The Startling Juxtaposition

Monomakhos must apologize.  Due to some computer glitch, two stories were combined.  Mea culpa.  We did not mean to distract people from this wonderful piece from Byzantine Texas . . .

Our treatment speaks volumes about our imputed value.

It’s an odd thing isn’t it that we were forbidden from going to church while we kept the alcohol stores open and the lottery tickets printing. How we closed the AA meetings but left Target open. How some states forbid buying seeds but considered men circling restaurants in foam outfits shaped like pizza slices, ice cream cones, and cheeseburgers to be essential workers. And now, how churches still can’t be trusted to pray together, but somehow thousands of people can march together shoulder-to-shoulder without any restrictions. How can it be that many of you have to fill out web forms to make a “reservation” for church this Sunday, while outside people stream past that same building chanting and yelling and more while the police sit impotently or join in themselves? Has the virus gone away? If not, how do we explain the startling juxtaposition?

It all points to an image of the Church as a luxury. It points to the Church given the consideration of an amateur club while corporations peopled with unskilled labor were trusted to continue selling chimichangas, hot dogs, and General Tso’s chicken. It declares that two thousand years of unbroken anamnesis is nothing compared to a “movement” where silence is violence.

We as a people didn’t stand up for ourselves. During the time of confusion about exactly what we were facing we let functionaries and pipsqueak potentates wield an iron fist while our faith leaders largely had hands wrung in obsequious confusion. And if they were confused, we were outraged. For some outraged if you objected, as you obviously didn’t care about peoples’ lives. And others outraged if you obeyed, because you obviously didn’t believe in the omnipotence of God. Neither side was happy. Neither side is happy now as we transition back to normalcy.
Many of us are also embarrassed about how we responded to this whole thing, how it revealed our weaknesses, how we fought each other, how we shut things down and left people shut out, how we let Krispy Kreme leave the “Fresh Donuts” light on while we locked our narthex doors and our bells sat silent. When we didn’t know if corona passed through the air, or on everything we touched, or raced along the waves of 5G we as a society made quick decisions about what was essential. In the same way a parent rushes out of a burning home with pictures and letters and social security cards, we declared what we needed to go on while we flattened the curve, and what a rogues’ gallery we selected.

I wonder if we are going to look back on this period and prepare for the next time some invisible scourge assails us. Are we going to have a plan? Are we going to be prepared to say we are as requisite as gas stations? Are we going to belabor the topic of spoon types and numbers and cleaning solutions yet again? Are we going to fast forward to the “good parts” of the Liturgy from the comfort of our couches with coffee mugs in hand? Or are we instead going to try and forget this time like a bad loss for our favorite football team? I wonder. And I fear that ten years from now we’ll only vaguely recollect sweatpants and economy-sized toilet paper rolls.


About GShep


  1. MultipSpoonAbomination says

    Watch the multi-spoon impiety unfold:

    The Church where this abomination took place removed the video, but we will keep reposting it.

    • I can’t really tell that they are using multiple spoons in the video. One issue is that the priests instructs them to hold a napkin under their mouths and to let the priest drop the bread into their mouths. If those are the instructions, then there is less point in using multiple spoons. I mean, what is the point of instructing people not to touch the spoon if you are going to use a different spoon for each person?

      • MultipSpoonAbomination says

        I don’t think you are looking very carefully. It is all quite clear that multiple spoons are being used.
        Of course there is no good reason for  A N Y  of what you see to be happening. It is an abomination.

        • Stephen Lilley (former Priest of GOARCH) says

          Having been a priest in the Greek Archdiocese for nearly 20 years, I am certain that in giving communion in this manner (dropping from the spoon) there were drops of the precious blood of Christ still on the spoons. These spoons were then handed to the altar boy upright. It would then follow that the precious blood would have dripped down the spoon on to his hand and/or floor. The carelessness of this priest is inexcusable. I also wonder how careful they are with the water in which the spoons are then immersed. For these reasons I have to say that this practice is not only irreverent, but blasphemous.

          • Antiochene Son says

            The Ecumenical Patriarch said there was to be no change in the method of communion, but apparently this directive does not apply to the EP-in-waiting.

          • MultipSpoonAbomination says

            Absolutely correct. 
            What a tragedy.
            But the tragedy doesn’t end there, since that priest has doubtless infected the laity with his impiety across multiple generations. Therefore, any serious priest who follows him will be accused of being a “fundamentalist” and thrown out on his ear in a hot minute.

          • Wow!

      • The priest said I will replace the spoon and so on. This priest is incedible, I was shcoked, could not belive what was going on, he did so much damage to this heresy that after this video I think multiple spoons are gone forever. “))What heresy this is!

      • Antiochene Son says

        “to allay fears”

        If anyone is that fearful, how can they go outside their home?

        • So let me ask you this ... says

          Speaking of fearful , could someone explain why the clergy are exempted from wearing a mask ?  Is there some sort of mystical holy barrier around the clergy that keeps them from catching or spreading disease ?  If  it’s really so dangerous that the laity are required to wear a mask and to not stand any closer than 6ft.  , not talk to one another , not to sing during the liturgy , and we could catch a disease from the communion spoon , then surely holding the office of bishop or priest or deacon does not exempt them from carrying and spreading disease, right ?   So, why won’t they take the mask ?  (it could  be in appropriate liturgical colors to match their vestments)   But please , no piffle about how they couldn’t be heard during liturgy if a mask was over their face.  If it’s really so dangerous as they say to gather in church , then let them wear a mask with a wireless mic clipped on their collar or clipped to the strap of their mask , or they can wear one of those over-the-ear wireless mics that theatrical performers wear .    We could hear them fine if they use one of those.    Or how about using a pre-recorded liturgy and they can just go through the motions silently while the recording is played .  (The choir, too .  No more dangerous spewing of germs from opening their mouths to sing)  Why not ?  Anything goes here in this Through-the-Looking-Glass New Normal™ we live in now , right ?  

          • Pat Reardon says

            Speaking of fearful , could someone explain why the clergy are exempted from wearing a mask ?

            Nobody in our parish has ever, not once, been obliged to wear a mask in church.

            • Father, can you relate this fact to whatever changes in Holy Communion, Holy Unction, kissing the Chalice/Cross/priest’s hand? In other words why no mask but why other changes?

              Thank you in Christ,
              Nicole who remains very confused by the beliefs/rationale behind the changed and the unchanged practices

              • Pat Reardon says

                Father, can you relate this fact to whatever changes in Holy Communion, Holy Unction, kissing the Chalice/Cross/priest’s hand? In other words why no mask but why other changes?
                Nicole, dear, I have no authority to micromanage people’s lives. And, as far as possible, I do not step into the space between God and His servants.
                Also, I suspect that all change is probably for the worse. And maybe that is especially true of the last 3 months or so.
                I have required no one to wear a mask in church, but some folks do it anyway. Again, they’re adults, and they would resent being treated as kids. I don’t blame them.
                I have never approved of folks kissing the chalice, however. Too much ranger of spilling. This has been my policy for the past quarter-century. No change here.
                At All Saints we have made no changes in the manner of receiving Holy Communion or Holy Unction.
                Out of sensitivity to the feelings of those making Confession, we have adopted the practice—for now—of sitting some feet apart, facing one another.
                Except for the chalice, I wouldn’t dare try to keep our parishioners from kissing whatever they feel like kissing. There is only SO MUCH an Orthodox Christian can be expected to put up with.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  Father, are your guidelines the same as the guidelines of the Archdiocese?

                  • Gail, great question ~  I so hope they are!  I would love to come to a parish where we are NOT directed NOT to kiss the icons, ie, where we are allowed to do so without being “disobedient or disrespectful” ~ as you are kindly allowing Father Pat.  Wish I could TRAVEL!   Thank you Father Pat for your reply and your sensitivity to parishioners.  

                  • Pat Reardon says

                    Father, are your guidelines the same as the guidelines of the Archdiocese?
                    I appreciate your inquiry, dear daughter of Zion. I am not entirely sure.
                    During these past few months, I have been VERY busy and completely fatigued; in addition to the regular liturgical services, I have heard many Confessions—more than usual, actually—and have offered frequent Typica-with-Communion services for those families who prefer to receive the Sacred Mysteries privately.
                    I confess it is possible, because of the unusually heavy burden of pastoring our congregation during this time—and by reason of the failing powers of my 82 years—I may have missed or failed to see this-or-that directive from our bishops.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      As my grandmother used to say, “Say yes and saw wood.” Like you, she was Irish. You probably know what she meant better than I do.

                      I hope you know how much we all appreciate what you and the other good priests are having to do to keep the rest of us connected. Please take care of yourself, too, Father. Plan a little trip to OK and come see us. We’d love to have you and believe it or not, I can cook!

                    • With age comes a certain wisdom, as well as the benefits of immunity. 
                      I fondly recall being a member of a certain parish in which scandalous episcopal directives marked “To be read from the pulpit” were duly read…from the pulpit…on a quiet mid-week day to an empty nave.

                    • George and Gail,
                      This needs to be said. 
                      At times, the laity carry the Church.  During Soviet times, it was the babushki who passed on the faith whole.  We have the record of St. Athanasius as a solitary carrier of fidelity.
                      You all provide an invaluable service here.  You are not authorities on the Faith, but you provide a beacon from which it can be transmitted from the faithful to the interested.
                      You provide a safe forum for the propagation of Orthodoxy insofar as its adherents take advantage of the gift.  You are doing God’s work and deserve our respect and gratitude now more than ever given the dire straits in which the Church is functioning.
                      Thank you.

                    • Misha: “At times, the laity carry the Church.”
                      …as they did when all the Bishops went into heresy at the Council of Florence. All? All save ONE: St Markos Evgenikos!
                      Misha: “George and Gail…You all provide
                      an invaluable service here”
                      …and God bless you both for it. We need it.

    • At one point, when a woman comes up to receive from her personal spoon and disposable napkin, the priest says: “I like your dress.”
      Lord have mercy!

    • Michelle says

      This is difficult to watch.  I almost want to ask you to take it down.
      This parish was able to distribute communion to the faithful in their cars on Pascha, no?

    • Is the priest’s mouth and nose not within 2 metres of the chalice?

  2. Antiochene Son says

    The photo appears as Elpy is presiding over an ice cream social.

    Didn’t the EP just send a letter to all the primates that there is to be no change in the manner of distributing communion?

    • Antiochene Son,
      I have the feeling that his language is vague and can be interpreted any way you like. One thing is absolutely clear: “I am the coordinator, not you!” Just like his Master.

  3. Neither side is happy now as we transition back to normalcy.
    But there are no signs that we are returning to normalcy. Already, the powers-that-be are pushing the new-spike-in-Covid-cases narrative. You think you’re in Phase 2 ready to move to Phase 3? Get ready for the hierarchs to hear about this new spike, consult the holy flow chart, and jettison your parish back to Phase 1.

  4. Communion in Englandshire?
    “Priests may have to offer holy communion to worshippers from behind Perspex screens and should drink all the wine themselves rather than offer it to worshippers, the Church of England has said.”

  5. Fr. Deacon John says

    These past few weeks I have been back serving in my home parish after being away in another state for over a year. (No, I wasn’t in prison).  I consume the chalice after every Liturgy just like I have for years.  We use one spoon for everyone and the people receive the Body and Blood in the usual way, i.e., they close their mouths on the spoon.  There is no wiping of mouths on the cloth however.  I worry NOT about consuming the chalice as the contents are immaculate and will not allow me to be harmed, ever.  
    If our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ, Wills it that I catch and die from COVID-19 from consuming His precious Body and His precious and life-giving Blood, so be it.  His Will be done.

    • Oh Father,  in Scotland the churches are closed – despite there being no excess mortality. Why? To keep us safe, of course. Safe from what? Holy Communion?

      • GCU You'll Thank Me Later says

        Probably to avoid things like this from happening:
        Or this:
        Good news is conducting outdoor church services looks to be very low risk! Well, at least if congregants maintain some form of modest distancing and wear masks. Indoor services operating “business as usual” are going to be incredibly hazardous for the foreseeable future. All the slapfighting over spoons seems rather silly when infectious surface contact doesn’t seem a major vector and isn’t how a worshiper is likely to get infected.
        America being America, a lot of churches will insist operating business as usual, worship indoors, refuse to wear masks and crowd as usual. The past few months suggest that is going to be a major driver of ongoing outbreaks in the US. But then Vegas is reopening among others, so we’ll probably see a rousing competition ahead for number one!

        • George Michalopulos says

          Or Christians can just go out on the streets and loot, murder and pillage in the tens of thousands as they “mourn” for George Floyd.

          Yeah, that’s the ticket: no more than 25 for a funeral but 10,000 to burn Minneapolis to a crisp. Sounds about right.

        • Antiochene Son says

          “Indoor services operating “business as usual” are going to be incredibly hazardous for the foreseeable future.”
          God’s will be done. People are welcome to stay home if they have fears or concerns. Thankfully some priests are quietly ignoring the virus of fear mongering and not letting it infect our worship.

        • What evidence do you have that churches “operating business as usual” will be major source of outbreak for the foreseeable future? Is it Dr. Fauci, who hasn’t gotten a single thing right his entire life or the lying and fear mongering presstitute media?

          • GCU You'll Thank Me Later says

            My dude, when something keeps happening, in the absence of any changing circumstances*, the burden of proof is on you to give evidence of why something is not going to continue to happen.
            AS seems to express more or less, well, inshallah. Which is kind of amusing when the Muslim world is more or less cancelling the Hajj this year.
            Don’t know who “Elpi” is, so I guess I’m a fuddy duddy who isn’t up on the new tik-tok stars or whatever is hot with the kids these days. I’m guessing the intention was to interrogate my feelings about celebrities doing protest marches during a pandemic. To which I say, of course I have concerns, I see some protests with spacing and lots of mask usage and some not so much. Outdoors is a risk reduction, not a magic bullet, so there are absolutely legitimate concerns about outbreaks resulting from protests. The worst case scenario is probably the cops gas a big group of people (great idea with a respiratory virus pandemic) , round them up and throw them in a crowded interior space for an extended period of time.
            * changing circumstances being something like a vaccine (haha, no, not this year), herd immunity (ho ho, not even close), changed behavior (well that wouldn’t be business as usual)

            • Gail Sheppard says

              Epli is the one who wants to unite the Church under Bartholomew. Kind of an important guy. If you actually read the blog, instead of just used it as your soapbox, you would know who he was.

              We have a new rule: Anyone who uses our resources as a means to trash us all of the time is going to be dropped from the blog. This is OUR home. If you really think we’re full of it, it’s time to move on somewhere else where you’ll be more comfortable. We don’t need this.

            • Antiochene Son says

              “AS seems to express more or less, well, inshallah. Which is kind of amusing when the Muslim world is more or less cancelling the Hajj this year.”
              Because we worship the actual God, who is good and loves mankind, who nourishes us through his body and blood, whose incarnate life makes fools of scientists; we don’t worship the demon who appeared to Mohammad.
              Also, the actual science says the chances of dying from COVID is incredibly low for anyone under age 80.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Were you embarrassed to see Elpi meander down a crowded street?

    • George Michalopulos says

      We’ll said, Fr.

  6. Antiochene Son says

    The US Navy bends the knee…
    We always knew the Navy was gay, but this is ridiculous.
    As an aside, anyone who may have dreamed that the US military would swoop in and restore the country to constitutional order is nuts. Maybe if we had the 1950s military, but not the military of 2020.

    • George Michalopulos says

      You are correct in the main. The Pentagon is basically a nest of SJWs and BLM sympathizers. The only hope we have is that the Army is so feminized that it is too incompetent to fight or that the rank-and-file are sufficiently aware of how much it has been compromised and in an actual war against the American people will either refuse to fight or will sabotage the main battle-plans of the politicized general staffs.

  7. vexedbyhierarchs says

    I am a GOA Clergyman (for now) and must publicly state that NOWHERE is there precedent for this horrific malfeasance…

    AS IF rubbing alcohol, or whatever it is they are using to “clean” the spoons is somehow MORE EFFECTIVE than the BODY and BLOOD of JESUS CHRIST?!

    How were the infirm of Gennesaret cured?! How was the deaf mute of Decapolis able to hear and speak again?! How was the ear of Malchus made whole?! LEPERS ARE MADE CLEAN! DEAD ARE BROUGHT TO LIFE! THE LIST GOES ON!


    So, you’re telling me that the SACRED EUCHARIST is unable to “DECONTAMINATE” A SPOON?!


    Next thing you know we’ll have a ‘vegan’ sacrifice opting for a gluten-free/non-alcoholic chalice…this IS just as outrageous, and WILL BE the absolute downfall! Water down Christ and you have lost LIFE!

    • Gail Sheppard says

      These men have completely lost touch with the ethos of the Orthodox Church. They think we’re the ones who have “lost it” simply because we believe what the Holy Fathers have passed down to us. When they quote the Holy Fathers or canons, it’s always with a specific agenda in mind; they want to prove something, not enlighten anyone.

      They’re trying to institutionalize the Church, with rules and regulations to address practical matters. Therein lies the problem.

      The Church cannot be institutionalized and the flock knows this. We have gone deeper into the Church in a way that threatens their authority, or so they believe. They know they are not elders or even particularly Godly men. They look for solutions to address tangible problems, while we’re looking for leadership and spiritual guidance: something they cannot and will not provide.

      I don’t think I will ever be able to kiss the hand of a bishop again. It would be like kissing the hand of a corporate attorney for me. The veil has come off.

      • Family man says

        Without getting into theology, biology, epidemiology, etc. , what bugs me is the attitude and in some cases hypocrisy of some leaders.  In our parish in early March, we were subject to a lecture by the priest that he heard of some people questioning the use of a single spoon during communion. He went on to tell us, in no uncertain terms, that there was no chance of getting sick from a common spoon. He told us that in the history of the church it had never happened, he is always the last person to put the spoon in his mouth and has never gotten sick, etc. etc.   He went so far as to tell us that if we thought we could get sick from taking communion that there was something wrong with our faith and we could leave “right now”.

        Fast forward 2 months, after directives from the OCA came down, and the same priest starts using 3 spoons with grain alcohol to cleanse each spoon after using it once. On May 31 he spent time during his homily lecturing the very same small group that if they had a problem with using 3 spoons, they were being disobedient and were following false doctrine of the teachings and traditions of the church.  Basically saying “if you have a problem using 3 spoons, there is something wrong with your faith and you can leave right now”.  

      • MultipSpoonAbomination says

        I’m afraid, Gail, that you’ve hit the nail on the head, and which happens to be wearing a gaudy crown.

      • Using their own rhetoric, repeated ad nauseam: Saint Mary of Egypt fasted from bishops and institutions; you don’t need bishops and institutions each week, it’s good to fast from bishops and institutions so you can more appreciate them when you end the fast from them. Be like Saint Mary of Egypt.
        We can also apply this argument to tithe, probably plenty of other things as well.
        Whoever thought up the Saint Mary of Egypt excuse didn’t think it through very well.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Gail, a silver lining of all this mess is that the veil of episcopal triumphalism has been blown away. Institutional Orthodoxy –at least in America–is pretty much done for.

        What replaces it? Pious parishes, home churches and monastic pilgrimages. Perhaps even the catacombs.

      • Sage-Girl says

        Me too, sister Gail —
        I’m not kissing hand of anymore Bishops + the authentic ones do Not want us to…  Saint Paisios of Mount Athos didn’t want any part of adulation – yet pilgrims flocked all over world to see him… I actually believe that’s why he left, he couldn’t deal with the fame, it was Theotokos that ordered him to go public … also he repeatedly refused any titles to be part of corporate church,  yet can you imagine having Him as Archbishop? He would’ve dazzled ?✨entire Orthodox world — a madhouse to contain the crowds

        • George Michalopulos says

          You know, Sage-Girl, as much as I hate to admit it, I didn’t see the full ramifications of what I wrote to Gail in another comment. Towit, that the era of Episcopal Triumphalism is pretty much over. That would include the customary kissing of the bishop’s hand, which I never hesitated to do. Maybe it’s time for the mitres to come off as well. (One thing I respect about Arb Alexander Golitzyn was that he only wears his monastic klobuk during liturgy –or so I am told.)

          In any event, the bloom is off the triumphalist rose.

    • I have to agree with those who oppose modification of the Church’s method of communing.  Let us have absolute faith in God.  We are never nearer to God than in the Eucharist.  No harm can possibly come from it.   If God wishes me to live, I will live.  If He wishes to take me, I will be taken.  It’s not rocket science.  Either there is a God active in the Eucharist or there is not.  My money is on the Most High.  I trust in whatever He has in store.

  8. George, isn’t about time Science(!) teaches some bishops a lesson?
    But, which science?
    You know there is the Forensic Science, Legal Science, Civil Law, Criminal Law etc.
    All these can be applied in investigating a crime, professionally analyse all the findings, hear the witnesses and finally decide that Person X is indeed the murderer and he may get the worst punishment, in some countries even capital punishment which is irreversible.
    And Civilizaton considers that a scientific and fair trial and the right decision.
    Is it not possible to use the above sciences and expertise, to investigate specific detailed cases of Holy Communion, proving e.g. that a person having a deadly contagious disease received communion and then another person received communion from the same spoon and what was the result of that:
    Did the second person get the disease Yes or No? Is therefore Holy Communion dangerous?
    The reason, I am asking this, is that there are MANY such cases out there, e.g. holy communion on the Greek Lepers island, a Sanatorium and other cases elsewhere, and it could “legally” be proven that Holy Communion is INNOCENT and must not be put to death!
    Is there any Legal person reading this comment, who could tell us if/how this kind of “trial” could be organized?

  9. LonelyDn says

    Lord have mercy. I couldn’t do it – the masks, the multiple wood alcohol’d spoons, the six feet away from my flock, the craziness of it all. The government approved and supported communist ‘autonomous zones’ in a city where straws are outlawed but heroin needles are given away freely is ridiculous. The New York Health Department is encouraging people to use certain, depraved sexual actions to prevent COVID, but the same government outlaws the veneration of the cross and distribution of Holy Communion. What happens when a ‘second wave’ mysteriously appears one of these days. What are we prepared to do?
    Look, if self-proclaimed, violent communists can create and maintain ‘autonomous zones’ in Seattle, why can’t the Church be an ‘autonomous zone,’ too? 

  10. Antiochene Son says

    So the GOP and Trump’s campaign have decided to give the South a middle finger.
    This is not how you try and win an election. Who cares about your 3% black vote when you piss off your white base? Or is this an example of a GOP plantation mindset?

    “Dems are the real racists” is a losing argument every time.

    These Confederate symbols were an important part of the reconciliation of Americans after the war and the wicked tactics of Reconstruction. But all these Yankee nitwits can say is “BLUE X FLAG BAD! WHITE MAN BAD!”

    • cynthia curran says

      Trump is being pushed too much in the upper midwest where he barely won. He has to win at least one of them, but Trump advisors almost tell him to ignore Florida which is gaining electrical colleges where Pa is losing them. Pa while more black white population is not as conservative as whites are in the south. Pa, Michigan, and Wisconsin voted for Democratic governors. In fact, Trump has also been told to dumped North Carolina for Pa, Michigan, and Wisconsin by some advisors. The south, particularly the deep south where Trump has his highest ratings is being ignored. In fact one poll shows Trump not much ahead of Biden in a state that should be easy to win Arkansas.

  11. Antiochene Son says

    Another political black pill. Both of Trump’s SCOTUS picks cucked, removing the right of employers to fire gay and trans employees in a 6-3 ruling. I think the only thing you can be fired for now is being a racist white male. So much for the rights of private companies that progressives love so much!
    Gorsuch authored (!) the majority opinion; Kavanaugh, like a good little process-worshiper, has praised the outcome while disagreeing with the means.

    SCOTUS also declined to rule on 10 gun rights cases that would have easily succeeded on their merits and extended gun rights.
    I can’t wait to see how they rule on DACA (sarcasm).

    Conservatives conserve nothing. Republicans are now 100% gay.

    • George Michalopulos says

      AS, while I agree in principle that this was a horrendous ruling, I am cautiously optimistic about the eventual outcome.  (Please see my response to Michelle above as to why I think this is so.)
      Why do I say this?  Because anytime the legislature or the judiciary create/interpret a new law which is based on unreality, it will lay the foundation for its own destruction.  Further, any attempts to rigidly enforce said provision will only accelerate its demise.

      • Antiochene Son says

        You are more optimistic than I am. But with the way things are developing in the riots across the country, I’m not sure the current order will survive to let this awful decision to be resolved. Which is just as well.

        Our long cold Civil War is starting to heat up. A militia member defending a statue in Albuquerque shot a terrorist (“protestor”) after being threatened this evening.

        This is what happens when mayors and police chiefs tell officers to stand down. They’re allowing anarchy and arresting the citizens who are trying to restore order. I don’t see how a country can survive this.

        • George Michalopulos says

          AS, as Lenin said in an earlier, pre-revolutionary context:  “The worse, the better”.

    • AS,
      I don’t know what a black pill is, but I get the feeling that if we swallow it, we might die.
      (A warning to myself as much as to anyone!)
      In peace let us pray to the Lord…

      • George Michalopulos says

        God is always on His throne.  What we are seeing is nothing less than nihilism.  It is evil but we must remember that evil is a parasite and once it destroys its host, it too dies.
        In the meantime, let us heed the words of our Lord and Saviour”  “Be as wise as serpents but as gentle as doves”.
        Why serpents?  Because according to this metaphor, they see the world as it is, not as we wish it were.

        • Bravo George!

          We will make a mystic-warrior out of you yet. You’re pretty much there.

          God, for some reason unbeknownst to us, wishes angels and men to have free will. We cannot fathom the wisdom of the Almighty. I assume He is right to do so. What choice do I have?

          Given that, there is evil in the world. God allows it, but circumscribes it and retasks it to His own purposes. Everything has a backstop. Look at Europe, for example. They can continue with low fertility among native Europeans or be inundated with Muslims. Those are the stark choices.

          Here it is the same. If Christians do not propagate and occupy the field, then heathen will do so. God is harsh that way. Act or suffer:

          2 Kings 13:16-19:
          “And he said to the king of Israel, Put thine hand upon the bow. And he put his hand upon it: and Elisha put his hands upon the king’s hands. And he said, Open the window eastward. And he opened it. Then Elisha said, Shoot. And he shot. And he said, The arrow of the Lord’s deliverance, and the arrow of deliverance from Syria: for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed them. And he said, Take the arrows. And he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice, and stayed. And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice.”