August 31, 2014

Deconstructing the ‘Internal Contradiction’ in the GOA

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Andrew Estocin asks: Father JJ, how do you see this internal contradiction playing out with regards to the riots and unrest in Greece? The GOA has never addressed the moral and social underpinnings of these problems. Is the GOA so captive to the fantasy narrative of the Greek Community in America that it is unable to engage on these issues? Athens burns but the party at the Ritz Carlton in Florida goes on. How do you celebrate Greek Independence day at the White House when your homeland is in the midst of a social and economic collapse? If 79th Street does not pay more attention it find that people will turn on the GOA leadership very quickly as being overpaid and out of touch while common people suffer. Honestly, though I wonder what the real reason is for the GOA not even acknowledging Greece’s problems. Its amazing the disconnect between the idea of being “Greek in America” vs. being “Greek in Greece” Fr. Hans Jacobse responds: Andrew, there is truth to the assertion … [Read more...]

Humility, Prudence, and Earth Day

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Source: Acton Institute | John Couretas At a World Council of Churches conference last year on the French-Swiss border, much was made of the “likelihood of mass population displacement” driven by climate change and the mass migration of people fleeing zones inundated by rising seas. While the WCC acknowledged that “there are no solid estimates” about the likely numbers of what it called climate refugees, that didn’t stop assembled experts from throwing out some guesses: 20 million, hundreds of millions, or 1 billion people. The WCC bemoaned the fact that international bodies looking at the impending climate refugee crisis were not taking it seriously and, despite its own admission that the numbers of refugees were impossible to predict, called on these same international bodies to “put forward a credible alternative.” The WCC did a thought experiment on the problem: What kind of adaptation is relevant to migration? Sea walls? Cities … [Read more...]

Religion and the Environment: The Link Between Survival and Salvation

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I want our leadership to provide thoughtful analysis on cultural issues but too often we get the thin gruel of popular piety dressed up in Church-speak. Take this latest missive from Constantinople on the environment for example. Where to begin? There is no reflection about the falsification of data by global warming apologists, no awareness that the movement has been largely discredited. Then, adding to the ignorance, it launches into a moral screed using the same suspect science as justification. In our efforts, then, to contain global warming, we are admitting just how prepared we are to sacrifice some of our greedy lifestyles. When will we learn to say: “Enough!”? When will we direct our focus away from what we want to what the world needs? When will we understand how important it is to leave as light a footprint as possible on this planet for the sake of future generations? We must choose to care. Otherwise, we do not really care at all. Do not really … [Read more...]

Catholics and Orthodox report promising progress in latest round of unity talks

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I was going to post the release below a few days ago but decided against because, well, it had that ring of Constantinopolitan triumphalism to it. I'm jaded by Constantinople's global warming initiative where the full moral force of the Constantinopolitan Patriarchate (as well as the complete administrative resources of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese) was pressed into service on behalf of the global environmentalist lobby. Even a rudimentary search at the time when global warming was heralded as "settled science" would have given the independent observer pause; too many questions about the veracity of global warming "science" were raised by qualified scientists, unqualified political celebrities (Al Gore and others) were elevated to champion what ostensibly was a project of the scientific academy, too many adherents viewed environmentalism in quasi-religious terms (employing a twisting of the traditional moral vocabulary to justify their beliefs), and so forth. That the Ecumenical … [Read more...]

More evidence that the EP’s global warming stance was reckless

We warned the Ecumenical Patriarch that endorsing the global warming agenda was reckless. Anyone with eyes to see clearly saw that global warming (since renamed "climate change" -- a harbinger that the effort might freeze over) was a political, not scientific, enterprise designed to wrestle control of economies away from nation-states and hand it over to non-elected bureaucracies. Now more evidence about the massive corruption surrounding global warming has emerged. The American Thinker ran a piece (see: Climategate: CRU Was But the Tip of the Iceberg) that alleges fraud from more research institutions that told us that global warming was a real threat including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). It will take time for the reports to filter into the mainstream, but once they do, you can bet this house will come crashing down like ice breaking from a glacier. The Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Greek … [Read more...]

Orthodoxy trivialized in WCC public relations stunt

From Brietbart: The World Council of Churches on Thursday called on churches around the world to ring their bells 350 times during the Copenhagen climate change summit on December 13 as a call to action on global warming. The leading council of Christian and Orthodox churches also invited places of worship for other faiths to join a symbolic "chain of chimes and prayers" stretching around the world from the international date line in the South Pacific. "On that Sunday, midway through the UN summit, the WCC invites churches around the world to use their bells, drums, gongs or whatever their tradition offers to call people to prayer and action in the face of climate change," the council said in a statement. "By sounding their bells or other instruments 350 times, participating churches will symbolise the 350 parts per million that mark the safe upper limit for CO2 (carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere according to many scientists," it added. Read the entire … [Read more...]

Response to the Patriarchal Address

While the Patriarchal address has much to commend it, the leveling of ideas it exhibits is troubling. The essay below was originally written as a comment, but I posting it here for comment and analysis. Frankly, the ideas in this speech are muddled. It sounds like it an American wrote it who has only a cursory understanding of the history of ideas. For instance, while the examples citing Ghandi and King are true, it is overlooked that the reason for Ghandi's success was that the English, despite their empire building in India, still responded to Ghandi's appeals that were shaped by and heard through the Christian moral tradition. The same holds true for King. He was successful because by drawing on the morality of the Christian tradition, particularly the inherent value of the individual, he awakened the conscience of nation shaped by that tradition. Ghandi's and King's success however does not translate into a universal appeal for non-violence, simply because non-violence … [Read more...]

Green Patriarch backs UN climate change framework

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Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I weighs in on the Bangkok Climate Change conference where delegates were greeted with “stern pep talks": Istanbul, Turkey, 9/28/2009 In view of the international negotiations on climate change commencing in Bangkok, Thailand, and only two months before the crucial United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, we urge the international community to undertake courageous commitments for the prevention of the most severe consequences of global warming. The accomplishment of a good agreement within the framework of the international negotiations in Copenhagen does not solely constitute a moral imperative for the conservation of God's creation. It is also a route for economic and social sustainability. Taking action against climate change should not be understood as a financial burden, but as an important opportunity for a healthier planet, to the benefit of all humanity and particularly of those states whose economic development is … [Read more...]

Hope for the Future!(?)

The Manifesto is blessed

In Sweden, the Interfaith Climate Summit has issued forth with the The Uppsala Interfaith Climate Manifesto, a perfectly ordinary amalgam of religious sentiment and environmental alarmism typical of ecumenical groups. Which is to say that there's precious little political, economic or scientific insight in the broadside from Uppsala. Of course, there's no indication from the summit's participants that the causes and cures proposed for global warming may be controversial, especially in the scientific community. Yet, what sets the Hope for the Future! manifesto apart from total banality, and makes it interesting, is its unmistakably coercive tone about what both developed and developing countries "must" do about climate change. Apparently, the "global village" ethic of environmental activists does not apply when demands are made of the powers that be. The manifesto was signed by Fr. John Chryssavgis, representing the Ecumenical Patriarch, and Fr. Leonid Kishkovsky, director of … [Read more...]