Comments Posted By Fr. Hans Jacobse
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Daniel, the story you are circulating about Romney isn’t true of course but that aside, it’s good to see someone like yourself finally challenge the liberal dogma that unborn children are disposable commodities.
Be careful! Keep this up and soon people will be calling you a racist and homophobe!
» Posted By Fr. Hans Jacobse On August 20, 2012 @ 8:07 am
I can’t say what heaven will be like Mike, but I can see that the servant who took his talent and created more received a greater blessing than the one who hid his in the ground (Matthew 25:14-30).
In the modern world you get two options: free markets or centralized planning. Command economies tend to cause catastrophic moral collapses of their own, witness the Soviet Union, the demographic winter facing Europe where it’s an open question whether Christian civilization can even survive, or the decimation of the black family in America because of welfare (a form of centralized planning).
Freedom and free markets go hand in hand. Freedom is the preferred state of man since God created man to be free. Whether man has the moral prowess to handle the freedom responsibly is a question every generation faces anew.
However, to justify a command economy because man is prone to moral failure makes sense only if you first believe the false promise that centralized planning can create a facsimile of heaven on earth. It can’t of course but liberals have a very difficult time grasping this point until they’ve done their damage. Even then some can’t let go of the illusion.
Back in the 1930s and 1940s the American intelligentsia (led by Walter Duranty and the New York Times, see: The mendacity of Walter Duranty) believed that the Soviet Union’s command economy was the wave of the future. All tears, sorrow and suffering would be wiped away. Many in Western Europe got caught up in it too. It would not collapse until Solzhenitsyn published the Gulags in the 1960s.
That cultural divide continues today with ideas like yours.
» Posted By Fr. Hans Jacobse On August 20, 2012 @ 7:51 am
Very good observation Fr. Patrick. It is in line with the same nonsense we hear about sharing all things in common is actually a precursor of Communism. Some people (including some Orthodox) really believe that Christ was a crypto-Marxist.
» Posted By Fr. Hans Jacobse On August 18, 2012 @ 6:38 pm
Rereading my post it comes across as very direct. No offense intended Monk James.
» Posted By Fr. Hans Jacobse On August 22, 2012 @ 9:14 pm
Here are the conventions. If using the repeating tilde to effect a visual break, just hit it about ten times or so. No need to run it beyond the right margin.
When quoting someone, use the b-quote quicktag. Highlight the sentence, hit the quicktag. The proper html code is inserted automatically.
When answering a quote, use normal font weight. Bold should only be used to either highlight the top level of a list or any other taxonomy, or for emphasis and only rarely at that.
Do that and you save your readier from having to guess why you are emphasizing a response, why words carry bold face at the bottom of a hierarchy instead of the top, and all the other hesitations caused by the visual miscues.
» Posted By Fr. Hans Jacobse On August 21, 2012 @ 9:19 pm
Actually, your vote counts very much in this regard, especially with overseas abortions.
US taxpayer dollars go to promoting and funding abortions overseas. When Republicans hold the White House the spigot is shut off. When Democrats retake it it’s turned back on. See: Obama reverses abortion-funding policy.
At home it has an effect on the public funding of the abortion industry.
If Romney is elected he will turn the spigot off. Hopefully he will stop the Arab Spring nonsense too although it remains to be seen where he really stands on this. If Obama is elected, he will keep up the abortion funding and his misguided foreign policy so more military deaths are certain.
» Posted By Fr. Hans Jacobse On August 21, 2012 @ 9:07 pm
Under Obamacare, Obama is making the law. What do you think the HHS mandates are all about?
» Posted By Fr. Hans Jacobse On August 18, 2012 @ 6:45 pm
Shirley Maclaine? There actually have been principled leaders. We could start with the American Founding Fathers.
» Posted By Fr. Hans Jacobse On August 16, 2012 @ 10:36 pm
Quoting the National Catholic Reporter is like citing the National Council of Churches. Very few take them seriously.
» Posted By Fr. Hans Jacobse On August 16, 2012 @ 10:34 pm
Good point Will.
Too often people conflate politics with culture. I don’t tell people how to vote. I am vocal in my objections to ideas that harm the larger culture. There is no prohibition against that. In fact, I believe the Christian should take faith and culture very seriously.
From the other direction, cultural criticism is not necessarily political.
» Posted By Fr. Hans Jacobse On August 16, 2012 @ 10:32 pm
George, Harry is saying that the shared identity as Orthodox Christians transcends the jurisdiction boundaries that separate us. He’s right. If he wasn’t, we couldn’t take communion in each other’s parishes.
» Posted By Fr. Hans Jacobse On August 20, 2012 @ 10:49 am
PDnNJ, you are correct. Stankovich’s posts are a defense of his profession and his role in it.
I call it Freudian mysticism, relegating those things that the great unwashed cannot possibly understand to the realm of the unconscious, the keys to which are held only by experts like himself and others like the men of St. Luke’s who he defends without any equivocation. (Process trumps substance.)
» Posted By Fr. Hans Jacobse On August 4, 2012 @ 10:59 am
D. Stall’s tirade has all the appeal of a car horn blaring non-stop outside your bedroom window.
It has that pedestrian screech, that relentless, driving, in your face energy much like the feminists had in the early days of their revolution.
WHAT DO YOU WANT? FREEDOM! WHEN DO YOU WANT IT? NOW!
» Posted By Fr. Hans Jacobse On August 4, 2012 @ 10:41 pm
OK, now I see the specific complaint. It’s the “Defense of Marriage Act” that bothers you. Thanks for clarifying that.
I think your initial statement conflates distinct categories (cultural, political, and the new one above – religious) and ignores how Christian activity changes depending on historical epochs and contingencies, but I am not interested into entering a discussion about that at this time.
» Posted By Fr. Hans Jacobse On August 1, 2012 @ 1:09 pm
Bp. Tikhon writes:
Never did Christ or the Twelve or the Rest of the Apostles EVER attempt to influence EITHER law or culture by any means whatsoever. The Church only began to attempt to influence law and culture when it was made an official state church… Even so, it was the style of the Roman Popes which, more than anything else, influences our peculiar American DEVOTION political crusading by the Church.
Not really. Christ was harsh on leaders of the Sanhedrin the scripture tells us, who were the legislators and judges in that theocratic society (“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites…!”). Take a look at David Bentley Hart’s book “Atheist Delusions” as well that analysis the profound influence the early Christians had on the surrounding culture — which extended well into the reign of Julian the Apostate, by the way.
Moving into the modern era, ever read this: Bases of the Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church?
Your point would be stronger if you said that the Church began to influence law and culture differently after Constantine but this would be due to different historical contingencies, and not a deliberate and presumably wrong-headed break with the past that you seem to imply it is (you are unclear here).
» Posted By Fr. Hans Jacobse On July 31, 2012 @ 9:14 pm
Gregg Gerasimon wrote:
One of the more chilling truths of redefining marriage that I’ve heard is the fact that same-sex marriage exists only with the support and enforcement from the state.
Opposite-sex marriage transcends political boundaries and has always existed in cultures, regardless of what political entity that culture is a part of. Same-sex marriage has not and does not exist as such. Same-sex marriage is a clear creation of the state, and thus the state must protect its own creation and enforce it.
Children become commodities for adults to use at their will, biology is separated from parenting such that parenting is based on legal contracts, institutions that disagree with same-sex marriage are persecuted by the state as the state protects that which it created.
This is a very critical point. Let me clarify it. Opposite-sex monogamous marriage is in accord with natural law. Same-sex “marriage” is not. The state, in other words, arrogates unto itself the authority to sanction and legally codify relationships constructed out of thin air that stand against the natural order of creation.
Here’s the danger: once the state arrogates this authority, it reserves for itself the right to judge the legitimacy of all human relationships. This arrogation of power is breathtaking in scope and very dangerous.
» Posted By Fr. Hans Jacobse On July 31, 2012 @ 3:53 pm
Daniel E. Fall writes:
The reason they are winning is because instead of recognizing marriage is inherently discriminatory; the folks on the right just dug in, holding onto the status quo instead of looking closely at marriage et al.
Of course heterosexual monogamous marriage is inherently discriminatory. So is not allowing marriage between three persons, a father and daughter, brother and sister, man and animal, you name it.
Homosexuals already have the right to marry. They just can’t marry members of the same sex. No rights are denied them that are not denied to anyone else who wants to retool the definition of marriage to engage in new forms of social engineering.
And why should the redefinition of marriage stop at only two members of the same-sex? In traditional marriage the answer is clear: it takes one man and one woman to create a family. However, homosexual couplings are naturally sterile (not infertile, there’s a difference) so their “families” are essentially contrived (female surrogates and such). They violate a very elementary natural law.
Here too we see that limiting gay “marriage” to only two people is a nod to the moral tradition while repudiating it at the same time. If this definition becomes acculturated marriage is essentially finished, at least as a cultural institution which means that the culture is dying. Watch for other couplings to emerge whose members clamor for the same “right” using the same rationale that they suffer “discrimination.”
That’s what happens when all ideas are leveled under the rubric of “fairness.” If “fairness” is the final measure, the touchstone, of social arrangements and policy, then all cultural distinctions collapse and man, like the Apostle Paul said in Romans 1, adopts a manner of living that is “against nature.” At that point the culture risks collapse.
Put the word “fairness” in front of any destructive idea and some people will take to it like a thirsty dog lapping up water.
» Posted By Fr. Hans Jacobse On July 30, 2012 @ 11:09 am
Excellent article you cited Sub-Deacon David. A key paragraph:
Further, research and anecdotal evidence finds that most women having abortions are pressured or coerced to do so by someone else — and that most abortions are likely unwanted. Before 1973, women could refuse an unwanted abortion on the grounds that it was illegal, unsafe and immoral. Legalization has made it easier for those around her to insist that because abortion is legal it must be “safe,” and because it is “socially approved,” it must be moral. It makes it easier for them to refuse to support her desire to continue the pregnancy and insist that she abort anyway.
This describes the rot that seeps through the culture promulgated by pro-abortion ideologues and ignorant fellow travelers like Daniel E. Fall. Easy abortion isolates the woman in a crisis pregnancy. Often she is abandoned. Abortion is a destroyer of community and the virtuous bonds necessary to sustain it. (See my review I wrote several years back that discusses the damage that abortion inflicts on the mother: Women are Abortion’s Second Victims.)
Second, your point about pro-lifers being the only people who help women in crisis pregnancies is spot on. Pro-abortionists have no time for a woman who wants to keep her child. Check the yellow pages. Better yet, check out Planned Parenthood.
The abortion industry is a bloody but lucrative business. It has its share of ignorant supporters who still believe the propaganda that abortion is fundamentally a benevolent act when in fact it hides the bloody side of this bloody business. (See: The Ex-Abortionists: Why They Quit.)
» Posted By Fr. Hans Jacobse On July 30, 2012 @ 10:40 am
Don’t read Anselm through the engineered logic of Calvin. Anselm was more of a medieval mystic. His categories are not as hard as fast as the Calvinist retrojection employed in Orthodox apologetics would have us believe. Yes, Anselm was a man of his tradition, but he was not a crypto-Calvinist.
» Posted By Fr. Hans Jacobse On July 31, 2012 @ 4:02 pm
The OCA should have left the NCC years ago.
Here’s an article I wrote years back for Touchstone describing the AOA departure from the NCC.
Here’s an article I wrote outlining some of the NCC’s accommodation with evil-doers.
I always thought that out of all the Orthodox jurisdictions, the OCA would have the most trouble with the NCC given the NCC’s embrace of Marxism and Liberation theology. Their history was closer to materialist brutality than either the Greeks or Arabs. I never really understood why they ignored this.
The Catholics, to their credit, saw this from the beginning and refused to join the NCC.
» Posted By Fr. Hans Jacobse On July 12, 2012 @ 7:55 am
Yes, this is equally as true. Frankly, my position has evolved very close to yours: the farther away the leadership is, the more havoc it creates.
» Posted By Fr. Hans Jacobse On July 12, 2012 @ 6:13 pm
Well, that’s all over now. But the pain was real, and it was the kind of pain that comes from the vilification I described. I saw it with my own eyes. I spoke to the man. It’s what I will always remember about him too.
» Posted By Fr. Hans Jacobse On July 12, 2012 @ 5:15 pm
lexcaritas, the pressures of public vilification are immense and each person has different tolerances toward them. In Met. Jonah’s case, it is likely that this was his first encounter with this degree of vilification and, if so, it would be almost an intolerable baptism by fire.
The costs are high, many that we don’t see — lack of sleep, knowing that people you are talking to believe things about you that are not true but that you can’t address, magnification of past mistakes, preoccupations that contributes to present mistakes, difficulty in prayer, friends you thought you could count on don’t come through or, worse, abandon you, that sort of thing.
I remember talking with Abp. Spyridon the day before his removal was announced. I had never met him before. I was working in New York at the time and found myself alone with him quite by accident. He of course knew he was leaving the next day but nobody else did.
What I remember about the man was the intense emotional pain he was in. I could see it in his eyes, even feel it in the air. I could tell that he did not know if he could trust me or not. Rarely have I met anyone in such solitary emotional distress. It must have been a kind of hell. It was clear he was deeply hurt, even crushed by everything that happened to him.
People handle these kind of things differently. We can’t impose expectations on them because these pressures are terribly difficult to bear. And we have to be tolerant too of mistakes that might be made by people under this kind of pressure. It is nearly impossible to be on top of your game when the crowd is pulling on you to fall.
» Posted By Fr. Hans Jacobse On July 11, 2012 @ 6:43 pm
Maybe there will be some way he can continue on with his important evangelical work.
» Posted By Fr. Hans Jacobse On July 10, 2012 @ 4:53 pm
Here’s what I wrote on my blog prefacing this article from Catholic Online:
Unbeknownst to most Orthodox, Met. Jonah was the voice of Orthodoxy in the other Christian communions. His words reached into Baptist meetings, Episcopal assemblies, even the Vatican.
He traveled these halls effortlessly because he held to the simple teaching of the Gospel but in the fullness of the Orthodox moral tradition.
That is what enabled him to be heard by our non-Orthodox brethren and strengthen them at the same time for he was able to impart a depth and wisdom that many were looking for but had yet to discover.
I think most people don’t realize the reach and respect Met. Jonah had in other Christian circles. From that angle alone, this is a public relations disaster for the OCA. They’ve just shut the doors on, well, Orthodoxy in America and there is no one of his caliber to replace him.
(Full disclosure: I am an occasional columnist for Catholic Online.)
» Posted By Fr. Hans Jacobse On July 10, 2012 @ 3:45 pm
Alfred Kentigern Siewers, in the best analysis of the OCA problem I have read so far, puts his finger on the broader dimensions of the fight within the OCA:
In all this, His Beatitude’s tenure and example were not in vain in reality, even amid the denigrations of his critics. They provided a window for developing the vision of such a properly refined version of Orthodox participation with other churches in the public sphere, and a cover for those needing to gain traction who realized that libertarian and localist resistance to anti-religious secularism in America will not be enough to protect the transmission of our tradition to our children and spiritual children and grandchildren.
Siewers is correct when he points out that His Beatitude’s greatest contribution is also the reason his critics removed him. This also indicates that the present leadership seriously underestimates (or perhaps does not comprehend) the power of the ideas that informed Met. Jonah’s contribution. They are mistaken if they think that the OCA can return to an earlier operational model. It wont work.
» Posted By Fr. Hans Jacobse On July 9, 2012 @ 9:52 am
Harry Coin is a man who cares deeply about his Church. He is also an independent thinker. He deserves your respect Amos.
» Posted By Fr. Hans Jacobse On July 8, 2012 @ 1:25 pm
Who, Father, thought Democracy would bloom in Iraq?
Neo-cons at first, liberals when they regained power after the McCain defeat. The only wars that liberals don’t like are the ones started by neo-cons but as soon as they are back in power the mythology expands.
Here’s a report from journalists on your side of the aisle: the Guardian.
Drone wars and state secrecy – how Barack Obama became a hardliner.
From the article:
He was once a liberal law professor who campaigned against the Iraq war. Now, according to revelations last week, the US president personally oversees a ‘kill list’ for drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan. Then there’s the CIA renditions, increased surveillance and a crackdown on whistleblowers. No wonder Washington insiders are likening him to ‘George W Bush on steroids’.
» Posted By Fr. Hans Jacobse On July 29, 2012 @ 6:28 pm
No, Sasha, the problem IS radicalism.
Sometimes you have to stand against radicalism. And radical actions begin with radical ideas. And if you are a cultural conservative like I am, in some circles you are considered a radical too. (What!? You don’t agree with gay marriage!? Are you against human rights!?)
All this is to say that your definition is so fluid that it doesn’t mean much.
(Was overthrowing the devil a radical act? In some quarters, yes, it was.)
» Posted By Fr. Hans Jacobse On July 28, 2012 @ 7:58 am
Back To Stats Page
Marty, very few revolutions are liberal (in the classical sense of the term). The “Arab Spring,” favored by liberals (Democrats) and neo-cons (Republicans with a Democrat foreign policy) alike serves only the Muslims radicals. Look at Egypt. Ask yourself why America gives up to $1.3 billion in aid to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Reagan was smarter. When Qaddafi of Libya started acting up, he dropped a few bombs around the palace and Qaddafi got the message. He stopped misbehaving. Obama and Hillary don’t understand that. They believe when you remove a dictator democracy will bloom. It won’t. Most often the dictator is replaced by a tyrant. In the mid-east, the ones who will suffer the most are the Christians.
Even Bush senior knew this. After Kuwait, he stopped short of overthrowing Saddam Hussein. Bush junior did not.
Here’s an essay written years ago that explains why drawing distinctions between dictators and despots is important. It was written by Jeanne Kirkpatrick who later served in the Reagan administration. It is a long piece, but the thinking is excellent and still relevant.
» Posted By Fr. Hans Jacobse On July 28, 2012 @ 7:35 am