“Greek archbishop says God sent 9/11″

Post removed due to a question about the accuracy of the translation.

Dia, thank you for pointing that the information might be incorrect. Unfortunately, when I deleted the post, all the comments went along with it including yours.

Ruffling feathers at the NCC

Looks like the people at the NCC are upset over my piece critiquing them.

Conversations with a Prevaricating Christian

Our Culture, What’s Left of It

Town Hall just published my latest review of Theodore Dalrymple’s “Our Culture, What’s Left of It: The Mandarins and the Masses”

Skydiver’s desperate prayer answered

Here’s something you don’t read everyday.

Felt ‘warm embrace’ as he survived spiraling plunge to Earth

A first-time skydiver who survived a 3,500-foot plunge to Earth after his parachute failed to open properly says he experienced extraordinary comfort as he prayed on the way down.

Daniel Levi Cave, speaking from his hospital room in Seattle yesterday, told the “Today” show’s Matt Lauer he made a last-minute plea to God.

“I said, ‘OK, well, I trust you, I believe in you, and if there’s any way, I’d love to see my family again, so help me out here.’
[Read more…]

Today I spent the day…

painting a school for migrant workers in Imokalee, a town about fifty miles east of Naples in the heart of the agricultural district in S. Florida. It’s the area that grows many of the vegetables you eat in winter.

What I learned about the migrant worker situation was that many migrant workers are in the US not because their poverty at home (Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, etc.) is so desperate that stoop labor in US fields is the only way they can live. Rather, the pay they receive is so high compared to their native countries that working for four or five years alllows them to return home and set up businesses. They manage to send home about $250/week to countries where the average yearly wage is $800. After their work in America ends, they take the money to move from poverty into the middle class.

I asked the man in charge of the school and housing for migrant workers if that meant the population changes every four years. He said yes. I was always under the impression that hopelessness and despair drove them northward and they never returned. The poverty does drive them, but they return relatively wealthy. After four or five years of work they go back and don’t return.

The migrants have no insurance (they are counted in the uninsured census we hear about all of the time), but they have access to free medical care in a clinic (a small hospital actually) they can use any time. They stay in homes (some appallingly run down but others adequate for a family) that costs about $250/month. (The organization running this school and housing association has the food growers comprising over 50% of their board of directors. Clearly many of the growers are not the hard-hearted and greedy charlatans they often are portrayed to be.)

Migrant children are allowed free education in US schools, but because the migrant population is so transitory (they move to wherever the work is because they want to earn as much as they can as quickly as possible), their children don’t learn as well as they would if they remained in one place. In recent years, more families stay home while the husband comes up alone to work. (His rent averages $120/month.)

What I learned is that the migrant situation replicates the experience of almost every other immigrant group in America. They come to America because of the opportunity this nation provides for a better life.

There are others points worth pondering as well. For example, despite the tremendous physical hardship the migrant workers endure, many migrant families manage to stay intact. There is usually a Catholic church near the migrant camps that serves the families. It’s a stark contrast to American poverty which is more a function of family breakdown rather than a scarcity of goods and services.

Also, there is something honorable in their work that we can admire.

Anyway, we got the school all painted.

Town Hall review

Town Hall just published my review of Michael Reagan’s book that I wrote last November.

Orthodoxy Today hits first million visitors

Last week Orthodoxy Today reached its million visitor mark.

Book recommendation: The Cube and the Cathedral

I’m reading George Weigel’s The Cube and the Cathedral: Europe, America, and Politics Without God and want to recommend it to anyone trying to understand more deeply the religious underpinnings of culture.

Weigel posits WWI as the point where the cataclysmic dislocation from a Christian to secular atheist of European society occurred. Of course the ideas of secular atheism have antecedents in earlier epochs, but they emerged as part of Christian culture because of the great dislocation. Only when WWI ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall, has it become clear how radical the secularist atheism really is.

I’m only about a third of the way through it but there are quite a few gems in the book. (Missourian, you would like the facts on the decline of European culture; one example: Sweden has a poverty class greater than the US.) One is this: the social structures of secular atheism always work towards the destruction of people. So true when you think of it: abortion, euthanasia, etc. It’s what we call the “culture of death.”

The “Cube” of the title (La Grande Arche de la Defense) serves as counterpoint to the “Cathedral” (Notre Dame) which reflect de-Christianized Europe against a formerly Christian Europe.

Take a loot at the book the next time you are at B&N. (Better yet, order it through the link above and send a couple of quarters my way to help pay for this site.) Many OT readers will like it.

Town Hall publishes two of my reviews

The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror

From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany

Christ is born! – 2004

The mystery of the Incarnation is expressed this evening in the coming of the Word of God as a little child. Keep Christmas as the Church prescribes it — a celebration from Nativity to Theophany — to penetrate this deep mystery and appropriate it to the measure that God allows. Christ is Born! Glorify Him! God bless all of you. Fr. Hans Jacobse.

New blog: Eastern Orthodox Business Blog

A new blog has started that discusses business and faith from an Orthodox point of view. From the site: This blog’s goal and purpose is to encourage the interaction of business men and women who are Orthodox Christians and who wish to operate their businesses within an Orthodox Christian framework.

Find it here: Eastern Orthodox Christian Business Blog

War Against the Weak

Town Hall just published my review of Edwin Black’s “War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race.”

Swamped with work

I haven’t been able to contribute much lately because I’ve been swamped with work. My parish is growing. We average about 350 people on Sunday and “season” (when the people from the north come down for winter) just started so there will be more. I designing a new webpage for the parish that should be ready for prime time in abut two or three weeks. I just managed to update the main page after a six-day delay. If got my hands full right now, but it should taper off soon. I tune into the discussions though.

One thought. Are the feminists flummoxed by the conviction of Scott Peterson for the murder of his unborn child? Note how silent they are? No doubt the guilty verdict is another example of the “erosion of abortion rights.”

Meet With Keith Simmons, the USAID Mission Director for Serbia and Montenegro

Monday, November 15, 2004 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 pm
St. Sava’s Serbian Orthodox Cathedral Hall
15 West 25th
New York, NY 10024

Mr Simmons would like to meet to begin an exploratory exchange of information regarding how best to work jointly n behalf of economic stability and prosperity within Serbia and Montenegro. It is in this context that he very much welcomes the opportunity to meet with members of the US-based Diaspora.
[Read more…]

Two book reviews posted

For those of you who might have missed it, I posted two book reviews on the main page.

The first is one I wrote on “War Against the Weak” about the eugenics movement at the beginning of the last century that ultimately contributed to Hitler’s Final Solution.

The second is written by Chris Banescu, webmaster of OrthodoxNet.com, on the book “Intellectual Morons” which examines why some intellectuals fall for stupid (really stupid) and sometimes destructive ideas.