Monday, 22 February 2010

God’s place in a humanist society (8) [Locul lui Dumnezeu într-o societate umanistă]

What I had in mind when I started this series was to try my best to describe how an ordered (for how long though?!) and rather amoral society (like Britain – but other countries could fit the description as well) functions.

And things work as long as the Nanny State manages to provide rules (laws, instructions, regulations, prescriptions) for most spheres of human life, so that people could be told what is good and bad, and be spared from the effort of judging by themselves.

If it’s not expressly illegal/forbidden, it means it’s not bad/immoral – this is the mindset of most Brits, the same as that shared by millions of people from the contemporary supposedly civilised world.

This is why one can see in the UK little announcemens or large billboards where you are given advice, interdictions and recommendations. Nowhere else is this visible than in the means of public transport.

Messages like these are being poked into your eyes because godless people are more and more less able to understand why something is (more or less strictly) forbidden, and something else is, on the contrary – recommendend.

As long as God’s voice in ourselves (our consciousness) has been suppressed ever since early childhood, a human being becomes a sort of Pavlov’s dog, conditioned to behave ethically only by interdictions and/or sanctions, plus immediate rewards, accessible like those on a supermarket shelves.

This is precisely why these poor civilised Brits, who have thown the Lord away from their hearts, now need a Big Brother, to constantly tell them what to do and what not to do, what is permitted and what is forbidden...

Or just to assure them that they are being watched. And that being watched is by no means an intrusion, an infringement of their rights, but some kind of a blessing. They are watched for their own good – so they are told.

These people believe that God’s presence in their consciousness is a hard thing to bear, yet inherently they need assurances – they fear for their lousy animalic lives, for the safety of their petty ambitions, for the comfort of satisfying their hedonistic aspirations...

Obviously, one doesn’t need God for these, thus Big Brother eventually becomes a necessity for any godless society. Something (anything but God!) must keep the society working.

The absolute madness of mass abortions, sexual education, gay rights (privileges, in fact), binge drinking, the global warming hysteria, consumerism – all these need to take place under watchful eyes.

These mad people rejected the eyes of the Supreme Being (The Holy Trinity), and replaced them with the look of an amorphous entity, this politically correct Big Brother.

All these atheists who want ‘to seize the day’ for their vain delights are foolishly gambling it all on ‘here and now’, on this absurd assumption that there is no God, there is no afterlife, no Heaven or Hell, no absolute Truth, thus no responsibility.

I am sure that they just say I’m just another madman, but I dare saying to them: Beware! This gentle and apparently benevolent Big Brother is just a forerunner of the Antichrist!

I don’t fear any of their labels, as we were warned centuries ago, by the Holy Fathers of the Lords’s only One Church, that such times will come, when the world will be so full of mad people, who will call madman enyone who refuses to join them in their insanity.

[For all the episodes of this series, and all the posts on this blog go to/Pentru toate episoadele din această serie şi toate postările de pe acest blog mergi la: Contents/Cuprins]


Gregor said...

Entirely agree Bogdan. It is a sad state of affairs.


I do sometimes wonder if we Orthodox Christians need to do more.

Even in our own countries (Greece and Romania)the evil of abortion is not to my knowledge brought up much by our clergy there.

Of course our Holy people pray for an end to this shedding of innocent blood. This is essential of course, but maybe Orthodox laity also need to be more active and aware.

Then there is war. Isn't war a horrible thing? Especially now when we have incendiary bombs, nuclear weapons and chemical weapons. It might seem an obvious thing to say, but why is it that our mainstream society doesn't hold this view?

Whilst I keep yourself and Georgiana in my prayers, I have more ambivalent feelings about our Brit print media and its death spiral.

If you were to say 'human life is sacred' most Brit journalists would probably look at you as if you were mad.

Britain is going to change I think. Maybe for the worse. The apathy and open mouthed respect my compatriots have for Big Brother is disturbing.

However, we Orthodox cannot just shake our heads but have to try to speak out more. We'll see how things will go. I feel encouraged that there are larger numbers of Romanians and Russians living in our country. Maybe we will be able to make a difference. Of course we have to pray first and foremost, but if things do go badly and we have not acted in any way, then we will only have ourselves to blame.

MunteanUK said...

@ Gregor [rather off-topic]

Dear friend,

Of course, I agree that we all, Orthodox believers from around the world, should speak more on behalf of the millions of unborn humans slaughtered every year!

Am I not trying to open people's eyes to this horrible reality as much as I can on this blog? Obviously, there's even more to be done, and we should never feel self-complacent!

However, I have brought up this issue in many other posts, and I find it to be 'off-topic' here - a series where I'm trying to describe what human societies can become without God.

You're most welcome to leave comments to the posts in this series: [EN] Grave and unpleasant readings / [RO] Lecturi grave şi neplăcute

It's pretty clear that abortions are a symptom of a putrid society where people are living without the Lord. But humans must have gone through a long 'atheisation' process before no longer considering 'sacred' the life of the unborn.


You're not the first reader trying to draw my attention to the fact that there are 'other evils' in this world apart from abortions, giving wars as an example.

I beg to differ. I don't see war as being more appalling than mass abortions. Any war is a 'due punishment' that the Lord allows upon us. It is not Him the One Who 'causes' wars, but He can prevent them anytime!

Sometimes He does, sometimes He doesn't - He surely knows why. Every Divine Liturgy we ask for Him to grant us 'peaceful times', but let's face it: we don't deserve peace!

We have too many sins, and if major wars (involving European countries) have been avoided for the past 50-60 years it was by no means because we became more 'virtuous'.

On the contrary, Europe is soaking with sins & blasphemy (read St Nicholas Velimirovich on this!), yet the Lord keeps granting us peace. For the time being - no one knows how much longer peace will last.

I admit that nuclear, chemical, incendiary bombs are awful, however, I see no point in 'protesting' agaist them. Why don't we protest against our sins?

Why shouldn't we say (something that you may not like, accusing me that I'm quoting the pro-gun lobby in the USA): it is not bombs that kill people. People kill people!

And why do people kill? Because life is no longer 'sacred' for them!

As long as people find it acceptable or turn a blind eye to murdering people in wombs, how do you thing they could genuinely care about incendiary bombs burning children in Gaza?

Denuclearization, the reduction of arsenals, demilitarization, the interdiction of some types of weapons... that's sheer hypocrisy to me!

No matter if 99% countries sign such treaties, it's enough to have 1-2 big arms producers (US, Russia, France, UK) not willing to 'sign'.

Or if they do sign some kind of treaty, who could ever be so naive to believe that those forbidden weapons are not longer being produced in secret?

MunteanUK said...

@ Gregor [hopefully on topic]

The way I see it (and the way you describe things), the greatest tragedy is not that someone (Big Brother) would be desperately trying to 'impose' something on the Brits.

What's really dreadful is the fact that the 'sheeple' (as you call them) are biting the bullet. Both those who are 'on drugs' (addicted to the celebrity culture, to hedonism, consumerism etc) and those who consider themselves the 'intelligentsia' seem to agree with Big Brother's arguments.


It's good for you to be optimistic, but I'm not sharing your view that something could change for the better - in the UK or anywhere else in the so-called 'civilised world'!

Larger numbers of Romanians, Russians, Greeks etc are not very likely to 'count' anytime soon. Your country has been absorbing millions of immigrants, but how has this changed Britain?

Not all Romanians, nor all Russians care about their Orthodox faith, and I simply can't imagine them being 'models' for the hedonist Brits.

Every now & then, in particular circumstances, conversions can still occur, and they will probably happen till the end of the world. But do you imagine 'significant' changes?

I know there are entire parishes which could follow they minister to Orthodoxy, but what are these little groups of people made of? Very few, mostly old, Anglican, Episcopalian believers...


There's no doubt that your good Orthodox heart wants to 'speak out more', to share to the world the beauty of Orthodoxy, to show to people where they are wrong. And to a certain extent, this is what I am also doing - just by keeping this blog.

The big problem is that it's almost impossible to talk to people who have been brainwashed by Big Brother for the past decades.

Such people feel 'aggressed' anytime you mention the word 'God' to them, and they can't stand anyone talking to them about 'sins'.

They only feel at ease when someone speaks of the new age bullshit, about the 'brotherhood of all religions' etc.

I'm afraid you simply can't talk to this kind of people. And it's not advisable to try, unless you are spiritually strong, and a Spiritual Father expressly gave you a blessing for that.

Remember Christ's words: "Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces."


Please read carefully my post, and tell me if the way I described such people is correct or not!

Note these for instance:

- “If it’s not expressly illegal/forbidden, it means it’s not bad/immoral” – this is the mindset of most Brits

- godless people are more and more less able to understand why something is (more or less strictly) forbidden

- a human being becomes a sort of Pavlov’s dog, conditioned to behave ethically only by interdictions and/or sanctions

- these poor civilised Brits, who have thown the Lord away from their hearts, now need a Big Brother

- These people believe that God’s presence in their consciousness is a hard thing to bear, yet inherently they need assurances

As always, I'm looking forward for more comments of yours!

Gregor said...

Dear Bogdan

I am afraid that my last message was not very well constructed. My point was that we are living in a mad world. Abortion and warfare may seem different issues than ‘Big Brother’ but my point was that they are all part of the same insane package. I don’t see Big Brother as something like a parasite that lives on a healthy organism: rather it is a part of an unhealthy organism: the whole ‘mainstream political’ culture.

Of course I know that you write frequently about the evils of killing unborn children. But my point was that we Brit Orthodox need to announce the truth at the world: that human life not money is sacred. It is only this way that we can destroy the ills that include Big Brother.

However, I can’t agree with you about war. I would gladly spend hours campaigning against landmines/ cluster bombs/ white phosphorus even if I knew it wouldn’t save a single life.

I do not mind your quoting the American gun lobby; in fact I support hand gun ownership. But as for war: I think we will be judged on what our governments do. Not by how many innocents they kill but how much we do to stop them.

'Larger numbers of Romanians, Russians, Greeks etc are not very likely to 'count' anytime soon. Your country has been absorbing millions of immigrants, but how has this changed Britain?'

But if we look at Ancient Rome, look at how a few Hebrew Christians managed to change their culture with the truth?

'The big problem is that it's almost impossible to talk to people who have been brainwashed by Big Brother for the past decades.

Such people feel 'aggressed' anytime you mention the word 'God' to them, and they can't stand anyone talking to them about 'sins'.

They only feel at ease when someone speaks of the new age bullshit, about the 'brotherhood of all religions' etc.'

Sadly that is very true Bogdan. But I wonder how 'deep' this is? Look at how much the Anglicans have done to be 'ecumenical' even to non-Christians? Their churches are empty. People will still thirst for the truth even if they don't consciously know what it is.

'I'm afraid you simply can't talk to this kind of people. And it's not advisable to try, unless you are spiritually strong, and a Spiritual Father expressly gave you a blessing for that.'

You are probably right to say this Bogdan. Being honest I'm not sure how I'd start. But still, Pagan Rome was a lot darker than modern Britain.

As for your last points, I think you accurately describe the type of people THAT BIG BROTHER WANTS TO MAKE. But Christ loves all people and gives grace to sinners. I know this from personal experience. My 'Orthodox heart' isn't as 'good' as it should be. But you are right; maybe it is part of being a neophyte that one wants to shout the truth...

Always great to discuss these things

MunteanUK said...

My dear Gregor (part one),

1) There's no doubt that all these worrisome & tragic issues (war, abortion, surveillance) are interconnected and they all reflect what our world has become.

I only wanted to 'separate' them a bit for the sake of our little debate here. Don't you share my view that it's better to deal with one topic at a time?

Anyway, I guess you are like me - full of ideas, graphomaniac - and therefore find it difficult to stick to one subject :-)


2) I liked your idea that this Big Brother is a symtom of the spiritual disease that has been affecting people (for centuries I'd say!).

All the madness that has been unleashed over Britain for the past 10-20 years didn't come out of the blue.


3) The fact that Americans own so many personal guns (not only handguns but even assault rifles) makes it a bit more difficult for the New World Order artisans to subdue them.

I admire Americans for that, and I met some 'decent people' (a farmer, a banker, a driver) from Iowa who all had guns. However, in case they heard a gun shot outside their home, all of them said the first thing would do was to call 911.

They weren't likely to turn into 'cowboys' and take 'justice' in their hands - that's a myth of the anti-gun lobby, which are the same (mostly Democrats) supporting abortion, experiments on human embryos, gay marriage etc.

These gun owners would use their weapons only against someone busting into their houses, be them robbers or... a bullish government.


4) The issue of bearing witness of Christ's message in this atheist & hedonist world around is very sensitive. No matter how good our intentions are, our efforts can often be counterproductive.

There are many (fairly decent) Baptists, Mormons, Pentecostals or (rather annoying) Jehova's Witness 'assaulting' people with what they think is Christ's message.

Yet we can very often see which are the results of their intensive preachings. They replace a materialistic idol with a supposedly 'true' one... But that's still an idol, it's not Christ-Our Lord, the True One we are receiving in the Holy Eucharist.

It's normal to want to 'spread the message', to have a healthy missionary zeal, don't worry about being 'strange'!

But what I advise you (from personal experience) is to take the blessing of your Spiritual Father for everything you do.

MunteanUK said...

My dear Gregor (part two),

5) I must say I liked image of the few Hebrew Christians who would eventually change the entire destiny of Pagan Rome.

Nevertheless, I feel compelled to amend a bit your idealistic image, when you dream of a few Orthodox believers form Eastern Europe who could change for the better the destinies of more & more Britons.

I assume you're not going as far as to believe that anyone could change the destiny of your secular country!

The big problem with your comparison is that it igonres the fact that Rome was converted because of the Holy Spirit's work, not because of a bunch of frightened immigrants from Judeea.

The first Christians lived their faith at an infinitely higher intensity than we do today. The Holy Ghost was with them always, and they also had Christ within them, as they took Holy Communion at least every week and sometimes even every day!

They followed all the commandments & advices given by the Holy Apostles, therefore this gave them a great strength! They didn't have all the books, all the knowledge, all the experience which the Church has gathered for over 19 centuries, but they were so much closer to Christ than we are today!

That's why they could make significant differences within their respective societies, whilst we - today's Orthodox believers - are so weak!

And let me not judge my fellow men, let me just talk about myself! I 'know' so many things that the first Christians didn't know, I am 'richer' than they were, as the entire experience of over 19 centuries of Orthodox Christianity ia actually 'at hand' for me.

But while they could spend nights after nights in prayer, I can barely concentrate for my morning and evening prayers! They lived in appalling conditions compared to today's standards of living, yet they were so much stronger than I, the one who enjoys the comfort of modernity (running water, heating, public transport, internet, a refrigerator etc).

Oh, my dear friend, I suffer so little compared to our Holy Fathers and early Christians, yet I complain so much!

I know so many things compared to them, who presumably lived in 'ignorance', but they were obviously wiser than the stupid I!

I could go to a Divine Liturgy every day, yet I don't actually go more often than every Sunday or on some other Holy Days!

I talk so much about love, I've read so many advices about that, yet I love so little! I may consider myself good at the 'theory' of love, but when it comes to putting into practice what I know, I'm less than a mediocre student!


6) Of course, there surely must be many better Christians than myself (who often remain unseen by us) but I find it very hard to believe that today's Christians could make the miracles that helped the conversion of ancient Rome!

Maybe even my being skeptical about the miracles you imagine could happen in Britain proves my weakness of faith :-(


7) What I mean is that I don't believe in significant changes affecting masses of people. Other than that, of course that individual conversions are possible!

You are an example, and Dionysios from East Sussex is another, as it can be see here: An atheist reborn in the Orthodox Church [Un ateu renăscut în Biserica Ortodoxă] – (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7)

As much as you dream of an Orthodox Scotland (given the roots of Christianity in your country), he dreams of an Orthodox England.

Forgive my frank assessment(and how I wish it would be a wrong one!) but I don't believe in the revival of Orthodox Christianity in the UK, no matter how sure I am that the Lord will bring to Him dozens, hundreds (thousands maybe) of people from all faiths who are truly thirsty for the Truth!


8) What we should do is keep praying for everyone, for the unworthy ourselves & for those who don't know Him, putting our confidence in His mercy, and not become despondent when we acknowledge our weakness of faith!

Anonymous said...

I used to ask myself: what is it with these people and the Big Brother ? It seemed to me as everyone saw Big Brothers everywhere.

And let's assume there is indeed a "Big Brother". Is it a bad thing ? Does it really have to be an orwellian Big Brother ?
I see it more as a big brother (no capital letters). Let's see what he has to say (according to the photos you posted):

"Everyone should be able to work and travel without the fear of violent or anti-social abuse or attacks..."

Well ain't that right ? Wouldn't we all want to live without fear ?


"If you feel one of our staff has given exceptional service it's good to know."

That's common sense. Wouldn't everyone want to live in a society that repays one's efforts ? So that you know for sure your hard work is appreciated and well repaid ? (which is exactly the opposite of what usually happens in my own country)

"excess charge if you're caught without a valid ticket"

Well, public transportation isn't something that comes out of nowhere. There is effort spent in making it possible and we should all bring our contribution to make it possible.

So far so good. I like this big brother. I like order and I would like to live in an ordered society. I like it when things fit together as it happens in a clock or a well written software program, which actually does what you expected it to do. Sure, there are "bugs", there always will be, but we try to do our best in correcting those bugs.

Tick tack, tick tack...

But then, this otherwise very nice big brother of ours comes and says something like: "It's ok to have an abortion", or better still: "it's a good thing to have an abortion, think about the damage overpopulation does to our environment, think about GLOBAL WARMING !!!"...

Whoooe, wait a second big brother, what happened to you ? You used to say things that were of common sense, what is it with you and global warming, why are you trying to make us panic ?
I mean no offense but come on, who entitled you to TAKE CARE OF THE PLANET ?

And instead of a clear answer, the big brother comes with something like: "There is no God, there is no eternal life, there is no soul".

Now wait just a second, I see some horns growing. How can you say something like that ? There is no good willingness or good common sense in what you say.

How can you say that abortion is not wrong ? I mean I understand if you would try to find excuses to war. War has always been around. One society must protect itself, as the ancient wise men said: He who wants peace, prepare for war.

But how can you agree with the murder of my other unborn brothers ? It could have been me instead of them ? Would you have killed me just as easily ?

And how can you say there is no God ?
Were you in despair ? Because I could understand that, I myself find life so difficult sometimes that I feel like I lose faith in God; but I don't go around poisoning my other brothers with my despair.
And if you were not, how dare you say such things ?

And so, I think you are not my big brother after all, you are indeed a Big Brother, away with you.

P.S. Unfortunately, as you can see, I am not as bilingual as you are.

P.P.S. I have never been to the U.K.

MunteanUK said...

@ the above Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

I don't know who you are, nor if I'll ever know your identity (unless you choose to disclose it), yet I feel I must say THANK YOU for your contribution to my blog.

It's a real blessing granted by the Lord to me anytime people who share my views arrive on my website.

Anonymous said...

Not only a SMILE (as you said in other postings) can make someone happier but also a kind word.

Thank you for your kind words, I am happier now than I was earlier.

God bless you.

Anonymous said...

hm! am citit si eu ce scrie saccsiv (sau articolele la care face trimitere) despre ce se mai intampla prin uk ( cu familiile cu probleme care vor fi big brother-ite constant, sau ca vor primi 500 lire cei care "raporteaza". etc) si mi s-a parut ingrozitor. Mai rau mi s-a parut faptul ca la noi trebuie sa ....ajungem tot aici, dar mult mai repede.

MunteanUK said...

@ Anonymous (18 April 2010 00:23)

You may be right that Big Brother first began to invervene within supposedly 'disfunctional' families, so that, eventually, these absurd interventions could be extented to virtually ALL families.

The UK is the stage of an experiment that could one day be spread throughout the world.

God willing, I'll try to post a different episode, dealing expressly with Big Brother's intervention between children & parents.

Anonymous said...

Desigur ca urmează sa fie extinsă ideea la toate familiile, nu e greu de gasit un motiv pentru asta. Adică asta e şi intenţia lor, cu siguranţă. Dar de ce a fost aleasă uk pentru un astfel de "experiment"?
It is not just God willing, but He want to teach us something (e.g. to open our hearts for Him), even at the "last moment".
Doamne ajuta!
PS: engleza mea nu e prea grozava.

MunteanUK said...

@ Anonymous (18 April 2010 19:51)

The more you'll read this blog, and this series in particular (+ all the links I give), you'll understand why Britain and no other country is the stage for this experiment.

It's a combination of factors that simply makes this country the 'most suitable' these days.

Karl Marx would have liked to see the 'world revolution' starting in industrial Britain, yet it would eventually start in agricultural Russia.

However, Orwell's premonitions are quite close to reality in his own country :-(


It's always possible that some people would turn to Christ even in the least 'favourable' circumstances.

I am sure that some Brits will find Him, and quite a few have already become Orthodox.


My heterogeneous readership is made up of people who speak Romanian only + others of many nationalities who can only read my English posts.

Therefore, I prefer to stick to the 'official language' of a certain series, even when I'm answering to comments.

As for your English not being 'great'... I think it's good enough as long as you could make yourself understood by Scots and if you can understand what I'm writing here.

It will never improve, if you don't practice! Why wouldn't you use my blog as practice opportunity?

...especially since it's FREE? :-) If you wanted to practice abroad, you'd have to pay for the travel costs :-)

Anonymous said...

Ok. I'll try. Sometime
Thank tou for your thoughts.
I understand well enough what you are writing.
It takes some time to read everything you already wrote (to undestand about the
maybe I'll wait the week-end to do this.

MunteanUK said...

@ C.L.

Take your time to read, but don't postpone yor practice of English!

Any occasion (I mean: any of my blog posts in English) is a good starting point!

Moreover, you shouldn't be afraid: I'm not a teacher and I won't give you 'bad marks' :-)


As for understanding the UK or getting a broader picture of all the themes I refered to on my blog...

...well, I admit this must take a little while for anyone :-)

I've been working on this peculiar project of mine ('MunteanUK') since January 2008, therefore it's hard for anyone to understand it in a couple of days!