To the Catacombs, Go!

Introduction: The Freedom that comes from Losing
One of the silver linings that come from being vanquished is that it makes it easier to speak the truth. It doesn’t matter how alarmist your words may be, once your side has lost there’s no reason for the victors to fear your arguments, no matter how truthful they are. “Yeah, you were right that once we got gay marriage enacted we’d look to legalizing polygamy. So what? You lost.”

That’s basically where we’re at. Christians and conservatives can jump up and down and scream: “see I told you they wouldn’t stop with Civil Unions, they want to redefine marriage!” and it won’t matter. Indeed, every other dire prediction will be relegated to the “so what?” category because it won’t matter. Once it starts doing its dirty work, the corrosive acid of Cultural Marxism makes any cogent argument based on truth irrelevant.

In this sense, last week was a horrible week for traditionalists, conservatives or people who simply just want to be left alone. First the hysteria over the Rebel flag, then two back-to-back disastrous Supreme Court rulings. Mark my words: the Republic will not recover from this week. Even if a rock-solid Republican were to win the presidency in 2016, the slide towards civilisational collapse cannot not be stopped. There is no turning back from nihilism.

“Furl that Flag”
First, let us dwell just a little on the Rebel flag. Yes, the South lost the War. We get that. But that flag is just as much a part of Americana as the Gadsen flag, Valley Forge or the Alamo. Yes, bigots and white supremacists rally around it. But you know what? They also rally around Old Glory as well. And to those who are exercised about it and are glad that retailers have stopped selling Confederate memorabilia, then please start circulating petitions demanding that they get rid of Nazi and Soviet memorabilia. In other words, stop acting like urban elves with your hypocritical social signaling.

Think of how narcissistic this is. No similar concern is shown for the American Indian and his possible feelings regarding the American flag. Or for Japanese-Americans who had to look at that very flag as they were shipped off to concentration camps. Why not cry for the Indians or the Nisei? I guess because they’re not cry-babies. But you know what? neither are ordinary black people. (If they were then there’s no way The Dukes of Hazard would have made it out of product development in the first place.) Do only the feelings of certain groups matter? I guess so.

Did anybody bother to ask a real black person? Have our social betters forgotten that the Rebel flag was prominently featured in every episode of The Dukes of Hazard for the seven years that that cheesy show ran on broadcast television? Was there any screaming and hollering? Not that I can recall. So how exactly did the Rebel flag suddenly turn offensive in the interim? Try to explain it to the rest of us.

All this is is about moral preening. That’s how elites signal to each other that they aren’t Christians and/or Southerners. And the Republicans, true to their Northeastern, Brahmin roots, are nothing if not terrified of being called a Christian or a Southerner. At the first sign of trouble, they immediately crawled into a fetal position and started sucking their thumbs, hoping that nobody would notice. Not looking good for 2016 fellas: people will vote for a corrupt and inept hack like Hillary by default over a pusillanimous country-clubber any day of the week.

Right now the only thing the Democrats have going for them is constantly stoking racial grievances among black people. That the GOP can’t see that means that it’s days as a major party are over. The outlook? More rioting.

Second, Obamacare is here to stay. That is to the extent that Obamacare exists at all. In it’s sordid, tortuous sojourn in the Congress, it underwent many horrible transfigurations. Procrustes was a more elegant legislator than the Congress. And once it was signed into law, Obama himself outdid anything that old malefactor could have done on his bed. Even when viewed in the best, possible light, the present law makes a mockery of its central promise of providing affordable health coverage to all who need it.

Right now, no one knows what it’s final outcome will be and given the shaky state of the economy, it will likely collapse under the weight of its own manifold contradictions. If anything, it will likely collapse the entire economy because of the excess spending it adds to the National Debt. If we’re lucky and avoid a Weimar-style hyper-inflation, we’ll be left with a medical regime that looks like Brazil: the rich will get great medical care, the well-to-do will get decent medical care and the hoi polloi will be reduced to going to voodoo doctors in some squalid favela. At that point, we’ll be looking back at medicine in the pre-Obama days as a type of Golden Age. Kinda like when we look at old photographs from the fifties and wonder where did it all go wrong?

Making the World Safe for Sodomy
But the Big Kahuna, the one that will never go away and the one that will hasten the collapse of our civilization is so-called gay marriage. Leaving aside the fact that it is an oxymoron –and that sodomy itself is nihilistic in its essence–this is the one that’s going to finally do us in as a society. Even though it is based on a lie and thus has no substance, it is nothing less than a juggernaut which will not be stopped until it destroys itself along with the civilization that sustains its central conceits.

That is why Yours’ Truly started a poll on this subject. It is my contention that it is so powerful a political force that one or the other of the Orthodox jurisdictions will not be able to withstand it. Not merely because we have marginal and/or compromised men as bishops but because we have a poorly-catechized, worldly laity as well. One needs only look at the Facebook pages of Orthodox luminaries on this subject. Last year, when an Orthodox chaplain publicly announced his “marriage” to a fellow seminarian, the adulation from priests and laymen could barely be contained. Just the other day, a Syosset apparatchik was similarly ecstatic about the SCOTUS decision and publicly said so on his Facebook page. Given the proclivities of the Syosset Apparat, is it any wonder that the primate of the OCA put out such a tepid proclamation? I suppose that’s all he was allowed to do. (Can’t act unilaterally you know.)

Now, you and I know that the vast majority of homosexuals will never get “married.” There is no way that a middle-aged, urban professional will expose himself to financial ruin simply because some boy-toy will only give him a BJ if he agrees to tie the knot. And anyway, if they did, we’d be holding symposia in five years about the high rate of gay divorces; liberal clergymen would be wringing their hands about all that marital wreckage (and subsequent loss of revenues that dry up whenever divorces happen). No, the reason gay “marriage” is so destructive is because it is to be the cudgel which will be used to destroy all other traditionalist institutions; among them, the Boy Scouts, the military, the family and the Church. Of this, there can be no doubt.

The Long, Gramscian March through the Institutions
Just think about how we got here. Just two short decades ago, Magic Johnson went on a nationally-televised late-night chat show and proudly boasted that he was not a homosexual —to thunderous applause no less. Just a short time later the Congress passed a law which blatantly stated that “homosexuality was incompatible with military service.” General Colin Powell came out four-square against homosexuals in the military. Though he was roundly condemned when he gave a commencement address at Harvard, he stood his ground. As a professional soldier he knew what unrestrained sexual relations within the services can do to unit cohesion and morale.

Then the new president, Bill Clinton forced through a compromise which allowed homosexuals to serve provided that they didn’t flaunt their sexuality. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” became the modus vivendi which allowed homosexuals to remain in the closet while they pursued military careers. Yet even during that very same time of legal tolerance, prosecutions against those who came out openly (whether because of a homosexual assault or a simple indiscretion) continued as before.

Nor should we forget that that very same president signed The Defense of Marriage Act. Think of the irony involved, how the culture was so exercised by the mere possibility of homosexual nuptials that they passed a law which would effectively preempt it. And a known philanderer and adulterer eagerly signed it.

These were all significant setbacks for the sodomist agenda. There were minor ones as well. Liberal politicians such as Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for example upset the true believers with their stated, traditional views about marriage. That they were insincere only inflamed those that demanded nothing less than complete and total affirmation.

And then there were democratic losses as well. In every State of the Union, wherever the question of gay “marriage” was brought up, it was shot down with hardly any effort at all. Thirty-two States, including ultra-liberal ones like California upheld the traditional view of marriage by comfortable electoral margins.

Still, they bided their time. They knew that given the growing immorality of the American populace at large, that there could be no rational obstacle to their agenda. In this, they were right on the money. After all, by what right do heterosexuals with their high divorce rates have to preach abstinence to homosexuals?

The End-game
That’s all immaterial now. They’ve won. They did it by judicial fiat and by spending tons of money and going on the chat-shows and screaming “BIGOT!” to anybody who dared oppose them. They fought dirty, always moving the goal posts, whatever it took.  And they won.

It won’t matter that every dire prediction made by those on the other side falls into place, little bit by bit. Even as the truths are acknowledged, once we’ve crossed the other side of that river there will be no going back.

That they created a chimera that cannot last more than a few years is small consolation to those of us who see where this will all lead. There will be unintended consequences for the victors of course. In the arena foreign policy it will make the rest of the world want to distance themselves from us even more. In other quarters it will increase hostility against the American project. I can think of no better recruitment video for ISIS than the one of the White House being triumphantly swathed in rainbow colors on the day of the decision.

This reminds me in a way of the Reign of Terror unleashed by the Jacobins in 1789, when the guillotine first made its appearance. So horrible was its novelty that skittishness abounded about its use. There were no established protocols and the normal Christian reticence about taking life for anything less than murder still existed. According to historical accounts, it took the better part of an hour to prepare a victim for execution. Once the original horror was confronted and the list of “enemies of the state” became larger, the reticence to use “the national razor” abated and the process became industrialized.

Beheading became nothing at all; it was just another day’s work for the executioner and the spectacle lost its luster with the populace at large. So it will be with those of us who still believe in the Gospel.  First, a respectful dialogue took place; Second, recognition of religious liberties was acknowledged.  But then the specter of Jim Crow was summoned from the graveyard.  Then the debate became shriller and Big Business joined the fray.  And then it was too late. A new orthodoxy reigns supreme in the land and woe be to those who can’t get with the program. The First Amendment for all intents and purposes is a dead letter.

In the meantime, in order to sustain the euphoria, songs will be sung, movies will be made, and history books will be re-written to show the world that A New Age Has Begun. We will be told that the Founding Fathers were all in favor of the LBGTQ agenda and that there are some historical records that suggest Christopher Columbus discovered America so that he could cavort with his sailors. The Holy Bible will be compared to Mein Kampff and Billy Graham will be compared to Torquemada by all right-thinking people. After all, one of our own bishops compared traditionalists to segregationists not all that long ago. With pastors like this, who needs wolves?

What was once viewed with revulsion will soon become exalted. The parade of gaiety will be unstoppable and those who hold to authentic tradition will think twice about opening their mouths.  After all, you don’t want to be compared to Bull Conner, do you?

Some conservative writers are optimistic and view this as a Valley Forge moment. Just when things seemed the worst we are told, Baron von Steuben came and brought hope to the starving, freezing Americans camped there. His insistence upon military drill in the face of all odds worked wonders during the next battle, in Monmouth, New Jersey. From there, victories started to mount here and there, and coupled with Washington’s delaying tactics, we were able to wait the British out. And so we won.

Far be it from me to poor cold water on these optimists but they have the analogy precisely backwards. It is not us who were in Valley Forge during the long, cold winter but the cultural Marxists. All they had to do was wait us out. After all, thanks to a juridical regime of protected baby-killing that has outlasted all attempts to rein it it over the last forty years, we could no longer state in good conscience that we were still a “Christian nation.” And thanks to a sexual revolution which forced women out of the domestic hearth and onto the battlefield, it was impossible for us to argue with a straight face that gay activists were acting in violation of the created order. We had already done much to destroy that created order. That order was well on its way to being demolished by heterosexuals who pursued the Sexual Revolution for its own sake.

Now What?
So what will happen? Will homosexuals now rest on their laurels and be content that they accomplished something so momentous? Will they now leave us alone? A majority probably will. Like many straights, they will go about their lives in quotidian fashion. But not the Brownshirts. Not the True Believers. They’re in it to win it.

And so, on the very day of the SCOTUS ruling, some gay activists asked, “now what?”

That’s an interesting question. Why ask it? After all, the fundamental institution of all civilization and culture has been redefined for the first time in history. Isn’t that enough?

I’ll tell you why. Because sodomy, like all sexual sin –but more so–tears at the conscience. The very unnaturalness of the homosexual act is even worse than adultery or fornication. After all, a hero can arise from heterosexual sin; all one has to do is look at the ancestral line of Jesus Christ and see a host of male and female sinners. And no, I’m not excusing David’s adultery with Bathsheba but as bad as that was (and it was very horrible in all its aspects), it still was part of Jesus’ DNA. Homosexuality can’t do that.

The entire gay “marriage” thing was thus a way to salve the conscience. And even though the Supreme Court has redefined marriage, that sin, the interior degradation caused by sodomy, still remains after the fact. It cannot be undone by judicial fiat no matter how much one wishes it so.

So now the pink ribbons and rainbow flags will be tossed aside and the brown shirts and jack-boots put on. The crusade must continue because there are still bigots out there who need to be taught a lesson. In the mind’s eye of the homosexual activist, conservative Christian pastors are still hurting their feelings because they dare to preach on the first chapter or Romans, or are commenting on the holiness code as laid out in Leviticus. Don’t they know that St Paul was a repressed homosexual and that Moses was a theocrat? The lifestyle must be protected at all costs –even if we have to go to war oversees where those poor, benighted fools still believe otherwise. They’ve got to be taught a lesson. “It’s for their own good, don’t you see?” What’s a possible nuclear exchange with Russia in the grand scheme of things if that’s what it takes to teach those homophobes a lesson?

We are talking about nothing less than a demonic rage against all that is true and good. And make no mistake, they have their useful idiots in the various Christian denominations –ours included. And so, little by little, parish by parish, denomination by denomination, churches will begin to accede to their demands. The question for us Orthodox is: will we withstand the onslaught?

A Way Out? The Reardon, the Benedict, and the George Option
If history is any guide, this evil moral regime will crumble –eventually. The question is how long will it take and how much damage will it do in the interim?And what can be done to mitigate this disaster or at least buy us some time until we have to really go into the catacombs?

One answer was provided on this blog by Fr Patrick Reardon. A few months ago he wrote that he had ceased acting as an agent of the State of Illinois when it came to signing marriage licenses. According to Fr Patrick, he could not in good conscience affix his name to a marriage certificate given the fact that that same certificate, if signed in another church and by another pastor, could legally bind two people of the same sex in a similacrum of marriage. It would be no different than the State of Minnesota issuing a medical licence to a witch doctor. In such a scenario there is no difference between the physician who has admitting privileges to the Mayo Clinic and the benighted fellow who howls at the moon when mixing his medicines.

I imagine more pastors will choose this option, otherwise their profession will be tainted by association. Some of course are stating that this was long overdue, that the Church shouldn’t be in the marriage-licensing business in the first place.  I’m not sure I can see why this would be so but I may be wrong. I hope so. Either way it seems to be a difficult choice to make.

Other options include giving up the parish’s tax exemption. This isn’t ideal either but I can see a silver lining in that it would separate the wheat from the chaff in no time flat. Those who attend church because of tribal duty would stop itemizing how many candles they bought during the previous year on their taxes and just give up going to church altogether. Grudging givers aren’t committed Christians in the first place.

I’m sure there are other options, especially for those that are in hierarchical churches that have gone apostate. How about getting an individual parish in as much debt as possible and then turning over the deed to the local bishop when he starts enforcing the new orthodoxy? Let him and his flunkies and flatterers be financially encumbered. Having to pay a mortgage can concentrate the mind of those who are otherwise pursuing the New Anthropology.

Then there’s The Benedict Option. Rod Dreher, a well-known Orthodox writer has been vocal in his support of this stratagem. Named for St Benedict of Nursia, it describes how Benedict went into the wilderness after Rome fell in the West and the barbarians started their rampages. In these monasteries, the flicker of civilization never went out. Dreher is imploring us to do the same, both literally as well as figuratively. Some are to go to wilderness and build real hermitages, others are to stay put and make their homes places of retreat.   Regardless, Dreher is right:  we are now exiles in our own land.

That’s becoming increasingly attractive to many of us. That doesn’t mean however that it will be easy. I for one will weep when I look back and see what we have squandered as our civilization continues its collapse. My children, having never known a time in which America was normal, will be spared this burden at least and for that I’m thankful. Either way, if that is God’s will, then so be it.

In the end, I’d like to point you, Dear Reader, to the George option, named in honor of the late Archbishop of Chicago, Francis Cardinal George. He stated not that long ago that he would die comfortably in his bed, but that his successor would die in prison, while the latter’s successor would die in the arena. And then, when our society completely collapsed, his successor would come in, pick up the pieces, and start civilization all over again.

May the Lord hasten the day.


  1. Mikail02 says

    You nailed it George! The homosexual bullies are not going to retreat. The burning conscience cannot be calmed by judicial action. They will come after the Churches……sooner than later. But even if they close down Churches or convert them to cultural Marxism… will not justify the sin of sodomy. I recently saw a chart which shows that 60% of Catholics and mainline protestants support gay marriage (Orthodox numbers were not available). Why is this? Because the people do not know Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition……and if they do……they believe it is outdated and antiquated. And so…..when the Orthodox Churches begin to shut their doors…….there will be fewer Churches. But those who attend and support the surviving Churches will be devout, prayerful and pious Christians with a good knowledge of Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.

    The much-maligned traditionalists…..will be the surviving remnant.

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      I recently saw a chart which shows that 60% of Catholics and mainline protestants support gay marriage (Orthodox numbers were not available).

      The figures I’ve seen put the Orthodox approval slightly higher

      Given the response of the Orthodox Christians in Chicago this past weekend, I can believe it..

      • Mark E. Fisus says

        How did the Orthodox Christians in Chicago respond?

        • Patrick Henry Reardon says

          Mark inquires, “How did the Orthodox Christians in Chicago respond?”

          If FaceBook evidence can be trusted, there is widespread and firm support for the Supreme Court’s decision among Orthodox Christians in Chicago.

          The Trib‘s scheduled article about All Saints Church did not appear today.

          I am not sure why, but I know the Trib has been trying to contact Metropolitan JOSEPH, who is currently in the Middle East.

          Stay tuned, however. The Trib has invested a great deal in this piece.

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            Yup, a good and sizable number of Greeks in Chicago were very pleased by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in granting Same-Sex Marriage. The especially troubling part were their kids that posted on Facebook in support of the High Court’s decision and SSM.

            To lose the culture war is one thing, but to lose our kids that’s devastating. I hope that as they age things may change, but for right now I highly doubt it.

            Also, don’t get me started about Orthodox Christians in general because that was even worse on Facebook.

            The Great Christian Culling is definitely coming, and its about time. That’s the only silver lining I can see in all this as when the nominal and cultural Christians leave the remnant will hopefully be solid to loudly and proudly, No Pun Intended, declare the Gospel of Christ and rebuild civilization after it has fallen to the great scourges of Abortion and Homosexuality.

            Its time to get ready to do some hard work when that day comes.


            • Tim R. Mortiss says

              What I get from this link is an invitation to subscribe to the Chicago Tribune. When I decline, scroll way down to find the article, and click on it, back we got to the main page and the subscription business…..

          • Mark E. Fisus says

            Eh, you’ve been declining to sign marriage licenses for several months now. If Metropolitan Joseph had something to say about it, I’m sure he would have already said it.

            You’re inconveniencing new couples. Now they have to make an extra trip to the judge, just so you can render to God. Tsk, tsk. (Sarcasm of course.)

            • Patrick Henry Reardon says

              Eh, you’ve been declining to sign marriage licenses for several months now. If Metropolitan Joseph had something to say about it, I’m sure he would have already said it

              Although i sent the message to the Archdiocesan address, it appears that Metropolitan JOSEPH only learned about it this week.

  2. Patrick Henry Reardon says

    George, check tomorrow’s Chicago Tribune on a germane development.

    • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

      Father, I’ve read the Trib article, and I still don’t see your point. We believe in cooperating with civil authorities in works that are good. The time to refuse cooperation is when they want you to do something that isn’t. By refusing to sign marriage certificates, you only force on couples the extra cost and inconvenience of a civil wedding. What have you accomplished, other than an article in the Trib?

      • Mark E. Fisus says

        force on couples the extra cost and inconvenience of a civil wedding

        An extremely light cross to bear, especially considering what our Christian brothers and sisters in the Middle East have to deal with.

      • One could say it’s not good to support a bureaucratic construct (state marriage) that enables sin.

  3. Laurie Veneklasen says

    great article saving it to my small private collection of most succinct blogs on this issue.
    btw, it’s pour cold water on the optimists, not poor cold water on the optimists. 🙂 sneaky homophones.

  4. Trey the Virginian says


    There are other alternatives to the Dreher Benedict Option and the George Option. If we act quickly.

    May we put our minds to discovering them.

    That we are not thinking of them shows how much we have lost our national heritage, this days before we celebrate the Declaration of Independence, “When in the course of human events it becomes necessary…”

    We would do well to read this document aloud with our families and marvel at how closely their grievances mirror ours, for ourselves in our time to be likewise stimulated to effective action.

    The path of action and liberation is also shown in the life of St Cosmas of Aetolia (why are we not inspired and guided by the lives of the Saints?). The Apostle Paulos indeed commands us “The droopy hands and the paralyzed knees straighten out!” (Hebrews 12:2)

    We have powers available to us if we would only connect and unite around a plan of action, such as the refusal to pay taxes as did our founding Fathers and Mothers, and other actions to gain support.

    I served in the Peace Corps in the middle years of the 1980’s under a dictatorship in Kenya, during which time I traveled to other countries where people suffered also under tyrannous dictatorships, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and the Soviet Union.

    I now witness tyranny in my own country, the very country that sent me as a representative of the wisdom of liberty, reasoned laws based on what is good for all on what we have in common, and government of the people, by the people and for the people.

    Unfortunately, good and sensible people have allowed ourselves to be divided in our individualism and busy-ness and have become ineffective in the utmost matters of liberty and the basic matters of life itself, and handed our country to those who are enraged at the very things we know to be true, and that mankind has held to be true in accordance with Nature, beautifully displayed in the Created Order.

    But the enraged are organized and effective and we are not, to our shame.

    I recall many discussions with my fellow Peace Corps Volunteers in Kenya about principles of liberty, its meaning, and the qualities a people need to be free and rule themselves, as we witnessed a dictatorship in operation.

    Our greatest failure is that the dwindling number of people that see the distinction between good and evil and reason and madness are disunited, off in our individual worlds, and we do not have a means of uniting and working out a plan of action to counter both the immoral revolution we are undergoing and the de facto tyranny that is being put in place, plank by plank, which the four dissenting justices recognized.

    “Sic Semper Tyrannis”
    Tyranny lies prostrate beneath the foot of Virtus, Flag of the State of Virginia

    • Daniel E Fall says

      It is much simpler.

      Use expletives more to describe homosexual sex acts. They took the most serious, twisted perspectives and called them gay (and light). They know the sex acts are vile.

      Rename them by their act.

      Sodomite is too neat n clean.

      I’d be glad to tell you, but George might not print it.

      It isn’t good versus evil. It is ish versus good.

      Everytime you get on a conservative high horse, those … ……. laugh.

      Evil Sodomites is too nice.

      Use the 1st Amendment.

      from your liberal friend

  5. C Summers says

    Just a small correction…The late Archbishop of Chicago was Francis Cardinal George, not Robert.

  6. Michael Kinsey 1380805 says

    The day the music died was January 22,1973. The mindset that fines murdering their own children a human right, could not oppose the plague of the great whore, that homosexuality is. There is no sense of the sacred left in them. We will all suffer the plagues they manifest, but as Christians,indirectly. Don’t even give them greetings in the market place., let alone, ordain or tonsure them. They will reap what they sow,and there cannot be any question about it. Corrupted politicians cannot offer any remedy, as they are part ,and a big part of the problem. Corporate Fascism is the great whore,riding the beast into perdition. 55 million murdered children means we are experiencing the perdition, and we cannot fall further.

  7. Nicely written, George, and thank you. I know my wife and I have been, in our own ways, choosing a form of the Benedict option for many years. I don’t see how it is possible to live a devout Orthodox Christian life without making one’s home an island of retreat of some sort. One can both be out actively working and engaging with the world and also have one’s home and family be an island retreat of sanity and piety in a crazy world. We have found that others are attracted to that island and tend to like to visit it for a rest from time to time…

  8. pegleggreg says

    George, thank you. I shared this with me liberal friends.

  9. Nate Trost says

    On a scale of hysterics from 1 to 10 with 10 being this gem from 2008 right here, I give this a 2.5. Lacking effort.

    George Michalopulos wrote
    Did anybody bother to ask a real black person?

    If you spent less time reading white supremacists and more say, perusing Black Twitter, you would save yourself asking Incredibly Dumb Rhetorical Questions.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Or you could ask black people yourself (like I have, some of whom I work with) and the most common answer you get is something along these lines: “we got worse problems than the Rebel flag.”

      Just curious though, how come the Rebel flag wasn’t inflaming all the righteous people 25 years ago when The Dukes ran on TV for all those years? Did something happen in the interim that made the Stars and Bars toxic?

      Explain that to me.

      • Daniel E Fall says

        Cuz the Dukes were idiots…only a hair smarter than Rosco P Coltrane. And they weren’t using the symbol in hate speech.

    • George Michalopulos says
    • Nate Trost says

      This isn’t some kind of Old Testament parable where if you find even Ten Non-Offended Negroes then Sherman, er, God won’t burn the city to the ground. Of course you are going to be able to find some African Americans who either share you views or more likely aren’t overly perturbed by them. Heck, Fox found an African American to claim the Charleston shooting you fervently ignore had nothing to do with race. But that doesn’t mean you get to use them to dismiss a majority whose opinions haven’t necessarily historically counted for a hill of beans in the halls of power.

      “Do you think it is appropriate to fly the Confederate flag at government buildings” or even “Do you have negative feelings about the Confederate flag” are questions with a great deal of vocal and definitive answers in popular discourse at the moment.

      It’s rather entertaining in juxtaposition with the handwringing over percentages of Christians who are unfounded by gay marriage.

      American television has a long history and a long history full of problematic sexism and racism. Just because the Rebel flag got stuck on the General Lee doesn’t mean it didn’t bother people, although in a pre-Internet era, offense, discontentment and outrage was a bit harder to coalesce. But it doesn’t mean it was appropriate then, any more than blackface was appropriate at the time even if it didn’t cause outrage and was just A Thing.

  10. Father Edward Pehanich says

    Good analysis of what the future holds for us Orthodox Christians…terribly frightening…but we’ve faced the Romans, the Nazis, the Communists… What I find most disturbing in your analysis is your allusions to certain Orthdoox “luminaries” and clergy who are publicly voicing support for same sex marriages. I don’t have the time or the interest in spending time on social media such as Facebook but I think it’s time this blog names names so we know who it is in our Church that are wolves in sheep’s clothing. I know the American culture is a lost cause but my concern is with my parish and my people who are being brainwashed. I don’t want souls polluted by our own Orthodox shepherds.


      • George Osborne says

        Yes. In fact it rather is.

      • Patrick Henry Reardon says

        OOM is apparently quoting somebody to the effect that “THE SKY IS FALLING! THE SKY IS FALLING!”

        It does that from time to time.

        It is certainly doing that now.

  11. M. Stankovich says

    Holy Cow! I most humbly offer an apology to Chris Banescu for skipping over his single contribution in the previous thread, because he basically expressed my identical sentiment, that this mess began with our indifference to the legal sanctioning of murder in the form of abortion, and has progressed downhill from there. I hope I am reading him correctly in believing that by quoting Ephesians 6:

    Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (vs. 10-17)

    he intended them as proactive:

    “Therefore wait for me,”
    declares the Lord,
    “for the day I will stand up to testify.
    I have decided to assemble the nations,
    to gather the kingdoms
    and to pour out my wrath on them—
    all my fierce anger.
    The whole world will be consumed
    by the fire of my jealous anger.
    On that day you, Jerusalem, will not be put to shame
    for all the wrongs you have done to me,
    because I will remove from you
    your arrogant boasters.
    Never again will you be haughty
    on my holy hill.
    But I will leave within you
    the meek and humble.
    The remnant of Israel
    will trust in the name of the Lord.
    They will do no wrong;
    they will tell no lies.
    A deceitful tongue
    will not be found in their mouths. (Zeph. 3:8-13)

    Blessed Bishop Basil (Radzianko) quietly described to me how prison guards “removed” his beard by literally tearing it out of his face; my walk to my pediatric endocrinology clinic took me through the physical rehab dept. of the Naval Medical Center, where young men and women alternately raged and despaired at the loss of limbs in the Middle East; and “green giants,” correctional officers who by rights had every reason to knock the living hell out of some floridly psychotic patients totally out of control, pinned them to the ground and and whispered in their ear, “You’re safe. It’s me. You’re going to be OK.” That is courage. Our way has been to accommodate a fundamental lack of a moral voice of authority, march once a year, and endlessly bitch & complain – anonymously – on the internet. Now we’ll add not signing some stupid papers, forming “communities” unto ourselves (has Dreher heard of Florovsky?) because “there will be fewer Churches. But those who attend and support the surviving Churches will be devout, prayerful and pious Christians with a good knowledge of Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.
    The much-maligned traditionalists…..will be the surviving remnant.” WAT? And not a single mention of repentance for what we have done in allowing the tiniest of minorites to bring the final harbinger of Truth, the Spotless Bride of Jesus Christ into believing it is at once both helpless and captive. I am not joining you. You sleep in the fire.

    • Mikail02 says

      1. Repentance is ongoing in this life. It is a given for the struggling Christian.
      2. I hope that YOU might repent for implying that your fellow Christians “sleep in the fire.”
      3. “What” is spelled with an “h.”

  12. Terry Myles says
    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      In our current context, polygamy represents a great moral improvement.

  13. A common theme among radical reformers from the Cathars to the Age of Aquarius has been sexual liberation. Unfortunately, however, those who oppose these forces often end up shadow-boxing when they seek to diffuse them. Unless one understands why sexual revolutionaries weaponize sex one will be forever fighting an asymmetrical war. The true sexual revolutionary knows what he is doing. Simply put, unless sexuality is reconfigured, the social order cannot be reconfigured. And, unless the social order is reconfigured, the spiritual order cannot be reconfigured. And that — a spiritual reconfiguration — is the goal. The esoteric systems that abound in this regard often boil down to a set of ideas that link sexuality (and certain kinds of sexual activity) with heightened states of consciousness. This is connected to the evolutionary ideas that claim latent spiritual abilities must be tapped into and called out in order to be perfected. To achieve this next stage in global development, a spiritual transformation is necessary. This is no where better expressed than in the campy kitsch of the 1970s cult classic, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

    Brad and Janet, an engaged, chaste, bourgeois couple, find themselves in the castle of a transsexual mad scientist, Frank N Furter, after a flat tire on a rainy night strands them there. In the course of their stay, both Brad and Janet are seduced by Frank, who visits each separately in their beds. Frank also claims to have the secret of life. Using this secret, he brings his true love interest — Rocky — to life. While there are overtones here of Frankenstein’s Golem and Pygmalion, there is a more suggestive link to sexual experimentation and a new “creation”: in the case of Brad and Janet, Frank N Furter initiates them into their Jungian shadow side, leading to their “birth” as more authentic and more liberated selves as a result. In the case of Rocky, a kind of onanism akin to any number of pagan myths leads to Frank N Furter producing his Gnostic consort. Eventually, we learn that Frank is an alien — for those familiar with the work of John Keel or Jacques Vallee, this plot element is interesting in itself.

    While there is more to the movie and plot than this, it turns on a number of esoteric beliefs pertaining to spiritual transformation, androgyny, inversion, and transgression. If there is any symbol for what is happening in America, it is “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” This is what the weaponization of sexuality through homosexuality is about — spiritual transformation. In this regard, the more American culture is “queered” — as in the case of Brad and Janet — the more it becomes spiritually bound to an inverted order. This has the effect of cutting the country off collectively from God. We become a large Necropolis, a city that by its actions, like Frank N Furter’s castle, becomes “a city of the damned.”

  14. Trey the Virginian says


    Excellent analysis of Rocky Horror.

    The Marquis de Sade is the progenitor of all this we see, fully expressed in his novel 100 Days of Sodom, then Charles Baudelaire followed with his collection of poems The Flowers of Evil, and that set the tone for modernism in literature and the other arts, topsy-turveying all aesthetic ideas of beauty and order that came before, in classical, folk and Christian art, and eventually we arrive at Rocky Horror and many other such productions.

    I think we can say that modernism in all its forms is the enemy of Truth and obedience, that is Faith toward God, and harmony with Nature.

    This is why it is very important for us to present to our children compelling and inspiring images of virtue, and to be able to express the virtues and the opposing vices in ways they can absorb and that will inspire them.

    We also need to acquire confidence again to speak effectively and beautifully of the moral teachings of Christ and the Apostles that we see in the Acts of the Apostles, the entire body of the Holy Scriptures, and the enormous treasury of the Church Fathers.

    It is not enough to bring our young, or anyone, to the Divine Services and just hope for the best.

    Unfortunately, we modern Christians are consumers of this modernistic and decadent culture, not producers as once we had been. But the seeds of aesthetic strength still remain with the Orthodox.

    We are working in our parish to re-establish the classic model of education and to spark the recreation of the natural aesthetic as producers of culture.

    • Trey, yes, Sade was certainly a source of inspiration for the French Symbolists and it’s too bad a thorough study hasn’t been undertaken to trace the roots of Modernism to the Symbolists. As far as the trajectory you describe, I think Aleister Crowley was to the 20th century what Sade was to the 19th. Crowley remains hidden and unknown to most, though his influence has been enormous. In fact, in terms of cultural currents that flowered among the Beats and 60s generation, Crowley is an unmistakable presence. His influence on Rock n Roll — and now Hip Hop, with Jay-Z wearing a sweatshirt with Crowley’s “Do as thou wilt” on it — is also unmistakable. Kinsey visited Crowley’s Abba Thelema; Timothy Leary considered his work to be the putting into practice of Crowley’s ideas; and L Ron Hubbard was an initiate into Crowley’s OTO via Jack Parsons. There is also a list of science fiction writers who were Crowley initiates, Arthur C. Clarke and Heinlein being the most prominent. The list of Rock musicians / groups that were aficionados of Crowley is also substantial. And now, his influence continues through the work of graphic novelists Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. Crowley has also influenced “chaos magic,” which Morrison supposedly practices.

      To my way of thinking, Christians are completely outgunned by social and sexual revolutionaries because Christians are completely unaware of how these forces have not only shaped modern culture in the West but have insinuated themselves into positions of power. If one dismisses the idea that this goes to the highest levels of government, one need only read up on the “Franklin Coverup” scandal. The UK is still dealing with revelations concerning Jimmy Savile, a man knighted by Thatcher. Then, there are the recent revelations involving Dominque Straus Kahn. There are also indications that in some cases, the priest sex scandal plaguing the Catholic church involve Crowleyite infiltrators.

      But conservative Christians continue to believe if they vote for the right candidate, it will change things around. We’re being governed by predators that aren’t interested in promoting the good — they’re interested in our destruction. Until Christians realize and admit they are at war with a sophisticated, complex network of occultists who believe they receive power through the destruction and murder of innocence, they will be forever at a disadvantage in resisting these cultural transformations. When Julian the Apostate was Emperor, St. Basil and other Christians at the time had no illusions about him. In fact, I think St. Basil prayed for the empire to be delivered from him. We Orthodox Christians today, however, don’t unmask or call out our leaders on these issues. I can’t think of a single Christian clergyman, Orthodox or otherwise, who took Bush to task for being a Skull and Bones member. And John Kerry, a fellow “Bonesman,” continues to travel the globe pushing the war agenda of the Anglo-American establishment. And it’s cultural as well. I’ve heard an OCA priest praise the Harry Potter books and admit to being a fan of them. At an Orthodox summer camp a priest wore a T-shirt that had a red hand displaying the “diablo” hand sign of Rock fans with the quip, “I go to church on Sundays” beneath it. The Bishops can issue statements about the misguided nature of the Supreme Court but until they expose the corruption within the government I’m not clear what good these statements will have. They also need to hold clergy accountable and expect them to rise to the high standard of tradition and not attempt to create a “personal cultural space” in order to appear more “relevant.”

      • Trey the Virginian says


        Quite an extensive discourse on Crowley!

        I think I had heard previously about Aleister Crowley. When I saw his material online I immediately thought of Led Zeppelin and the symbols on their albums. Sure enough, that was their inspiration.

        Yes, Chrysostom has much to offer us, including his use of counter-processions to the Arian processions, and his delegating of missionaries to the Goths.

        I gave a presentation to our parish education committee on how our education system had left the classical model, the basis of education for Christ, the Apostle Paul, the Church Fathers, and the United States through the 19th century.

        The classical model was disrupted by the new theories of education that arose after the Enlightenment, from which Sade arose. The influence of these ideas were felt in our education system through the outsized influence of John Dewey, a signer along with many Unitarian ministers of the Humanist Manifesto, in 1933, not so ironically the year that Hitler came to power, since it amounts to a tyranny by elite revolutionaries.

        The Humanist Manifesto sought to redefine religion, to modernize it, and to abolish the source of wisdom and knowledge transmitted by tradition.

        It looks though that Crowley was one of many influential artists that came out of the Decadent Movement::

        Our own president Theodore Roosevelt gave speeches and wrote about the destructive potential of these new ideas.

        Stephen, it sounds like you have a lot to offer. Do you live in the Atlanta area? I would like to meet you if possible or communicate with you about the work we are doing in our parish along the lines of what you are saying is necessary.

        You can contact me at

        • Hi Trey — The history of American education is certainly an interesting topic. It’s interesting to note that the NEA was initially a professional organization but, under various kinds of pressure, transformed into a teacher’s union. Diane Ravitch has written about these issues. In fact, I think it was in one of her books — I can’t remember which one — where it’s noted that in the 30’s, a contingency of NEA representatives visited the Soviet Union to observe their schools. There’s also an interesting book of different kinds of documents, assembled by Charlotte Iserbyt, that chronicles the intentional dumbing down of American schools. Bev Eakman also published an interesting book — “Cloning the American Mind” — on the use of various psychological theories and methods on the part of educators for the purposes of exerting more control and conformity while undermining the prerogative of parents. I can’t remember if it’s in that book or something else she wrote, but she points out the interesting relation between the work of Horkheimer and Fromm on authoritarianism and trends in American education: the “studies” undertaken by the New School essentially blamed the family for the rise of National Socialism and “blind prejudice.” These ideas were then embraced by the academy.

          My impression is that sometime in the 50s or 60s, educators began to embrace Piaget and Carl Rogers. I know some (Allan Bloom) blame all of this on Rousseau and his work, “Emile,” which is still read in schools of education, with its emphasis on “natural morality” and Rousseau’s ideas regarding the same. I remember a passage somewhere in “Emile” where Emile breaks a window. His parents are told not to replace it since it’s better for Emile to suffer the cold that will come in the night for him to truly understand the moral significance of what he has done — hence, the idea of a “natural morality” instead of a “cold, rational instruction” in what is good. I suppose Rogers would popularize this idea by talking in terms of “authenticity” and “self actualization” — pure Rousseau.

          I don’t know that I have anything to offer regarding curriculum — I know there are others more qualified than I who have written on the subject. Somewhere, I vaguely remember a handful of books on the topic of classical education, a few by Catholics and one or two by Orthodox Christians. There is a book by Schall on classical education and, if I remember right, Fr. Akakios of Etna has a book on education. But I don’t know that I would have anything of value to add on the topic.

          You raise an interesting question regarding modernism. I see the Symbolists as the culprits — so many of the leading lights of modernism dabbled in the occult. There are more and more studies these days regarding fin de siecle Europe and its fascination with the occult. It’s interesting to learn that Satie wrote music for the Rosicrucian Order he was a member of. Debussy, his friend, was also interested in the occult. Of course, the list goes on and on — Yeats, Pound, Proust, Bely, Kandinsky, Scriabin, etc. As far as I can tell, the Symbolists were the bridge between Romanticism and Modernism. It was the Symbolists who embraced occultism and the idea of tapping into a hidden spiritual realm in order to advance spiritually — hence, the poetry of Baudelaire and Rimbaud. I don’t know what the influence of either was on Bauhaus and architecture — I vaguely remember Le Corbusier and Gropius were Marxists. In any case, Crowley took the rituals and esoterica of these movements public and popularized them. It took a while for these ideas to go fully mainstream, but they did through popular entertainment, science fiction, and comic books. As a result, we’ve all been initiated into these esoteric systems through the popular culture we consume. The movie, “The Matrix,” has introduced an untold number of Americans to the idea of the Gnostic Demiurge and converted them to the Gnostic spirit of rebellion against the established order of nature. One need only go to the local mall to see all the tattooed, body pierced, disheveled looking people to realize every day is Halloween in our country.

    • Nice. Best wishes to your parish in these endeavors. We need parishes that are willing to make these efforts and that then share the lessons learned with all. I would quibble that modernism is not the enemy, but rather post-modernism. But this is more of a historical point, since modernism, properly understood, is long dead, too.

      • Trey the Virginian says

        Thank you for your response Edward.

        Please contact me about our parish at the address I left in my response to Stephen.

        I find “modernism” most useful in communicating to people the disruptive ideas that arose in the Enlightenment historical period, more so in Europe in the US, because as de Tocqueville shows, religion was the strength of the people he observed in Democracy in America.

        Modernism is the familiar term for people and we associate good things with it that we enjoy, airplanes, smart phones and such, and being up with the times, that give credence that being Modern is good, despite the unprecedented social costs and the destructive ideas that are tearing at us.

        The Enlightenment/Romantic painter Goya represented these destructions well in his Los Caprichos and in the disturbing frescoes he left behind painted on the walls of his house.

        So I use modernism as the useful over-arching term to describe the whole ball of wax.

        Post-Modernism is simply the logical conclusion of the Enlightenment, of attempting to establish Reason as the basis for life without regard to the Creator (but even Voltaire did not go that far) or the wisdom of our predecessors. The Created Order was retained as a guide up to Modernism (after being elevated to self-existing status by the Romantics), but in Post-Modernism the Created Order itself is now jettisoned as is Reason.

        Only will and desire are left.

        This is why they are elevated to divine status in our advertisements and sports, sex and youth crazedness.

        We now have before us a “Brave New World” where the elites are Dr. Frankenstein.

        A new Tower of Babel is their project.

  15. Aaron Little says

    The community that has grown up around St. Anthony’s monastery (with plenty of empty lots still available for building) is virtually an Orthodox ‘village’. Many work in neighboring Florence and beyond.

    • I think around many of the Orthodox Monastery’s are Orthodox “Villages”.

      • Aaron Little says

        Agreed. And such is not without precedent. Witness the ancient “Companions of God” (Culdees) in Celtic Christianity and the “Sons and Daughters of the Covenant” (Bnay Qnayma) in Syriac Christianity. Both examples to emulate in any age, but more so at this time of profound moral rot in the wider culture (and frankly to a lesser extent within our own ranks).

  16. Patrick Henry Reardon says

    In case someone has not seen it, today’s proclamation from our bishops is pasted below.

    It says the correct things, I suppose, without the roar mentioned in Amos.

    The Gates of Hell have nothing to fear from our bishops.

    July 2, 2015
    Response of Assembly of Bishops to Obergefell v Hodges

    The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America strongly disagrees with the United States Supreme Court decision of June 26, Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the Court invents a constitutional right for two members of the same sex to marry, and imposes upon all States the responsibility to license and recognize such “marriages.”

    The Supreme Court, in the narrowest majority possible, has overstepped its purview by essentially re-defining marriage itself. It has attempted to settle a polarizing social and moral question through legislative fiat. It is immoral and unjust for our government to establish in law a “right” for two members of the same sex to wed. Such legislation harms society and especially threatens children who, where possible, deserve the loving care of both a father and a mother.

    As Orthodox Christian bishops, charged by our Savior Jesus Christ to shepherd His flock, we will continue to uphold and proclaim the teaching of our Lord that marriage, from its inception, is the lifelong sacramental union of a man and a woman. We call upon all Orthodox Christians in our nation to remain firm in their Orthodox faith, and to renew their deep reverence for and commitment to marriage as taught by the Church. We also call upon our nation’s civic leaders to respect the law of Almighty God and uphold the deeply-rooted beliefs of millions of Americans.

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      I think it’s pretty good, actually.

      • Patrick Henry Reardon says

        I concede that the statement of our Orthodox bishops is “pretty good.”

        Let me suggest, however, that it would be significantly improved by the addition of two more paragraphs. To wit:

        if sheer boredom with our statement up to this point has not put you to sleep, let us also mention that we bishops of Holy Church are resolved to forfeit our tax exemption status, lest we ever give the impression that our silence can be purchased from Caesar in exchange for what belongs to God.

        Finally, we dispatch a word of caution to those Sodomites and other sex perverts whose irresponsible behavior has brought our nation to this crisis: “REPENT! For the sake of your immortal souls, keep constantly in mind the judgment of God, the punishment of hell, and the length of eternity. Pay more serious attention to the One who spoke of the flame that is not extinguished and the worm that never dies.” For the rest, everybody have a good day.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          Excellent. Love it.


          • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald says

            I too like that inimitable Church of England Anglo-Catholic style which speaks of “Holy Church” (and “Mother Church”0 without the definite article. It’s like a stylistic giveaway or sneak-peek at spiritual DNA!

            • Patrick Henry Reardon says

              In accord with Baumstark’s “first law,” it is often the custom that the article is not used in expressions derived immediately from Latin. “Holy Church” is simply Sancta Ecclesia.

              In the Creed, likewise—and for the same reason—we do not use the article in our profession of “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church.”

              And, when we come to “he was made man” (or “became man”). our omission of the article is simply a nod to homo factus est.

              Likewise our reference to Magna Carta without the article.

              The bishop is certainly correct that my recourse to this idiom has something to do with “Church of England Anglo-Catholic style.” I doubt I would have found my way into the Orthodox Church if I had not spent the previous half-century reading the Latin Fathers, the Caroline Divines, and the likes of Newman, Keble, Westcott, LIghtfoot, and Dix.

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                Many and various are the paths to the Orthodox Church!

                I hadn’t read any of those folks, except, along the line somewhere, I read Newman’s Apologia. Well, come to think of it, I had read quite a bit of Augustine…..

                Instead, I was invited to a Pascha vigil and liturgy in the local Greek Orthodox church by a friend and law partner, in 1980 (might have been 1979). Beautiful! Then, at 1:30 a.m or so, we went downstairs to the hall of the church for a mighty feast of lamb, wine, and countless trimmings. I exclaimed: this is my kind of religion! I got home about 4 a.m. to the singing of the birds. (Alas, they quit that feast immediately after the Paschal Liturgy about 25 years ago.)

                Then, in about 1982, I happened to attend a Divine Liturgy at tiny Holy Trinity OCA church in Wilkeson and heard Bp. Basil (Rodzianko) preach. I was very moved by this.

                From there, it was a straight path to the catechumenate in that self-same Greek church….only 35 years later!

                Anyway, I was a Presbyterian and never too impressed by those sheep-faced, lugubrious, Anglican divines… 😉

      • I agree with you, Tim. I thought it was quite good. It was strong without being intemperate.

  17. Peter A. Papoutsis says

    Hot off the presses:

    Response of Assembly of Bishops to Obergefell v. Hodges

    Thursday, July 02, 2015

    The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America strongly disagrees with the United States Supreme Court decision of June 26, Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the Court invents a constitutional right for two members of the same sex to marry, and imposes upon all States the responsibility to license and recognize such “marriages.”

    The Supreme Court, in the narrowest majority possible, has overstepped its purview by essentially re-defining marriage itself. It has attempted to settle a polarizing social and moral question through legislative fiat. It is immoral and unjust for our government to establish in law a “right” for two members of the same sex to wed. Such legislation harms society and especially threatens children who, where possible, deserve the loving care of both a father and a mother.

    As Orthodox Christian bishops, charged by our Savior Jesus Christ to shepherd His flock, we will continue to uphold and proclaim the teaching of our Lord that marriage, from its inception, is the lifelong sacramental union of a man and a woman. We call upon all Orthodox Christians in our nation to remain firm in their Orthodox faith, and to renew their deep reverence for and commitment to marriage as taught by the Church. We also call upon our nation’s civic leaders to respect the law of Almighty God and uphold the deeply-rooted beliefs of millions of Americans.

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald says

      The Supreme Court neither asks nor requires the Orthodox Church to change ANYTHING.
      Does P. Papoutsi agree trhat abortion is murder and must be publicly denounced by any episcopate calling itself ORTHODOX?

      “Same-sex marriage” is a silly sideshow. Abortion is a grievous sin. I see nothing encouraging or edifying in chicken-little proclamations and declarations when a REAL issue is met with discreet silences and COWARDICE,

      • George Michalopulos says

        Your Grace, same-sex marriage is nothing less than an abomination. Not worse than baby-killing but that’s an awfully low bar, isn’t it?

        Kinda like the man who was arrested for bestiality. The cop asked him if it was a female sheep. He replied “of course! Do you think I’m some kind of pervert?”

      • Actually, same-sex marriage is not a sideshow; it’s a body-blow to American Christianity. Christianity is all but illegal right now. Wake up.

      • George Osborne says

        Your Grace….. I note you have been raising your voice and yelling quite a bit lately. Something under your skin?

    • ReaderEmanuel says

      I’m happy that they finally came out with a statement, but it’s a bland one. NOWHERE in this statement does it bother to say that this is sinful and an abomination to God! In fact, the word “sin” isn’t in this statement at all! Read between the lines here, folks. Here was a perfect opportunity for the Bishops to state the Church’s position without any doubt whatsoever. Instead, they came out with a statement condemning same-sex marriage, but not the sin itself! I really expected better! Besides that, I read the original statement on the website, and I found something interesting…where were the signatures of all the bishops? There were none! Don’t joint statements like this usually carry the signatures of all the hierarchs? It kind of makes me wonder… I know a lot of folks won’t like what I am saying here, but if this wishy-washy, “don’t offend anyone by calling something what it is” approach continues, I’ll leave the Church. Quite frankly, I’ve just about had it as it is with all the modernist, ecumenist stuff going on, and now this. The church apparently has become so infiltrated with modernists, ecumenists, and left wing thinkers from the top down that it no longer has the guts to preach the truth without the fear of offending someone.

    • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

      Outstanding. Glory to Jesus Christ!

  18. cynthia curran says

    I will tell you why this happen, a lot of Christians were not living a clean life, Its like the Byzantine emperor that married 4 times and had a mistress as a teenager talking about sexual morality. A lot of evangelicals who complain about gay sexual activity were supporting Josh Duggar who molested his sisters and another girl as a teenager. So, if you misbehaved it bits you bites you back.

  19. Francis Frost says


    Your hysteria is showing.

    You, George Michalopoulos, who have repeatedly denigrated, ridiculed and mocked the actual suffering of those Orthodox Christians who were murdered by your heroes in the Kremlin; you George Michalopoulos are now in a panic because someone, somewhere might remove the public support for your veneration of the Confederate Flag?

    You, George Michalopoulos who dismissed the desecration of the Holy Altar in the Ghvertaeba Cathedral (“bad things happen in war”), are incensed that someone might desecrate the sacred memory of the “Dukes of Hazard”?

    You are in a tizzy because someone might interfere with your budding career in the Bridal industry?

    While the members of the Emmanuel AME, whose loved ones were gunned down, demonstrated their Christian faith, by offering forgiveness to the murderer of their kin, all you, George can contribute is a whining lament for your devotion to a racist society, that would never have admitted you into its ranks. Perhaps, your YiaYia never taught you about the Klan’s attitude towards Greek immigrants. Perhaps you ought to read the following article published by the AHEPA:

    AHEPA’s 75th Anniversary: Forgotten History: The Klan vs. Americans of Hellenic Heritage in and Age of Hate

    Ironies abound. You are a devoted follower of those who would have hounded you out of town on a rail. Perhaps you are unaware that the OCA’s parish of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary in Desloge, Missouri was attacked by Klansmen in the 1930’s and its parishioners scattered. That parish has never recovered from that event.

    You are terrified and horrified at the thought that someone might actually inconvenience you.

    You sir, have no idea what actual suffering and martyrdom are.

    Below are eyewitness accounts of the tortures and killing suffered but the innocent Orthodox Christians at the hands of your heroes in the Kremlin

    From the Martyrdom of St Andrea Kurashvili and St Giorgi Adua, the restorers and guardians of the Shrine of the Repose of St John Chrysostom in Komana:

    “At 3 o’clock at night, the battle had spread to the very temple. “Any moment we can expect death. Let us prepare for confession and Holy Communion.” Father Andrew told them, and for the last time he brought out the Holy cup from the Alter and gave them Communion. “Father Andrew was very calm when he announced to us to prepare for Communion. After the Communion he asked us not to talk amongst ourselves and to try to turn our thoughts deep within so that in this hell we can hear the quiet, but ever powerful and majestic voice of eternity. These moments were unforgettable… The light soul of father Andrew revealed itself to us with unknown and mysterious force, he felt towards us the most gentle and all reaching love of Christ, seeing God’s light according to the words: And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” (John 1,5) A feeling overcame us that father Andrew is breaking into the other dimension of life where harmony and beauty rules and that no hellish forces, all joined together, will be able to do anything to him, because the source of this indescribable beauty and grace is God Himself, eternal and all reaching” – witnesses the novice Maria.

    At 5 o’clock in the morning outside they started yelling for them to open the door. With the blessing of father Andrew, Yuri opened the door. They grabbed him and with beating they dragged him outside. They were hitting him with the butts of their rifles and they dragged him away such that none saw him again. Latter it became known that he was dignified with a martyr’s death.

    Later they also dragged out Father Andrew and as the lamb is mute before its shearers, in such a way he too did not open his mouth. Father Andrew sought to accept that cup and he drank it. He kneeled on his knees and he fervently prayed. His enemy shot him in the back of his head, but he even as dead did not surrender himself and submit to them. Instead of, according to logic, falling down on his face, he fell on his back. Twenty minutes from the wound poured out streams of blood.

    In the mean time the group that was in the temple did not know what was happening outside. After they took out Father Andrew the wild and drugged up Abhaskan soldiers came into the temple, started to shout, swear and to desecrate it, and they even tipped over the grave of St. John Chrysostom, and after 3 hours some young man ran in and yelled out: “They killed your elder!”. They with all their strength went to the place of the crime and found the martyred body of their young by age, but elder by wisdom, spiritual father and Hieromonk Andrew. On his face, instead of grimace there was a sweet smile.

    At the same time sub-deacon Giorgi Adua, was dragged away and nailed to a tree, in mockery of Christ’s crucifixion. The drunken soldiers used him for target practice, shooting at his arms and legs until he died from blood loss.

    Additional eyewitness accounts of the genocide in Abkhazia from Digital Caucasus:

    The Abkhazian separatists searched for everything they considered worthy, terrorized and killed Georgian peaceful inhabitants.

    “…When they [Abkhaz] entered Gagra, I saw Shamyl Basaev’s battalion (Muslim Chechen mercenaries, imported and armed by by the Russian military to exterminate the Georgian Orthodox people of Abkhazia). I have never seen such a horror. They were raping and killing everyone who was captured and dragged from their homes. The Abkhaz commander Arshba raped a 14 year old girl and later gave an order to execute her. For the whole day I only could hear the screams and cries of the people who were brutally tortured. On the next day, I witnessed the mass execution of people on the stadium. They installed machine guns and mortars on the top and placed people right on the field. It took a couple of hours to kill everybody…” (Note:The entire Georgian population of Gagra was gunned down in the Soccer Stadium in one afternoon.)

    The Georgian government repeatedly appealed to the UN, CSCE, and other international organizations to intervene, while at the same time refusing offers of Russian military assistance. Several UN Security Council resolutions and decisions failed to lead to a de-escalation of the conflict.

    “…When the Abkhaz entered my house, they took me and my seven year old son outside. After forcing us to kneel, they took my son and shot him right in front of me. After they grabbed me by hair and took me to the nearby well. An Abkhaz soldier forced me to look down that well; there I saw three younger men and couple of elderly women who were standing soaked in water. They were screaming and crying while the Abkhaz were dumping dead corpses on them. Afterwards, they threw a grenade there and placed more people inside. I was forced again to kneel in front of the dead corpses. One of the soldiers took his knife and took the eye out from one of the dead near me. Then he started to rub my lips and face with that decapitated eye. I could not take it any longer and fainted. They left me there in a pile of corpses…”

    ” After the city was seized, the streets were covered with bodies. Separatists destroyed the Baramidze, Chkhetia, Baramia, Gvazava, Dzidziguri, Absandze, Shonia, and Kutsia families, as well as many others…”

    The war ended in late September 1993 with Abkhazeti’s virtual secession from Georgia through a radical ethnic cleansing of its multi-ethnic population and the destruction of its cities, including Sokhumi. Just at the beginning of the war adherents of Vladislav Ardzinba started killing, tormenting, raping, and robbing the inhabitants of Georgian nationality.

    Ugrekhelidze, an inhabitant of the village Eshera, was forced to dig a hole of his own height, then they pulled out his teeth and nails, and buried him alive. They left his hand above the ground (the symbol of the Abkhazian banner.) Another Georgian was captured, and they cut his veins. Then the Abkhazian separatists poured his blood into glasses and drank it. After this they let him go to Sokhumi to tell everybody how Abkhazians drank Georgian blood.

    The Abkhazian butchers captured sisters – Eka Jvania (17 years old) and Marina Jvania (14 years old), Leila Samushia and others in village Pshadi. They undressed them in front of their parents and neighbors, and raped them. After this the Abkhazian butchers executed all of them by shooting.

    It’s just a drop in the ocean of separatists violence. 50,000 innocent people were killed in Abkhazian War in 1992-1993.

    “…They captured a young girl. She was hiding in the bushes near the house where they killed her parents. She was raped several times. One of the soldiers killed her and mutilated her. She was cut in half. Near her body they left a message: as this corpse will never be as one piece, Abkhazia and Georgia will never be united either…”

    Repeatedly you, George Michalopoulos, have denigrated and mocked the martyrdom of innocent Orthodox Christians in Georgia. And now, you are in a panic that someone might potentially harm you.

    Worry not, Phile Mou, you are not worthy to suffer for Christ.

    You, George and your entire band of pseudo-traditionalist, political Orthodox are nothing more than cynical hucksters and shams. You outrage and indignation are hypocritical shomanship, glib hucksterism. Bravo, Bufo !

    Where was you support for the “sanctity of life” when our loved ones, neighbors and friends were massacred in cold blood? Where was your dedication to the holiness of the church, when your heroes rocketed, desecrated and burned the Ghvrtaeba Cathedral? Where has your concern for the future of the Orthodox faith when the Moscow Patriarchate set up its schismatic Eparchy on the canonical territory of the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate? Where was your voice for justice these past two years that Metroploitan Isaiah has ben held captive by the occupation forces in Akhalgori?

    In the face of these horrific acts, you have derided and mocked the victims, while you idolize the murderers of Christ.

    Get real.

    If anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? I Peter 4:17

    When you and your fellow moralists actually agree to “suffer even to the shedding of your blood” as have these others, then and only then, will your preaching count for something.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Francis, you remind me of that observation that the late Bill Buckley said about meeting anybody who ever went to Harvard. No matter what the topic, he’d always find a way to insert his attendance there. “I say, Bob, the weather is a bit chilly today, don’t you think?” “Why yes, it reminds of the cold winters I spent while at Harvard…”

      • Francis Frost says


        As always you evade the truth. Morality is seamless garment. you cannot defend ‘sanctity’ while you condone the desecration of holy cannot defend the ‘right to life’, while you condone mass murder.

        Because you have repeatedly defended the use of violence against innocent civilians, the use of torture, rape and ethic cleansing; you forfeit any legitimacy when you pontificate on moral subjects.

        “By your own word you will be either justified or condemned”. Your own words, George, condemn you. Your own words expose you as a moral poseur and a fraud.

        As you did it not to the least of these My brethren, so you did it not to ME. Matthew 25

        If judgement and even persecution come upon the church here, it is because the church here abandoned Christ on the bloody killing fields of Abkahzia and on the desecrated altar of Ghvrtaeba Cathedral.

        “you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one shall not steal, do you steal? You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?… Romans 2:21

        Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23″And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; Depart from Me, all who practice iniquity. Matthew 7

        “So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood. 1″Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight.” Isaiah 1:15

        A church that “blesses” mass murder is not worthy of Christ, as as He, said, “I will spit you out”

        • George Michalopulos says

          Francis, since your so worked up about Putin and those Wascally Wussians, may I suggest that you scare up a battalion of volunteers to go fight him? We could divide up the State of Oklahoma between us and recruit men. I’m thinking maybe we could name them the Stillwater Rifles, or perhaps the Glenco Grenadiers. I’m sure the Indian Nations will help us out with the Muskoke Light-horsemen or the Sac-and-Fox Fusiliers.

          Then, when we conquer Russia we can set them straight. I’ll hold down Putin while you spank him for his beastly treatment of the gays/Georgians/Ukies/whatever and Bill Kristol reads him passages from The Federalist Papers.

  20. Thomas Barker says

    When one peers into the architecture of our American culture, a hideous being steps out of the shadows. It is the numen that guides our ruined nation. In June, when Anthony Kennedy wrote the opinion deciding Obergefell v. Hodges, the numen leaned in close beside him, their intentions aligned, their minds intimate. And the numen’s unholy sway was soon revealed, as it has been at so many crucial junctures in our past. With the White House bathed in eerie, supernatural hues, and our leaders smirking in victory at press conferences, there is no question that our President is running in double harness with Satan. The prince of this world need wear disguises no longer. To use a phrase written by Father Seraphim Rose, it appears that the evil one “is now entering naked into human history.” America’s halcyon days, a unique cul-de-sac in history when so many favored the laws of the God over the passions of man, live only in memory. “You must always remember that this is not your home and that you are a traveller passing through a strange land,” impressed upon me years ago by a loved one. Those words have never had such meaning for me as they do today.

  21. Texan Orthodox says

    Just listened to Fr Josiah’s podcast from his “Arena” series about the ridiculous Supreme Court decision redefining marriage:

    It is the best 40-minute talk on the SCOTUS decision that I have heard.

    If only *any* of our bishops and more of our clergy could say it like Fr Josiah. I have so much respect for him as a priest with a clear, eloquent voice for the faith, who has the *cajones* to speak the truth! I wish having *cajones* — figuratively — was a requirement for ordination.

    As someone who grew up in the GOA but who hasn’t worshipped in a GOA church in more than 20 years now, I continue to be deeply saddened by the silence of the GOA on this issue. True to form, the GOA tries to have its cake and eat it too — it tries to be sort-of-Orthodox but also desperately wants to be accepted by modern, secular American society. When will it get over this pathetic inferiority complex, which has so hampered GOA growth and mission? I finally saw a small link to the Assembly of Bishops tepid statement this morning on the GOA website — but before today, nothing.

    May God bless and protect and keep Fr Josiah and all those with him who are not afraid to speak for the truth!

    • Mark E. Fisus says

      Cut GOA some slack. They own the Assembly, so in their minds when the Assembly spoke that means the Greeks already spoke.

    • Mikail02 says

      Here is a strong statement by the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver.

      • ReaderEmanuel says

        Once again, another statement that seemingly is strong but is actually weak, because nowhere does it speak against the sin of homosexuality itself! “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Rev. 3:16. Lord, have mercy on us. It is almost as if the church is saying that it’s OK to be gay, but not to have a SSM! That’s like saying that it’s OK to have an abortion, but it’s not OK to be engaged in fornication! Disgusting!

  22. Patrick Henry Reardon says
  23. Caesar will do what Caesar will do… I find nothing new in that. Sometimes they are in alignment with the Kingdom in certain aspects and sometimes they are not. Once again, nothing new. Kingdoms come and go. Let them. Our response, as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, is not created or defined by those actions. Those actions simply bring to the surface what we believe that then turns into the appropriate action. There is doesn’t need to be a strategy except to allow the appropriate action that manifests who we are and the Kingdom of which we are a citizen in season and out of season.

    That is what I understand Fr. Reardon to be doing and others throughout the history of the Church to have done. He is not being a strategist. That would make his action a necessitated response created by Caesar. That attributes to Caesar power he does not possess. He is simply being in action who he is in Christ.

    All of this is not about things getting better or getting worse. It is about manifestation.

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      I like this, Lazarus,

      In about an hour, by the way, Univision is coming over to interview me about today article in the Tribune.

      I have just enough time to trim my beard and brush up on my Spanish.

  24. Francis Frost says

    As a useful antidote to George’s hysteria, a most insightful article from WordPress:

    Fr. Sergei Sveshnikov
    How does the legalization of same-sex marriage affect the Church?

    Posted in Reflections by Fr. Sergei Sveshnikov on 29 June 2015
    With the recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to impose the legalization of same-sex marriage on all of the States, many people wonder how this will affect the Church. The answer is, of course, quite simple: it does not affect the Church at all in any way whatsoever. The Church has lived in the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the Communist Empire, the Capitalist Empire, various democracies, monarchies, aristocracies, oligarchies, etc. and kept the truth she received from God unchanged. The Church has lived through ages of Roman immorality, Byzantine Christian state officialdom, the Middle Ages in Europe, the Muslim invasion of Palestine, the humanism of the Renaissance, the Soviet attempts to build communism, the American separation of Church and State, and many other ages and circumstances, and she still kept her truth because she received it from God. In other words, it does not matter what any given society in any given age chooses to “celebrate”–gay pride or burkas, cannabis or ecstasy, pornography or abortion, alcoholism or prohibition–the Church does not receive her truth from social movements or Supreme Court decisions. The Church receives her truth from God and that is why she is not blown in this direction or that by various winds or tossed by different currents.

    Is homosexuality anything new? No. As far as we know, it has been around for a very long time. For the purposes of the teaching of the Church, the Apostle Paul mentioned homosexuality in his epistles in the first century, and various mentions of it can be found in the writings of the Fathers of the Church. The recent decision of the U.S. Supreme Court does nothing to change the teaching of the Church (nor is it meant to).

    Are homosexuals born homosexual? I do not know. This may be something for scientists to figure out. Ultimately, whether homosexuals are born that way or become that way through upbringing or in some other way–this makes little difference to the teaching of the Church. Scientists tell us that sociopaths are born that way and that murderers have genes that predispose them to murder. They also tell us that family members of sex offenders are five times more likely to commit sex offences. And it does not take a geneticist to notice that some people are born predisposed to anger problems, and others–to addictions. And yet we do not “celebrate” any of those behaviors, nor does research in genetics have any effect on what the Church considers a sin or not. This is not, of course, to propose that homosexuality is in any way similar to sociopathy, or murder, or addictions, but only to say that “being born” a certain way is neither here nor there as far as the Church is concerned.

    Does the Church have a position on what marriage is? Yes, but it is not derived from the opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court any more than it is derived from the Sharia law or the ideas of the Hippie movement.

    Does the Church have an opinion on homosexuality? Yes, but it does not depend on whether homosexuality is legal or is considered a crime by the State.

    Will the Church be forced to marry homosexuals? No. It is true that marriages officiated by Orthodox priests are currently recognized by the State as legal civil marriages, and this makes priests de facto agents of the State. But if the State decides to force them to perform homosexual marriages, the Church will simply get out of the business of performing civil marriages altogether. This is the case in Russia and has been for nearly a century. The State issues official civil papers to whom it wishes in accordance with civil laws, and the Church blesses Christian marriages in accordance with the truth she received from God. Will our tax-exempt status be at stake? Maybe, but this is insignificant compared to the kinds of persecution that Christians endured over the course of history. We have prevailed, and even the gates of hell do not stand a chance against the Church.

    Civil laws, social fads, public opinions, movements, debates, philosophical or political theories, governments of this world–none of that matters in the kingdom of God because God’s kingdom is not of this world. And this is the kingdom to which the Church belongs. Christians are citizens of God’s kingdom. We observe the civil laws of whichever state we happen to live in at this time, but we obey God’s laws and live according to Christ’s commandments.

    The U.S. Supreme Court says that states have to marry homosexuals regardless of what the people in those states think about it. The Supreme Court also says that pornography is legal, and that abortion is legal, and that greed is legal, and that adultery is perfectly legal as well. But the Church is not worried about what is legal and what is not. The Church is focused on what is salvific. The U.S. Supreme Court will not tell us how to be saved, how to live with God, and what the laws are in God’s eternal kingdom, but the Church will tell us those things.

    Having said this, I must admit that there are some questions to which I still have not found good answers. For example, if a young man and a young woman come to a priest and say: “We love each other and want to be together,” the priest is likely to say: “Great! Get married! May God bless you!” The assumption is (at least in the 21st century in the U.S.) that it is precisely this “thing” the young people call “love” that lays the foundation for a marriage. Of course, there are any number of qualifiers–the couple’s maturity, stability, commitment, etc., but it is this initial “love” that seems to get the Church “ball” rolling. We then propose that this same “love” expressed in commitment, care, support, self-sacrifice, and other acts is what makes a marriage, at least in part, an icon of Christ and the Church. Finally, while we pray for the young couple to have children, we do not insist on it: we will marry people who are barren due to medical conditions, and a couple of 50-year-olds who are not planning on having babies at that stage in their lives, and also two people who want to live as “brother and sister” and to preserve their virginity. Thus, as the Church, we state that marriage is not about procreation at all, but about the self-sacrificial love of two people for one another–however we choose to define love.

    Now imagine that two young women come to a priest and say the exact same thing: “We love each other and want to be together.” Suddenly, the “love” does not matter, commitment does not matter, self-sacrifice does not matter, mutual support does not matter. The only thing that seems to matter is that their relationship is unnatural, and by this we mean their sexual relationship, of course, since neither commitment, nor self-sacrifice, nor mutual support is what we are talking about when we use the word ‘unnatural.’ So, is it about sex then? Because if it is, we need to talk about it, instead of getting piously-squeamish every time the very word is mentioned. If it is not the self-sacrificial love but sex that is the basis of our theology of marriage (since the two young women may very well possess this self-sacrificial love for one another), then it may be time to discuss sex more seriously within the Orthodox context.

    One may object to such a discussion on the basis of something more intelligent than pretense-piety or false equal-to-the-angelness. One may argue that we should not let the world define the terms of our theology, and that the Church should not engage in any discussion of love and sex in the way that the world defines them. This is a valid argument, but one that requires not only a comprehensive theology of love and sex to be developed but also taught and preached with frequency and regularity. The problem is that while the decisions of the Supreme Court and social ideologies do not affect the teaching of the Church, they do affect the minds of our young people. In the absence of a meaningful discourse on love and sex in the Church, the young people learn about love and sex from their peers and Supreme Court decisions. The world has already convinced them that marriage is about “being in love” and that homosexual people can “be in love” as much as anyone else. These are the young people who in twenty-five years will be setting the course of the Church based on the very ideas and definitions of love, marriage and sexuality which they are learning from the Supreme Court and the society today.

    So, where do we begin? There are several topics that can be addressed from a number of starting points. As one of them, I propose to begin with putting homosexuality into a scriptural context–not into the context of Leviticus, which, by the way, in addition to prohibiting homosexual relations, also prohibits the consumption of shrimp–the Lenten favorite of many Orthodox Christians (11:10). Rather, we could start with the context provided by the Apostle Paul. My personal opinion is that homosexuality must be treated in full accordance with the words of 1 Cor. 6:9-10: “…neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor sexual perverts [lit.: “men who lie with men”], nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.” I am convinced that homosexuals must be treated the very same way that we treat adulterers, alcoholics, or the greedy. As the Church, we seem to have much tolerance for divorce, even though Christ insisted that divorce equals adultery (Matt. 19:9). We do not demand that two people, who broke-off their previous marriages for reasons other than infidelity and entered into second marriages, break-off these second marriages as adulterous relationships before they are allowed to participate in the life of the Church. We offer healing, communion with God, support, and a Church blessing for their new “adulterous” marriages. We also seem to tolerate the drunks. We do not necessarily like them very much or think that drunkenness is a good thing, but we tolerate them–on their “good” days and “bad” days, we support them when they are in recovery and do not give up when they relapse. And we let the greedy come to church and take communion. Maybe, we wish that they would be less greedy and that they donate more to the church, but we tolerate them nonetheless and do not excommunicate them for their greed. The Scripture seems to imply equal treatment for all of those behaviors, including homosexuality.

    Another point of departure could be a distinction between homosexuality as an orientation and homosexuality as a culture. Some quick internet research reveals that 28% (one out of every three!!!) of gay men have over 1000 (over one thousand!!!) sexual partners in their lifetime. By comparison, 20% of heterosexual males have only 1 partner and another 55%–2-20. I have never in my life heard of a heterosexual man having over 1000 partners (they may exist, but, certainly, not a whole third of all straight men). There appears to be a very simple explanation for why HIV spread so rapidly among gay men, compared to any other group of people. It really does not matter how reliable these numbers are as long as the general trend holds true. Thus, I think that there is a distinction between homosexuality as a sexual orientation and homosexuality as a lifestyle or a culture.

    Finally, maybe it is time to address the question of whether the Byzantine model of ethnic Orthodoxy is the wrong way forward. Here is the U.S. we have a unique opportunity to deny baptism for ethnic or cultural reasons and to require a long catechumenate and full participation in the life of the Church. Perhaps, we could excommunicate the greedy and set a limit on how much alcohol a member of the Church can drink at one time. And perhaps, we could treat heterosexual adulterers with the same degree of strictness with which we currently treat homosexuals. Why do we see so many priests and bishops protesting the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriages, but no-one seems to be protesting the fact that heterosexual divorce, for example, in also legal in the U.S.? Why not?

    We could be a much smaller Church, where people become members because they have “crucified their flesh with its passions and desires” (Gal. 5:24), and not because of their ethnic origins or because a grandmother insisted that a baby be baptized. I think this to be a very important question which we are uniquely positioned to explore. Moscow is not the Third Rome; it may have been the Second Constantinople. Washington is the Third Rome–the imperial Rome, the pagan Rome, the Rome that worships its Founding Fathers as gods and its Constitution as holy scripture, the Rome whose senators buy the votes of the plebeians, the Rome that assassinates its emperors and demands “panem et circenses.” And if this is so, perhaps, it is not our tax-exempt status that should concern us but whether we can find a catacomb in which to offer sacrifices to our God on the graves of our martyrs, and not the opinions of the Supreme Court but the words of Christ: “Fear not, little flock…” (Luke 12:32). In the midst of this New Rome, are we ready to be the elect, the ecclesia, the “few who are chosen” (Matt. 22:14) or are we setting the 380 Edict of Thessalonica as our goal and ideal? Unlike during most times in the history of the Church, today in the United States we may have an opportunity to make a choice (and if we do not, the SCOTUS may eventually choose something for us).

    • George Michalopulos says

      So we can put you down in the anti-anti-sodomite faction of the Church?

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      “And perhaps, we could treat heterosexual adulterers with the same degree of strictness with which we currently treat homosexuals.”

      We do. We say they cannot continue their sexual relationship, because it is sinful. They have to repent of it. And perhaps we’re rather more strict regarding these folks– because nobody is wringing their hands over it!

      When you think about it, you can almost feel sorry for “heterosexual adulterers”– in the larger society, this is the only “sexual sin” left. Fornication? OK. Divorce? OK. Same-sex sexual relations? OK.

      On the other hand, there seems to be no widespread clamor by adulterers for the blessings of the Church!

    • Daniel E Fall says

      This is good reading if you can’t sleep.

  25. Patrick Henry Reardon says

    Frost’s proves, beyond a doubt, what no one has ever questioned: Homosexuality is not new.

    What is new is the Supreme Court’s redefinition of “marriage.”

    Inattention to that fact is what render Frost’s lengthy remarks completely irrelevant.

    • I would add that inattention to the need to know what to render to Caesar and what render to God is our greatest danger.

      We have been doubly ignorant.

      First, we do not know which is which or what to render to whom. Negligent stewardship.

      Second, we have “married Caesar and God.” (Pun intended…) An unholy union.

      Father, you are being by the mercy of God attentive to wisdom in both cases. Thanks for the example of being a philosopher –“lover of wisdom” in deed not just in word.