Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Thursday, August 12, 2010

DADT & Military Chaplains

The harm to military religious liberty posed by the possible dismantling of the so-called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy is only recently starting to get the kind of attention it needs. If the military is forced to normalize homosexual conduct, service members’ religious beliefs that such conduct is immoral and harmful will likely be a casualty of the political push to radically alter military personnel policy. This likelihood is demonstrated by the nationwide assaults on religious belief in the civilian world and by new evidence from an active-duty chaplain that is being revealed for the first time here.

Not surprisingly, those who have fought the hardest to protect service members’ religious liberty against the normalized homosexual behavior are the same men who have given decades of their lives to the service of that liberty: chaplains. In April, 41 veteran chaplains—men who have ministered to our troops in battlegrounds ranging from Vietnam to Iraq to Afghanistan—signed a letter outlining the harm to religious liberty. These include censorship of sermons, counseling, and ethical teaching; forced changes to religious services and programs; and the marginalization of chaplains and service members with orthodox religious beliefs. A major vehicle for these harms, they warned, would be discrimination complaints, which would effectively end chaplains’ careers and thus censor their ministry.

And now new evidence has come to light that these concerns are true. Read more...

Friday, August 6, 2010

From an interview with Archpriest Artemy Vladimirov.

- You have touched upon the subject of computer games. It is natural for children to want to play games. Should this involvement in computer games be considered an illness?

- In our times, we are witnessing the following phenomenon: mankind, having exhausted its strength, has figured out new ways and methods of child education, of informing the children and introducing some manner of intellectual habit through computers. At the same time, we are becoming convinced that these inventions do not in the least justify themselves in obtaining the goal. Children are drowning in the quagmire of computer games. There is danger not only to their spiritual well-being, but also to their mental and physical health. They are becoming invalids before they have even had the chance to fully unfold their extraordinary powers. I sometimes think about how our country is not so technologically equipped (thank God), as other countries; yet every year more and more children are turning into computer Monte Christos — imprisoned voluntarily in the Chateau d'Iff of their own apartments. Their souls no longer see the living world. “The world holds no interest, and bread is not sweet.”

We are also witnesses to the terrible loss which children are inflicting upon themselves — motionless and dehydrated, they truly become patients. Certain modern psychologists kindly remind us that in 19th century Russia schizophrenia was called stony insensibility — the incapability of sharply perceiving things in the world. A person who is free from computer sickness can say together with Pushkin, “I am born to think and to suffer.”

A child who is, to the contrary, entangled in the virtual tentacles of the octopus of computer games, really does appear bloodless in the eyes of a trained specialist. He looses interest in living life, all his reactions are dulled, and he seeks no friendship with his peers. He becomes Kay of Han Christian Anderson's fairy tale, and finds himself in the land of icy hearts, an eternal captive of the Snow Queen, playing his melancholy game of Hermann Hesse's computer beads, repeating together with the story's famous heroine the words, “Freedom or no freedom, it's all the same.” He has lost the will to live. He no longer dreams about the future, he has fallen into a slavery of the most horrendous kind — computer instincts. His soul becomes filled ever more each day with aggression, pride, and fornication. All this is made even worse by the fact that it is all coming about in a hidden way — in the form of computer games.