Rudy’s Right

Rudy GulianiA little over a week ago, Rudy Giuliani (aka “America’s Mayor”) said some pretty disturbing things about President Obama. He said that the President “doesn’t like America.” He got in trouble for it, both from the usual howling idiots on the Left but also from the Squishes on the Right. To his credit, he didn’t back down. Rudy’s a street-fighter. We need more of them on the Right, not fewer.

Clearly, he struck a nerve, otherwise it would have been treated as a ho-hum thing. Unpleasant but not earth-shaking. Something along the lines of Joe Biden publicly feeling up the wife of the next Secretary of Defense. Both were unpleasant incidents, only one has caused lasting repercussions. That’s one way we know that he had a point or two.

Now some would say that he overstated it: the take of some neocons is not that Obama doesn’t like America it’s that he is “post-American.” In their estimation, he’s akin to Jeb Bush, another Establishment type who feels more at home in some bi-cultural, semi-American milieu.

I see their point. In either case I can’t say that I’m especially comforted. The idea that an American president is post-American as opposed to anti-American doesn’t really relax my nerves. (Especially since Jeb’s going to be fobbed on the GOP come hell or high water.) Unlike Bush though, we’re talking more than post-Americanism. The ant-American characterization has saliency. As Mark Steyn recently wrote, if Obama were not anti-American, then what would he be doing that would be different?

That question really got me to thinking. What would you or I do if we didn’t like America and were president?

Well, for one thing, the first country I’d pay a state visit to would be an Islamic one. Second, I’d go to a Moslem university and tell the assembled eminences that it was because of their ancestors that Europe came out of the so-called Dark Ages. Then I’d say things like “Islam has been interwoven in the fabric of this country from it’s foundation.” Those last two are basically whoppers. Even delusional people don’t believe that nonsense.

How about this? I’d double the national debt. I’d also open the southern border to illegal immigrants then, when I didn’t have to worry about re-election, I’d usurp Congressional authority and create laws specifically tailored to increase more illegal immigration.

As for the poor, I’d make sure that the portion of the population that was on food-stamps was at an all-time high. Making huge swaths of the population dependent on Uncle Sugar will hold the working and middle class hostage to further increases in taxes. I’d also make sure that the number of Americans who have renounced their citizenship was at an all-time high.

In foreign affairs I’d go out of my way to help overthrow Arab despots who, as execrable as they may be, are the only thing that stands between native Christians and genocide. I’d especially like to provoke a war against Russia because of some worthless real estate in eastern Ukraine and because Vlad the Bad is beastly to the LGBTQA community. (Boy, can you imagine how fun a war with Russia would be? The Russians will be so happy after we win that they’ll be reading Heather Has Two Mommies as they tuck their children into bed at night.) As for our allies in Europe, I’d listen in on the phone conversations of the various prime ministers and chancellors–the very people we need for our various crusades for democracy.

If I couldn’t put any restrictions on guns I’d price ammunition out of sight and further militarize the various federal agencies. (Because you know, white people in the Midwest and South are the real enemy.) As for the relations between races, I’d constantly lay the blame for any incident at the feet of white racism. I’d send administration officials to the funerals of black thugs and ignore the deaths of policemen.

Well, that’s pretty much a start. But nothing like what I described above could ever happen. Right?

Admittedly, some of what I described are beyond the control of one man. The Middle East has always been cauldron of blood-letting and it’s a fool who thinks otherwise. As for saying nice things to Moslems in order to not hurt their feelings, that’s kinda, sorta diplomatically necessary I guess you could say.

But can you impute anti-American feelings to Obama, personally?

Granted, you can’t peer into a man’s soul. Not possible. But we do know a lot about his friends and acquaintances don’t we? Have we forgotten about Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorhn? Terrorists who blew up buildings in the sixties and killed policemen? Then what about the pastor of the church which he attended to for twenty years? The same pastor who said “God damn America!” from the pulpit? Then there’s his wife, who said that only upon the election of Obama could she “finally find a reason to be proud of America”? Really? Nothing to be proud of? Constitutional government? The emancipation of slaves? Rural electrification? The moon landing for Chrissakes? Nothing at all?

Even if the actions and sentiments of Obama’s friends and family are not his own, they are not nothing. And when they are coupled with his questionable domestic and foreign accomplishments, the provide startling colors to a vivid but controversial portrait.

And that’s why Rudy struck a nerve.

About GShep


  1. Tim R. Mortiss says

    I didn’t vote for him either, George.

    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

      Every morning I wake up thankful that Obama is our President.
      I,m not thankful at all that Republican Sinators have seen fit to disclose their deep affection for and loyalty to the worst elements in today’s Iranian establishment, part of the UNHOLY TRINITY of Netanyahu, the Saudi King, and the Iranian Basiji that CRAVE the shedding of PROXY AMERICAN BLOOD in a war with Iran which has the oldest surviving community of Assyrian Christians in the world, is bombing the murderous Neo-Muslim fanatic jihadists of ISIL and has both Jewish and Christian representatives in its parliament (Majlis).
      May God be with those Senators day and night.

      With the letter of those Senators we see that there really is a part of America that deserves to be called The
      Great Satan!

  2. Rudy is far from a conservative. He is a pro-abortion, open adulterating, warmongering Neo-Con.

    Lord save the Republican Party from such “conservatives.”

    • George Michalopulos says

      Rudy is a neocon, no doubt about that. But there’s no doubting the patriotism of Italian-Americans or their street-fighting skills.

      • Michalopulos:

        But can you impute anti-American feelings to Obama, personally?
        Granted, you can’t peer into a man’s soul. Not possible. But we do know a lot about his friends and acquaintances don’t we? Have we forgotten about Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorhn?


      • Michalopulos:

        But there’s no doubting the patriotism of Italian-Americans or their street-fighting skills.

        SInce we’re engaging in VACUOUS GENERALITIES, what about GREEK AMERICANS? Are they patriotic? Do they have – I don’t know – SOUVLAKI-MAKING skills?

        • George Michalopulos says

          No, Greek-Americans are among the most patriotic ethnic groups in America as well.

      • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

        Does Patriotism then, George, “cover a multitude of sins?” Or validate ANY reasoning?

        • George Michalopulos says

          Yes, Your Grace, it usually does. We should never forget Kipling’s poem “Tommy.” When it comes to defending one’s nation (and what is a nation but an extended kin-ship group?) even the ne’er-do-wells have their part to play.

      • smitemouth says

        I cannot speak to the patriotism of Italian Americans in general, but speaking of the Italian American under question, I wouldn’t call him a great patriot. Our bishop Tikhon served in the military. My priest is a Viet Nam vet. However, when it mattered, and his country was at war, Rudy sought out half a dozen deferments from service when he was drafted. I guess he learned it from his father and his five uncle’s who all avoided service. Rudy’s dad did it by making sure the draft board knew about his felony conviction from a crime committed under an alias.

    • James Denney says

      You are correct, he is not a conservative. But he’s right about Obama. I wish more would speak out like he did.

  3. Nate Trost says

    George Michalopulos wrote:
    Well, for one thing, the first country I’d pay a state visit to would be an Islamic one.

    Apparently, in Mr. Michalopulos’s thought experiment, a President who doesn’t like America lives in a universe where Canada is an Islamic country.

    Whereas in the universe we inhabit, the only thing competing with Canada in topping a list of uncontroversial targets to visit would be the country that was Obama’s second visit. The United Kingdom.

    Mr. Michalopulos seems to be so thouroughly committed to beclowning himself that even thirty seconds of the most trivial fact-checking must be shunned when creating his Great Works.

    George Michalopulos wrote:
    Second, I’d go to a Moslem university and tell the assembled eminences that it was because of their ancestors that Europe came out of the so-called Dark Ages.

    It’s not like the transcript of said speech isn’t instantly available at one’s mouse pointer. If it were it would rather quickly demonstrate that Obama’s speechwriter has a rather better grasp on history than Mr. Michalopulos.

    George Michalopulos wrote:
    How about this? I’d double the national debt.

    And now Mr. Michalopulos has expanded the scope of his essay to include President George W. Bush. Presumably unknowingly, because the size of the national debt did double under W, whereas Obama’s running total to date is around a 53% increase through FY14, and extrapolating to his eight years will probably still end up less than his predecessor. Which is, needless to say, way less than St. Reagan, who came pretty close to tripling the national debt.

    George Michalopulos wrote:
    In foreign affairs I’d go out of my way to help overthrow Arab despots who, as execrable as they may be, are the only thing that stands between native Christians and genocide.

    If that’s a criteria for a President not liking America then a President Giuliani would show President Obama a thing or who about not liking America! And thus the snake eats its tail.

    Past a certain point, one stops finding things to quibble with in a Michalopulos essay and starts desperately searching for something not to.

    • George Michalopulos says

      I forgot about Canada. I thought Turkey was the first country he visited. Can you you tell me however why Obama didn’t visit Greece, or Italy, or some other Christian country?

      As for doubling the debt: I stand by that accusation. Your accusation against Bush is telling. It seems to me there was a candidate who called Bush “unpatriotic” because of the surge in debt under W’s watch. Could you help me remember which candidate it was that hurled this epithet at Bush?

      • Nate Trost says

        George Michalopulos wrote:
        I forgot about Canada. I thought Turkey was the first country he visited.

        Turkey was sixth. After Canada, the UK, France, Germany and the Czech Republic.

        George Michalopulos wrote:
        Can you you tell me however why Obama didn’t visit Greece, or Italy, or some other Christian country?

        You’re barreling merrily down a path to “No True Scotsman” here, I guess visiting the three most powerful and influential Western European countries in what you pine after as ‘Christendom’ before visiting Turkey just isn’t good enough for you! Never mind that you’re quietly trying to move the goalposts because you blindly repeated an assertion that agreed with your biases without actually checking to see if it was true!

        George Michalopulos wrote:
        As for doubling the debt: I stand by that accusation.

        How did you ever graduate elementary school while lacking the ability to multiply by 2?

        $11.6 trillion times two is not….$17.8 trillion.

        George Michalopulos wrote:
        Your accusation against Bush is telling.

        If by accusation you mean, pointing out that $5.8 trillion times two is $11.6 trillion. Then yes, it is telling that the guy who knows how to multiply numbers has a better grasp on reality. That person is not you.

        George Michalopulos wrote:
        I’d send administration officials to the funerals of black thugs and ignore the deaths of policemen.

        The policemen whose death resulted in direct comments by the President and the policeman whose funeral was attended by the Vice President? Those policemen? Mr. Michalopulos has an interesting definition of ignore.

      • Daniel E Fall says

        When the Republicons drop the mantra of cut spending-they will be a legitimate party. Until then, we will continue to grow the debt by supporting more aircraft carriers than the rest of the world affording the Republican nominee car elevators.

        And we’ll offer the koolaid that Cheerios for 4 year olds is driving it and then, and then, we’ll wonder why the conservatives can’t get the third W in the whitehouse.

        Guliani is really helping Hillary.

        Rock on. Talk it up.

      • Diogenes says

        Bush 43 is a convenient distraction — a proverbial smokescreen — that those defending the poseur in the Oval Office reflexively reach for in a pinch.

      • George Michalopulos says

        As for doubling the National Debt, by the time Obama leaves office it will have doubled. In fact, Obama will have spent more than all previous 43 presidents combined.

        • Nate Trost says

          George Michalopulos wrote:
          As for doubling the National Debt, by the time Obama leaves office it will have doubled.

          Even after moving his goal posts from ‘has doubled’ to ‘will double’, Mr. Michalopulos is still projected to be wrong. Because not only is he apparently unable to multiply by two, he can’t read OMB reports either.

          George Michalopulos wrote:
          In fact, Obama will have spent more than all previous 43 presidents combined.

          Wrong, wrong, wrong. The worst part is you lack so much basic understanding that you literally have no idea how stupid that statement is. In constant dollars (2013) Clinton’s two terms was ~18 trillion in total spending. W Bush’s was ~24 trillion. Current projections for Obama’s two terms is ~30 trillion. Total government spending isn’t even more than the past two presidents combined.

          Spending a million dollars in 2015 is not the same as spending a million dollars in 1982 which is not the same as spending a million dollars in 1935. This is why you see figures in constant dollars adjusted to a specific fiscal year given historical/projected inflation data.

          Although, to add insult to injury, even if we give ourselves a voluntary lobotomy to forget the basic and fundamental concept of constant dollars you are still wrong. Which, again, was easily avoidable if you’d taken two minutes to hit up the OMB, add two spreadsheet ranges together and compare the numbers. Because in non-adjusted dollars ~34 trillion from the Clinton and W Bush presidencies is still larger than ~30 trillion from Obama’s, much less adding in all the previous presidents combined.

          Does it ever bother you just how many of the statements that come out of your mouth turn out to be fundamentally wrong? Seriously.

          Bonus questions!

          1) For FY2014, what was federal spending as a share of GDP and how does that compare with the average since FY1962?
          2) What was the percentage growth or decline in Federal discretionary spending over the terms of Clinton, W Bush and Obama, (again, noting which one was in which direction)?

          • George Michalopulos says

            I’ve shown about two years ago what federal spending was under Bush and what it is under Obama. That’s unarguable. Also what’s unarguable is that our national debt is at $18 trillion when under Bush II it was at $10.

            • Nate Trost says

              George Michalopulos wrote:
              I’ve shown about two years ago what federal spending

              It’s hilarious that you would be the one to bring that up because it is a direct callback to one of the first times I handed you your head for your erroneous assertions about government spending. And going down the rabbit hole with you in a series of posts trying to patiently explain things to you while gradually realizing you knew even less than I assumed you did, becoming increasingly bemused because it was clear you not only didn’t understand the fiscal year cycle, you didn’t understand the difference between authorization and actual appropriation.

              And on top of that, your old essay way back when, which you were too lazy to actually link to, was based on projections that were already a year out of date at the time you posted the graph. Actual reality for the past few fiscal years have had significantly smaller deficits than the projections from four year old analysis, and the current projections for the rest of the fiscal years of Obama’s term are likewise smaller than the four year old graph.

              So when you say:

              George Michalopulos wrote:
              That’s unarguable

              Yes, it is unarguable that you were catastrophically wrong and ignorant then, and even worse you think it relevant to point to outdated wrong projections rather that just looking at the historical data for the last few fiscal years for the actual numbers. I guess Mr. Michalopulos is postmodern enough to insist that fictional projected numbers must end up being more true than the actual numbers turned out to be!

              George Michalopulos wrote:
              Also what’s unarguable is that our national debt is at $18 trillion when under Bush II it was at $10.

              Yes it is, because the actual numbers are $17.8 triillion and $11.9 trillion. Although accountings like my $11.6 trillion in my earlier post above give Bush a small adjustment due to some post-facto FY2009 legislation, but that’s being charitable.

    • Diogenes says

      Typical left-wing drivel. Change the subject from the dismal, failed presidency of Obama by focusing attention on the failed presidency of Bush 43. Nice try. I realize it’s a hard job defending the poseur who sits in the Oval Office.

      • Nate Trost says

        When someone posting under the name “Diogenes” sneers at a care for accurate and honest facts and dismisses them as drivel, I can only presume that when they post on a message board relating to the use of escorts they do so under the screen name “Chastity”.

        • Diogenes says

          Yes, your “facts” are pure drivel. You resort to a convenient smokescreen, the failed presidency of Bush 43. And like so many apologists for his bigger failure of a successor, what do you immediately do when confronted with that? Resort to crude nastiness. That speaks volumes for your ilk.

          • Daniel E Fall says

            Actually, the growth of the debt under each President is bad. The Republican’s are not taxing enough for a balanced budget. You can’t cut government spending enough to stop the growth of the debt, pay the interest, and pay it down.

            When the Republicans say taxes are too low; they will become a legitimate party. Obama has said it; albeit quietly.

  4. Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

    Giuliani is much more the moron than the maligned Pope. Actually, “doofus” is a term that seemed to have been coined prophetically just for him. Yes, he gets on people’s nerves, like hives or a case of crabs. As for “post American” that, too, fits Rudi most tightly. My father of blessed memory used to quip, “To each his own!’ cried the farmer as he kissed the cow’s hindmost parts.”

    Netanyahu is more Rudi’s type of “American.”

    • Diogenes says

      Your Grace, you speak nonsense. Giuliani is a great American who turned New York City around after decades of mismanagement. I know because I’m a life-long New Yorker. He hit the nail right on the head about Obama, who always seems to find a way to denigrate the West, America, and Christianity. His recent remarks, putting Christianity on the same historical level with Islam when it comes to violence and oppression, reflected appalling ignorance and warped thinking, reflecting how his brain is pickled in Marxist thinking.

      • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

        The question whether Christians or Muslims are equal in terms of violating the precepts of their own religion when it comes to violence remains open, Diogenes. Wishful and “patriotic” thinking won’t change that.
        I’m surprised you didn’t mix in something about “homos” in your hate-filled reference to the President we elected twice! If, by the way, I speak nonsense, what does that make someone who attempts to argue with me? Someone who craves nonsense stimulations? Get a grip, man!

        • Diogenes says

          What do homosexuals have to with this? Where did that come from?? And “hate-filled”? Really, Your Grace? Because I defended Rudy Giuliani and pointed out this President’s evident disdain for our Western heritage? Your invective merely proves to me what my own mother — whose father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, and uncle all were Orthodox priests — said to me many times: clergy should stay out of discussing politics. It’s like a TV repairman or auto mechanic dabbling in nuclear physics or brain surgery.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Indeed. Giuliani took a horribly mismanaged, once-great city that was becoming a Third World hellhole and made it vibrant and safe. Indeed, under his tenure, NYC became the largest safest city in the nation.

        That’s not a small thing.

  5. Not to change the subject, but I was reading the Officer Reports from the latest OCA Metropolitan Council meeting and I want to encourage everyone to take a hard look at them.

    One of the most interesting sections is the part about the Fr. Arida article in Fr. Jillion’s report. Fr. Jillions says, “Although Metropolitan Tikhon responded at length, the issue has not gone away. On the contrary, some expressed dismay that his words were soft and equivocating, and the matter continues to be discussed by clergy and laity inside and outside the OCA, with some calling into question the integrity of our bishops.” If those aren’t alarming words I don’t know what are.

    The issue has been debated here at length but there is still no hard answer from the OCA hierarchy. For the life of me, I simply can’t understand why. Here is a quote from a July 14th Washington Post article: “Less than 3 percent of the U.S. population identify themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday in the first large-scale government survey measuring Americans’ sexual orientation.”

    Now let me get this straight (no pun intended). Almost 97% of Americans identify with being heterosexual. I believe that would be the overwhelming majority of people. Yet, the OCA hierarchy is somehow afraid to address a pretty black and white issue regarding an issue of sexual preference that the bible and church fathers have described as an “abomination.” Can anyone give some sort of logical and coherent response as to why the OCA can not just come out of the closet and say that acting out on your same sex attraction, i.e. cohabitating with someone of the same sex is a sin and there is no such thing as “gay marriage?”

    Fr. Jillions goes on to comment about the fact that there basically hasn’t been an editor/moderator to the Wonder Blog in the past. But there is also a curious statement that some are opposed to the idea of there even being an editor. Jeez, please grow some testicles! The Wonder Blog is supposed to be a youth blog not some sort of adult-themed I can say whatever I want bully pulpit. What an absolutely stupid idea!

    Why is the OCA shrinking? It’s very simple, it’s losing its relevance. It’s hierarchy wishes to obsess about the gnat and let the elephants walk by. It wishes to pander to the 3% of homosexuals in America and forget about the other 97%. If the OCA’s administration can not see that there should, without question, be an editor to an official Orthodox Church in America Youth Blog and that posting ambiguous and misleading articles such as Fr. Arida’s was a mistake, there is simply no hope for the OCA.

    • Nick:

      It wishes to pander to the 3% of homosexuals in America and forget about the other 97%.

      Assuming for a moment your stats are accurate, half or more of the 97% – IN THE ORTHODOX CHURCH – believe in acceptance. Among Bible Belt Orthodox (not really in touch with tradition) and Jehovah’s Witness-style Orthodox, the acceptance rate is lower.

      • Here's the Answer says

        If “half or more” of the Orthodox Christian heterosexuals “believe in acceptance” (that is, within the context of an Orthodox Christian life) of homosexual sex and homosexual “marriage,” then you’ve just signed the death warrant of the OCA. It’s really that simple. That means that the Church has utterly failed to teach the most basic moral precepts of the Christian faith. So, surely you must be joking.

        Look, this is really simple. And I’ll type slowly so you can understand it. The clear teaching of the scriptures, the tradition, the canons, as well as (gasp!) an Encyclical of the Synod of the Orthodox Church in America is that homo-sexual activity is absolutely contrary to an Orthodox Christian life. It is strictly forbidden to commune someone who is actively participating in a homosexual relationship. And by extension, someone who is “legally married” in a homosexual relationship must be absolutely banned from the chalice, without fail. Through repentance, which obviously includes a divorce of their homosexual “marriage,” one could once again eventually become a communicant.

        This ain’t rocket science. And it certainly isn’t fundamentalism. It’s called Orthodox Christianity.

        • Daniel E Fall says

          Boldly stated and sign anonymousely.

          • Here's the Answer says

            Would knowing my identity make what I’ve written any less true? Of course not.

            And anyway, if the OCA accepts anonymous accusations on their sex hotline, then anonymity is good enough for this forum.

            Once you point out the error in my statement, I’ll be happy to address your opinion. It seems to me that you support a liberal position within the Orthodox faith that simply has no precedent. Therefore, you have no tenable position in this matter. The only place it seems to be up for discussion at is the Star Chamber in Syosset.

            • Daniel E Fall says

              You make a bold assertion about the end of an institution you purport to have an interest in, but must do so anonymously because the assertion is wacko.

              Confirmation bias confirmed. Stay with the anonymity, it precludes the point.

              The fact of the matter is neither Syosset, nor the Synod, since you all enjoy a distinction and I can feed u, need 10 trumpeters blaring from the balcony about homosexuality. My father is wiser than most of you and the Dallas clergy when he says to a letter like Arida’s, “so”.

              Not every pearl thrown is wisdom, some is more like dung. Now would be a good time for a Heracleide’s cartoon of Arida throwing dung and the Dallas boys throwing some back and “I’ve got the Answers” cheering the Synod on with chants of “more!”.

              The Arida letter was worthy of crickets, yet some people are so antigay-he actually suceeds in making large numbers of people look like jerks.

              Rock on…

              • Here's the Answer says

                “The assertion is wacko…”

                Really? Have you seen the numbers lately? The supporting membership of the geographical OCA dioceses is now below 20,000 and sinking at a clip of around 5% a year. Half the listed parish have less than 25 adults, and those parishes can barely afford to pay a priest anything and still keep the lights on. Did you realize that at least 100 of the listed parishes on the OCA website have zero people? Nothing. Nada. Zilch. The OCA is now behind the Antiochians in supporting membership. Do the math. At the status quo, the OCA has, at best, 20 years. Once it’s clear that the bishops won’t lift a finger to do anything about the Arida (et al) situtation, that rate changes exponentially.

                St Nicholas Cathedral in Washington DC now has around 75 supporting members. Less than half of 5 years ago. They bolted for ROCOR. Would you like stats on other “major” churches of the OCA?

                You think I’m exaggerating? Call the Treasurer of the OCA, Melanie Ringa, and find out for yourself. They’re in full panic mode for the upcoming All American Council about the financial sustainability of the institutional OCA. The OCA doesn’t have a rainy day fund. And it’s starting to pour.

                Call me a jerk, call me a dung thrower. Whatever. Tell your father I said hi.

                And keep smoking whatever you’re smoking.

                • Here are some other numbers:

                  * The Cathedral of the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania in Wilkes-Barre has about 15 people showing up on a Sunday.

                  * Based on a report to the same diocese, if they continue on their downward membership trend, they will have less than 900 people IN THE DIOCESE in 10 years.

                  Looks like Bishop Mark Maymon has his work cut out for him!

                • Daniel E Fall says

                  And Arida gets the credit?

      • OOM, I’m curious where you got the idea that half of the non-homosexual population in the Orthodox Church believes in what you call “acceptance”, or rather, fails to accept Church teaching on sexuality.

        Your statistic certainly ignores part of the three percent: people who live with same-sex attraction and obey Church teaching. One is our friend here at Monomakhos, Ages.

    • Daniel E Fall says

      The OCA is shrinking because people dislike fundamentalism…your last statement is your offer.

      • George Michalopulos says

        That really makes no sense. After all Syosset is widely known for its liberalism. Just look at Jillions’ essays or the Wonderblog. Have you ever seen them put a conservative blogger’s essay on their site? The fact that they had to take Arida’s essay off was only because of the blow-back, nothing more. If we hadn’t of raised a ruckus it’d still be there.

        • George,

          I think the biggest problem the OCA has always had is their ambiguous identity. Beside their insistance as autocephalous, they have failed to be an “American” church. Their liturgical expressions are old world but using English and use of the new calendar.

          I don’t think that people are attracted to their democratization of the Church, especially amongst those who are leaving churches for such reasons. Now, their attempts to become relevant via liberal causes (Arida for example) proved damaging.

          Worse yet, OCA clergy are demoralized more than ever. They see money being wasted on grandiose meetings of a Metropolitan Council which with each new meeting does little to help parish life but further bureaucratizes Syosset. I didn’t think it was possible, but Syosset is even more detached from parish life than ever.

          Now, carefully reading their proposed amendments to their Statute, they are attempting to translate that bureaucratic model unto its parishes.

          I have to agree with others posting here, the OCA is now irrelevant. It has been eclipsed by other jurisdictions, even little old ROCOR, and they don’t know what to do. Using English and the New Calendar didn’t bring growth. Convert bishops has not translated into growth. Even the academic achievements of their seminaries has not revealed growth: and when I say growth I mean not just numbers but impacting the culture. Sadly, those in charge think that by making a left turn culturally that will bring them relevance and growth. What a huge mistake. Those attracted to Orthodoxy are fleeing that delusion.

          At one time, the OCA was a grand experiment but I think enough history has been experienced to conclude that that experiment failed. The OCA no longer fills a vacuum as it once did. The world changed. Churches in the former Soviet Union are not bound any longer by militant atheism, so what does the OCA really offer that other jurisdictions do not here in America? A better business model? Better sexual misconduct rules? The new calendar? Pro gay marriage articles? Why would anyone join a jurisdiction for these reasons, yet that is how they are branding themselves. That is the perception. These things do not promote the Gospel to people who are looking for the Truth. Protestant Churches have tried this and they are losing people at a remarkable pace. What makes the OCA think it will be any different for them? I guess they are betting that dressing these things up in Orthodoxy is different. I don’t think people are being fooled.

          It is my experience that those OCA parishes that are distancing themselves from the Syosset branding policies are the ones that are vibrant. There are not too many, but those communities will survive. That should tell Syosset something. But I don’t think they will listen and change.

          • Fr. Peter M. Dubinin says

            Steven, I think for the most part your observations are valid. At the center of your message is the reinforced reality of multiple jurisdictions…. Why would one choose the OCA when other jurisdictions are doing “it” better? So sad that the modus operandi of the jurisdictions seems to be let each do their own thing and after a bit see who is still standing and then…. keep doing the same thing until what (this is just typical human behavior, party politics)? Until we have eviscerated and dismembered ourselves not even a carcass remains upon which to put any flesh. The “irrelevance” of the OCA is the “irrelevance” of all. How one jurisdiction and its people think about and express themselves about the other is an example to those on the outside of what really makes Orthodoxy tick….And then, why bother? Like many of you I periodically run into people who are on a spiritual journey, knowing they cannot remain where they are, but continually coming up empty on where to go; and yes, these are those who have looked at the Orthodox Church and are just really confused by everything…. Just a bunch of different kinds of Baptist, or whatever…. fill in the blank. I really don’t know what would make anyone not already in the Church want to be “Orthodox.”

            • Michael Bauman says

              Father, the only reason anyone should become or remain Orthodox: Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

              Regardless of the externals those who are His will gather around Him where ever He is found.

              Personally I find messiness to have always been part of the Church.

          • In the desert says


            Your analysis is on-point — thank you for posting it. It is quite sad for most of us. In college, when I was being drawn to various protestant sects by the knock-on-the-door ev-prots, something gnawed at me to look in more deeply to the Orthodoxy of my youth. I found a deep and vibrant faith and was inspired (and continue to be) by the writings of Fr Alexander Schmemann. In various OCA parishes, I “re-discovered” the faith I was born into (prior to college, I had never heard or even really knew of any parishes serving in English). I grew in the faith during those initial years in OCA parishes, which I have wonderful memories of.

            But for the past 10 years (and probably longer), the OCA has really has been floundering and it is sad to witness. Like many, I was reeling from the financial mismanagement that came to light in the mid-2000s through Mrs. Stokoe-Brown’s website (as some like to call him). The very fact that people refer to Mr. Stokoe as “Mrs. Stokoe-Brown” and that he remains in the OCA (as far as we are aware) illustrates the heart of the problem. And then Fr Robert Arida and the complete inability to defend and stand with traditional Orthodoxy — it’s all very depressing. I feel most compassion for the OCA clergy who cannot simply “move” to a different jurisdiction — although some have, such as Fr Alexander Webster and his parish in northern Virginia. Some OCA parishes are as strong as can be, and may God bless them. But as a whole the OCA suffers from a complete lack of leadership and depth.

            And the new calendar — what an abject failure. The new calendar has done absolutely nothing good for Orthodoxy but instead drives divisions further. Initially thought of as a way to possibly gain British support for Greeks suffering in Turkey (which itself never happened — how many Greeks still live in Asia Minor?), the new calendar did absolutely nothing to “bridge the gap” between Eastern and Western Christianity. As is obvious to absolutely everyone, Orthodoxy and Western Christianity are further apart in faith and belief today than they have ever been, and that trend is not stopping. And for Orthodox unity with the “Oriental Orthodox” (the Coptic church, Ethiopian church, Syriac church, etc.) — well, all of those churches are old calendar, so the new calendar is only a huge stumbling block to talks of unity with the non-Chalcedonian Churches.

            The *only* thing the new calendar does is make life easier for Orthodox Christians living in the West at Christmastime. That’s it. We can celebrate Christmas on Dec 25th with our Catholic and Protestant friends. So what? It even creates problems with Thanksgiving, since the most-Orthodox-of-all-American-holidays (Thanksgiving) falls during the Advent fasting period on the new calendar. On the old/traditional Orthodox calendar, Thanksgiving is only very rarely (about once every 5-6 years) on the first day of Advent (when it is on Nov. 28/15). Perhaps a subtle divine message?

            And yes, those searching for Christ and the truth are not looking for innovation, for sexual inclusivitiy, for male and female “equality” (true Orthodox search for unity between men and women — a child can see that men and women are not “equal” in the sense that they are not the same!), for the latest corporate “best practices” to be instituted in Syosset, for a bizarre and non-Orthodox “Metropolitan Council” that does little except drain money and serve as a “who’s popular in the OCA” club, or even for a calendar that makes it easier to rush to Wal-Mart on Dec 26th for the after-Christmas sales.

            I don’t know what the OCA’s future looks like. I can only hope that perhaps — just perhaps — in the next 10-20 years the OCA merges with ROCOR and/or with the MP patriarchal parishes in the USA and comes under the loving omophorion of Patriarch Kyrill. The depth — and multinational character — of the MP can provide the grounding that the OCA needs, fidelity to its Russian/Slavic heritage, and appreciation of its multiethnic composition. Sadly, all too often these days, the OCA behaves as if it is lost at sea.

        • Daniel E Fall says

          It makes lots of sense.

          If you simply compare what churches grow versus which shrink, what are the differences?

          My wife was born Catholic…went to a nondenom with guitars, married me in the Orthodox church, but wants little to do with the Orthodox church.

          The fundamentalist church is going to die because we have seen the results of fundamentalist Islam.

          The religion of coffee is preferred.

          You won’t agree because you suffer from horrible confirmation bias. So, you will go find a convenient stat about the southern baptist church growing and call it fact uberall. But kids of today are rejecting religion because of Islamic fundamentalism.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Nick, I too was disappointed by these anodyne words.

    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

      Nick, you mention the bishops being equivocal or unresponsive in these matters. One of the newer OCA bishops on a recent trip to Russia told the Patriarch that the present Holy Synod of the OCA has the “best bishops we’ve ever had!” We can imagine why HE would think so. I understand that quotatiomust be amusing Orthodox synodal chanceries all over the world!

  6. Sean Richardson says

    Okay, I’m going to go out on a limb here, and I’m sure there are dozens of people who would gladly saw off that limb for the joy of seeing me fall, but, as a convert to Orthodoxy, and having been a member of several OCA and Antiochian parishes, and frequently attended several GOA and ROCOR parishes, I’d have to extend Giulani’s statement to suggest that there are many Orthodox Christians here in America who don’t like Orthodoxy in America either. They love it in 19th century (or earlier) Russia, they love it in 19th or 20th century Greece, they love it in 15th century (or before) Middle East, but 21st century Orthodoxy in America? There are some who just can’t seem to swallow that concept. As for me, I am an American, born and raised, with ancestry in the United States that goes back before there was a United States. I love my country and I love my faith. I don’t need to go back to any “Old Country” to appreciate what I have here.

    • Gregory Manning says

      Sean, what you “have here” to “appreciate” came from those “old” countries.

      • Sean Richardson says

        Gregory, thank you for your words. In my reading of American history, I see more of a what we “have here” as a rejection of those “old” countries (ex. the American Revolution). When people come to the United States, there is definitely a rejection of what was, or is, going on in those countries. Otherwise there is not purpose to come to America seeking something better.

        • Gregory Manning says

          I partly agree with you Sean; a lot of folks come here for a better life. But how often do you hear of immigrants who came here because they detested their native culture and attitudes? I strongly believe immigrants should learn to assimilate into American culture but I wouldn’t dream of insisting that they abandon their cultural heritage. What concerns me is an attitude among my fellow Americans that America and it’s way of life is so superior that it eclipses whatever contributions another culture has made. Surely we are, and continue to be, the result of the “melting pot” we have always been. From what I can tell, just about everything we have built our success on (art, mathematics, science, language, engineering, to name a few) were actually invented by older cultures in foreign lands; those whom revisionists in modern academia mockingly call “dead white men”. Heck, even the ones and zeroes my computer utilizes to process this comment were discovered by non-Americans.

          I come from a long line of proud Southerners who, like you, trace their lineage way back. Keep in mind that the modernists who sneer at the contributions of those “dead white men” of western (and soon, eastern) civilization are also talking about our forefathers. Will you welcome them when they attempt to brush aside the contributions of your heritage?

  7. Ronda Wintheiser says

    I can’t find Jillion’s report.

    It says Officer’s Reports, with the Chancellor’s listed second, but the document goes straight to Tosi’s report.

    What am I missing?

  8. Patrick Henry Reardon says

    It would take a great deal more than this, George, for me to feel good about Rudy.

    • George Michalopulos says

      It’s not that I “feel good” about Rudy it’s just that I’m glad a major Establishment figure like “America’s Mayor” uttered them in the first place. And that he didn’t back down. That’s all.

  9. Monk James says

    It should be beneath the dignity of american elected officials to cast aspersions on or raise doubts about the patriotism of other american elected officials.

    Isn’t it remotely possible that the putative ‘left’ and the putative ‘right’ both love America, but just have different visions for the nation’s good estate and progress?

    And isn’t it possible for politicians (and others) to disagree without being disagreeable, and let the people, with and through their representatives, work it all out in a civilized manner?

    God bless America!

  10. Francis Frost says


    You wrote:

    I’d especially like to provoke a war against Russia because of some worthless real estate in eastern Ukraine and because Vlad the Bad is beastly to the LGBTQA community. (Boy, can you imagine how fun a war with Russia would be? The Russians will be so happy after we win that they’ll be reading Heather Has Two Mommies as they tuck their children into bed at night.)

    That is just another example of your, let’s say


    , Michalopo-logic

    Perhaps you can explain how Obama’s tolerance of gays “provoked” Putin to invade another Orthodox country?

    Perhaps you could explain how the Russian tanks, missiles and soldiers who are clearly sent into Ukraine (the Ukrainian government has visible evidence of all three – spent missiles, captured and killed Russian military personnel and photos of Russian lieutenant general Aleksandr Lenstov in Debaltseve) to wage war on innocent civilians freely landed on Ukrainian soil without the direct orders of he Putin regime.

    Indeed, former Russian deputy Prime minister Boris Nemstov has complied a complete documentary of the evidence for the Russian involvement in the invasion of Ukraine. It was this document that got Mr. Nemstov assassinated barely one hundred yards from the Kremlin within sight of dozens of security cameras and in sight of dozens of security personnel in what Putin him els called a ‘contract killing’ , after 4 days of around the clock surveillance by the FSB.

    You are free to argue with or against any politician in America without risk. Simply telling the truth in Russia will get you killed.

    Veiwpoint: Why I loved Nemtsov

    Despite the crowds who turned out to mourn Boris Nemtsov in Moscow on Sunday, it’s 20 years since Russians have voted for liberal politicians in any numbers. These are dark days for Russians who espouse liberal values and a peaceful foreign policy – a mood captured in a tribute to Nemtsov by 88-year-old historian Prof Georgy Mirsky.

    Here is a translation of his blog post on the website of the Ekho Moskvy radio station.

    It was on the second day after Nemtsov’s death, that I suddenly realised Nemtsov was the only politician I loved.

    Words like “love” are frankly not suited to politics. It’s a different sphere of human relations. But this is an exception, for me, at least. I was not personally acquainted with Nemtsov, I never saw him close-up. It doesn’t matter. I understood his weaknesses, his shortcomings. It doesn’t matter. No other political figure of ours (and over the decades plenty of them have passed in front of me) of any orientation summoned from me such warm feelings.

    For 20 years I followed this man’s progress, worried about him and cheered for him. And now he’s gone. Fifty-five years old – a child compared with me. A completely different generation, a different experience of life, what could we have in common?

    But there was something… More than belonging to one political cohort, which it is now customary to call “liberal”. People have begun to use this word to signify everything hateful and inimical, without pausing to think about what it means, the root of the idea.

    A pun on the name Boris means “fight on”

    My childhood comes back to me: who is the enemy? It was the White Army, then the fascists. But there was something real about that. And now? Some people have simply gone crazy with this word, and the phrase “liberal fascism” has come along, and the devil knows what. Whatever, if Nemtsov was a liberal, I am proud to name myself a liberal too.

    There is no point attempting to work out who, precisely, organised the murder. The main thing is – why? It’s because he was a liberal. A dissident. A fighter for freedom of thought and speech, for human rights. A fighter against an authoritarian system, dominated by the police and KGB gendarmes, which is taking on totalitarian features in front of our eyes.

    You murdered him, you orators on television, whipping up popular hatred. You windbags and toadies, members of parliament, generals and professors. It’s thanks to your efforts that a culture of hatred is spreading in Russia, a culture of intolerance, bitterness, national arrogance, and malicious smears against everything that seems foreign to you.

    You, false patriots, crying at every step about the power of enemies and traitors, Russophobes and a fifth column. You, who are murdering [captured Ukrainian pilot] Nadezhda Savchenko – you killed Nemtsov too. It was him – and only him – that you had a need to kill.

    It’s not important whether or not he posed a real danger to the authorities or whether his murder gives the Kremlin more minuses than pluses. The symbol, the spirit – that’s what it was necessary to kill. The symbol and spirit of freedom – that is what Nemtsov was.

    You are leading Russia not only towards disgrace – you got there long ago – but to degradation and ruin. And the murder of Nemtsov is just a landmark on this shameful journey.

    Georgy Mirsky

    • George Michalopulos says

      Francis, who exactly provoked Putin to attack Georgia? No one ever said it was the gays. In other words: who fired the first shot?

    • Diogenes says

      Oh right. Putin is just another Stalin or Brezhnev. Stop trying to get everyone worked up in a lather. It’s 2014, not 1934 or 1974. The American public isn’t swallowing the neo-con Russophobia.

      • George Michalopulos says

        What’s at work here Diogenes is the visceral hatred of Neocons for Russia and –more importantly–a revitalized Christian imperium. They’ll stop at nothing to try and destroy that phenomenon. They’ll even pervert Christian doctrine by subsidizing “Christian” Zionists like John Hagee if that’s what it takes.

        Falling short of that they’d be happy for an endless war as it solidifies the Military-Industrial Complex (MIC from here on in).

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          Well, I like Russia. I’ve even had the privilege to travel to Moscow, Novgorod, and St. Petersburg. I’ve attended services in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Etc. But why would I be particularly enthused about a “revitalized Christian imperium”? Describe your vision, George….

          • George Michalopulos says

            Basically, what obtained in Europe from the time of Constantine the Great to 1918. Was it utopian? No, of course not. But neither was it evil or even regrettable. When I think of Christendom I think of the social legislation of Constantine, I think of the hospitals, orphanages, soup kitchens. The abolition of slavery, most forms of corporal punishment and capital punishment for that matter. Then there are the great cathedrals of Europe, the High Middle Ages. Even the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The first universities, the scientific method (which arose out of the Franciscan monasteries). The rule of law. Constitutional government. The emancipation of women (via the abolition of polygamy). And so on.

            We should make no mistake: all these things happened in Europe and under the aegis of Christendom.

            • I doubt that the Church, throughout most of its history, would hold up under the scrutiny applied to the ROC by its most virulent critics. And yet, the Church, under imperfect leaders and alongside often not very nice secular rulers, steadily and salvifically transformed entire nations over the course of two millenia.

              In the ROC, I see a Church working to do the same, in the midst of horrendous post-Soviet conditions. I am inclined to cut both Church and state some slack in Russia, especially given who we in America have twice chosen for our own supreme leader, and given the fecklessness of so many of our Orthodox hierarchs in defending Christian faith and morals.

              • Mike Myers says

                Edward, may I ask if you voted twice for President George W. Bush? And do you think his Administration, and Reagan’s — did you vote for him twice, too? — have a significant association with the monstrous mess President Obama & our allies now have to cope with at home and abroad?

            • Nate Trost says

              George Michalopulos wrote:
              But neither was it evil or even regrettable.

              Well, if you leave out all the evil and regrettable things from 1700 years of European history, that’s a rather easy assertion to make! It’s rather amusing that there is nothing ‘regrettable’ much less evil in Christendom having greatly expanded the global scale and reach of slavery in the first place. “Look, I helped rebuild this house!” “Well, that’s great, but didn’t you help burn it down?” “I wasn’t the only one setting a fire!” “Yes, but you were the one who brought gasoline!”

              • Every major civilization in history had some sort of slavery. One could say that civilization and slavery in the preindustrial world were inescapable partners. The question to ask is this: did any non Christian civilization ever enact any kind of lasting ban on slavery that was not derived from Western abolition movements and pressures?

                Any honest reading of history leads to the same conclusion: Christianity absolutely did not create slavery where there had been none before (all major pre-European civilizations in the Americas had slavery), and the abolition of slavery (at least officially) as a lasting and worldwide phenomenon — a first for human history in the era of civilization (i.e. post hunter-gatherer human society) — was entirely a Christian phenomenon.

                • Nate Trost says

                  Japan for one, it still remains that it is problematic to assert that the reversal can be primarily reduced to and credited to Christianity when it persisted through centuries and centuries of ‘Christendom’. I think a lot of posters on this board would find the concept that the Enlightenment made Europe more holy a blasphemous concept, yet good luck decoupling it from the evolution of things like abolitionism even as it relates to the religious philosophies of reformers in the relevant eras (granted, more relevant to the non-native slave trade and economy, but that was hardly insignificant, to put it mildly), native slavery was pretty tempered before that point by the evolution of feudalism (although, of course, Holy Mother Russia was trailing way behind the pack there), although through a modern lens, that’s not necessarily a huge improvement.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Hate to break it to you Nate, but slavery, colonialism, ethnic cleansing, etc., have happened in every continent and in every non-Christian civilization on the face of this earth. You could find this parade of horribles even in pre-Colombian America. When all is said and done, West is best.

                    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                      “West is best” George? You’re right! That’s what I always said to denizens of the Diocese of the South or Midwest!!!

                  • My point is still valid, regardless of how long slavery existed in Christendom. There was nothing in scripture or tradition that indicated slavery was impermissible, so there was no imperative for Christian rulers to take steps to ban a practice that was a universal part of the human experience.

                    Yet it is inescapable that abolition arose within Christendom. Did other factors such as economics and the Enlightenment play a role? Certainly. But then we get into a chicken/egg discussion, since those economic and scientific/philosophical ideas arose within Christendom. While I wouldn’t say that Enlightenment thought made Christendom more Christian, I am not one of those who demonizes the Enlightenment as a whole, since scientific advances in particular came through the efforts of believers at least as often as through those of unbelievers. There were certainly strains of the Enlightenment that had more than a whiff of sulfur about them, but for me that doesn’t taint the entire era of scientific, economic, and social advances that took place in Christendom.

                    As to Japan, I am unaware of that country leading the charge on abolition of slavery in any capacity, in any way comparable to the way that the West drove the setting of worldwide standards on the matter of slavery. They had their own forms of involuntary servitude throughout history, and the “comfort women” provided to Japanese troops in WWII would probably disagree that there was anything compelling in Japanese social and religious mores that made involuntary servitude somehow repugnant to them. On the contrary, Japanese were at least as susceptible to the idea of non-Japanese being inferior beings as were any Westerners of the day. Those whom I know who have lived and worked in Japan tell me that such attitudes of inherent superiority (beyond mere pride in one’s country and people and preference for one’s own that are normal and healthy human traits) are hardly dead in Japan even today.

                    By contrast, I feel confident that had anyone in the American military leadership tried to set up a system of sexual slaves for the troops, there would have been backlash from most American men themselves (who were steeped in Christian mores), no matter how lonely and sexually starved they were.

        • Carl Kraeff says

          This is too black and white. There are those of us who love Russia but despise the USSR and the thug Putin. Not only that, but some of these folks are not neocons. For example, I have been a conservative all of my life and I cannot for the life of me understand why otherwise intelligent folks are monarchists, for example. As a traditional conservative, I welcome former Marxists/Communists/Socialists who have joined our side. Sure, some of them burn with an anti-Communist zeal and are not troglodytes like Mr Buchanan, but then nobody is perfect, no?

          • George Michalopulos says

            Hate to break it to you Karl, but I despised the Soviet Union as much as you did. However, the operative word is did. It’s defunct. We won, and contra to His Grace, without firing a shot (at least between the US and the USSR, I’m not counting proxy wars).

            The question is why do Neocons such as Weigel et al still believe it exists in all its theomachist glory? It doesn’t.

            Buchanan, a “troglodyte”? Really? Here’s a man who loves his country so much he doesn’t want to see the blood of its historic core’s manhood being spilt on foolish Trotskyite endeavors? If such is the mark of troglodism count me in.

            As for monarchists, that’s a story for another day. You’re purposely mixing up things. To my knowledge Putin has said nothing about monarchism (although I do wish he’d submit a bill to the Duma restoring the monarchy).

            • Carl Kraeff says

              The USSR is thankfully no more. However, Those of us who believe that Putin is determined to recreate it should not be thrown into one bin, labeled neocons. Conversely, fans of monarchy and/or paleoconservatism need to get off their high horse and consider that the conservative tent is a big one and only the John Birch Society has been expelled from the tent.

      • James Denney says
        • National Review

          Into the trash it goes.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Mr Denney: “George Weigel”? Really? He’s an ultramontane Catholic who despises Orthodoxy and peddles the lie that the Uniates are “Orthodox in communion with Rome.”

            He was a good ally (as was The National Review) in the fight against the Evil Empire when there was an Evil Empire but he obviously didn’t get the memo that we won the Cold War without firing a shot. Now he’s just a stooge for the Trotskyite Neocons who have never given up their abiding hatred for Orthodoxy.

            • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

              I think many. maybe all,responsible historians would take exception to George’s reference to “our” (undefined) winning the Cold War without firing a shot. Where were you during the Cold War? Did you miss Korea and Viet Nam? And who WAS responsible for all those bullets that broke the back of Soviet military in Afghanistan, thus precipitating a national revulswion accross the USSR where so many families lost sons in that land. “Without firing a shot” sounds like somethong that ignoramus Reagan would utter!

            • In the desert says

              I dated a Byzantine Catholic girl once who liked to say that she was “Orthodox in communion with Rome.” That pharse irritated the heck out of me. Ultimately it became clear that, according to her worldview, being ‘jurisdictionally” under the Pope of Rome was critical for salvation. But that is not an Orthodox viewpoint. So, then, how can you be “Orthodox in communion with Rome”….. We discussed/argued in circles, ad nauseum. We broke up. Among other things, could not agree on where any potential children would be baptized.

              But interestingly, she commented on how she would prefer to be with someone who is Orthodox as opposed to a Roman Catholic. She liked the fact that when I had a bottle of holy water, I offered her a glass, rather than assuming that she would only use it to anoint her forehead! “Only Orthodox know to drink holy water.”

  11. Carl Kraeff says

    I agree that only 3-5% of Americans are homosexual. OTOH, support for gay marriage is far higher than you imply.

    “The poll found 70 percent of adults born in 1981 or later, often referred to as millennials, support marriage equality. That’s up from 64 percent in 2012, and an increase from 51 percent since the inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009. Slightly more, 74 percent of millennials, say they believe gay and lesbian individuals should be accepted by society, while 22 percent disagree.

    By contrast, 49 percent of people in Generation X (adults born between 1965 and 1980) support same-sex marriage, and only 38 percent of Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) are in favor, according to Pew. Overall, a plurality of 49 percent of Americans are in favor of allowing gays and lesbians to marry.”

    I must also point out that you left out an important point in your description of Fr Jillions’ report. Mind you I am not terribly happy about it, but Metropolitan Tikhon and the Holy Synod have passed the baton to a newly reconstituted Department of Pastoral Life and Ministry and perhaps to the Metropolitan Council, with instructions to “take forward the discussion provoked by Fr Robert Arida’s essay published on the OCA’s Wonder Blog” and “that all those who have contributed to this present discussion be invited to participate.”

    Accordingly, I am going to exercise some more patience on this matter.

    • Sean Richardson says

      Carl: I would be very curious to learn how Millennials who consider themselves Orthodox Christians feel on this subject. My suspicion is they would feel very much the same as the 70% of Americans. I’m not arguing good or bad on this issue, I’m just asking a question. I would suggest, however, the answer to the question would tell us a great deal about Orthodoxy in the United States and Canada today.

      • Carl Kraeff says

        Sean: I suspect that cradle Millennials who are not active communicants and who have not been properly catechized will feel the same way. Otherwise, I suspect that they will be against same-sex marriage. I am of course speaking from the lens of DOS/OCA, which may not be a typical Orthodox jurisdiction.

    • Ahhhhhh! Another committee to talk about the subject. Been there done that in the Episcopal church and after
      30 years there is no agreement. Those in favor of ss marriage have declared that it is no longer a sin and have hi-jacked the church. Most of the rest of us have left. It is not a both/and situation. It is either/or.

    • What is there to talk about? Declare it sin and move on.

  12. “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.” – Dr Samuel Johnson

  13. “Sean: I suspect that cradle Millennials who are not active communicants and who have not been properly catechized will feel the same way. Otherwise, I suspect that they will be against same-sex marriage. I am of course speaking from the lens of DOS/OCA, which may not be a typical Orthodox jurisdiction.”

    As someone just shy of being a millenial, I can tell you that amongst my peers (both gen x and millenials) you’d be surprised at how many young Orthodox converts support gay marriage.

    This indicates a abject failure on all the jurisdictions in this country to teach and uphold the Church’s teachings on this issue. Not just stating the what ; that we don’t believe in it (gay marriage) but the a failure in teaching the why behind it.

    • Carl Kraeff says

      Dear “annoyed says”–I have not seen that happen. But then I am in the Carolinas Deanery/DOS/OCA. In South Carolina to boot. It may be that there is bifurcation into civics and faith in the matter of same-sex marriage that has also happened regarding abortion. It used to be that if your were a Christian, your civic views would be based on your religious convictions. Since the 1970s, there has been a tendency to switch over to the inane but seemingly logical view that one’s religious convictions ought not influence public policy, something like “I am personally opposed to abortion but I can not impose my views because a woman’s right to choose is paramount” or “I am personally opposed to same-sex marriage but I cannot impose my views because equal treatment under the law is paramount.” Intellectually lazy reasoning and just plain nonsense, but too many folks have this view. I suppose that some folks even in the bastions of traditional thinking, such as South Carolina, there will be converts who have not gotten rid of this sort of nonsense. It falls upon our catechists to provide the why along with the what, but I wonder if they are prepared to do so convincingly.

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      No one teaches about it, no one explains it, it is shied-away from and left unspoken in the church like most sexual matters.

      On the other hand, the culture is full of it, the media of every type have laid all the groundwork for many years without resistance or useful objection. One would have to be a mighty warrior to resist the culture on this issue in that generation. It is seen as a matter of simple fairness, and in purely secular terms.

      It’s a bad situation.

    • Daniel E Fall says

      The problem you fail to comprehend in this assessment is most young people understand and appreciate the churches position, but fail to be narcissistic enough to expect the rest of the nation/world to follow.

      So, there is no failure of the church, unless the church teaches us to ram its ideology into the brains of all.

      • Rdr Thomas says

        The problem you fail to comprehend in this assessment is most young people understand and appreciate the churches position, but fail….

        That they then do not follow the Church’s clear teaching is an indication that they truly do NOT understand it. The teaching is not opinion or guidelines that may be dismissed at personal whim. They are divinely revealed Truths of an ontological nature.

        The irony is that you say that they do not follow because they are not narcissistic enough; clearly, they are too narcissistic to humble themselves in obedience to the Church.

        • Daniel E Fall says

          You conviently skip over my main point. That Orthodoxy is not the only religion or system of belief in the nation or world.

          The narcissistic view would be ‘like me’.

          To expect one to be humble and accept the chuches teaching does not transcend to ram it down other’s throats.

          If you can’t differentiate and discuss it more eloquently, than muddling may seem wise, but isn’t.

          I’m humble enough to know others believe gays should marry. I need no lesson in humility, but someone does…you.

          • Rdr Thomas says

            Mr. Fall,

            Please see my reply to Bishop Tikhon below. I fear my words have been misunderstood.

            • Michael Bauman says

              Unfortunately, if you believe in anything other than the prevailing social ideology of egalitarian individual hedonism, Rdr Thomas, you are, of course, “forcing your beliefs on others.” Get used to the accusations. They will become quite common and often even from those who claim to be Orthodox.

      • Michael Bauman says

        The Church’s teaching is not ideology. That you and others see it that way indicates how little you understand and how you can so easily dismiss it. Earthly ideologies demand change from others . The revealed truth if theChurch demands that I change iit rather I must allow myself to be transformed by the Holy Spirit.

        It is the opposite of narcissism .

  14. Daniel, don’t you know, we are here to bring the entire world into the Kingdom of God, which includes obedience to the commandments and the virtuous life (including morality)?

    You are absolutely wrong in your assesment of young people and their narcissim in regards to not expecting the rest of the world to accept the Church’s teachings if they decide of their own free will to come into the Kingdom.

    Look, Christianity is in the business of changing the world, and bringing the message of the Gospel to all the world, not just some of it.

    If that leaves a bad taste in your mouth, you ought to reconsider whether or not you wish to be a part of Christianity.

    • Daniel E Fall says

      I never suggested not to preach.

      I suggested young people have the wisdom to recognize freedom. That got a few .

      I suggested there is a difference following the teachings of the church and expecting others to do so. And for that, annoyed suggests I check out of Christianity.

      Even Christ recognized there would be those that would not follow.

      If anyone asks me what I believe, I tell them.

      Perhaps I am a poor preacher-so be it.

  15. Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

    Reader Thomas seems to share some ethics with militant Muslims, who teach that one must not just live in the Truth, but FORCE it on others, no? We Christians used to have a similar “vitality”: today we mourn the burning alive of some whom Muslims consider to be heretics. Formerly, it was we Christians that burned heretics at the stake by the hundreds blinded and impaled them…How many Bulgarians did the Orthodox Emperor Basil Bulgaroctonos impale ? Blind? “Truths of an “ontological” nature didn’t seem to be relevant, or?

    Have we FORGOTTEN that we burned heretics at the stake? Or do we long for a return to such “vigor?”

    • Rdr Thomas says

      Vladyka bless,

      Let me clarify then: nowhere did I suggest that any of the Church’s teaching should be forced on anyone. God does not force himself on anyone, how can I presume to do so?

      My point is that if someone who claims to be an Orthodox Christian claims to understand the teachings and feels that they can be safely ignored or set aside, then they fail to truly understand the teaching, and more importantly, they fail to understand the nature of the Church that declares them.

    • Daniel E Fall says

      It astounds me how some here seem so righteous that they will not let others live freely in a free country. They are the same people that demand US soldiers chase down ISIS for its ramming of religion down others.

      Nothing wrong with promoting your ideals, but demanding others to follow is something else.


      • Michael Bauman says

        Mr. Fall, your amazement is astounding to me. You surely know that the nature of all ideologies, political or religious is to force them on others. That is why it is critical that we do not take or treat the teachings of the Church as ideological in any way shape or form. The dogma of the Church is simply the statements of truth that someone must believe and hold to in order to be Orthodox. At the same time, the dogma is a guide to gaining our salvation in union with Jesus Christ. In order to be a Christian at all, one must be at peace with the “only” statements of the faith. If you are not, then there is no point really in calling yourself a Christian.
        Even less point in objecting when they are voiced by those who do hold them dear. They simply are.

        One of these dogmatic truths is that God created us male and female and desires that we be in conjugal union as male and female as an integral part of our salvation and as a way to fulfill our human task.

        The name that the Church gives those who, by there own willfulness, refuse to see and follow these truths is sinner and/or disordered. Since we all fall into that category in multiple ways, such a identification is simply descriptive of the human condition. It can be “forced” on no one. It simply is. You or anyone can accept or reject the truth contained in the dogma but that is it. If you reject it, you cannot any longer consider yourself Orthodox and should not present yourself for communion. It is not forcing someone to believe, it is simply a standard. But the egalitarian ideology of this age believes that holding to any standard is “forcing” someone (expect the standards to which they hold like not expressing or living by an sort of Christian faith).

        Not ‘forcing’ truth on anyone else is not at all the same as being silent, which, I fear is what you really desire. From what I read, your approach is far more ideological and therefore more tyrannical in nature than anything Rdr Thomas has said.

        The secular state has the authority to do pretty much anything it wishes and will continue to do so no matter which or what politicians are in power at the moment. The state will only continue moving more and more deeply into the nihilistic nothingness which is its goal. I neither expect nor hope that it will turn back to a Godly manner of governing (if indeed there is such a thing).

        Did you catch the attempt of our esteemed President to “force” on everyone his belief that all should vote?

        Actually, I would not be opposed to that if there were a place on the ballet for “None of the above” and if no one got a majority, the office was not filled. After three failed attempts to fill the office with a named candidate, the office would be filled by a lottery of every person legally qualified for that office in the jurisdiction of he office. Or better yet, the office would remain unfilled until the next regular election.

        I’d be interested if the “everyone” he has in mind are only non-felon legal citizens of majority age or anyone who happens to present himself at the polls no matter the person’s legal status or how often they show up? (BTW I would ask the same if the Republican imbeciles made a similar proposal–see below).

        Ideologies always end in tyranny. Only the truth, the person of Jesus Christ, will set you free. Anything else is simply the will to power in action.

        May God forgive us all and have mercy on us and save us.

      • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

        I’m afraid that many of us have forgotten that as soon as Christianity was made official in the Roman Empire the “Christian Emperors began to COMMAND the destruction of “pagan”, i/e. non-Christian places of worship.. ISIL can never catch up with Christianity’s WORLDWIDE record of the demolition of pagan temples and idols as well as the slaughter of any conquered people that refused Baptism! The Crusaders BRAGGED that they caused the streets of reclaimed Jerusalem run with Muslim (“Saracen”) blood up to the ankles of their knightly horses as they then proceeded to burn up the “Christ-killing” Jews in their synagogue. They’ll NEVER match the Christian record of burnings alive at the stake either, Now we are shocked, shocked, at a few beheadings and burnings and blame it on that awful Islam. Early Islam learned a lot from the Christianity it grew up under!!!

        Of course, that sort of factual history will soon be history,forgotten by Texan et al boards of education!

        • George Michalopulos says

          So…what exactly? Let’s give ISIS time to catch up with those bad ole Romanized Christians? Sorry Your Grace, but I’m not buying it. Whatever destruction of pagan temples that happened (and they were precious few, the Parthenon, the Pantheon, Stonehenge, et al still stand), they had it coming, given their track record.

          As for the Jews, please read Reckless Rites. They weren’t innocent patsies minding their own business in their quaint little shtetls. In Classical times, they were capable of hyper-violence not unlike the Moslems today which they meted out not infrequently to pagans and Christians alike. The First Jewish War was provoked by unprovoked massacres against pagans all over the Mediterranean littoral. Gibbon’s retelling of their atrocities was a shocker to me upon reading about them.

          If anything, the Christian tolerance for both Jews and Pagans was restrained in retrospect.

        • So are the saints we commemorate by whose prayers pagan idols and temples were destroyed by God wicked people? Was God wicked when he destroyed them?

          Was God wicked when he commanded the OT prophets and kings to destroy pagan idols and sites of worship? Was the Holy Prophet Elijah wicked when he killed the prophets of Baal?

          • God was merciful. My people would never had known Christ if missionary saints had not wiped out their pagan temples and false religion. Thank God this concern for sensitivity didn’t exist 1000 years ago.

        • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

          George, Edward, Thomas, facts is facts, as they say. Shake it off! Shake it OFF! MMmmm Hmmm.

          • Michael Bauman says

            Your Grace whenever I see phrases like “the facts speak for themselves” or “facts are facts” I know immediately the person using them has withdrawn from rational, logical discourse. Declare victory and withdraw!

            As someone who has studied history as much as you have you certainly know that facts never speak fir themselves. They are the last thing one should rely on.

            The premises from which facts are identified, selected, prioritized and placed in a contextual matrix of interpretation is what is crucial. Facts at best are indicators of truth. They are not truth in themselves–like statistics.

            To really substantiate your claim of the equvilance of past actions of Christians and current actions of ISIS you need to demonstrate at least two things: 1. That both the intent and the spirit animating the acts is the same; and 2 that the faith supposedly motivating the acts is the same.

            You might be able to do #1. You will never be able to do #2.

            • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

              So, Mr. Baumann, there’s no equivalence of Muslims burning heretics alive and Christians burning heretics alive because…… does that go again? Please don’t say Muslims and Christians have different intents or faith. Mothers of those burnt alive don’t get it!

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          Your Grace, I don’t know what the statute of limitations on temple-busting is, but I figure it’s something shorter than 1,600 years– or 800, for that matter.

          One thing I like about Americans is that their grievances only go back one or two hundred years, not 500, a thousand, or even two thousand!

          That is, those that have grievances. One thing that George’s blog nicely demonstrates, especially lately, its that there are a lot of people here with unspoken resentments: these grievances are, as always, directly proportional to their sarcasm, rudeness, and the like.

          • Mike Myers says

            My grievance is hardly unspoken, and it’s hardly anything resembling ressentiment: it’s disgust with hypocrisy, stupidity, and fraud. Is that really so hard to get? I don’t think so. No doubt in my mind that it won’t be long before y’all will be begging for the return of these halcyon days when all you had to deal with was sarcasm. You, or in some cases your children, whom your cowardice and sloth force to cope with the consequences of all your inadequacies and hypocrisies and greeds and lusts and brutality and fondness for lies.

            Get a CLUE.

          • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

            I think the temple busting reached a kind of high point around Justinian’s time—the time when persecution also of Egyptian, i.e. “Monophysite”heretics was blooming. The point: That kind of Christian “world” was the one in which Islam was born and from which its followers learned.

            Our President knows some of that history, but I think you’ll find that the House of Representatives is just about ILLITERATE where the Middle East and its religions are concerned!

        • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

          RE: “a few beheadings and burnings”

          In the month of February 2015, I recall, ISIS barbarians burned to death 45 persons in the Iraqi town of al-Baghdadi, as well as a Muslim Jordanian pilot–in a cage, no less. ISIS barbarians beheaded 21 Coptic Orthodox Christians in Libya, as well as 4 Syrians in Mosul, Iraq. That’s a death toll of 71 from beheadings and burnings in one month alone.

          A mere “few,” Vladyka?

          Then there is the report by the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child (also in February—a very busy month for the Islamic barbarians) accusing ISIS of “the systematic killing of children… including several cases of mass executions of boys, as well as reports of beheadings, crucifixions of children and burying children alive,” “systematic sexual violence” upon youths in Iraq, “selling abducted Iraqi children at markets as sex slaves,” and co-opting other “children, especially children who are mentally challenged, who have been used as suicide bombers, most probably without them even understanding.”

          A mere “few,” Vladyka?

          It is disappointing to witness an Orthodox bishop (albeit retired) mimic President Obama by rushing to dredge up past sins of historic Christianity to deflect our attention from present enormities by radical factions of Islam. It is downright shocking to behold a bishop so cavalierly minimize atrocities against so many victims–and even many martyrs for Christ–who have suffered horrible deaths at the hands of evil barbarians.

          • Mike Myers says

            Fr., it appears to me that the skill set you’ve demonstrated here on Monomakhos wouldn’t rank you very high in the dark arts, really. But I concede that even such undistinguished accomplishment in φαρμακεία as yours might be acceptable to the desperate ones, who will gladly employ you to act out like this “for the team.” Practice makes “perfect,” A.

            Keep pointing those bony fingers from beneath your black garb at the evil deeds of the contemptible barbarians, and maybe you’ll succeed (for awhile) in covering up the world-historical guilt of the shot-callers in London, Washington and Moscow, to name only a few of Babylon’s major playas whose grave malfeasances and their consequences have contributed mightily to these horrifying distortions of the humanity of men and women originally created in the image and likeness of God. All that, together with, I concede, their own disordered, fragmented, much-abused, poorly educated wills.

            God will judge who’s worse, however. May He do so soon.

            — The Troll

            roll kalla mik
            trungl sjǫtrungnis,
            auðsug jǫtuns,
            élsólar bǫl,
            vilsinn vǫlu,
            vǫrð nafjarðar,
            hvélsveg himins –
            hvat’s troll nema þat?

          • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

            Father Alexander, surely you know and recognize that the crimes of the Islamic heretics of today are A DROP IN THE BUCKET compared to not JUST the massacres of Muslims and JEWS by Christians in the Crusades including the skewering of pregnant women, but of the COUNTLESS impalings and blindings by Christian/Byzantine generals and Emperors of their enemies. As far as the destruction of Monophysite and “Nestorian Churches and believers, and, later the burning of Hussites and other RIVAL Christianities, I don’t think radical jihadists can EVER CATCH UP!
            And, yes, OUR president does know some history of religion and of the region of today’s conflicts, and I recognize that this arouses an anti-Christian righteousness in many.
            But then, all these atrocities are justified by your holy “Just War” theories, no, so they don’t count…
            The huge Sephardic Jewish population in the region is itself due to the flight of Spanish Jews from Christian Spain into the welcoming embrace of the Turkish Sultans. “Just War!” “Infidels!” Both deviant Christian linguistic inventions.

            • George Michalopulos says

              I’m sorry Your Grace, but the constant bringing up of the Islamic golden age or conversely, the depravity of the Crusades does nothing to mitigate the evils being perpetrated upon our word by the (or at least in the name of) Moslems.

              It’s no different than modern Greek people incessantly harkening back to the the Golden Age of the Greeks in order to make up for the inadequacies of the present.

              Both memes are tiresome and prove nothing. Nor do they alleviate suffering or show a positive way forward.

              • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                I agree, with your first sentence, George. I’m sorry that you find the references to the ORIGINS of religious violence and mayhem are not relevant to the horrors perpetrated today. But aren’t you a LITTLE bemused to watch the canonization of yesterday’s “HERETICS”, as if persecution wiped away all error? Monophysites and Nestorians are not canonized when WE make war on them, but if Muslims do it they become Saints in our calendar, the choir of the redeemed?

                Does anyone, including Greeks think their past glories MAKE UP for today’s inadequacies?

                What do YOU propose by way of “alleviating suffering or showing a positive way forward which you recommend?

                Finally, George, you complain of ‘THIS CONSTANT BRINGING UP OF THE ISLAMIC GOLDEN AGE.” I have never heard of such a thing, nor have I EVER referred to such. WHO HAS? When WAS this “golden age?

              • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

                George, the retired OCA bishop in California apparently has forgotten Will Rogers’ quip: “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”

                • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                  Archpriest, the Copts and the Nestorians are ANATHEMATIZED in the Office of Orthodoxy. Do you agree with that? Does their only hope lie in being slaughtered by Muslims? If I WERE in a hole, I wouldn’t expect YOU to act the Good Samaritan!!! What an idea!
                  But, then, I’m not in any hole after all….sorry!

                  I personally would prefer a Pauline response of not kicking against pricks, but, well……

        • Mike Myers says

          Of course, that sort of factual history will soon be history, forgotten by Texan et al boards of education!

          Your Grace, I’m certain that Archpriest Alexander F.C. Webster, PhD MS BA u.s.w. will gladly offer his services as patriot-censor to the Texas et al. boards when the Dominionist workers of iniquity and mass violence-in-God’s-name come into their “kingdom.” In their vile dreams.

          But, should they be given short-term license (by you-know-who) to wrap an idolatrous simulacrum of the cross of Christ in the flag and blasphemously waste and destroy abroad to a degree even worse than all the carnage perpetrated by modern mass warfare in Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Iran, Bosnia, Somalia, Afghanistan & Iraq — a partial list since Korea — then Fr. Webster would be entirely in his element among them as fervent apologist for state terror — as he has been for most of his life. I have no doubt, too, that the Fr. Websters of the world (the far-right-wing ex-RCs, especially) would gladly sign off on the imprimatur and nihil obstat to works of domestic terror, à la mode Stalin/Hitler/Franco/Mao/Pinochet u.s.w., should the profit/loss calculations for export of Mammonic mass murder abroad (in God’s name, agws) grow too unfavorable, as is likely. Likely, because the currently dire prospects of looming gigacide, if realized (may God forbid it), will force them and their seed and their accomplices and their seed to perpetrate mass terrors closer to home, afterward, in the cover-up. An old, old story. Other hideous scenarios are easy to envisage, given the history of such creatures, which we know well.

          But as we also know, the Court will sit, and the Judge will reveal His justice.

          The strange work of God’s exceedingly artful wrath and His judgment plays out rather differently *on the ground*, in historical time and space, than these evil reprobates seem able to imagine. To my eyes, however, it does look as if this generation’s grapes of wrath are ripe, or nearly. FWIW.

          Matthew 7:21
          “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

          James 1:22
          Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

          • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

            After copying the above post by Mike Myers into “Google translate,” I still could not obtain an English translation. This is one time I would gladly, and with due gratitude, refer the author of that weird, overwrought screed to the professional services and care of Dr. Stankovich.

            • Mike Myers says

              Since Dr. Stankovich is about to have the tables turned on him, I doubt you should count on much meaningful assistance on that front, Fr. Webster. Let me give it to you instead.

              I regret having gotten carried away above. I was actually quite surprised George let it through, because he’s disappeared a number of much milder posts I fired off at you over the past two-plus years. Something about your whole act pushes my buttons to the point that going all ad hominem on you is a temptation I have problems resisting. It was pretentious of me to have posed as someone with a clear gaze into your heart.

              Anyway, I’m guilty of doing to you what I’ve complained about others doing to me on this blog — including you once or twice. So count this as something more than a half-hearted apology. I hope you’ll forgive me for stepping way out of line.

              • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

                I appreciate your humble apology, Mr. Myers. Please be assured that you are forgiven as I hope you will forgive me for the one or two occasions on this message board to which you allude.

                In the spirit of this Isaiah 1:18 moment, however, I would also suggest that you reconsider your ominous sounding plan: “Dr. Stankovich is about to have the tables turned on him . . .” As we head into Holy Week, there is no need for you and the good Doctor to mimic these characters:


                • Mike Myers says

                  I gladly forgive you, as God has forgiven me far worse.

                  “Ominous” not what I was going for as an implication — a more evangelical motivation. I regard Michael S. as a cyberbuddy and I have lots of respect for him. The tables will no doubt turn a bit but in the spirit of Proverbs 9:9.

                  King Kong was wronged.

          • Mike Myers says

            George, I concur with Helga. “Mike Myers” is either a phony screen name (after the Canadian-born comedian and actor), an attorney in Los Angeles who is manifestly not an Orthodox Christian, or a meaningless mystery. In any case he is a provocateur and misanthrope “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Perhaps, if his posts here are ignored, he will pick up his toys and go away again.

            I am something of a provocateur, that much is true. But to libel me as a misanthrope is as false as possible, Father. I hate sin and death, though. To imagine that I signify nothing is another gross error on your part.

            Fat chance I’ll be ignored. One talent I have in spades is drawing attention to myself. I’m a natural ham and it’s a gift I employ tactically in THE just war. You of all people here ought to be able to appreciate that, surely.

    • Thomas Barker says

      “Formerly, it was we Christians that burned heretics at the stake by the hundreds blinded and impaled them…”

      Your Grace, you sound very much like Hussein the Wicked, leader of the free world, when he responds to reports of ISIS atrocities.

      • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

        I wish I COULD sound like President Obama, whose presence, intelligence and command of the English language are most appropriate for an American whom the electorate (and not SCUSA) elected twice to the position he holds so honorably! SUCH good English, and SUCH competence in constitutional law! A true gem in the White House!

        Perhaps, though, Thomas prefers such “types” as the Cubanadian candidate? As a Pentecostalist, he probably fears ISIS is an Egyptian goddess!!! I hope that imbecile, Cotton, doesn’t learn of this!!!!

        • Mike Myers says

          SCUSA in ’00, and Diebold (viz. RNC) in my home state in ’04, Your Grace. I certainly do not envy the “big shots” involved in those calls their interview with our Maker, looming ever closer. It’s getting riper and riper down here.

        • Thomas Barker says

          Perhaps, though, Thomas prefers such “types” as the Cubanadian candidate?

          Thomas sees no substantive differences between Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton, or between Bush43 and Obama. They all belong to a ravenous pack of sociopaths who work with unflagging demonic zeal to destroy what’s left of our former constitutional republic. Most of the leading “conservatives” are more progressive for my taste than Flo, the Progressive Girl.

          Your Grace, as for your veneration of Mao-bama and your hyperbolic mythology of his abilities – I must assume that your goal was to entertain. Well done!

          • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

            Thomas check out Taylor Swift’s “Skake it Off” on Youtube. If that doesn’t work, then go get a pail and fill it with tepid water. Put it on a stool, then pull up a chair, sit down and lean over untill your capital is immersed, hold your breath a while, and then sit up and relax! I liked “Mao-bama”, though. It reminded me of the puerile nick-naming of FDR when I was a boy, Those were the days. Instead of a Tea Party spin-off, the Republicans came up with Wendell Wilkie’s “One-Worldism!”Is there anyone around besides me that remembers all that?

    • Vladyka, true Christian leaders, secular and ecclesiastical, have long recognized the fact that following the teachings and moral guidelines of the Church is beneficial to anyone who follows them. Laws that promote good and restrain evil benefit society and all who are in it, whether or not they agree with specific definitions of what constitutes good and evil.

      I don’t think anyone need ever worry again whether any Western country will, for a long time to come, ever do anything but promote gay marriage rather than ban it, so I am not sure what the hysterics of some is all about. I am more concerned that Orthodox Christians, young and old, understand and uphold our internal moral teachings, and that they understand that with time, our governments may begin to pressure us to change them, first by withdrawing tax exempt status from churches guilty of “discrimination”, then by withdrawing the ability of our clergy to have any marriages they perform be legally recognized. These are all things the Church can weather, but only if our internal teaching is clear and well-supported.

      My wife comes from a Southern family that was very active in the early civil rights movement, but I think those now departed members would have been surprised to learn that nondiscrimination would someday mean mandated hiring in the form of quotas and that the right to vote freely would become a mandated drawing of district lines to guarantee the election of minorities. Of course they would also have been surprised to learn that the only black member of SCOTUS and the first black Senator from South Carolina would be pariahs amongst “tolerant” folks because their political views were considered to be unworthy of respectful consideration.

  16. Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

    Speaking of politicians, does anyone know if that imbecile, Senator Cotton, professes any religion?

    I thought of Russia and “neighboring Hungary when i read how the imbecile warned that aggressor Iran “ALREADY” controls Tehran!

  17. Thomas Barker says

    Senator Cotton is a Methodist.

    This is from

    I learned those lessons in Sunday school and church at First United Methodist, where J.T. was just baptized last month, where Sarah and I were baptized as infants, and where my Dad was, too.”

    Sarah is his sister.

  18. cynthia curran says

    Biship Tikhon, Justinian I think closed the neo-platonic philosophy school in Athens and I think he did crushed the statues in Egypt if thee is what you are referring to. Procopius gave us a lot of stuffed to attack Justinian as an autocrat that pushed his vision of religion and state but Justinian did great things as well like the Law Code that has lasted for many centuries in one form or anther or the Hagia Sophia. Also, Justinian reconquest held longer in central or southern Italy and Africa for about 100 years. Procopius is enough to make Justinian not well liked in the west and Procopius was right that religion should not be forced.

  19. cynthia curran says

    One good thing that Justinian tried to eliminate was the human trafficking of young girls into brothels. He put the pimps to death. Now, I would not put them to death but I think the current situation of sex trafficking is bad.

  20. cynthia curran says

    In a landmark decision, Russian space agency Roscosmos and its US counterpart NASA have agreed to build a new space station after the current International Space Station (ISS) expires. The operation of the ISS was prolonged until 2024.

    “We have agreed that Roscosmos and NASA will be working together on the program of a future space station,” Roscosmos chief Igor Komarov said during a news conference on Saturday This is interesting for the US and Russia. Russia needs something besides oil and it was during the Soviet Period one of the top space programs. There is not only the US and Western Europe but Russia is involved in sending a satettel for India. And this is a good devleopment since its more friendly with the US and Russia. A little off topic.