“Pastors will be arrested, and imprisoned, and taken out of your churches. Your children will be taken out of your home by force. If you just put your head down, and cave in, and decide that you’re not going to complain about it, then by force the government will teach your little ones — your children and your grandchildren — about the ways of the demons, about the ways of the gays.”
Some Christians shrugged and said, “This won’t affect me.” Other Christians researched the history of the LGBT movement in other countries, finding that legalization is always followed by the government-sponsored persecution of Christians. Consider Fr. Josiah Trenham’s masterpiece: A Black Day — Supreme Folly From The Supremes.
Shortly after the Supreme Court announced their decision to mandate the support of sodomy in America, Fr. Joseph Gleason preached a homily at a small Orthodox church in southern Illinois, warning American Christians of what to expect as a result. To help protect Christian families from future persecution in America, he started the Moving to Russia group, which has now grown to over 1,100 members, and he encouraged the Russian Faith website to publish articles about people around the world who are Moving to Russia.
As predicted, for those in America who support traditional marriage, it is becoming increasingly difficult for Christians to keep a job, it is getting harder for Christians to adopt children, and the stage is being set for increased persecution of conservative Christians.
What do you think? Is the following sermon out of touch with reality, or does it make reasonable predictions? Over the past three years, has America become a safer place to raise a Christian family? Or has American society become increasingly hostile towards the traditional Christian family? Please contribute your opinions in the comments section below. We want to know what you think.
Here is Fr. Joseph’s homily from July 5, 2015:
Do You Feel the Walls Closing In?
“Brethren, I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.” [Romans 8:18]
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. God is One.
Thousands of years ago, Sodom was one city. Today, it is a continent. From Canada to Mexico, and now to the United States of America, acceptance of sodomy and homosexual same-sex unions is the law of the land.
One girl was doing some writing on the internet praising the recent decision of the Supreme Court of the United States. She was so happy for all of her gay friends and for all of the new benefits and “rights” which they would receive as a result of this. To those of her friends who were upset about the ruling, she said, “don’t worry. Take heart. This will not affect you at all.”
It is painted as something that is all positive, simply meant to add some additional benefits to a particular group that have been judged unfairly and marginalized. They say they’re not out to get Christians. They’re not out to get those who defend traditional marriage. They simply want to have their own little spot in society where they can be free. At least, this is the story they tell.
As much as America has poured its money, and its media, and its military into recreating every nation on earth in its own image, it is interesting to note that this move towards same-sex marriage has actually been successful around the world in most other countries first. On this particular score, the United States of America itself is rather late to the game. Same-sex marriage has already been the law of the land for years in Canada, Mexico, France, Brazil, and numerous countries all over the world. It might be interesting to look at some snapshots of the things that have happened since then in some of these countries.
Has the LGBT same-sex marriage movement pushed for free speech, equal rights for all, fairness to Christians as well as to homosexuals? Or have Christians’ fears been realized? Are we just fear-mongering? Are we just irrational? Are we just running from a shadow, or are they actually out to get us? Let’s see what’s happened in some of these other countries over the past few years. Then you ask yourself: “Do you think we will escape here?”
In 2005, ten years ago, Bill Whatcott was passing out flyers talking about how homosexuality is a sin. It is a sin for a woman to sleep with a woman or for a man to sleep with a man as if they were husband and wife. Scripture is clear about this. On this day in 2005, this man named Bill in Canada was very clear about this, and he passed out some flyers.
He was fined $17,500 by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal for distributing material deemed “hateful” by the Human Rights Tribunal.
This was appealed. It went all the way to the Supreme Court in Canada, and this was not a split decision. This was not a narrow margin. According to the unanimous decision of the Supreme Court in Canada in 2013, “the key is to determine the likely effect of the expression on its audience keeping in mind the legislative objectives to reduce or eliminate discrimination,” they decided. “The difficulty of establishing causality and the seriousness of the harm to the vulnerable groups justifies the imposition of preventive measures that do not require proof of actual harm,” the judgment reads.
According to the unanimous decision of the Canadian Supreme Court, there is no requirement to prove that this causes harm to the gays, and there is no requirement to demonstrate any evil intent on the part of the person passing out this literature. The very fact that it offends the gays is all that it takes to make it illegal, and there is no requirement for them to prove that any bad result came about because of this literature.
If you pass out flyers against gay marriage or against homosexual sex, you can be fined $17,500. According to this unanimous decision of the Canadian Supreme Court, the financial penalty of $17,500 is to be reinstated against him, and disregarding a tribunal order to stop spreading hate speech can lead to contempt of court and jail. If he keeps quoting Romans chapter one, he could be found in contempt of court, and he could be put in prison.This is just north of us, just up in Canada. Most people speak English there. It’s not that far from home.
Now let’s go south to Mexico.
In December 2012, the Supreme Court in Mexico ruled that a ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional. A few months later, in March of 2013, the Mexican Supreme Court ruled that anti-gay slurs are not protected speech. Quoted from the Mexican Supreme Court ruling: “In this sense, the first chamber determined that homophobic expressions, or in other words the frequent allegations that homosexuality is not a valid option but an inferior condition, constitute discriminatory statements even if they are expressed jokingly since they can be used to encourage, promote, and justify intolerance against gays.”
So in Mexico, if you even joke about gays or even suggest that to be in a homosexual “marriage” is somehow inferior to a heterosexual marriage, if you suggest that it’s not a valid option, then according to the Supreme Court in Mexico, you can be found guilty of a hate speech crime.
France, this year, 2015: A French court has handed out convictions for anti-gay hate crimes on Twitter!
Do you know what Twitter is? You’ve heard of blogging, right? People go on the internet, and they type up whatever they want, or thy write a little article and – poof! – there it is on the internet. It’s your blog. Twitter is what you might call a microblog. It’s just another blog, but instead of putting out whole articles, you just type a sentence or two, just your thought at that moment. It is very popular. There are millions of people on Twitter.
Somebody went on Twitter and signed off on the little note saying, “let’s burn the gays.” Now, they did not actually burn any gays. They did not actually organize any events where gay people would be killed. They just made a comment, and as part of their comment, they used that phrase: “let’s burn the gays.” After three people did this, they were convicted for anti-gay hate crimes in France. “In what a major French LGBT rights group called a “significant victory,” these three people were convicted in a Paris court this [year].”
LGBT rights groups in France regularly report homophobic hashtags which Twitter then removes from its trending topics [feed] to make them less visible. “The president of SOS Homophobie, an LGBT association which also reports on homophobic tweets, told the website [The Independent], ‘we’re positive that this will send out the message that the internet is not a place where no rules are, where you can do whatever you want.’”
Obviously, I do not advocate vigilante justice. If somebody is guilty of a crime, I don’t think any one of us in this room has the right to go out and, on our own accord, shoot somebody, burn somebody, arrest somebody, or fine somebody, even if they have broken the laws of this country. If I find out that you are guilty of income tax evasion, I can turn you in to the IRS, but I have no right to come take your money, or to fine you, or to put you in prison myself. I just think is interesting that a public tweet where somebody said, “burn the gays,” can land you into a criminal conviction in a court in France.
I wonder what would happen if you were to go onto Twitter in France and type a few sentences from Romans chapter one:
For this reason, God gave them up to vile passions, for even their women exchanged their natural use for that which is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman burned in their lust for one another; men with men committing what is shameful and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind to do those things which are not fitting. Being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; whisperers, back-biters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful: who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. [Romans 1:26-31]
Make no mistake, fellow Orthodox Christians, if you have your Orthodox Study Bible, and you turn to Romans chapter one, it says that homosexual sinners deserve death. I wonder how well I would fare in France if I quoted that from the Bible?
England. That’s going to be a good place. They speak English just like us. That’s going to be a safe place to go, right?
In England, the government has asked all schools to record incidents of homophobic bullying. Comparable to the sex offender registry here in the United States, England has a hate register. Children as young as five risk being placed on that hate register if they make homophobic playground taunts! 
Five years ago, in the year 2010, ten-year-old Peter Drury called another pupil a “gay boy” outside of school, and the mother of another child reported the incident to the head teacher of Ashcombe Primary School. Penny Drury told the Daily Mail:
“He doesn’t even understand about the birds and the bees, so how can he be homophobic? Peter is a very naive boy who didn’t know what he was doing and is now very upset as he is now in trouble. It doesn’t mean he is going to turn into a homophobic attacker when he is older.”
The boy’s parents asked the school if they would remove him from the register, but the school’s head teacher refused. Mrs. Drury told the Daily Mail, “I am now worried if this is going to affect him applying for universities in the future. I just think the whole thing would be better sorted out by the teacher or parent explaining to them that their language is wrong and not to do it again.” Notice, this is a parent who thinks gay is okay. This is a parent who has not taught her child Christian values. Simply because her child, outside of school, called somebody else a “gay boy,” now this ten-year-old is on the hate register in England.  
Children’s charities have expressed concern that school pupils could be effectively being criminalized for playground banter. Michelle Elliot of Kidscape told the Daily Express, “children are being criminalized and singled out from a very early age when they don’t even know what they’re doing.” In a statement, the Department for Children, Schools, and Families said, “if bullying is not dealt with in shools, then this will send a powerful message to children that discrimination is acceptable not only in schools but in society as a whole.” They’re out to transform every corner of society, and this is five-year-old news!
Sweden. Pastor Ake Green preached a sermon in church calling homosexual behavior a sin. He was arrested, convicted of speaking in a way which was considered disrespectful to gays, and was sentenced to prison time. When this particular law had been enacted, the Swedish prime minister himself stated publicly as an example that under the new law it would be criminal to refer to the homosexual lifestyle as something unnatural.
Once again, if I were a pastor in Sweden, and I preached on Romans chapter one, what do you think would happen to me? Opening up your Bible in church, and simply reading the first chapter of Romans out loud can land you in prison.
Many Countries Worldwide
According to the FRA, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, “in twelve member states (Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Spain, France, Ireland, Latvia, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, and Sweden) plus Northern Ireland and the UK – it is a criminal offense to incite hatred, violence, or discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation.” This is a world-wide movement. Do you feel the walls closing in here?
I know of some Christians, who are friends of mine, who have said, “yes, this is a terrible thing that has happened, but it’s not going to affect us. We have free speech. We have the first amendment. We have homeschooling. Even if they eventually outlaw homeschooling, you can put your kids in a private Christian school. There’s always going to be a safe place to go. They’re not going to come into your home. They’re not going to come after your children.”
Let’s take a little trip back to Canada. In 2012, just three years ago, “under Alberta’s new education act, homeschoolers and faith-based schools will not be permitted to teach that homosexual acts are sinful as part of their academic programs.” “Whatever the nature of schooling – home school, private school, Catholic school – we do not tolerate disrespect for differences.” The first quote was from the Education Minister in Canada, Thomas Lukaszuk. The second was from Donna McColl, his assistant director of communications in her interview with Lifesite News.
Section 16 of the new legislation restates the current School Act’s requirement that schools ‘reflect the diverse nature’ of Alberta in their curriculum, but it adds that they must also ‘honour and respect’ the controversial Alberta Human Rights Act that has been used to target Christians with traditional beliefs on homosexuality. ‘School’ is defined to include homeschoolers and private schools in addition to publicly funded school boards.” “She justified the government’s position by pointing to Friday’s Supreme Court ruling upholding the Quebec government’s refusal to exempt families from its controversial ethics and religious culture program. That program, which aims to present the spectrum of world religions and lifestyle choices from a ‘neutral’ stance, is required of all students, including homeschoolers.
Welcome to America tomorrow. This isn’t just coming. In many countries around the world, it’s already here.
You preach against the perversion of sodomy, the abomination of homosexuality. You speak clearly that people who practice such things will not go to heaven. You clearly state that according to Scripture, people who practice such acts are deserving of death. Pastors will be arrested, and imprisoned, and taken out of your churches. Your children will be taken out of your home by force. If you just put your head down, and cave in, and decide that you’re not going to raise a ruckus about it, then by force, the government will teach your little ones, your children and your grandchildren, about the ways of the demons, about the ways of the “gays”.
I’m not just talking about some sex education class in high school. They already have classes in public schools across this country where Kindergarten teachers are sitting with their Kindergarten students and reading them children’s books about children that have two daddies, children that have two mommies.   By the time they get up to seventh or eighth grade, twelve and thirteen-year-old kids are being taught explicit topics in junior high about certain activities which I cannot even describe to you in the present company. They teach them in-depth, your kids! All this hypersexualization of your children – are you worried that they’re going to get pregnant? Guess what! There are already schools where they will put an intrauterine device inside your daughter at the age of twelve and not give the parents any notification of it.  That’s already legal.
In Virginia, right now, it’s already mandatory for schools to teach the children about same-sex relationships and marriage and the sexual acts involved and how to do them.Parents are not allowed to opt out. Do you feel the walls closing in?
If, in Sweden, a pastor cannot teach from Romans 1 in his own church without facing prison; if in Canada you cannot homeschool your child and teach them what the first chapter of Romans says without risking fines or even losing your children altogether; if in England, if a child at the age of ten can use the word “gay” in a derogatory manner and be put on a hate registry; do you really think that we are safe? Are you foolish enough to think that they’re not coming after you?
Suffering is coming, one way or another. This is not something you get to choose whether to endure or not. Suffering is coming, and the only choice you will have to make is which kind you want.
Saint Paul said: “Brethren, I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” [Romans 8:18]. The only way that glory will be revealed in you is if you are faithful to Christ. It explicitly says in Scripture that if you acknowledge Christ before men, then He will acknowledge you before His Father in Heaven; but if you deny Christ before men, then He will deny you before His Father in Heaven [cf. Matthew 10:24]. So, if you are going to be faithful to Christ so that the glory may be manifest and revealed in you, you have two options, and both are options of suffering.
You can stay right here and just wait until they come knocking on your door. Until that time, you can prepare with prayer and fasting. Diligently study the Scriptures. Diligently study the lives of the saints. [Maintain] daily in-depth catechism of your children so that WHEN they get taken away from you, they will have such a deep-rooted knowledge of the faith that even when that foster parent — who now takes care of your child and does not allow you to see them — puts your child into a public school, and the child is faced with sexually explicit acts depicted in the classroom curriculum, when the foster parent takes away your child’s Bible and throws it into the fireplace so that your child will stop being a “bigot,” when classmates at the school mock and make fun of your child because they’re a “bigot,” over the next few years you had better fill your child so deep with a powerful faith that even as a child they will be able to stand up under that type of assault once they are taken away from you.
Prepare your children for martyrdom. Know that if your child faces that, they will either lose their souls, or possibly lose their lives. Your child will go to Hell, or your child will go to Heaven in a very bloody way, after the years of indoctrination do not work and they finally realize that your child is not going to bend to their view. Their classmates may beat them to death in some back alley, and it won’t even be in the news. It will just be swept under the rug, because [they will say] “we know that they were just a ‘bigot’ anyway; they were probably on the hate registry; they probably deserved it.” That’s option number one.
Option number two: Go someplace that your children and grandchildren can be raised as godly Orthodox Christians and, for the most part, be left alone. Go somewhere that the gay rights agenda has miserably failed. Go somewhere that the government of the land does not bow to the sodomites. Go somewhere that you can preach against homosexuality, and instead of people calling you “bigot”, they will say, “of course that’s an abomination!” Go somewhere that you can teach your children about traditional marriage being between one man and one woman, and everyone who hears you says “amen.”
You see, that path is a path of suffering as well, because I am not aware of any place you can go like that where they speak English. So if you take path number two, it is going to be a path of suffering. You are going to have to put away the remote control. You are going to have to put away a lot of the family outings, vacations, and “me time.” You are going to have to get off the couch, get off the pillow, get off the bed. It’s going to be one of the hardest things you’ve ever done. You’ll have learn another language, learn another culture. Instead of pouring money into fun things, you’ll have to pour it into emigration.
Suffering is coming. You get to choose which type you want. But as Saint Paul says, “brethren, I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” [Romans 8:18]. Put another way, “I have read the back of the book, and we win.”
There is the foot of Christ, the foot of the Church, and there is the head of the dragon, the head of the serpent, and it is crushed. But you know how it is. Even though his head was crushed at Calvary, the rest of that serpent is still flailing like crazy. Have you ever cut off the head of a serpent or crushed he head of a snake? Does the snake stop moving immediately? Does the snake stop moving immediately? No, it starts moving faster! You crush the head of a serpent, and that body that was just slithering around, now starts wriggling and squirming and going all over the place. The head of the serpent was crushed at Calvary! Every time you take the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist, you are remembering the crushing of the head of Satan.
What we are experiencing now in the world are the death throes of the serpent, and he will stop at nothing to take as many to hell with him as possible, as he goes down. It has gotten so bad, that there are not many places in this world that you can go today, to escape those death throes of the serpent.
In Canada, you cannot pass out pamphlets against homosexuality. You cannot homeschool your children safely unless you teach that homosexuality is normal. In England, a ten-year-old child gets put on a national hate register. In Sweden, a pastor simply teaching on Romans 1 can be arrested and given prison time.
In Russia, same-sex marriage is prohibited. They have no such thing as “civil unions” for “gays” either. They have laws on the books nationwide which prohibit homosexual propaganda for minors.  Just within the past few days, they have put new laws into effect to severely cut down on abortion. Russia is the salmon that is swimming upstream. If you look at any stream, the dead fish go downstream. If you want to be one of the dead fish, just go with the culture, go with the flow. Go along with what this country and most other countries in the world are doing. They’re dead fish going downstream. Right in the middle of that, Russia is swimming the other way.
So choose your suffering.
You stay here [in America], you prepare your children and grandchildren for martyrdom, and you wait for those men with shields and guns to knock on your door and take your children. Or you become the poor, foreign immigrant in another land. You start afresh, learn a new language and a new culture. Either way, this is going to be a tough row to hoe. This is going to be a difficult path, but I am in agreement with [Saint] Paul. “I reckon that the sufferings this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” If we are faithful in the midst of this time, if we confess His Name before men, He will confess our names before His Father in Heaven.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. God is One.
Three and a half years have passed since this homily was preached in that little church in southern Illinois. During that time, what new things have happened in America? Was this sermon out of touch with reality, or did it make sensible predictions?
In a very short amount of time, the following examples of persecution have taken place in America:
- September 2015 — County clerk is put in jail, because she refused to participate in issuing “marriage” licenses to homosexual couples
- March 2016 — Federal Judge says adoption agencies in Mississippi are required to let homosexual couples adopt children
- February 2017 — Washington Supreme Court says Christian florists are required to participate with homosexual “weddings”
- June 2017 — Illinois bans Christians from adopting children or being foster parents
- December 2017 — Appeals court rules that Christian bakers should be forced to supply cakes for homosexual “weddings”, or else face a $135,000 fine
- December 2017 — Federal court says it was acceptable to fire Atlanta’s fire chief from his job, for writing and sharing literature that opposes sodomy
- February 2018 — Federal appeals court says you are not allowed to fire an employee for practicing a homosexual lifestyle
- June 2018 — Business executive is fired from his job, because he said sodomy is a sin
- June 2018 — Supreme Court says government officials should not openly voice hostility to Christians, but still fails to acknowledge the rights of Christian businesses which avoid participating in homosexual “weddings”
- October 2018 — High school football coach is fired from his job, because he made a comment offending homosexuals
- October 2018 — State tells Christian filmmakers: Make same-sex marriage films, or spend 90 days in jail
- January 2019 — Pastor is driven out of his church, because he said homosexuality is a sin
And just north of the American border, Ontario has already passed a law enabling the government to take children away from Christian parents. How long will it be before the United States passes similar laws?
Sermon transcript courtesy of Dormition Professional Services