It Didn’t Take Long, Did It? Part I


This week we hear the call to strip conservative churches of their tax exempt status, a status they enjoy automatically without filing for it.  The recent 5-4 decision by the US Supreme Court which effectively legalizes homosexual “marriage”  also marks the end of religious freedom in the USA.  The First Amendment offers no protection when justices are able to invent new rights and marginalize existing ones. Religious believers who hold to traditional values are entering dangerous times. It won’t take long for the examples to be made so that everyone begins falls into line.  Dissent will not be tolerated. (-Ed.)

Excerpts: “Religious liberty is under attack in America and the next five years will serve as a battleground to protect or destroy it. If religious liberty is in fact destroyed, America will no longer hold onto one of the most important principles that makes it an exceptional nation more tolerant than the rest in the world. We are at a tipping point. “

The full article can be read by clicking this link:

It Begins: New Calls To Strip Churches of Tax Exempt Status After Same-Sex Marriage Ruling – Katie Pavlich.

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “It Didn’t Take Long, Did It? Part I

  1. The revolutionaries consider us to be enemies of the people. Yes, I think we’re at the point when we can start using Soviet phraseology to describe our Communist friends on the left.

    Reply
    • My wife’s birth father, who she never knew, was a professor of Marxism-Leninism. In my house, we know many people who have direct experience with communism, and who recognize Marxist tactics when they see them. That’s why I continue to use the phrase “cultural Marxism” in place of the more common “political correctness”. To where I believe our society is heading, you may enjoy this older blog entry of mine. +++

      Reply
      • Hoping I don’t sound nosy, but, are you an American Catholic or a Russian orthodox member? Your speech sounds more Eastern European than it does American.

      • Well, as I am typing these entries, and you can’t hear me, I’m not completely sure what you mean, but all my commentary is filtered through a lifetime of experience. My response is a complicated one. I’ve written before that I was baptized a Roman Catholic, but stopped going to church altogether while I was a teenager. I drifted spiritually as a member of the great unchurched for many years. I converted to Orthodox Christianity several decades later when I married my wife. Neither of us was a church-goer at the time, and my fiancee had been born into a society that actively discouraged religious practice. We met in Europe, she emigrated to the USA to join me. We were quickly married in the local courthouse because the immigration rules of the time gave us 90-days, or they would throw her out of the country. That piece of paper made us legal in the government’s eyes, but it’s interesting to note that, despite her upbringing, my wife didn’t think it was good enough. I was directed to find a church where we could get it done the “right way”. Neither of us knew anything aboout the local churches, so over the next several months we dropped into services. The first thing we did was to visit the local Catholic church which I found to be completely unrecognizable from anything I remembered from my youth. We dropped in on a Methodist and later an Episcopal service, but things just seemed to go downhill from there. I remember how we looked at at each other and said, “is that a priestess up there?” I didn’t grow up in Baptist country, and Pentacostalists just don’t fit our notion or style of worship, so they were both non-starters. I eventually found a couple of Orthodox churches, but neither of us knew enough to sort them out except that we knew the Greek one likely had some Greeks in it. We stopped at the first one Sunday, but it was a bit too “Greeky”. We went to an Arab one, and were welcomed warmly, but it didn’t feel like home. We stopped in one evening at a Carpatho-Rus parish and had a very nice talk with the priest, but didn’t go to a service there for some reason that I now can’t recall. I eventually found another, which claimed to be an American church. We went to its service, and again were welcomed warmly. I spoke with the priest, and he agreed to meet with us to discuss getting married. Later that week, in his office, we explained our grand wedding plans for that summer and he basically said, “not so fast, there are some things you need to know first”. After half a year of instruction and counseling, I was chrismated into the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) on Lazarus Sunday of the following year and we were married a few weeks later after Pascha (Easter). We spent 6 or 7 years at that parish as we slowly began to sort out the complicated landscape of American Orthodox Christianity. The little OCA jurisdiction we settled in had actually started out “Russian” because it was the Russians who planted Orthodoxy here with several missionaries who landed in Alaska in 1799. Orthodoxy and Russian bishops spread throughout North America after the Russians sold Alaska to the USA. Their revolution in 1917 created an administrative mess that persists even today, but the Russian church had finally cut its daughter church loose by 1970. It was only after a few years that we found our little OCA parish to be too “American” with all the implications that carries. My wife became aware of another parish deeper into the city which was part of the Russian Church Abroad, and she went to the priest there who agreed to celebrate a private service for the soul of her deceased stepfather. She occassionally went to services there, then a little more frequently, while we both remained members of the American church. Church politics inside the OCA eventually trickled down to our little parish which culminated in a series of loud parish meetings. We soon found ourselves dividing our time between the American and Russian parishes. I initially resisted leaving, reasoning that the Russian parish would prove to be too “Russian”. The reality of it proved that its composition was similar to where we came from. Our Russian church membership is made up of about 40% American converts, about 40% American-born cradle Orthodox, and about 20% adult baptised immigrants. I found the American church to be a good halfway house and an introduction to Orthodoxy to which I am grateful for the experience. I thanked the rector of my Russian parish for taking me in, and he said “I’ve been waiting for you your whole life”. He is Russian by blood, but grew up in Cleveland. My “Russian” father confessor is a black man who was born in New Jersey. So we moved over and have never looked back. I’ve met a great many very interesting people, have had some incredible experiences, and found a deeper spirituality that I sensed was lacking elsewhere. In the end, you can say that everything worked out for us the “right way” because we found Orthodoxy which in Greek is “orthos” = correct and “doxa” = worship, but I consider myself Orthodox without any hyphenation. In Orthodoxy we are all part of one church, it’s the local administration which differs. We are still catholic inasmuch as every Sunday, around the globe, we recite the same Nicene Creed which states that we believe in, “One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church”. We are one in the body of Christ.

      • Ah, my mistake. Forgive me. Your talk of “Russian Orthodox” partially made me think that. I thought the only Americans who practiced that denomination would have to be Russian immigrants. (I’m not quite sure why I try guessing things like that, because I normally get them wrong and end up humiliating myself.)
        You also mentioned members of you household knowing Communists–I was trying to figure out the circumstances surrounding such an unusual occurrence; I thought perhaps you or your family came from a former “Iron Curtain” country.

      • No apologies are necessary. It can be confusing when people hear the terms Greek Orthodox or Russian Orthodox or Serbian Orthodox tossed around. In reality, we are all part of the same church, but administered by different synods of bishops. Many people have heard of Eastern Orthodoxy, and the Greeks in particular, but Orthodoxy in general flies under the radar in the USA as Christianity’s little secret. When we get together at events, we greet each other, but may ask the question, “who is your bishop?” As far as knowing communists, they are not abstractions, they are people. Having a connection is not as unusual as you might think.

      • Yes, a Russian friend of mine told me that there are many Russian Orthodox churches in America. This had me scratching my head in wonderment.I guess they aren’t nearly as scarce as I thought.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s