When running errands or whatever I need to do, I listen to NPR while driving. I used to listen to Wingnut Hate Radio but, nah—no one needs to elevate their blood pressure and yell at the radio like a lunatic.
I found this topic very interesting and hope you do as well. I embedded the audio and put a snip of the article below. Enjoy!
The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia is gaining followers in the U.S. — not Russian immigrants, but American converts drawn to its emphasis on “traditional values.”
“They’re drawn to what they believe to be conservative views on things like LGBTQ rights, gender equality. Abortion is a really big issue for these folks, the culture wars issues, really,” Sarkisian said. “And so they leave other faith traditions that they don’t believe to be as stringent about those issues anymore.”
Sarkisian said he began to see white nationalist and nativist views surface within Orthodox spaces online just around the time that these shifts began taking place.
“I first started noticing this around 2010, 2011 on Orthodox blogs, where I started to see language and rhetoric that was subtly racist and was subtly engaging in what we would now know as the alt-right,” Sarkisian said. “They bring it with them into the church because they see Orthodoxy as amenable to these goals, to these viewpoints.”
- Orthodox converts who worked within alt-right circles was Matthew Heimbach. He had established the Traditionalist Worker Party, which helped organize a deadly gathering of neo-Nazis and white nationalists at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017.
- Those who have followed the influx of extremists into American Orthodoxy agree that those individuals are fringe within the church and are mostly concentrated in newly founded ROCOR parishes. But they also warn that it would be foolish to ignore them. Of particular concern are the ways in which these individuals are networking with outside extremist groups and broadcasting their ideologies in the name of Orthodoxy.
“I identify more with Russian — with Putin’s Christian values — than I do with Joe Biden,” Witzke said in the video. She declined to speak with NPR for this story.
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