Synaxis of the Ecumenical Teachers and Hierarchs 2016

  1. “Binary”
  2. This is what judgment looks like
  3. Synaxis of the Ecumenical Teachers and Hierarchs


Once upon a time, ‘binary’ was a mathematical term. Now it is an insult on a par with ‘racist’, ‘sexist’ or ‘homophobic’, to be deployed as a weapon in our culture wars. The enemy on this particular battleground is anyone who maintains that there are men and there are women, and that the difference between them is fundamental.

This ‘binary’ distinction is accepted as a given by the vast majority of the human race. No matter. It is now being categorised as a form of bigotry. Utterly bizarre? Scoff at your peril. It’s fast becoming an enforceable orthodoxy, with children and young people particularly in the frame for attitude reassignment. . . .

(Melanie Phillips; H/T Wall Street Journal’s Notable and Quotable)

Never mind that the “distinction is accepted as a given by the vast majority of the human race.” Some activists and their academic and medical enablers have this here new theory, y’see ….


Whether one looks to conspiracy theorists, Trump/Sanders supporters, preppers, BenOp supporters, or any number of other groups, it seems almost everyone can tell an apocalypse of some sort is coming, though everyone is reacting differently and using different language. The last two years at church, when people will say something like, “God will judge us,” I am quick to say, “He already is – this is what judgment looks like. It is not normally volcanoes and lightning bolts, flashing in an instant. It can go on for decades, and we are experiencing it already.” I think there are many common threads running through, even causing, these strains of reaction from people that may not have much in common. But all can see that the sky is red.

(An anonymous reader of Rod Dreher’s blog, quoted by Dreher, emphasis added)

It’s hard to believe that this was just published January 27. It feels like it’s been haunting me longer than that.

Donald Trump, billionaire fool, leading my former party’s Presidential primary field.

Ted Cruz — who some suspect would make a drum of his own mother’s skin to sing his praises, but who already has insulted my Christian brothers and sisters to pander to his Evangelical fans — hot on his heels.

Most of the GOP field promising more wars against more enemies if elected.

The leading Democrat, famously corrupt and ambitious, more hawkish in reality than the Republicans are in rhetoric.

This is what judgment looks like.

God grant me the spirit of Pavel Florensky:

Instead of anathematising the militant atheists, Florensky accepted what was happening in his native land as a judgement on a culture which had already become deracinated from the ‘cult’ on which it was founded.  Believing implicitly in the Church’s abiding, ontological greatness and sanctity, he sought, at this moment of Her humiliation, to bear witness, with all the cultural range and lyrical feeling at his command, to the beauty of Her adornments, songs and rituals, to the imponderable profundity of Her Sacraments and to the homely radiance spread from the sanctuary of the holy places throughout the Russian lands.  Drawing on the well-spring of systematically cultivated memory, innate aesthetic sensibility and the energy of his religious praxis, Father Pavel applied an alert, formidably concentrated mind to the task of encapsulating in words the essence of what could be salvaged from the present shipwreck.  At the same time, he sought to puzzle out the infinitely complex past, present and future relationship between cult and culture, to diagnose the entropy of encroaching chaos and to proclaim the entropic power of Christ.

(Avril Pyman’s Pavel Florensky, A Quiet Genius:  The Tragic and Extraordinary Life of Russia’s Unknown da Vinci, quoted by John at Notes from a Common-place book)

Florensky died a martyr, by the way, of two bullets to the head.

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“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.