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Church To Orthodox Fascists: Repent!

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That image above shocked and disgusted many Orthodox Christians on Bright Week, the week after Easter/Pascha. It shows a white supremacist at Indiana University using an Orthodox cross to fight a leftist opponent. It turns out that the notorious Matthew Heimbach was recently received into the Orthodox faith at a parish in Bloomington. The parish priest has just posted an announcement on the church website [2] reading, in part:

On Saturday, April 12, 2014, I received Matthew Heimbach into the Orthodox communion through the sacrament of Chrismation.  I did not understand at that time that he held nationalistic, segregationist views.  Immediately upon learning of the scope and development of Matthew’s views, I responded to his decisions quickly and decisively, meeting with him in person and by phone on multiple occasions, and conferring with our bishop.

Typically pastoral issues are best handled confidentially between priest and penitent in order to protect the privacy of those coming for counsel. If, however, a person makes inflammatory public statements in the name of the Orthodox Faith, as in the present case of Matthew Heinbach, a public statement is most certainly warranted.

Though Matthew has made progress in coming to understand the teachings of Christ, he has not formally renounced his views promoting a separationist ideology. Orthodoxy rejects the teaching that churches or countries should be divided along racial lines.  For, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28). And again, “They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one Shepherd” (Jn. 10:16).

Matthew must cease and desist all activities, both online, in print, and in person, promoting racist and seperationist ideologies, effective immediately.  He must formally reject violence, hate speech, and the heresy of Phyletism. Finally, he must submit to period of formal penance in order to be received back into the Orthodox communion.

Heimbach and one of his neofascist colleagues have now announced their “sabbatical [3]“.

What does a man do when his championship of Authority and Tradition results in his traditional authority prohibiting his life’s work immediately and without warning? It’s a profound riddle, one we’ll be digesting during our ongoing discourse with the Church.

They have not shut their white supremacist website down, though. Though I hope and pray that they repent and renounced their racist ideology, I predict they will move on into neopaganism. These men give no evidence of being seekers of the truth, but rather pilgrims in search of a spiritual home for race hate.

After the liturgy yesterday, our priest told us all about this ugly situation, and gave a powerful and emphatic denunciation of racism, anti-Semitism, and fascism. He warned us that “neo-Nazism” exists in some quarters of the Orthodox Church, but that it is not supported by the teaching of the Church, and it must be resisted when it rears its head. I am grateful that Church officials took a stand against this scandalous abuse of Orthodox Christianity by these young fascists in Bloomington. When things like this happen in public, the Church must speak clearly and uncompromisingly about them.

 

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99 Comments To "Church To Orthodox Fascists: Repent!"

#1 Comment By stef On May 5, 2014 @ 7:22 pm

@MH-Secular Misanthropist: There are plenty of places in the US that are over 90% white…

Yes, they’re also very old, demographically. Not enough young white women to make white babies with. That’s another big whine you hear from the white supremacists; that all those precious, special-snowflake “white genes” are getting diluted into a great caramel-brown sea. So just moving to white-supermajority areas isn’t enough, if most of the women there are older. (Or won’t have them on toast with jam on the side.)

#2 Comment By JonF On May 5, 2014 @ 7:29 pm

Re: If your answer is ‘never,’ then why is it appropriate to deny communion based on certain political views?

If someone shows up in church splattered in blood from a murder he has just committed, I would certainly think it right to deny them communion– but not to deny them healthcare if they needed it.

#3 Comment By Aglo On May 5, 2014 @ 8:14 pm

Why don’t they move to Antarctica? It’s 100% white!

#4 Comment By Aglo On May 5, 2014 @ 8:33 pm

Sk,

The early church denied communion to people for far lesser infractions than this. Arians (those who claimed Jesus was a created being) were not allowed in the church after the Council of Nicea, and neither were Sabellians or those who confessed other theological heresies. Heck, Dioscorus was anathematized, not because he was a Eutychian (he wasn’t), but because he wasn’t zealous _enough_ in fighting Eutychianism.

There is no “right to” the Eucharist; it’s a gift given by Christ through the Church. The idea of “rights/natural freedoms”, despite being enshrined in American culture and political thought, is quite alien to the historic Christian worldview. It’s something of a modern/secularist/Enlightenment construct, and as such you won’t find early Christian theologians (or indeed, anyone prior to Zwingli) endorsing latitudinarianism of any kind. If someone like Heimbach says “You can’t deny me communion! I have RIGHTS!”, any priest worth his salt will show him out the door. That should go, too, for abortion providers, sex offenders and others who blatantly violate Church teaching on other issues. If you want to be a white supremacist, or a Gnostic, or a porn star, or a NAMBLA member, then fine, but don’t expect your priest to ignore your defiance of Church teaching.

Neither Arianism nor Aryanism should be allowed in the church 😉

#5 Comment By VikingLS On May 5, 2014 @ 8:45 pm

” When would it be appropriate to deny someone health care based on his political views (about any subject)? If your answer is ‘never,’ then why is it appropriate to deny communion based on certain political views?”

Priests don’t sign a Hippocratic oath.

If certain political views coincide with heresy it is appropriate to excommunicate the heretic, though in most cases this is a weapon of last resort.

#6 Comment By Aglo On May 5, 2014 @ 8:46 pm

“Whiteness” itself is something of an artificial construct. What, exactly, is “white culture”? I’d argue Russians, for religious reasons, may have culturally more in common with Ethiopians (who are definitely not white) than they do with white Australians, Dutchmen, Americans or Norwegians. Albanians are white, and yet culturally in some ways they have more in common with Pakistanis (on account of both being Muslim countries) than they do with their own Christian neighbors.

Similarly, white Americans in some parts of the country have more in common culturally with black Americans than they do with some Europeans (especially Eastern ones).

The problem with people who say “preserve white culture” is that there is no such thing, and so people who use that slogan are usually using it as a code word for Aryanism or some other sinister ideology. No one protests when folks in Minnesota hold events to celebrate their Scandinavian culture, since Scandinavian culture actually exists as a thing. “White culture” doesn’t.

Besides, most people predicting the “end of white America” don’t realize that the vast majority of Hispanics are white, or at least identify as such. Partly it’s the media’s fault, though (since they’re always lumping Hispanics in with other minorities).

#7 Comment By Glaivester On May 5, 2014 @ 9:44 pm

Though I hope and pray that they repent and renounced their racist ideology, I predict they will move on into neopaganism.

I know a lot of commenters took this as a slight against paganism, but I am fairly confident it was not intended that way. What Rod was suggesting is that Heimbach would move on to one of the religions that have specifically come into existence to give whites an ethnoreligion. Those religions are generally classified as pagan religions (usually based on Norse mythology) and identify as such.

I don’t think he was intending to make a statement about paganism in general.

Of course, as I understand it, the term “paganism” is not really the name of a specific religion so much as a general category of religions; generally pantheistic or polytheistic with nature or natural forces represented by, or controlled by, various deities. So the broadness of the term can lead to misunderstandings.

[NFR: That’s true. Thanks for the clarification. I meant no slur on paganism as a phenomenon. — RD]

#8 Comment By AnotherBeliever On May 5, 2014 @ 9:48 pm

“What does a man do when his championship of Authority and Tradition results in his traditional authority prohibiting his life’s work immediately and without warning?”

Leaving aside the seriousness of neo-Nazi resurgence, this quote is just too dripping in unintended irony to give it a pass. You can’t very well go around making a point of extolling the virtues of tradition and authority and then refuse to submit to them. Seriously, if you give them such credence, perhaps you should stop and reflect on what they are saying. There, I answered your riddle.

#9 Comment By Glaivester On May 5, 2014 @ 9:54 pm

That’s another big whine you hear from the white supremacists; that all those precious, special-snowflake “white genes” are getting diluted into a great caramel-brown sea.

I’m glad that you think the desire to preserve one’s people is a proper subject for derision and ridicule.

The issue is not that there is something special about the clusters of genes that indicate European heritage. It is that whites want to preserve our people. I doubt that most white nationalists would have a problem with a Chinese person being concerned about intermarriage or about a Jewish mother wanting her son to marry a nice Jewish girl. It’s just that they would like the same courtesy.

What I don’t understand about white supremacists is that there are plenty of places in the US that are over 90% white. If they dislike non-whites, move to one of those places. Problem solved.

Except that the government seems determined to get rid of these places. Why else would they decide that Lewiston Maine is the perfect place to re-settle large numbers of Somali refugees?

#10 Comment By AnotherBeliever On May 5, 2014 @ 9:56 pm

Aglo, I do wonder what happens next for Hispanics. This is part of my background (the rest is standard European-extract alloy.) “Hispanic” is an interesting category that has been racially mixed from the start, but ethnically somewhat distinct. They marked white on forms for decades. Now they mark Hispanic plus a race (or two.) Will they shift back to identifying as white in generations to come? Will there be a rediscovery of their Native identity? Will they split among Chicano, Mexican, islander, and Central American lines? Will they follow the pattern of many Latin American countries and differentiate among degrees of mestizo? Will be interesting to watch.

#11 Comment By AnotherBeliever On May 5, 2014 @ 10:02 pm

‘wm says:
May 5, 2014 at 11:24 am
I love that the Orthodox Church has an archaic Greek term for the heresy of being a skinhead twerp.

Heretic: Behold! New Idea!

Church: (Yawns, dusts off archaic term for the heresy in question) “Desist from your Phyletism or no Eucharist for you.”’

When you put it like that, it is pretty awesome. 🙂

#12 Comment By The Lost Dutchman On May 5, 2014 @ 10:20 pm

What does a man do when his championship of Authority and Tradition results in his traditional authority prohibiting his life’s work immediately and without warning?

[4]

#13 Comment By Jason On May 5, 2014 @ 10:46 pm

Mr. Heimbeck was attacked by militant homosexuals. He simply fought back. I do not know who used the picture and caption, but they were attacking him for representing Christ. People who react to this one snapshot of an event and draw conclusions are intellectually bereft.

#14 Comment By another scott On May 5, 2014 @ 11:15 pm

“why Indiana? I know it was a hotbed of 20th century Klan activity which sprange from very different grounds than the originia Klan. But what made Indiana and other parts of the mid-West such a locus of racialism? I’m sincerely curious on the point and bet other readers are too.”

When in doubt, look at the settlement patterns. Northwest Indiana was settled from New York and Pennsylvania by people coming west through the Great Lakes. The rest of Indiana mostly by southerners coming up the Wabash and Ohio.

#15 Comment By Chris Atwood On May 5, 2014 @ 11:29 pm

Can I just register that I find Christian Schmemann’s comment unbelievably bigoted and offensive? I guess it could summed up by a modified version of the old Soviet-era joke

“Under capitalism man oppresses man. Under socialism, its the reverse.”

In Schmemann’s version: under Evangelicalism, the Christian “wins at Christianity” by dissing the other Christian. Under Catholicism/Orthodoxy, he’s proud to say, it’s the reverse.

#16 Comment By Jon Cogburn On May 6, 2014 @ 12:00 am

M. Young,

I don’t know what you’re talking about, and neither do you.

Belhar is about unity, reconciliation, and justice. No fair person reading it would take it to say that racism is somehow the only or worst sin or that white people shouldn’t exist.

It’s a very big deal for Dutch Reformed Churches to accord it confessional status since most of them have not accepted new confessions for over two hundred years (The Belgic Confession, The Canons of Dort, and the Heidelberg Catechism being the standard trio for Dutch Calvinists). Check out the RCA’s webpage for a description: [5] .

I think by mentioning the dates of its adoption that you are intimating that Christians didn’t condemn Apartheid as heretical prior to Belhar (which was written in 1982). This is just false. In his book on Belhar Piet Naude discusses the following Roman Catholic, Lutheran, and Reformed critiques that predate Belhar:

(1) Dutch Reformed Mission Church: Circuit of Wynberg decision on apartheid (1948),
(2) South African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SABC): Statement on Apartheid (1957),
(3) Cottesloe Declaration (1961),
(4) South African Council of Chruches (SACC): A Message to the People of South Africa (June 1968),
(5) Lutheran World Federation (LWF): “Southern Africa: Confessional Integrity” (Sixth Assembly, Dar es Salaam, 1977),
(6) Alliance of Black Reformed Christians in Southern Africa (ABRESCA): Charter and Declaration (October 1981),
(7) Open letter by 123 DRC pastors and thologians (March 1982),
(8) World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC): “Racism and South Africa” (Twenty-first General Council, August 1982).

Check out Naude’s book ( [6]). It’s very good.

Finally, ad hominems against Allan Boesak have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with: (1) the content of Belhar, (2) with whether reformed churches are currently in a status confessionis with respect to unity, reconciliation, and justice (as they were with respect to idolatry with respect to Barmen), and (3) whether Belhar deserves confessional status. If things go right, the Holy Spirit will work in my church (Presbyterian) over the next couple of years with respect to all of this.

Re: the ad hominem – Reformation theology is about the three gs: guilt, grace, and gratitude. If one had to be Jesus to validly argue that we are in a status confessionis, then there would be no confessions.

#17 Comment By M_Young On May 6, 2014 @ 2:34 am

Jon Cogburn, I just solved a difficult problem for my day job, so I am in a magnanimous mood. I’ll grant your knowledge of Reformed theology is vastly superior to mine. What I know from history is, however, that the Old Testament inspiration of the various reformed and Calvinist churches around the globe resulted not only in nationalism (good!–see Gorski’s “The Mosaic Moment) but also in strict segregationist ‘we are the chosen people’ churches.

#18 Comment By Glaivester On May 6, 2014 @ 8:21 am

Jason:

Thank you for mentioning this. I was suspicious that something like this might be the case from the get-go. Like the Zimmerman case and several others, the story we are first told almost always puts the appointed “bad guy” in the worst light. Almost invariably, the facts are more nuanced, and always in the same direction.

Having said that, I would rather hear more facts before accepting Jason’s statement as accurate; I shouldn’t accept what someone says just because it gives me an agreeable conclusion either.

#19 Comment By Jon Cogburn On May 6, 2014 @ 9:05 am

M_Young,

Congrats on solving the difficult problem! Aristotle was right about magnanimity.

For what it’s worth, as far as I know everything you write in 2:34 is true.

The only thing I’d add is that there was reaction against this at every step of the way from within the Protestant tradition. The two periods of evangelical revival in early America involved lots of evangelizing of slaves. The Episcopalian owner class originally opposed that strenuously, but then tried to co-opt it by setting up segregated churches.

The Dutch Reformed Mission Church was the segregated church set up by the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa.

Someone mentioned Protestantism and the “invisible church” above. The important thing is to take the invisible church as descriptive with respect to the Nicene Creed’s affirmation of unity, but the unity of the visible church as normative. This is the essence of the first Belhar affirmation, and reformed churches accepting the confession accept that reformed theology defending segregation is heretical.

Nonetheless, you are absolutely correct that it’s a sorry history.

Heresies aren’t just things that are inconsistent with doctrine. They are usually rather pernicious beliefs that people who accept doctrine are liable to being seduced into believing.

#20 Comment By M_Young On May 6, 2014 @ 9:42 am

“The problem with people who say “preserve white culture” is that there is no such thing, and so people who use that slogan are usually using it as a code word for Aryanism or some other sinister ideology. No one protests when folks in Minnesota hold events to celebrate their Scandinavian culture, since Scandinavian culture actually exists as a thing. “White culture” doesn’t.”

1) One could easily say that there is no such thing as Scandinavian culture, only Norwegian, Swedish, Icelandic, Danish and Finnish (but does Finnish count?). One could go further, saying there is no such thing as Norwegian culture, only the rural, western, Nynorsk speaking culture and the urban, eastern/southern Bokmal culture.

Now, on the street here in the US there is a recognition of white culture. Talk to any 20 year old. In addition, the US government itself places people in categories, creating a reality of its own and has since its inception. “Whiteness” is real deal with it.

#21 Comment By M_Young On May 6, 2014 @ 9:50 am

“Yes, they’re also very old, demographically. Not enough young white women to make white babies with. ”

Utah and Idaho have the largest under 5 proportion of the population of any states.

It is funny, though, that white advocates get criticized for ‘imagining’ that ‘anti-racists’ want us to disappear as a unique people when the ‘anti-racists’ — in their unguarded moments– can’t seem to refrain themselves from noting whites being ‘old’ or ‘dying out’.

#22 Comment By Yannis On May 6, 2014 @ 9:53 am

All religions have the same percentage of bigots, racists, antigay, crazy, thieves etc etc. No religion escapes. To say that Orthodoxy has more than it’s fare share is however ignorant and equally bigoted.Some notes therefore for the editor:
1) The orthodox church was the first one to bring black people in the religion (the Eritreans where Christian Orthodox before the British even where). Anyone who is orthodox black or otherwise is considered a brother and have rights to study in Greece irrespective of their nationality.
2) The orthodox church was the first one to have a black archbishop
3) The orthodox church (contrary to the catholic church) never supported slavery

#23 Comment By M_Young On May 6, 2014 @ 9:54 am

“Why don’t they move to Antarctica? It’s 100% white!”

Well, white people are the only people who have created the technology that would make that move possible.

But I suspect the answer to your rhetorical question is that we, and our ancestors, created this country for the most part.

#24 Comment By M_Young On May 6, 2014 @ 9:59 am

“Will they split among Chicano, Mexican, islander, and Central American lines? Will they follow the pattern of many Latin American countries and differentiate among degrees of mestizo? ”

When I want watch white people on TeeVee*, I turn on Univision or Azteca America.

*Is it me, or are there way more black folks on TV, and not just sports, than their 12-13% of the population would seem to call for. Given that polls show that, when asked, people overestimate the black proportion of the population of the US by a factor of 2-3x, I don’t think it is just me. Same overestimation holds true, btw, for the proportion of homosexuals.

#25 Comment By M_Young On May 6, 2014 @ 10:04 am

“What I don’t understand about white supremacists is that there are plenty of places in the US that are over 90% white. If they dislike non-whites, move to one of those places. Problem solved.

I won’t mention a place by name because I wouldn’t wish these knuckleheads on people I don’t know. But it just seems like an obvious course of action.”

1) Literally wherever white people settle and make successful communities, others follow.

2) In fact, white people, and not just explicit ‘supremacists’*, but ordinary white folks trying to live in decent communities that are familiar to them in customs, habits, language, and yes, racial demographics. A black man wrote a whole book on this trend — he called it Whitopia

*how can you be wield supremacy when there is no other group around?

#26 Comment By M_Young On May 6, 2014 @ 10:19 am

“The Nueces Massacre involved 61 German immigrants trying to go to (anti-slavery) Mexico over a matter of conscience (not wanting to fight on the side of their slave-owning rulers), and pro-slavery Texans slaughtered them. To this day, white supremacists shed tears over the defeat of the Confederacy, in this comments on this blog and elsewhere. ”

Intra-white status competition runs strong with this one.

Personally, in my 2 months (seemed like 12) in Texas, I noticed no shortage of Texans with surnames like Schmidtt and Stein celebrating their Texaness.

A good portion of the anti-slavery coalition in the US, particularly in the west, were ‘free soilers’ who didn’t want the (obviously unfair), competition from slave-plantation agriculture and, btw, weren’t too crazy about having blacks around at all. In fact, they saw, correctly, as slavery essentially expanding the black population. This tendency of free (of blacks) soil reached its height in the strongly unionist Oregon territory, which forbade the settlement of black persons at all. The law remained on the books until 1922.

Oh, and what about the German bund, huh? A real pro-Nazi force in American politics until Pearl Harbor.

So, stop the sanctimony.

#27 Comment By Franklin Evans On May 6, 2014 @ 10:25 am

Glaivester, that was a timely and welcome attempt to clarify. I wish everyone to know that I trust Rod implicitly and I am confident of his intentions and motivations.

Please allow a modern Pagan to clarify in return.

There are people who are Pagan who are also racist, nationalist or supremacist. Pagans are challenged daily to reconcile ourselves with fellow believers who maintain those beliefs and attitudes. The Germanic and Nordic odalists have it worst of us all. They are reconstructionists (in a distinctly neo-heathen and neo-pagan context), not reactionaries or separatists.

There are people who are racist, nationalist or supremacist who will appropriate anything handy to give their beliefs and attitudes legitimacy. They come as outsiders and usurpers, not as believers.

There is a very fine line of distinction in that, complicated by no one ever being able to objectively verify what is in a person’s heart.

The religion in question is irrelevant. Christians should have perfect sympathy with that.

Rod is in a similar catch-22 to the one I find myself in rather often. Brevity invites unwarranted or just outright incorrect assumptions. Detailed explanations and qualifications just don’t get read. All I ask is that when a term is used that it be specifically supported within the context of its use.

#28 Comment By Dave Dutcher On May 6, 2014 @ 10:52 am

Problem would be why he’d convert to Orthodoxy anyways. I think Putin is having more of an effect than people realize in promoting a Christan Russian nationalism.

#29 Comment By EngineerScotty On May 6, 2014 @ 3:00 pm

But I suspect the answer to your rhetorical question is that we, and our ancestors, created this country for the most part.

That, M_young, reminds me of a quip by former UM “Fab Five” basketball star Stacey King, after a NBA basketball game back in the 90s in which Michael Jordan scored 69 points, and King scored one point:

“I’ll always remember this as the night that Michael Jordan and I combined for 70 points”.

Even though King’s NBA career wasn’t terribly auspicious, the dude had a sense of humor…

#30 Comment By JonF On May 6, 2014 @ 6:30 pm

Re: But I suspect the answer to your rhetorical question is that we, and our ancestors, created this country for the most part.

Our ancestors may have created the country, but that does not mean any of us now have any special rights or privileges based on that. The Constitution itself forbids titles of nobility, and the notion that later generations should steal their valor from those who are dead is at the core of the concept of a noble class.

#31 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On May 6, 2014 @ 8:26 pm

1) The orthodox church was the first one to bring black people in the religion (the Eritreans where Christian Orthodox before the British even where). Anyone who is orthodox black or otherwise is considered a brother and have rights to study in Greece irrespective of their nationality.
2) The orthodox church was the first one to have a black archbishop

Except back in those days, nobody called anybody “black” or “white,” which is kind of the point.

#32 Comment By Gregory Manning On May 7, 2014 @ 8:31 am

When I first asked to be received into the Orthodox Church the priest, who had never met me “scheduled” the chrismation for the following Sunday. I never returned. Then I went to a ROCOR church. Eight months later, after lots of interviews with the priest and catechism I was received. If I had held any kind of extremist views I can’t help but think they would have leaked out during all those interviews. The ROCOR priest insisted that being received was a serious matter not to be taken lightly or rushed. Thanks be to God for such priests!

#33 Comment By M_Young On May 7, 2014 @ 9:42 am

“But I suspect the answer to your rhetorical question is that we, and our ancestors, created this country for the most part.

That, M_young, reminds me of a quip by former UM “Fab Five” basketball star Stacey King, after a NBA basketball game back in the 90s in which Michael Jordan scored 69 points, and King scored one point:

“I’ll always remember this as the night that Michael Jordan and I combined for 70 points”.

A championship team is built not only by the superstars, but by the role players. That is even more the case with a nation.

#34 Comment By M_Young On May 7, 2014 @ 9:49 am

“Our ancestors may have created the country, but that does not mean any of us now have any special rights or privileges based on that. The Constitution itself forbids titles of nobility, and the notion that later generations should steal their valor from those who are dead is at the core of the concept of a noble class.”

The Constitution also gives Congress the right to control immigration, and the very first Congress limited naturalization to ‘free white persons’ — a law that stayed in effect until 1952. The Civil War generation passed the Chinese Exclusion act.

And to be proud that, say, one’s father served in the Korean War is not ‘stealing valor’. One of the really perverse things about our current immigration system is that most dudes that served in Vietnam has virtually no say into who gets into the country now, but a Vietnamese who came to the country in 1980 can still sponsor all sorts of ‘family’.

#35 Comment By M_Young On May 7, 2014 @ 10:13 am

“There are people who are racist, nationalist or supremacist who will appropriate anything handy to give their beliefs and attitudes legitimacy. They come as outsiders and usurpers, not as believers.”

From my perspective, having read quite a bit into the old Irish myths and also having a pretty good knowledge of the Old Testament, the pagans who do believe in self determination of distinct peoples are far more in line with traditional paganism than what I’ve seen of Wiccans. Indeed, Franklin Evans use of the term ‘modern’ pagan betrays the disconnection with the old beliefs. No racialist follower of Asatru would use such a term, in my experience.

It seems to me this sort of “invented tradition” goes for the Orthodox too — at least the sort of Orthodox likely to inhabit the “Orthosphere”.

I don’t know much of Orthodox theology, but I do know enough of Serbian history to know that the Serbian Orthodox church kept that nation alive and with a sense of common identity under the long years of Ottoman rule — during which time it was often in conflict with the ‘Greeks’ sent out from Constantinople. Its not an accident that Orthodox clergy — indeed a bishop — have supported the politicians of Golden Dawn.

“http://www.cyprus-forum.com/cyprus39197.html”

I for one am far more likely to believe that one ” Ambrosios of Kalavryta” is far more likely to represent a continuation of Orthodox tradition than, say, a blogger whose both parents were “Jewish, card carrying Communists” ,* however much the latter knows — or think she knows — about Orthodox theology.

I mean to cast no aspersions onto peoples religious beliefs — if they bring comfort to the afflicted, that is good–put when you stress ‘tradition’, I’m going to put far more weight on the lived experience of people whose fathers, and grandfathers, and great grandfathers were Orthodox than someone who adopted the religion the day before yesterday.

[NFR: Orthodoxy is not whatever the Greeks, or Russians, or Serbians, or whichever ethnic group, say it is. I have often spoken to Catholics who think they can believe whatever they want to believe and still be considered Catholic because that’s how they were raised, and who are you to tell me what I have to believe as a Catholic? That’s wrong too. Tradition is great, but only as a series of signposts on the way to God. It is not an end in itself. — RD]

#36 Comment By M_Young On May 7, 2014 @ 10:15 am

*This refers to one of the members of the ‘Orthosphere’ who is engaging in dialog with one of the trad youth guys.

#37 Comment By Franklin Evans On May 7, 2014 @ 10:58 am

I wish to applaud [7]. M’s perspective is admittedly limited, but he applies it well to the topic at hand. Rod’s counterpoint is valuable as a balance. I resemble both sides being a modern and disconnected Pagan striving to find those connections, and as a scion of a Serbian (Montenegro) family with roots back to the 14th century. Tradition is a treasure and a curse, I opine, often at the same time.

#38 Comment By Michael Hill On May 7, 2014 @ 2:21 pm

Just another example of worldly liberalism leading the Church around by the nose. To say that the Bible condemns temporal “nationalism” is absurd. The Biblical definition of a “nation” is a distinct people based on race/ethnicity and culture. And if “racism” is a sin, why did it take the Church over 1900 years to discover it? I think the Church is this case is simply bowing to the dictates of political correctness.

#39 Comment By M_Young On May 7, 2014 @ 3:16 pm

Thank you Franklin.

#40 Comment By HeartRight On May 7, 2014 @ 7:45 pm

Siarlys Jenkins says:
May 6, 2014 at 8:26 pm

Except back in those days, nobody called anybody “black” or “white,” which is kind of the point.
Saint Moses the Black, Saint Benedict the Black.

[8]

[9]

#41 Comment By JonF On May 7, 2014 @ 8:49 pm

m_young,
I am proud to have a smidge of Native ancestry, proud to have English ancestors that showed up in Massachusetts twenty years after the Pilgrims to seek a New Jerusalem on wild shores, proud that a collateral ancestor signed the Declaration, and a great-great-grandfather died for the Union in the Civil War, and even proud that my father, er, liberated some wine cellars in France in WWII. But none of that gives me any privileges that someone who just took the oath of citizenship does not have. Not a one. I would not stand up in church and tell the children and grandchildren of Russian immigrants “My people were here long before yours– bow to me and kiss my ring, ye varlets!”

As for Congress’s assorted immigration acts, you seem to have the Congress of the United States confused with an Ecumenical Council. The latter, I will own, is inspired by the Holy Spirit. The former, as one of our better humorists put it, comprises America’s only native criminal class.

#42 Comment By M_Young On May 8, 2014 @ 3:57 am

“I would not stand up in church and tell the children and grandchildren of Russian immigrants “My people were here long before yours– bow to me and kiss my ring, ye varlets!””

And the strawman of the year award goes to…JonF.

Here’s the thing, JonF. Those immigrants…5 years in this country, have more rights and privileges than you, at least in terms of having a say into who gets admitted into this polity.

That hardly seems fair.

#43 Comment By JonF On May 8, 2014 @ 6:10 am

Re: The Biblical definition of a “nation” is a distinct people based on race/ethnicity and culture

Yes, and as Rod mentions “phyletism” (the idea that one nation or people are especially favored by God under the Christian dispensation) was condemned as a heresy early on.

#44 Comment By Jamie Estevez On May 10, 2014 @ 2:28 am

Unfortunately Rod Orthodox nations and peoples are not immune to the allure of radical political dogmas of fascism, racial and ethnic chauvinism. Thankfully the Church does not (and cannot) endorse such views, but humans are emotionally led, irrational and fallible so there were Russian Orthodox Christians who latched onto the communist dogma as well especially 100 years ago in Russia and elsewhere in the Orthodox world. The worst of the worst in my opinion is blind nationalism. How many millions have been butchered throughout the world since the end of the age of monarchs in the name of “nationalism”. Nationalism is almost a disease it pits Orthodox against Orthodox (Greece and Macedonia, Russia and Georgia) and it divides people who culturally and religiously should be united in one civilization (like Orthodox civilization). That is my opinion. I am Pan-Orthodox Christian in my views.

#45 Comment By Daniel A On May 29, 2014 @ 5:55 pm

Principled conservatism is a main feature of the Orthodox Church. They are reactionary and bordering on fascist. Just look at the fascists Svoboda party in Ukraine who are staunch Orthodox Christians.

#46 Comment By Karen On March 25, 2015 @ 4:18 pm

This is not an aberrant departure from Orthodoxy, it is indicative of the religion itself

#47 Comment By Hiba On May 4, 2016 @ 1:07 am

Orthdox by nature are conservative and reactionary and many side with fascists in Ukraine but many of them don’t

#48 Comment By Josep On October 23, 2018 @ 8:19 pm

Sorry if this article is too old, but I think these two other articles might be informative:
[10]
[11]

#49 Comment By Josep On October 24, 2018 @ 3:55 am

Oh, and I’d advise Karen and Daniel A to provide evidence of their statements instead of making wild assumptions.