Dissident Mama, episode 13 – Father John Whiteford

In lucky episode #13, I talk with Father John Whiteford, who’s a priest in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) and head priest at St. Jonah Orthodox Church in Spring, Texas. He’s a former Nazarene Associate Pastor who converted to the Orthodox Faith soon after completing his B.A. in Religion at Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Oklahoma. Father John’s the author of “Sola Scriptura: An Orthodox Analysis of the Cornerstone of Reformation Theology” and the general editor of the St. Innocent Liturgical Calendar. You can also read his writings at his blog aptly titled Father John Whiteford and hear his homilies on Ancient Faith Radio’s From the Amvon podcast.

The good father and I chat about secession, the War Between the States, the importance of history and being rooted, cultural Marxism, virtue signaling, covid-related church closures, challenging authority, and the necessity of being prepared mind, body, and soul for the worldly battles we face in this present spiritual war. Also mentioned in the podcast are the first known convert to Orthodox Christianity in the Americas Philip Ludwell III and Father Seraphim Rose’s influential and enduring book “Nihilism: The Root of the Revolution of the Modern Age.”

On a personal note, Father John has been a strong shepherd to me and my family during these tenuous times. And that is indeed a silver lining to much of the madness: that God opens doors for us in our struggles. Even when we feel abandoned by some Christians and slighted by the Church, He places people in our lives to help us learn and grow in faith and in humility while also planting the seeds of good relationships. He lights our path with the lamps of eternal truth, guiding the journey with bold brethren and compassionate compatriots who speak up and reach out in love, letting us know that we are indeed not alone. Father John is one of those sparks – a courageous and caring voice in the dark, dangerous, and demonic wilderness.

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Source: Dissident Mama – Dissident Mama, episode 13 – Father John Whiteford

When men were giants

When I saw this social-media post about the anniversary of Sam Houston’s death, it got me pondering about the past vs. present, and Americans of yore vs. Americans today. And I wondered: what can we actually learn from this intriguing “colossus in buckskin”?

My eldest son is named Houston because it’s a family surname on his paternal grandmother’s side, his dad was born and raised just outside of Houston, Texas, and we admire the great statesman. In addition to all of Sam Houston’s accomplishments listed above, he was a native Virginian like me, of Scottish descent like me and my husband, and an educator like me, so his story speaks to us.

Houston was also an honorary Cherokee (known as “Raven” amongst the tribe), was fluent in the Cherokee language, and eventually became an activist for the rights of these Indians with whom he had lived and respected for so much of his life, even though he had once been instrumental in Indian resettlement in the West.

Like “Manifest Destiny,” Houston was a paradox. He was both complicated and simple, professional and peculiar, an American and Mexican citizen, a Texas traditionalist and a pioneer, a soldier and a diplomat, an adventurer and a settler, a well-dressed gentleman and a disheveled dissident, a patriot and an ardent individualist, a Christian and a worldly man, a peacemaker and a warrior, a slaveholder and an opponent of the spread of slavery to new territories, a careful negotiator and an passionate whirlwind.

For instance, when Houston felt that William Stanberry of Ohio had insulted him in the US Capitol, he beat the federal representative with a cane in the streets of Washington. President Andrew Jackson wished “there were a dozen Houstons to beat and cudgel the members of Congress.”

“The House voted 149 to 25 to arrest Houston … [but] the night before his summing up to the jury, Houston got drunk with some friends, which included the Speaker of the House, who was also the presiding judge. Hung over Houston was, but he rallied the next morning for a brilliant performance,” wrote Bill Porterfield in 1975.

“He spoke for almost an hour, bringing in Greece and Rome and the Tyrannies of Caesar, Cromwell and Bonaparte. He quoted Shakespeare, Blackstone and the Apostle Paul, and a woman from the gallery threw a rose at his feet and shouted, ‘I had rather be Sam Houston in a dungeon than Stanberry on a throne!’”

Houston’s huge 67-by-10-foot monument in Huntsville, Texas, where the Southern son retired to live his later years. It shows Houston with his signature cane, which he first used after being shot with an arrow in the thigh at age 21. Then 22 years later at San Jacinto, a musket ball shattered the bone above Houston’s ankle, making even more necessary use of a walking aid.

Houston was a pragmatic man who opposed secession for Texas, not because he was against “the doctrine of states rights, [but because] the North is determined to preserve this Union. They are not a fiery, impulsive people as you are, for they live in colder climates,” he said bearishly in April 1861.

“But when they begin to move in a given direction, they move with the steady momentum and perseverance of a mighty avalanche; and what I fear is, they will overwhelm the South.” He prediction turned out to be correct.

As then-governor of Texas, Houston had been deposed by the Texas legislature and evicted from office in March 1861 due to his refusal to take an oath of loyalty to the Confederacy on the grounds that it betrayed “the nationality of Texas … the Constitution of Texas … [and his] own conscience and manhood.” Yet, he turned down a Union offer to lead a force of 50,000 men against the newly formed Confederate States of America.

Houston was no “forever Unionist,” imploring his son, Sam Jr., who had enlisted in the Confederate infantry to remember “Texas first, Texas last, Texas forever.” In a letter to Sam Jr. from July 1861, he wrote, “I am ready, as I have ever been, to die for my country (Texas) … the well-being of my country (Texas) is the salvation of my family; but to see it surrendered to Lincoln, as sheep in the shambles, is terrible to me.”

Houston may have been considered plain-spoken for his time, but his understanding of the American experiment and Jeffersonian principles surpassed many of his contemporaries. “The great misfortune is that a notion obtains with those in power that the world, or the people, require more governing than is necessary,” he rightly opined.

“To govern well is a great science, but no country is ever improved by too much governing. Govern wisely and as little as possible! Most men think when they are elevated to position that it requires an effort to discharge their duties and they leave common sense out of the question.”

My son Houston back in 2014 with Sam Houston’s bust, which is among the great-Virginians statues in the Old House Chamber of the Virginia Capitol. Stand tall, Houston: yours is a name to be proud of.

Someone I know twice jokingly referred to my son as “Little Drunk” since Sam Houston was sometimes referred to as “Big Drunk” by his Cherokee brethren. This person, as it turns out, is typically quite the polite and kind lady, so I couldn’t just blow off her stranger quip as simply Yankee rudeness. Maybe it was nervous small talk, or perhaps we just have a vastly different sense of humor.

Whatever the case, I do think her brush-off of both Houston’s achievements and her casual insult aimed at my son’s namesake is illustrative of Muricans’ obsession with presentism: not looking at historic figures through the context of their time while also assuming that moderns are the smartest and most perfect of creatures. It’s seems to be the impulse of even nice people to exhibit such condescension and perpetuate politically correct jabs when it comes to the past, especially when it concerns white Southern men.

Sam Houston had his struggles, just like I do. He was sinful, just as we all are. Yet, his accomplishments and influence are so immense in spite of the obstacles, some out of his control and others self-inflicted.

Let’s try to imagine what more Houston could have done if he hadn’t battled against alcoholism. At 6-foot-2 he was towering for his time. He was the “colossus in buckskin” who bucked popular trends, yet was still overwhelmingly beloved by his people but forlorn in romantic love. He was authentic to the bone.

Thank God we stand on the shoulders of larger-than-life men like Houston. Today’s political pipsqueaks and self-important soyboys shrink in his shadow, spitting upon the hard-fought heritage that was bequeathed to us.

So I pray my sons learn from and build upon Houston’s experiences of duty and determination, triumphs and travails, nonconformity and nuance, freethinking and first principles, heartbreak and home as they carve out their place in a future that I think will be even more treacherous and challenging than the one he faced. May they heed the lessons of history when men were giants and boldly conquer the unknown.

Source: Dissident Mama – When men were giants

Episode 191 – Hamilton (1:33:42)

We dive into the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton” that just hit Disney+ with a Hamilton scholar from the Mises Institute, Tho Bishop.

How did this become a huge, cultural phenomenon and how does it help shape history? When so many get their history from movies and pop culture, what does this “teach” that is inaccurate and if it does, to what end? Is the lens through which it was created now different in these short few years?

We’re also proud to announce that our YouTube video for this episode now features actual video footage of the show, check it out here and be sure to hit that subscribe button!

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Continue reading “Episode 191 – Hamilton (1:33:42)”

Damn the race pimps

So, the Atlanta Chapter of the NAACP – never a group to actually promote true advancement and justice – is wanting to sandblast the massive monument to Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Jefferson Davis in Stone Mountain, Georgia. At 90 feet tall and 190 feet wide, this memorial to three of America’s most honorable sons, Southern gentlemen, and devout Christians is the largest bas-relief sculpture in the world.

This reprobate organization, which claims to be fighting for “social justice for all Americans … [the] equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination … [and] to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights and there is no racial hatred or racial discrimination,” says the carving is a “shrine to white supremacy” and that it’s “hatred set in stone.”

They even have creepy Seth Levi from their sister subversive organization, the Southern Poverty Law Center, to help with the propaganda. Just as Levi oversees the SPLC’s Teaching Tolerance pogrom, er, I mean, program while really seeking intolerance, the NAACP also practices subterfuge. They claim to want the “furtherance of multiracial and cultural understanding” while aiming to annihilate my culture and pushing for “the interests of African Americans and other communities of color.” Huh, doesn’t seem very “multiracial” to me. In fact, it’s pretty darn divisive and anti-white, which is, of course, by devilish design.

Stepping stones with the words of Southern statesmen and soldiers adorn the paths of the Stone Mountain Memorial Garden. No wonder the haters also aim to expunge Calhoun; his logic is too “capable and worthy” for the “designing and worthless” to combat.
The Garden also features words from famous Northerners and promotes a reconciliation vibe, as is symbolized by this statue’s broken sword and fatalistic quote. The famous Stone Mountain laser show also echoes the one-nation-indivisible theme.
Despite the coming-together “contextualization” that already exists at the park, the NAACP and its “civil rights” attorneys say they’re “not compromising.” Their racial discrimination against me, my ancestors, and legacy Americans is palpable and poisonous.

Thus, I submit the photo at top as exhibit A in my case arguing that black and white folk in the South have been getting along quite swimmingly for a long time, that is, until meddlesome Yankees and uppity globalists pay for armed and trained foot soldiers to stir up trouble where there really was none. Create a crisis and then don’t let it go to waste.

In the image, you can clearly see a group of black people posing for what seems to be a joyful family photo at the base of the “neo-Confederate” carving, with those “traitors” as the backdrop. I snapped this pic in May 2018, but it may as well have been a thousand years ago peace-and-harmony-wise. My contention is that black folk, old folk, young folk, white folk, brown folk, Asian folk, native folk, and polka-dotted folk were not only NOT offended by Southern heritage symbols back then, but they embraced them. Anyone who’s ever been to Stone Mountain would agree with me, so don’t let any nihilist nimrod tell you otherwise.

This photo and my 40-plus years of lived experience in these Southern “United” States where blacks and whites, natives and pioneer, Protestant and Catholic, English, Celt, German, French and Spanish, rural and urban have been co-existing for 400 years is all proof that Southerners were doing just fine before the puritanical-progressives started demanding “reforms,” fomenting peak strife, and telling otherwise happy “black bodies” that they were being perpetually persecuted by “systemic racism” and “whiteness.”

The NAACP and the SPLC do not want “equity.” They convince people that seeking revenge for the past is the way forward in the future. They are not interested in “integrity” or “good will,” which is why just two years ago when they weren’t demanding the removal of the monument, they were calling for the park to “cease all reference to Stone Mountain Park as a memorial to the Confederacy; modify the Historic Square, so that it does not refer to a plantation; remove all antebellum references and symbols at the park; [and] change the names of all the streets named for Confederates.” Can’t ya just feel the love?

Maybe they’ll name a road after the black man who knelt on a white toddler’s neck or just carve into the mountain an image of the black teacher who suggested killing the poor child. Sounds about right in these totalitarian times.

The haters bitch and scream and demand justice, while seeking my oppression and decimating the communities for which they supposedly advocate. They smash and raze and vandalize, screech nonsensical slogans and proclaim godless solutions while pretending it’s moral and virtuous. They lie and cheat and steal and extort, while demanding even more money for reparations, which means slavery my children. They censor dissidents, erase history, destroy lives and smash civilization, while lecturing me about my sin.

Let my video inspire you to go visit the amazing park, and tell the leftist shysters that it is YOU who won’t spend a dime in Georgia if the sculpture or the park is reconstructed in any way. It is time for us to stand unflinchingly against the darkness.

Black Georgians need to take the plank out of their own eyes and sweep their own back porches, as Southerners used to do. But they’ve been indoctrinated by Yankee greed and materialism for so long that it is hard for them to resist the lure of self-aggrandizement and scapegoating.

Just like the LGBT mafia won gender-neutral bathrooms in NC through cultural-Marxist boycotts and corporate bullying, the anti-white race pimps want to use the same coercive tactics to deface Stone Mountain, literally turning it into the ash heap of history. There sure is a special place in hell for the depraved race pimps and their brainwashed and covetous whores who are the worst possible neighbors imaginable. I say, damn ’em all, and let’s take the hill.

Source: Dissident Mama – Damn the race pimps

Episode 190 – The Gentlemen (1:19:33)

We invite Rachel Kennerly of Cannabis Heals Me to talk about the marijuana-themed caper film “The Gentlemen” starring Matthew McConaughey.. Alright…alright…alright…

This will be a fun discussion that is a bit of a crossover theme with our guest.

We’re also proud to announce that our YouTube video for this episode now features actual video footage of the show, check it out here and be sure to hit that subscribe button!

If you would like to get (occasional) early access to future shows, join us on Patreon and support us at the $3+ per month level at:  http://www.actualanarchy.com/patreon

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Dissident Mama, episode 12 – Paul Gottfried

In this episode, I chat with Dr. Paul Gottfried, editor-in-chief of Chronicles Magazine and president of the H.L. Mencken Club. He is a Raffensperger Professor of Humanities Emeritus at Elizabethtown College, where he taught for 25 years, a Guggenheim recipient, and a Yale Ph.D.

Gottfried’s the author of 15 books, including “Fascism: The Career of a Concept,” “After Liberalism: Mass Democracy in the Managerial State,” “Revisions and Dissents: Essays,” and one of the most influential books on me personally “Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt: Toward a Secular Theocracy.” Gottfried’s editor of the brand-new anthology “The Vanishing Tradition: Perspectives on American Conservatism,” featuring chapters by some of today’s boldest and most provocative thinkers. You can also find Gottfried’s prolific writings far and wide in some of America’s most esteemed publications.

Gottfried and I discuss swindling Conservative Inc., as well as some of his ideas of how to push back against the progressive madness. The “Gott-father,” as many of his paleocon readers call him, has quite the interesting bio, such as the fact that his doctoral advisor was none other than Herbert Marcuse of the Frankfurt School. Besides having this keen vantage on cultural Marxism, Gottfried has also been opposing the neocons for decades in battles that have sometimes gotten a little personal. This “loyal opposition” ideology has abandoned us true conservatives and traditionalists and left us without leaders, without a voice, and without any real Republican recourse, at least at the federal and most state levels.

I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to talk with one of my heroes who has been fighting the good fight for a long, long time. I hope you all enjoy the interview and that it does justice to the respect I have for this truly brilliant and benevolent man.

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Source: Dissident Mama – Dissident Mama, episode 12 – Paul Gottfried

Episode 189 – Casablanca (1:17:11)

We review the Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman classic, “Casablanca” before it gets deplatformed, because if that happens before doing this one, we’ll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of our lives.

Of all the podcasts in all the libertarian sphere in all the world, he walks into ours. Our guest is Pete Quinones AKA Mance Rayder and this is a continuation of a beautiful friendship.

Pete has done over 440 episodes of the Free Man Beyond the Wall Podcast and was instrumental in bringing about the new, and very timely documentary, “The Monopoly on Violence” which introduces the state to people in what will be a new way for most, similar to our mission here on this show.

Here’s looking at you kid.

We’re also proud to announce that our YouTube video for this episode now features actual video footage of the show, check it out here and be sure to hit that subscribe button!

If you would like to get (occasional) early access to future shows, join us on Patreon and support us at the $3+ per month level at:  http://www.actualanarchy.com/patreon

Never miss an episode. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to get new episodes as they become available.

* Note that all links that appear on this page that promote products and services for purchase are affiliate links, we earn a small commission at no additional cost to you on any purchase you make using one of our links.

Continue reading “Episode 189 – Casablanca (1:17:11)”

Godlessness is our pandemic

“Anyone who is capable of speaking the truth but remains silent, will be heavily judged by God, especially in this case, where the faith and the very foundation of the entire church of the Orthodox is in danger. To remain silent under these circumstances is to betray these, and the appropriate witness belongs to those that reproach (stand up for the faith).”
— St. Basil the Great

Below you’ll find my first-ever guest post, which was written by my friend Mike’s wife, Lady Orthodixie. I don’t make it a habit of publishing other people’s essays, but Mike has been a godsend to me during these last few months. He’s an elder Orthodox Christian, who has listened to me, answered my questions, shared insights, and offered prayers as I struggled seemingly rudderless on the tumultuous seas of church covid directives, Southern cultural genocide, leftist terrorism, Ameridox gnosticism, historical erasure, anti-white fervor, and peaked illogic and conformity to the god of secular-humanism.

Mike reminded me often that Satan wants the haters to win and seeks to have the rest of us worn down and ready to abandon all that is good and right. Mike’s strength and counsel have helped straighten my course on numerous occasions, so I figured the least I could do is oblige his request to publish his wife’s essay.

Moreover, Lady Orthodixie eloquently lays out the spiritual battles we face, calling for Christians to pick up that cross and repel the poison of puritanical-progressivism. No apologies. No surrender. No virtue-signaling and no foot-washing. No matter the cost. Onward, Christian soldiers!

When looking for graphics to capture Lady Orthodixie’s voice, I stumbled upon Michigan State University’s website Seventeen Moments in Soviet History. It’s a user-friendly, multi-academic endeavor, where you can search Soviet history by year or by theme, and is filled with primary-sourced photographs, propaganda art, and archival videos, all with Russian-to-English translations.

Just take a few minutes to peruse at least the religion theme. This is where I snagged the images below, as well as the essay’s feature photo called “Gesundheit,” which comes from a 1923 issue of the “The Godless” magazine. It shows just how “grossly offensive the [communist] anti-religious campaign could be.” Orthodox Christianity was the sickness, you see, and must be stamped out in order to usher in the “new religion” of equality and justice.

It’s really mind-blowing the parallels between Soviet times and now. But then again, like King Solomon said, “There is nothing new under the sun.”

“Religion is the opiate of the people” reads the header of this poster. Click here for a further translation.
“An anti-religious play in the artisans’ club of the Jewish theater Fraie-Kunst, Moscow.”
“On Easter Day nobody skips work.”
This photo called “Restorers” shows workers reading the latest issue of “The Godless” while taking a break from dismantling an Orthodox church.
“Our situation is dire”
By Lady Orthodixie

Our situation is dire. We stand at the precipice, just as the Christian Russians did before the Bolshevik annihilation.

We must mentally, physically, and spiritually prepare ourselves to stand up. We need thousands, and then tens of thousands, to gather together in public to defend our right to live. We must be non-violent but we have to be physically present. We must come out of the shadows to risk everything before we are so oppressed that we have nothing left to defend, including our dignity.

Some people will be doxed, but the idea of doxing 10,000 is laughable, and pointless, and if 10,000 are doxed, there are places of comfort and support. Furthermore, 10,000 can turn into 100,000 and more. White people, Christians, anti-zionist allies, and other groups fighting for God-given unalienable human rights must prepare themselves for suffering – temporary suffering for the greater good and to avoid WAR.

It is time to move to areas where we can gather together in communities. It is time to move and congregate in small groups that are willing to lead and organize. It is time to accept that they are coming for your job, and your property, and your reputation, and ALL of your rights: speech, arms, assembly, faith, and life.

You have to stand up to people who would do this to you. Because, if they would do this, they will take your life as soon as they have the power to do so. They rule us by intimidation and financial oppression. These people do not have real power against the group. They can censor and imprison individuals, and they do this to control and oppress the greater population. They know they cannot overtake the majority or even a significant minority of the majority.

But how are we to stand up? How are we to overcome our fears of financial insecurity, losing things we have or not getting things we want, imprisonment, social rejection, what we will eat, what we will wear, and where will we live? We worry we will risk all and our people won’t back us up. We know we lack power, we are demoralized. How are we to fight when we can’t keep our own marriages and families together? When parents and children are addicted to drugs, nicotine, alcohol, sugar, pornography, Hollywood filth, professional sports, gaming and casual sex?

We have no common morality, no cohesive group, and have become such rugged individualists that we can’t get along with anyone. So we retreat, and atomize and withdraw further. Emotions rule us, we are soft in every way that we should be hardened. We are weak and prone to despondency and confusion. We don’t know where we came from or where we are going.

We accepted views of the world that have no meaning. Each of us has our own religion and therefore we are all atheists. We have abandoned discipline and discomfort, reading for television, fasting for gluttony, purity for lust, sacrifice for carnal pleasure, and we constantly do the same things, like alcoholics drinking the poison we know is killing us.

We inherently know what is good, right and pure. We know these things. We know we are called to stand up for right, we know gratuitous sex, violence, vulgarity, and materialism are evil. We know what they bring, we know what drugs bring, drinking too much, we all know these things. What we lack is power.

Like the alcoholic, we are powerless over the type of evil that rapes and murders children, literally traffics children for sexual deviancy and political power (e.g. Epstein). Evil that uses the manipulation and emotional appeal of Hollywood to turn lies into truth and evil into good.

Evil that promotes and defends the murder of innocents in dozens of countries for the propagation of a truly racist state. An evil that facilitates countless wars in the name of lies, every form of degeneracy – a people who rule the world by deceit. They hide the genocide of women and children in America, South Africa, and Palestine. They conceal the greatest atrocities ever perpetrated in the history of the world during the Bolshevik takeover of Russia.

We cannot fight fire with fire, we cannot learn their tactics and turn their methods against them. We cannot defeat this kind of evil. We cannot become these people, it wouldn’t be worth it. It would be better to die than to be like them.

The alcoholic that recovers literally dies to himself. As a matter of survival, he admits that it has utterly beat him and that his only hope is to surrender to this truth. He then becomes willing to believe in a power greater than himself that has all power, and from this, a new man rises out of the ashes of the old, like a phoenix. He develops a new paradigm completely. He replaces drunkenness with sobriety, hopelessness with faith, changes every aspect of his life, and his outlook, and his actions and becomes a man that has Power.

This is our only hope. From the early Greek philosophers who understood eternal truth, the ultimate goal of transcendence, beauty for the sake of beauty and absolute morality, not dependent on relativity. They were Christians before Christ and they led the way for our pagan ancestors to accept the coming of the Logos.

This in turn led the way to more than two millennia of Western Christian order and beauty. This world has never seen power like the power of Christendom. It was only when that common faith, morality, and unity turned its eyes and its hopes toward the one and only God of the universe, that we were able to create real and lasting beauty on earth.

This beauty was created by the kind of fearlessness only people of real faith can have. Societies were created that strove to protect the innocent, and the weak, and the family, and the citizen. We all know the battles of the Christians, we all know the stories of the Martyrs, the fearlessness of the faithful.

The enemies of the Logos have deceived you. They will tell you anything you want to hear, to turn you away from that Power. They will tell you Christ is your enemy all the while they plot to kill him again and again in the hearts of our people just as they did at the Cross. You cannot deny there is none they hate as they HATE the Christ.

And without our faith, The Family of the Trinity, The balance of the paradox of absolute right and wrong with total redemption, fierce power with compassion, death with Resurrection, there is no purpose to your love. You don’t matter if there is no God. Only the cold and the ruthless of this natural fallen world you worship will prevail, and only they should prevail in that reality. In that view, the world is dead and meaningless, and only the strong deserve to live because there is no reality, no good, no God, everything is relative.

In the real world where nature and laws of nature are fallen by our weakness and restored by Our God, everything transcendent matters and everything physical matters because of the Incarnate God. And good wins, and water is purified, and death is conquered, drug addicts cleaned up, families reconciled, people unified under a common banner.

When Power is recognized as belonging only to the one true Trinitarian God of our fathers, and worship is removed from every satanic and evil thing they mesmerize us with, that is when we rise fearlessly from the ashes. We will throw off our self-imposed chains of weakness, despair and addiction. We will march into battle like our forebears with Holy things, and Holy banners, and they will tremble at the power. And then if you die, you are martyred, and you die with no bondage, having lived in good health, internal peace, with intact families and dignity.

How long have we watched dissidents get cancelled? How many years will we tell ourselves, we don’t have anything to contribute? That it’s better to keep your job and donate to the braver ones, only to sit on your money and quietly hide, never finding the courage to do the right thing.

If you are working and making money and honestly contributing significant amounts to truth tellers, keep doing it. But if you are going to live your whole life with dreams of valor that will never be realized, prepare for sacrifice. Ready yourself mentally, physically, spiritually, to give up all that you are holding onto. None of it will save you or add a cubit to you. And if you lack power, find the faith in the God that even the kings of our fathers worshiped.

Source: Dissident Mama – Godlessness is our pandemic

The Constantine Option

Recently, my friend Robert made a heartfelt social-media post inquiring about Orthodox Christians who claim that anyone participating in political discourse is “worshiping false idols.” Here’s how I began my comment to his query.

“I find that the people who promote what you’re saying most definitely have a political bent themselves. It’s just that you disagree with them and want to dialog, but they’re sure they’re right so then your stance is in turn called ‘disunity.’ This is projection, and it’s at the heart of cancel culture and only feeds into the boiling hostility and division that envelopes us. Freedom of conscience is something God endowed in us, and it should be celebrated, as long as you’re not preaching heresy.

We all know these kinds of Christians. They question not only your faith, but your salvation, if you dare to challenge the leftist status quo. Robert is a catechumen, which means he’s being trained in doctrine and discipline before his chrismation into the Orthodox faith, so I tried to get out in front of the curve and set the tone before the do-gooders could dog-pile. If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s having a dissident’s back.

I continued: “Moreover, bishops put out political statements all the time. They don’t think they’re political, but if you’re not of the ‘social justice’ worldview, they most certainly are. Simply using bad American history and faulty data is highly political, and that is an all-too-common theme amongst the most learned of Orthodox.

I’ve referenced this trend before in my 2-part “Twisted tongues” series, Beacons of light and Salt of the earth, which tackled the hierarchs’ penchant for supporting illegal immigration by using the progressive “America is an idea” ideology. And now the bishops are at it again, pushing historicity in support of egalitarianism.

As historian Brion McClanahan explains, these left-ese slogans have “become ingrained into our political lexicon.” For instance, why do people (like bishops) cite only one part of the Declaration (a very political document) and not “mention the last paragraph?,” McClanahan asks. “Because it annihilates the entire idea of a ‘proposition nation.’”

“If the War produced 13 ‘FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES,’” he continues, “then how could we have a ‘nation where all men are created equal?’” We can’t. And maybe I shouldn’t expect clergy to grasp that, since that’s even a hard sell for 99.9% of the rest of ‘Murica, including most academics. But I do expect clergy not to use ahistorical abstractions as evidence of their opinions. Stick with Scripture, fathers.

Oddly, Metropolitan Tikhon also wrote, “As the Church, in which ‘there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free,’ we oppose racism.” I mean, surely he know that the next line in Galatians 3:28 is “nor is there male and female,” which is a favorite of the trans activists, right? Bend the knee to placate BLM and the open-borders globalists, and you’ll soon be knee deep in LGBT lunacy.

I concluded: “My patron saint is Ilia the Righteous of Georgia. He fought against the Russification of his people and for their borders, language, and culture (all political issues in 2020) but always through the lens of his nation’s Orthodox faith. He was what you would call a Georgian patriot, thus, he was murdered by his political enemies in 1907.

“If you’re seeking truth and peace, there’s nothing wrong with challenging political conformity based upon incorrect info, especially when we live in a government-meddling society where everything – marriage, the family, education, sexuality, owning a small business, self-defense, food, housing, travel, health, medicine, and even church – is political. Heck, if using polemics against Empress Eudoxia was good enough for St. John Chrysostom, it should be good enough for us. Be bold but loving: that’s my mantra.”

Christian finger-wagging at conservatives who buck the fashionable opinions of the day is not a strictly Orthodox thing, of course. Years ago, I coined the term “evangeleftism” in order to try to describe the Protestant version of this curious and troubling phenomenon that seems to be embedded within much of American Christianity, no matter the church.

When liberals and left-wingers urge people with whom they disagree to “stop being so political,” while they simultaneously act and speak political, it’s an Ameridox contrivance, which is built upon a purely modern American idol. And its goal is to stifle dissent and smash God.

As my friend Dave Benner writes, “The United States Constitution does not contain the words ‘separation of church and state,’ nor does it require the general government to purge all religious influence from public institutions.”

“To the contrary of modern conceptions,” he continues, “the document does not require that elected officials abstain from making decisions based on religious proclivities, nor does it call for government to intervene to prevent religious influence in government.”

Christians in the rest of the Christian world get this. They understand that there can be no part-religious/part-secular life, that it’s all the same thing. Maybe America and the West as a whole wouldn’t be in the “shit hole” predicament we’re in if Christians had realized this.

Maybe this is why conservatives and traditionalists lost the Culture War: because we fell for the myth. Maybe we should’ve concentrated on putting devout brethren into to positions of power, as opposed being duped by secular Orthodox like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Catholics like Chief Justice John Roberts, and Benedict-Arnold Protestants who make up the majority of Christians in Congress.

Maybe we should’ve loudly protested Orthodox Tim Tassopoulos when he sold out his faith for money. Maybe we should’ve ignored Rod Dreher’s advice in “The Benedict Option” of withdrawing from and abandoning politics. Maybe we should’ve embraced the double-headed eagle, understood that Christendom flourished due to the interconnectedness of Church and State, and that Christians should most definitely use politics to uphold and promulgate truth, beauty, and goodness.

Not all Christians are made to take bold, controversial stands, debate, or even ask unpopular questions. Strangely, it seems that those who aren’t spend their time trying to convince and/or castigate those who are. We never seem to be celebrating the true diversity of spiritual gifts and using them for a shared purpose: to protect the faith, spread the Gospel, and glorify the Lord. Nope, just wear your mask and shut up, trouble-maker.

We “rabble-rousers” can take heart in the history and work of St. Job of Pochaev, who lived during a time of great turmoil within the Church and was a master at conveying ideas in mediums that could reach his 16th-century contemporaries. His Akathist describes him as an “unconquerable defender of and struggler for the Eastern-Orthodox catholic faith against the falsely-minded West.”

Whereas St. Job was a monk, St. Constantine was an emperor and is another example of note. Below is a homeschool paper my then-age-10 son wrote about him last spring.

St. Constantine’s canonization is touchy subject for some, but thank God he was willing to use politics for the furtherance of Christianity. Our battles may be different today, but the war is still the same, and I say the Constantine Option is one we should not have forgotten and one we should most certainly rekindle.

Above: Constantine and his mother Helen, both of whom are sainted as “Equal to the apostles” due to their service to and building of the Church.
At top: The icon illustrates the historic Council of Nicea, which was assembled by Constantine (seen at center in red crown and robes).

Constantine the Christian warrior

Like an architect, Constantine built up the Church greatly. He was born on February 27, 272 A.D. in Naisus, Serbia, which was part of the Roman Empire. Constantine’s father was one of the four caesars of the empire’s vast lands. Wanting to be like his powerful dad, Constantine would emerge as a politician, too. Although, his mother came from humble beginnings, she influenced Constantine on Christian beliefs. Because of the impression his parents made upon him, Constantine became a prestigious leader of both Rome and Christianity.

When he became Supreme Augustus, Constantine used his power to spread Christianity all over the civilized world. In 302 A.D., Diocletian abdicated the throne. There were numerous civil wars, and there was chaos between caesars because they were all vying for authority over the colossal Roman Empire. In 312 A.D., Constantine fought the bloody and brutal Battle of Milvian Bridge against his rival Maximius. Some historians claim he was told in a vision that he needed to be the guardian of Christians. Constantine saw “XP,” which are the first two letter in the Greek word for Jesus, and he also saw “Hoc Vince.” That means “Conquer by the Cross.” Constantine’s soldiers painted crosses on their shields and he easily defeated Maximius. Impressively, Constantine conquered other kings and huge armies.

It took Constantine 18 years and a series of battles and wars to finally become Augustus of the East and West parts of the empire in 324 A.D. He fashioned extravagant landscapes and nicely made roads, and protected many Christian kingdoms. Constructing beautiful cities, Constantine often used his own money and manufactured churches as shrines to Christianity. He established a new capitol, which was an old Greek city called Byzantium, rebuilt it, and called it “Nea Roma.” But after his death, this majestic city’s name was changed to “Constantinople.” Even though Constantine used much of his political power to advance himself, he also helped Christians significantly.

Constantine’s faith evolved over the passing years. Constantine’s mother, who found the true cross and is an honored saint in the Orthodox and Catholic churches, was an immense Christian influence on him. She was also the first Christian pilgrim and was extremely devout.

Constantine was politically careful about his faith. If he declared “I love Christians!” everyone would kill all the Christians and there wouldn’t be any today. Patiently, he waited till he was Supreme Augustus to proclaim his Christianity, but he still played it safe. Making it the law that Christians had to be accepted into society, Constantine created the Edict of Toleration in 311 A.D. The caesar Galatius ignored it. Because of this, Constantine implemented the Edict of Milan, which legalized Christianity in 311 and returned all stolen church property.

Constantine organized the Council of Nicea in 325 to close pagan temples. While Constantine was pro-Christian, he didn’t get baptized until his death bed. He died on May 22. The year was 337. He was 65 years old. Although it took him a while to get there, Constantine was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity.

Truly, if Constantine hadn’t supported Christians, there would be a lot fewer today. Constantine instituted Sunday as a day of worship. He dealt with schisms, and he called the First Ecumenical Council, which is where people come together to call out corrupt teachings and to decide what important beliefs Christians should have. It also deftly destroyed the popular heresy of Arianism. Arius taught that there was no Trinity. That God is Father. But Jesus is inferior. Father and Son aren’t equal.

At the Council, Constantine remarked, “For my own part, I hold any sedition within the Church of God as formidable as any war or battle, and more difficult still to bring to an end. I’m consequently more opposed to it than anything else.” That meant that the fighting for true Christian doctrine at the Council was as hard to do as the work of soldiers and was also as momentous.

The Ecumenical Council also produced the Nicene Creed, which is a creed we still sing today, and another name for this special gathering is the Council of Nicea. In the Orthodox Church we still sing hymns to Constantine and his mother. Because he promoted Christianity, his saint title is “Equal to the Apostles.” Constantine preserved peace and the faith for the ages.

Constantine the Great was an adroit military man and politician, who also revered Christ. Although, he was a Christian, his faith progressed slowly over the years but he was cautious. Seriously, Constantine’s legacy as a resolute leader made the Church more durable. Without him, who knows what Christianiaty would be like today? Constantine was a Christian warrior.

Source: Dissident Mama – The Constantine Option

Dissident Mama, episode 11 – Nora Kowalchek

In episode 11, I interview Nora Kowalchek, who is known in online Orthodox circles as “Mother of Five.” She’s just a normal person doing normal things like working, being a wife and a mom, and owning a home, but she is also ardently committed to rearing her children in the practices and faith of Orthodox Christianity. This is a very abnormal thing to do in our intensely worldly society, where nearly everything is pitted against children to mature into godly men and women. It takes much dedication, time, prayer, and selflessness to remain committed to raising the Church’s next generation of laity and leaders, hence, Kowalchek’s motivation to resist the covid rules set forth by the Orthodox Church in America (OCA).

She sees these jurisdictional directives as both detrimental to the salvation of her son and daughters and to the future of the Church as a whole. So Kowalcheck decided to voice her heartfelt opposition to the regulations implemented by the OCA bishops, not because she wants to be a rebel to authority, but because she knows she must take a stand for what is right – to defend the even higher authority of truth.

If you’re not Orthodox, don’t be scared. Kowalchek answers a few “Orthodoxy 101” questions, which may be of interest to you as far as intellectual inquiry goes. Plus, the greater theme of our discussion taps into to the battles happening in American Christianity and the greater society as a whole: faith vs. man, self-determination vs. collectivism, corporate gathering vs. radical individualism, freedom vs. fictional safety, the “Great Unreason” (as Jack Kerwick calls it) vs. true reason.

Speaking of that, here’s Kowalchek’s essay, “The Loss of a Generation,” that struck a chord with many other Christian parents who share her concerns, including Archbishop Alexander’s wording from his March 10 statement: “This is not a season of trial in which to test one’s piety through unreasonable faith.” Interestingly, I cannot find the Archbishop’s original statement on the OCA website or pretty much anywhere on the Internet, other than the full text posted on the St. Athanasius Orthodox Church’s Facebook page.

Also of note is this Father Peter Heers‘ interview with Archimandrite Savas Agioreitis. Kowalcheck shared it with me today because the two discuss “the holiness of the Temple and Holy Things,” and why Christians should defend the Holy Canons and how they instruct us to kiss icons, participate fully in communal worship, and receive the Eucharist.

Kowalchek mentioned St. Mark of Ephesus as one historic example of a Christian who challenged bishops when they strayed. Although he was a devout monk, we lay people can still look to his dogmatic, polemic theology as a guide of how we too can be “the conscience” of the hierarchs.

Be sure to check out Kowalchek’s blog Jacob’s Story, which is about her experiences having lost a child. She says writing about her son’s death helps her to find her way “through the fog … in spite of grief.” It’s a beautiful site, filled with trials and triumphs, heartache and happiness, and compassion and kindness. It will surely speak to you if you’ve lost a son or daughter, or know someone who has.

Check out this episode!

Source: Dissident Mama – Dissident Mama, episode 11 – Nora Kowalchek