I have a somewhat mixed reaction to ROCOR's "Orthodoxy in Dixie."
First, what I liked: It seemed to be done with the best of intentions. There seemed to be a genuine effort to try to understand the South, the Southern experience, and the Southern mindset. It sought to understand and not to judge. I really liked the idea of an indigenous Orthodoxy in the South that sought to embrace the best aspects of local Southern culture in it.
Second, what I felt could be improved:
1. I would retitle it "Orthodoxy in South Carolina." The South is a big place. It encompasses all the territory between Texas and Virginia, about 25% of the entire United States. There are really many Souths, not just one. You've got the aristocratic tradition of the Virginia Tidewater, along with the Mountain culture of the Appalachian South, the Atlantic Coastal South, the Gulf Coast South, the Piedmont South, the Fall Line and the Sand Hills, the Sea Islands, and Texas (which is both Southern AND Western at the same time). Yes, South Carolina is part of Dixie, but it is on a small part.
2. I thought it was sadly stereotypical, even though it tried not to be. The fact that the music began with playing "Dixie", then they showed the Confederate Battle Flag, then a picture of the controversial Maurice Bessinger and his BBQ restaurant made me cringe. When the priest in Summerville likened the Midnight Paschal Procession to an outdoor gathering of the KKK, I almost threw up. There are a lot of us in the South who (believe it or not) are not necessarily proud of our region's bloody and racist past, and don't care to be reminded of it. There are lots of Southerners who liked to emphasize the New South and progress. Many of us are ashamed of our region's Jim Crow past and its harsh and unfair treatment of African Americans. I taught for five years in a South Carolina school district and the Confederate Battle Flag was specifically FORBIDDEN to be anywhere on our campus (including bumper stickers on cars or student or faculty clothing). Yes, we recognize the whole Civil War thing was part of our heritage, but we are also raised to be polite here and think of other people's feelings. And because of that my family never stressed our ancestors involvement in the Civil War. A lot of us in South Carolina like to emphasize our state's role in the American Revolution and the 116 years of British rule that preceded it. Not all of us view ourselves as fighting a Lost Cause anymore. For many of us, we are simply Southern residents of the United States of America.
3. Where were the African Americans? South Carolina is 30% Black, a percentage exceeded only by the state of Mississippi. If Orthodoxy is really the Catholic Faith as we claim, would not all people be attracted to it? Please don't tell me there aren't any African American Orthodox because I know some and, yes, they are here in South Carolina and even belong to my Russian Orthodox parish (OCA).
4. I just felt it was kind of shallow and focused mainly on the exterior and focused way too much on food and not the faith.