Voices from Russia

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Pope Francisco Called Unfettered Capitalism “Tyranny”

00 Pope Francisco. 27.11.13


Editor’s Note:

HH agrees with Pope Francisco down-the-line on social issues. That means that we have many, both clergy and lay, who’re in contempt of their teachings. Let’s not be coy. Such people spit on Christ and His Church, full stop. Do have a care with so-called Ancient Faith Radio… it’s full of rightwing konvertsy who’ve no idea of the real social teaching of the REAL Church. You’d think that contraception was against the Church, if you listened to these demented toddlers. Well, I listen to real-deal people like Fr Vsevolod Chaplin, and he says that contraception is A-OK with the Church. You pays your money and you takes your choice… I’ve paid, and I’ve chosen… what about you? Oh… Fr Vsevolod’s only the closest confidant to HH… I do think that makes him a bit more privy to what’s truly Orthodox than the dribbling shake n’ bakes on AFR.



Earlier this month, Laurie Goodstein reported for the New York Times that Pope Francisco’s softer rhetoric on hot-button social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage were causing conservative Catholics no small amount of chagrin. It looks like they can expect more cognitive dissonanceaccording to this report in The Guardian:

Pope Francis attacked unfettered capitalism as “a new tyranny”, urging global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality in the first major work he authored as pontiff. The 84-page document, known as an apostolic exhortation, amounted to an official platform for his papacy, building on views he has aired in sermons and remarks since he became the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years in March. In it, Francisco went further than earlier comments criticising the global economic system, attacking the “idolatry of money” and beseeching politicians to guarantee all citizens “dignified work, education, and healthcare”. He also called on rich people to share their wealth. Francisco wrote in the document issued on Tuesday, “Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills. How can it be that it isn’t a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure but its news when the stock market loses two points?”

In a sense, the new pope is just grappling with the reality he faces. Polls show that American Catholics, at least, agree with the pontiff’s position that the church focuses too much on social issues. Moreover, Francisco recently commissioned a survey of Catholics around the world to see where they fall on these questions. Meanwhile, Dominic Barton, the Managing Director of McKinsey & Co.writes in today’s Wall Street Journal:

In 2012, the top 1 percent of earners in the USA collected 19.3 percent of the country’s total household income… an all-time high… The disparity is growing rapidly as well. Incomes of the top 1 percent grew by 31.4 percent from 2009 to 2012, compared to just 0.4 percent for the remaining 99 percent.

26 November 2013

Joshua Holland

Moyers & Company




Saturday, 1 December 2012

1 December 2012. Here are Those Muslims That the Rightwingers are so Hot n’ Bothered About… Friday Prayers at the Mosque at the VOV Memorial on Poklonnaya Gora

00 Mosque Poklonnaya Gora Moscow. 01.12.12


This is Friday Prayers at the mosque at the VOV Memorial on Poklonnaya Gora. The imam preaching used a loudspeaker system to reach all the congregants. He spoke about the commandments, “If you ask a Christian about the Decalogue, how many will be able to list them, and how one complies with them? It’s important to remember them all the time”. The imam went on to say that God commands us not to murder, rob, or commit adultery. That doesn’t sound very terroristic or subversive to me.

In case you forgot, the Decalogue is:

  1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me
  2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain
  4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy
  5. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee
  6. Thou shalt not murder
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery
  8. Thou shalt not steal
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour
  10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

Islam holds to the Decalogue as much as Christians and Jews do. To judge all Muslims by Islamists is wrong. It’d be like condemning Christianity for the excesses of wackos like Franklin Graham or Sarah Palin… real Christians don’t act like unhinged Evangelical sectarian fruitcakes. In like manner, mainstream Muslims don’t act like fire-breathing Islamist nut jobs. A little bit of good sense, alert observation, and common decency allow one to tell the plug-uglies without a scorecard… I think that most would agree with me on that one.


Saturday, 24 November 2012

24 November 2012. Black Friday: The Black Mass of Crapitalism


Black Friday is THE “holiday” of crapitalism, bar none. Its votaries wait for hours for the store’s doors to open; when they do open, the crowds are so frenzied that people are trampled, and the crazed “consumers” don’t give a ruby-red god-damn. There are things that they have to have… and they’re going to get them. I guess that you can tell that I’m a “conscientious objector” from Black Friday.

Why is Black Friday so important? Firstly, it’s the Easter of Neoliberalism in the USA. If you take part in it, you affirm your adherence to the religion of the Almighty Dollar and the Free Market. You affirm your allegiance to Materialism and to Consumerism. That is, you’re “respectable” and you’re “well-adjusted”. The Decalogue states, “You shall no other Gods before Me”. Materialism is Satan‘s substitute for real religion; its his ersatz religion. If you take part in Black Friday, you throw a pinch of incense on Lucifer‘s altar. That makes you a thurificatus in religious terms. Maybe, it doesn’t invalidate your religious professions; yet, it does damage them. It’s much the same as lusting to live in the “right” suburb and choosing a life career solely on the basis of how much money it’d bring you. It tells the world that Materialism is one of your Gods… which makes you a transgressor of the Decalogue, doesn’t it?

Black Friday is a sacrament of Consumerism. To take part in it is the same as taking part in the Eucharist. If we take the Eucharist, we affirm publicly our faith in Christianity. If we take part in Black Friday, we affirm publicly our faith in the Almighty Dollar. Note well that some who make loud pretensions of being against Materialism aren’t essentially in favour of the True God… they simply worship spiritual “other gods”, which makes them WORSE than the votaries of Consumerism. As pitiful as the Black Friday hordes are, they’re not as spiritually-barren as sectarians are (and the Orthodox who wish to build bridges to such are even worse). Remember, “the rankest flowers of evil grow in the shadow of the altar”. Old Clive Staples was right in that… do bite the coin before accepting it… there’s crank coinage circulating in the agora. Have a care…

I’d recommend that you watch a ten-part Polish series called The Decalogue (Dekalog)it’s available on Amazon.

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Saturday 24 November 2012

Albany NY

Sunday, 21 October 2012

21 October 2012. Franklin Graham Kisses Romney’s Naked Backside at High Noon… Mormonism is No Longer a Cult According to Him

THIS is what Billy Graham truly believes in… his son is a liar and poltroon


Firstly, I want you to read Frank Schaefer’s post on this topic. Now, read this from the Huffington Post.

Note this from the Schaefer piece:

The surprise outage of the flagship global evangelising organization website comes days before the 2012 presidential election, and on the heels of a widening scandal that opened up when aging evangelism superstar Billy Graham made a widely-heralded non-endorsement of presidential contender Mitt Romney, and, soon after, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) website scrubbed a page on which Graham identified Mormonism as a “cult”, along with the Unification Church and Scientology. … To secular audiences, it is hard to overemphasise the earthquake-scale magnitude of this scandal within modern American evangelicalism… superstar evangelist Billy Graham was friend and confidant of multiple presidents, such as Richard Nixon, and was widely viewed as a more sophisticated and inclusive counterweight to theologically-rigid tendencies within Christian fundamentalism. Fundamentalists strongly criticised Graham for his willingness to appear in public with representatives of non-Christian faiths.

Note this from the latter piece:

In February, Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the BGEA, made headlines after questioning Obama’s Christianity and alluding to Obama possibly being a Muslim; he’s been less discreet about his political support than his father. He wrote in a recent op-ed that Obama plans to rebuild America in what could amount to creating a “new nation without God or perhaps under many Gods”. … After Romney met with Graham, the BGEA removed a page from its website that called Mormonism as a “cult,” along with Unitarians, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Scientologists, Spiritists, and the Unification Church.

I asked an older Anglican friend of mine, who knows Billy Graham personally, what they felt about this. The answer was unambiguous. “Billy’s not concerned with politics right now. He’s at the end of his life; he’s got more important things on his mind than petty political concerns. This lash-up is from his son, make no mistake on it”. Indeed, I agree. Franklin Graham doesn’t have a tithe of his father’s ability or cred; yet, he’s trying to use his father’s charismata and mana to endorse his Far Right delusions. Whatever you might think of Billy Graham’s religious viewpoints, he’s a man of principle. If he didn’t endorse Romney in the near past, he’s not doing so now. His son cleverly worded the BGEA release so that it meant one thing to his father (a gentleman of the old school) and another to New Republican activists such as himself. He misled his father into supporting a policy that he refused to support (that’s clever… and evil to the bone).

At present, Billy Graham doesn’t move much from his North Carolina home due to infirmities of age. His son uses his father’s name and rep to back his harebrained notions. Note well that there was no video or audio of Billy Graham making these statements; they’re written statements issued by the BGEA. In short, Franklin Graham used his father… I find that unconscionable, nasty, and quite “below the salt”. Any child who’d do such with their parents is a shit-spattered pig, full stop. Franklin should’ve left his father out of things after Billy’s statement of non-support for Romney. That’s what an honourable and decent person would’ve done. Franklin Graham told the world what he was by this legerdemain.

Nevertheless, it tells one much about both “New Evangelicals” and the “New Republican Party”…  both are soulless and godless in their essence. Their loud religiosity only compounds the evil. “Honour your father and your mother”… Franklin Graham spat on that, so, what does that tell you of his “religion” and about his ethical grounding? If he can’t even keep the Decalogue, what sort of “Christian” is he? I’ve got to hurl… politics is a foul rum go at best, but this is nauseating beyond all measure. God have mercy on poor Billy… his son used him to advance low political ends… HIS OWN FLESH N’ BLOOD DID IT TO HIM. That’s what makes it so horrendous. Deus videat et iudicare.

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Sunday 21 October 2012

Albany NY

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