We've never known a time when she was not - Even elder brothers and sisters were tots When she ascended to the throne In a time gone by so far from home. After poverty and war did she take over From her torn father who succeeded his brother. She vowed that she would not be the one To doom the British crown which she had won. Stability and grace were watchwords then And always did she keep them to the end, But now three score and ten years hence She's gone. Surely the inevitable Cannot be so incredible, But even so we whisper, "How can it be That she who reigned for an eternity Is gone?" She has gone the way all flesh must go And by now, the whole world must know A queen has died, an age has passed Though forever indeed it seemed to last. Let us now pause and mourn The passing of our Lady, born So long ago and far away Yet over each heart held sway. Pray her soul will meet and she will seal A place at table for the sacred Meal To feast on Him Who saves from sin. So, what about us? Will we have done As she did, second to none In royal servitude? What is our attitude, We dwellers of these estates so crude? Learn from her and emulate The royal bearer of such grace. And constancy in a time of change From good to worse, so bitter is the age. Remember her grace and stability And emulate her ability To see it through both thick and thin Until we, too, will enter in To the reward for servants of the Lord.
On Thursday, September first, Joe Biden went to Independence Hall in Philadelphia to deliver a speech. A gigantic American flag was draped against a wall lighted up in blood red, and two Marines in dress blues stood ramrod straight as sentinels. Jill escorted the faltering Joe out to the podium. Biden is too feeble to look like a fascist, but anyone sprier than he giving such a divisive speech against such a sinister backdrop would have.
The words that were emitted from the president’s mouth were the not the sort of demagoguery that one would expect from the former candidate who promised to bring civility and normalcy back to the presidency. He would be the uniter, he said in 2020, but that speech on September 1 put the lie to that pledge.
All of twelve times in twice as many minutes, Biden denounced the MAGA Republicans as a threat to the very foundation of our American democracy. He accused them as election deniers who subvert the constitution and the rule of law while they attempt to take America backwards. Of course Biden didn’t mention the past objections of his own Democrats to certifying the elections of George W. Bush in 2000, whom they say was elected by the Supreme Court. The sword cuts both ways.
Joe Biden is no more than a ghost of a man, so it’s important to look behind the stuffed shirt to espy his handlers who actually pull the strings. Who is it who wrote that ghastly tirade about defending the “soul of America”? And, what was his purpose? Was it to drum up the support of those who oppose Donald Trump and the MAGA movement ahead of midterms? Or, did he intend to goad the MAGA people whom he accused of being “violent extremists” into committing such acts before the election so that they could be discredited and defeated? Or was this a speech tantamount to a declaration of civil war on the political battlefield? The country is so bitterly divided now that that sort of demagoguery serves no constructive purpose. The cynical people behind Biden are the ones who will ultimately be held responsible for the catastrophic policies of this administration. They will have to answer for endangering the populace from the Mexican border to the inner cities, and for the crash of the stock market and the impoverishing of the middle class by record inflation and recession.
Lucky only leftwing propaganda outlets CNN and MSNBC carried the primetime speech last Thursday. Let’s just pray that God will hasten the day when that old crackpot Biden has been yanked off the stage like the lowlife Vaudeville actor he is. And let the historians in years to come write the dark chapter about this nadir in the American epic.
When you vote in November, vote as though the outcomes of all the races depends upon your ballot.
This is an Orthodox blog, so please don’t get me wrong. I don’t for a minute think that there is a simple, political solution to our societal decline. The problems that our nation faces now are some of the gravest that we have seen in decades. We need to be serious about our religion, for only God can save us.
The Democratic Party is absolutely demonic, and if any Orthodox layman thinks otherwise, he hasn’t been paying attention. And he needs to go to confession to admit his support for the Democrats’ sexual perversity, runaway spending and authoritarian mandates. The presidency of the current occupant of the White House will go down in history as the worst in our history…or close to the worst. It’s an utter disgrace and we deserve better. We must elect a Republican majority to Congress that will be a strong bulwark against any further insanity or inanity that emanates from that building and from the left side of the aisles in the Capitol building.
You are free to throw your ballot in the trash, or throw away your vote on a third party candidate with an obscure name. However, the only practical choice for us Orthodox is to vote for Republicans in any race where there is a party affiliation. I know, I know. Some Republicans act like traitors to the cause. But, both parties tend to vote as blocks, so even less-than-desirable Republicans will tend to support more favorable legislation than what the Democrats have conjured up. Bold action must be taken to clear our streets of criminals, close our southern border, lower our energy costs and regain our personal savings. These problems are mainly the responsibility of the Democrats. Unless they are stopped, they may well and truly destroy our country in time.
Even Elder Ephraim of recent memory, encouraged Orthodox believers to get involved in politics, the days are so evil. Let’s all who are citizens vote, without exception. And, let those who have the time get involved in campaigning for conservative candidates. And those who have the money – the few that are left during this crippling recession – should contribute to good candidates’ campaigns. Voting, and getting involved in campaigns is good citizenship for us Orthodox faithful. Electing the better of two candidates in any political race is certainly a step toward renewing our sick society, or at the very least, slowing the inexorable “slouch toward Gomorrah”. We – all of us – have got to get out and have an influence on our collective destiny this November. Vote as if this were “the most important election of your lifetime”, as they say. Vote as if this were the last election that you’ll ever vote in. Who knows? Given the vicissitudes of life, it very well may be……
Did you know that tsunami is a Japanese word? It’s written this way: 津波 and it means “harbor wave”. We used to call it “tidal wave”. That’s strange, if you think about it. Sailors know that harbors are places of refuge from the undulations of the open ocean. Harbors are protected from the wind waves that roll freely at sea. So what is a tsunami? Unlike the wind waves that affect the ocean by means of the friction of the wind passing over its surface, a tsunami is a totally different event. It is created by a seismic shift in the ocean floor. The earth shifts and the whole ocean from floor to surface buckles and ripples. Oddly the tsunami is not felt by ships in deep water. But, the undulation rushes with tremendous force once it hits the coast, crashing onto beaches, driving inland and surging into harbors. Boats and ships are ripped from their moorings mercilessly. The historical tsunami that flooded the northern Pacific coast of Japan on March 11, 2o11 was one such tsunami. Mere hours after it hit home, it also reached across our great pond to Hawai’i and the West Coast of North America. Ke’ehi Boat Harbor next to Honolulu Int’l Airport was completely wiped out. Many vessels, especially the untended derelicts, were lost in the maelstrom.
Geological tsunami cannot be timed; they can only be prepared for. But there is another type of tsunami coming in exactly ninety days. It is a political tsunami that will wash away many of the derelicts in our national congress and state houses. Many of the ineffective – yea corrupt – officeholders throughout the country will be sent packing. Good riddance to them.
Why are they derelicts? The short answer is that they have forgotten God. The obvious proof is that they support a corrupt regime…a junta, you might say…in the White House under the most disastrous presidency of our lifetimes. The senile, old politician who mumbles while he reads a teleprompter is not to be pitied. He is to be reviled. He has turned the power of the administrative state against his immediate predecessor. This has never happened before. His attorney general and his chief law enforcement agency have crossed over a boundary that has never been crossed. They have raided the residence of immediate past president Donald Trump. The Democrats and the deep state who serve them have not stopped hounding Donald Trump since his first campaign. They’ve spied on him, slandered him, and accused him of wrongdoing when they had no proof. The House of Representatives impeached him twice. Twice, without success. Now they have insulted him by turning his house upside down while he was away.
Why? Because they think that he is a threat to their chokehold on power. By this invasion of the privacy of the former president and first lady, they may have gone a step too far. This unprecedented raid may well backfire on them in November. Most of the candidates that Mr. Trump has endorsed have already won their primary elections. They’re headed to the general in November buoyed up by the anger that is felt by a majority of Americans at the utter incompetence of an incumbent president who, although he can’t ride a bicycle, is able to destroy an economy and bungle foreign policy. There is a deep undercurrent, a tsunami of outrage that is about to be released on him and all who responsible for the damage that he has done to our nation.
Biden’s presidency may well be all but over next January when the new Congress is seated. He will no longer be able to pass any significant legislation due to opposition by the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives, and perhaps the Senate. He won’t be able to take out a second mortgage on our proverbial house and pass the burden of the monthly payments onto our grandchildren. No more big spender. He’ll be eighty years old, half a century in politics, and a never-ending embarrassment to the party and their voters who foisted him on the American republic. Look at what they’ve done to us.
The man whom they revile and whom they would like nothing better than to destroy may rise like a Phoenix in 2024. Many a voter like me who did not vote for him in 2016 will gladly give him support if for no other reason that he is “comeback kid” who suffered the slings and arrows of an irrational opposition who have forgotten God and now worship the false god of Science. Right, the so-called science that ginned up the pandemic and its phony vaccines. The science that will bankrupt a country’s people in a bogus battle against “climate change”. Now that Mr. Trump’s privacy has been invaded, and his home has been stripped they will have empathy for him. Dozens of millions will. And, what is more, he will be the remaining hope that the demonic powers that control the deep state that controls our nation will at last be vanquished. The party that has done all in its power to hasten the decline and demise of our nation will be back in the powerless opposition where they belong for good.
Pres. Trump has made an inspiring video. It’s less than four minutes long. Give it a watch.
A comment on the weblog Monomachos got me to respond:
Why would anyone stay Greek Orthodox with this now (speaking about regular people, that is, not those whose incomes are tied to this stuff)? How can regular people fight this? Withholding contributions from their parish? Every priest reports to his higher-up that reports to his higher up, eventually Elpi… are we condoning this by contributing funds to our churches?
That is the $64,000 question. Depending upon the makeup of one’s personality and the degree to which one has suffered in the past under episcopal misrule, the response will be different. I am a serious-minded former clergyman who has been fighting and regrouping from the onslaught of heresy for my entire adult life. Over the years, that tide flushed me toward Orthodoxy, and for that I am eternally grateful. I have finally discovered the Church of the Apostles, and though its customs are sort of weird, I can be confident that there is no farther to look.
Consider then how dismayed I was to see the infiltration of the atheistic utopian vanguard into Christ’s Church. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in particular has been severely compromised for the last century. The leadership’s recent forays into schism in the Ukraine, and into immorality regarding homosexuality and abortion, and the megabuck corruption in New York and Istanbul must not stand if the GOA wants to remain a canonical jurisdiction.
Throughout the so-called pandemic, I sat on the parish council of a Greek Orthodox church. That involvement gave me some insight into the inner workings of the broader Church. I saw some areas of strength in our metropolis’ governance, but other aspects were deeply troubling. One of those problems was the draconian measures that shut down the churches’ liturgical life in person and put it online. What a grave mistake that was! A misguided non sequitur! How can one then participate in the mysteries, which are essentially tangible means of receiving intangible grace? It is a logical impossibility, and yet our parish followed the metropolitan directives to a tee. Even our medical officers were duped as they considered protection from a bug that kills only those whose health was already compromised by age, disease or obesity. And our priest was weak, knowing that he might very well be removed from his pastoral cure and transferred – or worse, deposed and left by the roadside along with his family. Orthodox bishops carry a big stick.
And then we come to the issue of money. There was some temporary abatement of the parochial assessment, but our treasurer made it clear to us that the metropolis was very keen to have its pound of flesh. Our assessment for this year was a figure in excess of our income from stewardship pledges. Without the constant income from ownership of the land beneath the apartment building next door, parish finances would run into the red. With this in perspective, it was particularly irksome to watch with suspicion the financial malfeasance in New York, especially the astronomical sums of money that just poured into the construction of a national shrine that looks more like a nuclear power plant than a temple.
Some who are Greek Hellenists have a primordial bond with the GOA – a bond that can deny or withstand the corruption, both theological and financial, that has so soiled that jurisdiction. Knowing now what I had come to know, and being the wary warrior that I am, I got to the point where I could no longer stomach the corruption and left the parish and vowed not to return to the GOA until it had had a major overhaul. I.e., penitence and amendment of life across the board.
Hardly a saint myself, I needed to find a purer expression of Orthodoxy to find healing for my own soul and advancement in the virtues. Thanks be to God there was a Russian parish to which I could repair for that purpose!
Not everyone is willing to pack up and leave his parish. Many Greeks have their ethnic bond to the GOA which prevents them from leaving. Some converts from elsewhere remain ignorant of the heresy, schism and malfeasance. Or, they just feel comfortable in their habits. “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.” Let them all know that a goodly portion of their financial contributions to the parish go to the metropolis and the archdiocese, which are guilty of this corruption. Greek or not, if they feel that they must remain, it would behoove them to find a creative means of supporting their priest and his family that circumvents the need to pour money into a bottomless pit of corruption. Regardless of their personality type, loyalty to Christ and his greater Church demands that they pray for metanoia and that they protest the evil actions of Abp. Elpidophoros and Pat. Bartholomew.
There is a woeful lack of catechisis in the GOA, so ignorance of sacramental theology is a problem. Most laymen do not know that participation in the chalice at the parochial level is, among other things, an expression of support for the hierarch. Many months before I left my Greek parish, I decided that I could no longer remain loyal to hierarchs who were not loyal to Christ, so I stopped receiving the Eucharist and I stopped paying my pledge. Those were the practical means for me to both obey my conscience and express my displeasure. Months thereafter, weary of the cognitive dissonance, I left the parish altogether. Many others have chosen to do the same thing for similar reasons.
The watchword that directed me is, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” II Cor. 6:17 It would behoove other Orthodox Christians to contemplate the implications of that verse of Scripture.