“Americans ruin Orthodoxy – especially those backwards white Southern redneck ones!” Such are the cries of the critics within and without the Church. Oddly enough, this criticism comes from two distinct and disparate camps.
The first and most insidious one are the Progressive/Leftist oriented “cradle” believers , as well as converts, who are trying to change the dogmatic teachings of the Holy Orthodox Church and conform it to the World. They manage somehow to perform mental gymnastics to justify their secularized “woke” worldview with Holy Tradition. They use a weaponized false sense of compassion and a very worldly carnal definition of “love” to do this.
Let us not forget, Progressivism is its own religion, complete with its own set of sacraments (abortion, birth control), Saints (George Floyd, Harvey Milk), and, of course, its own heretics (us, traditionally minded people, actual Patristic believing Orthodox Christians, Southrons). At the forefront this liberal-progressive assault are the ivory tower folks who fancy themselves “scholars” (Lord save us from these smug intellectual modernist academics)!
On the flip side to that madness is the second camp I wish to address: the LARPers. For those who may not know this term, it stands for Live Action Role Playing. In other words, pretending to be something you are not. These folks pose a unique problem, as well, as they believe that you, as an American or Western convert, have to pretend to be Greek or Russian to “truly” become Orthodox.
As a final thought, I just wish to say, Orthodoxy in Dixie is on the rise … and it is organic, Patristic, traditional, and gives honor to our ancestors for the Good that was in so many of them, not for their theologies. They were as pious as many of them knew how to be with what they had. Most of us are not even a fraction of the heroic men and women these valiant people of the Antebellum South were.