Did you know that Black intellectual Ta-Nehisi Coates, MacArthur “genius grant,” recipient, best-selling author and superhero of the Davos establishment, is a sympathizer with the anti-Russian pseudo-history peddled by discredited Yale professor Timothy Snyder? That Coates believes that there occurred something called the “Holodomor,” or “Ukrainian famine,” and that the Kremlin had something to do with creating it? Read it and weep.
There’s something in the air, for Anne Applebaum has, like Snyder, also made a splash retailing vicious anti-Russian pornography. Maybe Coates would like to abase himself to Applebaum too, and not just to Snyder. There are apparently publishing honors and money in sucking up to these pieces of human trash—great vats of dirty gelt.
But there is also spiritual danger. Are you ready to sell your soul to these beasts, Coates? What have they, these unholy genocidal Russian-hating pigs, ever done for your people?
The banning of Russia from the upcoming Winter Olympics is a crime, the sort of provocation to which the mongrel nations that define the contemporary West can be expected to submit great and tragic ones.
My funk in the wake of the Olympic Committee’s foray into anti-Russian racism compelled me to drive to the chapel last Tuesday. That blessed site glowed at dusk—I wasn’t the only parishioner in need of spiritual succor. Inside, kneeling on the floor of our small Indiana church, rocked Lyubov Antonovna, our Muscovite immigrant parishioner. Her face was wet with tears, her eyes closed as she beat her breast and repeated the comforting Russian formula: gospodi pomiluj, gospodi pomiluj, gospodi pomiluj—O, Lord have mercy! Her wonderful gold teeth flashed in the gloaming.
Mr. Holby, another parishioner, prostrated himself before a candle-lit icon of St. Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova, his NPR totesack on the floor beside him, his sandals scuffing the floor and his L.L. Bean top rustling as he lowered his bald mustachioed head to the floor, muttering the prayers that would that call forth the girl-saint’s intervention.
Already the peace of the Logos began to salve my agitated soul.
Shuffling across the floor in my own sandals, I threw myself to the floor before the icon of Sts. Abraham and Coprious of Gryasovets, and, fingering the prayer beads deep in my pocket, commenced my own holy meditations.
My discipline at prayer has improved—if not to Rod Dreher levels, at least to an extent that gratifies me. And as I murmured the Prayer of Filaret, Metropolitan of Moscow, for the Physical Extermination of the Dissidents, I experienced a deep comfort, a great spiritual stillness.
Outside, night fell over the world. Outside, vanity, cruelty, and folly reigned. But here inside our church time had, as it were, stopped, and my soul was still. Indeed, I was experiencing a small nostos, a homecoming, here among my co-religionists, in this humble Russian Orthodox mission church in Indiana.
Come that may in this fallen world, I must be more conscious of my blessings; I must take more solace in the fortress of my faith.
The perennial, and fascinating, debate has resurfaced at our parish: Is masturbation wrong in every case?
I am on record as being anti-masturbation, but in fact the question is a more subtle one than I might have realized. Father Nicodemus instructs me that vigorous public masturbation is traditionally one of the “blessed behaviors” of the gloriously crazed “holy fools” of the Russian Orthodox tradition, as I might have known from their very names, among them St. Vitalik, Pudknocker of Staroturukhansk; Blessed Fedya the Bearded, Punisher of Bishops (I had heard of Fedya, of course, but assumed that his epithet had something to do with his fierce anti-Roman diatribes); and the émigré St. Alexandre, Le Frotteur de Paris, spiritual bulwark of the Russian-language community in the French capital.
Very well. I admit that, as a convert to Orthodoxy, I have much to learn.
Father Nicodemus also maintains that dispensations for masturbation are permissible in certain extreme conditions.
“Do we deny the validity of the masturbation of the barracks?” he asked during his last sermon. “And think of the great soldier-heroes in those Russian army regiments now occupying the filth-lands of the Georgian and Ukrainian cockroaches and whores, and poised on the Motherland’s western border to reclaim, via a blitzkrieg attack that all we faithful keenly await, what are by right the Russian lands in which now squat the degenerate Balts, Polacks, and Finns—are they not entitled to robust self-pleasure?”
These are acute, and endlessly stimulating, theological questions to which I, amateur theologian that I am, will return again and again and again.