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Updating my blogroll

I have updated my blogroll somewhat; I have added some things and removed others.

I will be very honest and express quite a bit of disappointment with the American Orthodox Institute blog; the recent exchange over the “American Orthodox ‘Historiographical Problem'” was nothing short of ridiculous, and unfortunately, those running the blog and moderating that discussion were doing so in a way I found highly problematic and ideologically slanted. Pointing out that neither an encyclopedia entry nor a year(!) is a primary source, and that not understanding what primary sources are or why they are important is a huge methodological problem when writing something that purports to be a “history”, is not a “polemical broadside” (the words of the moderator), and it is mind-boggling to me that the person who was rather unambiguously engaging in “polemical broadsides” was never “called out” by the moderator to elevate their own participation. My guess is that I was “called out” and asked to produce a methodological essay as a way to shut me up without any expectation that I would actually write something; that I have been all but ignored after doing exactly what was asked only confirms this to me. This moderator interacted with certain commenters in a recent thread for an essay by Dr. Bradley Nassif in ways that suggest that this is a fairly typical pattern of behavior.

This is not the only reason I am disappointed with AOI in its current form; the “editorial policy” appears carefully and specifically formulated to maximize criticism of the Ecumenical Patriarchate as well as the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and this in conjunction with the names of certain frequent contributors to AOI suggest that it is effectively an organ of Orthodox Christian Laity, either officially or unofficially. Finally, whatever my own personal politics may be (and I am deliberately circumspect about them in this context), I am as strongly suspicious of a group claiming right-wing politics as being coterminous with the Christian faith as I would be of similar claims about the relationship of Christianity to left-wing politics. (Perhaps at some point I will talk about the Greek man I met in Athens who tried to tell me that there was simply no doubt whatsoever that Christ was a communist.)

That said, I think there have been good things contributed to AOI, and there are at times good contributors who write interesting things (Fr. Gregory Jensen, for example, as well as Fr. John Peck); unfortunately, I think the signal-to-noise ratio is becoming unhealthfully low, I think at present it is a waste of time for me to be reading them, and I would also prefer to not send them additional traffic at this point. You will note I have not included any links in this post, and that’s why. Earlier posts will be left as is, but I will not link to them any further for the time being.

New links on the blogroll include the Ochlophobist, as well as Orthodox Christians for Accountability.

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6 Responses to “Updating my blogroll”


  1. 1 Esteban Vázquez 25 August 2009 at 9:34 am

    And all this surprises you, Richard? I love you for having a quality I long ago lost, that of giving people the benefit of the doubt, but merely skimming the contents of said blog reveals all that you have written above with the utmost clarity. I’m glad you will no longer be wasting your time with such nonsense; for myself, I’m relieved that I never. After all, I have much more important and relevant things to do, like loading up the dishwasher.

    • 2 Richard Barrett 25 August 2009 at 11:57 am

      I didn’t say it surprised me; I have been troubled by these patterns of behavior for awhile. I will note that in one of my previous comments about AOI, I encouraged people to go over there and “comment copiously” because their readership seemed to be narrower than ideal, which was a way of alluding to the problem. Recent events constitute the last few straws for me, however.

  2. 3 Michael 28 August 2009 at 11:14 pm

    Admittedly I signed on at AOI because someone on another blog made some negative comments about it. As I was reading the posts I was annoyed by a few things, but they had to do with a particular jurisdiction that I generally find annoying anyway, so I didn’t let it bother me. Then I ran into the thread you mentioned above. I was fascinated by the topic but equally dismayed by the methodology some were employing. So your post on historical methodology was like a breath of fresh air. Thanks again. I hope it gets a wide reading.

  3. 4 rwp 25 September 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Giving up the blog?

    • 5 Richard Barrett 25 September 2009 at 4:17 pm

      By no means — although posting frequency is going to need to a bit less while I get used to being in grad school. I’ll have a post this weekend, I think.


  1. 1 Introducing Red Egg Review | Leitourgeia kai Qurbana: Contra den Zeitgeist Trackback on 30 March 2013 at 1:35 pm

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