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Wednesday, February 8, A.D. 2012
Why Did Constantinople Fall?

Vladimir Moss has written an interesting, brief examination of the history of Church-State relations in the Eastern Empire in “Why Did Constantinople Fall?” It explores how caesaropapism came to predominate in the Empire and how, according to Moss, such led to the destruction of that great Christian civilization.

Moss appears to hail from the acerbic wing of Orthodox scholars, but I appreciate those folks as a needed counterweight to the “Accommodationists”—the folks whom Saint Vladimir’s Seminary invites to give lectures and who represent Orthodoxy at ecumenical fora. As I was perusing Moss’ site, some statements did make the kooky bell ring. For instance, Moss argues that the U.F.O. phenomena of the last century could be demonic activity. If we could trust the testimonies of alien encounters, then perhaps I would see Moss’ point. However, I do not have any inclination to believe spaceship sightings and abduction stories. I dismiss such as a mass delusion that has resulted from lost, secularized people’s painfully tragic straining to find meaning in the nihilistic, materialist universe in which they have trapped themselves. “The truth is out there” is the cri de coeur of the modern damned. Moss’ article on Constantinople, however, appears very reasonable to me in my historical ignorance.

Posted by Joseph on Wednesday, February 8, A.D. 2012
Religion | OrthodoxyPermalink
Comments

I used to feel the same way about UFO’s. Then I saw a couple.

Posted by Kristor on Monday, February 13, A.D. 2012

Kristor,

I have the highest respect for your opinion. Given this comment, though, you have to expound. Perhaps, you should submit something to Mr. Auster since far more people would read it on his site. VFR occasionally indulges in interesting, odd material, and Auster would probably enjoy the thread.

Cheers!

Posted by Joseph from Arimathea on Monday, February 13, A.D. 2012

Well, I don’t know about submitting something on UFO’s to VFR. Since Lawrence took ill, I don’t like to take up a moment of his time with anything that he is not *obviously* interested in discussing at the moment. The guy has a lot on his plate, he’s exhausted a lot of the time, and he is doing really important work. But I’ll send him a quick query, asking if he would be interested.

But I’m happy to respond to your question, because it was indeed an arresting experience. It’s not so much that I thought UFO’s were just hogwash, as that I had never been particularly interested in them. My default attitude was open-minded skepticism, if that makes any sense.

My son and I were driving home to the Bay Area from his summer camp in the Sierra Nevada, driving along one of those high remote two-lane blacktop state roads through the immense forest. The sky was immaculately blue. We were the only car visible. My son was looking up, and noticed 3 tiny bright lights high up in the sky, arranged in a perfect triangle, and apparently hovering in one place. I looked, too. It was definitely not a plane. Nor was it a satellite, nor a reflection in the windshield. As we drove for many miles, it remained in exactly the same place. We wondered if it was a UFO, or maybe a high tech plane of some sort that, being so advanced, didn’t look like a plane at all.

After a while we got bored looking at it, and our attention wandered. I didn’t think much of it after that, until my son called me into the TV room a few weeks later to look at a program on the History Channel about UFO’s. There was a newsreel on the screen showing a massive UFO sighting over Mexico City, that had featured thousands of UFOs. Lo, they were bright little dots, arranged in stable triangles. I have since seen this same sort of ship in many photographs and newsreels of UFOs.

Before I saw that triangle of lights, I had never seen a photo of UFOs that looked anything like it. So, my interpretation was not supplied from my unconscious. No; it goes quite the other way. What I saw turns out to be one of about 5 sorts of ships that are routinely seen.

If indeed they are ships. I almost wonder if there may not be life forms living in the upper atmosphere that we know nothing about. Like men of war in the sea. Those look like alien ships, too. 

I should say that I have not seen a “couple” UFOs, but only one. But it was so amazingly similar to the UFOs in the sky over Mexico, that I have zero doubt I was looking at images of UFOs in that newsreel, too. I am now convinced there is something out there, but I’m not at all convinced its aliens. However, I remain pretty uninterested in the subject, so ...

Posted by Kristor on Wednesday, February 15, A.D. 2012
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