Why Russian law shields against some proselytizing

Why Russian law shields against some proselytizing

 

by Don Hank

A few religions that were recent implants in Russia have now been refused re-registration or have had their work curtailed. These include Jehova’s Witnesses, Mormon and Scientology.

In view of Russia’s 20th Century history, it is no surprise that these churches are not welcomed with open arms. Russia has returned to its Christian roots and groups like these are not traditional.

In fact, I have interacted with Jehovah’s Witnesses and discovered that their Bibles are slightly different at one crucial passage: John 1, where John wrote of Jesus, calling him the Word:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 

In the JW translation, this is changed to:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god. 

Why did the JWs decide upon this translation? Two reasons:

1—It fits in with their idea that Jesus was not a deity, and

2—In the “original” Greek manuscript, the word God is written in John 1 without the definite article (analogous to the word “the” in English). In most cases, the word for “God” in the NT is preceded by the article (o).

However, there are 2 reasons we can know that this translation is erroneous:

1—The definite article “o” is not used obligatorily with the word God (theos). I went through the Nestle’s NT and found 36 instances of the word for God not preceded by the article.

2—While from a purely theoretical standpoint, one would have to admit that the word theos could be rendered, in some contexts, as “a god,” the real clincher is that the Hebrews were monotheists and did not have or accept the concept of multiple gods. This chapter we are discussing, John 1, makes it clear that the early Christians did not think of Jesus as separate from God the Father. Therefore, John 1 does indeed teach that Jesus was God. They were, in the Judeo-Christian theology, one and the same person in different forms. The Russians do not accept this Jehovah’s Witness teaching. It’s their country, they decide.

As for Scientology, I went to the pertinent web site and saw that there is no mention of God at all. To a Russian, no God means no religion. No religion reminds them of 70 years of hell under tyrants.

Yes, very dogmatic, and if you belong to a non-traditional “religion,” then Russia is not a good place to be. On the other hand, a Russian scientologist should be able to continue to practice this religion at home.

As for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, it is easy to see why this religion would not be accepted as bona fide traditional Christianity by the traditional (some detractors say reactionary) Russians.

The Russians are skitterish about new groups, especially from other countries or whose belief systems come from abroad.

Consider what they have been through:

For 200 years, the Russian people groaned under the yoke of the Tatars, a horde of barbarians who exacted taxes from them, just as radical Islamists do today to non-Muslims. In fact, shortly after the Tatars conquered Russia, they became Muslims. At that point one might say they were collecting the jizya

Later, they were invaded by Bonaparte and then by Hitler, 2 foreigners who all but destroyed their country and slaughtered millions of them.

Further, a foreigner – the German Karl Marx – introduced an ideology – communism – from abroad and a few radicals adopted this idea. It is not known whether Lenin was even ethnic Russian (it is speculated that he may have been Chuvash, Mordvin or Kalmyk), but whatever the case, he hated the Russian nationality and wrote this on at least one occasion.  As for Putin, he has dissed Lenin on one occasion. Popular Russian duma member Vladimir Zhirinovsky quotes from Lenin in a recent speech to show that Lenin hated Russians. (BTW, Rabid Neocon activists claim communism never died in Russia. So how do they explain this?).

According to Nobel laureate Solzhenitsyn in his book 200 Years Together, 85% of the top level Bolsheviks who followed Lenin were Jewish. I am not addressing herein the historical veracity of this report, just saying what Russians believe to be true.

In fact, Putin addressed a group of prominent Jewish leaders in Russia a few years ago and told them this story. But Putin came from a staunch Soviet background and was therefore not anti-Jewish. One of the pillars of Soviet creed was that they, as the victors in the Great Patriotic War, stood in contrast to the fascists that they had defeated, particularly in terms of their attitude toward the Jews. Thus, in telling these Jews this story, he just wanted them to know this and told them in a friendly way. He also was subtly reminding them that any attempt to return to a Russia under non-Russian rulers hostile to Orthodoxy would not be tolerated.

Lest anyone think Putin has an anti-Jewish streak, note that he has met with Netanyahu many times in the last few years, even as Obama shunned the latter. And every time they get together Putin reminds him that, despite their differences, their 2 peoples have a lot in common, both having suffered horribly at the hands of the fascists during the Third Reich.

In other words, foreign ideas and people unattached to the Orthodox culture of Russia are seen as the originators of the 70 years of pain and tyranny of Russia. Putin himself has spoken disparagingly of Lenin, for example, and has suggested that Lenin was not a good Russian.

The Russians have a right to their opinion that it was non-Russians who destroyed their country. Clearly, if it had not been for this non-Russian (notably, non-Orthodox) interference in their history, they would not have gone through the painful experience of having atheism shoved down their throats and being forced to live under tyranny for 70 bitter years.

That in a nutshell is their motivation in wanting to stay free of foreign religions and ideologies and allowing Russian Orthodoxy to flourish without excessive interference.

Like the Jews who survived the holocaust, they too are saying “never again.” Their experience too was a holocaust.

 

Full text translation of Chapter 15 of 200 Years Together

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/jan/25/russia.books

 

Mr. Trump, why did you meet with my husband’s murderer?

Read it here

Beware of this “First Amendment” group

Not all “First Amendment” groups are for the First Amendment

By Donald Hank

Round two in my exchange with The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center group, which started with a November 28 posting relating to an article Mr. Haynes had had published in the media, is now complete (see separate column).

In Haynes’ article, addressing the actions of both gay marriage advocates and traditional marriage advocates, he had mentioned a number of grievances perpetrated by the gay marriage advocates, but had also said the following about the other side:

At the same time, Mormon church leaders not only stir up anger, but also hurt their cause when they lend their support to campaigns that use scare tactics [my emphasis] about homosexuality in elementary schools and misrepresent the religious-liberty threat to churches. Mormon leaders repeatedly call for Mormons to show “kindness and respect” toward people on the other side of the marriage debate. Good advice, but in my view, the “Yes on 8” campaign didn’t meet that standard.

The background of these “scare tactics” is well known to Laigle’s Forum readers but let us recap some details first:

In areas where same-sex “marriage” is legal, pastors and even people denouncing homosexual activity on medical grounds (70% of AIDS cases are male homosexuals) have been jailed or fined. Fines of up to $15,000 Canadian dollars have been imposed in Canada, while in Sweden, Pastor Aka Green was jailed and charged with a “hate” crime for preaching the biblical viewpoint on homosexuality (the “offense” carried what amounted to a life sentence for the elderly pastor), and in Philadelphia, 11 Christians were arrested and charged with a similar “crime” for staging a peaceful protest at a “coming out” fest.

People who oppose “gay” “marriage” have pointed out the David Parker case. Here is a video that was part of this so-called “scare tactic.” It shows an interview with David Parker, who was jailed because he asked parental notification when pro-homosexual lessons were given in their son’s kindergarten, and was told by the school board that the school had a right to promote homosexuality to kindergartners without notifying parents because same-sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts. For protesting this policy, David Parker was put in handcuffs and jailed. Let me point something out that Mr. Haynes has failed to grasp.

Now a scare tactic is an unfair tactic that uses artificially generated fear of something that without this tactic, would not normally be feared.

So what Mr. Haynes and his group are saying is that people would not normally be afraid of being arrested for demanding parental notification of the fact that a school was about to teach their 5 year old that homosexuality – which the Bible clearly denounces –  is acceptable. Let me remind Mr. Haynes that I can go out and protest the Iraq war, and the government cannot threaten me with a fine or jail. I can protest any legislation I dislike. I can protest the tax law. I can protest against illegal immigration. I can protest against immigration law. I can protest laws against prostitution, laws for prostitution, laws protecting women or children, laws that hurt women and children, anything, anything under the sun. Except homosexual activity. If I protest that in Canada or Europe, I can be fined or jailed. Even in most American cities I will be harassed by the police and Americans have already been arrested for this. This is a true First Amendment issue.

But now, consider this: If they do jail or fine me and I then try to warn others that my constitutional rights are being denied me and that your rights can be denied in the name of “protecting homosexuals” (gosh, those church desecrators must be really helpless!), then Mr. Charles Haynes and his group, ostensibly dedicated to the First Amendment, not only will not protect me, they will in fact accuse me of using a scare tactic simply because I had the audacity to tell the plain truth!

One would expect that a group with a name like Freedom Forum First Amendment Center would be interested first and foremost in the free speech aspects of this “gay” issue. Yet, they complain that people on both sides aren’t polite enough. When have you ever heard of any homosexual being fined, jailed or charged with a crime simply for protesting in favor of homosexual “rights” or “marriage”? And when did the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center ever raise a finger in protest against such obvious violations of the First Amendment as the jailing or fining of Christians, which – need I remind them? – was written largely to protect religious speech.

Obviously, this group is interested in something quite different from the right of free expression, because they are lumping peaceful opponents of same sex “marriage” in with homosexuals who riot on the streets, break into churches, destroy property and disrupt religious services.

To refer to legitimate protests against horrific tyrannical deprivation of basic human rights as a “scare tactic” can only be a tactic in its own right to muzzle those who protest homosexual “marriage.” To this extent it is part of the Left’s agenda to undermine the value of the traditional family to the greatest possible extent.

For those who think this idea of the Left promoting homosexuality is a chimera of my imagination, let me share with you an email I received from Walter Schneider of Fathers for Life. I asked Walter if there was any literature on how homosexuality is used by the Left to promote their anti-family agenda. His response:

Yes, there is information, in The Socialist Phenomenon and elsewhere, on how homosexuality is used to push the socialist agenda.

I know that you will be interested in the information I will provide in response to your question.  For that reason I give you a fair amount of it and will provide pointers of a more general nature.

Just now I searched The Socialist Phenomenon for “homosexual” and found this:

  • Deschamps considers various manifestations of evil to be the result of social conditions; he includes even homosexuality, for example. (p. 117)
  • Marcuse speaks here of the end of culture in the old sense of the word: “It would still be a reversal of the process of civilization, a subversion of culture — but after culture had done its work and created the mankind and the world that could be free.” (119: p. 198) The essence of this upheaval Marcuse describes in poetic terms by juxtaposing Prometheus, the hero of repressive culture, with the heroes of his own New World — Orpheus and Narcissus. He ends as follows: “The classical tradition associates Orpheus with the introduction of homosexuality.

[232]


Like Narcissus, he rejects the normal Eros, not for an ascetic ideal, but for a fuller Eros. Like Narcissus he protests against the repressive order of procreative sexuality. The Orphic and Narcissistic Eros is to the end the negation of this order — the Great Refusal. In the world symbolized by the culture hero Prometheus, it is the negation of all order; but in this negation Orpheus and Narcissus reveal a new reality, with an order of its own, governed by different principles.” (119: p. 171)

The most active socialist current of recent times, the New Left, proved to be extraordinarily receptive to Marcuse’s teaching and was to a considerable extent influenced by it. Marcuse’s basic propositions are closely paralleled in the slogans of this movement and serve as their theoretical foundation. For instance, the liberation of sexual instincts finds expression in the “sexual revolution,” and the suppression of repressive reason is demonstrated in the “psychedelic revolution,” that is, in the mass use of hallucinogens. Even ostentatious slovenliness can be theoretically justified, for according to the theory, ego and superego suppress the instincts connected with the sense of smell and enforce the perception of strong smells as “disgusting.” (Furthermore, the dominant classes associate garbage with the lower classes, which are perceived negatively as “the dregs of society.”) These views also serve as a theoretical basis for “left art,” which fosters the idea of “anti-cultural” (or “cultural”) revolution, of the destruction of “repressive” or “stifling” culture, up to and including a heightened interest (in both literature and ,art) in garbage and excrement as means of “exploding bourgeois culture.”…. (pp. 232, 233)

  • The last hundred years, particularly the twentieth century, have brought socialism unheard-of success. This has been primarily a success of socialism in its Marxist form, mostly because Marxism has been able to answer two questions that always stand before socialist movements: where to seek the “chosen people” — i.e., who is to destroy the old world — and what is the supreme authority sanctioning the movement?

[299]


The answer to the first question was the proletariat; to the second, science. At present both answers have become ineffective, at least for the West. “The proletariat has become a support for the system,” Marcuse complains. “What is a proletariat if it is not revolutionary? And it is, indeed, not revolutionary,” Sartre confirms. And science has lost its prestige and its role as unquestionable authority; it has become too popular and widespread, and ceased being the secret knowledge of a select few. Moreover, many of its gifts have recently proved to be far from beneficial. For this reason, Marcuse calls for replacing science with a utopia, for granting the role held by reason to fantasy. Until these fundamental questions find answers adequate to the new epoch, it will scarcely be possible to expect success for socialism commensurate with that of Marxism. Meanwhile there have been and continue to be attempts in this direction. For example, the search for the “chosen people” seems to be the real meaning behind the “problem of minorities” which so engages the Western leftist movements: students or homosexuals or American blacks or local nationalities in France. …There is no doubt that other answers will be found — the tendency toward socialism that grips the West speaks for this. (pp. 299, 300)

Herbert Marcuse was a member of the “Frankfurt School”, a communist think tank (The Frankfurt Institute for Social Research), whose members (all Jewish) were invited in the beginning of the 1930s to come to the USA, to take teaching positions in the USA.  Some went to Columbia, where a department was created for them.  Some went to Brandeis, and some of them took controlling positions in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (yes, McCarthy was right; there was a communist behind every bush).

Especially Herbert Marcuse and Theodor Adorno became key-influences for the launching and implementation of the cultural revolution in the 1960s and 1970s.  The Frankfurt School is very much alive now and re-established itself in Frankfurt, Germany.  (At Fathers for Life you can find more leads on the nature, role and influence of the Frankfurt School.  That will produce a large number of returns.  You can narrow down those returns by combining “Frankfurt School” with other terms.  The most convenient method for searching the site is to use the search-input field at the upper right-hand of the web pages at Fathers for Life.)

Rather than merely focusing on homosexuality, The Socialist Phenomenon mentions, more often and more prominently, various circumstances that are manifestations of the deliberate destruction and replacement of the traditional nuclear family, such as “community” families, polygamy, state-ownership of children, and so on, all of which are of course, becoming very pronounced developments in the present socialist re-engineering of humanity.

End of Walter’s message.

Friends, there are 2 main types in the homosexual “rights” movement:

1 – Actual homosexuals who desire to be affirmed by society and are prepared to reshape society to make this happen. To some extent or another, these are what Lenin called “useful idiots,” not because they are stupid but because they are unaware that they are being used for a cause that has nothing to do with their own group’s issues.

2 – Leftists who are following the agendas set forth by “social change” agitators like Marcuse, using any and all interest groups that can be portrayed as “victims.” Homosexuals, who have never been seen as victims in the past (rather, by many, as carriers of an unhealthy and dead-end lifestyle and, as seen by the religious communities, as people given over to sin), now become downtrodden underdogs, never mind the fact that many are multimillionaires and their average net incomes exceed that of the general population.

It is hard to say exactly what the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center’s agenda is. But one thing is certain: They are not focused on protecting your First Amendment rights.