Sunday, October 29, 2023

Remembrances for November – 2023


Dear friends, if you have time, please pray for these members of the Southern family on the day they reposed.  Many thanks.

But one may ask:  ‘What good does it do to pray for the departed?’  An answer is offered here:

Along with prayers and hymns for the departed:

5th – Carrie Tuggle.  ‘Mrs. Tuggle was a person of unique strengths. She excelled in the areas of education, social work, and religion.’

9th – Pierre Laffite, the gentlemanly, rascally pirate of Barataria Bay, Louisiana.  He and his brother Jean are well-known for their role in the Battle of New Orleans and other acts of mischief.  Quintessential lovable rogues.  New Orleans’s Grace King gives details of their life:*.html

10th – Lott Carey, Colin Teague:  Both were slaves in Virginia who purchased their freedom and then became missionaries in West Africa.

12th – Synaxis of the 12 Southerners of I’ll Take My Stand.  In celebration of the original publication of this noteworthy book on Nov. 12th, 1930, we remember and pray for the contributors to it:  Donald Davidson, John Gould Fletcher, Henry Blue Kline, Lyle H. Lanier, Stark Young, Allen Tate, Andrew Nelson Lytle, Herman Clarence Nixon, Frank Lawrence Owsley, John Crowe Ransom, John Donald Wade, and Robert Penn Warren.  The opening Statement of Principles from the book may be read here:

14th – Booker T. Washington, a prominent leader in the postbellum South

15th – Ambrose D. Mann, a colorful character who worked in the Confederacy’s diplomatic corps

15th – Roy Clark, a talented musician and comedian, perhaps best known for his work on the TV show Hee Haw

20th – John Lejeune, a Cajun fellow who had a big impact on the uS Marine Corps.

22nd – Mary Boykin Chesnut, a valuable author and historian of the South

23rd – Louisa McCord and Marion Montgomery, a couple of very versatile and talented writers

24th – John William Corrington, another notable recent Southern author, hailing from NW Louisiana, one who unapologetically loved his Southern roots.

Also, to celebrate some of the saints of November from the South’s Christian inheritance of various lands, visit these web pages:


Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!

Anathema to the Union!

Friday, October 27, 2023

Offsite Post: ‘Americanism vs Christianity’


July 4th brings a very contradictory image to the eyes of those living in the United States, though most do not think it so:  churches wrapped in various layers of American flags and other related paraphernalia.  Truth be told, these two – the dominant ideology of individual liberty (Americanism) and the Christian Church – are at war with one another.  Christians in the United States rightly want God’s blessing on themselves and their fellow citizens, but it will not (and cannot) happen by trying to reconcile these two opposing camps.  The Church’s embrace of Americanism is an existential threat to her existence, the thrusting of a dagger straight into her heart.

Traditionally, a nation, tribe, people, kingdom, etc., is the outgrowth of communal devotion towards, and worship of, a divine being, which includes a deep connection with the land.  Dr. Russell Kirk described it this way in ‘What Does Culture Mean?’:  ‘Our English word culture is de­rived from the Latin word cultus, which to the Ro­mans signified both tilling the soil and worshiping the divine. In the beginning, culture arises from the cult: that is, people are joined together in worship, and out of their religious association grows the organized human community.’

Orthodox Armenia provides an example of this:

‘Today, on July 1, the Armenian Church celebrates the Day of Remembrance of the Holy King Trdat, Queen Ashkhen and Virgin Khosrovidukht, reminds .

‘The Armenian king Trdat Arshakuni was the first in the world to adopt Christianity as the state religion of his country (301). Next to his name, history also mentions the names of Queen Ashkhen and his sister, the virgin Khosrovidukht.

‘It was thanks to a dream that Khosrovidukht dreamed that St. Gregory the Illuminator was released from imprisonment in the monastery of Khor Virap and began to spread the light of Christ on the Armenian land. As Agafangelos testifies, together with the king of the Thirties, Queen Ashkhen and the Virgin Khosrovidukht go out to meet St. Gregory the Illuminator, returning from Caesarea, and receive baptism in the waters of Aratsani. In the future, they participate in the construction of the Holy Etchmiadzin.

‘The Armenian Church celebrates the Day of Remembrance of the Holy King Trdat, Queen Ashkhen and Virgin Khosrovidukht on the fourth Saturday after Pentecost.’

The ideology – let us be more precise:  the competing religion – that has risen to dominance in the United States overturns that order of things:

‘ . . . American society . . . is a very individualistic society and very liberal in all senses.  It is strictly coeval with European modernity.  It was born modern.  . . .

‘The only root of American society is the modern concept of the individual.  There is nothing that lies beneath the individual.  There is no pre-modern dimension to it and no deep roots.  . . .

‘The landscape is the living image of the country and the people that dwells there.  The soil is sacred for deep identity as the most basic, vegetative level of the soul.  The soil of Europe is a kind of visible, material manifestation of its culture.  The German archeologist and anthropologist Leo Frobenius used to say, “Culture is the Earth manifesting itself through man.”

‘Deep identity is linked to the soil.  It is the dimension of eternity, of everlasting stability and immutability.

‘ . . . From the beginning, America was a mobile, highly dynamic society of nomads moving about on the surface of a minimized, almost non-existent space.  There is no such thing as American earth.  There is no earth there, there is only America, the country without soil, without roots, open to all and allowing no one a place to exist – only a place to keep moving, endlessly and always, developing, progressing, and changing.  It is a pure dromocratic society (Paul Virilio), a successfully realized rhizomatic smooth surface, as was dear to Gilles Deleuze.

‘Therefore, the space of America doesn’t allow roots to grow.  It is an asphalt world’ (Alexander Dugin, Eurasian Mission: An Introduction to Neo-Eurasianism, John B. Morgan IV edr., UK, Arktos, 2014, pgs. 118, 119-20).

A devastating switch has been made in the US.  Freedom in the context of the holy Apostles and Fathers of the Orthodox Church means primarily freedom from sin.  But in the new American context it means primarily freedom from any and all authority over an individual.

This American individualistic ethos is therefore poison for the Church.  It is in fact lethal to anything that savors remotely of tradition, self-sacrifice, and so on.  The individual’s all-consuming, all-American ‘pursuit of happiness’ will make him reject any restraints that he believes hampers this quest of his – marriage, children, loyalty to his ancestors and to his birth place; especially traditional Christianity – embracing instead whatever brings him pleasure:  in the most advanced cases, even things like murder (unborn babies inclusive), transgenderism, transhumanism, psychedelic drugs, and suicide.

 . . .

The rest is at


Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!

Anathema to the Union!

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Offsite Post: ‘The Christian Persecutions No One Will Talk About’


Pres. Biden is at it again – requesting tens of billions of dollars (that we don’t have) to spend in support of the wars engaged in by our ‘close allies’ the Ukraine and Israel.  But what if those countries weren’t really that friendly towards the US and the things we hold dear?  Would that change people’s minds about supporting them?

Let’s have a look at the Ukraine first.  We mentioned before some of the ways that the Zelensky government is persecuting Christians there.  Now the national legislature is taking it to another level:  It is nearing the passage of a bill that would completely outlaw the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the largest church in the country.  It was no close vote in the first round, either – 267 For, 5 Against (a second round is required before final passage):

Without clearly defining the concept of this “affiliation,” the mentioned bill empowers the State Service of Ukraine for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience, led by a person who is hostile towards the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, to judge in each particular case. This body, guided by criteria unknown to anyone, will conduct a so-called religious study, based on the conclusion of which a judicial decision will be made. One doesn't need to be a lawyer to understand that the proposed scheme opens the door to all sorts of abuses…


Initiators and supporters of the adoption of this bill in Ukraine—senior government officials, deputies of the Verkhovna Rada, radical politicians, and public figures—do not hide that the bill is directed against the largest religious community in Ukraine and aims to eliminate the Ukrainian Orthodox Church as a centralized structure, as well as all its dioceses, parishes, and monasteries individually…


The adoption of this bill was preceded by a whole set of measures directed against the canonical Church in Ukraine: a slanderous anti-Church campaign in the national media, seizures of churches with the use of gross violence against clergy and believers, initiation of numerous fictitious criminal cases, pressure on the episcopate by special services, attempts to seize the cradle of Russian monasticism—the Holy Dormition-Kiev Caves Lavra, and other major monasteries with the forced eviction of their residents, as well as a wave of forced closures by local authorities of churches of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, a ban on its services, the seizure of land plots occupied by its monasteries, churches, and shrines.

There is also the Ukrainian Legislature’s proposal to legalize pornography, Zelensky’s push to legalize same-sex ‘marriage’, as well as his public support for legalizing prostitution and gambling and for making abortion a free service for any woman (the latter three are mentioned in this article).  Such things will only make life for Christians much more difficult than they are at present in the Ukraine.

Does this kind of behavior warrant large-scale financial and moral backing from the peoples of the States and their federal government?

Things haven’t been much better in Israel for Christians.  The Jerusalem Post reported,

So far in 2023, there have been dozens of attacks by extremist Jews on Christians or Christian sites, ranging from the merely unpleasant to vandalism and assault. “Definitely there has been an increase—in the last year, a very high increase—in all types of violence, spitting, attacks on sites, provocations,” Farid Jubran, general counsel of the Catholic Church's Custody of the Holy Land, told The Media Line. Jubran said the recently created Religious Freedom Data Center lists 20 incidents in July alone, and that he knew of incidents that were not reported, either because the victims were unaware of the center's hotline or because they had grown accustomed to such incidents and did not bother reporting them. In January this year, almost 30 graves at a Protestant cemetery on Mount Zion in Jerusalem were vandalized. Two Orthodox Jewish teenagers, one aged 18 and the other 14, were arrested based on surveillance camera footage. Since then, in Jerusalem alone, further incidents have included: A mob of at least a dozen Orthodox Jews overturning tables and throwing chairs at the Taboon Armenian restaurant; a Jewish American tourist toppling a statue of Jesus at the Church of the Flagellation; two Jewish men attacking a bishop and two priests during Mass at the Church of Gethsemane; two Jewish passersby pepper-spraying a young man outside the Armenian convent; and a window in the Cenacle or Upper Room on Mount Zion, where Jesus and the apostles are believed to have held the Last Supper, being smashed by a Jewish man.

Readers can also watch a parade of Orthodox Jews spitting at Christians carrying a Cross in Jerusalem.

But one of the worst incidents happened on Friday, 20 Oct., when an Israeli bomb hit the ancient St. Porphyrios Orthodox Church in Gaza:

The Holy Orthodox Order of St. George the Great Martyr reports:


We have just received confirmation from multiple sources in Gaza that Saint Porphyrios Orthodox Church has been bombed today. Archbishop Alexios appears to have been located and is alive, but we don’t know if he is injured. We have no word on the condition of any other of the more than 500 people being housed at the church and monastery, including the person who has been our source for most of our information.


The bombs hit the two church halls where the refugees, including children and babies, were sleeping. Presently, survivors are searching the rubble for other casualties. Our source at the scene says that they estimate that 150-200 people are dead, and that number is expected to rise as more people are found in the wreckage.

Sadly, this isn’t the first time Israel has bombed something that many in the US would consider highly valuable.  Dr. Paul Craig Roberts sheds light on the mostly unheard of Israeli attack on the USS Liberty in an essay of his, which includes a timely warning on allowing any country to unduly influence US foreign policy:

 . . .

The rest is at


Thanks to the folks at Katehon for publishing an essay originally carried by The Hayride on the Gaza war:


Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!

Anathema to the Union!

Friday, October 20, 2023

Offsite Post: ‘The Purpose of Man’


Man understands intuitively that he was made to transcend the boundaries that the Fall has placed upon him, that he was made for a real union with the things around him.  This is expressed in a variety of ways.  The French mystical philosopher Simone Weil said, “We want to get behind [beauty]. . . .  We should like to feed upon it, but it is merely something to look at. . . .  The great trouble in human life is that looking and eating are different operations.  Only beyond the sky, in the country inhabited by God, are they one and the same operation” (The Simone Weil Reader, p. 475, quoted in Vigen Guroian, The Fragrance of God, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Mich., 2006, pgs. 75-6).  Hindus have their belief in the soul’s absorption into the eternal brahman after she achieves liberation from the material world.  Even atheistic transhumanists like Ray Kurzweil desire to unite the minds of people – using rather unsavory methods, however, like nanorobotic implants. 


The Orthodox Church has taken this innate desire of man and freed it from all the distortions to which it has been subjected over the millennia of his life on earth, revealing man’s true end as theosis.  Mark Shuttleworth gives a short overview of this concept:


I said, “You are gods,


And all of you are children of the Most High.” (Psalm 82:6)


This is a verse that most Protestants do not underline in their Bibles. What on earth does it mean—“you are gods”? Doesn’t our faith teach that there is only one God, in three Persons? How can human beings be gods?


In the Orthodox Church, this concept is neither new nor startling. It even has a name: theosis. Theosis is the understanding that human beings can have real union with God, and so become like God to such a degree that we participate in the divine nature. Also referred to as deification, divinization, or illumination, it is a concept derived from the New Testament regarding the goal of our relationship with the Triune God. (Theosis and deification may be used interchangeably. We will avoid the term divinization, since it could be misread for divination, which is another thing altogether!)


Many Protestants, and even some Roman Catholics, might find the Orthodox concept of theosis unnerving. Especially when they read a quote such as this one from St. Athanasius: “God became man so that men might become gods,” they immediately fear an influence of Eastern mysticism from Hinduism or pantheism.


But such an influence could not be further from the Orthodox understanding. The human person does not merge with some sort of impersonal divine force, losing individual identity or consciousness. Intrinsic divinity is never ascribed to humankind or any part of the creation, and no created thing is confused with the being of God. Most certainly, humans are not accorded ontological equality with God, nor are they considered to merge or co-mingle with the being of God as He is in His essence.


In fact, to safeguard against any sort of misunderstanding of this kind, Orthodox theologians have been careful to distinguish between God’s essence and His energies. God is incomprehensible in His essence. But God, who is love, allows us to know Him through His divine energies, those actions whereby He reveals Himself to us in creation, providence, and redemption. It is through the divine energies, therefore, that we achieve union with God.


We become united with God by grace in the Person of Christ, who is God come in the flesh. The means of becoming “like God” is through perfection in holiness, the continuous process of acquiring the Holy Spirit by grace through ascetic devotion.  . . .  Fr. David Hester, in his booklet, The Jesus Prayer, identifies theosis as “the gradual process by which a person is renewed and unified so completely with God that he becomes by grace what God is by nature.” Another way of stating it is “sharing in the divine nature through grace.”


St. Maximos the Confessor, as Fr. Hester notes, defined theosis as “total participation in Jesus Christ.” Careful to maintain the ontological safeguard noted above, St. Maximos further stated, “All that God is, except for an identity in being, one becomes when one is deified by grace.”


 . . .


With the Incarnation, God has assumed and glorified our flesh and has consecrated and sanctified our humanity. He has also given us the Holy Spirit. As we acquire more of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives, we become more like Christ, and we have the opportunity of being granted, in this life, illumination or glorification. When we speak of acquiring more of the Holy Spirit, it is in the sense of appropriating to a greater degree what has actually been given to us already by God. We acquire more of what we are more able to receive. God the Holy Spirit remains ever constant.

Certain consequences follow from this truth of a real union between God and His creation, and the life lived in accordance with that truth in the Orthodox Church.

First, one will notice that, for the Orthodox, the images of God as Creator and Cultivator and the creation as a garden have not diminished.  In the hymns of the Orthodox Church, one continually finds among them those such as this kontakion for Saturday:  “The universe offers the God-bearing martyrs as the first-fruits of nature, to Thee, O Lord the Gardener of Creation.  Through the Theotokos and their prayers preserve Thy Church, Thy habitation, in abiding peace, O Greatly-merciful One” (Orthodox Daily Prayers, 2nd edn., S. Arhipov edr., St. Tikhon’s Seminary Press, South Canaan, Pennsylvania, 2008, p. 53).

St. Nikodemos of Mt. Athos extends this line of thought in the introduction to his collection of the lives of the saints:


This Synaxaristes should rightfully be called the diverse and fragrant Garden of Christ's holy Church, full of Pomegranates and Dry Fruits, Spikenard and Crocus, Calamus and Hyacinthus, Narcissus and Cinnamon and of all the best and most fragrant odors and perfumes, through whose splendor and grace she sweetens, gladdens, delights and makes fragrant her own children, each according to their own order and profession. Of such was written concerning the sung about Bride: "Awake, O north wind; and come, O south; and blow through my garden, and let my spices flow out" (Songs 4:16), and again: "Let my kinsman come down into his garden, and eat the fruit of his choice berries" (Songs 5:1). In regards to this garden, it was right for Theophilos, the sixth bishop of Antioch, to write to Autolycus, that the Church is truly a Garden, in which are the Roses of Martyrs, the Lilies of Virgins, the Violets of Widows and the Ivy of the Married.


 . . .

The rest is at


Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!

Anathema to the Union!