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Orthodox Christians and Politics

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  • Dan L.
    A couple professors from Concordia University Wisconsin announced in August their plan to run a joint campaign for the Fifth Wisconsin Congressional District.
    Message 1 of 9 , Nov 5, 2007
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      A couple professors from Concordia University Wisconsin announced in
      August their plan to run a joint campaign for the Fifth Wisconsin
      Congressional District. The campaign manager and web designer of Drs.
      James Burkee and Jeff Walz are my roommates. Lutherans (LCMS) are
      very political people. No matter where you go, congregations always
      have a working knowledge of Robert's Rules and they are encouraged to
      vote based on issues.

      Now, take Orthodoxy. I've found that while the Church tends to support
      issues (e.g. Orthodox for Life), they aren't as adamant on being
      political active. And, regrettably, when there are active Orthodox,
      they tend to be liberal. It amazes me how much relativism exists in
      more Greek Orthodox Churches--I noted the Greeks because they tend be
      Democratic for the social programs.

      I was active in the Students for Life chapter on-campus, and I used to
      help protest abortion clinics (before I became ridiculously involved
      in Student Government), and when I proposed this idea to my aunt who
      runs our GOYA chapter her response was, "I don't think many people in
      the Church would appreciate that." Why? "The Church allows for
      abortions--in the case of rape and incest." (NOTE: This is .33% of all
      abortion cases)

      Anyways, my point is why isn't the Church near as politically active
      as the Lutherans? For Lutherans, being political goes hand-in-hand
      with being religious. For Orthodox, it tends to be "leaving your faith
      at the door" kind of attitude, and heavy political involvement tends
      to be discouraged.
    • Randy Asburry
      Dan, I believe that you are talking about two different kinds of politics. Lutherans are very political indeed (perhaps to a fault), but chiefly within their
      Message 2 of 9 , Nov 6, 2007
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        Dan,



        I believe that you are talking about two different kinds of politics.
        Lutherans are very political indeed (perhaps to a fault), but chiefly within
        their own circles (within the LCMS, for example, or within a congregation).
        Your example of Roberts Rules fits here, as does a typical LCMS voters�
        meeting or convention (district or synod level). Lutherans can be very, very
        political when it comes to �internal politics.�



        The level of politics outside of the parish/church body, though, is a
        different �critter� and seems to vary from place to place and person to
        person. I�m not sure how common it is for Lutheran professors (or pastors,
        or even laypeople) to launch a campaign for a state congressional seat. I
        certainly commend them for doing so as citizens of the state of Wisconsin.
        However, I wouldn�t identify it so closely with their religion. They
        certainly may be Christians who happen to run for political office, but they
        should not think � or run on the notion � that they somehow will use the
        political arena to further their religion. Although I truly hope they will
        use their Christian faith and values to inform their decisions for the good
        of all citizens.



        Also, I would suggest that what you see happen in Greek Orthodox Churches,
        that is, that those who tend to be liberal are those who get involved in
        politics, also occurs within Lutheranism. Just think of two famous
        politicians who happened to be Lutheran (and LCMS at that!): Paul Simon and
        Jesse Ventura. They certainly were not conservatives when they were in
        office, and they certainly took stands that went against their church�s
        teaching.



        My observation on politics is that, generally speaking, those who want and
        strive to get involved in civil politics tend to be liberal in their views,
        whereas those who are more conservative tend not to jump into politics
        because, quite honestly, they prefer to have better things to do with their
        time and energies. They actually want to mind their own business and take
        care of their family, their duties, and enjoy the company of good friends,
        etc., whereas those of more liberal bent tend to want to change the social
        order, or just plain want to be in control of other people�s lives, etc.



        I know I haven�t addressed your real question � that is, about why more
        Orthodox aren�t involved in politics � but perhaps a different angle on the
        Lutherans will help to see that there may not be as much disparity as you
        think.



        Randy



        + + + + +
        Rev. Randy Asburry
        Hope Lutheran Church
        St. Louis, MO
        HYPERLINK "mailto:r.asburry@..."mailto:r.asburry@...
        Blog: HYPERLINK
        "http://rasburrysres.blogspot.com"http://rasburrysres.blogspot.com

        �...we on our part shall not omit doing anything, in so far as God and
        conscience allow, that may serve the cause of Christian unity." (Augsburg
        Confession, Preface, 13; Tappert, 26).



        _____

        From: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
        [mailto:LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Dan L.
        Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2007 12:23 AM
        To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [LutheransLookingEast] Orthodox Christians and Politics



        A couple professors from Concordia University Wisconsin announced in
        August their plan to run a joint campaign for the Fifth Wisconsin
        Congressional District. The campaign manager and web designer of Drs.
        James Burkee and Jeff Walz are my roommates. Lutherans (LCMS) are
        very political people. No matter where you go, congregations always
        have a working knowledge of Robert's Rules and they are encouraged to
        vote based on issues.

        Now, take Orthodoxy. I've found that while the Church tends to support
        issues (e.g. Orthodox for Life), they aren't as adamant on being
        political active. And, regrettably, when there are active Orthodox,
        they tend to be liberal. It amazes me how much relativism exists in
        more Greek Orthodox Churches--I noted the Greeks because they tend be
        Democratic for the social programs.

        I was active in the Students for Life chapter on-campus, and I used to
        help protest abortion clinics (before I became ridiculously involved
        in Student Government), and when I proposed this idea to my aunt who
        runs our GOYA chapter her response was, "I don't think many people in
        the Church would appreciate that." Why? "The Church allows for
        abortions--in the case of rape and incest." (NOTE: This is .33% of all
        abortion cases)

        Anyways, my point is why isn't the Church near as politically active
        as the Lutherans? For Lutherans, being political goes hand-in-hand
        with being religious. For Orthodox, it tends to be "leaving your faith
        at the door" kind of attitude, and heavy political involvement tends
        to be discouraged.




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        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • James
        Perhaps a lot of us just do not see anything appealing in the two major parties. Republicans would starve the disabled and kill criminals who need time to
        Message 3 of 9 , Nov 6, 2007
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          Perhaps a lot of us just do not see anything appealing in the two
          major parties. Republicans would starve the disabled and kill
          criminals who need time to repent. Democrats would kill millions
          upon millions of babies and destroy our national security. After
          spending decades voting Against the greater of two evils, I actually
          landed in the libertarian camp, where there seemed a bit of hope for
          having a voice. But that is just this guy's pick among currently
          available options.

          Among the Russians, there are quite a few monarchists, by the way.

          Agape in Christ,

          JiMi

          --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, "Dan L."
          <teengreek@...> wrote:
          >
          > A couple professors from Concordia University Wisconsin announced
          in
          > August their plan to run a joint campaign for the Fifth Wisconsin
          > Congressional District. The campaign manager and web designer of
          Drs.
          > James Burkee and Jeff Walz are my roommates. Lutherans (LCMS) are
          > very political people. No matter where you go, congregations always
          > have a working knowledge of Robert's Rules and they are encouraged
          to
          > vote based on issues.
          >
          > Now, take Orthodoxy. I've found that while the Church tends to
          support
          > issues (e.g. Orthodox for Life), they aren't as adamant on being
          > political active. And, regrettably, when there are active
          Orthodox,
          > they tend to be liberal. It amazes me how much relativism exists
          in
          > more Greek Orthodox Churches--I noted the Greeks because they tend
          be
          > Democratic for the social programs.
          >
          > I was active in the Students for Life chapter on-campus, and I
          used to
          > help protest abortion clinics (before I became ridiculously
          involved
          > in Student Government), and when I proposed this idea to my aunt
          who
          > runs our GOYA chapter her response was, "I don't think many people
          in
          > the Church would appreciate that." Why? "The Church allows for
          > abortions--in the case of rape and incest." (NOTE: This is .33% of
          all
          > abortion cases)
          >
          > Anyways, my point is why isn't the Church near as politically
          active
          > as the Lutherans? For Lutherans, being political goes hand-in-hand
          > with being religious. For Orthodox, it tends to be "leaving your
          faith
          > at the door" kind of attitude, and heavy political involvement
          tends
          > to be discouraged.
          >
        • Christopher Orr
          Trust ye not in princes or sons of men. I m sure there are similar sentiments in Ecclesiastes. For much of Orthodox history in the past centuries the
          Message 4 of 9 , Nov 6, 2007
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            "Trust ye not in princes or sons of men." I'm sure there are similar
            sentiments in Ecclesiastes.

            For much of Orthodox history in the past centuries the Orthodox have been
            under non-Orthodox rule: Muslims, Communists, Roman Catholics, some
            Protestants. There has been very little opportunity to excercise political
            influence so the 'habit' is not deeply rooted. This was very different in
            Russia prior to the Revolution where they had been free for quite a number
            of centuries and where the Church was very active in the political life of
            the nation - from St. Sergius of Radonezh through the take-over of the
            Church by Peter the Great to the interim between the February and October
            Revolutions.

            Of course, the early Church also had little to no say in the government of
            the pagan Roman Empire, so they simply went about their business as best
            they could trying to avoid martyrdom without disavowing Christ.

            The monastics are also generally averse to a preoccupation with the world,
            much less politics, and monastics are a heavy presence in the Orthodox
            Church.

            Christopher



            On 11/6/07, Dan L. <teengreek@...> wrote:
            >
            > A couple professors from Concordia University Wisconsin announced in
            > August their plan to run a joint campaign for the Fifth Wisconsin
            > Congressional District. The campaign manager and web designer of Drs.
            > James Burkee and Jeff Walz are my roommates. Lutherans (LCMS) are
            > very political people. No matter where you go, congregations always
            > have a working knowledge of Robert's Rules and they are encouraged to
            > vote based on issues.
            >
            > Now, take Orthodoxy. I've found that while the Church tends to support
            > issues (e.g. Orthodox for Life), they aren't as adamant on being
            > political active. And, regrettably, when there are active Orthodox,
            > they tend to be liberal. It amazes me how much relativism exists in
            > more Greek Orthodox Churches--I noted the Greeks because they tend be
            > Democratic for the social programs.
            >
            > I was active in the Students for Life chapter on-campus, and I used to
            > help protest abortion clinics (before I became ridiculously involved
            > in Student Government), and when I proposed this idea to my aunt who
            > runs our GOYA chapter her response was, "I don't think many people in
            > the Church would appreciate that." Why? "The Church allows for
            > abortions--in the case of rape and incest." (NOTE: This is .33% of all
            > abortion cases)
            >
            > Anyways, my point is why isn't the Church near as politically active
            > as the Lutherans? For Lutherans, being political goes hand-in-hand
            > with being religious. For Orthodox, it tends to be "leaving your faith
            > at the door" kind of attitude, and heavy political involvement tends
            > to be discouraged.
            >
            >
            >


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • BPeter Brandt-Sorheim
            Yes, monarchism is alive and well among the Russians. My wife is of Russian stock and we were long connected with the Russian Synod Outside Russia were
            Message 5 of 9 , Nov 6, 2007
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              Yes, monarchism is alive and well among the Russians. My wife is of Russian stock and we were long connected with the Russian Synod Outside Russia were monarchism is particularly strong. You would likely hear a prayer in this home for a restoration of a truly Orthodox Tsar in Russia where we still have family.

              I have neither time, nor energy nor inclination to political activity but register and almost never miss voting in an election. I am currently registered as Green Party. Whatever the government format in place, I render something unto the Ceasar of our time and place, and seek a peace in which to pray without hindrance. Peter

              James <jimi@...> wrote:
              Perhaps a lot of us just do not see anything appealing in the two
              major parties. Republicans would starve the disabled and kill
              criminals who need time to repent. Democrats would kill millions
              upon millions of babies and destroy our national security. After
              spending decades voting Against the greater of two evils, I actually
              landed in the libertarian camp, where there seemed a bit of hope for
              having a voice. But that is just this guy's pick among currently
              available options.

              Among the Russians, there are quite a few monarchists, by the way.


              __________________________________________________
              Do You Yahoo!?
              Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
              http://mail.yahoo.com

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • sr72000
              I don t normally touch on politics much for the reasons others have touched on, but I would also like to point out that there are a lot of Republicans in
              Message 6 of 9 , Nov 6, 2007
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                I don't normally touch on politics much for the reasons others have
                touched on, but I would also like to point out that there are a lot of
                Republicans in Orthodox parishes, even if they don't tend to be as
                noisy (for reasons others have touched on). Like myself, the support
                conservatives because conservatism is what is doing the most to stanch
                the pro-abortion pro-homosexual agenda, embryonic stem cell research,
                anti-Christian laws, etc. If a Republican politician is pro-abortion
                or something, we find a candidate who is pro-life from another party.

                Of course there are people who don't like this party and various
                positions, which is fine as long as they don't vote for politicians
                who are pro-abortion.













                --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, "Dan L." <teengreek@...>
                wrote:
                >
                > A couple professors from Concordia University Wisconsin announced in
                > August their plan to run a joint campaign for the Fifth Wisconsin
                > Congressional District. The campaign manager and web designer of Drs.
                > James Burkee and Jeff Walz are my roommates. Lutherans (LCMS) are
                > very political people. No matter where you go, congregations always
                > have a working knowledge of Robert's Rules and they are encouraged to
                > vote based on issues.
                >
                > Now, take Orthodoxy. I've found that while the Church tends to support
                > issues (e.g. Orthodox for Life), they aren't as adamant on being
                > political active. And, regrettably, when there are active Orthodox,
                > they tend to be liberal. It amazes me how much relativism exists in
                > more Greek Orthodox Churches--I noted the Greeks because they tend be
                > Democratic for the social programs.
                >
                > I was active in the Students for Life chapter on-campus, and I used to
                > help protest abortion clinics (before I became ridiculously involved
                > in Student Government), and when I proposed this idea to my aunt who
                > runs our GOYA chapter her response was, "I don't think many people in
                > the Church would appreciate that." Why? "The Church allows for
                > abortions--in the case of rape and incest." (NOTE: This is .33% of all
                > abortion cases)
                >
                > Anyways, my point is why isn't the Church near as politically active
                > as the Lutherans? For Lutherans, being political goes hand-in-hand
                > with being religious. For Orthodox, it tends to be "leaving your faith
                > at the door" kind of attitude, and heavy political involvement tends
                > to be discouraged.
                >
              • krolechka
                I believe, being involved in politics is very harmful to one s inner spiritual life, regardless of being a monastic or a layman. And I believe, the saints
                Message 7 of 9 , Nov 7, 2007
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                  I believe, being involved in politics is very harmful to one's inner
                  spiritual life, regardless of being a monastic or a layman. And I
                  believe, the saints would say the same (not just politics but
                  unnecessary involvement in any kind of debate) although at the moment
                  I can't present any quotes, sorry.

                  --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, "Dan L." <teengreek@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > Anyways, my point is why isn't the Church near as politically active
                  > as the Lutherans?
                • Christopher Orr
                  There is a great little anecdote about St. Nicholas Planas (+1932) of Athens regarding politics: ...people where discussing politics at a certain house. So,
                  Message 8 of 9 , Nov 7, 2007
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                    There is a great little anecdote about St. Nicholas Planas (+1932) of Athens
                    regarding politics:



                    '...people where discussing politics at a certain house. "So, what do you
                    say, Father?" they asked him. Once he recovered from the depth of his
                    thought, he wanted to say something. "Who is governing now?"'

                    See the Life of St. (Papa) Nicholas Planas
                    here<http://www.serfes.org/lives/stnicholas.htm>
                    .



                    Christopher



                    PS. It took me forever to find this reference, I kept thinking it was
                    something that Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain had said.

                    On 11/7/07, krolechka <krolechka@...> wrote:

                    > I believe, being involved in politics is very harmful to one's inner
                    > spiritual life, regardless of being a monastic or a layman. And I
                    > believe, the saints would say the same (not just politics but
                    > unnecessary involvement in any kind of debate) although at the moment
                    > I can't present any quotes, sorry.
                    >
                    > --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com<LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>,
                    > "Dan L." <teengreek@...>
                    > wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Anyways, my point is why isn't the Church near as politically active
                    > > as the Lutherans?
                    >
                    >
                    >


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • krolechka
                    This is a great story! Although I ve never heard of St. Nicholas Planas, this is exactly what I meant. :) I ll go read on him now. Thank you, Christopher!
                    Message 9 of 9 , Nov 8, 2007
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                      This is a great story! Although I've never heard of St. Nicholas
                      Planas, this is exactly what I meant. :)
                      I'll go read on him now. Thank you, Christopher!
                      Sasha

                      --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, "Christopher Orr"
                      <xcjorr@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > There is a great little anecdote about St. Nicholas Planas (+1932)
                      of Athens
                      > regarding politics:
                      >
                      > '...people where discussing politics at a certain house. "So, what
                      do you
                      > say, Father?" they asked him. Once he recovered from the depth of his
                      > thought, he wanted to say something. "Who is governing now?"'
                      >
                      > See the Life of St. (Papa) Nicholas Planas
                      > here<http://www.serfes.org/lives/stnicholas.htm>
                      >
                      >
                      > Christopher
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > PS. It took me forever to find this reference, I kept thinking it was
                      > something that Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain had said.
                      >
                      > On 11/7/07, krolechka <krolechka@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > > I believe, being involved in politics is very harmful to one's inner
                      > > spiritual life, regardless of being a monastic or a layman. And I
                      > > believe, the saints would say the same (not just politics but
                      > > unnecessary involvement in any kind of debate) although at the moment
                      > > I can't present any quotes, sorry.
                      > >
                      > > --- In
                      LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com<LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>,
                      > > "Dan L." <teengreek@>
                      > > wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > > Anyways, my point is why isn't the Church near as politically active
                      > > > as the Lutherans?
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