I may not be able to say all I think, but I’m not going to say anything I don’t think.
Eugene V Debs
I saw this on FB:
In years past, I’d acknowledge Orthodox Easter. I don’t anymore, because that faith caused a lot of harm to my family and to me. It was Pascha 1995 that my marriage ended, and it led to the end of my family. One week from today will make the 21st anniversary I saw my children for the last time, and one of those kids I’ll never ever see again in this lifetime. I know a few of you are Eastern Orthodox. That said, I’m so glad Melanie Jula Sakoda knows my story. Like it or not, I saw the underside of religious faith during the time I was in that church. I can’t blame people for being sceptical about religion.
Timothy John Forbes
I can’t fault the poster… not at all. There’s a dirty little reality in our Church. In the American diaspora, where we’re only a tiny minority of less than 1 percent of the population, the Church apparat and crank clergy get away with murder because we’re too small to excite media attention. The Catholics got widespread media coverage of their misdeeds as they make up 22 percent of the American population (about 70 million adherents) and “Evangelicals” love reports about lurid Catholic doings (false or true… it doesn’t matter). We’re only about 1 million adherents in all Orthodox bodies (I’m counting warm bodies that actually darken a church’s door… not ethnic populations)… that’s less than 0.3 percent of the population. The media doesn’t give a shit about such a miniscule number… except when it can use it to make a lurid headline (“One Million Signatures on Anti-Target Petition!”).
There have been many victims. There was Eric Iliff and Kristi Koumentakos… to name two that I know of personally. There are more… too many more. The apparat knows that it can attack with impunity, as no one in the media or state apparatus cares (they know that Orthodoxy in the USA is so small that it lurks “under the radar”). Look at the recent Storheim case… Storheim’s shyster mouthpiece mercilessly attacked the plaintiffs’ sanity. That was fine by the apparat and the hyperclericalists.
What compounds this is that many of the recent konvertsy hate the Church’s traditional stance of oikonomia towards people who fail to meet this-or-that rule. These arrogant brats demand akrivia (strictness) in all cases, and if the person leaves us, “Well, you see that they weren’t serious, were they? They refused to heed just correction!” Our Church is in the danger of becoming an “Evangelical” conventicle with only a slight veneer of Orthodox liturgy (and that bowdlerised and distorted by konvertsy fancies and peculiarities). I don’t call this group KKKs (Krazy Konvert Konventicles) for nought. They combine literalness towards the canons (combined with fancies of their own devising) with fanatical devotion to fringe rightwing fantasies. Such people abet and enable crank clergy with their fawning obeisance towards clerical misdoings (do note their fanatical devotion to the equivocal figures of Seraphim Rose and Jonas Paffhausen).
We’re in danger. Shall we survive this demonic attack? I don’t know… I truly don’t. However, there’s one thing that I do know. I bow in sincere apology to the Iliff, Koumentakos, Patico, and Forbes families… “If the Church hurt you, we all hurt you. I ask for your forgiveness”. I bow before all the victims and their people. It may not be much, but not all Orthodox Christians are responsible for the current reprehensible situation.
Remember Eric Iliff… he didn’t die in vain…