What fool was it who said that the collective West, the fabled City on the Hill whose “values” are universal and binding on all, is amoral? A greater untruth was never uttered. Of course the West espouses and acts according to specific moral principles. But these principles need to be identified and their effects unequivocally recognized.
The moral doctrine which governs the conduct of the collective West will be sought in vain in the Bible or the Quran, in the ethical or political writings of Aristotle, or in the precepts of Confucius and the other sages of the East. That rather little known moral doctrine is called Situation Ethics.
For those not grounded in modern philosophical thought, this novel teaching was elaborated by American philosopher Joseph Fletcher in his 1966 manifesto published under the alluring title of “Situation Ethics: The New Morality.” A fair summary of what it holds would be that “situational ethics or situation ethics takes into account only the particular context of an act when evaluating it ethically, rather than judging it only according to absolute moral standards.” So a key explicit characteristic of this new moral teaching is that absolute standards are to be discarded. What subsequently results is a theory where the situation is taken into account first, before deciding on the rules of right and wrong. In fact, there is no firm set of rules, because what might be considered immoral in one situation could be considered the most moral thing to do in another.
Does this description of Situation Ethics remind one of the consistent behaviour of certain actors on the international political stage who are enamoured of preaching and imparting moral lessons to others?
What distinguishes situation ethics from most previously known moral teaching is the bold assertion that right and wrong depend upon the situation. Yes, it is a “rules based order” of sorts, and although the theoretical existence of rules is acknowledged (Fletcher was a Protestant theologian so he pegged his ethical analyses to his singular version of the Christian concept of agape) in this system there effectively are no universal moral rules or rights; each case is unique and is assigned a unique solution. (In the political context, Kosovo readily comes to mind, does it not, as does also the peculiar rationale for the refusal to apply the Kosovo “rule” to the formally analogous “situation” of Crimea). When the rules based order proposed by Fletcher is transposed to international relations, ethical decisions are freely made in conformity with the interests and perceptions of the actor who is making them. That is because situation ethics rejects “prefabricated decisions and prescriptive rules.” Is that not precisely the sort of order hegemonistic actors are trying to impose, for their own benefit, on the rest of the world?
The purpose of this somewhat elaborate introduction is to call attention to a religious pogrom which is being orchestrated in Kiev (not Kyiv), Ukraine, by the local neo-Nazi authorities, under the radar of the globalist media but in full view and with the knowledge and presumed consent of that atrocious regime’s foreign sponsors.
Essentially, what is going on there, in a country authoritatively designated by the New York Times as “a vibrant democracy,” is a rerun of what Europe has not seen since the Thirty Years’ War in the 17th century. In its death throes, the Ukrainian regime, which has few Ukrainians or Christian Orthodox believers in its uppermost ranks, has malevolently reactivated and raised to a higher level of destructiveness the religious schism in that predominantly Orthodox country. That has been accomplished by targeting the Kiev Pechersk Lavra monastery, the largest and most important religious complex of Kievan Russia, which dates back to 1050 A.D. The target is, of course, of monumental symbolic significance. Not only is it historically associated with the many centuries of Orthodox spirituality before “Ukraine” was invented, but being under the jurisdiction of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in communion with the Moscow Patriarchate it is also a powerful testament to religious and cultural continuity, a long trajectory where modern Banderastan Ukraine is but an ephemeral incident. As such, this ancient citadel of Kievan Rus’, towering on a hill overlooking the Mother of All Russian Cities, stands as a silent and irrefutable accuser of fabricated history and bogus identity. For that reason alone, it had to be dealt with by the renegade regime.
And it has been. In November a series of raids were conducted to harass the monastic community and contrive grounds for accusing its members of sedition against the laughable Ukrainian satellite “state.” The abbot and his monks were subjected to humiliating mistreatment and concocted political accusations.
Ukraine’s Security Service officers entering the Kiev Pechersk Lavra monastery in central Kiev on 22 November 2022. Photo: Telegram/SBU
Now, after the raids, and emboldened by the implicit consent of its puppeteers, the Kiev regime has unfolded its ultimate objective for the Kiev Pechersk Lavra monastic complex. It is to oust the legitimate religious personnel and administration aligned with the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and to hand the shrine over to the regime-sponsored and schismatic Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which in 2018 was cobbled together from several renegade groupings. The regime’s favourites are characterised by adherence to extremist nationalist ideology, but otherwise they are without canonical legitimacy in the Orthodox world (also see here).
Besides the act of persecution itself, what is so extraordinary about these proceedings, which most would have considered unthinkable in Europe after the signing of the Treaty of Westphalia, or at the very least since the collapse of the communist system thirty years ago? It is the shameful and opportunistic silence, guided apparently by situational ethics, not just of the Western media, but in general also of Western government institutions that officially had been set up precisely to monitor and indict blatant acts of religious persecution such as are in progress in the “vibrantly democratic” Ukraine. One such establishment whose pronouncement on the present issue is eagerly awaited is the State Department’s bombastically named Office of International Religious Freedom. Its mission statement, assuming it had anything to do with its actual activities, should make it the prime venue to issue an indignant denunciation of the religious pogrom in Ukraine. The Mission Statement reads thus: “The Office of International Religious Freedom promotes universal respect for freedom of religion or belief for all as a core objective of U.S. foreign policy. We monitor religiously motivated abuses, harassment, and discrimination worldwide, and recommend, develop, and implement policies and programs to address these concerns.”
Is religious persecution in Ukraine outside the ambit of the “core policy objectives” which inspire the Mission Statement? Or is this just another illustration of the convenient political application of situation ethics by Western policymakers?
Unsurprisingly, in Britain the counterpart of the State Department Office of International Religious Freedom, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Faith, has maintained an equally studious silence on the distressing developments in the Ukraine.
So there appears to be a situation where the Church to which the majority of the Ukrainian population adheres is being banned because “it is dangerous for health and life,” as cynically explained by the regime’s English-language mouthpiece Ukrainska Pravda. As for that Church’s major religious shrine, “on 1 December , the President [of Ukraine] reported that the National Security Council has urged the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to prepare a legislation to ban the activity of UOC-MP in Ukraine, and started reviewing the legitimacy of the UOC-MP’s residence in Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.” In other words, the stage is being set for banning the Church, for its expulsion from the Kiev Pechersk Lavra, and ultimately for seizing the monastery from its legitimate owner in order to hand it over to the regime-friendly sect, “Ukrainian Orthodox Church.”
The question this raises and which apparently does not bother any of the collective West’s watchdogs of “human rights” and “religious freedom” is where the Ukrainian Orthodox believers should go once their Church is made illegal and their houses of worship are confiscated? The indifference of the real masters beyond Ukraine’s borders to this blatant violation of their own most cherished nominal principles will leave Ukrainian Christians outside the Ukronazi fold little alternative but to practice their faith in the catacombs, at what appears to be the end of the age just as it used to be done in the beginning.
But the endless enumeration of examples of Western hypocrisy is becoming tedious and no longer outrageous. It seems that with overuse the novelty of shameless double standards has almost worn off. Men of conscience and good will should, however, preserve their capacity for outrage at least this one more time to denounce the evil conduct of the neo-Nazi junta. That will not be an easy task for the West that has shorn off its Christian moral heritage, replacing it with an eclectic combination of philosophical idiocy and pseudo-religious deviations that increasingly amount to outright occultism. But it is worth attempting, at least by those who are still minimally interested in saving their souls.