and then go off to Rome and die in the arena? Gimme a break.

            • Michael Bauman says

              Tim, your assertion “If the subject matter were purely secular, it would be regarded as indisputable.” is a wonderful way to put it. Quite true.

              The modern mind rejects such evidence simply because it does not fit the modern narrative and ideology of the secular faith.

              Once one accepts the evidence, one is obligated to change. Most folks do not want to change.

              Christ is Risen!

              Michael care to try again?

    • Constaninos says

      When you say “Constantinos my friend,” what you really mean is Constantinos my stupid friend. Your post is just plain dumb. You want to talk facts, let’s talk about facts.
      Hezbollah is not the leader of the Palestinians as you incorrectly stated. You want to see corruption, then look no further than Bibi.
      You completely contradict the authors of the entire New Testament. St. Luke said the Lord presented Himself alive by many infallible proofs to eyewitnesses. He appeared to more than five hundred people at one time. St. Peter said we did not follow cleverly devised fables.
      We believe in the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ because it is a verified historical fact. We don’t believe in the resurrection because we have faith; we believe in it because it is real history. Christ has truly risen, and you cannot change that historical fact. The resurrection of our Lord is one of the best proven facts in all of history. “I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day.”
      By the way, you wouldn’t know a fact if it hit you in the face. You worship the Zionist state of Israel; I worship our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. By the way, it’s really nice that you want to commit the US into a war with Iran, a country that has never started a war in over three hundred years.
      May I suggest that you put on your tallit, tefillin, kippah and blow on your shofar in your synagogue to your heart’s content?

      • George Michalopulos says

        re Bibi and corruption: true that. Looks like Soros’ agents are closing in on him.

  17. Joseph Lipper says

    This culture of “Christian Zionism” that we’re discussing is of course just a false pretension. It’s not actually Christian, as George has pointed out, and yet it creates this terrible bondage and burden on our country, draining our blood, sweat, and tears, and falsely so in the name of Christianity. No, Christianity is not bound together with the destiny of the State of Israel.

    Personally, I’m not really concerned with what the State of Israel is doing either. They will do whatever they want, and I don’t care to stop them. No, I don’t wish to free Palestine. My concern is with how Christianity in our country has become intertwined and subsumed with the State of Israel and it’s Zionist goals. Christianity in America needs to be freed of a self-imposed Zionist yoke.

    The “Christian Zionists” in America are the very first to speak out against abortion rights and homosexual rights. Mike Pence, for example, just made a grandiose statement about how legalized abortion will be defeated in our country in this generation. Ironically, the culture of “Christian Zionism” he defends is also a culture of death and a culture of forced sodomy on himself and his country.

    Where are the Orthodox voices on the impact of ideology and narrative on culture?

    • George Michalopulos says

      Eloquently stated. In truth, I believe that the cultural concerns of American Evangelicals (abortion, homosexuality, etc) have been hijacked by the ZioChristian movement in order to lull us into a false sense of security; i.e. they actually care about these things. In reality, all they really care about is the Military-Industrial Complex and endless war on behalf of Israel. They are no different than the Republican Neocons who likewise quote The Federalist Papers, thereby fooling the average Republican/conservative.

      • Joseph Lipper says

        Regardless, most of the Orthodox voices I hear against abortion rights and homosexual rights are just mirroring and regurgitating the same stuff the “Christian Zionists” do. They seem to have nothing original to add. It’s like they’re trying to show their solidarity with the “Christian Zionists” in some strange form of rabbinical #metoo ecumenism.

        Where are the Orthodox voices on the impact of ideology and narrative on culture? George, at least you’re addressing “Christian Zionism”, but who else?

        • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

          RE: “most of the Orthodox voices I hear against abortion rights and homosexual rights”

          Mr. Lipper, to what “rights” are you referring?

          Do you really wish to assert that a woman “and her doctor” may murder a preborn child in the womb as a human “right” of some kind? And that homosexual activity is a human “right,” and that persons who identify as homosexuals ought to be legally “protected” in their particular identity and behavior as a special sub-group of human beings?

          • George Michalopulos says

            Well said, Fr. There are no “rights” emanating from “penumbrae” of the Constitution. The only rights are those enumerated therein in the Bill of Rights.

          • Joseph Lipper says

            Father Alexander, I believe we all know on this blog that our government’s abortion rights and homosexual rights are a sham. Your questions are like preaching to the choir. How much have you preached or written against abortion and homosexuality?

            And how much have you then preached or written against the culture of death and forced sodomy of “Christian Zionism” in America?

        • Monk James says

          No one disputes that a woman is in control of her own body, but she does not have any rights over her unborn child and its body — merely responsibilities.

          It’s true that a child in the omb is completely dependent on its mother, but so is any child for a good long time after being born. Were rights, responsibilities, and dependency all truly in control of mothers, infanticide would be just as legal as abortion sadly is.

          On the other hand, homosexuals have just as much of a CIVIL right to their behavior as does anyone else who doesn’t break CIVIL laws.

          We can disagree about their morality, but abortion and homosexual behavior are just not on the same plane in CIVIL law. This is an important distinction.

          Proponents of abortion are, to a large extent, trading on old and uninformed science. We now know that from the moment of fertilization, a human zygote is a complete human being, even though it’s at the earliest and tiniest stage of development.

          Yet women who would rather not carry their babies to term continue to be force-fed all sorts of lies about the biology and holiness at work within their own bodies.

          Thanks a lot for your abetting murder, Planned Parenthood.

          • Michael Bauman says

            Which is worse Monk James to kill the body or to kill the soul? All “rights” are dependent on a government’s willingness to enforce them against counter claims- up to and including deadly force.

            Hillary said openly that she had the political will to enforce homosexual “rights” against we deplorables. Should anyone doubt what that meant, at a minimum, no Christian being able to preach the gospel in public which would include the pulpit.

            Despite the clear Constitutional restriction of the First Amendment.

            More and more civil “rights” are simply an endorsement of sin and the restriction of righteousness.

            So again I ask, which is worse to kill the body or the soul?

            • Monk James says

              According to our Lord Jesus Christ, only God can kill the human soul, so I’m not sure how to answer this question.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Monk James, it is unrepentant sin, is it not, that kills the human soul? God is neither arbitrary or capricious but in fact will forgive and give life with any movement toward Him at all.

                Participation in sexual acts outside God’s order kills the soul. It is a “civil right” to abort one’s baby, yet we struggle against it as we should struggle against any “civil right” to marry someone of the same sex. Both are heinous crimes against humanity and lead, without repentance, to the death of the soul.

                The whole concept of “civil rights” was part of an overall effort by atheist philosophes to create a paradigm outside of Christ. As with the old economic principal on counterfeit money, so it is here: “Bad drives out good.”

                • Monk James says

                  Human rights are a gift of God and intrinsic to our humanity. Civil rights are conventional and arbitrary, varying from one political jurisdiction to another.

                  You adduce terrible examples of sin here, but nothing we do on Earth can kill the human soul, except metaphorically.

                  ‘Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, fear Him Who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.’
                  — Jesus Christ (MT 10:28)

  18. Constaninos says

    The other day the vile, racist war criminal Bibi was the honored guest of his schlepper Donald J. Trump at the White House, then he spent some time fulminating against Iran before Israel’s unregistered foreign agent AIPAC. The next time he steps into the US, instead of treating this loser as an honored guest, he should be arrested for Crimes Against Humanity. America gets worse and worse.

    • Joseph Lipper says

      Apparently Jewish Zionists and Evangelical Christians are both championing Donald Trump as the new “Cyrus the Great”, the Old Testament Persian King who rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem:

      “Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the Lord God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? The Lord his God be with him, and let him go up.” (2 Chronicles 36:23)

      Bibi and the Christian Right Agree: Trump is the new Cyrus the Great

      This is very dangerous ideological stuff. I can understand Jewish Zionists wanting the temple rebuilt, but Christians? Ritual animal sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins? They are literally paving the way for the coming of the Anti-Christ.

      Where are the Orthodox voices on the impact of ideology and narrative on culture? Are the Orthodox in our country merely content in showing their solidarity and rabbinical #metoo ecumenism with the “Christian Zionists” against abortion and homosexuality?

      • Michael Bauman says

        Joseph, some of the Christian Zionists consciously want to pave the way for the anti-Christ and Armageddon. Ever heard of the quest to breed the perfect red heifer? Creepy stuff. Christian Zionists are deeply involved in this.

        As to why Christians would want to rebuild the Temple, the Protestants have rejected the Sacramental reality and have bound themselves to the Law. It should be no surprise.

        Are the Orthodox in our country merely content in showing their solidarity and rabbinical #metoo ecumenism with the “Christian Zionists” against abortion and homosexuality?

        Perhaps, but most are simply ignorant of the real theology and the ramifications of said theology. Worse yet, there are many “Orthodox” who don’t care at all about either abortion or homosexuality and many of them have money. Others have bought into the “separation of church and state” myth. Clearly, the Christian Zionists labor under no such handicap as they tend toward theocracy (yet another heresy). There is a credible narrative out there that ISIS was, as the Taliban before them, a creation of US foreign policy. The Christian Zionists are Biblical determinists and really do want to foment war in the region because they feel that they are cooperating with God’s will which will hasten the return of Christ.

        Plus, we have close to zero influence on such matters.

        Can anyone name me a national Orthodox politician for whom the Church was more of guide than the ideological demands of their political faith? Spencer Abraham is the only one who comes even close as far as I know.

        • Joseph Lipper says

          Michael Bauman, I appreciate your response. As Orthodox Christians, we may not have much influence in our country, but we do have a voice, and we can speak the truth given to us. We can denounce “Christian Zionism” as a false ideology, and we can uphold the Church as the True Israel.

          The pro-life and pro-family agenda have a very limited impact and influence on our culture, because our government’s abortion rights and homosexual rights are mostly the purview of the U.S. Supreme Court and mostly not the purview of voters or elected officials. That’s just the way it’s set up.

          In contrast, “Christian Zionism” has a major impact on our culture because Zionist policy is directly enabled by voters and their elected officials. The U.S. government is consistently given an “amen” by the “Christian Zionists” to enact progressive Zionist policy in the Middle East. The impact of “Christian Zionism” is huge and disproportionate compared to the pro-life and pro-family agenda.

          Personally, I’m not a registered voter, I haven’t been one in almost 25 years, and I’m not advocating political action. What I’m advocating is for Orthodox Christians to stand up for the truth, to stand up for the Church, and expose “Christian Zionism” as a false ideology. I’m not interested in stopping Zionism, but I want people to know that it’s not Christian at all. I want people to witness the true Israel that can be found in the Orthodox Church.

  19. Constaninos says

    I am so proud of this American Jewish teenager for confronting the Zionist thugs in Jerusalem. He is on the side of angels. May the Lord bless him mightily!

  20. Constaninos says
  21. Constaninos says