10 comments

  1. I’ve read this a number of times and am still puzzled by it because it is not my experience that most Roman Catholics or Orthodox are doctrinaire supporters of free market capitalism. Most would agree that communism is just plain evil since it portrays theft as a virtue under the guise of “redistribution” while appealing to people’s envy, one of he nastiest of sins. But that does not automatically turn Roman Catholics and Orthodox into free market capitalists. I think most would probably agree that, in a Christian society, every job should minimally pay a living wage, and this leads to the fuller expression of Christian economics known as distributism. Let the market be as free as possible so long as it is first assured that jobs are paying enough for people to live on, and money and power are as widely distributed as possible so as to avoid undue concentrations of same which give rise to good ole boys networks and all other rackets.

    Free market capitalism, on the other hand, is a product of Protestant culture, and Roman Catholics and Orthodox who continue to push this sort of thing, even as so many people must now work four jobs just to pay the bills, are generally converts from Protestantism, are they not? At least this has been my experience. The problem is that such people are not more fully purged of their former Protestantism before they are accepted into these bodies.

    1. I would hazard a guess that most conservative (and even a sizable number of traditional) Catholics in America support some variant of free-market ideology, whether libertarian, Tea Party, conventional Republicanism, etc.

      In my experience, this is also true of many Orthodox as well, especially converts. So-called cradle Orthodox tend to be more diverse in this area, but that’s an impressionistic claim, not a scientific one.

      1. FWIW, I strongly suspect most American Orthodox vote Democrat. Maybe less so than 25 years ago, as more Greeks move to the suburbs. But demographically, the American Orthodox go as the Greeks go.

        1. Yes, indeed! It is in Greek parishes (at coffee hour) that I have heard the most ardent and vocal opposition to traitorous frauds like Limbaugh and Hannity; and rightly so because there is absolutely nothing conservative about traitorous neo-“con”-ism. I believe the Greeks do that to scare off any truly unconverted evangelical Protestants with all their nasty and moronic political baggage, and I commend them for it.

          The Russians on the other hand are more inscrutable…. I suspect that the cradles might lean more Democratic than generally expected; but unfortunately the very same unconverted evangelical Protestants (i.e. Kool-Aid drinking “stiff-necked pricks” in biblical language) find their way into Russian parishes without meeting the necessary resistance that the Greeks provide. Clear advantage to the Greeks in this respect, but then the Greeks have indeed always warned us about Trojan horses!

      2. It is my impression, and I am pretty certain that scientific data bears this out, that both Roman Catholics and Orthodox in this country have traditionally been overwhelmingly Democrats, at least since the New Deal. More specifically, they have been socially conservative, but economically “liberal” (according to the longstanding American misuse of this term). But yes, more recently hordes of Roman Catholics and Orthodox (cradles) have become Republicans for the simple reason that there was no longer any room for social conservatives in the Democratic Party. However, I have never interpreted this shift to mean that that many more cradle RCs and Orthodox had suddenly become free market capitalist ideologues.

  2. How much of your concept of Orthodoxy is defined by Russian Orthodoxy? And why is it so many Catholics who enter the Orthodox Church enter by way of the Russian Orthodox Church?

    1. The Russian Church has historically had the most ties with Western European culture, both before and after the Revolution. Aesthetically, the Russian Church also typically uses Western-style music, which can be surprisingly important in finding a footing when inquiring into Orthodoxy.

    2. I was originally received into an Antiochian parish, actually. My choice of returning via the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia had far more to do with the parish and its priest than anything else. However, aesthetically and liturgically, I am much more “at home” with Russian-style Orthodoxy (ROCOR, MP, OCA) than the Greek or Antiochian churches. However, I do have a soft spot for some of the smaller Orthodox jurisdictions, like the Romanians, Bulgarians, Carpatho-Russians, and so forth.

      It’s all one Church — just different flavors.

      1. I’ve not really had much exposure to the Russian branch. I was received into the Antiochene, after mainly frequenting Greek parishes. I’ve noticed the Albanian liturgy has more of a Western feel, to my mind at least.

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