Wednesday, July 16, 2003

From blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin
Memorial church for Russia’s last tsar

On the New Martyrs of Russia
Молите Бога о насъ. Pray to God for us.

About St Tsar Nicholas II
One need not buy into Russian messianism to see he was a transparently good man. Read Nicholas and Alexandra, by an American, Robert Massie, with no obvious pro-Russian, pro-Orthodox or pro-tsar agenda, and you too will be convinced he, his family and the servants who stayed with them to the end are saints.

Objectively, he was a good man but an incompetent tsar, except that slowly, through capitalism and the selective borrowing from Western culture that characterizes Russia, the country was realizing its potential to be a free, humane society in the 20th century - a potential the Communists destroyed.

The tsar himself, by the way, didn't dislike the American republic. He thought it worked wonderfully for Americans but didn't think something like it would work in Russia.

Getting the country into an imperialistic war with Japan and especially miring it in World War I, owing to entangling alliances and a misguided crusade to fight for 'fellow Orthodox' Serbia, were mistakes, the latter directly causing his downfall and death.

World War I was evil, not only killing the tsar but also taking down the West's last sacramentally crowned emperor, in Austria-Hungary, what was left of the old Germanic 'Holy Roman' empire from medieval times. The tsar, of course, was the successor to that emperor's rival, the eastern Roman or Byzantine emperor (Moscow: two Romes have fallen, one remains, a fourth can never be, etc.). Both Christian emperors are now gone. Sic transit gloria mundi.

A Central Powers victory wouldn't have been a bad thing - what Germany wanted was really no different from the role it plays in Europe today. No US involvement in the war, contra stupid British propaganda about 'the Hun', would have meant a negotiated peace years earlier, and more importantly, no Lenin and no Hitler later on. (And Germany didn't start the war anyway.)

Being a good man doesn't make one's prudential judgement infallible.

In the Edwardian era, when immorality among the upper classes and cynical dynastic marriages were the norm, his marriage to the German-born, English-bred Princess Alexandra (herself devout, an ex-Lutheran) was a love story.

Rasputin? The imperial couple saw what he wanted them to see - again, prudential judgement is always fallible. (He was right, though, that getting the country into WWI was a a mistake that would destroy them.) He wasn't a monk, by the way. Actually he was married! His daughter eventually wrote a book about him.

Was the tsar's death Christlike? Yes. Did Russia's regicide have a spiritual meaning? Yes - for Russia. It was part of the evil attacking the whole world at the time.

Back to WWI: I don't know if the evil it unleashed on the modern world was by human design (I think not and that spiritual forces were at work) but what perhaps was planned was the passing of the leadership of the Western empire from Britain to the US - shadowy, New World Order back-room dealing. It's what the Rhodes Group, now the Council on Foreign Relations, was about. The British Empire politically was finished, even though one didn't see that on the map until after World War II.

What we're seeing in Iraq today (what the powers that be now admit is a protracted guerrilla war) is 'empah', Mk. II, in action.

Let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy. And bring the American and British troops home where they belong, actually defending their homelands.

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