Time for another Time-out

Folks, brethren, fellow country-men:

I appreciate your readership and your comments. I really do. I just have one request: every now and then someone gets a crisis of conscience or regret or whatever about a comment that they’ve posted and they ask me to delete it. (Or worse, ask me to delete several.)

Guys and gals, I can’t do this. I simply don’t have the time. My usual work day is 13 hours and being a legal drug dealer, I don’t get breaks. Plus, I’ve been put on an embargo about checking my Android while at work.

Look, I’m not getting paid for this. I derive much pleasure from creating this blog, getting up early when so inspired and writing something that I think is profound. I really, really appreciate the commentary that y’all generate. You make me think deeply about things and cause much introspection for me. I can’t tell you how grateful I am. You guys are smarter than the average bear.

Did I mention that this is an enjoyable enterprise because of you? Well, it is. We’ve done a lot of good on this Blog at least in the Orthosphere and that’s not nothing.

My father taught me many things growing up, one of them was “say what you mean and mean what you say.” The corollary to that is “Stand up, speak up and shut up.” I’m passing this advice on to all of us. I can’t stress this enough, I simply don’t have the time to go back and edit your comments. I’ve done it in the past but no longer.

Please note, I read each and every comment. For every ten that I approve, there are 2-3 that I don’t. And even then I usually wait 24 hrs before hitting the publish button.

We’ve done a lot of good here at Monomakhos. You, me, everybody. There’s nothing to be ashamed of here. The vast, overwhelming majority of your comments have been thoughtful at the very least and powerful at best. Even those which I don’t agree with. Nobody here has written anything that they need to worry about. If you think that you might have a regret about something, then don’t write it. Or better yet, write it down on paper, wait 24 hours, pray about it if need be, and then post it to the Blog. If you still have a problem after publication of a comment, go see your priest and ask for absolution. If you want, you can write a comment asking for forgiveness if that salves your conscience.

As Buzz Lightyear said: “Upward and Onward!” We got things to do folks, it’s going to get hot and heavy. From this point forward, I welcome only the strong and resolute to participate. And I couldn’t care less whether you agree with my views or not. This is an open forum and I for one, still believe in the First Amendment.

P.S. the photo is the Summer Palace in St Petersburgh. It’s to whet your appetite for my longish essay on our recent pilgrimage.


  1. Message received, George. Will do. You’ve been a great sport. Keep up the good work. My doubts, and I should have considered them before hitting “post”, were whether there would be a tumult at the satire/parody. There was, that’s fine, I dealt with it when it came up. But you’re right. Onward and upward.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Misha, no apologies. Satire and absurdity are good. Your “endorsement” made me think long and hard. As evil as she and the crony capitalists who control the Democrat Party are, we can’t fathom the mystery of iniquity. If it’s one thing I got out of my pilgrimage it’s that if it wasn’t for Herr Hitler, Stalin would’ve have continued to continue Lenin’s evil legacy of exterminating the Church. It’s possible that a President Hildebeast will no doubt continue the destruction of our Republic but at the same time may set in motion events which benefit the Church. (Please not I used the word “may,” I ain’t holding my breath and anyway it would be too high a price to pay for a thermonuclear exchange.)

      • George,

        As you know, the saints are meant to rule in the world to come. “Rule what?” you might ask. I assume we are not alone in the universe and that God has planted other gardens in the cosmos. Now, you would want rulers to know the depths of suffering would you not? I mean, God is not above delegating lesser tasks to the angelic. The only way for mankind to appreciate the suffering of those whom we might rule is to feel it ourselves.

        I suspect that the Garden was just kindergarten. Our planet, Adam and Eve, managed to fail even that. And that human history is really just our “first grade” during which we come to understand good and evil and in the end eat from the tree of eternal life. That is, we’re just getting started at the general resurrection.

        And yes, we might even survive a Hillary presidency as a nation. With God, all things are possible.

        • Wow, you guys are really pegging the needle on rationalizing. There were Christians who supported Communism in Russia too, prior to and during the Revolution, because there were elements they could identify with and we know how that ended up.

          George, you and Rod Dreher have always reminded me a bit of Trotsky and modern liberals. You are convinced that reason and ideas should prevail and when they don’t something must be wrong. The world doesn’t work that way but people who want to take advantage of you or manipulate you will push that kind of narrative. If you can’t vote for Trump you have the option of not voting. There are upsides to this. If you persist with the illusion that you have to vote for someone then you bear the responsibility for what they do. If Hillary razes the Churches and executes the faithful then you are responsible.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Dan, I won’t speak for Rod but as for myself, I long ago gave up believing that “rationality” is the main criterion for electoral success. When younger and before I saw the evil anti-Christian animus of the neocons (ca. 1990s) I could go along with that principle but the older I got the more I realized that people go “back to blood.”

            In other words, Marx (and Kristol, Podhoretz, Krauthammer) are wrong. The early Zionists were right: people and land go together. There really is something called “blood and soil,” and just because Hitler believed it didn’t make it wrong. (As I said, the early Zionists certainly believed it.)

            We Orthodox see this played out in our traditional Orthodox lands, to great effect and success I might add. The downside is that we can’t make it work in the Diaspora but that only proves the earlier point.

            • Michael Bauman says

              My boss in his futility says frequently of the Christians in the Middle East, “Why don’t they just leave.”. He has no idea of the rootedness in the land nor has any American. I know it intellectually but that is all.

              Until we Orthodox find a way to connect with this land we will float along on the top subject to the waves of social fads and the vissitudes of foreign politics.

              We actually have a place to start given to us by the Russian missionaries and their interaction with the tribal people in Alaska.

              The Native American ideals of sacredness and wholeness are very similar to the Church.

              That is not to mention the connection to the suffering of slaves here and the ongoing disruption of the family.

              Yet we often drive such people away or ignore them.

              You have no idea of the number of black people longing for the Church nor the bitterness they experience when they comma knockin’

              It is a disgrace.

              • Michael,

                There’s a bit of wisdom in what your boss says. I would not want to have been one of the last Jews to get wise and leave Nazi Germany after Kristalnacht, etc. Homeland or no homeland. Christians are subjects (not citizens) of the New Jerusalem, elsewhere we are always strangers in a strange land. Now, this is alleviated a bit in countries that are wed to Christianity, granted. But really, if I were a Christian living in the Middle East, I’d have gotten out some time ago or would be currently late for the door.

                Parts of Syria and Israel are safe. Maybe some places in Jordan. But that’s pretty much it. All the rest of it from Iran to Egypt is viciously anti-Christian and growing moreso by the day.

                Yes, I must agree. Christians there ought to either find someway to get better armed than their enemies or get the hell out. If not, it will only get worse as long as Islam is dominant there.

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Maybe they should leave, I can’t say. I know leaving is not easy even without the political dynamics involved.

                  The connection to a particular land is important and something we lack in the US–to our detriment.

              • Christopher says

                “You have no idea of the number of black people longing for the Church nor the bitterness they experience when they comma knockin’

                It is a disgrace.”

                Michael, would you care to expand? Your words here can be read in several ways. One way to read it is “I/we are responsible for the sins of our fathers – we are “guilty” of them and thus the “bitterness” is “caused” by our very being {as I am white} and is ours to somehow overcome”. This is of course something different than a more proper (i.e. Orthodox) understanding of “original sin” or the fact that sins/falleness is “visited upon” subsequent generations.

                p.s. If you take Fr. Stephen’s preaching to heart (his is a “saving neoplatonism” 😉 ) it also follows (i.e. it is a result of an overly metaphysical {he (mis)uses the term “ontological”} understanding of our condition and the relatedness of persons in the Body of Christ)…

                • Michael Bauman says

                  One case in point: a good friend of mine and his grandson who are black were coming regularly and my friend was received partly by my urging and that was great. Then he stopped coming regularly and his grandson stopped altogether.

                  I just recently found out why. The grandson came to get a drive through dinner at our annual Big Dinner. Which is choreographed and runs with great efficiency. The grandson was shunted off to the side and forced to wait for his dinner.

                  Case two: a black woman who has made a point of putting herself in multi-racial settings converted several years ago and wanted to participate in committees but was rejected several times for no good reason. She has stayed but in part because she is so stubborn and in part my late wife and I and few others reached out to her.

                  Case three: we have a number of Ethiopians in our parish and one of their matriarchs was in coffee hour one day. A couple of the Lebanese ladies started talking about her in derogatory terms in Arabic not realizing she was fluent. I am sure that attitude was not uncommon.

                  Case 4: I have been a friend of Fr. Moses Berry for 40 years. Not long after he was received in the Church and ordained a priest, he attended an Orthodox seminar in a St. Louis parish. He was treated rudely and was only allowed in grudgingly allowed only to sit in the very back. Fortunately the visiting speaker saw what was happening and invited Fr. Moses up to the head table with him.

                  There are others. They are not ancient history. Those are just the instances fresh in my mind.

                  • Gregory Manning says

                    Michael B.
                    The examples you cite simply floor me! It never occurred to me that we Orthodox, of all people, would shun others. I am in ROCOR and it’s inconceivable to me that we, as “beggars” for communicants, would be so “choosy”. I can’t help but wonder how wide spread this is. In this same vein, I’ve been trying to answer a question I heard posed years ago: “Why aren’t the poor in our churches? Surely they are as “poor in spirit”, if not more so, than the rest of us.” I’m not going to mock any church’s outreach such as soup kitchens, etc., but something is very, very wrong with this picture and soup kitchens, while generous and kind, barely scratch the surface. I don’t have any answers. I have long wanted to ask clergy across Orthodoxy for their input–especially any who, having first hand knowledge of poverty themselves, can fill in the blanks. Vladyka Longin (UOC) was moved to open his orphanage in part because of his own grim experiences as an orphan. Surely Fr. Moses Berry (I too have long admired the man!) should be listened to. We’re the Orthodox Church, for the love of God. We really must get to the bottom of this and figure out how we are not grasping what the faith is about. When I was an episcopalian long ago, the congregations I belonged to patted themselves on the back because they offered a soup kitchen and free clothing banks but I never saw those poor people in church. Now that I am way, way poorer than I used to be, I can’t imagine being shunned by an Orthodox church because I seriously needed a haircut or was wearing conspicuously second hand clothing, or beat up shoes, or horrors, no deodorant. If those far worse off than me are being shunned we’re doing something horribly wrong.

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      One thing I will say positive about my parish, we do have quite a few folk who are poor. An accomplishment being where we are in an upscale neighborhood.

                      Much to recommend my parish but our attitude toward black folk is not one of them. It is a shock to me too.

                  • Christopher says

                    I still don’t see what “black” or race has to do with any of your examples. I could come up with a similar list of myself (and my wife – especially my wife as she seems to attract the bulk of it – perhaps because most folks know pretty quickly upon meeting me that I have a “strong” personality and have almost no God given patience for the usual bullshit) being treated rudely and as a second class citizen by ethnic Greeks and Syrian/Lebanese in particular. One old Syrian SOB loudly accused my wife of “stealing” from the ethnic fair coffers because she was adding up the prices of the various foods in her head and only writing the total down on the ticket. It took everything I had to not kick his teeth in (and keep myself out of jail 😉 ). We decided it was probably the devil at work around these “ethnic fairs” and not “racism” per se – unless you want to say claim that the more generalize ethnic focus of some parishes is the problem and if you are white, black, or martian you simply are not “one of us” – this is something I think is real issue…

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      You are right Christopher, I have experienced a similar thing in my first parish as a particularly odious individual loudly cursing my late wife as she led the choir during a procession outside the parish. Cursing her simply because she was not Arab and obviously a woman. I was standing right by him. Hard to worship when you want to punch someone.

                      This goes beyond any if that although related with a general malevokence to black folk. I wish I knew the folks that did it. I would have a talk with them following the Biblically prescribed way.

                      As it is, by the grace of God, I get to bear the person’s burden by working to clean up the mess.

                      I do live in Wichita where the original Lebanese immigrants where not allowed on the east side of town, often spat on in the streets and called Westside Indians. It was quite a coup for their grandchildren to build a beautiful cathedral in the middle of the east side of town.

                      Driving while not white is a crime here still.

                    • “I/we are responsible for the sins of our fathers – we are “guilty” of them and thus the “bitterness” is “caused” by our very being {as I am white} and is ours to somehow overcome”.


                      At the risk of offending you or others (such as myself) who utterly despise this thoroughly impersonal, hate-inciting line of reasoning that is promoted primarily by left-wing ideologues, I would offer an additional perspective.

                      The ideologues on the Left always say they “want to have an honest conversation about race in America” when, in fact, they simply want to push a hateful agenda. But let’s be fair: ‘Right-wing’ ideologues also have an equally false narrative that pretends history and the overall experience of black people in America has no impact on current realities.

                      Juan Williams (a black journalist) was famously pilloried for daring to express the fact that he generally and instinctively felt more fear of black male strangers than white. Such fear may be unjustified and impersonal in nature (having nothing to do with any specific black stranger), but it is real nonetheless. And many white people share similar prejudices. It may have its root in actual experience, or it may be the result of being ‘taught’ by others (relatives, acquaintances, the media), but in reality it is wholly unrelated to any particular black stranger.

                      Likewise, many black people share a similar, albeit different, prejudice of white strangers. This, too, may be rooted in actual experience – experience with white people who actually have taken advantage of them, view them with suspicion, as inferior to whites… Or it may be the result of having been ‘taught’ in the manner previously described. This prejudice is also impersonal and wholly unrelated to any specific white stranger; but it, too, is nonetheless real. It shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand merely because it is unjustified in any given encounter. It should be acknowledged and taken into consideration.

                      Many black people will tell you that they have to put forth extra effort to demonstrate that they don’t fit the stereotypes that are at the root of the fear and prejudice that exists. It is an unfortunate reality they face for which they are not personally responsible. Likewise, although we may not be personally responsible for the stereotypes of racism that exist about us (or for the sins of our fathers), I don’t think it is too much to ask of ourselves – especially as Orthodox Christians – to put forth extra effort to be kind, to be welcoming, to be perhaps even more respectful and sensitive to the unfortunate realities of fear and prejudice that exist in all but the purest of hearts. And this not only in our churches, but in every encounter we have. As Mother Teresa said, “Do small things with great love.” Show extra respect for all – and especially for the elderly who have been most likely to have experienced true racism. Smile warmly and open the door for them, yield your seat, address them as sir or ma’am…whatever is appropriate to the moment or culture of your part of the country that demonstrates genuine love and respect. I am not suggesting ‘preferential treatment’ or acting in any sort of condescending manner. Nor am I suggesting that we are responsible for the prejudice that exists. I am simply suggesting that we acknowledge the fact that this evil plagues us all (for whatever reason; does it matter why?) and that we overcome evil with good.

                    • But Christopher, you really really want to say it’s not about race, but as you yourself point out, it *is* about race. You just call it “ethnic focus” of some parishes which excludes everyone else equally – but some more than others.

                      One could say the “ethnic focus” of some nations makes room for a lot of racism in their histories.

                    • Christopher says


                      I hear ya, and I do the little “extra” because of this “atmosphere” of past sins of course being relevant – we are after all historical beings and saved in God’s time. I just wanted to make the distinction of between what you rightly point out (the historic contengencies, etc.) and an ideological racism. I agree that the former is a problem, I do not believe the latter is a problem (and I have been a part of several parishes in the historic south and I am a southerner myself who remembers ideological racism from my youth).


                      There is a difference between a tribalism or “ethnic focus” and ideological racism. The two are really two different animals and despite some seemingly common elements (mostly on the surface), the differences are more significant and important. Indeed, tribalism in-of-itself is simply part of our common human condition in this world and while problematic, can actually be a good thing or at least neutral in any given circumstance. Ideological racism on the other hand is a *religious* ideal (i.e. a non-Christian one) that is wrong and thus not a “natural” part of our human condition (and is truly demonic – no good has been seen coming from it). In our common NA Orthodox scene, tribalism is the source of some problems but it has historically been a source of strength for some and permitting a life to be preserved that was under pressure from the outside. I just wanted to make sure Michael was not confusing the two – he wasn’t.

                  • Before we get into full tilt boogie “To Kill a Mockingbird” mode, we should recall that ever-present reality of the Extortion.

                    You see it most clearly with race hustlers like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, yet it is standard fare in the black repertoire vis a vis whites. “I am entitled to reparations, special treatment, kid gloves and deference because of the ‘injustice’ suffered by my ancestors which is a living legacy keeping me down and propping you up.”

                    People from places in the world who have known real suffering during their lifetimes simply won’t put up with that garbage. Nor should they.

                  • ” . . . we have a number of Ethiopians in our parish and one of their matriarchs was in coffee hour one day. A couple of the Lebanese ladies started talking about her in derogatory terms in Arabic not realizing she was fluent. I am sure that attitude was not uncommon.”

                    And so, answer me this, why would a matriarchal mindset, as is common in the American black community and perhaps the Ethiopian, be a problem in Orthodox Christianity?

                    • I don’t think a “matriarchal mindset” was really the issue here. There is a history of racism and abuse towards Ethiopians working as domestic help in Lebanon and that was what was reflected in the comments at coffee hour.

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      It was because she was black. Her last name is Selassie BTW. That she was African black did not matter.

                    • I don’t believe for a second that anyone dislikes anyone else because of the color of their skin. That’s nonsense and gets peddled too easily. It’s a lie.

                      The reason people dislike each other based on racial characteristics is because of what those racial characteristics signal to them about the person in question. A tree is known by its fruit. People assign collective character, and rightly so.

                      Anyone who’s been to Germany from France knows that there is a point when you can tell by the houses which country you’re in. The Germans compulsively clean and organize everything. They scrub the rocks that line their driveways. It’s just a cultural characteristic.

                      People dislike American blacks, or blacks in general, because of the characteristics they associate with them. If you want to list to me all the technological and spiritual innovations that came from sub-Saharan Africa, I’d be glad to discuss this on its merits. But you get the point. Cesspool of death, victimization, brutality and eating ones own. Even African-American comedians have remarked that they are glad their ancestors were transported here rather than left to stay in Africa. I wouldn’t go that far, but it is that obvious.

                      Now, matriarchy is something that unfortunately is deeply associated with the African-American community and Africans in general. Daniel Patrick Moynahan, a true progressive liberal’s liberal, warned the nation back in 1965 what was being done to the black community by putting it on the liberal plantation. It was destroying the black family and leading to a steep rise in unwedded mothers, illegitimate children, single parent households and a matriarchy funded by the state. This led to cycles of poverty, dependence, crime and the rise of a sick, gangster culture.

                      And that is the fruit of the African-American tree, like it or not. If you took African-American statistics (and Latin statistics) out of the murder rate for this country, it would be comparable to European countries that have gun control. Yet there are more guns here than people. It’s not the guns, it’s the subcultures of some of our citizens and residents.

                      So patronize them if you will, but the ones who have actually done the most for the black community are blacks like Bill Cosby who taught black responsibility and, ironically, Nation of Islam types who, though they preach hatred, also preach black dignity, self-reliance and integrity.

                      And that’s the unvarnished truth.

              • Pat Reardon says

                You have no idea of the number of black people longing for the Church nor the bitterness they experience when they comma knockin’

                If they live in Chicago, I can name a thoroughly integrated parish for them.

                • Michael Bauman says

                  With your permission, I may refer my friend to you. Unlikely he is going to move, but right now I am the human who is keeping him in contact with the Church.

          • Anyone who trusts in democracy more than God is a fool.

            • I agree. So how does that justify voting for Hilary

              • I never advised anyone to vote for anyone. I wrote a satire. And trusting in democracy is foolish. Democracy led us to Trump vs. Clinton.

                One candidate wants to deport 20 million people involuntarily. The other is a loose canon. Need I say more?

            • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

              This statement by Misha, “I don’t believe for a second that anyone dislikes anyone else because of the color of their skin. That’s nonsense and gets peddled too easily. It’s a lie,” reflects an ignorance of language and its uses and applications. Even an illiterate person is skilled enough in his language to understand that “color of skin” connotes “race.” Never heard of “figure of speech?” Never heard that the letter kills but the spirit gives life?

              • Fine, Vladyka. Substitute “race” for “color of their skin” and the statement still holds. It is the connotations that the person’s race has in the mind of the observer that generate the negative attitudes. Those connotations are almost always based on experience of the race in question, either their own or others’ that have filtered in to them. That is what “racism” is. It is a type of stereotyping. But the stereotyping is based, at least loosely, upon reality. And that’s the rub.

  2. Michael Kinsey says

    Up and at them!

  3. Terry Myles says

    As always, thank you George!

  4. Thomas Barker says

    “And I couldn’t care less whether you agree with my views or not. This is an open forum and I for one, still believe in the First Amendment.”

    Those are beautiful words to read when one considers how our culture is increasingly obsessed with controlling the speech and thoughts of others. I am grateful for the opportunity Mr. Michalopulos provides for the free expression of faith and knowledge and opinions.

  5. A Beckett quote you might ponder: “I can’t go on, I’ll go on.”

    • Gail Sheppard says

      What choice do we have but to go on?

      I continually have to remind myself that the outcome has already been written, that this is Christ’s world, not mine, and that all I need to do is be open to following the path He chooses for me so, God willing, I may be of some use to Him. My mission isn’t impacted, one way or another, by whether Hillary or Trump wins. It’s just a day in a life. . .

      Yes, Misha. I read further down. 🙂

  6. M. Stankovich says

    Mr. Michalopulos,

    Two points I would make to you: 1) Yours is a disingenuous point – bordering on egregious – when you preach of “self-policing” and responsibility when you provide a option for an author to Delete their own post, and a 60-timer to gauge the time remaining, should they choose to do so – say when they have recovered from a moment of a “passionate” need to reply, then thought better – but it does not delete the post . I have been told by others, and I have read posts reporting to you that the option does not work. You should not scold nor recommend “confession & absolution” until you remedy the problem or remove a deceptive “option.”

    2) It seems to me that, despite the fact that you are but a “host” – and you know that I have always praised your graciousness, dedication, that I am most grateful that you bear the cost of the site alone (you should seriously have a PayPal contribution option), and have saved my dumbass from myself on more occasions than I bear to recall – I am always troubled when you do not aggressively come to the protection of individuals who are targeted and end up leaving for no other reason than they were the “toy” of some particularly vicious individual. I would add that the last vicious troll was a turning point for me, and honestly changed my expectation about the character and future of this site. Manic, all-pervasive attempts to dominate every discussion, with specific directions as to what is “delusional” (a word anyone trained in psychiatry winces at for the horrifying finality and irreveribility) and “heretical” will always end in a fiery crash. History is a sad lesson I would rather not see repeated, and the peripheral damage is unjustified. I said 5-years ago, Mr. Michalopulos, the lower the threshold for truth, the greater the chaos, and I am no prophet. Hey, Los Lobos requests: “Mr. Michalopulos, bring peace to the Neighborhood!

    • George Michalopulos says

      Mea culpa. I admit that sometimes in my rush to get to work I hit the “publish” button in haste. For what it’s worth, I sometimes reply immediately to a point because of time constraints and/or because I have a ready answer for it (which I worry that may not come to me later).

      From henceforth I will wait a mandatory 24 hrs before hitting the publish button.

      Also, the commentary that occasioned my latest time out was for certain substantive, long comments that had been published days and even weeks before. In other words, they had long passed the 60-minute limit.

      • You’re doing fine George, don’t let the b*st*rds cuck you.

        • Thomas Barker says


          I’ve noticed that you include a bit of humor in some your posts, something rare at Monomakhos. Do you believe that humor appears anywhere in the New Testament? More specifically, do you think that Jesus Christ ever displayed a sense of humor? Or is humor a result of our fallen nature?


          • God did make chihuahua’s and dachshunds, no? I think He has a wicked sense of humor.


            I really have no patience or respect for people who goad George about the cuckhold thing. I will goad them as long as I am here, poke fun at them, sometimes mercilessly. I get as good as I give and am a good sport at it. It’s just I will almost always raise the ante until the other side gets tired or I’m censored.

            Stankjoshka is a classic example. I don’t recall what degrees he has but if he has an M.D. and is involved in psychiatry, he may have already committed professional malpractice by claiming to be an expert and purporting to “diagnose” me online from my writing alone. In fact, in claiming to be an expert, he may be liable for practicing psychiatry without a license in any case. I clerked for a medical malpractice attorney during law school. I know whereof I speak. That would also constitute fraud, if proven – triple damages.

            Now, I have no intention of following up on any of that because, frankly, I don’t take him seriously enough to respond much anymore. If he’s involved in medicine, he’s clearly incompetent. I mean, I don’t think much of psychiatrists and psychologists in any case. Mostly witch doctors if you ask me. But I digress.

            I do not believe that humor is a result of our fallen nature because the Bible contains humor and it is inspired by God (see link above). There is nothing “fallen” about it, as opposed to us.

            There are some people who deserve to be mercilessly ridiculed, like Stan Drezhlo for instance. Really, you’re doing them a favor. If it pushes them so far that something snaps and they see the light, that’s fine. If not, and it just causes them to react from anger at the jokes, that makes their mischief less effective.

            I didn’t start the joking part of these little discussions, but I can pursue them to whatever end they might take. Just cleaning my claws, no biggie.

            • M. Stankovich says

              Just like you, Mishinka, I am entitled to my opinion. Opinion, however, differ dramatically from diagnosis, as is scrupulously detailed in, “The Examination of the Psychiatry Patient,” from Synopsis of Psychiatry: Behavioral Sciences/Clinical Psychiatry, by Benjamin J. Kaplan, MD & Virgina A. Sadock, MD. This, by the way, is the best $100 a psychiatry resident shall ever spend. In any case, my comments to this point are totally superfluous in that I didn’t “diagnose” you with anything. You, reported you are “ADD.” I merely corrected your ignorance of an outdated, incorrect nomenclature that you should have verified before you presumed to correct me. Accuracy is, after all, the hallmark of expertise. Mishinka? are you graciously letting me off the hook – triple damages? – for my incompetence, fraud and malpractice? Brothers and sisters, such magnanimity I have not seen, no not even in Israel! Now, Mishinka, did you mean a license, or a PROPER license?

              • Stankjoshka,

                I meant some source that might be legally binding in a civil action. When someone claims to be an “expert” and offers an “opinion” quoting the DSM, then proceeds to mention other possible disorders that the patient might have . . . well, caution is in order.

                And, yes, I can be magnanimous. Standards of practice are established by expert witnesses on the stand. Each side gets theirs. And there are rules governing the qualification of experts as well. And fraud generally entails triple damages if a person poses as something they aren’t.

                It’s an interesting subject. The Louisville attorney I clerked for made a handsome living suing medical “professionals”. He is one of those guys who can meet with an insurance adjuster, state his client’s case, and the insurance adjuster takes out a check book and looks at him to quote a figure.

                Allen Gailor is his name. Just “googled” him. He’s still over there plying the trade. I went to law school with his son, Andy. I was his senior clerk and he took us all out to a swanky restaurant at the end of the clerkship. Hell of a guy.

            • Thomas Barker says


              The whole cuckold/cuckservative wrangle doesn’t pique my interest. Too many people are obsessed with restricting the vocabulary and free expression of others. It seems to be a contagion of our nascent totalitarian society.

              Now, back to humor. My questions have their origin in trying to understand what it would have been like to be with Jesus during His time on earth. Would He have laughed at circumstances or stories that we consider funny? It is difficult for me to answer that with a yes. Why? So many instances of humor require elements of surprise, suddenly revealed alternatives, rapid reframing of perception, or simple misunderstanding. Jesus would have foreseen all and known all. I don’t think anything could have surprised Him. For this reason, I believe that a lot of what we find funny would not have been humorous to Him.

              Now, obviously there are things that make us laugh or smile that don’t involve humor. From time to time life hands us pure joys that prompt such responses. So I’m not proposing that Jesus never smiled or laughed.

              The Christianity Today piece you linked has some interesting points, but she (the author) is confusing the issue. I’ll write a bit more after I get some sleep.


              • In His Incarnation, Christ sacrificed some of His prescience. He told us clearly that the time of The End was known only to the Father. I suspect that certain things were voluntarily blocked from His consciousness in order for Him to maintain his sanity here on earth. Knowing is a serious burden in the flesh where you are subject to all manner of necessity and pathos.

                Thus, I don’t see why He wouldn’t have had a sense of humor as well. In fact, since pathos is the most compelling feature of good humor, it would surprise me if He didn’t have a sense of humor in His earthly life. When Bob Newhart does his skit about the poor driving instructor, the humor at the end of all his anguish at teaching the poor girl to drive is summed up with his yelling out the window, “Shoot out the tires!”.


          • Monk James says

            Thomas Barker (August 11, 2016 at 5:21 pm) says:
            I’ve noticed that you include a bit of humor in some your posts, something rare at Monomakhos. Do you believe that humor appears anywhere in the New Testament? More specifically, do you think that Jesus Christ ever displayed a sense of humor? Or is humor a result of our fallen nature?
            Like memory, imagination, conscience, decision making, language and other faculties of the human soul, part of our very definition as beings created in the image and likeness of God, a sense of humor also seems to me to be one of our divine characteristics.

            Animals and plants and all the rest of physical creation does not give evidence that they appreciate irony (at least) and more sophisticated kinds of humor.

            Only we human beings can enjoy a joke, and holy joy is a blessing from Heaven. Granted, harmless fun is on a lower plane than divine joy, but it’s hardly sinful, and so cannot be thought of as a consequence of the Fall.

            Angels are not grist for this particular mill, since we know so little about them.

            • Thomas Barker says

              Misha and Monk James,

              Thank you both for your interesting comments on humor. Sorry for not getting back to this discussion and now it’s 6 threads back. I’ll have to be a read-only Monomakhian for a while due to life’s demands.


        • Pat Reardon says

          This is a comment you should have censored, George.

          • I actually liked that comment, Father, since it demonstrated nicely the real reason that “cuckservative” is used and the real reason that it is objectionable.

            It sounds nasty because it is intended to sound nasty, whIle having plausible deniability via its “official” word derivation. That is its visceral 7th grade appeal, and it is what makes most adult minds recoil from hearing or using it.

    • While pressing delete will not actually accomplish anything, the software will still let you edit a post down to basically nothing.

      • Reality Checker says

        True, and would that more correspondents possessed the prudence and self-awareness to make liberal use of that option! Better yet . . .