To See Him Face to Face
2 hours ago
is the blog of an Orthodox Christian and is published under the spiritual patronage of St. John of San Francisco. Topics likely to be discussed include matters relating to Orthodoxy as well as other religious confessions, politics, economics, social issues, current events or anything else which interests me. © 2006-2023
"Plaintiffs have attacked the judiciary, including every prior court that has dismissed their claim, as unpatriotic and even treasonous for refusing to grant their requests and for adhering to the terms of the Constitution which set forth its jurisdiction," he writes.Source.
"Respecting the constitutional role and jurisdiction of this Court is not unpatriotic,"... "Quite the contrary, this Court considers commitment to that constitutional role to be the ultimate reflection of patriotism."
..."The Court has received several sworn affidavits that Taitz asked potential witnesses that she planned to call before this Court to perjure themselves,"... "This Court is deeply concerned that Taitz may have suborned perjury through witnesses she intended to bring before this Court."
..."Plaintiffs appear to assume that should the Court receive a document from Kenya, the Court would give credence to this document over the American birth records of the President and the case would be resolved."
On the 8th to the 14th of October in 2007, the 10th plenary session of the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox and the Roman Catholics had convened in Ravenna of Italy. At the end of the session, a document was issued which included everything that was agreed upon and is known as the "Ravenna Document".Read the rest here.
The Ravenna Document had, as its theme:"ECCLESIOLOGICAL AND CANONICAL CONSEQUENCES OF THE SACRAMENTAL NATURE OF THE CHURCH.
ECCLESIAL COMMUNION, CONCILIARITY AND AUTHORITY"
The basic error of the Ravenna Document is that the Orthodox members of the Joint International Commission of Orthodox and Roman Catholics had regarded their heterodox interlocutors as belonging to the same Church, thus giving the impression that between the Orthodox Church and Roman Catholicism there actually exists an ecclesiological unity, albeit without the necessary theological prerequisites.
The attempt by members of the Orthodox Representation to suppress or bypass the dogmatic diversification between Orthodoxy and heterodoxy as something secondary is undermining the self-awareness of the Orthodox Church as the only true Church - which is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church - and is giving the impression that the Roman Catholics comprise a partial or local Orthodox Church.
Even though the interruption of sacramental intercommunion is attributed to the Roman Catholics' diversifications from the common Faith of the first centuries, nevertheless, in the Ravenna Document it is mutually confessed by both the Orthodox and the Roman Catholic members of the Joint Commission that their faith is common. In this way, the discussion and settlement of organizational and administrative issues have been set forth, as, for example, the matter of the Pope's primacy, while the theological issues have been bypassed and left pending. As a consequence of this, the Ravenna document concluded with the statement that "It remains for the question of the role of the bishop of Rome in the communion of all the Churches to be studied in greater depth." (Ravenna Document, para.45)
It is therefore imperative that the serious dogmatic issues be discussed first, and furthermore, a framework be determined with the necessary prerequisites that should be based on Patristic criteria, which will ensure that the Dialogue will be conducted on a sound and immovable dogmatic basis and not on unstable secular grounds. It is only with persistence in the precision (akriveia) of the Orthodox dogma and the dogmatic teaching of the Orthodox Church that we can be certain we are working towards the re-induction of the strayed into Christ's Flock.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger typically attaches a message to bills he signs or vetoes telling lawmakers why he took the action.Read the rest here.
A Democratic assemblyman who heckled the governor during a recent event in San Francisco actually received two messages: the veto letter itself and a not-so-subtle rebuke creatively hidden within it.
Like a find-the-word puzzle, the second message was visible by stringing together the first letter of each line down the left-hand margin. It consisted of a common four-letter vulgarity followed by the letters "y-o-u."
"My goodness. What a coincidence," said Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear. "I suppose when you do so many vetoes, something like this is bound to happen."
The IssueRead the rest here
Last week the Vatican invited Anglicans who are, as The New York Times put it, “uncomfortable with female priests and openly gay bishops” to reunite with the Roman Catholic Church. If a secular institution, Wal-Mart or Microsoft, for example, made a similar offer — Tired of leadership positions being open to women and gay employees? Join us! — it would be slammed for appealing to bigotry. Some criticism was directed at the church, but it was faint. Are we right to speak softly when discussing a subject as sensitive as religion?
Etiquette holds that religion, especially another person’s religion, should be treated with deference or, better still, silence by nonbelievers. Hence the familiar dinner-party injunction: don’t discuss religion or politics. Even at a table full of co-religionists, feelings can run high, and there is a reluctance to combine digestion with discord (particularly where knives are nearby). To the observant, a nonbeliever’s comments on church doctrine can feel less like a discussion of theology than a personal attack.
Yet despite the risk of provoking the ire of believers, we should discuss the actions of religious institutions as we would those of all others — courteously and vigorously. This is a mark of respect, an indication that we take such ideas seriously. To slip on the kid gloves is condescending, akin to the way you would treat children or the frail or cats.
The passionate intensity unleashed by religious matters is evinced in responses to The Ethicist, my other column for The Times Magazine. When I take up a secular question that provokes broad disagreement, I typically receive a few hundred responses by e-mail that begin: “Dear Sir, I am appalled…” When I write about religion, I cause a tidal wave. The week I rebuked an Orthodox Jewish real estate agent whose beliefs forbade his shaking the hand of a female client, I stopped counting after receiving 4,000 ferocious messages, lambasting not only my argument but my character, my appearance and my parentage: it was speculated that dogs played a part.
My political beliefs, my ideas about social justice, are as deeply held as my critics’ religious beliefs, but I don’t ask them to treat me with reverence, only civility. They should not expect me to walk on tiptoe. It is not as if religious institutions occupy a precarious perch in American life. It is not the proclaimed Christian but the nonbeliever who is unelectable to high office in this era when politicians of every party and denomination make a public display of their faith.
Some of my most indignant critics have declared religious practice a matter of free association: what people do voluntarily among themselves is nobody else’s business. But children raised in a particular faith did not choose it. And sometimes one spouse is pushed into a pew by the other. Even when membership is truly volitional, once a group reaches a certain size and acquires power and influence in the larger community, to treat it like four people getting together in someone’s rec room to play bridge is disingenuous. Its actions are still subject to moral scrutiny, whether the group is the Boy Scouts or Nascar or the Roman Catholic Church.
New Yorkers are fleeing the state and city in alarming numbers -- and costing a fortune in lost tax dollars, a new study shows.Read the rest here
More than 1.5 million state residents left for other parts of the United States from 2000 to 2008, according to the report from the Empire Center for New York State Policy. It was the biggest out-of-state migration in the country.
The vast majority of the migrants, 1.1 million, were former residents of New York City -- meaning one out of seven city taxpayers moved out.
"The Empire State is being drained of an invaluable resource -- people," the report said.
What's worse is that the families fleeing New York are being replaced by lower-income newcomers, who consequently pay less in taxes.
JERUSALEM - The Jewish day of rest has become a bit more labor-intensive for Yosef Ball.Read the rest here.
The Orthodox Jew and his wife are no longer using elevators custom-built for the Jewish Sabbath, ever since a rabbinical ruling last month outlawed them. Instead, they have been hiking up seven flights of stairs to get home each Saturday, lugging with them their five young children and a double stroller.
"It's been very hard, but we're walking up the stairs slowly and with a lot of patience," said Ball, 29, while pushing a baby carriage with two toddlers in tow on a recent day.
Jewish law, or halacha, forbids the use of electrical items on the Sabbath. But for decades rabbis have allowed special elevators that automatically stop at every floor without the riders pushing any buttons, permitting Orthodox Jews to ride them and live in high-rise buildings.
Debate over elevators reignited
The ruling last month by one of Israel's leading rabbis, calling the elevators a no-go, has reignited a vigorous debate over the lifts, forcing Orthodox Jews living on top floors to decide if they're up for the steep hike home from synagogue on Saturdays.
The decision stretches far beyond Israel's borders. Buildings with Shabbat elevators are common in Orthodox communities around the world, and residents in places as far away as New York are now struggling with how to interpret the ruling.
America's Orthodox Christians, divided for decades among about 10 churches based on Greek or Serb or other ancestry, soon may be moving toward the formation of a united American Orthodox church.Read the rest here.
Many of them have dreamed of that for decades, especially as conversions to Orthodoxy have skyrocketed. But most church patriarchs have squelched such talk.
Now it appears that the patriarchs are not only supporting but demanding some sort of unity. To explore what this may mean for believers in the United States, the independent, pan-Orthodox group Orthodox Christian Laity will gather for three days, starting Thursday, at Antiochian Village in Ligonier.
In 1994 that retreat center hosted the first and only gathering of all Orthodox bishops in North America. Believing they had approval from church patriarchs overseas, those bishops called for a united church in which the faithful would not be treated as "scattered children" of ancestral homelands.
But the ecumenical patriarch in Constantinople -- the spiritual head of global Orthodoxy -- denounced it as a rebellion against the ancient church and replaced the Greek archbishop who had led it. The unity movement lay dormant for 15 years.
Then, in June, the 14 Old World patriarchs gathered in Chambesy, Switzerland, and declared that all Orthodox bishops outside of traditional Orthodox lands -- including North America -- will begin meeting to address their own issues in their own lands.
Is there room in the Republican Party for genuine moderates? Truth to tell, the GOP can't decide. More precisely, it's deeply divided over whether it should allow any divisions in the party at all.Read the rest here.
That's why the brawl in a single congressional district in far Upstate New York is drawing the eyes of the nation. Conservatives are determined to use the race to prove that there is no place in the party for heretics, dissidents or independents.
President Obama set up the fight by nominating the district's former representative, John McHugh, as his Army secretary. Maybe Obama is as fiendishly clever as his more paranoid opponents believe him to be.
When local Republicans picked a moderate, Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, as their candidate for the Nov. 3 contest, many on the right rebelled. They are backing a third-party conservative, Doug Hoffman, and he may well drive Scozzafava into third place. For the moment, at least, polls show that Bill Owens, the Democratic candidate, has jumped into first place on the split.
It demonstrates just how right-wing some Republicans have become that former House speaker Newt Gingrich is on the moderate side of this civil war against his old nemesis Dick Armey, who served under Gingrich as majority leader.
Gingrich, who backs Scozzafava, always understood that he would never have become speaker without help from Republican moderates. Armey prefers ideological purity and, like fellow members of the Tea Party movement, is supporting Hoffman.
The Vatican announced on Tuesday that it would make it easier for Anglicans who are uncomfortable with the Church of England’s acceptance of women priests and openly gay bishops to join the Catholic Church. The Vatican will set up a formal conversion structure to allow Anglicans to preserve some of their liturgical traditions, including allowing married Anglican priests to remain married after they convert to Catholicism.Read the rest here.
What does this announcement say about the Catholic Church and its willingness to grant such flexibility?
* David Gibson, author, “The Rule of Benedict”
* John L. Allen Jr., The National Catholic Reporter
* M. Cathleen Kaveny, professor of law and theology
* Colleen Carroll Campbell, Ethics and Public Policy Center
ROME — In making it easier for traditionalist Anglicans to become Catholic, Pope Benedict XVI once again revealed the character of his papacy: to reach out to the most fervent of like-minded believers, even if they are not Catholic. Yet some observers wonder whether his move could paradoxically liberalize the church — or at least wedge it open — on a crucial issue: celibacy.Read the rest here.
In a momentous move on Tuesday, the Vatican said it would help Anglicans uncomfortable with female priests and openly gay bishops join a new Anglican rite within the Catholic Church.
The invitation also extends to married Anglican clergy. And so some have begun to wonder, even if the 82-year-old Benedict himself would never allow it, would more people in the Roman Catholic Church begin to entertain the possibility of married Catholic priests?
Orthodox will never beat Rome at Rome's game, and we need to get any hint of such a notion out of our heads. We can talk all we want about past ties and chumminess between Orthodox and Anglicans, but it makes more sense for the vast majority of faithful Anglicans to go to Rome than it does for them to go to Orthodoxy. Rome has an ecclesial apparatus that can efficiently and coherently make a place for them, and it can market those efforts in a manner that Orthodox cannot come close to competing with. And the theology of most conservative Anglicans reflects the influence of Augustine and Aquinas in a manner that Orthodoxy outside of David Bentley Hart and a few of his friends does not...-Owen the Ochlophobist throwing a little cold water on the current enthusiasm for ecumenical talks with conservative Anglicans. I encourage everyone to read his post carefully. It has more than a few solid points.
...Then comes along the OCA with its wooing words. True, and thank God, +Jonah spoke about the incompatibility of WO with Orthodoxy, and the problem of the filioque, and the heresy of Calvinism. Rhetorically speaking +Jonah at least placed some serious restraints on the table. I think what is going on is that the ACNA, and perhaps other conservative Anglican groups (the ACNA is not in any real sense a traditionalist Anglican body), is in such a state of excitement and euphoria over gaining size and momentum that when Orthodox or RCs show up and speak nice and talk about their commitment to dialogue and the duty to pursue unity, etc., these euphoric Anglicans only hear that they are being courted and think themselves to have been somehow recognized to be "within" the Church and they do not hear the "fine print"-speak. What I find crass about these ecumenical gatherings (and yes, no matter how much tea and lace and crumpets, it is crass) is that, at least with what is presented of these meetings for public consumption, the hard facts that get in the way of the euphoric, urgent, union-is-just-around-the-corner metanarrative rarely seem to make it beyond "fine-print"-speak or the occasional tangent. It would seem to me that in an honest dialogue would involve as much public and forthright discussion of what divides us as it does those things we supposedly have in common. That said, I have to say that I appreciate that +Jonah at very least says some "hard" things that one rarely publicly hears coming out of the mouths of hierarchs involved in these sorts of meetings.
I have another worry about the ACNA. Many of the groups within the ACNA are made up of a lot of folks who stayed in ECUSA through WO, Spong, and outright heresy and left only after an openly homosexual bishop was ordained. The ethos of the ACNA is not traditional. It is not catholic. It is white, middle class Republican - Dobson in vestments. It is moralist. Heck, these folks promote on their own website the fact that they are "conservative" and "biblical" on the issue of homosexuality. Their ecclesial identity is tied up in the fact that they reject the Church blessing homosexual unions. Friends, that may be correct but it does not have staying power, and it does not necessarily make a person or group somehow a more significant candidate for communion with Rome or Orthodoxy than another person or group. To pursue them on the basis of their manner of conservatism is the sort of demographic association seeking that political parties make use of, but going after particular religious groups because of their cultural conservatism strikes me as a rather repugnant form of evangelism. It reeks of that peculiar pathetic display of religious forms that feel increasingly isolated culturally and so desperately want a few more friends on the playground of culture.
MOSCOW — Nearly two decades after the collapse of the Communist Party, Russia’s rulers have hit upon a model for future success: the Communist Party.Read the rest here.
Or at least, the one that reigns next door.
Like an envious underachiever, Vladimir V. Putin’s party, United Russia, is increasingly examining how it can emulate the Chinese Communist Party, especially its skill in shepherding China through the financial crisis relatively unbowed.
United Russia’s leaders even convened a special meeting this month with senior Chinese Communist Party officials to hear firsthand how they wield power.
In truth, the Russians express no desire to return to Communism as a far-reaching Marxist-Leninist ideology, whether the Soviet version or the much attenuated one in Beijing. What they admire, it seems, is the Chinese ability to use a one-party system to keep tight control over the country while still driving significant economic growth.
Paphos (AsiaNews) - The 2nd round of dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox is being held in Paphos (Cyprus) from October 16 to 23. Progress, however, appears a distant goal. Two days ago, groups of traditionalist Orthodox monks and Orthodox priests from Larnaca interrupted the meeting of the Joint Commission, asking Archbishop Chrisostomos to stop it. They believe that dialogue between the two Churches is designed to "subjugate the Orthodox to the pope in Rome". Yet it is to this very island, a martyred land of ancient Christian traditions, divided by the last wall in Europe, the one between Greece and Turkey, that Benedict XVI will come on a papal visit in June 2010.Read the rest here
The dialogue of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches began in Ravenna in 2007 where a road map for process towards full unity was signed. The Ravenna document, of great importance, is based on the ecclesiology of the first millennium, when the two churches were in full communion, although even then differences arose from time to time.
The Ravenna document was not signed by the Russian Orthodox Church, which withdrew over differences with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople on the question of the Church in Estonia. But these days it was involved in the work. Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople confirmed two days ago that "engaging in dialogue is our duty and obligation. Dialogue is a road of no return".
The issue of dialogue is the theme of an in depth interview that the Metropolitan of Pergamon, John Zizoulas, gave to Cypriot journalist Aris Viketos. Zizoulas is Co-chairman - along with the card. Walter Kasper - of the Joint Commission, an eminent theologian and a charismatic figure, as well as a strong supporter of dialogue.
In ecumenical circles it is said that with this interview Zizoulas is sending an important signal to certain areas of the Orthodox world. They, although a minority, are loudly contesting the dialogue, because they themselves are victims of a traditionalist narcissism bordering on infallibility. The interview also criticizes certain sectors of the Catholic Church who impose a disproportionate dogmatic rationalism, and who want nothing to change.
Americans seem to have finally realized that taking on a third mortgage to buy a second 74-inch TV for the bathroom is not a sensible decision.Source
The Loma Prieta earthquake, also known as the Quake of '89 and the World Series Earthquake, was a major earthquake that struck the San Francisco Bay Area of California on October 17, 1989, at 5:04 p.m. local time. Caused by a slip along the San Andreas Fault, the temblor lasted 10–15 seconds and measured 6.9 on the moment magnitude scale (surface-wave magnitude 7.1, Richter magnitude scale 7.0.) The quake killed 63 people throughout northern California, injured 3,757 and left some 3,000, 8,000, 10,000 or 12,000 people homeless.Read the rest here.
The earthquake occurred during the warm up for the third game of the 1989 World Series, coincidentally featuring both of the Bay Area's Major League Baseball teams, the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants. Because of game-related sports coverage, this was the first major earthquake in America to have its initial jolt broadcast live on television.
>VIEWED from the outside, things have been going quite well for Russia recently. The United States has scrapped, at least for now, the plan to base missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic. Germany and Russia seem to have overcome opposition in Europe to their Nord Stream pipeline, despite fears that it will solidify Russia’s dominance of the European natural gas supplies. Oil prices have recovered from the disastrously low — for Russia — levels of last winter. And, far from buckling under pressure from the United States over sanctions against Iran, Russian leaders felt confident enough to concede almost nothing to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her visit to Moscow this week.Read the rest here.
Yet on the inside the country remains dangerously close to a serious breakdown of authority. In addition to the Muslim North Caucasus, which is already barely governable, the most vulnerable places are the company towns, which could catalyze a nationwide explosion of political turmoil.
O’FALLON, Mo. — With three small children and her marriage in trouble, Pat Bond attended a spirituality retreat for Roman Catholic women in Illinois 26 years ago in hopes of finding support and comfort.Read the rest here.
What Ms. Bond found was a priest — a dynamic, handsome Franciscan friar in a brown robe — who was serving as the spiritual director for the retreat and agreed to begin counseling her on her marriage. One day, she said, as she was leaving the priest’s parlor, he pulled her aside for a passionate kiss.
Ms. Bond separated from her husband, and for the next five years she and the priest, the Rev. Henry Willenborg, carried on an intimate relationship, according to interviews and court documents. In public, they were both leaders in their Catholic community in Quincy, Ill. In private they functioned like a married couple, sharing a bed, meals, movie nights and vacations with the children.
Eventually they had a son, setting off a series of legal battles as Ms. Bond repeatedly petitioned the church for child support. The Franciscans acquiesced, with the stipulation that she sign a confidentiality agreement. It is now an agreement she is willing to break as both she and her child, Nathan Halbach, 22, are battling cancer.
With little to lose, they are eager to tell their stories: the mother, a once-faithful Catholic who says the church protected a philandering priest and treated her as a legal adversary, and the son, about what it was like to grow up knowing his absentee father was a priest.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- It's officially official.Read the rest here.
The Obama administration on Friday said the government ran a $1.42 trillion deficit in fiscal year 2009.
That made it the worst year on record since World War II, according to data from the Treasury and the White House Office of Management and Budget.
Tax receipts for the year fell 16.6% overall, while spending soared 18.2% compared to fiscal year 2008. The causes: rising unemployment, the economic slowdown and the extraordinary measures taken by lawmakers to stem the economic meltdown that hit in fall 2008.
Consequently, the annual deficit rose 212% to the record dollar amount of $1.42 trillion, from $455 billion a year earlier.
As a share of the economy, the deficit accounted for 10% of gross domestic product, up from 3.2% in 2008. As breath-taking as that may be, it's still not in the same stratosphere as the 1945 deficit, which hit 21% of GDP.
Is there anyone on earth, from the Pope to Mao Tse Tung, who can be entirely certain that he is not an Episcopalian?-Uncertain but widely attributed to William F. Buckley
The House Ways and Means Committee has agreed to send H.R. 3200, the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, to the House Budget Committee.Source
By packaging the bill as a budget bill, House leaders might be able to use a process called the “reconciliation” process to get a health reform bill through the Senate with just 51 votes, rather than 60 votes normally required.
Senators trying to win passage of ordinary Senate bills need to have 60 votes to prevent opponents from “filibustering,” or engaging in endless rounds of discussion. But Senate budget reconciliation procedures permit budget bills to pass with a simple majority of the votes cast.
The vote to send H.R. 3200 to the Budget Committee “does not change the substance of the health reform bill, and it does not indicate a change in process as the bill moves toward a vote in the House of Representatives,” Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., says in a statement.
But “there is a possibility that a handful of Senate Republicans could choose to engage in partisan tactics to stall this important health reform bill,” Rangel says. “By sending the legislation to the Budget Committee, we simply preserve the option of advancing health reform legislation in a manner that would allow a majority of this Congress to answer the call of the American people and President Obama to address this growing crisis.”
I think the BBC wanted to slip this one out quietly, but a Matt Drudge link put paid to that. The climate change correspondent of BBC News has admitted that global warming stopped in 1998 – and he reports that leading scientists believe that the earth’s cooling-off may last for decades.Read the rest at Damian Thompson's Holy Smoke.
“Whatever happened to global warming?” is the title of an article by Paul Hudson that represents a clear departure from the BBC’s fanatical espousal of climate change orthodoxy. The climate change campaigners will go nuts, particularly in the run-up to Copenhagen. So, I suspect, will devout believers inside the BBC. Hudson’s story was not placed very prominently by his colleagues – but a link right at the top of Drudge will have delivered at least a million page views, possibly many more.
The award of the peace prize to a sitting President is not unprecedented. But Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson received the honor for their past actions: Roosevelt's efforts to end the Russo-Japanese War and Wilson's work in establishing establish the League of Nations. Obama's award is different. It is intended to affect future action. As a member of the Nobel Committee explained, the Prize should encourage Obama to meet his goal of nuclear disarmament. It raises important legal questions for the second time in less than 10 months -- questions not discussed, much less adequately addressed anywhere else.Source
The five-member Nobel commission is elected by the Storting, the Parliament of Norway. Thus the award of the peace prize is made by a body representing the legislature of a sovereign foreign state. There is no doubt that the Nobel Peace Prize is an "emolument" ("gain from employment or position," according to Webster).
An opinion of the U.S. Attorney General advised, in 1902 that "a simple remembrance," even "if merely a photograph, falls under the inclusion of 'any present of any kind whatever.' " President Clinton's Office of Legal Counsel, in 1993, reaffirmed the 1902 opinion, and explained that the text of the clause does not limit "its application solely to foreign governments acting as sovereigns." This opinion went on to say that the Emolument Clause applies even when the foreign government acts through instrumentalities. Thus the Nobel Prize is an emolument, and a foreign one to boot.
CANTON, N.C. (October 13, 2009)—The Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, N.C. will celebrate Halloween by burning Bibles that aren’t the King James Version, as well as music and books and anything else Pastor Marc Grizzard says is a satanic influence.Source
Among the authors whose books Grizzard plans to burn are well known ministers Rick Warren and Billy Graham because he says they have occasionally used Bibles other than the King James Version, which is the sole biblical source he considers infallible.
According to the church’s Web site, members will also burn “Satan's music such as country, rap, rock, pop, heavy metal, western, soft and easy, southern gospel, contemporary Christian, jazz, soul (and) oldies.
“We will also be burning Satan's popular books written by heretics like Billy Graham, Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, John McArthur, James Dobson, Charles Swindoll, John Piper, Chuck Colson, Tony Evans, Oral Roberts, Jimmy Swagart, Mark Driskol, Franklin Graham, Bill Bright, Tim Lahaye, Paula White, T.D. Jakes, Benny Hinn, Joyce Myers, Brian McLaren, Robert Schuller, Mother Teresa, The Pope, Rob Bell, Erwin McManus, Donald Miller, Shane Claiborne, Brennan Manning (and) William Young.
During the book burning, according to the Web site, barbecued chicken fried chicken and “all the sides” will be served.
Why has the SP500 continued higher even when earnings have been weak and unsustainable and demand has been virtually non-existent? There are several contributing factors such as the oversold condition, sentiment, etc. but our favorite one is that the Government is debasing our currency and in the process it is driving asset prices but not their actual values higher. After all, if your investment in the SP500 is up but the actual value of your dollar is equally low then have you actually made any money?Read the rest here.
William Thomas Massie's nightmares almost always begin in a dusty prison cell. His arms are lashed behind his back, and North Korean guards are karate-chopping his neck, kicking his groin and ankles, and smashing his face with fists and rifle butts.Read the rest here
The frigid room is illuminated only by tannin-tinted light trickling through newspaper-covered windows. The guards are screaming. One thrusts an assault rifle into Massie's mouth. The soldier's finger is on the trigger. Sweat stings Massie's eyes. He is terrified.
When he wakes up, his body aches. Sometimes he sobs.
Those nightmares have pursued Massie for decades, vivid flashbacks of his "11 months of hell" in a brutal North Korean prison after he and 81 other members of the USS Pueblo were captured in 1968. Ever since, Massie and many of the other men have struggled with torture's legacy.
Coping hasn't been easy for the Pueblo's crew. Marriages imploded. At least two men committed suicide. Many have seen therapists and still take medication for stress and depression.
Massie, a thick 61-year-old with gray hair and a gray goatee who likes wearing all-black clothing, has seen countless doctors and therapists for severe back pain, impotence, incontinence and depression, all the result of torture.
On the advice of a counselor who thought he needed a calming influence at home, he even took in a lovable yellow Labrador named Bruno. But while the experts he has seen have helped ease Massie's lingering anger, pain and fear, they haven't delivered what he has truly craved: vengeance and vindication.
For that, he turned to the law.
Massie, two other Pueblo crew members and the widow of their captain sued North Korea for their torment. A federal judge in the District awarded them $65 million in damages last year. Their lawyers are trying to locate North Korean assets frozen by the U.S. government that they can seize.
The search for an identity that began after the collapse of Communism remains a critical question for Russians. The Orthodox Church is the only institution that unites Russians with their “near abroad” and has survived throughout the country’s long history. Today, the state needs the church much more than vice-versa.Read the rest here.
When foreigners convert to Orthodoxy, more often than not it is because they are impressed by the splendour and majesty of Russian liturgy.
They appreciate that strict Orthodox priests do not connive at human weaknesses or play up to the individual, accustomed to indulgence. They are attracted by the centuries-old spiritual tradition, which is inevitably conservative and inflexible but all the stronger for that.
It stands in stark contrast to the “flexibility” of Western Churches adapting to changing circumstances, which in many ways has left them today in a “social ghetto”.
The Russian faith, like the Russian revolution and like life in Russia itself, never condescends to the individual.
MOSCOW — Aleksei Orlov’s grandfather was buried in Moscow’s Danilovskoe Cemetery in 1946. His grandmother was laid to rest there four decades later. And, about 11 years ago, Mr. Orlov buried his father there.Read the rest here.
But when his mother died unexpectedly last August, he found there was no room for her in the family plot. Or almost anywhere else.
Moscow, it turns out, is largely closed to the dead. Of the 71 cemeteries in the Russian capital, only one is open to new burials. The shortage of space has left relatives without room in family plots to choose between burial far from the city and cremation, a practice that is frowned upon by the Russian Orthodox Church.
“Mama was a Christian and wanted to be buried according to Christian tradition,” Mr. Orlov, a Moscow business analyst, said. “On the other hand, it wasn’t possible to bury her. New plots are either far away, expensive or both.”
Patriarchs Bartholomew and Kiril should catch the next flight to Rome, crawl to St Peter's on their blooded knees, kiss the Sacred Feet of the Supreme Pontiff, then kiss his ring.-A comment posted at Rorate Caeli in response to a very good blog post by the redoubtable Carlos Antonio Palad, debunking the various ridiculous rumors of imminent "reunion" with Rome.
After which, they can beg mercy and forgiveness for a thousand years of schism.
After which, they can prostrate themselves while the Holy Father pronounces absolution, with both his feet resting on their necks.
Then, and only then, will there be reunion.
Hey, a Papophile can dream, can't he?
Over his decades as a columnist, lecturer, TV host and debater, William F. Buckley Jr. lost his cool in public only once -- when he threatened to sock Gore Vidal "in your goddamn face" on the third night of their joint appearances on ABC during the ill-fated 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Three nights on a television set with Vidal might drive anyone mad, yet Buckley also tangled with the roughest players on the left, from Jesse Jackson to William Kunstler, with unfailing composure.Read the rest here.
But suppose that instead of his formal addresses and his weekly "Firing Line" show on PBS, Buckley had hosted a talk radio show 15 hours a week for 20 years, or hosted a nightly hour-long cable news show, sliced into six-minute segments. One can imagine him archly sniffing: "You can't possibly immanentize the eschaton in six minutes!" But one can also imagine him overexposed, spread thin chasing the issue of the moment and perhaps losing his temper now and then -- in short, less the man of style and ideas who inspired two generations of conservative thinkers and more just a populist shock jock with a funny prep-school accent.
During the glory days of the conservative movement, from its ascent in the 1960s and '70s to its success in Ronald Reagan's era, there was a balance between the intellectuals, such as Buckley and Milton Friedman, and the activists, such as Phyllis Schlafly and Paul Weyrich, the leader of the New Right. The conservative political movement, for all its infighting, has always drawn deeply from the conservative intellectual movement, and this mix of populism and elitism troubled neither side.
Today, however, the conservative movement has been thrown off balance, with the populists dominating and the intellectuals retreating and struggling to come up with new ideas. The leading conservative figures of our time are now drawn from mass media, from talk radio and cable news. We've traded in Buckley for Beck, Kristol for Coulter, and conservatism has been reduced to sound bites.