OPEN LETTER TO GRADUATE THEOLOGICAL UNION, BERKELEY

Orthodox Rebel  Red T-Shirt Front

Dr. Uriah Kim, Dean
Graduate Theological Union
2400 Ridge Road
Berkeley CA 94709 USA

Dear Dr. Kim:

Orthodoxy in Dialogue is the world’s most popular independent blog on Orthodox Christianity. One of the things for which we have become best known is our advocacy for social, racial, and LGBTQI justice.

Your doctoral student, David Patrick Harry, is the founder of the so-called “Church of the Eternal Logos.” You will see his name as the URL, and he identifies himself and his affiliation with Graduate Theological Union on the About page.

One of our attentive readers has brought to our attention the fact that Mr. Harry’s “Church” is marketing apparel on which an Orthodox cross is conflated with the Confederate flag and calling it “Orthodox Rebel.” Not only is this highly objectionable to Orthodox Christians, but it puts GTU in a very poor light and raises serious questions about the safety of your students, staff, and faculty of colour.

Please write to us at editors@orthodoxyindialogue.com at your earliest convenience and advise on how you intend to deal with this unfortunate situation. We will be happy to publish your response.

Our readers are eager to hear from you.

Sincerely,

Giacomo Sanfilippo, Editor

Orthodoxy in Dialogue’s readers should contact Dr. Kim at ukim@gtu.edu or phone him at (510) 649-2440 to communicate your concerns on this matter. His contact information is listed in Graduate Theological Union’s publicly available faculty directory.
See the extensive White Supremacy and Racism section in our Archives 2017-19 and Archives 2020. Note especially our repeated attempts to get Orthodox hierarchs, seminaries, and monasteries to address the presence of white supremacy, racism, and white nationalism within the Orthodox Church in North America. Now we have come to this: a Confederate Orthodox cross.

ADDENDUM 7/4/20: Further investigation reveals that David Patrick Harry is a member of St. Mary of Egypt Antiochian Orthodox Church in Greenwood IN. We have communicated our concerns to Metropolitan Joseph and parish rector Father Athanasius Wilson, and await their response. Our readers will recall that Matthew Heimbach once found a welcoming home in the Antiochian Archdiocese.

ADDENDUM 7/5/20: Orthodoxy in Dialogue’s Facebook group organized a campaign to have Teespring remove the page advertising Mr. Harry’s Stars & Bars “Orthodox Rebel” apparel. It is gratifying to see that we succeeded in just over 24 hours: here is the page where it was advertised. We still encourage Metropolitan Joseph, Father Wilson, and Dean Kim to investigate Mr. Harry for other evidence of white nationalist, anti-African-American activities.  

Giacomo Sanfilippo is an Orthodox Christian, PhD student in Theological Studies at Trinity College in the University of Toronto, and founding editor at Orthodoxy in Dialogue. He tweets @GiacoSanfilippo.

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