I am an atheist, but, because of Mirko Djordjevic, I have come to believe that angels may truly exist. Mirko died on Good Friday, on the same day his Jesus Christ died. We have often discussed Golgotha on the radio show. Mirko always said that crucifixion had to have happened, because, in that way, Jesus left a message to the world and to the man that there is no resurrection without sacrifice and tribulation; that life has no meaning without passion; there is no meaning if a man does not fight for some noble and greater idea. This is no consolation for the people who loved him today. However, his life did have a meaning. He dedicated his entire life to making the country he was born a better place to live. He used to say that Jesus has offered us a simple formula – that people have to create a community, where a greater force will keep them humane and honest, a community where they would have to choose between right and wrong.
Mirko had the last encounter with his state, with his Serbia, two days ago, when he answered questions in a police station regarding the fact that one clero-Fascist organization put him on the list of enemies of the Serbian people. He was no help to the police and the prosecution, for he was not afraid of his persecutors, nor did he judge anyone or want anyone punished. I have witnessed this many times at the public debates organized by Pescanik, where he was attacked by numerous right-wing activists and Fascists, often holding prayer beads and wearing crosses around their necks. He would listen to them patiently, smile and wait for his turn to speak. It was hard for him to bear the fact that the hearts of these young men were poisoned by hate, as he used to say.
It was not only ignorant lowlifes gathered around obscure organizations who used to put Mirko’s name on their enemy lists – but also many Serbian Orthodox Church bishops and the so-called patriotic intellectuals, who never forgave him for writing and speaking about their responsibility for the wars and war crimes, about their responsibility for using the young man, as he called Jesus, and the Cross, to justify Serbian crimes and absolve Serbian criminals. The biggest sin is when national intellectual elite decides to lie. For years, month after month, week after week, Mirko worked on demystifying and unmasking these lies, which came from the Church, the Academy of Sciences and Arts, the state leadership.
Mirko Djordjevic was a good man; he truly loved his neighbor as himself. And how many of us can be characterized like this – without sounding ironic, even cynical? Next to him, a believer, I never felt bad, awkward or inadequate for being an atheist. He consoled me many times by quoting atheists who wrote about Jesus. He preferred Krleza’s definition of Christ – whenever he quoted Krleza’s words, tears would come into his eyes: “Jesus is an astral, star lily in the torture room of the Great Inquisitor, and so he will stand before us and be a warning to us”.
If angels do exist, than Mirko Djordjevic must be one of them.
Slobodna Evropa, 18.04.2014.