Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Orthodox Abbot Attacked in Anti-Trump Incident

 

Abbot Tryphon, a monk leading the All-Merciful Saviour Orthodox Monastery on Vashon Island, WA, was assaulted at at a gas station Tuesday. The abbot is a popular speaker, writer, and hosts the podcast “The Morning Offering.”

In a Wednesday interview with his podcasting network, Abbot Tryphon said that he was targeted by a man who was apparently angry about Donald Trump. The abbot is not politically affiliated, a fact he regularly mentions in his writing and podcasts.

He was filling up his vehicle in Burien, WA, at about 11:30 a.m. “I saw a man come up to me and he said ‘How’s Trump?’” Abbot Tryphon said in the interview. “I was kind of startled … and I said, ‘well, I have no idea.’”

“The next thing I know, as I turned to look back at the pump, he sucker-punched me in the side of the face,” the Abbot said. “He did it with such force that I immediately lost my equilibrium, I reached out to grab onto the car, and I slid to my knees and onto my back.”

As the assailant left, the monk traveling with Abbot Tryphon and several bystanders rushed to his aid. The monk noted that the attacker “zeroed in on the cross and that’s when his anger turned to rage.”

“In my mind I assumed he was approaching me with a request for money, or wanting to know what I was,” the abbot wrote on his Facebook page. “Since I try, with God’s help, to be kind to everyone, even trying to bring a smile on a stranger’s face by saying something self-effacing in an attempt to put them at ease, I was totally caught off guard by what he did to me.”

Abbot Tryphon said that he has some hearing loss, headaches, and general body pain. Local police are investigating the incident and have released surveillance photos of the suspect.

If apprehended, the abbot would like to meet his attacker. “I want to go to the jail,” he said, “and tell the man that I forgive him and that God loves him.”

There are 66 comments.

  1. Skyler Coolidge

    He wants to go to the jail to forgive him? That seems pretty silly, doesn’t it? Is there a word for oxymoronic behavior?

    • #1
    • April 17, 2019, at 8:18 PM PDT
    • Like
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Skyler (View Comment):

    He wants to go to the jail to forgive him? That seems pretty silly, doesn’t it? Is there a word for oxymoronic behavior?

    In this case, it’s called “Christian.”

    • #2
    • April 17, 2019, at 8:24 PM PDT
    • 28 likes
  3. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I guess Rep. Omar would say some guy did a thing.

    • #3
    • April 17, 2019, at 8:25 PM PDT
    • 20 likes
  4. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Chief
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.

    If you’d like to give Abbot Tryphon some support, his monastery sells coffee and other handmade items to help support their ministry.

    • #4
    • April 17, 2019, at 8:29 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  5. Skyler Coolidge

    Percival (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    He wants to go to the jail to forgive him? That seems pretty silly, doesn’t it? Is there a word for oxymoronic behavior?

    In this case, it’s called “Christian.”

    And yet he wants him in jail. You don’t see the irony?

     

    • #5
    • April 17, 2019, at 8:34 PM PDT
    • Like
  6. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    He wants to go to the jail to forgive him? That seems pretty silly, doesn’t it? Is there a word for oxymoronic behavior?

    In this case, it’s called “Christian.”

    And yet he wants him in jail. You don’t see the irony?

     

    No irony. The dude’s a dangerous whack-job.

    • #6
    • April 17, 2019, at 8:35 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  7. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Chief
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    He wants to go to the jail to forgive him? That seems pretty silly, doesn’t it? Is there a word for oxymoronic behavior?

    In this case, it’s called “Christian.”

    And yet he wants him in jail. You don’t see the irony?

     

    Render unto God what is God’s (forgiveness) and render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s (the stony lonesome). The Good Lord may forgive the attacker, but the King’s County Sheriff’s Department won’t.

    • #7
    • April 17, 2019, at 9:03 PM PDT
    • 32 likes
  8. The Reticulator Member

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    He wants to go to the jail to forgive him? That seems pretty silly, doesn’t it? Is there a word for oxymoronic behavior?

    In this case, it’s called “Christian.”

    And yet he wants him in jail. You don’t see the irony?

    It’s the sort of thing my parents taught us to do, by their example.

    • #8
    • April 17, 2019, at 9:11 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  9. James Lileks Contributor

    It wasn’t assault or violence. It was kinetic speech. Violence is when you criticize a member of a marginalized group. We can’t speculate on the motive of the speaker, but he may have been provoked by the manifestation of hate symbols such as the cross, which have been used to justify centuries of colonialism and erasure; it is entirely possible that the speaker was motivated by anger over the donations sent to rebuild Notre Dame, a monument dedicated to Christianist superiority, while Flint and Puerto Rico still struggle. One must also consider the collaboration between the Church and Nazi Germany, which makes the speech delivered to the bishop literal Nazi-punching, and hence something to be celebrated.

    I don’t mean to get all conspiratorial here, but let’s not deny the possibility that it was a false-flag attack designed to deflect attention from the Barr press conference.

    I am serious. Also, there is a tiny green leprechaun on my shoulder, grabbing its junk and hissing what I presume to be curses in Gaelic. 

     

    • #9
    • April 17, 2019, at 9:25 PM PDT
    • 52 likes
  10. Judge Mental, Secret Chimp Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    I am serious. Also, there is a tiny green leprechaun on my shoulder, grabbing its junk and hissing what I presume to be curses in Gaelic.

    Seriously, James? Promoting the stereotypical leprechaun fallacy? You can’t get punched quickly enough to suit me.

    • #10
    • April 17, 2019, at 9:31 PM PDT
    • 18 likes
  11. Skyler Coolidge

    Jon Gabriel, Ed. (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    He wants to go to the jail to forgive him? That seems pretty silly, doesn’t it? Is there a word for oxymoronic behavior?

    In this case, it’s called “Christian.”

    And yet he wants him in jail. You don’t see the irony?

     

    Render unto God what is God’s (forgiveness) and render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s (the stony lonesome). The Good Lord may forgive the attacker, but the King’s County Sheriff’s Department won’t.

    Not if the monk doesn’t press charges.

    • #11
    • April 17, 2019, at 9:45 PM PDT
    • Like
  12. T-Fiks Member

    Render unto God what is God’s (forgiveness) and render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s (the stony lonesome). The Good Lord may forgive the attacker, but the King’s County Sheriff’s Department won’t.

    Not if the monk doesn’t press charges.

    Forgiveness, at least from a Christian perspective, is a complicated concept. I think the abbot may indeed forgive his trespasser on a personal level but still want his assailant arrested to promote civil order and make it less likely that others suffer a similar assault.

     

    • #12
    • April 17, 2019, at 11:19 PM PDT
    • 25 likes
  13. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    Jon Gabriel, Ed. (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    He wants to go to the jail to forgive him? That seems pretty silly, doesn’t it? Is there a word for oxymoronic behavior?

    In this case, it’s called “Christian.”

    And yet he wants him in jail. You don’t see the irony?

     

    Render unto God what is God’s (forgiveness) and render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s (the stony lonesome). The Good Lord may forgive the attacker, but the King’s County Sheriff’s Department won’t.

    This was a radically new concept when Christ articulated it. You owe to civil authority civil duties. You owe to God spiritual duties, expressed in your public and private life here and now. When the state demands the state’s coin, pay it. But, if the state demands you speak or act as if the state has divine authority, refuse.

    • #13
    • April 17, 2019, at 11:35 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  14. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    This attack reminds me of the thug who took 9/11 as license to go out and kill some guy wearing a turban. It turned out his victim was Sihk. If you don’t get the sick joke in that, do read a bit on Sihkism.

    On the other hand, this instance points to the larger pattern of the lowered threshold for violence, justified by politics. This is an extension of the rot mainstreamed by “punch a Nazi” not being soundly rebuked by every major party and every level of government.

    Following the links eventually leads to other interviews, in which the abbot explains that he always is on duty, and so always is in this black clerical uniform. Indeed, that clear visual cue is recognized all the time.

    • #14
    • April 17, 2019, at 11:41 PM PDT
    • 16 likes
  15. Skyler Coolidge

    T-Fiks (View Comment):

    Render unto God what is God’s (forgiveness) and render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s (the stony lonesome). The Good Lord may forgive the attacker, but the King’s County Sheriff’s Department won’t.

    Not if the monk doesn’t press charges.

    Forgiveness, at least from a Christian perspective, is a complicated concept. I think the abbot may indeed forgive his trespasser on a personal level but still want his assailant arrested to promote civil order and make it less likely that others suffer a similar assault.

     

    That is an absurd interpretation of the command.

    • #15
    • April 18, 2019, at 1:22 AM PDT
    • Like
  16. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Skyler,

    Skyler (View Comment):

    T-Fiks (View Comment):

    Render unto God what is God’s (forgiveness) and render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s (the stony lonesome). The Good Lord may forgive the attacker, but the King’s County Sheriff’s Department won’t.

    Not if the monk doesn’t press charges.

    Forgiveness, at least from a Christian perspective, is a complicated concept. I think the abbot may indeed forgive his trespasser on a personal level but still want his assailant arrested to promote civil order and make it less likely that others suffer a similar assault.

     

    That is an absurd interpretation of the command.

    You do not understand what you are talking about. 

    • #16
    • April 18, 2019, at 3:15 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  17. Doug Watt Moderator

    There is temporal punishment, and there is eternal punishment. Someone who can’t keep their hand’s to themselves is best forgiven in a setting where they can’t get a second punch in when they are being forgiven.

    I wish the Abbot a speedy recovery.

    • #17
    • April 18, 2019, at 5:55 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  18. Stad Thatcher

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    He wants to go to the jail to forgive him? That seems pretty silly, doesn’t it? Is there a word for oxymoronic behavior?

    In this case, it’s called “Christian.”

    And yet he wants him in jail. You don’t see the irony?

     

    Are you saying it’s wrong to want to see someone who breaks the law punished?

    • #18
    • April 18, 2019, at 6:29 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  19. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Thanks for posting this, Jon. I had heard of the attack, but when I last read up last night Father Tryphon had not yet said much about the incident, nor what was said to him.

    • #19
    • April 18, 2019, at 6:43 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  20. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member

    I would guess that the knowledge of the Abbot’s forgiveness makes the perp’s skin crawl.

    • #20
    • April 18, 2019, at 6:43 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. Songwriter Member
    Songwriter Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Skyler (View Comment):

    He wants to go to the jail to forgive him? That seems pretty silly, doesn’t it? Is there a word for oxymoronic behavior?

    I’m guessing the Abbott assumes the time he will see his attacker the man will have been arrested. It’s nothing more than that. Sheesh.

     

    • #21
    • April 18, 2019, at 6:49 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  22. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jon Gabriel, Ed. (View Comment):
    Render unto God what is God’s (forgiveness) and render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s (the stony lonesome). The Good Lord may forgive the attacker, but the King’s County Sheriff’s Department won’t.

    Don’t bet the farm on it. It’s unhinged Progressive Utopia.

    • #22
    • April 18, 2019, at 6:53 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. Seawriter Member

    Skyler (View Comment):

    T-Fiks (View Comment):

    Render unto God what is God’s (forgiveness) and render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s (the stony lonesome). The Good Lord may forgive the attacker, but the King’s County Sheriff’s Department won’t.

    Not if the monk doesn’t press charges.

    Forgiveness, at least from a Christian perspective, is a complicated concept. I think the abbot may indeed forgive his trespasser on a personal level but still want his assailant arrested to promote civil order and make it less likely that others suffer a similar assault.

    That is an absurd interpretation of the command.

    Not if you are an Orthodox Christian. In that case it makes perfect sense.

    Getting Christian forgiveness does not mean skipping the consequences of your actions. Who knows how that silly belief sprung up, but it is not part of Orthodox Christian dogma. In the Orthodox sense, even if your victim “forgives” you, you do not receive forgiveness from God until and unless you acknowledge your sins and atone for them. Atonement may include accepting secular punishment. Forgiveness only applies to the next life, not this one. You collect your forgiveness at God’s judgement.

    We as Christians (at least Orthodox Christians) are asked to forgive our enemies for our sake as much as, if not more than for the sake of our enemies. Hate is corrosive and is as destructive to self as to the object of your hate.

    An example: As a teenager I was attacked by someone who was carrying a knife. I took steps to end the fight. Those steps included attempting to kill my attacker. I almost succeeded, but others intervened after I had disabled my attacker. Although I was a Christian, I still pressed charges against him, testified against him at the trial, and was an integral part of seeing he received punishment. (It was clear his attack was unprovoked and that I had attempted to walk away from the fight before he started it.)

    I did not break the law by attempting to kill him. Legally that was self-defense.

    I did not sin by attempting to kill him. I am allowed to defend myself against an unprovoked attack.

    I did not sin by pressing charges against him and seeing he went to prison. (In a sense it was an act of charity to society – he was out of circulation, unable to attack others. It was also an act of charity to him – the next person he attacked could have killed him.)

    After the trial I forgave him. I was not going to let hate for him consume me. Did he accept that forgiveness? Don’t know. Don’t care, because that is on him and he – not me – bears the consequences if he rejected it.

    • #23
    • April 18, 2019, at 7:01 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  24. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: ‘How’s Trump?’

    Well he is Russian Orthodox so . . . 

    • #24
    • April 18, 2019, at 7:12 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  25. Joshua Bissey Coolidge

    Skyler (View Comment):

    T-Fiks (View Comment):

    Render unto God what is God’s (forgiveness) and render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s (the stony lonesome). The Good Lord may forgive the attacker, but the King’s County Sheriff’s Department won’t.

    Not if the monk doesn’t press charges.

    Forgiveness, at least from a Christian perspective, is a complicated concept. I think the abbot may indeed forgive his trespasser on a personal level but still want his assailant arrested to promote civil order and make it less likely that others suffer a similar assault.

     

    That is an absurd interpretation of the command.

    Can you tell us how the command is to be interpreted? Do you think Jesus was telling us not to prosecute anyone, even for violent assault?

    • #25
    • April 18, 2019, at 7:23 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  26. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):

    I would guess that the knowledge of the Abbot’s forgiveness makes the perp’s skin crawl.

    Like heaping hot coals on his head:

    “This Indian had been taught to overcome and destroy all his friends he didn’t like,” said Bleeker, “but the priest told him that while that might be the Indian method, it was not the doctrine of Christianity or the Bible. ‘Saint Paul distinctly says,’ the priest told him, ‘If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink.’

    “The Indian shook his head at this, but when the priest added, ‘For in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head,’ Poor Lo was overcome with emotion, fell on his knees, and with outstretched hands and uplifted eyes invoked all sorts of blessings on the heads of all his enemies, supplicating for pleasant hunting-grounds, a large supply of squaws, lots of papooses, and all other Indian comforts.

    “Finally the good priest interrupted him (as you did me, Mr. President), exclaiming, ‘Stop, my son! You have discharged your Christian duty, and have done more than enough.’

    “‘Oh, no, father,’ replied the Indian; ‘let me pray! I want to burn him down to the stump!”

    • #26
    • April 18, 2019, at 7:23 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  27. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    It is pretty much inline with Methodist Teaching too, Skip. I have been in mainline Protestant churches all my life, and getting forgiven does not mean you don’t face the consequences for your actions in any church I have been in. 

    I think you explanation is spot on. 

    • #27
    • April 18, 2019, at 7:41 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  28. DrewInWisconsin, Influencer Coolidge

    Does no one remember the Pope going into a prison to visit with the man who attempted to assassinate him?

    That was a powerful witness to the world.

    • #28
    • April 18, 2019, at 7:58 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  29. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    Does no one remember the Pope going into a prison to visit with the man who attempted to assassinate him?

    That was a powerful witness to the world.

    Yes it was. I thought about mentioning it. 

    It is funny how non-Christians love to try to tell Christians how to live. If we don’t live up to our ideals (which, by the way is the whole point about being sinners), we are called bad Christians. I think most of us would agree we are not very Christ-like. We fail a bunch. That is why we need God’s forgiveness. That is the forgiveness for all crimes, and the Grace which lets us avoid His punishment. 

    But, mostly, Christians are not attacked for not living up to their ideals, they are attacked for not living up to what someone else thinks they should. It is hard enough to live up to Christ’s example. Impossible to live up to goalposts designed to let someone call you out. 

     

    • #29
    • April 18, 2019, at 8:04 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  30. Franco Member
    Franco Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    This man isn’t a Trump supporter, so he’s only speaking for himself. Me, I’m not about to preemptively forgive random political violence. It destabilizes our country and our society.

    This is why we have separation of church and state. This nice man isn’t living in a vacuum and his forgiveness is akin to letting someone cut in line in front of you without asking those behind you in line for their approval.

    I might consider it AFTER the perpetrator asks for forgiveness.

     

    • #30
    • April 18, 2019, at 8:28 AM PDT
    • 2 likes