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 for OCA 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.
Also, the earth revolves around the sun.
Do you disagree? Please. Enlighten me. Seriously!
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”
Matthew Heimbach is a white nationalist and an Orthodox Christian (see photo). Many of you already know this story. For those who don’t, I’ll sum up the major points: People found out that this guy was recently received into the Orthodox Church and raised hell because he, and several other individuals, seemed to believe that Orthodoxy was consistent with their racist beliefs. Mr. Heimbach was recently excommunicated, pending repentance and renunciation of his beliefs. Since then, some of his compatriots have come out to insist that they are not racist at all, and the entire thing is a big misunderstanding pushed by anti-white communist leftists who are in the pockets of the Jews (read the comments).
I try not to write when my emotions are raw, and this whole thing has me reeling. It will take me days, or more, before I am able to work toward an intelligent response. Right now, I just cannot help but wonder what’s wrong with us. Seriously, Orthodoxy in America has a problem. What do I mean? You might think I am over-reacting. This is an isolated incident of a few white guys in a very racist city (Bloomington, IN) not understanding that Orthodoxy frowns upon using crosses as weapons to push a racist agenda. But I wonder what the chances are that somebody could not “get” the church’s teachings about this:
(Addendum: Some might say that there are no canons about using crosses as weapons. That is true. And in my home, there are no rules about not peeing on the television. Because there are some things you just should not have to make rules for.)