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"...there is a seemingly disproportionate concern about "verbal sin," especially swearing (and even vulgarity). Why so much interest in mere speech? Especially when compared to egregious actions like adultery and swindling?

I suggest that this concern about language makes sense, ethically, only when ethics is re-contextualized in a wider, bodiless world."

Father, Thank You.
I have often been troubled by the apparent lack of concern over the usage of common profanity by some Christians. I have heard some of them go so far as to say that God does not care whether or not we use such profanity.

I am most certainly not a "fundie" but I do believe the words we use matter. If we truly believe that not ony our actions but our thoughts have consequences (as the Scriptures and the Fathers teach), how can we claim our use of common expletives has no impact on those who hear us? And not just other people, but the heavenly powers and God Himself? Our witness and testimony is utterly slandered when blessing and cursing roll off the same tongue.

That sounds like a punt, Father. Unusual for you.

Anna, the issue is whether we should all be under authority, not only women. The veil in St. Paul's intriguing passage is a sign of accepting authority, I think -- but everyone is under (or should be under) certain signs. At least this is my limited understanding.

Now as to its relationship: my main point in these two articles was about the neglect of this very relationship between our ethical decisions and the larger context -- not only of angels and demons and their influences, but of the much larger and more terrible bodiless world.

Apparently, there needs to be a profound sense of caution about these powers -- a caution that is, I daresay, completely missing in the conversation today.

I do not want to be mistaken for a fundamentalist zealot who is almost comically paranoid about demons, or their caricatures. I defend these fundamentalists against their more sophisticated catcallers -- but I am not one of them. That is why I reacted to the word "subjugation" -- a word that has no place in home or church, ever, simply because the Holy Trinity gives no meaning to any such term: "Now I call you friends," our Lord said.

That is a lot of sentences for a non-answer, Anna. Most of what I said here is longhand for "je ne sais pas."


I am still a bit unclear on the relationship between women being under authority and the larger context of angels and demons being able to influence us.

My wife and I are unfortunately subjected mostly to our passions, but we are working on it.

Subjugation was not at all the point. No one deserves subjugation. No man is worthy of the subjugation of anyone else to him.

Heavens, I thought if anything was clear in what I have written it would be that.

Am I worthy? At all? Can I even subject myself to myself?

Now there is a question more pertinent to anyone who really cares about liberation.

Sent from my iPhone

If Christian women are to become subjugated to men, then it follows that Orthodox Christian men must strive to become worthy of that kind of subjugation.

My apologies for my typos.

Yep. He's very direct and repetitive about it. He goes so far as to say the heathen/pagan women will actually sit in judgment over the Christian woman/virgin because even they (out of what you might call practical sense) realize they should cover themselves up for the sake of being able to fall in love with a man first and then allow the man of their choice to be the only one who falls in love with them.

I suppose this would be in today's terms saying that the evolutionary biologists will sit in condemnation of Christians because even they know what selective controls benefit female reproductive goals. Nature knows enough to hide females, but human females in discord with nature mis-use their power for the end of their own indulgence, at the expense of their progeny. It is biologically disordered.

Women have the power to make men (and women) look at them. They can use that power for it's purpose (and receive glory due them for their virtue) or they can short-cut it an indulge themselves to the ruin of themselves and all.

Thank you David. Am I correct here in reading Tertullian that the veil is to prevent demonic lust?

If I read this rightly, I'd still prefer the idea, to which I think St. Paul refers, of angels as "executives of providence" that we see in Romans 8, and perhaps in the Apocalypse.

Tertullian wrote a whole treatise on it, though his position might not be helpful. In the same work he is fairly Montanist. :)

Only this so far, Fr. Greg. And though I'm ashamed to admit it, I think this patristic commentary is unsatisfactory. It is from St. John Chrysostom's rather frequent use of the rhetorical dialogue, in his Homilies on 1 Corinthians:

"For this cause ought the woman to have a sign of authority on her head.”
“For this cause:” what cause, tell me? “For all these which have been mentioned,” says he; or rather not for these only, but also “because of the angels.” “For although thou despise your husband,” says he, “yet reverence the angels.”
It follows that being covered is a mark of subjection and authority. For it induces her to look down and be ashamed and preserve entire her proper virtue. For the virtue and honor of the governed is to abide in his obedience.
Again: the man is not compelled to do this; for he is the image of his Lord: but the woman is; and that reasonably. Consider then the excess of the transgression when being honored with so high a prerogative, you put yourself to shame, seizing the woman's dress. And you do the same as if having received a diadem, you should cast the diadem from your head, and instead of it take a slave's garment.

This whole question, of course, begs attention. "Hostage to the Devil", for example, should be required seminary reading.

That said, I Corinthians 11:10 has been the subject of all kinds of more-or-less contemporary speculation. Are you aware of any patristic commentary on this passage?

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