Archive for May, 2010

Red Tories?

HateĀ  war and empire? Passionate about social justice? Sceptical about free market ideology? But also respectful of tradition? And striving for virtue?

You may be a Red Tory.

To read a fascinating piece by the Englishman who coined the term, read this article fromĀ The American Conservative.

—Daniel Nichols

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Straight Up

Excerpts from the Pascha Pastoral Letter of Bishop John Michael Botean of the Romanian Byzantine Eparchy of St George in Canton

Make no mistake: to those who have or wish to have power in our society it is a far more significant matter that you be a Republican or a Democrat than that you be a Christian. This is totally understandable in world in which Christians are indistinguishable from everyone else, in a society that has baptized and continues to baptize every kind of atrocity in the name of the Holy One. In this life and in our day, to voice criticism of the kind of Christianity that focuses on the temporal and impermanent is to risk ridicule as a pious anachronism, at best. At the very least, anyone who does so arouses the scorn of conservatives and liberals alike, and subjects oneself to vicious attack from both right and left.

Society may be split into camps of every political stripe, and our fellows may try to label us as well, but the fact is that tht Christian can afford to be neither. We have our hands full following the Master, who leads us neither right, nor left, but straight up.

There are no worldly utopias, liberal or conservative. Even a perfect society is powerless to raise anyone from the dead.

Our country has become embittered by a fractious political battle that can now be characterized by the enormity of the lies that have been generated on all sides of it, and the pathetic posturing of many in whom statecraft has shrunk to the level of winning at all costs. We seem unable to bring an end to two unjust wars that, despite their economic cost and the exorbitant amount of suffering and death they cause with ever-increasing efficiency, barely make it to the evening news. Hatred and the groups that have been established to foster it are on the rise in the land, while terrorism continues to grow in boldness and bloodiness worldwide. Children- those who manage to escape being aborted- have innocence stolen from them at an earlier and earlier age, while they are at the same time becoming commoditized, regarded increasingly as the object of someone else’s “rights”.

It is no anachronistic piety that advises you to seek the imperishable instead of the perishable, the eternal instead of the temporal, the permanent instead of the ephemeral. You have been designed for eternity, so begin to live that eternity now! Drink deeply of the new drink flowing from the empty tomb and be refreshed for the wearisomeness of the journey still ahead of you.

—Daniel Nichols

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I realize I haven’t written anything here for a month. Things have resumed a semblance of normalcy, if “normalcy” means six day work weeks and shuffling four different children between four different Little League teams. Today is the first day I have had off work, except Sundays, since the two days I took off in Holy Week, which were spent frantically running around, trying to get ready for Pascha.

We are back in our house, and facing several decisions: whether to repair the house or pay off the mortgage (we owe very little) and try and sell it as is, or several variations on this basic decision. We are not wise in the ways of the world, and are praying that we do not do anything foolish.

Several years ago I experienced a sudden collapse in health. For about a year I was in bad shape, though I have recovered. What I never recovered was the simple assumption that I could take my health for granted. I am always looking over my shoulder. In a like manner, when one moment your biggest concern is what to eat for Sunday dinner and the next moment you don’t know where your family is going to live or how you will shelter them it is hard to return to a sense of well-being. It is difficult to shake the feeling that Something Bad is going to happen at any moment. We were well aware during our ordeal that all around us and around the world people were going through much worse things. We kept reminding ourselves of this truth, and of the many good things that were happening in the midst of it all: the kindness and generosity of our friends, our church, our family, and even of strangers did much to alieve our distress. That said, it was still traumatic and I am only now beginning to feel less anxious. The first few baseball games I could not relax enough to enjoy. Thankfully, I am past that.

But really, feeling like you have no security in this life is not a bad thing, for indeed we do not. We are wayfarers here, and should not feel too at home.

—Daniel Nichols

Now if I can only get being at peace about it down…

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