You Didn’t Build That!

These four words will someday be enshrined in the Smithsonian Institutions’ Wing of Campaign Stupidity (right by the diorama of Field-Marshall Michael Dukakis riding in the tank). It encapsulates in one phrase the Progressive, “It Takes a Village” stupidity that justifies the creeping peonage imposed on us by our evil, anti-libertarian overlords. It is nothing less than a sentiment that drive free-born men to sputtering rage. So while we descend into a Third World, feminazi Oprahfication, let us as least laugh at their expense.

As always, Iowahawk is up to the task.

Source: Iowahawk

Readings from the Book of Barack

1 In the beginning Govt created the heavens and the earth. Now the economy was formless and void, darkness was over the surface of the ATMs, and the Spirit of Govt was hovering over the land.

And Govt said, “Let there be spending,” and there was spending. Govt saw that the spending was good, and that it separated the light from the darkness. Govt called the spending Investments, and this he did in the first day.

Then Govt said, “Let there be roads and bridges across the waters, and let dams divide the waters from the waters.” Thus Govt made the infrastructure and the patronage jobs for eternity under the firmament from the Potomac which was above the firmament; and it was so. And Govt called the firmament Washington. This Govt did on the second day.

Then Govt said, “Let the regulations and the guidlines under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the Bureaus appear”; and it was so. 10 And Govt called the Bureaus demigovts, and the gathering together of them He called AFSCME. And Govt saw that it was good.

11 Then Govt said, “Let there be police, and firefighters, and teachers according to their kind, for they will create more jobs”; and it was so. 12 And then Govt bade the void bring forth crime, and arson, and stupidity, that each would yield seed to bring forth more police, and firefighters, and teachers, and jobs. And Govt saw that it was good. 13 So the evening and the morning were the third day.

14 On the fourth day Govt said, “Let Us make the economy in Our image, according to Our likeness; let it have dominion over the cars of the road, over the appliances of the supercenters, and over the pet groomers of the strip malls, over all the clickthroughs of Amazon and over every creepy thing of the Dollar Stores.” 15 So Govt created the economy in His own image; services and wholesale and retail He created them. 16 Then Govt blessed them, and Govt said to them, “Be fruitful and use the multiplier effect; fill the land with jobs; thou have dominion over thy realm, within limits, as long and thou remember to get thy permits and tithe thy taxes, for they are good. Hope to see you at the fundraiser.”

17 And on the fifth day Govt made an official Govt holiday, and headed off for a 3-day golf weekend at Camp David. But first Govt said to the economy, “you are free to eat from any tree in the garden, except the tree of Knowledge. There is a serpent in that thing, and thy health care does not cover it.”

18 So when Govt was on vay-cay the economy set about the garden, plowing its fields and generating revenue for the glory of Govt. They obeyed the regulations and were not ashamed.

19 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the balanced, publicly-funded birds the Lord Govt had made to sing news to the economy. The serpent was on the AM band. He said to the retail sector, “Did Govt really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’? ”

20 “Only yours, serpent,” said the retail sector.

21 “Don’t be a wuss,” the serpent said to the retail sector. 22 “For Govt knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will wise to Govt’s scam.”

23 When she saw that the fruit was pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, and also free to download, she took some and ate it. She emailed a copy to her wholesaler, and he ate it; and then the wholesaler to the manufacturer, and he to the servicer. 24 Then the eyes of all of them were opened, and they realized they were being taxed naked; so they outsourced fig leaves to make coverings for themselves. 

25 Then the economy heard the sound of the Lord Govt returning from vay-cay with the demigovts Osha and Tarp and Irs. It was the cool of the day, and they were hiding their profits from the Lord Govt among the trees of the garden. 26 But the Lord Govt called to the manufacturer, “Where are you?”

26 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid, so I sought a tax shelter.”

27 And Govt said, “Who told you that your profits were yours? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from? ”

28 The man said, “The retailer made me —she has a thing for serpents.”

29 Then the Lord Govt said to the retailer, “What is this you have done?”

30 And she said to the Lord Govt, “Don’t take that tone with me, fat boy. And why should I give you my profits?”

31 The Lord Govt was in wrath, and said, “For I am the Lord Govt, creator of Eden! 32 I gave unto you the roads and bridges, and schools and cops, brought unto you of gentle showers of Tarp and Stimulus and rivers of Subsidy, I am the purifier of the waters, cleanser of the air, without which you and your profits would not exist. Thus all that thou have created is created by Us. Thus ye shall render unto Govt what is Govt’s, and this is the Word of your Lord.”

33 At these words, Solydra and Gm and Seiu and all the Cronyans and Laborites dropped to their knees in trembling fear and supplicated themselves before the Lord, presenting Him golden gifts of contributions.

34 Then the retailer said to Govt, “And who created you?”

35 In righteous anger did the Lord Govt again rise up and said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Tri-Delts and the Dekes, I am and have always been! I am the great cosmic turtle on which you and the entire economy rest.”

36 “And on whom do you rest, turtle?” said the retailer in blasheme.

37 “Do not mock me with your knowledge trickery, harlot!” said the Lord Govt. “I am turtles all the way down.”

38 So the Lord Govt said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,

“Cursed are you above all livestock
and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
39 And I will keep you from tenure
and grants and the airwaves,
and condemn you to the bowels of internet."

40 Then the Lord Govt turned the retailer and the manufacturer and the wholesaler and all the servicers, and said,

“I will make your taxes and regulations very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to profit.
You shall be afflicted with plagues of audits,
    the coming of Osha, and the trials of Irs.
By the sweat of thy brow you will earn thy living
    until you return it to Me.
You will suffer the droughts of subsidy and stimulus,
    and will thirst forever. You're welcome." 

41 And so the Lord Govt banished the economy from paradise, and bade them go outsource to the Far East of Eden. And as the chastened economy slouched out of of Babylon He said unto them,

40 “How do you like them apples?”

About GShep

Comments

  1. Haralambos says

    I agree with the message’s content, however, I feel that scripture should not be mocked to prove a political point of view. I find it a bit off-color.

    The sinful servant of God,
    Haralambos

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      ” I feel that scripture should not be mocked to prove a political point of view.”

      Certainly this is true.

      It is less obvious to me that Holy Scripture is being mocked here.

      • Haralambos says

        Believe what you may. I’m sure the author was not intentionally mocking scripture. However, Scripture is still sacred and should be respected as such. The author was giving a political statement in the guise of pseudo-scripture. These are Holy things of the Church, just like the Mysteries, icons, etc. God bless.

    • This is for George”the blogger”…

      Dear George,

      I disagree but do not disrespect!

      Maybe from now on I should call myself IB “the feminazi “?
      Thank you for your hard work, George — you keep us busy!

    • From the opening ceremonies at the 2002 Winter Olympics by Romney:

      ” You know you did not get here solely on your own power. For most of you, loving parents, sisters or brothers, encoureged your hopes, coaches guided, communities built venues, in order to organize competition. All Olympians stand on the shoulders of those who lifted them”

  2. These comments are totally inappropriate for a religious blog. By writing these– there is not other way to say this–snide comments about our President, whether he be R or D, man or woman, black or white or brown–the person who publishes this post alienates more than half of the readers of this blog. He loses his audience and demeans himself. To both the poster and the author (Iowahawk?) a piece of advice–keep this blog on spiritual life, not political life. As Christians we cannot make these comments. Think a bit–what would Jesus say if he read this post? And, to both of you–when you drive to work tomorrow on the free road built by AFSME members federal and state, just whisper to yourself “I did not build this,” and be thankful. Enough said. P.S. AFSME is the union of federal, state and municipals employees–the road-builders, teachers, firemen, policeman, and the other folks who keep our children safe, educated and free. I am not an AFSME member, but I am glad to pay the taxes that keeps them working for all of us.

    • Seraphim98 says

      Not thrilled with the mock scripture. Not opposed to paying taxes to support public safety officers. Have no interest in paying any union. I do belong to a union and despise the fact that I must for tort protection in these litigious times….at least it is the least politically active and most socially conservative of the unions available in my profession in my state. Thankfully it’s a right to work state and the AFSME is no where around that I am aware of. From where I stand when I see big unions all I see is workplace extortion and economic thuggery in the name of power mongering to support causes that I don’t.

    • Thanks IB for injecting a smidgen of sanity as we approach an election season that will be marked with perfidy of great proportion, from partisans at both ends of the political spectrum.

      • Michael Bauman says

        If you are not a ‘partisan’ you are lukewarm and you know what Jesus did to those who are lukewarm.

        • Roboacolyte says

          He spit them out of His mouth.What did He do to people like you who are glib?Look up pedantic.I suggest you learn how to spell before you continue teaching us lowly bugs.

    • Kelly Black says

      Yes, it is so much better for Christians to stand by and even support a president who believes that there should be absolutely no limits on murder of the unborn. As you vote for and make excuses for those abortion lovin’ politicians like Pres. Obama, do you whisper to yourself, “Jesus would support the murder of the unwanted and unloved?”

      And BTW, there is no such thing as free roads. People pay for them via taxes.

      • Kelly, here’s what the National Catholic Reporter has to say about who is more pro-life, President Obama or Mitt Romney:
        ww.addictinginfo.org/2012/08/14/catholic-publication-deems-president-obama-more-pro-life-than-mitt-romney/

        • Chris Banescu says

          And is that what you believe Bishop Tikhon? You also think that Barack Obama is more pro-life than Mitt Romney?

          • Why, Chris? What’s got into you? I only demonstrated by citing a Roman Catholic organ of opinion (one among many, of all views) that shows that one cannot generalize about whether anyone’s political or social views are ‘anti-Catholic.” I don’t know, Chris (and neither do you) whether or not President Obama is more or less pro-life than Mitt Romney. What I do believe (and I don’t think any Chris Banescus can “catch” me for it ) is that one can not generalize about the Catholic voter.
            I started my message with “Kelly, here’s what the National Catholic Reporter has to say…” Did I say, “I agree with the National Catholic Reporter?” Did I say, “I disagree with the National Catholic Reporter?” No, Chris, I did not. I repeat, I have no idea whatsoever what either President Obama or Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney believes relative to life; I suspect that both of them could have had more children, but decided against bringing more lives into the world, maybe even using the forbidden-to-Catholics contraceptives!!!! But, then, neither one of them is Catholic. In the Lutheran Church I was raised in, both Christian Science and Mormonism were classified as “Anti-Christian Cults.” According to that standard, I’d have to rule out voting for Romney, no? How could an Orthodox Christian vote for an ANTI-Christian cultist? Gimme a bunch of thumbs-down! Thanks.

            • Chris Banescu says

              All these verbal gymnastics and still you avoid answering the question?

              Do you believe that Barack Obama is more pro-life than Mitt Romney? Yes or no.

              • o Hamartolos says

                That’s a funny question being that Obama is funding Al Quaida and Muslim Brotherhood and probably not a few via operatives that are right now killing innocent people in Syria. That sounds pretty anti-life to me. Mitt Romney, that loon, is chomping at the bit bomb the hell out of Iran, and in so doing, rain down bombs on the heads of innocent children, women, and non-combatants. Also, very anti-life. How long are we going to look the other way at the crimes committed by our leaders simply because here, in the good old u.s. of a. they wear a “pro-life” button, but abroad kill innocents? God cannot be mocked. If you’re pro-life, your pro-everybody’s life, not just American lives.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Hamartolos, while I decry the Neoconnery that chomps at the bit to engage in foreign adventures, I must take issue with the moral equivalence used by Liberals everywhere that war (or “kinetic military actions”) = abortion. While innocent people die in wars, they are not nearly as innocent as babies in their mothers’ wombs. Nor can they be.

                  The siren song of moral equivalence in all things always leads to the perpetuation of ongoing criminal activity.

                  • o Hamartolos says

                    Not all war is equal to abortion, only those military/economic/intelligence covert actions that directly result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, a big portion of which are children. The economic sanction in Iraq during the nineties, the bombing of Serbia, the lies that got sunk us into war with Iraq in 2003 and list can go on and on. Surveying to hundreds of military adventures during the past 60 years, Grenada is the only US invasion that did not directly kill innocents.

        • Master, Bless.

          As a former Catholic, I am unable to take anything from the National Catholic Reporter seriously. They are heretical and fanatically progressive. I would still be skeptical but give more credence to the article if it came from the National Catholic Register. And after looking at the site you linked, I probably need make an appointment with my confessor. I am unable to unsee what I have seen.

          • Why, Kelly! You write as if I had attributed dogmatic significance to something coming from the Catholic Reporter. No. I attributed some significance to the Catholic Reporter because I believe that it represents the views of a significant segment of American Roman Catholic opinion. Some politicians feel they are representing and defending the stance of “all good Catholics” or else are attacking the stance of all those Catholics” when they ask for votes (that’s ALL they care about, you know). I have no idea why you would be unable to take seriously the opinions, as “some Catholics’ opinions”, whether or NOT you are a former Catholic (and I’m not at all sure how that is even relevant, logically speaking). And, anyhow, relevant to the site I linked, one might very well visit a Barnes and Noble, or Macy’s, or Disneyland, and feel you need to make an appointment with your confessor. Go ahead and make the appointment and restore your visual recollections to their natural purity.

          • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

            Quoting the National Catholic Reporter is like citing the National Council of Churches. Very few take them seriously.

        • Patrick Henry Reardon says

          The National Catholic Reporter?

          Please.

        • Chris Banescu says

          Here’s a thorough and detailed record of Obama’s consistent PRO-ABORTION actions and policies from 2008 through 2012. The evidence is overwhelming and clear!

          President Barack Obama’s Pro-Abortion
          http://www.lifenews.com/2010/11/07/obamaabortionrecord/

          Obama is indeed the most militantly pro-abortion president and politician in recent memory. Anyone who can deny this fact is either: (a) dangerously deluded or (b) suffering from pathological hypocrisy.

          More information on Obama’s undisputed pro-abortion record since 1997: http://www.ontheissues.org/social/barack_obama_abortion.htm

          Voted against banning partial birth abortion
          Obama’s record in Illinois represents that of a pragmatic progressive, who pushed for moderate reforms and opposed right-wing legislation. In the IL legislature, voting “present” is the equivalent of voting “no” because a majority of “yes” votes are required for passage. Many IL legislators use the “present” vote as an evasion on an unpopular choice, so that they can avoid being targeted for voting “no.” During the 2004 Democratic primary, an opponent mocked Obama’s “present” vote on abortion bills with flyers portraying a rubber duck and the words, “He ducked!”.

          In 1997, Obama voted against SB 230, which would have turned doctors into felons by banning so-called partial-birth abortion, & against a 2000 bill banning state funding. Although these bills included an exception to save the life of the mother, they didn’t include anything about abortions necessary to protect the health of the mother. The legislation defined a fetus as a person, & could have criminalized virtually all abortion.
          Source: The Improbable Quest, by John K. Wilson, p.147-148 Oct 30, 2007

          Rated 100% by NARAL on pro-choice votes in 2005, 2006 & 2007
          Sen. Obama received the following scores on NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Congressional Record on Choice.
          2007: 100 percent
          2006: 100 percent
          2005: 100 percent

          Opposed legislation protecting born-alive failed abortions
          Obama has consistently refused to support legislation that would define an infant who survives a late-term induced-labor abortion as a human being with the right to live. He insists that no restriction must ever be placed on the right of a mother to decide to abort her child.

          On March 30, 2001, Obama was the only Illinois senator who rose to speak against a bill that would have protected babies who survived late term labor-induced abortion. Obama rose to object that if the bill passed, and a nine-month-old fetus survived a late-term labor-induced abortion was deemed to be a person who had a right to live, then the law would “forbid abortions to take place.” Obama further explained the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment does not allow somebody to kill a child, so if the law deemed a child who survived a late-term labor-induced abortion had a right to live, “then this would be an anti-abortion statute.”
          Source: Obama Nation, by Jerome Corsi, p.238 Aug 1, 2008

          1997: opposed bill preventing partial-birth abortion
          In 1997, Obama voted in the Illinois Senate against SB 230, a bill designed to prevent partial-birth abortions. In the US Senate, Obama has consistently voted to expand embryonic stem cell research. He has voted against requiring minors who get out-of-state abortions to notify their parents. The National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) gives Obama a 100% score on his pro-choice voting record in the Senate for 2005, 2006, and 2007.
          Source: Obama Nation, by Jerome Corsi, p.238-239 Aug 1, 2008

          Etc. etc…

          • But Chris, how can you know for sure? After all, “I don’t know, Chris (and neither do you) whether or not President Obama is more or less pro-life than Mitt Romney.”

            Oh my! It’s all so very confusing! How can we ever know?

            The good bishop has broadened my perspective on things. Kinda makes me want to rethink Abe Lincoln’s view on the abolition of slavery. He spoke about it. He acted on it, but did he really believe it? I just don’t know anymore; how could I?

            • Daniel E. Fall says

              Mitt Romney is an abortion profiteer.
              Obama is only supporting the law, not profiting by it..

              How can you conveniently gloss over that detail and even consider such a silly conversation?

              The abortion subject has a clear worse of two evils candidate and sorry…it ain’t Obama.

              Good thing you guys have blinder where you need them. I think it is time for Stericycle ads.

              • Chris Banescu says

                Daniel,

                You’re spreading lies and bearing false witness. The Stericycle red herring (dreamed up by the leftist radicals at Mother Jones) has been debunked!

                Hysteria and outrageous lies are the only strategies the left keeps deploying in the culture wars. How pathetic!

                Left-Wing Blogs Falsely Attack Romney on Abortion, Stericycle
                http://www.lifenews.com/2012/07/04/left-wing-blogs-falsely-attack-romney-on-abortion-stericycle/

                Bain contends “Romney left the firm in February 1999 to run the troubled 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and likely had nothing to with the deal” but Mother Jones claims to have found documents showing Romney was involved in the investment. Bain says Romney left well before the November 1999 deal while the pro-abortion blog contends “SEC documents undercut that defense, indicating that Romney still played a role in Bain investments until at least the end of 1999.”

                Bain explained further, “Mitt Romney retired from Bain Capital in February 1999. He has had no involvement in the management or investment activities of Bain Capital, or with any of its portfolio companies since that time.”

                Assuming Romney was involved with Bain through the end of 1999 and involved in the deal obviously doesn’t make him responsible for Stericycle’s business collected aborted babies from abortion clinics. Bain itself — after Romney left the company — divested from Stericycle well before it began its abortion-connected operations.

                As Mother Jones notes: “In 2001, the Bain-Madison Dearborn partnership that had invested in the company sold 40 percent of its holdings in Stericycle for about $88 million—marking a hefty profit on its original investment of $75 million. The Bain-related group sold the rest of its holdings by 2004. It was not until six years later that anti-abortion activists would target Stericycle for collecting medical waste at abortion clinics.”

                That Romney wasn’t involved in, approving of, familiar with, or even involved in the company at the time of the Stericycle-aborted bodies disposal business, is further proven by the documentation of the pro-life Stop Stericycle campaign. The campaign began in January 2011 — over a decade after Romney was no longer involved in Bain Capital.

                At minimum, even if Romney had been involved in Stericycle past 1999/2002, the date by which he clearly was no longer involved, pro-life efforts to raise awareness of its business with abortion facilities didn’t began until 18 months ago. Most pro-life Americans still are unaware of the connection but the information certainly didn’t filter down to the grassroots pro-life community until last year at the earliest. Moreover, though the first press release announcing the effort went out in Janaury 2011, the Stop Stericycle web site, which chronicles the press releases the campaign has sent since then, shows no significant activity in blowing the lid off of the company until the middle-latter part of last year.

                On its documentation page, the Stop Stericycle campaign lists documents showing contracts and other information linking the business with abortion clinics. The first document offered as proof comes from 2003 — anywhere from one to four years after Romney and left Bain Capital and coming at the time Bain itself had divested from Stericycle.

                Most of the documents cover the period between 2007-2009, making it appear Stericycle launched a concerted effort during those years to drum up business from abortion companies. Again, that time period is well after Romney was no longer involved in the company or Bain Capital, which had sold off its Stericycle holdings three-four years prior.

                While the pro-abortion, pro-Obama side of the political divide would love to sew seeds of doubt with pro-life voters and it attempted to secure another four years for the abortion president, pro-life voters can rest assured that their attempts are misleading and disingenuous.

                • Daniel E. Fall says

                  So, you are suggesting I’m spreading lies?

                  I cited my resource.

                  My resource suggests Stericycle had OSHA violations dating back to 1991 on mishandling of aborted fetal matter. By that fact alone, Stericycle had been in the abortion business at that time, long before Bain and Brookside were involved (Romney). The other bit of information you like to credit, as does the Romney camp is that he was only an investor after 1999. The dividends and income from Stericycle are not debunked because they have not been disclosed (how convenient). However, through SEC filings we know Romney signed and was basically the largest single bloc owner of Stericycle in 1999.

                  I appreciate your noting that the Obama campaign received money from Planned Parenthood. I was not aware of that fact. However, further thought is due.

                  It appears the only difference is Mitt pocketed the abortion profits and Obama used them to get elected.

                  If you can’t be honest with yourself Chris, please don’t try telling me I’m dishonest.

                  It appears my main point is still valid Chris and I’m sure that upsets you.

                  Both these guys have profited by abortion; one personally and one for election. I’ll make my own decision about which is worse; thanks.

                  All I’m really asking for is an end to such wild hypocrisy Chris; might be too much for you..

              • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                Under Obamacare, Obama is making the law. What do you think the HHS mandates are all about?

              • Brian Jackson says

                “Mitt Romney is an abortion profiteer.” Be careful to knows the facts, as it is easy to commit slander:

                http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/17/mitt-romney-bain-capital-stericycle_n_1211228.html

                http://www.lifenews.com/2012/07/04/left-wing-blogs-falsely-attack-romney-on-abortion-stericycle/

                http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spot/309400/obama-attack-coming-down-road-stericycle

                Just to pick the source least likely to be concerned about protecting Romney’s pro-life reputation, I’ll cite some words from the Huffpo article:

                “By the time Bain Capital had made the investment in Stericycle, he had left the firm to run the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. He maintained ownership in Bain and kept holdings in its private equity funds, which included Stericycle stock, but he had no say in the managerial or strategic decisions at the firm, according to Bain officials.”

                And:

                “There is no publicly available data showing that either Romney or other officials at Bain knew of Stericycle’s work with Planned Parenthood and abortion clinics before the investment.”

              • Chris Banescu says
              • Virtually anyone who works in the medical field (as I do) could explain just what SteriCycle is and what they do throughout the entire medical industry. Their business is bio-hazard waste disposal, and the odds that your local doctor and hospital utilizes their services for safe disposal of contaminated needles, bloody gauze, used Vacutainers (blood vials), and yes even body parts (surgically removed tumors, appendices, etc) is extremely high since they are among only a handful of companies left in the medical waste disposal industry. If you want to portray their investors as direct profiteers from abortion you would be correct, but only in an infinitesimal sense and probably without their direct knowledge.

                If you own stock – or mutual funds that invest in – such venerable medical companies as Becton-Dickenson, Johnson & Johnson, 3M, Cardinal Health, McKesson, or hundreds of other household (as well as lesser known) names, you are an abortion profiteer in the same sense as Romney.

                There is no such thing as a medical product (other than RU-486 and the intrauterine devices you wrongly insist do not cause abortion) or service that is specifically designed for abortion. All the products and services used in the murder of the unborn were designed for legitimate, life-saving medical purposes and co-opted by abortionists for killing the unborn.

                Remember the shocking news reports years ago of barges full of contaminated needles and other bio-hazard waste being dumped into the ocean and landfills? The laws that were passed as a result of those reports are what created the business of bio-hazard medical waste disposal, and today SteriCycle is the largest of these businesses.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Well said. Several years ago the company I worked for at the time highly “encouraged” us to donate 2% of our pay to The United Way. Don’t get me wrong, the United Way does a lot of good things. Other things they do –no so much.

                • Daniel E. Fall says

                  My point is that Mitt Romney owned 22% of Stericycle; a company that handles abortion waste and if you are asking me the abortion discussion has no clear candidate and if you think Obama is the worst; keep thinking it.

                  I don’t expect any conservatives to change their minds about Romney, but if Obama owned 22% of Stericycle; you guys would be all over him about it and you all know it. In fact Brian, you’d be livid, but whatever… I sees what I sees.

                  Furthermore, Brian, you go too far in your assessments of what abortion is… You technically call an IUD an abortion because its action makes the uterine wall unviable environment, but the more important fact is a woman using the IUD doesn’t want to bear a child and is preventing successful pregnancy. The problem for you is that method bothers your definition of abortion more than anything. An abortion to me is the termination of a pregnancy, and a pregnancy is one that can make it. You call me wrong, but in the end; intent is what really matters Brian. My wife does not intend to become pregnant. In the words of my father on this matter of an IUD being abortion, “that’s going too far”.

                  If you were talking with me in person right now, I’d tell you to go to h e double toothpicks.

                  Truly ask yourself how you’d react if Obama were the Stericycle majority holder in 1999. I dare you.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Daniel, I’m so glad you agree that abortion is evil. I’ll be sending you emailings from the National Right to Life Committee.

                  • Chris Banescu says

                    Multiple resources were posted (by me and others) that explain and document the fact that Romney’s company divested itself of the Stericycle investment years BEFORE (look up that term in the dictionary for clarification if still confused on the meaning) the company began its abortion-connected operations.

                    On its documentation page, the Stop Stericycle campaign lists documents showing contracts and other information linking the business with abortion clinics. The first document offered as proof comes from 2003 — anywhere from one to four years after Romney and left Bain Capital and coming at the time Bain itself had divested from Stericycle.

                    Most of the documents cover the period between 2007-2009, making it appear Stericycle launched a concerted effort during those years to drum up business from abortion companies. Again, that time period is well after Romney was no longer involved in the company or Bain Capital, which had sold off its Stericycle holdings three-four years prior.

                    http://www.lifenews.com/2012/07/04/left-wing-blogs-falsely-attack-romney-on-abortion-stericycle/

                    In the upside-down world you’ve created, conservatives are to be held accountable for all future moral failings of any company, organization, individual, and group they have ever been in contact with even years after all contacts or involvement with such entities have ended. Got it!

                    • Daniel E. Fall says

                      “In the upside-down world you’ve created,”

                      Just what about me quoting a newspiece and a Republican legislator is a world I’ve created?

                      You are a bit offensive Chris.

                      That said, It’d be more interesting to know exactly what Stericycle was doing in all years. It seems odd Stericycle would be cited for a violated in 1991 related to abortion and then drop it during the later 90’s and then reinvestigate it later.

                    • Daniel E. Fall says

                      Oh, and nice try with the offensive bit about the word divest Chris.

                      What is your problem?

                  • God bless you, Mr Fall, and may He have mercy on us all. May we not share a bitter meeting in the place where you have consigned me.

      • Kelly Black says:
        Yes, it is so much better for Christians to stand by and even support a president who believes that there should be absolutely no limits on murder of the unborn. As you vote for and make excuses for those abortion lovin’ politicians like Pres. Obama, do you whisper to yourself, “Jesus would support the murder of the unwanted and unloved?”

        And what should a “Christian” do when it comes to voting? Should I have not voted for McCain in 2008 even though he supported the “murder of the unborn” in cases of rape and incest? Should I have not voted for Bush in 2004 even though he was responsible for the killing of innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan?

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        Kelly do you have any Idea what the Roman Empire did during the Time of St. Paul? Killing of the unborn was, no pun intended, child’s play. And yet, we were urged by St. Paul to pray for the Emperor and those in authority over us. So while I am a firm champion of the “Sanctity of Life” ethos in Orthodoxy (Not just Pro-life on Abortion) and do have very strong disagreements with President Obama on a whole host of issues I have learned to show respect for my leaders and President as this is what is taught to us. Whether Presidents Bush, Clinton or Obama.

        Being a leader automatically makes you a target, and very few know or care to understand the tremendous amount of work and stress that goes into being a leader, especially as President of the United States and Leader of the Free world.

        For me Prayer is more powerful than disrespect. A strong prophetic voice (Isaiah, Jeremiah, St. Paul, etc.) is more powerful than any legislation or judicial decision. So although I understand the point of the article I simply disagree with it and its attitude towards our President. But then again, so what? Politics is a contact sport wether I like it or not. So just relax and take it for what its worth.

        BTW Fr. Pat is right Jesus did read it as He is risen and alive. I hope, at least, we understand that rather fundamental point otherwise what is the point to Easter/Pascha or the very nature of our faith?

        Peter

        • Of course I pray for the president and all of those in civil authority! Not only at Divine Liturgy but also with private prayer. I do call him “President Obama”, which means I do respect his office. I have seen and heard some rather horrible and hateful plays on his name.

          But Pres. Obama’s disregard for human life both of the unborn and the born (with the increased military conflicts and use of drones), taking money from Medicare to fund Obamacare, the assassination of American citizens without due process, corrupt crony capitalism, Fast & Furious, etc should give someone who voted for him 2008 much pause. That doesn’t mean the only other option is to support Mitt Romney either. But I am not sure what kind of lies a Christian would have to tell himself to vote for Pres. Obama a second time. There is absolutely nothing Christian about his positions and actions.

          • Kelly! I don’t think one can say of President Obama that “there is absolutely nothing Christian about his positions and actions.” “Absolutely,” Kelly. Do you live in the White House and have rooms adjoining those of the First Family? “Absolutely?” Does he go to Church? Does he take his family to Church? Does he take the Lord’s name in vain? Does he commit adultery? Does he visit the sick? Does he love others? ‘Absolutely nothing,” Kelly? Were you on the faculty of the University of Chicago and a colleague of his? Have you ever lived next door to him so that you can proclaim he was an “absolutely” non-Christian neighbor?
            But thanks for bringing ever-memorable Archbishop Dmitri to mind. How it used to set his teeth on edge (as it does mine) whenever he’d hear (from the old “Divine Liturgy” books signed by Metropolitan Ireney, which also came out with the awful “in civil authority.” We should pray for the president, for those in power, for those in authority, since one CAN be in power, one can be in authority. But one really can’t be IN civil authority. One can be A civil authority, such as a mayor, a policeman, a congressman, a secretary of defense, etc., because one is in authority in the civil sphere. President, armed forces, civil authorities: we pray for them. Yes, the first time I heard Vladyka hold forth on “in civil authority” was in 1964, and the last time around 2005.
            Tell me something, since you are sitting in moral judgement as a good Christian yourself (which you’d have to be in order to declare someone as having “absolutely nothing Christian about his positions and actions), did you listen to Mrs. Romney recently say with considerable satisfaction: “My husband gives TEN PER CENT of his money to charity?” Is that the kind of truth you’d like to hear coming from Michelle Obama in order to modify your “absolutely nothing?”
            Why, I don’t think even that “fish-wrap paper” called the National Catholic Reporter would come out with something like that!

            • Your Grace,

              Neither Pres. Obama nor Mitt Romney are Christians. They belong to pseudo-Christian churches. I can only judge Pres. Obama’s actions that are public. On that score, his actions are not from Christian moral tradition that I can see. He may be a very nice man in person, I don’t know. I can only go by his very public positions that are inimical to Christian moral tradition.

              I am not a “good” Christian but a terrible sinning Christian. But the point is I am Christian and I have enough of a well-formed conscience to determine whether or not certain actions are moral.

              Please correct me if I am wrong, but I do not believe that abortion, gay marriage, targeted killing of citizens without due process, increased drone attacks killing innocents, aiding radical Muslims that kill Christians, crony capitalism, forcing churches and Christians to violate their consciences, and the circumstances surrounding Fast & Furious are moral.

              • i liked the idea that circumstances can be moral or immoral. I’ll save it for my next Irish and water on the front porch. I couldn’t have come up with that myself, no matter how my knickers had got twisted!
                And I have no idea why Kelly asks if he is wrong about his beliefs, but I don’t think one can be wrong about one’s own beliefs at all! Wasn’t it Rackham that said each man is expert about his own beliefs? Yes, Kelly, you are NOT wrong that you believe in the immorality of this or that. I will be glad to assure others you are not wrong about what your beliefs are, as well.
                God protect us all from immoral surrounding circumstances, whatever they may be!

                • Your Grace,

                  First of all, I am a woman and often times even a lady, although perhaps I have not been as ladylike in this thread as I ought to have been. Hindsight tends to be 20/20 in these situations. Perhaps a little self-mortification is needed. Do you think 20 swats with a wet noodle will suffice? Oh wait, this is an Orthodox Christian blog, not Catholic or Protestant or even secular. I got a little confused by all the moral relativism being bandied about.

                • Way to go with being pathetically condescending and evasive.

                  • Since when, Irene, is taking someone at his or her exact word being condescending and evasive? I admit, I didn’t comment on the base idea that anyone can FORCE Churches and Christians to violate their consciences. When has that happened in America and where? I know of circumstances where (more than once) a widowed mother with children and pregnant with anotther one was fleeing from the Red Army over the Carpathian mountains and had to decide whether to abort her child to be able to keep running and save the whole brood or keep it, stop and be captured and who knows what…In both those cases the mother chose abortion, ‘against her conscience.’ I know, because I heard their confessions. Surely, you or Kelly are not claiming that churches and Christians would chose abortion against their consciences because the government wouldn’t pay their medical bills!
                    I’m surprised, too, why Catholic women would not raise the roof if they learned that Protestant and Jewish women got free diaphragms paid for under the President’s Health Care plan, while Catholic women had to pay for them!!! Why should Catholics have to pay?
                    Oh, I’m not the only one who has heard of abortions during flight with dependents. Other Priests have told me they’ve heard the same thing. Many of those women are dead now, but some of them while alive could not cease repeating the confession even though they were well-informed that one need not confess to sins already confessed and forgiven

                    • Chris Banescu says

                      Not sure how referring to the horrible circumstances that women have faced in this fallen world and the tragic life and death choices individuals have to make when terrorized and threatened by evil is relevant to the moral abomination that abortion — especially state-sponsored, funded, and promoted abortion — represents.

                      Let’s simplify it a bit, shall we?

                      Do you, Bishop Tikhon, support or oppose the Obama Administration’s HHS Mandate that demands that sterilization, abortifacients and contraception be included in all health plans offered by religious institutions?

                      Do you, Bishop Tikhon, agree or disagree that the HHS mandate is a violation of the religious liberties guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution?

                      I would really appreciate seeing some simple and clear answers please, not verbal gymnastics, irrelevant stories from your past, or personal attacks of the messengers.

                    • Chris Banescu says:
                      Do you, Bishop Tikhon, support or oppose the Obama Administration’s HHS Mandate that demands that sterilization, abortifacients and contraception be included in all health plans offered by religious institutions?

                      Do you, Bishop Tikhon, agree or disagree that the HHS mandate is a violation of the religious liberties guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution?

                      The only relevant question, despite all the hyperbole, is whether the HHS mandate is constitutional or not. In time, that will be determined, not by our personal opinions, but by SCOTUS.

                      We are a democracy, although my more conservative friends decry that, as if democracy is somehow incompatible with being a republic. If women (and men) overwhelmingly want contraception included in their health plans, and it is legal and constitutional, then they should have that choice. If contraception is morally wrong, then the Church should get there and convince people to exercise their free will and not use contraception. If we allow religious institutions to force, even indirectly, their beliefs on non-believers, then we start removing brick by brick the wall established by the constitution between religion and state.

                    • Daniel E. Fall says

                      If I may…

                      There is no way any employer can cherry pick what treatments a health insurance company can offer employees. The HHS mandate is only a requirement the employee decide. I don’t know if the HHS mandate would not allow a health insurance company to not provide a regimen, procedure, treatment, etc., but it would probably require that company to be an option among others, if offered (at best). There is nothing overly complex about this; the employer can’t force its medical or religious ideologies on innocent thirds. Sorry, Chris, no way SCOTUS would ever rule the employer gets to make decisions about health care for employees.

                      As far as whether the mandate is a violation of religious liberty. No way. The only violation of religious liberty is if any person must contribute money to an insurance pool that pays for these (bigger than the RC issue actually). Unfortunately, the key word is MUST. Noone MUST contribute money to an insurance pool. Now, that said, it would be nice if the insurers could have an opt out provision where the individual (not the employer) could opt out of coverages and costs for those treatments that were objectionable. That would be strictly voluntary and not required by the insurer.

                      The only way the HHS mandate could be overruled is if they aren’t evenly applying it; which some have suggested here. On that subject; things change…too much to think about at this hour.

                      my perspectives…like em or leave em

                    • Chris Banescu says

                      Sorry Daniel, but again you misrepresent the situation and distort the facts.

                      These are not just any “treatments” that Christian and other religious institutions must now offer in their health plans coverage, but life-destroying abortifacients (abortion drugs). This is not just a secular “employer” that “forces its medical or religious ideologies on innocent thirds”, but Christian, Catholic, Jewish, etc. hospitals, universities, and churches whose core principles are based on the sanctity of life and the defense of the unborn who employ individuals who VOLUNTARILY chose to work there for decades knowing that the insurance plans these religious institutions provide will never offer coverage of “sterilization options, abortifacients (abortion drugs), and contraception services.”

                      It may just be a political game for you and Bishop Tikhon, but for 191 US Catholic bishops (100% of Diocese) and 65 Orthodox bishops in North and Central America, this is a very serious matter and a dangerous step towards government tyranny. They all confirmed this is an unjust violation of our religious liberties and denounced Obama’s HHS mandate as clearly unconstitutional.

                      Updated: *191* Bishops (100% of Dioceses) Have Spoken Out Against Obama/HHS Mandate
                      http://www.catholicvote.org/discuss/index.php?p=25591

                      The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers, including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those “services” in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies.

                      In so ruling, the Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. And as a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled either to violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so). The Administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.

                      I stand in unity with Catholic bishops throughout the United States and other religious leaders vowing to fight this mandate.

                      Along with my brother bishops and other religious leaders, I insist that this is a direct attack on our religious freedom and our First Amendment rights. I will work with the bishops, other religious leaders and our fellow Americans to remove this unjust regulation.

                      If the administration will not rescind this violation of our First Amendment rights, we must call on our elected leaders to do so. I ask you to pray that wisdom and justice may prevail, and work together to restore our religious liberty.

                      65 Orthodox Church Bishops Call on Obama to ‘Rescind’ the ‘Unjust’ Contraception Mandate
                      http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/blog/2012/02/65-orthodox-church-bishops-call-on-obama-to-rescind-the-unjust-contraception-mandate/

                      “The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion,” the statement says. “This freedom is transgressed when a religious institution is required to pay for ‘contraceptive services’ including abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization services that directly violate their religious convictions.”

                      “Providing such services should not be regarded as mandated medical care. We, the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops, call upon HHS Secretary Sebelius and the Obama Administration to rescind this unjust ruling and to respect the religious freedom guaranteed all Americans by the First Amendment.”

                      The bishops urged the faithful to take action. The statement calls upon “all the Orthodox Christian faithful to contact their elected representatives today to voice their concern in the face of this threat to the sanctity of the Church’s conscience.”

                • Patrick Henry Reardon says

                  Bishop Tikhon declares, “I couldn’t have come up with that myself, no matter how my knickers had got twisted!”

                  I believe I learned more here than I wanted to know.

                  • Patrick Henry needs to read more: then trite old figures won’t excite him.
                    By the way, in my youth, in grade school, we all wore knickers, sometimes called “plus-fours.” I must have a picture of myself somewhere wearing woolen knickers, long diamond-patterned colored knee-socks and shiny leather oxfords. I have some photos of my dad and his dad wearing them, too. My Uncle Harold Fitzgerald, manager of the Bank of Nova Scotia in Edmunton at one time, used to wear them, too. They seem to go well with pipe-smoking.
                    Perhaps Patrick Henry, though is an Irishmen and he’s thinking about the knickers that desirable Englishwomen wear, and this is ‘more than he wanted to know?”

          • Patrick Henry Reardon says

            Kelly proclaims, “I am not sure what kind of lies a Christian would have to tell himself to vote for Pres. Obama a second time. There is absolutely nothing Christian about his positions and actions.”

            Thank you, Kelly, for this blast of fresh air.

            • Thank you, Fr. Patrick. I struggle with being the token conservative/traditionalist (at least among the younger families) in my parish. I am slowly learning to keep my mouth shut and pray a lot.

              • The basic tenet of conservatism is to do away with nothing unless one replaces it with something better.

              • I agree with you, Kelly!

                Church is a place to pray and praise God. It is not a place for politics. Many people go to church to avoid politics. Our church is diverse and has many different cultural layers. Discussion about politics will add more division.

                “Lay aside all earthley cares … Alleluia…”

                Peace and joy to you, Kelly!

                • George Michalopulos says

                  I completely agree. Even though I am a stalwart Conservative/Libertarian, I have never viewed my political and economic views as the sine qua non of my religion.

            • Poor guy! If he perceived that as “fresh air,” my heart goes out to him! Sometimes we fail to appreciate the little valuable things in life.

      • Kelly,
        On your first comment about abortion, I am not making excuses for anybody, certainly not any politician (I am with Shirley Mclaine who said it is useless to hold a person to any promise if he (or she) is in love or running for political office).
        We are also not talking about coming elections here.

        On your second point yes, people pay for roads via taxes, with the emphasis on “people.”
        And BTW — If I drove only on the roads I actually paid for I would be riding a bicycle with very thin wheels for about 100 feet a day. For the rest of the road, I have to thank the other folks who paid for it.

        • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

          Shirley Maclaine? There actually have been principled leaders. We could start with the American Founding Fathers.

          • Dear Fr. Hans Jacobs,

            I ask for your blessings and forgiveness…

            Dear Father — please forgive me if I offended you or anybody here by mentioning the name of the actress Shirley Mclain — it was just to say that I do not trust any politician to fulfill their promises.

            The essence of my post was just to say that I disagree with anybody who manipulates Holy Bible to manifest their own political veiws. I truly hope that “Iowahawk” did not want to make fun of the Bible ( or did he?).
            I also disagree with certain words used in the post — I think that they are disrespectful to any women.
            I worship Theatokos and many Saints who are women.
            Father — can we put any insulting label to define a gender or a color of the human being? Don’t we all have one God who loves everybody?
            It is very troublesome for me to see how the Holy Scripture was used by Iowahawk and a suggestion that I have to enjoy the “fun”. My spiritual father thought me to worship the Bible — it is a book God is talking to me through… I have always thought that the Bible is our treasure and to make jokes in the form of a Bible message is a sin. For the Orthodox believer … Let’s see — first we put some funny words in the form of a Bible message… then somebody will do the same with his or her own message… then more jokes will be made, then we accept the use of the Bible as a fun way to make any jokes, and then?… it is a slippery slope… If this is OK in my church than very soon I will have to ask myself a question — what church do I belong to?

            Isn’t the salt of Orthodoxy preservation and not innovation?

            Forgive me Father for my inquiry, I am thirsty for the truth of God…

            • Michael Bauman says

              IB, if you indeed worship the Theotokos, many saints and the Bible you need to rethink. Worship is due God alone.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Thanks for catching that Michael. Worship is due only to the triune God.

              • Monk James says

                Michael Bauman says (August 18, 2012 at 12:49 pm):

                ‘IB, if you indeed worship the Theotokos, many saints and the Bible you need to rethink. Worship is due God alone.’
                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                This is true only in English, and only of the word ‘worship’, and only so in recent times. Perhaps some here might be familiar with a phrase from the wedding vows once common among Anglicans: ‘…with my body I thee worship….’

                In Greek, though, proskyneO (‘worship’) is offered to the Lord, to the Theotokos, and to the saints. Same for Church Slavonic poklonitisya..

                But ecclesiastic Greek also makes distinctions among three other words: douleia (literally ‘slavery, servitude’) which we offer the saints, hyperdouleia (an intensified form of the same) which we offer to the Theotokos only, and latreia (literally ‘service’ in the sense of ‘worship, adore’), which we render to God alone.

                We must remember that these are churchly usages; secular Greek, even since christian times, employs these words in other, very different contexts with no religious resonance whatsoever.

                For various reasons, recently translated/composed english-language liturgical texts generally prefer to render one and the same words as ‘worship/adore’ when they refer to God, but as ‘venerate’ when they refer to the saints, including the Mother of God.

                Liturgical Greek isn’t so fussy, and we should be a little less absolute about such things when they can’t be solidly attested except as a matter of preference — much like the preference of some people for antique, pseudo-elizabethan language in the services.

                Vote Saved. New Rating: 1

              • Dear Michael Bauman,

                In my post I described only my feelings about Bogoroditsa — my love, admiration and devotion to her!
                I did not do it in the context of the religious dogma.
                I, unworthy parishioner and a sinner , do know that Bogoroditsa gave birth to divine Jesus.

                It makes me so sad that the commentators here have no love and tolerance towards each other.
                Actually, they are really cruel…

                ” The Lord is my Shepherd,
                I shall not want”……

        • Patrick Henry Reardon says

          IB declares, “I am with Shirley Maclaine”

          . . . . and thus clears up the question for us.

          • Dear Patrick Henry Reardon — your statement spins the conversation away from the issue. Do you want a conversation or just want to prove you are right?

            In my post I mentioned the name of the actress just to say that I do not trust politicians to follow their promises.

            On the other side in your statement you approve the fact that Holy Bible can be misused and manipulated to prove somebody’s political point of view…

            I also feel that certain words in the ” you did not build it ” message by George show a disrespect to women (“femiNAZI”) and a particular person (Oprah Winfrey). I was taught by my spiritual father to love everybody as I would love God. Is there any love in these characterizations of women?

            It is George’s blog — it is up for him to decide.

            BTW — I checked the Iowahowk site. In the top left corner they have a donation icon. It includes VERY bad language and VERY rude words are used… It is rude to anybody. It is ugly if you know Russian. I have a feeling that the owner of the blog knows what the Russian word “c…” means. Please ask any Russian to translate it for you — they will tell you what it is.
            I do not think that Iowahawk can be a source of inspiration or truthful information to anybody, and definitely not to me.

            And at last — I disagree but do not disrespect!
            Lord have mercy on me, sinner…

            • Patrick Henry Reardon says

              IB says (to me):

              “I mentioned the name of the actress just to say that I do not trust politicians to follow their promises.

              On the other side in your statement you approve the fact that Holy Bible can be misused and manipulated to prove somebody’s political point of view…”

              I approve of the misuse and manipulation of the Holy Bible?

              Let me quote Shirley McClain back to you, IB: “Get out and get some fresh air.”

              • Thank you, dear Patrick Henry Reardon,

                I already did — it is a gorgeous day here! While working along the shore of a beautiful lake I thought about God’s unconditional Love, His greatness… His majesty… the beauty of the world He created for us… How beautifully the creation of the world is described in Genesis…
                How much mercy He has for us–seeing us destroying nature, peace and harmony… His creation, His beautiful world….
                Do we deserve any of His blessings and gifts?
                How can we be His faithful servants and give back what He has given us?
                How can we live according to the rules given us by our Creator? I am blessed to know answers — they are given to us in His Bible … Holy Scripture, our most precious book…

                Patrick Henry Reardon — my question is very simple:

                *Did Iowahawk paraphrase the Scripture? ( Yes or No?)

                *Did Iowahawk disguise his own political message to make it to sound and look like Scripture? ( (Yes or No?)

                *Was it done for the purpose of making fun or joke? (Yes or No?)

                Patrick Henry Reardon:

                *It is less obvious to me that Holy Scripture is being mocked here*

          • Lola J. Lee Beno says

            I have to say I lost respect for Shirley MacLaine the moment I learned that she believed that we didn’t have to take responsibility for our actions due to reincarnation. This also marked my turn away from New Agey stuff. I also lost respect for Oprah once I saw that she was going down the New Agey path.

            Take this for whatever its worth.

            • Dear Lola J. Beno,

              Have I ever mentioned that I agree with everything she sad?

              I just sad that I do not trust politicians…

              It is up to God to judge people… We can only agree or disagree.
              We have to love everybody… Orthodox or not… we have to pray for righteous or not, for prisoners, murderers… pray that God will enlighten everybody with eternal truth.
              Satan’s goal is to make us upset, angry, judgemental, and distract us from our main mission — to pray and be true missionaries of our Church.

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      IB declares, “keep this blog on spiritual life, not political life. As Christians we cannot make these comments.”

      There is a problem here. Namely, this declaration is political.

      It is also false.

      Try telling Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, Daniel, and John the Seer, “keep this blog on spiritual life, not political life.”

      Then, of course, we are asked to consider WWJS: “Think a bit–what would Jesus say if he read this post?”

      I got news for you IB: He did read it.

      • Dear Patrick Henry Reardom–glad to hear that Jesus read the post. Since you are privy to his reading habits, what did he say? Particularly about the claim that we are descending into third world (hmmm–is Nazareth in the third world and, by the way, what is wrong with the Third World–isn’t that where poor people live, who Jesus is concerned about?) femiNAZI (does Jesus think that feminists are NAZIs?) Ophrafication (I admit to be baffled by this word–what does it mean–not that Jesus has the time to watch Oprah–I certainly don’t).
        Please enlighten me.

    • Michael Bauman says

      IB, even if it were true that ‘relgion’ and ‘politics’ could be kept separate this is not, nor has it ever been a religious blog. It is and always has been a blog about the order and disorder of daily life in the Church and how Orthodox believers fit (or don’t fit) into the culture and life of the U.S.

      Haven’t you ever read it before? Its always about politics. You just don’t like George’s politics. Fine, debate him on the substance of his views.

      Not some false dicotomy that only comes out for those who dislike conservative/libetarian approaches to, well, everything.

      He is not mocking Scripture, he is mocking the blasphemous idea that many had about Obama and he seems to have about himself that he, Obama, is the messiah and governement is the means to salvation.

      If you don’t see that, you just haven’t been paying attention.

      • It is and always has been a blog about the order and disorder of daily life in the Church and how Orthodox believers fit (or don’t fit) into the culture and life of the U.S.

        If only, Michael. If only.

      • Michael Bauman and others. I agree that George is not mocking Scripture. However, there is no question whatsoever that the piece composed by Iowahawk is MOCK SCRIPTURE. period.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Your Grace do you mean mock as in imitative or mock as in derisive. I’d agree with the first and disagree with the second. The author is mocking (as in derisively) Pres. Obama but only using a form of scripture to do that.

          Maybe I’ve dense (of course I am) but I don’t see the derision aimed at the Holy Scripture at all.

          • I find mock scripture or imitation scripture objectionable, Michael. I’m inured to it happening in the world, even in conventional society; but I still find it objectionable. But, Michael, this particular mock scripture goes beyond mere imitation when it actually mixes in the actual TEXT of Holy Scriptures IN mockery of others. I don’t believe even Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” USED actual verses of Scripture to attack anyone.
            Surely, if one disagrees with the President of the United States of America one may intelligently and effectively express such disagreement without, in fact imputing blasphemy to him! Or?

            • Michael Bauman says

              Your Grace, thank you for your comment. I’ll consider what you say carefully. Perhaps, I’m not too taken aback by this as I might be because one of your brother bishops in the GOA used a Christological Psalm in praising the election of President Obama. He used it directly and without apology.

              That I found/find highly objectionable. No matter what one thinks of any President, none of them stand in the place of Christ.

              Given all of the messianic hoopla that surronded Pres. Obama’s first election and the use of actual scripture to praise him, I am not at all surprised at it being used against him.

              Perhaps that is a warning to all of us to be careful in our use of Holy Scripture.

    • Will Harrington says

      Your point is valid if there is actually a seperation between a persons spiritual and political life. Do you really think there is? I don’t. If there is, then one of those aspects of your life is a lie you are telling yourself.

      • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

        Good point Will.

        Too often people conflate politics with culture. I don’t tell people how to vote. I am vocal in my objections to ideas that harm the larger culture. There is no prohibition against that. In fact, I believe the Christian should take faith and culture very seriously.

        From the other direction, cultural criticism is not necessarily political.

  3. Behold, Marx’s concept of surplus value.

  4. I like you George, even when I disagree with your chain of logic; and even when I think sometimes you ought to stop some of your heavier handed essays, I must admit some level of satisfaction in reading them.

    However, while I am as far from a progressive as I have ever been in my life, the deliberate misunderstanding of the President’s speech has really alienated me from my fellow conservatives and libertarian allies. What the President meant (to say that government is responsible for everything good) isn’t something I can debate. He certainly believes government is a force for good. But in the speech he more generic than that saying that someone helped you along the way.

    Frankly, whether or not he also meant “you ought to thank the government”, the factual statement is true. To focus on what you believe he meant as a part of his progressive mythology is to take the argument out of the realm of reality (where conservatives live and breathe) and into the fanciful land of speculation.

    The truth is, we all have had someone help us. That’s a fact. More than someone, but many someones. We do not deserve, in any moral sense, the bounty we have received from those who have come before us, or work along side us who’s generosity is essential to our livelihood. We are inheritors of a country we did not fight and die for and roads we did not build.

    Even if we could imagine ourselves as metaphysical islands of economic activity even our creditors and our customers exist in relationship to us and without their success (not just in our relationship to them, but theirs to others) we would have no success ourselves.

    What do you say to those who secured the rule of law as pillar of Common Law, or trial by jury?

    We have gone too far in our efforts to fight the evil that invades the minds of modern men. Government at all levels is more than a necessary evil. It is a part of the well-ordered functioning of society. And in that good order it has a function that once exceeded undermines that order. Absolutely! But to say it has no place in that order is an even more dangerous lie.

    Those who have the bully pulpit on the right in this country cannot merely be unapologetic “balance” against the lies of the left. They have to speak the truth even if it seems a lesser position in the tug-o-war. Anything less than that is actually an accusation that the truth is too weak on its own, that we must press harder to the extreme to help truth succeed.

    And yes, I too, find the misuse of the scriptures in this way deeply troubling.

    • Well said David! Five stars to you. As my priest used to say, “don’t think you are independent, that you are self made, that you don’t need anybody to help you , protect you or die for you. They already have.” Our saviour for one.

  5. phil r. upp says

    Stupid, just stupid lacking any real intelligence.

  6. Joseph from L.A. says

    IB, you nailed it!!! The amount of venom coming from this blog makes me get quite concerned with the politicization of the Orthodox Faith specially in this blog.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Everything is politics, i.e, people in groups, organizations and communities trying to influence the choices of others in how said groups, organizations and communities are ordered and run. Even good, Godly marriages are full of politics. Only an incipient or real dualist can say there is a clear, sharp divide between politics and faith, any more than there is between the body and the spirit.

      IMO, people who want to split the two understand neither or they want the folks with faith to go away and leave them alone so they can play their own games without their conscience being troubled, they want to live their lives without God.

      One can agree with George or disagree, but it should be on the substance of his posts not simply ad hominum attacks on him using the false dicotomy of faith and politics.

    • You write that as though Mr. Obama had not taken away your First Amendment right to freedom of religion. He did on August 1, or hadn’t you noticed?

    • Thank you, Joseph from L.A.

  7. It’s the sort of tactic, with different ideological “points” that Stokoe used. “Look at how cleverly I make those with whom I disagree look like the utter worthless fools they are, fools, morons, dupes who think they can “reason” their way over me!”

  8. Check out this link.
    You’ll see what the First Lady equivalent of this Iowahawk outburst would be:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/15/ann-romney-tax-returns_n_1778376.html

  9. Dorothy Allen says

    Although I agree with most of the observations in the post, I strongly feel that it is inappropriate to write it in the form of “pseudo-Scripture.” A post of this nature is more suitable for a website that focuses on political debate, not a religiously oriented website. Because of the format of the writing, this is offensive to me.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Why is it offensive? What is offensive to me are the folks who co-opt the name of Christian without believing in anything Christian. What is offensive to me are the folks that quote Holy Scripture wholly and completely out of context (like Clinton using the story of David and Bathsheba to justify is own adultry). What is offensive to me are the dualistic materialists who claim to be Orthodox.

      The form of the Scripture is the Church. There is nothing inherently sacred about the English poetic stanzas that George uses as a literary allusion to make a point.

      Faith, some kind of faith, is the driving force behind all politics because faith, some kind of faith, is what men live by.

      Where is your faith?

  10. Bill Christensen says

    Disgusting and totally inappropriate for a post on this site. Shows no respect for either a president or scripture

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      Bill Christensen believes George’s recent posting is “disgusting and totally inappropriate for a post on this site.”

      A strange assessment, I believe.

      Since this is George’s blog site, not mine, I would be hesitant to tell George what material he should post on it.

    • David Axelnerd says

      This president deserves no respect. The office, yes; Obama, no.

    • Daniel E. Fall says

      Distasteful came to mind for me, and I have not commented on it except for now.

      I suppose if that had been done in Russia, George would have gotten say 2 years in prison for mocking Putin and Scripture and publishing it for the world to see..but I digress

  11. I am so beyond tired of all the political rhetoric on blogs. When will people understand that neither of the planned duopoly parties (Republican’ts & Democan’ts) have your interests in mind at all. They just take turn taking away your rights from the left and then the right.

    America’s political machine has been smart and slowly whittled away rights from the left while pointing to the right, and from the right while pointing to the left. They have not done it in a violent Arab Spring kind of way that took away rights in the name of democracy and change!

    Anyway while we should not trust in princes, the sons of men, as the Psalmist says, the Bible also gives us advice on the governments that God has given us:

    “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.”
    (Romans 13:1-8 KJV)

    • Michael Bauman says

      But what is one to do when the rulers are a terror to good works and willfully support evil as is said both sides do?

  12. I chose not to read it alll as there was no need. Often messages are lost due to their distasteful deliverly.

    • I’m with Anna Rowe. I felt that just a cursory glance at the top is enough for anyone to figure out what follows. I mean. Does anyone need to ask where Jan Brewer is going when she just gets a couple words out?
      I’m a little upset that I watched that entire video of Mrs. Romney. If they’d just shown here “trumping” (!) all Romney’s critics with the emphatic declaration/revelation: ‘He gives ten percent of his earnings to CHARITY.” that would have covered all the intelligence to be gained by watching the rest of the video.

  13. Peter A. Papoutsis says

    What we really need to have a debate on and one that truly touches on core Funadamental Christian Moral teaching is Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan’s Budget Plan called “The Path to Prosperity.” The link to said budget is here:http://budget.house.gov/uploadedfiles/pathtoprosperity2013.pdf

    Being that I actually took the time to read all 99 pages (but skipped around alot) I truly feel we need to discuss this budget plan as it not only smack of Godless Objectivsim and pure Social Darwinian Enginerring from an Economic and Social point of view the cruelty in this budget plan IMHO is truly unimaginable.

    A separate article and section on this should be had because as Americans and Orthodox Christians this is something we really need to study, understand and debate.

    As always I will leave it up to George to decide. Thanks.

    Peter

    • Michael Bauman says

      So, Peter, we have a choice, it seems between a Godless supporter of abortion, gay marriage and government entitlements that will leave us all enslaved OR a Godless, cold-hearted tryannt who will kill us all by cutting off the funds necessary to life as well as wage aggressive war.

      Wow, what’s a fella to do? Both approaches lead to a police state. Maybe both you and George are right, or excuse me for using such a ‘political’ term. Should have said you are both correct.

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        I agree that both President Obama and Gov. Romney and Congressman Ryan are Godless, even if they believe in God or a God, there approach to things and there support of Anti-Life policies and issues (i.e. Abortion – Pres.Obama, the complete disregard for the Poor and the accumilation of weath for the Rich – Gov. Romney) really do not leave us with a choice.

        Come Nov. 6th as it stands I have no real cadidate to vote for President. It may come easy to some folks, but to me I value my vote and I do NOT want to vote for the lesser of two evils. In all honesty I am at a true loss who to vote for, if I vote at all, as none of these two candidates appeal to me.

        • So Congressman Ryan is Godless but Vice Pres. Biden is not? Rep. Ryan’s bishop actually wrote a public letter this week stating that Rep. Ryan is a Catholic in good standing and that the Catholic church believes that economics/how to best serve the poor is left to the laity to decide. Bishop Morlino reiterated that a Catholic (and I would go so far as to say any Christian) cannot support intrinsic evil-or evils that cannot ever be justified. The good bishop goes on to list some examples as: “abortion, euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, same-sex marriage, government-coerced secularism, and socialism.”

          http://www.madisoncatholicherald.org/bishopscolumns/3366-bishop-column.html

          As Christians we are called to be good stewards of our money and to care for the poor. Charity forced at the barrel of a gun isn’t really charity. Charity must be voluntary and done in love. The works are rather empty without love, and nothing the government does is out of love. I have yet to find in Sacred Scripture or Tradition where debt is called good. Particularly debt that enslaves generations to come.

          I think a healthy debate is needed to address Rep. Ryan’s budget and the Democrats lack of one for over 3 years. And I believe that Rep. Ryan’s budget does not even come close to going far enough to right the disastrous course our country is headed in. But just because you disagree with the budget, doesn’t mean that Rep. Ryan is Godless. His bishop who knows him has stated otherwise.

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            I think supporting and believing in the concept of Objectivism of the late and not so great Ayn Rand, which even the Catholic Church condemned tells be that Mr Ryan is not telling us the full story of what exactly his faith, if any, means to him with a budget that is more Darwinian and much less Christian.

            I do not know the man’s heart only God, but I know his budget and for me it’s not anywhere near the Gospel of Our Lord.

            Peter

        • Michael Bauman says

          Peter, any vote will always be the lesser of two evils. It is only the insidious idea that somehow the state will be pure if we only get the right person in there that causes us to think otherwise. Every candidate will have policies and have made choices with which you disagree, even if you are the candidate.

          Life in this fallen world is always mixed especially in politics. It is not like a criminal proceeding in which someone is covicted only if the evidence is beyond a reasonable doubt, but more like a civil proceeding in which the preponderance of the evidence determines.

          I am not excited by Romney to be sure. He is too statist for me. However Obama and his policies are patently offensive to me.

          As far as the outcome of the race, my vote here in Kansas will not mean much because I can’t remember the last time Kansas went Democrat in the Presidential election. Not gonna happen this time either.

          Illinois is likely the other way.

          In that case each of us is pretty free to vote for whom we please even if it is a write-in for someone who will never even be mentioned.

          I think it would be neat if there was a “none of the above” choice.

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            I think it would be neat if there was a “none of the above” choice.

            Me too. Oh Well, I’ll see what happens November 6th if I vote or not and who I will vote for. I just hate these two choices. We shall see.

            Peter

  14. Lil Ole Housewife says

    I haven’t read your comment beyond the photo and the first couple sentences. Nor have I read the other reply comments. I do not want to get drawn into political diatibe on the Dormition.

    Instead, I would say that most good things in life take a village. A church takes two or three gathered together in His Holy Name. A petition takes signatures. A child take more than a nuclear family. He needs schools, a neighborhood, access to good healthy food and a place to exercise. And he needs God in his or her life life.T he more good elements, the more to draw upon in growth and success. The more sights, the more visual vocabulary. THe more sounds, the more auditory range and memory. The beeter to praise with the greater village for the greater good.

    Someone here on this supposedly OCA oriented religious forum said some negative things about the Orthodox Christian Laity. I am sure that most or all of us have received their letters by mail asking for donations. I never gave them a donation because i did not like the way that the OCA was portrayed on their website. But I was sent by email today a link to the following video, which I think says quite a few important things in a short talk by a person I have never heard of talking at an OCL conference. I thought some of the metaphors he used would even apply to our own Metropolitan, and to the OCA itself

    http://youtu.be/1lOJeACjnCw

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      “I do not want to get drawn into political diatibe on the Dormition.”

      I guess that’s why your comment contains only 253 words, none of them about the Holy Dormition.

      • This particular topic is not a fit place for discussion of the Dormition

        Did you take a look at the link I gave? Here it is again

        http://youtu.be/1lOJeACjnCw

        • George Michalopulos says

          Lil Ole, thank you for posting the YouTube. I highly recommend that everybody click on it and watch it. It’s only 2 1/2 minutes long.

          • Lola J. Lee Beno says

            Can anyone provide a transcript? The captions generated by the “CC” button aren’t that good.

            • Lil Ole Housewife says

              Dear Lola,

              With limited eyesight, and that going fast, I understand the frustration of simply trying to access information. So, I decided to provide the transcript, although I hope in the future that others will step in to do this for you. Everyone speaking or writing today should make their talks accessible, my opinion, because even with great eyesight and hearing, intelligibility can still be problematic, and the more ways folks can get their messages across, the bigger and better their audience. Here it is:

              In the beginning of the video, it says that Dr. Vigen Guroian actually teaches Orthodox Christianity at the University of Virginia. For those with limited eyesight, this professor speaks slowly, has a full head of grey hair, sports a red bow tie instead of the ordinary variety, and smiles every few words. He uses his hands to illustrate the story. There are many pauses and uhs which I did not represent except once with dots. The stated title in the video is: The Story of Jonah – a Metaphor for Orthodoxy in America in the first frame of the video. I will note that the OCL conference is this year supposed to be in Washington D.C. and that the keynote speaker is supposed to be our beloved Metropolitan.

              Why God sent Jonah to Ninevah. It might serve as a metaphor for how we find ourselves. We find ourselves as Orthodox in a new world, in America. It is for most of us, a relatively recent and new experience. We had no intention of being a permanent Diaspora and the term Diaspora is probably harmful to us now as I’ve said in the consultations today. If we read the story of Jonah, we recall that he built, …a vine grew about him onto a terrace and it protected him from the sun. And he was quite happy under that vine, under that trellis that covered him and shaded him. But in time, the vine, the gourd vine, got diseased and withered and died and he was now in the sunlight, scorching sunlight and no longer comfortable and I would say that that’s a metaphor for what jeopardy we are in in America. We built our churches. They were a place of comfort nad protection and served a useful purpose to us as immigrants; But we’re no longer merely immigrants. Even as others come, we’re into our third, fourth and fifth generations and if we do not fertilize the ground properly, that vine will wither and die of disease and exhaustion, and we’ll find ourselves sweltering in the sun and no place to go. We need to cultivate that ground around that vine and in our churches in such a way that we address the needs of generations that we did not anticipate perhaps, when we first arrived here, would be here

              The more sections says: .. published on Aug 10, 2012 by oclaity
              As part of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Orthodox Christian Laity, we present to you this interview: A Vision of A Unified Church In North America – with Dr. Vigen Guroian. Recorded at the 20th Annual Meeting of OCL, November 2007.

              • Lola J. Lee Beno says

                Thank you for the transcript!

                I didn’t know +Jonah was scheduled to be the speaker, nor that OCL was going to take place here . . .

            • Lil Ole Housewife says

              Dear Lola,

              THe website has been updated. It now says that Archbishop Nathaniel will Preside over the conference:

              http://ocl.org/node/471

              Y’all come. Do don’t even have to attend the lectures to attend the church events. Maybe we could have our own events and invite the Metropolitan.

              I should have copied the previous lineup before it got ecclesiastically cleansed. Here is the new one:

              Thursday, October 25, 2012
              9:00 am
              St. Nicholas Cathedral (3500 Massachusetts Ave, Washington DC).
              Hierarchical Liturgy celebrated by His Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel (Romanian Episcopate).

              12:30 pm
              Orthodox Christian Laity Board Meeting (starts Wednesday evening).
              Tours of Dumbarton Oaks are available on your own: Gardens 2:00-6:00 pm, Museum until 5:00 pm.
              Friday Evening, October 26, 2012
              10:00 am
              Scheduled Tour of National Cathedral, Washington D.C.
              11:30 am
              Tour of Library of Congress
              12:30 pm
              Reception at the Library of Congress, Whittal Pavilion (Thomas Jefferson Bldg, Carriage Check Entrance).
              Program includes: Showcasing the History of OCL in DVD; Dr. James Hadley Billington (Librarian of Congress) – Library Collection; Nicholas Marinides (Visiting Scholar at Dumbarton Oaks): “Piety of the Laity in Byzantium”.
              6:00 pm
              Vespers – St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, 4335 16th St NW, Washington DC (free parking)
              7:00 pm
              Lenten Supper ($25 donation)
              Keynote: His Grace Bishop Maxim, Serbian Orthodox Church, Western Diocese (Alhambra, CA). Topic: “Ecclesiology of community and need for tangible Unity in North America”.
              Protodeacon Peter Danilchick: Update on the work of the Assembly of Bishops followed by Questions & Answers

              Saturday, October 27, 2012
              George Washington University (Mt Vernon Campus): West Hall B 108 A & B, 2100 Foxhall Road NW, Washington, DC 20052
              9:00 am
              Panel Discussion Program: “Our Orthodox Past – Our Orthodox Present – Our Orthodox Future”.

              Panelists include:
              His Grace Bishop Michael, Diocese of New York and New Jersey.

              Nicholas Gvosdev, Professor U.S. Naval War College, Newport, RI.

              Khouria Frederica Mathewes Green, author, commentator, lecturer.

              Marilyn Rouvelas, author, speaker, on the topic of Hellenic culture.

              John Sitilides, Principal at Trilogy Advisors LLC – Manages professional development program for senior US Diplomats in Greece, Cyprus and Turkey; Membe of US-Qatar Business Council and Wilson Council; Member of Board of Trustees of IOCC.

              Michael Tsakalos, business professional, active layman and board member of IOCC.

              Dr. John J. Yiannias, Byzantinist and Professor Emeritus Art History, University of Virginia, and author.

              Dr. Andrew H. Walsh, Assistant Director of Leonard Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life, Trinity College, Hartford, CT.

              Dr. Gayle E. Woloschak, Professor, Researcher, Peer Reviewer, Patent-Inventor, Public Service; faculty member at Departments of Radiation Oncology, Radiology and Cell and Molecular Biology, Robert Lurie Cancer Center, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL.

  15. Not very witty or entertaining

  16. I would say, George, that your view of the world is quite un-Orthodox.

    The Church is not just us and just God, it is the entire Church praying for us to God for us. At the Dread Judgement Seat we trust that the entire Church will be standing with us, witnessing with us, begging God’s mercy upon us. I, for one, hope to approach the Dread Judgement Seat with a cloud of Holy witnesses, not all by myself.

    Today, at this glorious Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos, I found myself standing between the icons and relics of a variety Saints among whom I am not worthy to dare to stand. Yet there I was, surrounded by the community (village) of my compatriots (the Saints) standing before God and begging His ineffable mercy upon me and all those with whom I pray.

    In this post you seem to deny this truth. You seem to accept the Libertarian teaching that each of us is ultimately responsible for and to ourselves. You declare the Communion of Saints “stupidity.”

    Think, George! Don’t mouth the words of Mammon, who would teach you that your wealth comes from you and you alone, and belongs to you and you alone. Don’t reject the teachings of the Fathers. Do not reject Christ and His Church, do not reject the Communion of the Saints. You are on the edge; step back!!!

    • George Michalopulos says

      CQ, although I am far closer to Libertarianism than Socialism on the economic scale, I am not a Libertarian, but a Conservative. Having said that, just because somebody is a Libertarian doesn’t make them not responsive to the needs of his fellows. Far from it. It’s just that most Christians who are true “liberals” know and believe that in order to maximize economic justice, just leaving 98% of the people alone to “make merry as they sit” will result in more prosperity.

      • There was a time when conservatives were the harshest critics of the immorality of Libertarianism. That, of course, was before conservtives found that they could win elections merely by abandoning morality and declaring avarice, gluttony and pride to be virtues.

        In essence, with Reagan the sexual revolution ethos was embraced as an economic model: the satiation of individual desires is the highest good.

        No member of the Body of Christ would declare community to be “stupidity,” because we all know that none of us is saved alone.

        And Vladyka Tikhon is correct, your methodology is the same as Stokoe’s, which is not surprising as you were once his acolyte.

        • CQ, are you not misquoting me? I do see a similarity in the allowance of pseudonyms,, presumably to increase participation, but I don’t recall saying that George’s methodology is the same as Stokoe’s!

    • Seraphim98 says

      I don’t think George is saying what you seem to think he is saying. Libertainianism is not about isolationist individualism. It is about freedom from unreasonable demands and restraints by the state. It’s about the only hand in your pocket being your own. That says nothing about how you use your money and goods, your stewardship of God’s blessings, if you will. Nor is it about denying our place in our communities or our responsibilities to our fellow man within that community.

      Listen to yourself here, “Yet there I was, surrounded by the community (village) of my compatriots (the Saints) standing before God and begging His ineffable mercy upon me and all those with whom I pray.”

      This very assertion refutes your negative premise/assumption concerning your understanding that Libertarianism teaches each of us is responsible for ourselves.

      The fact is we are responsible for ourselves. One day we will each stand before God and give an account of our lives. That doesn’t mean we don’t need help to come to that moment prepared and healed. But neither does it mean any are compelled to help us either. Consider your own words. Did you demand mercy? Did you demand as your right that the Saints pray for you because you were all part of the same community? No you asked. You begged. You entreated. Love for you doubtless moved them to pray for you and moved God to have mercy, but there was no entitlement to that prayer and to that mercy.

      A libertarian can be as free and openhanded with their goods as any saint above. What they resist is the state enforced entitlement of others to their goods. I don’t have a right to the fruits of your labor nor you to mine…we have no such entitlements…else St. Paul would not have asked those in Asia Minor to help the church at Jerusalem, he would have simply demanded it as due. Our mutual obligations to each other are rooted in love for each other in Christ, not in any species of coercion, and certainly not delegating away our responsibilities to care for each other to the state.

      Frankly almost every Orthodox Christian I know is libertarian in their political sympathies…some a bit more to the left, some a bit more to the right…but all of them are for voluntary compassion, not coerced compassion.

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      CQ makes an assessment: “I would say, George, that your view of the world is quite un-Orthodox.”

      It doesn’t surprise me.

      Since I joined the Orthodox Church a quarter-century ago, one lesson has been repeated driven home to me: No matter how hard you try, someone our there is going to accuse you of not being Orthodox.

      A second lesson also seems prominent: The person who accuses you of not being Orthodox has no recognized credentials to make the call.

      Recently I have learned a third lesson: The person who accuses you of not being Orthodox usually prefers to make the accusation anonymously.

      • Nicely snarked, Father, but you avoided addressing the point.

        George judges the idea “it takes a village” to be “stupidity.”

        This is the opposite of what I’ve heard every time I hear a teaching about how important the Church is to our salvation. It is the opposite I’ve heard at every baptism and chrismation. It stands in opposition to many of Orthodoxy’s most cherished prayers, which use the communal terms “us” and “we” instead of the individual terms “me” and “I.” The Trisagion prayers are entirely in the plural, as is the prayer Jesus taught us as recorded in scripture.

        This is why I find George’s view to be un-Orthodox. And clearly you disagree. (A note: I did not write, nor mean, that George himself is not Orthodox as you stated. Surely we are all more than our views, and surely our expressed views are not the whole of any one of us.)

        But to the issue at hand: How do you find declaring the importance of community “stupidity” to be coherent with Orthodox teaching?

        • George Michalopulos says

          CQ, the Church is a Village, the government is not. I look to the Church for my salvation. I look to the government to fix the potholes.

          • A Village is a Village, George. Throughout human history villages consist of both Church and State. We pray in our churches for “the president and government of this country, all her armed forces and civil servants” because the Church beenfits from the stabilizing influence of the State, one need only look to tthose nation where the “Arab Spring” (or the United States) have removed government and left anarchy in its wake to see how Christians lose when government is destroyed.

            In another thread here you opined that you thought America should dominate the world (though you have a fanciful understanding of the mechanics of such domination), here you feel it should merely fill potholes. Those two visions of what government should do are incoherent, one cannot dominate the world by filling potholes.

            • George Michalopulos says

              I still don’t look to the State for my salvation. To do so would necessitate a return to neo-paganism (as in Nazi Germany) or nihilism (as in the Soviet state).

              • No-one is talking about salvation coming from the State, save you, George.

                I know why you’re so dead-set here: because Hillary once used the phrase. And that fact drives you to a knee-jerk reaction which is unthinking and, in fact, contradictory to what you say are your own actual beliefs.

                Just as knee-jerk liberals were rightly rejected, so knee-jerk conseravtives will find themselves in the dumpster. And today it seems that there are more knee-jerk conservatives about than the thinking conservatives who populated the nation when I was young.

                Pre-Reagan conservtives would have agreed that it takes a village, and then initiate a discussion of the nature of the village that it takes. Barry Goldwater’s book “The Conscience of a Conservative” did just that, you might read it sometime. Those conservartives would have discussed the role of charity, the role of civilitiy, and the role of authority within the village. Contrast that with your approach, the difference is stark.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Actually, I didn’t care then, nor care now whether Hillary first used this (possibly) bogus African maxim. In reality, I was against her use of it because I didn’t think that she really meant it in the it is strictly understood: it is the “village” where people find the most happiness. She, like Liberals everywhere, took the particular and expanded it to the general; the “village” transmogrified into the “state,” something which true liberals would be adverse to.

                  Edmund Burke called them the “little platoons.” In ancient Greece, democracy existed only at the polis level (“political”), not the regional or God forbid, the national level. It was only at the city/town/village level that people could truly take the measure of their fellow citizens and entrust them with power.

                  • Mike Myers says

                    Well, George, your learned summary is pithy but simply fails to represent the case at all. Almost all government positions were chosen by lot in the isonomia of Athens — for one term of office, and that was almost always it. And given that democracy there committed suicide, basically, the Athenians’ measure taking of their fellows would appear to have been deeply flawed even when, or perhaps particularly when, it was more thoughtfully executed, as in the case of choosing strategoi.

                    If the Greeks had had more of the national level politics you ignorantly and even ridiculously deride, it is arguable that their polities might have unified and then lasted longer and not been buried under civil war, the Achaemenid Empire and then Rome. By the death of Alexander, it was all over, politically, and democracy was a long-lost dream. But who knows how history might have developed had these rowdy tribes seriously contemplated an expansion of their paltry notions of the polis. Pardon those of us who want silly hicks nowhere near decision making about such vitally important matters in a very, very dangerous world.

                    It’s fascinating how little substance there is in just about anything you write. It is an almost impressive achievement. Kudos, of a sort. . .

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Yes, I was glib about elections. Sometimes it was by lot depending on the polis in question. Still, the principle remained: “all” citizens were eligible for the lottery and all for the ostrakon (black ball or exile). That means that even tanners, artisans, tradesmen, as well as aristocrats were eligible for office. (Slaves, women, resident aliens were not.)

                      That was a radical idea.

                      As for your idea that had the democratic ideal been “nationalized” into all of Greek civilization, that it might have lasted longer, that’s an interesting. It’s possible. But it’s just as likely that it would have hastened its end as well. When Athens, who was the leader of the democratic cities in the Delian League moved the treasury from Delos to Athens, they began a plundering spree that caused bitter resentments in the other democracies.

                      That’s what we’ve been seeing in the US since the time of the New Deal.

                    • Mike Myers says

                      You’re right that it was a radical and, as far as I know, even unheard of idea.

                      These days, the huge preponderance of the plundering of the treasury you allude to is perpetrated from the socioeconomic top, obviously, not by the little people, who have always paid for “entitlements” such as Medicare and Social Security in payroll taxes. Now that these lockboxes have been looted, largely by the same malefactors referenced above, one hears shrieks of alarm from the usual suspects. Judging from the incessant propaganda barrage we have to endure in a country whose media make the apparatchiks of Pravda look like crude and incompetent pikers, they’re gonna get away with that heist, too.

                    • Mike Myers says

                      You’re right that it was a radical and, as far as I know, even unheard of idea.

                      These days, the huge preponderance of the plundering of the treasury to which you allude is perpetrated from the socioeconomic top, obviously, not by the little people, who have always paid for “entitlements” such as Medicare and Social Security in payroll taxes. Now that these lockboxes have been looted, largely by the same malefactors referenced above, one hears shrieks of alarm from the usual suspects. Judging from the incessant propaganda barrage we have to endure in a country whose media make the apparatchiks of Pravda look like crude and incompetent pikers, they’re likely to get away with that heist, too.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Mike, I’ve always been shrieking about the entitlements. Since LBJ’s “Great Society,” we have spent $30 trillion in transfer payments in the War on Poverty. Guess what? Poverty won.

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      The Greeks did have unity on a cultural basis, and then achieved political unity, even if transient, after the Second Persian Invasion of Greece. Before Thermopylae, Salamis and Platea we were Athenians, Spartans, etc. Afterwards we became Hellens (Greeks). This is similar to what happend after the American Civil War.

                      Also, Greeks reached many zeniths of Political Unity Under Alexander the Great, and even after his death the cultural Unity and influance of Greeks kept them united well into the coming of Rome. Further, it was the failing of DIRECT democracy that was recognized by Plato following the death of his teacher and mentor Socrates that motivated Plato to write The Republic .

                      Also, while under Rome remember what the roman poet Horace said: ” Captive Greece took captive her rude conqueror.” Roman Culture was Greek Culture, Roman Republicanism was based on the Greek ideals of Republicanism that rose after the demise of Greek Direct Democracy.

                      Even under Byzantine Rule Greek Politics, culture and Control existed continuing on even under the Turkocratia. Greek may have been taken over many of times by many different people, but they have never been and never will be conqured even with the mess going on in Greece right now.

                      So I would respectfully disagree.

                      Peter

                  • We all understand that you dislike liberals, George. But viewing the world through the lens of that dislike is not helpful to understanding things.

                    You want a government that can dominate the world without actually engaging the world, and fill your potholes. That’s all very nice, but in practical terms (and conservatives used to be the practical ones) there is no way to make that work.

                    Prior to Reagan generations of conservatives argued that making people pay for what they demanded of government would be a natural curb on their appetite for government, but Reagan decoupled appetite and cost with disastrous consequences. Prior to Reagan generations of conservatives argued against allowing the military to become too large, in fact in the Constitution the only standing military is the Navy, the Army was to be funded for only 2 years, as needed. Prior to Reagan generatoins of conservatives were the stalwarts of church and community, and in fact most medical insitutions were charitable in nature.

                    Conservatives need to turn away from the Reagan detour into right-wing populism and return to conservative values and clear-headedness. Unfortunately for conservatives, the only person doing that today is Daniel Larison.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      I don’t dislike Liberals. I dislike nobody (well, maybe Neocons, Bolshevists, Trotskyites, and the assorted Skinhead or two). I simply dislike what now passes for Liberalism. (I’m a classic Liberal in the Jeffersonian sense.)

            • Michael Bauman says

              CQ, there is quite a bit of difference between a village as invsioned by statists (usually some kind of collectivist-egalitarian or darwinian-facist/legalistc prison) vs the village as community in which the community decides how to order their own lives in the context of their love of God and the health and healing of each person (as opposed to individual) and governed and shaped by Tradition and sacrament.

              Unfortunately, right now the prevailing political idelogies are not very helpful: Collectivist statism on the one hand vs individualistic statism on the other. I wouldn’t want to live in any village either philosophy shaped as both are quite likely to be utopian nightmares.

              As Patrick McGoohan’s character in the deligthful mini-series of years ago, The Prisoner, said so very freguently in the midst of his really nice, pretty little seaside village where he was captive: “I am a man, I am not a number.”

              I mean, after all, if you think a village is a village is a village, just remember Bill Clinton: “It all depends on what the meaing of the word is, is”

              “Be seein’ you”

              • Unfortunately, right now the prevailing political idelogies are not very helpful…

                And so we should deny the importance of community to our wellbeing and that of our offspring?

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Of course not. I’ve never met anybody on the Right who doesn’t believe in “community.” And I’ve actually known some “anarcho-capitalists” who worship at the altar of Ayn Rand.

                  • Lola J. Lee Beno says

                    Anarcho-capitalists???

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Yeah, these guys describe themselves this way. No or minimal laws, extreme individualism, just agreeing on a unit of currency.

                  • Patrick Henry Reardon says

                    Geroge writes, “I’ve actually known some “anarcho-capitalists” who worship at the altar of Ayn Rand.”

                    On FOX News this week Paul Ryan took a critical swipe at the “atheistic materialism” of Ayn Rand.

                    I mention this because somebody on this blog recently accused him of being an Objectivist.

                    • Mike Myers says

                      Fr. Reardon, please. Maybe you’d be willing to believe the man’s own premeditated, publicly spoken words?

                      http://youtu.be/tFEyBKssP6Q

                      Ryan’s enconium of Ayn Rand begins at 1:40. His sort of adolescently mindless pitting of “collectivism” vs. individualism is the intellectually and spiritually bankrupt resort of corrupt charlatans. The human condition is social, period. That is a fact that is simply not up for debate among decent and honest people.

                      Obviously, Ryan must flip-flop, as he will have to do on numerous other matters that will come back to haunt him, just as Romney must do incessantly. The man’s values and priorities are illustrated with perfect clarity by his works and also by the sort of people who are grooming and bankrolling him. And nothing is more obvious than that his treasure and that of the people whom he serves sure as hell ain’t in heaven.

                      I credit you with not intending to give a false impression of where Ryan’s coming from and who his political inspiration is, but you’ve done it. The man has told you in a prepared speech precisely where he’s coming from, so I hope you’ll abstain from presumably unintentional participation in such misrepresentations in the future. Adolescent, shallow “individualism” and Christianity don’t mix, pace St. Ronnie (Reagan). It has next to nothing to do with genuine conservatism either. I take it you know this.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Mike, while I disagree with Rand’s atheism, I cannot disagree with her love of liberty. It is for a similar reason that even though I disagreed with Christopher Hitchen’s anti-theism, I could not disagree with his broadsides against Islamofascism.

                    • Monk James says

                      George Michalopulos says (August 19, 2012 at 4:40 pm):

                      ‘Mike, while I disagree with Rand’s atheism, I cannot disagree with her love of liberty. It is for a similar reason that even though I disagreed with Christopher Hitchen’s anti-theism, I could not disagree with his broadsides against Islamofascism.’

                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                      I wonder if Paul Ryan really ‘gets’ Ayn Rand. He — and others who want to get a good handle on her philosophical stance — might do well to read Albert Ellis’s 1960-something book Is Objectivism a Religion?

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Monk James, all economic and political ideologies are prey to religiosity. Rand ran her Objectivist School like a cult, of this there can be no doubt. Part of that is because she was an atheist and even atheists desire religiosity. Look for example at how the neo-paganism of Nazism was necessarily fused with the trappings of Catholicism and Marxist-Leninism with the trappings of Orthodoxy (large icons, processions). That doesn’t negate the essence of her love of liberty.

                • Michael Bauman says

                  On the contrary CQ, we should work as hard as possible against the prevailing statist ideology and concentrate on building real community in our families in our parish. Then, OH MY, we might actual have good bishops and be able to evangelize the U.S. and North America like we are supposed to.

                  I must be loosing my ability to write clearly. We don’t have to choose between to false visions of community and bash our brothers and sisters when they choose the other. We have to work to build genuine community founded on the truth.

                  • I’d say we largely agree, Michael.

                    I entered into this thread because George’s statement at the outset that “it takes a village” is “stupidity” is manifestly false no matter how it is parsed. It is false theology, it is false civics, it is false reality.

                    Community is not limited to the family and the Church, however, per the Parable of the Good Samaritan. And the village has always been made up of both Church and State, so that being for the village is not necessarily more or less statist than being for the local athletic team.

                    If there is a “statist” impulse in America, it arises from a sense of entitlement and an unwillingness to be involved in the work or community. We feel entitled to the benefits of community but that the work involved in maintaining community is below us, and so we demand government do things that we used to do together, and in so doing helped to form community itself. Funny how that works, but so long as we’re unwilling to do the work of the community there will only be consumers and government.

                • Patrick Henry Reardon says

                  CQ asks, “And so we should deny the importance of community to our wellbeing and that of our offspring?”

                  Someone is doing this?

          • Dear Michael Bauman,

            Is wrong to WORSHIP Theotokos?

            Is OK to use Bible to make a joke?

            I am an Orthodox for 50 years — I always WORSHIPED Theotokos!

            I will always praise Theotokos or all the miracles I was blessed to be witness of!

            O My my most blessed Queen,
            O Theotokos my hope,gardian of orphans,
            Intercessor for strangers, joy of the sorrowful,
            Protectress of the wronged: thou seest my misfortune,
            Thou seest my affliction; help me, for I am weak;
            Feed me for I am a stranger.
            Thou knowest mine offence: absolve it as thou wilt,
            For I have no other help thee, no other intercessor,
            Not good consoler except thee,
            O MOTHER OF GOD.
            Do thou preserve and protect me
            Unto the ages of ages.
            Amen

            • Lola J. Lee Beno says

              Do you know the difference between “worship” and “venerate”? There really is a difference and I suggest that you talk with your priest about this.

              • Dear Lola J. Beno

                I am a native Russian speaker — I will adore, I will praise, venerate and worship Mother of God!
                I do not need a theologian to find an absolute and proper word in English to describe my devotion to The Most Blessed Theotokos, Mother of God.

                Most Blessed Theotokas, pray for me, sinner

              • Monk James says

                Lola J. Lee Beno says (August 18, 2012 at 6:49 pm):

                ‘Do you know the difference between “worship” and “venerate”? There really is a difference and I suggest that you talk with your priest about this.’
                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                This is true only in English, and mostly — I think — under protestant influence. And that’s just recently. As I mentioned earlier, it was common for Anglicans to speak of worshiping each other in their wedding vows.

                We need to be much more aware of the heritage of our churchly language in Greek before we spout off with our limited experience of English.

                • Lola J. Lee Beno says

                  I read your explanation elsewhere – thanks for the explanation.

                  I do need to point out that I don’t know Greek, in any version. And I can’t always break down “worship” mentally into the different shades of the Greek definition. How do you explain “worship” in laymen terms, using the Greek definitions, to English speakers who are monolingual (I’m not monolingual, by the way), have not had classic education, have no knowledge of the Orthodox Church and used to “only worshipping God”?

                  • Monk James says

                    Lola J. Lee Beno says (August 19, 2012 at 5:28 am):

                    ‘I read your explanation elsewhere – thanks for the explanation.

                    I do need to point out that I don’t know Greek, in any version. And I can’t always break down “worship” mentally into the different shades of the Greek definition. How do you explain “worship” in laymen terms, using the Greek definitions, to English speakers who are monolingual (I’m not monolingual, by the way), have not had classic education, have no knowledge of the Orthodox Church and used to “only worshipping God”?’

                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                    Please forgive me for not expressing myself more clearly. My point was that this distinction is an almost exclusively english-language problem located in our bowdlerizing tendency to translate proskyneO as ‘worship’ when referring to God and as ‘venerate’ regarding the saints.

                    The greek texts of our scriptures and services don’t ‘feel’ this difference, and so use the same word comfortably in both situations. It’s probably not a good idea to edit a difference into our translations when it doesn’t occur in the original text.

                    There is nothing wrong with making this distinction in English, but it is very wrong of us to insist that NOT making this distinction is wrong UNLESS we make it clear at the same time that we’re describing only English.

                    Hope this helps!

                  • Dear Lola J.Beno,

                    Is it really so important to use the most proper word to express our love to God, to Theotokos, and Saints. There are many Icons of Theotokos holding her son Jesus Chris.
                    Must we always say “I worship you, my Lord! I venerate you, Theotokos!”?
                    Since Orthodoxy was brought to America from Russia it might be interesting for you to know that the meaning of the word “worship” will be: *adore, *kneel, *attend church service * pray…

                    Lord, have mercy on me, sinner!

                  • What other language do you speak?

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Monk James,
                  If it cannot be adequately and properly explained in English, then perhaps it is not the Church you think she is? I say once again: In this country at this point in time, English is the dominant language and we are expressing ourselves in English on this blog.

                  My whole training and teaching in the Church, in English, since I was received has been that there is a real and significant difference between veneration and worship and that worship is due to God alone. Are you saying that I was taught incorrectly by my priest and my bishop?

                  If you want to understand and adequately communicate to those who speak English in their own homes, I suggest you learn English adequtely to do so. It is both rude and arrogant to demand that we change to fit your limited ability to understand English and express yourself in it.

                  I am weary of always being held in contempt because I am not Greek, Lebanese, or Russian. Man, get over yourself.

                  English is a beautiful, powerful and deeply poetic language. If you were 1/10 the scholar you think, you’d find a way to convey the faith oh so properly in English.

                  In this case, I feel that the spirit of the Scribes has gotten the better of you. IMO, we do not need to go looking for every last jot and tittle in Greek to live an authentic Christian life. If we do, then I’m in the wrong place and I’d just as soon y’all tend to your ethnic snobbery someplace else and take your frozen nose with you.

                  The Church will die here if her people do not fully and lovingly embrace the English language and the people who speak it. So far, there is little evidence that that will ever happen.

                  ….and frankly I don’t care what the Anglicans do. They marry homosexuals to each other and in their case the language is probably correct. They are worshipping the created thing rather than their creator and they always have.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Michael, as usual, you are completely correct. For what it’s worth, those who revered the icons in Byzantium were not called ikonolatroi (icon-worshippers) but ikonodouloi (icon-servants). Unfortunately, Runciman and Norwich get this wrong. I have a feeling that if any Iconodule living in the 7th century used the word Icon-worshippers” he would have been horse-whipped by his fellows.

                  • Monk James says

                    There are so many strident oddities expressed here. Clearly, Michael Bauman has ‘issues’, which don’t involve me, but since he took the time and trouble to write about them, and addressed me personally, I’ll respond to them as best I can. My remarks are interpolated among his own.

                    I honestly didn’t intend to offend him or anyone else with what I wrote earlier, and I certainly don’t mean to offend him now. I hope he’ll forgive me for having a point of view which won’t agree with his concerns to any great extent. — Monk James
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                    Michael Bauman says (August 19, 2012 at 7:45 pm):

                    ‘Monk James,
                    If it cannot be adequately and properly explained in English, then perhaps it is not the Church you think she is?’

                    I haven’t the slightest idea what this means.

                    ‘I say once again: In this country at this point in time, English is the dominant language and we are expressing ourselves in English on this blog.’

                    Was that ever in doubt? I plead ‘innocent’ to ever having written anything to the contrary here.

                    ‘My whole training and teaching in the Church, in English, since I was received has been that there is a real and significant difference between veneration and worship and that worship is due to God alone.’

                    I plead ‘innocent’ to ever having written anything to the contrary here. In fact, I made the same point explicitly when I responded to Lola J. Lee Beno’s request for a clarification.

                    At the same time, though, it remains true that we cannot say that we orthodox Christians do not ‘worship’ the Mother of God or the saints EXCEPT IN ENGLISH. The greek texts of our scriptures and services do NOT make the sort of distinction we feel the need to make in english-language translations in view of recent (as these things go) changes in our sensibilities.

                    ‘Are you saying that I was taught incorrectly by my priest and my bishop?’

                    Maybe, especially if they taught you a version of Our Father which includes ‘daily bread’ and ‘trespasses’, etc., etc., but they did so with all the best intentions, poorly taught as they themselves then must have been.

                    ‘If you want to understand and adequately communicate to those who speak English in their own homes, I suggest you learn English adequtely to do so. It is both rude and arrogant to demand that we change to fit your limited ability to understand English and express yourself in it.’

                    And is it I who’s being rude and arrogant?!

                    My native language is American English, which I think I handle well enough, along with a dozen or so other tongues I’ve learned over the years, all of which help me to appreciate both the successes and failures of english-language translations of liturgical and theological texts.

                    ‘I am weary of always being held in contempt because I am not Greek, Lebanese, or Russian. Man, get over yourself.’

                    Well. It seems that we’re back to being rude. If people are treating Mr Bauman with contempt because he is ‘not Greek, Lebanese, or Russian’, that might say more about him than about them. I mean, how could so many different cultures find one man so contemptible? Is it possible that he’s being as aggressively ignorant with them as he is with me? The good news is that ignorance is curable with some well directed education. Stupidity — of which I’m not accusing Mr Bauman — requires divine intervention to be remedied.

                    ‘English is a beautiful, powerful and deeply poetic language.’

                    No argument here. I’ve devoted more than half my life to studying problems of translation into English, and I never fail to be amazed by the language’s capacities.

                    ‘If you were 1/10 the scholar you think, you’d find a way to convey the faith oh so properly in English.

                    In this case, I feel that the spirit of the Scribes has gotten the better of you.’

                    So, if my scholarly findings are incompatible with Mr Bauman’s scholarly findings (or maybe just opinions), I’m self-evidently in error? And I think he’s misappropriated the example of the ‘scribes’ here.

                    ‘IMO, we do not need to go looking for every last jot and tittle in Greek to live an authentic Christian life. If we do, then I’m in the wrong place

                    Whence comes this notion?! No one. least of all myself, has ever suggested such a thing. But it IS important that we have painfully exact translations of the scriptures and the services, not to mention the many theological commentaries on them which so enrich the Tradition we all hold sacred. This requires facility with Greek and Hebrew at least, and several other languages if we can manage that. Not everyone is called to — maybe burdened with — the responsibility of translation. Yet the ministry of translation is recognized from the very dawn of Christianity.

                    ‘and I’d just as soon y’all tend to your ethnic snobbery someplace else and take your frozen nose with you.’

                    Well. Back to rude again. For the record, I’m 3/4 of an Irishman and I haven’t the slightest trace of ‘ethnic snobbery’ in me. Where does all this animus originate?!

                    ‘The Church will die here if her people do not fully and lovingly embrace the English language and the people who speak it. So far, there is little evidence that that will ever happen.’

                    Nonsense. There’s a great deal of experience and sacred literature in English to attest just the contrary

                    ‘….and frankly I don’t care what the Anglicans do. They marry homosexuals to each other and in their case the language is probably correct. They are worshipping the created thing rather than their creator and they always have.’

                    The fact is that the anglican tradition is the first historic effort to represent the liturgy — any liturgy — in English. We can no more ignore that than the weather. We’re discussing language here, merely language.

                    And if the anglican wedding service said for centuries ‘with my body I thee worship and with all my earthly goods I thee endue’, that’s an important example on the record that we native speakers of 21st c. English have developed sensibilities about the word ‘worship’ which earlier generations of english-speaking Christians of one dox or another didn’t share.

                    I hope that this helps to advance the discussion, and that Mr Bauman will take a few language courses and maybe something for his indigestion.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Monk James, I’m still with Michael on this. Elizabethan English is the height of euphony. Quite probably approaching Attic Greek (but this is a supposition as we can’t be sure how Attic Greek sounded in situ. All we can do is go by contemporaneous records.)

                    • Monk James says

                      George Michalopulos says (August 20, 2012 at 9:18 pm):

                      ‘Monk James, I’m still with Michael on this. Elizabethan English is the height of euphony.’

                      That’s not a statement of fact, and shouldn’t be expressed as such. It’s a matter of taste, a preference, an opinion shared by many people — and NOT shared by many others

                      ;Quite probably approaching Attic Greek (but this is a supposition as we can’t be sure how Attic Greek sounded in situ. All we can do is go by contemporaneous records.)’

                      We actually DO have a pretty good idea of how classical Greek sounded, mostly thanks to paleographic evidence such as spellings, misspellings, puns,foreign words,representation of animal sounds, etc.

                      One really clear example is Βή βή, used to represent the vocalization of sheep. Modern Greek pronounces this as ‘vee vee’, but even greek sheep say ‘baa baa’, and that’s pretty much what Βή βή sounded like in 5th-c B.C. Athens.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      It is an opinion, but one steeped in fact. Primarily the fact that Shakespeare is considered the greatest playwrite in history. His plays have been translated into other languages and media (the Japanese movie Ran is a retelling of King Lear set in a Samurai setting). His plays MacBeth, Julius Caesar, Henry V, Romeo & Juliet have been made over umpteen times with people increasingly gravitating to the more traditional renditions (or trying to remake them as close to the traditional as possible). Henry V and Hamlet spring instantly to mind.

                      If there was not intrinsic beauty here, none of the above would have happened. Nor would the King James Bible still be the most popular book in the world.

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      Monk James, I have issues with the seeming inablity for those who know better to lower themselves to we poor English speaking boobs. Other languages are always better, more elvevated and therefore more holy. English, ‘sniff’, well, English is sooooooooooooooooo crude.

                      It is not me personally who is dismissed, rarely, it is the attitude toward my language and my people that I find constantly dismissive. More often than not the care of the old country, whatever the old country is, comes before evangelizing the Canadians and Americans and other English speaking people. Ministering to the old country in the langauge of the old contry takes precedence over ministering to us in our own home.

                      Why should I learn other languages in order to be taught the faith and fully participate in it. Seems to me one of the points of Pentecost was that God would reach everyone in their own language. why should English always be the exception with a bone tossed here or there and even then it is always criticized as being wrong and incomplete and insufficient.

                      Using the local language is a sign that the Church loves the poeple, Instead the manner in which the Church is brought to us, is largely dismissive sortat (you can come in if you must, but don’t think anything about actually being part of us.).

                      To here you tell it, we are a massively disabled Church because of bad translations. I’m just a peon and developmentally disabled when it comes to learning langugages so I really am a second class citizen.

                      Thanks, if that is what it takes to be fully Orthodox, its not happening. Guess I”l always be the village idiot.

                      In this particular case, I know English far better that IB does. but I’m wrong for interpreting English to him/her because English is a poor language and if I really knew Greek and could spend all day analyzing the past participle of the whoha, then, maybe then I could be understand the proper Orthodox attitude.

                      If IB wanted to communitcate in English, then it is best to understand English connotations, but no, he/she will contiune in the arrogance of the native language with out any respect for what it really means in English and how the use of the word worship in English impacts those who speak American English. And that is our barbaian fault.

                      It is up to the bishops, the pastors and other leaders to make the faith accessible rather than putting a fence around it.

                  • What language did St. Nicholas speak?
                    How many Saints did actually speak English?
                    What is the language of Heaven?

                    You said that with my limited knowledge of English I can’t be a parishioner of the (OCA?) church? What church do you think I should go to? The founders of my church were Russian immigrants, they raised funds to build it…

                    From the time of the Council of Nicea until the 1500’s the Bible was NOT written in English, and nobody made the distinction between”worship” and “venerate,” it is the same word to describe our feelings of adoration for both Jesus and Theotokos. Are you now saying that, thanks to English, we had it wrong for almost 1300 years and now we must make this distinction because the English language demands it? That, in my mind, is the height of snobbery.
                    Everybody in Russian orthodox church knows the difference between our Lord Jesus Christ, Theotokos (Bogoroditsa) and Saints. Even people who did not go to seminary. It is given to us by our grandparents and their grandparents….

                    And you are absolutely right — English is a beautiful language. I love it! It is much more simple than Russian. I enjoy learning it.

                    PS — I did not notice any rude and arrogant demands to change the English into Greek, Lebanese or Russian…

                    Lord, have mercy!

                    • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                      The Second Council of Nicea made the distinction between worship (latreia) and venerate (douleia) in 787 long before the development of the modern English language. Before the Council, the Holy Fathers made the same distinction. No one supports worship in English in America more strongly than I do, although I also recognize the necessity to use a foreign language in a parish made up mostly of recent immigrants. However, unless you understand the meaning of certain theological terms in Greek, you cannot understand Orthodox theology. The ultimate authority on the meaning of any Biblical text is the original Greek. No English translation has the authority of the original Greek text.

                      Archpriest John W. Morris

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      Never said anything of trhe kind IB. Not once, never even thought it. But there are many folks who seem to think that about me because I only speak English

                      Fr. John, so what am I supposed to do? To me what your saying is tantamount to saying that only those who understand ancient Greek fully and completely have the capacity to be fully Orthodox. The authority to preach and teach and pray and liturgize is not the same in English as it is in ancient Greek.

                      Monk James says that even my utterance of the Lord’s Prayer is defective, is it therefore not salvific? Are we all destined to linger in the limbo or near heretical thougth because we speak and think in English?

                      If these things don’t effect salvation, then they are moot. If they do, it is up to the ones who know to effect a proper translation that is salvific. I am not to blame for your inadequacies as is the case so often presented.

                      I have another question Fr. John. If Antiochian parish which has few immigrants suddenly has an great influx from Syria due to the horror over there, does that mean we have to start using Arabic to the exclusion of English? Is the magic number 50% + 1 or 48%. Where is the cut off. Are we to be yet another generation in the ghetto cutting ourselves off from the land in which we live, romanticizing the past and what is no more?

            • Michael Bauman says

              The Bible is still a created thing. It is of God, but it is not God. The miracles that are done through the intercession of the Theotokos are just that, through her intercession. She does not do them but God does them.

              If English is not your native language, I can understand the confusion, but I’ve spoken English for over 60 years and I can tell you, that in English, worship describes an attitude and an act that is not approriate toward either the Bible or the Theotokos. If an Orthodox person had told me that they worshipped Mary and the Bible before I became Orthodox, I would have been appalled.

              • I feel attacked here just because I said I “worship” the Bible. I hope it is understood that it was said in a social context. What I meant was that I am in awe of the word of God.
                Different people use different words to describe the same emotions. I am effusive when it comes to expressing my feelings about my love to God.
                I came from the country where it was dangerous to own a Bible… communists ridiculed the Bible to propagate atheism…icons were smashed, the Bible was prohibited, churches were demolished… faithful were prosecuted…There are still places in the world where you can be killed for being an Orthodox Christian.
                I think that to make any kind of joke in the form of Bible Scripture is absolutely unacceptable for a real steward of the Orthodox faith.

                Lord have mercy on me, the sinner

      • Michael Bauman says

        Fr. Patrick, don’t forget the fourth criteria, the sole reason for the accusation is that you don’t agree with them or are not willing to give them something they want.

        It’s a bit ilke the street people who beg for money and if refused accuse you of not being Christian.

  17. Bill Christensen says

    Abortion (baby killing) is an abomination. However, no matter any politicians viewpoint it is a moot issue. It has been decided by the supreme court. Until we get that changed politicians only are using this issue for political fodder on either side i.e. it makes no difference. It has been decided. It is a moot issue. If you want a change take it up with the supreme court.

    • Mr. Christensen,

      While it is true that some, perhaps even most, politicians use this issue merely for campaign fodder, it is not true that “any politicians viewpoint it is a moot issue.” Elected officials, the President and U.S. Senators (politicians by definition), are those who nominate and confirm Supreme Court Justices as well as Federal Judges whose decisions influence cases that are brought before the SCOTUS. And since these Justices and Federal judges enjoy lifetime terms, one election can influence an entire generation.

      I encourage you to re-think the ‘mootness’ of this issue as it relates to support or non-support of politicians since you obviously understand abortion for what it is: the abomination of baby-killing. Sincere Christians can argue about many things (war, social justice, the death penalty, etc.), but there can be no greater manifest evil than legalized (and even government funded) baby-killing. We have an obligation as constitutionally empowered Christian citizens to influence our republic, however imperfectly, to recognize and respect the image of God in human persons in matters of law. It is, at minimum, our obligation to vote against those who leave not the faintest of doubt about their thoroughly consistent pro-baby-killing positions.

      This is not – and has never been- a matter of partisanship. There are candidates in all parties who respect the image of God, and there are candidates in all parties who make it crystal clear that they never will. If this evil is ever to be cleansed from our land, it will be because God-fearing citizens voted for politicians who nominated and confirmed judges who share the Judeo-Christian understanding of the human person.

      • Chris Banescu says

        Well said Brian! There is no greater moral and ethical imperative than the defense of innocent life. And life in the womb is the most innocent and most defenseless of all. This is NOT a partisan issue and it has nothing to do with politics. Conservatives opposed with just as much passion the pathetic pro-abortion voting records of Olympia Snowe and Paul Sarbanes.

        Olympia Snowe’s Pro-Abortion Voting Record
        http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/blog/2012/03/olympia-snowes-pro-abortion-voting-record/

        Senators Sarbanes and Snowe Betray the Moral Heritage of the Orthodox Christian Faith
        http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles/JacobseSarbannesSnowe.php

        Paul Sarbanes’ Pro-Abortion Voting Record
        http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/blog/2012/02/paul-sarbanes-pro-abortion-voting-record/

        IOCC Should Reconsider Senator Sarbanes as Honorary Chairman
        http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/blog/2012/02/iocc-should-reconsider-senator-sarbanes-as-honorary-chairman/

        • Brian Jackson says

          We have been sending annual support to IOCC for many years; however, when my wife and I learned of the scandalous Sarbanes acting as honorary chairman of IOCC’s recent fundraising shindig we were appalled. I wrote to express my disappointment to Mr. Triantafilou, His Eminence Archbishop Nicolae, and to whatever general inbox the website email goes to, but I received no response. We have since found a Greek Orthodox orphanage in India which will now receive the annual support we had previously earmarked for IOCC. Recently, a new IOCC employee– a development officer– contacted us very politely by email, thanking us for our support. Of course I responded that no further support would be forthcoming and explained the reason why. I was pleased that he wrote back right away expressing his sympathy with our position and indicated that he forwarded my concern to Billy Brown, the Director of Development, and that I should anticipate a response. This was two weeks ago. I’m still waiting. A simple, “Hey, you’re right. We’re sorry for having chosen so stupidly to make the public face of IOCC– however temporarily– the radically pro-abortion ‘Orthodox’ Senator Sarbanes. Please forgive us, and we shall never make this mistake again,” would suffice to restore my trust. The silence I’ve received instead only confirms that I should be redirecting my giving elsewhere.

      • Bill Christensen says

        OK I see your point but it is a rather “evolutionary process” of how the “practice” must be changed. I agree that eventually if we can get enough politicians who choose the “right” supreme court person, then it is slightly more likely that the law will change—but not very likely.

        I still claim that your views are “evolutionary” and to vote for someone who is against baby killing and to change the position of the supreme court is a very very very long “battle” or process. In addition, The supreme court is quite cautious about changing previously decided issues which is makes it a more lengthy process.

        I also am against capital punishment and have to be so for the same “theological” reasons. Having worked in a prison I can tell you I would personally prefer to “take the death penalty” than to spend the rest of my life in a environs worse than I can imagine hell. It also costs about 7-10 million dollars per person to implement. So even cost wise it is foolish.

        • If executions were carried out a couple days or weeks after sentencing without appeals, it shouldn’t cost too
          much, depending on the executioner’s fees. The penal code of Charles V, the so called Carolina,
          the Constitutio Criminalis of 1531, which was law in most of Europe, in some countries well into the 19th century, should be reintroduced. Punishments, in order to be a deterrent, should be painful and terrifying.
          If murderers still were broken on the wheel and thieves hanged, as they should be, crime would drop very
          quickly and the streets would be safe again. The Church didn’t not oppose those measures either.
          I know that these laws will never be brought back, the humanists would never allow it,
          but it would be good if they were.

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      Bill Christenten writes: “Abortion (baby killing) is an abomination. However, no matter any politicians viewpoint it is a moot issue. It has been decided by the supreme court. Until we get that changed politicians only are using this issue for political fodder on either side i.e. it makes no difference. It has been decided. It is a moot issue. If you want a change take it up with the supreme court.”

      It is not a moot question, and Bill’s assessment is a counsel of despair.

      When the Supreme Court decided, in the Dred Scott Case, that “a black man has no rights that a white man must respect,” that decision did not render the question of slavery moot. It simply focused the attention of the American people.

      That’s what Roe v Wade did. It did not settle the question of abortion. It simply focused the attention of the American people.

      Try to stay focused, Bill.

      If you believe that abortion is baby-murder, don’t soil your conscience by voting for the baby murderer who currently lives in the White House.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Bill, oh Bill even some pro-abortionists are beginning to realized and comment on the fact that the legal reasoning used to support the Supreme Court’s authority on the issue of abortion was bad and the decision highly questionable from both a legal and Constitutional point of view because of weak foundation.

      And last I checked the Supreme Court is not on Mt. Siani nor do they live in Rome, therefore they are not in any way, shape or form infallible.

      They are political appointees. They have always made decisions in line with political realities and ideolgies of the time in which they were made.

      There is a lot of activity at the state level to restrict abortion and much of it is being upheld, despite Roe vs Wade.

      When the moral/theological climate is changed, law changes, or at least the interpretation of law changes.

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        Actually, Roe v. Wade was mostly overturned by Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), 505 US 833 (1992). The very reason that most Federal and State Abortion bans are not only in affect, but hold under constitutional scrutiny is because of the Casey case. Our 2003 (or 2005?) Federal Partial Birth-Abortion ban was upheld by the Supreme Court because of Casey. In fact, I have always argued that Casey has basically led to the death of Abortion in this country if only our elected politians follow the guidelines of Casey and basically restrict Abortion into Oblivian.

        Although Casey retained a Woman’s right to have an Abortion it placed it placed it within the context of the “VIABILITY” of the baby. Medical science has not only pushed the definition of viability further and further back to where both State governments and the Federal Government can effectively ban all Abortions once the viability of the child has been established OR is proved medically (i.e. Brainwaves, heartbeat, blood flow, etc.).

        So we can effectively ban all Abortions AFTER the viability of the baby. That’s pretty darn close to the point of conception. This is why after Casey the battle moved to the “Morning After Pill” that can be taken within hours to days after conception, but BEFORE any signs of viability can be detected.

        This further highlights the current battle over the HHS Mandate over the funding of contraception. There is virtually no difference if one lables “The Pill” as contraception OR an Abortive it will get around the “Viability” standard of Casey.

        I, as a lawyer, would disagree as to the Supreme Court’s so-called Political bent. Although I acknowledge that our judges have political leanings that color their take on the law, the Court, especially the Supreme Court, truly strives for Political Independence as the most recent decisions of Citizen’s United and the Obamacare decisions have shown. I would be slow and hesitent to ascribe political motivations to the judicary and caution against such an attitude.

        Peter

        • Michael Bauman says

          You are correct Peter, it would be more accurate to state that they are influence by the political climate around them. While they often strive for independence and one cannot but any stock in which President appointed them as to how they vote, they are still in the political milleau.

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            Yes. That’s a better way of what I was trying to say above. You are correct.

  18. cynthia curran says

    I like George he thinks differently from a lot of Orthodox maybe in some cultural ways George is more western. I mean the west of the past not modern thinking on the moral issues but since he like Reagan more for private undertaking for individualism not saying that is always perfect.

  19. David Axelnerd says

    George, it’s your Blog, write whatever you want.

    For all the neo-Orthodox that post to this blog, I’ve got news for you; the Church has ALWAYS been political. Christ Himself changed the politics of the world’s greatest empire.

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      I do not know what you mean by “Political?” Christ’s Kindom is NOT of this Earth. Our true Home is the Church, and The Gospel of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, along with his Blessed resurrection, has already defeated the forces of sin and death.

      Christ did not change the Politics of the Roman Empire, Christ changed the hearts and saved the souls of us poor sinners. The cruelty of the Crusades still occurred. The evils of the Inquisition still occurred. The sins and avarece of Human Political systems continued and still continue to this day. Our U.S. Government has killed many a people by simply taking away their Humanity and labing them “Terrorists”, “Muslims”, Etc. (Sorry George I disagree with you on this issue the De-humanizing affect of War is equivalent to the De-Humanizing affect of Abortion). While I agree in defending ouselves militarily, I disagree with the evils of war, and true attempt to cultivate a true Christian Peacemaker attitude as we all should.

      So don’t look at governments being changed. Christ did not die for Governments or Politics, but for sinners in need of Salvation like you and me.

      Peter

      • George Michalopulos says

        Good points Peter. Except that by changing the hearts of men Christ did eradicate the cruelty of the Roman Empire. As for the Crusades, they weren’t any more cruel than any other wars that the Byzantines prosecuted. The Inquisition itself was created to ferret out false allegations of heresy and to prevent people from being unjustly punished. Once it was ruled that a person was indeed guilty of heresy, he was turned over to the secular authorities for punishment.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          I understand George, but even a heretic has the right to believe what he wants to believe and to live his life without the fear of death. You and I both know the History of the Holy Roman Empire (Both its Byzantine form and Western Christian Form), and it wasn’t pretty Nor Christian in many respects.

          I guess I do not buy the notion that a government should be “instilled” with a Christian morality, as this would grant sometype of personhood to the government, as opposed to, what I believe, a government reflecting and enforcing the morality of its people.

          If the People are Christian and moral the laws of its government will be Christian and moral. When the people stop being Christian and moral so do their government’s laws. This is why the “Can’t legislate Morality” argument is false and misses the mark.

          Its the People that reflect the morality, that hold the morality not “government” or even a “corporation” for that matter. The reason that we in the U.S. are faced with the government that we have, the political leaders that we have and the cadidates for President that we have is because for many years we just abdicated our responsibility as citizens and just did not care.

          Now that we do care I am not so sure if we can fix our government within our lifetimes. Maybe our children’s lifetime, but do not know for sure. But what I do know is that my salvation, not the government’s, is dependent on Christ. That is my blessed hope and for which I am eternally grateful to Almighty God and Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

          Peter

  20. cynthia curran says

    True, George not opening a can of worms on Byzantine war for example, the Reconquest of Italy by Justinian was a long war about 18 years and Milan was destroy because Belisarius and company delayed while the Goths destroy it. Naples was sack and damage and Belisarius had a lot of foreign troops that sack and raped Naples. Rome lost what was left of most of its Educated system since the Goths cut the Aqueducts. According to Procopius in his Goth war histroy their were corrupt government officials. Justinian could have gotten the war over faster if he put more money into it. Probably the best result for the Byzantines were to recapture the Southern part of Italy which they held some parts up to the the late 11th century and Sicily which one could shipped grain. Most of the northern part was taken by the Lombard just after Justinian’s death. And Justinian’s tax collectors could be ruthless in Italy there was a man John the Scissors that would clipped gold coins from people.

  21. cynthia curran says

    I mean Rome lost most of its water system since the Aqueducts were cut by the Goths.

  22. I wish to thank posters here for the information provided about Metropolitan Jonah’s situation – to me who am out of the loop in the same way that Saint Mary of Egypt found herself in the desert (though not suffering the trials and improvements she went through) this blog has been extremely helpful, and I thank you all so much.

    It is extraordinary to me that the last time I visited here was also a time of such a cataclysm, and I note that the next earthquake may happen very close to our political election, so my prayers will be with you all.

    I apologize – I didn’t read the post for the same reason that others have given, that it is too close to the words of the Scriptures and so qualifies as parody. I know in our lighter moments sometimes we do this – I do myself, with a smile and a warm encouragement to recognize the Scripture standing behind my joke. Somehow in print and a long form of it, I can’t bring myself to go there. And maybe I should be more careful of my jokes also.

    I do think there have been changes here since I last visited and the quality of the comments on current happenings is for the most part very high and worth reading; I have learned much. Thank you.

    Personally, I deeply feel that politics and faith are separate but conjoined aspects of our being. The polis is the people, and we should love our neighbor as ourselves, not to mention that as a professor of mine once said, we all stand on the shoulders of giants. I don’t think it will be possible to find the perfect candidate since we should not put our faith in princes, in sons of men in whom there is no salvation. So, we should look at all the alternatives and choose thoughtfully what we are going to do.

    Were there only Romney and Obama to choose from, I would choose Romney simply because he has not committed the acts I consider grievous. He has not sent out murdering drones. Having not done that, there is still the chance he will not do it. But there is another choice, though the mainstream media shut them out of consideration. I will vote for Jill Stein. She is the Green Party candidate and she too has not made decisions to murder people. (I felt this way about Bush also, that he had had the power to commute sentences and did not do that.) I don’t believe in abortion; but that is an individual’s choice. I would not vote for anyone who ordered people to get abortions.

    Sorry to be so longwinded. I am an Orthodox Christian, and these are my views. Thank you for letting me post.

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      “as a professor of mine once said, we all stand on the shoulders of giants”

      I didn’t take you to be that old, Juliana.

      If I recall—for I, too, was young in those days—this metaphor was first quoted in 1159 by John of Salisbury, who ascribed it to Bernard of Chartres. Indeed, a scene depicting this metaphor appears in a stain-glass window in the cathedral at Chartres.

      Isaac Newton, alas, usually gets credit for saying it.

  23. If these allegations are true how will Willard “Mitt ” Romney explain it to Pro-Life Americans..Abortion is murder and to profit from it is evil. What will republicans do if this is true?

    CONTACT:
    Rod Mitchell
    (281) 350-5506
    mediarod@aol.com“Romney is hiding Bain abortion profits in his tax returns,” says Tampa foe

    Baldwin: “Disclose your tax returns and everything else about Stericycle.”

    Bain investment “would make Herod blush”

    TAMPA, FL (MMD Newswire) August 16, 2012 — Republican spokesmen for a rising “DUMP ROMNEY” rebellion today charged that Mitt Romney is “hiding Bain abortion profits in his tax returns” from investments that “would make Herod blush.”

    Steve Baldwin, former Republican Whip of the California State Assembly, said recent journalism about the actual date of Romney’s departure from Bain Capital “has almost certainly revealed the real reason Romney refuses to release any more than two years of personal IRS data: Bain’s craven investment in Stericycle corporation – a vendor to Planned Parenthood – lined Romney’s pockets with profits from the incineration of aborted human fetuses. Mitt, it’s time to disclose your tax returns and everything else about Stericycle.”

    Baldwin, also former Executive Director of the Council for National Policy (CNP), an influential conservative organization in Washington, said, “Tampa’s GOP delegates will shame themselves if they don’t conscientiously abstain from Romney on the first ballot to derail the worst nominee in our party’s history. We’re convinced Mitt Romney is hiding Bain abortion profits in his tax returns.” Baldwin cited the following facts and sources to back up his charges:

    – Despite claiming to have quit Bain in early 1999, Romney evidently controlled Stericycle via Bain for years thereafter: In July, The Boston Globe reported evidence that Romney maintained control of Bain and its investments for years after the date he claimed to have relinquished it. The Globe cited a June, 2012 federal filing by Romney’s campaign which said, “Since February 11, 1999, Mr. Romney has not had any active role with any Bain Capital entity and has not been involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way.” That, however, contradicted the findings of a July 2, 2012 Mother Jones investigation: “Citing SEC documents, the magazine said Romney had control of Bain Capital’s shares in Stericycle, a medical waste company, in November 1999. Talking Points Memo reported this week on additional SEC filings listing Romney’s position with Bain in July 2000 and February 2001.”

    – Bain joined a $75 million investment in Stericycle: The Mother Jones story (entitled “Romney Invested in Medical-Waste Firm That Disposed of Aborted Fetuses, Government Documents Show”),cited prior reporting by Huffington Post during the early 2012 presidential primaries to show that Romney “had been part of an investment group that invested $75 million in Stericycle, a medical-waste disposal firm that has been attacked by anti-abortion groups for disposing aborted fetuses collected from family planning clinics….But Bain Capital, the private equity firm Romney founded, tamped down the controversy. The company said Romney left the firm in February 1999 to run the troubled 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and likely had nothing to do with the deal. The matter never became a campaign issue. But documents filed by Bain and Stericycle with the Securities and Exchange Commission–and obtained by Mother Jones–list Romney as an active participant in the investment. And this deal helped Stericycle, a company with a poor safety record, grow, while yielding tens of millions of dollars in profits for Romney and his partners. The documents–one of which was signed by Romney–also contradict the official account of Romney’s exit from Bain.”

    – Stericycle was handling fetal remains years before Bain and Romney took control: Two days after the Mother Jones story (entitled “Romney Invested in Medical-Waste Firm That Disposed of Aborted Fetuses, Government Documents Show”), the pro-life website LifeNews.com oddly defended Romney by arguing that because a 2011-12 pro-life “Campaign to Stop Stericycle” documented no Stericycle waste disposal contracts with abortion clinics prior to 2003, Romney therefore could not have profited from Stericycle’s abortion-related activities. The Mother Jones story itself, however, cited public OSHA violations by Stericycle from 1991 – well before the Bain investment – which included improperly keeping “body parts, fetuses, and dead experimental animals in unmarked storage containers, placing workers at risk.”

    – Romney personally signed for “voting and dispositive” control over Stericycle, the abortion disposal firm: According to the Mother Jones investigation:

    Here’s what happened with Stericycle. In November 1999, Bain Capital and Madison Dearborn Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm, filed with the SEC a Schedule 13D, which lists owners of publicly traded companies, noting that they had jointly purchased $75 million worth of shares in Stericycle, a fast-growing player in the medical-waste industry. (That April, Stericycle had announced plans to buy the medical-waste businesses of Browning Ferris Industries and Allied Waste Industries.) The SEC filing lists assorted Bain-related entities that were part of the deal, including Bain Capital (BCI), Bain Capital Partners VI (BCP VI), Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors (a Bermuda-based Bain affiliate), and Brookside Capital Investors (a Bain offshoot). And it notes that Romney was the “sole shareholder, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of BCI, BCP VI Inc., Brookside Inc. and Sankaty Ltd.”

    The document also states that Romney “may be deemed to share voting and dispositive power with respect to” 2,116,588 shares of common stock in Stericycle “in his capacity as sole shareholder” of the Bain entities that invested in the company. That was about 11 percent of the outstanding shares of common stock. (The whole $75 million investment won Bain, Romney, and their partners 22.64 percent of the firm’s stock–the largest bloc among the firm’s owners.) The original copy of the filing was signed by Romney. Another SEC document filed November 30, 1999, by Stericycle also names Romney as an individual who holds “voting and dispositive power” with respect to the stock owned by Bain. If Romney had fully retired from the private equity firm he founded, why would he be the only Bain executive named as the person in control of this large amount of Stericycle stock?

    – Stericycle is just one more immoral Bain/Romney investment: “Rusty Leonard, president of Stewardship Partners, says Romney … – who is aggressively courting “religious right” voters – owns stock in at least a dozen companies with active ties to abortion… and pornography.” (http://www.danburrell.com/?p=442)

    Although media have suggested that Romney’s alleged early 1999 Bain departure was mainly to avoid being tied to the outsourcings and bankruptcies of firms in which Bain invested thereafter, Baldwin of the “DUMP ROMNEY” campaign argues that personal profiting from Bain’s later stake in Stericycle – the nation’s leading incinerator of aborted fetuses and other medical waste – is by far the most explosive reason for Romney to want to keep his tax returns secret from voters and especially, from delegates to the August 27 Republican National Convention in Tampa.

    Baldwin said, “Sure, lying on federal SEC or FEC forms is a felony, but that overlooks the elephant in the room and undoubtedly hiding inside Romney’s tax returns: Through Bain, Romney bought shares in the leading immolator of aborted babies.”

    Delegates to the GOP Convention began receiving a strategy memo last week entitled, “DUMP ROMNEY: Why Tampa’s Republican Delegates must Dump Romney to Defeat Obama.” It contends that no delegates are actually “bound” by law or GOP rules to vote for Romney and that, to win the White House and toss-up Senate seats, delegates must exercise their right to “conscientiously abstain” from Romney on the crucial first ballot, aiming for a stronger ticket leader in subsequent convention voting rounds. Also the title and core of a hard-hitting new 80,000 word book, the entire 9-page “DUMP ROMNEY” memo to GOP delegates can be read free online via Amazon Kindle Cloud Reader.

    Dr. Gary Cass, a Presbyterian minister and Baldwin’s co-spokesman in the “DUMP ROMNEY” push said, “It seems the Republican Party is on the very brink of nominating a man who’s hiding a bloody record of such Biblical proportions, it would make Herod blush. We fear that Mitt Romney’s secret tax returns will show that he has financed and profited, like some ancient priest of Moloch or Baal, from the burning of human babies, from child sacrifice. If that’s so, could the GOP sink any lower than to nominate this man?”

    ###

    [NOTE: For interviews with Mr. Baldwin, Dr. Cass or another contributor, researcher or GOP activist behind the book “DUMP ROMNEY: Why Tampa’s Republican Delegates must Dump Romney to Defeat Obama,” please contact Rod Mitchell at (281) 350-5506 or by email: mediarod@aol.com. Additional Web Rescources:

    – “Mitt Romney’s Abortion Business Made Him $50M”

    – National Catholic Reporter, August 10, 2012, on Romney and Stericycle

    – YouTube: “Romney Invested in Abortion Cleanup Company Stericycle”

    – “Stericycle’s Burning of Aborted Babies at North Carolina Incineration Plant Exposed”

    – “Stericycle Slammed with Fines for Illegally Dumping Aborted Babies”

    – Mother Jones follow-up: “What about the various SEC documents–some of which Romney signed–that identify him as controlling assorted Bain entities and large blocs of shares in firms in which Bain invested after February 1999? The Obama campaign letter cited at least 63 SEC filings after March 1, 1999, that describe Bain entities as “wholly owned by W. Mitt Romney.” [The pro-Romney] rebuttals did not take into account all the evidence…. — such as this May 10, 2001, document–that describe Romney as a member of the “management committee” of Bain funds. The Romney campaign and Bain insist that Romney had not a thing to do with Bain after February 1999, though he signed filings and pocketed millions. But they won’t answer specific questions about Romney and Bain during this period–just as Romney won’t come clean on his tax returns.”( http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/mystery-mitt-romney-exit-bain-stericycle).

    – YouTube: Stericycle Servicing Visit Planned Parenthood Denver Stapleton …

    – YouTube: Stericycle Servicing the Second Largest Planned Parenthood …

    – Slate: “The Conversion: How, when, and why Mitt Romney changed his mind on abortion”

    – Slate Video: “Romney’s Abortion Record: Spin vs. Truth”

    – “RomneyCare Now Funding FREE Abortions: A Disqualifier for Mitt Romney’s Candidacy,”

    – National Review: “Coming Obama Attack Coming Down the Road: Stericycle?”

    • Archpriest John W. Morris says

      I do not care what Romney’ s business did in the past. I care about what is happening now. There is no question that Obama is radically pro-abortion. He is also one of the most incompetent presidents in American history. We have not had a federal budget since he took office, because he is too incompetent to bring the members of Congress from both sides together to work out a budget based on compromises. He has spent almost all of his time raising money and campaigning for re-election, and very little time doing his job. By any rational standard almost anyone else would be a better president than Obama. I would vote for Daffy Duck over Obama.

      Fr. John W. Morris

      • I don’t see how an Archpriest could say he doesn’t care what Romney’s business did. But what do I know? Doesn’t sound rational or according to “any rational standard.” Is it true, as the Archpriest states that we don’t have a Federal budget?

        Stericycle…my, oh my. Sounds awful. Does one have to do that sort of thing to meet payrolls, I wonder? What else does one do to meet payrolls? I remember how shocked I was to hear how in American Samoa, American businessmen, meeting payrolls, were able to fire women who, after disobediently getting pregnant by their husbands, refused to get an abortion in order to remain productive. of course, these women were furriners, they were “locals” that we’d never let immigrate.
        But maybe it’s moot—maybe those “job-makers’ have stopped their American Samoa operations in order to hire American workers here in America.

        • Chris Banescu says

          This is a perfect example of the inability to engage in substantive discussions with leftists/progressives who ignore reality and live in world built on falsehoods and fantasy.

          Multiple resources were posted (by me and others) that explain and document the fact that Romney’s company divested itself of the Stericycle investment years BEFORE (look up that term in the dictionary for clarification if still confused on the meaning) the company began its abortion-connected operations.

          On its documentation page, the Stop Stericycle campaign lists documents showing contracts and other information linking the business with abortion clinics. The first document offered as proof comes from 2003 — anywhere from one to four years after Romney and left Bain Capital and coming at the time Bain itself had divested from Stericycle.

          Most of the documents cover the period between 2007-2009, making it appear Stericycle launched a concerted effort during those years to drum up business from abortion companies. Again, that time period is well after Romney was no longer involved in the company or Bain Capital, which had sold off its Stericycle holdings three-four years prior.

          http://www.lifenews.com/2012/07/04/left-wing-blogs-falsely-attack-romney-on-abortion-stericycle/

          In the deluded world of leftist ideology, conservatives are to be held accountable for all future moral failings of any company, organization, individual, and group they have ever been in contact with even years after all contacts or involvement with such entities have ended.

          BUT, fellow liberals, leftists, and progressives are given a full pass even regarding their active participation in abominations and defending the most horrendous and evil conduct, up to and including passionately supporting state-sponsored abortions, partial-birth abortions, and refusing to support legislation that would define infants who survive late-term induced-labor abortions as human beings with the right to live. What PATHOLOGICAL HYPOCRISY!

          President Barack Obama’s Pro-Abortion
          http://www.lifenews.com/2010/11/07/obamaabortionrecord/

          http://www.ontheissues.org/social/barack_obama_abortion.htm

          1997: opposed bill preventing partial-birth abortion
          In 1997, Obama voted in the Illinois Senate against SB 230, a bill designed to prevent partial-birth abortions. In the US Senate, Obama has consistently voted to expand embryonic stem cell research. He has voted against requiring minors who get out-of-state abortions to notify their parents. The National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) gives Obama a 100% score on his pro-choice voting record in the Senate for 2005, 2006, and 2007. (Source: Obama Nation, by Jerome Corsi, p.238-239 Aug 1, 2008 )

          Rated 100% by NARAL on pro-choice votes in 2005, 2006 & 2007
          Sen. Obama received the following scores on NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Congressional Record on Choice.
          2007: 100 percent
          2006: 100 percent
          2005: 100 percent

          Opposed legislation protecting born-alive failed abortions
          Obama has consistently refused to support legislation that would define an infant who survives a late-term induced-labor abortion as a human being with the right to live. He insists that no restriction must ever be placed on the right of a mother to decide to abort her child.
          On March 30, 2001, Obama was the only Illinois senator who rose to speak against a bill that would have protected babies who survived late term labor-induced abortion. Obama rose to object that if the bill passed, and a nine-month-old fetus survived a late-term labor-induced abortion was deemed to be a person who had a right to live, then the law would “forbid abortions to take place.” Obama further explained the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment does not allow somebody to kill a child, so if the law deemed a child who survived a late-term labor-induced abortion had a right to live, “then this would be an anti-abortion statute.” (Source: Obama Nation, by Jerome Corsi, p.238 Aug 1, 2008)

          NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC is proud to endorse President Barack Obama for re-election.
          http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/elections/
          Time and again, President Obama has demonstrated his commitment to supporting and defending women’s reproductive freedom. Help us stop the War on Women and keep pro-choice President Obama in the White House.

          • Mike Myers says

            Some news, evidently, for the rather hysterical Mr. Spokesman for All Piety Decency & Righteousness: there are lots of Christians as well as other types of persons of faith who viscerally abhor abortion as a method of birth control as a vile procedure and also think it a really stupid plan to elect a gravely dissembling and suspiciously secretive and arrogant Mormon vulture capitalist ideologue and warmonger as President at this juncture.

            Incidentally, I’ve been convinced for a long time that if Roe v. Wade were definitively struck down by SCOTUS and the domain of abortion law were downsized and relegated to the states, the Republican party in this country would be toast — and the earth would rejoice. They’ve exploited the issue with the crassest cynicism for decades, and they’d be electoral history without it. But alas, it’s probably too late now because the corporatists and banksters and war profiteers have more or less consolidated their stranglehold on the Earth, or at least they can see no way to turn back now from their dark course — thanks in no small part to y’all. And watch closely how they express their gratitude for your help.

            This particular “leftist” has many many problems with President Obama and is more than a little homeless, politically speaking. (I’m actually Center, middle-of-the-road, politically, fyi. Although probably not on your deranged spectrum or that of the wingnut whackos most of y’all seem to resonate with. If I could do a poll here, I’m certain 90%+ of the denizens of this blog would be Faux News junkies — which would explain so much.) I see ever diminishing reason to pretend that our votes mean much at all in this country these days. We live in a plutocracy now, a form of government which, according to the consensus of the wise and spiritual of all the ages and places, is one of the very worst there is.

            Your frantic broad brush strokes do not commend your rationality, sir. Makes you sound kinda demented and loony tunes. Scapegoaterspeak seems to be your native tongue. You might want to work on that.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Mike, the fact that the GOP might “disappear” if Roe vs Wade is overturned is not the issue. The issue is the evil of our present abortion regime. That being said, there will always be two major political parties in the US as that is the nature of human culture.

              To play devil’s advocate however, it is does not necessarily follow if the present abortion regime is overturned, the GOP must disappear. After all, the present GOP was founded in Ripon, WI, in 1854 by disgruntled Democrats, Whigs, and Abolitionists who banded together to fight “the twin evils of slavery and polygamy.” (That’s because of the horror that 99% of all Protestants felt towards the new religion of Mormonism when it practiced polygamy.)

              As for 90% of us watching FOX news, you may have a point. No rational person watches MSNBC. (Or irrational person if we can tell from their Nielsen ratings.)

              • Mike Myers says

                It’s an issue to me, if not “the” issue, whatever that’s supposed to mean. And overturning that decision wouldn’t end abortion, obviously. It would merely force its regulation into the province of state law once again.

                “Two major political parties” is “the nature of human culture,” is it? Your Authoritative Pronuciamento seems to fall short of accounting for the evidence in most countries around the world. Is this just more of that American exceptionalism one hears so much about? But I forgot: we stand at the apex of human culture.

                “. . . As for 90% of us watching FOX news, you may have a point. No rational person watches MSNBC.”

                A telling remark on so many levels. I confine myself to observing that the level of rationality typical of your blog is indeed most noteworthy.

        • Michael Bauman says

          And I don’t see how a bishop of the Church, not you, can sing praises to Obama using Christologic Psalms and impute our salvation to anyone other than Christ as Bishop Savas of the GOA did after the last election.

          The fact is that none of the people who run for President or have ever been or President deserve our support theologically and all too often don’t deserve our support ethically and morally either and the Orthodox who have become prominant in national politics have abandoned significant aspects of their faith as they have done so.

          There is no political ideology that mixes well with the anthropology and eschatological vision of the Church, at least none that I’ve seen. That is why I prefer those who support and even better attempt to de-emphasixe the role of the Federal government and tend to support general economic freedom and at least give lip service to traditonal moral values.

          Obama’s lifelong support of abortion disqualifies him for my vote immediately. That fact that Romney was economically involved in the abortion industry is not surprising because to one degree or another we all are. It infects us . But that is no where near the same thing as supporting the willful killing of children in the womb and those born alive as Obama does. Not even close.

        • Archpriest John W. Morris says

          Your Grace

          I will try to be respectful because I respect your office in the Church, but I do not agree with your political conclusions. Our Federal Government has operated on continuing resolutions ever since Obama took office. If he were a competent leader, he would get the leaders of both houses and both parties together with his people and work out a budget based on compromises. Even the Democratically controlled U.S. Senate rejected Obama’s budget proposals by a unanimous vote. Meanwhile the deficit continues to climb and will destroy our entire economy unless we get it under control. Obama has a long record of support for abortion. Now he supports so called same-sex marriages. Now, at least Romney supports the Right to Life and opposes the recognition of same-sex marriages. A person can grow and recognize their political and moral mistakes. All this stuff about what Romney allegedly did in his business is just a cynical effort from Obama’s people to take attention from his failure as president. The issues should be jobs and the economy and which candidate can help us get out of this recession. Obama has shown that he cannot do it. Now is the time to try someone else, someone who knows something about business and basic economics, not an ex community organizer who never ran a business or held down a real job in his life. The doctrine of the Orthodox Church does not give us specific guidance on most socio-economic issues. It is possible to be a socialist and be an Orthodox Christian. It is also possible to be a free market capitalist and be a good Orthodox Christian. However, the Church has spoken clearly on moral issues and on those moral issues Obama actively opposes the moral teachings of our Church. I cannot as a faithful Orthodox Christian vote for Obama. Thomas A. Dewey or according to some accounts Winston Churchill once said, “Anyone who is not a socialists before they are 30 does not have a heart. Anyone who is a socialists after 30 does not have a brain.” I am way over 30. I see the failure of our welfare system every day, especially when I see a teenage girl with one or two illegitimate children that she deliberately had so that she could go on welfare. All of the good intentions have produced a disaster and three generations of people who know nothing but life on welfare. Obama is appealing to these people by telling them that he is going to take money from the rich and give it to the poor. Our welfare system is a form of theft which takes money from people who work to buy the votes for the democrats from people who are too lazy to work.

          Archpriest John W. Morris

          • I believe, teach, and confess that abortion is murder and, as such, is forbidden by God.
            i also believe that my vote, or anybody’s vote, for President Obama or Mitt Romney or anyone else will not have the slightest effect on the total amount of abortions done in the U.S.A. EVER. I believe that I may vote for President Obama (please note the word “may”: I am also a confirmed believer in our American secret ballot (but i’m not sure the illiberals are). Our presidents and our emperors and kings are appointed and allowed by God to govern. I think the most virtuous course for a Christian to take in the voting booth is to vote for the optimum governor/executive officer of our state. Anyhow, he must obey and pray for (but not TO) “the king,” but not offer incense before him or worship him This includes such people as Nero and Caligula and so on. Refusing to vote for, say, President Obama, in my opinion, will not save ONE unborn child from abortion. Neither will voting for Mitt Romney.
            And, by the way, the life of any American soldier is ABSOLUTELY as valuable as that of an unborn child who is in the arms of the angels from conception until death, no matter what happens to him or her in the womb. I’m sorry to say that some people take GREAT Pride in their holding a moral position.
            I repeat, abortion is a great sin-murder. Clear?

            • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

              Actually, your vote counts very much in this regard, especially with overseas abortions.

              US taxpayer dollars go to promoting and funding abortions overseas. When Republicans hold the White House the spigot is shut off. When Democrats retake it it’s turned back on. See: Obama reverses abortion-funding policy.

              At home it has an effect on the public funding of the abortion industry.

              If Romney is elected he will turn the spigot off. Hopefully he will stop the Arab Spring nonsense too although it remains to be seen where he really stands on this. If Obama is elected, he will keep up the abortion funding and his misguided foreign policy so more military deaths are certain.

              • Mike Myers says

                . . . Hopefully he [Romney] will stop the Arab Spring nonsense too although it remains to be seen where he really stands on this.

                This hope of yours interests me. What do you mean? Please explain yourself.

            • Bishop Tikhon says:

              And, by the way, the life of any American soldier is ABSOLUTELY as valuable as that of an unborn child who is in the arms of the angels from conception until death, no matter what happens to him or her in the womb.

              Thank you for pointing out all human life has value.

            • Chris Banescu says

              I believe C.S. Lewis expressed a much more Orthodox and wise perspective when it comes to a Christian worldview and our relationship with and witness in the world.

              A Christianity which does not see moral and religious experience converging to meet at infinity, not at a negative infinity, but in the positive infinity of the living yet superpersonal God, has nothing, in the long run, to divide it from devil worship; and a philosophy which does not accept value as eternal and objective can lead us only to ruin. Nor is the matter of merely speculative importance. Many a popular “planner” on a democratic platform, many a mild-eyed scientist in a democratic laboratory means, in the last resort, just what the Fascist means. He believes that “good” means whatever men are conditioned to approve. He believes that it is the function of him and his kind to condition men; to create consciences by eugenics, psychological manipulation of infants, state education and mass propaganda.

              Because he is confused, he does not yet fully realize that those who create conscience cannot be subject to conscience themselves. But he must awake to the logic of his position sooner or later; and when he does, what barrier remains between us and the final division of the race into a few conditioners who stand themselves outside morality and the many conditioned in whom such morality as the experts choose is produced at the experts’ pleasure? If “good” means only the local ideology, how can those who invent the local ideology be guided by any idea of good themselves?

              The very idea of freedom presupposes some objective moral law which overarches rulers and ruled alike. Subjectivism about values is eternally incompatible with democracy. We and our rulers are of one kind only so long as we are subject to one law. But if there is no Law of Nature, the ethos of any society is the creation of its rulers, educators and conditioners; and every creator stands above and outside his creation.

              Unless we return to the crude and nursery-like belief in objective values, we perish. If we do, we may live, and such a return might have one minor advantage. If we believed in the absolute reality of elementary moral platitudes, we should value those who solicit our votes by other standards than have recently been in fashion.

              While we believe that good is something to be invented, we demand of our rulers such qualities as “vision,” “dynamism,” “creativity,” and the like. If we returned to the objective view we should demand qualities much rarer, and much more beneficial – virtue, knowledge, diligence and skill. ‘Vision’ is for sale, or claims to be for sale, everywhere. But give me a man who will do a day’s work for a day’s pay, who will refuse bribes, who will not make up his facts, and who has learned his job.

          • Thank you for the try.

  24. Michael Bauman says

    Logan46 in this comment above: https://www.monomakhos.com/you-didnt-build-that/#comment-30823 you have so many self-contradictory and false logical assumptions that it would take more words that I have room for to deconstruct them. Simply put you are wrong.

    The SCOTUS is not the only authority on what is Constitutional or not.

    Even if the SCOTUS rules something is Constitutional that does not mean it is

    Even if something is Constitutional under a certain set of assumptions, that does not mean it is moral, ethical or even correct.

    From my understanding of the Constituion the HHS is itself un-Constitutional and therefore all directives it issues are void as a force of law.

    In any case, law is Constitutionally a function only of the legislative branch. Despite the fact that decades of spineless, power-hungry Representatives and Senators have abrogated that Constitutional authority to the Executive branch does not give them real Constitutional authority.

    What do you not understand about the words “The Congress shall make no law regarding the free exercise of religion”?

    Since when is is ‘right’ and Constitutional simply because most people want it? The Constitution was created as an outline for the rule of law rather than the rule of people’s desires of the moment. It is a gross inversion of its principals to say other wise.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Thank you Michael. SCOTUS ruled at one time that the Fugitive Slave Act was constitutions (Dred Scott vs Sanford)

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      The SCOTUS is not the only authority on what is Constitutional or not.

      Well, it actually is. The Supreme Court was granted this position early on in our Republic by the case of Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803).

      Even if the SCOTUS rules something is Constitutional that does not mean it is

      Well, yeah it does because of Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803).

      However, I do get what you are saying. The Court can declare something constitutional and still be morally wrong. The Supreme Court, although dealing with issues of personal liberty and morality, is really, at least in theory, simply declaring a law a valid law. Theoretically, it is in the Legislature that issues of morality play out.
      However, I am quite well aware of judicial activism from the right and left, I still prefer to deal with issues of morality in the legislature and with the Courts to exercise a very conservative right of review.

      Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has not stuck to its original theoretical underpinnings.

      Peter

      • George Michalopulos says

        Peter, that’s kind of tautological. The Supreme Court says it is the authority on what is constitutional because it gave itself this right in Marbury. You’re right as to the consequence of course, but that doesn’t nullify Congress’ Article I powers which allow it to “restrict” the jurisdiction of the Court.

        Most of us laymen believe that when we say “constitutional” we mean that which is naturally right. SCOTUS upheld slavery in Dred Scott. Most people thought that they were wrong.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          Yes, I agree. However, the problem comes into play when we talk about and deal with “Civil Rights.” Neither the Congress nor any State in the Union can curtail or do away with Civil Rights. Now the question is – “What Civil Rights are we talking about?”

          Obvious Civil Rights attached to African-Americans, Women, and people of various ethnic backgrounds cannot be subject to discrimination. BUT, what about Homosexuals? The Left in this country crafted Homosexual Behavior as a Civil Right and so far the Courts have gone along with them. This IS very troubling when we are dealing with Same-Sex Unions (i refuse to call it Marriage in this context) as the will of the people to reject SS Unions maybe and is being curtailed and outright denied.

          This is the next big issue that the U.S. Supreme Court will decide and hopefully will come down on the side of State’s right and NOT to recognize SS Unions and to NOT define SS Unions as a Civil Right of Homosexuals. This particular future ruiling greatly troubles me.

          Peter

      • Michael Bauman says

        Peter, isn’t Marbury vs. Madison kinda a catch 22. The SCOTUS ruled against the political interests of the Federalist specifically in order to create the ‘right’ of judicial review? Kinda foggy on that, been a long time since I studied it.

        Practically you are right but even when SCOTUS rules it does not mean that they cannot over-rule themselves at a later time so which is the real constitutional position?

        The President of the U.S. also has the right to veto a bill on the grounds that it is un-Constitutional and unless his veto is over-ridden, that bill never gets to the SCOTUS.

        The Legislature and the people also have the power to make something Consitutional or un-Constitutional through the power of amendment.

        The SCOTUS is not the only authority, it is not even the final authority when the amendment process is considered.

        That’s what I was getting at. That and what is deemed Constitutional today may not be tomorrow and vice-versa.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          Yes you are correct when it comes to the amendment process that the People have the final say-so on whether to make something constitutional or not.

          The legislative process you described is also correct except I would not use the word constitutional because if the President vetos a bill or the congress passes a Bill and makes it into law by a two-thirds majority then that’s simply the legislative process properly working under Article I of the U.S. Constitution.

          However, once that bill becomes law, as in the case of the Affordable Care Act, the People can challenge its constitutionality by running it through our Federal Court system where it will eventually go to the U.S. Supreme Court for final decision IF the U.S. Supreme Court decides to hear the case. Many times they decide NOT to hear a case and the decision of the lower courts stand as the final decision on a law’s constitutional standing.

          So yes, overall you are correct I would only quibble about the wording during the legislative process, but that’s neither here nor there in the final analysis.

          Peter

  25. cynthia curran says

    Well, Norwich is for the general English or American audience on Byzantine history. So, he makes mistakes. He isn’t a classicist which would covers the history from the 4th century to the 7th century or a medievalist which would cover from the 8th century until the 15th century.

  26. cynthia curran says

    Well, anyway, those further to the left of Obama like the Occupy Wall Street are descending into street violence and rape because their anarchists if a woman is rape she can not go to the police in the occupy movement since the police are the enemy. Anarchism has this problem. George needs ideas that can help like a restrucutring of charity and Christians doing more here and also for our neighbor to the south since even if people plan to legalized them many of their brothers are still in poverty back home. in Mexico.

  27. Michael Bauman says

    Monk James, the issue of how the Church treats or mistreats English is just as important to me as the way the Church treats or mistreats Protopresbyter Kondratick and is of equal importance for the health of the Church IMO. Seems to me you’ve gotten a little dyspeptic a time or two over that have you not?

    It seems equally strange to me that you profess a high reverance for Greek and yet want to push English towards its least elevated form. Even without using the Elizabethan form, English is quite a poetic and beautiful language and the Church out to reach for the highest expression of it in our Divine Liturgies, not the lowest. To me your expressed attitude reveals a certain snobbery about language that does no one any good.

    Biblical Greek is a beautiful language and it is always difficult to translate adequately profound thinking into another language and idiom but that we must do without demeaning English or the people who speak it. If there is such an effort in the Church, I’d like to be aware of it. I doubt that it egages the time of our bishops at all and it should. But there are efforts underway to but everything into Mexican Spanish to serve the Mexican immigrants.

    Unfortunately, the patois in which we normally communicate is not anywhere near the highest form of English (which is being lowered by digital techology and licentious culture on a daily basis anyway). Why should the Church imitate that? Shouldn’t she be as equally concerned with preserving the beauty, life and culture of the English langugage and her people as she is with Greek, Russian and Arabic?

    We will either adapt to English and use it in its highest, most beautiful and most complete forms (they need not be archaic although the Greek you revere is an archaic form) to preach the Gospel and worship God or we will die and be irrelevant to those who speak English. The Greek, Russian and Arabic can be an added in, like a light spice if one feels compelled to do so, but they are not essential to the daily life and worship of the Church amongst those whose native tongue is English.

    There will be no flowering of monasticism or holiness in the English lands until our language is respected, used and yes, even venerated for its beauty and iconic power. Knowledge of the base language should always be actively and lovingly maintained and used where appropriate but we’ve gone way beyond appropriate IMAO. Language is not to be worshipped either.

    • Monk James says

      I hope (as I’m sure many of you do) that this will be my last response to Michael Bauman (who, I think, greatly misunderstands my position) on issues of language. As I did earlier, I’ll interpolate my responses amid his remarks. Thank you for your patience, dear friends, and for your prayers — I’m still trying to recover from eye surgery. — Monk James
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Michael Bauman says:

      August 21, 2012 at 11:30 am

      ‘Monk James, the issue of how the Church treats or mistreats English is just as important to me as the way the Church treats or mistreats Protopresbyter Kondratick and is of equal importance for the health of the Church IMO. Seems to me you’ve gotten a little dyspeptic a time or two over that have you not?’

      I’ll admit to righteous indignation and a commitment to do whatever I can to undo the sacrilege of Fr Robert Kondratick’s ill treatment, even persecution, at the hands of our bishops. Dyspepsia about it? NEVER!

      ‘It seems equally strange to me that you profess a high reverance for Greek’

      NO! I don’t want to have services in Greek in any english-speaking country! At the same time, I (and all of us)have to accept the plain fact that our scriptural and liturgical and theological tradition are all originally written in Greek. That’s the standard, the Urtext from which everything we believe must be translated, and all our translations must be relentlessly, exactly representative of the meaning of those original greek texts.

      ‘and yet want to push English towards its least elevated form.’

      I plead ‘not guilty’. My preference for using our own contemporary 21st-century idiom is not at all a an exercise in reductionism, but a suggestion that we use accessible, intelligible language in our scriptures and services. The notion that pseudo-elizabethan English is more ‘elevated’ is an arbitrary expression of taste and preference. The fact remains that not only Shakespeare but the ‘Authorised (KJ) Version’ of the Bible need footnotes and glosses to be understood by our contemporaries (hence the RSV and the NKJV) — and that’s true even before we deal with the KJV’s errors of translation.

      There is nothing in a careful and studied use of our contemporary language to suggest that it would be any less ‘elevated’ than the forms so cherished by some Protestants, whose book the KJV, after all, is.

      It’s enlightening to learn that (whatever its other errors) the KJV was forbidden to Roman Catholics from the very beginning, hence the Douay-Rheims-Challoner translation of the Vulgata Latina, now largely discarded even by the RCs, but whose use of English was/is just as opaque as that of the KJV, and sometimes worse.

      ‘Even without using the Elizabethan form, English is quite a poetic and beautiful language and the Church out to reach for the highest expression of it in our Divine Liturgies, not the lowest. To me your expressed attitude reveals a certain snobbery about language that does no one any good.’

      Really? It’s apparent that Mr Bauman is doing here what he’s accusing ME of what he thinks I’m doing.

      ‘Biblical Greek is a beautiful language and it is always difficult to translate adequately profound thinking into another language and idiom’

      Perhaps I’m wrong here, but I thought that Mr Bauman was unacquainted with biblical Greek, so I can’t quite get how he knows that’s a ‘beautiful language’ or why — if that’s so — he ought to better appreciate how hard it is for me and others who do the work of translation to get it just right.

      ‘but that we must do without demeaning English or the people who speak it.’

      Agreed, but Mr Bauman’s correspondence to/about me and my remarks here is very personal, while mine is not. And I have NEVER written anything ‘demeaning English or the people who speak it.’

      ‘If there is such an effort in the Church, I’d like to be aware of it. I doubt that it egages the time of our bishops at all and it should. But there are efforts underway to but everything into Mexican Spanish to serve the Mexican immigrants.’

      Incomprehensible.

      ‘Unfortunately, the patois in which we normally communicate is not anywhere near the highest form of English (which is being lowered by digital techology and licentious culture on a daily basis anyway). Why should the Church imitate that? Shouldn’t she be as equally concerned with preserving the beauty, life and culture of the English langugage and her people as she is with Greek, Russian and Arabic?’

      No one, least of all myself, has ever suggested that liturgical English be anything but the best we can offer. It’s just that I don’t think that aping an antique idiom is the right way to do this, especially since those who try to translate/compose liturgical texts in pseudo-elizabethan English frequently (almost always) get it wrong. We’re not too sure that people even spoke the english language quite as we find it in Shakespeare and the AV at the time when those documents were published. It’s not for nothing that the RSV was produced (by the English) in the late 19th century, or that the NKJV is now being distributed.

      ‘We will either adapt to English and use it in its highest, most beautiful and most complete forms (they need not be archaic although the Greek you revere is an archaic form)’

      NO! I don’t want to have services in Greek in any english-speaking country! At the same time, I (and all of us) have to accept the plain fact that our scriptural and liturgical and theological tradition are all originally written in Greek. That’s the standard, the Urtext from which everything we believe must be translated, and all our translations must be relentlessly, exactly representative of the meaning of those original greek texts.

      ‘to preach the Gospel and worship God or we will die and be irrelevant to those who speak English. The Greek, Russian and Arabic can be an added in, like a light spice if one feels compelled to do so, but they are not essential to the daily life and worship of the Church amongst those whose native tongue is English.’

      No one, especially myself, has EVER suggested that the Lord’s Gospel be communicated in any language but the one understood by the people with whom we would share it. Mr Bauman is very confused here.

      ‘There will be no flowering of monasticism or holiness in the English lands until our language is respected, used and yes, even venerated for its beauty and iconic power. Knowledge of the base language should always be actively and lovingly maintained and used where appropriate but we’ve gone way beyond appropriate IMAO. Language is not to be worshipped either.’

      Bad use of ‘iconic’. There have been a great many english-speaking saints in the past, many monks among them, and a few in the present, but this has nothing to do with language.

      If Mr Bauman thinks that I or anyone else suggested that language should be worshiped, he might need to think some more.

      Perhaps he’s tilting at wondmills.

      • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

        Monk James,

        Here are the conventions. If using the repeating tilde to effect a visual break, just hit it about ten times or so. No need to run it beyond the right margin.

        When quoting someone, use the b-quote quicktag. Highlight the sentence, hit the quicktag. The proper html code is inserted automatically.

        When answering a quote, use normal font weight. Bold should only be used to either highlight the top level of a list or any other taxonomy, or for emphasis and only rarely at that.

        Do that and you save your readier from having to guess why you are emphasizing a response, why words carry bold face at the bottom of a hierarchy instead of the top, and all the other hesitations caused by the visual miscues.

        • Monk James says

          My thanks to Father Hans Jacobse for his advice. I hope that he will keep me in his prayers as I continue trying to read and write with one eye tied behind my back.

          • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

            Rereading my post it comes across as very direct. No offense intended Monk James.

            • Monk James says

              No offense taken, Father Hans.

              I remember you well from our meeting in DC at the March for Life four or five years ago. Someday you’ll have to tell me what a b-quote quicktag is. Sounds like a new-fangled stock or bond trading term from NASDAQ.

              I used to work in the securities industry in a former lifetime, before I managed a psychotherapy clinic and went into the liquor business and worked in paramedical education finance. I was 30 when I entered monastic life, so I’ve been around the block a few times…. [[;-D33

              • Lola J. Lee Beno says

                “b-quote” = blockquote. It’s abbreviated obviously, which is why Fr. Hans described it as such.

              • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

                Monk James, I believe I also met you at the March of Life a few years back. It might have been the same year I met the priest who has RSK’s former parish in … Pa.? He said the people there thought he was a great priest and still loved him.

  28. cynthia curran says

    Well, Obama mention Frank in his dreams of My father. In the audio version around 2006 or so Frank is not mention. Frank Marshall Davis was under government surveillance by the FBI when he was in Hawaii. Mr Obama also lie somewhat about his connections with the New Party in 1990’s. I think character judgment is important as well.

  29. cynthia curran says

    Well, George times have changed, so Mormons are a lot less evil than liberal Protestants today. Mormons in spite of odd theological beliefs have more loyalty to the country and they also have a good alternative welfare state to help their poor.,

    • Evil Mormons, evil Protestants . . . should we include evil Orthodox as well? Are you speaking of the religious belief or the person, or both?

  30. cynthia curran says

    The Council of Ancyra, 314 A.D., barred all who procured abortions or made drugs used to further
    abortions, from the Lord’s Table for ten years. Earlier, the ban had been for life, and, in some
    areas, continued in that manner. Only at the hour of death was the guilty party permitted to receive
    communion. In 692 A.D., the Council of Quinisext insisted, “Those who give drugs for procuring
    abortion, and those who receive poisons to kill the foetus, are subjected to the penalty of murder.”
    The church was now demanding of the state that God’s law be enforced. Basil of Caesarea, like
    other church fathers, called abortion “willful murder,” and to be punished as such.
    The same insistence on the protection of newly born children marked the early church.
    Constantine, in 315 and 321 A.D., legislated against the abandonment or sale of children.
    Valentinian in 366 A.D. restated this legislation, and Justinian in 529-534 A.D. declared exposure
    to be more cruel than murder; he also founded homes for the care of these children.unded homes for the care of these children. This is from Calvinist Rosdoony of Reconstruction fame but I think on this subject matter he has a point. I understand about the situation where the mother with several other children were trying to escape a communist country but I don’t think people are always under those extreme conditions. I’m aware that people vote also on other issues but it makes me more aware of the pro-life position than normal.

    • Cynthia, you KNOW that imperial laws or Imperial nomocanons are not canons of the Church unless certified as such by a Church Council. Many people know that Justinian, for example, issued a nomocanon forbidding any prayers at the Divine Liturgy from being read inaudibly. The Church ignored that because it was not a Church canon and because no prayer at all has to be heard by the Faithful or anyone else but God to be effective and salvific.
      Actually, Greek women (but not only Greek women) exposed their babies on the mountain and hillsides, especially girl babies, well into the 20th century, but RARELY aborted them, because of the Church’s penalty for abortions. No one except Latin popes ever banned diaphragms or condoms, etc. .