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

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I May Get In Trouble For This One

Gabriel solicited suggestions about his Lenten reading, but strayed dangerously (for me) into blaming various characters for their parts in the decline of Western Civilization. I'm elated at his targeting of Rousseau and Marx, but uncertain about Nietzsche. I blame Nietzsche for Freud, or maybe Freud for Freud, but I don't blame Nietzsche for the Nazis. I do blame Nietzsche's sister for the Nazis.

Anyway, given my preoccupation with the relationship of Church and State, I expressed an interest in the formative role of the Roman Catholic Church in shaping young Hitler's and Himmler's minds. Likewise, I'm interested in the formative role of the Orthodox Church in shaping young Stalin's mind.

Offhand, I can't think of a Protestant tyrant, other than Cromwell, but I'll keep looking.

Anyone who's read my posts and comments knows that I have little patience for Orthodox who think that an Orthodox Tsar would be the best leader for an Orthodox State. In fact, it's certainly possible that the close identification of the Russian Orthodox Church with Russian Czar created the impression that both institutions' goals were identical. Frankly, I'd like to see the Orthodox Church as the established state church in states with republican or limited monarchical governments and free economies. A closer intertwining, in my view, would breed a decadence and backlash that doesn't help anyone.

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