Unorthodox: Matt Parrott, Orthodoxy, and Ethno-Nationalism

By Todd Lewis

In my last run-in with Matt Parrott, his response included this cute section:

“I’m not a sola scriptura Protestant, so I’ve got a couple millennia of applied Christian tribalism and nationalism to lean on, but I’ll be a good sport here and play by his Anabaptist house rules”

This gem, coupled with a recent series of articles on Counter-Currents (CC) about the history of Russia from an ethno-nationalist perspective, I thought about this question: Is the history of the Orthodox Church friendly toward ethno-nationalism? The answer is…of course not.

This paper will be an attempt to tease out the dialectical contradictions within Matt Parrott’s strange ideological brew. The main bone of contention will be miscegenation. Does the Orthodox Church condemn or allow racial mixing? Does the Orthodox Church condemn ethno-nationalism? Matt Parrott is required to say the Church does not[1]. From the perspective of Matt Parrott, nations should be constructed upon ethnic grounds i.e., Syrians and Greeks should not be allowed to live in the same state. I will show that the Orthodox Church is not a tribal religion, unlike the ancient Hebrew faith, but is a global imperial faith and as such must of necessity condemn miscegenation.

If Mr. Parrott insists that the Orthodox Church has a history of tribalism, then he needs a refresher course on Orthodox history. The first example of an Eastern Orthodox political system was the imperial system of Rome. The universal scope of the Eastern Church was encapsulated in the imperial motto, “One God, one Lord, one faith, one church, one empire, one emperor.” This imperial system was perpetuated by the Muscovite state in the mid-15th century with its official origin with the panegyric written by Philotheus of Pskov to Grand Duke Vasili III. From its origins, the nature of Byzantine political order was universal and imperial; by definition, anti-tribal. The Russian documentary film, Fall of an Empire – The Lesson of Byzantium, produced by Russian Greek-Orthodox Archimandrite Tikhon, specifically argues that the Byzantine state began to fall when the local Slavic nations of Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece ceased to be identified with the dominant imperial culture (Roman) and instead identified with their own ethno-national identity. So, unless Mr. Parrott seeks to whitewash 1600 years of Byzantine and Russian history, he would have to admit that throughout most of the history of the Orthodox Church, the spirit of imperialism was the norm.

The political order that Eusebius had in mind was far from petty tribal nationalism. From his Oration in Praise of Constantine we find such verses:

“As soon, then, as the Supreme Sovereign had thus connected his own eternity by these cords of wisdom with the annual circle, he committed it to the guidance of a mighty Governor, even his only begotten Word, to whom, as the Preserver of all creation, he yielded the reins of universal power. And he, receiving this inheritance as from a beneficent Father, and uniting all things both above and beneath the circumference of heaven in one harmonious whole, directs their uniform course; providing with perfect justice whatever is expedient for his rational creatures on the earth, appointing its allotted limits to human life, and granting to all alike permission to anticipate even here the commencement of a future existence.”[2]

“In the same manner is the universal reign of our victorious emperor distinguished by the giver of all good, and now enters on a new sphere of blessing, accomplishing, at present, this tricennalian festival, but reaching forward beyond this to far more distant intervals of time, and cherishing the hope of future blessings in the celestial kingdom; where, not a single sun, but infinite hosts of light surround the Almighty Sovereign, each surpassing the splendor of the sun, glorious and resplendent with rays derived from the everlasting source of light.”[3]

“At the same time one universal power, the Roman empire, arose and flourished, while the enduring and implacable hatred of nation against nation was now removed: and as the knowledge of one God, and one way of religion and salvation, even the doctrine of Christ, was made known to all mankind; so at the self-same period, the entire dominion of the Roman empire being vested in a single sovereign, profound peace reigned throughout the world. And thus, by the express appointment of the same God, two roots of blessing, the Roman empire, and the doctrine of Christian piety, sprang up together for the benefit of men.”[4]

“And surely this must appear a wondrous fact to those who will examine the question in the love of truth, and desire not to cavil at these blessings. The falsehood of demon superstition was convicted: the inveterate strife and mutual hatred of the nations was removed: at the same time One God, and the knowledge of that God, were proclaimed to all: one universal empire prevailed; and the whole human race, subdued by the controlling power of peace and concord, received one another as brethren, and responded to the feelings of their common nature.”[5]

There is not a shred of Mr. Parrott’s alleged two thousand years of tribalism in here, and here of all places we find the foundation of the Orthodox political order. We see from John Meyendorff that the totality of the Byzantine political project was universal, not tribal, in nature:

“The great dream of Byzantine civilization was a universal Christian society administered by the emperor and spiritually guided by the Church. This idea obviously combined Roman and Christian universalisms in one single socio-political program.”[6]

More could be said on the universal salvific nature of the Byzantine Imperial model, but suffice it to say enough information has been produced to destroy Mr. Parrott’s flimsy claim of thousands of years of Orthodox tribal nationalism. To be clear, there was nationalism, but it was imperial Roman and Russian nationalism, not petty tribal nationalism. Mr. Parrott might appeal to the petty Balkan states of Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Greece for examples of Orthodox nationalism. Firstly, they are latecomers after the second millennium A.D.; secondly, rejecting the dominant Roman culture in the name of petty tribal identities led to the collapse of the Byzantine Empire; thirdly, when the Bulgarian Church got ideas like Mr. Parrott’s into their heads, their actions were condemned as phyletism by the 1872 Synod of Constantinople. For the sake of clarification, let’s reproduce a section from said Synod:

“We renounce, censure and condemn racism, that is racial discrimination, ethnic feuds, hatreds and dissensions within the Church of Christ, as contrary to the teaching of the Gospel and the holy canons of our blessed fathers which “support the holy Church and the entire Christian world, embellish it and lead it to divine godliness.””

As a follower of the Orthodox Church, that should be the end of it for Mr. Parrott; but it is not, since his indentitarian beliefs compel him to disagree with official Orthodox doctrine. From Ancient Faith Radio, Fr. Peter defines what Phyletism is:

“Phyletism is, again, placing one’s worldly identity, identity as a pilgrim in this world, above his identity as a member of the Kingdom of Heaven, as a baptized Christian who is no longer a member of this world, first and foremost, but is a member of the Kingdom of Heaven. And we have the words of the Apostle Paul, which we all I’m sure know, but which is good to recall. “There is neither Jew nor Greek for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” And just before that he says: “You are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized in Christ, have put on Christ.””[7]

Rev. Fr. Stephane Bighamhere says also:

“Phyletism is the name of an ecclesiological heresy which says that the Church can be territorially organized on an ethnic, racial, or cultural basis so that within a given geographic territory, there can exist several Church jurisdictions, directing their pastoral care only to the members of specific ethnic groups. A Church council in 1872 officially defined and condemned this heresy. It reacted to a proposition made by Bulgarians of the Patriarchate of Constantinople who wanted to establish a Church jurisdiction, sanctioned by the Turkish government, on the territory of the Patriarchate: The formation in the same place of a particular [local] Church based on race which only receives faithful of that same ethnic group and is run by pastors of only of the same ethnic group, as the adherents of Phyletism claim, is an event without precedent.”[8]

I guess Mr. Parrott really does not understand that ‘all one in Christ’ thing when he divides the Orthodox by seeking to prevent miscegenation. I supposes Mr. Parrott would conclude that the reverend Fathers of the Church that day were merely crypto-Marxist, race-mixing, Jewphiles. The race of the couple is irrelevant to Orthodox marriages; all that matters is their faith. Examples of such unions of miscegenation will be produced in conjunction with information from Mr. Parrott’s friends over at Counter-Currents to show the absurdity of insisting that an Eastern Orthodox Christian can demand legal enforcement of miscegenation laws by the State.

Unions of Miscegenation and the Acceptance of Racially Diverse Leadership

I cannot hope to include all the prominent unions of miscegenation in the annals of Orthodox Christianity, but I hope to provide enough high profile examples to discredit this wooly-minded nonsense that the Orthodox Church was in favor of ethno-nationalist laws enforcing a prohibition of miscegenation. As an aside, Byzantium was founded by a Greek, Byzas, who married an Ethiopian woman named Kushet.

We begin this list of unions of miscegenation with St. Timothy, whose feast day is January 22nd. Timothy, we learn in Acts 16:1, was born of a Greek father and a Jewish mother. Gasp! Miscegenation already! The Bible must be suspect! Timothy would later become one of St. Paul’s closest confidants as well as Bishop of Ephesus. If Orthodox Christianity was ethno-nationalist, would they have included Timothy in the Bible[9] or portrayed him as such a positive character?

The Co-Emperor of the Byzantine Empire, Tiberios, was the issue of Justinian II and Theodora of Khazaria (she was, ahem, a Khazar). However, Tiberios’ life was ultimately cut short by a murderous intrigue in 711.

We see another hero of Byzantine Christianity who was born of a forbidden union between a Greek and a Khazar, Leo IV “Khazar.” Leo’s father Constantine V was an iconoclast, an easy out for Mr. Parrott (he was a “heretic,” so who cares, right?); but his son repented of his father’s errors and began the work of decriminalizing iconography which his wife Irene would complete.

Constantine Doukas, Co-Emperor between 1074-1078 and 1081-88, was the issue of Michael VII Doukas and Maria of Alania.

We see the first Christian king of Armenia (by Mr. Parrott’s standards, white), Mirian III (a Persian), who married two Iberians, Abeshura and Nana (but white by Mr. Parrott’s standards), tut-tut ladies. Yes, classically Persians were considered Aryans, but would Mr. Parrott want an Iranian in-law? That might run afoul of his miscegenation laws.

Caught in a double sin we have in the person of Abram Petrovich Gannibal, who committed the wretched sins of…gasp…interracial adoption and miscegenation! Gannibal was kidnapped by Turkish slavers at the age of seven in 1703. He was ransomed in 1704 by the orders of Leo Tolstoy’s great-grandfather Pyotr Andreyevich Tolstoy. He was then given as a gift to Peter the Great. Being Tsar of all Russia, he must have been “ignorant” of the finer points of Christian racial consciousness, for he adopted the boy as his own. He gave him a military education from which his last name Gannibal (Russian for Hannibal) derives. He was for a time exiled to Siberia in the late 1720s, but due to his military prowess he was released. He married twice, the first ending in divorce due to the infidelity of his wife. His first marriage was to Evdokia Dioper, a Greek, and his second marriage, which was much happier (producing ten children!), was to Christina Regina Siöberg (of Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, and Brandenburger extraction). It should be noted that a sustained period of bigamy occurred before his divorce from Evdokia with Christina. His son Ivan Gannibal proved himself a competent soldier in the Russo-Ottoman War from 1768-1774. I guess Partriarch Parrott must excommunicate Tsar Peter the Great for interracial adoption and Gannibal for deflowering the white women of Europe. Too bad he was not around to advise them on “proper” Orthodox race relations.

Ivan the IV “The Terrible” married the Circassian convert Maria Temryukovna; Tsar Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria married a converted Jewess Theodora; Andronikos IV Palaiologos married Alexander of Bulgaria’s daughter Keratsa of Bulgaria. In short, if the Orthodox Church blesses a marriage that is interracial, that should be the end of it for the anti-miscegenation crowd of orthodox ethno-nationalists, but somehow I doubt it will be.

We see on Tradyouth with their article, Mix It Up: Miscegenation and the Death of a Nation, that they view miscegenation as a plot to breed whites out of existence. I guess by their own paranoia the Orthodox Church, through the Byzantine and Russian empires, must have had shared in the same vile Jewish conspiracy to breed white Greeks and Rus out of existence, a theory that as we shall see is held to by Mr. Parrott’s ethno-nationalist allies over at Counter-Currents. Before we move on to Counter-Currents, let’s address the absurdity of claiming that a church born in the Roman Empire could be tribal by nature. Empires are by their nature engines of miscegenation; the races were already too blended to even allow for a real tribal identity. As we see from Paul Veyne’s The Roman Empire:

“Before saying more on this subject, we must penetrate the secret recesses of the slave system and remind ourselves that the Roman Empire, like colonial Brazil, was an empire of miscegenation.”[10]

Martin P. Nilsson, warning in 1921 of the dangers of miscegenation, contrasts Constantinople with the Roman Empire:

“The mixed character of the population of the capital is attested by many ancient authors. We can hardly imagine the extent of the admixture; only Constantinople, the most cosmopolitan city of the world, can give us an idea of it.”[11]

It must hurt Mr. Parrott to know that the city of Orthodoxy was of all cities the most given over to miscegenation. If Mr. Parrott will still hold to the ethno-tribal roots of the Orthodox faith, I can only conclude that he has left the train of commonsense before it reached its destination of reality.

Identitarian Critique of Byzantine Christanity

The history of miscegenation within the Orthodox Church has not been ignored by Mr. Parrott’s allies on the  New Right (or was that before the kerfuffle about AmRen?) On March 7th, 2014 over at Counter-Currents, Émile Durandhad published his work, White Nationalist Delusions About Russia, where he discussed the program of miscegenation and race-mixing of the Orthodox Church in Muscovy:

“The people of Muscovy identified themselves solely as Orthodox (Pravoslavnye), and the term “Russian” was indeed completely unknown to them. Beginning with Ivan III, the grand dukes and later the tsars saw themselves as the heirs of the Orthodox Christian Byzantine Empire (hence the term “Third Rome” coined by them), and the champions of Orthodox Christianity. They were never guided by any kind of ethnic or racial identity or an idea of an ethnic state. The Orthodox Church, like all Christian churches, accepted converts of all races and blessed interracial marriages and their offspring.

From the start, then, the Russian identity was not of a white European people, but of a white, Asiatic, and mixed-race population professing Orthodox Christianity and ruled from Moscow.”[12]

More recently, Jarosław Ostrogniew has reviewed Prison of the Nation by Alexiey Shiropayev (a Russian former Fascist). Shiropayev argues that an evil cabal of Orthodox Christians, Mongols, and Bolsheviks have all conspired to destroy the Nordic-Slavic Rus in a flood of kababs and chinks. This Jew-worthy endeavor is denoted by Shiropayev as “The Program.” Jarosław Ostrogniew’s review of Prison of a Nation is written in four parts, going from the Christianization of Russia all the way to the Yeltsin years. Shiropayev gives his opinion on the Orthodox Church’s “program” of miscegenation:

“The attitude of the Russian Orthodox Church under the Mongol yoke is a very important and telling aspect of the development of the Project. The Church did to some extent resist Tatar rule, not on racial or national but on religious and political grounds. The Orthodox priesthood did not have a problem with baptizing Mongols, accepting them not only as members of the Christian-Russian community, but also as priests or monks, even making them high-ranking officials of the church and proclaiming them saints. This was in line with the policies of the multicultural Byzantine imperial tradition, which had always supported full-blown miscegenation on the condition that all parties involved are baptized.”[13]

“The Orthodox Church since its very beginning has been loyal to the imperial tradition of supporting the state — as long as it remained Orthodox. The Orthodox clergy have always been to some extent considered representatives (or defenders) of the state, and state officials have always been to some extent considered representatives (or defenders) of the Church… The Mongol yoke emphasized and developed those elements already present in the Byzantine Church.”[14]

“However, Ivan the Terrible favored Orthodox Christianity and promoted Christianization, which basically meant that the eastward expansion of Russia resulted in miscegenation, as baptized Mongols were considered to be regular members of the Orthodox society.”[15]

“the peasant and working classes were exploited by overwork, and the elites were being mixed into a “racial cocktail” under the auspices of the Orthodox Church.”[16]

“The turn of the 20th century was the climax of the imperialist Byzantine phase of the Project which was manifested by Pan-Slavism, militarism, universalistic and aggressive official rhetoric, as well as the domination of the Orthodox Church in culture, state celebrations, and everyday life. The often maligned “nationalism” of this time was in reality Eurasian imperialism. The radical imperialists disliked everyone who did not speak Russian, professed a faith different than Orthodox Christianity, or did not embrace imperialist policy. However, they had nothing against peoples of different nationalities or races who decided to become loyal subjects of the empire by accepting its language and religion. This was true not only in the case of Poles, Germans, Ukrainians, Balts, or other European nations, but also in the case of Armenians, Ugro-Finns, Mongols, Jews, and even Africans (as in the case of Abram Petrovich Gannibal, the black African great-grandfather of Aleksander Pushkin). They were not only considered regular subjects of the tsars, but they often were made noblemen and rose to the most prominent offices of the empire.”[17]

“Prison of the Nation does not cover Vladimir Putin’s era, but Shiropayev has criticized it in depth in his other writings. He considers Putin’s regime “Orthodox neo-Stalinism”: a mix of the worst elements of the Byzantine and the Bolshevik phases of the Project. It is a rule of commissars blessed by Orthodox clergy who are expanding the Empire at the cost of the white population of Russia, while promoting civic patriotism, race-mixing, alcoholism, and mysticism, since God-fearing (or rather: priest-fearing) drunk patriotards will never rebel against their overlords.”[18]

“This patriotism has a clear universalist aspect: if a person of any ethnicity can learn Russian, change his confession to the Orthodox or Communist faith, accept the Russian way of life, and become a citizen of Russian Federation (just as anyone can learn English, accept the American way of life, and become a citizen of the United States), then the Eurasian Project has no national or geographical boundaries — just as the American project has no such limits. If the Rus’, Ugro-Finns, Mongols, Tatars, Buryats, Chechenyans, Circassians, and Jews can become good Russians today, why can’t other nations (especially those in the “Russian sphere of influence”) follow this path?”[19]

While Jarosław Ostrogniew has some objections to Shiropayev’s positions, including his simplistic view of Hitler, he relies too much on esoteric literature and makes race out to be more important than it should be. In the end Mr. Ostrogniew shares Shiropayev’s fear of the Orthodox-Bolshevik-Khanate. Coming full circle, what can we say about Mr. Parrott’s predicament highlighted by the above quote:

“I’m not a sola scriptura Protestant, so I’ve got a couple millennia of applied Christian tribalism and nationalism to lean on,but I’ll be a good sport here and play by his Anabaptist house rules”

Got to love that Byzantine tribalism, right? Oops, I think he meant Byzantine miscegenation, right?

Mr. Parrott here has a conundrum: given that both the Orthodox establishment and the identitarian community admit that the Orthodox church has been a force of miscegenation, and clearly the identitarian movement view the Orthodox Church as aligned with the same Jewish project to breed whites out of existence, what exactly is he doing? Mr. Parrott should take Elijah’s advice to the Hebrews to heart and stop wavering between two opinions. Is Mr. Parrott an Orthodox entryist in the identitarian movement, or an identitarian entryist in the Orthodox Church? Either way, neither one of them seems to want him. I guess the alleged tribal credentials of the Orthodox Faith were not quite as good as Mr. Parrott thought. Often times, Matt Heimbach has bashed the Republicans for trying to play the Democrat’s game in order to gain acceptability, but in the end just fail anyhow, because the Democrats will always hate them. Well, Mr. Parrott, why are you playing by the Rubio handbook and pandering to a side that hates you? Why pander to people who just want to use you and, in the end, just throw you away? Judging by your choice of association, you’re cucked.

 

PS

You might be a cuckservative if you think that you can protect the white race by allying with the “The Program” based on the platform of wiping out the indigenous Rus and Slavs through miscegenation.

[1]“Mix it Up,” last accessed February 26, 2016,http://www.tradyouth.org/2013/07/mix-it-up/

[2] Oration in Praise of Constantine Eusebius Chapter 6.9

[3] Ibid Chapter 6.18

[4] Ibid Chapter 16.4

[5] Ibid Chapter 16.7

[6] John Meyendorff, Byzantine Theology: Historical Trends and Doctrinal Themes, Fordham University Press; 2 edition (January 1, 1999), 213

[7]“Phyletism,” last accessed February 2, 2016, http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/postcards/phyletism

[8]“The Council of Constantinople and Phyletism,” last accessed February 8, 2016,  http://ocl.org/the-1872-council-of-constantinople-and-phyletism/

[9] Since the Orthodox have the conceit that they wrote the Bible, that is, unless you ask a Roman Catholic.

[10]Paul Veyne, The Roman Empire, Belknap Press (October 1, 1997), 77

[11]“The Race Problem of the Roman Empire,” last accessed March 1, 2016, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1601-5223.1921.tb02635.x/pdf

[12] “White Nationalist Delusions about Russia,” last accessed February 6, 2016  http://www.counter-currents.com/2014/03/white-nationalist-delusions-about-russia/

[13] “Prison of the Nation Part,” last accessed February 6,  2016, http://www.counter-currents.com/2016/01/prison-of-the-nation-part-1/

[14] ibid

[15] “Prison of the Nation Part 2,” last accessed February 6, 2016 http://www.counter-currents.com/2016/01/prison-of-the-nation-part-2/ 2/6/2016

[16] ibid

[17] ibid

[18] “Prison of the Nation Part 4,” last accessed February 6, 2016, http://www.counter-currents.com/2016/02/prison-of-the-nation-part-4/

[19] ibid

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