I've been running into a lot of this these days. Particularly among Orthodox, but it is everywhere. We have no respect for people we disagree with, and feel free to insult them... because we believe our insults to be true.
The Orthodox here in America suffer from two forms: the 'ethnophyletistic' hyper-nationalist variety that exults a particular nationality, and the more convert-borne type emanating from years of inter-Protestant contention with other sects and a big dose of Calvinist predestination. That's not to say you can't cherry-pick a few humdinger quotes from various Fathers of ages past to prove your point that the 'bad guys' really are super-duper bad, but even the most pugilistic of quotes often come from those who didn't base their entire religious experience on those statements, unlike the modern users do.
The Church is not about its theological strongmen who write the most forceful documents, but rather those who repent and come to experience the glories of God in His merciful healing. However, there are plenty of people running around who have not really experienced this profound sense of repentance. That's OK, but don't posit yourself as the great authority.
Perhaps I am being a bit hypocritical in condemning elitism, because this also elevates my own standing over others. Yes, I am willing to admit that I do struggle with my own pride, and I do engage in being 'judgy.' One thing I do know: I am not particularly qualified to say much of anything, and I don't hold myself up as an authority on anything. There are people with years of training and experience on matters of addiction and theology. When I encounter them, I usually defer.
But, I will not defer when I see someone else being judged or insulted. Part of why I write here is because there are lots of people who need the healing of the Church, but feel, for whatever reason, like they are looked down upon of shunned because of their problems or temptations. It is here that I stand on my little soapbox and, perhaps, humiliate myself for speaking 'out of turn.'
When elitism drives people away from the Church, it is demonic. When we insist that only people of a certain kind of ethnicity or politics or background or appearance are welcome in the sanctuary, then we are elitists and thus enemies of God Himself. When we mock or insult others, calling them names for no other reason than to exult ourselves like the Pharisee, then we are truly 'heterodox' or even heretics.
God calls all of us sinners for good reason. Even the purest of saints saw himself as one fallen and befouled. If we really saw our own filth, and experienced the love of God, then we would not write other people off and mock their misery.
Elitism and compassion do not go together. An elitist can pity someone else, but pity is for those who do not know what it is to be abased. Only God can really pity man. The only genuine experience a man can have of someone else's suffering is compassion, knowing his own experience of pain and being able to relate to others through it.
An elitist, then, is not honest about who he is, or who God is.
Be careful when an elitist tries to speak for the Church. He may mouth some words of truth, but often they are twisted in meaning. The elitist will say, "I stand for the Tradition of the Church!" But, upon closer examination, he has an altered view of the real Tradition. How can you tell? Because he will quickly condemn all those in the Church around him who are not 'doing it right.'
The Tradition is something we all share. It is what we have all received, and do are best to carry out and hand down. The elitist says only a few have it.