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[The Creation of the Chicken]

An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Interview with Metropolitan Kyrill of Russia

Hat-tip to the Arch-Inquirer Greg.

The "SPIEGEL" interviewer hammers away at the Metropolitan, who holds his ground.

I liked: Christian values were always kept alive among the people. They ultimately brought about the fall of communism.

Supporting one form of government over another is not our main concern. Saving the soul is fundamentally possible in any form of government.

No one should be able to stand in front of a church and say: I refuse to go inside, because that's where my political opponents feel at home. And politicians, for their part, cannot enlist the church in a trite attempt to gain popularity.

I would say that the theory has many adherents, but also a few unanswered questions. For instance, no one has provided precise proof of the transition from one species to another. It would be wrong to treat Darwin's theory as the only correct one. It is the leading theory today, but it could be replaced by another theory tomorrow.

(I loved the exchange that included this latter statement because clearly the interviewer could accept nothing less than a clear and overt declaration of faith in Darwinism...how typical. How dare he question the dogma of the secular church! LOL and later the interviewer is perturbed that homosexuality might have been called an "animal instinct"? Well newsflash Darwinist: WHAT ISN'T AN ANIMAL INSTINCT!?)

I disliked: The second to the last statement by the Metropolitan is questionable in my mind...at least in terms of the Church. For instance he mentioned briefly that the Church DID take a stance on a tax issue. What then of those politicians who might have opposed it? Could one consider themselves Christian and still oppose it if the Church supports it? Dangerous ground, I think, but then I do not pretend to "get" the intricacies of Russian politics and the perceptions of the Church's role in their society.

What I REALLY disliked: how the interviewer kept linking "western liberal values" to things like gay pride parades, promiscuity, secularism, Darwinism, and low church attendance. As if to suggest that the Metropolitan's contentions with these things (to whatever extent) are not in fact shared by a significant portion of the western populace. I don't like these false dichotomies to be drummed up by the "liberal west" when the fact is that many many religious leaders in the west would have agreed with everything the Metropolitan says here in regard to values.

Orthodox faithful of Russia: "Spiegel" does not speak for anything near the majority of westerners. MANY of us stand with the Metropolitan.

...offered by Dn. James Ferrenberg, a sinner at 11:39 AM [+]
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8 comments


8 Comments:

The part about politicians not enlisting the church for popularity... well, he should be ashamed of himslef. The Russian Orthodox Church is the PosterChild of Being Enlisted to do Whatever the State Wants, for the past 500 years. The old copies of the Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate, published during Soviet Times, and available in large quantities, were full of theological reflections on: the environment, the dangers of Western militarism, and so on.

- Steve Knowlton

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:50 PM  

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Given your statements, I am assuming given that Gravity is a theory, that is also a dogma of the secular church since it too is only a theory. Humorously enough, Stalin didn't believe in Darwin either and had geneticists put to death. Isn't it great to find the common ground between the Russian Patriach and Stalin?

-Rick

By Blogger Rick, at 10:55 AM  

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I am assuming given that Gravity is a theory...

I don't grant your first premise. If you hold up Darwinism as on par with our understanding and the provability of gravity we've really no need to discuss it further. I really don't understand why you seem so offended by dissent from evolutionary belief...especially as I dissent from it.

that is also a dogma of the secular church since it too is only a theory

I do not call it a dogma because it is a theory, but because of how it is upheld and how its proponents incessantly need to enlighten others - like this interviewer and the Patriarch. It has all the trappings YOU see in Global Warming as a religious belief. It is the "Lord's annointed" which may not be touched. It is a hinge pin of intellectual justification for atheism and as such has religious attributes and is defended as such.

If I claimed I didn't believe in gravity you'd laugh me off as insane and be done with it, whereas since I am someone who expresses some degree of doubt about neo-darwinism and how it is taught I am rather someone in need of a healthy dose of enlightenment. Like evangelicals hammering away at an unbeliever, so are those proponents of Darwinism to the ignorant such as myself. For my good, though I suppose. Lord knows what would happen if I didn't accept Darwinism as my personal origin and method of development. Heck I might even do something crazy like vote!

Humorously enough, Stalin didn't believe in Darwin either and had geneticists put to death.

Stalin was a proponent of Lysenko's scientific theories. The point being? Hitler's racism and Nazi racist beliefs rested heavily upon Darwinism. What have we proved here?

Isn't it great to find the common ground between the Russian Patriach and Stalin?

If anyone could, it would be you Rick. Well done.

By Blogger JamesoftheNorthwest, at 3:16 PM  

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Perhaps Stalin and the Patriarch are equally expert with respect to the theory of evolution. Likewise, perhaps when you use words like dogma with respect to evolutionary theory you are mimicing the behavior you criticize with respect to neo-Darwinists.

The problem with the kind of denial you express is that Jesus Christ become like Santa Claus. As they say in Miracle on 34th Street, faith is something you believe despite the facts. For me I find that degrading to Christ. It is one the major reasons I nuts enough to respond.

In any case, even as I post this one of my computers is running a genetic algorithm to determine values I will use in code I am writing. Randomness producing something useful. Who would have thought?

By Blogger Rick, at 3:44 PM  

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OK, you guys need a time out.

- Steve

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:59 PM  

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The problem with the kind of denial you express

Rick, you've no idea about what I deny because I truly do not believe you ever heard me.

By Blogger JamesoftheNorthwest, at 7:15 PM  

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Perhaps I have never heard you. Listening has never been my strong suite as those who live with me can attest. On the other hand, the problem with most polemic devices such as calling Evolutionary Theory a dogma is that for most of us the hearing stops. A second problem of course is that both blogging and especially commenting on blog entries are the ultimate temptation to use polemic devices. So in any case, I look forward to asking you about this in person.

By Blogger Rick, at 9:30 AM  

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Evolutionary theory is not, in and of itself, a dogma (nothing is, save what we humans choose to be so), but is often treated, construed, and enforced as such. As was the case I think when the reporter seemed to get his hackles up about the Met expressing even a small degree of doubt in it...very small I might add.

When one dares to question the scientific consensus of global warming the hackles similarly rise, however if the proponents are right we all have reason to be very concerned and there are things that need to be done. In contrast, what do we gain or lose with the truth or falsehood of evolution?

Anyone who doubts it - I am told - must have an irrational faith based reason for doing so (same thing is often applied to global warming deniers)...and yet everyone who vehemently argues for evolution does so from the bastions of scientific facts, reason, and logic...with nary a faith based reason ever to be found? I doubt it.

Why should the reporter be so concerned about the Met's lack of devotion to evolution? It seemed clear to me that the Met was not aiming for a fight about it. The whole point of why I wrote about evolution in this post was simply to point out that "[the reporter] doth protest too much, methinks."

I've no wish to argue about evolution...it's really not worth arguing about. Let Hitler and Stalin argue about it.

By Blogger JamesoftheNorthwest, at 10:48 AM  

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