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

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:


  1. You really have to wonder about OCN and Fr. Chris Metropoulos when the put up a Orthodox Christian who blabbers about about the family but whose work as Governor of Massachusetts was an example of human rights violations.

    As one newspaper reports from the year 1988:

    Dukakis is not a Johnny-come-lately in the pro-abortion war. In 1970, when he was a member of the Massachusetts Legislature, he filed a Bill (H 3756) to legalize unrestricted abortion in Massachusetts. In more recent years he has repeatedly used his power as Governor Massachusetts to veto measure to stop funding abortions, measure which had been passed by duly elected members of the State Legislature.

    In 1986 Dukakis spoke at The Coalition for Choice rally. He said: “I don’t know when life beings. I’m not sure I ever will.” Maybe he spoke the truth! Maybe he doesn’t know! But why boast about his ignorance of a basic scientific fact?

    During the current Presidential campaign, Dukakis has made it clear that he opposes a proposed Constitutional Amendment to ban abortion, and that he favours federal funding of abortion. His policies call for the unrestricted and legal killing of the unborn.

    It was very sad to hear about Fr. Chris babble about politics but ask not a single question about a politicians views and how his faith affects how he governs. i guess in Fr. Chris’ eyes Orthodoxy is just a private opinion and not a human truth so its perfectly ok for someone to profess to be Orthodox yet behave in a manner in public that undermines the Church’s moral tradition. The message in this Dukakis interview is simple: Greek Orthodox Christians can pick and chose what they believe for their own ends. All those pesky moral demands the Church places on us do not matter.

    OCN embarassed itself by placing Dukakis and his record of human rights violations on its radio program. Donors to OCN should take notice and ask themselves “Is this how I want my money being used?”

    • Geo Michalopulos

      Andrew, I can never get that picture of Field Marshall Dukakis in his tank…

      Seriously though, I’ve always that that Metropoulos was nothing but a hack. He totally lost all credibility with me when he did that interview with Fr Mark Arey about how wonderful the first Episcopal Assembly was. It was like watching a man-crush unfold before your eyes.

  2. Michael Dukakis has a life-long history of promoting abortion, supporting the ACLU, and supporting many other liberal-leftist causes. He is the poster child of an Orthodox Christian whose faith bears little relation to one’s political career and official policies. It shows really bad judgment on OCN’s part to highlight such a betrayer of the teachings of the Holy Orthodox Church while acting as a public official simply because he is Greek. Talk about sending the wrong message to their audience!

    Michael Dukakis’ Pro-Abortion Record
    As a Massachusetts state legislator:
    * Introduced a bill to legalize abortion in Massachusetts in 1970, three years prior to the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion nationwide.

    As Governor of Massachusetts:
    * On four occasions, vetoed legislation or a state budget because it contained restrictions on government funding of abortions.
    * Appointed an abortion advocate as Secretary of Human Services.
    * Keynote speaker at a 1986 abortion rights “celebration.”

    Stated position:
    * Supports the 1973 Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision.
    * Supports Medicaid funding of abortion.
    * The National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) says:
    “As a legislator and as Governor, Dukakis has been a consistent and strong supporter of reproductive rights for women.”
    * The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) says:
    “This is the most pro-abortion presidential ticket in history.”

    The Abortion Issue:
    * “I support the Supreme Court decision on abortion. I believe that abortion is a personal decision which can only be made by the individual woman … I do support federal funding of abortion services …” – Michael Dukakis

    Michael Dukakis (Democrat) – Record in Public Office
    * Favored abortion and the Roe vs. Wade decision. Favored federal funding of abortion, and vetoed efforts in Massachusetts to prevent state funding of abortions.
    * Supported liberal jurists who are members of the American Civil Liberties Union.
    * Favored homosexuals serving as foster parents. In 1986 vetoed efforts to bar homosexuals from serving as foster parents.
    * Vetoed legislation requiring teachers to lead students in the pledge of allegiance.
    * Opposed to prayer in schools. Opposed to school prayer amendment.

  3. Michael Dukakis — the former governor of Massachusetts and Democratic presidential nominee — gave up politics some 20 years ago when he became a distinguished professor of political science at Northeastern University in Boston — a position he has held to the present time.

  4. Dukakis was probably born before 1945 and therefore is not a baby boomer. I’m a babyboomer born in 1957. You had to be born probably at the earliest 1946 or 1947. In fact most of the 1960’s radicals like Tom Hayden were born in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s and were not babyboomers. I’m talk about the leadership. Ted Kennedy was born in the early 1930’s. I have no problem with OCN interviewing him, it was Willie Horton that killed him not the abortion issue when he ran for President. Dukakis comes from the East Coast which is more liberal politically with the exception of places like New Hempshire. In fact, Chris if Republicans were as interested in immirgation as the social issues, then probably the pro-life movement would have been more effective. Both Ronald Reagan and George W Bush allowed a lot of poor immirgants that in reality have a higher abortion rate than white liberals do. Phyllis Schifly noted that hispanic immirgants in reality have abortions more than their actual stance on the issue.

  5. What is interesting is that Dukakis won both Washington and Oregon but lost California. California was sold to the immirgation reform and legalized maybe a million people illegality in the US which led to California being more heavily Democratic than either Washington and Oregon, looked up Widepedia. Dukakis was born in 1933 way too early to be a babyboomer.

  6. Actually, I like Romeny. He has his problems but only he and Santarium believe if you take the job magnet away some illegal immirgants will self-deport both Gringrich and Obama of course made fun of this.

  7. Personality, liberals as well as conservatives should be concern with the high number of immirgants legal and illegal. Sure, its made the us more diverse but some of the worst features has been the growth of the underground economy debt enslavement among poor people from Latin America or Asia that are lured to come to the States and have to pay off a debt. Also, the growth of sex slavery since women from Latin American and Asian countries lured by lying to them to come to the United States. Both political parties slowed in responding to these problems. Personality with a recession legal numbers need to be cutback as well and making it hard for the illegal population to be employed are two steips in the process.

  8. The people that are involved with labor and sex trafficking need to be severely dealt with. Even Justinian tried to prevent brothel keepers from keeping their sex workers by preventing taking out surety loans.

  9. macedonianReader

    As someone who began his career in politics at the local level with the thinking that this was the true venue for personal and communal enrichment, this GOP primary has made one thing (finally) painfully clear. Politics aren’t. We are called not to put our faith in the wisdom of princes/men. And while I understand we have even a Christian duty to select our leaders – the not putting of our faith in the wisdom of men is two fold, not putting our faith in the politicians, AND those who choose the politicians. For it has become abundantly clear that by those who even Christians heterodox and Orthodox have been supporting of late, I have no faith that this process, from the top down, is the where we’ll find what we need for ourselves, families, and our communities. Honestly, I cannot even believe my eyes when I see who Orthodox Christians (both ideologies) support politically.

    Christ was not only a man-God of words, but One of action. If our leaders/prince’s/voters aren’t following this example, then we’re lost on the political front.

  10. It seems that MyOCN got the message! They removed this from the prominent location they gave it on their home page. The Dukakis podcast used to be showcased front and center on MyOCN’s main page. No longer! It has now been relegated to a tiny link at the bottom of the page (appropriately located the lower LEFT-hand side) 🙂 .

  11. Chris, you know what I don’t get? I do not understand why the GOA has not acted on all the social chaos in Greece. Every major news outlet is running a story on “Athens is burning” and the wizards of smart down on 79th Street cannot muster up a single word. Looking back they consistently ignore the issue. Is there a political benefit to this? I don’t see it. But I do nee people getting more and more angry that 79th Street is partying in Florida while Athens burns. Is the GOA so out of touch with reality or so controlled by narrow political interestes that its best and brightest cannot respond to this issue both theologically and materially? I wonder……

  12. Fr. Johannes Jacobse

    The GOA is laboring with an internal contradiction at the center of governing structure. The Ecumenical Patriarch is not morally serious about abortion unfortunately which makes it is impossible to shape an consistent and coherent ethic in the other areas of life as well. The contradiction remains hidden of course, but only by avoiding any substantive engagement with most other issues of moral character that would reveal the contradiction for what it is.

    This isn’t true of all GOA leaders of course. I know some very strong pro-life priests, and even a pro-life bishop. I worry for the bishop a bit because in defending the tradition he risks exposing the moral sophistry of higher-ups. Local work seems safe, but a national presence is out of the question.

    • 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”

  13. Well, most of rioting is cause by anarchist and other far left groups, left of the GOA, many of the rioters are not religious and some may even be into neo-paganism. So, the GOA calling out the riots may not even help.

  14. Fr. Richard Andrews

    As a young, naive college student in 1987, I campaigned for Dukakis in Minnesota. I did it primarily because he was Greek and I, like many people at the time (some still now), thought I should support a fellow Greek running for President. It wasn’t until a year or two later that I realized what Mr. Dukakis was all about. In the beginning I assumed he was a faithful Greek Orthodox Christian.

    Later, I discovered his pro-abortion stance among other morally questionable positions. Even more disappointing, after he lost the election, I discovered that he was married to a non-Christian (if I remember correctly Kitty was Jewish) outside the Orthodox Church and was not active in his local Greek Orthodox Church. In essence, Michael Dukakis and his campaign apparatus used the Greek Orthodox churches throughout America to garner votes from fellow Greeks.

    These articles sum it up pretty well: New York Times, Dukakis’s Ties to Orthodox Church Stay Warm Despite Abortion Stance, and Los Angelos Times, Ethnic Group Flexes Political Muscle: Dukakis Mobilizes Greeks to Organize, Finance Drive.

    I would assert that there is still a strong sentiment towards Greek ethnicity which over-shadows Orthodox Christian principles. Most of the seminary graduations and clergy-laity congresses over the past 20 years have showcased politicians rather than inspiring Church leaders. Boston mayor Ray Flynn was the keynote at my seminary graduation at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in 1994. The recent (2008) clergy-laity congress in Washington DC featured a parade of politicians.

    It was then that I realized that the mindset of the leadership in the GOA is operating as if we were still the dhimmi of centuries past. We like to cuddle up to political leaders to curry favor and seek legitimacy. We’re afraid of offending them with any moral teaching because they may not treat us favorably on other issues usually having to do with Greek ethnic/national interests, especially outside of America. We celebrate as a major victory when the White House recognizes Greek Independence Day (March 25) but are silent when the moral teaching of the Faith is violated by one reckless decision after another.

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