Monday, April 11, 2005

Eastern churches
The Onion Dome
Row at St Paphnutios’
Using satire Marie Moffitt captures the best and the worst of two kinds of Eastern Orthodoxy: old-school, slightly/poorly catechized, common-sensical Eastern European immigrants and admirably observant shading into fanatical newbie Anglo-Saxons. (You can infer the problem of the latter in this though it seems partly an exercise in self-congratulation. ‘The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are...’)

All I shall say as an observer is that I like Russians, who aren’t part of the second group’s Internet-church doings, and don’t like the latter.

From Jan Bear and Novæ Militiæ
A bishop who has a point
While of course this blog neither condones an unseemly personal cult of the Pope (such isn’t called for based on Roman Catholic teaching) nor the bishop’s nasty remark about a corpse (what of the beautiful Russian spirituality that honours every man as having the image of God?), nor does it approve of socialism and communism, His Grace +Tikhon of San Francisco, an über-observant representative of the Orthodox tradition as well as the apostolic ministry, is smart enough and Christian enough (yea, Catholic, though he probably wouldn’t put it that way) not to be a neocon. I like Mr Carter as a person too and likewise give Michael Moore due credit. And again, whilst that corpse was alive the man was instrumental in Russia’s changing from (at least functionally if not officially) an atheistic state into one where the Church of Russia can flourish again. Perhaps a little gratitude would not be inappropriate.

America holds the all-time record for terrorism. America terrorized Japan into surrender. War is one or more nations terrorizing each other. This is so elementary. Saudi Arabian suicidal fanatics could crash planes into a skyscraper in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, etc., etc., every year and still not match the ferocity of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, of Tokyo and Dresden. No this was not war of soldiers on the field where both sides risked everything, No. No. This was outright war against civilians, conducted from out of reach of all those civilians.

I sometimes can't stand the proclivity of some of my fellow Americans from sanctifying war if waged by America. We may be "on the right side", but our acts of war are just as egregious and despicable as the acts of war of our enemies: maybe more so, because we blindly and like automatons proclaim
"Gott mit uns," that we are a Christian nation and, moreover, unlike Japan or Andorra or Liechtenstein, apparently, a "nation under God."
- The bishop

RIP Archbishop Iakovos

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