What Mrs. Monomakhos Knows About Rats

Speaking of Romeo and Juliet, don’t laugh. In the mid-70s I was a proctor of a rat lab. 

Now, I don’t like rats but I had a problem. I didn’t want to take languages, because my high school French teacher humiliated me for being unable to conjugate a verb so I had to get a Bachelor of Science degree instead of a B.A.

Unfortunately, I’m terrible in math and the only science I like is behavioral science so to keep up my GPA, I decided to get some easy credits running a rat lab.  My rat was sort of a superstar. I was able to teach her how to get out and do what she had to do without me having to lay a finger on her. She could do a little dance and pull on a chain to turn on a light bulb, among other things, and as a result of all this talent, I was offered a teacher’s assistant position helping other students teach their rats to do the same.

I eventually graduated with a B.S. in Sociology (BS being the operative word) and on the last day of school, as I was collecting my things, there was little Julie (I had named her Juliet) sitting in her Skinner Box, looking up at me as if to say, “You’re not going to leave me here, are you?  You know what they’re going to do to me, right?”   

So I packed her up, knowing she would be fed to the snakes if I didn’t take her home. I didn’t want her to live in a cage so I had my boyfriend build her a dollhouse. She had several rooms and a round bed just like Barbie. Oh, and did I mention there was no roof? She and I had an understanding. She could circle the top as long as she didn’t jump out, which she didn’t. I had a hard time convincing anyone to room with me after that. Just ask my former roommate, and life-long, best friend, Margo.  She was the only one who agreed to this arrangement and she’ll swear everything I’m saying is true.

One day Julie developed a tumor under her neck which I understand is not uncommon with rats. I took her to several vets until I found someone to operate on her. He was VERY concerned when I brought in her cage with no roof but agreed to do the procedure anyway. (Ever try to find a vet who will operate on a rat? Not easy!!! Cost me $75.)

After surgery, her health began to fail.  Rats do not do well with stress and all the vitamin B in the world wouldn’t turn this around.  I started feeling guilty about the experiences she didn’t have so I went to the lab to look for a boy rat to keep her company. The only little guy I could find had his head shaved like a little monk which I thought attested to his stellar character.  I called him Romeo and brought him home thinking that even if she didn’t find his shaved head handsome (bald heads were so not in at the time) he would at least cheer her up. I made three little meals in three tiny, little bowls for them. They kind of smelled each other, ate a few bites of food out of each little dish, and Julie slipped into the world beyond with Romeo at her side.  I’d like to think she died with a smile on her face but with a rat, it’s not all that easy to tell.  

I ferreted Romeo back to the lab before anyone knew he was missing.  I’m sure I screwed up their experiments because he was well fed and well watered, but I don’t care. He made my little Juliett happy.

We, of course, did not do real experiments on rats. The students were learning operant conditioning which is shaping behavior. We taught the rats how to do tricks for extra food and water. The little guy with the shaved head probably lucked out and instead of going to a regular lab, found his way to the psychology lab and into Julie’s bed. . . well, sort of.

So, yeah, I know a thing or two about rats.  Again, they do not like being stressed.  We were taught about the Mouse Utopia experiment in class and had to be extremely careful not to crowd too many of them into a single cage.  Even one too many could create what’s called  a “collapse in behavior.”  The aberrant behavior that results, quickly deteriorates to the point where they stop reproducing, get sick and even eat their young, which is why I found the attached article interesting. . .
* * *

Is Antifa A “Spiteful Mutation”? Are We Headed To A “Mouse Utopia” Collapse?
Lance Welton
I reported two years ago on the famous “Mouse Utopia” experiment that seemed to suggest that ideal conditions for humanity might, paradoxically, lead to societal collapse. And now there is the most striking evidence yet that this apocalypse may well be coming to pass.

According to research in British medical journal The Lancet, we are transitioning into a worldwide collapse in fertility. In 2017, there were 2.4 children born per mother worldwide. But we will be well below replacement levels—of 2.1 children—by the end of the century. By then, there will be just 1.7 children per family [Fertility, mortality, migration, and population scenarios for 195 countries and territories from 2017 to 2100by Stein Volset et al., The Lancet, July 14, 2020]. This will result in a catastrophic population implosion.

Which is exactly what the “Mouse Utopia” scenario appears to predict.

This shocking experiment took place at the University of Maryland between 1968 and 1973. Led by the extraordinary creative scientist John B. Calhoun (1917-1995), its aim was to understand what would happen if intense Darwinian selection dramatically weakened [Death Squared: The explosive growth and demise of a mouse population, by John B. Calhoun, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, 1973].

In creating this “Mouse Utopia” the experiment replicated post-industrial conditions in the West, where child mortality has fallen from 40% to about 1% since 1800, due to dramatically improved medicine and living conditions.

The results were horrifying: increasingly bizarre behavior patterns, increasingly effeminate males (“the Beautiful Ones”) and masculinized females, autistic-like mice who hadn’t been socialized properly and didn’t know how to deal with other mice, mice of both sexes increasingly becoming disinterested in sex, and females, seemingly, increasingly unable to get pregnant or to sustain pregnancies.

The result: a population collapse. Eventually, the entire colony went extinct.

It is still disputed exactly what caused Calhoun’s Mouse Utopia to collapse. But researchers have suggested two key related factors.

  • Firstly, harsh Darwinian selection had been purging the genetically unfit—those high in mutation–from the gene pool each generation.

In that the brain is 84% of the genome, it is a big target for mutation, meaning that those with general high ‘mutational load’ will also have mutations of the mind which will cause maladaptive desires, such as not wanting sex.

  • Secondly, due to mice being a highly social species, “spiteful mutants”—mutations that interfere with social processes that allow adaptive behavior to be correctly taught—were subverting the behavior even of the normal, fit mice.

Mice are evolved to be around genetically “normal” mice. The very presence of “the Beautiful Ones” was creating an “evolutionary mismatch,” which was making even genetically normal mice fail to develop properly, because they were no longer in the environment to which they were adapted to develop [see Race Differences in Ethnocentrism, by Edward Dutton, 2019, Ch. 10].

It seems that this is the situation that the West now finds itself in. The rise in mutational load has certainly been documented. And as the rest of the world industrializes, it can be expected to follow the West (and other industrialized countries, such as Japan) in watching its fertility collapse.

And using various kinds of scientific modelling—factoring in the impact of improved medicine in developing countries and many other issues—this is what the research in The Lancet predicts.

The scientists conclude that the global population will peak in the year 2064 at 9.73 billion, and will decline to 8.79 billion by the year 2100.

This will parallel a dramatic shift in the age structure of the world population. According to the researchers, in 2100, there will be 2.37 billion people who are over the age of 65, but only 1.7 billion people who are under the age of 20.

They predict that, by 2100, 183 countries will be at below-replacement fertility level.

Twenty-three countries—including Japan, Thailand, and Spain—will witness their populations fall by 50% over the next 80 years, while China will see its population fall by 48%.

Professor Christopher Murray of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, who is one of the team behind these findings, told the BBC that they were “jaw-dropping”:

“I think it’s incredibly hard to think this through and recognise how big a thing this is; it’s extraordinary, we’ll have to reorganise societies.”

[Fertility rate: ‘Jaw-dropping’ global crash in children being born, by James Gallagher, BBC NewsJuly 15, 2020].

Needless to say, the BBC’s Gallagher uses these findings to tout the importance of “migration,” especially from Africa. But he also admits that, if these findings are accurate, then migration won’t ultimately solve the problem of an increasingly aging population, fewer and fewer of whom are able to work. As he put it:

Who pays tax in a massively aged world? Who pays for healthcare for the elderly? Who looks after the elderly? Will people still be able to retire from work?

Gallagher’s report argues that this process is happening because more and more women are working and thus delaying or limiting their childbearing, and that they are able to do this because of reliable contraception. However, this—and The Lancet research—ignores most discussion of who is actually breeding.

He does report that non-whites are breeding more than whites:

“We will have many more people of African descent in many more countries as we go through this. Global recognition of the challenges around racism [i.e., white reaction to black characteristics] are going to be all the more critical if there are large numbers of people of African descent in many countries,” notes [Professor Christopher] Murray.

But there is no discussion of who is breeding among whites.

The answer: people with relatively low IQ, who are inefficient users of contraception for that reason [see Dysgenics, by Richard Lynn, 2011], and people who are extremely religious and extremely right-wing [Political Attitude and Fertility: Is There a Selection for the Political Extreme? by M. Fiedler & S. Huber, Frontiers in Psychology, November 27, 2018]. All of these traits are significantly genetic.

So, the world of 2100 is not only going to be embroiled in crisis, but it is going to be less intelligent, and so less able to maintain civilization, more religious (but this may include the new religion of anti-racism), and possibly more right-wing.

And there will no Professor Calhoun to maintain the luxurious conditions that have brought this situation about.

Thus, the most likely scenario will be the collapse of these conditions and, with it, a population collapse back to pre-industrial levels.

Before the Industrial Revolution, the population of Western countries was 10% of what it is today.

And the survivors will be the fittest . . .

Lance Welton [email him] is the pen name of a freelance journalist living in New York.




  1. Michael Bauman says

    Come Lord Jesus Christ

  2. Only if the Lord Jesus tarries, which I doubt He will.
    Recall the film Demographic Winter:
    The only serious criticism of the film from the Left was that it supported right wing political attitudes, never that the data was inaccurate or inaccurately portrayed.
    As I have asserted ad nauseum here, the fundamental problem with the West is feminism.  Most all of our problems flow directly or indirectly from this horrific ideology.  Women desiring to compete with men in the workplace, contraception and low fertility, abortion, high divorce rates, high rates of single parent families and the economic and criminal pathologies which spiral from the same – all of these are to be laid at the foot of feminism.
    If we do not renounce it, it will destroy us.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Misha, women to not desire to compete with men. They were forced to go into the workforce when men decided they didn’t have to marry or provide.

      Now, more women are in the workforce and more educated than men, and (I think) really pissed off. Most of us were raised on Disney and wanted to get married to prince charming and live happily ever after. Most men are not princes when it comes to women.

      You say, if you don’t renounce feminism, it will destroy you. Two points:

      #1 It’s going to take more than just renouncing it; men are going to have to step up and quit being baby daddies.

      #2 You all are going to have to work a lot harder at being men; women aren’t just going to give up the power. They don’t trust men to take care of them.

      • Wayne Matthew Syvinski says

        Sorry, Gail, I’m throwing the BS flag on this.  

        I could write paragraphs on this, but instead, I’ll refer you to a book:  Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream – and Why It Matters, by Dr. Helen Smith.  Yes, written by a woman, and not one of us evil, irresponsible men.

        I agree that men need to stop having promiscuous sex and fathering children out of wedlock.  For one thing, it leads to child support payments instead of being able to buy amateur radio equipment….

      • Feminism is toxic and destroys civilizations, yes, but men allowed it to happen.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Yes, Basil. You are correct. – Feminism is a curse on both sexes.

          Men have the God given power that was given to Adam when he was given the responsibility to rule over creation, which included Eve. By partaking in the fruit, he abdicated his power, as men today began doing, IMO, with the advent of “the pill.” Wanting the milk without buying the cow, created a scenario where women had to enter the workforce. Men didn’t see the consequences down the road. They assumed women would stay in support roles and not challenge their positions in the workforce. (BTW, never underestimate what woman can do left unchecked. We have power, too, as well as considerable gifts.)

          In short, men were content to have women “bring home the bacon and fry it up in the pan”. They were lazy. BIG mistake. Women are not responsible for feminism or anything else for that matter. Men are responsible for all of creation, STILL, because that’s the role God gave them.

          Women, including me, are capable of taking our place under the proper headship and do so happily. It’s not dissimilar to the way most of us fall happily into the role of “mother” when we have a child. Being mothers, as well as being content wives under the proper headship, is hardwired into most of us. As little girls, we grow up dreaming of finding a prince, i.e. a man who will take care of us, so we can live happily ever after. That doesn’t mean ALL women are like this. The wiring in some women is a little “loose” and could use some tightening. Nevertheless, the wiring is there.

          What is proper headship? It is what the Church teaches us. A man who loves his wife as Christ loves His Church, who would gladly die for her, as her well being is more important than his own. A man who will protect her. In human terms, a man like Joseph was with the Theotokos.

          Men are hardwired to lead. They need to (re)learn how to do it and start teaching it. Only then can they take back their power and begin to fulfill the role God gave them.

          If you all are waiting for women to give you back your power, you are, again, leaving your fate up to women. They are not going to let it go. Women, as a group, no longer trust men. They see you as children, which one can plainly see in those women marches, where the men are toddling behind them, carrying their purses, and wearing those crazy, pink vagina hats. Women think you need to be told what to do because, frankly, many men do need to be told what to do! That’s got to change. A woman cannot tell a man how to be a man. You men need to do it.

      • Gail,
        Tell all that to Gloria Steinam or any other feminist leader.  There are those who feel as you do, but many, many are just as I described.  Don’t blame men for feminism other than the beta male politicians that voted in all the feminist legislation this past century.
        As far as women “giving us back our power”, that was not my intention.  I fully realize that it would take the disenfranchisement of women by men to accomplish what I suggest.  So be it.  
        America is probably too far gone in this respect to right itself without a change in the form of our government.  I welcome the revolution.  Otherwise, with women indoctrinated in the universities to do precisely what I mentioned, compete with men and guard their feminist “rights”, there is little chance of progress since they will not and have not historically voted against their perceived (brainwashed) interests.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          We don’t need a revolution. We just need men to be men and they can do that at home and in the workforce. Moving into the future, men should prepare themselves to be providers so fewer women feel the need to work. That would eliminate some of the problem.

          • Gail,
            You are incorrect.  The law is arrayed against men in domestic situations.  Men are not allowed to be men or strong. It is illegal.
            Once women entered the workforce wages were depressed from when there were fewer candidates for positions.  It’s just another special gift of feminism.
            It has absolutely nothing to do with “men not being men”. That was a consequence, not a cause. The entire fault of the exercise in stupidity lies at the feet of foolish men who decided women’s suffrage and “equality” would be a good idea in the face of an aggressive movement of women who decided they wanted to abandon their traditional roles.  The whole phenomenon predates the rise in out of wedlock births.  
            You’re weaving a false narrative, Gail.  I assume you do so in good faith, but that does not make it accurate.

            Blaming men for feminism is like blaming a rape victim for dressing too promiscuously, it won’t fly. The economic and emotional damage to men, children and the unborn is quite real and ubiquitous. I saw it personally while practicing law for over 10 years and then again in spades when I lived for several years at a homeless shelter.

            Feminism is truly the Pandora’s box from which most of our problems flow. Most of our social pathologies are directly or indirectly traceable to it.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              I never said the law wasn’t arrayed against men. I didn’t blame men for feminism, either. I said men abdicated their power and that resulted in feminism and all the fallout that it entails.

              We really ARE in trouble if men take the position that they are not “allowed to be men.” Since when do men need permission to be men?

              If it is true that men “need permission” to be what God intended them to be, from whom would that permission come? Women??? Isn’t that sort of a defeatist attitude? Why would a man need my permission to be a man?

              • George Michalopulos says

                Ultimately, it was we men who abrogated our responsibilities. We did this not only culturally but legally as well.

                Unfortunately, short of an EMP bomb going off, society will never be reordered as God intended.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Gail, for the fullness of the male-female dymamic to florish it requires men’s submission to God and the woman to agree to the man’s headship:  “Let it be done unto me according to your word” on a much smaller and more contingent scale. On a societal scale that permission has been largely with drawn.  While it can still be found on a personal level amongst Christians, it is not common.
                I am a man whether you want me to be or not but the fullness of manhood has been thwarted.  Certainly our wide scale abuse of our headship has not helped but that alone would not have done it.
                The sad thing is that neither men nor women can come to fullness and real fecundity without the other.  The attempt to make men and women wholely autonomous results in a deformation of both.  Without the activity and support of The Theotokos, male monastics would not reach holiness.  
                My wife tells me that even outside a monastery a similar dynamic is at work for women.
                It goes way beyond having and raising children. It is a mystery in its fullness but  we need each other.  
                So, yes while not fully determitive,  we need your permission to be men AND you constructive criticism as well.  

              • Gail,
                Neither I nor any man need your permission or any other woman’s to be a man.  You seem stuck on that canard.  Nonetheless, in our faith, the man is the head of the household and responsible for the discipline of all his charges.  In a legal framework where men and women are “equal” and a woman can call the police, tell them anything she thinks will spark the right action, and have the man removed from the house for “domestic violence”, followed by a divorce in which she gets half or more and child support, men have no power as the head of household.  It is not women who are denying us this power per se, but the law itself which has been established by liberals of both genders.
                Trust me, if the law were the same as it was in the early twentieth century, the patriarchy would still be alive and well, coverture would still be in place and the man would still have the right of chastisement.  That kept order in the home and divorce rates quite low.
                But George is right, it’s all gone absent a change in our form of government – a miracle for which I pray on a daily basis.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  In what way am I stuck? I think what I said lines up with a lot of what you’re saying:

                  1) Men don’t need a woman’s permission to be men (I said that)
                  2) In our faith, the man is the head of the household (I used the word headship, but I said this, too)

                  You added discipline and chastisement, which you have indicated before means a man physically hitting his wife to keep her in line, which we (i.e. you) will not be discussing on this (i.e. my) blog. Either sex can call the police, although presumably in a Christian household that would not be the norm.

                  If men assume the role of head of household that would include being head of household even if they aren’t in the household anymore. Bills still need to be paid and if women are expected not to work, the provider would have to continue to pay the bills, right? There is no order if men don’t provide.

                  When patriarchy was alive and well, women didn’t have to go to school because they didn’t have to work. They didn’t have to work because they didn’t have to provide. They didn’t have to provide because men married them and assumed the role of provider. Patriarchy was high because wives needed their husbands to survive. That’s not the case anymore. Women have surpassed men in education and are coming to close to closing the gap in the workforce.

                  You say it is not women who are denying men the power per se, but the law itself. Maybe this is less about feminism and more about an inequality in the law. This inequality favoring women existed in the 20th century. One could make the case that it existed especially in the 20th century, when women were seen as the exclusive caregivers of children. Men were seen as the providers. As long as men provided, women didn’t divorce their husbands.

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says

                    A lot of this strikes me as strange. Right of ‘chastisement’? I’ve never raised my hand to my wife in 53 years of marriage, nor did my dad in  his 53 with my mom, nor my grandparents that I ever saw or heard about in their long lifetimes. That takes the chronology back to the 1890s.
                    As for women working, tell it to Laura Ingalls Wilder (so to speak). They could and did handle the plow and the gun, too, when needed. Both husband and wife were essential to ‘provide’. I think the ability of women not to work was a phenomenon of class and certain times.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Misha, re your first sentence in your reply to Gail: you are both on the same page.

            • George Michalopulos says

              And yet, Misha, feminism was the female response to the Playboy philosophy, when we men gladly and eagerly abrogated our patriarchal roles as gentlemen and marriage. Feminism is little different in this respect from terrorist groups like the IRA, the KKK or the PLO which rise up in response to an oppressive military occupation and then they go off the rails.

              • I think women should take responsibility for their own actions and not blame “the Playboy culture”.  Apart from rape, which is a crime, no one made women do anything.  They do not have to have sex outside of wedlock.  They do not have to create single parent homes.  No one makes a woman divorce her husband, tearing his children away from him.  Nor does anyone force them to abort their unborn children.
                No, George, Hugh Hefner is not responsible for feminism.  Gloria Steinem, Bella Abzug, Betty Friedan, and in earlier times, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony – they gave us modern feminism.  It is an ideology, not a reaction to women dressed in bunny ears.  Women did it to themselves, and the rest of us.  There were foolish men who enabled them, to be sure.  But that was the legislature, not the boom boom room.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  We took responsibility for ourselves by going into the workforce and taking care of ourselves, even though many of us, certainly me, didn’t particularly want to. How is that NOT taking responsibility?

                  • It does rather limit procreation though, the main task of Christian women besides worship of God.
                    Look, Gail, we’re not going to agree on this.  By my standards, you are a feminist.

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Misha, rebellion does not occur under a good ruler, what sparks there are are quickly snuffed out.  

                  • Michael, that’s too idealistic in a fallen world.  Trump, for example, is a good ruler . . .

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      Misha, perhaps on the macro level but not onthe personal level.  You do not have to go all Petruchio on a wife but if you love respect, and honor her, she will honor you. 
                      If you choose rightly.  My lovley wife is a capable, intelligent, strong woman who had been shamefully mistreated by most men in her life starting with her father.  But, she loved Jesus.   Today is our 11th wedding anniversary.  She tells me she has never been more happy.  
                      Getting here was not easy for either of us.  Now we irritate each other no end at times but we really like and value each other in Christ. 
                      Now it is not a “traditional” marriage as I am retired and she still works.  She brings in most of our income working in her family’s business which also employs her youngest son and my son.
                      The neat thing is that she is a mother to my son and her daughter calls me “Daddy”.   
                      One thing I recognized early in our marriage is that I took on the whole family in a sense as “head” because she is the oldest child.  So I care for them in my heart and in prayer. They have come to honor me.  Most of them. Primarily because my wife honors me and loves me by the grace and merc6y of God.  That is not easy for her some days, believe me.
                      Still I like strong women and have always been leary of manipulative one’s.  

                    • Michael,
                      I personally would not compromise for anything less than the patriarchy as it formerly existed in the 19th century, before modern feminism reared its ugly head.  That’s about the only thing that could stabilize our society at the “macro” level.  Men are entitled to this by divine writ and it is the most stable arrangement for preserving the family and raising children.  Men don’t even realize what they have lost.  And if they ever did, it would get ugly fast.
                      As to those men who engage in modern marriages (for you have no choice but for it to be modern, unless you live in rural Mormon country or some Amish/Mennonite community where ostracism/shunning is a sufficient deterrent to wifely disorder), you are rolling the dice.  You may come up seven, maybe snake eyes.  It’s not under your control in any sense, though.  She can have a mood swing and it’s over.  Anecdotal stories of successful marriages can in no way outweigh the overwhelming evidence regarding women’s equality on family, marriage, the unborn, poverty, etc.
                      Man’s duty is to love his wife.  Woman’s duty is to revere and obey her husband (see Ephesians 5, et al.).  That is a scriptural mandate.
                      As for “strong women”, we all know that women are exhorted not to speak (i.e., teach authoritatively) in church and that St. Paul would never place women in authority over men.  I prefer respectful, humble women.  She may be tough in the sense of perseverance as were many of our female saints.  But being assertive with men is a different matter entirely.

          • Slick Willie says

            The gradual debasement of the currency hasn’t helped matters. In the early 18th century, Richard Cantillon noticed that inflation does not affect all equally. The well-connected, who first receive the new printed money, benefit at the expense of the Deplorables by the time it trickles down to them.

  3. Michael Bauman says

    On further reflection:  I think it is important to note that while we are definitely mammalian and closer to rats genetically than is comfortable to our egos, we are not rats or mice.  We are qualitatively different in that we can repent.  We must remember that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, closer than hands and feet if we do.  We are all interconnected though the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
    The secular version of Calvin’s predestination need not occur.  And that is the difficulty with all prophesy:  repentance changes everything. 
    Nevertheless we are faced with Jesus own lament: 
    Luke 18
    6 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. 7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

    • Gail Sheppard says

      I saw a white woman with spiky blond hair saying to a federal officer as she was being led away, (paraphrasing): “I hope you’re in that building when we burn it down. I hope your FAMILY is in that building with you when it burns down and I hope I can be there to see it.” She wasn’t angry. She was almost gleeful when she said it. This is not normal behavior. Who ARE those people?

      • Fr. Deacon John says

        We have lost almost an entire generation of 20-somethings to the dumbed-down indoctrination of the Left.  No respect for authority.  No respect for elders. No respect for other people’s privacy or property.  Never learning to deal with rejection or failure and NEVER knowing who God is or what He can do in your life if you let Him in.  All is not lost but these particular young people may be too far gone to reach.  The parents of these young ones should be ashamed of what they allowed their children to turn into.  We have a grandson who is 20 and we are working hard with him to make sure he doesn’t fall prey to these mindsets.  So far so good.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Glad to hear it, Father Deacon. I don’t think this country can afford anymore casualties.

        • “No respect for authority.  No respect for elders. No respect for other people’s privacy or property.  Never learning to deal with rejection or failure and NEVER knowing who God is or what He can do in your life if you let Him in.”

          Oh Father, I can’t help myself but say – “OK Boomer!” – because this is just a collection of very tired stereotypes and unjust accusations. There’s been a great amount of research done  on Millennials as they become the main component of the labor force, and much of the data seems to go against what you are arguing here. 

          In terms of being spoiled brats that always ask for more – Millennials report higher overall company and job satisfaction compared to older generations. As far as being job-skipping bums goes – contrary to popular perceptions Millennials actually stay with their employers longer than Generation X workers did at the same ages. This reflects the fact that Millennials face a labor market characterized by longer job tenure, fewer employer switches and other types of career transitions, and lower overall fluidity in the labor market.
          Now, as it comes to “no respect for authority or elders” – gimme  a break! This is one of the most conservative generations of “young people” in a long, long time. Compared to their parents that were born in the late ‘40s thru early ‘60s, they’re absolutely docile, current volatility notwithstanding. As concerns God, I believe this is an unjust accusation, because all over the world, with the exception of Sub-Saharan Africa and certain other regions, young adults are less likely to identify as religious compared to older adults. Older ages at marriage, higher education rates, reaction against the priest/pedophile scandal, and political backlash against the religious right, as well as the traditional explanation of youthful rebellion against religious parents have been suggested as reasons. However, the primary reason, according to researchers, is something else. As it turns out, childhood religious socialization was the single biggest factor predicting adult affiliation, and guess what the parents of millennials did not do compared to past generations? That’s right, it’s the boomers fault for kids these days being less religious, because the boomers themselves were less religious, or placed less emphasis on passing their religious affiliation to their children. Mother of 5’s whole essay was about the struggle of this.
          Gail, as a mother of a millennial – I’m surprised you’re not standing up for their work ethic, attitudes towards authority, and recognizing the crappy hand they’ve been dealt ?

          • Gail Sheppard says

            I didn’t see this as an attack on every millennial. I don’t agree with all his conclusions, though I see where he’s coming from.

            Nor do I agree with all of yours.

            Of course millennials are the largest generation in the workforce. That would have been true of Boomers when they were their age. That they stay longer in their jobs may be more a product of job availability. They are seemingly in lower paying jobs in comparison to years past which may be why so many of them live at home with their parents. In my day, that would have never happened. Their lower incomes are keeping them from having families, too, which is very worrisome. Fertility rates have dropped to an all time low.

            In terms of the way they were raised, we did coddle them A LOT, with the self-esteem classes and participation awards where everyone gets a trophy. We structured their time where they had to be doing something every second under adult supervision, as we dragged them from one activity to the next. We bought them games to absorb their time. We made them afraid of everything. So all that is on us Boomer. – How did it get to the point where the average family only spends 37 minutes together a day? What a tragedy.

            With my own children I woke up too late. I lost one and the other had to grow up really fast to compete in the real world. I’ve got to say, she pulled up her bootstraps (a favorite saying in my age group) and did it. She is an incredible young woman. Sometimes I tease her when she is talking to me about something. I’ll stop her and say, “Good grief, Jessica, who RAISED you! Boy, are you an outstanding human being!” – See? We didn’t screw up everything.

            I think what we’re seeing today isn’t so much the millennials, as the drop outs from the millennials at the bottom of the bottom rung.

            I don’t think it’s our fault for kids these days being “less religious”, because . . . “the Boomers themselves were less religious, or placed less emphasis on passing their religious affiliation to their children.” It’s interesting that you would use Mother of Five as an example, as she is passing down the legacy of her husband’s family (Boomers) to their children.

            • As a millennial I have to say, I hate millennials. Lazy, entitled, weird infatuation with Socialism. This definitely isn’t the case for all of us but the “woke” crowd seems to be a solid minority. 
              Btw Gail, I’m in Alaska if you still know the people in Eagle River!

              • Gail Sheppard says

                I’m on it, Petros! Glad you made it up there safely. I am trying to put you in touch with the Ray family. I knew them from back in the day when we were all at St. Barnabas. They are known for being extremely welcoming and I’m sure they’ll help you out.

                • Awesome! I sent an email to the general mail address on the website so y’all will have my real name and all that ??

        • “The parents of these young ones should be ashamed of what they allowed their children to turn into. We have a grandson…”

          Bomb throwing terrorist identified by internet review posted by grandma, who bought his gear:


          Who really needs arrested are the mayors, city council members, governors, district attorneys (DAs), attorney generals (AGs), who are enabling the rioters, by making the police stand down, and even arresting the victims instead of the criminal Leftists.  And, then behind them, the brains such as Bill Ayers (75), and the money men such as George Soros (90).  At this point, revoking statehood and reverting states like California back to federal territories, for decades, could even be necessary. 

          • George Michalopulos says

            AG Barr absolutely rocked yesterday. 
            The Dems on the Judiciary Committee looked like absolute jackasses.  And those were the smart ones.  That ditzy blonde from PA was completely clueless.
            I smell desperation.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Gail, the demonic rage in that woman which we saw the other night is emblematic of this essay which you just wrote.  As Michael points out, we humans are both spiritual as well as material beings.  What you described in the Mouse Utopia study is what happens when animals (in this case mice) are subjected to external stressors that distort their bodies and brains.  That is what we are experiencing today with these deranged people on the Left who are driven by both hate and destruction. 
        Rather than do things that are productive and creative, their energies are used to destroy, which I grant you is “doing” something.  Perhaps short of repentance, this is all they are capable of doing  Perhaps things are so out of balance in society because we are so disordered by “progressivism” that we are at that end-state of Mouse Utopia, only that we are the mice. 

        Please look at this photo of the two women who beat that gay state Senator senseless in Wisconsin a couple of weeks ago:  https://nypost.com/2020/07/28/2-women-charged-with-beating-wisconsin-lawmaker-amid-protest/ 
        Neither of these women are pretty or attractive in any real sense.   It’s almost as if their hatred has distorted their physiognomy. 

        Anyway, where was I going with this?  Here:  Mouse Utopia has arrived for many human cultures here in the West.  We see feminized, round-shouldered soy-boys and masculinized, uglified women who are overweight and half-shave their heads while dying the other side purple.  My thesis is that because long-term, monogamous heterosexual pair-bonds are no longer feasible, the two sexes have unconsciously decided to not be attractive to each other.  

        • George Michalopulos says

          As Rush Limbaugh just said about these women, “they could make a freight train take a dirt road”. Priceless.

        • Sage-Girl says

          George — thanks for posting these two Witches ??‍♀️who turned violent on an Ally … I heard Rush too making fun!

          As a teen, I studied with a wise old Hindu monk + we talked about differences between men + women; I remember this point: “When you see women acting like men, then you know the world is coming Out of Order … then you know decay is in Civilization “

          And that’s what Satan’s out to do — the destruction of Male + Female; the destruction of Law + Order; the destruction of of Morality; the destruction of Religion, Ethics — all in all, the destruction of God’s Plan on earth.

          • Michael Bauman says

            Sage-girl, now the reason for your mixed metaphors is clear. You were actually taught a cleaned up version of Hinduism. I suggest you read Fr. Seraphim Rose and consider asking for his intercessions.  
            It takes diligent effort over time to be healed.  It took me awhile but I worked at it.  
            Please realize I am genuinely concerned for you.  I have seen and experienced the spiritual harm such beliefs can do.  
            You cannot serve both God and Mammon.  
            Lord have mercy on me a sinner and save us. 

            • Sage-Girl says

              MB: no worries, ya misunderstood –
              that’s long ago as a teenager; of course I returned to my baptized roots in Greek Orthodoxy … believe me, Jesus is my boy!  But I see now I have been influenced by certain concepts after being introduced to Hindu, Buddhist teachers by my philosophy mentor’s radio broadcasts, like the Dalai Lama etc.,
              yes I’ve read Seraphim Rose long ago – I can relate!  Monk Seraphim was part of same Vedanta lineage as me  … but I tell you this: best part of renouncing all that was my epiphany of how Bigger Jesus is!
              Krishna never — Buddha never — Mohammed never —
              Native Americans — never 
              Jesus Is Only one among world religion prophets to ever say:
              I Am the way, the truth the life “
              Jesus is Only one to promise us ”Eternal life – life abundant”… 
              Jesus is Only one to have displayed a majestic Resurrection  has continued to appear to the most Holy for 2,000 years??

              Now, I’m wanting to understand the genesis of where Hindus/Buddhists got this belief in Reincarnation Karma? 

              • Gail Sheppard says

                Jesus Christ is not a prophet. In Christianity, He is the Son of God, which every other religion rejects.

                Information is either true or it is false. Michael gave you the correct answer to your question. Everything that is not true comes from the “great deceiver,” i.e. the evil one and his domain (demons). And they are sly. They give part of the truth but not the whole truth.

                • Sage-Girl says

                  Gail — thanks, and when I say Jesus is “my boy” it’s just my humor – secular talk…
                  and when I write “prophets” I’m referring to Krishna, Mohammed, Buddha — not the Lord Jesus — he’s God incarnate; nonetheless I compared Him to the others + appreciate how BIG He is… Writing ✍️ sure is tricky cause you don’t know hear the tone intended. Keep that in mind people —  
                  Your welcome ?

              • Come on…
                Jesus is not your ‘boy.’ The Lord Jesus Christ is your God and Savior. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Sage-girl if you read Blessed Seraphim Rose them you should know he was deeply concerned about his foray in Hinduism and spent considerable time repenting deeply for his worship of idols concerned that it might impact his slavation. 
                I spent the first 13 years after I was received into the Church before my thoughts began to be free of type of the heretical stuff that the New Age crap had put there… And I was working on it.
                Forgive me but your cavalier attitude and seeming to treat mutually exclusive spiritual realities as the same concerns me.  

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  In S-G’s defense, a lot of people from the Asian, Indian and New Age religions come into the Church. There is a learning curve. Maybe we can help with that.

                • Sage-Girl says

                  What’s really impressive of Monk Seraphim Rose ? is he was a convert not just from Hinduism but his born Anglicanism — I too was part Anglican but baptized Greek Orthodox and he helped me give up Vedantic study. We are just seekers of truth — some of us need to learn of other paths before coming home like Prodigal children … 
                  & I am Not cavalier about my faith — I just will always love those pure, holy beings that prepared the ground for me to reunite with my Lord. 
                  ?Also, Seraphim Rose confessed (before he renounced the world) to become a monk that he was homosexual… the fact that he became a great ascetic monk should show to gay activists that someone gay CAN live celibate, a pure life just like normal straight monastics live celibate pure lives. 

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Sage-girl Blessed Seraphim took on the American version of the secular world which included the sexuality.  He struggled with it, but by Grace, was victorious.  
                    My only point is that whatever goodness came to you from the Vedantic path it was Jesus Christ giving it to you despite the environment. Not because of it. He led you through it and kept you for Himself.  
                    You do no dishonor to the people by acknowledging that. In fact such an acknowledgement on your part coupled with prayer may enable them to complete the journey to Christ as well.  
                    A more strict use of Orthodox language is necessary though to leave the unhealthy stuff behind.  

                    What is of God will endure in its proper place in your ❤️

                  • Peter Papoutsis says


                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Indeed. As for Vedanta, Hinduism, Zen and other Eastern paths, one reason for their popularity is because of the manifest failures of Western, low-church Christendom.

                    • Sage-Girl says

                      It’s true George, ?
                      a lot of us as teenagers were uninspired from church — it was last place we wanted to go, but funny thing is my old Vedanta monk guru did in fact show clairvoyance and predicted in the future I’d find my way back to Jesus … I just laughed when I heard that and vowed it’d be last place I’ll ever go back to … but now… well, you and Mrs. M know the rest of the story! lol ?

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      George, it is the failure of all of Christianity to both preach and model the fullness of the Truth.  The Orthodox have manifestly kept the truth under various ethnic bushels.  I and many like me had to slide in the side door and my late wife was pilloried for chanting and leading the choir because she was not Arabic.  There is a lot of fault to go around

                  • Sage-Girl, I hope you got to watch Fr Peter Heers tonight in lesson 1 of his Orthodox Survival Course based on Fr Seraphim’s course from 1975.  I thought of you, Mother of Five and Mother of Toddler throughout and hoped you were on!  The best 3 hours of my week (anticipating Divine Liturgy Saturday, God willing) and he addressed so many of our concerns, hopes, experiences so beautifully, alluding to the Saints and the saintly in such humble, helpful, enlightening ways, calling for compassion for those who do not understand Orthodoxy and have been deluded into unOrthodox ways, encouraging the Royal Path!  At any rate, hope you will check out Patreon.com as I am sure they will have a replay.  Actually also having a second Q & A for Australia tomorrow morn.  
                    And he speaks specifically about finding a spiritual father (as did Archimandrite Savas on a recent Orthodox Ethos podcast) so glancing here made me want to share with you.  
                    Hope you can be on next week as your schedule permits for part 2!    What an uplifting experience.
                    All the best in Christ to thee,

                    • Sage-Girl says

                      Thanks Nicole?!

                      too bad, got your message a day later, missed podcast but I’ll try to find replay?

                      p.s. Monomakhos sure got swamped yesterday – where else to find refuge amidst the chaos?
                      Keep Calm & Hold On To Our Prayer Rope ?! 

                      St. Paisios called it our lethal weapon against demons

            • Amen.

        • Johann Sebastian says

          The one on the left might clean up nicely. The one on the right doesn’t look like a woman.

      • Sage-Girl says

        Gail — “they” are the Devil’s helpers ?
        they even attack their own.  Did you hear about the two women beating up an innocent White man for taking photos during a riot? Turns out he’s an Ally !
        Another sign it’s The End Times …
        Kyrie Eleison 

      • George Michalopulos says

        Gail, I think this is a really important point about the woman we saw blithely saying horrible things to the policemen who were escorting her out:  she was a physically repulsive human being.  
        Part of the Mouse Utopia experiment is that when things get out of whack in a population, excesses and distortions appear in the physical appearance of the animals in question and not in just their interpersonal relationships.
        Anyway, that’s what I got out of this particular woman.  This was later confirmed yesterday when the two women who beat up that gay Wisconsin liberal state senator were arrested.  Even though one was a social worker and the other a PhD in physical therapy, neither one was in danger of being in a beauty pageant.  
        These people not only have ugly souls they have ugly countenances.

  4. Ronda Wintheiser says

    There is no going back. 

    Pro-life activists have been warning about this for decades.  Ad nauseum ad infinitum. Annoying people because we keep bringing it up.

    All the repentance in the world will not bring back the millions and millions and millions of Americans who have been aborted since 1973.  Taxpayers.  Members of the work force.  Americans who would have had more children, and whose children might have had more children by now. People who would be available to care for their parents and grandparents had their parents not snuffed out their lives before they were even allowed to see the light of day. 

    • Michael Bauman says

      Ronda, you are correct, the past cannot be changed but are we past the point of no return?  Maybe if we were mice. Maybe be false hope. 

    • Joseph Lipper says

      The unborn have a good spiritual state, though, as opposed to a life that is born and lived without repentance.  As Christ said, “but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.” 
      The unborn are with God and remain with Him, whether they are aborted or miscarried.  They are in a good state.  Yet for those who are born and who never repent, they end their lives in betrayal of Christ and endure the flames of hell.

      • Is this some backhanded way of justifying abortion?

        • Joseph Lipper says

          Basil, no, I don’t think so.  Abortion is a sin that needs repentance by those involved who are still living.  Yet Christ acknowledges the good state of the unborn by saying “It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.” 

      • Antiochene Son says

        That is incredibly messed up, Joseph. To even attempt to soften the evil that is abortion, or look for a silver lining in it, is beyond the pale.

        If the Lord deemed worthy of hell those who corrupt children, imagine what is in store for those who murder them.

        If nothing else, it deprives the child the opportunity of being baptized, receiving the sacraments, struggling against their fallen nature and victoriously achieving theosis in their lifetime on earth, as God desires for us. I am sure God has other ways for these children, but it is not the normal human experience that we were created for.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          In God’s mercy, it would make sense that babies who were aborted, through no act of will of their own, would be safe in the bosom our Lord. That doesn’t mean he is advocating for women to have abortions so their young don’t have to face the judgment of the Lord, as the living do.

          It’s unfortunate these two thoughts were put together.

        • Sage-Girl says

          Joseph Lipper is not saying that + even an Archimandrite monk who taught at Harvard has said same thing; you just don’t get it…
          You’ve made an “Idol” out of abortion – be careful not to make “Idols” out  of anything… I learned that from our priest at bible class, he said it’s a subtle thing, even the “church” can be an Idol, even a spouse can become an “Idol”…
          Understand, clearly if evil people were never born, this earth would not be in monumental mess it’s in – it’s not about abortion he’s talking about – it’s deeper than all that

          • Antiochene Son says

            The idolaters are those who sacrifice children to moloch.
            I’m not sorry if I came off too strong. On Twitter yesterday I saw video of abortion doctors playing with dead fetuses and I’m going to stop before this turns into a fedpost. 

          • An idol is something that is worshiped. AS has certainly not made an idol out of abortion; the liberals have done that. AS is merely pointing out the great sin that it is.
            There’s no such thing as ‘evil people,’ only people who commit evil acts. We’re all fallen and tainted by original sin; everyone is capable of committing the most heinous atrocities as well as the most selfless acts. If ‘evil people’ were never born, then the world would be a cold, empty place. If ‘evil people’ were never born, there would be repentance. If ‘evil people’ were never born, there would be no saints.

            • Sage-Girl says

              “If evil people were never born, there’d be no Saints” — ?

              well that’s great mysterious Truth why Godhead allows Prince of this World to do his Darkness  — like Judas did to Christ — so we yearn for Light 

            • Matthew Panchisin says

              I think that America is falling apart because many people are intensifying their practice of idolatry (giving service to something that is a phantom or fake) see the media i.e. CNN, BLM and the transgender movements, Joel Olsteen etc. Hence, it’s always been more than strange to hear the heterodox calling Orthodox Christians “idol worshippers”.

      • Sage-Girl says

        Joseph Lipper:

        I get it — I recall Archimandrite Maximos who’s taught at Harvard and lived on Mount Athos also express this … 
        we have only to look at degenerates who molest children or vicious anarchists burning down our country and all manner of demonic acts & wish they’d never been born …
        Monk Maximos made a point once, bringing up that popular Christmas film classic ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ how we all get the gist, of how one individual life CAN make a difference for good …  but opposite is true also: had one Satanic individual Never been born, many wouldn’t have suffered. 

  5. Wayne Matthew Syvinski says

    Everything in the world has been so burdensome lately, I just have to insert this for a bit of levity:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beQc-WDMnow

  6. Some interesting/positive news. Russia is going to build a new Havia Sophia in Turkey with the help of Assad:


    • Sage-Girl says

      Petros — thanks for sending news on future mini Hagia Sophia … but is it really being built by Russians?Did you read comment below that article?  
      Geo + Gail, what say ye? 

      • Gail Sheppard says

        We have many “mini” Hagia Sophia(s). Like St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral in Kronstadt. This is but one more. It is not THE Hagia Sophia, sadly, and cannot replace her in traditional value or in meaning.

        • There is also a mini Hagia Sophia in Warsaw that was recently built, but, sadly you are right, it can not replace the original 

        • Johann Sebastian says

          None of the “mini” Hagiai Sophiai are terribly authentic in their external appearance. Unfortunately, the Turks were excellent architectural plagiarists (even though Sinan is thought to have been a Christian slave of Balkan or possibly Armenian parentage).
          It would be nice to see a faithful replica, without any fin-de-siècle Neobyzantine Romantic interpretive license.
          One bit of license that would be particularly symbolic: a reproduction of the cruciform Blue Mosque outfitted as an Orthodox temple dedicated to the Resurrection.
          We can improve on their work, but they will never surpass ours.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            I agree, but whatever they do, even if it is better, it won’t be Hagia Sophia.

            • Johann Sebastian says

              It won’t, but the Turks really did do a number on the real one. One website (Bob Atchison’s “My World of Byzantium” or something to that effect) called it a “bombed out opera house” in its current state. I’m afraid he’s not too far off the mark

    • Antiochene Son says

      The “EVIL HITLER” Assad is building Churches to spite the “US Friend, NATO Ally, and European Union Candidate” Erdogan.
      America is truly on the wrong side of virtually every issue. God will judge us for this, if he is not already.

  7. I submitted a comment under this article about feminism and the movie Demographic Winter.  It seems either to have been lost or censored.  Just bringing this to your attention, not complaining.  It’s your blog, after all.

  8. Michael Bauman says

    Gail, correct.  Feminism is the natural outgrowth of men being daddy babies.  The economics of it are just the tip of the ice berg.  
    These attitudes toward women also twist and destroy men.
    My introduction to feminism came 1972 when Gloria Steinem gave a lecture at Wichita State University.  Two enduring memories: 1. I never before or since heard a public speech so full of the F Word; 2. her sales pitch to the young men in the audience was support feminism and we would get more and better sex. We’d be Fing like rabbits. All delivered dressed in a slutty outfit that made her look like a refugee from Laugh-In.  
    I wondered at the time how that elevated women.  I decided if that was feminism I did not want it.  Even back then, although my behavior did not always show it, I actually liked women.  But then my mother was a strong, creative, compassionate person. My father, for all his faults,  supported her work in dance. Which as an old pioneer did not come easily for him.

  9. Michael Bauman says

    As I mentioned our new dog is named Dax.  He is why I have no fear of COVID. We’ve been Daxinated.  (Rim shot)

  10. Michael Bauman says

    George, it is the failure of all of Christianity to both preach and model the fullness of the Truth.  The Orthodox have manifestly kept the truth under various ethnic bushels.  I and many like me had to slide in the side door and my late wife was pilloried for chanting and leading the choir because she was not Arabic.  There is a lot of fault to go around

  11. Michael Bauman says

    Misha, Re your comment earlier on 8/1: my wife has never been “assertive with men” unless you count the time she told her first husband that if he ever hit her again, she would kill him. That was after a punch to the gut while pregnant led to the death of her child, Justin, and nearly killed her. That was the same man who was a serial adulterer. She only went out and got jobs because she had to to make sure her children were fed and clothed.
    She raised the other three to be pretty good kids refusing to abort child #3 when told he would most certainly be born a vegetable because she took medicine for her kidneys before she knew she was pregnant ( he has a genius level IQ, a wife and two daughters)
    The same woman trying to be obedient to God who married a man who claimed to love God and would be a Godly husband but later plotted to murder her by blowing up the house. And, yes the same woman who brought her third husband to Christ on his death bed. The same woman who when hiding from her father when she was five so she would not be beaten again had a man on a golden chair come to comfort her repeatedly who rejoiced the first time she came into church with me and saw that man on His throne above the altar, “her Jesus”?
    The same woman who was exhorted by Mary, after I had been praying to Mary to send me a Godly woman, to get on match.com so we could meet and be married 6 months later(11 years ago today) so that I could bring her into the Church, guard, protect and nurture her. (and I am leaving out many stories).
    That woman? Crap shoot? Maybe. Maybe not?
    Misha, Gail is too polite and too much a woman to say it, but it is unmanly to whine. Maybe, just maybe there is a shortage of men for such a woman whom I do not deserve either but God gave her to me anyway. He strengthens me to do the job He gave me. I did ask for a Godly woman after all. Jesus, being the ultimate gentleman was kind enough to give me one, pressed down, running over for she is one of His beloveds. Even though I failed at the job with my late wife. His mercy endures forever. (My late wife was tougher but she had been beaten by her father and possibly sexually assaulted but she too worked hard at raising our son as a stay at home mom and principle teacher). She was the one Jesus raised up at Pascha. Much more to her story too.
    Sorry not a crap shoot. I was given the woman I asked for both times. No dice at all, no gamble just ask and you shall receive. That has been my experience anyway.

  12. Michael,
    That’s all fine and well and perhaps if all women were like your beloved bride the world might be a better place.  Alas, tis not so. 
    I don’t whine.  I’m not complaining about anything at all.  I simply recognize the facts on the ground, not just one very unusual story from which to extrapolate.  Nothing you have described serves to negate a word I have written here.
    It is an insoluble problem (which to me is the definition of a “condition”) under which we live.  I have adapted by foregoing family life altogether.  I’m sure that is best for me.  I simply could not be happy in a modern marriage no matter how agreeable my wife was.  I would see it as illegitimate inasmuch as I would not stand in the traditional shoes of a husband, those having been confiscated by the state.
    But to each his own.  I’m sure I have much less stress and am much happier being single.  I’ve seen too many friends go through the dissolution and custody thing, sometimes the (faux) domestic violence thing, to allow that curse to befall me.  I look forward to retirement with my pets.  They won’t nag, in fact I’m most certain that they’ll never utter a cross word in my direction.
    I seek to live a graceful life.  Traditional marriage was graceful because of the hierarchy within the family.  Absent that infrastructure, marriage is just a domestic partnership which does not function like a true Christian marriage.  People are fickle.  That’s why we have laws.  And when the laws are unnatural it screws up everyone’s life:

    First Marriages: 42-45 percent will terminate with a divorce as the result.
    Second Marriages: 60 percent will terminate with a divorce as the result.
    Third Marriages: 73 percent will terminate with a divorce as the result.

    Looks like a crap shoot to me.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Plus the real point of my dissertation is the end:  “Ask and it shall be given unto thee…”  That is all I did, twice.  I asked and was given.  If I screw up, and I do, it does not negate the gift.   Still, God is not linear.  

    • I don’t think “crapshoot” means what you think it means. According to your own numbers, by the third “attempt” the people that are unmarried end up in a very small minority. That is, ~58% of first marriages keep chugging along, 40% of second marriages don’t crash out, and finally roughly 25% of third marriages survive. Considering how much of the total cohort is sliced out after each round, we have an end result where the overwhelming majority of people will be married to someone. The fact that someone would go for a second and third attempt, after supposedly sampling the bitter fruit of modern marriage, shows it can’t be that bad compared to whatever alternative people are running from.

      Contrasting a pet and a wife in the nagging department, seems strange to me – to say the least. Do you always focus only on the negatives? Where do children fit into this picture of “modern woman=bad”?

      • Dan,
        Most people cannot stand to be alone, though it’s not a problem for me.  What happens is that the vast majority of people, if left alone for any substantial period of time without any outside stimulus, will habitually engage in what the psychological community calls “automatic thoughts”.  These are the types of focus to which you were referring above:  “Do you always focus only on the negatives?”
        The answer to this for me is no; however, most people in isolation will habitually focus on the negative.  Fortunately, I have encountered and slayed that dragon so my touchstone is always positive and optimistic, though I often wander temporarily into the pragmatic.
        Marriage is a no win situation for men.  The true comparison is with traditional, patriarchal marriage that flourished up until the ’50’s or so, though it had been receding since the Married Women’s Property Acts of the late 19th century.  It is no coincidence that divorce rates rose steadily as patriarchal marriage receded.  That is not pessimism, just factual reality.
        Divorces peaked in the 1980’s and have slowly receded since then.  But the reason is not that more marriages are working out.  If you look at the article below, toward the end it states that the real reason for the decline is that fewer younger people are even bothering to get married, at least until later in life, and that this drives the divorce rate down:
        So, along with the statistics I mentioned before one could include the breakup rate of cohabitating couples which no doubt is higher than the divorce rate.  
        Men have no real power or authority in marriage anymore.  That is the fundamental problem in that it is a turnoff for men of all ages, but especially younger men who are “feeling their oats” so to speak.  They might be willing to trade single freedom for married life if the wife and any children answered to them and they had some mechanism for enforcement in the event anyone got too far out of line.
        However, discipline between a man and his wife is illegal now (they have given up on this in Russia; they are moving toward ignoring low level domestic violence).  Thus instead of being the head of the family, a married man in America and most of the West is at a dynamic disadvantage rather than at an advantage.  He has no ownership of the marriage and, to the contrary, can be divorced out of it with serious negative economic consequences and personal anguish at the loss of daily interaction with his children.  To marry, for a man, is to invite chaos.
        It’s perverse and evil.  I want no part of it.  The power structure is all wrong and unchristian to the max.  It is indefensible from a Christian perspective.  In fact, if traditional marriage is the standard for what constitutes a marriage, and this must needs be for an Orthodox Christian, there IS no marriage in the West anymore.  It’s just domestic partnerships which economically disadvantage the male in the long run.
        Who needs such a thing?  More and more young men are answering, “Not me.”  No amount of pious rationalization can change the dynamic.  It will continue this way until traditional marriage is restored.  If it is not, I foresee the time when marriage will be no more common in the white community than it is in the black community where 70% of births are out of wedlock.
        However, I think there is a backstop to all of this.  It can only venture so far into dystopia before people cannot live with themselves anymore and take charge to restore order

        • This is the most interesting analysis I have ever read on the subject. It is very bleak, to be sure. Still, there is offered a tantalising glimpse of what (when the Rainbow comes to its inevitable end) may yet prove to be a pot of gold.

  13. Tim R. Mortiss says

    Misha’s “anecdotal stories of successful marriages” is a new favorite of mine. The success of ours, however, has been clearly established by double-blind studies, and so is no longer “anecdotal”!

    • Michael Bauman says

      Tim, I would say the entire Christian life is anecdotal, wouldn’t you?

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        I would indeed. We don’t live our lives, especially as to the most important things in life, with an eye on statistics.

        • The problem is the law, not the statistics.  The statistics are merely a symptom.  It is the law which is at variance with the faith.  The law originates from our form of government which was rejected by the Church Fathers as leading to anarchy.  Given the situation on the Left, the riots and the general tenor of American politics and culture these days, it is quite difficult to argue with that assessment.
          1 Corinthians 7:7-9:
          “For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.  I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.  But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.”
          1 Corinthians 7:27-28:
          Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.  But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.

        • Michael Bauman says

          I do not really care for or put much store in systemic answers. Any beach is made up of grains of sand.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Tim, your marriage and its fruit gives the lie to all the general conclusions of the statistics and the hard heartedness of the law. Even if yours were the only such marriage ever in history. 
          Glory to God.  Thank you and your wife for your faithfulness and your witness. 

    • Tim,

      “Anecdotal” means stories as evidence. What I am saying is that every successful marriage is not actually evidence that marriage is working in this country in the face of data which clearly establish the opposite. There is also a mountain of anecdotal evidence, the stories of failed marriages, which militate against marriage as a healthy institution.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Marriage is not an institution. It is a holy partnership between God and the couple.  

        • You are nitpicking, Michael. It was instituted by God and He said to the woman that her husband would rule over her (Genesis 3:16). It is a mystery of the Church.

          Yet there is substance to the mysteries. They are not fleeting ideas. If a marriage does not operate as a marriage (in the case of abandonment, for instance), it ceases to exist. What I am saying is that from the very beginning, marriages in the Western world do not operate as marriages. In fact, operation along the lines of Christian marriage, with the husband as the authority in the home, is illegal. We cope by making believe that the dynamic is still there, but it’s not. So, formally, according to the bishops, marriage persists. But in reality, it is a pale shadow of its former state.

          It is tragic, but that is where we are.

          • Michael Bauman says

            No nits. Matters of substance. I reject your premise.  I understand your argument and the logic of it but like all such arguments it stands or falls on the premise. 
            You misunderstand the nature and substance of what it means “to rule” and the nature of the synergy between men and women especially in the Church. Not uncommon.
            I have been studying marriage for most of my life in theory and in practice. I began with a premise similar to yours but quickly jettisoned it as I considered more deeply what it means to be a Christian man.
            Your arguments are not new to me.  I just do not find them valid.  Sorry. 
            I am preparing a more complete exposition which should be available soon.

          • You have some points, Misha.  I’ll give you that.  Yes, the icon of marriage in general has indeed been severely distorted, IMHO, to the same degree as our rejection of God.  And this, in turn has resulted in further distortions (and calumny) of God Himself.
            Yet my wife ( a strong, smart, and sometimes opinionated woman) has been a faithful helpmate and supporter of my authority in our home for nearly 40 years.  Who knew we were breaking the law?

            • Brian,
              My reference to “breaking the law” has to do with the former right of a husband to “chastisement”.  The rule of a husband is fictional and hollow unless he has the right to coerce obedience.  That need not be exercised, but the right has to be there so as to be a deterrent to anarchy.  
              And that is precisely what is illegal and what has gutted the substance of modern marriages.  They are equal partnerships lasting only as long as the emotional stability of either party holds out.  That, really, is not marriage at all.

              • Gail Sheppard says

                Misha, what is your experience with marriage? Is it theoretical or is it practical?

          • George Michalopulos says

            Misha, forgive me but I think you’re off-base here.  “Chastisement” should never mean physicality.  Indeed, it should be done as lovingly as possible.  The complementarity of the sexes means that they each have a priestly vocation that one cannot fulfill without each other.  

            One of the wisest summations of the differences between the sexes and their separate but equal vocations is this:  a man owes his wife unconditional love and a wife owes her husband unconditional respect.  

  14. We shall have to be content to disagree.  I never expected to see agreement.  Nothing I have suggested would have caused anyone to bat an eye up until the last century.  That alone speaks volumes.
    It is a measure of our spiritual enfeeblement at the hands of modernity.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Therein lies the problem: One cannot make the case that that Western marriage is both illegal and un-Christian if it isn’t true.

      What you’re imagining, i.e. that 100 years ago men had authority over their wives, as one would over his possessions, with whom he could do whatever he wanted up to and including physically “chastising” her without interference or impunity, is pure fiction, my friend.

      My grandmother and grandfather, on both sides of my family, had very different marriages than you describe. One of my grandmothers with whom I was particularly close was born in 1899 and had a teaching degree from Northern Arizona University; something to “fall back on,” as she would say. She never had to work because my grandfather was the provider, but that did not mean she didn’t work outside the home.

      One day, she saw a 6-year-old child sitting on the stoop. When she asked him why he wasn’t in school, he told her he was blind. From that day forward, she attended school with him and helped him with his assignments. She taught herself braille, which she later taught to him. She stayed with him until he became a practicing attorney, reading material on tape which she continued to do for others until she, herself, could no longer see. This was just one of her many endeavors.

      My grandmother was an intelligent, beautiful woman and my grandfather adored her. She had her own bank account (my grandfather jokingly called it her “Swiss bank account” because she never divulged the account number, let alone the balance) and he deposited one check for all expenses, knowing she could manage it quite well. They went through the depression, so it wasn’t like they always had money, either. She took care of their household and him. Like me, she took delight in keeping a clean, attractive home, preparing meals (not just stuff you slop on a plate, either; I’m talking meals fit for a king), and entertaining family and friends.

      What you imagine to be legal and Christian may be exactly that: what you imagine. Just like you imagine me to be a feminist, which I am NOT, as I operate in my home exactly as my grandmother operated in hers. George will vouch for this.

      A smart woman with a mind of her own is not necessarily a feminist, Misha. Smart women can be very traditional, completely embracing the man/woman role. George does not have to beat me into submission, I assure you. Apparently, Tim and Michael don’t have to be beat their wives into submission, either.

      Some husbands actually want to come home to their equals, as I imagine marriage can be pretty boring coming home to a “possession.” You’re talking about running a home as the Communists ran Russia, where human beings were part of a machine. Before long, your wife would become exactly that, a cog in the machine you call a “household.” Not wanting to please you because it’s her nature, she would do the minimum amount possible to get by so you wouldn’t “chastise” her.

      Think: torn housecoat, hair a mess, getting her emotional needs met through her children (who would then become neurotic adults), craving the attention of every Tom, Dick or Harry just to feel alive, with a hatred toward her husband that erupts at the slightest provocation. – Sure, there are marriages like that. Wouldn’t want to be in one.

      This is not what the Church means by a patriarchy where men protect women. If Eve weren’t a full person in her own right, she would not have been made a co-creator with Adam. She would have been a barnyard animal.

      In conclusion, just because you believe something, does not make it real. Nor is it always a matter of agreeing or disagreeing. Sometimes it’s a matter of truth vs. fiction.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Preach it sister!

        • George Michalopulos says

          Indeed!  One of the things I treasure about our relationship is that we are partners, companions, and spouses.  Gail is many things but she is most definitely not a feminist.  I very much look forward to coming home to a well-prepared meal.  Perhaps I’m giving myself more credit than I deserve but I like to think that I’m able to be a protector for her, to allow her the cover it takes to be a woman. 
          In the Orthodox marriage service, we here much about the OT worthies and how we are to emulate them and (this is what really gets me) how together a man and woman can properly husband their resources to provide not only for themselves but for others.  
          I do not want to take anything away from the monastic life by any means but I honestly think that the monogamous pair-bond of man and wife can be a blessing to both partners and to the rest of the world.   We forget that the first sacrament that God established was marriage.  I believe that Adam and Eve were well-matched, granting succor and comfort to each other which I believe that Gail has extended to me (undeserving as I am).

          • Sage-Girl says

            Brother George, ?

            great point — indeed we see in scripture, God made marriage his first sacrament … to live the holy “coupled life”… ?‍❤️‍?

            later to monastics, to live the “angelic life” ?

            St. Paisios says it’s one or the other; it’s being in the middle ground that spells trouble

            • Sage-Girl says

              Forgot to say God ordained intimate partnership/marriage to mean: One Man & One Woman …?‍❤️‍?

              how tragically insulting the ridiculous title “homosexual marriage” when ‘civil partner’ years back was good enough.
              Notice nowhere in holy bible do they mention any joyous incident of two homosexuals together – no, there’s only condemnation

          • Michael Bauman says

            George and so it is for any properly ordered marriage.  I have watched my brother raise and give to good men two daughters.  I have witnessed them grow into women in the midst of the Marriage Sacrament and stand as wives next to their husbands and step into their new place in the community as well. 
            With my oldest niece marrying a seminarian I could also see her capacity to give flesh to his life too.  It is a remarkable and holy gift women have but we have to be men enough to give them the seed whether for children or dreams then protect them, honor them and love them as they nurture it/them.
            That is equally as holy.  A deep mystery.  God is good.  

  15. Gail,
    Not Communist Russia, Imperial Russia.  Pay attention.
    I know how people behaved in previous ages because I know what the law was and have read the cases and accounts.  It has nothing to do with my imagination.
    Anyway, I’m not going to argue this anymore.  I know I’m right and I don’t have to convince anyone for the truth to be reasserted by nature and nature’s God.
    Pay attention to what is happening in Western Europe and the United States regarding reproduction rates.  I referenced the movie Demographic Winter earlier and it is worth a look.  Whites and blacks in America reproduce at under 1.8 children per couple.  This is way below the 2.1 replacement rate.  So the percentage of the population that is white and black is shrinking.  The latino population is increasing inasmuch as they are still coming in and have higher fertility rates than either whites or blacks.  Latinos who are here legally have about a 2.0 fertility rate, or just under that.  For those here illegally it is probably considerably higher.
    In Europe, you have a similar dynamic with Muslim immigration.  White European fertility rates are below replacement.  Muslim immigrant fertility rate is about 2.6 per couple. – https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/12/04/europes-muslim-population-will-continue-to-grow-but-how-much-depends-on-migration/
    So God’s not going to take no for an answer in the long run.  Patriarchy will overcome the modern Western attitude by sheer attrition over the longer haul.  Probably long before that, however, the social safety net will collapse since we have so many fewer people paying in than drawing compared with past generations.  That is the real danger of underpopulation, bankrupting the welfare state.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Like you, I also know how to read. I, too, am familiar with case accounts, as I wrote them and then handed them off to attorneys for the Orange County Superior Court of California where I was mediator for divorce and custody disputes.

      What it comes down to is this: you are right because you say you are right. Yes, I am paying attention.