More Thoughts on My Pilgrimage: Butovo

Well, this is Part II of my “travelvlog”. Thank you all for your patience.

A word of introduction, the photo which you see is Fr Ilya Gotlinski standing before the memorial wall which was recently erected at Butovo. On it are the names of every one of the victims of Stalin’s terror as well as the month and date on which they were executed.

One of the things that I appreciated about the itinerary that Fr Ilya puts together, is that he does not sugar-coat history. The Killing Fields at Butovo are a case in point.

For me, they raise the question of the mystery of iniquity. Bolshevism was an unmitigated evil. It’s chief practicioners –Lenin and Stalin–were profoundly evil men. No question. Millions of innocents perished; needlessly in my opinion.

Yet was that satanic experiment in governance necessary to separate the wheat from the chaff? Perhaps. From what I saw, the Church is even stronger now than it was perhaps in the pre-Revolutionary period. Of course I have nothing to compare it to.

Of course I cannot comment on the personal piety of individual persons; I certainly can’t see into their hearts. That’s not the point. Perhaps instead I would be wiser to discern the more mundane aspects of what I saw, that is the side-effects an aggressively atheistic enterprise can have on a population. And that in my opinion is that it strips away all attachments to the world. If nothing else, I can honestly say that the “bloom is off the Western rose” for many in Russia.

Part of that of course has nothing to do with Communism. It instead is the product of the nihilism which is everywhere apparent in the West. Many Eastern Europeans have rejected so-called Western values (as presently expressed) because there is no longer any charm in them. Beauty itself has been eradicated almost everywhere we look and as Dostoevsky wrote: “beauty will save the world”.

Bolshevism was just one fork in the nihilistic road. Cultural Marxism (which has pretty much carried the day in the West) was the other fork in the road. Regardless, what we saw at Butovo brought it all home to me. Because according to nihilism, what happened there and at the other killing fields was neither good nor evil. But it was necessary. Why? If nothing else to instill fear in the hearts of the masses.

And let us not forget another thing which Dostoevsky said: “If there is no God, then all is permitted”.

No, Russia isn’t perfect. It’s Church has problems (as do all). But almost always we have to choose between two imperfections. As Joshua said “As for me and my house, we will choose the Lord”. I believe that Orthodox Christians throughout the world will have to soon make a choice.

[Editor’s note: In the video below, I accidentally call Fr Ilya “Fr Alexander” someplace around minute 8.]

Monomakhos

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Comments

  1. This is a bit off topic, but then again it fits. About 100 years ago there were evil seeds laid in Russia that would begin the worse mass killings the world has ever witnessed. As we know the murders, and starvations that began in Moscow, have spread to many other nations, 100 million killed and counting, even today many are starved, and are murdered in Communist regimes like North Korea.

    That evil seeds, planted over a hundred years ago, were advertised as fair and compassionate treatment(sound familiar?) for the poor and afflicted people of Russia. “All equal,” Said the Communists, “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs!” The masses cheered, finally their burdens were lifted! It could not be further from the truth, as the mass killings were to begin. Arguably, The Church was destroyed, in Russia/USSR, except for puppets under Communist masters, and the devout holding liturgy in their homes.

    This is the question I ask myself. What is worse, millions of martyrs killed at the hands of Communists, or millions if allowed by our Church, in the not too distant future, led to damnation? Is that not worse, that millions of souls will be lost for eternity, at the hands of priests and bishops who turn a blind eye, or worse condone a homosexual lifestyle, act and/or behavior that is one of the worst sins we may fall to. Not to mention the spiritual collapse of our Orthodox Church.

    I still have compassion for my homosexual brothers and sisters, but until recently I did not realize that the seeds of this gay acceptance have not only been planted in our Church, but now fully sprouted, as we witness some of the prominent and well respected theologian voices go gray, on gay. A sin that is so obvious, is now debated, not only for compassion, but acceptance. In my opinion if this gay compassion sell spreads, it will destroy our Church much worse than Communism ever could.

    Communism only put a temporary physical boot over us. Acceptance of homosexuality will do a much deeper damage, and even worse, permanent. It not only will splinter the Church, but it’s authority will be questioned, in it’s state of confusion. God will not stop this, as he allows us free will.

    Now my brother Michael Stankovich, whom for whatever strange reason I care about, in his thought and reason. Why? Maybe think of how one loves their favorite singer or band, priest, teacher, bishop, whatever. Anyway I care, in the past he has touched, and reached me with some of his posts, and quotes, but now, sadly, I pity him. What has changed? Is it that we can’t agree to disagree? Anyway, it’s come to this…..

    M. Stankovich-08-23-2018(3:53AM)

    Here’s an idea: string a few of those faggot bishops in black dresses and jewelry up and let ’em swing for awhile. Show everybody you really mean business. Not a damn thing ambiguous about that message.

    Well here’s the problem, Michael. You are still ambiguous, in your new insult. You are implying that either others, or myself, that do not agree with you, on this topic, would like to hang gay bishops, without directly saying so.

    I maybe some of sinful things you accuse me of, but I would never hang anyone, not even little brown people, in fact not even the lowlife little brown people. I trust God will serve them justice. If He sees fit.

    Forgive me Michael for my lack of faith, and intelligence, that has made it pointless for you to contribute forward. I am not the superhero you are. What I am is a family man, and worry about all in my circle, parents,relatives,friends.

    While on earth I would like to see all in my circle free from as much pain and suffering that this world WILL inflict upon us, as possible. The rest I give to God, and accept what he gives and takes. In the meantime, I support a government that at least attempts to protect it’s borders and citizens. I also expect my Church to follow The Holy Bible, our Holy Traditions, and the teachings of our Holy Fathers.

    • M. Stankovich says

      Pardon me, Dino, but from what I heard during Holy Week – and beautifully paraphrased by Michael Bauman yesterday – you don’t have the choice to disagree with me. You will not “save” the church you love because it crumbles at your feet. Why? “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph. 6:12) wow. The Lord tells us in no uncertain terms what will become of the church you love. Go, again, and read Michael Bauman, think about what he wrote for a moment, and come back here.

      You are selective in drawing from my “insult,” and consigning me, the superhero – as expected – to the air balloon (headed for Kansas, Michael Bauman!), faith being what it is. And in my wake, what, Dino? “Well, I’ll keep bitching about a dying church that can’t follow the Traditions…” Got it. In other words, you can offer nothing but more politikal jingo and more demands you are powerless to affect. And if they fail…

      Now suppose I had said exactly what I had originally written, but erased yesterday:

      Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, With what shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek) for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.

      I fully would have expected to hear, “This is unrealistic. Do you have children? Sure, let’s just sit back and wait for God to drop everything into our laps, blah, blah, blah…” I erased it. Faith being what it is…

      But I will say to you today, no, you fail to understand the Scripture. St. Paul provides you with the solution to facing the powers with whom we battle:

      Take to you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girded about with truth, and having taken on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Eph. 6:13-17)

      This takes courage and fierce action. I’m out here, Dino, everyday, face-to-face, man-to-man with the people and the situations that terrify you (and why that dumbass said I had “colostomy bag” is beyond me – I don’t think I ever told the story of being shot while embedded with the cops, but I don’t have a colostomy bad!). You “pity” me, Dino? I face my fears and actually trust the Lord will protect me. I keep the prayer rope in my right hand pants pocket, so even when I reach for a pen, or whatever, I inadvertently am reminded of what is “important.” My thought: fear the words of the Lord, “So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spit you out of my mouth.” (Rev. 3:16) Limit the pain & suffering? Read Michal Bauman again. In fact, add my friend and his wife and family to your prayer list. God will surely bless you.

      • Most assuredly know I often pray for all on Monomakhos, even those that irk me. There are few things ever written by Michael Bauman that I disagree with. You hint that you are off to visit, Michael, wife, and family, and our prayers needed. Thanks for the opportunity of such a blessing. I will also light candles, and add his family to my parish prayer list. God Bless, and hear our prayers!

        • Michael Bauman says

          Dino, thank you. Our journey in visiting is done and we are safe at home. Still the need for prayers continues. First for my newly wed niece and her husband fighting his nasal cancer. But for my wife as well who fell and suffered a severe proximal humeral fracture of her left arm that damaged her shoulder as well.

          Recovering well by God’s grace but it is a long and tedious process.

          May God’s mercy be with us all.

          • Michael Bauman,
            Sorry to hear about Merry. I still get updates on Jorge and Stephanida from GoFund Me website. That poor young man has been thru a lot, and for the cancer to spread to his lips/mouth is very distressing for the newlyweds I’m sure. Don’t know why I never put them on our parish prayer list but I will today, Merry and you as well. Thank you, and God bless!

          • Tim R. Mortiss says

            Very sorry to hear this news, Michael Bauman. I will pray for all.
            This does give me a chance to say that I have had the pleasure to have a couple of very amiable conversations with the aptly-named Merry about wines, and about their dry Elderberry wine in particular. I have since placed two orders, the first for six bottles, and when those went fast, a second for a full case of 12. I’m approaching the end of those! I have become and will remain a customer of Wyldewood Cellars!
            Merry has great expertise. While I am a standard Vinifera wine drinker, I have over the years made an exception for a once locally-produced very dry and splendid Raspberry wine, that is no longer available. Merry’s dry Elderberry has taken its place.
            I urge those who don’t have (or don’t think they have) a taste for berry wines to try the very dry ones, such as this great Elderberry. They are very good indeed.

            • Michael Bauman says

              Timor and Dino, Merry thanks you for your prayers and your patronage. “A merry heart doeth good and wine makes glad the heart of man.”

              She is indeed aptly named and a blessing to many as a lover of God.

              The struggle that Jorge and Stefinida are enduring is indeed difficult but they are facing it with remarkable courage, faith and grace and of course at times with tears.

              Thank you all for your prayers.

      • Billy Jack Sunday says

        M Stankovich

        In the comment section in the recent open letter to Metropolitan Gerasimos, you wrote:

        “Here’s an idea: string a few of those faggot bishops in black dresses and jewelry up and let ’em swing for awhile. Show everybody you really mean business.”

        Dino responded to this above, by saying:

        “Well here’s the problem, Michael. You are still ambiguous, in your new insult. You are implying that either others, or myself, that do not agree with you, on this topic, would like to hang gay bishops, without directly saying so.”

        Dino is exactly right and this is poor form on your part

        In fact, your words are what I would expect to hear from a drunk militant gay individual

        Having bounced at an alternative night club (having a mix of patrons of all types), I know exactly what that looks like.

        And – I know what it is to be protective on behalf of all types of people

        Your words of implied hate and desired violence are totally false and meaningless

        Why do you play that card?

        First card, the homophobe accusation
        Second card, the implied desire for violence

        These are the tactics our secular society has successfully used in order to normalize the homosexual lifestyle in our culture

        At the heart of this issue is a culture war

        And you are continuously playing double agent by quoting patristics while seemingly oriented towards a secular humanistic mind set

        Christians don’t seek the destruction of any homosexual

        Rather, Christians are protective of them

        They are physically protective of them, as well as spiritually protective

        Dino is right when he says:

        “Is that not worse, that millions of souls will be lost for eternity, at the hands of priests and bishops who turn a blind eye, or worse condone a homosexual lifestyle, act and/or behavior that is one of the worst sins we may fall to. Not to mention the spiritual collapse of our Orthodox Church.”

        You’re words have not been helpful to the individuals with SSA who struggle

        You’re words of implied desire of violence are negligent and dangerous to the Christian

        Nero will once again blame the fire on Christians

        You are ignorant to think history will not repeat itself in America

        And you are completely wrong in your assessment of who is out for blood

        It’s not the Christians

        You, sir, are the one fanning the flames of hate and intolerance

        That could even lead to violence

        Let’s hope not

        Help out by refraining from such careless words and destructive inflammatory rhetoric

        • M. Stankovich says

          BJS,

          You’re a slow study, champ. In one of my “rescue missions,” I took a stunning shot to the back of my head; fractured my skull, caused a brain-bleed, etc. In the vernacular, it’s called “gettin’ your bell rung but good,” & in the medical world, “TBI w/seizure & LOC.” Among other things, it left me with a permanent hand tremor, which was managed reasonably well with propranolol (a non-selective β-blocker that is ordinarily used to slow your heart rate & lower your blood pressure – consult Mr. M. for further details), but to a lesser degree than previously. Now, don’t go jumping to conclusions about that helmet – that really was a uncalled for remark, by the way – but if you’re wondering the point of all this – and you’re an intuitive fellow – you don’t play cards if your hands shake, champ. Sure, I could have just said that outright, but verbosity – like sarcasm – has its place.

          I was going to say I am amused, but you and Dino are two overly sensitive fellows so I’ll say instead “curious,” that of everything I said, you both picked up on two specific sentences, and you both whine appeal to a “collapse of the church.” Further, there seems to be a bit of a crusade as to my intolerance for people who don’t agree with “me,” ergo my naivité. B to da A to da N to da G (Hey!) You knew that was Niki!

          I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said here, God has not blessed me as an “original thinker.” I am a savant, plain and simple. My “blessing,” however, was to have been placed in the path and at the feet of some of the greatest minds of our generation – be it in the Church, in biomedicine, in literature, in music, whatever – and I somehow intuitively knew to shut up and listen, to get out of my own way. You and Dino are telling me about “my words,” “my opinions,” Dino rails against me as if I woke up one morning and intended to annoy him by “drawing lines in the sand” I intentionally set for him. I quote you the Scripture & the Fathers and you tell me I’ve gone “retard.

          Let me go back to the point of the post which is so fundamentally distressing to you: Faith. Do I believe the church will be overrun and ultimately collapse because of homosexuality? Certainly I do not. What about the example of the Anglican Church? It is an improper, illogical analogy because it attempts to compare the natural history of a church long fallen away into schism and heresy, with the Church of the chosen from among the Gentiles; the last & final harbinger of the Truth; the Haven and Port in a storm; the chosen and purified Bride of the One Lord and Savior, crucified, buried, and risen from the dead. What if I had said to you, BJS, what I had said to Dino:

          O you of little faith. Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, With what shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek) for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. (Matt. 6:30-33)

          I’ve gone retard, right champ? “Fanning the flames of hate and intolerance that could even lead to violence.” B to da A to da N to da G (Hey!)

          Seriously, I’m not trolling for disciples, BJS. Who am I to you? I am not your Gunnery Sgt. Hartmann and you are not Pvt. Cowboy. Let it go champ. We’ve all got our calling, one way or another.

          • Billy Jack Sunday says

            M Stankovich

            You said:

            “Do I believe the church will be overrun and ultimately collapse because of homosexuality? Certainly I do not. What about the example of the Anglican Church? It is an improper, illogical analogy because it attempts to compare the natural history of a church long fallen away into schism and heresy, with the Church of the chosen from among the Gentiles”

            The Orthodox Church will stand

            There is no guarantee that the GOA will remain Orthodox

            If you feel the history far back enough, the Anglican church is a highly morphed and mutated deteriorated diluted file corrupted shadow memory of the Celtic Orthodox Church

            They still have the Celtic Cross, but not too much else

            Where is the Anglican/Episcopal church? Hanging around moribund and flying the gay flag

            Where is the Orthodox Church?

            Indeed, it is still here according to promise

            Where is the Celtic Orthodox Church? Gone!

            It is gone, but the Orthodox Church still exists

            There is no specific guarentee for the GOA. This is false and it’s exactly what was told me to excuse the Council of Crete

            Remember, the Celtic Orthodox Church was THE local Orthodox Church for the various islands there

            Now, after the Pope’s claim, the EP has so graciously claimed those lands and well – along with the new world and others

            So they don’t have their local Celtic Orthodox Church there anymore? Oh well, at least they have Bishop Kallistos Ware . . .

            Oh crap

    • M. Stankovich says

      Light, MT, and Miller, T., “Does undocumented immigration increase violent crime?” Crimionology, Vol. 56, Issue 2, May, 2018, pp. 370-401. Free full text at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1745-9125.12175 (Criminology is the official journal of the American Society of Criminology, https://www.asc41.com/)

      First, the ABSTRACT:

      Despite substantial public, political, and scholarly attention to the issue of immigration and crime, we know little about the criminological consequences of undocumented immigration. As a result, fundamental questions about whether undocumented immigration increases violent crime remain unanswered. In an attempt to address this gap, we combine newly developed estimates of the unauthorized population with multiple data sources to capture the criminal, socioeconomic, and demographic context of all 50 states and Washington, DC, from 1990 to 2014 to provide the first longitudinal analysis of the macro‐level relationship between undocumented immigration and violence. The results from fixed‐effects regression models reveal that undocumented immigration does not increase violence. Rather, the relationship between undocumented immigration and violent crime is generally negative, although not significant in all specifications. Using supplemental models of victimization data and instrumental variable methods, we find little evidence that these results are due to decreased reporting or selective migration to avoid crime. We consider the theoretical and policy implications of these findings against the backdrop of the dramatic increase in immigration enforcement in recent decades.

      Since the full text is available for anyone to examine the complete methodology employed in examining the accumulated from 1990 – 2014, I skip ahead to:

      RESULTS

      We begin our analysis by first considering the bivariate associations between undocumented immigration and violence since 1990. Correlations between state‐level mean deviations in the proportion undocumented (x‐axis) and mean deviations in each of the violent crime measures (y‐axis) between 1990 and 2014 are shown graphically in figure 3.13 The overall patterns in the data are consistent across each dependent variable: Increases in the undocumented immigrant population within states are associated with significant decreases in the prevalence of violence. This set of findings runs contrary to the marginalization and disorganization perspectives. Nevertheless, though descriptive trends represent the necessary first step in any causal inquiry, they are hardly conclusive. We thus turn to our fixed‐effects regression models to scrutinize more rigorously the undocumented immigration–crime relationship.

      After discussing several important statistical adjustments and corrections (e.g. “measured covariates do little to explain the relationship between unauthorized immigration and violence,” “the effects of unauthorized immigration are in addition to the significant reductions in violent crime stemming from lawful immigration [emphasis mine], thus, underscoring the importance of examining these populations separately”), skipping ahead to paragraph seven:

      The undocumented findings for murder, robbery, assault, and rape all paint the same picture. Despite substantial differences in official reporting rates across these offenses, as undocumented immigration increased in recent decades, there was a significant, concomitant decrease in each measure of violent crime. [And even when taking into consideration weighted vs unweighted regression models] Rather than causing higher crime, increased undocumented immigration since 1990 is generally associated with lower rates of serious violence, although this relationship seems qualified depending on the specific type of violence and weighting scheme.

      The argument often arises on this site that illegal immigrants are “hidden” and crimes are either “disconnected” from the true perpetrators because they “disappear” into otherwise “Low Crime Areas” (what is referred to in this study as “selective migration” – “undocumented immigrants relocating to areas to avoid violence”), or as this study reasonably postulates:

      Because we are using official crime statistics, there is a plausible alternative interpretation: Increased unauthorized immigration results in fewer crimes reported to the police [emphasis mine]. In other words, those who lack legal status, and potentially their lawful friends and family members as well, may be hesitant to report violent victimizations to avoid detection from legal officials. If this is the case, our results may reflect less reporting rather than less crime [emphasis mine]. Although this concern is obviated for the case of homicide, it potentially applies to nonfatal forms of violence such as robbery and assault.

      While you are welcome to read for yourself self the statistical method(s) that obviate the “selective migration” concern (interestingly already accounted for in what is described as the “1980 immigration model”), the latter concern is addressed through data gained from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which like the US Census, until most recently, surveys legal as well as undocumented immigrants in a nationally representative sample of >90,000 US households (with an astonishing response rate between 85-90%) regarding criminal victimization and the likelihood of reporting:

      The survey asks about crimes that were, and were not, reported to the police, thus, capturing what criminologists often refer to as the “dark figure of crime”—crimes that occur but go unreported. For this reason, “the NCVS is considered the most accurate source of information on the true volume and characteristics of crime and victimization in the United States.” And beginning in 2015, “the Bureau of Justice Statistics for the first time released state‐level estimates for the NCVS for the period 2000–2012 in 3‐year averages[that] better identify long‐term crime trends, for all 50 states (plus Washington, DC) for 13 years (663 state‐years). We use these data to examine whether undocumented immigration is associated with decreasing victimization rates as well as officially reported crime rates.

      Overall, the NCVS results demonstrate that the findings reported in the main analysis are more likely reflective of less crime, not just less reporting. Though it remains possible that the NCVS results are driven by nonresponse bias among undocumented immigrants, several points suggest this is unlikely to be the case.

      There is a lengthy DISCUSSION by the authors that follow, but the takeaway is this:

      Our findings suggest that undocumented immigration over this period is generally associated with decreasing violent crime. The negative association between unauthorized immigration and violence is evident in both police reports and victimization data; simple procedures such as bivariate associations; more stringent multivariate tests in which numerous theoretically relevant measured and unmeasured confounding variables are accounted for; instrumental variable analyses that model the selective migration patterns of undocumented immigrants; and a variety of supplemental models and sensitivity analyses. Indeed, of the 57 point estimates reported throughout our analysis (including in the online supporting information), not one shows a positive association between undocumented immigration and violent crime.

      Please read the full DISCUSSION for the final formulation of their findings. Apparently, the remedy to anecdote is the truth. One more study to follow.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Using this logic we should not prosecute drunk drivers since most automotive fatalities occur at the hands of sober drivers.

        • M. Stankovich says

          Come on, Mr. M. I imagined “kill the messenger” takedowns when I upped it, but yours barely limps to the screen. You didn’t really read it or you’re clueless. Ask before you react. Strike one.

        • George, I’ll give you a better one. Hopefully our lovable brother Michael Stankovich does not consider this empirical stats/facts.

          Last quote, first sentence, in bold to boot!

          Our findings suggest that undocumented immigration over this period is generally associated with decreasing violent crime.

          Using this logic we should open our borders to even more illegal aliens (actual legal term, but their terminology, hints their leaning)

          What a great idea!

          Allowing more illegal aliens into America, will decrease crime in America!!!

          MAGA!!!

          • M. Stankovich says

            Let’s see. What do they say about two heads…

            Before I comment about your Fox News brand of “logic,” please take a look at this. This will take just a bit more effort to dismiss because the source of the data is what the Texas Dept. of Public Safety provided directly to the Dept. of Homeland Security:

            Nowrasteh, A. “Criminal immigrants in texas: illegal immigrant conviction and arrest rates for homicide, sexual assault, larceny, and other orimes.” Immigration Research and Policy Brief, Number 4, Cato Institute, first published February 26, 2018, updated August, 2018. Full text download available at: https://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/irpb-4-updated.pdf

            This investigation begins with the introduction:

            The vast majority of research finds that immigrants do not increase local crime rates and that they are less likely to cause crime and less likely to be incarcerated than their native-born peers. There is less research on illegal immigrant criminality, but what research there is shows that illegal immigrants have lower incarceration rates nationwide and in the state of Texas relative to native-born Americans, although they have the same rates of re-arrest in Los Angeles County. Consistent with those findings, immigration enforcement programs targeting illegal immigrant criminals have no effect on local crime rates, which indicates that they are about as crime prone as other residents.

            The explanation is ironic in the sense that, with President Trump’s signing of an executive order directing the Dept. Homeland Security (DHS) to initiate deportation of illegal aliens encountered by law enforcement and Attorney General Session’s threat to withhold funding from law enforcement agencies that did not cooperate with DHS, the Texas Dept. of Public immediately responded to these directives , even collecting “data separately show the number of convictions and arrests of illegal and legal immigrants for 44 and 46 different crimes, respectively.”

            Texas has these data because its law enforcement agencies cooperate with federal immigration enforcement authorities at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that check the biometrics of arrestees in the state. The Texas DPS keeps the results of these DHS checks that then allow a more direct look at immigrant criminality by immigration status.8 The DPS data released by the PIA request revealed slightly more arrests in 2015 than were reported by another publicly available DPS report for the same year. The quality of the Texas DPS data is excellent and, if it errs, it is likely to overcount the convictions and arrests of illegal immigrants because it counts more total arrests than another DPS source.

            What you see in this research is not “derived” or interpreted, calculated, paraphrased, or the “politicized numbers” of academics “massaged” for a specific purpose.

            This brief reports the conviction and arrest rates for 2015 because that is the most recent year for which estimates are available for the sizes of the legal immigrant, native-born, and illegal immigrant populations residing in the state of Texas.10 The numbers in this brief do not represent the total number of criminal immigrants in the state of Texas in 2015, but merely the number of convictions and arrests of illegal immigrants, legal immigrants, and natives. There were 22,797,819 native-born Americans, 1,758,199 illegal immigrants, and 2,913,096 legal immigrants living in Texas in 2015.11 In that year, natives made up about 83 percent of the Texas population, illegal immigrants about 6.4 percent of the population, and legal immigrants about 10.6 percent. The conviction and arrest rates for the entire period of January 1, 2011, through November 15, 2017, are nearly identical to those of 2015, so the choice of year makes little difference. The DPS data that this brief analyzes are for all arrests and convictions that occurred in the year 2015, regardless of the year in which the crime was actually committed.

            Convictions

            Natives were convicted of 409,708 crimes, illegal immigrants were convicted of 15,803 crimes, and legal immigrants were convicted of 17,785 crimes in Texas in 2015. Thus, there were 1,797 criminal convictions of natives for every 100,000 natives, 899 criminal convictions of illegal immigrants for every 100,000 illegal immigrants, and 611 criminal convictions of legal immigrants for every 100,000 legal immigrants. As a percentage of their respective populations, there were 50 percent fewer criminal convictions of illegal immigrants than of native-born Americans in Texas in 2015. The criminal conviction rate for legal immigrants was about 66 percent below the native-born rate.

            Homicides supposedly committed by illegal immigrants garner the most public attention. [Note: the author includes a discussion of José Inés García Zárate, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, previously deported five times, who was acquitted of murdering Kate Steinle in SF. He suggests this galvanized public support for harsher immigration enforcement and the construction of a border wall, and provided anecdotal evidence for then-candidate Trump’s claim that illegal immigrants are responsible for a large number of crimes in the United States.]

            Illegal immigrants made up about 6.4 percent of the Texas population in 2015 but only accounted for 5.9 percent of all homicide convictions. Legal immigrants made up 10.6 percent of the Texas population but accounted for only 3.8 percent of homicide convictions. Native-born Americans made up 83 percent of the Texas population but accounted for 90.3 percent of all homicide convictions

            There were 28.6 sex crime convictions of illegal immigrants per 100,000 in 2015, about 7.9 percent fewer than for native-born Americans in the same year (Figure 4). The sex crime conviction rate for legal immigrants was 69 percent below that of natives. There were many fewer sex crime convictions against immigrants, including illegal immigrants, than against native-born Americans in Texas in 2015.

            The larceny conviction rate for illegal immigrants was 77 percent below that of natives. This is one of the few crimes where the criminal conviction rate of legal immigrants is greater than it is for illegal immigrants.

            Conclusion

            The homicide conviction rate for illegal immigrants was 16 percent below that of native-born Americans in Texas in 2015. The conviction rates for illegal immigrants were 7.9 percent and 77 percent below that of native-born Americans for sex crimes and larceny, respectively. For all criminal convictions in Texas in 2015, illegal immigrants had a criminal conviction rate 50 percent below that of native-born Americans. Legal immigrants had a criminal conviction rate 66 percent below that of native-born Americans.

            Now, as near as I can tell, every time I have said on this site that there is no evidence that undocumented immigrants commit crime at a significantly greater ratio than the general population – therefore justifying anything worthy of the anecdotal scare-tactics you have imposed on this forum as “reality” – you have said it can be be accounted for by 1) “hidden/ghetto” illegals or 2) no reporting or under-reporting of crime to law enforcement, and so on. Let me point out to you both: what I have presented here is not the Fox News/Tucker Fredrickson “statistics” Dino and Centurion tried to pass off as “>59% of US murders committed by 6.4%” (referring to undocumented aliens – when Fredrickson knew it referred to the federal system but didn’t identify the fact). Don’t either of you waste my time by offering a heehaw jam. If you wish to discuss the contents, and even the limitations as I see it to both studies, download them, read them, and we’ll debate. The Marx Brothers tag-teaming is disappointing and insulting. MAGMA my ass. You seem to be on a mission to dumb everything down.

            • At least I know you care Michael Stankovich. Was it not about 3 weeks ago, you dropped the topic? Now back, with more stats and levity, only witty and wise if they come from your keyboard? As you said, if you believe yourself correct, why care what I think.(paraphrased) Who are trying to convince, me or yourself?

              Stats, polls, empirical studies, blah, blah, and MAGMA BLAH! Might work with bio-physics, but there it mostly ends. Stats and politics not so much. Remember when every poll predicted a landslide for Mrs. “got everyone paid off” Clinton? Even the greatest narcissist to ever run for office(that’s saying a lot, since they all are), Donald Trump was surprised he not only won, but by a landslide. He knew the fix was in, but still probably scratches his head. How? Why? Easy my brother, even when the fix is in, if the boxer doesn’t drop as planned, well things messy and ugly. Have we every seen ugly as we see today?

              Remember when Reagan was elected, and the left lost it’s collected mind, especially the new druggie/sex crazed Hollywood(old Hollywood liked Reagan), and the elite of MSM. The backlash results of a another weak previous President(Carter). The people made their choice, and the left recoiled, and began to fit Reagan into some dummy box, that intellectuals scoffed at, and began the fix again to scandalize and dumb down Reagan till the next election. Back then Hollywood was royalty to America, and also our news celebrity faces that came on every evening, to give the truth of the day, that they saw fit. Most Americans bought into the fix, except fly over country, so much so, one of the brainwashed, thought he might impress an actress and it wise to assassinate President Reagan.

              Sorry rambling, but point is the numbers you raise, even mine, don’t matter, results do. Look at the results of LBJ’s great society has brought us. I’m sure one could find positive and negative stats to that experiment blacks have endured to this day. Or, the collective wisdom fix of woman’s abortion rights, it’s become the most important portion of the leftists progressive creed. Now they scream “NO BORDERS!” Then with serious face, you bring up conclusions from their reports, that Illegal Immigration reduces crime!(My ribs still ache from that one)

              Now there has been very few fixes put in place as Illegal Immigration, that has been endorsed by both Democrats and Republicans. All the way back to Reagan, it’s been hush hush. Both sides, ate from the same pig trough, all kept quiet for as long as they could. Well the Trump has hit the fan. Cats out of the bag, and the discussion has begun to fix, the fix, in play for 30 odd years now.

              Michael I don’t need, “the fix is in” fixed stats, I am a stat, stats all around us. My vision is 20/20 my friend. Cato is a played, and payed off joke, paid by RINO’s, neocons, and slave labor Corps, and so are those leftist stats that want left leaning votes. Stats do not apply here. Results do. Results like LBJ’s great society, abortion rights, Hollywood history lessons, their morality, news media madness and their brainwashing of America results, and now the results of illegal immigration, dreamers, and their offspring helping turn many urban areas into you know what kind of holes, and rural areas discovering how one locks a front door. Do you lock yours Michael, and is that wall already in place around San Diego a joke? You think a good idea to tear it down?

              You will not answer my simple question if you approve of open borders, asked 3 weeks ago, yet, NOW, out of nowhere want to debate silly crime stats, that in least one, attempts to conclude that illegal immigration lowers crime. Welcome to the mission, Groucho!

              • M. Stankovich says

                Dino,

                I don’t intend to “defend” these studies because they are excellently executed; scrupulous in their methodology; answer every question you & Mr. Michalopulos have ever posed to me; and in the case of the second study, the Texas Dept. of Public Safety actually thanked the Cato Institute for catching a significant mathematical error on their part, which affected their reporting to Homeland Security. All of this speaks to the fact that, in both cases, neither collected data, but rather analyzed data – “stats” – provided by the US Dept. of Justice or the Texas Dept. of Public Safety. And not being satisfied with paragraphs of “rambling” dumpster diving of the politikal right, attempting to discredit research you didn’t bother reading, you three times promote the single dumbest conclusion possible. Or did you? It appears more likely you were hand-fed a pre-digested package from Mr. Michalopulos. But I ask you, what does this statement say:

                Increases in the undocumented immigrant population within states are associated with significant decreases in the prevalence of violence. This set of findings runs contrary to the marginalization and disorganization perspectives. Nevertheless, though descriptive trends represent the necessary first step in any causal inquiry [emphasis mine], they are hardly conclusive.

                You are playing along in this Britebart/Corey Lewendowski/Stephen Miller/Trump University/Fox News take that this means “mo’ illegals, less crime.” You really could not know what a causal relationship is, could you, Dino? Nah. Just get it out it there and repeat it… You tried to feed me “silly crime stats” and scary anecdotes for weeks, no? I have no respect for politikal jamokes.

                Your continued attempts to berate and “shame” me, like you are Emile Zola defending the integrity of Dreyfus is amusing: “J’accuse!” My simple answer is that we live by the rule of law, always and for everyone. You may take your seat.

                • Well Professor Stankovich,

                  Before taking a seat…

                  You forgot the hidden asterisk in your stats, that no one speaks of.

                  Children of dirt poor parents who come across and give birth in our hospitals, Anchor babies.

                  Yeah you know those cute little ones; from criminal, southern border crossing, birthing mothers, can from day one, born here, become instant citizens. Que Stupido Gringos, Adios blancos!

                  BOOM! Open up the government assistance flood gate baby, another American is born, who cashes the check for that baby? What is crime rate for those “citizens” my brother? Are they all honor roll, scholar Dreamers, as the leftist, and MSM advertise?

                  Time to overturn the 14th amendment, as it’s original purpose is now obsolete.

                  Ah, the 14 amendment, yeah, you know, the one that was made to protect America’s black American born children, descendants of slaves. What a ironic twist that this obsolete amendment is now hurting todays blacks, by thinning resources, especially schools, grants, scholarships, and jobs! Hell, sadly, even jail conditions, as they overcrowd.

                  I’ve known, and been around Latin gang bangers growing up, and many of their parents were illegal aliens. Had two Latin girls, get pregnant in my 7th grade class, of 30 kids. Many were already drinking, and smoking pot. Can’t imagine how much worse it has gotten, since my youth.

                  How an educated man like yourself, working in prisons, is blind to the fact that poverty usually begets crime is beyond me, so why NOT stop this flood of the poorest of poor, south our border?

                  You stand by the rule of law? Great! Then demand our lawmakers enforce immigration laws, not create sanctuary states, and defend our border, and it’s citizens from crimes that need not exist, regardless of their percentage.

                  BTW, If one could do a survey on this blog who among us is the most berating, and shaming individual of this blog. Im sure you would receive the most votes. Regardless, I still love you!

                  PS, I wonder if this applies to me or you?

                  He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.(Proverbs 29:1)

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    Dino,

                    1) Go take a basic course in research statistics. You are absolutely begging to be embarrassed. I would never, ever presume to lecture on and on about something of which I have no knowledge. “You forgot the hidden asterisk in your stats, that no one speaks of.” Madonna Mia! You did not not even read the studies, and if you did, you are clueless as to what their initial “research hypothesis” was; how they intended to test it (methodology); what the found (results); and the statistical interpretation of what they found (discussion).

                    2) The most important point of all: you know you are wrong, but you’re grasping at every specious, ridiculous, foolish argument and jab at me personally – as if I had any thing to do with the production of the research.

                    This is the best research do date. It is based on data provided by the Dept. of Homeland Security. You have no valid argument to challenge it challenge its conclusions, just rambling foolish. You stand corrected. We are finished.

  2. Comments closed in the other thread so posting here.

    And the NKJV is probably the best translation for English so far – IMO

    I agree, Billy. And although I’m not sure why he felt the need to address me as ‘Brian’ (and not simply as Brian which is both my real name and long-time moniker on this site), Monk James is correct. I was thinking of the fist edition of the OSB on which no translation attempt was made.

    Funny how we, like the early Christians who had little or no Scripture at all, manage to live our Faith and keep the Tradition and understanding handed down to us without over-reliance on words alone.

    “But that’s not the meaning of the original Greek!”

    We know. It’s okay. Nothing wrong with better translation, but apart from the Holy Spirit dwelling in the Church no translation, no matter how precise, will do. Something tells me that a more accurate, precise, and appropriately nuanced translation of Matthew 23-9, for example, would do little to convince anyone otherwise inclined of the truth of our Tradition.

    Your on-line friend and brother,

    ‘Brian’

    • Joseph Lipper says

      Brian, I like the NKJV also. There is a NKJV Bible in Dalton, GA that has been streaming miraculous oil since February 27, 2017. It’s owned by a matter-of-fact protestant man named Jerry. The oil began flowing so copiously, that he keeps it in a tupperware container, and the Bible is submerged in the oil. Volunteers help him, and they give out the oil to anyone who asks. Many miracles have occured to those annointed by this oil:

      https://shelemah.com/bible-dripping-oil/

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      My own opinion is that the RSV is the best English translation thus far.
      To me the issue is not controversies over particular items, however important certain theological points may be, that are in the RSV, as they are in most translations.

      It’s the language itself; I think much better than the NKJV. Of course, it can be said that the RSV was the first modern”new King James”. The passages I memorize from the Bible, psalms and much else, are always RSV.

      I always thought it noteworthy when I first started going to Orthodox services nearly 40 years ago, both OCA and GOA that it was the RSV which seemed to be in widest use.

      Just on one point: is there a better rendering of Psalm 50/51 than the RSV version?.

      • Just on one point: is there a better rendering of Psalm 50/51 than the RSV version?.

        A loaded question, given the recent history of comment on this subject.

        Wait for it……

        • M. Stankovich says

          Brian,

          To have called out to God in your greatest moments of joy and in your darkest hour of sorrow, in a verse so common that it has become “your” voice – enough so that the contents of much of the verse comes to your lips from memory – only to be told 30-years later it is “stylistically” or “grammatically” or “linguistically” wrong is apparently insignificant and relative to you. To insist words have power or they do not is over the top, tedious, and apparently bores you. I got it. Are you aware that the modern browser has a feature that allows you scroll directly past any and all conversations that cause you such distress? Honestly, were you were able to predict this response as well?

          • Oh come on, Michael. Did you look at the wrong link? I checked it myself, and it goes to a certain ‘rendering’ of Psalm 50/51- the very passage specifically mentioned by Mr. Mortiss – followed by your response with which I happen largely to agree.

            I thought it rather ironic (and even almost comical) that Tim would refer to that specific Psalm after the exchange that took place over that very Psalm. Not that Tim wasn’t serious. On the contrary, he was very serious and rightly so. I loved what he wrote.

            Of course words have power! But they are like icons that point to a reality and encounter beyond themselves. What I find tedious, insignificant, and boring are needless arguments over words. It is like looking at an icon and arguing over the specific brush strokes used to depict the person’s hair rather than communing with the person depicted. And yes, I am aware that there are rules to iconography, but I hope you see my point. From what you have written here, I would assume you do.

            While we are on the subject, you wrote:

            And who is not amazed to read the account of King David, upon finally having taken possession of the Ark of the Covenant, and returning it to Jerusalem, in preparation for the Temple:…But David would never be allowed to fulfill his calling. His lust drove him to another man’s wife, and he arranged for the man to sent to the front lines of battle, knowing he would be killed, all the time imagining this was done “in secret.” The Lord, in turn, sent the Prophet Nathan to the King, to relate a story of “injustice,” and when David arose in anger & indignation at the perpetrator of this injustice, Nathan confronted him with four words, “You are that man.” And he delivered the words of the Lord, “Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house… For you did it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.”

            Now I am not disagreeing with you or arguing. I only wish to point out something that I have always found both interesting and comforting.

            Even before his sin with Bathsheba, David is denied his desire to build a house for the Lord.

            Now therefore, thus shall you say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “I took you from the sheepfold, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people, over Israel. And I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you, and have made you a great name, like the name of the great men who are on the earth. Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously, since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel, and have caused you to rest from all your enemies. Also the Lord tells you that He will make you a house….

            …And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.”

            And so it is. Sin and all. God is faithful!

            Incline your ear, and come to Me.
            Hear, and your soul shall live;
            And I will make an everlasting covenant with you—
            The sure mercies of David.
            Indeed I have given him as a witness to the people,
            A leader and commander for the people.

      • M. Stankovich says

        “Tim R. Mortiss,” you are a prophet! Holy Cow, I could not agree with you more. Apparently I had been inadvertently influenced by this whole notion of “just because you have used it for long and are ‘familiar’ with it doesn’t mean it is correct” baloney. This is an undeserved, self-serving scolding that, when truly examined for its “theological” or its “academic” worth, is nonsense. And as ‘Brian’ has pointed out, it denies the power and operation of the Holy Spirit within the Church.

        I listened, and read, and chanted, and sang the text of the RSV liturgically twice a day – and during Great Lent, three and four times a day – for years. It is the de facto source for the OCA’s Resurrection Octoechos, the Festal Menaion, the Lenten Triodion, the Pentcostarion, most service books, most services to the Saints, on and on. I will say outright that I personally prefer the elimination of the “Thee” and “Thou” constructions, the “canst” and “wouldst,” as a personal preference, and for no other reason, but the astonishing and inherent beauty of the RSV as poetry, is that it has always lent itself to Orthodox chanting and singing, a fact I believed is ordained.

        And this, then, leads to my response to your comment: “Is there a better rendering of Psalm 50/51 than the RSV version?” Allow me to set the context for your question: For as great a man and a king David was in the sight of the Lord, and beloved by the Lord and his people, there was one goal and one purpose for which he had been selected, to build the Temple for the Lord. And who is not amazed to read the account of King David, upon finally having taken possession of the Ark of the Covenant, and returning it to Jerusalem, in preparation for the Temple:

        David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet. And as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the Lord. (2Sam. 6:14-16)

        But David would never be allowed to fulfill his calling. His lust drove him to another man’s wife, and he arranged for the man to sent to the front lines of battle, knowing he would be killed, all the time imagining this was done “in secret.” The Lord, in turn, sent the Prophet Nathan to the King, to relate a story of “injustice,” and when David arose in anger & indignation at the perpetrator of this injustice, Nathan confronted him with four words, “You are that man.” And he delivered the words of the Lord, “Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house… For you did it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.”

        What ensued was not the production of a “theological document,” nor an academic exercise in “translation accuracy.” The account in 2 Samuel describes a man – the King and beloved of the Lord – so ashamed that he tore his garments and fell to the earth, taking neither food nor drink, responding to no one, so aggrieved and exposed that the elders and servants feared telling him that now, on the 7th day of his suffering, the son recently born of this disastrous relationship, had been struck down by the Lord and was dead. Psalm 50 constitutes the only words David could manage, beyond his initial shock as he stared into the face of Nathan: “And David said to Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord.” (2Sam 12:13)

        Now, in this context, pick up the RSV or the Septuagint version and read what a broken man, who bears his soul before the Living God says from his heart – compared to nothing I can think of other than Job, as the readings conclude at the Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts on Great and Holy Wednesday:

        Then Job answered the Lord, and said, “I know that you can do everything, and that no thought can be withheld from you. Who is he that hides counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that which I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. “Hear, I beseech you, and I will speak: I will demand of you, and declare you to me.” I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear: but now my eye sees You. Why I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:1-8)

        The poetic beauty of this RSV rendering needs no assistance to be “understood.”

  3. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    Herr Mortiss! The RSV was not a translation at all; rather, it was a VERSION of a previous translation: the KJV. Who was it that said the RSV was done by men who didn’t realize they were atheists? T.S. Eliot? He said the KJV was published “at a time when even a committee could write good English.”
    The RSV also introduced that innovation foreign to Christianity and other religions—special pronouns for the Deity alone!

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      Who has given birth to the hoarfrost of heaven?

      We all have our proof-texts. Mine are poetical rather than theological. I looked at the ESV recently. This is the “English Standard Version”, very popular now among evangelical Protestants. It is basically the RSV, used with the permission of the copyright holder, with several changes to satisfy conservative Protestants.

      But at Job 38, it’s “put on your battle dress”, rather than “gird up your loins” (direct from the Hebrew). “Put on your battle dress”? Say what? Practically threw it across the room….

    • M. Stankovich says
    • David Black says

      Clive James, in ‘Cultural Amnesia’, quotes T.S. Eliot’s remark that the Revised Standard Version “was the work of men who did not realize they were atheists”.