Belgrade has never had a problem with homosexuality. Some notable citizens of Belgrade were known homosexuals, but that did not keep them from recognition and respect. Dragoslav Srejović, Jovan Ćirilov…

The very Jovan Ćirilov who lived to be called out on some sort of a television talk show by an ignorant female pop star for not showing enough support for so-called “pride parades”. And he understood what it was about.

Belgrade understands too. So do Orthodox Christians.

Live your life as you please, brother. If that is your preference — that’s your own private business. But if you want to use it as a sledgehammer to beat down whatever traditional consciousness remains, you are the enemy. Who would want the homosexuals for an enemy?

Most likely, the same people that want to turn Serbia into shapeless gravel. And whoever is helping from here, regardless of whether they are members of the government oppressed by orders from this side or that side, or they only want their leek to bloom where it shouldn’t — is not a friend to their people.

Another lesson learned from the rally today — the protest against the conquering intentions of the rainbow international: the Church is an organism, first and foremost, and not an institution.

Even though there had been no formal effort to organize, it was enough for a bishop to speak out, one who is not especially blessed with the gift of public speech, for the people to show up to a large protest rally, including those who typically don’t agree with his positions and statements.

In the midst of excessive cleverness — even something that did not sound particularly clever, but was spoken from the heart, with all of the accompanying flaws, was welcomed as the Water of Life. In general, it appears that we have entered an age of excessive cleverness and small hearts. So wherever someone does show heart — it turns out to be magnetic.

Citizens of Belgrade have gathered, without any real organizing. There were members of the clergy and monks, but most of them not from Belgrade. Those who failed to show up today ought to think about whether it would be becoming for them to be absent the next time, if there is a need for a second rally.

The man who makes all of the decisions in Belgrade and in the land of Serbia, he will probably use this opportunity to make himself look like a genius, unraveling the Gordian knot of his own making for the umpteenth time, and cancel the gathering “for safety reasons”. As if all of this was even necessary. As if nobody could have possibly anticipated that the perhaps overly tolerant but not quite sleazy Belgrade might have a problem with the problematic and often arrogant characters descending on the splavs, restaurants and clubs at night, where it may turn out that not all Serbs are endlessly tolerant, especially not after they have had a few drinks…

If bad things should happen — who would be responsible?

And these international gay activists are being misled too. They probably have no idea that they and their aggressive demonstration of divergent sexuality is not at all welcome in Belgrade, that nice destination for tourists. Belgrade is a metropolis, but it is not an Amsterdam or a Berlin. Belgrade is the long-suffering, destroyed many times over, capital of Serbia.

And Serbia is a name spoken with pride. Without the parade.

Father Nenad Ilić