Tag Archives: Saint Paul

HISTORIC “NO” VOTE IN GREECE. CONFEDERATES AWAKE!!!!!

The Greek People today voted against Central Government and Central Economic Planning by a factor of roughly 2-to-1 (in many hard-hit urban areas 3-to-1). Greece has perhaps turned the tide of the expanding power of the European Community, and we should follow suit here. The Greek people know that a central government based in Brussels, exactly on the opposite Northwest Corner of Europe from Greece in the far Southeast, cannot possibly be expected to act in the interests of a minority people with comparatively little wealth and political “pull” compared with France, Germany, or even Italy.

The people of the South derived their concept of Democracy, much of their philosophy, and their iconic style of architecture from the Ancient Greek Civilization of Demosthenes, Aristotle, Plato, and Saint Paul the Apostle, not to mention their battle flag from Saint Andrew Protokletos, the First Called Apostle, who died, crucified on an X-shaped cross, in Patras on the Northwest Peloponnesos.

Every Southern Constitutional Democrat from Thomas Jefferson through Andrew Jackson to Jefferson Davis through John W. Davis (a West-Virginia Born lawyer, successor to Samuel Tilden in New York Law and predecessor to Robert Byrd who as Democratic Presidential nominee carried the 11 Southern States in the election of 1924, ending his career heroically defending the honor and integrity of the South in Brown v. Board of Education thirty years later) up to Sam Ervin, Price Daniel, Walter F. George, and Strom Thurmond was acutely aware of the Greek Heritage of Southern Democratic-Republican traditions.

The people and politicians of the South should follow the developments in Greece closely—and take note that the only major party which unequivocally advocated a “no” vote was the Golden Dawn…. the most traditionally conservative of all of Greece’s political movements…

Where do we belong?—Meditations on the Feast of Saints Peter & Paul—where DO we belong?

Always hoped that I’d be an Apostle, knew that I could make it if I tried;….. then when we retire we can write the Gospels so they’ll still talk about us when we die….

Jesus Christ Superstar, Andrew Lloyd Weber (Broadway 1971, Movie 1973)

2 Timothy 4:1-8.   As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Saint Peter’s self-chosen mission was as Apostle to the Jews, Saint Paul’s to the Greeks, though they both died in Rome.  Originally they belonged to the same Jewish Community as Joseph & Mary, John-the-Baptist, and Jesus himself.  We might imagine that Peter and Paul belonged, presumably as devout members of the Temple of Jerusalem, but possibly not even close, but they belonged to that race and religion and linguistic and ethnic group, in Roman Occupied Judea, aka Palestine, aka Syria, presumably being very close in age and community to Jesus Christ himself.  

In the service of the Anointed “Son of God”, heir of the Royal House of David, the tree that grew from Jesse’s loins, Peter and Paul became the most famous and visible to history of all Jesus’ Apostles. They belonged as apostlesPaul’s letters and writings were generally deemed to “belong” in the Bible by the Council of Nicea.  But the “Gospel of Peter” was deemed by that same body NOT to belong, although it scholars of early Christianity still discuss it extensively, see e.g.: 

http://earliestchristianity.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/the-walking-talking-cross-in-the-gospel-of-peter-goodacre-vs-foster/

My “Forward Day-by-Day Booklet” suggests that this is a day when we should all consider, like Peter and Paul, where we belong, whether we are Christians or Jews or Pagans, to begin with, and then what we should do next.  Without our community, what should we do and how?  Should we accept the world as it is or try to change it?  Where do we belong in history?

We are free, endowed by God and/or Natural Selection with Free Will, but that is perhaps the greatest of our burdens.  “Our world recognizes the subversive nature of the Christian faith and subverts us either by ignoring us or by giving us the freedom  to be religious—as long as we keep religion a matter of personal choice.”   (From “Resident Aliens” by Stanley Hauerwas.

Has the South “Run the Good Race?” Is it time for the South (and California and Texas and the Union as a whole) to choose a different Path?   If we cannot “keep the faith”—do we really belong here?

Pat Buchanan has always been one of my favorite political writers.  He now asks whether the South still belongs in the Union, and I think it is a valid question.  Frankly, I believe that the Union does not belong anymore.  As my long-time (but currently “vacationing” personal assistant Peyton Freiman said sagely some years ago, “The United States needs to Secede from itself.  I think this has only become truer with time.  The South should Secede; California and Hawaii and Texas and Alaska should Secede. New England and New York should secede.  The Federal Union should be dissolved.  Obama can have the District of Columbia all to himself and the Supreme Court and Congress.  Illinois and Michigan might want to secede but then let Chicago and Detroit Secede and form an Isolated trio of City States with D.C., Detroit and Chicago exist under Obama.  The states should not recall their congressmen, because they are only worthy to be forgotten, not recalled…. In fact, all the States should simply revoke their Congressmen’s citizenship and order them to remain in D.C. or emigrate to Afghanistan, Israel, or Saudi Arabia or Yemen, depending on their political preferences.

Does the South Belong in the Union?

Friday – June 28, 2013 at 12:27 am

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Is the Second Reconstruction over?

The first ended with the withdrawal of Union troops from the Southern states as part of a deal that gave Rutherford B. Hayes the presidency after the disputed election of 1876.

The second began with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a century after Appomattox. Under the VRA, Southern states seeking to make even minor changes in voting laws had to come to Washington to plead their case before the Justice Department and such lions of the law as Eric Holder.

Southern states were required to get this pre-clearance for any alterations in voting laws because of systematic violations of the 14th and 15th amendment constitutional rights of black Americans to equal access to polling places and voting booths.

The South had discriminated by using poll taxes, gerrymandering and literacy tests, among other tactics. Dixie was in the penalty box because it had earned a place there.

What the Supreme Court did Tuesday, in letting the South out of the box, is to declare that, as this is not 1965, you cannot use abuses that date to 1965, but have long since disappeared, to justify indefinite federal discrimination against the American South.

You cannot impose burdens on Southern states, five of which recorded higher voting percentages among their black populations in 2012 than among their white populations, based on practices of 50 years ago that were repudiated and abandoned in another era.

You cannot punish Southern leaders in 2013 for the sins of their grandfathers. As Chief Justice John Roberts noted, black turnout in 2012 was higher in Mississippi than in Massachusetts.

Does this mean the South is now free to discriminate again?

By no means. State action that discriminates against minority voters can still be brought before the Department of Justice.

Even the “pre-clearance” provision of the VRA remains. All the court has said is that if Congress wishes to impose a pre-clearance provision on a state or group of states, Congress must have more evidence to justify unequal treatment than what “Bull” Connor did in Birmingham back in 1965.

Congress could pass a bill today authorizing Justice Department intervention in any state where the registration of blacks, Hispanics or Asians fell below 60 percent of that electorate.

What Congress can no longer do is impose conditions on Southern states from which Northern states are exempt. Washington can no longer treat the states unequally — for that, too, is a violation of the Constitution.

The Roberts court just took a giant stride to restoring the Union.

Yet the hysterical reaction to the decision reveals a great deal.

What do critics say they are afraid of?

While conceding that immense progress has been made with the huge turnout of black voters in the South and the re-election of a black president, they say they fear that without the pre-clearance provision this would never have happened. And now that the provision no longer applies to the South, the evil old ways will return.

On several counts this is disheartening.

For what the critics of the court decision are saying is that, no matter the progress made over half a century, they do not trust the South to deal fairly and decently with its black citizens, without a club over its head. They do not believe the South has changed in its heart from the days of segregation.

They think the South is lying in wait for a new opportunity to disfranchise its black voters. And they think black Southerners are unable to defend their own interests — without Northern liberal help.

In this belief there are elements of paranoia, condescension and bigotry.

Many liberals not only do not trust the South, some detest it. And many seem to think it deserves to be treated differently than the more progressive precincts of the nation.

Consider Wednesday’s offering by Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson. The South, he writes, is the home of “so-called right-to-work laws” and hostility to the union shop, undergirded by “the virulent racism of the white Southern establishment,” a place where a “right-wing antipathy toward workers’ rights” is pandemic.

The South is the “the heartland of cheap-labor America. … When it wants to slum, business still goes to the South.” Then there are those “reactionary white Republican state governments.”

Were a conservative to use the term “black” as a slur the way Meyerson spits out the word “white,” he would be finished at the Post. Meyerson’s summation:

“If the federal government wants to build a fence that keeps the United States safe from the danger of lower wages and poverty and their attendant ills — and the all-round fruitcakery of the right-wing white South — it should build that fence from Norfolk to Dallas. There is nothing wrong with a fence as long as you put it in the right place.”

Harold looks forward to the day that a surging Latino population forces “epochal political change” on a detestable white South.

For the First Sunday in Advent, the Magnificat in English, French, Greek, Latin, and Polish (Gospel of Luke 1: 46-55)

As far back into infancy as I can recall, the Magnificat was among the very earliest things I remember learning in life.  My mother taught me this version from the 1662 Church of England Book of Common Prayer, published as revised during the reign of Charles Edward Stuart, II.  During Advent, we remember that Mary was the real force who linked the Old and New Testaments as one single story, remembering her own ancestors and God’s promise to Abraham at the same time as carrying within her the seed of the whole new Covenant:

My soul doth magnify the Lord : and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.  For he hath regarded : the lowliness of his handmaiden.  For behold, from henceforth : all generations shall call me blessed.  For he that is mighty hath magnified me : and holy is his Name.  And his mercy is on them that fear him : throughout all generations.  He hath shewed strength with his arm : he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.  He hath put down the mighty from their seat : and hath exalted the humble and meek.   He hath filled the hungry with good things : and the rich he hath sent empty away.  He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel : as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed for ever.

My mother also taught me the Magnificat in French: Le Chanson de Marie (Le Magnificat désigne le cantique de la Vierge Marie dont il est question dans l’Évangile selon Luc au chapitre 1, versets 46 à 56 (visite de Marie à Elisabeth ou visitation). Il est aussi appelé Cantique de Marie).

Le Seigneur fit pour moi des merveilles, saint est son nom!
Mon âme exalte le Seigneur, exulte mon esprit en Dieu, mon Sauveur!   Il s’est penché sur son humble servante ; désormais, tous les âges me diront bienheureuse.   Le Puissant fit pour moi des merveilles ; Saint est son nom !   Son amour s’étend d’âge en âge sur ceux qui le craignent.  Déployant la force de son bras, il disperse les superbes.   Il renverse les puissants de leurs trônes, il élève les humbles.  Il comble de bien les affamés, renvoie les riches les mains vides.  Il relève Israël, son serviteur, il se souvient de son amour, de la promesse faite à nos pères, en faveur d’Abraham et de sa race, à jamais.  Gloire au Père, au Fils, au Saint-Esprit maintenant et à jamais dans les siècles des siècles.

It wasn’t until College that I got around to learning this texts in Koiné Greek
Μεγαλύνει ἡ ψυχή μου τὸν Κύριον
καὶ ἠγαλλίασεν τὸ πνεῦμά μου ἐπὶ τῷ Θεῷ τῷ σωτῆρί μου,
ὅτι ἐπέβλεψεν ἐπὶ τὴν ταπείνωσιν τῆς δούλης αυτοῦ.
ἰδού γὰρ ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν μακαριοῦσίν με πᾶσαι αἱ γενεαί,
ὅτι ἐποίησέν μοι μεγάλα ὁ δυνατός,
καὶ ἅγιον τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ,
καὶ τὸ ἔλεος αὐτοῦ εἰς γενεὰς καὶ γενεὰς
τοῖς φοβουμένοις αυτόν.
Ἐποίησεν κράτος ἐν βραχίονι αὐτοῦ,
διεσκόρπισεν ὑπερηφάνους διανοίᾳ καρδίας αὐτῶν·
καθεῖλεν δυνάστας ἀπὸ θρόνων
καὶ ὕψωσεν ταπεινούς,
πεινῶντας ἐνέπλησεν ἀγαθῶν
καὶ πλουτοῦντας ἐξαπέστειλεν κενούς.
ἀντελάβετο Ἰσραὴλ παιδὸς αὐτοῦ,
μνησθῆναι ἐλέους,
καθὼς ἐλάλησεν πρὸς τοὺς πατέρας ἡμῶν
τῷ Αβραὰμ καὶ τῷ σπέρματι αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα.

and Latin (although this is the slightly edited most “up to date”  Vatican RC Version approved by John Paul II):

Magnificat anima mea Dominum, et exsultavit spiritus meus in Deo salvatore meo, quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suae.  Ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generationes, quia fecit mihi magna,qui potens est, et sanctum nomen eius, et misericordia eius in progenies et progeniestimentibus eum.  Fecit potentiam in brachio suo,  dispersit superbos mente cordis sui;deposuit potentes de sedeet exaltavit humiles;esurientes implevit boniset divites dimisit inanes.  Suscepit Israel puerum suum, recordatus misericordiae,sicut locutus est ad patres nostros, Abraham et semini eius in saecula.

And finally, for Daria, in Polish:

Found this on-line, but it's quite beautiful....

I can't really read or type in Polish at all, honestly, and this is much more visually appealing anyhow... All I'm sure I can make out is "Abrahamowi" right at the end, more-or-less confirming that this IS the Magnificat...

Today at All Saints, the Reverend Barry Taylor delivered an amazing sermon on the parallels between the coming of Christmas and the coming of the Apocalypse, and of God’s time and of being awake or asleep while waiting.  Simultaneously, he was eloquent, entertaining, and awe-inspiring, contrasting the laconic text of Mark with the more flowery prose of the other Gospels.  But the connexion with Advent and the preparation for the first earthly appearance of Jesus was minimal, and I think that’s too bad (but I don’t get to set the Scripture readings in Church….)

Up to a very real point I think that the stories of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and also of Mary Magdalene, the first to see the empty tomb, did more to make Christianity acceptable and familiar to the pagan gentiles of the world than any other two single aspects of the Gospels.  The proof of this is in the Universality of “Mary” as the most common woman’s name anywhere and everywhere the world has accepted Christ.  It is almost impossible to reconcile Saint Paul’s near misogyny with Jesus’ tolerance and obvious love of the women in his life, and of women generally.  While 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13 is rightly known as the “Hymn to Love,” this divine love or agape is not the kind of richly human love and relationships of which Jesus’ mother sings in the Magnificat, nor of which we celebrate during the successive seasons of Advent,  Christmas, and Epiphany.  What would Paul have said to Saint Joseph (whom I once played in a public school Nativity Play in Texas—the very concept of a “public school nativity play” is kind of astounding in 2011—but J.S. Armstrong elementary in Highland Park, Texas, well that was a different place and a different time altogether from anyplace in the United States today that I know of…)…what would Saint Paul (formerly Saul) have said to Saint Joseph during Advent about Joseph’s pregnant wife, and the fact that the two of them had not been married at the obvious time of Jesus’ conception?  Paul completely ignores all of that in his Epistles.  I cannot find the name of “Mary”, nor the words “Annunciation,” “Mother of Jesus”, “Angel Gabriel,” or anything like that even in Fr. Joseph A. Fitzmyer’s index or concordance to his exhaustive commentary on First Corinthians in the Anchor Yale Bible (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2008). Fitzmyer comments that Paul only refers briefly that he knew the Lord’s Brothers (1 Corinthians 9:5) and elsewhere in Galatians 1:19 indicates that he (Paul) knew James, the Brother of Jesus and First Bishop of Jerusalem as one of the Apostles.  This is pretty much all that Paul says of Jesus’ family.  (See especially Fitzmyer 2008: 353-359).  “Brotherhood” and family in 1 Corinthians refers to the community of believers—an abstract family bound by spiritual values rather than blood, whereas the Gospels are all so intimately physical and related to Jesus’ capacity to be human, eat and drink with everyone, touch and heal the sick, embrace sinners, and ultimately to die.   The practical and earth Pagan world of Europe and Egypt would never have accepted Paul’s Christianity alone.  The hierarchical political world of the Roman Empire would never have accepted Jesus’ Gospels of Love and Tolerance alone.   In Mary the people and the Church found their Earthly and Heavenly Queen, and this is (to me anyhow) the essential lesson on which we must focus during the Season of Advent.