Archive for November, 2009

The Day After Thanksgiving

November 27, 2009

and all through the house, not a creature was stirring….because they were all sleeping off the food hangover from a day of overindulgence and gluttony.  Uggh.  I feel terrible right now.   It’s  times like this I’m really glad to be Orthodox and observing the Nativity Fast.  A return to moderation come Monday will do my gastrointestinal system some good.

Blessings to all who have tolerated reading this blog and find anything remotely meaningful.  Blessings to all who are going out today to face the Black Friday shopping madness, those who are recovering today from family-induced psychosis, and to all the Aggies who need some quiet alone time to ponder the loss yesterday to that university in Austin.

Have a great laugh with this turkey of a video!   And isn’t it always the case that the cat gets the blame for everything, when we all know it’s really the dog that’s guilty.  You just can’t trust an animal that will sneakily swipe stuff off countertops then lick your face and wag their tails to reinforce the facade of trustworthiness and honor.  Dogs -the real sleeper cell terrorists in our midst.

Orthodox History

November 17, 2009

There’s a much over-used expression, “You don’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been”.   Trite, but so true, and it could easily be applied to the history of the Orthodox Christians in the New World. 

For a couple of months I’ve been reading an excellent, and the first of its kind, website devoted exclusively to the history of Orthodoxy in the US, Canada, the Americas .  It is sponsored by the Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas (SOCHA), and headed by Father Oliver Herbel, but the list of names associated with the Society is an academic ‘who’s who’ of Orthodox theologians and historians.  You will simply not believe how much information can be found on this site; most of which is not widely known outside the academic study of American Orthodoxy.   And SOCHA doesn’t just present the nice, pretty stuff either.    They want the rest of us to understand that the Orthodox Church isn’t simply what it is in this country because of the good that was done by the early Russian missionary saints, but was shaped just as profoundly by the prideful,  the spiritually deluded, the ineffective, and some just plain whack jobs.  

This is what makes our history so interesting and so suprising.   I think we Orthodox underestimate just how far we’ve come in the past 200 years.   Orthodoxy has managed to become securely established, albeit in a demographically small size, but still recognizable as an American Orthodox Church.   All we need to do is finish the job.   We must put aside the jumbled bird’s nest of administrative disunity to establish a truly unified American Orthodox Church.

To hear these stories brought to life, check out the companion podcast  on Ancient Faith Radio by SOCHA’s Associate Directory Matthew Namee.

Our National Dilemma

November 10, 2009

I am posting Rod Dreher’s very interesting article on the response of Virginia based Muslim cleric Iman Anwar al Alwaki to the actions of Nidal Hasan, 2009 front-runner nominee for Most Distinguished American Muslim, and the  US military’s commitment to diversity policies despite the threat of radical Islamic societies on our own soil.  

The Fort Hood shooting has left me shaking my head at yet  another example of the threat of radical Islam to this country and our refusal to see the world as it is.   Sometimes I think our American character is just too open, friendly and willing to accept everyone as they are in a big ‘ol group hug.   We just simply can’t understand why someone who calls themselves an American would also like to harm or radically change  this country. 

What’s the government to do at this point?   American principles cannot be violated again like they were during the Japanese internments of WWII, but we can’t also let radicalism go unchecked.   It’s  time for people who preach hate and violence to be called out.  Our own Constitution has given us a freedom of expression that’s unheard of in oppressive areas of the world, but the irony is how far we let that freedom be used before it becomes a threat against that very same country.   This is a confusing time to be an American.    That’s all I’m going to say. 

Roland Emmerich Dodges A Big Fat-Wa(n)

November 4, 2009

Kaaba

I really thought I was going to avoid writing about the whole stupid Mayan calendar/2012 nonsense, at least not until the director of the upcoming end-of-the-world film ‘2012’ opened his mouth to talk about his medical problems with fear-induced testicular diminishment syndrome. 

And may I say – give me a freakin’ break! 

This has to be the stupidest condescension to the uber-delicate feelings and ‘oh-so-easily provoked sensibilities’ of Muslim clerics I’ve ever seen.  It’s OK to obliterate to smithereens the religious landmarks of Christians or Buddhists, but God forbid  the Kaaba bites it.   

And why was it ok for director Roland Emmerich to trash iconic Christian symbols, such as St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro?   Says Emmerich

Because I’m against organized religion.

(Insert head scratch here, because I thought Islam was a pretty organized religion already.)   Mr. Emmerich continues on…

You can actually … let … Christian symbols fall apart, but if you would do this with [an] Arab symbol, you would have … a fatwa, and that sounds a little bit like what the state of this world is.  So it’s just something which I kind of didn’t [think] was [an] important element, anyway, in the film, so I kind of left it out.”

Oh, I get it.  He’s only against organized religions that won’t put a religiously-mandated hit out on him.  

I say let’s have a little equal opportunity world destruction here.  Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Pagans and atheists.  That’s what the confraternity of man is all about – we all die together.   Unless you’re John Cusack and can outdrive seismic faults and collapsing buildings in the most amazing road-jamming limo that Detroit, sadly, could never have produced – and that’s why this movie is science-fiction!