Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

You Have the Right to Remain Silent…

Filed under: Christian,intellectual,religious,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00


One such fellow sent us a 7-page letter to the editor and demanded that we print it in full and embark upon a wide-ranging debate in the pages of our paper about why we were wrong. Needless to say, we didn’t do so. But, I have always wondered if there isn’t some tendency toward totalitarian thought among people like that. Probably, a nice guy otherwise, but, something about our resisting his “authority” rankled him.

Andrew Sabak

We have all met those who bloviate continually on “free speech”… how good it is… how much they are in favour of such… blah, blah, blah. There is one constant that I note in such sorts… you can say anything that you please… as long as it agrees with what they think is the truth. “You have a right to your opinion”… usually prefaces a rant demanding that one not only retract one’s statement, but, also remove it from public view and a demand to keep your mouth shut in future. A variation on this is, “I hate to criticise others, but…” This is nothing but weasel-words and mealy-mouthed hypocrisy. Such sorts do not “hate to criticise others”, but, since the therapeutese regnant amongst the overeducated states that “criticism” is a bad thing, they, of course, do not wish to do so… but, they MUST… because the object of their wrath is being so “nasty” to “nice” people.

One of my interlocutors recently started a post by saying, “I hate to criticise others”… I would say to that person, “Grow up! You wish to criticise me and you hate what I am saying against your idol. Be honest… be frank. Don’t be a phony and don’t be afraid of admitting unpleasant truths. You’ll feel better and be a better person to the others around you. In short, be less tight-arsed and overly-earnest… Disagree openly and without dissimulation… you will find that your opponents are often respectable folks (you might like them better than some of your allies… I have certainly found that true in life, dear) that will respect you for that. You’ll probably smile more and everyone will like you better”.

However, I think that Mr Sabak hits the nail precisely on the head with “I have always wondered if there isn’t some tendency toward totalitarian thought among people like that”. As for me, if you wish to disagree with me, well, I say that you should get to work and do your best! I don’t mind objective argument… note well that I do not bring up anything personal in my argumentation… anyone who replies in like kind is welcome. I would warn my readers that anyone who tries to destroy a thesis by ad hominem citations is beyond the pale and we must reject them out of hand as  uncivil and loutish people. Besides… ask yourself… why are they getting personal, especially when the original poster was not (note well that I do my best to protect the identities not only of my friends, but, of my foes also)?

Are there specific instances of “totalitarian thought among people like that?” Yes… I remember that after the death of Vladyki Cyprian in 1980, there was an incident at St Tikhon’s… a seminarian used “thee” to address God, and a modernist shoved him off the kliros… you see, the modernists insist that we use “you” instead of the more-traditional “thee”, and this seminarian’s action was just “infuriating”. No reason was given… those involved issued no apologies. This is how the Reonovationists imposed their liturgical innovations… in a nasty, cruel, and high-handed fashion. These are the people who the konvertsy praise and associate with… it makes me wonder how “traditional” they are… my Anglican friends assure me that many of those who convert to Orthodoxy are malcontents who tried their totalitarian shtick in their former confession, and failed. What’s that old saying…? Never buy a pig in a poke… It does seem to apply here.

Do be careful when listening to the totalitarians… they never tell the story in all of its fullness… then, they get upset if you add the missing detail… for instance, there was a fulsome (and disgusting) little blurb on oca.org pouring praise on Lyonyo Kishkovsky. You can see it at: http://www.oca.org/news/1974 (Here is a typical sentence from this tedious piece of fluff: He is especially recognised throughout the Orthodox world for his outstanding work in the field of inter-Church relations and ecumenical witness… doesn’t that make you wish to hurl?) It states that he has been rector of the OCA parish in Sea Cliff for 35 years… omitting the fact that there was a nasty court fight over the parish property and that most of the parishioners decamped for a new ROCOR parish founded after they lost their legal fight (Lyonyo was known for his personal nastiness in this case). It also omits to mention that Kishkovsky was head of the OCA DECR under Feodosy, Herman, and now JP… you see, JP claims that no major figure is left at Syosset from the former administration. THAT is a manifest lie and I shall say so openly. Totalitarian people not only lie by commission, they lie by omission as well… indeed, they may lie by omission more than they do by telling actual fibs. This is, perhaps, the most dangerous thing to watch for when you listen to totalitarians… do not attend to what they say openly as much as you should listen for what is left out.

You have the right to remain silent… to pay for the expenses of your betters… and to bow your head before their education and wisdom. After all, they only have your best interests in mind. The Church will be in danger if we tell you the story full and unexpurgated. Trust us… for everything has changed.


img_0001Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Wednesday 28 October 2009

Albany NY

Editor’s Postscript:

I would like to thank Andrew Sabak for giving me the inspiration for this post. It all flowed easily once he gave me the central thesis of the argument. This is one of the more pleasant aspects of this work. I get to become acquainted with some very dear folk who spur me on to things that I couldn’t have thought of on my own. Vielen Dank! Ochen spasibo!

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