Voices from Russia

Monday, 28 November 2011

28 November 2011. Orthodox Unity! A Meditation on What We Are…

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To use Sergei Solovyov’s formulation, there IS such a thing as an Orthodox Civilisational Sphere. We are NOT Westerns… we are NOT Islamic. We’re an independent and autonomous intellectual and spiritual realm, with no essential ties to Rome, Wittenberg, or Mecca. These three are all ideational constructs, they’re all “religions”… one gives one’s assent to them. Of course, we’ve been influenced by outside forces, as all Civilisations have been, but we owe nothing to outsiders for our essence, for our inner spiritual core. Unlike the West, there was no “Fall of Rome” for us… Orthodox Christian Rome stood for a thousand years after the fall of its peripheral Western provinces. For us, for our ideological construct, there was no “Renaissance“… there was no “Reformation“… there was no “Enlightenment“. Our ideology remains rooted in Christian Antiquity, with no need to appeal to Reformation or Counter-Reformation arguments.

It’s why konvertsy who approach Orthodoxy as a “religion” get it utterly wrong. Orthodoxy’s an Existential Gestalt… it’s a Grounded Ontological Reality… it’s  not merely a Western “belief of the heart” or a religious system. Orthodoxy’s rather a complete synthesis of the secular and spiritual, and to try to practise it with its secular aspects thrown to the side results in a castrated and bowdlerised faith utterly unfit for any use whatsoever. Orthodoxy, for good or for ill, is EMBODIED… it’s RUSSIAN OrthodoxyGREEK Orthodoxy… you name it. It’s NOT “Mere Orthodoxy”… only a deluded Anglican convert (or a Renovationist fanatic) could believe in such nonsense.

Yes… you can join us… but there’s the whole banana to be accepted, like it or not. Can any Westerner throw aside their intellectual conceits and notions? They can, but they can’t carry over ANY of their Western delusions… that is, no “Manhattan Declarations“… no links to Western rightwing political parties… no “Pro-Life Marches”… no Lumen Gentium conferences… no lectures on the “Prayer of the Heart” restricted to paid hearers. Orthodoxy’s none of those… it doesn’t protest… it witnesses. This is a fundamentally harder thing to carry through… that’s why most don’t even begin to implement it. If you’re not prepared to “witness”, to follow the path of “martyrios”, to be a Martyr in the truest sense of the word, to pay the price of God’s Freedom to the last farthing, I’d suggest that you shut up. That’s the long and short of it.

This is all intended to make you THINK. We’re Orthodox Christians… we’re not Catholics… we’re not Protestants. We don’t hate them, but we’re not of them, and that’s that. Can you accept that we’re not “Western”… that we’re not “religious?” Give it some thought before answering…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Monday 28 November 2011

Albany NY 

28 November 2011. Spare a Thought for Our Co-Religionists in the Middle East

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At present, the situation in Egypt‘s rather dicey and could turn ugly at any moment. Some 10 to 15 percent of Egyptians are Christians, most are Coptic Orthodox, with some Eastern Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic groups thrown in, and a statistically-insignificant number of Catholics and Proddies.  The image above shows a woman at prayer in an Orthodox church in Cairo. Spare a moment for our co-religionists in Egypt, they’re facing serious threats to their very existence. Light a candle and say a prayer… keep them in mind. They DO need our help…

BMD

28 November 2011. Stepan the Future Paralympian… Here’s the REAL DEAL, Folks!

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Stepan lives in a community for the disabled run by the Orthodox Church. He’s not “crippled”, nor is he “differently abled”… he’s a kid facing life with what he’s got… and that’s quite good enough, I say. If you can’t see past the obvious, you’ve got a problem. Is he a future gold medallist? Only time will tell us…

NB:

NEVER confuse the Paralympics (which are a legit sporting event) with the “Special Olympics”, which may be many things, but it’s not a sporting event. Russian Paralympians earn the same professional distinctions as any other athlete can… they can become Masters of Sport or Honoured Masters of Sport. It’s the Real Deal, and that’s all that matters…

BMD

28 November 2011. A Picture IS Worth a Thousand Words… Whaddaya Want? Do You Want “Black Friday” or Do You Want “The Reason for the Season?”

Filed under: moral issues,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00
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From the cycle “My Beautiful Childhood”

Yelena Cherneyeva

2011

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All sorts of self-congratulatory articles in the American media praise the latest “Black Friday”… sales were UP, UP, UP… that means that the country’s “on the road to recovery”. I beg to differ. “Black Friday” is PERVERTED. I never set foot in a store or mall on that day. I’m no prude or religious nutter, either… I’m in favour of kazoos, vuvuzelas, and good honest beer. However, there’s just something utterly WRONG with the whole idea of Black Friday… I can’t put my tongue around it, but I’m certain that you know what I mean. Look at the kid in the image above. Do you want the innocence embodied in that child or do you want the corrosive greed embodied by the schmidiot who sprayed all and sundry with pepper spray so that they could walk away with an Xbox? I know where I stand! I’ll confide that I’m NOT alone, either!

Black Friday or Good Friday… which one do YOU believe in?

BMD

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