Sober at St. Nicholai Sobor. Bartender, Take the Bottle…
This past Sunday, LGBT activist group Boycott Russian Vodka and LGBT rights activist Michael Petrelis held a pre-announced rally to “peaceably challenge the Russian Orthodox Church in San Francisco over its support for Russia’s anti-homosexual propaganda law that has led to rising violence and anti-LGBT bigotry in that country.” The announcement was picked up by the AOI site, which prides itself as the “cutting edge of the public square” for current issues in the Orthodox Church. In my comment, I suggested that the charitable thing to do was to invite the sponsors in for coffee & dialog — hey, but that’s me. Michael Petrelis posted a response, inquiring as to how notification of the picketing was received (“Do you frequently read gay websites?”) I thought it “prudent” to inform Mr. Petrelis that unless he wished to risk being gnawed to the carcass (and the honey extracted cf. Jud. 14:8), better take the “discussion to his own site and see how “courageous the Orthodox would be in following. For the first time I’ve seen, my post was “yanked” into “moderation.” My, my. The cutting edge apparently took one step forward. Commenting on a completely different matter, my posts are all now “subject to moderation.”
In the meantime, Mr. Petrelis posted that he had received — apparently to his surprise — some supportive email from Orthodox Christians. I wrote to him and explained the Russians, capable of Soviet systems of persecution and oppression, who now perpetrate hate-crimes and execute “reaction formations” that tap into centuries-old reserves of racism, antisemitism, hatred, fear, needs to oppress & dominate, and a systematized psychopathy — now in shirts with skulls and the words “Orthodoxy or Death” — that rises, phoenix-like from only a decade of slumber. And I explained the Orthodox faithful, the persecuted, the martyred, the long-suffering, the persistently-faithful — particularly those who escaped from Russia west through China and endured torture — who most certainly did not endure such suffering — bringing with them to San Francisco their own Blessed John Maximovitch! — in order to support the persecution of others. The Orthodox are xenophobic — and recall the rage of Emperor Peter the Great, vowed to dragging them “kicking & screaming” into the modern world — and fearful of what they do not understand.
Well, let me, again, lay claim to the titles dumbass and fragonarde. “Invite them in for coffee and chat,” says the dumbass. From the ROCOR website:
OK, just to get it out of my system, I gotta go street: what we got here we don’t like? A SNITCH. Yeah. That’s that stuff we don’t like. The Russian Orthodox Church, the New Rome, those who first brought the faith to this continent called the cops. Seriously? Did you read the part about commencing after the conclusion of the Liturgy and being peaceful and non-disruptive? “By Divine mercy, neither the cathedral nor any parishioners suffered any violence from the protesters?” Shame on you for ascribing to God what these protestors promised and provided: peaceful.
Shame on you, Archbishop Kyrill, Archbishop Justinian, and Bishop Theodosius for your failure to act “as the Master would do,” facing the challengers, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the lawyers, but rather encouraging the vacating of the altar, needlessly inducing fear among the faithful:
Shame on you, Archbishop Kyrill, Archbishop Justinian, and Bishop Theodosius for your failure to act “as the Master would do,” by not extending the hand of fellowship, of charity, and of Christian love, but by your very demeanor and actions casting stones of judgment and derision upon individuals with whom you have never exchanged a word. “I will show you my faith by my works.” (Jam. 2:18)
Shame on you, Archbishop Kyrill, Archbishop Justinian, and Bishop Theodosius for setting a precedent and leaving an impression that the Orthodox Church is unapproachable, hostile, isolated, an entity unto itself, inhospitable, and “shady” in its dealings with government. It seems to me you completely fail to see the incongruence of chanting the “Triumph of Orthodoxy” when giving the message, “you don’t belong here.” How do we answer the question, “Where do you find the Lord?” “Among the sinners. All sinners.” “Who is the Orthodox pastor?” “The one who would act as the Master would act.”
What have you protected us from? Shame on you, Archbishop Kyrill, Archbishop Justinian, and Bishop Theodosius. I am embarrassed.