While there has always been a healthyrndose of skepticism toward such gnosticismrnby Americans of common sense,rnand by Protestants of the more Calvinisticrnvariety, those times are gone. There isrnmuch less common sense these days, andrnmost of the Calvinists have forgottenrnthat sin ever existed. So we have less restraintrnthan ever against the deformedrnsouls of what some refer to as thern”knowledge class.” Thev know there is arnproblem within themselves so they can’trnstand to have cultures and societies existrnwhich define their cultural destinies inrnspiritual terms. Not that all Orthodox arernperfectly spiritual. It’s what Orthodoxyrnsymbolizes that is the threat—somethingrnmystical that is beyond the grasp of thernlibidinous power-mongers who passrnthemselves off as enlightened. In thernEast, religious people are seen as crazy.rnThey still live in the woods and eat barkrnin places like Mount Athos and in thernforests of Russia. The leaders of thoserncountries take counsel from “holy fools.”rnYou can’t control people like that, andrnyou can’t reason with them. Better tornwipe them out, or at the very least, keeprnthem at bay by supplying your proxiesrnwith arms and propaganda. Don’t believernfor one minute that our leaders carernabout the Croats. They are unitingrnagainst a common enemy, and it’s therntruth.rn—Owen JonesrnPresident, Rose Hill CollegernAiken, SCrnI have read with interest James Jatras’srnarticle “Pravoslavophobia.” Very rarelyrndo we have the opportunity to read orrnhear the view of the “significant other”rnof the European, or Christian world.rnOne of the historical events that setrnWestern Christianity against EasternrnChristendom was the Fourth Crusade.rnAs the West likes to argue, if we sackedrnand destroyed, it was not because wernwere aggressive, destructive, conniving,rnand devious, but because the “other”rnhad it coming. Philosophically, the Westrncan get away with this specious argument,rnfor if history is considered a part ofrndivine occurrence, it is the “Higher power”rnthat is in charge.rnFor the Orthodox, history is manmade;rnit has nothing to do with God.rnKnowledge is a human, biological viewingrnof reality (of our existence here onrnearth). The subject of knowledge isrnman, his existence and experience in thisrnworld. Recognition of the divine is notrnobtained through scientific knowledge.rnComprehension of the divine is attainedrnthrough our spiritual side. This is whyrnthe Orthodox are not antagonistic to science.rnWe accept it as knowledge of thernworld, but it is not proof of God’s existencernor His nonexistence. Only Westernrnthought could culminate in Hegel’srnproclamation that “God is dead.” Forrnthe Orthodox it was not a novelty, for wernnever looked for Him on earth.rnThese two philosophical strains stemrnfrom antiquity, from Aristotle, in therncase of Western thought, and Plato, inrnthe case of Eastern thought. Orthodoxyrnhas its roots in the Platonic ideas of thernAcademy, and they flourished for a thousandrnyears in the Byzantine world. Today,rnwe hardly acknowledge it.rnEurope has been destroying and persecutingrntwo civilizations, while favoringrnand accepting the third. The Jewish andrnOrthodox civilizations are consistentlyrnbeing ostracized, while Europe is beingrnIslamized. It is a paradox of our times,rnthat we find the European civilizationrncutting its own limb off and replacingrnit with a foreign one. Without its Easternrnlimb, Europe will not be able to walkrnor run, nor will Europe’s descendants.rnWestern civilization has many thingsrnto be proud of, but let us not forget thatrnit also gave birth to the Crusades, thernconquests of the Americas, and the destructionrnof many native peoples andrncultures. At home, it brought the Inquisition,rnthe religious wars, only to declarernGod dead in the end. Atheism, communism,rnand fascism are all Western creations,rnand unsolicited exports.rnThey seem to be successful exports,rnbecause they fell upon ground that hadrnlost its connection with the past, throughrnwars, invasions, and constant turmoil.rnStill, the Byzantine thought and thernOrthodox faith exist. It would be worthwhilernto rediscover them, so that ourrncivilization could be whole again.rn—Dusica Savic BenghiatrnPacific Palisades, CArnOn Judicial TyrannyrnReading Thomas Fleming’s articlern(“Here Come the Judge,” February) onrnthe federal takeover of schools in Rockford,rnIllinois, I was reminded of what thernFrench have long said: “The more thingsrnchange, the more they remain thernsame.”rnI lived in Lake County, Indiana, forrnthe hrst 30 years of my life. The largestrncity in Lake County is Gary, and when Irnwas growing up in the area in the I940’srnand 50’s it was widely known that Garyrnhad the largest black population perrncapita of any city in the world outside ofrnAfrica. Gary is now considered the mostrnsegregated city in the United States. So,rnwhat’s new? Gary was the most segregatedrncity in the United States 40 years ago.rnIts population has slipped from 180,000rnto around 120,000. It seems that the onlyrnrats that haven’t jumped ship are thernones that can’t get to the rail.rnI moved to Stockton, California, inrnthe late 60’s. In 1976 a Mexican judge issuedrnan order requiring forced bussing inrnthe Stockton Unified School Districtrn(SUSD). At the time of the order, thernracial mix of the SUSD was 60 percentrnwhite students. When bussing was finallyrnended in 1993, the white student populationrnof SUSD had slipped to 20 percent.rnIt finally dawned on the judge thatrnthere was nothing to be gained in bussingrnHmong, Laotian, and Vietnamese studentsrnacross town to interact with Mexicanrnand black students, since the majorityrnhad become the minority and thernminorities were now majorities. Nowrnthat the experiment is over, Stockton,rnwhich was known as “Fat City” in thernmovie of the same name, is the Gary,rnIndiana, of the West Coast.rn—Sam ReedrnLodi, CArnOn Secularizing the FaithrnAs always. Rabbi Jacob Neusner’s Februaryrnarticle (“Letter From Inner Israel:rnChristmas, That Winter Festival”) isrnof interest to this hard-shell, pre-VaticanrnII Roman Catholic. The attempts tornsecularize the synagogues that RabbirnNeusner discusses could have come fromrna page out of Call to Action and fromrnvarious dissenting groups intent on “desacralizing”rnthe parishes and especiallyrnthe worship of the Catholic Church.rnMaybe there’s a manual on this out therernsomewhere. I suspect we are only followingrnthe route pioneered by the oncemightyrn”mainline” Protestant denominationsrn—now reduced to the virtualrnstatus of sects—over the past 60 years.rnOne has to laugh at the idea of synagoguesrnappointing “program directorsrn[who would] organize all kinds of activi-rnM AY 1997/5rnrnrn