ENGLISH VERSION: It is necessary to protect rights and to nurture feelings - opinion of fr. Paul Adelheim, a persecuted priest Pskov diocese of the ROC MP
A person experiences different feelings: motherhood, compassion and mercy which are impoverished today. He enjoys love, hope, faith, and other feelings. People victimized by fraud who lost their apartments and/or savings in financial pyramid schemes and were left without shelter and means of support -- they're the ones needing to regain a sense of trust.
Family love, desparing abandoned orphans, elderly women and men need to be protected. But of the many injured hearts and trampled feelings, the State Duma chose to protect "the religious feelings of believers". What determined this choice?In Soviet times, people were urged not to hurt the feelings of believers but, at the same time, crosses were torn from their necks; they were expelled from school, fired from jobs and shamed in the newspapers for their faith in God. It was even worse -- being sent to camps and being shot. But Christians do not become discouraged. They realized that they were bearing their cross for their faithfulness to Christ. The Court and the Prosecutor's Office did not protect the feelings and rights of believers.
To care about the feelings of believers, the feelings of one of the social groups of citizens, is perplexing. Gustave Flaubert wrote "Sentimental education", a novel. One didn't know how to curb a hunger for power, the other was lost in lust. Everyone needs to nurture his feelings, will and mind. Museums, churches paintins, icons, sculptures and other works of art, all help nurture a sense of beauty. Janusz Korczak wrote the book "How to love a child." This book is about parental feelings, which also need to be educated. One's relationship to a child may vary from adoration to hostility. The love of a child, as well as love of oneself, may be either proper or not. Love of self, according to the commandment of Christ, is the measure of love for one's neighbor. You can love yourself properly and improperly. You can love the image of God in yourself. In yourself you can love a lustful and greedy animal, unworthy to be called a man, a person who satisfies his instincts. Feelings can be dissipated so that they will turn into anger, greed, envy, and turn into rage. A reasonable relationship to a person requires one to restrain himself and to educate his feelings. A.S. Pushkin's Onegin gave wise advice to a young lady: "Learn to control yourself." This is the principle of the Gospel and the holy fathers When people talk about the protection of religious feelings, the first question: arises how to define and identify the "religious feelings"? People will hardly apply the same meaning to this term. The second question is how to define the scope of the concept so that it means the same thing for everybody? How does one relate to religious feelings which allow aggression towards the feelings of others? Does one protect them or protect from them?
Feelings are subjective. What a man feels is known only to himself. Others have had to believe him or to guess. And are parental and artistic sensibilities in need of protection? They may be surrounded by heated controversy. The Law on the protection of the feelings of believers will oblige the court to understand the nuances of psychology, to decide what can or can not be felt; what feelings may be spoken of -- and which may not. Entering into an intimate area of the heart, the court will bind and enslave the human conscience, leaving it defenseless. Laws protect the rights of people living in a state and society. A right is objective and can be defined. A right entails responsibilities, distinguishing how one should -- or should not - act. Violations of the rights and obligations can be proved. But with all the objectivity and provability that exist today, the rights of believers are not protected, even in church. A bishop expelled 20 innocent people from a parish meeting because they did not vote with the majority, but voted according to their conscience. Law enforcement agencies and the court failed to protect them, even though Article 29, Section 3 of the Russian Federation's Constitution had been violated. The law justified a raid to go along with church policy.
There is no one to complain to. When the church determines which feelings should be protected, the faithful will be persecuted for having "wrong" feeling.s The persecution will be worse than before. Reprisals against believers will be called protection of religious feelings. The Inquisition is coming. Will be no one to complain to, as always.
Priest Paul Adelheim