Does Orthodox Christianity Support Marxist, anti-White Racism?

A homespun aphorism assures us that, “It’s not what you don’t know that gets you, it’s all the things you know that just ain’t so.” Getting people to know things that “ain’t so” is a specialty all to itself these days. Not just in the media and politics, but also within the Orthodox Church. If you mix in just enough truth with the lies, even sincere Orthodox Christians can come away deceived.

Nicholas Anton is a Chicago native who currently serves as the Director of Operations for the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA. Prior to his current role, he was Ecumenical Officer and Director of the Department of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. He also has an M.Div. from Holy Cross. Anton wrote a piece in June 2020 on Racism and Orthodox Christianity in America: A modern commentary. He reprised the same key points in a November 2021 speech to the Philoptocos at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church NYC. In both the article and the speech, Anton provides a master class in how to subtly link progressive propaganda with Orthodox truth to mislead the Faithful.

Anton starts out with an incontrovertible truth – Orthodox Christianity is incompatible with racism:

Therefore, hatred and bigotry, racism and discrimination, or indeed any other action or attitude that violates the “other,” who is our neighbor, our brother and sister, are the exact opposite of love and fail to embrace Christ’s command to love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31). By contrast, any form or degree of racism embraces actions that are biblically condemnable, while simultaneously ignoring and contradicting the commandment to love. Ultimately, this is a rejection and denial of God, who is Love. Put plainly: one cannot be racist and Christian; the two are mutually exclusive.

Anton also correctly points out that Orthodox Christians have suffered persecution. We all remember what happened to Orthodox Christians under Muslim and communist rule in the “home countries”. But the United States presented challenges for Orthodox Christians as well. Orthodox Christians in America from non-European countries did experience racism because of their appearance. Many Orthodox Christians from Europe also suffered for the Faith in ways most have forgotten. Powerful organizations once sought to stamp out Orthodoxy in this country. Americans usually think of the KKK only as a racist organization, with precious few remembering that it was also Protestant supremacist.  The Klan, whose nation-wide membership (mostly in the Midwestern states) peaked in the 1920’s somewhere in the 4 to 6 million range, was violently anti-Roman Catholic and anti-Orthodox. Our national obsession with skin color frequently causes Americans to forget about the horror of religiously-based hatred.

After a couple of correct points, Anton then starts to slip in the propaganda. The progressive buzzwords are bolded below for emphasis:

Unfortunately, because of the struggles of our ancestors – as well as for those Orthodox who are not white and continue to struggle – the concept of white privilege is neither readily acknowledged nor accepted. And by not recognizing this sense of privilege, some of our people have, over time, unfortunately, embraced the ideals of racism and white supremacy. Some of these individuals even preach distorted and erroneous understandings of the Orthodox Christian tradition in the hope of recruiting others to their unhinged ways.

 

Now, to return to my argument: despite the actions of a few, the majority of Orthodox Christians lift up the aforementioned theology of solidarity, embracing the experiences of others and embodying the love of Christ. In this way, the corporate body stands committed to addressing racism and ending discrimination, while remaining firmly positioned to promote essential equity and eventual equality.

 

Today, an annual conference entitled “Moses the Black” focuses on missiological principles among African-American communities and addresses systemic racism from a biblical and Orthodox perspective.

Anton does not bother to define any of the terms emphasized above. Nor does he clearly separate the use of those terms from the previous portion of his talk which included Orthodox Theological and historical truth. Instead, he casually inserts them as if this were all part of the Orthodox Christian Faith. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Systemic Racism is a term often used by higher-ups in the Greek Archdiocese, but almost never defined. Here is one progressive writer’s definition:

Systemic racism is both a theoretical concept and a reality. As a theory, it is premised on the research-supported claim that the United States was founded as a racist society, that racism is thus embedded in all social institutions, structures, and social relations within our society. Rooted in a racist foundation, systemic racism today is composed of intersecting, overlapping, and codependent racist institutions, policies, practices, ideas, and behaviors that give an unjust amount of resources, rights, and power to White people while denying them to people of color.

 

Racism is in fact built into the foundation of U.S. society and that it has over time come to infuse all aspects of it. It is present in our laws, our politics, our economy; in our social institutions; and in how we think and act, whether consciously or subconsciously.

American society has always been pervaded by racism. It is not a personal sin, so it is not something you can atone for. Any differences in outcomes in any areas (employment, education, incarceration rate, health, wealth, etc.) between “people of color”(POC) and Whites (increasingly Asians as well) are argued to stem from the “system.” If you are White, you are racist, whether you intend to be or not. Welcome to the secular version of “Original Sin.”

The idea of Systemic Racism is at the core of Critical Race Theory, which finds its own origins in Marxism.

CRT has its roots in the early 20th Century thought of neo-Marxist Antonio Gramsci, founder of the Italian Communist Party. His desire was to spur on the stalled communism of 19th Century social revolutionists Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels toward an overthrow of the “bourgeoisie” (ruling middle- and upper-class) by the proletariat (working-class). To accomplish this goal, societal norms and institutions, such as family, nation state, capitalism, and God, needed to be torn down, and this is where we begin to see the notion of group-based morality, with the idea that what is moral is what serves the interests of the “oppressed” or “marginalized.”

Instead of “bourgeoisie” versus the “proletariat”, we now have “Whites” versus “POC”. Instead of individuals made in the image and likeness of God, we now have diametrically opposed “groups”.  One group is comprised of perpetual “oppressors” and one group is the “oppressed.” This is entirely based on skin color, regardless of the personal history or success of any individual. A Romanian immigrant, from a nation and family with no historical participation in any slave trade ever, is an oppressor. A recent immigrant from Africa, whose ancestors were never part of the Atlantic Slave Trade nor lived under any kind of American racism, is part of the oppressed. An unemployed, Meth-addicted, depressed, laid-off former factory worker is full of privilege by virtue of being white. Whereas Oprah is oppressed in her multi-million dollar mansion. It’s not about individuals, but about the overall system:

Within a racist society, White people enjoy many privileges denied to POC. Among these is the way that vested group interests among powerful White people and “ordinary Whites” allow White people to benefit from their racial identity without even identifying it as such.

If everything is the fault of the system, then forget changing hearts and saving souls to make the world a better place. For real change you have to manage outcomes to remove any disparity. How can you do that? Why, Anton told you how! He endorsed it explicitly – Equity! Not equality, a traditional American value that is perfectly compatible with Orthodoxy. Equality means everyone has the same access to resources, opportunities, and treatment before the law. Equity! is totally different. Equity means some authority is empowered to allocate resources, opportunities, and legal treatment as needed to create equal outcomes.  Similar terms, radically different meanings. Equity, in practice, leads to racism and tyranny.

What are some proposals for using equity to combat systemic racism? Here are some (see if you can spot the Marxist influence):

  • Past oppression must be avenged by present oppression against the descendants of past oppressors. Those whose ancestors were past oppressors must become and remain permanently oppressed. Maybe, someday, the guilt of the “original sin” of racism may be fully expunged. Until that magical day, outcomes must be tilted in favor of the oppressed.
  • Suspend / end private property rights to seize land and wealth for redistribution along racial lines. Otherwise known as “reparations”.
  • Create a federal Department of Antiracism with the power to nullify, veto, or abolish any law at any level of government and curtail the speech of political leaders and others who are deemed insufficiently “antiracist.”
  • End individual rights and replace them with group-based rights.
  • Restrict free speech to eliminate “hate” speech.
  • Federal control over education to further CRT and “antiracism”.
  • Prioritization of POC in medical care over Whites.
  • Reduce and/or eliminate cash bail.
  • Defund the police.
  • Reduce the rate of incarceration for POC by:
        • Selective prosecution / non-prosecution
        • Reduce penalties for misdemeanor crimes or eliminate those crimes altogether
        • Early release from prison
  • Delegitimization of the nuclear family.

Implementing even a few of the ideas above would totally restructure our society, end personal freedom, sow chaos, and end free enterprise as we know it. Freedom of Religion would not be far behind. CRT seeks to bring about a Marxist Revolution under another name.  One CRT theorist named Ibram X. Kendi said it plainly, “In order to truly be antiracist, you also have to truly be anti-capitalist.” This route to tyranny ensures everyone, at the end of the process, will be oppressed equally. Such progress.

Can you imagine if Anton had been honest and forthright to his Orthodox audience about what he was endorsing, instead of hiding behind code words? “Hi! I think Orthodox Christianity supports totally demolishing American society and rebuilding it from the ground up as a Marxist hellhole full of anti-White racism. Who’s with me?”

How do you think that would have gone over? Especially given the prevalence within Orthodoxy of so many survivors of communist regimes?

You know how it would have gone over – like a pig in flight training. The ratio on social media would have reached epic proportions. Which is why Anton, Archbishop Elpidophoros, the Fordhamites, the authors of the Social Ethos document, and even the Patriarch of Constantinople never speak plainly about what they are endorsing. They use progressive code words to speak to the “in-crowd” while sounding innocuous to most normal people. Unfortunately, these words actually represent radical, dangerous, and anti-Christian concepts. As more people understand the truth behind these concepts, linking them to Orthodox Christianity risks bringing the Faith of Christ into unjust disrepute.

Equity, in practice, leads to anti-White racism that harms innocent people, including children, in a myriad of ways. Abbot Tryphon talks about this new anti-White racism in regards to the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. You should watch it below. No one should be labeled part of a “privileged class” simply based on being White. No one should be denied a fair trial, civil rights, medical treatment, employment and educational opportunities, or taught that they are evil, merely because of the color of their skin. This is all profoundly immoral and anti-Orthodox. The answer to racism can never be more racism.

CRT harms not just Whites, but also the POC it claims to be helping. Which is why a multiracial coalition is building to oppose it. CRT divides everyone into mutually combative groups. Society ends up divided along multiple racial lines, not just White versus Black. America is far too integrated to encourage people to treat their friends, neighbors, co-workers, customers, and fellow students as implacable enemies. Many African Americans reject CRT because it designates them as perpetual victims. What successful, talented individual wants to be called a victim for his or her entire life?

Other African Americans reject CRT because of its dishonest treatment of American history. African Americans are often staunch American patriots. Try telling veterans that they fought for an irredeemably racist and evil country.

African Americans are also largely fair-minded enough to realize that America 2022 is not Alabama 1965. A White-majority America has already elected African Americans to the offices of President, Vice President, Senator, governor, etc. Whether in politics, business, sports, or the performing arts – African Americans are successful and well represented. What happens if you discount all that progress, and instead pretend that racism is just as bad today as it was under Jim Crow? Many African Americans are worried about the answer to that question.

A number of Christian African Americans reject CRT, and its fruits, because they want no part of anything originating in atheistic Marxism. Not to mention the fact that as Christians, they reject all racism, including the anti-White variety.

Further, many African Americans understand that token measures such as tearing down statues, renaming streets / buildings, refusing to prosecute criminals, letting riots run rampant in their neighborhoods – none of these things will actually benefit them materially. The “accomplishments” of the purveyors of CRT will not make anyone’s life better in any way. Nothing of consequence will change. African Americans increasingly understand, along with Americans of other races, that for the big businesses and politicians propping up CRT – preserving the status quo is exactly the point.  

Academics and professional rabble rousers may believe in the glory of the coming revolution, but the powers-that-be surely don’t. Well, not in its entirety. They are extremely happy with the way things are, but they could always use more money and more power – things CRT can be easily manipulated to provide. Our governing class is rich, powerful, corrupt, and staggeringly incompetent. They have wrecked our economy, exported our jobs, flooded our nation with illegal immigrants, devalued our money, turned our cities into homeless encampments, destroyed our supply chain, ruined our health in myriad ways…. The scope of the damage is practically endless. Who has been held accountable for any of this?

Especially after the Global Financial Crisis, most of our business and political class should have been stripped of power and jailed in solitary confinement. But that would have required a unified movement of people who recognized that their shared interests as citizens and workers transcended petty concerns over race (or ethnicity for that matter). Our relentless focus on race keeps distracting us from our real problems. This did not happen by accident. 

protests are essential for the archbishopOne has to wonder, is the Greek Archdiocese also using CRT concepts as distractions? Why hold a conference every year to talk about “missiological principles among African-American communities”, when you could just evangelize African Americans? Why focus on combatting “systemic racism” when you can focus on transforming lives? When Archbishop Elpidophoros marched with Black Lives Matter, did he invite a single attendee to visit one of his Greek parishes? Did His Eminence remind the marchers that Orthodoxy has a robust history of African saints and that they should learn more about their own African Christian heritage? How could a primate of the Orthodox Church go to such an event and not try to win a single soul to Christ?

Perhaps the focus on “systemic racism” helps hide the fact that the Greek Archdiocese is not interested in actually bringing Christ to African American communities? No doubt rich Archons appreciate the distraction from their crimes as well. Call it a “win-win.”

If so, the academics who run the Greek Archdiocese need to rethink their strategy of abetting anti-White racism as a cover for the crimes of the Global Elite. As people wise up, this will play worse and worse. Even dyed-in-the-wool progressives are getting sick of it all. Many former leftists are sounding increasingly like future conservative voters:

You don’t get to be “against the rich” if the richest people in the country fund your party in order to preserve their government-sponsored monopolies. You are not “a supporter of free speech” if you oppose free speech for people who disagree with you. You are not “for the people” if you pit most of them against each other based on the color of their skin, or force them out of their jobs because of personal choices related to their bodies. You are not “serious about economic inequality” when you happily order from Amazon without caring much for the devastating impact your purchases have on the small businesses that increasingly are either subjugated by Jeff Bezos’ behemoth or crushed by it altogether. You are not “for science” if you refuse to consider hypotheses that don’t conform to your political convictions and then try to ban critical thought and inquiry from the internet. You are not an “anti-racist” if you label—and sort!—people by race. You are not “against conformism” when you scare people out of voicing dissenting opinions.

 

When “the left” becomes the party of wealthy elites and state security agencies who preach racial division, state censorship, contempt for ordinary citizens and for the U.S. Constitution, and telling people what to do and think at every turn, then that’s the side you are on, if you are “on the left”—those are the policies and beliefs you stand for and have to defend.

Anton mentioned in his article / speech that there are individuals who, “preach distorted and erroneous understandings of the Orthodox Christian tradition in the hope of recruiting others to their unhinged ways.” He never tells us who these people are (Abbot Tryphon among them?) nor explains their “unhinged ways”. This is a common tactic among progressives – denounce and call names without engaging the actual substance of what your opponents have to say. In this case, however, Anton really had no choice. If he had honestly recounted what most of these “unhinged” persons actually teach, then his audience would immediately recognize that they are more Orthodox than he is. Too bad for him, and his fellow academics, that the truth of Orthodoxy cannot be suppressed. It will always find a way.

Alexander is a cradle Orthodox Christian, a member of the Greek Archdiocese, and a veteran of the U.S. Army

The post Does Orthodox Christianity Support Marxist, anti-White Racism? appeared first on Orthodox Reflections.

Does Orthodox Christianity Support Marxist, anti-White Racism?