George Strickland comments on editorial by Dr. Bouteneff

I’m highlighting Mr. Strickland’s comments because ideas within it deserve consideration.

Dr. Bouteneff’s article has stirred a great deal of debate in these pages. My response is drawn from Bouteneff’s statement: “Neither is there any one system of governance, be it monarchy, democracy, plutocracy, or theocracy, which the Church would sanction as such to be the Christian way of estasblishing and maintaining a state…Christians are not ipso facto socialists, capitalists, or monarchists. And such as we Americans are accustomed to the logic of democracy, democracy is neither the way in which the Church is govers itself, nor is it the only or obvious Christian kind of state…Christians…have to decide in each particular case what best meets the criteria of Christian life.”

There are many ideas packed in this statement, and I am limited in time in commenting on them. I start with a question. Through her long experience in history, has the Church had a period (until the time of America’s great experiment in democracy) in which the state has not directly attempted to control ecclesiastical affairs? Emperors, Czars, and dictators have all had their hands inside the doors of the Church, attempting to muzzle the voice of the Gospel. As an Orthodox Christian, I cannot imagine wanting to live in a state governed by the whims, greed and power-madness of absolute rulers. Christians for Czarists? No thank you.
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Dennis Prager on religion, law, and the left

“The religious have a belief in God-based moral law, and the Left believes in man-made law as the moral law. [W]hereas they cannot change God’s laws, those on the Left can and do make many of society’s laws. In fact, the Left is intoxicated with law-making. It gives them the power to mold society just as Judeo-Christian values did in the past. Unless one understands that leftist ideals function as a religion, one cannot understand the Left. Laws are the Left’s vehicles to earthly salvation.” –Dennis Prager

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Orthodox Christians and the Presidential Election

I think this commentary is weak but I’ll post it anyway. Fortunately (or maybe not depending on your point of view), I have an article that addresses the same issues appearing in Again which should be out this week. I can’t post it here however until October 5. I take a different approach than what Dr. Bouteneff offers.

http://www.oca.org/pages/news/news.asp?ID=660

Dr. Peter C. Bouteneff

Americans are approaching an important election this fall. All presidential elections are important, but few have been this close or this polarized. Those of us who seek to live and act in a way that is consistent with the life and theology of the Orthodox Church do well to reflect upon how we will act on November 2. Some Orthodox I know believe that the only way an Orthodox Christian could possibly vote is Republican/Conservative. Others whom I know have exactly the opposite impression. Where do we find ourselves in the political landscape today? There may not be a single answer for all Orthodox Christians, but we can at least clarify the questions.
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Voters in the ‘Show Me’ State Prepare to Vote on Marriage

On Tuesday, a state constitutional amendment that protects marriage will be voted on in Missouri, the first of up to 13 states to vote on such an amendment this year. Gay activist groups and other amendment opponents are pulling out all the stops to defeat Missouri’s efforts. Well-financed national homosexual rights groups are spending well over $100,000 to influence the amendment vote. The large presence of these groups shows that they understand what is at stake.

This vote will very likely set the tone for the rest of the nation on how the marriage issue will play in elections across the country this election year. Opponents of the Missouri amendment tried to schedule the vote during the state’s Democratic primary in hopes that such a maneuver would help defeat the amendment. But as polls have consistently shown, protecting marriage is one thing that unites both Democratic and Republican voters.

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Sens. Sarbanes and Snowe vote against gay marriage amendment

John Nixon writes in his newletter:

Despite a clear statement that

Marriage is only conducted and recognized in the Orthodox Church as taking place between a man and a woman. Same-sex marriages are a contradiction in terms. The Orthodox Church does not allow for same-sex marriages (http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article8083.asp),

Greek Orthodox Senators Olympia Snowe and Paul Sarbanes (the latter having been named a “Model Greek Orthodox Christian” by H.A.H.E.P. Bartholomew I) have voted today against the constitutional amendment to define marriage as being between a man and a woman.

One wonders who is giving them pastoral guidance on how their faith should impact their public service. Click here for the roll call vote in the Senate.

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Cardinal Ratzinger Orders Kerry Communion Ban

Phil Brennan, NewsMax.com
Wednesday, July 7, 2004
http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2004/7/6/152916.shtml

In a private memorandum, top Vatican prelate Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger told American bishops that Communion must be denied to Catholic politicians who support legal abortion.

While never mentioning Sen. John Kerry by name, the memo implicitly aims at the pro-choice Catholic Massachusetts senator and presidential candidate.

Ratzinger’s ban is broad and includes all other pro-abortion Catholic politicians who are defying the church’s ban on abortion.
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Unfairenheit 9/11: The lies of Michael Moore

Christopher Hitchens
http://slate.msn.com/id/2102723/

One of the many problems with the American left, and indeed of the American left, has been its image and self-image as something rather too solemn, mirthless, herbivorous, dull, monochrome, righteous, and boring. How many times, in my old days at The Nation magazine, did I hear wistful and semienvious ruminations? Where was the radical Firing Line show? Who will be our Rush Limbaugh? I used privately to hope that the emphasis, if the comrades ever got around to it, would be on the first of those and not the second. But the meetings themselves were so mind-numbing and lugubrious that I thought the danger of success on either front was infinitely slight.
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Solzhentisyn tribute to Reagan

In July 1975, I concluded my remarks in the reception room of the U.S. Senate with these words: “Very soon, all too soon, your government will need not just extraordinary men but men of greatness. Find them in your souls. Find them in your hearts. Find them within the breadth and depth of your homeland.” Five years later, I was overjoyed when just such a man came to the White House. May the soft earth be a cushion in his present rest.

ALEKSANDR SOLZHENITSYN, June 7, 2004.

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The Reagan Restoration

Article available seven days only

June 7, 2004
A striking fact about Ronald Reagan is that nearly a generation after he left the Presidency so many people still don’t comprehend the reasons for his success. The eulogies over this past weekend have stressed his many personal virtues: his fundamental good nature, his humor and optimism, his courage in coping with Alzheimer’s, and his skills as the “great communicator.”

These were all essential to the man and to his achievement, but they were not sufficient. Mr. Reagan was the most consequential President since FDR because of his ideas. His Presidency was at root about returning a country that was heading toward decline back to its founding principles of individual liberty and responsibility. At the time it was called a “revolution” but his era is better understood as a restoration.

Read the entire article on the Wall Street Journal Online website.

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The Great Liberator is laid to rest.

President Ronald Reagan was laid to rest in the California mountains yesterday evening. He will be remembered as one of America’s great presidents. Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s eulogy, which I posted below, captured some of his qualities.

Baroness Thatcher said part of Reagan’s greatness was his magnanimity. She called it an American characteristic, which indeed it is. Americans by and large are generous of spirit and heart; it’s one of the reasons that no matter where in the world you come from, you can always be an American.

Baroness Thatcher also called Reagan "the Great Liberator," a term that will probably come to describe our former President. He ended the slavery of tyranny for millions, and when the partianship of the present time fades and people see more clearly, it will be seen as his greatest accomplishment.

May his memory be eternal.

God bless America.

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Text of Margaret Thatcher’s Eulogy at Pres. Reagan’s Funeral

We have lost a great president, a great American, and a great man. And I have lost a dear friend.

In his lifetime Ronald Reagan (news – web sites) was such a cheerful and invigorating presence that it was easy to forget what daunting historic tasks he set himself. He sought to mend America’s wounded spirit, to restore the strength of the free world, and to free the slaves of communism. These were causes hard to accomplish and heavy with risk. [Read more…]

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