Voices from Russia

Sunday, 27 August 2017

27 August 2017. A Thought on Fascism from Metropolitan Anastasy Gribanovsky

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This nails it. Our Church has NEVER blessed fascism or racism of any sort. All those amongst who support the US Republican Party (and Establishment Dems) spit on the graves of our ancestors and spit on what they passed on to us. There’s no other way of putting it.

BMD

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Sunday, 28 May 2017

“Sincerely Held Belief” Is a Slippery Slope to Theocracy

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There’s a serious issue with Christian paranoia in North America. We hear Christians complaining about being denied religious freedom, and demanding special rights, beyond the rights of other citizens. Just now, we have a trial in British Columbia, in Canada, on the rights of one particular religious group, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – Fundamentalist. Their deeply held religious belief is that God ordained polygamy and that they should observe it. It seems likely the courts will announce that we can’t honour such a religious “right” because it’s contrary to Canadian civil law. We don’t see a single other religious body standing up for and defending the right of this Church to exercise this deeply held religious belief freely.

However, let’s look a bit further. Follow the arguments and make a list of the “rights” that the state denies Christians in North America, aside from being forbidden to make animal (or human) sacrifices. The rights that certain Christian bodies demand aren’t the right to assemble and worship according to their doctrines, and live their lives according to their doctrines! Not at all. Neither Canada nor the USA has ever infringed those rights. The rights that these particular Christians demand are all… every one of them… the right to deny others their rights and freedoms; the right to persecute, humiliate, and denigrate those who don’t share their doctrine and understanding of life. They stop short of demanding the right to kill blasphemers or to burn witches and perceived heretics at the stake. However, all the rights they claim they are denied have to do with persecuting others, denying others of equal rights with them, the right to subvert the Constitution (in America) or the Charter (in Canada).

In other words, such Christians demand special extra-constitutional rights for themselves, and those rights include attempting to destroy other people’s lives and to persecute those who don’t share their doctrines and understandings. All religious bodies have the right to assemble, read their holy books, and follow their religious practises, so long as those doctrines and religious practices don’t harm others or deprive others of their legal rights. If we believe in our particular Word of God, this gives us no rights to attack, spread hate about, persecute, or attempt to destroy the lives of other who have a different “Word of God” such as the Quran, which they equally deeply and sincerely believe to be the direct “Word of God”.

However, neither Muslims nor others have the right to do those things to those who believe that the Judeo/Christian Bible is the express “Word of God”. Moreover, neither we nor Muslims have any right whatsoever to persecute and destroy the lives of or denigrate those who either understand those Holy Books differently that one or another denomination, or who don’t accept their authority at all. To try to convert people is natural. To try to bully, coerce, and take over the government to force people by law to obey one religion or another is clearly just a form of Ego-Fascism. Compelling outward compliance and not converting the hearts of others seems to me to be utterly opposed to Christ Jesus and the Holy Apostles, that’s shameless and unworthy of the name “Christian”.

11 May 2017

Lazar Puhalo

Facebook

Editor:

Christianity is NOT under attack in the USA or Canada. Actually, some claim “rights” that don’t exist. For instance, many Orthodox parishes have made their parish halls places of public accommodation. That is, they rent them out to outsiders, to generate income. If you make your hall into a place of public accommodation, and not a parochial closed venue, then, you must follow the laws regarding places of public accommodation. You can’t allow some to rent the facility and deny it to others based on “sincerely held” beliefs. You must either open it to all comers or keep it as a closed venue. That’s the law in a secular state, and I believe that law to be a good one. Churches shouldn’t be in business… they have more important fish to fry. However, the lure of “easy money” seduces many. We shouldn’t be making our parish halls public banqueting facilities. I’d note that the Catholics don’t do so… they’re right in so doing.

Another so-called “right” is for public officials to refuse to carry out public duties. A civil marriage is NOT a sacramental marriage. A civil marriage is a legal arrangement… not a Mystery of the Church. Can a Christian carry out a “gay marriage?” If one is the public official responsible for such, you must. It isn’t a sacramental action… it’s nothing but a civil contract. Can you disagree with such publicly? Of course, that’s what free speech is all about… but you must also carry out your official duties to the secular state. That’s what many Christian people did in the Sov times. They did right. If a Christian doesn’t feel right in performing such an action, they should deputise a subordinate who’s willing to do it. That protects them… they uphold their duty under the law and uphold the dictates of their conscience, too. What one can’t do is to make a showy self-serving protest… we all know what the Apostle said about loud clashing cymbals, don’t we? Deputise someone and be done with it. That’s the ticket… it upholds conscience and denies the godless a chance to attack Christians and their faith. As the Apostle said, we must be as wise as serpents and innocent as doves. I’d say that it’s time for serpentine doves… self-inflicted splashy “martyrdom” isn’t Christian, after all…

BMD

Friday, 24 March 2017

24 March 2017. This is What Passes for “Christianity”… Can You See Why Atheism is On the March?

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Evangelicalism believes in the above, sadly enough. Unfortunately, we have many semi-converted Evangelicals amongst us (including clergy) who’ve brought their heretical notions on ordering society into the Church. We’ll have the devil to pay to root this out… or these demonic ideas will gut the Church and make it a mockery of its Founder and His Ideals. However, they hate “fags”, advocate the death penalty, wave the flag, applaud war in foreign parts, want “prayer” in school, and wave placards demanding the illegalisation of abortion… isn’t that special…

BMD

Friday, 9 September 2016

9 September 2016. Calling “Good” “Evil” and “Evil” “Good”

00-patr-kirill-with-cuban-doctors-090916

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Satan baits his traps with objectively good things… “You can vote for this warmonger and death-penalty advocate because they oppose abortion”. Have a care… on this side of the veil, good and evil mingle. That IS the point of the Wheat and the Tares, isn’t it? As I told a young priest, “There are no perfect political factions this side of the veil”. Indeed… many who mouth love of God are actually theomachists and many secularists are more truly advocates of Christ’s teaching than we are (let’s call things for what they are). There are all too many counterfeits afoot… especially, on the internet.

You can vote for Dr Jill… overall, her programme is more in accord with what we believe in as Russian Orthodox Christians than are the platforms of Chilly Hilly, Trump the Chump, and Scary Gary. Yes… she’s pro-choice… but she’s antiwar, anti-death penalty, and pro-single-payer healthcare. HH thinks that the Cuban healthcare system rocks. HH agrees with Dr Jill… not with Trump or Hilly or Gary. Our Church is NOT in favour of godless “conservative” ideologies. Indeed, American “conservatives” (think Rod Dreher or Glenn Beck or Patrick Buchanan) articulate POVs inimical to what we hold as Russian Orthodox believers. In fact, our people leave the Church behind whenever they articulate ANY part of the so-called “conservative” agenda. By the way, never forget that “liberal” from Russian sources means “conservative” in Anglospeak. That’s how chowderheads like Whiteford go wrong… they don’t know Russian political verbiage (or anything about the Russian language and culture in general), so, they get it wrong all the time. Isn’t it sad how these lunkheads NEVER catch on to the fact that most Russians HATE the Free Market and HATE just about everything that “conservatives” stand for? I just can’t get overly angry over dimwits who’ll never grasp the point even if it’s explained time and again to them. However, do oppose them as they hold POVs utterly at odds with what the Church teaches.

The present situation is very murky, indeed… “Evangelicals” support “Conservatives” that advocate perpetual warfare and they worship the rich… secularists support many social viewpoints enshrined in recent policy documents from the Mother Church… please, take extreme caution. Many “Christians” promote sheer evil and many secularists back much of what Our Lord Christ taught. After all… who wanted Christ dead? It was the respectable and religious of his day… those who would call themselves Republicans, Democrats, or Libertarians today… now, that’s a MEATY reflection…

BMD

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