Monday, June 29, 2015

Does America Need Romanides?

Modern history, should any American have any sort of hazy recollection of it, generally tends to be taught as propaganda for progressives. In other words, you have a particular event or person in history, and the moral delivered from the supposedly non-moral pulpit of the classroom is that this person/event did or did not conform to the great movement forward. In many cases there is an initial sanctioning followed by a rejection- people can be praised for being more progressive than their predecessors, but they must, of course, be denigrated for being less progressive than their successors.

The side effect of this false moral interpolation is that the average American cannot articulate a reasonable defense against the move from that which that grew up accustomed to, to the next mile marker on the progressive road to hell.

Romanides was an Orthodox priest who obviously has a different view.

The conclusions, I believe, seem clear. The underlying forces which clashed on the battlefield were not the Decretals, canon law, and the Filioque, but Romans and Franks. The Franks used church structure and dogma in order to maintain their birthright, to hold the Roman nation in "just subjection." The Romans also used church structure and dogma to fight back for their own freedom from oppression and for their independence.

Both sides used the most convenient weapons at hand. Thus, the same canonical and decretal arguments are to be found now on one side, now on the other, according to the current offensive and defensive needs of each nation. The Filioque, however, became a permanent feature of conflict between East Romans and Franks with the West Romans attempting to side with the East Romans.

From all that has been pointed out, it should be evident that there are strong indication that Roman historical terms are much closer to the reality of the schism than is Frankish terminology. The first is consistent with its own past, whereas the second is a deliberate provocation of a break with the past.

Yes, most Americans will just go to sleep again, just like they did the when they were first taught. Additionally, someone with clear flair for writing for Americans probably ought to re-write Romanides for American audiences. But assuming Americans could be taught a bit of Romanides, it could provide containment for the progressive disease. The new mile marker on the road to hell could be rejected- more importantly still, we could get of the road.

I would also think this a uniquely helpful viewpoint for Americans due precisely to our amnesiac qualities. To be fair, our tendency towards amnesia arose, not out of stupidity, but for the fact that for much of the nation's history, you could move away and start anew, rather than find yourself with the constant need to engaged or re-engage a culture you had begun to find questionable. So one's history could have a gap- most folks had a bible and maybe some access to ancient texts, and then whatever recent history one's family had upon coming hither from yon.

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