On Thursday, US President Trump commemorated the anniversary of the start of the Armenian genocide in a statement released by the White House, saying that the “Meds Yeghern”, a term used by Armenians to describe the 1915 events, was one of the worst atrocities in the history of the 20th century. The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement:
We consider that the disinformation and false definitions contained in US President Trump’s written statement of 24 April 2017 regarding the 1915 events came from information pollution created over the years by some Armenian circles in the USA by means of propaganda. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan attended the ceremony to commemorate the event at the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul on Monday. We expect that the new US Administration wouldn’t take credence in the one-sided historical narrative of these circles, known for their tendency to violence and hate speech, but that it should adopt an approach that takes into consideration the sufferings of all sides.
The Ottoman authorities killed about 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1923; they also expelled hundreds of thousands out of their territory. Turkey disputed the figure and denied the genocide, blaming the deaths on wartime irregularities (it occurred during World War I and the following Greco-Turkish War of 1918-23: editor).
25 April 2017
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On 17 April 1945, the Nazis executed Hannie Schaft, a brave Dutch communist antifascist fighter. Hannie… or the “Red-haired girl”… started her antifascist fight with small acts. She used to steal ID cards for Jewish residents. Upon leaving university, she joined the Raad van Verzet or “Council of Resistance”, a resistance movement that had close ties to the Communist Party of the Netherlands. Rather than act as a courier, Schaft wanted to work with weapons. She was responsible for sabotaging and assassinating various targets. She carried out various attacks on Germans and Dutch Nazis, collaborators, and traitors. The Nazis eventually arrested her at a military checkpoint in Haarlem on 21 March 1945, whilst distributing the illegal communist newspaper de Waarheid. After interrogation, torture, and solitary confinement, Dutch Nazi officials identified and assassinated Schaft on 17 April 1945.
17 April 2017
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I can’t say that I agreed overly much with Vladimir… he’d spent much of his life in the Belly of the Beast in the District and was a member of Potapov’s “party”. Yet, he was a man of good character, honour, and probity… unlike many in the District, he remained mostly clear of “Inside-the-Beltway-itis”. You don’t have to agree with someone to pray for them (and our disagreements weren’t on basic matters… they were on political and historical questions). Indeed, it’s our Christian duty to pray for the sick, the poorly-off, those in harm’s way, and the dead. OUR DUTY. We’re Christians; that’s what we do.
I bow before Vladimir’s memory and give my heartfelt condolences to his loved ones. His fortieth day is on 21 May 2017 (a Sunday). Have your priest say Pannikhida for him and commemorate him at the Proskomidi.
ВЕЧНАЯ ЕМУ ПАМЯТЬ
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Late Tuesday night, a little before midnight, we lost another of our little cat family (now, our tomcat Squeaker is alone… he’s been moping and off his food). Tulip was about thirteen-years-old. Nicky rescued her (she was a former feral) when she was a little kitten and nursed her back to health. She was always a “runt”, never getting larger than a large kitten. Tulip was always a loving animal, especially, to Nicky. Late Tuesday night, she came up to Nicky, snuggled up to him, and died quietly. Just like that…
I once asked a real theologian about animals and souls… he said, “We don’t know. God hasn’t revealed that to us. The Church has no binding teaching on that”. Now, I’m not talking about mawkish anthropomorphism here or trivial emotionalism. Our Church has the courage to say, “We don’t know. That’s not in the Revelation”. No… we don’t have an answer for everything (loudmouth konvertsy notwithstanding). As for me, I believe in the Universal Hymn of Creation… all of God’s Creation participates, how, we don’t know. All of God’s creatures and creations take part in this, again, how, I don’t know. However, the psalmist tells us:
Let every thing that has breath, praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord!
In other words, not only do we pray for Creation, Creation prays for us. Christ came to Transfigure ALL of His creatures and creation… I believe this as one of my bedrock beliefs. God loves all of His Creation and all of His creatures… that we know. That mitigates my sadness. Nevertheless, I wept as I laid Tulip to rest in the wild countryside (that’s not far away from us here… only a fairly short motor away). John Donne’s words came to mind:
Ask not for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
We all shall pass through that gate…
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