I just had a great idea for a new board game. It would be called “Real Life.” It would be kind of like Monopoly, except instead of starting from the same place with the same resources, players would draw Birth cards that would determine the circumstances of their birth. Then a set of Parent cards would determine players’ first 18 moves. After that, they get to use whatever educational and financial resources they have so far accumulated to make decisions about the spaces they land on. The last player left alive wins.
Naturally, to keep it real, the vast majority of the Birth cards would involve lack of food, clean water, medical care, and adequate education. So unlike Monopoly, Real Life would be a very short game.
If this is your idea of justice, you’re a terrible person.
UPDATE: After writing this post, I discovered that this game actually exists. Next time, I will Google first. There goes my retirement plan.
Perhaps my greatest struggle as an Orthodoxy Christian, indeed as a Christian in general, is the role of the church in politics. I have been thinking about this a lot in the wake of the refugee crisis and the Daesh attacks on Paris. Part of me wishes my church had a more cohesive response to these poignant issues. Yet another part of me is glad it does not.
Much ado has been made about how bad Constantine was for the church, but newer scholarship is beginning to show how good the church was for the Roman empire.
It was once common to see Constantine’s conversion as an act, a power-play to grab support from a once marginalized sect. Thus his subsequent lavishing of power and wealth on the church and its leaders was an ostensible attempt to solidify his power. But more sober scholarship is showing such depictions to be little more than highly anachronistic caricatures. Continue reading “Three Positive Ways Christianity Helped Change the Roman Empire”
To all the people who believe that I have a secret agenda behind my writings on gay marriage, that my true intention is to push the Orthodox Church to become more Episcopalian (which is apparently an insult), to make our priests wear rainbow colored vestments and bless the marriages between two men and a horse, picture me blowing you a raspberry.
Honestly, I was tempted to make a ruder gesture, but that wouldn’t set a very good example now would it? Obergefell v. Hodges made gay civil marriage legal, which means that for me, as an issue, it has more or less dropped off my list of priorities.
Not long ago, Fr. Johannes L. Jacobse suggested that Fr. Robert Arida go become an Episcopalian. For those who don’t know, that’s the conservative Orthodox equivalent of, “Go f@#k yourself!” This sentiment was echoed by the always level-headed, never trollish, commenters of Monomakhos.com. The ostensible source of their outrage is an article that Fr. Arida had posted on Wonder, a blog forOCA youth. According to Fr. Jacobse, Fr. Arida attempts to “legitimize homosexual parings” in clear violation of “Orthodox self-understanding and practice.” That is a pretty bold accusation, one that demands a first-hand investigation. Unfortunately, the original article was censored taken down, but I found a PDF version. In it, Fr. Arida says the following about “homosexual pairings”…
This may end up being the shortest blog post I have ever written. It started as a thing I said on Facebook that turned out to be way more controversial than I had expected. So I sat down and tried to explain my reasoning. I searched for facts and statistics to back up my point. I tried several different ways of organizing my argument…but I give up. Everything I tried felt stupid, like I was trying to prove that Copernicus was right or that gravity is a thing. So let me just spell it out for you. Why do I think you are probably a little bit racist is you think laziness is the main reason people are poor? Here. Have a syllogism:
1. People are poor mostly because they are lazy.
2. People of color are generally poorer than white people.
3. Therefore, people of color are generally lazier than white people.
There. That is the logic behind your belief. Go repent now.
I get the distinct impression that many Orthodox Christians think they are supposed to have an emperor. This is only a feeling. It is hard to quantify. I get it when Facebook friends seem to do everything they can to put a halo on Putin, I overhear it in conversations at coffee hour, and sometimes I see it in a blog’s subtext, like this post Fr. Stephen Freeman wrote back in December. Continue reading “Orthodoxy and Democracy: A Response to Fr. Stephen Freeman”