Last month, almost to the day, Fr Mark Hodges took part in a peaceful demonstration. (The hooligans who commandeered the Capitol were not part of the demonstration and they had already penetrated it while the President was still speaking.) And for this, he was brought up on charges, and was suspended for three months. Word on the street is that he is facing possible laicization.
Fr Mark’s unjust treatment has been a cause celebre on this blog, as well as others. It’s even received much publicity from both electronic and print media. Having said that, many Orthodox Christians of the more liberal variety have taken Fr Mark to task for – what exactly? I don’t know – tactlessness, maybe?
Clergy can't march at a Trump rally, but they are free to march with BLM? Seriously?
I dunno, there seems to be a class divide working here. Fr Mark is rather a jovial, Red-state kind of guy: very pro-life, eight kids; you know, that kinda guy. Clearly not one of the more hip or urbane clergymen that are all the rage in many Orthodox chanceries.
You know the type, the kind that pepper their sermons with the latest talking points from Fordham University or The New York Times editorial page.
So what’s my point? If you look at the photo above, you will see a certain OCA priest from the Diocese of New York/New Jersey, rather proudly strutting about in his cassock, posing in cruciform fashion, holding up a very Orthodox-looking Crucifix.
At a Black Lives Matter rally.
Yep, you read that right. BLM, a terrorist organization that embraces every aspect of cultural Marxism. Pretty much from A to Z. No nuance here. Nothing to see here; please move along.
Unlike Fr Mark, there has been no disciplinary action against the priest in question. Nor am I calling for any action against him.
But the powers that be in the OCA are more than willing to take that same liberty away from Fr Mark. What’s that old saying about double standards? That if it weren’t for double standards, some people wouldn’t have any at all?
But seriously, folks, when you look at this, you’ve got to wonder if Scripture was onto something when it said “you cannot serve two masters.”
OK, I’ll go ahead and play this game, the one about whether it was “unseemly” for Hodges to march at a rally on the Mall in his cassock. So here goes: isn’t there something “unseemly” about an Orthodox priest, dressed in his cassock, holding up the same cross we venerate in our services?
One would think so. That is, if one were consistent.
What is missing here is context. That cross does not belong outside the context of our Faith. That cross does not belong to this priest. That cross is a symbol of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and belongs in the Holy Orthodox Church. If he is going to wield it in victory in the public sphere, he can keep it at home on his mantle right next to his special edition light-saber from Star Wars. No one should have to venerate that particular cross in the Orthodox Church ever again. Not one that was used to bless a BLM rally, an odious organization that has failed to condemn the violence that took place on their behalf for the better part of a year.
Holy things are for the holy.
See what I mean about double standards? Are you absolutely sure you want to play this game?
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