Voices from Russia

Thursday, 8 December 2011

8 December 2011. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words… THIS is What the Hatred of Bigots Does to a Person…

Filed under: Islam,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00
Tags: , , , ,

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Anida Yoe Ali, an American Muslim artist, shared her grief… last year, vandals smashed an exhibition of her work at the University of Chicago, on 11 May 2010. She dedicated her exhibition to the growth of Islamophobia after 11 September 2001, but bigots trashed it, and, on one wall, there was a chilling inscription “Kill all Arabs“. THIS what the Tea Party wants, America… draw the proper conclusion.

BMD

A Miracle of Faith

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About three million people came to churches in 15 cities of Russia to venerate the Belt of the Most Holy Mother of God. This was an unprecedented event. In modern Russia, never have so many people came forward in such a short time to bow before a holy thing (святыне). The people came out, in spite of long lines, cold, rain, and snow. His Holiness Patriarch Kirill didn’t call this event a miracle in vain. This really was a miracle of faith, a miracle of zeal for God, a miracle of love for the Mother of God. People responded to this miracle in many ways. I know that many lukewarm or somnolent believers came to the Belt, and that act changed their attitude towards God and the Church in their lives. I know people from other religions who came and bowed before this relic.

However, there were those who lost their heads when they learned about this miracle. It doesn’t surprise anybody to find out that enemies of the Church went so far as to say that this massive outpouring of reverence for this holy object (святыни) was a sign of either a deficiency in people’s faith, or even a mark of outright unbelief; they said that real Orthodox Christians must be above such things, and concentrate on pure spirituality. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that anti-Church (антицерковно) elements claimed that the powers-that-be planned this event to be in close proximity to the elections. They said that Putin and Medvedev ginned up the hoopla around the relic to affect the election; then, they turned around and wrote that people came to venerate the Belt because they no longer trusted Putin and Medvedev.

Well, this sort of reaction was predictable. However, what really surprised and disappointed me was the response of some Orthodox laity people and even some priests. One of these clerics even wrote that the outpouring of faith before the relic was at odds with the need to preach “the primacy of inner faith”, but he couldn’t seem to grasp that the Christian faith isn’t only internal and personal… it needs to have external expression, it must affect all of our behaviour, including our public life; it can’t just be an expression of belief in what the Church teaches. A purely internal belief is defective. Yes, our inner faith forms the foundation and basis of mankind’s relationship with God, but it can just as quickly turn into vain self-worship or a mutual admiration society of the “like-minded” if we don’t build up ties with all the fullness of the Body of the Church, if we don’t care about the salvation of all those about us, even if those people radically differ from us on this-or-that point. I’m afraid that such intra-Church criticism comes from those who consider themselves a spiritual élite; they’re not willing to accept communities and people whom they consider “unworthy” with sincerity and warmth. There are all kinds of people in our society and in our Church. With some, the Lord speaks through texts and systematic studies; with others, He acts through images, feelings, the good-will that we give to our brethren in Christ, and the warmth of family and parish ties. The Church is more than just those who base their faith on intellectual arguments. Such people, by the way, in any group, are always a minority. We shouldn’t try to constrain God’s faculties, which operate using different ways and through different channels… not necessarily through intellectual, missionary, educational, or informational means.

People came to the Belt of the Mother of God for various reasons. Diseases and afflictions caused some to come; some came on the urging of loved ones, some, perhaps, just because it was trendy and modish. Yet, the Mother of God took everyone, even those who couldn’t stand the wait in the queue and collapsed. The Mother of God heard and accepted all the good intentions, all the impulses of faith and love; of course, they won’t go without reward. Now, the problem facing active, educated, and intelligent Orthodox Christians is to help those who took their first steps in faith before the Belt, and who need a deeper churching (воцерковлению) in order to persevere. We should support the grace that touched them at that point through our catechetical and educational efforts. Quite naturally, the priests standing near the queue, who had His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s blessing, talked to the people that bowed before the Belt, telling them of the need for confession and communion… that they must begin to lead a Christian life. Both church and secular media reported that this happened, with everyone who approached the reliquary. I which to emphasise again that there’s no difference between the educated and the simple in God’s eyes. The Lord can call anybody; the Lord reaches out to everybody, He speaks to them through His Mother.

Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that the Church accepts external ideas of egalitarianism, which appeared in the last century as part of a revolutionary movement, part of which was explicitly anti-Christian. Yes, all men are equal, in the sense that they equally embody the image of God. Yet, it isn’t mere coincidence that the Lord decrees that some will be greater or smaller in His kingdom. Similarly, the Church, which is the icon of God’s kingdom, relates to different people in different ways. Some have special sanctifying grace conferred upon them at ordination. Others need special assistance due to their particular status, if they’re young or old, or if they’re sickly. Another group are grateful benefactors. Then, there’s those who labour without fanfare at God’s work in monasteries or parishes.

Therefore, it’s odd for Christians to join the murmur of those who said, “You let those who didn’t wait on line venerate the relic”. Yes, the bishops bowed before the reliquary without waiting in queue; priests, especially those from distant parts, along with small groups of their parishioners and church workers went directly to serve moliebens in front of the relic. Some essential workers also got to the head of the line, along with small children, the very old, and the disabled, who didn’t have to wait long either. That’s the way it is, and the way it’ll always be in the Church. We shouldn’t hypocritically try to conceal it, because it’s not sinful. The Church is hierarchical, but, at the same time, it makes allowances for essential workers and those with special needs. Therefore, there wasn’t and couldn’t be absolute equality in access to the relic. Thus, there was no moral imperative to “bend the law”, especially for those who didn’t come to the relic and who didn’t even have any intentions of coming to it.

The Mother of God touched Her Veil to a large number of people, to important figures and to the simple, to the rich and to the poor, to the healthy and to the weak, to those who came to the relic, and to those who couldn’t make it. We need to thank Her for this, and I hope that it’ll spiritually transform Russia; that we’ll become, not only in name, but also in the lives of our people, the House of the Mother of God.

5 December 2011

Fr Vsevolod Chaplin

Head of the MP Department of Church and Society

Русь державная (Sovereign Rus)

December 2011 issue

As quoted in Interfax-Religion

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=43372

8 December 2011. No Comment Necessary Department… Bush Administration Dumped US Soldiers’ Remains on the Rubbish Tip

These are the men who the GOP holds in contempt… they throw their remains on the rubbish tip, literally.

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Here’s the ideology of the current GOP… any questions?

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Read this. Any questions? THIS is what the Republican Party stands for… don’t forget, Rush Limbaugh, Richard Cheney, Sean Hannity, Rand Paul, Bill O’Reilly, Newt Gingrich, and Grover Norquist are all yellow cowards who REFUSED to serve their country in the forces. The current Republican Party honours such cowardly and grasping trash, whilst at the same time it treats the remains of the war dead with extreme disrespect. This is too much of a muchness… if you vote Republican after this, you’re a soulless creep… and I’ll say so openly.

However, no matter what, we should take these remains, identify those whom we can, and those that we can’t ID should be interred respectfully in a common grave in a prominent place with a proper monument, with flags flying and all the honours requisite for our war dead. I always knew that the Bushies were soulless pigs only interested in MONEY, MONEY, MONEY… but this? Not even one’s worst enemy could make this up.  NO further commentary is necessary. I’ve gotta go and hurl to clear out my system…

BMD

8 December 2011. Georgie Ann Geyer Issues Ignorant Rant on Russia… Berdyaev Was NOT a “Russian Orthodox Analyst” (sic)

Note well that Ms Geyer only spoke about a few thousand unrepresentative pro-Western “demonstrators” in Moscow (carried live on Western media networks), not the MILLIONS of Orthodox Christians who went on otpust to venerate the Belt of the Most Holy Mother of God (carried live on Russian media networks). As per usual, this Western commentator gets it all WRONG, yet again (it’s not personal, all the Western media’s guilty of this)… but she has the god-damned gall to lecture us about our own intellectual milieu. Crow Supreme, any one? 

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Read this. This is an utter crock o’ shit from stem to stern… but look at what she calls the heretic Nikolai Berdyaev… a “Russian Orthodox analyst”. Only a fatuous jackass with no knowledge of Russia, its religious and intellectual tradition, and of its people and culture would make such a vacuous statement. Berdyaev was at odds with the Church… he held the erroneous idea of Universal Reconciliation; he was a believer in the heresy of Apokatastasis. He’s outside the mainstream of both Russian religious and intellectual development. However, as a Radical Individualist, he’s to the liking of many Westerners, as he’s one of the few Russian figures to fit their preconceived notions and fancies (Tolstoy’s another). I’d recommend to Ms Geyer that she read Solzhenitsyn, Dostoyevsky, and Fr Mikhail Pomozansky, three very Russian Orthodox figures, and compare them to Berdyaev. She’d find a WORLD of difference. I’d go so far as to say that one has to understand the weltanshauung of these three figures in order to have a good handle on the intellectual tradition of Russian Orthodoxy (I don’t mean “doctrine” or “spirituality”… I mean its intellectual milieu).

There’s another point here for Orthodox Christians. Berdyaev lived in Clamart… guess who served as a curate (in its Anglican sense) in Clamart? You guessed it… Aleksandr Dmitrievich Schmemann. You can see where some of ADS’ loopiness came from. My view is that ADS was one of the most “complex” figures in diaspora Russian Orthodoxy. He was a genius… he was an enthusiast… he was a “rainmaker”… he was an unrealistic dreamer… all at once and all jumbled up. For certain, he wasn’t as focused and “professorial” as Ivan Feofilovich was… I submit that Meyendorff was the “brains” of the “Schmemanndorff” duopoly, just as ADS was its “soul”. ADS was a “darfstellar”… a “one-off”… a prodigy, if you will. ADS met Berdyaev when he was young and impressionable. The imprint’s obvious to all of us who know how to look for the signs. Note well that Ms Geyer said nothing about the Losskys (père et fils), Georgi Florovsky, or Justin Popović. Therefore, her characterisation of Berdyaev as a “Russian Orthodox analyst” is ignorant, wrong-headed, and founded in pure fancy.

Ms Geyer’s entire thesis is crank and crack-brained. I’ll tell you what showed us more about the “Russian soul” than the antics of a few mere demonstrators. THREE MILLION Russians venerated the Belt of the Most Holy Mother of God. THREE MILLION. Stick THAT in your hillbilly moron crackpipe and smoke it, Ms Geyer. If you’re going to opine on Russia, Russian Orthodoxy, and the Russian people, you’d best KNOW what you’re talking about… and don’t bleat if more knowledgeable people beat up your ideas in the agora. You shouldn’t say such asinine things such as “Now, for the first time, 20 years late for some, individualisation and freedom may really be coming for Russia. That’s not bad for a week’s work”. That’s fatuous, air-headed, and utterly WRONG… and I’m NOT afraid to say so.

However, do note the arrogance of the Westerners (and their zapadnik allies in the Church). We should give such trashy and rubbishy statements no quarter when they come from outsiders, and we should take all “insiders” who echo them to the woodshed (at least). Russia’s what it is… and, thank God, it’s NEVER going to conform to Ms Geyer’s fevered maundering. Georgie Ann Geyer gets an “F” for this production… and we should say so, loudly. “Individualism”… that’s as lunatic as “giving your heart to Jayzuss” and trusting “the invisible hand of the market”… God DO save us from such…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Thursday 8 December 2011

Albany NY

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