MOSCOW (Realist English). A Christian owes nothing to anyone but Christ, Archpriest Alexy Uminsky stressed in an interview with the Pravmir portal.
“Patriotism is an absolutely earthly thing. One’s cave, one’s habitat, one’s small homeland were always guarded, strangers were forbidden to enter this territory. On the other hand, for humans, the feeling of hearth, home, family is quite a normal, human feeling. The place where you grew up, your culture. Your society, nationality. There is nothing here that is specifically Christian. Therefore, there is not a single commandment about love for the motherland. It is so ordinary, natural, present in and of itself that [it does not require additional efforts] and has nothing to do with the salvation of the soul,” the priest noted.
He added that “the motherland is not only your language, culture, your holy ancestors”:
“This is also your history, in which there were not only victories, but also defeats, not only good deeds, but also betrayals. There were troubled, terrible times, death sentences were passed, people were sent to the GULAG. It was all done on behalf of the motherland. Therefore, it carries both pain and joy. Both light and darkness. The history of victories and the history of defeats.
The history of your homeland can teach you to preserve your own dignity and see how the great sons of your motherland, when they were offered to lie in the name of their so-called homeland, chose the truth and the righteousness.”
The Pravmir’s interlocutor noted that a person always “pays off” from the state:
“Authorities” are like the hands of a barber” — let’s soften the quote by [Mandelstam] — therefore, you can only be connected with this sovereign world by small threads. I only give what I really have to. I won’t give you my heart, my thoughts, my soul. These authorities are placed here so that they act as they can. But they never know how to be perfect.”