"They understand fully well that Orthodoxy is the last resistance against the Evil One. This is why the lies being pedaled in some quarters of the Orthosphere are not just an assault on Southern culture, family, and home — that’s the low-hanging fruit — but it’s an all-out war against the Church itself."
“Southerners adhere to the basic tenets of orthodox Christian belief more than other Americans, even the general run of Catholics. Indeed, the South is the only Protestant society remaining in the world that is not post-Christian.”
Historian Dr. Clyde Wilson wrote these words more than a decade ago. Much has changed since then … and much for the worse. In fact, it was Protestantism’s thrust toward “social justice” and away from biblical justice, toward virtue-signaling and away from real Christian virtue, toward the temporal and away from the eternal that eventually led me toward to the Holy Orthodox Church.
So while “Come Home, Y’all” was my mission statement explaining how the Ludwell Orthodox Fellowship believes that the South is a natural fit for Orthodoxy and what makes her people ripe for embracing the ancient faith, this essay is about why I personally think the fellowship should care about Southerners in particular … or even at all.
Some will say this is stirring the pot. But when you have all the right ingredients, why not?
The archetype needs love
Dixians are what I have coined the archetype: the perpetual scapegoat in the oppressor/oppressed paradigm. Whatever the aggrievement and whether real or perceived, just plug him in and, voilà, corporate-media-fueled problem solved … at least until another sacrifice is needed on the altar of secular-humanism.
Why? Well, because it is this hated archetype who most resists the depravity and upholds the traditional. Thus, he’s deemed an impediment to the steady march of “progress.” It’s kinda hard to remake the masses into the image of the intersectional gods if they’re still clinging to their guns and Bibles. Oh sure, they’ll keep these untouchables around for cannon fodder for “spreading democracy” across the globe and “defending liberty” here at home, and for taxation at the point of their guns, all while telling him that he’s the terrorist. It’s a gaslit formula and it’s key to the cultural-Marxist narrative.
Dr. Paul Gottfried aptly describes this poisonous ideology as “the total eradication of white Christian male society as it has existed up until now in the Western world.” This is why the postmodern “concept of socialism seems largely aimed at punishing the white Christian majorities in countries in which Antifa and other ‘antifascists’ have become significant forces.”
It’s not so much about economics as was the past claim of the left. After all, even the “eat the rich” socialists of today just want to be the rich because they’re high-time preference gluttons of comfort, consumerism, and the transcendence of self. No, this demonization of the archetype is more spiritual and existential.
We should have listened
“Religion can hardly expect to flourish in an industrial society,” the prophetic Southern Agrarians stated in their Statement of Principles from “I’ll Take My Stand.” In this 1930 tome warning against continued Progressive-Era reconstruction of both Southern culture and people (as well admonishing too many Dixians’ slow but steady bending the knee to it), they continued, “Religion is our submission to the general intention of a nature that is fairly inscrutable; it is the sense of our role as creatures within it.”
But most Americans didn’t heed the Agrarian warning. So now, not only are “traditional, conservative Southerners a stateless people,” as my friend James Ronald Kennedy explains, but they’ve been so thoroughly painted as pariahs that many are even a church-less people. It’s almost as if it’s by design.
I wrote about the dystopian disease rapidly spreading throughout Protestantism back when my family and I were fleeing evangeleftism and were catechumens, and even after we had been chrismated into Orthodoxy, which we thought was a refuge from the world. Unfortunately, however, the Orthodox Church has its malignancies, too.
The hit piece
Consider as Exhibit A this article published by Fordham University’s Orthodox “study center” not even one month after the fellowship website was launched.
Here’s some insight on the author, Aram Sarkisian.
Click the above image to view some of Aram’s photos and judge for yourself his level of subversion within the ancient faith of Orthodoxy. Is he a woke activist trying to bamboozle naive Christians, or is he merely a holy man wanting to fight against “hate” and “extremism” in the Church? A picture (or a list of nine of ’em) speaks a thousand words, so you decide.
A savvy social-media friend tipped me off about Aram’s “Marxist pro-worker” Twitter header (seen below). Here’s some info on the commie artist who painted the portrait. “But, but, but, we’re not Bolsheviks, you dirty neo-Confederates!” See the deflection, y’all? Are you starting to connect the dots?
Maybe just maybe Aram attacked the fellowship in order to not only push his political agenda, but also to divert people from noticing that an unrepentant cultural Marxist is on the board of directors of the Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas. The board and its advisors is a short list of some pretty well respected Orthodox, so I think that’s one of the questions we should be yelling from the rooftops.
Leftists don’t like dialog or debate. My friend George Michalopulos, who was among the vast array of folks libeled as big, bad “white supremacists,” brought up the embarrassing fact that “academics” are some of the most censorial tyrants out there. Check out his scathing retort at Monomakhos.
Speaking of the bizarre gumbo of people slandered by Aram, my two cents on that seemingly random detail is that it was a carefully crafted strategy. Throw us all at the wall to see which one of us sticks. Read: Who will disavow whom the fastest?
On one end, we have Matthew Heimbach, hot off being railroaded in the civil trial over Charlottesville, which was a watershed moment in framing the archetype as the forever-foil for achieving every nutso leftist scheme. I read but cannot verify that he was recently recognized at his McDonald’s job and ergo immediately canned because I guess the man has been so non-personed that he’s not even allowed to earn a wage.
Sure, much of his angst Heimbach brought on himself. (My friend Ashley Rae Goldenberg talks about his devolution at the end of our recent chat.) It goes without saying that I’m not here to defend his ideology, whatever that happens to be these days. Nor am I here to defend his past mistakes; I don’t expect anyone to defend mine.
But I definitely do feel charitable toward his situation and struggles. I mean, aren’t we supposed to show love to the sinner? Yet, I also think sometimes the guy’s just a honey-pot and a fed. Who knows. Either way, he needs Jesus and could use some prayers.
I doubt, though, that Heimbach is in the position to even concern himself with a cabal of left-wing “academics” castigating pro-Southern Orthodox as “white supremacist.” Unless, of course, he seeks revenge for being formerly excommunicated from the Church.
Really, the question that people still possessing the skill being methodically reconstructed out of the masses (critical thinking) should be asking is: why on Earth are woke Orthodox never, ever held to account? Cue rooftop-yelling, please!
Only dolts disavow
And then on the other end of the spectrum, there’s Rod Dreher, editor of the mainstream magazine The American Conservative. He hobnobs with acceptable media personalities like David Brooks and has written in the past about being against the Battle Flag.
But that was six years ago. And the nihilistic sprint of progressivism towards Lord knows where has a way of offering up hard lessons fast. Perhaps now the Louisiana native understands that it was also mine and probably his Christian ancestors “who suffered and died, and who saw their churches burned down” and it is now their descendants who are being “victimized, enslaved, and yes, persecuted as Christians by the culture and the civilization that went to war under [the US] flag.”
So I implore you, Mr. Dreher, don’t disavow. It would go a long way to healing the rift you forged between you and your Southron kith. If you don’t care to be a part of the fellowship or at least wish us well, just let us alone. This week you wrote that “Italian lives matter,” so perhaps this verbal blitz against the fellowship will open your eyes to the plight of Southern lives and inspire you to not “drive Ol’ Dixie down,” but instead to lift her up.
As I saw one Orthodox man from Kentucky astutely surmise about the Aram screed, “Translation: ‘White Southerners don’t deserve the Gospel.’ A tired refrain I’ve heard endlessly since joining the Church, in various ways.” Indeed. As it turns out, the article actually serves as proof positive of why there’s a fellowship in the first place: there’s a need, so we’re filling it. It’s not about politics; it’s about salvation.
In fact, I based the wording of my original pitch to Drs. Clark Carlton and Don Livingston (to get this fellowship off the ground, from their idea to the actual thing that has since materialized) on the tagline for the Fellowship of St. Moses the Black: “Linking ancient African Christianity and the African American experience.” Theirs is a worthy goal that I applaud.
Like “The Orthodox Study Bible” notations on Luke 5:6 explain, “The Lord draws people to Himself by things that are familiar to them. As He drew the Magi with a star, as He would draw tax collectors by a tax collector, here He draws the fisherman with fish.”
Evangelizing often bears more fruit when it is done by people with whom seekers can relate. That can include anything from shared class, ethnicity, gender, culture, language, geography, worldview, history, or experience (both personal or social). It’s really not rocket science. It’s Orthodox missiology 101, really.
My hope is that the fellowship will make it abundantly clear that Orthodoxy is the hospital for all that ails the demoralized Dixian. He is both perpetually blamed and conveniently forgotten by society, and too many Christians quite literally hate him for merely existing, so I pray loving Orthodox will help convey that true healing can only come from the Great Physician.
And one of the many beautiful things about our organization is that while it will most likely be a majority-white fellowship (and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that since white folks are still the majority demographic in America, even in the South, where 55% of the country’s total black population resides), we’re open to anyone as long as they’re on board with our mission.
But let’s get real: the fellowship is the target of this calumny because the disunifiers see us as a threat to their encroaching fiefdom, where they have a growing and quite lucrative racket in keeping people scared and driving them apart. Good. They understand fully well that Orthodoxy is the last resistance against the Evil One. This is why the lies being pedaled in some quarters of the Orthosphere are not just an assault on Southern culture, family, and home — that’s the low-hanging fruit — but it’s an all-out war against the Church itself.
We ain’t skeered
Thank the Good Lord some people aren’t so easily fooled by elitist word salad and white guilt and can spot an ax job when they see it. They also grasp that the fellowship is just that: an Orthodox Christian fellowship. Hallelujah! Behold a few shining examples of folks who know that just because a leftist pees down your leg and tells you it’s raining don’t make it so.
@PatriarchPrimus is an Orthodox Christian who lives in Georgia and happens to be black. Below, he shared a couple of thoughtful tweets as a defense of the fellowship and the ludicrous notion that it’s “lost cause” Orthodox who are the problem.
Here’s what he had to say about the controversy on Facebook. (The only addendum I would make is that replacing the term “compatriot” with “comrade” would’ve really hit the Bolshevik nail on the head!)
Hey, Kaleb, you live in Atlanta. Wanna be a part of our fellowship? I’d want you as a supporter not as a token for a cringey diversity-and-inclusion scheme, but because I think you’d be an asset and a blessing. I promise there will be no white-guilt foot washings like the evangeleftists do. Think about it, brother.
The most profoundly Christian of the Agrarians was Andrew Lytle who in 1980 said, “I can’t believe that any society is strong which holds physical comfort as its quest. There is only one comfort, and it is the only thing that has been promised: the gates of Hell will not finally prevail.”
So it’s time to get uncomfortable and have the back of the fellowship and its worthy mission. Let’s do fellowship, y’all!
♱ Priests, request to have your Southern parish listed on our Local Orthodoxy page.
♱ Southern natives or transplants who live here and love Dixie, submit:
♱ your cradle or conversion story for our Testimonials page,
♱ an essay honoring a Southern Orthodox who has fallen asleep in the Lord for our Memory Eternal page,
♱ your website for our Fellowship Friends page,
♱ photos for our Gallery,
♱ your own content for publication on our Blog, Review, Podcast or Video pages,
♱ and your business or trade in our Yellow Pages.
♱ Heck, help us organize a Conference or Get-Together!
♱ Read/listen/watch our stuff and share it around.
♱ Plug SouthernOrthodox.org into your RSS Feed.
♱ Follow us on Telegram, Twitter, Gab, and Instagram.
♱ Donate so we can maintain our quality website and keep things rolling, no matter the neo-Bolshevik bumps in the road.
St. John Chrysostom asked, “Why do you spend such energy seeking to please those whom you would never wish to be like?” That’s about as useful as a steering wheel on a mule, so instead, spend some energy with us!
However, if we’re not your cup of (sweet) tea, please pray for the fellowship, those who may hear about Orthodoxy through us, and for the strength, growth, and spiritual health of the One, True Church in Dixie’s Land and beyond.
You have seen here just a taste of what we’re up against. But in case you’re still not convinced, I will stir the pot just a smidge more in my follow-up essay because it is truth that feeds a hungry soul.
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