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Orthodox Churches bringing in far-right converts?

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Bizzlebin

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Interesting news story. While I have experience with some of the groups mentioned in the story (the monastery, in particular, I felt to be in good shape more from the spiritual maturity of the RC converts than the brothers from other backgrounds, among whom conspiratorial gossip prevailed), most of the negative stories I have come from another jurisdiction. For example, in one suburban mission I investigated, African American and Hispanic Christians were all but run out: a combination of insults, shunning, and everything in between. This went up to the clergy level, where the last remaining African American family was not allowed to "identify" as African American or Black (they were lighter skinned than those who were run off). The presbyter ordered the children to be put in a very ethnically White American private school, carefully supervised not to associate with certain races or belief systems (or Christians from other jurisdictions who would contradict the presbyter!), and forbidden to voice many of their concerns to the bishop (the presbyter claimed he was their "spiritual father" and they couldn't disobey).
 

RaphaCam

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Most conservative-leaning English-speaking youths around the world that spend enough time on the internet would probably be classified as "alt-lite". It's presumable why this pool also gives converts to Orthodoxy. Fortunately, I've never heard of one single racist within the Orthodox Church in Brazil, but at least twice I had to debate American Orthodox Christians online on why avoiding black people is sinful. SMH...

That's not to speak ill of American Orthodox Christians, it's just my own personal experience.

I don't find this to be the case in our parish. What I hear from converts is that they are looking for churches that aren't caving to secularism and they find that in Orthodoxy.

https://www.gpb.org/news/2022/05/10...es-are-drawing-in-far-right-american-converts
Here is a reasonable review of this article.

For example, in one suburban mission I investigated, African American and Hispanic Christians were all but run out: a combination of insults, shunning, and everything in between. This went up to the clergy level, where the last remaining African American family was not allowed to "identify" as African American or Black (they were lighter skinned than those who were run off). The presbyter ordered the children to be put in a very ethnically White American private school, carefully supervised not to associate with certain races or belief systems (or Christians from other jurisdictions who would contradict the presbyter!), and forbidden to voice many of their concerns to the bishop (the presbyter claimed he was their "spiritual father" and they couldn't disobey).
Horrifying. I hope he was defrocked.
 

Christos3

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This is our faith
 

biro

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There are many in mine.
 

RaphaCam

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Here is a reasonable review of this article.
Whoops, I didn't link it:

For the most damning positions—fascism, transphobia, and white supremacy—supposedly held by many in her study, she supplies no concrete evidence. In fact, statements consistently contradict the study’s conclusions. The parish priest in Wayne told two persons holding white supremacist sympathies to renounce their views or leave the church as “ROCOR does not subscribe to hate beliefs or actions.” Politics is purported to be the motivating factor for ROCOR conversions and yet Riccardi-Swartz relates that “numerous times” people would tell her: “I don’t like to talk about politics.” The repeated presentation of a few individuals to demonstrate the radicalization of the whole and the reliance throughout the book on statements made on social media and unaffiliated websites instead of quantifiable, real-world data, makes one wonder if the author became fixated on outliers.

The subject matter of Between Heaven and Russia is both fascinating and relevant for those seeking to explain the exodus of rural Americans from mainstream religious and political thought. I would have loved to have seen the balanced, objective, and deeply researched approach found in, for example, Suzanne Tallichet’s Daughters of the Mountain or Robert Wuthnow’s The Left Behind. Regrettably, I found Riccardi-Swartz’s book to be predictable in its biases and pedestrian in its presentation of sociology as little more than opinion journalism.

 
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Derivative writing from Riccardi-Swartz's investigative reporting discussed here:

 

kijabeboy03

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This wasn't my perspective when I first started visiting Orthodox churches, but it sure feels that way now. We follow a God who refused to stone law-breakers and helped 'the least of these,' but today in North American Orthodoxy there is a distinct current more concerned with instating some sort of legalistic imperial Christianity (well, Protestantism really - we shouldn't kid ourselves about Orthodoxy having any broader significance or influence over US society as a whole) on the continent.
 

biro

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This wasn't my perspective when I first started visiting Orthodox churches, but it sure feels that way now. We follow a God who refused to stone law-breakers and helped 'the least of these,' but today in North American Orthodoxy there is a distinct current more concerned with instating some sort of legalistic imperial Christianity (well, Protestantism really - we shouldn't kid ourselves about Orthodoxy having any broader significance or influence over US society as a whole) on the continent.
Thank you.
 

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This wasn't my perspective when I first started visiting Orthodox churches, but it sure feels that way now. We follow a God who refused to stone law-breakers and helped 'the least of these,' but today in North American Orthodoxy there is a distinct current more concerned with instating some sort of legalistic imperial Christianity (well, Protestantism really - we shouldn't kid ourselves about Orthodoxy having any broader significance or influence over US society as a whole) on the continent.
I know these are common terms which are thrown about by one side against the other, but are these terms used in any meaningful way, or do they represent a mere trigger-point for emotional reactions to hide the fact that the two sides are, in fact, two sides of the same coin?

Take "legalistic". Are these new factions actually promoting strict rule of law? Or is this more of the "true for me but not for you" game, where they appeal to the law (occasionally) when it suits them but run towards "economia" (or undisguised antinomianism) when they do not get their way? I would guess that they are not, in fact, legalists, but rather believe their own opinions are justified and the opinions of those they do not like are unjustified. This would therefore be a type of anarchy, in one of its guises.

Then consider "imperial". Do these factions actually want a strong leader telling them what to do? Maybe very locally, they paradoxically want a political or spiritual guru ("father") from the same tribe, but only insomuch as this guru can promote their beliefs, absolve them of responsibility for feeling the way that they feel, and stand up to a larger empire (real or imagined) which they believe to be crusading against. The easily-observable fact that these "imperialists" do not merely disagree with actual leaders but vilify, insult, and hate them should be enough to prove that they are not really imperialists, either.

No comment on the word "Christian"; I think the facts speak loud enough there without further contextualization.

So I don't think I disagree with what you are seeing, but I would wonder if there is not a more precise way to speak about those things. It is very easy to fall into using inaccurate and emotional terms that can quickly be co-opted (inasmuch as they aren't already) by the one-side-vs-the-other facade. The way out isn't to let one "side" win (they're both the same side, in a way!), but get back to teaching, living, and breathing Christ Crucified.
 

Glyphwright

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Still better than far-left "converts" who would turn your local parish into a rainbow-alphabet mafia outpost.
 

biro

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I quit the church. Officially, and gladly.

I am heterosexual. Not that you need to know.

The actual Mafia robs and murders people all the time.

Gay people… wear shirts and flags… with the colors of something that God has made, which continues to appear after every thunderstorm…

Yet you are *frightened*?

WHY?

Not one more penny for this site.
 

WR-News

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I quit the church. Officially, and gladly.

I am heterosexual. Not that you need to know.

The actual Mafia robs and murders people all the time.

Gay people… wear shirts and flags… with the colors of something that God has made, which continues to appear after every thunderstorm…

Yet you are *frightened*?

WHY?

Not one more penny for this site.
The rainbow mafia steals and murders souls all the time. "Fear not those that kill the body..." etc.
 

biro

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Souls?

Try again.
 

TheTrisagion

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I encounter far-right crazy people online, but none that I'm aware of in my parish. I would agree that the overall trend in my parish is probably more towards the right although that might be because I'm in central PA which trends conservative. I think the other part of that is just that progressives have a higher likelihood of being non-religious. I do find it interesting that these type of articles are continually bringing up Sarah Riccardi-Swartz. She is like the poster child whenever someone wants to criticize Orthodoxy. I've been to the monastery that she talks about. I've talked to the monks there. In my numerous conversations with them, none of them praised Putin. It isn't a large monastery, so I doubt that there is some secret cabal of monastics who normally hide their Putin-loving ways, but then decided to reveal them to Ms. Riccardi-Swartz. I was there a bit prior to the war in Ukraine, and they prayed many prayers for the Christians in Ukraine and for the peace of the region. That hardly sounds like some nefarious Putin devotee group. I suppose though, you don't get to get a big splashy article that gets quoted all over if you write "I went to a West Virginia monastery and they were worshiping God".
 

augustin717

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Unfortunately they tend to attract right wingers even in the old countries. Was recently there and talked to a couple of priests complaining about the falling attendance of the general population with the simultaneous infestation of church life by right wing groupuscules.
 

biro

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There was a beautiful double rainbow at Wimbledon today. If you wish, look it up online.
 

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Thread locked pending moderator review. --Ainnir
 
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