Brother Augustine

get2choppaaa

Hummingbird
Orthodox
Great analysis. I agree with all three of your points regarding ecumenism, Enlightenment values, and chiliasm.

Another problem with Christian nationalism is that it might promote the heresy of phyletism. The only historical precedent we have of a truly Christian nation are the Orthodox kingdoms (Constantinople, Orthodox Russia, Serbia, etc.).

In the Western world, I think the best we can do is to vote for libertarian candidates who would leave us alone to practice our faith, instead of imposing Covidism or LGBT nonsense on Orthodox Christians.

Ideally, paleo Mises-style libertarians are best, since they tend to dislike abortion, mass migration, and globalism.
I was sure a fan of Pat Buchanan....
 

Wutang

Hummingbird
Gold Member
Was watching one of The Crucible debates regarding Christian Nationalism so the topic has been on my mind which motivated me to watch through Witcoff's video. The topic that was the most interesting to me wasn't the theological differences such as regarding icons but on rather the political differences between the Protestant section and Orthodox section of the Christian Nationalism camp. The major difference is that the Protestants typically still have a high regard for the American system and values at large and want to work within the system and also preserve traditional American values such as regard for democracy and the Constitution. Their approach to achieve their goals would be through electing candidates that draw from their faith via the American democratic process and use that to push for causes that are favored by Christian Nationalists.

In contrast, Orthodox Christian Nationalists are revolutionaries that want to completely overturn the American system and replace it with something more similar to the Orthodox Christian kingdoms of the past. They don't possess the high view of the American mythos that the Protestant Christian Nationalists do and even in some cases see it as subversive and evil. While Protestant Christian Nationalists view the era of the Founding Fathers as the Golden Era past that should be looked to as the ideal, Orthodox Christian Nationalists are going to go back even further to a time when the idea of the United States wasn't even in existence and hence to kingdoms and eras that has no direct lineage with the US.

To use a specific example to illustrate, look at the way both sides approach free speech. For the Protestant Christian Nationalists, free speech is something good in itself and should be preserved. Andrew Torba the writer of the book being reviewed is an example of this with his platform Gab being built on upholding this ideal. The Orthodox Christian Nationalists on the other hand don't really hold it any high regard. At best it's something that should be used in the current times when Christian Nationalist ideas are in disfavor among the political rulers but is of no value once the Orthodox Christian Nationalists get their Christian state. Witcoff addresses this issue in his video and I believe he's written on Gab before on his stance on free speech and my guess is that it is representative among Orthodox Christian Nationalists. On a higher level, there is also the issue of what the concept of "freedom" should mean among the two camps with the Protestant camp viewing it as something your typical flag-waving American would view it which is close to the classical liberal/liberterian view while the Orthodox camp takes the exact opposite stance.

I personally think the chances of any sort of Christian Nationalist state coming to fruition in the US is pretty low. Even less probable is the Christian National state being an Orthodox one. In the off chance such a state does end up being established it's going to be a non-denominational Protestant one. I believe the only elected politicians in the US who openly identity as Christian Nationalists and relish using the term to describe themselves (Lauren Boebert and MTG) are Protestants. Orthodoxy is so completely foreign to the US system that I imagine that any sort of attempt to establish the sort of integralism that Orthodox Christian Nationalists want would be opposed not just by the typical liberal secularists that you would expect to oppose it but also American Protestant Christians as well - including the ones that the SPLC would refer to as "extremists". I can't imagine these Orthodox Christians calling the Founding Fathers satanic Freemasons or degrading the Constitution would persuade Protestant Christian Nationalists to hitch their wagons along for the ride.
 
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Good_Shepherd

Kingfisher
Orthodox Catechumen
This is a thread to discuss our very own @MichaelWitcoff, the based Brother Augustine from YouTube:


I have found Michael's book reviews in particular to be edifying, as well as his "Against the Heresies of JLP," a series I hope he continues.

This is one of my favourite videos from BA:




As the ancient chronicles state,

I like Jesse but I think his Christian theology and doctrines are to be questioned, he is not connected to the church through the church fathers, the history and the church traditions and intepritations of the scriptures, doesnt seem like he even knows about Orthodoxy only the Catholics, Im not saying its happened to him but guy like him (there are many) who are all on their own, an island church are at risk for prelest I think much more than those connected to the church who can be corrected if they fall astray, brother Augustine has good podcasts and I liked his book too, he is doing a great job
 

Hermetic Seal

Pelican
Orthodox
Gold Member
I can’t really disagree with your general analysis @Wutang, but Orthodox are a small contingent in the US and nobody thinks establishing a Christian monarchy is particularly viable right now; and Orthodoxy is intrinsically anti-revolutionary, though pointing this out may be splitting hairs when your point could be restated that the Orthodox political thought is revolutionary, in a comparative sense, in contrast to the American mainstream currents. I think that Orthodox public figures can and should help move the dissident right Overton Window, so to speak, to question some of the Right's often-unquestioned assumptions, such as the sancrosanctity of the Founding Fathers, free speech, freedom, etc. in a direction that is beneficial to both, so there is value in talking about this in public forums. Practically speaking, Orthodox public figures should help nudge the discourse in a favorable direction and try to work within the existing political system in a way that will benefit our faith.

Though the American mythology is not without its merits, the Conservative's slavish devotion to the cultus of Washington keeps him blind to the manifold ways the progressives of the past century have used his high-minded ideals against him. He is slow to recognize that concepts like "free speech" are really just tools to be harnessed in the struggle for political power, not abstract ideals that often give your enemies enough rope to hang you. This kind of broad, conservative culture blind spot is a huge reason why the Republican conservative mainstream has been losing ground for decades. Proclaiming that you will engage your enemy with chivalry is worth very little when he snickers at you and knifes you in the kidneys as you give your noble speech. The protestant alternatives - like Calvinist Postmillennial Dominionism - are even worse, and without any comprehension of ascetic, salvific suffering at the heart of Orthodox political self-conception, would just be yet another chaotic revolutionary movement that would generate a hurricane of bloodshed, in the long and ridiculous tradition of Munster and its would-be messianic revolutionaries.

The most likely outcome for Orthodox in the current American political milieu is inspirational suffering, especially if we eventually get outright persecuted. This has been the historical norm, from the pagan Roman Empire to the Turks and Communists, and I don't expect it to change. We see this again and again in the Lives of the Saints, that it is suffering and persecution for your faith that paradoxically changes the world, not attempts to yank heaven down to the earth. The most viable scenario for an Orthodox monarchy in North America is a post-Balkanization American warlord embracing Orthodoxy in the vein of pagan kings converting to Christianity, which is something you simply can't orchestrate in advance.
 

Seraphim

Pigeon
Orthodox
I can’t really disagree with your general analysis @Wutang, but Orthodox are a small contingent in the US and nobody thinks establishing a Christian monarchy is particularly viable right now; and Orthodoxy is intrinsically anti-revolutionary, though pointing this out may be splitting hairs when your point could be restated that the Orthodox political thought is revolutionary, in a comparative sense, in contrast to the American mainstream currents. I think that Orthodox public figures can and should help move the dissident right Overton Window, so to speak, to question some of the Right's often-unquestioned assumptions, such as the sancrosanctity of the Founding Fathers, free speech, freedom, etc. in a direction that is beneficial to both, so there is value in talking about this in public forums. Practically speaking, Orthodox public figures should help nudge the discourse in a favorable direction and try to work within the existing political system in a way that will benefit our faith.

Though the American mythology is not without its merits, the Conservative's slavish devotion to the cultus of Washington keeps him blind to the manifold ways the progressives of the past century have used his high-minded ideals against him. He is slow to recognize that concepts like "free speech" are really just tools to be harnessed in the struggle for political power, not abstract ideals that often give your enemies enough rope to hang you. This kind of broad, conservative culture blind spot is a huge reason why the Republican conservative mainstream has been losing ground for decades. Proclaiming that you will engage your enemy with chivalry is worth very little when he snickers at you and knifes you in the kidneys as you give your noble speech. The protestant alternatives - like Calvinist Postmillennial Dominionism - are even worse, and without any comprehension of ascetic, salvific suffering at the heart of Orthodox political self-conception, would just be yet another chaotic revolutionary movement that would generate a hurricane of bloodshed, in the long and ridiculous tradition of Munster and its would-be messianic revolutionaries.

The most likely outcome for Orthodox in the current American political milieu is inspirational suffering, especially if we eventually get outright persecuted. This has been the historical norm, from the pagan Roman Empire to the Turks and Communists, and I don't expect it to change. We see this again and again in the Lives of the Saints, that it is suffering and persecution for your faith that paradoxically changes the world, not attempts to yank heaven down to the earth. The most viable scenario for an Orthodox monarchy in North America is a post-Balkanization American warlord embracing Orthodoxy in the vein of pagan kings converting to Christianity, which is something you simply can't orchestrate in advance.
Replying mainly to have a link back to this comment, which I think is spot on and to which I intend to refer in these sorts of discussions when they arise IRL.

That said, what an inspiration it would be if God were to raise up an American St. Vladimir. Perhaps I will engage in a little private wish fulfillment and write some short fiction in that vein.
 
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