The Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill was recently interviewed by the Russia Today network about a range of issues, including gay marriage and political correctness. Coming from a country where the government tried to stamp out Christianity for 70 years, Kirill draws on a long history of dealing with its enemies.
(A Note from Episcopis Contemplationes’ editor; Bishop Benedict-Johns:
A Protestant Minister once remarked that those of us outside of the Roman Catholic Church at least looked to Rome for leadership. I wonder if as many of those Christian ministers that once expected the Roman Pontiff to establish precedence when dealing with contemporary issues, still look to that office when we see a Pope who is seemingly overly friendly to Marxist/Socialist activists, even implying that Communists do a better job of following Christian doctrine than Christians do? Ironically, the leader of the Russian Orthodox church, Patriarch Kirill, seems to express ideas and suggestions that are far more in keeping with conservative western thought. I say ironically as this conservative Christian thought is coming from the what was once the largest secular Marxist/socialist state in the world, the old USSR. Please read the interview below.)
Here are some excerpts from the interview, conducted by RT’s Daniel Hawkins.
Why don’t Western politicians reject political correctness?
It seems as if political correctness is meant to limit Christians’ freedom to practice their faith. For example, why should we use ‘X-mas’ instead of ‘Christmas’? The answer we got to this question is that we shouldn’t hurt the feelings of non-Christians. So we asked Muslims if they were offended by the word ‘Christmas’, and they said “no.” We asked if they were offended by decorated Christmas trees in the streets, and they said “no.” So if Muslims are okay with that, whose feelings are we hurting here? It’s likely it’s no one’s.
In fact. Europe is a continent whose culture and even political culture is rooted in the tenets of Christianity. We are told that Europe was also influenced by Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, and that’s true, but, in terms of scale, this influence can in no way compare to the importance that Christian moral values, and the laws based on them, held for many centuries.
So if Europe is now cutting itself off from its roots, it raises the question of whether this is motivated by political correctness or something else. That’s the question we, the people who lived through religious persecution in the USSR, ask. Back then it was also supposedly done in the name of human rights and liberties and a better tomorrow. But it was only the believers who the state had pressured up until perestroika. The capitalists, the bourgeoisie, the rich land owners – Soviet leaders stopped fighting them all and even the Soviet economy half-resembled a market economy, not to mention the New Economic Policy of the 1920s, but they fought the Church to the very end. There is no understanding why that was.
So we’re very wary when, under the guise of political correctness and universal rights and liberties, we glimpse signs of discrimination against the people who want to be open about their Christian convictions.
Russia’s model of multi-ethnicism works better than Western multiculturalism.
Russia is a multi-ethnic country, but the idea of multiculturalism has never been promoted, not even back in the USSR. It was declared that we would have a new national identity as Soviet people, but everyone knew that Turkmens would stay Turkmens, Tajiks would stay Tajiks, Uzbeks would stay Uzbeks, Russians would stay Russians, and Jews would stay Jews.
This approach, which allows people to express their ethnic and religious identity freely, has especially flourished recently, in modern Russia. We’re not talking about any mixture or cocktail – we say that every person should stay who they are. But we all live in the same country, so all of us must observe the law and be nice to each other. And policies regarding this have to be aimed, not at erasing the lines between cultures and religions and making one cocktail out of it, but at ensuring support, rights and liberties are given to all – to each their own – so that a person of any faith can feel at home in their country, not among strangers. Read the rest of this interview at Mercator.net