VIDEO: Protecting the Future of the Traditional Family in Russia

How can Russia protect the traditional family, so that it will not be destroyed in Russia, the same way it was destroyed in America?

Stavropol, Russia — VIII Stavropol Forum of the Worldwide Russian People's Council, October 20, 2021 — Speech by priest Joseph Gleason at the invitation of Vladimir Vladimirov, Governor of the Stavropol Krai, and His Eminence Kirill, Metropolitan of the Stavropol Diocese.

The theme of this year's forum is, “Free and responsible youth — the future of Russia”. The title of Fr. Joseph's speech is, "Protecting the Future of the Traditional Family in Russia". The original video (without subtitles) is available on the Soyuz TV website.

Father Joseph is an American who moved to Russia with his wife and eight children. A video of his speech is included below, along with a full transcript.


Protecting the Future of the Traditional Family in Russia

Dear Brothers and Sisters, nearly five years ago, my wife and eight children and I left America, and moved to Russia. Not knowing the Russian language, and not having Russian relatives, we left our home, and we set out on a course to seek a better future for our children and future grandchildren.

We were born as Protestants.
But when we die, it will be as Orthodox Christians.

We were born as Americans.
But I hope that when we die, it will be as Russians.

Russia has something precious which America lost. Russia still has a sense of traditional family values, recognizing marriage as something sacred, which can only happen between one man and one woman. A man with a man, or a woman with a woman, may be able to satisfy their carnal lusts, but such a relationship can never be blessed by God, and it can never be recognized as a true marriage.

America has forgotten these simple truths. And thus America has ceased to be a safe place to raise a Christian family. Today in America and Canada, if you reject the LGBT agenda, you can lose your job, you can be denied entrance into a university, you may not be able to adopt a child, and you may even risk having your own children taken away from you.

Just a few decades ago, America was like Russia, accepting traditional marriage and rejecting homosexuality. And if Russia follows the same path as America, then a few decades from now, Russia will be like America — persecuted by homosexuals, transgenders, and the enemies of God.

How can Russia protect the traditional family, so that it will not be destroyed in Russia, the same way it was destroyed in America?

If Russia wants to avoid the fate of America, then Russia needs to stop following the same path as America. Russia needs to do the one thing which America refused to do: Repent.

Before America embraced homosexuality, America embraced contraception, abortion, fornication, adultery, and easy divorce. America embraced sinful entertainment, partaking of books, songs, and movies where people indulge in all these sins.

America also embraced absentee parenting. American parents stopped teaching their own children. Instead, they delegated this task to government schools. Children stopped seeing their own parents as teachers with God-given authority. Traditional values ceased to be passed down from generation to generation. Traditional values ceased to be transmitted from generation to generation. Instead of accepting their parents' values, children accepted the values of their teachers and peers at school.

A new generation arose, not embracing the values of their parents. This new generation accepts sodomy, transgenderism, and everything which is an abomination to God. This new generation persecutes Christian families. This is why my family and I left America, and moved to Russia.

If Russia desires to escape the fate of America, then Russia needs to reject the path America has walked. Russia needs to do what America did not do. Russia needs to repent.

We need to teach our children that marriage is only between one man and one woman, that abortion is murder, that sex before marriage is forbidden, that sex is only blessed within marriage, and that God did not create sex primarily for the purpose of physical pleasure, but rather for the purpose of procreation, so that a couple might be blessed with many children and become a family.

We need to teach our children that sin is not only prohibited in our daily life — sin is also forbidden in our entertainment. If a song promotes sex before marriage, or if a movie depicts sexually explicit scenes, then such songs and movies must be absolutely avoided by all Orthodox Christians. We must not take pleasure in sin.

We need to restore parental authority to the family, returning to God’s original plan.
In Holy Scripture, in the sixth chapter of Deuteronomy, God commands parents:

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” (Deuteronomy 6:5-7)

God says to parents, "You shall teach . . . your children." He does not tell us, "Send your children away from home all day, so that strangers can teach your children, while you go about your own business."

God says that you shall teach your children "diligently". Not halfheartedly or slothfully. God says you should teach your children when you rest, when you work, when you go to bed, and when you get up in the morning.

If I cannot do this because of my job, then I need to change jobs.
If I cannot do this because of where I live, then I need to move.

Our children are our mirrors. The sins of our children reflect our own sins in parenting.
Their shortcomings reveal the need for our own repentance.

If our children learn unorthodox things from books, do not blame the books.
Instead, blame the children’s parents, who allowed them to read such books.

If our children learn filthy things from television shows, do not blame the TV.
Instead, blame the children’s parents, who permitted them to watch such shows.

If our children learn wicked things from their friends, do not blame their friends.
Instead, blame the children’s parents, who allowed them to spend time with such friends.

God has given us a sacred responsibility to guard the purity of our children, and to protect them from corruption. We must cleanse our homes from all evil. We must begin and end the day together, with family prayer. All day, we must only do those things which are holy and pleasing to God.

If we want our children to be good, then we must be good ourselves.
We cannot expect our children to repent, unless we parents also repent.

If we return to God, and obey His commandments, then He will bless our families, and He will bless the future of the entire nation. But if we ignore these warnings, then we will lose both.

Let us all be faithful Orthodox Christians, carefully obeying the teachings of Scripture, and the teachings of the Saints. Only then will our future be bright.

May God bless all of you, and your families. Thank you.

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