Christians for a Sustainable Economy Challenge Jim Wallis and “Progressive Christians”

Fr. Hans Jacobse just published this at the AOI Observer and has given me permission to reproduce it here.

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In response to Jim Wallis, editor of Sojourner’s Magazine and informal leader of the Christian wing of Progressive activism, several conservative Christians gathered recently to form the Christians for a Sustainable Economy (CASE). We intend to counter what we see as the unjustified and irresponsible appropriation of the authority and vocabulary of the Christian moral tradition in service to ideas and policies that threaten the fiscal and cultural fiber of American society.

Jim Wallis is the self-appointed religious leader of the Progressive movement that conflates the biblical mandate to care for the poor with the policy prescriptions of big government and deficit spending. Recently he led a highly publicized White House visit of Progressive religious leaders that gained a considerable press attention and created the impression that any objection to the spending of the Obama administration was an offense against Christ. (Hear Wallis explain the purpose of the visit at the Huffington Post. Read a critique of the visit by the Institute of Religion and Democracy.)

The White House visit was a public relations gambit geared to shift opinion against bringing Congressional spending under control. Wallis formed the “Circle of Shared Responsibility,” a statement that literally bathes in the language of scripture but calculated to deliver the religious vote to Obama. How do we know this? Because George Soros, no friend of religion or nation states, funds Sojourners. See: Why Is Jim Wallis Denying that He Receives Grants from Deep-Pocketed Leftists like George Soros?

Should we Orthodox even care about these issues? Yes. Each of us owes $42,500 on the national debt. This debt will pass on to our children and grandchildren unless we stop our profligate ways. If that doesn’t worry you, visit the National Debt Clock to see how fast we are spending the money!

Further, several influential people in Orthodox circles who have jumped onto the Progressive bandwagon. One is Fr. Leonid Kishkovsky, Director of External Affairs and Interchurch Relations for the Orthodox Church in America, who signed the Wallis proclamation (download pdf).

In a small way I contributed to the formation and direction of CASE and am one of the early signers on a document urging more prudence about budget deficits as well repudiating the notion that only Progressives speak for Christians. I invite all readers to read the document and consider adding your name to it.

Also, please link to this article on your websites and Facebook and Google+ pages.


  1. The “Progressive” movement is, in reality, “Marxism-Lite” and should be denounced boldly in the Church wherever it raises its heretical head. Marxism and Christianity are antithetical: God made us each unique. Had He wanted every life to be identical, He would have made it so.

    This is the same contingent that buys into Antonio Gramsci’s evil propaganda and wants to introduce ‘gender equity’ and ‘gay marriage’ into the Church because it knows better than the Church founders. ‘Progressivism’ is not only a heresy, but it is a spiritual virus which has already killed the Church in Europe. These people have to be kicked out of the Church immediately; a gangrenous limb, if left unattended, will kill us all.

  2. igumen Gregory says

    One should not be surprised by Fr. K’s sympathies, considering his involvement in the NCC ana the WCC for decades. So much of what we are witnessing is the revival of the Communist backed Living Church Faction is former Soviet days. The more things change the more they remain the same.

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      I must strongly object to Fr. Han’s attack on Greek Orthodox Bishop Savas Zembellis. Let me tell you something father that maybe you don’t know. Neo-Conservative (White) Republicans do not like Greek people. You and even other Greeks want to think otherwise go right ahead. but I worked as a go-for for Republicans down in Florida back in the mid the late 80’s and I remember distinctly being told not to let them know my ethnicity, meaning that I was Greek and this was Clearwater Florida. You don’t get more Greek in Florida than Clearwater and Tarpon Springs.

      My mother, father, uncles and aunts all told me how back in the day in Chicago how the nice white people would not rent apartments to Greeks and even had signs out that said: “No dogs, no cats and no Greeks.” Greek Orthodox Bishop Savas Zembellis has every right to distrust the Republicans and more so the Racist Tea Party People. I have seen nothing but nativist and racists sentiments from them, especially against our President (i.e. Birther issue, etc.)

      Now this might cause me to get flack, but I don’t care. I have no love for Democrates, and I have no love for Tea Party Racists and Corporatist Republicans, but for Fr. Hans to attack the person of Greek Orthodox Bishop Savas Zembellis is offensive. Why don’t you follow the example of Metropolitan Jonah and apologize. You really crossed the line. If I crossed the line than I’m sorry, but I am very sensative to this type of issue.

      Peter A. Papoutsis

      • Peter, the segregationists were all democrats, and they were a welcome part of the democrat coalition from the civil war into the 70’s. Al Gore, Mr. Earth himself, was the son of a great segregationist Democrat Senator, and Bill Clinton was the intern of another one… Senator Fulbright.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          and the modern Republican Party, via the Tea Party is racist! They attacked the President over his birth certificate HIS BIRTH CERTIFICATE! Sharon Engel talked about “Second Amendment Remedies,” and during the Health Care debate you had Tea Party people caring vicious caricatures of President Obama as Hitler. So our first AfricaAmerican President is called a Socialist, a Kenyan Tribesman, ala that paragon of virtue Newt Gingrich, a Nazi, an illegitimate American Citizen, and a no good community organizer. Talk radio is livid with this man, more livid than they were with Bill Clinton. They have used every word as a substitute for the N-Word.

          As for Bishop Savas Zembellis do you think its right to single him out as well as Fr. Leo just because they take a moral stand that is well within the bounds of Orthodox Morality? Now if they had said something like Fr. Arida said then I would have no problem going after them as they then would be off the Orthodox reservation and they deserve the criticism. Metropolitan Gerasimos even got in hot water, and rightly so, for his remarks that were seen as supportive of Homosexuality, but he clarified and rectified the situation later on.

          But to single out Bishop Savas for criticism because of his support for President Obama and his dislike of Neo-Conservatives is just plain wrong. What has happened to Fr. Hans and others is a substitution of our Orthodox Faith for a certain political ideology. The Leftist did this with the Social Gospel and Liberation Theology and the Right-Wing did this with the Wealth and Prosperity Gospel. Now, I like Fr. Hans and agree with much of his writings, but none of us are perfect and we all make mistakes. Fr. Hans in this instant made a mistake and crossed the line with Bishop Savas.

          What Greek Orthodox Bishop Savas Zembellis and Fr.Leo did in the above article is not wrong for the moral positions they have taken on the economic situation currently in America. However, the criticism of Fr. Leo’s actions in light of Metropolitan Jonah’s actions in signing the Manhattan Declaration, as fully articulated over on OCAT, are spot on. Why did Met. Jonah get is trouble for what he did and why is Fr. Leo NOT in trouble for what he did. That part is a legitimate criticism of Fr.Leo’s actions, but not the part on Bishop Savas Zembellis. I’m sorry it was not!

          Peter A. Papoutsis

          • Also, the fact that Mr. Obama’s birth certificate is a fraud is demonstrably true. The technology to evaluate it exists and has proven that is is a complete fraud. You may not wish to believe it, but it is true nevertheless.

          • The question of Obama’s nationality has nothing to do with race, and he could have put the matter to rest a lot sooner had he simply provided the original sooner. There were liberals who challenged McCain’s right to run for President on the grounds that he was born on a military base in the Panama Canal Zone. Racist, Peter?

            There are a lot o tea party folks who are black, hispanic, or asian. Racist?

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says

              Fr. Whiteford, let me begin by saying I agree with you and alot that you have to say, and your constant support of the Orthodox Theology and Orthodox Morality is right on. However, having said this I do disagree with what the extreme right wing has done to our current President. Its just shamful. The man produced his birth certificate. The same birth certificate you or I would produce. None of us produce the orginal as the original is always kept in the local county archives. What you, I and others received is an official print out of live birth or a certified declaration of birth. This is exactly what we get in Chicago, County of Cook, DuPage, Will, McHenry, lake, etc.

              When I lived in Clearwater, Florida, and my friends who lived down there received the same thing. Never the original. Now the original birth certificate was revealed, even after the Republican governor of Hawaii verified Predident Obama’s birth in the U.S., and still to this day, people still believe he is NOT legitimately a U.S. Citizen, and all those people are Tea Party nuts.

              Now, lets go to Newt Gingrigh and his “Kenyan Tribesman” remark. Really!? What not drop the code words and just use the N-Word? How about Socialist? Obama has been more favorable to Wall Street than anyone I know, and he’s a socialist? Not even Michael Medved goes that far!

              Now were there similar excesses on the left during the Presidency of Geroge W. Bush? ABSOLUTELY!! The most offensive thing I saw, and it disgusted me to no end, was the film – “The Assassination of George W. Bush.” The leftists can say what they want, but that film was propigating the idea that President Bush need to be killed! The was wrong, and that is the “Correct” equivalency that the right was correct in bringing up after the Gabrielle Gifford shooting.

              Both sides are partisan, and both sides need to way tone it down. Until I see any real change in rhetoric I remain convinced that the Tea Party is at its very core a Racist party that once President Barak Obama leaves office will most likely disappear, and if it does, my point and those of others will have been made, until the next Non-White/Non-Male President takes office.

              Finally, I know that my tone and words are offivsive to you and a greatly apologize for them. My wife constantly tells me I have a temper, and even I get the better of myself. So I am sorry for my tones and words, but not for my stance.

              God Bless

              Peter A. Papoutsis

          • Brian Jackson says

            The Obama/Hitler signs were carried by the followers of Lyndon LaRouche who also co-protested at the Tea Party events. The LaRouche movement is leftist and shares no goals with the Tea Party.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          Oh as for Fr. Leo’s and the OCA’s involvement with the NCCC and the WCC (i.e. Ecumenism) yeah that is wrong. I also hate the fact that the GOA is with these groups and still in the Ecumenical movement, but I truly hope and pray that both the OCA and the GOA get out in the very near future. One can only pray and speak up!

          Peter A. Papoutsis

      • Peter:

        With all due respect, the Tea Party crowd is just a group of Americans–from both parties–who don’t want to be made serfs of the state: their issue is entirely fiscal. Any other construction of their position is purely Left-wing propaganda. I mean, if you believe that spending 100% of GDP is wrong, you’re a Tea Partier yourself. Don’t believe Leftist nonsense.

        Also: Do you actually know the definition of “Neo-conservative”? I think not. Neo-Conservatives, as defined originally, are Leftists who have seen the error of their ways and become more conservative. As many of them happen to be Jewish, the term, “neo-conservative”, is often used as slur code for “Jewish”. Get your facts straight.

        As a Chicagoan, I have to confess to never having seen anti-Greek sentiment. Why in the world would anyone be anti-Greek? Greeks are great citizens. Only morons would be prejudiced against Greeks. Perhaps your acquaintance with 2 or 3 morons is coloring your point of view.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          Ah No!!!! They are very clearly racists. And if you are from Chicago and don’t know the History of Greeks, Italians, Irish, Germans, Jews, and Arabs, especially the very insulting snub that our new Mayor did towards the Local Arab community that voted for him and now won’t even meet with Arab-American journalists as his Pro-Israeli bloc told him he better NOT meet with him then you don’t know how racially divided the City of Chicago really was, is, and continues to be. I wish it was not so, but it is.

          I wish it was only 2 to 3 people that didn’t like Greeks, Serbs, Albanians, Bulgarians, Ukranians, etc. Living in Chicago would have been much better for my parents and a whole other people that were and still are looked down on. A Greek restaurant owner or, in my case, Greek Gas Station owner can make money send his kids to college and beyond and the good old white people still look at that guy, MY DAD, as just a shifty Greek guy that you can’t trust. I saw it. I heard it. I was there and its the same words I hear coming out of the Tea Party sorry to tell ya. I wish it was just me, but once the good old white people were done with the Greeks, Serbs, Albanians and Italians, they went after the Arabs. In Oak Lawn, IL they would not even allow them to have a mosque until after a fight, and this was before 9/11. The same in Tinley Park, IL, Same in Addison, IL, same in Orland park, IL, etc. I don’t think, unless my geography is wrong that any of these mosques were any where near ground zero. Can you imagine this happening to a Christian community wanting to build a church?

          As for your birth certificate comments all I can say is keep drinking the kool-aid buddy. Your making my argument for me.

          Peter A. Papoutsis

          • Peter, I see you obtained that broad brush used to paint your father and are using it to paint the Tea Party folks.

            Tea Party objections to Obama policies are not raced based (he is white, after all), they are purely that he (and many republican and democrat house and senate members) have no regard for the rule of law (the Constitution). They are attempting “transform” America into something it was never intended to be.

            While there may be a few racists involved in tea party activities, I can assure you there were some shiftless Greeks in Chicago back in the day. Did that justify calling all Greeks shiftless? Not anymore than it justifies calling all Tea Party folks racist.

      • Peter,

        It’s not an attack. Bp. Savas is quite clear about his Progressive convictions. I’m merely stating what everyone already knows and what he affirms without reservation. If he calls me a cultural conservative (which I am), I wouldn’t take offense at that at all.

        Bp. Savas also agrees with Jim Wallis’ view of the world, just as Fr. Kishkovsky does as witnessed by his signing of the “Circle of Protection” document. I think they are wrong. They think I am wrong. We can both be wrong I guess, but we can’t both be right given that the views are in opposition in so many areas.

        That’s the only point I am making. I don’t think it’s wrong to point out Bp. Savas’ or Fr. Kishkovsky’s views either. If they are public about them, then they have to expect criticism, just as I do or anyone else who jumps into the public square to debate these issues.

        Fr. Hans

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          You are singling people out. You are singling Clergy out that have broken no canon or moral code, and are well within the Orthodox Moral Tradition. There is a great danger being run, maybe on both sides (this can be legitimately debated) that we are substituting political ideology for Orthodox Theology. Unless a Priest or Bishop clearly breaks with Orthodoxy why single them out for taking a moral stand that is well within our tradition? Are we now Mark Stoke? Mr. Stoke singled Metropolitan Jonah out for his signing of the Manhattan Declaration and is stance on DADT. Are your actions any different? Really? Be vary careful, especially in singling out an Orthodox Bishop who has done nothing wrong.

          Peter A. Papoutsis

          • How am I singling them out? They write on Facebook and sign public documents. They are public figures making public statements about public issues.

            If you were criticizing me for mentioning someone who is not public with their views, who is not deliberately outspoken like Bp. Savas, Fr. Kishkovsky or myself are, I’d take your point.

            But I’m not saying anything that they wouldn’t affirm about themselves.

            What would offend them I think is not that I name them as Progressive (they seem quite comfortable with the label), but that the appropriation of the Christian vocabulary by Progressive activists like Jim Wallis is morally illegitimate.

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says

              Metropolitan Jonah is a public figure and the Manhattan Declaration is VERY public document and Mr. Stoke singled him out as well as the entire Holy Synod of the OCA and went after Met. Jonah. Mr. Stoke said the same exact thing about Met. Jonah. I am sorry you do not see the problem. Again, if they go off the Orthodox reservation like Fr. Arida then fine I’m with you, but where did they go off the reservation?

              Peter A. Papoutsis

              • Peter: Bravo on all you have said about the Tea Party, those belonging to it and the extreme right wing positions that they espouse. There is no error in being either progressive, liberal, moderate, or conservative and Christian/Orthodox. The group in this blog *tends* toward conservative and legalistic moralist thinking in which they condemn all who don’t agree. There are crazy people on both sides of the ideological spectrum. Somehow, the conservative crazies are the most apopleptic and excessive. One such crazy person equates Progressive thinking with Marxism-lite. As you can figure, this is slander and smear. Associating the opposition with smears about Marxism and Communism is a tried and true tool of McCarthyism. Denouncing Progressive and liberal thinkers is the only sure way the Right knows how to attempt to ruin the reputation of good people. You can see it here. Conservative thought is an intellectual desert. Time and again they will try to actually prevent people from thinking any thoughts but their own.

                • Methinks Peter & Stephen have confused the Tea Party movement for the Westboro Baptists. As a self identified right winger I am not a Tea Party advocate namely because their cause is focused on fiscal conservative issues – taxes & spending. For me social issues, such as the pro-life cause are much more important and on that issue the Tea Party is silent.

                  On the topic of Obama’s place of birth I never understood the issue because no one claims that his mother was not an American. Still it is a hoot that his only surviving grandmother claims that she was present at his birth in Kenya! In her advanced years is she confused? – Probably.

                • Brian Jackson says

                  Stephen, do you read what you write? You write, “Somehow, the conservative crazies are the most apopleptic and excessive” and “Conservative thought is an intellectual desert” while, in the same incoherent paragraph, you accuse the right of engaging in “slander and smear.” My goodness! Is this satire?

              • Peter, based on your objection I revised it. I don’t believe the give and take of religion and politics in the public square precludes a mention, but on the other hand I don’t want the mention to detract from the substance of the post either. If you believe it does, others may too and then the purpose for writing it is lost.

                • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                  Actually, I had no objection whatsoever in the content of your article. Actually, your articles are very articulate and thought-provoking and I and others enjoy them greatly. I was simply objecting to the singling out, not to the content. I even agreed with OCAT take on Fr. Leo taking a public stance and whether he ran this through the OCA hierarchy as he and others want Metropolitan Jonah to do. So I do not want to leave the impression that you, I or others should not voice our objections because we should. Further, clergy should be singled out as Met. Gerasimos was, as Fr. Arida was, etc., when they depart from Orthodox Theology and Morality. Its was just here I did not see it that’s all I was saying. The issue is done with me, I will read and enjoy your articles as I always do, and please, PLEASE forgive me for the offense that I caused. I do tend to offend and it is a sin I have yet to subdue. Please forgive me.

                  Peter A. Papoutsis

                  • No offense taken, Peter. I didn’t read your remark as a critique of the content either.

                    I just woke up this morning and thought that if Peter responded in the way he has, others may too and that will overshadow the point I am trying to make. Since naming Bp. Savas doesn’t add any clarity of my point, removing his name doesn’t detract from it. I left Fr. Kishkovsky in because he signed the Wallis proclamation.

                    No sense dying on a hill not worth fighting for.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Peter you make Chicago sound like a racist city full of hate and corruption. Why would we want any politician from such a place to lead us?

                    In writing prior to the election on his blog (don’t you think it odd that any Orthodox Bishop would maintain a personal blog?), Bp. Savas was among the Obama-as-savior-crowd. That is fundamentally outside both the moral and theological truth revealed to the Church. He has refused to criticized Pres. Obama on the abortion. By supporting Obama, Bp Savas is effectively supporting abortion, normalization of homosexuality, dependency on the state and a method of government that kills folks spiritually.

                    It is proper to raise the issue of whether or not a person is Constitutionally qualified to be President of the United States. It is up to the candidate to show proof. Obama refused to do so until it was too late to do anything anyway. And the concept of rule of law has been so eviserated by the eqalitarian agendas of the last 60 years that no one really cared. Anyone who actually cared was automatically labled a nut. How sad. That left them in the place of then VP Nixon when he was forced to proclaim on national TV: “I am not a crook!”

                    The Constitution does not authorize most of what the Federal government does. Still we go blythely on funneling more and more power and control to them because “they are from the government and they are here to help us”–but they’ll respect us in the morning I’m sure.

                    Pres. Obama was mentored by a convicted domestic terrorist and those advocating lies to usurp power and allow the state to control everything (Bill Ayers & Saul Alinsky among others as well as one of the founders of the Communist party in the US). All of his policies have been in accord with such an ideology. Many of his actions are, IMO, racist ala another of his mentors Rev. Wright. In our time such ideology of government control along with the political technique used to achieve power (the BIG LIE) has been called either Communist, Marxist, Socialist or Fascist depending on the economics prefered. Each of these ‘..ists’ have clear economic, social and moral policies that are antithetical to Christian belief and, when power is achieved, persecution of Christians is not far behind. It is too bad that no discussion of what such ideologies have done as the very mention of these words in association with anyone seems to be deemed a ‘hate crime’. The words and a recognition of what they actually mean are in the process of being pruged from our language. A little Orwellian don’t you think?

                    Anti-traditionalists from all political persuasions are doing their best to cleanse the language of any actual meaning so that nothing can be passed on to others that has any substance. Unfortunately, those like Jim Wallis and those that support his faux-theological language are helping, if not leading that effort. Such intention is clearly not Orthodox.

                    Since I can’t use Communist, Socialist, Facist, Marxist or Maoist, how about statist?
                    It has fewer emotional triggers, at least so far. Unfortunately, most national politicians of any party suffer from this disease. I don’t know if the disease is curable. But it is destroying culture, virtue and freedom. George Soros is a major funding source and propogater of anti-traditional society.

                    And just in case you think I’m partisan. The actual name for ‘crony-capitalism’ is fascism. It is not ‘right wing’ in any logical meaning of that word so it is not surprising that polticians of both parties gravitate toward it. It has a long history of national politicians embracing it. I am afraid it is becoming fashionable once again.

                    The Resistable Rise of Artuo Ui–an interesting play set in Chicago. The playwrite was perhaps more prophetic than even he believed.

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      Dear Michael:

                      I disagree with almost all of your cariactures. I do not disagree with your basic premise that all candidates need to be natural born citizens to run for President. I know President Obama has more than done that and now its just beating a dead horse. IMHO a racist horse. You may disagree and you have every right too do so. You are not obligated to accept well-documented and certified papers from the State of Hawaii.

                      Further, I will most whole-heartedly agree that President Obama is a Big Government moderate left President. Socialist? Maxist? NO! Now can we legitimately argue that America has a mixture of socialistic and capitalistic features? Absolutely, but so does Canada, All of Europe, etc.

                      As for your critique of Chicago. I cannot argue too much as to say there are many good people hear that are trying to get away from this, but its difficult.


                    • Interesting how you bring right wing politics into religion. The last time I heard such was when I was drafted for Vietnam and told killing communist atheists was not only necessary, but virtuous.

          • Archpriest John Morris says

            The problem with Jim Wallis, the religious left and the religious right is that they compromise the Gospel by claiming divine sanction for their personal political views. Christ and His Holy Church are above partisan politics. Although He revealed the truth about God and our salvation He did not reveal the perfect political and economic system. For this reason sincere and dedicated Orthodox Christians can and do differ on matters involving secular political issues. Although, a priest or bishop has every right to his own personal political views, he must never use his position in the Church to further a political agenda or to question the commitment to Christ of those who disagree with him on secular politics. Christ, however, has revealed to us that abortion and homosexual activities are both sins. On those grounds alone, I personally cannot but oppose Obama and his social agenda. On grounds of my studies of history and common sense, I also cannot support his economic agenda. However, I never question the devotion to Christ of those who disagree with my personal political views and never use my position as an Orthodox priest to further any secular political program.

            Archpriest. John W. Morris

  3. Michael Bauman says


    Obama was mentored in politics by several hard-left guys (Alinsky, Ayers and Rev. Wright) or do you dispute that?

    Obama is the most abortion favoring president we have ever had–that is not a moderate position.

    Obama has done more to ‘nomalize’ homosexual activity than any previous president–that is not a moderate position.

    His nationalization of GM even if only temprary was not moderate.

    Two things: 1. What positions and policies has he taken/proposed that are moderate? 2. I’d like something you consider proof that the Tea Party, as an organization, is racist. While you are at it would you please define your meaning of racist?

    • The Tea Party has an image problem, i.e., attracting racists, which it has done little to distance itself from. If you are racist, defined broadly as illegal discrimination, in your viewpoints, the Tea Party is very attractive. The Tea party would like to dismantle large swaths of the Federal Government. They believe a business owner should be allowed to practice illegal discrimination. They believe in eliminating anti-poverty programs, affirmative action, etc. If I’m racist and I want to participate in the political process, what political party will orient to–Democratic Party or Tea Party?

      • Lola J. Lee Beno says

        Well . . . looking at the photos of the newly-formed South Central LA Black Tea party at this article, I’m truly, truly finding it hard to pick out the racists in these photos. Some of these folks have a truly a way with words, especially the last speaker at the end of the 14-minute video.

        • South Central LA Black Tea Party . . . really. Jesse Petersen is Jeremiah Wright’s doppelganger, although actually it’s easier to understand how Wright’s views coalesced. Petersen on the other hand . . . his thinking that slavery was a good thing because it brought Blacks to the US . . the inference that slavery was tough but in a boot camp kind of way. I’m sure that there were some Blacks who supported George Wallace, but that doesn’t prove that Wallace wasn’t racist.

          I didn’t say the Tea party was racist, rather that it would, will, does attract those elements. Because of that it should be clear in its opposition to racism. For the same reason, Orthodox adherents who espouse right wing (or left wing) ideology should be selective in their political views, especially when assigning religious support.

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      Obama had associations with these people, but none of his policies have ever been so radical. Obama has never proposed planting bomb and killing people like Ayer’s SDS.

      Obama is Pro-choice, but did give even more protection, via executive order, to not allow federal funding for Abortion under his Healthcare Reform Act.

      The LGBT lobby with much bi-partisan support normalized Homosexuality. Although Obama does support the expansion of Gay Rights it was congress that did away with DADT, the Republicans did nothing to stop it, but the again neither did Obama. So I will concede half the argument.

      Obama put entitlement cuts on the table, supported the Bush tax cuts, failed to close Guantanamo, and has deported more illegal immigrants than even president Bush. President Obama is a leftist moderate.

      Why is the Tea Party racist? One phrase: Kenyan Tribesman ala Newt Gingrich.


      • Obama is a marxist. You? You’re just a very naive man.

      • Peter, Newt Gingrich can hardly be put in the “Tea Party” category. He has zero support. Just look at his stellar campaign for president? How’s that working out for him? As to his Kenyan tribesman remark, are you referring to his supposition that Obama is governing and has a world view like an anti-colonial Kenyan tribesman? A theory he picked up from Dinesh D’sousa article in National Review?

        You should actually go to a Tea Party rally sometime and meet some people. Ignore the people with racist signs trying to smear the decent people attending.

        • Alec, one thing I notice about Liberals is that they’ve almost to a man, never been to an actual Tea Party. That’s OK by me, I’d rather they believe the blather they get from Michael Moore as it will continue to blind them to reality.

  4. Michael Bauman says


    Let’s see ‘right-wing’ politics:

    Life is a gift from God and should not be thrown away, especially the most innocent and vulnerable our children (Church’s position from day 1)

    Homosexual behavior is sinful and detrimental to both those involved and any community of which they are a part. (Church’s postion since day 1)

    The state should not be worshipped.

    2 Thessolonians 3:

    8Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:

    9Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.

    10For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

    Is that what you mean?

    • Michael Bauman says:

      10For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

      Is that what you mean?

      Well, I guess that would solve the problem with having too many elderly?

      • CodeNameYvette says

        I don’t know the original Greek. However, it is pretty clear that the English phrase “would not” implies intention and willingness rather than ability and capacity.

        We are all quite familiar with people who are willing but not able to work at some point in their lives, including each one of us until our parents taught us our first chores.

        We are also quite familiar with people who are able to work but not willing, while being quite willing to eat at the expense of others. Sometimes very familiar indeed.

      • Michael Bauman says

        The kind of knee-jerk reaction I expected, Logan46. It simply means that those who want to get something for nothing should not be encoraged or supported in their laziness. It has nothing to do with those whose labors are insufficient, but, of course, you would think so. You took the bait. How utterly perdictable.

        Perdictable as well that you would completely ignore the rest of what I wrote: abortion, homsexual normalization and other support for hedonistic life.

      • Logan, clearly you don’t understand the context of Paul’s admonition and therefore, the complete failure of the welfare state which has created a safety hammock (as opposed to a safety net).

        We are free beings, possessed of free will. We are also sinful and should be grateful for what God has done for us. Being lazy,, no-account malingerers is not showing gratitude towards God or man.

        • Oh, I think I do–excuse the hyperbole in making a point. Many of these things I have heard all my life and sometimes it makes me think the last place to find Christians is in a church. If our brother is poor, we judge whether or not if he is worthy of our help. We can’t support a Presidential candidate interested in social and economic justice if he so happens to believe in a balanced approach towards women’s reproductive rights. Yet, apparently, it’s laudable to support political candidates that support unnecessary wars and the killing of civilian women and children, as well as capital punishment. My point was perhaps its better to leave politics out of our religious experience.

          • Logan, you’re being very judgmental. I’ve been active in Right-wing circles for several years now, and I can say with confidence that not only do we not judge those who have fallen on hard times (as I myself have on occasion) but we are the FIRST to reach into our own pockets and relieve any suffering that we see. That’s been proven time and time again. One recent writer did a sociological study about charitable giving and found that conservatives were far more philanthropic than liberals. Or as Will Rogers (a Democrat) said: “I remember when ‘liberal’ meant being generous with your own money.”

            I’ll cite the book in a later post.

            • Michael Bauman says

              George, please don’t go down the touchy-feely ‘you’re being judgemental’ approach. Of course Logan’s being judgemental in the sense that he is making value decisions based on principals that he holds as true. Those principals are in conflict with ours and many of them are in direct contradiction of the Holy Scripture and the teaching of the Church it appears.

              I do not get the feeling that he is consigning us to ever-lasting perdition from his own will. That is the judgement that is God’s alone. For the rest of us, we are required to discern and make choices while repenting of those choices and actions that are wrong.

              I am certainly not consiging Logan to hell, way above my pay grade. What I can do is act on my principals and beliefs with as much consistency as possible, repent, and pray.

          • Michael Bauman says

            Logan, if you honestly think Obama’s approach to what you call “women’s repoductive rights” is balanced you are smoking something you shouldn’t be. BTW: ‘women’s reproductive rights” is left-wing dreck for “we want to be allowed to kill our babies anytime we want”

            It is a constant devaluation of women, children and the human person in general.

            The phrase economomic and social justice is simply another way of the government being Prince John masqerading as Robin Hood.

            It creates dependency and is little more than a giant vote-buying scheme. Have you notice the recent articles on the Head Start Program. It doesn’t work (actually never worked), but it continues getting funding in the name of social and economic justice.

            • Messrs George and Michael,

              Judgmental? Perhaps. My responses were predicated on my perceived inference that being Orthodox and (take your pick) Democrat, Liberal, or having voted for Obama, are incompatible. I thought this unfair as the same standard didn’t seem to apply to those with Republican, conservative, or right wing beliefs. As such, I pointed out that capital punishment and the killing of innocents in what many see as an unjust war in Iraq, might be considered by some as contrary to Orthodoxy. Yet, most Republicans, conservatives, and right wingers support the death penalty, as well as the preemptive attack on another country for reasons, later to be unproven or worse, false. Although we regret innocent civilians die as a result, it doesn’t seem to bother our consciences.

              Let me go a step further. The Church speaks out, appropriately, against abortion as a sin, not as a criminal act? What is wrong with that position? To be Orthodox, why do I have to support political candidates who want to criminalize abortion in all circumstances (and to the exclusion of all other political positions they may hold)? Currently, the state, in most instances, says it is the individual’s choice to determine if it’s right or wrong. Again, to be Orthodox, requires me to support political candidates who will coerce that belief on others that do not believe that way? Yet, it’s okay to support political candidates that favor the death penalty, knowing the potential that an innocent person could be executed, as well as the killing of civilians in what may well be an unjustifiable war. There seems to be an incongruity here. With abortion, we let the individual decide. Yet, on the other hand, with capital punishment and the current wars, we approve the state killing in our names.

              We are quick to castigate those Orthodox that speak out in bettering their fellow man, if the state is involved. Health care reform comes to mind. Why in the world would we not want to save lives, prolong lives, provide a better quality of life for all Americans, without regard to economic status, if it is within our capability to do so? We have no qualms about using the power of the state to kill, but not to save lives? We each have, and are entitled to, our own views about the role government in our lives. However, what those views are should not be a measure of Orthodoxy (IMHO).

              Since the assumption’s been made, I’ll state my personal/political beliefs. Politically, I’m an independent. I’m right of center or left of center, depending on how strongly I feel about the issue or issues. I’m pro-life, but I don’t want to use the power of the state to force my beliefs on others. I’m against the death penalty, because inevitably an innocent person has, is, or will be executed. I see wars as inevitable because human nature is flawed, but as a last resort and when justifiable. I support gay anti-discrimination measures, but not gay marriage. I believe in the family unit and abhor the glorification of single parenthood. I believe in equality of opportunity, not of outcome, and I believe the state can foster that. On the other hand, I see most state anti-poverty programs as poverty sustaining programs. I believe strongly in personal responsibility and accountability.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Logan, obviously I was not clear. I never claimed or believe you were being judgemental merely that you were making your discerments and forming positions from a premisis that is dissimilar to mine. In fact, I really don’t like the ‘you are being judgemental’ line. Most of the time it simply doesn’t apply and even if it does, that is the problem of the person, not me.

                How one’s faith translate’s into public/political action is unique with each person. As long as we work hard to stay away from importing or baptizing a particular political ideology with the veeneer of Christianity, there is a lot of room for divurgence of practice.

                However, abortion is not one of those. The Church has always defined abortion as murder, the willful taking of another human life. It is both a sin and a criminal act. The canons are quite clear on that. The mother and the abortionist are held equally in violation.

                If we are uanble to rely on the state to protect the most innocent and vulnerable of its citizens, what else can be rely on the state for.

                Also, it is simply impossible to live in any kind of community without ‘forcing one’s beliefs on others’ That is a tired idological canard intended to silence people of faith. The abortionists act with conviction on their faith and all too often we do not.

                Many in Islam and even some Orthodox believe strongly that it is their duty to kill a female family member who has ‘brought shame’ on the family/clan. Such ‘honor killings’ are a matter of faith and entirely justified within that belief system. Yet in the United States we arrest and prosecute the perpatrators of such killings with murder (so far).

                I see no difference in regard to abotion. It is an article of faith amongst the true believers in abortion that the woman has a right to kill her own child. Now they call the child by all sorts of euphemisims to avoid facing the reality (at least most of them), but the fact remains, the want to write their beliefs into law and force them on us so that expressing a contrary belief is a criminal act.

                There is no such thing as individual choice in such matters, such actions and such laws are always founded upon belief and always result in the force of the state being applied to those that don’t believe. That is the point of law. The alternative is to live in a lawless society in which everyone is a law unto themselves and the strongest wins. Force is always an issue. In a fallen world there is no avoiding it.

                So, one either acquieses to the evil belief that it is OK for a mother to kill her child (and then one is faced with the rather arbitrary decision of where the line is drawn and the premission no longer granted). As our Secretary of Health and Human Services (a titular Catholic) remarked during her first run for governor of Kansas: “I believe in human rights, I just don’t believe they extend to the fetus in the womb.”

                The other course is to insist that government abide by laws of simple human decency that say, one person may not murder another. If the murder occurs and it can be proved, then legal consequences up to and including loss of one’s own life will be applied.

                I share your concern with capital punishment BTW.

                If something is true such as: It is wrong to murder. It is true for every human being (murder and killing are not necessarily synonomous). That is simple.

                It is difficult however to avoid the relativist, eqalitarian, dictomous ideological thinking that permeates our society. An on-going battle. That’s why we have each other: to call each other to a deeper understanding and embodiment, not of what we believe, but of the truth revealed to the Church.

  5. cynthia curran says

    Well, its just as wrong to promote class hatred which of course the far left does as racism on the right. And I think that conservatives are not comfortable with minorities but some minorities of a radical bend blame whites going back to the Greeks and Romans for all our problems in the world. I don’t believe Obama believes that the Romans and Us are the great white oppressors but his pastor Rev Wright did. The Left did several times compared Bush to Hitler when he was president. Not that I’m saying the right didn’t say anything crazy as well about Obama. Political polemics that are nasty have been around before Procopius Secret History. Most writers of the left or right couldn’t reach the satire of a Procopius anyways.


      No place like home? One in four LGB teens are driven out

      by Andrea Mooney on August 3, 2011

      ….According to the recent Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Surveys (YRBS), one in four teens who identify themselves as lesbian or gay are homeless, and a study in the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) says that it’s more likely that these teens are being driven out of their homes by their parents. Supporting this are findings from studies of homeless youth living apart from their families. One such study shows that 73 percent of homeless gay and lesbian teens indicated that they were homeless because their parents disapproved of their sexual orientation…..

      I post this here for some reaction, expecting much love for the children, but not for the ‘sin’. Will there be a place for these kids for a crown in heaven if they die on the street this week? You would have them come to your homes and then talk to them that Jesus only loves them if they hate themselves? I am sure I will see posts of rare cases of homosexuals being changed from their ‘sin’ to not being attracted to the same sex anymore. I invite you all to look seriously at the evidence and data available from many reputable sources which indicate the procedures used by psychologists to change people’s sexual orientation are insufficient often with no follow-up data. Follow-up data done by the APA indicates that very few (3%) of those who have had sexual reorientation therapy now had an opposite sex attraction, and often these individuals were self-identified bisexual prior to treatment. The reality is that most (88%) leave re-orientation therapy with no change in orientation. One of the most telling of the lack of success is when determining what material is used by the individuals who claim to have be re-oriented–i. e. they are still have same-sex fantasies when masturbating. Right–they shouldn’t be doing that either!!

      • Stephen, I’m not replying for your sake, because it’s clear that you refuse to listen to any exposition of authentic Orthodox teaching. I only want to say something for the sake of other people who may be reading this, so that they won’t be afflicted by your delusions.

        You set up the straw man of gay ‘conversions’ because it’s easy to knock down, but nobody involved in reaffirming the Orthodox tradition with respect to sexuality has advocated such ‘conversions’. You won’t admit that, though, because to you everyone who opposes homosexual activity is the same as those Westboro crackpots. I guess it really is much easier to hate a stereotype than actually get to know someone.

        I am furious, however, that you would bring up the plight of homeless teenagers, some of whom were kicked out because they identified as homosexual, and use this as if it could be held against us. If I ever became a spiritual mother, any so-called Orthodox parent who abandons their own child to the street would be given a severe penance. Truth be told, though, plenty of the parents who have thrown out their teenage children have only their own hatred to blame for their heartless behavior, not any misunderstood religious precept.

        But you claim we would take in homeless homosexual teens in only to tell them “Jesus only loves them if they hate themselves”. We would certainly tell them the truth about their sexuality, which is that homosexual inclinations are not sinful in themselves, but that homosexual activity can only bring more death and destruction into their lives. We can tell them that celibacy is not a condemnation to loneliness, but an opportunity to cultivate an all-embracing love for everyone who comes into their lives, to devote themselves to caring for others. We can not only help them survive, but thrive as new beings in Christ, as beings who are not only unconditionally loved by God but able to reflect it to all people.

        You, on the other hand, in providing “affirmation” for sinful sexual activity, would only keep them alive in order to murder their souls. What you provide, Stephen, is even more hateful, evil, and heartless than the unworthy parent who put them on the street to begin with.

      • At first the article sounded like kids are homeless because they’re homosexual. Then reading it closer it said that self-identification as a homosexual contributes to homelessness. Then looking even closer it becomes apparent that the link between homelessness and homosexuality does not have the one to one correspondence that the author would like us to be believe. Sure, self-identification as homosexual can contribute to child homelessness, but there’s a lot more dysfunction already happening before the homosexual factor kicks in.

        So the implicit hypothesis that kids are homeless because they are homosexual doesn’t really add up. It might be true that in some cases that self-identification as homosexual caused a parent to drive a child onto the street, but there’s a much greater pathology at play as well — something the article mentions but only obscurely. A journalist (an honest one anyway) would tell you the article functions more as an editorial than as an objective report of the study, and the study itself is hidden behind a pay wall so it is difficult to see what it really says.

        As for the APA data, that too is a huge debate in psychological circles. NARTH is featuring the former President of the APA who was at first opposed to reparative therapies but changed his mind when looking at the data and talking to people who were helped by it. His position now is that his former dismissal of the therapy was wrong and patient freedom requires that patients be allowed to undergo the therapies if they so choose. You can see more here.

        I don’t buy the implicit thesis that society has to sanction the gay life style because some homeless children self-identify as homosexual any more than I buy that society should sanction drug use because other homeless children take drugs.

        I’d help the kid (and I have) but using their hardship to score ideological points strikes me as more of the cynical commoditization of children that is one of our society’s greatest sins.

  6. cynthia curran says

    well, George its not that conservatives versus liberals are more generous. I kind of doubt the way private charity is structured currently that conservatives would be able to get rid of the welfare state. This is why the left does have a way of getting people to support them since their are a lot of folks its hard now to employ. I believe that while the left is to blame, the right is not guiltless either. Giving money to people that couldn’t afford the houses in the first place is the blame of both parties and a lot of investment firms made a lot of money bu selling bad mortgages acorss the country. Granted, liberal Democratics like Dodd took contributions from wall street folks but president Bush favored in his earlier term also spreading these bad loans to get more construction jobs and housing for hispanics in order to take them a little way from the dems and of course Bush is a big business repub to support the bad businesses that gave millions to dems and repubs politicians that got us into this messed.

  7. cynthia curran says

    Well, there are things to complain about in the modern world. But just think if we live in olden days. Just read about Goths selling their children to the Romans in order to have dogs to eat. They were that hungry that they were willing to sell their children.

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  9. Micheal Youssef’s resonse to “What would Jesus cut?”

    Keep Jesus Out of Your Socialism