August 20, 2014

Samuel Gregg: Christians in a Post-Welfare State World


How much of the activism of the Progressive wing of American Christianity (including some Orthodox participants unfortunately) in the current budget battles is nothing more than grabbing its piece of the federal pie before the welfare state collapses? Progressives like Jim Wallis and others routinely use the moral imperatives of the gospel to justify their Progressive moral vision. They conflate the imperatives into Progressive ideology to persuade the unsuspecting that the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Progressive ideology are one and the same. They are, at heart, statists who refuse to examine the soul stultifying and character destroying dependencies that statism fosters. Welfare states are dying because this albatross of good intentions is not economically viable. Welfare states can only exist on borrowed money. Once the bills come due, as they have for America and all the countries of Western Europe, change is inevitable and necessary. "Christian" Progressives understand this … [Read more...]

Church of Greece to State: Keep Priests on the Payroll


Source: MSN News | January 17, 2011 ATHENS, Greece - Greece's powerful Orthodox Church urged the government in the crisis-hit country on Monday to relax tough hiring restrictions so it can put more priests on the state payroll. The government last year paid the salaries of 10,800 priests and church staff — who are technically civil servants — out of 757,500 "permanent employees" in the public sector. In 2011, Greece will only hire one new state employee for every five leaving, as part of its euro110-billion (US$146-billion) international bailout loan agreement. And most of those positions will be taken up through mandatory transfers to reduce staff at loss-making state enterprises. The church's governing Holy Synod said Monday that it would request a "limited number" of new priests to cover pressing "operating and pastoral needs." Church leader, Archbishop Ieronymos, urged Greek bishops to make charity programs a priority in 2011 to meet the needs from a surge in … [Read more...]

Death Warrant of Ancient Christianity


If American liberals and neo-cons get their way and America invades Syria, the Syrian Christians will be persecuted and forced out of their ancient homeland. Source: Real Clear Politics | Philip Jenkins Ever since the wave of popular movements started sweeping the Middle East, Western media have rarely found much good to say about the authoritarian regimes under attack. Few observers deny that the last generation or so of Arab rulers were indeed greedy despots, and it seems desirable for Western powers to intervene as forcefully as they can on behalf of what are commonly billed as pro-democracy movements. The arguments against intervention are obvious enough, most obviously that it is much easier to begin a military intervention than to end it, while we rarely have much idea about the political character of the supposed democrats we are trying to aid. But in one case above all, namely Syria, debates over intervention have missed one overwhelming argument, which is the … [Read more...]

Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco “emphatically denies” support for California bill


The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco corrected the misleading press release put out by California Church Impact that claimed Orthodox support for a bill sexualizing science education in the California public schools. We thought the Metropolis was not aware their name was being misused in this way and once it was brought to their attention they clarified the record. STATEMENT FROM METROPOLIS REGARDING CALIFORNIA SENATE BILL 48 The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco has been a member of various faith based organizations with the purpose of witnessing and sharing the teachings of our Christian Orthodox Faith. Membership in such organizations, however, does not mean that the Greek Orthodox Church accepts or supports initiatives that may be taken by a particular organization. Recently, the Los Angeles Times reported on an initiative being encouraged by the California Council of Churches. Since that article has been published, other news agencies have … [Read more...]

Assassination attempt on Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople prevented


March 9, 2011 - 17:12 AMT 13:12 GMT PanARMENIAN.Net - The Turkish police have prevented another assassination attempt on Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I, according to the Austrian catholic news agency. The Turkish police have arrested two suspects aged 17-18. The assassination attempt was planned in the Fanar district, where the residence of the Patriarch is located. According to representative of the department for foreign church relations at the Russian Orthodox Church Igor Yakimchuk, Turkey is a huge country and there are extremists. Expert of Carnegie Moscow Center, professor Alexey Malashenko believes that, most likely, Islamists are engaged in the assassination attempt, who are much more radical compared to incumbent Prime Minister of Turkey Erdogan. With respect to the assassination attempt, several Turkish papers referred to a Catholic priest, Armenian journalist Hrant Dink and three protestants, including a German missioner, who were killed … [Read more...]

The USA and the New World Order: A Debate Between Alexandr Dugin and Olavo de Carvalho


AOI Observer reader Fabio Lins has a keen interest in political philosophy and culture. Occasionally he sends me links of debates happening elsewhere which always prove interesting and timely. Yesterday he notified me of an online debate between Russian nationalist Alexandr Dugin and conservative Brazilian philosopher Olavo de Carvalho. I asked Fabio to write an introduction included below. The current globalization process is like the multi-headed hydra. Unlike the mythological monster, it seems to have no heart which, once slain, would stop it. Internally, American conservatives feel and see it as the wave of liberal ideologies and policies that threaten to choke and destroy the very roots of the country. Externally, many conservatives from their own cultural perspective see in these same liberal global forces an expression of American imperialism. These same forces which fight American conservatism are understood as tentacles of American conservatism itself. The … [Read more...]

Egypt: The Realist Scenario


It's Jimmy Carter all over again. Source: Chronicles of Culture | Srdja Tifkovic The image of the “democratic revolution” in Egypt, as constructed by the mainstream media in North America and Europe over the past two weeks, evokes the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe in 1989. The BBC World Service, NPR and other Western media outlets bring us young, articulate, lightly-accented demonstrators who talk of democracy, freedom, human rights and the rule of law. Hosni Mubarak is presented as a latter-day Erich Honecker, heading a corrupt and sclerotic regime on the wrong side of history. The image is attractive but inaccurate. The unrest may be brought under control by Mubarak’s loyalists working in tandem with the military, or it may lead to one free election resulting in the establishment of an Islamic republic, but it will not produce a Western-style democracy. Political Islam, embodied in the Muslim Brotherhood, is the only well organized force capable of supplanting the … [Read more...]

Trifkovic: Liberal Totalitarianism More Oppressive than Communism [VIDEO]


H.L. Mencken Club Distinguished Speaker Series: Srdja Trifkovic on Western Postmodernia vs. "Real Socialism" Americans love telling themselves "it's a free country," but Srdja Trifkovic relates that in terms of (self-)censorship on key issues like race and immigration, American is a place less open to honest communication than the Soviet Bloc. … [Read more...]

Peter and Helen Evans: Bishops wont act? Ask for a blessing, then do it yourself!


Peter and Helen Evans edit the Politics and Prayer website. We read comments on this blog and also hear people complaining that "the Bishops should proclaim..." a Day of Prayer or March for Life or any number of semi-public events. Let us suggest that we don't have to wait for a proclamation. We don't have to wait to be told what to do. Various cities around the United States are having their own March for Life, people regularly dedicate a day for prayer and fasting or hold vigil outside an abortion clinic, and invite anyone who wants to pray - even non-Orthodox - to join in. When you think about it, you probably don't want the Church council, or any other committee, involved to water down the event. Therefore, organize the event yourself, and then ask for a blessing. We Orthodox can stand in church, the public square, in municipal buildings and witness our faith, then ask for a blessing. We do not have to wait for a proclamation, just ask for a blessing. In the coming … [Read more...]

Gordon, Will, Krauthammer on the libeling of Sarah Palin


The reaction of the Progressive left to the Tuscon shooting was calculated to obliterate the moral credibility of conservatives. The Progressives are running scared because the moral intimidation of the kind we saw over the last few days is just not working anymore. It used to be that screaming about rights, fairness, oppression, all the shibboleths calculated to shut down debate worked. Today everyone is tired of it. The larger target (is that "hate speech"?) is the Tea Party and, in the Progressive mind, its leader Sarah Palin. Progressive attacks on Sarah Palin are vicious and cruel. Progressives thought that if the moral onus of Tuscon could be shifted unto her, they get a twofer: Palin leaves and Tea Party supporters are implicated in her culpability. There's a joke making the rounds: How do you know you have won an argument with a Progressive? When he calls you a racist, homophobe, or T-bagger. That's the kind of talk that gets the Progressive enraged. Their days of … [Read more...]

Bishop Suriel on the Attacks on the Coptic Orthodox in Egypt [VIDEO]


Outstanding! A Coptic Orthodox Bishop calls on all Christians everywhere to protest the injustice of Muslim persecution of Christians worldwide. … [Read more...]

Popes, Atheists and Freedom

Pope Benedict

Daniel Henninger | Wall Street Journal Secularists should recognize that the pope's fight is their fight. This being the season of hope, Islamic extremists of course have been engaged in their annual tradition of blowing up Christian churches. [...] Hours before this, from a window above St. Peter's Square, Benedict also took a pass on the holiday pabulum handed out by other world leaders this time of year by explicitly criticizing China. He said the "faithful of the church in mainland China [should not] lose heart through the limitations imposed on their freedom of religion and conscience." … [Read more...]