Have We Reached The Tipping Point?

In every battle, in every war, in every civilization is what is called a “tipping point.” Aristotle figured this out over two thousand years ago. When you’re speaking about a country, the tipping point is that juncture where a bare majority figure out that they can vote themselves funds from the treasury. Aristotle based on his study of 168 politeiais (“city-states”). He also realized that once enough people realize that they can use democracy to live off the system, then that state will not last much longer. Usually a generation or two is all that is left. Margaret Thatcher said it best: “The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

People have known this innately for centuries. That’s one reason that so many fought The New Deal, the Great Society, and Obamacare. Once you get in bed with government, once it starts giving you just enough money to get by, you’re in for the long haul. There’s no getting out until the whole thing collapses. Of course the collapse is never pretty but as one politician once said “in the long run we’re all dead.” Screw the unborn. What did they ever do for us?

That’s really why Gov Romney, an honorable and decent man by any measure, never had a chance. The productive sector of the population has shrunk considerably. More and more people –even Republicans–are in some way dependant for parts of their income on government. The entire healh-care sector for example recieves monies from Medicaid, Medicare, SSI, etc. One could go right down the line and itemize which occupations are impacted by the government –police, firemen, teachers, clinicians, and so on. There’s really no escaping it.

Anyway, please read this insightful essay by Spengler (Daniel Goldman). I disagree with some of his points at the margins (for instance he doesn’t see how illegal immigration has hurt our nation) but in the main, he’s spot on. In the meantime, please pray for our nation as it continues its collapse.

As for our President? he’s sown the wind, he will now reap reap the whirlwind. His class-based warfare has eroded the reservoir of goodwill. Indeed, his constituency has poisoned the well itself. If you thought Bush’s second term was execrable, just wait.

Barack Obama and America’s Decline (Crossposted from Asia Times)

Source: PJ Media | David P. Goldman

America is in incipient decline, and this week’s presidential election might be the last chance to reverse it. We are becoming a different sort of country, with a different people and different beliefs. Another four years of Barack Obama well might take us past the point of no return, although no-one, to be sure, knowsquite where that lies. There is still time to change course. There might not be time by 2016.
Nearly a third of Americans now depend on food stamps, welfare, disability payments, or some other form of government support, compared with one out of five when George W Bush left office. This enormous shift has occurred before the detonation of a demographic time bomb that will explode towards the end of the present decade, and which will push America towards even greater dependency. This time bomb has four facets:

  • The baby boomers will retire, and the percentage of Americans over 60 will jump from a sixth to a quarter of the total population in little more than a decade;
  • The population that replaces the baby boomers will come to an increasing extent from families with the lowest level of educational attainment;
  • A new underclass is in formation due to the jump in the rate of births out of wedlock, which comprised two-fifths of total births in 2011;
  • Dependency on government support will rise sharply just as the federal government’s capacity to finance the dependent population will fall.

    Proportion of Americans over Age 60

    Source: UN World Population Prospects, Constant Fertility Scenario

    When I sent my book How Civilizations Die to the publisher in the summer of 2011, the prospect of America’s decline still seemed remote: America had the highest fertility rate among industrial countries, the strongest technological base, the most advanced universities, and the most optimistic people. But the preponderance of new data makes the prospect of American decline a real possibility.

    The numbers shed light on some of aspects of the presidential election campaign which are, or at least should be, astonishing.

    Why, for example, did the Obama administration provoke the hierarchy of the Catholic Church by demanding that Catholic institutions pay for abortion pills through employee health insurance? The Catholic bishops supported Obamacare from the beginning, and the administration’s decision to alienate an ally in order to placate a nearly uncontested voter bloc (young unmarried women) seems impolitic.

    The answer lies in the Obama’s campaign confidence that Hispanics will vote on federal handouts rather than faith. “Should I win a second term, a big reason I will win a second term is because the Republican nominee and the Republican Party have so alienated the fastest-growing demographic group in the country, the Latino community,” Obama told the Des Moines Register in an October 23 interview that was originally off the record but was published with the president’s permission. The Register proceeded to endorse Mitt Romney, the first Republican it had supported in two generations.

    Hispanics account for 70% of the growth in the Catholic population since 1960, and will be a majority of American Catholics somewhere between 2025 and 3030, according to Church projections.

    Hispanic Educational Attainment

    Source: Census Bureau, 2010

    Hispanics are hard workers; the labor force participation rate for Hispanics in October 2012 was 66.3%, higher than the 64.8% for the total population. They also seem less dependent on food stamps than the general population (the Department of Agriculture reports that only 10% of food stamp recipients are Hispanics, who comprise about 17% of the overall population, although it cannot identify the ethnicity of a fifth of total users).

    But the Hispanic unemployment rate was 10%, compared to 7.9% overall. Higher Hispanic unemployment is entirely due to lower levels of education; the unemployment rate for Americans with a high-school diploma or less stood at 12.2%.

    That explains why two-thirds of Latinos (according to a November 1 Fox News poll) plan to vote for Obama. They have fared worse during the past four years than the general population, and they have taken less government help than the general population, but their prospects are far poorer than the general population in a job market that requires more education.

    As the Baby Boomers leave the labor force, they will be replace to an increasing extent by Hispanics, who comprise about 15% of the working-age population, but a quarter of American children.

    Hispanic Population as a Percent of Total, by Age Group

    Source: Census Bureau

    The notion that Hispanics will inundate the American population through immigration and high birth rates is a xenophobic fantasy. Immigration from Mexico may have reversed during the past several years, the Pew Hispanic Center reported earlier this year, as construction and other jobs evaporated.

    The Wall Street Journal reported on October 3, “The overall fertility rate for women in the US – defined as the number of newborns per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44 – was 63.2 last year, down from 64.1 in 2010 and the lowest rate since the government started collecting these statistics in 1920. And the sharpest decline was among young Hispanics: “Hispanic women between 20 and 24 saw their fertility rate drop to 115 last year from 165 in 2007.’”

    The sudden drop in Hispanic fertility calls to mind the rapid decline in birth rates in Catholic regions during the 1960s and 1970s, notably Quebec, Spain, and Poland, which now have some of the world’s lowest fertility rates. Mexico’s fertility rate has fallen to barely above replacement. If American Hispanics are following the pattern in Catholic countries, it suggests that the next generation will be far less Catholic than their parents.

    Hispanic Catholics are not the only segment of America’s religious population whose faith appears to attenuate with generational change. Sarah Posner reported October 9 in the London-based Guardian:

    … the data shows [conservative Christians] are clearly losing the public. Another survey last week from the Public Religion Research Institute showed that while Mitt Romney has the support of 80% of younger white evangelical millennials (aged 18 to 25), this is a small and diminishing constituency: white evangelicals comprise only 12.3% of that age group. That’s less than half their proportion of the 50 to 64 population. The Pew survey showed that while 32% of Americans aged 50 to 64 are white evangelicals, only 13% of those aged 18 to 29 are.

    One can’t blame President Obama for the apparent decline of religious faith among young Hispanics or evangelicals, but the contempt he shows the Catholic Church surely makes matters worse. It is harder to raise one’s children in a religious community when the president disdains the largest religious denomination.

    A generation less imbued with traditional values, and which weaker qualifications, is about to encounter a bleak future.

    A great transition downwards in American educational levels is pre-programmed: as the most successful generation in American economic history retires, they will be replaced to an increasing extent by children from families with very low educational levels and little cultural inclination to seek education for their children. By contrast, Asian-Americans comprise less than 12% of the total New York City school population but about three-quarters of the elite city high schools, where admission depends on entrance examinations. Income has nothing to do with the disparity; the new elite of New York City students come overwhelmingly from poor immigrant families.

    No amount of government spending on education will fix the problem. Children learn how to learn, and acquire the motivation to learn, from their families. If families want to educate their children, nothing will stop them. New York’s Asian-American children attend the same miserable public schools as everyone else, but their parents scrape together the tuition for cram school.

    There is an obvious solution to the problem: encourage Asian immigration. It isn’t enough to institute a points system like Canada’s because there aren’t enough Asians who already are educated to fill the gap. It is difficult to envisage how such a policy might be devised, let alone accepted. But there is nothing un-American in favoring immigrants with superior skills and education. America succeeded because it had a 90% literacy rate at the time of the Revolution, compared to less than 40% for France.

    The American economy will be hard pressed to absorb labor force entrants with low skills. Construction provided opportunities to less-educated workers. It won’t come back for a long time. As I wrote in a 2009 essay for First Things:

    America’s population has risen from 200 million to 300 million since 1970, while the total number of two-parent families with children is the same today as it was when Richard Nixon took office, at 25 million. In 1973, the United States had 36 million housing units with three or more bedrooms, not many more than the number of two-parent families with children – which means that the supply of family homes was roughly in line with the number of families. By 2005, the number of housing units with three or more bedrooms had doubled to 72 million, though America had the same number of two-parent families with children.

    The number of two-parent families with children, the kind of household that requires and can afford a large home, has remained essentially stagnant since 1963, according to the Census Bureau. Between 1963 and 2005, to be sure, the total number of what the Census Bureau categorizes as families grew from 47 million to 77 million. But most of the increase is due to families without children, including what are sometimes rather strangely called “one-person families.”

    Where will jobs come from for the unskilled?

    The entrepreneurial start-up sector is dead in the water. As I reported in this space last week, “The average return on investment (ROI) for 3,181 traded US companies as of the second quarter was just 1.0%, versus 10.2% for the top 500 by market capitalization.” Small companies can’t cut in a globalized world where technology, manufacturing and marketing require global reach from inception. Facebook might have started in a Harvard dorm room, but the social networking giant has pulled up the ladder behind it. Even in the freewheeling world of social media, the entry threshold is punishingly high.

    A perfect economic storm is in incubation. An American population with lower educational attainment, and with a huge continent of children raised in single-parent families, will meet a labor market dominated by corporate oligopolies that can source labor anywhere in the world.

    That is the future. But the present is already cause for alarm. Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute summarized his new book A Nation of Takers: America’s Entitlement Epidemic in these bullet points:

  • Entitlement outlays, after controlling for both inflation and population growth, grew by over 700% in 50 years. By 2010, the average per capita burden of entitlements for every man, woman and child was about $7,200 apiece, or nearly $29,000 for a notional family of four.
  • In 1960, one dollar of every three taken in by the federal government was devoted to entitlements and two dollars were designated for governance. By 2010, this had reversed to one dollar for governance and two for entitlements.
  • About half of Americans live in a household that receives one or more transfer payments.
  • Almost half of American children are in households that receive one or more.
  • About 18% of all personal income received in the United States is through government transfer payments.
  • Almost 12 million working-age Americans in 2010 were receiving one or more disability entitlement payments though entitlement programs, which is one for every 11.3 people of the same age with a job.
  • Around 35% of Americans in 2011 lived in households that got one or more means-tested benefits, which is about twice as high as the rate in the early 1980s.

    That’s why the budget deficit continues to run in excess of a trillion dollars a year. The American economy can’t survive with just 58% of the working-age population employed (compared to 63% before the crisis).

    Employment to Population Ratio

    Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

    During the past year, the US Treasury borrowed $1.2 trillion. Half of that amount was lent to America by foreigners. Mitt Romney asks whether it’s worth borrowing money from China to fund each line item in the federal budget, but China was a net seller of $165 billion of Treasury securities during the past 12 months. Japan was the largest buyer, at $220 billion.

    America cannot continue to fund an indigent population on the largesse of the rest of the world for very much longer. At some point foreigners will demand a risk premium for owning US Treasury securities. And every 1% increase in the interest rate on government debt will cost the Treasury $160 billion a year. Obama well may turn out to be the James Callaghan of the United States, the Labor Party prime minister who brought Britain to its economic nadir during the pound sterling crisis of 1976.

    Foreign Holdings of US Treasury Securities

    Source: US Treasury

    A second term for Barack Obama promises more of the same: more dependency, more entitlement spending, more federal debt, and more dependency on foreign lenders – until the rest of the world wearies of American fecklessness and finds a better use for its money. Can America reverse the damage? Probably, if it acts now. More of the same is a prescription for a catastrophic spiral into national decline.

    Spengler is channeled by David P Goldman. His book How Civilizations Die (and why Islam is Dying, Too) was published by Regnery Press in September 2011. A volume of his essays on culture, religion and economics, It’s Not the End of the World – It’s Just the End of You, also appeared last fall, from Van Praag Press.


  1. Carl Kraeff says

    I have been disseminating this article as well. I would like to add two more points. First, there are many rich folks, ostensibly Republican, who also depend on the government. Second, it looks like religion’s influence has waned considerably; what is one to make of so many Christians voting for a man who is blatantly pro-abortion, gay marriage and anti First Amendment guarantee of the free exercise of religion?

    I do not know if the tipping point was sometime in the past, right now, or sometime in the future. However, the general trend indicates we are headed towards a different America. I do not think that it will be better than the one that I have admired and fought for.

    • Obama is not pro-abortion. He stated he was personally against it, He is following US law; not writing it.

      As for the free exercise of religion, the right really blew it on this one. While always touting individual freedoms; they collectively got hoodwinked into calling freedom the employer’s choice.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Neither were the vast majority of Southerners “pro-slavery.”

      • Michael Bauman says

        Daniel, you are quite wrong. Obama is stauchly pro-abortion. His left-hand woman Sebellius used to be my governor and she is even more staunchly pro-abortion. Her Kansas campaigns were soaked in the blood money of the abortion industry. At one time a Catholic, I’d guess she harbors a few personal scores against the RCC too. Don’t think for a minute that there is any committment to a rule of law in this group (or any political party acutally). Its all lust of power.

        Obama’s ideology is statist, secular-satist. Sooner or later all such become anti-Christian if they don’t start out that way. They don’t want any higher powers, even the law of the land getting in their way. Obama routinely ingnores the Constitution, rules and laws to get what he wants.

        Romney’s is little different but he has a more traditionalist base or perhaps veneer is better. Neither party gives a real hoot about genuine, traditional Christianity or the moral teaching. We should stop the fantasy that they do.

        • Woe, woe! For the city on the hill is fallen!

          You people sound like anguished Anglicans.
          See the posts on some of their lists like Stand Firm in Faith.
          you would think the whole continent has fallen in to a giant sink hole,
          but perhaps it has due to Koch and Rove et al.

          Jim of olym

      • Carl Kraeff says

        Dan–You are wrong in both of your assertions.

        1. Regardless of what he has said, Mr. Obama is effectively pro-abortion and has been so for years. For example, when Mr Obama was a Illinois State Senator, he helped kill a law that would have protected a baby that survived an abortion. A further example was the final HHS rule on Obamacare’s free “contraceptives” for women. Some of those contraceptives are abortion causing chemicals. Look, one can call oneself a champion for free-choice or for women’s health; it does not mean that these fig leaves are effective in covering up the fact that these policies are killing babies–human beings.

        2. Free exercise of religion among other things means not being compelled to fund or provide free abortifacients against your religious beliefs.

        • Carl-since you didn’t call me an idiot, I will respond to you.

          Generally, assertions have no facts. I paraphrased one Obama statement, so it wasn’t a baseless assertion and was not factually wrong. Neither is it wrong to say Obama supports the existing law. I found a video to further support my earlier assertions.

          The likelihood the Illinois law would stand in the negative by SCOTUS is nearly zero. A baby can’t survive an abortion, plainly and simply. If a procedure failed, can you imagine the tort claims? The idea a fetus can survive an abortion is the real problem. Obama articulates abortion very well. He was a guest speaker at the Notre Dame 2009 commencement and spoke about it. If you listen to the speech, you can save some time by starting further in where he gets into the meat of it at about fifteen minutes. He even argues for a conscious clause. Why don’t you get a glorious right wing congressperson to write the bill? Hint-they don’t want to do it. You and I would agree it would be good.

          As for the second point, the employer can’t cherrypick insurance policy coverage. If they allowed that, perhaps the Rasta employer would prefer the ganja treatment for a foot infection… rip foolish Bob Marley. My assertion is again not baseless. The right argues for individual freedom, but on this subject wants the employer to decide. This is the right’s position and it is fact and the only opinion I gave is I think the right got hoodwinked by team Obama in going against woman’s birth control, or types of it. but if you don’t believe they were planning ahead for 2012 in a bad economy, okay then.

      • Oh really, here are his own words Obama actually said on March 30, 2001, during debate over the legislation:

        “Number one, whenever we define a previable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we’re really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a — a child, a nine-month-old — child that was delivered to term. That determination then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place. I mean, it — it would essentially bar abortions, because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an antiabortion statute. For that purpose, I think it would probably be found unconstitutional.”

        So, what his words tell us are two things; 1. that he believes abortions are constitutional because the fetus is not a person and 2. that killing a fetus is constitutional because it is not a person.

        There’s no other way to interpret his position.

  2. Michael Bauman says

    We will just have to become more Christian. More ascetic, more faithful, give more alms, pray, fast and worship. Our heart can never be taken from us. We have to give it away.

    The real tipping point, however, is that the majority of Americans have consciously turned away from Christ by voting for abortion, gay pseudo-marriage, entitlements and less personal freedom.

    Freedom on all levels is perhaps the hardest cross to bear because freedom has within it the possibility of failure–our failure. So we go for heretical models of Christianity that limit or erradicate our free will while at the same time gravitating to authoritarian models of earthly governance.

    Local and state govenment still has the possibility within it to resist if the people they govern want to. I don’t hold out much hope for an positive earthly response.

  3. You know if the GOP hadden’t shut the government down with the drive to make Obama a one term president the story would be a lot better. Even so by focusing on ecconomics you are missing the real issue. Gay “marriage” was approved by more states. The obsession with crackpot rightwing economics is ignoring the moral decline of the country.

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      Agree, but its over now. The Republicans are jettisons us, the religious folk, because our people are so immoral and anti-life that they will not be able to win any future elections on social issues. It time to do what Michael said, pray more, fast more and be living examples of Jesus Christ and His Holy Gospel. It’s as simple as that.


      • The Republicans never really accepted Christians, they just fooled a lot of people with fancy language. The reality is that the Right is morally bankrupt like the Left. There is a place for social issues but you have to give up economic ideology and racism. Or more specifically let go of Right wing idolatry and seize the Gospel instead. Most Latinos are socially conservative. However, by attacking and demonizing them and their relatives they take the most obvious course of action.

        • George Michalopulos says

          There are far more Christians on the Right than on the Left. (Note, I did NOT say that there are NO Christians on the Left, nor did I say that there are no non-believers on the Right.) Regardless, you are judging what is in peoples’ hearts.

          • That’s not the point. The point is that many of the economic and social policies of the Right are anti-Christian. You cannot have the “crescent and the Cross” (to quote the demonstrators in Egypt). One is Victory and the Truth while the other is a lie. Before you get too far up your high horse I suggest you read the following. Your friend Bush set these events in motion years ago:


        • Peter A. Papoutsis says



  4. We are no longer the country of our fathers. We are ruled by an empty little man who relies on puppeteers who handle him with perfection. We are a country where the takers clearly now outnumber the producers. We have passed the tipping point where greed and laziness are rewarded more than hard work. We will all suffer now as a result of the ignorance of those who would vote for such an ineffectual person who has disdain for our country and its heritage.

    Having said that, had the honorable Mr. Romney received the same number of votes as John McCain in 2008 we would likely be calling him President Elect. The hard-headed conservatives and Paulites gave us four more years of the Alinskyite. Congratulations.

    • George Michalopulos says

      John, I agree with you up to the second paragraph. While it is true that Gov Romney (a decent man of stunning accomplisment) got 3 million fewer votes that Sen McCain, Pres Lightworker received TEN million fewer votes than he got in 2008.

      Lot’s to chew on here. Personally I think that even a Reagan revived wouldn’t have won. We’re simply not the same people we were in 1980 or before. We’re softer, more immoral and tolerant of immorality, and irresolute as a whole. Obama’s coalition is made up of people who feel they don’t have a chance to rise above their station in life so they vote for the goodies. For every eight hard-working, decent people who are out there, there are ten who are looking for a handout. I really hate to say this.

      Can you believe what those idiots in California just did? They elected for MORE taxes and gave the Assembly a Democrat super-majority. They’re going to double-down on their profligate ways because they think that there will always be “the rich” who they can take it from. It’s no different than Haiti or other Third World countries in principle.

      That’s why this election was a bracing bitch-slap for me personally. We need to put away the Jack Kemp/happy warrior facade and face facts: a bare majority of people just want to be able to get their noses in the troughs. It may have been different decades ago when the US was predominantly European and Christian but thanks to The Hero of Chappaquiddick’s 1965 immigration overhaul, we have imported more Third World pathology here and given that these newer waves of immigrants came to an America which had a growing social safety net, they never had to work as hard as the earlier waves of immigrants. Plus it fractured the common Judaeo-Christian culture.

      The good news is that Neoconservatism is finally dead. The idea that other people in the Third World want what we have by way of government is patently absurd.

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        Mostly I Agree, but on some specifics I disagree especially on the immigration issue and the whole producers takers model. Immoral and soft yes, but most immigrants I know and see work damn hard, get mostly underpaid and abused, and the anti-immigration stance of the Republican Party that favored no path to citizenship smacked of just good old boy racism. The immigrant Hispanic vote that was pro-family, hard work and devoutly Catholic wad simply thrown away by the Republicans in such a mean and racist way that it made the John Birch Society look like the cub scouts.

        I do agree with you about the death of neoconservatism, but they caused their own death with one false war, one quagmire of a war and a de-stabilization of the Middle East that greatly destroyed the respect and dignity of the U.S.A. In the eyes of the world. The Republicans lost because too many of their mistakes finally caught up with them.


        • George Michalopulos says

          Peter, the Hispanic demographic is by and large hard-working and patriarchal but that’s more of a generalization. They are proportionately more on welfare than other demographics. Plus in California the same type of pathology that you see among African Americans is being replicated there. It’s multi-generation in nature as well. When the right kind of people talk “Hispanic” they mean stars like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. Well, these guys are Cuban (i.e. white). Trust me, in the broader Latino community, the Cubans who are like Jews, Asians, Greeks, etc., are despised. That’s one reason btw why the Castros are still in power in Cuba: the entrepeneurial class of Castillians have departed for America where they repeated their success in Cuba. None of those who remained want to see them returned.

          There’s an old Russian story about this that was popular during the last days of Nicholas II: there were two peasants named Ivan and Dmitri. Dmitri had a goat and Ivan didn’t. They were desperately poor. One day Ivan was walking in the forest and saw a magic lamp. He rubbed it and out came a genie. The genie asked him he could have whatever he wanted –riches, women, fame. Anything. Ivan thought it over and said “I want Dmitri’s goat to die.”

          BTW, this is going on among poorer whites. Read Charles Murray’s latest book on this subject.

          There is a cause and effect correlation between native black and white poverty though brought on by outsourcing of manufacturing jobs and insources of cheap labor. It’s a self-inflicted death-spiral that America has undergone.

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            I again agree with your analysis, but Hispanics, unlike African-American, can get and do get off od welfare at far higher numbers than both poor Blacks and whites, and this is mostly whites in the south. I grew up with a number of poor southern whites and the amount of welfare, as well as immorality that led to many an abortion was high among them. Of course certain cultural factors and economic factors play into this (i.e. Racism, Lack of Education opportunities, economic declines in certain areas and fields of American economy, etc.).

            But, the Hispanic vote was once firmly in the Republican party and in the early 90’s, I think 91 or 94, California started the Anti-Immigration ball rolling and in 2012 it finally rolled over the Republican party.

            Also, if you notices that just days after the election Republican leaders are talking about the “NEW” Republican party that basically just wants to jettison the religieous social issue voter like me and you. So now you and I will be persona non grata in the NEW Republican party and issues like Abortion and Homosexuality will not be touched by them. Basically the Republican party is leaving us and the question now is where do we go as Christians and social issue voters?

            That’s the bigger question.


            • George Michalopulos says

              Peter, I used to believe as you did. However Heath Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute has done yeoman-like work puncturing the myths of Latino industriousness/upward mobility. Though they have not been as many generations on Welfare as some blacks and poor whites, they are quickly catching up. More to the point, the level of violence that they perpetrate on blacks especially is very real. We forget that Trayvon Martin, upon seeing George Zimmerman –a man with obvious Mestizo features–may have reacted instictively out of fear.

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                That can be said and has been said of every ethnic group coming to America and struggling to make it. The same thing was said of the second Cuban immigration in southern Florida back in 1982-83. However, in that second wave Castro DID send many of Cuba’s criminal element here to America as well, but after a few generations the Cubans assimilated, but not before southern Flordia, especially Miami experienced a drug war and a rise in crime.

                The same is happening here. The same happend here in Chicago during the age of prohibition and later with the Irish, Italians and Jews. Bugsy Siegals and Al Capone are still know to this day because of the violence they unleashed in Chicago, New York, New Jersy, Las Vegas, etc., and yet, Irish, Italian and Jews assimilated after their periof of violence and criminality. The same is happening here and now with the Hispanics.

                So although I agree we should control and even seal our border for a time to allow for assimilation of Hispanics, to basically keep them in Limbo all these years when our own Arigo-Buinesses wanted them and brought them here as well as other business back in the later 70’s to early 80’s with no option for citizenship was plain wrong.

                They are human beings and we played politics with their lives. With the lives of families and even children that were brought here by their parents, but they grew up American and many even served in the U.S. Military and we STILL denied them a path to citizenship…and for what? Politics! Because the GOP could not winn on exploiting the Racist White vote no more NOW it chages course and it did so only because it finally realized that it could no longer win elections with the White Racists so not they are going to mend bridges with the Hispanics. The same people just a few days ago were thought of and treated like scum. Not they are good and citizenship should be made available. I would laugh if it wasn’t so sad and just plain inhuman what the GOP did with people’s lives and those of their families.

                Basically, the GOP was more than willing to allow them to clean our toliets, but not be citizens. After Nov. 6, now the GOP says “Hey, you know what because you have been working so hard to clean our toliets we should now allow you to have a Path to citizenship. Good job my fiend.” Really? Please GOP give me a break.

                It will take alot of Marco Rubios to get over that hump.


          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            WOW!!! Talk about an Immediate about Face on Immigration. Check this out: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/sean-hannity-john-boehner-gop-tackle-immigration-reform-142212570–election.html

            “Pathway to Citizenship?” A few months ago this was called amnesty for ilegals now its a “Pathway to citizenship.” Hey I am all for it and I always have been, but WOW how fats the Tea Party and their Anti-Immigrant agenda is getting thrown overboard the GOP ship. If I were Jan Brewer I’d be worried about my job and that Arizona law I will bet you that certain phone calls will be made that it should just be ignored if not scrapped altogether.

            Social Conservatives OUT; No Amnesty for illegals OUT, Tea Pary/John Birchers OUT, OUT, WAY OUT.
            So this is what it feels to be used and abandoned by the gool ol GOP.

            This is why I am an Orthodox Christian and American first and foremost and my conservatism, real conservatism based on views of Russel Kirk and others of his ilk, naturally flow from my faith and patriotism. All this time and effort over the years just wasted and squandered IMHO because they want to win elections. So now, if this is the NEW Republican Party, why are they any different from the Democratic Party? Social Issues? NO, Economic Issues? Not Really. Immigration? NOPE!

            Welcome to the new normal. Here’s your sign.


            • George Michalopulos says

              Peter, this may come as a shock to you but we Conservatives don’t get all our talking points from Sean Hannity. Though I admire his style, I’ve long sensed too much neoconservatism in him. If the GOP feels that they have to do a 180 and become even more Hispandering than the Dems, then it will deservedly die a quick and miserable death.

              We are a nation of laws, not of men. Legal immigration yes; untrammelled illegal immigration with no assimiliation –never.

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                George I agree we are a nation of laws and we could have very easily years ago dealt with the immigration issue that would have secured our borders, and allowed for the current immigrants to assimilate, which many already have, and to obtain their citizenship.

                What Hannity, Beck and Limbaugh were pushing were not their ideas, but that of the Republican Party and that wing of the Rebupican Party that was just out and out racist. Now that that racisim has greatly diminished and is no longer a winning stratergy the NEW GOP message went out to all their mouth-pieces and now Amnesty is bad and Path to Citizenship is good.

                Hannity is only the massenger the GOP controls the message and the agenda and all those people that were anti-immigrant just got thrown out of the GOP. Also, the GOP is not going anywhere. Its got the money the power and the resources to stick around and grow, just with different people.

                You and I with our social conservative message have been thrown out as well. So were can we call home now? You and I just became Independent Conservatives, which is just fine with me. I said good by to the Dems a long time ago, and now I can say good bye to the GOP, however it would seem the GOP said good by to me first.


                • George Michalopulos says

                  The Dems are even more racist Peter. They purposely pursue policies that keep Hispanics docile and impoverished and genocide against blacks (in the form of Planned Parenthood).

        • Archpriest John W. Morris says

          As an Orthodox Priest who has ministered to many immigrants, I wonder how is it fair to the man and his family in Moscow, Beirut, or Athens who have followed the rules and are still waiting for their visas to give illegal immigrants who did not follow the rules a path to citizenship? Obama and his people want to give the Hispanics a path to citizenship because they believe that they will vote Democratic. If they thought that they might vote Republican, Obama and the Democrats would be leading the fight to keep them out of our country.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Bingo Fr! What the Treason Lobby doesn’t realize (GOP/Chamber of Commerce + Dem/multiculturalists) is that the continued injustices being perpetrated on the law-abiding will result in civil war. Don’t believe me? In Greece right now unemployed youths are harrassing and even killing illegal immigrants. Why? Because they can’t take their criminality anymore. Am I, being of Greek heritage, proud of this? No.

            But what is driving them to it? Last year, my grandmother’s first cousin, an eighty-year-old woman, was accosted outside her apartment on her way back from her apartment. She was beaten within an inch of her life. Her purse was stolen and she was left for dead. She was the only witness and she told the police the truth. The perps were not natives. Can you imagine the rage this kindled in her son’s heart? She never harmed anyone.

            Now the police in Greece tell people that if you got a problem with crime, go to Golden Dawn. This I fear is our future.

          • You guys are all wet.

            Let me see, a hard working, Catholic, anti-abortion group is a bunch of Democrats….

            I’m just calling it the way you write it.

            Hispanics would be Republicans, only you can’t tell a Latino woman anything, so you better not. The reason Latinos voted for Obama is only the hope for immediate change. Those folks won’t stay Democrats forever.

            You guys are being very shortsighted here…too much listening to false prophets like Beck n Bimbaugh.

            • George Michalopulos says

              All things being equal, they should be GOP. But they’re not. Unlike the earlier waves of immigrants who had to either sink or swim, the wave that came after 1965 (of whatever race or ethnicity) have been able to avail themselves of public largesse. If not the actual immigrants, then their progeny.

            • Will Harrington says

              Republicans have been short sighted. They don’t think in long range terms. The Democrats wanted a new voting block. They saw an opportunity in the issue that used to be referred to as illegal aliens. They slowly began to change the terminology while calling republicans racists. First, they changed the term illegal alien to illegal immigrant because illegal alien sounded to threatening after the sci/fi movies of teh fifties and sixties. Then illegal immigrant became undocumented immigrant and finally just immigrant. Now the left had won. they controlled the language and had created a situation where all hispanic immigrants heard, citizens, legal immigrants, and illegal aliens, was that Republicans are racists who hate immigrants. Thats how its done. Tell a big enough lie often enough and people will believe it. This process took decades. Republicans, on the other hand, are lousy at this kind of propaganda, but then the lefts teachers are anathema to the right.

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                Sorry White Racism did push this issue I have seen it in the way they talked about them and teared them. That’s just my experience, but to think that White Racism did not play a role in the immigration issue is just plain wrong.


                • George Michalopulos says

                  It did in the past Peter but not now. The recent waves of immigrants are heavily dependent upon the State (read: Welfare) in ways that our ancestors never were nor could ever be. And I mean white, brown, and black immigrants whether legal or not.

              • Mark, more like Republicans don’t engage in extended community as is more common among D’s. The D’s have various circles and you risk getting cut off from ‘your power group’ if you don’t tow the politically correct speak.

                Keep high in your thinking that 209 million people could have voted, about 100 million did vote, and the winner was decided by 3 million votes. 8 million fewer voted for O than did so in the last election. This, while R got 1 million fewer votes than John McCain.

                All this ‘mandate’ business and ‘clear signal’ talk needs serious, serious moderation.

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            Father, the Hispanic Immigrants were brought here or allowed to enter because good old American Businesses wanted them and needed them especially our Aricultural Businesses. I agree with you that many other people are doing it the right way and are waiting, but it took TWO to tango in this immigration mess and it was not enitre fault of the Hispanics.

            Further, geography played a big role. They are next door, just like Canada, but unlike Canada there is no Narcotics War going on that kills its people. I do not blame any Hispanic that wanted to leave that insanity, but America wanted them and opened the doors to them as cheap labor. Well, not we have them and its finally about time we got serious about this issue. With both Dems and the GOP backing a Path to Citizenship it will finally happen. Was it right the way it happend? NO, but it did and instead of cry over spilt milk we just have to clean it up.


            • George Michalopulos says

              Hence my formula: Dem/multiculturalists + GOP/Chamber of commerce = Treason Lobby.

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                So who is worse? The fool or the fool that follows the fool? We the citizens of this country never wanted immigration reform, the GOP played on that and lost, now it’s changing its tune. How many fools will follow it now?


                • George Michalopulos says

                  I hope not many. Reagan’s sole mistake was signing off onto Simpson-Mazzoli in 1986, which amnestied 3,000,000 illegal aliens. We did not assimilate them (“For English, press One…”) and now we have an active movement called La Raza and its sympathizers which want to create “Aztlan” out of the Southwest.

                  Smooth move, Treason Lobbysists.

                  • Peter A. Papoutsis says
                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      I know alot of people here are lossing their minds that President Obama won re-election, and that the country has changed and going down the toilet, yada, yada, yada. EVERYBODY, RELAX!

                      Its still America, and the economy will even out. You may not believe it, but it will. Further, many Tea Party guys got voted out, many more will get voted out by the time of the mid-term elections. Now AND by the mid-terms the GOP and the DEMS will compromise on spending cuts and tax increases and we will end up with a national budget.

                      Also, once the budget is fixed and the tax rules are solidified business will adjust. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay, which many know I support, and social security and medicare will stick around, but their rate of growth will slow, cost of living increases will slow and, if Congress was truly interested in fixing it, would make social security a CLOSED account. The so-called “Sacred Trust” account that Americans have with the U.S. Government.

                      Bottom line Everything will be OK as long as the Dems and the GOP agree to a balanced approarch to the budget and to reasonable spending cust and tax increases. Everybody thinks its cut or tax, but its not its BOTH.

                      So let’s get to it and yes, the DEFENSE BUDGET HAS TO BE CUT AS WELL, just like Social security and medicare. There are no sacred cows here. Not anymore.

                      Just wait the GOP does NOT want to lose the mid-terms so a grand and balanced deal will come about. You have tough talk by the GOP in the house, but in reality they are all looking to 2015. They saw what happened and will all scurry to work out a deal that makes them all look good, and in the process it will save the economy for the short haul and put it back out sound footing for the long haul.

                      I, as always, have hope, coupled by a nice big dose of political reality for GOP chances for a mid-term victory if they do not compromise, which will be zero.

                      So unless the Mayan Calendar is correct, which its not, we should be concerned for our nation’s future, but not hysterical about it. We should be telling out leaders to get to work instead of getting bogged down in partisan fights.

                      PS. I have always wondered that if we put the same amount of time and effort towards getting the Gospel of Christ out to this nations as was put into the Superpacs (GOP and DEMS) along with their money, which was in the millions upon millions, can you imagine what we could do for the Glory of God here in America? 20% of stewards would never have to support the other 80%. I guess IMHO we still worship idols (GOP and DEMS) and serve other Gospels (Liberation Theology & Social Gospel) after all these centuries and not the One True God and Christ’s Holy Gospel. Oh well.


                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Peter. that’s a very rosy view of the near future. It ignores the permanent cohort of unemployed, the massive debt and coming hyper-inflation, and continued disclocations caused by the breakeup of our culture into Balkanized groups. Imagine if you would the devastation of Hurricane Sandy right now if George W Bush were president, or the atrocity that is Benghazi, the firing of Petraeus, etc. We’d be yelling Armageddon!

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      George. I just do not see us going over the so-called fiscal cliff and the GOP wants to win seats for the 2015 mid-term elections. A deal will be struck.

                      As far as the Benghazi incident the current revelations about the Gen. Petraeus Affair maybe linked. However, being that I have not looked into this matter more carefully I will reserve judgment.

                      Finally, speaking of Armeggedon, America will survive just like all the other countries in the world have and are currently surviving. Will damage be done and hard economic times come upon us? Yes, but “this too shall pass.” I am hopeful because God is still in control, that’s all.


                    • I love google news. I saw this headline and wanted to read more, so I googled it and plenty of articles popped up: “Obama Meets With Parents Who Lost Sons in Sandy” Then I googled this one, and it must be broken or something there weren’t any: “Obama visits family of Ambassador killed in Benghazi” Google is in the tank for Patraus and the bimbos, I’m sure he visited. Yup. Take it to the bank. Try “President Obama Visits” or “Obama Stevens Visit” or well you guys can do it. I tried for a while and nada, must be a mistake.

          • You should hav to prove this by statistics or some other rational means, Father!

    • Catholic Observer says

      I live in the Bible Belt. I have a lot of fundamentalist and evangelical friends and acquaintances. Most voted for Romney. But one friend and erstwhile colleague, an Independent Baptist (very fundamentalist), almost didn’t. Why? Because of Romney’s Mormonism. (This guy is very smart and thoughtful, BTW; he doesn’t fit the media caricature of benighted backwoods fundies.)

      Anyway, a month or so ago this guy watched a video discussion wherein some very thoughtful Southern Baptist guys explained why it’s OK to vote for a Mormon. They pointed out that we’re not a theocracy, and that we’re voting for a president, not a spiritual leader. They noted that some former presidents have been agnostics (Taft might have even been an atheist, IIRC), Deists, Unitarians…IOW, a president need not believe the same way his constituents do, and his religious beliefs (or lack thereof) do not necessarily prevent him from being a good president.

      Anyway, my friend was persuaded by this video discussion, and he voted for Romney.

      But my question is: How many others were out there who didn’t reconsider their anti-Mormon bigotry? How many fundamentalists and evangelicals stayed home on election day because they could not bring themselves to vote for a Mormon? How big a role did religious bigotry play in depressing turnout of the Republican base?

      If a statistically significant number of fundamentalists stayed home and refused to vote for a Mormon, then all I can say is: Gee, thanks, guys. 😮 🙁

      Personally, I’d rather have a Mormon president than one who’s spent 20 years in a church whose pastor shouts, “God damn America.” But that’s just me.

      • I think it is fair to say that of the 100,000,000 folk who could have voted, but didn’t and

        the fact that Obama got 8 million fewer votes than last time and

        Romney got just short of McCain’s number (and Romney’s campaign was much stronger than McCain’s)

        and 330,000 votes in exactly the right spots would have made a Romney win, while he lost overall by 3,000,000….

        Well, I bet there are 3 or 4 people per 100 who didn’t vote for Romney because of the Mormon thing, and that would have made the difference.

  5. The question is, is there enough common sense in the Congress and Senate to enact urgent fiscal reform? There are signs that there is. If so, no matter what Obama promised – or rather, what people perceive he promised them – he will not be able to deliver. A percentage of the people (and private and public corporations, I might add) may want their share of government largesse, but the fact is the US government has no largesse! China and the other countries who finance the US budget deficit through US Treasury securities are not likely to continue to do that if the US doesn’t move to get its house in order. In the final analysis, when a country is significantly in debt to foreigners, it hands its sovereignty and destiny over to them.

    • I’m not aware of any promisess that President Obama made. Please list them.

      • George Michalopulos says

        “Pay more for energy” for one thing. Check.

        • Where may I find him promising to pay more for energy, please (you did say, “check”).

          • Question: since you have previously mentioned very happily that you belong to the “democratic” party, did you ever “CHECK” the 2012 party platform that you, apparently, supported and support so happily?

          • OK, Your Grace, here’s a few:
            Tax hikes for the richest 2%.
            No tax hikes for the 98%.
            Reduce tax on businesses and increase deductions.
            Resolve the housing crisis.
            Pathways for illegal immigrants to attain citizenship.
            Tougher environmental laws (after all, he did promise in his first victory speech to stop the rise of the oceans!), including reducing USA’s reliance on foreign oil and lowering carbon output.
            One million new manufacturing jobs.
            2 000 000 new positions in community colleges.
            Halve the tuition costs in community colleges.
            100 000 new math and science teachers.
            Lower Medicare costs & improved benefits.
            Increased gun control measures.
            And the big one – prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, which could mean another war.

            Not all of these are bad ideas, of course. I’m all for lower tax rates for businesses and bread winners (create more jobs for people and let them keep more of what they earn, I say). But the big question then is is who is going to pay for all of this, bearing in mind Obama’s promise to simultaneously reduce the budget deficit? Taxing the super-rich is a popular idea, but can the entire burden of increasing entitlements to the poor and middle class and reducing the deficit and perhaps fighting another war fall on the “2%”? (Has anyone asked Bruce Springsteen and all the other Hollywood and music industry stars who publicly supported Obama what they think about that? Just wait until the reality hits home!) The math just doesn’t add up. Obama is writing cheques (or checks as you spell it) with no money in the account and promising to reduce the credit card bill while at the same time writing out a shopping list. Of course, the people who are going to feel it most when he can’t deliver are those who voted for him.

          • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

            “Where may I find him promising to pay more for energy”

            Your Grace:


            Barack Obama: “Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” (January 2008)

      • Michael James Kinsey says

        Apparently the bishop is developing considerable skill at trolling( internet term for attempting to anger anyone they are addressing, and enjoy doing it.). It has no place in the intent of this web site. It is a level playing field, which is welcome, and I don’t have to read his posts, and I don’t.

      • Cut the deficit in half in his first term.

        Transparently have all legislation on line so the public can see before it is passed.

        Hearings all on C-SPAN

      • Archpriest John W. Morris says

        Your Grace:

        For one thing Obama promised to bring us together to transcend party differences. In fact, he did the opposite and has been the most divisive president in modern American history. Instead of doing what other modern presidents have done by bringing the leaders of the parties and congress together to work out the compromises necessary to make any government work, he did not even attempt to overcome partisan differences. He promised immigration reform during his first year and did not even make a proposal for reform. When Congress would not pass the bills he wanted, he has violated the spirit if not the letter of the Constitution by ruling by decree like third world tin horn dictator. For that alone, he should be impeached and removed from office. He ran a campaign based not on what he accomplished during his first term but by tearing down his opponent with lies, misquotes, and exaggerations. During the first debate he came across as barely awake and then acted like a spoiled immature kid during the other debates. His Vice President set what must be a national record for arrogant and rude behavior during his debate with his opponent. He appealed to greed, jealousy, class resentment and black racism to get himself reelected. He promised an open and transparent administration but instead has run one of the most secretive administrations in American history. Instead of allowing reporters to interview him by asking him hard questions, he goes on talk shows that throw softball questions at him. His attorney general has run an openly racist regime that refuses to recognize the civil rights of whites. Instead of dealing with the very real problem of voter fraud, Holder has made it easier for an election to be stolen. Obama completely lacks leadership capabilities and cannot work with people who do not practically fall down and worship him. His foreign policy is a complete disaster. Muslim radicals are taking over the Middle East, threatening the extinction of the Orthodox Church in the place of its birth through violent persecution from radical Islamists. The day that an American ambassador was murdered and our diplomats attacked, instead of meeting with his national security team, he flew to Las Vegas for a campaign event. Instead of meeting with world leaders during the meeting of the UN he went on talk shows ran by people who fawned all over him. He has projected an image of weakness that has emboldened the enemies of the U.S. Iran is closer than ever to developing an atomic bomb. He appointed a commission to make suggestions on how to deal with our national debt and then completely ignored their suggestions. He promised to cut our deficit in half by the end of his first term and instead almost doubled it. We have not had a federal budget since he took office. Even his own party rejected his proposed budgets unanimously. A leader would have then brought the leaders of congress and the parties together to work out a national budget. Instead he did nothing. He has returned to the old totally discredited economics of Keynes that create the excesses of the 60s and the economic distress of the 70s. He has gutted welfare reform and instead has gone back to policies designed to create a whole class of people who can be counted to vote Democratic because the Democrats promise to give them more free stuff like Obama cell phones. He pushed through an unpopular health program by backroom deals and parliamentary tricks. He let Pelosi and Reed two of the most partisan leaders in Congress write the health plan without any input from the Republicans. In a nation based on rule by the people national political leaders do not say anything like, “we will have to pass the bill so that you can see what is in it.” First the people have a right to see the bill and know what is in it. Then the political leaders must build a national consensus and make enough compromises on both sides to make it a bipartisan bill. He has been the most radically pro-abortion president in American history. He has violated the religious freedom of religiously based institutions by making them pay for medical procedures that violate their moral principles. He has endorsed same-sex unions and has adopted pro gay and lesbian policies that attack traditional Christian moral teachings. He invented a false war on women to get reelected, but has established a real war on traditional Christian morality. I have no doubt whatsoever that after he leaves office, it will be a very short time before historians begin to judge him as one of the worst presidents in American history.

        • I couldn’t read all that, Father Morris. Please, give me a citation or a quotation where President Obama promised to accomplish ANYTHING at all. He’s not a damfool and only such would promise to ACCOMPLISH anything but working to execute the law of the land.
          If you say President Obama promised to accomplish ANYTHING, I am sorely tempted to say you are lying.r.
          You said he broke promises and now you invent a promise. He did not promise to bring us together. He promised to work towards bring us together. He mad that a GOAL. He promised to work for various GOALS. GOALS are not primises, Fr. Morris. Get it?
          If you know how to make Rep Boehner compromise or even give an inch on taxes, please, the whole world would like to know why YOU are not president!

          • Archpriest John W. Morris says

            Your Grace:

            It sure sounded to me like he promised to bring us all together and heal the divisions in our country. I seem to remember a speech in which he said something like, “There are no red states or blue states, there is only the United States.
            I do not see a significant difference between a goal and a promise. In any case Obama has done nothing to fulfill his goals except to cause more division by pushing through a highly unpopular health care program that may very well bankrupt our nation. Companies are already laying off people or cutting them back to part time to avoid the extra expense of Obama care. I we do not cut spending, raising taxes on the rich will do nothing but harm the economy. When the rich spend money buying things people have jobs making the things that they buy.
            There is no doubt that he inherited a bad situation. I believe that he has made that situation worse. Despite his lofty rhetoric, he is only a Chicago thug politician, and an incompetent one at that.

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says

              Fr. John Morris writes:

              Despite his lofty rhetoric, he is only a Chicago thug politician, and an incompetent one at that.

              Being that I take issue with your ENTIRE post, its your last sentence that really gets me. How many Chicago THUG politicians do you know? Don’t get me wrong were have had our fair share of corrupt Chicago and Illinois politicians, heck most of our Governors are in prison, but ALL of our Politicians our THUGS?

              Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board President a Chicago THUG politican? Do you know the lady?
              Roland Burris a corrupt THUG Chicago. I mean he’s technically from southern Illinois, but what the heck. Maybe you don’t like him because he was appointed By Blago? OK, but why would the man be a THUG? What moral violations did he commit?

              What about Jesse White? Last time I checked he’s agood man. What about Gov. Pat Quinn. We came out of the same Chicago Dem Machine as Obama did, is Governon Quinn a THUG as well? Do you know these people Fr. Morris?

              Don’t get me wrong I support what John Kass writes and says about Chicago politicians, but at least he KNOWS them and is able to distingusih the good from the bad and not lump them all together. Also, John would be the first to tell you that its mostly policies that he does not like as well with some the corruption, but that its never ALL of them. We have good politicians as well and a blanket statement that they are ALL THUGS denigrates the good politicians that have tried and are still trying to improve City, County and State government here in Illinois.

              Also, last time I checked being that you hail from the great State of Mississippi I am sure that you don’t have and have never had any THUG politicians down in that great state of yours. Right?

              Peter A. Papoutsis

              • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                I did not write that all politicians in Chicago are thugs. I am sure that there are good politicians in Chicago. However, Chicago has a well deserved reputation going back decades for corrupt politics. Remember Al Capone, and Mayor Richard Daily? Remember how the election of 1960 was stolen in Cook County and Texas? How many former governors of Illinois are now guests of the Federal government?
                I have no doubt that there is corruption in Mississippi politics especially in local government. Elections are routinely stolen here. That is why certain elements are fighting voter id. Without voter id the dead can vote and people can vote more than once. There are at least 18 counties in this state with more registered voters than population.

                • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                  Father, you exact quote was:

                  Despite his lofty rhetoric, he is only a Chicago thug politician, and an incompetent one at that.

                  Nowhere in here did you state some, or only a few. Therefore, your statement includes all politicians in Chicago and all Chicago politicians are thugs. As for Al Cappone yes he was a THUG, but he was also back in the 20’s (or 30’s?).

                  As for Mayor Daley are you talking about Old man daley or Richie Daley who just left office? Old man Daley was your typical politician. What you call corrupt back in his day was old fashion politics. As for Richie his son I cannot defend his actions and will leave it at that with him.

                  I know Chicago is corrupt, I also know Illinois is corrupt, but show me one state that is not. Further, as an attorney I view voter ID laws as voter suppression laws so we will agree to disagree on that issue and leave it as that. However, even with all the voter suppression laws, that in Florida disclosed private meetings with the Florida Republican party that were disclosed by certain disgruntled Republicans, that the Florida Republicans DID want to suppress the African-American vote, President Obama still won Florida.

                  I see this type of human nature everyday as an attorney so it does not bother me. Why is it that you can see it. Democrats or Republicans are NOT acting out of altruistic motives, but our of a desire to win at all costs. Don’t be fooled or taken in by their mind games. That’s how you keep the Republic strong.

                  Independent Critical Thinking is a wonderful thing. Let’s not lose it.


                  • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                    I have nothing against the city of Chicago. I always enjoy a visit to Chicago, especially the Art Institute, but you simply cannot deny the rough nature of Chicago politics. The idea that it is voter suppression to ask people to prove that they are who they say they are is ridiculous. We have to produce a voter id to do almost anything today. You cannot cash a check, fly, use a credit card, or rent a dvd in some places without a photo Id. There is no question that voter fraud is a serious problem. In this last election there were places that had more votes for Obama than there were people. During the last election the local newspaper, caught poll workers using white out to allow more than one person to vote using the same name.

            • Well, at least you are rather honest, Father Morris! You admit: “I do not see a significant difference between a goal and a promise.” I take that as an acknowledgment that President has broken NO promises. Now as for goals, which, where I went to school, are quite different from promises, quite different things, indeed. You apparently want to exclude his heelth plan from being either a goal or a promise, it seems. What next!
              Let’s talk of Presidental “goals.” President Obama did not prmise to get “Bin Laden, but it was his goal. President Bush PROMISED “you can run but you can’t hide.” Whateever the Republican Presidential utterane was, goal or promise, i’ll leave to you and those with you to decide.
              President Obama either fulfilled “Bush’s promise for him or reached the goal he failed to achieve, no?:
              President Obama did promise his base to WORK towards repealing “DADT., ” did he not:? Which, then, Father Morris,did President Obsma fulfill, his promise or a goal? Just askin”. By the way, Im sick of campaigning, the election’s over, why do you keep campaigning?

        • Wait in line, Fr John.
          I’m still waiting for His Grace to respond to my list of Obama’s promises.

          Let’s meet back here in 4 years and review the President’s faithfulness.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Can you believe four more years of 1.5% growth? It’s the New Normal. It happened in Bolivia. Chavez ruined that country but the bare majority put him back in. That’s because the only way that they can survive is to redistribute what wealth remains.

            • “The New Normal”. Probably what the folk in the storage section on slave ships said after a couple of months.

          • Archpriest John W. Morris says

            I am sorry, I did not mean to offend you. His Grace cannot respond to your points or mine, because there is no rational way to explain away Obama’s failures as president. He got reelected by shifting the discussion away from his administration to a very successful effort to demonize his opponent. I still cannot believe that he got reelected.
            The Republicans are not as good at propaganda as the Democrats. They are not street fighters like the Democrats. Nor do they have the ability to confuse the American people with all sorts of promises that they cannot possibly fulfill. They do not have the ability to change the subject to shift attention away from the real issues to a bunch of hot air that really means nothing.
            Obama claims to fight for the poor and middle class. Can anyone honestly argue that the poor and middle class are not much worse off today than they were when he assumed office. Instead of helping the poor he has hurt them and will continue to hurt them by his misguided policies. If you really want to help the poor work to create a good economy so that they can get decent jobs to support themselves and their families. Leftists ideologues do not like it but nothing in history has done more to raise people out of poverty than free enterprise capitalism.
            As an Orthodox Christian, I honestly believe that I cannot be faithful to the teachings of our Church if I vote for a candidate who is as radically pro-abortion and against Biblical sexual morality as Obama is.

            • Dear Fr John,
              I was not offended – my tongue was definitely in cheek when I asked you to “get in line”. :0)
              We’ll be a long time waiting on the good bishop’s sensible response – I think he is “living in denial” on the matter of Pres. Obama.
              Pray your recovery is going well.

              • I’ve already responded and Father Morris can’t face it, nor, apparently, can you, Basil. It was clearly stated here that President Obama had broken, or failed to keep, “all his promises.” I pointed out that he has not promised to accomplish anything. He has only promised to TRY. TO TRY, get it?
                He didn’t promise to repeal “Don’t ask; don’t tell”, but it was repealed. He didnt promise to bring justice to Bin Laden, but where is Bin Laden now?
                Give it a break. President Obama has not broken any of his promises. You and Father Morris and many others are indulging in wishful thinking if yuou say that.he has broken all his promises.
                “Children, keep yourself from idols.”
                I was careful to address my remarks to only ONE false statement about President Obama. Rather than admit the truth of my carefully limited remarks, Father Morris has chosen to throw up a veritable smokescreen attacking a broad spectrum of topics relative to that President. Don’t deny it. Pardon me, but I reminded willy-nilly of the alarmed squid who, who resorts to squirting clouds of ink into his environment in order to flee from superior force.!

                • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                  Your Grace:

                  I am not interested in wasting my time getting into a spitting match with you over Obama. I disagree with you and believe that he is one of the worst presidents in American history. He and his party actively oppose Orthodox Christian moral values. Almost every speech that he has made contains strong support for abortion and gay rights. The nation suffers serious economic problems that are worse now than when he took office. Our standing in the world has been tainted by an image of weakness. I cannot think of one thing that he has done that has helped our nation. He did not kill Osama ben Laden American soldiers did. He claimed to have destroyed al-Qaeda but the truth is that al-Quaeda is stronger than ever as was seen recently in Libya. Then instead of recognizing the threat, he lied about it and claimed that a movie that no one has seen was responsible for the murder of our ambassador. Our country is more divided than any time except for the Civil War and Obama is largely responsible. I am not campaigning. I am mourning for the destruction of our country by a man who is not only way in over his head, but has no commitment to our constitution or the values that made the US a great nation.

                  • Catholic Observer says

                    Bingo! (To use a Catholic term…although I’ve known of Greek Orthodox parishes that have sponsored bingo games, too. ;-))

                    I agree with you 100%, Father, and I too mourn for America. I’ve never been particularly chauvinistic about my country; I guess I took my freedoms for granted. Now I see them slipping away, and I am so, so sad. I can’t stop feeling blue. I know this will pass, but right now I am in such a sad, elegiac mood, mourning for the America I once knew.

                    God help us!!!

                  • Agree or disagree. If you don’t (or can’t?) admit you were mistaken in writing President Obama broke all his promises the prognosis for the rest of your life is not a good one. My life is too short to respond to endless repetitions of the losing Teapublican presidential campaign. What would be the point? Reminds me of my grandmother who was too vain to wear a hearing aid, but liked to argue her position on this or that. Same-old, same-old. Keep crying on each others’ shoulders and repeating your mantras. God be with you.

                    • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                      Your Grace:

                      Obama did not even try to fulfill his promises or goals as you put it. He is an AWOL president who spends more time on the golf course or raising campaign funds to do his job. He is either incompetent or he is deliberately trying to destroy our country by his inaction to support his left wing political ideology.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      I for one am glad that he “did not even try to fulfill his promises…” Lord help us with just what he actually accomplished. There’s no going back.

                    • Father Morris said the President broke his promises. I say he has never broken a promise, and I asked that Morris name one promise that the President broke. He did not mention one promise that the President made, but said that promises and goals are the same thing. No, they are not the same thing and they are not even synonyms.
                      As for goals, he did meet his goal of the repeal of DADT, did he not? He did meet his goal of bringing Bin Laden to account. That was a goal President Bush (Double-you) utterly failed to meet after clearly, publicly and flamboyantly setting it as HIS GOAL.
                      Still waiting for anyone who gave a thumbsup to Morris to name ONE promise President Obama made but did not keep. Promise. P=R=O=M=I=S=E.

                  • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                    American soldiers acting on orders from the President of the United States. Hence President Obama killed Bin Laden. You may not like him, but President Obama did his job in this regard.

                    Also, President Obama, even though I do not support his stance on Abortion, advocates a pro-chice position. Currently this is the position that many Libertarian Republicans advocate. It can and currently IS being argued that it is NOT the nations job to turns the hearts and minds of the people away from Abortion, but that of the Church. So President Obama cannot be honestly criticized in this regard.

                    President Obama can be criticized for the HHS Mandate as to forcing religious organizations to fund contraception and abortion. THAT he can be criticized on and the HHS Mandate MUST be fought against as it is a direct violation of our First Amendment right to Freedom of Religion.

                    Again, an supporting Gay Marriage ina political sense is one thing and what President Obama has done, but never have I seen or heard him advocate that Christian Churches be FORCED to extend the sacrament of marriage to Homosexuals WITHIN the Church.

                    I cannot agree with President Obama’s stance on these issues because I am a Christian, but nothing has changed inside the Church. OUTSIDE the Church things have changed because of the Evangeligal Protestant mindset that IMHO we must shed that believes that the State is just an extension of the Church and we as the Church can FORCE our beliefs onto other people. I do not believe that and it high time that the Church STOP delegating its duty to spreading the Gospel of Christ to the State to somehow Legislate Christian Morals for a society that is increasingly less Christian and Much MORE Pagan.

                    Its time we stop making our Nations laws do our job of evangelization, and start evangelizing our Nation ourselves. In this sense the moral depravity of our Country is NOT President Obama’s fault, but our own.

                    On this front, the buck stops with us. This is an opportunity for us to bring the Gospel of Christ to this Pagan Nation. The U.S. now is no different from Pagan Rome and just like hearts and souls were changed then they can be changed again.

                    President Obama will not do it and we will not do it, the Holy Spirit through the Church’s evangelization will do. So…Let’s stop laying fault and start spreading the Gospel.


                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Peter, everything you describe is based on a rosy scenario. Be honest, if W was president during Hurricane Sandy, MSNBC would be screaming about the worst tragedy since the Titanic or somesuch.

                      As for the Christian Right, what exactly do you expect people to do or react when the very fabric of society is falling apart? The Church’s moral imperative could never be implemented without help from society and yes, the State. As noted, The Emancipation Proclamation did not liberate one single slave. Slavery was abolished not by the 13th Amendment but at the tips of the bayonets of Grant’s Grand Army of the Potomac.

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      Peter, the society is not pagan. Pagans, at least, believe in a god. Today’s culture is resolutly libertine/secular.

                      All law is predicated on force. All law that contains values is therefore ‘forcing’ someone’s values on others. I’m surpriese to see you use that rather dumb oxymoronic argument abour ‘forcing’ our values on others. What about the libertine secularists forcing their values on us? There is and cannot be any such thing as a ‘separation of church and state’ unless one is a gnostic or holds some othe dualistic belief. Jesus Christ is fully human. That means that all human activities are to be offered up to Him and transformed by His Grace through us–even how we govern ourselves, the laws we make and inforce: all of that.

                      Besides we started the whole Church/State synergy thing, not the Protestants. If one has a understanding of the cascading grace of the Holy Trinity down through the various hierarchies such a idea makes sense. If one is a democratic leveler, it dosen’t. Unfortunately, we’ve all been infected with the anti-hierarchical beleif system of our libertine/secular culture. “Hey man, just do your own thing, its cool” Those of us who grew up in the sixties have much of which to repent.

                      If the law of the land does not reflect the transcendent values of simple humanity (economically too BTW), free people have no choice but to resist it. Whether that resistence is open and active or internal and prayerful it has to happen. We either serve God or we serve mammon.

                      If you really believe that the Church will be left alone, I think you’ve been drinking too much happy juice. There may not be specific laws ‘forcing’ us to do it (yet), but more and more both social pressure and the legal marginalization of belief will take its toll. At some point, most of the Church will simply give in under all of that force.

                      Those who remain faithful will likely be catacomb Christians in plain site with the Catacombs being our own homes. Instead of the Tradition that those in the sin of fornication (homosexual or normal) to name but one be kept from te cup, those who refuse to ‘love’ such will be kept from the cup. It is likely that the Scarament of Marriage will simply fall into disuse much as the Sacrament of Confession has today. “Abortion? Well it is legal what’s the fuss. Nothing to see there. Come, share the cup. You don’t agree? You evii, judgemental person you. Be gone!” Eventually, our beautiful places of worship will be closed for lack of support.

                      This country has officially denied the foundation of our law, our previous culture and the ethos that allowed us to remain a relatively united but diverse nation. Balkanization is likely to follow.

                      “We all like sheep have gone astray everyone to his own way and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” Is 53-6

                      May He have mercy on our souls.

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      To George and Michael:

                      How did Rome help the Church? How did Rome, Pagan Rome, every become a partner of the Church prior to the 4th century? In fact, even after the 4th century Rome in the West continued to be against the Church and the farther West you went the more barbaric and Pagan they were. Do you honestly think the Emperor’s cared? How about the crusaders? Really? To use one of George’s phrases the best way to describe Church/State relationships has always been as “Frienemies.”

                      St. paul does state that Government was divinly appointed by God and that even Jesus confirms this with his retort to Pontus Pilate in having the authority to kill Jesus, but what IS that authority? Read the scriptures Government was given to us to have order and civility. Why? because its within that civility that takes man out of the State of nature that THE CHURCH is allowed to evangelize and conduct its salvic work. The State is never there to FORCE, and yes Michael I mean FORCE, its Christian morality on non-believers. And its not a dumb oxymoronic argument because I was there in the 80’s in many an evangelical meetings and church revivals through the Assembly of God Church because I went to one of their private schools growing up, so I KNOW EXCATLY what the Evangelical wants for this Country and it has NOTHING to do with Orthodoxy or our proper evangelixation of a Pagan people.

                      Further pagans did NOT believe in gods, but in dead objects of worship. They placed their hope in dead things. What do you think is going on now in America and the West? IPhones, IPads, Droids, Laptops, Facebook, political parties and leaders, Sex, Pornagraphy, etc., that which a man values more that GOD is that man’s god, and if its NOT the ONE TRUE GOD then is an idol and by extension and definition an idol. That’s modern America.

                      You think the General Patreaus Sex Scandal is unique in Washington D.C.? Really? The continued rise in homosexual acceptance, the continued rise in Abortion, the quite rise in Euthenasia among the medical establishment in this Country and abroad. Yet, where do we place our faith? In God or the State? We cannot serve two masters only one.

                      The State has its place to render order and civility (ceasar), but the Church has been given the great commission Matt. 28:19-20. This is not the State’s duty but ours. As long as the State does not interfer in this then its time to get to work.

                      I do not need the State to facilitate anything when we have the ultimate and best facilitator – The Holy Spirit.


                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Peter, that’s your opinion (regarding idolatry). The pagans themselves firmly believed that their objects of worship were living things. In some cases they were right: they actually worshiped demons.

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      Demons yes. I except the testimony of scripture in this regards as we read this in the Psalms According to the Septuagint (Ps 95:5 LXX). But some things people believe in today and hold as their god are also demonic, especially in many people’s obsession with sex which is most definitely worshipped and revered by many overtly (sex Industry) and covertly (Sex scandals, obsessions, etc.).

                      Demonic and taking worship away from The One True God. Hence utterly Pagan with no fear or regard for the Living God.


                    • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                      In Orthodox theology we believe in symphonia with the state having certain responsibilities and the Church having certain responsibilities. According to Orthodox theology the Church is the conscience of the society and must speak clearly on moral issues such as abortion and the definition of marriage.
                      Obama practically peaches against Christian morality by his enthusiastic support for abortion, free birth control and so called gay rights. His whole war on women campaign was a war on those who uphold traditional Christian morality.
                      Besides all of the above, I believe that Obama is incompetent and is one of the most ineffective presidents in American history. He cannot or will not try to work with the Republicans who control the House and lacks the ability to reach agreement with others that is the mark of a statesman. I fear for the future of our country.

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      Father Morris the concept of Symphonia worked during the Byzantine Era under a government and society that was predominantly Orthodox Christian where the very foundation of that society was set up to function that way. However even then Patriarchs were banished that criticized the state, Churchmen were defrocked, etc.

                      Our modern pluralistic society cannot function under such a model, or at least strictly under such a model. There are areas of cooperation between government and religion, as defined by the U.S. Supreme Court, but with pluralistic religions in a given country one religion cannot have sway over the others, nor can religion have sway over those of no faith at law, at least under the law.

                      Culturally on a purely evangelistic level the Gospel, from an Orthodox perspective, can easily dominate in the current Calvinistic Protestant environment. It has the better message and of course it correct whereas Calvinism wrong. People IMHO can see this once presented with the True Gospel of Christ.

                      So, again, I will let the government do its thing, while we as Christians need to proclaim the Gospel as loud as we can to as many as we can.


                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Fr. John, while I am not denying the destructive force that Obama’s adminstration has been and will contiune to be: he did not do it alone. It is the culmination of a societal and cultural change that began in the 1960’s and that every President since Eishenhower has forwarded (yes, even the demigod Reagan). The individuation of moral choice, the belief that governnment can ahd should solve all problmes and that American power (in the name of democracy) should be projected through out the world ‘for its own good” (Wilson started that one.).

                    All of us are cupable and will bear the consequences to the third generation, at least “The sins of the fathers are visited upon the sons until the third generation”

                    Of course if the aborters, non-breeders and the euthanizers continue to hold sway, there won’t be a third generation for our moral and spiritual failings to curse.

                    The divide for which this election is a worldly icon has already infected the Church. Are we to be united in Orthodoxy in this country by our own version of the ‘Living Church’? It would seem there are those who would have it so.

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      By the way I’m not going to live in no catacombs. I actually believe in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. So if you honestly believe that Christians will be persecuted by this government, which is the same EXACT thing I heard my evangeligal protestanmt friends say and believe back in the 80’s, then you just like them are delusional.

                      Whatever hatred you have or whatever paranonia you have I would highly suggest you let it go. Our country was ravaged more by the Capitalist big wigs on Wall Street way before the so-called progressives/socialists came along. In this current election the People of our country actually spoke. Not money, not Superpacs, Not Voter suppression supporters, but THE PEOPLE.

                      Now I do not like the moral course of this country, in fact I down right hate it. But I do not hate my country nor do I think that we as a country will not get back on our feet. Look we had a MASSIVE re-distribution of Wealth go to the 1% wealthy of this country while the middle class was literally and figuratively fleeced. When the market fell because of the glut it fell to correct itself. Simple as that.

                      Government has safety nets and so-called entitlements, although why I should be entitled to something that is MINE and I paid into is beyond me, but hey that’s economic conservative propaganda for you, so that the people do NOT get hurt bu the bad decisions of fat-cat wall street.

                      That’s not socialism that’s plain decency. My father at 74 years of age still works as a Gas Station and service garage owner. Nobody gave him a bailout. Nobody helped him when Parent Petroleum raised prices and he couldn’t sell it because it was too expensive AND the bank couldn’t give him a loan to meet pay-roll.

                      See in the real world Michael, like that of my dad, he only sees like I see wealth re-distributed to the wealthy few at the top and the real job creators, like my dad not a hedge fund like Mr. Romney supports, have gotten ZERO tax relief, ZERO bailout, ZERO price reduction to compete with BP and Speedway, ZERO, ZERO and MORE ZERO. But as long as the wealth is re-distributed UP its OK, but when its re-distributed down then its not ok and its socialism. NO ITS MY DAD! And at 74 years of age he EARNED his Social Security, he EARNED his Medicare, he EARNED his Medicare part D and in 2014 he will have EARED his Private Health Insurance. He is NOT enittled to something that he EARNED, and he is NOT going to lose what he EARNED.

                      So if we now have an America that is truly free of Corporate and Cronny Capitalism and fairness and decency, even if only a little bit has come back into our new America, because the old Corporate States of America were terrible, then I am hopeful and I am supportive of the so-called New America, whatever that means. I just think its fair.

                      So, no catacombs, no more of the 1% getting fat, people getting to keep those program benefits that they earned and hopefully in 2015, during the mid-term elections, the remaining Tea Party/John Birch society members can be voted out of the house, and reasonably moderate GOP and DEMs get put back in and our country then truly starts to recover and get back on a even keel.

                      As for the moral decay in the country, its time for Christians to start standing up for and proclaim the Gospel of Christ. Start praying and being charitable towards all men and women and to bring people back from the moral abyss with the Love and Grace of Jesus Christ. Never compromising our faith and morality, but proclaiming the love of Christ for all and that salvation only comes from Him and no other, Not Government, Not Politics, Noit Wall Street, Not anything but only Through and By Him.

                      This is not the end but the beginning. This is not hoplessness, Hope alive in the Living Christ. I stand firmly upon His Gospel and believe in God 100%. So I do not worry. God is in control and God always has a plan.

                      Finally, these debates get heated and tempers may and do fly, but always know I don’t mean anything out of hatred, and never will. Take care Michael, George, Father Morris, at. al.,

                      Peter A. Papoutsis

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Peter, don’t say that the First Amendment will preserve us from persecution. It will not when and if the Church becomes the Church. Better men than us Americans have suffered far worse things. It is delusional to think that the Federal government will not go after us. Barring divine intervention, they will.

                    • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                      To Peter A. Papoutsis Above

                      If you really care about your father’s medicare and social security, you should be very worried about Obama’s policies. He took over 700 billion from medicare to fund Obama Care and has done nothing to save social security from looming bankruptcy. Instead, he and the Democrats use scare tactics to attack the Republicans who are trying to find a way to save medicare and social security. They frighten old people by outright lies that the Republicans want to take their medicare and social security from them, while sitting by and watching these important programs drift further and further toward bankruptcy.
                      The only way to save our economy is for the president and congress to work together and reach the compromises necessary to deal with the deficit, national debt and save social security and medicare. Obama cannot or will not seek compromise with the Republicans, but demands that they agree completely with them. The man lacks basic leadership skills.
                      He uses rhetoric to cover his incompetence and has no understanding about how the private economy works. For example, he riles against the profits of the oil companies and threatens to tax them. If he passes an excess profit tax on the oil companies, they will simply pass on that expense to the consumer by increasing the cost of gas. The price of gas has doubled under his administration. Just a few days after he carried Colorado, he took over 1 million acres of public land away from exploration for natural gas and oil. Had he been honest about his plans, he might not have carried Colorado. God help us from 4 more years of Obama.

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      Father Morris: Yeah, I’m not worried about my dad’s medicare or anybodies Medicare now. President Obama and the Congress will work out a deal. When you have people like William Kristol starting to give the House Republicans permission to raise taxes and the Dems signaling to accept spending cuts, as they should, a grand bargain will be struck. So not to worried.

                      However, I will apologize to you in regards to one Chicago THUG politician – Jesse Jackson, Jr. (a/k/a Triple J). He is corrupt as the day is long and his pretend depresion also coinsided with the Feds ready to grab him and now he is working out a Plea Deal with the Fed. Govt. Its politicians like him and Former Govenor Blagoivich that gave our City and State a bad reputation. I and many othera cannot wait for Jackson, Jr. to leave Congress.

                      Also, I will say that the Blago incident DID stretch into the White House and implicated the Rahm Immanuel (a/k/a Rahmfather) and President Obama, but President Obama will never be touched. Mayor Immanuel maybe, but I doubt it.

                      Mayor Daley (son) was never touched and he was at the center of alot of corruption. All his underlings got pinched, but he never did and never will. Same with President Obama and maybe mayor Immanuel, but we will see.

                      Like you said Chicago politics are rough, but also interesting.


                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Bill Kristol is a smarmy weasel. Peter, the can can only be kicked down the road for so long. There will be hell to pay.

                    • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                      In a very real sense we can blame our current decline on Dr. Spock, not Leonard Nemoy, but the baby doctor. All young parents since 1950 have used Dr. Spock’s book when raising their children. My wife and I also used it. As a result our generation is spoiled and narcissistic. Our parents grew up during the Great Depression and were dedicated to making the lives of their children better. They tried too hard and spoiled us. In a very real sense American history since 1950 can be approached as a study of the youth, and prolonged adolescence of the Baby Boomers. The revolt of the 60s were really a temper tantrum like that of a 3 year old. Our generation made the same mistake. Obama is a product of his times. He is an MTV president. He speaks in lofty ideals, but completely lacks the ability to recognize that others may have equally valid ideas to his. Throughout our history, our political system was built on compromise. Even our constitution was built on compromise that is why we have a House to represent the people and a Senate to represent the states. We kept the union together by compromise during the pre-Civil War period. When Clay and others used to compromise died and were replaced by people who could not or would not compromise we had the Civil War. Of course we were cursed by slavery, that made an end to compromise inevitable You cannot compromise with an evil like slavery. Obama cannot bring himself to compromise. He has to dominate. Even his press conferences are strictly controlled so that he is always in charge and never has to answer difficult questions. Thus he is doomed to failure because the only way out of our current political impasse is through compromise.

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      Bill Kristol a smarmy weasel? Yes, absolutely. However, he wouldn’t be saying it if the fix was not already in and giving the House Republicans an out to strike a grand deal with tax increases and spending cuts. That’s all I’m saying.


                    • George Michalopulos says

                      You’re probably right.

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      Oh boy. Another crack in the Republican Party. First Immigration now Obamacare? Yup: http://news.yahoo.com/gop-led-states-start-warming-health-care-law-182557927.html

                      The States want to do this so the Fed does not. Cool.
                      The States want more info before they impliment? Cool.

                      Net result, talking a hard game, but finally giving in. Let Competition in the Insurance exchanges begin and with GOP support to boot. Which is not so suprising being this whole “Obamacare” plan was originally thought up and created by Economic and Very Capitalistic Conservatives at the Heritage Foundation and Former Gov. Mitt Romney put it in place in his State.

                      Next I predict that the GOP will agree to a solution for “fixing” Social Security that has NOTHING to do with privatization. Just wait and see.


                    • George Michalopulos says

                      You’re probably right. I think the days of the GOP are over.

                • Father John, I agree with your comments about Obama.

                  Lord have mercy on the USA.

                  • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                    I tend to have more faith in the First Amendment. Well we shall see.


                    • “Symphonia” is failed Byzantine political philosophy that lived on mainly in the Islamic World, finding its apotheosis in the caliphate, and still sputtering along in the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is no more Orthodox theology than a cup of coffee is.
                      THEOLOGY!!!! What next? Now is the time for clear thinking, not more propagation of confusion. The Church is the Body of Christ: it’s not an entity making harmonies with the Roman Emperor!

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Your Grace, I don’t disagree but is the Church to remain silent in the face of injustice?

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      The 1st amendment guarantees are only as stong as the fundamentally Christian understanding of polity is. We don’t have that understanding any more, IMO, and its been erroding for a long time. There is simply no more national consensus that religious faith is important and a significant opinion that it is dangerous.

                      Whether outright persecution develops is questionable, but there will certainly be official disfavor and a lot of unoffical disfavor in politics, employment, education etc. My 26 year old son has already experienced quite a bit of it in his age group especially but also at work and in school. He is quite frustrated by it. There are certain professions in which there are strategies in place to deny any traditional Christian admittance (most notably some branches of psychology, but other medical professions are beginning to feel the pinch too). But which is easier to endure: Hatred or being thought irrelevant and immaterial, isolated and ridiculed?

                      Secularism is worldly in all of its intents and the world hates us. Secular government is simply incapapable of tolerating us for long. The revolt against God that is at its base will not allow it.

                      As far as Medicare, the AMA is proposing a new version that would privatize the insurance as much as possible with government guarantees and subsidies rather than the governement being the payor. They call it a defined benefit plan but the benefits will not be the same although they will be “actuarially equivalent” That is a bit like having one foot in ice water and one foot in boiling water and be judged comfortable. Don’t know any details but Medicare cannot and will not stay the same. Your 74 year old father may not see the worst of it, but younger folks will.

                      As far as the rosey compromise you invision: even Robert Reich is not real optimistic about the positive effect of any compromise. His opinion is that whatever is worked out will have quite negative results for everybody which pretty much mirrors the opinon of a number of economists I’ve heard lately. Besides the results of “Grand Compromises” are usually an infertile, splavined camel that is called a champion race horse. The Missouri Compromise and Munich come to mind. “Peace in our time?”

                      If we don’t prepare to live a catacomb-like faith, we will be overtaken by the world.

                      If it be now, ‘tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now; yet it will come: the readiness is all.
                      William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act V, Scene 2

                      Watch and pray.

                      BTW Peter, your response to my previous post seems to assume quite a bit that I did not say. I am no fan of the neo-fascist economic system that has developed in this country, it is anything but free-market captialism, yet free-market capitalism gets blamed for it. Sense an agenda there?

                      Take God out of the polity and you get one of two things: the tryanny of rampant individualism in a Nietzchean manner or the tryanny of the state over everyone in a pseudo community. Both are the products of the nihilism that secular ideology is founded on.

                  • To Peter: Thank you for responses that are sincere without sarcasm or obvious bile. None of us here have managed that accomplishment.

                    To Fr. John: I am continually amazed that you as a historian so easily ignore historiography in your pronouncements (diatribes) against Obama, Democrats, Liberals, Progressives, and who knows who else. Republicans want to save social security and Medicare? By privatizing it for the benefit of the financial and insurance industries? Obama will not compromise? He was willing to do the ‘grand bargain.’ The revolt of the 60s was akin to a child’s temper tantrum–a nice way to characterize those that were inspired by Dr. King’s dream.

                    Republicans wonder why they lost–with all their pessimism, negativity, hand wringing blame game, is it any wonder? I am also puzzled that religious leaders are so eager to blame our political leaders for what could be just as easily seen as failures of religious institutions.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      IF Social Security is not “privatized” it will collapse based on demographics alone. FDR should have been honest from the start: it was welfare for the old people.

                    • George Michalopulos says: IF Social Security is not “privatized” it will collapse based on demographics alone. FDR should have been honest from the start: it was welfare for the old people.

                      We index our exemptions and deductions for inflation, we expect cost of living adjustments in our income; however, we expect our contributions to social security not to increase and not apply to all our income? Demographics are an issue, but a solvable one. It’s amazing how Republicans can, without a moment’s reflection, throw away the one safety net that the elderly have. Apparently, Republicans think they will never be old. Of course, if we would just think like them then we all would be smart enough, rich enough, have family enough, and be fortunate enough to live our golden years without a care in the world.

                      So, I should put my hope for my golden years in some investment firm, who are more interested in their multi-million dollar bonuses, as well as hatching more schemes of turning base metal into gold than a medieval alchemist?

                      i receive social security and I’m enrolled in Medicare. Sad to know that so many of my fellow Americans see me as a welfare cheat. How we treat our elderly says volumes about us, our culture and society.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      How, exactly, are demographics “a solvable issue”? Outside of opening the borders and letting everybody come in and hoping someway to tax their income, there is only one other way to sustain transfer payments to the old: restriction of abortion/contraception and/or the elevation of the retirement age.

                      The second is not optimal for this reason: getting seniors out of the work force opens up space for young people. That’s a good thing. Otherwise Junior will continue to live in his parent’s basement whiling away his productive years playing HALO-3.

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      First the 1st Amendment was not dependent on a “Christian Polity” because it was fashioned and created by Our Founding Fathers that were heavily influenced by the principles of the Enlightenment, which came out of a Europe that was riddled with and frought with religious wars, kings acting as dictators, and merchant gilds running amok which led to the creation of centralized banks that controlled the distribution and value of wealth. Not Very Christian Michael.

                      The Founders were also Freemason. Yes those secretive Freemasons. Although I continue to have my distrust of any secret society, which Freemasonry is, I understand their secrecy at that time. Things that we take for granted now got you killed back then. Freedom of Religious? WHAT! Tell that to the Catholics and protestants that were killing themselves in Europe.

                      Freedom of the Speech? WHAT! You could not criticize the King or Monarch of any European Country back in the 1700 without getting thrown in prison, or executed. Freedome of the Press? WHAT! You want to actually publish something critixal of ol’ King George III? OK, enjoy Bread and water for the rest of your life, if you were not killed first.

                      Freedom to Assembly? WHAT! Son of Liberty Unite! Not a chance in England, France, Germany, etc., especially if you were uniting against the King, The Church or BOTH! So those polities, especially England, that Great Christian nation that gave us the King James Bible, because Good Ol King James did not like the Geneva Bible that was critical of Monarchy, were NOT acting very Christian and either imprisoning or killing or both if you spoke your mind, criticized the crown, or somehow did something that the Church did not like.

                      Mr. William Tyndale got burnt at the stake for translating the Bible on his own, and did not translate it from the Latin Vulgate, did not give it to a Bishop to review, the nerve, and actually printed his New testament and gave it out to people to actually READ for themselves! OH NO!

                      That’s the world the Founding Father’s came from, very UN-Christian, and to quote Thomas Hobbs, from Leviathan, “the life of man, (was in this time) solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” (emphasis added). So the fundamental understanding of polity was pretty darn evil if you use these so-called Christian Countries as examples.

                      The United States of America, however, was built upon the Principles of the Englightenment as embodied in our U.S. Constitution the the Bill of Right. This made our Country wealthy in mind, body and spirit, united and strong, long-lasting and real Republic for as long as we can keep it to echo Bengamin Franklin.

                      So did these Founding Fathers have faith and even a Christian faith? Yes, some did, some did not. Some were Christian, Some were Diests, Some were Universalists, ALOT were Freemasons like George Washington, but they did not create a Christian nation they created a FREE Nation were all men could practice whatever belief they wanted or none at all. That, i would submit, is NOT a Christian nation, and I know from personal experience that Evangelical Protestants WANT a Christian nations NOT the Nations given to us by the Founding Fathers.

                      The Founding Fathers never took God out of our Polity but they didn’t put Him in it either. The remarkable thing that they did is that they left that up to us. And so it still is today and the Republic still Stands.


                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Peter, the Enlightenment came directly out of the Scholastic Movement of the High Middle Ages which pioneered the concept of natural law. Moreover, there were two Enlightenments: the Scottish and the French. The first was Christian the second radical/humanist. The Founding Fathers were deeply Christian men who were guided by John Locke and not Denis Diderot. The only two who were sympathetic (at first) to the Jacobins were Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine. When they saw it up close and personal they did a one-eighty.

                    • George Michalopulos says:
                      How, exactly, are demographics “a solvable issue”?

                      Legal and smart immigration policies will help, in conjunction with increasing retirement age and funding increases. It really doesn’t take rocket science.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Trouble is we’re not going to do that are we? That’s because the body politic is a collective dumb animal, it does only the most maladaptive things. Bismarck. Sausages. Laws. Do you think Obama and the Dems are going to restrict immigration? Not on your life.

                      I do pity him: he’s going to have to make a decision between appeasing Latinos and mollifying blacks, the group that has been hit the hardest by illegal immigration. The bill’s coming due.

                    • George,

                      Most Western countries are indeed looking at incrementally increasing the retirement age over the next two decades, especially in light of the longer life spans that we are presently experiencing and the decrease in the birth rate. The original Social Security plans of Western countries didn’t envisage SS having to maintain people into their 80s & 90s. I’m surprised if the US isn’t looking at this…isn’t it? The only other way to maintain the tax base that would be necessary to support Social Security entitlements into the future is to increase the immigration of young people from the developing world who (and this is not their fault) do not understand or appreciate Western culture or customs. They will thus change the face of our societies so as to make them virtually unrecognisable. I really believe that when the history of the decline of the West is written – after the fact – two pharmacopoeal inventions of the post-WWII period will be seen as decisive: the birth control pill and anticoagulants. “The pill” separated sex from procreation and eventually marriage while Warfarin enables us to live long enough to acquire the wisdom to see what a terrible mistake that was in so many, many ways!

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      Yet the main point is that either way they did not create nor tolerate a sectarian religious nation. That just didn’t happen. In fact, besides Jefferson the main religious body that officially supported and taught a separation of Church and State were the Southern Baptists until they were taken over by the evangelicals.


                    • George Michalopulos says

                      That was because the nascent United States was an historical accident. There was no national Church –nor could there be one–because seven of the original states already had established State churches. And the Northwest Ordinance set aside all future lands to be acquired by the US for “purposes of religion.”

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis1 says

                      I do not thing you are saying that the Founding Fathers wanted to create individual State Churches? Nothing in our history suggest this was the intent of the Founders because if you are saying that then you are buying into the Evangelical Fantasy of a Christian America, which means an Evangelical Christian America. So you and me and every other NON-Evangelical Christian are in big trouble.

                      As for the Northwest Ordinance meme that has been around since I was a teenager and heard it over, and over, and over UNTIL I actually read the history of it, and what the ordinance REALLY says which is this:

                      “Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall be forever encouraged.”

                      The Ordinance does NOT say “schools and churches shall forever be encouraged.” If we were truly a “Christian” nation, then certainly churches would be encouraged. So…what was being encouraged? Education was being encouraged NOT religion. During this time Religion, morality, knowledge, education, skilled labor, etc., were needed to be encouraged for our American “experiement” to work and thrive, but it never stated that Churches or certain Churches were to control the Government or be supported by the government.

                      These were the times back then. No Establishment of Religion was being favored. individual PEOPLE were being favored. Churches do not need to control the government for people to be religious, moral, and knowledgeable. Further, it is significant to mention that Congress did not in 1789 reenact the provision of 1787 for a lot in each township to be set aside “perpetually for the purposes of religion.” Journals of the Continental Congress, ed. Worthington C. Ford et al. (Washington, D.C., 1904-1937), XXXIII, 399-400.

                      So was religion supported or was education, knowledge and a persons individual religious beliefs encouraged? The later NOT the former. Again, the Founding fathers did NOT and never wanted a Christian nation, but a people to be free to decide what they individually wanted to believe or NOT believe. Again, the Founding Fathers never took God out of America, but they never put God in America either. They let the people decide. Hence the First Amendment. The Government encouraged people’s individual liberty and freedom to believe what they wanted, NOT an establishment of a particular religion or church for the United States of America. BTW Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Northwest Ordinance and given his belief in a separation of Church and State as completely secular with no mention of religion whatsoever.

                      Furthermore, lets ask the next question what was religion AND education placed in the Northwest ordinance and linked so closely together? Who was going out there? Perhaps Churches evangelizing the Native-Americans? Soooo…why not use the Evangelical motivation of the Churches to convert the heathen Native-Americans, and by extension establishing communities and schools in addition to Churches is a wonderful way of expanding Northwest and letting the Churches do what the government at the time could NOT do. Very smart in my opinion. So were we “Promoting” religion OR just expanding Northwest and allowing the Churches, WHO WANTED TO GO, set up the communities, schools, trades (i.e. framework) for the U.S.A. in the process.

                      So we were promoting American Expansionism NOT religion, and NO specific individual Church. Its just good old fashion passing the buck to the Churches to do the heavy lifting that our nascent government could not do at the time. That’s it.

                      As Orthodox Christians we would NOT like living in an Evangelical Protestant America. I guarantee you that.


                    • George Michalopulos says

                      No, not at all. They were not in favor of founding state churches, just leaving the states alone which already had them. Read Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists. He said he wanted a “wall of seperation” so the federal government could not interfere in church life. We wanted, nay welcomed, the churches to be involved in political life.

                      You’re buying too much into the secularist nonsense that has pervaded America since 1942 with that stupid Supreme Court decision by Justice Harlan Black (who was incidentally, a member of the KKK).

                    • George Michalopulos says:
                      . . . And the Northwest Ordinance set aside all future lands to be acquired by the US for “purposes of religion.”

                      I thought I was familiar with the Northwest Ordinance, but you stumped me with that one.

            • Catholic Observer says

              I still cannot believe that he got reelected.

              Neither can I, Father. I am gobsmacked. I’m not sure it has totally sunk in yet.

              Lord have mercy!!!

          • Jane Rachel says

            Basil, I believe Bishop Tikhon celebrated his 80th birthday yesterday! (?) Maybe he was busy eating cake?

            In any case, may God grant him many more years!

        • Thank you, Father John, for this excellent summary.

    • So, raising taxes back to what they were during those oh so horrible 1990s (you know, when everyone was laboring under Clintonian levels of economic depression!) would be a bad thing? Its rectifying the wrong of lowering taxes while fighting two simultaneous land wars in Asia. Who was President (and in charge of Congress) back in 2001-2003? How soon we forget…

      • George Michalopulos says

        Marina, you may want to check your talking points with Bill Clinton: he went to the mattresses two years ago to fight for RETAINING the Bush tax cuts. Do you remember that joint press conference he held with Pres Lightworker? The one in which Obama walked off after he did the bare minimum in order to get Congress to keep them for another two years?

        • Patrick Henry Reardon says

          George says, “you may want to check your talking points with Bill Clinton: he went to the mattresses two years ago.”

          Really, George, do we have to bring THAT up again?

      • Raising taxes back to the level they were when the economy was booming will cause the economy to boom? Wow, talk about correlative fallacy in action. Seriously, the level of economic ignorance among supposedly educated people just astounds me. It shouldn’t; I’ve been exposed to it so much I ought to be immune, but somehow, it still confounds me.

        • Has nothing to do with the economy, has to do with budgets and paying bills of government. You are calling something a fallacy that doesn’t exist.

          • George Michalopulos says

            The debt is primarily a moral problem in and of itself. When you get to the minutiae –illegitimate kids, swelling prison populations, etc.–that’s decidedly moral.

            • You changed the topic George.

              If debt is a moral issue; all politicians lose.

              • No, actually the greatest moral offenders would be the Christians for giving so poorly to the poor that food stamps grew by 24 million mouths during the great recession.

                Unless you’d prefer the food stamp program, or Medicare D, or Afghanistan, or Iraq were paid for by government, in which case the offenders would be the signers of the toilet paper protection pledge for failing to pay the bill.

                It sure is ez to blame Obama though..

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Gee, if only Christians who don’t have jobs or have seen their taxes erode their base pay, or can’t afford to fill up their tanks with gasoline Only Gave More to the Poor, then the extra 15 million on food stamps would have been taken care of.

                • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                  That has got to be thee dumbest thing I ever read. Really Dan? Really? Grow up.


                  • It is hard to look at one’s self and realize the grim realities of your political views. Far easier to call the other guy stupid.

                    The food stamp numbers are truly sad, but noone wants to blame the wealth gap. Just blame Obama.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      well, he IS president. And the buck does stop somewhere (unless it’s the OCA and then it’s chaos run amok).

                • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                  The greatest failure is that since the Great Society, is that we have created a class of people who are dependent on government for their livelihood. We have families who have lived for several generations on welfare. There is nothing needy about our welfare class, nor is its existence an indications that Christians do not do enough to help the poor. The fact is that there are lazy people who do not want to work and that we have a class of politicians who get elected and stay in office by buying the votes of the welfare class. It is this corrupt alliance between politicians like Obama and the welfare class that is bankrupting our country. Christ taught to us to care for the needy poor. He did not call upon us to be stupid and to allow ourselves to be exploited by corrupt politicians and lazy people. I am convinced that we could resolve our national debt easily by cleaning up the welfare mess so that only those who really need help receive welfare.

          • First, we haven’t had a budget in this country in three years. Even the Democrats wouldn’t vote for Obama’s proposed budget. Not. One. Vote.

            Second, your contention about paying bills is specious. We have a SPENDING problem! We are adding entitlements we cannot fund, and this administration is lying about it.

            “You like your health plan, you can keep your health plan.” Oh yeah? I’m a retiree and I just had mine canceled, as a result of Obamacare.

            We are in for some very dark days. In such times, I would cling to my church, but that, too, is being destroyed from within.

            “Trust not in princes, in the sons of men, in whom there is no salvation.”

            • Spending on partD, two wars, and the Bush tax cuts are unfunded liabilities.

              Those expenses are still accumulating save one.

              There should be no war wihout a tax hike.

              • George Michalopulos says

                So I take it you are against non-Constitutional government spending?

                • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                  Do you mean like Obama’s illegal war on Libya? At least Bush went to congress for approval before Iraq. Obama involved us in a war without the approval of congress. That is clearly unconstitutional, but Obama does not believe in the constitution. For that alone he should have been impeached and removed from office. He only believes in himself as the ultimate power in America. He has all the makings of a dictator. I honestly do not understand why so many people like him. I find him to be arrogant, self-absorbed and narcissistic. He is an elitist who believes that he and his people know better than we do on how we should live our lives. If he could, he would set up a totalitarian state that would make Nazi Germany look like an amusement park. He would have the government run every aspect of our lives including what we eat.

                  • Libya and the United States of America were never at war.
                    There was at most a civil or revolutionary war going on in Libya. We don’t say that those European countries that took sides during the war between the states were making war on the Union or the Confederacy, do we?

                    Saying that the United States of America was EVER at war with Libya is nonsense that would like to be a strawman, but doesn’t even make it up to the standards of confetti or smoke up the alimentary canal.

                    Bush and company betrayed the trust of the Congress and the American people in fooling them about Iraq in order to cover his hinder with a constitutional declaration of war in order to control oil. And we made war on Iraq, total war, which Iraq hardly waged: at us: they certainly did not attack our cities, invade, destroy all the amenities of civilization. We declared war on them: they defended themselves. There was no civil war, no revolution there. It was just a case of Bush and company using our armed forces, our lives and materiel to destroy a functioning state “because it was there.”

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      It may not have been “war” but it was definately a “kinetic military action.”

                    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                      Why are you defending Obama? When it comes to war, Obama is Bush on steroids.

                      New Stanford/NYU study documents the civilian terror from Obama’s drones

                      New research shows the terrorizing impact of drones in Pakistan, false statements from US officials, and how it increases the terror threat

                      From the article:

                      …Obama is claiming the power to decide who should be killed without a shred of transparency, oversight, or due process – a power that is being continuously used to kill civilians, including children – and many of these same progressives now actually cheer for that.

                      This man is dangerous, as we see with illusions surrounding the “Arab Spring”, particularly with progressives. There is no real difference between neo-con and liberal foreign policy except the the liberals tend to be more hawkish.

                    • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                      Your Grace:

                      The Europeans did not interfere in the American Civil War or take sides. They did send observers to witness the first modern war, however. We did take sides in Libya and did send our air force into combat without congressional approval. Like so much else since he became President, Obama simply did what he wanted to do without considering either the constitution or the will of congress.
                      Obama’s foreign policy or lack thereof is a complete disaster that we will regret for decades.

                    • Archpriest John W. Morris says: We did take sides in Libya and did send our air force into combat without congressional approval. Like so much else since he became President, Obama simply did what he wanted to do without considering either the constitution or the will of congress.
                      Obama’s foreign policy or lack thereof is a complete disaster that we will regret for decades.

                      Reagan didn’t get congressional approval to bomb Libya either–he briefed Congressional leaders like Obama did. So every time you mention Obama maybe you should add “and Reagan?”

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Reagan retaliated for the murder of an American serviceman. He didn’t occupy Libya.

      • Archpriest John W. Morris says

        Basic economics tells you that the worst thing that a government can do in the midst of recession and hard economic times is to raise taxes on anyone. The more money the government takes out of circulation, the less money people have to buy things. There are historians who now argue that the reason the Great Depression lasted so long was Roosevelt’s “soak the rich” tax policies. If people, including the rich, buy fewer things because they have to pay higher taxes, there are fewer jobs making the things that they buy. A few years ago the Democrats decided to impose luxury taxes on yachts. The rich simply bought their yachts in the Caribbean and the people working in the U.S. building yachts lost their jobs. Of all people we as Orthodox should know of the harm that exploiting class jealousies and building up a huge government bureaucracy to regulate all aspects of the economy does to a society after what our people went through in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe under communism.
        Government must regulate the excesses of the economy, but cannot effectively and efficiency over regulate the economy. Besides, I hear nothing from Obama about one of our real problems which is that we have not enforced the old anti trust laws to prevent companies and banks from growing too big to fail. We need to break up the big banks and other large companies that have an almost monopolist control over large segments of the economy so that no business enterprise is too big to fail. Remember how the cost of telephone service has gone down since the break up of AT&T. When I was young you could not even own your own telephone. You had to rent it from AT&T or some other local telephone company. Basic fees and long distance calls were expensive. Now we pay a fraction of what we used to pay for telephone service.

        • George Michalopulos says

          That’s exactly what Herbert Hoover did in 1930. He thereby turned the Recession of 1929 into the Great Depression. Raising taxes is the WORST possible thing that a government can do in the midst of a downturn.

          • Archpriest John W. Morris says

            Yes and FDR raised them even more thereby prolonging the Great Depression. Obama inherited a recession and through his policies has turned it into a Great Recession. Under normal economic policy the recession should have ended by now and we should be experiencing a booming economy. But. Obama is so tied to his ideology that he refuses to face reality and advocates policies that will make the recession even worse. We may all lose our retirement funds and end our lives in poverty is Obama is successful in implementing his economic policies. But what do you expect from a man who has had no experience in the private economic sector and has not even held down a real job.

            • Please speculate all you wish about the sky falling due to Obama’s second term, but good grief it’s getting tiresome how George and you, always with amazing hindsight, find fault with FDR. 1933 to 1937 was a huge economic expansion with consistent annual double digit real GNP increases. Unemployment dropped from from 25% to 9%. FDR thought the recovery was well on the way and responding to conservative critics, including within his party as well, ran for re-election on fiscal austerity and deficit reduction. The economy tanked in 1937 which led to FDR quickly reversing course.

              • George Michalopulos says

                It was the Second World War which engineered the recovery. Why was FDR’s second term so disastrous? There was a real possibility that Huey Long was going to run on a populist ticket and he might have won but he was assassinated before he could do so.

        • Ah, Baloney….”Basic economics tells you that the worst thing that a government can do in the midst of recession and hard economic times is to raise taxes on anyone.”
          So, Father Morris (he’s not alone) is an expert on basic economics?. I don’t think so!. Why don’t we run that topical sentence of his past an economist….does Paul Krugman know as much about basic economics as does Father Morris? And just WHERE does “basic economics” tell us that? Why not “I can’t prove this, but I just feel it in my bones.” That would be closer to truth.

          • Archpriest John W. Morris says

            Your Grace:

            When one studies history, one must also study economics and economic theory. You are right there are various schools of economics. However, even Obama made the same argument that taxes should not be raised during economic hard times when he agreed to extend the Bush tax cuts. Every time since the Second World War that the Democrats tricked the Republicans into raising taxes to cut the deficit, they only spend the extra money. They do not pay down the national debt or even balance the budget. They promised to cut spending to persuade Bush I to agree to their demand for higher taxes, and then used his broken promise not to raise taxes against him. The only time that we have had a balanced budget in recent American history was because the Republicans took control of the House and forced Clinton to sign a balanced budget. The best economic times that we have had have been when we followed a conservative supply side economic theory under Reagan. He led us out of the economic problems caused by the Great Society and the Vietnam War and into good economic times that lasted until the end of Bush II’s term. Then we had a recession, that has become the longest recession since the Great Depression due to the unwise economic policy of Obama and his team who have gone back to the old discredited Kenysian economic theories of the 60s. Had Obama followed modern and enlightened economic policies the recession would have ended long ago and we would be experiencing an economic boom.

            • I assume you’re saying that modern and enlightened economic policy is the “conservative supply side economic theory under Reagan.” Go back and look at Reagan’s tax increases, huge deficits and unemployment rates. Obama had a better unemployment reduction than Reagan’s first term. We’ll have to see whether or not Obama’s deficits surpass those of Reagan. Perhaps what’s missing with Obama are the numerous Reagan tax increases (7 out of 8 years.)

              • George Michalopulos says

                You’re kidding, right? 22 million jobs under Reagan. His deficits were a pittance compared to Obama’s.

                • Your figure is overstated (16.9 million) according to BLS figures I read, but it was significant. Almost tripling the deficit was not a mere pittance. The hole that Reagan started with was not near as deep as Obama’s–2 ongoing wars, an ongoing mass subsidy to drug companies (all on the govt’s credit card), a financial meltdown, and an escalating unemployment rate.) Reagan ended his first term with an unemployment rate higher than Obama. Reagan also didn’t have to deal with an opposing party in Congress that was obstructionist, or set a record for filibuster threats and refusals to appoint. I’m not tearing down Reagan (he was good, not a great President), but rather pointing out that this overboard demonizing of Obama borders on the irrational.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Rather than refute you, I await others to come to the rescue with the real Reagan numbers. They were awesome.

                    Here’s a thought though: employment under Obama has grown only by 115,000 per month. and 60% of that is in the government sector. In order to absorb normal population growth, the payrolls should increase by 150,000 per month. That’s a stunning and growing deficit. Even at normal growth, the nine million who are presently unemployed will still be out of a job in seven years. Frightening.

  6. Where are things any better? If anyone knows, let me know.

    • Australia is a very nice place to live, JamesP. Not perfect, but then where is?
      The country is superficially similar to the US but the culture is more British (it is still a monarchy too).
      Think Canada without the French, cricket and rugby instead of ice hockey and Canadian football and a warmer climate too! The cost of living is higher than the US because of the lack of economies of scale and other factors but there are trade-offs for that, like the climate, relaxed lifestyle (although Australians work long hours compared with their OECD counterparts) and general friendliness of the people and pleasantness of the place. If you’re serious, visit and see for yourself; skilled migrants are particularly sought after at present.
      The government oscillates between the centre left Labor Party (think Democrats) and the fiscally conservative, Liberal Party (centre right, pro-free enterprise)-National Party (socially conservative farmers’ party) coalition. Labor is more socially conservative than the Democrats, though, eg officially opposing SSM, although that could change.
      Economically, in recent times the country actually paid off its national debt (!!), but the present Labor government has been spending to stimulate the economy since the 2008 GFC, which largely by-passed Australia anyway (no recession, low unemployment). However, they are unpopular and the Liberal-National coalition is highly favoured to win power at the general election next year.
      For all its positives, though, I won’t deny that the younger generations show the same cultural amnesia and lack of interest in religious questions as their American counterparts. Also, Australia has experienced no “Great Awakening” so religiosity generally follows more European rather than US patterns. The Roman Catholic and Anglican churches account for 50% of nominal Christians but the Orthodox are a siginificant and growing presence – Greeks, ROCOR & Antiochians plus all the smaller ethnic jurisdictions (and yes, the church here is still very ethnic based and English, while being introduced as a liturgical language, is still novel, although you should certainly be able to find an English-language liturgy in the 3 big cities of the eastern seaboard).

  7. Please say a prayer for Monk James (Silver). If you’ve noticed he hasn’t posted lately, it may be because he had a bad fall, and at his age any fall is a serious matter. Thanks.

  8. An excellent essay by the author showing a firm grasp of history and theory. The author should consider working for Karl Rove or the Koch brothers.

    Just a note; Aristotle was describing a form of democracy peculiar to his time and place. One must always remember that in his era, the vast majority of the population could not participate in any democratic process being either foreigners, women, or slaves. Since they comprised anything from 80-90% of the population, those exercising their democratic rights were rather few, being free males.

    • George Michalopulos says

      I’d love to work for the Koch brothers. Better them than Soros. Do you know where I can send my resume?

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        No you don’t. You are too decent of a man. Work for Christ. He is better than Soros and the Kochs any day of the week and the pay off is much better.


      • At least the Koch brothers are against corporate welfare. Can the same be said for Soros? Nope.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Of course not. The Left is even more for crony capitalism than the principled Right.

          • Everyone has principles. Even some animals, e.g., cats, have principles.Etzel the Hun, Jinghis Khan, Timur, Count Dracula, and Mrs. Slocum—all have principles. “Principled right? ” Come on! Heydrich had principles, and so did Mohammad.

        • They are? Their money comes from oil and gas, heavily subsidized by the federal government. Soros makes his money betting on the market. Which is welfare dependent?

          • George Michalopulos says

            Soros bets on the market by selling short too. He caused the British Pound to collapse in the 1990s causing a recession. How is that moral? What’s the difference between a thief stelling a woman’s purse as she’s going to shop for groceries and a monetary manipulator who causes a breadwinner to lose his job? Neither victim can feed their family.

            If you don’t like the fact that the Kochs invest in industries which may be subsidized by the government, then let’s get the gov’t out of the subsidy business. Ever hear of Solyndra? A pure 100% boondoggle.

      • What?!?!?!?!? You’re NOT working for them?

  9. michael James KInsey says

    The Christ precisely named the spiritual tipping points. father delivers up the son unto death, (1/2 to 1 billion worldwide since 1945), euthanasia, which is gaining increased practice, but not yet in full fury, everyman doing what he thinks is right, which employing the secular humanist value system, always claims ,whatever is in his own selfish self interest is what is right.Brother against brother in the fiercest conflicts of survival of the fittest.
    Add all the innocents in wars, deaths by neglect and the number approaches a 3rd of all mankind. This is innocent blood that a Just God will require of the last evil generation. That members of this generation now draw breath is speculation on my part. Yet these 3 are the signs the Christ spoke of. I am sure most can add other scriptures that accurately discern these times.The bowls of God’s wrath will not begin until the mark of the beast appears. The social/economic situation is not an eternal consideration, who really expects peace and safety and prosperity, when both the scripture and the US government expect wars until the end? Slogging through the innocent blood is grievous, but it is better than seeking to save one own life,so says the Christ. i am enjoying this level playing field offered in the site.Thank you for publishing my heartfelt thoughts

  10. Fr John Chagnon says

    Perhaps the “tipping point” is for us. Could these signs of the times be a call from God to His Church to wake up, pursue holiness. and seriously attempt to reach out to a broken world? If we are the “kingdom” perhaps these crazy times are God’s reminder to be what we claim to be?

    Fr John Chagnon
    St. Paul, MN

    • George Michalopulos says

      That’s the way I’ve felt for quite a while, Fr John. I’m afraid though that since the Catholic Church just got their head handed to them by Obama and the sexual liberation demographic (i.e. “slut vote”) that the resolute bishops which make up the ACOB will go back to their supine stances.

      • Catholic Observer says

        Don’t worry, George. The new breed of bishops — like my own Bishop Jugis — are not going back to the old immigrant-church allegiance to the Democrats. Those days are over. The era of “Casual Catholics” has ended. The bishops recognize this. And so does the Vatican. That fact and my faith in Christ keep my hope alive in these dark days.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Amen, Father. My point exactly. It too will have to be a local effort. We cannot expect that type of leadership from our bishops. Much can be done personally, within the family and within each parish. If we sit on our rears waiting for some charismatic bishop to lead us, we are no different from the ideologs who place salvation in the hands of political leaders.

      One of the most important things we can do, IMO, is the education of our children in the faith. Not just about the faith, but in the faith–inculcating in them a life of fearless prayer, virtue and attendance on the sacraments. Of course that will mean that they will not fit in with the rest of the world and perhaps not have the social and economic ‘success’ that is the American Dream, but so what?

      We should not be surprised at what is happening, it is the natual errosion of the thin veneer of Christianity that has, up to now, been the social religion of this country. The three driving ideals for the establishment of the country have been utopian fantasies of one kind or another; the quest for wealth; the quest to control the government.

      With the vote for Obama and even for Romney we have offically turned our back on even the fantasy that we are a Christian nation. We don’t need to worry about that anymore. Probably a blessing because no one who is serious about their faith can legitmately place any of it in the national government or its policies. Our government is now purely ideological in nature whoever is in power. Caesar is god. Its been moving that direction, in fits and starts since President Jackson. The five big leaps in that direction: Lincoln, Wilson, FDR, Reagan, Obama.

      While Reagan’s ideology was different that the other four (but with a strong flavor of Wilsonianism), he was still ideologically focused and moved the whole political conversation in an ideological direction. The question is, on the Federal level, if Obama will attempt to advance his ideology even further or not. He may just be lazy enough to rest on his laurels. The next question is whether we will see anyone else rise up to further advance the agendas or simply sink into an infinite regression of plutocrats with no imagination or real commitment to anything.

      A world in which real faith is thought of as a mere aberation, not important enough to be actively repressed as long as we just keep to ourselves and our infighting: rendering more and more unto Caesar. The political version of pay and obey, a state in which life, the residue of the Holy Spirit gradually seeps away and those whose heart is for God are quietly ‘disappeared’.

      When will we know that we have been asked to offer a pinch of incense at the altar of Caesar?

      Can we love our enemies enough to be real witnesses or are we just going to be silent, irrelevant complainers whose real faith is still in government?

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        I agree. I cannot take issue with any of it. In fact, I love it. I could not have said it better myself. Amen.


  11. Ivan Vasililev says

    We lost (those of us who were for Romney), so lets get on with it. Take a look at the maps of the voting by county. The country is massively “red” with the exception of the entitlement/intelligentsia urban pockets. How did we fail? We didn’t make a point of picking up and driving people to the polls. Not enough of our dead voted early and often. Romney was right about the 47%; we got killed by the 4% additional vote for Comrade Barry–for all the reasons above and then some.
    So what next? First of all, “put not your trust in princes, the sons of men, in whom there is no salvation” (that is an eminently bipartisan statement, by the way). Nations rise and fall, so will ours. But what will we do, other than whine and moan? Lets work on a plan grounded in serious Christian love. If we want to see and end of the mass killing of innocents and the decline of public morality, then we had better have something (Someone) with which to win souls. One thing for sure is that it won’t come from the rhetoric of anger and hopelessness. So lets figure out where we went wrong and work to make it right. The problem isn’t political and economic, its spiritual and it wont be overcome by folks with pinched faces offering vinegar to drink (I’m preaching to myself here, too)

    • You are wrong. The large areas of the US are red, but the electoral base there is much smaller, those areas are rural, Obama won electorially about 60/40. Labeling Obama voters into a couple groups is disingenuous.

      If you want to know where Republicans went wrong, examine your own statement. Preaching individual responsibility and freedom while condemning a gay person is killing the party with young people and it is going to get worse, far worse. The right’s emfatuation with that 5-10% minority is short sighted. Young people see it as mean spirited. As the nation grows beyond the boomers; unless the Republicans take a different approach; they will continue to falter.

      Sodomy laws are rarely, if ever prosecuted anymore, for one example. The gay people I have met in my work life have been pretty good people. Only one bugged me. I know this will make George boil over, but I genuinely believe the party lost on “moral” issues. Even I thought Mitt might have had some good ideas on economic prosperity.

      You are suffering from severe confirmation bias Ivan. Keep preaching anti-gay and calling it morality and let’s see what happens to the Republicans for the next 20. Fathers leaving wives is a lot bigger moral, yet nare a whisper.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Actually, you are wrong. Obama got even a lesser percentage of the vote (as well as actual votes) than he did in 2008 when he got 53% of the vote. As for why you should concentrate on homosexuals is puzzling as they make up only 2% of the population. In 2008 25% of homosexuals voted for McCain/Palin for what it’s worth.

        I do agree with you that the government-dependant/parasite coalition is growing and is probably a bare majority. That’s why even if the 3,000,000 GOP votes that McCain got had showed up, they would have been overwhelmed by the 10,000,000 2009 Obama voters that didn’t show up as well.

        Also in the moral issues you are correct. Traditional Christian morality is now a decidedly minority voting bloc in America. We are well on our way to paganism.

        • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

          George, just a clarification.

          It’s a conceptual impossibility for a post-Christian culture to return to paganism if by the term you mean polytheism. Only a monotheistic culture can produce secularism and its offshoot atheism since both presuppose only one God.

          I think what you meant was that the breakdown within the culture of the Christian consensus results in moral breakdown as well. That’s true and it is also true that our breakdown increasingly resembles the society of, say, ancient Rome. But it won’t become pagan.

          The future of Western Culture absent of any restoration of its Christian foundation can only lead to nihilism (the elevation and celebration of death). This will be very difficult to bear so post-Christian man will chose the tyrant or perhaps even Islam.

          Somebody told me last week that St. John Maximovitch said shortly before he died that what was happening in Russian (Soviet Communism at the time) would happen in America but worse. I don’t know if the quote is accurate or not but I would like to find out.

      • Norma Desmond says

        Bugged or buggered?

      • Ivan Vasililev says

        Dan, I am at a complete loss. I did not even mention the word “gay”. If you mean my reference to public morality, there is a great deal more to that than just the “gay” issue. One of our problems in this country is that everything is reduced to sex and sexuality. The homosexualist agenda is indeed part of the problem, but so is gross consumerism, atomizing hyper-individualism, the politics of victimization and a host of other issues–all of which are grounded in a loveless, narcissistic, and nihilistic world-view. I’m really quite tired of the gay persecution complex; its quite passe, don’t you think?

        Incidentally, the President won with a 2% lead (and 0.5% “majority”) of the popular vote, hence, the vast red countryside. The 60/40 lead in the electoral college (which I support as a wise choice by the founders to protect the interests of the states) does not indicate massive support for the President. This is a deeply divided country–as deeply divided as it has been any time since the civil war and the electoral maps by county indicate that. That is not an “anti-gay” observation; it is grounded in a much more complex spiritual, economic, political, and cultural divide. You might be surprised to find out that more than a few gays are reds (of the new, improved, conservative kind).

    • Catholic Observer says

      Ivan: AMEN!!!!! Amen, amen, amen!

  12. begin by cutting/slashing military spending. Then remove tax deductions for religious contributions then charge taxes on real estate held by religious groups. Yes, schools, hospitals and churches. Europeans got fed up 500 years ago with the rich church. It’s time to give Caesar his due.

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      Ah NO! That’s why we are Americans and NOT Europeans. No thanks Greggo. Freedom, even after this election, still means something, ALOT, to us.

      Hey, can someone get Greggo a copy of the U.S. Constitution and at least explain the First Amendment to him. Thanks.


    • macedonianreader says

      I agree with the slashing military part but the rest …

      • Archpriest John W. Morris says

        Every time that we think that we can slash defense spending, we let ourselves get behind and something happens that forces us to spend more than we would have had we simply kept up our defenses. Like it or not the rest of the world expects us to come to their aid and to use our power to keep the peace. When we fail, chaos follows as it is in the Middle East. Obama projects an image of weakness, as a result, all kinds of bad things are happening. Eventually, like it or now, we will be drawn in to restore order. We did not ask to play this role. We were forced into it by the forces of history. I remember when I was a student in Germany. Every time that a German student started criticizing American ‘imperialism” as he or she sat in her jeans listening to American rock. I could always stop the conversation by saying. Then perhaps we should take our troops out of Germany. To a person, left or right, they all said no never do that if you Americans leave the Soviets will take over Europe. We were not involved in Libya, but the Europeans drug us into the conflict. We inherited Viewnam from the French. We have to worry about North Korea to protect Japan. Last summer in Norway, my son learned that the Norwegans credited their freedom from Soviet domination to us.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Greggo, why not go the whole way. Just give everything we earn to the Federal government and let them decide who gets what. Since there is a non-existent ‘separation of church and state’ that would mean that any religious establishment would simply be starved out of existence. That’s really what you want isn’t it?

      Opps, already been tried, totally failed even in Albania the most stringent of the Soviet Bloc nations at attempting to impose an atheist state. Now, they have to have the Paschal celebration outside in Triana because so many people come.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Maybe what we need is a full-bore persecution to cleanse the Church. Instead, what we’ll get is pliant bishops who are compromised and do whatever the Feds want.

    • Lola J. Lee Beno says

      And how has Christianity done in Europe?

      Pretty soon, if things don’t change, it will be Europistan.

    • Gregg Gerasimon says

      What’s with this fascination on cutting military spending? Do so many Americans really want us to be defenseless? Maybe they do — maybe there is a bizarre desire to see our country overtaken by Islamic terrorists? Self-hatred, or self-despisement, I guess?

      What will likely happen is that Iran and Israel will get into a war in the next few years, and we (America) will be forced to figure out what to do, how to respond. The Obama administration has done nothing to curb Iran’s progress toward getting nuclear weapons, and it has certainly done nothing to help heal the Israeli/Palestinian peace process. It will be curious to see how we do respond, especially if we cut military spending even more.

      I suppose one way to make the non-Islamic-terrorist world realize how much it likes America is for us to completely withdraw from the world politics and engagements for the next 4 years. I imagine that the peace-loving world will miss us to no end.

      On a side note, I have a friend who is a Palestinian (Catholic) Christian, a conservative eastern Catholic. He was a big proponent of President Obama in this most recent election because he felt that Romney would be too much a friend of Israel. Interesting, and I’d imagine that many American Palestinians may have voted this way — with Israeli/Palestinian politics trumping any other issue.

      • What’s with this fascination on cutting military spending? Do so many Americans really want us to be defenseless?

        Maybe Americans just want more bang for their bucks.

      • Archpriest John W. Morris says

        Those who voted for Obama because they think that he will give the Palestinians any help were deceived by Obama. Obama will not lift a finger to help the Palestinians if it would endanger his support from the pro-Zionist Lobby. He does not care about the Palestinians or anyone else if it does not further his own political agenda. Besides he has shown that he has no concern for the rights of Christians living under Muslim domination. His policies have put Islamic radicals in control of Egypt and will in Syria as well.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Well, 85% of Muslims in the US voted for him. It may have been more of a cultural thing however. Obama has a definate Islamophilic vibe.

          • George, how many Muslims are residing in the US and registered to vote? What percentage of that amount voted for Mitt Romney? Where is my religious affiliation recorded?
            This is important to know if you want anyone to believe what you wrote.
            One of the reasons people rightly depend on the mainstream media is they never print such obvious howlers as news.

            • George Michalopulos says

              I just got that off of Politico. Obviously, I meant Muslims who are eligible to vote, i.e. American citizens. (At least I hope so.)

            • Archpriest John W. Morris says

              Your Grace:

              Do a googel serarch on “Muslim vote for Obama,” and you will find several articles from different sources that state that 85% of American Muslims voted for Obama.

              • I don’t care how many “articles” there may be which state that 85 percent of American Muslims voted for Obama. I don’t believe that claim can be substantiated at all. I don’t believe anybody knows the total number of American Muslims who VOTED. I don’t think there is any means to access the religious affiliations of any American voters. It’s a ridiculous proposition. Totally ridiculous. Only a fanatic could swallow such a statistic without a basis for it! Guess what, google “President Obama is a flagrant homosexual,” and see if you don’t find ‘several articles from different sourcs that state just that, and that the reason he chose his wife is because of her manly arms. Some will say his ring has Homosexual CODE on it: others will say his ring proclaims that only God is
                God and Muhammad is his prophet (one of many).

                • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                  I am not a political scientists, but political scientists claim to have the ability to take accurate polls that show how different groups of people, economic class, race, or religion voted. The post election polls show that the vast majority of Muslims voted for Obama. The pollsters keep careful watch on how various religious groups vote. I have been asked by the Zogby Poll polls many times for my opinion. At the end of each poll they ask a series of person questions including my religion. They have a list of various religions, naturally we are not included, so I always have to pick other. I wrote a letter to Zogby and was told that Eastern Orthodox are statistically unimportant. Significantly, they always ask if I am a Nascar Fan.

          • And more than 50% of Americans voted for him–what does that say about your vaulted Republican Party? That we would rather have a Muslim socialist from Kenya (twice now) than what you’re selling?

            • George Michalopulos says

              It says just what I say it says: that we have reached the tipping point. Nothing more, nothing less. See you on the down side! Thunderdome, here we come!

            • Ivan Vasililev says

              Not just 50% but 50.5% (that is fifty POINT FIVE percent)! An awesome landslide compared to 47.5% don’t you think?
              Maybe if the total was 60.5% vs 37.5% there would be something for Comrade Barry’s supporters to crow about. But touting 50.5% vs. 47.5% is a bit pitiful, don’t you think?
              Never mind, “Life is getting better comrades, life is becoming gayer!” Who would have ever thought that Comrade Stalin would be a prophet for America in 2012 ? It does make one see the (grim) humor in it all.

  13. cynthiacurran says

    Hispanics according to Heaher Mcdonald in National Review received public assistance 2 times the non-hispanic population in California. They have higher labor partipation among immirgants because they work for lower wages and less benefis. I’m surprise that George would print the Wall Street Journal misinformation. Please read the Heather Macdonald article in National Review. Hispanics are not lazy but are low skilled and even in Texas they have the highest public assistance at 53 percent versus white at 17 percent. Also, 53 percent of their children are borouowedlock.

  14. cynthiacurran says

    Hispanics now support gay marriage. In Mexico abortion is legal in Mexico City and so are civil unions. Mexico is becoming more liberal on the social issues like Brazil.

  15. cynthiacurran says

    Peter even when So California was less liberal Hispanics usually voted Democratic while whites voted Republician. In Texas today a state where the white population votes high for Repubicians hispanics vote more democratic probably less than the national average but they are stll poorer than whites. Repubicians do good in Kentucky and west Virginia also because the Democratics opposed coal. Only in the states of New Mexico and Arizona could Republcians use the mining issue, both states mine copper and hispanics are miners.

    • George Michalopulos says

      In Texas there’s a demographic called “Tejanos” who are Hispanic but trace their roots to the foundation of the Texas independence movement. They very much look down on the illegals who have come in the last 50 years.

      • Like the Italians looked down on the Irish and the Irish looked down on the Hispanics. “Normal” generational “we were here before you were” thinking.

        • Italians looked DOWN on someone? When and where was that? I thought they spent more time looking down at Italians not from their district of “Italy” (a totally modern concept). Lace Curtain Irish spent most of their time looking down on Shanty Irish and anyone speaking a Romance language, including Italians. “Everybody” looked down on the native Americans, who were here FIRST, Amos. Great Russians began looking down on all other foreigners the moment they arrived. Greeks invented Xenophobia and expressed it everywhere. Norwegians considered Swedes to be Norwegians, the ones who’d had their brains kicked out. The Swedes thought the same of the Norwegians. Persians consider Arabs to be lizard-eaters. Japanese complain that the way they can distinguish Chinamen from a fellow Japanese is not by their looks but by their smell since ‘Chinese only bathe once a year.”

          • You got it, Bishop! and I’m a nwelsh anglo-saxon by birth, and you are an Irish Norwegian. so that makes us equal, I guess!

            Rdr. James Morgan, Willmarth, Cory Weld, Judkins etc my ancestral names follow me whether I go!

  16. cynthiacurran says

    Its a possibly that St John maximvitch did say that he seem percepted man. Anyway,Obama seems to be a demoggoue. I may be wrong, his older friend Frank, Frank Marshall Davis was being watched by the FBI and one time a member of the communists party and gave Obama an impression that the American system is bull and Mr Davis seemed pretty bitter. Granted, everyone here can go over the problems of the US past and present but there are worst alternatives.

  17. Catholic Observer says

    I read your OP, George, but not the accompanying article. I could not agree more. I have been so depressed ever since the election. I am trying really hard to cling to Jesus, but I keep fearing for my children’s future. All I can say is: Lord have mercy!

  18. The official website of The Orthodox Church in America mad an astonishing announcement. Here is one excerpt: ‘
    ” the Church and His Eminence continue at this moment in ongoing discussions that are intended to achieve a mutual agreement and understanding that will be a Christian resolution acceptable to both.’

    So, Metropolitan Jonah is engaged in ongoing discussion WITH THE CHURCH? When did the Chancery bureaucrats who write these stinkbombs determine that they or one of their organs of administration or The Holy synod is THE CHURCH?
    What? is Metropolitan Jonah OUTSIDE THE CHURCH? Since when? Who separated him from the Church?

    Garbage in, garbage out.

  19. cynthiacurran says

    Good Bishop Tikhon, Symphonia is a bit slippery slope. In the west we use to swear on the bible where did that come from well Justinian had people swore upon the gospels and he wrote that certain there laws like novel 8 should be sang in church a liile two closed of church and state in his day.

  20. Michael Bauman says

    Peter A. Papoutsis says:

    November 15, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    First the 1st Amendment was not dependent on a “Christian Polity” because it was fashioned and created by Our Founding Fathers that were heavily influenced by the principles of the Enlightenment

    I used to worship at that altar too Peter (in my younger days), but how do you explain John Adams saying (a paraphrase). The government we have created is meant for a Christian people, it is wholly inadequate to any other.

    As I’m sure you know the common law of England (which also had a great influence on the founders) was in turn heavily influenced by Justinian’s Code.

    Rejecting the Christian influence on our founders and the governement they created is terribly reductionist. Certainly most of these men were not Christian in the terms we or the Evangelicals would understand the term, but neither were they modern secular/humanists. Franklin and Jefferson come the closest to that description I suppose, but they would be aghast at the amount of power that the Federal government has amassed and the degree to which they rule without the constraint of the principals they and the other founders had in mind. A state in which a good many of the freedoms they attempted to enshire in the Bill of Rights are ignored or parsed in such a way as to be the total opposite of what was originally meant.

    George Mason and the others behind the Bill of Rights were deeply Christian. They did not want the state using its authority and power to interfer with the natural, divinely given right to worship God as each saw fit. That is why they prohibted the federal governement from restricting Christians (90 +% of the population at the time) from living our faith. “The Congress shall make no law…… does not mean that feds can usurp the beliefs of people by law. That does not mean that people of faith shall have no standing in the public square…quite the opposite, Yet, that is what the federal government has been doing for a long time. It will get worse.

    Natural law and God’s providence in the manner in which even Jefferson used those terms do not fit comfortably within the confines of “The dis-Enlightment’ to which you refer.

    There is absolutely nothing in the deChristified Englightenment philosophy that would allow for a peaceful paticipatory republic. The trouble with a natural law approach is that it ultimately rejects the will of God for the will of man. That is the trajectory the country was on from the begining. Only the Christian influence in both our laws and our culture allowed the outcome to take as long as it has.

    We have no officially stated our preference for a secular/humanist state which, IMO, relies on Jean-Jacque Rosseau’s belief in the natural goodness of man in and of himself (not because God created us that way). It is a nihilist belief. Nihilism is nothing but destructive.

    It is certainly possible to argue, as you appear to do, that the government and the people are better off with a de-Christified approach to ordering ourselves. I find that more than a bit strange coming from an Orthodox believer however.

    As I said before, it is impossible to divorce one’s faith or the culturally predominant faith from the communal ordering that we call government-the making and inforcing of law and public policy. It is impossible to divorce state coercion from law. The question is what principals, what faith is used to craft and inforce the law and to act as a brake on the use of state coercion?

    Historically, governments freed of Christian constraints and the concomitant Christian responsibility for self-government have not been kind and gentle to those whom they govern because the state and the ideology that is such a government’s foundation becomes god and will stand for no competition.

    BTW your tacit assumption that all Christian governement is sectarian is simply not true. Some Christian government would be sectarian, but it does not have to be that way. It also, it seems to me, assumes a moral equality between Christianity and the life Christians are called to live with all other forms of moral, even amoral foundations for human conduct. I don’t share those assumptions.

    I don’t think you will like what is coming, but I hope I am wrong.

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      George the wall of separation was between Church and State. Jefferson was very clear. Two semesters of studying Constitutional law made it very clear that America would not have ANY established Church on either the State or Federal level. It was this type of predicament that dominated Europe and led to many of its Wars that our founders sought to avoid, and did so with the first Amendment. Otherwise America would effectively be like Northern Ireland.

      Michael the predominate cultural faith of this country is Protestantism. Do you understand what Catholics, Jews and Muslims have gone through? Do you understand that it’s that Constitution that is the great equalizer. To lessen its words “lifts” that wall of separation that protects all of us, even us Orthodox.

      Christian religion, like all religion, is sectarian otherwise there would be only one world religion. Pure synchronization. Well, that does not occur, so it’s a safe assumption that a purely dominate religious government would be sectarian and oppressive. Like many Muslim dominate governments, or Buddhist dominate governments. This is how most on this planet live, but not here in America.

      Finally, I like and love America and trust the solid foundation of our government. But the moral life our people, of ALL people, is the responsibility of the Church, NOT the State.


      PS. House Republicans, Democrats and President Obama have reached. Tentative budget deal. Huh? President Obama and the GOP cooperating? I wonder why?

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        Also, I want a neutral government on religion and one that is non-oppressive. There is still work to be done on this front like I previously stated with the HHS mandate, but overall I would still rather have the country that we have than basically a theocracy.


        • George Michalopulos says

          Unforunately that’s not possible. We are going to have a theocracy. It’s either going to be Islamic/humanist or it could be like the good old days of Ward and June Cleaver. Nature abhors a vacuum. Secularism is simply the transition stage from one theocracy to another.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Peter, as I have said frequently, it is impossible to have a government that is neutral on religion. The call to the human heart to follow God is too strong and persistent. Therefore it is either followed or resisted. There is no fence. A person either serves God or mammon.

          Everyone lives by faith of some sort. The life of faith cannot and should not be divorced from all aspects of our human life.

          The Constitution says nothing about the separation of Church and state. It prohibits the federal governement and throught the 14th amendment, the states from making any law that regulates, interferes or infringes on any aspect of religious expression (not just worship).

          Yes, their was a great and long-lasting prejudice against Catholics and Jews and we Orthodox. The founders of my parish when they first arrived in Wichita were only allowed to live on the west side of town (the side associated with low-lifes and criminals); they were spit on in the streets and called “west side niggers”. That wasn’t because of their faith, however, but because of their semetic skin color. There is suspcision and hatred of Muslims, Sikhs, etc, etc, etc. That is life.

          None of that has anything to do with the 1st Amendment. I don’t want it minimized at all. I want the governments to live by it. No hate crime laws because the Bible teaches that homosexuality is immoral, no limit on private prayers anywhere at any time, no favoring of Muslims because of fear.

          Nothing in the founders, even Jefferson, nor any of the founding documents that I have read and studied ever indicated that the separation was to force religious belief and practice into the ‘private’ realm. Quite the contrary. the whole intent was to protect the churches from any interference by the state pro or con. It is the allowance for faith that creates the situation in which none is favored. That is not the same thing as ‘being neutral’.


          As I read the OT, the only form of government that is endorsed is a confederation ruled by a council of functionally equal elders. Israel was punished for wanting a king and the kings of Israel had a rough time. It is what the Church based our polity on. It was part of what the founders considered when forming the orignal Confederation. The confederation was abandoned for many of the same reasons that Israel sought a king: the power to compel free citizens to the will of the state and grow in stature and power in the eyes of the world. As Patrick Henry famously said when the Constitutional convention was convened to ‘revise’ the Articles of Confederation, “I smell a rat”.

          The U.S,. Constitution was in many ways a work of genius but by leaving slavery un-addressed and creating a system in which the centripital force of the system was in favor of greater and greater centralization of power, it became almost inevitable that the balance of power between the people, the states and the federal government would end up with most of the power in the hands of the feds with a ruling oligarcy instead of a free republic. It was the greatest peaceful transfer of power in the history of the world. More and more power has devolved upward ever since and the access to government in any meaningful sense has become more and more restricted (as suffrage has expanded which give more opportunity for demagoges to florish)

          Your ideas, IMO, are simply the latest evolution of the centralization movement. It can only end in tryanny.

          Freedom is messy. Most people don’t really want freedom because it entails two things: the opportunity to fail and the responsibility for one’s self.

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            Well Michael we must agree to disagree on both the understanding of the Constitution and the Old Testament form of Government. Although the latter directly bears upon the king ship of God and Christ. I believe you may have a problem there under Orthodox theology. So we will leave it at that. As long as we live our Faith and proclaim the Gospel the rest does not matter. Remember States have come and gone and by the testimony of history so will the U.S. but the Church has always remained and thrived.

            Christ and His Gospel is primary, never the State. Good debate.


            • Michael Bauman says

              Peter, I am for a state that will allow its citizens, especially those of faith the utmost freedom to practice their faith, influence public policy and care for others in accordance with their faith.

              It is quite difficult to balance competing faiths. Even competing ideas within the same faith (just ask the Byzantine Emperors from Constantine forward). The reaction is to simply stuff all faiths back into their respective boxes and ignore them or try to get rid of them altogether.

              For an incarnational faith such as Christianity, even the attempt to draw boundaries or zones where they are allowed to act is oppressive.

              God blessed monarchy in the old testament because the people demanded it. Monarchy was a fall-back postion for the more preferable form for Israel — a confederation. The founders drew on that example as well as the Iraquois federation when constructing the Articles of Confederation. There were many such influences beyond just the non-Enlightenment.

              Here is the problem with confederation. It seems weak in important worldly concerns that demand common action. It is tough to collect taxes, mount a common defense against agression, that sort of thing. So power is centralized to overcome such problems. Liberty is curtailed but there is a greater state cohesion.

              In ecclesial life Rome didn’t like the Church being a confederation. We pretty much have stuck with it for the Church as a whole. We can see the difference. Rome has significant, obvious impact on the world because its public voice is that of the Pope. We Orthodox have less influence because we do not have that. Yet we have something even more powerful. Holy Tradition and the life of the common cup.

              We used to have a similar thing in the United States which (despite your protestations) drew on Christianity for its power (that does not make us a Christian nation or a theocracy). You may not like what that vision was or all of the consequences of that vision, but it did exist and allowed this country to prosper (not just materially).

              We have lost that and, IMO, turned our back on that. When such a spirit is lost one of two things happen: a tip toward anarchy or a tip toward tryanny. Neither can exist long term as man is created to be both free and orderly, a unique person who realizes himself in community. However, we seem to value order more than freedom thus we tend to opt for the governments that curtail our freedom. All such governments, following the dictate that power seeks to draw more power to itself, usually end up in some type of tyranny. When that goes too far, they are overthrown or collapse.

              To say, as you do, that the state is of no consequence is simply not true. The state reflects the spiritual state of its citizens. It is only possible to have a Christian state when the populace is Christian. You are partially correct in asserting the primacy of the Gospel, the Church and the sacramental life over that of the state, but only partially.

              Human beings are meant to order themselves in community, it is part of our calling from God to do so in acord with His will. We are not to be isolated, but are called to be in the world and not ofi it. That means, to me, that we are called to be active in forming and running the larger community within which we live as the Church. When the state turns against us, however, we are still not called to isolation and apathy but to witness. Often that witness leads to martrydom.

              This state has turned in a direction that is consciously away from God. Whether God will empower us to turn it back, I don’t know. As it stands now, IMO, faithful Christians must not acquiese to its demands which have overstepped their proper bounds. Political compromise is insufficient.

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                Actually I never said the State is of no consequence. Neo-Cons and even Ronald Regan said that, although Reagan said the Government is the problem. I also did not state that Christian should not influence the State, we should, and we should vote, and we should petition for the redress of grievences, etc. I do not want religion to disengage I want religion to engage the state and the public at large. What I do NOT want is a theocracy or some stupid notion of a “Christian” nation that is simply code language for “White Anglo-Saxox Evangeligal Protestant Christianity” being the dominate force in this Nation or to “believe” that this is what our Founder’s were.

                I actually agree with your assessment and that or Father Morris’ previous statement as to the founder’s values, although not based on a secterian view of Christianity, DID come out of a Judeo-Christian mileu.

                I disagree with you in regards to Monarchy being the Old testament’s fall back position. God was Israel’s King, but they wanted an Earthly King. That was the main difference. God is the King and we are his subjects obeying His laws. Jesus Christ is King of king and Lord of Lords. St. paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews tells us about Christ’s Kingly role and status.

                The Bible does NOT support democracy! heck, not even Plato supported democracy after what happended to his teacher Socrates. In Plato’s Republic he advocated for a Philosopher-King. Rome had an Emperor, Marcus Aurelius attempted to be Plato’s Philosopher-King. All of Europe was based on Monarchy and used the Bible and the Christian Church to support such a position and rightly so.

                Even the Church, in council, was headed by the Emperor. Today it is headed and all decisions come from The Holy Spirit (i.e. God), not us (at least in theory. I mean the Bishops still cast ballots for this or that Bishop, Metropolitan and even Pope). But even then the Head Hierarch rules with his Holy Synod (Cabnet). We the laity very rarely if ever get to vote. Yeah you have the General Assembly, but even then that’s a new phenomenon, and even then the laity vote on Non-Ecclesiastical Matters (i.e. Church upkeep, etc.)

                So where Demcracy comes into this I have no idea. Even the GOAA with its UPR is a fairly new phenonmenon, and as I and George have said if you can find me where in the New Testament it authorizes Parish Councils I’ll go with it, but it does not.

                So democracy Biblically, Historically and Currently is not supported by the Christian Faith. Just because we Americans and some other Westerners say so does not make it so.

                Now that’s does not mean I am not for Democracy I am, at least the indirect Republican (Big “R”) version of it, and yes, I want Christians to be engaged and to influence the debate and the State itself. I just do not want a theocracy like the “Christian” Evangelical Right wants. I also do not want a complete secular antagonistic State like the Progressive Left does.

                I just want what is stated so beautifully in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I just want America. That’s it!


      • Archpriest John W. Morris says

        Despite current popular opinion, the First Amendment was never meant to establish a secular state or banish religion from the public square. The First Amendment did not originally apply to the states. Although most states disestablished state Churches before 1900, the Congregational Church was the state Church in Connecticut until 1818. In Massachusetts the state funded the Congregational Church until 1833.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          Father you are correct that is why the Baptists hated the Congregationalist for constantly harassing them as the Congregationalists were a state church. That’s why baptists historically were for the separation of Church and State.


        • Michael Bauman says

          Not to mention the havoc that the feds unleashed on the Orthodox Native American population by sending state sponsered Baptist and Presbyterian ‘missonaries’ to convert the heathen to Christianity, destroying the familes and the substatial Orthodox cuture that had been built in the process. Don’t know what the alcoholism rate was like before these good Christian agents of the state came, but it is pandemic now and I have a difficult time disconnecting the two.

          And let’s not forget Wilson’s moral crusades including his opposition to women’s suffrage were founded in his Calvinistic Christianity.

          Clearly these examples and others are the type of thing Peter has in mind, (correct me if I’m wrong), but Peter, your solution is worse.

          The modern idea of ‘separation of church and state’ is an ideological myth used to bully Christians especially into conformity and silence. . And as Tom Leher sarcastically sang in his song “National Brotherhood Week”: “Everybody hates the Jews.” Muslims have no such problems from government becasue they are politically favored and the fear factor doesn’t hurt. But to me their theocratic, neo-facsict style of government shares much in common with the secular left and the statists of the Republican party.

          I don’t want a theocracy when I desire and call for the absolute right and privledge of Christians to participate in the public square, have direct influence on public policy and our moral culture. To posit such is to engage in a false dicotomy. We need to be the leaven, the salt and the light. To retire into a pseudo-monastic quietism that only considers matter of faith, is the path to death. We have to share what we have. We are to be ‘in the world but not of it’. That means, to me, that we are called to carry the transforming power of Jesus Christ into even the sinkhole of politics.

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            To participate is one thing, but to dominate is another. All people, religious or not, must have a voice and an influence on policy and law. That is the completion do ideas in the public square. I never advocated non-involvement, just not establishing a theocracy or promoting the myth of America being a Christian nation.

            As to you post as to the article on the Marriage Gap the State has always had a vested interest in promoting the stability of marriage. To us it’s moral, but to the State it is utilitarian. Marriage creates families and families make communities and communities States/Nations. So the state has a vested interest to promote marriage – It’s survival.


          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            What it means to me is to carry the transformative power of Jesus Christ into the hearts of men and women. After that how they want to vote or support politically is up to them.


    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      Also you do know that John Adams was not Christian Right? I believe he converted to Universalism, and is buried in a universalist Church? Or is it utilitarian Church? I do not believe Adams believed in the person or Slavic work of Jesus Christ. Jefferson, as we see with the so-called Jefferson Bible denied the miracles of Jesus and just admired his moral teachings. President Washington was a dreaded Freemason and worshipped at the altar of the Masonic lodge. I could go on but you get the point. Such men were not creating a theocracy, but founding a Republic. Big difference.


      • George Michalopulos says

        Peter, our concepts of “Chrisian Right” and “Christian Left” have no meaning in what you ascribe to ouf Founding Fathers, Adams especially. A little closer to home, Abraham Lincoln was a white supremacist who wanted the blacks repatriatred to Africa. Chronology and circumstances make a difference. At one time even Unitarians were God-believers, they just didn’t believe in the Holy Trinity but the monadic view of God the Father alone. Jews and Muslims believe the same thing. I wouldn’t say they were theological liberals.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says


          We are fighting for the “Christian” foundations, or lack thereof, for the USA. Why? I care about the salvation of people’s souls firts and foremost. As long at our government or any government does not get in the way of the Church’s Great Commission of evangelization and proclaiming the Gospel of Christ.

          Our people are hungry for the Gospel. I have personally seen it. Young people don’t know what to believe so they fall for politics? Both right and left? Where is the Gospel? You think they like that Calvinistic crap that is out there today? No way! So it is time, in fact its past time to get the Gospel to them.

          You want Abortion, Euthanasia, Homosexuality, etc., to end or at least be religated to the disbin of relativistic morality and utterly forgotten? Proclaim the Gospel to these young people, in fact to People in General, and you will be happily surprised as to what happend.

          Lets worry less about Rousseau and Locke and more, MUCH more about Jesus Christ and His Gospel. That’s all I am saying.


          • Archpriest John W. Morris says

            Yet Calvinism is growing among American Protestants. Even the continuing Anglicans are infected with Calvinism. As an Orthodox Christian, I believe that Calvin was one of the greatest heretics who ever lived. He has done more harm to modern Christianity than any other person. Calvinism has great appeal to Evangelicals because it is Western. That means that it is rational and purely logical. There is not much room for mystery in Calvinism.
            One problem that we have is that Orthodoxy is counter cultural. We reject the basis of modern Western civilization, that is the rule of reason as the source of all truth. Western people find the idea that we cannot understand the mysteries of God with our minds. If you argue with a Calvinist, they see thing in terms of black and white. They cannot understand how we can believe that we are saved by grace, yet that we must cooperate with that grace to be saved. To them if we are saved by grace, it is all grace and there is nothing that we can do to contribute to our salvation. Calvinists want to know why some people are saved and some are not. The awful doctrine of predestination gives them a nice simple, easy to understand explanation as to why some people are saved and others are not.
            There is a strong strain of denial of free will in Western intellectual history beginning with Augustine. Marx substituted economics for God, but also denied free will. Many people substitute environment or genetics for free will, but Westerners find it hard to accept the idea of free will. Look, for example, at the argument in favor of gay rights. The gay rights advocates argue that they are born gay and can do nothing to change. Thus they deny their free will to control their sexual passions. From that sexual determinism they get the idea that to deny gays the opportunity to express their gayness is a denial of their human rights

            • How is your view of the OCA any different?

              Based on some of your other recent posts, I would have said you are a stronger fatalist than any Calvinist I have ever known.

              • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                How can you write that? I have constantly stated that I do not want to believe all the accusations against the leadership of the OCA. Go back and reread some of my posts. I have consistently defended the Orthodoxy of the OCA. In one post, I very clearly reprimended someone who wrote that Satan had taken over the OCA. I recognize the OCA as a canonical Orthodox Church. It is true that like most other Orthodoountry andx, in this country and the rest of the world, I do not consider the OCA the autocephalous American Orthodox Church.
                However, I have also defended the Orthodoxy of the Antiochian Archdiocese. I find it offensive when someone from the OCA criticizes our Antiochian liturgical practices or our Bishops and Metropolitan. I also recognize that the OCA or more correctly Russian triumphalists are a minority and are not the official voice of the OCA. The fact is that Antioch has had centuries of very close and warm relations with Moscow and estalished jurisdiction over parishes in the United States only receiving the blessing of Moscow.
                My personal dealings with local OCA clergy have with only one exception, been highly positive. Just today, while I am unable to serve due to the fact that I am recovering from a total knee replacement, the local OCA priest presided over a funeral in my parish.

                • Fr. John, I think you misunderstood my use of the term “fatalist”. I used it in the philosophical sense, essentially equivalent to “determinist” or “pre-destinationist”. With respect to the OCA, you have a very strong view that the OCA is fated to succeed or at least not to fail. You have both argued for this view and presumed it in some of your other arguments and advice to others.

                  The irony I was attempting to highlight is that this is a form of corporate Calvanism. You are doing at the level of the local Orthodox church the very thing you criticize Calvinists for doing at the level of the individual person. The negative consequences of this approach are largely the same in both cases, namely the perspective endangers the spiritual health of both individuals and local churches when applied to these entities. Of course there is also the issue of whether this perspective is accurate or not, and it would appear to be the consensus of the Orthodox that fatalism/determinism/pre-destinationism is wrong as a matter of fact (and not just moral pragmatism) at both the individual and local church levels.

        • George Michalopulos says: . . . A little closer to home, Abraham Lincoln was a white supremacist who wanted the blacks repatriatred to Africa.

          I hope your reference is to the fact it usually doesn’t work to take a historical figure and place that person in the context of contemporary times. However, given your past character assassination of Lincoln, I wonder . .

          • George Michalopulos says

            Not at all. Lincoln was a great man. However he was a white supremacist and he did want to repatriate the vast majority of blacks to Africa and/or the Caribbean. As for those who remained, he envisioned a caste system in which they would be emancipated but barely enfranchised and never intermarrying with whites or serving as jurors in cases involving white parties.

            • Really, George? The man most responsible for the abolishment of slavery in the United States–the greatest stain and evil in our history–and you use a modern pejorative term to describe him in the vilest way.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Yes Logan, the terms I used were correct. Strictly speaking they were not vile in their own context. Certainly Lincoln believed in them. The terms “white” and “supremacy” were normative in the 19th century, there was no sense of opprobrium. They justified this term by looking to the historical record in which the European nations were then supreme over the earth.

                • ah, yes . . . a Jefferson Davis memorial right next to the Lincoln memorial. Both were presidents and both were white supremacists. Fits right in with the correct interpretation of the American Civil War. Lincoln, the white supremacist and puppet of the Northern usurers, started a war to destroy the South’s economy, as well as their benevolent and symbiotic slave system. After tricking Blacks to become Union soldiers, which was the only Lincoln could defeat the superior and more chivalrous bonnie South, he plotted to ship all 4 million slaves back to Africa. Fortunately, Lincoln was assassinated.

                  • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                    To call slavery in the south “benevolent” shows a bias that cannot be supported by historical facts. Slavery was an evil that still has bad effects on American society. We do not what Lincoln would have done had he lived. To speculate is a waste of time. It is fanciful at best to speculate that he wanted to send the slaves back to Africa. There is no way that could have been done.
                    I have read a lot of history and have taught American history on the college level and have never read any think that justifies your accusations against Lincoln.

                    • Archpriest John W. Morris says: I have read a lot of history and have taught American history on the college level and have never read any think that justifies your accusations against Lincoln

                      Fr John, I hope you’re speaking to George and not to my pathetic attempt at sarcasm. I have nothing but respect and admiration for Lincoln–arguably, our greatest President. I am puzzled, why someone with your background in American History, doesn’t call George to task when he calls Lincoln a ‘white supremacist.’ Given his past pronouncements on Lincoln as a ‘warmonger’ and advocacy of ‘lost cause’ mythologies, this was deliberate denigration, or at the very least, flawed Presentism.

                      Let’s not forget Lincoln was a politician. As such, to win elections, required him not to get too far ahead of the electorate, which gave him time to work on changing the views of the electorate. Also, Lincoln, even as a political figure, was able to change his views for the better. During the war, he became more in tune with the notion of racial equality–no doubt influenced by the success and contributions made by 200,000 Black Union soldiers, his friendship with Frederick Douglass, etc.

                    • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                      With any historial figure, we have to evaluate them by the standards of their times, not our contemporary values. He may not have believed in equalithy of the racies as we do today. However, for his time Lincoln was a progressive who believed in his inner being that slavery was evil. He was also a political realist and had to wait until the major union victory at Antitiem before he use his constitutional power to seize the property of those in rebellion against the nation to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. He had no authority to liberate the slaves in border states that had not actually left the union. That had to wait for the 13 Amendment to do that. We really do not know what he would have done had he not been assassinated. To me one of the greatest mistakes of American history was the failure to give each freed slave the 40 acres and a mule they were promised so that they could have built lives for themselves and not fallen into poverty and victims of segregation.
                      However, I object strongly to anyone who tries to justify slavery in any form. Slavery is an eviil that no true Christian can support. Slavery is a curse that has plagued our nation since the first slaves were brought to Jamestown in 1619. It laid the foundation for the evil of segregation and the racial divisions that still divide us as a people.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Logan, Lincoln presided over a war in which 600,000 American soldiers lost their lives, begun as he said with absolutely no concern for slavery at all (on his part) and only concerned with “preserving the Union,” ortherwise the Federal treasury would be bankrupt.

                      Let’s see, that’s 600,000 men out of a population of 38,000,000. If my calculations are correct, that’s 1.5% of the population. Let’s see: America today has 300,000,000 people. 300,000,000 x 1.5% = 4.5 million soldiers.

                      We lost 58,000 in Vietnam, 6,000 in Iraq & Afghanistan. 35,000 in Korea. 400,000 in WWII. How many in WWI? 100,000? That’s still less than 1,000,000 all told.

                      Just a little perspective.

                      Mexico and Brazil abolished slavery without a shot being fired. Just sayin’.

                    • George Michalopulos says: Lincoln presided over a war in which 600,000 American soldiers lost their lives, begun as he said with absolutely no concern for slavery at all (on his part) and only concerned with “preserving the Union,” ortherwise the Federal treasury would be bankrupt.

                      Lincoln, a Republican moderate candidate, was elected in 1860 on a platform of opposing the extension of slavery into the territories. The slave holding south foresaw their hold on the Senate would be lost with the future admission of “free-soil” states. The southern states went into rebellion, attacking and seizing by force, property of the United States. The notion that Lincoln cared nothing about slavery is just not so. The notion that Lincoln was only interested in preserving the union because without the southern states, the US Treasury would go bankrupt, is just more neo-confederate fanciful thinking as well.

                      Between 1830 and 1860, the US debt was negligible, and at one time (1835?) was completely paid off. Tariffs (custom duties on imports) were used primarily to fiance the government, with rates varying according to the revenue needs of the government (in 1850 the rate was 22%, in 1860, 15%.) The majority of imports came into northeastern ports, mainly New York City, where duties were collected. Since more than 70% of the free population in the US lived in free-states, and the standard of living was higher in free-states, a good estimate would be at least 70% of these goods were bought by people outside the South. This would mean the South contributed less than 1/3 of the revenue needed by the US Treasury.

                      I also take issue with your figure of 600,000 American soldiers that died in the war that Lincoln “presided” over. The actual figure was more like 437,000. Of course, when you say “American” soldier, to me, this means a soldier in the US Armed Forces and not someone who is engaged in treason and the killing of US soldiers.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Yes, Lincoln campaigned on a Unionist platform to not make slavery expandable. I actually agreed with that (as well as eventual emancipation). However by the time the bullets started flying he did a complete one-eighty and was reduced to being a 100% Unionist only.

                      OK, I guess that brings down the total to more like 3.5 million US soldiers killed as opposed to 250,000 Southerners using the same numbers extrapolated to today. Does that make you feel better?

                      Yes, you are correct, the national debt was negligible, however that is not what I wrote. What I wrote was that the successful rebellion by the South would have dried up revenues going forward to the Federal Treasury. Your dishonesty is showing yet again.

                      As for the very real fears that the Federal Government was going to go bankrupt (at a future date because of secession and not because of past obligations), I shall soon (probably on Tuesday, my next day off) actually print the first hand accounts written in Northern newspapers with words to that effect.

                    • George says:

                      Yes, Lincoln campaigned on a Unionist platform to not make slavery expandable. I actually agreed with that (as well as eventual emancipation). However by the time the bullets started flying he did a complete one-eighty and was reduced to being a 100% Unionist only.

                      When the bullets started flying with the southern states in rebellion, President Lincoln, by his oath of office, would be required to be “100% Unionist.” To protect and defend this country was his constitutional duty–remember slavery was legal and constitutional at the time.

                      OK, I guess that brings down the total to more like 3.5 million US soldiers killed as opposed to 250,000 Southerners using the same numbers extrapolated to today. Does that make you feel better?

                      I feel thankful for the Union soldiers that sacrificed themselves to save this nation and extinguish the evil of slavery. I feel sad for those southerners who died to perpetuate slavery. I feel nauseous when I see the continuation of the commemoration of the confederate war dead as somehow noble and heroic.

                      Yes, you are correct, the national debt was negligible, however that is not what I wrote. What I wrote was that the successful rebellion by the South would have dried up revenues going forward to the Federal Treasury. Your dishonesty is showing yet again.

                      I think it’s more of a case of your irrationality showing. The US government had no trouble financing the war, i.e, the income tax (however unpopular.) After the war, the South was economically devastated. If your premise was correct, then the US government should have been in dire straits as well. That wasn’t the case.

                      As for the very real fears that the Federal Government was going to go bankrupt (at a future date because of secession and not because of past obligations), I shall soon (probably on Tuesday, my next day off) actually print the first hand accounts written in Northern newspapers with words to that effect.

                      George, let it go and enjoy your day off. Lincoln saved the Union, our nation, and freed the slaves. That’s the bottom line and history’s judgment. While a certain amount of mythos has attached, it’s still a fairly accurate judgment.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      OK, so let me get this right: if things go bad in the US today, you would be OK with 3-4 million soldiers dying. (And who knows how many civilians.)

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Logan, regarding the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, LIncoln defended slave owners’ rights to “their own property,” saying “when they remind us of their constitutional rights [to own slaves], I acknowledge them, not grudgingly but fully and fairly; and I would give them any legislation for the claiming of their fugitives.”

                      He also admitted in a latter to Treasury Secretary Salmon P Chas: “The original emancipation proclamation has no legal justification, except as a military measure.”

                    • I have no idea what you’re talking about. I’m not “OK” with the killing of anyone. My 2nd great grandfather, at age 31 left his wife, his 6 children, and his farm in Tennessee and went to Kentucky to find a Union regiment to volunteer. He never came home. Why did he do that–love of country, patriotism, the evil of slavery? Probably, all of those things. One thing for sure, he wasn’t manipulated into doing it by Lincoln for nefarious and conspiratorial reasons. Union soldiers fought a patriotic and righteous war. Confederate soldiers were the ones who were manipulated to fight for one of the great evils in human history.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      I commend your ancestor on his bravery. Please know as well that many thousands of others fought for the simple love of their own states and the kinsmen who lived within them. And hundreds if not thousands of Northerners likewise took up arms in defense of the South’s right to secede.

                    • George Michalopulos says: Logan, regarding the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, LIncoln defended slave owners’ rights to “their own property,” saying “when they remind us of their constitutional rights [to own slaves], I acknowledge them, not grudgingly but fully and fairly; and I would give them any legislation for the claiming of their fugitives.”

                      He also admitted in a latter to Treasury Secretary Salmon P Chas: “The original emancipation proclamation has no legal justification, except as a military measure.”

                      So? Lincoln, a lawyer, knew the Constitution legalized slavery. He also knew that when the war was over, it was very possible that the courts could overturn the Emancipation Proclamation and return the “seized property” to the slave owner. That’s why he pushed so hard for the 13th Amendment.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Again, you never answer the question that I keep asking: if Spain, Great Britain, France, and Portugal could emancipate their slaves peacably, why could not the United States? There must be an answer somewhere.

                    • George Michalopulos says: Again, you never answer the question that I keep asking: if Spain, Great Britain, France, and Portugal could emancipate their slaves peacably, why could not the United States? There must be an answer somewhere

                      Sure. First of all, Great Britain never recognized slavery–there were never any slaves in England. If you brought a slave to England, that slave could be declared free. Spain, France, and Portugal were basically absolute monarchies, in which the king could unilaterally decree whatever he chose. When the US was founded, slavery was sanctioned in the constitution. Peaceable means were able to secure abolition of slavery in the North, but would have never worked in the South. By 1860, the wealth of the South, was not the number of cotton bales produced, but the number of slaves owned. A male slave could be sold for the equivalent of $44,000 in today’s dollars; a female slave for half that much. While a slave’s labor was valuable, his or her fertility was the key to becoming extremely wealthy. I have no doubt when the number of free states sufficiently outnumbered the slave holding states, slavery would have been abolished by peaceable means (constitutional amendment.) It was the South who took up arms to prevent this, when they foresaw new western states and northern states would in the future have the necessary votes to do this. Read the Confederate States of America constitution which embodied states rights and states sovereignty, except for one thing–no state in the confederacy could ever, ever abolish slavery. War was inevitable and slavery was the root cause. You can include other factors, but they directly or indirectly tie to slavery.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      That’s not true: negro slaves existed in England. Dr Samuel Johnson had one. But that’s beside the point, there may have been a grand total of hundred slaves in England, Spain, and France, but each of these countries owned massive colonies in the New World where slavery was rampant. How come Mexico and Brazil (for example) were able to emancipate their negro population without any bullets being fired? More to the point: slavery was practiced in every one of the thirteen American colonies. So did John Hancock of Massachusetts owned several slaves. So did Ben Franklin at one time. How come it died out in New England, Pennsylvania, New York?

                    • Lola J. Lee Beno says

                      Logan46, you’re patently wrong about there never being slavery in England. If you’d bothered to google “blacks in england in the 16th century”, on the first page of the search results, one finds:

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_British (evidence of blacks going back to Roman Britain)

                      http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pathways/blackhistory/early_times/elizabeth.htm – Queen Elizabeth I issued a proclamation to deport blacks from England in 1596.

                      http://www.historytoday.com/marika-sherwood/blacks-tudor-england (you have to be a subscriber to read the rest of the article)

                    • Archpriest John Morris says

                      To George Michalopulos

                      It is not exactly true that they had no slaves in England. American slavery grew out of indentured servitude. Whites were indentured servants. When the first Africans arrived in Jamestown in 1619 they were treated as indentured servants. The difference was that once a white indentured servant served his time, he was released and the Africans were not released and slavery evolved out of indentured servitude. It is interesting to note that slavery was not strictly racial. There were Blacks who owned slaves. The Cherokee’s of what became Oklahoma owned also owned Black slaves.

                    • C’mon George, now you’re just being obstinate. I would hardly call Francis Barber, Dr Johnson’s slave; nevertheless, the Somersett case in 1772 clarified slavery never legally existed in England. The colonial powers were able to eliminate slavery in their colonies, simply because they controlled their colonies. It’s no surprise that Mexico and Brazil, as former colonies and in former servitude themselves, would easily abolish slavery. Slavery didn’t die out in the northern states, it was abolished through laws and in some cases compensation. By 1860, the South had 4 million slaves. The South went to war because of the likely prospect that slavery wouldn’t be extended into the western territories–how could you deal peaceably with being shot at and with the South being totally slave crazy.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      It died out in many Northern states before legal abolition. Had the North really wanted to abolish slavery in the South it would have banded together with Unionist and Abolitionist Southerners, come up with a plan to emancipate them via remuneration, established schools for them and taught them trades. In reality what really happened was that the various executive interpretations of the Emancipation Proclamation told the newly-freed slaves that they had to return to their plantations to continue working there albeit as free men with wages. This is exactly what happened after Reconstruction, a type of servitude that was indentured in that it tied the freedmen to the soil with the benefit that they could leave if they wanted to.

                    • Lola J. Lee Beno says: Logan46, you’re patently wrong about there never being slavery in England. If you’d bothered to google “blacks in england in the 16th century”:

                      What I said was slavery, referring to Blacks or Africans, never had legal status in Great Britain. When using the term Great Britain, I meant since the Norman Conquest. I don’t think I’m wrong on that score and certainly not in disputing George’s contention that Great Britain provided a peaceable example of eliminating slavery that could have been applied to the US. The differences were as stark as night and day.

                    • George Michalopulos says: It died out in many Northern states before legal abolition. Had the North really wanted to abolish slavery in the South it would have banded together with Unionist and Abolitionist Southerners, come up with a plan to emancipate them via remuneration,

                      I know there were unionists in the deep South, but Southern abolitionists? That’s pretty far-fetched. There may have been some in the border states, but in the deep South that became the Confederacy, it was too dangerous. In my neck of the woods, in 1860, a Methodist minister was lynched in Fort Worth, TX, because of his alleged abolitionist views. Most southern states had laws prohibiting public discussion or advocacy of the abolition of slavery. Southern Postmasters refused to deliver mail from Northern abolitionists. So how could one come up with a plan? And how would the Federal Government come up with the money (revenue) to compensate Southern slave owners. Remember there were 4 million slaves that were worth $20,000 to $45,000 a piece in today’s dollars. And remember as well the US government was financed almost exclusively by tariffs which the South hated. Let it go, George.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Before there war there were some 130+ abolitionist societies in the US. One hundred of these existed in the South. Outside of a few intellectuals the South was not wedded to slavery qua slavery. Instead it was accepted that with a large, uneducated Negro population (~4,000,000) and no new industry on the horizon to help the South break free of large-scale plantation agriculture with hardly any small farms, honest people asked hard questions: if the slaves are freed, how are they going to support themselves?

                      Don’t forget, the economic condititions didn’t change after the War. The majority of freed blacks returned to their former plantations to work as sharecroppers.

                    • George, I honestly don’t know where you get this stuff. In my internet searches, I can’t find any evidence that the deep south ever had any abolitionist societies. After the Revolutionary War, there were anti-slavery societies in Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia, but by 1800 they were gone. By the 1830s, it was illegal in the southern states to advocate abolition. Your statement that the south was not wedded to slavery is just . . . flabbergasting. Your notion that slavery somehow just happened in the South and that southern whites were just as much a victim as Blacks is unsettling to say the least.

      • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

        Peter, you arguments are a counter-point to the Christian Right’s ideas of the founding of America. As a result, your arguments suffer from the same flaw that theirs does: if the founders were not “bible-believing Christians” that is, if their faith was not a personal expression of being born again and so forth, they were not really Christian.

        But it doesn’t work that way. Freedom depends on virtue, and a non or even marginal believer can be virtuous. In a society where the cultural consensus is Christian, this is relatively easy since the culture (individually, institutionally, legally, etc.) by and large affirms the Christian moral virtues. (Ironically, it is probably harder for a Christian to be virtuous today than a non-believer in the earlier centuries.)

        So it doesn’t matter if a Founder was a Universalist or even in Jefferson’s case, an outright skeptic. The virtues were still there.

        This is reflected in the Enlightenment ideals as well. While the revolt against the Church would cause great damage down the road (Rousseau and the Jacobin Terror for example), freedom as principle was still drawn from Christian wells. That man is created to be free is virtually exclusive to Christianity even though longings for it can be seen in almost all religions and mythologies. Of course the Enlightenment revolt, as least among the radical philosophes was really a revolt against Christian metaphysics even though the virtues justifying it were drawn from Christianity. A son cannot change his father, even if he hates him.

        Of course the Founders were not radical overthrowers of Christian metaphysics. In fact, Jefferson, when he saw the effects of the Revolution first hand, soundly repudiated it. That’s what makes the American experiment unique and why the comparisons between the Enlightenment on the European Continent the America ideals have to be drawn with exceptional care.

        The genius of the American founders was the recognition that liberty and virtue work hand in hand. And virtue was grounded in the transcendent — in nature’s God who revealed “self-evident truths” — as they penned it. This transcendent claim was asserted by all the Founders, even those who might fail the test of a Christian fundamentalist living today, but it should not fail our test — or yours.

        Solzhenitsyn made the same point in his Harvard Address. I wrote an essay that expanded it a while back called Orthodox Leadership in a Brave New World.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          Fr. Hans:

          I do not necessarily disagree with you, but I do disagree in that the founders were not creating a theocracy or a Christian nation. I hear and understand what you are saying, but the founders created a very distinct and clear Republic in America that was to avoid the dangers and pitfalls of Europe. Europe had Christian Kingdoms, and Christians Kings and Queens from Engalnd, to Germany, to Switzeland, to Greece.

          That was not to be the case here in America. What ever culture they came from, and yes they came from a Christian culture, the pricipals upon which they built this nation was built upon the Pricnipals as articulated in the Enlightenment as enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and ratified in the Bill of Rights. Our Founders Created a document that was infused with one essential thing – LIBERTY! The Freedom to believe what you want, the Freedom to say what you want and the Freedom to assemble with whoever you want to discuss whatever.

          These pricipals of Freedom and the Rule of law I might add, predate Christianity. In fact, from the Old to the New Testament the only form of government that was ever advocated was that of a Monarchy. From King David to the King of Kings Jesus Christ. Its were those pesky Pagan Greeks and Romans that gave us the Rule of law, Trial by Jury, Democracy, Republicanism, etc.

          However, I agree with and affirm St. Paul that government is divinely appointed, but for the well order and civility of society (i.e. Man). That Man can be taken out of the State of Nature and removed from his barbarism and anti-egalitarian tendencies.

          Culturally speaking I want a Christian society. In fact, I want an Orthodox Christian society predicated upon the True Understanding of Jesus Christ and His Gospel. The Church is our home, and the Church is all we need for the salvation of souls. Government is there to run things and to keep things from breaking down into disorder and from us running amok against ourselves.

          As much as I support and continue to support, laws that reflect a proper Orthodox Christian understanding and perspective I know that in this society that perspective and understanding is not the only one that is competeing in our body politic. So Our Government does what it can to amelioriate (sp?) all these different views and to keep us from hurting each other. This is the greatness of America, not its weakness.

          Once the State leaves us as Orthodox Christians to our own devices to have our Freedom of Religion to believe in God the way we want and are taught by Scripture and the Church then we can go forth and proclaim the Gospel to our fellow Americans both the non-believer and the non-Orthodox. We do that and stop our jurisdictional fighting and our allegiance to a truly forgien Idea carried over from Evangelical Protestantism and even Mormonism, as they believe the U.S. Constitution was directly inspired by God, the six-foot God living on the Planet Kobal I mean, is thrown away we can finally start evangelizing this country properly for Christ.

          So again, I am not necessarily disagreeing with you. All I am saying is that Government, any Government should not be our primary concern. Our primary concern should be and must be the proclamation of the Gospel of Christ. Religion has a place in civil government, as even our Supreme Court has held and defined, but never to support or establish one Church or one religion over the lives of the people of this country. That not only makes for bad government, but also for bad religion and turn people off to the Gospel.


          PS just a little pop cultural aside – Glen A. Larsen is a Mormon. So if you, like me, saw Battlestar Galactica back in the day on TV that was basically Mormon theology set to science fiction. Didn’t know it at the time, but hey I still loved the show.

        • Archpriest John W. Morris says

          What has happened is that politics have intruded on what were previously considered moral issues. This has created a whole new set of political divisions that did not exist until fairly recently in American history. This has taken place because we have lost our moral consensus on what is right and wrong. Before Roe v. Wade, almost everyone agreed that abortion was wrong. Until extremely recently no one took the demand for same-sex marriage seriously. The idea that the government should provide free birth control was unthinkable. The Democrats have embraced completely the new immorality and ran their campaign to appeal to those who favor abortion and gay rights. Clinton greatly accelerated the moral decline of our country. Obama has embraced it with gusto.
          That does not mean that we have not always had immorality. During the colonial period most brides were already pregnant on their wedding day. What has changed is that despite common immorality, we still had the basic idea that immorality was wrong. Today we accept it and judge anyone who appeals to the old moral values.

          • Archpriest John W. Morris says

            I should have added, that Obama also appealed to those who have a radically different view of the role of the government than enshrined in our constitution. The new view is of government as the provider and nanny state that will take care of us. We are dominated by a class of people who voted for Obama because he promised to take from those who work and produce to give it to them so that they do not have to work and produce. The problem is that once the money of the producers is gone, we will all be poor and our nation will become a third world slum. Free birth control at the expense of Churches that do not believe in birth control is just the beginning. Watch for a challenge to our right to a male only priesthood to be next. They will take away our tax exemption if we do not allow the government to force us to ordain women on the grounds of equal opportunity laws. Then the government will use the same power to try to force us to bless same-sex marriags.

      • Archpriest John W. Morris says

        It is true that through the influence of the Enlightenment most of the founding fathers of our nation were deists. Despite their personal beliefs, however, they still believed in God and still believe that our nation must be founded on Judeo-Christian virtues. Even the most radical deist believed that religion was necessary to provide the nation with a proper moral foundation. They all believed in a moral natural law that must be the foundation for society. However, recently, we have lost that moral consensus and have entered a period of intense self-gratification and selfishness. Post-Modernism teaches that there are no eternal truths including natural moral law. Thus, we have entered a period of moral anarchy is destroying the moral foundation of our nation.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          I agree in regards to the natural law and that its absolute. The problem many do not believe this or if they do believe it they interpret it differently than us. Overall though you are correct.


      • Archpreist John W. Morris says

        Adams like most of the founding fathers of our nation was a follower of the Enlightenment. He tended towards deism, but still saw Christ as a great moral leader. Because of its basis in logic and reason, Calvinism in New England morphed into unitarianism or at least very liberal theology. The United Church of Christ is the heir to the New England Puritans and is also the most radically pro feminist, pro abortion and pro gay of all sects that still consider themselves Christian. Jefferson was also a deist, but also considered Christ a great moral teacher. Even the deists believed in universal natural moral principles. Even the most radical followers of the Enlightenment like Voltaire still believed in the value of religion to provide society with a moral basis. Actually despite his early deism, Voltaire ended his life as a Catholic. Today in the Post-Modern age there is no belief in eternal moral truth. Each person makes up their own morality according to their own standrds. It is now considered judgmental and bigoted to believe in universal moral principles, especially when discussing sexual morality. Our society is morally bankrupt and as a result is falling apart. Obama’s reelection is just a symptom of the moral decline of our society.

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      Rousseau believed in man entering into a social contract not necessarily because all men are essentially good, but that all men want to do good not because of altruism, but because to do good and fairness towards one’s fellow man under the law guarantees that same goodness and fairness back at you. Meaning its mutually beneficial so man enters into a social contract to lift man out of the state of nature that is unfair, brutish and hard.


      • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

        Peter, Rousseau’s ideas fueled and justified the French Revolution, the West’s first experiment with totalitarianism. Rousseau placed the locus of Adam’s fall in his socialization rather then the Garden, thus opening the conceptual ground for the retooling of society by the State to restore Eden by creating the New Jerusalem on earth. He saw heaven (which he conceived as a just and perfect society) as a temporal possibility and set about to build it. In other words, if the socialization was the cause of the Fall, then resocialization could reverse its effects. The State was the agent of change in this scheme.

        You are reading Christian notions of virtue into Rosseau’s ideology. Rosseau was dependent on a Christian world view (as were the American founders), but he had no room for the transcendent. The State was the source, judge, and guarantor of human rights which led in his time to the Jacobin Terror, just as it led to the Marxist terrors in our time.

        Rousseau’s philosophical ideas are expressed theologically as Calvin’s descramentalized universe. Mix these two and you end up with radical secularism, exactly where we are today.

        If there is no reference to the transcendent (secularism reduces faith to private mythology), then here too the State becomes the agent of change. We see this most clearly in, say, gay marriage for example. Gay marriage is against nature (same sex couples are naturally infertile; they cannot produce children). Yet the State, in decreeing gay marriage as morally legitimate, separates morality from nature and thereby arrogates unto itself an authority over nature. It has effectively become the source and judge of human morality and relationships. This was inconceivable even under the most radically secularist regimes like Soviet Russia.

        Rousseau had five children. He refused to raise them and put them all in an orphanage which in France during his time was a virtual death sentence. He, like so many egalitarians, loved humanity. It was real people he had trouble with.

        This book is a must read:

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          Fr. Hans:

          Thank you first for your response, but I disagree that I am reading Christian virtures in to Rousseau. I know the man believed in the basic goodness of man and that Man in the State of Nature was not essentially evil. I also know that he advocated for collectiveism, but that for Man a ruling government needed to be establish in the interim because the people did not KNOW their true will until a Great Leader or “Legislator” came long to save us all. Kinda sounds like Plato in his Republic.

          I will also not defend the man in his personal life as that is now between him and God. However, the same thing can be said of John Locke. Locke believed that in the State of Nature Man lived in perfect freedom of acting and disposing of their own possessions and persons as they think fit within the bounds of the law of nature. Locke further agred that the natural state of Man was one of equality, in which no one has more power than anyone else, and that the true nature of Man is reason and tolerance NOT innate evil. In fact, Locke rejected this notion of innate qualities in Man.

          Basically NONE of these Men had our Orthodox concept of the nature of Man, but they knew enough to realize that Man needed a social contract to get out of the State of nature that for one reason or another was unhealthy and bad for man and for the creation of a civil society which included the concept of mutual benefit and toleration. In fact, John Locke was so committed to the concept of toleration for all religious, political and philosophical views that it were these views that influenced our American Government’s creation of religious toleration laws during the colonical period and finally led to the drafting and ratifying of the First Amendment.

          Again, NO Christian Nation and NO Christian principals, just principals of the Enlightenment because the people that were a part of that went through so many wars, hatred, discrimination, etc., that they finally said enough. America is the ultimate culmination of that idea and is so still to this day.


          • Michael Bauman says

            Peter even granting everything that you say here (which I don’t) it is still a far cry from a secular/humanist state that is now forming. I’m not sure you appreciate the difference.

            I do agree that in such a state and culture, Christian participation in the state must be limited much as Origen felt in the Empire before Constantine legalized the faith (and established it).

            As many flooded into the Church when she received the favor of the Emperor, so now many will leave the Church because of the lack of state favor and even opposition. How far God allows that opposition to go time will tell.

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says

              I do not want nor support a State that actively oppresses any religion. I just do not see oppression. Not that I do not see it happening, I just do not see it happening here in America.

              You are correct as to the flood of people into the Church after Rome’s acceptance of Christianity, but did they convert sincerely or did they convert because it was culturally and politically expected of them?


              • George Michalopulos says

                Peter, you “don’t see it” or is it more like you don’t want to see it? What is the HHS mandate forcing Christian hospitals to provide abortion/contraception but just that?

                • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                  In regards to the HHS mandate I agree with you, and have always agreed with you, Michael and others in regards to the HHS mandate. I do not deny the existence of force on the left that want their utopian society, just like the Christian Fundamentalist Right wanting their Christian nation.

                  The HHS mandate must be opposed and fought againt, and my gut, as well as the reading of the law, as well as human practicality and realism, tell me that the HHS mandate will be altered and amneded to what it was BEFORE it was radicalized now that the election is over.

                  If it is not then religious institution must disobey it and the State will have to find out a solution. Catholic Charities have shut down or threatened to shut down their state funded adoption services if no exeption is given to placing children with gay couples.

                  If this happens nationwide and the Catholic Church starts to pull out of the medical or hospital service industry the drain of the State and Feds would be so hugh an exemption would be had. BUT if not the Church has to do what the Church has to do to keep faithful to its beliefs and its morality.

                  The greater harm would occur to the State NOT the Church, so I believe a religious exemption will be had, but that it will run through the courts first to give President Obama and the Progressive lawmakers cover when the HHS mandate is struck down as a violation of the First Amendment.

                  So there I have made a perdiction. If I turn out to be wrong, I will admit to my mistake and ask for forgiveness and I will have learned my lesson. So let’s wait and see what happens, OR what other accomidation can occur that woudl satisfy the requirements of the First Amendment’s religious freedom clause.


                  • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                    If this happens nationwide and the Catholic Church starts to pull out of the medical or hospital service industry the drain of the State and Feds would be so hugh an exemption would be had.

                    What makes you think so Peter? The state will 1) institute rationing, and 2) borrow more. If the moral or religious liberty arguments are not compelling to the liberal wing, then economic arguments certainly wont be, especially given the Democratic penchant for borrowing.

                    I think the HHS mandates are a deliberate attempt to weaken the moral authority of the Catholic Church in the culture. If it was anything else, then “political cover” would not be necessary and Obama could reverse the decision and bask in the praises of his magnanimity. Heck, I’d throw him a bouquet or two.

                    No, this is culture wars stuff, like forcing Catholic Charities to perform gay adoptions in New York State. An exception could have been made there just as easily but state authorities refused. It was more important to normalize homosexuality.

                    • “I think the HHS mandates are a deliberate attempt to weaken the moral authority of the Catholic Church in the culture.”

                      Sorry, but the Catholic Church has pretty much done that already without any help from outside sources.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      That’s so idiotic it’s ridiculous. Godwin’s Law Alert!: “Well it’s true that Hitler hated the Jews but let’s not forget that the Jews hated Hitler.” What you’re doing is straining on the gnat while swallowing the camel.

                    • Fr, Hans Jacobse says

                      Sorry, but the Catholic Church has pretty much done that already without any help from outside sources.

                      Yes, they have, no question about it. They also helped create the present conflict with their support of socialized health care years back. They were warned then that state control of Catholic institutions might be the result but they didn’t heed the warning as seriously as they should have.

                      Nevertheless, here we are and they are standing firm. They are also the strongest advocates for a culture of life of any church or institution in America. Catholic resolve garners the ire of radical secularists who see the equivocation on the moral status of human life as necessary for social progress. They know that if the Catholic Church folds, others who rely on its resolve can be marginalized as well.

                  • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                    Although we may agree with the Religious Right on issues such as abortion and same sex marriage, do not forget that their idea of a Christian nation does not include us. They are also committed to so called Chrsitian Zionism, an idea that no true Orthodox Christian can accept. Remember that the Orthodox Church in the Holy Land is one of the primary victims of Zionism. It was only the intervention of the Russian Church with the support of the Russian government that recently kept the Church of the Resurrrection open due to overly high water bills. For those of you who sympathize with Israel, take some time to speak with a Palestinian Orthodox Ch ristian on what life is like for them under Zionist occupation. We Americans have only heard one side of the issue and have been successfullly manipulated by constant references to the atrocities of the Nazis against the Jews to support the foundation of Israel as a safe place for the Jews. The problem is that the Jews occupied the land and completely ignored the civil rights of the native Palestinian people who already lived there. Talk with a Palestinian about what life is like in the West Bank under Israeli domination.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      That’s a very broad brush. There are currents in the Christian Right which are extremely isolationist and thus unconcerned with the whole Zionism project.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Some came sincerely, some just because they felt it was politically expedeient. St. John Chrysostom remarked at one point that the vast majority of the ‘faithful’ were like an millstone around the Church’s neck because of that.

          • Archpriest John W. Morris says

            Our society has moved beyond the Enlightenment. Even the followers of the Enlightenment had a concept of eternal truth and values. Today according to Post-Modernism there are no eternal truths or virtues. Instead, our society is based on personal self-fulfillment according to our own selfish desires. We saw the ultimate victory of Post-Modernism in the victory of Obama last week. You want to have sex outside of marriage, no problem the government will pay for your birth control, and if that does not work the government will pay for your abortion. If you are a guy and likes other guys, no problem, society will marginalize anyone who does not celebrate your immoral relationship. If you do not want to work, don’t worry the government will give you welfare. They will even give you free cell phones. Don’t worry about anything. The government will take money from the evil rich to get you free stuff. If that does not provide enough money, don’t worry the government debt means nothing.

        • Archpriest John W. Morris says

          It all depends on how one defines totalitarian state. Calvin’s Geneva was not exactly a place of great tolerance. Cromwell’s Commonwealth was also a forerunner of the totalitarian state.

  21. cynthiacurran says

    Obama’s spending could built over a 100 hagia sophia’s he is not interested in buliding churche though.

  22. cynthiacurran says

    Actually, I think the anabapists influence the secular left than the calvinists, Some early anabapists believed in a community of wives and property. In the middle ages in the Catholic west you had some gnostic groups along these lines like the free breathan. Peter Brown in his new book thru the eye of a needle mentions a follower of Peligus that wrote a pamphet on getting rid of the rich while Augustine opposed that position. This means the religious lrft goes back to at least the 5th century.

  23. cynthiacurran says

    Lenin legalized gay relations and at one time almost abolished married. Lenin was not interested in gay marriage since he wanted to get rid of marriage itself and interesting he was married.

    • Here is an interesting take on the stats post election:


      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        That was a very good article with alot of practical solutions. It could be seen a social engineering from the right, like Newt Gingrich would argue, but I still like the practical points it made. Very good article. A true critique with solutions.


      • Michael Bauman says

        Peter, given your previous posts, I have a hard time understanding how you can endorse the proposals in the referenced article. Surely what these folks are doing is “forcing their values” on others especially with the proposal not to allow government benefits to the unmarried. For God’s sake, the children will starve and after all is only for the children. Anybody who opposes that wants all children to starve. Surely, Peter, you see that don’t you?

        The secular governemtn you endorse wants moral chaos, that is how they gain and keep power.

  24. cynthiacurran says

    Well, no one I know on the right today wants to treat gays like Castro has some in labor camps or prison itd just that gay marriage should be ledt to the states the left should not impose it on those that don’t support it from the federal government.

  25. cynthiacurran says

    Archpriest Morris is credit the world thinkd of the us as Pax Roma for good or ill and usually is cakked into some conflict. Also, miltitary spending isn’t all bad in fact California was once heavily in aerospace before the early 1990’s cancelled a lot of contracts and was a lot more middle class with the aerospace companies. Today both left and right knows its problems with the housing bubble.

    • Archpriest John W. Morris says

      I am merely facing reality. I do not particularly like it, but the world has given us the role as the world’s super power. People in other countries may resent us, but believe me, they will not hesitate to call upon us when there is trouble in the rest of the world. After the defeat of the Soviet Union, we all thought that there would be a peace dividend, we could cut our military spending and that all would be right in the world. Then came 9/11 and things changed. Sometimes, I wish that we were a place like Denmark or Norway and did not have to bear the burden that the rest of the world has imposed upon us. there is no doubt that if Iran were to threaten the world’s oil supply by blockading the Strait of Harmoz that the rest of the world would beg the US to do something about it. I believe that someday historians will discover that we got involved in Libya to protect the European oil supply at the request of the French and other European nations.

      • Archpriest John W. Morris says

        Just yesterday, we saw a confirmation of my argument. Who intervened and got a cease fire between Hamas and Israel? The United States. I am not saying tht it is good for us but the rest of the world is quite willing to turn to us to resolve many of the world’s problems. That way they do not have to take upon themselves the responsibility or pay the bill.

        • Lola J. Lee Beno says

          This cease fire is not going to last. Have you forgotten all those “cease fires” back in the 1990s? This “cease fire” will just allow Hamas more time to stock up on those rockets.

          • Archpriest John W. Morris says

            As bad as Hamas is it is not all their fault. Under Isreali domination the Gaza has become a large concentration camp. Conditions on the West Bank are not much better because the Israelis are in a position to control the movement of the people and almost every other aspect of their lives. The Isrealis have no respect for the civil rights of the Palestinian people and constantly violate their human rights. When people have no hope they resort to extreme measures. The only solution to the problem is the establishment of a free and prosperous Palestinian state that is free of Israeli domination. Right now, I do not think that the Israelis will allow that. Even the settlements are strategically placed so that they can control access to water, which in that part of the world is extremely important. The West Bank is divided by highways between Jewish settlements that only Jews can use.
            We should remember that according to Orthodox theology, the Jews lost their claim to the land when they rejected Christ who is the fulfillment of the law and the prophets. The Church is the true Israel that takes the place of the old unfaithful Israel. Thus, we cannot accept the claims of Zionism without denying our own Orthodox doctrine.

  26. cynthiacurran says

    I mean correct and called into conflicts.