Charity Begins at Home


I had a neighbor a few years back, a middle-aged Jewish woman with health issues who stayed to herself. Her daughter and my daughters played together, so we ended up loosely acquainted. She barely spoke English, plucked from her native land by the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society and dropped (presumably at random) in the middle of Indiana. If she was receiving any ongoing support, we couldn’t see it. My daughters made a point to check on her every few days, helping her with gardening and household chores.

I only visited her at home once in the years we lived nearby, to help carry something in that the girls couldn’t lift. I tried to minimize my direct engagement since I am, after all, Matt Parrott. The local Jewish community was acutely aware of me, and I didn’t want her dread of a frightful “anti-semite” piled atop her worries. I had little to worry about, as she was about as alienated from them as I am. I called the HIAS, not as a political activist but as a concerned neighbor, politely suggesting that she may have fallen through the institutional cracks.

They blew me off, of course. A few months later, we learned that her daughter had found her dead in her apartment, an entirely tragic and preventable death. There’s so much more that I could have done, and I do regret that. But where was her community? Where was her synagogue? Where were the alphabet soup of Jewish organizations ostensibly dedicated to social work?

They were too busy lining up the next wave of immigrants, too busy with their “social justice” activism, and too busy with their own lives to help this woman in need. These people care deeply about “immigration”, as an abstract political cause celebre. They could give a damn about the immigrants themselves.

This woman happened to be Jewish, and her community happened to be Jewish, but it’s not really about Jews. Just about all of America’s religious organizations follow the same script. It’s always about “outreach”, “missions”, and exciting attempts to “change the world”. After all, adopting Haitian orphans, bringing [insert denomination] to [insert exotic locale], campus outreach, and such are exciting. In-reach, taking care of our own, is lacking in vision, uplift, and breadth of mind!

Who wants to watch the Game Show Network for a couple hours in a senile old neighbor’s dark and filthy apartment once a week when one can be evangelizing perfect strangers with exciting problems? Who has time to buy cat food and vanilla wafers for their diabetic aunt when Joseph Kony is running amok in Uganda as we speak?

My frenemy Maria Gwyn McDowell speaks contemptuously of the Orthodox Christian Churches’ failure to keep up with this aspect of Modernity in her response to our excommunication, sneering[1] that, “I recall a perfectly vibrant ministry to men and women transitioning out of homelessness that was shut down because ‘we really should be focusing on our [ethnic group] shut-ins.'”

I, for one, am glad the Church made the choice it made and am skeptical of how “vibrant” the homelessness ministry actually was. Ultimately, all charity which does not directly involve an intimate personal relationship between the benefactor and recipient invariably becomes a hustle. These naive Third World aid projects unwittingly prop up warlords, undermine traditional local authorities, drive local farmers out of business, encourage helpless dependency, and exacerbate the population density problem. All too often, “helping” the homeless amounts to enabling their evasion of the chemical dependency, mental health, or family issues which brought them to the shelter in the first place.

In a recent post by The Anti-Gnostic, Traditionalism’s Unprincipled Exception, draws attention to this distinction between Orthodoxy and American religion-as-usual.

Contra Niche has remarked that Christian mission probably has a conversion-to-contact ratio well below ten percent. With those numbers, Orthodoxy would be better off taking every dollar and resource devoted to evangelism and instead directly subsidizing young, Orthodox families so they’ll fill the pews with their kids and aunts and uncles and grandparents.

All this talk about Local Churches, kinship and inter-generational tradition gets uncomfortable pretty quick. Orthodox converts certainly want their “smells and bells” street-cred, but being secular Americans first, they also want what Laurence Auster termed the unprincipled exception to their rock-ribbed creed.

I’m deeply skeptical of the Evangelical Orthodox effort to change the traditional Orthodox Christian model of seamlessly integrating one’s familial, ethnic, and national identity with the Church. I think Faith sticks more firmly when it becomes more than a mere doctrine or position, but an intrinsic part of who you are, and not merely a disposable patch of flair on our raceless, placeless, faceless multicultural global cosmopolitan uniforms.

The Orthodox in America are scrambling to catch up with the globalist program, an unmitigated disaster which has left us a nation of irreligious, alienated, isolated, unhappy, and selfish wretches “Bowling Alone” with no sense of identity or belonging. They’re way too late to the party, anyway. The market for churches that operate on constant outreach and evangelism is saturated. Now, a Christian Church which abandons all that cause-mopolitan and marketing bling of the evangelical megachurches in favor of genuine tribal identity and community, that’s a hip new angle.

Update:

1. Maria Gwyn McDowell claims that she was not sneering.


  • Orthodox Mike

    1 Timothy 5:8. Excellent article, brother.

  • Robert Pinkerton

    You probably already know this, even though you may know it as cast in different terminology than used here.
    A. Care first for those who are your own; this is an end, as in goal. They are your own, who affirmatively, actively, belong to you, and vice versa.
    B. Care next for yourself, both as an intrinsic goal and as means to the end of caring for them who are your own.
    C. Only after that, and only with what is left over, do you care for the anonymous random stranger.
    What is prescribed by the above precepts, is reciprocal altruism, restricted altruism; as counterposed to, and as over against the purported “universal altruism” that is the humane so-called “ideal.” Unconditional universal altruism attracts freeloaders as fecal matter attracts flies. “One for all and all for one,” to be sure; but all is a small group, whose members are readily identifiable: “Take care of the Regiment and the Regiment will take care of you.” It is the moral basis of a culture with a purpose, even if that purpose is only group survival (which can be as much or as little as maintenance of group identity over time and through generations); and, like other moral precepts, it too can be perverted by shifting the meaning or reference of the words which comprise it.

  • R_Moreland

    Your point is well taken. Too much of “outreach” appears to be a thinly disguised ego-trip, a way to give religious cover to promoting trendy political causes or playing missionary in exotic lands. It’s a way to be where the action is, so to speak. You may be on to something in relating this to the decline of actual religion in America.

    The secular end of this has seen everything from We Are the World to the anti-apartheid movement. All this liberal-radical effort, and what does Africa have to show for it? Warlords. Kleptocracies. Human rights debacles. Mass starvation. Slavery revived. And let’s not forget farm attacks on white South Africans.

    None of this fazes the outreachers, whose feelings are what count at the end of the day. Even as civilization disintegrates around them.

  • Matthew, I do not recall using the term “sneering” to describe myself while writing my posts, nor do I recall a sneer on my face. I am puzzled as to how you seem to know otherwise.

    More importantly, your skepticism towards the ministry I mentioned is unwarranted, and perhaps asking more questions about it would have stood you in good stead. It was a ministry intentionally focused on creating “an intimate personal relationship between the benefactor and recipient,” in which we prepared food together, ate together, and as a result, got to know one another. I still occasionally see and greet participants by name when we cross paths. Its goal is to provide the kind of social support network required to sustain a transition out of homelessness. It is meant to develop exactly the type of friendship your Jewish friend needed.

  • Aaron Gross

    Interesting article. Regarding the HIAS (which I’d never heard of before now), it doesn’t seem like they could look after day-to-day needs of refugees. They’re an international organization, not a neighborhood one. But yeah, they should have referred you to someone else, maybe the local synagogue, instead of blowing you off.

    You asked, “Where was her synagogue?”, but if she really kept to herself as you said, it’s likely that the local synagogue didn’t even know about her. Maybe the HIAS gave her the synagogue contact when they resettled her and she never contacted them, I don’t know. So if the local synagogue wasn’t looking out for her, well, what else do you expect if she had never even been involved with it?

    Also, I think you’re really missing something here:

    I think Faith sticks more firmly when it becomes more than a mere doctrine or position, but an intrinsic part of who you are, and not merely a disposable patch of flair on our raceless, placeless, faceless multicultural global cosmopolitan uniforms.

    That’s a false dichotomy. I’d think that any church that takes Christ seriously is “an intrinsic part of who you are.” It’s a more important identity than ethnicity or race. It’s also more local and concrete: your identity as a member of your local church involves people you actually know and who identify with you just as you identify with them (as opposed to some random white guy on the street, whom you see as a brother but who sees you as just some complete stranger). And the Orthodox Church as a whole is a self-conscious group, unlike your “White nation” which exists, at present, only in the minds of a few people on the Internet.

    More than that: The more seriously the church takes Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, especially his teachings and practice of non-violence, the more it will find itself at odds with whatever political entity it happens to be associated with. Same with a pre-political entity, like a white “nation” that wants statehood. Loyalty to the church will sometimes mean some very serious disloyalty to one’s nation or race. I understand that the Orthodox Church condones violence and war in some cases, but the church’s view of violence and war should not reflect the nation’s or the state’s view.

    A church that takes the ethic of Jesus seriously is also going to have a problematic relation to place. Sometimes the only way to keep living in your traditional place is through violence, maybe by killing people. I’m sure the Mennonites were attached to their place in Europe, but they had to leave because there was no way to reconcile their attachment to place with their faith, and of course their faith came first.

    So, yeah, if a church sees itself as just a social club, as picnics and bingo rather than “an intrinsic part of who you are,” then it needs something else more substantial to ride on, whether that’s ethnicity or nationality or something else. But if a church really needs that, then it doesn’t say much for the church.

    • tradyouth

      Aaron,

      Long time no see. I hope you’re well.

      I’d think that any church that takes Christ seriously is “an intrinsic part of who you are.” It’s a more important identity than ethnicity or race.

      My faith definitely is a more important aspect of my identity than my ethnic or familial identity. It shouldn’t be either/or. What Christian denounces and explicitly rejects his Christian family’s identity in favor of the Church? What hysterical and heretical church would demand such a thing?

      More than that: The more seriously the church takes Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, especially his teachings and practice of non-violence, the more it will find itself at odds with whatever political entity it happens to be associated with.

      His teachings on violence were more complex than simple self-negating pacifism. Funny how the Christian faith contains the radical proposition that one must abstain from worldly politics altogether, and that this proposition is only directed at men on the Right.

    • Aaron Gross

      Matt, first of all I’m not suggesting that Christians should be apolitical, and I’m not directing it only towards the right. If you want to know where I’m coming from on that, it’s basically John Howard Yoder, The Politics of Jesus, and similar stuff from Stanley Hauerwas. Of course I don’t expect an Orthodox Christian to buy that theology, but there’s something in there that applies to all forms of Christianity, to some degree. There’s always going to be some political conflict between the church and any worldly political entity. That’s how it seems to me, anyway, as an atheist looking on from the sidelines.

      I’m sympathetic with your side against the church officials. I’m pro-white, too (even if I don’t like white nationalism). It’s one thing for a church to be associated with an ethnie or a race – that seems un-Christian to me – and quite another for individual members to advocate for their own ethnie or race in secular institutions.

      On the other hand, you know full well that advocating for whites is not just like advocating for African-Americans or Chinese-Americans or even Irish-Americans or Italian-Americans. White identity has a certain obvious history that goes with it, and it’s also a matter of identifying with the most powerful group in opposition to less powerful groups. Then there’s also the obvious fact that Italian-Americans, etc. are ethnies while whites (at present) are not. Also, if you guys are still calling for a white nation-state, well, that revolutionary goal would involve lot of hardship for lots of people, even if you could attain it non-violently.

      For those reasons, I don’t think it’s hysterical for the church to be concerned with your white advocacy as opposed to African-American advocacy or Italian-American advocacy or whatever. I’m 100% in favor of white identity, and the church officials seem wrong to me, but they do have a valid concern. Your job seems to be to convince them that what you’re doing is like Italian-American advocacy. The more you can see that your opponents are not hysterical, the better chance you have of persuading them.

    • tradyouth

      I’m 100% in favor of white identity, and the church officials seem wrong to me, but they do have a valid concern. Your job seems to be to convince them that what you’re doing is like Italian-American advocacy.

      A fair point, thoughtfully presented.

    • Trainspotter

      Aaron: “Your job seems to be to convince them that what you’re doing is like Italian-American advocacy.”

      It would be disingenuous of white nationalists to attempt this, and it wouldn’t work anyway. Therefore, it would be both immoral and impractical.

      You are promoting a false view of the situation, by presenting the system as benevolent and reasonable, with white nationalists as unruly and misbehaving children. If only we would dress better and mind our manners! I suppose we should stop fidgeting, too.

      The truth is something different. The system is neither benevolent nor reasonable. Instead, it moves to crush its enemies and reward its friends, just as any system would do. And while there are perfectly valid reasons to dress better and mind our manners, we should not fool ourselves that the system will treat us as anything other than enemies. We’ll just be better dressed enemies, which is a good thing, but still.

      The present anti-white system doesn’t have much of a problem with the Irish wearing green on St. Patrick’s day, or the Italians having various cultural festivals. Why? Because it’s absolutely harmless, and does nothing to thwart the system agenda of globalism, corporatism, usury, mass immigration, and racial mixing.

      So do the polka or break out the sauerkraut. This isn’t a problem, provided that it doesn’t lead to any sort of meaningful challenge to the system. So long as the Irish or Italians agree to gradually disappear like the rest of the whites, to accept their (our) marginalization and dispossession, all is well. So long as they adhere to the system agenda, mix with blacks and browns, have drag queens on their floats, and defer to whatever the politically correct demand du jour happens to be. So long as they remain system toadies.

      Basically, so long as they supplicate and bend the knee, all is well. They accomplish nothing, the system remains unchallenged in the slightest, and all is golden under the orthodoxy of political correctness.

      But if some Italian-American organization actually spoke up in favor of their continuity as a people, and opposed the system agenda in a meaningful sense, the system would of course treat them as the throwaways and outcasts that they would soon become. The system would move to crush the opposition, once it realized that there was an opposition to be crushed. They will throw anybody under the bus these days, and quick. Just ask Sterling, a Jewish Democrat with a history of giving millions to black causes. National scandal because of comments he made on a private telephone call that appears to have been illegally recorded…by his very non-white girlfriend. As an aside, I’m guessing that with his millions, Sterling probably dressed well. Didn’t seem to help him much.

      In any event, Aaron, what you seem to advocate amounts to accepting the dissolution of our people, having some green beer, and just calling it a day. Or, in our case, calling it an entire people and civilization, shrugging and going home.

      The problem isn’t that we don’t drink enough green beer at cutesy festivals. If doing so would solve our problems, I think I personally would have guaranteed the salvation of our people at more than a few St. Patrick’s Day events over the years.

      Here’s the problem Aaron: the present anti-white system wants one thing, and we want another. The present system has a particular agenda, and we have a very different and utterly incompatible agenda.

      There is no slicking our way out of this simple truth. The system isn’t going to be friendly to people who want a completely different way of life just because we spout certain platitudes or wear cutesy outfits. Either you’re on the system’s side, or you’re not.

      At a very deep and fundamental level, white nationalists aren’t. We want something very different than what we have today, and the system, for all its incompetence and irrationality, is more than smart enough to realize that. The Matts weren’t singled out by the Church because what they did was “wrong.” Whether one personally agrees with the Matts or not, we all know that had they been of any other race, nothing would have happened.

      They were singled out because they challenged the politically correct orthodoxy upon which the legitimacy of the system depends. I think Matt’s article “Which Orthodoxy?” sums it up quite well.

      The system will never be friendly, or give a fair hearing, to those who wish to break away from it and and achieve sovereignty. Our job is not to “reason” with the system, or any other person or entity that is beyond reason, but rather to make our case to those who may want the same things that we do. Only once we have something to work with can fantasy be transformed into reality. Doing the polka is fine, but it ain’t going to cut it. Unless, that is, it’s danced in the context of a movement that is determined to gain its sovereignty. Then, by all means, bring it on…if the dancer is hot and under 30.

  • costa

    Hi Matt:
    I think Sr Maria was critiquing an insular, ethnocentric muddying of Orthodox Christianity – a “Faith” that trumps recipes for Borscht or Baklava, Greek lessons for children, over the Truth of The Gospels. Think “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” that scene following baptism, (one of The Church’s Mysteries when a Christian is made – unlike Islam, nobody is born Christian) the phrase “you are Greek now” is uttered when an American adult is received into The Church to marry his Greek sweat-heart. Please correct if I’ve misunderstood.

    Yes, it’s understandable for Greeks and especially for Cypriot Greeks to retreat into a “ghetto mentality” of ethnocentrism – the Cypriot “folk Orthodox” mentality that one frequently encounters in the West by insecure immigrants finding their feet in a foreign culture.

    This explains why they become insular and betray the wonderful ministry of charitable works that made Christianity so different in the decades and first few centuries following Our Lord’s Incarnation. This is a lack of a Christian Faith, not a demonstration of it.

    However, this ethnocentrism that pollutes our Faith is especially evident when we lack the actual missionary zeal of people such as St Nicholas of Japan, who sought to give the Japanese their own expression of Orthodoxy. Or when we fail as a community to do actual charitable works: working with the homeless, in prisons, with prostitutes and so on, since we are too wrapped up in the “warm fuzzy” of the comfortable confines of culture. Christ’s Way of kenotic love was uncomfort-par-excellence – Christian Love has always involved self-denial at the core.

    Certainly, all this Faith nonsense is exactly that: nonsense. Or perhaps better described by the wordly-minded quote in the above comment as: “altruism attracts freeloaders as fecal matter attracts flies”.

    — Costa.

    • Orthodox Mike

      Once again, 1 Timothy 5:8.

    • costa

      “Orthodox Mike” –
      I’m not saying we should not care for our own families…
      It’s fair to say that Orthodox Christianity is the fullness of faith – and it is in balance.: we do not take any one part out and place sole emphasis on that one single element.
      Indeed – sometimes it is hardest to be charitable to our own nearest and dearest, those we spend our entire life with, so do agree it is important to do this too, as well as helping those in need – loving our selves, neighbours and enemies should be our Christian aim, not one at the expense of the other: it is a cop-out and cowardly to love the poor homeless beggar on the street whilst beating your wife at home, for example.

      –Costa

  • Gavin James Campbell

    There is something more than doctrine and dogma to Orthodoxy. But it does not come from ethnic or family identities. It comes from prayer, asceticism, participation in liturgical life, and the reading of the Bible. It is the aspiration to love God perfectly and to love one’s neighbour. And insular, rigidly defined identities are a barrier to loving one’s neighbour, and thus, a barrier to salvation.
    The depth of Orthodoxy does not lie in social or national identities. Those are even more superficial than mere doctrine. The doctrine points you to the depth. God became a man that men might become God. So aspire for theosis. Forget about your identity and take the road to Damascus.

    • tradyouth

      Gavin,

      It is the aspiration to love God perfectly and to love one’s neighbour. And insular, rigidly defined identities are a barrier to loving one’s neighbour, and thus, a barrier to salvation.

      Will you at least admit that we’re being singled out among the hundreds of millions of Orthodox who support protecting their identity and national borders for excommunication and public attack? Do you not see the grotesque double-standard there?

      The depth of Orthodoxy does not lie in social or national identities.

      Agreed. I never asserted that it did. I merely asserted that integrating Orthodoxy into existing identities, rather than attaching it as denominational flair, strengthened the faith of the believers.

      Forget about your identity and take the road to Damascus.

      I will neither condemn nor betray my immediate Christian family, my extended Christian family, or my ethnic Christian family for Christ because Christ doesn’t ask that of us. A politically correct gaggle of cowards are asking that of us to spare themselves worldly censure. Even those Orthodox who believe we’re incorrect or disagreeable should grasp the fact that the Church has been cowed into hastily condemning us for blatantly and obviously secular reasons.

    • Gavin James Campbell

      Do you see yourself as being under a double-standard? Then this is you telling the police officer that he cannot give you a speeding ticket because he is not ticketing the other speeders on the road. Your lack of discretion got you busted! You should have stayed in the closet! (Hint: the website and the Facebook group were the giveaways.)
      There’s only so much of one’s “identity” one can bring to Christ. Even the Greeks and Russians have to lose much of their identity in the Church. They are, after all, no longer pagan.

      Would you be worried about ‘political correctness’? Oh indeed! A subscription to Hustler would have to be politically incorrect, seeing that that magazine offends the feminists. Perhaps you should attempt to justify an indulgence in sado-masochistic, misogynist pornography on the grounds that it would be politically correct to abstain! Do you think a bishop will be understanding? At the rate you are going, we should not be surprised!

  • Gavin James Campbell

    And let’s be clear about something. The issues of globalism are a complete and total non-issue. Orthodoxy will still be Orthodox no matter what happens in the realm of secular politics. The Orthodox in America are not caught up in any such agenda at all. They are only making the Church accessible to Americans. The way Ss. Kyril and Mefodiy made it accessible to the Slavs.

    • tradyouth

      Can we be clear that neither side of the globalism argument should be excommunicated for heresy?

    • Gavin James Campbell

      No, we’re going to be clear that it’s a total non-issue with no relevance as to whether or not racism is a vice that the Church censures.

    • tradyouth

      Can you please offer some context on this vice of “racism”, whether it’s a sin or a heresy, and when this came into effect?

  • Gavin James Campbell

    It’s a sin because you can’t you love neighbour as yourself if you see you neighbour as part a race that’s inclined to stupidity, crime, and promiscuity. Or as a race that allegedly runs high finance and is secretly guiding world events. Or if you see your neighbour as part of a race whose mere presence is a threat to your existence. That somehow, by merely working for a living in your city, they’re part of a so-called “white genocide”. Perfect love casts out fear, so you can’t love your neighbour if he is a member of a race that you fear. And you do not love your neighbour when you insist that he be separated from you because of his race.
    It’s a heresy because the Church Fathers are clear that there is only one human nature, and that Christ took that nature upon Himself in his Incarnation. So even if race exists (it doesn’t), then it can have absolutely no consequence to salvation. And because the Church Fathers are clear that men and women are made in the Image of God. The Human Being is the original Icon Not Made With Hands. To look upon people for their race (if it exists) is to be spiritually blind to that Image of God. We are not seeing our own sins and not judging our brother when we think that our brother is more inclined to sin because of their race.

    • tradyouth

      It’s a sin because you can’t you love neighbour as yourself if you see you neighbour as part a race that’s inclined to stupidity, crime, and promiscuity.

      First, we’ve explicitly renounced supremacism, and weren’t racial supremacists to start with.

      Second, you’re simply flatly wrong. I can love my neighbor as myself even if he’s stupid, has a criminal record, or is an outright prostitute. Believing that either individuals or groups of individuals have broad behavioral patterns has utterly nothing to do with my salvation.

      Or if you see your neighbour as part of a race whose mere presence is a threat to your existence.

      You keep falling back on the “race” thing because of your tiresome pseudo-intellectual hobby horse that “race doesn’t exist”. It does, but that’s beside the point. Our arguments and our cause are grounded on our specific White American ethnic identity. Ancestry is an aspect of that identity, which is inclusive of our racial identity.

      It’s not about “race” and it’s not about “racism”.

      It’s a heresy because the Church Fathers are clear that there is … [blah blah blah]

      The Church Fathers didn’t address the Modern construct of “racism”. And if they did, it remained remarkably well-hidden and devoid of remark until a couple weeks ago. The Church’s extremely recent discovery that ethnic identitarianism is a uniquely vile heresy warranting immediate excommunication without dialogue, recourse, or mercy.

      Stop insulting Holy Tradition by pretending that it has anything to do with this humiliating charade, one way or another.

      We are not seeing our own sins and not judging our brother when we think that our brother is more inclined to sin because of their race.

      I’m vividly aware of my sins, brother. There are plenty of excellent reasons for the Church to discipline me. This one; however, is not it. Attempting to be a good steward of my folk is not heretical.

    • Gavin James Campbell

      Believing that individuals with broad behaviour patterns towards sin means that they are more fallen than you. You have to be judging them and not seeing you own sins to be believing such things.

      Nobody understands how you are so adamant about a “white American identity” and then insisting that you are not racist -?!
      You do well to acknowledge that the Church Fathers did not address racism on the grounds that it is a modern construct. That is you first clue to the fact that race is an invention of the Enlightenment.
      Did the Church just discover that ethnic identitarianism is a “uniquely vile heresy”? Again, your next clue that the notion of ethnic identity as an ideology is a recent invention. So, yes, Holy Tradition has everything to do with this matter.

      And you are not being a “steward” of your alleged “folk”. Life will carry on without you. It’s no-one’s calling to preserve their “folk”. Societies are organic and carry on on their own.

    • tradyouth

      Believing that individuals with broad behaviour patterns towards sin means that they are more fallen than you. You have to be judging them and not seeing you own sins to be believing such things.

      It’s self-evident to anybody with eyes to see that individuals vary in inclination. You’re insisting on a radical blank slate theory of human nature (both for groups and individuals) which is not a teaching of the Church, much less a matter so firmly decided by the Church that those who aren’t blank slate proponents are guilty of outright heresy.

      You do well to acknowledge that the Church Fathers did not address racism on the grounds that it is a modern construct. That is you first clue to the fact that race is an invention of the Enlightenment.

      Awareness of group differences has always been with us. Human group differences obviously exist, and thank God for all of them. I’ve already explained that my appeal is on ethnic rather than specifically racial grounds, so your over-clever semantic quibble missed the mark.

    • Gavin James Campbell

      I’m turning my back on you now.
      You, the mere catechumen, imagine that you know better than a bishop. And you will not heed anyone else who is in the Orthodox Church who comes along to encourage you to change.
      So that’s it. I turn my back to you. You will not prevail against the Orthodox Church. It is not Matt versus the world, it it Matt versus the Church. And you will fail. So you can have the last word on as many blogs as you want. Because that is all that you will achieve.

    • tradyouth

      I am not against the Orthodox Church, and I intend to honor our Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic church.

      I forgive you, as you’re evidently confused about my motives and methods.

  • costa

    Gavin:
    You said:
    “I’m turning my back on you now. You, the mere catechumen, imagine that you know better than a bishop.”

    I would exhort you to do your Christian duty and join my and pray for Mat. Those who have actively and knowingly turned away from the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church are in a perhaps the most precarious state, as this tale from the Desert Fathers well illustrates:

    They said of Abba Agatho that some people went to him because they heard he was a man of much discretion. And wanting to test whether he was irritable, they said to him: “Are you Agatho? We have heard of you that you are an adulterer and an arrogant man.” And he answered: “It is true.” And they said to him: “Are you that Agatho who gossips and slanders?” And he answered: “I am.” And they asked him: “Are you Agatho the heretic?” And he answered: “I am no heretic.”

    And they asked him: “Tell us, why did you patiently endure us when we so abused you, but did not endure when we said you were a heretic?” And he answered: “I assented to the first charges against myself—it is for the good of my soul. But I did not agree when you said I was a heretic because that is to be separated from God, and I do not want to be separated from God.” They admired his discretion, and went away edified.

    All this argumentation against us Orthodox Christians from Traditional backgrounds such as myself, members of the laity, and also those in ecclesiastical episcopal office who whose duty it is to proclaim “right teaching” to preserve Holy Tradition merely confirms just how far the so-called Traditionalists are from Holy Tradition Tradition.

    Mathew Hemimbach’s dignified silence is far more edifying than all these intelligent logical discourses by Mat Parrot. Let’s hope and pray he returns to the fold. But prioritizing a worldly political “brotherhood” over The Church is very telling, and isn’t a good sign. Heretic means “chooser” and alas, Matt P. has – very swiftly, I might add – made his choice. But that doesn’t stop us praying for him, loving him and waiting patiently and preparing the banquet for when this Prodigal Son returns. But until he does, we are hindering his path by joining him as he eats with the pigs.

    These words might seem harsh but if we are truly believers and we ask God that one day Mat may be illumined and repent.

    — Costa.

    • Gavin James Campbell

      Thank-you Costa, I needed that!
      And I will pray for these gentlemen. In the end, God became a man to make men as much like Him as possible – not to assign us racial identities. Your Greekness and my Canadianess are not barriers to us being spiritual brothers. And Matt’s whiteness is not threatened by repentance. I hope someday he will join us, too; but, for now, we leave him to the pods of the swine. Maybe a black man will be a good Samaritan to him someday. Or a Latin American immigrant. Or both.

    • tradyouth

      Or maybe some day you’ll realize that I don’t have any spiritual barriers between myself and men who aren’t of my ethnicity. The fact that our diverse parishes were completely blindsided by our supposed hate speaks for itself.

  • John

    The heretics are those who deny the earthly distinctions that God in His wisdom has created. He has divided the nations, Deut. 32:8. The idea that spirit dissolves all differences is the heresy of Gnosticism. The command of “love your neighbor” comes from the Old Testament. It never implied or commanded then that the Israelites had to lose their identity as Israelites. Not does it imply now that a Christian must forsake his ethnic/racial identity.

    The impulse to blend of nations, tribes, and kindreds together was the sin of Babel. That impulse lives today as the New World Order.

    Stand fast, Mr. Parrot. You have the better arguments.

    • costa

      John:
      You said:

      “The heretics are those who deny the earthly distinctions that God in His wisdom has created.”
      Who is asking Christians to deny their identity as Christians?

      The heresy of phyletism is a modern one. It is just as heretical to have a Parish that admits only Jamaican people as it is to have a parish that only admits North American people. Or Germans. Or Latvians. Are you suggesting banning Orthodox Christians who are in good standing within the Orthodox Church from marrying one another, simply because they come from a different ethnic group? If so, this is incompatible with the teachings of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
      Even if you have recently converted to Holy Orthodoxy from your North American Protestant sect, your misguided quotes from scripture, betrays your Protestant mindset (ie a heterodox Christian).

      And if you aren’t a member of The One True Church – this is an internal issue amongst Orthodox Christians that is none of your business. If you are, I’d wait a few years to outgrow your “convertsky” mindset that is, at present, incompatible with Holy Orthodoxy.

      — Costa.

    • Phyletism simply says there’s no such thing as a Church in diaspora. So, if you’re a Bulgarian in Greek territory, you answer to the local Greek bishops. It doesn’t say that there’s no such thing as Bulgarians or Greeks who can’t set up their own Local Churches. Indeed, that is their right. Nor, for that matter, does it preclude a group of people drawing lines around themselves and marrying distant relatives to assure they remain the dominant ethnicity within those lines. Where do you think Bulgarians and Greeks came from?

      The humane and human-affirming view is to recognize that there are different Nations with different preferences and their own cultural expressions, and every Nation should have its own Local Church. Separation of the human race into distinct nations has a practical and theological economy.

      Costa – are you GOA? Explain for us how those Greek outposts in Jerusalem and Alexandria cynically use this anti-phyletist spin to justify continued discrimination against the local Egyptians and Palestinians. From what I’ve read on this site, people in TYN would not hesitate to condemn the Greeks as imperialist racists who should allow their host nations to have their own Church rather than rump Byzantines pretending Constantinople still exists.

      Orthodoxy’s single biggest issue–the diaspora Churches, a concept that has never existed in Church history–is completely off the agenda for the forthcoming Great Council. Orthodox hierarchs are perpetuating an uncanonical, even heretical, ecclesiology in Europe, the Americas, the Pacific year in and year out. And nobody in Orthodox hierarchy will lift a finger because they cynically realize that the ‘diaspora’ is what’s keeping the lights on back home. But one American convert identifies as a white nationalist and he’s promptly excommunicated.

      So far as I can tell, segregation is not sinful nor uncanonical, nor is pro patria. Sojourners are obviously to be treated with compassion pursuant to Scripture and longstanding civilized custom. So are slaves, by the way.

      Heimbach has been excommunicated for violating the American secular canon.

  • Gavin James Campbell

    The sin of Babel was attempt to reach heaven by human efforts. It has whatsoever to do with race.


By: Matt Parrott


Matt is a founding member of TradYouth and is currently the project's Chief Information Officer. He's been active in the White Identity cause for years, primarily as a blogger but also as a street activist and regional organizer.
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