Sunday, June 19, 2005

From Fr Joseph Huneycutt
Huw Raphael on political questions and activism
The question is not "is activism unnecessary?" but rather "when is activism necessary?"

I think all activism is unnecessary in a secular and political sense, i.e. in the sense which most all activists mean them. Unless you're going to "get everyone saved" then messing with the world on its own terms only gets you messed up. The world's "terms" includes fixing it. The world and the evil one like to keep your focus on fixing things that are unimportant. Humans are sinners and no lack of laws, no advance in laws, no peaceful change in government, no revolution, no fascism, no monarchy and no mob rule is going to change that - and least of all a mob-rule that gets conducted on a "secular" and anti-Christian model. The world can not be fixed: nor is it intended to be.

Where is Jesus interested in "world hunger" or violence? Nowhere.
Ermmmm... ‘For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink’ (Matthew 25:35) ...‘Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword’ (Matthew 26:52).

When was Jesus ever not interested in morality? Never.

...the world boils Jesus down to its own level: deny the incarnate essence of Divinity, squash the seeds of moral living and, like so many left over corn husks, weave dolly out of the left overs and call it "this cool teacher".
Correct.

When the argument is over should same-sex couples get married versus why are you denying our rights instead of "what is the will of God for human sexuality"; we're not going to win that argument. When the argument is over should women have the right to unborn infanticide - or should they be forced to get illegal and unsafe abortions instead of "What is the will of God regarding the life of a human being created in His own image?"; we're not going to win that argument.
Right. The terms of the arguments themselves are wrong and the possible answers beg the question. ‘So, when did you stop beating your wife?’ Mu: does not apply.

Huw links to another impressively deep Eastern Orthodox blog, Journeyman James, which has this:

‘I do not love.’ I said that to my priest the other day. ‘I don’t… I don’t love. My kids, my wife, my job… 90% of what I do is out of obligation, and it nearly always carries with it some form of resentment. It’s a cancer and I need to kill it.’ He put his hand on his beard and shook his head knowingly. ‘I need to learn how to love,’ I said, ‘for at the moment my life is basically one of anger, boredom and guilt.’

I also said this to a friend of mine not too long after my conversation with Fr. G. My friend finished my sentences for me. ‘I know exactly what you mean… it’s all the same, frustrating thing day in and day out. We suck it up and do what we’re suppose to do, and we do it because we have to,’ he echoed. Then he said, ‘you know what I do? I go to N services, and there in the quiet —with no wife, no kids, just me and the vigil lamp in front of the icon of Christ— I pour it all out. I hand it all over. And even if that peace lasts only 15 minutes, it’s enough to get me through until next time.’

...married men are allowed to want to be alone, and even find joy in it...
And from the sublime to the appalling (beyond ridiculous), Fr Joseph doesn’t avoid this:

Romanian Orthodox priest and convent are allegedly deadly spiritual frauds (more)
Physically deadly. Not everything that has the trappings of Byzantium is holy! (A visit to message-boards amply proves that already, but anyway...) They seem bent on proving H.W. Crocker right. If AmChurch* for example are the quisling self-hating Jews of the Catholic world these folks are its Taleban, looking like agents provocateurs or sick parodies created by anti-religious folks! (Keeping stuff like this death from happening is partly what a magisterium is for.) In this case I dare say the government is right and if things are as they appear and these people are guilty I hope that they get put away for a long time. Then again they sound amazingly ignorant or simply not very bright (living down to an Eastern European stereotype) which would mitigate their guilt but doesn’t completely let them off the hook.

In the comments in his blog on this story Fr Joseph points out one aspect of the problem: a 29-year-old abbot?!

The Internet has lots of Fr Daniel wannabes.

At least the Romanian Orthodox Church had the decency (I don’t know whether this was independent of the furore or because of it) to suspend that man.

*The British equivalent is represented by The Tablet or as somebody online has fittingly renamed it The Pill.

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