July 22, 2014

Obama and the Dictatorship of Relativism

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When the Manhattan Declaration first came out, Orthodox signers came under considerable criticism. Too much culture wars was the usual response. I signed the document because I saw that efforts to institutionalize secular liberalism could only succeed if dissenting voices were silenced. The cost of that silence is high and will include the loss of liberty if it succeeds. Secular fundamentalism allows no prisoners. Below Samuel Gregg examines the historical antecedents of the present conflict and writes, "(T)he Catholic Church's fight — in fact, the fight of anyone, believer or non-believer, who recognizes secularist fundamentalism as a danger to freedom — against the despotism of "there-is-no-moral-truth..." is only just beginning." He's right. Source: American Spectator | Samuel Gregg There is no moral truth and Rawls is his prophet. If there was ever any doubt about one of the Obama Administration's key philosophical commitments, it was dispelled on Jan. … [Read more...]

65 Orthodox Church Bishops Call on Obama to ‘Rescind’ the ‘Unjust’ Contraception Mandate

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Source: LifeSite News NEW YORK, NY, February 6, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The 65 canonical bishops of the Orthodox Church have asked President Barack Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to repeal the mandate that religious institutions provide birth control, sterilization, and Plan B abortion drugs in their health care coverage. The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America – which represents 12 Orthodox jurisdictions and three million Orthodox Christians in the United States – issued a press release last Thursday calling the HHS ruling a violation of religious conscience. “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 … [Read more...]

Outrageous Choice: Religious Freedom or Healthcare?

Charles Colson

From the essay: Every Christian, not just Catholics, should be outraged by the Obama Administration’s decision. The regulations represent a move to define religious liberty in the narrowest possible terms...Given the Catholic presence in areas such as health care, education and other social services, this is folly. Think of the public services that won’t be delivered to people in need. And, Catholics are being asked to make a choice no Christian should ever be forced to make: heeding your conscience or serving your neighbor. Source: Breakpoint | Charles Colson I’ve told you that the Obama Administration is intentionally restricting religious freedom. I’ve told you we are in danger of losing the right to exercise our faith in public. Well, maybe I’ve been too understated. The attack is relentless. Just recently, the Obama Administration announced that the Affordable Healthcare Act, otherwise known as ObamaCare, requires that employers pay for contraception, including … [Read more...]

Gov. Michael Dukakis on OCN “Politics, Faith, and Integrity”

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AOI Observer reader Andrew Estocin asked for a separate posting on the recent interview of Gov. Michael Dukakis on Orthodox Christian Network. I am glad to oblige because, like Andrew, I too have been critical about the lauding of Greek Orthodox politicians by the Greek Orthodox Church without any mention of their often radical positions against the sanctity of life. Dukakis is a Baby Boomer has the Kennedy-esque view that the first function of government is to foster cultural change. He says as much when he decries the racism and anti-semitism of past eras and implicitly credits government with changing it. Unfortunately the interview never gets past the surface of these beliefs and assertions. It would have been interesting for example, to ask the Governor if he had changed his mind on any issue, what he learned about governing that he thought was true but wasn't, and so forth. Listen here: … [Read more...]

Orthodox Bishops Assembly Silent on Moral Issues

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By John Couretas - At an October 1970 meeting of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the Americas (SCOBA), which was called to discuss the burning question of an independent American Church, the presiding conference chair Archbishop Iakovos got fed up and quit. Official letters raising the subject of independence had been sent to the “mother Churches” in Constantinople, Bucharest, Belgrade, Athens and other Orthodox “centers” pointing for the need to do something about the chaotic “situation of Orthodoxy in America.” Only three replies came back. To the Greek Orthodox Iakovos, this was proof that no one took SCOBA seriously and, for that matter, the American Orthodox. The archbishop resigned from SCOBA in disgust, saying that he had no desire to be the head of a “dead body.” According to a contemporary account, the official minutes of the meeting were forged to cover up what would turn out to be a temporary … [Read more...]

It’ll Get Worse

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Source: Salvo | HT: Byzantine, TX IT’LL GET WORSE CAMPAIGN Many brainwashed Christian kids aren’t getting a clear picture of what their lives will be like as openly conservative religious adults. They don’t fully realize that their objections and concerns will be shouted down and that they’ll be ridiculed and bullied in the public square—called hater and bigot and anti-science no matter what they say or do. So let’s show them what their parents’ lives are like now, so they know what the future has in store for them if they remain Christians. ::: THE PLEDGE ::: No one deserves to be respected for having a Christian point of view or any other perspective that doesn’t fully embrace the gay ideology and abortion rights. To this end, I pledge to squash any religious ideas in children by giving them a taste of the public shaming and vitriol they will receive as God-fearing adults. I’ll shout down anyone who tries to stand up for traditional morals at school and at work—and I’ll … [Read more...]

Bishop Demetrios (GOA) Speaks on Sanctity of Life Sunday in Chicago

Bp. Demetrios of Mokissos

Below is the address given by Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos at the Pan-Orthodox Sanctity of Life Vespers held in Chicago on January 22, 2012. To his credit, Bp. Demetrios has been unequivocal in his support of the sanctity of unborn life, including participation in the March for Life in Washington, DC four or five years ago. Bp. Demetrios is also opposed to the death penalty and spoke about that as well. Thankfully he avoids the politically correct shibboleths. He came to his position when counseling a death-row inmate who was subsequently executed. His argument that the application of the penalty can be arbitrary is compelling (I have deep misgivings about capital punishment for the same reason), but the morality of capital punishment remains an issue about which reasonable people can reasonably disagree. I'll leave the rest for the discussion. Source: Greek Orthodox Metropolis | His Grace Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos His Eminence Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos was … [Read more...]

Met. Jonah Leads Prayer at March for Life

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Source: Koinonia As reported earlier on oca.org, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah offered the opening prayer during the program that preceded the March for Life here on Monday, January 23, 2012. “Roman Catholic Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, who is in charge of pro-life activities, invited the Orthodox bishops to stand together with the Roman Bishops, as we are of one mind in regards to Life, and for us to begin to alternate giving the opening prayer for the March,” Metropolitan Jonah said, reflecting on the March. “This year, they gave the honor to me to bless the opening of the March for Life on their behalf, as well as on behalf of the Orthodox. With me at that podium, at my request, was Cardinal-elect Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York. “This is a significant ecumenical event, a strong gesture of unity, and a great symbol of the respect of the Roman Catholic Church for the Orthodox Church in America,” Metropolitan Jonah continued. “We are of one mind in opposition to abortion … [Read more...]

Mattingly: Pope Benedict, President Obama and Religious Freedom

Terry Mattingly

- Source: The Republic | Terry Mattingly Pope Benedict XVI cut to the chase when meeting with the visiting bishops from Washington, D.C., Baltimore and the U.S. armed services. The pope mentioned "religious freedom" in the third sentence of his Jan. 19 remarks at the Vatican and he never let up -- returning to this hot topic again and again. The bottom line, he said, is that America's once-strong political consensus has "eroded significantly in the face of powerful new cultural currents which are not only directly opposed to core moral teachings of the Judeo-Christian tradition, but increasingly hostile to Christianity as such." It doesn't matter if these attacks originate in "radical secularism," "radical individualism," a "merely scientific rationality" or suppressive forms of "majority rule," said Benedict, during one in an ongoing series of meetings with American bishops. Catholic leaders must strive to defend church teachings in ways that reach all believers in their … [Read more...]

Why is the Orthodox Episcopal Assembly Silent as Religious Liberty Erodes?

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Source: Fr. Peter-Michael Preble Blog (The Church Under Attack) | Fr. Peter-Michael Preble - In the Gospels Jesus warns us that the world will hate us. He is giving us a warning that being a Christian will not be easy and that it will be a fight, every day, for what we believe in. The world is becoming increasingly hostile to the truth of Jesus Christ and I do not see it getting any better. Yesterday I posted an essay on the Huffington Post Religion Page and before my finger was even off the send button the attackers came out. They hate the fact that the church would dare speak out on issues that affect people and their beliefs, one of the more shocking things was that some of those attacking my words were Orthodox! Yes, the Orthodox Church teaches and preaches traditional family values, well it is supposed to anyway, but I fear that many of my brother priests have not done their job. I know our bishops have not done their job as they have been silent these last few years as the … [Read more...]

Religious Freedom Under Attack

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Three cheers to Fr. Peter Michael-Preble and Chris Banescu, the first Orthodox Christians to criticize Pres. Obama's arbitrary ruling forcing all Americans to comply with the anti-life agenda of the cultural left. The Catholics have been front and center on this threat to religious freedom. Orthodox leaders have been silent except for Fr. Preble and Banescu who recognize the dangers inherent in the policy change. Source: Huffington Post | Fr. Peter-Michael Prebble America has a very long tradition of freedom. We cherish these freedoms like, the freedom of speech, freedom of religion and until recently, freedom of choice. I will admit right up front that I voted for President Obama because, like many, I believed we needed change. Well I now feel I was duped and his brand of change is not what America needs at all. As an Orthodox priest and an American I believe in traditional family values like marriage, family, saving one's self for that person we plan to spend the rest … [Read more...]

Obama’s Assault on Religious Liberty

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Source: The Voice Blog | Chris Banescu - President Barack Obama, a life-long Champion for Abortion, is hell-bent on forcing religious institutions to pay for birth control and abortion drugs coverage for their employees. New regulations implemented by the Obama administration mandate that sterilization options, abortifacients (abortion drugs), and contraception services must be included in virtually all health plans, including those offered by Christian charities, church-based hospitals, Christian universities, and other faith-based social services agencies. Obama now demands that his anti-life and pro-abortion agenda must be supported not only by our tax dollars, but also by the donations of Christians who consider the destruction of human life morally abhorrent and an abomination. Abortion is held in such high regard by President Obama that he is willing to violate the First Amendment religious rights of millions of Americans in order to impose and fund his agenda. On January … [Read more...]