The Church’s request for silence on our part would be more tolerable if the Church weren’t also actively lying about us in the meantime. Father Oliver Herbel’s latest attack on Matthew Heimbach begins with the premise that he’s a “rising white supremacist” who’s guilty of trying to promote ethnophyletism and racial supremacism in the Church. Herbel’s goal is to make “anti-racism” a canonical pillar of church doctrine, to staple a 20th century political fad of anti-white hysteria onto our ancient traditions.
Heimbach hasn’t been trying to promote ethnophyletism or supremacism in the Church. In fact, we delivered a statement immediately after Father Herbel and his colleagues whipped up this witch hunt against us which very clearly and directly outlined our positions relative to the church:
I reject the heresy of phyletism. Nobody is to be denied entry into the Church, warm fellowship, or communion on the basis of their racial, national, or ethnic identity. The Orthodox Christian Church is Universal, transcending racial, national, and ethnic identities, and each parish must remain a safe harbor for any and all Orthodox Christians.
I reject the sinful notion of supremacism. Humility is a cornerstone of Church Tradition and an attitude of superiority over our fellow man is incompatible with the Faith.
Of course, even this most clear and direct statement of obedience possible wasn’t enough for the post-modern witch hunt. According to Father Herbel, “Heimbach, although told via his parish’s website to repent, has issued no such statement.” How can he repent of promoting phyletism when he can’t, for the life of him, identify where he did that? How can he repent of supremacism when he’s not a supremacist? Heimbach has also failed to publicly apologize to the Church and beg their forgiveness for beating his girlfriend, kicking dwarves, and a whole host of other things he’s not actually doing.
But this isn’t about whether Heimbach’s actually guilty of anything. Heimbach’s guilty in this grand symbolic way which is more important than the truth in Father Herbel’s politically-motivated mind. In Herbel’s mind, the anti-white skinhead who attacked Thomas and Matthew at the Slutwalk rally are the victims of a monster. In Herbel’s mind, Heimbach’s beneath redemption, beneath contempt, and even beneath linking to unless he completely renounces his ethnic identity altogether.
Father Herbel repeatedly acts as if we’re the ones bringing secular politics into the Church when the exact opposite is the case. Father Herbel’s brought his anti-White politics into the Church and our mere humble presence is incompatible with that. He can’t bear to share communion with us because his is an explicitly political communion, one where White identity is an outright heresy.
Orthodox clergy and laity need to make a clear stance on this.
Yes. It does. The clergy and laity need to clearly confirm that the Church stands above worldly politics, not on Father Herbel’s side. The clergy need to clearly confirm that they’re not going to be forced to pick sides in every political controversy, that they’re not beholden to the fashions and biases of this age and culture.
We need to do so when encountering a rising white supremacist star.
The clergy will do nothing about Father Herbel viciously lying about and attacking a humble and obedient convert to Orthodoxy. For fear of the Leftists, the right-leaning and apolitical clergy will remain perfectly silent as an organized institutional campaign against Matthew Heimbach carries on unabated.
We need to do so when discussing the relations between Orthodox internationally. We definitely need to do so here in America, where we have jurisdictions that still hearken back to certain ethnic beginnings in ways that allow some of us to say converts aren’t welcome and/or aren’t “really” Orthodox.
Now we arrive at the real point of Father Herbel’s attacks on Heimbach. The real point is that he wants to steamroll the ethnic parishes in favor of a Cosmic Orthodoxy where no identities or local traditions are tolerated — McOrthodoxy. The only convert who has actually been unwelcome due to his ethnic identity is, ironically, Matthew Heimbach. By the actual definition of ethnophyletism, as it was actually written and intended, Father Herbel is the one who’s flagrantly guilty of promoting the denial of communion to an Orthodox Christian because of one’s ethnic identity.