Love American Style

You see, America doesn’t really “love” Ukraine.  In fact, most Americans couldn’t find it on a map.   I’d say nobody wants to send their sons there or shed their blood on their behalf.  This includes the Evangelicucks who still believe that we need to hurry up and build the Third Temple so JAYZus can come back and rule the world.

Oh, they’ll send your sons to fight –and die–but they’ll be sitting in their nice, airconditioned mega-churches, sipping lattes while Pastor Hagee tells them why it’s necessary for America to engage in another useless war on behalf of the international banking elites.  

In reality, what we’re talking about are several different things, some cultural, others more nefarious –and some psychological, as well. 

First, let’s get the cultural things out of the way.

  1.  Americans love international movements that have to do with secessions and/or declarations of independence.  Especially if there’s a David-versus-Goliath aspect to it.  You can go down the historical list all the way from the Greek war for independence in 1821 to the establishment of Israel in 1948, when all the Arab nations were arrayed against it.  The Albanians of Kosovo more recently benefited from this sentiment.  I’m sure we can think of others.  The reason we give unquestioning support is because it was a secessionist movement that started our own nation.
  2. Another reason why Ukraine interests legacy Americans,  i.e. Anglo-Saxons/Scots-Irish/Northern Europeans, is because we have been guilted into hating our own history.  Mainly because of the sacrifices and pride that it took to carve out our magnificent country (admittedly) at the expense of the indigenous peoples.  The demoniacs who rule the commanding heights of our culture refuse to let us be proud of our history and we can’t have that.  You know, White Privilege and all that.  So we’ve projected this (absolutely necessary) pride onto other nations; in essence, transferring our moral sentiment onto others and, to the degree that others are allowed to feel moral, we, too, are redeemed.  That’s why many legacy Americans fly Ukrainian flags; it’s what C S Lewis called “cheap grace.”

Now let’s go to the more nefarious aspects.

  1.  There really is such a thing as the Military Industrial Complex.  It’s estimated that one-third of Americans who are employed in the private sector, work for the arms industry in some way.  If it weren’t for armed conflicts, the stock prices of Raytheon, Lockheed-Martin, General Electric, et. al, would plummet, as would the 401Ks of millions of Americans.  Perhaps they’d be wiped out completely.
  2.  Do you think all this money that goes to Ukraine is actually going to Ukraine?  Think again.  A lot of it lines the pockets of Ukrainian oligarchs.   It’s darned expensive to spend months on end at your villa on Cyprus or Tel Aviv, waiting for the day you can return to Kiev and get back to exploiting the country’s resources for your own personal gain.  
  3.  And then there are the direct kickbacks: think FTX and other Ponzi schemes where money finds it’s way back to line the pockets of the Congressmen who allocated all those funds in the first place.  (Not that we’ll ever know specifically who, now that Sam Bankman Fried has been given the Epstein suite at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.)
  4. Other kickbacks were more circuitous.  For those who didn’t have the inside track when the IPOs for FTX first went on sale, money for Kiev went to MIC lobbyists who then gave it to Congressmen for the benefit of their political campaigns.  And it’s all hidden under the rubric of “Rah Rah Democracy!”

The six reasons above are more than enough to explain why Congress and the Deep State are “all in” when it comes to Ukraine.  Just the first two cultural reasons (Democracy!) are enough to alleviate the consciences of those less cynical.  It doesn’t matter that Ukraine is the most corrupt country in Europe or that Zelensky is a dictator who has imprisoned his opposition and is trying to outlaw Ukraine’s ancient Church.  Forget all that.  “Golly, jee-whillickers, Beav!  At least we tried!” 

There is however, a third reason, a psychological one.  There are three parts to it: 

  1.  We can’t forget that throughout the Cold War, the Russians were The Enemy.  They were ten feet tall and one of their leaders once said that “we will bury you.”  It’s hard to forget threats like that.  “Gee, Wally.  I wouldn’t wanna do anything to hurt God. He’s got enough trouble with the Russians and all.”  –Many have woken up from this narrative, after all, Reagan won the Cold War and those of us smart to realize the new set of circumstances “took the win.”  Many, perhaps most, have not.    
  2. This next one is more subtle and that is that Western Europeans have long had a sense of superiority at least since the time of the Crusades.  This now includes America. 
  3. And this is especially acute among the Protestant confessions, particularly those infused with Calvinism.  In  jettisoning so much of authentic Christianity, Protestants (and post-Protestants) made up for their theological losses by becoming hyper-moralists.  The Russians must be hated because they are not part of “the West.”  Nor could they ever be allowed to be part of the West.  That would deprive the West of its sense of moral superiority.  Someone must always be “the Other.”  If it’s not the Byzantines, it’s the Saracens; if it’s not the Saracens, it’s the Arabs and so on.  Russia is presently that “Other,” especially because it’s a civilizational, autarkic state, one that can stand up on its own.  Tomorrow, it’ll be China.

Never mind Tchaikovsky, Tolstoy, Mendeleev, or the architectural jewel that is St Petersburg.  And that’s just scratching the literary, scientific, and artistic surface.  For decades now, if we wanted to go to the International Space Station, we had to hitch a ride at Krasnoyarsk.  Besides the successes of the Russian space program (Sputnik, Yuri Gagarin), there are all those gold, silver and bronze Olympic medals that the Russians were able to amass. 

Then there’s the revival of Orthodox Christianity, a miracle in itself.  Its hymnography and iconography are the gold standard of Orthodoxy (which is now the gold standard of Christianity, given its present degradation in the West).  As far as the Russophobes and anti-Christians are concerned, that’s darn well unforgivable.  Satan and his minions failed to destroy Orthodoxy in 1917.  They’re trying a different tack now, that’s all.

This is more than mere sour grapes.  This is akin to Lucifer, looking around at his ruinous circumstances and saying “Non serviam!”  We in the West are reduced to believing that our own cultural contexts (no matter how degenerate) are examples of “enlightenment.”  And so abortionists must be able to crush babies’ skulls in order to feel good about ourselves and preteen boys must be made to dance in drag for the titillation of pederasts.   

Once it was good enough to say that abortion was “regrettable”; however in the immediate aftermath of the overturning of Roe v Wade, we were treated to the spectacle of hundreds of young, extremely unattractive women twerking in public and dancing around like mad dervishes.  And so, too, we saw the cutting off the breasts of 14-year-old girls.  Even “conservative” Republican governors believe that castration of young boys is a decision “best left to the parents, the boy, and ‘his’ doctor.”  Seriously, cannibals who wear loincloths and dance around fires in some Third World shithole are horrified by the degenerate state of modern-day America.  Unfortunately, President Putin wasn’t wrong back in September when he said that Western societies are “satanic.”   

And who can forget about men diddling one another and calling it “marriage”?  Or drag queens adorned in demonic array reading fairy tales to terrified five-year-old children?  This, too, is the tip of the ludicrous iceberg that is America today.  Like Satan, we too would rather rule in Hell than serve in Heaven.  In the West today, what qualifies as normal is sanctifying some pervert’s mental illness.  If one doesn’t acquiesce to this insanity, he is immediately called a bigot and cast out of “decent” society.  

A resurgent Christian Russia, where there are only two sexes, is therefore a living and viable rebuke to the entire West.  And thus, we must hate them and are therefore justified in provoking them.  And dare I say, nuking them?  It’s not a love affair so much as a “hate affair.” And therefore, everything must be viewed through this distorted prism.

So now we wait; will we put our boots on Ukrainian ground?  Because of our present cultural insanity and unremitting hatred for Russia, I believe it’s now inevitable.   

(Eddie Haskell) “Your father doesn’t like me.”

(Wally Cleaver) “Why would you say that?”

(Eddie Haskell) “On account of the way he looks at me when he opens the door. Sometimes I think he’d be happier to see Kruschev standing there.”

 

Comments

  1. Having gone back and forth on it, I doubt the West will escalate to the point of using “tactical nukes”. The Neo-libs in the State Department like Nuland might not balk at that, even the CIA types in their cubicles might not be entirely opposed. However, it is the military that must agree for it to happen and my bet is that they will dissuade DC from doing any such thing to the point of refusing orders. I could be wrong and I hope I’m not. But there you go.

    All evidence to the present would support that assertion. Apart from rattling sabres, the US has to this point refused to put large numbers of conspicuous troops on the ground in the Ukraine, much less seriously consider tactical nukes. They understand that, unlike the Chinese, Putin rarely if ever bluffs. And it is worth mentioning that the Russians game out everything before acting. So Russia would have been prepared for all contingencies before crossing the Ukrainian border. Russia knew it could be “provoking” a nuclear war and nonetheless felt it necessary as an existential matter to act. Having gamed it out continuously since Soviet days, the Russian military is much more comfortable with the idea of some limited nuclear exchange than is the West. It’s just that the policy is not to speak of the devil so as to make such a catastrophe less likely.

    What the Western Elite love is money and status/power. That love is incompatible with a nuclear exchange. They have profited greatly from the present conflict, as has Russia. That Europe is moving toward economic ruins and the American economy is not too far behind it is of no matter to them. So long as they are taken care of, the rest of the world can rot.

    And they are increasingly transparent about their sentiments to the point of being callous to popular opinion of their selfish and satanic machinations. Stolen elections or not, I sense that will be their downfall. The French crown insisted on its legitimacy before the Revolution, for example.

    Sanctions having failed and backfired, and not having a conventional military capable of challenging Russia in a land war so close to its border, it just has to play itself out. Russia will prevail, Europe will again begin to gravitate toward Russian energy (out of economic/physical necessity) and Europe will gradually slide into the Russian orbit.

    The American prospect looks increasing like a regional hegemony in the Americas and Britain. However, even Latin America is a wild card at this point. The Sino-Russian Alliance will effectively control Europe and Asia in a bloc that will compose about 80% of the global population. That this all happened under one administration (though it has been long building) will define the Biden Regime and the DS.

    Biden is our Gorbachev.

    • George Michalopulos says

      If what you write is true (and I hope it is), that raises an interesting question: do either Biden or Kamala has access to the nuclear football?

  2. John Sakelaris says

    Concerning the Leave It To Beaver quotes, I will add one more that tells something about America in the late 1950s. It involved Eddie Haskell trying to scare Beaver with an account of a horror movie about a mummy’s curse. Wally then spoke up and said, “Yeah, Eddie, I saw that movie too. It happened in Egypt. Curses like that are not allowed to work on Americans.”

  3. People in Ukraine, having their nation invaded and destroyed, don’t care if your country sucks and has drag queens, degeneracy and more, that is your problem not theirs. You and a bunch of false right-wingers be like “America sucks, let’s go Russia!”, when the victims of that mentality, in this case the Ukrainian people, have no responsability of your miseries and shortcomings. Its childish, embarrassingly ignorant, hateful and violent, even more violent that the individuals that, out of hate, support the murdering of unborn children and the mutilation of small kids. And the thugs behind this violence take advantage of the willfull ignorance of people they know will jump to be their cheerleaders, whether with the excuse of fight against imperialism or delusions of holy wars. You are dangerous and false individuals. Imagine having millions of households destroyed, having to leave your country by force and on top of that having to endure a bunch of ignorant Americans, just as pathetic as the ones of the left, telling you about their fantasies of holy warfare, fight against “globalists”, mother russia, Christian empires and on and on. Tell that to any Orthodox Ukrainian fighting in the front against their invaders, they will punch you in the face and send you back to US to watch YouTube videos.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Mike, a lot of what you wrote doesn’t make sense. Almost contradictory.

      As an American, I neither want all the horribles you describe that have infected our nation nor the equally horribly warmongering in overseas lands. Do you think it’s OK for us to starve and/or strafe foreign populations? Have you thought your rationales through?

      As for the Ukraine, it was Kiev which provoked Russia into attacking it. You seem to have forgotten that Zelensky was the “peace candidate” who wanted to treat with Russia. Unfortunately, puppet that he is, what he wanted and what he got are two different things, aren’t they?

    • As I said, you are dangerous and violent people, so when you exercise violence on others, directly or not, you leave no choice but to answer with physical force and inteligence. In the end you will be judged in the same side as those practicing violence with the excuse of tolerance and progress. And let’s hope that judgement wont have to wait to the afterlife.

      • George Michalopulos says

        OK, let’s go down your irrational rabbit-hole: would we be justified in invading Mexico because of the 100,000 American annually because of fentanyl?

        You still keep avoiding my question: why didn’t Kiev negotiate with Moscow when they had their chance?

        • Solidarity Priest says

          I’m glad you mentioned Mexico, George. When I spoke to my leftist brother some years ago about Mexico reclaiming territory in the southwest, his response was,”Well, it used to be their country.” In a more recent conversation about Ukraine, he stated,”Borders must be respected!” Ukraine’s, that is, not ours. He hates Trump, Putin, and the Patriarch. I told him that my loyalty is to Christ and His Church. He didn’t take kindly to that, started mouthing off about “separation of church and state.” I said, ‘this conversation is over” and hung up.

          • George Michalopulos says

            The whole “separation of church and state” is a modern canard. The Founding Fathers didn’t believe in it for a minute. The First Amendment only restrains the Congress from instituting a national church.

            That said, there were chaplains for both Houses of Congress, all branches of the military, the service academies, etc. If you want to see a glorious architectural jewel, just google the Naval Academy chapel. (Then there’s the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. Wonder how that slipped by the secularists?)

            • ” (Then there’s the National Cathedral in Washington,
              DC. Wonder how that slipped by the secularists?) ”

              It didn’t. It’s where they go to worship themselves…

      • Ronda Wintheiser says

        What on earth are you blathering about, “Mike”? How are we dangerous and violent people? What have we done to deserve that description?

  4. Austin Martin says

    George Michaelopoulos, laying down some red pills. You’ve come a long way from National Review conservativism.

    The prettiest abandoned the saints but still needed heroes to worship. So they replaced the martyrs with soldiers and obese heretics like Chuck Smith. Personally I think that the Mother of our Lord is a better role model than teenagers killing brown people for college tuition.

    It’s okay to consider them a different religion. You don’t have to feel guilty.

    That would deprive the West of its sense of moral superiority. Someone must always be “the Other.”

    Without getting too personal on this forum, this mentality destroyed my family. I have evangelicalism so much. St Cyprian of Carthage was right.

    Its hymnography and iconography are the gold standard of Orthodoxy

    Incorrect. Byzantine liturgics are the true tradition. Russian liturgics are economia. They’re a product of the imperial state trying to be more western. They’re also easy and, for some people, lazy. This is not to say that Russian church music is not beautiful or beneficial when done properly — only that it exists by economia and is not the actual tradition.

    however in the immediate aftermath of the overturning of Roe v Wade, we were treated to the spectacle of hundreds of young, extremely unattractive women twerking in public and dancing around like mad dervishes.

    Yeah, it’s mostly the uglies who are upset about abortion being made illegal. Like, You don’t have to worry about anything, porky. No one wants to get you pregnant. And even if they did, just take some more vaccines, and you’ll be fine.

    Like Satan, we too would rather rule in Hell than serve in Heaven. In the West today, what qualifies as normal is sanctifying some pervert’s mental illness. If one doesn’t acquiesce to this insanity, he is immediately called a bigot and cast out of “decent” society.

    Not disagreeing with any of this. However, if secular society is that bad, how does that affect the Church? To what extent are the pathologies of America endemic in the Orthodox Church? What can we realistically expect out of the monastics? Can we assume the average priest will be small-o orthodox?

    We have had monasteries on this continent for a hundred years. Where are our saints? How many monasteries have closed through mismanagement, moral scandal or lack of interest?

    So now we wait; will we put our boots on Ukrainian ground? Because of our present cultural insanity and unremitting hatred for Russia, I believe it’s now inevitable.

    I’m not sure DC is that stupid. But I could be wrong.

    • Russian Orthodox music, though Western influenced and certainly not Byzantine, is not “economia”. Such terms do not apply to musical styles, or to iconographic styles for that matter. One could just as easily say that Byzantine polyphony is economia as is any other innovation from what the Apostles themselves chanted in Aramaic. The German and Italian influenced Russian Orthodox music and the Italianate iconography, however you feel about them, are just as Orthodox as Byzantine. It is the message conveyed, not the particular style, that is Orthodox.

      • Zelon Matripas says

        Fotis Kontoglu reverted iconography to the Theotocopoulos style. A lot of old NYC Greek and Russian churches are very latinate, but then agains osme of the paintings came with the used building.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Austin, I see your point about Byzantine hymnography being the “gold standard.” The problem is I don’t see any liturgies using this rubric. As for economia, the average Chrysostom liturgy in most non-Russian-origin parishes (i.e. not ROCOR/MP?OCA) are severely truncated. I.e no antiphons, no litany of the Catechumens, etc.

      It’s all a matter of context.

      Of course, if I’m wrong, any commentator would be more than welcome to get back to me so I can correct the record.

      P.S. Personally, I would love to see authentic Byzantine chant in churches throughout the land.

      • I too love Byzantine and used to chant it. I particularly like the Serbian and Bulgarian adaptations of it. There are Greek purists who insist it should always be in Greek. I remember the forward to one of the books we consulted for music at my old Greek parish that said as much. It was all in Greek with only a scant paraphrase in English to give a gist of the actual meaning. Go figure.

      • Austin Martin says

        Next time you’re in St Louis, come to my parish, and you will be amazed at the authentic chanting.

        But yes, the GOA and Antiochian Archdiocese is often … less … in its music.

      • If I’m not mistaken, from my time attending wonderful Antiochian parishes in America, they omit 4 litanies and go directly from the sermon/homily after the Holy Gospel reading right into the Cherubic Hymn.

        These parishes were wonderful, but no idea why they completely omit these 4 litanies…… Having attended OCA & ROCOR parishes for most of my adult life, it’s a noticeable difference. I sorta like the long church services…. Honestly there’s many days where I wish it were longer….

        It’s truncated, as you say. Is this an example of economia for folks who’ve complained about long church services?

        • At my Antiochian mission, Father includes those litanies… I’d miss them if they were skipped. We had a visiting (also Antiochian) priest serving recently and he skipped litanies that our pastor includes, and confused our choir to no end. (We’re about 90% converts, so not much context of how things are done elsewhere in Orthodoxy.)

        • But then, when I’ve visited OCA parishes I’ve noticed they include the Beatitudes and Psalm 33 in the Liturgy…we only go through those in a Typika service, when there’s no Liturgy.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Jeff, I forgot to mention the Beatitudes. As far as I’m concerned, they’re even more essential than the antiphons.

        • But then, St. John Chrysostom’s Divine Liturgy itself is a result of truncation… When St. John arrived in Constantinople, they customarily served St. Basil’s Liturgy, and it took about 2 1/2 hours…St. John (under protest) cut an hour out of the Liturgy to spare the feet of Constantinopolitan nobles. Or at least, that’s how I’ve heard it went.

        • Solidarity Priest says

          If you would have seen the one liturgy, I attended at the recent conference at Antiochian village, you would have seen they omitted nothing, they even finished Matins completely with the final two litanies and dismissal before starting liturgy, Plus, during liturgy, they closed the royal gates even more than I do, something I hadn’t thought possible. Though I serve in the OCA, I follow the Russian practice I learned in ROCOR.

          • George Michalopulos says

            SP, things like this gives me hope about the Antiochian jurisdiction. FWIW, I was told on several occasions by different priests, that with the accession of then-Bishop Joseph to the primacy, the “loosey-gooseyness” that was the norm under Philip was being cast aside for more liturgical rigor.

          • If this was the Orthodox Ethos conference, it probably had more to do with Fr. Peter Heers’ liturgical rigor than the Antiochians’.

        • Antiochene Son says

          The litanies after the Gospel (Supplication, Catechumens, and 2 of the Faithful) came to be omitted in the Greek churches sometime in the early 19th century. Antioch inherited this custom and retained it after the Patriarchate returned to native Arab hands. That said, the Liturgikon does include the litanies and some priests say them, although it is quietly discouraged, based on conversations with priests.

          What is a bigger concern to me personally is not the liturgical changes of 200 years ago, but those of today. In particular the widespread practice of having Orthros and Liturgy on the night before a feast. If we want the people to enjoy a more festal character, rather than put the Liturgy at night, I think one innovation of Metropolitan Philip was good – that of including more festal hymnody on the Sunday after a feast, treating it liturgically as a leavetaking.

          Also troubling and annoying to me is the very common practice of priests (and bishops) saying the consecration aloud with the congregation saying the deacon’s responses. Most compositions of “We Praise Thee” are long and melismatic because they are intended to be sung over the consecration, not after it. I notice that often clergy who want shorter services are also ones who read every word aloud. Why not serve according to the tradition and let the clock worry about itself?

          However, Antioch did not inherit the Greeks’ bastardized order of Sunday Matins, with the Gospel shifted almost to the end, and for this God should be praised.

        • Austin Martin says

          My point was more that the music in GOA and Antiochian parishes are often very westernized, although it’s swinging back. In George’s generation, the GOA music was baroque style with an organ. I used to attend one church like that.

          • Ronda Wintheiser says

            Could someone explain to me what Byzantine liturgics is??? Or are?

            • Michael Bauman says

              Ronda, Hi. Just remembering you today. God is good.

            • Solidarity Priest says

              As I understand, Rhonda, it’s the way services are conducted in the Greek churches, which extend not only to the Antiochians, but to the OCA’s three ethnic dioceses: the Romanian, Bulgarian, and Albanian. All of these use (ideally) Byzantine chant. It is usual for Matins to begin in the morning, before liturgy. Usually, at the chanting of the Great Doxology, the censing for liturgy takes place. At the conclusion of the Doxology, the appointed Sunday or Feast Day troparion, then right into liturgy. We sometimes do this in my OCA church, though our chant is either the Carpatho-Russian plain chant or the standard Russian eight tones.
              Typical Russian practice, which we did at St. Tikhon’s, Vespers and Matins together form the Vigil on the eve of Sundays and Feast Days. You will find this in most ROCOR parishes and some OCA parishes.
              My personal observation, the Serbs and Romanians tend to be somewhat halfway in between Russian and Greek practices. I have experienced only one Romanian parish, where Byzantine chant is the rule. I have observed the services in several Serbian churches; their chant is different from Byzantine. I am afraid music isn’t my strong point, but I will take any of these chants over concert pieces, the church is not an opera house, and the services should serve to put us in a prayerful mode.
              Finally, my observation of the Albanian church is that there is a curious combination of both Byzantine and Russian chant. I am only speaking of what I observe on YouTube in Albania. You have chanters do the bulk of Matins in Byzantine chant, but you may also have a mixed chorus singing exactly what we are used to in the Russian church, except in Albanian of course. This can probably be explained by the fact that the Russian mission here gave birth to the first Orthodox services in Albanian, later transferred to the homeland. It is certainly a joy to see the church flourishing in this land, once Europe’s most militant atheist state.

    • I like Russian Orthodox music.
      It lifts my heart and cheers my soul.

      • I also love Russian liturgical music. When it is sung well and maintains a prayerful, as opposed to ‘performance,’ atmosphere it is a wonderful aid to worship. When it becomes distracting, either by becoming a ‘performance’ or by overdone constant pitching or by being poorly done not so much. We we were deeply blessed to have a (now reposed) choir director who carefully passed on the art of maintaining both beauty and prayerfulness to our choir. God bless him. I will always be grateful for his doing so.

        That said, well done Byzantine chant is incredibly beautiful, moving, and prayerful, but in my experience it is often so poorly done that I gravitate to the Russian tradition. Call me Western, but it is generally easier on my Western ears.

  5. George Michalopulos says

    Austin, I gave up on NR about 20 years ago. Someday I’ll write about my intellectual journey from JFK liberal/anti-communism to tradconism if anyone’s interested.

  6. Zebulon Gosapher says

    Very good analysis! You should heed it and change your religion! If you dislike the Holy Planet of America, kindly return to the turdhole you absconded from, the heathen Planet Graeculon. Meanwhile we will offer reparations for our great injustice of taking nuclear weapons away from the Great Cossack Republic of Ukraine so that they may melt Putin’s vodka-soaked eyeballs off given that Dugin fesses up to Russia being the evil Magog, grandchildren of Satan.

  7. Zebulon Gosapher says
  8. Austin Martin says

    Yes but no.

    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/irastoll/21-ways-jfk-was-actually-a-conservative-fjkq

    “A Kennedy Runs for Congress; The Boston-bred scion of a former ambassador is a fighting-Irish conservative,” Look magazine headlined an article in its June 11, 1946, issue. The Chicago Tribune reported Kennedy’s election to the Senate in 1952 by describing him as a “fighting conservative.” On Dec. 7, 1958, Eleanor Roosevelt was asked in a television interview what she would do if she had to choose between a “conservative Democrat like Kennedy and a liberal Republican [like] Rockefeller”?

    The article doesn’t mention that he allowed to Mississippi governor to arrest and jail the freedom riders on arrival without trial on the condition that there’s no violence. This was after using MLK as leverage to get the black vote. That was dirty of him.

    Really, though, the parties weren’t ideological in 1960. And when they were ideological, it wasn’t how we think of it today. So JFK doesn’t fit into these labels we have now. Kennedy was only a Democrat because the Irish Catholics in Boston voted Democrat as a bloc against the more historic protestant Republicans. Interestingly, it’s not clear how much support he got in the “solid south”.

    His father was a big supporter of FDR because he thought otherwise there would be a violent socialist revolution and he would lose all his money. So Joe Sr supported the communist candidate to protect himself against communism.

    I think Nixon is a fascinating character, and I miss him every day. He wasn’t really a conservative, but he was not a liberal by modern standards at all.

  9. Mary Deplas says

    Read Orlando Figes, Natasha’s Dance: Russia is a figment of cultural engineering. The Russian elites always disdained Orthodoxy in favor of western religions, just as they do in ROCOR today. Many of them spoke French better than Russian. Tolstroy repeatedly confirms this.

    • Perhaps Orlando Figes is
      “a figment of cultural engineering”.

      https://www.theguardian.com/books/2010/apr/23/historian-orlando-figes-amazon-reviews-rivals

    • George Michalopulos says

      Mary, you paint with too broad a brush: when you say that “Russian elites always disdained Orthodoxy in favor of western religions,” you must qualify that. During the nineteenth century, yes, absolutely. Before that, western society was favored (thanks to Peter the Great) but not western religion. There were many God-pleasing saints in Russia at this time and it was during this time in particular, when Russia accomplished its greatest evangelistic endeavors.

      I will conceded that during the Silver Age (ca 1890-1917), the elites were hell-bent on Hermeticism and other occult spiritualities. Mdme Helena Petrovna Blavatsky for example, pretty much founded the “New Age” movement over 100 years ago with the founding of Theosophy. BTW, it was from this movement that the eugenics movement in America, the Golden Dawn in Britain, and the Thule Gesellschaft in Germany arose (from which arose Nazism).

      • George,
        Isn’t it interesting how around that same time period the 19th-early 20th century the growth of heretical sects metastasized here in the U.S. Mormonism, Russelism, Armstrongism, Christian Science etc.

        It seems that there was some sort of correlation between the Industrial Revolution and the rise of religious heresy during that period. I’m not aware of anyone who has done research on this to identify if there was a causal factor that may synthesize the two occurrences.

        • George Michalopulos says

          David, this is a fascinating insight you have made. I believe that the Industrial Revolution exacerbated these phenomena. I have a feeling though that religious novelty is “baked into the cake”, a result of the American founding, so to speak.

          Mormonism for example grew out of the Second Great Awakening (if memory serves in the early 1820s, decades before the Industrial Revolution. Since it was founded by Joseph Smith, a Connecticut Yankee, I trace the impulse for it back to the Puritan movement of New England. The whole “shining city upon the hill” thing.

        • The Democratization of American Christianity (Nathan O. Hatch, 1991) is a very interesting book showing how American Protestantism morphed into an essentially populist religion (in many variations: Methodist, Baptist, the “Christian Churches,” Mormon…) through the so-called Second Great Awakening at the beginning of the 19th century.

          I don’t remember whether Hatch gets into the Industrial Revolution as one of the factors leading to the Second Great Awakening itself.

  10. This is pretty good from Scott Ritter. It’s about how we got to where we are today in Russian-American relations.

    • He spoke with impressive clarity.
      Will he be heeded? That is the question…

      However, I am curious about the rainbow poster beside him
      which claims the Community Church of Boston welcomes:
      * ALL RACES
      * ALL RELIGIONS
      * ALL CULTURES
      * ALL GENDERS
      * ALL ORIENTATIONS

      ALL is a strong term which brooks of no exceptions.
      So, are devotees of Moloch and Huitzilipochtli welcomed?
      What about Persons of Minor Attracted Orientation?

      Or is this just another example of Liberals using words
      they do not understand to help them feel virtuous?

    • George Michalopulos says

      I just saw it this morning, Misha. Great analysis. Thanks for posting it.

  11. I remember Christos Yannaras in his book The Freedom of Morality describing the reduction of the human person to a “resource” in the drive to produce (and consume) that resulted from the Industrial Revolution as a “torment to man.” There have also been benefits to be sure, but personally I think his overall assessment was quite accurate.

    His in depth critique in the same book of the heresy of Pietism, a primary feature of the American style of Protestantism that formed the foundation of the US, does a marvelous job of connecting this heresy to the enablement of this “torment,” as Pietism essentially exalted ‘the work ethic’ as a virtue in itself (not that work is bad, but that in the heresy of Pietism work on itself makes one holy; therefore the harder one works the more ‘holy’ one becomes.)

    • This is what Protestants use when they criticize “works” because they don’t know or understand what “works” means in the Orthodox context.
      And, yes, Prof Yannaras is spot on in his work. Having had the opportunity to spend some time with him I found him enlightening and, contrary to what some think of him, actually humble.

      • To be clear (I’m not sure I was), work in this context isn’t “works” in either the Protestant or the Orthodox sense. It is work as in the labor one performs at one’s job.

    • Some work to live. Others live to work.
      Boxer the horse (1984) was one of the latter.
      Much good it did him in the end…

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