Excerpts from the Pascha Pastoral Letter of Bishop John Michael Botean of the Romanian Byzantine Eparchy of St George in Canton
Make no mistake: to those who have or wish to have power in our society it is a far more significant matter that you be a Republican or a Democrat than that you be a Christian. This is totally understandable in world in which Christians are indistinguishable from everyone else, in a society that has baptized and continues to baptize every kind of atrocity in the name of the Holy One. In this life and in our day, to voice criticism of the kind of Christianity that focuses on the temporal and impermanent is to risk ridicule as a pious anachronism, at best. At the very least, anyone who does so arouses the scorn of conservatives and liberals alike, and subjects oneself to vicious attack from both right and left.
Society may be split into camps of every political stripe, and our fellows may try to label us as well, but the fact is that tht Christian can afford to be neither. We have our hands full following the Master, who leads us neither right, nor left, but straight up.
There are no worldly utopias, liberal or conservative. Even a perfect society is powerless to raise anyone from the dead.
Our country has become embittered by a fractious political battle that can now be characterized by the enormity of the lies that have been generated on all sides of it, and the pathetic posturing of many in whom statecraft has shrunk to the level of winning at all costs. We seem unable to bring an end to two unjust wars that, despite their economic cost and the exorbitant amount of suffering and death they cause with ever-increasing efficiency, barely make it to the evening news. Hatred and the groups that have been established to foster it are on the rise in the land, while terrorism continues to grow in boldness and bloodiness worldwide. Children- those who manage to escape being aborted- have innocence stolen from them at an earlier and earlier age, while they are at the same time becoming commoditized, regarded increasingly as the object of someone else’s “rights”.
It is no anachronistic piety that advises you to seek the imperishable instead of the perishable, the eternal instead of the temporal, the permanent instead of the ephemeral. You have been designed for eternity, so begin to live that eternity now! Drink deeply of the new drink flowing from the empty tomb and be refreshed for the wearisomeness of the journey still ahead of you.