July 30, 2014

Fr. Alexander F.C. Webster: End of DADT Paves Way for New Discrimination

Fr. Alexander Webster

Source: Stars and Stripes (download newspaper version) | Archpriest Alexander F.C. Webster Sept. 20, 2011, a date that will live in infamy, the U.S. armed forces were deliberately and successfully attacked by advocates of the scourge of homosexuality. The elimination of the last vestige of moral restraint on sexual perversion in the U.S. military, commonly known as the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, ushers in a new Orwellian era in which the military leadership of our nation will proclaim the unnatural as natural, the unhealthy as healthy and the immoral as moral. On Aug. 25, 2010, before the DADT policy was rescinded by Congress and the current president of the United States, I wrote the following in a guest column in Stars and Stripes (“Chaplains in no-win situation on ‘don’t ask’?”): “A ‘nondiscrimination’ policy would surely mutate into approval and celebration of the ‘gay’ lifestyle, … [Read more...]

Met. Methodios (GOA): Don’t be Like the Frogs in the Tub

Metropolitan Methodios of Boston (GOA)

HT: Devshime October Archpastoral Reflection from His Eminence The story is told about a number of frogs which were placed by scientists in a tub of water whose temperature was exactly the same as the pond from which they were taken. The scientists slowly increased the temperature and were soon astonished to see that, even though the water gradually became warmer, the frogs did not react. It was only when the temperatures were increased to a boiling point that the frogs reacted. It was too late. Before they knew it, they burned to death. Had they realized the slow increase in the water temperature, they would have reacted and thus spared their lives. The frogs grew accustomed to the slow rise in temperature and adapted. The change in water temperature occurred slowly but deliberately, and because of this process, the frogs failed to pay attention. For us Orthodox Christians, the changes in the moral standards in our society have occurred so slowly that they have become … [Read more...]

Fr. Gregory Jensen: Moral Imagination, Moral Disciple and American Culture

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Over at Koinonia, Fr. Gregory Jensen writes on the remark by G.K. Chesterton that "America is a country with the soul of a Church." It was true when Chesterton first said it and it remains true today (as the French never stop reminding us). The problem, Fr. Gregory writes, is that "America is still Christian in the same way that Woodrow Wilson was still Presbyterian — we have all of it, except for the Jesus part." "There are," writes Fr. Gregory, "few things as dangerous as a Christian sensibility without Jesus. We have everything we need, except for the blood on the altar. We have it all, and have managed to do this in such a manner as to have nothing." A portion of this compelling essay is copied below. Source: Koinonia | Fr. Gregory Jensen Douglas Wilson writing at Blog and Mablog observes that Chesterton once said that America was a nation with the soul of church. And when he said it, it was true enough. But today we are a nation with the soul of a mainline … [Read more...]

The Culture of Marriage

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Source: Ruth Institute Blog | HT: Koinonia Submitted by regular Ruth blog reader, Leo Culture is not the same as the law. We do ourselves a disservice if we think exclusively about the law. Law, morality, culture, religion, and custom are all related, but are not identical. The law is more powerful in that it can enforce compliance with its dictates. Culture, however, can influence the law and can strongly influence behavior in ways the law cannot. The official government marriage ceremony under the despised Communist government in Poland did not have the moral force of the culturally prized religious ceremony. The laws governing marriage become meaningless if no one behaviorally enters or culturally endorses the institution. Strong marriage cultures have certain elements in common. That they do so is not accidental, but the result of evolutionary pressures. Weak cultures disappear. Sturdy and stalwart cultures endure and survive. Vigorous and life-giving cultures … [Read more...]

Srdja Trifkovic: 9-11, Ten Years Later: Islam’s Unmitigated Success

Srdja Trifkovic

From the article: What can save us? A miracle! Or else, as I said eight years ago at the JRC meeting in New Orleans, what can save us is a precipitous, drastic economic crisis that would remove all legitimacy from the ruling elite and end any credibility it may have in managing the crisis. For the time being people are still looking to governments for solutions, rather than perceiving them as part of the problem. What can help save us is the fact that the Muslims are not capable of thinking creatively and establishing harmonious and prosperous polities. If there is a belated recovery of the West in the wake of a global economic meltdown, and if the Muslim world is subsequently left to its own devices, the end-result will be the rediscovery of meaning and faith in the West—and yet another round of decline into moral depravity, intellectual decrepitude and material poverty in the Muslim world. Source: Chronicles of Culture | Srdja Trifkovic On the morning of September … [Read more...]

Pastoral Message of Archbishop Demetrios (GOA) on September 11, 2001

Abp. Demetrios (GOA)

Very good talk, particularly about the sobriety the attack on 9/11 fostered not only on the people of New York mentioned by Abp. Demetrios, but also all over America. Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America … [Read more...]

Chris Banescu, Bp. Savas and the Dust Up

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When ideas clash, they often clash hard. When Chris Banescu took Bp. Savas to task for a mistake he made in reporting the salary of an American CEO, his intention was not only to call Bp. Savas on the error, but to call attention to Bp. Savas' economic assumptions. The error was minor and we all make them. It was easily corrected. The assumptions rest deeper. Since Bp. Savas has entered the public square and unabashedly promotes the assumptions, challenging them is fair game. That is why I decided to publish Banescu's piece. Bp. Savas evaluates and prescribes economic policy exclusively through a Progressive political framework. His thinking differs little, if at all, from Jim Wallis, arguably the leader of what we can call "Christian-Progressivism." Wallis has been a Progressive for as long back as anyone can remember, at least from the 1960s when he first became a political activist. Progressivism has a storied history in American that we won't enter into it here. In the … [Read more...]

Chris Banescu: Predators with Ph.D.s

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If this doesn't send chills up your arm, nothing will. Note too the language and logic the academics are using to normalize pedophilia. Sound familiar? All aberrant behavior is being softened. The late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan's telling prophecy that cultural elites are "defining deviancy down" is being fulfilled before our eyes. This must be resisted. Source: American Thinker | By Chris Banescu | Read this article on Voice in the Wilderness blog See also: Tiberius Redux The latest offensive against morality, decency, and sanity in America has been launched by a pro-pedophilia group and several academics who openly advocate for the normalization and legalization of pedophilia. Referring to Judeo-Christian moral principles and values as "cultural baggage of wrongfulness" and an adult's desire to sexually molest a child as "normative," these predators with Ph.D.s are hell-bent on destroying key moral boundaries and critical societal norms that protect innocent … [Read more...]

Rabbi Sacks: Reversing the Decay of London Undone

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Source: Catholic Education Resource Center | Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks Britain's chief rabbi on the moral disintegration since the 1960s and how to rebuild. It was the same city but it might have been a different planet. At the end of April, the eyes of the world were on London as a dashing prince and a radiant princess, William and Kate, rode in a horse-drawn carriage through streets lined with cheering crowds sharing a mood of joyous celebration. Less than four months later, the world was watching London again as hooded youths ran riot down high streets, smashing windows, looting shops, setting fire to cars, attacking passersby and throwing rocks at the police. It looked like a scene from Cairo, Tunis or Tripoli earlier in the year. But this was no political uprising. People were breaking into shops and making off with clothes, shoes, electronic gadgets and flat-screen televisions. It was, as someone later called it, shopping with violence, consumerism run rampage, an … [Read more...]

Fr. Gregory Jenson: Conscience and the Christian Life of Virtue

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If you are not a regular reader of Fr. Gregory Jensen's blog Koinonia, bookmark, subscribe, or run down to your nearest internet cafe now! Seriously, Fr. Jensen offers some of the most cogent reflections on the Christian life (drawing deep from the Orthodox moral tradition) of any internet commentator that I know. "As iron sharpens iron, so sharpens a man the countenance of his friend" the scriptures tell us and one of the great benefits of internet dialogue (in spite of its raucous and sometimes irresponsible character) is that good people teach us good things that we need to know. Below Fr. Gregory writes about the necessity of maintaining the distinction between person and sin, person and passion, person and ideology (however a given circumstance might require the distinction to be framed) in order to both protect the integrity of the conscience and ensure its proper formation. It's the same distinction that I argue is collapsed in my recent article critiquing the Listening group … [Read more...]

Did Presbyterian Church USA Decline Start With “Dialogue”?

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Does this sound familiar? Quoting Alan F.H. Wisdom, Adjunct Fellow of the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD): “Progressive leaders have expressed their hope that the church could remain united, that people would not leave. They say that they want to have the contributions and involvement of more conservative Presbyterians in the denomination,” he explained. “However, the problem that many of us see is that [progressive Presbyterians’] rationale for deleting fidelity and chastity was justice. They regard it as discrimination that people would affirm marriage, but that they (at the same time) would not affirm people in same-sex relationships.” "Justice" is also a subtext of the Facebook group "Listening: Breaking the Silence on Sexuality within the Orthodox Church," the Orthodox wing of homosexual activism that seeks to abolish the prohibition against homosexual behavior in the moral tradition. (If the abolition of the prohibition is not … [Read more...]

EPPC: Culture’s Power to Reduce Poverty

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Here's the Progressive matrix: Foster dependency under the rubric of compassion, then point with alarm to the results of the policies in order to make the dependencies permanent. In the meantime, treat the dependents as a market and build industries around the pathologies that developed that are lucrative to Progressive industry -- abortion, lobbying, and so forth. Resist all efforts to improve education and moral renewal in the impoverished areas, and the result is constituency that keeps the profits and political influence in place from one generation to the next. From the essay: My former White House colleague Ron Haskins points out that "Census data show that if all Americans finished high school, worked full time at whatever job they then qualified for with their education, and married at the same rate as Americans had married in 1970, the poverty rate would be cut by around 70 percent." The best way to keep open the pathway to the American Dream, then, is through a "success … [Read more...]