Wednesday, April 18, 2012

So I ran into an honest-to-God Orthodox monarchist on facebook?!

While looking at a friend's comments on stuff on the Book of Faces, somebody earnestly suggested monarchy as the Orthodox alternative to world-denying ideologies and was quite adamant that it was the only possible Orthodox response. I thought people like that only existed in comic books, though I do describe myself as a "reactionary theocrat". But this doesn't mean I believe we ought to replace our democratically elected government with a theocracy (who would go on top? besides God, obviously), but rather that God is our only king and everything else is just a bunch of guys with guns. Not that there's anything wrong with guys with guns, I'm sure some of my favorite people are guys with guns and under certain circumstances I, too, might be a guy with a gun. "Render unto guys with guns...". I don't suffer any illusions, though, that any government is anything but a concession in a post-lapsarian world. My political view, then, isn't a prescription for government, but rather a stance on government.

Anyway, I'm not quite sure what to do with a belief such as that man's, because it seems, on its face, to be blatantly ahistorical and theologically suspect. However, you still have centuries of Roman rule to deal with and a bit less time of Russian rule to cope with, as plenty of people saw the Church as being married to the State in some way and the Emperor or Tsar as some sort of bastion of Holy Orthodoxy put there by God or something like that. You also have polemicists responding to the Bolsheviks in the early 20th century, often with some arguments copped from reactionaries responding to the French Revolution (mind you, I'm a big fan of reactionaries, especially French ones). So I'm inclined to just wave my hand and laugh it off. Why bother thinking too much? That's my response to many forms of libertarianism, too, by the way: not worth the effort of engaging.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Going back to the Motherland.

So I finally made a decision about what stats PhD program I will attend. I had it down to two rather good choices: one in Pennsylvania and one in Iowa. They were both about equal in terms of research fit and prestige. The one in Pennsylvania had a church, too, while the one in Iowa was close to my family and easier to travel to and from the places I need to travel to. In the end, the one in Iowa won out. There's a Greek church 30 miles away, so that's feasible. It's an easy half hour.

Anyway, I'm listening to Sretensky Monastery Choir's Pascha CD a lot this week because of Pascha.