The Long, Cold Civil War: Part II-Trump and the Rise of the New Jacksonians

I can’t believe it but it’s been a year since we first discussed the great demographic divide known as “The Long, Cold Civil War.” Now, in the aftermath of what is possibly the most dramatic election in our lifetimes (if not in American history), seems as good a time as any to delve further into the demographics which drove this election.

Before we can do so, we have to properly set the (historical) table. The thesis was basically this: that the demographics of the historic American nation could be divided into roughly four different sub-cultures from Great Britain. And that they clustered themselves into four broad geographic biomes in the 48 contiguous states. Ultimately, the Cavalier English of the Tidewater coalesced with the Scots-Irish majority of the Deep South and gave rise to the Confederacy. (The Cavaliers originally came from the south of England whereas the Scots-Irish came from the north of England, the Scottish Lowlands, and the Ulster Plantation.) The Puritans of the East Anglian regions (formerly the Danelaw) gave rise to the Yankee aristocracy of New England.

These cultures’ differences were prominent in England and Northern Ireland. The Glorious Revolution between Cromwell’s Roundheads and the Stuarts’ Cavaliers was one manifestation of these differences. In any event, they became more prominent in the New World where these ethnic differences solidified because of the heightened political consciousness of the Thirteen Colonies.

In the North, especially in New England, exterminationist rhetoric against the Scots-Irish of the South became more pronounced over time. Slavery of course was an accelerant (or became so after it became obvious that the South wasn’t losing the War Between the States) but the underlying socio-economic and cultural differences could not be ignored. The Northeast resented the South because of its expansionist bellicosity and the agrarian South resented the mercantile North because of its reliance on tariffs. Eventually, these differences erupted in actual hostilities during the War Between the States.

[Editor’s note: for more information about the demography of the United States, please go to JayMan’s Blog. Jayman is a mixed-race second-generation Jamaican in case you were wondering and he’s easy-to-read and got great maps. Also, Steve Sailer provides amazing insights as well. Both can be found on the Unz Review.]

Despite the ravages imposed on the defeated South by the Federal Army during Reconstruction, the victim mentality that grew up in the South solidified into a united, pro-white consensus. This consensus resulted in a united Southern front in the Congress.

Though the South lost the War Between the States, because of the cultural cohesion born of its devastating losses, it very often carried the day in the Congress. It certainly controlled the Democratic Party, so much so that both Presidents Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt left the South alone during their administrations. Indeed, if it wasn’t for Southern Congressmen and Senators, the New Deal would have died aborning. FDR recognized that. (For what it’s worth, the Ku Klux Klan was the provisional wing of the Democratic Party from the Gilded Age to the Fifties.)

The reality of course is that the Secession was driven in part by the recognition among the Anglo-Scots in the South that they were the remnant of the Old-Stock ethnicity that founded the American Republic in the first place. The growth of Irish and German immigrants (who were mostly Catholic) in the Northern tier of states was alarming to them. That the immigrant population was outstripping theirs’ because of the greater economies of scale that industrialism provided only made things worse. Like today, they sensed that their country, that is to say, the Republic as traditionally understood, was being undone.

This cannot be overstated: the North, engaged as it was in industrialism and manufacture at the expense of agricultural yeomanry was startling to the traditional sensibilities of Southerners. The North’s reliance on tariffs, the costs of which weighed more heavily on the South only made things worse. All of this was to agrarian minds a stunning rebuke to Jeffersonian republicanism. Worse, it was in their eyes the validation of Alexander Hamilton’s centralized financial scheming.

All of the above is a backdrop. Though divisions were real, so was the coalescence of America’s white ethnicities and States into a cohesive American nation. All things being equal, America by the 1950s was at a historical apogee broadly united with a Protestant Christian ethos and a secular, centrist politics.

Of course, all things are never equal. The other open wound of the War Between the States was the incomplete emancipation of the black population. Segregation was the legal (as well as de facto) norm. Unfortunately, even with the full emancipation of blacks as provided by the Civil Rights Acts, Marxist agitators incited rebellions and riots throughout the Northern cities. Together with the explosion of Federal largesse in the form of Welfare and its subsidiaries, what should have been a flowering of African-American culture turned instead to be its destruction.

Another hammer-blow to the nation was the normalization of promiscuity. Thanks to the birth-control pill, sexuality was divorced from responsibility for the first time in human history. Chastity became debased and divorce more readily available. Because men no longer exercised Christian headship of their families, women were forced into the workplace whether they wanted to be there or not.

There was a silver lining to the dually-employed family however in that it made “white flight” economically feasible. Generations of white-ethnic neighborhoods emptied seemingly overnight, leaving them to slum-lords. In time, code words were employed to describe the economic choices that fleeing whites had made. “Good schools” came to mean “no or very few blacks,” for example. “Urban” came to mean “predominantly black,” and so on.

White flight however only benefited those upper and middle-class whites who could afford two or more cars and who could commute from their safe bedroom communities to work in some downtown office. Needless to say, these jobs were white-collar. For those working-class whites who could not afford to move from their urban neighborhoods, things were not so nice. As long as there were factories for them to work in however, their situation was not intolerable.

Ironically, forced integration, feminism and the loss of religious traditionalism caused Americans to become less cohesive, rather than more. An incessant drumbeat of White Guilt became the mantra of the culture. European culture, European civilization and most importantly, Christianity, became the all-around excuse for everything that was wrong anywhere in the world.

Curiously (and more ominously) the Democratic Party chose at this precise moment in time to abandon the white working class; first in the South and then in the North. Instead, the new catechism of the Left was anything that exacerbated Christian sensitivities and Europeanist cultural norms must be good. What was evil became good.

Into this toxic mix our national borders ceased to exist for all intents and purposes. We were constantly told that “we were a nation of immigrants,” and that this was used as an argument for the loss of homogeneity. That this was instead more of an excuse rather than a well-reasoned argument passed over the heads of most people thanks its incessant repetion.

Beginning with the Hart-Cellar Act of 1965, national origin no longer became the criterion for immigration to our country. Soon, non-Christian populations were allowed in willy-nilly with no consideration at all as to whether they could or would assimilate. Many became public charges.

The largest influx of non-Europeans of course came from Central America. To be sure, these at least came from Christian nations but this fact did very little to militate against the problems attendant with their arrival. Namely, that the importation of a permanent helot class that was every bit as dependent upon Federal largesse as the African-American population. Worse, by undercutting the costs of manual labor, they were causing the further degradation of the native black population.

This was a vicious cycle, one which in time would ensnare the white working class. Andrew Jackson was no longer the patron saint of the Democrats. In fact, he could not be. Unfortunately, neither could any other nationalist inspired Democratic politician. Neither Wilson, nor FDR, nor JFK could fit onto the procrustean bed of the modern Democratic Party.

All of the above must be taken into account if we are to come to grips with the election of Donald Trump as forty-fifth president of these United States.

The eradication of civic nationalism, the loss of traditionalism and the erosion of national borders made the election of Donald Trump inevitable. That the Democratic Party became the paladin of un-Americanism left the white working class with no other option. Even worse, the fact that President Obama chose not to prosecute the Wall Street malefactors solidified the growing perception that the Left was in bed with the ultra wealthy (and enjoying every minute of it).

Nowhere was this more obvious than in the selections that Hillary Clinton made as to where to campaign (or not). When Louisiana was experiencing a Katrina-like environmental disaster, she chose to sip Chablis at a fund-raiser in the Hamptons and merely phone in a word of concern. Trump and Mike Pence on the other hand, hied to that ravaged state and handed out supplies. She made a cold, calculated electoral decision: there was no way she would win Louisiana but still, the optics were horrible. She might as well have said “I have nothing but disdain for you poor rednecks!” But why not go to Wisconsin? And why only cursory visits to Michigan and Pennsylvania?

The answer was given eight years earlier by then Sen Barack Obama who was campaigning in Pennsylvania. Playing the part of cultural anthropologist, Sen Obama told us that people in the Rust Belt were “bitter clingers,” hanging on to their God and guns. As long as they had these, they would not cry for gibsmedat or the chance to suck at the national teat. And, truth be told, they would continue to vote Democrat. Or so it was thought.

Until Donald J Trump came along. The Progressive Left never knew what hit them. To this day they can’t come to grips with the Trumpian Revolution. By all the normal rules of political campaigning, he made one mistake after another. They and the cuckservatives thought he took himself out on the first day of his campaign announcement, when he talked about Mexican “rapists.”

What they didn’t realize is that in channeling Archie Bunker, Trump was giving voice to those disaffected workers in the Rust Belt, those states that made up the fabled Blue Wall. Hillary and the Progressives simply had no idea how badly those people were hurting. To be fair, she had no way of knowing. Neither could anybody else in the Democratic elite. We’re talking about the ultimate bubble here, a thin bi-coastal elite that has no idea where Texas is on the map or where their steaks come from.

Their ignorance is astounding when you think about it. When Chuck Schumer was asked about Trump’s inroads in western Pennsylvania, he said “don’t worry, for every workingman we lose in western PA, we’ll get two or three suburban soccer moms in the Philly suburbs.” It’s as if suburban soccer moms aren’t dependent on their husbands’ employment prospects. Like a true Marxist, he thinks people are merely economic units –one is simply as good as another. Talk about “letting them eat cake.”

Sure, she wasn’t going to get the rednecks of the normal Red States but they were “deplorable” and “irredeemable.” She didn’t need them. That she spoke this way in front of a gathering of wealthy homosexuals and lesbians speaks volumes about the inversion of American values. Gone was normality, or it should be said, there was a new normal; one unmoored from Christianity and traditional civilization.

Unfortunately for her, these “deplorable” people were neither Hamiltonians nor Jeffersonians but Jacksonians. And like their paladin Andrew Jackson, they had long memories. Whereas the average nineteenth-century American living on the frontier lived in mortal fear of the Indians their modern descendants saw employment prospects being taken by illegal aliens. Worse, their towns and factories were shuttered thanks to trade deals that benefited only the One Percent.

All of this was not without personal cost. Permit me a little professional latitude to say at this point that Marx was quite wrong: opium is the opiate of the masses. Drug addiction has become endemic in wide swaths of the Rust Belt. It used to be the South with its moonshine tradition was the butt of late-night comedians’ jokes but now even pristine New England is experiencing a heroin epidemic. Like Russia during the 1990s, male life expectancy in America has decreased for the first time in our history.

Whereas the modern Jacksonians lived for generations in thriving towns like Flint, Hamtramck and Dayton, they have no hope for the future. Detroit, the fabled Paris of the West, the Arsenal of the Arsenal of Democracy, is now a Third-world hellhole. What is the essential difference between the devastation of these cities with a foreign invasion? Could you explain it to a visitor from Mars? I can’t. From the ground the difference between Aleppo and Detroit is marginal.

On a personal scale, a Pawnee Indian scalping a settler living along the Missouri River and slaughtering his family was truly horrific, hence Jackson’s popularity. An American forced to train a legal alien here on an H1B visa who is going to take his job at lesser pay is not an atrocity to be sure but it is still painful. Hence the popularity of Trump.

The question before the Democrats is Why? Why did they jigger the entire nomination against the one Democrat who had a better chance of beating Donald Trump? Why did they think that that Trump was in fact the only Republican that they could beat? (I personally think Hillary would have beaten any other Republican but that’s my opinion.) Is it because they’re stupid or is it because they’re ignorant? Or is it because they are too insulated from the realities of life?

For my take, I’d say throw into this mix a genuine hatred of Christianity, of tradition, and of reality itself. It also helps if you believe that actions don’t have consequences; that single motherhood is the ideal; that an aversion to perversion means that you’re a hateful bigot. Toss in a side-salad of disdain for people who work with their hands. I’m sure you can guess some others.

The problem is that reality is a bitch. No matter how hard you try to escape it, it always comes back to bite and boy does it ever bite you hard. And the harder you try to run from it, the worse it’s going to bite.

So, does this mean that Trump is going to succeed? For myself, I’d answer that question mostly in the affirmative. He certainly can do no worse than Obama. Regardless, that’s the wrong question in my humble estimation. What is to be asked instead is “why did he get elected?” And for the Republicans, they need to similarly ask “how could he get nominated?” What extreme dereliction of duty did the Progressive Left and the cuckservative Right undertake that brought them to this result?

Then next question is: can they learn from it? My answer to this is negative. It’s clear to me that based on the excuses they’re proffering at this point that they have absolutely no idea at all why they lost. “It’s the Russians!” or “it’s Comey!” or “it’s Little Green Men from Mars!” is about all that they can come up with at this point.

So what does the future hold? As for myself, I’m rather optimistic for the first time in a long time. Trump’s election is of a piece with the Brexit and the recent Italian vote. Moreover, I look at the stock market and I see an overwhelming vote of confidence in the future.

There are pitfalls to be sure. How I wish an unfortunate accident befall Senators McCain and Graham, the Batman and Robin of the Permanent War Caucus. I fully expect them to try and undermine President Trump’s efforts at every turn. Speaker Ryan has found some uncharacteristic courage for the time being but as they say “once a cuck, always a cuck.”

Hopefully Trump’s use of the Bully Pulpit will be able to override the establishment sensibilities of the official conservative movement. I’m rather pleased at the ease to which Trump can draw a crowd of tens of thousands at the drop of a hat. I imagine that a good thousand or so encircling a wavering Congressman’s office might be a good thing to see every now and then. Stiffen the spine and all that, if you get my drift.

We live in exhilarating times. I believe we have turned the corner. And yes, I do believe that the Good Lord has granted us a reprieve. It’s up to us, the philosophical descendants of Andrew Jackson to move forward and to make it all work out.

We are a constitutional Republic after all. Let us try to keep it. Trump is only the leader, it is up to us, the true Americans, to carry the day. As for those celebrities who threatened to move to Canada, I want to ask you a simple question: why not move to Mexico? After all, the cost of living is way cheaper. Either way, I’ll help you pack your bags.


  1. Without God we, or Mr. Trump can do nothing/ no one can convince me God is with the US, if we continue to murder innocent unborn children. Father delivers son unto death, is the first description the Christ gave of the last days, which is a line that cannot be crossed without the loss of the blessings and grace of the Most High. A land full of innocent blood reaps what it sows. Any coral reefs(the bottom of the ocean food chain) still alive. The warmed ocean water is bleaching them barren. Little fish eat the plankton. If there is no plankton, there is no more little fish. The loss proceeds up to the top of the food chain. The is also a scripture in the Revelation, describing the 4 bowls of God’s wrath, meant to cause repentance. The last 3 bowls are meant to take us out all together. The very best people in the world are pro-life Christians, especially activists.

    • Michael,

      He may have given us a reprieve if Trump is allowed to take office. I prayed for it, though I did not vote. Actually, I prayed that we would not be subjected to an HRC administration. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” I do not count myself as righteous. My best deeds are filthy rags at the feet of the Most High.

      God likes prayer.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Misha, who would have thought your prayers and my prayers line up EXACTLY, word for word?!

        • Gail,

          You will begin to see coincidences that are so improbable you will know that it is Divine Providence. I’ve just been wondering how long it will take for Trump’s people to show up in Lexington.

          Meanwhile, the devil is hard at work:

          We all need humility and correction sometimes. I prayed the other day that Trump would win the electoral college either 305 or 306, God’s choice, just that this thing would end. I phrased it that way because I knew that one elector had already said he wasn’t going to vote for Trump.

          Perhaps to put me in my place, God made it 304. Go figure. He has a sense of humor. There is no other explanation for the existence of chihuahuas and dachshunds.

          PS: Oops, I stand corrected. WP is reporting Trump got 305. Slava Bogu.


            Donald Trump is many things. I admire the man. He has an ego, and that’s fine. We all need self-esteem. But Trump does not have humility, and he will need that to prevail.

            The evil one has probably chosen a Muslim mystic (Erdogan) as his weapon of choice. Unless Trump is a hesychast, he may need one to prevail. I mean, I don’t know how long God will let the thing continue. Could be a damn rough ride.

            We shall see.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              Yeah, but, Misha, he has PASSION! I’ll take passion over a cool head any day of the week. You can reel in or redirect passion, but you can’t manufacture it if it isn’t there.

    • Ted Treadwell says

      Mr. Kinsey:
      Abortions have been going on since the beginning of time. Yes, we believe this to be murder, but “sin” can’t be legislated. Just because Trump may be against abortion (a political position for his convenience) is NOT a good reason to make him POTUS. He is a serial liar, a sexual predator, a cheat in business and not an honorable or respectable person. He on his third wife and has had many mistresses. This guy is not fit to be president of anything.

      • Sure sin can be legislated. We legislate against every manner of sin and bad behavior: murder, theft, cheating on taxes, child abuse, harassment, reckless driving, public nuisance, structural unsoundness, pollution, littering.

        No, it doesn’t automatically stop it, but the penalties make it undesirable. If abortion was treated like murder (which it objectively is) instead of a trip to the dentist, there would be less of them.

      • These arguments that sin cannot be legislated against are so very tiresome.

        If you want to say that a law of any kind cannot make a person moral or save him from sin, fine. No disagreement there. But if you are saying that the law has no power to teach (thus changing hearts –for good or for ill) and/or to restrain evil, then you contradict the Holy Scriptures as well as actual experience.

        Please tell us, for example, why there are far more abortions now than there were prior to its having been made legal. And do tell us why it has become so socially acceptable when it was previously understood by virtually everyone (even those who had them) to be a horrible and shameful evil.

        And while you’re at it, please tell us how it is that within the span of a mere generation it has become socially unacceptable to be a racist, to discriminate against a person on the basis of race, to judge a person by their race, or to exclude persons from friendship on the basis of race. And do tell how it is that even those reared by racist parents have rejected racism both in practice and as a habit of thought.

        Tell us also why it remains against the law to steal, to rape, to murder…and why these laws are considered necessary, good, and acceptable by all, though the law by itself cannot prevent them.

        How many of us who have larceny, lust, or hatred in our hearts have been deterred from acting on our sinful desires either by a conscience formed by the law (of God or of men) or merely by fear of punishment? And why should this be considered a superfluous, inconsequential matter – either for an individual person or for the society in which we all must live?

        No, my friend, the law DOES matter. It always has, and until Christ comes to judge the earth it always will.

        • M. Stankovich says


          And what a sad day it is when we no longer look to the church – to hierarchs and ordained clergy – as the moral voices of our Lord and Savior Who will come again to judge the world. What a sad day when the clergy align themselves, first with the heterodox and their “tactics,” political “techniques,” and practiced polemics, in order to fulfill a role they have abdicated, that of their patristic mandate. Do the ends justify the means? Will there be consequences – now or later – for abdicating the moral voice, for aligning with the heterodox? Consider Fr. Georges Florovsky’s observation:

          Byzantium had failed, grievously failed, to establish an unambiguous and adequate relationship between the Church and the larger Commonwealth. It did not succeed in unlocking the gate of the Paradise Lost. Yet nobody else has succeeded, either. The gate is still locked. The Byzantine key was not a right one. So were all other keys, too. And probably there is no earthly or historical key for that ultimate lock.

          As for the remainder of your commentary, you simply go on to demonstrate the difference – the dichotomy, the great chasm – that exists in this country. As near as I can tell, moral people will act according to the law and will be deterred by the “undesirability” of the consequences. Murder remains against the law in Chicago, nevertheless, the incidence is 50% greater this year than last, consequences not withstanding. Yeah, it’s complicated. You say, “within the span of a mere generation it has become socially unacceptable to be a racist, to discriminate against a person on the basis of race, blah, blah, blah” while I say it is unacceptable to reveal you are a racist, otherwise, nothing has changed. I had lunch a few weeks ago with a Black friend who is a vascular surgeon who said he had just returned from a family reunion in S. Carolina: “I appreciate the honesty of the South. I know they hate me. In NY, a lot of them hate me, but they smile and shake my hand.” We laughed and both recalled Son Houses’ Don’t You Mind People Grinnin’ in Your Face.

          What surprises me is that you believe that government, civil laws, and courts will accomplish what the church has, in effect, abandoned as superfluous and inconsequential: calling for repentance and a return to the moral way of life, to prayer and fasting, to good works, to the mandates of Matthew 25. Madness, our own people would cry! Unrealistic! Archaic and medieval. Fools, they would call anyone who called for such a thing. Yet, it seems perfectly reasonable to imagine that our God, the Just Judge and He that would not suffer injustice to the righteous, would “deliver” us, not by strengthening and fortifying His Bride, the Church, but rather an American election. And apparently, we are being told, this is so profound an intervention, it is a sign of the “Last Times.” Should I laugh or cry?

          O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which kill the prophets, and stone them that are sent to you; how often would I have gathered your children together, as a hen does gather her brood under her wings, and you would not! Behold, your house is left to you desolate: and truly I say to you, You shall not see me, until the time come when you shall say, Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord. (Lk. 13:34-35)

          • George Michalopulos says

            Dr S, we could extend your jeremiad to this as well: “What a sad day when our hierarchs and clergy draw moral equivalencies in order to avoid having to uphold the Gospel.”

            • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

              George, our friend Dr. Stankovich continues to reveal his fundamental Quietism. That false ideology is neither Orthodox nor a rational, prudent, or effective way of living in the world of the parish, family, and the “empire,” as Fr. George Florovsky of blessed memory compared it antinomically to the complementary world of monastery, monks, and “desert.”

              We would do well to ignore such ill-considered carping and continue our evangelistic, humanitarian, other-directed ethical efforts to minimize the political and social enormities in our society, while striving, in hope, to make this society a better place to live.

              • M. Stankovich says

                For how long will you pursue this attempting to conceal your own nakedness, and who are you attempting to convince, me or yourself?

                It seems to me that you should have actually read the essay of Fr. Georges from where I drew my commentary before you would attempt to incorporate him into your own reaction formation. His intention was simply to say there has never been, nor will there ever be a time or place where the Church will see the “empire” as a “comfortable ally,” nor vice versa unless it abdicates “being compelled, time and again, to challenge the persistent attempts of Caesars to exercise their supreme authority also in religious matters.” Sound familiar?

                The Church, which establishes herself in the world, is always exposed to the temptation of an excessive adjustment to the environment, to what is usually described as “worldliness.” The Church which separates herself from the world, in feeling her own radical “otherworldliness,” is exposed to an opposite danger, to the danger of excessive detachment. But there is also a third danger, which was probably the major danger of Christian history. It is the danger of double standards.

                So, what could possibly be the answer to your pointless, toothless (Quietism? Again this foolishness, Archpriest Alexander?) attempts to “take me down a notch?” Imagine, I must again instruct an Orthodox priest: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matt. 6:33)

                And let me conclude with this: if your words, “our friend, Dr. Stankovich,” were intended as sarcasm, Fr. Alexander, again, shame on you. Nevertheless, I am your Nathan (cf. 2 Sam. 12:7).

                • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

                  Dr. S., I know about Nathan the Prophet. Nathan the Prophet is a guide to me. Doctor, you are no Nathan–to me or anyone!

                  Seriously, I am concerned that your knee-jerk tendency on this blog to hurl personal insults and talk down to everyone–including some Orthodox bishops, priests, and deacons–betrays an inner disquiet and disequilibrium of soul, perhaps even a misanthropy. It is almost impossible to engage you in conversation, much less true dialogue, without incurring your wrath and having to endure your proud boasts of expertise across so many fields of scholarship, mixed with nasty, gratuitous ad hominem put-downs.

                  In the hope that you will resolve to take a sabbatical from this website, and return later with a renewed spirit of respect, kindness, and humility, I pray that our Lord Jesus Christ will grant you a blessed New Year.

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    What Is Reaction Formation?

                    A popular figure of speech is the phrase ‘the lady doth protest too much.’ Taken from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the saying is often used to refer to people who appear to be dramatically, and emphatically, opposed to something in an effort to hide their true feelings or desires.

                    In psychology, this type of behavior is known as a reaction formation, and it can, at times, be very confusing. Reaction formation is a psychological defense mechanism in which a person perceives their true feelings or desires to be socially, or in some cases, legally unacceptable, and so they attempt to convince themselves or others that the opposite is true–often in a very exaggerated performance. In most cases, reaction formation is very easy to identify. It often appears hyper, unreasonable, and obviously showy in order to attract as much attention as possible.


                    It’s believed that reaction formation develops as a way to cope with the pressure and stress caused by the original feeling that they have identified as being bad and with the possibility of their true feelings or desires being discovered. For example, if a person has a particular sexual fetish that they feel is shameful, they may take every opportunity to condemn those who share the fetish in order to demonstrate to others that they are ‘normal.’ People that rely on this technique tend to see many things in terms of binary opposition, which is when concepts and ideas exist on opposite ends of a polar system. For example, rather than understanding that there are varying degrees of good and bad, they would only see things as either good or bad, with nothing in between. This perspective causes the individual to be very inflexible, which is why the behavior often seems cartoonish and disingenuous.

                    It’s important to point out that this behavior isn’t the same as lying or being deceitful. In cases of reaction formation, the feelings associated with the perceived negative behavior are so strong and anxiety-provoking that the reaction can be compulsive, which means that the urge to react is too strong to be controlled. Moreover, because of their inflexibility, they may feel compelled to behave this way all of the time in order to ensure that the truth is never revealed.

                    You are that man.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      Michael, specifically, what perceived negative behavior is George trying to hide? Playing “peekaboo” with the possible motives of someone else is kind of cloak and dagger, isn’t it? What you’ve done is disparage him without saying why. It might be more honorable to be blunt. George is a closet what??? If this is not something you’re prepared to name, it’s probably best not to write about it, because people are just going to fill in the blanks and repeat it, as if it came from you. Can’t imagine that’s something you’d want.

                • But the situation is remedied if the Church does stand firm and say, “The Faith is non-negotiable.” The rest is administrative details which can be worked out in the Church-State symphonia context. This is happening to some extent in Russia. But I do not posit Russia as some ideal here. Russia is only now regaining its self-awareness as a Christian State. It needs a lot of help from the Church Abroad if it is to firmly regain its bearings.

                  America has no single religious conviction other than Mere Christianity. It is not Orthodox, but it may grow toward Orthodoxy slowly as matters develop. Since the Orthodox phronema is an accurate reflection of objective reality, this self realization will continue, varying in pace.

            • M. Stankovich says

              Mr. Michalopulos,

              It seems to me you have no gratitude for the position you have created for yourself: you can publish any uncorroborated, unjustified, supposedly anonymous bullshit, accusing most anyone of anything, allowing them no recourse to confront their accuser – pursuant to Scriptue & the Holy Fathers – and you accept no responsibility or experience any consequence whatsoever. Nice gig. By comparison, you have the average parish priest – some with families, children in school, student loans; others attempting to preserve their meager pensions – who are frequently at the mercy of a Chancellor, Dean, or Bishop for a parish assignment that meets their financial stability, provide a nice community for their family, etc.

              As I see it, “standing up for the gospel” on this site does not call upon an average parish priest to challenge “heresy” as we understand it – that which would “rent the sseamless garment of the Lord” – but a litany from the bucket-o-filth that cycles from month to month. Speaking out on these topics – homosexuality, feminism, etc. – is correct, but is it prudent to be a Stylite if you would like to remain in your current parish & not risk a transfer to the Aleutian Chain? I have friends all over, Mr. Michalopulos, who say, “The Bishop comes here once a year, if I’m lucky. Otherwise, he is a name on paper. I teach morality & the Gospel in my own parish.”

              Cheap shot, Mr. Michalopulos. On the day you demand your posters assume the same responsibility for their ugly, unsubstantiated comments & “criticisms,” and are willing to accept the consequences for their words, and you refuse to publish unsubstantiated/uncorroborated comments, your moral high ground is anything but.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Dr S, I’m not sure what occasioned your harsh criticism of me. I operate an open forum and allow as much latitude for free speech as is legally prudent. I’m not sure what you mean. As for myself, I’ve been the recipient of 95% of the crap thrown against the wall here. I try very hard to not engage in ad hominem when I debate a correspondent.

                As for what you write about your average parish priest, I think you are creating a straw man. Regardless, I don’t disagree with your characterization with how they are treated by the various bishops, chanceries, administrations, whatever. Despite my agreement with you, I’m not sure how germane this tangent is to your initial criticism of me.

                Please explain.

                • M. Stankovich says

                  Mr. Michalopulos,

                  Kindly explain your statement, “draw moral equivalencies in order to avoid having to uphold the Gospel.”

                  You have removed the feature from your site that allowed a search of all the contributions of a given poster, and your search function is pointless, but I doubt that you will argue that since 2011 – when 9 of 10 threads were devoted to matters of the Orthodox Faith and the Orthodox Church, morality, and faith – I have maintained the position that the defense of the truth is essential to any forum and discussion among Orthodox Christians, and that as the threshold for truth diminished, so will the level & thoughtfulness of discourse.

                  Worse, however, is the fact that the diminished level of discourse has led to the flight of many of the most thoughtful, most knowledgeable, and most cogent posters participating at this site, many were clergy and learned commentators within the church. Memorable discussions – with the exchange of reasonable thoughts and ideas – actually went on here for days at a time between individuals who were studied beyond Google, were authors & scholars, without personality disorder & mental incapacity, and whose commentary offered the possibility of deference and correction, not arrogance, malignant narcissism, and sarcastic dismissal. I’m no prophet, but you reap what you sow. Where “free speech” is perversion of the teachings and blasphemy of the Holy Fathers,; where racism and misogyny is presented as “Orthodox anthropology”; where the love of filth and gossip is always welcome; and where insulting, scandalous claims of “special revelations” and intuitions at the hand of God Himself arrive everyday, one more lunatic than the next, I say this is c-r-a-z-y t-o-w-n. And please, Mr. Michaelopulos, I have been here a long time, and when I read you saying this what you always intended this site to be…

                  Please explain your statement, and I will explain my response, or I will apologize for my previous comment.

                • George-you are a cutter and a paster. Just come clean on it.

                  Some of my most mundane and mild responses have been unapproved by you while others on the preferred side of the spectrum get to post a la carte, if you please.

                  Take the criticism; it is fair.

                  • Gail Sheppard says

                    Again, getting that “jilted in junior high” vibe, Anonymous. It’s his blog. There have been times I’ve written things that he hasn’t posted. You’re not his “one and only” in this regard, I assure you. – I’ll admit I don’t like anonymous posts. I don’t mind *critical* posts, if they’re properly supported, but you rarely take the time. You just give your opinions which mean nothing, because, well, you are nothing when you don’t identify yourself. See the problem here? If this is an example of some of your *less* mundane/mild work, I’m not sure George made a bad call in not posting it. It probably wasn’t worth the read. Don’t mean to sound harsh, but bitching for the sake of bitching is boring. – Take the criticism; it’s fair. (We’ll see if George posts this. He may not!)

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Thank you Gail for your defense.

                      Anonymous: I try not to post personal attacks that cannot be proven against anybody on this blog, regardless of whether the attacker is anonymous or named. In fact, I let it be known sometime last year that I would only post criticisms of living personages if the critic signed his name. Please understand: I still get criticism from people who take me to task for publishing the comments of unnamed individuals (such as yourself). My defense has been that all people have the right to speak in a free (but not slanderous/libelous manner) but that some have a very real fear for their jobs.

                    • Fr Webster made a remark towards Stankovich regarding moral quietism to which I asked a simple question. The question was rhetorical and sorry Gail, but not opinion.

                      You chose to not post because you want to influence the priest’s behavior.

                      Good day.

                • Fr. George Washburn says

                  Dear George:

                  I won’t attempt to speak for Dr. S and what he had in mind, but I will briefly reiterate for myself what I have said before periodically about the great moral and practical flaw in what you do and encourage others to do here.

                  First, you are not accountable to **anyone** whatsoever. No bishop, priest or even a captive advisory board, let alone a governing one, to check the fairness and accuracy of what you yourself say.

                  No editorial board to set policy at a level higher, deeper, wiser than a single human brain and heart from the hinterlands can muster on his own considering the 360 degree field of fire the name Monomakhos implies and the actual scope of commentary clearly seeks to command.

                  And not just what you yourself say. There is nobody to hold you accountable for what you allow, not to say encourage or prompt, others, (mostly anonymous contributors) to say here, sometimes with the most minimal and perfunctory of swipes, if any, at fact checking. What you seem to do too often for my comfort is swallow the version of people you have every reason to know are likely to be tendentious and biased, and then rush into print (the Internet buzz biz deals with products that have an extremely short half life).

                  I have said before, and now repeat, that some of what happens here can be seen as spiritual McCarthyism, where one’s certainty that he is right about various important issues (use or misuse of power by bishops, softness on traditional morals in high places, etc.) justifies ignoring the traditional norms of pre-Internet journalism and public discourse. Often operating free of tested cautions and safeguards, such as responsible attribution, fact checkimg, and contact with the subject of a story for his/her side of things before the rush to publish, this blog contributes to, yes exacerbates, the Church’s difficulty to govern itself well.

                  The excuse that we just throw it all against the wall to see what sticks, and the accused and besmirched can mount their own public campaigns to un-ring bells already rung, is rubbish. I know of a story published here earlier this year, one suspects with the manipulative ‘help’ of some known, one-issue agitators, that was around 80% factually inaccurate and much closer to 100% unfair and destructive of a modest proposal to serve some people who needed it.

                  Could or should the subject of the innuendo, once slimed, have attempted directly, or through a surrogate, to parse out the finer points of truth here in a bedlam crossfire of anonymous vituperation already in full swing, to marshal facts and documents to show where the 20% ended and the rest began?

                  It would have been like trying to do surgery near the stage in the middle of a Rolling Stones concert. By then the lopsided early coverage had already taken such root in people’s minds even the most careful rearguard action very probably would have made it worse.

                  So “why bother to risk exacerbating by even participating?” was the victim’s dilemma. The decision: play dead and the hue and cry will pass on to a new, live target soon enough.

                  Our criminal laws proscribe shooting guns into occupied buildings, not because the trigger man necessarily wants to kill the precise individual who stops a bullet, but because it is so likely someone will. I believe that fostering a cacophony of anonymous accusation and discussion without observing traditional journalistic norms does the same an unacceptable percentage of the time around here.

                  The tongue, Saint James warns us in his epistle, is “a raging fire, a world of iniquity.” If so, then what is the risky, if not careless, use of the Internet?

                  Fr. George

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Fr, with all due respect, your criticism are not invalid by any means, however they are somewhat overwrought. This is a blog. It’s grown to be (probably) the largest Orthodox blogs in the Angloshere. It’s certainly influential if I may say so myself. Still, this was not my intention, it just kinda happened that way.

                    Warts and all, and all that.

                    • Fr. George Washburn says

                      You won’t hear me dispute ‘influential’ with you. In fact it is because I agree with that conclusion (and note a bit of self-congratulation as you state it) that I take you to task for the way in which you have the wrong kind of ‘influence,’ fostering a ‘shoot first and ask questions later’ atmospjere that does plenty of harm. When individuals who are in no position to defend themselves here in a free for all get slimed before ANY elementary fact checking by the slimer ( such as first asking the prospective slimee what is true), whether it is by the proprietor himself or those whose mistakes he facilitates, then this site is NOT operating by the letter or spirit of what Christ, the apostles, the saints lived and taught ….despite the pretension to defense of true faith.

                    • Not to make light of Father George’s post, but if George had to rely upon a advisory board made up entirely of bishops to approve essays and posts, it might take them fifty years for fifty one percent of them to agree upon anything! Disclaimer: This was a joke, and was not intended to harm or hurt the feelings of any bishops.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Yeah, the new Episcopal Assemblies can only agree on seating arrangements. (And I’m being real charitable here.)

                    • Jerry Wilson says

                      Influential…? Really? I enjoy my occasional perusal, am distressed at the regular delusion (Christian concubinage?), but to say that this blog is influential is quite a stretch. It is a forum for expression of opinion but nothing more. I have never seen anything steered in any way by the musings present here. The posters are few, the readers more, but the positive effect on the Church is …..

                    • The reason that what I have written about sexual matters seems so outrageous to some is twofold:

                      1. In the Old World, feminism simply didn’t obtain any traction. It is only in the context of industrialization where women can work outside the home beside men that one can conceive of equality of authority between men and women in society. Before then, it was simply a radical idea, easy to dismiss. As feminism has progressed, however, it has created revolutionary, odd conditions in that females are no longer necessarily dependent on a male for identity and support. This was unheard of in previous generations. So now, we have women at large in charge of their own sexuality. We have gotten used to this. It is normal to us. It has become the standard.

                      And it is absolutely, without question, diabolical. It creates evil eventualities that the Church Fathers sought to protect us from: single (female) parent homes, no male role models for boys, abortion, cycles of poverty and violence.

                      But it is a very powerful delusion.

                      2. Never before in human history were the circumstances created for widespread premarital sex being normal and accepted. For there to be widespread premarital sex, there has to be a large pool of free, sexually self-determinative single females. Only feminist society could create such a pool. In previous eras, you simply didn’t have enough unattached, willing, single females at large for “pre-marital sex” to be considered on its own. You had fornication/whoring. Prostitutes charged men for sex. This has gone on since time immemorial. The Fathers objected because, well, basically, it’s not steady income and no way to raise the resulting children. Sharing women was considered indecent, at least if it was practiced freely.

                      Let me put a very fine point on it just so everyone understands exactly what I am saying:

                      The problem is not the male libido.


                      Both prostitution/fornication and single (female) parent families result in all the social ills that the Church Fathers warned us against. Women unsupported by a particular man end up aborting their children or creating single (female) parent homes which tend to be impoverished, lack male role models and lead to high rates of violence and other social pathologies.

                  • An interesting rejection of free speech under the guise of “fact checking” and very much in fashion. But, who, in the end, is the final arbiter of what constitutes a fact? It is very simple with math, slightly less so with physics (but still relatively easy).

                    This little conundrum is sometimes called the problem of epistemology – the problem of whom to trust. The fact that America seems to have broken its “mooring” and is drifting a bit is due to the fact that the MSM (Main Stream Media) have finally committed journalistic suicide. After this election and the Wikileaks information, we now know to an undeniable certainty that they were not even trying to be objective. Thus, all of their factual reporting as well as spin for the last couple of generations has been called into question – not by partisans only, but by all the people.

                    This is the reason you see the feeble counterattack against “Russian hacking” and “fake news”. Whether some Russians or the Russian government hacked into DNC servers is not the issue. Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t. The MSN most certainly wants to make it the issue. However, the real thing on display for God and everybody is that the Emperor, in fact, has no clothes on. The MSM is little more than a mouthpiece for the DNC and this has been proven by Wikileaks to the American public beyond a reasonable doubt.

                    That is what is causing all the cognitive dissonance. There is no longer any agreed source for “truth”. This is terrifying to many people. They are quite vocal in sharing that terror with us in column after column. I do not sympathize, but I understand their confusion.

                    Their ideology is dying before their eyes and they simply cannot believe that this can possibly be happening. They know they were right. Yet reality has intervened to dispel that illusion. They were wrong all along: about the inherent injustice of income disparity, about feminism and abortion, about racial entitlement – about much of the substance of their core beliefs.

                    All that really remains is their commitment to a certain amount of income redistribution. Yet Trumpists/Putinists have no objection to this. A certain amount of redistribution is quite healthy. Conservatives were wrong about this. That is about all that they were wrong about except for the warmongering.

                    And so with no agreed upon referee to decide for us what to believe and what to reject, alas we are left to our own devices. We write and discuss and link and everyone pretty well believes whatever to them seems the most persuasive. But fear not, objective evidence and common sense will prevail. Yet that will look nothing like Progressive Liberalism.

                    And that’s not a shame at all.

                    • Blame the msm when Trump won’t hold a press conference or when leaders throw journalists out for hard questions?

                      The msm and non-msm guys are all the same. Shock jocks. They don’t talk about alms giving all that much.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      You’re really lashing out here, aren’t you Anon?

                      The MSM has been caught with their hand in the cookie jar (more accurately in bed with the Dems) and you still think that they’re some august “Fourth Estate”?

                      I got a bridge in Brooklyn I can sell you if you’re interested.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Fr. George, I find myself in mind agreement with the following caveats: while accountability is usually helpful it is not required nor even necessary for the type of blog George started out to run;
                    You are assuming that George’s priest is wholly unaware of George’s activities;
                    that there is anything resembling “journalistic standards” anymore let alone any reliable way to fact check; the idea that journalism can or should be somehow “neutral” and objective is both impossible and a cultural myth. As a student of history I have found that people are much better served when a writer openly discloses his bias, which George does.

                    The kind of journalism we have today is quite similar in tone and content to that which prevailed for most of our history up to around WWII.

                    So, take my agreement for what it is worth. Probably not much.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      True that. Thank you Michael. BTW, the biggest myth out there is that “fake news” is a new phenomenon and a product of the Alt.Right. Would that that was true. In my lifetime, we’ve been subject to fake news from the Gulf of Tonkin to WMD to the Russian “hacking.”

                      It’s all BS. The difference is that the talking heads who read teleprompters on TV are getting paid big bucks to spew the Corporate Media/Government propaganda.

                    • Fr. George Washburn says

                      Hi friends:

                      Let’s see how many comments I can reply to in one message! Thanks for so many thoughtful (and critical) comments. They give us a chance to think about this nexus of issues more carefully if we are willing to go a step or two past sound-bite reactivity.

                      First, let’s try to focus on what the heck it is that we, or at least I, am talking about. (I could have been a bit clearer.). Given the realities and power of Internet discussion, and the potential damage to a) real people and b) the Church, how should our host shape AND govern the discourse fostered, not to say occasional demons, unleashed here? Or are George and Mono the ONE sacred cow in religion and politics that can’t be at least questioned herein?

                      I do NOT have a simple, one-size-fits-all litmus test for what George & Co. do here that I think makes the church ungovernable, or at least less governable than we should like it to be. I can make several generalizations, though.

                      1. The more generally public the discourse and ideas discussed, the less I think there should be any sort of caution in what is expressed here or how it is fact checked. The election, the theory and practice of American or global politics, the ways in which big strong governments meddle in the affairs of others? Let ‘er rip, gang! This blog is a fly speck compared to what is going on out there already.
                      2. The more a particular article or exchange of views has to do with a particular person who is not in a position to defend himself, the more caution, not to say self censorship, should be exercised. Conversely the more money or armies the subject of discussion has, the less we should care. If somebody unfairly trashes Putin or any other big shots here, and it actually matters, they have ways and means of seeking public or private redress.
                      3. The more a situation has to do with a judgment call by church leaders in a local/personal situation, the more we should hesitate to publicly interfere or complexify their already almost-impossible jobs without at least attempting some careful and serious advance fact checking. I see little of that kind of circumspection here.
                      4. The more public exercises in church politics or overall policies are being discussed (Crete, the breadth of the EP’s jurisdiction, etc) the less concerned I am about caution.
                      5. The bigger and deader the person under discussion (Augustine or Jefferson, for example) the less concern I feel. And the smaller and more alive – or recently deceased – the more concern.
                      6. The more the subject concerns abstract doctrines or ideas (the wisdom of the electoral college, the proper use of icons according to the Church Councils) as opposed people who have not thrust themselves onto the stage, the less restraint and caution.

                      Mr. Baumann, I believe, referred to the original purpose of this blog. I find that of only marginal interest. I respectfully suggest the question is or should be what it is *now,* how it actually works. And there we find George fostering essentially the same sort of often-vituperative and voyeuristic discourse about living people and sensitive local matters as he does about the impersonal policy and politics dramas playing out on world and national stages.

                      One example: I found so much of the exchanges here about the bishop’s decisions about that poor parish in Missouri, the physical pain and mental distress suffered by their long time priest and his family, the contending views of parishioners in different camps, particularly sad, unseemly … and to my eye and ear pretty much unworthy of kind, mature, or intelligent Christians.

                      More later, perhaps, especially in dialogue with Gail.


                      Fr. George

                  • Gail Sheppard says

                    Father George, do priests and bishops have jurisdiction over people’s opinions? I would really like to know for my own edification because I assume that when I speak here I can say whatever I feel is appropriate without being accountable to anyone.

                    Did you review what you wrote with your bishop? With anyone? If not, why wouldn’t George have the same freedom?

                    It’s his blog and he is not holding us hostage. Nor do we look to him for spiritual guidance. This isn’t Liturgy; it’s “coffee hour!” We need to have *some* room to explore our own ideas without fear of retribution. There are priests, bishops even, maybe a metropolitan or two, who read this blog. They provide oversight through their posts if one of us gets out of line, believe me. I may not know their names, but when they speak, I know enough to listen.

                    I couldn’t find one thing that you said that I could tie back to something George wrote. You write brilliantly and you’re incredibly entertaining, but there is no substance here. You speak of past stories, agitators and something about him being factually 80% inaccurate but fail to be specific about WHAT stories, WHAT agitators, WHAT facts. I had no idea what you were talking about.

                    You just unloaded on him.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Let’s go with this analogy of “coffee hour,” since you laid the foundation. In a “coffee hour,” we expect certain social conventions to guide us, probably first and foremost is the notion that every fool thought that passes through our head – every judgmental & accusatory conclusion based on someone’s appearance, their affect, if they “rub me the wrong way,” whatever – doesn’t pass our lips. Why? The consequences. Like those situations of conscience when you catch that momentary, barely noticeable flash on someone’s face that tells you you’ve gone too far, you’ve crossed a line, and now have been hurtful. Or when someone is angry, displeased, really offended. Double & triple these sanctions among Orthodox Christian; those who love Truth, “one Lord, one faith, one baptism,” (Eph. 4:5), no? It is our social nature, our expectations, our directions for civil behaviour in our own moral society. The “coffee hour” of the internet is hardly comparable. Anonymity and open identification grants an indemnification from experiencing consequence; anonymity indemnifies from honesty, confrontation, and integrity. And so it goes…

                      I am amused that Mr. Michaloupulos’ response to my initial statement was to question my “harsh criticism,” and he is thankful for the “defense” of others. I intended neither to be harsh nor to “criticize,” if this is taken to suggest me telling someone to do something in their own house. It won’t happen. My point was to simply ask if it is unreasonable to ask him keep his word about personal attacks and such across the board. And seriously, Gail, you can’t think of a single agitator? Not one?

                      And this leads me to conclude regarding the matter of “fact checking.” You said yourself, when you hear a voice of correction, you know it and listen. And I’m going out on a limb here, Gail, and guess that when you read bullshit, you pretty much know it as quickly as well. Now, several posts above this, you can read, “But, who, in the end, is the final arbiter of what constitutes a fact?” followed by an overblown, narcissistic meander that tells us what, exactly? Nothing, plain and simple. Are we left with Pilate’s ominous, “What is truth?” (Jn. 18:38), or to consider the words of John, “I have not written to you because you know not the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.” (1Jn 2:21) So, in my mind, the question becomes, if intuition among Orthodox Christian fails, do we possess even the most basic, rudimentary set of objective criteria to reach conclusions of veracity. Sure we do. We refer to it as “joining with the Holy Fathers before us” in our Patristic Tradition. Some mock this as “proof texting,” but the Fathers refer to this as maintaining the Scriptural & Patristic mind of the Church. When someone is is quoting only themselves or the terrain vague of “Tradition,” and cannot cite the Fathers or the Holy Scripture, something is very wrong. It doesn’t take genius.

                    • Actually, George can influence whether or not people are a part of Orthodoxy. Even if he doesn’t want to; he posts priest’s articles here, so he probably wants to do so.

                      And that must concern bishops and priests. To respond to Fr Washburn as you have is really uncalled for.

                      Even some of George’s headlines have been worthy of clerical rebuke.

                    • Fr. George Washburn says

                      Greetings, friends:

                      Gail has reminded us once again by example that she is better at asking tough and necessary questions graciously than most of us are at answering them that way.

                      That said let me interact for a moment with the first one she recently asked me so directly. “Do (she may also mean should) priests and bishops have jurisdiction over people’s opimions?”

                      Answering the question *precisely* as phrased – “priests and bishops” “jurisdiction” over “people’s opinions” – I believe the answer is “no, unless the peopleexpress them.” We do not have “thought police.”

                      Once the opinions are expressed, though, and assuming that the people expressing them are part of that clergyman’s flock, then doesn’t the question become “Were the opinions expressed heretical or otherwise sinful?” If they were, then doesn”t Orthodox Church doctrine and practice say they do have churchly “jurisdiction?”

                      I think Gail asked her question somewhat rhetorically, as if we could not imagine that priests or bishops could or should possibly have anything to say about people’s ideas. But I do not think she asked the right question. My critique is not of mere opinions people keep to themselves. I am focused on what they publicly broadcast here.

                      And the jurisdiction question invites us to notice that in return for the burden of that “jurisdiction” the Church has conferred upon them (read burden and duty, too) they are made accountable to the Metropolitans, Synods, and Patriarchs farther up the ladder. By contrast we have a blog that purports to be an influential arbiter of all things Orthodox with self-conferred jurisdiction, one man oversight, and no accountability.


                      Fr. George

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      Father George, I remember someone telling me, “There is a lot of freedom in the Church.” It took me a few years to understand what that meant, but it’s one of the things I like the most about the Church. If I stopped expressing myself, I would cease to think about things and after awhile, they would cease to matter. I can’t believe that would be a good . . . for me.

                      George has a way of generating conversation (you’ve got to give him that), conversation generates thought, thought generates reflection and every once in awhile, reflection generates insight. Or so it seems to me.

                      The MOST appealing thing about this site, though, is that you won’t get kicked off because you challenge people or ask questions. You can’t say that about the Forum or even the old Indiana List. If someone doesn’t like you, whether or not it is deserved, you can be asked to leave. I never have to worry about that here and that’s important to me.

                  • Fr. George,

                    For what its worth, not all of us take George’s posts (or those who comment here) at face value. I doubt that all that many do.

                    In the same way, however, I do not take what the American print or television media report (about Syria, for example) at face value, notwithstanding their editorial boards and supposed journalistic ethical standards. This doesn’t mean I don’t listen to the reports and glean information. It means I take them only for what they are worth in the knowledge that what is being reported is not without an agenda, either their own or that of those from whom they gather information for their reports.

                    • Fr. George Washburn says

                      Hello friends:

                      Late afternoon greetings from the soaked Santa Cruz area in the wake of some heavy, drought busting rains.

                      Gail has replied that she appreciates the freedom George gives her and others here. No doubt, but that is not the issue I am raising.

                      Gail asked if I am accountable to a bishop for what I post. I am, although he has never gotten involved in anything I’ve written here. But *my* accountability to a bishop is not the issues either. It is George’s accountability to nobody but George, and his steadfast refusal to bring in even the mildest forms of it such as an advisory board of his own choosing.

                      Seemingly in the full flush of his recent series on sex, feminity and more, Misha paused to cryptically say that someone is trying to restrain ‘free speech’ here in the guise of suggesting fact-checking. I suppose he meant me, but he didn’t make it clear.

                      The concept of “free speech” only arises in the context of government authority that seeks to restrain it. Misha’s comment invites us to put the following question on the next Orthodox Practical Theology mid-term: “Write a two page essay discussing the applicability to Orthodox Christian Internet discourse of the popular American concept of free speech in light of James 3:5-8 and the writings of the Orthodox saints and Desert Fathers. Include your personal evaluation of whether or not the computer is a modern, functional equivalent of the tongue, and in light of that evaluation discuss whether or not the broad, instantaneous dissemination of unchecked accusations and comments by anonymous with no accountability makes a computer forum more or less susceptible to being the raging fire, world of iniquity, reservoir of poison and general hell spreader to which the Apostle refers.”

                      I’m outta here for at least a couple of weeks, and probably longer, because of other commitments.

                    • Fr. George,

                      What is the sudden infatuation with censorship on the Left? I’m amused. I assume George M is answerable to his bishop. I have stated plainly here before that I answer to Vladyka Peter of Chicago. I have corresponded with his office, not about these matters. But he is certainly aware of my existence. These are my opinions, not his, except insofar as we both share the traditional Orthodox faith as we understand it.

                      What more is there to say? Pound sand if you like.

              • And this isn’t considered offensive?

                Or opinion?

                But substantive?

                Alrighty then.

              • M. Stankovich says

                Mr. Pappas,

                You could look me in the face and honestly say to me that, over the course of what is now 6-years of contributing to this site, you have not learned a single thing from me regarding medical science and genetics/epigenetics and their relationship to Orthodox anthropology and our theological discourse; nothing of the profound words of the Holy Fathers and the fathers of our generation, particularly when they are slandered, “second-guessed” by Google scholars, and openly blasphemed on this site; and nothing from me regarding forensic psychiatry, the dynamics of sex offenders, psychopathy, mental illness in general, treatment, and the hope of recovery? Could you have actually written anything dumber about me, Mr. Pappas? And to top it off, you clearly demonstrate that I am so compelling, so intoxicating, and so narcotizing that, even as you disparage me for my arrogance and, literally, being bereft of anything to say except, “the pedestrian and mundane,” you don’t seem capable of just ignoring me!

                Whatever I do, Mr. Pappas, I do so passionately and successfully, and that would be in the real world, not this sandbox. I don’t need followers, disciples, or more friends. I dare say that if I had ever been motivated or had the intention to affect “Jonah,” it would not have been an “ambush,” and I most certainly would not have needed Jillions & Arida; it would have been direct and as a man possessed. Do you have any reason to doubt that, Mr. Pappas? If you check the Way Back Machine you can find my personal blog from the days I worked in prison; nearly 850,000 hits to just read Adderall-XR raddled me when I closed it on Google Blogspot. And it was Mr. Michalopulos who said I was one of the most prolific contributors to this site, and commented that several of my post were the most profound. I am grateful for the appreciation. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t say I am a “self-selected arbiter of all that is good and holy,” but I do know good & holy when I see it, and I also know blasphemy, inane Google scholarship, and false teaching when I see it. And you are bound to hear about it.

                I travel around quite a bit, Mr. Pappas, and mix and speak with Orthodox Christians whenever possible. I will tell you that not a single person has ever reported to me that they read you on Monomakhos. But plenty of people, at my introduction or hearing my name, tell me they have read me. Think about that. Plenty of people will now read me repeat my feedback from, when, approximately a years ago? I try my best to post something inspiring – though it may be corrective – and instructive. Does it always work? No. But I try. As near as I can tell, your contribution is always bitching or negative, pointed sarcasm. Does that behaviour seem to work for you in the real world?

          • Michael,

            If you imagine that I am speaking of politics, or ascribing to the law more power than it has, or thinking of the law as serving anything other than the purpose appropriate to it you are mistaken. You are reading things into my words that I neither expressed nor thought. I merely ascribed to the law its proper function – nothing more, but also nothing LESS.

            The fact that the law is lacking in SOME powers does not mean that it lacks ANY power.

            Law that is discordant with reality/truth/the law of God has power both to allow and to promote the perpetration of great evil while law that is in accordance with reality/truth/the law of God has power both to deter and to restrain great evil. And whether the heterodox or even atheists happen to discern and approve of the wisdom associated with godly law should be of no concern to us.

            Many Germans hated Jews, but not until the legal restraint of their hatred was lifted were they freed to act upon it. Some whites still hate blacks, but the law restrains them from openly acting upon their hatred. Would your friend prefer to be forced to sit in separate space or to be refused service? I think not. In spite of enduring real or perceived hatred, I suspect he is nevertheless pleased that the law protects him in ways it once did not. I also suspect the Jews cared less about why they were being rounded up and killed than they cared THAT they were being killed.

            It is with those who would make void the law – even those laws made by men that are in accordance with reality/truth/the law of God – and who say it is irrelevant that I take issue, as did the Apostle and as did our Fathers. They understood both the limits and the virtue/power of the law, as do I. That the law is completely devoid of power is a thoroughly modernist and utterly un-Christian concept. Moreover, the idea that law has no impact on very real lives of those who must live in this world is worthy of ridicule. Those who casually accept this modernist notion as a maxim of truth have failed to consider its implications.

            “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law… Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.”

            • M. Stankovich says


              Approximately six paragraphs – and a follow-up – just in case “I was imaging…” Apparently the internet makes everyone a psychiatrist.

              • How I do miss Bishop TF’s lively sense of humor! He would no doubt wonder what it was that you might possibly have been “imaging.”

                (I mean this only as friendly humor, Michael. He often caught me in these funny errors as well).

          • Correction: It would be more accurate to say…

            That the law is completely devoid of power is a thoroughly modernist and utterly quasi-Christian concept.

            …because it is rooted in a tragic misunderstanding of Christianity, one that mistakes freedom from the law and/or the inability of the law alone to bring about the righteousness of God for lawlessness.

            “But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.”

        • Gun owners and women for abortion share much in common when you see them with an open mind and one not crowded by indoctrination. They both want the heavy boot of the state to be kept from them.

          And both result in horrible results. Overpractice of abortion, murder of innocent people by the insane, all in the name of freedom so women can have safe abortion and men(even insane men) can have guns without registering them. Both are implements of destruction and yet both the left and the right hold onto those rights as inalienable.

          The result is moral inconsistency from both sides.

          Unfair! You can’t compare the two! Unfair! Actually, they are very similar, in fact, gun ownership is a little soft because the arguments aren’t against gun ownership; just registration and yet, the right says no to the heavy boot of state registry. And the left says no to making abortion illegal. They are not equivalent as the guns aren’t being taken away even, well, except from a few nuts, but abortion would be taken away.

          When people start talking about legislating sin, I always laugh. Legislation generally takes away freedom. Freedom to kill, freedom to end a pregnancy, freedom to own a gun without knowledge of the state, freedom to drink one’s self to death (RIP SH).

          When the same persons start arguing against abortion and for a gun registry, I’ll stop laughing.

          Until then, it is more of a podium show.

          • Michael Bauman says

            Anon, your comment high-lights the problem with legislated “rights”. Intended to be a restriction on federal government action, they have become just the opposite.

            The real problem lies in the government deciding what is a right, who gets to exercise that right and under what conditions.

            As the societal acceptance and consensus of what constitutes acceptable human behavior deteriorates, the rights approach becomes even more problematic.

            The proper use of guns is for protecting and providing for one’s self, family and community. Abortion is always about death. There lies the distinction.

            To guarantee a right to kill, especially by making a class of human beings less than human, as abortion law does, deprives all of us of protection. Any one can be declared less than human legislatively.

            To limit the state in actions against gun ownership does nothing of the kind. There are countless laws on the improper use of guns.

            Yours is a false analogy.

          • You have a point here, Anonymous. I do not own a gun, although from time to time I have considered purchasing one. I personally have no interest in hunting (although I respect those who do). My only reason for owning a gun would be self-defense. But although I have nothing against self-defense and SPEAKING ONLY FOR MYSELF, I wonder if it wouldn’t be better to die or be robbed than to kill someone, even justifiably. Some may ridicule me for this, but again, I speak only for myself. If I ever actually purchase a gun my hope would be either never to use it at all or to use it only to scare someone away.

            But having said this, I honestly think the attitudes of gun advocates would be different if two factors were not in play.

            The first is that existing gun laws are almost never enforced. This it is kind of like the illegal immigrant debate. Enforce the law, and then we can have a reasonable discussion about what with do with illegal residents who are already here. Until existing law is enforced gun advocates (and I am not one myself) have little faith in the motives behind registration.

            The second is the fact that those who push most strongly for additional restrictions are the same ones who also push for – and in some cases for a time achieved – completely gun-free zones, often in entire cities (Chicago being the most laughable example). Here again, there is little reason to have faith in either the motives or the outcome.

            I honestly think that the vast majority of responsible gun owners have no real, heart-felt objection to reasonable legal restrictions on gun ownership, all the rhetoric to the contrary notwithstanding. It is the completely understandable lack of faith in the motives of most (not all) of those who push for these restrictions and their lack of will to enforce the law that is the stumbling block to what could otherwise be a very beneficial compromise.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Speaking as a Life-member of the NRA, very few of us have problems in principle with reasonable restrictions on gun ownership. The reason we never admit it in public and are willing to fight in the last ditch to ensure an absolutist position is because those on the other side are anything but reasonable. I dare say few (if any) of them are acting in good faith.

              Hence, our absolutist position.

          • Michael Bauman says

            A case in point: reportedly the Obama administration is going to categorize all recipients of SSI as “mental defectives”and therefore unable to own guns.

            Who would have been next had Hillary won, Christians, Republicans, those who watch Duck Dynasty?

            • M. Stankovich says

              Case in point, the top 5 conditions for which Americans qualify for SSI and SSDI in the United States in 2015 (and who intendeds to refer to anyone as “mental defectives” in 2017? Seriously?) are as follows:

              1) Muscle, back and joint disorders such as back pain and arthritis. These accounted for 28.6 percent of new claims and 28.7 existing claims.

              2) Spine and nervous system conditions including multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s accounted for 7.7 percent of new claims, while existing claims for these issues w13.5 percent.

              3) Cardiovascular & circulatory disorders accounted for 8.7 percent of new claims and 12.4% of the existing claims.

              4) Cancer & tumors accounted for 15.1 of new claims and 9.1 percent of all existing claims.

              5) Accidents, injuries, and & poisonings accounted for 10.3 of new claims and 7.7% percent of all existing claims.

              I would strongly suggest that none of the conditions listed as accounting for the most claims for SSI or SSDI in the US in 2015 – save Alzheimer’s and dementia – would even remotely lead one to conclude a prevalence of “mental defect” that should concern this or any other administration as to limiting the possession of guns. For the record:

              6) Mental illness and behavioural disorders accounted for 8.3 percent of all new claims and 7.7 percent of existing claims; ending with respiratory system disorders (2.3 percent), infectious parasitic disease (1.9 percentage), “ill-defined disorders (such as headaches/chronic fatigue – 2.8 percent), and digestive system disorders (2.6 percent).

              I cannot imagine from what trash service you got your “reports,” Michael Bauman, but ever since voting for a man you swore you would never vote for because it was against your conscience, your sarcasm and demeanor has taken an especially mean turn.

      • And yet on January 20th, 2017, he will be President of the United States.

        Deal with it.

        BTW: Have we forgotten that Pakistan is a nuclear power, Sunni Muslim and that their military is very pro-Taliban?

        I mean, you do realize that there is no “secret” anymore as to “how to build ’em” and that Pakistan could have been assisting Turkey, et al, in developing nuclear weapons all this time?

        Oops, there’s my flight.

      • Trump sounds like a Byzantine emperor. One slept with his niece. I think Trump may with his faults lead back to Reagan. I have ancestors in both the North and South in Kentucky. They landed in Massachusetts,, Virginia, New Jersey and New York.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Mr. Treadwell, abortion is murder. Belief is not required. When anyone says abortion is murder they are stating a fact.

        I can name perhaps a dozen former US Presidents who had traits and behavior patterns similar to Trump’s. It is only the lawlessness of our culture that allows him to be so open about them without compunction.

        Shoot since in the end times all things will be revealed it could even be a sign of that.

        What is morality Mr. Treadwell? If it flows from the real order of creation in communion with God, it is already “legislated”.

        Your post shows that you are deficient in understanding what is real and what is not. Likely you are a nominalist. The end result of nominalism is that if I am stronger than you, I can kill you and you have no basis to object. It is the embodiment of the Nietzschean Will to Power. Which if you are logically consistent, you would favor Trump and his objectivist buddies over Hillary and the eunuchs.

        So, you need to look at your own lack of logic and more throughly examine your premises.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Dick Nixon said this about Ike: “He had a smile that could light up a room but ice water running in his veins.”

          In truth, this is the Macchiavellian ideal for a leader.

          • George, my grandmother meet President Nixon in the late seventies, she said he was very polite, regardless that he had a hard time understanding her broken English, he spoke to her for about ten minutes, and even held open the door for her as they were leaving a dept. store in San Francisco. She thought that was the most exciting day in her life to meet the President, and for him to give her the time of day.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Nixon was known for being a class act. Case in point: he knew that the Daley Machine counted just enough dead people to tip Illinois to the Dems (and the LBJ people to get enough cattle to vote in Texas). It was clearly a stolen election. Yet because of the tensions of the Cold War, he chose not to contest the election of 1960.

  2. Mark E. Fisus says

    Certainly the most dramatic election in our lifetimes, but not in American history. The Electoral College threw the election to the House of Representatives in 1824. Since you allude to Andrew Jackson, perhaps you are familiar with that bit of trivia. Even if the Electoral College does that again on Monday, at best it matches 1824 but does not surpass it in drama.

    The 1860 election preceding the Civil War was pretty dramatic too.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Also 1876 when four states in the South submitted the Republican slate of electors instead of the Democratic slate (which actually carried their states), thereby giving the election to Rutherford B Hayes.

      All were dramatic. The difference between those three and this one is that the entire political establishment –both Democratic and Republican–as well as the MSM, threw everything but the kitchen sink at Trump. And he still won.

      • George, you may say our Lord’s will was done, not just through the voters, but through the votes that mattered the most. That Trump won the electoral, by such a large margin, yet Clinton has neatly 3 mil more popular votes , not to mention the kitchen sink thrown at him. Is this not short of a miracle?

        • His current winning margin derives from ~77K votes total, in MI, WI and PA, not that this count is necessarily reliable. (I have jet-black suspicions about PA, for one example. Call that due to an overeducated intuition.)

          . . . That Trump won the electoral, by such a large margin . . . [Emphasis added. Ed.]

          False. Trump’s provisional* EV margin (expressed as a percentage of total electors**) ranks 46th of our 58 elections, an inauspicious 13th from the bottom.

          not to mention the kitchen sink thrown at him.


          . . . Is this not short of a miracle?

          Yes, well short of that. But I could tell you something truly miraculous …

          *see above
          **the only numerically meaningful method of ranking

          • He broke 300, that’s the usual definition of a landslide. The popular vote is interesting but, honestly, vote tampering is probably rampant. It makes sense that it would be more rampant in places controlled by Democrats and that’s where we are seeing the popular margin padded most. Trump may actually be right about the margins of the popular vote being fictitious. Usually when the electoral college is swung one way, the popular vote either goes with it or swings only very slightly the other way. This is either a very strange election or one in which there was rampant vote tampering by Democrats.

          • Mike Myers taking a Christmas break from Monomakhos! That would be short of a miracle!

        • Most of Hillary’s surplus votes came from California of course, that silly State.

          • Actually all of Hillary’s surplus (which many of were more than likely were cast by illegal aliens) popular votes are from California. If you minus just CA votes for Clinton and Trump from the total, then Trump wins the popular vote by about 700,000.

            • Trump lost Orange County ca that has voted Republican since 1936 for President, the longest streak but Gary Johnson was a factor, He lost Riverside less than OC which is odd. Personality, if he can get rid of 200,000 to 500,000 illegal immigrants I think in 2020 we will of course lose Ca but gain back OC, Riverside and San Bernadino and maybe San Diego.

      • Maybe Hillary ought go on a “Popular Vote Victory Tour.” Parade through Tinseltown then all the way out to Wall Street Times Square and White House culminating at Clinton Foundation headquarters wherever that is. This is trying to be funny. Where were the crowds during Hillary’s campaign? CNN and MSM were always trying to keep the cameras in so close because there was no audience wherever she went! High School Basketball Gymnasiums only two thirds full at most of her stops! Embarrassing!
        Trump meanwhile was packing them in by the thousands everywhere with people left outside and he probably did twenty times more stops everywhere more than her. Yet Hillary is the “popular vote champ” it does not compute Will Robinson, it does not compute!

        • I actually never really cared much for the guy. Apprentice? Maybe half an episode couple times. Then there was that beauty pageant and the queen spoke about traditional marriage and that stirred a fuss and Trump through her under the bus.
          To me at that point he was worse than deplorable. So he had an uphill climb with me Donald Trump. Older brother told me you have to forget about it. Alright. But I still thought it was all just more publicity for the Apprentice running for office. Then in the debates he was making fun of Jeb “low energy” and making all the rest look like
          their all a bunch of fat ass politicians that don’t know how to do business.

          Kick out all the lobbyists. OK Trump. Yeah, they can’t bribe you. Then as the field narrowed you got to see Trumps real political talking skills. Exposing the senators
          for lack of knowledge about how big companies work, the governors and senators give you their mumble jumble you know they don’t know the difference between their own face and their own let’s not reach so far down behind but anyway we got some good cabinet picks by the way. At 3:30 AM still down’n a Corona I will say this about Barrack Obama. He was articulate. He always found the right words that expressed his thoughts more precisely. He is handling the “5 stages of grieving” that the Democrats are going through APLOMB! Obama though shellshocked still has the intellect to know and understand that the first stage of “shock and utter disbelief” you have to accept it. “:Anger”? Nope. He is smart enough to know that is a waste of energy. Then the next three stages are all adaptive, overcoming disillusionment and not getting depressed and then “dealing with it” and Obama heck, I don’t know, maybe might want Trump make him ambassador to Russia. A patsy
          by design. “Look Vladimir, its your old buddy Barrack” ok shut up, give
          me your last wiki-leaks ..,. Nancy Pelosi is dating Robert Deniro ..,

          • Cy,

            Experiencing a breakdown of sorts? Understandable. Deep breaths. Say the Prayer of the Heart. It will all be fine.

            • Thanks. For yourself perhaps it may be a good idea to get out from under the keyboard every once in a while. Go outside, go for a walk, breath in a little fresh air. Just that and it helps clear the cobwebs.

  3. Excellent, George!!! Misha is proud of you too.

    I had never tracked the ethnic stuff through the history/politics paradigm. I found that quite interesting.

    “Hopefully Trump’s use of the Bully Pulpit will be able to override the establishment sensibilities of the official conservative movement.”

    I was thinking the same thing this morning. Men are back. And I expect it to be quite dramatic. Beta males are going to have a rough time with this.

    The Dems and MSM are losing. McCain called for a Senate select committee to probe but Republican leadership says existing committees are sufficient.

    Welcome to the theomachy, the sons of light v. the sons of darkness.

    • George Michalopulos says

      The chains of political correctness breaking from our bodies are the best possible outcome of the election.

      The uprising is only beginning. That’s why the betas and feminazis are screaming like stuck pigs.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Misha, check out JayMan for more insights on demography and destiny. Also (as I wrote above) Steve Sailer provides excellent insights.

      The take-away from the demographic school of historiography is basically this: that the different races, nations and tribes of the world have their inherent characteristics which either help or hurt in a given geographical situation. (I realize that this skirts uncomfortably close to a Darwinian understanding of history but Darwin was not wrong when it came to natural selection in the micro-evolutionary sense.)

      • You can believe in Christianity, or you can believe in the false secular construct of “race”. The two are not compatible. The latter is a jealous false god indeed.

        Needless to say, my opinions of Steve Sailer are not fit to print on this blog.

        • George Michalopulos says

          So, let me get this straight, Nate: you (who I believe is Liberal) doesn’t believe in science. Yes or no? (As for myself, I see no –repeat NO–incompatibility with science and Christianity so intellectually, I’m on safer ground.)

          As for Sailer (who is a Catholic believer), I’m going to go out on a limb and say you are not that familiar with his writings. But what about JayMan? He’s mixed-race black/white second-generation Jamaican with subcontinental Indian and Chinese ancestry as well. For the record, neither of these men are bigots.

          Sailer in fact wrote a stunning rebuke of the book Freakonomics which posited the thesis that the reason crime went down in the 90s was because of the legalization of abortion in 1973 with Roe v Wade. The underlying sub-text to Freakonomics was that thanks to Roe, there was a spike in abortions among black women which resulted in a “pre-emptive death penalty” of never-born young black males. Lest we forget, it was this same demographic cohort that Hillary Clinton called “super-predators” back in the mid-90s.

          • I believe in science. And that actual science is in alignment with Christianity on the assertion that race is purely a social construct.

            There is no meaningful biological “reality” of race. Your “Darwinists” are nothing more than a straw man to give cover for your racist beliefs: “It’s not just me George Michalopulos, the religious man, but these somber men in white coats agree with me! And as much as I hate to agree with those godless atheists they have a point!”

            Except, of course, they don’t. Because the beliefs you seek to justify do not have actual scientific support.

            If we are going off on tangents about crime wave hypothesis, people have started doing serious causation to the startling correlation between environmental lead exposure and violent crime rates. As the decades go by, it is likely to be increasingly apparent that leaded gasoline was an amazingly bad idea. Neurological damage doesn’t give two figs what your skin color is, although what your skin color is can determine how likely you are to grow up (still) in areas with high residual lead contamination.

          • Michael Bauman says

            George! Really. Believe in SCIENCE. Hell no. Science done correctly is a toll of logic designed to organize, validate and select information and data. Sometimes the results can be used technologically and engineered to produce other tools and machines. Sometimes it gives us greater knowledge about creation and how it works.

            Then there is the bad science or bad popularizers who use science incorrectly and dishonestly as an ideological weapon to advance a particular social agenda.

            As an honest approach to the ordering and functioning of creation, it has great value and can be enormously exciting.
            But there is nothing to believe in.

            Only as an ideological weapon does the question if belief enter, this my Hell No.

            Nate is absolutely correct in that from a Christian, i. e. Orthodox perspective there is no such thing as race.

            Not to say that geographic and physical characteristics of a people do not influence behavior and adaptation but race is a imperialist category made up solely for the purpose of maintaining and justifying political hegemony.

            Haekel and his successors(all of the eugenicists) took it even further as an excuse for genocide. It is emphatically NOT science.

          • M. Stankovich says

            If “There is no meaningful biological “reality” of race,” and race is a “social construct” and a “false god,” at least from the vantage of epidemiology and genetics/epigenetics, Mr. Trost, than you are the Mother Goose of modern science. I suspect it would take all of three minutes to create a formidable list of specific disorders & acute medical vulnerabilities off the top of my head that are specific and peculiar to race [γενεά] by a known genetic (does the word resemble γενεά a bit, Mr. Trost?) or epigenetic (meaning affecting at a cellular level, but not changing the underlying genome below – your example of leaded fuel exhaust in the environment, for instance) preponderance. The ability to test for these conditions & vulnerabilities is quickly becoming the cornerstone of preventative and interventional medicine.

            Is there research of the same quality in regard to behavioural medicine? Not in the same quantity, but this much can be said: as to the matter(s) under discussion, one could conclude, for example, that the majority of serial killers are white and “super-predators” are Black, and the “super-predators” are Black because of abortion and the location of abortions clinics, etc. I would suggest that this is a conclusion reached from “writers,” not scientists, their race, religious practice, or political position notwithstanding. Anyone who cannot distinguish authentic research from bullshit (and I have written many times on this site the means and mechanism(s) by which to do so) is a charlatan or an enabler of charlatans, and both are equally dangerous. The facts from legitimate, replicable studies from 2015 and previous indicate that the distribution of Antisocial Personality Disorder, and its meaner, more aggressive, more dangerous manifestation, Psychopathy, seems to be equally distributed racially among Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics. It is an ongoing question in psychiatry whether Borderline Personality Disorder [BPD] (think Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction) is over-diagnosed in women and under-diagnosed in men; whether BPD exists at all, and is really a Bipolar Disorder, and I’m sure you don’t care. Importantly, the research strongly suggests that ASPD and Psychopathy are genetically mediated.

            Michael Bauman, if you insist from an “Orthodox perspective there is no such thing as race, ” I leave it to you to correct St. Peter:

            But you are a chosen race [ὑμεῖς δὲ γένος ἐκλεκτόν], a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1Pet. 2:9)

            You can mess around with translations – “family,” “generation” – but from Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound, Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, to Sts. Clement of Alexandria, Basil the Great, and John of Damascus, the word is “race.” And finally, to Scott, “It’s exact purpose in the divine economy is unclear to me at this point.” Both Sts. Chrysostom and John of Damascus (or in the simple reflection of St. Gregory the Theologian who sat in the forest for a time, simply observing) seemed to believe the answer lies in Psalm 103: the celebration of the unfathomable, unimaginable, unknowable diversity of our God manifested in His Creation. Diversity. Madonna Mia! Who saw that coming… Perhaps Him who created the ages.

        • Nate,

          On the contrary, the pseudo-scientific deconstruction of race is what is unchristian. Race is a very long-standing category, obvious to the eye. The word exists in many languages and distinctions have always been made based upon it. It’s exact purpose in the divine economy is unclear to me at this point, but race is real. The wallpapering over it is secular political correctness.

  4. Gail Sheppard says

    I understand the need for the Electoral College, but I don’t understand the need for Electors. Why do we need these people? If you get more than 270 Electorial votes and the other candidate concedes, that should be it. We shouldn’t have to worry that Electors might be threatened or pressured into changing their vote. If someone wants a recount that would change the outcome of the election, there should be a fixed amount of time to do that and once that’s over, it’s feta complete.

    • Because we are a representative form of government. In all Anglo countries, the government is separated from the people by layers of representation, and someone has to cast those electoral votes on behalf of the states. Every single vote cast in our federal system is done in the name of people living in a specific place. There is no such thing as imaginary votes after all.

      Let’s also not forget that for many years electors were chosen by the legislatures, not the people. South Carolina in particular did it that way until after Reconstruction.

      If we want to secure the people’s vote, then states only need to pass laws binding electors to the vote results. Most states have not done that, for various reasons.

    • They were quite careful about whom they wanted to be elected. That’s the only plausible reason for setting it up this way. Bear in mind, Trump is not particularly at odds with anything the Founding Fathers believed in in 1789. I”m sure he’s less racist than they were but apart from that he’s cut right out of their cloth ideologically. They knew that they gave the Executive Branch the power to wage war as commander and chief, but not to declare it or fund it. They were willing to work with anyone, in one claw, the eagle held arrows, the other held an olive branch.

    • The job of the Electoral College is to ratify an election, not decide it.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Gail, something we have forgotten: our politics was supposed to be about people. Thus people are involved at every step. Ideas were secondary. These days it is ideas, personality, marketing and money not necessarily in that order.

      Instead of a communal activity to decide civilly how to order our lives as a polity, it has become a ideological struggle for power and control.

      Certainly that struggle has always been there but over our history it has become not just primary but it’s only function.

      Trump’s victory has a seed of hope in it that people may become more important.

  5. “Putin publicly blamed me for the outpouring of outrage by his own people, and that is the direct line between what he said back then and what he did in this election,” she said, according to audio obtained by The New York Times. “He is determined to score a point against me which he did. But also undermine our democracy.”


    Is that not projection? “[O]utpouring of rage by his own people” I mean, there were some minor demonstrations against Putin in Moscow and Petersburg I think at the time of his last re-election. But he has enjoyed pretty steady overall popularity from the mid-60’s to near 90 percent in some western polls like Levada.

    Now, there seems to have been an outpouring of rage against HRC and the DNC. And I expect that that tsunami will be devastating.


    This is so exquisite. They can’t see the big picture, or are not willing to look at it.

    And here I sit a purrrrrring.

    • They will just continue to be blindsided by loss after loss. How fun it will be to watch!

      Liberal pundits are STILL saying they lost because they didn’t get their message out. Do they take Americans for stupid? America heard their message and REJECTED IT!

  7. George: Watch the David Horowitz video, “The Left In Power: Clinton to Obama”:

  8. George talks a lot about the south but the only region that voted Republican for prez since 1964 is the Mountain states like ID, UT, Wy, and the plain states like Kansas, Oklahoma even Texas and the other southern states voted Dems sometimes.