On July 14 we published “St. Paul on Marriage” in response to Father Joseph Gleason’s terrifying distortions of Christian marriage. Some ten hours later he posted an apparent rebuttal entitled “Unconditional Respect from Your Wife.” The irony is lost on no one that a website subtitled “Christian Renaissance” should host his ruminations.
We do not use the word terrifying lightly: an Orthodox Christian therapist working on his PhD in clinical psychology—and whose research examines the relationship between psychological attachment, religious fundamentalism, and authoritarianism—has stated to us that Father Gleason’s false “theology” sets the stage for men pathologically insecure in their masculinity to abuse their wives and children on any number of imbricated levels.
Gleason frames his dangerous views as “notes to Protestants from an Orthodox priest,” and imagines that adding “Rostov the Great, Russia” after his signature lends him some sort of mythic authority as emanating from “Holy Mother Russia.” He concludes his two pieces on marriage with the following:
Are you a Protestant who disagrees with this article? …[I]f you are…willing to listen, then I will gladly have a conversation with you.
“Willing to listen”…he demands the same kind of unquestioning deference from his readers as he does from his wife. To whom does Father Gleason listen? Does he realize how much of an outlier he is among Orthodox who write on marriage?
We urge Orthodox hierarchs, pastors, and lay theologians to join us in protecting women and children by responding on the pages of Orthodoxy in Dialogue or elsewhere.
Love is supposed to be unconditional. So is respect.
The Bible teaches clearly on this subject. Unfortunately, many Protestant teachers are liberal cucks and uppity battleaxes who chafe at God’s requirements for marriage. These folks claim there is no hierarchy between husbands and wives, and that a wife should only respect her husband if he deserves it. Sitting at Rachel Held Evans’ feet and clipping her feminazi toenails would be more preferable to some people than simple obedience to the Apostle Paul….
Thankfully, the ancient Christian faith—Orthodox Christianity—is a breath of fresh air. This ancient breeze blows away the noxious odors of feminist feet, making them a distant memory. For 2000 years, the Orthodox Church has consistently taught that wives owe respect to their husbands. Unconditionally. Read More