August 27, 2014

Metropolitan Hilarion Accuses West of Leaving Egypt Christians in the Lurch

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The Episcopal Assembly could be in the forefront of this. Moscow, November 1, Interfax - Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations has accused the West of failing to stand up for Egyptian Christians during recent violence against them and has slammed Western governments for putting economic interests before human life. "Despite the unprecedented escalation of violence against Christians in Egypt early in October, not a single Western country has put any pressure on the provisional military authorities of that country or threatened economic sanctions," a statement from the Synodal Department for External Church Relations quoted Metropolitan Hilarion as saying during a ceremony at the university of Lugano, Switzerland, in which he had the degree of doctor honoris causa conferred on him. Footage showing armored personnel carriers "crushing a peaceful Coptic demonstration and shooting at unarmed people remain outside … [Read more...]

San Jose Articles Challenge UN Position of a Universal Right to Abortion

San Jose Articles

Source: Touchstone Magazine - Mere Comments Download the San Jose articles (.pdf). This relates to a press conference yesterday. At the end you will find a link for the San Jose Articles. It is a strong and impressive statement of principle, with impressive signatories. PRESS ADVISORY, October 5, 2011 UN Officials Wrong. No Right to Abortion.New Expert Document Issued at United Nations  Where: UN Press Briefing Room, Dag Hammaskjold Auditorium When: October 6, 2011, 11 a.m. What: Launch of the San Jose Articles Tomorrow morning [Oct. 6] at the UN press briefing room, internationally recognized scholar Professor Robert George of Princeton and former US Ambassador Grover Joseph Rees will challenge claims made by UN personnel and others that there exists an international right to abortion in international law. As recently as a few weeks ago the UN Special Rapporteur on Health, the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Secretary General have all said such … [Read more...]

Obama Court Case Could Force Christian Schools, Churches to Employ HIV-Positive, Transgender Teacher

Coming soon to a Christian school near you?

Source: The Right's Writer | Ben Johnson I wrote recently of the Obama administration’s Supreme Court challenge to the “ministerial exception.” If successful, the government will allow Christian schoolteachers and church employees who are considered “ministers” to sue their churches for violating anti-discrimination laws. There is a deeper, more disturbing aspect to the EEOC’s advocacy in this case. As this administration enforces those laws, it could require a Christian school to employ a transgender, HIV-positive homosexual as an elementary teacher. The government may allow impose Affirmative Action upon churches, as well. The “ministerial exception” has been enforced by lower courts for decades, but the Supreme Court has never defined its parameters. Courts have ruled, essentially, that churches have the right to define their own criteria for who can serve as a minister. The Supreme Court began hearing arguments this week in … [Read more...]

Why Pastors Must Be Free To Preach On Politics

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Source: Town Hall | John Sears | HT: OrthodoxNex.com Blog On Sunday, October 2, hundreds of pastors all over the country did something an astonishingly large number of their fellow Americans had forgotten they had the God-given right to do: namely, address political issues and candidates during a worship service. Across the nearly 60 years since then U.S. Senator Lyndon Johnson pushed through an amendment to the IRS code threatening any church or pastor who gets involved in politics with IRS reprisals – specifically, the loss of the church’s tax-exempt status – conventional wisdom has congealed around the idea that pastors must stay out of politics. As extraordinary as that assertion is to anyone with even a cursory knowledge of our nation’s history, it’s a theme that’s been hammered home unrelentingly for decades by groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State. As a result, pastors … [Read more...]

Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon: Delegation to Syria

Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon

Source: Antiochian Archdiocese | Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon During this past September 13-18, I was part of a delegation sent to Syria by Metropolitan PHILIP to investigate the internal political situation in that country, particularly with respect to its Christian minority. Our group consisted of six priests of the Antiochian Archdiocese: Fathers Dimitri Darwich (our guide and the only Arabic-speaker), Timothy Ferguson, Joseph Honeycutt, John Winfrey, David Bleam, and myself; two Protestant pastors: Bonn Clayton and Norman Wilson; and an expert in international law, James Perry, accompanied by his wife, Martha, who served as the delegation’s secretary. Attached to the delegation as a reporter for Ancient Faith Radio was John Maddex, its executive director. The following narrative is my own assessment of that experience, along with some account of what I learned. Let me begin by expressing a deep, sincere gratitude to Metropolitan Philip, both for the golden opportunity … [Read more...]

Hadley Arkes. From California: Another Front in the Culture Wars

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Source: Ruth Institute | By Hadley Arkes From California again we get a glimpse of the future – or the future that a political class is consciously seeking to prepare for us in reshaping the culture. During the summer the legislature enacted, and Governor Jerry Brown signed into law, SB48, as an amendment to “the Education Code, relating to instruction.” That Code had already made ample provision to instruct the children of California in the contributions made by all racial and ethnic groups supplying votes for politicians. But there was an appreciation also for the contributors who were “entrepreneurs” and labor unions, and whose stories deserved to be told. With SB48 the legislature took a further step by adding: “Pacific Islanders, European Americans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans.” The schools were directed to give only favorable accounts of these groups in telling the story. But on the other side, teachers and administrators were enjoined not to offer any … [Read more...]

David Roemer: Christianity and Politics

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David Roemer, an email acquaintance and contributing writer on OrthodoxyToday.org, was recently interviewed on a Christian radio station with a gracious host who was unaware how Christian thought can engage the broader culture. Roemer was just as gracious in return. The result is a delightful primer on important and necessary things. (30 second ad precedes audio.) Source: Blog Talk Radio Listen here: … [Read more...]

John Couretas: National Council of Churches ‘Balancing the Budget on the Backs of the Poor’?

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Source: Acton Power Blog | John C. Couretas A “budget is a moral document,” right? The Institute on Religion & Democracy reports that following the loss of a major donor, the National Council of Churches (NCC) finds itself “closer than ever before to the precipice” of financial collapse. The progressive/liberal church coalition, comprised largely of mainline Protestant and Orthodox churches, is running out of dough. IRD’s Barton Gingerich: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Presiding Bishop told the NCC’s September board meeting: “We have 18 months sustainability.” All voting NCC board members were scrambling for “immediate sustainability,” mostly behind closed doors as they discussed the NCC’s audit and budget. Further highlighting the crisis was an interruption of the meeting by placard waving union employees distressed over benefit cuts to NCC staffers. Meeting in secrecy? Workers protesting draconian budget cuts? In response, some NCC leaders suggested that the … [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: Bishop Savas is Wrong on Taxes on the Poor and the Rich

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Chris Banescu corrects some bad math and sloppy assertions. Source: A Voice in the Wilderness | Chris Banescu Bishop Savas (Zembillas), GOA’s Director of the Office of Church and Society, has launched into yet another missive against conservatives whom he frequently condemns of hating the poor and only protecting the rich. On his facebook page, the main venue where one can find the bishop’s real views and interests, he recently posted a blame Republicans editorial from The New York Times titled “The New Resentment of the Poor.” Apparently forgetting that envy is a sin and truth-telling a virtue, Bishop Savas highlights his class-warfare passions in several false claims he posted in the discussions related to the NYT article.   This is not the first time Bishop Savas has posted such biased hit pieces on his Facebook wall. He has a long history of supporting pro-Democrat and anti-Republican views via his many postings of overwhelmingly liberal … [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...]

Christians for a Sustainable Economy Challenge Jim Wallis and “Progressive Christians”

Christians for a Sustainable Economy

In response to Jim Wallis, editor of Sojourner's Magazine and leader of the Christian wing of Progressive activism, several conservative Christians gathered recently to form the Christians for a Sustainable Economy (CASE). We intend to counter what we see as the unjustified and irresponsible appropriation of the authority and vocabulary of the Christian moral tradition in service to ideas and policies that threaten the fiscal and cultural fiber of American society. The "Christian Progressive" movement conflates the biblical mandate to care for the poor with the policy prescriptions of big government and deficit spending. Recently Wallis led a highly publicized White House visit of Progressive religious leaders to create the impression that any objection to the spending of the Obama administration was de-facto a threat to the poor. Needless to say he got plenty of attention. (Hear Wallis explain the purpose of the visit at the Huffington Post. Read a critique of the visit by the … [Read more...]