Voices from Russia

Monday, 20 December 2010

Both the MP and the St Andrew the First-Called Foundation Consider the Attacks by Right-Wing Estonians upon the Mayor of Tallinn for Aiding the Construction of a Russian Orthodox Church Absurd and Outrageous

Estonian riot police attacking unarmed Russian civilians… the Reform Party is nothing but the GOP on steroids without a Miranda Rule.

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For the first time, the St Andrew the First-Called Foundation found itself confronted with charges that it cynically abused the religious feelings of believers for political purposes, so, it demanded an explanation from the Estonian authorities. The St Andrew the First-Called Foundation, which, at the request of Mayor Edgar Savisaar of Tallinn, allocated funds to build a Russian Orthodox church in the Estonian capital, expressed outrage at the criticism against him. “The leadership of the St Andrew the First-Called Foundation believes that the claims made by some Estonian politicians and media figures that the actions of Mayor Edgar Savisaar of Tallinn to support Orthodox believers, who are a religious minority in Estonia, threaten Estonian national security are outrageous and absurd”, according to a statement issued by the board of the St Andrew the First-Called Foundation conveyed to Interfax-Religion. This was the Foundation’s reply to the action of the Estonian Kaitsepolitsei (Security Police (KaPo)) naming Mr Savisaar an “agent of influence” of Russia, after the Tallinn mayor had asked the St Andrew Foundation to allocate funds to build a Russian Orthodox church in the Estonian capital.

As the statement further noted, the Foundation, to the best of its present ability, supports Orthodox believers in Israel, the Ukraine, Serbia, and other places around the world, in an attempt to “respond to requests from local Orthodox communities to raise funds for the construction and restoration of churches, the distribution of spiritual literature, and material support to individual believers. For the first time, we find ourselves confronted with accusations of cynically using the religious feelings of believers for political purposes. Neither Israel nor the Ukraine, or any other country for that matter, has accused our local partners of undermining the security of the local state”, the statement said.

The document asked the question, “’How do such statements, if they aren’t condemned by the Estonian leadership, mesh with the democratic values that are the basis of domestic and foreign policy of the European Union?’ Such accusations against local politicians who support the Orthodox community may be perceived by other local political, public, and commercial organisations as a signal, ‘Never help Russians’. Such irresponsible actions on the part of some Estonian politicians and media figures can be regarded as extremism and an attempt to incite sectarian and ethnic strife”, the Foundation believes. It considers that, under these circumstances, it’s important to ask the Estonian authorities whether they view “the support of the Russian-speaking minority and the Orthodox community to be criminal offences”. It also raised a concern, “What effect would discrimination against religious minorities have on the leadership of the European Union?”

As he explained recently at a press conference, Mr Savisaar, who also heads the largest opposition bloc in Estonia, the Centre Party, previously received from the St Andrew Foundation 1.5 million euros (60.847 million Roubles 1.975 million USD 1.271 million UK Pounds), which allowed a parish to resume the construction of a new church, and he said that the work should be complete by Christmas. Mayor Savisaar called the KaPo assertion that he posed a threat to national security because of his ties with Russia “a classic pre-election ploy” in the run-up to the 6 March parliamentary elections. In this case, he pointed up that he also aided the construction of an Evangelical Lutheran church and a Jewish synagogue in Tallinn, and helped to plan a mosque. He cited another example, the reconstruction of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran parish church in St Petersburg, where the work is carried out through funding from Estonia.

As reported, the Estonian newspaper Postimees published an article stating that President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said that the KaPo handed over a secret report naming Mr Savisaar a threat to Estonian security. The Centre Party stands for active cooperation with Russia and is the only Estonian political bloc that has concluded a cooperation agreement with a Russian political faction, in this case, the ruling United Russia Party. Traditionally, most of the Russians who have the franchise {most Russian-speaking Estonians are barred from voting by the neo-Nazi Reform Party junta: editor} vote for the Centre Party {a centre-left social liberal party… they’re the folks somewhat to the right of the social democrats and to the left of the social market “moderates”… of course, they’re antipodes away from the extremist neoliberals (“conservatives”)… as are all decent and upright people: editor}. A church dedicated to the Mother of God “Quick to Hear” was built in Lasnamäe, a mostly Russian-speaking neighbourhood in Tallinn. In autumn 2003, the late Patriarch Aleksei Ridiger of Moscow and all the Russias laid the cornerstone for the church. A spacious square in front of the church building is now under construction. The city authorities have named the new square in honour of the late Patriarch Aleksei, who was born in Tallinn.

Archpriest Nikolai Balashov, the deputy head of the MP Department for External Church Relations, emphasised that you couldn’t construe the provision of funds for building a Russian Orthodox church in Tallinn by a Russian foundation as an attempt to strengthen Russian political influence in Estonia. “Only a fevered imagination could describe the willingness of Russian businessmen and philanthropists to contribute money for the construction of an Orthodox church in Tallinn as an attempt to increase Russian political influence [in Estonia], he told Interfax-Religion. Fr Nikolai made these comments after the Estonian KaPo called Tallinn Mayor Edgar Savisaar an “agent of influence” of Russia, after Mr Savisaar asked the St Andrew Foundation to contribute funds for the construction of an Orthodox church in the Estonian capital.

According to Fr Nikolai, “If Russian assistance in the construction of an Orthodox church is judged in this way, in like manner, it seems that we could consider Estonian assistance in the restoration of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church in St Petersburg as being interference in internal affairs of the Russian Federation. It seems to me that this is a totally counterproductive approach. What lies at its core? Is it a fear of the neighbours, or is it unmotivated hostility from a political bloc? It would please us greatly if Estonian donors took a greater part in the construction of the parish church in Lasnamäe”. Fr Nikolai believes that Mayor Savisaar’s “care for the tens of thousands of Orthodox residents of the city is genuine and commendable”.

Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip criticised Tallinn Mayor Edgar Savisaar, who’s also the chairman of the largest opposition bloc, the Centre Party, for asking the Russian St Andrew the First-Called Foundation for financial assistance to help construct a new Russian Orthodox church in his city. Mr Ansip called this a “disgusting and abhorrent action. Even if we are talking only about suspicions, the Estonian people are entitled to know about it”, Mr Ansip said in an interview in the pro-government newspaper Postimees. In his view, even if it’s impossible to prove the allegations against Mayor Savisaar in court, “people have a right to know about the view of the KaPo”.

Last Thursday, Estonian media sources reported that the KaPo handed over a secret report to the prime minister, which stated that Mr Savisaar asked the St Andrew Foundation for 1.5 million euros (60.847 million Roubles 1.975 million USD 1.271 million UK Pounds) for the construction of a Russian Orthodox church in Tallinn. In the opinion of the ruling Reform Party {a neoliberal “free market” neo-Nazi party: editor}, Mr Savisaar intended to use the funds intended for the church in his campaign before the 6 March 2011 parliamentary elections. Mr Savisaar denied the accusations, saying that as the current government’s actions caused the present economic crisis, the Reform Party was trying to use the “Russian card” to distract voters.

20 December 2010

Interfax-Religion

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=38781

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=38782

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=38787

Editor’s Note:

This will only make sense if we give a definition for “liberal”. Here’s a good one:

Classical liberalism is a philosophy committed to the ideal of limited government and liberty of individuals, including freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and free markets.

Economic liberalism is the economic component of classical liberalism. It is an economic philosophy that supports and promotes laissez-faire economics and private property in the means of production. Proponents of economic liberalism believe political freedom and social freedom are inseparable with economic freedom, and use philosophical arguments promoting liberty to justify economic liberalism and the free market. Although economic liberalism can be supportive of government regulation to a certain degree, it tends to oppose government intervention in the free market that inhibits free trade and competition.

This is also known as Neoliberalism (it’s also known as Radicalism in Francophone countries).

IT’S NOT CONSERVATISM IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM.

Let’s keep it simple. The Reform Party is accusing the head of the Centre Party of using Russian funds funnelled through the St Andrew the First-Called Foundation for political purposes. The Reform Party is as inherently-unbelievable as the US Republican Party is; in fact, the US GOP is its firm and unshakable backer. There’s no money for a pittance for the unemployed… but billions for neo-Nazis? No problem! On top of all that, the KaPo existed during the Nazi occupation, and it was a willing and eager collaborator in the Holocaust. More recently, it was a willing stooge of the CIA in its torture programme. Great folks, eh? In short, the Reform Party is a bunch of right-wing racists. They bar most Russian-speakers from voting… and the USA and the EU turn a blind eye. If the Russian minority had full voting rights, the Reform Party neo-Nazis would be out… and the social liberal Centre Party would take power. Here’s a good definition of “social liberal”:

Social Liberalism is the belief that liberalism should include social justice. It differs from classical liberalism in that it recognises a legitimate role for the state in addressing economic and social issues such as unemployment, health care, and education whilst simultaneously expanding civil rights. Under social liberalism, the good of the community is viewed as harmonious with the freedom of the individual.

To keep it focused, the Church blesses social liberalism, social democracy (“socialism”), and the social market. It condemns liberalism (American “conservatism”) and the free market absolutely and without measure. Whenever a European Orthodox figure speaks of “liberalism”, they mean what Americans label “conservatism”. That is to say, the Church condemns the nihilist ideology of the GOP. The Church condemns such sectarians such as Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin; it rejects the materialist maunderings of Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter. Therefore, one can understand why the Foundation of St Andrew the First-Called is so steamed… a bunch of godless neoliberals is accusing them of funding a political campaign… and the St Andrew lot is known around the world for their openness and probity!

Reflect on this… the Republican Party supports the Reform Party… they share similar nihilist consumerist credos. Note well that the GOP also supports the Kosovo organ sellers, the Croatian Ustaše murderers, the Galician Uniate Orangies, and the Georgian killers of sleeping civilians (remember their bombardment of Tskhinval launched after giving their promise they were standing down?), as well as the neo-Nazi Balts. The GOP supports the enemies of the Orthodox narod. That’s why John Whiteford should remove his links to the godless Rush Limbaugh and the Sectarian Sarah Palin… as a priest, he can’t be telling people that such people hold acceptable views; our highest leaders (Patriarch Kirill and Patriarch Bartholomew) condemn their opinions.

Let’s stand with the good folks at the St Andrew the First-Called Foundation, Fr Nikolai, Mayor Savisaar, and all the decent Estonian and Russian people in Estonia! Let’s stand for a real democracy there! Don’t stand with the Reform Party… or the GOP, either! There’s NO difference between these two pustules of politics. Our Lord Christ didn’t die in vain… let’s see to it that His vision of a fair and just world is brought into clearer focus… we’ll never do it perfectly, but that doesn’t excuse us… we can do it… but we have to have the guts to try and fail time and again!

BMD

 

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