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Friday: Short and Stupid

Short post this am.

Last week, Syria massacred about 100 people in the town of Houla.  32 of the victims were children under the age of 10.  I can’t imagine what Assad thought these little kids were going to do.  Maybe they were a micro cell of Al Qaeda or something.  The massacre was horrible and evil.  Who wouldn’t want the bloodshed to stop, especially when directed at little kids?

Let me introduce you to the Russian Orthodox Church:

Opening an exhibition devoted to Syrian Christianity in a cathedral near the Kremlin, they commiserated with Russian priests and theologians about their shared anxiety: What would happen if Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, was forced from power?

It is clear by now that Russia’s government has dug in against outside intervention in Syria, its longtime partner and last firm foothold in the Middle East. Less well known is the position taken by the Russian Orthodox Church, which fears that Christian minorities, many of them Orthodox, will be swept away by a wave of Islamic fundamentalism unleashed by the Arab Spring.

In his warnings, Patriarch Kirill I invokes Bolshevik persecution still fresh in the Russian imagination, writing of “the carcasses of defiled churches still remaining in our country.”

This argument for supporting sitting leaders has reached a peak around Syria, whose minority population of Christians, about 10 percent, has been reluctant to join the Sunni Muslim opposition against Mr. Assad, fearing persecution at those same hands if he were to fall. If the church’s advocacy cannot be said to guide Russia’s policy, it is one of the factors that make compromise with the West so elusive, especially at a time of domestic political uncertainty for the Kremlin.

Yes, you read that right.  The Russian Orthodox Church doesn’t want to Russia to get involved because they see this as a religious war and if the Christians help the Sunnis, the Sunnis might turn around and persecute the Christians after the war ends.

“What??”, you say, “isn’t Christianity supposed to be into persecution? Turning the other cheek? Loving one’s neighbor?”  Not to the Russian Orthodox patriarchs.

Just one more reason to speed religion on its way to a distant memory.

Here’s another one.  This song’s called Eve, by Shelly Segal.  Pick it up at the 0.42 minute mark.