Same-Sex Marriage: A Conversation with Fr. Josiah Trenham and Abp. Salvatore Cordileone, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco [Audio/Video]

same-sex-marriageAs the culture continues to melt down, our (Orthodox) bishops continue to maintain a studied silence. Fortunately this is not the case with some of our many fine priests. One of them, Fr Josiah Trenham recently conducted an excellent interview with Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, who as Archbishop of San Francisco, can be said to be living in the belly of the beast as it were.

Kudos to Fr Josiah and Ancient Faith Radio.


Father Josiah interviews Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, one of America’s most articulate champions of marriage and most persuasive opponent of so-called “Same-Sex Marriage.” In this 30+ minute interview Archbishop Cordileone thoroughly goes on the record to explain the genesis of the movement for “Same-Sex Marriage” and exposes why the quest for redefining marriage is so destructive to the health and well-being of marriage and American society.

Patristic Nectar Publications (PNP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing spiritual edification and formal Orthodox Christian catechesis. It publishes the teachings of the Church as expressed by the Holy Fathers through a vast array of patristic audio books and lecture series, spreading the wealth of Sacred Tradition to the modern-day media culture. PNP is distinctive in the fidelity of its publications to the mind of the Church, and the freedom in the publications from personal opinions and theological fads.

Nourishing the spiritually thirsty with the sweet teachings of the Holy Fathers.

To learn more about Patristic Nectar Publications, please visit our website at

Listen here:


Audio courtesy of Ancient Faith Radio.

View here:


  1. ChristineFevronia says

    The LDS Church has created a fantastic website to deal with this topic in a respectful manner. As a dwindling, small church of 20,000 members, I suggest that the OCA can seeks ways of tackling this important subject in a prayerful and decent manner–and one of those ways is to review the strategy that the growing LDS Church (membership now at 15 million) uses to address issues like this head on.

    This is the website they have launched regarding “same sex attraction” and the principles of their faith. You will notice that they never use the word “orientation”. They are trying to view the subject from all perspectives, and yet are determined to stay the course and keep their moral standards high.

    This is the website:

    And here is the news release that outlines why they believed it necessary to launch their website to address this issue:

    • Michael Bauman says

      The LDS Church is an excellent sales organization.

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        Then I hope that they can help “sell” this.

        Every institution that can join in this battle is an ally, in the moral sphere.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Tim, the trouble with sales organizations is that they frequently take the path of least resistance so as to maximize the number of clients.

          I was employed for 17 years by a small Mormon run organization. I had many opportunities to learn how they operate and why, they told me. As the history of the LDS shows, they will change pretty much anything to be accepted by more people. Their morality does not have any foundation. It is strictly legalistic and based upon a phantasm created by a con-man.

          When they go door to door they are running on a carefully created and memorized sales script that is used to target and manipulate the folks to whom they are talking to get them to buy their product. With particularly vulnerable people they use a tactic called “love bombing” to draw them into the group. It is not about truth at all. My boss was, at one time, the head of the regional missionary teams because he was a good salesman.

          Sooner or later, the leader of the LDS will have a “revelation” that homosexuals and their fornication are OK. Shoot, they might even be able to go back to their original ‘revelation’ that polygamy is the way to go because it is a reflection of the ‘celestial’ marriage.

          You realize, of course, there is nothing Christian about the LDS. Originally they did not claim to be Christian, but they began selling their “Christianity” when they saw it as a way to become more accepted.

          Shoot they don’t even believe it (at least not the ones I have known).

    • The Mormons are in the process of caving to the Gay Lobby. Why? Because they have always been about acceptance. Controversial belief? Have a revelation! You should also note their recent rolling over regarding the Boy Scouts. This sort of behavior is exactly what I pointed out last year when Mittens was running for office and people on this list were singing the praises of the morally upright Mormons.

      To Michael’s point, a sales orginazation is EXACTLY what they are.

      • ChristineFevronia says

        from the referenced website:

        The Church’s approach to this issue stands apart from society in many ways. And that’s alright. Reasonable people can and do differ. From a public relations perspective it would be easier for the Church to simply accept homosexual behavior. That we cannot do, for God’s law is not ours to change. There is no change in the Church’s position of what is morally right. But what is changing — and what needs to change — is to help Church members respond sensitively and thoughtfully when they encounter same-sex attraction in their own families, among other Church members, or elsewhere… God has given us commandments that support family and individual happiness. One of these is the Law of Chastity — individuals should have no sexual relations except in marriage, which Latter-day Saints define as between a man and a woman.

        Is that “caving to the Gay Lobby” or is it a great example of loving the sinner but hating the sin?

        The LDS Church “sells” values of family, home, modesty, and charity. 14 million people are members of the LDS Church because they find in the Mormon lifestyle something that is very hard to find in today’s world. If the OCA can at all learn from the LDS strategies of “selling” Gospel values, I am all for it!

        • See the respose above. You know NOTHING about the Mormons.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Speaking as somebody who actually read Fawn Brodie’s expose of Joseph Smith (No Man Knows My History) as well as being gravely troubled by the rudiments of Mormon theology, I must concur with Dan here. Whatever else their faults, the Mormons are stand-up guys when it comes to marriage.

            While it is possible that a future “President, Prophet, Seer and Revelator” may receive a new revelation sanctioning homosexuality, I wouldn’t hold my breath. It’s extremely improbable. Instead, I am more concerned with the sound of crickets chirping silence from the various Orthodox jurisdictions. I’m not a Mormon, I’m an Orthodox Christian. One who desires to receive instruction from the episcopate of his Church. (I was going to say “from my bishop” but I don’t have a bishop at present.) Until the Assembly of Bishops gets their act together and puts out something more serious than “We are carbon-based life forms who represent the Orthodox Church in North America and we think people should not be naughty because the Fathers said so,” I’d ask us to stop with the Mormon-bashing.

            • Sorry you can’t see it George but the Emperor has no clothes when it comes to Mormon morality. The most recent decision to accept the ruling accepting openly gay scouts is testament to their supposed moral “fortitude”.

    • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

      ChristineFevronia says:

      The LDS Church has created a fantastic website to deal with this topic in a respectful manner. As a dwindling, small church of 20,000 members, I suggest that the OCA can seeks ways of tackling this important subject in a prayerful and decent manner–and one of those ways is to review the strategy that the growing LDS Church (membership now at 15 million) uses to address issues like this head on.

      Mormons aren’t even Heterodox Christians who retain some basics of Orthodoxy like the Trinity, they are nothing but a post-Christian cult. Mormonism like Islam seems to me to have been founded with one primary purpose, that being, to get the founder as much polygamous sex as humanly possible.

      The OCA is shrinking because it is soft (by Orthodox standards) on such matters which is a large part of the reason that it is shrinking. Thousands of homosexual nihilists aren’t just waiting to join Orthodoxy to balance out all the real Orthodox who will drop the OCA like a bad habit. We’re not going to out pagan the Anglicans and the Unitarians and the other apostate Heterodox, they’ll always be many steps ahead of us in debasing themselves in the service of Antichrist if any “Orthodox” body tries going down that path.

      • ChristineFevronia says

        You are right, Ladder. You nailed it when you wrote: “The OCA is shrinking because it is soft (by Orthodox standards) on such matters, which is a large part of the reason that it is shrinking.” I guess I keep listening for the prophetic voices in the OCA, but they are few and/or silenced–or “soft” as you say.

        Case in point: today’s “Chancellor’s Diary”, which in a very roundabout way, I guess, kind-of-sort-of addresses yesterday’s Supreme Court rulings, but really doesn’t.

        Definition of “soft” found here:

        And just to clarify for the record… I do not support the theology of the LDS Church. However, the LDS Church does indeed have the chutzpah to take vocal stands on societal issues which affect freedom of religion, the sacredness of family and marriage, etc. I truly appreciate not only their outspokenness but also their actual efforts on these issues, especially here in my native state of California. (Prop 8 is a fine example of this.) Secondly, the LDS website is light-years ahead of the OCA website in terms of clarity of purpose, accessibility and transparency, evangelistic zeal, and being a go-to news source for their members. The resources on their website are phenomenal: their scriptures fully linked and accessible; videos of all their conferences; even guidance for dressing modestly in this world; etc. We can’t even get the minutes of Council meetings in a timely manner–or even a video recording of an AAC–let alone someone setting up a camcorder in a corner of the room to livestream conferences or meetings so the faithful can participate. This is what I was alluding to in my comment above–that if we are to evangelize in this era of technology, we might want to prayerfully consider keeping our minds open to learning from others as to how they are addressing these challenging topics.

  2. Father Mark Hodges says

    Is there a transcript of this excellent interview?

  3. Thank you, George, for sharing this with us.

    For those who lack the patience to listen to this in its entirety, PLEASE listen to the last question and answer at the end. Years ago I wrote:

    “His [the devil’s] strategy is clear: destroy the image, and thereby make the Gospel virtually incomprehensible to modern minds.”

    More recently I alluded here on this site to the fact that this is iconoclasm of the worst kind – every bit as, and perhaps even more, insidious than the sort the Church battled centuries ago. We must awaken to the fact that we cannot ignore these attacks on marriage even as merely matters of civil law that (supposedly) cannot affect our churches and our freedoms (although they most assuredly will). ‘Evil apostate’ Roman though he no doubt is in the eyes of some Orthodox, the archbishop can discern the soteriological ramifications of the destruction of this image on those in the world in whose salvation we are called to participate, and he can see the crucial role we as Orthodox Christians are called to play in the battle against iconoclasm. Can we?

  4. Gail Sheppard says

    I liked when the Archbishop said, “The law is a teacher.” Laws are in place to protect us and, therefore, are inherently good, right? For example, restrictions put in place to prohibit purchasing more than a one month supply of Sudafed (a decongestant) to protect us from . . . starting a meth lab??? Well I’m not sure, exactly, but the point is Sudafed is as dangerous as terrorism or it wouldn’t be in the PATRIOT ACT.

    What’s it to me if I can’t buy enough decongestant to get through the allergy season? I almost died once due to a sinus infection, but it’s not like it happened again or anything. And why would I mind having to drive to the pharmacy and let them scan my driver’s license, while I sign away my first born? I only had that one problem when a clerk took my drivers license number and with my credit card number, stole my identity. If we can’t put ourselves at risk for the .003% of the population who are stupid enough to use meth, what’s life all about? No sense worrying about the 4 in 10 unintended pregnancies that result in abortion. Unlike meth users, babies don’t need our protection. How do I know? The law says so.

    “Home labs are cobbled together from various kinds of equipment and chemicals and produce no more than 300 doses, or enough for the amateur cook and a few local sales. The majority of seized labs are home labs. . . Many states are now restricting purchases of over-the-counter pseudoephedrine-based cold and cough medicines. They will likely reduce the number of amateur cooks making meth in their kitchens because it will reduce their access to pseudoephedrine-containing cold and cough medicines sold over the counter. Some of the states that have these laws have seen a drop-off in the number of seized home labs. But local authorities in many of these areas are now concerned that the Mexican meth trade is simply moving in and filling the supply gap.”

    • George Michalopulos says

      Gail, I can speak to this: Sudafed has become a nuisance in my practice in that I have to drop what I’m doing, fill out paperwork or key it into the computer, see a valid driver’s license, etc. In Okla, it’s 7.6gm a month, 1.2gm in a 36 hr period. It used to be 9gm/month but the Methmakers found a way of doing it with this tiny amount. It’s a pain in the ass. Good people have to suffer because of criminals (I suffer from allergies myself).

      Good news is on the way, some drug manufacturers are looking at disabling pseudoephedrine by placing it in a matrix that will prevent it from being dissolved. We’ll see.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        I heard! Thumbs up for the manufacturers! (Knew you would appreciate this.) Idle question: Did it shock you to find that Dianne Feinstein, et al., included this in the PATRIOT ACT? It sure shocked me. It appears to have been a bi-partisan effort, too.

  5. M. Stankovich says

    This interview is published three days before the expected rulings of Hollingsworth v. Perry and United States v. Windsor. I am from San Diego & Fr. Josiah – who I respect – is from Riverside County. We have known the state of this process – CA’s version of the “Defense of Marriage Act” was passed twice by voters and was twice overturned by the courts as unconstitutional – since 2008. The process was openly, cautiously, and carefully calculated down to the selection of the couple who constitute the most “amenable,” most sympathetic to the public and to the court. The “atmosphere” and timing were carefully weighed and those who submitted briefs in favor of the overturning of these cases and those who would “educate” the court as to the pertinent issues of the cases and matters before the court were carefully determined as well.

    Secondly, if Brian is attempting to “preempt” addressing the fact that the “discussant” is the Roman Catholic bishop of San Francisco, I would note that there are other matters of significance – this being the “public square” and all – beyond “evil apostasy” or the ability to discern “soteriological ramifications.” I would suggest that, first and foremost, I do not believe we are in need of more “instruction,” or theology, or ethical or moral “surgery” to bear on this issue. I commend Archbishop Cordileone on his discussion, but what haven’t we heard since 2008? Yet in five years, we have no Orthodox bishop who can articulate what role “we as Orthodox Christians are called to play?” Couldn’t the Archbishop or Fr. Josiah have composed or written an articulate statement, picked an Orthodox bishop, any Orthodox bishop, given a full year if necessary, and let him be a leader? We knew this was coming! How many different ways can you say it? It is so shockingly irresponsible that lawyers and the heterodox have replaced the Word of Truth.

    Last night I re-read the short answer of St. Theophan the Recluse to the question, “What can we do when we are given a bad priest?” and by extrapolation, I presume he would respond in kind to the question of a bishop, AND “What can I do if I am given a bad parish/parishioners?” Immediately he dislikes and scolds “whining”: “You get the priest (bishop/parish/parishioners) you deserve.” Wow! And the meaning of this statement is found in his resolution: “You can force him/them to change! How? By prayer, fasting, and by being the best Christians you are able. They will change because they must change.” And if they do not change, you know where to look. My thought is that, he was a recluse for a reason, and this is not the complete answer, but it is the beginning.

    This is a wonderful presentation, but I believe without moral leadership & authority, we will be left with “mopping up” after determinations stolen from us without comment.

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      It is a wonder that there are no orthodox bishops doing this presently, or, as Mr. S says, showing preparation over the years that this has been coming. The first thing would be to very publicly re-issue and re-affirm the 20-year old OCA statement on the subject.

      In my view, the heterodox are still dox, and the RC’s still-existing institutional power is of the greatest importance.

      I am really holding my breath. Yesterday and today SCOTUS has issued 5-4 opinions with a very “conservative” lean……

    • M. Stankovic says:

      Yet in five years, we have no Orthodox bishop who can articulate what role “we as Orthodox Christians are called to play?” Couldn’t the Archbishop or Fr. Josiah have composed or written an articulate statement, picked an Orthodox bishop, any Orthodox bishop, given a full year if necessary, and let him be a leader?

      Gotta agree with you, but I am wondering whether our bishops are allowed to write statements on such things? Look what happened when an Orthodox Metropolitan signed the Manhattan Declaration without vetting their signatures with their homosexual colleages!

  6. Zoghby’s views on topics such as Catholic–Orthodox “double communion” and dissolution of marriage were controversial. Critics labeled him the enfant terrible of his church, while supporters lauded him as an energetic visionary who sought to re-unite the Eastern Churches.

  7. Trudge at SmartVote says

    Thank you George for posting this interview from Father Josiah. He seems to be a great lover of St. John Chrysostom and is demonstrating the virtue of courage here and elsewhere.

    This thread and the others on this site often boil down to the problem of the modernizing of Christianity in its compromise with modernism, whether Orthodox or Roman Catholic, or in the extreme, Protestantism. The problem is the loss of the basic grasp of the Gospel and its demands expressed in the teachings of Christ, the Apostles and the Church Fathers. The loss of the Gospel shows up simply in that the meaning of “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” is mechanically repeated but no longer recognized. This should be the labor of every Christian, including every bishop, priest and deacon. Instead Christianity has reduced to a largely ceremonial role, not a moral and life-renewing one, and that is the view that controls the activities of the great majority of Christians and Church authorities. As far as St. Theophan the Recluse, he tends to err in the direction of individualistic pietism because of this same weakness in Christianity in his time.

    • The OCA’s current primate recently preached a sermon that “Thy will be done” is not always the correct prayer, but that we really should be praying, “Help me in what I have decided to do for You.”

      That was the gist anyway. It was almost as bad as some of the sermons being preached by the current primate of the Episcopal Church.

      • Is there a transcript or video of this sermon?

        • Probably not, but Jillion’s summarizes it here (second to last paragraph).

          I don’t feel a strong personal need to condemn the messenger, but I’m definitely not inspired by this kind of cleverness in a sermon. It is so commonplace as to be cliche in liberal Protestant churches, where playful cleverness and shock value may be all the preacher has to keep folks awake.

          • “In closing, Metropolitan Tikhon remarked that we often ask in our prayers to do God’s will but, in reality, as an elder once told him, what we really need to do is ask God’s help to do our will.”

            “Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42).

            Let’s see…

            Jesus Christ…or Met. Tikhon and Fr. Jillions?

            Yeah, I’m gonna stick with Jesus.

          • The text referred to is here

            In closing, Metropolitan Tikhon remarked that we often ask in our prayers to do God’s will but, in reality, as an elder once told him, what we really need to do is ask God’s help to do our will. We have to make choices—and often the choice is between two good and godly alternatives. But in making choices and committing ourselves to a particular course of action, we ask God to help us accomplish what we have chosen to do for His sake, and to persevere with boldness, gratitude and joy.

            Yes, we have to make choices, but need God’s help in discerning which choice is best or even to discern what a second choice might be. We have to discern which of the choices is Godly. Then we say “Let God’s will be done” in the accomplishment of what we have chosen to do with His guidance.

            We actually need the original sermon, because these parts may have been left off. Did Ancient Faith Radio or something record the sermons? Did Metropolitan Jonah speak at this event?

          • nit picker says

            I wouldn’t be too quick to hang Met. Tikhon out to dry. After all it’s not even a direct quote. Fr. Jillions is reporting his understanding of what Met. Tikhon said.

            It would probably be best not to dissect the minutiae of what Fr. Jillions (or anyone) says that someone else said unless it is a precise quote (or it can be verified independently). Just a suggestion.

      • ChristineFevronia says


    • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

      “Instead Christianity has reduced to a largely ceremonial role, not a moral and life-renewing one, and that is the view that controls the activities of the great majority of Christians and Church authorities. As far as St. Theophan the Recluse, he tends to err in the direction of individualistic pietism because of this same weakness in Christianity in his time.”

      Yeah, well, could you elaborate on what you think is “moral and life-renewing” and how St. Theophan the Recluse errors against it on the side of individualistic pietism? Is it more political action within American society that you have in mind?

      “It is a great error to think that you must undertake important and great labors, whether for heaven, or, as the ‘progressives’ think, in order to make one’s contribution to humanity. That is not necessary at all. It is necessary only to do everything in accordance with the Lord’s commandments.” — St. Theophan the Recluse

      Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works, p. 139:

      In discussing the nature of modernism, Eugene also wished to judge, according to Orthodox Christian teaching, three worldly “idols” of the modern age. The first he called the “cult of civilization.” Having outlined several aspects of this idol, he indicated how Christians can succumb to it by making their service to “humanity” an end in itself; and he contrasted this with reflections on the nature of true Christian charity. A Christian responds to an immediate human need out of love, in the name of Christ; but when he begins to think, “If it is good to feed one hungry man, it is much better to feed a thousand–one is a drop in the bucket,” then he begins to make of Christianity a system, to reduce it to an ideology. Recalling Christ’s words Ye have the poor always with you (Matt. 26:11), Eugene wrote: “Christ did not come to feed the hungry, but to save the souls of all, hungry or replete.”2
      2 Quoted in ER, “Christian Realism and Worldy Idealism,” p. 139

      • George Michalopulos says

        Ladder, to critique the Catholic Church because of its policy of annulments (which we Orthodox have as well btw) is to miss the forest for the trees. The free and easy divorce schemes made use of by some of our jurisdictions has done as much real harm to children and the concept of marriage as anything accomplished in the secular sphere (no-fault divorce, etc.)

        I have no problem with the piety of St Theophan the Recluse or Fr Seraphim Rose’s highly internal mysticism. I don’t want to turn the Church of Christ into the Salvation Army either. But we can’t ignore the suffering in the world. The words of St James, the Brother-of-the-Lord as well as Jesus’ own words on the matter should give us pause before we concentrate only on mysticism. The poor we will always have with us, that doesn’t excuse us from helping them in any way we can.

        • Trudge at SmartVote says


          Of course we don’t have a problem with the individualistic pietism of St. Theophan the Recluse because we are all individualistic pietists! Saints are fallable, subject to the errors of their times if they do not confront them. St. Theophan wrote in a time when the Russian Orthodox Church had been reduced to a ceremonial arm of the state. Though St. Theophan continues on the ascetic tradition of Christianity he does so in an asceticism that sidesteps the public conflict of good and evil. In his writings there is no help for a society that is unravelling and facing imminent bloodshed and destruction, accomplished shortly after his repose. The 19th century Russian radicals driven on by the indifference and silence of the Church to the problems and confusions of the day concluded Christianity was part of the problem – with no answer to that Christianity was marked by the radicals for destruction – trampled underfoot as Christ in the Gospels prophesied.

          Why do I target modernism? A core tenet of modernism is the autonomy of the individual. With individual autonomy follows the psychological process of compartmentalism. This doctrine is what undermines our understanding of Christianity, making it abstract and unreal, and finally merely ceremonial, separated into convenient compartments: my life, their life, my values, their values, my happiness, their happiness. We are Eisotheists, not theists, not believing in the reality of God in His greatness. In a process similar to Eisogesis in reading in a meaning into Scripture, we are no longer Theists because when the modern Christian says “Jesus,” the Jesus in his mind is merely a projection of his aspirations and concerns. A projection of his own will, not a seeking out and submission to the will of the creator of the universe in fear and trembling, to whom he must give account and face his destiny.

          I wonder how I or we would do if the appearance of the Christ were replayed, with us moderns in the crowds at the preaching of John the Baptist and the Christ, then being led by the Apostles and Church Fathers. Of course at this moment we are being watched by this great cloud of witnesses, but for this thought experiment how would we fare? Would we even like these people?

          They would find our claims of being Christian, especially Orthodox, bizarre. One thing clearly separating us is the conflict avoidance of the modern traditional Christian, especially the priest, bishop, deacon or pastor. The compartmentalization is ‘let them have their ministry no matter how heretical and I’ll have mine in my “context”’ (a favorite word of moderns). In the Scriptures and the times of the Church Fathers evil was often checked because of the “fear of the people.” In America, our increasing tyrannical federal government has no fear of the people, nor do our bishops and priests. They know they can do whatever they want because we will not do anything to jeopardize our comfort, of “having a good day.”

          The Gospel arose out of the conflicts of Christ striking against the heresies of the time of his appearance, the heresies of the Jewish leaders and the general ignorance about the ways of God, his nature, and his will for us his creatures. Christ, the Apostles and Church Fathers were not conflict avoidant, but conflict promoting, even among themselves, for the Truth.

          The modern Christian and Christian leader in contrast is tolerant of evil, materialistic (seeing ourselves as bodies primarily, not as souls) and safety-seeking. As we allow ourselves and our children to be re-paganized, the new Arians such as Father Arida and his Bishop Nikon continue unchecked and the many Protestant heresies proliferate and influence us. I say the new Arians because they do not entertain obviously heretical teachings about the nature of God and Christ, but about man, and obscure the moral will of God for man, and then by extension substitute their own wills for that of God, denying God his supremacy.

          The modern bishop and priest is also different from the Apostles and Church Fathers because of the onset of the seminary education model and its professionalism. Seminaries are killing Christianity because they produce a leadership structure that is dependent on the Church for their livelihood, having no economically viable skills if they apostasize, are ineffective in their role for the Gospel, or are morally corrupt.

          The Church Fathers became so because they loved and immersed themselves in the scriptures, lived as ascetics, and demonstrated spiritual powers, character and skill before they obtained positions of authority. St. Ambrose was made Bishop because of his virtues, his asceticism, the leadership competence he demonstrated, commitment to the Nicene creed under duress, before he was even baptized. St. John Chrysostom was known as an ascetic, had memorized the scriptures living for time as an anchorite before he became a priest. His sermons were largely commentaries on the scriptures where he explained them and related them to the moral conditions of his city and the controversies and public events of his time – that was why even pagans crowded in to hear him – he had something to say about what was going on around them! He did not restrict himself to the confines of the scripture of the day and producing bland, perfunctory sermons.

          Our seminaries and monasteries are distant and not an organic part of the Church. For the modern bishop or priest the Church Fathers what was they had to read to pass their Patristics course, the Scriptures to pass their old and new testament courses. They just don’t hold much interest for them, even though the Scriptures and Fathers have complete relevance, beauty, solutions and even predictive power concerning the confusions and threats to us moderns. Modern bishops and priests avoid the scriptures and Church Fathers because of their embrace of materialism and other modern doctrines and the threat the Scriptures and Church Fathers pose to their careers. In effect they function as censors of the Gospel.

          The mission of the Church has been lost by us moderns, to go and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey the commandments of the Gospel of the Kingdom.

          • M. Stankovich says

            Trudge at SmartVote ,

            I literally had to tune you out like I was listening to some tone-deaf, half-drunken Shriner singing Sinatra, “And now, the end is near, and so I face the final curtain…” AYE! Someone chase that screeching cat the hell out of here!

            The fool says in his heart,
            “There is no God.”
            They are corrupt, and their ways are vile;
            there is no one who does good.
            God looks down from heaven
            on all mankind
            to see if there are any who understand,
            any who seek God.
            Everyone has turned away, all have become corrupt;
            there is no one who does good,
            not even one.

            Psalm 52:1-3

            Perhaps I inadvertently missed your coronation as Grand Inquisitor as I was consoling my “modern” clergy friends who universally report a laity who have nothing to confess, but rather report what they didn’t do”: “I mean, Father, I didn’t steal, I didn’t kill anybody, I’m basically a good person.” Yeah, Trudge at SmartVote, that’s it; we’re all good people with nothing to confess and a briefcase of indifference.

            This thread is prima facia evidence of this indifference as it now flows with post-fact contortions of finger-pointing as DOMA is gone and California will immediately begin issuing marriage licenses, unchallenged by the Federal Appeals Court of the 9th Circuit; certainly other states will use it as authority. “Still no statement from the bishops,” and a new survey literally mocks. And for the two years this process has taken, openly and “fairly” in our system, this site was dedicated the “Battle of Jonah.” And like the issue of abortion, same-sex marriage will be the law for generations to come, while the memory of Jonah will not last the decade.

            And you, Trudge, you have taken it upon yourself to castigate, humiliate, and scorn those set apart by the Holy Spirit in a fashion above even that reserved for the angels & archangels! You would dare accuse and malign their study and love of the Scripture and the Patristic Fathers as “cursory” and “half-hearted” universally, and denying their vocation as “killing Christianity.” To say you are self-righteous, pretentious, ignorant, offensive, and empty-headed does not do you justice. You are demonstrative evidence for the ruthlessness of anonymous cowardice and the ugliness of what slithers & creeps in the darkness. Pray that the longsuffering priests dismiss you as quickly as I did.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Very eloquent words but mistaken in certain areas nonetheless. If I may:

              1. Monomakhos was started before the coup against His Beatitude came to light.

              2. Sodomite “marriage” and baby-killing may very well be “the law for generations to come,” but are you so sure that the “memory of Jonah will not last the decade.” I worry more about institutional Orthodoxy and this once proud nation lasting more than a decade rather than Jonah’s “memory.”

              3. Your knowledge of Scripture and the ordo is captivating. Why harness them to a ridiculous ecclesiastical paradigm that was withering on the vine before Jonah and one which shows no signs of reflowering?

            • Trudge at SmartVote says


              God knows his sheep. It is the duty of every Christian to rightly judge what is being taught in word and deed by priests and bishops, and as good sheep to flee from a stranger, or any strangeness on matters concerning our life on earth and of the soul in the age to come.

      • M. Stankovich says

        You either misrepresent or misunderstand what it is “to do everything in accordance with the Lord’s commandments”:

        I was naked, and you clothed me: I was sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me… Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these my brothers, you have done it to me.(Matt. 25:36, 40)

        You undertake a very dangerous “scheme” here by attempting to quantify the “motivation” of the Lord, “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Mk 10:45) At first glance, this seems noble in priority – “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? (Matt. 6:31) – and symptomatic of moderism, but in fact, misses the mark:,

        The social problem was treated always as an ethical problem; but ethics was founded in dogma, in the dogma of Incarnation and Redemption through the Cross. One finds all these motives strongly stressed both in the popular preaching and, in the traditional devotional texts, read and repeated in all Orthodox churches again and again. On the whole, the church is always with the humble and meek, and not with the mighty and proud. All this might be often neglected but it was never denied, even by those who were practically betraying the tradition.

        “The Social Problem in the Eastern Orthodox Church” in Christianity and Culture, G. Florovsky. pp.135-6

        And finally, while there certainly is no argument that the Lord came to save sinners, He does so by redeeming the Church and the Creation. “Today, all things have become as new, for Christ has risen, as He is all-powerful!” We will not be saved as individuals, but as members of the Body which is His Bride:

        The Church is not of this world, as her Lord, Christ, was also not of the world. But He was in this world, having “humbled” Himself to the condition of that world which He came to save and to redeem. The Church also had to pass through a process of the historical kenosis, in the exercise of her redemptive mission in the world. Her purpose was not only to redeem men out of this world, but also to re- deem the world itself. In particular, since man was essentially a “social being,” the Church had to wrestle with the task of the “redemption of society.”

        “Antinomies of Christian Histories: Empire and Desert” in Christianity and Culture. G. Florovsky. pp. 91-92.

        If you teach and speak according to the Holy Tradition and the Holy Fathers, you are Orthodox. While there are, indeed, those who subscribe to teachings and thoughts that are at the “periphery” of Orthodox Tradition, those who are studied and founded in Orthodox Tradition immediately identify these “characters” for what they are. Call me a cafone, but when you actually refer to yourself as a “traditionalist,” I immediately suspect you are anything but.

  8. Daniel E Fall says

    Kind of a sad argument to suggest the whole of homosexuals have a movement to destroy heterosexual marriage and by doing so will also undermine friendship.. all to satisfy their needs for social affirmation and to mitigate, impossibly, their personal conflict within themselves. And they call each other on the phone to talk it over each nite, too, just before the clothing conversation. (this is an SNL bit, but the archbishop believes it true; not a parody)

    This is why SCOTUS will end up disregarding such bunk and ruling for homosexual marriage, which I also don’t agree with as wise, but is certainly wiser than the other guy’s position that homosexual marriage will result in the complete breakdown of society. (I’m sure some of you really enjoy this concept because it is so gritty, but patently false). Those 2% will undermine the 98% for sure! Especially when they grab their guns (more SNL for you all).

    Marriage shouldn’t be recognized by government folks. Marriage is inherently discriminatory when legally recognized. For health care benefits, you can cover your spouse, but why not one other person in the household instead. Sure is simpler than a 37 minute diatribe against homosexual marriage and how society will fall apart if it happens.

    Sorry, ain’t buying it.

    Where is Scooby Doo when we need the “HUH”?

    • George Michalopulos says

      You make a lot of assertions here and assume things that are not in evidence. For one you state that homosexuality cannot result in the destruction of society. That flies in the face of history. How did the toleration of homosexuality help the American Catholic priesthood (and by extension the Catholic Church)? The Pentagon has released figures that show sexual assaults by men against other men as well as women on the rise. Do you think this is not going to have a deleterious effect on unit cohesion and battle readiness?

      • Perhaps if the Church stood against cohabitation (which undermines marriage) and a divorce rate that virtually parallels divorce amongst the general population, I would buy the argument that it’s homosexual marriage exclusively that will undermine society. How many clergy do you know demand confession and repentance before marrying a cohabiting couple?

        Face it. We’ve blown it on so many levels for so many years because we’re basically fearful of standing up and taking the inherent persecution we know will come for being “haters”, “intolerant”, “bigots”. I remember, back in the day, being called…with much derision…”a breeder” because I was stolidly Pro-Life. And I have a little scar on my face to show how I “took it on the chin”. 🙂

        So. I know where the Catholic Church was in the ’70s when the question was abortion because I was there. Where were you’all at that time? And no-fault divorce? Don’t these things ALSO undermine society; are STILL undermining society? Even moreso, given how greater a cross-section of society and our children are affected.

        • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

          “So. I know where the Catholic Church was in the ’70s when the question was abortion because I was there. Where were you’all at that time? And no-fault divorce? Don’t these things ALSO undermine society; are STILL undermining society? Even moreso, given how greater a cross-section of society and our children are affected.”

          The Franco-papalist so called “Catholic Church” desecrates marriage by giving out annulments. Poof. The marriage of 20 years and 4 children never existed, both parties are free to marry as if for the first time. The sort of legal fiction that made Luther say “If the Pope can remove souls from Purgatory? Why doesn’t he do it for free out of love? Why must he be bribed to do so?” Your “church” has no grace, and its abuses produced Protestantism, and you and the countless Protestant sects combined to so undermine belief in Christianity that modern Western Society is the result. Thus, you will earn no brownie points with me or other right thinking Orthodox for any “help” to us in fighting conditions that you yourselves produced. If you want to help the world, not to mention yourself, become Orthodox.

          The Orthodox practice of allowing divorce and remarriage while making clear that these are only being permitted out of love for human weakness are far superior to Rome’s annulment fakery.

          • Thank you for answering the question in such a loving, Christlike, and compassionate way, Ladder of Divine Ascent (which, I am told by my Priest, points downward…towards Hell…for it is only in truly knowing by seeing our sinfulness that we will see Christ! Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner).

            By the by, I converted to Orthodoxy quite a few years ago. Since I converted through a Russian jurisdictional Church, I was baptised and chrismated (since the Russians do not practise “ekonomia” by recognising Roman baptism…although I am sure you know that; you write as if you have the gift of clairvoyance).

            I grew-up in a Roman Catholic home, and was educated, K-12, in Roman Catholic schools, and since I and my Parents had friends who were Orthodox at that time, I was simply asking where our Church was at the time of these other social upheavals. I knew where I was, given that I and my Roman Catholic High School in the Archdiocese of Chicago was very proactive against any type of activity that harmed Life…from conception to final breath. Again, I ask, where were you?

            My question was simply born of curiosity; I am well-aware of the excesses of medieval Roman practices. I am also well-aware that your totally inappropriate response, which doesn’t even try to answer my question, is wrong on several fronts: The Roman Church did not “cause” Protestantism any more than Orthodoxy “caused” the Great Schism. People, sinful, fallen, deluded people cause these things. Folk sin (pride, perhaps???) and fall into prelest. Others follow and the next thing you know, Martin Luther is pounding nails into a church door. Your mean-spiritedness towards those who are outside the fullness of grace do little to commend you. Thank goodness I am already Orthodox; else, you would be answering to God for losing a Roman Catholic who is knocking on the door of Orthodoxy.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Laura, in the 70’s I was still an unrepentant, un-converted heathen, just beginning to come to my senses.

          That being said, I have said elsewhere as has George that the Church’s mostly silent acceptance of no-fault divorce, fornication and “living in sin” has resulted in the perverse societal creation of “gay-marriage” and “gay rights” along with all the fellow travelers of other types of sexual perversity and self-hatred.

          That is why I suggest that the Church take the stand that fornication is fornication is fornication. It will not be tolerated in anyone. If a person is fornicating (and homosexual relations are by definition fornication), no communion, no position of trust in the Church.

          My bishop takes the position that a marriage is a marriage inside or outside the Church and applies spiritual discipline when the canonical norms for marriage are broken. It is remarkably healing and beneficial.

          The bedrock understanding that has to be taught, practice and supported is: celibacy and chastity before marriage; faithfulness and chastity in marriage. Faithfulness involves much more than sexual faithfulness as does chastity of course, but the sexual component is of particular importance in the current debate.

          Real marriage is an aesthetic work meant to glorify God as much as to form families, insure the continuation of the species and provide consolation for the human parties to the marriage. It is an engine of salvation even when the sentimental emotions we wrongly identify as “love’ are not particularly present.
          The crowns given to those being married in the Church are martyric in nature. How else are we to even approach the description of marriage given by St. Paul where the husband is head of the wife as Christ is head of the Church (He went to the Cross don’t forget, He took on our nature and raised it to the level of the Godhead) and the wife must submit to her husband with the same love and obedience as befits our love of Christ Himself. (That does not in any way countenance abuse since then the husband is clearly not fulfilling his responsibilities to love his wife more than self).

          None of good things of marriage are present in homosexual fornication couplings. Oh, they try to ape the real thing, but it is an impossibility even as they express their rage against God by so mocking the holy.

          Cynics and apologists and appeasers will shed crocodile tears about how unfair and difficult and unjust and unkind, etc, etc, etc. to hold modern people to the canonical and moral standards of the Church, but all of those protests are simply untrue. All that needs to be done is for the bishops to be resolute, support their priests and with love and compassion apply the healing balm of the Church.

          We need nothing new. We can still restore the Church to her proper moorings and a great flood of grace will result if we do.

          • Tim R. Mortiss says

            Yes. All society, including especially the Christian churches, are paying the price for what has been inevitable ever since non-marital sexual relationships have become accepted. Perhaps most of us have countenanced this to one degree or another over the past 40 years. We are reaping the whirlwind.

    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

      Yes, heterosexual monogamous marriage is inherently discriminatory and necessarily so. The present and future stability of societies depend on it. Traditional marriage is written into the fabric of creation (one male and one female create a child and constitute a family).

      So your assertion that “marriage should not be recognized by government” assumes that either government is the source of rights (the Progressive/materialist idea) or that government has no interest in the stability of society (the libertarian view). Both are false. Government recognition merely affirms a social organization already found in nature and protects and nurtures it in ways that (limited) governments do: property rights, etc. against competing claims that would weaken it.

      Unfortunately our moral collapse has so unchained the reach of government so that many believe that it has the right to codify relationships not found in nature. That means that government is seen as both the source and judge of morality and that leads us to a very dangerous place.

      Homosexuals comprise about 3.7% of the population in the 18-44 age group (1.4% of the entire population) and of that number 37% leave the lifestyle (CDC study). We won’t see a flood of homosexuals getting married if same-sex marriage becomes legalized but that is because the real point is not to sanction homosexual marriage but to discredit traditional marriage in order to sanction homosexual behavior. That leads to a further corrosion of the moral foundations of culture.

      • Jamesthethickheaded says

        I struggle with the whole of this. I think many do. I especially struggle with the condemnation of our bishops, priests and other leaders over this: All of it seems as though we seek to blame someone else for the advent of social changes of this nature (and others as well) that we may find disconcerting. And I think this judgment simply adds to the problem rather than identifying ourselves and our lack of love of Christ as the source, and the poverty of the present state of our true, recognizable witness – individually and collectively.

        I am not convinced that posing as moral champions of traditional behavior makes us christian, or wins people to Christ, and yet you’re right that doing nothing doesn’t win either. But what to do? Surely shrinking in silence has issues as well…. though perhaps more of omission than commission. There may yet be some virtue in pausing to consider the “First do no harm” ethic in the larger context than just this particular front in the culture wars.

        Fact is, I think you can almost always find some atheist or follower of another religion who can manage a more moral position and adhere to it with more authenticity and virtue and zeal than we can manage. There will almost always be one somewhere. And I think it is fair to concede that. Our “best” should be less about rigid codes and more about love. And that’s the point: Christ is moral, but much more than that as well he is loving and good and truth… and at the same time merciful. The underbelly of the folks in the “movement” is that by contrast…. I think they may be far less merciful and charitable once their hallowed “victim” status is nullified. Thus we might consider whether the temptation to present Christ solely as a public scold risks making Him unappealing in the same way that I think St. Augustine warned we should not present Christ as though education and learning were of no substance or consequence. Christ is not one-dimensional. I am certain He would find a way to show love here the way he did with the woman found in adultery… and profoundly change the situation. This is a larger challenge… and I don’t pretend to know the answer, but I sense that IF we were rising to it, our prospects would appear otherwise.

        Why do we worry about this? The Church has triumphed through Christian witness over circumstances of this sort before. Wouldn’t we do better to focus on how the church fathers managed that? Often we focus on them more for what they say and not for what they did. And so I wonder whether the truth is that we really shrink from that prospect because the price is more than we want to pay? Are our shepherds really to be faulted for letting us fall to this danger? or are they more likely to be thanked for allowing us to embrace an opportunity to witness to others – especially at some cost – that we might wordlessly win others to the christian life? And in case anyone wonders where I am, let me be first to say, “Yeah. The price is higher than I want. I might have to actually live 100% of the christian life 100% of the time. And I’m not ready for that…”

        I think the good news is that we do struggle with this. I think the bad news is that we are tempted by easy answers that we know won’t fly but they make us sound like we care or are concerned. They work for an inside audience perhaps but don’t outside. So is this more than a pose or a complaint? If we’re not finding answers that work and leaders that can help us embrace them…. is that not the dog that didn’t bark? I guess I always tend to think the course of events tends to run longer and have more twists and turns than expected… and will look far different than either ‘side” to the present argument expects. Pray for us.

      • M. Stankovich says

        I have said to you many times, Fr. Ioannes, that you are a full-tilt, Starbucks Venete with two espresso shots, take-it-to the limit “Can’t you see, we are on the eve of destruction?” guy. And you’ve got the full Christian Right playbook & patter of jingoist vocabulary rolling out “the end of society as we Christians know it.” And I always drag out Fr. Florovsky when I begin to hyperventilate:

        It is quite usual in our days, and indeed quite fashionable, to say that we are already dwelling in a “Post-Christian world” — whatever the exact meaning of this pretentious phrase may actually be — in a world which, subconsciously or deliberately, “retreated” or seceded from Christianity. “We live in the ruins of civilizations, hopes, systems, and souls.” Not only do we find ourselves at the cross-roads, at which the right way seems to be uncertain, but many of us would also question whether there is any safe road at all, and any prospect of getting on. Does not indeed our civilization find itself in an impasse out of which there is no exit, except at the cost of explosion? Now, what is the root of the trouble? What is the primary or ultimate cause of this imminent and appalling collapse? Is it just “the failure of nerve,” as it is sometimes suggested, or rather a “sickness to death,” a disease of the spirit, the loss of faith? There is no common agreement on this point. Yet, there seems to be considerable agreement that our cultural world has been somehow disoriented and decentralized, spiritually and intellectually disoriented and disorganized, so that no over-arching principle has been left which can keep the shifting elements together. As Christians, we can be more emphatic and precise. We would contend that it is precisely the modern Retreat from Christianity, at whatever exact historical date we may discern its starting point, that lies at the bottom of our present crisis. Our age is, first of all, an age of unbelief, and for that reason an age of uncertainty, confusion, and despair. There are so many in our time who have no hope precisely because they lost all faith.

        Christianity & Culture: The Collected Works of Georges Florovsky

        Translation? Pick a date. Before there was an AOI or a Momomakhos, there was the kin of AOI & Monomakhos. And quite obviously, “The thing that has been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.” (Ecc. 1:9) Wow. When, again words have power, and bishops are saying them, we will stop ceding our responsibilities for a voice in social morality and again be reassured, “These things I have spoken to you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (Jn. 16:33) My thought: you should be teaching leadership to our leaders. Let the dead bury the dead.

        • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

          M. Stankovich quotes Fr. Florovsky who asked:

          Now, what is the root of the trouble? What is the primary or ultimate cause of this imminent and appalling collapse? Is it just “the failure of nerve,” as it is sometimes suggested, or rather a “sickness to death,” a disease of the spirit, the loss of faith?

          Solzhenitsyn asked the same question and concluded that a lack of courage and a loss of faith are interdependent, not mutually exclusive.

          From the Harvard Address:

          A decline in courage may be the most striking feature that an outside observer notices in the West today. The Western world has lost its civic courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, in each government, in each political party, and, of course, in the United Nations. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling and intellectual elites, causing an impression of a loss of courage by the entire society. There are many courageous individuals, but they have no determining influence on public life.

          Political and intellectual functionaries exhibit this depression, passivity, and perplexity in their actions and in their statements, and even more so in their self-serving rationales as to how realistic, reasonable, and intellectually and even morally justified it is to base state policies on weakness and cowardice. And the decline in courage, at times attaining what could be termed a lack of manhood, is ironically emphasized by occasional outbursts and inflexibility on the part of those same functionaries when dealing with weak governments and with countries that lack support, or with doomed currents which clearly cannot offer resistance. But they get tongue-tied and paralyzed when they deal with powerful governments and threatening forces, with aggressors and international terrorists.

          Must one point out that from ancient times a decline in courage has been considered the first symptom of the end?


          It is feasible and easy everywhere to undermine administrative power and it has in fact been drastically weakened in all Western countries. The defense of individual rights has reached such extremes as to make society as a whole defenseless against certain individuals. It is time, in the West, to defend not so much human rights as human obligations.

          On the other hand, destructive and irresponsible freedom has been granted boundless space. Society has turned out to have scarce defense against the abyss of human decadence, for example against the misuse of liberty for moral violence against young people, such as motion pictures full of pornography, crime, and horror. This is all considered to be part of freedom and to be counterbalanced, in theory, by the young people’s right not to look and not to accept. Life organized legalistically has thus shown its inability to defend itself against the corrosion of evil.


          This tilt of freedom toward evil has come about gradually, but it evidently stems from a humanistic and benevolent concept according to which man — the master of the world — does not bear any evil within himself, and all the defects of life are caused by misguided social systems, which must therefore be corrected.

          • Kentigern Siewers says

            Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!

            Thanks, George, for posting this video. I was blessed to meet Fr. Josiah at the first March for Marriage this year (and there was no tea at 4:30 🙂 ). His new book is really important on this issue, and provides current leadership for us from a father in the Church, St. John Chrysostom:

            I know many Orthodox leaders who are speaking out on this issue, and hope that we will hear more publicly, in sermons this Sunday and to come, on social media and emails and websites including the Chancellor’s Diary, in discussions, in finding vehicles to join with like-minded people such as the Manhattan Declaration and March for Marriage.

            Laity too can provide leadership, with the guidance of our fathers in the Church (current and past, as in Fr. Josiah’s study of St. John Chrysostom’s leadership), in the public square. For the public square includes the environments in which the children of our parishes (and all children) are immersed–media, schools, etc.–even with the most protective parents. We can’t walk by on the other side like the Pharisee in the parable of the Good Samaritan, or as Orthodox assume a separatist position from issues of social justice related to defending marriage, like the Amish (however much that may be forced upon us).

            More than any stereotyped moralizing, defending marriage involves cosmological and social justice issues for us. Without a language to receive the gospel message of marriage as real iconography for our transformative relation to Church and Christ, a language established by contexts across centuries and cultures of what is “natural,” the preaching and receiving of the gospel for young people (already being lost in large numbers to the Church) will be more difficult (indeed similar challenges to the iconography of only men being priests and hierarchs cannot be far behind).

            Marriage is for Orthodox Christians a social justice issue because of the inter-relation of issues of family, poverty, and spiritual health unto salvation. It is a paradox of our time that many who point out stridently the limitations of libertarian economics embrace so stridently a secular libertarian view of marriage, without regard to the effect of that policy on freedom of religious expression. What is promoted as individual rights of adults in this case actually involves issues of community and tradition in which children, family, and intergenerational networks of the past and future are central, and which cannot be obscured by individual rights. To reify a society of consumers, objectifying ourselves and others in non-transformative and hyper-individualistic identities apart from community, is to demonize, and hence is demonic. It would remove in essentialism of sexual identities the hope of relational transformation.

            I unworthily commend Fr. Hans’ linking of the need for courage and faith in our response, Colette’s right call for us to support those in this video who have taken on the mantle of social martyrdom, and M. Stankovich’s call for more leadership from our Church leaders, although I suspect and hope that will be forthcoming, and I know already is from some. Despair is a sin, and it is not too late to step up for marriage as Orthodox Christians (even if it may indeed be later than we think). We as laity also have a duty to offer leadership in our communities. Being called to be a king and priest unto God in our faith is different from being bred to be a citizen and subject of a consumer technocracy.

            Besides reading Fr. Josiah’s new book, I’d also recommend taking a look at this link, which while written shortly before this week’s decisions, offers a heads up on social martyrdoms ahead:

            And this is a helpful new link on why this all matters in the public square to Christians who won’t give up on caring for society as a community:

            Please pray for me a sinner,


        • Michael Bauman says

          How ’bout Barry McGuire:

          The eastern world, it is exploding
          Violence flarin’, bullets loadin’
          You’re old enough to kill, but not for votin’
          You don’t believe in war, but what’s that gun you’re totin’
          And even the Jordan River has bodies floatin’

          But you tell me
          Over and over and over again, my friend
          Ah, you don’t believe
          We’re on the eve
          of destruction.

          Don’t you understand what I’m tryin’ to say
          Can’t you feel the fears I’m feelin’ today?
          If the button is pushed, there’s no runnin’ away
          There’ll be no one to save, with the world in a grave
          [Take a look around ya boy, it’s bound to scare ya boy]

          And you tell me
          Over and over and over again, my friend
          Ah, you don’t believe
          We’re on the eve
          of destruction.

          Yeah, my blood’s so mad feels like coagulatin’
          I’m sitting here just contemplatin’
          I can’t twist the truth, it knows no regulation.
          Handful of senators don’t pass legislation
          And marches alone can’t bring integration
          When human respect is disintegratin’
          This whole crazy world is just too frustratin’

          And you tell me
          Over and over and over again, my friend
          Ah, you don’t believe
          We’re on the eve
          of destruction.

          Think of all the hate there is in Red China
          Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama
          You may leave here for 4 days in space
          But when you return, it’s the same old place
          The poundin’ of the drums, the pride and disgrace
          You can bury your dead, but don’t leave a trace
          Hate your next-door neighbor, but don’t forget to say grace
          And, tell me over and over and over and over again, my friend
          You don’t believe
          We’re on the eve
          Of destruction
          Mm, no no, you don’t believe
          We’re on the eve
          of destruction.

          Written by P.F. Sloan

          • Haven’t heard any Barry McGuire for a long time. I remember when he was a member of the Agape Force back in the 70s; he married one of those Agape Force ladies. I haven’t heard from his friend Doug Hunt for a long time either; last time I saw him was in Modesto, CA in about 1980.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Dr S, your point is well-taken. It’s always the worst of times for many of us of the Conservative persuasion. That doesn’t mean that we can’t fight injustices or we should be passive in the face of demonic assault. And make no mistake, we are under a demonic assault.

    • Amazed in the Midwest says

      Must be difficult for you Daniel Fall to reconcile your allegiance to Mark Stokoe and Orthodox teaching?

      • Michael Bauman says

        Apparently and sadly, not at all difficult.

      • Hah!

        At least I sign my name to my words and don’t make false statements about your allegiances. Let me guess who you are and your allegiances.

        That character in Batman; with the makeup lips.

        The joker; allied with the Riddler to keep us guessing who u r.

        Next time you marry me to Mark Stokoe; at least sign your name to such lies. I have a problem reconciling you to Orthodoxy and I’m barely.

        The cogent commentator misses something vital in his remarks. Fr. Hans, we live in a culture that has been working for the last century to eliminate or reduce discrimination from women to blacks to be precise. If government disregarded marriage tomorrow; the church would be the center for marriage, yet you so strongly oppose freedom of gays to do what they wish you give government the center and then credit the gays for moral collapse and the move away from church. It is sort of bizarre. If homosexuals want to marry; I don’t give a hoot. Do any of you for a second realize how many horrible heterosexuals are married and get treated better by government than great Christian single folks?

        DoMA cannot stand in America. Someday marriage will not be a government issue. That day; the gays will be sad because they won’t be affirmed by what seems like all of society(government), and the church will be sad because it can’t require non-believers live within theocratic boundaries.

        Forgive my libertarian views; I’m a little flabberghasted that both gay marriage advocates and antigay marriage advocates dislike my position so much, but I get it because it isn’t what either side perceive as a win.

        • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

          Fr. Hans, we live in a culture that has been working for the last century to eliminate or reduce discrimination from women to blacks to be precise. If government disregarded marriage tomorrow; the church would be the center for marriage, yet you so strongly oppose freedom of gays to do what they wish you give government the center and then credit the gays for moral collapse and the move away from church. It is sort of bizarre. If homosexuals want to marry; I don’t give a hoot.

          Daniel, your response reveals such a confusion between drawing elementary distinctions and denying the human rights of persons that it is hard to know where to begin. Look, distinctions require discrimination. For example, we don’t legally sanction incest, polyamoury, polygamy, bestiality and any other sexual variations either. Are we “discriminating” against the advocates for these behaviors? Yes. Are drawing these distinctions a denial of human rights? No.

          Traditional marriage is not a creation of the state. It exists in nature. One man and one woman create a child. That constitutes a family. Same-sex variations (male+male, female+female) are artificial creations because same-sex couplings are naturally (according to nature) sterile. No new life can be created.

          The state merely affirms what is already found in nature. It has an interest in protecting that natural order because it has an interest in the stability of the society.

          However, neither is marriage a creation of the Church. The Church elevates marriage through the sacramental mystery, but sacraments always affirm orders already found in nature. It elevates nature without ever denying the natural order. The Eucharist, for example, becomes the body and blood of Christ without denying the created nature of the bread and wine. This is a point of deep theological confusion for Progressive Orthodox like David Dunn (“Marriage, for us, is not a contract or a covenant but a miracle!”) and some Orthodox libertarians.

          No one is blaming gays for the moral collapse. The collapse began in the 1960s with the sexual revolution (the cultural antecedents existed long before then however) where the cultural barriers were assaulted and the moral distinctions began to dim. The idea that homosexuals couplings form a legitimate marriage is just an outflow of that collapse (an idea that you have uncritically embraced, BTW). Nevertheless, the goal of homosexual activism (a lot of noise for 1.4% of the population) is not marriage for homosexuals, but the discrediting and delegitimization of traditional marriage. Don’t be fooled.

          From another post:

          DoMA cannot stand in America. Someday marriage will not be a government issue. That day; the gays will be sad because they won’t be affirmed by what seems like all of society(government), and the church will be sad because it can’t require non-believers live within theocratic boundaries.

          You might be right that DoMA may not stand but the fact that what DoMA seeks to protect is no longer self-evident indicates our decline is deeper than we want to believe and our condition more perilous than we want to accept.

          • nit picker says

            Dear Fr. Hans,

            I understand with and agree with the great majority of what you wrote. It raises some questions in my mind. Since this issue is a hot topic not only among Orthodox but also among people who are not Orthodox and I don’t often get the opportunity to converse with individuals who can explain things with such clarity as yourself, well…I think I better take advantage of the opportunity that is presenting itself.

            Fr. Hans, you write:

            Traditional marriage is not a creation of the state. It exists in nature. One man and one woman create a child. That constitutes a family. Same-sex variations (male+male, female+female) are artificial creations because same-sex couplings are naturally (according to nature) sterile. No new life can be created.

            Agreed. Another example in which life can not be created in the marriage state is when there is reproductive dysfunction due to a serious medical condition or the couple is beyond child bearing years. One person who was trying to have an argument with me insisted then that these could not possibly be marriages according to the “Orthodox” definition (marriage = procreation = family) since they could not produce offspring. I insist that it can be a marriage since looking at the wording of the marriage ceremony indicates that the relationship exists not solely for procreation (although that tends to be the result) but also for mutual support and company.

            The next logical step in the argument was that same sex couples support each other. I mentioned to this person that the Orthodox service is very clear in defining the relationship as existing between a man and a woman as it was designated by God from the beginning. Adam and Eve. Eve is the feminine form of the word Adam. They are quite literally one in the same person. This is what Adam means when he exclaims “bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.” It is logically impossible for them to be this way male/male or female/female.

            I would also like to point out that the “mystery/sacrament” (God’s invisible grace made visible) of marriage took place between Adam and Eve prior to their transgression (did I understand this correctly?). There is something uniquely special about the sacrament of marriage as a result. The relationship existed prior to the fall and is not a result of the fall from Grace.

            I would appreciate your thoughts on the points I mention above, since I believe that it is important that we understand the sacrament of marriage correctly when speaking to our own faithful and to people outside of our faith.

            I would also argue that the moral collapse did not begin in the 1960’s. The moral collapse began with the transgression of Adam and Eve. It is safe to say that the moral collapse sped up exponentially in the 1960’s. I have had the distinct impression that our moral break – line has been cut and even though we are trying desperately to put on the parking break, everything appears to be unresponsive as we hurtle into a dark morass.

            A couple of years ago I was riding with a friend of mine in Athens in a taxi and we were having a very interesting conversation with the cabbie concerning politics. The Greeks like to say “O Theos na balei to xeri Tou.” In short “May God place His hand (intervene in this situation)”. The cabbie responded “if God did not have us in His hands until now, can you imagine what kind of a mess we would be in?”

            I gave him a big tip.

          • Fr Hans,

            Traditional marriage is not a creation of the state. It exists in nature. One man and one woman create a child. That constitutes a family. Same-sex variations (male+male, female+female) are artificial creations because same-sex couplings are naturally (according to nature) sterile. No new life can be created.

            You have to believe that human nature is separate, different, special to believe the premise you have built your argument on. You have to believe that some sort of evolutionary process, a desire, a means of thinking, has not allowed for homosexuality as a natural alternative to the norm (not “normal”, but, better, the “mean”).

            Most folk do not believe that. Most folk look at how science has alluded to homosexuality and what we would call polygamy/polyandry in nature and, seeing humankind as just another form of mammalian species, albeit higher evolved, think, “there I be; works for monkeys, works for me!”

            God, for the vast majority of folk, has left the building. He is no longer part of the equation. Whilst we will never be “post-Christian” in the sense that the the gates of hell have not and will not prevail against Christ and His Church, we are a society who have forgotten God. Because of science, no one needs to use the means of nature to create new life. There are other ways… bring your chequebook.

            We need to remind folk Who God is and what Life is meant to be. Slowly, lovingly, carefully, prayerfully.

            • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

              More people are looking for reasons not to believe the materialist mythology (atheism, social Darwinism, etc.) than you realize I think. We have to give them the reasons.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Laura, of course you’re right. We heterosexuals have long made a mockery out of marriage. We are now just at the logical endpoint.

        • Daniel,

          You are confused because you have completely overlooked children, the rights that they have and the responsibilities that parents and the government have to them.

          Think about these issues and you will be less confused.

          Hang out with fellow gay activists, and they will distract you and confuse you further. In their world, their sexual needs and rights come before the needs and rights of children. You must decide what the truth is. You must decide for yourself which set of needs and rights ought to rank higher.

          • Daniel E Fall says

            Um, I haven’t overlooked children, first of all. The argument is perhaps one of the least complex of all. Many, many children grow up in far less loving, far less harmonious heterosexual households than gays can provide. (that’ll rattle you folks to the point you won’t see the point). Now, that doesn’t mean I believe a gay home is a utopian ideal. In fact, I prefer the traditional conservative notion of children having a mom and a dad-that is pretty normal, basic stuff. I had a gay guy cut my hair the other day who is not married, and adopted two daughters. He was a little touchy for me, but I strongly doubt he is a horrible parent. Perfect? No. Better than my maternal heterosexual grandfather who beat his children? Strong probably. Better than my heterosexual uncle who raped his adopted daughter and was never arrested for it? Well, obviously. Any of these utopian? Nope. Care to rank the three from best to worst?

            Secondly, Um, I am not a gay activist. I think if gays want to get married; they should get married at a church that accepts such blasphemy. Maybe the church of festivus-although it’ll for sure be the Protestants.

            Um….must be a cleric who is too ashamed to be caught making such wild a.s assumptions. Come on pal, just stop making assumptions about me and gay activisim. Um…gay activists don’t like my position at all. I just want the government out of personal, consensual adult relationships like they technically already are… Even the friends of gay activists don’t like my position. Gosh darn funny you are Um.

            Unfortunately, you have fallen into the mindset that I’m for gay rights, but I really don’t care who Bobby or Sally sleep with and neither ought you unless you or your spouse are one of them. I’d rather that society treated single people with the same respect as marrieds. Society doesn’t, but yet the archbishop interviewed incorrectly misses this reality because he’d rather blame gays for wanting the higher social status marrieds receive and attribute it to the sexual revolution. Where is Scooby when I need him?

            By the way, as a side note, this is the same social status referred to by others poo-pooing my position as necessary or reasoned or purposed. There is no reason marrieds need a higher social standing than singles, or preferential treatment, etc.

            If you cut to the nitty gritty of it, rather than trying to make it something bigger than Mount Everest-homosexual revolution!!!; marriage results in inequitable treatment in our society and some priests think its right.

            I say not.

            DOMA took a serious hit by a conservative court today. At least a few people realize how silly some of these notions are….That is not to suggest gay marriage isn’t silly either, by the way.

            • Daniel,

              Were you raised by your biological mother and father?

              And can you honestly tell me you would be no worse off had you been raised by two gay males or two lesbian females, who as a matter of biological fact are not your biological mother and father?

              Can you honestly say that you have enjoyed no benefits whatsoever in being raised by your biological mother and father? Or if you have not been raised by your biological parents, can you honestly say that the state has no interest in encouraging biological parents to raise their biological children?

              I can tell you that the state does have a legitimate interest in this issue, because there are economic consequences for the nation and there are justice issues at stake for the children as well as each of the parents.

              Your mind has been bathed in a message that ignores reality. I don’t expect you to overcome this on your own. But it is clear your church has failed you. There are a number of social institutions that should be helping you to figure this out, and they are all failing you. This is where I have to agree with the alarmists who warn about the impending collapse of civilization. Western civilization is failing us, willfully failing us, on this and other issues critical to our health and survival. Unfortunately, the East prefers to fight with itself and think itself superior to other parts of itself, so we will never know if the East might have had anything better to offer.

              You are not a general in gay politics. But you are most certainly a foot soldier in the gay war for change. Without question, the generals see you as their ally, even if some of the other foot soldiers may be confused about what is going on.

              • Daniel E Fall says

                So, as a person that believes government has no place in the private affairs of consenting adults and because I won’t carry a torch condemning gay marriage; I am a foot soldier for it?

                And I’m self centered?

                No one likes my position, but I say government has no business mistreating Edith Windsor, nor any single, unmarried person when it comes to estate tax. And that is not a liberal position friends.

                I am married, but I have been fed up for years that marrieds are treated differently than single people. I stand by that position. While two parents are the ideal; it does not equal the best in every case. If you listen; it is vividly clear your argument for Mom n Dad parents as an absolute fails all logic. Parents die; are incarcerated; abusive; drunk; absent; aloof; disinterested, etc. would the Christian wish for ideal result in removal?

                That said; I appreciate the churches position.

                The way I reconcile Monk is that he could uphold the traditions of the church, while upholding the virtues of a society where church is not the same for all.

                The problem you folks have is that your positions are all or none.

                The point in the story about he kid being taught about gay marriage and the parent disapproving and getting arrested is also missed. If the Dad doesn’t want it taught; he doesn’t need to be disorderly at the school. He can opt out and enroll the kid in a Christian school, or he can tell the kid this is not what he believes. Using disorderly conduct as a means to support the churches position is pretty poor.

                Regards-lets work on the nameless, thus shameless logic, too, eh?

                • In what universe are babies considered “consenting adults”?

                  You might disapprove of some of the ways marriage is handled by your state, but throwing it out because you want to give extra money to single people or take less from them is illogical at best. Your approach is a classic case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

                  Taking children away from their biological parents is justifiable, perhaps necessary, in some situations, but it must always be the exception to the norm, and it must be in exceptional circumstances. The rest of the time, society does have a moral obligation to help set biological parents up for success in raising their biological children. Children should never be bought and sold like slaves or given away like pets.

                  This should not be controversial. You might be a Libertarian, but you are not an Anarchist.

                • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                  No one likes my position, but I say government has no business mistreating Edith Windsor, nor any single, unmarried person when it comes to estate tax. And that is not a liberal position friends.

                  Sure it is. Estate taxes are double taxation. The money comprising the inheritance has already been taxed (income, capital gains, etc.). The way to resolve the Edith Windsor dilemma is to stop double taxation, not jettison traditional marriage. (The favored status of familial inheritance was just a way to pass estate taxation in the first place.)

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says

                    Taxation of estates is not “double taxation”. It is a transfer tax; such taxes have always existed. In any event, the threshold for a taxable estate in the US is 5 million dollars; it hardly impacts anyone anymore.

                    Money received by inheritance is unearned. The recipients suffer no double taxation. They did not earn the money.

                    Moreover, there is another importance to the taxation of very large estates: a mitigation of the accumulation of enormous financial power in the hands of people who didn’t create the assets in the first place, increasing in every generation.

                    It’s one thing to be ruled by the “Bill Gateses” of the world: they earned their fortunes creating something. I don’t want my children and grandchildren being ruled by their anonymous offspring down the generations.

                    • George Michalopulos says


                      The money that was “unearned” by the recipient was “earned” by the giver. Do you mean that a widow did not somehow “earn” her husband’s pension? Why have alimony then? The only reason courts award alimony to a divorced woman is because they know that the husband could not have made his fortune (such as it is) without his wife’s collaboration? Are you saying she has no stake in it?

                      I’ll grant you that the offspring of a deceased man may not have earned the money, in fact, I’ll grant you that as children they cost the father money to raise, but isn’t that the point of being a child? Children don’t ask to be born. It’s the duty of the parent to provide for the child, which means educating him, teaching him a trade so he can be self-sufficient, as well as feeding and clothing him. I’ll concede that I’m not too crazy about Trustafarians but let’s step back a minute. Do you know any parents who have retarded or disabled children? I do. They’re constant worry is how are these children going to fend for themselves once the parents are dead? Don’t be so quick to look at all striving parents who are looking at ways to sock away some money so that their disabled offspring won’t be living under a bridge.

                      As for being ruled by the grandchildren of the Bill Gateses fo the world, the Progressives of the early 20th century thought they solved that problem with the creation of the income tax, inheritance taxes, and so on. Instead what the mega-wealthy did was set up these nefarious foundations like the Rockefeller Foundation, Ford, Carnegie, Pew, etc. All these schemes did was continue the concentration of wealth in the hands of the descendants by paying them a salary for being an officer in said foundation. Their collective stranglehold on our society is criminal in that they control the Congress and shunt wealth from taxpayers to projects which in turn benefit them. Think Solyndra, which shunted $8 billion from taxpayers to a boondoggle operated by a company the Kaiser family here in Oklahoma.

                      Wouldn’t it be better if people were allowed to accumulate their wealth and pass it on to future generations legally since it’s already happening now anyway? Think about it, are any of Joe Kennedy’s descendants gainfully employed? A few are “officers” in the Special Olympics where they receive a handsome allowance for doing nothing but cutting ribbons and smiling for the camera.

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Mr. Fall, classic relativism and egalitarianism which are two false philosphical positions that under lie the entire “progressive” agenda. Such ideas deny both the Incarnation and Christian eschatology attempting to replace them with man made ideas. It is not only un-Orthodox, it is un-Christian.

                  There is one Church, One Lord and Master of all, Jesus Christ. Read Ephesians some time espically chapter 4.

                  There are not and cannot be different churhces all equal before God. While we are free to deny God, if we want to worship (dox) Him and communion with Him, it had better be the right (Ortho) God, otherwise we are engaged in worshiping the idols of our own mind and imagination which becomes a fertile play ground for our demonic enemies.

                  BTW, there is no such thing as “private affairs” as all of our actions and all of our non-actions have an impact on everyone else for good and ill. And besides, every government in history has taken an interest in all sorts of ‘private’ matters. The homosexual jihadists don’t want to be left alone so that they can perversely fornicate their brains out, but they want to do so with the full approval of the government and the forced approval of everyone else. They want to us to deny our God in the process. If that is not government taking an interst in private affairs, I don’t know what is. Your argument is a thin tissue of absurd sophistry.

                • Tim R. Mortiss says

                  Daniel Fall says:

                  “I am married, but I have been fed up for years that marrieds are treated differently than single people. I stand by that position. While two parents are the ideal; it does not equal the best in every case. If you listen; it is vividly clear your argument for Mom n Dad parents as an absolute fails all logic. Parents die; are incarcerated; abusive; drunk; absent; aloof; disinterested, etc. would the Christian wish for ideal result in removal?”

                  This is not “logic”, it is sophistry. It echoes the constant refrain of the same-sex position: if marriage is for procreation, then there can be no marriage to couples who can’t have children, or who are past child-bearing age, etc.

                  But it is the openness to having children that is the touchstone of marriage. And such openness cannot exist in a same-sex couple.

                  It’s much like the fallacy behind “marriage equality”: that everybody should have the right to marry whom they want. But (apart from former wicked miscegenation laws), they always have had that right, and the vast majority marry. But some cannot, for physical or mental reasons, or do not want to, for several reasons, including homosexuality.

                  Therefore they must define marriage away, and ultimately abolish it altogether. And the sophists help them along.

                  • Daniel E Fall says

                    My position that gay parent’s, while not ideal, may be better than straight parents is sophistry?

                    My position is reality, albeit a reality that abolishes your confirmation bias and destroys your arguments. What I find so interesting is we agree more than you want to concede. The only difference is I don’t want America to be a theocracy, so all the theological arguments are sophistry to me.

                    Gay marriage is going to be a part of America. It is not even close to ideal. Homosexuals can’t procreate; no biology lesson is required.

                    Maximizing an argument that gay marriage of one tenth of a percent of the society, if that, will result in societal collapse and the destruction of friendship as we know it is the very reason no sensible person can appreciate the bishop’s position.

                    You can parse out phrases and bits and pieces of my words, but ultimately the bishop is over the top friends.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Mr. Fall,

                      In my estimation, at various points in this discussion, you have raised some very valid, very insightful points. The problem, however, is that you seem to lack any intuition as to when to shut up; “parsing out bits and pieces of your own words,” as it were, until you somehow manage to deconvolve your own argument. Cogency is, demonstrably, not your forté.

                      I would suggest to you that an essential element to “confirmation bias” is confirmation, and there is none, and the same is true for what you offer as “reality”; there simply is no evidence. To clarify: there is significant evidence to support the fact that children raised by same-sex couples appear to have no significant longterm adjustment or attachment disorders, mental disorders (including chemical dependency and other compulsive disorders), or a prevalence of homosexuality significantly different than the general population. I would again note that the only divergent research to date is authored/published by affiliates of NARTH and the Christian Right, and has been challenged for its “confirmation bias” and statistical error.

                      There would seem to be limitless anecdotal reasons that any given same-sex couple may be a better choice than any given straight couple, (and vice-versa) having witnessed, the ravaged children of chemically dependent parents, for example. In some worst-cases, it seemed reasonable to advocate custody with two Mexican burro (or donkey – whichever cannot reproduce – I can never remember) rather than chemically dependent parents! (And someone explain to me whyaddicts seem to be so fertile? I remember pouring out my heart to Fr. John Breck: how can I muster compassion for a junkie with HIV who gave up custody of ten of her children to the state of NY, and is now pregnant with number 11?). Necessity, indeed, is the mother of invention, but you seem to now be arguing with the express intention of antagonizing rather than advocating a position.

                      There is no chance in our lifetime of you seeing a “theocracy,” as we ceded the decision by indifference and a lack of priority, so my though is that your energy for argument might well be better directed in calling for the leadership in not allowing this transpire again, rather than engaging in circular “post-game” loss reports.

                    • Daniel,

                      While your hairdresser may be a preferable parent over your abusive relatives, if you look at the statistical whole, the level of substance abuse, physical abuse, and general instablility of the gay lifestyle (within that 1.4% of the population) as a group, these people have enough other problems that I have great problems with your contention.

                      You take the very worst parenting aberrations you can find, then suggest that gay parents would be superior to that. An orphanage might be better than that.

                      As a statistical group, this group’s high risk behaviour results in, among many other things, a shorter life expectancy. They die sooner from risky behaviours! Gays are well educated on the dangers of AIDS, yet “bareback” activity continues, and the spread of the disease continues.

                      So yes, I would agree that your statement

                      that gay parent’s, while not ideal, may be better than straight parents

                      is sophistry. As a blanket statement, I find it ridiculous. While my experience is not exhaustive, I have worked with at least two dozen of these gay families, some where the children were adopted, but more often where the gay couple is raising the children conceived by one of the partners in a previous hetero relationship. With one notable exception, the vast majority of these “families” are a hot mess, an absolute tragedy for the children involved.

                      And guess what? If the gay couples are dealing with chemical dependency issues, then all that Mr. Stankovich speaks of plays out in the children, including a higher risk of their own chemical dependency. It was a mercy that they could not procreate, bringing more innocents into their craziness.

                      It is also incomprehensible to me how a child can understand the roles of male and female and how they interact with one another in Godly relationship if that is never modeled for them. (I will quickly concede that this is the problem and tragedy in single parent households as well.)

            • It is interesting that you bring up the Uncle who sexually abused his adopted daughter. The empirical evidence is clear that children are more likely to be sexually abused when they are not raised by their two biological parents.

              This fact makes a lot of sense to anyone who has been around children and cared about them.

              If you think sexual abuse is bad for kids, then you should want your state to support biological parents in raising their biological children. You should want it to support biological parents both before and after their biological child is born, and in every feasible way. Marriage has helped societies to do this in the past, and it helps your state to do this today.

              But it is not just sexual abuse that is more common outside of the biological family. Children who are raised by both of the biological parents tend to be healthier in every way that you can conceive of health and measure it.

              The state recognizes marriage and supports it as an honored institution in society, precisely because the health and rights of children require it to do so. Any parent abandoned by their spouse capriciously can tell you that the rights of the parent also require the state to be proactive in supporting marriage.

              I don’t think you are a bad person, Daniel. But you are a product of the movement you are caught up in right now. Your ignorance and self-centeredness on these issues is not primarily your fault.

              • M. Stankovich says

                The empirical evidence demonstrates exactly the opposite: data by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Administration for Children and Families Administration on Children, Youth and Families Children’s Bureau for 2010 & 2011 indicates that biological parents were overwhelmingly the primary perpetrators of both single forms and combinations of validated abuse (medical neglect, neglect, physical abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, and “other”): 80.8 percent were the biological parents, 5.9 percent were relatives other than parents, and 4.4 percent were unmarried partners of parents. Perpetrators with an “other” relationship accounted for 4.5 percent and those with an unknown relationship to their victim accounted for 2.9 percent (“other” perpetrator relationship includes sibling, victim’s boyfriend or girlfriend, stranger, and babysitters).
                I would note that there are exactly three studies contained in the National Library of Medicine that raise the issue of sexual abuse perpetrated by homosexuals providing foster-care. All of these articles were written by the same author, Paul Cameron, a NARTH & Christian Right author, who was removed from the American Sociological Society for ethics violations & misrepresentation of data. There is no legitimate study that supports him, nor a single adoption study that supports him. There is no evidence to support your contention that the instance of sexual abuse of children is greater if they are raised in adoptive or similar relationships. I add the caveat that there are notable concerns regarding attachment and so on, but not sexual abuse.

                Your ignorance and self-centeredness on these issues is primarily your fault, Um, because you are being arrogantly dismissive without taking the five minutes necessary to validate your claim. I just had happened to access this report several weeks ago for another reason and it is widely available. I don’t think you’re a bad person, Um. You’re just that white kid who’s always posturing…

                • Dearest Dr. Stankovich,

                  Perhaps we’d all be better off reading what a real scholar has to say. Try this article for starters: “Protectors or Perpetrators?”

                  You will have to read the entire article to find corrections to the various errors in your post above, but I’m sure you are up to the task.

                  If you enjoy reading what real scholars have to say, consider W. Bradford Wilcox’s body of work (link to UVA Department of Sociology webpage here) and in particular the following volume that he helped to edit: “Gender and Parenthood: Biological and Social Scientific Perspectives”

                  If you email Dr. Wilcox, I suspect he can give you a bibliography of the literature indicating all the various ways in which children raised by their biological parents are healthier than children raised by alternative caregivers. The evidence is humbling, though we really should not be surprised.

                  I wish that I could help you more, but there are only so many hours in the day. Many of your errors, you are capable of correcting on your own. For example, I am quite certain you did not mean to argue that our nation’s children would be better off if they were all raised by individuals who are not biologically related to them in any way. I look forward to your own reasoned correction of your error on this particular point.

                  • M. Stankovich says


                    Now, now, son. While sarcasm does, indeed, become you, you need to look both ways before you step in front of the bus. You said:

                    The empirical evidence is clear that children are more likely to be sexually abused when they are not raised by their two biological parents.

                    Emphasis mine. You did not say children are “more likely to be healthier if they are raised by their biological parents.” I responded to the former statement, not the latter. You would have had no argument from me in regard to the latter. Nevertheless, this does not change the data that children who are abused are perpetrated overwhelmingly by their biological parents, W. Bradford Wilcox notwithstanding. Now wasn’t that one hell of a scholarly conclusion, Um? And I was chewing gum at the same time!

                    As near as I can tell, the only unresolved error at this point is your lack of apology to Mr. Fall for attempting to intimidate him with baloney. Luckily, a “real scholar” was sniffing the wind (hee-hee).

                    • Dr. S.,

                      Your apparent confusion about how probabilities are calculated notwithstanding, the statistics you detail in your comment above are NOT “sexual abuse” statistics even by your own admission.

                      In addition, the stats you cited do not distinguish between children raised by both biological parents and those not raised by both biological parents, so they cannot possibly speak to the proposition you claim to be “refuting”.

                      Maybe to help reduce some of the confusion, you can read the article I linked (only a couple pages long), think about it, then respond.

                    • M. Stankovich says


                      I’ve been up all night and can’t go home for another hour, and you are sarcastic and in my face. You are offering me data – which I read, you cafone! – which, if you read the citations, is drawn from the same standardized reports I noted to in my first response, simply older. It is published every year by DHHS with the preceding year’s data. The data are an amalgam of all instance of child abuse & neglect reported in all fifty states in the categories medical neglect, neglect, physical abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, and “other.” Further, it then reports on the characteristics of the perpetrator(s) of abuse & neglect: relationship to victim, age, etc. The results are in my initial post. As I mentioned, I was researching this topic – increased risk for sexual abuse in children raised by foster or adoptive parents – and I have approximately 25 more contemporaneous citations. The point: there is no evidence that children raised in foster, adoptive, or situations other than their biological parent are “more likely to be sexually abused when they are not raised by their two biological parents.” I grant that the literature is clear that risks for other problems (attachment disorders are most notable) are present, but not the risk for sexual abuse.

                      The fact of the matter is this: maltreatment and abuse of children itself is statistically unlikely and improbable. Children are best attached, adapted, and raised in an intact family with their biological parents, there is no argument from me. Nevertheless, nearly one million new cases of maltreatment & abuse were reported in 2011, and the statistics I reported are indisputable.

                      I would note that StephenD, directly below, makes a very important point in that he highlights a bête noir of epidemiology: stigmatizing conditions rely on self-report. I had an instructor who emphasized (in fact beat us over the head!) you will miss much if you don’t ask, so I incorporated the question, “Have you ever been physically or sexually abused?” into my standard interview. I was shocked by both men and women who reported sexual abuse as children, but more importantly, “You are the first person that ever asked.”

                      You love to argue, Um. But good data doesn’t lie.

                    • Dr. S.,

                      The data you have cited do not contain the information necessary to calculate a conditional or contingent probability, not of maltreatment in general, not of sexual abuse in particular, and not for intact biological families vs. alternatives. So I really do not know why you cited these data at all in the context of this discussion.

                      Nevertheless, the paper I shared with you discusses the patterns in these data and interprets them in light of other relevant data (I did have reason for sharing that paper with you, after all). But the data you have shared do not speak one way or the other to the conclusion you are making. The data do not lie all by themselves, but you are trying to make a limited data set say something it is not capable of saying.

                      To be fair, the paper I referenced does not explicitly address the specific question you have honed in on here either. But it does address the data you have cited, and it does reference the fact that children who grow up in a family with their biological father present are less likely to be sexually abused — the implication of course being that both biological mother and biological father were present in these cases. If you have a reason to disbelieve the conclusions of this study, I’d like to know what they are.

                      If these issues are important to your professional work, I encourage you to contact Dr. Wilcox directly and discuss your conclusions, questions, and concerns with him. When you focus on foster families and adoptive families, issues become even more complex, and I’m sure he will be able to help you confirm or re-examine your conclusions. I’ve had one conversation with him myself and found him very approachable and informative … for what it is worth.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Um, thank you for pointing this out. There are also perfectly scientific, evolutionary reasons as to why there is less sexual abuse within an intact biological family: the presence of the biological father delays sexual maturity in his daughters by about 18 months. The onset of sexual maturity is the key indicator of sexual initiation in most adolescent girls. (It’s believed this is done through the release of pheromones.)

                      The flip side is that if the biological mother brings in a boyfriend or step-father, menarche commences much sooner (assuming the daughters in question are still pre-adolescent). The evolutionary reason for this is so that the girls can more quickly become sexually responsive to fertilization, thereby increasing the population.

                    • By the way, just wanted to clarify that I did say this at the top of this thread: “It is not just sexual abuse that is more common outside of the biological family. Children who are raised by both of the biological parents tend to be healthier in every way that you can conceive of health and measure it.”

                      You claimed that I did not say that, and I did, so I wanted to clarify.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Thanks, Um. I’ll notify HHS of your findings. If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got chickens to tends to… I always struggled with those advanced statistics on the abacus.

              • As a psychologist who works with sexually abused children I can say that most of my patients were sexually abused by their mother’s live-in boyfriend. There are some who say that parent-child incest is just under reported {Briere,John 1972} and I am starting to agree with him given the number of “adult survivors of sexual abuse” who come into treatment several if not many years after being raped.

            • If it was just about who they were sleeping with as it’s been for eternity you would not have the explosion happening in the culture right now. It IS about the children. This retraining is in our schools, TV’s , Churches, their friends-telling our kids you don’t have to practice what your Church or parents teach you-Scripture, Fathers,Canons, Councils-they are outdated and mean and anyone who follows them must be too. Whatever you feel is “ok”, explore it. Let’s drop some ideas in these forming minds . . . If you have a thought or feeling maybe your gay and you should explore this, because otherwise you’d be a repressed gay . . . what– you think young minds aren’t influenced?? We are a social animal-what do you think happened in Russia, Germany . .. Serbia under the Ottomans, where they turned the children against their own families to slaughter. Children are easily influenced and confused. Our institutions are teaching our young developing grade schoolers to accept it all. If you convince them that this subject-all views of sex- is wrong in our Tradition, why believe the rest of the Tradition? Throw out what you don’t want and make your own views-then you would not be part of something greater, you’d be your own great philosopher . . . I’m sorry but that is not the Orthodox way and that is where your thinking has taken you. Don’t think it’s just about what happens behind closed doors. It is about absolute relativity and the end of moral balance and wisdom for future generations. How much more can our culture fall, Mr Fall-a lot more.. .
              Knowing history and seeing it’s repetitions can be sad . . . .

              • nit picker says

                colette et al,

                Concerning young minds being influenced – Thomas Jefferson stated quite clearly and succinctly that the purpose and reason of general public education is to encourage norms and morays of culture and society. In the words of Pink Floyd to be another “brick in the wall”.

                I don’t believe that Thomas Jefferson ever imagined that the cultural norms and morays could ever reach the level of depravity and shamelessness that they have.

                So yes, according to Thomas Jefferson’s definition, our public education system is doing precisely what it was intended to do, oddly enough. *sigh*

                • Another nit picker says

                  You mean mores, Latin plural of mos meaning “custom,” not morays, meaning marine eels.

                  • nit picker says

                    The correction is graciously accepted and appreciated. Thank you. 🙂

                    Although – I recall reading in some scandal sheet that moray eels have been leading the world down the moral cess pool – so it’s not entirely wrong then – eh? (just kidding, obviously).

            • Carl Kraeff says

              Dan wrote: “DOMA took a serious hit by a conservative court today.” I would say that Justice Kennedy is better classified as a libertarian. That leaves four conservatives and four liberals; hardly a conservative court. But, this is what happens when Christians vote for Democrats; they do NOT get a reliably conservative court. Not that all justices nominated by Republican presidents have turned out conservative, but I submit to you that not one of the justices nominated by Democrat presidents turned out to be conservative. So, if you value the life of the unborn or care for the sanctity of marriage, you should sign the Manhattan Declaration and vote accordingly.

              • M. Stankovich says

                Mr. Kraeff,

                DOMA did not take a serious hit, it is gone, and so is CA’s version of DOMA, Prop 8. And while the statue apparently has a 25-day waiting period, the Federal Court of Appeals of the 9th Circuit vacated its stay on the CA Supreme Court decision that Prop 8 was unconstitutional. CA began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couple less than 24-hours after the SCOTUS ruling. But then again, who’s left to stop them?

                Your solution, Mr. Kraeff, is fascinating: concede the inevitable to lawyers & an occasional amicus brief, and rock the vote. And if I read you correctly, the “vote” is as good as “rolling the dice.” And Holy Cow!, Mr. Kraeff, if you can believe the press, I would say that Justice Kennedy is better classified as a… homosexual, leaving 4 conservatives, 3 liberals, and (at least) 1 homosexual; hardly a conservative court!

                So, where does this leave us, Mr. Kraeff? Yeah, I know, marching for the sanctity of marriage… Norway is considering affording children the right to assisted suicide in terminal illness. Are we trendy compassionate enough to follow? We’ll see. Perhaps over wine and cheese at 4:30 pm before the “All-Night” Vigil.

                • Carl Kraeff says

                  Dear M. Stankovich–I am truly upset as I also do not believe that DOMA took a mere hit (I was merely quoting Mr. Fall). We face the legal recognition of homosexual “marriage” across the land because of the good faith and credit clause of the US Constitution. I fully expect that the federal courts will overrule those state laws that do not recognize the legality of homosexual marriages. I also think that military chaplains will be required to perform same-sex marriages.

                  There are not many ways to fight this scourge. Military chaplains can refuse of course, but that will carry a severe consequence. In the long run, I do not doubt that there may be lawsuits to force faith communities to forego their tenets regarding homosexuality. What the Manhattan Declaration says is that the signatories will not obey any such coercion and are willing to resist in a non-violent fashion.

                  Another possibility is secession, as long as it is non-violent. I have a feeling that the fly-over country is getting sick and tired of the tyranny of the blue counties and the subversion of America by the intelligentsia. I sure am.

                  I repeat my contention that politically we must not elect presidents and senators who will nominate and confirm justices who are anything other than strict conservatives in the mold of Justices Thomas, Scalia, Alito and Roberts–if we want to make sure that constitutional travesties like Roe V. Wade and the DOMA decision are reversed and not repeated.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Carl, you’re completely correct. I’ve looked in the face of the homosexual jihadists and see nothing but they’re desire for complete and total capitulation on our part. They will not be satisfied until the federal jackboot is on the neck of the Christian pastor. Mark my words.

        • Michael Bauman says

          We are beings cursed before our time to discriminate between good and evil (we took that on by disobeying God).

          When people abandon God they are so burdened with that they try to deny the inevitable by saying “There are no differences” Such is the foundation of the modern heresy of egalitarianism.

          Of course, the fallacy cannot stand because we are naturally hierarchical. The male-female synergy is one of the first of those hierarchies and is central to our humanity in a way we don’t pay enough attention too. It is central to our salvation and our ability to respond to the primary commandments given us by God in the beginning: Dress and keep the earth; be fruitful and multiply; exercise dominion over the rest of creation (the heart of sacrament IMO).

          Marriage is the natural outgrow of that hierarchical coupling. When it is treated as unimportant or its importance wrongly interpreted as a matter of individual choice, the very order of nature is attacked as well as the nature of humanity itself.

          Government is instituted among men to recognize and protect God’s order. The fallacy of egalitarianism is that we can build our own order through the proper cooperation and rational application of public policy and law. Trouble is that in that scenario is that as George Orwell long ago recognized “Some are more equal than others” If people don’t willing agree to the public policy (for the greater good), they are forced to. Of course the lust of power takes over those who are making and enforcing the policy and the law.

          Add to that the truly demonic hatred of Christian truth that the fanatic homosexual proponents** demonstrate and there is a big problem. Their fundamental belief seems to be that everybody must be homosexual. I am convinced that a big part of that is the internal pain that they suffer but refuse to surrender to God for healing. It is the rage of the demons and is exacerbated by them, IMO. They are calling on government to pervert the natural order and punish all those who disagree with them. It will not go away, there will not be “peace in our time” Mr. Chamberlin.

          “Breeders” cannot be tolerated even if they are not Christian. If we must have children, let them be created in the lab. (Yes, there are folks out there who seriously want that Brave New World).

          One of the big problems with libertarianism is its social apathy and selfishness. It both denies the existence of evil and sin and creates policy on those false assumptions (again, not all but the norm it seems to me). Sometimes it comes out as a weird mix of social Darwinism and social Calvinism.

          And BTW, your use of the term “anti-gay marriage” is a total surrender to their agenda. How can one be against something that is non-existent. I am for calling people to the Kingdom of God through repentance and a recognition of who we are as human beings. We are not autonomous selves. We are contingent and take our life solely from our Lord, Master and Creator. I am for allowing all people to work for a life of virtue in accord with God’s will. The state, when it is acting legitimately, supports that by acting to maintain order that reflects that virtue. It has every right and responsibility to say no to those who wish to disrupt that order and create havoc.

          ** Please note Mr. Fall that I do not, nor have I ever said or believed that ALL homosexuals are this way.

        • Amazed in the Midwest says

          We can thus conclude from Dan’s non answer that he has no problem with a Stokoe/Brown relationship even though it is strictly against the teachings of the Orthodox Christian Faith.

        • Daniel: You always make a big deal about signing your real name. Does that somehow validate your opinions? Are they more true because you are Daniel Fall and not Tearalong the Dotted Lion? And are the opinions that Daniel E. Fall write even more true? Does the E. give it another, oh, 10% more validity? I know a Daniel E. Fall, and he doesn’t look a thing like you; he’s taller, and he knows the difference between a Libertarian and a Liberal. I didn’t realize you’re barely, and I am going to pray for you.

          • Daniel E Fall says

            Well, isn’t that special?

            I’ll pray for you to come out into the light.

            • Amazed in the Midwest says

              Yep, when it comes to specifics, Daniel Fall is silent. Are you in favor of the paradigm of Orthodox laity in the OCA (or now is it the Greek Archdiocese) of the Stokoe/Brown relationship?


              • Daniel E Fall says

                I always get a kick out of those people on a blog who post something unseen or discounted by another and then act like no response implies that person doesn’t have a response because they didn’t jump 67 feet in 8/10ths of a second to their anonymous comment.

                Amazed-let me tell you what I think doesn’t matter. Stokoe did a service to the church that probably had less to do with his personal life than any RSK bewildereds care to admit.

                As to whether he participate on the MC or a parish council on the question of whether his sins ought restrict him; that is for a bishop to decide or priest; not me.

                If you want my personal opinion; I disagree with Chrysostum on the notion that a gay person is worse than a murderer. While I find homosexuals to generally be more vain than heterosexuals; I have less trouble with a gay guy than a crook in a stewardship role, but that’s just me. I suppose a few in Venice, FL might at this point agree.

                • Daniel E Fall says

                  If the question is whether Stokoe ought be in a church; I’d rather not have to worry about such matters; I have enough of my own concerns, thanks.

                  If the rest of you have sufficient time to well learn the personal bedroom habits of fellow parishoners; I’d say you are the worse offender. Reference St. Ephraim’s prayer regarding my idle chatter and forgive me for being exorcised by the word crickets.

                  The Moses Berry story is far more edifying I must say.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Mr Stokoe, me, you, and everybody else should be in Church weeping bitter tears of repentance. Speaking for many on this blog I dare say that we cared not a whit for his private life. It was his actions as ringleader in an unjust, uncanonical, and immoral coup against our legitimate primate that was the problem. That most of this coterie were gay activists (and yes, heterosexuals can be gay activists) was what was troubling to those of us who were aghast at this coup.

                    If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: any man’s personal morality (or lack thereof) is between himself and God and nobody else. All we did is expose the hypocrisy of this cabal and their attempt to overturn Christian tradition.

                    • Stan Poulos says


                      Your comments are just crazy. Stokoe’s forum came about to help reveal what was going on in the OCA with RSK, + Theodosius and + Herman. And thank God he did. This had nothing to do with his persuasion, whatever that may be. There were no “gay activists” except in your mind. When + Jonah was going off the deep end, Stokoe helped bring this to the public’s attention also. No issue of morality, a cabal or anything else contrived in your mind. And again, thank God + Jonah was relieved of his duty. And now, the OCA is moving forward on the right track!

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Mr Poulos, how exactly was Jonah “going off the deep end”? Please give specifics: times, dates, utterances, actions, etc.

                      Is it just me, or how come nobody else who has met Jonah, or gotten to know him, or listened to his lectures, sermons, or read his treatises feels he is anything but insane?

                      As for your thanking the Deity because Stokoe “was there” to expose Theodosius, Herman, etc., why did he stop there? Were there other hierarchs in the OCA who were corrupt? Are there no priests in the OCA who are living in open same-sex relationships? Are there no priests in the OCA who have been divorced? Why the silence there?

    • Macedoniandeacon says

      Destroying marriage is EXACTLY their intention.

      Everyone should listen to this, twice. Try the MP3 version.

      Activists For Gay Marriage Admit Their Goal Is “Marriage Extinction”

      Audio from the website:

      Gays & lesbians at a conference titled “Why get married when you can be happy” admit what their goal is: The DESTRUCTION of the institution of marriage.

      • Marriage itself does not matter to them. They want society to approve of their sexual behavior, and they want society to forget the main reason for not approving of their sexual behavior: The fact that it takes a single man and a single woman to produce a baby, that this same man and woman are the parents of this baby, and that this baby is the child of this man and woman.

        They cannot change biological fact, they cannot change what is healthiest for children and our society. They can change our awareness of reality and our commitment to supporting what is good for children and society.

        This is an argument about who matters more, adults or kids. Not surprisingly, adults are beating the kids in this argument so far.

      • macedoniandeacon says

        More specifically destroying the family is their intention.

        • americandeacon says

          Destroying Christianity is their intention. That’s the hatred that unites the Left: Jews, Muslims, Marxists, feminists, sodomites, pornographers, drug-pushers, dope-smokers, and perverts of all sorts.

          • Tim R. Mortiss says

            Vile rubbish. You might look at the very strong statements put out by various Orthodox Jewish organizations condemning the Supreme Court decisions and supporting marriage.

            Why do we even have a “moderator delay” here if this kind of stuff lumping the “Jews” with the sodomites, drug-dealers, etc. is posted?

            • Johann Sebastian says

              So it’s not OK to lump the Jews in with these perverts, but it’s OK to lump the Muslims in with them?

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                Say what? So the original post was OK then; it’s my reply that is inadequate?

                Sheesh. The byways that this blog meanders in amaze!

                • There are always solutionls to problem such as yours; get off the blog, turn off your computer, go do some work around the house. lol There is nothing really wrong with this blog, ignore those with whom you disagree and at least it is better than Facebook; now that is a pit.

            • nit picker says

              We have to offend somebody.

              Americandeacon, BTW…dance much? 😉

          • Carl Kraeff says

            americandeacon–You paint with a brush that is way too wide. If you are going to add religious groups and ethnicities into the “Left” that wants to destroy Christianity, why don’t you add the French, whose anti-clericalism predates any other, and the Scandinavians, Danes, Dutch, Italians–indeed most Europeans who are leftists? (BTW, where in the world did you get the idea that Muslims are leftist? If you paid any money, please ask for a refund)

            In any case, I agree with the idea that the Left would like to delegate Christianity to the dustbin of history. However, your extreme views would likely repel rather than attract folks to the defense of Christianity.

    • William Harrington says

      The problem isn’t the homosexuals pushing this agenda. I understand why they do, but they are useful idiots. If they were worried about their civil rights, they wouldn’t be turning to the government to create their right to get married, but questioning what role the government has in defining and regulating marriage. I truly believe that they will be shocked at the final result. Here’s what I believe is going on.
      Any government that wishes too control its people must control religion. There are two ways to do this. The first is to co-opt a religion by supporting it financially and turning the clergy into employees as in modern Europe and Romanov Russia. That will not fly in a country with a strong tradition of the separation of Church and State. The other option is too intimidate religious organizations. This usually works less well, but that doesn’t stop governments from trying. In the case of the US, the Government has been actively seeking clubs with which to intimidate churches, such as tax exempt status. The big club will be created when the law of the land defines civil rights in such a way that most churches ( and mosques and many synagogues) can not practice or teach the faith and still comply with the law. Then the government will have its club. We are almost to that point.

      • George Michalopulos says

        I couldn’t have said it better myself. The dirty little secret is that most male homosexuals don’t want to get “married.” They’re far too promiscuous for that. What’s the end-game is for demonic elites to use certain gay “couples” to force the issue of their marriages in the various churches. It’ll be a very clever, well-funded divide-and-conquer strategy. At the end of the day, the various denominations are going to have to come to the realization that if they don’t give in, they will lose their tax-exempt status. Some of course will gladly give up their tax-exempt status. These however will be brought to criminal court. How many parishes do you think have the resources to fight the ACLU or the $PLC or the Anti-Defamation League? Not many. And then, let’s never forget that even if parishes are willing to go the mattresses, how many will be sold out by bishops who are compromised themselves?

        For those in the OCA it’s going to become clear very quick: do you think that our revered Chancellor is going to uphold the tradition of Christianity regarding sodomy?

        • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

          “Some of course will gladly give up their tax-exempt status. These however will be brought to criminal court.”

          People going to non government approved churches will lose their children (for teaching the children “hate”), and/or their jobs, that’s how it will start.

          In a ripping dissent, Scalia says that Justice Anthony Kennedy and his colleagues in the majority have resorted to calling opponents of gay marriage “enemies of the human race.”

          But to defend traditional marriage is not to condemn, demean, or humiliate those who would prefer other arrangements, any more than to defend the Constitution of the United States is to con- demn, demean, or humiliate other constitutions. To hurl such accusations so casually demeans this institution. In the majority’s judgment, any resistance to its holding is beyond the pale of reasoned disagreement. To question its high-handed invalidation of a presumptively valid statute is to act (the majority is sure) with the purpose to “dis- parage,” “injure,” “degrade,” “demean,” and “humiliate” our fellow human beings, our fellow citizens, who are homo- sexual. All that, simply for supporting an Act that did no more than codify an aspect of marriage that had been unquestioned in our society for most of its existence— indeed, had been unquestioned in virtually all societies for virtually all of human history. It is one thing for a society to elect change; it is another for a court of law to impose change by adjudging those who oppose it hostes humani generis, enemies of the human race.

          Scalia says that the court’s holding – while limited to the Defense of Marriage Act – is a sure sign that the majority is willing to declare gay marriage a constitutional right.

          It takes real cheek for today’s majority to assure us, as it is going out the door, that a constitutional requirement to give formal recognition to same-sex marriage is not at issue here—when what has preceded that assurance is a lecture on how superior the majority’s moral judgment in favor of same-sex marriage is to the Congress’s hateful moral judgment against it. I promise you this: The only thing that will “confine” the Court’s holding is its sense of what it can get away with.

          We know the government will know who all us “haters” are because Edward Snowden has already leaked to us that Obama already gathers up everything on everyone (except mosques, because Islam is the religion of peace, and if you disagree with that fact then you’re guilty of federal crimes against Muslims ), we’ve all built a dossier on ourselves somehow or other.

          • Jim of Olym says

            I guess only those who don’t use electronic communications (telephones, the internet etc) will be ‘off the hook’, as it were, like Amish and hermits of various persuasions, and some illegal aliens who are poor.

            • Hello Jim, I haven’t seen any poor illegal aliens here in Kalifornia, especially in the Selma WalMart. lol

          • Michael Bauman says

            Ladder, sounds like a pretty good description of the Gates of Hell to me.

  9. Much thanks to Father Josiah and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone for stepping up, addressing and I fear making themselves social martyrs for doing so for this most important issue of our time.
    May God bless them.

  10. macedoniandeacon says

    Is anyone with any authority in the Orthodox Church going to make a statement? I think it’s 4 PM ET with no soundbite from any jurisdiction.

    The RC Church with various protestant sects have spoken numerous of times, as well as individual Bishops. Heck even the Episcopalians have come out with something even if in favor of the ruling.

    Crickets from the Orthodox.

  11. ChristineFevronia says

    Let’s take a really quick look at which religious groups (Jews, Catholics, Hindus, Muslims) have issued statements to their faithful/to the world regarding today’s Supreme Court rulings regarding “marriage”:

    And here we have the OCA:
    {crickets chirping}

    Folks, you can’t convince me that the OCA didn’t know that a decision was coming well in advance, and didn’t have the time to prepare a three-sentence statement. No. It is something else entirely.

    Syosset, where are your balls?

  12. Gregg Gerasimon says

    Thanks for linking to this interview, George. Fr Josiah Trenham is *the man* when it comes to podcasts. An excellent speaker, not milquetoast at all, says it like it is. Priest and leaders like him are what we need in American Orthodoxy. The last thing we need is to be invited to more NCC wine tastings.

    I agree with the good Catholic archbishop in the interview that the issue delves much deeper than simply marriage. After marriage “equality” (whatever that means), in a few years it will be something new. At the heart of the problem is a problem of the soul — much-tormented souls, no doubt, but people searching for life and love in all the wrong places, and our modern society opening the doors to these wrong places for them all the time. What a disservice. I pity the poor young adult struggling with SSA who is being told by everyone and their mother that it is great and fantastic. He or she needs real guidance and real love — a real *father*, if you will — not post-modern psychobabble from people who really don’t care about him or her at all.

    We are not judging — we all struggle in life together. But like every man, what people ultimately are searching for and need (whether they know it or not) is connection and communion with God. Those of us who are Orthodox have the benefit of our spiritual hospital where our tormented souls can be healed, or begin to be healed, and we can commune with God directly through Holy Communion. If only everyone could do this!

    Legal same-sex “marriage” or not, what our society needs is more Orthodox Christianity.

  13. Macedoniandeacon says

    This is getting serious. We just lost an Orthodox Priest to this forsaken movement and he’s supporting polygamy to boot. Unless this is some elaborate hoax…

    • Lola J. Lee Beno says

      Who is he?

    • Hesnomonk says

      Much hoopla was given last year ago when “Fr” Nathan Monk was ordained in ROCOR by Bishop Jerome, after this guy bounced around from various “churches.” Don’t let the door hit ya on the way out, Nathan.

    • Carl Kraeff says

      I really do not know how much or what kind of an Orthodox priest Nathan Monk was. Here is a short bio from his former mission church of St Benedict: “The Reverend Father Nathan Monk received his theological degree from Holy Resurrection Orthodox Seminary and was ordained priest in 2012 by Bishop JEROME of Manhattan. Before his conversion to the Orthodox Faith Father Nathan was a priest in the Old Catholic Tradition serving at both Saint Mark and Saint Faustina Old Catholic Churches.”

      However, a May 2011 article on his work to feed the poor in Pensacola points out that he had asked the Antiochian Archdiocese to accept him: ““They are not yet accepted,” said Bishop Antoun Khouri, who is in charge of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian church in the Southeast. “They are in the process, but how long will it take? Who knows?”

      I have a feeling that his stated reason for quitting the priesthood is not the real reason. His passion seems to have been about helping the poor. He also has had problems in settling as a priest (Catholic or Orthodox). I suspect he used the most recent cause celebre as an excuse to pull the plug.

    • Hopefully all like-minded priests will follow suit

    • Americandeacon says

      Goodness gracious! This guy was ROCOR, Western-rite ROCOR, but he came from the notoriously leftist Old Catholics. Guess he never really converted.

    • Dn. Gregory Conley says

      As has been noted he has bounced around. I guess he is trying to figure it out. Rather than masquerading as an Orthodox Priest and fighting against the received tradition, he at least had the decency to quit. I think there is a lessen in this for some of us.

  14. Archpriest John W. Morris says

    We need to realize that we are where we are because the large so called mainline Protestant sects have all surrendered to the popular secular culture of political correctness. Had they remained faithful to the teachings of the Holy Scriptures, our society would not have fallen into such immorality that anyone would even think a so called same sex marriage even possible. We Orthodox need to forge alliances with Protestants who still believe in Biblical morality and Roman Catholics to form a common defense against the anti-Christian onslaught that is overwhelming our nation. We need to break all ties with any religious group that allows the ordination of non-celibate homosexuals or its clergy to bless same-sex unions and reassess our whole ecumenical strategy to recognize that continued association with the liberal Protestant sects through the National Council of Churches or any other such organization is not only a waste of time, it gives credibility to those who do not deserve it. I am proud that my Antiochian Archdiocese withdrew years ago from the NCC and only with that the Greeks, OCA and other Orthodox had followed our example. There is nothing to be gained through further relations with the mainline liberal Protestant sects.

  15. Heracleides says

    It was great sorrow I repost below the following Facebook message by Fr. Mr. Nathan Monk. Before quoting the statement in its entirety, let me clarify that I have spoken by phone this morning with both Mr. Monk and Bp. Jerome. Mr. Monk confirmed that his Facebook account had NOT been hacked and that his message posted 15 hours ago was genuine. Bp. Jerome stated that he was aware of the situation and has already taken the appropriate steps to deal with the situation. I won’t detail those steps; suffice it to say they are the actions of a true bishop leading his flock while steadfastly defending the faith from the growing evil originating from both within and without our midst.

    Nathan Monk’s statement:

    For over a decade I have served as a pastor, priest and friend to those in need. But my failure today is measured not in what I have done but what I have failed to do. I have remained silent on the issue of marriage equality, and by doing so have failed many people whom I considered to be friends, family, and also those who are suffering throughout the world due to intolerance and bigotry.

    I have remained silent out of fear, fear of isolation from my faith, of losing the love and support of my family, and so I have allowed myself to be motivated by that fear. However, the scriptures tell us that “true love casts out all fear.”

    Silently in my heart I have held feelings in opposition to my faith on issues of marriage. I thought that if I remained silent and prayerful then I would eventually come in line with my faith. I have not.

    The truth is that marriage “between one man, one woman” is not in the scriptures. There are ever evolving forms of marriage in the scriptures, and seldom was it simply between a singular man and woman.

    This fear has held me back, but I can not sit idly by and watch young children kill themselves over the shame of loving someone. It is my religion, or at least the way it is interpreted, that is promoting the shame that is leading to these suicides, to the bullying, and to the assaults.

    In my silence I have allowed these actions to take place. When those within the LGBT community have asked me to speak out, I have remained silent, and I am ashamed of myself.

    Our hearts are capable of more love than our ancient religions can comprehend, because they are crystalized in a time we have evolved past, and I have allowed myself, and my family, not to progress.

    It is for this reason that today I forsake everything that I have known, my religion and my stability, and I choose love. I realize in doing this there will be many who are disappointed in me and angry with me, some will even hate me, but that is a risk I am willing to take because I can no longer live with myself.

    To the LGBTQ community, I beg your forgiveness, for my silence and inaction. To my friends who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, questioning, and to the often forgotten, polygamous community, thank you for remaining my friend in spite of it taking me so long to come forward. The time has come for me to join my voice with those who are moving forward.

    This leaves me with more questions than answers, I will have to start over completely, begin a new career, and a new life.

    Your prayers, positive energy, support, and love is needed now so very deeply.

    Nathan Monk

    Until now, I have had the greatest respect for former Priest Nathan Monk and have defended him from his critics in the past. No doubt some will be cheered at the hearty meal of crow now set before me. While I dine in all humility, let me just say that my heart breaks for Mr. Monk, his wife, and his family – all of whom will be greatly impacted by his actions. I pray (and ask that others do so as well) that our Merciful Lord and Savior will one day bring this man back to the true faith.

    • philippa says

      Heracleides, crow is never eaten alone. There are many of us who join you at the table for one reason or another. So you will not hear cheering from me.

      As misguided as Nathan Monk and his wife’s decision is, one must admire the courage it takes to take such a stand. He is standing up for something he believes in (wrong as it may be). Would that I had the same courage to stand up for the things that I believe in.

      May our Lord have mercy on us all.

      Pass the salt.

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        Philippa, with greatest respect, I cannot agree that this man shows “courage”. What he says about Scripture and marriage is a lie. How could he have sought and accepted ordination into a church which he slanders so strongly?

        I feel a growing sense of what I can only call horror about the things that are going on. It seems like “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, and I think of Donald Sutherland screeching at the end of the movie. Even many whom you thought you could rely on are falling to this madness.

        I can deal with the social pressures that are here and that are coming, I hope. But I am 65, and long-established and protected by my being a known curmudgeon. I fear for the pressures on my children, all in business and with families, and for my 12 grandchildren. The pressures that will be brought to bear on them over the coming years will be terrible.

        God give us all strength, I pray.

        • Oh Tim that’s funny scary–

          “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”

          I’ve had the same feeling and have been watching different versions of that movie the last few days . . .

      • Michael Bauman says

        Sorry, I have trouble celebrating the “courage” it takes to abandon Christ and His Church for the way of the world. I am sure he will not suffer long in worldly ways.

        I am thankful that he is not a hypocrite and no longer a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

      • Macedoniandeacon says

        This isn’t courageous. I’m tired of people saying it is. It is DARN EASY to take the road that he did. As a matter of fact, it’s popular.

        Courageous is proclaiming the Gospel in today’s world. Courageous are the preachers who have the audacity to say that sin has become culture in America, in the pulpit in the eyes of faithful who may or may not believe this – sometimes even their own wives. Faithful who hold the preachers’ paycheck hostage. Courageous are those Christians who are facing brutal violence in the Middle East. Courageous are those who get up day in and day out and go to work, and then have the ‘stones’ to hold their families together.

        Nathan Monk is a coward. A modern day heretic, and as it turns out, a hireling. He is towing the pop culture line, and writing a book to milk those whom he claims he is defending.

        Lord have mercy!

        • He is at least choosing to respect the integrity of the people and the institution he is leaving.

          Such respect for others is rare among gay activists.

        • He is at least choosing to respect the integrity of the people and the institution he is leaving.

          Such respect for others is rare among gay activists.

    • StephenD says

      Having lived in pPnsacola, Florida I can say that it was very easy to get “sucked in” by Nathan Monk. My first clue recently that things were going crazy was when he started having conflicts with the priest of the Antiochian priest in Pensacola. The priest is a good man whom I am sure had good reason to not agree that Mr. Monk should join the Antiochian Archdiocese.
      I cannot and will not serve you a plate of crow because I am sure that you would be as kind and understanding if someone else were to make the same mistake after you tried to warn them that something was rotten in the State of Denmark.
      Gid bless Bishop Jerome

      • StephenD says

        Sorry I had to correct my typos…

        Having lived in Pensacola, Florida I can say that it was very easy to get “sucked in” by Nathan Monk. My first clue recently that things were going crazy was when he started having conflicts with the priest of the Antiochian parish in Pensacola. The Antiochian priest is a good man whom I am sure had good reason to not agree that Mr. Monk should join the Antiochian Archdiocese.
        I cannot and will not serve you a plate of crow because I am sure that you would be as kind and understanding if someone else were to make the same mistake after you tried to warn them that something was rotten in the State of Denmark.
        God bless Bishop Jerome

      • Nathan Monk is 28 years old. He says he began applying to the Antiochians between 3 and 5 years ago (it’s hard to follow his timeline), wanting himself to be brought in as a priest, with very few members and no building.

        • Johann Sebastian says

          I often feel that shows of piety or acts of “altruism” are motivated not by the love of God, or one’s neighbor, or a sense of duty to do what one believes is “right,” but rather to win the approval and adulation of men.

          Nathan Monk’s page

          It would have been enough to say, “I no longer believe in this and cannot be a part of it for xxx reasons.” Fine. I (we) disagree with you, but acknowledge your position. We go our separate ways, &c., &c. A few of us roll our eyes, others get mad, but generally there is no provocation.

          But he goes further, and his remarks have undertones of a backhanded slap at our faith. This man is offended by the reaction of us Orthodox faithful, yet he has the hubris to elevate himself above God. To piss on the icing on the cake, so to speak, he is also trampling the cultural patrimony of hundreds of millions of people. Were this to have taken place among those of another “faith tradition” and the issue at hand not such a popular “cause,” he would have been denounced as intolerant and “culturally insensitive.”

    • M. Stankovich says

      I believe that our respect and support for anyone is based on what we determine them to be as a person. I watched a short film produced about Nathan Monk and his “Feed the Poor” mission, and it is easy to see that he was received as genuine, motivated for justice, and dedicated to the poor and needy. On the other hand, clips from his conflicts with the Pensacola City Council demonstrate a man who believes the “hype & publicity” of “Fr. Nathan, the guy with the sign,” not the awkward guy holding the sign to allow the sign owner to have dinner with his family. Flying too close to the sun, I suspect. In any case, respect & support are ordinarily contemporaneous ascriptions, and not predictions of future behaviour.

      Trust, I believe, is a very important matter in that it reeks of our own vulnerability. Obviously taking some positions pose greater “liability,” but respect and support given in genuineness, based on trust, and in humility constitute the intimacy of the Christian life. In my opinion, it is the inherent vulnerability that is the gift and lesson of humility. You have nothing for which to “eat crow” nor make apology for extending yourself in such a fashion. The burden is on Nathan Monk, and I agree that we beg our Merciful Lord to gently guide him back.

    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

      Heracleides, your defense of Nathan Monk in the past still reflects well of you. He changed, not you. There is no crow to be eaten here.

      Moreover, the things he did well in the past still stand. His latest decision, while foolish and rash, has no bearing on your reputation.

    • Mr. Monk is under great delusion, pray for him, he needs help.

  16. philippa says

    Once again, I am let down by the lack of commentary from the Orthodox Bishops regarding yesterday’s Supreme Court decision. I guess I should be used to it by now.

    I’m curious to know of any commentary from the LGBT activists about the moral degradation of our country. Do they think there *is* a moral decline? If so, where do they see it?

    Also, I am reminded by Fr. Josiah’s interview that persecution comes to those who oppose the culture. We should expect it and be prepared for it with prayer and fasting. Therein is my moral and spiritual failure.

    Lastly, though this is off topic for this thread, I really appreciated Fr. Josiah’s lecture regarding jurisdictionalism in our country given March 2013.

    • Trudge at SmartVote says


      I share your disappointment, but the majority of Orthodox bishops and priests will not speak because of either their pietism, or their approval, or their fearfulness. Unfortunately, the “hot restlessness of heretics” St. Augustine notes provides the perfect opportunity for teaching the Gospel and these opportunities are routinely squandered. Bishops and Priests must use their sermons to address moral controversies and confusions as a sign of their Orthodoxy.

      While the hot restlessness of heretics stirs up questions about many things belonging to the Catholic faith, in order to provide a defense against these heretics we are obliged to study the points questioned more diligently, to understand them more clearly, and to preach them more forcefully; and thus the question raised by the adversary becomes the occasion of instruction. -St. Augustine of Hippo, City of God

  17. Patristic Nectar Publications (PNP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing spiritual edification and formal Orthodox Christian catechesis. It publishes the teachings of the Church as expressed by the Holy Fathers through a vast array of patristic audio books and lecture series, spreading the wealth of Sacred Tradition to the modern-day media culture. PNP is distinctive in the fidelity of its publications to the mind of the Church, and the freedom in the publications from personal opinions and theological fads.

  18. Just passing this on . . .

    The Epistle Reading on the day DOMA was struck down by the Supreme Court
    From the Orthodox Forum
    “Mere coincidence?

    Romans 1:18-27

    “18. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and
    worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.”

    • No coincidence at all.

    • Pravoslavnie says

      This is no coincidence. It’s quite fitting that St. Paul would reach out to us with this reminder. Here in DC we have the Washington National Cathedral, the official name of which is the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. The cathedral, under the administration of the ECUSA, is now preparing to perform gay weddings. I can easily picture St. Paul standing outside chiseling his name off the building.

      • Maybe there will be another earthquake to knock off a few more tower tops . . .

      • jacksson says

        From the Washington National Cathedral:

        “We are ringing our bells at the Cathedral to celebrate the extension of federal marriage equality to all the same-sex couples modeling God’s love in lifelong covenants. Our prayers for continued happiness are with them and with all couples who will be joined in matrimony in the years to come, whether at Washington National Cathedral or elsewhere…Today’s rulings advance civil marriage equality, but they should also serve as a call for Christians to embrace religious marriage equality.”

        – Rev. Gary Hall, dean of Washington National Cathedral

        • What If...? says

          Can you just imagine if +JONAH was there in DC right now as Primate? His clarion voice would have been ringing out just as loudly as those cathedral bells, with a statement of what marriage truly is–none of this “embrace religious marriage equality.”

          I am more and more convinced that the Devil himself stirred up the troubles against +JONAH to remove +JONAH from his God-given vocation of being the traditional, conservative head of the Orthodox faith in America. The Devil knew–just as God knew–what the Faith and the Faithful would be up against during these times. And the Devil used his machinations to remove +JONAH, and he preyed on +JONAH’s weaknesses, and he fostered doubts in the minds of the Faithful. And the Devil won that fight. He had his way with the OCA. The leader whom God raised up from among us to lead us through these difficult times was silenced. Will the faithful remain mute as well?

          • jacksson says

            I totally agree. The enemy thinks that he wins battles, but only as God allows and he loses in the end (I looked at the end of the book). Metropolitan Jonah would have made the difference for us in the battles that we can expect in the future. Things will get worse.

            • Excuse me, but says

              Jonah is still among us and in DC. He does and can still lead us. Question is, where will he be invited and allowed to preach and who will be able and allowed to see and hear him? He’s been stuck in a giant vetting process for a year.

        • Archpriest John W. Morris says

          Do not call that place the National Cathedral. It is not our American National Cathedral. It is simply a museum of neo-Gothic architecture. The statement of the Dean as well as the ringing of its bells is why our country has lost its moral bearings. The mainline Protestant sects have all abandoned Biblical morality and have surrendered to the secular culture. If they had remained faithful of the teachings of the Holy Scriptures, America would not have lost its moral standards. We Orthodox should witness our Faith by reusing to have any relations, dialogue or fellowship with any American Protestant sect that allows ordains non-celibate gays, or allows its clergy to bless same sex relations. The Orthodox Church only gives these groups credibility by dealing with them in any way.

          • Tim R. Mortiss says

            The National Cathedral served a beneficent purpose for me a year-and-a-half ago. We were in DC at a convention my wife was attending. I hadn’t been there for over 30 years.

            We walked up Mass Ave to see the Cathedral. On the way, I noticed first Holy Trinity, the OCA cathedral, then Hagia Sophia, the Greek one, right in the neighborhood!

            So, the next day, Sunday, I went to the Liturgy at H. Sophia. As I was walking down hill, I went into Holy Trinity, where the service was still underway. It was a splendid Sunday! The architectural contrast in itself was of great interest, too.

          • Father John, thank you for my oversight and please forgive me. I didn’t intend to call that snake pit the “National Cathedral”, the newspaper article that I cut and pasted called it that and I failed to notate that fact. I think that it is Episcopal. Reminds me of a cartoon I saw a few years ago.

            Two Episcopal priests are standing to the rear of a Cathedral type building (I don’t want to call it a church). They are viewing an obviously gay female ‘bishop’ waving flowers as she processes down the aisle, a bunch of small girls are preceeding her and throwing communion wafers to the crowd, and she has her paramour following her holding her train. One of the priests turns to the other and comments, “I tell you, if there are any more changes around here, I am gone.”

            Must have been the Episcopal National Cathedral and they are probably still there.

            • Tim R. Mortiss says

              Great joke, Jackson, I hadn’t heard it before.

              Alas, exactly the same with the Presbyterians, minus only the bishop…..