“Temper of Will” Summer Camp

We would appreciate a comment from the progressives in Orthodox circles (and you know who you are) about this situation:

Training Kids to Kill at Ukrainian Nationalist Camp

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — The campers, some clad in combat fatigues, carefully aim their assault rifles. Their instructor offers advice: Don’t think of your target as a human being.

So when these boys and girls shoot, they will shoot to kill.

Most are in their teens, but some are as young as 8 years old. They are at a summer camp created by one of Ukraine’s radical nationalist groups, hidden in a forest in the west of the country, that was visited by The Associated Press. The camp has two purposes: to train children to defend their country from Russians and their sympathizers — and to spread nationalist ideology.

“We never aim guns at people,” instructor Yuri “Chornota” Cherkashin tells them. “But we don’t count separatists, little green men, occupiers from Moscow, as people. So we can and should aim at them.”

The nationalists have been accused of violence and racism, but they have played a central, volunteer role in Ukraine’s conflict with Russia — and they have maintained links with the government. Earlier this year, the Ministry of Youth and Sports earmarked 4 million hryvnias (about $150,000) to fund some of the youth camps among the dozens built by the nationalists. The purpose, according to the ministry, is “national patriotic education.”

Ministry spokeswoman Natalia Vernigora said the money is distributed by a panel which looks for “signs of xenophobia and discrimination, it doesn’t analyze activities of specific groups.”

Cherkashin is a veteran of the fight against pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine; he was wounded in combat and later came to lead Sokil, or Falcon, the youth wing of the Svoboda party. It is important, he says, to inculcate the nation’s youth with nationalist thought, so they can battle Vladimir Putin’s Russia as well as “challenges that could completely destroy” European civilization.

Among those challenges: LGBT rights, which lecturers denounce as a sign of Western decadence.

“You need to be aware of all that,” said instructor Ruslan Andreiko. “All those gender things, all those perversions of modern Bolsheviks who have come to power in Europe and now try to make all those LGBT things like gay pride parades part of the education system.”

While some youths dozed off during lectures, others paid attention. Clearly, some were receptive.

During a break in training, a teenager played a nationalist march on his guitar. It was decorated with a sticker showing white bombs hitting a mosque, under the motto, “White Europe is Our Goal.”

Aside from the lectures — and songs around the campfire — life for the several dozen youths at the Svoboda camp was hard.

Campers were awakened in the middle of the night with a blast from a stun grenade. Stumbling out of their tents, soldiers in training struggled to hold AK-47s that were, in some cases, almost as tall as they were. They were required to carry the heavy rifles all day, and one of the girls broke down in tears from exhaustion.

At 18, Mykhailo was the oldest of the campers. The training, he said, was necessary.

“Every moment things can go wrong in our country. And one has to be ready for it,” he said. “That’s why I came to this camp. To study how to protect myself and my loved ones.” (apnews.com)

* * *

Video: https://www.apnews.com/94fe1c68205a43ca96fcc89c88a7cc9f

About GShep


  1. Beryl Wells Hamilton says

    Gail and George? What’s a “progressive in the Orthodox circles, and you know who you are”? What’s a progressive? What’s a circle? How do they know who they are?

    The article states,

    Earlier this year, the Ministry of Youth and Sports earmarked 4 million hryvnias (about $150,000) to fund some of the youth camps among the dozens built by the nationalists. The purpose, according to the ministry, is “national patriotic education.”

    Ministry spokeswoman Natalia Vernigora said the money is distributed by a panel which looks for “signs of xenophobia and discrimination, it doesn’t analyze activities of specific groups.”

    Nothing wrong with “national patriotic education.” We certainly have enough of it in the United States, which has its share of training camps, some of whom are made up of precisely the opposite of “progressives,” whatever that means. National patriotism does not equate with terrorist training camps made up of small groups of very, very angry people.

    The Ministry Spokeswoman’s response is appropriate. They don’t distribute money to those groups that show “signs of xenophobia and discrimination.”

    A quick check over at Euromaidan Press (OH NO!!!) yielded these results:

    Moscow now training Belarusians in Russian camp headed by openly fascist leader

    Russian Orthodox Church in Belarus training fighters for Russian world in special camps

    Another terrorist training camp held at a Russian Orthodox Church near Moscow

    Book of Russian crimes presented at PACE session – PDF


    So much more comes to mind… so little time…

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Beryl, “progressives” brandish around the term. They have no trouble recognizing it or acknowledging it. They’ll talk your ear off about it! Used in this context, a circle is the company you keep.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Beryl, how about the Fordham Duo? How about Leonova and her devotees? How about the Episcopal Assembly which condemned what happened at Charlottesville? Or the Phanar which endlessly prattles on about the doctrine of anti-phyletism?

        In light of what is going on in Ukraine, doesn’t this sound rather self-serving?

        And then there’s the whole anti-LGBT angle to this story? Where is Leonova and The Wheel on this?


        I’ll tell you where: nowhere. They’ve decided that it’s better to be on the side of a fascistic sect because they hate Putin and Russia more than they care about the progressive agenda.

        • M. Stankovich says

          And how about if I’d said this camp was 40-miles outside Jackson, MS? I’m sure more than a few “decent, moral, traditional orthodox” would said have said, “It’s ugly and a bit much, but in these times, people like the Obama, the Clintons, and Soros want to take away our guns blah, blah, blah and our kids better be prepared to defend my and their 2nd Amendment rights. When we concede one, they’ll all go one-by-one…”

          Don’t make me gather the sordid history off this site. I’ll talk your damn ear off.

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        Strange idioms!!!! “Brandish around?” I’m familiar with “brandishing” this or that label or instrument, and I’m familiar with “bandying” something “about.” But “brandish about?” And from someone who brandished “argumentun ad verecundiam”? This was in response to a simple request to define what is meant by “progressive!”
        Gail and George bring a massive dose of alarmed squid-ink to bear on Ms Hamilton’s questions. George referred to a “Phanar which endlessly prattles on about the doctrine of anti-phyletism.” When was the last time ANYONE outside the world of U.S.A. Orthodoxy MENTIONED “the doctrine of anti-phyletism (SIC)”? Is there such a doctrine? I know phyletism is a heresy. but what is “doctrine of ANTI-PHYLETISM?” Phyletism, as heresy, was first applied (once) by the Phanar as setting up a Bulgarian cathedra in Grecian Istanbul.
        Wasn’t George Wallace the Progressive candidate for the U.S. Presidency? What was the program/platform of the Progressives? Otherwise, the word progressive is an antonym of regressive, no? As liberal is an antonym of stingy…

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Your Grace, to “brandish” means to wave or flourish (something, especially a weapon) as a threat or in anger or excitement. That is EXACTLY the right word. – If Beryl does not, in fact, know what a progressive is, there is always Google. You SO remind me of my mother when you do this. She was a first-grade teacher and when I’d write letters home during the summer, she would correct my grammar with a red pencil and return them to me. She would correct my spelling and penmanship, too! I just realize how messed up this was. What mother DOES that?! She used to complain about how I would never write, too!

          • Shocked & Disturbed! says

            Kudos, Gail!

            I’m still trying to figure out why he’s posting as a representative of his church after this: https://oca.org/news/headline-news/holy-synod-issues-updated-social-media-guidelines

            I guess this doesn’t apply to him?! I thank God my hierarch in ROCOR is extremely humble and leads his people by example.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              In Bishop Tikhon’s defense, they’re just guidelines. I’ve actually enjoyed reading his posts lately. I don’t always agree with him but I usually learn something valuable.

              • Shocked & Disturbed! says

                I understand they are guidelines, however as a hierarch, he is held to a higher standard. People look to him as an example and he clearly can’t contain his emotions while posting. I am posting under this name only because of his posts which have left me shocked and quite disturbed. Clearly not appropriate and that’s why I bring up the OCA guidelines.

                • M. Stankovich says

                  Pardon me? You are posting under some ridiculous, cowardly, anonymous name and blaming Vladyka Tikhon for anonymously dogging him? This is a true classic of the rationalizing mind! This must be one of those trick birthday gifts, right? A hanging off-speed fastball, high, right over the middle of the plate, that even an older Bishop can put over the right field fence with his walking staff? I knew it. Nobody could say something that dumb.

                  Vladyka Tikhon, “May your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, any glorify our Father who is Heaven. Always, now, and forever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.” Many Years to you, Vladyka!

              • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                That’s all right Gail. Thank you, but the old lady calling herself “shocked and disturbed”, feels she had to bash me for something, anything. The holy Synod to did not issue any guidelines to be misused as judgments upon those with whom we disagree. My birthday is tomorrow. I’ll be 86 years old. I’ve been around. I’ve been around not only in the church but in the United States Army and the other United States Air Force. One of the most important things I learned in the United States Air Force was in the Pentagon guide for communications. An axiom written therein was “what can be misunderstood will be misunderstood.” Mrs. Shocked and Disturbed” exemplifies the excellence of that axiom.

                • Joseph Lipper says

                  Bishop Tikhon, Your Grace,

                  Thank you for all your love. Congratulations on your birthday, wishing you many years!

                • Beryl Wells Hamilton says

                  Happy Birthday!

                • Constantinos says

                  Your Grace,
                  I wish you a happy birthday, and may you live to be at least 100 in sound mind and a healthy body. Wait a minute, I should have written,” May you acquire a sound mind.” I’m only teasing you, Vladyka. I wish you nothing but the very best!!! Happy Birthday, and many years!!!

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  May God grant you many, many years, Your Grace. Happy birthday!

                • Tim R. Mortiss says

                  Many happy years, in the best of health, love and happiness!

                  • Bishop Tikhom (Fitzgerald) says

                    Many thanks to all for good wishes & congratulations. I have mixed feelings about “many years” though! ( Rather, in Russian, “Dokole, Gospodi!”) I have to admit though and this should surprise no one, to wanting to live long enough to see a new president elected.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Me, too, in 2028 after the Constitution is amended and Trump is given 4 terms!

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      “What can be misunderstood will be misunderstood.” George misunderstood me. I want to live long enough to see Pres. Trump replaced as soon as constitutionally possible. I realize that Trump’s health is probably so bad that he’ll just barely make it through his first and only term. I truly do not hope that he will be jailed before he finishes one term! I know I know some people think he will be! But Mme. Pelosi is basically a kind person, and I think she’ll keep Trump out of jail.

            • Beryl Wells Hamilton says

              Dear “Shocked & Disturbed,”

              Speaking of humble ROCOR hierarchs, have you kept up with how ROCOR Bishop NIKOLAI (Soraich) is doing? Check out the Facebook page for All Saints Russian Orthodox Church in Las Vegas, Nevada. His Grace looks GREAT! When I saw the photos there of the miraculous myrrh-bearing Holy Virgin “Softener of Evil Hearts” icon, well, this old, gob-smacked skeptic could not say anything but, “OH WOW!! WOW!! Orthodoxy is REALLY the TRUE FAITH! WOW!!! GLORY TO GOD!!” I wish I could share the photo right here, but here is the link.


              • Wasn’t BP Soriach in the OCA? Why did he leave?

                • V. Rev. Andrei Alexiev says

                  First of all, it’s ‘Bishop Nikolai”. One does not refer to a bishop or any other monastic cleric by his family name.
                  Since I am a ROCOR priest currently serving an OCA parish, I cannot comment on why a bishop was released from one church to the other. Perhaps you could ask His Grace himself?

                  • Beryl Wells Hamilton says

                    Father Andrei,

                    Thank you for your comment. I apologize for the length of this excerpt, but I think this needs to be said here. The article was written by Father Placide (Deseille), who fell asleep in the Lord last January, and who tonsured Archbishop Job (Getcha).

                    The bishops and those they have established to participate in their ministry, the priests who are in charge of parishes, have the essential task of sanctifying the Christian people. That is why they are like the living icons of Christ, regardless of their personal holiness. If they are not worthy of the charge entrusted to them, they will report to the Lord, but that does not prevent that they must always be respected as living icons of Christ, and not simply seen with a look purely human. Some time ago, I asked a layman who complained about his bishop: “But what is the bishop for you? And after a moment of hesitation he replied: “The bishop is the president of the diocesan administration.” I said to him, “No! The bishop is the icon of Christ for his diocese. “And that’s quite another thing. A Christian must have a Christian look on his bishop, and not a secular glance. Otherwise there is a secularization of the Church which is a complete distortion of things. It can happen, of course, that a bishop makes mistakes. St. Peter himself had to be publicly reclaimed by St. Paul because at one point in his ministry he acted reprehensible. Saint Paul did not hesitate to take it in his face. A bishop is not a dictator who is always right, therefore, it is inevitable that a bishop will make false steps and that the faithful, at that moment, must react. But react how? React Christianly, in a look of faith, and not treating the bishop as an official who would have failed in his duties. Most recently, in an orthodox diocese in France, some faithful thought to complain about their bishop. It was their right. But how should they react? By informing the metropolitan, going up, if necessary, to the patriarch, but not, as unfortunately many have done, by publishing an open letter, expressing their grievances in a purely “secular” way, in the words that It is used to complain about an official who is not correct, who does not behave according to the requirements of his function. On this occasion, lay people from this diocese who knew members of the group of lay people who usually attend our two monasteries of Saint Anthony the Great and Solan asked them to sign this open letter of protest against their bishop. I do not have to judge the merits of their grievances, I do not have, myself, the detailed information it
                    It seems to me that this procedure was profoundly incorrect. It was treating the bishop as a secular personality, as an official of the Republic. This is unacceptable on the part of Orthodox faithful. And that is why I asked all the faithful who asked me for advice to refuse to sign this open letter. The bishop must always be venerated, respected, because he is for his diocese the living icon of Christ as the hegumen in the monastery, and not an official. There is a peculiarity of the typikon, which means that when one enters the nave of a monastic church, one goes first to the metane to the hegumen, before venerating the icons. This is because the living icon of Christ, the Hegumen, must be venerated before the icons themselves. This does not mean that in itself the hegumen is one of the most debilitating, especially the saint. It should be, but the human weakness remains there, and it’s not up to us to judge. There are uses that must be respected because they are profoundly significant. I would always remember a word from an elder of Athos to whom I asked for advice for our new monastic foundation in France, and he said: “The first piece of advice I will give you is to respect the typikon, that is to say, the rules of the liturgy, the rules of behavior in the Church, the holy canons “, and he added:” this is what will give you the spirit of the Church “. The spirit of the Church is not a “profane” spirit, the Church is already heaven on earth, the Church is already the whole of the resurrection that is present among we. And it is very significant that, in the Gospel, women have this role of representing the Church, the Church-bride of Christ. It is not they whom Christ has chosen as apostles, even though some have the title, like St. Mary Magdalene, “equal to the apostles”. It’s not on the same level. The holy women represent all the faithful, represent the Church, but not in the function of authority. While the apostles themselves are the stone on which the Church is built. And this is why the bishops, to whom the apostles have transmitted their authority, have this first mission to announce, to perpetuate through the centuries the testimony of the apostles who have seen the risen Christ. This testimony is the foundation and foundation of the Church, no doubt. And the purpose of all this, again, is the holiness of all the Christian people, it is the fact that each one of us can say “it is no longer me who lives, it is Christ who lives in me “. My life must be a reflection, an extension of the presence of Christ among men, by the way I behave. Charity must permeate all my thoughts, all my judgments, all my action. This is what the Gospel of Myrophores teaches us, which is very important because of that. This Sunday of the Myrophores brings us a lesson in ecclesiology, fundamental to understand what our Christian life, our life in the Church, our life in Church.

                • Beryl Wells Hamilton says

                  JFK, I know, do you?

        • As I’ve mentioned many times before, phyletism may be a sin, but it is no heresy. The Council of 1872 was in error when it condemned it as such. The council was not ecumenical and was a reaction by Greeks who discriminated against the Bulgarians to a Bulgarian plan to form their own ethnic diocese (like those of the OCA, btw). This gored the ox of the Greeks, interfering in the dominance and largesse of the Master Race. Thus they condemned it as “heresy”.

          But were it heresy, all canonical Orthodox today would be outside the Church because “phyletism” often plays a significant if not decisive role in church governance and ecclesiology. `

          1872 was just another glitch in the program. The only reason anyone at all takes the notion seriously is because of the rise of “anti-racism” in the West in the interim. The actual word “racism” is probably not older, if at all, than the 20th century: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism

    • Beryl,
      A good working definition of a “Progressive” in this context is one who has a faith or ideology based upon the belief that mankind is destined toward progress and, ultimately, perfection.

      This belief is to be distinguished from the cooperation of a person (some use the word synergy) with God that leads a person to his perfection in Christ. A Christian knows he cannot perfect himself and plays a submissive role in his cooperation, whereas a ‘progressive’ views himself as the initiator and judge of progress. A ‘Christian’ progressive (in reality there is no such thing) is one who interprets the commands of God and the teaching of the Apostles as being intended to ‘make the world a better place’ and, although few are bold enough to admit it, usher in (or at least manifest) the Kingdom of God by means of his own vision and measure of human progress.

      Essentially, it boils down to this:

      Progressive: Self-deification as destiny… “Ye shall be as gods…”

      Christian: Deification by grace through the obedience of faith… “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

      • Beryl Wells Hamilton says

        Brian and everybody who provided definitions of the word “progressive,” thanks. I would have to be unable to type if I didn’t know what the word means, but apologies for not making that more clear. I am more interested in the meaning than the definition; in other words, the labeling of people, why a certain circle of hated people are being baited to respond to an article about another circle of hated people who, it seems, because they don’t fit into the proper boxes, are no longer created in the image and likeness of God. “If they would only see things the way I see them!” “Beryl, how can you be so DUMB!”

  2. Joseph Lipper says


    These kinds of “kid’s camps” are what our U.S. government has been supporting for decades overseas, in South America, in the Middle East, in Africa, and in Asia. Now we can probably add Eastern Europe to that list, because it’s highly likely that our U.S. tax money in the form of Ukrainian military assistance ends up supporting such “kid’s camps” also.

    The U.S. government is not really interested in Ukrainian sovereignty. That’s just a ruse. This is about destabilizing the “Russian Threat”, just like in the proxy Soviet-Afghan War. I have a feeling the Soviet-Afghan war is now being used as a blueprint for U.S. support of a “Civil War” in Ukraine.

    The U.S. and Russia should both leave Ukraine alone.

    • Billy Jack Sunday says

      Joseph Lipper

      “We never aim guns at people,” instructor Yuri “Chornota” Cherkashin tells them. “But we don’t count separatists, little green men, occupiers from Moscow, as people. So we can and should aim at them.”

      When your country’s various religious youth groups need to hold a convention –


  3. Ronda Wintheiser says

    Definition of brandish
    transitive verb

    1 : to shake or wave (something, such as a weapon) menacingly brandished a knife at them

    2 : to exhibit in an ostentatious or aggressive manner — “brandishing her intellect”


    What a perfect description of it, Gail. Brings to mind the spectacle of flag waving. Rainbow flags.

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      Ronda. You just didn’t get it. I questioned the use of the word “about” after “brandish.” That is not idiomatic English. One may bandy something about but one doesn’t brandish anything about One simply brandishes it That was my point I did not question or misinterpret the use of brandish as you would like to have it. Perhaps if you had read more books these Enlish idioms would come naturally to you and you would get the same jolt from the expression “brandish about” that I got!

  4. Ronda Wintheiser says

    The Ecumenical Patriarch:

    “Regrettably, there is a growing conservative element in many Orthodox churches and circles, which react to the contemporary challenges of our age by enclosing themselves in a stifling and exclusive existence. Of course, this has never been the practice and promise of the Christian Church, which ‘has always been prepared to give an answer to everyone who calls on us to give an account of the hope that lies within us’ (1 Peter 3:15). Moreover, with regard to fraternal and collegial relations among the Orthodox Churches themselves, there has been an escalating nationalistic and triumphalistic reduction of the Eucharistic and ecumenical nature of the church, which has always condemned ‘phyletism’ as a dangerous heresy, particularly at the Council of Constantinople in 1872. Nonetheless, ‘ethnophyletism’ appears to be a perpetual temptation of many of our more recent churches.”


    • Yes so true. And sad that Church is reduced to secular ideology. This is the greatest danger to the Church. I abhor decadent liturgical practice and falling into the trap of how western church went. But unthinking conservatism for its own sake is equal failing and as you say retreating to its little box marked ‘ Religion ‘ . Fundamentalism and modernism are both failures to see the Church Eucharistically.

  5. Ronda Wintheiser says
    • Ronda,

      This was my point. But it is not really news. Everyone – and I mean everyone – who is non-Greek and come into contact with the omogenia in their natural habitat (the Greek Orthodox Church) knows they are aggressively ethnocentric on the whole, there being exceptions, of course. Bartholomew, being from the Old World, would be much more likely than an American to agree with and extol this sentiment.

      What he can’t seem to imagine is the notion that he might be rejected or ignored in spite of his papal dignity, which to him is Greek Orthodoxy. After all, what is Hellenism exactly but “Greekness”. There is simply no comparable phenomenon in Russian thought of which I am aware. There was the narodnost’ of the tsars, but it was a nationalism applicable within the empire, not throughout Orthodoxy in general.

      The Church of Russia has excommunicated the man and his local church. This comment may be childish revenge. But the excommunication shows all evidence of being permanent such that decisions will be made over the years by other local churches as to where the Church in fact exists and where it no longer lingers. Since their autonomy will be more secure with Russia than with the omogenia, that may not be a difficult decision to make.

  6. Michael Bauman says

    Beryl, surly you just. Still it is a shame that secular ideological categories have any relevance or application within the Church.

    An Orthodox “progressive” denies the traditional teaching of the Church on, well, everything and seeks to replace the revealed truth with their ideology. That is true whether or not the ideology is considered of the left or of the right.

    Whenever “rights” or “freedom of….” is used you can be sure it is coming from an ideological platform.

    We have no rights and our sin keeps us from recognizing the total freedom to love and forgive that our Lord gives us despite our total unworthiness.

    Progressives are those who refuse to repent and ask the Church to officially countenance their sin.

  7. Billy Jack Sunday says

    When the line at Paintball Bible Camp has finally been crossed

    • Joseph Lipper says

      “Here at Calvary Paintball Bible Camp we teach our kids to never aim our guns at people,” says camp counselor Joe Bob ‘Skeeter’ Stumpmaker with a wide grin. “But we don’t count them Prog-Libs as people, so we can and should aim at them!”

      • Billy Jack Sunday says

        Joseph Lipper

        A lot of friendly fire at the Greek paintball youth camp

        No explanation given why only non-Greek convert teammates were mistakenly hit

        After liturgy in the chapel, the kids were all told the origin story of paintball

        It was invented by the Greeks of course!

        Because: Pneumatic

        Also – it all started some time ago with two bored Greek goat ropers in Greece.

        One afternoon, while drunk on Ouzo, the two each took a goat painting marker

        They stood back to back in a hay field

        Slowly and methodically they walked ten paces forward

        They then turned and fired at each other

        The first shot fired knocked off the other’s Greek sailor hat – exposing a golden brown bald comb-over (that flapped emphatically in the warm sweaty wind)

        The second shot hit goat enthusiast number two in the left hand ring finger. It got so swollen, he had to swap his wedding band to his right hand [this started a new trend that quickly caught on].

        He was it so much pain, all he could do was hold out his arms like a scarecrow, bending over, kicking wildly, spinning in circles

        A few villagers were watching from a distance. They thought they heard a new word being shouted, “Opa!,” along with a really cool new type of dance

        Little did they know the man was in extreme pain, crying out for opiates

        This is the highly debated origin story of paintball –

        as well as the origin story of Greek folk dance –

        And the shouting of, “Opa!”

        and wearing your wedding ring on the wrong finger

  8. Michael Bauman says

    The biggest corruption that ideology brings is the certainty that I KNOW. Therefore I no longer have to listen to anyone else, especially God, Tradition, other people. I no longer have to worry about the need for my heart to change. Solzhenitsyn warned against ideology and that is what got him banned from the intelligentsia here in the US not to mention the consequences it had for him in his native land.

    Anyone who disagrees with me is not just wrong or mistaken but evil and I therefore have a “right’ to destroy the evil.

    Politically it is on display everyday but one of the clearest examples is the latest query from democrat pols wondering why people are “voting against their own interests”. Equally delusion, IMO, is the reliance on the so-called “rule of law, not of men” in which the Constitution and the principals enunciated therein becomes an idol that can and should determine a just society under our control. That is equally of the ‘progressive’ ideology as the left.

    The modern world is almost entirely ideological in nature. Religion always tends that way, that is why it is so difficult to maintain and transmit authentic faith even within the Church. Authentic faith is difficult, messy, and existentially uncertain. Ideology solves all those problems. Just be believing the ideology I become righteous. However, war, violence, cruelty, bigotry, oppression and all matter of destruction is the fruit of ideology no matter its particulars.

    The antidote is stop to thinking that I am in control, able to control or responsible for history. History is not linear, it is not even a thing in itself. What we know as history is always someone’s interpretation of events that happened in the past projected into our present. The events we have only partial knowledge of and even less real understanding. Ideology always practices the historical sin of presentism. Projecting one’s own belief and culture onto the past, finding justification for one’s own beliefs while ignoring the rest. What does not fit with the ‘modern’ notion is always declared evil and subject to rejection, condemnation and annihilation from memory. It rejects actual humanity as well as God and replaces both with an idol of our making. An idol that has no reality to it.

    The alternative as revealed in the Church is understanding and entering into the providence of a good and loving God. Within that providence I have no control at all except how I act toward others and react to others. Even that does not determine any outcome. All is held within God’s mercy and comes as a gift from Him. We can and should strive for a more complete understanding and embodiment of that life giving mercy and respond in kind to others, but the outcome is not mine to decide or know.

    To be Orthodox, we have to retrain our minds to begin to understand our lives and our history and the future for which we hope in a providential manner. The Incarnation of Jesus Christ redeemed and restored all of Creation including time. But there is even more and only the greatest saints have any inkling as to what that more is.

    I want to thank Fr. Alexander F.C. Webster for giving me this capstone to the process of my historical learning which has dominated my intellectual life since I was conscious I had one. I have purposefully been studying history for over fifty years. Early on I rejected the idea of progress as culturally and politically defined as too linear, too mechanistic and fundamentally anti human. That quest coincided with the moment Jesus Christ graciously revealed Himself to me when I implored Him to because I needed to know that He was real or not. It has been a Quixotic journey at times.

    Fr. Alexander, you have no idea what a relief it was to me when you told me about the necessity for thinking providentially. That word and all that it entails has been lurking around the edges of my journey all this time but I could never quite see it. It is both a fulfillment of all that I have struggled to understand and a challenge to go even more deeply into the life it makes possible.

  9. Beryl Wells Hamilton says

    Ukraine’s Minister Zhdanov refutes foreign media allegations about “nationalist camp training kids to kill”

    Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/m/politics/10340175-ukraine-s-minister-zhdanov-refutes-foreign-media-allegations-about-nationalist-camp-training-kids-to-kill.html

  10. Billy Jack Sunday says

    When the “Rite of Confirmation” means “Confirmed Kill”

  11. Beryl, you do not read what you link or paste, do you?

    Minister Zhdanov did not “debunk” anything, he denied his or his ministry responsibility(financing) in not very convincing, although quite loquacious manner.

  12. “Martin, right you are. I missed the word “debunk” for some reason.”

    Beryl, you do not get credit for admitting that you were wrong. You were caught 😉 and it is not the first time.