There are some aspects of "traditionalist"-minded Orthodox that strike me - and some others - as performing the role of "traditional Orthodox Christian" rather than being an Orthodox Christian, with all the difficulties entailed. It's certainly very easy to shut off your mind and spout platitudes. I'm reminded of a Thomas Merton footnote: “I had a pious thought, but I am not going to write it down." It is always very possible and very easy to come up with a more rigid, more conservative position than the last one given, and then you can very easily find somebody to support it. And there is a certain attraction to this - rigidity and conservatism for their own sake are seductive.
I'm not trying to impugn the motives of self-identified traditionalists or treat their discourse as behavior. But there are some odd things that often pop up:
- Enthusiasm for the tsar, Putin, Russia, Putin's Russia, etc.
- Decrying things as feminized, or other examples of performative masculinity/femininity.
- Susceptibility to conspiracy theories and anti-vax ideology.
- Neo-Confederate and Monarchist sympathies.
- Reflexive anti-Islamic, anti-homosexual, or broadly anti-liberal responses.
- EDIT: Scarves.
- Talking to other Christian denominations.
- The Hebrew Bible or the Vulgate.
- Young Earth Creationism.
- Not really theological, but goes here: "Thou/Thee" vs "You" language. This really the one that made me write this list. There is no particularly good or truly "traditional" reason to insist on "Thou" or to claim "You" is deficient.
- Anything to do with sex or gender.
- Constant referral to Patristic quotes.
- Another big one: using words like nous, phronema, panheresy, prelest, logismoi, etc.
- EDIT: denouncing the New Calendar.
EDIT: I want to note that being "performative" is not a criticism per se. Crossing yourself at the invocation of the Trinity is "performative Orthodoxy".