Theology should be kept as simple as Steinbeck’s East of Eden classic, which gets a bunch of Chinese chaps to reinterpret the Cain and Abel fable.
The recent passing of 95 year old Pope Benedict XVI should give not only the Latin Catholic Church but churches worldwide cause for reflection and reform. Pope Benedict, a draftee into and a deserter from Hitler’s Wehrmacht, represented all that was best in European Catholicism, a faith that owes its survival to the armies of Spain’s Philip II, who successfully withstood Ottoman threats to the east and Lutheran hordes to the north during the Wars of the Reformation, which only ended with the Treaty of Westphalia, a treaty whose modalities should be the template for the world’s Christian Churches to use if they hope to survive much longer.
Although Pope Benedict had been far and away the Catholic Church’s pre-eminent theologian from the reign of the Polish Pope John Paul II onwards, he had a number of blind spots the Church is now paying for in spades. Though he had little if any time for the theological baloney of Catholicism’ theological clowns, his biggest failing was, perhaps, the Euro-centricism that had been central to his life ever since he and his family had tried to resist Hitler’s 1930s’ rise to power. His approach lacked the common touch.
Not so the screeds of Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins and a gaggle of other hucksters, who wrote books denouncing all religions, Judaism excepted in Harris’ case, and who enjoyed immense success in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and NATO’s criminal destruction of Iraq. Although Harris, Dawkins and their fellow hucksters wrote or said nothing Thomas Paine did not opine about two centuries earlier, these charlatans had the power of the sound bite and the blessings of NATO’s anti-Christs behind them.
All wars, you see, were the fault of religion and not of the war criminals of the Pentagon and NATO, of chaps like Pope Benedict’s Chaldean followers in Iraq, who were set upon by NATO’s proxies with a savagery you wouldn’t find in hell. The Chaldeans, the Assyrians, the Yezidis, the Shi’a, and especially the Mandaeans, those Iraqis who believe, not without their good reasons, that John the Baptist is the Messiah. In their place, NATO lumbered Iraq with the Anglican cultist Rev Andrew White, who should be regarded as and treated as a Class A war criminal.
I accompanied the heroes of the Syrian Arab Army on Easter Sunday 2014 when they liberated the Aramaic speaking Christian city of Maaloola, where hundreds of Shi’a, Sunni, Druze and Alawi fighters had only recently perished in wresting this jewel of Christendom back from NATO’s proxies, which had looted it of all its valuables and destroyed whatever icons and statues they could not haul away to auction in Sotheby’s.
Some months later, I stayed the night with the good nuns of the Orthodox Monastery of Saydnaya where I joined their annual procession in honor of the Virgin Mary as their Christian militia, together with their Hezbollah allies, fought off yet more waves of ISIS and other NATO proxies. I was in their churches where the mothers and widows of their latest martyrs, both Christian and Muslim, were honored. And I was terrified at their checkpoints, where some of their elderly militia, who obviously hadn’t handled weapons in more than 50 years, were more of a threat to us than they were to ISIS. Good, God-fearing men giving their sacred cause their all. God bless each and every one of those elderly heroes.
Further south, in the occupied city of Jerusalem, I was at Christendom’s holiest shrine, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where, the theologians say, Jesus was murdered but then rose from the dead three days later. Though I hadn’t Pope Benedict with me to fill in the details or, sad to say, even Tzar Alexander III, who built the fine Russian Cathedral just a stone’s throw away, yellow pack theologians were there in abundance as representatives of each and every church explained to straight-faced me how idiotic were the faiths of the others, my own included.
Though I agreed with each and every one of them so as not to waste my time arguing with these fine people about the theological niceties differentiating the Eastern Orthodox Church from the Oriental Orthodox Church, the Latin and Eastern Catholic Churches, I was more at home in Taybeh, cracking beers with Fr Jack, the Melkite parish priest as we and his parishioners shot the breeze sitting on beer barrels under its sometimes peaceful sky. And in the parish church house of Ramallah, whose priests almost killed me with their infernal shisha pipe smoking, which is far too widespread in the Arab world.
And Latin priest Manuel Musallam, Fr Jack’s cousin, who was parish priest of Gaza during Operation Cast Lead, an unspeakable war crime for which its Israeli perpetrators have never been held to account. But then, as charlatans like Harris and Dawkins explain to us, these good people, these good Palestinian, Iraqi and Syrian Christians have been ethnically cleansed in their millions to make way for a Greater Israel by pretending the only quarrel Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East its secular theologians proclaim, has is with a bunch of mad Muslims the crayon cartoons of Harris and Dawkins obsessively denounced.
Will Dalrymple’s From the Holy Mountain: A Journey Among the Christians of the Middle East is not only an example of British scholarship at its finest and a testament of what NATO has destroyed throughout those lands the Apostles traversed but it is a terrible indictment at our ongoing general indifference to all these most deplorable of war crimes not only there but closer to home as well.
For, if we wheel back to the Holy Mountain, to Greece’s Mount Athos, the picture is just as bleak and not only for the Christians of Turkey, whom Dalrymple met. Read this earlier, very disturbing piece by Stephen Karganovic, entitled An Under the Radar Religious Pogrom in Vibrantly Democratic Ukraine and think that NATO wants us to cheer on these crimes of elderly Russian-speaking priests and their congregation being man-handled by the scum of the earth.
Karganovic’s piece is particularly apposite as he is a Serb and Serbs are no strangers to being at the business end of such barbarism, not only in the lifetime of Pope Benedict but right now, this very day of our Lord Jesus Christ, when Kosovo’s NATO-imposed ethnic Albanian junta are blocking Patriarch Porfirije of the Serbian Orthodox Church performing his pastoral duties and the Serbs of Kosovo, the Serbs’ own Jerusalem, enjoying the solace Patriarch Porfirije beings them.
You don’t have to be a theologian like Pope Benedict to oppose NATO’s persecution of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the Russian Orthodox Church, the Armenian Orthodox, the Syrian Orthodox Church and Fr Jack’s Greek Catholic Church. You just have to be human and, if given the chance, be prepared to do something about it, just as the great defenders of Saydnaya are giving it their all.
Perhaps Russian President Putin or Foreign Minister Lavrov might step up to the plate on this and form, if not a Fourth Rome, at least a second Mount Athos, where the major representatives of those faiths could thrash out their differences and decide to hang together, rather than to be like the Chaldeans and Assyrians and be hung separately by NATO and its agents.
Either way, all of these churches should realize the nature of the overbearing threat they collectively face and should agree not to be the authors of their own last demise. Here at 12.04 in this video, for example, is Irish Zionist Rory Miller in Israel explaining to his fellow Zionists why Irish Jewry must conspire with Methodists and Hindus to undo the Orthodox threat in Ireland, where Orthodox Christians are almost as rare as white blackbirds.
But Pope Benedict would agree that God did not put Serbian, Ukrainian, Russian, Armenian, Syrian, Iraqi or Palestinian Christians on earth to be micro-managed by war criminals and their lackeys and accomplices, by places like Georgetown that is a Clinton worshipping Jesuit factory mill for war criminals. Serbian, Ukrainian, Russian, Armenian, Syrian, Iraqi and Palestinian Christians should be allowed worship as they have always done and, if the Russian or other governments can aid them in that process on the practical and theological sides, the thanks of Christ’s faithful to them will resonate eternally.
And with due respect to Pope Benedict and the Byzantium’s Churches of the East, theology should be kept as simple as Steinbeck’s East of Eden classic, which gets a bunch of Chinese chaps to reinterpret the Cain and Abel fable. Important though theological brand segmentation between the Chaldeans, Assyrians and other churches has been, it should be much more immediately concerning that the Christians of Serbia, Ukraine, Russia, Armenia, Syria, Iraq and Palestine still suffer at the hands of NATO and those like Georgetown, White, Harris and Dawkins who are so obviously in hock to them.