Russian barbarians

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Kendall K. Down

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Apr 23, 2022, 1:19:55 AMApr 23
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The news reports about Russian atrocities in the Ukraine seem to have
taken most of the world by surprise - which is surprising. You can find
almost identical reports of Russian barbarism towards civilians at the
close of World War II - rape, looting, murdera, all were commonplace as
the Russians drove towards Berlin.

The trouble was that we have tended to overlook or excuse such
behaviour. There was a vague feeling that "the Germans deserved it",
both for how they treated the Jews and other minorities, and for how
they behaved in Russia, where the Germans troops were not exactly
paragons of civilised behaviour. Whatever the Russians did in Germany
was, more or less, payback for what the Germans did in Russia.

Now, however, the Russians are behaving in an identical way, but this
time towards a country that they have invaded unprovoked, which never
mistreated them[1] or attacked them. It does seem to me that we are
pointed towards a darker assessment of Russia and Russians. The way they
are behaving is not revenge for their own mistreatment, but a lack of
Christian - not to say simple civilised - teaching.

Which raise the important question: What is the Orthodox Church doing
about this? The answer appears to be, Not very much. Smugly convinced
that they are the only true Christians and the West is lost in heresy,
the Orthodox establishment views with unconcern the behaviour of its
champions towards the Catholic and Protestant "untermenschen".

Orthodox Christianity appears to be nothing more than a repetition of
various rituals, performed by the clergy, in which the faithful do no
more than appear for at least part of the ritual, cross themselves, kiss
an icon or two, and then go home convinced that they are good
Christians. There is no moral teaching and not much doctrinal preaching
(and that mainly attacks on the supposed errors of the Catholics).

I read a report recently that Islam is gaining converts in Fiji and one
of the reasons is because it is easier to follow a few simple rules than
to try to live up to the high standards of personal behaviour taught by
the Christian churches in Fiji. I'm sure it is, but those high moral
standards are the glory of Protestant Christianity (with Catholic
Christianity a close second[2]). The Orthodox, I fear, are simply not in
the race at all.

God bless,
Kendall K. Down

Note 1: There are a few reports that in recent years Ukrainian soldiers
have mistreated the Russian-speaking minority in eastern Ukraine. A
Greek Orthodox priest I know at second-hand, claims that Russian
Orthodox worshippers have been locked in churches which were then set
alight on numerous occasions, among other atrocities.

He overlooks the fact that the Russian-speaking minority (which in the
east is possibly a majority) is in open rebellion against the legitimate
government of the Ukraine, so can naturally expect to suffer in any
military action the government may take to recover the area. He also, so
far as I know, relies upon Russian government propaganda for his "news"
and frankly, I do not believe his tales of burning churches and tortured
prisoners.

Note 2: I fear that in many places Catholic Christianity also consists
of nothing more than the laity watching while the clergy do all the
important bits - hence the fact that Mafia Dons can be respected members
of the congregation while carrying out horrific crimes.


hermeneutika

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Apr 24, 2022, 7:39:55 AMApr 24
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nice bit of writing......


Adam Funk

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Apr 25, 2022, 5:49:56 AMApr 25
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On 2022-04-23, Kendall K. Down wrote:

..
> Now, however, the Russians are behaving in an identical way, but this
> time towards a country that they have invaded unprovoked, which never
> mistreated them[1] or attacked them. It does seem to me that we are
> pointed towards a darker assessment of Russia and Russians. The way they
> are behaving is not revenge for their own mistreatment, but a lack of
> Christian - not to say simple civilised - teaching.
>
> Which raise the important question: What is the Orthodox Church doing
> about this? The answer appears to be, Not very much. Smugly convinced
> that they are the only true Christians and the West is lost in heresy,
> the Orthodox establishment views with unconcern the behaviour of its
> champions towards the Catholic and Protestant "untermenschen".

AFAIK, the Russian Orthodox Church is the only one condoning the
Russian government. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church & the Greek Orthodox
Church (& possibly others) have condemned the invasion.


--
There's nothing in Scripture that forbids letting our lawn
go wild. --- Garrison Keillor


Kendall K. Down

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Apr 25, 2022, 3:29:56 PMApr 25
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On 25/04/2022 10:44, Adam Funk wrote:

> AFAIK, the Russian Orthodox Church is the only one condoning the
> Russian government. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church & the Greek Orthodox
> Church (& possibly others) have condemned the invasion.

Well, you would expect the Ukrainian Orthodox to condemn it; I'm pleased
to hear that the Greek Orthodox do. There are others more closely tied
to Russia - such as the Serbian Orthodox - that I suspect either support
or refrain from condemning.

I do know that at least one Orthodox priest here in the UK supports Russia.

Adam Funk

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Apr 28, 2022, 6:39:56 AMApr 28
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On 2022-04-25, Kendall K. Down wrote:

> On 25/04/2022 10:44, Adam Funk wrote:
>
>> AFAIK, the Russian Orthodox Church is the only one condoning the
>> Russian government. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church & the Greek Orthodox
>> Church (& possibly others) have condemned the invasion.
>
> Well, you would expect the Ukrainian Orthodox to condemn it;

Yes. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church became independent of the Russian
one a few years ago --- AIUI the Russian one "annexed" the Ukrainian
churches in the 170ss.


> I'm pleased to hear that the Greek Orthodox do.

Yes, it's noteworthy that the Patriarch of Constantinople ("first
among equals" of the Orthodox patriarchs) has condemned it.


> There are others more closely tied
> to Russia - such as the Serbian Orthodox - that I suspect either support
> or refrain from condemning.
>
> I do know that at least one Orthodox priest here in the UK supports Russia.

I assume he belongs specifically to the Russian Orthodox Church in the
UK?


--
In Fortran, GOD is REAL (unless declared INTEGER).


Kendall K. Down

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Apr 28, 2022, 2:39:55 PMApr 28
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On 28/04/2022 11:24, Adam Funk wrote:

> Yes, it's noteworthy that the Patriarch of Constantinople ("first
> among equals" of the Orthodox patriarchs) has condemned it.

That is good.

>> I do know that at least one Orthodox priest here in the UK supports Russia.

> I assume he belongs specifically to the Russian Orthodox Church in the
> UK?

My understanding is Greek Orthodox. Perhaps, though, he will rethink his
position after what you say about the Patriarch of Constantinople.

Kendall K. Down

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Apr 29, 2022, 1:39:56 AMApr 29
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On 28/04/2022 11:24, Adam Funk wrote:

> Yes. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church became independent of the Russian
> one a few years ago --- AIUI the Russian one "annexed" the Ukrainian
> churches in the 170ss.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mT5phMHzIlI
An interesting news report from three years ago.

> I assume he belongs specifically to the Russian Orthodox Church in the
> UK?

It is a tragedy when Christians split over political matters. We need to
remember what Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world". I have a
lot of sympathy for those who refuse combat roles in the army on the
grounds that they don't want to be shooting at fellow Christians on the
other side.

Adam Funk

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May 5, 2022, 9:09:52 AMMay 5
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On 2022-04-25, Kendall K. Down wrote:

Quote:

Pope Francis warned the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church,
Patriarch Kirill, not to become "Putin's altar boy," he said in an
interview this week.

<https://edition.cnn.com/2022/05/04/europe/pope-francis-patriarch-kirill-ukraine-invasion-intl/index.html>

Kendall K. Down

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May 5, 2022, 3:29:52 PMMay 5
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On 05/05/2022 13:55, Adam Funk wrote:

> Pope Francis warned the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church,
> Patriarch Kirill, not to become "Putin's altar boy," he said in an
> interview this week.

Yes, I saw that report too. The thing is that clergy - whether high or
low - need to remember that they serve God. They should not be
automatically opposed to an earthly ruler any more than they should be
automatically supporting him.
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