An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
While listening to an NPR special on "Religion in Politics" we were blessed (pun intended) to hear about how Kerry is strategically going after the moderate Christian vote - since he already has the liberals and Bush already has the conservatives. A coworker said to me that they were dumbfounded by it all because after all "religion is solely a private affair."
Well, no it is not. I would argue that NOTHING (yes, read it again: NOTHING) is a private affair. On the contrary, everything we do, think, say, and feel (even in the bedroom) somehow has wide reaching consequences that makes it so that even our religion has an effect that extends beyond ourselves. If it doesn't, then you ain't practicing it my brothers and sisters - my patron says as much and his letter made in into the canon!
Alas, we live in society in which relegating relgious belief to the proverbial bedroom (out of sight - out of mind, ain't nobody's business, do what feels good) has become quite vogue and as my own experience has born out, I believe will become a legal issue as well (especially for conservative "o"rthodox Christians who are well on their way to being labelled "extremist", "radicals" , and "bigots."
John sent me the an interesting article. While I am grieved to read about two Orthodox Christian senators who support abortion (even partial birth ones - geez...what must it be like to be a religious political candidate whose bishop cannot and will not recommend that people vote for you...or at least preach against your decisions?) it is none-the-less a tribute to the direction our world is headed. Yes, abortion is wrong...for me. Here is the article. Fr. Johannes L. Jacobse is a lot more optimistic than me...and likely a whole heckuva lot holier for it.
Can someone try and explain to me how exactly an Orthodox Christian politician can vote to support abortion "rights"? How do we reconcile that? I mean don't get me wrong: I am not trying to pretend to be self-righteous, hell any of you out there who know me can attest to the fact that I cannot seriously pretend to be self-righteous - but if I were called upon to publically cast a vote and be forced to defend my decision for or against partial birth abortion...well...man, I just don't get it.
Anyway, any readers from Maine or Maryland might wish to contact Olympia Snowe or Paul Sarbanes (respectively) to ask about their position...but in answer "how?" I think the article provides some insight.
In the end it is all about: "Shhhh...no one need know that I am a christian...let alone an extremist orthodox one."
"Can someone try and explain to me how exactly an Orthodox Christian politician can vote to support abortion "rights"?
Great question. But it begs another: if we demand that politicians, who are Orthodox, vote for policies that are anti-abortion (as they should), doesn't it behoove us as voters to vote for politicians who are clearly pro-life?
Generally I agree Karl...however the vote we cast is profoundly multifaceted (hundreds of sometimes completely unrelated issues to consider) and it forces us (I personally agonize over this) to decide which issues are most critical. It's tough.
On the other side these senators have a single issue, though admittedly often complex or compunded it is still not AS complex as our voting decisions.
Abortion is a big issue to me and as our local democratic candidates continue to pound their opponents over funding stem cell research and calling them extremists the more I find myself happily identifying with extremists.
"however the vote we cast is profoundly multifaceted..."
That is the same basic argument used by politicians re: their voting record. Bills before Congress have many other addendums and provisions added to the "main" issue...some of which they may agree with, some not.
The argument is that it is just as complicated to vote for a bill/measure as it is for a politician. So I'm not sure the "the isses are complex" argument always works...either for them or for us voters.
There are some principles that are too precious to comprimise on. IMO.
I tend to agree with you, Karl. There is a clear hierarchy of Orthodox values, and pro-life trumps wealth redistribution, er, I mean tax increases, anyday. I may not like that my anti-partial-birth-abortion vote also includes giving Senator Bloviation more money for his highway projects, but the moral issue is clear here.
If a bill, however, came forward, decriminalizing pedophilia and was tied to the aforementioned anti-partial-birth-abortion bill, I would be in a deep moral quandry.
Such is not likely to happen, of course. It's merely a hypothetical.