Fixing Matthew Heimbach

Matthew Heimbach 1

Why did Matthew Heimbach happen, and what can we do to make sure this sort of thing never happens again?

Let me sum up the situation for those who do not know it. Matthew Heimbach is a white nationalist with his own profile page at the Southern Poverty Law Center. He was also recently received into the All Saints (Antiochian) Orthodox Church in Bloomington. He was almost as quickly excommunicated once this photo of him (holding the cross) drew widespread attention to his views.

This is not exclusively a convert problem. I have met my fair share of racist “cradle” Orthodox over the years. But in Heimbach’s case, it is a convert problem. Apparently a growing number of white nationalists are beginning to think that the Orthodox Church is the church for them. I have some thoughts about this, but first a little background is in order.

Heimbach’s archdiocese (the Antiochian Orthodox Church) is ethnically diverse. It came across the Atlantic with Syrian immigrants and grew to include a number of different Arabic-speaking Christians. But in 1989, large numbers of evangelicals joined the Antiochians en masse when the Evangelical Orthodox Church converted to canonical Orthodoxy. Heimbach’s own priest was part of that movement as a child. So today, some churches feel a lot like “the old country.” When my wife and I visited an Antiochian parish a number of years ago, an old woman joked, “It’s nice to finally have some white people around here.” Other parishes have a strong evangelical “vibe.” Heimbach’s is the latter. He probably did not have a lot of firsthand experience with Orthodoxy’s ethnic diversity. Rather, he looked around, saw a lot of ethnic segregation, and thought, “Neat!”All Saints

Orthodoxy in the United States is pretty segregated. Greeks worship with Greeks. Serbians worship with Serbians. The Russians get two different jurisdictions. That’s what happens when you bring your priests over from the old country. The canons say all our different archdioceses should be united, but it is easier to follow the canons when power and money aren’t at stake.

Obviously, Matthew Heimbach got Orthodoxy very wrong, but I do not think he is the only one at fault. American Orthodoxy failed, too. We need to take steps to address our failures.

1. End our non-canonical jurisdictional divisions. We seem to be waiting for everyone to get on board before we start to merge. Why? Some jurisdictions are going to have an easier time merging than others, so they need to go ahead an merge. The Antiochian Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Church in America seem like good places to begin.

2. Refocus our social priorities. My initial reaction to the Matthew Heimbach story was to wonder what the chances were that someone would not know where the Orthodox Church stood on gay marriage. There is a pretty good chance that Heimbach heard people in his parish complaining about those liberals down the road at Indiana University. Did he hear anyone complaining about how people of color are more likely to receive the death sentence than white folks who commit the same types of crime? Maybe the Orthodox Church should start being as obsessed with poverty and social justice as it is with sex.

3. Evangelize less; catechize more. Matthew Heimbach would have learned more about the church he joined if he had spent a bit longer in catechism. Converts bring a lot of enthusiasm into the Orthodox Church, but we also have a lot to learn. God knows I am hardly qualified to judge when a person is ready to be chrismated! But I do know that in some early churches there was a three year minimum. That seems like a good rule of thumb.

It may take a long time for Heimbach to repent of his racism if he ever does! Excommunication is always a last resort. It is certainly less preferably than never joining in the first place. I do not wish Matthew Heimbach would never have converted. I wish he were not a racist! I wish he would not have brought shame upon the Orthodox Church. If nothing else, a little time would have helped to keep that from happening.

112 thoughts on “Fixing Matthew Heimbach”

  1. I think the problem is that efforts to supposedly counter racism often just propagate racism, and then it becomes justifiable for one race to be racist and unjustifiable for another race to be racist. By racism I mean the mistreatment of others based on their race, color, ethnic origin, etc. It becomes problematic when, in an attempt to combat racism, we allow “black student unions” or all black colleges while balking at the idea of a “white student union” or all white colleges, for instance. Why is it that there can be a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People but not a National Association for the advancement of White People? Why can we have a Black history month but not a European history month? Doesn’t an emphasis of race (for instance corporate and university diversity “quotas”, race-based organizations, etc.) continue the same racial divisions that run counter to the Civil Rights movement and the desegregation movement? Also, if a problem develops, whether in domestic crime or terrorism, and the culprits continue to fit a specific racial or ethnic description, is the expression of greater concern about those racial/ethnic groups considered racist or realist? Why is it that it is okay for black people to have pride for their African heritage but whites, Germans, and others must feel eternal shame because some of their ancestors practiced such things as slavery or lived in a country where the government confined people to concentration camps?

    I do not know the views of Matthew Heimbach, but from what I do know he seems to raise a lot of these important questions that the average person is just unwilling to discuss. Race relations will not improve very much in America until such questions can be asked and explored without the knee jerk denunciation of people as racist monsters.

  2. So, he was excommunicated for Phyletism? As far as I can tell he doesn’t advocate for a white only church, or a white only nation, I don’t thin he even advocated ‘white supremacy’ although no doubt he acknowledges that ethnicities exist and there are real differences that can often cause great stress and turmoil (as does anyone with eyes). What he wants is to protect his culture, which many people know is being destroyed through mass immigration and egalitarian policies in both Europe and America. I think it’s wrong for him to be excommunicated over this issue, especially when you have the brotherhood of St Moses being approved to broaden the ranks of the Afro-American people in the American Church.

    This is rank hypocrisy, and an ideological move influenced by modernism. Does the Orthodox Church now advocate the tower of Babel? Are we to shift the demographics of historic nations for ideological and capitalist reasons, and to fracture the host culture and majority so as to make total domination and destruction easier?

    I wonder what the Orthodox Church would have said a few hundred years ago if some terrible dictator were to flood their countries with people from all over the world and put their culture and their future as a distinct people at risk? I doubt they would have the same response as we see today.

  3. See point about God-haters, wild conjecture, and slanderous lies.

    The *real* Orthodox churches takes the historical Christian position, in opposition to your American Marxism, that, far from needing to be "fixed", pursuing nationalism is the Christian's duty:

    "Christian patriotism may be expressed at the same time with regard to a nation as an ethnic community and as a community of its citizens. The Orthodox Christian is called to love his fatherland, which has a territorial dimension, and his brothers by blood who live everywhere in the world. This love is one of the ways of fulfilling God’s commandment of love to one’s neighbour which includes love to one’s family, fellow-tribesmen and fellow-citizens.

    The patriotism of the Orthodox Christian should be active. It is manifested when he defends his fatherland against an enemy, works for the good of the motherland, cares for the good order of people’s life through, among other things, participation in the affairs of government. The Christian is called to preserve and develop national culture and people’s self-awareness."

  4. David J Dunn Well, you start out by referencing God-haters as your credible source, then you move on to wild conjecture and slanderous lies, and finally end by morally masturbating over imaginary sins. There's nothing of substance to interact with in your post. You simply saw an opportunity to score some cheap piety points by getting up on your soapbox and crying about imaginary sins while in the process committing actual Biblical sins. You're everything that's wrong with the American Marxist "church."

  5. David J Dunn we intelligent people like Greek stuff, too. LOL. But all the pomps of summer will not wash out that damned spot of ignorance, or something like that.

  6. Brad Griffin , just a quick correction: "All this [new understanding] about "racism" and "sexism" and "homophobia" and "xenophobia" and so on came out of the universities, specifically, social science departments". It actually makes sense when you take out the pejorative.

  7. Scott, one assumes that one need not define terms most educated adults should know the meaning of. For example, "racism," "human," "round," etc. It is always fine to ask for clarification, but the tone of the comment is that I somehow did not do due diligence by not defining it ahead of time. That just seems weird to me. But basically, it is to identify someone with certain physical and/or behavioral characteristics as a race, and to believe that said race is inferior to the race imagines oneself to be a part of.

  8. Brad Griffin Actually that verse does say "Ethiopian": "And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman" (Numbers 12:1, KJV). There are some versions that use the untranslated Hebrew term "Cushite". However, the Septuagint Greek text consistantly translates this term as "Ethiopian" and the related word "Cush" as "Ethiopia". You also have the statement by the Prophet Jeremiah, which uses the same word: "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil" (13:23), and clearly the point is that an Ethiopian (Cushite) has very different skin from an Israelite, otherwise it would not have been a meaningful comment. Aside from that, you have the Jewish oral tradition that is preserved by Joseph, which clearly states that Moses married his Ethiopian wife while still living as a prince in Egypt, after a military campaign in which he led the Egyptian Army to victory over the Ethiopians… which is why the old Ten Commandments movie had the scene of Moses returning as a conquering hero, with spoils from Ethiopia, and why you had the good looking Ethiopian princess who seemed to admire Moses on more than one level. They did not explore that subject any further, but the historical and linguistic evidence is unambiguous here.

  9. Martha Deacon All sub-species are interfertile. And no, you can't sort Germans from Englishmen based on phenotype with 90 percent accuracy, but that is quite easy to do in the case of blacks and Whites or East Asians and Australian aboriginies.

  10. Martha Deacon The church is conforming to the dominant secular culture which is the trendsetter. All this crap about "racism" and "sexism" and "homophobia" and "xenophobia" and so on came out of the universities, specifically, social science departments, before it was popularized on television after the 1950s before it was embraced by the churches.

  11. Brad Griffin , All humans are interfertile and the more widely separated the parents' heritage, the better the phenotype is likely to be. We can tell types apart; so what? nothing hangs on that. The Church is always against all phobias. If it finds a new one, it will find that it has always been against it.

  12. Terrible. Thank you for commenting, Fr. John Whiteford. You nailed a key issue with converts. Lord knows I wish I had been baptized or at least Chrismated rennunciations and affirmations you mentioned. It took years to really know and live what I had gotten myself into. The mindset found in the prayer life in the Church Abroad made every difference for me. I wish more people could share in such a joy.

  13. Martha Deacon The church is always changing its tune to conform to the dominant secular culture. In a few decades, we will be told that Christianity is clearly and always has been against "homophobia."

  14. Martha Deacon If two populations within a species can be sorted into distinct categories with 90 percent accuracy, those two populations are sub-species.

  15. J.t. Thrasher , and the rest who agree with you, let me offer a modest proposal for those who believe in a 'taxonomy': the child's plan of fair division, or 'you divide and I choose'. OK, let the whites divvy it up, but let the other guys choose their shares. Whites to take the remaining share. No? You want to be the choosers? OK, let the other guys define the shares, then you can go first.
    What you seem want, is both to divide, and to choose.
    Parsing MLK's vices or the legal history of slavery will not, I humbly submit, get the church past this ugly moment, which has revealed our deep fault of uncharity, false belief, imaginary social difference, imaginary biology, and idolatry of 'culture'.

  16. Don't lead people to confuse Evangelism with Evangelicalism. The first is OK, but missing; the second is the problem. For example, priests who do not fully absorb the mind of Orthodoxy in a good seminary, but are allowed, wrongly, to enter as clergy from denominations. We renounce evils, accept goods, but we need to convert manners and motives.

  17. Fr. John Whiteford You never answered any of my questions. I asked several times. While you guys debate history my questions pertained to now. Why wouldn't you answer them? I guess they strike too close to home about what you believe and want to avoid. There. Now the argument style you are using has been brought back home. You have not defined the racism that Heimbech is supposedly guilty of. You have not addressed the present overwhelming evidence of who is committing inter-racial crime. You have not spoken for the victims of it, only those who commit it. You have not answered what will become of the church if the West continues to decline. You seem to think hypocrisy is OK as long as they say the truth.
    Here. Thus you shall do to all the cities that are very far from you, which are not of the cities of these nations nearby. 16"Only in the cities of these peoples that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, you shall not leave alive anything that breathes. 17"But you shall utterly destroy them, the Hittite and the Amorite, the Canaanite and the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite, as the LORD your God has commanded you,…" There is your Semitic racism and genocide.

    It seems as if they were attacked they could attack back. "Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he set himself against him on the way while he was coming up from Egypt. 3'Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.'" 4Then Saul summoned the people and numbered them in Telaim, 200,000 foot soldiers and 10,000 men of Judah.…

  18. As a heretic, Dunn is simply in no position to talk. He should be excommunicated as well.

  19. Father John you are so precise! I share so much in your thinking. I'm involved a lot in catechism of adults and this is the daily problem that I'm facing on trying to convince the other Orthodox fathers (especially slavic priests) that conversion by Chrismation doesn't mean anything to converts or even doesn't help them to experience the great change…converting to the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. If you have a more relevant complete article, on this issue please recommend it to me so that I will post it on our english website.

  20. BTW, I have been reading a bit on this topic the last week or so but have never read anything on the 'how and why' the priest brought Heimbach into The Church. It seems a dereliction of duty on its face because I go to a convert parish, know many parishes that bring in converts, yet I do not know one priest who doesn't really know their catechumens well enough that this would slip by. What am I missing?

  21. The Orthodox bloggers who have condemned Matt Heimbach are writing movie reviews about "trans identity":

    "Deceptively brave and confronting, 52 Tuesdays tells the story of a mother and daughter each facing transition. For the mother, it is his personal transition into transgender identity; a coming out that happens in the opening scenes and through which Jane becomes James."

    Surely, the transition of "Jane" into "James" goes against Orthodoxy, right?

  22. Fr. John Whiteford Why didn't Christ himself flat out say that "racism" is immoral? For that matter, why didn't it occur to Christ to condemn slavery? I don't remember seeing anything about "human rights" in the Bible either, but that doesn't stop some people from trying to improve on God's word.

  23. Brad Griffin The closest thing to racism among the Jews was their hatred of the Samaritans, who were of mixed ancestry, and held heretical beliefs. Do a word study on "Samaritan" and Samaritans in the Gospels. The next example would be the Jewish view of gentiles… do a word study on that for the whole New Testament. And just because the word "racism" only came into common usage in 1935, that does not mean that the phenomenon it describes only came into being in 1935.

  24. If you want to go back to the Old Testament, what does Leviticus 20:13 say about homosexuals? Surely, the position staked out in Leviticus on homosexuals is more extreme than Heimbach defending himself from someone who assaulted him.

  25. Fr. John Whiteford I've read the Gospels and it seems to me that it never occurred to Christ himself to condemn "racism." Why is that? The term "racism" didn't appear in the United States until 1935.

  26. Fr. John Whiteford A hundred years ago, no one in the United States had ever heard of the seven deadly sins of racism, sexism, nativism, classism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, and xenophobia. All of these cockamamie sins were invented by 20th century leftwing social scientists and were popularized by film and television.

  27. Fr. John Whiteford In the 1990s, the Southern Baptists discovered that "racism" was a sin. So what? The Lutherans (ELCA) have condemned Martin Luther himself for "anti-Semitism." Some churches have even embraced "gay marriage" and female and homosexual clergy. All it proves is that the churches are conforming to the dominant secular culture in the United States.

  28. Brad Griffin I didn't say that white southerners all became members of the MLK fan club. I said that white southerners generally became convinced that they could be racists and Christian. And so while at one time, overt racism was at least generally tolerated in polite society, it is not any more, and has not been for quite some time now.

  29. There is nothing in the Bible about "racism" or "homophobia" because those terms didn't exist at the time. The term "racism" wasn't popularized in the United States until the 1930s.

  30. Fr. John Whiteford No, he did not.

    MLK was hated in the South in his lifetime. Every Southern state responded to the Civil Rights Movement by passing a flurry of segregation laws and by voting against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in overwhelming numbers. The entire South voted 9 to 1 against it.

    If Southerners were so fond of MLK, why did they put George Wallace and Lester Maddox in office in Georgia and Alabama? It is true that Southern racial attitudes later changed in the 1970s and 1980s, but it was not because MLK "shamed" Southerners – he was long dead by then. On the contrary, it was because the North simply used force to gets its way on the issue, resistance collapsed, and demoralization set in.

    Every Southern state has banned gay marriage, but the federal courts are citing the Loving decision to strike down gay marriage bans. They have already done this in Virginia, Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma. The issue is being handled the same way as the civil rights laws.

  31. Scott Terry I think you have some courage issues that explain why you are not coming clean on what you actually believe. If what you believe is true, you should have the courage to defend it. If what you believe cannot be defended, it is because what you believe is not true. "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil" (John 3:19).

  32. Fr. John Whiteford

    I think you have some emotional reasons why you're not reasonably considering what I'm saying.

    ….have a good evening…

  33. Scott Terry Either the Nazi's killed millions of Jews, or they did not. There is no nuance point between affirming or denying that fact. As to why they did it, one need only review Nazi propaganda, beginning with Mein Kampf to find the answer. You are dancing around answering this question, because it exposes your actual position. You deny the Nazi's mass genocide, just as does David Duke. Now admit it, or tell us why it isn't true.

  34. Fr. John Whiteford

    I deny that we can reduce complex historical events to such simplistic terms, yes…it's irresponsible historiography and careless – it speaks more to anti-Heimbachian zealotry than to a serious and loving attempt to correct a brother.

    And after all this conversation – I'm still clueless about what Heimbach's *actual* sin is that he needs to repent of.

    Is there a name for the sin of having an incorrect view of human taxonomy?

    Or – if you can live with Heimbach's view of race, are you suggesting that his view of race is indicative of some excommunicable-worthy "hatred"?

    If the only evidence you have of the latter is that he's met and said good things about people you dislike, then you don't seem to have much of a case.

    I've met David Duke and I think he's done some good things for white people (or at least, tried to) … I'm also good friends with Heimbach, and I know we feel pretty much the same about Duke.

    This isn't to say either Heimbach (and certainly not I) endorse everything the man says (I would endorse very little of it).

    Am I Hell-bound as well?

  35. Fr. John Whiteford

    That's very shoddy reasoning for a PhD…

    First – to trivialize the WWII narrative in such a way is grossly irresponsible.

    Secondly – It seems like you're advocating for Heimbach's excommunication, not for any particular view Heimbach holds, but for the fact that he met and said some good things about someone you dislike.

    Be clear what you're asking him to "repent" of.

  36. Scott Terry I would say that gassing six million Jews because they are Jews is an example of a belief in racial supremacy… and David Duke was a leader of the American Nazi party, and Heimbach praised David Duke, on a Neo-Nazi website. That's walking like a duke, and quacking like a duck. He's a duck. I hope he repents, but he is clearly a racist at present. Listen to his appearance on David Duke's show.

  37. J.t. Thrasher In any religious community there are hypocrites. Black church goers tend to be very pious, and are some of the best people you will ever meet. Obviously that is not universally true… that is just why we should not make sweeping generalizations, and prejudge people based on the color of their skin, rather than the content of their character.

  38. Fr. John Whiteford

    I'm not being dishonest. I'm asking you to give an accounting of yourself since you've taken a very public stand.

    You're claiming that certain positions on human taxonomy somehow magically imply an excommunicable-worthy "hatred".

    You've not given us any reason to suspect this is the case, and you've certainly not been able to demonstrate that it's applicable to Heimbach.

    The evidence you've provided, is that Heimbach has met (and said a few good things about) some people you don't like – but that doesn't seem (in any clear or immediate way) to support your case.

  39. Fr. John Whiteford Like Martin Luther King was religious? I worked with the black churches. I was married in one. You aren't fooling me with some stat about how many go to church. If attendance is all that is required then shoot, the narrow road just became a whole lot wider. Goodnight.

  40. J.t. Thrasher MLK was not the first minister in the history of the world to speak the truth, but to live a lie in private. That makes him hypocritical, but it does not make what he said false.

  41. The bottom line is you have not addressed my points. You have only said, "But the good ones…" That will stop the decline. That will stop the murders.Who cares if they are alive to have their souls saved? This is why I personally, though I saw much beauty in Orthodoxy, left it behind. I will now bow out and let my words stand for themselves.

  42. J.t. Thrasher Working class black people are generally more religious than whites, on average. The solution to the problems you are pointing to is not segregation, but evangelism.

  43. Fr. John Whiteford If worldly success is the measure of man, and not the content of his character, then the church is doomed. You are arguing both sides. Accept the good families of pious people, but also do it because the impious led the way. Who is the dominant and most effective across time?

  44. Scott Terry You know exactly what I mean. You are not making an honest argument on the subject. And denying someone communion is not damning them to hell. It is preventing them from partaking of the eucharist when it would be for their damnation (1 Corinthians 11:27-30). Such people are readmitted to communion when they repent of the sin that required they be denied communion. And again, "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? (1 John 4:20).

  45. Fr. John Whiteford None. But they are the minority in the minority, even with their the church, so culturally, their effect is minimal. Their birthrates however are not, and their offspring are not guaranteed not to get sucked up into the dominant black culture. MLKs persoanl life did move the people. the ones who resisted and saw the behavior when the cameras weren't rolling. You can defend a white washed tomb if you want, the fact is he was a liar not a saint, and his dream is dead.

  46. J.t. Thrasher MLK's personal life was not what moved people. He appealed to the Gospel, and there was not a good argument from the Gospel to refute his argument. And MLK was the most prominent leader of the Black Civil Rights movement, but he was not the only one.

  47. Fr. John Whiteford

    Defining terms is very important in philosophy (and theology).

    If we're going to damn someone to hell for believing in "superiority" we need to be very careful about what we mean. I hope that's not a controversial assertion.

    The phrase "racial superiority" seems nonsensical in the way you use it, as does the phrase "racism" (of course, on the colloquial level, these terms are thrown around carelessly, but we need to expect analytical rigor if we're talking about eternal damnation).

    Secondly: Do you support damning people to Hell who have said nice things about those you dislike?

    I'm sure you'd be willing to say nice things about your family or close friends, even if you disagree with some aspects of their thought.

  48. Fr. John Whiteford Yes the Protocols are nonsense, but the mentioning of acceptability of rape and overtaking gentiles is all over the Talmud. Israels present policies reflect this as they are now removing African immigrants, still spying on the U.S> and openly declaring that the goyim are cattle. I know because I almost converted to Judaism. My research and person interactions with Rabbi's opened my eyes. But what does one expect from a "Chosen people" who can hide all actions behind a mandate from God?

  49. Scott Terry Heimbach praised David Duke in the link I posted, and appeared on his show. David Duke wasn't just a member of the KKK… he was the head of it, and he still spouts racist nonsense, like his promotion of the proven forgery "The Protocols of Zion" which read like a conversation between Boris and Natasha from Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. The KKK and Nazi's teach that whites have a genetic superiority to Blacks. You only act like you don't know what I am talking about because you don't want to have to defend the indefensible. The best way to not have to defend the indefensible is to stop trying to do it, not to play rhetorical games.

  50. Fr. John Whiteford martin Luther King was a known communist and womanizer. isn't it a shame that he used propaganda so efficiently that he shamed a culture into accepting a hostile one? That the southerners were resisting that content of character so common among black culture, as proven by their illegitimacy rates?If the measure is sin then let it be stated, he was a practicing sinner, not a repentant one. Quit defending the indefensible.

  51. Brad Griffin MLK was defeated in the South? He met with great resistance, but shamed white southerners into a change of heart. The gay marriage comparison does not hold water, because unlike loving your brother regardless of his color, gay marriage does not have a basis in Scripture, and so believing Southerners are not going to be shamed into accepting it. Resistance to the Civil Rights movement broke down because defending the indefensible is hard to sustain long term.

  52. Fr. John Whiteford

    Ok, so Heimbach's "sin" (that, according to you, makes him worthy of expulsion from the church),

    is *not* that he holds some unpopular view of human taxonomy … and it is *not* that his views of human taxonomy lead to some mystical and ill-defined notion of "hatred", and it is *not* that he might claim some group of people are better than others (in certain contexts), but his sin is that he's met certain unworthy characters?

    …and I'm still not sure what you mean by "racially superior"…unless you mean it in the way I described it above.

  53. Fr. John Whiteford And that breakdown has increased since liberal policies were enacted and assimilation has no longer been required, That breakdown happens everywhere modernity touches Africans. Incompatible cultures. Now, you have stated a belief as to what causes it, but not defended a man who was attacked for stating that it was a problem that no social policy, no amount of money, and no amount of apologies has been able to fix. They have only emboldened those who hate and resent the West. Now "white privilege"classes are taught at what once were Christian colleges. Attacks have increased. The church has not fixed the problem and based on its reactions seems determined to make excuses for them and ignore them. Instead it attacks one of their own for simply stating the problem exists, for acknowledging it. It is people like Mr. Heimbech who would have stepped up at the Battle of Tours, not an excuse making, liberal elite who blame the victims of physical assault. Every Western Country is falling to multiculturalism, losing its identity and special character. I cannot help but believe thet if some African Christian group were under the same attack by another you would rush to their defense. Again, where will Christianity be if the West continues to decline?

  54. Fr. John Whiteford Sure it does.

    MLK was defeated in the South. Here in Alabama, the people responded by electing Patterson and Wallace as Governor, Bull Connor in Birmingham, and LB Sullivan in Montgomery. The South overwhelmingly voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    The South is part of the United States though and it was the rest of the country that supported the "Civil Rights Movement." After the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was passed because the North and West voted 8 to 2 for it, resistance to integration in the South collapsed because the South had been defeated, not at the state level, but at the federal level by military interventions, court orders, and acts of Congress.

    As time went on, demoralization set in an in the absence of organized resistance, younger generations of Southerners first accommodated themselves to the new changes and later embraced them. The same thing is happening with "gay marriage" now. It is what happened with slavery in the 1860s and "women's rights" in the 1920s.

  55. J.t. Thrasher There is not a huge difference between traditional southern black culture and southern white culture. I work with mostly black co-workers, and I have often felt like I am a lot closer in culture to them than I am to white liberals. The problems you are talking about relate to a break down in the family and the culture.

  56. Fr. John Whiteford

    A few points:

    1. You're claiming that the practices of the 'KKK" (such that you've researched them) are sinful – and that Matthew Heimbach's views are equally sinful.

    But that doesn't seem to follow, since Heimbach isn't part of the KKK nor is his rhetoric compatible with the ambiguous notion of "supremacy" that you've highlighted.

    2. I'm not sure what "supremacy" even means.

    Surely God has made some people better at some things than others. I'm a better banjo player than most people (who cannot play a banjo at all). Michael Jordan is a far superior basketball player than I could ever be.

    Surely it's not a sin to point that out?

    "Supremacy" is an incoherent notion without a defining context. We have to ask "superior at what?" or "Superior in what way?"

    And if all we're talking about is mere superiority in some aspect or another, then what's the harm? God has created everyone with a unique role to play in His creation such that they (and only they) will be able to fill it.

    Why does pointing that out demand expulsion from the church?

  57. Brad Griffin What you say does not explain the change in the hearts of Southern whites. I remember the changes taking place. I would say between from about 1975 to about 1985 you had a complete transformation. That was not the result of guns being held to anyone's head.

  58. Show me where multiculturalism in its modern form has worked, without racial tension, violence, and fighting for power. While you do that I will show you the opposite. In America most interracial crime is black on white. Most gun homicides are committed by blacks. 30,000 white women are raped every year. When blacks are arrested and given longer sentences for the same crimes it is usually because they have more prior convictions. In South Africa, where the Boer decided to participate in the end of Apartheid, over 30,000 Christian Afrikaaners have been killed and are they now on genocide watch. The acheivement gap has never been broken. Blacks vote as block for self interest. The fact is, though there are good people of all cultures, some cultures are incompable. In general, populations revert if not under white guidance. The truth will set you free, and if your official policy denies the truth, stops defending Western culture and those being killed, then you have denied the truth. You can argue councils, theology ad nauseum, us slubs who have to live with the consequences of multiculturalism, who have witnessed the violence etc, and who have been attacked like Mr. Heimbaech and then ostracised for defedning themselves have had enough. Defend the meek and humble and quit spouting off about the perpetrators and crimes that happened hundreds of years ago. Now is the time to consider and the church will not survive without the West to carry her banner.

  59. Fr. John Whiteford The so-called "Civil Rights Movement" triumphed in the South because of 1.) US military interventions in Arkansas, Alabama, and Mississippi, 2.) federal courts orders that mandated desegregation, and 3.) the rest of the country voting 8 to 2 in Congress to overcome the longeest filibuster in US history in the US Senate. The South voted 9 to 1 against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in Congress.

  60. Fr. John Whiteford I've studied slavery in the Caribbean at length and you are comparing apples to oranges – the Southern colonies were settler societies where Whites outnumbered blacks, sovereign states with republican governments rather than royal governors, with "plantations" which were little more than jumped up farms compared to their Caribbean counterparts. The British Caribbean grew sugar which was a minor crop in the Old South and the planters in the Old South weren't absentees who lived on the other side of the Atlantic. The number of slaves in the Old South also dwarfed those in the British Caribbean by 1860 because of Southern slaves had the highest birthrate and lowest mortality rate of blacks anywhere in the world.

  61. Brad Griffin The South was Protestant, and Protestantism can twist itself into any shape. Traditional Christianity is not Protestant. Has never been racist, and will never change its teachings.

  62. Brad Griffin It ended in the British Empire, by legal reform, pushed by the likes of William Wilberforce, and thus it did not end with a scorched earth war that left a large part of the population dead or maimed, and the rest largely destitute… and so you did not have the generational bitterness that you had in the south. And again Brad, what is your basis for assuming that because something was commonly done in the south, that it was therefore compatible with the Christian Faith? The Civil Rights movement was so successful in the South, not because people were forced to change their minds, but because the Civil Rights movement appealed to the Scriptures, and the consciences of Christian southerners compelled them to change.

  63. Fr. John Whiteford I'm not an Orthodox Christian – the South was Christian and what you would describe as "racist" until the 1970s. All this proves is that Christianity, which was pro-slavery and pro-segregation for centuries, can twist itself into any shape as it renders unto Caesar. A century from now, the church will be saying something else.

  64. Fr. John Whiteford BTW, I am very familiar with how slavery ended in the British Empire – Britain's sugar colonies in the Caribbean couldn't compete with Cuba, and its interests in the East Indies became more important in the early 19th century, neither of which applied to the South because free labor in India couldn't compete with Southern slave grown cotton.

  65. Fr. John Whiteford No, I am talking about the antebellum South: in every Southern state, blacks were neither citizens or voters, and most Southern states had laws that prohibited the settlement of free blacks, and some funded their removal and colonization in Libiera. There were also laws that made it a crime for free blacks to consume alcohol and carry firearms, as well as laws which prohibited the education of slaves, and even laws that deterred manumission.

  66. Brad Griffin You are talking about the post reconstruction south, which was bitter at the loss of the war, and at reconstruction, which allowed blacks to vote and hold office, but denied many white southerners who had fought for the confederacy both rights. Had slavery ended in America the way it ended in the British Empire, things would have been very different. You do not find any basis for banning inter-racial marriage in the Orthodox Tradition of the Church. Aside from all that, why would you assume that everything was right and holy in the South any way. Lynching was common during that period too, but I think you would be hard pressed to justify that practice by the teachings of Christ.

  67. What was the law in Virginia?

    "Excerpt from Virginia Revised Code of 1819

    That all meetings or assemblages of slaves, or free negroes or mulattoes mixing and associating with such slaves at any meeting-house or houses, &c., in the night; or at any SCHOOL OR SCHOOLS for teaching them READING OR WRITING, either in the day or night, under whatsoever pretext, shall be deemed and considered an UNLAWFUL ASSEMBLY; and any justice of a county, &c., wherein such assemblage shall be, either from his own knowledge or the information of others, of such unlawful assemblage, &c., may issue his warrant, directed to any sworn officer or officers, authorizing him or them to enter the house or houses where such unlawful assemblages, &c., may be, for the purpose of apprehending or dispersing such slaves, and to inflict corporal punishment on the offender or offenders, at the discretion of any justice of the peace, not exceeding twenty lashes."

  68. Fr. John Whiteford Hmm … I suppose that is why blacks weren't citizens or voters in any Southern state, why every Southern state criminalized miscegenation, and why almost every Southern state had laws that prohibited the settlement of free blacks within their borders, outlawed their ownership of firearms, and prohibited them from serving in the militia and consuming alcohol.

  69. Brad Griffin I think you would be hard pressed to find evidence prior to reconstruction that it was commonly taught that blacks were racially inferior to whites. Stonewall Jackson taught a black Sunday School class, which spawned a number of prominent black preachers, who in turned started many black churches. Being a Calvinist, Jackson seems to have believed that blacks were mostly enslaved due to some mystery of providence beyond his knowledge (there were in fact many Free blacks living in the south at that time, who had been freed by their masters, or who had purchased their own freedom), but the fact that this was so, was not viewed in terms of genetic superiority, but in terms of predestination. However, he believed that they should be taught to read and write, and taught the faith, just as anyone else would.

  70. Scott Terry: groups like the KKK are not just identifying themselves in terms of their genealogical descent and culture. They, for example, teach the superiority of one race over another, and teach that inter-racial marriage is a betrayal of their race. The only mix-marriage the Church ever speaks of is when an Orthodox Christian is allowed to marry a Trinitarian Christian who is not Orthodox. See:

  71. Fr. John Whiteford

    I'm not clear on how a view of human taxonomy equates to some ambiguous ideal of "hatred" …

    It seems that the opposite might be the case – telling someone that his genealogical descent, his culture, and all his identifying characteristics are irrelevant, is the act of hate.

  72. The Orthodox view is that there are only two races: the Christian race, and the fallen race of Adam. And what the Scriptures have to say to modern day racists is "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? (1 John 4:20).

  73. I feel better now knowing Fr. Miroljub Ruzic baptized me at St. Stevan of Dechani Serbian Orthodox Church in Columubs in 1996. Fr. M. is an AMAZING teacher!

  74. The problem is not too much Evangelism. The problem is that too often Orthodoxy is presented as too easy of a "sale", and people convert, not fully understanding all the implications of what that means. One advantage to receiving most converts by baptism, is that this makes it clear that a conversion is actually taking place. Chrismation doesn't mean anything to someone who is not Orthodox, and so if someone is not properly catechized, it is easier for such people to think that they are just switching denominational affiliation, rather than converting. But even when people are received by Chrismation, if they were made to make the renunciations and affirmations that are in the service books (and obviously talked to about them before hand), they would have a clearer idea that they were really converting.

    Also, when people convert, they need to be taught that a worldview shift should be in process, that the convert she be open to such changes, and that this takes time:

  75. I'd love to hear a PhD, who is so concerned with the sin of "racism", define the term for the rest of us.

    If it's so important as to deny someone entrance into the Church, then shouldn't it be coherent?


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