Since becoming Orthodox my political views have changed. I’ve become less political. I used to be addicted to Fox News, but now I don’t see politics as the main way to solve problems. I thought President Putin’s letter in the New York Times may help though. One of his points has received a lot of criticism from Americans,

“And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.”

One objection was that President Obama doesn’t have access to Russian newspapers. I don’t know if that’s true anymore, but even if it is, I wonder if the American system is really all that superior. Do we really have freedom of the press? Media bias controls a lot of content, and even they are worried about rights to privacy that are eroding in this country. Democracy is not proving such a great thing in the Middle East if most of the people want an oppressive, cruel government. The Puritans and the Founding Fathers set things in motion here for a different outcome, at least for Europeans. Not so much for the Indians or slaves. Things may now be easier for everyone in the U.S., but doesn’t that lead to disproportionate use of the world’s resources with resulting obesity and with such saity, boredom? And that leads to stress and depression.

I have never spent any substantial time in another country, but I have heard that people who have are very glad to come back to the U.S.. Sure things are easier, but also, don’t people always prefer their own home? I feel that way after I return from trips to other states or even to nearby cities.

But if life is more oppressive in other countries, it is probably because they don’t have as much space, resources, and their governments are older. Russia is 1000 years old. Where will we be in 800 years? I bet things will be much different. Especially if Russia’s best export, their faith, takes hold here.