Voices from Russia

Monday, 13 November 2017

Official Condolences of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias to US President Donald Trump Regarding the Shooting at the Texas Church

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On Sunday 5 November 2017, during services at the Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs TX USA, an armed man went to the premises and started to shoot at random at the parishioners. He killed 26 people, amongst them children, adolescents, the elderly, and a pregnant woman. His Holiness Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias sent his condolences to US President Donald Trump.

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His Excellency Donald Trump, President of the United States of America

Your Excellency, dear Mr President!

I deeply deplore the tragedy that occurred in the Baptist church in Sutherland Springs TX and I express my sincere condolences to you and the entire American people. This horrendous crime committed on a Sunday, a holy day for Christians, took away the lives of dozens of innocent people, amongst them defenceless old people, women, and children, stuns us with its demonic cruelty and cunning. It’s my belief that such acts of violence don’t and can’t have any justification. I ask you to convey my words of sympathy and support to the families of the victims and to the survivors of the shooting. I pray that our Gracious and Mankind-loving God will console all the afflicted and grant prompt healing to the wounded.

Yours in faith,

+KIRILL

Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias   

6 November 2017

Patriarchia.ru

MP official website

http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/text/5057261.html

Friday, 10 November 2017

“If the Media Covered the Texas Shooting the Same Way it Covers Other Nations”

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A white Christian terrorist claimed the lives of 26 civilians and injured dozens more at a house of worship in the southern province. The killer received training in the military and was later radicalised in the extremist gun culture, finding support and encouragement in online chat groups and firing ranges. Local and national government officials warned against responding too swiftly and to not violate The Sacred Second, as outlined in a political agreement from 1789. Achieving a political settlement has been further complicated in recent years by warlords providing financing to lawmakers in an alliance that’s proved difficult to break.

Mark Provost

Facebook

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Why Americans Won’t Give Up Their Guns

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Editor:

This is a read n’ heed from top to bottom. I have nothing to add. Shall we act or shall we continue our slide into anarchy and police-state repression? Yes… anarchy and repression at the same time… it’s called “conservatism” and “libertarianism”. If you call yourself a “conservative” and/or “libertarian”, you’re an enemy of responsible order and fair dealing. After all, in the view of “conservatives” and “libertarians”, might makes right… that’s why they say that we need guns.

May God preserve us…

BMD

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The USA needs new gun laws… first, it needs to shed the myths that sustain its reliance on weapons

Around 03.30 on 23 November 2013, a stray bullet shattered the window of an apartment in Indianapolis IN where a couple watched television while their two-month-old baby slept. The man called 911, with panic in his voice. He told the dispatcher, “I need to get out of here. Can you get a car so I can get out of here?” The dispatcher replied, calmly, “I think there’s several officers already over there”. The 911 recordings reveal the man breathing heavily as he talked to his partner. “Put the stuff in the baby bag. Find it tomorrow. We’ll carry it to a hotel”. He urged the dispatcher to hurry up and rescue them until she lost her patience. She said, “They’ll be there as soon as they can, all right? As. Soon. As. They. Can. OK? Just stay inside your apartment. Do not go out. We’ll get an officer to you”.

Four months later, in the same city, the country’s main gun lobby, the National Rifle Association, held its annual convention with the slogan “Stand and Fight”. In a speech in equal measure demagogic and apocalyptic, the CEO, Wayne LaPierre, evoked a nation in peril and demise. “There are terrorists and home invaders and drug cartels and carjackers and knockout gamers and rapers, haters, campus killers, airport killers … I ask you: do you trust the government to protect you? We are on our own … The things we care about most are changing … It’s why more and more Americans are buying firearms and ammunition”.

Sunday’s horrific incident in Las Vegas was the 273rd mass shooting in America this year. There’s been another since then, in Miami, with four people shot while attending a vigil to mourn a 30-year-old woman shot dead in her car last week. One can in no small part answer the enduring question of why America continues to maintain such lax gun laws when such atrocities are so commonplace by this frightened man’s call and LaPierre’s dystopian response. The man’s fear and LaPierre’s fearmongering are intimately connected. That connection goes beyond the weapon itself, and the piecemeal laws that might control it, to some of the country’s most cherished myths and pervasive pathologies. When the national narrative is a story of conquering, dominating, force, and power, an atavistic attachment to the gun can have more pull than a rational case against it.

In a society that fetishises self-reliance, the gun speaks to rugged individualism… each person should be responsible for saving themselves. In a political culture that favours small government, the gun stands as a counterpoint to a lumbering and inefficient state… defend yourself, because, by the time the police get there, you’ll be dead. It underpins a certain sense of masculinity and homestead… a real man should be able to protect his family and home. The dispatcher told him to sit and wait; the NRA told him to stand and fight. These claims for the gun are, of course, nonsense. Most people killed by guns kill themselves. People who have a gun in the house are far more likely to be shot dead than those who don’t. If more guns really made you safer, America would be one of the safest places in the world. As it is, seven children or teenagers are shot dead on average every day. Once a week, a toddler injures someone with a gun. It’d be easy to blame all of this on the NRA. The gun lobby has been central to stonewalling even the most basic commonsense reforms. It has an unparalleled capacity to lobby and fund politicians, locally and nationally. It’s because of the NRA that people on the no-fly list can still buy guns and there’s no government funding for research into how to prevent gun deaths.

Yet while one shouldn’t underestimate the NRA, one shouldn’t exaggerate its role either. Even as it wins (or blocks) votes in Congress, a consistent majority of Americans polled this year believe gun laws should be more strict, that it’s too easy to buy a gun, and that if more people carried guns America would be less safe. When it comes to supporting background checks for all gun buyers there is near-unanimity (94 percent). The NRA has far more power in the polity than influence outside it. Nevertheless, it’s been able to tap into many of the core themes of the broader American narrative in a way that gun-control advocates have not. There is nothing inevitable about this. When a gunman shot children in Dunblane in 1996, Britain tightened its gun laws; when a shooter ran amok in Port Arthur that same year, Australia did the same. That’s what mature and responsive democracies do. However, in America, appeals to freedom, masculinity, small government, and individualism, even when they’re flawed, have more purchase than arguments for background checks and weapons bans, even when those arguments are right.

The problem goes all the way to the top. With the largest military in the world by far, raw power was a central tenet of American foreign policy before Trump promised to unleash “fire and fury” on Kim Jong-un. When accused of abdicating America’s role on the world stage, Barack Obama (who had a “kill list”) responded like a Mafia don. He said, “Well, Muammar Gaddafi probably doesn’t agree with that assessment. Or at least if he was around, he wouldn’t agree with that assessment”. At home, many invoke the gun as a cornerstone of America’s founding story and a safeguard against tyranny. In 2012, David Britt, a gun owner, explained to me at the NRA convention, “It’s about independence and freedom. When you have a democratic system and an honourable people then you trust your citizens … In Europe, they cede their rights and freedoms to their governments. But we think government should be subservient to us”.

These myths are, of course, partial. In a nation that became possible through genocide and slavery, among other things, the gun was central to a particular notion of racial power. If gun enthusiasts were seriously concerned about state tyranny they would’ve been marching alongside Black Lives Matter demonstrators protesting police shootings and calling for the mass armament of poor black neighbourhoods. That’s not the kind of tyranny they object to. However, the myths are also powerful. What the gun lobby lacks in breadth of support it makes up for in depth of commitment. After the Sandy Hook shootings in 2013, gun advocates were far more likely to have contributed money to a pro-gun group or contacted a public official about guns than those who support gun control. Gun-control advocates, for the most part, want to change laws. Gun-rights advocates, largely, believe they’re preserving “essential truths” that make the country what it is. They’ve proved themselves more motivated because long after those distressing scenes from Vegas are a distant memory, these myths will remain vivid.

Americans need new gun laws… but to get them they’ll have to start telling themselves a new story about the country… what it is, what it’s been, and what it wants to be. Their lives depend on it.

6 October 2017

Gary Younge

The Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/06/americans-guns-nra-las-vegas-shooting

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Man Killed in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Homeless… Calls for Canonisation of Those Killed… Cossacks to Guard Churches in the Kuban

00 BMD. Zyuganov We should strive to be better. 25.12.13

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Editor’s Foreword:

Do mistrust the “English side” of Pravmir… often, the “translations” are bowdlerised and crank. The Platina crowd does some of it… nothing more need be said, no? Always stick to the “Russian side”, and run a “machine translation” if you must. Always avoid the rot that spews out of Platina, the HOOMies, and SVS if you can… after all, didn’t the ludicrous absorption with the “toll house” nonsense come out of Platina?

BMD

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Today, 12 February, a considerable number of believers gathered at the Cathedral of the Resurrection for the Liturgy of the feastday of the Three Holy Hierarchs. After the Liturgy, the clergy served the funeral for the innocent victims of Sunday’s shooting, then, believers carried out the Last Farewell. At the cemetery, the clergy served a litiya. The beggars of the porch of the cathedral and the street people came to bid farewell to Vladimir Zaporozhets, the homeless hero who saved four parishioners from death in the cathedral, as they were his friends in misfortune. After the funeral, a memorial meal took place in the refectory of the spiritual and educational centre of the Diocese of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and the Kurils.

Fr Viktor Gorbach, the head of the Diocesan Mission Department told Pravmir, “Today, his homeless friends travelled in a bus together with everyone else to the cemetery, and, then, had dinner in the spiritual and educational centre at the common table. In any other situation, one might say, ‘Who are you?’ All too often, we’d drive them away. This time, they were friends of the hero”. Fr Viktor recounted how 10 homeless people with bruised and puffy faces came to give a last farewell to their friend. He said, “It was interesting to see how someone tried to accost a homeless woman with a puffy face and a black eye at the cemetery. She said, ‘We came to say goodbye to Volodya; he was our friend’. They came to say goodbye to their friend. This feeling of belonging to something higher seemed to change their very bearing”. His son and relatives came to pay their last respects. Vladimir Zaporozhets wasn’t a simple sort; he was an ex-con. His family testified that it was very difficult to get along with him. However, he was the only one who wasn’t afraid to stand tall for the believers in the church. When the shooter opened fire, he sacrificed his life, covering the parishioners with his body.

Fr Viktor told us that everyone in the parish knew Vladimir well, he was in penury, and so, he often stood in the porch begging. He noted, “It’s amazing… he heard gunshots and went to defend the church. This act changes our whole attitude to homeless people. Indeed, many consider those beggars standing on the porch worthless people. Yet, one of them went to protect the church. In spite of everything, he did a podvig“. According to eyewitnesses, Vladimir was near the church. Nun Ilariona Funtova, the head of the Diocesan IT Department, said, “Hearing the shots, Vladimir ran inside the building. Surveillance camera video showed that he persistently tried to stop the gunman, telling him off, waving his hands”. She related how Vladimir got up after suffering wounds, trying to prevent the shooter from shooting again, but the perp shot him in the chest and head. Vladimir died on the spot from his wounds. Mother Ilariona said, “He took four shots, saving four lives”.

13 February 2014

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The Kuban Cossack Host decided to guard churches during services. LifeNews reported that Cossacks will beef up patrols in all parts of Krasnodar Krai, but not uniformly, as there’s a lack of personnel now, as a large number of Cossacks are in Sochi, to give security for the Olympics. Yevgeni Kurbatov, a senior aide to the Ataman of the Kuban Cossack Host, said, “After the tragedy that occurred in the church in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, we decided to strengthen protection of churches in the Kuban. We’ll do this so that people can come to services in safety, so that they can pray to the Lord, without worrying about their security”.

Cossacks patrols near churches won’t carry firearms. Nevertheless, such patrols could stop potential troublemakers. Cossack Sergeant Aleksandr Galkin said, “We patrol near the church from eight in the morning to eight at night. Usually, we can see potential troublemakers immediately. We go up to them and ask them to act like decent people”. Cossacks not only protect the church, but also give advice to believers on where to buy icons and candles, tell people the service schedule, and tell people when sacraments are available. Believers feel safer with such protection nearby. One believer said, “I feel safer when the Cossacks are nearby. The Cossacks don’t carry firearms; they won’t use excessive force”. In the Kuban, Cossack patrols started more than a year ago. Since then, they help the police in policing in the area.

13 February 2014

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The tragedy [in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk] brought forth great sorrow in my heart. For many years, I knew Mother Lyudmila Pryasahnikova, who was a very lively, loving, bright person and a faithful servant of Our Lord Jesus Christ. When she took monastic vows, she chose a name in honour of New Martyr of Russia St Lyudmila Petrova; she met her end in God’s church on the feastday of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia. The Heavenly Church, the Church Triumphant, gained yet another Witness for Christ.

There was another victim in the church… the Servant of God Vladimir Zaporozhets. People told me that he often stood begging at the cathedral door. Perhaps, many passed him by, hurrying to services, not even paying attention to this beggar. However, on 9 February, the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, the Lord showed us all whose prayer He heard, and whom He justified. Vladimir sacrificed his life “for his friends” and received the crown of martyrdom. Apostle St Paul told us that God calls us not only to believe in Christ, but also to suffer for Him. St Filaret of Moscow wrote that suffering for Christ is a gift from God. They became victims in the cathedral*, yet, this act of evil testified to the glory of God.

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*This word in Russian can mean both “cathedral” and “assembly”… I believe that Vladyki Daniil is playing on words… they were martyrs in the “cathedral” (in the church building), and were part of the “assembly” of martyrs (in the choir of saints).

BMD

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I learned about the terrible tragedy before the Liturgy. I stood in the service, and my heart grieved until it was time for the Cherubic Hymn. I went up to the altar and cut a particle of the Lamb in honour of the repose of the newly departed Nun Lyudmila. That calmed my soul; it brought me a singular serenity, and the rest of the service went well. I urge all Orthodox Christians to pray for the repose of the innocent victims and for the health of those now in hospital. Let’s dwell in love and prayer for one another. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring us; we must always be ready to give an account to the Lord of our affairs, we must always have faith. If Christ doesn’t find love in our hearts, then, woe to us.

13 February 2014

Metropolitan Daniil Dorovskikh of Arkhangelsk and Kholmogory

Vladyki Daniil is the younger brother of Archbishop Tikhon Dorovskikh of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and the Kurils

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This tragic event affected not only our island, not only our Orthodox people, but the whole world. Today, I see here my brother in Christ, Fr Tomash, the pastor of the Catholic parish of Sakhalin. I’m very glad that Fr Tomash came to the cathedral for worship today to share our prayers. Remember the words of St Amvrosy of Optina, “Nothing accidental happens in life”. I’d like to draw your attention to some points… not in the life of the shooter, but to some amazing coincidences… firstly, there’s the fact that this tragedy happened on the feastday of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia. Accordingly, heaven supplemented them with two new martyrs for Christ. Moreover, today, the day of their funeral and burial, is the feastday of the Three Holy Hierarchs… Ss Basil the GreatGregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom. Again, I’d stress that this is no coincidence. After all, these teachers confessed the full doctrine of the Holy Trinity and the Incarnation; they showed us what it means to believe in Christ correctly.

If we’re wrong in our beliefs… then, we aren’t Christians, we aren’t followers of Christ, and when people begin to slip away from faith, terrible things happen. Let’s remember 1917… a year when God punished our Holy Russia for apostasy. The Lord sent it… our own Russian people desecrated churches and killed people. Who was “scientific director” of this rabble? Of course, it was Satan. What did we see in the cartoons of the 20s? What did they show? We saw a Red Army soldier with a rifle thrusting a bayonet into the stomach of a “bourgeoisparasite“, and where was he thrusting his bayonet? Into a priest! That is, of course, the target was the Church, to destroy the truth of God on earth, to destroy human truth.

Something similar happened in Nazi Germany. The German people, as well as the Russian people, aren’t to blame… ordinary people aren’t guilty of those who came to power professing Satanism… the Bolsheviks and the Nazis. All of them professed Satanism. This wrong spiritual dispensation led to terrible loss of life and human tragedies. Here we see the same thing… a young man was “carried away”. What carried him away? He became interested in the esoteric, in neopaganism. As a result, through this the wrong spiritual dispensation, Satan again unleashed his hatred of the Holy Orthodox Church. This reminds me of an episode that some told me about the release of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn‘s Gulag Archipelago. At that time in Western Europe, many people went for communist ideas, tons of ‘em joined the Communist Party. When this book shed light on the true nature of communism, the disillusioned packed the Communist Party offices… in all of their “cells” in France, dustbins were full of party cards… people saw the light. People realised the lie, they realised who we are.

God forbid that we, looking at such things, fail to extract the right lessons. It’s clear that from a human point of view, it’s a tragedy. However, were I to tell you that we need to put guards everywhere to protect our children, to guard every kindergarten, to guard every shop, of course, that’s wrong. We can’t do that. Our “security” should be in our worldview, in our goals, in a right understanding of what God is. We should be in communion with Him, that’s how we can achieve the “image of God” (богоподобия) here on earth, to become “divine by grace” (богами по благодати). At one time, a ruler asked St Basil the Great, “Why don’t you accept the teachings of Arius (Arians didn’t consider Jesus Christ to be God) and venerate him?” St Basil replied, “I was born to become divine by grace, so, why should I bow down to a creäture?” For such a response, answering everything, the ruler let him go.

These newly slain people died for Christ’s sake, so, let’s look at everything. Externally, it seemed that the Servant of God Vladimir was a young man who, somewhere, at some time, got “lost” in life, but his death showed his inward disposition. The cathedral camcorder video makes it clear that, at a moment when the killer forced a woman to her knees, intending to shoot her, the Servant of God Vladimir entered the cathedral and started to expostulate with the criminal. The video shows that Vladimir waved his arms as he tried to stop the criminal, allowing the woman to flee the cathedral. He saved her life by giving up his life! The shooter wounded him in the leg. Yet, he got up and went after the perp, who wounded him in the chest, and, then, shot him in the head.

Accepting the bullets, taking them on him, he performed the Gospel Call at the cost of his own life; Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends (Gospel according to St John 15.13). he attained honour, as apostle St Paul wrote… For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake (Epistle of Apostle St Paul to the Philippians 1.29). Law enforcement officials tell us that circumstantial evidence shows that Mother Lyudmila, before the gunman shot her in the face, refused to cower and cover her face. You need to have this kind of courage together with faith to “earn” the honour of suffering for Christ.

It would seem that only a moment, a twinkling, separates us from eternity. However, from what eternity? Is it an eternity in communion with that “scientific director” who sent this “shooter” into Sakhalin, with the demons, in Hell, or, does that moment separate a person from joy in the heavenly abode? They made their choice. It’s amazing how the internal disposition of a person comes out at such moments. A young man was at the cathedral’s spiritual and educational centre; when he heard the shots, he rushed to pull out the wounded, mostly women. He said that he had no fear at that point; he only became scared after he’d pulled all of them out. That is, each person has fear, but it departs when you need to commit a courageous act. This, I believe, is why martyrs for Christ had the chance to suffer for Him… the Lord gave them this chance. However, they allowed the Lord to give them the chance. Why does the Lord choose a particular time to call people to Him? I’d say that it’s because either a person becomes a slave to evil and can’t get better, or, it’s when a person’s ready for the Kingdom of Heaven. We saw that here… the fruit was ripe; these people went to the Lord.

I’ve already said that, humanly speaking, we’re hurt, we’re sad, but from the standpoint of eternity, from the standpoint of God’s Truth, many of our parishioners confirm that they’re sorrowful, but they have heartfelt joy from the fact that we have new intercessors before God, and that we knew them. We know how we should live our earthly life… with compassion, with intensity, in a pure and pious communion with the Lord. May God grant that we’ve learned the right lessons from this tragedy. We shouldn’t cultivate hatred, nor should we curse the killer, for we learned a lesson about ourselves and about our society. We thought that we knew how to behave with others, that we were with Christ, that we were righteous, that we were trying to keep the commandments, that we were trying to see each person as an image and likeness of God, and that we were trying to love every person, no matter how unpleasant it seemed. Then, this love appeared… we must take it to ourselves, to place it in our hearts, only that will bring upon us God’s blessing and abundance. Then, and only then, will we have anything to give, and everyone around us will see that we’re really Christians. As the Holy Fathers said, “Hate sin, but love the sinner”.

13 February 2014

Archbishop Tikhon Dorovskikh of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and the Kurils

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Pravoslavie i Mir (Orthodoxy and the World)

http://www.pravmir.ru/provodit-v-poslednij-put-geroya-v-yuzhno-saxalinske-prishli-ego-druzya-bezdomnye/

http://www.pravmir.ru/posle-strelby-v-yuzhno-saxalinske-na-kubani-kazaki-udvoili-oxranu-xramov/

http://www.pravmir.ru/mitropolit-arxangelskij-daniil-vladimir-zaporozhec-pozhertvoval-zhiznyu-za-drugi-svoya-i-poluchil-muchenicheskij-venec/

http://www.pravmir.ru/arxiepiskop-yuzhno-saxalinskij-tixon-daj-bog-chtoby-my-izvlekli-iz-etoj-tragedii-pravilnye-uroki/

Editor’s Afterword:

There’s one overriding takeaway from this. Note this quote from Vladyki Tikhon:

Let’s remember 1917… a year when God punished our Holy Russia for apostasy. The Lord sent it… our own Russian people desecrated churches and killed people.

That is, the apostasy occurred BEFORE 1917 (Feliks Yusupov, anyone?). It puts the screaming of certain ROCOR sorts in a new light, doesn’t it? The rot was in the Russian aristocracy and upper bourgeoisie; they schemed against Tsar St Nikolai… the Reds were God’s Instrument to burn this cancer out. Look at the quote from Gennady Andreyevich in the image above compare it with Vladyki Tikhon’s conclusion to his funeral sermon. Note well their similarity. That’s to say, the Reds of today are upright moral people… the crapitalists are not (especially, those who salt millions away in the Cayman Islands and who dodged the draft in their youth). Cross and Red Banner… once at odds, once enemies… now reconciled, now as one. Now, that’s the ticket! Cross yourself before you kiss the Red Banner

BMD

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