He who places his hope on thee, O Virgin all-glorious, will prosper in all he does.

Inscription on Byzantine coin during reign of Romanus III

Monday, February 25, 2008


``I mean, after all, we're talking about something from 1389 - 1389. It's time to move forward.''

Funny, I hadn't considered that option.


orrologion said...

This whole issue, to me, I have begun to identify as reeking of that sin each Orthodox is supposed to confess in each evenings prayers: remebrance of wrongs.

Now, that is not to say there aren't practical issues that must be dealt with, including whether it is wise to create another ethnically Muslim state in the Balkan tinderbox, but it seems that while we religiously fume over the destruction of holy sites we areligiously forget to remain free from sin, or at least to acknowledge it is a sin.

Visibilium said...

Thank you for commenting. I acknowledge the partial correctness of your view. Unfortunately, in my experience, things don't appear to be quite as simple as you would suggest.

Certainly, Christ and his apostles would generally counsel forgiveness as the morally meritorious course. On the other hand, practical issues of governance and administration sometimes point to a "lesser of two evils" course. For example, generally speaking, earthly rulers don't necessarily forgive criminals for committing crimes, but rather, mete out a punishment of some kind. They practice forgiveness extraordinarily, not routinely. The Church doesn't promote the kind of civil lawlessness that would result from rulers' wholesale forgiveness of criminal behavior. I use this general example simply to illustrate a paradox of exercising forgiveness in a fallen world.

Now, let's look at the specific issue of Kosovo-Metohija. The Serbians are resisting the centuries-long effort to deprive them of their residence. The deprivation began in 1389, when the Turks defeated the Serbians and forced them to live under Ottoman rule. The effort continued after the Ottoman empire collapsed. After being killed or forced to flee, relatively few Serbians remain in Kosovo.

Frankly, I don't think that Milosevic was much of a hero overall, but his effort to protect Serbs from the terrorist KLA was fairly correct. NATO's occupation hasn't offered much protection to the Serbs, and the Albanians would offer still less. Protection is needed both for Serbs and for Serbian Orthodox religious sites.

The issue becomes whether protection for both Serbs and Albanians is best administered by an Albanian "independent" government or by Serbia. On balance, I support Serbia.

I'm not sure that Serbian forgiveness--manifested as doing nothing to resist Albanian depredation--is the most prudent course in a fallen world.