Upon reading the aforesaid articles, one gets the impression that the authors, carrying out someone's instructions or commission, are regrettably stubborly and feverishly fabricating a lie. Such "scientifically produced arguments" really do no honor to them, all the more because those who commissioned it always prefer to remain obscure --let someone else be embarrassed in the eyes of the public, decent people or students.
Hence, in this case, the reputation of Balkevičius as an instructor in Philosophy has greatly suffered. A Philosophy instructor should know that philosophy is a science, treating the universal rules of the development of society and of thought (universal rules, not those applying to the thought of Balkevičius or his patrons).
Attention should be paid to this by all those who assume the title of philosopher. Teaching and studying a one-sided, single part philosophy does not mean that we have grounds for calling ourselves philosophers, and Balkevičius himself does not deny that he represents a so-called philosophy by a position of force. It does not take special training to understand the meaning of such a "philosophical" nuance, which Balkevičius attributes to Father Jonas Danyla, in his article, "The Meaning of Jesuitical Truth":
"All your complaints, accusations and demands to various authorities you, pastor, sent in carbon copy. Where did you put the original? The first was intended for 'export'. The first copies went to their basic assigned destination, Vatican Radio... "
So here is where the "philosophical" dialogue was side-tracked. It appears that this is not a fight between equals, the meaning of such allusions is well known to every foreigner: Russian, Pole, Czech or Afghan, and especially of course, the Catholic Lithuanian. And here is one more clear mark of discrimination: When the philosophers of old gathered for public debates, they used to proclaim their statements, proofs and conclusions to the entire public, so there was no one-sided and privileged position. The rule audiater et alter pars, let the other side be heard also, was binding on all, and all honorable people conscientiously abided by it.
But what do we see now? Not a single text or letter of Father Danyla which is mentioned is produced in its entirety. What kind of impression can the reader form if Balkevičius cites only a few scattered excerpts. It is the same with the statements, writings and sermons of our other prisoners of conscience, like Viktoras Petkus, Docent Vytautas Skuodis, Liudas Dambrauskas, Father Alfonsas Svarinskas, Father Sigitas Tamkevičius and others. And how many articles condemning and calumniating them did the official press publish? In other words, Quod licet jovis, non licet bovis (What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. -- Trans. Note).
In the daily Tiesa (Truth) , July 19, 1985, J. Kazlauskas in his article, "How Hoiier-Than-Thous Are Made", quoted several excerpts from the diary of Antanas Terleckas. But this is again the most crass violation of human rights. No one has a right, without a person's permission, to publicly reveal his diary or letters (a guarantee of the USSR Constitution). The excerpts quoted in the article were so distorted that Terleckas probably did not recognize them.
In his diaries, Terleckas never named names, so KGB Lieutenant Colonel Česnavičius had to visit Terleckas at his place of exile in order to identify certain names. Terleckas refused to do so. This was the genesis of the aforesaid article in which Petkus' name is denigrated the most. This is just one more creation of the lie industry. It means that the Constitution holds only for the privileged, and for all others, it is a sack or a pot on the head, as in the short story by Saja, "Devynpedžiai" ("Nine-Foot"), so that people would not be able to speak or sing.
If Kazlauskas wants to assume the role of apologist for government truth, then he should know alI of Petkus' crimes in their detail. When, however, he dares to write that Petkus, while employed as the bookkeeper for the folkart society, stole money from the treasury, but for some reason or other he "forgot" that for this black deed as Kazlauskas called it, no one punished Petkus, even though Soviet laws regarding thieves of socialist property are especially strict.
Kazlauskas managed to "forget" conveniently that Petkus' work was reviewed by several auditing committees, and they found no infringements of fiscal responsibility. And how convenient it would have been to put Petkus away for theft; then it would have been unnecessary to apply the political paragraph to his activities, and one more "defender of human rights and candidate for sainthood", to use their words, would have been discredi ted.
In Kazlauskas' article, one more "discovery" appears, namely, Petkus' cowardice. Kazlauskas can inquire about that if, of course, he has enough civic courage with certain officials of the KGB and participants in the trial. Is it possible to pin the name of coward on someone choosing the shackles of imprisonment for the third time, for his beliefs?
Petkus never concealed his name, never hid behind any pseudonymns (the investigative organs know that!). Only a coward fears light and truth. Only a coward hides behind the backs of others. Only a coward never shows his true face. Hence, it is impossible not to agree with the thought of one poet who wr i tes:
"...They invite you to the unveiling of a monument to the unknown coward.
The concept of the monument is modestly conceived:
the pedestal is empty!
The coward himself can easily hide
among the guests,
never fearing that anyone will pick him out... "
In his article, Kazlauskas devotes much room to Terleckas' "repentence". Soviet law considers repentence as a significant mitigating circumstance, but Terleckas' so-called "repentence" did not receive a suitable reward. One tries to help the penitent, but with Terleckas, they acted the opposi te.
In August, 1985, Terleckas received permission to attend his brother's funeral in Vilnius. His family, sensing the long, arduous journey from exile, delayed the funeral. Nevertheless, Terleckas missed it. He found his brother already buried, since various interruptions happened along the way: In place of a plane, a truck, etc. This is what it means to be a political prisoner in exile, and not an overweening hypocr i te!
While defending atheism, Balkevičius, like a large number of atheists, probably does not believe that atheism is simply a matter of personal conscience. If it meant choosing whether to believe or not believe, then atheism would not be an entrenched part of Soviet domestic policy, and such state agencies as the militia and the KGB would not assume the role of defenders of atheism. As it is, in current practice, the activity of the KGB is mostly directed against religious believers: Not a single religious holiday, not a single more significant commemoration of the dead, not a single gathering of the faithful goes by without the presence of the KGB, to say nothing of a large number of militia and highway patrol. Perhaps that is precisely what the constitutional guarantee of Soviet freedom of conscience is!
Such protection and guarantees can be the envy of even the lowest Soviet leaders and activists, Balkevičius writes, "...atheism is humanism. It is the ideological manifestation of the struggle with evil. Atheists do not wait for blessings from heaven. They themselves struggle against evil. They try to lift up and exalt people whom you, Pastor, always kept on their knees and continue to keep on their knees..."
It can be put no more clearly then that great evil is religion and relIgious believers. However, can Balkevičius, et. al., show how many religious believers have been found guilty of murder, theft, burglary and rape; how many of them are under compulsory treatement in dispensaries for venereal disease, or for alcoholism? How many are discharged from factories and offices for unexcused absence and other infractions, how many children of religious families are "improving themselves" in forced labor camps? The comparison with the results of education in humanistic atheism will be interesting!
What it means to raise and exalt man can best be told by him who has had anything to do with Soviet law enforcement and law-keeping organs, especially with the KGB. This is no exultation of man, but an attempt to turn him into a coward, a traitor, a hypocrite; and attempt to force upon him one's own truths to distort thought and mix-up concepts. It is most painful that upon this hook of "the exaltation of man" are caught up not only laymen but priests, seminarians, their instructors and leaders...
How cleverly and sophistically is formulated the satanical temptation concerning truth, love of neighbor, love of enemy, about the words uttered by Christ: "Render to God what is God's and to Caesar what is Caesar's", about the concern with the fate of the entire Catholic Church of Lithuania, about the need for compromise decisions, etc. The failure to size-up all these temptations and aquiescence to them is a result of personal pride, timidity and egoistic view of things and at phenomena. It is an unwise trust in one's own powers, refusing the help of God and rejecting Christ's Gospel truth. That is the philosophy of one who covers himself: This is safer for me, this is more convenient for me. "Cowardice is the beginning of betrayal," Nijolė Sadūnaitė has said. And the poetess, Janina Degutytė, literally cries out:
Do not lose truth from your lips,
do not lose lose truth,
which blossoms in your blood like a thorn,
which alone pumps the blood
from the feet to the head,
to the remotest corners of the brain,
for what else is there?...
Which still tells the eyes to open
and look -- be witness --
which tells the feet to go on,
and on -- no matter if there is strength --
which forces the hands to slice
the bread, to pull the weed, to sew
a button -- for maybe someone
sometime will need that life,
that truth, which blossoms like a thorn
in your blood...
Only not to lose the truth, O Lord
only not to lose the truth on one's lips.
Let it open I ike a we I I,
Let the passerby see in it
his face, let the star
see i ts twinkle, and
the tree i ts shadow...
Let it open
I ike the thorn,
let it blossom
I ike a wound...
Speaking of mankind's humanistic exaltation, Balkevičius writes: "...in our society, youth and the new generation of people act naturally and more normally; thin Christian altruism is not characteristic of them, they are bolder and more self-reliant, and more friendly, etc., for could morally bankrupt people erect great cities and factories, lay good roads or turn out complicated machinery; contemporary man more and more decides for himself how to act without carrying out external commands or so-called commandments of God..."
Alas, the average person sees the "naturalness and boldness" of youth mentioned by Balkevičius only as shameless fondling in buses, on streets and in the squares; a morbidly twisted outlook on sexual questions, the family, the killing of unborn infants, one's own duties to mankind, and assistance to society.
Is one's duty to mankind and assistance to the weaker now a "diluted Christian altruism"? What talk can there be of altruism if blind hatred for a class enemy (read one who thinks otherwise) is constantly being instilled, if the majority of films intended for children are still produced on the war-time theme, "Strike, kill your enemy!".
If, without counterbalancing pedagogy, the juvenile mind is being poisoned by such books as Lapinas Reinikis (The Many-Colored Fox) , in which evil always triumphs in the end, in which evil-doers become winners and heroes, is this not the reason why such untrammeled hatred for others, bestial sadism and insensitivity to the pain of another has found root in young hearts?
Balkevičius knows well that even today's students -- the future of our social, political and economic state's life -- cannot (or will not) put together the simplest sentence without ornamenting it with the most vile profanity. Often it is difficult through such a torrent of vulgarity even to understand the meaning of a sentence. It is a question, "Whether the morally dissolute person can construct great cities and factories?"
Balkevičius, for some reason, passes over in silence the fact that next to all those "progressive Communist Youth" or "most important of the five-year plan" structures are growing up other cities surrounded by barbed wire, in which examples of "moral purity" are vegetating. Still it must be remembered that it was by their hands that the BAM (Baikal-Amur Magistral - railroad lines in Siberia -- Trans. Note), the HES (Hydroelectric stations -- Trans. Note), including factories and offices in Kaunas, Kėdainiai, Mažeikiai, Sniečkus, Alytus, Elektrėnai, etc., were built.
So what is this dehumanized element: "The sweet result of Christian altruism" or the result of wasteful atheistic activity? Even though the youth of yesteryear "looked down the rear end of a cow" for the most part, as Balkevičius writes, nevertheless, its conscience was clear, its speech was not "ornamented" with imported epithets and it was not brought up behind barbed-wire barriers and prison bars. Most people recall that in all of Lithuania, there was only one juvenile detention center, in Kainaberžė.
And now? Now all such institutions are over-crowded, and being endlessly expanded. The atheists representing "the most democratic state in the world", with its laws of highest Communist morality, have been able to come up with nothing better than forced labor camps, reform colonies or special internships. And after all, today's Soviet youth are not chips off the old block of bourgeois living, but the children and grandchildren of atheists themselves.
According to the law of God-granted free-will, everyone has the right to choose, "Eternal darkness and a pile of refuse or eternal light and meaningful life."