Scotland the Brave

gibson-braveheartOn Thursday, the people of Scotland will go to the polls to vote on seceding from the United Kingdom. It will be a historic vote if they succeed.

Now, being an Anglophile, I’m going to say something paradoxical. I think the Scots should have their independence. Both England and Scotland are ancient countries with their own traditions, dynasties and folkways. The only reason that Scotland was brought into union in 1707 was because several Scottish lords (mostly of Anglo-Norman descent) had invested heavily in trying to carve a canal out of the Isthmus of Panama. It went nowhere and they were wiped out. Certain English financiers agreed to bail them out if they agreed to union.

It made a certain mount of sense; after all, the Stuart kings of Scotland (beginning with James VI aka James I) had occupied the English thrown since Elizabeth I died a century earlier. You could say that the Scots were somewhat acclimated to ruling from Westminster. Be that as it may, the majority of the Scottish people were in no ways in favor of union. To put not too fine a point on it, they were sold out by their aristocracy.

Still, it wasn’t a bad trade. Most historians would agree that England has been the most consequential country in history. I agree. But in agreeing to union, the Scots played an out-sized role in England’s contributions to the world. Indeed, it could be said that Scotsmen created the Industrial Revolution, the Enlightenment, the Rule of Law, and so on. British literature, science and culture is littered with the names of Scotsmen. Adam Smith created the science of economics. Alexander Fleming discovered antibiotics. And Highlanders were always in the first order of battle wherever the British carved out their empire. On the debit side Charles Darwin (an Englishman) graduated from the University of Edinburgh. And then the Scottish role in the spread of Freemasonry must be taken into account as well.

Clearly, Scotland –a tiny nation of barely 5 million–has played a larger role in history than most any other nation of comparable size. A larger role I dare say than most nations twice their size. It’s hard to imagine Britain being Great without the Scots.

My sympathies therefore are clear.

There are other reasons however I look forward to independence. For one thing, because it will be yet another nail in the coffin of the evil idea that secession is illegitimate. All over Europe nation-states which were cobbled together for no good reason have sought amicable divorces. Czechoslovakia being a prime example. Presently the Catalans of Spain seek peaceful separation, the Flemings and the Walloons of Belgium likewise. The Venetians voted to re-create their medieval republic. Nor should we forget the Norwegians who seceded from the Kingdom of Sweden in 1905. Most Americans are unaware of these occurrences thanks to the “education” that is being inculcated in our government schools. The Cult of St Perpetual Union must be maintained at all costs. Otherwise, liberty cannot fail and the globalists who rule us despise liberty above all. (Perhaps above the Church I dare say.)

You can see where I’m going with this. We’ll discuss the hypocrisy of our elites in due time. (Ukraine anyone?) For now, we can look to Pat Buchanan’s observations of late on what is driving these forces: kith and kin, blood and soil; duty, honor, country. These occurred because of the debasement of Christian culture thanks to the demonic philosophies unleashed by Antonio Gramsci some eighty years ago. However, Scotland’s vote, and the rise of Putin, as well as other movements are hopeful in this sense: they signal the overturning of the Great American Consumption machine which tries to erode enduring concepts such as patria and people, religion and tradition. Indeed, it is becoming clearer to me that the false notion of America as a “propositional nation” is becoming moribund.

Of course, there are some ramifications to Scotland’s independence which I think they would be wise to consider. I would be less than honest if I didn’t mention that the Scots have become less traditional over the years. The corrosive acid of socialism has worked is nefarious magic in that country. It would be wrong as well for Scotland to become a republic upon the death of the present queen. Surely the Scottish Parliament could come to some agreement to revive the House of Stuart, perhaps a cadet branch of the present royal family? And I would caution the Scots from viewing their independence only through the prism of hatred of the Sassenachs. We see where this has gotten the Ukrainians. Simply put, a country cannot long live based on hatred of an external enemy. It needs more than that. Scotland has that and more. To succumb to proletarian prejudices, to reject the aristocratic tradition and most of all, to forget her Christian heritage would denigrate Scottish nationhood.

But that is all for the Scots to decide. Alba gu brath!

(P.S. I’m well aware of the anachronisms and historical illiteracy of the movie Braveheart. STill, it’s a great flick.)


  1. Tim R. Mortiss says

    There has never been any question or controversy about Scotland’s right to leave the Union, either now or in the past. So the “legitimacy of secession” has nothing to do with it.

    And what does the “Great American Consumption Machine” have to do with it? Other than the fact that it must needs be dragged into any issue in the world…..a kick at Uncle Sam is always to be taken, left or right.

    It’s also hard to keep track of whether or not “aristocracies” are bad or good, George!

  2. Timothy Wearing says

    A handful of people began this independence drive. These people are rich and want full control over the N. Sea oil revenues. If Independence happens, they will become uber, uber rich. The common Scots will get a nice Scottish thistle up their arse!

  3. Michael Kinsey says

    Aye! But if they go their own way, but keep abortion legal. It is just a movement of useless worldly vanity. Perhaps they no longer wish to fill their land full of innocent blood. When William Wallace was championing freedom, I am sure the freedom to murder your own children never crossed his mind. Huh!

  4. “Surely the Scottish Parliament could come to some agreement to revive the House of Stuart”

    LOL – what are the chances of this happening? Slim to none.

    As for the view that “England and Scotland are ancient countries with their own traditions, dynasties and folkways” – that is true, but it’s also true that they’ve been in union for centuries, and thus have much if not more in common as well.

    Given its electoral patterns, independent Scotland will likely be a Scandinavian-style social democracy. England will become a Tory stronghold for the foreseeable future.

    I am half-Scottish in terms of blood but I really am skeptical of Scottish independence.

  5. M. Stankovich says

    Today marks the 15th anniversary of the falling asleep in the Lord of Blessed Bishop Basil (Rodzianko), who died on September 17, 1999.

    He was born Vladimir Mikhailovich Rodzianko in the Ukraine, to a wealthy family with an ancestral estate. He was the grandson of Michael Rodzianko, the last president of the Russian Duma (congress) at the time of the revolution, and as such, formally requested the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II. Vladyka carried this fact, not as metaphor, but as δίκη, the ancient Greek notion of a familial, generational wrongdoing in need of reparation, and repented of it. In 1920, he and his family were forced to flee to Yugoslavia, where a large community of exile Russians were received under the protection of the Patriarch of Serbia. It is quite astonishing – even unimaginable – that at even an early age, he would begin to establish relationships with those we would later appreciate as fathers of our generation and Saints: Sts. John Maximovich, Justin Popovich, and Nikolai Velimirovich; and Met. Anthony (Khrapovitsky) and Met. Anthony (Bloom). Prof. SS Verhovskoy frequently noted, “The parents of St. Basil the Great were saints, and so were his siblings. It seems somehow a little easier to be a saint, given the circumstances.”

    He graduated from the Department of Theology of Belgrade University in 1937, married his beloved Maria Kulyubaeva, the daughter of a priest, in 1938, and in 1940 he was ordained a priest. While then monk Anthony Bloom was a trauma surgeon during World War II, Fr. Vladimir was the Secretary of the Red Cross, securing the delivery of life-saving assistance to those afflicted. In 1949 he was arrested by the Serbian Communists and spent two years at hard labor. He told the stories of being dragged by his beard and his cassock stripped from his body and dragged through the mud by soldiers. Yet, there are the well-known stories of his being surrounded by other prisoners so the soldiers could not reach him, and celebrating the Great Blessing of Water on the falling snowflakes on Epiphany. After two years of hard labor, and with the direct intervention of the Archbishop of Canterbury, he was released, first to France, as a guest of Archbishop John (Shahovskoy) – later the OCA Bishop of San Francisco – and then to London, where he served as a priest of the Serbian Orthodox Church. And it was in London, on the BBC, that he began what would become the greatest mission and purpose of his life: a broadcast mission of hope and evangelization to the Soviet Union. Following Fr. Alexander Schmemann, he became one of the most familiar voices of Orthodoxy in the Soviet Union.

    Two events occurred in London that changed the course of Vladyka’s life. In what police believed was a botched attempt of the KGB to assassinate him related to his BBC broadcasts, Vladyka’s teenaged grandson was shot and killed in his stead. Then, his beloved wife, Maria, began to experience illness and was in increasingly poor health. One particular event he described in a sermon, he attributed as a miracle of his friend St. John Maximovich, and was considered in the process of his canonization. It was, however, short-lived, as her health deteriorated, and she fell asleep in the Lord in 1978. As was the case so many times in NY at his niece’s home, I sat mesmerized listening to him speaking to someone, when he turned to me and asked me to go upstairs to get a book from his room. I wandered off, entered his room, turned on the light, and was shocked to see a large picture of his wife in her casket next to the bed! I forgot why he had sent me and had to foolishly return and ask him. Later, when I asked him, he said, “We were crowned into the Kingdom, and I feel no separation from her.” In 1979 he was tonsured a monk, taking the name Basil, was received into the OCA and served as the Bishop of San Francisco. He was retired in 1984, but before leaving, stayed at the deathbed of Archbishop John (Shahovskoy), nursing him, recalling the hospitality Vladyka John had shown in France many years previously.

    Returning to Washington, DC, he began his broadcasting career in earnest. So much has been written of his home/chapel/studio that I will not belabour the point. But I will emphasize this: you must hear his voice! Like the voice of the archangel. There are a number of recorded talks and sermons
    The first, “Remembrance of the Cross in our Life and Faith,” was at my home parish at our Christmas Retreat, from the amvon, without a single note, and with only his bishop’s staff. There was a total congruence of his voice and his demeanor; he was a man at peace. He described to me the occasion of his being an official delegate to the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991 and being immediately set upon by the Soviets. “They were polite but aggressive, and I was patient but persistent.” In the end, he said they actually shook his hand and expressed their respect for his argument. I thought, “How could you expect to disarm a man with a faith so simplistically disarming?”

    I had the great fortune to know his family on both coasts, totally serendipitously and spontaneously, at one time divided over “jurisdiction,” calendar, tradition, and history, but always united by Vladyka Basil. We celebrated, for example, what appeared to be a “normal,” joyous, extravagant Christmas dinner at a huge extended table, until a closer look revealed that everyone left of center was eating a meal conforming to the Christmas Fast, while everyone right of center enjoyed a dinner commensurate with the Feast. And seated at the center? Vladyka Basil, who had celebrated the Festal Liturgy. This spoke to the fact that whenever he was present, someone had to speak with him: family, extended family, clergy of any and all “jurisdictions,” laymen, writers, someone had to speak with Vladyka. And as often as I could, I would sit and listen. Mesmerized.

    There are endless stories to tell of the life and piety of Bishop Basil (Rodzianko), but he would be the first to say, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13) He was unpretentious, he was obedient, he was faithful, he was tireless, he was a servant, and he was longsuffering. Met. Hilarion (Alfeyev) writes that St. Simeon the New Theologian’s exegesis of Ephesian 5:15-16 (“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil”)

    [uses] images taken from the life of merchants. The verb ἐξαγοράζω (‘to redeem’) means ‘to buy up’, or simply ‘to buy’. Our earthly life is the time for commerce. We see that some merchants run fast to the market, leaving the others behind them, and on arriving immediately strike bargains in order to make a profit. But the others go to the market without hurry, waste their time in chatting with friends or in eating and drinking; as a result they remain without profit. The same happens in spiritual life. Eternal goods and eternal life are sold: the price includes bearing disasters and temptations, as well as mortification of the body. One person uses each opportunity to ‘redeem the time’ through patience, fasting, vigil and other virtues; another wastes his life without profit. As a result the first is saved and the second is not.

    This “merchant of eternal goods” is Vladyka Basil who endured until the end, who rescued from loss what we in this world would conclude as hopeless disaster, and “the Lord brought him rest” (2 Chron 14:6). I believe he is numbered among the saints. May his memory be eternal. Venerable Bishop Basil pray to God for us!

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      I’ve tried before to open or download Bp.Basil’s sermons from that site you link and have never been able to, including now. Is there something I need to have or know to do it?

      I have mentioned on this site before that I was present at tiny Holy Trinity in Wilkeson, Wa. in about 1981 when Bp. Basil was there, and delivered a homily on the Transfiguration. It had a lot to do with my eventually becoming Orthodox, albeit long after!

      • Tim, I’m a member of the parish (Holy Resurrection,tacoma) that preserves the old church in Wilkeson.
        I was not aware that Bp Basil had ever been there. The church is doubly blessed by St. Tikhon and Bp. Basil!

        • I know Holy Resurrection well, Jim, and attend there a few times a year; last a few weeks ago at Vespers.

          In the early-mid 80s, Fr. Vadim Pogrebniak would come down to Holy Trinity from St. Spiridon’s in Seattle, a couple of Saturday mornings a month, to conduct the Divine Liturgy. This was also the time-frame that Bp. Basil was in San Francisco.

          I met Fr. John Pierce when he first came to Holy Trinity. What a fine man and priest is he! His black beard is now white, as is my own…..

          It was a very moving experience for me shortly after Pascha this year, to receive the Eucharist at Holy Trinity from Fr. John, after all of these years. I was received into the Church with my youngest son on Palm Sunday at St. Nicholas in Tacoma, by Fr. Seraphim Majmudar.

    • Lola J. Lee Beno says

      Thank you so much for this memoir of Bishop Basil! What a remarkable man he was.

  6. May one infer that you also support secession of regional “Churches” from the mother Church.?

  7. Sean Richardson says

    While my heart is saying a definite “YES!” to Scottish independence (and yes, many of my ancestors came from Scotland), my brain is also considering the long-range economic ramifications of that independence. As in many areas that seek independence. the ruling power is providing far more in economic aid than it receives from that area in taxes/services. Scotland is a net financial loss to Great Britain, and this should be a cautionary note. Yes, there are great quantities of oil in the North Sea, but England will maintain control of those resources.
    But, it’s lovely to see a vote, rather than death and bloodshed.

    Take a listen to Dougie Maclean’s “Caladonia” …

    And if my distant cousins would let me vote, I would most likely vote “Yes” … but a warily.

  8. Antonio Gramsci was indeed more sophisticated than any other contemporary Communist theoretician. However, you give him entirely too much credit; the main culprits were Marx, followed by the unholy trio of Lenin, Stalin and Mao.

  9. Patrick Henry Reardon says

    As a Southerner, I applaud this overdue recognition of the merits of secession.

    • Estonian Slovak says

      Hear, hear, Fr. Patrick! If Ukraine can secede from Russia(actually she seceded from the former USSR in 1991), then why CAN’T the South secede again?

      • But why can’t the south east of The Ukraine seceed? Just a bit of hypocracy.

        • Estonian Slovak says

          Certainly, that part of Ukraine COULD vote to secede. The question is, would the voice of the people really be heard as has just happened in Scotland? Or would it be a situation like Crimea where supposedly 96% of the voters voted union with Russia? You might be able to believe 60-70 , but 96% seems just too high to be believed.

          • Ah, of course. Anything associated with Russia is inherently suspect. I’m afraid you haven’t lived in the West long enough. Or maybe you do live in Estonia. “Freedom”, “Transparancy”, and “Democracy” are a lie.

            • Estonian Slovak says

              Sir, I was born in the West. I’m not anti-Russian either. I have a problem with blind Russian nationalism which allows a Marxist to make common cause with a Monarchist. I’m Orthodox and do venerate the New Martyrs of Russia.
              While I support Ukraine in the present conflict, I’m not blind to Western interference there either. I agree with Michael Savage that it’s more than a coincidence that Joe Biden’s son is on the board of a Ukrainian oil company.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Estonian: If say, Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and the Dakota’s seceded there are enough natural resources to prosper economically and even have sufficient bargaining power to make it stick if the political will to resist the secession fell short of the use of force.

        We are a union today because Lincoln had the will to kill in order to preserve it and the technological advantage to kill enough to realize his will.

        But, the Federal Government would immediately suspend travel/commerce to and from all ports, along all roads and railroads, to and from all airports. There are enough federal troops and planes and weapons within the boundaries of the imagined new country to simply arrest the leaders and execute them for treason.

        That is why the South (or any other regional confederation) could not secede again.

        Although it would make more sense to divide the country into 4 or 5 confederated regions, regionally autonomous, than trying to govern the whole current entity. Fallen man being what we are, however, the will to power would reassert itself and demand ‘unity’

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          No doubt Lincoln had the “will to kill”. So did Constantine I, Franklin Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill. And a few other greats……in between, and before and since.

      • Strange, I would not expect the down voting on secession here. People need to rethink Lincolns war of aggression and what it did to American government…

        • Michael Bauman says

          The American Myth dies hard.

          • Tim R. Mortiss says

            Keep in mind that by George’s convoluted logic, a Scottish vote to withdraw from the union would have been a sort of ex post facto endorsement of the Confederacy’s secession long ago. So we can now rightly hold that the referendum outcome is an endorsement of Mr. Lincoln’s policies, by the same “logic”!

            • George Michalopulos says

              Not necessarily, but it would be a logical consequence of the opening words of the Declaration of Independence: “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary…” (Fill in the rest.) Even the great Abraham Lincoln when he was a Congressman believe in the rights of a people to secede.

        • The voting here is strictly personal-pats on the back buddies or to hell with you. It just means you aren’t popular and they would prefer the circle of opinions be kept to those only in full agreement. On cogent right wing agreements, I get par at best. What I really enjoy the most is minus 40s or better. Me and Bishop Tikhon combined do better than Stankovich, but that is because he knows Orthodox history better than me, so he gets a few more pluses from that.

      • Patrick Henry Reardon says

        Actually, my comment was a frivolous witticism.

        The high number of polices versi it received, however, suggests a distinct dearth of humor on this blog site.

    • As to succession, I sometimes the South would successfully succede, Fr. Patrick Henry. they would be eligible for ‘foreign aid from the rest of the US. but I would also posit the dissolving of the US into at least six separate nations. I would potentially be a citizen of Cascadia, Western Washington, western Oregon, Northern California and potentially Vancouver Island (Yay Victoria!)
      One can hope, can’t one?

      • As to the future, think on the concept of ‘peak oil’ and you might have some inklings of what is in store for the next century.

        • George Michalopulos says

          “Peak oil” is a controversial topic. New carbon deposits are found regularly. Recently, 1 trillion cubic tons of methane were found off the Gaza Strip in the Mediterranean.

          Some speculate that the recent war in Gaza was an attempt by Israel to impeded the Palestinians from exploiting it. But that’s a story for another day. The Russians also discovered a huge cache of petroleum trapped in the Arctic ice and they made a deal with Exxon to drill for it. The present US sanctions have blocked that for the time being.

  10. George Michalopulos says

    I would add Freud and Franz Boaz to that list of miscreants.

    • Michael Bauman says

      The last half of the 19th century was a fertile period for the advancement of material/secular philosophy that has created a dark age, IMO. The list of scholars who participated in that movement is lengthy indeed. The fact that many came from the Germanic states or were deeply influence by those who did is something that could be a fertile topic of inquiry, or so it seems.

      The big 4, IMO: Darwin, Freud, Marx, Nietzsche

      That so many of these ideas took deep root in a fertile U.S. soil is something else to ponder. Also the connection of those ideas to the modern abortion movement.

      My own maternal grandmother was involved in the American Breeders Association.

      It seems there is a certain misanthropy inherent in the “enlightenment” and Calvinist anthropologies dominant in the shaping of this country that makes a great foundation for evil.

  11. Ivan Vasiliev says

    I don’t understand how folks who are often the biggest flag wavers (here in the USA) can even contemplate the fractioning of this republic. I live in New England now and love it like a homeland, but I can’t imagine the Pine Tree flag flying over it and the driving down of the stars and stripes. Likewise in the north of Minnesota (where I lived for a number of years) I cannot imagine an alien flag flying based on the remaining wealth of copper, or something else.

    Why support the dissolution of nations when we so often see that the follow up is violence and hatred of one’s neighbor (formerly one’s fellow citizens). This is beyond me. The tragedy of Ukraine is its separation from Russia. The tragedy of Scotland will be found in the dissolution of Great Britain, and the vastly greater tragedy of North America would be in the dissolution of this republic.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Mr. Vasiliev: it need not be a drastic or complete dissolution. We are still the only peoples that I know of who pulled off a revolution and then did not proceed to kill off the opposition once we won. That is an historically unique accomplishment. We were somewhat less kind in the aftermath of the war between the states but by historical standards remarkably unbloody for a failed civil war.

      There are good pragmatic reasons to consider autonomous regional government not the least of which is that as it stands now it only takes 11 states to elect a president. Which means that those 11 states also have a, IMO, disproportionate influence on Congress.

      Now there is some political diversity within the 11 but not as much as I’d like to see. Six of them are north of the Ohio River and East of the Mississippi. Only Texas and California are west of the Mississippi and they come close to off-setting each other.

      While I would prefer four regions; 3 would be OK: West of the Mississippi; East of the Mississippi and North of the Ohio; East of the Mississippi and south of the Ohio.

      A confederation of autonomous regions with the current U.S. Constitution as a common foundation, meeting as necessary together to take care of common interests and/or disputes. Actually that’s a bit like the Orthodox Church.

    • Will Harrington says

      That depends. I love my country, but I would rather see it dissolved than become a force for tyranny. The United States is an unusual nation because it is a nation based on ideas as embodied in a constitution. We were given a republic, if we can hold it. If we can’t, then far better to be independent sovereign states than a new imperium.

      • George Michalopulos says

        I love my country too Will. I would be tickled pink if we just went back to the Constitution in its pristine form, which viewed the thirteen constituent States which made it as sovereign polities combining to form a federated nation that respected their integrity. The whole checks and balances thing was the very “chain” that would restrain the “tiger” that is government, as Jefferson so eloquently put it.

        Like you, I shudder at the “new imperium” and imagine George Washington rolling over in his grave.

    • Estonian Slovak says

      And Great Britain was friendly to Russia when?

      • Estonian Slovak,

        When? Both prior to and during WWI. Czar Nicholas II and King George V were not only close allies; they were cousins who looked remarkably alike. And although complete political opposites during WWII, something of a ‘friendship’ redeveloped when the Soviet Union finally entered the war upon Hitler’s treacherous renunciation of his pact with Stalin. Great Britain provided what little aid they were able to offer at the time to the Soviet Union. Granted that it was an alliance of convenience because the Soviet Union’s entry into the war relieved much of Germany’s threat to Great Britain, but Churchill declared publically of the Soviet Union that any enemy of Germany was the friend of British.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Also, Czar Alexander I was Queen Victoria’s godfather. Her baptismal name was Alexandrina Victoria (in his honor).

        • The royal houses (which were more German than either English or Russian) may have been inter-related and friendly, but by that time, such things really didn’t matter as much as they used to, and the interests of their nations weren’t often aligned.

          Recall the Crimean War, and British covert assistance to the Japanese during the Russo-Japanese War, for example. Yes, they were allies in both world wars, but only because it served British interests. And then there is the still-debated question of whether the Romanov’s didn’t flee Russia because they chose not to — or because the British government wouldn’t agree to give them asylum. My reading of history is that by and large there was never much affinity on the part of the English for the Russians — related royalty notwithstanding.

          This is not to be critical of the British — like George, I am an Anglophile. I am also a Russophile, and see no conflict between the two “-phile’s” since my affinities aren’t based on geopolitics.

          It is the duty of every nation’s government to care for its own people and look out for the country’s own best interests in foreign affairs, and that is what British leaders did — sometimes allied with Russia and sometimes at war with Russia, whether overtly or covertly.

          I will refrain from waxing eloquent about the seeming inability of our nation’s leaders over the past 25 years or so to grasp that simple concept of what they are supposed to be doing.

  12. Fr. George Washburn says

    At this writing the early official word seems to be defeat in the 54-46% range. I am pleased.

    Seemed to be an exercise in manipulation and exploitation of certain ancient, tribalistic, us v. them human fears and instincts. We are SO well supplied with tribalism by the Middle East and Africa and Ukraine and ….all.

    Unlike me of course, who has SUCH good, non-tribal reasons for booing the Dodgers,

    • Fr. George, booing the Dodgers is rather lame. Rooting for the Mariners is chutzpah! But we still do it almost daily

    • Will Harrington says

      I have to admit, I am somewhat disappointed. I can only imagine trying to move forward as the UK knowing that almost half of one of your constituent kingdoms wants out. Revolutions (like the US) usually only require about a third of the populaces support to succeed. The UK had better seriously consider becoming the Federated Kingdoms rather than the United Kingdom.

      • Fr. George Washburn says

        Hi friends:

        I grew up in NY State in the sports-mad post-war era. Our local little league team won the World Series; paroxysms of baseball mania swept all the schools and playgrounds. You just HAD to be Yankees, Giants or Dodgers. Sort of fun that my adult life landed me in Giants territory. So since 1955 or so ….My childhood friend Skip, a Yankee addict, and I still gently rib each other by e-mail several times a season. Fun, but sort of trivial…

        Back to Scotland. In the Orthodox liturgy we regularly pray “for the unity of all men.” Why?

        Because after all we all ARE united by the divine spark. Because we are meant to experience Grace in unity with others. Because one of the most damaging and habitual consequences of sin is Man’s disunity from others on various grounds that more or less reduce to the common denominators of pride and/or fear. Because we Orthodox need constant reminding that the authentic work of God’s Spirit unites people, and that we are supposed to be “synergois” (fellow workers) with God and one another to actually and practially foster the unity of men that we pray for (instead of the opposite).

        Which is why I thought that it would be nice if the Scots could manage to stay officially united with England.


        Fr. George

        • Fr.

          Unity and Union are two different things. Unity pertains to a true oneness of mind, body, etc… On the one hand Union can be useful for achieving Unity and on the other it becomes a caricature of Unity. The Unions of this world, whether the “European Union” or the “United Kindom” are not Unity but a Union in the worst sense.

          • Fr. George Washburn says

            Hi Dan:

            I do not think you have made your point clearly or convincingly. Would you mind trying again at a bit greater length?

            What do you think we have with our fellow man? What does Orthodoxy pray for in the Chrysostom service? How does political fragmentation …or union …promote what the Diving Liturgy has us pray for?

            And why is the United Kingdom “union in the worst sense?” And if you should be correct in the judgment that it is “union in the worst sense,” given the realities of modern politics and economics is that “worst sense” union not somewhat better than “further tribal fragmentations in the best sense.”

            And other folks too with opinions and reasons to back them up, please participate.


            Fr. G

            • I think I have. By your logic we should all be under one world government.

              • Fr. George Washburn says

                Good morning friends:

                I came in to the discussion when the Scotland vote was about to become known, expressing the opinion that staying unified, rather than fragmenting was a good thing. I didn’t go very far into the rationale for it, but unity of language, stable political history, substantially common heritage, the costs uncertainties and complexities of fragmentation, geographic proximity (not to say isolation because of the sea), and man’s need for better connection with those of different tribes (and historic difficulty attaining and maintaining it) were my largely unstated reasons for so believing.

                Dan declines to clarify or expand his contrary views, and suggests that by my “logic” we should all be under a single world government! A mind that can decline to clarify, but jump to such an extreme extrapolation, is one with which I can be content not to dialogue.

                Fr. George

  13. The UK had better seriously consider becoming the Federated Kingdoms rather than the United Kingdom.

    They have been for some years now, for better or worse.
    It’s called devolution.