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Commentary on Harry Potter: Introduction and Book 1

Lately I’ve been going through Harry Potter on audiobook. I wasn’t allowed to read them as a child because my mother thought they would cause me to explore the occult. Later on I read and saw bits and pieces of them, but I wasn’t impressed and lost interest a third of the way through the second book. I had assumed this may have been because I was at that perfect late teen age where everything is cynical and the magic is dead.

Now I’m giving them a fair try and posting my commentary about the social and storytelling elements on Facebook. As it turns out, the books are as bad as I imagined. It’s just that at the time I first tried to read them, I wasn’t sure how to articulate what about them I disliked other than them just seeming … cheesy. Which is an adjective I almost never use because it has no clear meaning, but I really can’t think of a better word. Perhaps it was just the expectations I had all growing up that these would be the height of literature.

However, the broader plot has seeped into society, and so you can never truly escape them. As the years went on, I more and more got a sense that these were written for outcast 10-year-olds and seemed perfectly targeted towards loser kids deeply dissatisfied with life, especially given the plot of the first book. This kind of radical escapism for children really disturbed me, and I was glad I was not allowed to read them as a child.

As for reading them now, you may be asking why asking why a grown adult would read a children’s series like Harry Potter.

For one thing, these books have saturated our society so much that it’s worth knowing what’s in them. Most of my generation filters politics through these books. “For it’s not what enters a man’s mouth that defiles him but what leaves his mouth.” I wanted to know more about why these books had such a grip on my generation. Having gone through them, I really think they are unique to the millennial generation and wouldn’t have been a success fifty years ago, nor will they be a success fifty years into the future.

Second, I’m not actually reading them. The audiobook wastes a lot less mental energy.

Third, it’s not like I’m writing a fan blog. Most of my commentary will be negative, partly because the books are so badly written and partly because it’s just fun to hate on something everyone loves. However, I always give credit where due, and there are some elements Rowling put in that I really liked. I actually enjoyed the second book.

Harry Potter is one of those things where the fundamentalists were right but for the wrong reasons. Harry Potter isn’t going to make your kids want to try the occult unless they already have a strong inclination towards that. However, they are still rot for kids’ minds.

For one thing, the storytelling is terrible. The main characters are flat and act however the plot needs them to, and the plot is mostly expository dialogue. More than that — I would argue, underpinning and causing the bad writing — the moral framework of the books is horrible. But it’s not like The Fault In Our Stars or The Disney Channel where the problems are overt. The morality of narcissism in Harry Potter is very subtle though heavy and pervasive. I think if my mother had read the whole series through, she would not have picked up on 95% of the actual worldview problems in these books.

And this is of course what sells. Harry Potter holds the mirror up to our own ugly society, which is why most readers and concerned parents totally missed the actual moral rot and focused on the red herring of the occult. Davis Aurini recently said that if you want to make a best-selling novel, put Harry Potter and and 50 Shades of Grey into a blender and add some high fructose corn syrup, and whatever is the outcome will make you insanely wealthy.

This commentary is written assuming the reader has already read the books, but friends who haven’t read them have told me they really like what I have to say. So I’m compiling them here for you, beloved reader. So far I’ve only gotten through the sixth book, but I should be finished with the seventh in time. I’ll post one book’s commentary a week.

From here, I will allow the commentary to speak for itself.

*****
I wasn’t allowed to read Harry Potter as a child. Finally when I was 17 or 18 I saw the first movie at my cousin’s house and was sorely disappointed. For one thing, it wasn’t occultlike at all. But most of all, the ending was absolutely terrible. The power of love melts the wicked witch? Not long after, I read the book, which was equally terrible, and I got bored a third of the way through the second book and quit. I’ve seen a few bits and pieces of the movies. I’m told the later books are better.

Now that I’ve finished A Series of Unfortunate Events, I’m going through Harry Potter on audiobook. I’ve finished the first chapter, and it’s even more of a turd than I remember. What sticks out the most is that the dialogue is absolutely terrible. And if I remember correctly, the characters only act as the plot needs them to and not how a normal human with a full range of emotions would actually act.

No matter how terrible it gets, I’ll slog all the way through the series and keep you updated. Now that Rowling has informed us that Dumbledore is gay, I’m sure his affectionate chats with Harry will seem more like grooming. I guess that’s how the ancient Greeks did mentorship.

“Muggle” sounds like a racial slur. I’m pretty sure that if I called the blacks at work “nuggles” they would not appreciate that at all. And “Hogwarts” sounds like the the worst STD in the world.

*****

Finally at the end of The Sorcerer’s Stone. Just a few minor details that need to wrap up, but it’s the nature of an audiobook that you never finish the book right when you need to.

The world Rowling created has some genuinely clever and creative features. I thought using the mirror’s natural properties of showing what one desires most as a means of hiding the stone was a nice touch. The small details about dragons and centaurs and quidditch sprinkled throughout added a lot.

The prose style is horrible. Especially the attempts at humor. “What happened down there is a strict secret, so of course everyone knows.” I get that she made more money writing than I will ever see, but that just shows that our society rewards mediocrity. That 50 Shades of Grey lady made a killing too.

The characters are flat and uninteresting. The only reason I have to care about Harry is because the author told me to. “The good guys” have no real flaws, and “the bad guys” have no nuance, so I have no ability to like or hate any of these people.

For example, Malfoy is both evil and a coward. Cowards usually aren’t interesting. If some part of me doesn’t like him, then he is just annoying. So I don’t feel any kind of dread when he comes into play.

The part about Harry’s mother’s love burning Quirrel (I also hate all the made-up words) was so forced, as though she’s the only mother who ever truly loves her child or that this is the first time someone that is pure hatred has met someone that is pure love…or something. It wasn’t clear. Was Quirrel on Voldemort’s team because he was greedy or because he was full of hatred? Whom did he hate and why? It seemed to say that he was just trying to side with the winner.

Why did Harry’s mother love him extra? Is it just the animalistic way a mother loves a child, or was she the most noble saint in the world? Are none of the other wizards capable of real love? What capacity did she love him more beyond mere self-sacrifice?

On the whole, it’s a good book for outcast ten year olds, which seem to be the target demographic. Loser kid at school who hates his family is secretly super famous and popular and wealthy and talented, and he’s whisked away to a different place where everything is now the opposite. Harry, who used to be the punching bag in regular England, is mediocre at his magic classes except that he’s a super star athlete. It’s like the whole book is written as escapism for bookworm kids with divorced parents, and I think that’s far more dangerous than any vague occult leanings.

As for Christians’ concerns that it could lead to the occult, I can see it in there, but it could be resolved with a simple conversation with your kids that this book is a fairy tale and there are real life people who claim to do similar things but they are deceived by demons and so it’s important to never try real magic.

More concerning is how it encourages suicide. “To the well-tuned mind, death is just the next great adventure.” That’s so emo. How did the fundamentalists miss that one?

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The Highest Value Is What Drives The Ideology

Whatever is the highest value of your ideology is what you will pursue at all costs. We pretend to have a variety of morals and values that are stacked against each other, but really we only have one from which all others flow. Usually said value is a bit hard to define, but it is the cornerstone of the value system. Even if many adherents don’t follow the value, the value is still what drives the ideology as a whole.

And of course, very often this value is more implicit instead of explicit.

Orthodox Christianity: Sanctification

The fasting, the repetitive didactic hymns, the icons, the funky way the clergy look. Everything is about achieving sanctification. This is why there’s such a big focus on martyrs and monastics.

It’s also why there’s a kind of fundamentalism about doctrinal purity. ”And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.” (1 John 5.6) Right doctrine is seen as essential for right practice which in turn causes right mindset (ie, correct glory, ie ortho-doxia). We’ll never have pop music in worship, because it’s not conducive to sanctification. We like things that are long and boring.

And yeah, of course it sounds like I’m trying to trumpet my own ideology. So I’m not going to spend too much time on this one.

Protestant Christianity: Evangelism

Protestants would totally deny this, but most of them do not have a theology of sanctification beyond that it just exists. Because they do not have an internal morality, they must only have an external. So they say that the reason why God doesn’t take you to heaven right after you are saved is so that you can get other people saved.

Therefore, there is a kind of guilt trip if you aren’t constantly sharing your faith with the person behind the deli counter. To those of you who did not grow up in evangelicalism, this may look like fanaticism, but it’s actually rooted in a deep desire to make sure people don’t go to the fire-and-brimstone brand of Hell.

This explains all the fireworks and cheerleaders and bad pop music on Sunday morning. Evangelicals have become allergic to anything formulaic or old or beautiful, because loud and fun is what gets people saved.

This is also why protestants are opposed to monasticism. For them, Christianity is about converting others more than an internal transformation, and searching deep into your soul and weeping over your sins in the quiet of the mountain isn’t conducive to that at all. Or at least, all internal transformations are about how to better treat others instead of cull away your own narcissism.

Which, all things considered, isn’t nearly as bad of a value as the others on this list.

As for mainline protestantism, just substitute social justice.

Catholic Christianity: Tribalism

Matt Forney told me one time that Catholicism isn’t a religion but just a tribe. Once I began to view Catholicism like that, everything made sense.

For a lot of us non-Catholics, the Catholic Church is totally baffling. On one hand, they say they oppose homosexuality, but then their universities have drag shows on campus. They oppose birth control, but most Catholics use it anyway. They insist on priests’ celibacy but tolerate the priest having a girlfriend. Most Catholics I’ve met don’t know what they believe, don’t care, and aren’t interested in sharing it with you.

Because it’s just a tribe. As long as you have the label of Catholic, it doesn’t really matter what you believe or do. This comes from the emphasis on one centralized, globalist administrative figurehead.

There’s some overlap here with the protestants’ focus on evangelism. The old high mass is stuffy and outdated (because apparently Christianity isn’t timeless or transcends all cultures). They need a doo wop mass with the priest dressed as a clown in order to keep the tribe happy.

Socialism/Feminism/Black Activism: Equality

All of these are forms of Marxism. The Marxist will lie, cheat, steal, murder, and rape in order to achieve equality.

Why do feminists try to paper over Muslim rape? Because it’s more important to knock the white race off our high horse. And by “white race”, I mean “people who look like the liberal’s father”.

Communism always kills. Sometimes it takes longer than others, but eventually socialism always leads to murder. The socialist will either accept this conclusion or will leave the ideology altogether, hence why the Democratic Party is collapsing.

If someone claims to be a socialist, I automatically assume they are a dishonest person. At the bare minimum, they are intellectually dishonest. They actually think voter fraud is impossible.

Also, this is why you should never take blacks seriously when they talk about justice. Their idea of justice is murdering you and stealing your stuff. At the same time, the Ben Carsons of the black race should be rewarded with affirmation and attention in order to encourage the behavior.

Islam: Supremacy

I’m not sure there is a perfect word to summarize the highest value of Islam. It’s not quite “submission”, because most Muslims don’t really believe or follow Muslim teachings and there is a lot of room for syncreticism. It’s not quite “nominal adherence”, because otherwise they wouldn’t murder cartoonists and critics. So let’s go with “supremacy”.

Islam seeks to rule the world. It’s more of a political ideology than a religion. As long as you nominally submit, they’ll accept you. Turks drink ouzo and Syrians pray to St George, but they still get to be Muslims.

And there’s no tolerance for dissent from the label. You can dissent within the label, but don’t you dare point out that Mohammed was such a loser that he had to marry a 40 year old widow before he could get his rocks off.

That’s why they will bury any evidence that the Koran, like all ancient books, isn’t perfectly preserved and has several variants. Their scholars know this is true, but like good Marxists they perfectly employ doublethink and squash any fact that might make their underlings have less than blind unquestioning faith.

Somewhat off topic, could you imagine getting a PhD in Islamic theology? Like at the equivalent of Christian seminary? They don’t even really have a theology. It’s just “God is one, and he’s a distant non-father figure.”

Eastern Religions: ???

So I know these have a technical theology of sorts about karma and nirvana and avoiding pain and pleasure and violence. But practically they don’t seem to really follow it. Maybe we’ve all just been given a skewed view of it from George Harrison. I wanted to take Eastern Religions in college, but the class always filled up quickly, and my senior year I had a class conflict.

Also, karma is probably the worst morality system ever. You’re just doing the right thing because you can get some trinkets for it? It’s like Islam minus the murder and rape.

Atheism: Pleasure

Yeah, hate me in the comments section. You’re just angry at God because he didn’t give you the perfect hedonist paradise you demand.

“How could God allow innocent people to suffer?” Uh, because it’s only through suffering that you gain strength. Sorry that God didn’t want you to be sedated like some 25 year old pothead binge watching Rick and Morty all day. I know it’s a revolutionary idea, but God has intended for there to be more meaning for your life than buying a bigger tv or jacking off into your second-hand wife who — probably rightly — thinks her job at a cut-rate daycare is the most meaningful thing in her life.

Why do women have to spend hours applying makeup and wear painful shoes and carefully watch every calorie they eat? Why were British rock bands better than American? Why is genius so often associated with negligent parents, mental illness, and substance abuse? Because all beauty comes through suffering. And that’s why atheism always produces fragmented, ugly art.

The Aztecs Could Have Avoided Deportation

I saw an article a few weeks ago where a gaggle of illegal immigrants were protesting outside Paul Ryan’s church. Mexico might be famous for its violent revolutions mixing the religious and political, but here in America, disrupting a church service to make a political point is almost as bad as disrupting a funeral. Some things are still sacred. Or perhaps, for better or worse, we just have a sense that politics and religion should be kept separate. Our revolution opened the doors for religious expression instead of suppressing it.

This is why the Aztecs are getting deported. They act badly. The mass of crime and drugs is quantifiable, but what cannot be measured is the general brutish behavior most of them exhibit. If they just laid low and kept things subtle, no one would really care that they are here. Sure, give us your huddled masses and take the jobs we don’t want anyway. Just have the good grace to not piss on us as we hold the door open for you. After all, Colonel Tom Parker was never deported.

It’s like when you are a child and are staying up past your bedtime watching the television while your parents are busy, and instead of keeping quiet, you go ask them for a snack, and then they remember to send you to bed. It’s your fault for not keeping quiet while living on borrowed time. Every one of these DACA recipients and barrio rats knew very well that their de facto amnesty might end one day, and if they haven’t planned for the worst, then that’s their own fault. I might have more sympathy for them if they were getting blindsided, but all Trump is doing is enforcing the rules that have always been in place.

This bad behavior also why most Hispanic voters, including those who voted Hillary, support deportation. The way the off-the-boat Aztecs act make everyone from Latin America look bad.

Some Aztecs have been in this country for four generations, and they are just like you and me. They have a wife and 2.3 kids, a house in a white flight school district, and a boring job at a bank. And they absolutely hate the stereotype of the Mexican covered in dirt and sweat who speaks in Spanish just to anger the nationals who are hosting him against their will.

So the Aztecs have brought this on themselves. Protesting in front of a church just makes you an eyesore. It makes you look like garbage that needs to be disposed of. And any public protesting from them implies that they have the ability to vote, which is another reason red state America wants them gone. The border-jumpers aren’t Americans, they don’t work alongside us in our communities, and they don’t share our values and dreams, regardless of whether they occupy the same patch of dirt. They need to be dumped back into the landfill that is Central America.

Off topic, it turns out Paul Ryan is Catholic. I would have guessed Lutheran. There’s a lot of krauts in Wisconsin. ELCA may be too liberal for the optics, and I’m sure all of their members vote Democrat, but he doesn’t have the integrity to go WELS.

Catholicism is inherently globalist. It’s one-size-fits-all Christianity with a central administration that can’t be bothered to care about your community’s culture. Of course the pope is an open borders socialist. Of course Catholic universities sponsor drag shows. Of course Paul Ryan is Catholic.

I Miss Amy Schumer

Circa three years ago, I binged watched Amy Schumer on Youtube on the law school’s internet after hours. At the time, she was so horribly misogynistic, self-hating, and, dare I say, red-pilled, that some part of me wanted to just give her a sympathy hug and tell her everything wasn’t lost. I even posted a video of hers on one of my ROK articles.

Like, how is this possibly feminism?

Her ultimate flaw is all to common. She took the media too seriously. She had to pretend to be a feminist, but her real fans didn’t care about all that. That’s just the loud vocal minority. At heart, she was a patriarchal woman-hating right-wing fanatic, and it was awesome.

But then she became a real feminist, with all the victim blaming and overly simple narratives. And with the “don’t rape women” and “medieval marriages were awful” comedy videos — even though rape isn’t supposed to be funny — she threw away any talent she had, bragging about her grossly sexual past instead of self flagellating over it.

Granted, her career implosion was inevitable. You can only make the same three jokes for so long before it tires out. But at least she used to be honest about what a reprehensible, totally vapid human being she was.

I miss Amy Schumer. I feel betrayed. I get that every entertainer has a few bad years, and I understand that Jewish comedians usually have a shelf life of three or four years. But it felt like “we” had some almost-ally ascending in the mainstream. She took everything that made her famous, and as soon as she hit it big, she turned her back on it all, and now she complains that she doesn’t have a career anymore.

Apparently she is exactly the kind of vapid human waste she always pretended to be.

Why the Vikings’ Descendants are Weak and Cowardly

People wonder how Scandinavia could go from so excessively masculine to such whimpering socialist losers today. Sweden seems to be especially suicidal. Why don’t they just fight off the invading Muslim horde with brute force like their pagan, thunder-worshipping, metal-guitar-playing, fight-all-day-and-feast-all-night, Beowulf ancestors did?

Because their ancestors were never anything more than entitled, lazy leftwing terrorists. The Vikings used physical force to rob people and spread it out. Their modern descendants use taxes and hate speech laws to rob people and spread it out. Scandinavians are socialists because you (usually) can’t appreciate what you don’t earn.

The Vikings and the Mongols weren’t masculine. They never built anything; they just took from others. If masculinity is power, then masculinity involves creation, reforming the world into your image. Vikings and Mongols were as masculine as the common American hood rat decked out in fake gold jewelry and bright shoes, singing about murder and pimping and how popular he is while living on food stamps and Section 8 housing. 

Sneaking up in a longboat and ransacking a pacifist monastery or tiny fishing village is as masculine as a pack of wild negroes flash mob robbing a convenience store. Like hitting someone in the back of the head and running off, which is the favorite fighting tactic in the ghetto. Taking advantage of white Christians’ gentle nature and fear of feral people to make a quick buck and then doing it again the next week because they already wasted it.

None of that has anything to do with conquering inner demons and becoming a fully emotionally developed human being. It’s just truncated masculinity that takes the outer appearances of masculinity and treats it as the inner essence. For the Vikings, that was the roughness. For the modern Scandinavians, it’s the other half, the ability to change the world and bring justice (in the screwed up way they see it). Ultimately none of it satisfies or makes society better, so when one side fails, they lean towards the other side. Grassroots militiae aside, the ideological climate of Scandinavia is suicide in the name of justice. It’s pure externals.

In total fairness, the Scandinavians at least admit how…morally flexible…they are. Germanic people have a lot of flaws, but if nothing else, they are not shifty. They never stab you in the back. They stab you in the front and then demand you thank them for it. Everything that ever went wrong with Western Europe can be traced, directly or indirectly, to the Germanic nations on the continent, and I suppose that’s the real source of both Germanic supremacism and Germanic white guilt.

They may have cheated their way to the top by sabotaging everyone else, but they don’t pitch a fit like the Jews and negroes every time someone points out their history. The Germans will gladly take the credit for socialism if the Jews don’t want it. Whether the Germans are the greatest nation ever or the absolute worst, either way they are the center of the world’s history, and being the last loser is close enough to being a winner to satisfy their “former teen pop star”-esque ego.

Advice for a New Convert to the Orthodox Church

Recently I had my fifth anniversary of my reception into the Orthodox Church (plus almost a year of catechism, for better or worse). Some people didn’t think I would make it this far. I am officially no longer a “new convert” and am now allowed to use that term as an insult.

Now that I’m old and wise, what advice would I give to a new convert?

1. The best jurisdiction is whichever one whose glaring flaws are most easy to ignore. That will vary with each person and in each reason.
2. Yes, Orthodoxy is racial and kind of anti-semitic, and no, that doesn’t mean we’re about to torch a synagogue. If you wanted something to fit your modern western sensibilities, you wouldn’t have joined the Eastern Cult. Beware of any priest who tries to deny the glaring obvious.
3. Some racial things within Orthodoxy will automatically bump you the Anglo convert to second class. Most of these are easy to ignore, so it’s best to just accept it. If you wanted something to fit your modern western sensibilities, you wouldn’t have joined the Eastern Cult. We’re not socialists, so everything doesn’t have to be perfectly fair.
4. Don’t demand everything change immediately after you join. Most likely, you shouldn’t demand that anything change until you’ve been there for a few years.
5. If you must complain, then at least complain about things that matter. The priest truncating services or skipping Saturday vespers is a decent thing to complain about. The sign saying “Greek Orthodox” or the liturgy being in 5% dead language is not a good thing to complain about.
6. Cradle and converts are not inherently better than one another. Each have good tendencies and bad tendencies. Don’t get too caught up in these distinctions. It really doesn’t matter. And be cautious about anyone who does care.
7. Most healthy parishes in 21st century America will have a mix of both converts and cradle, and the difference between the two won’t be easy to tell. Be extremely suspicious of any church that is entirely convert or entirely cradle, though there are definite exceptions.
8. Most stereotypes about converts are really about the Episcopal Orthodox, and the cradle Orthodox will assume all converts act like these washed-up hippies. Avoid the Episcopal Orthodox with extreme prejudice, especially if they didn’t bother to leave the sinking ship of the Anglican Communion until the 1980s even though bishops began openly preaching heresy in the 1960s. They bring with them the same progressive ideological garbage that ruined Anglicanism and demand everyone to accept it as Holy Tradition. The Episcopal Orthodox will stab you in the back at the first sign of refusing to validate their ego and then expect you to thank them for it. There are almost no exceptions to this. Former Lutherans are probably the same way.
9. A close cousin of the Episcopal Orthodox is the “Geek Orthodox”. These are losers who became Orthodox so that they could find an identity to live vicariously through. They have the emotional development of an eight-year-old, and they will pitch an absolute fit if you upset them on any issue ever, especially if you insult their favorite tv show. It’s best to leave them alone in their misery. There are a fair amount of exceptions to this stereotype, but it applies some 90% of the time. Common signs are a Facebook profile picture of a saint, making everyone call them by their saint name, and male soft feminism.
10. Everything you hated about protestantism will be found in Orthodoxy. So you’re not getting as much of an upgrade as you thought. The reality is that we humans are all petty selfish people.
11. Your priest is probably a talentless hack who just wants an easy job that doesn’t have any real work but carries a lot of social status. In this sense the priesthood is a lot like the legal profession. This is especially true if he doesn’t have a full M.Div or a B.Th from an actual Orthodox seminary.
12. Any priest or monk who craves your admiration or obedience is worthy of neither. This is true whether on internet radio or at your local parish or monastery. The difficulty in finding a real-life saint is that a saint, by definition, tries to avoid attention.
13. Be cautious of a priest who insisted on having his own parish in his own hometown, especially if there is another Orthodox parish nearby. This kind of priest is playing dress-up. He values the laity for the affirmation they can provide him and will throw napalm on anyone who is a threat to the narcissistic narrative he has carefully crafted. Daydreaming is a poisonous vice. (see #9 and #11 above)
14. The role of the priest is — or at least should be — only that of a guy who reads prayers. If he’s a gifted Bible teacher or pastoral counselor, that is just gravy. In America we expect our priests to act like Baptist pastors. In general it does not matter who your priest is, so long as you don’t expect too much from him and he doesn’t expect too much from you.
15. Never trust a man who does not have enemies.
16. Don’t make an enemy of your priest if you can avoid it, anymore than you would make an enemy of your real father. It’s generally best to side with him and support him. I know of a small mission parish where the diocese subsidized a full-time priest. The people didn’t like him because he was socially awkward, so they waged a vendetta and had him removed. And they never got a replacement priest and have been on a rotating cast of substitutes for the last several years and probably will for many more.
17. They lied to you in catechism in order to get you to convert. They says things like, “We have a bottom-up power structure where the hierarchy is accountable to the people,” and, “Orthodox Christians agree on all the essentials and only disagree on a few minor issues.” In actuality, your opinion doesn’t matter at all to the organization you are now supposed to support financially, and the only things the Orthodox agree on is the Creed and the Octoechos. Whatever your priest tells you beyond the Creed, you can be sure that there’s another priest teaching the opposite. And it doesn’t matter what language the liturgy is in, because it’s the same every week and it’s your responsibility to educate yourself.
18. The longer you’re Orthodox, the more you will realize you don’t know anything about Orthodoxy. And hopefully you’ll realize how much most of the knowledge doesn’t matter. A lot of converts spend a lifetime collecting bits of knowledge like an old spinster collects cookie jars.
19. There are eight (or perhaps nine) ecumenical councils, not seven. Kallistos Ware is an idiot (for several reasons). He’s revered because he was a first but not because he actually has anything of value to say.
20. If someone claims that Augustine is not a saint or that perhaps we should consider re-instating woman deaconesses or that Genesis must be just an allegory or that female saints are somehow feminist career girls or that we should re-write the anti-semitic hymns or that Fr Seraphim Rose was a heretic, then you should ignore anything they say on any topic ever. These people are at worst innovators, trying to remake the church back into their own image, and at best just speaking out of ignorance.
21. Ignore anything that comes out of Fordham University’s Eastern Christian Studies department. Really, you should ignore anything anyone outside the Orthodox Church has to say about the Orthodox Church. It is as impossible for an outsider to understand Orthodoxy, even when trying their best, as it is for an ethnic cradle Orthodox to understand how evangelical protestantism works. Even if the author is Orthodox, you should be extremely hesitant about anything published by the Catholics. They are sodomites and liberals. Ancient Faith Radio and Publishing isn’t much better
22. You may have a natural curiosity about this new ideology you have come to believe in, and you will go to various authority figures asking difficult questions. Instead of admitting they don’t know the answers, they will throw insults at you like, “You’re a new convert and don’t know what you’re talking about,” or, “You are not really Orthodox.” They are projecting their own insecurities onto you.
23. Eventually you will want to leave or just became a “Christmas and Easter only Christian.” If you tough it out, it will be worth it in later years. Whenever someone in the church stabs you in the back, view it as an opportunity to learn patience and silently thank them for it.
24. You will be tempted to care about the various jurisdictional politics. But none of this matters. Power is spread so thin that very few if any bishops actually have any. Most bishops are glorified office workers who secretly hate their lives.
25. Greek girls are sluts. There’s a reason for the phrase “doing it Greek.” You’ve been warned.
26. You will go back to your protestant friends and mentors and share the good news that you’ve finally found the New Testament Church, like Philip telling Nathanael that he’s finally found the Messiah. And they won’t care. You can give them all the reasons in the world and expose their double standards, and it will just make them hate you more. This will make you deeply disappointed and hurt, but if you thought protestantism actually worked, then you wouldn’t have joined the Eastern Cult. The reality is that your protestant friends have always sucked, and now the light and truth is being shone on them.
27. Even if you are not the argumentative type, you will still lose your protestant friends. Every friendship has some kind of foundation. For your protestant friends, it’s certain core beliefs that you no longer believe in. Even if they are totally accepting of Orthodoxy, you will no longer be able to take them seriously as Christians, and they will notice and resent you for it. This will be slow and painful, but if you thought protestantism actually worked, you wouldn’t have joined the Eastern Cult. Your protestant friends have always sucked, and you’ve always known it.
28. You will have some somewhat embarrassing stories from the first few years. Don’t let it weigh you down. Daydreaming, whether forward or in reverse, is a poisonous vice.
29. External things like icons and prayer rules and prayer ropes and fasting and bows and kissing each other on the cheek are all just useful tools and a means to the end. None of them are essential. Frankly, I almost never kiss icons anymore. These things are good to do, but they shouldn’t be obsessed over.
30. The fullness of the Church is in each local parish altar. You don’t have to go on a grand pilgrimage to Moscow or a monastery to find full Orthodoxy, and you don’t have to read deep theological works. It already exists in Your Town, USA. Token gestures of pan-Orthodoxy are over-rated.

Don’t Hate the Aztecs

I’ve quit referring to Mexicans as Hispanic, because they aren’t. The ones that come here are Aztecs and Mayans. Most of them don’t have any European ancestry at all. Culturally, I have more in common with black Americans than these allegedly Spanish-descent people. And a lot of them aren’t from Mexico but further south in Central America.

Anyway, I don’t blame the Aztecs for coming here, but they shouldn’t blame me for wanting them gone.

If you lived in the absolute shit hole that is Mexico, wouldn’t you do the same thing? Wouldn’t you shift your morals around a little and take up residence in south Phoenix? Easy access to healthcare and food, free school, and plenty of work. It’s the American dream. Or at least, it’s the Mexican dream, never fulfilled in their history. These people are refugees.

And I want them gone. The full Andrew Jackson treatment and then some. Yeah, it’s not fair to be brought here by your parents at the age of four and then forcibly removed to a third world country.

But if you search the Bible, fairness is never mentioned, because it’s an impossible goal. It’s also not fair for our country to have a major cultural and political overhaul just because the Mexican government is broken. We will never even the scales and achieve perfect fairness for everyone.

So quit lecturing me about compassion. The Aztecs coming here don’t seem to have much compassion themselves. In my experience (because I’ve worked a lot of grunt jobs), 10% of Aztecs are super nice people and the other 90% are complete assholes. As much as I hate on blacks, I would rather work with a pack of dindus than a gaggle of Aztecs. The blacks can get along with whites if they feel in the mood, but Aztecs will actively try to run you off and make you quit the job.

You can’t harm one group of people in the name of compassion for a different group. Even if none of the white people want jobs in frame carpentry and landscaping, the influx of low skill laborers in some jobs lowers the wages of all low skill laborers. If there was a sudden hole in the concrete business, it would siphon workers from Walmart, and Walmart would have to raise wages to keep turnover low.

More than that, it’s the major cultural shift. I think the jobs thing is just an easy thing to vocalize, but that’s not what truly bothers people. After all, I don’t want to clean houses or work in a 110ºF restaurant kitchen. How the massive influx of Aztecs makes a major cultural shift and why I the individual cares is difficult to articulate, especially in our culture where we have to pretend we aren’t racist.

But if you want one clear reason to end the argument so you can just walk away from the liberal who keeps interrupting you before you can make your point because today’s society (old and young) doesn’t have an attention span beyond 140 characters, here you go: “Most Mexicans vote Democrat.”

After all, that’s the main reason the liberals want them here. They are trying to stack the electorate. So I’ll play that game too. “The last thing this country needs is more Democrat voters.” It’s also nice because it’s a direct insult to the person trying to lecture you about morality.

And that’s really the point. Don’t hate the Aztecs. Hate the liberals who destroy everything traditional and foundational for the sake of destroying, and hate the Republicans (both voters and politicians) too cowardly to take a stand for what they really believe. Hate “those that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20). Hate the people who enable the Aztecs to bring what ruined Mexico to America.

The Aztecs are just going to act like Aztecs. No surprise there. The real villains are the Americans who don’t act like Americans.