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Author Topic: Abortion again?  (Read 31072 times) Average Rating: 0
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lubeltri
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« on: August 04, 2007, 03:16:14 PM »

This topic was split off from the discussion "Childfree Orthodox Christians" - http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12395.0.html.  Cleveland, GM

In reflecting on this question, I cannot help thinking of countries like Russia, Bulgaria, Belarus, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia and Greece, where there are more abortions than live births.
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« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2007, 04:10:32 PM »

In reflecting on this question, I cannot help thinking of countries like Russia, Bulgaria, Belarus, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia and Greece, where there are more abortions than live births.

Interesting that you should mention that.  (Also interesting that you fail to mention any Roman Catholic Countries where the same phenomenon is occurring. But, hey, you're not biased  Wink).  There was a story from about a week or two ago in Russia about a festival catered for young couples to get married and then proceed to designated tents to begin procreating.  The article can be found here http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=471324&in_page_id=1770
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« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2007, 05:48:11 PM »

Scamandrius, I'm sad to report that those countries I mentioned are soundly defeating even western Europe in the race to the bottom. Even Sweden has more than three times the number of live births as abortions. Can you imagine? In Greece and the rest, more children are murdered every year than born.

And I haven't made comparisons here until you brought it up. I would mention the (admittedly less grim but still terrible) statistics in western Europe to any married German or French Catholic who chooses to be "childfree" because of "overpopulation."
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« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2007, 05:54:20 PM »

Yes, the new Greek zeal to be more European is sad indeed.
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« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2007, 06:47:17 PM »

Guys, as a person who grew up in the former USSR I can assure you that the sad frequency of abortions in Eastern Europe is a heritage that has a lot more to do with these countries belonging to the totalitarian anti-theist Soviet empire than with these countries being traditionally Orthodox. As for Greece, I am no authority there, I just don't know, but I do know about my native Ukraine as well as Russia and Belarus. It's Soviet legacy.
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« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2007, 08:56:49 AM »

being 17 I do not see myself fit to participate in the discussion as I do not have the slightest bit of authority but I thought some posters might find this Orthodox icon of interest. It shows the tragedy of abortion.

http://home.it.net.au/~jgrapsas/pages/abortion3.html
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« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2007, 01:01:28 PM »

Scamandrius, I'm sad to report that those countries I mentioned are soundly defeating even western Europe in the race to the bottom. Even Sweden has more than three times the number of live births as abortions. Can you imagine? In Greece and the rest, more children are murdered every year than born.

Sounds to me like we need to work on spreading the use of birth control in Orthodox countries, condoms are more cost effective and safer than abortion as a means of birth control...not that you Latins are being any help on that matter.
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« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2007, 03:28:39 PM »

Baiting again? You can't be that bored, can you?
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« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2007, 09:59:45 PM »

Baiting again? You can't be that bored, can you?

Well, I figured that were we going to play the blame game, we might as well get to the heart of the matter Wink
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« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2007, 10:06:43 PM »

Chuckle...
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« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2007, 09:38:55 PM »

Quote
In reflecting on this question, I cannot help thinking of countries like Russia, Bulgaria, Belarus, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia and Greece, where there are more abortions than live births.

Iubitri,

You make a good point. I have asked this question several times without a good response.

It is time for the Orthodox church to be proactive on this issue. I think in recent times the church has been way too permissive with immorality amongst the faithful. When behavior like this gets swept under the rug, it sends a message to all that it is ok. It is like a cancer that spreads. The clergy need to step up.
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« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2007, 09:44:14 PM »

Guys, as a person who grew up in the former USSR I can assure you that the sad frequency of abortions in Eastern Europe is a heritage that has a lot more to do with these countries belonging to the totalitarian anti-theist Soviet empire than with these countries being traditionally Orthodox. As for Greece, I am no authority there, I just don't know, but I do know about my native Ukraine as well as Russia and Belarus. It's Soviet legacy.
George,

I always assumed this to be the case too from reports I have heard. Orthodoxy is not what causes women to have abortions. These appalling abortion rates are the continuing hangover of the communist era.

We need to realize the eastern European countries and Russia still need to be evangelized.

In Greece the problem may have to do with the church being subsidized by the government. Perhaps these subsidies lead to poor pastoring by unmotivated priests? Some friends of mine who grew up in Thessoloniki indicated something to that effect. They told me the Orthodox Christians they had met in the United States were more devout than the average Greek in Greece.
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« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2007, 10:10:15 PM »

Tamara, yes, that's exactly right. I remember very well how we all were brainwashed that fetus before its 4th month of life is not really a living thing. People used to believe it... you know, the way people believe that something is true because "the newspaper wrote about it," or that atoms are spherical and painted in red and blue colors because a chemistry textbook shows them that way.  Embarrassed
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« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2007, 10:36:20 PM »

"It must be true.  I read it in a book." Cheesy
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« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2007, 01:16:23 AM »

yes! lets compare the poverty stricken, former communist nations' abortion rates to  the wealthy, politically stable countries of west europe.
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« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2007, 02:33:11 AM »

"It must be true.  I read it in a book." Cheesy

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« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2007, 03:14:48 AM »

Quote
In reflecting on this question, I cannot help thinking of countries like Russia, Bulgaria, Belarus, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia and Greece, where there are more abortions than live births.

If this really is the case, it truly is troubling. It tells us that the Church has effectively lost its voice to be the culture changing institution that it’s supposed to be. I guess the Church for most people these days is a nice place to go to on Sunday for cultural events and good food after the liturgy. The clergy should do much more to discourage such evils from becoming common place and acceptable in society. Maybe these evils are taking place because they never care to really talk about such issues. I applaud the Roman Catholic Church for taking the issue head on and letting people know where they stand.   
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« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2007, 09:21:37 AM »

If this really is the case, it truly is troubling. It tells us that the Church has effectively lost its voice to be the culture changing institution that it’s supposed to be. I guess the Church for most people these days is a nice place to go to on Sunday for cultural events and good food after the liturgy. The clergy should do much more to discourage such evils from becoming common place and acceptable in society. Maybe these evils are taking place because they never care to really talk about such issues. I applaud the Roman Catholic Church for taking the issue head on and letting people know where they stand.   


For the overwhelming majority of modern urban Ukrainians (especially in the so-called Velyka Ukrayina, which is all Ukraine minus Galicia/"Halychyna" and the Carpathians), the Church is not even that, but, rather, something to blast and curse for its dirty politicking, corruption and stupid obscurantism...
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« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2007, 10:03:08 PM »

I have said for quite some time that the Church needs to maker herself relevant, and everyone accuses me of somehow being anti-christian and betraying the faith...and now everyone complains because no one listens to the Church...go figure Roll Eyes
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« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2007, 11:31:01 PM »

"yes! lets compare the poverty stricken, former communist nations' abortion rates to  the wealthy, politically stable countries of west europe."

Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia are also former Communist nations. In Poland abortion is all but outlawed and the rates of the others are comparible to Western Europe. I agree with Tamara this is part of the hangover from Communism but I also believe it is also a part of the hangover from Sergianism.  It also points to the success of a pro-active stance against abortion.  The Orthodox Church in formerly-Communist Europe needs to step it up.

Fr. Deacon Lance




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« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2007, 12:02:51 AM »

"yes! lets compare the poverty stricken, former communist nations' abortion rates to  the wealthy, politically stable countries of west europe."

Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia are also former Communist nations. In Poland abortion is all but outlawed and the rates of the others are comparible to Western Europe. I agree with Tamara this is part of the hangover from Communism but I also believe it is also a part of the hangover from Sergianism.  It also points to the success of a pro-active stance against abortion.  The Orthodox Church in formerly-Communist Europe needs to step it up.

Fr. Deacon Lance
Part of the difference, though, between those Orthodox nations invaded by the Communists and their Catholic counterparts is that the RC Church has a unified institutional structure and single human authority that transcends the local churches in the countries where they find themselves.  Regardless of what we Orthodox have to say about Roman Catholic doctrinal deviations and the canonicity of the territorial model of rule practiced by the Orthodox, we have to admit that as regards their stand against abortion, the RC churches in formerly Communist countries have a decided advantage in their ability to draw upon the guidance and strength of an ecclesiastical authority that stood largely outside the Communist bloc and did not feel the weight of its oppressive hand.

The Orthodox churches behind the Iron Curtain, localized as they were in their authority, didn't have this super-national bulwark.  They now have to recover from a situation where even their highest human authorities were beaten down and oppressed and almost squashed into oblivion.  How does a local church recover from such persecution when even the local Patriarchate has to struggle to reforge his identity and regain his spiritual authority?  To whom can the local primate turn for edification and wisdom when he has no human authority higher than himself to shepherd him?
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« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2007, 01:58:31 AM »

It is time for the Orthodox church to be proactive on this issue. I think in recent times the church has been way too permissive with immorality amongst the faithful. When behavior like this gets swept under the rug, it sends a message to all that it is ok. It is like a cancer that spreads. The clergy need to step up.
I agree 100%. As one who personally knows the horror of abortion, It's sickening to hear that countries who have been traditionally Orthodox have slipped into this demonic way of life. The blame can lie no where else but on the fat clergymen riding around in their mercedes, enjoying the best cigars and wines. Synogogues of Satan? How about the Churches of Satan!
 I understand that when a priest councels one who is confessing a sin, sometimes gentleness is more effective than sterness, but when your flock falls into error en masse, it's time to lay down the Law of God!
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« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2007, 02:14:56 AM »

I agree 100%. As one who personally knows the horror of abortion, It's sickening to hear that countries who have been traditionally Orthodox have slipped into this demonic way of life. The blame can lie no where else but on the fat clergymen riding around in their mercedes, enjoying the best cigars and wines. Synogogues of Satan? How about the Churches of Satan!
Have you not been reading the replies on this thread to recognize just how simplistic and wrong your judgment is on this?  Do you not recognize just how successful Communism was at secularizing the countries where it was practiced?  How do you intend to help these nations recover their moral footing by pointing your finger at these "fat clergyman of the Churches of Satan"?

Quote
I understand that when a priest councels one who is confessing a sin, sometimes gentleness is more effective than sterness, but when your flock falls into error en masse, it's time to lay down the Law of God!
Is Your Grace going to take it upon yourself to go to these priests and tell them how to shepherd their flocks? Roll Eyes

Don't let yourself be so angered by mass abortions that you can't see straight.
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« Reply #23 on: August 10, 2007, 02:23:11 AM »

Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia are also former Communist nations. In Poland abortion is all but outlawed and the rates of the others are comparible to Western Europe. I agree with Tamara this is part of the hangover from Communism but I also believe it is also a part of the hangover from Sergianism.  It also points to the success of a pro-active stance against abortion.  The Orthodox Church in formerly-Communist Europe needs to step it up.

Yet abortion rates in traditionally protestant European countries are even lower than in Catholic ones (if Poland is excluded, since Abortion is illegal there and the statistics, which rely on documented legal, would be skewed based on their oppressive laws...if Poland were included, Abortion rates in Protestant and Catholic Countries would be comprable. I left countries such as Spain in my calculations, despite the fact that these statistics date from times when they too had rather oppressive laws relating to abortion (though not as bad as Poland's)). This topic peaked my interest so I ran some calculations, here is the break down of European Birth Control rates and Abortion Rates by traditional religion:

ReligionBirth Control RateAbortion Rate
Protestant7918
Catholic6820
Orthodox6245

They come out as inversely proportional; of course, the relationship is not linear, as the difference between Catholic and Orthodox Abortion Rates differs by more than one sees in the Birth control rates. However, the statistics do make a degree of sense in some other ways, approximately twice as many Orthodox potentially need Abortions (due to lack of Birth control) than Protestants, and thus the difference in Abortion Rate: approximately twice as much. Another factor that must be kept in mind looking at the data is marriage rate, the Birth Control penetration is calculated from Women who are either Married or living like they are Married; however, the Abortion rate has no such qualifier. The fact that the Catholic countries have the highest marriage rate and Orthodox countries the lowest (sorry, couldn't find enough data on this to calculate statistics) can be seen slightly skewing the statistics.

Now, of course, there is an overall governing factor behind this all, wealth. Protestant countries are more wealthy than Catholic countries are more wealthy than Orthodox countries; this, more so than any other single factor, is indicative of Birth Control Rates and as a result will govern Abortion rates (at least in countries that do not have oppressive laws in this regard).

I hate to burst everybody's bubble, but in the end it looks like the majority of the people really don't listen to the Church or care what it says, no matter what Church we're talking about.
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« Reply #24 on: August 10, 2007, 02:26:45 AM »

I understand that when a priest councels one who is confessing a sin, sometimes gentleness is more effective than sterness, but when your flock falls into error en masse, it's time to lay down the Law of God!

Wonderful plan, we'll drive all young women who have abortions out of the Church and sit by and watch their disgusted families follow. Any other great plans? Perhaps we can also bolster our PR by resurrecting animal sacrifices? Roll Eyes
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« Reply #25 on: August 10, 2007, 02:42:13 AM »

Yet abortion rates in traditionally protestant European countries are even lower than in Catholic ones (if Poland is excluded, since Abortion is illegal there and the statistics, which rely on documented legal, would be skewed based on their oppressive laws...if Poland were included, Abortion rates in Protestant and Catholic Countries would be comprable. I left countries such as Spain in my calculations, despite the fact that these statistics date from times when they too had rather oppressive laws relating to abortion (though not as bad as Poland's)). This topic peaked my interest so I ran some calculations, here is the break down of European Birth Control rates and Abortion Rates by traditional religion:

ReligionBirth Control RateAbortion Rate
Protestant7918
Catholic6820
Orthodox6245

They come out as inversely proportional; of course, the relationship is not linear, as the difference between Catholic and Orthodox Abortion Rates differs by more than one sees in the Birth control rates. However, the statistics do make a degree of sense in some other ways, approximately twice as many Orthodox potentially need Abortions (due to lack of Birth control) than Protestants, and thus the difference in Abortion Rate: approximately twice as much. Another factor that must be kept in mind looking at the data is marriage rate, the Birth Control penetration is calculated from Women who are either Married or living like they are Married; however, the Abortion rate has no such qualifier. The fact that the Catholic countries have the highest marriage rate and Orthodox countries the lowest (sorry, couldn't find enough data on this to calculate statistics) can be seen slightly skewing the statistics.

Now, of course, there is an overall governing factor behind this all, wealth. Protestant countries are more wealthy than Catholic countries are more wealthy than Orthodox countries; this, more so than any other single factor, is indicative of Birth Control Rates and as a result will govern Abortion rates (at least in countries that do not have oppressive laws in this regard).

I hate to burst everybody's bubble, but in the end it looks like the majority of the people really don't listen to the Church or care what it says, no matter what Church we're talking about.
Where did you get your numbers, GiC?  You certainly didn't just pull them out of thin air, did you?
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« Reply #26 on: August 10, 2007, 08:22:30 PM »

Where did you get your numbers, GiC?  You certainly didn't just pull them out of thin air, did you?

I got the Contraception use data off a WHO website (tried to find it again, but I can't seem to right now) which provided an excel spreadsheet, which gave me the idea to run a few calculations, I found abortion rates from http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/policy/abortion/wrjp333pd2.html and got abortion rates from there. Used flags to mark countrties on the spreadsheet as protestant, catholic, or orthodox based on the traditional religious affiliation of said country, I had to do a bit of extra research to get viable data on greece and russia, which were not included in the WHO data for some reason, then I calculated the weighted averages for abortion and contraception use based on population. Pretty simple mathematical exercise if you already have the data in a spreadsheet.

However, as a word of warning, something I noticed in the spreadsheet, I used the 'total' percent who used some method of birth control, this included 'traditional methods' (rhythm, withdrawal, etc) which are not very prevalent in protestant and catholic countries, but quite common (especially the withdrawal method) in the poorer orthodox countries. This would bring the data spread, as well as the ordering, into line between the two, if I have time I'll redo the calcs later.

When looking for the data again, I also came across this rather interesting article:
http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/tgr/06/4/gr060407.html
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« Reply #27 on: August 11, 2007, 12:04:47 AM »

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Wonderful plan, we'll drive all young women who have abortions out of the Church and sit by and watch their disgusted families follow. Any other great plans? Perhaps we can also bolster our PR by resurrecting animal sacrifices? Roll Eyes


I guess the church should have no moral standards and allow a libertine lifestyle amongst the faithful (pretty much adopt the unitarians belief system).

Abortion is a very serious sin and cannot be swept under the rug. The church needs to step up on this issue.
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« Reply #28 on: August 11, 2007, 12:30:54 AM »

I guess the church should have no moral standards and allow a libertine lifestyle amongst the faithful (pretty much adopt the unitarians belief system).

I do not suggest the Church have no moral standards, merely that she reevaluate and reconsider that which is and is not moral in the context of the enlightenment and the progress of western civilization.

Quote
Abortion is a very serious sin and cannot be swept under the rug. The church needs to step up on this issue.

We all have differing opinions on this manner, but to attempt to dogmatize a pastoral issue is simply irresponsible. Whether or not it is a 'sin', per se, is not the issue...the real issues relate to psychological impacts and the most pastoral manner in which they are addressed.
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« Reply #29 on: August 11, 2007, 12:40:42 AM »

Abortion is a very serious sin and cannot be swept under the rug. The church needs to step up on this issue.
No doubt she does.  I agree, though, with GiC that the issue of abortion is not merely a dogmatic issue where all we need to do is "lay down the Law of God," as Gabriel said earlier.  Abortion also causes great psychological issues that need to be addressed for the salvation of those involved.  We will only cause greater harm, possibly even drive women away from the medicine they so desperately need, if we do nothing more than punish them for the sin of murdering their unborn children.  Would you extend to them the cold backhand of strict legalism and condemnation when what they need most is tender mercy?
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« Reply #30 on: August 11, 2007, 04:36:40 AM »

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I do not suggest the Church have no moral standards, merely that she reevaluate and reconsider that which is and is not moral in the context of the enlightenment and the progress of western civilization.

How about in the context of traditional Christian moral theology? What do you mean by the context of the enlightenment and the progress of western civilization? That sounds like a horrible way to find some kind of consesus or resolution to certain moral problems. That doesn't sound like the decision making of an apostolic church, but that of the United Methodist or ECUSA.

Quote
No doubt she does.  I agree, though, with GiC that the issue of abortion is not merely a dogmatic issue where all we need to do is "lay down the Law of God," as Gabriel said earlier.  Abortion also causes great psychological issues that need to be addressed for the salvation of those involved.  We will only cause greater harm, possibly even drive women away from the medicine they so desperately need, if we do nothing more than punish them for the sin of murdering their unborn children.  Would you extend to them the cold backhand of strict legalism and condemnation when what they need most is tender mercy?

I don't think most of us are really saying that. What most of us are thinking is that there is a problem in the Church when they avoid or sweep certain moral issues (like abortion or fornication for example) under the rug. If the Church had a strong voice and it's members actually knew where it stood on these things, then maybe it would help encourage change for the better. I noticed the Roman Catholic Church has no problem doing this, why do our bishops and priest avoid such issues? 



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« Reply #31 on: August 11, 2007, 11:47:14 AM »

You all, I grew up in the church and I can't recall any of my Orthodox girlfriends having abortions. Very few had sex outside of marriage except for those who were only loosely connected to church life. The women I met over the years who have had abortions have had no connections to any church and were very wild. I met most of these women at work and a few at school.
No priest ever had to lay the law down to me for me to understand that abortion was evil. This form of evil is so obvious one would have to be very ignorant or rebellious to believe abortion is benign. But many of our priests did speak to us about avoiding premarital sex and keeping our bodies holy. We had sessions on friendship, dating, and marriage that lasted a whole year in our parish. He included a discussion on abortion in these sessions. Other sessions were devoted to developing our relationship with God. By educating young people to have a prayer life and real relationship with our Lord the priest knew it would make it much harder for the teen to slip into sexual sin. The ones who did not listen were the ones who did not attend church or these sessions.

If an inquirer was new and had a sexually sinful history (including abortions) how would that person ever work up the courage to continue to attend church if the priest was always laying the law down on premarital sex and abortion? The church is a hospital and the priest is like a specialized surgeon. He must very carefully tailor and excise out the sin in each person's life through holy confession. At the general level, he can offer classes to the youth in his parish on how to conduct Christian relationships with one another but I don't see how laying the law down will curb evil behavior. Did fiery protestant preaching ever have an effect on curbing heavy drinking and alcoholism in the south? I believe that abortion rates are the highest among women of Roman Catholic background. But no one knows how active these women are in church. Many may be Roman Catholic in name only.


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« Reply #32 on: August 11, 2007, 12:45:15 PM »

How about in the context of traditional Christian moral theology? What do you mean by the context of the enlightenment and the progress of western civilization? That sounds like a horrible way to find some kind of consesus or resolution to certain moral problems. That doesn't sound like the decision making of an apostolic church, but that of the United Methodist or ECUSA.

Perhaps it is 'a horrible way', but considering the high abortion rate, commonplace fornication, gross alcoholism, and rampant corruption along with terrible poverty and low standard of living in Eastern Europe, we're going to have to say that your moral system has failed it's encounter with modern civilization...another must be considered. Continued stubbornness is not going to benifit anyone in the long run.

I don't think most of us are really saying that. What most of us are thinking is that there is a problem in the Church when they avoid or sweep certain moral issues (like abortion or fornication for example) under the rug. If the Church had a strong voice and it's members actually knew where it stood on these things, then maybe it would help encourage change for the better. I noticed the Roman Catholic Church has no problem doing this, why do our bishops and priest avoid such issues? 

Considering Catholic European Countries, on the whole, tend to be poorer and have higher abortion rates (by my calculations, at least, you are free to do your own, I'd be interested to see what you came up with) than Protestant ones, if we really want to improve things it would seem that we should emulate the manner in which the mainline European Protestants, not the Latins, address this issue, as they seem to be better at getting real results than the smoke and mirrors of the Vatican.
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« Reply #33 on: August 11, 2007, 01:37:00 PM »

I like what the Catholics are doing with Project Rachel and Project Gabriel. Also sorority houses for pregnant college girls where childcare duties are shared so they can stay in school, things like that. When I was Byzantine Catholic our priest was involved in that sort of stuff with good results.
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« Reply #34 on: August 11, 2007, 02:59:18 PM »

Quote
I do not suggest the Church have no moral standards, merely that she reevaluate and reconsider that which is and is not moral in the context of the enlightenment and the progress of western civilization.

How about in the context of traditional Christian moral theology? What do you mean by the context of the enlightenment and the progress of western civilization? That sounds like a horrible way to find some kind of consesus or resolution to certain moral problems. That doesn't sound like the decision making of an apostolic church, but that of the United Methodist or ECUSA.

Quote
No doubt she does.  I agree, though, with GiC that the issue of abortion is not merely a dogmatic issue where all we need to do is "lay down the Law of God," as Gabriel said earlier.  Abortion also causes great psychological issues that need to be addressed for the salvation of those involved.  We will only cause greater harm, possibly even drive women away from the medicine they so desperately need, if we do nothing more than punish them for the sin of murdering their unborn children.  Would you extend to them the cold backhand of strict legalism and condemnation when what they need most is tender mercy?

I don't think most of us are really saying that. What most of us are thinking is that there is a problem in the Church when they avoid or sweep certain moral issues (like abortion or fornication for example) under the rug. If the Church had a strong voice and it's members actually knew where it stood on these things, then maybe it would help encourage change for the better. I noticed the Roman Catholic Church has no problem doing this, why do our bishops and priest avoid such issues?



First of all, I want to say: Nacho, that is the most awesome avatar I have seen in a long, long time! I absolutely love it. Scott Hall is just too sweeeeeetttt!

I agree with you that re evaluating morality based on the enlightenment is a horrible idea. It is heresy quite frankly. That kind of rational does not sound like the decision making of an Apostolic church, but more like a unitarian church.

Thomas,

The problem the Orthodox church is running into, especially in "Orthodox" countries, is that this type of immorality which is so destructive to the soul, is running rampant. As Jibrahil pointed out, it is one thing when the priest is dealing with an individual here or there, but when the masses are engaging in these kinds of behaviors, the church must deal with it because it has become like a cancer that has grown out of control and spreads. If it is swept under the rug and not dealt with, everyone will think it is ok. I do not think dealing with this issue will cause greater harm or drive women away. On the contrary, it will bring about the salvation of more people.

Quote
If an inquirer was new and had a sexually sinful history (including abortions) how would that person ever work up the courage to continue to attend church if the priest was always laying the law down on premarital sex and abortion? The church is a hospital and the priest is like a specialized surgeon. He must very carefully tailor and excise out the sin in each person's life through holy confession. At the general level, he can offer classes to the youth in his parish on how to conduct Christian relationships with one another but I don't see how laying the law down will curb evil behavior. Did fiery protestant preaching ever have an effect on curbing heavy drinking and alcoholism in the south? I believe that abortion rates are the highest among women of Roman Catholic background. But no one knows how active these women are in church. Many may be Roman Catholic in name only.

Tamara,

There is a time and place for everything. The clergy must use discretion when addressing these issues. The point is that it needs to be addressed more; especially in many of these Orthodox countries (like Romania for example which has more babies being aborted than being born). If nearly 90% of the population is "Orthodox", then it stands to reason the majority of the Orthodox women are engaging in abortion. Something must be done because whatever the church is currently doing is not working. I know you said you were taught that it was wrong growing up in the church; however, most of the ethnic Orthodox I have met (particularly romanians) have had a pre-catechumanent level of understanding about the faith (and these have been people who have grown up in the church!). The faithful must constantly be instructed in the ways of God (all the ways of God). The truth cannot be masked because it makes some people feel uncomfortable (heck, I feel uncomfortable quite often because of my sinfulness). 

Moreover, when clergy address these issues, it can be done in a way that is gentle and brings about repentance. I would expect that it would be done in this manner most of the time. Elder Cleopa of Romania said that there are some people, though, that a confessor has to be harder on because unless they are stern with some people, these people will not turn away from their sins.

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« Reply #35 on: August 11, 2007, 03:01:48 PM »

ROMANIA HAS 70% ABORTION RATE

BUCHAREST, February 10, 2003 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A devastating abortion rate of 70% has, during the past 12 years, claimed the lives of the equivalent of one-third of Romania's stagnant population of 24 million people.

In 2002, there were 700,000 abortions accounting for well over two-thirds of the one million pregnancies recorded, both within marriage and extramarital. Canada's abortion casualty rate is closer to one-third.

Even in light of the staggering figures, Glasgow's Sunday-Herald spoke for Western media when the paper commented, "The transition for women from baby-producers to individuals in charge of their own bodies has been difficult. But now that the population fails to renew itself, the self-appointed guardians of the nation have swung into action," a dismissive reference to Romania's tiny pro-life movement.


Here is a link to the site

http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2003/feb/03021005.html
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« Reply #36 on: August 11, 2007, 03:35:08 PM »

I agree with you that re evaluating morality based on the enlightenment is a horrible idea. It is heresy quite frankly. That kind of rational does not sound like the decision making of an Apostolic church, but more like a unitarian church.

Heresy? Could you please provide me with the Location, Date, and President or at least Patriarchal representatives present at this Synod? And I do presume you're at least refering to a synod of Imperial or Endimousa authority?

Different is not always heretical; the failure to recognize this by much of the hierarchy throughout history has perhaps been the greatest impediment to the growth and expansion of the Christian Faith.

The problem the Orthodox church is running into, especially in "Orthodox" countries, is that this type of immorality which is so destructive to the soul, is running rampant. As Jibrahil pointed out, it is one thing when the priest is dealing with an individual here or there, but when the masses are engaging in these kinds of behaviors, the church must deal with it because it has become like a cancer that has grown out of control and spreads. If it is swept under the rug and not dealt with, everyone will think it is ok. I do not think dealing with this issue will cause greater harm or drive women away. On the contrary, it will bring about the salvation of more people.

Cancer is perhaps a bad analogy, AIDS might be better; the kind of behaviour you mention does not merely attack society with the Church sitting outside of society like some external medicine. Rather, the Church is closer to the immune system, to expand on our disease analogy, and this behaviour attacks the immune system itself. The choices? Either fundamentally alter the immune system so that it becomes immune to the attacks of the 'virus' of this behaviour, or watch the immune system collapse in on itself attempting to fight off this virus.

ROMANIA HAS 70% ABORTION RATE

BUCHAREST, February 10, 2003 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A devastating abortion rate of 70% has, during the past 12 years, claimed the lives of the equivalent of one-third of Romania's stagnant population of 24 million people.

In 2002, there were 700,000 abortions accounting for well over two-thirds of the one million pregnancies recorded, both within marriage and extramarital. Canada's abortion casualty rate is closer to one-third.

Even in light of the staggering figures, Glasgow's Sunday-Herald spoke for Western media when the paper commented, "The transition for women from baby-producers to individuals in charge of their own bodies has been difficult. But now that the population fails to renew itself, the self-appointed guardians of the nation have swung into action," a dismissive reference to Romania's tiny pro-life movement.

Sounds like there were 700,000 unwanted pregnancies, the solution? CONTRACEPTION!!! If the Church wants to help the situation the solution isn't to start preaching, condemning, and dogmatizing, the American fundamentalists have been doing this for years and are nothing but the laughing stock of the world, the Church should start advocating the use of birth control, help women get the pill, provide condoms free of charge. If the Church took the initiative on this she would be hailed as a progressive, enlightened, and responsible institution and would have a real impact on the world around her.
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« Reply #37 on: August 11, 2007, 03:59:48 PM »

Quote
Heresy? Could you please provide me with the Location, Date, and President or at least Patriarchal representatives present at this Synod? And I do presume you're at least refering to a synod of Imperial or Endimousa authority?

Different is not always heretical; the failure to recognize this by much of the hierarchy throughout history has perhaps been the greatest impediment to the growth and expansion of the Christian Faith.

The enlightenment is not the cannon or measuring stick used in determining morality for the church. That would be the unitarian church. If maintaining the true faith and holding on to Christian morality limits the expansion of the Christian faith, then so be it. If you want the church to change its morality and doctrine, then you would be better suited in an eastern rite episcopal church, united methodist church or even a unitarian church.


Quote
Cancer is perhaps a bad analogy, AIDS might be better; the kind of behaviour you mention does not merely attack society with the Church sitting outside of society like some external medicine. Rather, the Church is closer to the immune system, to expand on our disease analogy, and this behaviour attacks the immune system itself. The choices? Either fundamentally alter the immune system so that it becomes immune to the attacks of the 'virus' of this behaviour, or watch the immune system collapse in on itself attempting to fight off this virus.

Cancer is an excellent metaphor because it spreads, grows and kills. AIDS is a guaranteed death sentence. There is no cure. The Church is the hospital, and the patients must do what the Doctor prescribes in order to be healed. The church has prescribed the same treatment for 2000 years, and is not going to change. The problem we have right now is the patients won't listen or do what the doctors tell them to do and the doctors are not making clear and informing the patients of what their treatment is in many hospitals. The church doesn't need to change (although the clergy need to step up), the people do.

 
Quote
Sounds like there were 700,000 unwanted pregnancies, the solution? CONTRACEPTION!!! If the Church wants to help the situation the solution isn't to start preaching, condemning, and dogmatizing, the American fundamentalists have been doing this for years and are nothing but the laughing stock of the world, the Church should start advocating the use of birth control, help women get the pill, provide condoms free of charge. If the Church took the initiative on this she would be hailed as a progressive, enlightened, and responsible institution and would have a real impact on the world around her.


Since when did the church care if it was the laughing stock of the world?? From what I understand, Christians look foolish to world and the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. The church is also not Planned Parenthood. It is not in the business of handing out condoms, IUDs and birth control pills last time I checked. The church needs to continually teach the faithful how to live out a life of Patience, chastity, virtue and love. When the faithful live out the Christian way, then society is truly impacted. Salvation is in Jesus and no other. The more the faithful are in union with God, the more society will see the character of God. The prayers of a righteous man avails much.   


[edited name=Orthodox Bagpiper date=1186862494][/edited]
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« Reply #38 on: August 11, 2007, 04:15:40 PM »


Tamara,

There is a time and place for everything. The clergy must use discretion when addressing these issues. The point is that it needs to be addressed more; especially in many of these Orthodox countries (like Romania for example which has more babies being aborted than being born). If nearly 90% of the population is "Orthodox", then it stands to reason the majority of the Orthodox women are engaging in abortion. Something must be done because whatever the church is currently doing is not working. I know you said you were taught that it was wrong growing up in the church; however, most of the ethnic Orthodox I have met (particularly romanians) have had a pre-catechumanent level of understanding about the faith (and these have been people who have grown up in the church!). The faithful must constantly be instructed in the ways of God (all the ways of God). The truth cannot be masked because it makes some people feel uncomfortable (heck, I feel uncomfortable quite often because of my sinfulness). 

Moreover, when clergy address these issues, it can be done in a way that is gentle and brings about repentance. I would expect that it would be done in this manner most of the time. Elder Cleopa of Romania said that there are some people, though, that a confessor has to be harder on because unless they are stern with some people, these people will not turn away from their sins.



I guess the point I was trying to make is that people need to be educated while they are young on issues of morality. I know the abortion rates are high in Romania and the other formerly communist countries. We have no idea how many Romanians are active Orthodox Christians who attend church. But I think you might be expecting too much from the churches in those countries. Think of the Orthodox church as crippled and still healing from communism and then I think you will begin to understand why the problems they have are so deep. Did you know we send missionaries and Orthodox priests from the United States over to Romania to help that church get back on its feet so that it can serve its people again? I would say if you are feeling deeply distressed about the sin happening in Romania you might want to open up your wallet and support our missionaries who work there or email Fr. Aris Metrakos. He is a Greek-American Orthodox priest who travels annually to Romania to help the Romanian Orthodox Church establish ministries for Romanian youth. You can contact Fr. Aris at FrMetrakos@orthodoxytoday.org.
I am sure he might have some ideas of how you could help out. He may even need you to join him on one of his annual trips if God is leading you that direction.
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« Reply #39 on: August 11, 2007, 04:30:12 PM »

The enlightenment is not the cannon or measuring stick used in determining morality for the church. That would be the unitarian church. If maintaining the true faith and holding on to Christian morality limits the expansion of the Christian faith, then so be it. If you want the church to change its morality and doctrine, then you would be better suited in an eastern rite episcopal church, united methodist church or even a unitarian church.

Your eastern rite episcopal church sounds interesting...unfortunately I do not know where to find one, so I'll just have to stick with the Greek Church. Wink

Quote
Cancer is an excellent metaphor because it spreads, grows and kills. AIDS is a guaranteed death sentence. There is no cure. The Church is the hospital, and the patients must do what the Doctor prescribes in order to be healed. The church has prescribed the same treatment for 2000 years, and is not going to change. The problem we have right now is the patients won't listen or do what the doctors tell them to do and the doctors are not making clear and informing the patients of what their treatment is in many hospitals. The church doesn't need to change (although the clergy need to step up), the people do.

AIDS is only a guaranteed death sentence until we can learn to genetically engineer a cure, we will have to create a means to alter the very genetics of the cells (or at least effectively cut genetic information out of a cell, and good progress is being made on this front: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,2648728,00.html ). A similar method must be created for the Church to deal with the new realities of the world, we must learn to alter our very genome, our very dna, our very essence to adapt. Failure to do so is, as you said, a guaranteed death sentence.
 
Quote
Since when did the church care if it was the laughing stock of the world?? From what I understand, Christians look foolish to world and the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. The church is also not Planned Parenthood. It is not in the business of handing out condoms, IUDs and birth control pills last time I checked. The church needs to continually teach the faithful how to live out a life of Patience, chastity, virtue and love. When the faithful live out the Christian way, then society is truly impacted. Salvation is in Jesus and no other. The more the faithful are in union with God, the more society will see the character of God. The prayers of a righteous man avails much.   

I know very well that the Church IS not in the aforementioned business, but what I'm saying is that that is part of the problem, the Church needs to be in that business for her own good and for the good of the faithful. I am giving suggestions to help the world (and the Church) in real and tangible ways, you are giving suggestions that would drive the Church deeper and deeper into irrelevance and, for all intents and purposes, kill her.
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« Reply #40 on: August 11, 2007, 04:31:43 PM »

Tell it like it is, Tamara. You go, girl!
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« Reply #41 on: August 11, 2007, 04:52:43 PM »

I guess the point I was trying to make is that people need to be educated while they are young on issues of morality. I know the abortion rates are high in Romania and the other formerly communist countries. We have no idea how many Romanians are active Orthodox Christians who attend church. But I think you might be expecting too much from the churches in those countries. Think of the Orthodox church as crippled and still healing from communism and then I think you will begin to understand why the problems they have are so deep. Did you know we send missionaries and Orthodox priests from the United States over to Romania to help that church get back on its feet so that it can serve its people again? I would say if you are feeling deeply distressed about the sin happening in Romania you might want to open up your wallet and support our missionaries who work there or email Fr. Aris Metrakos. He is a Greek-American Orthodox priest who travels annually to Romania to help the Romanian Orthodox Church establish ministries for Romanian youth. You can contact Fr. Aris at FrMetrakos@orthodoxytoday.org.
I am sure he might have some ideas of how you could help out. He may even need you to join him on one of his annual trips if God is leading you that direction.

Tamara, that's great, but in Romania they at least have one Orthodox Church. I my native Ukraine it's worse because there are THREE, and they are all at each other's throats. To which one would you send money and missionaries?.. (Note that the only "canonical" one is, actually, a department of the Russian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate, and the latter is, as one saying goes, a Religion Department of the Kremlin Cabinet of Putin.)
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« Reply #42 on: August 11, 2007, 09:18:24 PM »

Don't feel too bad, Heorhij - we've way many more than 3 Ukrainian churches in North America.
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« Reply #43 on: August 12, 2007, 01:24:49 AM »

No doubt she does.  I agree, though, with GiC that the issue of abortion is not merely a dogmatic issue where all we need to do is "lay down the Law of God," as Gabriel said earlier.  Abortion also causes great psychological issues that need to be addressed for the salvation of those involved.  We will only cause greater harm, possibly even drive women away from the medicine they so desperately need, if we do nothing more than punish them for the sin of murdering their unborn children.  Would you extend to them the cold backhand of strict legalism and condemnation when what they need most is tender mercy?
Brothers and sisters,
 First, I apologize for my strong wording earlier. When we feel so strongly about an issue, sometimes we can get a little militant. At least I can. When I said 'lay down the Law of God', I didn't mean punish the girls and women who are having abortions. I meant that the Church, through the local priests, must must must address this issue more vocally albeit in a loving manner. Education is key, and not simply Christian education, but secular as well. An unplanned pregnancy can be devastating, but young women and their parents need to know that it's not the end of the world. Local churches need to step up and provide help, not judgements, for these young women. 
 Listen, I know the psychological pain of having an abortion. I've seen first hand what it does to a young woman. Myself and ex-wife had one in 1996. It grieves me to no end to think of my little boy or girl who would've been 11 yrs old now. When my brother had his last child (a few years after our abortion and just before I became Orthodox), I thought my eyes would wash out for all of the crying I did. I almost literally lived in the Catholic church that was connected to the hospital. When I aborted (killed) my child, I killed a little piece of me as well. Brothers and sisters, I don't want to sound as if the women should be punished. Believe me, they're going through their own personal hell. When I say, "lay down the Law of God' I mean that more education needs to take place instead of judgements and turning blind eyes. The Law of God is more than commandments. The Law of God is more than admonishing us sinners. The Law of God is the medicine all of us must partake of in the spiritual hospital called the Orthodox Church. 
 As Christians, we have a responsibility to respond to this heinous practice with tough love. In America, we do this with our voice and our vote. As Christians, we tell people that we love them but that we cannot tolerate this practice. You cannot tell someone that you love them and remain silent when millions of babies are being slaughtered. Personally, I would like it if everyone liked me and thought well of me. But as long as abortion is legal, I'm going to be vocal about it and I don't give a flip if someone likes me or not because of my anti-abortion views. As long as the majority of people look at abortion as an alternative, I wonder how effective we're being?

 If Romania truly has a 70% abortion rate, then the Church has failed Romania. Period. What good are the priests? What good is any of the clergy? It's been almost 20 years since the fall of communism and the abortion rate is 70% Did you know that abortion was illegal during Ceausescu's time? And now it's 70%? 70%!!!Time to shape up, you fat roly-poly priests riding around in your nice cars on the way home to your big houses! These are priests who administer the blessed body and blood of our savior and they do nothing? I heard a Romanian priest in a documentary say about the orphans running wild in the streets "Oh well. They choose to live like that." Excommunicate that man! Run him into the Black Sea! He's the shepherd of souls and his attitude is as complacent as it can be! Throw them out! Romania must rid herself of these do nothing, rotten, no good posers!!!! An adult, much less a priest, has no right to make such a callous statement. Seriously people, for a country that's well over 90% Orthodox, a 70% abortion rate speaks volumes about the clergy and it ain't good news. I don't mean to offend anyone, but we gotta wake up here. This cannot become the norm. 
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« Reply #44 on: August 12, 2007, 01:56:51 AM »

Have you not been reading the replies on this thread to recognize just how simplistic and wrong your judgment is on this?  Do you not recognize just how successful Communism was at secularizing the countries where it was practiced?  How do you intend to help these nations recover their moral footing by pointing your finger at these "fat clergyman of the Churches of Satan"?
Is Your Grace going to take it upon yourself to go to these priests and tell them how to shepherd their flocks? Roll Eyes
First, I'm dissapointed by your sarcasm. Calling me names does little, if anything, in bringing me to your side of the topic. Not to mention that it goes against being a Christian.

Secondly, I made an educated observation and not a judgement. I have heard first hand, from Romanians, how the priests are corrupt. No doubt, not all priests are, and I realize that the communists 're-education' techniques were quite successful. But that was almost twenty years ago. AND, even during communist times in Romania, abortion was illegal. NOW, given those facts, I wonder what your take on the situation is? In a country that boasts of a 90% Orthodox and yet has a 70% abortion rate, that to me seems a bit contradicting, does it not? No, I can't tell the 'priests' how to shepherd their flocks, if that's what you call what they're doing. But the bishops can. At least they're supposed to. But at a 70% rate, someone's failing. And it's looking like it's the Church. I will obey the priests and bishops as long as it is prudent to do so and providing that they're giving me proper Christian education and counseling. Islamic clerics get blind obedience. We're not bound to follow a fool. 
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« Reply #45 on: August 12, 2007, 02:04:06 AM »

As Christians, we have a responsibility to respond to this heinous practice with tough love. In America, we do this with our voice and our vote. As Christians, we tell people that we love them but that we cannot tolerate this practice. You cannot tell someone that you love them and remain silent when millions of babies are being slaughtered.

Well, let's not forget the hundreds of thousands of children that die needlessly everyday while we sit back and feed our face and spend our money on savvy material goods that we do not need. Heaven forbid we sacrifice and try to fix this problem, that would be a great inconvenience. It's more fun to be picky and choosy with sins.
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« Reply #46 on: August 12, 2007, 02:09:04 AM »

Well, let's not forget the hundreds of thousands of children that die needlessly everyday while we sit back and feed our face and spend our money on savvy material goods that we do not need. Heaven forbid we sacrifice and try to fix this problem, that would be a great inconvenience. It's more fun to be picky and choosy with sins.
You bring an excellent point, Justinian. But the thread is about abortion so let's stay on topic. If you wish to talk about children, and we all should be, maybe you should start another thread.
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« Reply #47 on: August 12, 2007, 02:18:36 AM »

I wouldn't be very surprised if the abortion figures given for Romania were true.
But the puzzlement and the amazement displayed by some here,  amazes me a bit.
I think it all comes from some unstated expectation/assumption that the average Orthodox should take his faith as seriously that the average Fundamentalist or Evangelical. This hasn't happened and although I wouldn't see it as a bad thing, still don't see it likely to ever happen.
most of the Romanian Orthodox-like any other Orthodox from Eastern Europe- are within the OC because they happened to be born to two Orthodox parents, that, at their turn, also happened to be born to Orthodox parents etc, and not because they have studied the faith and reached the conclusion that it is true, unlike the average Fundamentalist, I thing. So the discrepancy in commitment to one's faith lies in the fact that to be considered an Orthodox it is enough to have been baptized in infancy, while to enter an evangelical church one has to take a conscious decision etc.
I talk about the situation  in Eastern Europe: in the OC one enters almost automatically by birth, while in an Evangelical Church one enters by choice. That explains a lot the presence of commitement to one's faith or the lack thereof.
This was written mostly in reply to Jibrail Almuhajir's comment that the OC has failed in Romania.
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« Reply #48 on: August 12, 2007, 02:47:13 AM »

I wouldn't be very surprised if the abortion figures given for Romania were true.
But the puzzlement and the amazement displayed by some here,  amazes me a bit.
I think it all comes from some unstated expectation/assumption that the average Orthodox should take his faith as seriously that the average Fundamentalist or Evangelical. This hasn't happened and although I wouldn't see it as a bad thing, still don't see it likely to ever happen.
most of the Romanian Orthodox-like any other Orthodox from Eastern Europe- are within the OC because they happened to be born to two Orthodox parents, that, at their turn, also happened to be born to Orthodox parents etc, and not because they have studied the faith and reached the conclusion that it is true, unlike the average Fundamentalist, I thing. So the discrepancy in commitment to one's faith lies in the fact that to be considered an Orthodox it is enough to have been baptized in infancy, while to enter an evangelical church one has to take a conscious decision etc.
I talk about the situation  in Eastern Europe: in the OC one enters almost automatically by birth, while in an Evangelical Church one enters by choice. That explains a lot the presence of commitement to one's faith or the lack thereof.
This was written mostly in reply to Jibrail Almuhajir's comment that the OC has failed in Romania.

Excellent summation, Augustin717. I failed to take into consideration what should have been apparent. Yet, I still can't help but ponder the effectiveness of Romania's priests given what I've heard other Romanians say about them. We have excellent examples in Frs Roman Braga, Georgiu Calciu, Cleopa Ilie, etc...but from what I've been told, they're the exception and not the norm. 70% is higher than in America, and abortion is legal here. If the people are only following what their parents do, that's not genuine. If America, of all places, is sending priests to Romania to teach them Orhtodoxy, well, what else can I say but that the Church has failed in Romania.
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« Reply #49 on: August 12, 2007, 03:17:35 AM »

First, I'm dissapointed by your sarcasm. Calling me names does little, if anything, in bringing me to your side of the topic. Not to mention that it goes against being a Christian.
Thank you for clarifying your position and what exactly you meant by your phrase "lay down the Law of God".  Now I can see how well you have thought this out and that you aren't thinking in the purely judgmental, legalistic manner that your use of the phrase originally communicated.  However, you probably should refrain from judging someone's sarcasm as "going against being a Christian" when that sarcasm is directed at you--it looks too much as if you're passing judgment merely to defend yourself.  It's OK to say that you were offended, for that would be a truthful statement of your own response, but to make the unqualified statement that sarcasm is un-Christian is to make an absolute statement of absolute truth that may or may not be correct.
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« Reply #50 on: August 12, 2007, 11:41:42 AM »

You bring an excellent point, Justinian. But the thread is about abortion so let's stay on topic. If you wish to talk about children, and we all should be, maybe you should start another thread.

Justinian's comments were most relevant to this thread, I don't know that he intended it as bluntly as I'm going to put it, but I, unlike you, honestly do not care what people think of me personally. Wink

Until we can actually take care of those who are born into this world, we really have no business bringing more into the world. All restrictions on abortion do is bring into the world unwanted children that the parents are unable to support, they place greater strain on society and increase poverty. These fetus, if not aborted, would bring real poverty and hardship on the world. While I would certainly argue, for many reasons, that contraceptives are the prefered method of population control, abortion is an indispensable element that prevents the development of an entire segment of unwanted and uncared for people within the population, which would cause a greater strain on society as a whole. Until you can eliminate poverty and unwanted pregnancies, abortion is the lesser of two evils.
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« Reply #51 on: August 12, 2007, 11:47:46 AM »

Until we can actually take care of those who are born into this world, we really have no business bringing more into the world. All restrictions on abortion do is bring into the world unwanted children that the parents are unable to support, they place greater strain on society and increase poverty. These fetus, if not aborted, would bring real poverty and hardship on the world. While I would certainly argue, for many reasons, that contraceptives are the prefered method of population control, abortion is an indispensable element that prevents the development of an entire segment of unwanted and uncared for people within the population, which would cause a greater strain on society as a whole. Until you can eliminate poverty and unwanted pregnancies, abortion is the lesser of two evils. 

Blech.  Thankfully, most of us don't prescribe to this sort of preemptive Euthanasia that you're supporting.

With regards to possessions and whatnot, Christ said give to Caesar what is his, give to God what is His, and give all your stuff away.  So abortion is out from my perspective regardless of if you consider the fetus an object or a person.

I can't remember, who was it that said that you can tell about a society in how they treat their young?  Open support for abortion doesn't bode well for us.
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« Reply #52 on: August 12, 2007, 12:59:34 PM »

I can't remember, who was it that said that you can tell about a society in how they treat their young?  Open support for abortion doesn't bode well for us.

Something along those lines was said by the Pope of Rome, John Paul II, but that's hardly surprising. The quote is generally (even as used by the Pope) that a society is judged by how it treats its weakest member; anti-abortion advocates have interpreted this as the unborn. However, I believe it is a stretch of the definition of society to even include the unborn in this category. Those who are the truly weakest and most vulnerable members of society are the poor, the destitute, and those who have been rejected by the mores of society. These are exactly the people who anti-abortion laws harm, they don't hurt the aristocracy of America who, if they actually wanted to have an abortion could easily travel to another country or hire a doctor to do it in secret (as was often the case in the years before Roe v. Wade); they are an inconvenience to the Middle Classes, but one that can easily be overcome due to greater economic flexability than the poor; they are (like most restrictions of personal freedom) primarially targeted against the working and lower classes, they are the essence of barbarism, forcing at gunpoint pregnancy and childbirth on those who neither want it, nor can afford it.

Laws (or even social pressures) of this nature use minor mistakes in one's life against them, and dictate from on high that the person is not allowed to improve themselves, and must be condemned to a life of poverty. The net effect of the anti-abortion movement is to keep the poor poor and reinforce social, economic, and gender class divisions...anti-abortion legislation is nothing more than the modern equivalent of Sumptuary Laws.
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« Reply #53 on: August 12, 2007, 01:44:16 PM »

Something along those lines was said by the Pope of Rome, John Paul II, but that's hardly surprising. The quote is generally (even as used by the Pope) that a society is judged by how it treats its weakest member; anti-abortion advocates have interpreted this as the unborn. However, I believe it is a stretch of the definition of society to even include the unborn in this category. Those who are the truly weakest and most vulnerable members of society are the poor, the destitute, and those who have been rejected by the mores of society. These are exactly the people who anti-abortion laws harm, they don't hurt the aristocracy of America who, if they actually wanted to have an abortion could easily travel to another country or hire a doctor to do it in secret (as was often the case in the years before Roe v. Wade); they are an inconvenience to the Middle Classes, but one that can easily be overcome due to greater economic flexability than the poor; they are (like most restrictions of personal freedom) primarially targeted against the working and lower classes, they are the essence of barbarism, forcing at gunpoint pregnancy and childbirth on those who neither want it, nor can afford it.

Laws (or even social pressures) of this nature use minor mistakes in one's life against them, and dictate from on high that the person is not allowed to improve themselves, and must be condemned to a life of poverty. The net effect of the anti-abortion movement is to keep the poor poor and reinforce social, economic, and gender class divisions...anti-abortion legislation is nothing more than the modern equivalent of Sumptuary Laws. 

Well, the quote I think came from someone else earlier than Il Papa, but whatever - since I can't find it, I've got nothing to work with.

As far as saying it is a "stretch" to include the unborn as members of society, consider this: we have an entire field of medical study for them, therapies, educational material (what to do and not to do, music to play to them, how to help them learn your voice, etc.); a section of the American Industry that depends on them.  And unlike animals (which have for themselves a portion of the aforementioned American Industry) they are genetically human, a member of our genus and species.

I don't consider abortion an option for the poorer classes - contraception is less expensive, and most of the time does not involve the death of a fetus.

Of course, I don't know why you don't just advocate the elimination of the poor altogether - since you've ascribed to them a lack of self-control over their sexuality and reproduction, I don't know why you don't advocate the same for them that others do for street animals... "Help control the pet population - have your pets spayed or neutered."  GreekisBobBarker.
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« Reply #54 on: August 12, 2007, 03:50:46 PM »

Well, the quote I think came from someone else earlier than Il Papa, but whatever - since I can't find it, I've got nothing to work with.

Perhaps one of these:

'Let all bear in mind that a society is judged not so much by the standards attained by its more affluent and privileged members as by the quality of life which it is able to assure for its weakest members.'
-- H.E. Javier Perez de Cuellar

'The moral test of a government is how it treats those who are at the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the aged; and those who are in the shadow of life, the sick and the needy, and the handicapped.'
-- Hubert Humphrey

Quote
As far as saying it is a "stretch" to include the unborn as members of society, consider this: we have an entire field of medical study for them, therapies, educational material (what to do and not to do, music to play to them, how to help them learn your voice, etc.); a section of the American Industry that depends on them.

All of which is a subsection of the field of woman's health.

Quote
And unlike animals (which have for themselves a portion of the aforementioned American Industry) they are genetically human, a member of our genus and species.

Of course, I have long defined humanity as more than a piece of dna, my preference is to define 'humanity' by intellectual capabilities and self-awareness (and the brain does not develop to this level until well into the second trimester, it's almost the third trimester until the necessary amount of brain matter is present, though substantial development of neural connections is still required at that point). By the definition of humanity you give every cell in the human body is 'human'.

Quote
I don't consider abortion an option for the poorer classes - contraception is less expensive, and most of the time does not involve the death of a fetus.

Contraception is an infinitely better course of action, you will get no arguments from me on that point. Many studies (including one I reference earlier, I believe in this thread) also demonstrate that it is the best means to decrease abortions; abortions result from unwanted pregnancies, it is of course better to ensure that these pregnancies never occur in the first place.

Quote
Of course, I don't know why you don't just advocate the elimination of the poor altogether - since you've ascribed to them a lack of self-control over their sexuality and reproduction, I don't know why you don't advocate the same for them that others do for street animals... "Help control the pet population - have your pets spayed or neutered."  GreekisBobBarker.

I do advocate the elimination of the poor altogether, not by some genocidal cleansing though, I advocate the elimination of the class by giving them every opportunity to rise above their social standing. One of these means is by providing them every option possible to not be burdened by unwanted pregnancies at a young age. Contraception should be strongly encouraged, but if it is not used or if it fails we should not condemn these people to a life of poverty and hardship (which is often the case if a young unmarried woman does have an unwanted child), we should give them options so that they can overcome this mistake and still have a chance at becomming productve members of society. Young women having unwanted children then relying on the state for support in the form of welfare benifits noone, least of all the young woman in question, but removing impediments from these people improving their lives and becoming productive members of society does not merely benifit them, it benifits all of us by improving our economy and reducing the need of the government to provide.

Are my suggestions going to help everyone? No, there are many other factors that bring about poverty, but if we can help rise a few out of poverty we will also have more resources to help those poor who are not so easily aided.
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« Reply #55 on: August 12, 2007, 04:33:39 PM »

Of course, I have long defined humanity as more than a piece of dna, my preference is to define 'humanity' by intellectual capabilities and self-awareness (and the brain does not develop to this level until well into the second trimester, it's almost the third trimester until the necessary amount of brain matter is present, though substantial development of neural connections is still required at that point). By the definition of humanity you give every cell in the human body is 'human'.

Contraception is an infinitely better course of action, you will get no arguments from me on that point. Many studies (including one I reference earlier, I believe in this thread) also demonstrate that it is the best means to decrease abortions; abortions result from unwanted pregnancies, it is of course better to ensure that these pregnancies never occur in the first place.

I do advocate the elimination of the poor altogether, not by some genocidal cleansing though, I advocate the elimination of the class by giving them every opportunity to rise above their social standing. One of these means is by providing them every option possible to not be burdened by unwanted pregnancies at a young age. Contraception should be strongly encouraged, but if it is not used or if it fails we should not condemn these people to a life of poverty and hardship (which is often the case if a young unmarried woman does have an unwanted child), we should give them options so that they can overcome this mistake and still have a chance at becomming productve members of society. Young women having unwanted children then relying on the state for support in the form of welfare benifits noone, least of all the young woman in question, but removing impediments from these people improving their lives and becoming productive members of society does not merely benifit them, it benifits all of us by improving our economy and reducing the need of the government to provide.

Are my suggestions going to help everyone? No, there are many other factors that bring about poverty, but if we can help rise a few out of poverty we will also have more resources to help those poor who are not so easily aided. 

Firstly, my definition of human does not extend to individual cells since I distinctly mentioned genus and species, which would necessarily exclude single-celled organisms in the specific case of Mammals.

Secondly, you still didn't address my over-arching concern with your characterization of the poor: that they fundamentally lack self-control.  It would seem to me that a certain amount of self-determination exists in all human life, but you seem to ascribe to the notion that pregnancies are like the common cold amongst the poor: it is impossible to avoid and they're not well equipped to handle it.  At least I am willing to leave them with a bit of human dignity (and American spirit) when I say they have the power to avoid the pregnancies without abortion; you on the other hand speak of them as if they were animals, and had no control over their urges to procreate and certainly no ability to use contraceptives while doing so.
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« Reply #56 on: August 12, 2007, 05:27:38 PM »

Firstly, my definition of human does not extend to individual cells since I distinctly mentioned genus and species, which would necessarily exclude single-celled organisms in the specific case of Mammals.

Well, I stand by my definition of human based on intellectual capabilities.

Quote
Secondly, you still didn't address my over-arching concern with your characterization of the poor: that they fundamentally lack self-control.  It would seem to me that a certain amount of self-determination exists in all human life, but you seem to ascribe to the notion that pregnancies are like the common cold amongst the poor: it is impossible to avoid and they're not well equipped to handle it.

It's unavoidable in all strata of society, but the upper and middle classes are better equipped to deal with it. They have the luxury of traveling abroad or hiring personal doctors to perform illegal abortions and even if they decide against an abortion, they have the economic means to absorb the costs of an unwanted child, the poor do not enjoy this luxury and for this reason I argue that anti-abortion laws are specifically targeted against the poor.

Quote
At least I am willing to leave them with a bit of human dignity (and American spirit) when I say they have the power to avoid the pregnancies without abortion; you on the other hand speak of them as if they were animals, and had no control over their urges to procreate and certainly no ability to use contraceptives while doing so.

That's not at all what I said, I said that contraceptives are not fool proof and if they fail there should be a course of action to fall back on. As far as being animals with no (or at least minimal) control over their urges to procreate, yes that is true of the poor as it is true of the rich, that is a constant across not only the homo sapiens species but across all biological organisms, if your solution is to eliminate sex you're fighting a loosing battle.

As far as the American Spirit goes, it is dependent on American Freedom, you cannot deny the latter and expect someone to flourish on account of the former.
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« Reply #57 on: August 12, 2007, 10:36:01 PM »

As far as being animals with no (or at least minimal) control over their urges to procreate, yes that is true of the poor as it is true of the rich, that is a constant across not only the homo sapiens species but across all biological organisms, if your solution is to eliminate sex you're fighting a loosing battle.
I believe our own Ozgeorge has stated many times that our battle against sexual passions is a battle against the strongest forces of our animal nature, but it's a battle Christ calls us to wage by the grace and power of His Holy Spirit.  We glorify many of our saints--St. Mary of Egypt is one of our greatest examples--precisely because they succeeded in acquiring mastery of their sexual urges and lived lives of great holiness before God.
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« Reply #58 on: August 12, 2007, 10:43:50 PM »

I believe our own Ozgeorge has stated many times that our battle against sexual passions is a battle against the strongest forces of our animal nature, but it's a battle Christ calls us to wage by the grace and power of His Holy Spirit.  We glorify many of our saints--St. Mary of Egypt is one of our greatest examples--precisely because they succeeded in acquiring mastery of their sexual urges and lived lives of great holiness before God.

And that's nice for a theoretical religious ideal and all, but we live in the real world and have to address real problems associated with it. Go ahead and uphold your personal ideal of sexual perfection, but don't use them as an excuse to ignore the actual issues that face society today.
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« Reply #59 on: August 12, 2007, 11:26:07 PM »

And that's nice for a theoretical religious ideal and all, but we live in the real world and have to address real problems associated with it. Go ahead and uphold your personal ideal of sexual perfection, but don't use them as an excuse to ignore the actual issues that face society today.
You miss my point, though.  I agree with the gist of the above statements that we can't afford to ignore real world concerns, but my point was to challenge your notion that humans cannot resist their animal urge to procreate.  Acting apart from the grace of God, resistance against these natural urges is indeed a losing battle.  Glory be to God, though, that He has not left us to battle these passions alone, for He has blessed us with His Holy Spirit.  Such God-inspired chastity is the most certain way to prevent unwanted pregnancies.  For the weak of faith, though--that includes virtually all of us--we need to do something to help such persons deal with the consequences of their weakness.  Fighting the consequences of sexual sin with even greater sin is not the proper avenue, however.
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« Reply #60 on: August 12, 2007, 11:49:56 PM »

honestly do not care what people think of me personally. Wink
You're inflated head says otherwise. I'm sure when little kids see you coming they say something like, "Look mommy, it's a parade!" If you truly don't care what people think about you, you'll simply ignore my comments here. But I doubt you can. In fact, I'm positive you can't.  Kiss

Until we can actually take care of those who are born into this world, we really have no business bringing more into the world. All restrictions on abortion do is bring into the world unwanted children that the parents are unable to support, they place greater strain on society and increase poverty. These fetus, if not aborted, would bring real poverty and hardship on the world. While I would certainly argue, for many reasons, that contraceptives are the prefered method of population control, abortion is an indispensable element that prevents the development of an entire segment of unwanted and uncared for people within the population, which would cause a greater strain on society as a whole. Until you can eliminate poverty and unwanted pregnancies, abortion is the lesser of two evils.
This is your answer to poverty? Well, I'm not surprised to hear this utilitarian pseudo-science coming from someone like you. What does surprise me is that the moderators let your anti-Christian, anti-life murderous views slip right on past them. If you are a Christian, you cannot support abortion. Period.   
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« Reply #61 on: August 12, 2007, 11:54:03 PM »

You're inflated head says otherwise. I'm sure when little kids see you coming they say something like, "Look mommy, it's a parade!" If you truly don't care what people think about you, you'll simply ignore my comments here. But I doubt you can. In fact, I'm positive you can't.  Kiss
...

This is your answer to poverty? Well, I'm not surprised to hear this utilitarian pseudo-science coming from someone like you. What does surprise me is that the moderators let your anti-Christian, anti-life murderous views slip right on past them. If you are a Christian, you cannot support abortion. Period.   

(bolded text mine)

No, we're aware of his views, as well as the ad hominem to start your post.

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« Reply #62 on: August 12, 2007, 11:58:40 PM »

(bolded text mine)

No, we're aware of his views, as well as the ad hominem to start your post.


Actually, Father, I don't consider it an ad hominem because I wasn't addressing his argument, but rather a statement he made about himself.


[edited name=Jibrail Almuhajir date=1186977687][/edited]
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« Reply #63 on: August 13, 2007, 12:20:32 AM »

This is your answer to poverty? Well, I'm not surprised to hear this utilitarian pseudo-science coming from someone like you. What does surprise me is that the moderators let your anti-Christian, anti-life murderous views slip right on past them. If you are a Christian, you cannot support abortion. Period.   

Not enough censorship for your tastes? One of the reasons I have long enjoyed posting on this board (yes, even back when I was a rather radical pro-life advocate like yourself...you know, there was a point when I refused to vote for a rather conservative pro-life republican candidate, even though I agreed with him on every other issue...people change, there's hope for all of us Wink) is the relative lack of censorship. I think I'm close enough to the edge that if that policy of a relatively good tolerance free speech were to change, I'd be banned straight away...at which point I would understand that I am both no longer welcome, but would also no longer with to contribute.

As for my being a Christian, that I am not a good Christian I have no doubt, but as to whether or not I am one, well that decision rests in the hands of two people and I'm afraid you arn't one of them: I can either openly abandon the faith or my Metropolitan can excommunicate me, to this date, as far as I know, neither has taken place...if you have a problem with that, I suggest that you take it up with my Metropolitan, Gerasimos of San Francisco, because I doubt you'll get too far with me Wink
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« Reply #64 on: August 13, 2007, 12:32:13 AM »

Not enough censorship for your tastes? One of the reasons I have long enjoyed posting on this board (yes, even back when I was a rather radical pro-life advocate like yourself...you know, there was a point when I refused to vote for a rather conservative pro-life republican candidate, even though I agreed with him on every other issue...people change, there's hope for all of us Wink) is the relative lack of censorship. I think I'm close enough to the edge that if that policy of a relatively good tolerance free speech were to change, I'd be banned straight away...at which point I would understand that I am both no longer welcome, but would also no longer with to contribute.

As for my being a Christian, that I am not a good Christian I have no doubt, but as to whether or not I am one, well that decision rests in the hands of two people and I'm afraid you arn't one of them: I can either openly abandon the faith or my Metropolitan can excommunicate me, to this date, as far as I know, neither has taken place...if you have a problem with that, I suggest that you take it up with my Metropolitan, Gerasimos of San Francisco, because I doubt you'll get too far with me Wink
Thank goodness we have to type out our comments here because y'all couldn't hear me for the foot in my mouth. What I meant to type out was 'If one is a Christian..." . Unfortunately, it came out looking like a judgement against you, GiC. I'm deeply sorry for that. I'm not moving from my position re: abortion, but I don't want to sound or come off as some sort of judge here. Heaven knows I wouldn't be able to pass my own test!  Shocked

 And I'm glad you saw my opening comments earlier as just good natured ribbing. Plus, I sorta lost that bet didn't I? Embarrassed  Wink 
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« Reply #65 on: August 13, 2007, 07:38:43 AM »

And I'm glad you saw my opening comments earlier as just good natured ribbing. Plus, I sorta lost that bet didn't I? Embarrassed  Wink 

Of course he's not going to bite the bait - for him, when someone decides to insult him or to resort to ad hominem, it means they're abandoning the pursuit to actually refute his claims, which means he wins the argument by default.

However, whether your comment is insult or ad hominem, it isn't a proper way to address someone in the Moderated Forums.

As for our non-censorship - we allow everyone to post their views, regardless of how heretical they may be, or how disgusting; once they're out there, its up to the community of posters to decide how to respond.  Oh, and that God person Wink .
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« Reply #66 on: August 13, 2007, 08:10:35 AM »

This IS the Free-For-All board after all. You do have warning as to what to expect or at least not be surprised at finding in this 'room'.
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« Reply #67 on: August 13, 2007, 10:44:25 AM »

Quote
Brothers and sisters,
 First, I apologize for my strong wording earlier. When we feel so strongly about an issue, sometimes we can get a little militant. At least I can. When I said 'lay down the Law of God', I didn't mean punish the girls and women who are having abortions. I meant that the Church, through the local priests, must must must address this issue more vocally albeit in a loving manner. Education is key, and not simply Christian education, but secular as well. An unplanned pregnancy can be devastating, but young women and their parents need to know that it's not the end of the world. Local churches need to step up and provide help, not judgements, for these young women.
 Listen, I know the psychological pain of having an abortion. I've seen first hand what it does to a young woman. Myself and ex-wife had one in 1996. It grieves me to no end to think of my little boy or girl who would've been 11 yrs old now. When my brother had his last child (a few years after our abortion and just before I became Orthodox), I thought my eyes would wash out for all of the crying I did. I almost literally lived in the Catholic church that was connected to the hospital. When I aborted (killed) my child, I killed a little piece of me as well. Brothers and sisters, I don't want to sound as if the women should be punished. Believe me, they're going through their own personal hell. When I say, "lay down the Law of God' I mean that more education needs to take place instead of judgements and turning blind eyes. The Law of God is more than commandments. The Law of God is more than admonishing us sinners. The Law of God is the medicine all of us must partake of in the spiritual hospital called the Orthodox Church.
 As Christians, we have a responsibility to respond to this heinous practice with tough love. In America, we do this with our voice and our vote. As Christians, we tell people that we love them but that we cannot tolerate this practice. You cannot tell someone that you love them and remain silent when millions of babies are being slaughtered. Personally, I would like it if everyone liked me and thought well of me. But as long as abortion is legal, I'm going to be vocal about it and I don't give a flip if someone likes me or not because of my anti-abortion views. As long as the majority of people look at abortion as an alternative, I wonder how effective we're being?

 If Romania truly has a 70% abortion rate, then the Church has failed Romania. Period. What good are the priests? What good is any of the clergy? It's been almost 20 years since the fall of communism and the abortion rate is 70% Did you know that abortion was illegal during Ceausescu's time? And now it's 70%? 70%!!!Time to shape up, you fat roly-poly priests riding around in your nice cars on the way home to your big houses! These are priests who administer the blessed body and blood of our savior and they do nothing? I heard a Romanian priest in a documentary say about the orphans running wild in the streets "Oh well. They choose to live like that." Excommunicate that man! Run him into the Black Sea! He's the shepherd of souls and his attitude is as complacent as it can be! Throw them out! Romania must rid herself of these do nothing, rotten, no good posers!!!! An adult, much less a priest, has no right to make such a callous statement. Seriously people, for a country that's well over 90% Orthodox, a 70% abortion rate speaks volumes about the clergy and it ain't good news. I don't mean to offend anyone, but we gotta wake up here. This cannot become the norm.

Quote
First, I'm dissapointed by your sarcasm. Calling me names does little, if anything, in bringing me to your side of the topic. Not to mention that it goes against being a Christian.

Secondly, I made an educated observation and not a judgement. I have heard first hand, from Romanians, how the priests are corrupt. No doubt, not all priests are, and I realize that the communists 're-education' techniques were quite successful. But that was almost twenty years ago. AND, even during communist times in Romania, abortion was illegal. NOW, given those facts, I wonder what your take on the situation is? In a country that boasts of a 90% Orthodox and yet has a 70% abortion rate, that to me seems a bit contradicting, does it not? No, I can't tell the 'priests' how to shepherd their flocks, if that's what you call what they're doing. But the bishops can. At least they're supposed to. But at a 70% rate, someone's failing. And it's looking like it's the Church. I will obey the priests and bishops as long as it is prudent to do so and providing that they're giving me proper Christian education and counseling. Islamic clerics get blind obedience. We're not bound to follow a fool.

Quote
Excellent summation, Augustin717. I failed to take into consideration what should have been apparent. Yet, I still can't help but ponder the effectiveness of Romania's priests given what I've heard other Romanians say about them. We have excellent examples in Frs Roman Braga, Georgiu Calciu, Cleopa Ilie, etc...but from what I've been told, they're the exception and not the norm. 70% is higher than in America, and abortion is legal here. If the people are only following what their parents do, that's not genuine. If America, of all places, is sending priests to Romania to teach them Orhtodoxy, well, what else can I say but that the Church has failed in Romania.


Jibrahil,

These are perhaps the best posts you have ever posted. I agree with you 100%. I think that a good portion of the church in Romania has been failing the people all these years. I also like how you pointed out how communism fell nearly 20 years ago, yet things are not getting better. It is the bishops job to ordain MEN OF GOD as priests, and instruct these men on how to lead the faithful. The Bishops must also reprimand the corrupt clergy. If the US has to send priests over to Romania to teach people how to be Orthodox it is a serious indictment of the Romanian church! The country needs more Elder Cleopas.

I will reiterate again, there is no excuse for a 70% abortion rate in a country that is 90% Orthodox. The clergy must step up and instruct the faithful. It is the job of the clergy to continually educate the people in the faith. I can't tell you how many Romanian Orthodox I have met who barely know anything at all about the faith.

Someone on here pointed out how in evangelicalism, the people are committed because they make a decision to follow Christ while the Orthodox are just born into it. This has become a sad fact in many of the Orthodox countries. I'm sure communism played a part in this; however, I know the evangelical churches remained passionate about the faith under communism and afterwards, so I still rest the blame at the feet of the clergy for not educating the faithful. People must make a decision to follow Jesus whether they were born into it or not. Even though the evangelicals are hetrodox, many of their teachings are Orthodox. Making a decision to follow Jesus and taking personal responsibility for it is Orthodox.
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« Reply #68 on: August 13, 2007, 10:49:11 AM »

So easy to look at faults in another, isn't it?
Especially in churches which survived atheistic regimes...
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« Reply #69 on: August 13, 2007, 10:54:12 AM »

Quote
So easy to look at faults in another, isn't it?
Especially in churches which survived atheistic regimes...

Your analysis is too simplistic.

Why is it other Christian churches under the same regimes managed to curve this behavior yet the Orthodox haven't? The early church managed to survive oppressive governments yet remain faithful.
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« Reply #70 on: August 13, 2007, 10:55:06 AM »

Why is it other Christian churches under the same regimes managed to curve this behavior yet the Orthodox haven't?

Er, proof?
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« Reply #71 on: August 13, 2007, 10:59:07 AM »

Your analysis is too simplistic.

Why is it other Christian churches under the same regimes managed to curve this behavior yet the Orthodox haven't? The early church managed to survive oppressive governments yet remain faithful.

You malign the Church. THAT is simplistic. The Church's stance on abortion is clear - settled canon law.
"Other Christian churches"? Like which? Where? You assume that all Romanians obtaining abortions are Orthodox? On the basis of a WHO report, or what?
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« Reply #72 on: August 13, 2007, 11:05:57 AM »

The early church managed to survive oppressive governments yet remain faithful. 

Speaking of simplistic...

Um, the Early Church went from being a small semi-public ministry to an underground Church; its a bit different to go from a large, national and established church to an underground Church.  The early church was accustomed to persecution from the get-go (i.e. Christ); but that had been out of the consciousness for over 1000 years when the Turks or Commies came in.
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« Reply #73 on: August 13, 2007, 11:42:26 AM »

Quote
Speaking of simplistic...

Um, the Early Church went from being a small semi-public ministry to an underground Church; its a bit different to go from a large, national and established church to an underground Church. 

True, it may be more difficult;however, there is still no excuse for these numbers.

Quote
The early church was accustomed to persecution from the get-go (i.e. Christ); but that had been out of the consciousness for over 1000 years when the Turks or Commies came in.

The church maintained a level of holiness after the turks. Most women weren't having abortions after the turks took over (amongst other things). The point I was making is that the church is to remain holy after any persecution. The clergy are responsible for educating the people and reinforcing the church's teaching. This is clearly not going on in Romania. How can you argue with the blatant facts?

Quote
You malign the Church. THAT is simplistic. The Church's stance on abortion is clear - settled canon law.
"Other Christian churches"? Like which? Where? You assume that all Romanians obtaining abortions are Orthodox? On the basis of a WHO report, or what?

I do not malign the Church my dear sir. I love the church and I pray for the Romanian church on a daily basis. I am making an observation of the simple facts. I never said that "all Romanians obtaining abortions are orthodox". I will say the majority of them are Orthodox. From the article that I posted earlier, we know that Romania has a 70% abortion rate. We also know that Romania is nearly 90% Orthodox. Just do the math and you will see the majority of the people having abortions are Orthodox. I know that there are some who are atheist, protestant, etc... who have them. That goes without saying;however, if the church is to heal society, it must educate the people over and over again on its teachings. Protestants do a good job at educating. The Orthodox need to educate the faithful as well. At this point in time there is something seriously wrong in Romania.

As far as Romanian evangelicals go, I have been around lots of them over the years. My wife is Romanian and was raised an evangelical. I am a former evangelical.  As doctrinally off as I know they are, I know abortion is not tolerated and constantly preached against. I know that there are protestants who have abortions, but I think there are by far less of them having abortions than Orthodox.

Jibrahil made a good point, Romania has been communist free for nearly 20 years, yet the abortion rate is through the roof. The church has not been silenced any more. There is no persecution of the church in Romania. The clergy must preach with an evangelistic spirit. They must explain the basics of the faith over and over again until the masses get it.

I will say it again. My wife is Romanian, and I love the Romanian culture. My children are half Romanian, and my grandchildren will always have Romanian blood in them. Romania is dear to my heart. I love the spiritual elders of Romania and the people. This is why I am so passionate about the current predicament amongst the faithful in Romania (one of many problems). I know if the clergy step up and teach the people how to live the Christian life, there will be a big difference in Romania.

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« Reply #74 on: August 13, 2007, 12:00:14 PM »

Good for you and yours, OB
As I said, the figures may be suspect. But...
If I assert that every new Orthodox birth there represents a success to the credit of the Church, that assertion would be as valid as yours debiting the Church for each abortion.
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« Reply #75 on: August 13, 2007, 12:16:27 PM »

Quote
Good for you and yours, OB
As I said, the figures may be suspect. But...
If I assert that every new Orthodox birth there represents a success to the credit of the Church, that assertion would be as valid as yours debiting the Church for each abortion.

I think you misunderstand what I'm saying. I don't hold the church 100% responsible for each abortion. It is one factor amongst many. Poverty is another reason which someone else brought up. There are other reasons which I will not get into now. My issue with the church is that it could make a BIG difference if it were to step up (there are other issues which I think the Romanian church is not stepping up on, but that might be for another thread). There are other things which must happen as well politically and economically.

I think many on this board give the church a free pass and simply wont acknowledge the church can and should do more (especially the clergy) in Romania and other places. Can't we all agree more could be done?
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« Reply #76 on: August 13, 2007, 12:19:18 PM »

My issue with the church is that it could make a BIG difference if it were to step up (there are other issues which I think the Romanian church is not stepping up on, but that might be for another thread). There are other things which must happen as well politically and economically.

I think many on this board give the church a free pass and simply wont acknowledge the church can and should do more (especially the clergy) in Romania and other places. Can't we all agree more could be done? 

Amen.  I don't want to lay too much blame for the current situation at the Church's feet (which is probably where I was misinterpreting your intentions), but they could do more and better work (hence, why IOCC and OCMC send people and $$ to the country).  Their salvation depends on it.
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« Reply #77 on: August 13, 2007, 01:36:24 PM »

I can either openly abandon the faith or my Metropolitan can excommunicate me, to this date, as far as I know, neither has taken place...if you have a problem with that, I suggest that you take it up with my Metropolitan, Gerasimos of San Francisco, because I doubt you'll get too far with me Wink
Practically speaking, I believe you've actually excommunicated yourself by not attending church and not Communing.  It shouldn't really matter if +GERASIMOS doesn't actually do it formally.
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« Reply #78 on: August 13, 2007, 05:44:24 PM »

However,
Once you get to know the Romanian Church first-hand-as I do, having spent most of my life there-and not merely from figures, things become more nuanced and the predictions less alarming.
And abortions, btw , happened even before Communism, with the methods available back then.
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« Reply #79 on: August 13, 2007, 08:14:36 PM »

Practically speaking, I believe you've actually excommunicated yourself by not attending church and not Communing.  It shouldn't really matter if +GERASIMOS doesn't actually do it formally.

First of all, we don't have latae sententiae excommunications in the Orthodox Church, we only have the formal ferendae sententiae excommunications. Secondly, I doubt the argument would hold up in a canonical court, the relevant canon is as follows (From VI 80):

'In case any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, or anyone else on the list of the Clergy, or any layman, without any graver necessity or any particular difficulty compelling him to absent himself from his own church for a very long time, fails to attend church on Sundays for three consecutive weeks, while living in the city, if he be a Cleric, let him be deposed from office; but if he be a layman, let him be removed from Communion.'

Now there are two historic interpretations of this, one that it refers only to those who live in 'the city' of Constatinople, under this interpretation it doesn't apply to me. The other interpretation is that it applies to one in their home city, whatever that city may be, well in my home city the liturgy has not been celebrated for three consecutive weeks by a priest commissioned to do so by my Metropolitans, which would make the canon moot in this instance. So if you believe you have a case, by all means, take it up with my Metropolitan; though I suspect that I'd prevail, were it to, by some small chance, be brought before a canonical tribunal.
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« Reply #80 on: August 13, 2007, 09:44:16 PM »

First of all, we don't have latae sententiae excommunications in the Orthodox Church, we only have the formal ferendae sententiae excommunications. Secondly, I doubt the argument would hold up in a canonical court, the relevant canon is as follows (From VI 80):

'In case any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, or anyone else on the list of the Clergy, or any layman, without any graver necessity or any particular difficulty compelling him to absent himself from his own church for a very long time, fails to attend church on Sundays for three consecutive weeks, while living in the city, if he be a Cleric, let him be deposed from office; but if he be a layman, let him be removed from Communion.'

Now there are two historic interpretations of this, one that it refers only to those who live in 'the city' of Constatinople, under this interpretation it doesn't apply to me. The other interpretation is that it applies to one in their home city, whatever that city may be, well in my home city the liturgy has not been celebrated for three consecutive weeks by a priest commissioned to do so by my Metropolitans, which would make the canon moot in this instance. So if you believe you have a case, by all means, take it up with my Metropolitan; though I suspect that I'd prevail, were it to, by some small chance, be brought before a canonical tribunal.

:yawn:
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« Reply #81 on: August 13, 2007, 10:40:55 PM »

:yawn:

You're the one who decided to engage in a canonical argument with me Wink
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« Reply #82 on: August 13, 2007, 10:45:27 PM »

You're the one who decided to engage in a canonical argument with me Wink

Well, I enjoyed the lesson...
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« Reply #83 on: August 13, 2007, 11:36:12 PM »

You're the one who decided to engage in a canonical argument with me Wink

Actually, I didn't...but as always, it didn't stop you from doing it.
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« Reply #84 on: August 14, 2007, 12:56:42 AM »

First of all, we don't have latae sententiae excommunications in the Orthodox Church, we only have the formal ferendae sententiae excommunications. Secondly, I doubt the argument would hold up in a canonical court, the relevant canon is as follows (From VI 80):

'In case any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, or anyone else on the list of the Clergy, or any layman, without any graver necessity or any particular difficulty compelling him to absent himself from his own church for a very long time, fails to attend church on Sundays for three consecutive weeks, while living in the city, if he be a Cleric, let him be deposed from office; but if he be a layman, let him be removed from Communion.'

Now there are two historic interpretations of this, one that it refers only to those who live in 'the city' of Constatinople, under this interpretation it doesn't apply to me. The other interpretation is that it applies to one in their home city, whatever that city may be, well in my home city the liturgy has not been celebrated for three consecutive weeks by a priest commissioned to do so by my Metropolitans, which would make the canon moot in this instance. So if you believe you have a case, by all means, take it up with my Metropolitan; though I suspect that I'd prevail, were it to, by some small chance, be brought before a canonical tribunal.

Ha ha ha.  You went for the broad-scope meaning while missing what he literally said: if you've been skipping liturgy, it means you've been missing communion, which means you've separated yourself from the Church by excommunication.  Lol.
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« Reply #85 on: August 14, 2007, 03:56:31 AM »

^^LOL....Well if he just makes it to a few greek festivels a year, that should make him Orthodox enough.. Grin
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« Reply #86 on: August 14, 2007, 08:18:41 AM »

"greek festivals"? In Pittsburgh it's the season of the holupkis versus the gyros...  Wink
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« Reply #87 on: August 14, 2007, 11:41:42 AM »

^^LOL....Well if he just makes it to a few greek festivels a year, that should make him Orthodox enough.. Grin

He's going to have to get in the car and DRIVE though...he's at least 150 miles from the nearest one.
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« Reply #88 on: August 14, 2007, 10:36:56 PM »

Ha ha ha.  You went for the broad-scope meaning while missing what he literally said: if you've been skipping liturgy, it means you've been missing communion, which means you've separated yourself from the Church by excommunication.  Lol.

Actually, the literal meaning is to make priests, who are being paid by the Church, go to Church...the laity were thrown in as an after thought for the case of consistancy. Most the ancient commentaries focus on the importance of the Bishop making it at least once every three weeks.

Plus, would you expect anything less from a student of Dr. Patsavos?
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« Reply #89 on: August 15, 2007, 05:58:23 PM »

However,
Once you get to know the Romanian Church first-hand-as I do, having spent most of my life there-and not merely from figures, things become more nuanced and the predictions less alarming.
And abortions, btw , happened even before Communism, with the methods available back then.
Yes, I'm sure abortions did take place before Communism. Yet, with Communism 20yrs gone, there's more freedoms in Romania. Freedom to go against one's religion to be sure, but also more freedom for the Church to teach openly.
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« Reply #90 on: August 15, 2007, 08:18:21 PM »

Quote
Yes, I'm sure abortions did take place before Communism. Yet, with Communism 20yrs gone, there's more freedoms in Romania. Freedom to go against one's religion to be sure, but also more freedom for the Church to teach openly.


Preach it brotha!
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« Reply #91 on: August 15, 2007, 09:17:43 PM »

In 15 or so years you expect to fix 2 1/2 generations worth of communist influence.
Ah, the impatience of youth...
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« Reply #92 on: August 15, 2007, 09:25:51 PM »

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In 15 or so years you expect to fix 2 1/2 generations worth of communist influence.
Ah, the impatience of youth...

I at least expect some change. We can start with decreasing a 70% abortion rate.

What do you think the church should do? Just sit on their hands and do nothing? Roll Eyes
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« Reply #93 on: August 15, 2007, 09:33:16 PM »

DID I SAY THAT?
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« Reply #94 on: August 15, 2007, 09:36:38 PM »

Quote
DID I SAY THAT?

So do you at least agree there is more the Romanian church should and could do regarding the high abortion rate? Do you think there should be at least some results after nearly 20 years of the downfall of communism?  Huh
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« Reply #95 on: August 15, 2007, 09:47:39 PM »

So do you at least agree there is more the Romanian church should and could do regarding the high abortion rate? Do you think there should be at least some results after nearly 20 years of the downfall of communism?  Huh
Not in the way you seem to think.
It seems many look to the Church as an institutional font of correction, expecting bishops and priests and deacons to 'fix' the problem. What many seem to miss is that together WE are the Church as well. Pounding on a keyboard harping on what is not being done (allegedly) is a real cop out. It's not just the problem of the Romanian Church, but our problem.
When someone points out that priests are being sent from here to the old country to help in the recovery, I see criticism that the Church has failed.
I don't know about you, but I take that failure personally.
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« Reply #96 on: August 15, 2007, 11:00:02 PM »

So do you at least agree there is more the Romanian church should and could do regarding the high abortion rate? Do you think there should be at least some results after nearly 20 years of the downfall of communism?  Huh

Hi OB,

Perhaps the reason the Orthodox church in Romania has little effect on the abortion rate is because most young Romanians do not attend church. If someone is Orthodox in name only and does not attend church then they will never learn that abortion is a sin. Fr. Aris heads over there to help teach the Romanian clergy how to develop youth programs using methods that have worked here.
But from what I understand the Romanians have many other problems at this time. One of our Antiochian priests was going to go over on another OCMC mission trip to help start an alcholism program for Orthodox clergy in that country but he was then reassigned to a larger parish and could not fulfill the mission.
See the abortion issue is probably a symptom of many other problems the country is having as a whole. Romanians are very intelligent people. Once they are able to pull their economy out of the doldrums and improve their health care system then we may start seeing those abortion numbers drop. I wasn't joking about helping them, I was being very serious. My parish supported the missionaries who worked in that country. The missionaries established an orphanage and then taught the Romanians how to sustain it. We continue to send money to the orphanage and to our missionaries in that country. Maybe the work of Fr. Aris can be expanded on if others who care about Romania get involved and start helping them.
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« Reply #97 on: August 15, 2007, 11:16:16 PM »

Quote
Not in the way you seem to think.
It seems many look to the Church as an institutional font of correction, expecting bishops and priests and deacons to 'fix' the problem. What many seem to miss is that together WE are the Church as well. Pounding on a keyboard harping on what is not being done (allegedly) is a real cop out. It's not just the problem of the Romanian Church, but our problem.
When someone points out that priests are being sent from here to the old country to help in the recovery, I see criticism that the Church has failed.
I don't know about you, but I take that failure personally.

We are the church, but the clergy are the shepherds. The clergy have a greater responsibility than the laity do. The clergy teach and instruct people in the Way. That is their job. When there is a 70% abortion rate in a country that is 90% Orthodox, then the clergy need to do more. The clergy in Romania have direct contact on a daily basis with the people of Romania. Most people in the U.S, Canada, India, Greece, Australia, etc... do not. The Romanian clergy are the ones who are to primarily instruct the faithful. Yes we are all mystically connected and have a responsibility towards one another. This does not mean, however, the church gets a pass when it is lacking during such a crisis. 

I will also repeat again what i said in one of my prior posts, the high abortion rate is not entirely the church's fault. There are many socio-economic factors at play;however, the church could make a BIG difference if it were to step up on this issue. The church needs to educate, educate, educate the faithful constantly.

I ask you again, do you think the church needs to step up on this issue? What do you think the church should do?
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« Reply #98 on: August 15, 2007, 11:54:42 PM »

It seems many look to the Church as an institutional font of correction,
It is that, but so much more. I look at it as a hospital where the 'doctors' should be making house calls. In America, 'house calls' probably wouldn't work. Door to door evangelism is not regarded too kindly here. But in a country that practically began as Orthodox, I would think that door to door visits would be looked on quite favorably. It would at least convey that the clergy really cares. I'm not suggesting that they don't because I know better. But how great would it make you feel if your priest came by just to say howdy?

Pounding on a keyboard harping on what is not being done (allegedly) is a real cop out. It's not just the problem of the Romanian Church, but our problem.
When someone points out that priests are being sent from here to the old country to help in the recovery, I see criticism that the Church has failed.
Making an observation based on factual information and then talking about it is not a cop out. There must be an impetus to act *before* one will act. If you don't know I'm hungry, you won't know to offer me food, right? I didn't realize that abortion rates in Romania were sky high. Now that I do, I'd like to offer whatever assistance I can. But in the process, I would like to know not only why it's so high, but what my Church is doing as well. I don't think anyone said the worldwide Orthodox Church has failed Romania, but the Church in Romania is failing. To say so is not an indictment against the Church. It's simply stating a fact. Now, as many have pointed out, there are many reasons as to WHY this is so, but that doesn't change the fact that it is so. A business with a 70% failure rate will fold before the 3rd quarter rolls around. Maybe some will care, but most will not. In this instance two things are at stake. 1st, the hundreds of precious children and their parents' salvation. 2nd, IF this situation were to continue as 'business as usual', it'll only become worse and the Church in Romania will have an even bigger problem. Which means WE will have an even bigger problem.
 

I don't know about you, but I take that failure personally.
Brother Aristokles, to say that there is room for improvement shouldn't be taken offensively.
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« Reply #99 on: August 15, 2007, 11:56:38 PM »

Hi OB,

Perhaps the reason the Orthodox church in Romania has little effect on the abortion rate is because most young Romanians do not attend church. If someone is Orthodox in name only and does not attend church then they will never learn that abortion is a sin. Fr. Aris heads over there to help teach the Romanian clergy how to develop youth programs using methods that have worked here.
But from what I understand the Romanians have many other problems at this time. One of our Antiochian priests was going to go over on another OCMC mission trip to help start an alcholism program for Orthodox clergy in that country but he was then reassigned to a larger parish and could not fulfill the mission.
See the abortion issue is probably a symptom of many other problems the country is having as a whole. Romanians are very intelligent people. Once they are able to pull their economy out of the doldrums and improve their health care system then we may start seeing those abortion numbers drop. I wasn't joking about helping them, I was being very serious. My parish supported the missionaries who worked in that country. The missionaries established an orphanage and then taught the Romanians how to sustain it. We continue to send money to the orphanage and to our missionaries in that country. Maybe the work of Fr. Aris can be expanded on if others who care about Romania get involved and start helping them.
Tamara,

 Thank you for giving us info on Fr. Aris and his mission. I will be contacting him asap and I urge all of you to do what you can.
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« Reply #100 on: August 16, 2007, 12:01:40 AM »

It is not the role of the church to be a lobbying group for social conservatism. Perhaps the Church has not addressed this issue because it is not viewed as significant, perhaps the Church finds it more important to try and reinforce connections between the Church and the faithful than drive them away by forcing a political ideology upon them.

The main criticism I see here seems to be that the Church of Romania has different priorities than some posters on this board. If one wishes to go to Romania and preach the gospel of social conservatism, they are free to do so, but perhaps we should yield to the Bishops and Priests of Romania when determining the proper role of the Church in that country.
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« Reply #101 on: August 16, 2007, 12:28:29 AM »

It is not the role of the church to be a lobbying group for social conservatism.
I have no idea what you're talking about, brother. Saving lives isn't mere social conservatism.


Perhaps the Church has not addressed this issue because it is not viewed as significant, perhaps the Church finds it more important to try and reinforce connections between the Church and the faithful than drive them away by forcing a political ideology upon them.
Perhaps you're correct. I don't think anyone has criticized the methods used to address this problem (and be sure that it is a problem), per se. However the Church wishes to address the issue, I will support and submit to their wisdom. But I don't think it wrong for anyone to question *why* there is a 70% abortion rate in a relatively small country with a very high percentage of Orthodox Christians. Wanting answers is no crime. And again, brother, I agree that forcing people to do anything is not the Orthodox way, but I don't see how preventing abortion is political ideology. I would argue that the majority of Christians, at least Orthodox Christians, wouldn't see that as belonging to any particular political ideology either.


The main criticism I see here seems to be that the Church of Romania has different priorities than some posters on this board. If one wishes to go to Romania and preach the gospel of social conservatism, they are free to do so, but perhaps we should yield to the Bishops and Priests of Romania when determining the proper role of the Church in that country.
Maybe we should yield to the Bishops and Priests, but their titles do not necessarily warrant a free pass. Because the Romanian clergy are welcoming and inviting American clergy to help them address many issues, this tells me that my concerns are their concerns as well. Again, I'm thinking of the Priest who said about the street orphans that "they choose to live that way." I'm positive that this is not representative of all Romanian clergy, but a few bad apples can spoil a pretty big barrel.
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« Reply #102 on: August 16, 2007, 12:33:09 AM »

Quote
It is not the role of the church to be a lobbying group for social conservatism. Perhaps the Church has not addressed this issue because it is not viewed as significant, perhaps the Church finds it more important to try and reinforce connections between the Church and the faithful than drive them away by forcing a political ideology upon them.

The main criticism I see here seems to be that the Church of Romania has different priorities than some posters on this board. If one wishes to go to Romania and preach the gospel of social conservatism, they are free to do so, but perhaps we should yield to the Bishops and Priests of Romania when determining the proper role of the Church in that country.

And this piece of advise comes from a guy who wants the church to "provide condoms free of charge". Sorry bro, but your moral arguments don't bear weight with me.
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« Reply #103 on: August 16, 2007, 12:38:50 AM »

Quote
Maybe we should yield to the Bishops and Priests, but their titles do not necessarily warrant a free pass. Because the Romanian clergy are welcoming and inviting American clergy to help them address many issues, this tells me that my concerns are their concerns as well. Again, I'm thinking of the Priest who said about the street orphans that "they choose to live that way." I'm positive that this is not representative of all Romanian clergy, but a few bad apples can spoil a pretty big barrel.


Excellent point Jibrahil. Keep preachin' brotha Gabe!
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« Reply #104 on: August 16, 2007, 12:40:26 AM »

And this piece of advise comes from a guy who wants the church to "provide condoms free of charge". Sorry bro, but your moral arguments don't bear weight with me.

I believe it has been well established that we have different concepts of morality, but the point of my post wasn't to convert you to my way of thinking (I've been a rather radical social conservative before, I know very well that nothing I could possible say would convert one devoted to such an ideology). Rather, my intention was simply to argue that the Church does not inherently have a responsibility to act as the political force many here seem to believe she should be. Perhaps the clergy in Romania have different priorities that effecting social change and, quite frankly, we here in a country never ravaged by communism are hardly in a position to criticize their pastoral priorities and the manner in which they choose to preach to the faithful.
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« Reply #105 on: August 16, 2007, 12:45:46 AM »

I have no idea what you're talking about, brother. Saving lives isn't mere social conservatism.

This is a discussion for the politics section, so I will leave it for the time being

Quote
Perhaps you're correct. I don't think anyone has criticized the methods used to address this problem (and be sure that it is a problem), per se. However the Church wishes to address the issue, I will support and submit to their wisdom. But I don't think it wrong for anyone to question *why* there is a 70% abortion rate in a relatively small country with a very high percentage of Orthodox Christians. Wanting answers is no crime. And again, brother, I agree that forcing people to do anything is not the Orthodox way, but I don't see how preventing abortion is political ideology. I would argue that the majority of Christians, at least Orthodox Christians, wouldn't see that as belonging to any particular political ideology either.

You assume that the abortion rate is a problem, I disagree, I believe it is a symptom of greater problems such as poverty and the lack of contraceptives.

Quote
Maybe we should yield to the Bishops and Priests, but their titles do not necessarily warrant a free pass. Because the Romanian clergy are welcoming and inviting American clergy to help them address many issues, this tells me that my concerns are their concerns as well. Again, I'm thinking of the Priest who said about the street orphans that "they choose to live that way." I'm positive that this is not representative of all Romanian clergy, but a few bad apples can spoil a pretty big barrel.

Perhaps some in Romania may share your concerns, but this does not mean that they share an understanding of the role of the Church in this matter or share pastoral priorities.
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« Reply #106 on: August 16, 2007, 12:58:47 AM »

my intention was simply to argue that the Church does not inherently have a responsibility to act as the political force many here seem to believe she should be.
Two things, brother. 1) Preventing abortions (killing babies) is NOT a political objective. It is a moral objective. All Orthodox Christians should be on board with this. We, Orthodox Christians, have not only an imperative to do so, we have a command from our savior to do so. I back this up with the fact that we, Orthodox Christians, have an organization (of whose name just now escapes me) formed to combat this crime against humanity. 2) I'm surprised that a 70% mortality rate due to aborted babies seems to hardly raise many of y'alls eyebrows. "But the Church suffered under Communism for a really long time!" Yes, we know. We've all read the accounts. And while I would be a fool to discount that part of their history, that doesn't excuse anyone now. Obstacles suck, but they also provide us with greater wisdom and a stronger will to succeed. And you know what? This is way more than just an Orthodox problem. Here in the Good Ol' Morally Bankrupt U S of A, even WE don't have that big of a percentage rate!
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« Reply #107 on: August 16, 2007, 01:02:51 AM »

Considering that Romania can be called no longer a truly Orthodox nation--sure, 90% of the population claims to be Orthodox, but this in itself does not make a nation truly Orthodox; Orthodox faith and praxis, not ethnicity, is what makes one truly Orthodox--how much can the Church really be an agent for developing government policy and driving societal change?  Forgive the cliché, though I think it applies here: you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.
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« Reply #108 on: August 16, 2007, 01:06:14 AM »

You assume that the abortion rate is a problem, I disagree, I believe it is a symptom of greater problems such as poverty and the lack of contraceptives.
Orthodox Christians *know* that any abortion rate is a problem regardless of *why* or *how* it came about. Lack of a Christian education, not money, is the *why* here. A nation of un-educated clergy is the *how*.
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« Reply #109 on: August 16, 2007, 01:10:18 AM »

Two things, brother. 1) Preventing abortions (killing babies) is NOT a political objective. It is a moral objective. All Orthodox Christians should be on board with this. We, Orthodox Christians, have not only an imperative to do so, we have a command from our savior to do so. I back this up with the fact that we, Orthodox Christians, have an organization (of whose name just now escapes me) formed to combat this crime against humanity.

That's a matter of opinion, but for me to expand too much on this point would require me to delve into the politics of the issue and this is the wrong forum.

Quote
2) I'm surprised that a 70% mortality rate due to aborted babies seems to hardly raise many of y'alls eyebrows. "But the Church suffered under Communism for a really long time!" Yes, we know. We've all read the accounts. And while I would be a fool to discount that part of their history, that doesn't excuse anyone now. Obstacles suck, but they also provide us with greater wisdom and a stronger will to succeed. And you know what? This is way more than just an Orthodox problem. Here in the Good Ol' Morally Bankrupt U S of A, even WE don't have that big of a percentage rate!

The US is wealthier and has wider birth control use, it's not really all that surprising. My point is, however, that this point is relatively insignificant to the Church, that it's primarially a political issue that the Church should stay out of. The only reason the abortion rate bothers be is because I understand it as a symptom of poverty and lack of sexual education.

Orthodox Christians *know* that any abortion rate is a problem regardless of *why* or *how* it came about. Lack of a Christian education, not money, is the *why* here. A nation of un-educated clergy is the *how*.

The problem is poverty and a lack of sexual education, not abortion; and while some clergy may be uneducated, at least they understand this point and know better than to attack the symptoms while ignoring the cause.
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« Reply #110 on: August 16, 2007, 01:16:04 AM »

Considering that Romania can be called no longer a truly Orthodox nation--sure, 90% of the population claims to be Orthodox, but this in itself does not make a nation truly Orthodox; Orthodox faith and praxis, not ethnicity, is what makes one truly Orthodox--how much can the Church really be an agent for developing government policy and driving societal change?  Forgive the cliché, though I think it applies here: you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.
I wonder if what is truly most necessary right now is that the Romanian people be re-Christianized via the evangelistic process that brought Romania to Orthodoxy centuries ago before we can have any hope of curbing the atrociously high abortion rate.  Yes, I mourn the 70% abortion rate in Romania, but I don't see this as a fundamental problem.  Rather, I see this abortion rate as symptomatic of even deeper problems, such as the lack of a genuine Christian faith and praxis.  We have to first rekindle our love for God and our love for neighbor, together with the reverence for human life that this inevitably builds, before we can even talk about combating a 70% abortion rate.


Like GiC, I agree that the abortion rate in and of itself is not the underlying problem, but rather the symptom and consequence of something deeper.  Unlike GiC, I have a different idea of what that foundational problem really is.
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« Reply #111 on: August 16, 2007, 01:19:20 AM »

^Look, maybe we're saying the same things here. Maybe it's a matter of symantics. Because I don't want this thread to be shuffled over to the politics board, I'll just say this: Any percentage rate of babies being aborted is too high. There are many reasons as to *why* abortion is around and tolerated. But preventing it is one of the many jobs of the Christian clergy and laity.
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« Reply #112 on: August 16, 2007, 01:27:33 AM »

^Look, maybe we're saying the same things here. Maybe it's a matter of symantics. Because I don't want this thread to be shuffled over to the politics board, I'll just say this: Any percentage rate of babies being aborted is too high. There are many reasons as to *why* abortion is around and tolerated. But preventing it is one of the many jobs of the Christian clergy and laity.
This is kinda like taking out a blackberry patch, though.  If you cut each blackberry vine down to the ground (i.e., attack the abortion problem directly) without pulling the vine out by its roots (i.e., re-Christianize Romania with the basics of the Gospel), the vine will only grow back.  To be most successful at clearing the blackberry patch, you have to attack each vine at the roots--this often requires great effort to dig under the vine (not to mention a good pair of thick leather gloves to protect your hands from the blackberry's many thorns--just watch out for the yellow-jacket nest. Shocked).
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« Reply #113 on: August 16, 2007, 03:34:17 AM »

Ole' Nacho gets back from tending bar and look at the mess he finds here....... Grin To lighten things up a bit I just wanted to inform everyone of something very important:

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« Reply #114 on: August 16, 2007, 08:00:06 AM »

You might be pleased to know that the number of abortions is dropping:
http://www.primulpas.ro.org/avortul/statistici.html

The statistics that you got had numbers from the beggining of the 90's when there was a an abortion boom.
The reasons behind these numbers where the facts that during the communist era, Ceausescu thought "the more, the marryier", so outlawed abortions; and the one that you couldn't find contraceptives. Only in the mid 90's condoms could be found on a large scale in Romania. As a result many women died because of complications from illegal abortions. The government after 1990 considered it inhumane so the abortions were legal again. They probably considered a better approach to kill the babies rather than to kill the mothers...
Of course, abortions are still a major problem.
A very good (Romanian) article can be found here:
http://www.hotnews.ro/articol_17511-Un-sfert-de-milion-de-avorturi-pe-an.htm

But I didn't want to post because of that. I wanted to post because some started to throw stones at the Romanian Orthodox Church.
You have no right to accuse the Orthodox Church for the abortions.
The stance on the abortions can be found right on the official site of the Romanian Patriarchate:
http://www.patriarhia.ro/Site/Comisii/bioetica.html

There are a number of Orthodox organisations that deal with abortions:
http://www.sfintii-arhangheli.ro/

There are many reasons for such a big number of abortions:
-poverty: no money for contraceptives; ignorance because of no access to information, etc.
-lack of Christian life. Now, at a first glance, some may consider that this is the the fault of the church.
The fault of the church is the lack of cathehesis. But, even those who are Orthodox, but don't know much of the faith, know it's a sin. They are either atheists who come from former communist families or Orthodox who know that what they do it's a sin, but they still do it. So what can the Church do? Of course, there is always room for improvement. Maybe a more direct aproach would help. But to say that the Romanian Orthodox Church has failed her people because of this is too much.
-western propaganda. I'm reffering to the whole emphasis on SEX that came from the western world after 1990 (and especially from US). Now you can see on TV (at hours that are accessible for children) shows that treat (for example) the relationship between stress and women's sex life. 99% of the movies have at least a sexual scene in it. The teen magazines write about how normal masturbation is. Playboy, Penthouse and simmilar magazines exacerbate the imagination of men. The highschool teen consider nowadays that if you are a virgin at 16, then you are a looser. Sex is considered a basic need, just like food.
Now, if this came in the 1930's, it would have been a different story. But exposed to it right after 50 years of atheist propaganda.... And please, don't compare the situation in Poland and Czech Republic to that in Romania and Russia. The communist regime there wasn't that harsh.
As a distinction, the "sexual revolution" didn't occur yet in Russia (or not at a such a large scale) because they were completely against Americans and all that came from them.

I'm not implying that Americans are bad. Most of the ones I know are very nice people. But, unfortunately, the good parts came along with the bad parts. And evil travels faster.

A good Christian life would protect us from all of these. But that is hard to accomplish. Even in 20 years. Not when Christianity is old fashioned. Now it's the "live life to the extreme" trend. When they see an Orthodox service on TV, they change the channel. But when the spicy aspects of the sexual life of some "celebrity" is on TV, they turn the volume up.

So, instead of throwing stones, maybe you should pray for us, the sinners.

Forgive me.
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« Reply #115 on: August 16, 2007, 08:10:51 AM »

I'd like to add the list of attacks that recenly occured against the Romanian Orthodox Church:

- the petition for removing the icons from the classrooms because they are "offensive"
- the petition for removing the prayer "Our Father" from the broadcast of the national radio station because they don't promote "equality between religions"

They will choose a new Patriarch instead of the reposed Patriarch Teoctist. One of the most important candidates is a well known ecumenicist and many of the voters are masons.

So, please pray for our church.
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« Reply #116 on: August 16, 2007, 08:35:01 AM »

Thanks for your Reply post #115 above. As I suspected, the data being argued here was dated. But I'm sure the opposition here will not agree that the Church isn't failing, or that it is improving the situation - that would be unthinkable: to get off the soapbox, drop the stones, and do something to help. Hah! Silly me...
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« Reply #117 on: August 16, 2007, 08:51:19 AM »

Brother Aristokles, to say that there is room for improvement shouldn't be taken offensively.

I think you misunderstand a poorly worded sentence. I am not offended, or take this as effrontery, but I do admit that I am personally responsible and called to action, and that not merely being to berate bishops for not doing their "job".
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« Reply #118 on: August 16, 2007, 09:05:11 AM »

Orthodox Christians *know* that any abortion rate is a problem regardless of *why* or *how* it came about. Lack of a Christian education, not money, is the *why* here. A nation of un-educated clergy is the *how*.
And how we interpret data is also an issue. To say that Romania has uneducated clergy based on Romania's abortion rate is ludicrous.
The homicide rate per 100,000 persons is twice as high in the US as it is in Romania- does that reflect on the education level of the clergy in the US?
( Source: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_percap-crime-murders-per-capita )
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« Reply #119 on: August 16, 2007, 09:14:45 AM »

Perhaps not a reflection on the 'level" of education, ozgeorge, but certainly the 'content' of what is being taught. Do we really know all the factors the Church in Romania is facing in recovery?
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« Reply #120 on: August 16, 2007, 05:24:30 PM »

Quote
Two things, brother. 1) Preventing abortions (killing babies) is NOT a political objective. It is a moral objective. All Orthodox Christians should be on board with this. We, Orthodox Christians, have not only an imperative to do so, we have a command from our savior to do so. I back this up with the fact that we, Orthodox Christians, have an organization (of whose name just now escapes me) formed to combat this crime against humanity. 2) I'm surprised that a 70% mortality rate due to aborted babies seems to hardly raise many of y'alls eyebrows. "But the Church suffered under Communism for a really long time!" Yes, we know. We've all read the accounts. And while I would be a fool to discount that part of their history, that doesn't excuse anyone now. Obstacles suck, but they also provide us with greater wisdom and a stronger will to succeed. And you know what? This is way more than just an Orthodox problem. Here in the Good Ol' Morally Bankrupt U S of A, even WE don't have that big of a percentage rate!

Jibrahil,

You make another excellent point as usual.
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« Reply #121 on: August 16, 2007, 05:41:39 PM »

Every abortion happens to a real live woman.  It's not something that is done for a lark.

Here is a question to keep in the forefront: 

Why is an individual woman having this done?  What are the circumstances in her life? 

May I recommend a book:  "Real Choices" by Frederica Mathewes-Green.  She talked to women who had had abortions, and let them speak on their own.

There are the babies AND the mothers/women.

Ebor
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« Reply #122 on: August 16, 2007, 05:41:52 PM »

To all of my Romanian brothers and sisters-
 I sincerely apologize to each and everyone of you if my words hurt or offended you. That was never my intentions. I realize that my statements were probably overly simplistic in their outlook and criticisms, and I also realize that it may have seemed as if I was picking on Romania (throwing stones as some of you interpreted it).  
 I know many Romanians and am even dating a girl from Romania. I enjoy studying about Romania and am trying to learn the language. But all this in no way implies that I'm anywhere near an expert on Romania or the Church in Romania. But, by the same token, this doesn't mean that I shouldn't keep silent when I read something disturbing. And it doesn't mean that I cannot give constructive criticism. I am not on some soapbox yelling at Romania's clergy to uphold me as an example. Far from it. I simply stated that Romania's clergy, if in fact the figures presented are correct, can do a far better job. I did not say that they aren't trying. I did not say that they don't care. As Orthodox Christians, regardless of what country we live in, we have a right to expect our priests and bishops are doing their utmost for their flock. Being vested doesn't get you a free pass. That means that you, as Romanians, have a right to demand the same from American clergy.
 Again, I deeply regret having hurt any of you for my poorly chosen words. I pray that you can accept my apologies.

 In Christ,
 Gabriel  
 
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« Reply #123 on: August 16, 2007, 05:55:13 PM »

Quote
You might be pleased to know that the number of abortions is dropping:
http://www.primulpas.ro.org/avortul/statistici.html

The statistics that you got had numbers from the beggining of the 90's when there was a an abortion boom.
The reasons behind these numbers where the facts that during the communist era, Ceausescu thought "the more, the marryier", so outlawed abortions; and the one that you couldn't find contraceptives. Only in the mid 90's condoms could be found on a large scale in Romania. As a result many women died because of complications from illegal abortions. The government after 1990 considered it inhumane so the abortions were legal again. They probably considered a better approach to kill the babies rather than to kill the mothers...
Of course, abortions are still a major problem.
A very good (Romanian) article can be found here:
http://www.hotnews.ro/articol_17511-Un-sfert-de-milion-de-avorturi-pe-an.htm

But I didn't want to post because of that. I wanted to post because some started to throw stones at the Romanian Orthodox Church.
You have no right to accuse the Orthodox Church for the abortions.
The stance on the abortions can be found right on the official site of the Romanian Patriarchate:
http://www.patriarhia.ro/Site/Comisii/bioetica.html

There are a number of Orthodox organisations that deal with abortions:
http://www.sfintii-arhangheli.ro/

There are many reasons for such a big number of abortions:
-poverty: no money for contraceptives; ignorance because of no access to information, etc.
-lack of Christian life. Now, at a first glance, some may consider that this is the the fault of the church.
The fault of the church is the lack of cathehesis. But, even those who are Orthodox, but don't know much of the faith, know it's a sin. They are either atheists who come from former communist families or Orthodox who know that what they do it's a sin, but they still do it. So what can the Church do? Of course, there is always room for improvement. Maybe a more direct aproach would help. But to say that the Romanian Orthodox Church has failed her people because of this is too much.
-western propaganda. I'm reffering to the whole emphasis on SEX that came from the western world after 1990 (and especially from US). Now you can see on TV (at hours that are accessible for children) shows that treat (for example) the relationship between stress and women's sex life. 99% of the movies have at least a sexual scene in it. The teen magazines write about how normal masturbation is. Playboy, Penthouse and simmilar magazines exacerbate the imagination of men. The highschool teen consider nowadays that if you are a virgin at 16, then you are a looser. Sex is considered a basic need, just like food.
Now, if this came in the 1930's, it would have been a different story. But exposed to it right after 50 years of atheist propaganda.... And please, don't compare the situation in Poland and Czech Republic to that in Romania and Russia. The communist regime there wasn't that harsh.
As a distinction, the "sexual revolution" didn't occur yet in Russia (or not at a such a large scale) because they were completely against Americans and all that came from them.

I'm not implying that Americans are bad. Most of the ones I know are very nice people. But, unfortunately, the good parts came along with the bad parts. And evil travels faster.

A good Christian life would protect us from all of these. But that is hard to accomplish. Even in 20 years. Not when Christianity is old fashioned. Now it's the "live life to the extreme" trend. When they see an Orthodox service on TV, they change the channel. But when the spicy aspects of the sexual life of some "celebrity" is on TV, they turn the volume up.

So, instead of throwing stones, maybe you should pray for us, the sinners.

Ma2000,

If you go back and re-read our posts, you will find that we have a vested interest and great love for the Romanian Orthodox church and we want nothing but the best for it and the people of Romania. Pointing out a problem and suggesting a solution is not "throwing stones" frate. Also, we all know the official stance of the church on abortion. That point is not being argued. What we are suggesting is that he clergy step up on this issue. Whenever there is a huge moral issue the masses are failing in, it is up to the church to address these issues and instruct the faithful on how to overcome these problems (I think the Romanian church also needs to start addressing fornication and adultery, but that is for a different thread). 

We also pointed out that the high abortion rate is not the church's fault. We addressed poverty, lack of education, etc... What we are saying is that the Church could make a BIG difference if it addressed the issue and instructed the people more intensely on this.

You point out that there are Orthodox who do this and know it is a sin yet continue to do it anyway, yet you ask what can the church do? The shepherds can and should do something about it. That is what they are there for. I'm pretty sure if my wife had an abortion, our priest would discipline us. (Discipline is of course for the correction of a behavior and the healing of our souls, not a punishment). Romania needs more priests like Elder Cleopa.

Quote
I'm not implying that Americans are bad.


Good, I would hope not.  Wink

Quote
So, instead of throwing stones, maybe you should pray for us, the sinners.

Like I said in a prior post, I pray for Romania every day. No need to get offended frate.
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« Reply #124 on: August 16, 2007, 05:57:19 PM »

I am curious to hear some words of wisdom from The Nacho.
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« Reply #125 on: August 16, 2007, 06:34:06 PM »

I am curious to hear some words of wisdom from The Nacho.
He had an abortion? Why?! He could have made millions from the tabloids!
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« Reply #126 on: August 16, 2007, 06:39:02 PM »

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He had an abortion? Why?! He could have made millions from the tabloids!

I said the wisdom from the Nacho, not the foolishness of ytterbiumanalyst  Cheesy
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« Reply #127 on: August 16, 2007, 07:10:57 PM »

Romania needs more priests like Elder Cleopa.
 

Good, I would hope not.  Wink

Like I said in a prior post, I pray for Romania every day. No need to get offended frate.

You keeping saying this as if holy Elders grow on trees.  EVERY country could use more Elders like Elder Cleopa...but you also say this as if elders are the people for every single position.
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« Reply #128 on: August 16, 2007, 10:39:51 PM »

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ou keeping saying this as if holy Elders grow on trees.  EVERY country could use more Elders like Elder Cleopa...but you also say this as if elders are the people for every single position.

Me thinks those closer in achieving Theosis would be wonderful in clerical positions.
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« Reply #129 on: August 16, 2007, 10:42:13 PM »

Me thinks those closer in achieving Theosis would be wonderful in clerical positions.

Methinks those deemed worthy by the Holy Episcopacy are even better in clerical positions...theosis aside.
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« Reply #130 on: August 17, 2007, 09:25:22 AM »

Portions of this thread have been split off into another topic:
Romanian Church & State Security

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12532.0.html

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« Reply #131 on: August 17, 2007, 09:40:10 PM »

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Methinks those deemed worthy by the Holy Episcopacy are even better in clerical positions...theosis aside.

Me Thinks those who have achieved theosis are more attuned to the will of God.
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« Reply #132 on: August 17, 2007, 10:01:02 PM »

Me Thinks those who have achieved theosis are more attuned to the will of God.

Methinks that such a determination is subjective and often given to those who share one's religious philosophy.
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« Reply #133 on: August 17, 2007, 10:51:18 PM »

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Methinks that such a determination is subjective and often given to those who share one's religious philosophy.

Methinks theosis is not a mere religious philosophy. Those who achieve it are filled with the grace of God and experience it, and it becomes apparent to those who are around these people. Remember, there have been heretics who have held clerical positions in the church. Men who are attuned to the Holy Spirit make better clergy.
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« Reply #134 on: August 17, 2007, 10:52:55 PM »

Methinks that such a determination is subjective and often given to those who share one's religious philosophy.
I don't think it's as subjective as one might think. One criteria is anyone who goes against our morally bankrupt societal norms. It sure ain't someone collaborating with communist thugs.
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« Reply #135 on: August 17, 2007, 10:55:12 PM »

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I don't think it's as subjective as one might think. One criteria is anyone who goes against our morally bankrupt societal norms. It sure ain't someone collaborating with communist thugs.

Methinks you make an excellent point Gabriel! Preach it brotha!
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« Reply #136 on: August 17, 2007, 11:13:13 PM »

I don't think it's as subjective as one might think. One criteria is anyone who goes against our morally bankrupt societal norms. It sure ain't someone collaborating with communist thugs.

Subjective political standards for those who are to be regarded as god-like...I rest my case.
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« Reply #137 on: August 17, 2007, 11:22:56 PM »

Methinks theosis is not a mere religious philosophy. Those who achieve it are filled with the grace of God and experience it, and it becomes apparent to those who are around these people. Remember, there have been heretics who have held clerical positions in the church. Men who are attuned to the Holy Spirit make better clergy.

Methinks you are entirely missing the point.  It's not about theosis in this case but skillset.  There is a reason why those saints that were hierarchs were not put there of their own will and even tried to hide in monasteries.  Shall YOU be the one to seek those out and drag them out of their monasteries and put them in office?  Was Elder Cleopa a bishop?
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« Reply #138 on: August 17, 2007, 11:29:01 PM »

Subjective political standards for those who are to be regarded as god-like...I rest my case.
Wow. Saving unborn children is a subjective political standard now? How about adultery? In any case, the members of clergy who are eager to hide their past (whatever that might be), are probably not qualified to lead. You can't very well preach about the Mystery of Repentance while avoiding it yourself. The abortion rate in Romania is, however, going down. That's something we can all be thankful for.
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« Reply #139 on: August 17, 2007, 11:31:58 PM »

Wow. Saving unborn children is a subjective political standard now? How about adultery?

While some may view these as black and white issues, others would (in my opinion correctly) regard them as more complex, and reject black and white answers as excessively simplistic. I would argue that the person most qualified for the Clergy sees the complexities in these issues and, as such, is most capable of responding in the most pastoral manner.

Quote
In any case, the members of clergy who are eager to hide their past (whatever that might be), are probably not qualified to lead. You can't very well preach about the Mystery of Repentance while avoiding it yourself. The abortion rate in Romania is, however, going down. That's something we can all be thankful for.

You assume that they seek to hide their past because they believe they did something wrong; perhaps they acted in the manner that their conscious demands, but such conduct has since become unpopular.
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« Reply #140 on: August 17, 2007, 11:56:20 PM »

While some may view these as black and white issues, others would (in my opinion correctly) regard them as more complex, and reject black and white answers as excessively simplistic. I would argue that the person most qualified for the Clergy sees the complexities in these issues and, as such, is most capable of responding in the most pastoral manner.

You assume that they seek to hide their past because they believe they did something wrong; perhaps they acted in the manner that their conscious demands, but such conduct has since become unpopular.
You do have some good points here, GiC. I realize that an 'either/or' point of view could potentially make a bad situation worse, so thanks for pointing that out. However, the Church is quite clear in regards to abortion, yes? Now, as you pointed out, the approach the priest takes is where discretion and great care are needed. As I pointed out in an earlier post, these young women are more than likely going thru their own personal hells. If they aren't completely numb inside, they're coginizant of what they've done. A finger in their face excommunicating them will destroy them even further. They need to hear that God absolutely loves them and that their lives are not ruined. They are the Prodigal Daughter whom their Father is desparately hurting for. The point I was trying to make, and I had the article that sister Tamara posted, is that if a priest gets called out for something like collaborating with communist thugs, it only makes the situation worse if they try to cover it up or side-step it. Especially if there is irrefutable evidence that the allegations did in fact happen. Yes, they should be allowed to explain the details, and if repentant, they should be forgiven. If they, don't, I question their ability to respond in a pastoral manner.   
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« Reply #141 on: August 18, 2007, 12:35:21 AM »

You do have some good points here, GiC. I realize that an 'either/or' point of view could potentially make a bad situation worse, so thanks for pointing that out. However, the Church is quite clear in regards to abortion, yes?

No, actually, the Church, historically has not been all that clear. Some have condemned it as a violation of a husband or father's right of patria potestas, some believed it a type of ritual uncleanness not too different from menstruation, but willingly brought about, others have condemned it as murder, but many of these same people condemned masturbation as murder. Canonically, it is canonized in a manner comprable to fornication, but not as murder...it is clearly viewed as a lesser offence. Of course, many of these rules came from a time with an abysmal understand of human biology, reproduction, and fetal development. Considering the ignorance of even the most basic science pertaining to these fields, reason should dictate that the usefulness of these patristic and canonical sources is questionable at best.

Quote
Now, as you pointed out, the approach the priest takes is where discretion and great care are needed. As I pointed out in an earlier post, these young women are more than likely going thru their own personal hells. If they aren't completely numb inside, they're coginizant of what they've done. A finger in their face excommunicating them will destroy them even further. They need to hear that God absolutely loves them and that their lives are not ruined. They are the Prodigal Daughter whom their Father is desparately hurting for.

And, yet, you have already given your condemnation; you have not considered mitigating circumstances, you have not analyzed the individual's situation, you have simply given a blanket condemnation...apparently based on the archaic writings of men who lacked even the most fundamental understanding of the human reproductive system.

Quote
The point I was trying to make, and I had the article that sister Tamara posted, is that if a priest gets called out for something like collaborating with communist thugs, it only makes the situation worse if they try to cover it up or side-step it. Especially if there is irrefutable evidence that the allegations did in fact happen. Yes, they should be allowed to explain the details, and if repentant, they should be forgiven. If they, don't, I question their ability to respond in a pastoral manner.   

Again, you are making the assumption ghat 'collaborating with "communist thugs"' is a bad thing. It is quite likely that this was what was best for the Church, that these actions protected the flocks entrusted to these clergymen, and may have even allowed the Church to act as a positive force within the communist government. It is quite likely that no 'repentance' is needed, because the best of all possible courses was already taken...and even if it was not the best course of action, ultimately, one cannot be condemned simply because he acted in the manner that he believed was in the best interest of the Church. I fear there is no canon condemning 'collaborators with communist thugs'.
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« Reply #142 on: August 18, 2007, 12:56:00 AM »

No, actually, the Church, historically has not been all that clear. Some have condemned it as a violation of a husband or father's right of patria potestas, some believed it a type of ritual uncleanness not too different from menstruation, but willingly brought about, others have condemned it as murder, but many of these same people condemned masturbation as murder. Canonically, it is canonized in a manner comprable to fornication, but not as murder...it is clearly viewed as a lesser offence. Of course, many of these rules came from a time with an abysmal understand of human biology, reproduction, and fetal development. Considering the ignorance of even the most basic science pertaining to these fields, reason should dictate that the usefulness of these patristic and canonical sources is questionable at best.
I'd need to see what you're quoting here, but regardless, going by what you posted above, the overwhelming majority seem to be against abortion...for whatever reason, they were against it. Never-the-less, the Church is clear on her stand today. Abortion is seen as a dreadful act that not only kills a fetus, but causes major psychological damage to the woman. Ergo, it's against the Church's teachings.

And, yet, you have already given your condemnation; you have not considered mitigating circumstances, you have not analyzed the individual's situation, you have simply given a blanket condemnation...apparently based on the archaic writings of men who lacked even the most fundamental understanding of the human reproductive system.
Not I, but the Church. Talk to any priest and see how far you get with your understanding.

Again, you are making the assumption ghat 'collaborating with "communist thugs"' is a bad thing. It is quite likely that this was what was best for the Church, that these actions protected the flocks entrusted to these clergymen, and may have even allowed the Church to act as a positive force within the communist government. It is quite likely that no 'repentance' is needed, because the best of all possible courses was already taken...and even if it was not the best course of action, ultimately, one cannot be condemned simply because he acted in the manner that he believed was in the best interest of the Church. I fear there is no canon condemning 'collaborators with communist thugs'.
Canons aren't needed for basic common sense. Hop in bed with the devil and you're gonna get burned. Regardless, you need to go back and re-read my words. Did I not use the word 'if' a few times?
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« Reply #143 on: August 18, 2007, 01:09:44 AM »

I'd need to see what you're quoting here, but regardless, going by what you posted above, the overwhelming majority seem to be against abortion...for whatever reason, they were against it. Never-the-less, the Church is clear on her stand today. Abortion is seen as a dreadful act that not only kills a fetus, but causes major psychological damage to the woman. Ergo, it's against the Church's teachings.

Abortion causes major psychological damage? Depends on the person, I know some who have had abortions and no psychological side effects (there was a statistical study in Sweeden that demonstrated this group to be in the majority). In others, yes, I have seem psychological effects, but I do not believe they are directly related to the abortion, they are rather the result of trying to view their abortion through the lense of some religious ideology...it is ultimately the religion, not the abortion, that is psychologically damaging. As for whether or not it 'kills' the fetus, I believe you must first demonstrate that the fetus is alive in a meaningful sense...that is to say that it capable of surviving independent of its biological connections to the woman carrying it.

Quote
Not I, but the Church. Talk to any priest and see how far you get with your understanding.

Any priest? You give me the choice I am sure I can find a priest more sympathetic to my views than yours. I know of one priest who rebuked, quite strongly, someone who opposed abortion in case of a woman's health being in danger as being 'unorthodox'...he made his political positions quite clear on the issue of abortion as well.

Quote
Canons aren't needed for basic common sense. Hop in bed with the devil and you're gonna get burned. Regardless, you need to go back and re-read my words. Did I not use the word 'if' a few times?

My point is that it does not seem to be basic common sense to which you are appealing, rather it seems that you are appealing to idealism as your standard for these priests.
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« Reply #144 on: August 18, 2007, 01:14:18 AM »

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Abortion causes major psychological damage? Depends on the person, I know some who have had abortions and no psychological side effects (there was a statistical study in Sweeden that demonstrated this group to be in the majority). In others, yes, I have seem psychological effects, but I do not believe they are directly related to the abortion, they are rather the result of trying to view their abortion through the lense of some religious ideology...it is ultimately the religion, not the abortion, that is psychologically damaging. As for whether or not it 'kills' the fetus, I believe you must first demonstrate that the fetus is alive in a meaningful sense...that is to say that it capable of surviving independent of its biological connections to the woman carrying it.

Methinks the Phanar would disagree with you.
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« Reply #145 on: August 18, 2007, 01:22:15 AM »

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Methinks you are entirely missing the point.  It's not about theosis in this case but skillset.  There is a reason why those saints that were hierarchs were not put there of their own will and even tried to hide in monasteries.  Shall YOU be the one to seek those out and drag them out of their monasteries and put them in office?  Was Elder Cleopa a bishop?

Methinks St. John of San Francisco and St. John Chrysostom made excellent bishops. There is no reason why bishops cannot be saintly. Why would you be opposed to having bishops who are full of grace? It seems to me that anyone in any vocation would do better if the voice of God was clear (or clearer) to them. In "The Mountain of Silence", Father Maximos said that the priests and bishops are to be like angels to the people of God because this is how the faithful view them. I would encourage you to read this book; it is awesome.
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« Reply #146 on: August 18, 2007, 01:30:34 AM »

Methinks St. John of San Francisco and St. John Chrysostom made excellent bishops. There is no reason why bishops cannot be saintly. Why would you be opposed to having bishops who are full of grace? It seems to me that anyone in any vocation would do better if the voice of God was clear (or clearer) to them. In "The Mountain of Silence", Father Maximos said that the priests and bishops are to be like angels to the people of God because this is how the faithful view them. I would encourage you to read this book; it is awesome.

I don't believe the objection (or my objection, at least) is that saintly men should not be bishops...my objection, at least, is the standard you use to determine 'saintly'.
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« Reply #147 on: August 18, 2007, 01:31:32 AM »

Methinks the Phanar would disagree with you.

Some bishops in the City may, others may not...however I do not know of any official statement from Constantinople pontificating on the psychological implications of abortion.
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« Reply #148 on: August 18, 2007, 02:12:40 AM »

Methinks St. John of San Francisco and St. John Chrysostom made excellent bishops. There is no reason why bishops cannot be saintly. Why would you be opposed to having bishops who are full of grace? It seems to me that anyone in any vocation would do better if the voice of God was clear (or clearer) to them. In "The Mountain of Silence", Father Maximos said that the priests and bishops are to be like angels to the people of God because this is how the faithful view them. I would encourage you to read this book; it is awesome.

I'm not and you're still missing the point.  You're entirely correct in your first points, but not addressing the issue.  I said that Elder's holed up in monasteries (to make a point) are frequently NOT the type to be hierarchs.  They can't administrate and are out of touch with the flock.
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« Reply #149 on: August 18, 2007, 06:49:58 PM »

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I'm not and you're still missing the point.  You're entirely correct in your first points, but not addressing the issue.  I said that Elder's holed up in monasteries (to make a point) are frequently NOT the type to be hierarchs.  They can't administrate and are out of touch with the flock.


Perhaps we are misunderstanding each other. The point I am making is that men who are full of grace like St. John Chrysostom and St. John of San Francisco (among others) are the best kind of bishops we could ask for. These are the kind we need and should pray for. I don't see any reason why a holy elder could not be a hiearch.

Also, Elder Cleopa was not out of touch with the flock. Perhaps you should read up on him before making such statements. He was beloved by most of the people of Romania (even among many evangelicals!). The nation mourned when he passed away.
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« Reply #150 on: August 18, 2007, 09:57:12 PM »

No, actually, the Church, historically has not been all that clear. Some have condemned it as a violation of a husband or father's right of patria potestas, some believed it a type of ritual uncleanness not too different from menstruation, but willingly brought about, others have condemned it as murder, but many of these same people condemned masturbation as murder. Canonically, it is canonized in a manner comprable to fornication, but not as murder...it is clearly viewed as a lesser offence. Of course, many of these rules came from a time with an abysmal understand of human biology, reproduction, and fetal development. Considering the ignorance of even the most basic science pertaining to these fields, reason should dictate that the usefulness of these patristic and canonical sources is questionable at best.

I see the Church as quite clear:
 
Canon XXI of the Council of Ancrya

Concerning women who commit fornication, and destroy that which they have conceived, or who are employed in making drugs for abortion, a former decree excluded them until the hour of death, and to this some have assented.  Nevertheless, being desirous to use somewhat greater lenity, we have ordained that they fulfil ten years [of penance], according to the prescribed degrees.

Canon XCI of the Council in Trullo.

Those who give drugs for procuring abortion, and those who receive poisons to kill the fœtus, are subjected to the penalty of murder.
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« Reply #151 on: August 18, 2007, 10:21:44 PM »

it is ultimately the religion, not the abortion, that is psychologically damaging.
I wonder what your metropolitan, bishop, priest, would say about this assertion? Christianity is psychologically damaging. Who'd a thunk it?

Any priest? You give me the choice I am sure I can find a priest more sympathetic to my views than yours.
I should've been more clear...the priest's ordination can't have come from the back of a Rolling Stone ad.

I know of one priest who rebuked, quite strongly, someone who opposed abortion in case of a woman's health being in danger as being 'unorthodox'..
That's not what any of us are/where talking about. Roll Eyes


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« Reply #152 on: August 18, 2007, 10:37:08 PM »

I wonder what your metropolitan, bishop, priest, would say about this assertion? Christianity is psychologically damaging. Who'd a thunk it?

Christianity, inappropriately applied, can be damaging...and I believe that my Metropolitan, who is a Doctor in Psychology and was once taught it at the university level, may agree with this assessment...His Eminence has never been fond of the more fundamentalist elements of the faith.

Quote
I should've been more clear...the priest's ordination can't have come from the back of a Rolling Stone ad.

It didn't, it came from the hand of an Archbishop of the Synod of the Oecumenical Throne.

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That's not what any of us are/where talking about. Roll Eyes

At least on this point some moderation is being demonstrated...but the priest I referenced made it clear that his opinions in regard to the appropriateness of abortion did not end there.
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« Reply #153 on: August 18, 2007, 10:58:37 PM »

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I should've been more clear...the priest's ordination can't have come from the back of a Rolling Stone ad.

Methinks  Cheesy

Quote
it is ultimately the religion, not the abortion, that is psychologically damaging.

Quote
Christianity, inappropriately applied, can be damaging...and I believe that my Metropolitan, who is a Doctor in Psychology and was once taught it at the university level, may agree with this assessment...His Eminence has never been fond of the more fundamentalist elements of the faith.

So the Orthodox church's stance on abortion is psychologically damaging?  Huh  Do you think your metropolitan would think the Orthodox church's stance on abortion is more psychologically damaging than the abortion itself?
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« Reply #154 on: August 18, 2007, 11:13:43 PM »

So the Orthodox church's stance on abortion is psychologically damaging?  Huh  Do you think your metropolitan would think the Orthodox church's stance on abortion is more psychologically damaging than the abortion itself?

Not entirely certain, maybe, maybe not...probably depends on the specifics of the case. His Eminence has not often spoken on the issue publically, but one instance in which he referenced the issue of abortion (during a statement about the Terri Schiavo incident):

'This family has an inherent responsibility to choose and decide for their own. So here comes the government and says, "No! I'm going to become something over you. I'm going to tell you this is wrong, this is a sin." This is the way we're politicizing issues, like abortion, like same-sex marriages. We politicize them to the point that you divide the nation, you divide neighbors, you divide everybody — face to face, black and white. It's not a black-and-white issue here.'

Los Angeles Times, April 2, 2005

Ultimately this sounds much like what I've been saying, it's not a clear cut case of black and white, right and wrong, each and every situation deserves individual consideration before any such judgement can be made (if, in fact, it is even ours to make).
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« Reply #155 on: August 18, 2007, 11:38:02 PM »

Not entirely certain, maybe, maybe not...probably depends on the specifics of the case. His Eminence has not often spoken on the issue publically, but one instance in which he referenced the issue of abortion (during a statement about the Terri Schiavo incident):

'This family has an inherent responsibility to choose and decide for their own. So here comes the government and says, "No! I'm going to become something over you. I'm going to tell you this is wrong, this is a sin." This is the way we're politicizing issues, like abortion, like same-sex marriages. We politicize them to the point that you divide the nation, you divide neighbors, you divide everybody — face to face, black and white. It's not a black-and-white issue here.'

Los Angeles Times, April 2, 2005

Ultimately this sounds much like what I've been saying, it's not a clear cut case of black and white, right and wrong, each and every situation deserves individual consideration before any such judgement can be made (if, in fact, it is even ours to make).
But is not the protection of human life one of the most important--if not the most important--responsibilities of government?  If the unborn human life is just as fully human as the postnatal human life, then does not government have the obligation to establish laws to protect that life?  Secondly, if human life bears the image of its Creator, is it right for us to define when an unborn human life form becomes human beyond merely following the tradition of the Creator's Church--this is best seen in our great feasts of the Annunciation to the Theotokos and the conceptions of the Theotokos and of St. John the Baptist--that human life begins at conception?
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« Reply #156 on: August 18, 2007, 11:50:10 PM »

But is not the protection of human life one of the most important--if not the most important--responsibilities of government?

Not at all, the theory of social contract and, as a derivative, government, dictates that it is the responsibility of the tribe/state/etc. to protect its members, in our instance citizens...often this actually requires the destruction of human life in the form of war with competing tribes/states. In this particular situation citizenship comes at birth and, accordingly, so does governmental responsibility for protection.

Quote
If the unborn human life is just as fully human as the postnatal human life, then does not government have the obligation to establish laws to protect that life?

That's a big IF, with which I disagree...but as I pointed out above, the answer to your question is no.

Quote
Secondly, if human life bears the image of its Creator, is it right for us to define when an unborn human life form becomes human beyond merely following the tradition of the Church--this is best seen in our great feasts of the Annunciation to the Theotokos and the conceptions of the Theotokos and of St. John the Baptist--that human life begins at conception?

Yes, it is good that we consider this issue for ourselves, these patristic theories were developed with an inaccurate understanding of the reproductive processes. Had these fathers actually understood the details of the phenomena they were commenting on there is no guarantee that their opinions would have been the same. We should not be blindly confined by ancient customs derived from an ignorance of the biological process; rather, we should realize that we are now in a position to evaluate this issue, superior to any other position seen in the history of the Church. Thus, we should consider this issue through the lense of an accurate understanding of the phenomenon, independent of past prejudices based on ignorance and misunderstanding.

While there are many issues on which we can find wisdom in the fathers, there are other issues on which they are simply not qualified to comment. This is through no fault of their own, for they were intelligent and learned men, but a direct result of living in a less advanced time and, thus, not having access to the knowledge and understandings we now enjoy, through no virtue of our own.
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« Reply #157 on: August 19, 2007, 12:06:14 AM »

Yes, it is good that we consider this issue for ourselves, these patristic theories were developed with an inaccurate understanding of the reproductive processes. Had these fathers actually understood the details of the phenomena they were commenting on there is no guarantee that their opinions would have been the same. We should not be blindly confined by ancient customs derived from an ignorance of the biological process; rather, we should realize that we are now in a position to evaluate this issue, superior to any other position seen in the history of the Church. Thus, we should consider this issue through the lense of an accurate understanding of the phenomenon, independent of past prejudices based on ignorance and misunderstanding.
Let me point you back to the foundation for my argument of when human life begins.
Secondly, if human life bears the image of its Creator, is it right for us to define when an unborn human life form becomes human beyond merely following the tradition of the Creator's Church--this is best seen in our great feasts of the Annunciation to the Theotokos and the conceptions of the Theotokos and of St. John the Baptist--that human life begins at conception?
Science does show us much more clearly than we've ever seen before the phenomenon of how life develops in the womb, but for all its advances, science can still not define for us what is essentially a metaphysical "truth", something that falls more properly to the study of philosophy and faith--that is the question, "When does human life begin?".

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While there are many issues on which we can find wisdom in the fathers, there are other issues on which they are simply not qualified to comment. This is through no fault of their own, for they were intelligent and learned men, but a direct result of living in a less advanced time and, thus, not having access to the knowledge and understandings we now enjoy, through no virtue of our own.
If anything, this pov is indicative of just how far we have fallen into the darkness of idolatry, the idolatry of worshiping our own minds rather than the Creator who gave us our minds.  God has spoken through our Church and through our Holy Fathers, so it is most unwise to supplant this wisdom with our own cunningly devised fables and explanations.  Let science address that which belongs properly to its realm, but let us not fall for the belief that we can use science to explore that which transcends its realm.
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« Reply #158 on: August 19, 2007, 12:13:01 AM »

You've got a good handle on this one, PtA.
Please note, the 'pov' above is Gic's.

Thanks for keeping a level head, both of you. Glad I don't have to kick this out to Politics, so far.
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« Reply #159 on: August 19, 2007, 12:53:00 AM »

As much as I want to condemn GiC as a "baby-killer" or pro-abortion or whatever, I just have one phrase for those of you who disagree with GiC:  Zero-tolerance laws.  I think that may be his point.
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« Reply #160 on: August 19, 2007, 01:14:02 AM »

As much as I want to condemn GiC as a "baby-killer" or pro-abortion or whatever, I just have one phrase for those of you who disagree with GiC:  Zero-tolerance laws.  I think that may be his point.
Yeah, I agree with you that zero-tolerance laws are almost always a bad thing, EVEN when it comes to abortion.  I don't think I'm being inconsistent with my desire to protect unborn human life to recognize that there are those situations (such as extreme risk to the life of the mother) where the mother should be granted at least the legal discretion to abort her pregnancy.  Even so, this does not negate the fact that abortion is fundamentally murder, even in these extreme circumstances.
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« Reply #161 on: August 19, 2007, 01:23:00 AM »

See my Post#150 above.
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« Reply #162 on: August 19, 2007, 01:53:39 AM »

As much as I want to condemn GiC as a "baby-killer" or pro-abortion or whatever, I just have one phrase for those of you who disagree with GiC:  Zero-tolerance laws.  I think that may be his point.
I agree completely. Yet neither myself, nor Orthodox Bagpiper, have argued for a 'zero-tolerance' policy. To do so would be irresponsible and demonstrate a lack of understanding and indifferance to an issue that affects millions of women and families per year. What we were saying is that any country with a 70% abortion rate (and I understand those figures are no longer accurate) is a definate cause for questioning. Ain't no way that 1) all those abortions were performed to save the mothers' lives! and 2) ALL of the clergy were doing their job during those years. I realize that there were extenuating circumstances and that, once again, it's not as black and white as some would want us to believe. The arguement I put forward then and now is that an abortion performed on a healthy mother and child goes against the Church's teachings and that an Orthodox country with a high rate of abortions is doing something wrong.
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« Reply #163 on: August 19, 2007, 08:57:49 PM »

Quote
I agree completely. Yet neither myself, nor Orthodox Bagpiper, have argued for a 'zero-tolerance' policy. To do so would be irresponsible and demonstrate a lack of understanding and indifferance to an issue that affects millions of women and families per year. What we were saying is that any country with a 70% abortion rate (and I understand those figures are no longer accurate) is a definate cause for questioning. Ain't no way that 1) all those abortions were performed to save the mothers' lives! and 2) ALL of the clergy were doing their job during those years. I realize that there were extenuating circumstances and that, once again, it's not as black and white as some would want us to believe. The arguement I put forward then and now is that an abortion performed on a healthy mother and child goes against the Church's teachings and that an Orthodox country with a high rate of abortions is doing something wrong.

Methinks thou art right Gabriel.
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« Reply #164 on: August 19, 2007, 09:03:37 PM »

This morning our parish celebrated our first monastery's liturgy in its new building. It was truly a delight. At the end of the liturgy, the abbess spoke a little bit about the seriousness and sadness of abortion. It was announced that there will be a garden made at the monastery called "Rebecca's garden" which will have an icon commemorating the aborted babies. It will also be a place for people to pray for the children lost in abortion. Nacho, and Y were there as well. I know Nacho took a bunch of pictures. Perhaps he could post some of them.
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« Reply #165 on: August 19, 2007, 10:15:45 PM »

Actually, it's called Rachel's Garden, but yes, I do look forward to its construction. I feel it would be much more helpful to have prayer about this issue than debate. Men debating it will, IMO, have no effect.
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« Reply #166 on: August 19, 2007, 11:21:07 PM »

Actually, it's called Rachel's Garden, but yes, I do look forward to its construction. I feel it would be much more helpful to have prayer about this issue than debate. Men debating it will, IMO, have no effect.
Y,
I agree that prayer is always key, esp when the issue is a hot one and that evokes so much pain and emotion. Where I veer from your point is men debating. To begin with, abortion is not a woman's issue. It is a family issue because all members of the family will be affected. My ex-wife, as all women who go thru the procedure, was the one who went through the *physical* aspect. Yet, both her and myself, went through  (and to an extent are still going through) the psychological effects. Grandfathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles also must deal with the decision. The liberal movement seeks to distort the issue by making it a woman's cause. 'Pro-choice', as they understand it, is a selfish choice. 'My body, my right' is a selfish delusional choice that affects every member of our society regardless of sex. Men not only have the right to engage in this cause, they have a moral responsibility.
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« Reply #167 on: August 20, 2007, 12:21:36 AM »

Men not only have the right to engage in this cause, they have a moral responsibility.

Every person has a right to opine on every issue, that's the nature of our society. But the choice for an abortion should be between a woman and her physician, and no one else.
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« Reply #168 on: August 20, 2007, 12:25:35 AM »

Every person has a right to opine on every issue, that's the nature of our society. But the choice for an abortion should be between a woman and her physician, and no one else.

No priest, huh?
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« Reply #169 on: August 20, 2007, 12:39:10 AM »

But the choice for an abortion should be between a woman and her physician, and no one else.
Good grief.  Roll Eyes To start off, doesn't the father have a say? What if the couple is married? What if it were your wife who came home and told you she was no longer pregnant because she and her physician talked it over and decided, well, now's not the best time for a child. Are you telling us that you're gonna shrug and say, 'well, it's her choice'? I doubt it. Remember that black/white rule you were clamoring about earlier...
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« Reply #170 on: August 20, 2007, 12:40:50 AM »

No priest, huh?

It's a decision about a medical procedure...do you ask premission from your priest everytime you go to the doctor?
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« Reply #171 on: August 20, 2007, 12:42:43 AM »

It's a decision about a medical procedure...do you ask premission from your priest everytime you go to the doctor?

I might if that procedure was considered murder in the Church.
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« Reply #172 on: August 20, 2007, 12:43:20 AM »

But the choice for an abortion should be between a woman and her physician, and no one else.
Good grief.  Roll Eyes To start off, doesn't the father have a say? What if the couple is married? What if it were your wife who came home and told you she was no longer pregnant because she and her physician talked it over and decided, well, now's not the best time for a child. Are you telling us that you're gonna shrug and say, 'well, it's her choice'? I doubt it. Remember that black/white rule you were clamoring about earlier...
I got one word for you, GiC, in light of what Gabriel has opined in response:  It takes two to tango.
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« Reply #173 on: August 20, 2007, 12:50:05 AM »

Good grief.  Roll Eyes To start off, doesn't the father have a say? What if the couple is married?

Only if the husband/father is going to carry the baby to term himself...otherwise he has no right to inflict the consequences of his opinion upon his partner. And that is, in large part, the issue at hand: does one person have the right to inflict physical hardship upon another for the benifit of a third party (that may or may not be human and may or may not be alive)...or more to the point, does anyone have the right to inflict hardship upon another person for their own well being? Ultimately, I would argue, no one has the right to survive, and much less impose their opinion, at the expense of another...for these things are, by their very nature, despotic.

Quote
What if it were your wife who came home and told you she was no longer pregnant because she and her physician talked it over and decided, well, now's not the best time for a child. Are you telling us that you're gonna shrug and say, 'well, it's her choice'? I doubt it. Remember that black/white rule you were clamoring about earlier...

I'd probably say, thank god...I don't particularly want children. Wink
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« Reply #174 on: August 20, 2007, 12:54:04 AM »

Incredible how you can pull arcane canons out of dark, dank places to support any argument you wish, but fall back on quasi-Libertarianism alone for this issue. Never been married, have you?
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« Reply #175 on: August 20, 2007, 01:06:22 AM »

Only if the husband/father is going to carry the baby to term himself...otherwise he has no right to inflict the consequences of his opinion upon his partner.
This is the most immoral and irresponsible thing I've heard from an Orthodox Christian. I'm deeply saddened by your comments.

(that may or may not be human...
Boy, for a scientific feller this sure is a strange thing to say. What kind a baby do you 'spose two humans can have?

...or more to the point, does anyone have the right to inflict hardship upon another person for their own well being? Ultimately, I would argue, no one has the right to survive, and much less impose their opinion, at the expense of another...for these things are, by their very nature, despotic.
Um, no. Despotic is when a person selfishly decides to murder because they don't want to take responsibility for their own decision. BTW, you've successfully argued against any physical self-defense against any future attackers. OOPS!
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« Reply #176 on: August 20, 2007, 01:10:28 AM »

Incredible how you can pull arcane canons out of dark, dank places to support any argument you wish, but fall back on quasi-Libertarianism alone for this issue. 
This surprises you?
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« Reply #177 on: August 20, 2007, 01:11:25 AM »

Incredible how you can pull arcane canons out of dark, dank places to support any argument you wish, but fall back on quasi-Libertarianism alone for this issue. Never been married, have you?

This 'quasi-Libertarianism' (I understand you not wanting to surrender the full thing to me Wink) is the underlying philosophy behind most my arguments on this board. At times I find it expedient to use canons for the sake of rhetoric, and I am fairly well versed in them as I was once a student of the same, but they simply function as 'proof-texts' in these arguments: similar to how protestants use scripture.

And, no, I have not been married...but I fail to understand how that should prevent me from opposing despotism in all its forms. Wink
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« Reply #178 on: August 20, 2007, 01:11:52 AM »

This surprises you?

With profound regret, no.
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« Reply #179 on: August 20, 2007, 01:16:42 AM »

This 'quasi-Libertarianism' (I understand you not wanting to surrender the full thing to me Wink) is the underlying philosophy behind most my arguments on this board. At times I find it expedient to use canons for the sake of rhetoric, and I am fairly well versed in them as I was once a student of the same, but they simply function as 'proof-texts' in these arguments: similar to how protestants use scripture.
An art you did perfect here.
Quote
And, no, I have not been married...but I fail to understand how that should prevent me from opposing despotism in all its forms. Wink

In which case you have no real bull in this fight, at least not one with horns, four legs, and a bad attitude. This is just an intellectual argument for you; not so for many of us.
Despotism? Now there's a laugh, considering your views on Church government.  Cheesy
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« Reply #180 on: August 20, 2007, 01:30:39 AM »

This is the most immoral and irresponsible thing I've heard from an Orthodox Christian. I'm deeply saddened by your comments.

Dang, it took me over 4000 posts to do that? I must not be trying hard enough. Wink

Quote
Boy, for a scientific feller this sure is a strange thing to say. What kind a baby do you 'spose two humans can have?

As I have said many times, I tend to define 'humanity' in terms of intellectual capability, not merely sharing dna with the species homo sapiens.

Quote
Um, no. Despotic is when a person selfishly decides to murder because they don't want to take responsibility for their own decision.

If this thing murdered was an uninvolved third party, that might be a legitimate argument. But when this third party is infringing upon the liberty of the so-called murderer involved, it is an act of self-defence. And that is ultimately the point, a pregnancy is not an insignificant thing, it can be deeply rewarding or a painful hardship, depending on the conditions surrounding it. No one has the right to force a pregnancy on any woman, it is not so much a violation of their right to privacy (which it is) as a violation of a fundamental human liberty not to be degraded by being forced into such a position. It can also be a deprivation of property rights, in our country there are unfortunately still some backwards places where a pregnancy outside of marriage can damage social standing, and in many places it can cause hardship for schooling or career, effecting real economic damage (damage, it should be noted, the male is almost always free from). So the issue simply comes down to the liberty of the woman (who is a citizen, in our context, by the way) vs. the life of the fetus (assuming it's even alive, which, considering it can't survive on its own, is a VERY shaky argument) (which is, of course, not a citizen)...I for one value liberty over life, and I would hope that none would contest this position.

Quote
BTW, you've successfully argued against any physical self-defense against any future attackers. OOPS!

Actually, that seems to be what you're arguing...that a fetus has a right to a parasitic life at the expense of the woman, who should have no recourse to defence of her body and liberty.
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« Reply #181 on: August 20, 2007, 01:36:55 AM »

An art you did perfect here.

Thank you. Grin

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In which case you have no real bull in this fight, at least not one with horns, four legs, and a bad attitude. This is just an intellectual argument for you; not so for many of us.

Oh, I have pleanty of 'bull' in this fight. Wink But, really, this is a matter of liberty, not family psychology.

Quote
Despotism? Now there's a laugh, considering your views on Church government.  Cheesy

The Church has no legal force behind it, and one is free to leave if they choose...like I said before, everyone is welcome to their opinion, the problem only comes about when you try to force it on others.
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« Reply #182 on: August 20, 2007, 02:02:48 AM »

Yes, of course one is free to sin. 
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« Reply #183 on: August 20, 2007, 02:15:26 AM »

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like I said before, everyone is welcome to their opinion, the problem only comes about when you try to force it on others.
Am I welcome to my opinion that it's OK to shoot you because you make lousy arguments? Should the state not force its opinion that such a thing is morally reprehensible on me? Abortion is murder, and no arguments about liberty have anything to do with that fact.

And if you're going to play the "is it really human" card, then I would ask you to prove conclusively that a fetus is not human. If you cannot do so, then allowing someone to abort their child is like allowing someone to throw a grenade into a building that is possibly uninhabited.
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« Reply #184 on: August 20, 2007, 02:31:04 AM »

I for one value liberty over life, and I would hope that none would contest this position.
I contest this position, for what good is liberty to those who are dead?

Oh, I have pleanty of 'bull' in this fight. Wink
Yes, you DO have--or can I say you have given us--plenty of 'bull' in this fight. Wink
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« Reply #185 on: August 20, 2007, 06:04:26 AM »

GIC

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And that is, in large part, the issue at hand: does one person have the right to inflict physical hardship upon another for the benifit of a third party (that may or may not be human and may or may not be alive)...or more to the point, does anyone have the right to inflict hardship upon another person for their own well being? Ultimately, I would argue, no one has the right to survive, and much less impose their opinion, at the expense of another...for these things are, by their very nature, despotic.

I've got to say, when you made this type of argument yesterday, the first thing that popped into my head was: how then does he defend Byzantium with a straight face? Wink
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« Reply #186 on: August 20, 2007, 10:50:27 AM »

I've got to say, when you made this type of argument yesterday, the first thing that popped into my head was: how then does he defend Byzantium with a straight face? Wink

It's the best thing we had going at the time, the lesser of several great evils Wink

Plus, I'm behind a computer...I don't have to do it with a straight face. Grin
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« Reply #187 on: August 20, 2007, 10:58:51 AM »

I contest this position, for what good is liberty to those who are dead?

Then what of our honoured dead, who fought and gave their lives in the defence of liberty? They are given the honour due to them, but as for those who turned to cowardice and forsook liberty for their lives, they are condemned as traitors and are without honour. The liberty of our people is a greater thing than any life, or any millions of lives.

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Yes, you DO have--or can I say you have given us--plenty of 'bull' in this fight. Wink

As we all have. Wink
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« Reply #188 on: August 20, 2007, 11:00:02 AM »

Plus, I'm behind a computer...I don't have to do it with a straight face. Grin

You are such a game player. I wouldn't write off a CEO future for yourself just yet.  

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« Reply #189 on: August 20, 2007, 11:05:25 AM »

Am I welcome to my opinion that it's OK to shoot you because you make lousy arguments? Should the state not force its opinion that such a thing is morally reprehensible on me? Abortion is murder, and no arguments about liberty have anything to do with that fact.

Well, you can give it a try...but don't be surprised if I shoot back, and I shoot straighter than most. Wink

Of course, I am not dependent on a parasitic connection to you for my survival, so the issue is a bit different, if I were, then while an argument could be made that you shouldn't be able to shoot me, I have no doubt that you would have the right to remove me from yourself and force me to live or die on my own...and that is ulimately the point.

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And if you're going to play the "is it really human" card, then I would ask you to prove conclusively that a fetus is not human. If you cannot do so, then allowing someone to abort their child is like allowing someone to throw a grenade into a building that is possibly uninhabited.

Well, seeing how it lacks a brain should be proof enough.
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« Reply #190 on: August 20, 2007, 11:45:52 AM »

The liberty of our people is a greater thing than any life, or any millions of lives.


Wasn't this the mindset of the Sanhedrin when they passed judgement on our Lord?
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« Reply #191 on: August 20, 2007, 12:43:31 PM »

Wasn't this the mindset of the Sanhedrin when they passed judgement on our Lord?

No, their attitude was that their religion and their authority were of greater importance than the life of one man...were they concerned for liberty they would have fought for the freedom of speech and religion, which they most certainly did not.
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« Reply #192 on: August 20, 2007, 01:03:13 PM »

No, their attitude was that their religion and their authority were of greater importance than the life of one man...were they concerned for liberty they would have fought for the freedom of speech and religion, which they most certainly did not.

That's entirely true.  But one can also argue that they were given a certain amount of liberty by the Roman civil authority due to their peculiar situation within the Empire (ie their religion) and were afraid that Jesus of Nazareth was a rabble rouser who would bring the might of the legions down on the Jewish people, taking that liberty away. 

The Jews most certainly did fight and win for the freedom to practice their religion.  The Jews alone were exempt from the various civic-religious obligations enforced on every other conquered people in the Empire.
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« Reply #193 on: August 21, 2007, 09:08:44 PM »

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I feel it would be much more helpful to have prayer about this issue than debate. Men debating it will, IMO, have no effect.

Actually, I rather disagree with this statement. A healthy and hearty debate quite often leads to a change in one's viewpoint. I have often had a change of opinion as a result of healthy debate. I would take the balanced approach that prayer and an exchange of ideas can make a difference (especially when there are those amongst the flock who disagree with the church's position).

Quote
Y,
I agree that prayer is always key, esp when the issue is a hot one and that evokes so much pain and emotion. Where I veer from your point is men debating. To begin with, abortion is not a woman's issue. It is a family issue because all members of the family will be affected. My ex-wife, as all women who go thru the procedure, was the one who went through the *physical* aspect. Yet, both her and myself, went through  (and to an extent are still going through) the psychological effects. Grandfathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles also must deal with the decision. The liberal movement seeks to distort the issue by making it a woman's cause. 'Pro-choice', as they understand it, is a selfish choice. 'My body, my right' is a selfish delusional choice that affects every member of our society regardless of sex. Men not only have the right to engage in this cause, they have a moral responsibility.

Gabriel,

Your approach is fair and balanced(not to steal from fox news). Methinks you have hit the nail on the head.

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« Reply #194 on: August 21, 2007, 09:58:25 PM »

Actually, I rather disagree with this statement. A healthy and hearty debate quite often leads to a change in one's viewpoint. I have often had a change of opinion as a result of healthy debate. I would take the balanced approach that prayer and an exchange of ideas can make a difference (especially when there are those amongst the flock who disagree with the church's position).

On some issues, but from my experience on both sides of the abortion issue I have found this rarely to be the case. Anti- or pro-abortion is not so much a position in and of itself, but rather a derivative of other beliefs and priorities. I didn't wake up one day and say, 'hey, I think I'll be pro-choice now.' Rather, my entire world view was slowly changed (I would argue enlightened, but I understand if you disagree with me Wink) and almost at the completion of that transformation I realized, 'I can't really remain pro-life any more without being a hypocrite'...it was really one of the last socially 'conservative' positions I abandoned, because I had to abandon all others before being logically compelled to reject this one.

So, if you want to argue and possibly have some affect, argue about fundamental philosophies of life and liberty, argue about the evolution of gender roles, argue about the role of religion in society...for though it is always difficult to convert someone to your position, in these at least there is a possibility of effecting that which you desire.
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« Reply #195 on: August 21, 2007, 10:31:16 PM »

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On some issues, but from my experience on both sides of the abortion issue I have found this rarely to be the case. Anti- or pro-abortion is not so much a position in and of itself, but rather a derivative of other beliefs and priorities. I didn't wake up one day and say, 'hey, I think I'll be pro-choice now.' Rather, my entire world view was slowly changed (I would argue enlightened, but I understand if you disagree with me Wink) and almost at the completion of that transformation I realized, 'I can't really remain pro-life any more without being a hypocrite'...it was really one of the last socially 'conservative' positions I abandoned, because I had to abandon all others before being logically compelled to reject this one.

So, if you want to argue and possibly have some affect, argue about fundamental philosophies of life and liberty, argue about the evolution of gender roles, argue about the role of religion in society...for though it is always difficult to convert someone to your position, in these at least there is a possibility of effecting that which you desire.

There are those within the church who fall into the culture of death unwittingly. I have seen this first hand. In these situations an exchange of ideas and a good apologetic are necessary. For those who are in opposition to the church and remain Orthodox (which I don't understand these people) then it is pointless to debate them. Prayer and the grace of God are the only things that will enlighten a darkened mind. I, for one, am an Orthodox Christian who holds to the teachings of the church. The church says abortion is wrong and it is murder, and I agree with the church. I do not think I am wiser than Jesus Christ, the Holy Orthodox Church or the Saints.
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« Reply #196 on: August 21, 2007, 10:38:41 PM »

GIC,

From your various posts on OC.net, it seems to me that you are in contrast to nearly all of the teachings of the Orthodox church. I am just curious why you remain in the church since it seems like you don't believe in its teachings? Do you hold any of the teachings of the Orthodox Church? If so what are they?
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« Reply #197 on: August 21, 2007, 10:42:52 PM »

WOW, I don't think I've seen so many overt propaganda terms thrown into one post in quite sometime...and to think I tried to be somewhat moderate in my last response. Wink

But in all seriousness, no one 'fall(s) into the culture of death unwittingly' as you put it. If one is easily swayed from one position to the other they probably neither understand the issue nor their personal beliefs to support or oppose it one way or the other. You merely swayed them to your position until such time as someone better spoken comes along on the other side to sway them to theirs. Ultimately, these people neither support nor oppose abortion...they simply don't understand the issue. No perhaps you could use your skills in propaganda to turn them into a true convert, but you will not do this by indoctrinating them on the issue of abortion alone, you must work at presuppositions behind the position. But, even then, if they are so easily swayed there is the question of whether they actually support your position, or if they simply have a personality such that they want to please everyone...I have met several people in both categories.

Ultimately, what you sound like you desire is to go out and get as many votes as possible, rather than intellectual contributors to your political camp.
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« Reply #198 on: August 21, 2007, 10:51:14 PM »

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WOW, I don't think I've seen so many overt propaganda terms thrown into one post in quite sometime...and to think I tried to be somewhat moderate in my last response. Wink

But in all seriousness, no one 'fall(s) into the culture of death unwittingly' as you put it. If one is easily swayed from one position to the other they probably neither understand the issue nor their personal beliefs to support or oppose it one way or the other. You merely swayed them to your position until such time as someone better spoken comes along on the other side to sway them to theirs. Ultimately, these people neither support nor oppose abortion...they simply don't understand the issue. No perhaps you could use your skills in propaganda to turn them into a true convert, but you will not do this by indoctrinating them on the issue of abortion alone, you must work at presuppositions behind the position. But, even then, if they are so easily swayed there is the question of whether they actually support your position, or if they simply have a personality such that they want to please everyone...I have met several people in both categories.

Ultimately, what you sound like you desire is to go out and get as many votes as possible, rather than intellectual contributors to your political camp.

When I speak of the culture of death, I think we all know what I am talking about. Any one who is slightly aware of cultural issues knows what this is. It is not propaganda. If anyone is confused by what the culture of death is, I will be more than happy to articulate it. If one supports abortion,  euthanasia, etc... they are part of the culture of death. The church is part of the culture of life. If you don't like the terminology, I don't know what to tell you.

Also, you didn't answer my questions. Again I will ask you "From your various posts on OC.net, it seems to me that you are in contrast to nearly all of the teachings of the Orthodox church. I am just curious why you remain in the church since it seems like you don't believe in its teachings? Do you hold any of the teachings of the Orthodox Church? If so what are they?"

BTW, I tend to be more Democrat in my politics. Does that make me a right wing propagandist?
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« Reply #199 on: August 21, 2007, 10:52:26 PM »

GIC,

From your various posts on OC.net, it seems to me that you are in contrast to nearly all of the teachings of the Orthodox church. I am just curious why you remain in the church since it seems like you don't believe in its teachings? Do you hold any of the teachings of the Orthodox Church? If so what are they?

I hold to all the theology of the faith. I believe in the incarnation, I believe in the Holy Trinity, I believe Chalcedonian definition of Christ, I believe in duality of the Natures and Energies of Christ, and I believe in the defending of the Holy Icons. I also believe the ancient teachings regarding the Oneness of the Divine, It's Nature as ultimate Originator and Cause of all things, I believe in the perpetual sustaining of existence by the Divine...and I believe in the infinite love, mercy, and forgiveness of the Divine. In effect I believe the dogma of the Church. Where I disagree is merely on several social and cultural issues influenced excessively by the mores of past, less enlightened, civilizations: I take issue with many elements of a moral code which can be demonstrated to merely perpetuate ancient discriminatory practices, I oppose ancient norms that advocate misogyny and the oppression of women and practices derived from these, in general I oppose the imposition of ancient societal norms on modern civilization. While I support the eternal dogma of the Church, I believe each society and generation must develop a system of morals and customs that pays homage to Christian high theology and is primarially based on the pragmatic needs and understandings of the day, uninfluenced by the morality and customs of past generations.
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« Reply #200 on: August 21, 2007, 10:55:25 PM »

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Where I disagree is merely on several social and cultural issues influenced excessively by the mores of past, less enlightened, civilizations: I take issue with many elements of a moral code which can be demonstrated to merely perpetuate ancient discriminatory practices, I oppose ancient norms that advocate misogyny and the oppression of women and practices derived from these, in general I oppose the imposition of ancient societal norms on modern civilization. While I support the eternal dogma of the Church, I believe each society and generation must develop a system of morals and customs that pays homage to Christian high theology and is primarially based on the pragmatic needs and understandings of the day, uninfluenced by the morality and customs of past generations.

So in other words you are an eastern rite episcopalian? Do you believe in repentance of sins? Do you believe fornication and abortion are sins? Do they need confession and repentance of?
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« Reply #201 on: August 21, 2007, 10:55:48 PM »

When I speak of the culture of death, I think we all know what I am talking about. Any one who is slightly aware of cultural issues knows what this is. It is not propaganda. If anyone is confused by what the culture of death is, I will be more than happy to articulate it. If one supports abortion,  euthanasia, etc... they are part of the culture of death. The church is part of the culture of life. If you don't like the terminology, I don't know what to tell you.

It's ok, really, no one 'likes' to hear the other side's propaganda...but I'm not going to get too upset over it. But to even things out, perhaps I'll start refering to your side as 'the culture of oppression and misogyny'...of course, 'If you don't like the terminology, I don't know what to tell you.'

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BTW, I tend to be more Democrat in my politics. Does that make me a right wing propagandist?

American politics aside (and they don't belong in this thread), by your arguments you've clearly established yourself as a social conservative.
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« Reply #202 on: August 21, 2007, 10:59:17 PM »

So in other words you are an eastern rite episcopalian?

I keep looking for those Churches...no luck finding one yet Wink

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Do you believe in repentance of sins?

Of course, pride, domination, arrogance, oppression, despotism...these all require repentance.

Quote
Do you believe fornication and abortion are sins? Do they need confession and repentance of?

Depends on the circumstance...at times they may be appropriate, at times they may be the lesser of two evils, as a worst case scenario they are merely symptoms of other true sins. For example, I would, in general, not say that fornication is a sin, but lust certainly is.
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« Reply #203 on: August 21, 2007, 11:00:41 PM »

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It's ok, really, no one 'likes' to hear the other side's propaganda...but I'm not going to get too upset over it. But to even things out, perhaps I'll start refering to your side as 'the culture of oppression and misogyny'...of course, 'If you don't like the terminology, I don't know what to tell you.'

I support life like the Orthodox church does and the RCC does as well as many protestant denominations. I also think that being pro life is more than being anti abortion. Unlike many conservatives, I think the government should help the mothers any way they can (but this is for another thread).

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American politics aside (and they don't belong in this thread), by your arguments you've clearly established yourself as a social conservative.

So being pro life makes me a social conservative? Interesting, and where do you find this definition?
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« Reply #204 on: August 21, 2007, 11:02:51 PM »

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Depends on the circumstance...at times they may be appropriate, at times they may be the lesser of two evils, as a worst case scenario they are merely symptoms of other true sins. For example, I would, in general, not say that fornication is a sin, but lust certainly is.

I hold to the Orthodox view that lust and fornication are both sins and that they need to be repented of. Abortion is clearly held as a sin by the church (a major sin at that). Does that mean that the Orthodox church is socially conservative?
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« Reply #205 on: August 21, 2007, 11:07:31 PM »

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For example, I would, in general, not say that fornication is a sin, but lust certainly is.
What?? How could fornication occur without the involvement of lust?
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« Reply #206 on: August 21, 2007, 11:08:47 PM »