Getting out of the current social debates

This is from an older post by Fr Raphael.

Will they laugh at us? Of course, that’s the normal way they deal with people; this is how they deal with opposition: scorn and, eventually, social exclusion, and, soon, arrest. We certainly have ample precedent for this. Remember: This is nervous laughter. Remember: we believe in Holy Russia and Orthodoxy, they believe in the latest academic fads. We believe in the Tsars, they believe in the latest celebrity gossip and fashions. We believe in the Russian nation, they believe in modern (and solely modern) political ideologies. We believe in the Holy Spirit, they believe that technology is leading humanity into an era of peace and plenty. We believe in the divinity of Jesus, and they really believe that “reality TV” is unscripted. We believe in One True Church, they watch Oprah. We are the ones that need to be laughing.

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6 comments on “Getting out of the current social debates

  1. sermonwriter says:

    @tesla,
    I really like that, but what would happen to my logic or my theology if I re-wrote it like this? . . . (I’d really like your analysis if you have time) . . .
    Remember: we believe in the Constitution and Orthodoxy, they believe in the latest academic fads. We believe in Statesmen, they believe in the latest celebrity gossip and fashions. We believe in the one nation under God, they believe in modern (and solely modern) political ideologies. We believe in the Holy Spirit, they believe that technology is leading humanity into an era of peace and plenty. We believe in the divinity of Jesus, and they really believe that “reality TV” is unscripted. We believe in One True Church, they watch Oprah. We are the ones that need to be laughing.”

  2. sermonwriter says:

    @tesla,
    I ask because it seems to take centuries for Orthodoxy to envelope an entire nation, such as a “Holy Russia”. In the U.S. we have no reference of identity for this. We are forced as the Church in the U.S. to be completely divorced from our nation. Do we start by identifying our Nation with our Church to hope to end up with a “Holy America”, or does this process happen some other way?

  3. Canadian says:

    The only “holy nation” referred to in the NT is the church. Isn’t this partly why Orthodoxy rejects the papal nation state?

  4. tesla1389 says:

    Fair enough, and you do make some good points. I am deferring my longer answer for later, but here is what I would say. First of all, this is an older post, meaning my practical positions have changed somewhat. While I remain a formal monarchist, I do not defend the Tsardom as it was practiced for the last three hundred years.

    The main issue is this: the two situations (or your counter alternative) are really disanalogous. The birth of the Russian nation is almost the same as Christianity coming to Russia. Orthodoxy is the “haunting” presupposition of Russian history.

    Secondly, Russia could do theology apart from the dialectic; the Western world could not (and America did not even try).

    Thirdly, the American order was founded as a Masonic and Deist order. The Constitution represented an oligarchic attempt (largely successful) to destroy and marginalize the national anarchism of the small Christian farmer.

    As to the “holy Russia” comment: just because the bible says that the church is a holy nation does not logically infer that we cannot predicate “holy” to anything else: people, relics, places (indeed, if we can predicate holy to places then it’s not a large leap to predicate it to countries).

    In other words, the above objection is too much like the argument from silence fallacy. Of course, today’s Russia is far from holy, but given that they are recovering from 80 years of soviet terror and twenty years of mafia capitalism, they are doing fine.

    @Canadian,
    I don’t see the 1:1 connection. The problems with papalism deal more with the Pope’s universal claim and with schisming the church, not so much with the nation state. In any case, “Holy Russia,” however one defines it, isn’t advocating anything like later medieval papal states did.

  5. tesla1389 says:

    @Sermonwriter,

    One other thing, and I will bring this out in my post, America’s political structure is necessarily flawed by the dialectic (its tripartite division eerily resembles the Carolingian Shield of the Trinity). More on that later.

  6. sermonwriter says:

    Thanks tesla,
    I hope you know mine was not an attempt at an argument, just trying to find ways to understand this better. I like your answers, but you can still help me understand this if you have time. “Russia could do theology apart from this dialectic”…How is this possible? I probably don’t understand what the dialectic is, so maybe that’s what I am trying to figure out in all of this.

    And the tripartite division of American political structure resembling the Carolingian Shield of the Trinity really intruges me. I can’t even find out what that is online, lol. Looking forward to any input, thanks.

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