The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 Yvonne Lorenzo Archive
Russia’s New Cathedral
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeThanksLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

In the America—and the West—we are experiencing an iconoclastic movement, when Marxists proudly proclaim their hope to destroy not only sites of cultural heritage but also churches. As Guy Birchall wrote on an op-ed on RT.com:

A leading activist’s remarks that all “statues, murals, and stained glass windows of white Jesus, and his European mother” represent “gross white supremacy” shows that radical, racialised politics has no limit to its targets.

The problematic statues row has now taken a turn from political iconoclasm to literal iconoclasm with depictions of “white Jesus” next on the hit list for some of Black Lives Matter’s more hardcore proponents…

But even with the pace with which this movement has declared former icons persona non-grata, to jump from Teddy Roosevelt to Jesus is extraordinary. Were Mr. King’s demands to be met, and “all statues of the White European they claim to be Jesus” to come down, that would amount to the destruction of some of the finest works of art in existence.

Michelangelo’s Pieta, gone, Da Vinci’s Last Supper, erased, Raphael’s Transfiguration, wiped, Donatello’s Crucifix, torn down, and that would be just if we targeted artists who share their names with turtles who know karate. And the Sistine Chapel? Razed to the ground, along with the smashing of the stained-glass windows of virtually every church and cathedral in Europe.

This erasure of history would make the destruction of the Reformation and the dissolution of the monasteries in 16th-century England look like child’s play.

In contrast to this growing movement of destruction in the West, Russia has built a new Cathedral that Zero Hedge has curiously described as “Putin’s ‘Cathedral Of War’ Like ‘A Glimpse Of An Alien Civilization’” and perhaps the authors are correct—to the West building a cathedral is alien. Notre Dame burns; Russia builds new cathedrals.

I think Alexander Adams writing in an op-ed on RT understands partially but not entirely what the cathedral represents. He writes:

The magnificent six billion ruble building in a forest outside Moscow can accommodate 6,000 people and is an unashamed paean to Russian military might. Would any Western nation dare erect such a public spectacle?

This week saw the opening of Russia’s newest public buildings, the Main Cathedral of the Russian Armed Forces, Moscow. It is a grand statement of Vladimir Putin’s vision of what is most important in Russia: Russian Orthodox faith, national pride and the armed services. It was consecrated on June 14 and opened to the public on Monday, June 22.

The huge cathedral (which can accommodate up to 6,000 people and has six gilded domes) is dedicated to the glory and memory of the armed services, and cost around six billion rubles ($86 million). Steps are made of steel from captured Nazi tanks. The colour schemes of stained-glass windows replicate those of military decorations.

The architecture and interior design (with its extensive use of gilding and iconography) makes the cathedral very clearly Eastern Orthodox, with no concessions to modernist taste. The height of the cross on the main dome is 95 meters above ground level. It is located in a forest on the outskirts of Moscow and contains extensive symmetrical landscape features echoing the traditional layout of a church.

* * *

At a time when the West is becoming increasingly reticent about its military strength – holding fewer military parades and running recruitment drives emphasising humanitarian relief work rather than soldiering (with lackluster results) – President Putin has asserted that Russia’s military fights and dies for the glory of the nation.

It is inconceivable that a Western state would today erect a cathedral of the character of the Main Cathedral. In Western Europe, the size and prestige of the military is contracting, due to budgetary restrictions and ambivalence about the role of military service. In Russia – at least according to the government line – the military is still at the heart of the nation.

The architecture is Russian Revival, using aspects of the Romanov style and traditional Russian Orthodox ecclesiastical design. The opulent decoration and detailing marks a decisive rejection of USSR-era functionalism (The Stalin-era saw a brief, limited return to historical styles, which can still be seen today in the Moscow Metro). It is defiantly not postmodern (the prevailing international style) and this can be read as a sign of an attachment to the native Russian form of architecture, particularly in church design. Amalgams of tradition and innovations – such as LED lighting and areas of glass ceilings in the new cathedral – are dismissed as “pastiche” and “inauthentic.”

As an assertion of confidence and clarity, the project is impressive. How accurately the project reflects social, economic and geo-political conditions of contemporary Russia is for each of us – and history – to judge. Not having visited the cathedral, I am not in a position to say how well the building works architecturally. Whatever one’s personal taste, the cathedral will become a touchstone for how we view this era of Russian history (favorably or otherwise).

For those of us who are unlikely to visit Moscow, the reception of the cathedral reflects back at us the question “So what will the architecture of your society tell history?” In the West, we maintain our historic cathedrals and build art museums as new sites of sacred contemplation. Our most expensive buildings are airports and super bridges, which must eventually be replaced. Are we content to allow our message to posterity to be that of shopping malls and airports? [Emphasis added.]

One might as how can a Christian Cathedral pay tribute to the military that did the most to defeat Nazi Germany—isn’t war anti-ethical to Christianity? It is very true that the Bolsheviks martyred at least two million Russian Christians; and if they were not aided and abetted by Russians who were not Christian, perhaps Hitler might have never come to power; that is an unanswerable question. What is done is done. Yet what I think the message of the cathedral is to the West that has made Russia an enemy is to tell not only the Russian people but the West that they will fail in their quest to destroy Russia; and the Orthodox faith, the Christian faith with new power has returned to Russia and Russians will guard against their nation and their people’s destruction by what is clearly—in the most recent actions of the elites supporting the mob—an anti-Christian West. Russia is showing that not only it will defend its nation but it will defend its faith. To the godless rulers of the West, that is heresy. Americans may not agree with this, but Russia is very much aware it is viewed as an enemy, reviled and in a state of war, perhaps not as cold as the last one. Putin himself, after visiting the Cathedral, said, “For us, the citizens of Russia, the memory of the Great Patriotic War, of all those who fought and died, who brought victory closer, by all means, is absolutely sacred. It is always with us. It gives us the strength to serve our country.”

While so-called conservatives who in America haven’t conserved the right to women to use their own public restrooms bemoan the destruction of historical monuments, they have no problem with historical revisionism about World War II. Putin recently provided facts that contradict the false blame on the Russians starting the war in The National Interest, and also is available here on TheSaker.IS where he explained in part:

Stalin and his entourage, indeed, deserve many legitimate accusations. We remember the crimes committed by the regime against its own people and the horror of mass repressions. In other words, there are many things the Soviet leaders can be reproached for, but poor understanding of the nature of external threats is not one of them. They saw how attempts were made to leave the Soviet Union alone to deal with Germany and its allies. Bearing in mind this real threat, they sought to buy precious time needed to strengthen the country’s defences.

Nowadays, we hear lots of speculations and accusations against modern Russia in connection with the Non-Aggression Pact signed back then. Yes, Russia is the legal successor state to the USSR, and the Soviet period – with all its triumphs and tragedies – is an inalienable part of our thousand-year-long history. However, let me also remind you that the Soviet Union gave a legal and moral assessment of the so-called Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. The Supreme Soviet in its resolution of December 24, 1989 officially denounced the secret protocols as “an act of personal power” which in no way reflected “the will of the Soviet people who bear no responsibility for this collusion.”

Yet other states prefer to forget the agreements carrying signatures of the Nazis and Western politicians, not to mention giving legal or political assessments of such cooperation, including the silent acquiescence – or even direct abetment – of some European politicians in the barbarous plans of the Nazis. It will suffice to remember the cynical phrase said by Polish Ambassador to Germany J. Lipski during his conversation with Hitler on September 20, 1938: “…for solving the Jewish problem, we [the Poles] will build in his honour … a splendid monument in Warsaw.”

As has been discussed in this site and others—not the legacy media—in articles on Russian weaponry defending against a Western preemptive nuclear strike, Putin has recently responded in response to the development of American hypersonic missiles:

“Putin believes the world’s leading defence powers will eventually succeed in developing the ultra-fast weaponry. However, the President explained to Russia-1 TV, on Sunday, that Russia won’t be caught off-guard once that happens. At present, the country seems to be leading the field in this area.

“ ‘I think that we can pleasantly surprise our partners with the fact that when they get these weapons, we will have the means of combating them, with a high degree of probability,’ Putin forecast.”

Military analyst and historian Andrei Martyanov, who lives and works in America, recently discussed what this might mean on his blog:

“But what Putin was talking about in terms of a defense from future hyper-sonic weapons, most likely are not just S-500, which is stated to be able to detect, track and shoot down hyper-sonic weapons, especially ones which will be flying at Mach=5-6 (S-400 can do this already). He was most likely talking about defense against what could be defined as ‘strategic’ hyper-sonic gliders which fly at M=20+ and that is a completely different type of weapon and requires a different, from merely hard-kill by anti-missile, approach. Obviously, Russia deploys, now world-famous, A-235 Nudol, and this system becoming mobile is a serious step in countering pretty much any type of exoatmosperic or atmospheric high-velocity and maneuvering targets. But rule of thumb tells us that we, in addition to such missile systems as S-500 or Nudol, may expect appearance of something truly revolutionary which is still hidden behind curtain of secrecy in Russia. Lasers? Sure, we already know about them, like Peresvet, but something tells me some other physics could be involved. In the end, many still cannot get a full meaning of this demonstration which speaks volumes for professionals.”

The execrable, incompetent Victoria Nuland is in the news, making threats, but without the power to back them up. Obviously, she has no understanding of military capabilities or advanced technology. And how a disintegrating, broke, demoralized country, that as was described on LewRockwell.com today in “The Evil of Militarism” the following excellent observations:

“We certainly see in the United States a totally militarist nation – completely militarist and completely devoid of bravery. Chesterton describes this as decadence. But this inverse relationship, according to Chesterton, is as it must be…Once Christianity was removed from society, man’s clay was available to be molded by another. We saw that molding really take form with the dawn of the Progressive Era, but it strikes me that it fully gained steam after World War Two, with the creation of the permanent military and the birth and expansion of the spy state in all its forms and with all of its manipulations.”

Recently, American troops and engineering faced off in Syria against Russia’s as shown in this video.

Breaking news as I write this is that Trump is being Trump again: “Trump says US will ‘probably’ relocate some troops from Germany to Poland as ‘signal’ to Russia.” Perhaps this was in response to Russia’s chess move with Saudi Arabia, as this article from Oilprice.com discusses:

  • Russia is offering Mohammed bin Salman a slew of beneficial deals in order to lure Saudi Arabia away from the U.S. and into Putin’s sphere of influence.
  • Saudi Arabia is in a very weak position both economically and militarily and has become increasingly reliant on Russia due to the OPEC+ deal.
  • The next step for Russia will be to reduce the U.S. military footprint in Saudi Arabia and attempt to offer further protection for Riyadh.

The psychopaths in charge in the West appear intent on war with Russia; I don’t believe Russia wants war because it knows its cost, as the Immortal Regiment shows; but America only bombs other weaker nations. It has never felt the devastation to the extent Russia has throughout history. I don’t know what Washington’s victory would look like but I think the new cathedral is a symbol for Russia’s desire to defend themselves, no matter the cost. If only the fools in NATO, Washington, London, the EU—the whole rotten bunch—understood. Sadly, we ordinary people, the peacemakers, will be the ones—as usual—to suffer from their decisions.

Yvonne Lorenzo [send her email] makes her home in New England in a house full to bursting with books, including works on classical Greece and Russian history and literature, and has contributed to LewRockwell.com, Unz.com and to TheSaker.is. Her interests include gardening, mythology, ancient history, The Electric Universe, and classical music, especially the compositions of Handel, Mozart, Bach, Haydn, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Wagner and the Bel Canto repertoire. She is the author of he Spear of Odin Trilogy: Son of Thunder, The Cloak of Freya and the just published The Well of Mimir.

 
Hide 11 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. TGD says:

    Magnificent. When the Russians set their minds on doing something, the results can be awesome.

    But they left out of their displays something critical to their winning WW2: тушёнка (tushonka). This was a canned meat stew supplied to the Red Army in massive quantities by the USA, Canada and Brazil, which gave them the strength and energy to defeat the nazis.

  2. Russians can build all the cathedrals they want. The problem is they aren’t producing enough babies.

    More buildings and fewer babies mean shells of a dying civilization.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  3. I watched the dedication of the military cathedral on YouTube. Their military was smart, proud, and respectful in the service, officers anyone could be proud of. I was struck with pain by the realization that the Russians, who had endured their iconoclastic moment in the 70 years of Soviet occupation, were now building such a beautiful cathedral dedicated to the Russian military, while in the USA, mobs were tearing down historical monuments and defacing churches, entering its own period of iconoclasm. It is as if the two nations met at that moment briefly, as if at mid-floor at the point where two escalators going opposite directions cross, before moving on: one upward, the other down.

    • Thanks: Parsnipitous
    • Replies: @Yvonne Lorenzo
  4. antibeast says:

    USA’s new cathedral:

  5. @Priss Factor

    Russia produced 1,481,074 babies in 2019. This compares to the number of white babies America produces annually. How many babies is enough for Mr Priss Factor?

  6. @Weston Waroda

    Dear Weston,

    Yours is not only a most insightful comment, but summarizes in a handful of words what I feel and understand and am most sad is happening to my country, America; and I am saddened that our two countries are now not friends, because we could accomplish great things together if we worked to do good.

    May America and Americans somehow find the right path before it’s too late–and the West as well, as the destruction of Christian works has spread there.

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/political-theatre/european-blm/

    The Polish community in the Dutch town of Breda is in shock after Black Lives Matter activists vandalized a beloved shrine to the famous Our Lady of Częstochowa Icon, defacing the icon itself and spray painting “BLM” underneath it.

    Ironically, the self-styled racial justice activists targeted a beloved icon that is popularly and affectionately known as the “Black Madonna,” in a shrine erected in 1954 specifically in honor of the city’s 1944 liberation from German nazis at the hands of the Polish 1st Armored Division under General Stanisław Maczek, who was awarded honorary Dutch citizenship after the war.

    I didn’t add, for those who viewed the video in the article, that the Cathedral is also a museum of remembrance, a memorial not only to heroes but those martyred. Heart breaking, but very powerful, I think.

    And thank you for the video, which I hadn’t seen.

    All my best wishes,

    Yvonne

  7. Your excellent article ended with an great excuse to repost one of my favorite memes.

    • LOL: JasonT
  8. JasonT says:

    Ezekiel Chapter 7 is at hand for America, descendant of Jacob’s son Manasseh.

    Ezekiel 7:24 is especially apropos BLM.

    • Replies: @Yvonne Lorenzo
  9. @JasonT

    Ezekiel 7:24 is especially apropos BLM.

    You have a good point…

    From the Bretton Septuagint translation:

    https://ebible.org/eng-Brenton/EZK07.htm

    1 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Also, thou, son of man, say, 2 Thus saith the Lord;

    An end is come to the land of Israel, the end is come on the four corners of the land. 3 The end is come 4 on thee, the inhabitant of the land: the time is come, the day has drawn nigh, not with tumult, nor with pangs.

    5 Now I will pour out mine anger upon thee near at hand, and I will accomplish my wrath on thee: and I will judge thee for thy ways, and recompense upon thee all thine abominations. 6 Mine eye shall not spare, nor will I have any mercy: for I will recompense thy ways upon thee, and thine abominations shall be in the midst of thee; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord that smite thee. 7 Now the end is come to thee, and I will send judgment upon thee: and I will take vengeance on thy ways, and will recompense all thine abominations upon thee. 8 Mine eye shall not spare, nor will I have any mercy: for I will recompense thy way upon thee, and thine abominations shall be in the midst of thee; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord.

    9 For thus saith the Lord; Behold, the end is come.

    10 Behold, the day of the Lord! although the rod has blossomed, 11 pride has sprung up, and will break the staff of the wicked one, and that not with tumult, nor with haste. 12 The time is come, behold the day: let not the buyer rejoice, and let not the seller mourn. 13 For the buyer shall never again return to the seller, neither shall a man cleave with the eye of hope to his life. 14 Sound ye the trumpet, and pass sentence on all together. 15 There shall be war with the sword without, and famine and pestilence within: he that is in the field shall die by the sword; and famine and pestilence shall destroy them that are in the city.

    16 But they that escape of them shall be delivered, and shall be upon the mountains: and I will slay all the rest, every one for his iniquities. 17 All hands shall be completely weakened, and all thighs shall be defiled with moisture. 18 And they shall gird themselves with sackcloth, and amazement shall cover them; and shame shall be upon them, even upon every face, and baldness upon every head. 19 Their silver shall be cast forth in the streets, and their gold shall be despised: their souls shall not be satisfied, and their bellies shall not be filled: for it was the punishment of their iniquities. 20 As for their choice ornaments, they employed them for pride, and they made of them images of their abominations: therefore have I made them uncleanness to them.

    21 And I will deliver them into the hands of strangers to make them a prey, and to the pests of the earth for a spoil; and they shall profane them. 22 And I will turn away my face from them, and they shall defile my charge, and shall go in to them unguardedly, and profane them. 23 And they shall work uncleanness: because the land is full of strange nations, and the city is full of iniquity. 24 And I will turn back the boasting of their strength; and their holy things shall be defiled. 25 And though propitiation shall come, and one shall seek peace, yet there shall be none. 26 There shall be woe upon woe, and there shall be message upon message; and a vision shall be sought from a prophet; but the law shall perish from the priest, and counsel from the elders. 27 The prince shall clothe himself with desolation, and the hands of the people of the land shall be made feeble: I will do to them according to their ways, and according to their judgments will I punish them; and they shall know that I am the Lord.

  10. Smith says:

    People are simple, between the weak horse and strong horse, they will choose the strong horse.

    China and Russia do look like the strong horses right now.

  11. A temple of Mars in the name of Christ. How repugnant.

Current Commenter
says:

Leave a Reply -


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments have been licensed to The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Yvonne Lorenzo Comments via RSS
PastClassics
Our Reigning Political Puppets, Dancing to Invisible Strings
The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
Talk TV sensationalists and axe-grinding ideologues have fallen for a myth of immigrant lawlessness.