An opportunity for sincere atonement

Donald Trump Donald Trump

Dear President-elect Trump,

Congratulations on your historic victory — the greatest political upset in modern American history. Having listened carefully to your speech in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, I hope you’ll follow through on your commitment to heal our country, and be president for all its citizens.

Full disclosure: I didn’t vote for you. I didn’t vote for your main rival, either. I had insurmountable reservations about her character, aggressive foreign policy stance, and most importantly, her commitment to appointing Supreme Court justices who’d defend abortion rights as a sacred liberty somehow enshrined in our Constitution.

But at the same time, Sir, I had deep reservations about your own character, which I hope you’ll now overcome. In particular: While I appreciated your words in defense of the unborn, I couldn’t reconcile these words with the way you’ve spoken about women in the past, and have allegedly treated several of them.

I would implore you to recognize an overlooked yet fundamental truth: that a direct connection exists between male chauvinism and mistreatment of women, and abortion. How do you think so many women wind up in crisis pregnancies? I know of only one case in all history where an unwed mother got that way without a man’s involvement (and that turned out alright).

Typically, however, there’s a man involved. A man who feels empowered to be no gentleman, do what he will, and leave the woman to deal with the consequences—“her problem.” Often, those on the Religious Right blame women and their “doctors” (I cannot call one who takes innocent life a medical professional)—but somehow, the man who was involved gets a pass.

Women are condemned for not maintaining unilateral chastity, but as for men, “Boys will be boys.” This is shameful hypocrisy. I now ask you, by way of an atonement for things hopefully in your past, to convert your heart and mind and put the onus on men to be real men—and not worship the false idols of fallen machismo. There would be fewer abortions if there were fewer swine.

One more thing before I go. There was another issue in your platform that I wholeheartedly endorsed. You cast aside generations of bipartisan orthodoxy by signaling hope of working with Russia, rather than seeing that nation as our greatest existential threat. The Democrat and Republican foreign policy establishment (one group) sought to bring you down for this.

Ironically, along with shining a spotlight on the plight of working people, this was an area where you overlapped with Bernie Sanders. I hope you’ll now follow through. Don’t let the hawks cozy up and seduce you. They will try.

I hope you’ll visit Russia and make friends with Vladimir Putin. And while you’re there, I hope you’ll visit an Orthodox Church. I think you would benefit greatly. And so, in turn, would our nation.

Fr. Barnabas Powell


Misha Pennington11/26/2016 12:07 am
Machismo and male chauvinism are sometimes known by another name: patriarchy. And so when I hear Donald Trump "belittling" women by remarking at how easy a time he had seducing them as a wealthy celebrity male, I could only think of the fact that once upon a time, women were much more respectful and deferential of men in general when men had real power over them.

That power of course is thoroughly compatible with, even mandated by, Orthodox Christianity as the Church has been patriarchal from its inception, indeed before, under the Old Testament as well. The real problem is not with alpha males. The real problem is with a society designed to suppress the natural inclination of males to rule the family. In refusing this to males, a pandora's box of sexual mischief has emerged.
Mary11/19/2016 3:37 am
Wow. So... rampant racism is okay.
God led me to Orthodoxy, but the people are undercover racist conservatives for the most part. I have to forgive you all, but have no interest in your views outside of church and will never break bread with you outside of church.
T. D.11/19/2016 2:10 am
@ Anthony
The important thing is that the wife and political teammate (Hitlery Clinton, misspelling intentional) of the man who commited adultery in the presidential office while bombing Belgrad for his friends the muslims and croatian nazis (Bill Clinton) was kept from entering the White House!
Of course Trump's words were immoral, but you must think of the alternative. The election was as if we chose between shooting our collective foot with a .22 or with an RPG rocket; we chose the lesser harm!
If only we had a Christian monarch like the Czar-Martyr Nicholas.
Please don't think that ordinary, rural Americans support the CIA/Zionist/NATO/"rainbow" insanity that our fatherland has brought upon the world.

Glory to Greece, Russia, Serbia, and Syria! Down with genocidal Turkey!
Erin (Irene)11/18/2016 9:33 pm
Well said, Father.
Gregory11/18/2016 4:13 am
I too am glad American has elected a different path. Has not many Orthodox Christians (including myself) voted for our new government, we may have had to wait many more years before the possibility of draining that old swamp.
Paul Gilbert11/17/2016 9:13 pm
Beautifully written! God bless you, Fr. Barnabas Powell.
Michael11/16/2016 2:10 pm
Thank you, Fr. Barnabas for a wonderful, encouraging letter. I don't know if Pres. Trump will read it, but like you, it's my hope that he will be a bringer of peace or at least less discord in the world.
@Anthony, could you try to be less sarcastic, dismissive and rude? Fr. Barnabas Powell has done much to encourage Orthodox christians to tame their passions and look at the world through sober, but joyous Orthodox eyes. Disrespect to him and his office makes people dismiss what may be a valid criticism of my country.
True, America is not perfect, but I know of no other country where people are as free to fix the mistakes of the past, whereas in most places, revolution peaceful or not, simply isn't tolerated and is often violently suppressed by the ruling class.
Pray for my President, my country and Fr. Powell, as I will pray that the hate in your heart is eased by the Great Physician, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Anthony11/16/2016 10:52 am
Nice one Fr Barney. Many of us outside of new Babylon are also breathing a huge sigh of relief that some sense of sanity prevailed within your empire of chaos, with many of us now hoping and praying that ww3 may have been albeit temporarily averted. Well done to the Babylonians who voted for the lesser of the two evils. Congrats and hope your nation finds true repentance for the evils you have committed against the rest of us. We'll try to forgive you if you show your repentance by leaving our nations alone. Kiss kiss.
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