It’s becoming increasingly difficult for any ordinary man to be close to God in the West. Several adversaries to a holy lifestyle, both materially and intellectually, are within our society, which our elitist friends have empowered unapologetically over the last several generations. However, I believe that New York City is a uniquely satanic center where various forces unite against he who wants to be holy.
As someone who is trying to deepen his Orthodox Christian faith while living in the city, and having grown up here, I am obliged to inform my generation and the next of dangers to spiritual growth. In the end, it is mostly a man who is at fault for isolating himself from the Lord. But here are three huge ways being in New York City doesn’t help with that.
1. Radical Feminism
Apart from ruining sustainable long-term intimacy between the sexes, and furthering the emasculation of men, radical feminism has leveled the integrity of women. They have been brainwashed to dress immodestly and flaunt their bodies openly in the name of self-expression and independence. To dress immodestly is one of the only ways a female can claim freedom. Humorously, the “liberated” have become enslaved to the validation of men, especially on social media. Nonetheless, it is the ruling culture in the Big Apple.
In New York City, you can’t walk a mile without encountering a woman dressed immodestly. Times Square shoots images of sexualized women at you from all directions. It’s impossible to use public transportation without being exposed to dozens of hundreds of sexualized women, both in advertisements and in real life. Apart from that, New York City’s nightlife brings out levels of sexual immorality you wouldn’t find in the American Midwest.
Abortion is another plague in the city- the Big Apple is full of pro-choice men and women. That means there are hundreds of dead babies, killed by their “liberated” would-be mothers. I say these women are far from liberated and are enslaved to Satan.
But wait, there’s more…
2. The LGBTQ
Oh boy, the LGBTQ have astronomical levels of support from New Yorkers, and mainly from big corporations. New Yorkers generally accept the LGBTQ and their inconsistent and anti-human nature dogmas and even parade them on the streets through the “Pride Month” of June. Several pockets of Manhattan, like Chelsea, East and West Village, are LGBTQ towns. I remember walking through West Village not so long ago, and although I still found enjoyment and sincere appreciation of people socializing and drinking, I could feel the sinfulness.
For both radical feminism and the LGBTQ, there is an insane pressure to approve of both. I stand my ground, but my peers aren’t as firm. As Christians, we are kind to those we hold dear and those we encounter, but the American Left takes advantage of this. Not approving of a lifestyle is not the same as me being “homophobic.” This reasoning does not compute with many New Yorkers.
It’s important to keep in mind that materialism conflicts with some of the most fundamental laws God gave to us.
- Not having other gods before God (which often meant sculptures or idols)
- No making nor worshiping a carved image (again, a sculpture or idol)
- Don’t murder (people often murder for money or drugs)
- Don’t steal
- Don’t covet your neighbor’s house, donkey, etc. (which leads to breaking the other commandments not to steal, murder, etc.)
With that said, America is a capitalist society. New York City is, hands-down, the capital city of capitalism in the West. And its people are materialistic beyond comprehension.
People camp outside of Apple stores so they can be the first ones to enter. Some wait on hour-long lines for gadgets. People are obsessed with fashionable clothing.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting things, but New Yorkers dial it up to 100. Many can say that New Yorkers are materialistic because we have plenty of stores and businesses, and that people like to have displays of wealth, but I believe New Yorkers are trying to make up for the spiritual void within them and in their lives.
None of this compares to the ultimate materialistic killer of spiritual growth: smartphone addiction. With a smartphone, you can access pornography. You can shop. You can play games. You can lose yourself in social media.
The smartphone craze is idolatry. We charge our phones, customize them, and lose our minds if we drop them. Mothers take their babies out for a ride in the stroller through the neighborhood while texting on their devices and being utterly unaware of their surroundings.
A positive note: I predict that within a few months in New York City, being on the train and not using your smartphone will be a secret handshake between “woke” people. That would be cool.
This article is by no means an absolute, exhaustive laundry list of things that are potential spiritual distractions in the Big Apple. But my purpose was merely to give a preview of the spiritual wasteland that is New York City as a cautionary warning for any man who wants to stay or even live here and raise a family. There are temptations around every corner, and violations of God’s Word are commonplace. I realized that one can be angered by these negative influences, let alone be frustrated. Both are detrimental to one’s spiritual well-being.
The churches are not empty, but they are full of old people, and I am the youngest in any church I set foot in, aside from two babies who can hardly walk.
I pray that the youth will come to the Orthodox Church as I have, and I pray for those who seek to advance spiritually in a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah.
“For all that is in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-is not of the Father but is of the world.”
– 1 John 2:16, NKJV