Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Frank Schaeffer goes nuts on Orthodox-on-Orthodox violence

I'd never read anything by Frank Schaeffer until today. I don't think I'll bother reading him again. This whole article is just nuts. It's got the hallmarks I've seen elsewhere of a convert (political, religious, or in this case, both) who loses his rationality when discussing the group he left.

Here, he's writing about the Russian invasion of Georgia and essentially defending Russia (at least excusing them). I don't know if I want to bother refuting too many of the...um, "points" he tries to make, because he isn't very consistent and doesn't seem to have thought really hard about it.

Sigh. OK, I just need to say a couple or three things. He seems driven in all of his arguments here by a desire for pan-Orthodox dignity, centered on Russia. If the US (and the West, generally) make contacts with former Soviet republics and satellites, helping their struggling democracies and extending NATO membership, he makes that out as us "encircling" the Orthodox world. That implies that we're threatening the Orthodox world. Somehow, this excuses Russian threats against fellow Orthodox countries like the Ukraine and Moldova, and a flat-out invasion of Orthodox Georgia. Yet when we aid Orthodox countries like Greece, Romania (both NATO members), the Ukraine, and Georgia (both being considered for NATO membership), that's a "threat" to the Orthodox world. The only Orthodox country we've attacked this whole time has been Serbia, and that's only because of the deliberate attacking of civilians and ethnic cleansing.

Does the non-Russian-allied Orthodox world see themselves as under attack from the West? Not from what I can tell. Rather, they see themselves as under attack from Russia. Where would they get that idea? Mostly from Russia attacking them. (Or threatening to attack them.) So is the rest of the Orthodox world as disdainful as he towards America and Bush? Again, not from what I can tell. In fact, these same sorts of places tend to be where Bush is quite popular (Romania, Georgia, and the Ukraine, in particular--not so much in Greece, though). My Orthodox in-laws in Romania tell us how popular Bush and America are there.

Somehow, Schaeffer spins this all into a web of anti-Orthodox bigotry on the part of the West, and he throws a bit of snide remarks against President Bush's being an American Protestant. I don't buy into much psychoanalysis, but "projection," anyone?

What's funniest is that this is all supposed to explain why Russia invaded Georgia, a fellow Orthodox country. I'm tempted to do a take-off on that joke from some late '50s liberal comedian whose name I can't remember: "Every time America attacks an Orthodox country, Russia decides to retaliate by attacking an Orthodox country."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Internationalist Jerk.

This column really must be read in its entirety to be believed. The whole thing is lousy with contempt for American sovereignty in a way that I had thought was only a caricature of liberal internationalists. This guy actually seems to think that we should worry whom the rest of the world wants us to have as our president!

Advice to the rest of the world: Mind your own business! Go back to making cheese or starting ethnic wars or living off welfare or whatever it is you do best. We'll elect our own president, thank you very much. And you can elect/install/depose your own president/presidente/presidente-para-la-vida/fearless leader. Best of luck with that. Let me know how that works out for you.

Foul-mouthed Jerk.

You stay classy, CBC.