Sunday, October 19, 2008

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Sinful Silence - When Christians neglect their civil duty

Orthodoxy Today Book Review by Chris Banescu

Sinful Silence - When Christians neglect their civil duty
Ken Connor and John Revell
Ginosko Publishing, Inc.
July 25, 2004 176 pages

In the book " Sinful Silence: When Christians Neglect Civic Duty" authors Ken Connor and John Revell make a strong case that Christians have a sacred responsibility to apply and uphold God's laws and biblical principles in all areas of civil government. They correctly point out that "we as citizens are liable for the decisions of our elected representative leaders, even if we are not directly involved in their activities." Christians living in a secular world cannot neglect their civil duties and ignore their responsibilities to choose moral, just, and God-fearing leaders.

Read the Entire Review

Distinguished Republicans for Obama

Republicans supporting Barak Obama (click on photo):

Read here who they are!

Colin Powell, former Secretary of State under the Bush Administration, offers a balanced critique of the two parties vying for the White House. Click below to view Retired General Powell's statement:

Colin Powell on Meet The Press

Also, here is the website of Republican for Obama

Who says the Left is not Pro-Life?

The Left does not care for the rights of the unborn? Obama is a raging abortionist? Such are the rants from the militant Right in our nation. They scare me! Fact is Sen. Obama has a plan to reduce unwanted pregnancies in this country. This is a far more progressive step towards eliminating abortion than the Republicans and the right-wing Pro-Life Movement have. With the advocacy of the Democrats for Life and with Barak Obama as president America will finally be far closer to reducing abortions which is a! it will be a leap towards eliminating abortion as we know it.

Here is the proposal of The Democrats For Life:

The 95-10 Initiative

A comprehensive plan that will reduce the number of abortions by 95% in the next 10 years by promoting abstinence, personal responsibility, adoptions and support for women and families who are facing unplanned pregnancy. The 95-10 Initiative seeks to reduce the number of abortions in America through Federal, state and local efforts as well as support and encouragement to volunteers and dedicated people on the front lines helping pregnant women. Much attention has been given to ending abortion or keeping it legal. We believe that we must do more to reduce the abortion rate by helping and supporting pregnant women.

Preventing pregnancy is an important part of reducing the abortion rate in America. There are several ways to address prevention, but there is no clear consensus because of ethical, religious or personal reasons. There are several bills before Congress that address pregnancy prevention. While we have not endorsed a particular bill, we support finding the most effective way to reduce unplanned pregnancies. We cannot deny that abstinence is the only sure way to prevent pregnancy, but we also cannot turn our heads and pretend that our children are not engaging in risky behavior or the fact that contraception is not 100 percent effective. The Federal government has made a commitment to support prevention efforts and allocated a record $288.3 million in FY 2005 for family planning under title X. The program provides access to contraceptive supplies and information to all who want and need them. A priority is given to low-income persons.

Pregnant women who wish to carry their children to term have not received that same commitment from the Federal government. We support helping pregnant women who wish to carry their children to term but because of lack of resources believe abortion is their only option. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Congressman Lincoln Davis (D-TN) and Pro-life Democrats in Congress who share this same commitment have introduced the Pregnant Women Support Act (S. 2407 and H.R. 3192) in the U.S Senate and U.S House. The legislation is a comprehensive approach to provide support for pregnant women who want to carry their child to term.

Some of the programs included are:

· establish a toll-free number to direct women to places that will provide support;

· collect accurate data on why women choose abortion;

· provide Pregnancy Counseling and Childcare on University Campuses;

· provide accurate information to patients receiving a positive result from prenatal testing;

· provide counseling in maternity group homes;

· increase the adoption tax credit and it permanent

· eliminate pregnancy as a pre-existing condition with respect to health care;

· provide grants for ultrasound equipment;

· support informed consent for Abortion Services;

· increase awareness about violence against pregnant women;

· require the SCHIP to cover pregnant women and unborn children;

· provide free home visits by registered nurses for new mothers.

Finally, we must protect our children by passing the Child Custody Protection Act, continue to promote Safe Haven laws and support funding programs as the Abandoned Infants Assistance. Democrats For Life of America, 601 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, South Building, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20004 202.220.3066

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What Right Wingers Mean When They Call Obama a "Socialist"

| web only
What Right Wingers Mean When They Call Obama a "Socialist"

Right-wing attempts to paint Barack Obama as a socialist aren't just disingenuous. They're rooted in a history of conservative smears against black leaders.
  read Full Story

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

John Lewis Condemns GOP Campaign Tactics | The Trail | by Shailagh Murray

"Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, a Civil Rights-era leader, condemned GOP campaign tactics as "sowing the seeds of hatred and division," drawing an immediate and angry response from Sen. John McCain.

Although McCain and his Republican running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, have toned down their rhetoric against Sen. Barack Obama in the past day, Lewis warned of "another destructive period in American history" if the negative attacks from both the candidates and their surrogates don't cease.

"As one who was a victim of violence and hate during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, I am deeply disturbed by the negative tone of the McCain-Palin campaign," Lewis said in a statement. "Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse."

Read the Full Story

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Monday, October 13, 2008

A Case Against Halloween: Religion in Public Schools

"It is that time of the year when the secular society in which we live is preparing for the festival of Halloween. Many do not know its spiritual roots and history, and why it contradicts the teachings of the Church. The feast of Halloween began in pre-Christian times among the Celtic peoples of Great Britain, Ireland and northern France. These pagan peoples believed that life was born from death. Therefore they celebrated the beginning of the “new year” in the fall (on the eye of October 31 and into the day of November 1) when, as they believed, the season of cold, darkness, decay and death began. A certain deity whom they called Samhain was believed by the Celts to be the Prince of Death and it was he whom they honored at their New Year’s festival.

From an Orthodox Christian point of view, we can see many diabolical beliefs and practices associated with this feast which have endured to this time. On the eve of the New Year’s festival,

read the Full Story

Christians dedicated in their Faith must rally together, shedding the apathy around Holloween, to convince our elementary schools that they are in fact promoting a religious system in their observance of Halloween in the schools. The underlying reality is Halloween is a cult of the pagan Druids which has never really gone away; in fact there has been a resurgence with the increasing numbers of observing Pagans and Wiccans. Their numbers have grown so much that the U. S. Department of Defense has permitted the inclusions of "chaplains" for this population within the Armed Forces.

If we want our children to grow in purity and innocence then why expose them to the various symbols, rituals and attributes of Halloween no matter how benign one may think these are?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Time for McCain to Look in the Mirror

Obama and Ayers? How about McCain and Shannon? Who is Marilyn Shannon you ask? A long time acquaintance of Sen. McCain and Republican comrade. People for the American Way has reported:

Shannon, who attended this year’s Republican National Convention as a McCain delegate, spoke immediately before McCain and “praised the Grants Pass woman accused of shooting an abortion doctor in Wichita” earlier in the month, referring to her as a “fine lady.” When McCain spoke next, he said nothing about Shannon’s vile comments and delivered his speech as prepared.

Just a few months later, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to approve a crucial anti-domestic terrorism bill, the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. McCain opposed the bill.

Read the full story.

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McCain Worried

Editorial Commentary: Yes, Sen. John McCain is worried. He is trailing in the polls behind his own running mate. While busy telling his followers who the real Obama is, the Arizona Senator is actually showing all of us who the Real McCain is. When we criticize to the point of demonizing others we almost always inadvertently expose our own deep seeded character. But in John McCain's case it isn't all that deep. His temper, hostile outbursts and general lack of self-control is well known as has been witnessed on the Senate floor. Sen. McCain has stated that he "learned his lesson" from his involvement in the Keating Affair. While he may have learned something about his involvment has he really learned to identify future 'danger zones' and now know how to avoid the pitfalls? With his temperment this writer highly doubts that the Gentleman from the great State of Arizona --who cannot recall how much property he owns-- is fit to lead this nation. If elected, there is a real fear that McCain will lead the nation "to the gates of hell".

McCarthyism with Lipstick

The Huffington Post | October 9, 2008 | by James Love

Like Obama, Sarah Palin missed the 60s and the Vietnam war controversies. She grew up when there was no draft, and when disco was more important than politics. She is discovering now her abilities to engage in the type of character assaults that one associates with Joe McCarthy -- guilt by association. Like McCarthy, she has no real boundaries or shame.  Read Post

Why Is Palin Such a Good Liar For God?

The Huffington Post | October 6, 2008 | by Frank Schaeffer

Speaking as a former right wing Evangelical who helped organize the Religious Right in the 1970s and early eighties, nothing instills conviction like believing you're on a mission from God. If you're going to fool others, you have to fool yourself.

It takes sincerity to tell a series of...  Read Post

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Orthodox Peace Fellowship

The Orthodox Peace Fellowship is "an association of Orthodox Christian believers seeking to bear witness to the peace of Christ by applying the principles of the Gospel to situations of division and conflict, whether in the home, the parish, the community we live, the work place, within our particular nations, and between nations. We work for the conservation of God’s creation and especially of human life. We are not a political association and support no political parties or candidates".  The international OPF is under the patronage of the Protection of the Mother of God. Their website, InCommunion, is here. While there exists OPF offices in North America and the United Kingdom we are unaware, as of this writing, if these have their own web presence.

In the State of Minnesota their is an OPF chapter, Minnesota Orthodox Peace Fellowship, with an attractive fledgling web log here.

The Intl OPF is not without controversy. Who isn't? The Intl Orthodox Peace Fellowship supports the involvement of the various local Orthodox Church's in the so-called Ecumenical Movement. We at AUOCC are in opposition to such support. In recent years we have seen many local Orthodox jurisdictions withdraw from various degrees of involvement in talks with heretics and heterodox.  It is the position of AUOCC that True Ecumenism must be embraced by all who call themselves "Orthodox Christians". By True Ecumenism we refer to the genuine embrace and active dialogue between mainline or "modernist" Orthodox hierarchs with those of the True/Genuine Orthodox Christians, i.e., the "traditionalist" Churches throughout the world. The purpose of True Ecumenism is for the upbuilding of the Body of Christ by solidifying unity between these seperated sister churches. After some degree of success between "modernist" and "traditionalists" and from their new found unity the Orthodox Church should then turn towards those independent Orthodox such as have decended from Archbishop Aftimos and his American Orthodox Church.

On the other side, the Holland-based Orthodox Peace Fellowship issued a statement in January 2003 entitled, "A Plea for Peace" in which they entreated the Bush Administration and its allies not to invade Iraq for the sake of the Iraqi people. Here is an excerpt of the OPF Statement:

As Orthodox Christians, we seek the conversion of enemies to friends in Christ. Saddam Hussein is an enemy of the United States and of the people of Iraq, but we declare that there are better ways to respond to terrorism than to respond in kind.

We do not argue against attacking Iraq because of any admiration for Saddam Hussein. He carne to office by intrigue and murder, and remains in power by the same means; he is his own country's worst enemy. The Iraqi people deserve to be rid of him.

The United States is ready to overthrow him by any means, including an attack which would kill thousands of civilians and maim many more, justifying such an attack on the possibility that Hussein's regime is producing weapons of mass destruction and preparing to use them against America and Israel and their allies.

Because we seek the reconciliation of enemies, a conversion which grows from striving to be faithful to the Gospel, the Orthodox Church has never regarded any war as just or good, and fighting an elusive enemy by means which cause the death of innocent people can be regarded only as murder. Individual murderers are treated by psychiatrists and priests and isolated from society. But who heals the national psyche, the wounded soul of a nation, when it is untroubled by the slaughter of non-combatant civilians?

Rev. Johannes L. Jacobse (current president of the American Orthodox Institute) writing in OrthodoxyToday (Revised April 14, 2003) accused the OPF of moral equivalency. Fr. Johannes writes, 

"The doctrine of moral equivalency holds that war is the greatest of all evils. Any government engaged in warfare shares the same moral culpability for the conflict as its enemy. A just war is a moral impossibility.

"A Plea for Peace" asserts that American action in Iraq is morally equivalent to the terror of the Iraqi regime. Reports about the brutality of Saddam's regime prove that OPF is wrong, but don't expect them to change. Peace activists rarely abandon the doctrine even when the judgment of history is against them."

Well known Orthodox convert and publisher of  Regina Orthodox Press, Frank Schaeffer, son of the famous Evangelical Philosopher Francis Schaeffer, was offended by the OPF "Plea for Peace" Statement. With a son on the verge of being deployed to the Middle East, Mr. Schaeffer writes,

"...I believe they have simplistically misrepresented the teachings of my church. But that is not the point. They are entitled to say or believe anything they want, as individuals and private citizens.

I am saddened because so many of my bishops and priests have signed this antiwar statement in the name of my church and my God. They have dragged not only my church but Jesus into their stand against our government and the war in Iraq.

It is cruel to try to hijack the authority of a church to advance political views for or against this war. I would never sign a letter for a "Council for the Orthodox Pro-War Fellowship" just because my son is serving his country in the military. I'd assume that it would be preposterous for me to speak for my fellow Orthodox Christians on such matters of individual conscience, over which honest and honorable people can disagree."

AUOCC is in agreement with Democratic Presidential Candidate Sen. Barack Obama's position on Iraq as he has stated it in his debates with his opponent, (we paraphrase:), 'The Bush Administration failed in its policy on the war against terror by taking its eye off of Al-Quida and bin-Laden who were hiding in Afghanistan to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein.'  We shall address this directly in future posts. In the meantime, you can read more on the debate over the OPF "Plea for Peace" (including Frank Schaeffer's remarks in its entirety) here.

Under Construction

Welcome to the blog site of The American Union of Orthodox Christian Citizens.

Please excuse the barrenness but we just started on 10 October 2008.  Please e-mail us with your suggestions and ideas of what you would like to read here.

What is AUOCCThe American Union of Orthodox Christian Citizens - a grass-roots fellowship of Orthodox Christians who are or wish to be politically active in support of the Orthodox Church in the United States and to influence political elected officials on the issues important to us. The America Union of Orthodox Christian Citizens are very conservative on some issues while on the left on others. As an organization the AUOCC can not be categorized or compared with any existing political party or philosophy. Our foundational guide is Sacred Scriptures and the Patristic Teachings of the Orthodox Church.