Last month, I gently criticized the Orthodox Church in America in “An Illness in Orthodox America.” I fear that the problems might be more grave. Take, for instance, the issue of Wonder dedicated to the relationship between Christianity and secular politics. Wonder is a publication of the O.C.A. Department of Youth, not merely someone’s private blog. Even a bishop has an article in the publication, and it betrays, under the banner of tolerance, the pusillanimous stance of a retreating Christianity unwilling to uphold the moral tradition of the Church and of the civilized West. One’s responsibility for his own spiritual state does not negate his social responsibilities. One’s lack of ultimate spiritual perfection must not paralyze him from tending to more worldly duties.That some Christians seem unable to grasp this reveals a rot in Christendom. Nietzsche saw it, and he condemned the entire religion. The other articles echo the convoluted excuses of prolife Democrats who vote for abortion rights politicians, as if there were an equivalency between tax policy and legalized abortion. The Christian tradition has no set political philosophy regarding socialism, whereas Christian civilization is unanimous in its condemnation of child murder. Christians of good will may disagree about energy policy and the welfare state, but Christians cannot in good conscience support attacks on the fundamental natural laws of the human community. Only one party has declared war against divine law and human nature. Yet, some on the “religious Left” want to carry water for the theomachists.
Perhaps even more troubling are signs that some folks in the O.C.A. are in open rebellion against the Church’s teaching on human sexuality, including priests and possibly bishops. Read “Same-Sex Marriage and the Revolt Against Metropolitan Jonah” and “A Pastoral Counselor’s take on Leonova’s FB Group.” In addition to other unpleasantries that have surfaced in the last year, many O.C.A. members are concerned about a Facebook group in the Diocese of Boston that appears to seek the normalization of homosexuality in pastoral practice. That would not be disturbing if the members of the group did not include the bishop and several priests. I have been skeptical over insinuations of the “Lavender Mafia” in response to the political crisis in which Metropolitan Jonah finds himself. Perhaps, I have been naive about the extent of a Protestant style revolt.
What ever happend to Christian sinners’ acceptance of their shortcomings and the high probability of their damnation? Is it a sign of our age’s intolerable narcissism that everyone wishes to rewrite the law, history, and even holy writ to justify his own personal foibles. It is so petty and pedestrian; I find it difficult to believe that homosexuals have sunk to such a level of bourgeois self adulation. Can you imagine Wilde or Proust being so dishonest with themselves?