Saturday, May 03, 2003

The secular world's pseudo-catholicity has its own martyrology, sometimes coinciding with, sometimes differing from real martyrs.

This first appeared in the neocon religious magazine First Things (which is kind of wishy-washy to Catholic traditionalists and to paleoconservatives as it seems to side with the liberals half the time, trying to be the kind of orthodoxy the Establishment will like) and was reprinted by Orthodox America.

Russia’s New Martyrs: Politically Incorrect?

Many converts have been inspired by Russia's New Martyrs. Sadly,
outside the Orthodox community they are virtually unknown. As First
editor Fr Richard John Neuhaus perceptively suggests, the
reason for this may be something other than lack of information.

There is little disputing the fact that this, above all others, has
been the century of Christian martyrdom. [The article was written in 1993.]
Yet that reality receives curiously little attention among contemporary Christians.
Presbyterian writer Herbert Schlossberg has recently discussed this
phenomenon in A Fragrance of Oppression: The Church and Its
, and offers some suggestive ideas about this strange
neglect. Additional dynamics, one suspects, are in play. For
instance, in theologies of past decades the prophetic, the radical,
and the liberationist all came in for great attention. Priests and
nuns killed for their involvement in various social justice
struggles in Latin America have received a great deal of attention
But there seems to be an ideological test for the veneration of

Those killed under Hitler, notably Dietrich Bonhoeffer, are
celebrated. It is respectable, indeed required, to be anti-Nazi.
But for forty-plus years anticommunism was suspect, and of course
many more Christians were killed by the Communists for being
Christian than by the Nazis
. The undeniable fact is that during the
Cold War those in the West who raised the question of the
persecution of Christians behind the Iron Curtain were viewed as
reactionary. Unlike, say, the Jesuits of El Salvador who were
struggling for a revolutionary new order, the Christians massacred
by the Communists were resisting what presented itself as the
revolutionary new order.
They failed the test of being progressive
martyrs. The twentieth-century martyrology, such as it is, is a
canon of the politically correct.
There are martyrs, and then there
are "politically interesting" martyrs. There is a certain sniffing
condescension toward those who simply died for the faith
, without
some further and redeeming political merit. The innumerable martyrs
buried under the snows of Siberia have gone largely unremarked
, at
least among Christians in the West. And today not much notice is
paid the brutally persecuted Christians in the south of the Sudan,
or the Copts in Egypt.
Millions of Christians are involved in just
these two instances, and they are under attack because they are
Christians. Scholars who attend to the statistics of world
Christianity tell us that some 300,000 Christians each year are
killed for being Christians. We are not quite sure how they arrive
at that figure, but there is no doubt that attention to martyrdom in
this century has been and continues to be highly selective.

From 'Martyrs, Correct and Incorrect' in First Things, Nov. 1993. [End.]

Святые новомученики росийские, молите Бога о нас. Prominently in my icon corner in my living room is a blessed, framed print of a New Martyrs of Russia icon, actually a variation of the traditional All Saints of Russia icon. The original is a painting by Archimandrite Kiprian of the Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, NY, US, of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. Among the saints depicted are the Tsar and his family.

From A conservative blog for peace correspondent Samer al-Batal
Some great news for orthodox Roman Catholics around the world:
Pope prepares to lift restrictions on Tridentine Mass
English bishops request secret report from Latin Mass Society

US Marine investigated for war crimes after newspaper interview
Soviet-style execution

The Passion (Suffering) icon of the Mother of God
Known to Catholics as Our Lady of Perpetual Help

From today
Send in the Marines?
by Lew Rockwell
'War prepares the public for the idea that government is the answer to problems, not a deadly machine that specializes in destruction and killing, something to be feared and restrained as the founding fathers believed, but a liberator, a bringer of high ideals, the means by which the greatest things are accomplished.

In praising the troops, President Bush implied as much: "Operation Iraqi Freedom was carried out with a combination of precision and speed and boldness the enemy did not expect and the world had not seen before.… You have shown the world the skill and the might of the American armed forces…. Wherever you go, you carry a message of hope."

'Hope! In the same speech, he mentioned faith and charity too, thus showing how all the virtues taught by God Incarnate are embodied in the act of blowing things up and killing people in distant lands.'

The blasphemy of the neocons. Blasphemy that has been hammered into Americans at least since FDR suckered my country into World War II.

From MSNBC/Newsweek
Minstrelsy in baggy jeans
Or why white hipsters make fun of mannerly, well-spoken black people: 'the notion that blacks exist largely to put white people in touch with their deeper, earthier selves'.

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