Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Russian ‘Invasion’ of the South

In a development thæt will surely give Russia-hating neo-cons like Fox News’s Megyn Kelly and þose (those) of like mind even more reasons to hate the South, it seems that more and more Souðrons are embracing Russian Orthodox Christianity.  The Eastern American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Of Russia has produced a short movie, Orthodox in Dixie (about 40 minutes long), documenting some of the why’s and wherefore’s of this movement within the South (South Carolina in particular).

This should not come as too great a surprise.  Stark Young, in his essay ‘Not in Memoriam, but in Defense’, wrote that ‘the South belongs to [certain qualities]’, not they to it (I’ll Take My Stand, LSU Press, 2006 [1930], p. 336).  In theological terms, this means that the South, despite the layers of dirt and grit and grime that have caked upon her soul because of the Great Schism and the Reformation, in some larger measure than is true of other countries still belongs to Christ God and His Church rather than to the world.  She has sadly loosened her grasp since the War in her desire for Mammon, yet still she clings to her God and Master. 

What is true of the South is all the more true as it regards Russia, the Third Rome, who inherited the role of protector of the world’s Christians after the fall of Constantinople (the Second Rome or New Rome) to the Turks in 1453.  The Russian Church thus being at the center of worldwide Christianity, and by virtue of this counting among her sheep peoples of numerous countries and languages, the South should not be ashamed in any wise to call the Russian Orthodox Church her spiritual home, her momma.  Indeed, from the foregoing it is natural that she should consider her such.

But whether our teachers and guides are present-day Russians or pre-Schism, pre-Conquest Englishmen like St Hilda or St Cuthbert, what is important is for Dixie to return to the original, unblemished Faith of Christ and His Apostles, the Faith proclaimed by His Holy Orthodox Church, His one true Body in the world.  Therein, and only therein, lies our salvation, our joy, and the fulfilment of the gifts Southerners have been given individually and together as a country by God the Holy Spirit.

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