The Church as the Bride of Caesar

Rev. Robert A. Sirico

Rev. Robert A. Sirico

by Fr. Robert A. Sirico –

It is telling that the Washington Post report on the religious Left’s Circle of Protection campaign for big government describes the effort as one that would “send chills through any politician who looks to churches and religious groups as a source of large voting blocs,” because, in fact, this is not an honest faith-inspired campaign to protect the “least of these” from Draconian government cuts, as claimed. It is a hyper-political movement that offers up the moral authority of churches and aid organizations to advance the ends of the Obama administration and its allies in Congress.

The Circle of Protection, led by Jim Wallis and his George Soros-funded Sojourners group, is advancing a false narrative based on vague threats to the “most vulnerable” if we finally take the first tentative steps to fix our grave budget and debt problems. For example, Wallis frequently cites cuts to federal food programs as portending dire consequences to “hungry and poor people.” [Read more…]

Families of 9/11 Victims Knocking on America’s Door

Bishop Savas Zembillas with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg NYC

Bishop Savas Zembillas with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg NYC

by Rev Michael Bresciani –

It is no secret that New York’s Mayor Bloomberg has decided not to ask clergy of any religion to be part in the tenth anniversary ceremonies at Ground Zero. A cross section of responses from both religious and secular sources shows that most people are shocked or at the least scratching their heads in wonderment at Bloomberg’s decision.

Bloomberg said that government “shouldn’t be in the business of picking” one minister or religion over another. That being true, it raises two simple but important questions. The first is, who asked him to pick? Is Mr. Bloomberg the Mayor, or is he New York’s pastor?

The second question should be whether he has considered asking the families of 9/11 victims if they want clergy to be present and to offer prayers. The ceremony is not about the government and it has never been.

In the gospel of Luke Christ gave a parable about a woman who comes to a judge to seek avengement in her cause. The judge ignores her because it is said that he “feared not God, neither regarded man.” (Lk 18: 2) In today’s twisted world who would have guessed we have come to a place where even this has been reversed and now it seems there are those who “fear man and don’t regard God” Has it come to this? [Read more…]

Archbishop: New York Times, CNN, MSNBC can’t be trusted on abortion, faith

Archbishop Charles Chaput

Archbishop Charles Chaput

by Jeremy Kryn –
When it comes to finding information on vital issues like abortion, same-sex “marriage,” and faith, the mainstream media simply can’t be trusted, the incoming archbishop of Philadelphia told a group of youth in Spain last week.

“Being uninformed about the world and its problems and issues is a sin against our vocation as disciple,” Archbishop Charles Chaput told his audience during a special World Youth Day session in Madrid. And yet, he went on to note, the Christian believer is faced with a unique challenge in finding accurate sources of information on key issues.

“In the United States, our battles over abortion, family life, same-sex marriage, and other sensitive issues have led to ferocious public smears and legal threats not only of Catholics, but also against Mormons, evangelicals, and other religious believers,” he said. [Read more…]

7 Reasons Why Liberals Are Incapable of Understanding The World

by John Hawkins –
To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil. — Charles Krauthammer

Even liberals who’ve accomplished a lot in their lives and have high IQs often say things on a regular basis that are stunningly, profoundly stupid and at odds with the way the world works. Modern liberalism has become so bereft of common sense and instinctually suicidal that America can only survive over the long haul by thwarting the liberal agenda. In fact, liberalism has become such a toxic and poisonous philosophy that most liberals wouldn’t behave differently if their goal were to deliberately destroy the country. So, how does liberalism cause well-meaning, intelligent liberals to get this way? Well, it starts with… [Read more…]

Christian Church facing a revolution that is shaking its foundations: the gay revolution

Albert Mohler

Albert Mohler

by Albert Mohler –
The Christian church has faced no shortage of challenges in its 2,000-year history. But now it’s facing a challenge that is shaking its foundations: homosexuality.

To many onlookers, this seems strange or even tragic. Why can’t Christians just join the revolution?

And make no mistake, it is a moral revolution. As philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah of Princeton University demonstrated in his recent book, “The Honor Code,” moral revolutions generally happen over a long period of time. But this is hardly the case with the shift we’ve witnessed on the question of homosexuality.

In less than a single generation, homosexuality has gone from something almost universally understood to be sinful, to something now declared to be the moral equivalent of heterosexuality—and deserving of both legal protection and public encouragement. Theo Hobson, a British theologian, has argued that this is not just the waning of a taboo. Instead, it is a moral inversion that has left those holding the old morality now accused of nothing less than “moral deficiency.” [Read more…]

Facebook “Listening” Group Drags Culture Wars into the Orthodox Church

Culture Wars Orthodox Church facebook by Fr. Johannes L. Jacobse –
Progressive fads sweep through the culture like clockwork. Remember the impending global ice age in the 1970s that morphed into global warming today? How about the fight about abortion where anyone who dared criticize it was branded as a hater of women? Remember the Equal Rights Amendment and how convinced its supporters were that it was absolutely necessary for a just society?

None of these movements should be taken lightly of course but that doesn’t disqualify them as fads. There is always a strong strain of self-justification among Progressive Culture Warriors; a posturing that creates a facade of virtue and labels the critic as ignorant. Fellow travelers bask in that warm glow of imputed righteousness that they generously confer on each other. The rest of us can return to our caves.

That kind of arrogance informs the new Facebook group “Listening: Breaking the Silence on Sexuality with the Orthodox Church.” The tendentious title is the first clue something is seriously skewed. What silence needs to be “broken”? Who are the people breaking it? Is the Orthodox Church really silent on sexuality? [Read more…]

Silence of the Shepherds

American Thinker logo conservatives by Fay Voshell –

As early as 1867, Matthew Arnold warned that the ebbing of Christianity in England would disturb the societal order and usher in waves of violence. His famous poem, “Dover Beach,” noted the result of the weakening of Christianity would mean “we are here as on a darkling plain, Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, Where ignorant armies clash by night.”

Years later, in 1919, surveying the aftermath of World War I, William Butler Yeats would write his equally famous poem “The Second Coming.” Like Arnold, the poet saw that the dissolution of the ideals foundational to Great Britain’s moral order, plus the dissolution of the global societal order imposed by the British Empire, would result in “anarchy loosed upon the world.” [Read more…]

British Degeneracy on Parade

British Violence Moral Failure by Theodore Dalrymple

The ferocious criminality exhibited by an uncomfortably large section of the English population during the current riots has not surprised me in the least. I have been writing about it, in its slightly less acute manifestations, for the past 20 years. To have spotted it required no great perspicacity on my part; rather, it took a peculiar cowardly blindness, one regularly displayed by the British intelligentsia and political class, not to see it and not to realize its significance. There is nothing that an intellectual less likes to change than his mind, or a politician his policy.

Three men were run over and killed as they tried to protect their property in the very area of Birmingham in which I used to work, and through which I walked daily; the large town that I live near when I’m in England has also seen rioting. Only someone who never looked around him and never drew any conclusions from the faces and manner of the young men he saw would have been surprised. [Read more…]

Bishop Matthias Reaffirms Orthodox Teaching on Homosexuality

Bishop Matthias

Bishop Matthias

Beloved Clergy and Faithful of the Diocese of the Midwest,
Christ is in our midst!

Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise, also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.” (Romans 1:24-27)

In light of the ongoing discussions and debates about “same sex marriage”, I felt the need to address our faithful concerning this issue. Although it would appear to me that the Church doctrine and Scripture has been clear about this issue, there are those who “twist” the Scriptures and the Canons of the Church to fit their own needs. We have always believed that the interpretation of Scripture lies within the framework of “Holy Tradition” and the experience and interpretation of the Holy Fathers before us. Who are we to interpret the Scripture outside of this Sacred Tradition? Only those, who do not have the light of Christ, will interpret Scripture to their own ends.

In the above passage from Romans, St. Paul writes that because of the “lusts of their hearts,” they exchanged the truth of God for the lie. [Read more…]

Why It’s Time to Speak about God Again

God Trinity Light of Worldby Jay Haug –
America is living under an illusion: the idea that we can expunge God (broadly understood) from our national and public belief system and still operate a moral and accountable government.

C.S. Lewis summed up the problem in The Abolition of Man. “We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and then bid the geldings to be fruitful.” John Adams asserted, “Our Constitution was made for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Our founding fathers laid down a system that demanded conscientious, self-restrained implementation — a government dependent on the character of the people. Ben Franklin, perhaps the most deistic of the founding fathers, famously assured one curious bystander that the Constitutional Conventions had engendered “a Republic, if you can keep it.” How many people today truly understand that America’s health depends on the moral character of its citizens, of their personal “keeping” of our nation? [Read more…]

Met. Jonah: On Marriage, Family, Sexuality, and Moral Living

Metropolitan Jonah

Metropolitan Jonah

Beloved Fathers, brothers and sisters in Christ,

If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:6-10)

In our own lifetimes we were blessed by an act of prophetic witness in July 1992, when the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America issued the magnificent “Affirmations on Marriage, Family, Sexuality, and the Sanctity of Life.” Two decades later we Orthodox who live in the diocese that includes our nation’s capital city need to be reminded of some of the moral verities contained in the Affirmations. It should be obvious to any attentive observer that those verities are under increasing assault by the intellectual, social, and cultural elites in this country—and even by many of our public officials, particularly in the federal government headquartered here in Washington, DC. More alarming is the erosion of those moral verities within some of our Orthodox congregations. [Read more…]

Beyond the Dictatorship of Relativism

Pope Benedict Moral Relativismby Robert Royal –
Almost everyone who pays attention to religion and public affairs knows of Joseph Ratzinger’s famous homily shortly before he was elected pope denouncing the modern “dictatorship of relativism.” The future Benedict XVI rightly drew the connection between, on the one hand, the alleged tolerance and openness professed by many people opposed to the old faith and morals, and, on the other hand, the highhanded public means by which they now force their views on everyone else.

All quite true and profound. But it’s become quite clear that what now most threatens traditional religious belief and behavior is not exactly relativism. Or openness. Or tolerance. Not by a long shot. It’s a substantial set of alternative beliefs and teachings. And claiming that this new faith is fairness or neutrality simply won’t survive a moment’s thought.

Take the gay marriage measures passed in New York State. The ground had been prepared for this and a whole host of other public policy shifts by claiming, for instance, that for all of us sexuality is fluid and “socially constructed.” A kind of relativism, if you will. [Read more…]

A Fling with the Welfare State

Welfare State Democrats Obamaby Noemie Emery –
From the best of intentions to bankruptcy and recriminations

The intentions of Democrats are only the best. They want all of the old to have lavish retirements, all of the young to have scholarships, verse-penning cowboys to have festivals funded by government, and everyone to have access to all the best health care, at no cost to himself. In the face of a huge wave of debt swamping all western nations, this is the core of their argument: They want a fair society, and their critics do not; they want to help, and their opponents like to see people suffer; they want a world filled with love and caring, and their opponents want one of callous indifference, in which the helpless must fend for themselves. (“We must reject both extremes, those who say we shouldn’t help the old and the sick and those who say that we should,” quips the New Yorker’s Hendrik Hertzberg.) But in fact, everyone thinks that we “should” do this; the problem, in the face of the debt crisis, is finding a way that we can. It is about the “can” part that the left is now in denial: daintily picking its way through canaries six deep on the floor of the coal mine, and conflating a “good” with a “right.” [Read more…]

Ten Ways Progressive Policies Harm Society’s Moral Character

Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager

by Dennis Prager –

While liberals are certain about the moral superiority of liberal policies, the truth is that those policies actually diminish a society’s moral character. Many individual liberals are fine people, but the policies they advocate tend to make a people worse. Here are 10 reasons:

1. The bigger the government, the less the citizens do for one another. If the state will take care of me and my neighbors, why should I? This is why Western Europeans, people who have lived in welfare states far longer than Americans have, give less to charity and volunteer less time to others than do Americans of the same socioeconomic status.

The greatest description of American civilization was written in the early 19th century by the Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville. One of the differences distinguishing Americans from Europeans that he most marveled at was how much Americans — through myriad associations — took care of one another. Until President Franklin Roosevelt began the seemingly inexorable movement of America toward the European welfare state — vastly expanded later by other Democratic presidents — Americans took responsibility for one another and for themselves far more than they do today. Churches, Rotary Clubs, free-loan societies and other voluntary associations were ubiquitous. As the state grew, however, all these associations declined. In Western Europe, they have virtually all disappeared. [Read more…]

Time For Once Upon A Time In America

Obama Fraud Liar Fairy Tales by Richard F. Miniter –
For many years now America has been profoundly altering its culture, reordering its economy, and shedding individual liberties in response to inventive short stories told by liberal left-wing theorists. Yet, whenever one of these stories turns out to be a fairytale, as they all invariably do, we rarely back up and repair the damage.

In part because the practical result of any one fairy tale takes a while to fall to earth and poison the drinking water and by the time it does our attention has long since been focused on marshalling the facts in the debate about some new law, regulation, ordinance, code, or international agreement demanded by those who believe the next fairy tale. Or say they do.

And as often as not, we lose because we tend to ignore the fact that the real power, in this ongoing struggle between individual freedom and those who fear and revile it lies not in the facts of the matter, but with the other foot in this two step dance: the story. [Read more…]