Stability for Tragic Kosovo

By Paul M. Weyrich CNSNews.com Commentary

Many Americans’ view of Kosovo — if they have one at all — is shaped by the tragic stories they see on CNN.

Some may even remember that our country, as part of NATO, participated in bombings there in 1999 to protect Albanian refugees as part of a war that lasted for over two months. Most Americans pay Kosovo little mind, viewing it to be the staging ground of a conflict that holds no important consequence for the United States.
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From Touchstone Blog – Fr. Robert Hart

http://www.touchstonemag.com/merecomments.html
One sample paragraph:

Responding to a pro-life Kerry voter:

On the other hand, she may just be an old fashioned Maryland voter, the type who enters the voting booth in the spirit of the three monkeys who stopped ears, eyes, and mouth, saying “see no evil”, “hear no evil”, “speak no evil.” Mr. Kerry has already told us that he will only appoint as federal judges and Supreme Court justices, people who “will protect a woman’s right to choose,” meaning that a pro-abortion prejudice is going to be his litmus test. He would probably be able to appoint at least four Supreme Court justices, enough to seal the fate of unborn children for several more decades. The ban on Partial Birth Abortion would be dead, and Roe vs. Wade could never be challenged. Furthermore, we could expect such a Supreme Court to uphold every anti-life ruling some judge might hand down in the lower courts, defeating every legislative effort to prevent tax money for paying for these abominable procedures, or to in any way lessen the number of abortions.

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Is the Church “Too Political?”

Fr. Frank Pavone (Roman Catholic)
National Director, Priests for Life

Like many Catholics, I’ve been troubled for years at the fear that is so prevalent within the Church about addressing matters of politics. I am very familiar with the legal limitations that the Church chooses to accept under IRS and FEC regulations. But the fear I refer to takes matters further than the government ever dares to take them. This fear literally paralyzes perfectly legitimate activity.

What activity, you ask? Take, for example, the internal legal directive that was sent out a few months ago to dioceses around the country, telling them not to quote the President of the United States speaking about the “Culture of Life,” because after all, this might be interpreted as support for his re-election.
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U.S. religious leaders decry violence against Christian heritage in Kosovo and Metohija

ERP KIM Info Service Gracanica, August 12, 2004

Twelve members of a delegation of U.S. religious leaders headed by Joseph K. Grieboski, the chairman of the Institute on Religion and Public Policy arrive in the monastery of Gracanica on Wednesday evening at about 8:00 p.m. accompanied by Mr. Damjan Krnjevic-Miskovic, the special advisor on Kosovo and Metohija to Serbian president Boris Tadic, and Rev. Fr. Irinej Dobrijevic, consultant to the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church. They were welcomed in front of the church at Gracanica by Bishop Artemije of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija and his associates. The bishop greeted the guests from the U.S. in carefully chosen words and spoke of the tragic life of the Serbs and their holy shrines in Kosovo and Metohija during the past five years.
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Michael writes…

A great challenge to state(ing) our ideas in a more positive way (is to) describe positive moral/spiritual praxis rather than just decry moral/spiritual lapses.

Briefly, the Church has always stood for freedom, the healing and restoration of the person, the formation of loving, serving, worshipping communities centered on the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. She has always taught us to practice self-sacrificing love and aceticism. What that has traditionally meant in practice is to help people in their daily lives overcome physical, mental, emotional, and economic challenges in a way that enables people to heal, grow, and stand on their own. We are encouraged to show great compassion and understanding for the sins of others while at the same time examine our own failings without ceasing.

Such practice brings about an unearthly joy, not just for ourselves, but for those with whom we come in contact. That is the ideal.

One note, the freedom is not simply or even primarily the existential freedom to choose between two or more beliefs, attitudes, or actions, but the freedom from the slavery of sin which allows the healing power of the Holy Spirit to be active and effective. We strive to live a sacremental life. Most of us fail miserably, yet most Orthodox that I know truly do have such a life as their goal.

The political culture in the United States despite is purported democracy has become essentially nilist and materialistic in its content whether Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green, or whatever. No party is able to articulate, much less enact a political vision that uplifts the human person in any but the most material way.

Our challenge as Christians is to witness to the unique vision of man bequeathed to us the Jesus Christ, the Apostles, and all the Saints throughout the ages. In order to accomplish that we must confront all politicians. That being said, right now the Democrats seem to be the focus of the most egregious affronts to the integrity of man in society.

The vision of the Orthodox Church is not one that can be articulated in political terms, but it can and it should have an effect in the political realm since the vision deals with the very essence of who and what man is, how he is to believe and act.

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Bar might tell judges to quit anti-gay groups (including the Boy Scouts)

Orlando Sentinel, Saturday, August 7, 2004, Gina Holland

Atlanta — Judges are on the front line of battles about legal rights for same-sex couples and should never belong to an organization that discriminates against gays, supporters of a proposed change to American Bar Association ethics rules argued Friday.

Judges are already prohibited from joining clubs that discriminate based on race or sex. An ABA panel is debating whether to make groups that discriminate against gays off limits as well.

The ABA, the nation’s largest lawyers’ group, with more than 400,000 members, writes conduct rules for judges and lawyers. States and federal courts generally adopt them, with some changes.
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A reader writes…

Creating enclaves in which the law does not operate or carving holes in civilization.

A theme that someone should explore and properly develop:

Traditional Anglo-American law (pre-1960’s) deferred to the traditional Judeo-Christian family. By “deferred” I mean that the public law, in effect, stopped at the borders of the traditional family. It was if the family was an island while the public law was like waves lapping up on its beaches, its outer perimeter. Public law declared that the minors were directly under the governance of the biological parents. Women, to some extent, were under the governance of men. The extent to which women were under the governance of men has been exaggerated but the approach can fairly be described as patriarchal. In order to intervene between parent and child, even for the benign purpose of protecting an innocent child from an abusive parent, meant that a very high legal barrier had to be overcome. The severity of these laws sometimes resulted in the injustice of a innocent child beaten by an abusive parent. The suffering of some women and children under at the hands of a violent
fathers was exposed by the women’s movement in the 1960’s and attitudes about intervening inside the family unit slowly changed.

Note that the goal of the pro-abortionists is to create another island which is free of publicly created law-that island is the woman’s body. Just as a woman or child might be nearly helpless against the mistreatment of an abusive father, so the unborn child is helpless against what has to be called an abusive mother. As medical science advances and we know more about the full humanity of the unborn child, abortion becomes more and more clearly unthinkable. Abortion in a country where many married couples long for the opportunity to adopt is truly tragic.

Note, I am not trained as a theologian, but, the scene in the New Testament where the pregnant mother of John the Baptist mets Mary and the unborn John the Baptist reacts at the presence of Mary who is pregant with the Christ child must demonstrate the sinfulness of abortion for any believing Christian. Clearly unborn children are full human beings with their own unique identity.

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More Than a “Lifestyle Choice” — Marriage in the 50 States

June 22, 2004

They’ve finally set a date. Senate leaders have announced that members will vote the week of July 12 whether to amend the Constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Remember the flap over Vice President Dan Quayle’s criticism of TV’s “Murphy Brown”? Unwed births had reached a new high in the early ’90s, and the vice president lamented the nonchalant way the show’s producers treated single motherhood. Social science research has since vindicated his argument: Decisions about sex, marriage and childbearing aren’t merely personal. They have profound social consequences, particularly for children.

Read the entire article on the Heritage Foundation website.

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Restore Orthodox churches for Kosovo peace – expert says

Reuters AlertNet – London, England,UK
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L11656656.htm
11 Jun 2004 15:37:35 GMT
By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor

PARIS, June 11 (Reuters) – European states must help rescue dozens of Orthodox churches and monasteries destroyed in Kosovo to show they are serious about fostering better ties between Serbs and Albanians there, a European expert said on Friday.
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