I Wonder Why This Is?

drum-and-fifeCan anybody help me out here?

With the stand-off at the Bundy Ranch in Nevada, the People showed up to let Uncle Sam know that they weren’t going to stand by while another Ruby Ridge or Waco happen. We can thank the New Media for that, and by that I don’t mean only Talk Radio, the Internet, or even Fox News. I mean ordinary people who are armed with the latest in smartphone technology.

Clearly the Feds overreached. Their abuses and bravado were caught on tape and broadcast for all the world to see. We were lucky. In addition, we learned that the entire reason for the rounding up of Cliven Bundy’s cattle was to facilitate a business deal between the Chinese government and the Feds (with Sen Harry Reid getting his share of the cut). It had nothing to do with unpaid grazing fees.

More will be said about that in the future. For now I want to concentrate on the slippery slope to tyranny that we have been slouching on since the American Welfare/Warfare State went on steroids. President Eisenhower warned us about the Military-Industrial Complex some fifty-five years ago but because of the relative homogeneity and basic Christianity of the American populace, there was a certain moral understanding between our leaders and the governed that there were certain lines that the former didn’t cross. Ordinary people didn’t look to Uncle Sugar to fill their rice bowls; they still didn’t even when LBJ created the myriad alphabet agencies that constituted his misbegotten Great Society.

That all changed though when cultural Marxism gradually eroded at the fiber of American life. It would be only a matter of time when the Ninth and Tenth Amendments became dead letters. Both Republicans as well as Democrats deserve their share of the blame. We on the Right bit our tongues and succumbed to the Security State, thinking that terrorists lurked around every corner and against our better judgment allowed the Neocons to beguile us with their Wilsonian blandishments. For awhile, even I believed that Third World nations wanted nothing more than to live like white-bread Americans, engaging in the give-and-take of democratic republicanism.

No more. It was a fool’s errand and nothing more. Fortunately, many Americans are waking up to the facts on the ground. Many are coming to the realization that the Federal gummint has slipped the bounds of decency and is well on the way to outright tyranny. I for one saw our nation’s police powers take a dark turn at Ruby Ridge. Waco was another step in the totalitarian direction, mitigated somewhat by the weirdness of David Koresh and his apocalyptic nonsense, but still a massive and unnecessary overreach.

The growing cultural divide between the elite and the people has only grown in the interim, aided and abetted by elite-driven demographic changes which have done much to welfarize our country. How else to explain the imperialistic hubris of the despicable Harry Reid who warned Bundy and his supporters that “this was far from over.” What a tin ear his man has! Louis XIV is the model of ascetic humility in comparison. Make no mistake: the present regime is held together by a motley crew of grievance groups that depend on the government for their sustenance allied with Neocons who exploit the unparalleled lethality of our armed forces. They would do well to study the Old Testament and find out what happens to civilizations which lose all fear of God.

The weaponization of the Federal government proceeds apace. According to Newsmax (and broken on The Drudge Report) the Postal Service is buying massive amounts of small arms ammunition. I can only guess that this is so because the pepper spray for attacking dogs isn’t working.

A Post-script: While Progs in America are worried about Ukraine and the incipient fascism of Vladimir Putin, do they ever stop to think about the erosion of our liberties here in the Lower 48? Are they unconcerned about liberty? I shudder to think what the answer is.

On this note, Monomakhos signs off for the duration of Holy Week.

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Comments

  1. Tim R. Mortiss says

    So, George, is representative government and personal liberty a good thing, or not? You seem to be of two minds about it, sometimes!

    • George Michalopulos says

      Not at all. Forgive me if my writing meandered or was unclear, but I very much believe in representative government AND personal liberty. With the Leviathan national state and its continuing encroachment into the habitats of desert tortoises, we pretty much don’t have either.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Easy to understand the “two minds”. The longer any system of government remains in place the more corrupt it becomes and conforms less and less to the political/social vision that gave it form in the first place. Representative government works ok where the number of persons represented is relatively small and the population is relatively homogeneous. Neither of those are the case in the U.S. any more and have not been for a long time (circa the Civil War).

      As the number of divergent peoples and interests have multiplied the less ‘representative’ we have become and the fewer personal liberties we have been able to maintain. Coupled with secularization we are increasingly governed by a professional political oligarchy that is essentially fascist in nature operating under the illusion of representation and personal liberty being transformed into amoral license.

      Sooner or later, the United States as we know it will fail catastrophically enough to provide room for a new solution(s) to be applied.

      Tom Lehrer was prescient when he sang about National Brotherhood week 40 years ago:

      Oh, the white folks hate the black folks,
      And the black folks hate the white folks.
      To hate all but the right folks
      Is an old established rule.

      But during National Brotherhood Week, National Brotherhood Week,
      Lena Horne and Sheriff Clarke are dancing cheek to cheek.
      It’s fun to eulogize
      The people you despise,
      As long as you don’t let ’em in your school.

      Oh, the poor folks hate the rich folks,
      And the rich folks hate the poor folks.
      All of my folks hate all of your folks,
      It’s American as apple pie.

      But during National Brotherhood Week, National Brotherhood Week,
      New Yorkers love the Puerto Ricans ’cause it’s very chic.
      Step up and shake the hand
      Of someone you can’t stand.
      You can tolerate him if you try.

      Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics,
      And the Catholics hate the Protestants,
      And the Hindus hate the Muslims,
      And everybody hates the Jews.

      But during National Brotherhood Week, National Brotherhood Week,
      It’s National Everyone-smile-at-one-another-hood Week.
      Be nice to people who
      Are inferior to you.
      It’s only for a week, so have no fear.
      Be grateful that it doesn’t last all year!

      The rumble in Nevada is the result of an urban globally oriented fascist state trying to economically enrich certain key members of the oligarchy at the expense of a rural independent but isolated individual who happens to be in their way. It is no different really than the expansion of eminent domain (We are the government, you are not, we want what we’ve got, give it to us.)

      Then the Lord sent Nathan to David. And he came to him, and said to him: “There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds. 3 But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him. 4 And a traveler came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare one for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”
      5 So David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this shall surely die! 6 And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because he had no pity.”
      7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more! 9 Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon. 10 Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ 11 Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.
      2 Samuel 12: 1-12

  2. Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

    We look forward to finding out after Pascha what it was that George wants help with. He seems to believe he knows exactly “why this is!”

    I’d like to know how “Cultural Marxism” is to be defined. PLEASE, define it without examples, ok? We can work them out later when we have a clear definition of this “Cultural Marxism,” and see how the examples fit the definition.

    • Vladika,

      I cannot but agree that it is difficult to plow through this political stuff to determine its moral worth before Bright Week is drawing to a close. I actually don’t even want to know.

      Meanwhile, here is a sermon by Metropolitan Jonah who, you rightly surmised, is not yet totally finished negotiations with the OCA, although he is apparently giving sermons in the ROCOR

      http://youtu.be/M0SFdLOaKa8

      http://youtu.be/nbtQGdRqUCc

    • Steve Knowlton says

      I’ve never heard the phrase “cultural marxism”, but I’ll take a stab. In marxism, as opposed to socialism, the idea is not that the State should disappear and that all men should be equal, but that for a brief period of time, the tools of State Power, the police, the courts, etc. become tools of the oppressed working classes to be used against the privileged, as opposed to the other way around. Then, once the powerful are dispossessed of their property and capital, which won’t happen without a fight, the State will gradually wither away. Violent conflict will be a necessary component of the workers’ struggle to take the reins of state power.

      To transpose this to the cultural sphere is fairly simple: all the tools of cultural “power”, such as the universities, morals, perhaps the courts (although courts are technically supposed to be governmental and not cultural), the churches are used to undermine so-called “dominant cultural values,” indeed to stand them on their head. So whereas the old culture kept things like homosexuality in the closet, it is now quite the opposite: homosexuality is out in the open, and anyone who would raise questions about it is shamed/shunned/demonized. Whether or not this is actually happening may be subject to opinion, but if it did happen, I would be tempted to call it “cultural marxism.”

      If economic and political marxism aimed to level class inequalities using brute force, then cultural marxism tries to do the same to any dominating cultural value, or any moral code that claims to be higher than another, often by taking over the very institutions that were used to promote the prior, “dominant” cultural values.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Yes, Gramsci came up with this plan after realizing that the nations have more binding power (so to speak) than not. Especially if they were relatively homogeneous and Christian. The “uprising” of the “oppressed” proletariate did not take place during WWI: the various peoples within the various nations of Europe stuck together and did not fray along economic or class lines. Gramsci proposed a solution: weaken the bonds of people within nations by undermining “patriarchy,” “religion,” and all other hierarchies. Essentially pit men against women, children against parents, laymen against clergy, etc.

        Bertolt Brecht later came up with the idea of “electing a new people.” Simple displace the prominent indigenous population with alien cultures who have no blood or cultural ties to the founding principles of a nation. The US bought itself some time with the 1924 Immigration Act which allowed the US to digest and assimilate the hordes of immigrants (like my grandparents) into the American narrative. With Ted Kennedy’s disastrous Immigration Reform Act of 1965 however, that overwhelmingly successful quota system was overturned in favor of an anything goes mentality. Hence America today has hundreds of jihadist cells in mosques all over as well as racial grievance artists who are putting forth irredentist claims such as “Aztlan.” Groups such as this have no truck with the historic American nation. Things are far worse in Britain and France. Greece too.

        • “America today has hundreds of jihadist cells in mosques”

          This is a slur without evidence, or with a very loose definition of jihadist.

          “racial grievance artists who are putting forth irredentist claims such as “Aztlan.”

          Interesting – your post could itself be read as a racial grievance about all them furriners taking over “our” (read: white) country!

          • George Michalopulos says

            Well, La Raza, which was founded by Jorge Vasconcelos (who openly admired Adolf Hitler btw), agitates for a Reconquista of the Southwest. The New Black Panthers, the Nation of Islam, the Five Percenters, etc, believe that white people are “devils” and deserve to be killed (don’t look now at the FBI stats on interracial crime unless you want to get your bubble burst). All of the above are most definitely racial grievance groups. Muslim jihadists view us as dhimmi, we can get killed for no reason at all. Neocons (who are overwhelmingly non-observant Jews) exploit the American military for Israel’s strategic purposes. Don’t look now, but we gotta bomb Iran back to the Stone Age because Iran has been invading their neighbors since, oh wait, the last time they invaded a country was in 486 BC. Scratch that. How about Putin, we gotta go after Tsar Putin because Tsars, you know, their icky and all.

            What do you think will happen to those whom these groups view as “The Other”? Not a pretty picture.

            Want to stop it? So do I! Unless you want to see the Golden Dawn reborn on these shore and on steroids, I’ll offer this answer free of charge: Send these folks packing if they can’t say or won’t say The Pledge of Allegiance and forswear all foreign allegiances.

            • More confused thinking and sloppiness with the facts. It’s Jose Vasconcelos, not Jorge, and he was not the founder of La Raza. At least, not if you mean the National Council of La Raza, an actual organization as opposed to a vague racial concept. You cite a bunch of fringe groups as though they are mainstream, but no matter, because the vague mentioning of these groups plays to the politics of white racial fears.

              You didn’t answer my question about how you know there are so many jihadist cells in mosques in America. By the way, how many American Muslims do you know? I’ve seen a lot of them say the Pledge of Allegiance (I used to teach in a public school), so there you go.

              • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                Matt your characterization is correct. i find that if you find someone using the word “dhimmi” you will automatically find confusing thinking and sloppiness with facts. The following sentence was particularly insufferable: “Muslim jihadists view us as dhimmi, we can get killed for no reason at all.”
                Dhimmi means “protected”, that is the people whom Muslim conquerors wanted to be protected because they needed their skills and taxes. “People of the Book” (Jews and Christians and, sometimes Zoroastrians) had not only the necessary governing and management skills that the nomadic Arabs lacked, they also had property and income that could produce taxes, unlike the nomadic Arabs. That is how Egypt for centuries was mostly run by Copts, Melkites, and Jews: all “DHIMMI.’ To be viewed as dhimmi would mean to be left alone. Yet class and race conscious Americans of a certain breed can only think in terms to masters vs laves, privileged vs untouchables, US vs THEM. Saints vs demons with nothing in between. It is true that there has been an enormous increase in the number of Muslim jihadists of the fanatic variety. They recruit more of them by showing slides of Abu Ghraib, before and after shots of Iraq, and the graves of teen-age boys gassed with American approval when Israel got America to support Saddam Hussein in his bombing, mustard-gassing, and invasion of Iran.

            • Tim R. Mortiss says

              Well, we at least should recognize that the Persians invaded Roman provinces, and vice-versa, many times. They invaded Armenia many times. Again, lots of vice-versa on the frontiers, in old imperial times and often in Byzantine times, as well.

              Not that this has anything to do with modern politics, but the idea that Iran hadn’t invaded any neighbor since the fifth century BC seem more than a bit strange to me.

              • George Michalopulos says

                The Sassanid invasions of Armenia were usually over disputed territory. To my knowledge there was never a Parthian imperative to conquer new lands and permanently subjugate them. The Neocon fantasists on the other hand assure us that Iran wants to conquer the whole Middle East and that they have missiles pointed at Central Europe.

          • Well, I can’t speak to the situation in the US, bit I can tell you that in the UK mosques have certainly harboured Jihadist cells and the security authorities assume they continue to do so and hence monitor them. What’s more, a Muslim MP has called attention to Muslim extremist attempts to infiltrate and exert Muslim control over public schools, if necessary through the threat of violence and intimidation of Christian students, teachers and school council members which he has called a ‘Trojan Horse’ movement. Former foreign secretary Jack Straw has also expressed concerns that Muslims are not integrating into UK society. As we have already seen evidence of on the streets of London, this situation is a ticking time bomb which will explode when a certain critical point is reached. At that point, moderate Muslims who sing the national anthem or wave the Union Jack etc. will be forced to toe the line through fear and outright intimidation. Parts of England will then become “no go” areas for non-Muslims. Yes, Muslims can be the most friendly and hospitable of people in their own lands, but the permission of large scale Muslim immigration to Western countries is a very unwise policy. One might almost call it a death wish on the part of Western societies, for Islam is a totalitarian ideology which will brook no dissent from its values wherever it establishes itself with any power or influence. The Islamist’s progress to his goal of domination may be incremental, but it will be relentless unless and until Western societies decisively oppose Islam as an alien entity that is incompatible with Western values. The opposition I am speaking of is not violence – I abhor violence and detest those racist groups which advocate it – but the curtailment of Islam’s influence through appropriate laws and the rigorous enforcement thereof, the cessation of large scale Muslim immigration and the encouragement of the thorough assimilation of Muslims presently in Western societies to Western cultural values, not least through the abandonment of cultural practices dominant in Muslim cultures which conflict with those values (child brides, female genital mutilation, honour killings, the wearing of the burka etc.).

            • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

              Basil, since when is uniformity a “Western cultural value?” How do you define “child bride.” Some American states still allow the marriage of 14 year old girls with parental consent. Female genital mutilation is not an Islamic or jihadist practice, not is it “dominant’ in Muslim cultures. Female genital mutilation is a TRIBAL practice found in some countries which did not abandon it upon converstion to islam centuries ago. Female genital mutllation is not a dominant practice in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iraq, or the Islamic Republic of Iran. The latter country is more tolerant of religions opposed to islam than either Ireland. Basil, your sales pitch is remarkably similar to the old sales pitches of the English against Roman Catholics, particularly Irish immigrants, threatening to destroy “our
              Anglo-Saxon heritage and freedoms.” So “Jack Straw has expressed concerns?” That’s what pols do.

              • Isa Almisry says

                Christ is risen!
                “the Islamic Republic of Iran. The latter country is more tolerant of religions opposed to islam than either Ireland.”
                I’m afraid you have pushed it more than a bit too far on both ends there, Your Grace.

                • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                  There are 600 Christian churches, mostly, but not all, Armenian, in Iran. How many mosques in north or south Ireland, Isa? Annual pilgrimages to the shrine, church, and relics of Apostle Thaddeus, located in Iran, have been made since before the time St. Patrick came to the British isles. There are 25 active synagogues in Iran, all with Hebrew Schools attached, a Jewish library, kosher restaurants, Jewish newspapers, and an annual pilgrimage to the tomb of Esther for millennia now. The Christians elect two of their own Christian representatives to the Iranian parliament (majlis), while the Jews elect one Jewish member to the same parliament. I feel that in the area of toleration of opposed religions, the Islamic Republic of Iran has a better record than either north or south Ireland.
                  Having said that, I’d like to point out that all Iranians, Shia, Sunni, Zoroastrian, Christian and Jewish oppose missionaries of Westernism, such as Presbyterians, Methodists, Jehovah’sWitnesses, Scientologists, but not on religious grounds at all.
                  Recently, an Iranian mother delivered the murderer of her son from being hanged by going up to him, undoing the noose, and slapping him in the face. This forgiveness was widely appreciated by the Iranian people, and according to the ground rules in Iranian jurisprudence, the man thus forgiven may not be hanged in the future, although he will remain in jail for a long time, but the mother’s forgiveness trumps the death sentence. Such forgiveness is of no importance or relevance whatsover in our one nation under God.”:
                  In other words, Basil’s unthinking and partly ignorant pronouncements about “muslim-majority” countries are mostly very very popular fairy tales.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Your Grace, Isa’s point is that Iran as far as I can tell is that Christians and Jews in Iran are not going around forcing the Islamic Republic to accede to their demands nor are they causing Iran to adopt their practices. I don’t think Iran is in danger anytime soon of having annual St Patrick’s Day parades. FGM, child brides, etc are very real problems in Australia, France, Britain, the elsewhere in the West

                    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                      GEORGE! How did you get THAT;

                      “Your Grace, Isa’s point is that Iran as far as I can tell is that Christians and Jews in Iran are not going around forcing the Islamic Republic to accede to their demands nor are they causing Iran to adopt their practices.”

                      out of THIS:

                      “I’m afraid you have pushed it more than a bit too far on both ends there, Your Grace.”
                      ??

                  • Pere LaChaise says

                    This tangent about relative crappiness of Islamic society is distracting! But His Grace speaks knowledgeably about Iranian society, as opposed to Arab-Islamic societies.
                    Americans, who are banned by their government from having anything to do with Iran, like they are regarding Cuba, cannot say much good about a place about which they know diddley.
                    But there are crucial differences between the Islam propped up by the West (Sunni, and specifically Saudi Wahhabism) and Iran’s native Shi’ia. Our governments are engaged in a proxy war against the latter, which by all indications would be the Islam I’d choose for a neighbor over the uber-intolerant totalitarian variety our ‘allies’ from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan prefer.
                    Wahhabism by all rights should be targeted for extinction globally, as it concentrates all the worst, most aggressive and backward tendencies of Islam, essentially ‘weaponizing’ it in a manner not seen since the Almohads ruined the idyll (sic) of Islamic Spain in the XII–XIII c.

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      Do you really believe that the ‘West’ is in some sort of conspiracy to prop up Wahhabism? This seems to be a theme here sometimes.

                      In reality, of course, it’s a byproduct of the oil business going back to the 50s . The idea that the “West” cared about Wahhabism is, well, unlikely….

                    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                      Pere did not even hint at a conspiracy, Tim, nor did he seek to justify, as you have done, the awful and naive conviction of most Westerners that Islam=Wahhabism. I’m very glad to see that Pere knows something about Islamic Spain—-totally unexpected, unheard-of,and even opposed by some wiseacres here on Monomakhos.

                    • We are not banned from having to do anything with Iran. For one thing, we can travel there (I’ve been), spend US dollars there, and import certain items (carpets and pistachios). We are legally allowed to travel to Cuba for religious and educational purposes but cannot spend money there.

                    • George, since we are talking about extremists of all types here, perhaps you’ll have something to say about Matthew Heimbach, the white nationalist Orthodox guy in Maryland – his “accomplishments” are detailed here:
                      http://www.orthocuban.com/2014/04/i-have-a-nightmare/

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      I have never held the opinion that Wahhabism equals Islam, nor have I ever suggested it.

                      Mostly I tend to resist the line that the US is responsible for all of the world’s ills, including those of the Mideast.

                    • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

                      The picture that Fr. Ernesto Obregon has with “Goodnight Ant-white” is said to have come from TradYouth Facebook page. Well, I don’t have a Facebook account, so I can’t check, but understand that many accounts are set up so anyone can post stuff there.

                      The Orthodox guy with the cross seems to be taking to restrain the fight between what seems to be one or more skin heads (or one bald leftist and one shaved head dude)?

                      http://cdn.tradyouth.org/uploads/2014/04/100_2395.jpg

                      The bald guy whose arm the Orthodox cross guy is restraining has a clinched fist and is trying to punch shaved head guy who seems to be trying to bear hug the bald guy attempting the punch him.

                      Proceeding to the logical next picture (the one with the message embed, Goodnight Anti-White) the Orthodox cross guy has his arm around shaved head guy’s neck in a headlock (or is trying to keep him upright), but again, that seems to be trying to break up the situation, as bald guy is punching shaved head guy in the face or perhaps trying to drag him down. And, I don’t see the cross being used as a weapon in either picture.

                      http://www.tradyouth.org/2014/04/tradyouth-on-a-mission-fighting-for-faith-folk-and-family/

                      In typical Leftist fashion, one brave soul attempted a smash-and-dash. Just one or two good punches, and then get out of town before the cops show up, right? This isn’t the first time I’ve had to watch their weak game plan unfold, and they’ve really only got about one play. Hey, Leftists- I know your game plan, and your shit is weak. Their man came in for the sucker punch, but he obviously didn’t know that he was dealing with a former Marine. I can take a punch, and it’s not the first time I’ve had to deal with your ambush tactics.

                      It didn’t end well for him.

                      The Left’s hatred of Christianity and Tradition are their most overpowering and driving emotions, so it’s no surprise that they went straight for our Orthodox Cross.

            • Yes, there are significant problems with Muslim immigration in the UK. That does not mean we can draw a direct analogy to the US, because social and political conditions in the US and UK differ, and so do the Muslim populations that are migrating. Muslim Americans tend to be middle-class and well-educated, for one thing, and from quite diverse backgrounds. You seem to think that Islam is some sort of monolithic ideology that explains all problematic behaviors of Muslims – that is obviously not true of Islam or any other religion or ideology.

              Btw female genital mutilation is not sanctioned in any orthodox interpretation of Islam, and the burka is worn only by a small minority of Muslim women.

              • Matt, I have travelled extensively in Muslim countries and am quite aware of the differences within Islam; my comments apply, of course, to the Sunni majority, with tangential reference here to the Shia Iranians since the bishop mentioned them. There are, it is true, intra-Sunni Islamic theological disputes, but since the 1950s the extremists have been in the ascendancy and now are very close to thaving the power to define Islam and exert control over moderates – in that sense we can speak of Islam as the West comes up against it as indeed monolithic.
                Now, it is true the burka is worn by a minority of Muslim women, but it is symbolic of the increase of Wahhabist Islam which funds most of the Islamic teaching that takes place in the West. The banning of it in Western countries would be a highly symbolic act against radical Islam and would signal a reversal of the prevalent cultural trend, at least in Western Europe, of accommodation to extremist Islamic practices.

                The other practices I mentioned are more prevalent in Islamic cultures than you or the bishop seem to realise (note Your Grace Bp Tikhon that FGM is indeed prevalent in Egypt & Saudi Arabia (esp. the southern region of the latter); in fact the first prosecution for FGM in Egypt, which actually has the highest number of women who have been subject to FGM of any nation in the world and where the practice was only outlawed in 2008, took place this year – a start at least. If FGM is not significantly present in Turkey or Iran, I submit it is precisely because of beneficial Western influences in those countrys’ pasts which moderated their peoples’ adherence to their Islamic heritage (even the Mullahs’ Revolution in Iran has not managed to overcome that positive influence; the Iranians are among the most intelligent and perceptive of traditionally Islamic peoples and, I suspect, the most open to positive Western influence, American propaganda notwithstanding. If the Mullahs were ever to lose their grip on power I suspect we would see mass conversions to Christianity in Iran). Note also that I did not say that Islam necessarily teaches these practices officially (although that is debatable on child brides), but that they, and I might add other moral outrages like the acceptance of sodomy against boys, are indeed prevalent in Islamic cultures, and, practically speaking, separating culture from religion in Islam is impossible – it is a totalitarian ideology. Btw, Your Grace, in most Western countries childhood legally continues until 18 years of age, with permission for a minor to marry strictly defined at law as requiring parental consent and a magistrate’s permission. In the case of Islam, we are talking about the marriage of adult men to children usually around 13 but in some cases as young as 9 (and lower not unheard of), the determining factor ostensibly being puberty. As criminal investigations in many Western countries with Muslim minorities indicates, this practice continues surreptitiously in Muslim enclaves in defiance of Western law. Of course, the girls in such cases should be removed from their parents’ care and the parents and “groom” and matchmaker prosecuted and then deported after a suitable period of imprisonment.

                Only such a response will stamp out this abominable practice among us and ensure that those Muslims who do not accept Western moral and cultural standards are removed from our midst whilst teaching the Muslim community who remain what it is that we value. To do nothing, under the pretext of respect for “multiculturalism”, to “turn a blind eye”, as has happened previous to “Sept 11” putting extreme Islam on our radar, is to grant the space for the expansion of extremist Islam in Western countries to the end that Muslim migrants actually become colonists and not immigrants. These problems, I grant, may not be as obvious to you in the US where you do not necessarily have large urban concentrations of Muslims outside of Dearborn MI…is that the case?

                • I too have traveled extensively (and lived) in Muslim countries. I don’t know why you think the presence or lack of FGM is due to “Western influence” in Turkey and Iran – this is simply false. Morocco isn’t Westernized at all, FFGM isn’t a factor in either nation. For a long time it was practiced in Kenya and other sub-Saharan African countries, and not because there were lots of Muslims around. In Upper Egypt it’s practiced by Copts as well as Muslims. It has *nothing* to do with any orthodox version of Islam grounded in Islamic texts, and lots to do with regional cultural traditions.

                  I’m sorry to say that your speculation about mass conversions to Christianity in Iran has no basis in fact. I’d like to see it as much as you, but I’ve been to Iran, and the desire among the youth is for sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll, not Christianity.

                  We do have large concentrations of urban Muslims right here in NYC, and we do not have the problems you describe.

                  • Isa Almisry says

                    Christ is risen!

                    FGM has been introduced into Indonesia and Malayasia, which are far more Westernized than either Turkey (for all its Westoxificated facade) or Iran.

                    Morocco isn’t Westernized at all, and FGM is unheard of there.

                    It is rather ironic that Ayaan Hirsi Ali rants on this against the Muslims, when the commission of it on her really has nothing to do with Islam at all-except that its perpetrators embraced in her native Somalia. The local Christians and AFAIK pagans do it as well there, and they certainly don’t use Islam to justify it.

                    Even more ironic, is that a lot of Muslims defend the practice, just to oppose Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

                    • Isa,

                      Indonesia and Malaysia are not as Westernised as Turkey, believe me, and most certainly not as Westernised as a pre-revolutionary Iran. A facade of Western commercialism in large cities does not equate to a deeper attachment to Western values. Indonesia is further down the road than Malaysia though, perhaps due tot he fact that while it is the largest Muslim country on earth it is also quite pluralistic with the presence of significant Hindu and Christian minorities. In any case, FGM is widely practiced in both countries and is specifically regarded as an Islamic practice, not simply a cultural one (remembering that Muslims do not make such neat distinctions), which is interesting, yes? I think this does go to support my argument and it is difficult for those who maintain FGM is simply cultural to explain away. The origins of FGM are cultural and of course pre-date Mohammed, but it has been adopted by a majority of Muslims as a practice with religious significance. Btw, Western converts to Islam are known to adopt both FGM and child brides. There was recently a case in Australia where an Anglo convert allowed his teenage (under-age) daughter to be “married” to a Muslim immigrant at the behest of his Imam. Of course the press got hold of it (thank God!) which brought forth an admission from the state minister for child welfare that she knew of reports of many such cases of child brides in Sydney ( a city of 3 m. with a significant Muslim pop. in its western suburbs) which remain unprosecuted. I submit: this is not immigration, this is colonisation.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      An excellent point: colonisation, not immigration.

                  • Matt,

                    I take your point about FGM in Turkey & Iran (although I note that FGM is not completely absent from the former country). But I do think the relation of Islam to these cultural practices is more complex than you allow. The issue with FGM & Islam is not so much one of causation – a position I never put forward – but that Islam evidently lacks the power or desire to reform such cultural practices which actually feed into its oppression of women, a trait which is fundamentally incompatible with developments in Western society since the Enlightenment. Ergo the problem with large scale Muslim immigration to the West. Not that the West is perfect by any means; the decline of religious adherence as a result of the radically secular interpretation of the Enlightenment is a large part of the reason why the West is at a loss as to how to counter Islam in its midst. But most of us on this blog enjoy the benefits of living here, as will our descendants, so we have a stake in preserving its values and virtues.

                • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                  Basil seems to be solidly in the line and tradition of the old British “orientalists,’ and nostalgic for the Raj as well.Just as in the old days, he fails to consider that banning the burqa will cause a huge increase in its popularity, rather than attenuating it in the slightest.
                  This sentence of his is also extremely problematic: “ince the 1950s the extremists have been in the ascendancy and now are very close to thaving the power to define Islam and exert control over moderates – in that sense we can speak of Islam as the West comes up against it as indeed monolithic.’ No, Basil, even YOU ascribe the extremist’s achievement of power to define Islam and exert control over moderates ‘TO THE FUTURE.’ Get it? You may, indeed, make your forecasts, but that does not men that Islam IS monolithic. “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch,” in other words.
                  Islam is not now, nor has it ever been, monolithic, and if your bruited acquaintance with Western Asian, Eastern Asian and African islam has not made that plain to you, i suggest you go back to those places and try to overcome you old, green, assumptions.
                  As for mass conversions to Christianity in Iran….what an idea! At the time of the Arab invasion and conversion of the Persian Empire, the Zoroastrian state church was on its last legs and the (Nestorian) Church in Persia was almost an equal rival to it. Judaism survived the conquest as did Zoroastrianism, but the survival of Christianity in Iran depended more (but not entirely) on the Armenians than any other denomination. The Persian Emperors had forbidden Carmelite missionaries from contact with Armenians and the Roman Church made almost no headway there at any time. Perhaps the Armenians, and the Assyrians of the NW, might experience some growth if the Islamic government, fantastically, fell, but this is clouds-in-the-sky talk. Any dramatic increase in the number of Iranian Christians could only be the result of the revival of an old Persian Catholicosate of Baghdad or Ctesiphon. No white-bread Methodist, Presbyterian, or Evangelical western missionary is ever going to impress the Iranian people, who were monotheists before Christianity or Islam existed.
                  As for FGM being outlawed in Egypt in 2008, was that outlawing accomplished by Christians?
                  Please, produce some figures to support your claim that FGM is or was ever prevalent in Egypt, i.e., perpetrated on the majority of Egyptian women.
                  The statement that sodomy against boys is PREVALENT in Islamic societies is an outright lie, and you can demonstrate or prove no such thing. If you think that sodomy “against” boys is not frequent amongst “boys” in GB or America, wake up! Sodomy is as immoral under Islam as it is under Judaism and Christianity, although it has been practiced throughout history in varying degrees of public acceptance, in most literate and a few illiterate societies. Even today, the monasteries on the Holy Mountain discourage the acceptance of “beardless youth” lest it result in that very practice! If it is a temptation on the Holy Mountain, what can we say about ANY Christian or non-Christian society? You’d think that there’d be some fairy tales and legends about females sneaking onto or being smuggled onto the Holy Mountain over the centuries…not so, not even legends.
                  Basil demonstrates that the marriage of female children is less frequent in the U.S. than in the rest of the world, particularly in predominantly Islamic societies; however, he fails to demonstrate that such a practice is more opposed by Christians than by Muslims on a RELIGIOUS, rather than a sociological basis. Many Christians devoutly believe that children MUST be controlled by their parents and that this control is much more important than any strictures about marriageable ages. If fourteen year old girls can be married off by Christian parents legally in the U.S.A., this is not because of atheism or agnosticism or decadent society, but because of the remnants o a time when the Christian elements of U.S. society were absolutely dominant. In fact, if the marriage of teen-age girls with parental consent is ever completely outlawed, it willl not be because of pressure from Christianity or the Christian religion, but from the those battling for the rights of females, many of them unbelievers. Houses of prostitution inhabited by boys and girls are as old as civilization; likewise sodomy, murder, theft—Likewise, prohibition of them all is part of Islam, Judaism, Christianity. Guess what? We, you and i, Basil, are NOT holier than anyone else. NONE is holy. We Christians should demonstrate that when we attack Islamic people or society.

                  • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

                    the Iranian people, who were monotheists before Christianity or Islam existed.

                    Zoroaster was probably Daniel who was placed at the head of the Magi in the book of Daniel, which why centuries later, some Magi still expected a Jewish Messiah to arise at exactly the time Christ did, as foretold by Daniel. Before Zoroaster/Daniel, the Parthians had an entire pagan pantheon, after him they had more of a dualism with two almost equal gods (one good, one evil) with the good god winning in the end. But, even if Daniel wasn’t Zoroaster, Judaism (which was Christianity) far predated Zoroastrianism, which didn’t much predate the Babylonian exile of the Jews (if at all).

                    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                      Most of the old testament was not written down before the Babylonian Captivity and, in some matters, such as the Flood, it is thought that they were written down in order to provide a version of suitably different slant from the old Babylonian and preBabylonian written legends in order to protect tribal identity.
                      No responsible scholar EVER stated or showed that Zarathushtra was Daniel, or that he was the Mobed of the Zoroastrian religion. it is often posited, however, that Esther and Mordecai are but poorly disguised literary imitations of Astarte and Marduk.
                      “Zoroaster/Daniel”!! What next? Was Noah really the mayor of Atlantis or king of the ancient sunken Empire of Mu? .
                      Were the Paffhausens Freemasons? Are Freemasons contributing here anonymously.? Is “Ladder of Divine Ascent” a reference to Thetan pre-history amongst the Scientologists?
                      ‘Zoroaster was probably Daniel!” That would certainly explain away the hypotheses of anthropologists who see the Jews first speaking of Resurrection, Satan, Angels, and the Last Judgment ONLY after learning of them from the higher cultures into which they had been transplanted, no? How about “put up or shut up?” What scholar avers that “Zoroaster was PROBABLY Daniel/ ”
                      No WONDER the author of such pseudo-learning takes a pseudonym!!!. Some ostensible monks of a certain formation are full of hypotheses, no doubt these arrive, fully formed (or are whispered into the ear by winged angels), after long practice of prayer.
                      What’s next? More public hand-wringing and outcry over the temerity of “ordinary”people carrying and using prayer-beads, or “Chotki?” Now, there’s real spiritual leadership for you! Chotki are only for the “initiates”, that is, men and women who have more worthy aspirations and accomplishments and entitlements than non-monastics? A jerk is a jerk is a jerk. (May G. Stein forgive me!)

                • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                  Basil, you wrote this:”These problems, I grant, may not be as obvious to you in the US where you do not necessarily have large urban concentrations of Muslims outside of Dearborn MI…is that the case?”
                  Basil, are not “your” Muslims, unlike ours,mostly veterans of old British Empire and ‘the Raj”,namely, Pakistanis?
                  I believe that few American Muslims who began immigrating in the 19th century or before, are not veterans of ‘the Raj’ at all. WE, not you, received masses of Non-Islamic Arabs, etc, over the past century and more, and they, like Islamic Arabs, settled all over the country in sizable communities, as many people posting here on Monomakhos KNOW. I come from Detroit and grew up with many relatives in Dearborn, a prosperous section of Westside Detroit. The only mosque anyone knew of in Detroit was the Albanian mosque there. However, several Arabic Christian communities exist in the area for quite some time. I went to school (Wayne State University) at the same time as ever-memorable Metropolitan Philip.
                  I have come to know many Arabic Christians over the years–Palestinian, and Lebano-Syrian mostly, but not entirely. Our government is seriously remiss in not consulting our Arab-American Christians about Islam. THEIR knowledge, unlike ours, is based on EXPERIENCE and not on child-scaring fairy tales that were once so popular.
                  They know that Allah means GOD in Arabic and that it is not God’s name at all. Some of us know that too, but we’d rather slash our throats than say it out loud.
                  A future Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson will have it easy composing a wonderful book of fairy tales about Islamic giants, ogres, witches, and bogymen!

                  • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

                    Our government is seriously remiss in not consulting our Arab-American Christians about Islam. THEIR knowledge, unlike ours, is based on EXPERIENCE and not on child-scaring fairy tales that were once so popular.

                    Speaking of those Arab Christians with experience of Islam:

                    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/04/27/palestinian-christian-woman-who-believes-god-gave-israel-to-the-jews-says-she-had-to-flee-bethlehem-after-death-threats/

                    • Almost all Arab Christians oppose Zionism. George Habash, leader of the Arab Nationalist Movement back in the 1960s, was Orthodox.

                      As for the link you posted, if you had done some further research you might find the following:

                      http://www.timesofisrael.com/christian-bethlehem-family-pans-daughters-pro-israel-video/

                      “Her family noted that in 2012, she took part in a controversial CBS report that strongly condemned Israel for being responsible for the decline in the Christian community in Israel.

                      http://www.maannews.net/Eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=693225

                      “BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Bethlehem father whose daughter recently released a pro-Israel video has condemned the move, saying that the family “rejects and distances” themselves from the content in a statement made to Bethlehem’s Radio Mawwal.

                      The Anastas family also denied claims that their daughter had been forced to flee, saying that they feared she had been the victim of “entrapment” and was under “pressure” from sponsors who had promised to pay her enrollment fees and housing costs for university in the United Kingdom.”

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      I think of George Habash as more of a Marxist-Leninist than Orthodox, but perhaps he returned to the faith late in life.

                    • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

                      Bethlehem father whose daughter recently released a pro-Israel video has condemned the move, saying that the family “rejects and distances” themselves from the content in a statement made to Bethlehem’s Radio Mawwal.

                      Translated: Please don’t murder us, o peaceful Muslims. We pay jizya, we are good little Dwimmi.

                    • Isa Almisry says

                      “Translated: Please don’t murder us, o peaceful Muslims. We pay jizya, we are good little Dwimmi.”
                      They shot Quisling after the war, didn’t they?

                    • I’m replying here to Ladder’s “Translated: Please don’t murder us, o peaceful Muslims. We pay jizya, we are good little Dwimmi.”

                      Non-argument – no matter what evidence is presented, you twist it to prove your pre-conceived notions. Next!

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    “Our government is seriously remiss.”

                    That should be your statement about nearly everything “our” government does. Of course it has not really been “our” government for a very long time and is now very little more than an oligarchy which is becoming increasingly fascist in nature. (And I am NOT talking about Hitler). Business-state partnership if you are squeamish about the word fascist. It has been heading this way since the Civil War.

                    For not a few of “our” elected office purchasing representatives, Arab=Muslim. “Our” elected office purchasing representatives have zero idea of anything, most of them seem to be dumber than posts when you actually get to question them about specifics. Seldom allowed.

                    BTW: The overwhelming testimony of the Arab Christians I have known is: don’t trust Muslims as they will turn on you and bite you eventually. Even the Palestinian Christians whom Israel has forced into the arms of the Muslim terrorists are uneasy about the alliance.

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says

                    Apparently the Malaysian Muslim authorities don’t know it, either, outlawing the use of Allah by Christians. Why is that?

                    I’ve known several Muslims professionally, almost all of them medical doctors from Pakistan and India. Very fine professional people, who talk of religion seldom, but moderately.

                    We have a close family friend who is Iranian and Shi’a. He’s pretty secular though.

                    I know very well a Turkish woman who was a legal secretary in our office for many years. She was a practicing Muslim. Her son was in the US Army in Iraq, and suffered grievous wounds. A set of circmustances led her to become very outspoken as a moderate Muslim against “jihadists’ and extreme Islam. She received many death threats for this.

                    That’t about the extent of my personal experience.

              • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                Right, Matt. The Burqa is mostly seen in Afghanistan. Afghan men are all NRA types, but we don’t say all militant jihadists are, no matter how passionate they get about powerful gun barrels.

                • Tim R. Mortiss says

                  “Afghan men are all NRA types….”

                  Is this based on some special episcopal discernment? Do they all hunt ducks from blinds in ponds in the Fall? (That’s in the Fall, not since the Fall…..)

                  • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                    Timor Mortis! I just meant to dramatically highlight the well-known love of Afghan men for their guns. I’ve only known a couple personally, and they,too, were proud of their love of guns. I think it may have something to do with long powerful gun barrels. Admittedly, this is a stereotype, like that of Irishmen hating the English, Frenchmen being mad about wine and Germans mad about beer, and Texans mad about illiteracy.
                    And no, I don’t attribute my statement to any of my own episcopal discernment at all. I don’t know if Afghan men aim and shoot at anything but other human beings, and they’d never be so sneaky as to shoot TOTALLY defenseless birds from blinds FOR SPORT! That would be more what Isa would call, ‘Republocrap,’ I think.

                    • Isa Almisry says

                      “Texans mad about illiteracy.”
                      The ignorance of the circles you frequent is showing, Your Grace.

                      “That would be more what Isa would call, ‘Republocrap,’ I think.”
                      You project.

                • Isa Almisry says

                  “Afghan men are all NRA types”
                  No, more like the Democrap hard core left-they want to have their guns and deny you yours.
                  They also want to run your life for you, something they also share in common with the DNC.

                  • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                    heh heh. Calm down. I’m definitely Democrap hard core left. I don’t have or want a gun, although I am a lifetime member of the NRA, and strongly wanted to buy a gun when G.W. Bush was elected and throughout the time of his administration, to be prepared for late-night knocks on the front door. But I resisted, not wanting to shoot anyone even in self-defense. However in my miltary service I did not resist bearing arms for my government—why I was qualified a couple times (Army and Air Force) as an “Expert Marksman!”
                    I don’t know any Democrap hard core left who want to run my life for me.
                    Having said that I should be fair and admit that it is not ONLY Afghan men who are stimulated by gun barrels (the more potent the better), but many others, and, more naturally, some women!

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      You may say the duck is defenseless, but he is wily and swift!

                      It never occurred to me that there should be a fair fight between duck and me! When Peter cast his net over the side, that wasn’t a fair fight either…..

                      But over the decades, I hunted ducks and geese with a lot more democrats than republicans. When did politics enter into it? Lately, I suppose, when it entered into everything.

                    • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

                      “I don’t know any Democrap hard core left who want to run my life for me.”

                      I guess it is all in how you define “run my life for me.”

                      Why U.S. Cities Have Been Making it Harder to Feed the Homeless:

                      http://www.theatlanticcities.com/housing/2013/11/why-us-cities-have-been-making-it-harder-feed-homeless/7712/

                      As a result, two Democratic city councilmen have introduced an ordinance that would ban the public feeding of the homeless in Los Angeles, in a bid to push such efforts indoors.

                      What’s most surprising about the story, though, is that Los Angeles is hardly an outlier. In the last few years, cities across the U.S. have been adopting new laws limiting what and how charitable groups can feed the homeless (New York City’s take has been typically Bloombergian: Last year, the city outlawed food donations to shelters out of concern for its fat and salt content).

                      Democrats, EPA crack down on wood-burning at home:

                      http://www.bizpacreview.com/2013/11/17/democrats-epa-crack-down-on-wood-burning-at-home-87325

                      Democrats: Let’s Ban Profits!:

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07fTsF5BiSM

                      Bill de Blasio vows to make Mayor Bloomberg’s big soda ban a reality:

                      http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/de-blasio-bloomberg-soda-article-1.1490333

                      Assembly Democrat wants grocery store ban on plastic bags:

                      http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2013/01/assembly-democrat-wants-grocery-ban-on-plastic-bags.html

                      Arguments on toilet bill swirl around House floor:

                      http://blogs.denverpost.com/thespot/2014/04/03/arguments-toilet-bill-swirls-around-house-floor/107738/

                      “Tell government to stay out of my bathroom!” Rep. Libby Szabo, R-Arvada, averred at one point of the discussion, which lasted close to three hours.

                      Co-sponsored in the House by Rep. Randy Fischer, D-Fort Collins, Democrats say the bill, which would prohibit the sale of low-efficiency fixtures in the state, will result in increased water conservation. Republicans, argued to the contrary, saying the bill was an attempt by Denver Water to dictate state policy. Over the course of the debate, House Republican introduced 19 amendments to the bill, all of which were voted down.

                      The bill was passed with a 19-16 vote in the Senate; on Thursday, the House passed it without amendments, however, the process it took to get to that point left some members reeling from the stench.

                      “People will shake their heads and say, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,’” said Rep. Ray Scott, R-Grand Junction. “They’ll say, ‘I need a job — why are you telling me about my toilets?’ We’ve spent (three) hours discussing low-flow toilets. I’m embarrassed and the people of Colorado deserve better.”

                      Students Fed Up With Michelle Obama’s School Lunch Overhaul — Menu-Item Snapshots Spell Out Why:

                      http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/04/05/students-fed-up-with-michelle-obamas-school-lunch-overhaul-menu-item-snapshots-spell-out-why/

                      1M kids stop school lunch due to Michelle Obama’s standards:

                      http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/mar/6/1m-kids-stop-school-lunch-due-michelle-obamas-stan/?page=all

                      The National School Lunch Program saw a sharp decline in participation once the healthy standards went into effect during the 2012-2013 school year. A total of 1,086,000 students stopped buying school lunch, after participation had increased steadily for nearly a decade.

                      The report found that 321 districts left the National School Lunch Program altogether, many of which cited the new standards as a factor.

                      The decline was “influenced by changes made to comply with the new lunch content and nutrition standards,” state and local officials said.

                      Though the USDA has claimed the standards were “proving popular,” the GAO report cited numerous cases where kids are unhappy with their new menus.

                      The standards forced some schools to stop serving peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and led middle school and high school students to opt for vending machines or buying food off campus to avoid the lunch line.

                    • Isa Almisry says

                      “I don’t know any Democrap hard core left who want to run my life for me.”
                      Of course not, Your Grace. The fish never knows it is wet.

                      As for the phallic possibilities of gun barrels, I have to defer to your expertise in the matter.

                    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                      Here is what “Ladder of Divine Ascent” reveals, shockingly, as an example of Democrap hardcore left who want to run my life for me:
                      Assembly Democrat wants grocery store ban on plastic bags:

                      So…all laws are attempts to run my life for me? OK, that would include the Ten Commandments.

                      I’m GLAD that plastic supermarket bags are illegal where I shop. I’m glad we have a Congress to legislate as well, even if legislation causes Ladder of Divine Ascent to go all to pieces.

                    • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

                      Here is what “Ladder of Divine Ascent” reveals, shockingly, as an example of Democrap hardcore left who want to run my life for me:
                      Assembly Democrat wants grocery store ban on plastic bags:

                      So…all laws are attempts to run my life for me? OK, that would include the Ten Commandments.

                      I’m GLAD that plastic supermarket bags are illegal where I shop. I’m glad we have a Congress to legislate as well, even if legislation causes Ladder of Divine Ascent to go all to pieces.

                      Your grace, your attempting to isolate the Democrats trying to ban plastic bags, from the Democrat party being, in general, in everyone’s life. So you completely passed over that Democrats are banning feeding the homeless in cities across the country, sometimes under pretexts that us evil conservative Christians are giving them food high in salt and fat, because they also trying to control how much everyone eats, because they believe everyone belongs to the government, you must enroll in ObamaCare, and eat/drink/live/think as they demand, to maximize the profitability of their return on investment in their property (you, me, everyone).

                      But, please, go on telling me how stupid I am, how stupid the readership of this blog in general is, blah, blah, blah.

                  • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                    When Isa Almisry characterized the Democrap hard core left (like, e.g., me) he expressed that this way: “They also want to run your life for you, ”

                    This sounds SO “pro-choice,” no?

                    Could it be that everyone wants to control others’ lives, and it’s the “other guy” who mustn’t be allowed to do so?

                    • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

                      When Isa Almisry characterized the Democrap hard core left (like, e.g., me) he expressed that this way: “They also want to run your life for you, ”

                      This sounds SO “pro-choice,” no?

                      Could it be that everyone wants to control others’ lives, and it’s the “other guy” who mustn’t be allowed to do so?

                      Saying your aren’t free to murder your own children in the womb without facing murder charges if we catch you, is no different than the same applied to murdering them years after they are born. In fact, Christians have never even considered one free to murder themselves, much less others, much less babies who haven’t committed any personal sins yet, much less their own babies. If a person tries to commit suicide and fails, we punish them, to try and send the message that their life has value and they sin in committing suicide. They can certainly sneak off and murder themselves anyway, but we have to make the attempt when we encounter the situation. Same with baby murder, we can’t really stamp it out (but that applies to all crimes), but no society should fund it and make it safe(r) and legal.

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE2GCa-_nyU

                    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                      Some people may opine, “They also want to run your life for you,” whenever the Bible, the Qor’an, or the Ten Commandments are cited, as well as the laws of our country!

              • Pere LaChaise says

                In other words, Moslem immigrants to the US resemble the Christians, socio-economically, from the countries they are leaving (to the Salafists and Wahhabis). The US doesn’t encourage poor workers, likely to have the most problems. I suppose US capitalists have a handier group in Central American peasants, to drive down native wages by flooding the job market. We should always ask, ‘qui bono?’ when discussing immigration. Middle-class benefit from it, but working class don’t. But the big winners of the ongoing class war are always the players holding the most chips.

                • Tim R. Mortiss says

                  As I think I’ve said here before, I am the son and grandson of immigrants. My wife, both of whose maternal grandparents were born in Croatia, says that it doesn’t count….just because my dad and granddad were Canadians!

                  So I sympathize with immigrants, especially since the church I just joined still uses the language of the immigrants that founded it nearly a century ago, about 30% of the time……

                  But inasmuch as the last indisputably Orthodox English king was Edward the Martyr, I got to keep my name!

                  • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                    (St.) Edward the “Confessor”, or Martyr,did not confess the filioque? Why not? I realize that he lived before the date of the official split, but did not realize that the ‘official split” marked the point where the West became heretical. “Oh, YOUR Saint came BEFORE the split, caused by centuries of heresy in the West, so he’s OK.”

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      Sheesh, Your Grace, I was told by the Church that Edward the Martyr was Orthodox (he was not Edward the Confessor, but rather the elder half-brother of Aethelred the Unready, a couple of generations before the Confessor).

                      He was the one suggested to me by my own priest. He has a recognized feast-day among the Orthodox, March 18.

                      Here is the Orthodox Wiki article.
                      http://orthodoxwiki.org/Edward_the_Martyr

                      Perhaps you should take a glass of wine for your stomach.

                    • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

                      Edward the “Confessor”, or Martyr,did not confess the filioque? Why not? I realize that he lived before the date of the official split, but did not realize that the ‘official split” marked the point where the West became heretical. “Oh, YOUR Saint came BEFORE the split, caused by centuries of heresy in the West, so he’s OK.”

                      I think the burden is on doubters to prove the saint held to it, and in a heretical sense. And, if they could prove it, then they would still have to demonstrate why an unusual level of scrutiny should be applied to this particular saint. We have plently of saints who held to errant beliefs, or at least used language that fell out of favor because of possible heretical interpretation, that later caused schism and were ruled heretical by Ecumenical Councils. Died in communion with the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and God is still working miracles through his relics for Orthodox even today = good enough for me to call him “Blessed.”

                      http://www.orthodox.net/western-saints/edward.html

                      One ROCA hierarch, Archbishop Mark of Germany, questioned whether St. Edward was a true saint because, as he claimed, the heresy of the Filioque was entrenched in England at the time. However, a Synodical decision declared in favor of St. Edward, and the doubting hierarch “agreed with the former decision after having been acquainted with the historical information compiled by His Grace, Bishop Gregory, who cited a list of names of Western saints of the same period who have long been included in our list of saints (among whom are St. Ludmilla, St. Wenceslaus of Czechia, and others).”

                      The present writer has argued that it is far from clear whether the Filioque was in general use in England at the time of St. Edward (late tenth century), and that in any case no less rigorous a theologian than St. Maximus the Confessor had declared, when the Roman Church first adopted the Filioque, that she did not in fact understand it in a heretical sense at that time. Thus the possibility exists of a heresy being accepted at an early stage out of ignorance, while those who hold it remain Orthodox.

                    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                      It’s thought-provoking how some hierarchs (and even groups of them) lean over so far backwards to OPINE that this or that beloved historical figure MUST HAVE BEEN ORTHODOX, when there is no such benefit of the doubt afforded living human beings, contemporaries, and if one even suggests affording such a benefit one is labeled a flaming ecumenist! How would we react if some group of Shriners asserted that they have accepted the Holstein-Gottorp-Romanovs as Freemasons in good standing, based on such “probabilities?”

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      I will subscribe to the John Harrington approach: “Treason doth never prosper, what’s the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it treason.”

                      Therefore, if there are attested miracles associated with the body of the saint, none dare call him heterodox, because surely a heterodox “saint” would be a false one, right? There are plenty of attested miracles for St. Edward the Martyr.

                      You might say it’s self-proving. Like someone here just recently posited: you know a convert’s baptism in his old church was Trinitarian, because if it hadn’t been, then he surely would have sickened and died on the spot on taking communion; that, or the priest would automatically have had the miraculous discernment so as to forbid his approach to the chalice!

                      This I find a useful and practical mode of reasoning!

  3. Bundy had no legal ground to stand on, anymore than anyone else who doesn’t pay taxes and fees required by law for two decades. The argument should be in favor of changing the laws, not in favor of the Mumia Abu-Jamal style of armed resistance to law enforcement officers.

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/04/why-you-should-be-sympathetic-toward-cliven-bundy.php

    “First, it must be admitted that legally, Bundy doesn’t have a leg to stand on. The Bureau of Land Management has been charging him grazing fees since the early 1990s, which he has refused to pay. Further, BLM has issued orders limiting the area on which Bundy’s cows can graze and the number that can graze, and Bundy has ignored those directives. As a result, BLM has sued Bundy twice in federal court, and won both cases. In the second, more recent action, Bundy’s defense is that the federal government doesn’t own the land in question and therefore has no authority to regulate grazing. That simply isn’t right; the land, like most of Nevada, is federally owned. Bundy is representing himself, of necessity: no lawyer could make that argument.”

    • Perhaps he has no legal legs to stand on, but that doesn’t mean he’s doing the wrong thing. This is hardly the first example in American history of citizens running law enforcement out of town for trying to enforce stupid laws.

      I see this as akin to jury nullification. Citizens can overturn laws by forcing the system to disregard them.

      “Work within the system to change the law.” I used to buy into that idea, but it simply doesn’t work. The progressives simply do what they want and ignore the foundational theories and assumptions of our system, thereby getting what they want. I say fight fire with fire. The time for discussing theory is over. We need people to boldly do the right thing at any cost. I’m glad this episode shows there are still people willing to do that.

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        Charging grazing fees for use of public land is enforcing “stupid laws”?

        • George Michalopulos says

          Grazing fees are necessary but in this case excessive. And anyway, why can’t the State of Nevada charge and enforce these fees? Why the Feds?

          And before you answer, because of the Desert Tortoise, know this: the BLM killed way more Desert Tortoises than the one accidentally killed by Bundy. And they did it on purpose, to cull the herd (so to speak).

          • Tim R. Mortiss says

            The State of Nevada doesn’t own the land. This would seem elementary.

            State owned wilderness lands equals sales to developers or other such deals. Federal owned wilderness land equals preservation.

            But in any event, the State does not own the land. How would Nevada charge for it? It isn’t a matter of waving some magic wand.

            • George Michalopulos says

              You’re correct as far as it goes, but my question is why should the Federal government own land in Nevada (or any state)? That’s a debatable point.

              However what is not debatable is the insinuation that the Feds have to own land within states because the states will not be as zealous in protecting their natural resources. I find that notion to be without merit. If anything, a state would have more desire to better exploit its resources (in both the negative and positive sense).

              States make money off of hunting and fishing licences. They employ rangers to prevent poaching, etc. What make us think that they couldn’t offer a better deal to ranchers, who can become wealthy and thus benefit the state (to say nothing about feeding the urban populace)?

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                Well, the Federal gov’t owns so much land in the West because it owned it before the States in question were formed. It took ownership by statute and by conquest. States can’t take anything by conquest.

                There’s no reason obvious to me why they should give it to those states (they did grant lots of it, in fact).

                I spend a lot of my time hiking, skiing, and backpacking in Federal forest and wilderness lands, with my children and grandchildren. I hope they do in turn with their grandchildren to the uttermost generation.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Tim, what you write is true, but the ownership of territories prior to the establishment of states was a contingent state, once a State is established, then DC cedes sovereignty to the State.

                  That’s one of the genius things about the Constitution, that it came up with a way to create polities and not colonies.

                  (Of course, the Kingdom of Hawaii might disagree but the takeover of the kingdom kind of proves the point.”

                  • Isa Almisry says

                    “(Of course, the Kingdom of Hawaii might disagree but the takeover of the kingdom kind of proves the point.””
                    Proves what point?

                    Btw, Texas isn’t beholding to the feds in this.

                    As for the equality of states, that is just by the law: the Constitution doesn’t mandate it.

                    • jacksson says

                      Does the Federal Government own land in Texas? Seems to me that California should be under the same rules as Texas.

                      California was independent for about one month after the Mexican American War. The most notable legacy of the “California Republic” was the adoption of its flag as the basis of the modern state Flag of California. The flag has a star, a grizzly bear, and a colored stripe with the words “California Republic”. The Sonoma Plaza, site of the raising of the original Bear Flag, is marked by a California Historical Landmark.

                      Fremont arrived and took over in the name of the American government on June 23, 1846. California was a short-lived republic. This is a case, again, of the federal government taking over land that was not theirs much like most of the West.

                    • Isa Almisry says

                      “Does the Federal Government own land in Texas? Seems to me that California should be under the same rules as Texas”
                      No, because the US recognized Texas, whereas it never recognized the Bear Republic.

                      Same reason why Russia would not have claims on SF: the US (unlike the Spanish) had a treaty with Russia which confined Russian claims up North.

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says

                    All true, I agree George, but it has never followed that the US gives up all its lands, and it certainly never has done so.

                    There is a nation here, as well as states!

            • Michael Bauman says

              The federal legal system has become as capricious and Kafkaesque. The notion of equal protection under the law while always squishy has been all but abandoned. The law has become note a tool for destroying virtue than supporting it.

              There will be a rise in these types of events as more and more people loose faith in legal system. The States will have to step in if there is to be any order. People will die. The Feds have the fire power and they are training the grunts to use it against citizens by slapping the domestic terrorism label on anybody they don’t like.

        • Non-payment of lawful grazing fees, regardless of what government is charging them, makes Cliven Bundy simply another freeloader living off the public trough. How is he any different from a welfare cheat or SSDI fraudster?

          • George Michalopulos says

            A very good point. I wonder, would you have asked this of those Boston Yankees who dressed up as Indians in 1763 and dumped all that tea in Boston Harbor?

            All sarcasm aside, the problem posed by Mr Bundy is two fold and has to do with the legitimacy of the fees themselves: (1) they’ve gone up prohibitively, and (2) why should the federal government be the creditor?

            • Tim R. Mortiss says

              To keep beating the ailing horse, it’s because the federal government owns the land. Should the federal government turn over its lands to the states? That’s a lot of lands, indeed. Why should it do that?

              It won’t of course, nor should it.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Because there is no need for the Feds to own so many swaths of land in the first place. The principle of Subsidiarity mandates that all government should be as local as needed and only diminish as the limitations of each fraction of government demands.

                Some land should be set aside for Federal use because only the Federal government is qualified and competent to do things that the several States cannot such as provide for the common defense. There may be a few other things in the realm of energy production that is beyond the competence of individual States. Etc.

            • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

              CHRIST is risen! Indeed, HE’s risen!
              “And unto us HE hath granted eternal life.Let us adore HIS third-day Resurrection!

            • Isa Almisry says

              Christ is risen!

              IIRC, Bundy offered to pay the fees to the county/state government, but the Feds forbade that.

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                I’m just a simple man. If my tenant wants to pay my rent to somebody else, I wouldn’t agree to it either.

                Nor does he get to put it into escrow until “the principle of Subsidiarity” comes to pass; i.e., at the end of the age……

                I can’t say I’ve followed this man’s rants, so I don’t know…..has he put the money into a blocked account over the years to make sure it is paid to the right entity?

    • Statement from fellow rancher says

      A statement from Kena Lytle Gloeckner- a fellow rancher from Nevada.

      There have been a lot of people criticizing Clive Bundy because he did not pay his grazing fees for 20 years. The public is also probably wondering why so many other cowboys are supporting Mr. Bundy even though they paid their fees and Clive did not.

      What you people probably do not realize is that on every rancher’s grazing permit it says the following:

      “You are authorized to make grazing use of the lands, under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management and covered by this grazing permit, upon your acceptance of the terms and conditions of this grazing permit and payment of grazing fees when due.”

      The “mandatory” terms and conditions go on to list the allotment, the number and kind of livestock to be grazed, when the permit begins and ends, the number of active or suspended AUMs (animal units per month), etc. The terms and conditions also list specific requirements such as where salt or mineral supplements can be located, maximum allowable use of forage levels (40% of annual growth), etc., and include a lot more stringent policies that must be adhered to. Every rancher must sign this “contract” agreeing to abide by the TERMS AND CONDITIONS before he or she can make payment.

      In the early 90s, the BLM went on a frenzy and drastically cut almost every rancher’s permit because of this desert tortoise issue, even though all of us ranchers knew that cow and desert tortoise had co-existed for a hundred+ years. As an example, a family friend had his permit cut by 90%.

      For those of you who are non ranchers, that would be equated to getting your paycheck cut 90%. In 1976 there were approximately 52 ranching permittees in this area of Nevada. Presently, there are 3. Most of these people lost their livelihoods because of the actions of the BLM. Clive Bundy was one of these people who received extremely unfair and unreasonable TERMS AND CONDITIONS.

      Keep in mind that Mr. Bundy was required to sign this contract before he was allowed to pay. Had Clive signed on the dotted line, he would have, in essence, signed his very livelihood away. And so Mr. Bundy took a stand, not only for himself, but for all of us. He refused to be destroyed by a tyrannical federal entity and to have his American liberties and freedoms taken away.

      Also keep in mind that all ranchers financially paid dearly for the forage rights those permits allow – – not rights to the land, but rights to use the forage that grows on that land.

      Many of these AUMS are water based, meaning that the rancher also has a vested right (state owned, not federal) to the waters that adjoin the lands and allow the livestock to drink. These water rights were also purchased at a great price. If a rancher cannot show beneficial use of the water (he must have the appropriate number of livestock that drinks and uses that water), then he loses that water right. Usually water rights and forage rights go hand in hand.

      Contrary to what the BLM is telling you, they NEVER compensate a rancher for the AUMs they take away. Most times, they tell ranchers that their AUMS are “suspended,” but not removed. Unfortunately, my family has thousands of “suspended” AUMs that will probably never be returned. And so, even though these ranchers throughout the course of a hundred years invested thousands(and perhaps millions) of dollars and sacrificed along the way to obtain these rights through purchase from others, at a whim the government can take everything away with the stroke of a pen. This is the very thing that Clive Bundy single-handedly took a stand against.

      Thank you, Clive, from a rancher who considers you a hero.

  4. Gail Sheppard says

    OK, I saw the word “ranch” and “Nevada,” and the question, “Can anybody help me out here?” My immediate response was, “No, absolutely not!” I need to be better at skimming or, George, you need to refresh your opening remarks. 😉

    Have a blessed Pascha and a wonderful Easter, my friends.

  5. Michael Kinsey says

    Chri t i Ri en.

  6. cynthia curran says

    This is true, who benefits but in places like Anaheim or La most white folks will not be maids since the places are expensive while Latin immigrants will take the maids jobs since they can share an apartment with another fmaily.